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Old 04-29-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
Alberto_Italiano
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Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

From the dojo.

Shihonage on yokomen.
Let's forget for a minute that each yokomen I carried, relatively slow (1 second - that's positively slow), I hit (= regularly managed to _place_ my hand on his neck or jaw, not an actual blow!!) the black belt.

It happened to me about what George S. Ledyard mentioned happened once to him (another thread): I have been lectured about my lack of spirituality.

In fact I paused and it came to my mind, as I scrambled to make a shionage with the pirouette and without managing to do it properly, the following sentence, which I made the "mistake" to voice: «Well, it's not only I can't make it, it's also a technique where in a real fight you risk of getting truly bad blows on your face, if for some reason it fails»

My partner immediately started lecturing me - we don't fight in Aikido.
I know, I mean, if I were to apply a shionage like this in a real fight, I would have a major problem.
What?! You don't come here to learn how to fight!
Uh? I didn't say I want to fight - i said that, thinking of a real application, I'd risk of being blasted in this way. What's wrong with this observation?
This is a spiritual art! You have a very bad mindset, which is not the right one at all! You are thinking of violence!

The guy starts watching me as if I were a true criminal, who meant to go out of the dojo punching guys.
I said: let's be clear about it, if I would have liked to beat people, I would have not looked for aikido in the first place. But this is a martial art, right?

The answer: no! It's a way to armonize yourself to feel good with yourself, not to fight.

So, you mean this is like classic ballet? A work out that has not to be thought of as something that eventually may confront actual self defence needs?

You have a very bad mind, you're not right for this place! We armonize ourselves here, we don't plan to fight.

I am not «planning» to fight - again! I want to do aikido with a fighting paradigm in perspective, even if i would never use it.

The guy stares at me with a look of utter contempt.
I stare back - if this has to be only a regular work out, you'd better tell me before I paid 3 months. If it's so, you train for that, and I shall sit and watch this menuet.
& seiza.
He made wonderful shionages, "attacked" by a 52 kilos (114 pounds, google tells me) female white belt.

To be sure, I never had one single criminal record in my life. Not even one. I swear on my dead mother. Not even a minor thing not mentioned in the records - Read my lips: nothing.

The mere fact of mentioning aikido as something ultimately meant to fight is enough to make some look at you like an outcast.

This is what I am facing - as if aikido in itself wouldn't be already SO difficult.

Why this beautiful martial art forfeited its martial side to become only figurative art for some?

A few are good at that. A few. How did they manage? it's a mystery.

I foresee a bad future LOL.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:16 PM   #2
Russ Q
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Your a bad, bad man Alberto....for thinking martial thoughts! :-)

Seriously though, your question should have been handled much, much better by your sempai/senior. Sounds like he's a little insecure....many folks have said very eloquent things about the paradox of aikido's philosophy and it's martial element.....search out George Ledyard's essays on this site. I think he can verbalize what you are thinking about the art....

Good luck,

Russ
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:50 PM   #3
Mark Gleadhill
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Why not just train Shodokan? or is that a silly answer.. I get the feeling we Shodokan'ers are frowned upon slightly.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:18 PM   #4
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

what is shodokan? If that's aikido is fine to me. I'd just like an aikido where the martial side is not seen as "scandalous". But I don't want to punch people if shodokan is karate or similar. I like something where you don't hit, and yet martial in approach.

Not sure we have it here, but of course i could check.

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 04-29-2010 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:24 PM   #5
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

See what I mean:

in the dojo: do ikkyo.
It doesn't succeed, the guy's arm is very rigid. He stays there.
game over, restart (plus: frustration).

With a friend of mine, out of the dojo: do ikkyo.
It doesn't succeed, his arm is rigid. I keep my hands on his arm, he immediately tries a natural reaction, he lifts his arm. I soon follow him going in shihonage, it nearly succeeds but he is still "rebeling" and tries to face me, i follow him again with a mild tenkan and there we go, ikkyo! pam!

Beautiful!

There's gonna be a "fight" lol

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 04-29-2010 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:55 PM   #6
Mark Gleadhill
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Shodokan or Tomiki style is a different style of Aikido. It has competitions aswell as kata. I'm just learning it myself atm (4th Kyu) Check some stuff on here or on Wikipedia.

Your example is like the randori training in Shodokan. Can't land this technique, try another. You don't stop until told to by a judge. (obviously in training your not full resistance all the time, but there is resistance training, and you train how to counteract that resistance)

I love it. It's great fun.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:15 PM   #7
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Tomiki Aikido or Shodokan Aikido. I didn't know of this. You got it, Mark, judging from what I just read online.

However, we haven't this where I live.

From what I read, all Aikido ought to be Shodokan Aikido then.

Of course, I fully appreciate that in training you won't oppose full resistance.
But this shodokan sounds the type of aikido I need. When a technique fails, my opponent may move in 2 or 3 further ways at least, I should know how to follow those movements with further techniques, and then apply with gradually increasing resistance - techniques ought to be learnt as bundles in my perception.

It's absurd that we can have guys who after 2 weeks cannot land one ikkyo or shihonage on the dojo, and YET after the same 2 weeks can land both out of the dojo. Nonsense.

ps tomorrow I see my friend. We both have the tendency, when an arm is swung, to dodge by lowering. Ok, we're going to try sankyo on that, at first slowly, then in "action". How shall we know if our sankyos work? The hard way lol. And no, our hands are not to be torn apart: if you need the struggle to learn, does not mean you're an irresponsible criminal!

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 04-29-2010 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:12 PM   #8
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

"this is spiritual art"

this attitude really kinda gets my back up, for a few reasons

at it's core Aikdo is a martial art iif you don;t accept that and train with some intensity then you will never get to the real spiritual aspect of Aikido or any martial arts

this attitude effectively de-claws aikido and turns it into a dance form

spirituality takes a long time to realize and really isn't something that can be taught, only after years of hard training can some people start to open up to it, taking about spirituality and insisting on training in a spiritual way (again there is a whole load of issues there) is like trying to act like you are at the top of the mountain without doing the climbing
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:51 PM   #9
Gorgeous George
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
The answer: no! It's a way to armonize yourself to feel good with yourself, not to fight.

[...]

You have a very bad mind, you're not right for this place! We armonize ourselves here, we don't plan to fight.

.
If there's very little/no energy in the attack, what is there to harmonise with? Surely the stronger the force you are able to harmonise with, the better your aikido is, and the better you'll feel? Perhaps ask him that...

I absolutely second what Andrew Macdonald said: i started getting a lot lot more out of aikido when i started putting more effort into it; all the greats went through periods of very intense training - even Koichi Tohei.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:49 AM   #10
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
"this is spiritual art"

this attitude really kinda gets my back up, for a few reasons

at it's core Aikdo is a martial art iif you don;t accept that and train with some intensity then you will never get to the real spiritual aspect of Aikido or any martial arts

this attitude effectively de-claws aikido and turns it into a dance form

spirituality takes a long time to realize and really isn't something that can be taught, only after years of hard training can some people start to open up to it, taking about spirituality and insisting on training in a spiritual way (again there is a whole load of issues there) is like trying to act like you are at the top of the mountain without doing the climbing
Very wise observation.

One would need to train with intensity and go on failing, and moving like a zombie or a robot on the Dojo, hoping one day the veil on his/her eyes lifts, and you realize you can master and switch the techniques while you're inside the tempest. _Then_ you can see the spirit.

And yet one doesn't seek the intensity for the intensity's sake - one looks for it in order to crack the bark we have around and attain a level of awareness within that tempest that is a reward suitable to be lent, once attained, to any other field in life.

Only the sensei and 2 black belts have no problems with me as Uke. All the others can't do one single technique right on me - I don't actively resist in the least! i simply avoid accommodating (ie, I don't actively follow, and I don't fall if you don't actually ground me) the technique: it is truly puzzling seeing all that many black belts that, as soon as they have no more a Uke that falls on purpose, seem no better than any Kyu. Amazing.
There is clearly something broken in the way they trained. And what is broken is: lack of martiality, contempt for the struggle.
Incredible.

ps i start thinking that the lack of competitions may have harmed aikido.

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 04-30-2010 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:19 AM   #11
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

I love aikido.
I want to learn it. But I want the real thing.
I'll do whatever I can to dodge the incredible limitations these Dojos have.

From now on any time they fail I will suggest to them not to start over, but to try something else (something else that is Aikido - a black belt that i told so because he kept failing, circled me with his arms, wrangled to lift me, and threw me on the mat lol).
It'll take time.
I would like them not to stop when they fail, but to feel how I move and apply another technique - hopefully they will reciprocate eventually, and then I may truly learn.
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:42 AM   #12
niall
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
"this is spiritual art"

this attitude really kinda gets my back up, for a few reasons
Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
There is clearly something broken in the way they trained. And what is broken is: lack of martiality, contempt for the struggle.
Incredible.

ps i start thinking that the lack of competitions may have harmed aikido.
Just a moment guys. You might not want to train in a spiritual way. That's cool. But if some people do that should be cool too without you needing to be judgmental. If aikido means anything it should mean having an open heart or at least an open mind. Just stay away from those dojos and teachers that don't suit you.

From O Sensei on almost every teacher of aikido and every ryuha/style of aikido has deliberately not included competition. Tomiki Sensei had a background in judo so he believed that competition was important for growth. But for most of us the hardest, strictest and severest opponent is ourselves.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


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Old 04-30-2010, 03:23 AM   #13
Michael Varin
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote:
See what I mean:

in the dojo: do ikkyo.
It doesn't succeed, the guy's arm is very rigid. He stays there.
game over, restart (plus: frustration).

With a friend of mine, out of the dojo: do ikkyo.
It doesn't succeed, his arm is rigid. I keep my hands on his arm, he immediately tries a natural reaction, he lifts his arm. I soon follow him going in shihonage, it nearly succeeds but he is still "rebeling" and tries to face me, i follow him again with a mild tenkan and there we go, ikkyo! pam!

Beautiful!
I see what you mean, Alberto.

If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been training?

It seems like you have an intuitive feel for what you should be doing. You are the type of guy that I think gets driven away from aikido because of the training methods, and yet are critical to the development of the art.

If you love aikido, trust me, you can find the ways to train it properly.

You won't have to give up the historical tradition, the spirituality, or the martial effectiveness of the art.

Check out my friend's website and his YouTube videos. They may give you some ideas of where to start.

http://www.aikidostudent.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/ChuShinTani

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:49 AM   #14
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
I see what you mean, Alberto.

If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been training?

It seems like you have an intuitive feel for what you should be doing. You are the type of guy that I think gets driven away from aikido because of the training methods, and yet are critical to the development of the art.

If you love aikido, trust me, you can find the ways to train it properly.
Hi Michael. I am a 6th Kyu. I have a consistent boxing background (not as a pro, although I fougth 36 matches as -Italian term- dilettanti, that is non pro) though it is by now lost in a past that goes two decades ago.

Some wonder why somebody who did competitions in boxing ought to look for aikido now - my answer is that they are the extremes, the opposite edges, and in this fact they share something in common.
Fighting without hitting seems immensely fascinating to me. Mastering a "battlefield" knowing you won't hit, seems to me quintessential.

However, with that experience in my past, my idea of being attacked is pretty much different from that of an aikidoka of an average Dojo.
To me most dojos seem unrealistic, not only in the way ukes behave (the fact so many black belts completely fail at nearly all techniques when an uke isn't complacent, to my eyes proves there is something broken in that training methodology) but also in the way techniques are taught.

On our Dojos we seem to think of a technique (say Ikkyo) like something that is granted, like a gift that an uke offers to you. If you fail, game over and restart. But to me a techinique is something that ought to be conquered. One has to fight his/her way to the technique. One has to struggle for it. To be sure, no chauvinism intended, I am saying this only since I am a man and it may seem a funny way of putting it: one has to court and conquest his technique out of his opponent like you would with a woman you care for.

I know in aikido we don't struggle - that we must _follow_ the movement of our adversary and we must never oppose them - and this is in fact what fascinates me. But if I can never experience my opponent as a living entity, how can I follow him?
It just makes no sense telling a 6th kyu that he must "feel" the movements of the adversary, if the adversary is never experienced (given training routines) within a struggle where there is something moving that can be felt.

I am going to stay with Aikido, if the Dojos allow me.
I will find a way. It's only sad that Dojos, meant to favour martial access, in the case of aikido, a "gentle" martial art, have put around it defenses against martiality that not even boxing (which is truly tough) ever put.

ps I bookmarked aikidostudent

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 04-30-2010 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:32 AM   #15
Dazzler
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
Only the sensei and 2 black belts have no problems with me as Uke. .
Your cup is full.
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:17 AM   #16
Ketsan
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Mark Gleadhill wrote: View Post
Why not just train Shodokan? or is that a silly answer.. I get the feeling we Shodokan'ers are frowned upon slightly.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:32 AM   #17
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

How about this paradigm:

Aikido is about something that is real and physical. Two people meet, they engage, something happens between the two of them, and then they separate.

In the end, there could be a couple of possible outcomes:

win/win
win/lose
lose/lose
lose/win

That is it. No emotion, philosophy, religion, morality...or anything else tied to the situation at this point.

So, you go, you practice with whatever mind YOU have, and the other person, whatever mind HE/SHE has.

You can only control your thoughts and actions...not theirs at this point.

Sure, your actions and intentions may influence theirs, but in the end, you can only be responsible for yours.

AIkido, IMO, does not require each individual to have the exact same set of conditions to have it work or not work...nor should it be, IMO, tied to a set philosophical structure...it is what it is.

We get too attached to meaning of things, not only in aikido, but also in daily life.

Heck driving in DC traffic this morning, I caught myself getting too attached to the space that I think is mine in front of me and someone else thinks is theirs!

In the end, it doesn't matter, what matters is how I choose to control my own actions, thoughts, and emotions.

Ikkyo is ikyyo...it is physical and there can be many outcomes...it is what it is....and not what someone else thinks it should be.

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Old 04-30-2010, 07:41 AM   #18
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Alberto, I have thought a bit on how to respond to your post...I'm not sure whether it will help or not.

1) I personally would not think of taking strikes (atemi) out of aikido

2) I personally think an unusual type of body conditioning and movement is what the waza in aikido should be based around (I dont have much of that after years of training)

3) Do some research and training in serveral teachers/dojo in your area. You may find one seems to fit closer to your goals than others.

4) If there are members in your club that are able to make the waza work without brutilizing you, speak with them about this subject. They can most likely best answer you in the context of where you currently train.

I hope you find a way to continue training without dealing with the "resistence" you are currently facing. But in one sense...that "resistence" **is** the training...right?

Best,
Ron (frankly, I would ignore people who cast aspertions on you based on their own incompetence, but hey, that's just me. As long as you keep an open mind without letting your brains fall out .)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:10 AM   #19
lbb
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
I love aikido.
I want to learn it. But I want the real thing.
No, you want what you want. Whether that is the "real thing" is another matter. You may choose to join the loud, raucous and (in my opinion) utterly pointless debates about what the 'real thing" is. You may stubbornly cling to the idea that you know what the "real thing" is and that everyone else is wrong...again, IMO, kind of pointless. You may shrug and say, "I don't know (or care) if it's the 'real thing' or not, but I know what I want," and that's fine too -- but as a beginner, holding this attitude is trying to pour tea into a full cup. In any case, if you're quite sure that you know what you want, then go find it. It may not be in your current dojo, it may not be in aikido at all. That's fine. Walk away. Just remember that just because you've decided you want a hammer, that doesn't make a saw a useless tool.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:28 AM   #20
chillzATL
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

This place is like freakin bizzaro world all of a sudden. Everyone is rushing to tell this guy to "keep searching" so that he can find a dojo that's going to let someone who can't do the techniques safely and effectively against soft, squishy, uke, go full out with lots of resistance and aliveness™!

I'm a long time proponent of hard, resistive and realistic training, but for a guy at his experience level? c'mon. The dojo he's at may never be able to give him the level of training he's ultimately looking for, but I don't think it's wrong at all to say that he's not ready for that yet anyway. Again, that's how people get hurt.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:36 AM   #21
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Personally, I think that Alberto represents the typical student who approaches Aikido after having already developed a solid foundation in another fighting style that does not use collusion as a training method.

I don't think it's a matter of him having a full cup per se, it is a matter of being realistic in ones expectations of the outcome of a particular practice method. He is looking for a training paradigm that teaches the core principles of Aikido while preserving the direct functionality of the techniques, tactics and strategies being taught.

There is nothing wrong with this unless there is a disconnect between the core principles and the direct functionality (i.e. application) of what he is being taught. I love it when boxers and strikers enter my dojo because often they can be counted on to not give away their centre and also strike on target. This challenges me to function at a certain level. It means that I must bring my understanding of Aikido principles to apply to these conditions of training which are not based on a collusive agreement.

Alberto needs to find a dojo that suits his needs or at a minimum a group from his dojo with common goals who are willing to train together to meet those needs.

I've had students who left our Shodokan dojo to move to other countries and have just stopped training because there was no Shodokan around and no other style gave them what they got from our training. More reason for us to expand our scope of influence I guess.

Just some thoughts.

LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 04-30-2010 at 08:39 AM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:13 AM   #22
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

I'm with you Larry. These students present a unique challenge. How to safely accomplish what they request, stepping up our own levels, while not watering down theirs.

Best,
Ron (empty your cup platitudes sound great...and sometimes are spot on...but I'm not yet convinced of that in this case)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:28 AM   #23
Dazzler
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Personally, I think that Alberto represents the typical student who approaches Aikido after having already developed a solid foundation in another fighting style that does not use collusion as a training method.

I don't think it's a matter of him having a full cup per se, it is a matter of being realistic in ones expectations of the outcome of a particular practice method. He is looking for a training paradigm that teaches the core principles of Aikido while preserving the direct functionality of the techniques, tactics and strategies being taught.
Aren't we all looking for core principles of aikido?

Assuming that we all try to to teach Aikido to the best of our abilities...generous I know but thats just me....what I object to is the failure to give sufficient credit to the training method deployed ...whatever the style ...in such a short period of time.

This is despite the fact that the OP does acknowledge that there are skilled people in the dojo which begs the question 'how did they become skilled' -?

I agree that this is a fairly typical stance for someone with prior knowledge / experience to take on first viewing Aikido ...but even a small effort of reading the posts on this forum should make it clear that there is a wide spectrum of approaches to the art.

I also have boxers, bodybuilders and suchlike in the dojo, guys that can fight very nicely, yet even the most knuckleheaded can see that Aikido offers something in addition to the skills / ability that they already have and as such train quite contentedly alongside others who need to train long and hard for the day when they defeat a wet paper bag.

Everyone brings something to the party, and just a little patience may be needed before the candles are blown out and the gifts reveal themselves.

Regards

D
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:37 AM   #24
Dazzler
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
...(empty your cup platitudes sound great...and sometimes are spot on...but I'm not yet convinced of that in this case)
welll..you could be right of course. Here its all down to how one reads the posts.

Time will tell
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:48 AM   #25
S Ellis
 
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Dojo: ASU of Sarasota
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Re: Criminal Minds On The Dojo?

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
Very wise observation.

One would need to train with intensity and go on failing, and moving like a zombie or a robot on the Dojo, hoping one day the veil on his/her eyes lifts, and you realize you can master and switch the techniques while you're inside the tempest. _Then_ you can see the spirit.

And yet one doesn't seek the intensity for the intensity's sake - one looks for it in order to crack the bark we have around and attain a level of awareness within that tempest that is a reward suitable to be lent, once attained, to any other field in life.

Only the sensei and 2 black belts have no problems with me as Uke. All the others can't do one single technique right on me - I don't actively resist in the least! i simply avoid accommodating (ie, I don't actively follow, and I don't fall if you don't actually ground me) the technique: it is truly puzzling seeing all that many black belts that, as soon as they have no more a Uke that falls on purpose, seem no better than any Kyu. Amazing.
There is clearly something broken in the way they trained. And what is broken is: lack of martiality, contempt for the struggle.
Incredible.

ps i start thinking that the lack of competitions may have harmed aikido.
Alberto, have you considered the possibility that many of your senpai may just be releasing as a means of preserving you and your ability to train rather than outright thrashing a newer student? When I first started, not all that long ago, I also was amazed that many experienced people had a hard time with me. I am a big guy and I was able to be strong enough and centered enough that I could throw a wrench into many people's techniques. I was fortunate that the elders in my dojo didn't just begin thrashing me. But instead they gave me time to learn the kata. Not a cursory, "Oh you have done this technique twice now. You must understand everything about it." But instead they gave me time to develop, watched my tests, and began gradually stepping up their game depending on where my game was at the time. After, I had worked and learned a little they would speed up, maybe even add atemi if I did stop them from executing the technique. I can assure you of this, many of your partners are not "grounding" you do to lack of ability on their part. They are not grounding you because they are learning aikido, and simply forcing you to the ground through raw power is not the name of the game. If you think that aikido is about submission, then I suggest you look closer. It may be an art that is about manipulating people into the position that is advantageous for you, but at it's very core aikido is too subtle to be an art that is solely about having the raw power to drag your opponent into a position.

I think about the beginning of my training frequently. I count myself blessed to have so many patient and understanding people that didn't just beat the dog tar out of me for being an upstart. Sure, I could have dished it back with non-aikido physicality (I used to wrestle and play American style football and love "contact"), but that has little to do with learning aikido. I am not suggesting that aikido isn't physical, but I am suggesting that most people are aspiring to have fluidity to their technique and a softness, as well as raw power, that every Shihan that we marvel at has. I understand what you are saying when you talk about martial integrity, but for many people it is spiritual art, and I don't see the point in begrudging them that. There are many people that even if they have the ability that do not want to grind you into the mat. They want you to train and get better. For most people this is a lifetime endeavor. There will be plenty of time to speed up, but I don't think many responsible aikidoka are going to go all out with a person who is new to the art. You might become the greatest practitioner of the art ever to tie a hakama, but right now you are a 6th kyu. Take your time an enjoy the ride. It will get faster and bumpier as it goes along.
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