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Old 10-30-2005, 08:50 PM   #1
mathewjgano
 
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On communication and verbal Aikido

In my very limited Aikido experience I've come to focus on two basic elements. My initial focus was on ukemi; how to engage in a way that was sincere and present, but where I was subordiante to the movements of my partner, who theoretically was in a superior position. Now I'm trying to apply the more "commanding" side of my training where i try to be in the superior position and drive that position home, so to speak.
I see the many personalities on this forum and the way the equally many methods play themselves out. On the mat, in the physical realm, we can see fairly clearly who ends up with the stronger position. We don't seem to have that luxury online/verbally. Add to that the many different connotations certain phrases have to the many different people who read them, and it seems to be a very uncertain environment, where we have to costantly second-guess at the actual tone behind each set of words. Different people assert different perspectives in different ways and it makes me wonder if there is an ideal approach...or at least, if there are ideal principles to consider when communicating that can apply universaly, or near enough.
Just as it's hard to practice both the flexible, theoretically submissive role of uke, and the assertive, theoretically more powerfull role of nage at the same time, I wonder how easy it is to reconcile these two roles in verbals engagements.
I think both "sides" require humility and a genuine care for each other, at least in so far as both sides care to arrive at the truth together (or a more full conception of it). At the same time I think when one feels strong conviction, in the name of that same honesty, one should express themselves as such.
I find myself going through phases: sometimes i feel very receptive and perhaps even excessively humble; other times I feel very sure of myself and perhaps excessively assertive.
I'm starting to ramble (ok I've been rambling the whole time ) so I'll end this here.
Any thoughts or insights as to the nature of optimum communication and how those ideas relate to the physical aspect of Aikido?
Take care all,
Matthew Gano

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Old 10-30-2005, 10:33 PM   #2
mathewjgano
 
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Sorry for a very convoluted thought...
Perhaps this is a better approach:
How would you say Aikido applies to communication? After reading my first post, the first thing that comes to mind is how much easier it is to act in a simple, direct manner. Any other thoughts?
Matt

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Old 10-31-2005, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
Sorry for a very convoluted thought...
Perhaps this is a better approach:
How would you say Aikido applies to communication? After reading my first post, the first thing that comes to mind is how much easier it is to act in a simple, direct manner. Any other thoughts?
Matt
Question: How does Aikido apply to communication?

Answer: It doesn't. It is the other way around.



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Old 10-31-2005, 04:26 PM   #4
mathewjgano
 
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
Question: How does Aikido apply to communication?

Answer: It doesn't. It is the other way around.



.
Then how does communication apply to Aikido?

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Old 11-01-2005, 01:20 AM   #5
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Really going out on a limb here, but could it be said that Aikido is communication? (as far as Aikido can be said to be a certain thing)...

... I have heard/read many times that a good communicator must also be a good listener.
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:53 AM   #6
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
Then how does communication apply to Aikido?
Aikido is communion. If you often find that you talk to yourself, you may want to talk to someone about that...



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Old 11-01-2005, 02:33 AM   #7
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Quote:
William Sullivan wrote:
Really going out on a limb here, but could it be said that Aikido is communication? (as far as Aikido can be said to be a certain thing)...

... I have heard/read many times that a good communicator must also be a good listener.
If someone says "aikido is ...", he probably does not mean a definition or equation. Not all communication is aikido, but good aikido is communication with all senses.

Yes, of course, you have to improve your skills to listen. There lots of posts out there about recognition of danger before the conflict is obvious, but let's stick on the pure fight. If you connect to your partner / aggressor and you can feel with your wrist / shoulder / whole body where the aggressing power is aiming to, you can really blend and use the power for the appropriate reply.
Improving your sensory capacity means not only recognising the obvious, but even hidden or unconscious messages.

Then you can improve in answering the best way to "tell" not only the obvious like "you (the aggressor) cannot win", but you show him all the love of aikido, that you do not want and do not need to hurt him/her to his/her inmost mind in a hidden subtle way, that the aggressor has no chance to deny with consciousness.

That is the opposite of power-aikido, but very powerful aikido.

Well, I am far away from being able to communicate this way. It is just what I understood from Saotome's last seminar and dinner talks in France, but I could feel this communication given by some of my partners.

And this is just my guess: as soon as you are able to communicate in this way, you start even recognising attacks before they are started or if you have no chance to see the attacking fist, staff from behind.

And communication starts much earlier. A good nage tells uke how and where to attack by posture or a step earlier "you really have no chance, do not even try!", without saying a word.

And outside of this time frame you will be able to detect an upcoming conflict and de-escalate before it gets to a critical level.


Some might ask, why my descriptions go backwards - they don't. I just started from inside to outer levels, as training would. in other (not martial) arts like psychology, you would start to explain body language, differences of voice etc. In martial arts, we start with the fight / conflict, but the goal is similar.

Kind regards Dirk
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:11 PM   #8
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Quote:
Aikido is communion
I'm sorry, but you'll have to spell it out for me if you want to communicate your meaning. So...communication applies to Aikido, "not" the other way around. Are you trying to say Aikido "IS" communication?

Quote:
If you often find that you talk to yourself, you may want to talk to someone about that...
Why would I do that? I've already got the best audience when I'm talking to myself
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 11-01-2005 at 06:20 PM.

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Old 11-01-2005, 06:28 PM   #9
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
Question: How does Aikido apply to communication?

Answer: It doesn't. It is the other way around.
.
Without being sure of what you're trying to tell me, I'm inclined to say i disagree with your "it doesn't" remark. Using the words and concepts of the person you're speaking with is a key concept in any communications class, hence, it seems to me, you can say Aikido can be applied to communication. Sincerity is required to practice Aikido; it's also required in some form to practice communication. Humility is often needed to make sincerity manifest properly since it often prevents assumption. This principle could apply to both Aikido keiko and to intentional communication. Maybe the best way to show me your meaning is to take what I've just said and point out misconceptions.
Take care,
Matt
ps-then again, maybe it's a matter of semantics.

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Old 11-01-2005, 06:47 PM   #10
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Two ways in which aikido can help communication:

- As a model.
- By altering your being.
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:35 PM   #11
Janet Rosen
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

BTW, that WAS "communion" the other person wrote...and I agree if we use a non-biblical sense of "the act or an instance of sharing, as of thoughts or feelings; religious or spiritual fellowship." Yep, that's aikido to me ... a potent form of nonverbal communication on many levels:
(1) it is essentially a conversation, an exchange of messages that, just as with verbal messages, can be mis-heard, argued with, objected to, ignored, run away from, etc....
(2) to avoid the pitfalls listed in (1) requires active "listening" (feeling) and trust in the open flow of the dialogue between the two parties
(3) it somaticizes/expresses one's beliefs and attitudes, even those that perhaps cannot be clearly verbally articulated, and allows one to interact with another human being to test/change these beliefs and attitudes.
Bottom line: There are people there are out there in the world, some of whom I know little of their life details, some with whom I have deep political or religious differences, but who I trust deeply and implicitly as human beings based on the experience of having trained with them.

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-01-2005, 11:17 PM   #12
mathewjgano
 
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Janet, as usual, you speak very eloquently. Thanks for explaining that to me.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 11-02-2005, 12:47 AM   #13
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
Without being sure of what you're trying to tell me, I'm inclined to say i disagree with your "it doesn't" remark.

Exactly! That is why both this and your initial postulation seem to be off by 180 degrees.
Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
Using the words and concepts of the person you're speaking with is a key concept in any communications class, hence, it seems to me, you can say Aikido can be applied to communication.

No, I can't say that. You can. You did. Again, that is all in line with your original thought. What any of this has to do with Aikido is only in your head.
Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
  • Sincerity is required to practice Aikido
  • it's also required in some form to practice communication.
  • Humility is often needed to make sincerity manifest properly
  • since it often prevents assumption.
  • This principle could apply to both Aikido keiko
  • and to intentional communication.
While these all seem like wonderful ideas, none of them seem to be based upon any fact at all...
Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
Maybe the best way to show me your meaning is to take what I've just said and point out misconceptions.

Okay, here goes...

Matt says, "THE WORLD IS FLAT!"
Shaun says, "No, it isn't."

How about this, "The earth listens."

Or this, "The many parts of your body dance away in an aikido orgy, but your head and your mind are like two dancers with four left feet."

...those really didn't help you at all. It seems like just another fallacy revealed.


Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
ps-then again, maybe it's a matter of semantics.

Flat? Round? Yeah, semantics. Having said that, I can prove that up is down; left is right; and low and behold that flat is round. However, that is a mere physics lesson, and it is just down the hall from semantics-101. Different sort of class, though, and probably something you may want to look at.



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Old 11-02-2005, 03:46 AM   #14
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
[/b]
Matt says, "THE WORLD IS FLAT!"
Shaun says, "No, it isn't."

.
How about ...

Matt says, "THE WORLD IS FLAT!"

Shaun....(knowing this is rubbish but using aikido to avoid an out an out confrontation, applies a verbal tenkan and says..

"really matt? why do you think that"?

Matt ...overcommiting his argument due to Shauns skilfull wordplay says "a man in the pub told me".

Shaun ...having draw out Matts argument applies irimi at this point ...

"actally Matt thats very interesting...did you know the man i the pub talks out of his rear and scientists have proved that the world is round"

Well...its just a thought.

D
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:58 PM   #15
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

I have heard that where ever th head goes the body tends to follow. This applies in everything. Where ever you go, there you are. So, how one organizes their thoughts and communications is also generalized to how they practice Aikido.

Some people lack gracefulness in all they do, some are too flowery. Some are too direct and some not direct enough.

Since communication has to do more with the response elicited than the intent, the ability to connect and blend within a conversation (face to face and on the Internet) is a very similar verbal process as the nonverbal physical practice we do in the dojo.

IMHO, everything is communication. Some is fear based and some is peace based. The choice is ours.

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 11-03-2005, 05:10 AM   #16
ian
 
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

I think when there is balance and peace in the mind and body you can act spontenaeously and openly in an effective manner. Sometimes it is the desperate attempt to GET something that prevents you achieving what you really need. For example, in an argument with someone, you have to determine whether you are i. trying to make yourself look good or ii. trying to get someone to understand your point of view (and maybe understanding their point of view). If the latter is the case you are more prepared to adapt and change the way that you express yourself to make it simpler for them to understand in their own terms.

Similarly, in self-defence, if your objective is to show-off or pummel someone, then you will not achieve your aim of self-defence.

I think its often the same in life as well. Many people want to get rich because it will buy them admiration (fast car, good clothes, women) and love but often they feel unsatisified because they often do not achieve this through wealth. Indeed, many martial artists want to be admired, but when you realise you have to spend hours in a garden with your neighbours laughing at you doing bokken work you realise respect is the last thing you'll get!

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-03-2005, 05:39 PM   #17
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Quote:
Okay, here goes...

Matt says, "THE WORLD IS FLAT!"
The problem with this is that I never said it. Giving me an allegory when I'm asking for literal information doesn't seem to be helping. I am still missing your point.

Quote:
..those really didn't help you at all.
If you knew that then why did you say them to me?

Quote:
Flat? Round? Yeah, semantics.
No: the semantics of the term, "Aikido." Are you saying there is one true definition of Aikido?

Quote:
Different sort of class, though, and probably something you may want to look at.
I have. It was a great class, though it seems you're telling me I missed something crucial in it.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 11-03-2005, 05:46 PM   #18
Janet Rosen
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Funny to have so much miscommunication in a thread on communication... (sigh)

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-03-2005, 06:25 PM   #19
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
Funny to have so much miscommunication in a thread on communication... (sigh)
Heheheh...I seem to be the only one who lacks understanding...but I was thinking the same thing.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 11-08-2005, 09:59 PM   #20
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

Knowing full well I'm going to regret this.

Aikido is communication and Communication is Aikido are both subjective statements based on experience and rife with semantic interpretations.

Round Earth/Flat Earth is such a distant analogy it borders on the ludicrous.

Mathew you think too much. Trying to stretch Aikido to that extent usually results in nasty tears in the fabric.

Shaun take note on the use of analogy that doesn't make the author come across as a pretentious .... well ok at least less of one.

oh look did I communicate or do Aikido. Or did I fail miserably at both.

With regard to the first post (which was easier to get around than the second) uke and tori have to find a proper balance when training for there to be a beneficial outcome. Too much passivity or aggression from either is counter productive. Good communication has the same requirements (although since both are engaged in equal roles there is no uke tori). Aggression/sarcasm without substance leads nowhere.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-09-2005, 08:51 AM   #21
Ron Tisdale
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

I think Janet pretty much nailed this one.

TRUST.

That seems to be what brings my attempts at communication and aikido to the higher levels. The higher levels of my performance, anyway. I also think you should read some of David Valadez's posts where he talks about "the act of selflessness".

Best,
Ron

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Old 11-09-2005, 09:07 AM   #22
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Re: On communication and verbal Aikido

In communication, the saying goes, "no one ever wins an argument". As for Aikido, no one ever wins a fight.

-John Matsushima

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