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Old 07-15-2015, 04:16 PM   #1
tim evans
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Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Hello, i,ve been training for 6 years and this is week 3 i have not stepped in the dojo. I keep saying to myself you need to go but im so unmotivated and dread the thought of going is this normal? Our dojo is very well known with 2 shihans and great yudansha instructors i,m just not motivated like i was when i started. Thoughts
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:25 PM   #2
kewms
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

If it's not rewarding, why do it?

Yes, you'll lose fitness. Yes, you'll fall behind people who continue training. So what? Aikido's only real rewards are intrinsic, and if that isn't enough to motivate you, then it's time to do something else.

It's pretty normal for people to go through ups and downs. If you've been training hard for a long time, for example preparing for a test, it's normal to want to step away and focus on other aspects of your life for a while. It's also normal, especially after a test, to say "Okay, now what?"

It's also normal to want to come back after a break, once you've had a chance to clear your head and remember all the reasons why you find aikido meaningful. Just don't burn any bridges, and your dojo will be happy to have you back when you decide it's time.

Katherine
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:34 PM   #3
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

In almost sixty years of Aikido training and teaching, I have seen many people take a break, some never come back, but the ones that do come back when they have the feel for Aikido again appear to improve - so I believe a break is good for some people.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://kazuo-chiba-sensei.blogspot.com
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:45 PM   #4
tim evans
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Falling behind physically ? Yes always struggled with it being without half a lung . injurys may have some bearing on the lack of motivation i just now can sleep on my shoulder from a tear in the rotary cuff.(aikido) and a persistent quad injury so that can be a factor.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:20 PM   #5
Sojourner
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

The issue that I would raise with you Tim is not that you simply feel unmotivated to go, but that you have a sense of ‘dread’ in making yourself go to training. I would start asking yourself what else is going on in your life right now and if there are issues that are causing you some anxiety in other areas of your life other than just Aikido? What can happen is that all people deal with a general level of anxiety, yet in some cases over time this level increases to a tipping point where it only takes something that may be minor to tip you over the edge into an anxiety attack. My suggestion to you would be to make an appointment with your family Dr and get yourself checked out and if needed get a referral to a good counsellor. If there is an anxiety issue creeping into your life, it is better to deal with it as opposed to simply just hoping it will resolve itself by withdrawing yourself from social contacts with people as can be a quite common reaction that people do to try and fix things when there is a problem.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:57 PM   #6
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

This is quite common plateau that happens systematically. Even for me, can you imagine Not sure how old are you, but older you are the results of break are more disastrous. As a result of unballancing between body and minde your body start to collaps inside and your mind become full filled with more and more worthless illusions on which you are focusing your life.
It is true you need a deep motivation to continu your training. Go to the aikido roots, study O sensei advanced teaching. Your shihans can give you only small fraction of needed knowledge. Look like i.e. Chiba sensei or Sugano sensei built their development.....

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:29 PM   #7
kewms
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Quote:
Tim Evans wrote: View Post
Falling behind physically ? Yes always struggled with it being without half a lung . injurys may have some bearing on the lack of motivation i just now can sleep on my shoulder from a tear in the rotary cuff.(aikido) and a persistent quad injury so that can be a factor.
Your original post didn't mention injuries. That's kind of a different issue than general training angst.

If you're injured, rest. Go to the dojo and watch class if you want, but stay off the mat until you're better.

Katherine
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:30 PM   #8
JP3
 
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Everyone goes through phases of plateaus in their learning, and sometimes valleys as wells as peaks in their interest level in training. I think it is natural.

IMO the training hall should be a place that lifts you up, gives you a recharge different from the other things in your days and weeks, and if it isn't doing that, then a break might be a good idea.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:06 PM   #9
rugwithlegs
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

An abdominal surgery led to me taking a break. I started to do some bokken cuts in the back yard, and I was surprised that I finally healed a chronically sprained wrist.

I love my job in cancer treatment, and I love Aikido. To be good at both, I find I sometimes need to flip a switch and run in another direction for a brief while.

Taking a break from a dojo is different from taking a break in training. I developed an inflamed Achilles' tendon three weeks ago, and found this site for the first time. I feel I've been educated in several directions these past few weeks! Reading and interacting counts. Some insights come on the mat, some need study.

Missing part of a lung? Breath control, controlling emotional responses that cause rapid breathing, helping your chest wall to comfortably inflate again, getting past the common reluctance to take a deep breath - meditation, physical therapy. Injured shoulder? Standing meditation, swimming, light weights, gradually increasing weapons work, learning about the structure of your shoulder and how it relates to your ukemi.

Being part of a dojo means there are many influences and many other people and they might not be at the same point that you are now. What you might need for your own development might not be what they are working on now.

Training with a torn rotator cuff - you might make it worse if it hasn't healed fully and that's an injury that can affect your entire quality of life. Same with knee injuries. Katherine has good advice here.

The shoulder injury you got from Aikido - a guy I didn't know well broke my arm ten years ago. A hundred times a day, the residual paralysis reminds me of the event. I would be lying if I said I don't get cold every time I see the bastard. Had he not quit the dojo, I probably would have gone elsewhere. Maybe some of this is familiar to you too? Constant pain, sleep disturbances for weeks, reduced ability to function in your daily life and at work - it's a bitter pill to swallow and the dojo will be associated with that in your psyche.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:41 PM   #10
Janet Rosen
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Quote:
Tim Evans wrote: View Post
Falling behind physically ? Yes always struggled with it being without half a lung . injurys may have some bearing on the lack of motivation i just now can sleep on my shoulder from a tear in the rotary cuff.(aikido) and a persistent quad injury so that can be a factor.
Those injuries SHOULD have some bearing in many ways: we who have acute injuries often have fear which leads to tension which leads to reinjury; even less-than-chronic injury can create adaptation elsewhere in our structure that over time becomes maladjustment; training despite pain and injury ought to lead to serious consideration of why and how we train.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:02 AM   #11
sakumeikan
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Quote:
Tim Evans wrote: View Post
Hello, i,ve been training for 6 years and this is week 3 i have not stepped in the dojo. I keep saying to myself you need to go but im so unmotivated and dread the thought of going is this normal? Our dojo is very well known with 2 shihans and great yudansha instructors i,m just not motivated like i was when i started. Thoughts
Dear Tim,
How often did you train?You might just be burnt out . Too much aikido is just as bad as too little.Any way whether you fall behind others is irrelevant.No need to be a dojo rat [a person who virtually sleeps in the dojo].I would just go along as and when I felt like it, pay my subs..The Dojo needs financial support without which the place cannot survive.So thats important to remember.Good training means quality training .Its not a matter of going every night to the classes.Hope my mail cheers you up and motivates you, Joe.
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:03 AM   #12
tim evans
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Training 3 to 4 times a week I just feel burnt out
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:25 AM   #13
tlk52
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

I agree with Ellis Sensei...

maybe go 1-2 X a week for a while, enjoy training while you're there,and don't think about it the rest of the time
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:07 AM   #14
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Quote:
Tim Evans wrote: View Post
Training 3 to 4 times a week I just feel burnt out
Hi Tim,
Sometimes I do not do that amount of training in a week.Get out and about, watch the c;ouds drifting past, listen to the birds singing[the fearthered kind].Watch how water ebbs and flows.Nature sure helps you when your low.The dojo is not a place to have negative thoughts.I usually get a laugh when I watch some of the young guys , all bashing away.Me , I just dispense my loving punishment to the guys [just kidding ].Aikido should be enjoyable .You must however be sincere in your training.Why not tale a newbie under your wing and mentor the newbie?Focussing on the needs of others is rewarding and has therapeutic value.Cheers, Joe
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:21 AM   #15
sakumeikan
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
This is quite common plateau that happens systematically. Even for me, can you imagine Not sure how old are you, but older you are the results of break are more disastrous. As a result of unballancing between body and minde your body start to collaps inside and your mind become full filled with more and more worthless illusions on which you are focusing your life.
It is true you need a deep motivation to continu your training. Go to the aikido roots, study O sensei advanced teaching. Your shihans can give you only small fraction of needed knowledge. Look like i.e. Chiba sensei or Sugano sensei built their development.....
Dear Szczepan,
No offence meant here.Can I use SZ as your nickname?Anyway do I detect a bit of Buddhist stuff in your reply ? Buddhist state quite clearly th at this existence which we believe is real is indeed one big illusion. I once asked a Zen priest after he stated that what we think/perceive as a reality is akin to watching a actor in a movie, this question.If what he said was valid,does this mean all pain, joy, etc is unreal.He said Yes.My missus thought the gent was bonkers. Being bonkers myself I decided to consider the Zen monk may well be right.Let you know when I reach conclusion on this subject.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:58 PM   #16
Robert Cowham
Dojo: East Sheen Aikido and Kashima No Tachi
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Read George Leonard's book "Mastery" - learn to love those plateaus! Take a break, sometimes go to practice when you don't feel like it - and see if you enjoy it anyway! If you don't, back off a bit...
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:10 PM   #17
Fred Little
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Not only is it ok to step away from training from time to time, it's an absolutely essential practice, particularly for folks who don't have the time or resources to cross-train.

Now, by "step away from training" I don't mean stopping all physical activity. But particularly if you're injured, it's a good idea to stop doing what got you injured and to substitute something else that will improve your basic fitness level, ideally in ways that your primary physical avocation doesn't.

This will keep your training from becoming stale, give you a fresh perspective on your training, give you a fresh perspective on the people with whom you're training, and yes, give you a fresh perspective on yourself.

These are all good things that are often lost by those who take pride in their discipline without considering the possibility that what they think is the height of discipline is really the depth of the rut they've gotten themselves stuck in.

And if you determine you're going to stay away for awhile, have a chat with your instructor, let him or her know what's going on, and let them know that you would like to take a formal leave of absence. That makes it much easier to come back when it's time.

YMMV.

FL

Last edited by Fred Little : 07-16-2015 at 04:11 PM. Reason: grammar

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Old 07-17-2015, 04:02 AM   #18
philipsmith
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

i take a three to four week break every year and come back invigorated every time. It's like any training downtime is necessary to prevent demotivation.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:08 AM   #19
Dan Richards
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Tim, you may come to find that you redefine "training."

Maybe rather than thinking of it in terms of a "break" or "stepping back," allow yourself to include what you're doing and going through as a part of your training.

Aikido is one of those practices that can result in a Tetris effect. It becomes part of your movement, thinking, and being.

"Stepping back" is simply the active creation of more space.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:51 AM   #20
PhilMyKi
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

I'm taking a break right now. I trained very hard for a lot of years, putting going to aikido before too many considerations and have decided to put the level of effort into other areas on my life as I did into aikido.

I have not been back since mid-May, and the weeks and months leading up to that were hard to say the least. I am going on holiday next week where I will train and explore aikido with some new faces. Then come home and go back hopefully with a renewed perspective and enjoyment.

I have seen a few people 'burn out' then 'bug out' and I didn't want to be one of them hence my decision to take a total break.

Vorsprung durch Aikido!
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:02 PM   #21
tim evans
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

After a lot of thought and discussion i,m going to start back next week thanks for the replys.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:51 AM   #22
crbateman
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Tim, the fact that you've been thinking about Aikido while not training may, in itself, be revealing... If you were truly "burnt out", other things would probably be on your mind. So, it's good that you are starting back. Go at your own pace...
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:39 AM   #23
lbb
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

I think there's a difference between your practice being stale and actively dreading the training -- and all the reasons why it might be stale, or why you might be dreading it, are highly individual too. Particularly given the injuries, it seems like a break is in order, but in your downtime, find the problem and seek the solution. Be open to the idea that the solution may well lie outside aikido, and also remember that just because you've found a problem, that doesn't mean you've found the only problem.

(As a generalization, I think that the early-days euphoria many people feel has to do with the newness of aikido and the transformative nature of their practice. When you have yet to go anywhere, any small step is a major journey, but after you've traveled a while, each new step just doesn't seem as significant. You need to find transformation in other ways)
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:52 AM   #24
Cliff Judge
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

IMO, the purpose of the first year of training is to get yourself to a place where you train 3 times a week without worrying about it.
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:07 PM   #25
dps
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Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile

Stop training until you feel like going back.
Going back injured and unmotivated is not healthy for you.
Wait until you are healed both physically and mentally.
You will always have what you have gained in the past six years.
Don't sweat it.

dps
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