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Bud
12-12-2002, 11:04 PM
This question is for everyone but I'd like to know what the yudansha among you feel about this:

There's a good chance that I'll have to move to an area 2 to 3 hrs. away from the nearest dojo for work. Traveling to and from work to the nearest dojo can be a hassle. So I'm looking at having training time cut from 3 times a week (weekdays), to weekends only. But I'd like to spend my weekends with my family so I might just have a class in a saturday and another class on sunday (if I can find one).

Is this sufficient time to maintain my skills (currently a shodan, 10 yrs of practice total), much less improve on them?

Is there a way for me to effectively train on my own ?

rachmass
12-13-2002, 07:13 AM
It is better than nothing! What about the weekend practice, and finding some folks to practice with in your area once or twice a week during the week days?

I find that a bear minimum of twice a week "maintains" but certainly does not improve my aikido. I find four classes a week optimal for my practice, plus the occasional seminar.

Best wishes on this.

L. Camejo
12-13-2002, 07:40 AM
The rule for myself and anyone else in our dojo is to train as much as sanely possible.

If one can't make it to a class, set aside 2 hours (avg. class time), at least three times a week and go through intensive bokken, jo and basics (ukemi as well if you have a mattress or mats available).

Regardless of how high we go in ranking/training, the basics will still apply. In my view, an adept at aikido is merely an adept at the basic principles.

As a shodan, I think 10 hours total training a week should at least maintain the status quo and solidify your hold on the basics.

Even if you don't have a warm body to practice on, one can do much of Aikido without having an uke present. The next time you get an uke however, be sure to feel the difference in the technique when someone is actually attacking you. I used this system to practice for my Shodan grading (supplemented with 2 weeks intensive training when my Sensei arrived). Was one of the best training times I ever experienced. The only thing that may suffer from solo practice may be one's timing.

Hope this helps.

L.C.:ai::ki:

Thalib
12-13-2002, 09:38 AM
Every day, every time...

Training is not only in the dojo, but in everyday life.

There is a story,
During dinner time, a sensei asked his three students how many times do they practice a week. One said twice a week, another said three times a week, the other said five times a week. The sensei said, while eating, "Oh, is that all. I practice everytime. In fact, I am practicing right now."
Many people train at the dojo a lot of times, but as soon as they leave, everything is left in the dojo. Aikido must be applied and practiced in everyday life, everytime, in order to understand Aikido better.

MikeE
12-13-2002, 10:09 AM
If it suits you, you may wish to ask your Sensei if you could start a shibu (study group) where you are at. Then you probably could get all the training you need, plus, start gaining valuable teaching experience.

opherdonchin
12-13-2002, 10:11 AM
I've seen so many different things that I find it hard to lay down hard and fast rules. I've heard the rule that twice a week is minimum for maintenance and four times a week is minimum for real improvement, I find that this is true for me to a certain extent.

On the other hand, I've also found that periods in which I'm away from the dojo or getting to practice less have been beneficial in terms of achieving perspective and learning to see aikido in different parts of my life. Sometimes, it's less about what you do than about how you approach it.

And, one final comment, perhaps you could consider adding one class a week of something other than AiKiDo that is closer to home. For instance, I've found that yoga, tai chi and dance have all (at different periods) complemented my AiKiDo in important ways. It's not that AiKiDo can't be enough on it's own, but if it's hard to get to a dojo and easy to find a yoga class, then that might be worth exploring.

PeterR
12-13-2002, 11:55 PM
With 10 years experience forget the study group, open a dojo. I am sure your sensei understands the problem and will offer support.

By the way I am in a very similar situation. I went to my teacher to ask for appropriate training nearer to where I lived and ended up opening a club (link below) and doing Judo. Both are helping my Aikido.

I still of course make the journey to Honbu regularily.

When I started looking around I had all sorts of limitations. I wanted mats, I wanted location, I wanted pretty students ;) Then I find out that when Shihan started several clubs that mats were a luxury they did not have. Still don't rush in - a bit of care is a good thing.
This question is for everyone but I'd like to know what the yudansha among you feel about this:

There's a good chance that I'll have to move to an area 2 to 3 hrs. away from the nearest dojo for work. Traveling to and from work to the nearest dojo can be a hassle. So I'm looking at having training time cut from 3 times a week (weekdays), to weekends only. But I'd like to spend my weekends with my family so I might just have a class in a saturday and another class on sunday (if I can find one).

Is this sufficient time to maintain my skills (currently a shodan, 10 yrs of practice total), much less improve on them?

Is there a way for me to effectively train on my own ?

Bud
12-14-2002, 02:43 AM
With 10 years experience forget the study group, open a dojo. I am sure your sensei understands the problem and will offer support.
Actually, this was suggested by the others in our organization. I have some experience teaching; I was asked to handle a scheduled class for a few months in my old dojo. But I also realize that at this point my my life I really enjoy practicing more than teaching.

I consider establishing a dojo as a huge commitment. Purchasing the mats, getting people interested, teaching students and creating a cadre of suitable assistant instructors to help with classes, etc. That's a good 5 years of solid hard work and I'm not sure if I'll be working in the same area for what long.

PeterR
12-14-2002, 02:58 AM
I consider establishing a dojo as a huge commitment. Purchasing the mats, getting people interested, teaching students and creating a cadre of suitable assistant instructors to help with classes, etc. That's a good 5 years of solid hard work and I'm not sure if I'll be working in the same area for what long.
Like I alluded to in my previous post - its easy to set up barriers. I have just opened my second club - I don't know how long I'll be here and the same was true of my club in Quebec. I grabbed friends and dragged them along - with a small group of enthusiasts its amazing how fast they can turn into viable training partners.

When I talk about opening a club/dojo I don't mean do the whole nine yards. These things will never magically appear anyway. Treat it as a bunch of friends working out. Go to Judo clubs or other sports clubs and borrow some space. One of my friends ended up using an area of a woman's gymnastic club. A little distracting but survivable.

I teach to train. Running out the door to go to Judo.

Bruce Baker
12-14-2002, 06:29 AM
My personal situation restricts training practice to either one or two days a week, and that would seem to be the absolute minimum needed not to fall in terribly bad habits or lose what skills you have already gained.

On the other hand, not training four or five days a week has enlightened me to the prospect of having life beyond Aikido. That is to say, when you have do other things besides Aikido how will you balance a normal life that can not have Aikido?

There are people who insist that constant training in the physical sense is the only way to advance your skills, and this may be true for some people, but not all people.

So, even though you cannot train with others, maybe there is something else you should be doing than going to class every day?

Think about that ... it might open your eyes to some alternatives beyond normal aikido class?

Judd
12-18-2002, 10:39 AM
I've had the experience lately of training 5 days a week (about 10 hours total), and it seems, for me anyway, that I can't focus or digest material nearly as well when taking so many classes consecutively. Two or three days in a row, a day off then at it again seems to work best for me. :)

TomE
12-18-2002, 04:36 PM
Agreed. It's often better to take it easy (well, y'all know what I mean ;), my English is failing me a bit here) and give everything the chance to sink in.

FWIW: I'm not a yudansha (yet...) and I only take two classes a week (total 4 hours) because that's the maximum we can currently rent our dojo for. I also try to do solo exercises at home whenever I get the chance, or whenever I feel like it.

But as soon as we can do three weekly classes, I'll take three.

Bronson
12-18-2002, 07:18 PM
I've had the experience lately of training 5 days a week (about 10 hours total), and it seems, for me anyway, that I can't focus or digest material nearly as well when taking so many classes consecutively.

Same here. I've done stretches where I was on the mat 7 days a week. I came very close to burning out and just quitting. I find that for me I actually need to limit my mat time. I find I absorb more and can keep my attention focused better if I keep to about two/three classes a week as a student, and two/three a week as an instructor.

Of course that's just me :D

Bronson

SeiserL
12-19-2002, 09:48 AM
IMHO, when you train, train. A lot of people have a lot of hours on the mat without a lot of time training. Do what you can. Supplement.

Until again,

Lynn

Paula Lydon
01-04-2003, 04:24 PM
~~Train when you can at class and maintain all the principles in daily life and I believe you will at least maintain and even improve over time. You've put in enough time to let your mind keep training you even though you're not wearing a hakama and throwing someone. It works if you keep focus and concentration, always working in the back of your mind. The brain is a wondrous thing! Good luck and let us all know how it works out for you!

siwilson
01-04-2003, 05:45 PM
2 years ago I moved with work from the East Midlands in England to Central Germany. There are no weekends back home or any easy trips back.

I went to all the seminars back home, I went to our Hombu for the Shudokan in Seremban, Malaysia for 3 weeks, I trained any Aikido I could find, plus any other martial art. My bokken and Jo hardly rested, I found mats and flipped myself around, I wore down my carpets doing Kihon Dosa, then I started a dojo...

I had no idea how long I would be staying here, possibly 6 years, but also possibly only 2! I had to look at it that I was introducing people to Aikido. From there, it the classes end they will go on training something if it is important to them.

Actually, it looks like we are going back in a few months...

If you don't want to start classes then I would suggest Jujutsu and/or Hapkido. Anything to keep training. Although it may be a different martial art, approach it from the perspective of Aikido, that way, even if you are striking, grapling, stretching, vacuuming the house, it is all Aikido.

Best wishes and good luck.