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Old 07-23-2005, 06:03 PM   #1
Dojo: Tan Aiki Dojo
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 202
Just a thought....

I was thinking the other night that learning Aikido is like learning to write. You have someone teaching you step by step and you continue to do it step by step slowly for quite some time, making sure the individual strokes are correct. / \ - will be made in that order to make /-\ that looks like A when sensei does it. But at some point in time you get the strokes down well enough that you stop thinking and worrying about how they look and how they are done and just do them. Sometimes you will have the pretty big A's and sometimes you will have the sloppy hard to read A's that you had to write quickly in a moving car, but they are still A's. Kinda got me thinking that this is the diffrence between what you practice with a partner in class and what you do in your backyard with a friend or what you do in reality. Ikkyo is always ikkyo even if it aint pretty type thing.

What do ya'll think?
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Old 07-23-2005, 07:39 PM   #2
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 395
Re: Just a thought....

Interesting, never thought of it this way. In my dojo it has to be pretty.
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Old 07-23-2005, 08:40 PM   #3
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 66
Re: Just a thought....

Interesting. My sensei always draws the comparison to learning how to write in cursive. Like you said, you start out with the individual strokes. You make your letter look good. Then eventually, you're moving your pen all over the place.
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Old 07-23-2005, 11:52 PM   #4
DevinHammer's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 90
Re: Just a thought....

We've talked about it being like learning a new language. First copying words, then phrases, building sentences. Eventually, having conversations and telling stories, even poetry.

I like the writing analogy though. That breaks it down even further, and is probably more what it felt like in those first few weeks.

Good one...
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Old 07-24-2005, 03:51 AM   #5
Location: swansea wales
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 250
United Kingdom
Re: Just a thought....

first few weeks your a quick learner i am into my fifth week and still feel like an ugly duckling in the dojo
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Old 07-24-2005, 05:38 AM   #6
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crbateman's Avatar
Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,502
Re: Just a thought....

It's also an interesting correlation to note that, even after many years of practice, some peoples' writing is quite impossible for others besides themselves to understand. So it is with Aikido...
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Old 07-24-2005, 07:55 AM   #7
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: Just a thought....

I've seen Saotome sensei take brand new people who have no idea how to take ukemi, and do the most amazingly pretty waza with them. I get new people frequently, so I get to continue working on how to move such that it looks pretty (and feels right) with people who have no training what-so-ever yet. To me, this is an important aspect. How can you make nice looking ukemi be the most comfortable place for the partner - especially the resisting partner with no ukemi trianing.

Anyway, there is always something to work on!

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Old 07-24-2005, 06:42 PM   #8
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Re: Just a thought....

Calligraphy (Shodo) is a good analogy. When you first learn to write the characters, they look "forced" and squarish. There is no subtlety in the form. You see hard lines, solid strokes and rigidity. In Shodo, this is called "kaisho" or block-style.

As you become more fluid, the character forms are softer, and looks more "rounded". There is more subtlety in the strokes, and sometimes individual characters flow into the next. This is called "gyosho" or walking-style.

When you get to the higher levels ("sosho", or grass-style), the brush becomes an extension of your ki. The strokes are swift and smooth. There is much subtlety in the shapes, which resemble nothing like the original form, yet the characters are balanced and flowing. Very often, the same character is never written the same way twice. The form becomes the outward expression of the calligrapher's inner feeling.

Aikido is very much like calligraphy. It is the internal expression of aikido and not the external form that is important, although the forms provide the basic shapes as vehicles for expression.

Last edited by eyrie : 07-24-2005 at 06:47 PM.

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