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Andrew Macdonald
06-15-2010, 09:46 PM
I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this

crbateman
06-15-2010, 11:39 PM
does anyone have any thought on thisI would, if I could reach my keyboard... :D

Nafis Zahir
06-15-2010, 11:58 PM
I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this


Many, but not all, have stopped training. They may instruct, but many of them do not train anymore.

Darryl Cowens
06-16-2010, 12:50 AM
I remember visiting a dojo a couple of times, and the dan grades did not train with the 'students'. They didn't even warm up, or take warm up. That was delegated to one of the higher kyu grade. They would demonstrate the techniques for the evening using a senior kyu grade, but didn't actually train with the students.

Each of the instructors alternated a night each to instruct the training, but I did have a chuckle that on the night the highest ranked instructor was set to instruct, the 'least senior' of the instructors took training instead, while he kinda just looked on watching the whole night.. lol..

Shadowfax
06-16-2010, 04:10 AM
When you have been training for as long as they have you will have your answer, I suspect.

dps
06-16-2010, 05:14 AM
I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this

Their dojo is prosperous?

David

Ketsan
06-16-2010, 05:30 AM
I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this

That's because the most exercise some of these people get is standing up from and getting into seiza and maybe a bit of walking around the mat.

fisher6000
06-16-2010, 05:58 AM
I've always attributed that to the notion that aikido is supposed to be really efficient.

There are often a good number of shihan on the mat at my dojo, and they don't work very hard when they train. Instead, they work smart.

It's interesting, at a well-attended class, to look down the row and see someone like me who's in the kyu zone and working really hard, next to a pair of younger shodan who are still figuring out how to find efficiencies, next to someone who's found a lot of power in efficiency like Harvey Konigsberg. Everyone's doing the same technique, but very differently.

Mark Peckett
06-16-2010, 06:14 AM
I'm all in favour of efficient aikido. Also eating and drinking sensibly and exercising moderately.

DonMagee
06-16-2010, 06:36 AM
This is how ninja's win fights against aikidoka. They get you hooked on cheeseburgers. Then while you are worried about strikes from katanas and teh deadly street you don't even notice the slow death from heart disease.

SeiserL
06-16-2010, 08:03 AM
Perhaps because Aikido is based in skill not physical strength size does not matter (large or small)?

TreyPrice
06-16-2010, 08:14 AM
The weight issue is different from the training issue. I am 30lbs. above my weight when I was 20 and training. I am also 25 years older. For most of us weight comes with age. It should not become a problem with our health.

as for the training issue...

I have been in several dojos and saw dan grades doing more talking than training. It burns me. I train hard from start to finish. If anything I allow lower grades to get a few more reps in when they are making progress.

Excessive weight and "stand around" aikido hurts credibility, and hinders the training of others. All Aikidoka have a responsibility to train one another when they are in a dojo.

DonMagee
06-16-2010, 08:54 AM
Perhaps because Aikido is based in skill not physical strength size does not matter (large or small)?

You and I both know that physical fitness matters no matter what your skill. If your so fat you can't walk 3 spaces without passing out it doesn't matter how much aikido skill you may have had in your youth.

Andrew Macdonald
06-16-2010, 09:41 AM
this was at least one of the points i was getting at

A lot of people worry about effective Aikido, one of the very important steps to being effective is being fit enough to fight

oisin bourke
06-16-2010, 10:14 AM
I think chronic joint damage (especially to the hips and knees) has a lot to do with it.

jonreading
06-16-2010, 10:58 AM
I feel like this is a set-up...

Depending on the year and the source, I think the US reports about 30% of its population as "obese"; bump that number up to 60% if you quantify "overweight" (and heavier) Americans. 6 of 10 Americans are heavier [than they should be]. Demographically, there is also a higher concentration of obesity in the South. Look around the dojo... I don't know if its just sensei who packing a couple extra pounds...

I think sensei plays a role model and in that sense we need to be conscious of the image and role we portray. Sensei may have some extra factors which make her more vulnerable to obesity (activity participation, exercise routine, injury, age, etc.). But I think most aikido dojo have an obesity issue, largely because the country has one.

Would you go to a gym whose members were not fit or in the process of becoming fit? It may be superficial...but we want to envision what we will become. ..

fisher6000
06-16-2010, 06:31 PM
Honestly I think it's too easy to assume that a dan-rank with a "big center" is not fit enough to kick your butt, or otherwise judge.

There are a lot of factors in someone's weight gain over many years. What kind of calories are they consuming? What's their metabolism? How many idle weeks have accumulated because of injury? Desk job? Sleep schedule? Kids?

I've trained hard with a lot of dan-ranked men with big bellies who leave me huffing and puffing.

Fat does not equal lazy.

Lyle Laizure
06-16-2010, 08:26 PM
I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this

What questions does this raise for you Andrew?

ShanRCarter
06-16-2010, 11:50 PM
I'm a bit low on the totem pole to have a consternation about my senseis' conformation (which is just fine, if anyone wants my opinion). I'm just trying to keep up. I think I can learn from someone whatever one's size.

And here's a thought: I wear a larger gi jacket to ensure full coverage. I've also lost 1 stone 6 (keeping up is hard work!), but one can't tell with all of that fabric. Perhaps gentlemen with barrel chests have this predicament?

My point is that what I get out of aikido has little to do with subjective factors of someone else's state of fitness. I have plenty of other stuff to worry about.

ShanRCarter
06-17-2010, 12:24 AM
Would you go to a gym whose members were not fit or in the process of becoming fit? It may be superficial...but we want to envision what we will become. ..

I thought the purpose of a gym was to get people in shape as well as maintaining fitness. One would be very intimidated being the only "Before" in a room full of "Afters." So I'm comfortable seeing people of all shapes and sizes improving their health. Same with the dojo.

As far as envisioning what we become--if I "envision" an unattainable goal based on the images thrown at us on what society thinks I should be, what are my chances of "becoming" it without resorting to destructive behaviour? I could throw up everything I ate, exercise five hours a day everyday, go on a fad diet, and resorted to cosmetic surgery, and there's still no guarantee I'll end up like a Victoria's Secret model. I have guaranteed I'm worse off than I was before I did all of that.

What I envision is being able to practice aikido until I breathe my last breath. Health, not so much size, is a big component of that. I say that because we spend a lot of time "worrying" about obesity and say nothing about the health risks of being underweight. There's a middle ground, a balance we're looking for, are we not? And shouldn't our individual balance come from within instead of external factors like statistics or other people's appearances?

Carsten Möllering
06-17-2010, 01:19 AM
interesting ...

Only very few sensei I know are large. 95% are very well trained and have a sporty figure.
So I don't worry and don't think about the two or three who are large.

Can't believe that it should be really different in the US?

And: Don't take those sensei ukemi for their sensei or shihan?

Carsten

Eva Antonia
06-17-2010, 01:31 AM
Hello,

I made the same observation but got to another conclusion. In my opinion aikido is just a martial art that rather favours heavy people. They have a better equilibrium, are more difficult to get out of balance, roll better :) ...the only disadvantage they might have is that once they move dynamically and someone MANAGES to take their balance they rather thunder down than fly.

So I suppose this encourages them to go on. If they would do something else, let's say athletics, either they wouldn't succeed or the would become thinner. In aikido, they can become very good and still remain with their initial size.

Another question, to which In have NOT found an answer, is - why doesn't hard aikido training make people lose weight?

Best regards,

Eva

Carsten Möllering
06-17-2010, 03:53 AM
Another question, to which In have NOT found an answer, is - why doesn't hard aikido training make people lose weight? Well one year after I started aikido, I wanted to lose weight and lost some 25 kg.
So the way we train it works, if you want to. In my experience it works a lot better than e.g. runnig.

I made the same observation but got to another conclusion. In my opinion aikido is just a martial art that rather favours heavy people.
Hm, I don't agree. Most of the few heavy people doing aikido I know have problems with stamina - they run out of air fast - and with their flexibility - they can't move for proper ukemi.

So I suppose this encourages them to go on. If they would do something else, let's say athletics, either they wouldn't succeed or the would become thinner. In aikido, they can become very good and still remain with their initial size.
Well my experiences are different.
We only have one person with overweigth in our dojo: He formerly did kyokushinkai karate than had an accident, stayed in hospital nearly one year and became very large. But his ability stayed on.
There are very few beginners with overweight who try aikido. And up to this day none of them stayed with us.

Im a little confused.

Eva Antonia
06-17-2010, 06:59 AM
Hi Carsten,

maybe (we) Germans are different :p ???

But...here in my Belgian dojo
- the sensei is overweight, huge beer belly but moving swiftly and never, ever getting out of breath
- our dan grades, regardless of age, are all blessed with more or less heavy centres
- so are the 1st kyus

...and I made the same observations in Turkey and Côte d'Ivoire and also in other Belgian clubs. I know one 2nd and one 3rd Dan who really train many hours a week; one of them teaches some twenty classes per week...but somehow their waist remains convex with all the training they do. Well, all this is not statistically representative, but it gives some stuff to wonder about.

Bye-bye,

Eva

ruthmc
06-17-2010, 07:38 AM
I'm currently training while pregnant, and the weight and 'center' I have gained have made a difference to my Aikido!

I'm 10lbs heavier now than before, and I can definitely feel a better connection with the ground, use the 'weight underside' principle more effectively. and find that having those extra pounds with which to affect uke's balance has improved my overall effectiveness :)

Sensei commented on it last week in class, so I have independent confirmation that it is having an effect.

I know a beer belly isn't the same as a pregnant one, but I'm guessing some of the same effects probably come into play ;)

btw Baby loves training and gets quite active - he helps me by kicking when I'm applying a pin to uke's arm :D

Ruth

Keith Larman
06-17-2010, 08:21 AM
FWIW I notice a vastly larger correlation between age and "waistline spread". And in general one won't get high ranked really quickly so there will be a correlation between age and rank. Or to put it another way, you're not going to find many godan walking around who are 21 and out of shape. Just like 21 year olds have a great benefit of being younger with (in general) the best metabolic system they can ever expect to have in their life. But someone who's been training for 25 years is generally going to be middle-aged with a dramatically slower metabolism, less testosterone (for men), etc. That translates into a harder time (for some) in keeping weight down. I don't know the exact statistic but men will gain x number of pounds on the average for each 5 years of life after 35. And given the current western "diet" that is over-processed, highly refined, and basically killing us, the effect is magnified. Add in that some of those high ranking folk tend to relax into a teaching role that reduces the work load in terms of ukemi, and... You get the idea.

Of course there is always joining Chúnen Butori Ryú (http://ejmas.com/jalt/jaltart_chunen_0303.html).

Dazzler
06-17-2010, 08:50 AM
FWIW I notice a vastly larger correlation between age and "waistline spread". And in general one won't get high ranked really quickly so there will be a correlation between age and rank. Or to put it another way, you're not going to find many godan walking around who are 21 and out of shape. Just like 21 year olds have a great benefit of being younger with (in general) the best metabolic system they can ever expect to have in their life. But someone who's been training for 25 years is generally going to be middle-aged with a dramatically slower metabolism, less testosterone (for men), etc. That translates into a harder time (for some) in keeping weight down. I don't know the exact statistic but men will gain x number of pounds on the average for each 5 years of life after 35. And given the current western "diet" that is over-processed, highly refined, and basically killing us, the effect is magnified. Add in that some of those high ranking folk tend to relax into a teaching role that reduces the work load in terms of ukemi, and... You get the idea.

Of course there is always joining Chúnen Butori Ryú (http://ejmas.com/jalt/jaltart_chunen_0303.html).

Secret hand sign of the Masters !! :D :D

Top hole my good man.

Lyle Laizure
06-17-2010, 11:51 AM
I think each indidvidual is unique and while thier size may play some role in their training I don't beleive it is a determining factor in their skill.

Andrew Macdonald
06-17-2010, 07:49 PM
well barring injury or health reasons what causes a person to be overweight

over eating
lack of exercise

what are some of the thing people try to teach in martial arts

self control
discipline

Carsten Möllering
06-18-2010, 02:20 AM
Hi
The weight issue is different from the training issue. I am 30lbs. above my weight when I was 20 and training. I am also 25 years older. For most of us weight comes with age.
There is no need to increase in weigth only by growing older.
If you know your body can control that (if you want to) and maybe adjust your life to your age.

...
Fat does not equal lazy.
But maybe it does equal a lack of discipline, selfcontrol, true victory over oneself?

What questions does this raise for you Andrew?
Don't know, why Andrew raised the question.
But for me aikido and overweigth don't really fit together. (Sure there are exceptions.)
Neither in theory nor in practice.
That is why I am so confused.

My point is that what I get out of aikido has little to do with subjective factors of someone else's state of fitness.
But maybe what I get out of aikido has something to do with the model or the example a senei gives?

maybe (we) Germans are different :p ???
Hmm, I don't think so.

Maybe we are different because obesity is not accepted here like lets say (so I've heard) in the US or seems Belgium. (Do you know "Asterix bei den Belgiern"? Explains alot. ;) )

But:
When there are international Seminars, I don't see a lot of overweight people from other countrys. Nearly everybody is well trained and especially the higher gradet students are.

Mark Peckett
06-18-2010, 03:45 AM
At 56, I'm not unaware that i'm no longer sure where my jeans should hang - above or below the navel. But I check my weight and my BMI for my own health. I see no reason in carrying all before me!

Dennis Hooker
06-18-2010, 07:55 AM
Some are in their late 50,s, into their 60's and 70's. Most other arts don't have active teachers that age and age and gravity may have taken over. Health issues may be a big cause in that category of teachers also. It may not affect their teaching or skill but may very well take a toll on their training. Still some of us can get in better shape to improve health. I have lost over 40 pounds in the last few months and others have lost 30 to 70 pounds that I know of. A change in diet and medication change or addition may work. Just don;t judge ability by size.

fisher6000
06-18-2010, 12:07 PM
Andrew McDonald wrote:
Deborah Fisher wrote:
...
Fat does not equal lazy.
But maybe it does equal a lack of discipline, selfcontrol, true victory over oneself?

Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei sports a sizable belly. Perhaps you should visit NY Aikikai and let him know that he lacks discipline and self control--that he has not attained true victory over himself.

Keith Larman
06-18-2010, 12:22 PM
This is one of those areas that drives me nuts. I have some health problems. Which require medications. Which cause side-effects. Which cause other effects. Then injuries, etc. I recently went off one medication, on another one, and promptly lost 15 pounds. For no reason. Then went on a hormone replacement only to stay the same but lose some inches. One medication I have to take (keeps my blood pressure down but also prevents horrendous migraine attacks) prevents me from exerting past a certain level. The heart simply doesn't provide enough blood/oxygen for high end exertion. And side effects including dropped testosterone levels means really poor muscle building, healing, endurance, focus, etc. It can be a freaking nightmare. And difficult to balance the various things.

Yeah, maybe 100 years ago I'd be dead already at a relatively young age. But today medications help. But I pay for it in other ways.

And don't get me started on the damage statins did to my muscles, legs, etc. I spent months crippled from that.

It is easy to say it is just about discipline. For many it is. But sometimes it ain't quite so straightforward. And until you've suffered from something like neuropathy and what appears to be permanent muscle damage you might find it hard to believe it is tough to get out there each new day and exert yourself knowing you may end up having trouble walking the next day.

It just ain't so simple.

Getting older isn't always a gentle ride. Sometimes it sucks. Living healthy is a great start, but sometimes it just isn't enough. It is great if you're blessed with the health and don't go down that path. But not everyone is so blessed.

That said some do just let it go. Yup. But after finding out what persistent, chronic pain is all about I've developed a heck of a lot more sympathy for those who suffer from health problems. And the complexity of it in terms of treatment and the tradeoffs the treatments involve.

Adam Huss
06-18-2010, 12:26 PM
I think Keith is referring to the minority though...most people don't have to live with such a highly medicated lifestyle.

niall
06-18-2010, 12:45 PM
Deborah I think Yamada Sensei would be the first to admit he has not yet attained true victory over himself. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way. I mean that he would be honest about the answer. But if you think he has just ask him yourself.

Keith Larman
06-18-2010, 01:13 PM
I think Keith is referring to the minority though...most people don't have to live with such a highly medicated lifestyle.

I don't disagree, but I do sometimes think that it is a lot more complicated than some are willing to give it credit. And some wave these things away with statements like self-discipline, etc. I sincerely hope those who do that don't have to face these issues someday in their life. But I think a few maybe will deserve to by how they take it for granted.

It reminds me of a father once telling his schizophrenic daughter to just suck it up and stop paying attention to the voices in her head. Or the people who've told me that pain is "just a state of mind". Yeah, try being crippled with constant pain for a few months and let me know how that works for you then...

Sure, some let themselves go.

Janet Rosen
06-18-2010, 01:17 PM
Yeah, maybe 100 years ago I'd be dead already at a relatively young age. But today medications help. But I pay for it in other ways......Getting older isn't always a gentle ride. Sometimes it sucks. Living healthy is a great start, but sometimes it just isn't enough. It is great if you're blessed with the health and don't go down that path. But not everyone is so blessed.

Yep.

DonMagee
06-18-2010, 01:30 PM
I don't disagree, but I do sometimes think that it is a lot more complicated than some are willing to give it credit. And some wave these things away with statements like self-discipline, etc. I sincerely hope those who do that don't have to face these issues someday in their life. But I think a few maybe will deserve to by how they take it for granted.

It reminds me of a father once telling his schizophrenic daughter to just suck it up and stop paying attention to the voices in her head. Or the people who've told me that pain is "just a state of mind". Yeah, try being crippled with constant pain for a few months and let me know how that works for you then...

Sure, some let themselves go.

Would you agree that because of your fitness level your aikido suffers in the physical aspect? Meaning could you do 5 minutes of very intense randori?

I bring this up because of the whole "he' might be out of shape, but he's a bad ass" thought process many people have. They seem to think that just having the knowledge equals having the physical ability to pull it off.

For example, I know a very awesome judoka. He's 70 year's old. I respect him and his knowledge greatly and he has taught me a lot. But to say even jokingly that he would beat me in a angry fist fight would be a joke. I mean the man can hardly walk and has had knee and hip replacements. I've seen him need help getting up off the mat after laying down to teach a new student how to slap on a breakfall.

What's my point? My point is that many people discount fitness and health when it comes to self defense. They think that being 50-100 pounds overweight is no barrier to being able to hold their own when the shit hits the fan. The truth is that yes, eventually we will all fall to something. We can't stay fit, young, and agile forever. We need to accept that no matter how much we know, at some point just our age means we can't win that fist fight. However, that is no excuse for those of us who are young, but still refuse to do anything to make ourselves healthy.

If you don't have any physical disabilities (besides being lazy and fat) and are not willing to at least try to be is relatively good shape, why even try to pretend you are interested in self defense? Step one to self defense is to get your body into at least moderate shape. You don't need to be GSP, but being able to run a hundred yards, walk up stairs, etc would go a long way in actually being proactive about your health. At the core of self defense it is about protecting your health. Start with the common bad guys first (like learning to defend against big macs).

As for those with physical disabilities, the danger is in letting that disability be an excuse for not doing anything. My wife ran a half marathon the other day. She said there was a lady there with no legs running the race on prosthetics. My point? Overcoming the hurdles put in front of you is the second goal of self defense. Far too many people want easy excuses and cake walk goals. I understand that sometimes you just can't. I wont hold that against anyone. But I see a lot of guys who can and simply don't. They are bad role models in my eyes.

I'm not in the best shape myself. But I can do 100 pushups/situps/squats and run 2 miles in a single workout before boxing/bjj. So I don't feel that extra weight is too much of a hurdle. It doesn't stop me from trying to lose it anyway!

Keith Larman
06-18-2010, 01:48 PM
Actually I'm getting ready to go to an intensive Aikido camp this weekend. I intend to sit out a session or two knowing that if I want to make it through the whole camp that will be necessary. That wasn't the case a decade ago, however. But health problems along with injuries too numerous to count take their toll. So you learn to accommodate.

Could I do 5 minutes of intense randori? Maybe. But with the way my muscles have been damaged I'd probably be unable to walk for a few days as my muscles take excessive damage and don't heal quickly. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't -- no apparent pattern. But now I'm smart enough not to do intensive randori if I feel at all "off".

I'll also point out that I know you're a younger guy, Don. I'm not old by any stretch, but the physical problems cause me to "act" old sometimes. And some of that is due to the damage done when I was younger, rolling with big dogs, trying things out, not getting injuries fixed or letting them heal correctly. So today in addition to the medical problems I have a ton of things I earned all by my own stupidity.

There's no beating youth and ability and experience. But over time the youth goes away. And ability changes. Hopefully you adapt and adjust.

When I was 25 I was in great shape. Pretty good at 35. At 45 health problems were in full swing causing some serious changes in my metabolism and ability to do things. They all fed into each other leaving me with all sorts of problems that are very difficult to balance out.

I have no illusions about my "badassery". Never did. I just like to train. And I hope the body will hold together long enough for me to get it all under control again.

Or to relate a thing I saw an old jazz musician do at a concert I went to. He was helped onto stage, helped into his chair, he pulled over the microphone and said "Yeah, don't let them fool you, getting old sucks." Most people reading this thread will face health problems, some sooner, some later. And most will realize at some point that they took a *lot* for granted. And that it ain't always so simple.

But I'm rambling. Gotta get to camp and get prepared myself.

niall
06-18-2010, 01:50 PM
I'll take this in a vertical direction as opposed to horizontal. I used to like training with Norihiko Ichihashi Sensei at the Aikikai hombu dojo when I had the chance because he was so tall and big for a Japanese man. Teachers who are not so tall often make their bodies even more compact so their techniques even if they are dynamic are difficult to copy for an average to tall person.

Janet Rosen
06-18-2010, 02:07 PM
I bring this up because of the whole "he' might be out of shape, but he's a bad ass" thought process many people have. They seem to think that just having the knowledge equals having the physical ability to pull it off.
For example, I know a very awesome judoka. He's 70 year's old. I respect him and his knowledge greatly and he has taught me a lot. But to say even jokingly that he would beat me in a angry fist fight would be a joke. I mean the man can hardly walk and has had knee and hip replacements. I've seen him need help getting up off the mat after laying down to teach a new student how to slap on a breakfall.!

It seems to me 2 issues are being conflated: being a badass and being an effective teacher.

Please note that I am not defending people who decide that living on processed "food" is a Good Thing (TM) and blow their whole insulin/blood sugar process as a result.

I'm saying, as Keith did, for some people things are much more complicated and poor food choices may not even be part of their equations.

But moreso, I'm saying I'd rather have an older very excellent teacher who can't "kick ass" anymore but who is very good at teaching effective aikido than a young, buff kick ass who can't teach worth a damn.

Dennis Hooker
06-18-2010, 02:11 PM
I think Keith is referring to the minority though...most people don't have to live with such a highly medicated lifestyle.

Adam, in America reaching 6th or 7th dan does not come at a younger age from Hombu dojo as it does for the Japanese in Japan. So here we are talking about mostly older folks from my view point of taking and teaching Aikido for more than 40 years.

General Comment;
Many of us have issues; I have my whole life had to fight Myasthenia Gravis. I have broken disks in my back from Judo, Karate, Aikido and Airborne action. I have diabetes and other physical issues I deal with as do many of us older folks. I think when we talk about this folks should (well the guys) state their age, I am 65 and when I teach and do seminars I don’t let uke get away with weak and silly attacks. I must train also in my way. I don’t intend on doing 5 or 10 minutes of rondri. In the real world it will be and has been over a hell of a lot quicker than that. I don’t intend on fighting at all. I intend on surviving the attack and responding with necessary force as I believe every senior teacher would. Judo and sometimes Karate is a competition where one person is trying to beat another. Aikido is not that at all.

Dennis Hooker
06-18-2010, 02:14 PM
I do love you lady :)

It seems to me 2 issues are being conflated: being a badass and being an effective teacher.

Please note that I am not defending people who decide that living on processed "food" is a Good Thing (TM) and blow their whole insulin/blood sugar process as a result.

I'm saying, as Keith did, for some people things are much more complicated and poor food choices may not even be part of their equations.

But moreso, I'm saying I'd rather have an older very excellent teacher who can't "kick ass" anymore but who is very good at teaching effective aikido than a young, buff kick ass who can't teach worth a damn.

Dennis Hooker
06-18-2010, 02:20 PM
"There's no beating youth and ability and experience. But over time the youth goes away. And ability changes. Hopefully you adapt and adjust."



Ah Keith but age and treachery have often bested youth and speed. ;)

crbateman
06-18-2010, 02:25 PM
Some of the healthiest people I know are dead...

Some of the most self-injurious and undisciplined people I know are not...

Aikido attracts a wide cross-section of people, so one should expect to meet all types of physical attributes/detriments. There are numerous notable Shihan who are/were "latitudinally gifted". Whether they would have been better aikidoka without their heft is hard to say. To assume they would have been is painting with much too broad a brush. To say they are/were "bad examples" is IMHO not only disrespectful, but also might be disputed by many of their students.

If one is running a marathon or biking the TdeF, extra baggage might be a decided disadvantage, but isn't one of the goals in aikido to anticipate and change the dynamic of an adversarial situation, to seize control "in an instant"? If so, I cant see that a well-trained "heavyweight" would be seriously compromised.

Just my 2 cents...

RED
06-18-2010, 02:31 PM
Ukemi has helped keep me trim... Shihan do not have to, nor should they be expected be thrown a couple hundred times an hour like the rest of us.

DonMagee
06-18-2010, 02:35 PM
I don't intend on doing 5 or 10 minutes of rondri. In the real world it will be and has been over a hell of a lot quicker than that.

This is what I'm talking about. How much randori do you need to do to prepare for a 15 second 'fight' in the real world? If you can't do 5 minutes of randori in a nice controlled environment, what makes you think you can in an uncontrolled fight.

To many people think that self defense is nice and confined and easy to train for. They say blanket statements that in the real world X always happens.

Examples:
1) If you go to the ground you will get stomped by his buddy
2) A real fight doesn't last even 30 seconds.
3) The guy will always be untrained thugs throwing haymakers.
4) etc

If a pro fighter was training for a 25 minute fight, do you think he only does 25 minutes of sparring?

I'm simply talking about practical application of theory. Being able to perform what you know. Again, far too many people think their lack of physical attributes mean absolutely nothing when it comes to applying the theory they know by heart. Somehow they just believe their body will do whatever it needs to do regardless of if they have ever actually done it before or the real truth of their physical condition.

I have very inflexible legs. I understand the principles of head kicks and I have helped guys learn how to throw head kicks. I am just not able to throw them myself. I would never claim that I would be able to use them in a real world application, because I can't!

It's about truth in training. The same thing I've been preaching for the last four years on this forum.

Dennis Hooker
06-18-2010, 03:31 PM
Don, been there done that! You?

dps
06-18-2010, 04:06 PM
When I was young and stupid I did stupid things,
Now that I am older (55) I no longer do those stupid things,
Not because of wisdom,
Because my stupid body can't do them anymore.

David :)

DH
06-18-2010, 04:33 PM
I still go at it freestyle in much tougher venues than aikido randori and for a hell of a lot longer than 5 minutes with strangers who want to prove me wrong and win, and I'm 54.
This is not a case of one upmanship, there is hope for better ways to train. Not all training ruins your body. And you do not have to lose power when you age like most folks. Some training actually heals it, while making you more powerful and flexible at the same time. Some AIkido teachers are walking that road right now, I am sure they will get back to you.
Since many of you have heard this all from me for the last fifteen years, I'll bow out.
All the best
Dan

Ellis Amdur
06-18-2010, 05:59 PM
I thought this thread was about me - that someone finally was expressing some empathy for the dilemma of people of healthy stature. For some reason, I have almost never found someone of normal healthy size in martial arts. They are all such little people. I sometimes think I've stepped in some kind of alternative reality, and all these little people are running around the mat, yelling, "Frodo, the ring! The ring! Throw it into the fire!"
Sometimes I'll take a jodan stance with a sword and they all run up on tip-toes, and start jumping up-and-down on their little feet, their swords waving around my waist, with their little kiai going peep, peep, peep. I sometimes think I should exchange my weapon for a weed-whacker, and be done with the whole lot of them.
And then they take it so personally, and in their little voices, pipe away - but the register is so high that I cannot really understand what they are saying. Something like, "No fair you being of normal size. What do I have to eat and drink to grow up healthy like you."
I can't help it - they trust me. I tell them that it's all about cholesterol, that they should eat things like foie gras, and salmon caviar, and large draughts of fine Calvados. Some of the little guys are getting liver problems, and I suppose I should feel bad, but then I think of the Randy Newman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFmv22ghzQw) song and I feel O.K. after all.
Best
Ellis Amdur

Dennis Hooker
06-18-2010, 06:39 PM
Oh Ellis my friend you are Jeff to my Mut but we click on the mat and then we Clark, Ledgerd(sp?) and Takahashi Senseis and we get the whole range. And short people are better than Randy said and short round people got more to give.

patf
06-18-2010, 06:58 PM
There is a saying which I like...

"Never trust a skinny chef"

:-)

Though it doesn't apply in this case...

Toby Threadgill
06-18-2010, 07:33 PM
Hi,

I have a picture of me standing between Ellis Amdur and Tony Alvarez. At 6' 2" I still look rather hobbit like, but then again......

Life isn't always fair for the Frodo's or Treebeard's.

Howard Popkin
06-18-2010, 07:33 PM
Um...I don't know if you have seen Ledyard Sensei recently....byt he is half the guy he used to be....down almost 100 lbs !!!!!:D

Janet Rosen
06-18-2010, 08:40 PM
I do love you lady :)

Aw shucks, Dennis... the feeling is mutual.

Dennis Hooker
06-18-2010, 09:06 PM
Me and my buddy George are getting back to our fighting weight
Man I remember the times we healed in a week and now it is a month or more. Nothing stops the ageing process no matter what anyone says

gdandscompserv
06-18-2010, 09:47 PM
This is all I have to say about this topic;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEbEMjKitA4:D

David Orange
06-18-2010, 09:59 PM
Having read all the comments up to here, I feel the need to "weigh" in.

First, the OP commented on the great number of sensei who are clearly way over weight and way out of condition and that's where I think we should be focusing. Sure, some of us have had various injuries and we feel the effects of aging. I'm 54 (older than Dan by some months...which is why I'm not in as good condition as he :D ).
I had a back injury in Japan when I was about 37 years old that left me barely able to walk for several months, during which time I gained a good bit of weight. I came back from that and continued training. My weight has been up and down since then, but I've never been anything like 50 pounds overweight.

And you look at the major Japanese shihan and it's really rare to see one of them seriously pudgy. Someone mentioned Yamada Sensei and someone else said tell him he lacks discipline and someone else answered before I could that he knows where he stands. The great karate man, Fumio Demura, was pretty overweight for awhile and had a heart attack. He said something like "I just had to realize that I could eat pizza--just not the whole pizza!"

Back in 2000, I was in a distant city working with a neurologist who had trained in TKD with Joon Rhee. Every evening after work, he went to the gym and ran or lifted weights while I went to the hotel restaurant and had fried catfish and drank beer. One night the hotel manager mentioned this to me: "Dr. X is out there working out and here you are eating and drinking." There was nothing I could say, but soon after that I got the book "Body for Life" and lost about 35 pounds in short order. It was at the height of those benefits when I met my wife.

A few months after that, I got the news that Dr. X had dropped dead of a heart attack.

And who can forget Bruce Lee, dropping dead at age 32 with "the body of an 18 year old"?

But one of the most embarrassing aikido demos I ever witnessed was in about 1980, when a 6th dan American teacher who was well overweight almost passed out during a very light randori with his assistants: a woman and a much smaller man. The teacher had to stop and bend over and put his hands on his knees. He almost fell over. And then he said, "Sorry...we just drove in from X-town (two hour drive) and had a big lunch just before coming in here..." He would have been in his early fifties at the time---probably younger than I am now.

And the OP's original point seems to have been that there are just so many high level teachers like that these days. And seriously, you just don't see that in Japan. Kyoichi Murai (yoseikan 9th dan) was a tiny little fellow who was still taking sutemi throws from younger men when he was in his eighties, bouncing up and returning the favor, time after time. He had never stopped taking ukemi and could go through a regular class with the young black belts and men in their forties and hold his own quite well.

And then you look at William Gleason and you see a guy who still has it and is in excellent condition and while I don't know how much ukemi he does, I know he's still training hard and still learning.

Yes, there are those of us who have suffered injuries and illnesses of various kinds and I have lately learned (through reading about it, fortunately, and not through experience) of the devastating effects certain prescribed medications can have on weight and health, but as the original poster said, there are just so many aikido teachers (especially in the US) who are way out of shape. Most of those I've met were never hard workers and never suffered any really serious training injuries because they never trained hard enough to get injured significantly.

So while I won't paint all these teachers with the same broad brush (at least not without several very broad strokes :p ), I am convinced that most of this is a result from an American culture of general laziness and very bad foods (and too much of them, with too much booze). I met martial artists from around the world while in Japan and you just didn't see too many Europeans suffering that condition.

At 5'11" and 187 pounds (as of this morning), I don't have anything to brag about, but I do think this is an issue of serious importance for the American aikido world. We need to look at ourselves carefully and not make excuses for what we see. By being seriously out of condition and way overweight, we're not helping the art of aikido or its image.

Best to all in sincere efforts.

David

James Davis
06-19-2010, 08:01 AM
I've seen some high ranking sensei who were pretty overweight at a seminar. Not only are these guys a few decades older than me, they've also some health issues they're dealing with that slow them down quite a bit. I'm not one to criticize another person, as I've been around long enough to realize that everyone is fighting his or her own battle in this life (and I'm fighting to lose weight myself). Those of us that do have the tendency to criticize others need to meet men and women like these sensei. When they pick up that cane to walk on their replaced hips or knees, it's a pretty effective reminder that these people have put it on the line for a long, long time. They've paid their dues, and we would most likely be nowhere in our training without them. If somebody's going to talk trash, I hope that they do so an inch or two out of reach of that cane, and out of my reach as well.

Josh Reyer
06-19-2010, 08:47 AM
Living in Japan, I've come to the conclusion that Americans are just big, period. It's always a shock when I go home and go from being "taller than average" to "kinda the short side of average". The Yagyukai recently had an overseas members seminar. I'm 5'10", 151 lbs -- here in Japan I'm considered a "big person", but every one of the folks who came to the seminar from America outweighed me, and just about everyone out-talled me, too. And these were people of all ages, from 26 to 58.

Americans are big, so most American aikido teachers will be big. Then, they get bigger as they get older, as everyone does. That's just the way it goes.

Carsten Möllering
06-19-2010, 01:59 PM
... they get bigger as they get older, as everyone does. That's just the way it goes.
Well no. That's not just the way it goes. It's definitely not.

@ James:
It's not my intent to critizise.
I am just realy confused to hear that there seem to be a such lot of aikidoka with overweight in your world. I don't see them in mine.

I am confused because it seems to me, that overweight is kind of widely acceptedt in the world you live in?
This is not the case in mine.

For example:
Physicians here will assure you that you don't have to gain weigth when getting older.
And if you have to get a replacement of knee or hip the first thing you hear over here will be that you have to adjust you weight. Maybe you even won't get a replacement because of overweight.

And please:
Im not talking about gaining weight because of illness or medical treatment.

David Orange
06-19-2010, 03:00 PM
...Those of us that do have the tendency to criticize others need to meet men and women like these sensei. When they pick up that cane to walk on their replaced hips or knees, it's a pretty effective reminder that these people have put it on the line for a long, long time. They've paid their dues, and we would most likely be nowhere in our training without them. If somebody's going to talk trash, I hope that they do so an inch or two out of reach of that cane, and out of my reach as well.

Sure. Those people aren't the ones being discussed here. The original question is "why so many in aikido" when you don't see so many (of the same age) in karate and judo. And why so many in America when you don't see it in Europe and Japan?

And in many cases, we're talking people in their forties and fifties who have had no major health issues other than Dunlap Disease.

David

David Orange
06-19-2010, 03:10 PM
On the other hand, look at Wang Shu Jin and some other major Chinese martial artists--particularly tai chi men.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgSPsiQhAZk

A lot of those guys are literally obese.

But ask Ellis Amdur about Wang Shu Jin's power, skill and level of health.

David

lbb
06-19-2010, 04:27 PM
If you don't have any physical disabilities

...that's a temporary condition. Enjoy it while you got it, and prepare to eat humble pie.

Andrew Macdonald
06-19-2010, 08:44 PM
Wang shu Jin apperently had diabetes which accounted for his size

taiji does also have alot of very large high ranking teachers, not so much with the other 2 internal arts as much as i have seen

David Orange
06-19-2010, 08:58 PM
Wang shu Jin apperently had diabetes which accounted for his size

taiji does also have alot of very large high ranking teachers, not so much with the other 2 internal arts as much as i have seen

But you look at folks like Chen Xiao Wang and Chen Bing, even Cheng Man Ching (who drank like a winefish, they say) and they're all very fit in body mass (at least).

It does seem that the super-sized sensei, however, is especially apparent in American aikido masters...

Very interesting to hear that Ledyard Sensei has lost 100 pounds. Gives me hope to knock off fifteen more....

David Orange
06-19-2010, 09:00 PM
Wang shu Jin apperently had diabetes which accounted for his size

taiji does also have alot of very large high ranking teachers, not so much with the other 2 internal arts as much as i have seen

This isn't a big deal if you have tremendous skill...but then you run into someone with tremendous skill and great conditioning...and you've got trouble.

DonMagee
06-21-2010, 07:17 AM
...that's a temporary condition. Enjoy it while you got it, and prepare to eat humble pie.

Which is why we should all just give up now right?

It's fairly obvious that people who keep themselves as healthy as possible when they are younger end up with less physical health issues when they are older.

Which is why I'm about to turn 30 without any back,knee, hip issues. And my fat ass mcdonald's eating friends all can't go for a run with me or lift weights because of their bad backs and knees.

Maybe not carrying around an extra 100 pounds would help prevent back and knee issues. It's just a thought....

Shadowfax
06-21-2010, 07:49 AM
Not carrying an extra hundred pounds would definitely help the knees but then so would have not allowing that 4 year old stallion to pile drive me into the ground, knees first, when I was 21. Life happens man, and attitudes like that are far from encouraging to someone who is trying their best to live a healthy life and just not having the easiest time of it. Don't judge until you know the entire story. Most people who have weight issues and are still willing to work out are trying their best despite any number of issues that you simply have no idea are going on.

Funny. I'm quite over weight, (down 80 and looking to loose another 80) have bad knees and asthma and I still frequently manage to be the only person still on my feet and training at the end of two hours of very active aikido... And I've got about 20 years on some of the very active young fellows I train with.

David Orange
06-21-2010, 07:54 AM
It's fairly obvious that people who keep themselves as healthy as possible when they are younger end up with less physical health issues when they are older.

Reminds me of Alex Marshall Sensei, in Birmingham, Alabama, who was about 71 when I met him, fit as a fiddle and strung like a bow. Not an ounce of fat on him and the police sent him into bad areas to let muggers jump him.

At the same time, I knew black belts half his age who were carrying half his weight on top of their own healthy weight. And most of these were in aikido. I didn't know a single karate man or Chinese stylist in such bad condition. It seems that the attitude among the aikidoists was that since you don't have to work hard to do aikido technique, you could just chunk physical conditioning out the window.

Which is why I'm about to turn 30 without any back,knee, hip issues. And my fat ass mcdonald's eating friends all can't go for a run with me or lift weights because of their bad backs and knees.

Maybe not carrying around an extra 100 pounds would help prevent back and knee issues. It's just a thought....

There's no question that controlling one's weight is the number one key to long health (unavoidable diseases not being in this equation). The conversation has been drawn toward those with serious diseases not related to food. Things like Myasthenia Gravis and Multiple Sclerosis cannot be prevented or cured by diet and the medications can cause extreme weight gain. But the fact is, most common diseases are directly related to overeating and just bad eating and most Americans suffer to some degree from that. And that is really nothing but lack of self control. Even though I don't train anywhere near the intensity I used to, my health has gone on as if shot from a bow and the momentum of my early days (up until I was 40) has carried me on and kept me in pretty good shape, thank the Lord.

Best to all.

David

David Orange
06-21-2010, 07:59 AM
Life happens man, and attitudes like that are far from encouraging to someone who is trying their best to live a healthy life and just not having the easiest time of it. Don't judge until you know the entire story.

Sure, people with serious diseases and injuries are going to have problems, but the question is why so many American aikido masters are so fat and why you don't see so many fat karate men. And why so many obese American aikidoists and so few fat European aikidoists?

Sounds like you're doing pretty well and working out really hard, but it will always remain true that you can control weight better by what you eat than by how hard you work out. And the better the eating, the easier the working will be.

Good luck and best wishes.

David

lbb
06-21-2010, 08:02 AM
Which is why we should all just give up now right?

Oh yes, Don, that's exactly what I did, give up. I've got rheumatoid arthritis and I train. I've trained with pain that you can't imagine. And guess what, it's not always possible to just tell yourself all that eat-your-wheaties propaganda and wish away the fact that your body just won't work today. Don't you even talk to me on the subject of "giving up" -- not until your healthy not-even-30 self has paid some dues.

AsimHanif
06-21-2010, 08:14 AM
Excessive fat is bad….period. A Shihan is a role model and should keep in peak condition barring any chronic illness or major injury. This is not just an aikido thing; it’s a quality of life thing. Throwing your fat around is not (imho) ‘aiki’. Moving efficiently is of course the goal but then you have to do other things to push yourself and maintain a high level of fitness. Making excuses for being fat is weak.
Short or tall you have very little choice in. Putting on pounds through lack of discipline is a choice.
We can acknowledge the contributions someone has made to aikido and still acknowledge that they are fat or out of shape. This is a bigger than fat issue in aikido. We need to stop making excuse for ‘behaviors’.
Even if you are not overweight, you still may not be in good condition. It bugs me big time when people talk on the mat because they want to ‘buy’ time. I’d rather they bow off the mat and let the others continue to train.
There are more than a few instructors at 40 plus yrs in martial arts still taking ukemi and sweating on the mat. The ones I know or have seen are in good condition for their age and then some. I think there is a correlation. You have to keep moving, staying active.

Shadowfax
06-21-2010, 08:23 AM
Just out of curiosity having not been in MA for long and so not really seeing maybe as much as others have. Just how many 60+ year old karate ,or other than aikido, senseis are out there and still practicing?

Thank you David. I agree that eating right makes a big difference. But I also see what a lot of much more "fit" appearing people are eating and there is a lot more to it than just self control and food intake. I eat a lot healthier ,and a lot less than many of them. Another issue I have run into. Its not easy in this country to eat well when you are not well of financially. Being well below the poverty line I know what it is to have to stretch the grocery budget and the most inexpensive foods available also happen to be the ones worst for us. Lots of refined and over processed carbohydrates and starches. The cost of healthy foods like produce dairy, whole grains and lean meats is just getting higher and higher. IE: I can chose a loaf of Whole grain bread for $3 or a loaf of white bread for .69....

Fortunately Ive gotten so I can finally manage to eat better. Higher quality food definitely makes a difference.

Not saying that most overweight senseis are poor ,I don't know.But being as this age group is also likely to be retired and on a fixed income or not having the easiest time finding work. Since I understand that teaching aikido is not, for most, a way to make a living then this is just one more factor among many to consider.

David Orange
06-21-2010, 09:25 AM
Just out of curiosity having not been in MA for long and so not really seeing maybe as much as others have. Just how many 60+ year old karate ,or other than aikido, senseis are out there and still practicing?

In Japan, you find quite a lot of them still "training" while in America you find a lot of them still "teaching." And guess which ones are in better shape?

But as I said, Alex Marshall was training like a young man into his late seventies without an ounce of fat and I know he had some injuries, having been doing jujutsu since 1917!

In my personal acquaintance, Paul Couch Sensei, of Shinkendo (and a long time direct student of Mas Oyama in karate), mid-seventies, serious knee injury, but chief of training for Jefferson County Sheriff's Academy and in tough Marine DI condition.

And his friend, Ron Epstein, whom I haven't seen in years, but who I am sure is still tough as nails and I think he's still teaching karate.

Mochizuki Sensei was in his mid eighties when I lived with him and he would still get on the mat and sometimes took mild ukemi.

Kyoichi Murai was in his late seventies last I saw him and he still did sutemi throws and took ukemi for them. Alex Marshall was the only American I ever knew who compared to him (come to think of it, the only person).

There were also some other "older" guys around the yoseikan and none of those shihan carried extra weight.

And how about Hirokazu Kanazawa?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Atk9aiunwBo

I think he's in his seventies in this clip. Somehow, the adding of pounds with the years does not seem to have applied to him.

Thank you David. I agree that eating right makes a big difference. But I also see what a lot of much more "fit" appearing people are eating and there is a lot more to it than just self control and food intake. I eat a lot healthier ,and a lot less than many of them.

They probably just train so hard they burn it off. But that is not likely to continue as they age. If they don't have good eating habits, that will contribute to a slowdown of their training and then the bad eating will contribute to weight gain and disease that will lead to more weight gain...

I think the #1 "bad eating" is actually "drinking." Beer is probably #1, and wine close after. And then, all the foods that go well with those things. Then general junk food like chips and all the cheesy stuff like pizza (which, as Demura Sensei pointed out, is okay if you don't eat the whole pizza.

In other words, when we eat something even while hearing a voice in our heads saying "I know I shouldn't eat this, but..." then that is just lack of discipline, of which I am certainly guilty, myself. I'm certainly not pointing the finger at any individual (because when you point a finger at someone else, three fingers point back at yourself).

I'm just talking about general facts of health and healthy eating and how we Americans accept marketing and convenience over those truths. And how many aikidoists simply lack the discipline to live by those truths. And how that denial of truth invariably shows up in how and what they practice on the mat. And how those two errors show up in shorter ends of the obi.

Another issue I have run into. Its not easy in this country to eat well when you are not well of financially. ...Not saying that most overweight senseis are poor ,I don't know.But being as this age group is also likely to be retired and on a fixed income or not having the easiest time finding work...

Sadly, we're not generally discussing senseis in their late sixties or into their seventies. We're talking about people in their forties and fifties. Look around. I remember a young, slender man some thirty years ago teaching aikido and several years later seeing him at what looked like more than double his earlier weight. He was younger than I am and he died not too long ago of a heart attack, I believe.

Well, again, we never know how we'll go or when, but packing on the pounds and excusing it because we do aikido and "don't need" to be fit is wrong to oneself, one's students and one's art. Of course, there was the karate man doctor who ran and lifted weights on alternate nights and dropped dead of a heart attack at about age 52. And Bruce Lee, at 32. But in both those cases, I think there was something much more than mere conditioning at work.

I think my highest weight ever was between 210 and 215 lbs. (at 5'11") and I didn't like it. Some was due to injury, but mostly, it was beer and the wrong kinds of food.

I'm now about 10 pounds heavier than I was 9 years ago--but that's over 25 pounds lighter than 10 years ago. And I can say it's better to get the weight off and it feels better to eat healthier foods.

As you say, there's the cost and then there's also the convenience of eating poorly. But the alternative is diabetes, heart disease and injury to joints and muscles.

Of course, Hitler was a vegetarian and always trim and spiffy, but having discipline doesn't have to mean becoming a Nazi. It mostly means doing "a little better" and keeping that up consistently over the years.

Best to all.

David

David Orange
06-21-2010, 09:34 AM
Another issue I have run into. Its not easy in this country to eat well when you are not well of financially. Being well below the poverty line I know what it is to have to stretch the grocery budget and the most inexpensive foods available also happen to be the ones worst for us. Lots of refined and over processed carbohydrates and starches. The cost of healthy foods like produce dairy, whole grains and lean meats is just getting higher and higher. IE: I can chose a loaf of Whole grain bread for $3 or a loaf of white bread for .69....

Funny, I just happened to see this article:

http://shine.yahoo.com/event/green/50-healthy-foods-for-under-1-a-pound-1677000/

A lot of it requires changing tastes and spending more time on food prep, but it pays off in the long saunter.

I'd also recommend "Body for Life". You don't have to do it in 12 weeks and you don't have to do all the weight training or take the supplements to get long lasting improvement, just by making the eating changes he recommends.

Gambatte!

David

lbb
06-21-2010, 10:04 AM
This thread is full of generalizations, but I wonder if it makes any sense to generalize. We're talking about aikido sensei. So, if we accept the generalization that opened this thread, we're still not talking about that many people. Why not look at some individual cases? Anyone want to throw up some specific examples of supersized sensei and then suggest how they got to that state, with facts to back it up?

Shadowfax
06-21-2010, 10:31 AM
In Japan, you find quite a lot of them still "training" while in America you find a lot of them still "teaching." And guess which ones are in better shape?

in Japan.... so this we have to agree is really an American problem not and aikido problem.

, but packing on the pounds and excusing it because we do aikido and "don't need" to be fit is wrong to oneself, one's students and one's art.

I keep seeing this comment and I have a hard time really understanding it. I guess because when I train I work out hard. So does everyone in the dojo as far as I can tell including my teachers. I suppose there are people out there who really don't think aikido is a workout but then neither is anything else if you don't make it into one. Even P90x can fail to get someone in shape who is not dedicated to actually working.

Again not an aikido problem. Yet other symptom of the American way of life that can come up in any sport discipline or way of life.

I think the #1 "bad eating" is actually "drinking." Beer is probably #1, and wine close after. And then, all the foods that go well with those things. Then general junk food like chips and all the cheesy stuff like pizza

well then...
I don't drink beer and rarely drink alcohol of any kind.
I rarely buy chips candy or any other junk food and I don't keep them in the house. And usually just buy enough for one or two servings.
I eat pizza maybe once a month... probably less. I'm finding I like it less and less.
My favorite fast food is Subway. And at that again only occasionally. I rarely eat out and I don't buy those convenient frozen meals, even the so called diet ones.
I drink only water, unsweetened tea, a little coffee and Gatorade on workout days.
I eat lots of fruits veggies and whole grains, nuts and a small amount of lean meat.

so... I work out hard 6 hours a week plus ride horses, plus work as a farrier, plus work on my feet at a fast paced kitchen. You'd think I'd be loosing weight a whole lot faster than I am. There is more to it than just food.

Oh and I'm much stronger physically than most guys I know.

Yes food is one big issue. I'm not discounting it.
Yes people have to have the discipline and have to work. Not saying that is not a major factor.

But Genetics does play a part. A persons situation in life does play a part. Sometimes even when one makes all of the good choices that are currently available to them things still get in the way. Some [people simply cannot reach the socially accepted view of what is fit and healthy. And its not always because of limitations of major health issues or injuries.

As you say, there's the cost and then there's also the convenience of eating poorly. But the alternative is diabetes, heart disease and injury to joints and muscles.

Sometimes there is no choice. If I have $10 to get enough food to get me through a week I will be forced to make poor choices. This is reality. I've been there actually I've stretched $10 to two weeks a time or two.

A lot of it requires changing tastes and spending more time on food prep, but it pays off in the long saunter.

I'd also recommend "Body for Life". You don't have to do it in 12 weeks and you don't have to do all the weight training or take the supplements to get long lasting improvement, just by making the eating changes he recommends.

I agree very much that making changes is necessary and not easy. In the past 10 years I've cut sugars, refined starches and salt out. The longer Ive been away form them the less I find I enjoy them. In fact I generally when I indulge in something sweet find it to be disgustingly too sweet. I never salt my food and find that things that come with salt in them are often too salty to eat. Can't stand the taste and texture of white bread and pasta anymore. But there are times when whose are truly my only options.

Body for life is a wonderful program. There are lots of great programs out there that can help. Ive looked into a lot of them.

My point of view is simply this. Yes there are a lot of things in the American way of life that need to change. people do need to step up and make the changes not just sit back and whine and complain that its too hard. But that said its not easy. And being derogatory to people who have these issues not only does not help but in many cases does much harm.

Get to know the person training with you. perhaps you can encourage and inspire them. Perhaps come to appreciate them and accept that they are doing the best they can.

I'm not looking for someone to hand me their answers to my problems. I already know the answers. The last thing I need is some well meaning idiot putting up roadblocks in the form of commentary on a subject that they have not had to deal with themselves. Walk a few hundred miles in their shoes. Then you can give all the advice you like.

I remember when I was a young teenager hearing people tell me I was fat. Hearing my step dad call me humongous. (little did I realize it was not my weight he was suffering to). Those words actually caused me to develop some problems including depression and overeating and contributed to a problem that actually, looking back at old pictures, did not even exist.

Adam Huss
06-21-2010, 11:22 AM
Just out of curiosity having not been in MA for long and so not really seeing maybe as much as others have. Just how many 60+ year old karate ,or other than aikido, senseis are out there and still practicing?

Thank you David. I agree that eating right makes a big difference. But I also see what a lot of much more "fit" appearing people are eating and there is a lot more to it than just self control and food intake. I eat a lot healthier ,and a lot less than many of them. Another issue I have run into. Its not easy in this country to eat well when you are not well of financially. Being well below the poverty line I know what it is to have to stretch the grocery budget and the most inexpensive foods available also happen to be the ones worst for us. Lots of refined and over processed carbohydrates and starches. The cost of healthy foods like produce dairy, whole grains and lean meats is just getting higher and higher. IE: I can chose a loaf of Whole grain bread for $3 or a loaf of white bread for .69....

Fortunately Ive gotten so I can finally manage to eat better. Higher quality food definitely makes a difference.

Not saying that most overweight senseis are poor ,I don't know.But being as this age group is also likely to be retired and on a fixed income or not having the easiest time finding work. Since I understand that teaching aikido is not, for most, a way to make a living then this is just one more factor among many to consider.

Cherrie,
Generally size is synonymous with fitness, but this is not always the case. I know skinny people that can't run up three flights of stairs without being winded.

All,
That being said I believe physical fitness, vigorous physical fitness, is an important part of training...particularly the aspect of tanren training or spirit forging. This was also believed by Ueshiba Morihei as his early training involved vigorous physical exercise and hard technique. For my training, these two concepts are critical to achieve self betterment...overcoming difficulties, doing things that are hard, and training with a martial sense.

I understand some people have serious injury...most don't. There are always exceptions and I don't think anyone is arguing that. Focusing on this type of argument is like "what if" -ing techniques in aikido all day long...ultimately a waste of time.

In my experiences in the Marine Corps, its amazing how many people have gained too much weight and complained that they have injuries from deployments, bomb blasts, too much humping, etc. When forced to actually exercise and run more (and eat/live well), they lose the weight, and can run and exercise much more vigorously over a vastly increased level of sustainment and feel euphoric afterward (vice being sore). This is applicable to the majority of practitioners in aikido...again, I understand some people have been thrown by horses, have diabetes, etc...but most haven't.

Garth Jones
06-21-2010, 02:59 PM
In my experience, I've needed more than just aikido to stay fit as I have become more senior. It's hard to get a real workout when teaching a class, even when I work out during my own classes. By 'real workout' I mean the equivalent of a spinning class or a vigorous bike ride.

I'm about David's size, 5'11" and was near 210 at my heaviest. I begain training much more regularly four years ago when my wife and I opened our dojo, but we were teaching most of the classes (still are). Also, training with juniors I can't always go at a speed that is aerobic for me. So while I was doing more aikido, my weight was slowly creeping up. Also, I have a lower back problem and some days I can't take ukemi for two hours of class.

The solution for me has been better diet, more regular trips to the gym for strength workouts and a bunch of hours on my bike. Happily I'm down below 190 now, my back feels better, and I can be much more energetic at the dojo. My optimal weight is in the high 170s, so I'm not quite were I want to be yet - but I'm getting there.

Aikido has always provided me a base level of fitness, but it hasn't been enough. Maybe if I was in a situation where I was training 5-6 hours a day, but very few of us can do that....

Cheers,
Garth

DH
06-21-2010, 04:49 PM
This thread is full of generalizations, but I wonder if it makes any sense to generalize. We're talking about aikido sensei. So, if we accept the generalization that opened this thread, we're still not talking about that many people. Why not look at some individual cases? Anyone want to throw up some specific examples of supersized sensei and then suggest how they got to that state, with facts to back it up?
You can skip injuries-that doesn't add weight
You can skip being sedate-that doesn't add weight
You can skip lack of training-nope...not there either.

It's by carrying food to our faces and putting it in.
No excess food...no fat.
End of story.

The rest; Healing up, taking care of yourself, getting good exercise, more training- that is for your health and well being. It has a side benefit that it uses more energy to do so, so we can carry more food to our face..and maybe some nice libations to wash it all down!
So cut back on training and exercise- cut back on intake.
More training and exercise-more food
Good food then becomes a reward instead of a requirement.
Cheers
Dan

Shadowfax
06-21-2010, 05:02 PM
Adam I agree with you entirely. I'm simply not getting the point across that I intend. This thread seemed to be saying this is a problem in aikido when in fact this is a problem in the US...across the board and no matter what sport, discipline or hobby one might take up. It is not an aikido problem it is a humans in the 21st century problem.

Dan... yep Calories is calories... but it does matter where they come from. If your body does not get the nutrition form the food we eat that it needs it tends to demand more as your body is attempting to get the missing nutrients it needs. Ive seen some medical discussions lately around weight loss issues and how cutting calories can in fact hamper weight loss.

Garth sensei you and Tara sensei have been setting a very fine example for the dojo and it is appreciated and not unnoticed. :)

Walter Martindale
06-21-2010, 05:53 PM
You can skip injuries-that doesn't add weight
You can skip being sedate-that doesn't add weight
You can skip lack of training-nope...not there either.

It's by carrying food to our faces and putting it in.
No excess food...no fat.
End of story.

The rest; Healing up, taking care of yourself, getting good exercise, more training- that is for your health and well being. It has a side benefit that it uses more energy to do so, so we can carry more food to our face..and maybe some nice libations to wash it all down!
So cut back on training and exercise- cut back on intake.
More training and exercise-more food
Good food then becomes a reward instead of a requirement.
Cheers
Dan

Yup.. I was complaining to a person about how much weight I was putting on - typical Kiwi - to the point - he said "So? Shut your pie-hole."

Easier said than done - cut back from 2 training sessions/day, 6 days/week, 6-7000 calories/day to 3 exercise sessions/week, and your appetite takes a while to 'catch down' to your new output regime.
Cheers,
Walter

DonMagee
06-21-2010, 07:40 PM
Oh yes, Don, that's exactly what I did, give up. I've got rheumatoid arthritis and I train. I've trained with pain that you can't imagine. And guess what, it's not always possible to just tell yourself all that eat-your-wheaties propaganda and wish away the fact that your body just won't work today. Don't you even talk to me on the subject of "giving up" -- not until your healthy not-even-30 self has paid some dues.

I never said it was always possible. For every one legitimate issue there is 100 woes me I'm injured people laying on their fat asses doing nothing. I'm not going to be politically correct just to make people feel better about themselves.

And for the record. I will continue to speak my mind. If you don't like it, don't listen to me. There is a method to block people who's opinions clash so horribly with your own.

Buck
06-21-2010, 09:59 PM
I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this

Does size matter?

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2010, 05:35 AM
I think like Don that alot of people have self imposed limitations or "excuses" for letting themselves off the hook, that are unnecessary. That is okay, as long as they are happy and it does not cause them discord or I don't waste my time whinning about it or asking for the "short cuts" to make things easier.

Heck, the TV is full of ads/infomercials for all kinds of "aids" designed to prey on that psychology. I like that new weight shaker thing! lol!

There are many, many of the masses out there that simply do not want to take personal responsibility for themselves and discover there own potential and/or happiness.

I think Budo is designed to help us discover this, plain and simple. So, I do, like Don, have a hard time understanding, sometimes how we accept this in Budo.

On the other hand, I have also learned, and I think that Budo is also about acceptance and self.

that is, I can only be concerned with myself, and it is okay to grow old, mature, degrade, break down and have limitations.

I think budo exposes these, can make the raw and apparent.

tolerance is also a key component of budo. Learning to look past the superficial and see something greater than what lay at the surface.

There are many large girthed individuals that have taught me alot and have alot to offer. If I only saw them or their physical size and health...then it would be my loss.

I think a big part of budo is looking much deeper....deeper past all this superficial crap and seeing the whole.

"To thine ownself be true"

also, i think it depends on the situation.

I have different criteria for who I let do what with me.

For example, many individuals I learn budo from, I would not accept or want on my "team" professionally as physical conditioning and well rounded abilities are life and death.

I've been fortunate to be turning 45 this week and still able to do the things I am doing. That said, I am in a young man's business and I can see my days coming to an end soon! I am enjoying the hell out of it though.

It also has shown me the frailty of our bodies and how we must care for them if we want them to be there for us.

I think Don's point is, if I may Don....

It is okay to have limitations as long as they don't become excuses and lies to ourselves.

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2010, 05:41 AM
You can skip injuries-that doesn't add weight
You can skip being sedate-that doesn't add weight
You can skip lack of training-nope...not there either.

It's by carrying food to our faces and putting it in.
No excess food...no fat.
End of story.

The rest; Healing up, taking care of yourself, getting good exercise, more training- that is for your health and well being. It has a side benefit that it uses more energy to do so, so we can carry more food to our face..and maybe some nice libations to wash it all down!
So cut back on training and exercise- cut back on intake.
More training and exercise-more food
Good food then becomes a reward instead of a requirement.
Cheers
Dan

My God...this is pure Genius! Sensei, I bow down to your wisdom, it is so, so profound...so clear, concise!

I've traveled far for someone to tell me the secrets!

LOL, the secrets are all right in front of us aren't they Dan! Creating a calorie deficit is all there is to it!

Hope all is well and thanks!

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 06:42 AM
It’s not just food Dan, it is the right food for each person. I have learned over the last several months that even “healthy” food can be the wrong food for me. My body just did not use it and I did not know how to combine foods for the most efficient use and best use for myself. By changing the combination of foods, not eating less, I have lost 40 pounds and am working on the rest now. My recommendation is for folks even at my age (65) and older learn to eat the right foods in the right combinations. I also sought out a young personal trainer (brazilin jujitsu guy) who knows the stress I put my back under teaching Aikido to help me build core strength to support the infirmity left by a broken back 45 years ago with 5th lumbar vertebra on one side detached and several fractured ones and myasthenia gravis. Frankly people if you have never dealt with a neuromuscular disease like MG you have no F****** idea what you’re talking about.

Love ya all
Old Man Hooker

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 07:27 AM
Something I wrote about 20 years ago I think. It amy give some filks a pause to reflect.

Polishing the Mirror and Grinding the Stone

by Dennis Hooker

It is very difficult to understand the motives of all the people we come into contact with in our training. We may misjudge someone's character or desire. We may be so caught up in our own abilities we look down on those we do not know or understand. Mostly this is done out of inexperience, not true malice.

Let me relate this story to you: Several years ago I had undergone severe surgery related to a chronic illness. I had been put on a medicine called prednisone, which caused me to gain weight, 160 pounds to 210 pounds in two months. My body would not respond to normal commands. My mental state was severe depression. I was ready to give up life. My students, some older than I with greater life experience, understood the danger. They knew my Sensei was teaching a seminar several hundred miles away. They chipped in and got me a plane ticket. One stayed with me on the flight.

They got me to the city and to the dojo. Someone helped me get dressed and onto the mat. I listened and watched as Sensei taught. Several times young Aikidoka came up and asked me to train. I politely refused. Several times I heard. "Why is he on the mat. If he doesn't want to train he should get off the mat. Who does this guy think he is." By the end I could only smile at these remarks, because I knew why I was there and how much I had gained. I know there are others of you that have experienced similar situations. There have been many times over the years that this type of situation has occurred with me.

Compassion, love and understanding will serve us well. Especially if we don't know what is going on around us. We may unknowingly, at any time, be witness to a life and death struggle. A kind word, tolerance, a gentle touch and the strength of our compassion may be the aspects of martial valor that are the key to someone's victory.

Some of us, given our physical condition, must train, metaphorically speaking, in the valley, or on the mountain. We are very seldom allowed the luxury of a plateau. When in the valley we seek to polish the mirror, and when on the mountain we grind the stone. In the valley we may lack the physical attributes necessary for vigorous training as defined by the "normal" martial artist. When we are in the valley, we are at a physical low point. At this time we polish the mirror of our inner self. A teacher being aware of the situation may structure the class so as to give necessary training to all students.

For instance, much detail may given to the attack so it is as physically correct as we are capable of doing. Good body posture and extension of energy and a solid foundation with a firm center are some of the things we are looking for, in our self, and those people assisting us in the learning process. The same thing applies to the technique being studied. A good deal of emphasis is placed on correctness and going only as fast as correctness, and physical ability, will allow. By doing attack and defense in this manner we can learn the proper technique. We can begin to polish the mirror of Aikido within our self. We work on the exactness of the technique until the realness of the technique is reflected in our heart and body, in our movement, and in the ability to harmonize with our partners. By polishing the mirror in such a way we become a reflection of proper technique, both as uke and nage. By being a good reflection of exact application we eliminate much of the danger involved with each technique. That is, we reflect the innate correctness of Aikido. I have often seen Sensei teach technique in such a way, in regular class and at seminars. I have often heard the young lions growl at such unrealistic training. I have seen some of the old warriors light up at being given the opportunity to polish the mirror a little more. This type of training has seen some of us through many a valley. It helps develop and prepare the body, mind and spirit for the ascent back up the mountain.

Back on the mountain we are now ready to begin the process of grinding the stone. Grinding away the rough edges of our ego that sits like a jagged stone at the center of our being, causing pain and discomfort to our life. Grinding the stone means to work hard and fast with our mind fixed on the task at hand. We can grind the stone in relative safety, providing we have spent sufficient time in polishing the mirror. As uke and nage we work together grinding off the rough edges. I give myself to you, and you give your self to me in total trust. I assist you in the grinding and polishing process. In turn, you assist me, and when we are finished we are smoother, happier and better for the effort. We continue to practice polishing the mirror and grinding the stone until the mirror of our spirit is a perfect reflection of true self and the surface of the stone is as smooth as the mirror. We are in harmony with ourselves and our environment.

So don't be upset if the techniques are hard and fast, or slow and exact. We should not be upset if we do not understand why techniques don't look like those we have become comfortable with. We should not be upset with other students whose motives we do not fully understand. But we should ask ourselves where does the true value lie in this training, because there is value in all training.

This is my way of training and it has been a process of necessity with me. It was a long time ago that Sensei taught me to take advantage of the valleys. When we are physically unable to grind the stone we must polish the mirror. We must work on those things spiritual and reflect proper and positive attitude. By doing this we will also be helping the physical side of our being grow. By polishing the mirror and working on those things spiritual we will find the physical growing stronger. As the physical side grows we can grind the stone.

Some people that have a great deal of physical prowess only grind the stone. They forget to polish the mirror, or just don't see the value of it. Others only polish the mirror, and see no value in grinding the stone. I say polish and grind for all your worth because you may lose the physical ability to grind, or the spiritual patience to polish.

I once asked an Aikido Teacher (who I considered to be strictly a stone grinder) why he did not work with people less than physically correct. His answer was that he was not a salvage worker. He took good people and made them better. I don't know when or why he changed but now his life's work is salvaging people who are outcast of society, and some quite dangerous.

If you have people come into your dojo or club who have some type of physical malady, please do not expect them to be less able than the other students. You may find that they do indeed have a good deal of strength and spirit. I have had students missing limbs, and students with various illnesses. They may be able to learn only a few techniques, but they understand the value of what they have learned. They can grasp the concept of polishing the mirror and grinding the stone, and they know when to do each. I have a friend who is an accomplished Karate teacher. He has an artificial ankle and steel rods where bone used to be in his leg. His knees are scarred from surgery. When I see him come to Aikido class and sit in seiza I know he has paid a price much dearer than that paid by most on the mat. Wearing a white belt and humble soul he comes to polish the mirror. He, like many we find on the Aikido mat today, spent his younger life grinding the stone. I would caution the young lions who show little tolerance for those who train differently. You may have a warrior standing before you. Compassion, love and understanding will serve you well.

O Sensei discovered Aikido for all of us, not just those of us who are physically correct.

DH
06-22-2010, 07:30 AM
My God...this is pure Genius! Sensei, I bow down to your wisdom, it is so, so profound...so clear, concise!
I've traveled far for someone to tell me the secrets!
LOL, the secrets are all right in front of us aren't they Dan! Creating a calorie deficit is all there is to it!
Hope all is well and thanks!
Hmm...
I appreciate the sarcasm and the dig as well. Sensei. Thanks

BTW, how does discussing; also learning something of value from people of larger girth, and then discussing the tacit discluding of them from those you would hang out with due to their readiness?
How and when did you change the subject to discussing worth in relation to girth?
Are we attaching judgement to the issue now? I wasn't.

But to go back to the simple point;
Lets see, all the people eating a balanced diet that matched their caloric output who are fat?
No?
Then what do we have left?
Excuses, (hell lets be nice and call them reasons).for eating too much.

Injuries do not make you fat...eating too much while you are sitting does
Nor does pain from diseases or inactivity make you fat...dealing with it by eating too much does.
The air you breath doesn't make you fat...but food will.
Sitting in front of the television doesn't make you fat either....but eating snacks while doing so will.
Nor does depression...but feeding your emotions will.
Nor does fighting a cronic disaese....And no Dennis we don't have to "F" ing understand pain to understand feeding it with food. Is there a reason you are swearing? I have a parapalegic relative who severed his spinal column in constant pain and facing challenges everyday with a mentally imparied child. He is thin... because he doesn't eat excess food.
Aging and slower metabolism? Eat less! get more exercise and you can eat more
No amount of excuses ameliorates the argument. There is one simple fact.....carrying excess food to your face.;)

Since I read all manner of reasons, aging, disease process, mood, And no one addressed the real root cause, I thought it pertinent to address. Is there a need to get sensitive about it?

I am balding, there is nothing I can do about that...I hear jokes constantly about my condition. Should I get sensitive about it? Maybe I should eat more food and then blame my weight on my emotional state...seems the popular thing to do. ;)
Where is the levity here? I have plenty enough fat friends and relatives who make no excuses and are quite happy.
Boy oh boy!
Dan

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 07:46 AM
Dan "Nor does fighting a cronic disaese....And no Dennis we don't have to "F" ing understand pain to understand feeding it with food. I have a parapalegic relative who severed his spinal column in constant pain and facing challenges everyday with a mentally imparied child. He is thin... because he doesn't eat excess food.
Nor does any number of excuses for one simple fact.....
Carrying excess food to your face. "

Dan don’t get so defensive, damn! I should have separated the second topic from the first. It was not directed at you but to those inferring that we should just suck it up and move beyond. Did you read all of it? The prednisone does make one gain weight and sometimes it changes ones metabolism, ask anyone who has been on serious doses of that poison to keep them alive. And no you don't understand, it is not about over eating.

Could be about to much beer though :-)

Keith Larman
06-22-2010, 07:55 AM
... Frankly people if you have never dealt with a neuromuscular disease like MG you have no F****** idea what you're talking about.

Love ya all
Old Man Hooker

Yeah, a bout with severe myopathy over a period months gave me a serious perspective adjustment about chronic pain. Those who live with it constantly... I don't know how they do it. Until you've walked (or shuffled at best) in those shoes it is tough to understand the drain, the beat down of being in chronic, severe pain. I'm not talking about not being able to train, I'm talking about not being able to wipe your own butt. Or literally unable to get out of bed without excruciating pain.

On the topic of food, there are a series of interesting lectures on youtube, some from UCSF, others from Stanford. Here's a list of videos that I've seen that I thought were good. And they're not always in agreement with each other which to me is a *good* sign of people doing good research. The sugar lecture is particularly controversial in some circles.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth (http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=16717)

Obesity: Ten Things You Thought You Knew (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk4UKD00aOo&feature=channel)

Finally, a really good lecture from Stanford that is well balanced illustrating the complexity of it all.

The Battle of the Diets (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eREuZEdMAVo&feature=related)

Anyway, just trying to refocus on the issue at hand rather than the emotions...

DH
06-22-2010, 07:56 AM
Dan "Nor does fighting a cronic disaese....And no Dennis we don't have to "F" ing understand pain to understand feeding it with food. I have a parapalegic relative who severed his spinal column in constant pain and facing challenges everyday with a mentally imparied child. He is thin... because he doesn't eat excess food.
Nor does any number of excuses for one simple fact.....
Carrying excess food to your face. "

Dan don’t get so defensive, damn! I should have separated the second topic from the first. It was not directed at you but to those inferring that we should just suck it up and move beyond. Did you read all of it? The prednisone does make one gain weight and sometimes it changes ones metabolism, ask anyone who has been on serious doses of that poison to keep them alive. And no you don't understand, it is not about over eating.
Cool, no worries. I am sort of kidding. That's why the winks and smily faces. I did want to offer that I at least am familiar with the issue through association and day to day witnessing of it, if not personally, but with a loved one. So good to hear you are getting some work done and losing weight. It's only going to lead to good places.

Prednisone is so beneficial...and so awful at the same time. My wife is very careful in prescribing it. But the swelling and retention is not the same as fat stored from food. And the topic is broader than single issues, isn't it. There is no relation to your disease process- to explain the state of tens of millions of overweight people. It's larger than you.
My sister had the stomach reduction surgery, lost a hundred pounds, and then put it all back on. I heard a never ending stream of excuses for why she was fat! Less food seemed to solve all of her issues. It was magic! Until she decided to start eating more. At least she stopped with the excusses now. She gets it.
So, I had my eye on the vast majority. "America is fat"...and so many are sensitive about it!

Also has anyone noted that no one discussed the inverse? How does getting in shape and losing weight positively effect ones emotional state? And why would that be the case in the first place?
The answers are really quite revealing.
Cheers
Dan

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 07:58 AM
Thanks Keith, good stuff.

lbb
06-22-2010, 08:13 AM
I never said it was always possible. For every one legitimate issue there is 100 woes me I'm injured people laying on their fat asses doing nothing. I'm not going to be politically correct just to make people feel better about themselves.

The term "politically correct" has become a meaningless, inflammatory bully stick that is used to try and stifle anyone with the nerve to criticize nasty behavior. It isn't helpful. But I acknowledge that some of my own reaction wasn't helpful either, so I'm going to try to do better.

This was a thread of generalizations from the get-go, with everyone in it pretty much leading with their prejudices -- literally, their prejudgments. An example was your statement that "[f]or every one legitimate issue there is 100 woes me I'm injured people laying on their fat asses doing nothing". Come on, Don -- you manufactured those numbers out of thin air. How is that helpful?

I think that you'd agree that rheumatoid arthritis is a "legitimate" problem, although I'm not sure what makes a problem "legitimate". Having a doctor's note? I'm not so sure. Physical conditions such as fibromyalgia were unknown twenty years ago, which is not to say that they didn't exist or that people didn't suffer from them. But that's a digression. So, I'm one of your hypothetical one percent with a "legitimate" problem. Without writing a rather lengthy essay, I can't really explain to you just why, or how much, your apparent take on the matter bothers me. I can't explain what it's like to be on the inside of this, or how much it angers me when people on the outside propagate their simplistic misunderstanding of a complex reality. I don't know which bothers me more -- being condemned as lazy and weak if I take a night off training because I can't walk, or being praised as an example of indomitable spirit when I train despite the pain. Either is a reduction of my reality into a simplistic stereotype. Either judgment is presumptuous, and I don't welcome them.

I question that one percent. It doesn't seem to me that I'm in a teeny-tiny minority. In my dojo, which is quite small, there is one other woman who was just diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. There is a man that has some other condition that attacks the joints and drastically lowers his red blood cell count. That's what I know of offhand; there may be others (certainly there are some pretty good cases of osteoarthritis). Our dojo has nowhere near 300 members in it. So, you may say, it was just an expression. It was just intended to give the sense of your perception of the relative number of "legitimate issues" to plain old laziness. But doesn't that suggest to you that your perception may not be matched by reality? And even if it were close, you're talking about human beings, you're passing judgment on human beings. If you're going to pass judgment and turn people into numbers, it seems to me that you owe people at least a more thoughtful judgment, and numbers that at least have some resemblance to reality.

Buck
06-22-2010, 08:41 AM
Chiming in arbitrarily. I don't know, I think having a large sensei isn't an issue for us, if we had one, be it female or male. I think what might cause a concern is if the sensei was dangerously over weight. Thereby, putting the sensei at great health risks

Oh and I have seen heavy senseis move very well opposed to the conception of it being otherwise.

What you want from your sensei is knowledge. I don't think size, fat, thin, short, tall, and stuff has much or any bearing on that ability to teach that knowledge, or even lead, in the dojo. :)

Keith Larman
06-22-2010, 08:43 AM
Prednisone is so beneficial...and so awful at the same time. My wife is very careful in prescribing it. But the swelling and retention is not the same as fat stored from food.
Cheers
Dan

Just a note on preds. At one point when I was in a great deal of distress it was almost magical how it helped. But while bloating and water retention are a side effect (and it goes away once you go off the drug) another well established side effect is increased appetite. For me it wasn't just "hmmm, I'm a little more hungry". In my case it was "Give me that cow. No, not the steak, the whole cow. *NOW*". Really incredible. Like an itch you can't scratch. Just voracious.

So yeah, a magical pill that's also a poison. So you have to choose. Is it the constant, debilitating pain? Or do I poison myself?

Metabolism, insulin sensitivity, environment, costs, health... Complicated brew.

Buck
06-22-2010, 08:52 AM
Chiming in arbitrarily. I don't know, I think having a large sensei isn't an issue for us, if we had one, be it female or male. I think what might cause a concern is if the sensei was dangerously over weight. Thereby, putting the sensei at great health risks

Oh and I have seen heavy senseis move very well opposed to the conception of it being otherwise.

What you want from your sensei is knowledge. I don't think size, fat, thin, short, tall, and stuff has much or any bearing on that ability to teach that knowledge, or even lead, in the dojo. :)

Opps....let me add that size would matters I guess, as much as anything else, if the sensei was depressed or unhappy, or anything along those lines with the weight. A resulting mental state could effect the sensei mental state that in turn effects teaching and the whole dojo. In retrospect, I don't think size doesn't matter, unless it is a health risk to the sensei mental and physical well being. :)

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 08:58 AM
Keith, you are right and people that have never walked that road don't know, can't know and god willing will never have to know that kind of disability. I remember one Sensei (retired army) who was very obese and I heard people talking about him the last few years of his life. He was fighting colon cancer and on that medication. He didn’t talk about it much and not to strangers at all. He was one of those good sensei that some folks scoff at.

Cliff Judge
06-22-2010, 09:17 AM
I think I once heard Ellis say that Aikido is not a "complete physical culture." In my experience, Aikido training does not contain sufficient physical conditioning to support itself. When I go through periods where I cannot keep up a routine of extracurricular exercise, I find that my joints hurt more, I breathe harder, and my weight starts to slowly creep upward. When I am able to do some yoga, swimming, or weights regularly, everything just runs much more smoothly.

I also suspect that something about Aikido training encourages a rounder body with a heftier center section. This may simply be the fact that harder Aikido training requires drinking stronger beer.

David Orange
06-22-2010, 09:22 AM
The prednisone does make one gain weight and sometimes it changes ones metabolism, ask anyone who has been on serious doses of that poison to keep them alive.

I've spent the last few years as a coordinator for a clinical study comparing thymectomy to prednisone as a treatment for myasthenia gravis, so I know something about both the disease and the medication and I really feel for people who face either one.

Our study goal is to determine whether thymectomy (removal of the thymus gland) ultimately allows the myasthenia gravis patient to get by with less prednisone or not. I previously thought the goal was to see whether prednisone alone could allow one to skip having his chest split open and the gelatinous blob that is the thymus gland dug out of his chest cavity. In fact, of course, neither is a desirable thing, but we just want to find out if one is better than the other. Thymectomy patients still get prednisone. The question is whether they can ultimately take less prednisone or not. Maybe those on prednisone-only will recover better. This has never been determined and I'm glad to be of some small assistance in the research. Mainly what I do is coordinate the shipment of prednisone and other supplies to our surgical centers around the world.

One thing I have learned is the devastating effects of prednisone and I'm thankful every day that I've never had to face that. Severe weight gain is one of the serious symptoms, but not the worst. Still, it's made me appreciate that looking at a seriously overweight person cannot tell you why that person is that way.

Still, I think it's important to remember the point of this discussion, which is that there seem to be many more seriously overweight teachers in American aikido than in other martial arts or in other nations. It's not an indictment of aikido, but of American aikido. And it's not a discussion of seriously old people (though in Japan the elderly generally don't become obese simply through getting older). It's really a question of why so many American aikido teachers in their prime years [40-60] are in such deplorable physical condition.

It should not be considered a reason for anyone to think that the discussion is aimed at him or her (especially those who are not recognized as "masters" [making their living by teaching aikido, or being paid to travel to seminars]). It's not about people from 6th kyu to 2nd or 3rd dan, who are, theoretically, still being shaped by the training. It's about those who have supposedly "mastered" the art and received the full transformative effects of a couple of decades or more of training. The question is why it seems that so many American sensei, who should have been tranformed in near-Ueshiba or Tohei status are, in fact, in horrendous condition.

Now, on the one hand, we don't really even know that this is true. It may be that we (or our friends in other nations) only notice those who stand out for such reasons. Or it may be that they have come to expect to see this in America and so do see it. It would take a lot of data collection. We would have to gather height, weight, age, aikido rank and years of aikido training along with a lot of information on injuries including type of injury, some way to measure severity and duration of the injury, etc. And for relevance, we would have to have the same information on a similar number of karate, judo and jujutsu teachers (and kung fu and tai chi/bagua/xing yi teachers)...to be able to say with real assurance that the condition is actually real.

However, based on my 35 years of aikido associations (and associations with karate, judo and other martial arts and artists, both in the US and Japan [where I also met countless international martial artists]), it does seem to be true.

And based on my own struggles with injuries and weight gain/loss, I'd have to say that Dan's assessment is really the most accurate. There's no reason for anyone to be defensive about it (and that is not a comment at Hooker Sensei or any particular poster). It's something to look at with intelligence and serious thought.

Best to all.

David

DonMagee
06-22-2010, 09:24 AM
I think like Don that alot of people have self imposed limitations or "excuses" for letting themselves off the hook, that are unnecessary. That is okay, as long as they are happy and it does not cause them discord or I don't waste my time whinning about it or asking for the "short cuts" to make things easier.

Heck, the TV is full of ads/infomercials for all kinds of "aids" designed to prey on that psychology. I like that new weight shaker thing! lol!

There are many, many of the masses out there that simply do not want to take personal responsibility for themselves and discover there own potential and/or happiness.

I think Budo is designed to help us discover this, plain and simple. So, I do, like Don, have a hard time understanding, sometimes how we accept this in Budo.

On the other hand, I have also learned, and I think that Budo is also about acceptance and self.

that is, I can only be concerned with myself, and it is okay to grow old, mature, degrade, break down and have limitations.

I think budo exposes these, can make the raw and apparent.

tolerance is also a key component of budo. Learning to look past the superficial and see something greater than what lay at the surface.

There are many large girthed individuals that have taught me alot and have alot to offer. If I only saw them or their physical size and health...then it would be my loss.

I think a big part of budo is looking much deeper....deeper past all this superficial crap and seeing the whole.

"To thine ownself be true"

also, i think it depends on the situation.

I have different criteria for who I let do what with me.

For example, many individuals I learn budo from, I would not accept or want on my "team" professionally as physical conditioning and well rounded abilities are life and death.

I've been fortunate to be turning 45 this week and still able to do the things I am doing. That said, I am in a young man's business and I can see my days coming to an end soon! I am enjoying the hell out of it though.

It also has shown me the frailty of our bodies and how we must care for them if we want them to be there for us.

I think Don's point is, if I may Don....

It is okay to have limitations as long as they don't become excuses and lies to ourselves.

Exactly.

Many people throw in the towel at the slightest opportunity. So you have chronic pain and can't walk, do you still spend every night eating at taco bell and mcdonalds? Maybe mild exercise within your limits and a reasonable diet would help?

I shattered my ankle in judo a few years ago. It has never been right to this day. It hurts for no reason, twisting it the wrong way can bring me down in horrible pain, sometimes just walking is enough to make me feel like it is broken all over again. The doctors tell me that surgery could make it worse and I should wait until it is unbearable. I still train, I still run (although not as far or as often), and I have learned to adjust my training to adapt to the reality of my ankle (I tap out if you are screwing with it for example). This also sadly forced me to face the reality that I can't continue with my current diet with the slightly relaxed training schedule. I simply don't burn enough calories to eat like I did when I could use my ankle more often. I also spent time with physical therapists to help improve my ankle and did manage to get a lot of the problems resolved as long as I'm stringent in doing the work they showed me every single day. If I slack off for a week, my ankle is problematic again.

Likewise I have a friend who also broke his ankle badly in judo. Except in his case he used it as an excuse to quit judo, quit bjj, quit working out at the gym, quit running, etc. While I'm sure he has legitimate problems with his ankle, he was unwilling to even find a way to adjust his training to a tolerable level and instead simply stopped. This is a sad reality for almost everyone I personally know who complains about how they can't stay in shape. They all have a reason and none of them bat an eye at eating a steak, ribs, fries, a coke, and a piece of pie at dinner.

I've also torn my rotator cuff in my shoulder. If I do not do the exercises my therapist showed me at least twice a week my shoulder will hurt to the point where I can't lift anything. Even lifting my laptop off my desk will force me to take a knee in pain. So instead of using that as an excuse for quitting, I do the boring and sometimes painful exercises to keep my shoulder working.

I don't consider my problems to be disabilities. I consider them to be the reality of life. There are two options.

1) I can use it as an excuse.
2) I can learn how to work around the issue.

Last year I ran a small bjj club where I work. Because of running the club I was unable to train myself. Because I didn't adjust my diet to cope, I put on 10 pounds. My solution was to start doing the workouts with the students rather then just telling them what to do. I ran the warmups, I did the drills, I spared with them, and I found it was even harder because while I was doing all that I had to keep encouraging them. I think this might be more at the core of the instructor problem. Many instructors don't work out with their students. Sure it took some adjusting. Instead of grabbing a partner and doing 50 throws, I walked around to each group and did 10 throws on each of them (which was more throws then I would have done if I was in class). Like wise I had them each throw me so I could see what they were doing. Hell even my 70 year old judo coach would still get on the mat and do uchi komi and that man could hardly walk.

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 09:37 AM
David, I have had a thymectomy and as far as I am concerned it is the way to go. And I will say again, it is knowing how to eat and what to eat and not the amount you eat that is the key. I rode my bike and swim and went to the wellness center and worked out three or four times a week and taught (and did) Aikido but until I was taught about food nothing worked. Until I was in my late 40’s I went about 160 to 180 off and on, and them bam there it was. Now I am educated about my body and what works and what don’t. For folks that think I just can’t do it. You may be doing everything right by some standards but not for you. Look into food education it doesn’t make a bad ass martial art teacher any more a wimp or looser that having cancer would. Is there a dietician on here?

David Orange
06-22-2010, 09:47 AM
What you want from your sensei is knowledge. I don't think size, fat, thin, short, tall, and stuff has much or any bearing on that ability to teach that knowledge, or even lead, in the dojo. :)

Yeah, but if, along with his "knowledge" the Sensei is passing along his attitudes and habits on food and the idea that once you hit a certain dan rank you no longer have to do ukemi...maybe his knowledge is dangerously flawed and dangerous, as well, to the students.

If that is the case, is he/she really suitable as a Sensei?

David

David Orange
06-22-2010, 09:55 AM
I remember one Sensei (retired army) who was very obese and I heard people talking about him the last few years of his life. He was fighting colon cancer and on that medication. He didn’t talk about it much and not to strangers at all. He was one of those good sensei that some folks scoff at.

Point well taken.

Still, I think that the original point is that so many American aikido teachers seem to be overweight and approaching (or living) obesity. Surely, these serious cases exist, but it's hard to imagine that they explain all the overweight teachers.

I did live with a very serious back injury for several months in Japan. One of my favorite teachers told me "Fix it by doing aikido."

But I was in the state Keith described, where it was hard to go to the bathroom. I once got stuck in the shower because when I tried to step out, I felt like someone had put a knife in my back. I finally had to lower myself to the floor and literally crawl out of the bathtub before I could stand up again. I did live with serious shooting pain in my back and one leg for many months before I could once more walk normally and return to training. Being somewhat overweight then (largely due to my response to serious anxieties) contributed to the injury. But in fact a lot of it came from overwork in a serious "ab busting" program "developed by a chiropractor". A lot of my injury was just a factor of trying to keep up (at age 37/38) with guys in their 20s who were getting stronger and faster every day.

There really are no easy answers, but when food and drink are the main problems, I think we know it.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
06-22-2010, 10:22 AM
...until I was taught about food nothing worked. Until I was in my late 40’s I went about 160 to 180 off and on, and them bam there it was.

Living in Japan, I got up and rode my bike to the dojo two mornings a week to teach, then rode home and got ready to ride to work. When I got off work, I'd ride home, then ride to the dojo for aikido or karate. And I also rode the bike to the dojo on Saturdays and Sundays.

And still I got overweight! Maybe because I was putting away the liquor and beer every single night....?

And then I got injured...and gained more weight! Even riding my bike everywhere and training something like 10 hours per week in the dojo and doing my own work on the side, I couldn't lose the weight.

Surprise?

What kind of food combination program did you get on?

I recently dropped a good bit of weight, but sort of got stuck in the mid-180s. Sounds like you found something effective. I'd like to know more about that.

Thanks.

David

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 10:29 AM
David, I am not saying that there are not people fat from just over eating and too much libation, of course there are. But in many of the posts it is simply reduced to that simplistic reason, and it is just not that simple. People that use excuse are not that much different than the chest pounders that say "Look at me" I don't do it and you don't need to either.

Now to those big old boys who were born natural physical specimens of human beings I say "Hay give&gitter broke" but I can shoot your ass from 100 yards. The long distance form of irimi. ;)

lbb
06-22-2010, 10:36 AM
Yeah, but if, along with his "knowledge" the Sensei is passing along his attitudes and habits on food and the idea that once you hit a certain dan rank you no longer have to do ukemi...maybe his knowledge is dangerously flawed and dangerous, as well, to the students.

The latter maybe, but I don't see where you'd get the former. I don't look to my sensei as a model for how to eat any more than I look to him for insights into politics, religion, interior decorating, or any other irrelevant matter. I don't know why anyone would.

DH
06-22-2010, 10:45 AM
Simplistic reasons! It stands to reason that there must be simple reasons when the rest of humanity is slimmer than us.

Again, I think the topic is being derailed into individual cases so minute they are fractions of single percentages of an overall problem. It is all but meaningless as to why millions of people (and apparently so many older aikido teachers) are fat.

If you could put the entire country on a prolonged balanced diet I would be willing to bet the statistical average would reveal the lack of any real problems beyond over eating.
I bet we would find those who magically got down to ideal weight would be in the upper ninety percentile

Meanwhile, at least percentage wise; you have the rest of the entire planet less fat than us.
But...we do like our reasons.
Oh well.
Dan

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 10:57 AM
Simplistic reasons! It stands to reason that there must be simple reasons when the rest of humanity is slimmer than us.

Again, I think the topic is being derailed into individual cases so minute they are fractions of single percentages of an overall problem. It is all but meaningless as to why millions of people (and apparently so many older aikido teachers) are fat.

If you could put the entire country on a prolonged balanced diet I would be willing to bet the statistical average would reveal the lack of any real problems beyond over eating.
I bet we would find those who magically got down to ideal weight would be in the upper ninety percentile

Meanwhile, at least percentage wise; you have the rest of the entire planet less fat than us.
But...we do like our reasons.
Oh well.
Dan

And right you are Dan. People eating diet foods that make clams that are not true may give some people a since of doing right, but that food is not helping them. We live in an over processed and nutrition poor food country. There are a lot of people living off what they can afford and not what they need and eating less of it don’t make much of a difference. Dan I know you to be a well educated, intelligent and traveled man and I can’t help but thing most of what you are saying is just poking me in the ribs trying to get a rise. Won’t work NO NO OH NO. You won’t get a rise from me (ass hole)

Love Ya, mean it
Dennis

Buck
06-22-2010, 11:00 AM
Yeah, but if, along with his "knowledge" the Sensei is passing along his attitudes and habits on food and the idea that once you hit a certain dan rank you no longer have to do ukemi...maybe his knowledge is dangerously flawed and dangerous, as well, to the students.

If that is the case, is he/she really suitable as a Sensei?

David

Good point! That opens up a new field of discussion. How much influence should or shouldn't a sensei have? In terms of diet, or anything for that matter, how much does or should a sensei have outside of strictly teaching Aikido culture and technique. That in turn expands this thread from the topic of sensei and size to dojo and size.

Is it than a large sizes dojo a matter of birds of a feather, or large minds think alike, or the power of influence of a sensei to change a person's life style-eating habits. Same for dojo's that are thin and have a variety of sized people?

Just a thought: let's take a highly active health conscious sensei. The sensei models a very over-all healthy lifestyle. That is, the sensei doesn't smoke, doesn't do recreational drugs or alcohol, exercise fanatic, has an extreme strict diet highly conscious of what they eat and how much; low carbs, low fat, low cholesterol, high supplement intake, wheat grass, you get the picture. They exercise more than 10 hrs (as an example) a week excluding Aikido practice. In a nutshell, a super fit sensei. Will students who seeking Aikido walk through this sensei's dojo doors, being over weight by 10 or so lbs, will be influenced to lose those extra pounds? Will the sensei influence them to change their life style via his attitude and lifestyle? Or do students with healthily eating habits who walk into a dojo where (for what ever reason) the sensei is over weight are influenced to become over weight? How many students are not influenced either way? Does age and life experience insulate or amplify such influence? I am just musing on this line of thought. It would be interesting to know more.

Though I have never been in a dojo where the size of the sensei and students was homogenous, fat or thin. I have not been to dojos outside North America. The dojo's I have been to and demos, seminars I seen and been at, have always been a mix. But now, I am interested in finding such a dojo and looking into it more closely, just because.

Dave thanks for bring up that point.

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 11:10 AM
Once (15 years ago) I sat in front of 50 or so college students for Sunday morning class after the "request" Saturday night party. Many tried to keep up with Sensei and I was looking at young red puffy eyes and a few sick one and I made a resolution never to do that to young folks again and I have not. They do sometimes follow where they should not a take bad advice and examples from teachers. To those I set a bad example for I as forgiveness. I like my Aikido and I think it has something of value and I will give all I can. But for life, mine has been far from exemplary please don’t follow my lead there.

DH
06-22-2010, 11:12 AM
And right you are Dan. People eating diet foods that make clams that are not true may give some people a since of doing right, but that food is not helping them. We live in an over processed and nutrition poor food country. There are a lot of people living off what they can afford and not what they need and eating less of it don't make much of a difference. Dan I know you to be a well educated, intelligent and traveled man and I can't help but thing most of what you are saying is just poking me in the ribs trying to get a rise. Won't work NO NO OH NO. You won't get a rise from me (ass hole)

Love Ya, mean it
Dennis
That's inappropriate Dennis.
I am trying to get you to see past individual cases. Trying to get you to look past cases that are so small a percentage that they are not a significant factor percentage wise
The reasons have to be larger to account for the shear numbers of people that are fat,.
I gave personal examples of both sides of the spectrum than asked that we discuss a bigger picture than individual anecdotes that's all.

Look, in either case insulting me personally for a reasonable argument in trying to get YOU to broaden the discussion to encompass tens of millions of people is uncalled for. I am quite surprised.
Dan

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 11:20 AM
Dan, sometimes we (you and me) have a since of humor that gets cross wise. Off line could you offer some names, other than mine, hell I'm looking more and more like Brad Pitt everyday. Oh and many countries have opted for our culture and food processing mistakes and are getting overall bigger and fatter, Japan is one.

No insult was intended I am surprised you took it that way!

DH
06-22-2010, 11:25 AM
Thats a relief!!
I thought to myself "What did I say?" :(
That's why I use smiley faces. Others do a very good job in writing. Unfortunately I do not possess that skill.

I can offer you "other examples of teachers" but why would I? I wasn't interested in talking about individuals in the first place, that was Mary's idea. I think it is indicative of a broader problem that has nothing to with aikido. I've met Aikido teachers who were in great shape and other arts teachers who were fat.
Beyond that I stated my points.
Cheers
Dan

Dennis Hooker
06-22-2010, 11:51 AM
For anyone that got the impression I have been attacking anyone please know I have not done so intentionally I am just not well schooled in such things. And I do respect Dan Harder and his hard work and skill.

I will leave now.

Dennis

DH
06-22-2010, 11:59 AM
Naw
As I would like to see more of us do; Dennis and I just chit chatted in P.M. ( now THAT is good Budo)
Anyway, it's all good and was indeed a joke in the first place.
So, let's not let that derail the discussion.:D
Cheers
Dan

Dennis Hooker
06-23-2010, 06:49 AM
Not conclusive yet but worth a read

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/la-he-in-the-works-20100621,0,3574449.story

David Orange
06-23-2010, 09:35 AM
Not conclusive yet but worth a read

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/la-he-in-the-works-20100621,0,3574449.story

Can you provide some reference to the food combining source?

Thanks.

David

Dennis Hooker
06-23-2010, 10:24 AM
Here is a short one David. http://www.ehow.com/how_5032365_eat-food-combinations.html

I follow the eating plan approved my my doctor, dietician and the wellness center after blood test blood gas tests a physical like none I ever had.

David Orange
06-23-2010, 08:04 PM
Here is a short one David. http://www.ehow.com/how_5032365_eat-food-combinations.html

I follow the eating plan approved my my doctor, dietician and the wellness center after blood test blood gas tests a physical like none I ever had.

Thanks! I'll look into that.

David

Dennis Hooker
06-24-2010, 06:48 AM
My last post on this and I'm just saying please don't always be judgemental on the issue because we don't always know and why should we.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37831468/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/

DH
06-24-2010, 10:52 AM
Dennis
While that remains a good point, the flip side is to recognize that it is the vast majority of people sittng on their butts and eating too much that drive the numbers.
America is stuck in an "I am entitled, I deserve this or that" mentaility instead of a get out and make something of yourself strength. This thread is a great example of taking a national problem involving almost a hundred million people and reducing it to the almost miniscule percentage of medical issues.
I am sensitive to it, because of family members who have no excuse whatsever, yet I have "heard" every excuse possible. As I wrote; after the stomach surgery, and the incredible weight loss, she put it all back two years later...by carrying too much food to her face. The other person just sits on his ass all day.

We can't jump to the bleeding heart to excuse all, when most of the people are 'self made" from too much food and far too little exercise.
I eat the same food (well, I don't do fast food joints) most everyone else does and I am fine. But fast food is a choice, and by now an educated choice. People know its bad for them and do it anyway.
And sitting on our asses should be listed as a favorite past time or a national sport as far as I can see.
So, present company excluded and the small percentage of peope left out with real medical problems...tell us what you think of the rest of the 90 odd percent who chose to live a bad lifestyle-with no excuses?
Dan

Andrew Macdonald
06-24-2010, 11:01 AM
i think it is easy to use a few examples of large people with medical issues or other good reasons to be large

but this is not something that should also include to other people. who even though years of training don;t have the discipline to walk past a pie shop without going in.

thisisnotreal
06-24-2010, 11:17 AM
regarding the issue of:: right foods in right combination.

I heard of this a while ago: Eating the right foods depends mostly on your blood type: http://www.dadamo.com/

I don't know about this.. anyone know or have a strong opinion about this?
fwiw.

C. David Henderson
06-24-2010, 11:44 AM
While its true that people often let obstacles stand in their way, be it age, a medical condition, or weight, its also true that others struggle endlessly to overcome those obstacles and bravely start rolling that stone back up the ramp again every morning.

Problem is, you often can't tell just by looking, and if you assume the problem is lack of discipline, you'll end up treating some people unfairly.

This is, I believe, particularly true if one hasn't struggled with that kind of issue. For example, when you're young and you learn to compensate for a serious injury, you may figure it's just a matter of extrapolation to understand what an older person or someone with a disability has to handle.

I don't think that's accurate. At some point, the differences in degree become differences in kind. Maybe if you're lucky or unlucky enough to face those issues, you'll do just great. But it's my guess that along the way you'll realize you had to do some serious growing before you were up to the task.

While it's also true that a dose of "will power" may be enough for many to handle a problem like, say, weight, for others that simple prescription doesn't begin to cover what they deal with day in and day out, and devalues their struggles.

I'm guilty of judging people superficially at times, but I think its a mistake and I don't like myself much when I catch myself doing it.

Plus, I've got enough stuff of my own to deal with anyway, and copping an attitude to feel one-up on someone who's "weak" probably is just a way to avoid digging out of my own ditch. "What ditch, it's just a furrow -- now that guy, he's got a ditch."

YMMV

DH
06-24-2010, 02:14 PM
While its true that people often let obstacles stand in their way, be it age, a medical condition, or weight, its also true that others struggle endlessly to overcome those obstacles and bravely start rolling that stone back up the ramp again every morning.

Problem is, you often can't tell just by looking, and if you assume the problem is lack of discipline, you'll end up treating some people unfairly.

.............snip validation of view.......

I'm guilty of judging people superficially at times, but I think its a mistake and I don't like myself much when I catch myself doing it.

Plus, I've got enough stuff of my own to deal with anyway, and copping an attitude to feel one-up on someone who's "weak" probably is just a way to avoid digging out of my own ditch. "What ditch, it's just a furrow -- now that guy, he's got a ditch."

YMMV
My mileage certainly does vary from yours here.
Where does judgement come into play?
Maybe this prejudice is the underlying defense, knee jerk reacting that people are responding to here.
I don't "judge" people for their weight or inactivity until I hear them bitch and excuse it on something or someone else. Or else wanting or needing some sort of validation for an obviously unhealthy life style. Otherwise, happy fat people, happy thin people, happy sport people, and happy people obssesed with running in the rain and sub-zero weather, are all the same to me; just people doing what people do.

I guess there is some argument to be had about a drain on the healh care system but that's a nonstarter to. We would have to include power lifters and body builders (their hearts are also being taxed by being obese in a different way) and now add everyone who smokes, drinks, one and on.
Dan

C. David Henderson
06-24-2010, 02:27 PM
Fair enough Dan.

I suspect the bitching bit tends to set me off too. But the OP wasn't in response to complaining by overweight sensei -- it was a complaint about them. When other people -- I don't include you here -- think someone else's problem is a problem for them, that makes me wonder.

Best,

DH
06-24-2010, 02:43 PM
But the OP wasn't in response to complaining by overweight sensei -- it was a complaint about them.
Well, fair enough then. I didn't address that. That's another interesting twist.
Okay, if there is some sort of prerequisite for an activity, then judgements do come into play. And that gets difficult as well.

Is a fat Martial artist the best example of budo? I don't think they are.
but to pass them by...you could be missing out on one of the best teachers that you will ever meet. ;)

Tough one eh?
Dan

C. David Henderson
06-24-2010, 04:49 PM
I think you're right.

Russell Davis
07-24-2010, 02:50 PM
interesting question! Depending on what the aims of the teacher/instructor is/are.
My goal when providing instruction (not Aikido) is to try and get my students to be as good as if not better than me.
When teaching, you cant have it both ways, if you demonstrate a technique then join in with the training, then your not really teaching as far as Im concerned. How are you able to spot and correct mistakes (beginners) how can you show alternative or variable skills (Advanced)
Teachers should have an aditional class for all levels specifically so he or she can join in the training, they could designate a senior student to "Front " the class. as it would be good experience for them too.
Then some just get a little on the lazy side, perhaps from boredom or another reason?

Lyle Laizure
07-30-2010, 09:13 AM
Something I wrote about 20 years ago I think. It amy give some filks a pause to reflect.

Polishing the Mirror and Grinding the Stone

by Dennis Hooker

It is very difficult to understand the motives of all the people we come into contact with in our training. We may misjudge someone's character or desire. We may be so caught up in our own abilities we look down on those we do not know or understand. Mostly this is done out of inexperience, not true malice.

Let me relate this story to you: Several years ago I had undergone severe surgery related to a chronic illness. I had been put on a medicine called prednisone, which caused me to gain weight, 160 pounds to 210 pounds in two months. My body would not respond to normal commands. My mental state was severe depression. I was ready to give up life. My students, some older than I with greater life experience, understood the danger. They knew my Sensei was teaching a seminar several hundred miles away. They chipped in and got me a plane ticket. One stayed with me on the flight.

They got me to the city and to the dojo. Someone helped me get dressed and onto the mat. I listened and watched as Sensei taught. Several times young Aikidoka came up and asked me to train. I politely refused. Several times I heard. "Why is he on the mat. If he doesn't want to train he should get off the mat. Who does this guy think he is." By the end I could only smile at these remarks, because I knew why I was there and how much I had gained. I know there are others of you that have experienced similar situations. There have been many times over the years that this type of situation has occurred with me.

Compassion, love and understanding will serve us well. Especially if we don't know what is going on around us. We may unknowingly, at any time, be witness to a life and death struggle. A kind word, tolerance, a gentle touch and the strength of our compassion may be the aspects of martial valor that are the key to someone's victory.

Some of us, given our physical condition, must train, metaphorically speaking, in the valley, or on the mountain. We are very seldom allowed the luxury of a plateau. When in the valley we seek to polish the mirror, and when on the mountain we grind the stone. In the valley we may lack the physical attributes necessary for vigorous training as defined by the "normal" martial artist. When we are in the valley, we are at a physical low point. At this time we polish the mirror of our inner self. A teacher being aware of the situation may structure the class so as to give necessary training to all students.

For instance, much detail may given to the attack so it is as physically correct as we are capable of doing. Good body posture and extension of energy and a solid foundation with a firm center are some of the things we are looking for, in our self, and those people assisting us in the learning process. The same thing applies to the technique being studied. A good deal of emphasis is placed on correctness and going only as fast as correctness, and physical ability, will allow. By doing attack and defense in this manner we can learn the proper technique. We can begin to polish the mirror of Aikido within our self. We work on the exactness of the technique until the realness of the technique is reflected in our heart and body, in our movement, and in the ability to harmonize with our partners. By polishing the mirror in such a way we become a reflection of proper technique, both as uke and nage. By being a good reflection of exact application we eliminate much of the danger involved with each technique. That is, we reflect the innate correctness of Aikido. I have often seen Sensei teach technique in such a way, in regular class and at seminars. I have often heard the young lions growl at such unrealistic training. I have seen some of the old warriors light up at being given the opportunity to polish the mirror a little more. This type of training has seen some of us through many a valley. It helps develop and prepare the body, mind and spirit for the ascent back up the mountain.

Back on the mountain we are now ready to begin the process of grinding the stone. Grinding away the rough edges of our ego that sits like a jagged stone at the center of our being, causing pain and discomfort to our life. Grinding the stone means to work hard and fast with our mind fixed on the task at hand. We can grind the stone in relative safety, providing we have spent sufficient time in polishing the mirror. As uke and nage we work together grinding off the rough edges. I give myself to you, and you give your self to me in total trust. I assist you in the grinding and polishing process. In turn, you assist me, and when we are finished we are smoother, happier and better for the effort. We continue to practice polishing the mirror and grinding the stone until the mirror of our spirit is a perfect reflection of true self and the surface of the stone is as smooth as the mirror. We are in harmony with ourselves and our environment.

So don't be upset if the techniques are hard and fast, or slow and exact. We should not be upset if we do not understand why techniques don't look like those we have become comfortable with. We should not be upset with other students whose motives we do not fully understand. But we should ask ourselves where does the true value lie in this training, because there is value in all training.

This is my way of training and it has been a process of necessity with me. It was a long time ago that Sensei taught me to take advantage of the valleys. When we are physically unable to grind the stone we must polish the mirror. We must work on those things spiritual and reflect proper and positive attitude. By doing this we will also be helping the physical side of our being grow. By polishing the mirror and working on those things spiritual we will find the physical growing stronger. As the physical side grows we can grind the stone.

Some people that have a great deal of physical prowess only grind the stone. They forget to polish the mirror, or just don't see the value of it. Others only polish the mirror, and see no value in grinding the stone. I say polish and grind for all your worth because you may lose the physical ability to grind, or the spiritual patience to polish.

I once asked an Aikido Teacher (who I considered to be strictly a stone grinder) why he did not work with people less than physically correct. His answer was that he was not a salvage worker. He took good people and made them better. I don't know when or why he changed but now his life's work is salvaging people who are outcast of society, and some quite dangerous.

If you have people come into your dojo or club who have some type of physical malady, please do not expect them to be less able than the other students. You may find that they do indeed have a good deal of strength and spirit. I have had students missing limbs, and students with various illnesses. They may be able to learn only a few techniques, but they understand the value of what they have learned. They can grasp the concept of polishing the mirror and grinding the stone, and they know when to do each. I have a friend who is an accomplished Karate teacher. He has an artificial ankle and steel rods where bone used to be in his leg. His knees are scarred from surgery. When I see him come to Aikido class and sit in seiza I know he has paid a price much dearer than that paid by most on the mat. Wearing a white belt and humble soul he comes to polish the mirror. He, like many we find on the Aikido mat today, spent his younger life grinding the stone. I would caution the young lions who show little tolerance for those who train differently. You may have a warrior standing before you. Compassion, love and understanding will serve you well.

O Sensei discovered Aikido for all of us, not just those of us who are physically correct.

Well said.

Lyle Laizure
07-30-2010, 09:39 AM
Ok, so I have been reading some of the posts and I think a lot of folks here have made good points. My two cents are as follows.

I started out being a fat boy and am now a fat man. There are a multitude of issues here or there that have contributed to my weight but in the end I know it is my responsibility. My weight (465 lbs) may limit me here or there but it is a small obstacle in the big scheme of life. Obstacles are made to be overcome. While I may not be the picture of health I make it to the gym regularly, train regularly (with some episodes of sitting on the sideline watching or excusing myself as needed) and I teach 2 Aikido and 2 sword classes a week. During the school year I teach upwards of 10 or 12 classes a week in addition to making it to one or more dojos for a bit of training as the body will permit.

So, being fat (obese really) what kind of an example am I setting for my students? I have a 15 year old young lady that has been training with me for about 3 years now who broke a baseball bat with her shin. (no conditioning) this past Monday. The following Wednesday I broke 2 bats (at the same time). The following Thursday I leg pressed 1000lbs and today I bench pressed 225 lbs.

None of this is to say I am in good shape and it doesn't change my weight. Nor does my weight change how good of an instructor I am or the quality of my technique. That isn't to say that my technique coldn't be or wouldn't be better if I were to lose a couple of hundred pounds. I know it limits my intesity of practice and the duration at which I can practice at a higher intensity. But when I participate in a demonstration and the audience sees a fat man like me fly into orbit and get back up for more I think it goes a long way in encouraging some of those that would normally not give martial arts a chance because they think they could never do something like that.

Ok, I'm done. :) God Bless