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Old 12-01-2015, 02:36 AM   #1
sparkaiki
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Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Hi fellow Aikidokas,

Apologies if this is a bit long, but here goes.

I'm new to Aikiweb and fairly new to Aikido as well. It's been about a year since I first set foot in an Aikido dojo, and it was love at first sight. It seems that my addiction is ever-growing

I started training 3 days a week at first (Mon/Wed/Fri), after a couple of months I was craving more, so I added Saturday session as well. On Tues./Thurs., I had Kali Jeet Kun Do class.

As I started advancing, my love and passion for Aikido kept growing, and I needed a way to get more Aiki training. So after about 9 months of Kali 2 days a week, I cancelled that and added more Aikido on Tues/Thurs.

Now, I'm practicing Aikido 6 days a week and it seems that it's NEVER enough! It's the more I increase my training time, the more I crave it. It's the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep. I daydream about it when I'm at work, and I can't stop watching Aikido videos. I dream about it non-stop.

I'm a 24 year old woman btw.

I'm 100% sure there are fellow newbie addicts like myself. Is my current state common among you guys as well?
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:04 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Aw, heck that's a short post :-) welcome to aikiweb.

You didn't specifically ask about the downside of training as you are so feel free to ignore this reply.

Passion is a wonderful thing. Without both passion AND the dedication to train, train, train, a person will not excel. I say this as somebody who loves aikido but lacks that drive to make it my primary life passion, and who recognizes that lack has limited my capacity, and as somebody who has tremendous respect for those who have maintained that passion and curiosity and discipline for the decades needed to become high level practitioners and instructors.

However over the years here on the "innertubes" and in real dojo I think there are some downsides to the kind of "newbie addiction" you recognize in yourself. They may or may not apply to you; I've no idea:

1) any monomaniacal passion can be a handy way to neglect issues in your life you prefer to avoid. Be aware that avoidance doesn't work and either the issues will blow up or...lo and behold they will crop up in the dojo and you will have to address them there.

2) by not giving yourself alternating days off you are actually not giving your muscles a chance to rest and rebuild. That's why athletic training often involves different work outs on alternate days. May not be a critical factor at your age and fitness level but it may make you more prone to injury.

3) The Big Number One Problem: a rare student with your passion will sustain it long term and over the years become a superb practitioner and perhaps even a superb teacher....because there is no doubt the great ones had and have that passion. But many of us have seen that the majority of people who let aikido become THE thing in their life end up burning out within a relatively short period. Or get an injury and instead of taking time to let it heal/rehab, they end up really disabled. OR they take the time off but don't maintain dojo connection by coming in to watch class because they swear they cannot bear to see aikido and not do it, it is an all or nothing affair....and they disappear. OR they hit a normal training plateau or some disillusionment, and instead of being able to work through it, they disappear.

Now I don't know you and maybe none of these apply to you. But yeah, it happens often enough that certain patterns seem to be present.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:36 PM   #3
kewms
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Listen to Nurse Janet about letting your body (and mind) rest. At 24, you may recover faster than some of us, but even Olympic athletes take rest days. Getting good at aikido (or any martial art) is a matter of years, not weeks or months. You need a schedule that you can sustain.

Welcome to Aikiweb!

Katherine
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:20 PM   #4
TomAiki
 
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

welcome, any uchideshi programs where you live?
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Old 12-02-2015, 02:39 AM   #5
sparkaiki
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Thanks guys for the warm welcome and the advice!

@Tom, I live in Morocco

@Janet & Katherine, I do realize that I need off days to rest, but I just cannot stay away. The one day I convince myself to rest, I get this feeling of void and frustration.

To be honest, training this much is definitely not a way for me to avoid any issues in my life. On the contrary, I'm really happy with my life at this moment and grateful for everything.

It's like practicing Aikido completes me

I think maybe I'll just need to be more careful while training, because as you said, I'm more prone to injury.
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:42 AM   #6
phitruong
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

based on observing many many students walking through our dojo.

Those who were most excited and wanted to practice all the time, at the beginning, tend to quit in less than a year. those who burned brightest burned themselves out soonest.

Those who were most physical able, i.e. athletic, tend to quit sooner than those who had many handicaps. my theory is that those who had many handicaps knew how to deal with personal struggle and frustration; thus, learning aikido is just another struggle in the many of life frustrations, i.e. just another day in the park.

think of running marathon, pace yourself.

"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 12-02-2015, 11:15 AM   #7
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

I am starting to think that "burnout" may be a bit of a misnomer -- or, perhaps, that we use the term "burnout" to refer to different things. One meaning seems to be "bored with it", or as if you have a finite amount of enthusiasm for something, and if you use it all up early on, you won't have any more -- something like that. It may work that way sometimes, I don't know. I think, though, that extreme enthusiasm is a symptom rather than the problem itself. The problem? Just like when someone falls head over heels in love with a person they've just met, you're "in love" with someone (or something, in the case of aikido) that you don't really know yet.

You love what you're doing -- I get that. You love it a lot. You love what you know of it, or what you think you know of it -- just like someone in a new relationship may be head over heels in love with someone that they're just getting to know. It's a wonderful, euphoric feeling. It's also a dangerous one, because the object of your affection is still a big unknown, and as you come to know more about it, your feelings may change. You may not be as much in love as you were at first. Or, something may reveal itself that you're really not comfortable with. And the danger is that at that point, you disregard your current feelings in an attempt to recapture your past, new-relationship-euphoria feelings. You ignore signals that perhaps this isn't such a great match as you thought at first.

So, Yasmina, I'm not saying this will happen to you -- I hope it doesn't. But any time you fall in love at first sight, it's time to be careful. The aikido that you fell in love with is not the aikido you will know a year from now, and neither of them is the essence of aikido. Love what you're doing now, but expect things to change.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:00 AM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
The aikido that you fell in love with is not the aikido you will know a year from now, and neither of them is the essence of aikido. Love what you're doing now, but expect things to change.
Mary, that is just beautifully expressed. Thank you.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:52 AM   #9
sparkaiki
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post

So, Yasmina, I'm not saying this will happen to you -- I hope it doesn't. But any time you fall in love at first sight, it's time to be careful. The aikido that you fell in love with is not the aikido you will know a year from now, and neither of them is the essence of aikido. Love what you're doing now, but expect things to change.
Thanks for the advice. I like your analogy with "relationship love" vs "aikido love". I really hope to keep going at it for years to come and make of it a life-long passion, and not "burnout" like you guys are warning.

What a scary thought
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:04 PM   #10
Janet Rosen
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Yasmina Yousfi wrote: View Post
@Janet & Katherine, I do realize that I need off days to rest, but I just cannot stay away. The one day I convince myself to rest, I get this feeling of void and frustration..
That suggests to me that there is an imbalance in your life.
Is there nothing else at all that is of interest to you? Walking and looking at things, reading, looking at art, making things, having conversation with friends?

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:53 AM   #11
sparkaiki
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
That suggests to me that there is an imbalance in your life.
Is there nothing else at all that is of interest to you? Walking and looking at things, reading, looking at art, making things, having conversation with friends?
I'm at work 9 hours a day, so after work, aikido is the way for me to get all the workday's stress out.

I'm in dojo only one hour a day, so of course on the weekends, I do have other activies that I enjoy (reading, watching movies, shopping, and just hanging out with friends/family).
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:57 PM   #12
Janet Rosen
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Yasmina Yousfi wrote: View Post
I'm at work 9 hours a day, so after work, aikido is the way for me to get all the workday's stress out.

I'm in dojo only one hour a day, so of course on the weekends, I do have other activies that I enjoy (reading, watching movies, shopping, and just hanging out with friends/family).
Thank you for helping put things in perspective for us reading along at home
Yes, aikido IS an awesome way to "leave the workday behind"!

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-05-2015, 05:11 PM   #13
sparkaiki
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Thank you for helping put things in perspective for us reading along at home
Yes, aikido IS an awesome way to "leave the workday behind"!
And thank you Janet, for keeping up! I really appreciate your advice

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Old 12-06-2015, 03:46 PM   #14
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

We all find what works for us. I have trained 6 times a week and now that I am 58, 3 times a week is enough. I do my warm ups and stretches everyday.

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Old 12-08-2015, 08:55 AM   #15
Derek
 
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Not to distract from the discussion, which is great! But Jasmina, follow your passion!

Derek Duval
Yondan
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:20 AM   #16
sparkaiki
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Derek Duval wrote: View Post
Not to distract from the discussion, which is great! But Jasmina, follow your passion!
Hi Derek,

I am actually! For so long, I've been wondering what is that one thing I'm passionate about, but I couldn't quite find it, until I discovered Aikido.

I even wrote a bit about how I found it in my blog, if you have time (maybe you dont)

But here goes:
How I got into martial arts
The Beauty of Aikido: Power Fuel & Adaptation

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Old 12-14-2015, 07:35 AM   #17
Derek
 
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Good for you. Some people never find it.

Derek Duval
Yondan
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:28 AM   #18
Derek
 
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

I enjoyed your blog!

Derek Duval
Yondan
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Old 12-19-2015, 03:38 PM   #19
sparkaiki
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Derek Duval wrote: View Post
I enjoyed your blog!
Thank you!

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Old 12-20-2015, 01:12 PM   #20
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Yasmina Yousfi wrote: View Post

I'm 100% sure there are fellow newbie addicts like myself. Is my current state common among you guys as well?
When I first began, this is how it was for me, too. Pretty much everything I did was with Aikido in mind and I trained every available class. Lunch breaks at work were for practice and I did the hand exercises just about any time they were idle; walking anywhere usually meant I was practicing irimi, and I probably looked funny the way my hands would be raising or lowering in tegatana movements. Later when I would go running with my wife, I would do similar movements and I know it looked funny because she would laugh at me.
Enjoy your training!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 12-20-2015, 03:00 PM   #21
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
When I first began, this is how it was for me, too. Pretty much everything I did was with Aikido in mind and I trained every available class. Lunch breaks at work were for practice and I did the hand exercises just about any time they were idle; walking anywhere usually meant I was practicing irimi, and I probably looked funny the way my hands would be raising or lowering in tegatana movements. Later when I would go running with my wife, I would do similar movements and I know it looked funny because she would laugh at me.
Enjoy your training!
Yes at the end you know who your friends really are - you know the ones that still tolerate your umm behaviours.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:59 AM   #22
sparkaiki
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Re: Sharing my own Aikido experience (Newbie here)!

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
When I first began, this is how it was for me, too. Pretty much everything I did was with Aikido in mind and I trained every available class. Lunch breaks at work were for practice and I did the hand exercises just about any time they were idle; walking anywhere usually meant I was practicing irimi, and I probably looked funny the way my hands would be raising or lowering in tegatana movements. Later when I would go running with my wife, I would do similar movements and I know it looked funny because she would laugh at me.
Enjoy your training!
I swear I do too!! When I'm at my office, I would randomly do Nikkyo or Kotegayshi to myself. I would enter into my room with a Taysabaki and into the shower with a Tenkan

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