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Old 05-17-2001, 10:23 PM   #1
Jon Adams
Location: Bethlehem, PA
Join Date: May 2001
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Aikido and sports injuries

Hajime Mashita, I am going to be taking Aikido soon and probably spamming the forums with my newbie insight so expect to hear way to much from me.

As I was perusing the online information available I came across some stuff which I have a question on.

1) The aiki taiso exercises which one can do themselves, would it instill bad habits to start practicing them prior to getting official instruction? Same with kokyo-ho (as demonstrated in Aikido: The way of harmony by John Stevens) Just how far can I go in mimicing stance and other techniques before I create habits which will be harder to correct later?

2) In regards to Seiza, I have a bad knee from football (scoped it once). How do people with bad knees cope with Seiza, is it a problem.

Also, how do bad knees affect practice? Is it that much more difficult?
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Old 05-18-2001, 09:05 AM   #2
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
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Hi Jon;

Each dojo is different and the stuff you mentioned is learnt, at least on the basic level, very quickly.

Get to a dojo

Stay clear of the books until you have some practice time under your belt.

Your problems with knees and discomfort will eventually work themselves out. If the injury is serious most sensei will allow you to modify your sitting.


Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-18-2001, 11:42 AM   #3
Jon Adams
Location: Bethlehem, PA
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Thanks for the response, I am still gonna hit the books in regards to the philosophical (s.p?) portion of aikido (read Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba) but I guess I will hold off on the techniques. I tend to hype myself up and jump in asap.
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Old 05-18-2001, 12:39 PM   #4
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
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Hi Jon;

I meant those too although the book you mentioned is not a bad idea.

Many beginners come to dojos with very strong ideas about what the philosophy of Aikido is and get very confused after they have begun training. I am of the view that philosophy is made clear through training. Books, and there are some good ones out there, supplement your training but should be secondary to it.


Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Adams
I am still gonna hit the books in regards to the philosophical (s.p?) portion of aikido (read Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-18-2001, 01:33 PM   #5
Jon Adams
Location: Bethlehem, PA
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Aah, I see. Guess patience is something I need to muster.

On the note of philosophy though, I have noticed all the books about Aikido yet one of the 6 rules for the dojo O Sensei wrote up was not to randomly reveal the techniques lest hoodlums use them. How true does modern Aikido philosophy compare to the Founder's ideals? Have they done more than adapt to the times?

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Old 05-18-2001, 03:26 PM   #6
PeterR
 
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Hi Jon;

I am perhaps not the best person to discuss philosophy with for I come from a style that was founded by one of the pre-war students of Ueshiba M. Much of the philosophical leanings of the Aikikai have no place in Shodokan although there is some commonallity. I do train with Aikikai groups locally and when I travel, and based solely on my opinion.

1. The best Aikikai teachers don't discuss philosophy on the mat, at least very seldom. The emphasis is on training hard with the more esoteric being introduced when you are ready and usually over beer.

2. Western students, especially at the beginning levels, tend to be more concerned with philosophy than their Japanese counterparts.

3. Student's that worry about the philosophy too early often overextend and put artificial limits on what Aikido is. Worse yet they start getting selective and ignoring what they read or hear that contradicts what they believe. Its an easy trap to fall into and damm hard to crawl out of.

The founder's ideals are open to interpretation - big problem and the source of much discussion.


Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Adams
On the note of philosophy though, I have noticed all the books about Aikido yet one of the 6 rules for the dojo O Sensei wrote up was not to randomly reveal the techniques lest hoodlums use them. How true does modern Aikido philosophy compare to the Founder's ideals? Have they done more than adapt to the times?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-18-2001, 03:58 PM   #7
Nick
Dojo: Aikido of Greater Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Adams

On the note of philosophy though, I have noticed all the books about Aikido yet one of the 6 rules for the dojo O Sensei wrote up was not to randomly reveal the techniques lest hoodlums use them. How true does modern Aikido philosophy compare to the Founder's ideals? Have they done more than adapt to the times?

Try learning something from a book, and see how proficient you get. Though I'm not sure, I'd make a guess that you would, well... suck. To learn and experience aiki, you have to learn from a qualified teacher. I think that this regulation of O-sensei's was to tell instructors to look at the quality of the student before teaching him...

Or something like that... any other thoughts about this? I'm too tired to write anything too well, but I'd like to read what others think.

Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 05-18-2001, 09:56 PM   #8
Jon Adams
Location: Bethlehem, PA
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One of the reasons that western students might be more interested in the philosophy than the japanese students is because it is new. It isn't an extension of religion or ideas that have permeated their culture, the novelty and foreigness makes it appealing. It was one of the reasons I personally was drawn to eastern philosophy (not just that of aikido).

Worrying about the philosophy is different than reading it. I agree that mat time should be for hard work and training and the beer afterwards is for philosophy. From my experiences hard training clears the mind, something a discussion about deep stuff would just interfere with.

For some odd reason the beer makes the philosophy sound better and the philosophy makes the beer taste better. Maybe it's just me.


I really appreciate the replies to this thread, thanks for the input. I am going to try and attend my first class tomorrow, I'll enter with a clear mind open for instruction. My goodness that sounded cheezy. Post to y'all later.
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Old 05-22-2001, 07:19 AM   #9
ahdumb
Dojo: Ueshiba (Nanyang Polytechnic)
Location: Singpore
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Re: Aikido and sports injuries

Ha ha. My Sensei just reminded us the other day that "You can come to the dojo and learn aikido without any books, but not vice versa."

So forget the books.

Oh don't worry about your injuries. Let me list down the number of people who I know of that have injuries in the dojo:

1. My good buddy Nigel fractured his knee when he was a kid. That didn't stop him.
2. One of my senior belts, a brown belt, was told by doctors he would never be able to do a seiza again after an accident of some sort. He just got promoted last month.
3. A fellow student from another school has screws in his pelvis and he's fine.
4. I myself have a back problem.
5. And from what I've heard, my own Sensei got his right knee pierced by a wooden rod at some point in his life. He's a 6th Dan now and he's still going on very strong.

So don't worry about your injuries. They won't get in your way.

And on the philosophical side, you've got to go beyond books . Well, that's what I think anyway.

--- "Sit up straight!", my sensei
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