I've been training a few years and am coming up on my first kyu test, though a date hasn't been scheduled yet. Though my teachers say I'm doing fine, I'm starting to feel more and more like there's nothing in my aikido, like I don't have anything to bring to the table. Like, I could never achieve making something work outside of a dojo environment with a cooperative uke, that my successes are just due to the charity of my partners not stopping me, that the skills I've worked on building aren't skills at all, just illusions coming from the fact that my partner intends things to work rather than intending things not to work. Of course, it's self-reinforcing: the more I doubt, the less things work, and the more I conclude I should be doubting.
I've heard that a lot of people go through a similar crisis at some point in their training. If you've had an experience like that, please share. What was it like? Was there anything that helped get you out of it? Or make it work for you? Do you have any advice you can give?
I saw this and it only strengthened the doubts........i watched part 1 and part 2.
AIKIDO THE WAY THAT DOESNT WORK PART 1
Ive gone through phases where I question why am I practicing aikido? What use is it besides fitness and something to do? Is it luring me into a false sense of security.....some of them questions I struggled with...............but the last one is easy.....yes it does give a false sense of security and I don't think anything I have learned would make ANY difference if I was attacked in the street.
The more I think about it the more a lot if the techniques actually annoy me...wrist grabs for instance......I could be wrong but I don't think anybody these days walk around drawing swords on people so its irrelevant. Yes its a method to learn but I just cant seem to get past the fact that, every time my wrist is grabbed......I think.....arh here we go again, this it pointless. I think that something that fiddly to apply wont be of any use in a threatening situation.
The more I practice the more I see aikido as the japanese version of tai chi.........and oh tai chi is a martial art if you speed it up.....the important word there is "if".
Oh if somebody was to grab my wrist, I would do this.............really?
What it somebody tries to knock your head off repeatedly?
If your a 6th dan then perhaps you may be able to use something learned to help the situation....if your 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd kyu then what? Learn how to run fast maybe.
Its far too technical to be of any practical use other than fitness.
I saw them aikido the way that doesnt work videos and they got my back up at first.....and then I had to actually admit that the guy echoed a lot of things I had concluded myself and Ive only practiced a few years on and off. There are many videos on youtube with people having a pop at aikido, perhaps its an easy target because watching it, its difficult to understand, but for that reason it sets off an alarm bell............I know its not a fighting art, I have no interest in fighting but I dont think it should be labelled a self defense system either, its very misleading.
I think it is a huge elephant in the room...one that many just refuse to address....even teachers wont let themselves question it......why not? There must be a lot of higher ranked people out the with this niggling feeling deep down that....as the videos say....it doesnt work.
I love it and at the same time hate it...why do I bother? Why do I go and get constantly frustrated at my progress, or lack if week after week? I could still walk out the dojo and get jumped in the car park which would only strengthen my frustration.
I still come back to this fact that many people who have done it for longer still struggle to do even basic techniques some of the time...the fact only highlights a big problem. If it doesnt work when you need it then you are in trouble. What value does a basic technique that takes years to be proficient in truly have?
Many times I think....ok...uke went to the ground.....they are playing their role....I okay mine...theres no threat or hint of danger.....so how can that possibly create anything remotely like self defense? We are just acting.......like characters in a musical, dancing around. I want them to be ore fierce and make it hard for me and stop parping around with soft grabs and attacks that wouldn't knock the top off a rice pudding. I also dont want to get injured. ? So......whats the solution?
Ive actually made some good progress lately too......which Im glad about.......I doubted if Id ever get anywhere and still do.........Im riddled with contradictions.
I will add I am yet to grade. I had all of last year off and many of the students have kw jumoed 3 or 4 or mkre grades ahead of me......whixh is fine, they still seem to struggle with the same basics I do so ehat difference does a belt make??? Good question. If I was 4th ir 3rd kyu, Id feel silly like people would expect Id be of a certain standard. In reality I prefer to stay ungraded which to some, may sound like a strange attitude.