View Full Version : Aikido, School and staying fit

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12-19-2004, 09:53 AM
I started college back in September and as anyone in college or university knows itís very time consuming. I find it difficult to get out to the dojo on a regular basis if at all and Iím no longer in shape (last time I went I hurt my back pretty badly) for those of you who have been in this situation what do you do to keep yourself in shape and sharp on your Aikido when you only have the limited space of an apartment to practice / work out in?

Jeanne Shepard
12-19-2004, 10:02 AM
I'm away from the dojo right now becaue of an injury.
I walk and do yoga, and think positive thoughts.

Jeanne :p

12-19-2004, 02:52 PM
I chose not to go to college.

What I wanted to do was train. It was (and still is) more important to me than schooling. I took up a shit job for 40 hours a week and train another 15 - 20 hours on top of that.

It's not an easy life by any means, but at least i'm doing what i want.

As for staying in shape in your situation. Walking is the key, less pizza and salty foods (hard to do in college I hear) will help as well. Stretch regularly. Do lots of tenkan in the hallways of the dorm.

12-19-2004, 02:55 PM
Try working out with your bokken and/or jo. You might be surprised at what a rigorous workout it can be. Doing basic exercises and suburi both standing and suwari will go along way toward maintaining your connection with aikido.

Jerry Miller
12-19-2004, 03:21 PM
Try to get an aikido club going.

12-19-2004, 04:27 PM
Ryan, I juggled a uni life and aikido. May I recomend dancing and chasing pretty girls to stay fit, and taking a nice social scinece course that doesn't involve too many lectures so you can get to a dojo :) Seriously, you can keep fit in a couple of metres square, apparently Tomiki sensei had to in a prison cell. Do press ups, stretches, tori fune, whatever; gyms are basically for people with no imagination. Come summer it gets easier I guess.

Hi Nathan, thanks for sharing, brave choice. This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately, what you have to give up to persue aikido seriously. Anyone else got thoughts on the matter?

Janet Rosen
12-19-2004, 04:48 PM
Its boring as heck, but it there is room for a stationary bike, it will keep legs strong and provide aerobic workout. And as noted, solo weapons work too.

12-20-2004, 03:17 PM
Try working out with your bokken and/or jo.

I do practice a bit of jo, but I donít have my own bokken yet.
I was thinking more along the lines of technique though.

Try to get an aikido club going.

I already belong to one, its not far from here but it alwayse seems that I have 6 chapters to read or a test the next day or both on the night I usually go or there is something else that needs my attention.

May I recomend dancing and chasing pretty girls to stay fit

My gf would kill me while laughing at my dancing :p

Thanks for the suggestions so far guys.

12-20-2004, 06:34 PM
"My gf would kill me..."

Ah, running away from angry girlfreinds/ their dads/brothers/sensei's has kept me the lean, mean aiki machine I am today :)


Take the warm up (often actually body conditioning exercises) you do in your normal class and double all the number of reps. Throw in a few other exercises that you need/like, and heh presto, an hour long daily aiki work out.

12-20-2004, 06:51 PM
If you have no access to any gym equipment:

Scrapper (http://trainforstrength.com/workouts.shtml) has a number of free bodyweight workouts that do not take very long and are very effective.

Better yet, scrape together $100 US and get Mod 1 (http://trainforstrength.com/merchandiseaudio.shtml)

If you have access to a gym, I highly recommend:

Crossfit (http://crossfit.com) workouts are brief (20 - 40 minutes) and extremely effective.



12-21-2004, 06:50 AM
Hi Nathan, thanks for sharing, brave choice. This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately, what you have to give up to persue aikido seriously. Anyone else got thoughts on the matter?

I have some thoughts....Aikido is a lifetime pursuit.

If you have a good job, good home and stable life you will be able to train for a long time.

Completing your education can make this happen.

Dropping out to practice more is very short sighted...when you are juggling families, mortgages and all the other baggage that comes with life it may not be so easy so maintain an active aikido lifestyle.

a bit of pain now can lead to a better long term future...aikido is about mental and spiritual development not just a physical activity.

I guess that sounds a bit mature, maybe even boring....where have the years gone?


Jill N
12-21-2004, 08:17 PM
you have given some good advice there. Quite impressive!
e ya later

12-24-2004, 05:34 PM
hey ryan, on the solo side you can also practise blending exercises, and do shadow techniques. at the very least it'll keep some muscle memory and improve your timing.
...it's good for brain relaxation after much reading + critical thinking.
...if only i could take my own advice!

12-26-2004, 01:57 AM
I'd suggest either an exercise routine or another Martial Art if it's possible. TaeKwonDo, being more of a sport than an actual Martial Art would help get you back in shape, as you'll be stretching, working out, and then sparring, all in one class. The onyl problem is: Theres CRAPLOADS of TKD McDojo(ang)s...watch out for black belts under 13, lack of sparring, and lots of little kids with high belt ranks.

As for excercise, after you wake up, stretch, maybe some push-ups, sit-ups, a quick run, and take a multivitamin :)

No i have no qualifications so it's just a suggestion.

Olga Mihailova
12-26-2004, 11:14 AM
Skip the lections which are of no critical importance, so you have more free time for doing other studies and so your evenings will be free for the practice. You can study yourself lots of what the professors say - but there is no way to study yourself what your sensei teaches. It is what I do. Usually have a hard time during the exams trying to prepare well for them (usually manage with few unslept nights) but if it gives me a chance to attend all the trainings during the term - it is o'kay. Well, but it doesn't work fot those whose No 1 priority is NOT Aikido. Mine is.

12-26-2004, 02:50 PM
Hi Ryan,
I think Aikido is for life. I've often had long periods without Aikido but It helped me to know that Aikido was always there for me whenever I had the time to get back to it. Until you can get to the dojo, keeping up your fitness will both help your ability to study and keep you physically prepared for your next Aikido class. Try to make any sort of fitness class provided locally. I recommend pilates classes or get a dvd to use at home. Pilates will give you the strength and flexibility you need to jump back into Aikido classes when you can make them.

Good luck, Vic

12-27-2004, 07:44 PM
about a year ago I began grad school and also conitnued to work full time. I only trained during breaks from school. It was incredibly difficult not to train. This past summer I was looking forward to getting back in the dojo and ended up wrecking my knee. Unfortunately because of my injury and a recent surgery no Aikido until next December. I have choosen to put the physical partof training on hold and just focus on school and rehab. I spoke with my sensei about all of this. I view Aikido as a life long learning. In place I have been trying to focus more on the spiritual practice and ki energy. I would like to do more reading but with classes, homework, job etc....it rarely happens. For me it was important to make that comittment to return after I finish schooling and when my doctor releases me from my injury. Good Luck.