Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > External Aikido Blog Posts

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-22-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
OwlMatt
 
OwlMatt's Avatar
Dojo: Milwaukee Aikikai
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 398
United_States
Offline
Simple Gifts

A giant once lived in that body. But Matt Brady got lost because he was looking for God too high up and too far away.
- Spencer Tracy as Henry Drummond, Inherit the Wind



The library is a great place to go with a baby in a stroller. There are aisles and aisles to push her around in to put her to sleep, and everyone is quiet, so she stays asleep.

I was on just such an excursion this afternoon. I swung by the martial arts section (796.81, if you were wondering) and noticed a large book called The Original Martial Arts Encyclopedia: Tradition, History, Pioneers.

Now, books like this are a dime a dozen. Every library has a couple. They're big, they're usually at least 20 years old, they're festooned from beginning to end with black-and-white photographs of martial arts action, and they're usually full of generalized information from starry-eyed Westerners who grew up on kung fu films. But for whatever reason, I opened this one, and decided to see what it said about aikido.

The first sentence in the "Aikido" entry shocked me to my core:
Quote:
Aikido offers four basic advantages to its practitioners: it develops rhythmic movement and physical fitness, both integral parts of self-defense training; it encourages discipline and a nonviolent attitude; it promotes strength and suppleness in the joints and limbs through twisting, bending, and stretching--movements that also free the limbs from harmful adhesions; and it increases the practitioner's awareness of posture and good body alignment, and improves reactions, perceptions, and coordination.
What? No enlightenment? No invincible defense against weapons or multiple attackers? No harmony with all living things? No mystical powers?

This book, this book I had scoffed at and dismissed as ignorant drivel only moments before, had just spelled out what I look for in aikido better than most aikido instructors I've met. Frankly, I've never seen a better summary of the benefits of aikido training.

There are many, though, who would not be satisfied by this summary.

When I posted my entry "Ki to the Highway" on AikiWeb this summer, I was astonished to get a few responses from aikidoists who were genuinely offended by the assertion that aikido did not give them the power to defy or transcend the laws of physics. Likewise, browse any aikido message board and you'll find several aikidoists willing to defend to the death the assertion that kata-style aikido training is every bit as practical for learning street defense as krav maga, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or mixed martial arts training, or perhaps even more so.

At the root of this kind of willful ignorance, I think, is a dissatisfaction with the mundane. To a man who grew up watching movies and reading books about martial artists who perform superhuman feats, conquer evil forces, and achieve near-clairvoyant states of mind, the prospect of simply training for health and happiness does seem a little underwhelming.

But health and happiness are not small things. And many, many people miss out on health and happiness reaching for other things they consider greater, more noble, or more important.

I, for one, do not intend to make this mistake. Physical fitness, discipline and attitude, strength and suppleness, posture and body alignment, reactions, perceptions, and coordination: I find more than enough here to spend a lifetime training for.

(You can find this post in the Young Grasshopper martial arts blog here.)

My martial arts blog: The Young Grasshopper
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,654
United_States
Offline
Re: Simple Gifts

Quote:
Matthew Story wrote: View Post
At the root of this kind of willful ignorance, I think, is a dissatisfaction with the mundane. To a man who grew up watching movies and reading books about martial artists who perform superhuman feats, conquer evil forces, and achieve near-clairvoyant states of mind, the prospect of simply training for health and happiness does seem a little underwhelming.

But health and happiness are not small things. And many, many people miss out on health and happiness reaching for other things they consider greater, more noble, or more important.
I was listening to a book on tape last night (Pema Chodron, "From Fear to Fearlessness") -- re-listening, rather, it's one I play a lot, particularly this section where Pema talks about how people can become addicted to "special states of mind", and get caught in the trap of wanting every day to be chock-full of clarity and epiphanies and peak moments and breakthroughs...to be nothing but various kinds of awesome. It seems to me that a lot of martial arts newbies go through a form of that. You know the ones I mean: not the ones who never return after a first class, but the wildly enthusiastic converts who want to eat drink breathe this new practice of theirs, because every day is bringing them something new and exciting. And they want it to stay like that...maybe they're the ones who have the greatest need to believe that the transcendental experience is out there. But the day to day things are, as you say, not exactly small. They're ordinary, but an ordinary blessing is a blessing nonetheless.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Round Earth Pubs - Book: "Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training"



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
085) Aikido Is Simple, Not Easy: September 2011 Marc Abrams External Aikido Blog Posts 5 09-02-2011 07:55 AM
Gifts Of Money From O'Sensei's Students dps General 4 02-18-2011 09:49 AM
Simple insight is insight as well erikmenzel "Off-The-Mat" 15 10-23-2009 02:03 PM
unqiue weapons bags for holiday gifts Janet Rosen Marketplace 4 12-13-2004 05:28 PM
Simple, but not Easy akiy General 14 12-16-2002 09:48 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:21 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate