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David Paul
04-23-2008, 03:13 PM
It's been a while since I have visited the site--mainly because I gave up on aikido about 5 months or so ago after roughly 5 years of training (although not all continuous).

Anyways-while I have not done a lot of posting I do read (or have read) a lot of the posts and I just wanted to post a final message to say goodbye and good luck to all.

That's all I've got.

Lan Powers
04-23-2008, 03:16 PM
Good bye and best-wishes......come back to train again someday if you find you miss it.
Lan

Ron Tisdale
04-23-2008, 03:39 PM
Just currious, but would you be able to talk about the reasons for leaving? It's always a good and interesting check point for those of us who stay...

Thanks, and Best,
Ron
It's been a while since I have visited the site--mainly because I gave up on aikido about 5 months or so ago after roughly 5 years of training (although not all continuous).

Anyways-while I have not done a lot of posting I do read (or have read) a lot of the posts and I just wanted to post a final message to say goodbye and good luck to all.

That's all I've got.

Kevin Leavitt
04-23-2008, 05:03 PM
yes...as long as we are willing to listen only and not discuss why aikido would solve the issues he bring up, or how it is effective in a fight!

(Not saying that you'd do that Ron, as I know you are asking for the right reasons).

I too am always curious as to the reasons people make choices to stop. It helps us understand things from another perspective. the key is to listen to what is being said, not debate it.

Stefan Stenudd
04-23-2008, 06:22 PM
I would like to think that the important thing is not why someone stops doing aikido, but that it was an enriching and rewarding experience while it lasted - and something cherished by memory.
So, David, I hope you feel that way about your aikido experience.
And many thanks for your greeting.

rob_liberti
04-23-2008, 11:42 PM
Every new student has the same basic reason for starting - I want to change. If the student leaves, it simply means that after experiencing aikido, they did not get the change they are currently looking for. There is a value to having a practice. I often think it would be time well spent describing that value, but it is more visceral and I'm not a poet.

Rob

Shany
04-24-2008, 06:00 AM
I guess Aikido is not suited for all.
5 years, probably griding the same techniques, same style, same thinking, seminars, without "Getting" anything in return might caused to leaving aikido.

All packed into 1 element that stops people -> time (or lack of it).

whatever the reasones are, aikido witll hunt you down :D YOU WILL return someday hehehehe :)

RoyK
04-24-2008, 06:29 AM
Do you feel you got something out of those 5 years, and if you did, what was it?

nagoyajoe
04-24-2008, 06:49 AM
As I generally reply to these kinds of posts (and with some criticism): good-bye and best of luck.

David Paul
04-24-2008, 09:21 AM
First off-thanks for all the replies. To answer a few of the questions:

1.) I did enjoy my time training and I believe that the sheer enjoyment of training is what I got out of it.

2.) I left because I wanted to go back to boxing to get back into the ring before I got too old to do it. I'm going on 37, and fact is, you just dont get many chances to fight at that age.

There were some other reason for leaving-but that was the biggie for me. Other than that, I'd say I reached a point where I didn't feel like I was making any progress. Part of my lack of progress was also rank related. I wish I could say that rank wasn't an issue with me-but it is. I felt like I had been passed over for a test without a very good reason (actually this happened twice at two different,but affiliated dojos) and that was a factor.

Anyways-I did have fun. I still keep in touch with my training partners and I even stop by the dojo on occasion to say hello. No hard feelings and some good memories.

Ron Tisdale
04-24-2008, 09:57 AM
Thanks for the reply! Good luck and stay safe in the ring!

Best,
Ron

charyuop
04-24-2008, 10:53 AM
All this quitting posts really worry me. Not for the fact of people quitting, but because most of them quit after many years and many of them for the same reason...which it would be the same reason that would lead me to quit: not feeling we are learning much.

I guess we all had the feeling of not improving, staying at the same level for a long time, Frustration in this case is the boss. I am going now towards the second year anniversary of my Aikido practice and sincerelly is scarry seeing people after many more years of practice than me, quitting for the same feeling of frustration that I have when I go to practice.

Lan Powers
04-24-2008, 11:05 AM
Good luck with the boxing....punch from your hips and get your center into 'em!
Angles are good too.
Best wishes
Lan

Ron Tisdale
04-24-2008, 11:16 AM
Just a note...

I try not to base my decisions in aikido (stay or leave, train here or there, in this way or that) too much on others or on their decisions. I have enough trouble controlling and understanding my own motivations and desires, let alone someone else's. So while I may seek to understand their decisions, in a spirit of learning and friendship, it is not likely that it will unduly influence my own decisions. I am responsible for my decisions, not someone else.

Best,
Ron (I train because I like it...and sometimes, that is enough)

Shany
04-24-2008, 03:07 PM
All this quitting posts really worry me. Not for the fact of people quitting, but because most of them quit after many years and many of them for the same reason...which it would be the same reason that would lead me to quit: not feeling we are learning much.

I guess we all had the feeling of not improving, staying at the same level for a long time, Frustration in this case is the boss. I am going now towards the second year anniversary of my Aikido practice and sincerelly is scarry seeing people after many more years of practice than me, quitting for the same feeling of frustration that I have when I go to practice.

this is because when someone train X years without being open minded, you are finding your self not progressing at all, and everything looks just the same as it was years ago, just slightly 'better'. this is a :square: study.

no one said u can't create your own techniques, style, philosophy. enjoy expending it towards higher standing, reaching for something no one has done before.

David Paul
04-24-2008, 03:31 PM
this is because when someone train X years without being open minded, you are finding your self not progressing at all, and everything looks just the same as it was years ago, just slightly 'better'. this is a :square: study.

I dont think that you can generalize by assuming/saying that someone who saw no progress in their aikido wasn't "open minded". Perhaps there really was (or is) no progress in whatever way that person chooses to define it. Perhaps I am missing your point-but that seems to me to be just a little condescending and arrogant.

Ron Tisdale
04-24-2008, 03:36 PM
Right there with you Paul. Moving on doesn't mean there is something wrong with you.

Let it slide off your back like water from a duck... :D

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
04-24-2008, 04:48 PM
Thanks for sharing, best of luck.

ze'ev erlich
04-24-2008, 05:58 PM
Dear David,
I like your honesty. Please enjoy boxing, I used to train a bit in boxing when I was much younger. I think it is really nice of you to post here a "good-bye" message.

Best of luck, joy and health,
Ze'ev.
Israel.

senshincenter
04-24-2008, 09:19 PM
I don't think it's condescending or arrogant at all to point out one of the most common obstacles to real growth - i.e. learning to reconcile a life of practice with a practice of life. Maturing in a practice, no matter what it may be, but certainly when it is a Budo, is going to require that one drop those ego attachments that inhibit one from positively transforming themselves via things like boredom, no end in sight, no change of scenery, no landmarks by which to measure, endless repetition, etc.

I would definitely dump rank and the preoccupation of rank (which is all rank can ever be) into this picture - enough to say that anyone that cannot completely walk away from rank, into the apparent void of nothingness and no one-ness - where practice is pure and is what is as you are who you are - where all there can be is the "I am what I am" of it all... Well, lets just say your inner wisdom was right when it uttered, "I wish rank wasn't an issue with me." That's the open door you want to walk through, but to walk through it, you, anyone that does walk through, has to drop a lot of crap - all the crap that really gets in the way of true progress. Not everyone walks through it, and that, in my opinion, is why not everyone lives a life of continuous progress.

dmv

Erick Mead
04-25-2008, 07:33 AM
... positively transforming themselves via things like boredom, no end in sight, no change of scenery, no landmarks by which to measure, endless repetition, etc. ... your inner wisdom was right when it uttered, "I wish rank wasn't an issue with me." That's the open door you want to walk through, but to walk through it, you, anyone that does walk through, has to drop a lot of crap - all the crap that really gets in the way of true progress. Not everyone walks through it, and that, in my opinion, is why not everyone lives a life of continuous progress. There came a point in my training where, since I was moving around so much, I realized I had to take charge of my own training. At the same time I realized that I had to accept in its own terms whatever was on offer if it was ever going to teach me anything. The point was not to make my personal training paradigm the enemy of any tradition of training, but to make as much of every tradition I found my own. That's when the light went on. It was all up to me, all any instructor could do was provide the place, some orderly routine, and helpful suggestions and criticism of failures along the way.

O Sensei said it clearly that progress comes only to those who train and train in the basics of the art. It takes a long time. This is in the nature of Aiki, and it does not matter whether you practice Aikido or the now more faddish and "combat-effective" sister art of Daito-ryu, or any other version of training related "skills" from other sources.

While many dissatisfied Aikidoka have sought DTR as being somehow less pansy-ish and faster to be more effective, they are just as likely to be disappointed as they ever were if they are looking for the one-year wonder course. Yukiyoshi Sagawa, like O Sensei a direct student of Takeda in DTR, said in his book "Clear Power" that learning Aiki takes about twenty years.
There is no such thing as "special" training. Training must be done EVERYDAY for the rest of your life. That is <the meaning of> "Shugyo." No matter how much muscle you think you aren't using (you're only misleading yourself.) The true execution of Aiki requires an enormous amount of Tanren [鍛練]. It is not easy to attain.
You won't be able to manifest this skill unless you continue tanren of the body everyday for decades. You must train the body, think and have the techniques "seep out" from the body itself. Even if you train everyday all the while innovating yourself, it will take at least 20 years. Ten years or so isn't nearly enough time.

See! This is why you are no good. You don't do something simply because so and so said so. If you simply go through life by simply thinking you can copy people you'll never get anywhere. The only person that can do this is you. You must create your own understanding for yourself.
Take Aiki for example. There is no way to really teach this. Even if I could point at something that is Aiki I can't put it into words. You simply think you can learn everything from me, so you don't develop the habit to think for yourself. ... In the end its about accumulating your thoughts and having them act as the foundation for other thoughts. ...<If you decide because> others tell you so, or influence you, then it's no good. You must hold your own counsel. Decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. ...

... You must take what you learn, and then innovate it based on your own ideas. ... No matter how much you learn something, if it is simply taught to you, you will forget it. However you will never forget something you acquire for yourself. It becomes you. In other words, teaching is simply a matter of giving the right hints. You must acquire that thing for yourself. Especially in the case of Aiki, it is an internal feeling which must be grasped.
It's not simply a matter of questioning everything either. You mustn't simply think that it's enough to be taught. Everyone's body type is different, so there is no guarantee that things will work out exactly the same way.
... I don't teach everything, and I can't teach everything. What I can teach is the foundation of how the skeletal system works. How your muscles and organs work upon that frame is for you to ponder and discover on your own.

Elijah211Barr
05-07-2008, 03:50 PM
Best wishes to you in boxing. I think what Eric said is right on. You have to train daily to reach that next level. Put that ego in check. Good luck and thanks for sharing why you quit.:)

Ron Tisdale
05-07-2008, 03:58 PM
While many dissatisfied Aikidoka have sought DTR as being somehow less pansy-ish and faster to be more effective, they are just as likely to be disappointed as they ever were if they are looking for the one-year wonder course.

Hmm, just noticed this. Are you saying all aikidoka who try or move to daito ryu:
a) are dis-satisfied?
b) are worried about being pansy-ish?
c) are looking for shortcuts?
d) are overly worried about effectiveness?

or E) are all of the above? :(

How nice of you to read their minds for them :D

Best,
Ron (mostly kidding, but, you know...)

DonMagee
05-08-2008, 08:50 AM
I dont think that you can generalize by assuming/saying that someone who saw no progress in their aikido wasn't "open minded". Perhaps there really was (or is) no progress in whatever way that person chooses to define it. Perhaps I am missing your point-but that seems to me to be just a little condescending and arrogant.

Exactly, when I left aikido, it was because the progress I was making was very slow towards my goals. Not the goals of aikido, but the goals I set for myself. I saw that even they guys there for decades were not much more developed in the skills and areas I was interested in. Looking at other arts, I found a stark improvement in those areas in a very small period of time. So it made logical sense to leave.

That is reflecting back on that of course.

Brion Toss
05-08-2008, 02:53 PM
Hmm, just noticed this. Are you saying all aikidoka who try or move to daito ryu:
a) are dis-satisfied?
b) are worried about being pansy-ish?
c) are looking for shortcuts?
d) are overly worried about effectiveness?

or E) are all of the above? :(

How nice of you to read their minds for them :D

Best,
Ron (mostly kidding, but, you know...)

Not to leap to someone else's defence, but I believe that what Mr. Mead said was,"... While many dissatisfied Aikidoka have sought DTR as being somehow less pansy-ish and faster to be more effective..." Not all, nor even necessarily most, let alone any concerns with your points a through d.
I have known and worked out with numerous people who have studied Daito Ryu, long and short term. Some of them started out in Aikido, and left for reasons much like Mead describes, and some of those people returned to Aikido. No doubt others dropped out of other arts, or came to Aikido from Daito Ryu, then left for, I don't know, Krav Maga, but so what? The context of the response was about possible motivations for leaving or staying in Aikido, and why some people choose to go to Daito Ryu.
For myself, I find it valuable to ask, once in a while, why I choose to stay with Aikido. It isn't for the trophies, it has rarely been valuable for protection of myself or others, and I'm certainly not good enough at it to stay for ego gratification. I want to be sure that I'm not staying out of some sense of invested effort, the old "if you leave now, all those years will have been wasted" argument. So I ask myself the question, and the process of coming up with answers has, so far, been sufficiently satisfying in itself.
Yours,
Brion Toss

Ron Tisdale
05-08-2008, 03:55 PM
Hi Brian,

I guess I just found his post a little...off-putting. :D

Best,
Ron (while "many" is not "most"...you see what I mean?)

dalen7
05-10-2008, 01:59 AM
First off-thanks for all the replies. To answer a few of the questions:

Part of my lack of progress was also rank related. I wish I could say that rank wasn't an issue with me-but it is. I felt like I had been passed over for a test without a very good reason (actually this happened twice at two different,but affiliated dojos) and that was a factor.

I did the same thing basically. I started out in Aikido (in a foreign land where I did not understand the language) and actually was able to get it going on - so to speak. (reading on the internet here and watching Aikido 3D as well as lessons got me up to speed.)

Last summer at the seminar, a guy that had only been there a couple of weeks longer than me got to test. I was so pissed to say the least. I really did not know enough Hungarian to talk to my instructor without it sounding like a pout session so I just bottled it up.

Then a couple months later new guys joined and after a week or so he said that me and the new guys would all take a test at the same time. (they had just started and he gave them a test date.)

First the language factor was an issue at first on both parts. (shyness, or what not from both ends I suppose.)

Well the guy who had been promoted was going to get a chance to rank again. And here was my beef, I had practically made it to every lesson in the months I had been there, and the other guy would basically show up once a week...at most. (And he is about to get tested again...as we test twice a year.)

So I took time off...about 5 months to make equal space between me and the new guys. I thought, heck, if they are going to be on the same level then so be it...lets equal the time out.

Yes this is extremely childish...egoic...prideful...etc.
One could say that it must be quite embarrassing to write about.
Well, it is as it is...I had the emotions, they were there...something I learned from and so I can share as others may be going through this and it may encourage them.

It really is all relative.
I know a green belt that looks like a shodan compared to the other green belts. Likewise with some of the higher belts. There is always one guy in each class, it seems, that shines above the rest...and the others seem sloppy in comparison.

On one level belts are only relevant to the dojo giving it, and even then its not relevant, because the main point is what you do where your at on that level. But yes, that pride/ego wants to show the world. :)
And no Im not lecturing you, Im an adult still playing a childs game...although Im not sure children have this much pride. heheh

Peace

dAlen

p.s. - I did not add, since then I have cleared all this up.
First of all internally.
Secondly I have talked to my instructor (through email where I could clearly have translated what it was I wanted to say) and basically got some things squared away...Primarily the test I skipped in Dec. I will be taking in June. - So I will be testing for both 6th and 5th kyu.

Now had I not taken a 5 months hiatus, perhaps it would have been 5th and 4th kyu I would have been testing for. Ironically he is letting another person who almost never shows up take both test as well...so maybe I still can...nah, Im not ready more than the two for now, so Im fine. I would like to have some fluidity in what Im doing... :)

dalen7
05-10-2008, 02:15 AM
No doubt others dropped out of other arts, or came to Aikido from Daito Ryu, then left for, I don't know, Krav Maga, but so what?

I know 2 guys, blue belts, that have left to do their own thing.
Russian knives and krav maga.

The one guy said that aikido was an art for another time and not really that practical...he had taken all he could from it. Interestingly enough they were doing ki aikdio on the side...not sure how that fits in with practicality - (not knocking it...)

For me its like this.

It took me 6 months to get it.
That is to understand the structure of Aikido and feel comfortable with the movements.

Now Im working on trying to recall them quickly from memory.

I suppose the challenge, I have for myself, is executing each move fluidly, properly, and functionally (make sure it works because it really works, not because its some dance move.)

The only way I see this to happen is to do what we did this past lesson and do jiyu waza constantly - well mixed in with proper education on correcting mistakes.

My main gripe is that typically we do a couple of movements per lesson...with 2 lessons per week. We really would do better to have 3 lessons per week, and secondly by the time we cover all the movements its easy to forget what we did the month before.

On top of that, we learn movements for higher ranks, so the actual time we spend in practicing what is on our testing menu/list is minimal. (I have practically not done udekime nage...maybe once in a lesson, yet I will be tested it on it...as well as suwari waza I did once since I have started back again...and this was in jiyuwaza form, not in instruction...so I basically had to wing it.

But in the end, its all good because its teaching me what I really am trying to learn and that is to grab what I can out of the present moment and learn from it...after all, complaining doesnt change anything. ;)

Peace

dAlen

mdsmith
05-30-2008, 09:55 AM
Just curious, what system did you switch to? I left aikido years ago, looking for something more practical. I found American kenpo, which I find to be extremely effective, but after years of training in it, I felt like I was missing something. What I felt like I was missing was the art. While kenpo gave me the practicallity, thats about all I got out of it. I missed the history, spirituality and way of life that aikido gave me. I guess it's hard to find the happy medium. I'm strongly considering renewing my aikido traing now.Exactly, when I left aikido, it was because the progress I was making was very slow towards my goals. Not the goals of aikido, but the goals I set for myself. I saw that even they guys there for decades were not much more developed in the skills and areas I was interested in. Looking at other arts, I found a stark improvement in those areas in a very small period of time. So it made logical sense to leave.

That is reflecting back on that of course.

rukia
06-20-2008, 04:22 AM
I was just browsing around pages today when the title of this thread struck me - bit emotionally.
My first thought to myself was "Why would someone say Goodbye to Aikido?
Or maybe a better way to ask is "What would stop someone from saying goodbye?"

It made me ponder today because I have just stopped practicing (almost 3months now) but only just because of some certain life priorities that I needed to attend to - like work and personal life.

If I were given all the choices in this world, I'd really want to continue practicing Aikido forever and hand it down to my generations to come. Although I have been only practicing for roughly 2 years, the experience has been very deep for me. The amount of learning I got has gone beyond training in the dojo weekly. I owe my great experience to my Senseis and to my fellow Aikidokas back home, whom I have really missed so much.
And I am not just talking about surviving a 30-40min randori training, but about the great support you get from fellow aikidoka & from our Sensei for believing that you can actually do it.

I am sharing this because I got the chance to share such wonderful friendship together in our dojo, whom I've considered my family --- this I believe will always be the reason why I won't stop in believing and living the way of the Ki.

;) ;) ;)

Mats Alritzson
06-20-2008, 07:21 AM
I quit training a couple of years back. But I found out that I thought about the techniques a lot and so I was sort of "training in my head" and although when I came back to training, 6:th kyu and kind of stiff, I managed to pin one of the sempais with a nikyo so that he lay flat on his stomage because I had been thinking about how nikyo was supposed to be done during my absence.

Now, being 2:nd kyu and having recently picked up Aikido again after maybe 2 years of absence, mainly doing yoga, I find I still remember a lot of the training and I think I can pretty much pick up where I left. Now with improved body awareness from my yoga training. :)

An advice if you want to pick up the training again is to not quit "cold turkey" but cut down on the training gradually, then it wont feel as if you've quit completely.

Rennis Buchner
06-27-2008, 02:21 AM
Yukiyoshi Sagawa, like O Sensei a direct student of Takeda in DTR, said in his book "Clear Power"


Two minor points, "Tomei na Chikara" is Kimura Tatsuo's book. Although he says that Sagawa sensei checked through everything, the book itself was written about Sagawa, not by Sagawa. Also the author himself translates the title into English as "Transparent Power" and not "Clear Power".

For what it's worth,
Rennis Buchner

JamesC
06-27-2008, 06:44 AM
Am I the only one that feels like I am ALWAYS unprepared for a test, even when i've been working toward that test for months? Not from my Aikido training obviously.

In the other arts i've studied, I was always more than happy to give myself another month or two or three if it meant I got to learn all of the requirements that much better.

I'm also convinced that you shouldn't be passed unless you know and understand the techniques as opposed to being able to perform them.

jennifer paige smith
06-27-2008, 12:15 PM
Am I the only one that feels like I am ALWAYS unprepared for a test, even when i've been working toward that test for months? Not from my Aikido training obviously.

In the other arts i've studied, I was always more than happy to give myself another month or two or three if it meant I got to learn all of the requirements that much better.

I'm also convinced that you shouldn't be passed unless you know and understand the techniques as opposed to being able to perform them.

I would like to point out that Ikkyo is on a 6th kyu exam and every subsequent exam or demonstration thereafter. I use this fact to illustrate a point, which is: one needs to know and understand technique from the level where one is at, relatively. Not in relation to all knowing for all time.
One is supposed to 'stretch' for each test. 'Mastery' (for want of a better word) is supposed to remain slightly out of one's grasp and at the same time one needs to demonstrate proficient building blocks of practice.
The draw of deeper understanding is that which compels us in long term practice. Don't hope for quick answers. The universe is vast, enjoy the unfolding.Keep training.

JamesC
06-27-2008, 05:05 PM
I would like to point out that Ikkyo is on a 6th kyu exam and every subsequent exam or demonstration thereafter. I use this fact to illustrate a point, which is: one needs to know and understand technique from the level where one is at, relatively. Not in relation to all knowing for all time.
One is supposed to 'stretch' for each test. 'Mastery' (for want of a better word) is supposed to remain slightly out of one's grasp and at the same time one needs to demonstrate proficient building blocks of practice.
The draw of deeper understanding is that which compels us in long term practice. Don't hope for quick answers. The universe is vast, enjoy the unfolding.Keep training.

Well said Jennifer.

I just want to point out that I was speaking relatively about the understanding of a technique. Obviously my understanding of a technique will be different now than it will be in the years to come. I just feel like I've seen people that are testing and performing techniques but have absolutely no idea why they are doing what they are doing.

I am also a very big worrier when it comes to testing. I think i'm afraid of being someone that reaches a certain level on paper, but doesn't really get half of the material that I can perform.

jennifer paige smith
06-28-2008, 03:12 PM
Well said Jennifer.

I just want to point out that I was speaking relatively about the understanding of a technique. Obviously my understanding of a technique will be different now than it will be in the years to come. I just feel like I've seen people that are testing and performing techniques but have absolutely no idea why they are doing what they are doing.

I am also a very big worrier when it comes to testing. I think i'm afraid of being someone that reaches a certain level on paper, but doesn't really get half of the material that I can perform.

Hiya (or HIIII-YA! as Miss Piggy would say;) ),

Thanks for the follow up. If all the things that you are worried about happen to you then you can still rest assured that you are at least in good company. ;)

All of our knowledge is expanding, individually and collectively. As my teacher Anno Sensei says "Don't be satisfied."

Best,
Jen

DonMagee
07-01-2008, 08:11 AM
Just curious, what system did you switch to? I left aikido years ago, looking for something more practical. I found American kenpo, which I find to be extremely effective, but after years of training in it, I felt like I was missing something. What I felt like I was missing was the art. While kenpo gave me the practicallity, thats about all I got out of it. I missed the history, spirituality and way of life that aikido gave me. I guess it's hard to find the happy medium. I'm strongly considering renewing my aikido traing now.

I know it is a late reply, however I train in judo and bjj with the occasional MMA sparing session. My bjj training has kind of falling to the side lately as I've been working on preparing for my judo black belt exam (Did I mention how much I hate kata?)

Ron Tisdale
07-01-2008, 10:27 AM
Did I mention how much I hate kata?)

Yes, I think you did :D

Best of luck on the shodan!
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
07-01-2008, 06:45 PM
Don, I specifically avoid kata. I hate it, always have, always will. Only do it when I absolutely have to. I understand it's place, but I don't like it.

Yes, good luck on your Judo Shodan. I just started Judo a few weeks ago training with my 8 year old son.