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Old 01-13-2006, 06:34 AM   #1
"Sanon"
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My Aikido Secret

I have been practicing Aikido for about one year and no one at my work place knows. I feel that the fact that I practice is very special to me, sacred, and not something I want to share with the whole world. Problem is, as I further develop in the art, it is becoming more and more a part of my being (I'm happy about this), which is becoming visible in the work place. For example, I've hung some Kanji in my office related to some principles of Aikido. I carry my Jo in and out of the office to do kata during lunch. I try to resolve work problems, facilitate group discussions, and resolve conflicts through aiki ways. People at work are beginning to ask questions and I feel it's only a matter of time before I must reveal the fact that I practice or outright lie. Does anyone else have the same feeling, that they don't want the whole world to know that they practice? What are your experiences?
Sanon
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:09 PM   #2
"---"
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Why is it so important that you keep this a secret? Although there are people I don't feel like loudly advertising my Aikido participation to, if they are genuinely curious, I see no harm in telling them the truth. Besides, lying will only get you so far, you could make up some cock-and-bull story about carrying around a Jo for protection, but if someone actually sees you training one day, it shouldn't be the end of the world. I say be open with people if they ask you, because lying to your friends and colleagues to keep your hobby secret (your hobby that you are proud of) is immature.
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:17 PM   #3
ccain85
Dojo: Chicago Aikikai
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Re: My Aikido Secret

the hardest part for me has always been when they say "aikido, whats that"
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:18 PM   #4
Edwin Neal
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Re: My Aikido Secret

when asked just simply state something like. i have been taking classes in a Japanese martial art called Aikido...
you don't have to really say any thing more...
if you try to keep it secret because it makes you feel proud or superior, then you may want to meditate on that ...
If you think people will think you are a nut or some such... don't worry about them...

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-15-2006, 11:13 PM   #5
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Quote:
For example, I've hung some Kanji in my office related to some principles of Aikido. I carry my Jo in and out of the office to do kata during lunch.
I think I've found your problem...

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 01-16-2006, 02:38 AM   #6
James Smithe
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Martial Artist tend to hide themselves. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's because they teach us to have humility or something. When you are weak pretend you are strong when you are strong pretend you are weak.
There are only two people who know I take Aikido my mom and my dad and that's only because I live with them. They like to list my hobbies when they talk about me I told them not to mention Aikido when they do.
My father took Karate 30 years ago and hasn't taken it since but he understands this concept. He only got to a yellow belt, but he told me that martial artists unless they are a novice won't tell any one they take martial arts. He said the group tends to keep to themselves almost like a secret society.
I understand what you mean by taking over your life. One time I was taking an art class at night. I stayed when everyone else left because I wanted to finish up my project. After I got sick of working on my art project I started busting out in Kata.
Quote:
if you try to keep it secret because it makes you feel proud or superior, then you may want to meditate on that ...
If you look at this post again can you explain yourself more clearly? I'm having a hard time understanding you.
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Old 01-16-2006, 02:56 AM   #7
Alec Corper
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Please dont start sleeping in a hakama, or wearing your gi to work. i think some people recently referred to sleeping with their bokken. Is that japanese slang for "honey pie"? I'm beginning to wonder......
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Old 01-16-2006, 02:59 AM   #8
Mark Freeman
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Quote:
I try to resolve work problems, facilitate group discussions, and resolve conflicts through aiki ways.
Great stuff, this is the essence of 21st century aikido!

Quote:
People at work are beginning to ask questions and I feel it's only a matter of time before I must reveal the fact that I practice or outright lie.
What possible good would lying do, just be honest. Most curiosity will fade as soon as you start to explain some of the 'philosophy', watch the eyes clouding over followed by a hasty retreat back to the work-a-day world.

Enjoy your practice, it is yours, not theirs.
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:13 AM   #9
jk
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Most people who practice martials arts are reluctant to talk much about it because:

1. Other people don't care.
2. If by chance they show some interest, 70-80% of the time they'll pester you with a silly request to "show me something cool." Invariably they're disappointed that the only way you generate mighty ki-blasts is via your ass.

Sometimes the less said, the better it is for all parties involved.
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Old 01-16-2006, 07:06 AM   #10
Mike Fugate
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Exclamation Re: My Aikido Secret

Keeping your MA a secret isnt bad at all. If people ask why your are philosophical just shrugg it off and play it kool. It is apart of you now, so just go with it. Also try not to be a walking text book or Mr. Knowledge, cuz that alone brings attention to yourself. Aikido is kept secret just as other traditional arts have been, that way if ever used in a fight it is a suprise and no one is expecting what you will do...its better that way

"When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding." -- Caine
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Old 01-16-2006, 07:34 AM   #11
Marnen
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Quote:
Mike Fugate wrote:
Aikido is kept secret just as other traditional arts have been, that way if ever used in a fight it is a suprise and no one is expecting what you will do...its better that way
<devil's-advocate 1>But if it's really effective, secrecy shouldn't matter.</devil's-advocate 1>

<devil's-advocate 2>But a reputation for knowing what you're doing in a fight may be a good deterrent to a fight...which is one of the objectives of "greater" aikido, ne?</devil's-advocate 2>

At the moment, I see no particular reason to keep secret the fact of training in (any) martial art. On the other hand, if you really want to keep it secret, that's up to you. Just remember one of my favorite Klingon proverbs: "if you do not wish a thing heard, do not say it". You've already "said it" pretty loudly by bringing your jo to work -- now you may have to deal with the consequences of your actions. How you deal with them is up to you.
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Old 01-16-2006, 07:50 AM   #12
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

People don't think about nearly us as much as we think they do. They have their own lives to live. If you really don't want people to know.... take down the kanji and leave your jo in the car.
Mary
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Old 01-16-2006, 10:19 AM   #13
Qatana
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Pretending to have no ego is far more ego driven than bragging about what you do or know, in my book.You are carrying your jo to work Specifically so people will ask you about it.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:10 AM   #14
ian
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Although aikido principles often tend to infiltrate our lives many other people would understand them if you put them in their terms. i.e. unless you are an idiot you don't adopt certain principles because 'they are aikido" but because you believe aikido highlights some fundamental principles of the workings of the universe (or at least are useful at work). Thus, when someone asks you "why do you respond in this way", you can say that it because you have found you get positive results by responding in that way.

I'm not sure why you would hang Kanji in your office if it is not to show something to other people (unless they are particularly pretty or you need some reminder of what the kanji say - a bit like those cheesy motivational posters you can get). I also took my weapons into work to practise at lunch-time, but nobody really cares.

I wouldn't make a big deal of it. People generally care more about their own problems than about what you do at lunch time. If people ask, tell them your influences. Either they may become interested in aikido, they'll think you're a freak or they won't give a damn. Usually people fall into the last category, and eventually people who were in the 2nd category also fall into the last category.

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:14 AM   #15
ian
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

P.S. although Sanon's pretence at not having an ego could be ridiculed, I suggest that our pretence at not having an ego is just more developed and therefore more subtle. Thus Sanon, in his naiveity, is actually closer to being egoless

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:21 AM   #16
Qatana
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Ah, but I do not pretend not to have an ego. I am a self-confessed attention hound.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 01-16-2006, 12:43 PM   #17
Mark Uttech
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Above all, do not leave your jo in the car! Leaving wooden weapons in a hot car nearly guarantee warpage! In gassho
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:22 PM   #18
James Smithe
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Did it ever occur to you guys that he found a place to practice where no one is around? I just told you I practiced Kata at my community college but not one human being saw me.
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:35 PM   #19
Mike Fugate
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Confused Re: My Aikido Secret

This has to be worse than a Seagal thread, I mean WTF? I have never met a person that boasted and brought attention to themselves that were really all that good. Those that are good dont give a damn if anyone else kows about it or not cuz that wont change the fact of what they know. I. E....Shaolin preists would NEVER wear there robe in public, yet we see commi monks do it now days. Why didnt they? Because they didnt NEED anyone to know about who they are. Trying to convince others is actually a cleaver way of trying to convince yourself. I thnk the statement about studying for one year basically sums this one up, lets see how much differently you view and act about your MA in 5 more years.

"When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding." -- Caine
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:46 PM   #20
James Smithe
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Quote:
I thnk the statement about studying for one year basically sums this one up,
What?
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:17 AM   #21
ruthmc
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Re: My Aikido Secret

This one is easy - just make sure you work for somebody who also trains in Aikido, like I do

My boss trains at a different dojo so we can always swap ideas, which is

Ruth
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:09 AM   #22
RebeccaM
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Re: My Aikido Secret

Why keep it a secret? Are you ashamed? If aikido is such an important part of your life you might as well stop being so sneaky about it (not that parading aroud the workplace with a jo in your hand really constitutes as sneaky...if I suddenly started showing up at work with a great big stick I'd be getting a lot attention really quickly). You don't have to brag about it and tell everyone you meet within the first five minutes you do aikido. That wold be annoying. However, when the questions come up you may as well give them the honest answer. You may get some rather silly reactions but once you explain what's going on they'll back off. The reactions are only going to be sillier the longer you keep this a secret though.
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:01 AM   #23
Duarh
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Re: My Aikido Secret

It is definitely true that most people don't care all that much about your hobbies and will at most ask about anything strange they observe just to make conversation. Continually advertising your aikido obsession (meant in a good way, of course ) will not make you well-loved any more than any other type of let's-talk-about-me conversation will. However, from experience, I think it is important not to go too far down this road. At some points in my life, I've ended up exchanging only a couple of words a week with other people because there was nothing I wanted to hear about from them, and I assumed they didn't particularly want to hear anything I had to say. That starts to affect you and your life after a while, and I think not for the better.

As a result of such considerations, I don't advertise my obsession with aikido, but I don't hide it either. If someone asks me where I am going with that pointy-looking bag, I'll tell them it's sports. If they ask what kind of sports, I'll tell them the name (which will usually require further explanation). In most cases, that is enough. In others, people become interested and may in fact be stimulated to try the art out for themselves. There are several friends and acquaintances of mine who I introduced to aikido that way, and I certainly don't regret not being secretive in their cases! Of course, it helps to make no claims super-stealth-ninja-sokesmanship to them (unless that really applies), because that is laid to rest pretty easily after stepping on the mat. . .

So I think forgetting about the whole deal may be safe. Give an answer if asked, but don't worry overly as few people really want to know much. Carrying a jo to work isn't exhibitionism if you don't intend it to be.

Last edited by Duarh : 01-17-2006 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 01-18-2006, 12:39 AM   #24
"Mucianus"
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Re: My Aikido Secret

If the gear brings disruption to your workplace, do not bring it. If it brings you a sense of peace, and helps you maintain a positive attitude while at work, then bring it.

It doesn't sound like its so big of a secret, I'm sure assumptions are made in regards to the gear that you are involved in a martial art, so i don't think you'd benefit from outright lying. In order to assist you in helping you find a more effective answer, provide more effective details such as type of employment, questions that you are asked, and the general attitudes and beliefs of your work environment.
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Old 01-18-2006, 08:41 AM   #25
Qatana
 
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Re: My Aikido Secret

I always bring my weapons to my Modeling jobs to pose with, so I can always keep my aikido practice a secret by just saying they are props for modeling. So all you have to do is become an artists' model, work naked, and then then you can carry your weapons without having to make up a story.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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