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Old 01-20-2014, 10:03 AM   #19
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 452
Re: How can Aikido teach you discipline if you love it?

Ben White wrote: View Post
How do you know if you have developed discipline in Aikido training? Study it well to the point where you are genuinely good at it. Then be the victim of a road rage incident and respond by doing nothing at all, including if the other driver is raining blows down upon the roof of your car and threatening you. Then you will know if you have become disciplined through your Aikido training.
Here's a brilliant example of this. I saw this road rage video last year, and was struck with the awesomeness of the power of peaceful non-resistance. For all the "real world" fight videos I've seen online, this one especially demonstrates the power of remaining centered and calm.

The word "discipline" comes from the word disciple. The word "pupil" comes from the same origin.

Aikido doesn't teach discipline. Aikido is discipline. Aikido is a practice. So is knitting, cooking, writing, etc.. Cooking is not a "thing," it's a practice. There's the craft aspect as well as the art aspect to various disciplines.

So, whether the practice is martial arts, building model airplanes, or flying real airplanes, the discipline is merely a focal point for our conscious attention. Could be coin collecting, wine tasting, or showing dogs.

Aikido is not unique at all. I wouldn't even consider it special. It's just another discipline. One that many people enjoy.

GI Gurdjieff said something along the lines of, "The problem with most people is that they don't know how to do even one thing well." Could be anything. Making coffee, arranging flowers, betting on horses.... The idea is that once we go deep enough to do even one thing well, we can then transfer that depth to other disciplines/practices.

And it would certainly seem that if we're going to aim our arrow of attention at a particular discipline, that we should also love the engagement of it. We also seem to gravitate to activities that naturally allow us to excel.

Dalarian: Is there a way I can alter my training to make it more disciplined?
I might suggest that it's as simple as altering, not your training, but your idea of the word "discipline." And from there, realize that you've already been doing it.

Just train.

Sort of like the old story of the sensei who shows up to a dojo and informs the students he's going to let them in on the secret of their martial art. After he arrives he starts them training and then excuses himself from the dojo and goes to have some tea. An hour later he returns, looks on at the training session, and nods. He excuses himself again.

The sensei repeats this over several hours. Finally during one of his returns, the students ask him about the secret he was going to teach them. He smiled and said, "I've just shown you. The secret is in your training. Just as you have been doing."

90% of life is as simple as just showing up.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 01-20-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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