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Old 01-01-2008, 12:16 PM   #32
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
Re: I'm Leaving Aikido

Daniel Ranger-Holt wrote: View Post
Hi everyone

Last night i bought in new years eve at the biggest club in my home town, there were nine fights, five resolved easily, door staff there on time, two were physical attacks toward me one backhand as a short guy was walking away and another was an ashtray attack a swipe holding an ashtray. And my Aikido didn't even cross my mind to use, what i'm trying to say is, surely after two years it should have been natural to do at least something? Instead of the rather unsightly grappling, messy but effective takedowns that naturally spring to use. The AIkido i have been taught and i have been taught by three main instructors at our dojo...who all seem to disagree on certain things (which may have something to do with it i dont know) seems to be uneffective for a job where every night there will potentially be an attack. Erik i dont know how long you've been doing aikido, but say its a year, shouldnt you feel comfortable you could do something? A Thai Boxer whos been attending class three times a week for a year, or a boxer, or a BJJ would be effective...but as Aikidoka most of us after this time are still..."errrr will this work?" which is really really bad if your learning the art purely to defend yourself in a real life situation.

I think that is it, thats what i feel it is. I started AIkido because i wanted to learn self defence for the streets. This is what i was told i would learn at my dojo, and this is what i read online for the most part. But looking back, it was the wrong art for me, because the self defence it teaches you isn't real and i feel for those wishing to become effective in a short time 6 or so months, definitely not.

If i look further into Krav Maga and find its about killing people as fast as possible then i will have made another mistake and keep searching. Just at this point it seems like the next natural stop for me. Krav teaches grappling and multiple opponents, where as BJJ is just one opponent. Obviously in a situation with regards to my job i'd need the more than one opponent training. As i have seen so far, no killing, just stopping people fast. If that means hurting them in the process then rather them than me. It sounds cruel but ive seen how cruel/animal life and relentless people can be. I was an office manager before i did doorwork so was pretty much oblivious to how people can be in most violent situations. Im 28 my last fight was when i was about 17. I always had the size for doorwork and took it up, thinking my aikido would suffice as i natrually entered the job. But im finding it wont be near enough. The worst feeling is the feeling of being unsure. At our dojo there is a guy who has been doing boxing just normal boxing for a bit of self confidence, sure its brutal and basic but he said within 5 months he felt confident he could defend himself in a street situation and that was only training once a week. He's looking to cut his akido right down to do more boxing, i feel he will leave as for self defence he is seeing the same as me. A guy who left to do wing chun has never looked back, for the same reasons...but i know little about wing chun.

Exactly my point ive been doing aikido for two years, three times a week and in your own words, im "just a beginner" "what do you know" thats not good enough for a martial art in my option. I think i kind of knew all this as i was training maybe a year an a half in or something, but you kind of just carry on because you are with friends, and almost feel rude cross training. Im too nice. And i disagree about Aikido working great as a bouncer, in theory its the best martial art for that kind of job. But the speed people attack you, throw punches and fly at you isn't within Aikidos rulebooks i have found. And it just looks pretty on you tube or when someone is running with a fist extended (not a real punch) but not when the split second of a fist is thrown at your nose

Yeh i have excellent self control though, the one thing i do have. In the four months, ive been slapped, punched, stubbed with a cigerette and not hit back, just got to the floor and restrained. CCTV in my town is everywhere, all over the clubs i work. I'm very careful of course some people i work with have a different approach. But thats up to them to face the consequences. I have nothing to prove with people. I just want my money and to go home!

Hi mary, i was told aikido was a self defence martial art. Purely self defence. I must admit i wasn't told i would learn the techniques quickly. I just assumed within at least a year three times a week training, id be able to confidently deal with any attacks with my aikido, and improve from there. No one said to me though "you will be able to use this very quickly" so my mistake i said i should have as others did, left class within a few weeks or months...but im veeery stubborn and kept going for two more years thinking there must be some kind of light coming here...i didnt find it quick enough. So decided to leave.

No advertising, just saying what i feel. I left a religion once and people said similar things. Its very spooky how we get attatched to something so passionately, we almost make it personal to ourselves. Especially when its a martial art. I used to feel the same when everyone attacked Aikido. Its odd, almost cult ish. Ignore the Krav Maga bits then, and focus on what im saying about the actual Aikido.

Ok then i should have come to your Dojo Don. The aikido you are beign taught sounds like the kind of thing i am looking for. But because everyone seems to have a different Aikido. Unless you aikido has a specific back to square one.

Id say one month in and feeling i can do something is brilliant for what ten or so classes? aikido im 2 years in and still dont even "feel" like i could do something. Your questions seem more like attacks and i feel ive touched a nerve. Dont take it personal. You're probably much much better at learning Aikido then i was. Im just sayin how i feel about it and why im choosing another art to try.

As i said before, this video does not look at all like the Aikido ive been taught or the aikido ive viewed on you tube. So.... as for krav having elements of aikido i hope it does. Then my two years wont have been wasted. As for sticking with aikido, i do like it, but im not willing to stick with it any longer to make it effective. id say two years is enough time for it to be at least effective. In my opinion. And it hasn't been effective.

No i dont really know what will suit me better than aikido at this early self discovery stage, your right Larry. Krav seems like a good choice at the moment. But even that may be wrong for me. After all, i thought Aikido was right for me at one stage. But at the moment it is hitting all the buttons. A year 6 months in i may find that its not for me and move on again cool, i may never get there and just end up with a mess of aquired skills. But im brave enough and honest enough to at least admit Aikido (for me) is not effective and im moving on.

As for not being in real life altercations as i said i have been doing the doors five nights a week for a good few months. I wont say where but its not hard to find out right? Anyone who knows that town/area of the UK will understand. Every night is a real life altercation. Granted not every night someone squares off in front of me and starts karate kicking me, but its near enough every OTHER night. Seriously, real life altercations is my job so maybe you didnt read / missed that i am actually a doorman i dunno. Strange one that.

Touched a nerve again? this is all going horribly wrong.

Sorry about the blanket statements but i stress over and over In My Opinion, and My Aikido doesnt work etc etc. I can only say those things so much, you get the point. its from my perspective. Yeah i know i wont get tea and biccies. It's not really nice saying im leaving the art. Almost like im trying to rile people. but this forum above any other forum ive been to has the most mature and honest people so i felt posting something like im leaving the art here would open up interesting debate. And to my suprise. people have actually agreed with me or shared the same feelings. I just imagine had more patience to stick it out. Or have not been in a job or situation to make them sit and think about their own safety.

As i said before, its like the religion thing, being honest about what you do and admitting there are flaws there you try to ignore or block your mind off from asking, can be a bad bad thing. Almost cult-like.

There is an instructor at my dojo who is fantastic and i really admire him. His aikido is fast, swift and i think would be effective in a fair few of the situations i describe. Ive never seen him attacked with anywhere near a real punch etc. But he looks good and his Aikido i think would stand up to brawlers. But he's been doing it for 17 years.

Thanks to those who responded with kind words and support anyway. Sometimes we just need to be honest almost as Kevin Leavitt put it and if its not working, find something that will. Life is too short to spend 5 - 10 years learning a self defence art, when you can learn it in 3-6 months, then improve on whats there. The more i look into this, the more Aikido and the whole thing has really dissapointed me in fact.

But please please no one take anything personally...of course we love our art i understand that. But it is only that...a martial art.
I have one comment that may cover most of the things said here. It comes from my Shihan, who is an 8th dan and has practiced for more than 50 years. He said that O Sensei didn't create Aikido for ordinary people originally. He said that Aikido isn't an art that people coming off the street can walk in and understand. He said that a budo master can understand this art immediately but an ordinary person will have to study for many years before he can even begin to understand it. My teacher went on to explain budo before O Sensei and what O Sensei did that impressed budo masters that saw Aikido for the first time. That is a for a different post. I just think that as I read aikiweb with good people that have self defense concerns, that these words keep coming to my mind. They are from article #2 at

"It is important to ask oneself "What is Aikido?" and develop one's own perspective. If you choose not to fight, then why don't you do that? Searching for ultimate answers like that is a necessity in doing Aikido. Aikido is not Kumiuchi (traditional martial techniques for fighting). If Aikido were like techniques for fighting, the way of practice itself would be totally different. But Aikido practice consists of ways to develop ourselves and each other. Of course, it is not saying that being weak is acceptable through our experience of strength we are not tempted to fight. A person who has true strength does not fight."

I still think Aikido is suitable for your job but I also think that you lack a basic understanding of what most martial arts are all about. If I were you, I would go study MMA (I'm serious) but even there, you are going to find out why fighting isn't an answer and you may find that out in the emergency room at a hospital. I would switch jobs and maybe read some books on budo like Niklaus Suino's, Budo Mind and Body or Tevor Leggett's, Spirit of Budo. It will give some meaning to your practice and you might enjoy things more and the need to fight at a door can be put on the back burner.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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