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Old 01-23-2014, 08:21 PM   #1
JoelLM
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I just want to talk.

Hi, how's everyone doing?

So, I'll confess, I'm a little board, I've been searching this forum on different topics on Aikido and I've managed to answer a lot of questions. I've started to jump from topic to topic and most of these are a year or so old, I want a little interactions. I figured this will give you guys the opertunity to get to know me and alow me to get to know you guys, seem fair?

Of course we will keep this on Aikido, so ill ask a few questions, maybe we can drum up a little conversation. What skills and techniques do you think is most important for a new student to master?

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see new students make? How would you address these problems? What are the biggest waist of times, if any?

If you had two months to give someone a good foundation, what techniques would you focuse on? Why?

What was one of the most valuable skills you learned doing aikido?

I think its fair to say anyone who has interest in aikido knows who Morihei Ueshiba is and who his students are. Who do you think is having a powerful impact in the Aikido world in the last few years? Who are some new up and coming greats?

Okay well, I think this is a good starting point? Feel free to post your own question. Lets get this discussion rolling.

Last edited by JoelLM : 01-23-2014 at 08:31 PM. Reason: Fixing errors
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:12 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: I just want to talk.

Hi, Joel, and welcome.
My suggestion would be for you to create separate "threads", each one with the subject of yoyr question
Otherwise this thread will become an unmanagable babble!!!

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:49 PM   #3
JoelLM
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Re: I just want to talk.

That could be, most of these questions are almost directly related to one another with the exception of the last question. I'm hoping that anyone who chooses to get involved in this discussion can keep it relevent. I've only take a few aikido classes, the questions iv asked are question I hope will help me get a better understanding of the training aspect of aikido and where people struggled, excelled. Furthermore, the answers to these questions should directly reflect ones own experience, I dont forsee them being too controversia(I don't think it's appropriate for someone to tell how you experience something but they are more then welcome to compare their own experience with yours), if for some reason the topic at hand becomes controversial, present your argument and move on.

I really hope this thread doesn't become unmanageable, but I really don't want to creat a new thread for each an every one of my questions especially when I feel that they relate to one another. Maybe I can count on you Janet to help me keep this thread in order . Lastly, this is just as much about learning aikido as it is about getting to know the community here at aikiweb.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:53 AM   #4
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
What skills and techniques do you think is most important for a new student to master?:
How to keep your balance and recognizing when your oppponet is unbalanced or disrupting your opponent's balance.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see new students make?:
Expectations set too high, not spending enough time on basics

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
How would you address these problems?:
Practice basics over and over and over again, ad infinitum.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
What are the biggest waist of times, if any?:
Large seminars taught by elite professionals who do it for the money.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
If you had two months to give someone a good foundation, what techniques would you focuse on? Why?:
Unsoku, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWvkQcpGywA
Aiki-Taiso, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B2PMwdD2cc
Basics.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
What was one of the most valuable skills you learned doing aikido?
:
Balance Joel-san, in Aikido and in life.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
Who do you think is having a powerful impact in the Aikido world in the last few years? Who are some new up and coming greats? :
Each individual who practices Aikdo are the ones that have the most powerful impact and and are the greats of Aikido.

Last edited by dps : 01-24-2014 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:56 AM   #5
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
Hi, how's everyone doing?

Of course we will keep this on Aikido, so ill ask a few questions, maybe we can drum up a little conversation. What skills and techniques do you think is most important for a new student to master?
...
If you had two months to give someone a good foundation, what techniques would you focuse on? Why?
I think aikido takes quite a bit of time to learn. The first two months is just the start of this long journey. In my experience, learning aikido is a gradual process. There will always be things to be improved. Don't expect to "master" anything in the first two months.

I think the most important skills to learn at the start is basic movement and falling / rolling. I think many dojo's do movement drills at the start of a class (before practising techniques). You can do many of those movement drills at home.

You probably won't have much say in which techniques are practised in a class, but in my experience the instructor will let new students practise the more basic techniques anyway, so just try to practise what the instructor is teaching.

Also, you can learn a lot from training partners. Just try to listen and learn from everybody. I think this is more important than focusing on particular techniques.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:40 AM   #6
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
What skills and techniques do you think is most important for a new student to master?
This might seem like an obvious point of interest and concern for a new student, but I think this is putting the cart before the horse. Mastery of even the simplest skill is a long way down the road. A new student should not be concerning him/herself with "mastering" anything, but should simply train. "Yes, yes, but what should I be focusing on, what's most important?" Everything. Eat what's put before you, and don't concern yourself with what bits are "most important" or how fast you can digest it and get on to other material. The things you're learning now ARE the material.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see new students make?
Trying to run before they've learned how to walk, trying to walk before they've learned how to crawl. We all make that one. But the biggest one (and not everyone makes this one) is believing that they "love aikido". It's a bit like believing you love someone that you just met and exchanged greetings with at a cocktail party.

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Joel Martel wrote: View Post
How would you address these problems?
Calm down, chill out, throw out the calendar of days until your first test, don't try to make it all mean something. Just train. It'll all come with time.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
If you had two months to give someone a good foundation, what techniques would you focuse on? Why?
I'd focus on getting this person to understand that this is the wrong approach to take.

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Joel Martel wrote: View Post
What was one of the most valuable skills you learned doing aikido?
To just train. Sorry if that sounds like a platitude. Maybe one day it won't.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:41 AM   #7
JoelLM
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post

Expectations set too high, not spending enough time on basics
Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Practice basics over and over and over again, ad infinitum.
I strongly agree with this, I think a strong foundation is key in any MA. In your experience, do you find that the basics get overlooked or rushed in favor of more complicated techniques in order to keep students interested?
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:52 AM   #8
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Re: I just want to talk.

Yes, by students and those who teach.

dps
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:57 AM   #9
JoelLM
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Re: I just want to talk.

Dave and Mary thank you for contributing to conversation, im curious about one of your answers Mary.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Trying to run before they've learned how to walk, trying to walk before they've learned how to crawl. We all make that one. But the biggest one (and not everyone makes this one) is believing that they "love aikido". It's a bit like believing you love someone that you just met and exchanged greetings with at a cocktail party.
This seems odd to me, is this like joining Aikido for the wrong reasons or people practicing aikido who don't appreciate or understand the principals Aikido was founded on?
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:07 AM   #10
JoelLM
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Yes, by students and those who teach.

dps
Once a student has a basic understanding of the basics, is it posible to practice on their own? Or should you always practice under or with a more advanced practitioner?
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:12 AM   #11
hughrbeyer
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
But the biggest one (and not everyone makes this one) is believing that they "love aikido". It's a bit like believing you love someone that you just met and exchanged greetings with at a cocktail party.
The first day I met her, I looked at my future wife and thought, "I could spend my life with you."

The first time I stepped on the mat, I knew I was home.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:33 AM   #12
Rob Watson
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
What skills and techniques do you think is most important for a new student to master?
Mouth shut, eyes open and mind quiet ... pay strict attention. Everything else come easy after that.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:00 PM   #13
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
The first day I met her, I looked at my future wife and thought, "I could spend my life with you."

The first time I stepped on the mat, I knew I was home.
"I want to spend my life with you" doesn't make sense to me, when you didn't know who "you" was.

"I love aikido" doesn't make sense to me, when you don't know what "aikido" is.

You can love something that you just started doing. You can feel a strong feeling for a person you just met, that's fine too. But saying that you love something/someone you don't yet know makes no sense to me.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:06 PM   #14
Richard Vader
 
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
"I want to spend my life with you" doesn't make sense to me, when you didn't know who "you" was.

"I love aikido" doesn't make sense to me, when you don't know what "aikido" is.

You can love something that you just started doing. You can feel a strong feeling for a person you just met, that's fine too. But saying that you love something/someone you don't yet know makes no sense to me.
Seems to me that different persons interpret the word love differently

Disclaimer: all stated above has the potential of being complete nonsense
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:18 PM   #15
lbb
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
This seems odd to me, is this like joining Aikido for the wrong reasons or people practicing aikido who don't appreciate or understand the principals Aikido was founded on?
How could anybody who just walked in the door appreciate or understand Aikido's founding principles? They could read a sound bite description of "what aikido is/what it's about", they could think they understand it, but that's not understanding aikido. As for joining for the wrong reasons, I think that most people who are still training after five or ten years, are training for different reasons than the reasons that they joined. So, it's not "wrong" exactly, but the reasons why you walk in the door and take up an activity about which you know only superficial things, are almost guaranteed to be different from the reasons why you stay (if you do).
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:49 PM   #16
JoelLM
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
How could anybody who just walked in the door appreciate or understand Aikido's founding principles? They could read a sound bite description of "what aikido is/what it's about", they could think they understand it, but that's not understanding aikido. As for joining for the wrong reasons, I think that most people who are still training after five or ten years, are training for different reasons than the reasons that they joined. So, it's not "wrong" exactly, but the reasons why you walk in the door and take up an activity about which you know only superficial things, are almost guaranteed to be different from the reasons why you stay (if you do).
You are a very philosophical person Mary , I can't say I agree with everything you've stated but you do make some good points.

I want to like Aikido, I am having a hard time falling in love with it, this might be a reason why iv only attended a hand full of classes sporadically. I do want to give Aikido a chance to win me over as stated by meany it's an art that requires a lot of time and dedication before you even begin scratching the surface.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:16 PM   #17
Brian Gillaspie
 
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Re: I just want to talk.

I would recommend dedicating some time, maybe a few weeks, and train consistantly. At that point if you are not enjoying it then I would move on. It's just my opinion but life is to short to spend time pursuing something you don't like. If after a few weeks you are having a good time then stick with it a while and see what happens.

Just don't expect some life changing enlightenment to occur and you'll be ok. I'm not saying that won't happen but don't expect too much out of aikido. After 10 years of training I can aikido has improved my life. Not because of techniques I learned but because it gives me time to do something that makes me happy and I have made some great friends from training.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:19 PM   #18
Janet Rosen
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
I want to like Aikido, I am having a hard time falling in love with it, this might be a reason why iv only attended a hand full of classes sporadically. I do want to give Aikido a chance to win me over as stated by meany it's an art that requires a lot of time and dedication before you even begin scratching the surface.
I had/have no "natural" talent for Aikido or anything movement based, yet from the first class I was hooked - call it "love" or not; there was something there that kept me engaged and coming back, even when classes were frustrating (and, Mary, FWIW, I met my husband on the phone, we moved in together six weeks later...that was 1997... :-) ) .... so I'm intrigued by what you say and have to ask: if you don't actually like Aikido, why do you want to?

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:01 PM   #19
hughrbeyer
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
"I want to spend my life with you" doesn't make sense to me, when you didn't know who "you" was.

"I love aikido" doesn't make sense to me, when you don't know what "aikido" is.
Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point.

Do you not understand this? If not, God bless and carry on... but give those who do some latitude.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:33 PM   #20
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Re: I just want to talk.

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Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point.

Do you not understand this? If not, God bless and carry on... but give those who do some latitude.
Why do you see my opinion as some kind of personal attack? It's not about you. It's not about anyone. How many times have I seen people here observe that the most gung-ho, "in love" newbies are the least likely to still be around in a year? And while we're swapping folk aphorisms, how about "Marry in haste, repent in leisure"? It's very nice for you that you experienced an exception, both with your future wife and with aikido, but it was an exception -- and to my original point, I doubt you'll claim that you knew either your wife or aikido "at first sight".
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:46 PM   #21
hughrbeyer
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Re: I just want to talk.

Stand down, I didn't interpret anything you said as a personal attack, and nothing I said was meant as a personal defense.

My only point is that your experience, as I'm sure you know in your head though perhaps not in your heart, is not universal. Did I know my wife at first sight? Not in my head... but my heart begs to differ. Do those who fall in love with Aikido on the first day know Aikido? Certainly not--for some. For others, don't be too quick to burst their bubble. Whatever their relationship to Aikido is, it's their relationship--not for anyone else to fix or improve.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:04 PM   #22
JoelLM
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I had/have no "natural" talent for Aikido or anything movement based, yet from the first class I was hooked - call it "love" or not; there was something there that kept me engaged and coming back, even when classes were frustrating (and, Mary, FWIW, I met my husband on the phone, we moved in together six weeks later...that was 1997... :-) ) .... so I'm intrigued by what you say and have to ask: if you don't actually like Aikido, why do you want to?
It's not that I do not like or enjoy aikido but I do come from a sports derived MA so there are a few principles that I grew up with that aikido dose not support, such as no pressure testing. This makes certain aspects of Aikido hard for me to digest, that being said im looking for a long term commitment, something I can start while im still young and continue in my old age. You do not have this with a lot of sports derived MA because of the higher risk of injury.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:30 PM   #23
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
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I would recommend dedicating some time, maybe a few weeks, and train consistantly. At that point if you are not enjoying it then I would move on. It's just my opinion but life is to short to spend time pursuing something you don't like. If after a few weeks you are having a good time then stick with it a while and see what happens.

Just don't expect some life changing enlightenment to occur and you'll be ok. I'm not saying that won't happen but don't expect too much out of aikido. After 10 years of training I can aikido has improved my life. Not because of techniques I learned but because it gives me time to do something that makes me happy and I have made some great friends from training.
Your absolutely right and I do plann to explore other martial art but my options are limited and are being exhausted rather rapidly. Whitehorse is a small community with a boxing club, judo club, a karate club, an MMA club , and two aikido clubs.

Boxing I've done and can return to at any point, im not as competitive as I once was so im no hurry to go back.

Judo looks great and there is a strong chance that I will make my way to that club at some point, the problem is I'd rather take a more traditional Judo apposed to sports judo which is what this club focuses on.

I started with Karate, I've no interest in going back, I have no love for it.

I abhor MMA, I have meany reasons for this, feel free to ask if your interested to know why.

And then Aikido, I really enjoy watching people doing Aikido, I like the non violent philosophy behind Aikido, I think its a beautiful art. In a sense I find that it incorporates philosophy, meditation, physical fitness, and history really well. Something about it just Jives well with me but there are just a few things that really bug me about it that I just can't quite put my finger on, kind of like an ich you can't reach. Well some of the things I do know but I will not discuss them here. It's been discussed meany times, the poor hourses corpse has been beaten to oblivion.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:29 PM   #24
Janet Rosen
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
It's not that I do not like or enjoy aikido but I do come from a sports derived MA so there are a few principles that I grew up with that aikido dose not support, such as no pressure testing. This makes certain aspects of Aikido hard for me to digest, that being said im looking for a long term commitment, something I can start while im still young and continue in my old age. You do not have this with a lot of sports derived MA because of the higher risk of injury.
OK, that's clear then.
Certainly in any aikido dojo, when folks are new, there is no "pressure testing." The idea is that while you are learning the basics of where and how to move you need to learn to do so without somebody putting the brakes on; otherwise, like learning to drive while the instructor brakes each time you accelerate. Especially in an art that stresses relaxed movement, if your partner is forcing you into muscle tension every time you try to move....well then you won't actually learn to move in a relaxed way.
Having said that....as you get advanced....some dojos never do the kind of reality testing it sounds like you want, some dojos do have it built into their formal curriculum, and some don't talk about it but their dojocho do teach that way. So it really depends on where/with whom you train.
As you note, in a small community you have to deal with the available options....so yeah, stay with it, understand that any given dojo may not actually be fully congruent with what you think you need or want, but see also if there enough things of value for you to gain, knowing at some time you may have an opportunity to move on as well....or find something within the current one that you appreciate deeply....who knows?

Last edited by Janet Rosen : 01-24-2014 at 06:31 PM.

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Old 01-24-2014, 08:09 PM   #25
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Re: I just want to talk.

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
My only point is that your experience, as I'm sure you know in your head though perhaps not in your heart, is not universal.
Yes, that flamingly obvious truism managed to penetrate even my thick skull.

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Did I know my wife at first sight? Not in my head... but my heart begs to differ. Do those who fall in love with Aikido on the first day know Aikido? Certainly not--for some. For others, don't be too quick to burst their bubble. Whatever their relationship to Aikido is, it's their relationship--not for anyone else to fix or improve.
So you don't think anyone should "burst the bubble" of a brand new newbie who thinks that they know what aikido is all about? And you think that's somehow helpful to them? And that being introduced to the idea that they don't know and that it is OK not to know is somehow harmful to them? OK, whatever. Nothing more to discuss here. My experience of not knowing, and knowing that I didn't know, has apparently been very different from yours and the students you've observed...not nearly so threatening and damaging.

Last edited by lbb : 01-24-2014 at 08:14 PM.
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