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Old 04-15-2006, 10:29 PM   #26
Derek Gaudet
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Paige,
I think David is trying to say, that a desire for training is not important. Even if you enjoy training, the desire is not necessary. If commitment is based on desire, then what happens when desire is temporarily lost?...well commitment is temporarily lost. Commitment should not be temporary, or it is not true commitment. However, if we want to train it is convenient to us when we have to train, therefore the desire of training is only convenient to need of training. If we understand, that we only have a lifetime to focus on something as large as Aikido, then to even attempt to understand it will take commitment, meaning weather we want to or not, we train. David was saying that Aikido training to a serious practitioner should be like breathing, one does not desire to breath, they simply do. Now I understand anyone could say "I desire to breath" , not true, you desire to live, breathing is innate. Therefore if we simply train, and understand that we train regardless of how we feel that particular day (I.E. "I feel lazy so I'll stay at home", or "I just don't want to"), then in the end it does benefit us. No one "desires" to "screw up" or have a "Bad night", or take a hit, whatever, but all those are part of training, and we accept them as such. Well that's my attempt at understanding David's post. I personally like his post, they make you think .

Now, something tells me you are not wanting to give up on Aikido, or you would not of posted here, or still be posting regarding this particular subject. It tells me your looking for a reason either to justify your "Leaving", or reinforce your "Staying", but only you can make this decision. If you do not wish to train in Aikido anymore, then no one will hold it against you, and if you want to continue training, then simply go to class. I understand that the fire may at times feel like it goes out, but it usually comes back. When you do the same techniques 1000 times you tend to get bored, and feel like there is a loss of interest, but repetition is essential to understanding. Basically good Aikido comes from dedication, train whenever possible regardless of "how you feel" and good Aikido will come.
This is all assuming some part of you wishes to return to Aikido, but if that is not the case, then nothing here applies.

Just my opinion, nothing more,

Kind Regards,
Derek Gaudet
Goshin Aikido
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Old 04-15-2006, 11:08 PM   #27
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Derek Gaudet wrote:
Paige,
I think David is trying to say, that a desire for training is not important. Even if you enjoy training, the desire is not necessary. If commitment is based on desire, then what happens when desire is temporarily lost?...well commitment is temporarily lost. Commitment should not be temporary, or it is not true commitment. However, if we want to train it is convenient to us when we have to train, therefore the desire of training is only convenient to need of training. If we understand, that we only have a lifetime to focus on something as large as Aikido, then to even attempt to understand it will take commitment, meaning weather we want to or not, we train. David was saying that Aikido training to a serious practitioner should be like breathing, one does not desire to breath, they simply do. Now I understand anyone could say "I desire to breath" , not true, you desire to live, breathing is innate. Therefore if we simply train, and understand that we train regardless of how we feel that particular day (I.E. "I feel lazy so I'll stay at home", or "I just don't want to"), then in the end it does benefit us. No one "desires" to "screw up" or have a "Bad night", or take a hit, whatever, but all those are part of training, and we accept them as such. Well that's my attempt at understanding David's post.
Thank you, it makes much more sense when you don't talk like a robot. And I understand entirely what you are trying to say. However, i don't agree that Aikido, in full, should be involuntary like breathing. There are certain principles that i think should "be like breathing" , and those principles are still with me throughout my everyday life, so in a sense, they have become involuntary. But the physical aspect of Aikido (which involves attending practice) is not involuntary to me, nor do i think it really should be. I think the physical part is the part that should be chosen, and right now I am not choosing to go to practice. Reason? Solution? Thats why I'm on Aikiweb right now.

And at some point I do intend on going back, whether it's by choice or by force, simply because i do consider myself committed and i think it would do me good.

Quote:
Derek Gaudet wrote:
It tells me your looking for a reason either to justify your "Leaving", or reinforce your "Staying", but only you can make this decision. ,
Well, i don't think you used the right words here. Either that, or you're not saying what i'm trying to say.

I'm not trying to "justify" why i left or why i should go back, I'm simply discussing the possible reasons of why i have taken such a long break. Not only that, but just getting others' opinions on the subject and seeing what other experiences people on here may have had with this.

You're right though. In the end, it is my decision and it will be my decision, but there's nothing wrong with some simple discussions on a public forum , while i weigh things out in my mind.

Thanks
*Paige*
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Old 04-16-2006, 01:06 AM   #28
senshincenter
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Come on - who's the robot here? Who has one level of training, starts finding out it wasn't all that, then looks to attack the messenger while at the same time saying nothing new is being said? Talk about a habitual reaction-preprogrammed response to certain "touchy" issues.

This is all very simple - if you want to see it - but to see it you got to realize how stuck you are. You know you are stuck, but you don't want to be stuck, and more than that you don't want anyone pointing out that you are stuck. You seem interested in only hearing folks say, "Yeah, that happened to me, but it just went away - keep going, you'll be fine." The truth is, sure, maybe you can keep going, but you'll never be fine. The cycles of desire and convenience reduce one's practice to an immature level, and from there it is always prone to ending.

Some part of you knows things are not fine. Things are far from fine - because "fine" was when you were training, wanting to train, etc. Now - "Why aren't I training?" Answer: Because you don't want to. "Why don't I want to?" Because all desires end - because desires do not last forever. Asking why desires end is like asking why tomorrow comes. Tomorrow comes because it comes, because it is tomorrow. Desires end because they end - because desires cannot last. In the end then, it is silly to ask, "Why don't I want to train anymore?" It is especially ludicrous to ask it of strangers.

Desires end - period. That leaves you, or anyone else like you, three choices: 1) let the desire die out completely and the practice as well; or 2) find some new desire to hold your interest to training (e.g. hallow crap most folks get attached to: a new rank, a new hakama, a new seminar, a new teacher, a new title, a new federation, a new time in your life, some Aikido fame, or some delusional sense of power or skill, etc.) - starting a never-ending cycle of desire-finding and chasing; or, 3) find a way to take your training beyond desire - to the level of commitment and integration.

That's it - there is no fourth option. It's not robotic - it's just the way it is. As to how do you adopt the third option? First, you stop thinking with your old habits - such that you can first see that what you are currently doing is totally different from what you could be doing; such that you do not feel hostile or insecure in the face of the new and better third option - the only real option for a mature practice. Second, you seek to develop a practice capable of containing and fulfilling your heart/mind (i.e. your inner and most complete self). Third, you surround yourself with a community of other practitioners that also practice in this manner. And fourth, you endure in the art of laying experience upon experience (tanren). It's that simple - and it only gets complex when you are stuck, resistant to self-transformation (the real kind), and/or unable and unwilling to recognize what you are for fear of realizing what you are not.

Derek - you understood the post perfectly.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 04-16-2006, 01:57 AM   #29
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

What David is saying is relatively simple. "Do, or do not. There is no 'I want/don't want to'."

In other words, if you want to say, "I do aikido." Then you have to do aikido, rain, sleet, or funky mood. This is budo; if you let "I don't feel like doing aikido today" stop you from training, then stop training altogether; aikido is not for you. Seek for what you need somewhere else.

If you will go "at some point", then go today. There's no good reason not to. Budo in today's society has two goals: a) to defeat an enemy before you, b) to improve oneself, on a physical and mental level. In order for b) to occur, you have to have the discipline to do something even when you don't want to. You have to keep at it.

Does that sound too tough? It is. That's the nature of the beast. Nobody has ever attained a high level of skill in anything by only practicing when they felt like it.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:03 AM   #30
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

David--
I find your analysis of Paige's situation unduly harsh. You seem to be saying that she is not committed to aikido, that her desire to train or not train is trivial in the context of the great practice of aikido, and that taking time away from physical practice has no value.

In my experience and understanding of desire, desire inspires commitment, more than working against it. It's kind of like romance and courtship leading into marriage. Maybe Paige is at a stage in her life where it's not appropriate to be married to aikido. Maybe she needs a sense of herself, of who she is, without aikido. One can cling to notions of commitment and dedication as a kind of crutch for a fragile ego -- sometimes practice is not the thing that inspires growth, or gets one beyond a stuck point.

I took a 6 or 7 month "break" from aikido in 2004 (traveling, and living in an area with no aikido within about a 2-3 day travel radius), then came back to practice for a month or two, had some issues with my local dojo, quit for a month, and now I'm still practicing, and going through a re-commitment phase. I've had to redefine my relationship to aikido, because the community has changed, and I've kept practicing. Kanai Sensei died. Some of my sempai stopped practicing or pulled back. We had a real crisis of leadership. Now, what I got from that time away, along with a couple of extra pounds and a chance for my joints to heal up from an excess of breakfalls over the years, was a sense that yes, I could live without aikido. I didn't necessarily like it, but I could do it. That very take-it-or-leave-it sense which David is condemning is a large part of what's allowed me to keep practicing without relying on a strong leader (for now), to recommit to aikido even though Kanai Sensei is no longer with us.

That's my situation. Paige, I don't know if that sheds any light on your withdrawl from practice or not, but I say, what the heck, take the time. It could even be your body needing a bit of a break -- look at all those old guys who have been practicing for 30, 40 or more years non-stop. Their joints are a wreck! (Well, for a lot of them, anyway). I know you're young, but if you adjust your practice now to fit your needs, that's one thing that will allow you to keep practicing long-term, over the course of decades.

--Amelia
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Old 04-16-2006, 11:28 AM   #31
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Am i missing something??

I agree with everyone-on different points. My own experience is that I have trained in Aikido continuously for 11 years with no more than a 2 week break three or four times. I have been injured and I have had back problems (semi serious) but I have trained through all that carefully and am whole and healthy today.
I have been burned out many times and have gone from burnout to burnout. Burnout no longer means anything to me except ashes on top of ashes.
In the first four years, I was excited, learning and going to class to 4 to 5 times a week. From years 5 to 7, I experienced burnout every week. I handled it by skipping the days I felt more burned out and going the days I felt less burned out. I averaged 2 days a week during this time period. Once a month, I would take a week off from Aikido practice to empty out my barrel of ashes and the next week, I returned to picking the day I felt less burned out and going to class that day. In 2003, I started my own dojo and everything went back to happy and excited.In 2005, I started a second dojo and in 2006 my 3rd dojo. My hours of teaching went from 17 a month to 65 hours a month for the last year. I always try to train with the students myself and try to leave as sweaty as the others. I feel great and look forward to every class. I have assistants teach about 10 of those hours for me and sub for me whenever I need it.
I guess three thoughts have always dominated my thought about this.
1) I never plan to quit completely
2) I think this activity is good for me on many levels so I am going to do it.
3) I can always let everything go - tomorrow.
Best,
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 04-16-2006, 11:35 AM   #32
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

I think it's ok to not be committed. I do a lot of stuff in my life that I'm not commited to, like hang out here on Aikiweb when I feel like it, and only when I feel like it. I think the important part is to decide what things you want to be commited to and what not.

This discussion came at a very good moment for me, I want to thank you all!

kvaak
Pauliina
off to cook some chicken&sweet potatoes...
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Old 04-16-2006, 11:45 AM   #33
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
3) I can always let everything go - tomorrow.
Best,
Jorge
I think this is an important part of being committed to something actually. It's like my marriage - I know I could leave - but I decide not to, and I stick to my decision even when I feel like leaving. Which isn't often, but even once would be enough to end it if I hadn't decided to stick to it. Still, I know it's my decision and not something imposed on me, and I do have the freedom to choose otherwise, I just don't.

What I find intriguing though right now is that it's possible to commit to a certain level of practice, and it's difficult to change that. I'm not even thinking about quitting aikido, but I find it difficult to increase the amount I train, even though I feel like I'd like to. "Like to" and "want to" aren't just very powerful motivators in the face of any slight difficulty...

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 04-16-2006, 01:14 PM   #34
senshincenter
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

I admit that it is harsh, or that it can be seen as harsh. However, it is not because I made it harsh. Like Josh is saying as well, and Derek too, it is the nature of the training that can be harsh when we seek to train via desire more than we do via commitment. It is harsh like Nature can be harsh -- it does what it does, and we can either find a way of working with it or we can try to work against it (failing in the end).

I am saying that desire and commitment is not the same thing -- this is the heart of what I am pointing out. If we are considering commitment to be part of "the great practice of Aikido," and I do, then, yes, desire is trivial from that context. As Josh said, no one ever got good at anything by training only when they wanted to. In a way, from a common sense point of view, "commitment" means precisely that you are able to endure beyond your desires. I find your marriage example very relevant here. Sure, desire may start a process -- I think it was here that I earlier posted about desire being the tip of a spear, etc. However, if you expect a commitment like a marriage to be based upon desire, or even affected by desire, then you will soon be looking at a divorce. This exact same thing happens in training. Sure, folks are not "old enough" for marriage (to someone or to Aikido) -- that is the difference between a mature practice and an immature practice. However, that does not mean that a "commitment" that is based upon desire works or that an immature practice should expect to be able to reconcile the same difficulties that a mature practice can. At most, an immature practice works for the time being, and anyone asking more of it is really asking too much. This is not "unduly harsh" -- it is more that it is painfully obvious. It works like this:

If we train because we desire to train, and if all desires are temporary, then we will stop training when we no longer desire to train.

This is as painfully obvious as pointing out to someone that it is not wise to build a paper house during the rainy season. It is not unduly harsh to say, "You know, water gets paper soggy."

I did not make any comment on whether or not taking away from physical practice holds value. However, here, now, I will say this concerning the "value" of taking time off: If one takes time away from one's training, because a desire has wavered and/or burned itself out, to figure out that desire is irrelevant to true commitment and thus to a mature practice, then that time off has value. If one takes time off, because a desire has wavered and/or burned itself out, to figure out that they desire some other activity, practice, person, place, or idea, then that time off has value. If one takes time off, because a desire has wavered and/or burned itself out, to find a new desire upon which or through which they can return to training, then that time off has no value.

Here is another perspective: Training is about transformation of the Self. If it is not, it will not hold our "interest." If training is about material things -- things that are far from universal and/or eternal, then our practice will not be universal or eternal. If training is about cultural things -- things that are far from universal and/or eternal, then our practice will not be universal or eternal. If training is about our moods -- things that are far from universal and/or eternal, then our practice will not be universal or eternal. Only the inner Self is our connection to what is universal and eternal; only through the inner most Self can we tap into what is universal and eternal. Our outer self, our small self, is very much seated in things like our desires -- where we lust for things material and cultural, and where we seek to satisfy our moods. Our outer selves live a temporal existence and so any practice based upon it is at best temporary.

Our outer self, our desire, is itself based upon our incapacity to reconcile fear, pride, and ignorance. This is why, though temporary, the satisfaction of our desires, or rather the thought of satisfying our desires, brings with it a sense of relief and pleasure (i.e. because they seek to address our fear, our pride, and our ignorance). That is to say, if our Aikido is based upon the temporality of our desires, and if our desires are based upon our fears, our pride, and our ignorance, then our Aikido, or the thought of our Aikido, is AT FIRST going to bring with it a sense of relief and pleasure. It is going to "speak to us" because we are relating to it via our fear, via our pride, and via our ignorance. This is what most folks call the "Honeymoon Stage." Some examples: At this stage, our practice is being fueled by our fear -- in which we wrongly glorify violence and posit the world around us as a place in need of fighting evil with our bare hands or with our sword. At this stage, our practice is being fueled by our pride -- in which we wrongly believe we will become more by attaining a hakama or the next rank, etc. At this stage, our practice is being fueled by our ignorance -- in which we wrongly believe that our desires, and the relevant fears and issues of pride that they are based upon, are of our true inner self and thus capable of sustaining a mature and life-long commitment.

If one has not found a way to relate their training to the inner Self -- to the universal and eternal, to that which is not based within our desire, fear, pride, and ignorance -- one's training will remain temporal (i.e. temporary and without integration). This is not "Paige's problem" -- this is a problem for any one, for everyone. From this point of view, if a practice is providing you with notions of relief and/or pleasure, if it is speaking to you perfectly, if it can never rub you the wrong way, if it is everything you love, if it is always exciting, if it is everything you never knew you always needed, then chances are you are simply having your fears, your pride, and your ignorance fueled by your training. Chances are that your practice is satisfying your desires because you are only training at the level of the outer self. Nevertheless, that practice remains temporary. In contrast then, a mature practice, or even a real level of training, which is one that is seeking to transform your self, one seeking to aid you in the reconciliation of fear, pride, and ignorance, is (especially at first) going to bring you no relief or pleasure, it will be everything you hate, it will be boring and tedious, it will be everything you have always avoided up until then. Why? Because, at first, it will make you face your fears, it will shame you for your pride, and it will pain you for your ignorance.

The problem here, or the truly difficult aspect to address here, is that most training is of a quality that it cannot fulfill or support the inner self. This is a sign of Modernity -- as we are losing our places and our times for sacrality. In my experience, most dojo are too mundane and/or too incomplete in their method to truly support the weight of our inner selves. For this reason, most dojo, again in my experience, settle for mundane transformations (e.g. some social awareness -- vs. compassion; some good citizenship -- vs. spiritual salvation; physical conditioning -- vs. wellness; etc.). We do not need a life-long practice to become socially aware, just a few good PSAs; we do not need a life-long practice to become good citizens, just a strong economy, a low unemployment rate, and a complex punitive system; and we do not need a life-long practice to gain some physical conditioning, just a gym blaring a nice track over the speakers, some technologically advanced-looking equipment, and both genders treating it like a singles bar.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 04-16-2006, 04:00 PM   #35
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Come on - who's the robot here? .....

.....This is all very simple - if you want to see it - but to see it you got to realize how stuck you are. You know you are stuck, but you don't want to be stuck, and more than that you don't want anyone pointing out that you are stuck. You seem interested in only hearing folks say, "Yeah, that happened to me, but it just went away - keep going, you'll be fine." The truth is, sure, maybe you can keep going, but you'll never be fine. .
Lmao! shew... I'm glad you know soooo much about me David. Maybe i should switch your name from "Robot" to "Fortune Cookie"



Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Some part of you knows things are not fine. Things are far from fine - because "fine" was when you were training, wanting to train, etc. Now - "Why aren't I training?" Answer: Because you don't want to. "Why don't I want to?" Because all desires end - because desires do not last forever. Asking why desires end is like asking why tomorrow comes. Tomorrow comes because it comes, because it is tomorrow. Desires end because they end - because desires cannot last. In the end then, it is silly to ask, "Why don't I want to train anymore?" It is especially ludicrous to ask it of strangers.

Desires end - period. That leaves you, or anyone else like you, three choices: 1) let the desire die out completely and the practice as well; or 2) find some new desire to hold your interest to training (e.g. hallow crap most folks get attached to: a new rank, a new hakama, a new seminar, a new teacher, a new title, a new federation, a new time in your life, some Aikido fame, or some delusional sense of power or skill, etc.) - starting a never-ending cycle of desire-finding and chasing; or, 3) find a way to take your training beyond desire - to the level of commitment and integration.

That's it - there is no fourth option. It's not robotic - it's just the way it is. As to how do you adopt the third option? First, you stop thinking with your old habits - such that you can first see that what you are currently doing is totally different from what you could be doing; such that you do not feel hostile or insecure in the face of the new and better third option - the only real option for a mature practice. Second, you seek to develop a practice capable of containing and fulfilling your heart/mind (i.e. your inner and most complete self). Third, you surround yourself with a community of other practitioners that also practice in this manner. And fourth, you endure in the art of laying experience upon experience (tanren). It's that simple - and it only gets complex when you are stuck, resistant to self-transformation (the real kind), and/or unable and unwilling to recognize what you are for fear of realizing what you are not.

Derek - you understood the post perfectly.
Let's settle down Ms. Cleo. Give me a chance to speak.

Aikido, to me, is a hobby. It's not a way of life. My religion is my way of life.

And thats fine if you want to make a MA your way of life, but you shouldn't try to impose your beliefs on other people. As far as principles go, i do still incorporate "aiki" principles into everything i do, the only thing right now is that im not physically practicing.

^^^^Your posts above ^^^^ are your personal opinions. Are they right for me? No. So, lets try not to make them fact. But you are still entitled to your opinion, and thats fine

Deep healing breaths David, let's be calm.
*Paige*
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Old 04-16-2006, 04:05 PM   #36
aikigirl10
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
I1) I never plan to quit completely
2) I think this activity is good for me on many levels so I am going to do it.
3) I can always let everything go - tomorrow.
Best,
Jorge
I also agree with these three thoughts. And these three things sort of sum up how i feel right now as far as my opinion on Aikido. My problem is really not as serious as some people on the forum, make it out to be. I do intend to try to get back in there and train as soon as i feel it is best for me to do so. For me this isn't a matter of just being "bored". It's a matter of discovering what is best for me at this time in my life.
Thank you, i really enjoyed your post.

*Paige*
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Old 04-16-2006, 04:58 PM   #37
senshincenter
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Well Paige, I tried to make it clear on what was my opinion. I also tried to make it clear that this is not your problem - that I'm not trying to solve you. So you can stop taking things so personally. Like I said, your issue is a simple one - you have said why you have quit training several times already. One does not have to be a psychic or a robot to figure it out - though one would have to be honest and capable of reason.

Your post was a platform for other ideas here - deeper matters relevant to folks that train a bit more seriously than you can and/or decided to do. You should let it go - not hold this thread so tightly - like your Aikido. Others, including myself, as teachers, find this topic interesting, because the ranks of Aikido are made up with more folks that train like you (i.e. desire-based, hobby) than like anyone else. Moreover, others, including myself, as practitioners, know that these issues are issues for all of us - for those of us that seek to train beyond desire and deeper than the hobby level. Others, including myself, are more interested in discussing those issues relevant to deepening our practice - which is quite different from wasting energy trying to find ways of believing that desire-based Aikido (or hobby-Aikido, or Aikido-lite) can or should be able to achieve everything that a mature Aikido practice can or will.

As far as I am concerned, this is not about you Paige. Your person here is just an abstraction, an anonymous delegate for millions - for all of us. You have made your bed, now sleep in it. Hobby Aikido is good for you. It is good for me that it is good for you, or rather I could care less how you practice. I mean, please, how exactly does your practice affect my own? How would it affect mine ten years from now (should you not have moved on to another hobby by then)?

What irks us when we are stuck like you, why we thus to turn to petty insults like you have, is not what I have said about your hobby-Aikido, but rather that I do not hold that hobby-Aikido is good enough for me. You act like you do not want a blessing from me on your hobby-Aikido, but you demonstrate clearly that you do desire a blessing from me on the necessary delusions regarding hobby-Aikido. Deep down you know you are unsatisfied by your practice (hence why you are not practicing now), like any of us would be sooner or later, and the fact that there others out there that would also be dissatisfied with such a practice is threatening to you -- or you've let it become threatening to you. I cannot respect that.

What I can respect is someone that trains at the hobby level or the desire level and is TRULY fine with it -- I mean, TRULY FINE WITH IT. Someone that can say, "Man, Aikido is just a hobby for me, and that is cool. As a hobby, I don't expect it to do more than a hobby can do." We have folks that train like that at our dojo -- and they are a great part of the overall community. This is not you Paige -- you are a hobbyist, but you are not totally fine with it -- which is why you are ignorantly asking how come you are not into your hobby anymore -- as if hobbies are supposed to last for forever. I mean, how many times do you think stamp collectors feel pressed into a personal crisis for moving onto a new hobby, such that they feel motivated to ask the larger stamp collecting community: "You know, I just can't get into my stamps anymore -- not like I used to. What's up with that?"

The fact is that very very few hobbyists ever really speak AND think like they are totally fine with being a hobbyist. Usually they just speak like they are fine. Deep down most are festering in insecurity regarding the superficiality they cannot seem to move beyond. This is even more the case when one is dealing with practices, like Budo or Aikido, that ideally are not supposed to operate at the hobby level. I cannot bless a practice that has someone training at a hobby level and expects everything to be his or hers just the same, like they are training seriously (i.e. expecting hobby-level interest to not inevitably wax and wane). If you are looking for a blessing here on hobby Aikido, you will just have to keep offering insults and/or acting like you are above it all -- I guess. Serious practitioners, like the others here that have also moved beyond your personal crisis concerning the topic of the thread, are never going to give blessings to such ignorance concerning what one can and/or should expect from the various levels of training.

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-16-2006, 05:07 PM   #38
Derek Gaudet
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Paige wrote:
Aikido, to me, is a hobby. It's not a way of life. My religion is my way of life.

And thats fine if you want to make a MA your way of life, but you shouldn't try to impose your beliefs on other people. As far as principles go, i do still incorporate "aiki" principles into everything i do, the only thing right now is that im not physically practicing.

^^^^Your posts above ^^^^ are your personal opinions. Are they right for me? No. So, lets try not to make them fact. But you are still entitled to your opinion, and thats fine

Deep healing breaths David, let's be calm.
*Paige*
Well you said it yourself, to you Aikido is a hobby not a way of life, so why the fuss, why even worry? Hobbies come and go. But understand you posted on Aikiweb, so your going to get a mix of answering styles, some who treat it as a way of life, some who don't. You like what you hear, fine, you don't, fine too. Dave is giving you a different point of view to ponder on, so why not use it. I never read anything imposing in his post, all very knowledgeable stuff, and all very nicely written opinions. At least he's taking the time to write these things for you. Try not taking everything to heart, no one is imposing anything, everyone is offering advice and opinions.

Your question says it all "Am I missing something?", well sorry to be harsh, but perhaps at the moment what you are missing is an open mind... Dave's original post were not harsh, but you responses seem to be. My opinion, if you don't want to go, don't and leave it at that, trying to understand why may be too complicated.

Kind Regards,
Derek Gaudet
Goshin Aikido
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Old 04-16-2006, 06:09 PM   #39
giriasis
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Deep down most are festering in insecurity regarding the superficiality they cannot seem to move beyond.
I'm sorry, Dave, but who do you really think you are that you think you have the right to judge people like this? Just because you teach aikido? Give me a break. These kinds of comments is what is setting some folks off and which at least in my mind takes away from the credibility of any statement you have to make. If you were clear enough in your statements you would not need at least three other people attempting to explain what you mean. On web bulletin boards, there is no need to go into a 5 paragraph structure to explain yourself or to hid insults like the above, because you essentially just called Paige superficial.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 04-16-2006, 06:31 PM   #40
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Re: Am i missing something??

First off - Paige is the one that said she doesn't take her training that seriously. Did you not catch that?

It was Paige that said her training is just a hobby for her, that she trains when she wants to and wouldn't when the want is gone, etc. If she was truly fine with that, or if you were fine with it too, the word, "superficiality" would not be so threatening. If you want to look at something, why don't you look at why that word is so threatening to you. The word "hobby" implies superficiality, a lack of investment, etc. No one ever uses that word to refer to something serious or deep. We don't say "My kids are my hobby," for example. The problem is that most folks are not really fine with it - like I said most hobbyists aren't. So, please, give me the break. The problem is not with what I said, but that I said it out loud and clearly. Of the two of us, it is I, I am suggesting, that is more fine with folks training as a hobby.

Second, in the sentence you quote, it's clear that Paige's name is not mentioned nor that her person is being referred to in any kind of specificity. At that point, I have moved on to the generalities of the topic in question - issues that affect us all. There is nothing hidden here, certainly not insults. There is nothing hidden but for the discrepancies some hobbyists often try to hide between what they say, think, feel, and do when it comes to their training.

The reason it takes several folks to make the same point is because folks that read things often miss the obvious - for being too stuck in their own fear, pride, and ignorance to see what's in front of them. Where I come from, it says more about the reader than the writer when the reader is saying things are too "intellectual" or "complex" for them. So, please excuse me if I do not accept you as the bulletin board authority on what is proper and/or needed in terms of explanation.

If you do not want to read something, use the scroll button. You'll have a better chance of affecting your world that way than by trying to be the bulletin board police.

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-16-2006, 06:34 PM   #41
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote:
I'm sorry, Dave, but who do you really think you are that you think you have the right to judge people like this? Just because you teach aikido? Give me a break. These kinds of comments is what is setting some folks off and which at least in my mind takes away from the credibility of any statement you have to make. If you were clear enough in your statements you would not need at least three other people attempting to explain what you mean. On web bulletin boards, there is no need to go into a 5 paragraph structure to explain yourself or to hid insults like the above, because you essentially just called Paige superficial.
Thank you Anne. I think there was just as much hostility from him as there ever was from me.

And I'm sorry David that i made you mad when i said you sounded like a science book. But i seriously could not understand anything you were saying. If you like to talk that way to make yourself sound more intellegent , then go ahead, i just won't read your posts. <<< Wait!!! hold up that was a joke don't starting steaming out of your eyeballs.

Sometimes i like to joke around that's how i am that's my personality. If you can't take a joke, then you can't talk to me without getting mad and thats a fact.

So, i apologize to all the stiffs out there! The real meaning of me posting on Aikiweb was to just hear different ideas and responses and thats what i got, but apparently i made the all-too-bold move of trying to play around with people. My bad.

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Old 04-16-2006, 06:40 PM   #42
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
First off - Paige is the one that said she doesn't take her training that seriously. Did you not catch that?

It was Paige that said her training is just a hobby for her, that she trains when she wants to and wouldn't when the want is gone, etc.
Ok you are completely putting words in my mouth.

I never once said that i don't take my training seriously. I do alot of things as hobbies and i take them all seriously. Just because I don't live my life like Morihei Ueshiba doesn't mean i don't take it seriously.

I believe what i said was "My problem really isn't as serious as some people on this forum make it out to be" or something close to that.

Should I put that in robot-talk, b/c that seems to be the only way you can understand things.
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:33 PM   #43
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Re: Am i missing something??

Now I do believe Ann Marie was right in seeing you directly in what I was saying: you are one of those folks that wants to be a hobbyist but doesn't want folks to acknowledge it out loud. Like the folks I was talking about, you opt to use the term to excuse you when it suits you - for all that you aren't - but want to drop it when all that are not is exposing the little you are (in terms of Aikido and being an aikidoka) - because you'd rather be more (e.g. you'd rather be training than not training). Of the three of us then, it is only me that is truly fine with folks doing Aikido at a hobby level.

If you train only when you want to (which you said), stopping when you don't (which you also said), even if you want to coin the oxymoron "serious hobby," you still are training superficially. Saying "just kidding" now won't make you serious about Aikido - right? That should be obvious. The hard thing is that it won't make you fine with your own superficiality (i.e. the downside of it: losing interest when you would rather not) when it comes to the training. Hang in there - no need to apologize for anything, but thank you just the same - very kind of you. All is good.

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:54 PM   #44
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Re: Am i missing something??

I'm going to chime out of this one - not feeling any need to discuss whether or not Paige is serious about her Aikido or not - but I would like to start another thread on how we can or cannot deepen our training (e.g. moving it beyond desire, the temporal, etc.).

That thread is here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...938#post137938

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:10 PM   #45
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Now I do believe Ann Marie was right in seeing you directly in what I was saying: you are one of those folks that wants to be a hobbyist but doesn't want folks to acknowledge it out loud. Like the folks I was talking about, you opt to use the term to excuse you when it suits you - for all that you aren't - but want to drop it when all that are not is exposing the little you are (in terms of Aikido and being an aikidoka) - because you'd rather be more (e.g. you'd rather be training than not training). Of the three of us then, it is only me that is truly fine with folks doing Aikido at a hobby level.

If you train only when you want to (which you said), stopping when you don't (which you also said), even if you want to coin the oxymoron "serious hobby," you still are training superficially. Saying "just kidding" now won't make you serious about Aikido - right? That should be obvious. The hard thing is that it won't make you fine with your own superficiality (i.e. the downside of it: losing interest when you would rather not) when it comes to the training. Hang in there - no need to apologize for anything, but thank you just the same - very kind of you. All is good.

Ok, David. At any rate you really don't know me and you also don't know how serious I really am towards aikido.

You might be right about "serious hobby" being an oxymoron, but for lack of a better word that was the word i chose to use. Do you have a word for more-than-a-hobby-but-less-than-a-way-of-life? In all seriousness, if you do please tell me.

Any more nitpicking? or are you done now?
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:22 PM   #46
Derek Gaudet
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Let it go Paige, it's not going to do any good continuing a meaningless argument of whether you are serious or not, only you know that. Very few here "really know you", and when you go to a forum your going to get answers from people who don't know you. That's what's great about it, you can except what is said, or you don't have to, and most will never know. It's all opinionated. You don't have to look for anymore nitpicking though, that will just contribute to continuation of this argument. Just get back to training if you want to, or don't...It's all up to you. You weren't attacked here, so you don't have to defend. Sometimes reading replies to posts can distort the original post by making it seem like something it's not, so perhaps you took the posts harshly, because someone decided to say they were harsh. Just a thought, I know I can read posts on other forums in different ways depending on the reply it gets. Just don't worry about these things and move on. Good luck in finding the answer.

Kind Regards,
Derek Gaudet
Goshin Aikido
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Old 04-17-2006, 01:57 PM   #47
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Am i missing something??

I think David's posts have been mis-characterized in this thread, and that what he is saying here is very important. It has been touched on in some other threads by instructors like George Ledyard as well.

Paige is in a difficult position relative to how this thread has developed. She is very young (which is not to say that the commitment David speaks of cannot be developed in one so young). She is understandably somewhat sensitive about so personal an issue (I am too...but experience has taught me when my heart gets plucked by a topic like this, I need to listen).

David is not saying that being a hobbyist is bad...he is saying it is what it is. If we have trouble accepting that...maybe we need to look deeper into ourselves...not take pot shots at David's writing.

My Opinion Anyway,
Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 04-17-2006, 02:16 PM   #48
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Re: Am i missing something??

From an entry in my aikiblog dealing with phases:

Everyone goes through phases in their life. Studying aikido is no different. At some point, you train hard, diligently, and many times a week. You love being at the center of things when uke attacks or being uke and whirling around with enormous amounts of energy.

At other times, you train half-heartedly, slowly, and maybe one day a week. You dread going to class and you drag yourself there because of some reason you come up with.

There will be times when you want to go to class and times that you don't. And usually, there is a phase where you will drop out from aikido altogether for some amount of time (anywhere from a month to a year).
Accept that there are phases and when you hit one, maybe it won't be as bad if you realize that phases are typically temporary.

When you hit that train hard phase, push it for what it's worth. When you hit the half hearted one, slow down and take a look internally for the reason you're at that point. And when you hit the drop out for awhile phase, relax and understand that it isn't a permanent thing. Enjoy other aspects of your life because quite often, after that drop out phase is over and you return, you have a renewed, refreshed, and invigorated zeal for aikido. It's like going from black and white to color and looking at the world in a whole new light.

Just like we train in the dojo, don't fight the phase, but blend with it, understand it, and perhaps redirect it to where you want it to go.

Mark
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Old 04-17-2006, 02:27 PM   #49
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Am i missing something??

Paige, sometimes it is in how we approach our training and why we train. I wrote this for Aikido Today some time ago and perhaps it will put a little different slant on things Or perhaps not.


Why We Continue to Train
by Dennis Hooker

I recently conducted a seminar in Pensacola Florida and was struck by the diversity of the people present. They ranged from flight students and instructors to doctors and housewives. They ranged in experience from rokudan to rokkyu (from 6th degree black belt to beginner) and the former was as eager to train, share my knowledge and share my life, as was the later. It was a humbling experience.

During the first day one of the younger attendees made the remark that he was a little bored with coming to the dojo everyday and doing shomen-uchi ikkyo (the first technique of Aikido). He said it got old after a while. Well as I have never been bored with anything concerning Aikido, I took pause to consider this statement. I thought about why I was there along with another rokudan, godan, yondan, sandan, nidan, shodan as well as a number of various other kyu rank. Looking at the more experienced Aikido folk I knew I shared a bond with them that the younger people, especially the one that made the comment, did not or could not share. It is a bond that transcends organizational structure. It is an understanding that all Aikido, all students of Budo (the martial ways), must eventually develop and nurture or they will soon become bored with technique. They will gain their shodan trophy (1st degree black belt) and move on to other endeavors. In doing so they will lose their grasp on the most precious gift offered by Aikido. That gift is not the ability to destroy another person, but a deep and abiding love of life.

This seminar had been postponed twice as I was going through another bout with a debilitating kidney illness and an episode of Myasthenia Gravis. Once I finally got well enough to teach, the seminar was rescheduled. Then ten days before the seminar I got a call that my mother was terminally ill with brain cancer. Two days before the seminar I sat with my frail, terminally ill mother in my arms knowing it would be the last time I saw here alive. Then I left to teach an Aikido seminar. I could never have brought myself to leave my grief and self-pity had it not been for Aikido and its lessons taught to me over a very long time by some very fine people. I could not have left my dying mother, had I loved her less. Among her last words to me were, "Denny, Aikido and Saotome saved your life. You have an obligation to pay them back, go." So I went.

Standing there looking at my fellow students all this went through my mind and I knew I had to try and teach the young fellow that nothing about our learning Aikido is boring. I had to try and teach him something of "ichi-go ichi-ye", or "one time, one beginning". I had to try and teach him that every encounter is a first and last. I had to try and get across that nothing can be repeated and nothing can be practiced. It can only be experienced once, and then it is gone forever. How can you become bored with something you only do once?

I had to try and teach him that each encounter with another of God's creations is a once in a lifetime event that can never be repeated nor taken back. Each encounter should be full and true, and never done with half a heart or half a mind. Each time you face another person, and that person gives their body to you in technique, right then you hold that life in your hands. You hold in your power a gift more precious than gold and one that can never be replaced. It is a unique and wondrous thing. How can you become bored with that?

I had to try and teach that young man that accepting the gift of that life is an ominous and yet joyous responsibility. You accept it; you protect it and you return it in better condition than it was before your encounter. Then you offer yourself in return. The uniqueness of good Aikido is that we can do this in total trust, and in so doing, we will all be richer from the encounter. I had to try and teach this young man we do not practice shomen uchi ikkyo. We experience it only once and in that one experience we share a lifetime with another of God's beings. How can you be bored with that?

You give yourself to me and I give myself to you in total trust. No equivocation or self-evasion what so ever. To learn to trust and be trusted is ikkyo. It is the first principle of Aikido, without which all other training becomes less by its measure. It is the first because it is the hardest. The hardest to learn and is the hardest to keep. I had to also try and teach the young man that coming to the dojo everyday should not get old and should not need to be boring.

As I looked at the faces of each of the more experienced men I knew they too embrace the concept of "shoshin", the beginner's heart. How else could those other old worn down tattered ragamuffins of old men, of whom I am one, be there. Our combined days of stepping through the doors of a dojo must be in the tens of thousands. Yet there we are class after class, seminar after seminar, day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. Why do we not become bored to tears? It is because each time we step through that door it is with the heart of the beginner. We are ready to encounter shomen uchi ikkyo for the first time, and we can hardly wait.

Each time I hold my children, each time I kiss my grandchildren, each time I tell my wife I lover her, is the first and last time. And two days ago I held my mother for the first and last time. How, oh how, can one become bored with that? I am convinced that without Aikido this knowledge would have evaded me. This peace I have would never have been. I don't know if the young man really understood the lesson he got that day, but I hope so.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

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Old 04-17-2006, 02:33 PM   #50
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Am i missing something??

Liked your post then Dennis, and like it now. Thanks for that.

Best,
Ron

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