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Old 02-05-2003, 09:55 AM   #1
Location: Miami, FL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 453
Being in shape

What do you all do to keep in shape for Aikido? Cardiovascular training? Do you watch your diet? How bad is smoking and drinking if you want to be in shape?

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Old 02-05-2003, 10:05 AM   #2
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 188
Aikido 5-6 times a week is what keeps me in shape (a somewhat round shape). I donīt follow a special diet, but I donīt smoke and I donīt drink regularly (a beer or tequila shot once in a while).
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Old 02-05-2003, 10:16 AM   #3
Ta Kung
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 237
I can't/won't speak for anyone else, but I keep in shape by going to a gym and I also swim a lot. And Aikido practise also does the body good.

Smoking and drinking is bad for you, but what isn't these days? We go out for a drink a few times a month and sometimes less. We usually have a blast. No harm in that.
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Old 02-05-2003, 10:48 AM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
I don't smoke or drink.

I bike to work year round --- there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.

Besides mat time, here's how things look....

Right now:

Strength training --- Singles and Doubles

Yoga --- for about 3 months now

Come spring, I'll change things. By summer, things will change again.


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Old 02-05-2003, 05:19 PM   #5
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
I don't think there is anything mysterious or obscure about what constitutes being in shape for your own purposes. Can you participate in Aikido or whatever activity you want, as much as you want, without chronic injury problems or lacking fitness attributes interfering with your training? If yes, then you are in good enough shape for your own Aikido needs. Since Aikido is not competition oriented and everyone has different goals and purposes for practicing, there is no stock answer, you have to look carefully at your own desires and experience. As for any particular variable such as diet, smoking, drinking, etc..., the only real way to know is to experiment on yourself, not appeal to others for anecdotes or opinions. Try training for protracted periods with and without whatever element is in question and observe the differences.

Personally, I currently strength train more for the experience itself, and to reach aesthetic/bodybuilding goals related to appearing credible as an athletic trainer. I feel like in most ways I am in more than good enough shape for the amount of Aikido practice available to me now. Nonetheless, I have not become superhuman, as I am currently recovering from a nasty 'groin pull' - my first such injury in almost 2 years.

I train full-body weight/bodyweight workouts twice per week - one heavy day and one volume day, each with 6 or less total exercises, lasting less than an hour total. Nothing fancy. I also do HIIT twice per week and 2 or 3 20-minute continuous run/jumprope sessions per month to maintain endurance. I have never smoked tobacco, as the habit seems about as appealing to me as copography. I drink varyingly, but what averages to about 2 beers per day.
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Old 02-14-2003, 11:18 AM   #6
John Boswell
John Boswell's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland, Texas
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 597
I'd highly recommend anyone still smoking and trying to do Aikido to STOP SMOKING !! I had quit for a while and about 3 months into Aikido, had a bad day and picked up the habit again. Next thing I know, I'm so out of breath I could barely do my rolls much less 2 hours worth of training a night!

So, over the holidays, I managed to quit again. (By the way, Nicoderm (c) patch really helps!) I've been a couple months of not smoking and I'm feeling much better. I don't get short of breath as much as I did and I get my breath back after a hard work out faster.

If you don't smoke, don't start.

If you do, stop. Its not easy, but if you find a step-down program with gum or patch or something and FOLLOW IT, plus tell everyone you know that you are quiting (they will help you with peer-preassure) you'll be on your way to a better life and healthier one.

Plus, you don't stink of smoke anymore! I can't stand the smell anymore! Even though my girlfriend still smokes, I don't let her smoke bother me. She's just too good lookin!

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Old 02-18-2003, 05:56 PM   #7
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 49
Diet: Vegan

Aerobic: Bicycle to/from work daily (about 20 minutes each way)

Anerobic: Pushups, crunches daily

Mat Practice: 3-4 times a week, 2 hours
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Old 02-19-2003, 02:07 AM   #8
PhilJ's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Bukou
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 240
John Boswell wrote:
I'd highly recommend anyone still smoking and trying to do Aikido to STOP SMOKING !!
I smoked for 12 years, 11 of which I was training in aikido. After that time in training, you start to understand the ramifications of smoking not only on your practice and your body, but on other things as well. But it isn't impossible to smoke and train aikido; just less fun. (And guys: I love smoking, as much as you can imagine)

However, a simultaneous bout of pneumonia and Norwalk virus prompted me to quit -- vomiting and literally gasping for your next breath is not fun. I quit and will never smoke again.

Aikido gave me a tremendous edge in quitting smoking. Using aiki to quit (with patches and gum) really made the difference.

BTW, to generalize, I found that as I used weight training to balance my body's muscles, my physical balance improved greatly. Interesting.


Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
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Old 02-22-2003, 12:24 AM   #9
Mark Burns
Location: central california
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12
i am in highscool and i must keep in the best shape a blackbelt can be in.

some people may find this weird but i actually wear weights under my clothes sometimes!

it is annoying though. we had a presentation with martial artists and i was in it so now every one walks upto me and calls me karate man.

they respect me now though because there is a gang that gets together afterscool and does gang stuff. well i was walkin by and they started making fun of me. i just ignored them untill one attacked me.i didn't want to but i had to use a nikkyo. now i am thankful i do all that training
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Old 02-22-2003, 12:28 AM   #10
Mark Burns
Location: central california
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12
oh. and by the way .

ive been looking for a cheap nyet affordable bokken .

i you know were i can get one contact me

im simpsonbuff@hotmail.com
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Old 02-22-2003, 12:29 AM   #11
Mark Burns
Location: central california
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12
oh yeah and i have a funny site that i made a couple years back. it is a

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Old 02-24-2003, 10:27 AM   #12
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Try this page Academy of Karate, Martial Arts Supply.

You can get a red oak bokken (they call it a daito) for $6.45, a "black hardwood" bokken for $8, or a white oak bokken for $16. Bear in mind however that if you get a 7 or 8 dollar bokken then that is exactly what you get....a 7 or 8 dollar bokken. It's fine for form/kata work but I wouldn't make a lot of contact with other weapons.

Actually if you want or need to stay on the cheap side you can get yourself completely outfitted with a red oak bokken, jo (they call it a "50 bo), tanto and case for around $33 before shipping.


"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 02-25-2003, 10:15 PM   #13
Mark Burns
Location: central california
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12
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Old 03-05-2003, 10:46 AM   #14
Joseph Huebner
Joseph Huebner's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo / Battle Creek, MI
Location: Hastings, Michigan
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 46
My wife and I bought a Bowflex to help with my rehab after chemo. I use it 3-4 times a week. This, along with attending Aikido class as much as possible (2-3 times a week) is helping get me back in shape.

I went from a pre-cancer weight of 230, to an emaciated 160 and lost alot of muscle tone. After chemo, I ballooned to 285, if not more. I am now down to 235, seeking an ideal weight of 210. Even though it has been 5 years since my treatments, I am still dealing with physical limitations regarding my coordination. I had a lesion in my brain, and like a stroke, my left side was affected. Similar to stroke patients I am learning to re-wire my brain, so to speak. I have made awesome progress, to see me today you would have never known that at one time I had this or any other health issues.

Then I started Aikido. Wow! In this short time I have found that my progress is not as advanced as I thought! This is very encouraging, however. I've been at it a month, and I have noticed that some areas are improving already. Now, if I could get my doctor to prescribe Aikido as therapy...

Joseph Huebner

If you think you can, you will. If you think you won't, you're right.
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Old 03-10-2003, 01:05 AM   #15
Jermaine Alley
Dojo: Aikido Of Richmond
Location: Richmond, VA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 63
Working Out.......


I don't know how you are built..but i usually do a routine of "Ups" to keep me in shape. Push, pull and sit-ups in the morning when my feet hit the floor, and before i go to bed at night.

I try to incorporate them in the classes that i teach, but some of our senior udansha don't like to spend a lot of time on doing them, but that is another posting.

Try to get in the groove with something and stick to it. That is the hardest thing to do now a days..

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Old 03-28-2003, 04:02 PM   #16
Rob Coote
Dojo: Alberta Aikido Tenshinkai
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10
Sorry I had to post this, but I am overweight, and I smoke, and I drink heavily, and I still have a blast at Aikido, and like to think I am actually learning it and becoming somewhat skilled.

It's pretty funny actually because my Sensei tells me I land on the mats like a B-52 with no landing gear. He likes to use me as an example of a "bigger" uke.

Children cry, birds scatter, and seismologists record shifting strata when I do breakfalls.

It's a good morale boost to our younger learners to toss me across the dojo when they have performed a technique correctly!

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Old 03-28-2003, 08:33 PM   #17
Location: West Yorks and Merseyside, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 170
United Kingdom
I stopped smoking and started Aikido roughly at the same time, although those two were not connected. By not eating properly and working nightshifts I got myself gastritis, so every drag of a cigarette caused pain. My doctor prescribed me Niquitine patches; six weeks and I was completely off nicotine. Of course, getting rid of the pain was the greatest stimulus!

I don't miss it at all. Never have, not a single time. I do say it sometimes as a joke only, I could do with a smoke, but this is only a joke. I can't describe how good it feels to be off nicotine! A few people mentioned various advantages of not smoking. Applied to Aikido practice, it takes less time to recover and catch your breath.

When I stopped smoking I started drinking probably trying to substitute one addiction with another, and obviously I gained a bit of weight, and it took me some time to loose it; I've still got to work on it. I may have a drink once a week (after training, actually ) but no more than a two - three pints.

Some people say that Aikido practice doesn't make you fit. I read another opinion that rolls and breakfalls strengthen the muscles of abdomen and does something to internal organs as well. My personal opinion on this is it depends on the intensity of your training. Do four or five katas non-stop (especially as uke) and you don't need a gym I find intense training now a lot easier than it was six months ago.

And how about grading for shodan? Under IABC, apart from shodan katas the panel may request (and I believe they do) all other katas from previous kyus. Add to that the fact that you will probably have to be someone's uke. You've got to be fit to do all this! So, yes, it helps to quit smoking.
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