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Old 02-03-2013, 09:45 AM   #1
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
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Aikido and inner aggression

I came to Aikido because I have alot of anger inside of me I have to deal with. Has anyone here found Aikido useful in dealing with their inner aggression and anger rather than an outer attacker?
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

Quote:
Alex Mitchell wrote: View Post
I came to Aikido because I have alot of anger inside of me I have to deal with. Has anyone here found Aikido useful in dealing with their inner aggression and anger rather than an outer attacker?
Dear Alex,
Why not try something other than aikido?Aikido is not a universal panacea for issues like yours.Ask yourself the questions1.Why do you get angry? 2.Does getting angry or have anger inside you help matters in your life?3.Assuming that you can realise that feelings of anger may/or may not be conducive to your relationships /health why continue to feel angry?Go and do two thousand suburi twice a day /ot down a crate of beer. That should get you more relaxed.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

No I gave up alcohol as it was possibly the most destructive stuff in my life besides anger itself. I try meditation but also that takes awhile to see real effects. What is "suburi" by the way? I have tried anger management by the way and jogging also. Nothing really seems to help

Last edited by soupdragon1973 : 02-03-2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

In a way similar to the other thread, I think it can help. What Janet said regarding buttons we didn't know we had relates to this pretty well I think. Like you, I find a general improvement of mood after practicing which helps in dealing with my own stuff; I've found these moments invaluable.
I think the common altruistic idea of not harming your attacker and the everpresent idea of not harming your training partners can be a good mental exercise too.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:54 AM   #5
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

thanks again Matt. Sorry but I found the other post offensive "to go drink a crate of beer". And what will that achieve exactly? I gave up drinking and I am proud of myself for doing so and then taking up a martial art to give me something positive to do. Which it did. I battled long against the demon of drink till I won but for a long time it won over me time and time again.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:02 PM   #6
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

sorry perhaps I should rephrase that...I took up martial arts in general to help me better deal with stress and this in turn lead me to Aikido. Sorry for the confusing message, sometimes I think I fail in my language skills.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

Quote:
Alex Mitchell wrote: View Post
thanks again Matt. Sorry but I found the other post offensive "to go drink a crate of beer". And what will that achieve exactly? I gave up drinking and I am proud of myself for doing so and then taking up a martial art to give me something positive to do. Which it did. I battled long against the demon of drink till I won but for a long time it won over me time and time again.
Alex
If you have this anger and tension - first you need to lighten up a bit, the comment from Joe was in jest and no way offensive. Joe offered you advice and dropped a bit of humour in the pot. I don't see that Aikido will be the answer to your problem, it will help to add some hard training into your routine to feed the anger, just lighten up.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:52 PM   #8
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

I apologise for the misunderstanding by I still found it offensive and I stand by that. I have a sense of humour, I just dont share your sense of humour. I dont mean that as an insult, I mean I often find myself laughing at odd things that other people dont find funny and vice versa.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:36 PM   #9
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

Frankly? I don't think Aikido's the solution. I know people who aren't in a good spiritual place who just use Aikido to enable dysfunction. If you have a handle on the problem I think Aikido can help you work it. But by itself, it won't get you there.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:23 PM   #10
SeiserL
 
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

IMHO, Aikido does not directly work with your anger issues.

OTOH, it does provide an arena and a tool to look at issues.

To do Aikido, you have to learn not to take other's attack personally. You enter and blend with their attack, redirect it taking their balance without reactionary retaliation to do more harm.

Its a useful indirect metaphor and opportunity.

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 02-03-2013, 03:24 PM   #11
Stephen Nichol
Dojo: Aikilife, Canberra
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

How does your 'inner aggression' usually manifest itself? What typically breaks your calm? If you are not comfortable posting about it here for any reason you can send me a private message and we can just chat about it.

I have learned to resolve many internal issues regarding anger, sudden outbursts over the most pointless things, things that I just laugh at now when they happen and I see my old self trying so hard to 'explode' over it... more like a memory of what I used to be like, that will never go away.

Learning a different perspective on my outlook on life helped. Having others there to support me (who were always there I just never really opened my eyes to it at first... stubborn, had to do it all by myself...). Being honest with myself about who I am, what I desired and why... what I felt I needed from life and other people and why.. these were the things that helped me understand and come to peace with myself and other people around me.

Now I can accept the world around me, not resist it, just accept, receive and blend with it... so yes, in that way, the principle of Aikido does fit with they way I practice my life and all of its interactions, not just on the mat.

(I find text can leave a lot to be desired in terms of getting the correct 'tone' across and often we tend to read more negativity into that 'tone' than the person ever intended.)

P.S. I used to get my back up over the alcohol issue as well. My father was an alcoholic (20 years sober now) and it broke up the family before he became sober. I love my father dearly and we talk almost every week over Skype as I live in a different country from my family. I always thought I would become like my father if I touched the stuff... well, turns out I was wrong and that I am lucky... I actually am a happy drunk but I use discipline and understand the 'choice' I make to enjoy a drink or not to.

I understand that your situation may be entirely different from my own in this regard and like my own father, I wholeheartedly commend you on your victory in developing the self control it took to achieve that. I am certain you can use the same self control to change the course of your life any way you choose... especially if you are just not so hard on yourself about the little things that 'seem' to not go your way at first. Perhaps you already are doing this.... I honestly do not know you so I cannot comment fairly... no harm intended.

Last edited by Stephen Nichol : 02-03-2013 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:30 PM   #12
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

Aikido does provide opportunity to be part of an interaction where blame is useless. In life we often tell ourselves reasons why we are angry and really we are angry because we are angry. So Aikido does provide a way to look at interactions with no blame and thus no reason to become angry.

For me Aikido helps with the other things I do to deal with anger, self pity and other thought patterns that don't work for me anymore. Good luck and congrats on changing your life.

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Old 02-03-2013, 04:30 PM   #13
Dan Richards
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

Quote:
Alex Mitchell wrote: View Post
I apologise for the misunderstanding by I still found it offensive and I stand by that.
Hey Alex. Welcome. Let's play with something. You came into a forum (a space) to ask a question and get some insight, from those possibly more experienced than you, about aikido practice and its potential for exploring among other things; anger.

So, "you've come on the mat" here, and you get the first response from someone, and you're instantly "offended" and "standing by it." That's like you going into a dojo, getting mad about something, and then standing in the middle of the mat and not wanting to budge - and even giving justifications for it. And you've done something else very interesting: You brought your demon on the mat, and now you're attempting to draw attention to yourself. : )

I can tell you this: The "mat," the "tatami," the "dojo," is an extremely dangerous place to bring your ego. Because it's a small space - at first - where we can suspend the outside world, and train and practice with others who are doing the same. Over time, if we allow it, that space increases. The "art of peace" will initially perhaps only be in the dojo. Make it that. A sacred space. Not a place for egos and every day problems. Focus on that. Allow that.

Over time, that "space" will increase and grow. It will continue with you on your way home. At some point, the peace will begin to enter your home, your workspace, your relationships. And what was once perceived (illusion) as "demons" will more correctly be acknowledged as allies along your path of liberation.

Henry's idea to "lighten up" is a profound one.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:34 PM   #14
Walter Martindale
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

What Seiser Sensei said...
Try to remember that you're in a training and learning environment, and you may find that taking turns thumping each other around (once you've learned how to take better than you can give) in an environment where you're "protecting" your partner while having a heck of a hard workout, you'll find Aikido to be very cathartic. ("blow off steam-tic")...
The big thing to avoid when you're learning stuff is to remember it ain't personal, and if it starts getting personal, don't let it get personal. (remember - you CAN use Aikido to hurt someone really badly, but make the conscious choice not to - you CAN but shouldn't throw someone 'low' so their head hits as the body goes over the top, but you CHOOSE to throw them so they have enough room to go over and take the fall safely - you CAN but won't/shouldn't cause lots of damage to elbows, radius, ulna, wrist, shoulder; don't even think about exploring that 'dark' side...) After all - if you hurt your training partner(s), you won't have them to practice with - partly because they will be hurt, and partly because you likely won't be welcome if you regularly hurt training partners.
Speaking from my own experience and observations - the catharsis from a good hard aikido session has helped me stay calm in sometimes stressful situations outside the dojo.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:24 AM   #15
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

Quote:
Alex Mitchell wrote: View Post
thanks again Matt. Sorry but I found the other post offensive "to go drink a crate of beer". And what will that achieve exactly? I gave up drinking and I am proud of myself for doing so and then taking up a martial art to give me something positive to do. Which it did. I battled long against the demon of drink till I won but for a long time it won over me time and time again.
Dear Alex,
Sorry if you found my comment about the beer offensive.I was trying to indicate to you that maybe you should consider relaxation/stress management techniques.I personally find an odd glass of wine etc helps me , just chilling out and I watch the world go by.
If you had alcohol issues and you are now clear of this I commend you,Its not easy [so I am told] to quit drinking or other types of substances eg drugs.
Perhaps a few sessions with a trained person [therapist ] might help you to realise the nature of your aggressive mind set?Again I salute you for your attempts /intentions to resolve this anger issue.You appear to know what the enemy is[the anger ].The next thing to try and do is control /minimise the anger.Not an easy task.I wish and hope you can arrive at a solution to this problem.Yours Sincerely, Joe.
Ps As far as Aikido is concerned I personally found the book Aikdo in Daily Life, by Koichi Tohei of great value.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:53 AM   #16
Chris Knight
Join Date: Jan 2010
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England
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

Hi Alex

Have a word with Mark or Adam about Suburi

In a nutshell, they are our Jo and Ken weapons "kata" which we follow in order to train our body
for correct movement.

Best
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:57 AM   #17
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

Quote:
Alex Mitchell wrote: View Post
No I gave up alcohol as it was possibly the most destructive stuff in my life besides anger itself. I try meditation but also that takes awhile to see real effects. What is "suburi" by the way? I have tried anger management by the way and jogging also. Nothing really seems to help
Dear Alex,
Suburi is the term used to practice sword cuts as a solo exercise.After a couple of hundred/thousand sword cuts[especially if you hit a rubber car tyre] will tire [no pun intended ]you out.You will be only to happy to relax . Getting aggressive or angry will likely be the last thing on your mind.Maybe a bit of Za Zen training [Meditation ]might help as well?cheers, Joe.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:22 AM   #18
BEleanor
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

hi there,

if you want to use your aikido practice to learn to react to conflict with freedom, i have found it a great place to do that. For me, that is what it is for. Anger is just one option, sometimes it has its uses (or so it seems to me now but i have already changed my mind about a lot and next year will be different). But if you want to use aikido to change your mind, i think you need to be lucky or careful enough to find the right teachers.

I also find aikido a good place to create some mental space, lighten up, and drop my thinking for a bit. But realistically, it took a bit of work to get to that point, and some months and years it was not what happened. Training really hard helped initially (wear yourself out).

Just find a good dojo and keep training. it will come. But
I do not know how long you have been at it.

with respect

b
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:05 AM   #19
Basia Halliop
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

I think whether aikido is a good way to help you with your anger or not depends very much on how your anger manifests itself, how you react to aikido, how you interact with people, etc.

It could be good but it could also be bad, either for you or for others. Angry people on the mat can be incredibly destructive to other people on the mat, and in some cases even physically dangerous given how much concentration is needed to stay safe and avoid accidents. Other people are there to train and learn and each also has their own personal history and personality, so it's important to be careful that you aren't asking them to deal with your anger or behaviours that it causes.

Personally I'm inclined to feel that someone who has trouble with anger is the last person I would want to join my dojo, but OTOH if they can keep it to themself and keep it from negatively affecting others that's very different.

So just be very honest with yourself about your own behaviour on the mat. Consider whether your training is good for your PARTNERS as well as for yourself.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:08 PM   #20
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

Quote:
Alex Mitchell wrote: View Post
I came to Aikido because I have alot of anger inside of me I have to deal with. Has anyone here found Aikido useful in dealing with their inner aggression and anger rather than an outer attacker?
no. not really. aikido tends to attract passive-aggressive folks. they tend to aggrevate the problem than helping, at least from my point of view.

have you read Anger by Thich Nhat Hanh? a sample http://www.ineedmotivation.com/blog/...ich-nhat-hanh/

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:56 PM   #21
lbb
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Re: Aikido and inner aggression

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Aikido does provide opportunity to be part of an interaction where blame is useless. In life we often tell ourselves reasons why we are angry and really we are angry because we are angry. So Aikido does provide a way to look at interactions with no blame and thus no reason to become angry.
Wow. I like this lots. May I quote it?

To the original question, I think that aikido is like any other catalyst. It can be the agent of great change, for good or for bad, or it can do nothing much at all. Just like a catalyst in chemistry, it's a matter of whether it comes into contact with the right ingredients. For some people, it seems like all it takes is the realization of how much harm they have the power to do to make them a gentler, less angry person. I think in cases like that, aikido (or another martial art) is simply the catalyst, the vehicle for realization by someone who was already ready to have this epiphany.

Back to what Mary E said about blame, I think for a lot of us, blame and anger and a sense of powerlessness are all intertwined. You can't just let go of them by a simple act of will; you have to become ready to do so. You can't just say, "I am powerful!" and have the fears that drive anger cease to trouble you. You can't just let go of old angers and the old blame habit, even if you tell yourself logically that they harm you rather than helping you. Now, if you step onto the mat with the desire and intention to free yourself of that stuff...well, maybe that's a sign that you're ready to start letting it go. But aikido might not be the best catalyst; it may push the wrong buttons. And even if it's a good change agent for you, you'll still have good days and bad days.

When change for the better happens, we tend to focus on the catalyst as the cause, but it really isn't. There's a guy I've trained with, who came to our dojo about a year ago, full of enthusiasm, couldn't train enough, had various issues and felt that aikido was the key to working through them. And I think it did help with some things. But I think he got swept away by it all, and when it turned out that aikido wasn't the right catalyst for every issue in his life, I think he got disillusioned. He's not training now. I don't know if he'll be back -- if so, I hope he comes with a better understanding of where change comes from.
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