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Old 02-04-2002, 05:09 PM   #1
"Unregistered"
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Straight Face Better life?

Excuse my abruptness. As I understand it, Aikidoka claim that following Aikido will if not produce invincible fighters, at least make the practitioner a better person/enhance their life.

Can you bear witness to this? Are aikidoka better off in their lives than boxers or gunmen?

Has Aikido made you a happier person with your life and the people around you?

Or do you just feel better able to fight?
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Old 02-04-2002, 06:42 PM   #2
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Well, at least you get in shape! And I find it similar to (and for me, better than) yoga or tai chi for reducing stress, balancing the system, and generally making you feel better. And it's fun. And it can make you less fearful in everyday life.
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Old 02-04-2002, 07:08 PM   #3
shihonage
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Aikido provides a nice feeling of progress and gradual accomplishment over time.
There are always new "skill upgrades" to be looking forward to.

It's somewhat of a cure for existential angst.
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Old 02-04-2002, 07:48 PM   #4
mle
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Re: Better life?

This is Chuck, posting as Emily ...

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
Excuse my abruptness. As I understand it, Aikidoka claim that following Aikido will if not produce invincible fighters, at least make the practitioner a better person/enhance their life.

Well, this is the general purpose of studying budo at all, to enrich life. Somewhere down the line, in a lifelong study of budo, you'll learn things that are applicable in self defense -- in the 'real world' ...

But then, as Emily is fond of pointing out, what actually kills most of us is US. We die of ulcers, cancer, heart and lung disease because we treat our bodies, spirits and minds like crap. We die in car wrecks in DROVES, because we can't control our attention, can't keep from doing stupid things ...

So yes, in many senses, budo will give you tools for self defense, tools usable on many levels.

Will it make you an invincible fighter? Yeah, till the next invincible fighter comes along.

Can you bear witness to this? Are aikidoka better off in their lives than boxers or gunmen?

Depends. Sometimes. I knw some peiple whose lives have bene saved by aikido (talk to Dennis Hooker about it), and not nessecarily in combat. Hell, MY life was definitely made better through budo. I can, indeed, attest to that. I've used my budo training to stay out of bad situations, used it IN bad situations, used it to stay clear and focused when everything went to hell around me, used it to keep my center when my life was otherwise collapsing in shambles around my feet.

And I've known folks for whom budo was no help at all. Like most things in lif,e you get out of it what you put into it.

Has Aikido made you a happier person with your life and the people around you?

Yes.

Or do you just feel better able to fight?

Fight? Nah. I'm a big old fluffy bunny. I don't fight. Any more.

Chuck
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Old 02-04-2002, 08:31 PM   #5
shihonage
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That's one deadly bunny hehe
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Old 02-04-2002, 09:22 PM   #6
giriasis
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Thumbs down

Aikido has definantly helped me, but that is because I make the effort for it to help me. Otherwise it would be worthless.

Aikido, like any other thing that claims to produce a better life, is not in and of it self the producer of a better life. It is up to the person to use that tool to provide oneself with a better life.

I chose aikido for two reasons. The first was to return to something where I found peace and that was martial arts (I took TKD as a kid and loved it.) And so I studied up and choose aikido. The second reason was for the physical reasons of exercise and self-defense.

Have I found these in aikido? Yes, but that is because I made that so.

I could very easily have chosen painting, playing the flute or oboe (solo or group), or dancing. All of these I have done and which would have fulfilled my first reason described above.

Also aikido has been a way for me to materialize the intellectual. For many years, I have been a thinker and pseudo-philosopher. But knowing and understanding are two different things. Aikido has allowed me to bridge the gap. I am on that bridge now and plan to travel it to wherever it takes me.

The bridge a person chooses to take is up to them, it will lead us all to the same place in the end. So just because Aikido is good for me it doesn't mean it's necessarily good for the other person. Hence Old Obi-wan Kenobi's query in Star Wars (Ep. IV-A New Hope), "Who is more foolish? The Fool or the Fool who follows him?"

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 02-04-2002, 10:17 PM   #7
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Hmmmm does Aikido make me a better person? Don't know if it does (if not, the fault lies in me ), but since that's the only reason I do it, I'd be disappointed to find I was totally wasting my time. Bet no one would ever think I hate wasting time...

I get less physical exercise now with the time I give up for class, and never had an interest (still annoyingly don't) in making this about self defense . Signed on three years ago to figure out why my personal life lacked the 'centeredness' that my professional and military life had in overabundance---and hopefully correct the problem. The fact that I am still working on it does not (I hope) mean progress has not been made.

The thing about 'better than boxers or gunmen' might be in error, I think: there are many paths in self improvement, the goal of Aikido is not to make us better than others, but better than we were.
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Old 02-04-2002, 10:51 PM   #8
Erik
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Re: Better life?

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
Excuse my abruptness. As I understand it, Aikidoka claim that following Aikido will if not produce invincible fighters
Have not met someone that with sufficient will, money or friends that I couldn't get to. Same thing applies in reverse so strike that invincible part.

Quote:
at least make the practitioner a better person/enhance their life.

Can you bear witness to this? Are aikidoka better off in their lives than boxers or gunmen?
Not that I can tell but I don't know any gunmen. I think Aikido is exceptionally well-suited as a study that can result in better people, however they might define it, if they so choose to use it that way. Some do and even those do couldn't agree on the methodology or the results.

Quote:
Has Aikido made you a happier person with your life and the people around you?
To that exact question, no. I would say that there are certain things which are different due to Aikido. Most noticeably is the aftershock of losing it in an argument or whatever. I'm much more able after the fact to step back, ground and say I f....d up. I've also walked away from an almost sure fight after taking Aikido. I would likely not have done that prior to it. Whether I would have started doing those thing without Aikido I don't know, but, Aikido has gotten me to think about those options.

Quote:
Or do you just feel better able to fight?
Better able to finish, not necessarily fight. But I think that's largely due to the rather devious and potentially downright nasty individual who was my first teacher. He didn't like fighting if you get my drift.

So, why did you feel the need to do this anonymously? This is hardly controversial stuff and we get asked it all the time. No big deal.
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Old 02-05-2002, 02:45 AM   #9
gi_grrl
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Re: Better life?

Quote:
Excuse my abruptness. As I understand it, Aikidoka claim that following Aikido will if not produce invincible fighters, at least make the practitioner a better person/enhance their life.
I've been training for nearly four years now. I know I'd be crap in a fight. Luckily, I'm not interested in fighting.

However, I do feel more confident in a physical sense. If attacked, I'd come out of it a lot better now than if I wasn't learning aikido.

Quote:

Has Aikido made you a happier person with your life and the people around you?
I can't really decide whether I'm happier or not. I'm more balanced; I exercise my mind at the same time as I'm exercising my body; I routinely spend time learning new things with a great group of people; I'm much more patient; I'm more dedicated; I'm learning to focus better; I'm accepting challenges; I'm learning to adapt; and I get to have fun while I'm doing it.

If I'm not happier, I could at least say that I'm learning to accept myself and my life for what it is and slowly change for the better.

Cheers, Fiona.
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Old 02-05-2002, 11:13 AM   #10
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I do not dare say...

To whoever started this thread:

Things work differently for other people. I do not dare say that this or that is better for your life or this or that would make you happier or even, if it is your path, a better fighter.

I have chosen this path, because it works for me. I have gone down other roads that leads to nowhere, just because I have nowhere to go to. For me, Aikido have regained my focus. But this is also caused by other factors, such as a good teacher, good friends, a very supportive environment.

At first, I did choose this path to become better at techniques, or as you say become a fighter. But as I have learned, as I have understand better, that was very shallow of me. It is not about techniques at all. The techniques are only methods of learning the actual principles.

We all have our own path to travel, and it is different for everyone because no one person is the same. What is your path?
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Old 02-05-2002, 11:14 AM   #11
Ghost Fox
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Re: Better life?

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
Excuse my abruptness. As I understand it, Aikidoka claim that following Aikido will if not produce invincible fighters, at least make the practitioner a better person/enhance their life.

Can you bear witness to this? Are aikidoka better off in their lives than boxers or gunmen?

Has Aikido made you a happier person with your life and the people around you?

Or do you just feel better able to fight?
Better off, I really can't say. Before aikido I used to practice TKD and Freestyle Karate. I would spare for about an hour a class, and was in great shape. I was also angry. I had bloodlust on the brain, and couldn't wait to get on the mat. I was hungry for violence, for release.

Now I don't know. I'm torn, conflicted. I know my kicks and punches are not nearly as powerful as they used to be (although still better than the average aikidoka.), and I worry that the techniques that have replaced my arsenal of attacks are not as effective. Mentally the hunger I once felt is not as strong, and there is a new desire, the desire to protect, to cherish all life and people. I see some one in front of me and one side of me is sizing them up, looking for the best way to cripple them, take them out of the fight quickly. The other side looks into their eyes and sees a person with a family, maybe they had a bad day, maybe they had a bad life, what should I do to help. It tears me up inside because all my instincts for survival tell me to not trust, to maim before you are maim, alpha male or nothing.

Am I better able to fight? Will the conflict in my head prevent me from acting in self-preservation? I don't know. I'm just tired and want to be left alone in peace. Let someone else fight.

Happier, if anything I'm more tormented. Torn between what's the right thing to do and what I want to do. Life was easier in the shadows.

Then why aikido? Because when I look at aikido being performed I sometimes see the answer. I see the grand design if for only a moment, but I have seen the design. I have felt the complete and ecstatic liberation of randori. The joy of a perfectly executed waza. I have seen it, and I have wept when I went blind again.

Sounds like addiction to me, huh.

Why aikido? Because I see it as a chance to be a better man.

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Old 02-05-2002, 01:08 PM   #12
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Straight Face ok then

thanks for the honest/interesting answers.

it does seem that some of you are hesitant to claim the better life that Aikido looks to promise , but are still focused on that 'better life' or 'bettering person (which leads to happier life under my definition)' aspect of this martial art.

on the other hand, none of you claim the 'invincible fighting technique' as your motivation though some imply it may have been the hook to get you caught.

now, if this is so, why is there so much argument over which Aikido flavor teaches better killing techniques, or is true budo, or is the "real" stuff, or that Daito Ryu or another Ryu is the "real" thing, or that Yoseikan is the "real" thing or that Ki-Society is for wimps or that Aikido can't be used against "real" attacks or not?
why is there years of bad blood because the claims of who is Aikido's "true" heir?

yes yes we are human and where there's more than two , God and politics will show up. but we are also Aikidoka and this is a reflection of our collective education under the Aikido umbrella.

I thank you sincerely for your answers, which were more enlightening than what I was imagining could be an answer.

I chose to make this post anonymous because i didn't want my person to be part of the question, and wanted your own perspectives.

I also want to keep the question going, because it's relevant. Why is Aikido different, why is a more fulfilling path than say the shooting range. Is the CONTENT, the ETHOS of the art the important part, or is it just another way to fight.
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Old 02-05-2002, 03:26 PM   #13
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Re: ok then

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered

I also want to keep the question going, because it's relevant. Why is Aikido different, why is a more fulfilling path than say the shooting range. Is the CONTENT, the ETHOS of the art the important part, or is it just another way to fight.
If you prefer a shooting range, go to a shooting range.
If you prefer Aikido, go to Aikido.
If you like to ride a bike, go ride a bike.
If you like to box, then go box.
If you like to run, then run.

If you like to eat cheeseburgers, then go eat some cheeseburgers.

Last edited by shihonage : 02-05-2002 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 02-06-2002, 03:25 AM   #14
Edward
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Re: ok then

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered

on the other hand, none of you claim the 'invincible fighting technique' as your motivation though some imply it may have been the hook to get you caught.

now, if this is so, why is there so much argument over which Aikido flavor teaches better killing techniques, or is true budo, or is the "real" stuff, or that Daito Ryu or another Ryu is the "real" thing, or that Yoseikan is the "real" thing or that Ki-Society is for wimps or that Aikido can't be used against "real" attacks or not?
why is there years of bad blood because the claims of who is Aikido's "true" heir?
Sorry but this is the funniest statement I've ever heard. Never have I heard anyone in Aikido claim or be drawn to Aikido because of it's "invincible fighting technique". Perhaps you are confusing ju-jutsu or ninjutsu or WWF with Aikido

It is against Aikido principles to fight. We are all a bunch of "wimps" who prefer to avoid conflict, most of us never had any fight in their lives, those who had got beaten up, and if by any miracle they were not the agressor was not injured

By the way, I like very much the "killing techniques" thing However, it's not the reason behind bad blood between "some" Aikido schools but stupid politics. (Which proves that Aikido does make you a better person untill you reach a certain level, after which you reverse gears and start to go backwards )

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 02-06-2002, 04:09 AM   #15
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In my experience, aikidoka are in mo way "wimps". Some of the hardest b*rds i know are aikidoka, i mean, is it wimpy to face a katana weilding attacker who WILL chop you in half if you dont do something-thats how you learn folks! lol-. We all get lost in this holier than thou attitude, and think aikido isnt designed for self defence. Its derived from jujutsu and various other arts right? And O sensei was, in his early years, a belligerent, hard drinking little bugger, as were most of his counterparts. Im all for the walking(sometimes running)away approach to 'situations', and have used it on a few occasions. But, violence is sometimes a necessary evil and we should be glad that we could defend ourselves if it ever-god forbid-came dowmn to it. I practice Ki Aikido by the way. go in peace. Craig
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Old 02-06-2002, 05:06 AM   #16
guest1234
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Re: ok then

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
thanks for the honest/interesting answers.

it does seem that some of you are hesitant to claim the better life that Aikido looks to promise , but are still focused on that 'better life' or 'bettering person (which leads to happier life under my definition)' aspect of this martial art.

on the other hand, none of you claim the 'invincible fighting technique' as your motivation though some imply it may have been the hook to get you caught.

now, if this is so, why is there so much argument over which Aikido flavor teaches better killing techniques, or is true budo, or is the "real" stuff, or that Daito Ryu or another Ryu is the "real" thing, or that Yoseikan is the "real" thing or that Ki-Society is for wimps or that Aikido can't be used against "real" attacks or not?
why is there years of bad blood because the claims of who is Aikido's "true" heir?

yes yes we are human and where there's more than two , God and politics will show up. but we are also Aikidoka and this is a reflection of our collective education under the Aikido umbrella.

I thank you sincerely for your answers, which were more enlightening than what I was imagining could be an answer.

I chose to make this post anonymous because i didn't want my person to be part of the question, and wanted your own perspectives.

I also want to keep the question going, because it's relevant. Why is Aikido different, why is a more fulfilling path than say the shooting range. Is the CONTENT, the ETHOS of the art the important part, or is it just another way to fight.
Well, first off, I think those who want to tell you how invincible their style is, or how useful 'on the street' just haven't read this yet. Give it time, they are in the group in abundance. I predict at least two pages centered on how deadly several have become since starting Aikido.

A lot of how close-minded some are to other styles comes usually from one of two places: 1) sempai and senseis attitude or 2) an individual's need to feel unique and important --- I don't think it has anything to do with Aikido itself, except to indicate a need to keep training

As for Aikido compared to the shooting range...well, I don't do Kyudo, but I think what someone gets out of Aikido or Kyudo or weapons practice/suburi (bokken, jo, or 9mm) has to do with what they are looking for--- if the same focus and search for self improvement/mastery is applied, I think the end result is going to be the same. I think someone working on those goals with a 9mm is more likely to find them than someone who trains everyday in Aikido with a goal of being able to beat everyone they 'find on the street'. I think working with a partner is an advantage if we are sensitive to what that means in a larger picture, but I've been uke for some who treat me a lot worse than I treat my 9mm.

Last edited by guest1234 : 02-06-2002 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 02-06-2002, 06:46 AM   #17
ian
 
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If you're in for competition fights I don't think aikido is thing. However I personally believe it is the best self defence available since a major part is instinctive reaction and moving out of the way of an attack. It once saved my life in a knife attack (well it was a sudden stab to the chest which I avoided).

As far as enhancing my life, its hard to say. It definately introduced me to a different way of thinking, which led to an exploration of zen and taoism. These ideas have radically changed my attitude towards life.

Also, although I do lots of (other) exerise, these are orientated around my aikido. For example I do swimming, running and specific kung fu exercises (and a little bit of rowing and weights down the gym). If I didn't do aikido I probably wouldn't do all this stuff (.e. it gives me a reason to keep fit and healthy). Undoubtedly that has long term benefits.

I feel it enhances my life, and like many other people I know, it is a good focus, especially if you are having a hard time in other areas of your life. However I really don't know how I'd be or what I'd be doing if I hadn't fallen upon aikido.

As far as contrasting with other things such as gun-fighting etc I think aikido does offer an intrinsic ethic which binds all aikidoka together which other activities don't. That is, the concept that we are not to 'fight' people but to harmonise with them. This isn't just something that is taught from a book of ethics, but becomes an intrinsic part of your behaviour when you spend many hours a week learning to re-direct aggression without hurting someone or becoming tense.(look how an absolute beginner reacts to an attack compared to someone who has been training for a while).

Ian
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Old 02-06-2002, 10:56 AM   #18
AikiAlf
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Cool

Personally I like the first question better. I've been training for almost 4 years, and though I feel much more confident in terms of being in a situation involving violence, I don't know if that makes me a better fighter. I used to play rugby and fighting stance was all testosterone and blood-in-my-eyes thing. I feel less capable of a violent response now than a few years back, which may soudn like a step back to the brawler but on the other hand I used to be so locked in place by the fear/anger that I used to get whacked all the time. Nowadays I'm not even drawn into the memory of that violence.
So because i'm a less violent person now than 10 years ago, I feel I lead a better life. I have less enemities, less fear of conflict.
On the other hand I now have Aikido training / fanaticism to become an issue for my family which complains that I can't shut up ;-) , which leads to conflict :-( that doesn't bother me too much :-D
as to the politics, I only see the in BB forums. In my dojo Sensei are respectful of all styles and practicioners, and encourage us to learn from them as well. The bickering is just that, bickering. Unfortunately no one seems to want to dicuss their harmony , so all the discussion is on the little differences and pet peeves. I think it looks worse than it probably is.
Why Aikido over say Ninjitsu or UFC? Read man, I recommend Saotome sensei's "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature"
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Old 02-06-2002, 01:42 PM   #19
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it does seem that some of you are hesitant to claim the better life that Aikido looks to promise

There seems to be a clear consensus here that:

- aikido does not make you a better person
- you may be able to make yourself a better person through aikido practice

on the other hand, none of you claim the 'invincible fighting technique' as your motivation though some imply it may have been the hook to get you caught.

Only a fool would take up aikido to become an invincible fighter. So, no fools have responded to your post, yet. Be patient.

now, if this is so, why is there so much argument over which Aikido flavor teaches better killing techniques, or is true budo, or is the "real" stuff, or that Daito Ryu or another Ryu is the "real" thing, or that Yoseikan is the "real" thing or that Ki-Society is for wimps or that Aikido can't be used against "real" attacks or not?
why is there years of bad blood because the claims of who is Aikido's "true" heir?


Why does anyone argue about anything?
And why would the world of aikido be any different then the world at large in this respect?

Ki Society is not for wimps, it attracts wimps.

I also want to keep the question going, because it's relevant. Why is Aikido different, why is a more fulfilling path than say the shooting range.

We've already asserted that it is no different. Why don't you tell us why you think it is different?
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Old 02-06-2002, 02:09 PM   #20
"Unregistered"
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Quote:
We've already asserted that it is no different. Why don't you tell us why you think it is different?
do you mean that Aikido is the same as all martial arts?
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Old 02-06-2002, 03:52 PM   #21
guest1234
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I don't do other martial arts, but just from having trained in several Aikido dojos, I'd say Aikido in theory has within its philosophy and design potential for self-improvement not as easily found in other things...but how much of this is taught (or sought) varies an awful lot from place to place.

There are those who just want to be king of the hill, and take Aikido to make them tougher than anyone else...it seems to work for them, so it certainly is not my place to say they should want anything else...and who knows what they may next look to find, once they tire of being the king...

I've seen and heard very senior yudansha teach with the sole goal of making their students the biggest dog on the mat, no matter where they might go...and they attract students to whom that is attractive.

So, would a different martial art, with a different kind of sensei, turn out perhaps more spiritually-oriented, self-mastery driven students vs those Aikido students mentioned above? They certainly couldn't be any less so...
There are Aikido yudansha who see ukes as things, and beginners in other arts who see the universal thread that binds us. Personally, I think that is a shame, but it is not my place to demand other seek more out of Aikido than technical advancement any more than they can demand I do it for self defense.

So I would say as I understand the design of Aikido, and for the reasons I do Aikido, there is an advantage over other martial arts in methods for self improvement; and I specifically choose instructors who would seem to further this goal, and avoid those who would not. But there are plenty who see it as first/foremost/primarily self-defense, devoid of philosophy, and if that's their perception, it's real for them, and could in fact be more accurate than mine.
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Old 02-06-2002, 04:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We've already asserted that it is no different. Why don't you tell us why you think it is different?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Originally posted by Unregistered

do you mean that Aikido is the
same as all martial arts?
I think what Chris, and many of the people are saying in this thread is pretty much: "Whatever floats your boat." If you can get a better life, and become a better person through your involvement in something--anything--you should do that. The activity you choose, however, is irrelivant. So, in answer to your original question, no, Aikido cannot make you a better person. You make yourself a better person. It is just that some people find that an activity that they choose helps them to find this ability within themselves. I am one of those people who has become better through Aikido, but had I found something else, instead, I'm pretty sure the same thing would have resulted sooner or later because I wanted to become a better person (and am still working on it.) I've seen this quote in many a post on here: "It's not the martial art; it's the martial artist." And I think it applies here. If you find yourself through Aikido, Kendo, Jujutsu, or any number of other things (it doesn't have to be a martial art, but it seems that's what you're interested in), go for it, but don't expect the practice to magically transform you if you don't want to change yourself.

Sarah

Last edited by Arianah : 02-06-2002 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 02-06-2002, 05:00 PM   #23
bcole23
Dojo: Eagle Rock Aikido, Ammon, ID
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Talking

I don't know about all of you but
my Aikido IS INVINCIBLE!!!!

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Old 02-06-2002, 05:58 PM   #24
shihonage
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My Aikido makes Steven Seagal look like a nervous chatterbox.
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Old 02-06-2002, 06:34 PM   #25
guest1234
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Quote:
Originally posted by shihonage
My Aikido makes Steven Seagal look like a nervous chatterbox.
I am sooooo disappointed there is no picture with this
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