“How much control do you really have?,” by Aikido Doushin Juku

“When you train martial arts, it is interesting to find out how less control you have over your own body. When I first started Aikido training over 14 years ago, I had no control over my body movement. Sensei showed techniques and I thought I was imitating the technique pretty well, but reality is I was out of control.”

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  1. Sensei was teaching us how to hold a bokken out and diagonally upward. I am confused with the Japanese word for the posture: jodan, chudan or another.

    Anyway, he assessed everyone’s posture and grip, altering some students’ stances and how they held the wooden sword. Then he came to me, and I thought I had it just right. He told me to relax my shoulders, and only then did I realize how tense they were. I must have lowered them by a couple inches. This must have been back in 1999, but I am still aware of it today. If I don’t check myself, I often do still have tense shoulders while holding a sword. However, I usually recall him teaching me to have a relaxed awareness.

  2. bruce baker says:

    It is a continual battle to access the inner mind that thinks ten times faster than the waking mind, and to let the body connect to this incredibly fast computer inside you.

    Even many of our teachers don’t realize that is what they are teaching us to do as they teach proper movement and try to give us hints how to access this inner mind that connects all things around us and sometimes .. senses the future itself.

  3. Within the dojo, learning from a good sensei, physical control can certainly improve. As far as how much control a person thinks he or she has in the world, almost always people think they have more control than they do. Someone thinking he or she has virtually total control over his or her life and destiny is a psychological defense mechanism for one with the sometimes comfortable ignorance of complete egotism. This would be considered in psychology to be a total internal locus of control. Most people bounce in-between this limit and its opposite of total external locus of control. That is, a person who feels affected by every external stimulus. I have not read this, but it is my opinion that reality is always appearing somewhere between these two boundaries of loci of control. Neither extreme is healthy, and neither can bring about happiness. Some people have a knack for perceiving the truth exactly as it is, at least much of the time. In some situations control can come mostly from within, and other times another person, a force of nature, another life form, or a person’s own unconscious are partialy in control. The offer of wisdom to someone who feels totally in control might easily be denied, because at least at first, it would require fear.

  4. …fairly early in my aikido career i was relocated. there was no dojo in the area, so, being a first kyu which was fairly advanced in the day, started offering classes. well, i’ve never been much of a salesman, so i often found myself alone at class time. it was about then i began to understand how much i’d been relying on uke for balance… 😉

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