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Old 08-09-2008, 07:26 AM   #1
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 54
My first sign of awareness...

Have you ever went to open a door that you thought was going to be really light but find yourself getting pulled into the door instead?

Happened to me today.

The sallyport was open and had created some suction in the booking area. I walked up to the door in a hurry and yanked on it pretty quickly and almost slammed myself into the door instead of opening it.

The weird part was that the first thought that popped into my head was "man...if I had been centered that definitely wouldn't have happened."

Is this a bad sign?
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:32 AM   #2
Stefan Stenudd
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Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
Location: Malmo
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 538
The opposite

The opposite of that experience is when a door is much easier to open than expected, and you bang it open, almost breaking it.
Like lifting an empty bottle you expected to be full.

It is interesting, since it deals with the power of expectation.

If you're centered, you risk banging every door

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Aikidostenudd
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:47 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 290
Re: My first sign of awareness...

That is just weird man, but I must say I have a spring loaded toilet door, it is like it smacks a yokomenuchi every time I go, so I blend and open the door with a harmonious flow. Yeah it is not so weird..

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:58 PM   #4
batemanb's Avatar
Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,031
Re: My first sign of awareness...

Mathew McDowell wrote: View Post
That is just weird man, but I must say I have a spring loaded toilet door, it is like it smacks a yokomenuchi every time I go, so I blend and open the door with a harmonious flow. Yeah it is not so weird..
That must be some mighty strong pee.........and wouldn't it be better in the toilet than against the door

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 08-09-2008, 04:07 PM   #5
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 660
Re: My first sign of awareness...

Bryan Bateman wrote: View Post
That must be some mighty strong pee.........and wouldn't it be better in the toilet than against the door
It's GOOD to be young...

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:56 PM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
Re: My first sign of awareness...

Ahh man, the perils of door suction...aka door ki. I don't think O'Sensei had a waza for door suction. But, I think centering isn't first thing to do in that situation. I agree the power of expectation would be important. Maybe the power of awareness like you said is also important. You are in a hurry, your mind isn't centered, it is unbalanced, unfocussed, scattered brained, distracted, head not in the game, thus your awareness is off.

What a great subject to talk about.

A very powerful, unseen internal power/skill of centering I think a real key to Aikido. Novice Aikidoka want it, veteran Aikidoka know it, top Aikidokas teach it, and O'Sensei stressed it. It can be found in most, if not all, good martial arts.

Body and mind connection is so important and from what I know it goes way, way back. Coordination of this type was recognized and thought to be highly important by ancient fighters. Plus, body coordination where the body moves as one unit, in unison, as one. The ancients realized that they needed to coordinate their body, and mind, and make sure their bodies where coordinated working as a unit to generate power and force, to be more productive in their techniques. Instead of the body working against itself and being counter productive. I liken it to walking. I like to use the example of a new born foal getting up and learning to walk. How uncoordinated the foal is, with its legs going all in different directions trying to support its weight as it tries to stand and then tries to walk. Only when the foal coordinates its legs to support its weight and then takes its first coordinated steps does the foal accomplishes walking and then running. Like athletes mind and body coordination is important to them. That is why the ancient fighters to modern Olympiads (got to be in the spirit) trained their bodies and mind accordingly to work as they need it to be.

Another thing is sensitivity. It is being able to pay attention to the environment. Plus the awareness and attention to sensitivity that works with the other types of coordination. You go to open the door (any door that has suction) with your hand, you sense the tension in the door as you begin to push it open. The door feels heavier or lighter. As you open the door you feel the start of the change in the air, you feel light suction. Not buying it, how about when you where a kid and they taught you fire safety. One of those things you do in a fire in a building, and you want to escape through a door, the first thing is to check to see if the door is hot. The thing you don't do is just grab the door handle to open the door because the handle could be very hot and burn your hand. Or if you open the door with out checking you could experience a back draft or walk right into the fire. There are other stuff like that you want to do that is consider a thing of sensitivity.

Sensitivity is something the ancient fighters where also aware of that isn't something seen happening when used. Sensitivity was thought of as a hidden ability, a internal skill or power, by many ancient arts and fighters which we read about today. And is recognized by other terms in pro sports.

These internal skills/power, yes, take years to master. No one gets them down pat over night because they take lots of practice. Being aware that there was suction while opening a door, and centering was needed I think is a great internal discovery. Now all you (me too) have to do is walk.

Last edited by Buck : 08-09-2008 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:28 PM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
Re: My first sign of awareness...

I think I should go into more explanation on this. I am not unconvinced that someone can get internal skills down fast. But it takes time to get them down pat, and fully explore the subject. I don' t know anything physical like sports and martial arts where someone goes from novice to medal winner overnight. Olympiads train for years with all that talent to compete. They don't get a couple of coaching sessions and wham they are in the Olympics. Building skills and techniques both over time are keys to success, and by doing you figure out how to improve your game. Through practice over time you can figure out where to tweak and refine your mind and body coordination and coordinated body movement, you to get better results. You find consciously or unconsciously the proper body alignment, coordination, connection to the uke. How is that uke reacting and position to you. Then you refine it, combine it with things like sensitivity, centering, and other internal stuff.

You don't always learn it yourself, you learn from your Sensei, others in the dojo. But you have to have awareness that is the door way that sucks you in, it is the thing you want to develop. Because, if you don't you don't grow as much as you could, and you can only learn so much from other people. Being Sensei dependent I don't think is a good thing. You have to be independent at some point and learn for yourself, and figure out more from the lessons given by your Sensei if you want to keep growing. If I have learned anything from my Aikido hit and miss training and other sports and things this would be it.

Wanted to share that

Last edited by Buck : 08-09-2008 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:26 AM   #8
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Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,646
Re: My first sign of awareness...

Even if you were centered, if the door is closed with more force then you weight, you will be pulled into it, or you'll rip your shoulder out of socket. I'd rather my body move then damage my arm, so I'd say you're training your body correctly.

The "aiki way" is to move when there is more force then you can easily handle. So I'd say what happened is in line with Aiki.

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Old 08-10-2008, 05:18 AM   #9
Will Prusner
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Dojo: AikiSpirit Dojo
Location: Coral Gables, Florida
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 196
Re: My first sign of awareness...

Funny. One of the very first things I was taught, on the first day of class, was to be fully present and aware of what my body was doing while opening doors.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration...

ART! - http://birdsbeaks.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:23 PM   #10
L. Camejo
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Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Re: My first sign of awareness...

James Cavin wrote: View Post
Is this a bad sign?
You recognized that you lost some control of your balance as a result of attempting to open a door without first grounding your body weight. I'd say that is a good thing - in Aikido, having ones weight "floated" is one means of experiencing kuzushi (i.e. being thrown). Aiki and Ju waza are designed to first disrupt the balance of the attacker so often we attempt to "float" Uke's weight to off-balance him while keeping ours grounded (else both persons end up being off balance). A simple example of the floating effect is when sankyo (tenkai kotehineri) is applied and Uke goes up on his toes, assisting in breaking his balance upward (floating) so that he can be taken down or thrown more easily.

So imho it was good that you were sensitive enough to realize that your action on the door should not have resulted in you losing your grounding. My students and I tend to practice outside the dojo by opening heavy doors using proper footwork, waki shimete and tegatana, allowing us to test our structural alignment and ability to apply just the right amount of force using our legs and core instead of our arms. The result is that the door opens and we are in total control of our balance as well as the door. The smaller folks found that they were able to open very heavy doors by using body weight, doors that they could never budge using pure arm strength.

The nice thing about using centre and body weight is that you tend to better sense how much force is necessary, constantly adjusting your core movement and how much power is being applied without sacrificing your balance, the object you are connected to, or your arm for that matter.


--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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