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Old 01-31-2014, 02:08 AM   #1
Riai Maori
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 91
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Is it really about the journey?

The way I see it, you have two choices when it comes to learning Aikido,,,

One is to surround yourself with great teachers and mentors who have spent time with the greats, even O-Sensei if you are lucky enough to find someone still around that did. You then listen, look, and learn all you possibly can from them, to assist you in your personal Aikido journey and evolution of self. But, whatever you learn and hear from these mentors, you must then use that knowledge to assist you in the journey that you yourself must take in order to gain personal hands-on experience, knowledge and understanding. For this is the most valuable asset that you can ever gain. You yourself must do the hard yards, take the journey yourself, or you are just a tape recorder repeating a story that was told to you by a person of note.

The other option is far easier, and in many cases, far more rewarding and self-satisfying.
You can join an organisation, be very compliant, amiable, never question or challenge, and be totally non-confronting. You can then spend many years doing the same techniques day in and day out, not changing one bit through time, and you will still easily rise through the ranks.

The choice is yours...

If, as they say "It is all about the journey", then I will take the hard road every-time, for there is more to learn and gain from that than an easy ride through life.

Bugger wish I had found this article sooner, cause I've taken the hard road...
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:12 AM   #2
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,794
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Re: Is it really about the journey?

there is a third choice of putting on leotard and join the yoga class and forget about all these aikido nonsense. anyone know if whether we, men, need to shave our legs in order to wear leotard or not?

"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 01-31-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
ramenboy
Dojo: midwest aikido center
Location: chicago
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 328
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Re: Is it really about the journey?

in the begninning, you have to be compliant, amiable, and not question/challenge... you're still learning the basic body movements. that happens in either 'journey' you choose. the great teachers and mentors you surround yourself with, if they are great will pound the basics into you and won't let you move on until they think you're able to. everybody says that's what a 'shodan' is anyways. a serious student.

there are some great articles about the traditional way of passing on the arts.

do a search on 'shu ha ri'

practice hard
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:02 AM   #4
bkedelen
 
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Re: Is it really about the journey?

While I agree that, for me, each day is a series of choices between the right way and the easy way, I want to point out that we should never be too quick to declare that the next guy over is just skating through life. Focusing on how the other guy is screwing up is the perfect red herring for ignoring our own work.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:12 AM   #5
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 973
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Re: Is it really about the journey?

Quote:
Richard Campbell wrote: View Post
The way I see it, you have two choices when it comes to learning Aikido,,,

One is to surround yourself with great teachers and mentors who have spent time with the greats, even O-Sensei if you are lucky enough to find someone still around that did. You then listen, look, and learn all you possibly can from them, to assist you in your personal Aikido journey and evolution of self. But, whatever you learn and hear from these mentors, you must then use that knowledge to assist you in the journey that you yourself must take in order to gain personal hands-on experience, knowledge and understanding. For this is the most valuable asset that you can ever gain. You yourself must do the hard yards, take the journey yourself, or you are just a tape recorder repeating a story that was told to you by a person of note.

The other option is far easier, and in many cases, far more rewarding and self-satisfying.
You can join an organisation, be very compliant, amiable, never question or challenge, and be totally non-confronting. You can then spend many years doing the same techniques day in and day out, not changing one bit through time, and you will still easily rise through the ranks.

The choice is yours...

If, as they say "It is all about the journey", then I will take the hard road every-time, for there is more to learn and gain from that than an easy ride through life.

Bugger wish I had found this article sooner, cause I've taken the hard road...
What if you join an organization and never question or challenge as they require you to spend many years doing different techniques day in and day out, never staying the same one day to the next, forcing you to use all your knowledge to assist you in the journey you yourself must take?

What if you think you know better and challenge them, instead doing the same technique over and over, maintaining all the assumptions you have figured out, never altering from the course you yourself have chosen even when offered something you would like better if you got there?
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:33 AM   #6
jonreading
 
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Re: Is it really about the journey?

To some extent, the "It's about the journey" thing is cliche. I mean, many of our [Western] education processes are not about the journey. If I were to say to my math teacher, "Well, I understand that I failed the test, but math is a journey and I am here to enjoy the journey." I would, of course, be enjoying the journey next year in the same math class. In some respects, many of our education systems are actually only about the end. I think its important to reflect upon the reason why we train and what education goals we set to accomplish. To some extent, I think we use this excuse to absolve ourselves of the responsibility of failure.

I think it is important to surround ourselves with those who are focused on the same goals as we [are]. A dojo should reflect many of our personal goals, our organization should reflect many of our dojo goals. The community in which we train should facilitate the education process.

This becomes an issue when we are not invested in our progress, our dojo is not invested in our progress, our organization is not invested in our progress. In large, I strongly advocate for an independent perspective on education. You have an obligation to assemble the best opportunity for you to learn aikido. Sometimes, key leadership positions fail us in this process. For example, relying upon an instructor who is not invested in your progress. These failures will reflect upon you at some point. I think it is important at the individual level to require your community to be invested in your progress. This is in part why I believe many dojos and organization's are struggling to remain relevant in individual training - they are not invested in the learning process. Or worse, they are stiffling the learning process. Or worse yet, they are corrupting the learning process.

For me, I try to understand that there are obstacles in my path to training, sometimes these obstacles affect my education and I try to remember that I enjoy aikido and sometimes life wins. I believe this perspective allows me to persevere, but still demands that I learn while I train. In another post I wrote about a great message I heard last weekend. To Benjamin's point, one that looks at what we can do to be better, not what other people do differently.

There is only one Journey, and you can buy their greatest hits if you want to learn more.

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Old 01-31-2014, 12:34 PM   #7
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Is it really about the journey?

Once you find your own journey, whatever that may be, your life will become the journey. Until then though, you are just wandering aimlessly about in the ether.

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Old 01-31-2014, 04:23 PM   #8
Riai Maori
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 91
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Smile Re: Is it really about the journey?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
To some extent, the "It's about the journey" thing is cliche. I mean, many of our [Western] education processes are not about the journey. If I were to say to my math teacher, "Well, I understand that I failed the test, but math is a journey and I am here to enjoy the journey." I would, of course, be enjoying the journey next year in the same math class. In some respects, many of our education systems are actually only about the end. I think its important to reflect upon the reason why we train and what education goals we set to accomplish. To some extent, I think we use this excuse to absolve ourselves of the responsibility of failure.

I think it is important to surround ourselves with those who are focused on the same goals as we [are]. A dojo should reflect many of our personal goals, our organization should reflect many of our dojo goals. The community in which we train should facilitate the education process.

This becomes an issue when we are not invested in our progress, our dojo is not invested in our progress, our organization is not invested in our progress. In large, I strongly advocate for an independent perspective on education. You have an obligation to assemble the best opportunity for you to learn aikido. Sometimes, key leadership positions fail us in this process. For example, relying upon an instructor who is not invested in your progress. These failures will reflect upon you at some point. I think it is important at the individual level to require your community to be invested in your progress. This is in part why I believe many dojos and organization's are struggling to remain relevant in individual training - they are not invested in the learning process. Or worse, they are stiffling the learning process. Or worse yet, they are corrupting the learning process.

For me, I try to understand that there are obstacles in my path to training, sometimes these obstacles affect my education and I try to remember that I enjoy aikido and sometimes life wins. I believe this perspective allows me to persevere, but still demands that I learn while I train. In another post I wrote about a great message I heard last weekend. To Benjamin's point, one that looks at what we can do to be better, not what other people do differently.

There is only one Journey, and you can buy their greatest hits if you want to learn more.
Thank you Jon for taking the time out and giving me your opinion on the cliche "its about the journey" I totally agree with you!

I am thankful our Aikido Club here in New Zealand has been active for 30 plus years and our Dojo 20 years, so somebody is doing something correct...I hope.

Last edited by Riai Maori : 01-31-2014 at 04:25 PM. Reason: bad grammer
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:23 PM   #9
RHKarst
Dojo: Joplin MO
Location: Joplin, MO
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Re: Is it really about the journey?

IMHO . . . the journey we are all on is our life. The differences are the means we use to travel and the courses we set. I like to think that Aikido is just a better way to help calm any troubled waters along the way. Whatever you do in class, I hope you are learning to flow more easily through life.

Aikido, for me, has taught me to stop doing many of the things that can make a situation worse. To bring that idea to the training floor . . . if someone throws a punch, move, don't be there. All instinct before was to block, but even a block can cause damage to me. But, if I am not there . . . smoother sailing. Always nice on any Journey. But if you are not 'Feeling That Way', just remember, 'Don't Stop Believin'. It is your life, you can have it 'Any Way You Want It'. :-)
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:46 AM   #10
Riai Maori
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 91
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Smile Re: Is it really about the journey?

Quote:
Randy Karst wrote: View Post
IMHO . . . the journey we are all on is our life. The differences are the means we use to travel and the courses we set. I like to think that Aikido is just a better way to help calm any troubled waters along the way. Whatever you do in class, I hope you are learning to flow more easily through life.

Aikido, for me, has taught me to stop doing many of the things that can make a situation worse. To bring that idea to the training floor . . . if someone throws a punch, move, don't be there. All instinct before was to block, but even a block can cause damage to me. But, if I am not there . . . smoother sailing. Always nice on any Journey. But if you are not 'Feeling That Way', just remember, 'Don't Stop Believin'. It is your life, you can have it 'Any Way You Want It'. :-)
Thank you Randy for the valued opinion. Coming from a Karate back ground, I understand the block and always have my free hand ready to block when Nage, which impedes me with some Aikido techniques. I am learning fast "not to be there". All the best.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:31 PM   #11
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,800
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Re: Is it really about the journey?

"Camp on right at lower end rapid - mile 147 with the last bad one above me -- the Bad Rapid, Lava Cliff -- that I have been looking for nearly a thousand miles.

"I had thought once past there, my reward will begin. But now, everything ahead seems kind of empty and I find I have already had my reward in the doing of the thing: the stars and cliffs and canyons, the roar of the rapids, the moon, the uncertainty, worry, the relief when through each one, the campfires at nite, the real respect and friendship of the river men I met and others...

"I think this river is not treacherous as has been said. Every rapid speaks plainly just what it is and what it will do a person and a boat in its currents waves boils whirlpools and rocks, if only one will read and listen carefully. It demands respect and will punish those who do not treat it properly. Some places it says, go here safely if you do it just this way, and in others it says, do not go here at all with the type of boat you have. But many people will not believe what it says."

The words of Buzz Holmstrom (edited for readability). Buzz Holmstrom was the first person to run the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon solo. He did it in a boat he built himself. No platitudes there. He knew that what mattered was the doing of the thing.
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