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Old 09-26-2008, 09:38 PM   #17
Joe McParland
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Dojo: Sword Mountain Aikido & Zen
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 309
Re: thoughts while on line at dunkin donuts for coffee

David Skaggs wrote: View Post
A major part of Aikido application is practicing awareness of your surroundings and visualizing scenarios and responses.
I can visualize myself on Pluto, playing a harpsichord concerto to a packed amphitheater while fending off hoards of ninja attackers---all while eating one of those donuts, of course.

Hell, I can imagine you doing the same, and I don't believe we've even met!

I'm not trying to be an ass, by the way. Yes, I used to do this all of the time too, especially while walking through a crowded mall---somehow flow of traffic was always against me. And yes, I think there's some value to "shadow boxing" and visualization aikido-style---especially when you have no partner immediately available.

However, if you believe mind-body integration / being centered / whatever is an objective or even a major aspect of your training, you're missing out if either your mind or your body is not in the game. When you're out and about and your mind drifts to combat, then everything you see around you is combat---and that can become a habit---and that can also become problematic. On a lesser scale, I found that when I was doing that giant randori in the mall, I wasn't fully present with my wife walking beside me. Poor choice.

Perhaps while not in the dojo with your training partners, the aspect of your practice that you should reinforce is practicing being where you are?

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