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Old 02-13-2012, 01:27 AM   #21
Stephen Nichol
Dojo: Aikilife, Canberra
Location: Canberra, ACT
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 90
Re: Integrity in our Aikido Community

I would like to think that I understand where Marc is coming from.

I question my understanding of what I think I know about Aikido several times a day and acknowledge my many short commings in it and that recognition is foremost in my mind when I am trying to help out new people at our dojo. 'As far as I understand, this is how to do Aikido in this technique' is what I try to say to them. I try not to delude myself about it, my ability or level of comprehension and understanding of 'it' especially when talking about or 'trying' to do Aikido with a technique. If I cannot do the technique correctly because I am not using Aikido correctly in it... I am the first to laugh at myself and point out 'that is not how to do it' and then go find Sensei and ask for further instruction.

When I started training again after a 12 year break... which meant I was essentially starting all over. I had my memories of 'what I thought I remembered' and I quickly found that none of that was really important, nor did it add up to a whole lot at this new dojo. I was starting over from stratch even with a generous offer from our shihan to grade for 3rd kyu if I so desired. I came to these forums almost immediately after starting up again to glean whatever I could from the people here.

I hold myself accountable for what I try to take away from each class I attend. I do not try to find an excuse in my Sensei when I feel that my understanding, my expectation to perform Aikido is not translating through the technique at hand. I know it is me who is failing to grasp the lesson at hand and I strive to learn from my failures.

What I am trying to say is that it is very noble to have the 'Aikido' communities best interests at heart and mind, especially in consideration to the new person who may find themself here looking for information. However you are going to have to give that individual some credit and trust that they will be able to read through the threads of their interests and all the posts and figure out what seems logical and what does not. They will hopefully be able to consider the source and do their own leg work and fairly quickly determine who's post are worth their time to read and who's are not.

I find all kinds of usefull information here. Perspectives, ideas, concepts that do help me out and directions to try to go during my next class while incorporating that with what my Sensei is trying demonstrate. I also find some ideas that make me roll my eyes and think 'here we go again'.

So I suppose at the end of the day we have to be honest with ourselves first. Ask what we want from Aikido, train for that goal and be honest about our progress and have others 'check' us on it. (Interestingly I find this happens equally from complete new people as much as it does from my Sensei or sempai's. Trying to connect with a complete beginner who does not have a conditioned 'Aikido shape' will generally show just how far one has to go with showing 'Aikido' in their technique(s).)

I completely agree with (paraphrased):
If you are attracted to and are praticing Aikido for whatever your reasons are [martial effectiveness, spiritual oneness with the universe, aiki-dance flowing energy (a little of everything or some of this and some of that...] Just be honest with it and those you converse about it with. So if it is martial effectiveness you will have to test yourself by asking others to be honest and test you. If spirtual oneness, you will have to place yourself in the places you would last like to be and see if you can hold it togther when you have to embrace the fear and pain within. If it is aiki-dance class... challenge yourself to whatever happens there... I honestly have nothing to say in this area... sorry.. not even a witty or snide remark. I will say that people I have seen and know that prefer 'aiki-dance' are honest and do not claim to have, nor are they interested in any martial aspects of what it 'could be'. They are aware and like it very much where they are. And they are wonderful people to be with.

Last edited by Stephen Nichol : 02-13-2012 at 01:30 AM.
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