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Old 04-18-2004, 01:01 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,316
AikiWeb Poll for the week of April 18, 2004:

Do you think your ability to drive an automobile safely has improved since training in aikido?
  • I don't do aikido
  • I don't drive a car
  • Critically improved
  • Very improved
  • Somewhat improved
  • Not very improved
  • Not at all improved
Here are the current results.
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Old 04-18-2004, 08:09 AM   #2
Meggy Gurova
Dojo: Chowa
Location: Sofia
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 50
Hi, as a person gets better at aikido he/she gets better at driving a car as well, because he/she is driving a car and learning how to drive better each day. I mean driving a car its a process of learning as well, so how do you know if you improved because of the aikido?
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Old 04-18-2004, 10:47 AM   #3
Dojo: Aikido Juko Dojo
Location: Albuquerque
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 10
I do have one anecdote of using aikido while driving (which is not exactly what the question asks) - I was at a light, going to go straight, and the person behind me wanted to turn right. I noticed her b/c she was flipping me the bird and generally having a fit that I was in her way.

Now, my initial response was to pull away from the green like a dottering old guy at about 2mph just to get her goat; this was followed by an even better idea - having made her wait, NOW I'd turn right!

But instead I took the high road and decided that just b/c she was being aggressive didn't mean that I had to allow that to influence me; goading her wasn't going to help her, and engaging in such passive-aggressive behavior wasn't going to improve my lot any, either. And so I "maintained my center" and just let her do her thing

"In a pleasant spring morning all men's sins
are forgiven"
Thoreau, Walden
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Old 04-18-2004, 11:32 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 237
Hmmm. Car, no. Motorcycle, yes. Riding a motorcycle requires the operator to be smooth, fluid, and aware of their body position and surroundings (list is not all inclusive).

Through Aikido training, my awareness of these elements has greatly increased. I'm much smoother with application of throttle/brake, my body positioning while railing through a turn at high-speed has improved, and I've become more fluid with moving my body position from one side of the motorcycle to the other during fast turn transitions.

Potentially the most important, my awareness of what surrounds me (gravel on road, leaves, nasty guard rails, hay bales, etc.) has improved through learning "soft focus", an aspect of Aikido training.

Excellent poll Jun!!

Last edited by lt-rentaroo : 04-18-2004 at 11:36 AM.

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Old 04-18-2004, 04:25 PM   #5
Clayton Drescher
Clayton Drescher's Avatar
Dojo: Beach Cities Aikido
Location: Long Beach, CA
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 72
I don't drive too much in the city, but aikido definitely helps while riding the bus and/or train. Keeping balance while moving and keeping "centered" around all the crazy people and rude kids.
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:50 AM   #6
Dojo: northeast aikikai
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 34
Re: Poll: Do you think your ability to drive an automobile safely has improved since training in aikido?

I said I 'somewhat improved' because I was already a great driver (uh oh...now I gotta watch it!)
Seriously, early on I recognized that driving is the quintessential demonstration of a modern application of the ancient precepts of aikido. Most obvious to me is- that the blending with the car/motorcycle has GOT TO BE the same phenomenon as that with the sword. I (and for most others with whom this has been discussed) get a 'sense' of the boundaries of the car, the 'feel' of the car, and often the energy. This is likely the foundation of a "good driver" as getting a sense of blending with a bokken or jo must be for an aikidoist.
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Old 04-19-2004, 09:32 AM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 114
Re: Poll: Do you think your ability to drive an automobile safely has improved since training in aikido?

Driving my truck, no.

Riding my motorcycle, yes. For the reasons Louis mentioned.

Flying my plane, yes.

During my training my flight instructor could not shake my nerves when practicing emergencies. He was getting frustrated in not being able to get me rattled. I says to him, "Anthony we're at 5,000 feet, I've got 7 minutes to decide what to do and get it fixed at a 700 fpm rate of descent. That's forever when you are used to having 3 black belts attacking you from close range." We never simulated emergencies after that.

...then again, that's just me.
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Old 04-19-2004, 11:51 AM   #8
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: Poll: Do you think your ability to drive an automobile safely has improved since training in aikido?

I have found that it is easier to treat the vehicles as just moving bodies, without directing irritation at aggresssive or slow drivers. Thus I achieve my aim (whether I'm driving fast or not) because I don't get tied up in reciprocating aggression. I think this is the key to martial arts - it is about self-defence, not about beating your aggressor or showing off.

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Old 04-19-2004, 07:10 PM   #9
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 169
Re: Poll: Do you think your ability to drive an automobile safely has improved since training in aikido?

Haw Haw Haw Haw!!!!

LOL! Is this for real? So O'Sensei was (or would have been) a great driver too and would have been a great pilo too? Gozo Shioda Sensei would have been the undefeated world champion in F1, Stock Car Racing and Rally Driving?
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Old 04-20-2004, 01:51 AM   #10
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
Location: Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Re: Poll: Do you think your ability to drive an automobile safely has improved since training in aikido?

If aikido made such great drivers, how come all of the people in my dojo drive like maniacs?
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:50 PM   #11
Dojo: Aikido of Madison
Location: Madison, WI
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 37
Re: Poll: Do you think your ability to drive an automobile safely has improved since training in aikido?

Having driven for nearly 25 years, I don't think my 2 years of aikido has affected my "ability" to drive. That said, I have noticed that I am more willing to accept traffic problems, road hogs, etc. My driving execution has improved.

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