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Old 11-13-2003, 09:20 AM   #1
actoman
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Ki Symbol aikidoka more humble than other martial artists?

Are aikidoka more humble about their practice than say, a kung-fu practitioner, or a karate-doka? The people whom practice the above or others actualy seem to brag more than most aikidoka I have met outside the dojo.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-13-2003, 09:32 AM   #2
John Boswell
 
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Aikidoka do not compete and I think that is a large part of the "bragging rights" issue that some other arts might have.

The next factor is ego, which is discussed here on Web every now and then. This is a personal issue. Either the person has a "chip" on their shoulder or they don't... its that simple.

Speaking for myself, I am THE MOST humble person that I have ever met or known so, I have no issues with humility. Just ask me anytime!

Domo!

John "Mr. Humility and proud of it!" Boswell


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Old 11-13-2003, 10:00 AM   #3
Chuck Clark
 
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Quote:
Aikidoka do not compete and I think that is a large part of the "bragging rights" issue that some other arts might have.
Most aikido practitioners do not enter tournaments, but they "compete" in other ways to be sure.

As in all things, the participants in any art display a wide range of human behavior. Each individual speaks for themself. (and on any given day, their behaviors and your perception of them will change...)

All of these comparisons are very heavy baggage to carry around.

Practice for the sake of the practice.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 11-13-2003, 12:09 PM   #4
Ted Marr
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If you're contemplating your own humility, that's not a very humble act. Likewise, aikidoka talking amongst themselves about their humility is kind of ridiculous.

Personally, I must say that the couple of times I have done any sparring, it was a pretty humbling experience... which is not to say that sparring and such lead to humility.

The only way to be humble is to realize that however good you are, there are always going to be people out there who are better than you are.

If that isn't the case for some reason, you're probably enlightened, so it becomes a bit of a moot point *grin*
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Old 11-13-2003, 12:19 PM   #5
John Boswell
 
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Just so there is no confusion... I was most definitly joking and being sarcastic when I started talking about my own "humility."

I do think being humble, especially in martial arts, is very important. But its so much fun to joke about... especially when you make yourself the butt of your own joke as I did above.

Have a nice day, all!

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Old 11-13-2003, 12:28 PM   #6
paw
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Quote:
Are aikidoka more humble about their practice than say, a kung-fu practitioner, or a karate-doka?
Not in my experience, YMMV.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 11-13-2003, 12:30 PM   #7
BC
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Re: aikidoka more humble than other martial artists?

Quote:
Andy Orwig (actoman) wrote:
Are aikidoka more humble about their practice than say, a kung-fu practitioner, or a karate-doka?
I don't think so. In fact, I have seen some martial artists write that based upon their own experience, many aikido practitioners have been the most arrogant individuals they have ever encountered. I don't necessarily agree with that, but I also don't think people that practice aikido are any more or less humble than other martial artists. IMHO.

Robert Cronin
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Old 11-13-2003, 01:24 PM   #8
Suru
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Quote:
Ted Marr wrote:

The only way to be humble is to realize that however good you are, there are always going to be people out there who are better than you are.

If that isn't the case for some reason, you're probably enlightened, so it becomes a bit of a moot point *grin*
I think the only way to be humble is to realize that you were once a sperm and an egg, and if your parents decided to have sex one minute later, you wouldn't be here.

So, "that isn't the case," and from time to time I am enlightened. I do think it's possible to be humble, still have a sense of self-worth, and know you're talented at something if you are.

I've met arrogant aikido practitioners and I've met humble tae-kwon-do and karate practicioners.

I was in Colorado once, and a guy asked me what the women are like in Miami. I said, "A little bit of everything." We have to be careful when grouping people together and saying, "These are like this, and those are like that."

Drew

p.s. I have met and trained with many humble aikidoka, and I think aikido does nurture humility.
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Old 11-13-2003, 02:14 PM   #9
ikkainogakusei
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I think that aikido in the US accents less on overt aggression than the very Americanized forms of other martial arts. My first sensei (Shorin Ryu Karate) was a very mellow, non aggressive, simple man. He did not encourage his students to take on an aggressive stance, nor shout out their kiais, nor strike pre-emptively. He wasn't the stereotypical arrogant 'Cobra-Kai' MA instructor, but there are less out there than many assume. It's a stereotype I think.

Sure, there are MA organizations which help perpetuate this stereotype.

http://www.usopen-karate.com/

However, I think that the media prefers to accent on these stereotypes.

Okay, so humility can be another story. I have certainly read some pretty arrogant and flippant commentary on this and other Aikido websites, and I confess I have faltered myself. I think overall if the dojo mindset encourages 'harmony' in their 'do' then there is more of a feel of passivity which can seem like humility. However, how many times has an aikidoka thought to themselves 'I can do x technique better than so and so.' or 'I think this visiting sempai got their rank before they should've.' or even 'X style of aikido really isn't very effective, mine is better.'

I must admit I may have thought one or two of the above things at one time or another, I'm working on it though. It's that whole masakatsu agatsu idea. I haven't reached victory yet.

just my 2


"To educate a man in mind, and not in morals, is to educate a menace to society." ~Theodore Roosevelt
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Old 11-13-2003, 05:17 PM   #10
PeterR
 
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I wish I could remember the thing correctly this early in the morning but someone said

Karate makes you aggressive

Judo make you stupid

Aikido make you arrogant.

My appologies to the Judo players.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-13-2003, 06:34 PM   #11
sanosuke
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
I wish I could remember the thing correctly this early in the morning but someone said

Karate makes you aggressive

Judo make you stupid

Aikido make you arrogant.

My appologies to the Judo players.
yes, Peter, its the statement from Minoru Mochizuki if i'm not mistaken. but my sensei use the word 'passive' instead of 'stupid'.anyway, he also said that many aikidoka are indeed humble, but somehow they also arrogant. That's why, still according to him, taking ukemi is very important because being uke helps you to beat your ego.
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Old 11-13-2003, 07:10 PM   #12
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Reza Kauzar (sanosuke) wrote:
but my sensei use the word 'passive' instead of 'stupid'.
Probably that was it - or maybe docile. Stupid did not sound right to me either.

Many would disagree with me but I think the human mind has self delusion built in. Experience is the great moderator. When Kenji Tomiki talked about painting the eye on the paper tiger he was not only talking about developing technical skill.

Last edited by PeterR : 11-13-2003 at 07:15 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-13-2003, 09:31 PM   #13
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, we are arrogant about our humility. We do humble better than other arts for various reasons such as we don't compete and we have a spiritual/philosophical base.

Humility is being able to admit we do something well but not making a big deal out of it because if others train like we do they would be better at it and more humble than we are. If you really don't do it well then you have nothing to be humble about.

Other arts take pride/arrogance in their competitiveness and victories. We take pride/arrogance in our cooperation/harmony and lack of winning over others. Same process just different content.

Humility is not in the art, its in the person.

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 11-14-2003, 02:12 AM   #14
bob_stra
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Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
Not in my experience, YMMV.

Regards,

Paul
Damn it man, you can't just come out and *say* it like that!

;-)

If you were an asshole before training, chances are you'll be an asshole during and after training. YMMV.

OTOH

If you have two brain cells to rub together, it's pretty obvious that training in the arts can be a great means by which to confront your own issues. (assuming you're ready for that)

And that doesn't necassarily mean namby pampy, wish washy navel gazing either.

From rec.martial.arts

***************************

I know.

I was making a little funny, but with a point.

First off on the joke level... one someone asks for "spiritual and mental

training" for a woman.... the idea of suggesting MMA is kinda silly, aint it? But as with all brilliant posts, it works on 2 levels.

The other level is.... in kung fu taichi schools you get psuedomystical

gobbleygook dressed up as zen philosphy.

In MMA schools you sweat, bleed, and in the end become a better person.

You triumph over fear, over your own self

doubt.

You ultimatly develop control over oneself.

Mayhap it could lead to some measure of enlightenment.

Gi the learned

*****************************

Again YMMV.

;-)
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Old 11-14-2003, 07:21 AM   #15
ian
 
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Not sure if humility has that much value. Honesty with a true perception of yourself is much better. I've personally not noticed a difference in humilty between martial artists. One thing is that children are probably less humble (and therefore clubs with more children may be less humble).

I do think doing single person kata can give people an inflated view of their capabilities (since the imagined attacker tends not to move). However I think, karate and taekwondo are undergoing as much if not more change in training methods as aikido is.

One thing I often see with aikidoka, however, is a belief in their own moral correctness!

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-14-2003, 08:28 AM   #16
Dennis Hooker
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I have been involved with various Japanese martial arts over the tlast 4 decades but principally Aikido. I can say through my experience that I have met per capita more big mouthed, self delusional, blowharded, self back-slapping, egotistical and maniacal jerks in Aikido than any other art. I suppose at one time I was right in there among them. Shit, I hope I have moved on!!!

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

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Old 11-14-2003, 08:41 AM   #17
actoman
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because I have met through my first Dojo, in NYC, some who were very arrogant and stuffy, but others who were simply sweet as could be and kick-ass in practice.

But here in WVA, most are nice, but few are arrogant, just simply there, know what I mean? Could it be that experience breeds a certain calmness that translates into cockiness?

Sensei Andy Orwig, Ist dan
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Old 11-14-2003, 11:43 AM   #18
Michael Neal
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Quote:
. We do humble better than other arts for various reasons such as we don't compete and we have a spiritual/philosophical base.
Actually, I think competition can make you more humble than non-competition. There is something about getting your butt kicked on occasion that shatters any illusions you may have about you own martial ability. Competition is not for everyone but it certainly is a useful tool in keeping you on earth.
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Old 11-14-2003, 12:14 PM   #19
Doug Mathieu
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This is interesting if we consider being humble is knowing your defects whereas Modesty is whether you are boastful (warranted or not) of your abilities.

We probably see people displaying their level of modesty more than we can tell if they are truly humble. I don't think we can always judge someones level of humility just from their exterior conduct. We can definietly tell if someone is modest or not.

If someone is boastful we presume they are not likely humble either.

I do know other martial artists and in my experience I think Aikido people are about at the same level of humility and perhaps a bit more modest.

Aikido students probably have less opportunity to boast since we don't have competition.

Clues to humility might be when students try to always correct someone else since they "know the correct way" or they do not try something else they might be shown and insist on keeping to their own version of training.

I think we are more challenged to be humble since there isn't as clear a way to test our knowledge as competition would.

Conversly as we advance we should become more humble since our teachers should become more demanding of us and we learn how much we still haven't learned.
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Old 11-14-2003, 03:51 PM   #20
Suru
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Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
I have met per capita more big mouthed, self delusional, blowharded, self back-slapping, egotistical and maniacal jerks in Aikido than any other art. I suppose at one time I was right in there among them. Shit, I hope I have moved on!!!
Hooker Sensei,

You were the instructor at the first Aikido seminar I ever attended. It was about three years ago at the FSU Aikido Club. I got nothing but good vibes from you so, if you were once arrogant, you definitely have moved on!

I have met some "bigmouthed...egotistical...jerks" in Aikido too, but I find it interesting that you've found more of them in Aikido than the other martial arts. One thing I remember you saying at the seminar was that some people think "I know AIkido so I'm invincible!" I agreed with you that that is a poisonous thought.

I read somewhere that Aikido is the most sophisticated and difficult of the martial arts, which could give aikidoka big egos. Due to an illness, I haven't trained in many months. When I was training, I had a greater feeling of self-worth, even pride, but I always tried to keep my feet down on the ground. When I was the highest ranking student at class one day, and Sensei was sick, I taught class. That's when I felt ego really creeping up and I really had to keep myself in check. Thank you, Hooker Sensei, for having humble pride.

Drew
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Old 11-14-2003, 06:12 PM   #21
paw
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Quote:
amn it man, you can't just come out and *say* it like that!
Well, ok....

Like Mr. Hooker, I've encountered more arrogant, self-absorbed, jerks in aikido than in other arts. Like Michael Neal, my experience in arts that have a "competitive" component (like judo's randori, boxing's sparring and so forth) is that folks tend to be more humble as a result of competition. But again, YMMV.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 11-14-2003, 06:34 PM   #22
Kevin Leavitt
 
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I agree with most above that humility is a personal issue, not necessarily related to the art.

I have found that many aikidoka are not necessarily sure of themselves or their aikido and sort of have a complex about it. Not sure why other than the fact that we don't have competitions and don't really measure against others. This is both good and bad. Good since you should be studying the art to measure against your internal self. Bad because without a measure and the martial maturity many end up questioning their aikido or martial effectiveness.

I think this lack of self confidence can sometimes be confused with humility. I think they are two distinct things.

I have constantly struggled with humility throughout the years I have been a martial artist. It comes and goes. Like last night when I was at the gym watching some TKD guys trying to do self defense stuff. I really wanted to get in there and show them how to do it right!! It was painful to watch!

However, having been KO'd at least once by an axe kick....I certainly was humbled that day!

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Old 11-14-2003, 08:20 PM   #23
sanosuke
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Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I have constantly struggled with humility throughout the years I have been a martial artist. It comes and goes. Like last night when I was at the gym watching some TKD guys trying to do self defense stuff. I really wanted to get in there and show them how to do it right!! It was painful to watch!

However, having been KO'd at least once by an axe kick....I certainly was humbled that day!
i understand that kevin, last time being both TKD and aikido student for a while sometimes sparks my alter ego to be or look different. Especially on that self defense stuff, i really really eager last time to show one or two good nikyo to the class compared to what has been teached by my TKD teacher. But as the time goes i left it that way unless someone asked me.
Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
Actually, I think competition can make you more humble than non-competition. There is something about getting your butt kicked on occasion that shatters any illusions you may have about you own martial ability. Competition is not for everyone but it certainly is a useful tool in keeping you on earth.
fret not, maybe it'll humble you on the ring,but once you get out and back to the dojo you'll start thinking why have i beaten by that guy? how can i improve my technique to beat that guy? what's my strategy next time i meet that guy? etc etc. your principle will be limited to "how can i beat you" not "how can i make friend with you". aikido principle, i believe, will go for the latter. But sometimes the human alter ego itself clouded this principle.
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Old 11-16-2003, 01:39 AM   #24
Alan Lomax
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Talking

Oh !!! some one set the mirror right in front of us! Here is my reflection...

I have very seldom been accused of being humble in deed or opinion and this will not likely change any time soon. I seem to get along with this just fine.

To answer the question though, No, the Aikidoka I have encountered do not corner the market on humility. They do not seem to be any more or less humble than the good folks in any other Martial Arts I have been exposed to.

Being humble and or possessing and demonstrating humility is of the nature that it can only be measured by other folks. I can't reasonably or accurately gauge my own humility. If I try to tell others how humble I am or talk of the depth and breadth of my humility, then I would really just be enjoying a bit of arrogance and conceit now wouldn't I?

I have never met any one who is truly humble that has not been through horrendous hardship or tragedy. Even fewer people can be humble in all aspects of there life and personality all of the time. I have an occupation that allows me to see people in humbling circumstances quite often. Always, immediately following a horrific event even people that may be considered by the world at large to be evil incarnate, are humbled. Maybe not long, maybe for a lifetime and maybe in all facets or just a small portion of their personality.

Look up Dang Thong Phong Sensei. He is a living example of humble.

Regards

Alan Lomax
Doumukai Aikido
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Old 11-16-2003, 01:58 PM   #25
Michael Neal
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Quote:
your principle will be limited to "how can i beat you" not "how can i make friend with you"
Well actually I would like to make friends with them after I beat them
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