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Old 03-01-2007, 05:05 PM   #1
Talon
 
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Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Hey guys, I've been training Aikido at a small dojo for almost 5 years now. These feelings that I'm having have come and gone in the past but are getting a lot stronger this time around and I'm on the verge of quitting. I joined Aikido for mainly a self defense and fun aspect. I still enjoy classes and the people I train with but I'm getting the feeling of inadequacy when it comes to martial effectiveness coming back. I've been recently checking the videos and threads on Bullshido.com recently and it really isnt helping. Actually, on bullshido.com, March was officially declared Aikido Sucks month. Everywhere I go i see Aikido bashing and no documented evidence of Aikido's effectiveness in a martial content. Not even a decent live sparring video, never mind the real deal on the streets.

I'm getting old and I have the feeling maybe I'm just wasting my time training in something that will ultimately just get me hurt if I try to use it in the real world.. In class yesterday we have incorporated, random randori with more realistic attacks such as haymakers, punches, kicks etc. and I found myself really struggling even at half speed attacks. My techniques didn't seem to flow well at all. I often resorted to taking the uke down with a Judo type throw. I admit I probably had a bad day and we did not do this type of practice in the past really so maybe it will get better.

The sensei is a personal friend of mine as we became good friends over the years of training. Recently, I have been thinking of trying a martial sport such as kickboxing, judo or jujitsu and just quitting Aikido all together. I'm getting old though so I don't know if this is a good idea as well ( I turn 37 today).... Lets just say I'm confused.

I see Matt Thornton's aliveness videos and write-ups and can't help but to agree with most of what he says. This is one of the reasons why I pushed this more random, more realistic attack training in our dojo and the sensei thankfully agreed that its probably a good idea.

Some people call Aikido a cult and think we all are delusional. I've read accounts of ex-aikidoka who quit the art of Aikido and say it was the best thing they did to improve their martial training.

I hate to start a new thread talking about effectiveness, god knows I have read enough of them on here in the past. I'm just reaching out to my fellow Aikidoka to help me through this confusing hard time and hopefully I'll get through this without leaving Aikido practice for good.

Any advice, encouraging accounts or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:39 PM   #2
Dan Rubin
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Happy birthday!

You already know what to do. Leave aikido, start studying a different art and see what happens. After a period of time you'll decide to return to aikido or not return.

If you want to learn more aikido, stay with it. Maybe you're just burned out with your dojo and need to move to another one, perhaps a bigger one.

If you want to learn self-defense, join a school that teaches self-defense. If you want to learn kickboxing, judo, etc., join a school that teaches that.

Often people take a break from aikido (or whatever their art) for a year or two, then return to find that they're refreshed and relaxed and happy to be back. Others leave aikido to find that at this point in their lives they needed to start along a different path.

I sense that your real problem is that you feel guilty about wanting to leave your aikido dojo. If that's your real problem then focus on that, not on whether aikido is an effective martial art.

Best wishes for whatever decision you make.
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:05 PM   #3
jason jordan
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

I may be setting myself up for some serious ridicule here but I have to say to you "Congratulations".

I find that whenever I feel that way, it makes me question myself, and my art, and my reasons for practicing Aikido. It then challenges me to make the things I feel are lacking, and improve on them...it's called growth.

Often times when we feel that the level we are on has stopped challenging us, and has stopped motivating us we come to a cross-roads, "Do I keep pursuing?" "Or do I quit?" There are days when I know that my Aikido is effective, and then there are days when I wonder...

There are days when Im at my dojo that I feel like "wow I really do that technique well" And then I go to my sensei's dojo and feel as though I am the biggest fraud ever.

But it is these types of days that should keep us
1) Honest, humble and not delusional
2) dedicated to perfecting the imperfections that we are questioning.

If I were you, I would think about taking what I see as in-effectivness and try to improve on it.

What makes "Aikido" "your aikido" ineffective? what should you have done, or could you have done?

Isn't it funny that Millions of people in the world practice Aikido, and yet you never see or hear of anyone using it in street situations....Budo = to stop war.??????
Maybe Aikido works to well?!?!?!?! ne?

Sometimes I work out with some BJJ and Judo guys, not to compete but to help me not be delusional. Some days these guys can't touch me, other days they own me, and I use the bad days to learn from my mistakes, and work on them.

No art is 100% "not even Bjj" this is why we are "students" of the arts; to study the art, find what works for us, and what doesn't and better ourselves, and not others.

Why should you care about what someone says about aikido or any other art, your opinions should be based on your personal study and not that of someone else's.

Do you think that after 5 years you have come to learn all that you are going to learn about your art? I would dare say that after 5 years you have probably just learned how to do your techniques without getting off balance.

I'll be quite now, but maybe you should think about these things before quitting. Because what happens when you change arts, and after 5 more years of beginning all over again, you spar with someone and they kick your butt? Do you say that art did not work as well? or in the event of starting all over again you do get into a fight in the street and that guy kicks your butt? I guess that art didn't work either?

I hope I don't sound like an ass and if I do, i'm sure my fellow aikidoka will let me know that I do, but these are just my opinions.

With all my love
Jjo

Iesu wa shu
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:41 PM   #4
ChrisMoses
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
I've been recently checking the videos and threads on Bullshido.com recently and it really isnt helping. Actually, on bullshido.com, March was officially declared Aikido Sucks month. Everywhere I go i see Aikido bashing and no documented evidence of Aikido's effectiveness in a martial content. Not even a decent live sparring video, never mind the real deal on the streets.
I'm as big a critic of aikido as anyone, but Bullshido is a bunch of BOTTOM FEEDERS. I'm not saying don't give judo or jujutsu a shot just to see what it's about, but don't give up on aikido because some pimply 14 year old wanna-be Gracie tells you to. That is all..

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:15 PM   #5
eyrie
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
I see Matt Thornton's aliveness videos and write-ups and can't help but to agree with most of what he says. This is one of the reasons why I pushed this more random, more realistic attack training in our dojo and the sensei thankfully agreed that its probably a good idea.
Firstly, budo is not "monkey see monkey do". Smart monkeys think. Secondly, "aliveness" is not just a physical thing, but more so a mental attitude. So, I see nothing inconsistent with Matt Thornton's words and how you choose to incorporate that into your own training.... even if you come from a "softer", more "fluid" style of aiki.

Ignatius
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:39 PM   #6
Just Jamey
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Paul,

I can sympathize with getting discouraged with all the derogatory opinions out there about aikido. I went through a period of questioning myself, my aikido training, and the reasons for practicing, after getting way to focused on these seemingly prevalent opinions. What I noticed most about these opinions is that they are espoused by sports fighting fans, Gracie-followers, and sports fighters. The idea they put forth is that if it isn't effective in the "ring" (Pride/UFC/K-1) it must be worthless.

These are the thoughts I have come up with for myself. The goal of Pride/UFC/K-1 type fighting events are to win by knockouts (KO's or TKO's), submissions, or scoring decision. Fights occur in a controlled environment (ie - the ring) with one-on-one adversaries. Training is specifically focused on acheiving these goals. These professional fighters spend at least 5 times as many hours training a week than I ever will be able. The fighting they do is extremely effective for the goals they are striving to achieve, and I have a lot of respect for their skills.

However, TKO, KO, and submissions are not the only possible goals, or outcomes to a fight. What about avoiding the fight? What about escaping the situation? There are more variables that exist in the much vaunted "real world" or "street", such as, terrain, space, multiple combatants, etc. So are these types of events really the only gauge of "effectiveness" for all styles of Martial Arts? If it's not "ring worthy", is it automatically worthless?

I have come to believe that "ring worthy" is not the end-all-be-all to determining martial effectiveness. I'm not saying, nor implying, the professional fighters can't hold their own out in the "real world", and I'm not claiming that MMA venues have no bearing on what is effective technique. Ortiz, the Gracies, Liddel, and all the others are probably some of the best prepared people for any type of fight. All I argue is that it isn't the only gauge to what is effective. If you lead a person to the ground, using Aikido, there is a good chance that person isn't going to jump right back up. Let's face it, the ground is very unforgiving.

Would I be able to jump in the ring and compete with a professional fighter? Absolutely not! Not because Aikido is ineffective, but because I don't train to fight professionally. The difference in training regimes and overall fitness is why I would get beat. If I were to get in a confrontation with the average person, I am confident of, at the least, being able to hold my own long enough extract myself. I don't train to be "invicible", and "unstoppable" (in part because that's just not realistic for me); I train to be able to extract myself from a situation. Different goals to my training.

Why is it so hard to apply aikido techniques? Because it is a very technical and difficult art to learn. That is part of why I love it. It constantly challenges me to improve.

I don't know if this helps you, Paul. However, good luck.

Last edited by Just Jamey : 03-01-2007 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:03 PM   #7
Aristeia
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Firstly, budo is not "monkey see monkey do". Smart monkeys think. Secondly, "aliveness" is not just a physical thing, but more so a mental attitude. So, I see nothing inconsistent with Matt Thornton's words and how you choose to incorporate that into your own training.... even if you come from a "softer", more "fluid" style of aiki.
actually no, I"m sorry but that's just not accurate. You may wish to run an argument that there is something called "mental aliveness" and that it can be effective or whatever. But to claim that substituting menatal aliveness for a fully resisting training partner is consistant with what Thornton says, is just plain wrong.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:17 PM   #8
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Hello Paul,
Simply give up this self defense nonsens idea in aikido, aikido has nothing to do with fighting. O sensei developed it for completly different reasons. Buy a gun if you feel not safe -- as Gracie do it once they are in Brasil LOL.

Aikido it is very serious stuff, you need to study deeper then searching for aikido application on the street. However if you like to kick ass poor loosers then go to MMA training.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:44 PM   #9
eyrie
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote: View Post
actually no, I"m sorry but that's just not accurate. You may wish to run an argument that there is something called "mental aliveness" and that it can be effective or whatever. But to claim that substituting menatal aliveness for a fully resisting training partner is consistant with what Thornton says, is just plain wrong.
Whoa! I made no such claim...

I said two quite separate things.... well 3.
1. Aliveness isn't just physical - it's also a mental attitude... as I perceive it.

2. I find nothing inconsistent with what Thornton says regarding aliveness training - physical or otherwise. IMO, aliveness training is a good thing... irrespective.

3. HOW you CHOOSE to incorporate what Thornton says is up to you.

Obviously, and unless you're a trained monkey... you are going to have to make your own judgment call on the level of aliveness, fully-resisting training, and safety. But at no point did I claim or even suggest that any sort of substitution was in order, or even consistent.

Ignatius
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:48 PM   #10
ccain85
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

i am in no position to criticize you or tell you what to do as i have only been training for about 5 years myself. however, i do feel obligated to remind you that the true essence of aikido, is NOT fighting or winning competitions. aikido is extremely deep and, at only five years of training, you have only begun to scratch the surface. on the other hand, if you are sure that aikido just is not for you, then the best of luck to you in whatever path you choose to follow my friend.

best of luck

To win 100 victories in 100 battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:53 PM   #11
Hebrew Hammer
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Paul,
It seems to me that these 'other' people are saying what you feel. Aikido isn't the only art misunderstood or with nay sayers. Take your pick of Tae Kwon Do, Ninjitsu, Judo, Tai Chi...etc. Its what you feel in your heart my friend. Every relationship doesn't last forever, this maybe your five year ich, I think you should take a break...try another art as long as its not criticized on Bullshido or taught by Ashida Kim. If you stay you'll just be resentfull. Dont' be afraid of change.
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:58 PM   #12
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
Hey guys, I've been training Aikido at a small dojo for almost 5 years now. These feelings that I'm having have come and gone in the past but are getting a lot stronger this time around and I'm on the verge of quitting. I joined Aikido for mainly a self defense and fun aspect. I still enjoy classes and the people I train with but I'm getting the feeling of inadequacy when it comes to martial effectiveness coming back. I've been recently checking the videos and threads on Bullshido.com recently and it really isnt helping. Actually, on bullshido.com, March was officially declared Aikido Sucks month. Everywhere I go i see Aikido bashing and no documented evidence of Aikido's effectiveness in a martial content. Not even a decent live sparring video, never mind the real deal on the streets.

I'm getting old and I have the feeling maybe I'm just wasting my time training in something that will ultimately just get me hurt if I try to use it in the real world.. In class yesterday we have incorporated, random randori with more realistic attacks such as haymakers, punches, kicks etc. and I found myself really struggling even at half speed attacks. My techniques didn't seem to flow well at all. I often resorted to taking the uke down with a Judo type throw. I admit I probably had a bad day and we did not do this type of practice in the past really so maybe it will get better.

The sensei is a personal friend of mine as we became good friends over the years of training. Recently, I have been thinking of trying a martial sport such as kickboxing, judo or jujitsu and just quitting Aikido all together. I'm getting old though so I don't know if this is a good idea as well ( I turn 37 today).... Lets just say I'm confused.

I see Matt Thornton's aliveness videos and write-ups and can't help but to agree with most of what he says. This is one of the reasons why I pushed this more random, more realistic attack training in our dojo and the sensei thankfully agreed that its probably a good idea.

Some people call Aikido a cult and think we all are delusional. I've read accounts of ex-aikidoka who quit the art of Aikido and say it was the best thing they did to improve their martial training.

I hate to start a new thread talking about effectiveness, god knows I have read enough of them on here in the past. I'm just reaching out to my fellow Aikidoka to help me through this confusing hard time and hopefully I'll get through this without leaving Aikido practice for good.

Any advice, encouraging accounts or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
You already know what you want to do. You should do it. Just don't blame Aikido. Sounds to me like you guys must be pretty #### by what you describe. At a dojo where they emphasize the martial aspect more, you'll find that people have confidence in the art. Some of the others are right though, Aikido isn't about fighting so if you want to feel good about that, do what gives you confidence and is on the Bullshido.com approved list. I would hate to live my life like that but it may be your only choice. You may find that changing arts won't help your situation that much. You may be a bigger factor than the art is.
Best wishes,
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:24 AM   #13
Talon
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Ok. Guys thanks for all your thoughts. I must say that we are not a soft style and do all our techniques in a real martial way. The sensei does treat our school as a martial school and had experience in other arts in the past (wrestling, Karate / kick boxing). We are by no means what you’d consider aiki fruities and pretty well all students feel that their training is martially effective. I hope that I did not give anyone the opinion that our school in any way was of the aiki fruity type.

When we do our techniques, we do them in a way that they are effective and often painful. I don’t really have any doubts that when performed properly the technique will be effective and I actually encourage tori/sensei to do the techniques realistically on me so that I feel some pain or lock before I submit and get a good stretch. I also perform the techniques in the same manner. I don’t like cheating these things and want to feel their effectiveness. The problem that I find in my short journey so far is how difficult it is to get into the technique in a random type attack and when there is resistance or countering from the uke. This quite simply may just be a matter of training more in this and thats what I’ll focus on doing.

Like others have mentioned, I too have days when it feels like everything goes almost perfectly and I feel my techniques are effective and smooth. There are days when I feel like nothing is working and I have learned nothing. Sometimes perhaps things seem worse than they really are just because of our mood or the way we feel that day. Yesterday was a bad day for me and combined with all the reading I have recently done just made me doubt my training and myself.I guess I just do too much reading and worrying about these things lately and it just started to spill out.

I consider myself a realist and realistically I have not tested my skills, thats all. I am not in this to beat people up, fight competitively, be unbeatable or a superman that can kick anyones ass. Lets face it I have grown up by now and those things just don’t interest me and people who have egos like that always came across to me as idiots. Becoming the toughest guy out there does not interest me in the least.

Thanks again for all your suggestions and thoughts. I have made a decision. I’ll be staying at my Dojo, training more and reading bullshido less.

Last edited by Talon : 03-02-2007 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 03-02-2007, 02:19 AM   #14
Aristeia
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

ok, I had tired to post a reply before but my connection must have given out. Shame because it was a work of art. Let me try again.

Your doubts on aikido are most likely justified. This does not mean that Aikido is of no value from a martial aspect, just that it will take longer and not be as effective as some of the other options. When people have doubts the question they ask themselves should always be - why do I train? If self defence is your *primary* goal, there are better options out there. The problem is that there are many other reasons to train Aikido, but often these reasons are harder to articulate than "self defence" so it's easy to devalue them in your mind. Ask yourself - if you had very good self defence but were not still doing aikido, would that make you happy or would you still miss the training?

Which leads me to my next point - this is not an either or situation. for many years I trained Aikido and then for several years I trained both Aikido and BJJ. I found that each art helped the other - the BJJ made my aikido more effective and the Aikido helped my BJJ flow more the way it should. So you can go out and crosstrain in something else - make it something complimentary and watch how both arts grow together. Be careful about throwoing out the baby with the bath water.

The only reason I'm not still training both is that with a young family I also need to be hanging out with, time is a problem :-)

Also there's no way you're too old to start something new. I have older people than you walk through the door of our BJJ club routinely.

There are some people (some of them on this thread) that will try and convince you that if you try to look outside of Aikido, or if you find Aikido not realistic enough for you, that it's your fault and you are somehow deficient in your aikido training. This is rubbish.

I'll say that again, this is rubbish. Don't let anyone tell you that looking to expand your knowledge beyond the confines of an aikido dojo indicates any kind of failing on your part. It is a very positive and courageous step - and something you should be firecely proud of.

The kind of doubt, questioning, and critical thinking that leads to this step is the thinking that drives progress.

Don't buy into the "but you've only been doing it for 5 years - you' can't expect it to work yet" nonsenese either. If self defence is of interest, 5 years should be enough of an investment to see a significant return. I'm often stunned that some people seem to think that telling someone in their 30's that this art is so subtle it will take 20 years to show results, is some sort of selling point. Three's plenty of arts that will give you very good unarmed self defence capability after 5 years.

Having said all of that.

Bullshido jumped the shark some years ago. where once it was a useful site dedicated to uncovering what amounted to MA fraudsters, now it's a pack of self congratulatory back slappers who need hear no more than the name of the art you do to deride it's effectiveness if it doesn't fit the mold.

I know of several people that have used Aikido effectively in physical altercations. I have used it effectively at times on the BJJ mat.

Understand also that Aikido isn't like other martial arts. It's not so much about winning the fight as getting out of the way of a fight. Which means most of the time when Aikido is deployed effectively, it's not in the sort of environment that is likely to be caught on tape.

I was reading through an old black belt magazine the other day (circa 1996) and there was an article by a well respected martial artist at the time recounting an incident where he'd had to deal with multiple attackers in a bar. He talked about the importance of not trying to "win" a fight, but just get out. He talked about throwing people aside as they came at him, not to beat them but to create space to move and escape. It sounded alot like Aikido.

The martial artists name was Rickson Gracie.

My reccommendation - find something that you think you might like from the alive arts - muay thai, judo, BJJ, wrestling, boxing, sambo etc. But keep doing your aikido as well, at least for a year or two (after the initial bloom of the new art has died down) and then make your own informed choice.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:24 AM   #15
crbateman
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Sometimes people just get the training "blues". It might very well be that you do need a break from Aikido. Three suggestions: 1) Don't be impulsive. Wait until you're certain it's not just a passing feeling. 2) Leave the door open to return if you decide you want to. 3) If you decide (and you're the one who has to) that you need a break, find something else to do that you like, then do it with gusto. Best of luck to you.
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:44 AM   #16
stelios
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

I do not know abour your aikido. Mine, tested on the street three times already, works just fine. You say you have trained for 5 years now. This makes you (at worse) 2-3 Kyu. There are lots of things to be met down the pathway, still.
For me the fact that you question your abilities is a very good thing. I wish people did this more often. Yet questioning your abilities is one thing and discarding them altogether is another. Give it some time.
What we practise in the dojo is very different from what we would do out in the street but the basic idea is the same. Most (if not all) techniques give you ample space to apply for instance a "stronger" nickyo, a stronger atemi etc.
Give it some time...
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:04 AM   #17
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

I've read a large amount of these sorts of critiques referred to by the original poster.

I have two main points. One, everyone who posts on the bullshido are immature idiots and are mostly in my opinion, plankton.
Two, all martial arts throughout history have always been designed for a specific purpose and are fit for that purpose. Learning Kendo will not help you in a UFC competition. If you want the best martial art that will beat all others I'd suggest going to your local military run dojo and learning thermo-nuclear war, guaranteed to win all fights, maximum effect with minimum effort. The stated aim of aikido (stated by the founder) was to gain victory over ones self. I have found nothing better for acheiving that aim than aikido.I'd advise going to other dojo and looking at other arts and seeing what best suits you, you may find that aikido was never for you to start with.

But, having said that, to throw some more fun into your aikido training if your sensei will allow it try the following: A common critique of aikido is that if someone throws an unrealistic punch and then just leaves their hand outstretched for you to play with then and only then will you be able to grab their wrist and apply kotegaeshi.
My standard response to this is that the unrealistic punches you see are training tools only, never try to grab uke's wrist, aim for their shoulder as this is the slowest moving part of the punch and draw your hand down their arm maintaining contact until you reach their wrist, while doing this you must make sure you are away from any other attacks they may deliver. If they withdraw their hand after the punch (i.e. snap the punch quickly like a jab) then by aiming for the shoulder first you wil find that the bring their wrist to your hand rather than you having to chase it.

None of that is particularly helpful in learning the subtelties of aikido such as timing balance centredness and so on but it may be a fun thing to try and may help assuage some of your fears concering aikido.

Regards

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:44 AM   #18
SeiserL
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Happy birthday my young kohai.

I say that because we belong to the same family. I train in Tenshinkai Aikido at the Westminster Aikikai in Orange county California under Tenshinkai founder Sensei Dang Thong Phong.

IMHO, read George Leonards book on Mastery. It talks about learning plateaus and being discoraged is the time to continue training. Its a natural part of the process. To get to the next level we need to see through this one.

I would agree with a lot of the criticisms and support alivenedd in training. I often attend cross-training seminars to help keep it fresh. Very few of us will ever actually need any of this on the streets, therefore I may be wise to keep the practical application in minds, but shift the goal towards personal development, skill refinement, better health, and a good time.

Change if you want. I started at 44 and am now 56. IMHO, it has been worth the discipline to see through the rough times.

Rei, Kohai.

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 03-02-2007, 06:19 AM   #19
DonMagee
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
I'm getting old and I have the feeling maybe I'm just wasting my time training in something that will ultimately just get me hurt if I try to use it in the real world.. In class yesterday we have incorporated, random randori with more realistic attacks such as haymakers, punches, kicks etc. and I found myself really struggling even at half speed attacks. My techniques didn't seem to flow well at all. I often resorted to taking the uke down with a Judo type throw. I admit I probably had a bad day and we did not do this type of practice in the past really so maybe it will get better.
Remember this, if you switch to a more 'alive' art like judo or bjj, everyday will be like this for months, maybe years. The struggle is part of what happens against real attacks. People do not do what you are told they will do by your teacher. Sparing is about learning to read, predict, and adjust to a living person. If you can not accept constant failure, you will never stick in an 'alive' martial art. You will fail every single day, get tapped out every single day, punched in the face, and get thrown on your butt every single day. Then when you think you have learned nothing, a new guy will join and you will realize he is now how you were. You will be the guy where everything works, and he will be the guy failing every single day. Then a purple or brown belt will put you back on your butt and the circle repeats.

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
The sensei is a personal friend of mine as we became good friends over the years of training. Recently, I have been thinking of trying a martial sport such as kickboxing, judo or jujitsu and just quitting Aikido all together. I'm getting old though so I don't know if this is a good idea as well ( I turn 37 today).... Lets just say I'm confused.
You are never too old to start boxing, bjj, judo, etc. You might be too old to get into the olympics, or to compete professionaly, but you are never too old to train. Contrary to what I hear, boxing, judo, bjj, etc are arts you can do your entire life.

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
I see Matt Thornton's aliveness videos and write-ups and can't help but to agree with most of what he says. This is one of the reasons why I pushed this more random, more realistic attack training in our dojo and the sensei thankfully agreed that its probably a good idea.
Matt has great ideas. If you frequent the posts I frequent you will hear me push them often. I believe all training should be with 'aliveness'. However, aliveness does not mean training in boxing (although Matt says any art trained alive eventually looks just like MMA, kickboxing, or bjj anyways). Aikido can be trained alive. In fact I'd suggest you find my thread on training drills I think would help make aikido more alive. Maybe give those a try and see if it gives you what you need. It looks like your sensei is open to new ideas. If he is open and will give you what you need, then switching might not be needed. However, there is no point trying to fix something that is broken when something that works is right next too it. If you can't get what you need from your school, find one that can give you what you need.

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
Some people call Aikido a cult and think we all are delusional. I've read accounts of ex-aikidoka who quit the art of Aikido and say it was the best thing they did to improve their martial training.
Anyone who quit any martial art and kept practicing martial arts is going to say the art they quit was the best thing that happened to them. If they thought aikido was better then bjj, they would stay with aikido. There are guys who have left judo for ninjitsu (something I think is a total scam of a martial art). they claim it was the best thing they ever did as well. Never listen to personal stories about how X martial art works or doesn't. It's not about the art, its about how seriously you are willing to apply yourself, and what training methods you use. There is no teacher in the world that can make you a fighter. They can only guide the path you set down.

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote: View Post
Any advice, encouraging accounts or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
I'd suggest reading the threads I link on this thread http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11847

Then, think about if that will give you what you want. You need to decide what you want from your training. Then decide if your school gives that too you. If you want self defense, 90% of self defense is awareness of your environment and keeping out of trouble. 10% is learning to fight. By adding some aliveness on a regular basis, you can make sure you are ready to deal with most untrained and some trained attackers. You could stay with aikido and even supplement your aikido with a few months of bjj or boxing. With 3-6 months of bjj, judo, or boxing, you will be able to totally control most untrained attackers. Then if you enjoy your dojo, you have no reason to leave.

However if you want to fight, and be able to deal with trained attackers, guys way bigger/stronger then you, etc. You are going to need to amp up your training to a level most judo/bjj/boxing clubs train. This means cardio training, strength training, tons and tons of technique drills, and large amounts of sparing. An aikido club is not the best place to get that kind of training. If you are concerned with the development of skill rapidly, you need to understand aikido is not a place for that as well (along with most non-sport martial arts).

Finally, I like bullshido. I spend a lot of time there posting and hanging out. Its a great place with good ideas on what real training is. But they also love to make fun of stuff. Take aikido sucks month will a grain of salt. Last month was wrassling sucks, the month before that TKD sucks. It's not about what anyone says is the best or worst martial art. Its about you, and what you want from your training. If you take anything from there message, its about honesty. If you are honest with yourself about what you are really doing, then you will not fail.

If you do decide to leave aikido, I'd suggest judo or bjj. Both of these arts aikido will lend a good deal too.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:33 AM   #20
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote: View Post
There are some people (some of them on this thread) that will try and convince you that if you try to look outside of Aikido, or if you find Aikido not realistic enough for you, that it's your fault and you are somehow deficient in your aikido training. This is rubbish.

I'll say that again, this is rubbish. Don't let anyone tell you that looking to expand your knowledge beyond the confines of an aikido dojo indicates any kind of failing on your part. It is a very positive and courageous step - and something you should be firecely proud of.
I think it's alright to doubt. It's fine to test things, it's wonderful to look outside of Aikido (I do three different arts myself). What I was referencing was that Bullshido.com was affecting you more than that hard painful training you do in your dojo. It seemed to me that if your dojo's training was realistic enough, that a website should not have affected you that much.
You know what you know in your experience. I've been reading what the party line says on this topic for a long time but that will never move my opinion an inch because I know what I have been through. If I want to learn grappling, MMA or BJJ, I'll go to those schools and learn like any beginner but my current training is good enough for any normal person who lives a normal life. I am judging normal on 50 years of experience. If your Aikido training causes you to doubt, you may need BJJ, MMA and grappling and I would be the first to tell you to join one of those schools and get some confidence because that means you need it.I do not accept the proposition that for self defense,everyone needs to look to those arts first. It all depends on the danger factor in your life. If you are a cop, a soldier, or a guy who loves to hang out at bars late at night or in crime infested areas, go for those good arts. If you train hard in Aikido and get really good, you will be fine 99 percent of the time in a self defense situation. Just stay away from Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, or any of our Aikiweb ground guys if they should go to the dark side of the force.

Best wishes,
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:02 AM   #21
aikidoc
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Just a couple of thoughts. THere are some that do focus on a more martial aspect of aikido and even train for UFC type matches (Jason DeLucia I believe).

Another thing to consider is maybe your reasons for studying have changed. If you truly want to get in the octagon and mix it up you'll need at least to do cross training. If that is your goal. Another approach and one used by my sensei in the past is to train with guys from other arts and test your aikido against them and then try to figure out what to change to make it work against their arts. If you are only trying to do aikido, then your experience against other options or attacks or styles is limited. Perhaps figuring out how to make your aikido work against other styles might be the fix.

Most people never use their art for self defense. You train your body in case you do have to use it. So why train if the likelihood of ever getting into a hand to hand combat situation is remote? Perhaps the pursuit of the discipline and the higher ideals and philosophy are what you are really seeking. Unless, of course, you are out there picking fights or putting yourself in situations where altercations will occur. Personally, I'm proud to say that I have not been in a fight since grade school and I absolutely have no interest in getting into the octagon. However, I do have several taekwondo students from time to time with black bets that like to test one's mettle. That and occasionally students who are tremendously strong physically that make techniques a challenge. For me, that is enough. I also always teach with the martial perspective-I show the openings, pressure point strikes, etc.

Perhaps the best thing to do is sit down and re-examine your motives and goals for studying aikido. If the art no longer matches your needs or purpose, then you might want to explore other arts.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:04 AM   #22
Budd
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

A few things:

1) As others have said, don't take Bullshido too seriously. There are some really knowledgeable, tough and competent people on the site and LOTS of wannabes looking for attention (even met and trained with both varieties in person). I used to participate quite a bit over there, but kind of got tired of having the same discussion every month regarding the next couple of points.

2) You'll get out of aikido what you put into it. If being able to use it effectively in different environments is a concern, then go visit and work out with other arts/sports (judo, boxing, bjj, etc.) You'll probably learn something, hopefully have a good time and get a better idea of what type of practice you most enjoy. Because at the end of the day, you really ought to enjoy your training (even if it is challenging, frustrating, something you obsess about, etc. -- that's all part of it if you want to be good). Ultimately, you may decide that something else works better for you, but at least then you'll be basing it off of your own experiences rather than what some website tells you (this also applies to my own post here and most likely this thread ).

3) Any endeavor that is difficult will require some sacrifice and will likely have moments of success and failure. Learning to work through and learn from both types of events is going to be critical no matter what art or path you study. Never assume just because you practice aikido/bjj/gun kata that it makes you tough or even a worthwhile human being. Likewise, never assume that because you attended the Internal Skills Master/UFC Champion's school or seminar that it necessarily means you've got anything worth to offer. That type of thing doesn't get decided by your "collection" or "association".

In other words, don't assume (if you study BJJ) because your teacher once tapped a Gracie in an MMA match or (if you study Aikido) that Ueshiba dodged bullets with his eyes closed -- that you'll be able to do the same thing - ever .
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:37 AM   #23
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Paul, let me heartily recommend Ellis Amdur's book "Dueling with O-sensei". I think you'll find the chapter "So How Tough Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?" quite relevant to your feelings right now. I was going to quote from it, but I'd end up quoting half the chapter.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:51 AM   #24
James Davis
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Clint Cain wrote: View Post
however, i do feel obligated to remind you that the true essence of aikido, is NOT fighting or winning competitions. aikido is extremely deep and, at only five years of training, you have only begun to scratch the surface.
Agreed. I've only trained for a little over eight years and my aikido has grown a lot as of late. I read that the person who originally posted has good and bad nights. This leads me to ask the question,
When you have a "bad" night, does that necessarily make it a "good" night for the guy that "wins"?

For as long as we concentrate on "winning" and "losing", let's remember that those we train with are entitled to "good" nights too.

"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 03-02-2007, 11:15 AM   #25
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

I don't understand these Bullshido muppets. Have any of of them ever walked into a dojo and attempted to slap around Chiba Sensei?

From all the talk I read, it sounds like they smack around all the great Aikido Sensei daily. You know you're reading a parody martial arts forum when you see them judging Aikido based on this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEFyswBe4x0
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