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Old 08-04-2011, 10:59 AM   #51
Location: westminster, cali
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5
Re: When does it begin to make sense?

my advice is to stop thinking about it so much. train hard, find a good uke. thinking can get in the way. my teacher told me, stop thinking so much and just do it, and koshinage turned out much better!
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:51 AM   #52
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 261
Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Do not worry too much about it. If you practice regularly and consistently it will come to you. You will eventually get it. I am a slow learner and was like you that I got frustrated at my early years of training.

You need to realize Aikido is a very difficult art so you shouldn't beat yourself for not learning fast. Some get it easier than others but you are not them. I have experienced phases where I questioned all of it and if it would make sense not to continue since I wasnt getting it. these are the times you just need to have more faith and soldier on. You also need to realize it is a lifelong journey. my greatest learning was that knowledge doesn't come linearly but in quantum steps. You'd just be amazed that one day your lightbulb turned on, that techniques will come naturally but you cant explain how this came to be. Remove all your frustrations and just practice.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:04 AM   #53
Dojo: Aikido of Solano
Location: Vacaville California
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 25
Re: When does it begin to make sense?

How is your training going?! Have you "gotten" your "aha" moment yet?

This was my experience! I was just as you described yourself! In fact maybe a bit worse since we kept having to close and reopen the dojo in different locations. I wasn't even able to "train with O'Sensei" as we say it here. I had none of the clue my friend! We finally opened up a dojo next to one of the senior student's repair shop. I showed up one morning and he let me in to train, and came over to help me when he had some down time.

This is what we did for about an hour. He simply attacked me over and over, with traditional Aikido attacks. All I had to do, was get out of the way of his strikes. Next, I had to maintain Hamni and get out of the way. Then I had to maintain Hamni and tenkan to get away from the strike. No actual techniques. Just get your body moving, and in correct posture and position, and the techniques will come. That was my "aha" moment in Aikido. It was like we turned a key on a lock that morning and unlocked the world of Aikido for me.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:19 PM   #54
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Dave Plaza wrote: View Post

I get frustrated because, I've always been pretty successful at any other physical activity I've partaken in, whether that is football, boxing, etc. I've always been ahead of the pack.
Welcome in the land of nonsense training.
The schools you come from are so vastly superior to the training paradigm that is the most popular in Aikido dojos, that you are going to run a significant risk of never truly coming to terms with this type of training. They will never give to you what you want: reality and impact. And yet you will be fascinated by the idea of matching the beauty of aikido with impact and violence, and you will look for a dojo that does that, and yet you will never find it...

Good luck!

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 01-06-2012 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:47 AM   #55
Dojo: Aikido Terrey Hills
Location: Sydney
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 120
Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Well, they say a watched pot never boils. Maybe a judged koshinage never flips? There's something about just forgetting to think and just doing it for it's own sake that makes me think it inspires quicker progress...

Ha, maybe that's why I've yet to find it too!

The world changes when you do.
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:34 PM   #56
TheAikidoka's Avatar
Dojo: Tenshinkan Dojo UK - mid sussex martial arts school
Location: Brighton
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 127
Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Hi David,
For me its when you no longer feel the need to ask the question.

Forgive me if this sounds a little contrary. But it is an honest answer.

In Budo

Andy B
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:28 AM   #57
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 261
Re: When does it begin to make sense?

It will begin to make sense if you understand that techniques don't work but principles do

A principle starts as a theory (your own) and if you test it, it sometimes will work, most of the times not.

Then you'll discover more and more theories, some successful ones, mostly failed ones. Then more and more principles. There's no end to the cycle of searching, trying, succeeding and failing.

You'll then somewhat observe that a technique is just an amalgamation of principles put together. And every technique is similar but not the same. Over time, by being aware, decades of repetition and experimentation, incorporating the successful principles while rejecting the failed ones in our techniques WE become the principles.

This is my theory anyway
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:16 AM   #58
dalen7's Avatar
Dojo: Karcag Aikido Club
Location: Karcag
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 750
Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Dave Plaza wrote: View Post

My question is, is there a point when something will click, like some big "aha" moment and everything will start to make sense, or is it more of a gradual feeling that things are becoming more cohesive. As it stands I feel like I'm at square one.

First, after having a hiatus of approx. a year and a half of not posting, I would like to say 'hello' to everyone here at Aikiweb.

Dave, your question, though a bit older, will serve as a good reintroduction post for me, as it is one of the main reasons I took the rather lengthy break that I did from Aikido.

- The first point that things started to click was after the first six months.
Keep in mind I had to watch, as I could not speak the local language of Hungarian to gain clarification.
This however, pushed me into really searching and 'trying' things to see what worked.

- Second point where things became evident as to what worked, and why things either did or did not work, was when I received the rank of 3rd Kyu.
[I, somewhat regrettably, left right before being able to test for 2nd Kyu.]

At 3rd Kyu we were tasked with going to other martial arts and 'watching' to see the differences.
For me I wanted to 'feel' the difference, so I took up Thai Boxing/Grappling while still training in Aikido.

As I am sure I posted I was able to pull off Kotegaishi, in a very unorthodox position on the ground, which surprised some of the folks there - but mind you they were not necessarily formidable opponents on the ground, as this was primarily a Thai Boxing class.
[side note: I did get the daylights half knocked out of me by a guy who weighed about 25kilos heavier than me - was not pretty.]

The above is not meant to suggest that what I did would always work, but it does go to further that point that many who have mixed arts with Aikido realized - the first time with a given technique against a trained opponent you may have a chance... after they know whats up your chances go down, and its best that you have a full rounded program. [I would say BJJ, Aikido, and Judo are really parts of one body, and while some seem close to whole unto themselves, are not quite whole, and each party could benefit from knowing skills of the other.]

When going back to Aikido training I was quite disappointed with the fact that I clearly saw what was happening... which was with no true resistance as with BJJ, you end up having 'many masters' and 'many methods' of implementing a technique... most of which are inaffective due to the very nature of missing why the techniques work to begin with. [ie., my kotegaeshi came from a position that you would never see in Aikido, on the ground, yet it was a clear knowledge of why the technique worked, that allowed me to execute the technique.]

In this time period I had been approached by several lower kyu ranks to train them, which I obligingly did so on the side, and of which they all were able to take their exam and passed with no issues.
[These same folks, who stayed, have since moved on nicely in rank.]

This, along with the current air of training, led me to just stop Aikido altogether.
I only picked it up again at the beginning of this year as to get some exercise again.
[Having dropped Thai Boxing, was not keen on being thrown in with people a good deal higher in weight than myself. Things operate a bit differently in this country, not necessarily the most safe methods are taken.]

I now have the advantage that things have become more stream-lined in my dojo - yet Im under no illusion that things are different in regards to Aikido vs. another art, etc.

Aikido is what it is. Without any other training one should never labour under the delusion that their skills will work in a practical manner, unless against an untrained person... or for bullying purposes.
[G-d forbid]

This may turn some on edge, but I will say the same about Tae Kwondo, etc.
[In Thai Boxing, while standing there for conditioning as someone kicks their right leg against your weak leg, it hurts worse than you can dream of... yet in motion legs were very easy to catch, and had it been on the mat at the time, they would have been thrown down easy enough.]

Aikido is a beautiful art, very aesthetic once the individual realizes that is what it is supposed to be and then blends.

For the person who wishes to compete, even if just to improve their own reflexes, etc., will find that Aikido is a very nice supplement, that should not be overlooked, with their BJJ training, etc.

So, at what level does it click?
Well, given the nature of how Aikido is taught, it can take about six months to feel comfortable.
Then if you look at it as something it is not, it can take a life time of thought... though I will say that the one thing Aikido provided for me over the years, as well as others here I know, is deep introspection into ones own life and dealings with life.

Aikido is as deep as you want it to be, and has many facets to it - which can be fully enjoyed when not feeling the need to make it into something it is not, or more accurately just allowing the experience to be what it is at the time.

Again, good to be back...



Last edited by dalen7 : 01-11-2012 at 06:23 AM.

dAlen [day•lynn]
dum spiro spero - {While I have breathe - I have hope}


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Old 01-15-2012, 02:46 PM   #59
Dave Plaza
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 33
Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Hey there folks!

Thanks for all the replies. I was about 5 months into my training when I first posted this question, in a month or so time I will be 2 years in. Have I had that aha moment yet??? Not really, no... But I can feel it coming if that makes sense.

What I gathered from everybody's comments is that you've just got to stop worrying about the learning process, and that's exactly what I did. I reminded myself that I went to training because I love it, not for a higher grade... I mean, sure I want to become better, but that's kind of secondary to just being there and enjoying it

So where am I now? Well, even though my techniques are kind of rough around the edges, some of the main changes that I've noticed are...

I can now watch Sensei demonstrate, and pick out the finer details (not saying I can do it, but at least now I can see it).

I feel and know, that whilst performing a lot of techniques I don't turn enough, that is, if you are suppose to go 180 round, i'll only do 140 (if that makes sense).

When a strong non-aikido muscle guy grabs me, they feel week... It's like I can absorb their power... In fact this was probably a little aha moment for me. A guy grabbed my arm in work the other day (just kidding around), I immediately felt my arm relax and absorb the grab, and he just let go of me with a kind of "what did you just do" look on his face, I didn't actually do anything

So nearly 2 years in, yes there has been moments that I wanted to quit it... Mostly brought on by me judging myself. I'm so gald that I've stuck with it. My New Years resolution was to train more

Have a good year everyone... See you on the mat.

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