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Old 09-05-2005, 09:28 AM   #26
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Thanks Dave...that was the best thing I have read in a long time.
Mary
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Old 09-05-2005, 09:53 AM   #27
Erik
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Hanna,

Thank you for starting this thread. I was thinking about it as I don't quite make the VOE reqs either. Also, I suspect I share some of your thoughts regarding those who leave.

A former instructor of mine recently gave up the art, at least his school, after 30 years and significant dannage. I say mostly, because I have not seen him for a few years, and, well, I too have pretty much given it up although I suppose I still imagine coming back, kind of, sort of, nah, probably not.

This instructor is a guy who absolutely lived the art as he saw it. He even went so far as to integrate it into his work life as his major source of income over the years has been a consulting business based on aikido. I suspect he'll keep consulting, the money is good, so maybe he hasn't entirely left although he definitely gave up his school.

Frankly, when I started hanging out at his school, this fellow had long since lost the inspiration that made his approach "special" to me. I think he knew that but he just couldn't quite part ways with it so he hung on. The problem with him hanging on, and I believe he gave 100% of what he had, is that his 100% wasn't much at this point. In short, I was happy to hear that he gave it up, both for his students and for him. The guy was miserable, from what I could tell, and aikido wasn't helping it.

In my own case, I could point to a bunch of reasons to give it up. On the one hand, I'm beat up. I've always been active, very active, and if you do something enough you miss a few times. I've landed on my head, been stabbed with a knife (a minor wound), done mid air splits with one foot in the hakama, had my knee give out, been pounded on by folks grinding my shoulder that should have known better by the scream I let out, and more. Add to that a degree of cantankerousness (see def. 2 at dictionary.com) and you wind up taking more than you should have. I know several people who have left the art because of this. And there are far too many instructors who can barely walk because of their practice.*

But really, if I had to state a reason for myself, it's simply that the things which drove me to the art aren't there in the same way anymore. That need, which I can't precisely define or won't on this forum, which drove me to the mat just isn't there in the way it was.

Bah, let's cut to the chase, like my instructor, I'm happier going in a different direction.. Really, for the first time in a very long time, I like the space I'm in and getting here had precious little to do with aikido. In fact, if anything, aikido probably hindered me more than it helped.

It's that simple.

If giving up aikido makes me a shallow, teflonish kind of guy, then so be it because right now at least I'm better for it.

* Naturally someone writes a post which leaves me feeling like a wimp for whining about my little injuries.

Last edited by Erik : 09-05-2005 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 09-05-2005, 09:29 PM   #28
MM
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Spirituality. I think one of the main reasons for quitting Aikido has to do with a spirituality aspect. People typically are looking for something "mystical", for lack of a better word. In a large aspect, people gravitate towards religion and gain a "mystical" connection in that they get to believe in a Heaven which fulfills a spiritual function, they get to congregate with other people who are "good" which fulfills a social function, and they get to believe that they can be saved which fulfills a mental function.

Now, some people gravitate towards the martial arts and look to have it fulfill those three functions. For some, the dojo fulfills the social function. The physical training itself fulfills the mental function in that it instills a sense of martial effectiveness to give one a sense of being able to save oneself in "real" situations. The only thing left is the spiritual function.

In most dojos, the mental and social functions can be readily fulfilled. But, the spiritual function is not as easy to implement nor easy to expound. And so, people will stay at a dojo long enough to realize that only two out of three functions are being met. Then, they stop and go elsewhere searching for that spiritual connection. In other words, they get fed up with training, they get tired of training, they get burned out on training, they get mad at the people there, they become complacent, etc. until they stop training.

Of course, there are some who find that Aikido training doesn't meet the mental or social functions, but I believe these tend to filter out rather quickly and don't really count towards why people stop training.

Those who keep training find themselves at the dojo primarily for the spiritual function and the mental and social take a back seat. Although mental and social are still important, together they don't compare with the spiritual. Those people find themselves smiling when they think about training, they find themselves waiting for the next moment that they complete a technique and it feels like they didn't do anything, they find themselves going just for the "air time", they build a spiritual connection and at times they don't realize it but it's there.

Since people are different, it takes various lengths of time for them to sort out that some function isn't being met. For mental and social, I believe that time is very short and doesn't progress past a beginner's belt level. But, for spiritual, it takes various amounts of time depending on the person. Now, compound this with the aspect that people are at different stages of their life and they may not be at a stage where they can progress to a spiritual function in their training. So, you have people quitting and then coming back to find that they love Aikido even more. And you have people who quit and come back and still find that they don't like Aikido. In one part, it may be because they aren't finding the spiritual aspect because it really isn't there for them, but it may also be that they are at a stage in their life that they can't progress into that aspect with Aikido yet. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary.

Anyway, this is just my take on things.
Everyone has their opinion.

Mark
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Old 09-05-2005, 11:29 PM   #29
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

I have played table tennis for years. I was as mad as a hatter for it when a kid but now just do it sometimes. Though I don't play for weeks on end I do not think I have quit - I still have a measure of skill and beat some people some of the time - but I don't do it to win, I just like to play. But martial arts demand much more - you cannot take such a passive approach - yet I think this is what happens to some long-termers. Table tennis is safe, but martial arts demand a more constant fitness; especially you need to keep a certain amount of ukemi fitness.

I am not sure where I would fit in in Mark M's classification but I am the kind that seeks Aikido. What I mean is, if I visit somewhere - for work or holiday - I check out local clubs in advance and try to make it to practice. I have taken my keikogi for work trips and holidays many times. Not many do that, but here in Korea, I get visited by like-minded people from time to time, which is nice, as I understand them exactly From what I can tell, this type will probably not quit

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Old 09-06-2005, 03:14 AM   #30
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
But martial arts demand much more - you cannot take such a passive approach - yet I think this is what happens to some long-termers. Table tennis is safe, but martial arts demand a more constant fitness; especially you need to keep a certain amount of ukemi fitness.
Frankly spoken, this is rubbish. Recently on a seminar I trained with men and women abou 70 years old and more. Of course I could not throw them around like I might have done with a young and welll-trained 20 years old boy. Newvertheless did real ukemi rather rarely as the mats were heavily crowded and rolling could have been dangerous.

And there were other fellow aikidoka ("I have just started aikido", "I cannot roll forward/backward"). But I could train with and learn from everyone. And it was all budo. I'd say you still can do martial arts, even when you are too old to follow the little table tennis ball.

Oh yes, sorry, you need some minimum of fitness. At least you should able do move and you need some spiritual capacity.

Cheers Dirk
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Old 09-06-2005, 03:33 AM   #31
PeterR
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

I think you missed Rupert's point or perhaps I understand the distinction between approaches to training he is trying to make.

quick aside - one of my Aikido students was sidelined for six months after he broke his foot playing table tennis. That sport is dangerous.

Budo for some people is not a matter of putting on a white suit and going through some motions. To train well, especially if you have a history of hard training, requires effort to maintain a level of skill and fitness. If you are sidelined for some reason or let yourself go the frustration of trying to get back up there is very high more so than for a purely recreational sport. I suppose the same could be said for high level ping pong players and those that see Aikido as primarily recreational. It may sound all nice and inclusive but you don't learn or improve with everyone - true with both ping pong and Aikido.

The approach of mudansha, especially in the early stages, even for the most enthusiastic, is primarily recreational. I feel the reasons people continue Aikido changes over the years and also their reasons for leaving.

Last edited by PeterR : 09-06-2005 at 03:40 AM.

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Old 09-06-2005, 04:56 AM   #32
Ed Stansfield
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Personally, I haven't seen anyone leave Aikido because of an absence of spirituality (at least in the way that I understand that word).

I have seen people leave because of injury and age and I can see that for some people, not being able to practice the way they want to, or the way they feel they should be able to, would be a reason to leave.

I started Aikido at a university class and when I graded to 5th kyu, there were about 20 other university students taking the grading as well. Of those people, 3 of us have graded to 1st dan. Many people obviously move away when they finish university and for all I know, may be practicing Aikido elsewhere, but upheavals like leaving the city you practice in can obviously affect whether people continue to train.

For the people I know who left before 1st dan, I think it was just a matter of having other things in their lives that they valued more than Aikido. When you're a beginner, I don't think that Aikido has the same value to you; if there are other things to do rather than go to the dojo, it's easier to go and do them. Then of course, there are the people who have difficulty in seeing what they've achieved or are achieving and who think they're getting nowhere and leave for that reason.

Post 1st dan, there are inevitably the same sort of life upheavals that can effect anyone, but I think for most of the people I've seen who've dropped out at that stage and who haven't moved to another dojo or style, the reason is this: Aikido is difficult, and it doesn't get easier after you've graded to 1st dan.

The road goes on to the horizon and continues out of sight and I think that has an affect on people.

Needless to say, YMMV.

Best,

Ed

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Winston Churchill, 1930.
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Old 09-06-2005, 05:08 AM   #33
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote:
Frankly spoken, this is rubbish. Recently on a seminar I trained with men and women abou 70 years old and more.
Cheers Dirk
If they have been training consistently for a long time they would not likely quit. My point was if they take it 'too' easy -- perhaps falling into intermittent training -- they would be more likely to quit. I think this is something that slowly creeps up on people. I wasn't really thinking of 70 year olds though. Of course, sure, there are some around, but nothing like the number that there would be if no one ever quit - 99% of their friends will have long since quit for all kinds of reasons. The ones you trained with must be the true 'Aikido Survivors' -- will you be one of them?

Thought: Perhaps you mistranslated my long-termer into old timer.

Also, its not what you think - but what they think that counts. Maybe you didn't throw them hard - of course you shouldn't. But maybe they feel, at their age, they are compromising your training and so quit. But thinking about it, if someone has trained a long time and reaches 70, s/he'd probably be a teacher! As I said, I wasn't thinking about 70 -- more like those I see all around, the 20-50s.

There are no doubt various reasons why advanced people quit (the main topic) - perhaps intermittent training creep is a factor for some.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 09-06-2005 at 05:18 AM.

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Old 09-06-2005, 06:17 AM   #34
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

I've seen some people quit (or almost quit) because of this "intermittent training creep," which is often related to other things going on in their lives. Personally, after about 7 months of not training, the first few practices back were not so bad, because at least I'd maintained my aerobic fitness.

Some beginners don't come back because they don't feel physically safe in aikido. Sometimes that's just because they're easily frightened, but sometimes it's because safety isn't as much of a priority as it should be in that dojo. This feeling unsafe, or that aikido isn't worth the physical risks, can come later on in training, too, with injuries, changes in the dojo, etc. I think women (and perhaps some older men) are more likely to admit that physical safety, or the lack of it, plays a role in their decision to train.

As for the spiritual aspect, mostly I've practiced in dojos where we don't talk about spirituality much, if at all. You're just supposed to absorb it from the physical practice and do it on your own. Sometimes I wish that the spiritual side of things was given a bit more air time (but not too much), but that could also turn off a lot of people.
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:34 AM   #35
ruthmc
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Great topic!

I think another reason why some folk quit is because they lose their "beginners mind". They get to a certain level and think "Well, I know all these techniques now, and how to do them from all these attacks, so what more is there for me to learn?".

Keeping your beginners mind allows you to see the depths of Aikido, and peel back the layers of the onion. Sure you can always continue to improve your techniques, but there's so much more to it than that!

It also allows you to see that your teachers and visiting instructors have got a lot more to teach you. And you can always aspire to be better than them

Personally, I don't quit on myself, and I don't quit on anybody else without very good reason. If somebody only shows up to class for 2 hours every 2 - 3 weeks but is open-minded and prepared to learn, I am prepared to help them in any way I can. If somebody trains 7 days a week and doesn't respect my person, I avoid them, and hope that one day they'll know better.

That's what it boils down to for me, anything else is just an extra complication.

Ruth (who likes to keep it simple)
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:16 AM   #36
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
If they have been training consistently for a long time they would not likely quit. My point was if they take it 'too' easy -- perhaps falling into intermittent training -- they would be more likely to quit.
Now I got it - hopefully. My understanding was that if you just do some budo training from time to time without real fitness and engagement. it wouldn't be budo any longer.

My karate practice is about 25 years ago, and I still fell like being a karateka, although my techniques might not be qualifying for my 2nd kyu and for competitions I would not have the fitness.

I had a break in aikido for more than 10 years. And coming back that was real pain. My ukemi techniques were not too bad (or they are still as bad), but I had to use some muscles I haven't really used for years. But all the time I thougt of myself being an aikidoka. And coming back to training was real fun. My fitness is not the best, being 44 not really well-trained, suffering a little bit from asthm. But even if I would stop again practiciing for a while I would never think of quitting aikido totally.

Well I did also some table tennis in my youth and yes I really did quit that. When I am playing with my wife or kids table tennis, it is simple ping-pong.

But the difference is more that table tennis is just a kind of sports. Any -do at least for me is a way for life. As I entered i could change the path, but I could never leave the way and never forget the destination.

And while I think I understand you better than before and I withdraw the expressiion "rubbish", it seems as our views are just antithetic.

But I guess, I am leaving the subject of the spread. Or maybe not:
If you stop practicing "normal" sports, you quit. If you stop coming to budo classes, you will be certainly missed in classes, but you are not a lost member of the community. At least I never was.

Regards Dirk
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:27 AM   #37
Ed Stansfield
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Amelia Smith wrote:
Some beginners don't come back because they don't feel physically safe in aikido. Sometimes that's just because they're easily frightened, but sometimes it's because safety isn't as much of a priority as it should be in that dojo. This feeling unsafe, or that aikido isn't worth the physical risks, can come later on in training, too, with injuries, changes in the dojo, etc. I think women (and perhaps some older men) are more likely to admit that physical safety, or the lack of it, plays a role in their decision to train.
There's a popular story in our dojo about the woman who felt that aikido (and ki-aikido at that) was too dangerous and violent and so went to learn karate instead.

Well, it amused me anyway . . .

We're a fairly safety conscious dojo so I'd hope that there aren't many people who leave us for that reason. I can see that safety is a concern for people (and that it can become more of a concern as people get older or as situations within a dojo change). Indeed, when practicing on courses with other aikido styles, safety is usually my number one concern . . .

But that's another thread. Specifically, this one.

Quote:
Ruth wrote:
I think another reason why some folk quit is because they lose their "beginners mind". They get to a certain level and think "Well, I know all these techniques now, and how to do them from all these attacks, so what more is there for me to learn?"
I know that people do develop this view but I find it hard to imagine how anyone can honestly hold to it. To me, it's the position of someone who doesn't want to accept what they will have to do to progress.
But I've already set my stall out in that regard.

Best,

Ed

Last edited by Ed Stansfield : 09-06-2005 at 07:41 AM. Reason: to add link

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Winston Churchill, 1930.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:00 AM   #38
ruthmc
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Ed Stansfield wrote:
I know that people do develop this view but I find it hard to imagine how anyone can honestly hold to it. To me, it's the position of someone who doesn't want to accept what they will have to do to progress.
Tends to prevail amongst those who train at one dojo under one teacher for years and never train with anyone else. This is why I am such a big fan of seminars, especially mult-style seminars, if people are prepared to accept that there is more than One Way...

Ruth
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:26 AM   #39
Ed Stansfield
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Ruth wrote:
Tends to prevail amongst those who train at one dojo under one teacher for years and never train with anyone else.
So, do you think the failing is with the student, or the teacher, or both?

I was maybe a bit harsh in my previous reply. I'm not in a position where I feel I've "nothing else to learn" and I can't imagine ever being in that position. However, I think that I've got very good teachers and that's obviously an important factor.

Quote:
Ruth also wrote:
This is why I am such a big fan of seminars, especially mult-style seminars, if people are prepared to accept that there is more than One Way...
It can be quite a big if . . . BAB national course anyone?

I agree with what you're saying though; I think it's an matter of having perspective on what you're doing and learning.

When I started my law degree, they told us about Monet painting Reims cathedral. He did a load of painting of it from different angles, different places, different times of day, different angles of light and whatnot. So the moral was that to have an understanding of law you have to look at it not just from one perspective but from as many different ones as you can find. I try to think about Aikido in the same way.

It sounds better after I've had a drink.

Best,

Ed

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Old 09-06-2005, 10:00 AM   #40
ruthmc
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Ed Stansfield wrote:
So, do you think the failing is with the student, or the teacher, or both?
The student. His development is his responsibility, not his teacher's, and he is free to train anywhere (even if his teacher says otherwise )

Quote:
Ed Stansfield wrote:
However, I think that I've got very good teachers and that's obviously an important factor.
You do, and because you have several teachers you always get to see different perspectives.

Quote:
Ed Stansfield wrote:
It can be quite a big if . . . BAB national course anyone?
As I say to people - don't knock any style until you've tried it, preferably more than once and with different teachers.

Quote:
Ed Stansfield wrote:
<snip> So the moral was that to have an understanding of law you have to look at it not just from one perspective but from as many different ones as you can find. I try to think about Aikido in the same way.
Sounds like a good plan to me!

Ruth
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:23 PM   #41
Erik
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
But martial arts demand much more - you cannot take such a passive approach - yet I think this is what happens to some long-termers. Table tennis is safe, but martial arts demand a more constant fitness; especially you need to keep a certain amount of ukemi fitness.
For what it's worth, the people I was thinking of in my post, I'd say this didn't apply but I can see how it would apply to some. In my own case, let my ego reign, I would still stack my ukemi and conditioning up against most folks I met in a dojo. Also, everyone I'm thinking of had at least 15 years in the art.

Quote:
I am not sure where I would fit in in Mark M's classification but I am the kind that seeks Aikido. What I mean is, if I visit somewhere - for work or holiday - I check out local clubs in advance and try to make it to practice. I have taken my keikogi for work trips and holidays many times. Not many do that, but here in Korea, I get visited by like-minded people from time to time, which is nice, as I understand them exactly From what I can tell, this type will probably not quit
Interestingly, I'd say this also applied to the folks I was thinking about.
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:15 PM   #42
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Did someone already mention this one: Ego.

When it comes to newbies in particular, Aikido often is the long lost love of their lives, that thing they always knew they wanted but didn't find until now, that thing that is changing them in every way for the better, that thing they ever wondered how they did without, etc. How does this work -- what is supporting this level of emotional attachment and thus this level of personal investment? Ego.

Why do they quit? When the training stops stroking their ego, they quit. When does the training stop stroking their ego? When it actually requires them to change themselves -- as opposed to just having various aspects of their person being confirmed by their superficial penetration into the training.

For the long-term folks that quit, I think Mark and Rupert have touched upon something that sounds quite familiar to my personal experience. If one cannot find meaning in the art beyond its material gratifications and/or its mundane elements, one loses one's reason for training (as these things are finite and eventually come to an end for all of us). Or, if one cannot physically support the quest for those material and/or mundane elements that often mark the art, one runs out of steam (i.e. the capacity to maintain commitment) even sooner. In the end here, you are looking at folks that found ways of stroking their ego quite a lot longer than the average beginner - but it is still somewhat about ego-stroking. (in my opinion)

dmv

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Old 09-06-2005, 05:50 PM   #43
Erik
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

It is well, when judging a friend, to remember that he is judging you with the same godlike and superior impartiality.

Arnold Bennett
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:04 PM   #44
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

The only person I knew who quit Aikido because of a lack of spirituality was a beginner in my Quebec Dojo. I just didn't give him what he thought Aikido should. And all that after three classes.

Long term Aikidoka coming to the realization that Aikido just isn't him spiritually seems like a rare beast to me.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:46 AM   #45
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

In this thread quite few questions have been asked. One of them, obviously, is "who are those who stop doing aikido, and why do they stop". What if the question is asked the wrong way?

Of those who start doing aikido, even of those who have done it four five years, several classes a week, most people leave sooner or later. Very few people, extremely few, remain active on the mat throughout the major part of their lives.

Let's actually focus on the "aikido survivors" for a while. Why do these people continue doing aikido? In what way are they different to the vast majority? Can they be divided into subgroups?
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Old 09-07-2005, 06:48 AM   #46
Ed Stansfield
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Hanna B wrote:
Let's actually focus on the "aikido survivors" for a while. Why do these people continue doing aikido? In what way are they different to the vast majority? Can they be divided into subgroups?
When does someone count as a survivor?

In some ways, I think people who get to 1st dan are survivors because they're a minority of all the people who pass through a dojo. However, lots of people get to 1st dan and then drop out.

Do you consider yourself a survivor Hanna?

(Not trying to be flippant, just to work out the terms of reference before I go wading in with opinions . . .)

Best,

Ed

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.

Winston Churchill, 1930.
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:18 AM   #47
Hanna B
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Ed Stansfield wrote:
When does someone count as a survivor?
(...)
Do you consider yourself a survivor Hanna?
Od course I am a survivor - alive and kicking!

In an aikido context however I am a quitter, a quitter after ten years and a nidan. I am a quitter of the "policital/conflict with teacher or other people of importance" type that Peter Goldsbury mentioned in the ortiginal thread in the subforum VoE and I don't think this is the typical case. Because the original thread was in VoE, where you need at least 20 years of experience, I was thinking of the really long perspective - and personally I think many of the "dropping off after shodan" people had their minds set on the belt rather than keiko all along. Actually I consider them a group of their own. If discussing "aikido survivors"`and if they have any specific trait in common, I would personally not count the post shodan-dropouts but of course others are free to apply a shorter perspective.

Last edited by Hanna B : 09-07-2005 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 09-07-2005, 09:46 AM   #48
happysod
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Sorry Hannah, still scratching my head over what you intend with this thread.
Quote:
If discussing "aikido survivors"`and if they have any specific trait in common
The only thing they have in common is going to aikido > can't be arsed 'cos of xyz. Trying to define it in any stricter terms will probably prove pointless as you're talking about individuals from a multitude of backgrounds who will all have their own reasons for going which will have changed since they first started and will continue to change while they continue to train. So, I feel at best you will gain a current assessment of why they are still training which will be incorrect as soon as the sample is made.

My aikido habit so far has run the whole gamut from enthusiasm through habit, back to intrigued followed by "its for the students" and is currently going through a "it just is" - day x = aikido training, I go, very Pavlovian.)

On the subject of "quitting", I don't like the term at all - people join and leave aikido all the time, leaving aikido isn't quitting it just means they left of their own accord. If someone/something made you leave, that also isn't quitting, that's just being forced to leave. I don't like the implied moral judgment of "oh my god, you stopped aikido, what are you some sort of weak freak????! " - add more exclamations as personal preference dictates.
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:02 AM   #49
markwalsh
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

It's ok to stop doing aikido.

The point of aikido is not to get the whole world doing it their entire lives. I know of many people who have just seen aikido briefly and it has had a positive influence on them.

Me, (like a junky) I can quit any time I like
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:55 AM   #50
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
Sorry Hannah, still scratching my head over what you intend with this thread.
My first post is a response to another thread, in which I was not allowed to post since it is in the VoE forum. If you read that thread, maybe it gets more clear? After that, this thread has taken many different angles that I never intended. So far, so good.

Also, see the last section of this post.

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
The only thing they have in common is going to aikido > can't be arsed 'cos of xyz. Trying to define it in any stricter terms will probably prove pointless as you're talking about individuals from a multitude of backgrounds who will all have their own reasons for going which will have changed since they first started and will continue to change while they continue to train.

So, I feel at best you will gain a current assessment of why they are still training which will be incorrect as soon as the sample is made.
1) People make simplifications all the mine, it is a way of handling a complex reality. Sometimes patterns can be seen, and as long as we know we are dealing with simplifications of reality that is OK.

2) Since there are more people who leave than who stay, shouldn't there be an even larger variety of reasons to leave than to stay? Why don't you, or anyone else, raise similar objections to the different tries to define those who leave are and why they stop training? It is not like the VoE thread is the first one ever seen on an aikido board. Far from it. Either that is OK, and then the other way around is it also - or both versions are useless.

3) It is easier to perform "analysis" of various kinds, on groups of people that you don't yourself belong to. When analysis/simplifications are done on the group we belong to, we are more likely to object. Trying to see things from the other side is useful, sometimes.

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
On the subject of "quitting", I don't like the term at all - people join and leave aikido all the time, leaving aikido isn't quitting it just means they left of their own accord. If someone/something made you leave, that also isn't quitting, that's just being forced to leave. .
Feel free to exchange single words in my posts for better ones when you read it - English is not my first language.

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
I don't like the implied moral judgment of "oh my god, you stopped aikido, what are you some sort of weak freak????! " - add more exclamations as personal preference dictates.
...and still you say you don't understand the point of my thread? I think you just pinpointed it...

Last edited by Hanna B : 09-07-2005 at 11:02 AM.
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