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Old 05-01-2012, 07:24 AM   #36
Maarten De Queecker
Dojo: Aikikai Gent, Brugse Aikido Vereniging
Location: Bruges
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 139
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
My advice would be the opposite of Chris's -- not that I think it's bad advice, but it's not the only way to understand this dilemma, and I think it might be counterproductive for you. With the caveat that different people learn things different ways, I question whether reading about aikido can produce understanding unless you've got a fair bit of practice behind you to provide a framework for the theory. As a beginner, your goal should be to practice, not to seek to understand the art. Training with two different teachers who take two very different approaches is difficult, and probably counterproductive for a beginner, so choose one -- not necessarily the one whose approach seems to make sense to you now (chances are good that whatever you think you understand now, is at least partly wrong) -- and stick with him/her for a while. Set aside your need to get it, to figure out what aikido is, to find the answers. Just train. If you don't like the training, then don't do it. But I think that ultimately, the harmony in your aikido (for lack of a better way of saying it) comes from your training, your practice -- not from some abstracted ideal that you like the sound of. The sense of it comes within your practice, if it comes at all.
I have been taking the "two different teachers" approach since I started training five years ago, and it took me quite a while to fuse their teachings into something coherent. It wasn't counterproductive though. Having two different teachers basically forced me to keep an open mind, both in terms of different aikido styles as well as other martial arts (I followed a single lesson of Wing Tsun but I was taught a very valuable lesson there: keep your elbows low at all times). I find that a lot of aikidoka that strictly follow one teacher get the annoying mentality of "this is the only correct way to do it" and disregard all other possible ways of doing stuff (and the possibilities in aikido are endless and incredibly dependent on your own body and who you're training with).
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