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Old 11-06-2005, 06:33 AM   #10
Pauliina Lievonen
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Dojo: Jiki Shin Kan Utrecht
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 562
Re: A perspective on learning Aikido

Camilla Kieliger wrote:
Absolutely - what puzzled me was that something "not my conscious me" had made this a habit, and seems to hold onto it so tightly although it is now obsolete. It just unveils an ability that goes unrecognized by "me" in my daily activities. What the heck else do "I" do this way?
Yes, I do understand that you must respond to what comes at you, and that different people take different responses. My wish for good habits was more to somehow internalize "use hips, not shoulders", "don't stare at hand", "head up", "downwards is a friend" etc. so I no longer have to think about it and can just apply it to whatever technique we may be practising. Or would that also be a bad habit, then?
The way we learn movement is that it first is a concious effort and processed in one part of the brain, and with enough repetition, it moves to another part of the brain that we normally don't have concious access to. If you now want to change that action, you first have to get it out in the conciousness again.

If you just try to glue another different response on top of that first one, the first one may well be stronger because it's already sitting there in the unconcious part of the brain. So for instance "use hips, not shoulders" is all well and good, but the message your brain is sending out is actually "use shoulders" and you need to STOP that message first. This means that you have to take a little moment to wipe the canvas blank before you try the new thing, not rush into the technique, like we all like to do.

At first it takes time to rethink what you're doing, but with practice it's actually possible to learn to move while your stopping your habitual reactions, which is cool because now you're giving yourself the possibility of choosing an unhabitual response. Which will be unpredictable to an ill-willing opponent, too. This is totally different from doing something that is "good" automatically.

Of course, this sounds wonderful in theory...the hard part is having the patience to practice this, especially in the beginning when it feels like you have to stop moving, or move very very slowly, a lot.

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