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Old 11-09-2005, 09:13 PM   #1
Eric LeCarde
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Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

this may sound funny, but Its my situation none the less.

I love the spirit and philosophy of Aikido, as well as the technique(s). Unfortunatily, I just can't get comfortable with unarmed partner practice. Working that close with another person is just a distraction to me, and really effects my performance. In other kinds of pratner practice, like our dojo's weapon practices, I have no problem with.

I guess I just don't like being that close to someone, I would rather keep my distance.

Don't know what to do.
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:24 PM   #2
roosvelt
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Eric LeCarde wrote:
I love the spirit and philosophy of Aikido, as well as the technique(s). Unfortunatily, I just can't get comfortable with unarmed partner practice. Working that close with another person is just a distraction to me, and really effects my performance. In other kinds of pratner practice, like our dojo's weapon practices, I have no problem with.

Don't know what to do.
I love the idea of a ball room dance. But I just can't get comfortalbe with a partner close by.

Don't know what to do. Help!
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:31 PM   #3
Bronson
 
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

I used to hate talking in front of people...hated it like I'd hate a needle in my eye.

Unfortunately I love teaching which neccessitates being in front of a class; so I learned to step outside my severe dislike of public speaking and do what needed to be done. Over time I became more comfortable with it and now it doesn't bother me.

Stick it out.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:35 PM   #4
Eric LeCarde
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Eh, I take aikido to prevent people from touching me. It seems counterproductive to step in and go side to side when a person throws a punch at your stomache. I'd much rather keep my distance and deal with things from there.
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Old 11-09-2005, 10:04 PM   #5
roosvelt
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Eric LeCarde wrote:
Eh, I take aikido to prevent people from touching me. It seems counterproductive to step in and go side to side when a person throws a punch at your stomache. I'd much rather keep my distance and deal with things from there.
Get a dead skunk, a bottle of wisky. Put skunk in the wisky for 3 month. Spray the wisky on your body before going to the class.

Get a high voltage zipper, hide wire under you sleeve. Anyone touch you will get zipped, bad.

You'll achieve your goal in no time.
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Old 11-09-2005, 10:11 PM   #6
Saji Jamakin
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Eric LeCarde wrote:
Eh, I take aikido to prevent people from touching me. It seems counterproductive to step in and go side to side when a person throws a punch at your stomache. I'd much rather keep my distance and deal with things from there.
Uuhhh PIVOT!
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Old 11-09-2005, 10:16 PM   #7
Saji Jamakin
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Eric LeCarde wrote:
this may sound funny, but Its my situation none the less.

I love the spirit and philosophy of Aikido, as well as the technique(s). Unfortunatily, I just can't get comfortable with unarmed partner practice. Working that close with another person is just a distraction to me, and really effects my performance. In other kinds of pratner practice, like our dojo's weapon practices, I have no problem with.

I guess I just don't like being that close to someone, I would rather keep my distance.

Don't know what to do.
Try Tanto Randori where uke has a "fake" knife. It will give you some insentive to move and also control the weapon hand. Otherwise I don't know what to tell you. Aikido is a hands on martial art. You have to get comfortable being within hand range or closer to your partner.
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:05 PM   #8
crbateman
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

This is like saying you love to fish, but hate the water...

Aikido is predicated on making a connection, blending, and the absorption and redirection of energy. You're comfortable at weapons distance, but Aikido is not primarily about weapons, other than to extend your sphere, and learn more about where many of the empty-hand techniques come from. You will have to adapt if you expect to grow. (Either that, or stand at the door and blast everybody with your ki...)

And if you're looking for a way to keep people from touching you, running away is still the best way to accomplish that.
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:48 PM   #9
Shannon Frye
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

At my dojo, sensei is always telling to "avoid the OTHER hand". Meaning, even though we are practicing unarmed, that doesnt mean an opponent will be. The hand you are in control of is not the problem..the other hand of uke is. I'd recommend picturing your uke armed.
On the other hand, with all the "connecting" and blending that this art requires, I can't imagine chosing this art while prefering to keep distance from your opponent. You might want to re-evaluate your needs and what art will best suit your preferences. If your not comfortable with an art, it's time to change arts.

Shannon
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:44 AM   #10
Janet Rosen
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Shannon Frye wrote:
I can't imagine chosing this art while prefering to keep distance from your opponent. You might want to re-evaluate your needs and what art will best suit your preferences. If your not comfortable with an art, it's time to change arts.
Well either that, or decide that aikido is a good place to specifically work on intimacy issues, and proceed.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:16 AM   #11
Eric LeCarde
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

When I first saw Aikido performed, it was mostly based on evasion and redirection, thats what got me interested for the most part, as well as its application in JSA. Maybe I saw something different? Any clue here? As you can imagine, my main desire is to learn an art about avoidance. Sure, you can run, but not if someone grabs you from behind.

I am enamored with the weapons taught in the class... so just passing it up is a difficult thing to do. Plus, its a good dojo with great students and instructors who have been very helpful and patient.
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:54 AM   #12
batemanb
 
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Eric LeCarde wrote:
Eh, I take aikido to prevent people from touching me. It seems counterproductive to step in and go side to side when a person throws a punch at your stomache. I'd much rather keep my distance and deal with things from there.
Being blunt, you've got a couple of choices:

Go home and forget about aikido (maybe take up Karate or some such)

Learn to deal with it.

Aikido is about avoiding conflict, but there will always be a connection between you and your partner. Mostly in the early days this will be physical. Only through developing this practice will you be able to progress and minimize the physical contact, by which time it won't be a problem for you anyways .

I come across this problem every week in my junior class, the boys don't want to touch the girls, the girls don't want to touch the boys. It doesn't take them long to adapt .

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:11 AM   #13
crbateman
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Eric LeCarde wrote:
As you can imagine, my main desire is to learn an art about avoidance. Sure, you can run, but not if someone grabs you from behind.
THAT is NOT avoidance... If you are grabbed, whether it be from the back or the front, then it's too late to avoid. Now you have to interact physically. It sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it, too. If you want to train with weapons, maybe kendo would work better for you. Aikido does not teach you how to fight with a stick or a sword, anyway. One thing I learned about weapons long ago is that you never have one when you really need it, anyway, so you'd better not become too dependent on them. Overcome your discomfort, and learn some empty-hand.
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:33 AM   #14
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Eric LeCarde wrote:
Maybe I saw something different? Any clue here? As you can imagine, my main desire is to learn an art about avoidance. Sure, you can run, but not if someone grabs you from behind.
Frankly, I think you saw what you wished to see.

Avoidance will only take you so far. Not connecting with people might keep you feeling safe, but don't you think you'll miss out on a lot of good things, too? Practicing aikido might be a chance to discover that contact isn't all bad.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 11-10-2005, 07:38 AM   #15
Steve Mullen
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Hi Eric, you seem to be comfortable with weapons work but don't like to stand 'toe to toe' with someone. try training with a short sword instead of a katana, try buying a cheap jo and cutting it in half, you use half and so does your partner, the reason for this is that it will make you more accustomed to being closer to people while still giving you that 'security blanket' of having the weapons work you enjoy.

Hope it helps

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 11-10-2005, 09:15 AM   #16
SeiserL
 
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Eric LeCarde wrote:
I guess I just don't like being that close to someone, I would rather keep my distance. Don't know what to do.
What is the negative internal fantasy that comes up in your head when you are close to somebody? What don't you like about being close? What are you afraid will happen if you are close?

Its usually the attached fantasy that makes us uncomfortable, not the reality.

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 11-10-2005, 10:38 AM   #17
Eric LeCarde
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Thanks for all the replies, but there is a fair bit of assuming going on around here (which may be my fault, since I was vauge to begin with).

I have rare neurological disorder which, to sum things up, makes me hyper sensitive to contact. The most painful and shocking forms are ones where I'm being grabbed, things are rubbing against my body and the like.... the best way to describe it is that it feels as though you have burn wounds all over your body. Thats why I hate doing the throws which involve sliding your arms/body along the person and pushing them. The odd exception is that brief contact is not distubing at all (such as a tap or so, thats why I'm able to spar without any issues, this little part has kept doctors scratching thier heads), so I've been able to do martial arts which were no so hold-intesive.

If anyone has ever been around an autistic person, they have slightly more severe neuropathic disturbances then I do (they normally scream out when someone touches them).

thanks for all the suggestions and the like

Last edited by Eric LeCarde : 11-10-2005 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:52 AM   #18
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Hope this isn't too insensitive but I dont see the point of this thread.

Its a bit like asking for advice on the best trainers for jogging...and then saying you havent got any feet!

I think you should be on a medical forum matey.
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:09 AM   #19
James Davis
 
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Eric LeCarde wrote:
Thanks for all the replies, but there is a fair bit of assuming going on around here (which may be my fault, since I was vauge to begin with).

I have rare neurological disorder which, to sum things up, makes me hyper sensitive to contact. The most painful and shocking forms are ones where I'm being grabbed, things are rubbing against my body and the like.... the best way to describe it is that it feels as though you have burn wounds all over your body. Thats why I hate doing the throws which involve sliding your arms/body along the person and pushing them. The odd exception is that brief contact is not distubing at all (such as a tap or so, thats why I'm able to spar without any issues, this little part has kept doctors scratching thier heads), so I've been able to do martial arts which were no so hold-intesive.

If anyone has ever been around an autistic person, they have slightly more severe neuropathic disturbances then I do (they normally scream out when someone touches them).

thanks for all the suggestions and the like
Eric, in the time that you've been training, has your pain threshold increased any? Maybe, over time, you could adapt to the discomfort...

Even students that have done aikido for years can have problems with getting close to people, but techniques are more effective when you get close (under their center of gravity).

When you look up "ai" in a japanese-to-english dictionary, there's a pretty good chance that the first definition you come across is "love". Closeness improves technique; over time, it raises comfort levels associating with other people. Give it a few more tries before you quit.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:06 PM   #20
Janet Rosen
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Eric, hi. Well, yes, it helps to have complete information (smile).
There are ways in which "standard" aikido can be adapted to individuals with various disabilities or special needs, and the most critical factor is the attitude of the individual instructor. Some are genuinely interested in figuring out how to make it work for the student, others give lip service, others honestly cannot be bothered. So I'd suggest you start by talking openly w/ your chief instructor about the very real physical issues you have in "standard" training and see if s/he is interested in working w/ you (and of course w/ cooperation of training partners) on ways to train. Maybe it would just be weapons work, maybe some other options exist--but worth exploring within your dojo.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:36 PM   #21
bogglefreak20
Dojo: Ki dojo
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Eric LeCarde wrote:
Thanks for all the replies, but there is a fair bit of assuming going on around here (which may be my fault, since I was vauge to begin with).

I have rare neurological disorder which, to sum things up, makes me hyper sensitive to contact. The most painful and shocking forms are ones where I'm being grabbed, things are rubbing against my body and the like.... the best way to describe it is that it feels as though you have burn wounds all over your body. Thats why I hate doing the throws which involve sliding your arms/body along the person and pushing them. The odd exception is that brief contact is not distubing at all (such as a tap or so, thats why I'm able to spar without any issues, this little part has kept doctors scratching thier heads), so I've been able to do martial arts which were no so hold-intesive.

If anyone has ever been around an autistic person, they have slightly more severe neuropathic disturbances then I do (they normally scream out when someone touches them).

thanks for all the suggestions and the like

The extra info you provided is crucial. Of the top of my head just a suggestion - visualisation techniques can make wonders with all kinds of disorders. In some neurological disorders the brain interprets the neural "messages" incorrectly. Sometimes the brain can be "tricked" into different kinds of perception. You say that your body doesn't react to taps and alike - that may be your window of opportunity that you can spread and widen by using visualisation techniques.

Hope you stay in Aikido for a long time. One way or the other. Best of luck to you!
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:42 PM   #22
aikidojoe
Dojo: Aikido of Center City
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Eric,

I think Janet might have the best option for you. Training one on one with someone who knows your condition, and can adapt the movement for you is your only option. And I don't see how this could be done during normal class without taking sensei's time away from the rest of the class.

Aikido is a grappling martial art. If you want to train in class you're going to have to physically grapple with people, usually much more in the beginning years. I think what you saw was a Discovery Channel demonstration from a sensei called Rev. Kensho Furuya from CA. I am not taking anything away from his rank and ability or school. I think the editing of the segment made it look like he was doing a dance or magic show, and not a martial art. It was a dis-service to aikido, and to martial arts in general. To get to that point, he has trained more than 47 years in martial arts.
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:31 PM   #23
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Eric, now that you have told us what you are dealing with, I think I can say with greater certainty that you will not ever be comfortable with Aikido, unless you can find some medical or psychological solution to your condition. The aspects of the art that you have no problem with are such a small part of the overall experience, I can't see much in the way of a positive outcome, for yourself or your training partners.

I am sensitive to the correlation you made to autism. As the grandparent of an autistic child, I can tell you that extreme measures were taken to adapt his environment to what is most tolerable to him. Fortunately, he is happy and comfortable, and also blissfully ignorant of the effort it took to make his life as normal as possible. But in your case, you would need your instructor, all your fellow students, your training regimen (and theirs), and the very nature of Aikido to undergo a paradigm shift to suit your condition. I'm sure they would try, but repeated opportunities for discomfort would still inevitably occur. And you will be aware of the problems, and possibly be even more uncomfortable and self-conscious of the effort being made to accommodate your special needs.

I usually try to encourage everybody to give Aikido their best shot, regardless of the disability, but in this case, I just don't see that Aikido can give you enough of what you want, or protect you from too much of what you don't. A person with allergies doesn't sleep in a ragweed field just to listen to the crickets.

I do hope you find a solution to the problem, and if it's one that can keep you with us, I'd be very happy for you. Good luck.
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:14 PM   #24
Eric LeCarde
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Thanks for all the replies, everyone has been very helpful.

Through relaxation and meditation techniques I can enter a state of mind where my awareness is detached from my body, and its in this state the pain of contact dosen't get through. I think of it as a state of mindlessness or nothing, if you want to put it into classical(?) terms. The problem is, I'm not responsive to instruction when in this state of mind, so it would not be possible to apply during training. Its best for doing something I already know how to do. For example, if I know the motions but I need to work on my execution of them.

The problem is that even though I am able to withstand the pain, it does draw my attention and keep me tense, where the techniques require fluidity and blending. I don't know of anything I could do to change that part.

I haven't told my teacher or any of the other students about my condition, because I hate creating a burden for others or expecting special exceptions. I think one poster is correct, its hazy if I'm going to have a future in aikido, or at least the unarmed section.

I'll talk to him about it. Maybe an arrangement can be made so that I can just focus on the weapons training.

For people wondering why I posted, I was initially curious if there were forms of aikido that focued more on making less contect and more evasion. I'm somewhat of a beginner, so this was a question about aikido and different styles.

thanks a bunch, take care
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:35 PM   #25
bogglefreak20
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Re: Heh, heres a different situation for ya.

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
A person with allergies doesn't sleep in a ragweed field just to listen to the crickets.
I beg to differ. I do it once in a while. Meditate under the stars and try to ignore the messed-up neurons trying to convince me that I'm being attacked by grass in full bloom. Mind over matter. To an extent it works.
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