View Full Version : Why Do You Study Aikido?

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06-19-2011, 10:28 PM
Why do *you* study Aikido? If you're a veteran, have your reasons changed much? If beginning, what is your purpose?

Tim Ruijs
06-20-2011, 01:47 AM
Very good question indeed.

When I was young I really loved (actually still do!) the Chinese martial art movies (mainly Kung Fu) and off course wanted to be like that.
In my neighbourhood this was not possible and other martial arts were hard/confronting which I did not like and still do not. So I went swimming, volleyball, gymnastics. Many years later I found out one of my nephews practised Aikido and was very enthousiastic about it. He told me stuff, showed me a couple of things...three months later I attended summer school of Kanetsuka Sensei and Fujita Sensei. I was sold.:D
Over the years learned more, changed styles and finally found my Aikido. I found out that learning how to hurt someone should not have to hurt, if you understand. I feel that is what Morihei drove to develop Aikido. Create a softer method of training (more accessible).

So why? At the time because I just loved the acrobatics and beating these masters displayed, nowadays to better myself and help my (and other) students to find their way.:cool:

06-20-2011, 03:31 AM
I started because on that time (almost 10 years ago), my life was a bit "messy". So, a doctor told me that do an oriental martial art would be good to me. He advises me kung fu. But because I have a friend of mine that was (and still is) practicing aikido already, I choose aikido them.
For sure, at that time, "self defense" was not a concern to me (and still isn't).
I can say that aikido became very important to me, for many reasons.
The most important, probably, is that I love to fly over tatamae. ;)
And what's my purpose now? Why I still training?
For many reasons too. But the most important I think it is... "Bath sponge move in the shower the force with will I..." :D
Someday, who knows...? ;) haha

06-20-2011, 05:01 AM
I usually say its because I don't golf. (Something about those windmills and clown faces freaked me out. ;-)

Initially it seemed like the natural next step in my martial studies.

Now (after 16 years) I just enjoy the training and the people.

St Matt
06-20-2011, 05:17 AM
I started it as I was looking for a self defense method. I have a permanently damaged ankle and therefore running away from any kind of confrontation is not an option. I chose Aikido because when I looked into it I thought the training had very little kicks / leg sweeps, unlike Karate and Ju-jutsu etc as these would be a problem with my condition. Also I have always seemed to turn/spin when friends and myself have had a bit of play fighting and I saw this in a certain action hero's fight scenes so thought it may suit me ;-)

I am now really enjoying my training and try to go as much as possible. Would I be able to use it as a 5th kyu if a self defense situation arose? I think I probably would (depending on the attacker) so it is doing what I wanted it to!

06-20-2011, 06:30 AM
Because I want to. No great plans or grand ambitions here.

graham christian
06-20-2011, 08:17 AM
High Shawn.
My purpose as a confused teenager was to try to make some sense out of life. I had read some books and then came across Aikido and a Teacher that gave me hope.

Nowadays teaching I would say my main purpose is to help to put it in a nutshell.

It is interesting also that it's the main question I have for anyone who wants to train with me ie: What's your purpose? This alone gives me the idea of whether I can help them or to direct them to someone I know who can.


Mark Uttech
06-20-2011, 08:59 AM
Aikido is much like the physical expression of Nature, what is that harmony that appears? But it catches our attention and interest again and again and over the years becomes everything we are.
In gassho,

Keith Larman
06-20-2011, 09:25 AM
because it was always too hard to find open courts for playing tennis and the wife wasn't all that interested in playing regularly. And I can't afford a membership to the local swim clubs or country clubs. And I hate jogging.

Okay, that was a *somewhat* joking answer. But the reality is that for most of us something simply "fits" our lives, expectations, etc. For me I started Aikido because I was skeptical. I stayed after experiencing what a couple people I still train with to this day could do to me even though I was bigger, younger, stronger, and even had a few tricks up my sleeve from other training. I went in pursuit of that thinking it would be hard to learn. And it was. And still is. But in the end it is simply something I *do*. Not much more complicated than that...

06-20-2011, 09:48 AM
I started Aikido because it looked like something that I would enjoy, and because it looked like it would give me more options than the Tae Kwon Do I was doing, so I tried it and loved it, and I still do it because I love it and enjoy it, although the reasons I enjoy it have changed over the years.

In the beginning it was the physicality of it as well as the challenge of learning to do what sensei and the senior students seemed to do so easily. Now I teach, but I still have a teacher, so I'm still a student and there are still challenges, but they are different challenges. It doesn't appear that there will ever not be any challenges in it for me, and as long as I can do it I will do it.


06-20-2011, 01:28 PM
For something to do. Keeps me curious because I find it so challenging.

Dave de Vos
06-20-2011, 02:38 PM
Because it's a deep intellectual, mental and physical challenge.

And it's fun too :)

06-20-2011, 08:37 PM
Because no matter how I feel when I get in the car to go to the dojo I always leave it feeling happy and relaxed. :)

06-21-2011, 02:55 AM
I started aikido because I was a little overweight. over the years, I became to love it and made many friends with various backgrounds and skills especially in martial arts. and recently I realized that somehow I'm addicted to the feeling when I'm training and after.

06-21-2011, 04:01 AM
I could give a myriad of reasons, instead here is a shoddy poem.

The eternal pursuit of truth and happiness led me to the dojo gate,
A request was made “please leave your shoes and ego at the door”,
A few hours later my body was bruised and sore.

To forge out the impurities from my body and soul that is why I came
I pray every day in every moment that I do not forget the reasons I need to train

Now i've started I’ll carry on along this path until the very end, I'll manage tai no henka one day, even if it drives me round the bend.

(A poet I ain't)

Carsten Möllering
06-21-2011, 06:54 AM
I practice, because it is the right thing to do.
Jus as to breathe.

Eric Hood
06-21-2011, 01:49 PM
I wanted to do a martial art. I was looking for Krav Maga. But, I live in the boonies. My buddy got me interested.

06-22-2011, 03:06 AM
I was always kind of interested in japanese martial arts - throwing, rolling etc. sounded cool. So when a friend asked me to come along for a class, I did. I liked it, I was actually more talented for aikido than for other kinds of sports (at which I always sucked), so I quit tennis and stayed in aikido. Sounds prosaic, but that's about it...:D

Why do I keep practicing today? Mainly because I just enjoy training, because it' a lot of fun, I still like the throws and the rolling (and falling), there's a lot of nice people around and I've found new friend all over the world.

But to be honest, I guess that if my friend had started judo or karate back then (and the school had been as good), I might have had just as much fun there...

06-22-2011, 06:05 AM
Because no matter how I feel when I get in the car to go to the dojo I always leave it feeling happy and relaxed. :)

So true! Especially when I can get myself up at 5am to get to the 6am class. I feel miserable getting there, but I feel great coming home!

06-22-2011, 06:09 AM
I wanted to do a martial art. I was looking for Krav Maga. But, I live in the boonies. My buddy got me interested.

I am also looking at Krav Maga, specifically to compliment my Aikido. In particular, I am looking to expand my weapons takeaways/disarms.

03-15-2012, 01:08 AM
Mainly for self-defence, exercise and to build my self-confidence and self-esteem.

03-15-2012, 02:14 AM
Structure. The basis of all good martial arts stem from structure and self-awareness. O' Sensei saw this and found a beautiful way to train it.

05-10-2013, 11:37 AM
It fits my essence and personality.

Cliff Judge
05-10-2013, 11:41 AM
Because everybody thinks it is foolish.

05-11-2013, 01:36 PM
I needed a release. I had always been fascinated with the movements of Aikido. I had a friend involved in MMA. I was looking for something to try. In his opinion Aikido was ideal because it's an art that you can grow old with. Unlike some other arts that may be a bit more harsh on the body. I did my due diligence with researching history, styles, the philosophy...etc. I was lucky to have found a great dojo. I haven't looked back. It's actually given me so much more than I ever anticipated.


lars beyer
05-11-2013, 01:53 PM
Why do *you* study Aikido? If you're a veteran, have your reasons changed much? If beginning, what is your purpose?

It´s a good question. In the beginning I knew nothing yet all in that particular perspective, later on I know a little more on some levels, in a different perspective, still I know nothing- I guess ?

05-11-2013, 02:10 PM
Once you get the budo fever, reasons don't seem to matter much any more. Training becomes its own reason.

Also, the stories make it seem like ignoring the call to adventure is a pretty bad idea.

lars beyer
05-11-2013, 02:27 PM
When I started it gave me self confidence.
Over the years it changed into self sufficiency and then again it developed into
aknowledging others.
Short story off course :-)

05-11-2013, 05:33 PM
I was getting beaten up by bullies in school as a little kid. So, I started in a hambu school when I was 8, probably too young really, but there yu go. Coming up, spending about 2 years with my original teacher Paul, great guy, good technician (I can see he wasn't brilliant now, but at the time he was magic), I enjoyed myself greatly. But, not enough "action" for the near-pubescent male, so karate ensued, and I found myself strangely effective as I shied away from direct "pressure-on-pressure" confrontations. Looking on it now, I think Paul would have grinned to see me spar.

Later on, got to college, took up taekwondo because that was what was "there." taekwondo slowly grew into hapkido, for which I had a sort of "natural" talent (laughing now is appropriate if you know the history). Hapkido slid sideways into Muay Thai and full-contact training and bouts, about as far as one can get from aikido practice as one might get... sort of. See my comments about finding "aiki" in other arts, if not actual "aikido." Words.... ah well.

Ended up in a judo school at around 26 or so, trading teaching in one for learning the other, loved it. Competition without ... much ... blood. Did that for some years, then noticed that the years and years of kick-punch were starting to take a toll on the knees, and I'd seen some of the old masters with their canes, etc. So, I decided I didn't want to go that route. Found aikido actually IN the same place as I was doing the judo - weird story, what - and started doing that first slowly, then with increasing intensity. It's overcome everything else by now.

But, still, the same reason. I don't want to get beaten up. Means different things at age 8 than it does at 45, admittedly. But there you go, that's the reason.

I've received a great deal of benefit along the way other than simply not being someone's punching bag. And, probably taken so many blows and shots and locks and throws and kicks and etc., that it really shouldn't matter, eh?

05-12-2013, 12:50 PM
Good question indeed...
It helps me to relax my mind and body. It is fantastic way to relax! :)

05-12-2013, 02:38 PM
I was searching for a martial art to study and came across this small Aikido class. I tried it and witnessed this unassuming man making seemingly simple movements while the students flew around the mat. I was unable to replicate his effortless movements! I now understand why, but, at the time, it was a complete mystery. I decided then and there that this mystery would open itself to me and I would figure out this "Aikido stuff". I'm now Ni Dan and I'm still trying to solve the "mystery".

I now teach in my own school (and continue to train under my Sensei). Aiding others in there search for the "answers" to Aikido is a great reward.

I began because it was a mystery, and I continue because it is still a mystery. The more I learn, the less I know. May I never find the "answer" :-)

Mary Eastland
05-12-2013, 03:25 PM
Because it is fun.

Phil Van Treese
05-14-2013, 02:33 PM
I started because I love to ballroom dance and the footwork is surprisingly similar. I love to waltz around people and have them wonder what I just did. Great feeling.

05-15-2013, 10:07 AM
I first started Aikido due to a combination of some of the most common reasons...the desire to learn a martial art, to build self-confidence, exercise...even boredom.

I started practicing a multitude of techniques from several set attacks. While the martial effectiveness of many of these techniques seemed dubious to me, well, I was having fun throwing and being thrown with different partners. The atmosphere was awesome and that kept me coming back.

And then I discovered aiki. True aiki. I never imagined something could be so powerful, terrifying, but at the same time it could be entirely peaceful. And I found a method to train aiki that is vastly different from the aikido I was doing before.

So my reasons for practicing aikido have drastically changed. Before, I was mostly interested in performing the throws and locks (and being thrown and locked), now I practice aikido as a means to express aiki.

So here I am, back to square one. Looking back, I think I actually didn't learn much, rather, I found out that I didn't know that I didn't know. :)

Marie Noelle Fequiere
05-16-2013, 12:02 PM
After years of training in Shotokan Karate, I wanted to learn another perspective and philosophy of fighting. I also wanted to learn to use the sword, and where I live, Ikashi Dojo is the only place that provides a decent teaching for this weapon.

Rupert Atkinson
05-17-2013, 11:26 PM
I started Judo when Bruce Lee appeared on the scene, but not becuase of Bruce Lee, it was more my mother's idea - probably thought I needed toughening up for high school. We had read a book that said the small man can beat the bigger. However, I was small at the time and discovered it was a big lie. Carried on though but have to say, in retrospect, I learned absolutely nothing. Then, after high school, my friend dragged me off to a Tomiki Aikido class run by a chap named Barry Vigrass. The guy was amazing - he was small, middle aged, and could beat everyone. I then learned he was black belt Judo and 1st Kyu Karate, which in those days was really something. I was hooked. He also encouraged us to go learn other stuff, which was also unheard of back then. After about 3 years I was also into Aikikai and Jujutsu and also had gone back to Judo - I was nuts. There just weren't enough days in the week. The friend who dragged me to that first Aikido class quit after 2 weeks.

Robert Cowham
05-18-2013, 01:33 AM
I read "Ki in Everyday Life" by Tohei Koichi sensei while I was in Turin, Italy. There were some dojos listed in the back of the book, they were friendly guys and I enjoyed it. I was hooked!

It helps that you can keep getting better as you get older (if you keep practicing!)