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Old 03-02-2007, 06:19 AM   #19
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
I'm getting old and I have the feeling maybe I'm just wasting my time training in something that will ultimately just get me hurt if I try to use it in the real world.. In class yesterday we have incorporated, random randori with more realistic attacks such as haymakers, punches, kicks etc. and I found myself really struggling even at half speed attacks. My techniques didn't seem to flow well at all. I often resorted to taking the uke down with a Judo type throw. I admit I probably had a bad day and we did not do this type of practice in the past really so maybe it will get better.
Remember this, if you switch to a more 'alive' art like judo or bjj, everyday will be like this for months, maybe years. The struggle is part of what happens against real attacks. People do not do what you are told they will do by your teacher. Sparing is about learning to read, predict, and adjust to a living person. If you can not accept constant failure, you will never stick in an 'alive' martial art. You will fail every single day, get tapped out every single day, punched in the face, and get thrown on your butt every single day. Then when you think you have learned nothing, a new guy will join and you will realize he is now how you were. You will be the guy where everything works, and he will be the guy failing every single day. Then a purple or brown belt will put you back on your butt and the circle repeats.

Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
The sensei is a personal friend of mine as we became good friends over the years of training. Recently, I have been thinking of trying a martial sport such as kickboxing, judo or jujitsu and just quitting Aikido all together. I'm getting old though so I don't know if this is a good idea as well ( I turn 37 today).... Lets just say I'm confused.
You are never too old to start boxing, bjj, judo, etc. You might be too old to get into the olympics, or to compete professionaly, but you are never too old to train. Contrary to what I hear, boxing, judo, bjj, etc are arts you can do your entire life.

Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
I see Matt Thornton's aliveness videos and write-ups and can't help but to agree with most of what he says. This is one of the reasons why I pushed this more random, more realistic attack training in our dojo and the sensei thankfully agreed that its probably a good idea.
Matt has great ideas. If you frequent the posts I frequent you will hear me push them often. I believe all training should be with 'aliveness'. However, aliveness does not mean training in boxing (although Matt says any art trained alive eventually looks just like MMA, kickboxing, or bjj anyways). Aikido can be trained alive. In fact I'd suggest you find my thread on training drills I think would help make aikido more alive. Maybe give those a try and see if it gives you what you need. It looks like your sensei is open to new ideas. If he is open and will give you what you need, then switching might not be needed. However, there is no point trying to fix something that is broken when something that works is right next too it. If you can't get what you need from your school, find one that can give you what you need.

Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
Some people call Aikido a cult and think we all are delusional. I've read accounts of ex-aikidoka who quit the art of Aikido and say it was the best thing they did to improve their martial training.
Anyone who quit any martial art and kept practicing martial arts is going to say the art they quit was the best thing that happened to them. If they thought aikido was better then bjj, they would stay with aikido. There are guys who have left judo for ninjitsu (something I think is a total scam of a martial art). they claim it was the best thing they ever did as well. Never listen to personal stories about how X martial art works or doesn't. It's not about the art, its about how seriously you are willing to apply yourself, and what training methods you use. There is no teacher in the world that can make you a fighter. They can only guide the path you set down.

Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
Any advice, encouraging accounts or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
I'd suggest reading the threads I link on this thread

Then, think about if that will give you what you want. You need to decide what you want from your training. Then decide if your school gives that too you. If you want self defense, 90% of self defense is awareness of your environment and keeping out of trouble. 10% is learning to fight. By adding some aliveness on a regular basis, you can make sure you are ready to deal with most untrained and some trained attackers. You could stay with aikido and even supplement your aikido with a few months of bjj or boxing. With 3-6 months of bjj, judo, or boxing, you will be able to totally control most untrained attackers. Then if you enjoy your dojo, you have no reason to leave.

However if you want to fight, and be able to deal with trained attackers, guys way bigger/stronger then you, etc. You are going to need to amp up your training to a level most judo/bjj/boxing clubs train. This means cardio training, strength training, tons and tons of technique drills, and large amounts of sparing. An aikido club is not the best place to get that kind of training. If you are concerned with the development of skill rapidly, you need to understand aikido is not a place for that as well (along with most non-sport martial arts).

Finally, I like bullshido. I spend a lot of time there posting and hanging out. Its a great place with good ideas on what real training is. But they also love to make fun of stuff. Take aikido sucks month will a grain of salt. Last month was wrassling sucks, the month before that TKD sucks. It's not about what anyone says is the best or worst martial art. Its about you, and what you want from your training. If you take anything from there message, its about honesty. If you are honest with yourself about what you are really doing, then you will not fail.

If you do decide to leave aikido, I'd suggest judo or bjj. Both of these arts aikido will lend a good deal too.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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