View Full Version : Looking for guidence...

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08-18-2002, 05:41 PM
My name is Kyle Krysik, age 17, and I live in North-Eastern Pennsylvania. As of late, I have begun to develope an interest in many things related to many fighting arts, and such. I have always wished to be as a scollarly-warrior-monk-type, as I have always been intellectual, caring about science philosophy and such, yet i have likewise always felt the pull of wariorism. These are my numerous faces. I have taken a particular interest to Aikido, and have pursued information in it to the extent that i wish to train. However, i live in an area in which i know of no place in which i could do this, and i have looked. so far i have bought and read books and searched the internet. My other high interest as far as these thigns go is Swordsmanship, which i am in the same situation with. I need some guidence here... I would like some responses on what i could do with myself. I've thought that in a few years when I enter college I'll be able to find training sources in those locations or near by. However, I would like some opinions on what I should take up first, etc... and the main thing, what i should do until then. I've contemplated doing other small things to improve myself physically and gain certain skills and abilities with my body, such as Gymnastics. Of course, study through books and such is part of my plan right up until the time i can get some real training. So, please, i ask for information on how i shall prepare myself, or anything related.

Kevin Leavitt
08-18-2002, 09:53 PM
Sounds like you have already started!

No easy answers, but your search will be interesting to say the least.

One word of advice...enjoy the journey and don't over analyze it too much.

Your lucky that you seem to be at 17 where I was around age 26! so you are doing good!

There should be some decent dojos somewhere near you. Where do you live in PA?

08-18-2002, 10:17 PM
A good advice is not to carry a big baggage when finding a teacher. I want this but I don't want that kinda attitude is not good either.

I wish I had done acrobatics when I was younger. The flexibility, balance and strength training that it'll teach you would have been great for all sorts of things. Maybe you'll fare better with gymnastics though.

As for the scholarly-monk-warrior type, hmmm dual classing would require you to gain more experience points to level up. Triple classing would have you leveling up at a third of the normal rate. Furthermore, by not specialising, humans do not have the time nor overall attributes to advance to mastery level in any class. Better try specialising if you want to reach demi-God level at least. :P

08-19-2002, 01:24 AM
Hi Kyle,

One of the better things you can do is to work on the simpler stuff: Run, lift weights, work on your flexibility, or anything else that gets you in better physical condition. Having some speed and athletism never hurts.

At 17, you have the luxury of finding out more about your own body and how hard you can push it. I wish I did a lot more of that at your age. Happy training.


Bruce Baker
08-19-2002, 07:37 AM
The myriad of places to go, things to do, and what you can actually accomplish is probably a swirl of reality and dreams at this stage of life.

The sage advice is to try everything, practice with caution, and realize that your life will change as you grow older.

My advice is to continue to read and learn, get a firm basis in Karate, Judo, Jujitsu, and Aikido. Sounds like a lot, but it is not as hard as it sounds.

Most good Karate schools will take into account for basic judo and jujitsu training, which will make practicing Aikido a joy instead of a task.

I was looking at my children who are turning 20 and 21, and I recounted how I had already been in and out of the military by twenty one.

If you are looking for an answer for a guru/ psychic that can guide your life, that is not the way to go.

If you stay out of trouble, pursue life with a good attitude, learning from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, then you will meet the basic cryteria for success because your ultimate goals for succes will be available.

Try everything as far as looking to get information that will make your decision, eat right, moderate exercise, read, and stay out of trouble. Remember ... there is no one martial art that will protect you, but for the next ten to fifteen years you will be in the prime of your physical life.

Also, Aikido has a lot of older people who seem to be in pretty good shape for older practitioners ... something to look forward to.

08-19-2002, 08:15 AM

I live in Montgomery PA, just outside of Williamsport. Through my research i've found no place that covers Aikido.

Kevin Leavitt
08-19-2002, 09:25 AM
I assume you have looked at the dojo search database on this website?

Sorry I do not know of anyone off hand in your area!

Ray Kissane
08-19-2002, 10:55 AM

You should post what town you are in. There maybe a dojo closer than you think but if you do not post the town then no one here can help you locate a dojo. I know in my style we have a couple dojo's close to North-Eastern Pennsylvania in New York depending on your location. I am sure there are other styles that may be close also but we need to know where you are located in order to may a recommendation.


08-19-2002, 11:25 AM
So, please, i ask for information on how i shall prepare myself, or anything related.
I'd suggest beginning with an art which will teach you how to fall. I think aikido is second to none in this. In judo, the falls aren't as controlled whereas in aikido, you usually fall by yourself.

(I began with karate, loved it, but could have saved myself 10 years of discomfort had I know simply to duck my head and take a fall on my back rather than my shoulder.)

After you know how to fall, the main concern is finding good teachers. If you want aikido but the better teacher is in Wing Chung, go with the teacher. You'll be able to make up for cool techniques later, but fundamentals are where its at and for that, the teacher is important.

For the scholarly part, several books define the terms of MA:

Donn Draeger's trilogy on Bujutsu and Budo. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0834803518/qid=1029777552/sr=1-11/ref=sr_1_11/102-6108358-8277767)

Suzuki Daisetsu on the Zen background: Zen in Japanese Culture (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0691017700/qid=1029777639/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/102-6108358-8277767)

Karl Friday for general background (and critical commentary on the OVERemphasis on Zen in MA commentaries ala Draeger, Suzuki, et al.) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0824818792/qid=1029777715/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-6108358-8277767)

Saotome Mitsugi's is the finest explanation of aikido practice and philosophy available in English (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/102-6108358-8277767)

A subscription to www.aikidojournal.com (about $30/year) is sine qua non for history and background in aikido.

08-19-2002, 02:57 PM
Hey Kyle,

If Bethlehem (just north of Allentown) is not too far for you to travel, you are welcome at our Dojo. Some of our members drive an hour or more to class. Next week, when I move to Philadelphia, I will commute more than an hour to class.

At the very leastI reccommend you coming for a class or two. Please let me know if you are interested. Classes are M+Thur. 8-10 pm.

I would be happy to advise you on a practice regiment that would prepare you for training nicely as well as answer any questions that you might have.

Good Luck,


08-19-2002, 08:41 PM
I did Tae Kwon Do for 4 years before I discovered Aikido, and although I feel it is almost the exact opposite of Aikido in many ways, it was great and REALLY helped me aquire some physical skill in my beginning months of Aikido.

I think if you want to accelerate your learning in your future Aikido dojo, you should do something (like you mentioned, gymnastics might help) that teaches you about moving your body. You really will get the upshot of your time and money investment when you start aikido and begin to learn really quickly!

I would wholeheartedly recommend Tae Kwon Do to anyone who wants to learn about martial arts, especially someone who wants to increase the depth of their future aikido study while they wait for the time when they can begin practice.

--Jonathan Wong

08-20-2002, 08:34 AM
Montgomery, PA, that's where i live. It's a small town Outside of Williamsport, all in Lycoming county. If anyone knows of anything close, they should share by all means.

08-20-2002, 08:50 AM
I did do a search on the database, and came up with one that's 64 miles away (wasn't yours Sieger, so that must be outside the max search radius) which is quite a distance for someone with no means of getting there. There is why we need to focus more on public transportation, this freedom driving system is really starting to bother me. There would be no problem if i culd drive there myself, i wuld, I'd even drive to Bethlehem if it were better, but you see, i'm not getting a driver's licence. I have poor eyesight due to a genetic disease, and would therefore have to fight for my right to drive at all, and would only be able to in daylight i'm sure. However, i've simply chosen to not try. (I despise internal-combustin automobiles, and our whole system of using them.) I just can't ask someone to take me that far either, so i'm stuck. i knew there would be a Dojo or two in that kind of radius to me, but i also knew i couldn't get there. This is my reasoning for looking for advice on things to do until i can take classes.

08-23-2002, 04:05 AM
However, i've simply chosen to not try. (I despise internal-combustin automobiles, and our whole system of using them.)
Cheers! I commend you sir. Sorry for the off-topic post but I sincerely hope you soon find your way to a metropolitan area that allows and supports non-car use.

One of my favorite reasons for recently leaving San Diego to move to San Francisco is what I quoted above. To make things even better, there are more dojos than you could know what to do with!

Maybe I'll see you soon, if you go to school here or something.. we can ride in Critical Mass..

--Jonathan Wong