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Old 05-30-2002, 01:19 PM   #20
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824

I checked out your profile and you refer to yourself as a novice. I'm glad to hear your enthusiasm in regards to aikido. But it would be better phrased as your experience.

I've been practicing aikido for almost three years now, and it was the concept of "ki" that drew me towards aikido. My experience in aikido is that people get different results from their practice of aikido. Your results don't mean that it should be everyones results. It is just your experience -- a valid one, but just yours. My practice of aikido has made the intangible tangible. I have brought the thought and talk to an actual physical practice. The result of this is far different than what I expected. As a result my concept and point of view towards ki transformed from a mystical force to something much more substantial. And in the end all that matters is the training, because it is the training itself that will transform me. I believe you might discover something similar as you continue your training.

In regards to how and why people here are perceiving you as preaching. Let's look at the words you're using. Please read the following here as a means to understand where some of us might be coming from.

It was not my intention to come to Aikiweb to illicit opinions of those with a "full cup."
Sometimes despite our best intentions, harm still may result. Assuming a person's cup is full is a broad assumption and implies that you have something to fill it with. Assumptions can get you in trouble -- especially on the net where you really don't know the people you're talking to. In this assumption you are setting yourself up as a teacher, and we didn't ask for you to teach us. This is the results of your words.

If anyone becomes offended, for whatever reason, I am sorry. Worst case scenario, someone scoffs at this rehtorical nonsense, best case scenario, a new student to Aikido and the Martial Arts elects to train beyond physical strength, trophies, and competition, on a endless quest to free their mind and spirit.
It is appreciated that you have apologized and it is encouraging that you want to go beyond the physical. I've discovered that we have to go through the physical to reach beyond. However, if people are indicating that they are being offended by your words, an aiki way to deal with this is to take the effort to understand where they are coming from. Despite the apology, I haven't seen this effort.

When I say a spiritual Atemi, I simply mean, that he/she as the aggressor have by intiating an attack have created an "unnatural" situation. If you are also in the wrong, for whatever reason, it will be intrisically more difficult for you to conteract the disharmony. Your positive spiritual atemi is required. Should you respond with hate, the attacker now has a better reason to attack. If you maintain the spirtual calm that we all strive for, the attacker could theoretically be subdued by your lack of aggression.
This concept of ki atemi or spiritual atemi is an interesting one. The use of "should" implies an imperative that must be followed and it also implies judgment. Such as one person should do one thing and not another because it is better. Your message is being lost in usage of such language.

You're correct it is best to respond to an attack without hate, but with calm mind. This is one of the main principles of aikido. But including this in your comment about spiritual atemi, you end up implying (whether intentionally or not) that those who use regular atemi are using it with hate. Physical atemi can easily be used without hate. A good aikido practitioner can easily employ strong atemi with a calm state of mind.

A ki atemi is far more "physical." Everyone has a ki field, whether you belive in it or not. Developing ki, though no simple task, can be done by anyone with the proper relaxed mindstate. Hopefully, your ki is more developed than your attacker's, in which case techniques may not be necessary. Extend though the attacker, and strike them with your ki!
Here, you seem to be discussing another essential principle of aikido -- extension. Extension has some very physical attributes though. However, what extension means depends according to each practitioners definition of "ki". That is why someone asked you what your definition of ki is. They asked in an attempt to understand your point of view. I agree that everyone has "ki". But the more difficult and interesting issue is defining what "ki" is.

Atemi on the mat degrades the lesson.
When you say "atemi on the mat", is it proper for me to assume that you mean physicalatemi? The main problem with this statement is the word "degrade," because it sets up an oppositional or lecturing tone. Many aikido practitioners do practice physical atemi on the mat. Do you realize you just told these people that they are degrading their lessons? If atemi is done properly and with the proper attitude there is no degradation of the lesson. In fact, in many cases, it is the lesson.

Don't muscle through techniques! Use ki for better results.
I couldn't agree more that muscling through technique is poor practice. And utilizing the proper aikido principles (or "ki") enables an aikido practitioner to obtain better results. Yet, the word "don't" is a command telling people what to do.

In conclusion, I'm not trying to degrade your experience, actually from what I can tell you have a similar experience as other aikido practitioners. Because you don't seem to understand where some of us are coming from, I am trying to demonstrate how your words can be interpreted as preachy.

Clearing up this problem is simple. All that needs to be stated at the beginning is -- "I'm new to aikido and this is why I like it so much." Instead of illiciting a "cough, cough", the result perhaps would have been interesting discussions on ki, atemi, and extension.

As the saying goes, "It's not what you say; it's how you say it."

In the spirit of aiki,

Anne Marie Giri
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