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Old 10-13-2010, 08:41 PM   #1
EMelanson78
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Is two Days a week enough?

Hey all, I am Eric, new to Aiki Web, and relatively new to Aikido. I was wondering how many days a week the average person in Aikido trains? My dojo is two days a week. But after you feel comfortable you can stay for the intermediate class which is directly after the beginners class. I think I could do with more. At least 3 days a week. Is two days enough?
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:00 PM   #2
raul rodrigo
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

My own experience is that two days a week is enough just to maintain my current level of skill and fitness, ie, I remain on a plateau. If I want to achieve any improvement, then I have to train more. Four times a week seems to be the optimum time for me. More than that would be good, but I currently don't have that kind of time to spare.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:26 PM   #3
Brian Gillaspie
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Two days may be enough but I guess it really depends on what your overall goal is. I train 2 nights a week and go to a 3 hour class every other Sunday. I would love to train more but I work full time and I'm married and have two kids who are involved in many activities.....so for me two days is enough.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:33 PM   #4
EMelanson78
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Thanks guys, I just feel that 2 days isnt nearly enough. Its mondays and thursdays. My goal is to learn as much as possible. I am married too, no kids, and am a flooring contractor during the days, so my evenings are open. But the dojo isn't. and unfortunately there isnt any other Aikido dojo in a thirty mile radius. Should I clean the garage out and buy some mats and just ukemi in my time off? LOL. I am frustrated.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:57 PM   #5
Brian Gillaspie
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

It sounds like getting in some extra time at home may be your only option. I would check with other students in the dojo because you may find some others who also want extra time and would be willing to workout in your garage.

I think about aikido a lot (probably too much) and will mentally walk my self through things we work on during class. I know its no substitute for time spent on the mat but I feel that it does help me remember some things.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
WilliB
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Quote:
Eric Melanson wrote: View Post
Hey all, I am Eric, new to Aiki Web, and relatively new to Aikido. I was wondering how many days a week the average person in Aikido trains? My dojo is two days a week. But after you feel comfortable you can stay for the intermediate class which is directly after the beginners class. I think I could do with more. At least 3 days a week. Is two days enough?
You´ll learn something regardless how many classes you take. Of course, the more the betters.

If you are asking about fitness though, and this is your only physical activity, then no. Getting your butt off the sofa twice a week is probably not enough to improve physical fitness.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:11 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

I'd say two times a wk is the minimum for getting stuff into "muscle memory" and as you learn you can always practice basic movement and any weapons kata to do on your own.

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:52 AM   #8
Eva Antonia
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Dear Eric,

I started with one day per week, just to accompany my big son. After two weeks I found out that that was by far not enough, and we went twice a week. Then I passed my 5th kyu, became ambitious and said that until 4th kyu I'd train better 3 times per week.
Then all my kids enrolled in aikido and I started to train four time a week. Now two of the kids left aikido again, but I still train four times a week.

For physical fitness I don't see it makes much difference, but then I am someone without car or television, going by bike everywhere and moving around a lot even without aikido.

For learning I think it is the necessary minimum because I'm not one of the naturally aiki-gifted whose body learns easily. I have slow reactions, bad sense for distance and lots of typical female submissive habits I'm not aware of but just don't get rid off (like shrinking back and bend my arms when someone attacks). So even with four times a week I advance slowly, but I advance, and that's enough.

There are several people in my dojo who come twice a week, and they advance more or less at my pace. There was a guy who came once a week, and he made zero progress.

But on the other hand - there is also work, family, friends, other hobbies - you just have to look where is the best balance for you.

Best regards,

Eva
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:03 AM   #9
amoeba
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Well, I think that as you're relatively new to Aikido, maybe it's not so bad to train twice a week for now. The movements are still new to you and your body isn't that used to it. Also, even if you are very enthusiastic right now, if you overdo it, you might "burn out" your interest... have seen it happen!

That's not to say that a third time would be bad if you had the possibility, but as that's not the case, I'd go with the two times right now. I'm not sure it's such a good idea to go about stuff like buying mats for home training already...
Hey, as a beginner, I think you'll make loads of progress with two classes a week! Once you've reached a certain level, you'll probably eventually have to train more, but right now you should be fine... in the beginning, you learn fast, anyway!
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:21 AM   #10
crbateman
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Everybody's different. For some, twice a week is adequate to meet their needs and expectations. For others, it's not. And for still others, it's the best that can be done, and it looks like you are in this category. Certainly, two days is better than no days.

You can supplement your non-dojo days by stretching, breathing exercises, single weapons training, meditation, ukemi practice (if you have the room), and by watching the plethora of video material available, and reading the books that spark your interest. For many, aikido is also a mental process and discipline which broadens out into all areas of their lives, so that aikido is really something they do every day.

Train when you can, and be sure to relax and enjoy the journey.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:34 AM   #11
lbb
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

What's "enough" depends on your goals, your body, how you learn, and probably a dozen other things that I'm overlooking now. If your current training isn't doing what you want, it's enough. If it's not doing what you want, it may be not enough, or it may be too much, or it may be that you're using a screwdriver to try to paint a fence. Could be any of the above.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:35 AM   #12
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Quote:
Eric Melanson wrote: View Post
Thanks guys, I just feel that 2 days isnt nearly enough. Its mondays and thursdays. My goal is to learn as much as possible. I am married too, no kids, and am a flooring contractor during the days, so my evenings are open. But the dojo isn't. and unfortunately there isnt any other Aikido dojo in a thirty mile radius. Should I clean the garage out and buy some mats and just ukemi in my time off? LOL. I am frustrated.
Find some judo, bjj, iaido (sword practice) or jodo dojo, these arts have the same roots as aikido. You have to practice every day, all year long. Otherwise you are wasting your time.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:11 AM   #13
Chris Evans
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Talking practice every day, Otherwise you are wasting

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Find some judo, bjj, iaido (sword practice) or jodo dojo, these arts have the same roots as aikido. You have to practice every day, all year long. Otherwise you are wasting your time.
that's excellent advise.

You should practice every day, all year long with skillsets that have the same root, to gain a "critical mass" of skill, for few years, then otherwise you are wasting your time.

I'll be increasing my karate to 6~7 times per week, x4 in the dojo.

When I was in college and playing in competitions I trained 7 times a week plus running and weight lifting.

As 'm evaluating Aikido dojo for myself, I have a strong preference for a dojo that offers 6 to 7 class days per week.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 10-14-2010 at 11:15 AM.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:34 AM   #14
WilliB
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Re: practice every day, Otherwise you are wasting

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
that's excellent advise.

You should practice every day, all year long with skillsets that have the same root, to gain a "critical mass" of skill, for few years, then otherwise you are wasting your time.

I'll be increasing my karate to 6~7 times per week, x4 in the dojo.

When I was in college and playing in competitions I trained 7 times a week plus running and weight lifting.

As 'm evaluating Aikido dojo for myself, I have a strong preference for a dojo that offers 6 to 7 class days per week.
Why so niggardly? Lets go for 100 times a week. Everything else is a waste!

I drink to the fanatics
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:51 AM   #15
NagaBaba
 
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Re: practice every day, Otherwise you are wasting

Quote:
Willi Brix wrote: View Post
Why so niggardly? Lets go for 100 times a week. Everything else is a waste!

I drink to the fanatics
There is nothing fanatic in every day practice. It is simply most efficient way of using free time. There are times in the life you can do it(as it is a case of topic owner) then other time, when you have big family, busy work, getting health problems - so can't do it so easy.

From other point of view, such intense practice will help you figure out how to practice when you are out of dojo - no books, youtube or advices other ppl can do it.

Also, aikido training should lead to transformation. One indeed needs a 'critical mass' as a starting point. Otherwise he will always scratching the surface.And achieving this 'critical mass' is possible only by such every day training.

And may be most important - every day training means Commitment. Without such Commitment training has no value.

Last edited by NagaBaba : 10-14-2010 at 11:54 AM.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:53 AM   #16
Chris Evans
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Evil Eyes Re: practice every day, Otherwise you are wasting

Quote:
Willi Brix wrote: View Post
Why so niggardly? Lets go for 100 times a week. Everything else is a waste!

I drink to the fanatics
lol.

I should have added that if you want to know how good it feels to have a sense of your waza move with "no-mind" instinctively, mushin no shin (無心の心), or wish to do well in competition, where an injury's a possibility.

there's joy and, perhaps, some learning even at 1 a week, esp. once you've had a sense of learning the basics.

Gichin Funakoshi practiced karate everyday, granted that he was a pro.

How good would your cello be if you practiced daily, 7~14 hours a week? Budo is no different then music or language.

I have seen karate-ka practice for six plus years and still show no real 'gung fu' or sense of proficiency of the basics (not talking about toughness/fitness, btw, but demonstrating clean techniques and attention to significant detail, with a warrior attitude, that should be there regardless of strength or size). After all, budo is not flower arranging or tea serving, both that are zen practices but does not deal with life and death.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 10-14-2010 at 12:02 PM.

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Old 10-14-2010, 11:55 AM   #17
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

I think two days a week isn't too bad. My old dojo was just two days a week and eventually, like you I could stay for an additional hour each day (so I was banking 4 hours a week). In my current dojo, I train four days a week (banking 6 and half hours a week). I am hoping to add another day to my training schedule in the near future.

Just as not enough training can be bad, so too can over training. Some people get burnt out, injured, sick, etc. Each person has their own optimal classes/hours per week that they have to find for themselves. Most people in my dojo seem to train two to three times a week. Welcome to aikido and best of luck!

~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.
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:56 PM   #18
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Two days a week is the minimum I think one needs in order to progress. We have several in my dojo who come twice a week and they are making very nice progress. Once you can start getting into the second class with your dojo that should help some of your frustrations.

But I understand how you feel because for me twice a week would not be enough either. I train 3 days/5.5 hours a week and as far as I know my progress is just fine. This is all my dojo has to offer right now. Ive considered adding a 4th day by visiting another dojo occasionally but I really don't feel like I need it.

On the off days if I need some aikido I can do some weapons kata or some footwork or ukemi practice on my own at home and frequently do so.

As much as I would love to be able to work out 7 days a week I have to accept the fact that this body is not going to put up with that kind of abuse at my age and besides... there is life outside of the dojo. It's not like I'm in training to go to war or something after all. I have a whole lifetime to learn it.
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:06 PM   #19
RED
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

You should train, to some capacity, every day IMO.
I'd leave a dojo that only held formal classes 2-3 days a week at this point in my life.

There is also something to be said about quality of practice. I mean there are some people who show up to 4-5 classes a week, don't push themselves, and you can see it in their Aikido. You get out of Aikido what you are willing to invest, like anything else.

Ideally, train everyday in some capacity, with your full attention.

MM
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:52 PM   #20
odudog
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

2 days a week is enough to learn. I myself want to practice more but the dojo space is only available for two days. Practice mentally off the mat and do shadow practice. You will surprised on how much detail each technique requires. You don't have to practice with someone in order to progress.
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:25 PM   #21
Jeff Sodeman
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

I should point out that the original post is a bit misleading. That dojo has more than 2 days a week of Aikido classes. They have 2 beginner's classes per week, with more advanced or other topical classes on other days.

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Old 10-15-2010, 03:30 AM   #22
JJF
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

sigh... I don't know how many times we have to beat this old - and very seriously dead - horse.

We all have different needs, desires, situations and abilities and in my opinion there's no answer to the question.

I have created a dojo in my area, but I have to take care of my family and my job as well, so I can only afford (time and money) to teach once a week. To all of you who claim that is not enough.. well.. I am happy - my technique is getting better than it was when I wasen't practicing, and my so far few but dedicated students are happy as well... so once a week is by far better than no aikido... twice a week is bette than once obiously, but I don't spend a lot of time agonizing over this.I just enjoy whatever practice I can fit into my life.

Now if I wanted to become an interantionally acclaimed master, I should probably take it up a serious number of notches, but that's not in the cards for me.

I don't give a hoot how much a person practices or if they come every freakin' session... if a student has a sick child and feel they should stay home.. then they need to do that. Sacrificing your loved ones and not being true to your values is not within my take on the concept of Aikido.

I DO know that if you are present and serious during your time in the dojo, then even a small amount of practice will help you evolve. If you just spend a vast number of hours in the dojo, but have your head somewhere else, then it's a vaste of time.

In my world it makes sense to drop all the criterias in number of classes, months spend on each kyu/dan level etc etc. I believe the best teacher is the one who achieves a balance, and who is able to recognise progress without consulting his timesheets, curriculums and calculations. I am not even half there, but I strive for that rather than spend to much time building and maintining systems for controlling something.

We need some sort of structure, and I implement what the national organization suggests, but apart from that we just practice and take care of our selves and each other.

so... in conclusion... the answer varies... is two days enough... well it depends on the goal. Is it enough to become the next doshu of hombu dojo.. probably not... but is it enough to make you happy about what you do.. well then...yes..

Explore your life and your needs - then ask the right question.

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Old 10-15-2010, 07:45 AM   #23
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
sigh... I don't know how many times we have to beat this old - and very seriously dead - horse.
As many times as there are new people who want to ask this question. Because to them this is a fresh topic that they need to discuss. Nobody forced you to respond.

Honestly. If the older members are tired of discussing certain topics why not just refrain form posting? It would be a whole lot better than this derogatory and discouraging kind of post. Just because you are done discussing it does not automatically mean every new person who comes seeking advice and answers should be invalidated or made to feel unwelcome or wrong for asking.

Imagine of you asked your sensei a question and he just looked at you and said well Ive discussed this particular topic dozens of times with your seniors. I'm tired of answering the same question to you beginners. Go figure it out on your own....

what if one of your juniors came to you in the dojo with this kind of question? Would you treat him with the same cold condescension?

This is our dojo in cyberspace. In fact it's Jun's dojo so to speak. We need to really start acting a bit more respectful of its members.

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
Explore your life and your needs - then ask the right question.

- Jørgen Jakob
Judging by his second post he did exactly that.

@Maggie. Would you kindly share with us exactly why you would leave a dojo just because it does not provide classes every day? What if said dojo were headed up by your own sensei? What if the teacher is such a dojo was of a very high caliber? Would you quit a dojo where you could only train with such a person twice a week? Quantity does not necessarily equal quality.

Before we can say what enough is I think we must look at the intended goal.

Enough for what?

Is two days a week enough for one to make progress and learn? Yes it is. It is certainly better than no days. Of course more may be better; but you do what you can with what you have.

Is two days a week enough for someone who wants to become, super uber samurai warrior sensei, in a short period of time? Well then no its not enough. But with that kind of attitude there are not enough training days in week to satisfy that particular desire.

So again? What is the goal. Everyone here has a different reason for their answers, depending on what their goal is in training. It would help to put things into perspective for the OP is this were shared.

Personally I'm not all that concerned about self defense or whether or not I can handle some dude who sticks a knife in my face. (and whether or not he is holding it right). My chief goal in learning aikido; is to deepen my understanding of myself; of body mechanics; developing awareness and presence of mind; and improving my balance and connection when I ride my horse.

I figure 3 days/6 hours a week is sufficient for me to achieve that goal. And in fact I feel like I am making very good progress. If I had to make do with two, and I did for the first 6 months or so that I trained, then that's what I'd do. Because my teachers have exactly what I am looking for in my practice.


Anyway those are the reasons behind my first answer.

Last edited by Shadowfax : 10-15-2010 at 07:50 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:21 AM   #24
lbb
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Re: practice every day, Otherwise you are wasting

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
Gichin Funakoshi practiced karate everyday, granted that he was a pro.
At one point he became a "pro" (that is, full-time dedicated to karate); however, before that he was a schoolteacher. During that time, if I recall correctly from "Karate-do: My Way of Life", he still trained daily. The book is a worthwhile read for anyone who wants to explore the issues of "way of life" and "how much is enough", because what comes forward quite clearly are one person's answers, understood as such. Funakoshi's daily training wasn't the result of a formula of how many days a week to train; it was something he did because it made sense. Indeed (and I may be misremembering, it's years since I read the book), but it seemed that the daily training wasn't the result of a one-year plan or five-year plan or life plan, or any plan but the plan of the moment. At the end of his day of teaching, he would start walking to the dojo, because then -- right in that moment -- it made sense to do so. That seems to me like a good barometer of "how much is enough".
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:46 AM   #25
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Well said Cherie.

Lyle Laizure
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