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Old 12-31-2009, 09:46 AM   #11
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,192
Re: Tips for Effective Aikido

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
the paradox to me is this.

To beginners it sounds all great and is "earth shattering", alluring, and yet so vivid, clear, succint and focused...all I have to do is do these things and practice.

To the "experienced" it is obvious, "well duh!", and yet we all know there is alot more that lay underneath doing this stuff than that!

So, personally, I don't find these descriptions or guidelines very useful or helpful at all. Just makes for a good feeling and a good conversation to convey some concepts.
I think the problem is that "tips" are helpful to people learning how to use Microsoft Excel, but not so helpful to people trying to learn aikido (or many other things). Straightforward, deterministic tasks, where task, method and purpose are all unambiguous, lend themselves to tips: if I say "click the column header to select an entire column", for example, you won't be confused about what I'm talking about, or why you would want to do it, or how you would accomplish it. But "extend your mind"? Who even knows what that means? A phrase like that won't take on any meaning (if it ever does) until you've trained a while, the "why" is rarely explained (or contradictory explanations are offered), and the "how" of it may never come. Over time, "extend your mind" may become a useful reminder to one's self, but I suspect the meaning and certainly the method will always be somewhat personal.

And to a beginner? Eeesh. I dunno. When a beginner says something like "extend your mind", I can't help but wonder if they're merely parroting the words, because this extend-the-mind thing is supposed to be the key and parroting the words gets them nods of approval and acceptance into the club.

Maybe the real answer is that "tips" can help with aikido, but as a reminder/point of focus rather than as a way to learn -- you have to already have something to hang them on first.
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