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Old 03-08-2005, 02:21 PM   #26
Dojo: The Hut (ESTA - US Headquarter)
Location: Alamogordo, NM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5
Re: What did you want from Aikido ? what changed ?

Would that hidden disability be hearing loss?

As for me, Aikido has helped me be a bit more relaxed during conflicts.

Ruth McWilliam wrote:
As a kid I really wanted to learn Judo. I wasn't allowed to (nervous parent was afraid I'd get hurt)
So as soon as I got to Uni I signed up for Aikido as that was the closest MA to Judo I could find there

I wanted to improve my co-ordination (which was sub-standard due to a hidden disability) and learn a new set of skills. I didn't want to do a competitive sport.

What changed was that I realised that I could eventually learn to do all the amazing things that the seniors were doing. I learned to never say never. Aikido became an important part of my life, and has been ever since.

What's changed recently is that I no longer worry about making mistakes, or not getting something first time. I'll get it eventually, there's no urgency. I'm really enjoying the learning experience without beating myself up over errors anymore I see my fellow students getting frustrated with themselves, and watch their efforts being hampered by this frustration. I'm so glad I let that go!

I agree with Mark - why anonymous? You asked some great questions!

Ruth (This path changes all the time)
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:25 PM   #27
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,225
Re: What did you want from Aikido ? what changed ?

I wanted to reach the deepest depths of my soul while keeping in mind the very practical, down-to-earth necessity of self-defense. As a highly spiritual person, I've always been attracted to the mystical element in martial arts. As a highly practical person, I've always been attracted to the idea of self-sufficiency in any situation.
Through studying the various martial arts I then picked Aikido with the idea of nurturing both these qualities within myself. I passed over training sooner so that I could train at a place that seemed to fit these two goals equally and I'm glad I did.
What has changed? My sense of dedication to these goals. I've learned that self-improvement is not something you take a class for, but rather something you apply yourself at every moment of your life, if you're doing it properly. In addition to this idea, you take a class to focus on the skills that class involves, but no matter how great the teacher, if you don't apply yourself as both a student to others but more importantly as a student to yourself, you'll not improve much, if at all.
A bit abstract perhaps?...do your best and your best will get better; don't do your best and it will slide backward or stagnate.

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Old 03-10-2005, 05:03 AM   #28
david evans
Dojo: Newcastle Iwama Aikido
Location: Newcastle
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 32
Re: What did you want from Aikido ? what changed ?

I never wanted anything from aikido. I became interested in it after seeing Steven Seagal (come on, so did you), but that is a long time ago.

Aikido, to me, is a time and a place away from everything else, and it has always been that way.
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:57 PM   #29
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 28
Re: What did you want from Aikido ? what changed ?

I first trained in a martial art when I was in high school. I was being intimidated by some bullies and wanted some confidence more than anything else. My father enrolled me in the most practical hard self defense course , which turned out to be 99% ju-jitsu. I trained for six months and stopped because of other life demands…

Recently I decided to take up a regular sport
I wanted discipline, self confidence, non competitive or rather a sport where one competes against oneself, some thing that will generally make me a better person, that I can continue for the rest of my life and constantly improve at. I new it had to be a martial art.

.in ten years since I left school I have only been in a self defense situation twice. In both occasions I executed locks taught to me in ju-jitsu. So my immediate plan was to find the best jj dojo in town and check it out…..then I started to research, I mean really research MA. Everything, from what is conflict to the advent of fencing….this art called aikido kept coming up.

To me training in aggression, is just that. I don't believe you can release anger by yelling!! It just teaches you to enjoy anger. But how can we protect ourselves from violence without knowing and practicing violence ourselves. Aikido? Can aikido do this? I was conceptually hooked. I went to the best (highest ranked instructor) dojo in town. I was just going to watch the lesson….but as I walked inside I was hit with a wave of good will. A kind of sensation that told me that I belonged. There was no conflict within these walls. I joined, paid for teaching and bought a uniform strait away. In retrospect its not surprising that I had such a warm feeling from the place. I now know that the man smiling at me from the counter was Sensei. Each time I train I look forward to that feeling. I train for that feeling.

whats changed? With all the analytical crap about why this is good for me, and how I got here in life forgotten. The answer is simple. I practice aikido because it makes me feel good!!
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:14 PM   #30
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: What did you want from Aikido ? what changed ?

Good post James! I think you calm anger more with compassion and understanding than you do with more anger. At least that has been my experience. Although it helps to be in control when you can carry yourself with confidence and have that "big stick" handy just in case.

I think that is the paradox of the situation and Teddy Roosevelt seemed to understand it. Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick.
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:31 AM   #31
Lindsay Donaghe
Dojo: Aikido of Scottsdale
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2
Re: What did you want from Aikido ? what changed ?

I started Aikido because my husband had already started training in it. He had been researching for a while to find a martial art and then a dojo that fit with his philosophy and we both feel lucky to have found the dojo that we're in.

My expectations were mainly to learn to defend myself with the option of not hurting my attacker, as well as getting some excersize in a manner that wasn't as boring or abitrary as going to a gym, and hopefully picking up a little grace in the process.

I had no idea that it would be so much more than any of those things.

In the slightly more than 7 months I've been training in Aikido, I have been extremely pleased with the physical and mental challenges that I've been exposed to. I have learned a great deal about how to deal with frustration (something that I've never had an easy time with); how to deal with ambiguity and contridictions; how to be focused and relaxed at the same time; and that perserverance reaps rewards. And then there are the physical benefits of toning, endurance and coordination.

My expectations have changed in that now I don't really view Aikido as a means to an end, but truly as the trip itself. Training in Aikido forces me to attempt things that I am not initially comfortable with and prove to myself that I can do them. I enjoy the fact that there is ALWAYS something for me to improve on and always will be.

There is so much joy in this art because of the focus on blending and harmony. I am amazed at how difficult it is to relax, but when I do, everything is so much easier. I am constantly amused by how I react to being "beat up" with smiles and laughter. That is what keeps me coming back for more. And the fact that I can carry over so many of the lessons learned to "normal life".

I'm very glad to have found Aikido. I wish that I had found it sooner.
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:41 AM   #32
Dojo: Community Aikido
Location: New Jersey
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3
Re: What did you want from Aikido ? what changed ?

I started aikido out of curiosity and also from watching seagal when I was younger but there were never any dojos that taught it so I studied alot of other styles such as tae kwon do and wing chun not to take anything away from those styles I never felt like I could succesfuly defend myself and after 2 yrs of aikido training I now feel the confidence I have been looking for. I love this art the only thing I wish we would work on is more striking drills because it cant hurt just in case you ever need it
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:30 PM   #33
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3
Re: What did you want from Aikido ? what changed ?

i'm a 17 year old girl and my boyfriend has set me back into the place of...i'm smaller than most guys(we wrestle a LOT, just in play, and i lose, miserabley.) I dont like the feeling of helplessness that comes from knowing. "OH! #$*@! i left my mace at home. " i like knowing some form of self defence just in case somebody really did try to hurt me.(i generally forget my mace at home.....)another perk is that it's something that my boyfriend and i do together that we BOTH enjoy with the exception of aiki he and i are complete polar opposites. i did NOT however realize just how attached i was going to get to Sensei and the other people in the class(i actually have created an imaginary version of one of the sempai for when i'm trying to remember a technique ^.~)the thing that changed the most is my self confidence. I've only been taking lessons for around 4 months and i would feel lost without it.

Last edited by Tina_Kahina : 04-01-2005 at 10:32 PM.
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