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Old 10-31-2004, 03:46 PM   #1
Yokaze
 
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Dojo: Five Dragons
Location: Sonoma State University
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Ki Symbol Aikido off the mat...

I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts on how Aikido has affected life outside of, well, Aikido. Any change in lifestyle, attitude, that you suspect may be tied to your studies in Aikido.

Personally, Aikido has had a profound impact on my life outside the dojo.

For a long time, I considered myself a pacifist, but I thought that made me weak. Aikido has given me the self-confidence I need to hold on to my philosophies, and provided me with a clarity of thought I never had before.

More than that, I find that I notice a lot more of the world around me. I'll stop and watch a spider weaving its web for ten minutes, just admiring the beauty of it. It has become nearly impossible to sneak up on me, not because I can "sense" the presence of another person, my mind is just more in tune with the sounds and vibrations around me somehow.

In addition, the way of moving I've learned in Aikido has given me the ability to move almost completely silently. It sounds ridiculous, but I am not joking. I usually get home after midnight, and my family used to complain about me making noise when I walked in. Now, whenever I walk up behind someone and start talking, they jump, even though I was making no conscious attempt to move silently.

I'm sure I'm opening myself up to a lot of wannabe ninja jokes , but these are things that I have noticed over the last two years of training in Aikido.

Has anyone else felt any similar changes, or anything else, for that matter? I'd love to hear how your life has been changed through Aikido.

"The only true victory is victory over oneself."

Rob Cunningham
3rd Kyu

Icon courtesy of Norbert Knoll http://www.aikido-verein-hannover.de
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Old 10-31-2004, 04:33 PM   #2
Laurel Wagstaff
Dojo: Aikido of Tamalpais
Location: California
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

Off the mat...

I was just thinking about this
I cannot, for the life of me, do The Robot anymore. (Ya know, the jerky dance moves)
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Old 10-31-2004, 06:27 PM   #3
Dan Gould
Dojo: Cilfynydd, Pontypridd
Location: Abercynon, Wales
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

Hehe, I generally sneak around anyway, comes from having a dog that goes crazy whenever you go to the door coz she wants to go walkies, when I'm just popping round the shop, lmao.

Irrelevant, maybe, but I envy you for having it affect you so positively, and I'm gonna go to my first class tonight (dies), I just wanted to be a part of the thread, lol :-$

Aikijutsu is what I'm doing at the moment, so for the sake of being on topic, that's given me slight confidence :-)
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Old 10-31-2004, 06:44 PM   #4
Natasha Ritchie
Dojo: Belfast Aikido Circle
Location: Belfast
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Northern Ireland
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

Well I'm still new at all this but I can definitely say that aikido has changed me. I have always had a very nervous disposition (comes from having a rather rocky start to life). I don't trust easily and tend to be absolutely terrified of men. All men. Things are changing though. From the initial terror of not only being in a room full of them and actually holding out my wrist to allow them to grab me, I am learning to trust. My perspective on life and people has changed. I'm not so nervous, I don't get jumpy anymore when people stand behind me. I suppose if you give people permission to try and attack you but they still don't hurt you, well that can't help but make a difference in your life. I'm now leaving a job that had me safe in a contained situation to something that will let me play with the rest of the world and I can't wait.

In short aikido has given me the confidence to trust and the inclination to go out into the real world and I couldn't be more grateful. If this is me after just three months, what will I be after three years? Can't wait to see.
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Old 10-31-2004, 09:26 PM   #5
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

Quote:
More than that, I find that I notice a lot more of the world around me. <snip...>. It has become nearly impossible to sneak up on me, not because I can "sense" the presence of another person, my mind is just more in tune with the sounds and vibrations around me somehow.
Yeah, me too. You are not alone.

Quote:
In addition, the way of moving I've learned in Aikido has given me the ability to move almost completely silently It sounds ridiculous, but I am not joking. I usually get home after midnight, and my family used to complain about me making noise when I walked in. Now, whenever I walk up behind someone and start talking, they jump, even though I was making no conscious attempt to move silently.
.
Yeah, me too. You are not alone.

Quote:
I'm sure I'm opening myself up to a lot of wannabe ninja jokes , but these are things that I have noticed over the last two years of training in Aikido.

Quote:
Has anyone else felt any similar changes, or anything else, for that matter? I'd love to hear how your life has been changed through Aikido.
Yeah, me too. You are not alone. There a testimony from a satisfied aikidoka. To all non-believers, you will be converted once you step on the mat. <Muah ha ha ha ha>

Oh one more thing, aikidoka are damm good dancers too.. especially the way we can shake our bumps b'coz of the years of training our hip power. Yeah baby yeah <Austin powers trademark chant>

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:32 AM   #6
SeiserL
 
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Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

My compliments and appreciation for letting Aikido change you. IMHO, when we take in the philosophy of Aikido and apply it of the mat, outside the dojo, we can get some great results. I believe it adds a smoothness and grace to the way I move, think, and act towards others. I enjoy the "enter and blend" rather than resist.

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 11-01-2004, 08:55 AM   #7
Qatana
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

I spend a great deal of time responding to posts which "push my buttons". I write till i feel i've said what i need to say, then i hit "delete' instead of "post".

I've found that if i don't put myself On the line, there's no need to move Off.

Since i've always been the person to start the argument, or the one to escalate, i can only ascribe this new practice to my training. If i don't give the other person the opportunity to "attack" then i have no need to "defend".

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 11-01-2004, 10:30 AM   #8
Yokaze
 
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Location: Sonoma State University
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

Quote:
Natasha Ritchie wrote:
I have always had a very nervous disposition (comes from having a rather rocky start to life). I don't trust easily and tend to be absolutely terrified of men. All men. ...snip... My perspective on life and people has changed. I'm not so nervous, I don't get jumpy anymore when people stand behind me.
Wow... I'd hate to imagine what kind of "rocky start" could inspire such terror in you. Rest assured, as you are undoubtedly finding out, that not all men are like those you seem to have encountered in the past. That's a difficult block to get past. A lot of the time you feel like, if you have had a particular experience over and over again, that it will happen to you every time.

This is simply not the case. Thanks for opening up to me and your fellow Aikidoka. That takes a lot of courage. ^_^

Quote:
xuzen wrote:
Oh one more thing, aikidoka are damm good dancers too.. especially the way we can shake our bumps b'coz of the years of training our hip power.
It's funny. I have incredible balance (since long before Aikido) I have really good rhythm (in part from obsessively playing DDR and Drummania) and I can move my hips well thanks to endless Tenkan, yet I can't dance for the life of me.

All the pieces are in place, yet it still feels like something's missing. Maybe talent.

"The only true victory is victory over oneself."

Rob Cunningham
3rd Kyu

Icon courtesy of Norbert Knoll http://www.aikido-verein-hannover.de
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Old 11-01-2004, 10:33 AM   #9
Yokaze
 
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

Hey Jo, I train, like, twenty miles north of you. Which dojo do you go to? Maybe I ought to head down there for a session or two. (Or you could come up here, we're not tough to find.)

"The only true victory is victory over oneself."

Rob Cunningham
3rd Kyu

Icon courtesy of Norbert Knoll http://www.aikido-verein-hannover.de
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:13 PM   #10
tony cameron
Location: portland
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

as the years go by,
subtle changes will occur,
in silence and strength.

-tony
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:50 PM   #11
Amassus
 
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Dojo: Aikido Musubi Ryu/ Yoshin Wadokan
Location: Hamilton
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New Zealand
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

Confidence...
Aikido has given me an inner confidence that is now reflected in all other aspects of my life. I have come to realise that people recognise this confidence and bounce off it.
I thought I was a pretty well-rounded person before I started aikido, now I know that I was not as well adjusted as I am now.

Life is good.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 11-01-2004, 02:55 PM   #12
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

Quote:
Rob Cunningham wrote:
Hey Jo, I train, like, twenty miles north of you. Which dojo do you go to? Maybe I ought to head down there for a session or two. (Or you could come up here, we're not tough to find.)
There are a number of us in the area. You might consider joining us at a seminar Sat. Nov. 13 at Centerfield Aikido, in Graton (which is kinda Sebastopol)--details at http://www.cityaikido.com/News/ and dojo info at http://www.sonic.net/~lmath/
to answer the question.....training in aikido has helped me to focus clearly on and to confront internal fears and conflicts, and it is the medium through which I work on simply connecing with other humans.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:43 PM   #13
Qatana
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

Hey Rob
Come on down, anytime. After tests tomorrow i'm pretty sure the Monday night class will be focussing on ukemi, specially breakfalls, mostly cuz i've been begging for them. Its usually a very small group, 2-3 people, so lots of individual attention.
And do come to the seminar in Graton, Bob Nadeau Shihan is my sensei's sensei, and was a direct student of O'Sensei, and is a lot of fun to train with. At least I think so!

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 11-01-2004, 04:53 PM   #14
Yokaze
 
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Dojo: Five Dragons
Location: Sonoma State University
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

Sadly, I have no car, thus no way to get ANYWHERE. I can't even get to the dojo in Santa Rosa. I can hitch a bus to Petaluma, though, because SC Transit will go there. I dunno about Graton.

Jo, I'll check out the website in your signature for info on times and the address.

Thanks all for your wonderful replies! Keep 'em coming! I want this thread to outlast that god-awful "Aikido does not work at all in a fight" thread which is, like, three years old. ^__^

"The only true victory is victory over oneself."

Rob Cunningham
3rd Kyu

Icon courtesy of Norbert Knoll http://www.aikido-verein-hannover.de
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Old 11-01-2004, 05:07 PM   #15
Sue Trinidad
Dojo: Island Aikido
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
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Re: Aikido off the mat...

I'm finding it easier to relax when things are happening that I don't like.

I am also getting better at getting off the line, by which I mean something like, giving the thing that's coming at me--and me, too--some more space and time. . . allowing something different to happen.

I think I may also be learning to have more patience with myself and the pace at which I am learning.
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