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Old 11-17-2004, 10:39 AM   #1
Panin4Gold
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"What do you wish you had known?

This must be an old question, to you. It's very new to me. Promptly, at 7:30 pm, tomorrow, I will enter the Aikido Curacao Dojo (Aikikai) for the first time and begin living and learning Aikido. I am endlessly interested in your truthful answer to the following question:

What do you wish you had known, or been told, about Aikido and how to truly learn it, live it, and fully experience everything it is about, just before you walked into your first dojo?

Thank you for your time and advice. Truly, thank you.

Victor Moreno
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:33 AM   #2
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Here is the short list. In no particular order...

1. Aikido is not about inducing pain as a way of forcing any measure of compliance at any level. In fact it is the antithesis of that.

2. Martial arts are 97% about seeking the correct attitude and 3% learning techniques.

3. Spend your time seeking a true mentor through your regular teacher. When you meet any Aikidoka, ask him or her who their teacher is (not was). Then ask them who their teacher's teacher was. Make sure there is a short list that leads directly back to the Founder, Ueshiba Morihei O-Sensei. If someone can't provide this information for you, run don't walk to the next dojo on your list. Should there not be a direct, verifiable link back to O-Sensei that is not necessarily a dojo to avoid. However, it may mean that you are not studying Aikido, but some variant, offshoot, or what have you. Having said that, it may also mean that there is no connection to O-Sensei and then it is not Aikido.

4. Religion is not part of Aikido. However, the ascetic practices of O-Sensei are the pathway to understanding the art. Anyone who says that O-Sensei "...mumbled on about religious this and that's..." or "...didn't have a teaching method..." or "...didn't make much sense..." is clearly indicating that they, themselves, have yet to understand these things. This does not mean that they are not understandable, by any means.

5. The focus is "ukemi" the art of "receiving" the transmission. Take everyone's ukemi and feel the various techniques with your body, not your mind. The body learns instantly, then the mind takes a long time to unravel the lessons.

6. Don't teach until you are told to do so by your teacher. It is okay to share ideas, but more than likely you have no idea what you are talking about for the first 10 years.

7. Don't be in a rush.

8. Don't injure yourself or others. Injuries prevent you or others from training.

9. Training is all of the time, and wherever you are, not simply when you are on the mat.

10. Never demonstrate techniques on non-martial artists. Bring them to the dojo, let them watch a class, have them ask your teacher some questions. If they are serious this will be the natural progression. If they are not, what is the point...?

11. Unless you are at a Ki-Society, or other "Ki" style dojo, forget about the power of "Ki." Focus on Kokyu (breath power) Kokyu-ho (breathing method) and Kokyu-dosa (exercise that blends breath and movement).

12. If there is no Kokyu, there is no Aikido. If there is no Irimi, there is no Aikido...Yes, even during Tenkan.

13. To understand Aikido one must completely delve into the relationship between Hanmi and Irimi-Tenkan.

14. Just as there is a relationship between Zen and martial arts, there is also a relationship between music and frogs. Therefore, there is no practical reason to practice Zen to understand aikido. It may help, or hurt, but that depends upon the individual practitioner. Better to master one and then proceed to the other, than try to delve into two deep transformational studies and end up lost.

15. Wait at least 10 years before cross-training in another art. 15 years is better, still.

16. If you feel the need to test your teacher, find another teacher.

17. Martial arts begin with a bow and end with a bow. They are about respect. Period. If you find someone that you don't respect, get to know them better and find out something about them that has you respect them.

18. People don't need to earn your respect. Who the hell are you anyway?

19. Until you reach shodan, your teacher really hasn't accepted you as a serious student. Therefore, after you reach shodan, get serious. Maybe then you will be accepted as such.

20. Martial arts are not what you think it is. If it was, you wouldn't need to spend your lifetime seeking what your teacher, and his teacher (your mentor) spent his lifetime seeking.

21. It is all about Shugyo. There will always be pain and suffering no matter how hard or how much you train. As a matter of fact the more you train, the more suffering there will be. It never ends.

22. most importantly Remeber everything that I just said, and then forget it all!

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 11-17-2004 at 11:42 AM.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:34 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Shoshin: beginner's mind
Mushin: empty mind

Be ready to learn how much you don't know. Be ready to change your mental map about how to move and think. Be ready not to get it. Be ready to learn humilty, patience, and discipline.

Releax, breathe, and enjoy yourself.

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 11-17-2004, 11:34 AM   #4
Nick P.
 
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Emptiness.

Victor,

What I wish I had known/been told: Empty your mind, and simply allow yourself to absorb everything.

...but that's just me. Good luck.

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Old 11-17-2004, 11:39 AM   #5
Janet Rosen
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

That there is a risk for knee injuries, and how to minimize the risks.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:58 AM   #6
Blue Beckham
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

It is going to hurt.

It will also humble and inspire you at the same time.
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Old 11-17-2004, 12:18 PM   #7
Goye
 
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

1. Don’t worry if there is some pain in your back and shoulder the first week while beginning learning ukemi waza,.. That is normal,.. Keep training.
2. Have fun doing aikido.
3. You will not become a super spiritual master, there is not any celestial light going every where you go,.. you will continue being a normal human being.
4. You will not become a professional fighter in a short time.

César Martínez
Satori Dojo
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Old 11-17-2004, 01:30 PM   #8
AsimHanif
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Aikido people are no different than any others. There's the good, the bad, and the ugly. Just work on correcting yourself.
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Old 11-17-2004, 01:31 PM   #9
batemanb
 
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Nothing, it`s so much fun discovering something new each time you train.

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 11-17-2004, 01:58 PM   #10
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Quote:
Victor Moreno wrote:
This must be an old question, to you. It's very new to me. Promptly, at 7:30 pm, tomorrow, I will enter the Aikido Curacao Dojo (Aikikai) for the first time and begin living and learning Aikido.
Sounds pretty intense.
I don't have any advice for you, but one small suggestion.
Don't go to "begin living and learning aikido", go instead to begin dabbling in aikido, on a part time basis, just for fun. You can always get more serious later.

Sean
x
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Old 11-17-2004, 02:13 PM   #11
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
14. Just as there is a relationship between Zen and martial arts, there is also a relationship between music and frogs. Therefore, there is no practical reason to practice Zen to understand aikido.
LOL.

Ha! Good list, Shaun.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 11-17-2004, 02:14 PM   #12
kaishaku
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Quote:
Sean Orchard wrote:
Sounds pretty intense.
I don't have any advice for you, but one small suggestion.
Don't go to "begin living and learning aikido", go instead to begin dabbling in aikido, on a part time basis, just for fun. You can always get more serious later.
I was thinking "That's like saying "I love you" on the first date!"

On the other hand, that sort of determination is cool if it's sustainable.
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Old 11-17-2004, 02:22 PM   #13
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Quote:
Victor Moreno wrote:
What do you wish you had known, or been told, about Aikido and how to truly learn it, live it, and fully experience everything it is about, just before you walked into your first dojo?
I wish someone had gone through the beginning bows with me, that way I wouldn't have felt so awkward. Since I started at the same dojo my sister trained at, I guess the people there assumed she'd explained...

Other than that, I don't think anything anyone could have said would have made much difference. I would have needed to find out for myself anyway.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 11-17-2004, 05:03 PM   #14
cck
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

One of my instructors said that on those occasions where you simply cannot make your body do what you want it to do, it's because it's trying to improve and figure it out. I don't know that my body has a life and mind of its own, but it certainly feels that way sometimes. And it always does get better. So the one experience that really helped me: do not despair, it will come to you. I feel really awkward at times, but knowing that it won't always be so absolutely helps. The first time felt I could safely roll without feeling like a square was exhilerating - but I still clunck long the mat sometimes.
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:24 PM   #15
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

I'm glad no one told me that this aikido thing was going to expand and expand and eat all my free time. I might not have started....

Otherwise I'm pretty happy with what I knew going in; it was enough to start with. Except I wish I'd caught on a little quicker that I had to learn the vocabulary. This dawned on me horribly at my first belt test, and I owe my fifth kyu to the instructor who surreptitiously shuffled my application to the bottom of the stack, because if I'd had to go first I'd have been sunk.

Mm, and knowing that I should do knee strengthening exercises would have saved me a couple of painful months. (Sit in a chair, stick your legs forward, cross them at the ankles. Push the lower leg up while resisting with the upper one, hold, release. Repeat a few dozen times a day. Apparently there are a lot of women, in particular, who find this avoids knee problems.)

Have fun!

Mary Kaye
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:33 PM   #16
Qatana
 
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Funny, I was going to say a thorough comprehension of the Japanese language!
Now I speak both sushi and basic budo...at least I can count up to sankyo...

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:44 PM   #17
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Freaky! Re: "What do you wish you had known?

May not quite anwer your question, but I spent the 16 year "break" in Aikido training thinking it didn't contain anything like a Judo-style hip throw; I believed Uke typically went from being vertical to being horizontal directly, with none of this lift-him-up-and-drop-him-down nonsense.

As you can imagine, seeing koshi nage for the first time -- which is a hip throw -- was something of a shock.



Sorry, but that's all that popped into my head at the moment.
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Old 11-18-2004, 05:25 AM   #18
Panin4Gold
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Shaun- What can I say? Thank you, for all of the advice. And, I understand what you mean in #22, but I printed the list anyway. Thank you, sir.

Lynn- "Be ready not to get it". I think I get it. Thanks.

Nick- Thanks.

Jane- Good advice. I guess if your knees go....your perspective on just about everything would change.

Cesar- "You will continue to be a normal human being." I understand what you mean. I will try not to expect anything. I will just breathe and keep training.

Asim- I will.

Bryan- Cool.

Sean- Gotchya. I'll chill a bit. haha. thanks.

Keith- No. Sean was right. I'm going to chill out a bit and just relax. haha. You guys crack me up. But, you're right.

Paulina- Good point. Myabe I shouldn't have asked? I'm glad I did though. Thanks.

Camilla- Thank you. I will train until "it" comes.

Mary- Thanks. I will pay as much attention to the names of techniques as I can afford. And, "knees".....got it. I'm on it. Not literally. I mean....I'm not on my knees....I mean, you know what I mean.

Jo- Thanks. I look forward to learning......Domo arigato.

Michael- Koshi Nage? I have a feeling the first time I experience this technique....I will be looking up from the mat thinking to myself, "ah-ha! that must've been koshi nage. Ow."

Everyone- Thank you. I'm going to walk in the dojo tonight with a lot of good advice in my head.....and.....I guess if I could sum up all of that advice.....the best way to show it would be to forget it all as I bow.......and just learn.

Domo arigato.
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:33 AM   #19
CNYMike
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

You're welcome; happy training.
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Old 11-18-2004, 03:49 PM   #20
siwilson
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

I wish I had known about Yoshinkan Aikido, as I may have actually started Aikido a lot earlier!

Remember it is a Martial Art, not a dance or role play - it MUST work!

I have seen a lot of crap over the years, but the worst was only a few weeks ago:

Shomen Irimi Nage:

Him: "You should not touch me, I should just see your arm in front of my face and I will fall over! I didn't see it!" (I put him on the tatami!)

Me: "What?" (...a load of b*ll*cks!)

Ikkajo (Ikkyo):

Him: "I felt power in your technique, and that makes me want to fight it!"

Me: "What?" (...Fight that and you will break your arm! I bounced his head off the tatami and then he tried to fight my ikkajo!!!)

On the second situation, I had him fixed on the tatami, so I let the technique off so as not to hurt him, but what happened next was crazy! I just lazily walked through ikkajo like a day one begginer with no Uke, and this guy hurled himself to the tatami like I had hit him with a lorry!!!!!!

So to further answer your question, I wish someone had told me that Aikido was a Martial Art, but some people seem not to realise that!!!!

Osu!
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Old 11-18-2004, 04:17 PM   #21
markwalsh
Dojo: Airenjuku Brighton
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Don't go to Andover, they're mean there.
Joke, it wasn't me, there might have been some valid points amongst all that hippie stuff though Si?


Real advice has mainly been covered: Learn ukemi, don't get injured (you never heal 100%), be careful who you sleep with at the dojo (they may never heal 100%), on the mat assume Sensei is right, occasionally question this off the mat; the strength doesn't come from where you think, you're not nearly relaxed, watch the ego, and kyu grades who try and give you advice are generally full of crap.

Happy training.

PS. Went there once Victor. My plane stopped unscheduled and I couldn't figure out where I was or why there were people were speaking Dutch (had slept through announcement on way to Ecuador). Confused the hell out of me, don't do that either
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Old 11-18-2004, 04:42 PM   #22
siwilson
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

:-)

Mark

Try Poland - nothing wrong with there, as my wife is Polish and I met her through Aikido a few years ago, but they are a kill or be killed nation!

Errr, it wasn't meant to be hippy stuff from me (I don't think you meant me though), but dispair at the hippy crap of others!!!! A "get real" shout! You use the center to move Uke, not telegraph it to let UKe know when to sit down and not do anything!

Can I say that the softy way of Aiki is a pile of crap??!!!!

Osu!
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Old 11-18-2004, 06:28 PM   #23
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
Here is the short list!
At first glance, I thought this had to be too long and too wordy. However, I could not find anything that I would change or take out. Victor, I would recommend that you print out Shaun`s list and really think about it.

Charles Hill
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:13 PM   #24
CNYMike
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Freaky! Re: "What do you wish you had known?

Just a quick post-script ....

Quote:
Victor Moreno wrote:
.... Michael- Koshi Nage? I have a feeling the first time I experience this technique....I will be looking up from the mat thinking to myself, "ah-ha! that must've been koshi nage. Ow."

Aiki-Otoshi may invoke the same response.

Just trust me on this one.

With respect ....

Mike
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:16 PM   #25
scorpioet2
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Re: "What do you wish you had known?

I would not have wanted to know anything. Because if I did, then I would have had a pre conceived idea about the art, and I probably would have missed the most glorious aspects of it.

My previous knowledge in Shaolin inhibited me from truly learning aikido for the first 6 months, until I learned to rid myself of that info and become aikido. LAter.....that knowledge came back and then everything was heaven.
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