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Old 05-19-2015, 07:10 PM   #1
lifestylemanoz
Dojo: Aikido Kobukai
Location: Perth
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 36
Australia
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Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

Inspired by a video and recent events at our dojo, I wrote this piece. More to get the thoughts out of my head.

Love to hear some of your stories as well. Its just observations, not really an opinionated piece.

http://aikidohombu.com/neuro-plasticity-and-aikido/

Enjoy!
Rusty

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Old 05-19-2015, 10:27 PM   #2
Millsy
Dojo: Aiki-Centre
Location: Melbourne
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 96
Australia
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

Nice discussion,

For me I feel this is always a part of my learning and improving Aikido, not just due to changing styles. As I learn I find I am continually taking steps backwards in order to improve, its not just a matter of progressively adding to my skills but discarding some an learning a new. For example I'm generally stronger than most of my uke's so I might be using a bit of strength here or there making the technique "work", but I don't necessarily recognize it as strength it feels right and it becomes part of my technique for 10 years. Unfortunately that cheat (as I like to call them when I find them in myself) stops me from getting that result in a more subtle or decisive way. So when I recognise it or its pointed out to me I then need to unlearn it and re-learn part of the technique.

I don't see this as bad, I see it as growing my aikido, having the ability to take stock and edit out habits that may "work" but hinder progress. If you do techniques at sandan as you did at nidan and at nidan as shodan and shodan as 3rd kyu etc. where did you stop growing? I think neuro plasticity is a way to avoid dead ends my training and continually improve (albeit with some backwards steps).
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:46 AM   #3
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: New Zealand
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United Kingdom
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

Very interesting video. I see Aikido as having core skills - whatever they are - that actually make it easier to go off and learn other martial arts. At least, that has been my exerience. What that means, in reverse, is that people studying Karate or Judo have learned something that makes it more difficult to learn Aikido. I have many times seen absolute beginers learn faster than experienced Karateka or Judoka. It seems as if what they have learned prevents them from learning whereas what we learn in Aikido helps you go to learn their arts more efficiently. If those Karateka and Judoka stick it out they will tend to learn faster ... just not in the bginning. Of course, this will not be true for everyone, but that's just what I have seen and how it worked for me. Not quite the same point as in the video ... but one the same track. But as to the original post - I believe that if you have learned one martial art well, it ought to help you learn new techniques quickly. If not, you really have to be suspicious of the value of what you have learned because at the end of the day we are all learning fighting arts. Each art should, following common sense, be far more similar than the two extremely 'opposite' bicycles in the video.

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Old 05-20-2015, 11:08 PM   #4
JW
 
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Location: Escondido CA USA
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

That was a great video. It made a very depressing pair of points point (the difference in plasticity in young vs mature, as well as the depth of "neural ruts" that have been dug into adulthood).
But, we shouldn't be too depressed because steering a 2-wheeled vehicle is especially tricky (countersteer, which is usually totally imperceptable to the conscious mind, is responsible for initiating a turn but not for maintaining a turn.. so every little steering correction is actually a quick one-two action, in precise timing).

For instance if the welders left the steering alone, but instead made it so you have to pedal backwards to go forwards, he would have had no trouble at all. So, they picked a very tricky skill to mess with.

But still, for anyone who wants to change their motor behavior in a major way (to go towards "I am the universe"), this point should be taken very seriously! Especially considering that in tanren, the error signal we have to work with is much less salient than the error signal in riding that bike!

Regarding the blog post:
I think the difference b/w old hands and clean slates is a great corroboration of the phenomenon in the video. Your dojo is probably closer to age-matched than the father/son in the video-- so you can separate the 2 different points I referred to in the top of this post.
Meaning, I think amongst adults, unless you are talking about really seriously old folks, you probably don't have too much of the age-related decrease in plasticity to worry about. (Whereas kids are just in another ballpark entirely.) Instead, it is all about who has a rut to break out of and who doesn't.

And one final thing, I'm guessing the reason the experienced people had a bump up in skill after struggling to learn the new stuff is simply that there are some very general core aspects that are the same in the old style and new (like correct use of ma-ai, or how to use the ground through your body.. things that aren't technique-specific).
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:31 AM   #5
danj
Dojo: Brisbane Aikido Republic
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 298
Australia
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

Dude!
Your still using my dojos logo without permission. Its really not OK i think! Can you sort this out please

Best,
Dan

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Old 05-21-2015, 07:30 AM   #6
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

Quote:
Daniel James wrote: View Post
Dude!
Your still using my dojos logo without permission. Its really not OK i think! Can you sort this out please

Best,
Dan
What "dude" are you talking to?
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Old 05-21-2015, 03:47 PM   #7
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
What "dude" are you talking to?
Russell

dps
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Old 05-21-2015, 06:49 PM   #8
nikyu62
Dojo: Aikido Club of American Samoa
Location: American Samoa
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 92
American Samoa
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

Using someone else's logo without permission is not very aiki.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:41 AM   #9
Malicat
Dojo: Suenaka-Ha Aikido of Bloomington
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 170
United_States
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

Quote:
Steven Shimanek wrote: View Post
Using someone else's logo without permission is not very aiki.
To be fair, I'm still too horrified by the web address to look any further.
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:37 PM   #10
Guillaume Erard
Dojo: Aikikai Hombu Dojo
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 158
France
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

I was looking up the scientific literature a while ago as I was interested to find out whether martial arts, particularly kata, had anything specific to bring to the table in terms of neurobiological and cognitive development. I am afraid not much has come up so far, which is pretty worrying when we consider the claims that some martial art schools make on that regard.

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Old 06-04-2015, 02:11 PM   #11
Riai Maori
 
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

Elasticity of the mind.

Motto tsuyoku
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:45 AM   #12
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Re: Neuro Plasticity and Aikido

Quote:
Guillaume Erard wrote: View Post
I was looking up the scientific literature a while ago as I was interested to find out whether martial arts, particularly kata, had anything specific to bring to the table in terms of neurobiological and cognitive development. I am afraid not much has come up so far, which is pretty worrying when we consider the claims that some martial art schools make on that regard.
Dear Guillaume,
I cannot comment on Karate but as far asJudo is concerned there is now a groundswell of U.K judoka concentrating on the various Kata within Judo .My former Judo training partner Bob Thomas 8th Dan is a Senior Kata Instructor.I would assume that if Kata had no value or offered zero returns the practice of Katas would have been made redundant.Why would anyone want to train at anything if there was no returns on the investment of time and energy.Cheers, Joe
Ps I assume your good lady is now fully recovered from her ill health??
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