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Old 03-04-2002, 11:31 PM   #1
IP Hash: 31c0c05a
Anonymous User
Straight Face Why Aikido?

I am interested in knowing your thoughts on why you chose Aikido instead of another martial art. Were you interested in learning self defense, finding spirituality within, just needing/wanting to be in a structured environment? What motivates you to continue (besides having fun falling all over the place)?

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Old 03-05-2002, 12:16 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 890
Free candy.
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Old 03-05-2002, 01:10 AM   #3
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
Location: Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Why I chose aikido...
hmmm... I wish I could say something really noble and spiritually uplifting, but I can't. I`ve studied other arts...and I think every art has its points good and bad. Originally, after I moved to japan, I intended to do kyokushin-kai, but there wasn`t anywhere that was close/ particularly good that I could find (limited reading ability does that)

But, I was lucky that here in the boonies that there was an excellent aikido dojo not too far away. so, despite some original negative preconceptions, I was really impressed and got hooked pretty quick.
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Old 03-05-2002, 01:34 AM   #4
Dojo: Augsburg/Haunstetten
Location: Germany
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 69
Hi there!

Why I started Aikido? It's also not an noble answer: I wanted to do some reasonable sports, like budo and Aikido fitted my timetable best. That's it.

Why I continue? Because it is much fun and I recently discovered also falling all over the mat is fun! And because I'm attracted to the movements which look so easy and are so hard to do.

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Old 03-05-2002, 02:41 AM   #5
Dojo: SCAMB/Beausset
Location: Castellet (Var-France)
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 38
Wink Re: Why Aikido?

I choose to practice Aikido 4 years ago.
Why I choose Aikido ? It is difficult to reply with this question. With my experience described below, I'm going to explain why I choose Aikido.

When I decided to learn a Martial Art, my first criterion was no competition. I searched a martial art where the Budo spirit is always present and where the money is not the main motivation for trainees (as for the Judo or Karate which are sports today, it had lost its budo spirit ).

In addtion, at this time, my wife would practice with me. But she is a little wimp (I don't know how translate the french word "douillette" in english).
So, the martial art where there are strike, kick and so on, was excluded.

In Internet, I read some articles on the Aikido. There was a dojo near my house and I decided to see an Aikido training. It was wonderful. The strength was absent of the technics. Young, old, women and men trained all together, no height or weight distinction. Everybody worked together.
The respect of the tradition was present.

I began to feel that I found the researched martial art. My wife was agree with me. Wonderful !!!

Since, I practice as often I can according to my workload and familly obligations. Today, I am addicted with the Aikido. When I train, I forget all my today's problems. All stress disapear.
After the training, I have a wonderful feeling of well-being.


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Old 03-05-2002, 03:21 AM   #6
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erikmenzel's Avatar
Dojo: Koshinkai Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 594
Started Aikido after being disappointed by the ego and rank obsesion at the karate and jujitsu dojos I trained at.

I continue to train because I like it, simple as that!

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
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Old 03-05-2002, 05:51 AM   #7
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 801
I practice Aikido because it's the first martial art I have tried where I actually feel at home.

I have practiced Karate (Shotokan) for five years and Kendo for two years. Also dabbled with ninjutsu and judo for a short while. One day I saw a video from an aikido-demonstration in Japan. It was so beautiful. No subtitles so I understood nothing of what was said but I was enchanted by the pictures.

Now I do Aikido - and I have no intention of doing anything else for a long time. It contains plenty of new things to learn to last me a lifetime and I enjoy it more than any other martial art I have ever done. No competition, less ego building and less focus on achievement but plenty of martial intentent, disciplin and fun

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 03-05-2002, 05:56 AM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
Originally posted by shihonage
Free candy.
Free candy?!? You get free candy?!? Rats, I knew I didn't look long enough for the right dojo...

I was deployed to Tazar, and the only thing to do was go to the gym to lift free weights...considering the size of the big Army guys blaring the boom boxes next to me, bandanas tied around their heads, with those not lifting standing around still with flak jackets and rifles...well, I consider it the closest I'll ever get to a maximum security prison lifestyle...

Then a guy arrived who did Aikido back home, and wanted to teach it so he could keep practicing. He did a good job of recruiting, telling me and the nurses he approached that it wasn't a traditional kick-gouge-kill kind of martial art, but gentle, not hurting your partner, etc. But what impressed me was just seeing this fellow around base, he didn't let things disturb him the way they did most of us trapped in a very precarious, painful for no good reason situation. At this point in my life, I was fairly well respected professionally, but regularly beat-up (on many levels) in my personal life--I wanted to be able to accept even the unjust things in life without letting it negatively affect me. I asked this fellow how he was that way, and he said 'Aikido'.

Sooo, on the appointed night to start class (which lasted about two weeks until our teacher moved to Tuzla) 40 big Army guys and I dropped our weights and ambled over to the corner in the gym designated as the Aikido corner. On a humorous side, I was confused by my colleagues' excited talk about Steven Seagal as we waited for class to start: 'oh, no,' I assured them 'you must be mistaken, see, this is a gentle martial art...'

You could tell who the Aikido students were as we held out our trays in the chow line: we had the bruises on our wrists... I returned to the states, and a year or so later, when my personal life was at it's very worst, I was reminded of Aikido by some friends who'd been deployed with me...and found a local dojo.

Aikido gave me the personal strength of conviction to leave a husband who liked to hit someone half his size, while a 'family-oriented' employer pressured me to stay. I'd tried to leave before, but in that kind of situation, especially when your 'company' controls so much of your life, and your self esteem is pretty much where they (and your husband) want it... it is more difficult than you would guess. I stay in Aikikdo because I'm still not finished growing.
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Old 03-05-2002, 06:19 AM   #9
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 801
Originally posted by ca

...I stay in Aikikdo because I'm still not finished growing.
Dear Colleen

I don't know if that was a Noble reason - but it was definately a great one. Your post moved me, and I hope you will never seize to grow and that your share of happiness will last a long long time.


- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 03-05-2002, 06:36 AM   #10
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 188
I started aikido while in my mid-teens. I wanted to do a martial art (because I was a teenager) but didn't like the couple of karate and judo classes I'd done (I didn't need self-defense, I was bigger than most kids around me). I don't remember what I thought of the class, just that the sensei was the first adult male in a long time who didn't order me around or shout at me (well, not for the first couple of lessons ). He's what kept me doing aikido at first, and after he died I lacked the imagination to stop doing it.

This year I celebrate having done aikido for over half my life.I really have no real idea about the extent of the impact its had on me.

I still suck, though.


If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 03-05-2002, 07:22 AM   #11
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 303
Why did I start? Well, my sister-in-law wanted to do a martial art as she was just completing a divorce, and she asked if I wanted to go back to MA's. Went to the Dojo where a bearded man in a skirt said "don't just watch, take your shoes off and have a go". Been there ever since. The club atmosphere is excellent, the standard of teaching is phenomenal and, as I've said before, our Dojo is in the grounds of a pub!!

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 03-05-2002, 07:22 AM   #12
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 102
I was a twenty-year old "veteran" of full contact competition karate. My buddies and I went to the local aikikai as a lark after watching Seagal's "Above the Law". Embarrassing, but true. We found a dojo full of old fat guys in skirts knocking each other on their butts. Target rich environment.

I had the great fortune of pairing off with the most senior student. He was much heavier than I, much slower and certainly not a fighter. He wiped the floor with me. I was hooked. Now, 12 years later, I am the only one of my original MA buddies to still train. The senior student I met that day inspired me until a degenerative disk disease ended his aikido practice. I always hope to live up to the grace, power, kindness and enthusiasm he showed to an angry kid with no direction.

Thanks, Steve, if you're out there.

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Old 03-05-2002, 07:33 AM   #13
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
Location: New York City (Brooklyn)
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 219
Why Aikido?

Because the angry little boy inside wanted to make sure no one could ever hurt him again, and aikido techniques hide deadly little secrets. Because the wild-eyed little boy inside always wanted to kick butt like Batman and the Kid with the Golden Arms, and maybe in another 20 years I'll be able to kick butt. Because the daydreaming little boy inside still believes in magick and the Force, and aikido sometimes feels like magick. Because the scared little boy inside was tired of wrestling with demons and shadows, and maybe aikido can help him put the past in the past.

Why continue?

Because the angry little boy isn't so angry anymore, and the hurt doesn't hurt so much. Because the wild-eyed little boy feels giddy and free during randori. Because aikido helps me see that the world is so much more sublimely magickal than the daydreaming little boy could've imagined. Because the demons and shadows of my past are not to fought or forgotten but their energies are to be brought into harmony with the rest of my being, and they're not scary when you get to know them.

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Old 03-05-2002, 08:42 AM   #14
Brian H
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 102
Best thing for me

I'm a policeman. I took karate in college and enjoyed it. I got in great shape and was limber as hell. However, my work schedule changed, then I moved and had to stop. Then I got the police job and was on night shift for five years and had an opportunity to study anything. When I was transffered to day shift my wife found me under foot to much and suggested I take up Aikido (a friend of hers was studying it). It had been in the back of my mind awhile, so five minutes later I was watching a class and joining a dojo.

For a cop, karate is problematic. Your Problem Solving Matrix is: 1) Observe problem. 2) Kick/punch problem VERY HARD AND FAST 3)Return to #1 Besides, it raises eyebrows when "problem" is lying on the ground moaning (cracked rib/black eye/knee cap in low earth orbit, etc.) and you are standing around with bruised knuckles, broken tooth stuck in elbow and the polish worn off your boot tip.

Aikido is MUCH better. Matrix is: 1) bad man (full of mal intent) attacks menacingly 2) You step aside and help bad man in failing to the ground 3) You pin/handcuff the bad man and enlighten him about his wicked ways.

Have to see if we have a "free candy" option at my dojo, they might be holding out on me.

Colleen, hope you slammed his balls in the door on your way out :0
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Old 03-05-2002, 10:07 AM   #15
Location: Western Australia
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 241
Hmm..candy huh Shihonage. All I get is tea and choc cookies

Why did I start aikido. I'd started doing martial arts, specifically karate and kung fu. Karate was really punishing to my joints and I knew that if I kept doing karate I would be an arthritic cripple by 25. I quit karate after less than a year and took up wing chun kung fu. That was fun for a while but there was something missing.

Then I saw an aikido demonstration by some japanese shihans that were visiting and I was just totally blown away by what they were doing. I wanted to do some aikido but the closest that I got was jujitsu. The university didnt have an aikido club and being a poor student I couldnt afford the fees for a private dojo. I finally got a job after I graduated and enrolled in a dojo. Havent looked back since.

I keep doing aikido because it gives me a sense of balance, focus and achievement. To constantly strive for the perfection of technique with the knowldege that I could continue to train and practice for as long as my body and spirit are willing. To dream that one day I could move man-mountains as easily as those shihans. For someone who's knee high to a grasshopper and barely the right side of Mr Puniverse, that's a pretty worth while thing to strive for. Hey it sure is fun trying
This isnt as profound as Colleen's reasons and maybe not as practical as some of the other posts. I'm still trying to nut out why I keep doing it and why it feels right for me. I guess its just plain fun to do.

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Old 03-05-2002, 01:28 PM   #16
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 205
I actually started it by mistake. I never really had any desire to do any martial art--I always thought it would be filled with a bunch of aggressive alpha-males who wanted to compare how much testosterone they could produce, or women who wanted to prove to others that they could be tough. Despite this though, when I saw that karate was offered at the college I go to and since physical activities are free for full time students, I signed up for it, as a matter of physical fitness. I showed up at the right time, on the right day, and went to what I thought was the right room (the one that had been listed on the schedule). There, I met my sensei, and when he started to talk about Aikido, I thought that the people who wrote the college catalogue had simply assumed every martial art is karate, and therefore had not listed it as Aikido (it was a brand new class at the time, and was not in the course book by the time it came out.) So, I found out later that I had gone to the wrong class, but I had loved it so much and had had so much fun that I switched, and here we are. I have often been a quitter in the past. If I didn't get something right away, I would save myself the embarassment of working through it. However, my love of Aikido has allowed me to keep practicing through the torture (literally ) of learning forward rolls, the frustration of learning new techniques, and the embarassment of anything that I did wrong. I stay with it not only because it is the most fun I have ever had in my life (better than Disney World ) but because of these little changes in myself that I have seen manifest since I started training.

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Old 03-05-2002, 05:30 PM   #17
Liz Baron
Dojo: Bury Aikido Club
Location: Lancashire
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 30
United Kingdom
Why Aikido?

Some of the reasons...

My road to aikido started with a back injury when I was 17. Martial arts always interested me but after that, as far as I could tell there was no question of being able to pursue them. I carried on cycling, but even that sometimes causes more problems than it solves.

My house was burgled. Four times, including one occasion when I met the large gentleman concerned in my lounge - although I think he was more scared than I was. I was determined not to let it get to me, but it did, and over the course of a few years I turned into the kind of person I wouldn't want to go for a beer with.

My employers decided to close their facilities where I worked and moved almost the whole workforce into a new company. We were not given a choice.

For me aikido came as the culmination of a long search for a means of taking control back from all the people to whom I'd inadvertently given it. It seems that some things take an awfully long time to heal.

From the first moment I felt like I'd come home. That's down to the people at Bury who made me feel so welcome, and the art itself which encourages me to go beyond what I think are my limits. I'd like to think that I'm in for the long run.



Windcheetah 176
"Handbuilt by Daleks..."
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Old 03-05-2002, 08:47 PM   #18
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
I wanted to throw ppl across the room without using great strength.

Didn't know you get free candy as well...

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 03-07-2002, 07:17 AM   #19
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 6
I always assumed it was more of a matter of Aikido choosing me than the other way around. At least, that's my story....

Why do I continue? Because it won't let me walk away. I've tried a couple of times and just couldn't stay away.

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Old 03-07-2002, 11:30 PM   #20
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
Location: Middle of nowhere in California 14 miles from Buellton
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 238

Oh well I feel I must answer this becasue it is something everyone for anything has to ask why do I do this?

I started Tang Wei in utah I loved it I loved martial art movies an wanted to be like Bruce lee. I loved the martial arts!!

Then I moved to California and got lost socially I was hearing imparied in a hearing school, customs were different and needless to say I had no friends. Then I found Aikido at a demo and thought to join it. now my lost self who used to be sad is happy to be on the mat again.. 5 years now and almost black belt the beggining..

I now train because its fun and the girls are hot!

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 03-07-2002, 11:43 PM   #21
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1
Ai symbol Why Aikido Is Ideal Martial Art...

I studied Aikido Kokikai for two years now. Basically, what intrigued me most about this art was the philosophy and reason for studying it. Of course, it is a discipline of self-defense. But it is a way of life. It allows the practitioner to become more aware of himself and of his surroundings. My dojo always emphasized this idea: "Minimum effort, maximum effect."
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Old 03-16-2002, 01:23 PM   #22
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
Why Aikido?

Because it was part of the original program of starting Kempo Karate/ Wally Jay Jujitsu?

Silly but true. Along with a middle age body that was deteriorating from a number of things that took away balance, and endurance.

I started Aikido at the ripe old age of 44, with about seven years of actual instruction of MA that didn't include the physical strength of hitting as hard as I could, or bending bones until they snapped.

Joints aching, back screaming, and dizzyness getting worse and worse, I found my old friends, gymnastic rolls/ jujitsu/ breakfalls, in many of the practices that worked different muscles from my previous MA workouts. Aikido was becoming fun!

Once my doctor prescibed a water pill to take the water out of my joints, that is when the knee pain/back pain finally left for good ... amazing. Of course every step forward is followed by a step back, a workout began feel like exercising with the flu and hangover? Dianosis ... Meniere's disease. But still, Aikido is fun, less harmfull to the body than grapling, karate, and full contact sparring.

Then while at a seminar, I see the same techniques of Aikido are the exact pressure point knockouts being demonstrated! Another secret within a secret left out in the open.

So, it is then that I learn the meaning of Jigoro Kano stating that Aikido is ".. my perfect Budo."

This along withthe many great friends I have made in practice, sensei's who, like me, have studied other arts and come to love Aikido for its depth yet unmeasured?

As my first teacher used to say,"You can't alway carry a weapon, or a gun .... but you always have your hands, your feet, and your body with you at all times ..." It would be handy to know how to use it too.

You may settle for Aikido after studies in other MA, but you will always have a soft spot for Aikido once you have fallen in love with it, too.

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Old 03-16-2002, 10:54 PM   #23
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
Ki Symbol Re: Why Aikido?

Many years ago I was interested in the Eastern philosophical concept of Ki/Qi/Chi/Prana. I felt that my best way of understanding was to study an art involved with that concept. So I looked around at various oriental arts schools and settled on a Tai Chi instructor near my house.

However, a friend who was already studying with him advised me not to join. The instructor was a traditional Chinese gentleman with outstanding qualifications. But during WWII he was in China and had suffered under the occupying Japanese army. Since I was "Japanese", my trying to become a student would cause trouble. Even though I was born and raised in Chicago and was born after WWII.

Several years passed and I read a review of Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. I purchased the book and ending up joining the Illinois Aikido Club. I was a member for only a few months, since I was moving out of the area. However I promised myself I would continue to practice someday.

Years later that someday arrived. I discovered that the Ki Society had broken away from Aikikai and my sensei had gone with them. I had met him briefly at the old Illinois Aikido Club. I also learned that the Ki Society focused on the concept of Ki.

Why do I continue to practice?
After 12+ years with Sensei Eley, I realize that I've still got a lot to learn from him. The dedication that others bring to practice inspires me also. And today I'm still deepening my understanding of Ki/Qi/Chi/Prana.

Last edited by tedehara : 03-16-2002 at 11:00 PM.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 03-17-2002, 03:13 AM   #24
Anat Amitay
Dojo: Nes- Ziona, "the red house"
Location: Israel
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 137

I came upon Aikido when I decided to train in a MA and was looking around for something that fit my values and needs. I guess I was lucky to fall right on a teacher that gave me exactly what I was looking for.
I had a hard time as a teenager, being brought up on high moral values and finding them very different and unfitting with the world around me. I was also brought up in two different countries, very different in mentality, culture etc. and it all brought me to great confusion. I guess, in a way, aikido had been the peace of mind I needed and was looking for.
I continue because I still have so much to learn. I enjoy it so much it had turned into an unsepertable part of my life. I hope to be doing Aikido all my life
Hope you enjoy it too!
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Old 03-19-2002, 09:16 AM   #25
Dojo: Aikido of Madison
Location: Madison, WI
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 37
Re: Why Aikido?

Originally posted by Unregistered
I am interested in knowing your thoughts on why you chose Aikido instead of another martial art. Were you interested in learning self defense, finding spirituality within, just needing/wanting to be in a structured environment? What motivates you to continue (besides having fun falling all over the place)?

Hi Curious,
I just started training/practicing in February and am still having a blast. My initial inspiration was the science fiction story "Helm" by Steven Gould. It's a good story and has Aikido as a main element. While returning the book to the local library I decide to look up Aikido. One of the few books was "Aikido in America", a collection of interviews with American Senseis. It turned out that one of the authors lived in my city (Madison, Wisconsin). The next neat thing was that his dojo was two blocks from my house. At that point, I decided that fate had given me enough clues and that I should take a look.

Why was it of interest? At age 38, it's too late for me to get really excited about beating up on somebody or breaking boards. The idea that O Sensei could still be effective in his 80's sounds good. I wouldn't want to think that my performance will only go downhill as I age. Also, way in the back of my head, I had an interest in being a black belt in something. That goes along with being a chess master, a millionaire, etc.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I'm having a lot of fun. The other students are very nice to a true beginner. I watched my first test last week (4 people testing for 3rd kyu) and it was very nice.

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