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Old 02-04-2005, 11:20 AM   #41
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
Location: Cortland, NY
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 977
Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Hi, incase you were all wondering, I am the thread starter.

Thanks for the positive feedback to my decision, also thanks for the negative feedback ....
You're welcome.

.... I wont dwell on those individuals that still live in the fantasy kingdom where their martial art is the best, this thread is not about you.
Well, then, it's ok, because I'm not one of them. I've been back in Aikido for almost a year, but in the mean time I have trained in and am still training in Karate, Kali, Pentjak Silat Serak, and Tai Chi. So you could say I am busy most evenings.

During my two years of Aikido I did have a chance to experiment informally with several students who where either cross training from another martial art or decided to quit their previous art and try Aikido for a while. I had a taste of many martial arts and many different varieties of Aikido from different teachers.

Honestly though, bjj is not the grappling art I was going for, infact, it would be amateur wrestling, there is a little catch-wrestling club that never gets attention from the "serious" martial artists, maybe its not mystical or oriental enough for them but I was seriously impressed with the ingenious holds and locks that one of the ex-catch wrestlers put on me. Mind blowing stuff for someone who always thought that groundwork involves sitting on your knees and duckwalking.
Mind a little free advice?

If you can -- meaning not constrained my time, money, or the cows your teachers would be having -- see if you can do both Aikido and the wrestling club for a while. It may be that you are having a case of burnout, which happens periodically to martial artists. I ran into that the same thing myself when I first did Aikido back in the '80s. At the time I signed on with Sensei Jim Wallace's Seidokan class, I had been doing shito-ryu karate-do for about a year-and-a-half. Well, that's about the first time you experiece burnout, which may explains why for a few weeks I thought Aikido was great and was ready to drop karate. But being a creature of habit I continued in both arts and worked through my burnout, which is the only thing you can do about it.

Now, it is true that in '88 or so, I dropped out of Aikido, looks like the two year point, but that's not the issue here. The point is your desire to drop Aikido may be a result of burnout, which is perfectly natural for martial artists (and also of great concern, because it's the source of the 90% dropout rate). Also, if you have come as far as you say you have, your sensei would probably hate to lose you. And I'd wager you've made friends in your dojo who'd miss you, too. (One incentive for resumign Aikido was I'd hoped to meet some of the people who'd been in Sensei Jim's dojo before he went to Colgate and the dojo imploded, but no one I know from those days is there, I think.)

So I would suggest that when you join the wrestling club, stay with Aikido at least once a week, and keep that up for a couple of months. See how you feel about Aikido then and then decide what you want to do.

My mother always counseled me against making rash decisions; I think that may be a good idea in this case. Do both for a bit, see how you feel, and then decide. And as to your muscle memory getting to be like a messed up hard drive, that's your problem.

To the person inquiring about how "good" I am, how would I know, I never managed to test myself against a realisticaly out-to-get me opponent, gradings were probably the closest to this and even then it was always utterly co-operative. In that time I never failed a grading and was even praised once for having "exceptional intensity" (3rd kyu by the way)
Unless you move to a bad neighborhood and get into at least one fight every day, you never will. Even freestyle grappling is -- or SHOULD BE --- done with safety as a prime consideration. They may resist and counter but I'd hardly call that "out to get you."

But remember that praise you got on your test? The people who said that will probably be sad to see you go if you switch. Another reason to cross-train for a bit and then decide; it's not all about you.
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