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Old 12-29-2001, 08:26 AM   #1
mruk4u
Dojo: Ki Aikido, Brixton Unitarian Church
Location: UK, London
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 13
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Talking Paul's introduction.../;-)

Hi ALL,

MY AIM IN 2001 WAS TO STUDY ALL STYLES, ANYWHERE & EVERYWHERE - ATTENDING IRREGULARLY

Last year, 2001, I went along to 10+ martial arts lessons, in all...many different styles(Tai Chi, Fue Loon self-defence, Tomiki Aikido, Ki Aikido/-etc.)...many different teachers...many different places/faces...; and, with lots of considerably lengthy pauses in between. Many times I only went to just 1 lesson, alone, never to go back there, again, anymore. Other times, even if I did go back...I left a 6 month long gap in between taking one lesson, and, the next! Thus, I've remained a total beginner white belt in every club I go to...; and, it just feels like I'm getting absolutely nowhere!!!

MY 2002 NEW YEAR RESOLUTION - IS TO STUDY JUST 1 -(OR, 2)- STYLES - AND, REGULARLY

But, this year, 2002, I will try going to, at least, 100+ classes...and, also, choose far fewer clubs to have to go along to...finally, I will go along a lot more reguarly, as well.

Maybe, I needed the sheer variety, at first, just in order to show me the correct road which is really well worth following...and, so get to discover what, truly, does or does NOT work for me?!

And, finally, from out of sheer CONFUSION...there, suddenly, appears crystal clear CLARITY(at last)!

Have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS, and, also, a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Bye4now!/BEST wishes, always!/-Paul(UK/London)

PS: Have a NICE day!
;-)
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Old 12-29-2001, 08:50 AM   #2
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
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Good luck on your quest...the most classes I ever did in one year was around 700 (if I counted the seminar sessions as classes)...unfortunately, I am still a confused white belt beginner looking for clarity and a place I fit in...

Last edited by guest1234 : 12-29-2001 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 12-29-2001, 06:44 PM   #3
mruk4u
Dojo: Ki Aikido, Brixton Unitarian Church
Location: UK, London
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 13
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Hi Colleen,

You said you went to 700 lessons, and, all in less than one single year, alone!

I'm thinking you should be highly recommended to have a well deserved place in the Guiness Book Of Records.

Because, just thinking about going along to 700 lessons, makes me want to completely collapse!

I mean, I went to 10 lessons in a year, and, I can't even remember all -or, even any?!- of the techniques they taught me...; so, therefore, I'm wondering to myself...if a person went along to 700 lessons...how would they remember all of 700 lessons worth of techniques?!

I guess, at that point all techniques become totally unconcious...and, are executed, therefore, without hardly any thinking, atall...as there would be far too many specific techniques to have to remember, anyway...I suppose, this is where all the techniques do, suddenly, blend into becoming one...where you just, automatically, connect one technique onto another one...as you, effortlessly, blend your own moves in with the opponents moves...smoothly going along with the flow of the constantly changing situation.

But, I'm nowhere near there, yet. And, indeed, am still wondering if I ever will be able to get anywhere near there???

I always figured an expert is way beyond technique because they already know far more than it is, actually, possible to recollect, anymore...like a beginner might know 10 techniques with 100 variations...but, an expert might know 10,000 techniques...with 1 million different variations...and, still be learning more and more new techniques every single day!

Or, is there ever a point where learning new techniques, quite suddenly, stops...as you already know it all...and, instead, you now concentrate just on being entirely selective...choosing only the very best techniques to suit yourself...both mentally/physically...and, working on perfecting only those select few techniques, alone/and, of course, also perfecting their numerous variations, as well...as nearly all techniques do have a number of variations, I guess?!

Anyway, just me thinking out loud here(as usual)...

But, I've only just noticed...so far to date I've written merely 1 single posting, alone...; but, you it appears have written 100's of posts to the AikiWeb message boards...; thus, I guess, you must be one of those people who tend to do absolutely everything, prolifically, and, also, very well, I must say...; I was tempted to try and read through all of your posts in one go...; but, instead, I've only read through mere snippets of them, tonight...because, I am ever so tired and do wish to get to bed having been up all morning/day/evening/night long staring at this computer screen...; but, tomorrow, I will read them in a lot more depth, I promise.

Sincerely, I wish very GOOD LUCK to...The Utterly Amazing Lady, and, also, Supreme Queen Of AikiWeb Message Boards!
;-)

Bye4now!/BEST wishes, always!/-Paul(UK/London)

PS: Have a NICE day!
;-)
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Old 12-29-2001, 07:13 PM   #4
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
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Hi Paul,

Flattering me doesn't work, I'm still mean and obnoxious. And obviously, without a life. I'm also extremely lucky to have a dojo that is open 365 days a year, so...with 1-3 hours of class a day (depending on which city I was in, what day of the week) and a nice government job that allows me free evenings and weekends (short of war), and a comfortable paycheck to cover 6 seminars that year, it was not all that great a feat. I just told myself I had to attend 365 days of class in the dojo I'd moved to before deciding if I fit in or not.

But lots of classes doesn't guarantee skill (ask any who've met me) and one of the sensei's told me he thought I'd do better if I didn't come so often. But it's a sad tale, not much else going on in my life

I guess the important thing is trying to figure out what the goal is and why (for me, 365 days of class to be sure it wasn't a rash decision that I didn't fit in, for you perhaps 100 classes to see if you can focus on one thing and progess in it?), but I don't try to put too much emphasis on outcome (eg, then I will be A LOT--100 or 700 times?-- better).

Good luck on your hours next year!
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Old 12-29-2001, 07:30 PM   #5
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
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ps,

One teacher I very much admire would always write out on the board before class the techniques and/or weapons katas we were going to cover. After watching him do this for a couple of weeks, I decided if he took the time to write them down, I should be taking the time to copy them. If there was a phrase I didn't know, I'd ask and fill it in my book (eg, 'zenpo' means uke will roll, often in a technique I'd be called up to uke for )...sometimes I put in the thing I'd learned that night (good or bad) about the technique, or foot work for a technique or kata, or even who my partner was and what I'd learned about how they were as ukes (I definately know who will get sankyo exclusively in randori ). I've got many of these little notebooks stashed all over my library and bedroom, some day I may even copy them over neatly. Anyway, one way of remembering things.
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Old 12-30-2001, 06:03 AM   #6
mruk4u
Dojo: Ki Aikido, Brixton Unitarian Church
Location: UK, London
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 13
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Hi Colleen,

Ok, I'll try far less flattery next time. Sorry! Because, it's good to be perfectly open, honest, frank, too, as well.

YOUR WRITINGS

I liked your writings...because, of mainly 2 reasons...

1) I saw you wrote in an awful lot of replies...and, that takes plenty of time, and, effort, as well as, the 'friendly' desire of wishing to open up, and, communicate with others.

(Sometimes, martial artists can be very highly secretive.../and, even seem to be totally closed off from all the rest of society.../or, indeed, do act very closed off towards mere underlings like myself.)

And, of course, I also deeply appreciated the fact that you were the first one who ever replied to me, as well. As, i really wasn't quite sure if anybody, atall, was even going to notice my post? Nevermind, be intrested in reading through it all...especially, as I'm sure you've, already, noticed...nearly everything I write is, most unusually, long...a dreadful habit I've carried with me onto the internet from ever since schooldays sitting in English classes...where others would write in just 1 or 2 sides of paper...and, I would write in, at least, 8 sides long!

However, certainly, without responses...I don't think any message board would be worth posting to, atall...because, it's the replies to one another that, truly, makes the message board thing go with a swing.

2) I noted that through having read some of your replies...that you seem to have a lot of experience in Aikido...apparently, you've been to many different clubs...you tend to go, regularly, too...and, are pretty damn knowledgeable...knowlegeable enough to be able to give in-depth answers to nearly all-comers.

Both of these things are highly impressive, to me...as well as, the obvious intelligence, and, wit with which you write. But, does any of this sound like mere flattery to you(most probably, I guess)?! Sorry, then...; but, to me, I swear, it's only the simple TRUTH!

ATTENDING CLASSES

Again, in my last response, I wasn't being entirely untrue with you, neither...just maybe overdoing the praises a bit...the truth is I really do admire your example of being such a persistently loyal martial arts student...something which, at this moment in time, I really don't believe myself to be, well and truly, capable of?! In fact, I constantly, STRUGGLE like MAD with it...

I keep on making so many promises to myself that I will go and attend martial arts classes-and, then, find I just didn't do it?! Then, I feel a sort of deep SELF-HATRED inside myself...and, say to myself, what a COMPLETE COWARD I am!!!

My excuses were...I was too late...I completely forgot...my mind was fully concentrating on other things, at the time(a book/tv/college homework/internet)...something else far more important came up...I felt mentally far too ill at ease to even go out the door(felt too shy/or, that I looked far too ugly-just not quite, right)...I was totally lacking in self-confidence to attend...I strained some muscle, somewhere.../or, had back pain-didn't wish to make it any worse by being thrown down to the mat on my back...I felt much too unfit-as I hadn't been training, regulary, and, thus, didn't wish to go looking like a fool who can't even move around, freely and easily, much too stiff-so, I need to stay in and exercise more...I was physically ill(cold/flu-don't want anybody else to catch it)...I got scared...was deeply worried I might get hurt...I thought somebody(or, people) in the class didn't like me, and, I don't wish to go running into them, anymore...I forgot to wash my kit(gi) in time.../-etc.

In short, my list of reasons which I can invent for not having attended classes is absolutely endless.

Therefore, when I say I deeply admire your sheer persistence in having attended so many classes...I wasn't just kidding you...seriously, I'm impressed...nor am I saying this just purely to please you...so much as saying it to sort of help inspire myself to try and emulate your own example.

I know if I could do the exact same thing that you did...go to class everyday(if I could afford it, as I'm unemployed.../or, is that just simply another excuse, I wonder?!)...I would feel tremendously proud of myself...like I've added an entirely new dimension onto my life...the fact is, I'm most incredibly lazy; and, don't have any tremendous sense of loyalty to any one single martial arts style, club, or, teacher. My only loyalty is to myself, alone, and, to how I'm feeling at the time. If I feel like it I go...; if not, I won't/don't go. That's it!

But, I also know I NEED to find a strict sense of DISCIPLINE, badly. However, when I've always lived my whole entire life in a wholly UNDISCIPLINED way...therefore, as they say, bad old habits are really hard to break! And, boy, don't I know it...

But, I do tend to have HIGH AMBITION to ACHEIVE...in whatever GOALS I've set myself in life. But, without having the necessary SELF-DISCIPLINE underlying those goals...then, all I'm left with is a whole series of merely EMPTY DREAMS!!! And, deep down feelings of experiencing utter FUSTRATION...like what did I do with the whole of last year...in regards to moving towards my martial arts goal to acheive more...the answer is I pretty much WASTED it!

Waste TIME...; and, TIME will waste you...; then, before you know it your DEAD! And, thus, can't acheive anything, anymore...as all of your precious TIME has completely run out, already. I dont want all of my precious TIME to completely run out on me, yet, before I've acheived even any of my goals. And, one of my goals is to do well in martial arts...to gain mastery, in fact. But, I also read it somewhere...before you can learn to master others...you first have to learn how to master yourself. And, many times, I wonder will I ever EVER learn to MASTER myself?! In my own case, perhaps, the only opponent, really and truly, is the self!!!

REMEMBERING TECHNIQUES

I do think it's a really good idea to practice writing things down, though...; it might, also, be useful to do a few stick man sketches to clarify the words-in case one forgets...as a more physical form of aide memoire...; but, all I will need to remember is to take along a notebook, and, pen(that works?!), as well as, my training kit(gi).

Again, thanks very much for all of your excellent advice.

GOOD LUCK! Take care!

-(It's Sunday...church calls me, today...I've already missed both morning masses, 9am/11am...will have to make up my mind not to miss the last mass of the day which is, later on, this evening, 6:30pm...I was brought up strictly Roman Catholic(have been both baptized/confirmed) -but, I'm no longer so strict-...that's another place I haven't been going along to, much too regularly, neither! Maybe, I should try becoming Buddist or something...I could do almost anything for a change...the last church I visited I think they were Pentecostal...I preferred the much less formal type of church service...drums/guitars/instruments/pop music...which was a hell of a lot more FUN!)

Maybe, that's what I love about Aikido, too...compared to the rest of the martial arts...I somehow seem to find Aikido to be the most FUN! With the atmosphere there being just a lot more warm, friendly, laid back, and, relaxed...and, just a lot less cold, overly stuffy, stiff, and, dead formal.

<bow>

Bye4now!/BEST wishes, always!/-Paul(UK/London)

PS: Have a NICE day!
;-)
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Old 12-30-2001, 07:53 AM   #7
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
Good luck on your quest...the most classes I ever did in one year was around 700 (if I counted the seminar sessions as classes)...unfortunately, I am still a confused white belt beginner looking for clarity and a place I fit in...
700 classes, Ay Carumba!
There are probably uchi-deshi's who dont get that much training done.

Can't say anything about the real world, Colleen, but you certainly seem to fit in here.

Sean
x
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Old 12-30-2001, 08:18 AM   #8
otto
Dojo: Independent
Location: Maracaibo/Zulia
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 149
Venezuela
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Talking hehehehe

Quote:
Originally posted by deepsoup


700 classes, Ay Carumba!
There are probably uchi-deshi's who dont get that much training done.

Can't say anything about the real world, Colleen, but you certainly seem to fit in here.

Sean
x
hahahaha....isn't Ay Carumba Seanny...it is Ay Caramba!!!....hehehehe....
sorry...can't help myself u made me laugh a lot.

"Perfection is a Process"
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Old 12-30-2001, 08:29 AM   #9
mruk4u
Dojo: Ki Aikido, Brixton Unitarian Church
Location: UK, London
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 13
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Sorry, I know this is going rather way off the subject matter, but, what does it mean...Ay Caramba...anyway? Can anybody please translate...and, also, exactly, what language is that?

Bye4now!/BEST wishes, always!/-Paul(UK/London)

PS: Have a NICE day!
;-)
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Old 12-30-2001, 08:50 AM   #10
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
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Re: hehehehe

Quote:
Originally posted by otto
hahahaha....isn't Ay Carumba Seanny...it is Ay Caramba!!!....hehehehe....
sorry...can't help myself u made me laugh a lot.
Heh, I feel pretty silly now.. you've got me laughing too, Otto..

Quote:
Paul wrote:
Can anybody please translate...and, also, exactly, what language is that?
Dont ask me, I was just quoting Bart Simpson. (Intellectual eh?)

Sean
x
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Old 12-30-2001, 11:52 AM   #11
mruk4u
Dojo: Ki Aikido, Brixton Unitarian Church
Location: UK, London
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 13
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Does anyone know if Bart Simpson does any Aikido? And, if so, what rank is he...

-(You really don't have to answer that...because, it was just meant to be a joke./LOL/To illustrate just how far off topic we've gone...almost completely off base...; so, once more, returning to the topic...of Aikido...)-

Sometimes, I wonder is martial arts just a little bit incongruous, now...much like a dinosaur is...I mean, in the age of the gun/and, machine gun/and, bomb...what chance does a martial artist really have??? When even a totally untrained person with a gun, -and, from a safe distance,- can shoot any well trained martial artist stone cold dead!

See, what I'm trying to get at here is...when I go along to take martial arts lessons...it's certainly not with the thought of ever becoming, truly, invincible...instead, it's more with the thought of developing self-understanding/self-control/inner peace/learning to both socialise, and, harmonize effectively with others/and, to remain young, fit, strong for entire life/as well as, having empty hand self-defence techniques to be able to resort to...so, I can have some self-confidence whenever faced with a dangerous hand to hand combat situation.

But, if all I ever wanted to do was merely just to fight, alone...then, I think, it would be far more realistic for me to just go buy either a gun/or, a baseball bat, instead...as fighting that way is much quicker, and, easier, and, takes so much less time, money, effort to have to learn.

Thus, for me, martial arts is not really all about fighting. But, then, I'm not going to claim the total lie that it's not about learning to fight, atall. However, it's also about many other things which are far more important to me...than, preparing for the fight that never -or, hardly ever- happens...I haven't had a serious fight since age 14...and, I'm 38, right now.

Therefore, martial arts is mainly there to teach me all about self-conquest. How to control the ego from running away with me...by putting myself above everybody else. Learning to respect others as much as I do respect myself. And, I learn this from the way I do very gently treat my UKE! Treat UKE good, and, they will treat you good when it's your turn to go for the fall...we get out exactly what we put in. But, put in crap...; and, we get back plenty of the same crap!

See, when I first went for Aikido lessons, I pushed down UKE hard...and, was warned to do it gently...but, being an over eager beginner...so, in through one ear, then, straight out through the other...and, I pushed UKE down hard, again. Then, it was my turn to recieve falls...and, UKE pushed me down HARD...from this experience of, actually, being on the receiving end...I, finally, learnt to really treat UKE very carefully, indeed...so much so that, now-a-days, the teacher comes up to me, and, says...why are you doing the technique so soft for...go harder. But, my style has changed, simply, through bitter experience.

Similarly, I used to be into the kick ass martial arts styles...kick/punch/knee/elbow/gouge/and, all that...but, then, one day I got attacked...by around 2/3 people who, I guess, wanted to try their luck with me?! Well, as their attacks came toward me...I merely blocked/evaded/and, pushed them aside...without actually ever, once, hurting them.

As I was about to push them...I saw the self-defence targets...eyes/nose/throat/groin/knee/-etc. I knew these targets were all wide open real juicy invitations for me to ATTACK...but, I DID NOT ATTACK them there...because, a part of my mind told me...if I ATTACK HARD...they will want REVENGE...; but, if I merely block/evade/push them, softly...they will not be harmed in anyway, atall..and, therefore, they won't want to harbour any thoughts of REVENGE towards me, neither. And, it worked. In the end, they gave up, and, just let me pass.

I also think to myself of times when younger, and, somebody beat me up, or, even made me cry...then, I always thought about wanting my revenge. But, if somebody just played with me if I ever tried getting agressive with them...they could of beaten me/but, choose not to...then, we both, usually, laughed...then, just competely forgot about it.

This lesson of taking really good care of yourself, AND, equally, taking really good care of your opponent, as well...was a lesson which I mainly learnt from studying, Aikido.

Bye4now!/BEST wishes, always!/-Paul(UK/London)

PS: Have a NICE day!
;-)
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Old 12-30-2001, 11:56 AM   #12
otto
Dojo: Independent
Location: Maracaibo/Zulia
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 149
Venezuela
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Talking wow!!!

wow!!! i'm actually explaining something in this forum!!??? awesome!!!

ok....this is my finest hour...!!!

Ay Caramba!!...is an expression for surprise in a very casual way, ....something like Oh Boy!!..i guess...

ah..and it's Spanish!!!

now..i can rest in peace.........

"Perfection is a Process"
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Old 12-30-2001, 12:20 PM   #13
mruk4u
Dojo: Ki Aikido, Brixton Unitarian Church
Location: UK, London
Join Date: Dec 2001
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Just wanted to say, thanks very much for the translation. Because, for a long time, I always wanted to know exactly what that meant.

Bye4now!/BEST wishes, always!/-Paul(UK/London)

PS: Have a NICE day!
;-)
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Old 12-30-2001, 12:53 PM   #14
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
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My first Aikido class was in a deployed location gym with a concrete floor, and 40 BIG Army guys and me, with one intrepid instructor. He summed up the uke-nage interplay with the phrase "payback is a bitch" anyone not getting the idea from their partner was the next demo dummy...

And thanks for the translation...growing up in So Cal I sued Spanish a lot, but I never learned that and almost ran upstairs to dig out my dictionary...and I've really eaten too many Christmas cookies to do any running right now...
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Old 12-30-2001, 05:25 PM   #15
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
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I don't know if Bart did any Aikido, but I do know he enrolled in Karate, took one class and cut the rest to use the mat fees in the arcade, where he learned 'the touch of death' or something similar...

I can't believe I am admitting to watching enough Simpsons to know that...
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Old 12-31-2001, 05:45 AM   #16
mruk4u
Dojo: Ki Aikido, Brixton Unitarian Church
Location: UK, London
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 13
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Well, it sure is good to know that you Aikidoka people aren't just all a serious bunch of funny duddies out there, and, you do all seem to share a lovely sense of humor, too.

I don't think watching Bart Simpson is anything to feel ashamed about, though...as I'm from the UK/London...and, I tend to watch that, too...especially, when there is nothing else worthwhile watching on TV! I call it the really SICK cartoon show.../lol

-(Which says a lot about the sort of places where my mind gets tempted to go wonder off towards, sometimes!)-

Bye4now!/BEST wishes, always!/-Paul(UK/London)

PS: Have a NICE day!
;-)
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Old 01-01-2002, 06:58 AM   #17
mruk4u
Dojo: Ki Aikido, Brixton Unitarian Church
Location: UK, London
Join Date: Dec 2001
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Thanks to AikiWeb.../;-)

Hi ALL,

I just wanted to say thanks very much to AikiWeb site producers, and, also, to all of it's contributors, too.

As I'm new here...only just joined the site around 3 or so days back.

I'm also new to Aikido, as well(having taken only around 6/7 lessons).

And, so, for a newbie like me, exploring through these notice boards is especially wonderful. Because, I feel I'm already learning more and more about Aikido, and, in a lot more depth...by reading the comments of people who are far more highly experienced than me in this art...who have been where I've never been, before...and, so, I feel very much like an outsider who is being highly privellaged to get an insiders view.

I also think that coming along here to these boards inspires me to want to get involved with taking even more lessons...; because, I want to feel it and experience it as being an insider...and, not just as an outsider...just like many of you experts have, already, done.

Certainly, from reading here...one thing is, especially, clear to me...Aikido is loads of FUN!!!

Thanks, again!/Take care!/Hope you ALL have a very HAPPY (and, highly SUCCESSFUL)- NEW YEAR!!!

Bye4now!/BEST wishes, always!/-Paul(UK/London)

PS: Have a NICE day!
;-)
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Old 01-01-2002, 07:08 AM   #18
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
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Happy New Year to you, also Paul...

But watch out for the posts...some of us who talk the most know the least...I can say that as I talk A LOT, and for most topics know only enough to get in trouble

But as you and others pointed out, this website is for fun

Now, go pack your gi, notebook, and a (working) pen (oh, and make sure the cap is on the pen ) for class tonight.
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Old 01-24-2002, 03:35 AM   #19
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 188
China
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Quote:
Originally posted by mruk4u to CA
Hi Colleen,

You said you went to 700 lessons, and, all in less than one single year, alone!........
But, I've only just noticed...so far to date I've written merely 1 single posting, alone...; but, you it appears have written 100's of posts to the AikiWeb message boards...
Paul raises a good question - with 700 classes a year, how does Colleen find the time to write the number of posts she does? Then it hit me - she doesn't weigh too much, so with a big tori and a shock-proof laptop - plenty of flight time for writing posts.

Incidently, with maximum 8 classes a week and ~1 seminar a month, that's still only 500 classes a year for me...
...and I'm getting old - I need my healing time as much as my practice time these days...

Tim
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Old 01-24-2002, 05:35 AM   #20
Greg Jennings
Dojo: None at the moment.
Location: Springboro, OH
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,098
United_States
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
Good luck on your quest...the most classes I ever did in one year was around 700 (if I counted the seminar sessions as classes)...unfortunately, I am still a confused white belt beginner looking for clarity and a place I fit in...
PCS to Maxwell. You'll fit right in here. We're all confused and looking for clarity also.

Best,

Greg Jennings
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Old 01-24-2002, 08:56 AM   #21
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
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Between my 4th and 3rd kyu exams, I did 385 days of practice which was probably almost 500 hours. I still remember one of the examiners questioning whether it was true or not. I responded," If you don't like that amount, go ahead and cut it in half since it doesn't matter (I only needed 80 hours for the test)! He said, "Don't get smart with me young man! It's just that I thought his question was inappropriate as well.
I'm a black belt now but it still amazes me how little I have improved with all the practice and how much better all my instructors are. Maybe someday, I will feel differently but for now, I am resigned to being what I am and enjoying the ride.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-24-2002, 10:38 AM   #22
mruk4u
Dojo: Ki Aikido, Brixton Unitarian Church
Location: UK, London
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 13
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BACK PAIN - SCIATICA

Hi ALL,

I'm afraid, I must confess, I've attended no Aikido lessons, atall, this month(Jan 2002).

Right now, I fear going to class, and, having to take constant breakfalls, as many times, I find myself landing right on my back, endlessly, again, and again. I'm not too sure my back can endure taking that sort of constant battering pressure, anymore, yet...not until when my back feels a hell of a lot more stronger, anyway.

Sciatica, is like really acutely sharp back pain/-that feels like a trapped nerve-/affecting lower hip-buttock-upper calf. Thus, making it extremely difficult to train, effectively...turn/twist/breakfall/-etc.

I have been suffering from this Sciatica condition for quite a long time, now...definitely, for years and years...; and, so, I'm not really sure exactly where it comes from...; maybe, it was the accumulation of stresses endured in my younger years...when I tried practicing running(sprinting/jogging), or, even going for say 10 mile long walks on solid, and, unyeliding hard pavements/gymnastics(forward-backwards-sideways rolling)/yoga(falling down from hand, or, head stands)/ballet/dance(overdoing it for much too long-not really knowing when to stop? Stopping only when something feels like it's, quite suddenly, gone wrong!)/kung fu postures(too low horse)/high kicks/-etc.

(I recall one time, for example, I tried doing a high kick, lost my balance on the standing leg, and, ended up with all of my body weight landing right on my hip...I couldn't stand/walk/sit/or, lie properly for, at least, two whole weeks!

Another time, sparring, my partner caught my high kick...and, pulled up on my leg...again, all of my weight landed right on the bottom of my spine...OUCH!)

Anyway, as I grow older...(I'm currently aged 38)...the result of the back injury -sciatica- seems to come on a lot more frequently, now...; and, also, takes far longer a period of time to get to fully recover from.

Too, it seems to come and go, largely, unpredictably...and, can last anything between a few days.../right upto a few weeks long...before, apparently, completely vanishing, again!

Right now, however, all I can do is just wait. I sincerely hope to be able to recover, again, soon, though...so, I can get on with my learning Aikido.

Otherwise, I'm likely to remain a total beginner white belt for all the rest of my entire life!

I wonder, though, what do others do when they feel they might be injured, already...and, that going to lessons could, quite possibly, make that injury feel far worse(or, even become a more permanent injury instead of temporary)...do they then decide to wait to get much better...; or, do they not hesitate, and, just go along -rather mindlessly-, anyway...; I mean, do you always just simply try and force yourself to go, regardless of any cosequences?

The reason why I have to ask this question is a part of me feels like I might be just making another excuse to get to avoid going to classes, regularly...; even though I know I do really want to go...and, that my problem is real/certainly, no joke! And, another part of me feels terribly guilty and ashamed whenever I miss a class...as, afterwards, I find myself calling myself a complete and total coward for not having gone along!

I wonder, in particular, how the Samurai must have trained...they must have had many an off day, too(strains/pains/injuries)...; as, indeed, I presume there must be lots of off days for students of martial arts, now-a-days, as well...especially, for people who are teachers...they are duty bound, I guess, to have to show up through thick or through thin...which makes me have to deeply admire the strength of these sort of people all the more.

Bye4now!/BEST wishes, always!/-Paul(UK/London)

PS: Have a NICE day!
;-)
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Old 01-24-2002, 11:50 AM   #23
shihonage
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 890
United_States
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Re: BACK PAIN - SCIATICA

Quote:
Originally posted by mruk4u

Right now, I fear going to class, and, having to take constant breakfalls, as many times, I find myself landing right on my back, endlessly, again, and again. I'm not too sure my back can endure taking that sort of constant battering pressure, anymore, yet...not until when my back feels a hell of a lot more stronger, anyway.
Why do you constantly take breakfalls ?

I always thought of breakfall as "something that you sometimes have to do when you can't roll".

Especially if you land on your back all too often (like me) then your training partner should be sensitive enough to try and give you a roll next time ?
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Old 01-24-2002, 01:47 PM   #24
Carl Simard
Location: Quebec City
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 96
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Re: BACK PAIN - SCIATICA

Quote:
Originally posted by mruk4u

I wonder, though, what do others do when they feel they might be injured, already...and, that going to lessons could, quite possibly, make that injury feel far worse(or, even become a more permanent injury instead of temporary)...do they then decide to wait to get much better...; or, do they not hesitate, and, just go along -rather mindlessly-, anyway...; I mean, do you always just simply try and force yourself to go, regardless of any cosequences?
I recently got a wrist injury (been surprised by a nikkyo during a randori). It was very painful. I simply go to see a physician and ask him what he thinks abou it. He tells me that I can continue to practice but no lock or hyperextension on this wrist. If he had tell me that I had to stop for some time, I would have stopped. There's no question in my mind that preserving my health is way more important than doing aikido... Many time I've seen people going to train despite injury when they should have stay home. What usually happens is that instead of having miss some weeks, they miss some months because they get only worst and their injuries become so bad that they are forced to stop...

So, for me, if you feel it may be dangerous for you to do aikido, simply stop. Or, at least, don't do the fall. Simply ask your partner that you cannot fall and to stop before that... It also good for your partner since it takes a lot of control to stop a technique in the middle of it...
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Old 01-24-2002, 03:29 PM   #25
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
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Re: BACK PAIN - SCIATICA

Quote:
Originally posted by mruk4u
I'm afraid, I must confess, I've attended no Aikido lessons, atall, this month(Jan 2002).
Well, that's better than me. I just took 5 months off to get my shoulder back to normal.

Quote:
Right now, I fear going to class, and, having to take constant breakfalls, as many times, I find myself landing right on my back, endlessly, again, and again. I'm not too sure my back can endure taking that sort of constant battering pressure, anymore, yet...not until when my back feels a hell of a lot more stronger, anyway.
Something is wrong with the equation here. Constant breakfalls sounds like a lot of breakfalls and many techniques have alternatives. So why all the breakfalls?

I fall pretty damn well, still, but I would leave a place where I was breakfalling a bunch every day. That's for them in their 20's.

I'm not sure how you are being thrown but if you are landing on your back there is a very good chance something is wrong technically. Some techniques end up that way, and sometimes you get thrown that way, but probably you aren't doing it right. I'd take it up with your instructor. Frankly, if you are landing square on your back, your instructor probably should have already been helping you.

You have told your instructor about your back problems right?

Quote:
Anyway, as I grow older...(I'm currently aged 38)...the result of the back injury -sciatica- seems to come on a lot more frequently, now...; and, also, takes far longer a period of time to get to fully recover from.
Yep! I'm 36 and the bumps and bruises come along much more regularly if I'm not careful with it.

Quote:
Otherwise, I'm likely to remain a total beginner white belt for all the rest of my entire life!
And if that were to happen your life would change how? I took some serious time off a few years back and I learned one thing from it. I like this stuff, a lot, but if it went away, the world would keep going right along. In the end, martial arts practice is very replaceable.

Quote:
I wonder, though, what do others do when they feel they might be injured, already
Stay off the mat! Forever, if need be!

Or,

Redefine what you are doing and want out of the art. I'm still struggling with this one. I've always done a very physical practice and there are certain things my body is just not going to let me do any more and it's apparently not debateable. So I'm learning to lighten things up and find different things in the practice. It's a mighty struggle at the moment.

Quote:
I wonder, in particular, how the Samurai must have trained...they must have had many an off day, too(strains/pains/injuries)...; as, indeed, I presume there must be lots of off days for students of martial arts, now-a-days, as well
Well, I can't speak for how the samurai did it, but take a look at modern sports. Training camps are actually less intense than they used to be. There is also such a thing as overtraining. Everyone takes days off. I don't even buy the every day up at 5:00 and train till 9:00 stuff of lore. Maybe some did it but I'm not convinced it was exactly the way the stories are told. It probably snowed a lot on that uphill road to and from class too.

I'm also pretty sure that there were not many 38 year old samurai running off into battle. If it was anything like it was elsewhere, 38 was a ripe old age.
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