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Old 11-13-2005, 12:30 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
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Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of November 13, 2005:

How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Extremely pleasing
  • Very pleasing
  • Somewhat pleasing
  • Not very pleasing
  • Not at all pleasing
Here are the current results.
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Old 11-13-2005, 04:54 AM   #2
bogglefreak20
Dojo: Ki dojo
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

Believe it or not, esthetics had a major part in my becoming an aikido student. The first conact I ever had with aikido was by a poster with a picture of a lotus flower and some small pics of aikido techniques and ki-tests. Beautiful poster!

Then I went to see a training and was profoundly impressed by the esthetics of the motion. Having some experience with dancing I was totally dumbfounded. And, naturally, decided I want to have a piece of this action. Mmmm... never regreted it so far.

Beatus Qui Venit In Nomine Domini!
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:23 AM   #3
billybob
 
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

Ah! This question is fun.

The first night I watched John Messores Sensei I had a dislocated shoulder and a bag of ice for company. He never touched uke and yet uke went flying. I knew this was no WWF stuff, he had drawn uke out and been in his space perfectly. I knew I had to at least try to learn this.

The associate professors each have their own aesthetic - and the guy with the toughest look on his face does the most beautiful and gentle Ushiro Waza.

David
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:31 AM   #4
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

I only try to learn from those sensei that have aesthetically extremely pleasing aikido. That is to say: Aikido that works! If I wanted to learn a dance, I'll be doing ballet -- no disrespect intended, it's very hard to be good at ballet!

Then again, for me the best teacher is the one that makes me go "WOW, when I grow up, I want to be just like him/her...."

/me still has not grown up.
//way more fun that wayt.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-14-2005, 10:57 AM   #5
jonreading
 
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

To me, aikido looks good because of two important things:
1. Your body is aligned in a position that is ergonomic and natural
2. Your partner and you work in cooperation to resolve a technique

But sometimes I think that we become so concerned with appearances, the function of aikido is lost. When we lose focus on "why," we begin to move for no reason. This is what I call "aiki movement." Movement that may look like aikido, but has no purpose and therefore is not aikido. Aiki movement is the culprit for the negative stigma that usually surrounds aikido technique. That's a fine line to walk...
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Old 11-15-2005, 07:46 AM   #6
billybob
 
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

Jon,

I think I know what you mean. I was criticized by Sensei for it when my back injuries were at their worst. Lately, after many years, and lots of therapy I am beginning to feel techniques 'through my feet' again. Shihonage felt like one of the chi kung postures I use to heal. When uke pulled back - they pulled themselves into the technique.

To me feeling is primary martial training tool - eyes are secondary. Functionality before aesthetics.

David
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Old 11-15-2005, 12:32 PM   #7
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

I don't see why "aesthetically pleasing" has to mean visual.

One of my junior classmates was doing shihonage with me last night and I felt as though I was just standing there disconnected from what he was doing. I mentioned this and the next shihonage I was swirled through the technique and onto the mat in one continuous flowing motion. I don't know what it looked like to an observer, but I would definitely consider that one a beautiful throw. It worked a lot better, too.

Mary Kaye
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Old 11-15-2005, 04:39 PM   #8
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

I'd wager it was much more "pleasing/pretty" to the eye as well.
L

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 11-16-2005, 11:09 AM   #9
jonreading
 
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

The term "aesthetics" refers to the sensory perceptions of humans and what is construed as pleasurable. Since humans are visual animals, vision dominates our sensory perceptions. Of course, we can also smell, sound or feel pleasure too. Although I would argue that nothing about me smells or sounds pleasurable on the mat...

Mechanics and motion are often considered pleasing to the eye. We like cars that drive fast and look pretty. We marvel at tall buildings and long bridges. I don't see why efficient movement would be excluded from the group...
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:33 PM   #10
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
The term "aesthetics" refers to the sensory perceptions of humans and what is construed as pleasurable. Since humans are visual animals, vision dominates our sensory perceptions.
Hmmmm....'dominates'...hmmm.....cough. Not if you're a man, or so I'm told...


Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:31 AM   #11
Steve Mullen
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

Every now and again my sensei puts on a class in which he teaches 'sexy aikido' i.e. flowing technique with a really hard throw on the end, or a sequence of techniques interlinked. I love those classes.

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:05 AM   #12
billybob
 
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

'sexy classes'

I really need to get out and train in some of the west coast dojos. here in the southeast such terminology might be considered profane.

I'm kidding! no hatemail please.

david
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:22 AM   #13
jducusin
 
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

Quote:
Steve Mullen wrote:
Every now and again my sensei puts on a class in which he teaches 'sexy aikido' i.e. flowing technique with a really hard throw on the end...
I would have to concur, which is why I voted "Extremely pleasing". To me, the aesthetics of Aikido has a great deal to do with how powerful it is while at the same time being graceful and flowing. Of course, a swirling black hakama has a nice way of contributing to the effect as well.

Open Sky Aikikai - http://www.winnipegaikido.com
"Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:26 AM   #14
Steve Mullen
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

it's all about the pretty skirt really, the technique is just a means to get the best outta that skirt

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:22 AM   #15
jducusin
 
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Talking Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

Quote:
Steve Mullen wrote:
it's all about the pretty skirt really, the technique is just a means to get the best outta that skirt
LOL. "Work that skirt, baby!"

Open Sky Aikikai - http://www.winnipegaikido.com
"Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 11-17-2005, 01:41 PM   #16
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

We're currently working on a two- and three-attacker taigi (set series of throws) and the sight of two black-belts in hakama taking symmetrical, unison forward rolls is visually very appealing.

When us white belts try it, the result is more appealing to the sense of comedy.... The three-attacker one has a definite Three Stooges quality as we try to sort out which two of us have nage's arm and which one has his shoulders from behin--and run into each other trying to get into our places.

Mary Kaye
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Old 11-17-2005, 01:49 PM   #17
cck
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

I sometimes get "Yeah, that's real pretty, but..." followed by an explanation of why I have to take my leg with me or not stretch my arms up etc. So "pretty" has a fairly negative connotation to me in this context!
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:34 PM   #18
billybob
 
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Re: Poll: How aesthetically pleasing is your instructor's aikido?

Camilla,

sounds like your teacher feels you are on the right track. when i came back i wasn't corrected at all - bad sign!

dave
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