View Full Version : Why did you start doing aikido?

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07-11-2002, 06:39 AM
Personally, I started doing aikido because:

1) I have always had an interest in the more esoteric aspects of eastern philosophy and their aproach to health and welfare.

2) I needed to do something that ads meaning to my life, before starting aikido my life revolved around being bored at work and being bored at home and becoming tired of going to the same boring places with the same old crowd.

3) I felt the need to become more physically active and joining a plain old gym just would not cut it.

Please post the reasons you started doing Aikido. I am sure there are a lot more reasons than the usual "I wanted to break people's faces like Steven Seagal"

07-11-2002, 06:58 AM
Why Aikio?

Tis a good questions. Although the idea of breaking peoples faces is a nice one. It does not really keep you in the martial art. There has to be more to it to say on.

Aikido, (without sounding to arrogant) is a gentlemans art. It is refined and graceful, beautiful. It can be compassionate and deadly. Both fast and slow.

It has swords in it. Which a reason in its self.

It has great ideals and aspirations.

You can be any Sex, Age and Fittness.

It is modern, yet has the wisdom of ages.

It is great self defence and against one and many.

it incorpateds break falls and locks.

What more could one ask for?

Train Well

07-11-2002, 10:42 AM
I like to respond that I study martial arts because I don't golf. Something about the wind mills and clown faces that just seemed too difficult.

I had to evolve from the bashing arts before I could get my head around Aikido.

I study because I just like the work out and the people.

Why did I start? I like the way Aikido moves. I like its philosophy. I found a Dojo with a great schedule. I found a Sensei that keeps me humble. I found a home.

Until again,


07-11-2002, 02:00 PM
...It is always a pleasure to follow Lynn

Here is a snippet from my bio on one of our dojo's web pages:

...In 1989 I went to Japan to seek out a path of study of Asian culture and the martial arts. Upon my return from Japan I was introduced to Aikido, and immediately recognized that it was a synthesis of the highest levels of my previous martial, artistic and academic studies. I then began training at Steven Seagal's Aikido Tenshin Dojo under his main disciple and Chief Instructor, Haruo Matsuoka Sensei...

The truth is, I was once a kid with a really bad attitude. I had been in many street fights. The one that I had lost (me against ten guys, some with bats) had me realize that my mediocre TKD skills and severe attitude were not going to keep me from an early departure from this earth. I had been hearing stories from a friend who had lived in Japan. He was also on an ascetic path, having done the 40 temples in 40 nights walk of the monks on the island of Hokkaido, I believe. I valued his opinion, but couldn't believe his stories about O-Sensei. When I first saw Aikido, my almost ended life from a few years before, flashed in front of me. I understood at some root level that this was the doorway I had been searching for. I also understood that the level of personal mastery needed to accomplish what I was seeing was what I was really after. Yeah, it was all about completely controlling an opponent, dominating their mind, and body, being a bad-ass.

What I have grown to understand all these years later, mostly due to the influence of Seiseki Abe Sensei, is that there is a complete difference between a truly compassionate person (my teacher, Haruo Matsuoka Sensei, for example) and one who understands and must choose compassion at each turn, against his natural propensities. I espouse the latter of those two characteristics because it is my true nature to act in an opposite manner.

Aikido was an art that I sought out to be a bad-ass. It still is. However, where it once was about trying to impress others with my ability to control them, it now is about trying to impress myself with a growing ability to control me, and sincerely choosing to express compassion at each and every turn. I have a long way to go. Fortunately, aikido, being an art of mastering the breath, is one of those arts that I can practice until there are no more breaths left for me to take.


07-11-2002, 02:27 PM
I wanted to break people's faces like Steven Seagal.

07-11-2002, 03:48 PM
I was getting fat & needed some exercise!
:triangle: :circle: :square:

07-11-2002, 03:48 PM
I wanted to break people's faces like Steven Seagal.

You mean like the characters he plays in the movies, RIGHT...?

07-11-2002, 07:24 PM
I was forced into trying, at my school, Intro to Aikido was offered as a elective. It was the only class opposite the theater troop that I was in. So, if I did theater, I had to do Aikido. I have to say that I was very apprehensive and a little nervous about this class, I thought that I would hate it.
In the end, only about three of the fifteen students loved the class (although every one else was really looking forward to the class). After the semester (and the Aikido class) was over, I continued to study Aikido about three times a week, and really love it!

07-11-2002, 08:25 PM
Well I think aikido is something I can do for the rest of my life.

And, I can learn how to defend myself. And it is fun too.

:ai: :ki: :do:

07-11-2002, 10:00 PM
I was looking around for a way to get back into shape; thought of taking Karate or jiu-jitsu again. Then I looked at Aikido and was instantly hooked. Purely defensive, effective, and beautiful to watch - had to stay. :)

07-11-2002, 11:04 PM
From the moment I, as a seven year old, first watched David Carradine in the original T.V. series "Kung Fu" chop, punch, and kick redneck cowboys I have always wanted to be a martial artist. Eventually, I came across Aikido and it was a perfect fit. I am, in practicing Aikido now, living a childhood dream. And it is every bit as marvellous as I knew, so many years ago, it would be.

I can't tell you what, exactly, I initially found so attractive about being a martial artist. These days the biggest (though not the only) draw to training is the good dose of fun that it brings to my day. There's nothing like a good, hard training session full of smiles and laughter!

Onegai shimasu!

Katie Jennings
07-11-2002, 11:23 PM
My brother does tae Kwo Do. I was sick of getting beaten up by someone 2 years younger than me. evileyes

07-11-2002, 11:52 PM
I've had a bit of experience in other martial arts- Isshinryu Karate, Shinkendo (sword art), Judo, and most recently, Kuk Sool Won (like Hapkido/Jujitsu).

I'd been doing the Kuk Sool for about 3 1/2 years. I began to come to the realization that in 5 years I would basically be where I am at now. I might know more techniques and be more proficient in some, but I didn't see myself on a path that would lead beyond just physical proficiency in the art. Although I am young enough now that I can get by on the purely physical, and probably for the next twenty years, there's always someone bigger/stronger/dumber etc. I wanted to progress into strategy, for lack of a better word.

As I researched Aikido, I began to notice a consistency of strategy and philosophy. Karate and Kuk Sool were both of the inflict maximum pain/damage. I think this fails on a number of levels. As I said before, always someone out there who isn't going to respond to the pain. Additionally, a swift front kick to the groin accomplishes two things- 1, you've sucessfully ended the attack in all probability and 2, you've sucessfully set yourself up for a lawsuit in all probability.

Overall, I'm looking forward to my journey in Aikido.

07-12-2002, 12:24 AM
most martial arts are very violent and achieves the maximum amount of pain that the attacker has to handle...

I studied Aikido because I needed a new outlook on my life. I wasn't living it in harmony, being very conflict-oriented and aggressive in my ways. My anger has caused me lots of pain and also for others. I think that my attitude has changed since I first took Aikido. My ego and pride are still there but they are not my main constituents now.


07-12-2002, 12:55 AM
To get women. I thought it would impress the ladies. Also, one amazingly beautiful girl at my school did martial arts, so I figured that we would have something to talk about if I did too. Now THAT'S deep. Luckily, I've matured. And no, it hasn't helped me get girls.

07-12-2002, 07:21 AM
Cool clothes and you get to swing wood in an threatening manner. What more can I say? ;)

Now it's more of an addiction. If I go without practise for more than a week or two my body and soul hurts.

/Tobias Harms

Ps. you can meet girls in aikido and you can fall for them in more than one way :) Ds.

07-12-2002, 12:47 PM
I am sure there are a lot more reasons than the usual "I wanted to break people's faces like Steven Seagal"

Just occured to me that Steven Seagal is being mentioned quite often on these forums, rather negatively.

This guy is a 7 dan Shihan so I guess aikidoists must show more respect towards him.

I am not a fan of his movies, and have no idea about his style, but the first time I've heard about aikido, it was in one of his movies....

07-12-2002, 04:12 PM
I think that there is many reasons why people don't like Segal, but I belive that one reason is that they feel that he has "betrayed" aikido by not incoperate it enough in his movies.
From reading some bios it seems like he felt that aikido wouldn't sell enough movies. So his first movie(s) was with aikido but his later uses an other style. It's sad that he didn't try more to make it with aikido but it was his choice and people shoudln't judge his aikido from his movies.
/Tobias Harms

07-12-2002, 04:30 PM
I needed something to back up my big mouth :D

I haven't been around the boards for a while, but I'm sure some of you "old-timers" **cough Colleen** know what I'm talking about. :D

07-13-2002, 01:59 AM
I've done karate (Shotokan & Budokan) learned Tang Soo Do until I was a 1st Dan black belt (broke my uncle's arm during one regular sparring session...I was a white belt, he was already a black at that time) and gotten into various fights with the local toughs, always cos I didn't want to surrender my wallet to them.

I never lost a fight yet.

However, along the way, got married, had kids, stopped martial arts training and discovered that even though I'm physically fit from my other sporting activites, that I was one day, going to get my arm broken by some young upstart, IF I decided to take up Karate, TSD, TKD, fillintheblankhere...

Walked into a local rec centre. Saw Aikido in action for the first time, fell in love. REALLY applied myself, got my first rank in less than 6 months and came to the realisation that I wish I had learnt Aikido from the very beginning .... amazing martial art :-)


Robyn Johnson
07-13-2002, 12:50 PM
My reason for starting Aikido was 100% for the self defense. However, I've gotten a lot of other things out of it too. For instance, meeting new people, it's great exercise, and I've had a lot of fun and laughs in my dojo over the time I've been doing it! :cool:

Robyn :)

07-13-2002, 04:01 PM
I think that there is many reasons why people don't like Segal, but I belive that one reason is that they feel that he has "betrayed" aikido by not incoperate it enough in his movies.
From reading some bios it seems like he felt that aikido wouldn't sell enough movies. So his first movie(s) was with aikido but his later uses an other style. It's sad that he didn't try more to make it with aikido but it was his choice and people shoudln't judge his aikido from his movies.
/Tobias Harms

Only in his latest movie, Exit Wounds, he was forced by the fight choreographer to use wires and incorporate some flashier stuff which is not Aikido.

In his previous movies, what he does is pure Aikido. Every technique can be recognized and named.

Seagal's message is "that's what Aikido should look like APPLIED".

07-14-2002, 01:20 AM
Started by Aikido by chance, continued by choice. Sort of joined it dragged by a friend...now i'm still in and he's out... :)

07-14-2002, 06:00 AM
In his previous movies, what he does is pure Aikido. Every technique can be recognized and named.

Seagal's message is "that's what Aikido should look like APPLIED".

I somewhat disagree. The knife fighting scene in the end of Under Seige is in my limited knowledge not aikido. But it depends on what you mean by techinque. Clearly not every move he makes in his movies are aikido.
What I meant in my last post was that he doesn't use aikido that much in the later films.

07-15-2002, 04:44 AM
Okay, let met just set the record straight.

Steven Seagal might be a pretty darn good martial artist but his rank was inflated so that he could begin teaching in his Japanese dojo.

As an actor, the guy flat out sucks, who could not see the "taken to the bloodbank" line coming a mile away in "Hard to kill" (I think).

As a personality, I would not know. There has been many rumours of him beating his wife and being a bit of a sleaze around the "ladies" of hollywood.

I am not going to speak of him in tones of reverence and call him seagal sensei or in other ways try to be more japanese than the japanese.

But as far as my level of respect for him: more respect than for any pro-wrestler but less respect than for the Walken.

Infact, debating how much you should or should not think about some second rate actor in hollywood who happens to do the same martial art as you just feels awkward.

Why dont we talk about Sean Connery instead, apparently he does some Aikido in some of the earlier James Bond movies.

07-16-2002, 05:41 AM
I started aikido after I picked up a collge kid off the street who had been beaten up for laughs. I'm small so i went for the using te opponents force idea and I had read this book which made aikido sound totally awesome (The Bone People). I chose the dojo I started at because it had a really cool atmosphere.

I kept it up after I realised I wasn't going to become a supa dupa bare handed killer because I loved it - the flow, the feeling of ecstasy after a great lesson. And cause I'm totally obsessive.:freaky:

07-16-2002, 06:16 AM
Well i started Aikido because my friend was doing it (so much for willpower eh?) and basicaly he loved it said it was well kewl, i've done Karate before but couldnt get into that so when i had my first lesson i instantly loved it how to break this limb or smash this bone and oooh i didnt know you could fly, not to mention in my first lesson we did Yonkyo which really hurt but was really kewl, then i found out we get to use swords and staffs i was over the moon, my two favourate weapons!
when we were younger we used to play robin hood (as you do) running around the forrest making our own bows out of birch wood (i live in a birch wood called Birchwood)and tightly strung stringy stuffs, we would then make staffs and swords from the same material, many finger bashings later and we were quite good at it.
self style sword fighting, cant beat it. or at least me ;)
just got my bokken this weekend as we need it in class, i'm *really* looking forward to class.

but anyhoo thats why i joined cause my m8 said it was kewl and i trust him, and surprise, surprise he was right. (cought me offguard that one)

07-16-2002, 07:22 AM
Why Aikido ? you might call it pure luck.
After years for changing hobbies, which all started with great enthusiasm and eventually died silently, I started looking into martial arts.

I went to a Dojo near were I live, there I met Shian.
From the first sight of him - I almost run away shouting. :eek:
You see, he is a big man - physically speaking (and now I can honestly say - he is also a great man in all aspects). :)

Shian said they are teaching both seido-karate and Aikido.
I asked him the difference between these two,
so he called a student to come in the office and showed me 2 techniques how to disable an attacker, :dead:
then he asked me if I saw the difference. I said "sure" (it looked exactly the same...).

It was Monday, and Monday was Aikido class.
I stayed for a trial class. I couldn't stop ever since.
Might as well call it love... :D