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Old 01-30-2005, 01:30 AM   #1
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Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of January 30, 2005:

Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.
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Old 01-30-2005, 03:38 AM   #2
Tim Griffiths
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

There's a saying in Russian: "Ugly birds don't fly".
If your (or my) aikido looks bad, it probably is. Relaxed, flowing movement, clean changes of power and direction, good posture and a lack of wasted motion - these are all things that make aikido look nice, as well as being hallmarks of good aikido.

Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:43 AM   #3
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

Tim nailed it.
Couldn't have said it better.
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:27 AM   #4
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I have to confess that I also care what my aikido looks like purely for the sake of, well, it's nice to look good if possible... But i agree with the above as well.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:30 AM   #5
Qatana
 
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

Well as a lifelong dancer and professional model, Sometimes I get a little to obsessive with how my movement looks. My dojo is shared with a ballet school and one of what I consider my greatest aikido successes is that while I am in the dojo, the mirrored wall Does Not Exist.
If I try to control how my aikido looks, I will easily get my neck broken from trying to split my attention between uke and the mirror. If I concentrate on how it Feels, and do the technique without struggling or putting my foot up somebody's hakama, I'm willing to bet I look just fine.
Except of course looking dorky cuz I'm still in gi pants.

Q
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"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:49 PM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

Gee, I'm one of the minority who doesn't care what it looks like!
Maybe its being short round a tad overweight and now over 50.
Maybe its wearing the knee brace and spending half my aikido training doing non-standard ukemi.
Maybe its that I focus on how it FEELS.
The only thing I'm trying to do in terms of how it looks is, smile and be inviting to my partner.
...and this from a woman who cannot leave the house without exhaustive self examination in the mirror!

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-30-2005, 04:38 PM   #7
Anders Bjonback
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

Honestly, I don't think it has to look good to work, but I guess I'm vain and don't want to look like a retard.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:06 PM   #8
Don_Modesto
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

Quote:
Tim Griffiths wrote:
If your (or my) aikido looks bad, it probably is. Relaxed, flowing movement, clean changes of power and direction, good posture and a lack of wasted motion - these are all things that make aikido look nice, as well as being hallmarks of good aikido.
Agreed.

I recall one teacher, though, who carried this concern into vanity. Not only would his head be off in the wrong direction when throwing so he could see himself in the mirror, he would sweep his hair into the proper place, too!

He was a pretty scary fellow, very powerful. I was training with him alone once when some passerby stopped to watch. The change in him was palpable and I worried that I would get hurt, not through intention but through distraction. He was so determined to show his strength that he lept ambitiously forward, stepped IN his HAKAMA, and face-planted. The observers tactfully departed.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:11 PM   #9
SeiserL
 
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I want to care, but it still looks like too-old too-big too-much-mileage Aikido.

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 01-30-2005, 08:43 PM   #10
maikerus
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I care. I don't care what *I* look like, but my Aikido reflects my teachers and I want to do the best I can by them.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:47 PM   #11
xuzen
 
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
I care. I don't care what *I* look like, but my Aikido reflects my teachers and I want to do the best I can by them.

--Michael
Ditto Maikerusan,

Well said. Must not let sensei loose face.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:45 AM   #12
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

Whether you care or not, it is not easy to control what it looks like.

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Old 01-31-2005, 04:55 AM   #13
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
Gee, I'm one of the minority who doesn't care what it looks like!
Maybe its being short round a tad overweight and now over 50.
That has nothing to do with how your aikido looks like! I'm short, round and more than a tad overweight myself... not trying to say that you should care, entirely up to you.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 01-31-2005, 05:03 AM   #14
bogglefreak20
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I agree that good Aikido also looks good. But during training I do anot worry about what my Aikido looks like, nor could I asses that in any way - there are no mirrors in the dojo.

I do distinctly remember our sensei telling us in the beginners class that when we practice at home, we shouldn't practice in front of a mirror. We should remain focus on sensing the movement and postures of our body rather than looking in the mirror and relying on it's judgement.
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Old 01-31-2005, 06:30 AM   #15
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I care how my aikido looks....because 9 times out of 10, that's how sensei can tell what I'm doing wrong. (Unless he is uke for me, then he sure doesn't need to see much) A lot of times now, I know exactly what he is going to correct right after I do it....because I know it probably didn't look very good, even from across the room. <grin>

Maybe this will all change one day, but I'm only 3rd kyu and only training for a little over 2 years.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 01-31-2005, 06:41 AM   #16
Roger C. Marks
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

Hopefully, form should follow function - if technique is good, it should look good. Conversely, the perceived idealisation of form may not necessarily ensure alpha plus function. There is also the little point about subjugation of your biggest enemy - ego.
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Old 01-31-2005, 07:45 AM   #17
ian
 
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I'd agree that aikido doesn't have to look good to be effective, but using Tim's analogy, you could get a dead bird to fly by firing it from a cannon. i.e. I think we aim to make it look good (in training) because it shows efficiency and blending.

Maybe some people have different ideas of what 'looks good' though? In a weird circular argument, I think aikido looks good when there is blending and efficiency.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 01-31-2005, 05:34 PM   #18
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

When Aikido feels good it looks good.
Mary Eastland
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Old 01-31-2005, 07:46 PM   #19
Jim Simons
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I once heard a sensei in our dojo talking about a seminar that was coming to our region, close enough that some of us might like to attend; the teacher giving the seminar is a fairly well-known and highly ranked teacher. My sensei's remark was "Usually good aikido looks beautiful. [Seminar teacher]'s aikido is amazing but it looks...weird!"
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:30 PM   #20
Amendes
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I wouldn't care, but I do. I show others how to do Aikido. What sort of confidence do I convey if my techniques look like doodie.
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Old 02-02-2005, 01:13 PM   #21
charron
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Talking Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I think that focusing on looking good, is more like feeding your ego. I prefer to focus on what I'm feeling from uke, and how I can take advantage of his recovery, to perform a technique. Looking good will take care of itself, when the other aspects of aikido are in sync.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:07 PM   #22
Alfonso
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I voted no, because I don't know what to look at

a few years ago I thought I could judge my aikido by watching it. Since then I have learned that many of the assumptions on form I had were wrong, things that I thought were bad were good and vice versa.

so no, I can't really tell. I'm more worried on how it feels to me.

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:14 PM   #23
Aikiscott
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

I'm 183cm tall & 128kg I have never felt that my Aikido was graceful (though one of the new students in my Dojo did describe my Aikido as Floppy ) & have never really cared that much about how it looks.
If you survive, Its good technique. If it looks good in the process all well and good, but there is no point in looking graceful whilst you are being broken in two. Which is probably a little Thuggish, but it works for me.

Now if I can only make that work in my Shodan grading then I might stand a chance in passing.
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Old 02-02-2005, 07:44 PM   #24
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

When I start thinking about "looking good" I start doing "Swan Lake ballet arms" and that drives my teacher crazy.

Jeanne
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Old 02-02-2005, 10:39 PM   #25
Janet Rosen
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Re: Poll: Do you currently care what your aikido looks like?

Quote:
Jeanne Shepard wrote:
When I start thinking about "looking good" I start doing "Swan Lake ballet arms" and that drives my teacher crazy.
I LOVE that image!!!! Can you imagine a group of us doing it simultaneously?!

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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