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Old 07-11-2013, 09:56 AM   #51
"Survivor"
IP Hash: a14f4c8c
Anonymous User
Re: Rape Survivor and Aikido

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
I haven't added to this thread yet because I was deferring to those with more experience who are better informed than I am. By the way, I think they have all given very good advice. I just thought I would jump in because I didn't get the impression that "Survivor" was rejecting anyone's advice. She strikes me as the taking it on board and carefully considering the options that are available to her.

Now, as for a technique that can help bridge that gap, how about wakigatame. It is a very close technique where you stay in full control of uke. Also, you could try the back stretch where uke holds your wrists and you load them onto your back before leaning forwards. It would take the danger out of Koshinage for uke, while you could slowly desensitise yourself to the sensation. Just a thought.
I am not familiar with wakigatame, could you describe it? The back stretch is a good idea, we don't do those often, and I do also sit out of those, but I think that might be a good thing to work on for now. Thank you!
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:33 AM   #52
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,751
United_States
Online
Re: Rape Survivor and Aikido

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
And I will be testing for ikkyu within the month, and there is a koshinage on the test. I have been using an injury as an excuse to sit out of some techniques, but that is turning into a crutch that I don't feel is healthy.
first, discuss with your sensei of your issue. i am sure he/she would understand and come up with ways to work around your test. if your sensei doesn't, then leave the dojo.

find someone who you trust to work with you, i.e. be uke for you. might be a female first. just do it slowly, snail speed. get into the position, but don't throw. focus on breathing. count in your head if you need to - breath in for 3 counts, hold for 2, out for 3, hold for 2. do that as many times as you need and gradually increase the speed of your movement to get into the position. again, don't throw. just get into position up to the throwing part. once you comfortable with the first person, find another and another.

another thing that you could also try. stand with your eyes open and focus only on your breathing. have someone you trust walk up to you and touch you. your job is to focus on breathing. their job is to touch you and at slow interval at various locations on your body. when you feel tense, tell that person to back off a bit and you focus on breathing to get back to a relax state. once you back to the relax state, ask your friend to begin again. keep doing in that until they can just walk up to you out of the blue and touch you without you change your breathing pattern. once you can do that, then add another person, then another person, until you have a bunch of people touching you without you changing your breathing pattern. the key is you control the situation of how much and how soon, then transition it to an uncontrol situation at the time of your choosing. it's a systema trick.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:27 PM   #53
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
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Re: Rape Survivor and Aikido

Don't forget, you can tell your sensei or a senior student you trust that this is something that makes you tense, that you'd like to gradually improve in a positive way, without needing to give them any explanation or justification for why you feel that way. If they're respectful they'll try to be helpful without prying too much.

They presumably know a lot more techniques and exercises than you, so they may have some ideas that might be helpful.

To be honest if they're observant your sensei or some of your fellow students may already have noticed or suspect that you're uncomfortable with people in your personal space - it may be less of a secret than you think.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:58 PM   #54
heathererandolph
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Dojo: Kokikai Aikido Boston
Location: Boston
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 117
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Re: Rape Survivor and Aikido

To me your development in Aikido seems normal. Most people find some techniques easier, and lose faith in themselves from time to time. it's difficulties that actually advance us, not feeling confident. on the other hand, Aikido shouldn't be totally frustrating either. It is difficult to assess yourself in Aikido, two years is just the very tip of the ice burg. For starters, you might want to ask your Sensei his/her thoughts on what you may need to work on. Mainly Aikido means accepting change. Which is easier said than done. It seems you're particularly hard on yourself, which is a good thing for Aikido development. What I'm saying is, your trauma may not be the main reason you're facing "uneven development". Just a thought. Based on what you said. I think I understand the "giving uke a holiday" comment as a common, if not ubiquitous, part of Aikido practice, especially among beginners, not letting uke be off balance throughout the technique. That's not to say trauma is irrelevant, just that, it's unclear to me how it's impacting you. As long as you continue to work hard in Aikido, you will improve.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:39 PM   #55
robin_jet_alt
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 523
Australia
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Re: Rape Survivor and Aikido

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I am not familiar with wakigatame, could you describe it? The back stretch is a good idea, we don't do those often, and I do also sit out of those, but I think that might be a good thing to work on for now. Thank you!
This is wakigatame. Closer proximity than ikkyo, but not the body to body contact of koshinage.

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Old 07-12-2013, 06:42 AM   #56
Shadowfax
 
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Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
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Re: Rape Survivor and Aikido

Speaking as someone who has come through a similar trauma, I have experienced problems very much like yours. It has taken me some time of following this thread to be able to post a response but I felt like I really needed to do so because I have been there and maybe my experience can help.

The Freezing up. Yeah been there. Still happens sometimes but not as much as it used to. Freeze response is part of the fight/flight instinct. Doing a little research on this will help you to understand better what is happening. When you understand what is happening it gets easier to work through it.

Rest assured that this is normal and it can be overcome. I make part of my living dealing with overcoming fight/flight responses in large prey animals. Desensitization is the key here.

Avoiding the thing that makes you lock up will never help. You are right about that. You need to put yourself into those situations a lot and work through them. The thing about fear is you can't keep running away from it. If you know logically that there is nothing to be afraid of then you can stand up to it and work within it until you get past it. It is uncomfortable unpleasant and very very hard. But you/we have survived worse... right?

In order to do that you need to have the help of your teacher. Telling him/her a bit about your past and explaining what your problems are can be extremely helpful. I also reached a roadblock in my training about two years in because of these issues. At this point I knew my teachers well enough and trusted them enough to tell them (in writing, because I still really could not talk about it) about my past life. It wasn't easy at all but it really helped. It helped them to know how to help me and just sharing the burden with somebody whom I could trust was a tremendous relief.

It is also very useful to talk to someone. If not a professional at least someone that you can trust with your darkest secrets and who is willing to listen with understanding. You don't need pity. You just need someone to hear you and to say that what happened to you is not okay, it is not your fault and that does not mean that you can never be strong or happy again.

Don't avoid what scares you. Look it straight in the teeth and tell it that it can no longer control you. With a little help. You can do this.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:31 AM   #57
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 242
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Re: Rape Survivor and Aikido

As I'm sure you're aware, there really is no way around actually doing the technique, if you want to master it. Why not simply break koshinage into small sections of movement that you perform until a suitable level of comfort is obtained? When you feel comfortable enough with one section, then add another section and so on until the technique can be performed entirely without breaks. I get my students to do this with koshinage quite often. They practice the moment of connection to uke, then the moving of their hips into and below uke's, then the loading of uke across the lower back/hips, and finally the dropping of uke to the floor. Works well for them; perhaps it would be useful for you to do it this way, too. Given your touch aversion, you'll probably want to use as uke the person in your dojo with whom you have the most comfort already. Just my two cents.

Gambatte okudasai!

Jon.

Last edited by Jonathan : 07-12-2013 at 08:33 AM.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:33 PM   #58
"Survivor"
IP Hash: a14f4c8c
Anonymous User
Re: Rape Survivor and Aikido

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
first, discuss with your sensei of your issue. i am sure he/she would understand and come up with ways to work around your test. if your sensei doesn't, then leave the dojo.

find someone who you trust to work with you, i.e. be uke for you. might be a female first. just do it slowly, snail speed. get into the position, but don't throw. focus on breathing. count in your head if you need to - breath in for 3 counts, hold for 2, out for 3, hold for 2. do that as many times as you need and gradually increase the speed of your movement to get into the position. again, don't throw. just get into position up to the throwing part. once you comfortable with the first person, find another and another.

another thing that you could also try. stand with your eyes open and focus only on your breathing. have someone you trust walk up to you and touch you. your job is to focus on breathing. their job is to touch you and at slow interval at various locations on your body. when you feel tense, tell that person to back off a bit and you focus on breathing to get back to a relax state. once you back to the relax state, ask your friend to begin again. keep doing in that until they can just walk up to you out of the blue and touch you without you change your breathing pattern. once you can do that, then add another person, then another person, until you have a bunch of people touching you without you changing your breathing pattern. the key is you control the situation of how much and how soon, then transition it to an uncontrol situation at the time of your choosing. it's a systema trick.
I am sure he would work around it for me for testing, but I would personally feel like I wouldn't deserve the belt if I did a work around for the test.

That idea is probably the most terrifying thing I have ever heard. Thank you, because that sounds like exactly what I am looking for.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:35 PM   #59
"Survivor"
IP Hash: a14f4c8c
Anonymous User
Re: Rape Survivor and Aikido

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Speaking as someone who has come through a similar trauma, I have experienced problems very much like yours. It has taken me some time of following this thread to be able to post a response but I felt like I really needed to do so because I have been there and maybe my experience can help.

The Freezing up. Yeah been there. Still happens sometimes but not as much as it used to. Freeze response is part of the fight/flight instinct. Doing a little research on this will help you to understand better what is happening. When you understand what is happening it gets easier to work through it.

Rest assured that this is normal and it can be overcome. I make part of my living dealing with overcoming fight/flight responses in large prey animals. Desensitization is the key here.

Avoiding the thing that makes you lock up will never help. You are right about that. You need to put yourself into those situations a lot and work through them. The thing about fear is you can't keep running away from it. If you know logically that there is nothing to be afraid of then you can stand up to it and work within it until you get past it. It is uncomfortable unpleasant and very very hard. But you/we have survived worse... right?

In order to do that you need to have the help of your teacher. Telling him/her a bit about your past and explaining what your problems are can be extremely helpful. I also reached a roadblock in my training about two years in because of these issues. At this point I knew my teachers well enough and trusted them enough to tell them (in writing, because I still really could not talk about it) about my past life. It wasn't easy at all but it really helped. It helped them to know how to help me and just sharing the burden with somebody whom I could trust was a tremendous relief.

It is also very useful to talk to someone. If not a professional at least someone that you can trust with your darkest secrets and who is willing to listen with understanding. You don't need pity. You just need someone to hear you and to say that what happened to you is not okay, it is not your fault and that does not mean that you can never be strong or happy again.

Don't avoid what scares you. Look it straight in the teeth and tell it that it can no longer control you. With a little help. You can do this.
Thank you for sharing and for the encouragement.
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