View Full Version : age, length of practice, and aikido

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12-13-2002, 12:42 PM
Hi folks,

Have a quesiton for those of you who've practiced for a while - how old were you when you first started training in aikido, and how long have you been training? Have you noticed any changes in you aikido itself throughout your training history? when you first started while young(er), your mid-point (reltive to now) and now?

12-13-2002, 01:50 PM
I started when I was 21, and am now 41. Other than a few years break, I have been steadily practing all along. The biggest differences I notice are with my body, which doesn't recover as easily as it used to, however my ukemi is better now and I don't hurt as much from that. My aikido, like I am sure is most peoples, evolves, changes, sometimes better, sometimes worse, is a work in progress. I hope to be able to still do this when I am in my 80's!

12-14-2002, 10:26 AM
I started training in Aikido when I was 44, 8 years ago. A great journey. Now, I am older and humbler.

Until again,


Bruce Baker
12-15-2002, 05:38 PM
I came to the dance late too, summer of '97 at about 44 too. The big challenge for me is not learning Aikido, but actually being physically able to do the practice.

I wish I had taken up an offer to go to Japan in the 1960s, but that is retrospect to what we do today. There have been very few changes in Aikido, from when I first heard about it in the 1970s and Y. Yamada had a student in my neighbor hood who commuted to NY to train, to what we do today. Very little evolution beyond the original practice.

This is the first time I have talked about this little tidbit, but then the 1970s were the days of Bruce Lee, and the Television series "Kung Fu."

From what I see, in my short time, is that the strict martial training that was sometimes simular to bootcamp style training is very rare these days, and many aging teachers have become more gentle, even though you wouldn't think so if you were uke for them.

The shihan smile more, are more relaxed, and so this translates into more relaxed practitioners, more relaxed classes.

What is happening more and more in the USA is that there is more knowledge being explained in classes instead of "...Just do this" for explanations of how you can learn details for each movement, or at least think you have a goal to reach rather than mimic movements in hopes of finding the answers.

Maybe that is too much.

Get you butt to class, take notes, and see where you are today, next month, next year, and record in writing what you think.

Self evaluation is always much harsher than someone else telling you what you think, or was that the point of this exersize?

Jim ashby
12-16-2002, 07:53 AM
I'm 42 and started my Aikido practice when I was 30. It,s a long road, every time I think I have arrived,it's just another waypoint. I am certain I'll be practicing till I die.

Have fun.

Nathan Pereira
12-16-2002, 08:32 AM
From what I see, in my short time, is that the strict martial training that was sometimes simular to bootcamp style training is very rare these days, and many aging teachers have become more gentle, even though you wouldn't think so if you were uke for them..


I have to agree with you again here [this time I liked your delivery]:)

I use to dread turning up to training as it was so physically hard. I couldn't understand what this had to do with martial arts let alone Aikido, even a so called hard style.

It is only now that I appreciate all that this taught me. It was not a good way to hold onto students as it was just so hard. More left than stayed. I just always felt it must have a purpose and now I know it did. I think that many Aikidoka think they are above this kind of training and it should be left to the other MA's. It is a problem throughout MA's but in particular Aikido as people just want to learn the good stuff and not drill endlessly in the basics. I fear that those days are mainly gone and it is a sad thing for Aikido.



12-16-2002, 09:51 AM
I started aikido in 1985 at 18, still training today, so I've been training a total of 16 years so far (had a break for a year)

Main change in aikido style was due to a change in association brought about by moving towns (my old lot didn't exist in London). Started with aikiki (if there's no pain, it's not a technique) for about 6 years, then changed over to Ki aikido. It took me about a year to learn to lift my feet and stop imposing technique etc. for the Ki aikido and (from my one abortive attempt) it would probably take me another year or so to "stop dancing" now.

Other than that, only changes I've noticed are a bit more creaky about the knees and neck but my wrists and shoulders are much more flexible. As for the aikido... still don't know if I've learned anything yet.

I haven't noticed an appreciable difference in those practicing except that the average age is older, but the gung-ho/spiritual mix seems the same. However, the Ki style does seem to attract some real wierdos from time to time (a hippy sociopath was really strange).