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Old 11-27-2002, 09:34 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 24
comfort with aikido

Just a question for those of you who've been doing aikido for some time - how much time elapsed from the point you started aikido to the point where you felt "comfortable" with yourself "doing" aikido? I don't mean when did you feel you were "good" - that's a forever on-going process. But when you first learn aikido, well, it ain't easy. But after hours of practice, there must've been a point where you actually "felt" good doing your techniques. Hope this makes sense. And when this point came, how did you know? I mean, what was the actual realizing event or thought that made you...realize that you've overcome total ineptitude in aikido and moved onto partial competence? Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2002, 10:09 AM   #2
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
Do you mean how long did it take to just stop falling over my own feet?

I was one of those folks who walked onto the mat with not only two left feet, but three (imagine how that can make a hash of your movement). It took me years to feel comfortable with my body and movement in aikido, and I certainly don't always feel like that, even after 20 years. I guess it depends on your definition of ineptitude.


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Old 11-28-2002, 11:15 PM   #3
Location: Western Australia
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 241
Re: comfort with aikido

Kieun Kim (Kieun) wrote:
...how much time elapsed from the point you started aikido to the point where you felt "comfortable" with yourself "doing" aikido? ...And when this point came, how did you know? I mean, what was the actual realizing event or thought that made you...realize that you've overcome total ineptitude in aikido and moved onto partial competence? ...
I agree with Rachel Massey. It depends on your definition. Learning the mechanics of the basic movements - position of hands, feet, body, distances - didnt take me that long - about a year I think. But I think there's more to aikido than the mechanics of movement.

How the aikido principles are applied, relationship to Uke, sensitivity and connection etc are, I think a lifetimes worth of study especially if you are talking about doing aikido as naturally as one breathes.

Coming up to my 10th year, I realise how much more there is to learn and all I can say is "way kewl"

Happy training

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Old 11-29-2002, 12:39 AM   #4
Claudio Ruiz
Dojo: Toronto Aikikai
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 3

Hi Kieun,

You beat me to the question. I just started Aikido and after just two weeks of training I asked myself the same question. I asked one of the senior students at my dojo and his answer was rather comforting. He told me that even after a few years of practice there are still some techniques that will give him a bit of a challenge and that I shouldn't worry also because your body goes through a process of change the more you train. My question poped in my head because in my first week I felt comfortable doing breakfalls and backrolls but this week for some reason I felt that I had regressed. They felt uncomfortable and choppy. After thinking about his response I realised the truthfulness of a sentence that I just read in an Aikido book, "The more Aikido you learn, the more you realize how much you still have yet to learn". I also realised that perhaps that is the beauty of Aikido - imagine how boring it would be if it was an art that you could master easily and quickly. The desire to learn more and make Aikido a part of our life is what keep us coming everyday back to it.


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Old 11-29-2002, 12:52 AM   #5
Location: Australia
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 641
I wanted to ask if anyone was actively developing on these anciallary benifits? For example, I find myself applying spirals to all sorts of situations - getting up from a sitting position. Spiraling push up. Opening doors using tai-saibaki. Using movement to create breathing etc.

Anyone else?
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Old 11-29-2002, 06:10 AM   #6
Creature_of_the_id's Avatar
Dojo: Alnwick aikido club (UKAU)
Location: Newcastle, England
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 217
I usually tell new students to give it 2 months. It can take the body a while to get used to moving in new ways and the mind a while to get used to translating what it thinks it is seeing into movements it should be performing.

after around 2 months the arms and legs go in the direction you want them to and basic ukemi becomes more natural. Then it becomes more fun.

But, I dont think the comfort stops there. There are times when the body and mind get new information and so you percieve your training to go downhill, but it is just relative to your new information and how you think you should be co-ordinated. These times can be 'uncomfortable' until your technique catches up to your perception of how it should be done.

So... dont get too comfortable

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Old 11-29-2002, 07:06 AM   #7
Wormwood's Avatar
Dojo: Fredericton Aikido Dojo
Location: Fredericton, NB
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 32
Kev Price (Creature_of_the_id) wrote:
I usually tell new students to give it 2 months. It can take the body a while to get used to moving in new ways and the mind a while to get used to translating what it thinks it is seeing into movements it should be performing.
I totally agree. I just started a little over 2 months ago, and I am a lot more comfortable with the basics than I was just a month ago.

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Old 11-29-2002, 09:45 AM   #8
Chuck Clark
Chuck Clark's Avatar
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Monroe, Washington
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,134
The dojo (life) is a "dilemma rich environment" that is a laboratory where we can learn to solve problems. We desensitize and then resensitize our system and it "gets better" as we get more information and become more sensitive.

There is a secret to learning though...

"Don't die and don't quit."

In about 3 months I'll pass my 50th year of budo practice. If you hang around long enough the journey becomes the prize.


Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
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Old 11-29-2002, 09:56 AM   #9
Dojo: Calgary Aikikai
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 76
I've been practicing for 4 years now and every so often I think "I've got it" only to be brought back to reality the next practice. The other night I had the most frustrating session since I started. Shomenuchi ikkjo, how many times have I done this technique I don't know. How many times has it "worked", and yet every time I entered I was locked out by my uke. It was as if I'd never done it before. At first I blamed myself, then I blamed(mentally) my uke for resisting, then I blamed myself which was more correct and tryed to move on..

Frustrated I still carried that one technique with me the remainder of the practice. Following the practice my sensei asked two of us to do the 22-step jo, which we had fumbled on the weekend. With one false start I got through it with ikkjo still burning in my mind.

When will I become comfortable? Never I hope because then the challenge of aikido and the subtleties of the art will be lost, to me aikido is learning to learn, the willingness to fail and the persuit of art.

Here's to the next twenty years.

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Old 11-29-2002, 10:09 AM   #10
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
You will become comfortable the moment you concentrate on being there for the moment and not thinking about how you look, or concern yourself with being accepted in the eyes of others.

The sooner you accept yourself for who and what you are, then you begin to change and improve in a manner of progress you seek with this question.

Two left feet for three to six months until you become acquainted with complacentcy of practice, and aikido's terms for techniques.

One to three years to become proficient in physical practice, and who knows how long to find what you are looking for in studying Aikido?

I'll tell you what ... even people who have done Aikido before take a few months to become socially acquainted with other students and teachers. Maybe that is some of the two left feet syndrome ... social acceptability?
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