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Ari Bolden
09-15-2003, 01:58 PM
This thread isn't about Martial arts background, but rather post secondary background.

I have found many aikidoka with philosophy degrees (like myself). Are we drawn to such areas because of aikido or vice versa?

Just curious why (no pun)...

What's your degree in? (besides a degree in school of life or hard knox... grin)


Ghost Fox
09-16-2003, 06:36 AM
Bachelors in Electrical Engineering Technology.

Wiccan pre-dedicant.

09-16-2003, 07:00 PM
I studied psychology, interpersonal communication, and Japanese. My degree ended up being Interpersonal Communications with a focus in Industrial Communication.

09-16-2003, 10:26 PM
Hmmm...I started out as a Journalism student and English major and eventually ended up with an Honours BA (BAH ;)) in Philosophy.

Hey Ari --- where did you go to school?

More grist for the mill --- other folks in my dojo are: BA in English (Sensei), BSc in Mechanical Engineering (my husband), BA in Music, and one gentleman is currently completing his Phd in Clinical Psychology.

Incidentally, (career-wise) we have a lot of students who are (or were) musicians...

09-16-2003, 10:49 PM
Ba Econ Accounting & Finance.

I just wanted how to learn how to twist people when they don't give me my Cashflows.

Ikkyo - thats one for the numerically challenged people out there!

Clayton Kale
09-16-2003, 10:55 PM
BA Print Journalism and a few hours shy of a BA in American History.

09-16-2003, 11:03 PM
B.A. in Psychology & Philosophy

M.A. in Marriage, Family & Child Counseling

Ph.D. in Psychology

Ari Bolden
09-17-2003, 12:59 AM

Jamie...I got my phil degree from UVic...Studying master in conflict resolution....



09-17-2003, 01:22 AM
Left school at 16 with minimum qualifications. Been working successfully as a computer engineer for twenty two years.



09-17-2003, 01:37 AM
Hi Ari,

interesting post! I have been interested in philosophy since about the age of 15 (and I'm a big proponent of philsophy being a required subject at school esp. for those wishing to do science). However I didn't do it as a degree since I was unsure whether I would get work afterwards! (I would be interested to know what you do as a job now) - instead I went into science and now work as an environmental scientist.

Other students do seem to be quite interested in philosophy or at least ethics but I'm not sure they have a particular level of education or particular profession. I think much of aikido is started due to recommendation from a friend (I used to go to a club where there were lots of builders).


09-17-2003, 01:40 AM
I'm a Datamatician (two-year education for systemdevelopers) and I have a bachelordegree in Information Sciences. I'm currently writing my master thesis in Information Sciences, but it might be under way for quite some time what with all the aikido I need to do besides being a dad and a full time systemsdeveloper......

Oh by the way - I'm also a musician - albeit not for a living, but as a hobby.

In our dojo we actually have quite a few with a background in computing of some sorts.

09-17-2003, 08:19 AM
BS with major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. Working towards MBA with emphasis in Conflict & Negotiation Strategies.

09-17-2003, 09:02 AM
Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (I'm so old it didn't have degree status)

09-17-2003, 10:05 AM
I have 2/3 of a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA also known as a Bachelor of fsorry), which is why after realizing that I WOULD be a starving artist I went into computers. Simple little Diploma in Computer Programming Im afraid (cause I have had far to much work over the years to ever consider more).

Its interesting that there are so many philosophy and psychology majors in Aikido, but maybe its not based as much on compatibility as saturation. The year I left University (1991), Psych. Grads were 20-1 to Fine Arts (and 10-1 to engineering and other faculties). Now a day though, the majority of young people (and not so young people) are in some sort of computer related field (Comp Sci., Computer Engineering, Tech-College degree, etc.).

Im curious. Where does one find a job with a BA in Phil. Or Psych.? A doctorate I can see, but a BA? Or was it just more of a mind-broadening experience than a career choice?


Mark Barlow
09-17-2003, 10:07 AM
B.A. in Mass Communications with a minor in Psychology. Librarian for almost 20 years.

09-17-2003, 10:38 AM
Started out in Pharmacy School at University of Houston, Then finished with a BS in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics.

09-17-2003, 11:00 AM
i'm working on an IT degree right now, and working as a web developer.

also a musician for fun, and enjoy cars.


Fiona D
09-17-2003, 11:30 AM
I decided at a fairly early age that I wanted to go into something physics-related. Many years and much studying later, I'm now a researcher with a PhD in Geophysics. Lots of computer-based work of course, but plenty of cool fieldtrips too.

09-17-2003, 12:09 PM
B.A. Psychology

B.A. Philosophy

M.Ed Elementary Education

I taught for a couple years but am now a web developer... the irony.

Ari Bolden
09-17-2003, 12:27 PM

After reading the latest posts, it is amazing how similar some paths are. Mike Ellefson of midwest aikido and I share very similar backgrounds (see midwestaikido.com and veritasweb.com)

As for "what does some do with a BS in Phil?" I decided to obtain my degree in phil because I enjoyed the experience of learning. Getting a job was a whole other matter...My phil degree has lead me to:

1)5 years in radio (management and dj)

2)8 years in hospitality/nightclub business

3)2 years in the movie business (various)

4) 3 years as a certified private investigator and run my own business called Veritas Services, which specializes in 3 areas: Security (training and PI work), web design (I see a lot of web developers on board), and teaching self defense (almost 6 months now at my studio!)...

Many gen xers like my self had to create our own work instead of waiting around for it.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome...

Cheers my friends..


09-17-2003, 01:39 PM
B.A. in Biology with Chemistry minor and Secondary Education.

M.S. in Biology (Host Resistance Research)

Yeah, Ari and I kind of tread the same path.

Hopefully, we'll bump into each other soon.

09-18-2003, 07:01 PM
B.A. Sys. Info


Just Aikido 6 days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday.

Clayton Drescher
09-18-2003, 08:34 PM
BA in Classical Archeology and History

working on my MA in Museum Studies

09-18-2003, 08:45 PM
Clayton, I've got a good friend who lives in the SF area who is teaching at Stanford with a degree in Classical Anthro, and she's an aikidoka! where are you training? I'll let her know there's another person in the area with a similar background....

Clayton Drescher
09-18-2003, 10:22 PM
Well I've been looking at dojo for the past month or so, though I think I'll stick with Suginami for a while starting pretty soon.

Give her my regards!;-)

09-18-2003, 10:52 PM
BA in English (creative writing)

I was a Jazz studies major (I play two instruments)

Was briefly an Asian Studies minor

Do occasional web design work.

Seems like a lot of people are either in creative or computer-related fields.

Chad Sloman
09-19-2003, 06:54 AM
BA in Microbiology, minor in Chemistry;

I used my degree for 7 months making transgenic mice for multiple sclorosis research at Washington University Medical School. I soon realized that I was doing things that not many other people can do and yet was getting paid the same as somebody that was flipping hamburgers. So I followed the money and went to work in the Utilities industry. I was a non-licensed operator at a nuclear power plant (PWR) for three years. Now I'm an enviornmental analyst/chemist at a fossil power plant. I do admit though that Asian Philosophy was probably my favorite class in college. And for you Philosophy majors out there: if anybody asks you what you can do with a philosophy degree, you tell them "anything I want!"

09-19-2003, 07:54 AM
Political Science - BA But Iwork in the insurance industry, which is rather stressful.

I', also an Air National Guradsman and do tecommunications and computor work there.

09-19-2003, 09:16 AM
Bsc Physics,

Now working in web development and hosting

09-19-2003, 10:30 AM
Ten years studying & performing Dance, probably have enough credit or an MFA by now but academic classes do not agree with me.

Self-employed designer/contract artisan/model.

If i was an academic type probably would've studied linguistics/semantics/logic...but now i'm more interested in avoiding the argument alltogether...

09-23-2003, 02:06 PM
Long history of taking classes that interest me and ignoring core curriculum or graduation requirements; that explains 150 credit hours and NO degree. Studied math through multivariable calculus and differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology, history, and legal studies. Recently grew up and currently aimed at a BS degree in Social Sciences/ History concentration. We'll see.


Lan Powers
09-23-2003, 08:25 PM
Ordinary "working Joe".




09-23-2003, 08:46 PM
Hmmmm, when I was still in the process of pursuing my degrees, usually my favorite answer to "So what are you taking up in college?" was "Space."

Let's seeeee, B.A. in "Applied Music" (performance) with a major on classical piano and a double minor on classical guitar and voice. Mus.M. in Jazz/Commercial Music (performance concentration) concentrating on jazz guitar. But shhhhhh! People will think I'm better than I really am! (laughing!) I like to view my degrees similar to high ranking martial artists that say "A belt is to hold up your pants." College degrees help you get jobs, you can learn a lot in the process of getting them, they're certainly accomplishments that are the result of hard work (and plunging into debt), but I don't think they unwaveringly give a clear indication of an individual's level of knowledge and abilities. I wouldn't mind getting a doctorate, though. I've still got lots more to learn, plus a doctorate would be kind of funny, too. Get my doctorate on guitar, "Is there a doctor in the house!" "Yes!" (takes out guitar and starts doing "Cumbaya" or something) I might not be able to perform CPR, but at least I could add some levity to the situation.

But anyway, I digress (I could probably get a doctorate in digressing!). I'm not sure if there's a connection between my interest in music and my interest in martial arts, though it follows the common thread of the arts in the general sense. Interesting question to bring up though! Nice thread, Ari!

Suzanne Cooper
09-23-2003, 09:44 PM
BA English (Humanities), Minor in Spanish (Language), professed Secular Discalced Carmelite.

Ari Bolden
09-24-2003, 01:14 AM
Thanks for all the replies (no worries Jeff B.).

While I find aikido to be really amazing, we are more than just aikido. Getting to know about our fellow aikidoka gives us a greater insight into ourselves.



(I'll see if I can come up with another thread...)

09-25-2003, 09:52 AM
i got my ba in history with a 2x minor in latin american studies and spanish. i did a little work in japanese history and language as an undergrad. i am working on my phd in history as we speak.

not that any of this has anything to do with my job that is ...

09-25-2003, 04:45 PM
A.S. business; BS business; MBA with human resources management concentration; DC (doctor of chiropractic); post graduate training in non-surgical orthopedics. Perpetual student.

09-26-2003, 12:36 AM
Wow, this is a really interesting post!

I am currently a 3rd year Computer Engineering student at UCIrvine. To tell you the truth I am surprised there are so many humanities/socialscience type degrees, such as our Philosophy and our English, Spanish, Music, etc. I expected a few physical science types such as our Physics, MircroBiology and such, but that English degree really took me by surprise. I always thought that 4/5th of aikidoka were Engineering/ICS (information and computer science- specifically software) and usually the other 1/5th is the scientist. Everyone aikidoka Ive ever physically met follows this trend. But Ive only been to a few dojos in South Cali, so maybe its a California thing. The only person Ive met that somewhat qualifies as a humanities/socialsciences type is a Psychology grad. Its great to see some diversity!..Not to mention that Engineers arent usually pleasing to the eye...:p


09-26-2003, 02:11 AM
B.A. Anthropology with an emphasis on Great Basin Archaeology. Senior Project was the rehousing and reanalization of site number 42SV633. Bastard of a site. Took me three years.

Profession- Event Marketing and Public Relations with a background in graphic design.

I'm not quite sure how the two mesh.

Ron Tisdale
09-26-2003, 07:12 AM
BA in english, minor in history, concentration in '3rd world' and Africa in particular. Did some grad study in Kenya in Africa Literature.

Now I work with computers, go figure.


Anders Bjonback
10-05-2003, 12:40 PM
I'm currently in the process of declaring my majors and they are: Religious Studies and Traditional Eastern Arts (with a concentration in Aikido.) I plan go to go on to get a M.A. in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism.

10-05-2003, 01:21 PM
BA in Hotels Administration minor in Planification/Marketing

Finishing next year BA Business Administration


Nick Simpson
10-05-2003, 02:41 PM
Im a second year under graduate in Film and Media Studies BA (yes, I am a slacker on one of those fake loser courses;) )

Mary Eastland
10-05-2003, 02:48 PM
I was a mom.....now that my kids are grown I am a part time gramma, I work at the library and teach self-defense and Aikido.


Liz Baron
10-06-2003, 03:23 PM
I made the mistake of trying to take a degree in biochemistry and chemistry, and failed miserably.

I then trained for three years with "a well-known British broadcasting organisation" ;), as a Technical Recording Operator (VTR operations etc), and worked there for 13 years, changing to studio engineering operations (Vision Ops) from 1996 onwards. When they closed my department in Manchester (2001) they transferred us all into a new company where I do the same job.

Usually I have some form of "extra-curricular" interest happening which can be pretty varied, so I've passed the Radio Amateur's Exam (station callsign G7MRC), and done a course in blacksmithing too. I'm self-taught on the wood lathe, and build the odd guitar for fun.

Now all I need is to build a bigger workshop... :D

Jeanne Shepard
10-06-2003, 06:22 PM
First, 3 years of Art major, with a minor in Equestrian Studies (horsemanship)

next, BS in Occupational Therapy

Now: working towards MS in OT

10-06-2003, 07:37 PM
BA in Liberal arts

Post Grad SpEd classes

Currently Installed Sales and Service manager at a Building Supplies Co.

Neil Mick
10-06-2003, 10:10 PM
BFA in Gen. Fine Arts; and a BA in Human Ecology.

Mostly, I teach. I am blessed with a part-time job teach a college-course in Elementary Aikido (which may end, with the imminent budget-cuts).

I also teach drawing classes to kids through adults. On my own, I do mostly 2-D media (drawing, painting, mixed-media).

10-10-2003, 02:59 PM
Let's see. Where to begin my CV?

Ok. I graduated from High School with a Certified Nurse's Aide Certificate. I thought I wanted to go into Med school, but changed my mind. Then I spent two years in Siberia, actually in the Ural Mountains (Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Ufa). Came back wanted to do Biology, but I couldn't think of how I could support myself with a Biology Degree. So, I switched over to Business Information Systems. Got a Bachelor of Arts (normally it's Bachelor of Science) with a minor in Russian. Before I graduated, I started Aikido. After graduation, I spent several months unemployed, so my sensei convinced me to come back to school, under his "uchideshi" program:D and do a Masters in Environmental Engineering. I should be finishing next August.

So, in short.


BA in Business Information Systems

Minor in Russian

Expected MS in Environmental Engineering.

10-10-2003, 04:54 PM
I've always known that Aikido tends to attract the intellectual types.

Anywhoo, about me:

I was in the Air Force for 4 yrs.

Put my wife through college and now I'm getting my BBA in Computer information systems with a minor in international commerce. I work at a Nuclear Laboratory in computers.

Have played guitar for 16 yrs. Play chess at @1800 level. I'm an aspiring 3d artist.

There's a great many more endeavors that I'm pursuing, however, none are more important than trying to be a good husband and father. Nothing else matters.

Kevin Leavitt
10-11-2003, 12:55 PM
B.S Biology Chemistry

M.S. Computer Systems Engineering

Hopefully to start PhD in next couple of years in Conflict Resolution.

20 year Military background in Infantry Stuff

Jeanne Shepard
10-11-2003, 02:15 PM
So, Kevin,

Do you find that your military background has an influence, one way or another, on your views of conflict respolution?


10-13-2003, 07:45 AM
Hey, this is a really interesting thread. Thanks for starting it.

As for my qualifications, a BSc major in Genetics and working full time in medical research. I'm glad to know that other science type people are out there and also practioners.


Ghost Fox
10-13-2003, 08:20 AM
I've always known that Aikido tends to attract the intellectual types.
In New York City I commonly here Aikido refered to as a Yuppie Martial Art by other sylist.

10-13-2003, 10:39 AM
As I am undertaking a survey in adherence to Aikido ( for our dojo), and why people drop out, this is an interesting thread as I perhaps should ask who stays in Aikido?!

At 52 I came to Aikido only 4 years ago via Gung Fu when I was 18( for one year), many years of reading about comparative religions and various martial arts and the 5 years of Hapkido ( just before Aikido) which was a serious physical challenge with all the airel work required.

I graduated with a B. Ed. many years ago, following a career in amateur sport when I managed to make the Olympic Teams way back in '72 and '76. After graduation from University , I taught for two years, followed by 19 years in amateur sport as a coach( two Olympics), administration and consultant.

The year after starting Aikido my university position was cut and I spent four months reminding myself that I loved working with people, so I renewed my teaching certification and am now in my fourth full year working/teaching students ( 11 to 14 years of age) who have a history of school "disappointments" and are more hands on and heading to vocational type work.

I have run an Aikido club (with the blessing of my sensei) at my school for the past 3 years.

I plan on practicing Aikido for the next 13 years so I can get a handle on it, and then perhaps start teaching and practice for another 10 -15 years.

Well .............that was long winded!!!!

10-13-2003, 11:11 AM
I have an:

--A.S. Legal Assisting,

--B.A. International Studies, and a

--J.D. Juris Doctorate - law. (boo hiss I'm an "evil" lawyer)

I have been studying Aikido for four years, and I'm currently ranked 3rd kyu. My sensei is Peter Bernath, 6th dan, Florida Aikikai, USAF-East.

10-13-2003, 12:15 PM
SB Electrical Engineering, some grad

school for Management of Technology,

worked at a couple computer start-ups, then "retired" to child-rearing and small-town volunteerism. Was never into sports, although in college I was pretty serious about ballroom dancing and that's more physically demanding than you'd expect.

My 12-year old son discovered kenpo karate 1 1/2 years ago at an excellent local dojo and I soon followed in his footsteps since I couldn't just sit there watching. The dojo started offering aikido this past May and I got hooked -- now, aikido's my passion (along with the associated jujitsu class my Sensei teaches so we'll know what to do if we ever get stuck on the mat) but I still enjoy the kenpo. AND, I love ukemi (but that's another thread)!

I wish I'd found aikido YEARS ago ... but then I'd have been frustrated when

I had to stay home with the kids instead of going to classes, so I guess it's working out right after all.

Frederick VanStrander
10-16-2003, 07:17 AM
BA Philosophy

MsEd Counseling

CAS Counseling

Nice to see the proliferation of philosophic types on this site...

Wil Branca
10-17-2003, 11:28 PM
Professional wrestler from age 16 until 22. Cartoon Animator since. No formal degree in any of the Humanities, just an ongoing interest.

Kevin Leavitt
10-18-2003, 03:06 AM
Sorry been away for a while.

Yes my military background has definitely had an impact on my views of conflict resolution.

If nothing more, than the way anyone's background would have an influence on their personal view/paradigms.

Initially it caused me to really think hard about violence, the causes/motivations.

My martial arts training and eastern studies in philosophy and budo in particular gravitated me toward zen buddhism, and ultimately toward engaged buddhism which I personnal identify with as my chosen philosopical/religious guidance.

My military background guided me to the martial arts. So you see, they are connected.

Of recent events of the current wars which I have been apart of in one way or another. I have grown to see that the issues are very, very complex and that there is no easy answers.

One thing I have garnered is that I know that in my future career in conflict resolution is that I will not be able to change the world, but maybe if I am lucky I can influence others through my teachings and my practices to see the possibilities of peace.

I could go on, but it gets really winded and tangental and I am not sure if I would be answering your question directly.

Let me know if you want me to expound more!

Alan Lomax
10-20-2003, 05:42 AM

Fair enough question, sure to bring up some sorts of conclusions.

I am a knuckle dragger. Several, varied non-skilled labor jobs in an effort to feed and clothe my family prior to entering the Military in 1979. Military 1979 to present and beyond??? No accredited degrees. I come from experience, hard knocks, elbow grease and an extensive use of cranial calcification to stationary geologic and masonic structures.

As dull witted as I may be, I have enjoyed a great deal of what I have been privileged to experience. Most of the rest has at least been learning tools. There has been of course some that could only be categorized in the huh? column of life.

Best regards

Alan Lomax
10-20-2003, 05:51 AM

Fair enough question, sure to bring up some sorts of conclusions.

I am a knuckle dragger. Several, varied non-skilled labor jobs in an effort to feed and clothe my family prior to entering the Military in 1979. Military 1979 to present and beyond??? No accredited degrees. I come from experience, hard knocks, elbow grease and an extensive use of cranial calcification to stationary geologic and masonic structures.

As dull witted as I may be, I have enjoyed a great deal of what I have been privileged to experience. Most of the rest has at least been learning tools. There has been of course some that could only be categorized in the huh? column of life.

Best regards

10-20-2003, 12:05 PM
Bsc (Hons) Psychology, dissertation on aikido.

Electives in Japanese culture, poetry, Buddhism and philosophy.

Part time seasonal gardener - 8 years.

Currently Outdoor Education Instructor.

The degree was largely a waste of time except it put me near Leeds Uni Aikido club (Hi Jon), and 20,000 ladies my own age.

I once asked a Japanese aikido friend what she thought aikidoka had in common. Her response was "thoughtful", I think she meant it meaning considerate and more literally as people who think.

I've noticed lots of IT employed martial artists on my travels. My friend and aikido student employed in this field put this down to health (good to balance a sedentary job) and "the Matrix geek factor". Not sure if I agree, and I don't want to offend.

Also a diproportionate number involved in physio/medical areas, but then there has always been a connection between healing and martial arts.

Interestingly many of the senior instructors in England (5th dan+) seem to be employed in practical trades (e.g. carpentry, building) compared to junior instructors and students. This could just be my perception and I've me plenty of exceptions though.

I'll bet there's employment/ academic differences between styles as well.

At the end of the day, I know I'm not the only one with sore knees and that's what really matters.



Ari Bolden
10-20-2003, 04:41 PM

That's fair. I wasn't trying to 'exclude' anyone. This tread should perhaps include backgrounds in general (I find them just as interesting).

Good point Alan...and thanks to everyone who is replying!


Ari B.

10-20-2003, 08:09 PM
As you can tell by my user name right after high school spent 12 years in the military.

No degree but have taken a few managment classes.

Work on base here in Okinawa. Found Aikido through a video of Japanese martial arts and have loved it ever since.

10-21-2003, 06:49 AM
Ok - I'll bite...

B.S. ( and it truly was a lot of B.S. ) in Communications.

Spent 10 years as a dj in Radio.

Spent the last 8 years as a Software Engineer.

Flo Ricard
10-21-2003, 11:34 AM
1/2 way through a BA in Graphic Design at Anglia Polytechnic in Cambridge.

But I'm keeping my options open.

All I want is to earn a living and be able to practice aikido as often as possible, never mind if I don't end up in the graphics industry! ;)

Chris Linneman
10-21-2003, 04:00 PM
I've got a bs in Civil Engineering and work about 11 hours a day in water resources/agricultural engineering. Between that and raising a 1-year-old, I get to train a sacred once per week.

All you people who train 3-4 time a week depress the heck out of me...