Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Anonymous

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-18-2010, 07:33 AM   #1
"*****help*****"
IP Hash: e036b362
Anonymous User
getting harder

is it just me being useless.... or is this a common thing
i've been practising for about 7 months now and feel in some classes that i am/feel worse in my execution and understanding of techniques than after the first few months of training.. i know 7 months training is nothing but surely things should be starting to feel slightly more natural...?? techniques just seem to be getting harder, even though the same as 7 months ago...
my main noticable difference is my core muscles have increased substantially and i understand principles slightly more, but just have a harder time in execution??? help!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 10:11 AM   #2
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,080
Offline
Re: getting harder

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
is it just me being useless.... or is this a common thing
i've been practising for about 7 months now and feel in some classes that i am/feel worse in my execution and understanding of techniques than after the first few months of training.. i know 7 months training is nothing but surely things should be starting to feel slightly more natural...?? techniques just seem to be getting harder, even though the same as 7 months ago...
my main noticable difference is my core muscles have increased substantially and i understand principles slightly more, but just have a harder time in execution??? help!
You have hit a plateau.
It is a common psychological problem that may happen throughout your Aikido training.

Definition of plateau.

" Plateau -- is a transition stage, which is only a temporary stagnation phase where the rate of improvement in learning is at the minimum. With appropriate corrective measures, this stage can be overcome. The duration of plateau stage varies from person to person.."

The above quote is from Dr. Smt. Jolly Ray, a Scientific Officer at the Sports Authority of India, Bangalore.

It is from a Hockey Coaching course of the Karnataka State Hockey Association, Bangalore, India chapter 12 titled " Mental Toughness"

If you read the whole article it may help you understand and solve your problem.

http://www.bharatiyahockey.org/gurukul/class12.htm

David
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 10:35 AM   #3
Rob Watson
Location: CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 697
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
is a common thing
I've found at about 6-8 month cycle where things get worse then they sort themselves out and fall into place.

I think what is happening is over the course of a few months we gradually acquire new abilities and integrate more different elements into our movements and at some point we get over loaded with just too many elements and that results in a getting worse as we try to balance all these elements in an new or higher level.

There are so many things going on and sometimes we get a bunch of them just so at just the right time and things really seem to 'click' while at other times the timing or coordination is just slightly off and things fall apart.

10 years into it and it still happens on this 6-8 month cycle for me. I see it similarly happen to others. Even sensei goes through cycles it is just harder to see the 'slip' and sensei is able to recover much more quickly (like milliseconds).

See my blog about the moon cycles as a way to systematize dealing with the ebb and flow of things. Just one more straw to load up on the camels back.

"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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 11:01 AM   #4
ninjaqutie
 
ninjaqutie's Avatar
Dojo: Searching for a new home
Location: Delaware (<3 still in Oregon!)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,003
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

I think it happens to most people, if not everyone. This has happened to me a few times, but I haven't felt that way long. Usually it is just a class or two. Last night I felt as if nothing was working for me. I got frustrated and then just let it go. That seems to work for me. The more I got corrected last night, the more I tried to let go of everything. Just try to do what he said and didn't worry about the outcome. I figure I will get it right in due time. My body just needs to digest it all. Sometimes the digestion of the material is quicker then others. Last night my digestion of material was at a stand still........ it was UGLY!

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 11:31 AM   #5
James Davis
 
James Davis's Avatar
Dojo: Ft. Myers School of Aikido
Location: Ft. Myers, FL.
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 716
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

When techniques are difficult, you're learning. When things come easily, you're doing something you already know how to do. When you struggle, you are progressing.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 11:53 AM   #6
chris crull
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3
Offline
Re: getting harder

just keep training; you'll get past it, and then it will happen again. just keep training.

it could also be that your fellow aikidoka sense that you are improving and are not being as easy on you.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 12:36 PM   #7
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,649
United_States
Online
Re: getting harder

It's a common enough thing. It's when most people quit. It's what sorts out the people who can be comfortable in the discomfort zone, from those who can't.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 12:45 PM   #8
BWells
Dojo: ADV
Location: Concord, California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 113
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

I highly recommend Sensei George Leonard's book Mastery. It deal directly with plateaus.

Good luck and good training
Bruce
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 01:29 PM   #9
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,702
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
is it just me being useless.... or is this a common thing
so you are expecting to be less useless, right? that's the problem, right there! i, on the other hand, whichever the other hand that's not the other hand, have not experienced such thing. every time i show up at practice, i told myself that i am useless, that way i start at the bottom, thus, no longer need to look down, but up and work my way up. most folks believe that they are useful which when confronted with the possibility of being useless would crumple their fragile ego, which results in quitting, giving up, years of aiki therapy (which involves joining the local bjj and talking smack about aikido), and so on.

so here is the short answer: you are useless (just like me) and will be until the day you are no longer walking among the livings (zombies are pretty useful bunch).
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 01:43 PM   #10
Rob Watson
Location: CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 697
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
(zombies are pretty useful bunch).
Don't even get me started on zombies!

Seriously though one thing that has happened recently a few times is my jo feels totally alien. I can tell my jo from any other simply by touching/picking it up. At least three times in the last 4 months when I picked it up it just did not feel right and I could not do any techniques/kata without fumbling. The next day no problem.

I has been very unsettling to have something so familiar feel so completely 'wrong'.

"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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 01:45 PM   #11
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

(zombies are pretty useful bunch).

Not against fire!!!

Nice post!
B,
R

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 02:30 PM   #12
Eric Winters
Dojo: Aikido of San Leandro and Berkeley
Location: Emeryville, CA
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 80
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

It will happen the rest of your aikido career. It happens to everyone who is actively trying to learn. I have been training almost 20 years and I am just now staring to get over a plateau lasting 2 or 3 years! This admission of mine will either make you feel better or really depress you. I hope it helps you and makes you feel better.

Best,
Eric
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 02:32 PM   #13
Eric Winters
Dojo: Aikido of San Leandro and Berkeley
Location: Emeryville, CA
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 80
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

Quote:
Bruce Wells wrote: View Post
I highly recommend Sensei George Leonard's book Mastery. It deal directly with plateaus.

Good luck and good training
Bruce
Great book!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 05:40 PM   #14
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

When plateauing focus on basics.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 07:21 PM   #15
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,670
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

Agreed.
Plateauing common.
Relax, breathe, and focus on basics.
Leonard's Mastery is excellent.

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!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 03:02 AM   #16
Eva Antonia
Dojo: CERIA
Location: Brussels
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 207
Belgium
Offline
Re: getting harder

Hello,

oh, how I know this plateau issue. I think I pass half of a year on such plateaus, and sometimes I doubt that the level of the plateaus increases or if I always fall back to the same low level.

Currently I have the feeling I just emerge from such a plateau, and it is just now that I will have to travel a lot so cannot really benefit of this deliverance.

What happens when being on a plateau?
- I am horribly awkward and completely at a loss when new techniques are to be done
- The techniques I do already badly when being in good shape (like yokomen uchi tenchi nage) go completely astray.
- I stop every dynamic technique
- Techniques I normally do well (all grab-and twist techniques) work less because I am in the wrong position, forget tenkan & tai sabaki, bend my arm, don't step out of the line or do anything else to find myself in the wrong distance.

Very reassuring to read that this will continue throughout the entire aikido carreer!!!

Best regards,

Eva
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 04:29 AM   #17
crbateman
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
crbateman's Avatar
Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,435
Offline
Re: getting harder

You can look at a plateau in different ways. It might be helpful to think of it not as a frustrating obstacle to your progress, but instead as a resting point along the way, where you can relax, refocus, review the basics, and renew yourself for the next opportunity to continue the journey.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 05:13 AM   #18
Anita Dacanay
Dojo: Cleveland Aikikai, Cleveland, Ohio
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 80
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

It's good to read from the experienced people that the plateaus will continue to come and go - yay! lol

It was indeed exactly 7 months after I had started practicing that I reached that first plateau/crisis point. My internal dialogue included a lot of stuff about how badly I stunk at Aikido and why was I fooling myself that I could ever be a martial artist, blah blah.

Then I had to question WHY I was training, and get very clear about my personal goals. If the goal was to be better than somebody else, some other random person who was "better" than me... well, that was a pretty ego-based and pointless goal, I concluded. There will always be someone who is better than me - a whole lot of someones!

In the end, I think I got back to the fact that practicing Aikido is something that I enjoy in the moment, whether I am doing it well or doing it poorly. Of course it is frustrating on the days when I can't seem to get anything right, but it is frustrating for good reason: because Aikido is not easy to learn, and because it is very valuable to learn.

So, to quote Dory from "Finding Nemo" I decided to: "just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 05:41 AM   #19
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,080
Offline
Re: getting harder

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
When plateauing focus on basics.
It is a part of getting your mind and body to work together efficiently. You do not learn linearly or in a straight line of progression. You need to circle back now and then to review the basics and how what you have learned fits in with them.

David

Last edited by dps : 03-19-2010 at 05:50 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 06:14 AM   #20
Michael Vlug
Dojo: Aikido Rotterdam Tenchigowa
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 41
Netherlands
Offline
Re: getting harder

Hi Anita,

My thoughts (and experiences) exactly!

"Foster and polish the warrior spirit, while serving in the world; illuminate the path according to your inner light."
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 10:12 AM   #21
Rob Watson
Location: CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 697
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
When plateauing focus on basics.
Just this morning sensei reminded us to always start with basics and end with basics.

Basics are not something to return to but are constantly present in every moment - when we lose sight of the basics we falter.

Recovery from plateau is when we 'rediscover' the different elements of the basics and are able to integrate more of those elements into a single whole. Lather rinse repeat. My 2 cents to share.

"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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 10:34 AM   #22
"*****help*****"
IP Hash: e036b362
Anonymous User
Re: getting harder

wow... well when i say i want to stop feeling useless, i really mean that i want to try and feel more confident with the basics and not feel that every move is still unnatural after 7 months.. i realise this could be a long process after your comments lol...
i'm by no means uncoordinated and have probably improved to an extent but its such a weird feeling thinking about breathing, leg work, moving offline, keeping centre, taking uke's centre, posture... blah blah... i get so frustrated sometimes that even walking through things can seem imposible....
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 01:03 PM   #23
Walter Martindale
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 646
Canada
Offline
Re: getting harder

My most recent plateau started about 2 months before my nidan test, lasted right through the test (late November) and may be clearing now, but I'm not so sure.

Confused, in even my most lucid moments.

I go to Aikido in the full anticipation that something we do in the session will confuse the heck out of me. Rarely disappointed.

Walter
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 04:35 AM   #24
Anita Dacanay
Dojo: Cleveland Aikikai, Cleveland, Ohio
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 80
United_States
Offline
Re: getting harder

Michael,

Glad to know that I am not alone!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 05:25 AM   #25
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,080
Offline
Re: getting harder

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Basics are not something to return to but are constantly present in every moment - when we lose sight of the basics we falter.
I think those who lose sight of the importance of the basics are the ones who are disgruntled with Aikido and go outside of Aikido to find what they feel is missing. The things they find where always there, in the basics.

David
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Koretoshi Maruyama European Seminar - Maruyama Sensei will be in Cumbria UK, 1st-3rd August, 2014



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Article: "It Does Get Harder As You Go Along" AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 6 03-28-2010 07:46 PM
my sensei "video clip" ad_adrian General 160 11-19-2007 05:22 PM
If it doesn't work just do it harder? Austin Power Training 27 06-11-2006 02:15 AM
Systema Seminar with Vladimir Vasiliev, Part 1 aikibaka131 Seminars 2 07-22-2003 12:45 PM
Cross-Training: Easier or Harder? Arianah General 3 02-22-2002 08:23 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:31 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate