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Old 09-21-2006, 07:22 PM   #1
VenturaMarc
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Aikido as Ph.D. Dissertation

Greetings:

I am soliciting input.

I am interested in conducting an experiment using aikido as an intervention against anxiety or depression (have not decided yet). Trouble is, I need to find at least 30 NEW aikido students who are willing to practice aikido for six months. I am concerned about attrition so I am likely to need about 50 new students. I would like to ask what people's experience is with respect to the number of new student membership. For example, how many new members does an aikido dojo experience in a given year who actually stay for at least six months. Thus far, my research into this has not been encouraging.

Thank you.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:45 PM   #2
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Aikido as Ph.D. Dissertation

Onegaishimasu. Good luck with this experiment. Discouragement is to be expected, and anyone who runs a small dojo will agree. If you give your experiment a ten year trial run, you may succeed; you also may not. That is the way it is.

In gassho,

Mark
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:06 PM   #3
George S. Ledyard
 
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Re: Aikido as Ph.D. Dissertation

Quote:
Marc Jacobs wrote:
Greetings:

I am soliciting input.

I am interested in conducting an experiment using aikido as an intervention against anxiety or depression (have not decided yet). Trouble is, I need to find at least 30 NEW aikido students who are willing to practice aikido for six months. I am concerned about attrition so I am likely to need about 50 new students. I would like to ask what people's experience is with respect to the number of new student membership. For example, how many new members does an aikido dojo experience in a given year who actually stay for at least six months. Thus far, my research into this has not been encouraging.

Thank you.
If you are starting a whole group completely from scratch, you mioght be able to reduce the attrition just a bit. The first students in a dojo really define the practice and that is very exciting and fun. They probably stay in a larger number than the students who join a mture dojo in which the practiec is already going on and they have to fit in . Hard to say...

I wouold guess that if you want 30 at the end of sic months who have al lput in the same amount of time consistently, say three times a week or so, then you'll need 60 to 80 folks starting out. You could probably decrease this if you paid them to take part...

It's hard to say. Possibly telling them they are part of a study would cvhange something... I've never run a class that had an ulterior purpose before. It might mitivate people to stay. My numbers are strictly based on how many people I would have to take through my dojo to have 30 left at the end of six months. Frankly it would probably have to be over a hundred...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:58 PM   #4
SteveTrinkle
Dojo: Aikido Kenkyukai International
Location: Ambler, Pennsylvania
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Re: Aikido as Ph.D. Dissertation

Depending on what kind of assessment/measurement tool you plan to use, you could use (even more than 30) students from many dojo accross the country. Better sample that way too perhaps. Obviously there would be many variables difficult to measure/quantify. What would you use for a control group?
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Old 09-21-2006, 10:25 PM   #5
VenturaMarc
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Re: Aikido as Ph.D. Dissertation

Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

Well one dissertation advisor suggested using a control group of 30 people who undergo cognitive behavioral therapy ostensibly b/c that mode of therapy is most easily quantifiable as effective. I've also considered using folks who are part of a regular exercise class, like spinning.

I am leaning toward not doing this experiment b/c of the difficulty invovled in finding the participants and may opt to devise some type of survey instead. Money and time are unfortunately real considerations.

Thank you
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:52 AM   #6
SeiserL
 
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Re: Aikido as Ph.D. Dissertation

IMHO, doing an original piece of research for a dissertation to like running up hill into the wind, very difficult. (I had to rewrite mine 12 times.)

You might opt for a more simple design (Internet survey) rather than the tough job of recruiting, screening, and maintaining such a high number of students all willing to admit from the beginning they have depression or anxiety.

Check with the good people at Aiki-Extensions for further ideas and support. Tell them I sent you.

Good luck.

If I can be of any support, encouragement, or help please feel free to contact me directly.

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 09-22-2006, 06:54 AM   #7
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
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Re: Aikido as Ph.D. Dissertation

I think it would be very interesting to see how aikido ranks amoung regular exercise and other methods at this task. I've always held the beleif that getting someone out and moving is the first step to getting rid of depression.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:15 AM   #8
Mike Grant
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 56
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Re: Aikido as Ph.D. Dissertation

Ideally, you'd do it the other way round. The subjects walk through the door, you match for age, sex, and other 'confounders' and then you randomly asign them to two treatment groups with and without aikido but matched as closely as possible for everything else. Follow up at six months (or other previously determined end to the study) should be on an 'intention to treat basis' (ie including the drop outs). The size of the group you need would depend on the magnitude of the effect you expect to observe and the anticpated drop out rate. Work that out and then speak to a statistician.

You would do it that way to make the study conform to real life. That is, it seems to me that the question you want to answer is 'will aikido benefit people with depression? In which case you need to know what happens to the group as a whole and not just the self selecting cohort who complete six months of therapy.

Sorry I wrote this in a bit of a rush, but I hope you get the gist of what I'm saying...

Last edited by Mike Grant : 09-22-2006 at 07:20 AM.
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