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Old 01-04-2001, 09:35 AM   #5
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,996
Syniq wrote:
So--is Aikido (as it appears) a relatively less physically demanding art than most others?
It depends on what you really consider "physically demanding." I remember a story about a student who went up to Saotome sensei and asked for tips on how to train in a more physically demanding way. Saotome sensei told him to go stand on one leg for an hour...

That aside, aikido training can be extremely demanding. There have been times when people have had to run off the mat to throw up -- I hear (although it may have been a joke) they used to have an "uke bucket" here for people to do so after being uke for our main instructor for an hour.

One thing that happens in aikido, I think though, is that people get a lot more efficient in their movement as they get more experienced. Although I may be working with the same person for an hour, if he or she is more experienced, I'll notice that they'll be a lot less tired by the end of class; they are more effective in not getting tired by doing "the right thing" during their movements, both as nage and uke...

2. I am considering learning Aikido for two reasons: a)self-defense, and b)because this is an art through which I can learn jodo.
Please don't confuse what people call "aiki-jo" with jodo. As far as I'm concerned, they're totally different beasts. Unless the aikido instructor has had proper training in something like Shinto Muso Ryu jodo and is teaching it as such, you'll most likely not be learning jodo in an aikido class. (A lot of people will say that the intent in jodo is a bit counter to that of aikido, too.)

I don't consider the weapons training most frequently in aikido to be a "real" weapons system. Many shihan I have encountered warn students that they are not training to become swordsmen but aikidoka. I would have to agree. Although one may become more proficient in using a stick in a "real" situation, that's not what the weapons training is about in my mind...

3. I am not actively seeking the meditative or spiritual aspects of Aikido, but I am not opposed to them, either. Should this spirituality be the primary reason for studying Aikido, or one of several, or is it a "side-effect"?
Some will consider the spiritual aspect to be the main thing in aikido. Others will treat it as a side benefit of training. Still some others will say that training and the spiritual aspects are non-divisible.

I don't think it's necessary to seek out the "meditative or spiritual aspects" of aikido. But, many people whom I've met have gone into aikido just for the physical stuff and have found the spiritual within...

4. Is it at all possible to study Aikido alone, i.e. without taking a second mortgage for lessons?
In my mind, no, it's not possible to study aikido by oneself.

Do you really think that you need a "second mortgage" for dues? How much are the dues where you're looking? Our dues are $70 a month which comes out to less than $2/hour of training for me...

-- Jun

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