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Old 08-20-2007, 04:35 PM   #1
Mike Hamer
 
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Defeating my own ego

Hi everyone, recently I've been getting depressed in aikido class at my own lack of ability....I keep thinking to myself "I've been training for over a year, why arent I any better?" Well this kind of thinking completley made any technique I had acquired at that point useless, and that just fed the self loathing fire even more. It got so bad that my Sensei e mailed me about it, asking what was up....I told him it related back to a poor self image, blah blah blah....He replied back with some very insightful words that I wanted to share with all of you, hoping maybe they could help someone else like they helped me Here it is.

"The first thing you have to realize is that there is nothing inherently
wrong with you and second that it is most skillful to live in the moment not
the future, the past, or some conditional "what if". Aikido demands
"beginner's mind" and how your ego deals with this is a reflection on how
your ego deals with other issues. This is one of the many levels of training
that are called out in the course of Aikido training.

Self judgment and negative self talk is due to fear and it only serves as a
hindrance. You are no more or less deserving and certainly no less capable
than any one in our Aikido class (including my self). Right training and
effort leads to some small successes that eventually grow to big successes.
No effort will lead to no success. The secret technique is to just show up
and put in good effort. All the rest will come on its own."


Thanks for listening!

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:42 PM   #2
crbateman
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Re: Defeating my own ego

There is wisdom in those words. Your only opponent is yourself, and your only goal should be to improve every day in some way. Masakatsu Agatsu. Look it up.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:19 AM   #3
justin
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Re: Defeating my own ego

we are often our own hardest critic you have been only training over a year dont be to hard on yourself.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:32 AM   #4
dalen7
 
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Re: Defeating my own ego

reminds me of the words of a great philosopher 'Eckhart tolle' - he travels down the same 'path', at least from what I gleamed in the words spoken by your Sensei.

I have to admit, its easy to get out of the present and to always search for something that once you get there you want more.
But at the same time, your 'always' in the present moment - so getting there is quite easy...just have to 'remember'.

My aikido training is very wavy...sometimes excellent, and other times like a beginner...not one session the same, kind of weird.
Im learning something, so I stick with it.

Anyway...enjoy

Peace

dAlen
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:40 AM   #5
Christopher Gee
 
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Re: Defeating my own ego

'The secret technique is to just show up
and put in good effort'

IMHO a good teacher and good advice. Get on the mat and do it.
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Old 08-21-2007, 06:55 AM   #6
SeiserL
 
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Re: Defeating my own ego

IMHO, we are the ones that create the ego and we are the ones that defeat ourselves with it.
Self-discipline is the training and the art, the journey and the distintation.

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 08-21-2007, 09:59 AM   #7
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Ego needn't be "defeated" ... rather, it needs to be balanced and integrated. It IS after all, part of what makes you "you" ...

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Old 08-21-2007, 10:22 AM   #8
Bronson
 
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Mike,

Would it be possible for you to provide your sensei's name so that we can credit him with this piece of writing?

Thanks,

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:18 PM   #9
Karen Wolek
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Hi Mike,

My sensei has been saying pretty much the same thing to me for 5 years now.

It is finally starting to sink in. I'm a slow learner.

Listen to him.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:53 PM   #10
Qatana
 
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Re: Defeating my own ego

My ego is my most important training partner. It is certainly my most difficult ukemi.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:04 PM   #11
Mike Hamer
 
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote: View Post
Mike,

Would it be possible for you to provide your sensei's name so that we can credit him with this piece of writing?

Thanks,

Bronson
His name is Scott Vogel, and he is a doctor as well as my Sensei.
(dont know what that had to do with anything lol)

heres our website
http://www.shinki-aikido.com/

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:06 PM   #12
Mike Hamer
 
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
There is wisdom in those words. Your only opponent is yourself, and your only goal should be to improve every day in some way. Masakatsu Agatsu. Look it up.
So true, so true....I am quite familiar with masakatsu agatsu.....In fact I have this tatooed and my right arm, as a constant reminder, hehe.

http://hikari.hit.bg/pictures/caligr...tsu_agatsu.jpg

not saying Ive achieved it....just for a reminder.

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:31 PM   #13
dps
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
There is wisdom in those words. Your only opponent is yourself, and your only goal should be to improve every day in some way. Masakatsu Agatsu. Look it up.
In Aikido we learn to make our opponents our partners.

David
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:29 PM   #14
Irv Lachow
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Quote:
Mikel Hamer wrote: View Post
Hi everyone, recently I've been getting depressed in aikido class at my own lack of ability....I keep thinking to myself "I've been training for over a year, why arent I any better?" Well this kind of thinking completley made any technique I had acquired at that point useless, and that just fed the self loathing fire even more. It got so bad that my Sensei e mailed me about it, asking what was up....I told him it related back to a poor self image, blah blah blah....He replied back with some very insightful words that I wanted to share with all of you, hoping maybe they could help someone else like they helped me Here it is.

"The first thing you have to realize is that there is nothing inherently
wrong with you and second that it is most skillful to live in the moment not
the future, the past, or some conditional "what if". Aikido demands
"beginner's mind" and how your ego deals with this is a reflection on how
your ego deals with other issues. This is one of the many levels of training
that are called out in the course of Aikido training.

Self judgment and negative self talk is due to fear and it only serves as a
hindrance. You are no more or less deserving and certainly no less capable
than any one in our Aikido class (including my self). Right training and
effort leads to some small successes that eventually grow to big successes.
No effort will lead to no success. The secret technique is to just show up
and put in good effort. All the rest will come on its own."


Thanks for listening!
Mikel,
Great post. I've been struggling with the same issue myself and your sensei's words are a useful reminder to let go of fear, stop "striving" so much, and just enjoy the ride. Of course, my default approach is to demand that I stop being so demanding...

Reminds me of the old joke: "Dear Lord, please bring me patience, but hurry!"

Cheers,
Irv
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:13 PM   #15
Jess McDonald
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Ego can be a real pain! On one hand it can be the only thing that gets me over an obstacle and on the other, it stunts me from true progress. I've actually been dealing with a bad case ego-titus during the last month or so (not at the dojo but at work). I can get very sensitive and over react or over compensate in a particular situation all for the purpose of "proving" myself to others around me even if their not particularly important in my life. It's probably going to be a life-long struggle for me to get and keep my ego in check. Good Luck to us all!!
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:46 PM   #16
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Defeating my own ego

I had a bit of trouble defeating my ego. Had to get other people to do it for me in competition. That did the trick for me.
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:16 PM   #17
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
In Aikido we learn to make our opponents our partners.

David
and we learn that there is no enemy. we learn to see our previous perceptions were incomplete and only a step on the way.

thanks for the jumping point, david.

en

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:13 PM   #18
Suru
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Through my intuition, not extensive demographical research, it's difficult for we Aikidoka to overcome ego when, especially in the West, most people outside the dojo have egos. The ever-elusive mind state to attain (which I had for awhile 'til "somebody turned the Light off"), is to live free of ego in an ego-dominated society. It is possible. I've done it for about a year. But that was 7 years ago and I don't know how to get back. Granted, I was training in Aikido back then and now I can't, but it is possible and the peace-of-mind is a hell of a lot of fun.

Drew
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:05 PM   #19
Mark Uttech
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
and we learn that there is no enemy. we learn to see our previous perceptions were incomplete and only a step on the way.

thanks for the jumping point, david.

en
Onegasihimasu. On the contrary, we learn in aikido and in buddhism that the enemy is within.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:59 AM   #20
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Defeating my own ego

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegasihimasu. On the contrary, we learn in aikido and in buddhism that the enemy is within.

In gassho,

Mark
Until we realize that was an illusion, too.

I don't take your comment as contrary, just not at the same point on the map.

There is no enemy for Ueshiba of Aikido. You are mistaken if you think that budo means to have opponents and enemies and to be strong and fell them. There are neither opponents nor enemies for true budo. True budo is to be one with the universe; that is to be united with the Center of the universe.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 08-25-2007 at 11:02 AM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 08-26-2007, 07:24 AM   #21
Mark Uttech
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Lightbulb Re: Defeating my own ego

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
Until we realize that was an illusion, too.

I don't take your comment as contrary, just not at the same point on the map.

There is no enemy for Ueshiba of Aikido. You are mistaken if you think that budo means to have opponents and enemies and to be strong and fell them. There are neither opponents nor enemies for true budo. True budo is to be one with the universe; that is to be united with the Center of the universe.
I think I mean to point out that beginners in aikido learn that the enemy is not out there but within to give them something to work with. The true competition in aikido is always with oneself. So, until we become enlightened, there are many enemies and opponents all generating from the source of oneself. This is true whether you train or practice aikido or anything else. I get some inspiration from sharing the same birthday as Harry Houdini.

In gassho,

Mark

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