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Silver Tiger
08-23-2000, 07:03 AM
I'm 28 and have no prior martial arts experience. After doing some research, I found Aikido the most attractive MA because it appears to be challenging and promotes a general philosophy I agree with. Now I'm just wondering how older beginners generally fare in class. Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?

Alex-hv
08-23-2000, 07:31 AM
Silver Tiger wrote:
I'm 28 and have no prior martial arts experience. After doing some research, I found Aikido the most attractive MA because it appears to be challenging and promotes a general philosophy I agree with. Now I'm just wondering how older beginners generally fare in class. Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?

I was 24 years old. And now I'm not the worst one (I hope).
P.S. Am I too humble? :)

Pete
08-23-2000, 07:45 AM
I am 29 and began Aikido about 5 months ago with no prior MA training!! In some ways that is a bonus as you don't have ingrained habits of a long studied art to get out of.

I am the oldest beginner in my dojo by about 4 or so years as far as I know. But then I am one of only 2 no kyu beginners in the whole club that I know of.

Don't worry about your age!! Enjoy the path you have chosen and the friends you are making!! After all you have plenty of time to learn it!!

Kevin
08-23-2000, 10:55 AM
Hey,

I started when I was only, um, let me see, um, oh yeh, I was a nine. I am 14 now. If your dojo offers children classes, ofcourse children started earlier. Age doesn't really make a difference. Since a I am kid, many adult have lapped me in rankings. I am not talking about adults who were there when I started but the newer adults. Don't worry about all that stuff. I really don't care about the idea that an adult is lapping me. I just like to train. Learn new stuff. Gain new knowledge.

Kevin
http://www.aikidouniverse.com

akiy
08-23-2000, 11:17 AM
Silver Tiger wrote:
Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?
No, but I think it helps to start earlier, just as in pretty much any other endeavor.

One person I met started when she was 12, received her shodan at 16, her nidan at 18, and is now 5th dan in her mid-thirties. Another person started at 18 and is now 6th dan twenty years later. George Leonard sensei started aikido when he was 47 years old and thirty years later, he's now 5th dan. All three of these folks are fun to train with and know a heck of a lot more than I do.

-- Jun

Kristina Morris
08-23-2000, 11:45 AM
I started Aikido when I was just shy of 43 years old, and now I'm 50. I don't do Aikido very well, but I enjoy doing it as well as I can.

Kristina

rch
08-23-2000, 12:32 PM
I just started my training a few weeks ago. I'm 25 here, about to hit 26 in Sept. (eek!)

I did train in TKD when I was around 11-12, but I haven't retained much of it. Hmm, and it seems that the things I have retained, doesn't work well with what I'm doing now.

If someone wants to learn something, no matter age, they simply need to open their minds and let it in. :)

Bruce E
08-23-2000, 01:00 PM
I was 41 when I started 1 1/2 years ago. While I have no delusions of ever becoming one of the dojo's "Gumby Boys", flexability is improving. Maybe one day my left ankle will come to accept, if not enjoy, seiza!

Suru
08-23-2000, 01:04 PM
I am 21 years old, and I began aikido about a year and a half ago. I think I'll be doing aikido for the long haul, as it's become a significant part of my life. I just took about a month off, and my spirit-mind is suffering as a result. Aikido helps tremendously in keeping me feeling healthy, so I know I better get myself back in the dojo soon!!

--Drew

DJM
08-23-2000, 05:13 PM
I started originally when I was about 20, stopped for 4 years or so, then re-started in April this year (now 25). Sure I regret, now, not having spent those 4 years practicing Aikido - but, since it's a long road, those 4 years won't matter quite so much by the time I reach the end..
At least I hope so ;)

Peace,
David

Chuck Clark
08-23-2000, 05:32 PM
I was fortunate to have a strong early influence by a Japanese-American surrogate father who started me on judo when I was six. I changed to another teacher when I was about 10 and have continued to practice. I first saw aikido in 1964 and began to practice seriously in 1968 and have continued to practice. My practice during my teenage years and early twenties included karatedo, tai chi,and hsing-i. I was promoted to shodan in judo, karatedo, and jujutsu in 1964-65. I gave up striking arts and for the last 30 years have concentrated on judo, aikido, and since 1981 Shinto Muso Ryu Jo.

Without budo and Zen training, I would most likely be dead or in prison. Thanks to all who have helped along the way!

joan
08-23-2000, 09:36 PM
how old is old, anyway? I started training at 32 when I was in "good" shape, trained very intensely for 7 years, then took 5 years more or less off. I returned this past summer in no particular shape at the age of 44. I think mental attitude is the most important aspect--if you are determined to make it happen, it will. Our dojo is affiliated with a university so we get regular influxes of young, very flexible bodies, with less frequent older beginners... Part of the joy of training is to adapt technique to all of them--and to figure out how to get this body to do what it thinks it saw demonstrated. The other joy of training is to help the other, newbie or old pro, do the same. Enjoy yourself!
Joan

Yo-Jimbo
08-24-2000, 03:02 PM
This topic would make a good poll. Say 5 or 10 yr. windows, shouldn't mix the two, it messes up the histogram. I suggest:
<10
five or ten year increments
>80
Me? I was 18 when I started and am 27 now. The only previous training I had was 6 months of wrestling. I've done a little X-training here on campus, but aikido is my one true love.

Nick
08-24-2000, 03:13 PM
Silver Tiger wrote:
I'm 28 and have no prior martial arts experience. After doing some research, I found Aikido the most attractive MA because it appears to be challenging and promotes a general philosophy I agree with. Now I'm just wondering how older beginners generally fare in class. Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?

Nick
08-24-2000, 03:14 PM
Age shouldn't matter any more than race, gender, etc... when a person comes to train, give them the same consideration that was (hopefully) given to you when you first stumbled onto the mat...

-Nick

guest1234
08-25-2000, 01:52 PM
Hi Nick, here's a question aimed primarily at you and some of the other younger members: i was struck by the thought of a 16 year old shodan, even an 18 year old nidan that Jun mentioned. I think a teenager would have no problem with the technical skill (and i'm sure be great at the ukemi); you seem like you do a lot of reading and thinking on the subject; do you feel at 16 you would know enough about how you (and others) think and feel, to truely be at the level of personal development i would think goes with shodan?

Chuck Clark
08-25-2000, 02:26 PM
For goodness sake!

Shodan means "first grade"...it's like coming out of grade school with the basic tools to learn and practice. It means that you are beginning to be acknowledged as capable of being a serious student. A shodan should have developed responsibility for their practice and actions.

In the US many people expect shodan to be capable to lead and teach on their own. In the past this was necessary, but not now. There is plenty of talented experienced sandan around.

I have seen many young people with the necessary maturity and skill to be graded shodan at 16 years of age. (Especially if they have grown up in the practice and had lots of good examples of mature budoka)

Shodan is just a beginning.



[Edited by Chuck Clark on August 25, 2000 at 01:31pm]

Nick
08-25-2000, 05:51 PM
ca wrote:
Hi Nick, here's a question aimed primarily at you and some of the other younger members: i was struck by the thought of a 16 year old shodan, even an 18 year old nidan that Jun mentioned. I think a teenager would have no problem with the technical skill (and i'm sure be great at the ukemi); you seem like you do a lot of reading and thinking on the subject; do you feel at 16 you would know enough about how you (and others) think and feel, to truely be at the level of personal development i would think goes with shodan?

That is a very good question-

To be honest, I'm not sure. I've matured a lot especially since I started Aikido- and as chuck said, shodan is a beginning. The real question here is are people my age really ready to begin?

In my opinion, for the most part, no. At 15 or 16, perhaps. I know quite a few people (my older brother included) who got their shodan at 16 and truly deserved it, and others with even kyu ranks they don't show readiness for.

I'd like to think I'll have the mental capacity to start others on the path if/when I get my shodan (whenever that is), but until then, I'm happy to strap on my white belt.

Kanpai,

-Nick

Chocolateuke
08-25-2000, 09:38 PM
I am 15 and started when I was 13 and am still training and hoping to train for the rest of my life. I am a 5 kyu so I figure 3 more years of keeping it up to par and Ill see myself ready to train harder:)

guest1234
08-25-2000, 10:31 PM
Thanks Nick and Chocolatuke (did i get the spelling right?)---you both seem very dedicated to Aikido from your messages. Clark Sensei, i don't think there was anything in my note to these young men that implied i thought they should be able to teach at reaching shodan; i think we would all agree that shodan in a beginning. But a beginning that takes preparation (or we'd all start as shodan, not 'no-kyu'); and certain ages are more ready to begin certain things than others (although there is always an exception). For instance, driving a car, voting, enlisting in the military, getting married. sometimes having lived a little helps in understanding...sometimes not. I know that i see things very differently now than i did ten or twenty years ago, and my perception of things as a child and teenager is very different from how i see things as an adult (or how i saw things as a young adult). The fact that Nick is able to understand the question as meaning is he old enough to begin to study says a lot right there. i've heard that there are schools that have minimum ages for dan testing (could be wrong in my memory of this)---if so, they must have a reason. (note i did not say a good reason or bad reason).

adriangan
08-26-2000, 03:41 AM
I started when I was 22 yrs old and previous MA, I really wanted to start early but my parents preferred that I be more proficient in sports instead of MA, then when I started to work and earned my own money the first thing I did was to look for a dojo near my office then I signed up. Now I'm 24 and enjoying every bit of my training :D.


-Adrian

Nick
08-26-2000, 02:57 PM
ca wrote:
i've heard that there are schools that have minimum ages for dan testing (could be wrong in my memory of this)---if so, they must have a reason. (note i did not say a good reason or bad reason).

Some schools have them and test often, some schools don't have them and don't test often.

Then of course, there's the dojo that tests as often as possible for the money and... oh, don't get me started there...

I do, however, think that (good) MA is good for children. By 'good' I mean a place that will make them do more than pay their dues to advance them- any sort of art, chado, kado, kenjutsu, aikido, whatever- the idea is not to fight, and don't we need that more these days?

Sorry, just started thinking about it (and thinking is dangerous for me ;)).

Ja,

-Nick

akiy
08-26-2000, 05:36 PM
According to the documentation I have from Aikikai Hombu Dojo, one must be at least 15 years old for shodan. At least one year must have passed since then with 200 training days for nidan. Two years after that and 300 training days, one can test for sandan. Two years and 300 training days must pass before yondan.

-- Jun

Nick
08-26-2000, 06:10 PM
I agree with that method, but I also think that they should judge the individual by his waza and attitude, not his age...

I'm sorry, I'm prejudiced in this matter because of the amount I've been judged and setback because of my age...

Thanks for letting me act grumpy,

-Nick

Chocolateuke
08-26-2000, 11:44 PM
I think age limits are good in 1 way they provide a time to make and end a goal. like lets say i am 1 kyu ( I am not but hehhe ) and I am 14 or 15 and I have to be 16 to take my shodan test I can make a goal to improve on my tori or whatever than if I could be a shodan when ever because it is at any given moment the teacher might give the test and u might not be ready because u have been slacking and not focusing on any thing because u are sure that it will come later and u dont give a care int eh worls but u if u had a goal u might work harder. I might be wrong and people are diff I try to study to the best of my abilitys and try to allways improve.

but then again teachers dont test unless u are ready. ( this does not apply to school they test u everyday now what is a noun?)

DJM
08-27-2000, 05:09 AM
Nick wrote:
I agree with that method, but I also think that they should judge the individual by his waza and attitude, not his age...

I'm sorry, I'm prejudiced in this matter because of the amount I've been judged and setback because of my age...

Thanks for letting me act grumpy,

-Nick
Nick,
I can apreciate where you might have problems with the way you're treated - more a problem with individuals than any organisations though, surely?
At the end of the day however, what does it matter? Will not being able to grade for shodan change your Aikido? Will it make your training time any less valuable?
If anything your time will probably be more productive without that shodan, from what I hear... (Not dissing yudansha here, merely that I've heard the nature of your training changes once you've got your shodan..)

Revel in your early Aikido career, and don't worry about days/hours/years... ;)

Peace,
David

Nick
08-27-2000, 06:46 AM
heh- I don't really have to worry about getting a dan rank until I have a kyu rank ;).

What I was complaining about was how people hear I'm 14 and assume that my training is some kind of game...

Sorry again, it's early and I didn't sleep well... getting easily angered in my old age ;).

Ja,

-Nick

Nick
08-28-2000, 05:19 PM
anyone else have an opinion on children training? just wonderin cuz this is gettin kinda low on the list...

-Nick

JJF
08-29-2000, 06:11 AM
In my dojo there used to be a very capable young guy who got his Shodan at (I think) the age of 15 or 16. He has left the country by now unfortunately, but he was both very dedicated and very mature for his age.

At the same time there was a student who was in his mid or late 40's who practised for a loooooong time - never getting his Shodan. I once overheard one of the instructors say that this guy was ready for Shodan when it came to techniques and knowledge but his attitude lacked some qualities. I can not say exactly what was missing, but I always had a bad experience practising with this guy. He was always trying to dominate everybody else and had a very hostile attitude towards beginners (Something like: "You are not good enough for me to practice with, so you should be grateful that I will lower my standards and teach you anyway"). In the end he was given Shodan and quickly left the dojo to start his own dojo somewhere else in our town.

Just thought I would share these experiences….

Simone
08-29-2000, 08:08 AM
Hi Silver Tiger, hi Nick!

I'm 28 now and started Aikido 4 years ago in our University Club. But I train in other clubs, too and I know people who started with 8 as well as with 63. I agree with all previous writers that the right attitude is important, not age or gender or so.

I also assist in our childrens class (10 - 14 years). I discovered that for most of them Aikido serves a very diffrent purpose (sort of a funny game) than for adults. And I noticed that they don't learn as quick as most of the older beginners. Mostly about 14, they take Aikido and the training more serious. But that's only for most of the children. Without doubt, there are some who develop earlier. But they are rare.

For me personally, I think, 24 was a good age to start and I hope to enjoy many coming years with practising Aikido.

Simone

chillzATL
08-29-2000, 08:33 AM
Nick wrote:
anyone else have an opinion on children training? just wonderin cuz this is gettin kinda low on the list...

-Nick

I'll throw in my two cents on the children training issue. I think it's a good thing when it's done properly. It gives a good measure of physical, emotional and self-spirit training. The problem is that many martial arts only bother teaching the physical part and leave the rest out. So you get 16 year old kids who have been training for several years and have an ego bigger than themselves. They are always ready to "show someone" what they know and brag about and aren't mature enough to understand the ramifications of those things. When the training is done properly it's a very good thing though.

Magma
08-29-2000, 10:33 PM
A poetry professor of mine told us that when someone asked you how long it took you to write a particular poem, you should answer, "My whole life." Because, honestly, everything that you've seen and said and done and chased and hid behind and jumped off of and rolled in and felt and not felt and been given and watched and worn and endured ---- all of that goes into your art, whatever that art may be.

With that understood, I've been training my 26 years.

M.

Erik
08-29-2000, 11:26 PM
akiy wrote:
According to the documentation I have from Aikikai Hombu Dojo, one must be at least 15 years old for shodan. At least one year must have passed since then with 200 training days for nidan. Two years after that and 300 training days, one can test for sandan. Two years and 300 training days must pass before yondan.

-- Jun

Jeez, I shoulda went to Japan. Those are about 1/2 what I'm used to seeing.:)

To the original question. Started at 23 and I'm 35 now. 28 is as good as any other time to start.

ninjaqutie
09-14-2009, 08:54 PM
I started aikijitsu when I was 15 and started aikido when I was 24. I am now 25.... :)

tim evans
09-14-2009, 09:09 PM
I started when I was 40 now a year later testing this week for the first time. One of our instructors is 81 and he moves and throws like someone in there 20,s .

raul rodrigo
09-14-2009, 10:50 PM
I started at 31 and am now 44.

mjhacker
09-14-2009, 10:58 PM
I started martial arts in the mid-late 70s with Tae Kwon Do, Okinawan Karate, and Hapkido as a youth. As an adult, I trained in various Chinese and Japanese arts until I started studying Aikido in Japan somewhere around my 20th birthday. I'm 40 now. You do the math. ;-)

Linda Eskin
09-15-2009, 12:22 AM
... George Leonard sensei started aikido when he was 47 years old and thirty years later, he's now 5th dan. ...

I started when I was 46. Now 47, and testing for 6th kyu next weekend. George Leonard Sensei is one of my heros and inspirations. :)

Eva Antonia
09-15-2009, 05:02 AM
Hello,

I started with 38 and am now 41. In our dojo is a guy of 17 who is something like my aikido twin; we started at the same time, got graded at the same time, are those with the most flexible bodies (on whom you have to twist endlessly until nikkyo/sankyo works...), don't progress extremely quickly with the learning process and are those who show most regularly up at the dojo. I don't see any age related difference in our aikido, and I certainly don't see any lack of maturity in that guy. No ego issues, no bragging, no fixation of "when do I merit my hakama", no tendency to show others what they do wrong, just a very nice aikidoka.

But for "real" children it is different. Most of them are not really serious. My elder son does aikido since he is 8; he is now 10 and 4th kyu and I think he is really talented, but he is not very balanced emotionally. Refuses to train with X or Y, starts crying when some techniques don't work...I hope it will improve when he grows up. He's more serious when training with adults or with complete beginners, but when he's training with his sisters or some middling kyu kids he can be a real jerk. My daughters started at nearly six, and for them it's just playing. They learn something, but, as someone else already stated, smaller kids learn much, much slower than adults! I think they don't have the understanding of the mechanics behind it....I don't really know.

Best regards,

Eva

allowedcloud
09-15-2009, 06:37 AM
I started Aikido looooooong after this thread was created :)

lbb
09-15-2009, 06:38 AM
Most people who start aikido (or anything else) when they're five have probably quit well before they're ten. OTOH, most people who start aikido when they're 28 have quit before they're 29. Looking back and saying, "Wow, I wish I'd started this years ago, then I'd be real good now!" is a mistake for this reason; likewise, looking ahead and saying, "Hmm, I wonder if I can be shodan by the time I'm 30?" or whatever.

YogaRen
09-15-2009, 07:08 AM
I started five months ago. I am 30. :)

lbb
09-15-2009, 07:30 AM
I started Aikido looooooong after this thread was created :)

Oh jeez, another ancient thread resurrected. Ashley!

Amir Krause
09-15-2009, 09:03 AM
And while reading this thread - I was wondering, how many of those who wrote in it when it was started (Aug 2000) are still training today?

Amir

P.S.
I started when I was about 17.5, will celebrate my 37th birthday next week, and wondering if I wish to bring something with me to the dojo and celebrate there too (as I often did along the years).
My younger brother started with me (he was 13 at the time) and he too still comes too (though less frequently).

Keith Larman
09-15-2009, 09:19 AM
Amir, funny, I was wondering how many who have posted on Aikiweb started and quit in the time before Ashley posted... ;)

JO
09-15-2009, 11:00 AM
I started at 23, it's been 10 years.

PS- nothing wrong with an old thread if there is something new to add. Better than a dozen threads all on the same topic.

ninjaqutie
09-15-2009, 11:14 AM
Oh jeez, another ancient thread resurrected. Ashley!

Hehe.... :D You can expect more if I come across some interesting ones. I have been backreading. I started at the end of the posts and I got to page 160 last night. You wouldn't believe how many Steven Seagal posts there are back there as well!

I thought it would be interesting to have imput from all of you. My husband always gets on me because I usually ask people "How long have you been training?" once I get to know someone fairly well. I find that that question or how old were you when you started seem more appropriate then "What rank are you?"

As for those of you wondering about the previous poster's..... I had thought the exact same thing!

David Maidment
09-15-2009, 12:27 PM
I started training when I was eight. Or maybe ten? My mind fails me...

I'm twenty-four now, but I had about ten or more years off after being a stubborn kid and quitting. I've been back at it for a year and a half. All-in-all, I reckon I have somewhere between two-to-four years under my humble orange belt.

To be honest, I'm glad that I quit when I was younger. And also that I trained during that period. I learnt my 'elastic ukemi' while I was still flexible, but didn't pick up enough bad kiddie habits that it would have messed up my training when I became a teenager. Now I'm older I can train seriously without much difficulty, because the movement is all natural to me. Best of both worlds.

Kevin Karr
09-15-2009, 02:59 PM
I first started Aikido when I was around 21. I studied regularly for about a year and then I moved. After moving, I trained at a new place for about 6 months to a year but their style of training did not really suit me so I discontinued my practice at that time. However, I wasn't finished with Aikido and I knew it. I just needed to find the right people and the right place...

Flash forward 8 years. Just as a very long-term relationship came to a close, Aikido appeared back in my life. The right group of people training under the right teacher involved with a good organization manifested themselves before me. I have been training solidly for the past 2 years.

Shadowfax
09-15-2009, 03:08 PM
I am 39 with no history of martial arts at all. My only real sports type history is in horseback riding. Just started Aikido in June this year. I am thoroughly enjoying my classes and, I think, learning at a pretty decent rate. Certainly its not as easy for a more mature body to get into such a physical activity but I am seeing a lot of benefits from the activity.

Phil Van Treese
09-15-2009, 03:09 PM
I began when I was 7 and I am now 63 and have enjoyed every minute of aikido.

mjhacker
09-15-2009, 03:11 PM
What I was complaining about was how people hear I'm 14 and assume that my training is some kind of game...
There is a young 17 year old girl in my dojo who has been training with me for several months now. She is the youngest person in the dojo by nearly 10 years. I have taken her under my wing and take her training every bit as seriously as she does.

mjhacker
09-15-2009, 03:13 PM
I started five months ago. I am 30.
I can't believe you'd admit to that publicly, Ren... :-)

Walter Martindale
09-15-2009, 03:31 PM
The old becomes new again - well - in threads on Aikiweb...
Started judo at 18, stopped at 26. Started Aikido at 40, now (very nearly) 56.
Cheers,
W

tarik
09-15-2009, 03:57 PM
I started Aikido looooooong after this thread was created :)

:)

Good resurrection though. I remember Nick's posts and wonder if he's still around.

I started with Shotokan Karatedo as a 14 year old kid in 1982 and continued with "American Kenpo Karate" through high school and started Aikido with a college club at UCSC in 1988 or 1989. I messed around with fencing and some other western martial practices as well after college.

After college, I got busy with a career and did not return to Aikido until 1997 and have never stopped training since. I did change organizations after 10 years for personal reasons, but despite occasional efforts to quit, I just cannot seem to manage it. ;)

Regards,

Mary Eastland
09-15-2009, 03:59 PM
Started at 29.....52 now...feel way younger now.
mary

ninjaqutie
09-15-2009, 05:46 PM
Wow. It seems most of us have had experience studying in other martial arts. Interesting. :) I for one can say my previous training didn't really help me in aikido though other then ukemi.

YogaRen
09-15-2009, 07:03 PM
I can't believe you'd admit to that publicly, Ren... :-)

Which part, the being 30?? Or the part about starting five months ago. I'm proud of both.. :p

Janet Rosen
09-15-2009, 10:56 PM
I started as my 41st bday gift to myself. 54 now.

Brian Gillaspie
09-15-2009, 11:01 PM
I started when I was 27 and am now 32. My son started when he was 4 and will be 10 in a couple of weeks and he has stuck with it. I hope he'll continue with it but I don't push him to hard at this point because I don't want him to end up despising aikido....or his dad :-)

TEARO
09-16-2009, 12:47 AM
17 and hopefully I'll never stop.

macamboy
09-16-2009, 10:45 AM
I started when I was 11 and was the youngest at my club by 10 years or so, for quite a while.

I'm now 38 and have returned to training after a 10 year break.

Whilst I'm aching in places I thought couldn't ache, after my first training session yesterday, I'm sure my current age won't stop me getting back into the swing of Aikido.

Lan Powers
09-16-2009, 11:16 AM
Wow. It seems most of us have had experience studying in other martial arts. Interesting. :) I for one can say my previous training didn't really help me in aikido though other then ukemi.

Hmmm everyone has some different experiences.....

It ALL seems to tie in together on some level, whether the empty hand martial arts (My previous"dabbled ins"are Wing Chun, TaeKwonDo, and a bit of Tai Chi BTW) are drastically different or similar, the coordination of your body carries over.
Likewise the weapons (Fencing, and armored combat SCA) are very apparent in effecting how you learn the buki-waza in Aikido.
Timing, distance, "flow" these things are universal to the arts.

At least that has been my experience. (so far..:D )
Best
Lan

Aikiscott
09-16-2009, 05:58 PM
Started in March 2000 at ripe old age of 29. I have bounced around a few martial arts from the age of nine. Aikido is the only martial art that I have graded to Shodan in, it's the only one I really wanted to do.

mab0303
09-22-2009, 07:25 AM
49!

aikishihan
09-22-2009, 11:10 AM
Nine, but I was not given a choice.

dps
09-22-2009, 01:49 PM
I was 29 now I am 54.

David

Dan Richards
09-22-2009, 03:03 PM
1988 would have put me right around 27.

Mark Uttech
09-22-2009, 03:47 PM
Onegaishimasu. I was 31 when I started aikido. I think it was a good age to start because I was old enough to settle into something and study it for ten years. That was 25 years ago, so you could say that now I am in the middle of my third round of ten years.

In gassho,

Mark

Steve Gegner
09-26-2009, 12:53 PM
I started with Kanai Sensei around 1974. Got married, moved to California, trained with Pranin Sensei for less than a year. Wife divorced me, so I moved to where there was no Aikido. Almost 30 years passed...

In 2004, at age 62, I started over in Aikido here in Parkersburg, WV. At age 68, I'm a Nidan, love it, and train in at least two 2-hour classes per week! I enjoy doing other projects for the dojo too!
Visit us at: http://almost-heaven-aikido-judo.com
:)

John Longford
09-28-2009, 11:34 AM
I started in 1980 at 31 and have never looked back. At the time my most active sport was fishing and I regretted not having started Aikido at a younger age. Later I realised that had I started younger I would not have had the patience to keep it up.

dps
09-28-2009, 12:02 PM
OSensei was born on Dec. 14, 1883 and started his Aikido journey in February of 1915 which would make him 31.

David

Steven Lasher
10-06-2009, 12:29 AM
I started when I was 28 trained for 2 years and took five years off. I've been back at it for 5 years now. I also took karate from age 21 until I started Aikido

Edward
10-07-2009, 03:24 AM
I started Aikido at the age of 31. I had previously done Judo from 17 to 25, and some Thai boxing before that.

Ecosamurai
10-07-2009, 03:36 AM
I started not that long before this thread did ;)

I was 18, will be 31 next month.

Mark Freeman
10-07-2009, 02:26 PM
I started not that long before this thread did ;)

I was 18, will be 31 next month.

Hi Mike, haven't seen you here for a while. I had no idea you are such a youngster, from reading your posts, I thought you were older..obviously wise beyond your years;)

I started relatively late, when I was 36, I will be 54 in a couple of weeks time (no presents, please:D )

regards,

Mark

Francesco Corallini
10-07-2009, 04:03 PM
I've started when I was not able to realize what I was starting: age of 3 (funny but true) :), now I'm 27...

But I personally believe age is not a limit...I guess all of us agree ! :)

cheeeers!

SeaGrass
10-07-2009, 06:34 PM
Hello everyone,

I started when i was 24 and i now am 31, just needed something to do when the waves are flat :D. Found out that aikido compliments surfing pretty well and stuck with it ever since.

Ecosamurai
10-08-2009, 05:26 AM
Hi Mike, haven't seen you here for a while.

Lots of people around here talk loudly and say nothing at the same time, was concerned I was becoming one of them so took a break from aikiweb :)

I had no idea you are such a youngster, from reading your posts, I thought you were older..obviously wise beyond your years;)

Kind of you to say so :)

Raki
12-08-2009, 02:06 PM
..i just started. I'm 29.

Victoria Pitt
12-08-2009, 02:16 PM
33. Laaaate. =(

dalen7
12-08-2009, 02:31 PM
I'm 28 and have no prior martial arts experience. After doing some research, I found Aikido the most attractive MA because it appears to be challenging and promotes a general philosophy I agree with. Now I'm just wondering how older beginners generally fare in class. Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?

your a young whipper snapper! :D
I sure hope you dont have to start at 5 to have the right stuff as I didnt start until in my 30s. ;)

Admittedly anything you start at a young age will give you an up in life and will be act as a catalyst for you later in life.

But, as the old saying goes its never to late... :D

Peace

dAlen

dalen7
12-08-2009, 02:34 PM
dude... I always get caught up in old threads thinking they just started!!! :D

piyush.kumar
12-09-2009, 01:27 AM
23 is when i started :). And it all came together like it was destiny, i got here to US to do my masters from india. Always wanted to learn MA but never had the chance or the will or permission to do it. And walking around, i happened to glance at that one poster of aikido and boom, i was there. I did not see taekwondo, nor did i see wrestling, all i saw was that and there i was. After one year of socializing n trying to be cool that i am doing aikido, i was finally initiated into what aikido is about by my sensei. Since then, i have not looked back, lessons have come hard and in the most unlikely ways, but those have only served to heighten my senses and my appreciation for life. And as i continue everyday, my hunger for training keep growing....Respect to all of you who have that courage to keep walking :)

Mark Peckett
12-09-2009, 05:50 AM
30 when I started; 56 now, and practice just keeps on getting more pleasurable.

Dirk Marthinus
12-09-2009, 05:55 AM
started bout 6 weeks ago, im 30 yrs old.

Carrie Campbell
12-09-2009, 09:32 PM
I was 25 in Jan 2004.

Amassus
12-10-2009, 12:59 AM
I started in 2002 at the age of 26.
I'm now 33 and still training happily.:)

Daniel Wilson
12-10-2009, 09:49 AM
I began at..i'd guess around 22. I'm gradually approaching my 25th birthday now. (In april :-p ). Age isn't that important...and truly, Aikido is one of the easier arts on the body - thus being better for older practicioners.

We have had several significantly older students in our classes and the only problems that they suffered were related to lack of bodily flexibility. At 28, I wouldn't imagine you should have much if any difficulty.

reyne caritativo
12-15-2009, 10:47 PM
I'm 28 and have no prior martial arts experience. After doing some research, I found Aikido the most attractive MA because it appears to be challenging and promotes a general philosophy I agree with. Now I'm just wondering how older beginners generally fare in class. Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?

i started aikido in 1994 and i was 32 years old then. i really had a hard time doing ukemi especially the back roll.after practice, almost all parts of my body is in pain and i had a hard time holding my tooth brush...hehe. there was a time that i have to rest while in the middle of aiki practice coz i feel like i'm going to faint. i was a hard smoker then and decided to stop this habit if i want to continue my aikido practice. time goes by as i persevered with my practice,i can see some improvement. i told myself, i can do this one step at a time. it's really difficult to start aikido practice in your 30's but if you really want to learn, you have to make lots of efforts and sacrifices. most of my fellow aikidokas at our dojo are in their late teens and in their early 20's. i have observed that most of them can easily absorb what our sensei teaches during keiko. i guess i was a late bloomer in aikido but all i can say is, most of these students who started younger than me don't practice aikido anymore. they have the physical advantage compared to me, but i got the patience to practice and improve myself in aikido keiko. i'm 47 years old now i am practicing for my sandan exam and i think...aikido for life.

Linda Eskin
12-16-2009, 12:17 AM
I've already posted that I started at 46 (I'm 47 now). Loving it, and expect to be a lifer. A few age-related notes...

Tonight one of my fellow students, 4th kyu, mentioned that she is celebrating her 60th birthday.

Also, I've just started reading a book, "The Gift of Danger - Lessons from Aikido," written by Mary Stein at the age of 80 (and still training almost daily). She started Aikido in her mid-fifties. So far I'm really enjoying the book. I'd recommend picking it up.

Robyn Johnson
12-16-2009, 08:45 AM
I was 18 when I started. I'm 28 now. Time flies when you're having fun. :)

Robyn

Eric Winters
12-16-2009, 09:02 AM
Hello,

I started when I was 19 and now I'm almost 39.

Anth
12-16-2009, 11:20 AM
Started Kamishin Ryu Karate at 8yo, quit at 9yo, restarted at 14 and still going. I started Aikido this year at 22yo.

Kevin Flanagan
12-16-2009, 02:38 PM
Well kids,
I started training when I was 59. This week, after 26 months of continuous training, I finally passed my 5th kyu test. Big smile!!

When I say continuous training, I mean this. A minimum of 4 hours per week on the mat. A maximum of 20 hours. (Only once) I train at my home dojo every class, unless sick, injured or traveling. I have visited more than a dozen other dojos, gone to at least 18 seminars and had the privledge of training under at least 30 very good teachers.

So, I get to have a few opinions about this. Newbie or not.

This has been one of the best things that I have ever done with my life. Don't let age, sex or anything else keep you from exploring this path.

Linda Eskin
12-17-2009, 12:03 PM
Well kids,
I started training when I was 59. This week, after 26 months of continuous training, I finally passed my 5th kyu test. Big smile!!
...
So, I get to have a few opinions about this. Newbie or not.

This has been one of the best things that I have ever done with my life. Don't let age, sex or anything else keep you from exploring this path.

Amen, Brother!

pjriego
12-20-2009, 12:02 AM
Well kids,
So, I get to have a few opinions about this. Newbie or not.

This has been one of the best things that I have ever done with my life. Don't let age, sex or anything else keep you from exploring this path.

That's right my friend, i'm a shodan and i will be 30 years old in a few more days, i started at 19 years old:circle: :square: :ai: :ki:

donplummer
12-20-2009, 08:35 PM
began practicing at age 28 after being invited to my Best Friend's Shodan exam...said WOW then, and still do 11 yeras later...

CarrieP
12-21-2009, 11:22 AM
Started (basically) at age 29, been training 2 years. Started with a "healthy weight' (whatever that means) but little fitness, muscle strength, or stamina.

Needless to say, things have progressed slowly, but steadily.

OwlMatt
12-22-2009, 03:34 PM
I'm new to the art myself at 27, and it seems to me that aikido is an art that a lot of people come to later. I suspect this is because its philosophies and motivations are more attractive to adults and it lacks a lot of the punching and kicking that attracts the younger kids who want to be Power Rangers.

Melchizedek
12-23-2009, 06:02 AM
I'm 28 and have no prior martial arts experience. After doing some research, I found Aikido the most attractive MA because it appears to be challenging and promotes a general philosophy I agree with. Now I'm just wondering how older beginners generally fare in class. Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?

I started Judo at the age of 6 and various martial arts b`coz im a Filipino I also need to learn our native martial arts i.g. knife fighting & Kali and started Aikido when I was 12 till to day Im 26 still practice the art and established my Dojo 4 yrs. ago.

speaking of (MA) Mastering the art It depends on how sincere an individual is in its degree of learning. IMHO there is a long way to go in Mastering the martial Art Aikido. and lots of way in Mastering it.

(e.g. youtube)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTIrehTIGOA&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH309YwzxsY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3Jjciss6jA

:do:

Melchizedek
12-23-2009, 06:22 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I46oWF3zrZk&feature=related

Eric Hood
02-19-2010, 04:12 PM
I started last year at age 48. I must be one of the older ones.:cool: :cool:

donplummer
02-19-2010, 07:56 PM
started at age 28, 11 years later it was one of the best decisions I ever made, has saved my life (and that of others) numerous times both physically and mentally

Boris Spassky
02-19-2010, 09:47 PM
I'm 28 and have no prior martial arts experience. After doing some research, I found Aikido the most attractive MA because it appears to be challenging and promotes a general philosophy I agree with. Now I'm just wondering how older beginners generally fare in class. Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?

Not at all! 28 is still a ripe young age to begin the journey. MANY have begun their studies at a much older age in the arts. Aikido is even more age forgiving as it is not based on strength or size. Once you learn how to take Ukemi, you are all set.

I started the martial arts when I was 20...

ilia rudnitskiy
02-20-2010, 01:40 PM
I started Aikido when I was 6. I am 19 now, and I practiced Aikikai all this time with about a year of Yoshinkan in 2000-2001

mari
02-23-2010, 10:47 AM
I began when I was 7 and I am now 63 and have enjoyed every minute of aikido.

Wow! That's impressive!

ramenboy
02-23-2010, 03:18 PM
Wow! That's impressive!

and how old were Y0U when you started?

mari
02-23-2010, 04:17 PM
and how old were Y0U when you started?

18 or 19. Young and full of hopes :D thank you for asking! how about you?

ramenboy
02-23-2010, 04:21 PM
18 or 19. Young and full of hopes :D thank you for asking! how about you?

27 :P of course

Rayleen Dehmke
02-23-2010, 04:59 PM
Just started at 41, and lovin' it :)

bulevardi
03-12-2010, 03:56 AM
Started at 6, until I was 11, then I stopped...
Now I'm 26 and re-started again with a transparant belt :)
Got to get my white one back again.. forgot lots of the basics and techniques.

David S
03-29-2010, 11:12 AM
Just started, age 45

Christine Morris
03-30-2010, 10:30 AM
Started training at 40.

(About 9 years after this thread began!) ;)

Michael Vlug
03-31-2010, 06:04 AM
Trained for about 6 months when I was 20 or 21. Started training again last year, aged 30...

brian donohoe
03-31-2010, 03:59 PM
I started when I was 17. I'm 37 this month. I love doing Aikido as much now as I did then.

It's just so much flip'n fun.

Brian

Anne-Marieke van Rooij
05-11-2010, 04:08 PM
Just started, 49. :cool:

kyu mg
07-02-2011, 10:38 AM
Started a couple of weeks ago....58

Diana Frese
07-02-2011, 12:17 PM
Good questions always appear again, like perennial flowers in the spring and summer! Nice to see the "new faces".....

sorry about the poetic similes and metaphors... I think I will ask my husband for a nice nikyo so I will stop daydreaming.

Oh yes, about 22, I had a couple of years of judo at college and the teacher's cousin who was teaching downtown where Linda, a friend of mine and I also attended taught about three months of Aikido before we graduated. In November, of that year found dojo in NY, stayed for about seven years, stayed in Japan for a year and a half after a three week tour, came home to CT and the local Y's new building were looking for new classes.... taught there for almost eight years.... then complications set in, job change, non training related knee injury, marriage etc. (Met my husband at the Y in 1980:))

Did a little practice since 1980's but not much. We're trying to get back into it now, at 67 (me) and 55 (him). This thread has a good subtopic -- when you started and when you restarted :D

guest1234567
07-02-2011, 02:14 PM
I started with almost 47, and it was just the right moment!

amoeba
07-04-2011, 05:57 AM
I started when I was 15 and for me that was great - old enough not to be distracted by puberty (as I was probably already in the middle of it when I decided to start...:D ), still young enogh to enjoy the fun of youth training...;)

aikidoka81
03-14-2012, 11:52 PM
I began at 19, learnt for a year then stopped due to studies. Then I started learning 10 years later.
I've learnt for about one year now and am enjoying it :)

Terence Phan
03-15-2012, 12:16 AM
Hi, I trained from age 5 to 9, then age 18 to present (27).

robin_jet_alt
03-15-2012, 05:47 PM
Started at 19 and I'm about to turn 31. Over that time I've trained in 4 styles at 5 dojos in 2 countries. With that in mind, I should probably be better than I am.

Rob Watson
03-15-2012, 06:55 PM
20 years ago when I were only 26. One of these days I'll get it right.

3 teachers all of different lineage only adds to my confusion.

sakumeikan
03-15-2012, 08:09 PM
Hi,
Started Judo at 16, Dan Grade at 18/19. Started Aikido age 28/29. Now 73 years old.Guess I am too dumb to quit and start relaxing in my comfy armchair, feet up, wearing my old carpet slippers clutching a pint of ale in one hand and a Mars bar in the other .Gee, must get the old gal to raid the fridge and bring me a cold beer. Cheers, Joe

PhilMyKi
03-16-2012, 07:09 AM
Dabbled with martial arts from 10 - 15, took kickboxing a bit more seriously from then until 22 - got quite good and had a small stable of fighters at the uni club. Whilst at uni I was intoduced to, what was sold as aikido, so did that for three years. Graduated, made some life choices that took me away from it all. Then one day I googled aikido whilst at work, found a club, it then took eighteen months for me to take the plunge - funny how easy it is to talk yourself out of things :)

Then on one warm spring evening at 26 years old I turned up and have not stopped turning up since. With all the ups and down I am still having a blast and hope it may long continue.

Yianie
03-16-2012, 09:28 PM
Ok, I'm 52 years old and just started. Is there any hope?

Diana Frese
03-16-2012, 10:20 PM
just clicked on to the last page of this thread from the active topics list and had to mention one or two students at NY Aikikai when I was there started at age sixty.... they enjoyed it. My former student just made nidan at age sixty and enjoys Aikido even more than she did before. It just gets better and better...

Diana Frese
03-16-2012, 10:33 PM
confession:just turned 68 this week, been out of practice too long.

Was at NY Aikikai in the late sixties and early seventies when I was in my twenties, then moved back home after a year and a half in Japan, taught about 8 years at local Y here, visiting NYAikikai from time to time.

Haven't practiced much since mid nineteen eighties but you guys have got my feet alternating between gardening shoes, carpet slippers, going downtown shoes , and zories with a bit more arch support than flip flops. Next it will be bare feet. On the lawn with hubbie practicing nikyo and yonkyo and all the rest. Too bad to have stopped but often other stuff in life takes over, but then we remember....Aikido!

Janet Rosen
03-16-2012, 10:50 PM
Hi,
Started Judo at 16, Dan Grade at 18/19. Started Aikido age 28/29. Now 73 years old.Guess I am too dumb to quit and start relaxing in my comfy armchair, feet up, wearing my old carpet slippers clutching a pint of ale in one hand and a Mars bar in the other .Gee, must get the old gal to raid the fridge and bring me a cold beer. Cheers, Joe

Joe, one of my favorite dojos to visit has chief instructor w/ a few years on you; he can't do the rolling and falling but still getting to seminars, learning and developing along w/ everybody else w/ a twinkle in his eye.

I started at 41, now 57 and chugging along...

Janet Rosen
03-16-2012, 10:51 PM
Ok, I'm 52 years old and just started. Is there any hope?

"Don't quit. Don't die." :D see the recently started thread of a blog post by a pastor talking about Mary Stein, still training in her 80s.

Linda Eskin
03-17-2012, 12:18 AM
Ok, I'm 52 years old and just started. Is there any hope?

Absolutely. I started at 46. 49 now, and training 5x/week, 2 hours +/- each time. :D

We have several people at our dojo who started when they retired (60-65). Last year one of them, who started at 65, tested for shodan. He's 73 now, and still enjoying training.

Welcome, and have fun. :-)

GB-UK
03-17-2012, 08:21 AM
Did a taster course about 10 years ago but didn't continue, then about a year ago took a few more classes but gave up again mainly as it was agitating some old injuries. Been back training again since the end of February and loving it again! Although I'm missing a seminar today and class on Monday as I twisted my bad knee last Monday and have some soft tissue damage :eek:

Mark Harrington
03-27-2012, 09:36 PM
Started at 49. Will be 55 this summer.

lars beyer
03-27-2012, 09:59 PM
Hi, started when I was 34, my sister started when she was 46, she is 3 kyu and she is good.

Noreaster
04-09-2012, 03:13 PM
Hi, I just started at 40 years of age and looking forward to the journey.........

JuniorB
04-10-2012, 05:02 AM
Started this past January at 38. So far so good.

jimbaker
04-10-2012, 03:33 PM
I started at 22 and I'm 60 this year. I have a couple of students who started in their 60s and who've started chanting "Shodan by 70!"

RuteMendes
04-13-2012, 01:23 PM
15 :P And I'm still 15 xD (i began 7 months ago hehe still a begginer ^^)

Mario Tobias
04-13-2012, 03:55 PM
Started at 20. Tried taekwondo, jujitsu, karate in earlier years but didn't know why I stuck with aikido all these years and keep coming back for more.

Tibokio
04-15-2012, 10:33 AM
Started at around 8. I'm 18 now.

michael mcvey
04-16-2012, 07:44 AM
The oldest 'beginner' student i have ever had was a 75 y/o woman who trained for around 3 classes and then apologized to me for deciding to start bicycling instead as Aikido was too boring.

Edgecrusher
05-03-2012, 03:46 PM
I was about 18 when I first began with Kung-Fu. After the glamor wore off and I lost interest it would be about ten years before I would step foot in dojo. So with Aikido, I was 28 and have not looked back.