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Old 07-26-2001, 08:57 AM   #1
arvin m.
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Cultivating the mindset

Hello everyone, i hope you are all hale and hearty at the time of this message! Today an unfortunate incident happened in school which prompted me tothink about my aikido, and i wish to ask, particularly those who have been practising this art for a long time, about this issue.

Somebody threw a real fast punch that i didnt see coming until it was too late, and it caught me smack in the solar plexus. I kinda was looking at the ground but this guy was still in my peripheral vision. I was just wondering: should i have cultivated a mindset to be on the alert at all times, even amongst "frens", so that such sudden uncalled for attacks could have been perhaps stopped. I am thinking that perhaps it was because this fella wasnt really fighting but just threw a punch for the heck of it, plus the fact that he's kinda like an acquaintence...does a lot of training sharpen your refelexes to the extent that even such sudden attacks can be dealt with? Or will we be vulnerable at some point in time? Thank you.
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Old 07-26-2001, 09:17 AM   #2
lt-rentaroo
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Hello,

I believe that my reflexes have improved through my Aikido training. Being in the military, we have a term called "situational awareness". Basically it means that you should be aware of what is going on around you at all times, for reasons such as safety (hazardous work environment) or just to make sure the Colonel doesn't sneek up behind you. I've found that through Aikido training my "situational awareness" has improved over the years. Randori, when practiced with simultaneous multiple attackers, is a great tool for learning how to be more aware of your surroundings. I've also developed a habit of standing with one foot in front of the other (basically a hanmi stance) when talking to people. I believe that you should always be prepared for an occurence like the one you mentioned. Do I seem paranoid? Maybe I am and maybe I'm not. As far as I'm concerned, you can never be too careful.

LOUIS A. SHARPE, JR.
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Old 07-26-2001, 09:34 AM   #3
andrew
Dojo: NUI, Galway Aikido Club.
Location: Galway, Ireland.
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Re: Cultivating the mindset

Quote:
Originally posted by arvin m.
wondering: should i have cultivated a mindset to be on the alert at all times, even amongst "frens", so that such sudden uncalled
Em yeah, I was reading about this precise thing in a book on Jodo by a guy called Pascal Krieger. Well, I was reading the start of a chapter, and he was talking about how you must learn a number of these things through experiencing them yourself, but that you can experience them without realising perhaps and not gain from the experience.

It was rather good. If it's still in print you should be able to find out from www.fej.ch or perhaps contact the man himself from there.

There's a small (fairly unrelated) excerpt from the book here...
http://www.aikidofaq.com//philosophy/misogi.html

andrew
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Old 07-26-2001, 09:36 AM   #4
Brian Vickery
Dojo: Aiki-Buken Aikido
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
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Re: Cultivating the mindset

Quote:
Originally posted by arvin m.

Somebody threw a real fast punch that i didnt see coming until it was too late, and it caught me smack in the solar plexus. I kinda was looking at the ground but this guy was still in my peripheral vision. I was just wondering: should i have cultivated a mindset to be on the alert at all times, even amongst "frens", so that such sudden uncalled for attacks could have been perhaps stopped. I am thinking that perhaps it was because this fella wasnt really fighting but just threw a punch for the heck of it, plus the fact that he's kinda like an acquaintence...does a lot of training sharpen your refelexes to the extent that even such sudden attacks can be dealt with? Or will we be vulnerable at some point in time? Thank you.
Hi Arvin!

...of course you always want to be aware of whats going on around you, aware of the environment, but not to the point of paranoia!!! I personally give my friends that opening ..if they feel the need to pop me one for whatever reason, then they have the green light! I refuse to live my life in a constant state of paranoia where every person on this planet is a potential enemy ...I'd rather get punch occasionally then live like that! Also, any friend that would take advantage of me like this would definitely loose my trust and respect for him ...I would keep my guard up around him from then on!

...what happened to you has happened to me on several occasions ..people just feel the need to test martial artists! Early in my training I got popped ...but as my skills developed I was able to handle these situations quite easily ...I guess my reflexes & reaction speed improved over time!

...just count it as learning experience! ...now you have sometihng to compare to later on when/if it happens again!

Regards,

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 08-15-2001, 11:38 PM   #5
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Cultivating the mindset

Quote:
Originally posted by arvin m.
Hello everyone, i hope you are all hale and hearty at the time of this message! Today an unfortunate incident happened in school which prompted me tothink about my aikido, and i wish to ask, particularly those who have been practising this art for a long time, about this issue.

Somebody threw a real fast punch that i didnt see coming until it was too late, and it caught me smack in the solar plexus. I kinda was looking at the ground but this guy was still in my peripheral vision. I was just wondering: should i have cultivated a mindset to be on the alert at all times, even amongst "frens", so that such sudden uncalled for attacks could have been perhaps stopped. I am thinking that perhaps it was because this fella wasnt really fighting but just threw a punch for the heck of it, plus the fact that he's kinda like an acquaintence...does a lot of training sharpen your refelexes to the extent that even such sudden attacks can be dealt with? Or will we be vulnerable at some point in time? Thank you.

Hey Arvin,sorry to hear about the punch, but these are all learning experiences. As far as developing a mindset goes, that can take a lifetime. It's better to just be a little more aware of your surroundings as you go about your daily life.

As your training continues I believe you will naturally develop a degree of situational awareness where things like that will not happen too often any more. In Aikido we call it developing your Centre or Seika Tanden - one point. It is a natural result of devoted practice.

I have been doing Aikido for over 6 years now and I have been in similar scenarios. Many times people may attack you as a joke, others may be a little more malicious, trying to test you. Remember, Aikido is based in non-violence and peace. Keep training and focus on the basics above all else and you won't have to worry about being paranoid or being caught off guard. You will reach a point when you will KNOW how and when to react, naturally - and that won't take a lifetime. All you have to do is train sincerely.

"Master the divine techniques of the Art of Peace and no one will dare challenge you." - Morihei Ueshiba.

I hope this helps

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 08-16-2001, 07:12 AM   #6
ian
 
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Ha ha,
An excellent wake up call. Thinking to yourself 'be more aware of what is around you' is like trying to stop yourself thinking of a pink elephant. You shouldn't be thinking 'I must be more aware', you just must be more aware. However I think everyone has different degrees of awareness but randori is fantastic for developing this (as well as occasionally sneaking up on people in the dojo; although if this goes too far paranoia results).

Ian

Strangely enough I was recently in a night club just mucking around with a friend (nothing violent), when I felt something strange behind me and out of the corner of my eye I could see that someone was finding my behaviour rather intimidating (so I mellowed out). I think awareness is definately one of the most important aspects of aikido, but it can be so subtle that it cannot be taught, just conditioned into you (and this includes body language).

Last edited by ian : 08-16-2001 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 08-16-2001, 07:20 AM   #7
ian
 
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P.S. will we all be vulnerable at some time? Hard to say - possibly, though (as far as I'm aware) Ueshiba believed he had a certain time when he would die and knew he wouldn't die before then. As well as the dodging bullets episode in Mongolia (and other places) there is also this story where he was sat in sieza and someone bowed down to Ueshiba but he did not reciprocate. After a pause he bowed again and Ueshiba bowed in return.

Afterwards the person had considered Ueshiba unbeatable because he had intended to attack Ueshiba as he bowed the first time, but his second bow was sincere.

Ian
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Old 08-16-2001, 10:32 AM   #8
L. Camejo
 
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Triangle

Quote:
Originally posted by ian
P.S. will we all be vulnerable at some time? Hard to say - possibly, though (as far as I'm aware) Ueshiba believed he had a certain time when he would die and knew he wouldn't die before then. As well as the dodging bullets episode in Mongolia (and other places) there is also this story where he was sat in sieza and someone bowed down to Ueshiba but he did not reciprocate. After a pause he bowed again and Ueshiba bowed in return.

Afterwards the person had considered Ueshiba unbeatable because he had intended to attack Ueshiba as he bowed the first time, but his second bow was sincere.

Ian
Actually you have proved my point. The words I used before were "try to be aware", not "think about being aware". Like doing a forward roll, if you think too much about the actual step by step process of doing the roll, the logical mind can screw you up, and you may fall on your shoulder and pop it.

In your example of the bow, O-sensei "was aware" he did not "think about being aware", and like you said, this awareness can only be cultivated through the mental conditioning that comes from randori practice and things like that.

I believe we are talking the same language, just from different perspectives.

I hope clarified myself.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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