PDA

View Full Version : Who can start aikido?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


hullu
08-14-2007, 11:12 AM
What is worst shape I can be to be able to start aikido? What about stretching?

Ron Tisdale
08-14-2007, 11:33 AM
If you are not dead, you can start.

I don't know about finish...but you can start. ;)

Best,
Ron

Dewey
08-14-2007, 12:48 PM
What is worst shape I can be to be able to start aikido? What about stretching?

Well, the very concept of "being in shape" is quite subjective. However, in my opinion, I think that as long as you have a somewhat proportionate height-to-weight bodyshape (i.e. not morbidly obese to the point that it severely effects mobility) and your cardiovascular system is strong enough to endure sustained physical exertion...there shouldn't be any problems at all. That being said, Aikido will most certainly be difficult...but a "good" difficult in that it'll help you get into shape (whatever that means).

Stretching? Well, most of us would admit that we're stiff as boards (I know I am)! I'm most certainly more flexible now than before I began Aikido, but I'm still pretty stiff. Regardless, I can see & feel the differences in my flexibility.

Amir Krause
08-14-2007, 02:38 PM
I guess your definition would also depend on your definition of Aikido training. A teacher could devise lots of ways for beginners just starting to practice Aikido, one could start out with very simplified partial moves and only later on continue to practicing in the manner most here would consider normal.

Amir

Aristeia
08-14-2007, 07:50 PM
not rveryone can start Aikido.
You must stand outside your prospective sensei's house without nourishment or encouragement for three weeks (or until he calls the cops).

Theres also a handshake you'll need to learn.

Ryan Sanford
08-14-2007, 08:54 PM
Theres also a handshake you'll need to learn.

Yeah, the handshake... I'm still trying to learn that one, it's a real killer! These crazy Aikido people call it "Sankyo" of all things. Not only does their handshake have a silly name, it's quite painful! :D

batemanb
08-15-2007, 12:32 AM
Yeah, the handshake... I'm still trying to learn that one, it's a real killer! .... :D

That's cause you're not doing it right. The handshake is Nikkyo ;)

Cordula Meyer
08-15-2007, 12:18 PM
I think you can't practice Aikido, if you have got serious problems with your lower back, your knees or if you are not able to stand without help.

lbb
08-16-2007, 07:56 AM
I agree with Ron: anyone with a pulse can start...but that's a bit like saying that anyone can do the splits (they can...once). Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who decided to "get in shape" by signing up for something that was a little much for them -- in more ways than just the physical exercise -- and who ended up quitting, with nothing but a failure to further discourage them from ever getting in shape. So I think if you want to not just start, but continue, you need to consider whether there are issues to be dealt with first.

So, what are the issues (as I see it) that could stand in the way of someone starting and continuing aikido training?

- Fitness level. This isn't the real big showstopper. If you've been totally sedentary, then yes, the class will be a physical challenge. Make sure you find a dojo that's got a class that's truly geared towards beginners, so the challenge isn't so much that you get injured. Beyond that, the aches and pains are something that will...well, not altogether go away, but will diminish to a bearable level if you stick with it. However...

- Eating habits. If you (like many sedentary people) have poor eating habits, this is just going to undermine what you're trying to accomplish on the mat. You need to be willing to change your eating habits to support the new challenge that you're subjecting your body to.

- Sleep habits. Same as with eating, if you sit up until 3 AM every day playing World of Warcrack, you're going to have a hard time doing much worthwhile during the day. You have to be willing to turn off the idiot box and go to bed.

- Time. A lot of people drop out of martial arts training after a few months, not because they don't enjoy it, but because they can't give up two or three evenings a week on a sustained basis. This is the kind of time commitment it takes to really see progress -- an advanced practitioner could get by with once a week and maintain their skills, perhaps, but if you're just learning, I think you need to practice more regularly.

- Underlying physical issues. I have a good friend who joined the dojo where I used to train karate, and loved it. Unfortunately, she had been sedentary, didn't do things in moderation, got injured, didn't deal with the injury properly, etc. Now she flip-flops from sedentary and injured to (briefly) active and getting injured. She's never going to be able to train on a sustained basis until she stops pretending that she has a "normal", uninjured, in-shape body and deals with what she has. I'm in a similar situation: I've got chronic anemia. If I act like I've got a "normal" body and don't take iron supplements, I'll get severely anemic -- and trying to train like that is like trying to climb a mountain with a 150-pound pack on your back.

In summary, there's nothing magical about aikido. Can you start training if you're out of shape? Sure. You just have to be willing to do what's necessary to make training possible.

Ron Tisdale
08-16-2007, 08:15 AM
Very nice post Mary. Probably the most helpful one in the thread.

Best,
Ron

arderljohn
08-17-2007, 09:47 AM
I think you can't practice Aikido, if you have got serious problems with your lower back, your knees or if you are not able to stand without help.

yes i do agree with your oppinion, this art is more developing in proper falling and proper executioning of techniques and thats it. If if your not physically fits, so sorry pal your not be the one... but if wanna try, then this is your destiny to be more in nage. and you will never learned the other side "UKE". :)

Mark Uttech
08-17-2007, 09:24 PM
I have seen people in wheelchairs start aikido. I have seen blind people start aikido. I have seen people with cerebral palsy start aikido. It is an amazing asset of the human mind to try, try, try.

In gassho

Mark

Basia Halliop
08-18-2007, 01:44 PM
It might also depend on the dojo. For example, if they've got enough beginners to have a training class geared towards them, how comfortable (and knowledgable) they are with letting you adapt techniques or ukemi to be safe for your initial level of fitness, etc. The ukemi (taking other people's techniques, falling, etc) is IMHO the part where fitness comes in most.

Sit in on a class or better yet see if they offer a trial class so you can see for yourself.

Kevin Wilbanks
08-18-2007, 02:08 PM
It might also depend on the dojo. For example, if they've got enough beginners to have a training class geared towards them, how comfortable (and knowledgable) they are with letting you adapt techniques or ukemi to be safe for your initial level of fitness, etc. The ukemi (taking other people's techniques, falling, etc) is IMHO the part where fitness comes in most.

Sit in on a class or better yet see if they offer a trial class so you can see for yourself.

I think a lot depends on the dojo. I've been to dojos where I have to pay rapt attention not to get injured, being in moderately good shape and bringing almost 10 years of ukemi experience to bear on the situation - part of that experience expressing itself as letting go or neutralizing some crazy thing someone was trying to do to me, stopping, and telling them to mellow out. The point being that you need to check the place out and make sure it's not too rough.

Otherwise, Mary's advice is good. Even better would be to take some time before starting and do some basic fitness activities: a few simple weight exercises and some endurance exercise, like biking or rowing. Better still would be to continue with this supplemental exercise as you go on to train Aikido. However, most people won't do this - even people who absolutely need to, like the person caught in the injury yo-yo feedback loop Mary described. I go ahead and tell people anyway, just so they can't say they never heard of such a thing.

Most people seem to do okay at Aikido without getting serious about building up a fitness and injury-prevention base... at least for a while. On the other hand, many people who have trained in Aikido for decades usually have one or more limiting chronic injury conditions. You do the math.