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Old 11-06-2005, 03:05 AM   #1
doronin
Location: Canada
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"Take your time" approach- unique in MA?

Is Aikido unique in its openness to the public, and "take your time" approach?

Remembering my two attempts to start training CMA, I recall that while everyone used to be accepted as a student, we were trained as a group with well defined pace, and those who were in not-so-good initial physical shape just couldn't keep on, and had to leave after few months, including myself.
I was highly amazed when discovered that Aikido allows to me to advance in my own pace (where was I all these years?!), and doesn't require to be athlete to start.

Is Aikido unique in this among the martial arts? (I'm talking of MA with some martial component, i.e. not purely health oriented styles).
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Old 11-06-2005, 03:15 AM   #2
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: "Take your time" approach- unique in MA?

Interesting. Not sure aikido is necessarily "open" more than any other martial art. Frankly given the somewhat esoteric nature of the art, I'd say it is somewhat less so than others.

Certainly I have found the people that are in a dojo are welcoming and friendly so in that way YES. But given what we study and how we study it, I'd say karate, tae kwon do is much more "user friendly" on the surface.

I do think that aikido is MORE SCALEABLE. That is you can slow it down, or speed it up depending on the age, conditioning, and skill of the person. So, YES i'd say it probably more open to a "take your time" approach.

HOWEVER, that same take your time approach can also be a bad thing. You can quickly fill up your dojo with "wannabes" that are into the hakama wearing, philosophical, aiki-fruities that most of us want to avoid. I have no problem with this, but there needs to be a balance and some standards. Why do you want to spend your time training with those that want to "take their time" and be lazy in their growth and waste your valuable training time?

There is a balance that needs to be struck.

As far as being unique. Certainly Aikido is unique in it's approach and methodology. So is Tai Chi, and anyother martial art.

The real question is this: "Is it SPECIAL".

I'd say the answer is NO. There are many paths out there to acheive the endstate of aikido and the ideals of budo. These also include related kinetic arts like Yoga.

It may be special to you, but it does not have any big secrets that no other art possesses. It is simply a unique and distinct training methodolgy.
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Old 11-06-2005, 03:57 AM   #3
doronin
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Re: "Take your time" approach- unique in MA?

Just to make myself clear, by openness I meant general availability, i.e. everyone given a chance to try and proceed.

What I was trying to ask is if there are any more MA known for these qualities. Tai Chi - yes, but all open to public Tai Chi schools I found do not teach martial aspects.

As for your concern with wannabes, indeed, a balance has to be maintained, but don't they usually drop quite soon?
From another perspective, some used-to-be bookworm that might become a life time practicer would unlikely go to TKD where he would be hurt after the first sparring with young and strong.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:22 AM   #4
crbateman
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Re: "Take your time" approach- unique in MA?

Quote:
Dmitry Doronin wrote:
From another perspective, some used-to-be bookworm that might become a life time practicer would unlikely go to TKD where he would be hurt after the first sparring with young and strong.
I AM a bookworm, and not ashamed of it... And I STOPPED training and teaching TKD after many years, because I was tired of HURTING people... Perhaps that is the reason you are looking for, because, for most, the approach to Aikido is one of non-confrontation, of harmonious benefit to oneself and one's training partners. The "openness" you see in practically every Aikido dojo is born of the ideal that the people there are training without some emotional need to compete with, or measure themselves against, every person who comes through the door. I think Aikido breeds an attitude of benevolence, and a willingness to be helpful to others while you are helping yourself.

As for the "take your time" thing, I'm sure that most practitioners, regardless of their art or style, recognize that progress takes time, but some arts lend themselves better to those seeking swift gratification. In Aikido, it becomes clear very quickly that real progress does not come to the impatient. It is the journey, not the destination, that is important. That's the way I see it, anyway.

Last edited by crbateman : 11-06-2005 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:28 AM   #5
3girls
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Re: "Take your time" approach- unique in MA?

Quote:
Dmitry Doronin wrote:
Just to make myself clear, by openness I meant general availability, i.e. everyone given a chance to try and proceed.

What I was trying to ask is if there are any more MA known for these qualities. Tai Chi - yes, but all open to public Tai Chi schools I found do not teach martial aspects.

As for your concern with wannabes, indeed, a balance has to be maintained, but don't they usually drop quite soon?
From another perspective, some used-to-be bookworm that might become a life time practicer would unlikely go to TKD where he would be hurt after the first sparring with young and strong.
I believe in all martial arts they initially have the everyone is given the opportunity to try attitude, however due to the early dynamic physicality of the striking arts people are weeded out much quicker. In aikido the full impact of the technique can not be applied to the new student due to their lack of ability to take proper ukemi. Now in your striking arts the new student can step in and participate in kumite early on with the use of pads and decide in some cases rather quickly that this art is for them or not. I think in aikido they way most students are eased into the art for safety sake that tends to prolong the students stay. There is a big difference between taking a punch or kick with pads on versus receiving a kotegaeshi at speed. the initial response of the untrained aikidoka will tend to resist the application which would be detrimental to him/her. Just my .02

Last edited by 3girls : 11-06-2005 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 11-06-2005, 08:04 AM   #6
Amir Krause
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Re: "Take your time" approach- unique in MA?

I believe one could also find Judo, Karate and other M.A. schools with the same atmosphere. I agree quite a few of the Judo groups are infected with the competition virus, pushing everyone to try and progress as fast as possible forward. And in Karate there are some who are infected with the "we are tough" syndrome. But in both cases, one could find several dojo that have an open minded approach, and wish only to learn and progress. Normally this approach is more common with the older groups and teachers.

Amir
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Old 11-06-2005, 01:21 PM   #7
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: "Take your time" approach- unique in MA?

I think anytime you get a group of people together they develop a set of group values, standards, and practices. That is why we have martial arts.

I have not found that judo people are less open, just that maybe you are not into competition, so for you personally that is not an option, so maybe it isn't that they are not open, but that you are not to them!

I found when I started studying karate that they were very open. It was tough and I went home with lots of bruises, but I loved it, and never once felt they were not open to me. It did take some time for them to accept me.

I think that is true with any dojo. Same with aikido. It takes time. Sure, as I stated earlier, I believe aikido to be more scalable than others. I like Clark, believe that aikido typically puts more emphasis on the whole cooperative spirit aspect of training than some other arts. But then there is the whole "dojo politics/clique" thing that can also pop up, as in any art. So I am not so quick to pass easy judgement on aikido as being more open than other arts as a over arching generalization.
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Old 11-06-2005, 03:03 PM   #8
SeiserL
 
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Re: "Take your time" approach- unique in MA?

IMHO and 38 years of experience and training, I have always heard to "take my time", "progress at my pace", and "to become fast and get it, slow down."

I would think that the lack of competition in Aikido makes it more permissible and possibly less obvious that its taking me a lot longer to get it than others.

Eventually we will all get it if we keep open to competent instruction and train with honest and genuine intent and intensity.

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 11-06-2005, 05:29 PM   #9
crbateman
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Re: "Take your time" approach- unique in MA?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I like Clark, believe that aikido typically puts more emphasis on the whole cooperative spirit aspect of training than some other arts. But then there is the whole "dojo politics/clique" thing that can also pop up, as in any art. So I am not so quick to pass easy judgment on aikido as being more open than other arts as a over arching generalization.
I understand what you're saying, Kevin, but there's a big difference between "dojo politics", which is human nature, and not a product of the art in question, and the aggressive attitude of some muscle-head wanting to knock you out or choke you into unconciousness all the time. I think I'm safe in "generalizing" that this attitude is less prevalent in Aikido than in many other arts, and that those who seek this sort of gratification do not stay with Aikido for long.
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