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Old 06-22-2012, 01:43 AM   #1
Simon Lai
Dojo: Yoshinkan
Location: I am a Village People
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Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Greetings,

I am Simon Lai.

Been lurking at this website for a while. I signed up for to ask a specific question:

And it is definitely not does aikido work type of question.

Here goes:

I have been active in the martial art for a long long time, starting with krotty during childhood days to judo (in Uni-days) to Aikido. Aikido is something I stucked with the longest, reaching 1st Dan. The school of Aikido I practice is Yoshinkan. It is also something that is closest to Budo that I felt and I truly enjoyed it.

I stopped aikido 10 years ago. During this 10 years of inactiveness, I started a family, started a business, failed my business, became an employee all over, took weekend studies to earn a professional accountancy qualification (CIMA - rather proud of it actually).

Today I am a freelance business consultant and work time is more flexible, I wish to regain some work-life balance. I actually longed to be back in the mat again, dishing out pain and punishment to all and sundry.

Problem is, across this period of time, I also gain one stone of weight, huge pot belly, turkey neck and lost my fitness. I basically can't even do a couple of break-falls without panting and the thought of doing a full kote-gaeshi ukemi or a hip throw ukemi is nightmare to me now.

So my question is, should I or shouldn't I? Or should I just let go of my little mid-life fantasy and stick with golf like most of my business associates? I am 40 this year.

Simon
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Yes. Start over. Be a beginner and don't worry about taking hard ukemi right now. Maybe even try out a different style than what you did before.

I got started at 39 with no prior experience, over weight and bad knees... that was three years ago. No regrets yet.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
robin_jet_alt
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Australia
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Yep, start up again, and take it at your own pace. Start from white belt again so you don't get embarrassed.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Yep. If you go the alternate route of taking up exercise you hate in order to get into better shape first, you may well never make it back to the dojo.
There is no shame in sitting out some parts of class because you need a break. There is no shame in limiting the amount or type of ukemi you do because of either a temporary or permanent problem.
Let a slower, gentler approach to training allow your body to regain flexibility, suppleness and coordination...

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:38 PM   #5
Helle Buvik
Location: Fredrikstad
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Well.. seeing as where you are asking the question, it's predictable what answer you will get (Of course we think you should start training again! silly question really) it's also obvius what answer you consciously or sub consciously want. So I agree with everyone else, do start again and just take it slow in the beginning and dont compare what you can do now to what you could do then. Train and have fun!
Helle
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:58 PM   #6
Sandra York
Dojo: Aikido of Maine
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Hi Simon,

Remember how much fun it was to help new people? Remember how much fun it was to BE new?

Come train. What's the worst that could happen? From your experience on and off the mat, sounds like you have more than enough ukemi skills to protect yourself.

Lucky you to have the time to share! Seriously, bring it on, turkey neck! :-)

Sandra
(blushing mid-forties mudansha)
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:28 PM   #7
GMaroda
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Do you want to? Then do it.

And I have you beat at 13 years between stopping and restarting. It was fine. And it's still fun.

Just go! Have fun!
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:23 PM   #8
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

As they always say aikido is like riding a bicycle, you don't really forget how to ride one. Especially that you've attained Dan rank.

Your fantasy is just a ride away to the dojo.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:50 PM   #9
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
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England
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

The fact that you have been reading things on this website for a while and now asking the question seems like inside you already know the answer.

Go for it, you'll love it. You may even be pleasantly surprised

Peace. G.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:15 PM   #10
Basia Halliop
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Yes, do it! . I would say just don't go in expecting to be able to immediately continue right at the level of ability you left off; you may be disappointed or injured (the latter especially if you find your body remembers how to do things it isn't yet in shape to do safely).

IMO, you can't go wrong thinking of yourself as a beginner at least in some ways (esp physically). Then you'll be happily surprised by just how much you can do.

Last edited by Basia Halliop : 06-23-2012 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:04 PM   #11
Helle Buvik
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Definitly what Basia said. I've stopped and restarted horseback rideing every few years since i started it nearly 20 years ago.

Every time the problems I've had have been in my body remembering how to do something, but not haveing the right kind of conditioning any more to do it. and everytime I restart I am at a much lower level than when I last quit, BUT I start again at a slightly higher level than I started the last time. and it's only a matter of time and training for me to return to my previous level.

And it's fun to start anew again too as it's a differnet way to learn. At first it was skills that my body picked up, and that could just do then I learned the why and hows intelectualy and it was hard for a time to do it right, and then it become easy again and a skill I understand how works in a much more personaly aware way.
With horses, I find that this helps me a lot with the more difficult ones. I may not be able to ride perfectly, but due to starting and relearning it several times I'm a lot more aware of my own limitations, and those of the horse in a way few people that has never relearned rideing are. Not only do I know what I know, I've also learned what I dont know and can't easily do at each stage in my learning.
And relearning it has been as fun every time as it was the first time I learned it, and less frustrating because atleast I know the theory and how to correct myself a lot now.

When you start again i'd love to hear how you find it compares to the first time you learned and did aikido.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:24 AM   #12
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
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Malaysia
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

You don't carry a golf stick with you everywhere you go, but Aikido is something you have every second that you're alive. Obvious choice to me...

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:06 AM   #13
Walter Martindale
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Only 40?
That's how old I was when I started Aikido.
Lots of years ago.
Try going back to Aikido - you might like it. Give it a few weeks to get over the DOMS you get when you start back at any physical activity (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). When you start, take it easy for a few weeks, too - your body needs some time to re-condition...
If you decide you don't want to continue, make that decision AFTER giving it a fair go - again, of at least a few weeks, and preferably a few months.
W
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:14 PM   #14
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

I had a couple of co-workers say to me the other day how much they wanted to try martial arts. This is a routine statement I hear regularly and will generally dismiss it and go on about my business. In this case I ask, "Are you serious?" Their response made me laugh. Emphatically they stated how serious they were and wanted to come it etc. I think it was a Wednesday when this conversation took place. I told them the next class was Friday. "Oh, I can't make it this Friday I already have plans." I laughed and said the following class would be Monday. "Oh, I can't do it Monday. I already have plans." I said "I thought you were serious." It has been 2 weeks and still no visit. One is older, maybe 50 the other probably mid 20s to early 30s. I too will be 40 this year. I will still take the high falls when I get the opportunity. I too get winded quickly. Although I have been acitve in the martial arts I am by no means 'in shape.' We are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by. Take it slow, at your pace.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:43 PM   #15
lbb
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
I had a couple of co-workers say to me the other day how much they wanted to try martial arts.
Yeah, this is a lot like people who look at a talented musician and say, "Gee, I wish I'd kept up with piano lessons." What they mean is that they wish they had the skill without the work, the time and the inconvenience. It's incredibly silly.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:55 AM   #16
LinTal
Dojo: Aikido Terrey Hills
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Do you think there's anything there that has any probability in improving your life? If yes, yes. If otherwise, choose something else.

Life's too short to be paralysed by indecision. Too rare to not chase and perfect. It's also too precious to be wasted, so find the emotional/physical/spiritual/(whatever) standards that you'd like to live by and evaluate this option against it.

The world changes when you do.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:54 AM   #17
lbb
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

If you want to do it, and have the time for it, then do it.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:34 AM   #18
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Quote:
Simon Lai wrote: View Post
So my question is, should I or shouldn't I? Or should I just let go of my little mid-life fantasy and stick with golf like most of my business associates? I am 40 this year.

Simon
don't do it. stick with golf. why leave the comfort of the easy life to put in sweat and pain for what? with golf, you can do whenever you like, having fun with your buddies, hanging out at clubs, checking out chicks, and enjoying the good life. aikido just isn't for you. don't do it.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:51 PM   #19
Stephen Nichol
Dojo: Aikilife, Canberra
Location: Canberra, ACT
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
don't do it. stick with golf. why leave the comfort of the easy life to put in sweat and pain for what? with golf, you can do whenever you like, having fun with your buddies, hanging out at clubs, checking out chicks, and enjoying the good life. aikido just isn't for you. don't do it.
Good thing we all know you Phi and your need for sarcasm, at least I hope that is what I read in that post. I hope it was not lost on Simon.

Simon,

Better to go back and find out than to always be looking over your should wondering 'what if'. Never live life that way.

Like others have said: just take it easy. You are starting over again. Do so completely. Let go of everything you 'think you remember' and let it slowly come back to you. Do not struggle with what is taught to you and what you 'feel you remember', simply appreciate the 'variations' of techniques and methods. Just enojoy yourself and do your best.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:47 PM   #20
Janet Rosen
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
don't do it. stick with golf. why leave the comfort of the easy life to put in sweat and pain for what? with golf, you can do whenever you like, having fun with your buddies, hanging out at clubs, checking out chicks, and enjoying the good life. aikido just isn't for you. don't do it.
Hey, golfers get to wear even weirder clothes than we do....

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:25 AM   #21
Simon Lai
Dojo: Yoshinkan
Location: I am a Village People
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Yes. Start over. Be a beginner and don't worry about taking hard ukemi right now. Maybe even try out a different style than what you did before.

I got started at 39 with no prior experience, over weight and bad knees... that was three years ago. No regrets yet.
Yeah, be a beginner all over again, sounds good. If there is an Iwana style school I would jump at the opportunity in a jiffy, I heard their weapon work is more extensive than most other school. I would love to get more exposure to weapon work.

Subconciously I want to restart, but I am concern about how my body will take it....

I shall enter the dojo once again with much trepidation... Just like how I felt when I first put on my dogi, many many moons ago.

Simon
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:00 AM   #22
Walter Martindale
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

I'm with S. Nichol. Try it.

If you like it, stay (or not, but you have information on which to base the decision).

If you don't like it, don't stay (or do, but why?). Either way, you have information on which to base the decision....

I'm 58, and the only reason I'm not training regularly is lack of dojo - so I ride a bike, row a machine, occasionally row a boat, and think about Aikido... My back was healthier during the 17 years of Aikido between starting and moving to where there's no dojo, than it was during the 10 years before or the 15 months since.

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 06-26-2012 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:03 AM   #23
lbb
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Quote:
Simon Lai wrote: View Post
Subconciously I want to restart, but I am concern about how my body will take it....
Why are you concerned? Do you have some medical condition that makes you believe that training would be a problem? Being a little bit out of shape isn't a medical condition.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:11 AM   #24
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Quote:
Simon Lai wrote: View Post

So my question is, should I or shouldn't I? Or should I just let go of my little mid-life fantasy and stick with golf like most of my business associates? I am 40 this year.

Simon
If you think that aikido will help you to lose your overweight you are wrong. You have to change your life style, diet and this under control of certified dietician. So I see it as a first step. Then, you may consider starting very light running every day, also following advices qualified coach. Only after that, you can be back into the tatami, otherwise it will be huge disappointment and you will quite dojo forever.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:53 AM   #25
mrlizard123
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Re: Should I Re-Start Aikido?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
You have to change your life style, diet and this under control of certified dietician. So I see it as a first step. Then, you may consider starting very light running every day, also following advices qualified coach.
I'm not convinced you need to pay someone to help you lose a stone of weight or so; you may want to and it may be helpful, but it's by no means required that you have a certified dietician or have a qualified coach to try and eat healthily and do some exercise.

The suggestion that Aikido will not help you lose weight makes a lot of presumptions on the person in question and the dojo they are planning on training at.

The question isn't "should I get back to training as a weight loss and fitness programme" it was "should I get back to training" with the additional question of "will being out of shape be a problem?". My answers are "Yes, if you want to or think you want to. You are free to change your mind at any time." and "Not necessarily; it depends on how you approach your training on the mat and possibly off of it as well if you feel like it's necessary or you wish to."

Good luck

Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
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