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Old 03-13-2008, 07:25 PM   #1
JRY
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why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

Hi all. I was wondering if my fellow Aikidokas could help me out. I know its been posted before butI'm conducting a qualitative study on:
1)why Aikidokas start training,

2) why do they still train and

3) the personal benefits gained from training.

This is part of a 3rd year dissertation in Applied psychology for Liverpool John Moores University, UK. Any information given will be regarded with the strictest confidentiality and any usernames will be omitted from the final write up. Participation is voluntary and by posting you agree that the information provided may be used in the study.
The nature of the study is to identify themes in the practice of Aikido (motivation, psychosocial benefits of training, attraction etc). Please feel free to share as much information as you want not limited to the 3 areas above.
Any questions/queries please email me on s.v.teo@2006.ljmu.ac.uk.

Thanks again everyone
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:23 PM   #2
Ewan Wilson
Location: Glasgow
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

Quote:
Jerry Teo wrote: View Post
Hi all. I was wondering if my fellow Aikidokas could help me out. I know its been posted before butI'm conducting a qualitative study on:
1)why Aikidokas start training,

2) why do they still train and

3) the personal benefits gained from training.

This is part of a 3rd year dissertation in Applied psychology for Liverpool John Moores University, UK. Any information given will be regarded with the strictest confidentiality and any usernames will be omitted from the final write up. Participation is voluntary and by posting you agree that the information provided may be used in the study.
The nature of the study is to identify themes in the practice of Aikido (motivation, psychosocial benefits of training, attraction etc). Please feel free to share as much information as you want not limited to the 3 areas above.
Any questions/queries please email me on s.v.teo@2006.ljmu.ac.uk.

Thanks again everyone
1 it looks cool

2 it looks cooler

3 I look cooler

notice a theme?
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:01 PM   #3
mathewjgano
 
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

Quote:
Jerry Teo wrote: View Post
Hi all. I was wondering if my fellow Aikidokas could help me out. I know its been posted before butI'm conducting a qualitative study on:
1)why Aikidokas start training,

2) why do they still train and

3) the personal benefits gained from training.
1. I began training primarily as a way of improving my general awareness. So I was drawn toward it largely because of the strong message of training the mind through a physical activity, but also because I wanted to learn a system of self defense.
2. I still train because I see personal improvement that comes directly from training: it still helps me accomplish those general goals of #1. It envigorates body and mind (without the jitters like a Redbull).
3. The benefits for me are pretty broad. Of course I get to increase my coordination, speed, and reflexes; my sense are more accute from simply being more mindfull of them. I actually do better in other sports than i did before...the improved precision in general has made me a little better at just about every sport I do.
My legs tend to get pretty strong from regular training; I get winded less in general. When my back is paining me sometimes all it takes is one good pin for me to feel right as rain. As for injury: I usually get my injuries off the mat and then find them feeling better after training, particularly when sensei moves me around. Regardless of the physical realities behind it (ie-whether it's placibo or "internal" in nature), this kind of ki-related health quality is a pretty major benefit in my opinion.
In the beginning of my training I had a terrible commute and would arrive at the dojo in a somewhat foul mood, but after training it was always replaced with a degree of serenity. The meditative quality associated with my dojo has at times made things just appear more clear. My vision seems brighter when I train; I hear things a little better. I think that because it's a physical activity which draws so much of of our minds into the practice, it generally activates the neurological system. Speaking as a former heavy pot-head, this has done wonders for waking up a system I spent a considerable amount of time putting to sleep.
Cheers and good luck,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:52 AM   #4
Anja Lampert
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

Quote:
Jerry Teo wrote: View Post
1)why Aikidokas start training,

2) why do they still train and

3) the personal benefits gained from training.
Hi Jerry! Sounds like an interesting dissertation subject! Just finished my diploma thesis in Educational Psychology... No Aikido relation though, but Japan-related

1) To begin with, I never liked sports, because most of the time you need strength and a certain size (and I'm really quite small)... Plus, in a lot of sports the goal is to beat an opponent or to be better than someone else (to be honest, I'm really quite competitive, but not when it comes to sports... )... So I was looking for some kind of sports where size and strength don't matter so much and and started Aikido... And it looks as it's just perfect for me Plus, I have always been attracted to martial arts, Japanese culture and arts anyway, so it fitted in really well!

2) I trained on a regular base for about 3 years, but then I moved to another city and stopped training for quite a while... But the I found a new Dojo and started training about a while ago and realized how much I had missed training... So I'm not still training but training again at the moment I think...

3) During my absence from training my life had changed quite a bit, which also means I started working (while still studying) which also means I spent most of my days eitehr standing in a shop or sitting and home and doing all the office stuff, both resulted in really stiff shoulders, which started hurting quite bad once in a while... So, I immediatly felt a real change in my back and shoulders, so no more back and shoulder pains, also way less headache (which resulted from the stiff shoulders, etc). And I'm just feeling fitter on the whole...
The other thing that I enjoy even more is the way Aikido training frees my mind of all the daily hassels and things you just carry around with you from work etc... The moment I sit down on the mats my mind clears up and I can leave everything outside the dojo and stop thinking about anything except training. And after finishing training I feel completely relaxed and calm (also mentally).
And, last but not least, it's just so much fun!

And good luck with your thesis! Keep us updated!
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:42 AM   #5
JRY
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

Thanks for the feedback so far everyone
Thanks Anja, thought might as well do something interesting and that I really enjoy

keep em coming :P
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:00 AM   #6
Anja Lampert
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

Yeah Jerry, that's what I thought as well... You have to invest some time and work on that topic for quite a while, so enjoying the subject makes your work pretty much easier!
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:56 AM   #7
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

I enrolled in Karate about sixteen years ago simply because the opportunity was offered to me, and I was curious. I really did not imagine myself in a black belt. I was going to do it for a few months and then quit.
One year later, I found out that I needed to be able to fight, and I kept training.
When my Shotokan school closed thirteen years later, I tried another school, did not like it, and remembered that my Shotokan Sensei used to talk about Aikido with a lot of respect. So I found an Aikido school and enrolled.
Self defense is still important to me, but I also need the self confidence that comes with finally accomplishing something difficult, the positive impact on my health and the socialization, both on and out of the mat and on the web.
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:05 PM   #8
SeiserL
 
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

I always tell people I train because I don't golf and I don't golf because those wind-mills and clown-faces are just too scarey.

I started out of fear. I continue out of pleasure.

Everyone has to be someplace. I have been in the other places and prefer the dojo.

Its not just what I do, it who I am.

I train to train. Process/direction, no goal.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:03 PM   #9
Dennis Hooker
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

I wrote this a several years ago but maybe it will help you understand why I do it.

I conducted a seminar in Pensacola Florida and was struck by the diversity of the people present. They ranged form flight students and instructors to doctors and housewives. They ranged in experience from rokudan (6th degree black belt) to rokkyo (6th degree white belt - a new beginner), and the former was as eager to train and share my knowledge and life as were the latter. It is a humbling experience. During the first day one of the younger attendees made the remark that he was a little bored with coming to the dojo everyday, and doing shoman uchi ikkyo got old after a while.

Well as I have never been bored with anything concerning Aikido I took pause to consider this statement. I thought about why I was there along with another rokudan, godan, yondan, sandan, nidan and shodan along with a number of various kyu ranks. Looking at the more experienced Aikido folk, I knew I shared a bond with them that the younger people, especially the one that made the comment, did not or could not share. It's a bond that transcends organizational structure. It's an understanding that all Aikido (all budo) students must eventually develop and nurture or they will soon become bored with technique. They will gain their shodan trophy and move on to other endeavors. In doing so they will lose their grasp on the most precious gift offered by Aikido. That gift is not the ability to destroy another person, but a deep and abiding love of life.

This seminar had been postponed twice as I was going through another bout with a debilitating kidney illness and an episode of Myasthenia Gravis. When I finally got well enough to teach it, the seminar was rescheduled. Then ten days before the seminar I got a call that my mother was terminally ill with brain cancer. Two days before the seminar I sat with my frail, terminally ill mother in my arms knowing it would be the last time I saw here alive, then I left to teach an Aikido seminar. I could never have brought myself to leave my grief and self-pity had it not been for Aikido, and its lessons taught to me over a very long time by some very fine people. I could not have left my dying mother, had I loved her less. Among her last words to me were "Denny, Aikido and Saotome saved your life, you have an obligation to pay them back, go". So I went.

Standing there looking at my fellow students all this went through my mind and I knew I had to try and teach the young fellow that nothing about our learning Aikido is boring. I had to try and teach him something of ichi-go ichi-ye, about one time, one beginning. I had to try and teach him that every encounter is a first and last. I had to try and get across that nothing can be repeated and nothing can be practiced. It can only be experienced once, and then it is gone forever. How can you become bored with something you only do once? I had to try and teach him that each encounter with another of gods creations is a once in a life time event that can never be repeated nor taken back. Each encounter should be full and true, and never done with half a heart or half a mind. Each time you face another person and that person gives their body to you in technique then you hold that life in your hands. You hold in your power a gift more precious than gold, one that can never be replaced and is a unique and wondrous thing. How can you become bored with that? I had to try and teach that young man that accepting the gift of that life is an ominous and yet joyous responsibility.

You accept it; you protect it and you return it better for the encounter. Then you offer your self in return. The uniqueness of "good" Aikido is that we can do this in total trust and in so doing be all the richer for the encounter. I had to try and teach this young man we do not practice shoman uchi ikkyo. We experience it only once, and in that one experience we share a lifetime with another of gods beings. How can you be bored with that?

You give yourself to me and I give myself to you in total trust, no equivocation or self-evasion what so ever. To learn to trust and be trusted is ikkyo. It is the first principle of Aikido, without which all other training becomes less by its measure. It is the first because it is the hardest. The hardest to learn and is the hardest to keep.

I had to also try and teach the young man that coming to the dojo everyday should not get old and should not need to be boring. As I looked at the faces of each of the more experienced men I knew they too embrace the concept of shoshin, of the beginner's heart. How else could those "other" old worn down, tattered ragamuffins of old men, of whom I am one, be there.

Our combined days of stepping through the doors of a dojo must be in the ten's of thousands. Yet there we are class after class, seminar after seminar, day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. Why do we not become bored to tears? It's because each time we step through that door it's with the heart of the beginner, and ready to encounter shoman uchi ikkyo for the first time, and we can hardly wait. Each time I hold my children, each time I kiss my grandchildren, each time I tell my wife I lover her, is the first and last time. And two days ago I held my mother for the first and last time. How, oh how, can one become bored with that? I am convinced that without Aikido this knowledge would have evaded me, this peace I have would never have been. I don't know if the young man really understood the lesson he got that day, but I hope so.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

www.shindai.com
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:06 PM   #10
d2l
 
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

I think this is a pretty interesting topic. It kind of forces one to be truthful in the extreme.

1) I chose Aikido/Jutsu as a form of stress release. Unlike Karate for example, I didn't feel the need to practice an art where you go toe to toe with someone, when I do it at work enough.

2) I continue because it helps me to relieve stress and I gain a certain amount of self awareness. If that makes any sense.

3) The biggest benifit I've gained, besides stress release, is being able to do my job in a more efficent manner without having to worry about B.S. lawsuits. That is to say I've learned more patience, and better arresting techniques for if and when I do have to fight. I'm pretty much covered all the way around.

One of my hobbies, is shooting. Yes, I'm one of those icky American Gun Nuts. I can pop open the back door and have an instant range. This also is a stress reliever for me as well. Plus it's just plain fun. But, I don't shoot on a daily basis. This is where Aikido comes in. Inside or out side, I can practice with my girlfriend who just started and teach her new things, as well as try new things to me, on her.
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:05 PM   #11
justin
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

[quote=Jerry Teo;201689]Hi all. I was wondering if my fellow Aikidokas could help me out. I know its been posted before butI'm conducting a qualitative study on:
1)why Aikidokas start training,

2) why do they still train and

3) the personal benefits gained from training.

answers

1) I studied karate for ten years and with politics, me not getting any younger I looked for something else my karate sensei studied Aikido for a short while and bought onto the mat which I enjoyed, so when I felt the urge to look for something else it was a natural move over.

2) it feeds my mind body and soul which all I need right now

3) my fitness is back also I have a very heavy work schedule and Aikido helps me unwind and calms my mind focus my thoughts so this would be similar to feeding my mind body and soul I guess.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:10 PM   #12
Angela Dunn
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benefits of training?

Oh Okay, why not then, glad to help out a student!

1)why Aikidokas start training,

My reason why is probably a lot different than other peoples, in the regards that I had no previous Martial marts training and I was the definition of unfit both physically and mentally (Yeah I will admit at that point suicidal). Instead I saw an advert in the paper and thought nothing off it, till I was googling something for work. Clicked the wrong link, up came an article about aikido and actually my sensei, later that week another advert appeared in the paper and I got in touch for more info. The replies I got back made me both think this is something that could be beneficial to me and made me laugh!, My Sensei's email in particular made me think I got to meet this person so I did. Got given a suit, told to get changed into it and chucked into the deep end. I loved it and I was hooked.

2) why do they still train and
Two main reasons, socially its a greatly diverse crowd that goes and I feel happy and comfortable in their company, its a place where I can be myself and if I make someone bleed/accidentally whack someone in the nose/ am my usual walking disaster area that should come with my own government health warnings then they tell me its okay rather than making me feel like a first class muppet. Very important for me that one(I have splds and that's an effect of that, I feel normal around the people who attend and feel like I finally fit in somewhere) . Also the people who go are um stereotypically social groups that I would not normally have a chance to meet and its great cos I have gotten to know new people and have made new mates.

Physically I keep going because the stuff I am learning is both cool, the moves work and I want to be able to say yes I managed that, great! I really do want to learn the moves I am shown and I want to progress and get better at it. Plus I think I am getting fitter and certainly am a lot less stressed and feel a lot happier since I started aikido.

3) the personal benefits gained from training.
Mentally I am more happier and confident in myself and am more likely to try new things that would have seemed well out of my scope before (Like public speaking), but also more confident to try and sort out issues myself rather than let myself get dragged down. I am fitter , generally am much happier and have something to look forward to beside work and its also given me something to aim for. Definitely am not suicidal now which can partly be put down to me attending the classes, its a new interest, given me some respect both in myself and from others around me and esteem, the stuff we learn in class is cool, its knocked some discipline into me.

Basically its helped to give me the kick up the bum to change the parts of my life I was not happy about and helped me to explore a different side of me.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:04 PM   #13
Janet Rosen
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

Quote:
Jerry Teo wrote: View Post
This is part of a 3rd year dissertation in Applied psychology for Liverpool John Moores University, UK. Any information given will be regarded with the strictest confidentiality and any usernames will be omitted from the final write up. Participation is voluntary and by posting you agree that the information provided may be used in the study.Thanks again everyone
Wow. And you're allowed to do this w/o each participant signing their ok? In the USA that would never fly!

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:58 PM   #14
JRY
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

Thanks all, the feedback really is informative and helps alot.
I'll share why I started training later on as its almost 6am here and not sure why I'm not asleep yet!, but I am a student :P

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Wow. And you're allowed to do this w/o each participant signing their ok? In the USA that would never fly!
Hi Janet. I spoke to my Tutor about this and have had ethical approval to carry out my study. The method of data collection, which is via this forum, is an open source of information. I could just have easily used the already existing replies from other posts.
I have stated my reasons for asking the questions and will only use it for my write up. Also anyone who posts are posting willingly and allowing me to use that information. hmm.. hope this makes sense? :P

so... why do you train and.....
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:26 PM   #15
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

Quote:
Jerry Teo wrote: View Post
1)why Aikidokas start training,
2) why do they still train and
3) the personal benefits gained from training.
1) I started because a friend showed me aihanmi katatedori nikyo, and I was flabbergasted. It looked and felt like magic. I just had to try it.

2) I am still intrigued and inspired by it. I think the main reason I continue is because I still feel that I can get better at it. And it is still fascinating. Few things are, after 35 years of doing them regularly.

3) Oh, I would probably not move much at all, if I had not found this intriguing form of physical exercises. And my spirit, too, is continuously delighted. Training does a lot of good to my health, although that's not at all why I train.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:18 PM   #16
dps
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

1.) I wrestled in high school, was looking for judo, stumbled into Aikido not knowing what it was.

2.) It was a life changing experience for me. Can't get it out of my mind.

3.) Self defense, health, members of my family participate.


Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
. ...Oh, I would probably not move much at all, if I had not found this intriguing form of physical exercises....
Ditto.

David

Last edited by dps : 03-18-2008 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:14 AM   #17
grondahl
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

Quote:
Jerry Teo wrote: View Post
1)why Aikidokas start training,

2) why do they still train and

3) the personal benefits gained from training.
1: After a term at university I had not done any real physical exercise for almost a year and felt a need to start doing something.
A couple of friends had already decided to start aikido and was checking up on the local dojos, settling with the iwama style dojo less then 5 minutes from my apartment. I tagged along and liked the training.

2: I still suck. Sometimes training makes it feel like I suck a little bit less. Usually that feeling goes away really fast and I need to spend even more time practising to find it again.

3: Better coordination, physical endurance and a lots of beer with nice people that I never would have met otherwise after seminars. Aikido also opened my eyes to martial arts/sports in general wich have had me started doing some "light mixed martial arts" as a sidetrack to keep the fitness up.
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:04 PM   #18
Tony Nielsen
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Re: why do you train, why do you continue and benifits of training?

1. I had always wanted to get involved in Martial Arts of some kind and took some advice from a friend who is a black belt in Bushikan…"have a look at lots of Arts and see which one you feel most comfortable in"..I looked around, observed a few and knew instantly Aikido was for me. I observed my Sensei teach a class at a local dojo that has been around a good while (40+yrs) the instructor was/ is Henry Oshiro Sensei, the dojo is Orange County Aikikai. I was drawn to both his ability to convey the complex techniques and principles as well as his calmness and grace. I've since trained with other Sensei's at the dojo and have found them all to be outstanding. Once I accepted the fact that I would not learn these techniques overnight (w/ Oshiro Sensei's guidance) I have progressed at a good pace. Btw, I started at age 42.

2. I've never regretted a single day I've trained, but had days I've regretted not training.

3. I'm a more balanced person training in Aikido. Proper breathing, balance, and relaxation all are skills honed in the art. Funny thing is although the self defense aspect was a factor in starting; it's one of the last items I listed. Add to that the fact that Aikido is an art which can be practiced all your life. Confidence, fitness, (I get more of a workout in 2 hours of Aikido than when I run a 10k) improved health benefits, stress reduction and the ability to improve myself with a great group of mentors and friends are the personal benefits I gain from training in the art.
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