View Full Version : Why do you train?

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12-15-2000, 03:07 AM
Having just read this week' s article "Why I train" by Eve Peter's Campbell, I started thinking about why I train.

I started doing aikido around two and a half years ago and I can only say that its constantly challenging. Its hard. I struggle and I struggle. I'm still trying to overcome my basic fear of getting hit, my natural impulse to panic and run. I suppose the only good thing about that is I'm very good at "getting out of the way" (the first part of any aikido technique according to my Sensei).

Having said that, I knew very early on that I was in it for the long haul. When part of a technique eludes me for weeks on end, instead of thinking about giving up, I console myself that the best I can do is keep on trying. And as long as I'm trying, I'm learning. And what the heck, the learnings fun.

Why do the rest of you train?

I'm particularly interested in responses from women as there is definitely a gender imbalance at our dojo - I'm one of only two women who regularly train...

Cheers, Fi.

12-15-2000, 06:07 AM

Just simply because.

12-15-2000, 06:23 AM
I train because it gives me a living feeling. Good training makes me feel that I am involved in something meaningful and substantial.

12-15-2000, 08:59 AM
My apologies for not being female (blame my father);

however I train for a combination of reasons;

-I enjoy the actual physical bodily training

-Aikido saved my life once (and in a strange way I feel I owe it to Aikido to continue training).

-its a good form of self defence which I never get bored with 'cos there is always something I need to improve at or learn.

-it gives me control of situations more than other martial arts (i.e. I have often used it to avoid fights, rather than striking someone).


12-15-2000, 10:23 AM
I train because of a sense of responsibility to myself and others.

I know that when I grow a little bit, become slightly better centered, or become a little less selfish, that a small part of the world around me also gets better.

And, knowing this, I have no choice but to continue my practice whole-heartedly.

Chris Guzik

Max Factor
12-16-2000, 11:19 AM
I train Because i enjoy it and because i enjoy the friendships that i have built!

12-16-2000, 02:28 PM
I couldn't tell you why I train. It'd be like trying to explain why I brush my teeth. I don't really think about it, and couldn't dream of stopping... it makes me more pleasent to be around, and while my waza would remain intact for a short period, eventually it would erode and fall away, and while I could live without it, I wouldn't much care to.


12-16-2000, 07:28 PM
Of all the posts on this thread, only Fiona said training is fun. Good for her, training is fun. There are other, more important reasons why we train in Aikido rather than anything else, but enjoyment is as important as any other. If you didn't enjoy it, would you have lasted the first few weeks, and would you give over part of your free time, your life, to learn it?

I hope everyone else enjoys training as much as I do.

Evan Buckley.

12-16-2000, 08:44 PM
well of course training is fun... if it was no fun, I wouldn't do it, I'd go get some exercise or hang out with my friends, that's fun...

than again, isn't that the same thing as training?


12-17-2000, 07:57 PM
Just read a quote that seems apt:

"To live for some future goal is shallow. Its the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top" - Robert M. Pirsig, author of "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance".

12-18-2000, 08:56 AM
It's a very strange well. The more I drink of it, the more thirsty I become....

Dan P. - Mongo

12-18-2000, 08:57 AM
Hi Fiona!

Yes, there's a gender imbalance most of the time, but it depends on where I train. In some dojos, I'm the only or one of three, at another dojo, there are mostly women, but this doesn't make any difference to me.

Why I train? My Sensei asks us sometimes why we train. He dos not expect an answer to be said, but everyone has to find his own reason, otherwise he will stop sooner or later. While answering this question for myself, I found that my reasons have changed. I started Aikido because I wanted to do something to get fit and also because of self-defense (which I did not need up to now). But now, it's the fascination of the movements, of how to get and guide my partners imbalance. And, as it is a critical time for me at the moment, this one and only technique I did some weeks ago, which was the most perfect I ever did, keeps me going. I want to do that again and it will only happen if I go on training. And, yes, it's funny and I know a lot more people I like.

Hope that helps,


12-19-2000, 02:17 AM
Thanks Simone,

I'm glad I'm not the only one who trains in more than one dojo too. My regular dojo is having a break till after the new year and last night I trained at the University of Western Australia dojo (http://www.cygnus.uwa.edu.au/~uwamac/aikido). I used to find it confusing moving from one style to another but as I learn I start to see more similarities than differences.

I started training for self-defence - but not because I felt the need to defend myself - more for self-confidence. I want to feel safe when I walk down the street at night, I want to feel safe going to places on my own. One lady who taught me early on said "If I have to use my aikido just once to defend myself from harm, then all the years of training will have been worth it".

Like you, I train now for different reasons to that I started with. Because its difficult (I love the challenge). Because its fun (I'm often laughing out loud). Because its a long term process (short-term goals are too easily reached). Because I've developed REALLY strong wrists (what else can I use them for, if not sankyo?). Beacuse I'm developing coordinations, speedy reflexes, slow thoughts and a strong sense of my physical self.

Yeah - like Nick, I couldn't dream of stopping.

Cheers, Fiona.

12-19-2000, 03:14 PM
I started budo officially when I was 5, but didn't last long... despite what I thought, I wasn't very good. I went back, a year or two at a time, but I didn't really know what I was looking for- I was just captivated to continue. When I found Aikido, it had what I felt I was missing in karate... and to date, I'm still not sure what it is, but I can't stop until I find out...