View Full Version : Strange feeling

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08-19-2004, 01:00 PM
It's normal to feel that you can't do the techniques, that you are not able to learn what others can so well?

In order to explain what I'm feeling, I will tell a little about my "aikido history"... I started a year ago (age 16), and I used to study at morning and train at night, twice a week. Even studying at afternoon too (age 17) I was still there, training. I was happy, even with some doubts about "does it works". OK, I always though it was normal.
The past eight months I'm waiting the college to start, but did not stop training, now three times per week. I believe more than never that aikido works, that it's a good way to develop body, mind and spirit. Important to note that I did not do anything these months but train aikido. Anything.

Next week college starts. I'm going to study morning and afternoon again, to have a life again. (age 18)

Now I return to my question. I's normal to feel that you can't learn as the others? It's OK to keep training just to do not stop training?
Some days ago I asked myself why was I training, what I was looking for on aikido. "To keep training" was my answer. So I am training to don't stop training?

I'm confuse. Is this normal?
I am trying to believe that this is because I the only thing I'm doing is to train aikido and this could make my perception of my advances stagnate.

Please, I need some help.

08-19-2004, 01:40 PM

Everything you've written sounds normal to me. It's normal to reach a plateau in your skills, and normal to have some insecurity about your training.

Just keep training, and I'm sure things will work out for you.


Janet Rosen
08-19-2004, 02:45 PM
Hi. just a few thoughts...

It sounds like there has not been a balance in your life. I think for most of us, ideally, aikido is one part of life.

Sometimes, especially for younger people who are not yet dealing with work and family, it is possible and maybe desirable to fully immerse in aikido training for a while. In reading about the early years of many of our great teachers, it certainly sounds like they did that. The advantage is that the basic training, getting aikido "into muscle memory", can proceed quickly and intensively.

It is also normal that with time and experience, one's motives and goals for training will change. Unless you have been using aikido as an escape from other aspects of life you don't want to deal with, I don't think there is anything unusual or bad about your situation. Like Drew says, keep training and see what happens...

08-19-2004, 03:39 PM

Comparing your progress to that of others is often dangerous. Be happy that your mind is not blinded by your own perceived greatness. It is good that you can already recognize when technique isn't working. This is a very important skill. Besides, your attitude to train for the sake of training alone sounds quite healthy to me.

Someone told me a story when I was newer to aikido. It went something like this:
A prospective student approaches a sensei and inquires how long it will take to master martial art. The sensei (not wanting to give the philosophical answer of a lifetime) says that proficiency will take twelve years.
The student tells the sensei that this is much too long and expresses a willingness to be dedicated to training. The sensei replies that perhaps with daily training this can be shortened to ten years.
The student replies that this is still too long and asks how long it will take if training is done all day and sleep is reduced. The sensei answers that in this case it will take twenty years.
Seeing the student's sadness and confusion, the sensei explains that if mastery is wanted to much, the desire will get in the way.

Don't give up. Even climbing a stairwell is the act of standing on a series of plateaus, be patient and you will most likely find your next step. It is easy to disregard the hard fought steps that have been conquered for the hurdles that remain.

08-20-2004, 12:31 AM
dear tales,
there's going to be some more of that in the future. sometimes we reach a plateau and think why am i not improving one bit? but i agree that with aikido, just go in and train, and also balance it out with other aspects of life. this will keep your interests keener and perception more sensitive. good luck, and hang in there!!!
always in the spirit of harmony,

Devon Natario
08-20-2004, 04:56 AM
I have felt the same as you, so you arent alone. Ive compared myself to others, wondered if I was going backwards in my development, hoped that I could learn something new etc etc.

I found that when I just went in to train, and I quit caring who was better, and IU stopped concentrating on getting better, that it just happened.

I think with Aikido it would be the same. Just go, have fun, and enjoy it and "let" it happen.

I suggest taking a break too. It may be what you need. If you are happy away from Aikido, then so be it. If you find yourself yearning to go or like you are missing something, then go back and know that it's meant for you. No reason to force yourself to do something you dont enjoy.

dan guthrie
08-20-2004, 08:40 PM
I train a lot because I know my weaknesses. Most people get "the hang" of a technique quicker than I do. I usually lag a little bit behind but I get it eventually. I also train much slower for the same reason. I try to over memorize so I can concentrate on breathing, center, spirals (as if I get even one of these things :rolleyes: )
Just try to discover your strengths and weaknesses. If you need a lot of repetition, as I do, go a lot and work slowly.

Lyle Laizure
08-20-2004, 11:41 PM
It is very normal to feel this way occasionally. Continue practicing and I believe it will improve. So long as you are happy training.

08-21-2004, 06:34 PM
Just go along at your own speed like i do ;)

Larry Feldman
08-21-2004, 08:17 PM
If it was easy you would be writing about how bored you are.

If you enjoy training - that is all that matters, just keep training. It's the process.

If you look at a day of training equal to a sheet of paper on a stack, you will see no progress in a week, but keep putting paper on the stack and in a year or two the stack will be visible.

When comparing progess of students it is usually two factors that are involved, frequency of attending class and their ability to learn. You seem frustrated with your ability to learn, but most of my students that are any good were 'plodders'. They were slow learners who just enjoyed practice and hung in there. They were used to working through problems, and did not get caught up in instant success. The 'naturals' oftentimes leave when they get frustrated, and go look for other activities where they can be natural talents. It is the tortoise and the hare fable......don't be fooled by the apparent fast start of the rabbits. The race is 'won' through showing up every day.

Be patient with yourself. Everyone has their own schedule for learning. Think about comparing your Aikido today to your first day of class, I am sure it is improved.

08-22-2004, 01:12 PM

I just can say thanks to all you...
I got some kind of flu this weekend and didn't show up at the Friday training. I am not good yet, so I don't know if I will be there this Monday too.

Keep training, do not compare, and wait for the future.
This waiting that kills me :op

The funny thing... To the people who doesn't practice, I'm good.
So I go to the dojo and see that there is a long way!

Maybe it is just a feeling that will go away when my classes get started (tomorrow)... This is, actually, my hope.

Another question: should I share this on my dojo? With my sensei and sempai(s)? Or even the kohai(s), searching how they feel about training?
I'm afraid about the answers I can get doing this...

Jessie Brown
08-22-2004, 04:40 PM
I've actually experienced this same problem. I started aikido my first year of college (I'm a third year now) and felt some ambivalence about going to practice sometimes. What worked for me was to sit myself down and examine how much of a priority aikido was for me and realistically how often I could go to practice with my other commitments. Once I figured that out, I set the practice days and I went. Sometimes I would try to talk myself out of going- there are natural fluctuations in your enthusiasm- but I would stick to my schedule. As a side note on that, if you've decided you want to commit to aikido, try not to feel guilty about forcing yourself to go. I always enjoy practice but outside pressures can make it difficult to get there. So as long as you're still enjoying practice, don't worry if you're quibbling on getting there.

For example, for me, going five times a week made my aikido experience worse because I had so much homework to catch up on and I wasn't seeing my non-aikido friends at all. Plus, as important as aikido is to me, my primary purpose in being in college is academics-- to learn and get a degree. When it comes down to it, classes have to come first while I'm here. It isn't ideal but it's the reality of it while I'm here. So every quarter, I reevaluate my class schedule and fix an aikido schedule. With a small degree of variance, that's what I do until next semester. Thank goodness that's going to change once I graduate-- two years of uchi deshi here I come!!

Hope that helped somewhat. Good luck!


Peter Seth
08-23-2004, 04:32 AM
Hi Torunaga - (powerful name).
You sound as though you feel you are stuck and going nowhere and trying hard to balance all the things in your life at the moment. Treat aikido as fun, a reward/treat to yourself. Balance your training with the other important things you have to do - college - friends - etc etc. But don't give up, enjoy!

Life is full of plateau's and rises. Do not confuse the sometimes long and tedious 'walk' along the level plateau as not progressing, and the rise (the step up) when progress seems to be made.
The plateau is where we learn! The rise is just the cumulation of knowledge gained on the plateau which allows us to step up to the next level.

You will find everyone goes through the same feelings/stages, not just in aikido but in all aspects of life - adapt.

08-23-2004, 08:56 AM
do what you feel happy with doing. Obviously you are questioning your motivation now. I think directed learning is necessary, but to know how to direct your learning for maximum progression you need to get experience, and that is what you have been doing. Train and train, and when you have a question, resolve it... sounds simple?

08-23-2004, 12:53 PM
Thanks to all you!

I won't go to the training today (I still with a kind of strong flu), but will be there Wednesday and so on once again. I believe now that I have the college, the new friends, almost a new life, the training will be different, or at least will look differently to me.

You helped a lot, guys! Thank you!