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 06-02-2009, 03:00 PM   #1
George S. Ledyard
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670

I've come to the conclusion that people generally don't like change. Oh, superficial change is great; keeps us from getting bored, adds spice to life, etc. But deeper, more fundamental change is frightening and is resisted tooth and nail.

Aikido folks are not different. Although most would tell you that they are training hard and trying to get better, if they've trained for a while, there is a set of parameters within which they work. Anything outside this envelope, outside their comfort zone, will be ignored or even actively resisted.

I first saw this when Stan Pranin did the three Aiki Expos. He brought in some of the finest aiki people in the world. Teachers who simply blew you away with their skills level. For some of us, this was a life changing set of events. My own Aikido changed 200% and continues to do so; all due to the exposure I had to these teachers.

I watch as Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei, al ready a very senior teacher, completely redid his own Aikido based on connections he made at the Expos (especially to Ushiro Kenji Sensei). What he is doing now has almost nothing to do with what he was doing ten years ago, except the outer form is still Aikido.

Yet many of the folks I knew who attended the very same events did not change. You mention Ushiro Sensei and the say "Yeah, I saw him at the Expo". And....? And...? But there is no "and". That was it. They saw him, didn't understand what he was doing... or thought they did, and then they went home and went right back to what they had always done.

I once taught a seminar which some nice folks attended. I pushed them quite a bit to put some "intention" into their training. They had developed a nice comfortable practice that was very user friendly and was never going to result in any substantial increase in their skills levels. The seniors had plateau-ed out, which of course automatically places limits on any juniors at the school.

Everyone was very receptive. They all tried to up their intensity, put some life into their attacks, etc. By Sunday afternoon they were doing some good work. I thought I had really "dons some good" with the seminar. But a friend from the dojo told me that he was very disappointed to see that Monday night they went right back to doing things exactly as before. Absolutely nothing changed.

Now, sometimes it's hard to know how you are changing. In the short term, changes can be gradual enough you have a hard time seeing them. But think back to five years ago. Can you do things now that you couldn't do then? Do you understand better what your teachers are doing or is it all still "magical"? Do you continuously put yourself in the way of new teachers and new training experiences or have you been doing the same program every year... two or three weekends with the same teachers and maybe one of the summer camps... over and over.

I think folks who REALLY want to attain some mastery of this art need to make sure that their own training isn't being held back by their own teachers. They need to keep changing all the time. If that means moving periodically to find a dojo at which the training is better, then so be it. If you can't keep going where you are, then change where you are or find ways of getting what you need outside of those normal channels. It is your life and your training. You cannot be dependent on others to bring you along. It has to be you, yourself. Others just help, you do the work.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 07:49 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 62
Re: Change

I've come to the conclusion that people generally don't like change. Oh, superficial change is great; keeps us from getting bored, adds spice to life, etc. But deeper, more fundamental change is frightening and is resisted tooth and nail.
There are good evolutionary reasons why we resist great changes. The risk that such a change will have a negative effect is too big. If it ain't broke, don't fix it You can see this in all areas of human life, not only aikido.

The above refers to cases when we don't know what the change will bring.

In cases when we do know that the change would result in something better for us, a different problem arises, one connected with self-esteem. In order to change, we'd have to admit that what we had so far wasn't good enough, that what we were doing was - in a way - wrong. This recognition may feel threatening to many people. Better leave everything as it is and pretend this is exactly what we like best.

And in these cases, I'd expect resistance to change to be correlated with the inability to openly admit to your mistakes in other everyday interactions. Or the reverse: people who accept change easily should be more likely to admit to mistakes.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
Nafis Zahir
Nafis Zahir's Avatar
Dojo: Bucks County Aikido
Location: Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 425
Re: Change

I understand very well what you are saying. I don't really look at my Aikido "changing", but rather, I like to think that it is evolving. My Aikido today is not what it was even 5 years ago. When I attend a seminar, I try to do what is being shown. I try to look for what is the same and what is different. I then try to learn from that experience and incorporate it into the foundation that I already have.

I remember being at a seminar where Chiba Sensei was teaching. He made a statement that really hit home with me. He stated that we should never get stuck in doing things one way, but that we should always look for a better way. So I am always looking to improve my technique, and sometimes that may come from a very unlikely source. But in order to do so, you have to keep an open mind.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 02:10 AM   #4
Randy Sexton
Dojo: Aikido of Lake Keowee
Location: South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 187
Re: Change

Thanks for the guidance!

An explorer discovers two cavemen sitting in a misty rain trying to start a fire by rapidly rubbing two sticks together but unfortunately the sticks were wet so they were not having much luck. The explorer reaches into his backpack and hands the cavemen two matches and walks to the stream to get some water for dinner. Upon returning he discovers the cavemen sitting in the dark and eating their meat raw. Perplexed he asks them why did they not start the campfire to warm themselves and cook their meat. They both shook their shoulders and said, "No matter how fast we rubbed those little sticks together we still could not start the fire."

Sometimes we have to completely change how we look at things in order to get the results that we want and need.


"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will"
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 07:32 AM   #5
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 948
Re: Change

Sometimes we have to completely change how we look at things in order to get the results that we want and need.
So very true. My own life has undergone some huge changes in recent months, causing me to rethink and change my opinion on many things. Taking up aikido is one of the results. Change is hard and sometimes frighting but sometimes very necessary.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2009, 05:21 AM   #6
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Re: Change

In your face and talking from experience. What you wrote probably surmises what us Human beings are like.

In any large group of like minded people, there will be these 'outliers', people who perform better and with greater skill. There will be a few who will come close to these 'outliers' because they are attracted to them. Yet most will see with awe and will find some excuses not to challenge themselves. Because greatness requires sacrifice.

Even training with more intent requires more energy and effort. Both from the outset and the outcome. So I guess the one word that would best describe the majority of people are that they are Lazy.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2009, 09:51 PM   #7
dps's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,414
Re: Change

" People deny reality. They fight against real feelings caused by real circumstances. They build mental worlds of shoulds, oughts, and might-have-beens. Real changes begin with real appraisal and acceptance of what is. Then realistic action is possible."

from David Reynolds

David ( a different David)

Go ahead, tread on me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 09:40 AM   #8
NagaBaba's Avatar
Location: Wild, deep, deadly North
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,193
Re: Change

I think that one can’t constantly change. In contrary, one needs a stable system with clear leading principles to learn something valuable.
Jumping from one teaching to another, just because you see some cool stuff on one seminar or other, is a waste of time.

It is because different teachings are not coherent with each other. Even if these teaching have common subject as aikido, the body conditioning from one teaching will contradict the body conditioning from other teaching.

But even more important is that everyone needs different teaching at his particular level. It means that only his teacher can adjust such approach – seminars are not designed for that. If you believe that your ‘once a year seminar’ will change somebody you must be very na´ve. For real change they will have to change whole pedagogical approach, change all their values and it can’t be done lightly.

Such change can be done only if a teacher strikes right to the heart of student, and a student is ready to leave/throw out everything he learned so far. Such situation is rather exceptional.


ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
  Reply With Quote


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
Can Aikido Change your? trailbuster530 General 0 11-28-2007 03:08 PM
If you could make one change in Aikido Michael Neal General 75 05-27-2007 08:14 AM
How do I attempt to change that? Pauliina Lievonen General 15 04-23-2006 04:14 PM
Change of Mind akiy General 27 10-04-2002 08:28 AM
change comes from within Chocolateuke Humor 2 07-09-2002 10:01 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:06 AM.

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2022 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Copyright 1997-2022 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