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aikispike
07-23-2006, 10:55 AM
Hello all,

Has anyone done a study of past students to see why they stopped training? I am looking for some pointers or suggestions on what kind of questions were asked and what the responses were.

Michael

Mike Hamer
07-23-2006, 10:45 PM
My guess from former expirience when I was a young child, is that people get discouraged at their lack of skill or development, and their ego's need for recognition is not being fulfilled, so they just give up. Just wanting instant results without having to challenge themselves, im not sure.

I suggest teaching the principle of leaving all ego behind before entering the dojo, works for me, I plan on sticking with aikido for a very long time. I had a simmilar expirience when I was in San Chin Ru (spelling?) and I quit when my Sensei said I wasnt trying my hardest.

hope that helped some.

DonMagee
07-24-2006, 11:07 AM
Stopped training entirely? Or stopped training in aikido?

I stopped training in aikido for a variety of reasons. So external, some internal. It all started with reading about aikido and discovering that a lot of eairly aikidoka were high level judoka. So I started taking judo. The differences in training methods caused me to explore why I was in the martial arts. This lead to a series of self discoverys that eventually lead to a choice that the method of training in aikido was not what I found most effective for my goals. This was also compounded with the fact that I had limited time in which to study martial arts and had to make a choice. Stay with aikido with idealoligy I enjoy, but who's training methods I found lacking, or make my own spirital path and study in a method I found more efficient. I discovered there are many roads that lead to the same place when it comes to spirtial study and that any needs I may have had were filled by my judo/bjj/mma training. However, aikido (at least the style I studied) could not meet the physical level of instruction that I had experianced in judo/bjj/mma.

Other then that I had no problems. I liked my teacher, I liked my fellow students. I was treated well and with respect. My teacher was very knowedgable in aikido and it worked great for him and filled the needs of his students. I simply had different needs. It wasn't about aikido, it was about all my martial arts training from the time I was a teen not really being what I was looking for.

I could write a book on the internal and external discovery that shaped me over the years (with aikido only being a very small part of that shaping). In fact I probably have written several in depth posts on multiple forums.

I would be wary of placing any stigma on people who quit your martial art. I would simply say that it isn't for them. However, as a teacher, I would attempt to perform an exit interview (possibly written) to see if there was any way to improve my instruction. (In fact our college does just this every semester with our students).

shadowedge
07-24-2006, 11:47 PM
in my experience, time, finances, and career, and even the dojo itself got in the way :(

time/career > I'm currently doing a lot of things for my job as a 3D animator... deadlines, rush work... no weekends, sleepless nights... I've barely had time to do anything else

finances > I moved south a few months ago and, my wanting to join in a new dojo has been delayed due to the fact that I'm saving up for something this Christmas...

Dojo > I was trainning in a nice dojo early this year... but sadly, they moved far from the city... waaay out of reach...

These reasons may be shallow, but a lot of Aikidoka I've met have simmilar issues.

dbotari
07-25-2006, 11:48 AM
Mike,

I'll give you my honest answer. In my case it started out with an injured shoulder that I wanted to rest for a week or so. Then work began to place extra demands upon me and often times I arrived home too late to get to class. The I started a professional course related to my career (CMA) which has eaten up a lot of time. Those were the reasons I drifted away for a few months.

Also in those few months of inactivity I 've also gained a little weight which makes me even more hesitant about coming back. I want to get back to the club a be as active as I once was but am afraid of embarrassing myself and being an embarrassment to sensei. So I struggle to loose weight in order to be able to function at a level that I can accept.

I know I should leave my ego at the door, get back on the mat and do the best I can and get back in shape that way..but pride is a tough demon to battle with. I hope I win soon.


Dan.

Lyle Bogin
08-02-2006, 07:39 AM
Injury, boredom, and a desire to be free from the personalities and pressures of the dojo.

rogueenergy
08-02-2006, 07:59 AM
I seem to find myself on a brief leave. It started with an ankle injury and the holidays. Then like a few of the other responses was followed by increased demands at work. I think I can count on my hands the # of classes I've made it to this year. I've maintained my dues as a matter of respect to Shihan, to my senseis, and to my fellow students. I have every intention of returning to class as soon as my work schedule stops conflicting. Heck, I've even started looking for a different job to possibly enable me to return sooner.

I have trained in other arts that I have stopped. I stopped the other arts simply because they were not meeting my needs. They were physical and the instruction was good, but they were not for me.

Princess Rose
08-02-2006, 03:45 PM
I have seen so many of my close friends leave the dojo never to return and I do often wonder what makes them leave. Most of the people who I have asked told me they were simply too busy to attend classes anymore. Some were bored and wanted something flashier like Rex Kwan Do (from Napoleon Dynamite), some were lazy and just too tired to attend after all day at work or school, some just lost the spark or interest in the art. It never made sense to me though, how anyone could quit Aikido. Then, at the end of the summer between my junior and senior year in high school, my dojo decided to test me for my shodan. Aikido makes me happier than anything else, but during that summer my training stopped being fun and became more of a chore or something I had to do. Then, I became busy with senior year stuff and simply didnít have much energy to practice. Although I never totally stopped attending class, I have since realized that Aikido is a huge part of my life and Iím pretty much addicted to it (I am also a much more pleasant person if I train regularly). I think the people who continue to keep aikido in their lives all share a deep passion and interest in the art and its philosophy. For some reason we truly love doing this and there is no way to force that love. My teachers are the people on the mat of any rank who are so passionate about Aikido, which further inspires me to be even more passionate. I think that is true of any classroom subject, if the people around you are excited about what they are learning and teaching, then you will follow suit.
Yeah this response was probably not much help so take it with a grain of salt as something a foolhardy, young, inexperienced, little 18 year old girl posted because I was bored.
:crazy:

justin
08-04-2006, 01:54 AM
I train in a univerisity club so we have a high turnover of students coming to university doing aikido for a year or two then passing there exams and going of into the big wide world for employment, they may well continue there training where ever they end up i am not sure.

I also feel like princess rose and feel a better person when training often.

Michael Meister
08-05-2006, 04:34 AM
Many reasons for stopping have been named here, that sounded familiar to me. During my PhD thesis, I often didn't have the time to go to the dojo. On an occassion, where I would have had time, I had problems with my left ankle, due to a bad breakfall. Which meant, I had to pause for several months to rest it. Then there's of course the girlfriend, who wants some attention from time to time... money was also an issue. I could pay my club fees, but more often than not, I couldn't go on courses.
More important than the question, why people leave, ist the question, why people keep coming back.
I kept coming back, because I loved, and still do love, the Aikido, as it is practiced in our organisation. I kept coming back, because of the people there, both students and instructors.

aikispike
08-06-2006, 07:06 PM
Hi Folks,

Thanks for the input... here are a couple of questions for you:

after not going to the dojo for a while did anyone ever call you to ask why?
Would you have found that strange?
Would you have felt like they were pressuring you to come back? Did they pressure you to come back?

Michael

Michael Meister
08-07-2006, 12:00 AM
Hi Folks,

Thanks for the input... here are a couple of questions for you:

after not going to the dojo for a while did anyone ever call you to ask why?
Would you have found that strange?
Would you have felt like they were pressuring you to come back? Did they pressure you to come back?

Michael

We had a lot of students in the club, so it happened a lot, that people missed classes due to exams coming up, or high workload in university.
No one ever called me. As it would have been unusual for the club, it would have been strange, but I would not have felt pressured, as long as my reasons would have been accepted.

DonMagee
08-07-2006, 05:45 AM
Hi Folks,

Thanks for the input... here are a couple of questions for you:

after not going to the dojo for a while did anyone ever call you to ask why?
Would you have found that strange?
Would you have felt like they were pressuring you to come back? Did they pressure you to come back?

Michael

I had my bjj coach call and check up on me once. I had hurt my ankle in judo and it took a few weeks to heal. He called to make sure I was still ok. I would think getting a call is fine unless I explicitly told the teacher I was not comming back.

aikispike
08-07-2006, 05:25 PM
I kept coming back, because I loved, and still do love, the Aikido, as it is practiced in our organisation. I kept coming back, because of the people there, both students and instructors.

I guess one of the things I need to ask about is did people love it.

How long did it take before you loved aikido? Watching the first class? doing the first class? irst time you _really_ threw someone?

Perhaps some people quit before they get the chance to love it.

Michael

Michael Meister
08-08-2006, 12:01 AM
I liked it from the beginning. I went to my first international course after 5-6 weeks, and had a lot of fun (it is so easy to have a beginners mind, when you are a beginner). Watching Sensai in that course I simply decided, that I will be able to do those sometime.
Turning point was, when I was going for orange. At that time, I missed a lot of training due to the job, injury, one or the other cold. I came quite near to orange a couple of times, only to be thrown back shortly before gradings. At some point I decided to take the grading on the next possibility, ready or not. I got the next grad. I do not know, what would have happened, if I hadn't done that, but I probably would have stopped out of frustration.

bhutchy23
08-08-2006, 08:10 AM
I quit training nearly eight months ago due to financial hardships. I had been going two or three times a week for a little over two years, and loved Aikido since the very first day. No one called to ask why I quit attending, but since most of our students are also college students that isn't a big surprise. Some can attend regularly for years and then suddenly disappear after graduation.
I continue to practice the warm up movements and techniques on invisible partners on my own. Iíve also spent a lot of time in the last few months studying the philosophies and spiritual teachings of Aikido. I donít really consider it to be a break in my Aikido training, just a change from physical to mental training. I know Iíll have a lot to catch up on when I finally can afford to go back, but I donít see this as time wasted.
If I were sensei of my own dojo, I would treat my students the same way I treat my Aikido. Every encounter is different. There are many reasons students quit attending Aikido, and most of them have nothing to do with the way you teach or present Aikido. Some students would like to be called and asked why they quit attending, while others would find it inappropriate. You have to judge by the individual and realize that you wonít always get it right.