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dalen7
12-03-2009, 03:41 AM
Heh, where to begin?

It is with disappointment, after having dedicated the past two and a half years of training consistently in Aikido, that it appears my training here in Hungary is now over.

Ive taken 4 test, received my 3rd kyu, and was hoping to achieve 1st kyu before leaving Hungary in the next couple of years.

Due to the lack of proper instruction, or class structure, I have paid to have private classes in order to be prepared for my test. [This preparation has included going to a small daughter dojo in the neighboring city.]

All the extra cost to try to get what I should have been getting in class.

For about a year our instructor has had an issue with showing up and has left it to the 1st kyus to instruct. Nothing against this, per say, but the lack of communication and structure is frustrating.

Sometimes there are classes where people show up and no one is there to open the dojo doors.

At the end of Oct. classes were cancelled as the gym floor where we practiced needed to be repaired. Classes for half of Nov. were cancelled as well.

Well, we went practically a full month without training, and last week our instructor spent the whole class giving us a lecture.
Wasted training time.

I didnt understand everything but I kind of got the essence of what was going on. [Again, my Hungarian is not fluent.]
Well, I wrote an email to clarify about the payment for the time we missed... [i.e., no payment needed.]

However, I received an angry letter which explained why he was so angry last week.

Apparently he feels that if we show up once we should pay... which I understand. But its his not showing up which is the issue.

Of course he addressed this problem and his solution was that the opportunity to train was there, with the 1st kyus, [actually there were 7 out of 8 potential executive training days that there was no training possible.]

I, like the others, have an issue paying for times when no one shows up or there is not training facility available. It was already rough enough that the main instructor had slacked in showing up.

All I can say is Im disappointed.

Im at the level now where with the rate things are going Im not sure even showing up will benefit me.

I have paid extra for private training sessions, the gas to go to another city to supplement my training, etc. I had hoped to get to a level that when I moved back stateside I could teach Aikido. [Yes, I realize that brown belt doesnt cut it with many, but things are a bit different and here a green belt can [and has] taught their own classes. - Heck, I even have had the lower kyus come over to get me to teach them what the instructor wouldnt.]

Just received his email and was extremely disappointed, as I am probably the only one that has consistently paid him, as well as shown up to virtually every class.

Anyway... such is life.
I cannot afford to pay for training time that doesnt exist.

Peace,

dAlen

dalen7
12-03-2009, 04:15 AM
My wife and I have been talking about this... just got finished writing a long letter to my instructor and she asked if I was sure I wanted to send it and make it official that I wont go anymore.

And she brought up the fact that I did learn there a lot... and I am training with people regardless.

At the end of the day, I suppose I wont byte the bullet yet.
There is still the guys there to train with, and hopefully we wont have another extended period where the dojo doors are closed.

But man... have to admit, this did upset me.

Hopefully there will be someone who can communicate with him on a level he would open up to so that positive change could happen, without him being defensive and closing up.

He showed up on Tues., not to teach, but to walk through the gym, with his payment book, and ask who had money to give him. [That was just weird.]

At the end of the lesson that was spent with him telling us why we should pay for the 7 missed lessons... he went on with telling us that we are to rough and need to flow. [Well, show up and teach us bro.]

When he left out, the highest ranking kyu basically mocked him, and pointed to the waste of yet another lesson. [this guy is an older guy that doesnt go around making fun of anyone.]

I cant believe that our instructor doesnt see this. Frustrating.

What is a shame is that none of us can get anywhere if we dont go out of the way to get an extra private training session, etc.
Basically no one test, and we never really cover what is needed on the test.

This is not new, its been like this for a long time.

But anyway... Ill shut up, and suppose Ill pay him today for the lost month and train with those who do show up. Might as well just pay the higher kyu ranks that teach the class.

I will say, the guy has talent... but about 6 people have already left because of the lack of structure at our dojo. [and he felt bad about it and didnt see the connection.]

Peace

dAlen

dalen7
12-03-2009, 04:57 AM
In light of the fact that we probably wont have classes toward the end of the month due to the season, paying for an empty month of lessons and another half month of no lessons is kind of a luxury, so I have written my instructor asking if he will drop the request to pay for the 7 lessons that we did not have.

I think the whole thing broke out because certain people only started coming when he was there, so didnt pay for the full month...

None-the-less, suppose Ill see where all of this leads.

Maybe I can hunt down those guys who already left and are training together somewhere.

Peace

dAlen

crbateman
12-03-2009, 05:03 AM
Don't give up, Dalen... Find a partner to train with until a better situation comes along...

dalen7
12-03-2009, 05:09 AM
Don't give up, Dalen... Find a partner to train with until a better situation comes along...

Thanks for the encouragement Clark... something good will come out of all of this. :)

Peace,

dAlen

Peter Goldsbury
12-03-2009, 05:16 AM
Hello Dalen,

Well, I hope it is not really the end of the road for you, since you really have only just begun. When I myself started, for the first two years we had a good teacher (a 3rd dan from Kisshomaru Ueshiba, awarded through his university), who taught for free because he was a student like we were. He awarded kyu grades, with coloured belts, but I later discovered that these grades had no validity whatsoever outside the dojo.

But when he left and returned to Japan, we had to cope by ourselves. We had our own club at the university and were able to operate more or less independently (I mean that the university authorities did not concern themselves with what we were doing). So we practised, and I myself went to two other dojos, in London, to see what they were doing there. I did this for about two years, until I moved to the States in 1973 and once again joined a regular dojo, headed by a Japanese shihan. However, I did not become a member of the Aikikai until 1978, when I received shodan. This was nine years after I started practicing.

In some ways these years were 'lost', in the sense that if I had started in an Aikikai dojo from the beginning, these years would count and my present rank would be higher. But this does not matter. They were a good training experience, for I had to start again from the beginning, not once but twice--with two different and demanding Japanese teachers.

Since you started contributing to this forum, I have been pondering your situation in Hungary. To me it represents the down side of not having a stable organization. It is a curious question why no stable Aikikai organization has ever been established in Hungary. After all, Mr Varszegi and Mr Gollo have both been training for a long time. I have met both gentlemen several times and once taught a seminar in Budapest (with Mr Gollo: this was about 20 years ago, I think).

The consequence is that for the Aikikai at least (I know nothing about Yoseikan, Yoshinkan, or Shodokan), other ways have to be found for individuals to connect with the Aikikai, if they wish to. However, this is a Catch-22 situation. The Aikikai will not recognize a group unless the person technically responsible lives in the country permanently, has at least a 4th dan, and is supported by other, junior, yudansha. But to get to this situation, you need someone of shihan rank (who can award the ranks) either residing in the country, or visiting on such a regular basis that a core of committed students can be created and nurtured.

This is what actually happened after the war in the US and Europe, with Japanese shihan like Tamura and Saotome, and is what happens now in the Netherlands, for example. My two groups do not want a resident Japanese shihan (since there was trouble in the past), so I visit twice a year and give two seminars. At the summer seminar dan examinations are held. However, the two groups are large enough to bear the cost of my travelling expenses etc. I am sure the same thing happens with other groups.

Or you can abandon organizations, examinations and grades altogether and train simply each week, without the instructor, if he is so much trouble. Of course, you will still need to progress technically and I am well aware of the difficulty of doing this alone. In addition, if you abandon the psychological prop that examinations and grades gives you, you need to find a substitute, which is thought worthwhile and accepted by everybody in the group.

Best wishes,

PAG

dalen7
12-03-2009, 05:54 AM
Peter,

Thank you for your detailed response, you have been very helpful with your replies in the past, and this is no different.

Your absolutely right concerning the choices set before me.

I had hoped to have a tie with the Aikikai by achieving my 1st kyu here in Hungary and then upon moving taking my shodan in a dojo affiliated with the Aikikai.

... or, if here long enough, testing under Tamura Sensei, which would connect me to the Aikikai. [though, from how I understand it, not everyone is able to test under him here.]

While Im not against independent dojos, I see merit in being connected to an organization such as the Aikikai and thus is why I was hoping to eventually get the connection.

The most frustrating part is the technical aspect of the training as pointed out. I need some quality training time above everything else, and its this aspect that has been missing.

In a way, the difficult time I have had here has pushed me into learning what I already know. However, I am looking forward to a time when things are a bit smoother in flow.

I suppose the saying goes that the external reflects the internal.

As for now, I cannot see clearly how my training will progress, but I am dedicated to keeping my Aikido training alive.

Again, thank you for your reply.

This forum has helped me out quite a bit in my past couple of years of training to be sure.

Peace

dAlen

Amir Krause
12-03-2009, 07:43 AM
Dalen

You seems continously passionate about Aikido

Seems to me, you have progressed enough to go and look for your Sensei, once again, this time, with some ideas about what you are looking for (just be carefull not to place to much emphasis on past failures, teachers could be wrong for you for many other reasons too).

Good luck
Amir

dalen7
12-03-2009, 08:19 AM
Dalen

You seems continously passionate about Aikido

Seems to me, you have progressed enough to go and look for your Sensei, once again, this time, with some ideas about what you are looking for (just be carefull not to place to much emphasis on past failures, teachers could be wrong for you for many other reasons too).

Good luck
Amir

Thanks Amir,

I am pretty passionate about Aikido indeed.

As an update to this whole topic, I took my wife out and talked with a guy who actually has a gym & mats that he is basically willing to let us use for free.

In light of this, there was a guy who found me here at Aikiweb that lives in Hungary who said if I could find mats he would try to come out and help train.

So this is a bit of good news. Im hoping to approach a few of the guys at the dojo who initially approached me to train them awhile back to see if they would be open to doing extra training on the side. [i.e., dont want to do an us vs. them scenario]

Peace

dAlen

Larry Cuvin
12-03-2009, 10:30 AM
I admire your dedication and perseverance dAlen. Five, may be ten years from now, you'll look back at this episode as just a part of character development. Just remember, adversitites that don't destroy you makes you stronger. Good luck on your endeavors and keep on training.

Larry

Mark Mueller
12-03-2009, 10:39 AM
Dalen,

You should get in touch with Jimmy Sorrentino. I know he has connections to aikido in Hungary and he has taught over there a few times. PM me and I will send you his email address.

Best Regards,

Mark

Kevin Leavitt
12-03-2009, 10:52 AM
dAlen, been in similar situations trying to make training happen in an unstable environment. it ain't easy or fun for sure. Just keep doing whatever you can do to make it work for you!

Good luck and let us know if I can help in anyway.

ninjaqutie
12-03-2009, 11:30 AM
Sorry to hear things are going so horrible. Keep your head above water and eventually you will have the chance to train at your ideal dojo. At least you are able to train with some nice people in the meantime. Good luck.

dalen7
12-03-2009, 01:34 PM
Aikiweb is really quite the community, I appreciate everyones words of encouragement.


Five, may be ten years from now, you'll look back at this episode as just a part of character development.

Larry

Your totally right about that Larry.

I believe its helping to teach me to truly just chill out and not take things so seriously.

Dalen,

You should get in touch with Jimmy Sorrentino. I know he has connections to aikido in Hungary and he has taught over there a few times. PM me and I will send you his email address.

Thanks Mark, will do...

dAlen, been in similar situations trying to make training happen in an unstable environment. it ain't easy or fun for sure. Just keep doing whatever you can do to make it work for you!

Good luck and let us know if I can help in anyway.

Thanks Kevin - help truly is there when you need.

Sorry to hear things are going so horrible. Keep your head above water and eventually you will have the chance to train at your ideal dojo. At least you are able to train with some nice people in the meantime. Good luck.

Will do Ashley, and your right, its important to make the best of what is there and focus on that.

Again, thanks for the comments, Im way more optimistic than I was this morning. ;) [Just needed some time to digest this and let it go.]

Getting easier, as Im starting to truly realize that people arent necessarily trying to be 'hard' - everyone is just where they are at, which does greatly vary, but it does teach patience and understanding toward others which may be the only way to open up communication in some situations.

Peace

dAlen

piyush.kumar
12-03-2009, 01:55 PM
Hey,
If it helps, since you have trained for some time now ur aware of the basics. From my understanding, all the elements of aikido and all the sayings o'sensei puts forth in quotes are contained within each techinque. Perfection cannot be reached but we may strive for it. I have trained for 2 years now and i have seldom had any one to train with outside of the class. So i shadow-box everything alone slowly. All the rolls, aiki-taisos or iaido's. Even practicing the basics will take u far. Even if there is not anybody else. Going will be slow, you will lose your way, but is that not how o'sensei trained :). Nobody taught him aikido. He discovered by his own diligent practice. So while waiting for a good sensei to come along, just run through ur basics again n again n again, u'll be surprised :).
Piyush

dalen7
12-03-2009, 02:00 PM
Hey,
If it helps, since you have trained for some time now ur aware of the basics. From my understanding, all the elements of aikido and all the sayings o'sensei puts forth in quotes are contained within each techinque. Perfection cannot be reached but we may strive for it. I have trained for 2 years now and i have seldom had any one to train with outside of the class. So i shadow-box everything alone slowly. All the rolls, aiki-taisos or iaido's. Even practicing the basics will take u far. Even if there is not anybody else. Going will be slow, you will lose your way, but is that not how o'sensei trained :). Nobody taught him aikido. He discovered by his own diligent practice. So while waiting for a good sensei to come along, just run through ur basics again n again n again, u'll be surprised :).
Piyush

Good idea, I have been trying to bulldoze through Aikido actually - time to actually take some time to hone those basic skills so I can bring in the flow to my movements... something, which as you pointed out, can be done at home.

Peace,

dAlen

Russ Q
12-03-2009, 03:21 PM
Hey dAlen,

Not much to add....except to say "Hang in man!" I daresay Aikido needs you and your passion as much as you need Aikido. Don't give up!

Russ

grondahl
12-04-2009, 02:16 AM
In your place, I would try to establish a connection directly to a high ranking instructor abroad. Train on your own, save money and travel to the instructor for intensive training.

dalen7
12-04-2009, 04:40 AM
Hey dAlen,
Not much to add....except to say "Hang in man!" I daresay Aikido needs you and your passion as much as you need Aikido. Don't give up!

Russ

Thanks Russ

In your place, I would try to establish a connection directly to a high ranking instructor abroad. Train on your own, save money and travel to the instructor for intensive training.

Nice, just pricey, as I would love to just go train with the instructor who gives us ranks - he is 4th dan and pretty passionate about Aikido... but is about 2-3 hours away from us by car.

Here is what has developed since I first posted:

- I went last night to talk [well had a paper translated to make clear what I wanted to say] and he said he would write me back.
Basically trying to clarify not paying for those 7 lessons that just didnt exist.

So I was able to train with the others.

Despite the frustration with all of this, and the fact I wanted to just walk out, I do want to be careful of just cutting things off.

Im having to learn and understand small town politics and way of life. It seems that things are circular, people get frustrated...keep it in... spill it out... and move on.

Of course Im an outside observer with a language Im trying to get a grasp of, but the point is that it seems that its not just as easy for people to just jump up and start things over, etc.

Its a small town and everyone knows each other and they just have to deal with personalities. Im not sure its actually dealing with it though, as I mentioned stories are circular.

And that is the lesson Im trying to take from this is not to take these stories so seriously, while trying to find practical solutions that doesnt cause isolation.

Admittedly there was a dojo split before with 6 people apparently leaving. [though Im only aware of 2 of them specifically.]
But that was a group of friends who didnt just go out and advertise their stuff but did it together as they grew frustrated with the training at the dojo.

What Im looking at doing now that I have found access to mats, and have been offered from someone who found me on Aikiweb awhile back to come twice a month and train with me... is just that - train for a few hours twice a month with this guy who does Birankai Aikido.

On the side I hope to use this gym to train, actually practice would be the politically correct word here, with 3-4 of the guys who feel they need more time to ready for their exam.

What comes of this, whether we leave the other dojo or not completely is something I cant say for now.
Knowing how things work in small cities, where 'change comes slowly if at all', as ol Bilbo said, I dont think there will be another dojo split... probably people who just quit or end up practicing with me on the side.

The one plus side has been the cost of training isnt as expensive as stateside, even with the shift of the Sensei not teaching as much this wasnt a problem, it only becomes an issue if there is no training. ;)

Ill say one of the things that I know people want is to be connected to something and receive their ranks here... even though they mean nothing outside of Hungry, they take their books with them and get them signed, etc.

Which is funny as I never was able to get one of those books that are signed for seminars ect. I asked more than once and finally he said that it wasnt that important and that the yudansha was the one that was important. - which in the greater scheme of things is true. [I do have my certificates signed by our 4th dan to show that I did do something... but in truth, I expect that people will be more interested in testing me to see what I know vs. what a paper says... though its still nice to have.]

Anyway, enough babbling... perhaps some of this made sense. :)

On the plus side to the fact that I will be training on the side to the dojo here, I just got an email saying that I was welcome back to Thai boxing. [He is pretty cool, he is trading me Thai boxing lessons for English lessons.]

I admittedly only took 2 lessons, thats how out of shape I was... or I should say that my body was not used to being repeatedly kicked by shins again and again...

The issue was with my weakside being kicked by these bigger guys most powerful leg. And when we went to the MMA part they didnt have mats and it threw my back out... and that was the show stopper.

I wish I could get them to train down at this other gym with mats... but they have been set up training here for who knows how long. He and his father both teach kyokushin karate there as well. [think I got the name right... its a competitive sport with no gloves and they love to punch everything but the head... thankfully.] :)

Peace

dAlen

- you know, its an irony that all of this happened the way it did as I just posted a long blog about love at wordpress the other night.

It was saying how love is acceptance, which does not imply that change cant be made... its more of perspective and how you go about doing it.

As ol' Eckhart said, life will give you situations to show you who you really are, or where you are at, vs. where you think you are. - great for 'life training' ;)

Stormcrow34
12-04-2009, 01:03 PM
Hi Dalen. It seems like a rough situation but you'll be fine. It's not like you don't have options.

Have you tried to sit down and talk to the sensei who is having issues being consistent? Maybe go out for a pint and get a better feel of what's going on? Maybe some more perspective will help your direction?

And speaking of perspective, why not do a little of everything? Maybe you could invite everyone you know who is training or interested in training to the gym when the Birinkai Instructor comes for visit? You have somewhere to train... That's a good start! You know, you could even invite the Muay Thai guys. Even if only a couple people stick around, at least you'll have something to fill in the gaps and could blossom into something even better...

Just a thought...

dalen7
12-04-2009, 03:27 PM
Have you tried to sit down and talk to the sensei who is having issues being consistent? Maybe go out for a pint and get a better feel of what's going on? Maybe some more perspective will help your direction?

And speaking of perspective, why not do a little of everything? Maybe you could invite everyone you know who is training or interested in training to the gym when the Birinkai Instructor comes for visit? You have somewhere to train... That's a good start! You know, you could even invite the Muay Thai guys. Even if only a couple people stick around, at least you'll have something to fill in the gaps and could blossom into something even better...

Just a thought...

Speaking of Muay Thai, got my nose busted this afternoon on my return to Thai Boxing. :D [only laughing as the pain has gone away and though it felt like my nose landed somewhere else, it wasnt broken.]

Basically I pulled a punch to an uppercut on my instructor and left my face wide open. [yay]

I am fighting south paw, which I have noted gives me a slight edge as long as I can circle to my right and then land the hooks.
Just got to figure out a better guard strategy for blocking punches to my nose.

As far as my kicks... eh... they will get there. ;)

Yes, I am actually talking to 3 guys about practicing with me on the side. I do not plan to invite them with the Birinkai Instructor when he comes... at least not initially.

I know this sounds backwards and against all logic, but Im starting to figure out small town politics and how to get things to progress even if its slowly.

Inviting them would take them out of their comfort zone, as I understand it the instructors Hungarian is as good as mine. [could be wrong.] point is, these guys, despite any issues, have lived here their whole life...and they dont really just get up and go.

With the dojo split that previously happened, it was more or less 6 people, from how I understand it, that got together as friends to train. [no opening of a formal dojo, etc.]

I dont really want to burn bridges, but as you mentioned, expand the possibilities.

Right now I think one or two will want to just practice to get their Aikido up to testing level. I plan on trying to implement what I learn of course...and let things grow naturally from there. [of course if they want to train with the Birankai instructor, I wont hold them back...]

Also, Im doing Thai Boxing [if I can keep this body from getting damaged while trying to get it adjusted for Thai Boxings rougher play], and eventually would like to play with Aikido/Thai Boxing moves in practice at this gym I found.

Im not as much wanting to start a dojo... God only knows my Hungarian is far away from doing so, Im just looking for a few people who want to train with me. [of course I suppose this is how dojos can start.]

Anyway, as you pointed out, there are a few options there.
If things work out, I will try to keep training at the Aikido dojo here while Im here... at least for now.

Oh, as far as the instructor, he is pretty set in his ways I believe.
Hes a tad older than I am, and if some of these things are not obvious, not sure it would help me pointing out. [Again, pointing things out in broken Hungarian isnt quite what I would like to do. Now I have dropped more than subtle hints, even suggested a more structured regime... but it is as it is.]

Peace

dAlen

Shannon Frye
12-05-2009, 03:38 AM
Dalen,
Sounds like a tough situation to be in. I like how you said that this may give you time to work though things, as before you were bulldozering your way through. Better to understand little than to misunderstand a lot. Find a partner who want to train, and go from there. Don't be concerned with groups, dojos, organizations, certificates - all that is secondary to simply being able to connect with someone else, and practice the art.

I do agree, however, that this is a very good example of where an overseeing organization would be of great benefit.

Hang in there - love the art for the art. Don't hate the art for the people who disappoint you with it.

dalen7
12-05-2009, 11:47 AM
Dalen,
Sounds like a tough situation to be in. I like how you said that this may give you time to work though things, as before you were bulldozering your way through. Better to understand little than to misunderstand a lot.

Hang in there - love the art for the art. Don't hate the art for the people who disappoint you with it.

I think this whole thing has been a lesson in relations for me.
Typically its easy for me to just sit back, see the 'obvious wrongs' and then light a fire and burn a bridge.

In this I have done quite a bit of sitting back and trying to see past the issues at hand, and make the best of what is there. Suppose I need some of these 'trials' to help me get to another level spiritually. [cant really say Ive been the people person in the past.]

You are correct that its better to understand a little than misunderstand a lot.
[though maybe if you misunderstand a lot, when the piece comes for clarification, you will really get it. - though this could be risky] :)

As I have alluded to in another thread, I guess I feel more a race against the clock since I started martial arts so late in life. [When I set out to do things Im pretty much the zealot and want to do all or nothing... not taking the time to taste the cake as it were.] :)

Peace

dAlen

Ron Tisdale
12-05-2009, 01:40 PM
OSU

Best,
Ron

Keith Larman
12-05-2009, 01:50 PM
Figure out what it is *you* want to do. Then figure out how to get there. Being upset about issues, personalities, etc. is normal and natural, but it generally doesn't do much for you in the long run.

So... Take a deep breath, figure out what you want and need, and then go get it. The rest, in the end, isn't your problem.

dalen7
12-05-2009, 04:25 PM
So... Take a deep breath, figure out what you want and need, and then go get it. The rest, in the end, isn't your problem.

Most definitely Keith...

And Ron - good sig. ;)

Peace

dAlen

Victoria Pitt
12-05-2009, 05:05 PM
Here is where I jump in and spit out something-

Anything worth having in this world you've got to work for. Most things that you want are there to get if you go out there and figure out a way to make it happen.

I don't know how many times in my life people have gotten in my way, told me that I can't do something, that I shouldn't do something, that something isn't going to happen.

And then I prove them wrong. If I want something, as Keith said "go and get it". No one is more interested in your progress and your development than you are. You are your won advocate.

It looks like you are finding a way to get around the roadblocks... good.

As I said, before, I don't get too much into the Yoda aspects of Aikido- they kind of wig me out but I respect others who are into that. That being said, I think I read it from O'Sensei's Art of Peace or maybe it was a Zen book, or maybe Yoda really did say this in a movie- You've got to be like water.. go over, around and through. You seem to be doing this by finding an alternative method to get the training you want. I'm a little nobody, but I do know that so long as you are proactive in your development and going for what you want, you're going grow, and you're going to get what you want. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not a month from now, maybe not three years from now, but if you want it, you'll figure out a way to get it.

I won't say good luck because luck has nothing to do with this, so I will wish you well in your task.

dalen7
12-05-2009, 05:32 PM
Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not a month from now, maybe not three years from now, but if you want it, you'll figure out a way to get it.

I won't say good luck because luck has nothing to do with this, so I will wish you well in your task.

Yes indeed, the virtue of patience and enjoying what is currently happening now in order for more to flow in is what Im currently dealing with. [easier said than done, easier to stay in old set patterns, but yes your correct, we do set our own paths, and that is what needs to be the focus...]

Hey... Yoda is cool! ;)
["fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering" - which then leads to peace once you realize you dont need to suffer anymore.]

The bit about the water may be multi sourced, but one famous person who said it was Bruce Lee. [seems I was pondering this before I heard him mention it, who knows maybe its that collective conscious bit going on... or maybe I shouldnt be writing past midnight!] :D

Anyway, thank you for your comments and passion!
[sorry for my late night ramble] :)

Peace

dAlen

p.s.
I relate to your "showing people they are wrong" when it comes to showing that you can do what you set out to do, despite their unbelief.

Its strange how this happens that people put limitations on others, yet that is really our own limitations speaking when we do this -

At one point the realization of the truth that really anything is possible, well it kind of voided any naysayers - it was like a light shining that said, "they just havent experienced enough in life yet to realize the potential."

Once I realized this, didnt matter as much to prove others one way or another.
Suppose the only person Im still trying to prove something to is myself... kind of an irony in a way.
Guess thats who we really try to prove something to when we try to prove to others we can.

Again, late night thoughts, may not be coherent... just throwing thoughts as they come to mind... :D

Eva Antonia
12-07-2009, 05:24 AM
Dear Dalen,

I think I know your frustration - went through very similar ones myself.
I started training in November 2006, much too late in life and VERY determined to advance and be shodan before leaving Belgium (had a 4 years' contract but still am here)...

Well, some three months after my start a major demolition & rehabilitation was undertaken in our dojo and we were forced to pack our mats and continue training in the bar above the swimming pool - very restreint space and continuous sauna heat. That should last 3 months but did, due to bad construction and subsequent demolition of the construction, last more than a year. Our head instructor bargained with the administration of the building that we should pay less as the room was so very bad.

In meanwhile some persons left the dojo, among these one of our three instructors. When we got back our REAL, very beautiful dojo, our head instructor, who had 82 years at that time, could come less and less due to health reasons and at last was forced to give up. We were then left with the kids' instructors, who had time twice a week, and he could not really attend to us, as we trained parallel to the kids. We had one 1st kyu who replaced him but then got a very demanding job and could not come as often as it was required. This situation continued during ONE YEAR. Half of the club left, and sometimes we were left to train among ourselves, that is, lower kyus. The upper ones were too frustrated with their slow progress and just went to other dojos. Our old head instructor tried to find a replacement of his level, but that took time. Certainly, during all that time we continued to pay our fees, as the dojo rent had to be paid, and I strongly suspect that our old headmaster filled the gap between that rent and our sparse contributions only not to have to see his club close down.

In addition to this, three months a year the dojo is closed as it is in a university building which is closed during school vacations. I always recompensated that with training abroad.

Then, in January of this year we got a new instructor who fusioned his old club with ours, and now everything is going well. But then in June I got a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of my left knee, got operated in September, and here I am in another round of stagnation.

But I never saw that as a reason to abandon aikido or even only to change the dojo. I just thought, I like it so very much that I stick to it as long and as much as is possible. If it takes more time to advance than I thought then so be it. If I don't advance in rank then still I have the impression to advance in understanding. That's not so very bad at all.

So, if I may give you an advice from my perspective - the only way to solve the problem is perseverance. Just continue to train :)

Best regards,

Eva

lbb
12-07-2009, 07:16 AM
Anything worth having in this world you've got to work for. Most things that you want are there to get if you go out there and figure out a way to make it happen...

I won't say good luck because luck has nothing to do with this, so I will wish you well in your task.

Luck actually has a great deal to do with it. Those of us who are privileged to live comfortable and safe lives are indeed fortunate, as there are so many people in the world who must work hard for mere survival. Even for those of us who have options and opportunities in our lives, it is more than simply "go[ing] out there and figur[ing] out a way to make it happen." Realistically, we must recognize that while we may have choices, "all of the above" is rarely an option -- or as a friend of mine says, "You can have anything; you can't have everything." Desire and hard work don't overcome the constraints of space and time, they merely make our choices clear -- but only if we can get beyond the belief that all we have to do is "work for" it.

If you want to practice aikido but don't have a convenient dojo with a good teacher, you still have the choice to train, but you will have to give up other things. You will have to choose between the time spent training and traveling, and time spent with family and friends. You may find that you can train, but only if you relocate closer to your dojo, or that you can only train if you get a different job that is closer to the dojo or that has some schedule flexibility. The money that you spend on traveling to the dojo is money that you can't spend on something else. This is what it means by "work[ing] for it": it's not some abstract and romanticized no-pain-no-gain pastiche from a martial arts movie. It's sacrifice of time and money. It's giving up other aspects of your life. It's deciding whether the price that you will have to pay is one that you can bear -- and that price is different for everyone.

Victoria Pitt
12-07-2009, 10:00 AM
Luck actually has a great deal to do with it. Those of us who are privileged to live comfortable and safe lives are indeed fortunate, as there are so many people in the world who must work hard for mere survival. Even for those of us who have options and opportunities in our lives, it is more than simply "go[ing] out there and figur[ing] out a way to make it happen." Realistically, we must recognize that while we may have choices, "all of the above" is rarely an option -- or as a friend of mine says, "You can have anything; you can't have everything." Desire and hard work don't overcome the constraints of space and time, they merely make our choices clear -- but only if we can get beyond the belief that all we have to do is "work for" it.


I am trying to figure out where luck has to come into play with anything Dalen had to say. And what does luck have to do with leading a good life? Especially in Dalen's situation, licking a finger, sticking it in the wind, and hoping fortune smiles on him isn't going to help him. He does have choices, and clearly from his post, he's going out there and grabbing the bull by the horns and making is choice happen. Excellent. He's got drive, and gumption. That's 80% of it right there. The extra 20% is building on that momentum.

Maybe "luck" is who separates the "haves" and "have nots". People who make no effort for themselves to get where they want to be in life and hope some magic force helps them out? Well there chances of getting in a better situation or getting what they want are very slim indeed. To the brave person who says "To hell with luck, and magic and potions and lotions, I want this, and I am going to make it happen." Well, they go far in this world... or at least further than whatever lot they were born into.

Does luck help you avoid a strike from uke in Aikido? Does luck help you get an A on an exam? No, practice and interest and effort give you rewards. There are ALWAYS choices- maybe not the choices that you like, or the best one at the moment, but there is always a choice, and with that choice another door opens until you can position yourself where you want to be.

Money, age, time? Cop outs. Buy into the status quo and what society tries to shove down your throat, may as well curl up and die now. What's the point in your life if you're not going to live it and wait for some angel to float you over that sea instead of looking for some wood and building a boat?

dalen7
12-07-2009, 11:09 AM
So, if I may give you an advice from my perspective - the only way to solve the problem is perseverance. Just continue to train :)

Best regards,

Eva

Wow, just wanted to say that was quite a story, thanks for sharing... hope things work out with the new set up.

Peace

dAlen

lbb
12-07-2009, 11:15 AM
Victoria, the problem that I have with catch-phrases like "you can get it if you really want" is that they suggest that any obstacle can be overcome. While you could argue that this is hypothetically true, as someone who has many more options, comfort and safety than 99% of the world, I feel that obstacles should be acknowledged, as well as the costs that people must pay if they are to overcome them.

I also feel that it's important to recognize that a trivial obstacle to someone who has ample resources, may be practically insurmountable for someone who has less. Resources and circumstances are largely a matter of luck: it was luck, not work and not virtue, that caused me to be born a member of an ethnic group tat is not persecuted, in a country where my ability to work, freely associate and travel are restricted because of my gender, to parents who respect education and fostered learning. The resources and opportunities that I have now owe far more to those strokes of luck than they do to any efforts on my part. I dislike seeing people who are among the "have nots" automatically labeled as "mak[ing] no effort for themselves to get where they want to be in life and hop[ing] some magic force helps them out".

Aside from the difference in opportunities and resources that people have available to them, it's also the case that costs are not uniform. Lack of money, health problems, or time are not "cop outs", they're limitations -- sometimes they can be overcome, and sometimes they can't. What's chicken feed to you might be a big chunk of the monthly budget to someone else. What's easy for you might be agonizing effort for someone else, and perhaps detrimental to their health. Time that you can spare may be time that someone else needs to care for a child or an elderly parent. "Just do it" arguments fail in the face of the truth that money and time are finite. Not everybody has the wood to build the boat of your metaphor. When that's the case, I don't like to see such people scorned as "wait[ing] for some angel to float you over the sea". Some people, in some circumstances, have no choice but to remain on land.

Victoria Pitt
12-07-2009, 11:49 AM
Victoria, the problem that I have with catch-phrases like "you can get it if you really want" is that they suggest that any obstacle can be overcome. While you could argue that this is hypothetically true, as someone who has many more options, comfort and safety than 99% of the world, I feel that obstacles should be acknowledged, as well as the costs that people must pay if they are to overcome them.

I also feel that it's important to recognize that a trivial obstacle to someone who has ample resources, may be practically insurmountable for someone who has less. Resources and circumstances are largely a matter of luck: it was luck, not work and not virtue, that caused me to be born a member of an ethnic group tat is not persecuted, in a country where my ability to work, freely associate and travel are restricted because of my gender, to parents who respect education and fostered learning. The resources and opportunities that I have now owe far more to those strokes of luck than they do to any efforts on my part. I dislike seeing people who are among the "have nots" automatically labeled as "mak[ing] no effort for themselves to get where they want to be in life and hop[ing] some magic force helps them out".

Aside from the difference in opportunities and resources that people have available to them, it's also the case that costs are not uniform. Lack of money, health problems, or time are not "cop outs", they're limitations -- sometimes they can be overcome, and sometimes they can't. What's chicken feed to you might be a big chunk of the monthly budget to someone else. What's easy for you might be agonizing effort for someone else, and perhaps detrimental to their health. Time that you can spare may be time that someone else needs to care for a child or an elderly parent. "Just do it" arguments fail in the face of the truth that money and time are finite. Not everybody has the wood to build the boat of your metaphor. When that's the case, I don't like to see such people scorned as "wait[ing] for some angel to float you over the sea". Some people, in some circumstances, have no choice but to remain on land.

BS. BS. BS. Lack of Money, Health Problems have nothing to do with "luck". Some things are as they are. You were given a brain to use to see what you can make of your situation. Just because life isn't easy doesn't make things impossible. Just because you CHOOSE not to do something because of extraneous reasons is a CHOICE. Sacrifice is a part of life. Again, you see kids come from the worst ghettos this world has to offer and they become inventors, leaders, artist, etc... It takes some momentum and belief on their part in themselves, to the exclusion of those extraneous reasons you previously mentioned as roadblocks. No one is going pay attention to someone sitting in a corner making mud pies and wishing and hoping on a little star.

Life's IS fair. It is what it is... what you do and the choices you make with what you're given is the name of the game. If you can't walk, you crawl, if you can't crawl, you claw your way forward and keep trying to figure out a way. Life is NOT easy. Choices are sometimes HARD, but at the end of the day it's a choice.

And I dislike people saying that if you're born under bad circumstances that there is no hope for you because you're "unlucky" to have been born that way. You are born but what happens after that, after you get to the age where you can take care of yourself, listen, learn, is up to you.

No one is born under a black star where the world is impossible. I never said that it would be easy- not once. But I did say you've got to get off your ass and try or there is no hope for you and you may as well roll over and die instead of whine about how come you didn't get the silver spoon in your mouth. I never said its all or nothing... sacrifice is a big part of life, but just because you need to sacrifice doesn't mean that you're unlucky.

The wood is there if you're smart enough and open enough to find it.

Stormcrow34
12-07-2009, 12:16 PM
I've heard that you learn in survival training that as long as you maintain hope and stay focused on completing tasks to stay alive, your chances of surviving increase exponentially.

Hope is good. Apathy is bad.

maynard
12-07-2009, 12:25 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genie_(feral_child)

The notion that "You can do anything" makes some presumptions in my opinion. I don't really have time for a detailed response, and this may come across as much more harsh than intended... <shrug>.

I wish dAlen the best on his continued training and I hope it works out.

thisisnotreal
12-07-2009, 12:35 PM
Hi Mary, I thought that was a beautiful post and a good reminder for me. Thank you. Josh

Stormcrow34
12-07-2009, 01:04 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genie_(feral_child)

The notion that "You can do anything" makes some presumptions in my opinion. I don't really have time for a detailed response, and this may come across as much more harsh than intended... <shrug>.

I wish dAlen the best on his continued training and I hope it works out.

Sure, in situations like this extreme example of Genie, there are obstacles that are very difficult or impossible to overcome. But generally speaking, I believe that where there is a will, there is often a way.

Good luck Dalen, I'm sure you'll be fine.

P.S. Having cartilege scooped out of your nose is never fun, I hope you feel better soon.

dalen7
12-07-2009, 03:12 PM
Good luck Dalen, I'm sure you'll be fine.


I wish dAlen the best on his continued training and I hope it works out.

Thanks guys...

Today was variety day - it was grappling at Thai Boxing.
[We do MMA with Thai Boxing as the focus.]

I have in mind to get some of the guys from Aikido to put on my boxing gloves and have a go at me so I can practice a more live AIkido. [Me no gloves - I wont hit, but it will allow them not to feel bad about hitting me.]

Things do work out, Im actually getting what I wanted in a weird, indirect way - in a ton of life lessons and the understanding of people skills as well. [Nothing like learning in a language that isnt your mother toungue... makes deep communication even tougher - think how often we misunderstand each other when we speak the same tounge!

Tomorrow I will go to AIkido and see what happens with the payment bit... Dont know that I can or want to keep up doing both Aikido and Thai boxing, at least not a full weeks worth, but maybe up until I get more agile, flexible, and get the rhythm of things - then I can re-evaluate and take things from there.

As the old saying goes - step by step... :)

Peace

dAlen

Shannon Frye
12-07-2009, 11:03 PM
:D Best of LUCK !!!!:D

(I'm Irish - it's my ethnic RIGHT to say that!)

dalen7
12-08-2009, 04:42 AM
:D Best of LUCK !!!!:D

(I'm Irish - it's my ethnic RIGHT to say that!)

Thank you Shannon. ;)

Peace

dAlen

Maarten De Queecker
12-08-2009, 06:04 AM
Thanks guys...

Today was variety day - it was grappling at Thai Boxing.
[We do MMA with Thai Boxing as the focus.]

I have in mind to get some of the guys from Aikido to put on my boxing gloves and have a go at me so I can practice a more live AIkido. [Me no gloves - I wont hit, but it will allow them not to feel bad about hitting me.]

Things do work out, Im actually getting what I wanted in a weird, indirect way - in a ton of life lessons and the understanding of people skills as well. [Nothing like learning in a language that isnt your mother toungue... makes deep communication even tougher - think how often we misunderstand each other when we speak the same tounge!

Tomorrow I will go to AIkido and see what happens with the payment bit... Dont know that I can or want to keep up doing both Aikido and Thai boxing, at least not a full weeks worth, but maybe up until I get more agile, flexible, and get the rhythm of things - then I can re-evaluate and take things from there.

As the old saying goes - step by step... :)

Peace

dAlen

Aikido with boxing gloves.. bad idea IMHO. It gets kind of difficult to do certain wrist locks when a person is wearing gloves.

Stormcrow34
12-08-2009, 07:52 AM
Thanks guys...

I have in mind to get some of the guys from Aikido to put on my boxing gloves and have a go at me so I can practice a more live AIkido. [Me no gloves - I wont hit, but it will allow them not to feel bad about hitting me.]

dAlen

I think it's a great idea to step out of your comfort zone now and then. I would definitely not hesitate to intermittently trade in kote gaeshi, for a more pressurized, uncomfortable environment. Having real, fast punches coming at you is a great way to focus on aikido tai sabaki. Just don't get hit, and wear your mouth piece....just in case. :eek:

Let us know how it works out!

P.S. It's not the lead hand you have to watch out for, it's the one or two that follow it.

dalen7
12-08-2009, 08:29 AM
I think it's a great idea to step out of your comfort zone now and then. I would definitely not hesitate to intermittently trade in kote gaeshi, for a more pressurized, uncomfortable environment. Having real, fast punches coming at you is a great way to focus on aikido tai sabaki. Just don't get hit, and wear your mouth piece....just in case. :eek:

Let us know how it works out!

P.S. It's not the lead hand you have to watch out for, it's the one or two that follow it.

totally right about the mouth piece - we were playing around with grappling at Thai Boxing last night, and I should have put my mouth piece in, because at one point my teeth 'ground' against each other.

Also, I agree it should help with the tai sabaki. [the fast punches.]

Aikido with boxing gloves.. bad idea IMHO. It gets kind of difficult to do certain wrist locks when a person is wearing gloves.

I understand the concern, I did a little experiment with it and interestingly enough not as bad as you might initially think.
[I have been working on perfecting a technique to catch & pin if the hand were to miss, so I utilize my forearm with body weight a lot, and it seems to work. Mileage may very, but I like it.] :)

Actually had a higher kyu rank tell me not to do it as it was not proper, but for me its about what works - and thats what I have been experimenting with in Aikido since I started. [After all Aikido is about the possibilities, and I look at it as a getting to know what I naturally am inclined to do which is beneficial, etc., as we all have our own unique abilities/attributes which can help us out.]

Peace

dAlen

Ron Tisdale
12-09-2009, 12:46 PM
to the exclusion of those extraneous reasons you previously mentioned as roadblocks.

Lessee...so...you mean extraneous reasons like a bullet to the brain? Or a house fire? Or, say, getting lynched because you are gay or black? Little, no count, extranious things like that?

Sorry, that was probably a little too snippy. I guess I agree with both you and Mary...in some ways. You can definately reduce the effect of chance through hard work, staying out of bad places as best as possible, etc. But sometimes...stuff just happens. And more stuff is likely to happen in some places as opposed to others. And not everyone can just get up and move. And even if you do...a truck runs a stop sign and BAM. Just by chance, you are the one hit.

That may not be luck, or lack of it, but what ever you call it, pull yourself up by the bootstraps just ain't gonna get it.

Best,
Ron