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Old 08-12-2002, 05:14 PM   #1
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Opinion on VOE Topic "What Is Aikido?"

Nice way to start the VOE; here's my VOLOE take on it.
(VOLOE? Voice Of Lack Of Experience. LOL)

I've stated in prior posts my belief that any martial art is not fighting in itself, but a skill to use in conflict situations. Thus, the following analogy:

I have a toolbox. I've had it ever since I was a little kid and had to stand up to a bully. The first tool I bought to put into the toolbox was a hammer - judo. I practiced using that hammer until I could use it without hitting my thumb, but then I left it in the bottom of the box, never to be used again.
Later, I bought another tool - a screwdriver (Karate). I liked using it a lot more than the hammer, so I worked with it a lot more. I got quite good at it, albeit good for an amateur. No matter how good I got at using a screwdriver, however, one could hardly call me an experienced tool-user.
As I grew and matured, I acquired more tools to put in the toolbox - files and gauges, pliers and punches. Tricks and techniques, skills and knowledge from a hundred different sources. After I joined the Army, I painted my toolbox dark green and began to take real pride in it. I liked to show off my tools to others. I often bragged about how great my collection was, until I met one man with a single tool in his box - an axe, with which he'd practiced for decades.
After that encounter (which evolved into lessons on axemanship - to this day Sergeant Carl Dunnings (ret.) and I are good friends), I sat down and went through my toolbox, examining each piece critically, deciding what was useful and what I could throw away. I wound up tossing everything but my screwdriver, axe, hammer and wrench. (I'd particularly learned how silly those little 5-in-1 tools are - useless for the real jobsite.) I began studying how to use them, not by themselves, but together. I learned how to integrate my tools into a single, flexible, effective machine. I have learned, and grown in my tool-use until I can consider myself a skilled, effective tool user.
Recently, I bought a new tool - a set of Vise-Grips (Aikido). I'm totally ham-handed at its use, but, due to my knowledge at tool-use in general, I'm picking it up quickly, or so, at least, I hope. At present, my knowledge of vise-grips is small, although due to my knowledge of tools in general, what small skills I have I can use, picking up the axe or hammer when necessary or using it to fill in the gaps. As I progress in vise-grip use, I'll be able to use it to replace my other tools, bit by bit. There may come a day where I'll use vise-grips exclusively, but the other tools will still be there, in the bottom of my toolbox (which is still green, by the way. lol)

That's how I look at Aikido, but then, no-one ever accused me of sanity.


Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 08-12-2002, 09:17 PM   #2
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Nice Analogy!

Too me aikido can be many things. O'Sensei set it up as a mean to an end which was World Peace.

When I started Aikido, it was another martial art to supplement my Karate. I practiced hard and had much doubts and criticisms to many of the strange things I saw. I was constantly trying to prove things that I did not understand were not martially sound.

It was also a way for me to relieve stress and stay in shape.

Today, it is about all this and more. I am more into the spiritual and etheral stuff which for me must be mastered in order to truely become a master of the art.

It seems to grow as I grow. It becomes bigger and bigger and more complex everyday. Just as I think I have it figured out it changes again!

BTW, I don't think you ever really put your tools in the bottom of the tool box. You are the sum of your experiences and you draw from them everytime you do anything. They are never really not in use!

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Old 08-14-2002, 08:11 AM   #3
Genex's Avatar
Dojo: Warrington Seishin Kai
Location: Warrington, England
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 155

BTW, I don't think you ever really put your tools in the bottom of the tool box. You are the sum of your experiences and you draw from them everytime you do anything. They are never really not in use!
Hmmm, well i dont agree with this i beleive you cant screw something with a hammer, i mean you could really mess it up but i doubt you could screw it so to speak, could you use the pliars to hammer something in? well i suppose you could but it'd be a mess, what about a real life situation can you imagine changing a nappy with a hammer ?(diaper for you american types)

although i suppose you could use the hammer to crush your own coffee beenz.


like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. - The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy on the Pan-galactic Gargleblaster!
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:12 PM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
I guess what I am talking about is not quite as literal as a screw driver etc.

What I mean to say is that you are the sum of all your experiences and training. Therefore you draw upon the totality of that.

I do agree with what you are saying. I used to do above waist kicks and spinning kicks. Since studying aikido, I discovered why it is not good for me to do those. So I guess I know put those in the back of my tool kit.

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