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Young Grasshopper Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 01-28-2011 02:49 PM
A blog written from the point of view of a martial arts beginner, which I am. You can find the full blog at http://yghmartialarts.blogspot.com. Here on AikiWeb, I'll post only those entries which are relevant to aikido.
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 28
Comments: 78
Views: 130,352

In General What If... Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #7 New 02-12-2011 09:58 PM
The word has come down from on high: there is a slight chance that the Academy will not be around next year. I won't go into the details, except to say that some people in the school district aren't sure we're worth the trouble of maintaining.

Now, let's set aside the important questions about my job and my future for a second and ask the question most pertinent to the subject of this blog: would the end of the Academy be the end of my taekwondo training?

It's a two-part question. Part one, whether I would have the time or money to pursue taekwondo on my own on top of my aikido training, has no answer yet, since I don't know what my next job would be. What I'll address here is part two: do I really need to continue taekwondo training at all if I'm training in aikido?

It's not an easy question. To be sure, aikido is quite fulfilling on its own. It has made me a healthier, happier, more complete human being. And no matter where my martial arts journey takes me in the future, aikido will always be an important part of my understanding of what the martial arts are and ought to be.

All that said, there are days when aikido training feels more like pondering a koan than practicing a martial art. I'll sometimes go through two hours of aikido without even breaking a sweat and end up confused and wondering what I was supposed to have learned. Aikido is not an art for those seeking a quick gratification or the most strenuous workout.

But taekwondo is. In taekwondo, there is no time for thinking. I find the weaknesses in my technique and I attack them repeatedly. When I'm done, I'm dripping sweat, my muscles ache, and I know exactly what I've learned and what I need to learn next. It's beautiful in its simplicity.

This stark contrast between aikido and taekwondo is something I've explored twice before on this blog (here and here), and both times I came to the conclusion that the simplicity and physicality of taekwondo were things I couldn't give up, at least not yet, despite an understanding that aikido is closer to my heart and probably a more important part of my future as a martial artist.

So what to do if my source of free taekwondo dries up? Do I find the most convenient McDojang in town to continue my training? Do I seek out a reputable master and adjust my schedule to his? Do I start over with a similar martial art, such as karate, which might meet the same needs but use Japanese terminology and etiquette like aikido?

None of these options sound all that appealing to me. And all of them sound expensive.

I hate to say it, but I think that, unless I'm willing to give up aikido (and I don't think I am), the end of the Academy would be the end of my taekwondo, at least for a while. It's a shame, because I think it would be a great loss.

But for all my moaning and groaning, I have aikido. And I think I can love the one I'm with.
Views: 2616 | Comments: 5

RSS Feed 5 Responses to "What If..."
#5 02-15-2011 11:48 AM
OwlMatt Says:
In a perfect world, Makochan, that would be very good advice. As it is, there are only two aikido dojos in Milwaukee and only one recognized by a higher authority than itself. What's more, there are issues of economy and convenience to take into account. As for the conflict of styles, taekwondo hasn't caused much trouble that way, except insofar as it takes time away from my aikido.
#4 02-14-2011 07:01 PM
Makochan Says:
Hi Matt. I understand, last week I was also informed the organization lost its contract and from April 1 my job is gone, I feel your pain. My teacher said Aikido is steps of 10 years, it is so true. My concern would be that two martial arts might have conflicting styles, you learn Aikido through the body. You might need to find another club/style that stretches you more. Kihon, good body posture and lower body power are the keys to Aikido. Good luck to both of us!
#3 02-14-2011 01:55 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Yes I understand, I never trained that kind, there is nothing like that on our island
#2 02-14-2011 10:00 AM
OwlMatt Says:
Carina, we are an ASU dojo, and a couple of our instructors like to devote entire classes to Ikeda-style connection exercises. I don't doubt their usefulness, but they're sometimes very confusing to a beginner who doesn't know his kihon waza yet, and they leave a lot to be desired as cardiovascular exercize.
#1 02-13-2011 08:00 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Hi Matt, I wonder why you don't sweat in aikido? We always do unless we do arms. Don't worry too soon, maybe the Academy still will be there next year, we never know what will happen, and if it happens we have enough time to think about what we can do.

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