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Old 08-23-2000, 06:03 AM   #1
Silver Tiger
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I'm 28 and have no prior martial arts experience. After doing some research, I found Aikido the most attractive MA because it appears to be challenging and promotes a general philosophy I agree with. Now I'm just wondering how older beginners generally fare in class. Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?
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Old 08-23-2000, 06:31 AM   #2
Alex-hv
Dojo: Nisshin-kan Aikido
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Quote:
Silver Tiger wrote:
I'm 28 and have no prior martial arts experience. After doing some research, I found Aikido the most attractive MA because it appears to be challenging and promotes a general philosophy I agree with. Now I'm just wondering how older beginners generally fare in class. Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?
I was 24 years old. And now I'm not the worst one (I hope).
P.S. Am I too humble?

Alex
________
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Old 08-23-2000, 06:45 AM   #3
Pete
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Talking

I am 29 and began Aikido about 5 months ago with no prior MA training!! In some ways that is a bonus as you don't have ingrained habits of a long studied art to get out of.

I am the oldest beginner in my dojo by about 4 or so years as far as I know. But then I am one of only 2 no kyu beginners in the whole club that I know of.

Don't worry about your age!! Enjoy the path you have chosen and the friends you are making!! After all you have plenty of time to learn it!!


Pete

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Old 08-23-2000, 09:55 AM   #4
Kevin
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Smile

Hey,

I started when I was only, um, let me see, um, oh yeh, I was a nine. I am 14 now. If your dojo offers children classes, ofcourse children started earlier. Age doesn't really make a difference. Since a I am kid, many adult have lapped me in rankings. I am not talking about adults who were there when I started but the newer adults. Don't worry about all that stuff. I really don't care about the idea that an adult is lapping me. I just like to train. Learn new stuff. Gain new knowledge.

Kevin
http://www.aikidouniverse.com
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Old 08-23-2000, 10:17 AM   #5
akiy
 
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Quote:
Silver Tiger wrote:
Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?
No, but I think it helps to start earlier, just as in pretty much any other endeavor.

One person I met started when she was 12, received her shodan at 16, her nidan at 18, and is now 5th dan in her mid-thirties. Another person started at 18 and is now 6th dan twenty years later. George Leonard sensei started aikido when he was 47 years old and thirty years later, he's now 5th dan. All three of these folks are fun to train with and know a heck of a lot more than I do.

-- Jun

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Old 08-23-2000, 10:45 AM   #6
Kristina Morris
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I started Aikido when I was just shy of 43 years old, and now I'm 50. I don't do Aikido very well, but I enjoy doing it as well as I can.

Kristina
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Old 08-23-2000, 11:32 AM   #7
rch
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I just started!

I just started my training a few weeks ago. I'm 25 here, about to hit 26 in Sept. (eek!)

I did train in TKD when I was around 11-12, but I haven't retained much of it. Hmm, and it seems that the things I have retained, doesn't work well with what I'm doing now.

If someone wants to learn something, no matter age, they simply need to open their minds and let it in.

-Rob
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Old 08-23-2000, 12:00 PM   #8
Bruce E
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I was 41 when I started 1 1/2 years ago. While I have no delusions of ever becoming one of the dojo's "Gumby Boys", flexability is improving. Maybe one day my left ankle will come to accept, if not enjoy, seiza!
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Old 08-23-2000, 12:04 PM   #9
Suru
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Ai symbol

I am 21 years old, and I began aikido about a year and a half ago. I think I'll be doing aikido for the long haul, as it's become a significant part of my life. I just took about a month off, and my spirit-mind is suffering as a result. Aikido helps tremendously in keeping me feeling healthy, so I know I better get myself back in the dojo soon!!

--Drew
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Old 08-23-2000, 04:13 PM   #10
DJM
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Smile

I started originally when I was about 20, stopped for 4 years or so, then re-started in April this year (now 25). Sure I regret, now, not having spent those 4 years practicing Aikido - but, since it's a long road, those 4 years won't matter quite so much by the time I reach the end..
At least I hope so

Peace,
David

Sunset Shimmering,
On Water, Placid and Calm,
A Fish Touches Sky
--
David Marshall
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Old 08-23-2000, 04:32 PM   #11
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I was fortunate to have a strong early influence by a Japanese-American surrogate father who started me on judo when I was six. I changed to another teacher when I was about 10 and have continued to practice. I first saw aikido in 1964 and began to practice seriously in 1968 and have continued to practice. My practice during my teenage years and early twenties included karatedo, tai chi,and hsing-i. I was promoted to shodan in judo, karatedo, and jujutsu in 1964-65. I gave up striking arts and for the last 30 years have concentrated on judo, aikido, and since 1981 Shinto Muso Ryu Jo.

Without budo and Zen training, I would most likely be dead or in prison. Thanks to all who have helped along the way!

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
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Old 08-23-2000, 08:36 PM   #12
joan
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how old is old, anyway? I started training at 32 when I was in "good" shape, trained very intensely for 7 years, then took 5 years more or less off. I returned this past summer in no particular shape at the age of 44. I think mental attitude is the most important aspect--if you are determined to make it happen, it will. Our dojo is affiliated with a university so we get regular influxes of young, very flexible bodies, with less frequent older beginners... Part of the joy of training is to adapt technique to all of them--and to figure out how to get this body to do what it thinks it saw demonstrated. The other joy of training is to help the other, newbie or old pro, do the same. Enjoy yourself!
Joan
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Old 08-24-2000, 02:02 PM   #13
Yo-Jimbo
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Lightbulb where is the poll?

This topic would make a good poll. Say 5 or 10 yr. windows, shouldn't mix the two, it messes up the histogram. I suggest:
<10
five or ten year increments
>80
Me? I was 18 when I started and am 27 now. The only previous training I had was 6 months of wrestling. I've done a little X-training here on campus, but aikido is my one true love.

"One does not find wisdom in another's words." -James D. Chye
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Old 08-24-2000, 02:13 PM   #14
Nick
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Quote:
Silver Tiger wrote:
I'm 28 and have no prior martial arts experience. After doing some research, I found Aikido the most attractive MA because it appears to be challenging and promotes a general philosophy I agree with. Now I'm just wondering how older beginners generally fare in class. Do you have to start when your five years old to develop the "right stuff" for MA?

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 08-24-2000, 02:14 PM   #15
Nick
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Age shouldn't matter any more than race, gender, etc... when a person comes to train, give them the same consideration that was (hopefully) given to you when you first stumbled onto the mat...

-Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 08-25-2000, 12:52 PM   #16
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Hi Nick, here's a question aimed primarily at you and some of the other younger members: i was struck by the thought of a 16 year old shodan, even an 18 year old nidan that Jun mentioned. I think a teenager would have no problem with the technical skill (and i'm sure be great at the ukemi); you seem like you do a lot of reading and thinking on the subject; do you feel at 16 you would know enough about how you (and others) think and feel, to truely be at the level of personal development i would think goes with shodan?
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Old 08-25-2000, 01:26 PM   #17
Chuck Clark
 
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For goodness sake!

Shodan means "first grade"...it's like coming out of grade school with the basic tools to learn and practice. It means that you are beginning to be acknowledged as capable of being a serious student. A shodan should have developed responsibility for their practice and actions.

In the US many people expect shodan to be capable to lead and teach on their own. In the past this was necessary, but not now. There is plenty of talented experienced sandan around.

I have seen many young people with the necessary maturity and skill to be graded shodan at 16 years of age. (Especially if they have grown up in the practice and had lots of good examples of mature budoka)

Shodan is just a beginning.



[Edited by Chuck Clark on August 25, 2000 at 01:31pm]

Chuck Clark
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Old 08-25-2000, 04:51 PM   #18
Nick
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Quote:
ca wrote:
Hi Nick, here's a question aimed primarily at you and some of the other younger members: i was struck by the thought of a 16 year old shodan, even an 18 year old nidan that Jun mentioned. I think a teenager would have no problem with the technical skill (and i'm sure be great at the ukemi); you seem like you do a lot of reading and thinking on the subject; do you feel at 16 you would know enough about how you (and others) think and feel, to truely be at the level of personal development i would think goes with shodan?
That is a very good question-

To be honest, I'm not sure. I've matured a lot especially since I started Aikido- and as chuck said, shodan is a beginning. The real question here is are people my age really ready to begin?

In my opinion, for the most part, no. At 15 or 16, perhaps. I know quite a few people (my older brother included) who got their shodan at 16 and truly deserved it, and others with even kyu ranks they don't show readiness for.

I'd like to think I'll have the mental capacity to start others on the path if/when I get my shodan (whenever that is), but until then, I'm happy to strap on my white belt.

Kanpai,

-Nick

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Old 08-25-2000, 08:38 PM   #19
Chocolateuke
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I am 15 and started when I was 13 and am still training and hoping to train for the rest of my life. I am a 5 kyu so I figure 3 more years of keeping it up to par and Ill see myself ready to train harder
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Old 08-25-2000, 09:31 PM   #20
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Thanks Nick and Chocolatuke (did i get the spelling right?)---you both seem very dedicated to Aikido from your messages. Clark Sensei, i don't think there was anything in my note to these young men that implied i thought they should be able to teach at reaching shodan; i think we would all agree that shodan in a beginning. But a beginning that takes preparation (or we'd all start as shodan, not 'no-kyu'); and certain ages are more ready to begin certain things than others (although there is always an exception). For instance, driving a car, voting, enlisting in the military, getting married. sometimes having lived a little helps in understanding...sometimes not. I know that i see things very differently now than i did ten or twenty years ago, and my perception of things as a child and teenager is very different from how i see things as an adult (or how i saw things as a young adult). The fact that Nick is able to understand the question as meaning is he old enough to begin to study says a lot right there. i've heard that there are schools that have minimum ages for dan testing (could be wrong in my memory of this)---if so, they must have a reason. (note i did not say a good reason or bad reason).
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Old 08-26-2000, 02:41 AM   #21
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I started when I was 22 yrs old and previous MA, I really wanted to start early but my parents preferred that I be more proficient in sports instead of MA, then when I started to work and earned my own money the first thing I did was to look for a dojo near my office then I signed up. Now I'm 24 and enjoying every bit of my training .


-Adrian

"Masakatsu Agatsu"
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Old 08-26-2000, 01:57 PM   #22
Nick
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Quote:
ca wrote:
i've heard that there are schools that have minimum ages for dan testing (could be wrong in my memory of this)---if so, they must have a reason. (note i did not say a good reason or bad reason).
Some schools have them and test often, some schools don't have them and don't test often.

Then of course, there's the dojo that tests as often as possible for the money and... oh, don't get me started there...

I do, however, think that (good) MA is good for children. By 'good' I mean a place that will make them do more than pay their dues to advance them- any sort of art, chado, kado, kenjutsu, aikido, whatever- the idea is not to fight, and don't we need that more these days?

Sorry, just started thinking about it (and thinking is dangerous for me ).

Ja,

-Nick

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Old 08-26-2000, 04:36 PM   #23
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According to the documentation I have from Aikikai Hombu Dojo, one must be at least 15 years old for shodan. At least one year must have passed since then with 200 training days for nidan. Two years after that and 300 training days, one can test for sandan. Two years and 300 training days must pass before yondan.

-- Jun

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Old 08-26-2000, 05:10 PM   #24
Nick
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I agree with that method, but I also think that they should judge the individual by his waza and attitude, not his age...

I'm sorry, I'm prejudiced in this matter because of the amount I've been judged and setback because of my age...

Thanks for letting me act grumpy,

-Nick

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Old 08-26-2000, 10:44 PM   #25
Chocolateuke
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I think age limits are good in 1 way they provide a time to make and end a goal. like lets say i am 1 kyu ( I am not but hehhe ) and I am 14 or 15 and I have to be 16 to take my shodan test I can make a goal to improve on my tori or whatever than if I could be a shodan when ever because it is at any given moment the teacher might give the test and u might not be ready because u have been slacking and not focusing on any thing because u are sure that it will come later and u dont give a care int eh worls but u if u had a goal u might work harder. I might be wrong and people are diff I try to study to the best of my abilitys and try to allways improve.

but then again teachers dont test unless u are ready. ( this does not apply to school they test u everyday now what is a noun?)
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