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Old 08-08-2009, 01:11 AM   #1
Buck
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Aikido, My Way

I was a nerdy kid, who was picked and beat up on allot, a kid who knew that any and all weakness I shown, usually just by the nature of being me, would feed school bullies. It gave me a unique perspective, being trashed, learning to avoid people when I could, to not bring attention to myself for fear of being spotted by someone who wanted to hurl insults, taunts and physical punishments for their amusement. Being a “husky” a.k.a. fat kid, didn’t help either.

At the risk of a bad pun, that extra pound really slowed me down running from the in pending fate at the hands of the bullies. It did cushion many pokes, jabs, and other forms of battery, a bit. What’s more, it cushioned those falls from being tripped, pushed, and all that stuff. But, it was a curse as well, it was the taunts, name calling, insults all targeted to my weight. A problem I had, I didn’t know, I had. It is difficult for a kid short with thyroid disease, not to know why he was fat, much less not be able to can spell thyroid correctly. The “husky-ness” was a blessing and burned.

Needless to say this haunted me all through school, the short build, the nerd qualities processed, the undiagnosed thyroid disease, among many other things that made me the favorite target of many bullies. And you know a person does get tired of it. It is something you don’t ask for. You want to be left alone; you don’t do anything to invoke a bully other then having “nerd sweat” as discovered by Lisa Simpson. You feel lonely and isolated, anger and powerless to stop the abuse. You know the psychological ways of a bully over time, enough so that you could write a book. Knowing the who, and stuff, is fine. But, the goal is being able to gain you life back, to gain control, to stop all the humiliation, emotional distress, the over-whelming stress, until, one day a decision is made. No a realization that there must be action, a stand must taken. A stand that will… forever…stop the violence.

I had no idea what the movie was about one afternoon that ignited the decision to take a stand, and change the life I was forced to live. I bought the tickets and entered the theater and sat in the front row not knowing what to expect. The ticket said, “Black Rain.” As the movie played I recognized Mike Douglas, but I didn’t know who the Japanese actor was, Ken Takakura. As I watched the movie it just struck in a funny way. Maybe it was Ken Takakura’s character, Masahiro and the cool, sharpness of that character, against the Mike Douglas’s strong character, Nick, who characteristics are what I wanted to model. But, what ever it was that lead to take a stand, it was at that point I would adopt an avatar representing the decision I made to make new change.

I waited until the credits to roll to find out who played Masahiro. I located in the scroll Ken Takakura. Either momentarily hypnotized or a something, I stayed seated through all the credits. When I got home I want to know more about the actor who played Masahiro, I did my research, though there was one life changing error I made. Sitting through all the credits there where many Japanese names and the only one I could remember precisely was that of Toshihiro Obata.

Little did I know at that time, it would be Toshihiro Obata name’s that would point to the path of Aikido. And, it would be Aikido to be that avatar of change, where I would no longer suffer at the hands of bullies.

After sometime of confusing the two actors, I came across a magazine article talking about Toshihiro Obata and Aikido. I thought how impressive. Knowing nothing about Aikido I had to find out more. I read everything and anything on Aikido on the magazine racks and books. I then decided to start a class.

Starting Aikido ran along the lines of the old Charles Atlas cartoon ad- post recently here in a thread. I thought I had a tool, a weapon to employ power and revenge over those who degraded and bullied me over the years. It was an instrument that I could use to gain control and power over would-be bullies who would target me in adult life. Aikido is what I need a martial art, not to get sand kicked in my face. And that was really sent home with Seagal Shihan’s first movie. It was later after being in an Aikido class did I realize how I completely misunderstood Aikido.

What Aikido brought to me was an understanding that violence isn’t really control. Being in a toe to toe match, be it MMA, or what have you, doesn’t allow for control. Two combatants going toe-to-toe with fists, and grappling ground work all taking some time, and within that time exists the struggle for control. Violence such as that consumes the combatants. It is usually resolved quickly unless there is a grave mis-match or luck. What you want is control and that control, like polar opposites, works to its opposite. Not being of a combatant mind, but a non-violent mind yields control over many combatants.

If I was of a combatant mind, I would have sought revenge on those who victimized me. I would have studied anything and everything to kick some butt for payback. To deliver as much pain possible. But Aikido stopped me from such an error. I realize the greater peace. A societal peace where such petty mind-sets start and continue wars be it on a personal level for revenge that grows to being countries embraced in violence and killing for generations. I realized I didn’t want that on my soul. I didn’t want or need to seek revenge as powerful of an instrument as it is. And Aikido could hurt someone, especially if I misused it to a degree that I didn’t need to go to. I didn’t want the combatant mind, if I was ever again threatened with violence, I would want to control that violence not match it and struggling for control and dominance over it.

As I train at several schools of Aikido, I got a feel for the vast scope of Aikido and its potential. A potential not always exercised or understood. A misunderstood art because of its martial elements and history, it’s coded philosophy and spiritual message. Aikido isn’t easy in anyway, and that difficult has lead me to understand myself and the reasons for taking Aikido in the first place. As the biblical saying points out, you don’t take the broad road, you take the narrow (more difficult) road.

I have realized Aikido is about personal character, it is about people being better and refraining from violence on its most understandable level. It isn’t about injecting it with the latest fad martial art or what not to make it better, more effective. That is the very shallowest level of Aikido, I had realized early on. If I was to over-come past and future bullies I first must over-come myself.

My character changed no longer was I going to be a victim. Dropping the desire for revenge as a result of Aikido freed me. It freed me from those continued emotions that where obsessive that had gone un-noticed. The constant desire for violence (in this case revenge) was weigh to personal growth. The martial part of Aikido was the derivative to instill, for me, mental and physical discipline. To re-shape how I looked at myself and others. To gain confidence, and all that stuff. Once that was gained, I no longer needed revenge. My new attitude and skills re-shape how I was seen by others. I found myself just like the characters I had admire in the movie “Black Rain.”

I give allot to Aikido in providing a platform to take a stand on against those who targeted me. No more would I show up on a bully’s radar, or sweat the scent of nerd. All of it accomplished without a confrontation and all without violence; all with a new real sense of myself.

These types of things are always over-looked when someone offers a new “customization, enhancement, or retro fit” to Aikido. It shouldn’t be that way, IT shouldn’t be over-looked. That is the heart, and soul of Aikido is character, personal change and growth. There lays the strength and power of Aikido, knowing violence is the struggle for control. Violence means not having control. Where as peace is control. Aikido is about control.
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:14 AM   #2
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Buck,

You seem to be laboring under the false impression that aikido ONLY builds character if it is NOT martially viable. That's BS.

Sorry for your childhood. I was probably one of people picking on you (someone just like you maybe). In my case, I honestly feel bad about hurling those insults.

I did NOT feel badly about any of that before I started doing solo exercises. You see, prior to meeting Dan, I got VERY good at doing all sorts of finesse to hide my structural weaknesses and exploit the attacker's structural weaknesses. That's pretty much the best you can hope for without a deep study of aiki. The problem with that aikido - YOUR aikido I assume - is that it is WAY TOO MUCH about control. It's all about controlling the situation, and frankly control tends to be THE best way to hide/avoid having to feel.

After I spent about a year and a half just doing standing exercises everyday, I started getting this "feeling free in the world" feeling. It rocked my world. Everything had to change. Control - to which I personally had been addicted to - started to feel like something foreign in my mouth. "Control" was/is/has become very distasteful on a deep level. I am continuing to change, and grow.

Buck, I took what I assume to be your aikido (meaning aikido sans aiki) really far. I assume much further than you by all of your writing. I'm telling you from a lot of experience with it, that what it seems that you are looking to validate is something I took to the nth degree myself because I had built most of my personal self worth around it. And for me, and I suspect others, it turned out to be a FALSE path - where control became much more of a burden than something to save you. I HAD to take it somewhere else.

If you send me a PM I'll be happy to talk about it with you live.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 08-08-2009 at 05:16 AM.

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Old 08-08-2009, 05:49 AM   #3
dps
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Being a "husky" a.k.a. fat kid, didn't help either.
Boy that brings back unpleasant memories when I was a kid. Levis even had a size "husky" jeans for us fat kids.

David
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:17 AM   #4
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Re: Aikido, My Way

In high school I was never picked on. I was the guy picking on the bullies who picked on the nerds or weaker types.

Quote:
A societal peace where such petty mind-sets start and continue wars be it on a personal level for revenge that grows to being countries embraced in violence and killing for generations.
I think a lot of people who were picked on in school look back as adults and try to make heads or tails of it. They try and make it into some kind of grand philosophical debate.
Sometimes the bigger guy just picks on the smaller guy because their smaller. standing up to a bully isn't embracing killing for generations, it's physically stopping someone from hurting you. Laws of nature.
The control I'll teach my daughter is to use violence to get control of the situation then use pain compliance to convince the other person to stop. She doesn't have to break someones arm but I want her to be prepared to do so if it comes down to her life or the other persons.

You can over come yourself as much as you want, if you physically can't defend yourself then a bully isn't going to care much for your inner peace. If you're happy going home with a broken nose black eye and no money in your wallet it's a personal choice I suppose.

Sometimes to gain control and peace you need to do more violence than then the other guy.
People WILL do violence. Be it an individual level in a school yard or as a country. People often don't seem comfortable with accepting that but where would we be if people at one point didn't say 'okay enough is enough' and rose up to meet the aggressors.

Last edited by Guilty Spark : 08-08-2009 at 09:25 AM.

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Old 08-08-2009, 11:01 AM   #5
dps
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
. Violence means not having control. Where as peace is control.
Could clarify this for me.
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:50 PM   #6
Buck
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Could clarify this for me.
I looked back on my post and I could make that thought clearer. This isn't a complex thing.

If you have ever been in a violent situation like a physical fight, you know what you are doing is struggling in a violent way to harm another for the purpose of gaining control. You want dominance over another and that process is gained through (usually) a violent physical exchange of two position. One position is being defensive, thus trying to gain control. The other position is the offensive, thus trying to maintain control. Therefore, the act of violence isn't control, it is wanting or gaining control. When things go to a level of violence that is a loss of control which violence happens when there is a desire to gain or re-gain control.

Aikido taught me where the real control was and it wasn't in violence.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
Buck
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
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Buck,

Rob
I started this thread to share with others something personal, a deeper understanding of what is Aikido is to me. Sure there is the spiritual side of Aikido and it can be said to over-lap or be seen as the personal side Aikido. But to me the spiritual isn't that. It is the personal intimate reasons that exist in our hearts to why we take Aikido. For me it was being bullied and wanting revenge, then the personal realization through the practice of Aikido revenge wasn't the answer.

Maybe if I took MMA or something like that, I would have felt different, but I don't think I would have come to the same depth and scope of the realizations I have now. Through MMA, I might feel the need to go back and kick some butt. I would then risk many consequences, and place myself in compounding situations, all for the opportunity of my ego feeling better? Feeling like a bad-boy, would be a short and cheap victory at best. I realized that that because of Aikido.

My realizations where not the result of trying to or where able to decipher O'Sensei's stuff. It came through mental discipline, physical discipline, practice and randori. It came through the people and friends I practiced with and under. It came with the realization through the practice of technique and what it was designed for. Aikido is a martial art. It has character building stuff that is associated with martial philosophy. It doesn't mean you have to be a soldier, what it means it the process of building a person's positive character can be done through that of the philsophy of military disciple and values related to character. For example, building real confidence gained by pushing physicial limits, achieving goals, and all that stuff. Stuff our sports are built on as well.

So Rob, it is very disheartening to read your comments. Here I give a personal story where Aikido changed how I would handle bullies and stop being their victim. Aikido change how I seen things and in turn change how I was seen. That taking the violent road spurred by revenge as a means of conflict resolution was not the way to go. It is paramount to a person shooting first and then asking questions later. Because of Aikido, I gained a greater power, a great and more efffective means of control over those who did and would bully me. Without the suffering from that old saying, "live by the sword, die by the sword." I walked the path of peace, and found greater resolve in that. That is a fact. The results are seen daily. The pen is mighter then the sword.

My goal has been achieved and it is a peaceful result. I am not in violent physical conflicts. I am not seen any longer as the easy target. I get the respect I was looking for, a type of respect that is long lasting and one I don't need to defend physically or otherwise. That is what I call the greatest internal strength a person can have.

Rob am sorry if that has failed for you. Maybe being older and wiser you might go back to it with a different set of eyes.

Last edited by Buck : 08-08-2009 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:46 PM   #8
Buck
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
In high school I was never picked on.
To all: I am not giving advice, I am telling of my own unique personal experience inorder to give a background and insight on the choices I made, and what I wrote.

Grant,

I learned this in my attempts to fight back. Unless, I could brutally beat the bully up, who was bigger, older, full of more muscle, hormones and skill than I, to a bloody pulp, I would get a worse beating or have my head in the toilet longer. I would also risk having others jump in on the situation. Being at a disadvantage in many ways-including physically, I found it better to take a stand that wouldn't result in more violence and retaliation, and that was in Aikido. Aikido provided me that internal strenth I needed to change and take control of things I didn't think I had control over.

Last edited by Buck : 08-08-2009 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:25 PM   #9
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Buck,
You seem to be laboring under the false impression that aikido ONLY builds character if it is NOT martially viable.
That's odd,I didn't read that in what he was saying.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:30 PM   #10
donhebert
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Being bullied over a extended period of time when one is young creates a pernicious form of physic wounding. People who haven't experienced this sometimes don't appreciate the effort it takes to overcome the consequences. Everyone is a work in progress. Kudos to Philip for using Aikido to take him this far.

Best regards,

Don Hebert
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:32 PM   #11
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Sorry Philip it's your opinion I didn't mean to suggest you're wrong. I was just disagreeing but I doubt this thread was intended to be a debate

Are you basicly saying you use Aikido to physically defend yourself but you do so without anger or thoughts of harm against the person hurting you?

If you're hungry, keep moving.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:32 PM   #12
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Re: Aikido, My Way

I am currently working with some youngsters here in Okinawa. We normally go to the gym after work for some exercise. After our workout, the 23 year old said he wanted to go play basketball. I was driving and I really didn't want to stay and play, since I was already fairly exhausted, but I decided some good friendly competition would be good for me. We played a very competitive game that came down to the wire. I was dog tired. I threw up a wild three point hook shot that missed the rim and the youngster pounced on the rebound and put in an easy layup for the win. He was very happy to have won. I was very happy for the game to be over. Sometimes winning isn't about control and losing isn't about losing control.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:38 PM   #13
Buck
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
Sorry Philip it's your opinion I didn't mean to suggest you're wrong. I was just disagreeing but I doubt this thread was intended to be a debate

Are you basicly saying you use Aikido to physically defend yourself but you do so without anger or thoughts of harm against the person hurting you?
No, problem.

Aikido provided a means for me to change my perspective about getting back at those who bullied and victimized me.

By changing my perspective, as a result of my personal Aikido experiences. I realized that an attitude of revenge and the attitude of physical aggressive proactive- in your face I am going to kick your butt- confrontation (that would of resulted in violent conflicts) wasn't effective.

What was more effective and had little chances of being in violent conflicts was the the other approach of gaining confidence in a larger scope, finding non-violent ways to reduce conflicts, like not seeking and employing revenge. I felt being physical aggressive proactive confrontational didn't keep me off the bully radar. It would instead redefine my blip on their radar, from victim to opponent.

Last edited by Buck : 08-08-2009 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:39 PM   #14
Buck
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
I am currently working with some youngsters here in Okinawa. We normally go to the gym after work for some exercise. After our workout, the 23 year old said he wanted to go play basketball. I was driving and I really didn't want to stay and play, since I was already fairly exhausted, but I decided some good friendly competition would be good for me. We played a very competitive game that came down to the wire. I was dog tired. I threw up a wild three point hook shot that missed the rim and the youngster pounced on the rebound and put in an easy layup for the win. He was very happy to have won. I was very happy for the game to be over. Sometimes winning isn't about control and losing isn't about losing control.
Yes, that is true when your playing a game.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:14 PM   #15
Buck
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Re: Aikido, My Way

I believe that true internal strength is something you don't go out and get. It is something you that you have on the inside.

It was and is because of Aikido that allowed me to develop my internal strength. The result is a positive and healthy change in my life. I hope this will inspire people.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:25 PM   #16
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido, My Way

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
That's odd,I didn't read that in what he was saying.
I got that impression specifically from these lines:

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I have realized Aikido is about personal character, it is about people being better and refraining from violence on its most understandable level. It isn't about injecting it with the latest fad martial art or what not to make it better, more effective. That is the very shallowest level of Aikido, I had realized early on. If I was to over-come past and future bullies I first must over-come myself.

These types of things are always over-looked when someone offers a new "customization, enhancement, or retro fit" to Aikido. It shouldn't be that way, IT shouldn't be over-looked. That is the heart, and soul of Aikido is character, personal change and growth. There lays the strength and power of Aikido, knowing violence is the struggle for control. Violence means not having control. Where as peace is control. Aikido is about control
Maybe you were not talking about this current fad of actually trying to inject aiki in AIKIdo. But if you were, it was very disheartening to read those comments. Injecting a new fad, REALLY? People are trying to resolve the issue that they have long recognized - that they didn't have much of a "choice" - unless it was more of a stylized symbolic attack. The path depends on the actual ability to CHOOSE peace.

I'm not saying EVERYONE who trains aikido devoid of aiki is a control addict who uses control to avoid feeling, but it is certainly not UNCOMMON. I think I can recognize that to varying degrees, in a lot of aikido people. That's not a true path at all - I lived it. Beware of false enlightenment. I'm not saying I have all of the answers, but I'm pretty sure I can tell you where NOT to look.

Rob

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:30 PM   #17
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I believe that true internal strength is something you don't go out and get. It is something you that you have on the inside.

It was and is because of Aikido that allowed me to develop my internal strength. The result is a positive and healthy change in my life. I hope this will inspire people.
I think you and Rob use "Internal Strength" in two different ways. I really don't think either of you are wrong, just using the phrase in a different way.

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Old 08-09-2009, 12:58 AM   #18
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think you and Rob use "Internal Strength" in two different ways. I really don't think either of you are wrong, just using the phrase in a different way.
Yep. Rob, I really think this essay has nothing to do with the other threads on aikiweb. It's about one persons transformation based on finding internal resources - the same way we talk about no point in traveling if you want to find yourself.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:36 AM   #19
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido, My Way

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Yep. Rob, I really think this essay has nothing to do with the other threads on aikiweb. It's about one persons transformation based on finding internal resources - the same way we talk about no point in traveling if you want to find yourself.
I read:
"These types of things are always over-looked when someone offers a new "customization, enhancement, or retro fit" to Aikido. It shouldn't be that way, IT shouldn't be over-looked. That is the heart, and soul of Aikido is character, personal change and growth."

I got three messages:

1) personal transformation based on how aikido _had_ been
2) he seems to believe another thread here on aikiweb is talking about a fad - *a fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period of time; a craze*. And further
3) that those people on the current *put aiki back into aikido* "fad" somehow OVERLOOKED the fact that the heart and soul of aikido is character, personal change and growth. My point is that such people haven't overlooked that; it could not be further from the truth. That, in fact, there is more growth potential.

I suppose it just brings to mind an image not too long ago of say a bunch of people with typewriters talking about the latest computer fad and talking about how people who will use computers are missing the main benefits of the typewriters...

Rob

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Old 08-09-2009, 12:10 PM   #20
Buck
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Re: Aikido, My Way

I think for me, a part of Aikido has become the understanding of the abstract benefits that are not as readily seen as the physical results of performing waza. I have mentioned some of them already.

It is my belief that the practice of Aikido being difficult like throwing a person as prescribed in Aikido has effects on our minds. It is like anything else. As well all know, Aikido is a defensive art, it isn't an aggressive art like compared to full contact sports that experiences allot of stressors.

Point is, we train in such a manner that there are less way there is less stress and stressors being experienced, say in comparison to contact sports, that allow us to function better under pressure and not default to violence when faced with a conflict that are better to de-escalate the situation.

*Stress in its true definition by Dr. Hans Selye. I recommend reading up on stress according to Dr. Hans Selye.

Because there is less stressor going on in practice this allows the body and mind to achieve the preferred state of Homeostasis, and maintaining that preferred state, in face of a stressor(s). When performing a technique under the stress of being grabbed over time and repetition, I think the body operates more in the Homeostasis state. At least it has for me. And when that happens, a person can control the effects of stress and thus function greater in a Homeostasis state. A person is then less likely to feel and react to the stress being experience and possibly defaulting to a violent action.

What I am saying is because of Aikido I developed calmness and the fear of being beat by bullies was not as strong. In that way, I was better able to thing about options, behavior and prevent methods when targeted by a bully. Having that mind set, enable me to be relaxed and thus able to move more freely, and unrestricted by the effect of a stress. I didn’t freeze, I didn’t sweat, or look nervous or uncomfortable and all that, and that change, did affect how bullies look at me. It did add another dimension to my confidence and a level. That also added to how bullies changed how they looked and treated me.

Simply another way I built internal strength because of Aikido.

I have to say this is my personal experience and result from practicing Aikido. And that is apart from the philosophy, spirituality and all that of Aikido. I don't want to associate my beliefs and experience being assoicated to that of O'Sensei want Aikido to be about.

Last edited by Buck : 08-09-2009 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:15 AM   #21
Anjisan
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Talking Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I think for me, a part of Aikido has become the understanding of the abstract benefits that are not as readily seen as the physical results of performing waza. I have mentioned some of them already.

It is my belief that the practice of Aikido being difficult like throwing a person as prescribed in Aikido has effects on our minds. It is like anything else. As well all know, Aikido is a defensive art, it isn't an aggressive art like compared to full contact sports that experiences allot of stressors.

Point is, we train in such a manner that there are less way there is less stress and stressors being experienced, say in comparison to contact sports, that allow us to function better under pressure and not default to violence when faced with a conflict that are better to de-escalate the situation.

*Stress in its true definition by Dr. Hans Selye. I recommend reading up on stress according to Dr. Hans Selye.

Because there is less stressor going on in practice this allows the body and mind to achieve the preferred state of Homeostasis, and maintaining that preferred state, in face of a stressor(s). When performing a technique under the stress of being grabbed over time and repetition, I think the body operates more in the Homeostasis state. At least it has for me. And when that happens, a person can control the effects of stress and thus function greater in a Homeostasis state. A person is then less likely to feel and react to the stress being experience and possibly defaulting to a violent action.

What I am saying is because of Aikido I developed calmness and the fear of being beat by bullies was not as strong. In that way, I was better able to thing about options, behavior and prevent methods when targeted by a bully. Having that mind set, enable me to be relaxed and thus able to move more freely, and unrestricted by the effect of a stress. I didn't freeze, I didn't sweat, or look nervous or uncomfortable and all that, and that change, did affect how bullies look at me. It did add another dimension to my confidence and a level. That also added to how bullies changed how they looked and treated me.

Simply another way I built internal strength because of Aikido.

I have to say this is my personal experience and result from practicing Aikido. And that is apart from the philosophy, spirituality and all that of Aikido. I don't want to associate my beliefs and experience being assoicated to that of O'Sensei want Aikido to be about.
I have had a similar experience from training in the martial arts over the years in general in Aikido in particular. I can fully appreciate the internal strength that one can discover and how that in turn, how that strength can be projected outwards.

Further, I certainly understand that the environment that we train in can be conducive (and necessary) to instilling a sense of internal calm and peace when confronted with stressors that could lead one into trouble. Aikido--in my opinion-is much more complex and deep than many of the striking arts.

However, once and if the combat begins, I am guessing that it will become a cross-fire hurricane pretty fast--messy both emotionally as well as physically. The environment that we train in as Aikidoka may be conducive with learning a complex art, but may not be as helpful translating to the street.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:35 AM   #22
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Hope I don't wear a written ass whoopin' for this, but here goes..

To me, Phillip's post was about learning how to "fight" without fighting. Some of us are very good at fighting and pick things up rather easily. "Naturals" if you will. Others need more help and time.
Irregardless, we all seem to be on the same destination, just different paths to get there. To me Phillips post suggests he found a way (through Aikido) to be "destructive" to the opponent without actually having to destroy. He has come to the realization that he can severely hurt somebody if he lets his emotions take charge. I think this is where the "control" factor comes in. Aikido gives the practitioner "choices". Not all things in life have to be do or die.
His motivation at first was vengeance. But through study, has come to realize that vengeance may not always be the best way. Again, this is the "control" aspect.
The reference to M.M.A. or flavor of the week injections into Aikido, is fitting in his first post. To which I happen to agree with. They lack what Phillip was/is looking for. He may not have known what he was looking for at first, but he eventually found it.
He chose Aikido for all the wrong reasons at first, but in the end I think it is safe to say Aikido chose him.

This is just MY take on it. I may be 100% wrong though.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:07 PM   #23
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Anthony Stebbins wrote: View Post
Irregardless, we all seem to be on the same destination, just different paths to get there.
I don't think we all have the same destination, but I don't see any reason why we should.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:24 PM   #24
Buck
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Re: Aikido, My Way

In response to Jason's thought that envoked this:

My experience with being bullied/attacked is like anyone else in that situation. I mentioned the body reacts in a way that is defined as stress under that situation. What I call the presence of mind including mindfulness is a result of Homeostasis, the body's preferred state which is a balance in the body's chemistry resulting in a feeling we identify as calm.

When we are not in Homeostasis, due to a stressor, our presence of mind is altered. For example, clear thinking, assessment abilities and problem solving are hampered. It is best to maintain a Homeostasis and presence of mind when faced with a stressor.

In relation to my experience I needed a environment (Aikido class) where the stressor where simulations . By being so, I was able to work to maintain a better Homeostasis when under a particular set of stressors. In my case, those stressors where being in a violent conflict.

Having a better presence of mind became as skill. Stressors that someone deals with for the first time experiences like being violently attacked experiences an intense stress experience, and physical shock. Overtime that lessens as the body being conditioned to the same type of stressors is able to achieve Homeostasis faster, and longer under those stressors. Thus, by doing so a better presence of mind and body functioning are achieved.

Here is the importance of practice, and possibly having a distinct target for practice. It is to work under simulated conditions to achieve Homeostasis for a set of stressors. And when this is achieved it can be applied under actual conditions.

When I practice in the dojo, I have the opportunity work to stay calm and have a better presences of mind. That has been transferred to being bullied and experiencing violence on the street. I have learned when some one wants to do you harm and use violence there are too ways.

One way is escalation where it is done in stages, where the violent person works up to committing the violent act. It may start out with threats, insults,etc, and/or intimidating physical contact to full contact. The violence is preceded with warnings and stuff. The victim sees the violence coming, and experiences stress because of it.

Then the other way is where the person doesn't work up to it. There are no warnings. The violence strikes hard and fast without indication or warning. The victim is completely taken by surprise without a chance. Stress is experienced at the moment of violent contact.

I think there is allot of misconceptions made about violent conflicts as a result of sport fighting and not being on the losing end of a violent experience. In a violent bully type of situation you are either taken by surprise or your not. In the latter case, stress can be intense as the situation builds to a violent conflict. Therefore, it is my experience that the signs of stress and stress can amplify the violence. Because the signs of stress and stress can be interpreted as weakness and vulnerability.

Most of the situations people will experience will be building to a violent conflict, especially most bully types. Learning and understanding stress in the conditions of class, or just working out, have helpful to be able to have a presence of mind, and have that balance, that homeostasis in a violent situation.

There are terms like describes states of being, like mindfulness and stuff. What ever it is called, it is the body and thus the mind, functioning at a state of homeostasis more then a state of stress. No two experience of violence is really the same twice, and there are different intensities and degrees of violence that are stressors that cause the body to fall out of balance/homeostasis to various degrees resulting in lots of emotions and feelings interfering with perception, thinking and stuff.

It is better to experience all that in the dojo first, for obvious reasons, and not only when in the mist of violence. Aikido has provided me that opportunity to experience in an environment where I can work things out, have trial and error in dealing with stressors. Because learning to control stress is difficult and takes work by nature. A skill that is not thought about by the inexperienced, and/or the less knowledgable. A fatal oversight in my experience.

Last edited by Buck : 08-10-2009 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:26 PM   #25
Buck
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Re: Aikido, My Way

Quote:
Anthony Stebbins wrote: View Post
Hope I don't wear a written ass whoopin' for this, but here goes..

To me, Phillip's post was about learning how to "fight" without fighting. Some of us are very good at fighting and pick things up rather easily. "Naturals" if you will. Others need more help and time.
Irregardless, we all seem to be on the same destination, just different paths to get there. To me Phillips post suggests he found a way (through Aikido) to be "destructive" to the opponent without actually having to destroy. He has come to the realization that he can severely hurt somebody if he lets his emotions take charge. I think this is where the "control" factor comes in. Aikido gives the practitioner "choices". Not all things in life have to be do or die.
His motivation at first was vengeance. But through study, has come to realize that vengeance may not always be the best way. Again, this is the "control" aspect.
The reference to M.M.A. or flavor of the week injections into Aikido, is fitting in his first post. To which I happen to agree with. They lack what Phillip was/is looking for. He may not have known what he was looking for at first, but he eventually found it.
He chose Aikido for all the wrong reasons at first, but in the end I think it is safe to say Aikido chose him.

This is just MY take on it. I may be 100% wrong though.
Yep, you are 100% correct.
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