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Old 04-28-2009, 05:02 AM   #1
Mesosphere
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What is Aikido to you?

I thought it would be a cool idea to ask people "what is Aikido to you?"
As in how do you feel about it, are you happy you started it, what has it done for you, and are you happy so far with it etc. I think you get the idea.
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:06 AM   #2
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

I first knew about Aikido when I was a kid reading some books about martial arts of the world. Prior to that I was into Kung Fu and Silat because of its exposure to my part of the world. This is something like 26 years ago. After reading the book, I had a genuine interest in learning it but it was soon forgotten because it was an art that no one knew about in Malaysia at that point in time (in general I mean).

So after a few years kicking about in ITF, I was then introduced to Steven Seagals kick ass movies... although underage at that time, we have no compunctions on watching extremely violent movies when martial arts is concerned. So my interest in Aikido peaked again.

I'm glad that my introduction to Aikido 12 years ago was through the gentle school of Shin Shin Toitsu. It really made a difference to me to learn more about the Ki/health and unification aspect of training instead of the more martial applications of the art.

Upon coming back to Malaysia, I was then exposed to the more martial aspects which was a bit of a shocker to me at that point in time. I'm no stranger to more hardcore arts, but it really opened my eyes when I started to meet rougher and rougher aikidokas. Even back in England, I've gone to a couple of BAB seminars and gatherings, and whilst not all schools were Ki aligned, the aikidokas I met were very gentle.

Still, my interest never wavered. I've met countless of Shihans on this side of the world and some senior sensei's who never made Shihan'hood but to all intents and purpose are really masters in themselves. Together they have shown me that Aikido has so many facets, that you can look at it from many different angles and purpose.

So it would seem that it truly is a wonderful art. To have so many different schools of thought attributed to it but all in all with the guiding principle of aiki.

Truth to be told, I've had my moments when I have detested Aikido or interpretations of it. But having met some people who have shown me the wonders of Aiki, I'm glad that I have never let the intention of quitting cross my mind.

Aikido to me now is Aiki-do.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:15 AM   #3
David Maidment
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

To me, Aikido is a target for me to achieve in life. I don't necessarily mean the black belt, the hakama, the 'sensei' or the 'shihan' (although any of the above would be nice!), but the whole aiki concept, the feeling of oneness, etc. Essentially, Aikido is my path to becoming a god-damn no good hippy.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:58 AM   #4
Mark Peckett
Dojo: Aikido Fellowship of Great Britain
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

I posted a similar question in the Spiritual section of this forum, and got one more answer than you, Mesosphere. I guess this means people either don't want to talk about it, or aren't sure what aikido means to them.

I drop into the second category, and if I'm honest, I hoped that something someone else said might resonate with me.

However, to try and answer the question, honestly: I'm happier with my aikido than I've been since I started. After nearly thirty years perhaps I've come full circle and I find each lesson, whether I'm teaching or being taught, is exciting - it's like beginner's mind all over again!

The harder question about how much of a change it's made in me? More confident, I think - but maybe that's simply the confidence that comes from being 55 not 25; probably a little bit more careful about situations with dangerous overtones because I'm aware of how easily the human body can be hurt - mine especially!! And it's been a spiritual path that I've fallen off more times than I care to count - but like David, I'm working towards being a damn no-good hippy!!
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:35 AM   #5
mathewjgano
 
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Quote:
Jack Cook wrote: View Post
I thought it would be a cool idea to ask people "what is Aikido to you?"
As in how do you feel about it, are you happy you started it, what has it done for you, and are you happy so far with it etc. I think you get the idea.
I like the Target analogy...and the no-good hippy stuff too! 'Cause man, if genetics is what makes your family your family, man, then we're all like 99% family, right?!
So for me, Aikido the idea is an ideal to be reached for. At it's broadest sense it's (I think) the Tao: the way of everything; from interacting with superior forces to inferior (in terms of potency) forces. In a slightly more practical sense, since it's a "way" I think it's supposed to apply somewhat universally; it's about finding and making ways toward universal efficiency and beneficence. For me that's the spiritual aspect. The social aspect lies in how efficient and mutually beneficent our interpersonal interactions are and this can be broken down into physical and non-physical interactions. Of course the physical interaction is where Aikido proper takes its central form, so the further away from that you get, the less likely is a person practicing Aikido. Then again, maybe Aikido is purely the physical practice and the non-physical manifestations are simply echos of Aikido. Ultimately, I don't know...which is why I never feel comfortable saying what "Aikido" is.
Beyond attempting to define Aikido, yes, I'm very happy with having trained in Aikido. My serious training of Aikido took place several years ago and it left a very lasting and positive impression on me as a person. It reinforced very positive traits in my attitude at a time when I was very negative, so I'm also very greatful. Over the last several years Aikido has been more an idea to me than a practice, but that will be changing soon.
Also, I was never in as good of shape as when I trained in Aikido. Because I was trying to engage every part of my body, I got a very good whole-body workout.
There's my two cents...or maybe a wooden nickle!
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 04-30-2009 at 08:38 AM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:24 AM   #6
Phil Van Treese
Dojo: Tampa Judo and Aikido Dojo, Tampa, Fl
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Aikido, and judo too, was a discipline learned early. It gave me an ideal to work for and never give up---character formation. You can be great but not let it show, you can be the best but be humble, but most importantly you can stand tall while bending over to help others.
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:41 AM   #7
Joe McParland
 
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Misogi, in one form or another.

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Old 05-06-2009, 01:08 AM   #8
Sarah Lothmann
 
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

While I've been a fan of Aikido from a far for some years, I am brand spanking baby fresh new to the actual experience of it. What I can say already, is that Aikido is for me:

Love & Awareness

Although my Aikido journey is still so young, without a doubt - this art is one of the greatest blessings in my life!!
Thank You O'Sensei, Sensei, and all my fellow Aikido artists!

The universe is infinite with blessings.
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:23 AM   #9
dps
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

A tool to be used for whatever I want, whether it be for self defense, personal transformation, spiritual, aerobic exercise, social interaction, character developement, etc.

Any one or combination to be used at various times or places.
It all depends on what I want or need when I am practicing.

David

Last edited by dps : 05-06-2009 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:10 AM   #10
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Onegaishimasu. Aikido for me, is a very good chance at social education, something that is sorely needed in these times.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:27 AM   #11
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Keiko.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:16 AM   #12
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

A mirror and at the same time a magnifying glass that gives us the ability to look at our self and others at the same time. Feedback is immediate.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:43 PM   #13
Sarah Lothmann
 
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
A mirror and at the same time a magnifying glass that gives us the ability to look at our self and others at the same time. Feedback is immediate.
Well said...that resonates with me!

The universe is infinite with blessings.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:36 PM   #14
jamie yugawa
 
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Aikido means a lot to me ,but i think it means perseverence and and the struggle to better ourselves everyday .Sometimes i wonder why i train it seems like its too hard , i cant grasp the technique or my partner is not blending with me and i get frustrated . At the end of the class i feel great and maybe another step towards my goal of overcoming the things that hinder me from blending with others.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:00 PM   #15
aikibudo
 
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Aikido/Budo means alot to me, but mostly it gives me a good feeling of being "one".
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:20 PM   #16
Kevin Karr
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Budo means, that years from now, when I look back on my life, no matter what I did or did not accomplish, I can say, " I trained."
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:28 PM   #17
Dan Richards
 
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Dress? Check
Sword? Check
Camp? Check

Sign me up! : )
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:31 AM   #18
Hiriki_Aikidoka
Dojo: maple shade
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

aikido is the only thing ive ever cared about. i can honestly say i love it and have never felt this way about anything before. when i first started it just felt right. i curently go 3 hours a day and 5 nights a week. and have been doin so for almost a year now
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:23 PM   #19
BC
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Confusing...

Robert Cronin
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:26 PM   #20
Lulu
 
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

It is just one of many important dimensions to my life.
It is a feeling of accomplishment and frustration. It is where I fell at home and sometimes a stranger.
It is a means to explore the physical limits and possibilities within us all.
I love it, respect it and it is always a beautiful thing to witness and practice.
And besides - it is a great work out and you meet a lot of great people!
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:39 PM   #21
Maarten De Queecker
Dojo: Aikikai Gent, Brugse Aikido Vereniging
Location: Bruges
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Quote:
Lisa Donner wrote: View Post
It is just one of many important dimensions to my life.
It is a feeling of accomplishment and frustration. It is where I fell at home and sometimes a stranger.
It is a means to explore the physical limits and possibilities within us all.
I love it, respect it and it is always a beautiful thing to witness and practice.
And besides - it is a great work out and you meet a lot of great people!
I have nothing to add to that.
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:07 PM   #22
CNYMike
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

Quote:
Jack Cook wrote: View Post
I thought it would be a cool idea to ask people "what is Aikido to you?"
As in how do you feel about it ....
I like it. I may be a whiney mouth-breater on the mat, but I feel good afterwards. I tend to go with what Tamura Sensei said on a DVD I have: "What is Aikido? I still don't know, but I like it."

Quote:
are you happy you started it .....
Well, I'm happy I returned to it in 2004 after a 16 year abscene. I don't know how my training partners feel, but I'm happy. Just remember, guys, delete the expletives if you de-lurk.

Quote:
what has it done for you, and are you happy so far with it etc ..... [/qote] I think you get the idea.
Little harder to pin down.

From a martial art persepctive, I go with the Inosanto Academy cant of "no one martial art has all the answers, but every one has something to offer." I just don't know what Aikido's something is, and it doesn't help that I am too lazy to do the amount of solo training and research to find out. I imagine over time, I'll work it out.

My instructors in other arts have, ah, NOTED me for my wrist locks, so it may be that familiarity with a technique or an area helps, even if the locks are done differently elsewhere. But otherwise, it is very hard to pin down. Some things have tried to pop out in sparring, not always good. But some things are natural that I should probably learn to take advantage of.

Personally ..... I don't know. I fell in love with Aikido twenty-three years ago and as I said, returned after a gap of 16 years. I like doing it; that by itself is a good thing. The dojos I train in have knowelegeable instructors -- one of whom is a unique individual whom you will never meet again in a million years -- loyal followings and a "family" feeling that not many other schools have. I'm glad I'm doing it here and now with these people at this time in my life.

Yeesh, when did I get so mushy!? Where're the MMA Nazis when you need them!?

Last edited by CNYMike : 05-21-2009 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Add a word

"I am not a big fat panda. I am the big fat panda." --Po, Kung Fu Panda
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:23 AM   #23
patf
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

A good physical workout in a nice friendly environment.
A chance to stretch muscles that don't normally get stretched.
A good way to increase my body's flexibility.
An opportunity to learn new things.

For me there have been no character/spiritual changes in my life due to Aikido, I'm still the same me I was before Aikido, just a lot more fitter, thinner and flexible. The workout is the main thing for me, I don't care particularly for testing, I'd rather just train. I measure my progress not in techniques learned but in my fitness level.
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:22 PM   #24
lbb
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

I think, as far as aikido goes, that I'm like the blind men and the elephant -- and that I'm all of the blind men. On any given day, I touch one part of aikido, and that's what stays with me most strongly: today it's just a hard workout, and tomorrow it's all about the zanshin, and the next day it's finally feeling a technique start to come together, and another day it's "never gonna get this" frustration, and another day it's "ow, I hurt...a lot", and another day it's "just keep trying", and another day it's "I feel like I got somewhere". Mostly it's an experience of just trying to keep at it, to train with sincerity, and to trust that something good will come out of that, without expectation of what or when or how.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:39 PM   #25
Chantal
 
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Re: What is Aikido to you?

My best friend got me interested in aikido (thanks Grant) ...he showed me a few techniques and I was pretty much hooked. I really love the fact that there is not much punching and kicking in aikido ... that the art rests with flow of movement. Aikido allows me the opportunity to regain balance

Chantal

The spiritual beauty, which is the deepest truth, sustains me!
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