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Old 02-20-2006, 08:49 AM   #1
justinmaceachern
Dojo: St. george
Location: new Brunswick
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Aikido is only as good as the person...

Aikido is only as good as the person who is training. My frein came tome and asked me Friday night, why i have more intensidy and more comitment at 3rd kyu then that of a 1st. you know what, I thought of all these possible answers that i could of gave him but none of them seemed to fit. What is it that makes a person go through the training to shodan and not develop the passion and commitment. Better yet how do they even get tested. This is a question that i have not stoped thinking about.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:31 AM   #2
ian
 
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Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

I think aikido is exciting and new when you start. When you don't see any new techniques and are refining your blending and trying to tie the threads of your understanding of the principles of aikido I think it is more reflective. I probably have less commitment than I used to have. When I started aikido I was sprinting, now I realise that it's going to take me my whole life, so I tend to run at a pace more suitable for the distance. My interest hasn't wained, but it's more a part of me, rather than something I am trying to persue. I'm also more reflective and analytical; being more thoughtful about the bigger picture as regards what I'm doing with my training.

Sometimes people go through a plateau towards their dan grade as well, as they realise their learning needs to take on a different form, and it is often much slower and requires much more time of just routine technique practise. For example I've probably done ikkyo aound 50,000 times (sounds alot when I guestimate it!) but I haven't completely 'got' it. Indeed I've recently changed the way I do it quite a bit.

However, I'd certainly agree that aikido is only as good as the person who's training. In fact I'd say that your self-defence is only as good as what you do at that very moment - it's very easy to loose your reaction speed and appreciation of what a really frightening attack is like.

Last edited by ian : 02-20-2006 at 10:37 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:08 AM   #3
justinmaceachern
Dojo: St. george
Location: new Brunswick
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

I agree with you. When i first started i was doing everything fast and uncoordinated, but now i am doing thing the "right" way. but i havent lost my intensity. i was mearly getting at these shodans you will encounter that seem like that they dont evencare. You know that realy hurts me, honestly. I am not stuck on myself at all but i love where i am at in my abilities and i just want to show someone all i have learned. but these guys only care aboutshowing there belts off.
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:33 PM   #4
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,219
United Kingdom
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
For example I've probably done ikkyo aound 50,000 times (sounds alot when I guestimate it!) but I haven't completely 'got' it. Indeed I've recently changed the way I do it quite a bit.
Good post Ian, and if we ever fully 'get' it then what?

I like the fact that I'm on a journey with no final destination

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:34 PM   #5
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

Quote:
Justin MacEachern wrote:
I agree with you. When i first started i was doing everything fast and uncoordinated, but now i am doing thing the "right" way. but i havent lost my intensity. i was mearly getting at these shodans you will encounter that seem like that they dont evencare. You know that realy hurts me, honestly. I am not stuck on myself at all but i love where i am at in my abilities and i just want to show someone all i have learned. but these guys only care aboutshowing there belts off.
Shame about the 'show offs' Justin, it seems to show that they still have a ways to go.

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:35 PM   #6
neb1979
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 76
Australia
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

I feel the same as you Justin. Not so much Shodan more of the higher kyu grades though. They seem to not really put all in. I believe Aikido is an everyday practice at home on the street even when you are talking to someone and these people don't in my eyes seem to be all that concerned with the overall picture. It shows in there training on the mat. But then again I could be totally wrong as this is only my observation.

Cheers

Learn to Suffer, Know your Place and Nothing lasts Forever
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:16 PM   #7
David Yap
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 558
Malaysia
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

Quote:
Justin MacEachern wrote:
Aikido is only as good as the person who is training....What is it that makes a person go through the training to shodan and not develop the passion and commitment. Better yet how do they even get tested. This is a question that i have not stoped thinking about.
Hi Justin,

1st Q - In fact, any martial art is as good as the person who is training.

2nd Q - IMO, this is a very common question in the aikido community, more so with persons practising aikido without other prior MA training. They pick aikido because they got this perception that aikido is a "passive" and a "safer" MA without competitions . Most times the dojo environment and the instructor's attitude creates that kind of spirit - the "dance" kind of dojo where choreography and "charity falls" are norms.

3rd Q - The fact that they got tested is due to the time they put in and/or age. Persons who lack the passion and commitment to improve - what motivates them to come to class? Ego, the opportunity to put on the hakama? From my observations, I find that such personalities tend to shy away from fellow yudansha in training unless they know the yudansha are lower in rank/skill than them. They tend to pick the fairer sex or the lower kyu as training partners and they also have the "bully" traits in them.

In a dojo where I train, we have a couple of these characters and one stands out in particular. So far, two ladies have ceased training at the dojo due to his attics - one (a beginner) due to an arm injury from his favorite sankyo lock and another with back injury after being slammed heavily by him on the mats. One day, my sempai (a 3rd dan and an instructor at the dojo) and I decided to have some fun with him knowing that he was always avoiding us in training. When the chief instructor took class, we sat ourselves at the two ends of the line hoping to meet up with him at one point of the class. Indeed, we did and he had a choice of either picking me or my sempai. He did neither, the joke was that he bowed off the mats and hid himself in the toilet until the next technique was practised. The whole class had a good laugh after he left.

I am sure most of you would cross these characters at the dojo where you train.

Best training

David Y

Last edited by David Yap : 02-20-2006 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 02-21-2006, 05:01 AM   #8
justinmaceachern
Dojo: St. george
Location: new Brunswick
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 98
Canary Islands
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

Yeh i m glad that i found a school where everyone wants to train. We have the same problem in taekwondo with our 3rd to 7th dgree masters letiing themselves go. they grow a huge belly, stop training and tend to focus more on the fact that they are the rank the are. I just dont get it. I have been in taekwondo four 12 years al together. Now i havent stayed the whole time and i have been a blue for 5 years and it doesnt bother me. what does is the fact that i can barely walk after practice in both aikido and taekwondo, its my ancles, they have gotten bad, realy bad. But i refuse to quit. Infact the other night i was thinking about resigning from my taekwondo class. But i couldnt do it. This is the atitude that I feel is neccesary in training.
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:37 AM   #9
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 916
United Kingdom
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

'However, I'd certainly agree that aikido is only as good as the person who's training. In fact I'd say that your self-defence is only as good as what you do at that very moment - it's very easy to loose your reaction speed and appreciation of what a really frightening attack is like.'

Word.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:39 AM   #10
Dirk Hanss
 
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Dojo: Aikidoschule Trier
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Germany
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

Don't blame your great masters. Some might have become sloppy, some just discovered that you need a strong hara for good budo . No, really, if you are getting older, you cannot do all the stuff, you did as young boy. And using experience you do not need to jump and do high kicks like a movie star. And you have to take care for your health. Maybe it is fine for you, as the pain is only after practice, and probably the very next day you are well again. But there is a time you have to slow down. That does not mean that you have to grow fat though.

And there are also big aikido masters (male and female) out there. If you meat them on the street you would not believe, they are doing any kind of sports. But they have their dojo, they are invited to head seminars. Probably they do not take very much ukemi any longer, and if they can roll like a ball.

I like your attitude and probably you are right on those "masters", just be careful in judging others. Maybe you are just watching from the wrong standpoint.

regards Dirk
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:35 AM   #11
justinmaceachern
Dojo: St. george
Location: new Brunswick
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

Thanks dirk. I was mearly talking about the fat masters you see at tournaments and seminars that walk around tapping there white stripes on there belts. I know a "fat guy" who is in Aikido and trust me you do not want to f*** with him. I know there are some of these big bellied masters out there that are ligit. I realy like this website, i get a lot of perspective out of it. Thanks to all who have posted messages.
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:18 AM   #12
jducusin
 
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Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai (formerly the North Winnipeg Aikikai)
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba
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Canada
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Talking Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

Quote:
Justin MacEachern wrote:
Aikido is only as good as the person who is training. <snip> What is it that makes a person go through the training to shodan and not develop the passion and commitment.
I totally agree with you. In my (relatively short) time doing Aikido, I have often seen unranked students with greater committment than ranked students and Mudansha with greater skills than Yudansha. It really does depend upon the person: sometimes it comes down to natural talent but more often than not, it is their goals, level of determination, and persistence that keeps them improving.

As Ledyard Sensei once wrote in a very good article on these forums, there are some Aikidoka who are casual hobbyists, some whose only aspriation is to reach Shodan and start their own school and others who wish to attain a level of excellence in the art far beyond the average. Each carries with it a differing level of committment.

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 02-21-2006, 11:38 AM   #13
justinmaceachern
Dojo: St. george
Location: new Brunswick
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 98
Canary Islands
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

It just gets to me because for one, a have a moral issue, that is i respect any man or women who is of higher rank then me, so i cant say anything. And i feel when i talk about an issue such as this i could be insulting the teacher that taught the individual. I have much love for martail arts and not just the ones that i am in. Its never my intent to offend someone so i always keep my mouth shut.
But lately i have been seing things going on in dojos that i dont like and just trying to understand why. Which brings me to a unanswered question. why does this happen, and i think i know the answer now. I think we are al fortunate, every one on this site, to have been given this gift they call Aikido and just wish others would feel the same way. You all have good points.
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:39 AM   #14
justinmaceachern
Dojo: St. george
Location: new Brunswick
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Re: Aikido is only as good as the person...

Ohh and by the way i am actualy from canada, for some reason my profile says i am from the canary islands
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