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Old 11-27-2002, 01:52 AM   #1
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 142
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Aiki in daily life

Hi everyone© I've been thinking alot about Aikido lately off the mat, and I was just wondering how much you all incorporate it into your daily life and work or whatever© One thing I noticed was that my balance has become much better©©© I work at a movie theatre, and it's hard to explain but when I prepare the films on the platters that they sit on I have to kind of stand on one leg while holding up a little lever, I used to have a problem doing this and staying vertical but now I can do it pretty well© I was thinking, if I slip on some ice this winter, I hope I can do a roll or something and decrease the damage© Actually, I've also noticed that I've been moving in Aikido footwork when doing simple tasks, anyone else do this because I feel like a moron when I catch myself doing it© Not that I think it's bad to move like that, just that I'm not very good at it yet©©© I read a story once in a book ¥I think it was "Moving Toward Stillness", great book¤ where the author was talking about sawing a tree with a Japanese saw using his center instead of the western upper-body way© I tried to shovel using different movements last year, but no luck© I do, however, mow the lawn with my center©

At any rate, do you guys have any fun anecdotal stories about a time Aikido helped with something that has nothing to do with Aikido? Do you people sometimes catch yourself doing something in an Aiki way that you never did before? This art is supposed to bring about a great deal of coordination and balance, how do you use those things in your day to day activities?
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Old 11-27-2002, 09:01 AM   #2
MikeE
 
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Dojo: Midwest Center For Movement & Aikido Bukou Dojos
Location: Hudson, WI
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Everything I do has Aikido influence. Breating,walking, dealing with people.

I did have a funny one recently. Stepping out of Walmart...bags in hand. I slipped on ice on the walkway, sat down gently and did a textbook ushiro ukemi right back up to standing position and just kept walking. A bunch of spectators just looked at me with their jaws hanging. (Wound up with a new student from it too)

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
Dojos
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Old 11-27-2002, 09:17 AM   #3
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
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When you say ushiro ukemi do you mean a fall back or do you mean a roll? I'd be very impressed by a roll with bags full of groceries.

I'd say, like Michael, that AiKiDo has completely taken over my daily life and no activity I engage in is ever truly separate from it. It mostly has influenced my attitude towards places where I'm struggling with myself.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 11-27-2002, 09:21 AM   #4
diesel
Dojo: Tenshin
Location: Higashihiroshima
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Japan
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I had never noticed it much till recently.. I was riding my bike on a paved trail at a local park. I came up on a group of joggers and went to pass them (off to the side of the trail). Well, it was right at dusk and their was little light. As I passed them, my front tire dropped in a hole about a foot deep (deep enough the tire didn't come back out.) Short of it.. head over heals, very nice mae ukemi. I was back up on my feet and caught my bike before it hit the ground! I was quite suprised, but not as suprised as the group of joggers! It was weird because it seemed to happen in slow motion.... I have yet to see how well my ukemi is on rollerblades!

I also find myself centering myself more when I walk, correcting posture, and breathing more from the stomach.

Cheers,

Eric

Last edited by diesel : 11-27-2002 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 11-27-2002, 09:44 AM   #5
Ta Kung
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 237
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My sensei was almost hit by an automatic door once, but he did a tenkan and just kept on walking into the building. He also had his hands occupied with bags full of food. People just stared.

As for my self, I have a habit of walking into things when in a hurry (not straight into them, but just touching them a bit more than I want to). A week ago I almost walked into the corner of a locker, but I did a kokyo-ho motion with my arm, and didn't hit the locker with my body (as I usually do). It felt good, allthough the locker didn't fall.

I also use some pins when "fighting" my girlfriend.

/Patrik


Last edited by Ta Kung : 11-27-2002 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 11-27-2002, 10:04 AM   #6
diesel
Dojo: Tenshin
Location: Higashihiroshima
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Quote:
Patrik Eng (Ta Kung) wrote:
I also use some pins when "fighting" my girlfriend.

/Patrik
Oh yeah.. this too! hehehe.

Eric
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Old 11-27-2002, 10:21 AM   #7
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
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I've done safe forward rolls slipping on ice, come safely out of bike crashes. As a pedestrian, I used a last second tenkan to avoid getting hit by a bicycle. Once I almost fell forward down a flight of stairs, but was able to drop my weight and merely bonk my knee on the ground instead. Who knows how many times I didn't fall while walking on ice or standing on a moving bus.

I use Aikido body movement for shoveling. It's not hard, you just have to bend your knees and not your back.

I think Aikido practice has helped me to be able to maneuver through crowds. Many times I have been able to slip through a crowd quickly and ended up waiting for my friend(s) for a while at the other side.

Those are just a few non-abstract applications off the top of my head.

I first started Aikido about 7 years ago. During all this time, by contrast, how many street fights have I been in? None.
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Old 11-27-2002, 12:47 PM   #8
MikeE
 
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Dojo: Midwest Center For Movement & Aikido Bukou Dojos
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Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
When you say ushiro ukemi do you mean a fall back or do you mean a roll? I'd be very impressed by a roll with bags full of groceries.
Opher,

It was a backward roll. But, in one spot because of the slick surface. Luckily the bags had soap, t-shirts, and other non perishable items.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
Dojos
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Old 11-27-2002, 12:50 PM   #9
kklipsch
Dojo: Soshinkan - AAA
Location: Chicago
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Actually this morning on my way to work, I lost it on some ice, did a fine side fall, and the only pain I'm in right now (4.5 hours later) is that the palm of my hand hurts where I slapped.

Oddly, when talking about the self-defense aspects of aikido people rarely mention safe ukemi. Personally I think (and crime statistics back me up, at least in my neighborhood) that I am more likely to get hurt falling from my bicycle or on ice, than I am in a violent confrontation.
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Old 11-27-2002, 02:21 PM   #10
shihonage
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Quote:
Kasey Klipsch (kklipsch) wrote:
Oddly, when talking about the self-defense aspects of aikido people rarely mention safe ukemi. Personally I think (and crime statistics back me up, at least in my neighborhood) that I am more likely to get hurt falling from my bicycle or on ice, than I am in a violent confrontation.
Actually, people mention it all the time, and almost exactly the same phrasing.
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Old 11-27-2002, 08:11 PM   #11
Bronson
 
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Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
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Boy this could be a long list

I too notice myself moving through crowds better. Just today in fact (the day before thanksgiving) I really noticed that moving through the crowd at the incredibly busy grocery store was a lot like a really big and slow randori.

I recently called an aikido friend because I was all excited about my foot moving. I was in the shower and the bottle of soap fell off the little shelf. When I caught the motion with my peripheral vision my foot pivoted on it's heel to move my toes out of the way. I find this significant because this has happened before and in the past I've jumped and yanked my whole leg out of the way. This time there wasn't even a conscious thought to move, it just happened. I know it sounds silly but I feel that when your training starts to affect the things you do a thousand times a day that require no thought then the training is starting to become part of you.

Quote:
Actually, people mention it all the time, and almost exactly the same phrasing.
I've mentioned it before that I think ukemi is the most used self defence/protection aspect of my training. Since I started a little over 6 years ago I've fallen three times (one ice, one trip over a gym bag, one slip from a raised sidewalk) all without injury. It really hit home for me when I read something in C.M. Shifflett's "Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training"

Nationl Safety Council, Accident Facts, 1996 data.

DEATHS DUE TO---# OF DEATHS

motor vehicles---43,300

falls---14,100

poisoning (solids,liquids)---9,800

drowning---3,900

fires & burns---3,200

firearms---1,400

poison gases---600

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-28-2002, 12:59 AM   #12
Fausto
Dojo: Bu Iku Kai Mexico
Location: Queretaro Mexico
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 81
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Two things:

1.- About using pins when u fight ur girlfreind..... well imagine if she does aikido too!!.... i can't imagine all the kaeshis!!!... that would be AMAZING! n a lot of fun too! hehehe.

2.- About 4 months ago i jumped on the back of the "bus" that get the garbage during night n the driver took a turn to the left very quickly n i just did a ushiro ukemi. The feeling was amazing cuz i did my ukemi i got up n i didn't had a scratch. I thank all my teachers for teaching me ukemi cuz i think that if it wasn't for that i would have had a broken arm or something cuz it was a very rude ukemi.

Oh all my friends were like in a shock after they saw my ukemi .
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Old 11-28-2002, 05:28 AM   #13
Sven Groot
 
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Dojo: Shi Zen Ryu, Leiden
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
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I haven't really been doing Aikido long enough to notice any changes in behaviour. I feel my ukemi isn't nearly good enough to try 'for real' yet but who knows, at some point...

The only thing that I've really noticed is that I've become more conscious of my body's position. I tend to notice it when I stand or sit or walk wrong, where I wouldn't before. Although this may well be just because all the muscle aches from practicing necessitate this
Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
Who knows how many times I didn't fall while walking on ice or standing on a moving bus.
I find that is one of the best possible exercises you can do to improve balance, standing in a bus.

Having been a sea-scout (which means I spent a lot of time on boats) and having surfed a lot in the past, I already have a pretty good sense of balance, and I always try to stand in a bus without holding on to anything, keeping my balance purely by shifting my weight.

It's difficult, but it can make boring busrides fun.
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Old 11-28-2002, 07:22 AM   #14
Ta Kung
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Quote:
I was in the shower and the bottle of soap fell off the little shelf.
I'm sorry Bronson, I just couldn't get myself to finish reading your post, when I saw this. Hehehe! *prison movie joke*

/Patrik
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Old 11-28-2002, 08:05 AM   #15
Fiona D
Location: Ottawa
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Safe falling is definitely my main use of Aikido/Jiu Jitsu in everyday life. I've done several front falls (not rolls, just falling forward without sticking my hands out) tripping on cracks in the ice while skating on the canal in Ottawa, and a sideways ukemi when my bike skidded sideways while I was trying to swerve around another cyclist who cut me up. That one really brought home the importance of ukemi, as I picked myself up, cycled off to my dance class and... found one of the other dancers there with her arm in plaster - turns out she'd slipped on a sidewalk and broken her wrist because she'd put out her hand like most people do.

One a somewhat lighter note, I started ballroom dancing after a few years of martial arts, and found following my parters' leads fairly simple, as I was used to feeling changes in an uke's balance and momentum! It means I can often follow a set of moves that I haven't yet learnt, without being really aware I've done it.
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Old 11-28-2002, 08:37 PM   #16
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 660
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daily aiki

Just another quick story of ukemi saving someones ass in daily life.

One of the sensei's at my dojo told of a former student who called him and told him about rock climbing and falling.

Now this was on a talus slope of about 30 feet up when he went down, but a slide face-to-the-wall kind of fall. feet hit at the top of the slope and he went backwards into rolls (multiple) till he got stopped at the bottom of the slope. scrapes, bruises, but no breaks.He called to thank Sensei for the training that saved him..

Center consciousness is a very cool thing indeed.

Lan
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