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Old 12-08-2005, 09:45 PM   #1
Suru
Location: Miami, FL
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Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Hello fellow Aikidoka. I still call myself an Aikidoka, much as a Marine still considers himself such after leaving the Corps. However, I can no longer train for even half an Aikido session due to a medication which depletes my stamina. I have enough energy, or ki if you will, to live daily life. I do miss weight training, but it's a nice excuse to get out of jogging. I have missed an Aikido cruise, many would-be refreshing training sessions, and many seminars due to my situation. This is no good. This weekend, I'm going to watch a seminar, and that will be a thrill for me. But is watching good enough? One of my sensei said I could teach even though I'm still a white belt. I've found teaching extremely rewarding, but don't teachers need to keep training?

*Success comes to those who train and train*

A high ranking sensei who recently published a book signed it "Train Hard!"

I can't train hard. I hate the word "can't" but sometimes I have to admit it to myself before I can come to a peaceful acceptance.

From what I've read and otherwise gathered, training is of fundamental importance to following the path of Aiki. If training isn't for everybody then is it for anybody? What about me? What about my uncle who is paralyzed from the neck down? If the great dream of Aikido is to bring peace and prosperity to the world by encouraging all to practice the art, then can the dream come to fruition? I want it to. I want it to more than anything else in the world. Can it?

Drew
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:08 PM   #2
giriasis
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Drew, train to your best ability. If that means only half a class or viewing a seminar, then that is your best. We have an older gentleman in our dojo who is a liver transplant recipient. He would love to train harder and train as hard as all the the other people on the mat, but he just can't. But I have to tell you he as the best "aiki-spirit" than most people in my dojo. He comes to forge himself and his body to the best of his ability. Training hard for him is way different than training hard for a perfectly healthy individual.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:13 PM   #3
giriasis
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Here's a link to his article:

A Transplant Walks The Path

Ed is currently ranked 2nd kyu.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:46 PM   #4
Suru
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Ms. Giri,

That is a beautiful article and literally brought tears to my eyes. I am going to ask my doctor if I would be a good candidate for organ donation. Thank you so much...this is just the sort of inspiration I hoped for.

*The divine beauty of Heaven and Earth
All creation
Members of one family*

Drew
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:51 PM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Drew,

I have to agree that one of the biggest obstacles in Aikido is the one-size-fits-all approach.

IMHO, many people train harder, but if they don't train wiser then never learn.

I remember training with Sensei Molly Hale at the Expo. She's in a wheel chair and mad all of us work the techniques from a chair too. Enlightening and inspiring.

There was another gentleman at the first Expo who demonstrated with one arm and the biggest smile.

I have trained with people of all sizes, ages, and disabilities (including my own).

The biggest obstacle may just be our beliefs in obstacle. So, show up, suit up, and train.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-09-2005, 10:15 AM   #6
James Davis
 
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Aiki can be applied in conversation, or in driving...
Try to find new ways of utilizing what you know.

You have something to offer, regardless of your rank or your ability. If your sensei thinks that you should teach, then give it a try before deciding you can't.

Also, as much as I love aikido (and don't want you to quit), there's also tai chi chuan. It's pretty cool stuff.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 12-09-2005, 10:32 AM   #7
bratzo_barrena
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

hello Drew,
Please don't lie to yourself, To learn Aikido, anyone has to TRAIN Aikido, and I mean thye physical/technical aspect of Aikido.
You can't learn it just from watching, you have to feel the techniques and, when you're tori, you have to make the work.
Aikido is not JUST and spiritual path, as a lot of people wants to see it, is a martial art based of body mechanicas and phisics (in the technical aspect I'm refering) designed for self-defense.
So you beed to do and receive techniques in order to learn them.
I don't mean to be rude but physical or medical limitation, WILL limit your ability to learn Aikido.
and yes, some people HAVE physical/medical problems and jus can't learn AIkido.
Aikido is not an spiritual path, is a martial art with spiritual ideas/concepts in it (as most of them) but is not a religion or spiritual path by definition.
So yes, TRAIN, be aware of your limitation and enjoy. But don't fool yourself or let other people fool you. If you don't train you won't learn, if you have physical limitations, those limitations will be reflected in your Aikido. Now there are diferent degrees of physical limitations, is not the same to have a hernia, than missing two arms.

Train, be aware of your limitation, accept them, train safely, and enjoy.

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral, FL
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:26 AM   #8
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

On the one hand, I agree with Mr. Barrena, but on the other hand:

Mitori geiko. I tend to think that if there is a word for it, there is some value to it.

Best Wishes as you work through your situation,
Ron

http://ejmas.com/pt/ptart_taylor_0202.htm

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:42 PM   #9
roosvelt
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Quote:
Drew Gardner wrote:

If the great dream of Aikido is to bring peace and prosperity to the world by encouraging all to practice the art, then can the dream come to fruition? I want it to. I want it to more than anything else in the world. Can it?

Drew
Surely there is more than one path to the top of the mountain. If you can't train Aikido, then not try something else, like Zanzen (spelling?), Qigong (falun gong is popular and free), Yiquan (which you only need to stand and solo practice until very high level for combat, for health the standing postrue is more than enough). tai chi if you can find a real teacher.

At the end, you may find out you know more about Aikido then.
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Old 12-10-2005, 03:54 AM   #10
bogglefreak20
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Two ends to every stick. Aikido is no different. I agree that the physical part of it is very important, however, the original question was about Aikido being able to bring peace and harmony to the world. For me Aikido is something that you can apply to everyday situations, relationships, struggles of the body and of the mind. Techniques are physical, sure enough, but we can percieve them metaphorically too. By that I mean you can use the principles of Aikido and learn when to let go of an idea, how to grasp the correct moment for a certain action, how to adjust the situation to make the best of it and, most importantly, how to work WITH people. That are all tasks for the mind. And also only limited by the mind.

Therefore I disagree that training the mind is not training. Sometimes it's far more challenging than your ordinary sankyos and shomenuchis. If one finds Aikido principles useful in everyday situations and applies them, that person is in my eyes just as much a master of Aikido as any regularly ranked aikidoka. True, they may not be able to perform a technique on a robber, for example, but who says there is only one way of resolving a conflict.

Beatus Qui Venit In Nomine Domini!
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Old 12-11-2005, 10:29 AM   #11
bratzo_barrena
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Hello miha

the thread wasn't actually about if aikido brings peace and harmony to the world, as you said.
I'll quote drew, who started the thread:
"From what I've read and otherwise gathered, training is of fundamental importance to following the path of Aiki. If training isn't for everybody then is it for anybody? What about me? What about my uncle who is paralyzed from the neck down? If the great dream of Aikido is to bring peace and prosperity to the world by encouraging all to practice the art, then can the dream come to fruition? I want it to. I want it to more than anything else in the world. Can it?"
So if you read carefully, is about the possibility of learning aikido without practicing or with physical limitations to practice it. So Miha, don't mislead the readers to make you point, or read carefully to understand the thread.
Aikido is a martial art, its techniques were developed for self-defense, it has "spiritual" aspects on it that can be applied to other aspects of life, that's true, but Aikido needs physical training to be understood, felt, learned, and improved.
Unfortunately, a lot of people like you like to think that aikido is mostly an spiritual path, which is not.
Its techniques where designed to solve physical conflict without opposing a stronger force. This PHYSICAL concept of not opposing can be used in non-physical situations, in other aspect of life, of course , but stating that you can learn aikido without practicing techniques just by understanding the techniques with the brain and by perceived them metaphorically, as you said, you're plain wrong.
And By the way, I never said that training the brain is not training, to train the techniques you have to use your brain to understand the principles an concepts behind them, until the body learns to to them by itself.

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral , FL
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:07 AM   #12
Qatana
 
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

The purpose for aikido, and for training in aikido, is different for each aikidoka. Why should one person's motivations be the same as the next? Aikido may have been Developed as a Martial Art of Self Defense style, but that doesn't mean every student's reason for training has anything to do with either.
If my reasons to train are spiritual, then those arer MY reasons and if theyr aren't yours, fine. That doiesn't make me wrong. And it doesn';t make you wrong. It just makes us who we are.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:08 AM   #13
bratzo_barrena
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Jo,
I didin't talked about your reasons to train aikido, or my reasons, or anybody reasons for that matter, I talked what was Aikido created for, as a martial art of self defense, regardless of anyone's reasons to tarin in Aikido, it's essence, it's reason to exist was, is and will be (I hope) self defense. And nobody's reason for training Aikido is excuse to change the nature of the art.
Now if someone wants to train for philosophical reasons, is ok, of cousrse, but that should't change the essence of the art.
Or for example, if a person trains Aikido because he/she wants to loose weight (which is a reason a lot of people train for, just fitness) that gives him/her the right to say O'sensei created Aikido or the gol of Aikido is loosing weight? Of course not. Maybe could be one of its secondary consecuences, but the true nature of Aikido is self-defense.

Bratzo Barrrena
Instructor Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral, FL
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Old 12-12-2005, 09:48 AM   #14
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Quote:
I talked what was Aikido created for, as a martial art of self defense,
I thought Ueshiba said that aikido is misogi....misogi is NOT self defense.

Best,
Ron (quibbling a bit here...)

PS An interesting article that helps to clarify/muddy the waters a bit.

RT

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 12-12-2005 at 09:57 AM.

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:02 PM   #15
Qatana
 
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

So Bratzo if you have no problem with the reasons people may train, other than self-defense, do you feel the need to correct their motives? You didn't Answer Suru's question, you told him he was wrong for his motivations, you told him he couldn't really be practicing aikido if he wasn't physically training.
Why not just let him ask his question withut telling him he is wrong for it?

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:02 PM   #16
bratzo_barrena
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Hello Ron
There's a big problem when quoting O'sensei, since people use to choose the quotes they like to make valid their own point of view.
let me show you some example. (I'll do the same by the way)
These are 'quotes' from O'sensei taken from Aikiweb, that I will assume are true.
You will see that they are contradictory.

"The secret of aikido is to cultivate a spirit of loving protection for all things."

"Aikido decides life and death in a single strike"

"love for all" isn't contradictory to the ability to "kill with one strike"?

another:

"It is important not to be concerned with thoughts of victory and defeat. Rather, you should let the ki of your thoughts and feelings blend with the Universal."

"Aikido is non-resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious."

So, don't be concern with victory and defeat, but by the way, non-resisntans always wins. Contradictory statements? what do you think?

Another:
"Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them. It is a way to lead all human beings to live in harmony with each other as though everyone were one family. The secret of aikido is to make yourself become one with the universe and to go along with its natural movements. One who has attained this secret holds the universe in him/herself and can say, "I am the universe.""

"Aikido is the way that teaches how one can deal with several enemies. Students must train themselves to be alert not just to the front but to all sides and the back"

So, Aikido is not for fighting enemies, is about harmony, but at the same time Aikido teaches you to deal with enemies? Contradictory? Very.

So 3 possibilities
1. O'sensei was crazy. I don't think so.
2. O'Sensei was stupid. I really don't think so.
3. O'sensei did say all those things, but people take them out of context to valid their own personal points of view. i think this is the problem.
Obviously O'sensei make those statements refering to different aspects of Aikido (technical, spiritual, mental), so those statements must be interpreted from the context O'sensei was refering, not as absoluts statements.

Now if you think, and use logic, Why would o'sensei spend so many years and effort training and developing Aikido techniques? don't you see the self-defense aspect of his training? or you don't want to see it?
I don't think we should deny the spiritual aspects of the art, but why deny its physical practical applications? The beautiful thing about aikido (in its technical aspect) is the way it deals with physical conflict, without oppossing to it, but redirecting it. Giving the change to a physically weaker person to defend against a stronger one. Isn't that great in itself? Why deny that? to feel you're a good person? what, good people don't have the right or need to defend themselves?

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral FL
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:09 PM   #17
MaryKaye
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Training hard doesn't necessarily mean pushing your physical stamina. It can also mean training with intense attention, honing the mental aspects of the art. With enough honing you may find that your level of performance increases without requiring more stamina, or even requiring less. Our seventh-dan regional instructor, who is seventy, doesn't seem to use any energy when teaching: at the end of the day he is fresh and happy and we are all exhausted. And it's not because he never takes ukemi--he likes to be thrown by the kids and includes that in every seminar. He's just very efficient in using his energy.

I have a same-rank training partner who is only able, due to job pressure, to train once a week. He still matches me rank for rank and test for test even though I am lucky enough to be able to train 4 times a week, because he is the most focused student in every class he does attend--he absorbs far more of the material than I can. If you can only do a few techniques before becoming exhausted, you can learn to make each one count to its maximum.

Mary Kaye
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:49 PM   #18
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Quote:
don't you see the self-defense aspect of his training? or you don't want to see it?
I don't think we should deny the spiritual aspects of the art, but why deny its physical practical applications? The beautiful thing about aikido (in its technical aspect) is the way it deals with physical conflict, without oppossing to it, but redirecting it. Giving the change to a physically weaker person to defend against a stronger one. Isn't that great in itself? Why deny that? to feel you're a good person? what, good people don't have the right or need to defend themselves?
Hi Bratzo, this is really pretty much my point. If Ueshiba Sensei had all these different perspectives (and since he created the art, I must assume he was right), how can we censure someone else who has them? I'm not denying the self defense **applications** of aikido, or the right of good people to defend themselves. Nor am I suggesting that we should not physically train in the techniques. But I am suggesting that someone with an infirmity, who cannot train as much as they would like, could find ways to still train, even though not as physical.

You are absolutely correct about context...which is why I said this might clarify/muddy the issue.

Best,
Ron (context, context, context)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 12-13-2005, 09:40 PM   #19
Mark Uttech
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

Each person should simply figure out how to be a student
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:19 AM   #20
IlyasDexter
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Re: Obstacle to Aikido's Mission?

I believe sincerity is the key. Try practicing slowly ala tai chi you will still be able to achieve a high level of skill and understanding of Aiki technique and God willing be able to train regularly if only for 20 mins and with your sincerity still gain as much if not more than the fit able body does in an hour. And remember this AikiDO (way to polish the heart) not Aiki JUTSU (military art/self defence). Also we cant give peace to the world if it's not first in our own hearts to give. And may God grant you and your family the best of health and wellbeing both spiritually and physically.

Peace be on you.

Ps Consider this well known peace of guidance from Kano Sensei
"Minimum Effort Maximum Effect"

Last edited by IlyasDexter : 12-22-2005 at 09:25 AM.
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