View Full Version : Why did you quit?

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03-02-2003, 05:39 AM
Do we have some ex-aikido practitioners here, who still lurk and maybe even post on boards like this?

Why did you quit?

03-02-2003, 09:59 AM
interesting thread to start..

haven't quit, though have begun the mental process. i think we all go through it with our training, these apathetical bouts-- but the big Q (quitting) is different.

i have practiced aikido religiously for about 8 years, with a gap in practice where i tried out some chinese systems. have had the good and bad fortune to study with 4 vastly different styles of aikido-- all resulting from cross-country relocation; it is worth noting, that each time, i essentially started over.

it is just finally getting to the point (with this last move) that i am mentally struggling with the effort to "relearn" a new style. i think we have all learned thirty variations on each technique... it becomes hard to be told that what you know is not right, or "the way we do it here". prior affiliations kind of hang like a dark cloud that has to be disproven.

probably just another phase-- we all know the enormous benefits we get from all this, despite petty headaches like this one.

03-02-2003, 10:12 AM
Dear anonymous,

Your frustration (this is what I am reading in your post) of constantly starting over, and being told that you are doing things wrong, is totally understandable. It is very hard to switch styles once you have been training any significant length of time (and 8 years is significant enough to have the movements in your muscle memory). Sometimes it is precisely at these times of frustration and wanting to quit, that we are actually learning a tremendous amount, and it can be really advantageous to push through. On the otherhand, if you find the school that you are training at unaccepting of your previous training, you might be wise to look around for other dojos. Aikido is aikido, and although there are great variations within the styles (and even within the same organizations), your experience is valid. Some teachers want nothing but consistency, others are much more tolerant of differences.

As you said in your last sentance though, it is probably just another phase. Best wishes in sticking through it!

03-04-2003, 03:02 PM
I started training at a Y center dojo that was a satelitte of my sensei's main dojo. The Y center started our aikido program in 1991 and ran all year round until January of this year when we turned it over to another instructor/style.

After 11 years the program saw a lot of people come and go. More left than stayed. Actually now that I think about it I am the only person from our style that trained in the Y center program that still trains on a regular basis. We still have occasional visits from past students but nothing that could be considered regular training.

Boy, that's really a little depressing. Out of all the people that came through the doors only one remained :straightf


03-04-2003, 08:26 PM
I know this doesn't really fit here, but in reference to training in different styles. In Tainan, Taiwan dojo they have four sensei, and each one seems to have a distinct style. I find it difficult to follow sometimes because while one will show a technique one way the other will come around and say(in the best english they can),"no no no.."



03-19-2003, 04:23 PM
I quit because I didn't want to make enough room in my life for mastering aikido (or even trying) and felt very strongly about it and didn't want to be a novice or a dabbler because that didn't suit how strongly I felt about doing aikido. I am bringing that powerful set of feelings into parts of my life that I can commit fully to and attempt to master, and it feels good.

... oh, and I don't lurk here regularly. I am just waiting for an appointment in front of a computer and have already read my horoscope and checked out the onion. Nice thread though. Glad I caught it.

03-20-2003, 03:49 AM
I quit because I didn't want to make enough room in my life for mastering aikido (or even trying) and felt very strongly about it and didn't want to be a novice or a dabbler because that didn't suit how strongly I felt about doing aikido. I am bringing that powerful set of feelings into parts of my life that I can commit fully to and attempt to master, and it feels good.
I quit some years ago for different reasons - the above one of them. Now I'm back, and though I have to divide my time between many important things suchs as work, my kids and Aikido, I still wouldn't miss it for the world. So I'm no new passionated master-to-be with nothing else in my life but practice, practice, practice. Who cares, as long as I benefit in many ways from doing this and enjoy myself in the proces ? Don't dismiss Aikido just because you have other important matters in life. Find a suitable balance and be the best you can be. Giving up things you want, but don't need builds character. Giving up on things you don't want to live without is against your nature, and therefore wrong.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

Another Unregistered
03-20-2003, 05:31 AM
Well, FWIW I lasted just under a year at the club I was with. While I could see that aikido could be made to work, I couldn't make it work. I looked at higher ranking students who couldn't do proper breakfalls, at the black belt who tripped over and broke his nose (a pavement took his balance) and the general level of proficiency and couldn't help but wonder how they had got so far. But more importantly, I wondered what I missing. Would I, after 4 years, still be making 'newbie' mistakes?

Also, having a few years experience in another MA probably didn't help, I had a hard time adapting to the 'happy-clappy' skipping around holding hands style.

I don't want to write off aikido altogether, but after a long search, I can't find another dogo in the area that I can get to after getting home from work. If I ever do, then I'll happily start again.

03-20-2003, 06:16 AM
Hi Anonymous -

I too have travelled around and not trained at certain dojos even though I could have because the aikido was so poor.

I must admit, having started a dojo, it opened up a whole new world to me in aikido since teaching made me analyse what I did and why I did it, and since starting teaching I have actually changed myself enormously as I have realised that many things I had been taught without thinking about it weren't really that good.

The uchideschi all taught in seperate lessons, and they are obviously of different 'styles'. I think one large difficulty is understanding the 'aikido simulation'. i.e. no matter how you practise in the dojo it is not real - however if you are aware of the way in which you are simulating it and what you are really trying to teach your body you can make your responses effective. In many ways it is not what each technique is, or how it is done, but what you are visualisaing, and what you are trying to achieve. Similarly many dojos train in weapon work but never relate this to their unarmed practise - so the weapon work is of little benefit.

I've found Henry Kono Sensei (Canada) is a very interesting teacher as he has taught me how to blend more effectively and how to respond more immediately with an approriate technique without having to try and think ahead. However I don't completetly agree with what he teaches and really I just use it to improve my own aikido (and he has said himself, what he is teaching can be applied in any 'style' and they may not even realise you are doing it).

If you have been training a while, especially with different clubs, I think it is difficult because you want to develop yourself. I've heard Yamada sensei saying that he teaches a certain thing, but his students can train how they want - I think that is enlightened and many instructors should be aware that their students won't necessarily want to do it in exactly the same way.

Maybe if you want to start aikido again the only choice would be to find a sensei who you respect greatly and feel you have a lot to learn from.

03-20-2003, 06:18 AM
P.S. I try to encourage my students to train with many other instructors from different 'styles' since I want them to create an aikido which suits them. Also, I am starting a new teaching schedule where we start of with firm basics (quite static, lots of atemis) and get this ingrained, and then work increasingly towards blending. I think true blending isn't really that easy and what some people call blending is really uke compliance. To me that is a dangerous road to go down.

cindy perkins
03-21-2003, 11:14 AM
If I saw shoddy technique in advanced ranks, I'd quit, too. That's very discouraging. I hope you find someone you can respect and learn from!

My sensei tells us that we will never "be him," and that we will each develop our own style eventually; that said, we learn the basics the way he teaches them because we are not yet aware of exactly why each move is done the way it is and how we could change it effectively. I am just beginning to sense when I move right, when my center is in line and uke's balance just melts away. When I can consistently feel that "rightness," then I think I could play with different ways of doing things.

11-12-2004, 01:05 PM
I had been practicing in another country and found a dojo near my new home. I managed to hang on for app. 1 1/2 years. The sensei had a tendency to temper tantrums, and although he never treated me with the lack of respect he showed others, it was painful enough to witness him in humiliation mode towards other students. As I lost all respect for my sensei it was impossible for me to stay. I heard he moved on. I did too. Never really gave up on aikido, and recently (after four years) found new dojo that suits me a lot better. Discovered I had really, really missed it. Great to be back.

11-12-2004, 01:49 PM
The short answer is I simply didn't enjoy it anymore.

The long answer is not something I'm going to post on an internet forum, much less to someone "anonymous".



Thread starter
11-13-2004, 10:31 AM
The long answer is not something I'm going to post on an internet forum, much less to someone "anonymous".

Well well. Searching out an old thread just to say this? Whatever you write on the internet, will be read by a bunch on anonymists... of course you could just log out and write what eats your heart. Like I did.

It is some 18 months ago since I started this thread. I was unsure of where to go with my aikido. It turned out I left after 10 years of training, for reasons that were not really aikido specific. I left because I did not like my local aikido community, and now I do other stuff. If I moved, I am not sure if I would immediately head for the nearest dojo or if I would continue my current hobby that I find very rewarding...

but sure, I still read this boards so I guess I have not left completely. Not yet.

11-21-2004, 10:18 PM
Did anyone here leave due to moving because of military moves where there were no dojo's ?

11-22-2004, 07:51 AM
I left because Aikido in the US is a little too weird. Sensei with great technical skills but no self-control, too many Aiki flakes, or dojo that bring new meaning to the term mediocrity. The events that finally made me take a break from training were stranger than you can imagine and I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt.

In the meantime (about two years) I have learned quite a lot. If I had stayed in the cycle I was in I doubt that much of what I have discovered would have come my way. So in a sense I never left the Aikido world. Hopefully I will find a good place and get back into the groove.

11-22-2004, 09:16 AM
I wouldn't go so far as to say I quit, however after six or so years of intense training, the instructor I was training with started experiencing many injuries that prevented him from teaching on a consistent basis. By the way, the injuries were not training related. Much to their credit, the other instructors tried to resume his teaching duties however, it was obvious the level of instruction was not only significantly lower but also, in some areas of technique, it was completely different than what the head instructor was teaching. This I could not accept as it as ineffective as it was different.

Also, this particular "group" had plans regarding my development that was not compatible with my own. After much debate and many hours of fruitless conversation, I no longer felt comfortable training there. I took some time off and started training in another art. I don't believe I'm finished with Aikido however, but until I can find an Aikido environment that feels right, I'll continue to focus my energy on the second art form.

I do however miss the relationships and training experiences I had with the other students. It was a great atmosphere for learning and the camaraderie was fantastic. If only the other instructors shared the vision of the head instructor instead of trying to disseminate their own, often flawed, version of Aikido, I might still be training there today.