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Old 06-13-2002, 11:44 AM   #1
chadsieger
Dojo: Minh Sensei
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Talking Visualize!

Hello,

Since there are so many different "qualities" that need to be developed to use Aikido effectively in an attack, it has been found necessary to "thread" the larger lessons with smaller ones. For example, the folding of the hakama will not only give you a nicely folded hakama, but will in time also teach you patience, and the value of doing things correctly. Aikido is full of these "hidden treasures." If I knew of a word for this process I would use it.
When we teach Aikido, we try to incorporate every single "quality" that will/should fit into any given endevour. That way, furthur along in a Aikidoka's development, there aren't any "holes" in their skill. Also, it keeps all of the lesson's honest, eventually you can sense if something that should be there is missing. So, no loopholes.
Having said that, here is a great way to bulild a few aspects of your Aikido training. After you have learned a new technique in class, take it home mentally and continually practice the technique in your head (I would also recommend practicing it for real alone). While you are waiting in traffic, on hold, or any other stop along life's daily minutia trail, you have time to reinact the technique in your mind. Do it slowly. Then do is quickly. Practice your mind to "see" the move. Try to find what makes it work, and what would cause it to fail.
Training your mind off the dojo, for the dojo will yeild tremendous benefits down the line. And the lessons learned by doing this?
1. Your body will catch up to your mind better once you have visulaized a move enough, enabling the flow!
2.Eventually you will be able to learn new techniques much faster
3.You can learn to be able to train no matter where you are (a free form randori in your head still has plenty of value)
4.Visualizing attacks will train your mind to "see" attacks, slowing down relative time
Reinacting a tecnique in your head is easy. Practicing always does takes a little bit of commitment. However, I personally find it enjoyable to think about Aikido. You?

Thanks for reading!
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Old 06-13-2002, 09:57 PM   #2
chadsieger
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Talking Clarification

If my post sounded gruff, its probably because, for whatever reason, I elected to write it right after I woke up. So, I wasn't trying to be preachy. I just thought that it helps me, so....


Thanks!



P.S. Yes, I slept in.
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Old 06-13-2002, 10:44 PM   #3
shihonage
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Re: Clarification

Quote:
Originally posted by chadsieger
So, I wasn't trying to be preachy.
You don't need to try, it comes to you naturally :
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Old 06-13-2002, 11:11 PM   #4
chadsieger
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Talking

Mr. Sundeyev,

You obviously don't like me. What good does telling everyone that do?
Now I'm being preachy.

Please discontinue the jabs.

Thanks.
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Old 06-13-2002, 11:17 PM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Nice suggestions. Compliments and appreciation.

If I may add to it, it is important that when you visualize a technique to do it from both the dissociated and finally the associated position. By that I mean to objectively spectate as if watching someone else and you make coaching corrections. Once you have the behavior your want step into it and see from the associated point of view as if you were actually doing the move. Practice it several times.

Next, anchor/associate the movement with an external trigger or attack. See the attack and do the technique. See-Do.

Minimize or eliminate the internal auditory dialogue or description since this tract is so slow.

By practicing a direct see-do association you can minimize the reaction time by patterning in the desired response and automating the awareness-detection-assessemnt-response selection-decision-order mental processing.

Future pace the new reaction by selecting several future context in which the trigger stimuli is present followed by the immediate desired response.

Remember, where ever the head goes the body follows. Lets directly train the mind that tell the body where to go.

Again, compliments and appreciation.

Until again,

Lynn

BTW: did I tell you I am co-authoring a chapter on mental imagery to enhance atheletic performance in a sport psychology text?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-14-2002, 03:54 AM   #6
batemanb
 
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I`ve been doing that for a good few years now, mostly making use of the time spent standing on subway trains (wouldn`t advise it whilst driving). One of the things that I find helps is visualizing it with different uke`s, I "practice" doing techniques with uke`s I know I can do techniques on easily, and with uke`s that I generally struggle with. I also go over real sessions from the dojo, again looking at techniques that worked, and disecting ones that didn`t. I do agree that this is a worthwhile form of study, at least it works for me.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 06-14-2002, 04:10 AM   #7
PeterR
 
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Hey don't knock driving - that activity is very close to Aikido renshu. Focus, both peripheral and direct, wrist and arm movements, anticipation - great training.

On subways (trying real hard not to scare the passengers) I visualize targeting for tsukuri and sen no sen timing.

Of course there is always automatic doors and taisabaki.

Chad lighten-up. Post like you do and you are fair game for a little fun being poked. I've given it and taken it - its all part of our little microcosm. Call it affectionate teasing - didn't you see the .


Quote:
Originally posted by batemanb
I`ve been doing that for a good few years now, mostly making use of the time spent standing on subway trains (wouldn`t advise it whilst driving). One of the things that I find helps is visualizing it with different uke`s, I "practice" doing techniques with uke`s I know I can do techniques on easily, and with uke`s that I generally struggle with. I also go over real sessions from the dojo, again looking at techniques that worked, and disecting ones that didn`t. I do agree that this is a worthwhile form of study, at least it works for me.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-14-2002, 08:59 AM   #8
SeiserL
 
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Another great visualization waza is to execute your technique as if the other person isn't there, just pay attention to your form. Ki follows the path of you intent (mind). If your mind stops at the person, so does your Ki. Extend it.

Until again,

Lynn

(I know, don't seeing something is a negative visualization.)

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-14-2002, 09:27 AM   #9
akiy
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Hey don't knock driving - that activity is very close to Aikido renshu. Focus, both peripheral and direct, wrist and arm movements, anticipation - great training.
My teacher sometimes says that driving is probably the closest thing to "budo" that we have in our regular, everyday lives. It's a skill that we have to hone so that our lives and the lives of others are not being endangered. Also, as Peter points out, there's much to think about in feeling other people's intent and such while driving.
Quote:
On subways (trying real hard not to scare the passengers) I visualize targeting for tsukuri and sen no sen timing.
Especially in some of those Tokyo subways that have some pretty quick turns, trying to stand without holding onto anything is a pretty good centering exercise. (Of course, this is trivial during rush hour.)

-- Jun

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Old 06-14-2002, 09:53 AM   #10
Bruce Baker
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Jabbing, Stabbing, Rhetoric?

Hey Chad,

Let the smacker boy quips go from Alex and the other cartoon characters.

They get their jollys from seeing how worked up you get from their jabs, and empty headed rhetoric.

In case you don't know what a smacker boy is, it has nothing to do with masterbation, but the fact that we used to smack these wise crackers up side the head in the old days before all these child protector laws ... back when, in the late 50s to early 70s.

Anyway, visualization is an excellent tool, but ... and this is the rub ... sooner or later you have to put it away as a practice tool and ... practice.

I have the terribly bad habit of comparing actual practice to visualization, so there is usually a grumble, growl, gruff word, or laugh as I compare the ideal picture to the imperfect techniques during practice. In a way I am criticing myself as I practice, so it sounds like I am talking to myself ... which I am. However, at least there is a picture of where I want to go for the next level as my practice continues.

What is really neat ... sometimes the throws, or pins, move in ultra slow motion as the mind is so far ahead of the physical movements that it does in fact turn into a slow motion picture being played out in real time. It kind of feels like watching the second hand on a clock getting slower and slower, when in fact it is your mind/thought process moving to another level beyond normal time.

Visualize ... good practice.

BUT...

STOP visualizing during practice, let three or four processes take over as you relax, let your thoughts empty to nothingness. You will find you are actually thinking on more than one level.

Physical reality.

Mental awareness.

Mental visualization comparison to actual movement.

Adjustment and control for varying conditions.

There are just a couple of awareness things that will jump up, but it won't happen in a couple of weeks or even months. Relaxation of your mental expectations, letting go stress, maybe even a partially blanking thoughts will allow you to let your body and mind work in harmony instead of trying to make one dominate the other.

Many of these things are abstract, but as time progresses, see if they are not the things that make practice easier?

Thoughts are about the most abstract concept we have, so why not learn to use them as one of many training tools?

Any more thoughts on visualization drills?
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Old 06-14-2002, 10:38 AM   #11
chadsieger
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Talking

Thanks everyone!


I'm glad to hear that many of you also employ visualizing of the techniques in your "off time."

Bruce elaborated on the slowing of relative time. Yes, it will take months (maybe more), but it WILL happpen.

Ms. Seiser's comments about using different vantage points while visualizing the techniques. Pertend you are behind, on the side, ect. It's a wonder how eventually the mind builds a nice little picture of your own body in movement. Soon, you can perform a technique and be able to say, "Gee, I think my left foot came off the ground when it should have been stable. Gee."
Basically, you have better command of your body.

Aren't mind/body one?

I belive that this methodology is not only good for the experience to improve their Aikido, but it might be even more important for someone just starting out. When you learn your first move, visualizing the technique over and over will help you with the basics. Then, later in the dojo, you will be better prepared to hear the important stuff. Plus, you've started visualizing the moves from the begining, now there are only 50,000 more!

Thanks!

I wrote again as soon as I woke so...
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Old 06-14-2002, 12:02 PM   #12
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Visualizations

Interesting thread.

Certainly there is a tendency to get a bit to "mental" about aikido. I agree that "just practicing" is the best form of learning. However, there is also teaching, and it is possible to teach yourself, along with learning from others and just practicing. This is where visualizations can help.

There are many types of visualizations. Some are related to movement. Some are related to thought. Some are related to breathing. However, one commonality that arises is that there is a conscious level of breathing that is observed during all these processes. Simply speaking, it is the breath that unites the mind, and body.

As for specific examples, there is one that I have been using that I will refer to here as, "(SR's) Baseball-Softball-Bowling Ball-Chair-Couch-Building Visualization". This is a progressive visualization process that is done in three levels.

Level 1 - in Seiza
Level 2 - standing, knees bent
Level 3 - with a partner (in the following order of difficulty)
3a (katate dori)
3b (morote dori)
3c (kosa dori)
3d (Ryote dori)

I am not sure how well I can describe it without writing several chapters..., so I will just give the jist of it.

Start off thinking of holding a baseball between your two hands in front of your hara/tanden. Use no power in your hands or fingers, but rather try to press your hands together imagining that you are crushing the ball. Now very slowly, lift the ball from in front of your navel to about eye level. Then return it to the lower position. Never let the line of your arm movement cross off your own center line. Gradually you move to the next item in the list, and so on up the line until you are lifting a building and setting it down. When working with a partner, ask uke to grab you as strongly as they can, and to not let go.

After you have a very food sense of this practice, say several months, there is another level that moves this from visualization to actual technique. Most anyone who practices will naturally find this on their own.

I look forward to hearing from all of you in September as to what the next level is...

Ganbattemasu!

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 06-14-2002 at 12:07 PM.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 06-14-2002, 12:11 PM   #13
ian
 
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I think this is what Ueshiba meant by 'sincerety' - not just doing a technique 'cos that is the way to do it, but investigating the body movement, working out why some things work and some things don't. There are many tools for this, but it depends what tool you need for the job i.e. questioning sensei about technicalities after only a few weeks training is probably inappropriate.

In may training there were ways of doing things I thought were very stupid at the start. - for me they were very stupid 'cos I didn't understand what the 'simulation' was about. The things I used to focus on have dropped away, and now I see these 'stupid things' as the things I need to focus on because I undertand what is being taught.

However, you can't jump stages, you have to reflect on particular aspects of you aikido because these are the things that you need to learn at the time. As they say, the water (learning) fills the vessel (the aspect which you need to learn at the time), and once the fish is caught, the basket is discarded.

Ian
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Old 06-14-2002, 06:50 PM   #14
batemanb
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by akiy

Especially in some of those Tokyo subways that have some pretty quick turns, trying to stand without holding onto anything is a pretty good centering exercise. (Of course, this is trivial during rush hour.)

-- Jun
Even more so then. The test is trying to centre yourself so that when 50 people all fall into you as the train makes the turn, you don`t domino with them

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 06-14-2002, 09:43 PM   #15
PeterR
 
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My turn to preach (oh where is a monk smilie when you need one).

There is a fine line between taking your Aikido seriously (good thing) and taking yourself too seriously.

I would hope that if I cross the line someone would poke me back across (wide opening here).

Anyway as Shaun pointed out Certainly there is a tendency to get a bit to "mental" about aikido. I agree that "just practicing" is the best form of learning. Which is my cue - off for a 5 hour training session.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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