Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-10-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
GMaroda
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 137
United_States
Offline
Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

So, my wife and I went recreational kayaking on the Allegheny River for the first time. It was part of a beginner paddle lesson with Venture Outdoors and Kayak Pittsburgh with a nice group of people. We went from their North Shore location under the Roberto Clemente Bridge up to Herr's Island (I don't care if everyone calls it Washington's Landing these days. It might be gentrified but it'll always be the landfill industrial site my dad worked at to me!) And it was nice.

And it was a lot like Aikido. Move from the hips. Don't have a death grip on the paddle. Maintain a good structure. And like aikido, you can't fight your partner. The river will always win. Even a placid partner like the Allegheny.

Sitting near the water. Dealing with the wake of motor craft. The reflection of sunlight on the water. The sound of traffic over the bridges. Left. Right. Left. Right. No, too far to that side. Adjust. Try again. Once in awhile I could even get a nice rhythm going and just zone out. Feel the body move. Feel the river. It's all the same. Connect.

Nobody told me it was Aikido.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
gregstec
Dojo: Aiki Kurabu
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,110
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Greg Maroda wrote: View Post
So, my wife and I went recreational kayaking on the Allegheny River for the first time. It was part of a beginner paddle lesson with Venture Outdoors and Kayak Pittsburgh with a nice group of people. We went from their North Shore location under the Roberto Clemente Bridge up to Herr's Island (I don't care if everyone calls it Washington's Landing these days. It might be gentrified but it'll always be the landfill industrial site my dad worked at to me!) And it was nice.

And it was a lot like Aikido. Move from the hips. Don't have a death grip on the paddle. Maintain a good structure. And like aikido, you can't fight your partner. The river will always win. Even a placid partner like the Allegheny.

Sitting near the water. Dealing with the wake of motor craft. The reflection of sunlight on the water. The sound of traffic over the bridges. Left. Right. Left. Right. No, too far to that side. Adjust. Try again. Once in awhile I could even get a nice rhythm going and just zone out. Feel the body move. Feel the river. It's all the same. Connect.

Nobody told me it was Aikido.
I bought a "Yak' a few weeks ago to use on my boat down on the Chesapeake bay - it is good for staying centered and keeping your weight down - however, I believe you want to keep your hips straight and move your torso from the waist - also, it is good for getting a spiral going across the body from the feet up to the cross body arm - this is good for aiki as well

Greg
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 12:40 PM   #3
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,779
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

It isn't aikido. It's paddling. People were paddling kayaks long before anything called "aikido" existed, and what the two have in common existed long before either of them.

Paddling can also be a good activity to teach you about realness. As in: you got yourself out here, you are going to have to get yourself back. Or: you need to decide quickly whether your skills are up to this. Or: this is it, no do-over, get it right or die. It depends on how and where you paddle, though.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 12:58 PM   #4
grondahl
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
Location: Stockholm
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 550
Sweden
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
I bought a "Yak' a few weeks ago to use on my boat down on the Chesapeake bay - it is good for staying centered and keeping your weight down - however, I believe you want to keep your hips straight and move your torso from the waist - also, it is good for getting a spiral going across the body from the feet up to the cross body arm - this is good for aiki as well

Greg
In a kayak made for flatwater training/racing you use a push/pull motion that originates from the feet (actually this is more or less true for most kayaks but in ex white water kayaks or sea kayaks you cant push as much since your use your knees to brace the kayak so that you can do rolls, tilt the kayak etc) and it creates a rather powerful turning of the hips. Many paddlers actually uses a swivel seat that makes the hip turn more energy effecient.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 01:08 PM   #5
gregstec
Dojo: Aiki Kurabu
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,110
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
In a kayak made for flatwater training/racing you use a push/pull motion that originates from the feet (actually this is more or less true for most kayaks but in ex white water kayaks or sea kayaks you cant push as much since your use your knees to brace the kayak so that you can do rolls, tilt the kayak etc) and it creates a rather powerful turning of the hips. Many paddlers actually uses a swivel seat that makes the hip turn more energy effecient.
Well, I am flatwater, so that is cool - as far as the hips, I understand what you are saying for that type of 'yaking', but for the typo of aiki development we train in, hips are not a source of power, but legs, kua, and torso are

Greg
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 01:18 PM   #6
grondahl
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
Location: Stockholm
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 550
Sweden
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Well, I am flatwater, so that is cool - as far as the hips, I understand what you are saying for that type of 'yaking', but for the typo of aiki development we train in, hips are not a source of power, but legs, kua, and torso are

Greg
Since kayaking != aikido it´s understandable that there is differences.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
Garth
Location: NYC
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 92
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
It isn't aikido. It's paddling. People were paddling kayaks long before anything called "aikido" existed, and what the two have in common existed long before either of them.

Paddling can also be a good activity to teach you about realness. As in: you got yourself out here, you are going to have to get yourself back. Or: you need to decide quickly whether your skills are up to this. Or: this is it, no do-over, get it right or die. It depends on how and where you paddle, though.
Mary you said a mouth full, first time he took in the ocean
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	art-Cape-Cod-Shark-620x349.jpg
Views:	33
Size:	55.0 KB
ID:	1037  

A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your effort. That which is on the day of laughter is also now.
Ramana Maharishi
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
GMaroda
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 137
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
I bought a "Yak' a few weeks ago to use on my boat down on the Chesapeake bay - it is good for staying centered and keeping your weight down - however, I believe you want to keep your hips straight and move your torso from the waist - also, it is good for getting a spiral going across the body from the feet up to the cross body arm - this is good for aiki as well

Greg
Well, the hips aren't literally going to shoot out while sitting there, but that's how it was described to me. I did find that having the intent of putting the "moving" from the "forward" hip gave me the proper rotation. The seat didn't move (hey, it was a cheap flatwater recreational rental!) but having the same idea kept me focusing on rotating properly and not working from the arms alone.

And to Mary, I can't possibley disagree with your first statement more. It is paddling. It is aikido. If you want it to be. I don't think of aikido as a set of motions but a way of looking at things (including sets of motions.)

I do agree with your statement about "realness" though.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 07:01 AM   #9
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,779
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Greg Maroda wrote: View Post
And to Mary, I can't possibley disagree with your first statement more. It is paddling. It is aikido. If you want it to be. I don't think of aikido as a set of motions but a way of looking at things (including sets of motions.)
I understand. Aikido is giving you a language to describe phenomena that existed before and independent of aikido, or a framework or set of metaphors for understanding them. The lens through which you view the thing isn't the thing itself, though. The lens is not aikido, and it isn't paddling either. It's just that through practicing aikido, it seems many people discover the lens -- a way of looking at things or experiencing the world that they hadn't previously. Then, when they start to have similar experiences in other activities, many of these people conclude that these other activities must also be "aikido", because that's where they discovered the lens. I think that's flawed reasoning -- demonstrably, because people learn this way of seeing without ever having contact with aikido.

I'm not trying to put down your experience. I'm just reacting to the way that some enthusiastic aikidoka seem to want to co-opt everything that is good and useful in the world and re-label it as "aikido". Isn't that disrespectful of all these other things? I live in a whitewater town; I've known many dedicated paddlers with international reputations, and almost none of them have ever been near a dojo. Instead, they've been on the river, in all seasons and stages, learning a thing that can also be found in a dojo -- but that did not come from a dojo. That's the important distinction IMO.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 07:16 AM   #10
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 612
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I'm not trying to put down your experience. I'm just reacting to the way that some enthusiastic aikidoka seem to want to co-opt everything that is good and useful in the world and re-label it as "aikido". Isn't that disrespectful of all these other things?.
Yes, it is profoundly disrespectful of all these other things.

And I would hasten to add that privileging the internal norms and doctrines of the art/group/teacher over external reality and systematically constructing and defining external reality in terms of those internal norms is a common pattern in Japanese culture that those engaging in Japanese cultural practices would do well to examine critically. (Which is not to say that the pattern isn't found in other cultures, east and west, simply that it isn't so clearly present or normative as in Japanese culture.)

FL

  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 08:07 AM   #11
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,164
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Yes, it is profoundly disrespectful of all these other things.

And I would hasten to add that privileging the internal norms and doctrines of the art/group/teacher over external reality and systematically constructing and defining external reality in terms of those internal norms is a common pattern in Japanese culture that those engaging in Japanese cultural practices would do well to examine critically. (Which is not to say that the pattern isn't found in other cultures, east and west, simply that it isn't so clearly present or normative as in Japanese culture.)

FL
Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I understand. Aikido is giving you a language to describe phenomena that existed before and independent of aikido, or a framework or set of metaphors for understanding them. The lens through which you view the thing isn't the thing itself, though. The lens is not aikido, and it isn't paddling either. It's just that through practicing aikido, it seems many people discover the lens -- a way of looking at things or experiencing the world that they hadn't previously. Then, when they start to have similar experiences in other activities, many of these people conclude that these other activities must also be "aikido", because that's where they discovered the lens. I think that's flawed reasoning -- demonstrably, because people learn this way of seeing without ever having contact with aikido.

I'm not trying to put down your experience. I'm just reacting to the way that some enthusiastic aikidoka seem to want to co-opt everything that is good and useful in the world and re-label it as "aikido". Isn't that disrespectful of all these other things? I live in a whitewater town; I've known many dedicated paddlers with international reputations, and almost none of them have ever been near a dojo. Instead, they've been on the river, in all seasons and stages, learning a thing that can also be found in a dojo -- but that did not come from a dojo. That's the important distinction IMO.
Do you mean there are people who have found peace and harmony in their lives and think ki is something you use to open a lock and 'IS" means a "3rd person singular present indicative of be" (with the exception of Bill Clinton). And these same people have learned to use their body's mechanical and organic structures in efficient ways without having been to an Aikido dojo or to a Mike Sigman or Dan Harden Seminar!!!

OMG what is matter with these people

dps

Last edited by dps : 07-12-2012 at 08:09 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 11:27 AM   #12
Walter Martindale
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 657
Canada
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Do you mean there are people who have found peace and harmony in their lives and think ki is something you use to open a lock and 'IS" means a "3rd person singular present indicative of be" (with the exception of Bill Clinton). And these same people have learned to use their body's mechanical and organic structures in efficient ways without having been to an Aikido dojo or to a Mike Sigman or Dan Harden Seminar!!!

OMG what is matter with these people

dps
Yeah. I cite a lot of rowing examples and aiki folks poo-poo it because it ain't aiki. But.. when I was still in Judo and hadn't done any rowing, I got owned by a rower who knew NOTHING about judo (we were practicing judo). When I went back to judo after a season in the varsity 8+, I OWNED the guy who'd been my sempai. He'd fly in for an attack and bounce off. It was 1981 and I don't know if "IS" had been coined yet.... Sitting in a racing shell, flowing and working with others moving at full pace while balancing a round-bottomed boat through the environment... Getting into a single and making it "set up" - getting "into" the movement and flowing so well that you forget yourself until.. oops - rowed right off the end of the course and stuck in the reeds...
Start Aikido and have the shihan immediately paying extra attention and having you demonstrate skills while still a gokyu. No "IS" mentioned, but people bounce off... I'd like to see a lot of Aiki people try to balance a K1 or a "single" - and get a workout...
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 10:09 PM   #13
GMaroda
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 137
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

There exists in language the concept of metaphor. It is a figure of speech in which one thing is refered to as another dissimilar thing in order to make a suggestion of similarty of some aspect/s of said things.

Figures of speech can be difficult for some people to grasp, but they are fundamental to how humans experience the world. This can cause some issues when someone confuses metaphor for reality. Such as when someone explains to another their metaphor is invalid because it is not literal. This is a silly thing to do since metaphors are never one for one comparisons. At some point every metaphor breaks down.

However, within their bounds metaphors and other figures of speech provide a very useful way of making sense of the world.

People who belittle others and then deny doing so have no place in mine.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2012, 07:15 AM   #14
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 612
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Enjoy the kayaking for what it is; if describing it in metaphor, please choose one as lively as the Chatahoochee in spring.

All the best,

FL

  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2012, 07:26 AM   #15
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

My personal thoughts ...

Morihei Ueshiba described Daito ryu aiki in terms of, well, some pretty convoluted spiritual ideological concepts. He also used misogi. He used kami, both in regards to entities and fire/water. He used farming.

The underlying principle, though, was that aiki changed his body and everything he did, he did with aiki.

Now, if someone is training Ueshiba's aiki, aka Takeda's aiki, then, whatever they are doing "can" be applied to everyday living. I say "can" because there is a major difference between Ueshiba's farming and everyone else's farming. That difference is aiki. Just because you're a farmer and you've figured out a way to farm that uses little energy and you can toss bales of hay all day long does not equate to having aiki.

Does kayaking? I have no idea. Never been kayaking. Could it? I suppose so. Depends on the person and if they're training aiki.

Switching subjects to Modern Aikido ... it's pretty much been defined as everything to everyone. If we entertain notions that what Graham is doing is aikido, then we *must* accept that kayaking can be aikido. After all, we hear constantly how we must find ways to make aikido in everyday living. How we must find ways to train to relax shoulders, move with hips, don't fight energy coming in, etc. As a metaphor, I would guess kayaking serves that purpose very well.

IMO,
Mark
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2012, 08:54 AM   #16
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 847
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
My personal thoughts ...

Morihei Ueshiba described Daito ryu aiki in terms of, well, some pretty convoluted spiritual ideological concepts. He also used misogi. He used kami, both in regards to entities and fire/water. He used farming.

The underlying principle, though, was that aiki changed his body and everything he did, he did with aiki.

Now, if someone is training Ueshiba's aiki, aka Takeda's aiki, then, whatever they are doing "can" be applied to everyday living. I say "can" because there is a major difference between Ueshiba's farming and everyone else's farming. That difference is aiki. Just because you're a farmer and you've figured out a way to farm that uses little energy and you can toss bales of hay all day long does not equate to having aiki.

Does kayaking? I have no idea. Never been kayaking. Could it? I suppose so. Depends on the person and if they're training aiki.

Switching subjects to Modern Aikido ... it's pretty much been defined as everything to everyone. If we entertain notions that what Graham is doing is aikido, then we *must* accept that kayaking can be aikido. After all, we hear constantly how we must find ways to make aikido in everyday living. How we must find ways to train to relax shoulders, move with hips, don't fight energy coming in, etc. As a metaphor, I would guess kayaking serves that purpose very well.

IMO,
Mark
and at the same time, it seems that Ueshiba was comfortable recognizing pieces and parts of the conditioning and movement that made up his aiki as such even when it may not have been as complete as what he was doing. See Tohei, Shioda, other students, Noh dancers and various other accounts of him calling things aikido that weren't aikido as we know it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 01:40 AM   #17
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Sweden
Offline
Re: Aikido and the Art of Kayaking

Quote:
Greg Maroda wrote: View Post
So, my wife and I went recreational kayaking on the Allegheny River for the first time. It was part of a beginner paddle lesson with Venture Outdoors and Kayak Pittsburgh with a nice group of people. We went from their North Shore location under the Roberto Clemente Bridge up to Herr's Island (I don't care if everyone calls it Washington's Landing these days. It might be gentrified but it'll always be the landfill industrial site my dad worked at to me!) And it was nice.

And it was a lot like Aikido. Move from the hips. Don't have a death grip on the paddle. Maintain a good structure. And like aikido, you can't fight your partner. The river will always win. Even a placid partner like the Allegheny.

Sitting near the water. Dealing with the wake of motor craft. The reflection of sunlight on the water. The sound of traffic over the bridges. Left. Right. Left. Right. No, too far to that side. Adjust. Try again. Once in awhile I could even get a nice rhythm going and just zone out. Feel the body move. Feel the river. It's all the same. Connect.

Nobody told me it was Aikido.
I think I understand what you are saying. When I learned a little kayaking I had so much use of what I had learned in aikido - it was amazing.

Of course, if I had continued with kayaking I had sooner or later found areas where my aikido-derived body habits were detrimental for efficient paddling.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:20 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate