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Old 08-31-2009, 05:46 AM   #26
Mark Peckett
Dojo: Aikido Fellowship of Great Britain
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 84
United Kingdom
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Re: Family, work then budo.

A number of years ago I read an interview with the great karate sensei Taiji Kase. He said, "Family first, work second, karate third." At that time I was in that eat, sleep, breathe aikido stage and practising four times a week including weekends and I realised that my family relationships were suffering. His statement came as a revelation to me, I made adjustments in my life and hopefully became a better husband and father. I know I became a better aikidoka.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:46 AM   #27
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 393
United Kingdom
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Re: Family, work then budo.

I reckon it's all about flexibility.

As a previous poster said, sometimes one area of life will require more of our time than another. When this happens, you need the flexibility of mind and attitude to re-arrange your priorities.

Life is constantly changing and you'll never find a 'balance', just a way of prioritizing everything so that it fits into that particular day of your life.

As humans we are actually well adapted to this - it's the reason we survive as a species today All we need to remember is that there is no point in being frustrated about what we can't do, but to put 100% into what we must do at that moment in time, be that family, work, Aikido, or whatever.

If your family complain you spend too little time with them, then you need to re-prioritize. If they are happier, you will be happier.

If your family cheerfully wave you off to the dojo three times a week, you haven't got a problem
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:03 PM   #28
YogaRen
Dojo: The little dojo in the Woods.
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 22
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Re: Family, work then budo.

I am very new to Aikido, but not at all new to the idea of being away from home to practice an art that is important to me.

I am a yoga teacher and in addition to the time I spend in my studio teaching, I also practice. I practice usually four or five days a week. This means I spend a lot of time at the studio. I recently added an Aikibudo practice to the mix and have been finding interesting adjustments happening.

I have always sort of held the belief that I have the world's most supportive husband and the world's most adaptive kids. I do not have a regular schedule to my life in any sense of the word. My husband is a full time student and also works from home. We have a very weird schedule and we are happy with it.

In my opinion there are several factors at work here. There is family, what works for everyone, being responsive to your partner, taking care of home and children and generally showing up for dinner once in a while. But there is also the issue of following a path and pursuing, studying, and ultimately training for something that is both fulfilling and important to you. There is also work, friends, social engagements, spiritual practice, etc, hobbies.. and oh yeah, we all have to sleep, right?

I am young, I had my kids young, I found a job I'm passionate about as a young woman. I'm fortunate in that way, I guess. But I also learned early on that it is neither selfish or wrong to seek fulfillment and meaning in life even if it means being separate from your family from time to time.

Practice can be something that restores you and makes you who you are. My husband often says, "go, train, practice, I need you to be healthy." He recognizes the value of the time I spend with my teacher. He recognizes that when I am practicing yoga, training in Aikido, and pursuing the things that I love, I am a whole person. He likes this person, so he supports me. We juggle a very busy schedule and there are times when we both come to the middle and say, enough. It's time for a break.

Priorities are important and part of life. They are part of a maturation process for all of us. Learn when to say no, learn when to pass on a class, learn when to skip the dojo. Be there when you can, and don't grow to fear that you will somehow slip as a student if you decide to miss a class to engage in family time. Each are equally part of you. Family, is of course, first. But I disagree that one has to suffer for the other to flourish. I also disagree with the notion that there is a set "amount" of training required to be a good student. Some need four hours a week, some need ten. I believe, so far in my very brief time training in this art, that as long as the practice is genuine and the principles are followed, the training is valid. Some weeks it is less, some weeks it is more. You have to let go of the fear of losing ground. Getting rusty might just be part of your training.

I am interested (and also deeply invested in) the idea of women, specifically mothers in the dojo. Perhaps we could start another thread for this. There are so many ideas for me there.

Thanks for listening.

Best,
K

Trusting the process.
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:29 AM   #29
Eva Antonia
Dojo: CERIA
Location: Brussels
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 211
Belgium
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Re: Family, work then budo.

Dear all,

I have 4 kids between 7 and 11 years and go to the dojo as much as I can (but since Wednesday immobilised due to knee surgery...no aikido for 6 months, ayayay!!! ), and being an independent consultant, there is also much, much work (too much this summer, adequate for the rest of the time). Three of the children go with me; the fourth decided that he didn't like it. My big son also can attend adult classes; as to the small ones, their classes are parallel to the adult classes twice a week. Once a month or whenever possible here in Brussels I attend a seminar. My boyfriend thinks aikido is rubbish and refuses to take a try. That's the situation.

But I don't think that it is selfish to train four times a week, and I neither think it interferes with family life. There are enough other things we can cut in order to spend more time with the children. Since the biggest one was born, we never went out one evening without them; we never had a babysitter; we try consequently to spend all our spare time with them. I love reading, but I read when they are in bed; when they are awake I read with them. I love painting, but I paint much less for myself and much more with them since they are there. We both love cooking, and we can do it together.

However, in my opinion family life does not mean that parents have to sacrifice their own interests to spend more time with the kids, and neither that we should expect the same from them. Once you have the impression that you are forced to give something up I think it goes the wrong way. You should WANT to spend as much time as possible with your family, but not feel yourself compelled to do so.

So I try to arrange my business travels so that I can take the family with me; I try to arrange my working hours so that I'm home when they are home, but I also make always a dojo search before travelling somewhere, and it has happened to me rejecting a short term job because there was no dojo available (my boyfriend makes similar selections according to if he can watch his favourite soccer team).

In my dojo, I'm the only mother who is intensively training (both in Istanbul and in Brussels), but here in Brussels I'm also the only one whose kids are doing regularly aikido. The big one starts now his fourth year, his sisters the second year. There are lots of fathers who started with their children, but then the children abandoned and the fathers continued. And we have a grandfather who started training with his granddaughter.

Our former aikido teacher brought his entire family to training. His wife was 2nd Dan, and both his son and daughter became aikido professors, too. And his smallest grandchildren have the age of my kids, and they also started training... Why not?

Best regards,

Eva

Last edited by Eva Antonia : 09-13-2009 at 04:31 AM. Reason: writing error
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:58 AM   #30
Rolf Granlund
Dojo: Shinsuikan/Genoa, Ohio
Location: Toledo, OH
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 32
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Re: Family, work then budo.

To All,

I guess I struggle with this as well. But I'm finally reaching the point where I realize that it's okay to miss class when I have family issues to attend to. My wife is awesome when it comes to me training. She believes (as do I) that Aikido is part of what makes me a better person, more relaxed and able to handle what life throws at me.

Training with the support of the family is essential. But also realizing that its okay not to be the paragon of Aikido. It took me a long time to realize that a lot of my anxiety at the dojo was due to my not being able to train as much as I wanted and was very jealous of those who could. I thought I was less of a student and couldn't measure up. The trouble I get into when I compare myself to others.

I suppose this was just a long-winded way of saying I agree with most of what has been posted so far.

With Respect,
Rolf Granlund
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:28 AM   #31
dalen7
 
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Dojo: Karcag Aikido Club
Location: Karcag
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 750
Hungary
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Re: Family, work then budo.

Its all relative... to your own experience. Tell us, is it selfish? Only you know what you need now...

Peace

dAlen

dAlen [day•lynn]
dum spiro spero - {While I have breathe - I have hope}

Art
http://www.lightofinfinity.org

Philosophical
http://dalen7.wordpress.com
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:35 PM   #32
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Re: Family, work then budo.

I think I want to suggest a change in the priorities as stated in the subject line, to "Self, then family, then work, then budo." Sometimes self needs to be served by something that's none of the three.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:20 PM   #33
YogaRen
Dojo: The little dojo in the Woods.
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 22
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Re: Family, work then budo.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I think I want to suggest a change in the priorities as stated in the subject line, to "Self, then family, then work, then budo." Sometimes self needs to be served by something that's none of the three.
well said.

Trusting the process.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:05 PM   #34
Chuck Clark
 
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Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Monroe, Washington
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Posts: 1,134
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Re: Family, work then budo.

One of the small signs in a couple of dojo that I frequent says "Self, Family, Work, Budo"... Lots of important stuff in all of these categories.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:42 AM   #35
TEARO
Dojo: Agatsu Aikido,Montreal
Location: Brossard,QC
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 12
Canada
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Re: Family, work then budo.

..Try finding a dojo that offers something for kids as well so you take Aikido with them,or where I train it's a big dojo so while we train Aikido in the tatami place there are little kids doing Karate downstairs.
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:07 AM   #36
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Canada
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Re: Family, work then budo.

It was my 9th wedding anniversary yesterday. So I only did one hour of aikido as opposed to my usual two. It's these tough compromises that make it work

Jonathan Olson
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:33 PM   #37
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 452
United_States
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Re: Family, work then budo.

I remember I had an aikidoka friend who had the main wall in his living room with all his various aikido and martial arts certificates, pictures, and "stuff" hanging on it that he proudly displayed. He invited Nishio Sensei for a visit to his home at some point. When Nishio got inside and saw what he had hanging on the wall - rather than being impressed with my friend's dedication to aikido, Nishio told him to take it all down and put up pictures of his family.

FWIW, in our dojo the training on Sundays is "family" day. Anyone can attend - from the grandmas to the newborns and everyone in between.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 09-18-2009 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:06 PM   #38
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Canada
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Re: Family, work then budo.

Well, tonight it was my time to hold the baby while my wife trained. Actually, he first slept by the edge of the mat for about an hour while we both trained. The two older siblings spent the evening with the babysitter, but I'll give them a private aikido class tomorrow. Forget compromises, just get everybody involved

Jonathan Olson
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:31 PM   #39
Nick
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 563
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Re: Family, work then budo.

To the OP:

Every family is different. A lot of my instructors stopped training entirely once they had kids. One in particular built a dojo in his basement and trains 4-5x a week without missing a beat.

There are certainly worse things you could be doing. As long as you're taking good care of your kids and not overburdening your partner with their care, I don't see a problem.

Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:18 AM   #40
tarik
 
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Dojo: Iwae Dojo
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 564
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Re: Family, work then budo.

When I get home from work, my 19 month old boy and 37 month old girl come running screaming my name. After hugs and general greetings, 4 of 5 days, one or both of them looks at me very seriously and says "dojo!".

So we often then head down to the dojo to train together, in our way, while Mom cooks some dinner or just enjoys a break from the kids. Some nights (2 a week), she comes down to get the kids when we start formal class. Other nights she comes down to play with us.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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