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Old 05-09-2006, 04:48 PM   #1
emma.mason15
Dojo: Shima Arashi Dojo
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defeating myself!

as some of you may recognise my name ... I generally hang out in the humour forums causing as much chaos as possible (kinda like my aikido actually!)
but I do have a serious question!
it has come to my attention that I am in actual fact a wimp! .. im totally scared of everything! from shomen attacks .... to strangle holds ....
I feel that Im defeating myself .... my sensei is excellent teacher ... and keeps his cool ...
but even the coolest Uke gets a little narked when Tori closes their eyes and wimpers like a frightened puppy .. (EVERYTIME!)
so ... any ideas on how to condition these natural reflexes outta the system ???
all thoughts gratefully recieved
Emma xxx
(aka Dory!)

Dance your cares away .... worry for another day ... let the music play .... down in fraggle rock!

when bored ... do as I do. Poke a patient!
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Old 05-09-2006, 06:32 PM   #2
Dajo251
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Re: defeating myself!

best bet in my opinion, is try and relax and find and uke you trust completely......

Dan Hulley
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Old 05-09-2006, 08:32 PM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: defeating myself!

Compliments on your insight. You are defeating yourself.

IMHO, you defeat/scare yourself by the negative fearful fantasies you play out in your mind. Have Tori approach slowly and become aware of what thoughts you have that scare/defeat you.

The only one who defeats us is ourselves and we do it in out minds.

Ever change your mind?

Watch the columns later this month. I wrote one on creating internal resources. May be useful.

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 05-10-2006, 04:14 AM   #4
ruthmc
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Re: defeating myself!

Quote:
Emma Mason wrote:
but even the coolest Uke gets a little narked when Tori closes their eyes and wimpers like a frightened puppy .. (EVERYTIME!)
so ... any ideas on how to condition these natural reflexes outta the system ???
Yeah - say to yourself firmly "Whimpering is not an acceptable kiai in this dojo!"

And wear your darkest pair of shades so they can't see if your eyes are open or shut.

Give it time, you'll toughen up. They all do...

Ruth
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:00 AM   #5
DmG
 
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Re: defeating myself!

Once upon a time, I had a Sensei who dressed us in bogu and chased us with shinai until we stopped whimpering.....

don't laugh...watch a goalie in hockey practice sometime.....

seriously...one way to not be afraid of the attack is to not focus on it. When I trained naginata (many years ago...), we were taught to only look at our partner's eyes....that way you couldn't look at that big 8ft stick coming your way. I do the same during weapons practice...and during aikido.

Don't watch the hand coming at you, instead focus on your opening (tenkan, irimi...whatever), your center, your connection to uke. This is, in fact, one of the most valuable things you can practice (IMO).
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Old 05-10-2006, 07:21 AM   #6
Steve Mullen
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Re: defeating myself!

Quote:
Emma Mason wrote:
so ... any ideas on how to condition these natural reflexes outta the system ???
all thoughts gratefully recieved
Emma xxx
(aka Dory!)
AKA the cheif aiki siren?!

In the book of five rings Musashi Miyamoto touches briefly on the subject of reflexes.

He says something along the lines of: never try to remove the natural reflexes of the body, these are what keep us alive, instead try to focus these into something positive.

So if your body and mind tell you to move back when uki comes into attack, then do it, put technique on the end and you have got aikido. as long as there is a purpose to your movement it isn't wasted, just make sure that everything you do has a reason and meaning to it and you can't go far wrong my dear.

ALL HAIL CHIEF AIKI-SIREN *bows in reverence*

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 05-10-2006, 07:55 AM   #7
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: defeating myself!

The thing that has helped me... not sure I can explain this very well... I often feel when I attack as uke that there is a kind of "threshold" or barrier that I have to get through to get to tori. And if I'm not aware of it, it'll get me to hesitate when I hit that barrier. It's a distance thing. Anyway, when I do stay aware of where that barrier is, I can choose to let it be there, go through it and attack.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 05-10-2006, 07:56 AM   #8
Psufencer
 
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Re: defeating myself!

I don't know if this will help, but it's worth a go. An old fencing master of mine taught me to smile at my opponent throughout a match. Not only would it unnerve my assailant (not the point in Aikido, I suppose) but forcing myself to smile through things that were difficult or scary made them easier to deal with...and eventually, that smile made itself pretty permanent as I realized that I was actually having fun.

Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:02 AM   #9
Steve Mullen
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Re: defeating myself!

* thinks ''why is the person with the sword smiling at me'' *

One of my sensei told me a story of something his sensei had told him, it basically went along the lines of only be wary of the person who is sitting in the corner smiling, as they know something you don't

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:00 PM   #10
Nick P.
 
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Re: defeating myself!

Quote:
Aaron Clark wrote:
An old fencing master of mine taught me to smile at my opponent throughout a match. Not only would it unnerve my assailant (not the point in Aikido, I suppose...
I dunno, sounds like the best atemi you can deliver; straight into their feeble little minds. Now just start laughing and really watch them unravel...or hum a tune, or best yet, start talking to yourself..."Did I leave the iron on this morning ?"...

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Old 05-10-2006, 12:17 PM   #11
Psufencer
 
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Re: defeating myself!

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote:
I dunno, sounds like the best atemi you can deliver; straight into their feeble little minds. Now just start laughing and really watch them unravel...or hum a tune, or best yet, start talking to yourself..."Did I leave the iron on this morning ?"...

Yeah, that was the point, when I was fencing--"I'm not tired. I'm having fun. You aren't tired, are you?" That kind of thing. But I'm still very new to Aikido and nowhere near the stage where I'm playing mind-games with people...just trying to put my feet in the right spot, at the moment!
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:18 PM   #12
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: defeating myself!

i'd say slow things down until you are working at a comfortable speed and pace. Then once you condition yourself to deal with things at this speed,then increase intensity etc.

The wonderful thing about aikido is that it can help us rewire or recondition our responses.
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Old 05-10-2006, 03:48 PM   #13
emma.mason15
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Re: defeating myself!

Quote:
Steve Mullen wrote:
ALL HAIL CHIEF AIKI-SIREN *bows in reverence*
damned right ... just dont go to attack me .... or I might wimper loudly at you!

Dance your cares away .... worry for another day ... let the music play .... down in fraggle rock!

when bored ... do as I do. Poke a patient!
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Old 05-10-2006, 03:49 PM   #14
emma.mason15
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Re: defeating myself!

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Yeah - say to yourself firmly "Whimpering is not an acceptable kiai in this dojo!"

And wear your darkest pair of shades so they can't see if your eyes are open or shut.

Ruth

I LOVED this! ..... itd be like the matrix in white pjs! ..... or the local nut house ..... either way ... cool!

Last edited by emma.mason15 : 05-10-2006 at 03:49 PM. Reason: I cant spell!

Dance your cares away .... worry for another day ... let the music play .... down in fraggle rock!

when bored ... do as I do. Poke a patient!
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Old 05-10-2006, 03:52 PM   #15
emma.mason15
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Re: defeating myself!

I just gotta say, ta people .... its helping having the advice to be fair .....
its just a pain in the bum .... I know im holding myself back. I sustained an injury to the left shoulder .... and I cant use this shoulder for Aikido anymore .... (was a VERY nasty fall!) but again ... twas me own fault for not tucking up enough.
but again ... Im loving the suggestions .... dont get lazy ... keep em comming!

Dance your cares away .... worry for another day ... let the music play .... down in fraggle rock!

when bored ... do as I do. Poke a patient!
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:04 AM   #16
crbateman
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Re: defeating myself!

Did you have this problem PRIOR to your shoulder injury? Just wondering... I'm rehabbing a (non-Aikido) shoulder injury myself...

Regarding your problem... I know a student who had a similar "aikiphobia" problem. She got through it in a weird, but apparently effective, manner. Someone reminded her of an old trick developed to help overcome fear of public speaking, that of visualizing one's audience in their underwear while before them. She decided that it was worth a try on the mat, and lo and behold, it worked! She says that the fear and uneasiness melted away like magic. (Of course, I don't train with her any more, because I'm not particularly fond of how I look in MY underwear... )
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Old 05-11-2006, 07:49 AM   #17
SeiserL
 
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Re: defeating myself!

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
visualizing one's audience in their underwear while before them.
Now that is a very scarey visualization. ;-)

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 05-11-2006, 10:00 AM   #18
James Davis
 
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Re: defeating myself!

Emma,

Imagine that there are multiple attackers...

... and one of them has a hold of your daughter.

Then, go to work. Just don't get so caught up in your visualization that you hurt a classmate!

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:19 AM   #19
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: defeating myself!

Damn it James,
luckily I am not her partner, when she does it the first time.

Be careful with your advice

Dirk
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:22 PM   #20
James Davis
 
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Re: defeating myself!

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote:
Damn it James,
luckily I am not her partner, when she does it the first time.

Be careful with your advice

Dirk
Damn it Dirk,
Just adding something to her mental tool box, Dirk. Don't run for the hills just yet. If Emma can't use self love as a reason to implement technique, perhaps she can utilize her love for family...

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:46 PM   #21
billybob
 
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Re: defeating myself!

Emma,

Hi! Thanks for asking a question some would be afraid to ask!

Way out there idea - get a copy of the book "Waking the Tiger". It is intended to treat, by a meditative technique, post traumatic stress disorder, but I have found the meditation unlocks old 'clamp downs' around injuries, even if they happened decades ago. It is using your body to rewire it's own nervous system as mentioned above. Chi Kung can do the same thing, but the tiger book was written by and for occidentals.

dave
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Old 05-12-2006, 06:21 AM   #22
emma.mason15
Dojo: Shima Arashi Dojo
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Re: defeating myself!

James ... thats a good idea .... but im not sure my class mates ... (or sensei would that you for that) lol
thanks to Nick, Steve and Aaron for your contributions
thanks to David for the book idea, i'll give anything a go once!
so anyone else got any other ideas?

Dance your cares away .... worry for another day ... let the music play .... down in fraggle rock!

when bored ... do as I do. Poke a patient!
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Old 05-12-2006, 06:53 AM   #23
Steve Mullen
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Re: defeating myself!

How about only training with people you know you can beat up, if ever im low on self-confidence i just go and beat cleetus up a bit, it works for me

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The author does not endorse the use of violence on lower grades

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 05-12-2006, 06:56 AM   #24
emma.mason15
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Re: defeating myself!

err steve ... i am the lowest grade!

Dance your cares away .... worry for another day ... let the music play .... down in fraggle rock!

when bored ... do as I do. Poke a patient!
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:20 AM   #25
Tim Olds
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Re: defeating myself!

Emma:

At some point in almost every aikido technique there is a point where nage/tori must "let uke in". In other words, nage/tori must receive/accept the attack in order to blend with it. My guess is that's where you are getting hung up.

Try practicing with someone you trust and going slowly, and see if you can find the exact point in the attack where you must "let uke in". Then continue working slowly thru it, to see if you can get past that point.

Of course, if that doesn't work, just give uke a quick front kick to the gut, and then apply the technique while uke is doubled over!

Tim
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