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Old 02-01-2006, 04:36 AM   #1
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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Akido notebook

How many of you keep an aikido notebook? And if you keep one, how does it help you? I have always advised people to keep an aikido notebook as part of their practice. I believed it made their practice more serious, more true, and more real. It also created a space where they could privately meet with themselves.
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Old 02-01-2006, 05:17 AM   #2
eyrie
 
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Re: Akido notebook

Not just an aikido notebook, but a MA journal for all thoughts, ideas, notes, epiphanies, conversations, book titles, book reviews, etc. etc. related to all martial arts (or sometimes remotely related subject matter) I may encounter in my journey.

Ignatius
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Old 02-01-2006, 05:23 AM   #3
kokyu
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Re: Akido notebook

I kept an electronic notebook until very recently... my training has been disrupted for a short while. I find a notebook useful in reflecting on my techniques. I write down the moves that I've found difficulty with and what I think I should do the next time to correct them. I also write down advice that I've found useful.

I once stopped training for about 6 months and the notebook was invaluable in helping me recall the teachings of my previous Sensei. For some reason, certain mistakes can creep back into one's technique, but a review of one's notes help's remind oneself of those mistakes.

I have to admit though... keeping a notebook requires some discipline... and can be time-consuming... especially when one has a lot of thoughts or made a lot of mistakes for that week
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:52 AM   #4
UnholyFracas
Dojo: Devises Budo
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Re: Akido notebook

I don't keep a note book but I think I might start. I tend to move from one lesson to the next not really thinking about Aikido until I'm in class.

A note book would focus my mind on things, whether done well or needing improvement. I've always had a general diary of some sort whic helps me think things through and provides rant space so that I don't clobber (physically or verbally) a passing stranger . Having a focus within the notebook would be a another good step towards my attempts at self control and improvement...
Any excuse to buy more posh stationary.

We see things not as they are but as we are...

Katsumoto can rescue me anytime.
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Old 02-01-2006, 09:02 AM   #5
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Akido notebook

I have at various times, and it has been usefull, especially at seminars. I think it's something we should all try at least once.

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 02-01-2006, 09:09 AM   #6
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
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Re: Akido notebook

I have one....it started as just a hours log, and developed into a much more inclusive thing.
If I could just retain as much information as I have written down........
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 02-01-2006, 09:27 AM   #7
Trish Greene
Dojo: Aikido-Kajukenbo Self Defense Center
Location: Boise
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Re: Akido notebook

This is such a great idea and something that I have wanted to do but keeping forgetting to do! I am still in the 'beginning' stage of my Aikido journey, this would be a great thing for me to start doing!
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Old 02-01-2006, 09:42 AM   #8
Simbo
Location: Carbondale
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Re: Akido notebook

I kept a little txt file on my computer that after practices I would type as much as I could remember about what technique we did and what is was. Then I got a new computer and didn't get it transfered over, so I no longer have it. I have been thinking about making an actual paper one, but that's a lot of work and I'm a little bit lazy. But if I had the motivation to, I would start another one with more then just the physical technique.
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:36 AM   #9
John A Butz
Dojo: Itten Dojo, Enola PA
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Re: Aikido notebook

I didn't keep a notebook until this year. I find it helps me remember the small technical details that I often forget between classes. I also log my mat time and my physical training time. I figure that, come year end, I will be able to see more clearly where I started the year at (in terms of ability and understanding) and what areas I need to focus on to get to where I want to be.
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:36 PM   #10
aikigirl10
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
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Re: Akido notebook

hmm... i have never thought about doing anything like this. It may just be something worth trying. Thanks for the idea.
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:19 PM   #11
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
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Re: Akido notebook

I have a running log that I have been keeping on and off since about '94. The thing winds up with everything from martial musings to grocery lists in it. It always great to look back and read how stupid you were...makes you think how stupid you must be now!
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:40 PM   #12
ESimmons
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Re: Akido notebook

One of my sensei recently suggested keeping a notebook. I have a friend who's been doing Kung Fu for a couple of years and keeps notes. I do not currently, but I would like to.

I guess I'd never considered it something I personally would benefit from, since our cirriculum is outlined and there are instructional tapes we have for each kyu level. Also, I am the type of person to do a lot of reading, so I have some aikido books with plenty of documented thoughts on aikido technique.

Still, like someone else said, it'd be a good habit, would fill in the empty space from one class to the next, and would give me an opportunity to have "a meeting with myself." I like the idea.
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:57 PM   #13
jim312uav
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
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Re: Akido notebook

I have been keeping a notebook for the last year. I am not always good about updating it but I find I go back to it a lot to remember points insructors have said or all the things that are covered in different seminars that I use to forget.
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:01 PM   #14
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
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Re: Akido notebook

I really like this idea, I may start...well that is if I remember and my hands decided to function correctly after class tonight

Dan Hulley
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Old 02-02-2006, 04:34 AM   #15
Mato-san
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Re: Akido notebook

I keep a notebook, I guess it is a log on everything I learned during the lesson, the intricate stuff that needs to be recorded and I reflect on the notes regular. I think it is a must if you are serious about what you do. I find it helps heaps, I can`t even explain how much, but I am sure you all know how much it helps. Another thing is I think that it would be hard for anyone else to process what I record because It is all recorded in a manner for me, personally. Usually technique s broken right down and major check points, taiso check points. But yeah I think it is a must.

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:02 AM   #16
ian
 
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Re: Akido notebook

I used to keep one, and it was extremely useful. You forget so much, especially the first few years. When I go on courses I still take a notebook. I think we need to personally develop our view of aikido, and a notebook also helps us to think about this.

Although aikido books are useful in some respect, there is not one aikido book that contains even a fraction of the knowledge that a good instructor has. Much of what you figure out and write yourself from seeing what your instructor does is never mentioned in aikido books; I suppose 'cos aikido books are written for a large 'beginner' audience and thus mostly just say the basics of the movement in a technqiue, and that much of the understanding has to be built up incrementaly and can't be written down without sounding inappropraitely esoteric. Also, it seems some martial arts books are written to appeal to the 'learn how to kill some-one, from the comfort of your arm-chair' crowd.

Last edited by ian : 02-02-2006 at 08:09 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:18 AM   #17
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Aikido notebook

I keep an aikido journal here. (You'll have to be able to read Japanese.) It tracks dates, the weather, techniques, how you feel (before and after keiko), and anything you feel like adding.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:46 AM   #18
John A Butz
Dojo: Itten Dojo, Enola PA
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Re: Aikido notebook

One of those little micro-cassette recorders make an excellent tool for recording class notes. You can talk your notes into it on the drive home, and then transcribe them later. They are really helpful with seminars, as it takes less time to talk then to write an equivalent amount of words. You can get your notes down in between sessions.
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:04 PM   #19
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Akido notebook

These are all helpful and worthwhile responses. Lots of aikidoka that I have met keep an aikido notebook, and sometimes we joke about the boxes of aikido notebooks that make us wonder what we tried to understand anew.
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Old 02-02-2006, 03:41 PM   #20
Kris Garland
Dojo: Commerce
Location: Commerce Texas
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Re: Akido notebook

How would you go about keeping an aikido notebook? I've never been much on taking notes other then when it was required for a grade. So needless to say I'm way in the dark on note taking. All of you have mentioned how much it helps you so I want to start one for that,but I also think if I start taking an aikido one It will help me when college rolls around.

~Kris
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Old 02-02-2006, 05:53 PM   #21
Adam Alexander
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Re: Akido notebook

I keep one.

It's good and bad. Keeps me motivated for sure. However, I stress out over it being stolen or lost.

Crazy as it might sound, I never understood why anyone would have a problem with "search and seizure" until I made a journal. Now, I'm worried someone's going to get all my little secrets. LOL.
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:13 PM   #22
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
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Re: Akido notebook

Quote:
Lyle Bogin wrote:
I have a running log that I have been keeping on and off since about '94. The thing winds up with everything from martial musings to grocery lists in it. It always great to look back and read how stupid you were...makes you think how stupid you must be now!
Maybe this is why I don't write anything down, there is no record of how stupid I was ( or still am! )

Seriously though, I'm respectfully going against the grain of the postings here. I can see and appreciate that many people gain a great deal from keeping a record/journal/notes that helps them in their aikido.
I have not, and may never keep a log, simply because for me aikido does not live in any text. I have read some great books on the subject, particularly those charting OSensei's life and teaching. But I can honestly say that all of my aikido has been learnt on the mat from my teachers and fellow students.
The moment I read posts/text trying to expain an aikido technique or some form of body movement, my brain goes into meltdown. I just can't fathom how that translates into 3 dimensional real time reality, especially when there is another human being involved. It's hard enough to teach when the student is in contact, let alone being once ore twice removed through language and 2D text.
Anyway, I enjoy reading the contributions being made, and there are some excellent contributors to these forums, so my enjoyment of aikido is enhanced by the connection to the wider community through the written word.
Traditionally, our post practice social revolves around a trip to the local inn for a pint of fine ale, a laugh and joke. So writing up notes would seem 'not in the spirit of the moment'. Having said that I practice with people who do make notes, when they've got back from the pub!

Cheers all,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:55 PM   #23
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
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Re: Akido notebook

Quote:
Daniel Hulley wrote:
I really like this idea, I may start...well that is if I remember and my hands decided to function correctly after class tonight
yeah I failed in my attempt to make a notebook....oh well, maybe once I get closer to testing I will start

Dan Hulley
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:25 AM   #24
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Akido notebook

Kris, here is an example of an aikido notebook, a quote attributed to then Doshu K. Ueshiba:
"In Aikido, every standing technique has a corresponding seated technique. Training in seated techniques will make one's standing techniques stronger and more centered"
and other notes: Interesting idea, teaching mae kaiten from morote-tori (attributed to Ikeda Shihan)
When katate-tori begins- who grabs you? Terry Dobson once said: "the uke brings your death."
When you write things down, they go a little deeper into you. All your notes over all the years, can be visited again and again as you learn.
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:34 AM   #25
kokyu
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Re: Akido notebook

Quote:
Kris Garland wrote:
How would you go about keeping an aikido notebook?
In my case, I keep all my thoughts + advice received + things read into a text file. I update the file once at the end of every week and date the entries... it's a bit like an off-line blog actually.... but I keep it strictly to Aikido-related issues. Once the file goes beyond a certain size, I start the next version.

Good luck!
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