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Old 05-14-2005, 11:10 AM   #1
"White Pyjama Shuffle"
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Straight Face I thought I was done with Aikido...

I unintentionally quit Aikido last December (I was expecting to take a break over the new year not stop training entirely) and for a while was quite happy with that decision. I had more time to myself, more money to go out, didn't have to put up with the macho idiots and immature brats of my dojo. It was pretty cool!

Now I'm starting to realise how much I miss it. The joy of training after being stuck in front of a computer screen all day, the body condition (my abs aren't what they used to be) and looking forward to the one day I get to execute that perfect Yokomen Shiho Nage without getting lost mid-technique!

I recently got a message through a friend from one of my instructors wanting to remind me that the door is always open for people to return. But is it really as easy as all that? Can I really just walk back into class after 5 months and get on with it?

I know I loved the training and especially the quality of the teaching, but my memories get tainted with that generic pesky Uke aka wannabe Mini-Sensei who MUST stop you every five minutes to tell you what you're doing wrong and then dramatically falls over like a sack of potatoes to prove his point was correct.

I really have to enjoy something to keep wanting to go back and continue it and I must have done to have been there for three years in the first place. It's just, after not having to deal with that collective Uke for so long, I really, really don't want to again.

I'll leave this open for discussion because aside from "like it: go back and put up with it or lump it: don't" there really isn't a painless, straight forward solution.

It would be interesting to hear how anyone else felt going back to training after an extended break.

Missing the White Pyjama Shuffle
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Old 05-16-2005, 11:15 PM   #2
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
Location: Cortland, NY
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

Quote:
..... I recently got a message through a friend from one of my instructors wanting to remind me that the door is always open for people to return. But is it really as easy as all that? Can I really just walk back into class after 5 months and get on with it?
Yes.

Quote:
I know I loved the training and especially the quality of the teaching, but my memories get tainted with that generic pesky Uke aka wannabe Mini-Sensei who MUST stop you every five minutes to tell you what you're doing wrong and then dramatically falls over like a sack of potatoes to prove his point was correct.

I really have to enjoy something to keep wanting to go back and continue it and I must have done to have been there for three years in the first place. It's just, after not having to deal with that collective Uke for so long, I really, really don't want to again.
Look at it this way: When someone makes corrections like that, they are trying to help you, not annoy you. So don't let it annoy you.

Quote:
I'll leave this open for discussion because aside from "like it: go back and put up with it or lump it: don't" there really isn't a painless, straight forward solution.
Well, you just anticipated my answer! But at the end of the day, the only real reason for sticking with martial arts is out of love for and enjoyment of the martial arts. There's no other reason for putting yourself through all this rigmarole! No matter how you justify it -- self defense, discipline, fitness, cultural preservation and transmission -- if you hate it there's no point to it.

Quote:
It would be interesting to hear how anyone else felt going back to training after an extended break.

Missing the White Pyjama Shuffle
Exhausted. Just trust me on this one.
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Old 05-16-2005, 11:44 PM   #3
MikeLogan
 
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

I'll agree with mike, I met him at the ithaca seminar, April 2nd of this year. An indefatigable chap. I had to go without aikido from aug 2004 until january this year. I could hardly wait, and now I'm nearly back into a nice, dense, and regular schedule.

How long were you gone? Plus you can always road trip and meet other ukes. You might see the devil you know is better than the one you don't!

mike. L.
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Old 05-16-2005, 11:55 PM   #4
RebeccaM
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

I was not able to train regularly from my sophomore year of college until I graduated. You know that blissful, relieved, can't get enough feeling you get when you're very very thirsty and someone hands you a pitcher of ice water? That's how it felt to get back on the mats.
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:01 AM   #5
Jeff Sodeman
Dojo: San Diego Jiai Aikido
Location: San Diego
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

Just my opinion:

Even after a long break, after a few days back you and everyone else will forget you ever left.

Technique is part of what we learn in our time on the mat. Of more use to most of us in our daily lives though, is learning to deal with those people and situations we don't like or aren't comfortable with on the mat.

Sometimes it's accepting , sometimes it's blending , and sometimes it's standing for yourself - there's appropriate times for all of those. It's not the most fun, but when you can carry that from the dojo to dealing with people at work, family, etc you're really learning the way of harmony.

The mini-instructors on the mat are just a part of training and we've all had to deal with them (I've heard it called 3rd Kyu Syndrome). And like Mike said they usually have the best of intentions.

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Old 05-17-2005, 09:23 AM   #6
"Anon"
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

I was out for 4-5 years. Stopped because I loathed the sensei and the tone he set for the dojo. Was essentially limited to taking two classes per week (morning) if I wanted to avoid his temper tantrums - always at other people, but disturbing and ridiculous none the less. Lost all respect, and as such had to leave (he wasn't going anywhere). Finally found another dojo with a great atmosphere and a much roomier sense of aikido. Always missed it while out - sensei had a group of senior students call up defectors to tell them they should come back, the dojo was changing etc. Bulls***. As long as the great 2-year old was there, I simply could not go back. So make sure you can stand the same-old same-old if that's what you're going back to, or find another dojo.
You definitely can go back to aikido (dojo is another question), and if you truly miss it, it will be one of the best things you can do for yourself.
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:50 AM   #7
Aragorn
Dojo: Aikido of Marin
Location: California
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

4-5 years is a long time... But you have a good reason for leaving... When did you start looking for another dojo?
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Old 06-06-2005, 09:23 AM   #8
"Anon"
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

Just so happened I got a new job, with a dojo 3 blocks away. Too good to ignore, and turned out to be great. They have noon classes every day, so I can go during lunch. Had been going to the gym in the meantime, but that didn't really "fill the void". I have been back at Aikido for a year now and love it.
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Old 06-06-2005, 01:54 PM   #9
Brian Vickery
Dojo: Aiki-Buken Aikido
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
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Thumbs down Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

Quote:
It would be interesting to hear how anyone else felt going back to training after an extended break.
...although I have not taken an extended break, I know MANY students that have done so, some of them gone for years, and have come back & rejoined the dojo. So, this is more common than you might have realized. To tell you the truth, it's really nice to have these folks come back, because their company & friendship were truly missed!

...just give it a try & see what happens!

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:48 PM   #10
ElizabethCastor
 
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

White PJ Shuffle...

It sounds like you really enjoyed your practice... I have recently delt with an overly full schedule and had to make some crucial decisions and cut out some of my favorite activities. Aikido wasn't one of them but my guitar was. Been gone for 4 months and 3 weeks... BIG ouch.

The initial relief I felt was great and it let me breathe and relax. Now, I'm in your shoes and trying to get back into my lessons. I've found that my desire to "get back in it" far outweighs the stresses that causes me to leave it behind.

I hear from you that selfsame longing for your practice. I say go for it! You didn't mention the unforseen thing that stopped you from practicing... I assume that it wasn't the Senseis Jr.. If when you get back you're still uncomfortable with your old dojo you have options... you can explore other dojos a little or you could just stop again. No biggie. Better that you have this certain knowledge than the unsure "should I" questions that could become regrets later.

You are always welcome in aiki!

Elizabeth
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Old 06-10-2005, 07:43 PM   #11
Jory Boling
 
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

Quote:


It would be interesting to hear how anyone else felt going back to training after an extended break.
This is the story of my aikido. I've started and stopped so many times (and for so many different reasons) I don't even know the count. Each time, I've gone back to my original dojo. One time I checked some other dojos out to see what they were like and realized what quality instruction I was receiving at my regular school.

This time, I've been training wihout interruption for about 6 months and it feels great! I've even suffered a layoff without having to quit. Unfortunately, the same layoff will eventually force me to move and start over at a new dojo. But at least I won't quit. I keep coming back.

Gimme an Gimme an Gimme a !

Jory
Onore ni katsu!
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Old 06-10-2005, 09:55 PM   #12
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

you are the only one who has to care
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Old 06-11-2005, 10:47 AM   #13
vjw
Dojo: Rochester Phoenix
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

I somehow dropped out of Aikido for 6 years. Factors included military service, no local Aikido clubs, living on a different continent to my wife, planning my future after retirement from the army and going through the long and stressful process of getting a visa to live in the US. After retiring from the army, I returned to my hometown Coventry, England to wait for my visa and spent the year training with my original sensei, Tom Moss. That year with Tom and old friends was precious. I now teach in Rochester, NY and in just 2 years have made many friends in the US.

There are times in your life when you have to put other things before Aikido but do not let yourself be driven away by others. Persevere and you will meet more and more people that you enjoy practicing with, and will develop Aikido skills and personal skills to deal with those troublesome characters.
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Old 06-12-2005, 07:07 AM   #14
"old and grumpy"
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

I have taken so many holidays from aikido, that I just have to accept that as long as the people of my club put up with me, and let me practice within the limits of my health, I will just keep coming back again and again.

There are some things you have to keep in mind, and probably the most important is what do you expect to get from being there and what does the teacher and other students expect to get from being there? Big subject, huh? Take some time and think it about it, it will change as you change, over the years, and your level of experience changes also.

It may be as simple as ... do you have to WANT to be there, and do you WANT to get what being there offers.

My class, last Saturday, did a technique we haven't done in almost six years, but it came right back to me as if it was yesterday, which made wanting to be there and being there highly worthwhile.

Everyone has to decide what is worthwhile for them, and what they want to do. Maybe that time is here for you to make some decisions?
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Old 06-12-2005, 11:46 AM   #15
aikigirl10
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Re: I thought I was done with Aikido...

My cousin used to take aikido with me for about 3 years before he quit (for what reason i dont know) But a few months ago he came back for a few weeks before quitting again. But during those few weeks , he was surprised to find out how much he still remembered , and he pretty much picked up where he left off, but of course there was some review involved. But he was welcomed to come back and participate.

As for the annoying uke..... I have one of those people at my dojo as well. He is always trying to correct me even though he started only a few months ago (I have been practicing for almost 8 years now) At first i really let it get to me, but then i realized ... wait im a way higher rank then him , i should be correcting him . and now i do . He doesnt want to listen to a 15 year old girl but he does. If that uke is ranked higher than you , then it is good for you to listen to them . I always try to show higher ranks as much respect as i would like to be shown from the lower ranks. Besides that .. 9 out of 10 times , the higher ranks are right.

Try to put these things into consideration if and when you start doing aikido again. I hope i could be of some help .
--Paige
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