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Old 04-27-2004, 04:42 PM   #26
PeaceHeather
Dojo: hopefully Purdue Aikido Club
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Tonya,

Wow... thanks so much for this reply. Too much to comment on, so I'll just say "wow" and "thanks" again...

Wow. Thanks!

Heather
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Old 04-27-2004, 10:27 PM   #27
GaiaM
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Hi Heather and All,

I want to continue the discussion about the benefits of a challenge. I can't figure out how to quote things so I'll just assume you know what I'm referring to...

Like you, Heather, I am someone who has always been able to achieve things like high grades and praise with very little effort. Many things I do I pick up quickly and my personality helps people to trust my ability and commitment. Aikido is different. While I know my Aikido is getting stronger all the time, this improvement only comes though dedication to training and LOTS of hard work. No matter how much I want to be good at this art, no matter how many friends I make and how friendly and responsible I am, my physical ability will not magically appear overnight.

Realizing this has helped shape my whole outlook towards myself and my life and to love aikido even more. I don't know if part of your fear comes from not knowing how to "do" aikido and/or not "getting it", so I'm not sure how relevent this is for you. But regardless, perhaps it would be useful to remind yourself that the goal of aikido training should not be to master the art because it will never happen. I really believe that I will never get to the point where I am not confused, scared and frustrated at times.

So enjoy the path you're on, but don't take it TOO seriously - there will always be more to learn and the best you can do is to give 100% to your training and remember to smile :-)

Ok, that's my two cents worth. I think this is a great thread... Good enough to warrent my first post to this forum ;-)

As for me, I have never felt "fear" on the mat, but plenty of other emotions come floating my way. A lot of times they are positive ones: happiness, love for my fellow students and our sensei, and most of all appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of this aikido community. Sometimes my ego jumps in with feelings like "you could have done that better" or "why didn't Sensei comment on how well I was doing that ukemi?" But the intensity and joy of training usually banishes these feelings in a hurry. So don't forget to acknowledge the positive emotions too. And keep training!

In the spirit,
Gaia

----------------
"Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead."
--O Sensei
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:37 AM   #28
jxa127
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Hey Tonya, great post!

I remember something else that Sato sensei demonstrated at the Eastern Region camp I attended last September.

He was spending most of the day on exercises related to randori. He demonstrated that getting caught up with one attacker, or lingering to watch the effects of your beautiful throw makes you vulnerable to the other attackers.

He then pointed out the parallel between what happens on the mat, and life in general. When life gets overwhelming, and we have multiple issues to contend with, we need to deal with each, let go, and move on. We need to let go of our fears, let go of our pride, and let go of anything else that keeps us from moving forward.

I thought that was a good message. It is probably not a universal, overriding, be all and end all of personal philosophies, but it's a nice way to look at things.

Regards,

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:41 AM   #29
PeaceHeather
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Gaia, thanks for the reminder. Certainly the fun I had on Monday helped to banish everything else that was going on. I just need to learn to trust this new space, and these new people, and see them as "mine".

My big fear, I think, is of looking stupid and being judged by my current ineptitude and inexperience. A secondary fear is of landing on my face on the mat. Both will be faced over time, I'm sure.

Drew said:
Quote:
He demonstrated that getting caught up with one attacker, or lingering to watch the effects of your beautiful throw makes you vulnerable to the other attackers.

He then pointed out the parallel between what happens on the mat, and life in general. When life gets overwhelming, and we have multiple issues to contend with, we need to deal with each, let go, and move on. We need to let go of our fears, let go of our pride, and let go of anything else that keeps us from moving forward.
It's very Buddhist. But then, I'd expect that -- it seems like even aikidoka who aren't Buddhists seem to really line up well with those principles: take responsibility for your own actions, leave responsibility for others' actions where it belongs. Be compassionate. Connect. Let go easily. Avoid shoving things away and grasping them tightly, whether you're working physically, mentally, or emotionally. Remain centered.

I'm working on all those things, on and off the mat.
Heather
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:12 AM   #30
Bronson
 
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Quote:
PeaceHeather wrote:
take responsibility for your own actions, leave responsibility for others' actions where it belongs.
We were talking about this last night. Aikido training has helped to strip away my excuses. I now can no longer blame the difficulties in my life on other people or events. Don't get me wrong, I still try but I'm finding it harder and harder to believe those excuses like I used to.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-28-2004, 02:39 PM   #31
PeaceHeather
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Bronson, I hear you, man. Sometimes I really dislike being in counseling -- it refuses to let me hang onto my illusions... *sigh*



Heather
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:22 PM   #32
PeaceHeather
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Hey you Americans...
Remember the old donut commercials, with the tired-looking baker who kept saying, "TIme to make the donuts..."

Well, it's Monday. Time to go to dojo.
Heather
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Old 05-03-2004, 06:47 PM   #33
Robert Jackson
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Quote:
PeaceHeather wrote:
My big fear, I think, is of looking stupid and being judged by my current ineptitude and inexperience. A secondary fear is of landing on my face on the mat. Both will be faced over time, I'm sure.

As I said just remember everyone was new a one point and time. Last august I took my first step into the dojo.... A year, or so before that one of my sempi's took his first step into the dojo.......uhm 20+ years before that Sensei took his first step into a dojo. We are all beginners. Just remember noone judges a beginner on their ability... but on the courage to go to class.... and you already passed ....

I realize this is easier to say than do.... but hey sometimes I like the easy rode .
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Old 05-04-2004, 11:46 AM   #34
PeaceHeather
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Last night, I got CLOTHESLINED! Augh!

More on this after lunch.
Heather, mainly venting for its own sake
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:38 PM   #35
Bronson
 
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Quote:
PeaceHeather wrote:
Last night, I got CLOTHESLINED! Augh!
Irimi nage?

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:51 PM   #36
PeaceHeather
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Let's see...

A lot of our class are college students nearby, and this week is finals week, so it was myself, one other guy in for his first lesson, a blue-belt (er... whatever the next kyu up from the bottom is... 5th?), Phil-sensei, and soke.

Since class was so small, soke decided to focus on basics, like ki exercises. Almost everything we did was ki-related, ending with a few of the simpler wrist locks performed while trying to remember to use flowing motion and extend ki, and keep the strain and muscle tension out of the picture.

So. At one point in class, soke asks me to demonstrate for the class (uh-oh) and I'm walking back and forth across the mat while he talks about motion, and how to maintain a ki extension when moving, so that, if you're out on the street minding your own business, and someone does, say, *this*...

Insert clothesline. Followed by thud. Did I mention I don't know backfalls yet? On the other hand, did I mention our mats are the softest in town? Still, thuddage occurred. I'm a little sore today. My chiropractor is going to have to start giving me bulk discounts if this keeps up.

Instant emotional response! WHAM! Holy cow! I've got a full spectrum of everything from "ouch" to "hey" to "SCARY!!" to "you evil b*stard" roaring through my head, mostly ruled by "how could you DO that to me?"

*sigh* Get up, slowly, go to edge of mat. Fight tears. Take deep breaths. Not really hearing much of his explanation of what to do with it, something about how if you just keep walking you're actually okay, because you move your ki through the incident and let it carry you, or something like that.

Start walking again. Clothesline. Instinctively grab Evil-B*stard-soke's arm as it comes in and keep walking. Tow EB-soke across mat like he's barely there. So there, EB-soke.

Break up into partners again, proceed to do still more ki tricks (which apparently I've got a knack for, or something, or else I've just had outside help from my other non-martial studies). Get sympathetic looks from partner while I calm down. Impress partner once we actually get to the ki stuff. Giggle occasionally. Say "dude" when I notice partner on floor, with more or less zero effort on my part. The Force is strong within me, apparently.

After class, learn from Phil-sensei that soke will do stuff like that, at random, to just about everybody sooner or later -- usually sooner -- and that the point seems to be something about whether you can swallow the ego and keep coming back to learn, or whether you let that drive you off the mat and out of the dojo; or, maybe it's to see how well you handle the unexpected, or maybe it's something to do with how you handle emotions on the mat, or... something.

*deep breath*

So, at this point, I'm a little sore from the unhappy landing, but nothing too bad really. My brain is going non-stop and checking in with my ego, and my vulnerable side, and making sure that we can accept this as a lesson without getting sucked into tolerating abusive behavior, etc. etc.

Got home last night and thoroughly confused my poor husband as I went from sounding ridiculously proud of myself to bursting into tears as I remembered how *freaking* scary the experience was at the moment it happened.

I still want to go back tomorrow for the next lesson... so, um, I dunno. I think I'm still processing.

Any thoughts, folks? Input from fellow EB-senseis is especially sought.

Thanks,
Heather
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Old 05-04-2004, 03:01 PM   #37
Bronson
 
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Re: Emotions on the mat

I've posted in your intro thread.

Let's just sum up my feelings on this with
Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-04-2004, 03:09 PM   #38
PeaceHeather
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Um, yeah, that's about half of what I experienced...
Heather
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Old 05-04-2004, 04:16 PM   #39
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Emotions on the mat

If you're really interested in my opinion email me at the address in my profile. I'm not interested in speaking about it in public.

RT

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-04-2004, 04:33 PM   #40
PeaceHeather
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Re: Emotions on the mat

It no longer matters, Ron.

I've just gotten off the phone with Mr. Burdine, and after trying to ask him why he did this, he first said that he held me on the way down, and then suggested that aikido "was not for me". He suggested I try other dojos in town, and when I said that I wasn't interested in other arts but in aikido, he then said that he doesn't hurt his students, that I "have to learn to deal with it", and that he's not going to put up with me calling all the time. Then he hung up on me.

"All the time." I called once or twice a few weeks ago to arrange a time to meet him at the dojo, and have just called to ask why he would do this to a beginning student. Now, apparently, I've been asked not to come back to the dojo.

So never mind, but thanks.
Heather
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:06 AM   #41
SeiserL
 
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Yep, sounds like its not a match. You and that specific Dojo that is, not necessarily you and Aikido. Keep looking and keep training. Best of luck.

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 05-05-2004, 10:05 AM   #42
PeaceHeather
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Thanks much, Lynn.

Yeah, this whole thing hurt a lot, and I'm still feeling pretty rotten.. but I can't let go of a few things:

1. As a student, I have a right to ask questions. Likewise I have a right and a responsibility to take those questions to the sensei. (Er, don't I?)
2. Isn't it a little presumptuous to say that "aikido" is not for me, as opposed to "this dojo"?

*sigh*
I am looking, and I've found the local Aikido Club on campus, and since they're meeting tonight, I'm going to go there instead of back to this dojo.

May the force be with me...
Heather
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:14 AM   #43
jxa127
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Bravo Heather, Bravo!

Your decision to confront the "soke" about his behavior was one of the healthiest actions I've read about for a long time!

I hope you don't give up on aikido. There are good schools and good instructors out there.

Even with the best instructors, you will probably run into conflicts. However, a good instructor will work with his or her students to resolve conflicts in a healthy manner. That has been my experience.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Regards,

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:19 AM   #44
jxa127
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Quote:
PeaceHeather wrote:
Yeah, this whole thing hurt a lot, and I'm still feeling pretty rotten.. but I can't let go of a few things:
Don't feel too bad. You did the right thing, in my opinion.

Quote:
1. As a student, I have a right to ask questions. Likewise I have a right and a responsibility to take those questions to the sensei. (Er, don't I?)
Most emphatically, YES!

Quote:
2. Isn't it a little presumptuous to say that "aikido" is not for me, as opposed to "this dojo"?
Again, yes. The guy did not treat you well and then blames you for being upset about it. That's pretty stupid behavior.

Quote:
*sigh*
I am looking, and I've found the local Aikido Club on campus, and since they're meeting tonight, I'm going to go there instead of back to this dojo.

May the force be with me...
Heather
Excellent. Don't look back either.

Good luck!

Last edited by jxa127 : 05-05-2004 at 10:28 AM.

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-Drew Ames
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:30 AM   #45
philipsmith
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Re: Emotions on the mat

After class, learn from Phil-sensei that soke will do stuff like that, at random, to just about everybody sooner or later -- usually sooner -- and that the point seems to be something about whether you can swallow the ego and keep coming back to learn, or whether you let that drive you off the mat and out of the dojo; or, maybe it's to see how well you handle the unexpected, or maybe it's something to do with how you handle emotions on the mat, or... something.



Sounds like the only ego problem is "Sokes" otherwise agree with everything Drew has said.
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:11 AM   #46
PeaceHeather
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Drew, Philip, thanks.

God, next time I need a group hug I know where to come, yes?

I have one concern left.
This is the Internet, and you're getting only one side of the story, filtered through all my viewpoints and emotions. Is it possible that I've got it wrong, and this is a legitimate test to see how well I handle the unexpected?

I just don't want to find out, in another dojo a few months down the road, that I really am the one with the problem.

Thoughts?
Heather
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:24 AM   #47
Wayne
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Hi Heather,

In my opinion, Soke was out-of-line both clotheslining you without warning and telling you to quit calling. I agree with the earlier poster about the problem being with Soke.

As far as only hearing your side of the story... There are many threads in this forum that talk about how beginning students are to be cherished, guided, supported, helped, etc as they are beginning their aikido journey. Also, every senior student was once a new student. That has been my experience with aikido as well.

A case can also be made for a rougher, tougher style of training - along the line of "this is a martial art, after all." That said, it may be a question of what you are personally looking for. If you want to be the baddest aikido dudette, then find a rough, tough martial art or dojo. Testing your willingness to endure such treatment does NOT sound supportive and helpful (to me).

I haven't trained in a large collection of dojos although my dojo has about 10 (?) frequent instructors and they are all good, in their own way. To end this rambling post, I will also encourage you to check out a different dojo.

Enjoy, and keep practicing,
Wayne
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:35 AM   #48
Robert Jackson
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Quote:
This is the Internet, and you're getting only one side of the story, filtered through all my viewpoints and emotions. Is it possible that I've got it wrong, and this is a legitimate test to see how well I handle the unexpected?
This is the internet and if he wanted to share his side of the story he's welcome to... However I personally can't see how, or why you would "test" a beginner like that. He was wrong in the treatment he did. As a teacher he takes up the responisibilty of helping beginners who don't know how to take ukemi safe, knowing this and knowing you haven't done back falls he "clothes lines" you unexpectedly... That is wrong..... Pretty cut and dry to me...
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:41 AM   #49
Bronson
 
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Quote:
Wayne wrote:
A case can also be made for a rougher, tougher style of training - along the line of "this is a martial art, after all."
Even the people I know who train like this (in other arts) bring/teach their newbies up to that level. They never expect them to just suddenly be skilled martial artists.

Having gone through something similar I'm very happy that you found out about this early , and at the same time pissed that you had to go through it at all

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:47 AM   #50
Bronson
 
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Re: Emotions on the mat

Quote:
Robert Jackson wrote:
knowing this and knowing you haven't done back falls he "clothes lines" you unexpectedly... That is wrong..... Pretty cut and dry to me...
Oh yeah, don't forget she was recovering from an INJURY at the time. Again,

Ok, time to focus on the positive.

Please let us know how the Uni. club visit goes.

Bronson

Last edited by Bronson : 05-05-2004 at 11:49 AM.

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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