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 > Training

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 10-14-2012, 11:18 AM   #1
Yianie
Location: Valparaiso, IN
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 20
United_States
Offline
Too Busy Too Far

Hello everyone. I'm sure this question has been asked a million times so here it is. I want to learn AIKIDO, but my days are so busy. Due to my work, I commute 4 hrs per day. The nearest dojo is too far and wondering if it is possible to learn AIKIDO on your own. Really no choice at this time. I have AIKIDO3D, and although the illustrations are great, understanding the titles of attacks and deffences is confusing. Any suggestions?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 12:13 PM   #2
lars beyer
Dojo: Copenhagen Aikishuren Dojo
Location: Denmark
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 273
Denmark
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Quote:
John Vasos wrote: View Post
Hello everyone. I'm sure this question has been asked a million times so here it is. I want to learn AIKIDO, but my days are so busy. Due to my work, I commute 4 hrs per day. The nearest dojo is too far and wondering if it is possible to learn AIKIDO on your own. Really no choice at this time. I have AIKIDO3D, and although the illustrations are great, understanding the titles of attacks and deffences is confusing. Any suggestions?
Hi John
Itīs simple- move closer to a dojo so you have shorter distance and time to commute.
:-)
Cheers
Lars
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

If it was me I would find something else to do that interests you and that's available closer to you, until you're able to move somewhere close to a good dojo.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 12:34 PM   #4
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

I have to wonder if other types of activities get these questions, because it just seems like such a strange thing to even ask -- e.g., I live in the desert, can I learn white water canoeing if I read about it?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 03:55 PM   #5
Shadowfax
 
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 884
United_States
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

If you want it you find a way. My dojo is a 45 to 90 minute drive to get to. Classes are three nights a week two of which I worked when I first started looking into aikido. I wanted to train so I suck it up and I drive the 90 minutes in rush hour traffic and I made adjustments in my work schedule and life to accommodate going to class and training all three nights every week. No book or video is going to replace or even come close to approximating what you get in a dojo.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 06:07 PM   #6
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,159
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Quote:
John Vasos wrote: View Post
Hello everyone. I'm sure this question has been asked a million times so here it is. I want to learn AIKIDO, but my days are so busy. Due to my work, I commute 4 hrs per day. The nearest dojo is too far and wondering if it is possible to learn AIKIDO on your own. Really no choice at this time. I have AIKIDO3D, and although the illustrations are great, understanding the titles of attacks and deffences is confusing. Any suggestions?
Dear John,
Why not find a like minded person from your own area and train with them?Nothing to stop you from learning sword /stick basics.Loads of aikido on video material available nowadays.Good luck, Joe.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 07:09 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,951
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

If you are truly too busy, then how do you expect to devote adequate time to trying to learn anything by parsing out books and videos you don't understand?
My advice, if moving closer or rearranging priorities is not an option, then admit you are too busy and put it out of your mind until either things change or you change things.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 08:05 PM   #8
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,817
United_States
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

A four-hour daily commute plus a full-time job doesn't really leave enough time to train, IMO. No matter how willing you are, if your commute is that long, you're probably not going to be able to make it to class. If there is a dojo near where you work, that might be theoretically possible, but it would mean getting home so late that you'd have no time for basic life maintenance.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 09:41 PM   #9
Andrew Macdonald
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 126
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

I occasionally have the same issue, trying to sqeeze alot of stuff in my life. your communte sounds like a real pain and i am not sure if i could put up with it.

unfortunately it is not possible to learn aikido from a book, dvd, or computer program. you may gain some theoretical or technical knowledge but until you actually train with another person you won't really get it.

however, the good new is learning to move your body in a martial arts kinda way will help you alot in preparation for going ot aikido. i know there will be alot of people saying that you will pick up habits etc but it is better than nothing.

Is there any MA schools in near your work or home?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 10:04 PM   #10
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Frankly, regardless of how interested I was in Aikido or anything else, in the situation described I would devote what little spare time I had to moving or changing my job.

Four hours commuting a day is no life, IMO. Unless the job was my whole life and I loved it so much I didn't care about ever having any life outside of it.

And personally I just don't believe you will learn very much by playing around with a similarly clueless friend and a video, even if you had a lot of time (which you don't, that's the whole point). At least not if you actually want to learn Aikido. If you just want to have fun with a friend and practice some made-up vaguely jujitsu-like play-wrestling moves you 'copy' from a video, that's different. In fact that could be lots of fun.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2012, 06:05 AM   #11
danielajames
 
danielajames's Avatar
Dojo: Brisbane Aikido Republic
Location: Brisbane
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 295
Australia
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Dave Lowry recommends some actions through the allegory of 'get a new wife'. Its a big call though...

http://www.koryu.com/library/dlowry7.html

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2012, 04:15 PM   #12
Dan Rubin
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 335
United_States
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Quote:
John Vasos wrote: View Post
I have AIKIDO3D, and although the illustrations are great, understanding the titles of attacks and deffences is confusing.
It sounds like you are already learning aikido on your own, and that the main problem you face is understanding the names of the techniques. If that's the case then you can work out the names of the techniques from books and the internet, such as here: http://www.aikiweb.com/language/ .

Read the article that Daniel James recommended. It will provide important perspective. But if after reading it you still want to continue with books and video, then I say go for it. What's the harm? As you said, you have no choice at this time.

Will you learn "real" aikido on your own? Well, AikiWeb is filled with arguments that students who have studied it for decades have not learned "real" aikido.

A caveat: You don't say why you want to learn aikido. If you want to learn it for self-defense, then be advised that the aikido you learn on your own could make life more dangerous.

What's really going to happen is that you'll learn a few techniques, you'll try them out on your friends, they won't work, and you'll give up on aikido altogether.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2012, 04:59 PM   #13
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
United_States
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Wow. Interesting points, and me seeing a bit of everyone's point. I have to say that I do know of one family who learned Aikido out of a book and then started a dojo which is probably still going. One of my students went up there to Hartford and trained for a while when she thought she was going to marry her fiance and live there. He was scheduled to teach school that fall. That was about twenty years ago but my friend is still intending to go up there and visit, even though she lives on Long Island.

She never forgets her former teachers, including me!

In the late sixties, Ralph and his daughter studied Koichi Tohei Sensei's books and practiced from them. They went to training camps, became yudansha and I heard about many good students who trained there in the basement dojo. I heard he decided not to look for a larger space, they probably even had to have a waiting list but the small home dojo seemed best for them.

What's my recommendation? In exceptional cases it does work, marvelously. I so admired these people and still do. I hope my friend from Long Island, who used to live here while working in town, picks me up in her car and we go up to Hartford to visit the dojo there.

I didn't have the guts to deal with transportation problems, things came easy to me regards work and practice in those days (it helps to have help from family!) but my hat's off to people who overcome the logistics difficulties!
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2012, 05:46 PM   #14
Dan Rubin
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 335
United_States
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Excerpt from "Black Belt Interview With Koichi Tohei: Technique Without Ki, Says Master, Is Not Aikido," Black Belt, November 1965, at page 48:

BLACK BELT: Is it possible to study Aikido from a book for many of these people who do not have a dojo in their area?

TOHEI: It is very difficult to understand the movements of Aikido from a book but you may be able to learn and apply the mental aspect of Aikido from a book. You must, of course, read the book thoroughly maybe four or five times, before you can really understand it. Then you must practice the movements and attempt to follow what you have read.

BLACK BELT: In other words, you do recommend a person to study from a book if a dojo is not available?

TOHEI: Yes, if a dojo is not available. But if one is, you should attend a good dojo because you'll be able to learn the finer points of the art which you may miss from a book.

BLACK BELT: If I should read your book and misinterpret one of the techniques or exercises, and keep practicing it wrong, will that hinder my development later on when I join a dojo?

TOHEI: No. When I visited Chicago a few months ago, four Ohioans came to study under me and I was surprised because they knew the techniques quite well. When I inquired who taught them, they said that they had learned it from my book. One person would read while the others practiced the techniques. They didn't reveal any major faults in their movements. I'm glad that my book can help people who live in an area where a dojo is not accessible.

http://books.google.com/booksid=AtoDAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage &q=koichi%20tohei&f=false
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2012, 06:03 PM   #15
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,159
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
Frankly, regardless of how interested I was in Aikido or anything else, in the situation described I would devote what little spare time I had to moving or changing my job.

Four hours commuting a day is no life, IMO. Unless the job was my whole life and I loved it so much I didn't care about ever having any life outside of it.

And personally I just don't believe you will learn very much by playing around with a similarly clueless friend and a video, even if you had a lot of time (which you don't, that's the whole point). At least not if you actually want to learn Aikido. If you just want to have fun with a friend and practice some made-up vaguely jujitsu-like play-wrestling moves you 'copy' from a video, that's different. In fact that could be lots of fun.
Dear Basia,
In the 60s very few people knew of aikido. Most of the time it was trial and error. I started a dojo when I was a 4th Kyu.As far videos are concerned nobody had any real source material-just an odd bit of blurry 8mm film.
You can learn from a dvd, but you must naturally train with a partner.If you want to learn to paint pictures would you not buy a book on Art?Cheers, Joe.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2012, 08:28 PM   #16
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Quote:
Dear Basia,
In the 60s very few people knew of aikido. Most of the time it was trial and error. I started a dojo when I was a 4th Kyu.As far videos are concerned nobody had any real source material-just an odd bit of blurry 8mm film.
You can learn from a dvd, but you must naturally train with a partner.If you want to learn to paint pictures would you not buy a book on Art?Cheers, Joe.
Well, personally I doubt I'd go to such a dojo. If my only option was someone who learned from a book or old movie, I'd rather just find another activity altogether.

On the other hand, I guess if you try to learn from a book or video the worse thing that might happen is that you won't learn much or will learn some cool stuff that you kind of made up yourself, which maybe is an OK risk. (Well, I guess you could hurt yourself if you're not careful).

Although I don't actually see any comparison at all with learning to paint pictures by looking at pictures. Pictures are visual by definition. A physical activity like aikido is fundamentally kinesthetic, not visual. Sure, looking at videos and books shows you part of what's going on, but it's from the outside.

But I suppose trying to learn something kinesthetic from videos would be, if nothing else, a potentially interesting project that might really stretch your mind. Might learn something, might not, but I guess if they're getting something from the process maybe it's worth it for them.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2012, 10:36 AM   #17
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
United_States
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Thanks Dan, Joe, and Basia,

I think the important thing in the case of Ralph and his daughter is that they went to training camps whenever they could. They may have been at the first one organized by New York Aikikai where Koichi Tohei Sensei himself was the guest instructor, in 1967 I believe it was. Naturally they got credit for their dedication and guidelines and actual training for their future development. Hartford might be two or three hours travel to and from NYC but I know they did visit sometimes, I'm not sure how often. So their training had quite a bit of supervision and they were respected for beginning on their own ..... out of a book to begin with.

I'm sorry I gave too much detail on my friend visiting there, it was only to say that they continued that dojo for a long time, maybe now too!

I should have emphasized that they went to train with others as often as they could and were supervised from time to time by some of the main teachers of the time.

Perhaps John would be able to visit the "too far" dojo to see if they would be willing to help him from time to time when he could get there. If he liked their way of training, they might reciprocate by supervising his development whenever he could get there. Or if that dojo was not suitable for him, or practical for the dojo's instructors to take on a student who could only visit occasionally, maybe another dojo could be found that could help, since he would not be attending regularly anyway, the most important thing would be the dojo's willingness, and John's feeling he could learn from them.

All the best, Diana
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 02:16 PM   #18
Yianie
Location: Valparaiso, IN
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 20
United_States
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Hello, this is John (Yianie). I would like to thank everyone for your comments. I have to admit that after reading the first few comments I felt enough humiliation that I stopped even going to the forum for a few weeks. Then today I read some hope. To answer some of your questions, first, I live in Valparaiso, IN, and I work at the JESSE BROWN VA MEDICAL CENTER in Chicago. I am a project engineer there. I manage projects that help veterans or as I think of the as former warriors. I started working there 11 years ago, after being laid off due to the economy 4 times. For those who are not aware, being an engineer in a nation where everything is designed and built overseas is not what you want to be if you want to eat. My other employers were only 40 min away, but working in Chicago has made it a 1 hr drive. Now consider how the cost of gas has changed lives, for me it taken me from driving to public transportation, which adds another hour. So, that's how you get 2 hr commute each way. Secondly, why learn Aikido? Well, I'm a very athletic 52 years old man. I grew up seeing martial arts on television where either you kill or critically hurt some one. Now add the element that I was bullied for most of my childhood. Yes being bullied as a kid does screw you up as an adult. When I first heard of Aikido and the philosophy, I thought it was perfect. Martial arts with compassion. So, yes, I want to learn. Will I ever be a black belt? Most likely not. But knowing how to take someone down to protect yourself from some who has had a really bad day is priceless. So, I want to thank everyone for you comments and suggestions. More suggestions are always welcomed.......John.

Last edited by Yianie : 10-27-2012 at 02:26 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 03:43 PM   #19
Krystal Locke
Location: Phoenix, Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 388
United_States
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Have you tried the Aikiweb dojo search? There are dojos minutes away from your work. I am sure there are dojos that are comfortably between home and work so that you could do part of your commute (2hrs one way, right?) before class, and the rest after.

There is always a way to do the thing you want to do if you want it badly enough. Might not be optimal or completely comfortable, but we do find the way to do the thing we want to do.

Last edited by Krystal Locke : 10-27-2012 at 03:46 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 06:46 PM   #20
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,817
United_States
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Quote:
John Vasos wrote: View Post
Hello, this is John (Yianie). I would like to thank everyone for your comments. I have to admit that after reading the first few comments I felt enough humiliation that I stopped even going to the forum for a few weeks. Then today I read some hope.
,,,
Secondly, why learn Aikido? Well, I'm a very athletic 52 years old man. I grew up seeing martial arts on television where either you kill or critically hurt some one. Now add the element that I was bullied for most of my childhood. Yes being bullied as a kid does screw you up as an adult. When I first heard of Aikido and the philosophy, I thought it was perfect. Martial arts with compassion. So, yes, I want to learn. Will I ever be a black belt? Most likely not. But knowing how to take someone down to protect yourself from some who has had a really bad day is priceless.
Here's my $0.02, take it for what it's worth. For your purposes, I think any martial art would work as well as aikido, as long as it's a decent and honest dojo, and as long as you're honest with yourself. A lot of people are attracted to the "philosophy" of aikido, and to images they've seen in the movies or on television, but an aikido class is not a philosophy class, and it's nothing like the movies. It's not Master Po or Mr. Miyagi or Bruce Lee teaching the art of fighting wit'out fighting. An aikido sensei is not going to spend class time talking about compassion, and you aren't going to learn anything in the average aikido class about philosophy, spirituality, gently and compassionately dealing with an attacker so as to do no harm, etc. If that is your goal, you should know that it takes a lot of skill to even have a chance of protecting yourself from a determined attacker without harming him/her (and I suspect luck plays a large role too).

So, in my view, the "philosophy" isn't a reason to choose aikido -- it just won't be a large element of your training. And it won't necessarily infuse the spirits of those you train with, either. Don't come to aikido feeling like it's a bastion of enlightened beings and you want to join the ranks -- you will be disappointed.

Another reason to consider another martial art is that aikido has a pretty steep learning curve for a beginner. Aikido's basic techniques are more complicated than, say, karate's -- which means you spend even longer failing to get it and looking silly. I mention this because you mentioned feeling sufficiently humiliated by a few comments from strangers on an internet forum that you went away in discouragement. If those comments (which were pretty mild, I thought) were that discouraging, you'd probably find the actual practice doubly so. There are other martial arts that are less frustrating for the average beginner, and that would serve your purposes equally well, and that might be more convenient for you.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 06:13 AM   #21
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 405
Offline
Re: Too Busy Too Far

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Here's my $0.02, take it for what it's worth. For your purposes, I think any martial art would work as well as aikido, as long as it's a decent and honest dojo, and as long as you're honest with yourself. A lot of people are attracted to the "philosophy" of aikido, and to images they've seen in the movies or on television, but an aikido class is not a philosophy class, and it's nothing like the movies. It's not Master Po or Mr. Miyagi or Bruce Lee teaching the art of fighting wit'out fighting. An aikido sensei is not going to spend class time talking about compassion, and you aren't going to learn anything in the average aikido class about philosophy, spirituality, gently and compassionately dealing with an attacker so as to do no harm, etc. If that is your goal, you should know that it takes a lot of skill to even have a chance of protecting yourself from a determined attacker without harming him/her (and I suspect luck plays a large role too).

So, in my view, the "philosophy" isn't a reason to choose aikido -- it just won't be a large element of your training. And it won't necessarily infuse the spirits of those you train with, either. Don't come to aikido feeling like it's a bastion of enlightened beings and you want to join the ranks -- you will be disappointed.

Another reason to consider another martial art is that aikido has a pretty steep learning curve for a beginner. Aikido's basic techniques are more complicated than, say, karate's -- which means you spend even longer failing to get it and looking silly. I mention this because you mentioned feeling sufficiently humiliated by a few comments from strangers on an internet forum that you went away in discouragement. If those comments (which were pretty mild, I thought) were that discouraging, you'd probably find the actual practice doubly so. There are other martial arts that are less frustrating for the average beginner, and that would serve your purposes equally well, and that might be more convenient for you.
+9000

That's not even to say that aikido is somehow deeper or more profound as a result of that learning curve, just that it has a steeper learning curve. That's just how aikido's pedagogical method is.

If you can find any sort of martial arts environment with honest, sincere seekers, any MA can be deep and engaging and enjoyable as budo, even MMA, BJJ, boxing, or whatever. It can encompass many of the reasons people seem to for whatever reason uniquely single out aikido. If you find an environment full of testosterone, pretentiousness, or any number of other undesirables, any MA, even or perhaps especially aikido, can just be unproductive hell.

But you can't find those environments by going and reading descriptions of these arts on paper, just go out and try what's in your area and see what appeals to you when you're actually doing it! So if there is something nearby that is not aikido, don't write it off just because it is not aikido - you might be surprised.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 10-29-2012 at 06:15 AM.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


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

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

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Been busy for a while Robin G E Introductions 9 08-10-2012 04:48 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:58 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