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Old 02-02-2005, 04:15 AM   #1
"mortaltortle"
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Anonymous User
I think I'm done with Aikido

Lots of people wonder about the reasons behind someone doing a fair bit of Aikido and then just dropping off the face of the planet and not going to class anymore. Maybe I can enlighten some of you because I am literally inches away from quitting.

To understand why and how I am ending my Aikido career you have to know how I began. I started out as a severly unhappy, overweight nerd with nothing in my life except my job and an interest in computers and videogames. I always had all kinds of inferiority complexes and other issues. I decided that Aikido is just the thing I need to get me out of this rut and for a good 2 years it did.

At first I approached Aikido in a couple of vastly "overdriven" ways, overhumble, over-sycophantic to the wise senior students and all-knowing sensei and over enthusiastic, afterall, this was all new and fresh and interesting.

I never knew how to fight and defend myself, well okay I knew how to throw a punch or kick someone but never understood the context wherein these actions become acceptable and even necessary, Aikido taught me this.

I never understood what it is like to live in a healthy, fit body and be able to at will flex and contract muscles that you never even knew you had, Aikido taught me this.

The problem is that I have outgrown it, whatever vacuum existed in my life that I felt had to be filled with Aikido has since been filled with a sense of self-worth, self-pride, self-confidence and a sense of purpose. In a way my life is now full and Aikido is nothing more to me than a fun diversion every once in a while, I dont take it as seriously anymore, I cant realy and I feel I am doing myself and my fellow students a disservice by only showing up once a week or so whenever I have the motivation to train Aikido.

A further issue I used to have is that my training in Aikido felt like it was towards some definite purpose, recently I started realising that whatever violent fantasies of me saving someone (while breaking a miscreant's limb or two) I had were just that, fantasies. The energy and intensity that I had while still serious about Aikido is probably better spent on something where I can actually "test my mettle" so to speak and get a good amount of feedback on any improvements I make and setbacks I encounter in my training. I feel strongly that grappling arts suit me just fine, infact, I enjoy grappling emmensely and love learning and then applying new holds and locks so I am hoping to start some grappling art soon.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:48 PM   #2
Don_Modesto
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Quote:
....I have outgrown it, whatever vacuum existed in my life that I felt had to be filled with Aikido has since been filled with a sense of self-worth, self-pride, self-confidence and a sense of purpose. In a way my life is now full....I feel strongly that grappling arts suit me just fine, infact, I enjoy grappling emmensely and love learning and then applying new holds and locks so I am hoping to start some grappling art soon.
Congratulations and good luck!

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 02-02-2005, 07:03 PM   #3
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Dear Anonymous,

Allow me to play the "devil's Advocate" for you.

Quote:
I started out as a severely unhappy, overweight nerd with nothing in my life except my job and an interest in computers and videogames. I always had all kinds of inferiority complexes and other issues. I decided that Aikido is just the thing I need to get me out of this rut and for a good 2 years it did….I never knew how to fight and defend myself, well okay I knew how to throw a punch or kick someone but never understood the context wherein these actions become acceptable and even necessary, Aikido taught me this. I never understood what it is like to live in a healthy, fit body and be able to at will flex and contract muscles that you never even knew you had, Aikido taught me this. .
Two years from a severely overweight, nerd with no concept of fighting to a fit body, lean mean warrior machine, great job dude! Rhetorically, exactly how much fat did you lose and how much muscle mass did you gain? Only from doing Aikido? You must have trained every day during those two years to burn up the calories like that. I mean I've been teaching Aikido for a while and I'll tell you that two years, coming to class 2-3 times a week, rarely would produce such results. And to top it off, you've really got to be on the ball to pick up and distill a lifetimes worth of knowledge in two years.

Quote:
The problem is that I have outgrown it, whatever vacuum existed in my life that I felt had to be filled with Aikido has since been filled with a sense of self-worth, self-pride, self-confidence and a sense of purpose. In a way my life is now full and Aikido is nothing more to me than a fun diversion every once in a while, I don't take it as seriously anymore…. A further issue I used to have is that my training in Aikido felt like it was towards some definite purpose, recently I started realizing that whatever violent fantasies of me saving someone (while breaking a miscreant's limb or two) I had were just that, fantasies. The energy and intensity that I had while still serious about Aikido is probably better spent on something where I can actually "test my mettle" so to speak and get a good amount of feedback on any improvements I make and setbacks I encounter in my training. I feel strongly that grappling arts suit me just fine, infact, I enjoy grappling emmensely and love learning and then applying new holds and locks so I am hoping to start some grappling art soon.
Aikido filled the void? And, now you have a feeling of self-worth, self-pride, self-confidence and a sense of purpose so you don't need Aikido anymore. Interesting, so, what is the purpose that you have this sense of? Want to "test your mettle" and perhaps get a few awards or trophies to put on the self? Since Aikido doesn't have competitions, you can't "test your mettle" by beating someone else. Perhaps you missed the point of "true victory, self victory". What will happen to your self-pride and self-worth, when you start to lose your mettle-testing competitions? The true path of Budo has nothing to do with external accolades. That is why Aikido is not too popular with people who need a whole lot of attention. There are no medals or trophies to display, only your practice and the continuation of your practice, until you cannot practice anymore.
Did you really out grow Aikido, or did you regress to a point where you realized that you can, with a little sweat and determination, have a healthy, fit body, and now you want to go back a re-live some of those things that you wished you could have done when you were younger, and fatter. Maybe score a little better with the "chicks" too, eh? If that is what you need, go get them and best of luck to you. But, one word of caution, we (human beings) are the best in the world at self-delusion. Don't worry too much though, Aikido folks are generally very forgiving, so I'm sure the door will still be open for you if you ever decide to grow up…….
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Old 02-02-2005, 07:11 PM   #4
PeterR
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Wanting to test the mettle is just fine. Go for it.

You've decided Aikido isn't for you - also fine. Enjoy your next adventure.

One question.

Quote:
I feel strongly that grappling arts suit me just fine, infact, I enjoy grappling emmensely and love learning and then applying new holds and locks so I am hoping to start some grappling art soon.
How do you know when you haven't done any.

Thinks everyone should explore outside their own art and that it takes time to find what your own art actually is.

PS I test my mettle in Aikido all the time.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-02-2005, 07:31 PM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Bow respectfully as you leave the mat. We bow back and wish you well on your journey.

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 02-02-2005, 07:48 PM   #6
Greg Jennings
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Outgrown aikido in two years? Don't let the doorknob hit you in the butt on the way out.

Greg Jennings
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Old 02-02-2005, 08:12 PM   #7
NagaBaba
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Judo or BJJ looks like good choice. Once you got broken and hurt permanently(it will happen, don't worry!), don't forget to come say hello to your first aikido instructor
You know, etiquette thing.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 02-02-2005, 08:44 PM   #8
danae oaks
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

thats great if you want to stop and or try somthing new for a change. i have to admit bjj is ausome and i to love grappling but make sure its what you really want.i kinda know how you feel because i to felt i wanted to quit and so did my friends and they did leave.i stayed for some weird reason and its been a year and a half since then.i to started screwing around with it and tryed to have fun with it.and by the way martial arts tought me courage ,confedence,and changed my life i dont know what i would of done without it.but some were in that span of time i learned a great deal of its true art and learned some things that i cant explain and maybe with you to ,your just not being chalanged.also the hole nerd and over weight thing ,that was how my instructor started and actually hated martial arts.but its differint for everyone and maybe aikido wasnt right for you or maybe it was the manner in wich you were tought.ill tell you im a mixed martial artist thats why i cant tell you im aikido because thats just one of many diff. styles im learning.so good luck on your way just make sure because some things can get bad before they get better.
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Old 02-02-2005, 08:54 PM   #9
DaveO
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

To everyone responding negatively, to each his own! What one finds in one thing may not be what another finds. Anonymous found in aikido a way to help him get fit, find purpose and gain interest in physical activity - I think that's great! If he chooses not to follow aikido now; let him find enjoyment wherever he sees fit. It was a fine post and I for one wish him well.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 02-02-2005, 09:40 PM   #10
aikidoc
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Perhaps aikido was just not the art for you. However, the one question I have is how can you outgrow something you can't possibly understand in just 2 years?
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Old 02-02-2005, 09:44 PM   #11
PeterR
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Perhaps he was just talking about the "need" Aikido supplied for him - not Aikido per se.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-02-2005, 09:50 PM   #12
Janet Rosen
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Perhaps aikido was just not the art for you. However, the one question I have is how can you outgrow something you can't possibly understand in just 2 years?
I am not him, but sometimes in my life I have been a serious beginner in (insert whatever) for months or years, and realized that I'd gotten from it *what I could at that time*, that it was no longer compelling to me or speaking to me and it was time to move on.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 02-02-2005, 10:30 PM   #13
Huker
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

By the sounds of your post, you've already made up your mind about the whole thing. I regret to see someone turn from an art geared to peace for one that is probably geared to conflict, but I wish you luck and hope for your return.
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Old 02-02-2005, 10:42 PM   #14
PeterR
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Quote:
Tanner Hukezalie wrote:
By the sounds of your post, you've already made up your mind about the whole thing. I regret to see someone turn from an art geared to peace for one that is probably geared to conflict, but I wish you luck and hope for your return.
Well that is a huge assumption - reeking of pretension.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:05 PM   #15
CNYMike
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

[ton of bricks]
Quote:
..... The problem is that I have outgrown it, whatever vacuum existed in my life that I felt had to be filled with Aikido has since been filled with a sense of self-worth, self-pride, self-confidence and a sense of purpose. In a way my life is now full and Aikido is nothing more to me than a fun diversion every once in a while, I dont take it as seriously anymore ......
And what's wrong with doing something because it's a "fun diversion"? People are having heart attacks, strokes, and nervous breakdowns because they DON'T have enough "fun diversions."

Quote:
..... I used to have is that my training in Aikido felt like it was towards some definite purpose, recently I started realising that whatever violent fantasies of me saving someone (while breaking a miscreant's limb or two) I had were just that, fantasies. The energy and intensity that I had while still serious about Aikido is probably better spent on something where I can actually "test my mettle" so to speak and get a good amount of feedback on any improvements I make and setbacks I encounter in my training. I feel strongly that grappling arts suit me just fine, infact, I enjoy grappling emmensely and love learning and then applying new holds and locks so I am hoping to start some grappling art soon.
UFC, here we come!


One final thought:

There are people who have done Aikido fo 40, 50, or 60 years, and they still feel they are just getting the hang of it. The same goes for people in other martial arts. Something to consider when thinking that you've learned all you can after two.
[/ton of bricks]
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:37 PM   #16
altered_carbon
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

it's all one big TROLL.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:44 PM   #17
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Did you mean "I've outgrown my previous need for something like Aikido"?
Good on you: it takes some self-awareness to see that.

Outgrowing aikido itself is another animal altogether.
Most of us struggle to even understand it, let alone outgrow it. You should write a book.
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Old 02-03-2005, 01:26 AM   #18
Bradence
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

It's interesting that we feel the need to respond to someone saying that aikido is easy or that a person's energy could be better spent on something else. It's interesting that there is a temptation to view such a statement as an attack or a foolish choice. I completely understand the impulse because I feel it as well, but I also feel that this impulse is an indication that I am trying to convince myself, at least partially, that the study of Aikido is a worthwhile endeavour. If I truly believed this and was self-assured then I could answer like Mr. Modesto and Mr. Seiser.

I hope to one day have the experience and confidence to share in this belief.

Brad
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Old 02-03-2005, 01:34 AM   #19
PeterR
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Well I did three years of Nippon Kempo and got a lot out of it. More fit, more confident and even more dates (for a science geek that is a major plus). But I grew out of it. My needs changed and after a little more experimentation finally settled on Aikido.

Those giving Anon a hard time could easily say the same thing about me and anyone else whose journey to Aikido was a bit convoluted. To those who are critical and have done Aikido and only Aikido - I say you need to get out more.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-03-2005, 01:54 AM   #20
happysod
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Anon, nice post, thanks for the info and good luck with your next project.
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Old 02-03-2005, 06:52 AM   #21
Nick P.
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

1-To each their own
2-Some would say that now that there is no goal in your training that the true learning can commence.

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Old 02-03-2005, 08:26 AM   #22
SeiserL
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

I once asked, what do you do if someone lets go of the grab. The answer was, there is no attack so move on.

If he has made his choice, which is his right, why are we still holding hold. What in us will not accept that different people think differently, decide differently, and make different choices?

IMHO, it depends the goals you set. Once you meet those goals, you have outgrown the pursuit and move on or you set new and higher goals and move on. It sounds like for his needs and wants, once met, he has outgrown his need for Aikido.

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 02-03-2005, 09:26 AM   #23
bryce_montgomery
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

I second what Seiser Sensei said...

Good luck Anon...

Bryce
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Old 02-03-2005, 10:37 AM   #24
kironin
 
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

Quote:
I started out as a severly unhappy, overweight nerd with nothing in my life except my job and an interest in computers and videogames. I always had all kinds of inferiority complexes and other issues. I decided that Aikido is just the thing I need to get me out of this rut and for a good 2 years it did.
...
I never knew how to fight and defend myself, well okay I knew how to throw a punch or kick someone but never understood the context wherein these actions become acceptable and even necessary, Aikido taught me this.

I never understood what it is like to live in a healthy, fit body and be able to at will flex and contract muscles that you never even knew you had, Aikido taught me this.

Wonderful, can I use this endorsement in Aikido advertisements ?

as to Aikido being a gateway drug to budo, fine, move on.

we all go through phases in life. I am glad Aikido helped you.

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Old 02-03-2005, 10:41 AM   #25
NixNa
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Re: I think I'm done with Aikido

I did leave Aikido before and returned. Leaving it now doesnt mean you wont come back to it again. So have fun and try as many arts as u like, its always good to cross train. Someday we hope to see u back on the Aiki path again, cheers
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