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.

aikido articles


dojo search
image gallery
links directory

book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews


rss feeds

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!

Thread Tools
Old 07-31-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
084) Form and Function in Our Aikido Practice: August 2011

We spend much of our time focusing on the external form and function of our practice.  We evaluate the functionality of our techniques and link them to our external forms.  This surface approach is a shallow path that is likely to lead to frustrations and questions linked to the usefulness of our art.  I would suggest that the critical aspects of what we do are contained within an intangible realm that Ushiro Sensei, in his seminal book “Karate and Ki” described as the “invisible culture”.  I strongly contend that it is the content within the form that dictate the functionality, rather than the form itself.  This can be distilled into the expression “Intent precedes movement.”
When you walk through the doorway into the dojo, are you using this transitional space as an opportunity to ready your mind for training? Or, are you simply walking through the door to train for 1.5 hrs in Aikido and go on to something else?  Is your experience at this dojo limited to your experience at this dojo? Or, are you using your experience at this dojo as a vehicle for personal development?  Is your uniform and training space clean for simply hygienic concerns?  Or, are these tangible signs of the intent to engage in cleansing of one’s spirit as a means of personal development?
When you bow to shomen as you enter onto the training space, is it a perfunctory bow?  Or, is the bow an expression of one’s appreciation for the opportunity to train together?  When we bow in and say to Sensei “Onegaishimasu”, are we simply getting the formalities over with?  Or, are we genuinely thankful for this experience that we are about to have together.  When you train, are you sincerely training  with your partner?  When you thank your partners during class, is there sincerity behind the thanks?  When you end class and say “domo arigato gozaimashita” to Sensei, are you really thankful?  Or, has your mind left the dojo to what comes next?
When you train to develop “Aiki” are you really feeling deeper connections within your body?    Can you feel yourself begin to  stand, walk and move in a different manner that reflects a growing unification of the body.  When you connect with your partners, are you connecting with your intent first?  When you move, are you trying to force the movement to make the technique work, or are you moving yourself while maintaining the connection to your partner?  When you move, are you learning about how your structure acts and reacts to forces so as to develop a deeper awareness of creating a more unified body?  Are you allowing your intent to become attached to the attack?  Is your intent about connecting? Or, is your intent about attacking and/or defending?  Are you fully training in both roles as nage and uke?
Do you integrate any of your dojo experiences into the rest of your life?  Do you practice anything related to your training outside of the dojo?  Has your training made any impact upon you as a person?
It has been my experience that truly working on developing the depth that defines the form is a mentally and physically taxing experience.  This intense and focused work pays off when it functions in the moment when the ability to have intent proceed movement really matters.  This blog is designed as a pathway for self-exploration into one’s own “invisible culture”.  It is not the teacher’s responsibility to define that space for you, but to lead you on your journey to define your own space so that it is defined by a form with true functionality.  I have posed just a few questions for students to ponder.  There are obviously an infinite and growing number of questions that we ask ourselves as we develop and refine what is inside of us and becomes apparent in our form.  I hope that this month can be a good opportunity for us to look inside of ourselves to find both answers and questions that will reveal themselves in both our forms and functionality of those forms.
Marc Abrams Sensei

(Original blog post may be found here.)
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 08:51 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 705
Re: 084) Form and Function in Our Aikido Practice: August 2011

Thanks for the article and the link to your blog Marc. I was going through some of your previous entries and they reminded me of some things that I have been neglecting in my training lately.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2011, 07:21 AM   #3
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 942
Re: 084) Form and Function in Our Aikido Practice: August 2011

Thank you Marc I always enjoy your blog posts.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2011, 07:51 AM   #4
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: 084) Form and Function in Our Aikido Practice: August 2011

Robin & Cherie:

Thank you very much for your kind comments. If I can contribute in any way to anybody's Aikido practice, all the better.....


Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


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
079) The Delusions of Self-Defense in Aikido: March 2011 Marc Abrams External Aikido Blog Posts 28 03-03-2011 03:55 AM
Form does not equal function aka The Shape of Aikido MM Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 15 12-23-2010 03:14 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 14 Peter Goldsbury Columns 38 08-01-2009 12:19 AM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12 Peter Goldsbury Columns 32 05-16-2009 07:05 PM
Is Aikido effective for police? erogers General 136 07-13-2008 08:00 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:11 PM.

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2019 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Copyright 1997-2019 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