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happysod
03-06-2003, 04:14 AM
A fairly common recurring theme in many threads is the subject of people quiting aikido, the problem of keeping students etc. which made me wonder - what reason(s) would the dedicated band (complete loons in skirts?) of aikiweb consider good enough to leave the "wonderful world of aikido"?

Off the top of my head, I can think of two main areas which would lead me to leaving aikido (for good).

1. Serious injury to myself
2. Seriously injurying someone else because of temper/other inappropriate emotions

(I nearly entered 3. no dojo nearby, but dojos seem to lurk under every rock these days..)

JJF
03-06-2003, 04:22 AM
I know of a very competent and dedicated aikidoka, who decided to stop practicing after around 25 years of practice. I guess he realised that life had passed him by and he needed to fill his life with another type of meaning than aikido. He took an education, got a job and we haven't seen him now for over a year. I guess it was the right thing for him, but I miss him both as an instructor and as a dojo-pal.

The thing is, I cant really answer your question, as I'm not quite sure I understand WHY he did it, but it proves that other reasons than those you mention can make people want to quit.

happysod
03-06-2003, 04:55 AM
Thanks Jørgen, but I didn't intend to mean my reasons to be definitive.

I was more interested in what people (such as yourself) could see as their own personal reasons for no longer practicing aikido. Apologies for the lack of clarity.

ian
03-06-2003, 06:44 AM
I think aikido can become an obsession if you are not careful, and then finally you can feel that you've lost your life outside aikido. In many ways I am more relaxed about my devotion to aikido and let the aikido approach seep into other activities rather than doing nothing but aikido.

Since aikido is a very personal thing and a 'path' I think it is very difficult for people who have trained for many years to give it up in the sense that it is always a a part of them and what they do.

I do know some senior grades that lost faith in the practicallity of aikido and went to do kick-boxing or something else. However after several years many of them came back to aikido with a much deeper understanding of its utility.

I did have periods in my training where I didn't do aikido due to no local dojo or due to the prohibitive costs of some dojos. Also some dojos I would not train in because they are not appropriate to my current state of development (one dojo I went to was really teaching jujitsu but they dressed it up as aikido, possibly thinking it would attract more people).

Lack of faith in its utility may be the only reason I would give up training - and since I have utilised it several times effectively I doubt if this really counts now.

Jim ashby
03-06-2003, 08:12 AM
Why would I quit? Death.

Have fun

bob_stra
03-06-2003, 09:13 AM
Abusive training partners at the only available dojo.

JJF
03-06-2003, 10:23 AM
Thanks Jørgen, but I didn't intend to mean my reasons to be definitive.
Hi Ian!

I know you didn't expect someone to challenge the 'completeness' of your list. Just got carried away a bit, since it is something I ponder on quite a bit. I really looked up to this guy and admired his dedication, so it left me in a bit of a 'void' when he decided to quit. Luckily I decided to keep going.

I think my point is, that we cannot imagine what will one day make us stop. If we know what will eventually convince us to stop training, then why go on ?
I was more interested in what people (such as yourself) could see as their own personal reasons for no longer practicing aikido. Apologies for the lack of clarity.
If I really have to guess, then I believe enough putting down by those I look up to would make me concider leaving. I thrive upon the occasional pat on the back and kind word, and I kind of wither a bit if I'm being corrected too much. Self-confidence issue - I know :( One of the things I hope will go away given time enough.

TomE
03-06-2003, 01:17 PM
2. Seriously injurying someone else because of temper/other inappropriate emotions
One might think that this is, in fact, a very good reason to continue training with even more dedication and correct an obvious flaw in one's character, instead of "chickening out" ;)

PhilJ
03-07-2003, 12:59 AM
Bob, love that reason. :) Very true.

Something made me take a long, rough "sabbatical" from aikido for several months (nearly a year), and I think people who around the dojo for awhile invariably have the problem too.

Crisis of faith. I hit a plateau of some kind, where my faith and belief in what I was doing fell to naught. This seems really common, some probably call it "burn out".

But, I worked around it and through it, and I'm still here. :) I couldn't ever leave my studies, they are now far too fascinating and challenging.

*Phil

happysod
03-07-2003, 03:33 AM
Thanks for all the answers, James may yours be a long way off. Phil, know the crisis of faith well. I've worked through two so far and I'm hoping I don't hit a third anytime soon.

Tom, can't agree with you, perhaps a deliberate attempt at being contentious? While I agree that aikido may be able to aid you in certain areas of character development, I don't see it as a very sharp tool for dealing with severe emotional problems.

If I, especially after the reasonable amount of time I've spent in aikido, found myself out of control, I'd prefer to show respect to others in the dojo by removing myself as a potential hazard than relying on them to adjust. I find aikido is actually a martial art, not a substitute for group therapy. "chickening out", as you so politely phrased it, would be expecting other dojo members to carry my emotional travails at risk of injury to themselves. I would prefer to take responsibility for my own actions.

Hanna B
03-07-2003, 05:03 AM
I did not imagine anything else than to continue practising aikido for the rest of my life... I have actually come to realise that it might not be so. This world of aikido has been so terribly important for a stretch of ears, maybe it is time to put priority on other things.

Kelly Allen
03-07-2003, 06:24 AM
:freaky: Need...Aikido...fix. Must...be...thrown. Must...feel...center.:do:

Joseph Huebner
03-07-2003, 10:09 AM
Quit? I just got started.

If I were made to feel unwelcome at a dojo, I would seek another. I would not totally give up Aikido. I am very fortunate that I have a great group to practice with, and teach me. A secondary cause would be incapacitating injury.

Like any activity involving a group, there's the potential to have one student/participant which may give newcomers and lower ranks a rough time. We can appreciate these folks for actually giving us exercises in restraint and understanding.

Joseph

Cyrijl
03-07-2003, 10:14 AM
i'll tell you why i quit. I could not get a decent answer for anything out of anybody. Everybody thought their aikido was invincible, but nobody wanted to show or teach me. The formality of aikido is what is going to kill aikido, it is highly artificial and does not adequately reflect the society in which it tries to fit. Many of the stringent characeristics of aikido come out of a certain japanese culture at a certain time. Its transfer to the world caused aikido to maintain a level of formality which has been loosened in many japanese dojo's. I have, and do question the practicality of aikido, but not in the technique, but in the way it is taught. I think many newcomers are treated as children and people with other backgrounds in other MA's are sometimes not the most welcome. For me, one can only come to aikido after one has searched out other paths. Aikido is reactionary, both in regard to conflict and other MA's.

I know people will respond to this post as something negative, but it is not at all. Each life method has pro's and con's. I could write and equally long post regarding why i began aikido.

DaveO
03-07-2003, 10:30 AM
Joseph's got a good point; I must admit.

There are a lot of people out there who consider themselves 'aikisuperior', and tend to respond in platitudes rather than the hard facts, advice and help a newer person like myself needs. Basically; it's a variation of Instructor Mistake Number One - showing how good you are rather than showing a student how to get good - to put it very loosely.

Joseph; you're in Boston; if you want good instruction; I have just two words for you: Ed Keith. Superb instructor; good friend of mine. He's in Boston as well. Get in touch with him; he'll get you in love with aikido again!

Vic Robinson
03-07-2003, 10:34 AM
Joseph, I'm sorry, but I must respectfully disagree. I'm a regular reader in this forum, but not a responder. However, your statement is so off base that I must respond.

While it is true that the formality and etiquette of traditional Aikido feels very strange to those of us in Western culture, it also carries with it an inherent discipline. It is this discipline and dedication to art which becomes infectious to people.

No one who practices Aikido and maintains humility is foolish enough to feel that their Aikido is invincible. No art is invinsible. For every good martial artist, there is always someone better, no matter what the art, and the same goes for the endless comparison between arts.

Nor is Aikido artificial. You must be sincere in everything concerning Aikido, whether it is a sincere attack when you are uke, or a sincere caring that you do not hurt your uke or a sincere desire to teach others who are willing to learn.

And finally, my answer a to what would make me quit is the same as James Ashby...death. Or unless I get too damn old to walk out on the mat by myself. And now, I'll go back to being a reader.....

DaveO
03-07-2003, 10:43 AM
Vic; you make some very good points; but I have to question this:
No one who practices Aikido and maintains humility is foolish enough to feel that their Aikido is invincible.
In a perfect world; you'd be right but fortunately; Humans are far from perfect. There are plenty of folks out there who think they know more than they do. I know; I'm one of them - I've got an ego the size of Everest; I have to constantly work to keep it from getting loose. But; I've got fifteen years of teaching experience to help me keep it under control; not everyone has experience to help them 1) identify the problem 2)correct it. :)

Joseph looks to me to be a classic example of what can happen when a good student meets a less-than-skilled instructor - the result can be confusion, frustration, and eventual abandonment of the course. Sad; but that's unfortunately the way the world works.

:)

otto
03-07-2003, 12:53 PM
How come no one here have mentioned "WOMEN" , as a very common reason for people to ; in the best of cases ; go away from aikido for a long time?

I guess "relationships" would be more accurate , but i've seen many times on my fellows back in the dojo get out of practice for this reason , be it engaging in new relationships , going thru hard times or specials moments like pregnacy or the like...

In my opinion that would be a problem of choosing the wrong person for you , since someone who loves or at least cares about you..wouldnt get you away from something to important for yourself as aikido...but , nonetheless i've seen it many times...

What are your thoughts on this?

rachmass
03-07-2003, 01:14 PM
ahem, sexist remark? how about "men" too, as I think there are just about as many women posting here as men (even though we are less as the general aikido public).

I think the only thing that could keep me from training, other than death, would be a crippling injury where I really couldnt train. Sure hope that nothing like that ever happens! to any of us!!!

best,

Rachel

otto
03-07-2003, 02:00 PM
Sexist???...not by any chance , that's why later I stated "relationships" instead of only girls , thought in my experience is only women , since there are no girls on the dojo , neither gay guys....that i know of :).

However..in this particular issue I find women much more centered mature and not so quick to abandon most of their things on newcoming relationships....

Its just me...or thats usual too?

Any thoughts???

Apologies for the misunderstanding..

Plus KI!

johnmb1
03-07-2003, 03:11 PM
"Why would you quit Aikido ?" I think is a very good question. I am not currently taking Aikido and there are probably a lot of people that believe I shouldn't judge but this is an open forum so I will give it a shot.

Putting it in one or two word summaries. I would say:

Affectiveness Is this good enough to stand up against a street fighter with ( boxing) kickboxing skills? In a reasonable amount of time of training?

Time How much time do you need to be a good practicener and do you want to spend that much of your time and life coming to that level?

Self defense Is this really a good means of self defense ? What is the old motto ? When in doubt there is no doubt. How many people are doubting ? How many people really doubt Karate ? Judo ? Jiu Jitsu ? Kung Fu as a good self defense system ?

I remember watching caught on tape a while back. And there was a segment when a man jump kicked another man ( in the chest) that had a knife to this womans throut. I believe he was using karate. And that resolved that situation. My question to myself is : How would and Aikidokan handle the situation?

I think these are some good answers and I would like plenty of feed back for any correctioning. I am still thinking of taking Aikido anyway. There is a dojo though a little bit further away that offers Go Ju Karate and Judo for $30.00 a month each and the Aikido is $50.00 Both do jo's

shihonage
03-07-2003, 03:27 PM
"Why would you quit Aikido ?"
I remember watching caught on tape a while back. And there was a segment when a man jump kicked another man ( in the chest) that had a knife to this womans throut. I believe he was using karate. And that resolved that situation. My question to myself is : How would and Aikidokan handle the situation?

I do hope that you're not citing the "jump kicking a knife wielder" as a sound approach to the described situation.

TomE
03-07-2003, 03:37 PM
perhaps a deliberate attempt at being contentious?
Perhaps a little too quick to go on the defensive? It's true that I enjoy being contrary (and come across as being blunt or provocative) sometimes, but I don't do so just to piss people off - I simply see it as a good way to encourage looking at a given problem from as many different viewpoints as possible, and broaden everyone's perspective on the issue at hand, which is always a good thing. And I think it was a valid remark, even if it was not meant to be taken 100% seriously (notice the smiley). More like 90%. II'll elaborate:
While I agree that aikido may be able to aid you in certain areas of character development, I don't see it as a very sharp tool for dealing with severe emotional problems.
I do not automatically equate "temper/other inappropriate emotions" with "severe emotional problems". The first can be a specific, temporary mode of acting/thinking, while the second, by definition, is a wider term that describes deeper and more lasting problems. What caused this sudden switch from one to the other? IMO, it is perfectly possible for someone to momentarily lose his/her temper and do something stupid or dangerous, without being an insensitive bully or a psychological time-bomb.

Unbalanced people indeed have no place in a dojo - they have other, more important things to deal with first. But we all have a bad day sometimes, we all lose our temper and do bad things sometimes - that doesn't take "severe emotional problems". And aikido, as a physical and mental discipline, is one way to improve your character and avoid being a source of bad feelings.
I, especially after the reasonable amount of time I've spent in aikido, found myself out of control, I'd prefer to show respect to others in the dojo by removing myself as a potential hazard than relying on them to adjust. I find aikido is actually a martial art, not a substitute for group therapy. "chickening out", as you so politely phrased it, would be expecting other dojo members to carry my emotional travails at risk of injury to themselves. I would prefer to take responsibility for my own actions.
I assume that you meant "not chickening out", otherwise you'd be contradicting yourself.

I totally respect your decision to leave - I'd probably have the same reflex if I hurt someone for the (initial) reason you mentioned. But, on second thought:

1. Wouldn't my sensei and fellow students (even the one I hurt) also have an obligation - if not to me, then at least to themselves and the ideals they try to stand for - to take some responsibility and turn this into a win-win situation? What would be best - telling me I ought to make amends and keep training, or simply kick me out and be done with it? If I'm an honest guy who temporarily "lost it", my feelings of guilt will be punishment enough for me, and I will try all the more to avoid a repetition, and overcome this problem. If not, then I obviously don't belong in a dojo and it was a mistake to let me in - which means the most serious error was already made long before, and not by me.

2. I'd assume that my fellow dojo members can be perfectly capable of actively helping to make sure that I will not repeat my mistake - they are not lifeless dummies, after all. Those that don't trust me anymore can always politely decline to train with me, and they can of course still decide to kick me out anyway. And I am still free to leave the dojo - nobody will block the exit if I decide to go, But would that make anyone feel better? Would that be "taking responsibility for your own actions"? It may seem so at a glance, but it isn't. Not really. And IMHO, it's not what aikido is (or: should be) about.

Any thoughts or comments are, of course, welcome.

best,

Tom

(edited: lots of bad grammar)

johnmb1
03-07-2003, 03:39 PM
I do hope that you're not citing the "jump kicking a knife wielder" as a sound approach to the described situation.
Another words: Is that what I would use ? I am just looking at that mans point of view. That was his apparent only opening. And that is how he handled it. He was behind the man. Leaning on back of a desk. His arms in a crossed position. When the man looked away he ran forward , jumped and kicked him right in the chest. That knocked him down.

I was wondering what aikido move would be used before he looked back. That was a split second decision.

Hanna B
03-07-2003, 05:42 PM
Most common reasons I have seen for quitting are family and career. Nothing wrong with that.

Kevin Leavitt
03-07-2003, 06:44 PM
I stopped for two years to spend time with my son after he was born.

For two years the joy of coming home and seeing him overrided my need to study aikido, but in a way that was still aikido...just of a different kind!

shadow
03-08-2003, 12:05 AM
when i think about the possibility of quitting the main thing i come up with is not needing it anymore. granted aikido is a life long thing and without years of pursual there is only so far you can go but it can also just be a stepping stone for something else too......

cindy perkins
03-08-2003, 10:34 PM
I am new and passionate -- can't imagine quitting now -- but the reasons I have quit previous passions may count for this:

No dojo or practitioners nearby (in north-central NH this is not impossible)

No time due to really momentous family matters. (They'd have to be momentous; aikido is a major stress-reliever and general joy right now.)

I have quit other passions because I seemed to stop learning. Progress became too slow to see and I got frustrated. Due to my sensei's style (and possibly a little more maturity on my part), I have found I can tolerate this in aikido so far.

SeiserL
03-09-2003, 01:47 PM
I heard that attendance was required for only two days after your death if you are cremated and a full week after death if you still have a body.

TomE
03-09-2003, 02:11 PM
In case of sudden death, please remember the rules (http://www.aikidofaq.com/humor/protocol.html). :D

happysod
03-11-2003, 04:27 AM
TomE, thanks for the clarification, your point makes more sense now. Also, I've now found out (thanks to your reply) that the smileys aren't showing on my work machine and took your comment at face value, so apologies for my agressive response.

I agree, a single instance of temper is not normally grounds for quiting. My caveat would be if the injury caused is really severe. There are certain levels of damage to a partner that, even if I'd caused them accidently would make me quit aikido (came close once, know I couldn't have continued if we both hadn't been lucky)

Perhaps I should rephrase my option 2. (The reason I didn't use this phraseology in the first instance is it does sound rather pretentious on my part). quit Mk II. I would quit aikido if I felt my own use of it was dishonorable in any way (of course, me being the final abitrator of "honorable")

As for death as an excuse to quit aikido, cannot disagree more. True aikidokas should make arrangements to have themselves stuffed and used for knee walking demonstrations and ukemi practice...

Ghost Fox
03-11-2003, 08:12 AM
What reason(s) would the dedicated band (complete loons in skirts?) of aikiweb consider good enough to leave the "wonderful world of aikido"?
The only reason I could think of would be spiritual transcendence. If my training in Aikido finally leads me to the self-realization that I am in harmony with all things, and the center of the universe, maybe I would no longer feel the need to train in Aikido in the traditional sense (going to a dojo and practicing waza). I would become a living shrine of the Great Spirit of Aiki, and the world would be my dojo.

:triangle: :circle: :square:

Elb
03-13-2003, 06:31 PM
I have to say I agree with the poster who said the formality and etiquette would be the problem with aikido.

It was just too much for me.

I've seen less bowing in a buddhist temple - literally :)

No offense meant to anyone, some thrive and need/desire that environment and some don't.

Each to their own, theres a martial art for everyone.