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Aikidoiain
09-12-2004, 11:11 AM
I began training in Martial Arts age 12, I am now 41. Over the years I've trained in various styles, but only once in a dojo.

My first Style was Shotokan Karate. I studied from a book and practiced on friends! At 16 I got fed up with Karate and did a bit of Judo with a friend who already knew his stuff. I liked it, and learned a lot.

Later still, I met a musician friend who was expert in several styles. He showed me his various ones. I tried Kung Fu for a while, but it didn't feel right, nor did TKD or any of the kicking stuff he showed me. Then suddenly he introduced me to Aikido - I took to it instantly. By now I'd become so used to training outside a dojo environment that I seemed to learn really fast. We would role play actual fight scenarios and that's how I learned.

It got to the stage where my Aikido skills were above his! At this time I started to investigate Tomiki Aikido, and bought some videos by Dr. Ah Loi Lee. I was hooked!!! During the next 10 or so years I would constantly meet new training partners and we would continue with the "reality testing" way of training.

I've already mentioned my real life encounters in another thread, so no need to repeat myself.

I did join a Hapkido club for a while but had to leave due to serious health problems. Then I started training in Aiki-Jujitsu, which worked well with the Aikido. By now I felt I had developed my own style of self-defense and began to teach friends.

Soon I intend to join the local Aikikai-Aikido club. This will be my first time in an Aikido dojo environment. How do I make the transition from what I already know (over 25 years worth) to become a beginner in a proper dojo?

Iain.

Qatana
09-12-2004, 12:10 PM
Forget Everything you Think you know about aikido.

Christian
09-12-2004, 01:30 PM
I agree to some extent with the previous post. I would suggest that in the dojo, you forget what you have learned already and practice what they teach, the way they teach it. But I would also continue your outside practice. You'll have a lot more tools to add to your MA tool-belt!

Aikidoiain
09-12-2004, 01:37 PM
I knew someone would say that!

It's not quite that simple Jo. The Aikido I DO know is lodged in my subconscious now. I think Aikido. I dream Aikido. In a "situation", my body simply moves without conscious thought. These movements are Aikido.

As far as the Spiritual side goes, I've read books on Ki, so I'm now hoping to find enlightenment rather than relearn how to perform a "kotegaeshi" that I've probably used for real in dozens on situations! Nikkyo - one of my favourites - that's one technique I teach to my friends, and they've used it. Don't misunderstand me Jo, my techniques are straight from the "textbook" - I'm NOT an actor "playing at Aikido"!

Starting all over again is not even the main issue - TIME is. In this club there are no coloured belts. Everyone wears white, apart from the Sensei. I spoke to one member who's been there for a year and hasn't even had his first grading! When I did Hapkido for about a year I gained a yellow belt. I know it's a totally different style and all that, but I'm in my 40s now.

Gradings may be impossible for me anyway - this is the killer(!) - I can't travel! I now suffer from Chronic Agoraphobia etc, and the gradings are held all over the country. I "may" ask the Sensei if he could grade me at the dojo ( which is at the end of my street!).

Any other suggestions are greatly welcomed.

Take care Jo,
Iain.

ruthmc
09-12-2004, 02:17 PM
Hi Iain,

I'm not sure the Aikikai would be the way to go with you having previous Aikido experience. They have a very structured approach to training, and gradings in particular, which will not allow for the Aikido you have developed for yourself. Is it a BAF affiliated dojo? If it is, you are supposed to grade at Summer School once a year, and the time between gradings is measured strictly by number of classes you have attended, so it is not unusual for a beginner training once a week to take more than a year to grade for the first time.

Are there any other dojos in the area you could try?

Ruth

Janet Rosen
09-12-2004, 02:49 PM
My question back to you is : Is your goal to train with others, to continue to learn and grow, to gain rank, or ?
Many folks of various yrs experience/rank have found due to changing interest or geography or whathaveyou that they needed to basically "start over" in other aikido styles or schools. The most important thing is to understand that every dojo has it's conventions and that you WILL be "corrected" even if you are "right" (because, yes, there are many "right" ways to "do a technique") . If you don't think you can stay collected and polite, accepting the correction and trying it, then you may indeed have a difficult transition. Butit is in the physical training that we find the spiritual lessons you seek, so if you keep an open mind to learning different physical things, you may have an easier transition.

Nick Simpson
09-12-2004, 04:41 PM
I think 25 years is possibly a little early to start hoping for enlightenment Iain, theres a nice old anecdote about a sword student wanting to train under a master and to become the best swordsman in japan. He asks the master how long it will take him to be the best and the old guys says 20 years, he says but what if i train twice as hard? 40 years. But what If I train day and night? 60 years. If your eye is on the goal and not the training then it will take longer... (or something like that :p). Keep training mate, hope you get on well in your new dojo, I wouldnt worry about the gradings, just do it like they tell you and show willing, they should realise you have experiance.

Aikidoiain
09-12-2004, 05:15 PM
Yes Nick, heard that one many times - even used it myself! I did write them a letter explaining my Aikido experience. Their reply was simply to strive to do as the Sensei asks. It'll probably take me longer than a complete novice to learn this style - that's the irony of it.

My ultimate goal Janet, is to find some sort of inner peace and be able to become more relaxed generally. It is also because I LOVE Aikido! Training with people of all ranks will be interesting, though I am apprehensive about actually being around people (due to Agoraphobia). Grading will be difficult for this reason. You see, I cannot travel at all. I only chose this club because it's at the end of my street! Going searching is impossible given my condition.

Of course, I'd like to gain rank - I've certainly trained long enough, but I just don't have that on paper. When I teach my style of self-defense to friends, I do wear a black belt; simply as some indicator of all the hard work I've done. In fact, you could say I earned that rank at "The School of Hard Knocks"!

Growth will happen naturally.

I have visited the club Ruth, and it's very informal. Gradings are normally held every 3 months. While watching, I recognized so much of what was going on, I felt desperate to join in! I'm not familiar with a lot of the Japanese terminology though, so that confused me - even though I knew the techniques.

I'll just let things unfold naturally I think. There will be many technical conflicts, but I'll just have to adjust to their way of doing things. This is an important step for me, and I intend to give it my all.

Thank you all for your advice.
Iain.

Aikidoiain
09-12-2004, 05:30 PM
Sorry Chris, I missed your reply.

Yes you're right. That's what I plan to do. As for "forgetting" that which is already stored at a subconscious level, that's impossible. It would be like forgetting how to read or write! Everything I've learned is now part of who I am. I have absolutely no control over the mind and body link I've created. The worst thing that could happen is, if I'm in a confrontational situation and I have to "think" about what to do. As you know you must NEVER hesitate. Hopefully, my skills will be so ingrained, my body will move like before.

Thanks Chris,
Iain.

MitchMZ
09-12-2004, 05:56 PM
Its funny because I have also stumbled and tripped on my path of martial arts training. Much of my training has been done informally. I have studied Hapkido with my dad on and off, I then got into submission fighting(BJJ); but thats hardly a formal dojo setting. I then moved on to Judo and took that for awhile( a year)...it was fun but it didn't keep me coming back for more. I then took Gracie JJ in a formal dojo setting...wasnt really my thing. After that I studied JKD at a self defense seminar, really cool, really effective style; this sparked my interest in the martial arts again. A few months later I became interested in Japanese culture and discovered Aikido; its been really hard to break the habits of jumbled MA training. Although, Aikido is such a broad set of movements that it really goes hand in hand with any style. Looking back, my skill as a martial artist has improved two fold since I started Aikido a half year ago. Not to mention my techniques from other arts are now razor sharp (including kicks). I think this comes from exposing myself to the traditional dojo atmosphere...and truly enjoying the art I'm studying. Don't look at learning Aikido in a dojo as something new, look at it as a way to hone technique. Fighting IRL is a great way to learn "what works" but, I feel that you cant really develop great technique from it. I just learned escapes and how not to get my @zz kicked, lol. You can do both, but thats something else all together ;)

xuzen
09-12-2004, 11:41 PM
Soon I intend to join the local Aikikai-Aikido club. This will be my first time in an Aikido dojo environment. How do I make the transition from what I already know (over 25 years worth) to become a beginner in a proper dojo?

Iain.

Congratulations Iain. Life has presented you with so much opportunity to learn Combative art. Congratulation again for being able to learn them. You can't unlearn what that is already internalised. In a formal dojo, you must recognised that there are formal techniques that the sensei teaches because he has a wide variation of skills within his students. He simply cannot stop his teaching and focus on you.

When I teach my style of self-defense to friends, I do wear a black belt; simply as some indicator of all the hard work I've done.

As for rank, you wear a black belt when teaching. I'd say it is OK as long as your students recognise your technical ability. But then don't expect other formal organization to recognize it.

In your thread, Iain I see there are two distinct motivation you want to go to a formal dojo...

Let me talk about the first one...
Of course, I'd like to gain rank - I've certainly trained long enough, but I just don't have that on paper

You want formal recognition. In this case, you don't need any transition, just go through the formal grading syllables, one grade at a time. You don't have to unlearn anything, you just have to learn the technical aspect since as you claim to have working knowledge of MA. Pass the tests, attain your black belt.

Many of us, go to a formal dojo to learn MA so that we would hopefully one day be able to have the level working knowledge of MA such as that claimed by you. You are on the other hand the opposite... Why do you want to go to a formal dojo? To get a formal cert so that you can open a legit dojo, a change of career perhaps from being a musician to a full-time MA sensei? Now moving on to the second assumed motivation...

so I'm now hoping to find enlightenment rather than relearn how to perform a "kotegaeshi" that I've probably used for real in dozens on situations

You mentioned in your post you are seeking enlightenment. That is a wonderful goal, Iain. IMO, seeking a spiritual leader would be a better endeavour. No doubt MA like aikido can be utilised as an adjunct to enlightenment, since your goals are specific to seek enlightenment, why not seek a specific teacher on such subject?

Congratulation again Iain, you have made me write one of my longest post yet. You da man!

Boon.

Aikidoiain
09-13-2004, 04:58 AM
Thanks Boon.

Yes, by gaining a legitimate black belt is so I can officially teach.

As for Enlightenment, maybe that was the wrong goal - inner peace is really what I'm striving for.

I've just posted another reply on the "Real life experiences" forum - speaking from experience.

Best wishes,
Iain.

batemanb
09-13-2004, 05:18 AM
Forget Everything you Think you know about aikido.


Ditto.

With regards to Aikido, your age is not the important factor, nor the time it will take. If you truly want to learn Aikido, you will forget everything you never learnt in an Aikido dojo, join a local club and practice as if everything was being seen for the first time.

On an aside, as for wearing a black belt when teaching your own style. It sounds like a mish mash of things that you have learnt from friends over the years. I'd not do it unless you have some form of instructor certification in something, otherwise you'll just come across as a Macdojo black belt wannabee. You'll see plenty of those types discussed here and on e-budo and Aikido Journal, if you scan the archives. They aren't usually received very well.


rgds

Bryan

Aikidoiain
09-13-2004, 05:47 AM
Like I said Bryan, I earned that black length of cotton by attending "The School of Hard Knocks".

Try it sometime and see how you fair.

Incidentally, I have been assessed by my friends - many of whom are instructors, and they didn't think I was a "wannabee"!

I value their opinion as they have seen me teach and I have trained with them.

Please don't insult someone you don't know and have never sparred with.

Regards.

Iain. :straightf

batemanb
09-13-2004, 06:48 AM
Iain,

I don't recall posting any insults. I did offer a bit of friendly advice based on your posts and how they read to me, feel free to ignore it.

regards

Bryan

shihonage
09-13-2004, 06:59 AM
Eh, I don't see what the problem is.

If Iain has solid Aikido technique (no matter how the superficial details may differ from whatever dojo, as long as it WORKS!) then a worthy Sensei will recognize his skill and make him test immediately for first degree black belt instead of going through the whole kyu routine.

Aikidoiain
09-13-2004, 06:59 AM
To Bryan,

Furthermore, your "Macdojo black belt wannabee" comment was particularly offensive.

You're the first person to cause me such an insult. Everyone else has treated me with equal respect, whether I've trained in a dojo or not. What makes you so "special"? Do you hold a monopoly on knowledge?

I simply chose a different path to learn MA - that's all. I am NOT invincible nor are you or anyone else for that matter. As for your comment about my style being a "mish-mash" - how dare you!

I thought this forum was for Aikido lovers - not people who just want to insult another because their training doesn't fit with theirs. Or are you just jealous of my "frontline" experiences?

How many times have you been attacked by a knife? I'm here today because my training literally saved my life. So, do you still think I'm sort of "fake"? Sounds like you have a lot to learn yourself!!

I'm sorry to Jun about this, but he really did say some unnecessarily offensive things. Definitely insulting to Aikido also.

Iain. :mad: :(

SeiserL
09-13-2004, 09:01 AM
How do I make the transition from what I already know (over 25 years worth) to become a beginner in a proper dojo?

Shoshin: beginner's mind.

IMHO, do not abandon what you already know, just initally keep it separate from what you are learning.

markwalsh
09-13-2004, 10:11 AM
Hi Ian,

Which is your local dojo? Mail me privately if you lik, I know of one instructor in that neck of the woods you will be interested in.

Don't get worked up by Aiki-web posts. Most of us are pretty nice, it easy to insult/ misunderstand people on line.

Regards,

Mark

happysod
09-13-2004, 10:24 AM
Sensei will recognize his skill and make him test immediately for first degree black belt instead of going through the whole kyu routine Not always, often the intermediate kyus will still be used so that the person knows (and can teach) that assocs syllabus correctly (i.e. in the style of the association). If you weren't interested in teaching, perhaps, but Iain is, so he would probably have to follow all the steps.

Iain, with regards to Bryan's comments, you may want to re-read his post. He at no point said that you were a wannabee, just that wearing a black-belt without any formal assessment (taken from your initial description) was something he wouldn't recommend. Use of a black belt in this way has been mistrued and misused in the past and a lack of formal certificates while wearing a black belt could get you mislabeled as such a person.

Good luck in finding a suitable dojo.

deepsoup
09-13-2004, 11:42 AM
Iain, with regards to Bryan's comments, you may want to re-read his post. He at no point said that you were a wannabee, just that wearing a black-belt without any formal assessment (taken from your initial description) was something he wouldn't recommend.
Quite so, and his advice was good, imo. Certainly not deserving of your reply, a veiled threat.
Use of a black belt in this way has been mistrued and misused in the past and a lack of formal certificates while wearing a black belt could get you mislabeled as such a person.
Or perhaps even correctly labelled as such a person.
When you find a dojo, you might need to turn your ego sideways to fit it through the door.

Sean
x

Ron Tisdale
09-13-2004, 12:27 PM
As someone else said, shoshin. Beginers mind.

As someone else also said, if you want to teach under an organization, you must go through the process. If kyu testing is part of that process...then that is what you do. Actually, that is what you do **whether it is required or not**, if you are honest with yourself.

I've seen you get upset a few times here already...I'm not sure how to address that without upsetting you more. I'll try with an example from my own life.

I've worked in one or another area in computers for almost 20 years now. But a lot of my networking/switching/routing experience is informal. I am now working in that area full time, and being asked to run fairly large projects. Now, I could tell people who try to help me that I have learned from the school of 20 years of hard knocks, that I have done it in the real world, and that I know better than they do. Or, I could listen and learn from those with formal training, pick up what ever I lack, polish my skills where they are already adequate. Its my choice. I can sucseed or I can fail. But it is my choice. I hope to make the best choice possible for both myself and the people around me. But I won't be able to do that if I don't listen. Carefully. Without prejudging what I **think** people are saying. Kind of like taking the chip of my shoulder, before someone knocks it off for me.

Best of luck.

Ron

Aikidoiain
09-13-2004, 01:01 PM
To all,

I clearly misunderstood Bryan when he used the phrase, "a Macdojo black belt wannabee". I'm sorry, I thought he was insulting me because I am Scottish.

As for having a big ego - well, consider this:- I am presently a housebound Chronic Agoraphobic who is now afraid to leave the house. I thought that by going to the nearby Aikido club would help me, now I'm wondering if I should bother at all. Since retiring from the music business, my life has imploded.

I do teach self-defense, in my home to friends. I simply wear the Gi and the black belt because I feel it's like putting on a uniform and immediately helps me with my teaching. It's a Psychological thing. Even when I could go out and attend a Hapkido club, once I wore my "uniform" it did improve my training there. I suppose the same applies to anyone who wears a uniform in their work - they assume the role.

I've been told my MA skills are good by those who know Aikido well. I'm sure the thugs who have attacked me over the years would certify to that fact too! Unfortunately, I forgot to ask them...damn! I feel I'm on trial here like some criminal!!!

Maybe I should wear a tartan belt the next time I teach....or perhaps a clowns' costume? Maybe that's what you all seem to think I am. Or perhaps I'd make a great actor? Afterall, I managed "to fool" the thugs that I could defend myself - and I even "fooled" real MA practioners. I think I'll move to Hollywood!

Here's another thought - While working as a drummer I was often asked who taught me. I was entirely self-taught. I listened to Buddy Rich records since the age of 9 and learned from them. I taught myself how to read drum music, I read books, I watched teaching videos and I practiced constantly. This paid off. I got a lot of work. At one point I was rated as one of the top 10 drummers in Scotland. Even "taught" drummers came to me once I started to run drum workshops. I could play. I had no diploma from any college stating that fact, but the audiences and fellow musicians knew.

I know I can already defend myself - it's been proven. I just wanted to go to this Aikido club to see what it would be like. I'm happy to train with beginners. The grading is held all over the country. I can't travel, so I won't be able to grade, unless they hold them at the club (which is unlikely). It's true that I need a black belt so I can legitimately set myself up as a teacher. I can only show my friends so much in my small flat. I would teach general self-defense that I know works, rather than any one style.

Thank you,
Iain.

Everything seems to be against me right now.

Aikidoiain
09-13-2004, 01:11 PM
Sorry Ron, I missed your reply.

I am fully prepared to continue to learn in a structured environment. I am NOT a "know it all" by any stretch of the imagination. There are things I want to learn to do better.

If you ever met me, you see that I had a nervous stutter - which has only developed since I became housebound. When I am writing down my MA experiences, I even feel that couldn't really have been me, but it was.

I joined this forum for encouragement and thought Aikido people would recognize that, but it seems that most of you think I'm just a big-headed show off. I'm not. I'm fragile, easily upset but still love Aikido.

Thanks Ron.
Iain.

Greg Jennings
09-13-2004, 01:42 PM
Hi Iain,

The longest journey is traveled one step at a time. Go train. If you need someone to chat with, feel free to PM or e-mail.

Best regards,

suren
09-13-2004, 02:32 PM
Hi Iain,

Do not be upset with the reaction you got from people here. I guess it was because you claimed yourself as a "homegrown" martial artist with experience which has not been formally proven and which came from practicing using books and with some people who also (as I understand) do not have formal ranks.
That's the same as for a person who does not have any diploma, but who works hard to come up with something brilliant and tell about this in an audience packed with students and professors :) I think you can imagine the reaction :)
I personally do not see any problem with being a "homegrown", but for most of people it's very difficult to learn smth without a teacher. It's certainly not my way, I can't practice by books and I'm sure if I were to do so, I would pick up a lot of misconceptions, but people are different and I can imagine there are people who can learn that way.
Keep in mind that NOBODY HERE CAN QUESTION YOUR EXPERIENCE unless they see you on a mat and experience your technique.
Do not get upset and try to learn as much as you can the way it works for you.

Best regards,
Suren.

AsimHanif
09-13-2004, 02:47 PM
Iian,
I once knew a guy from around my block named Charlie. Charlie read every karate book, watched every video, and mimicked every streetfighter in the Bronx. I would see him at 6 in the morning work on the steel monkey bars in the park like it was a Wing Chun Dummy. He never had any formal training under a recognized instructor but Charlie got very strong at what he was practicing. He was fooling around one day with a guy and paralyzed him. The guy is still in a wheel chair to this day. Charlied passed away a few years ago due to drugs. I observed that after he hurt that guy he seemed to go into a depression.
My point is you can learn alot on you own but there is still a lot to learn in the dojo, physically, mentally, and hopefully spiritually.

Aikidoiain
09-13-2004, 04:00 PM
To all,

Sorry for taking some of your advice personally.

And thanks for taking an interest in the first place.

Best wishes,
Iain. :) :ki:

Qatana
09-13-2004, 04:43 PM
Iain

i was housebound with severe agoraphobia and clinical depression for five years. Forcing myself to go to the dojo three times a week was the beginning of the cure for me. Now i am going out dancing on my own again.
if for no other reason i strongly reccommend training in a dojo.

pezalinski
09-13-2004, 04:50 PM
Dear Ian,

REGARDLESS of age or past experience, please join a dojo and share your experience, and experiences, with others in Aikido. Stay humble, show what you know, and learn what you can. Rank happens, often rapidly, under the proper circumstances. As a note of encouragement, my favorite instructor (Sensei Mike Mamura, 1918-2000) didn't begin aikido until he was in his 40's, and he practiced, learned new things, and taught up until his last day on earth.

xuzen
09-14-2004, 02:22 AM
Hi Iain,

I have a story to share... it is also a real-life event, only it happened 2,500 years ago.
Some dude whose a royalty and he is of warrior class woke up one day disillusioned with things around him. He realised that despite his lavish and extravagance surrounding he is uncontented.

He left his comfort zone and went out to survey his surrounding and realised that no matter how prime you are now you will eventually suffer old age, sickness and death. it is an inescapable truth.

He went around trying to seek an answer and turn to many very established spiritual leader of his time, but none of them are able to give him a satisfactory answer. He got no choice and had to seek his answer on his own. He tried established method, he tried his own method, some of his method nearly cost him his life, some method were bizarre and very non-contempary during his time.

In the end he got his answer he seek and enlightenment as well. How's that for killing two bird with one stone. Anyway, his teaching is so profound that it endured for two and a half millenia and a large chunk of the world population studies his teaching religiously, including my ancestors and I.
Do you know this dude? I read about him, his life and his teaching since childhood days.

My point Iain, you are seeking inner peace, if you can't find it then you have to do it yourself. But before that you have to be humble enough to seek other people's teaching and then compare it to your own understanding. Therehence only can you progress.

Wrt to people ridiculing you and calling your technical capability a bluff and getting so worked up, you must understand none of these people have actually see your ability and therefore don't expect to take your post seriously. Assuming what you post in the real-life is the truth, there isn't a need to get so worked up either. You win a fight or many fights, so what! If you win some fight and then get paid million of dollars as in pro boxing, then there is something to shout about.

I spend half a day writing this post, I know that you are a sensitive person as stated in your previous post, so I try not to sound too offensive, if I failed, then apologies in advance.

Take care man.

Peace,
Boon

batemanb
09-14-2004, 03:15 AM
To all,

I clearly misunderstood Bryan when he used the phrase, "a Macdojo black belt wannabee". I'm sorry, I thought he was insulting me because I am Scottish.

I was going to leave this thread alone, but a lot of posts have followed on since yesterday.

Iain, I thought carefully and hard before posting, and thought that my initial post was quite diplomatic. I must say that I never thought the term Macdojo would be confused with insulting a Scotsman, the thought just never crossed my mind. It is a very common term used in the online world of martial arts.

As for having a big ego - well, consider this:- I am presently a housebound Chronic Agoraphobic who is now afraid to leave the house. I thought that by going to the nearby Aikido club would help me, now I'm wondering if I should bother at all. Since retiring from the music business, my life has imploded.


I'm very sorry to hear about your agrophobia, I had a friend who suffered from it many years back. It can't be easy, but that really doesn't have anything to do with ego. Going to the local Aikido club is definately a positive step forward, I sincerely hope that you take it.

I do teach self-defense, in my home to friends. I simply wear the Gi and the black belt because I feel it's like putting on a uniform and immediately helps me with my teaching. It's a Psychological thing. Even when I could go out and attend a Hapkido club, once I wore my "uniform" it did improve my training there. I suppose the same applies to anyone who wears a uniform in their work - they assume the role.

The fact is that your black belt was not conferred by any organisation. To put one on when teaching indicates to your students that you have been awarded one, that is as much an afront to everyone that has earned one as my words appear to be to you.

I've been told my MA skills are good by those who know Aikido well. I'm sure the thugs who have attacked me over the years would certify to that fact too! Unfortunately, I forgot to ask them...damn! I feel I'm on trial here like some criminal!!!

Iain, I never called into question your ability, I have not raised any doubts about your techniques. I've never met you, so it would be impossible for me to judge your abilities.

Maybe I should wear a tartan belt the next time I teach....or perhaps a clowns' costume? Maybe that's what you all seem to think I am. Or perhaps I'd make a great actor? Afterall, I managed "to fool" the thugs that I could defend myself - and I even "fooled" real MA practioners. I think I'll move to Hollywood!

If your teaching in your house, it really doesn't matter what you wear, as long as you are not fooling your students about how you got where you are.

I know I can already defend myself - it's been proven. I just wanted to go to this Aikido club to see what it would be like. I'm happy to train with beginners. The grading is held all over the country. I can't travel, so I won't be able to grade, unless they hold them at the club (which is unlikely). It's true that I need a black belt so I can legitimately set myself up as a teacher. I can only show my friends so much in my small flat. I would teach general self-defense that I know works, rather than any one style.

Thank you,
Iain.

Everything seems to be against me right now.

This is the crux of it. You say that you know you need a black belt to legitimately set yourself up as a teacher. You need to decide whether putting one on because you think you earned it legitimises you, or whether having one conferred upon you through a recognised organisation does. If it's the latter, then taking that first step to the local dojo is the best thing you can do. If it takes 1 year or 10 years, it doesn't matter, the fact that you have emptied your cup and asked for another drink is what is important.

No ones against you other than yourself. There has been a lot of good advice offered here, there are many things learnt in a dojo outside of techniques that work, things that will only serve to help you improve yourself and how you teach.

Best of luck in your endeavours.

Rgds

Bryan

ian
09-14-2004, 03:56 AM
Jes' Iain. In my view don't forget everything you've learnt! You need to steal what is useful from other people and incorporate this into your own training. Admittedly you need to try and understand what new things they are teaching, as well as people pliant enough with your co-students to be able to practise something different. However, after many years of training it is best to ADD to what you have learnt.

Having trained in many dojo myself I know that I have internalised much of what I have learnt to the point that it is useless for me to TRY and forget it. However I enjoy training with aikidoka who do things differently because I can incorporate that into what is now my aikido. If you are good, most people may not even realise you are doing things slightly differently (and much of what you have learnt e.g. strikes etc, can still be done through visualisation during the practise).

Take what is useful;. If you don't think it is useful you either are not ready for it, or it is crap.

ian
09-14-2004, 03:58 AM
P.S. there are many important reasons why we train full contact with partners. Don't train on your own, its a very poor substitute.

Aikidoiain
09-14-2004, 06:28 AM
Hi again,

To answer the last few posts -

Firstly, my friends know I was not "awarded" the black belt I wear when I teach them. They know me well and have seen my skills, so they recognize my abilities - that's why they come to me for lessons. So, I am not fooling them, indeed they think I deserve to wear one, simply because I have developed my own style now and shown them things that they could learn and use instantly. I only teach the most basic and practical techniques to get them out of a sticky situation. One friend is already an excellent Karate practitioner, but doesn't know of the locks and grab escapes I've shown him.

Thanks Boon for your time. You really are a generous person and I fully appreciate your input. I am open to learning. I look forward to it in fact.

I do intend to join the local Aikido club very soon. It's Aikikai. I've been along to see them train and it looks good - although I seem to use more economy of movement in my style.

And Bryan - I'm sorry. I totally over-reacted. I'm under immense stress and I'm afraid you got the brunt of it. I hope you can forgive me. Yes, the Agoraphobia has destroyed my previously very active life. I don't wish to turn this forum into a therapy help line, but this was made worse 2 weeks ago when my Grandmother died. Because I cannot travel, I could not attend her funeral. I doubt I'll ever get over that.

To conclude, I do appreciate anyone and everyone who's replied to this thread, and will fully take on board all advice given. For that I feel humble.

Thanks to all.

I hope I have resolved this issue. Bryan's right - the only person against me is myself - I know that, and hopefully by attending formal Aikido lessons I shall indeed stop thinking so negatively. I think I'm acting out of pure nervous energy at the moment.

Thank you,
Iain. :ki:

AsimHanif
09-14-2004, 09:57 AM
I think we have to be careful about how we judge "black belts". My Goju-ryu instructor was taught by three of Miyagi Sensei's top students but never was formally a part of any organization. He was awarded Dan rank by each and 4th Dan by Miyazato E. Sensei. Miyazato Sensei even came to the US and stayed with him to further teach him. Although he still doesn't belong to any formal organization the Okinawan Shorei Ha Goju-ryu community recognizes him and his students.
We are ultimately judged by the standards of our community. The thing is we have to be amongst the community to be judged. Then we are able to take a fair look at ourselves among our peers.
Boxing is a prime example. You can call yourself Champion of ABCX but until you step in against recognized champions of the boxing community, you will never be acknowleged.

Aikidoiain
09-14-2004, 11:09 AM
Hi Asim,

I agree totally!

Would I have been able to survive against knife attacks had I not had MA experience?

Black belt or not, my skills were good enough to have saved my life. Nuff said.

Thanks for your reply,
Iain. :ki:

dan guthrie
09-14-2004, 11:39 AM
I am presently a housebound Chronic Agoraphobic who is now afraid to leave the house. I thought that by going to the nearby Aikido club would help me, now I'm wondering if I should bother at all. Since retiring from the music business, my life has imploded.



Thank you,
Iain.

Everything seems to be against me right now.

My former wife was also agoraphobic.
Suggestions: she got a puppy, her first, and having to walk the dog helped her get out. Drugs didn't help at all, legal or otherwise. Gradual desensitization - going out for 1 minute then 2 minutes until you can stay out - didn't work for her. She also had panic attacks, which I suspect were the cause of her agoraphobia, you might want to check into that.

Keep your options open. Some people just get better, I saw some of her contemporaries in group therapy succeed with desensitization. Just don't give up.

E-mail me if you want to talk.

AsimHanif
09-14-2004, 01:18 PM
Iain,
Knife Attacks (with an s). How many were there?

suren
09-14-2004, 02:00 PM
Sorry for delay with responce.

He never had any formal training under a recognized instructor but Charlie got very strong at what he was practicing. He was fooling around one day with a guy and paralyzed him.
Asim, that's a good and very strong point, but I haven't seen it discussed in the previous posts. It looks like more conserns are expressed about being formally trained and being eligible to wear a belt. I try to keep in mind my previous karate sensei's words: "The important thing is not the kimono, but what inside it". As for informal training, I just had a class today with a guy whom sensei calls a "homegrown", but he got a black belt in our dojo after passing the exams. He taught today while sensei is on vacation and the techniques he has shown hardly could be called "classical Aikido", but that's something new and it gives you new perspective on the things...
Anyway now everything seems to come together and everybody hopefully is happy.

Good luck with your training.

AsimHanif
09-14-2004, 03:11 PM
Yes, with the right mentoring it can all balance out. One of the points I was trying to make was with the elegibility of wearing the belt there also comes responsibility. When you train on your own, your responsibility is to you. In a dojo setting we learn to be responsible to each other.

Steve Kubien
09-14-2004, 03:11 PM
Hi Iain,

I have no-where near your experience which the martial arts (aikido or otherwise). In fact, I haven't even got a full month of aikido under my belt, but I'm going to offer my 2 cents anyway....

I assume you have met with the chief instructor at the dojo in your neighbourhood. Does he know about your condition? It may be something to bring up. I don't think my sensai would be very happy if I had to leave during a training session and did so without announcement. I am merely guessing here, but that could be a situation your face. Better to address it beforehand.

I whole-heartedly encourage you to join this dojo. It will help with your goals of a black-belt and spiritual calm. Go once a week to start if leaving the house is that bad for you. I have to believe it will get better, and so should you. The important thing is to start. Go with an open-mind. What you have learned may be right on the mark regarding technique or possibly a little off centre. Who knows, your style/technique may be more effective but if it's a belt you want..., well, what sensai says goes. Right?

Regarding the "Macdojo" comment, I can see how that might offend a Scot. Would you have realized what was meant if it had been, "McDojo" ala the 'restaurant' McDonald's? I do not think any harm was intended. I know I often have a hard time washing things like that away. Hopefully my aikido training with help me with not carrying a grudge!

Take care of yourself and all the best. Let us know how the first training session works out.

Steve Kubien
:ki:

Aikidoiain
09-14-2004, 04:08 PM
Boy, I'm running out of things to say!

Firstly , thanks for the replies. There were 3 knife attacks. Each had different elements of threat. The one I mentioned on one of my posts with the two guys - that was the scariest when I look back. The other two were single attackers. Anyway, I dealt with them - that's the main thing. Oh, and a guy pulled a knife on me while I was at school - I froze. He was "just" fooling around!! What a ******* he was.

I think I've already addressed many of the newer posts earlier. Perhaps you should go back and read them.

Thanks to all who responded.
Iain. :ki:

deepsoup
09-14-2004, 05:04 PM
Firstly, my friends know I was not "awarded" the black belt I wear when I teach them. They know me well and have seen my skills, so they recognize my abilities - that's why they come to me for lessons. So, I am not fooling them, indeed they think I deserve to wear one, simply because I have developed my own style now and shown them things that they could learn and use instantly.
Well thats fine and dandy then. Really, as long as you're honest with your students and yourself then anything goes, but I still don't think the b/b (or indeed the gi) are really relevant or necessary. Nor do I think that gaining your shodan in Aikikai (or any other flavour) aikido will add any legitimacy that you feel you lack. Your formal grade in aikido is relevant if you're teaching aikido, otherwise its really neither here nor there.
To put it another way, I do have an 'official' black belt and the nice certificate to go with it, but I certainly wouldn't presume to teach self-defence to anyone, I'd feel like a total fraud.
I do intend to join the local Aikido club very soon. It's Aikikai. I've been along to see them train and it looks good - although I seem to use more economy of movement in my style.
If you've already been to the dojo, it sounds like you're already over one big hurdle. My advice is forget about the grades, forget about everything else in fact, other than getting to the dojo regularly, maybe making a few new friends and enjoying the training. Nothing else is really important just now.
I don't wish to turn this forum into a therapy help line,
There must be support groups online for agoraphobia sufferers though, aren't there? Might it help to check a few out?

Sean
x

Aikidoiain
09-14-2004, 11:01 PM
Hi Sean,

Like I said, the self-defense I teach is based on my real life experiences of things that work against all manner of attacks - so they've been tried and tested BY ME!

Yes, there's a lot of Aikido and Aiki-Jujitsu involved, some Hapkido too, but ultimately I've combined these elements into a fully practical and usable system.

Actually being attacked is a great teacher in itself. You soon find out what to do and what not to do!

As for joining the Aikido club, I've already given my reasons elsewhere in this forum. That's separate from my self-defense teaching. As I've said, I love Aikido. I want to train in a formal dojo setting. If I pick up any new "usable" techniques, I'll add them to my MA toolkit. I need to relax - I'm stressed. I've always found Aikido felt natural to me.

Whether I attain a b/b is not important at this time - going is.

I've already had many years of therapy for Agoraphobia. It's a Chronic condition which does not respond well to any treatment - including medication. I've talked enough about it. Talking never helped.

Thanks,
Iain. :ki:

Janet Rosen
09-14-2004, 11:19 PM
Now i am going out dancing on my own again.
And we can't make her stop! (g,d,r...hi, Jo!)

Aikidoiain
09-21-2004, 05:04 PM
To all,

Thanks for all your advice. I now feel ready to begin my formal training - probably this week. I have taken on board all the replies and am now open to learning.

Once again, many thanks,
Iain. :ki: :)

xuzen
09-21-2004, 09:07 PM
The journey of a thousand li (approximately one mile) start with but the first step.
- A Chinese proverb

Congratulation Iain, I feel at least you have defeated some of your inner demons / mental baggages. Welcome aboard on the aikido journey.

Best Wishes,
Boon.

Aikidoiain
09-22-2004, 06:34 AM
Thanks Boon. You're advice certainly helped.

Iain. :ki: :D

jester
09-22-2004, 10:50 AM
I'm now hoping to find enlightenment rather than relearn how to perform a "kotegaeshi" that I've probably used for real in dozens on situations!

Hi Iain. I had a similar problem learning other styles of aikido. What I learned from my instructor was very different from what others taught. I studies Miyama Ryu Jujitsu also, and it seemed to fit more with the aikido I learned than other aikido styles.

I tried to retrofit what I knew into what they were teaching, and it doesn't work. Things that I was taught never to do were being done, and it was confusing.

So if you want to learn from someone, you need to have an empty cup. Forget what you know while your in their class, and do it their way, don't try to fit it into what you already know.

There are many ways to do KoteGaeshi, and I can bet that there is no one on earth that knows them all, so listen and learn as much as you can.

Don't be in such a rush to get a belt. Having belts with all the colors in the rainbow just let instructors charge you belt test fees, and helps them sell more belts. Until Shodan, you haven't even mastered the basics yet, so no belt prior to that really matters. If you really know a lot (about aikido), you will be noticed for your fast learning, and promoted accordingly.

hope this helps.

ecollander
09-22-2004, 02:47 PM
Hi Asim,

I agree totally!

Would I have been able to survive against knife attacks had I not had MA experience?

Black belt or not, my skills were good enough to have saved my life. Nuff said.

Thanks for your reply,
Iain. :ki:

Ian,
First let me say that I am new to this forum, and have not started Aikido training yet (I am 1st Dan TKD -- but haven't trained/studied in roughly 5 years).
This topic reminded me of something Bruce Lee said: the only thing a belt is good for is holding up your pants (or something to that effect). As an aside, I do understand and appreciate the ranking system, and the importance of belts.
Ian, if you have confidence in your abilities and have proven that your abilities work, who needs the belt to prove it?
Just a thought.
Good luck.
Eric

Qatana
09-22-2004, 04:53 PM
Because if you want to teach aikido you have to have the credentials to show that you are capable of teaching aikido.
otherwise its not aikido.

Aikidoiain
09-22-2004, 07:12 PM
Thanks Everyone,

For those of you who've been following my "story", here's the latest chapter. I've been open so far on this site, so I might as well tell all.

Firstly, I went to the Aikido club earlier tonight, thanks to everyone's support.

The class began at 7.30pm, so all day I'd been getting more and more anxious. As it got closer, the anxiety came to a head. Two hours before the start time the panic attacks began. First there was nausea, then shaking, then actually being sick. It continued to worsen as time grew closer. I felt horrendous. Even 10 minutes before I actually left, I was still throwing up! Even as I stood at the door ready to leave, I was still very nauseous.

As I walked the short distance to the club, my legs were like jelly, and I felt dizzy and the nausea continued. When I entered the hall, I thought I was going to pass out! I saw stars, and voices echoed as the room started spinning. Anyway, When everyone had arrived (there were about 10), we began. Unfortunately the Sensei couldn't make it, so one of the high ranked white belts took the class - he was very good. Just a young man in his 20s, but he'd been there for around 5 years and certainly knew his stuff.

The warm up was very gentle, compared to the Military style Hapkido warm ups. But I still felt ill. I simply couldn't concentrate. Several basic techniques were demonstrated, then we all paired up. I still couldn't stop shaking and fighting back being sick - it was awful. Needless to say, my techniques were terrible. I just wanted to leave. Everyone was very polite and friendly though. They kept on saying "Just relax" - of course they had no idea what I was going through. I was glad when the session ended. It ranks amongst the worst 2 hours I've ever experienced.

I don't know what else to say, other than, it is clear that my MH problems are a serious issue. If tonight is an indication of what I'll be like every time, then I see no point going. As for Aikido - I feel as if I know nothing. When I got home I simply broke down.

Sorry, I feel I've let everyone down. And me? Well, I don't know what to do. All in all, a hellish experience.

I don't know if any advice will help.

Sorry everyone,
Iain.

shihonage
09-22-2004, 07:51 PM
Needless to say, my techniques were terrible. I just wanted to leave. Everyone was very polite and friendly though. They kept on saying "Just relax" - of course they had no idea what I was going through. I was glad when the session ended. It ranks amongst the worst 2 hours I've ever experienced.


I find the "Just relax" comments to be mostly unhelpful.
It's too vague and too inaccurate.
If one truly cares for the person to learn something, they'll be more specific than "just relax".

Overall, your experiences vividly remind me of the time when I had social anxiety.

As for "I feel like I know nothing", well, truth be told I almost quit during the first 3 months. Then it suddenly just... rolled along.

Greg Jennings
09-22-2004, 09:18 PM
I couldn't find my butt with both hands and a GPS for several months. I can't tell you how many times my instructor said "Your *other* right foot".

So, Iain, I guess I'll modify my earlier statement. Again, I mean this in the kindest way possible: "Shut up and *keep* training".

Warm regards,

xuzen
09-22-2004, 09:36 PM
Dear Iain,

Compare yourself now and what you would like to achieve in future. You yourself claim that Aikido is a wonderful thing and after only one try you intend to give up? How can you? It is as if all our well wishes and hopes never motivated you.

What hellish experience you perceive at that moment in time is only hellish at that moment in time. Even before you allow your mind to settle-in you are already wanting to move away. Just take nikajo/nikyo wrist lock for example, the pain is only there at the moment the lock is applied, the pain will be gone once the lock is lifted. After a while, once you get accustomed the pain becomes lesser and maybe latter it become ignorable.

Iain, I am not adamant that you must continue on the Aikido path for better mental health, all I am saying, since your heart love aikido so much, you are not doing yourself any justice by giving up only after one try.

Boon.

Aikidoiain
09-23-2004, 01:21 AM
Thanks all,

I'll need to talk to my Doctor about this issue. The medication I'm taking is obviously not relieving the problems.

Do you think it's possible for an "emotionally unbalanced" person to ever hope to relax enough to centre oneself? Afterall "Ki" is all about balance. I simply couldn't relax or stop shaking or concentrate. Any suggestions?

I think if the Sensei were there, I'd have felt able to tell him I didn't feel well, and try to explain why. If I go again, I'll check first to see if the Sensei is there.

Iain.

ruthmc
09-23-2004, 04:43 AM
Hi Iain,

First of all - congratulations on taking that first step. It's especially impressive that you did it despite feeling terrible, and I am very proud of you :-)

Second - how do you know that it will always be like this? Unless you can predict the future that is.. Why not go into it with an open mindset that allows you to just "be" as you are in the moment? You might surprise yourself one day that it isn't so hard to go to training.

They do say that the first step is always the most difficult, and you have overcome that hurdle, and done so very well.

Now you just need to take one step at a time along your path.

Keep being brave, and let us know how you get on!

Ruth

Pauliina Lievonen
09-23-2004, 08:05 AM
Do you think it's possible for an "emotionally unbalanced" person to ever hope to relax enough to centre oneself? Afterall "Ki" is all about balance. I simply couldn't relax or stop shaking or concentrate. Any suggestions?


I don't know. But...you did go, and you did take the class, you didn't even leave in the middle despite feeling awful. And you survived to tell us about it!
Everything that Ruth said. Well done!

Maybe that's all you need to do, keep going and it will be slowly less terrible. I don't know, but it's possible, no? Worth the try at least?

Talking with the sensei is definitely a good idea I think.

kvaak
Pauliina

aikidocapecod
09-23-2004, 08:25 AM
I had a thought.....and yes...that is a painful experience for me....so I best get it out before the pain of thinking overtakes me!!!!!

Do you think that if you had a few students fromthe dojo come to your home and practice with you a couple times, that your trips to the dojo would be less frightening? Perhaps the familiarity with those from the dojo that is gained if they came to your place a few times would allow you to feel more at ease in the dojo. Perhaps like a second home....

It is just a thought....maybe it might help....no harm in trying....and a final thought if you do try this...
allow one of the visitors to teach. If you have some from your dojo come to your home, and you teach, you would be in your comfort zone. Allow one of them to teach. Allow the practice session to be a time of learning for you.....

again...it was justa thought....good luck

Mel Barker
09-23-2004, 08:46 AM
Any suggestions?Iain.

Keep going.

You'll continue to have your symptoms. You'll continue to survive them. Your body may eventually get a clue that this isn't killing it.

Plan on putting in a good couple of months. Plan on it not getting any better in that time frame. After that, decide if you want to continue enduring these symptoms.

We all have something that fear is stopping us from doing. Most of us can avoid that one thing and (seemingly) not have it greatly affect our lives. You don't have the luxury of avoiding the pain as too many interactions cause it. Avoiding the pain for you deprives you of a life.

Find two support groups. One that will emphasize with you regarding you condition, and One the will demand that you deal with it by pushing yourself.

Mel

SeiserL
09-23-2004, 09:41 AM
Compliments on the courage to go my friend.

IMHO, yes, talk to the Doctor prescribing your medication. Sometimes the relief of one symptom can make others worse. Work closely with them and keep them informed.

I find that mental rehearsal before an event helps. In the privacy and safety of your own home, create a fantasy of being relaxed in class. Now step into the fantasy as if you were actually there. See, hear, and feel it. Give yourself a one word anchor, such as breath in and breath out saying "relax" until just saying the word helps relieve some tension. As you bow, each time, exhale and say your anchor. Every time you catch yourself getting tense, re-center, re-balance, by inhaling and exhaling with the word anchor "relax".

Yes I do believe its not only possible to train with some mental illness, I truly believe its possible to get over most mental illness.

Again, compliments on the courage. Keep showing up. This is your spiritual, not just mental and emotional, battle.

Qatana
09-23-2004, 10:41 AM
iain, keep going back. Also start an aikiweb journal. Write down your actions & reactions after every class like you did here.
Go back and read it in six months & see if there is a difference.

I Know it is possible to get better.

One of the major principles in aikido is irimi- entering Into the attack. Keep entering.Keep going to the dojo.

deepsoup
09-23-2004, 03:37 PM
The last few posts seem to be to be full of good advice. All I can add is a "Yeah, what they said."
Iain, first of all, everyone feels like a numpty the first time they train, or for the first few months, and even people who've been practicing a long time and gone a long way up the rankings go home from training feeling that way sometimes.
But more importantly, look at what you achieved. You left the house, you went into an unfamiliar social situation with a whole bunch of people you've never met, and you stuck it out to the end. Forget about the aikido, thats quite enough to be dealing with for starters, no wonder it was hard. Much as the idea of doing it again fills you with dread, do it again, it can only get easier.

Jeanne Shepard
09-23-2004, 09:32 PM
I find the "Just relax" comments to be mostly unhelpful.
It's too vague and too inaccurate.
If one truly cares for the person to learn something, they'll be more specific than "just relax".

Overall, your experiences vividly remind me of the time when I had social anxiety.

As for "I feel like I know nothing", well, truth be told I almost quit during the first 3 months. Then it suddenly just... rolled along.

It takes alot of repetition for anything to click, but it finally does, I promise.

Jeanne :p

Janet Rosen
09-24-2004, 12:46 AM
Keep going.

You'll continue to have your symptoms. You'll continue to survive them. Your body may eventually get a clue that this isn't killing it.


I would agree.
A few yrs of doing aikido gave me the courage to start dealing with longstanding driving-related anxiety attacks that kept me off of bridges and most freeways for many yrs.
I had a counselor who taught me some very good hands-on techniques (rhythmic tapping of sternum, visualization, watching the clock, etc) AND sat in the drivers seat while I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Realizing that the trip was finite and that I would survive it was an incredible gift/first step.
The physical techniques, BTW, are largely adapted from things that are used with PTSD folks, and a doc who works with that population should be able to teach you a few.
best of luck--please don't give up on yourself or your quest.

Aikidoiain
09-24-2004, 12:46 PM
I have contacted the club secretary to ask one of the instructors to phone me so I can explain my difficulties. I fully intend to go back - even if it's just to watch. Once I have spoken to the Sensei, I think that will help me immensely. Once he's been made aware of these MH conditions, that in itself will make me feel a little "safer".

All in all, I feel a little more positive now. Another thing I'll have to start, is getting myself fit. Because I am unable to go out walking or cycling, I'll need to find some way of exercising at home. I do have weights and a bench, but it's aerobic exercise I really need. Since becoming housebound, I've put on well over 2 stones - all on my gut. In the past, I was athletic fit, but now I get breathless just walking up 3 flights of stairs. Any exercise advice (in the home) would be much obliged. Motivation is also a problem.

Thank you all for supporting me on this journey. I feel very humble.

Iain. :ki: :)

dan guthrie
09-24-2004, 09:21 PM
Iain, what a victory! Don't let up. You did something amazing. I know there is no comparison to what I do in my daily life but I do have some related experience with your problem.
We've talked privately before but I thought this deserved a full public standing ovation.
I don't know if you'll have the same crappy paniced experience each time or if it'll get less but Aikido IS WORTH IT! There are times when it's like being part of a magic act.

Don't feel awkward: It took me almost 35 minutes to do one technique. I had sensei as my uke for the entire time and that was last week.
If Aikido was easy they'd hand you a black belt when you walked into the room.

Aikido is reallllllly hard unless you're one of those smarty-pantsed people who can do everything well.


Again, congratulations on a great victory!
:) :cool: :)

MaryKaye
09-25-2004, 07:29 AM
I recently went through a somewhat trying hour of sword training as a guest at a dojo of a different tradition. The Head Instructor patiently drilled me on the moves--I was surprised and grateful that he'd spend so much time and effort on a guest--but doggone it, he was flatly contradicting a lot of what I'd been taught, and I had a terrible time getting it right by his standards.

The thing that helped me was saying to myself, over and over, "I'm here to learn what *this teacher* has to teach me. Never mind trying to decide how this relates to my previous training--there's time enough for that off the mat. Right now, I just need to try it."

Mary Kaye

Aikidoiain
09-25-2004, 10:27 AM
Thanks Dan,

I really appreciate that. :)

I remember when I first began training in Hapkido (a Korean MA) many years ago now, I found it easy. I was a fitter and more balanced person then, so it was great!

This thread reminds me of that time, and just how much I actually learned. On a few occasions, I was lucky enough to have some one to one tuition with the 2nd Dan Sensei (at classes where no one else turned up). Even though I was still a white belt, he recognized my past MA experience and showed me stuff that was not part of the syllabus. I still remember those techniques, and I have to say they provided me with some stuff that I would never have learned otherwise. We even sparred once (!), and had he not moved quickly, he'd have been floored by one of my kicks! Though, ultimately he soon had me tied in knots (literally!).

It was probably this very special "one to one teaching" that gave me the skills to defend myself "on the street". I would liken these "special techniques" as being very close to SAS or Special Forces stuff. As I mentioned before, had I not taken ill, I think I would have a 1st Dan in Hapkido today. It was just so unfortunate that I couldn't continue.

Regarding the Aikido club I've joined, this is very difficult (for reasons I've explained) and will take many years to feel comfortable with this style. I am still waiting for a phone call from the Sensei (I think) in order to explain my present trauma.

Generally though, I do feel more positive about the club. The next class is on Wednesday. There is also a Saturday class, but very few people turn up, so I think that class will help me immensely, as there'll be fewer people.

I'll certainly keep you all posted about my progress. I feel that speaking to the Sensei is the key to lessen my anxieties.

Thanks to all,
Iain. :ki: :)

Janet Rosen
09-25-2004, 03:36 PM
Any exercise advice (in the home) would be much obliged. Motivation is also a problem. :)
Yep. Stationery bike is low impact, good for building leg muscles, good for aerobic workout. You can probably arrange to have one delivered so you needn't go out for it. Motivation? Convince yourself it is your lifeline to the world.
Setting it up in front of tv/vcr, or reading a magazine while on it, helps too!

Aikidoiain
09-26-2004, 03:38 AM
A stationary bike is out of the question I'm afraid Janet. You see I live on the top floor of a Glasgow tenement flat with "cardboard" walls - the neighbours would go CRAZY!!!! :crazy: :grr: The vibrations would permeate throughout the whole building! The sound insulation is so bad that I can easily talk to my neighbours through the walls!

I'll need to think of maybe using light weights and doing many reps.

Thanks Janet,
Iain. :ki: :)

Qatana
09-26-2004, 09:44 AM
If you get out of breath climbing stairs, it sounds like stair climbing would be good practice.

Aikidoiain
09-26-2004, 01:46 PM
Great idea in theory Jo, but me climbing up and down the stairs would certainly attract too much attention from the already nosey neighbours (which I really don't need right now). I think I'll stick to my weights idea for the time being.


Thanks anyway Jo,
Iain. :ki: :)

Bronson
09-27-2004, 01:13 AM
I don't do it but Scrapper's Body Weight Workout (http://www.trainforstrength.com/) has been recommended here before.

Bronson

giriasis
09-29-2004, 08:45 PM
Regarding your question about whether a person with MH problems can train and get something out of it? I have had problems in the past with depression and anxiety and aikido has helped me a lot, but please don't use the exercise in lieu of your meds.

Regarding what kind of at home workouts you can do. If you have VCR / DVD player there are tons of workouts you can do. Check out www.collagevideo.com They have all varietys of aerobics videos available that you can do at home at your own pace. My favorite is The Firm (their newer videos from the Body Sculpting Systems 1 and 2 are really great for beginners and). They have video clips you can download and they have great customer service. Check it out.

Kudos to you for making a choice to have an active lifestyle. Keep it up.

Aikidoiain
10-07-2004, 09:56 AM
Thanks to all who've replied.

I have now opened a journal to keep track of my Aikido progress (if any).

My MH problems will also appear there rather than in the forum. It gives me a chance to unload. All feedback will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Iain. :ki: :D

deepsoup
10-07-2004, 11:17 AM
Excellent work Iain, well done.
Congratulations on getting yourself back down to the dojo.
Sounds like you did fine.

Sean
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