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Old 11-30-2006, 11:36 AM   #1
Luc X Saroufim
 
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the true meaning of "do"

i started training in Aikido the same time as another friend of mine. i have a lot of respect for him, so for the sake of his privacy, i will call him Mustafa.

our participation at the dojo was always the same, and we (more or less) had the same learning curve. even early on, we attended seminars together, practiced together outside the dojo, and motivated each other.

Mustafa, all of a sudden, simply stopped going. although it was a while back, it still affects me a lot. obviously, there's no love lost, but it was tough losing a training partner who could relate to the tremendous challenges learning Aikido. i never would have expected it in a million years.

to add to the confusion, he was getting pretty damn good. i was more likely to stumble along the way, while his ukemi was getting very respectable for a beginner, and he had no problem practicing any of the waza. i suffered a few shoulder injuries and bummed out my knee, but he never experienced such maladies.

not only do i continue to participate, but i am basically all about Aikido right now. I have not practiced in 2 weeks, and i am counting the days to when i can go again. i'm watching for seminars and making long term goals with my Aikido, while Mustafa basically stopped cold.

his explanation is a good one: "my heart was not in it - i can't force myself to go".

in my opinion, this explanation is very acceptable. why bother with Aikido if your heart's not in it? you will never be able to learn true Aikido by forcing yourself to go, so you shouldn't.

i did learn one thing: it's useless to be shown the way, if you don't want to walk it. the road is full of bumps, elevation changes, curves, and dark tunnels. if you're not thirsting for what's on the other side, you will not make it.

Mustafa will live. he's very smart, very motivated, and has his priorities straight. although it's disappointing i can't practice with him, i support his decision.

the difference between two people's ability to learn something is simply the ability to conform to its way of life. because without "do", it's just AiKi.

i am asking this community if my understanding of "do" has any validity, or if they've experienced the same things with other training partners.

Last edited by Luc X Saroufim : 11-30-2006 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:49 PM   #2
Rupert Atkinson
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Re: the true meaning of "do"

A friend of mine hassled me for ages to go to his Aikido class. Daft thing was, he quit two weeks after I started.

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Old 11-30-2006, 12:52 PM   #3
mathewjgano
 
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Re: the true meaning of "do"

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote:
i am asking this community if my understanding of "do" has any validity, or if they've experienced the same things with other training partners.
In the first class I participated in there was another first-timer...he bought his gi and everything; attended one class, so far as I know, I never saw him again.
More along the lines of what you described, there was a couple of guys who were around my age and began around when I did. They seemed to progress faster than me...at least, they seemed to be more confident with things than i was. They trained for a while then suddenly stopped. One guy had even recently gotten a tattoo representing our dojo. Who would have thought he'd have just stopped going shortly after that?
I don't know much about anything, (regardless of past momentary delusions of solid comprehension) but it seems to me the essence of "do" is basically dedication to the art. I think this is true regardless of whether you study aikido, judo, or shodo (calligraphy).
I'm not sure I agree it's useless to have been shown "the way" if one then chooses to not follow it. At least he's tasted it a bit and likely gained a little bit of learnin' about ukemi. I think there are a lot of things one can do to improve their lives, aikido is just one of them...great though it is!!!
Gambatte!
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 11-30-2006 at 01:00 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:43 AM   #4
batemanb
 
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Re: the true meaning of "do"

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
One guy had even recently gotten a tattoo representing our dojo. Who would have thought he'd have just stopped going shortly after that?
The things people do huh

I first started Aikido because a friend of mine was going to watch a demo advertised in a local paper. He mentioned it to me and I decided to go with him. We were both impressed with what we saw, got on the mat, tried it, and signed up there and then. I think he lasted about 6 classes, I've long since lost contact with him, but am still training myself after 14 years.....

During those 14 years I've lost count of the number of people that come in and sign up, pay membership only to never come back through the door. I've also known a few students that have practiced for long periods and just stopped coming, never to be seen again.

A "do" is "shugyo", it requires a lot of self discipline, desire to learn and heart. I think in todays society, too many people lack one or more of these attributes. I think it's a shame, but just the way it is. I don't worry about it too much though, I'm still practicing and learning, that's what matters to me.

rgds
Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:22 AM   #5
crbateman
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Re: the true meaning of "do"

Luc, you mentioned in your post about a person's "ability to learn". I think Bryan may have hit upon a subtle message when he described the "willingness to learn". Most everyone is "able", but far fewer are "willing". Many people train very hard in Aikido, but come to the realization that the nature of the art makes it a very long journey. It sounds like your friend decided that he lacked the necessary motivation to make that journey. It happens. For some, it actually takes more courage to stop than to continue. For others, the opposite is true. The point is, it's not for everybody, and motivations, methodology and results will differ between individuals. Your friend may reconsider at some point, but I assume he thought out his decision at length beforehand, and if his "heart is really not in it", he has probably made what, for him, is the best decision. As for you, there will be other training partners. In fact, it's probably better that way. Keep to your path, and let others keep to theirs.
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:05 AM   #6
SeiserL
 
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Re: the true meaning of "do"

There are so many reasons why people do what they. I don't find mind reading or guessing the best way to accept people.

Aikido matches form some people and doesn't for others.

That's about the best I can do.

I just glad it matched for me (after about a year of training).

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 12-03-2006, 05:25 AM   #7
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Path or quest or art

Do - - is one of the most complex concepts in Chinese and Japanese philosophy. It's been discussed in countless books through the ages, the most famous one of them being Tao te ching, where Tao (Do) is presented as a kind of natural law for all of the universe.

The Japanese use of the term, such as in aikido, seems to be similar to the western concepts 'path' and 'quest'. I think it should be seen as through what you realize yourself and express your personal development in your life. A reasonable question to the Japanese is: "What is your do?" meaning "In what way do you express your progress in life?"

It's not important what do you choose, as long as you find one that allows you to express your own progress. It should fit you, and what it is that your life teaches you.
Well, much like an art.

Those who quit aikido quickly probably found that this quest was not theirs. So, they owe it to themselves to search for their do elsewhere.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 12-03-2006, 02:38 PM   #8
Roman Kremianski
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Re: the true meaning of "do"

I started with a friend too. He quit after a few months because he claimed Aikido was too soft for him. No big deal. Aikido is not for everyone, as cliche as that already sounds. There are few people who can practice Aikido regularly and stay motivated, and even fewer who will excel at it.
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Old 12-11-2006, 07:33 AM   #9
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: the true meaning of "do"

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
For some, it actually takes more courage to stop than to continue.
I really like what you wrote here. maybe because certain people have expectations from you? ones that you are not willing to fulfill?

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
Keep to your path, and let others keep to theirs.
much harder than it sounds, but good advice nonetheless. i have a tendency to get attached to a certain way.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:23 AM   #10
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Path or quest or art

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Do - - is one of the most complex concepts in Chinese and Japanese philosophy. It's been discussed in countless books through the ages, the most famous one of them being Tao te ching, where Tao (Do) is presented as a kind of natural law for all of the universe.

The Japanese use of the term, such as in aikido, seems to be similar to the western concepts 'path' and 'quest'. I think it should be seen as through what you realize yourself and express your personal development in your life. A reasonable question to the Japanese is: "What is your do?" meaning "In what way do you express your progress in life?"

It's not important what do you choose, as long as you find one that allows you to express your own progress. It should fit you, and what it is that your life teaches you.
Well, much like an art.

Those who quit aikido quickly probably found that this quest was not theirs. So, they owe it to themselves to search for their do elsewhere.
This is a wonderful description of /Do. Everyone has a path, wether it be aiki-Do, surfing-Do, teaching Do or parenting Do. The wonderful benefits of practicing a formal Do is that many methods have already been developed to point us to the operation of Universal Law. I have known people who have stumbled upon it on their own, too. For example, my housemate is a building inspector who comments constantly on the harmony, natural flow and the oracle of inanimate objects. He speaks a language of 'do' that many aikidoka do not possess. He discovered this without formal training.Go figure.
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:12 AM   #11
Dazzler
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Re: Path or quest or art

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Do - - is one of the most complex concepts in Chinese and Japanese philosophy. It's been discussed in countless books through the ages, the most famous one of them being Tao te ching, where Tao (Do) is presented as a kind of natural law for all of the universe..
Here ya go....hidden right in front of us.

Is Ai ki do the way of Ai and Ki...

Or is it so much deeper? Perhaps more the 'method' rather than 'the way' ? Ai and Ki combined with natural law of universe? positive energy precisely blended with negative energy , the combining of 2 individual centres into a single entity?

yes - go figure.

Respectfully

D
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:18 PM   #12
James Stedman
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Re: the true meaning of "do"

One's True Path Shall Not Be Found While Standing In Another's Shadow.
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:23 PM   #13
dps
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Re: the true meaning of "do"

Quote:
James Stedman wrote: View Post
One's True Path Shall Not Be Found While Standing In Another's Shadow.
But, how can one stand in their own shadow.

David
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