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Old 11-16-2005, 09:50 AM   #1
Steve Mullen
Dojo: White Rose (Sunderland)
Location: Washington
Join Date: Jul 2004
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England
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Literally OFF the mat

I tohught i'd take the name of this forum literally and ask how people cope when they are 'off the mat' i.e. with injury or when they are away from home and can't train.

I ask because im away from home on business and have been for nearly two months now, i have only managed to train 3 times in two months. this is a massive change from the 4-5 times a week i usually train and it's killing me.

How do other people cope with it? does it bother you when you can't train?

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 11-16-2005, 10:04 AM   #2
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Find a local dojo, and train there. Some of my best experiences have come from that.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 11-16-2005, 10:10 AM   #3
grondahl
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
Location: Stockholm
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

What Ron said.
Even if itīs a dojo in the same style of aikido, a new instructor will always give you new perspectives, and training with new people is always refreshing.

Keep your fitness, running, lift weights.. when you return to normal you will find that yur body remebers more than you think.

Last edited by grondahl : 11-16-2005 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 11-16-2005, 10:11 AM   #4
cck
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 59
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

It bothers me in many, many ways. I've been off the mat for 8 days, which in comparison is not a long time. However, I feel stiffness setting in physically and mentally, I am becoming grumpy and short-tempered and restless - basically, I can't get no satisfaction. I can't wait to get back tomorrow. One of the ways I could have helped myself would be to get up and go for a run in the morning, that at least would take care of the need for physical exercise. I have a 3 1/2 year old, and she keeps me on my toes mentally. Aikido applies very well to childrearing, I find... I'd also practice with my bokken in the back yard and do the "two-step".
And then of course it always leaves me marvelling at how important aikido really is to me.
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Old 11-16-2005, 11:30 AM   #5
James Davis
 
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

I've had to skip training quite a bit lately due to hurricanes, etc. It stinks.

My worst time was when I injured my shoulder and had to sit out for a couple of months. MONTHS!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!! I went quite crazy for a time until I went to the dojo and observed a class. I didn't get to work out, but at least I learned some new stuff by observation. I also got to hang out with my bros and sisters that I missed so badly. The social aspect of my dojo has been a biggie for me.

If you're out of town and have issues about entrusting your body to strangers, then just observe a class. See what some other people are doing, whether you want to go on the mat or not. Learn what you can. Read some stuff. Let your mind play with the techniques while you're sitting in the airport. Meditate. Improve yourself however you can, even if you can't train. Good luck!

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:26 PM   #6
Mark Gibbons
Location: Seattle, WA
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

I have found some great dojos while traveling, always other styles. The trust issue with strangers is important. I've never gotten creamed, but my ukemi was just different enough that it was noticable. (Couple of fat lips, lots of unexpected directions to the throws and comments that they couldn't do the techniques unless I attacked correctly.) Some folks at the dojo that travel a lot have worked out solo aikido exercises. Rolling practice is fun if the your rooms carpet is soft enough and there is some space.

Currently I'm watching 3-5 hours a week while I recover from knee surgery. Its frustrating, but might keep me in the loop.
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Old 11-16-2005, 05:35 PM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

IMHO, one of the best ways to cope is to accept what is. When the map matches the territory, there is much less stress and need to cope.

Sometimes you are away from home, that's what is.
Sometimes you can't train often, that's what is.
Sometimes you get injured, that's what is.
Sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you are one.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-16-2005, 06:30 PM   #8
Amelia Smith
 
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Dojo: Martha's Vineyard Aikido Club
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

For all of you who are suggesting that Steve find a local dojo, I'd like to point out that that's not always possible.

A year and a half ago, I spent several months working in a place where there was no aikido. I was a couple thousand miles and roughly 14 hours' travel from the nearest dojo (including a plane flight). In fact, hardly any martial arts were practiced in the town where I was working at all, apart from a few young guys who got together to spar, but who seemed to have learned most of their techniques from watching Chinese gangster movies. I worked out with them a couple of times, but the lack of quality, discipline, and structure really bothered me. I practiced rolls a few times, but basically, I didn't practice while I was there. After 8 1/2 years of steady training, I think it was OK to get away from the mat for a while, but I did miss it.

Eventually, you get back to a place where you can practice. Being away for half a year reminded me that there is life without aikido. I'd say that aikido has moved away from the center of my life as a result of that time away, but I'm still training, and I think it may take on more importance for me again in the future.

Just let the time go by. Aikido will be there when you get back.
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Old 11-16-2005, 06:59 PM   #9
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

4-5 times a week? Pft...

I suggest that what Steven is really missing is a good beating from his sempai!

Seriously though dude, you'll be back in like a couple of weeks and theres plenty of fun to be had, you can help prepare Tim for his shodan which is going to be a pretty monumental moment in WR sunderland history. And then we have the christmas course with Shihan Cottier, it's not a bad time to come back to training is it?

Im amazed you havent been to another dojo down there though, Aikido's big in wales, or so I hear...


As for how I cope with being off the mat, I dont really mind if im away from home or if im busy with something else. When ill or injured though it really kills me, I missed about 4 months of training this year due to injury/illness (as you know :P ) and it was a pain, I missed a grading, which was also a pain, especially when I was recovered and back on the mat on the day of the gradings and if I might say so, ON FIRE, but I still didnt grade as I hadnt put the time in to deserve the opportunity.

In the end, you get over it. When your back on the mat, you'll forget all about it. Use the time off the mat to think about your aikido, I went to classes and watched. During my observing I learned alot of little things that I had previously missed, even if its just body language and mechanics.

Read some good books, listen to some good music. Or something.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 11-16-2005, 10:04 PM   #10
Camille Lore
Dojo: Lehigh Fukasakai
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 39
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

I start getting rammy sometimes even between our weekly classes. I'd be really happy if I we the chance to train every day, but my dojo is small...
Sometimes I do jo kata in the woods. Sometimes I practice throws with an invisible partner.
Sometimes I email my sensei about how I wish I had more dojo time! Sometimes I just keep logging on here....
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:21 AM   #11
Steve Mullen
Dojo: White Rose (Sunderland)
Location: Washington
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 270
England
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Thanks for all the input, the main reason i haven't gone to another dojo is due to space restrictions on the luggage i can bring over, with all the clothes i need during the week and all the paperwork for my job, there is very little room to fit a gi into. I considered training in a t-shirt and shorts but somehow it just wouldn't feel right.

Ah well, ill be back soon enough, so i guess ill just keep hitting the hotel gym and longing for the above mentioned pounding from my sempai! : )

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:47 AM   #12
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
IMHO, one of the best ways to cope is to accept what is. When the map matches the territory, there is much less stress and need to cope.

Sometimes you are away from home, that's what is.
Sometimes you can't train often, that's what is.
Sometimes you get injured, that's what is.
Sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you are one.
Sorry Lynn,
maybe I misunderstand you, but how can anything improve, if we accept what is?
I cannot read, that's what is.
I cannot earn money, that' what is.
I am a bad, mean bully, that's what is.

NO!!

Well, accept what you cannot change, and try to change, what you cannot accept.

So Steve,
if you are away from home for a long time, look for a local dojo. If there isn't, they do not accept you joining for a while, time schedule is impossible for you, it is too expensive, .. that's what is.
Oh you can try to find something similar, hapkido, tai chi, judo or karate. You might start from the scratch, but if you have fun,it is fine. Maybe you find someone to run in the mornings or evenings.

If nothing matches your needs, don't worry. There could be a reason, which you just cannot see. And you will probable enough time to practise a little bit (a few months / years?) later.

Kind regards Dirk
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:26 AM   #13
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Dojo: Jiki Shin Kan Utrecht
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Quote:
Steve Mullen wrote:
Thanks for all the input, the main reason i haven't gone to another dojo is due to space restrictions on the luggage i can bring over, with all the clothes i need during the week and all the paperwork for my job, there is very little room to fit a gi into. I considered training in a t-shirt and shorts but somehow it just wouldn't feel right.
And here I thought you really missed training.

How about buying a cheap lightweight karate gi or something and keep it where you work?

Training in t-shirt and shorts at a strange dojo can be a very interesting experience btw. People tend to get this puzzled look after you throw them a couple times...

kvaak
Pauliina
who likes to do torifune on off days
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:28 AM   #14
Steve Mullen
Dojo: White Rose (Sunderland)
Location: Washington
Join Date: Jul 2004
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England
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Training in t-shirt and shorts at a strange dojo can be a very interesting experience btw. People tend to get this puzzled look after you throw them a couple times...
That could be quite fun

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:04 AM   #15
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Covert aikidoka is fun, get your tracksuit bottoms and a tshirt out and put that confused look on your face...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:16 AM   #16
Steve Mullen
Dojo: White Rose (Sunderland)
Location: Washington
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England
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

'Have i done any aikido before? well i have seen all of steven segal's movies, but that's about it'

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:55 AM   #17
SeiserL
 
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote:
Sorry Lynn, maybe I misunderstand you,
Yep, sounds like you misunderstood.
Serenity Parayer.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:06 AM   #18
Steve Mullen
Dojo: White Rose (Sunderland)
Location: Washington
Join Date: Jul 2004
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England
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
Yep, sounds like you misunderstood.
Serenity Parayer.
Can you explain a bit more please lynn, i just figured that if people misunderstood you it might help us to fully understand you, because it sounded like you have a really interesting point, kind of like it's happened and you can't change it, so look for how you can make the best of it

Cheers
Steve

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:07 PM   #19
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

If you do try training in exercise gear, avoid polyester and spandex! I visited a California dojo with a pretty high-energy style, and as I'd forgotten my gi I showed up in brand-new poly shorts and shirt. The first time they threw me I just about slid across the dojo and out the door.

As for acceptance, it's a fine line between accepting what you can't change and just passively letting things be bad for you. I always look for aikido while travelling if I can, because I just plain feel better, and treat other people better, if I get to train.

Mary Kaye
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:16 PM   #20
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Quote:
The first time they threw me I just about slid across the dojo and out the door.
Now THAT I would like to see! Say, did you get any mat burns??

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:14 PM   #21
Cleetus
Dojo: White Rose Aikikai
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Join Date: Mar 2004
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England
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Steve, i know whats its like mate. This year as you know when i was home for the summer i was working 6 day a week nightshifts so i was unable to train since the nearest dojo was 45 minutes away. Not being able to train was absolue torture so when i was able to go the white rose course in September i was over the moon since i could do some aikido. But mate at least when you come back you will be rested any any injuries wil be nicely healed and you will be on top form. So Look forward to training with you again and getting a good knacking like usual
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:37 PM   #22
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Quote:
Steve Mullen wrote:
Can you explain a bit more please lynn, i just figured that if people misunderstood you it might help us to fully understand you, because it sounded like you have a really interesting point, kind of like it's happened and you can't change it, so look for how you can make the best of it

Cheers
Steve
I got it. Sometimes you need to accept what you can't change.

Jeanne
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:22 AM   #23
SeiserL
 
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Re: Literally OFF the mat

Quote:
Jeanne Shepard wrote:
Sometimes you need to accept what you can't change.
Exactly.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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