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Old 10-28-2009, 12:24 PM   #26
MattMiddleton
 
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Dojo: MUN Aikido
Location: Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Canada
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Re: Aikido Changed My Life!!

Aikido has definitely had a positive effect on my life; I've lost about 30 lbs (aikido + improved diet), am learning more about what my body can and can't do, and have been introduced to a fantastically supportive community at my dojo.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:16 PM   #27
George S. Ledyard
 
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Re: Aikido Changed My Life!!

One day Kimberly Richardson Sensei and I were talking about things Aikido / Dojo related. We started laughing when we realized that we each had the same reaction to hearing from a student that "Aikido was changing their life.", it was "they'll be gone in three weeks". My wife was a bit non-plussed because she had said much the same thing to Richardson Sensei at one point and wondered why she looked at her a little funny.

My experience in almost 25 years of teaching has been that when a new student comes up to me and tells me that "Aikido is the MOST amazing thing they've ever done." and that "It is changing my life" they will be gone in no time.

It is much better to have someone tell you, from the standpoint of hindsight, that Aikido changed their lives for the better. The change that sneaks up on you is more likely to be the one that you stay with.

Pema Chodren said the same thing in one of her books... She said that students will always come up to her and tell her how wonderful the practice is, how it is changing their lives. Then, six months or so later they come in and tell her that the practice isn't the same as it had been, the she as a teacher isn't the same as she had been, that all sorts of issues are now present that weren't there before. She responds that everything they had been doing in their practice was merely getting them to this point. It is this point where the practice REALLY begins.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:09 PM   #28
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Aikido Changed My Life!!

In the many years that I've been hanging around budo practice I've seen the same things that you've described George. It's predictable.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:03 PM   #29
Rob Watson
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Re: Aikido Changed My Life!!

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
My experience in almost 25 years of teaching has been that when a new student comes up to me and tells me that "Aikido is the MOST amazing thing they've ever done." and that "It is changing my life" they will be gone in no time.
Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
In the many years that I've been hanging around budo practice I've seen the same things that you've described George. It's predictable.
My momma always said I was special ... I was one of those starry eyed, even evangelical, 'blissers' that was early on enamored with aikido. I got better. I even quit after 5 years but I came back and I'm still going. While my life has certainly changed in the last 15 years I can't say just how much of that has been due to aikido (except for some certain creaky joints I know for sure are from aikido). I do get kind of twitchy if I can't keep to my regular schedule.

These days I do still mention aikido every now and then trying to build up the membership at the dojo. That part is not going so well...folks seem to be looking for something but hard work and sweat don't seem to fit the bill.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:00 AM   #30
Linda Eskin
 
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Re: Aikido Changed My Life!!

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
My experience in almost 25 years of teaching has been that when a new student comes up to me and tells me that "Aikido is the MOST amazing thing they've ever done." and that "It is changing my life" they will be gone in no time.
Aaahh... Ledyard Sensei... I have all the respect in the world for you, and I keep finding myself disagreeing with you in the forums. It's not personal, really.

I intend to be an exception to this pattern.

At 6th months, and 6th kyu, and I hardly recognize myself.



p.s. Tonight I used your example of approaching and reaching out to Uke with energy, as if they were a good friend you hadn't seen in years. Great image - very effective.

Last edited by Linda Eskin : 10-31-2009 at 12:04 AM. Reason: p.s.

Linda Eskin - Facebook | My AikiBlog

"Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:21 AM   #31
Mark Peckett
Dojo: Aikido Fellowship of Great Britain
Location: Birmingham
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Re: Aikido Changed My Life!!

Quote:
Mark Peckett wrote: View Post
I notice threads asking if anyone's used aikido in a real situation, or arguing if aikido would or wouldn't work in a real fight, but I was wondering if anyone's found themselves changed by aikido?

Perhaps simply more confident, or less angry or aggressive; maybe someone's had a genuine spiritual experience. Or perhaps someone started aikido as an accountant and found themselves lead in new and unusual paths .

It would be nice to share some of these experiences.

For myself, I have absolutely no idea if aikido's changed me, but I have to say that it's made my retirement a whole lot more interesting.
Although I gave this thread the slightly joky title "Aikido Changed My Life" the text was more along the lines of what George Ledyard spoke of.

I think in most arts, whether it's aikido or water painting, those beginners who jump in headfirst do tend fall away; my teacher, Shihan Ralph Reynolds always said he loved a plodder. Maybe aikido has changed my life because it's taught me to keep on plodding instead of flitting.
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