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Old 10-01-2001, 02:56 PM   #1
aiki_what
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Leaving Aikido

Several people I have respected have left the practice of Aikido over the last couple of years. We're not talking about the ones who leave after six months of "trying it on" or the ones who leave after they make shodan. Rather it is people who have attained sandan or higher, with exceptional skills and insights into the practice, contributing to a dojo and students.

Most of it seems to be a dis-illusionment with the political aspects of the guiding organization.....BTW, it is not limited to a single organization. Any of you folks practicng for longer than 10 years have any insights?
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Old 10-01-2001, 03:32 PM   #2
MikeE
 
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Dojo: Midwest Center For Movement & Aikido Bukou Dojos
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I can't imagine life without Aikido. But, recently a yondan in my organization "retired from aikido". I don't know the reasons why. But, I found it a little saddening since I really enjoyed his sense of humor and energy.

People do things for different reasons, I guess.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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Old 10-01-2001, 04:45 PM   #3
michaelkvance
Dojo: Aikido Center of Los Angeles
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Haven't seen anything like that here. Injuries, moving, jobs--all these seem to affect people's ability to practice more than anything.

The dojo my father used to attend kind of fell apart, but the sensei there was sort of an erratic personality, so it's little surprise.

m.
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Old 10-01-2001, 05:25 PM   #4
akiy
 
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Personally, I think it's admirable for people to be able to leave any kind of art to which they've dedicated a good portion of their lives.

One senior student (20+ years) I've spoken to in the past related how he's toyed with the idea before of leaving but have had that feeling of, "then why did I just spend 20 years doing this?" Sort of like inertia, I guess.

In a way, I feel if someone no longer "needs" aikido in their lives, then more power to them for them to be able to move on with their lives.

-- Jun

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Old 10-02-2001, 05:08 AM   #5
ze'ev erlich
 
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leave

Hey !!! Take a look at what's happening in other martial arts.
please notice that in aikido, more Yudansha (black belts) stay - comparing with Judo, Karate etc. That's anyway from what I see and hear.
It seems that the more you get older the more you get interested in the deep ideas of Aikido.

It is also possible that people with 4dan or 5dan become more interested in having their own dojo or class, then they might leave and later-on start to teach.





Ze'ev from Masatake Dojo Rehovot
www.aikikai.org.il
Israeli Aikido Organiziation (Aikikai)

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Old 10-02-2001, 07:26 AM   #6
Greg Jennings
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Quote:
Originally posted by akiy
In a way, I feel if someone no longer "needs" aikido in their lives, then more power to them for them to be able to move on with their lives.
Jun, could you expand on that?

I personally feel no _need_ for aikido. Valuable addition: yes; Need: no.

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 10-02-2001, 08:31 AM   #7
Steve
Dojo: Salina Aikido Club
Location: Salina, Kansas, USA
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Re: leave

Quote:
Originally posted by ze'ev erlich
Hey !!! Take a look at what's happening in other martial arts.
please notice that in aikido, more Yudansha (black belts) stay - comparing with Judo, Karate etc. That's anyway from what I see and hear.
It seems that the more you get older the more you get interested in the deep ideas of Aikido.

It is also possible that people with 4dan or 5dan become more interested in having their own dojo or class, then they might leave and later-on start to teach.
I know several folks who have moved to aikido (or, at least, tried it) from TKD and judo because they were just plain tired of hurting all the time. Getting kicked, punched, and thrown down for 20 years is hard on a body. I think some people move to aikido to preserve themselves.

Steve Hoffman
+++++++++++
That's going to leave a mark.
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Old 10-02-2001, 12:11 PM   #8
akiy
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Jennings
Jun, could you expand on that?

I personally feel no _need_ for aikido. Valuable addition: yes; Need: no.
It's a bit tricky to explain; that's why I put "needs" in quotation marks (to denote it's not exactly what I meant but that it was close enough).

In a way, I believe that all of us are doing aikido in order to help us out in some manner. Some cynical people might call what we're doing as a crutch, but others (like Greg) may call it a valuable addition.

The way I see it, aikido is a very helpful tool for me to understand myself. I find it's a lot of fun, challenging, and intriguing.

Is it a "need" in my life? If I were to take it completely away from me today, I'd probably find myself pretty lost as to find a substitute "tool" with which to help me better understand myself. If you want to call that a "need," I wouldn't necessarily disagree. (Of course, it's not quite a "basic need" like food, water, and shelter, but I hope I'm getting something across...)

-- Jun

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Old 10-02-2001, 01:11 PM   #9
Greg Jennings
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Quote:
Originally posted by akiy

<snip>
but I hope I'm getting something across...)
Thanks Jun. I guess I feel much the same way you do. Aikido adds to the quality and quantity of my life.

Once upon a time, I was a world-ranked skeet shooter. I gave it up when I started a family. Not shooting ate at me 24x7 for a few years, but I (mostly) got over it.

I expect leaving aikido would be the same way.

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 10-02-2001, 02:55 PM   #10
ze'ev erlich
 
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addiction

QUOTE

Is it a "need" in my life? If I were to take it completely away from me today, I'd probably find myself pretty lost as to find a substitute "tool" with which to help me better understand myself.
-- Jun [/b][/quote]


Some of my students say that they really miss Aikido when they can not come to the dojo for more than a couple of days. They worry that they are addicted, and they even say that they begin to feel physically uncomfortable when they don't train. I think that Aikido gives us things that are very hard to explain but very easy to feel.

Osensei gave us a great present.
And I feel great to live with this addiction.

Ze'ev from Masatake Dojo Rehovot
www.aikikai.org.il
Israeli Aikido Organiziation (Aikikai)

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Old 10-03-2001, 09:06 AM   #11
Richard Harnack
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Mid-America
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Do symbol Leaving Aikido

Hmmm, I have actually never thought about this, so there is something new contrary to Qoheleth.

Ignoring for the moment people who need to leave their training because of some life altering circumstance outside of the dojo (yes, believe or not many people have lives outside of the dojo, not this crew mind you, but others ).

Reasons for leaving include staleness of teaching. Sometimes schools and organizations become overly orthodox or even too "free & easy", thus frustrating students who may have actually developed a "new" approach or insight into a technique. At the individual dojo level, the instructor may be "bored" with their own level of progress and this is conveyed to their students. The ability to execute a technique "perfectly" will not save the person if they are "bored".

The wrong fit is another reason for people to leave. This occurs when someone started training with a particular organization simply because it was the only one in town. What this person needs to do is become familiar with the breadth of variety in the Aikido world. They may "leave" one organization only to enter another.

One thing I do let my students know which oftentimes is a "cure" for this "need" to leave Aikido, it is: One does not earn one's rank because they have passed an exam. One earns one's rank by continuing training after the exam. Taking and passing a shodan (or nidan, sandan, yondan, godan,etc) exam does not make you a black belt. Continuing to correct and refine what you did on your shodan exam for at least another 20 years or so does.

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack
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Old 10-03-2001, 02:52 PM   #12
Andy
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Re: Leaving Aikido

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Harnack
Taking and passing a shodan (or nidan, sandan, yondan, godan,etc) exam does not make you a black belt. Continuing to correct and refine what you did on your shodan exam for at least another 20 years or so does.
So would you say that someone who quit aikido after thirty years of training no longer deserves a black belt?
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