View Full Version : Aikido survivors

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Rupert Atkinson
08-22-2005, 08:58 AM
Anyone who has trained for awhile will see people quit training. Stick around a little longer and you will see dan grades quit too. Indeed, many, or maybe even most, quit. Many are of dubious talent, but many of high talent also quit.

I think, the #1 reason why people quit is worsening skill - I have seen this. Simply, time takes its toll on a depleted training programme and one day they wake up with perceptably less skill, perhaps combined with one or two 'events' in the dojo that make it clear their skill no longer matches time served or rank. However, a few bumble along, and even continuing up the gradding ladder - I have seen this too.

The #2 reason explains why people of talent quit but I am not sure I have the answer. Any ideas?

08-24-2005, 08:13 PM
There are so many reasons; likely as many as there are people who quit. Many talented people I know who have quit have done so due to issues such as life changes (family, work, etc.), and some just lost interest. Some people who find that it comes too easy for them are not as vested (generalization here) as those who struggle. Certainly see a lot of people quit shortly after shodan, and fewer and fewer quitting as they progress up the ladder from there.

Good topic; hope it generates more responses.

Peter Goldsbury
08-24-2005, 09:19 PM
Hello Rupert,

I have never come across yudansha quitting aikido because of declining skill: at least yudansha who will openly admit to this.

I know some half-dozen yudansha who have stopped aikido altogether and it is obvious from their training up to this point that their skill level has not been declining. I am well aware that you have to adapt the way you train to cope with advancing age, but this is not what I mean. You have to do this with anyway.

The reasons for quitting have invariably been 'political'. They have had serious arguments with their instructors or Dojo-cho, or have serious issues with the way their dojo or organization is being run.

Best wishes,

Mark Uttech
08-29-2005, 03:39 PM
I have often likened aikido to something simple, like brushing your teeth. What makes people quit brushing their teeth? And then, don't they sometimes brush their dentures? I think people start off with a soft toothbrush, graduate to a medium, and if they become obsessed they use a hard brush until their gums bleed. But as they get older, I think the time comes when they return to a soft brush, and actually brush their teeth with affection and compassion. In gassho.

Rocky Izumi
03-23-2006, 05:29 PM
Seen some cases of physical burnout Seen some cases of political burnout. Seen some cases of marriage. Seen some cases of finding what they were really looking for. Seen some cases where the student was thrown out and told not to come back to train for a certain time. Seen some cases of new habits. Seen some cases of physical infirmaties. Seen some cases of moving away and not having anyone else to practice with (lack of spirit). Seen some cases of got what they came for. Seen some cases of loss of habit after an injury. Seen some cases where the person got into facing a brick wall and quitting out of frustration. Seen some cases where the chief instructor told a student to go practice something else that he/she determined would be more suitable for them. Seen some cases where the student went away and died before coming back.

A better question might be, why the hell do you stay?


Mark Uttech
03-26-2006, 05:20 AM
If you stay, you are lucky. In gassho

Rocky Izumi
04-03-2006, 07:03 AM
If you stay, you are lucky. In gassho

Don't believe in luck except when I am playing golf :D

I was just pointing out that there are a thousand different reasons for not staying in, each one that differs for each person. However, since there are a lot fewer people who do stay, it might be more likely and easier to determine a small number of reasons that people stay in Aikido.

While I would like to say that I stay in because of some altruistic reasons or for something connected with honour and all that but I simply stay in because I no longer have a choice for psychological, health, and financial reasons. I quit, I die. And some mornings, after being up all night working or playing, those 06:00 practices are a bitch.