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Old 05-04-2003, 10:12 AM   #1
aikido_fudoshin
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Doubting Aikido

There are many people that post in this forum that have doubts about the martial effectiveness of Aikido. I was just wondering why these people train in Aikido?
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Old 05-04-2003, 10:59 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, some measure of skepticism is healthy. Aikido is more difficult than it looks and takes longer to gain some level of proficiency. It is not Aikido that many doubt, its their own ability to make it work.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-04-2003, 11:29 AM   #3
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Additionally, there are factors other than martial effectiveness, as you may have heard. I personally have never yet 'had to use Aikido in a fight', but have on many occasions used it in emotional or verbal situations. For instance, increasingly my natural response to people being aggressive is not to get angry at them, but to fit with them - as Leonard-sensei phrased it, seeing their point of view without abandoning my own - and trying to bring both of us back into a state of harmony with each other. Lofty words for a beginner who still lacks the peace of mind and grasp of harmony that sensei demonstrate, but I honestly believe that there have been many situations where, without aikido, I would have come out of them having received and inflicted emotional injuries, and added akward distance to a relationship. I think that my slowly increasing ability to respond to physical attacks similarly is drawing upon much the same energy. Practically speaking, I think that a decent profeciency in aikido (after several years) allows one to respond to physically violent behavior with a pin or low throw, rather than pummelling the attacker until they hit the ground.

It all sounded very out there to me at first, but now I'm appreciating the fact that the 'martial' side of aikido and its spiritual/emotional side really do go hand in hand.

I hope this helps answer your question.
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Old 05-04-2003, 11:35 AM   #4
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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A quick additional word...'ukemi' also transfer very cleanly for me into the emotional realm. Often when I say something stupid (literally incorrect, or impolite, or whatnot), my first reaction is to try to 'cover it up' or compensate. Just as with a fall, I feel like there's no way I can just fall over and be alright. Ukemi have been a physical demonstration of the idea that you really can just roll with your mistake/imbalance and get back up, embracing the fall rather than fearing it. I apologize if this seems confusing; it's hard to phrase, but I've found it to be a very important part of why I appreciate aikido.
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Old 05-04-2003, 12:22 PM   #5
Greg Jennings
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Take care of your own aikido. Don't spend your precious time worrying about theirs.

Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 05-04-2003, 02:10 PM   #6
shihonage
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There are many posts by people who say that there are many posts by people who doubt Aikido.

...
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Old 05-04-2003, 03:08 PM   #7
Kensai
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I have always been of the belief that if you haven't earned something you'll never appreciate it.

So just taking what my Sensei says for granted is only going to produce a clone of that teacher. Aikido is about being true to yourself. I always question everything (respectfully pfcourse), so that would be being true to myself.

The martial aspects of the Budo arts that I study are not so important to me now as they were a few months ago. I guess a certain amount of Aikido has to be taken on faith.

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
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Old 05-04-2003, 03:29 PM   #8
Michael Neal
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Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote:
Additionally, there are factors other than martial effectiveness, as you may have heard. I personally have never yet 'had to use Aikido in a fight', but have on many occasions used it in emotional or verbal situations. For instance, increasingly my natural response to people being aggressive is not to get angry at them, but to fit with them - as Leonard-sensei phrased it, seeing their point of view without abandoning my own - and trying to bring both of us back into a state of harmony with each other. Lofty words for a beginner who still lacks the peace of mind and grasp of harmony that sensei demonstrate, but I honestly believe that there have been many situations where, without aikido, I would have come out of them having received and inflicted emotional injuries, and added akward distance to a relationship. I think that my slowly increasing ability to respond to physical attacks similarly is drawing upon much the same energy. Practically speaking, I think that a decent profeciency in aikido (after several years) allows one to respond to physically violent behavior with a pin or low throw, rather than pummelling the attacker until they hit the ground.

It all sounded very out there to me at first, but now I'm appreciating the fact that the 'martial' side of aikido and its spiritual/emotional side really do go hand in hand.

I hope this helps answer your question.
I think it is posts like this that make people doubt the effectiveness of Aikido.
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Old 05-04-2003, 04:35 PM   #9
Thor's Hammer
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I don't see why there should be doubts about the martial effectiveness of aikido. None in my dojo anyhow... who here would honestly try to punch your sensei? People start to think that just because Aikido gives you the opportunity to go easy on someone means that it's not effective. You can dislocate shoulders, break wrists, snap spines, and choke people. Aikido is deadly. Just because we don't kill people in the dojo people think it's worthless. I bet you anything that the people who don't believe in Aikido's true effectiveness would be destroyed in a fight. This is because they have no faith in their training. I've heard a story of two aikido practicioners fighting from one end of a town to the other against hundreds of attackers, even if you take stories with a grain of salt, that's amazing. People also doubt aikido because of the way we attack in the dojo. Having seen both types of attacks, 'real', and 'practice', I can say that it's a lot easier to apply a technique to your average hook than it is to a well directed 'ski. Again, this may just be my dojo... at my dojo everything is done according to what is and isn't effective, and we are shown that at every step of the way, you can punch people to death while you hold them. We don't do this in practice. Aikido works, if what you're being taught doesn't, go to a better dojo.
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Old 05-04-2003, 04:56 PM   #10
shihonage
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Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
I think it is posts like this that make people doubt the effectiveness of Aikido.
Could not have possibly been said better.
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Old 05-04-2003, 07:53 PM   #11
sanosuke
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I called it 'Seagal syndrome'. People are training aikido because they were fascinated by Seagal, you know the locks, breaking arms and other tricks. When they get into real aikido training they wonder why they have to learn to 'dance' in order to subdue the opponent, not breaking arms (Seagal doesn't 'dance' in his movies, right). facing this reality, they get skeptical about aikido and they start to wonder about aikido's effectiveness.
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Old 05-04-2003, 09:38 PM   #12
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Michael wrote:
I think it is posts like this that make people doubt the effectiveness of Aikido.
That's interesting. What about the post makes you doubt the effectiveness of Aikido, Michael? And I guess you, too, Aleskey? I wonder if it's the same thing for both of you.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 05-04-2003, 11:04 PM   #13
shihonage
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Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
That's interesting. What about the post makes you doubt the effectiveness of Aikido, Michael? And I guess you, too, Aleskey? I wonder if it's the same thing for both of you.
It's the avoidance of the question, and the length of the answer.
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Old 05-05-2003, 01:07 AM   #14
creinig
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Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
It's the avoidance of the question, and the length of the answer.
I have to disagree. If we go back to the original post for a moment (emphasis added):
Quote:
Bryan Siekierko wrote:
There are many people that post in this forum that have doubts about the martial effectiveness of Aikido. I was just wondering why these people train in Aikido?
IMHO Paul's (long) reply adressed that question nicely by saying that there are other reasons for training Aikido aside from becoming "martially effective" (or whatever you'd like to call it).

PS: I'm a non-doubter
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Old 05-05-2003, 01:49 AM   #15
bob_stra
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Re: Doubting Aikido

Quote:
Bryan Siekierko (aikido_fudoshin) wrote:
I was just wondering why these people train in Aikido?
Because it enjoyable. And because I can see how it *could* work.
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Old 05-05-2003, 03:18 AM   #16
erikmenzel
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Re: Doubting Aikido

Quote:
Bryan Siekierko (aikido_fudoshin) wrote:
I was just wondering why these people train in Aikido?
Here are some suggestions:[list=1]
[*]For fitness
[*]For getting chicks
[*]Because it is a hip thing to do
[*]Because they dont care and like it anyway
[*]Because they are also confused in the rest of their life
[*]Because they need something to nag about
[*]Because they have to from their spouse (and if they dont listen to their spouse they are getting their ass kicked at home, like me )
[*]Because they confused aikido with ikebana or origami and are now affraid to admit their mistake
[/list=1]

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 05-05-2003, 06:35 AM   #17
Michael Neal
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Opher, I never said that it made me doubt the effectiveness of Aikido but if I had read that before starting Aikido I probably would have found another martial art to practice.
Quote:
I personally have never yet 'had to use Aikido in a fight', but have on many occasions used it in emotional or verbal situations ... I would have come out of them having received and inflicted emotional injuries, and added akward distance to a relationship
I mean, if I wanted to work out these kinds of issues I would be practicing therapy, counseling, or perhaps some new age fad, not a martial art.

Sure there are dozens of different reasons people practice Aikido, but some just don't instill in others any confidence in the effectiveness of Aikido in martial situations.
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Old 05-05-2003, 07:13 AM   #18
ian
 
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I was going to post but Lynn always seems to say exactly what I want to.

Darn it

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 05-05-2003, 08:43 AM   #19
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Michael wrote:
Sure there are dozens of different reasons people practice Aikido, but some just don't instill in others any confidence in the effectiveness of Aikido in martial situations.
That makes a lot of sense, and it's an interesting point. Many of us feel that people who are training for reasons that are different than ours dilute Aikido and draw it away from what we see as its purpose. I know that I sometimes feel that the Aikidoka who focus very heavily on the martial aspects get in the way of their own potential to fulfil the art and also distract others. I can easily see how someone who had a different emphasis would see me in a similar light.

No solution, just a thought.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 05-05-2003, 09:14 AM   #20
Michael Neal
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I think it would make more sense to post something like what Paul wrote in a spiritual discussion or something about verbal conflicts, it just was not in my opinion, an appropriate response to the question being asked.

Everyone has the right to train for whatever reason they want but when you post something about solving an emotional dispute in response to a question regarding martial effectiveness I think you are trying to infuse your "spiritual" agenda into the conversation.

As I have said in previous discussions I have nothing against the spiritual side of Aikido, I am more spiritual than you might think, but I think that for many people it gets in the way of real practical Aikido training.

I look at someone like Saotome Sensei, who posseses both spiritual awareness together with practical real Aikido and I think that he embodies the total picture. Without the martially effective technique Aikdo is empy and perhaps you can say the same about lacking any spiritual connection as well.

But I think if you lack spirtualism you can still defend yourself with Aikido where if you have spirituality yet lack practical technique you are really not doing martial arts and probably should find a more efficient and practical way to engage in spiritual practice.

Last edited by Michael Neal : 05-05-2003 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 05-05-2003, 11:48 AM   #21
shihonage
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Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
But I think if you lack spirtualism you can still defend yourself with Aikido where if you have spirituality yet lack practical technique you are really not doing martial arts and probably should find a more efficient and practical way to engage in spiritual practice.
I think "spiritualism" is something that people shouldn't talk about at all.

Study the art, and if it makes you a better person, fine.

The moment you start bragging how it made you a better person, you sort of become a hypocrite.

If someone has the "spiritual" aspect to them, you can see that from the person.

You don't ask them "Hey man are you spiritual ?", you just either see it in their way of behavior or you don't - and it will always override whatever they say about themselves.

Also, I've noticed that degree of "enlightement" is not directly proportional to the goodness of a person's nature.

You can know all about God, Universe and Everything, and still be a fucking asshole.

Conclusion: study the physical.

Last edited by shihonage : 05-05-2003 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 05-05-2003, 11:48 AM   #22
Peter Klein
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Reza Kauzur, thats exactly what I think and I have this syndrome right now. But I will at a later time of my training to do a lot of sparring with a friend of mine.
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Old 05-05-2003, 11:57 AM   #23
Michael Neal
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Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
I think "spiritualism" is something that people shouldn't talk about at all.

Study the art, and if it makes you a better person, fine.

The moment you start bragging how it made you a better person, you sort of become a hypocrite.

If someone has the "spiritual" aspect to them, you can see that from the person.

You don't ask them "Hey man are you spiritual ?", you just either see it in their way of behavior or you don't - and it will always override whatever they say about themselves.

Also, I've noticed that degree of "enlightement" is not directly proportional to the goodness of a person's nature.

You can know all about God, Universe and Everything, and still be a fucking asshole.

Conclusion: study the physical.
Very true, I agree.
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Old 05-05-2003, 12:27 PM   #24
Michael Neal
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well, I mostly agree.
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Old 05-05-2003, 01:39 PM   #25
Peter Klein
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aleksey this will be my motto if u dont mind: You can know all about God, Universe and Everything, and still be a fucking asshole.
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