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Old 12-10-2001, 07:01 PM   #1
Location: U.S.A.
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 20
Question Weight loss in Aikido?

Hey all!

In your opinion is Aikido enough to facilitate weight loss, or is other activity typically needed?

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Old 12-10-2001, 07:18 PM   #2
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 803
It depends on how you practice it. It can become an excellent aerobic exercice, and you will loose more in terms of centimeters than kgs. I myself still weight the same as before starting, but all my trousers are too big now.

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Old 12-10-2001, 07:29 PM   #3
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Re: Weight loss in Aikido?

Originally posted by abarnhar Hey all!

In your opinion is Aikido enough to facilitate weight loss, or is other activity typically needed?


Weight loss happens (the good kind) because you burn more calories than you consume. If doing Aikido helps to achieve this state then you will lose weight.

More specifically to your question, for me, the best weight loss activity has been biking. I can do it for a long time (2 hours) continuously and it's not so strenuous that it fuels the hunger fire. Weightlifting helps but you won't burn a lot of calories doing it. What it will do is help to build muscle which can facilitate weight loss or make it so you don't care about pounds quite as much. Muscle burns more calories than fat.

I find that Aikido is either not active enough, too start-stoppy, or so active that I get hungry and eat back all of my calories. However, your mileage may vary.
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Old 12-11-2001, 12:34 PM   #4
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 205
I think that Aikido is less a good way to lose weight than it is a good thing to inspire you to lose weight: "if I want better endurance for class, I'd better start (insert aerobic exercise here)" "if I want falls to hurt less, I'd better start lifting weights" etc. Not to mention that since one has to wear white, which makes one look bigger than s/he really is, it wouldn't hurt to lose a few inches. (this from someone who owns absolutely no clothes that are not black except a gi ) Aikido itself though is less of a weight-loss exercise. Of course, an hour of Aikido would benefit you much more than an hour of sitting home on the couch watching TV (which is exactly what I do on nights that I don't have it ) but since you are supposed to use as little muscular strength and effort as possible to throw, it isn't like an hour of jogging, let's say. Aikido has helped me lose a lot of weight, but I do quite a bit of other excersize to supplement it (all of the other exercises I have taken up--walking, running, weight lifting--I would have given up on a long time ago if I didn't have Aikido to think about).


Last edited by Arianah : 12-12-2001 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 12-11-2001, 01:58 PM   #5
Dojo: Aikido Center of South Texas
Location: Houston,Tx
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 151
When I first started Aikido I didn't lose any weight, but I became more flexible. As I learned to do better ukemi, I began to lose weight & eventually lost 20 lbs. When I became an instructor and as my aikido got better, I gained back my weight. I tend to think that ukemi is aerobic enough for you to lose some weight.

Now, I don't do a whole lot of ukemi, therefore I don't sweat as much as when I was a student. I still sweat a whole bunch during our seminars with my sensei, but they are not as frequent as when I was a full-time student of my sensei.

When I need to get in better shape I tend to do some other exercise to lose weight & get my endurance level up. In aikido we strive to get to the point that we do a lot with as little as possible - that may explain why don't lose as much weight as we get more proficient in the art.
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Old 12-11-2001, 11:14 PM   #6
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Its interesting note that many Shihans who visited my dojo from Japan actually do complementary aerobic exercises along with their aikido. By which I mean, they run some 15 km a day.

That aside, they also practice aikido for several hours a day if not eight. Anyway, these very elite like type of training may not be what you have in mind. Our 2 hours training maybe 3-4 times a week would probably be good for general fitness. But if you want to lose weight you got to get your heart pumping fast for more than 25 mins at a stretch. This could of course be achieved if you were doing ukemi non stop.

I heard Shioda sensei did ukemi for OSensei for 45mins flat. If you do that, you'ld probably lose 10kg a month!

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 12-12-2001, 02:52 AM   #7
Creature_of_the_id's Avatar
Dojo: Alnwick aikido club (UKAU)
Location: Newcastle, England
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 217
I agree with Joe,
I think that losing weight from aikido is going to take time, and if someone begins aikido with the intent to lose weight then they may become dissapointed. As in the beggining stages the aikido is often not dynamic enough to give you a good work out. but as your ukemi gets better over the years and your training gets more and more intense then it can be a very good way of losing weight.

if you do aikido to lose weight you will be dissapointed, if you do aikido in order to experience aikido then everything will be perfect and the wight will look after itself eventually.

I think later on in aikido you stop caring about it lol. Nocquet sensei was quite proud of his belly, or so I hear. he would use it to do ude kimi nage said it was a sign of a strong hara

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Old 12-12-2001, 04:13 AM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 117
As I understand it, the aims of losing weight are usually 1)feeling and 2)looking better. I' m not sure about actually getting less zeros on the scale, but I do think aikido can help you achieve both of those goals. First of all, it will give at least some endurance to someone who has none ( i know some people like talking lots about aerobic range, but I was one of those 'pant when you get up the stairs' guys before I started (and had always been among the last in school in Phys. ed.), but I'm quite a bit above the local rarely-sporting average now, I think. (Of course, I do like fast ukemi one after the other). Secondly, aikido does develop your stance and bearing (if you pay attention to it), etc, which can even make you look thinner than you are.

My 15$million,

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Old 12-13-2001, 02:53 AM   #9
Dojo: Institute of Aikido Australia
Location: Perth
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 48
Hi Adam

In your opinion is Aikido enough to facilitate weight loss, or is
other activity typically needed?
Before I started doing aikido I was a bit of a gym-junkie, and whilst being fit, reasonably strong and skinny, I was bored half to death with exercise machines. Nearly 3.5 years after starting aikido, I've put on wieght but I'm very flexible and still fit. As my aikido skills improve, I find that I get less of an aerobic workout from my training and I need to spend time on my fitness outside of the dojo. Since good aikido should not involve strength alone or fitness alone, my theory is that the better you get, the less work you have to do.

But I love my aikido - I get to use my mind & body together and its never been boring yet. No two training sessions are the same and they're all challenging. My motivation for maintaining fitness now is so that I can improve at my aikido and benefit my health.

Good lcuk with it,
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Old 12-13-2001, 10:12 AM   #10
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,051
I think it all kind of depends on the kind of training you do in aikido. Just last night at the end of class, we ended up doing quick ryokatadori kokyunage (the "randori" throw) for the last ten minutes of class, eight throws each. I was curious so I counted how many throws that amounted to -- 88 throws (each) in those ten minutes. Although I was breathing harder, it wasn't like I was out of breath; I felt OK about a minute after that. Maybe I'm getting more efficient with my rolls or something.

My thought is that if you're trying to get physically fit (as opposed to physically "fitter"), aikido alone isn't going to do it.

-- Jun

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Old 12-13-2001, 10:54 AM   #11
Richard Harnack
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Mid-America
Location: Maplewood, Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 137
Wink Weight Loss & the Middle Path

No amount of exercise will help you lose weight without a concomitant modification in your oral intake.

Thus even a "hard aerobic workout" will not help if you promptly upon completion sit down to an ExtraLarge Anchovy & Jalapeno Pizza washed down with 2 or 3 Becks (or Dos Equis).

The problem with weight loss exercise is not which program, but that oftentimes the person wanting to lose the weight is impatient and overdoes everything in the beginning and injures themself.

Regular training with diet change will lead to the healthiest form of weight loss and toning up of muscle.

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack
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Old 12-13-2001, 01:04 PM   #12
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 890
Originally posted by gi_grrl
Since good aikido should not involve strength alone or fitness alone, my theory is that the better you get, the less work you have to do.
Ask your Sempai to slam you into the mat with each throw. You'll get that fitness thing right back
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