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Old 06-17-2009, 12:22 PM   #1
Taj Mikel
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Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Hey everyone, I tend to notice subtle similarities (or like to think that I do) between given thing A and given thing B, in this case, Aikido and driving.

I've only been studying Aikido for about two months, so my technical skills are still very new and gaining in practice, but I have noticed that while driving at least a few of my behaviors is similar to those in the dojo.

In the car, while driving, I am operating at a level of "working" awareness in which I am closely paying attention to the events around me, but in an indirect manner.

Consider, as we drive we focus generally on the road in front of us, with some amount of direct awareness applied to what's behind us. We "intuitively" redirect our motion when something in our awareness changes the original parameters of our perceived situation. Ie; a person crossing the street, a car signaling to turn left/right, a cyclist on the sidewalk... These perceptions aren't directly attended to, but rather indirectly referenced and then acted in reference to. We even see that it occurs on several levels simultaneously. Ie; another driver "cuts you off" while a woman crosses the street and the light changes to red. We react to each of these stimuli almost intuitively, and with such efficiency that each situation is handled appropriately in the matter of a fraction of a second.

It is not that we are paying individual attention to each individual entity and it's corresponding event/s on the road, we are simply paying attention to the road as a whole.

This intuitive, "working" sort of reaction reminds me very much of Aikido, and fending off multiple attackers.

To drive it home, the beginning driver finds him/herself focusing greatly on each individual event that occurs on the road, often over-correcting or reacting in an exagerrated manner, while the seasoned driver reacts with calm, efficiency, and grace. By the same token, when I am in the dojo I find myself focusing very intently on my own motions, ie; "Am I getting the form correct? How's my back posture?" where my Senseis, and even other training Aikidoka, have a more comprehensive view of their actions, and their actions in relation to those around them. Similarly, we find this in driving in that the novice driver focuses on individual forms (things on the road) and the adept driver focuses on the road as a whole (drawing it all in simultaneously).

As I was reading a portion of.. The Five Rings (I think?) by Musashi, a portion caught my attention referring to "gaze". The gaze was defined as a way of taking information through the eyes in a comprehensive manner. "Looking far as though it were close, and close as though it were far". I see this applied in driving often, as well.

Do you think that, as a society of drivers, we are adept naturally at considering multiple sources of information simultaneously? Maybe more-so than the average Japanese man/woman from a few hundred years ago?

Do you think that focused, intentional consideration of these techniques (the gaze) say, while driving, can assist in subtle ways, the cultivation of "martial vision" and result in more efficient processing of information while in the dojo?

I have also noticed (and while discussing with my room mate, also 6th Kyu, I found him disagreeing due to driving style) that when I make turns, left or right, my arm tends to move into an "unbendable arm" position, which then moves in a 360 degree rotation as I turn the steering wheel. Specifically, it reminds me alot of performing an Ikkyo on my car.

And finally, in Aikido, we have a large emphasis on the individual portions of the body being separate from eachother, so as to cultivate complete bodily control. Do you think that driving can influence this in subtle ways as well? Specifically in the mind-body and eye-body coordination?

Sorry for the uber long post. Very interested in your thoughts though! Also, are there any other daily sort of behaviors you go through that tend to remind you of your Aikido training? Looking forward to hearing responses, and good morning!

-Ty

Last edited by Taj Mikel : 06-17-2009 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Typos and whatnots
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:00 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Taj, very perceptive. I have used the complex but automatic time/speed/distance computations we do in driving, esp in making a left turn on a busy street, to explain the concept of ma'ai.
I also use driving to describe how there is always an irimi in tenkan; that is, that tenkan is NOT a backward movement: when you need to do a fast u-turn to claim a parking space on an urban street, that is a classic tenkan, but it is totally an entering movement!

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Old 06-17-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
Taj Mikel
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Thanks for the reply Janet

That's an awesome analogy for ma'ai and irimi Sometimes in considering it I remember being in a crowded area (bar, concert, seminar, etc..) in that in order to properly navigate a crowded (anything really, even street) distance and timing are invaluable (and it's amazing how the reactions and movements in those situations are so freely applied by us, while when in the dojo it seems infinitely more difficult). I think irimi is also well expressed in the same situations. If we stop seeing conflict, and only interaction between elements (things involved), many barriers seem to melt away and we can see how, say for instance, a blade coming at you full speed is not much different from a bartender's platter of drinks doing the same because she slipped and fell. We simply see element A interacting with Element B. It seemes easier for me to understand Aikido concepts by breaking these conceptual barriers down, and becoming aware of the broad application and theory behind Aiki, in general.

This also seems to touch on the concepts of "no-mind" and "no-thought", in that by removing the identity of a situation (ie; threatening, conflicting, etc..) we can attain a level of comfort that allows for the application of advanced techniques in advanced situations.

I for one, am still absolutely terrified of a live blade, haha

Last edited by Taj Mikel : 06-17-2009 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Typos and other oddities

-Ty A. Knight
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:36 PM   #4
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

The no-mind, no-thought experience was mine a few months ago while driving. Ate some pizza at a birthday party and on the 2 hour drive home the blood sugar dropped. Needless to say I started to run off the road and when I woke I was heading for a concave ditch and with two options: try to correct and possibly roll or ride the ditch. Time seemed to slow, I went into the ditch saw where I had to go, even when a culvert popped up in front of me (glad it wasn't 5 seconds later), and steered out of the ditch without disengaging the cruise control at 70 mph (SUV). I was so focused time slowed and when I got out and check to see if all car parts were function and no leaks, my heart rate had not changed at all and I was totally calm. I can only attribute it to staying centered and focused as a result of my years of aikido.
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:36 AM   #5
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Do this all the time.

Also, when you take bends at just the right speed without braking or drifting, no screeching of the tires, no overt tilt, you know you've maintained harmony with your car and the road.

But what has me thinking a lot now is how I would use a car in response to attackers holding it for force entry or attacking it. To engage them wholly with the car is so aiki.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:21 AM   #6
Maarten De Queecker
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
The no-mind, no-thought experience was mine a few months ago while driving. Ate some pizza at a birthday party and on the 2 hour drive home the blood sugar dropped. Needless to say I started to run off the road and when I woke I was heading for a concave ditch and with two options: try to correct and possibly roll or ride the ditch. Time seemed to slow, I went into the ditch saw where I had to go, even when a culvert popped up in front of me (glad it wasn't 5 seconds later), and steered out of the ditch without disengaging the cruise control at 70 mph (SUV). I was so focused time slowed and when I got out and check to see if all car parts were function and no leaks, my heart rate had not changed at all and I was totally calm. I can only attribute it to staying centered and focused as a result of my years of aikido.
Those are just called human reflexes. I had such experiences long before I began training aikido.

Why do people tend to see aikido in everything they do? It's not because someone does ballet that he suddenly uses ballet in his or her driving style. Aikido is a martial art, not some kind of super power that makes your body do super stuff it otherwise wouldn't.

I've been doing aikido for two years now. Do I apply aikido in my driving style? No. Of course I go with the flow most of the time, knowing full well that I'm speeding, but I don't do that because I "don't want to go against the force of all he cars behind and in front of me" but because it's the safest thing to do, plain and simple. If I have to do a quick manoeuvre, I do that without thinking because of my driving experience, not because I learned to "step out of the line of attack".

When I take a bend at a certain speed, I do it because I know how my car will behave at that particular speed in that particular bend. Again, driving experience, not aikido.

So again: aikido is a martial art, which means that you train to "kick the crap out of people, but in a soft way". You don't train to learn how to drive better. You can follow lessons for that and they won't include white pyjamas, swords or sticks. They will involve hand brakes, foot brakes and a steering wheel.

I have read the saying "when in Rome, do as the Romans" several times on this website. Stick to it. When you're driving, stick to lessons you were taught by the person who taught you how to drive and by your own experience. Don't try to "aikido" on the road.

The no mind and no thought principle simply means that you have mastered techniques up to the level of them having become reflexes, meaning you execute them without sending electric signals from your arms to your brain first, before your brain sends them back to your arms, telling them to move. Your brain will just react on the visual stimuli it received with a certain movement of one or more limbs. This quite literally means that you did not make any decision, your brain did it on its own. It's become an instinct.

Last edited by Maarten De Queecker : 06-18-2009 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:17 AM   #7
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Maarten, I agree with you, but I think the two of us may be the lone voices in the wilderness here. There is a strong tendency/desire here, particularly among people who are new to aikido, to view all of life through the aikido filter. I think that it's a mistake to ascribe certain mental states, brain-body connections, etc. as being the product of aikido or unique to aikido, when they are far more universal to the human condition and can be experienced in a myriad of circumstances. At the same time, though, I think the "aikido filter" has a simple explanation; namely, that prior to their aikido training, many people here did not notice these states or connections, and so did not consciously experience them. I think it's great if aikido training can make people more aware of the subtleties of how their minds and bodies work; I think it's a big mistake if they believe that such workings, or even their new awareness of them, are the products of aikido per se; and a worse mistake still if they insist on using aikido metaphors to structure their experience of these phenomena outside of an aikido context.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:22 AM   #8
Taj Mikel
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
Those are just called human reflexes. I had such experiences long before I began training aikido.

Why do people tend to see aikido in everything they do? It's not because someone does ballet that he suddenly uses ballet in his or her driving style. Aikido is a martial art, not some kind of super power that makes your body do super stuff it otherwise wouldn't.

I've been doing aikido for two years now. Do I apply aikido in my driving style? No.
Haha, I definitely would not try to pull off Aikido while in my car driving. I get your point, but I think you may have missed mine

Firstly, I don't believe anything will give people "super powers", that's near lunacy. Now, can Aikido training (or any other martial art for that matter) assist in collecting and calming the mind and body? Dude, obviously. Now, can that translate and carry over to an experience one has in a moving vehicle? Again, dude obviously.

An example might be meditation, in which one's experiences WHILE meditating carry over and permeate the practitioner's life. The same goes for intense martial arts training. Yes, that mind set will carry over to other aspects of the practitioner's life.

You ask why we might tend to see Aikido in all that we do? Well, my answer is that some people might, but I don't. What I see are the principles guiding Aiki and Aikido, present in places other than the dojo. This is how O'Sensei saw the world, and while people's views of him may differ he is the founder of the art, and so I see no reason why applying and noticing Aiki principles in events beyond the dojo would be in any way a problem. I don't do Akido in my car, I just noticed that principles are similar in some instances, such as turning my steering wheel. My physical hand's form takes on that of a complete 360 degree movement, reminding me of Ikkyo. Blending occurs EVERYWHERE, to notice it while driving is not applying Aikido in the car, it's simply noticing that Aiki principles are present there.

If we consider it, Aiki came BEFORE Aikido. The principles were there long before O'Sensei canonized them into "an art form". So to find these principles outside the dojo, is simply to make the same observations O'Sensei (and countless others have) before us.

It would seem to me that someone who believes their art, especially Aikido, to be a mere way to "kick people's asses, but softly" is more suited to the study of a hard art? But perhaps you were in a bad mood.

Aiki is blending. To take the concepts and apply them to all of one's life (while not everyone's choice and that's ok) is the highest form of blending. It requires that the individual blend him/herself with his/her surroundings, and blend his thoughts with those surroundings, as well.

Point being, there's nothing wrong with analytical thought, even if it's noticing abstract similarities between given thing A and given thing B.

Have a good one! Sorry if have offended

-Ty A. Knight
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:30 AM   #9
Taj Mikel
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

[/b]
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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Maarten, I agree with you, but I think the two of us may be the lone voices in the wilderness here. There is a strong tendency/desire here, particularly among people who are new to aikido, to view all of life through the aikido filter. I think that it's a mistake to ascribe certain mental states, brain-body connections, etc. as being the product of aikido or unique to aikido, when they are far more universal to the human condition and can be experienced in a myriad of circumstances. At the same time, though, I think the "aikido filter" has a simple explanation; namely, that prior to their aikido training, many people here did not notice these states or connections, and so did not consciously experience them. I think it's great if aikido training can make people more aware of the subtleties of how their minds and bodies work; I think it's a big mistake if they believe that such workings, or even their new awareness of them, are the products of aikido per se; and a worse mistake still if they insist on using aikido metaphors to structure their experience of these phenomena outside of an aikido context.
I would agree with that Martial Arts, are above else to me, a form of conditioning. This is not involving the creation of something "new", but rather the molding of something that was already present.

I'm not sure about others, but I don't insist on using Aikido metaphors for everything. I've been studying Aikido for a grand total of 2 months, don't know that I have enough experience to do that. I simply started the thread to point out the similarities between certain behaviors in my car, and certain behaviors in Aikido.

The same can be done with literally any two or more things one might choose to look at.

For the people who dedicate all they are to their Aikido, nothing wrong with that either. May not be for some of us here in the West, but how do you think we got Shihans? Life long dedication. Everybody gets to choose their own path, and guaranteed a life devoted Shihan will have more skill/understanding than someone who does not. It all depends on what you want to get out of it. No reason to bag on people for whatever choice they happen to make regarding their Aikido, that, in essence, wouldn't be very Aiki-like.

Thanks for the thoughts guys!

-Ty A. Knight
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:00 AM   #10
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
Why do people tend to see aikido in everything they do? It's not because someone does ballet that he suddenly uses ballet in his or her driving style. Aikido is a martial art, not some kind of super power that makes your body do super stuff it otherwise wouldn't.
I'm curious why so many folks seem to reject the idea of applying something like Aikido to something else...particularly considering . To my mind implies some broad-level application...but then again, after I first started playing chess, I saw the world as a chess board. Some folks just do that more than others I guess.

Quote:
So again: aikido is a martial art, which means that you train to "kick the crap out of people, but in a soft way". You don't train to learn how to drive better. You can follow lessons for that and they won't include white pyjamas, swords or sticks. They will involve hand brakes, foot brakes and a steering wheel.
I train to improve my reflexes and intuitive understanding of how I can interact with things (people are things too ). I can apply that to probably anything. Kicking the crap out of people in a soft way would be a pleasant side-effect by my definition. Sure I don't practice applying my brake as I'm arriving at a stop, but I'm not likely to need to learn how to disarm a sword either, yet I've practiced that and found value in it. In my opinion there is huge value to finding similar lessons in different activities. In my not-so-humble opinion, it can be a quicker way to learn things because (potentially) you're reinforcing the mental connections more often, which generally makes them stronger.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:08 AM   #11
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Maarten: I don't see aikido in everything I do but I do put aikido principles in everything I do: shugyo. My point was not to see the aikido in the act but to rather recognize that remaining calm, i.e., relaxed in a situation that normally kicks in one's adrenalin.

I used to have an instructor that made us do these "ki stories". I found them silly. His idea was ok. That is, to have us learn to be focused, centered and relaxed throughout our daily activities-but the stories were nonsensical.

The longer one trains, the more ingrained principles become, reflexively. I've trained a couple of years longer so I'm more ingrained. I agree, it is not some super power. However, that was not the point. THe point was going into and out of a potentially dangerous situation and remaining relaxed and calm. Perhaps, I would have done so without my training. Perhaps not. However, since my training involves such disciplines, then perhaps it helped. I think you were reading way too much in my comments. Perhaps I could have described it better as well.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:05 PM   #12
Maarten De Queecker
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Quote:
Ty Knight wrote: View Post
Haha, I definitely would not try to pull off Aikido while in my car driving. I get your point, but I think you may have missed mine

Firstly, I don't believe anything will give people "super powers", that's near lunacy. Now, can Aikido training (or any other martial art for that matter) assist in collecting and calming the mind and body? Dude, obviously. Now, can that translate and carry over to an experience one has in a moving vehicle? Again, dude obviously.

An example might be meditation, in which one's experiences WHILE meditating carry over and permeate the practitioner's life. The same goes for intense martial arts training. Yes, that mind set will carry over to other aspects of the practitioner's life.

You ask why we might tend to see Aikido in all that we do? Well, my answer is that some people might, but I don't. What I see are the principles guiding Aiki and Aikido, present in places other than the dojo. This is how O'Sensei saw the world, and while people's views of him may differ he is the founder of the art, and so I see no reason why applying and noticing Aiki principles in events beyond the dojo would be in any way a problem. I don't do Akido in my car, I just noticed that principles are similar in some instances, such as turning my steering wheel. My physical hand's form takes on that of a complete 360 degree movement, reminding me of Ikkyo. Blending occurs EVERYWHERE, to notice it while driving is not applying Aikido in the car, it's simply noticing that Aiki principles are present there.

If we consider it, Aiki came BEFORE Aikido. The principles were there long before O'Sensei canonized them into "an art form". So to find these principles outside the dojo, is simply to make the same observations O'Sensei (and countless others have) before us.

It would seem to me that someone who believes their art, especially Aikido, to be a mere way to "kick people's asses, but softly" is more suited to the study of a hard art? But perhaps you were in a bad mood.

Aiki is blending. To take the concepts and apply them to all of one's life (while not everyone's choice and that's ok) is the highest form of blending. It requires that the individual blend him/herself with his/her surroundings, and blend his thoughts with those surroundings, as well.

Point being, there's nothing wrong with analytical thought, even if it's noticing abstract similarities between given thing A and given thing B.

Have a good one! Sorry if have offended
You certainly did not offend me. And I certainly wasn't in a bad mood, quite on the contrary, my exams are finished.

But I do indeed view aikido as a martial system above anything else. I don't now whether you have read the Rurouni Kenshin / Samurai X series but there's one very strong quote in there: "Whatever the stories or myths about it are: a sword is made for killing people, and kenjutsu teaches you how to do it". To apply it to aikido: you learn soft techniques, but actually they're techniques that were made to open people up for a fatal blow. Martial means "for war". My name itself is means "of Mars, the Roman god of war". The way aikido is trained nowadays seems more like a way of keeping your body in shape. I see lots of youtube videos with very fluent aikido, but more often than not does uke not exploit the openings tori involuntarily gives, because we are kind of conditioned to fall. I try to avoid that, and I won't go down if a joint lock doesn't force me to, but in most cases I'm too nice and allow myself to lie down after feeling a wee bit of pain. Main problem here is that uke nor tori learns anything and that the latter is given false confidence. I don't think O'sensei wanted aikido to be a way to keep the body in shape instead of a martial art. There's yoga or tai chi or many other things for that, but aikido is a martial art.

To summarize the paragraph above: I don't see aikido as merely a way to "kick ass, but do it softly", but it does make up 80 to 90% of what aikido is, imo. Despite all philosophical theories, this is what you train to do when you to your dojo, even if you don't realize it. You are slowly conditioning yourself to react in a certain way when someone attacks you, and that reaction won't be "run awaaaay." People who don't know what to do when an aikido technique is applied on them, will get hurt. Do a koshinage on someone who can't perform a mae ukemi, and you risk paralysing him by breaking his back. If someone tries to resist a Sankyo, it is very likely that you break, or better split some bones. And believe me, non-aikidoists will resist techniques instinctively, not knowing that they will hurt themselves.

The principles of blending with energy is thusly a way of helping you to execute a technique with more ease than if you had to use your muscle strength, but muscle strength can also be very useful, even more useful in real life than blending is.

What you said about that aiki was there before aikido is actually very interesting, and beautifully said!

But then again: I am not a person who blends with his environment. I am quite alternative in my ways of thinking, so I'm more used to going against the stream than just going with the flow of things.

And what does Shugyo mean?
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:21 PM   #13
Taj Mikel
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Hi Maarten! Glad to hear that there was no offense, and congrats on the exams! haha

I agree with you, there is no doubt that Aikido is a martial system, with it's physical expression being grounded in the efficient and effective redirection/resolution of conflict, typically through some form of combat. But from what I have read/been told, Aikido's highest metaphysical expression is in the philosophy that O'Sensei decidedly settled upon in his later years, namely what we all refer to as "harmony".

I would say, and probably most stereotypically , that Aikido in it's perfected form is a means by which we can forego the physical manifestation (combat) by applying the disciplines of Self attained via Shugyo, or Budo training. This form of control is over one's self, and to such an extent, that one can rightly avoid combat (via particular behaviors prior to the onset of battle) before combat even presents itself. In this way, Aikido becomes more than a simple Martial system, concerned primarily with combat. Similarly with other forms of moving meditation (which in my opinion all arts are when focused on single pointedly), the physical manifestation of the art is used as a conduit by which we as people can purge and purify from ourselves those qualities we find to be undesirable.

I wrote an essay way back when I had just left high school titled, "Guitar Conduit to Find God" and in it I explained how any repetitious behavior, when focused on single pointedly over many many years, will inevitably create focus and awareness in the individual performing the art, allowing them a window into what I candidly referred to as God, which really meant consciousness and it's nature. So yes, I certainly agree with you that Aikido is a martial system concerning itself with the efficient and effective resolution or redirection of conflict, primarily expressed on a physical level as combat. But moreso than that are the elements of what we in Japanese arts all call Budo. These elements are not concerned with effective combative technique, except in that they provide a vehicle for moving, conscious meditation which provides a path towards self exploration, and inevitably to self understanding, which is, as I believe, the first true glimpses into the nature of consciousness, and therefor who/what we are. In this way, Aikido is not simply a martial system, it is, (stereotypically again) a path to enlightenment.

Not everyone wants to be on that path. Personally, I think the path is inevitable and undiscernible anyway, so why bother naming it or trying to stay on it in the first place.

So, I guess in response to "Despite all philosophical theories, this is what you train to do when you to your dojo, even if you don't realize it." I would agree, but simply add that the training can be dual-fold (if you want it to be) to include higher order theoretical concepts and philosophy as well as physical conditioning for physical combat. But truly, we each have our own path and some people study for different reasons. Hell, my room mate hates the philosophy behind Aikido. He likes that theoretically it can all work fine, but doesn't at all buy into the philosophy, and that's fine. Him and I train together none the less, haha

I would agree that the Aikido I've seen trained appears to be more athletic than combative, but that is the nature of our art as Aikidoka. I, for one, fully intend to practice my art with the reality of a physical confrontation as realistically recreated as is possible, without going out and actually picking a fight (practice with my room mate). And this is fine, it's just our way to get around the particular road that the Aikikai have paved. I'm not sure what O'Sensei had in mind for his art, but I know what I have in mind for my practice of it, and that includes taking it a tad bit beyond where the Aikikai (from what I have seen) tend to. I definitely completely agree with your statement that "uke nor tori learns anything and that the latter is given false confidence." and this is unfortunate.

First thing I did after my first Aikido class was go home with Nick, and practice Ikkyo over and over with him resisting my efforts. Because of that, from day one in Aikido, I already knew that the skill required to pull moves off in real combat would be far more than would be required in the dojo environment. To the training styles, I'd just say do for you what is best for you That's what I intend to do haha. I don't want to find a few years from now should a confrontation actually arise that I try to pull a tenkan on some 6 foot guy and get stopped by his brick wall of a chest and then dropped into a head lock.

Anyway, good post man, good convo. Sorry for rambling, at work haha

-Ty A. Knight
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:40 PM   #14
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Just to clarify what I wrote: I drove and lived in general for decades before training in aikido. I do not claim to drive as if doing aikido. I do find the REVERSE useful: to take an everyday thing like driving and use it to describe aikido phenomena like ma'ai and irimi/tenkan.

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Old 06-18-2009, 03:42 PM   #15
lbb
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Quote:
Ty Knight wrote: View Post
So, I guess in response to "Despite all philosophical theories, this is what you train to do when you to your dojo, even if you don't realize it." I would agree, but simply add that the training can be dual-fold (if you want it to be) to include higher order theoretical concepts and philosophy as well as physical conditioning for physical combat.
That's true, Ty...but the danger that I see here is one of "laundry-listing". You see it in many people who walk into a dojo without prior martial arts experience -- a laundry list of "I wants", based on their (often not very well grounded) ideas of what a martial art can do for them. "I want to get exercise, and I want to learn to defend myself against anything that might happen on THE STREET, and I want to become more focused, and I'd really like to get rid of my stress, and I'd like to develop spiritually, and..."

The problem with this is that, while all these things can happen in martial arts training (or, more accurately, can happen to a person who happens to also be training in martial arts), I think it's misleading to tell people (including yourself) that your training can "include higher order theoretical concepts and philosophy". Tell me this: when was the last time your sensei taught a class on these "higher order theoretical concepts and philosophy"? What is your sensei's spiritual authority or qualification to advise someone on spiritual matters? For that matter, just how well versed is your sensei in exercise physiology? Any particular sensei might happen to be very well qualified in any of these areas, and might teach it as part of aikido instruction -- but if that happens, guess what, you just got lucky. It's not something you should expect. What you should expect in an aikido dojo is aikido instruction and practice, which you can't assume to include "higher order theoretical concepts and philosophy".
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:56 PM   #16
Taj Mikel
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Is it normal to get booted from this site every 5 minutes? Literally while typing my response it booted me, then deleted my 6 paragraphs of text. Is this the norm on this site, or am I getting unlucky?

-Ty A. Knight
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:59 PM   #17
Taj Mikel
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Re: Aikido and Driving a Vehicle

Well I'll write up my thoughts again here in a bit Mary, if you're still around haha

-Ty A. Knight
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