Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
I've been attending Weight Watchers meetings since September of 2007 -- only ever missing one weekly weigh-in. I've lost 70 pounds so far, and I'm much healthier.
What does this have to do with aikido? Two things really: (1) aikido by itself isn't necessarily a great form of exercise and (2) weight loss itself is a kind of "do" or way, much like aikido.
Point one may end up being controversial, but my experience was that, while aikido training raised my overall level of fitness and flexibility, it did nothing to help me loose weight. Part of the reason is that classes typically consist of periods of somewhat intense exercise followed by periods of rest that are long enough for me to completely catch my breath. One's level of effort is not sustained. Additionally, over time, we get better and more efficient in our movements so that doing the work takes a lot less effort.
The end result for me was better overall fitness, but not a whole bunch of calories burned during aikido practice. In almost a decade of practice, I consistently gained weight or stayed the same.
In some ways I had it backwards. A lot of people start eating better and then figure out they need to exercise. I was exercising, but figured out that I need to eat better. That's where point 2 becomes important. I've had the success I've had so far because I'm treating my weight loss (and eventual maintenance) as a lifestyle change. It is sort of a "weight loss-do." There's no way I can make long-lasting changes in my health and weight if I don't make long-lasting behavioral changes.
I've had some good weeks and bad weeks. I've even had a series of bad months -- but they were never that bad, and the trend has been down all along.