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Old 09-12-2004, 02:37 AM   #1
Sita Nanthavong
 
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aikido crisis. :(

has any one felt disillusioned or just not interested in aikido after training for a while? if so, how did you get yourself out of the funk so you could train again?

i've been studying aikido for the past year and a half...and it's been great... but something about it has changed for me. i'm no longer interested and i don't care if i ever step foot into the mats again. i can't quite get to the core of why i feel this way... especially when the dojo i train at is really wonderful.

i went to our weapons class for the first time in a few weeks... and my heart wasn't there. i knew that it should've been.

yes, i know that i should just stop worrying and train... but should i keep training when i'm not really there? i'm not sure i want to be there.

i want to continue with aikido because i see how positively it's affected me... and i know i have so much more to go... but i don't know.

i think i'm having some sort of aikido-spiritual crisis or something.

any suggestions?

thanks in advance!
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:07 AM   #2
shihonage
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Take a break for a couple of months, then see how you feel.
Try a Judo or Karate class.
Eat a cookie.
I dunno. Something.
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:26 AM   #3
batemanb
 
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Often did in the early days, but after an unintentional 3 month break (too tired to go tonight, I`ll go next time) I started forcing myself to go because I could see what I wanted to learn. After 12 years, I`m still going and now feel down if I don`t go. To perserve in Aikido requires a special mind set, not everyone has it. Cookies are good but ultimately only you can figure it out.

best of luck

rgds

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:41 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

There are two possible paths:
To take a break, without undue worrying about what the future will hold vis a vis aikido, just getting on with life and seeing if/when you start to miss it. If you don't, well, there is your answer.
To treat it like a temporary plateau and continue to show up and train, like putting one foot in front of another when one is depressed, just so that the normal life goes on and is still there when you actively want to resume it.
I honestly can't counsel you which path is best for you now. Best of luck and please let us know.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:56 PM   #5
Infamousapa
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Yeah definantly you should lay off the martial art for now..I mean Aikido is a journey and your probably going thru and experience thats either going to make you stronger spiritualy,mentally or physically..If you love something let it go,If it comes back to you its yours and if it doesnt it never was yours.
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:56 PM   #6
rschoele
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

That happened to me before. Like others have posted Aikido is a journey and sometimes it uncovers things. I was in the dojo 4 to 5 nights a week and loving it, but at one point I realized I had started college and never finished and suddenly my enthusiasm for Aikido was gone. I left the dojo and will finish college next June. I'm also starting Aikido again in 2 weeks and I'm now posting on this sight while I'm supposed to be writing my master's thesis! My enthusiasm is back!

Basically take a break - if you truly enjoy it you'll come back

ryan
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Old 09-12-2004, 06:39 PM   #7
Richard Elliott
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Although I am not practicing Aikido right now, I am taking an inventory of my experiences of all the MA training I have done, all the experiences, lessons, people, etc, that I have had. I am feeling that I might return to Aikido in the years ahead and one of the ways to keep my "head in the game" is coming here from time to time reading and thinking about Aikido. It looks like you've done similarly. I didn't leave Aikido as a result of a crisis. I came to MA real late compared to many others (38 yrs old). Before that it hardly was a part of my awareness.

90% of my experiences in MA have been good ones. If you are feeling "burned out" you might give it some time, but it might help to keep abreast of the issues that concern the Aikido world and some time you might experience some congruence between Aikido and yourself. This might take a day, a week, a month, many years, whatever.

I don't know, that's just my 2 cents for what it's worth to ya.
Good luck .

Respectfully, Richard
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Old 09-13-2004, 01:30 AM   #8
Aikidoiain
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

I agree with the others, although you should maybe consider if anything else in your life has changed to cause this affect. Perhaps you're stressed about some life worry.

I had a similar experience when I did Hapkido for a while. For the first several months I'd never miss a class, then my attendance began to dip. Eventually it turned out that the problems outside the dojo - namely my life - was full of stress, and I then went to the Doc and was told I was Clinically Depressed!

I'm not saying that's your problem, but perhaps a life worry could be at the route. Taking time out is probably the best thing to do, then see if the need for Aikido returns. Also consider that sometimes you can be training too much anyway, and your body is telling you something. Training in moderation is always a more healthy approach I feel.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Iain.
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Old 09-13-2004, 01:39 AM   #9
Mark Bilson
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Sita,
Your Sensei has probably already noticed the "shift" in you. The best thing you can do is be honest with yourself and the dojo. If you have lost your enthusiasm then stop training and see what happens to you. If nothing then it will be of no concern to you. However, if you notice that something is missing, an outlet for you to work through your issues perhaps, or just a general feeling that something is not there anymore then go back and rediscover Aikido with your new eyes. The worst thing is just to go every now and again.

Cheers

Mark Bilson
www.roleystoneaiki.com
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Old 09-13-2004, 03:50 AM   #10
Jamie Stokes
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Where is the crisis?

Has the art changed in 18 months, have you changed, or has something outside you changed (not in the dojo)?

At this point in my life, I am struggling with myself while I run a buiness. [the usual business worries; money in, out, who owes me, who do I owe and so forth] and haven't been on the mat for too many months.

Perhaps the novelty of the art has worn off? As a refresher, I once went to a seminar (Just one session, I thought) and what I saw was refreshing. And that helped me continue in the art. For to train in similar techniques with the same group of people can feel, well, not so fresh after a while.

So maybe visit another dojo. maybe aikido, maybe not. Maybe visit on the mats, maybe just watch.

If in doubt, do something. If it doesn't work, do something else. Sometimes, do nothing is also doing something.

(all very weird, and zen like, but meant with all heart! )

Jamie

Aikido: Love and compassion at one metre per second.
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Old 09-13-2004, 07:13 AM   #11
Tamarack
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Re: aikido crisis.

I would agree with what I've heard others saying : take a break.

It's like any stale relationship - sometimes a break really clarifies things for me. Maybe a night off. Maybe a three month holiday in the sun! If the love doesn't come back to you, don't worry about it. It won't make you a bad person.

And what 's the worst that can happen? That you never train again?
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Old 09-13-2004, 08:08 AM   #12
SeiserL
 
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

IMHO, a crisis is the opportunity to question and grow. Is this really about Aikido or is something else going on in your life or have you hit this wall before in other endeavors? I think, this internal battle is the real Aikido.

Compassion and empathy.

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 09-13-2004, 09:00 AM   #13
billybob
 
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

all good advice. take a piece of paper and ask yourself why you study aikido.
right down the answers. save the paper.

take a break. and try laughing. i showed a little girl a tiny correction friday night and she scooped
me off my feet in iriminage with as much effort as pushing a pencil. i hit hard and came up laughing!!!
joy comes from freedom. get yourself free!!!

billybob
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:04 AM   #14
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Quote:
has any one felt disillusioned or just not interested in aikido after training for a while? if so, how did you get yourself out of the funk so you could train again?
I kept going back to the dojo, best of luck.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 09-13-2004, 04:20 PM   #15
Martin Källström
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Nathan says it right, keep going to the dojo. It's the only way to get off the plateau.

Find something else to do if you want to, but know that sooner or later the plateau will show up there too. You have the opportunity to choose right now how you will live your life: finding a new interest every other year -or- walking the path to mastery.

Mastery in aikido is not better or worse than mastery of anything else though. Try table tennis, operating heavy machinery or something else if you want to. Just be aware that it's when you arrive at the plateau that you will have to make the choice, not in the beginning when you are enthusiastic about whatever it is you do.
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Old 09-13-2004, 04:33 PM   #16
Richard Elliott
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
all good advice. take a piece of paper and ask yourself why you study aikido.
right down the answers. save the paper.

take a break. and try laughing. i showed a little girl a tiny correction friday night and she scooped
me off my feet in iriminage with as much effort as pushing a pencil. i hit hard and came up laughing!!!
joy comes from freedom. get yourself free!!!

billybob
halleluya! Amen. . . uh... Right on. Yeah,baby, yeah.
I mean affirmative.

Respectfully, Richard
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:44 PM   #17
wxyzabc
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Hya

Sorry you feel that way....some people may not agree with this but from personal experience in other sports you can become kind of "bored" if you spend too much time looking at and reading about Aikido outside of practice. This site is great but without you knowing it spending alot of time looking at stuff about Aikido on the web CAN have a negative affect....perhaps removing the fun and making things just a little bit too serious/intense.

My advise would be go to practise...but totally forget about aikido outside of the dojo until your in a much better frame of mind.

Also think about your diet...if your suffering any kind of mineral or iron deficiency this could lead to a real feeling of "lethargy" or "disinterest in things" in general...I know..I`ve been there.

Hope this helps

Lee
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Old 09-14-2004, 10:51 AM   #18
billybob
 
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Richard Elliott wrote the response at bottom:

[/quote]David Knowlton wrote:
all good advice. take a piece of paper and ask yourself why you study aikido.
right down the answers. save the paper.

take a break. and try laughing. i showed a little girl a tiny correction friday night and she scooped
me off my feet in iriminage with as much effort as pushing a pencil. i hit hard and came up laughing!!!
joy comes from freedom. get yourself free!!!

billybob


halleluya! Amen. . . uh... Right on. Yeah,baby, yeah.
I mean affirmative.

__________________

[quote]

Richard, are you agreeing or did i say something silly?

billybob
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Old 09-14-2004, 03:25 PM   #19
Richard Elliott
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
Richard Elliott wrote the response at bottom:
David Knowlton wrote:
all good advice. take a piece of paper and ask yourself why you study aikido.
right down the answers. save the paper.

take a break. and try laughing. i showed a little girl a tiny correction friday night and she scooped
me off my feet in iriminage with as much effort as pushing a pencil. i hit hard and came up laughing!!!
joy comes from freedom. get yourself free!!!

billybob


halleluya! Amen. . . uh... Right on. Yeah,baby, yeah.
I mean affirmative.

__________________

Quote:

Richard, are you agreeing or did i say something silly?

billybob
No billybob, I was agreeing wholeheartedly. I was the silly one. Sorry.

Respectfully, Richard
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Old 09-14-2004, 03:47 PM   #20
Sita Nanthavong
 
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

thank you all very much for your advice!

you're right, though, this is something i have to figure out.

thanks again!!!

take care!
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Old 09-20-2004, 06:01 AM   #21
malc anderson
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Hi ya Sita, I agree with all the previous posts, but would ask, what are you looking for in Aikido? If it is a spiritual aspiration that is driving you, I think I can understand your dilemma. Perhaps you are looking for more than Aikido can give. I have a deep respect for Aikido and especially O'Sensei and his teachings, but I'm puzzled by people thinking that practicing movement of any kind is a REAL path to enlightenment. For sure concentrating the ever-moving mind tends to slow it down, but this is not the experience of ‘Kensho' ( The seeing of the inner light). This is an Essential Experience in a Human Beings life and the only real Treasure, it can be experienced by anyone, even if paralyzed from the neck down! Or blind . So if you want to experience the spiritual then do so, but in stillness and silence, and when you are practicing Aikido do only that and don't confuse the two things. Here are some more quotes from O'sensei that emphasize this;
‘Foster and polish the Warrior Spirit while serving in the world; Illuminate the path according to YOUR INNER LIGHT',
‘You cannot see or touch the Divine with your gross senses. The Divine is within you, not somewhere else. Unite yourself to the Divine, and you will be able to perceive gods wherever you are, but do not try to grasp or cling to them'.
‘The Divine is not something high above us. It is in heaven, it is in earth, IT IS INSIDE OF US. Construction of shrine and temple buildings is not enough. Establish yourself as a living Buddha image'
To experience Kensho we must look for it INSIDE and this involves closing the eyes that look out and using the power of sight on the inside! This is very hard to do, as the mind loves to look out and chase the things of everyday life but it is not impossible. Find yourself a teacher who can initiate you into these hidden depths, O'Sensei went outside of the martial arts to be guided to enlightenment and so can you. Practice Aikido for what it is, the most beautiful MA of all. I have seen one other MA form that gets near for me and that was watching a Chinese lady complete the 48 form Yang style exercise (Tai Chi), it was full of power, grace and beauty. This will be the next MA style I hope to learn. Malcolm.
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Old 09-20-2004, 06:55 PM   #22
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
IMHO, a crisis is the opportunity to question and grow. Is this really about Aikido or is something else going on in your life or have you hit this wall before in other endeavors? I think, this internal battle is the real Aikido.

Compassion and empathy.
Pema Chodren wrote about this in one of her books. She commented that it is quite typical. The student first comes in and starts training (in her case it is in Tibetan Buddhism) and is overjoyed. "This is the best thing ever. Training is changing my life" etc. But after some period of time that student will come to her and say that meditation isn't doing it for them like it was, that they have issues with her that they have discovered, any number of complaints. Often it is at this stage that they quit. She tried to get them to understand that it is precisely this point that they have been proceeding towards and now their real training can commence.

I have found this to be quite true over the years. Most people who start Aikido never really get off the ground, they are gone almost before they are there. But of the ones that stay after the initial startup period, the next big crisis point is around 3rd or 2nd kyu. That's when the first realization starts to take hold that if they stay, they are going to change. And most people do not really want to change. So various dissatisfactions are discovered where there were none previously. Something about the practice is lacking, something about the teacher is now disappointing, suddenly work is too demanding, the spouse seems less supportive... whatever.

I think Lynn is absolutely right in directing you to look inwards for the cause of this loss of enthusiasm. If this is part of a pattern you should note it perhaps think about what to do to push through it.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 09-20-2004 at 06:57 PM.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 09-20-2004, 10:56 PM   #23
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Change is terrifying, but can be exhilarating.

I think if you give up Aikido you will find you have the same struggle with whatever you do next, and next and next...

Jeanne
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Old 09-21-2004, 08:08 AM   #24
SeiserL
 
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Quote:
Jeanne Shepard wrote:
Change is terrifying, but can be exhilarating.
IMHO, change is natural and inevitable, so we need to accept what is. Also, change isn't nearly as terrifying as staying the same way, doing the same things even though they don't work, for the rest of my life. Change has a chance at success. Staying the same is guaranteed failure.

Alan Watts wrote a great book on The Wisdom of Insecurity. It states that most security is based on things staying the same. Since nothing stays the same, it is best to accept the insecurity that comes from change. Paradoxically, if the map in the head accepts the insecurity of change, and the external reality changes, there isn't nearly as much insecurity. In fact, there is more peace of mind because we are not in conflict resisting what is.

I also agree that training/life has developmental plateaus (read George Leonard on Mastery). Its these plateaus/crisis that really gives the opportunity to grow to the next level.

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 09-21-2004, 09:34 AM   #25
Bridge
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Re: aikido crisis. :(

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Pema Chodren wrote about this in one of her books. She commented that it is quite typical. The student first comes in and starts training (in her case it is in Tibetan Buddhism) and is overjoyed. "This is the best thing ever. Training is changing my life" etc. But after some period of time that student will come to her and say that meditation isn't doing it for them like it was, that they have issues with her that they have discovered, any number of complaints. Often it is at this stage that they quit. She tried to get them to understand that it is precisely this point that they have been proceeding towards and now their real training can commence.

I have found this to be quite true over the years. Most people who start Aikido never really get off the ground, they are gone almost before they are there. But of the ones that stay after the initial startup period, the next big crisis point is around 3rd or 2nd kyu. That's when the first realization starts to take hold that if they stay, they are going to change. And most people do not really want to change. So various dissatisfactions are discovered where there were none previously. Something about the practice is lacking, something about the teacher is now disappointing, suddenly work is too demanding, the spouse seems less supportive... whatever.
.
This has reminded me of a totally not MA related managemen/personnel development course I did some time ago called "Situational Leadership".

Apparently the leader/teacher should adjust their leadership or teaching style to suit the development stage of the person.

The 4 stages are:
D1 - Enthusiastic beginner - has little knowledge or experience of the task but has loads of energy and enthusiasm. Optimistic.
D2 - Disillusioned learner - Frustrated, Demotivated, flashes of competance
D3 - Capable but cautious contributor - med-high competance but doubts self from time to time. Can be apathetic.
D4 - Self Reliant Achiever - Justifiably confident, self-assured, inspires others, autonomous.

People can oscillate between these stages too, but the idea is to adapt your coaching style to suit the stage of the person:

S1 - Give very specific instructions and plenty of feedback.
S2 - Coaching. Praising. Explaining and encourage/guide person to come up with the solutions themselves.
S3 - BE supportive, reassure, collaborate with them. Help them to solve problems for themselves.
S4 - Just let them get on with it, but acknowledge their achievements and provide them with challenges.

Just a curious parallel.
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