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Old 09-07-2005, 12:18 PM   #51
happysod
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
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
Mainly because of the thread starter - most of the other threads of a similar nature are obvious in their intent, falling into the category of
a) beginners enthusiasm - the "how can anyone live without this art?" group or
b) disillusioned long-timer - the "where's all my old friends gone?"

You fit neither category and in previous threads you've started, there has been an underlying reason to your question - here I just couldn't see it and was honestly intrigued on where you were going with this and set out my views on why this approach may prove fruitless.
Quote:
...and still you say you don't understand the point of my thread? I think you just pinpointed it
and now I'm happy as you've enlightened my puzzlement.
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:23 PM   #52
MM
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

David Valadez said:
Quote:
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)
In different words, but definitely along the lines of my thinking when I say that it's a "spiritual function" that isn't being met. These people are looking for something to "stroke their ego" and I view that as them looking for some sort of spiritual aspect to bolster their inner ego. They aren't looking for the social aspect or the mental aspect but something internal to their beliefs and ego.

I should have defined what I view as "spiritual" because a lot of people take the spiritual aspect of aikido as this "enlightenment" type of thing or "Ki" thing or "no hands aikido" thing. But, really the spiritual aspect deals with a person's internal beliefs about how they view right and wrong, how they view the world, how they live their life, etc. Spirituality does include enlightenment, but it isn't the sole ingredient. Spirituality includes things like why a person stops and helps someone stranded alongside the road. Not if they stop, but why they stop. Why the person goes back in to return money to the store because the clerk gave them too much change. It also includes things like being calm amidst a storm, being calm when facing life threatening situations, etc. Because all these things derive from a person's "spirituality" as I call it. It is the basis for who they are and why the do the things they do.

So, when I talk about people quitting because they aren't fulfilling their spiritual function in aikido, it can include things like someone "stroking their ego" or someone leaving because they don't like blending but rather like disrupting an attacker with force. Sometimes they may be looking for "no hands aikido" and find that their dojo only trains using physical methods and doesn't get into the "spiritual" aspect of aikido. Or they find that their dojo spends too much time on the "soft" stuff and they want more "hard" aikido with atemi and strikes. But at some point they get "disillusioned" from some sort of spiritual aspect and quit.

I think this happens more often to the people who stay longer. Those people who quit early in their training don't have the time spent in aikido to realize if it's going to fit in their spiritual frame of mind. Typically, those people quit because of a mental or social aspect not being met. But rarely does anyone quit because of a physical reason. Aikido is one of the few martial arts where people of all ages and physiques can practice.

Mark
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:32 PM   #53
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

A very nice post Mark. Thanks,
d

David M. Valadez
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Old 09-08-2005, 04:58 AM   #54
Olaf
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Interesting. I think I am with Hanna here, I think it is far more interesting what makes people stay. Try to think of it - what sport can you think of that people do as a kid or teen and will keep training in regularly for the rest of their lives? Any? One factor might be that in almost all sports after teen or twenties-something age there is no way to win anything anymore, but the main reason simply seems to be that interests and priorities change with the years.

So why would Aikido be different? Yes, it is a Do/way, but you need to be into it long enough to experience that this might have have a meaning to you. Being constantly TOLD that being on a do/way is special and has xyz benefits and changes you as a person... means nothing and won't keep you 10+ years if you don't experience it. Maybe not everybody is looking for or even wants what Aikido has to offer?? So what makes someone stay long enough?

Is it the type of person that this "staying-Aikidoka" is? I think it has to be, given that in no dojo everybody stays, or everybody leaves.

For me personally, I am still in it because I see so much still to learn. Natural movement, effortlessness. Seeing other ways from other teachers/Aikidoka. Meeting new liek-minded people. And then the spiritual aspect as well. And, I feel an obligation to give what I have learned on to my students. And I get a lot of joy out of seeing them improve, change, and getting to love Aikido themselves. At least those are my reasons currently.

Today, I can not see me leaving Aikido anytime soon.
Cheers
Olaf

Olaf Schubert
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Old 09-08-2005, 07:08 AM   #55
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

I think one problem for me is the connotation of the term "survivor".

In the original post in the VoE thread, which I have just reread, in
spite of the title, Rupert seemed more concerned with those who quit than with those who do not.

The pressure not to quit is very much built into the postwar 'system' of aikido, which is promoted as a martial art available for everyone.

In the days of the Kobukan, O Sensei seems to have attracted people from other martial arts, like the wrestler Tenryu and Minoru Mochizuki, who had a very intensive, but relatively short, relationship with the Founder and then stopped or went back to what they were doing originally.

When I first came to Japan I met Mr Seiichi Seko and we became good friends. He was instrumental in getting me to work for the IAF. He had a position within the Aikikai, but he no longer practised aikido. Nowadays you hardly ever hear about him, but just before the war he trained hard with the Founder in the Kobukan and supported the Ueshiba family afterwards. He once told me that he was a member of the Japanese Emperor's personal bodyguard. Was Mr Seko an aikido survivor? In some sense yes. In some sense no. He stopped training, but neither O Sensei nor Kisshomaru Doshu seemed to mind about this.

To me, an 'aikido survivor' connotes someone who persists in training in the face of many obstacles, rather like A-Bomb survivors continue to live their lives in Hiroshima and Nagasaki despite the physical and emotional injuries they suffered in 1945.

As I suggested above, postwar aikido is pronmoted as a non-elitist martial art, available for everybody and claims to offer benefits that are lifelong. So, mere survival is not really part of the scenario. Of course, to think purely of benefits is probably too narrow, but I am thinking of benefits in a very wide sense: the sort of activity that leaves you spiritually fulfilled; something like Aristotle meant by the term 'eudaimonia' (which is often translated as happiness, but which I think is much more accurately translated as 'human flourishing'); the sort of activity that leaves you spiritually enriched rather than spiritually impoverished. People who go and volunteer in Afghanistan or Iraq, or give up their settled activities to help in New Orleans, might well be seeking such benefits. But in aikido this is rooted in a definite and well-defined physical dimension of training.

So, given the importance of shugyou (training), what would make one an aikido survivor? When does aikido training become a matter of survival, rather than just practice, or is this a valid distinction? Would O Sensei count as an aikido survivor? After all, he continued training until he died at the age of 86. Is it simply age and its increasing physical constraints? Mark Murray gave a very interesting description of matters spiritual in his post, but I would add a whole load of seemingly negative aspects, such as are discussed by, e.g., John of the Cross in his writings. I think being able to handle spiritual desolation is of great importance to aikido 'survival'.

A few years ago I was especially struck by the fact that Yamaguchi Seigo Sensei was planning to stop practising aikido. He became very sick and realized that his sickness was going to stop him from training in the way he had hitherto. Because he did not think in terms of half measures, he wanted to stop completely and planned to do so at a certain time. Actually he died before this became possible. One evening he collapsed at the Hombu during practice and died a few days later. So he never carried out his plan of stopping aikido.

For me Yamaguchi Sensei was the epitome of advanced aikido technique and one reason why many people here in Hiroshima continued to practise. Of course we could never be exactly like him, but he always gave us a vision we could understand and train for. Despite his age his aikido was seemingly effortless. Well, he certainly made it look like this, but I think there was also much pain and desolation, which we did not realise until after he had died.

David Valadez mentioned ego. I think this is a very diffcult concept to handle in aikido and it would be interesting to discuss the reasons for this at greater length. If we think of grades as a kind of benchmark, from my own experience the negative aspects of ego tend to become manifest around the lower kyuu grades (e.g., around 1st kyu) and the mid-dan ranks, especially around 4th and 5th dan. First kyuu students wonder why they are still not allowed the coveted shodan rank and 4th and 5th dans wonder why Sensei does not immediately perceive their virtues as aikidoka in their own right, not as students of Sensei, and give them their own personal training 'space'. This scenario would see ego as an negative factor.

On the other hand, I believe that some high-ranking shihans have huge ego problems, which I would not have believed possible, given aikido's pretensions as a 'spiritual' martial art (but, of course I am thinking in a Christian way here: diminution of the ego is regarded as a Christian virtue, as this is interpreted by western Christianity). From O Sensei's writings (and especially from Ellis Amdur's "Three Peaches" blogs over at AJ, especially the third blog), we can see that O Sensei also thought of himself in terms not usually applicable to aikido 'survivors', at least as I understand the term. If you think that you are a Messiah, delegated to save the world (Onisaburo Deguchi), or an Aikido Messiah, delegated to save the world on more specific terms (Ueshiba Moriteru), what is the point of discussing ego?

This is not to dispute David's discussion. Perhaps having a big ego is also a factor in becoming an 'aikido survivor'.

Best regards to all,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 09-08-2005 at 07:20 AM.

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Old 09-08-2005, 09:00 AM   #56
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

In my opinion, it's possible to work on yourself by means of aikido but unfortunately not a certainty. If people were promoted based on ability AND their success in working on themselves that would solve quite a few problems I suppose.

Initially, you can work on your physical ego problems (by taking better more sensitive and responsive ukemi). If you see yourself in the mirror of keiko and decide to take the active measures to allow the transformation to continue then I'd say aikido can help destroy ego better than most things I've come across. You don't even have to hit "rock bottom" first!

However, it is certainly possible to just develop physical skill and remain stuck or even decline in terms of mental/spiritual ego. We have all seen that too often. Mainly from people who should not be taken too seriously, but unfortunately, we do see it in people who are quite accomplished.

I agree that those of us still in aikido despite whatever life throws at us should be called aikido survivors. Many people who enter aikido come with tremendous coping mechanisms from childhood. They don't know who they are or what they want to any depth. Typically they want power, and they want what they think some successful (to their mind) person has. The grass will always be greener. If they face themselves by means of aikido, fantastic! If they quit because they couldn't continue to make progress, or because the aikido they found just wasn't doing it for them for whatever reason then fine - but that doesn't make them "aikido survivors" in my book.

Olaf and Hanna, I'm with you two. The idea of what makes people stay is a much better way to look at this.

Rob
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:24 AM   #57
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Based on Rob's comments above and some thoughts I've been having lately, I've started a new thread here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...974#post116974

Re how we change as people in aikido.

Mark

PS - Cheers David.
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:59 AM   #58
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

I feel several people are saying very similar things here. If I may try to summarize what that might be, I think we are trying to discuss that "shift" that occurs in our practice where we go from having Aikido be less about what we do and more about what or who we are. I think this is a "shift" occurs in any kind of endeavor that spans several decades or more. However, there seems to be something more to this "shift" when it comes to practices like Aikido (as compared to sports). Whatever that more is, it seems to be related to having the practice itself being something capable of supporting our own sense of being. So there are these two pressures or burdens we must come to feel or to carry: 1) There is our capacity to see ourselves through or in our Aikido practice; and 2) There is the capacity to develop an Aikido practice that can support our being or our sense of self. Both of these capacities are what have to be discovered by us over the years of training. Though there is obviously some overlap here, I have opted to distinguish them because they are not always handled in the same way or at the same time.

As with all Ways, what makes it difficult for us to truly discover or realize these two capacities is that we become distracted by those things that run contrary to our more right pursuits. What are these things? They are those things that in their essence cannot support our inner being or our sense of true self. As our inner being or our true self is not of the material world, these distractions, which are contrary to our inner being, are in essence of the material world -- they are temporary and arbitrary and they are most often only of value inside of some sort of economic system wherein were we to participate we would actually become self-alienated. What does this mean?

This means we come to our practice and though it is a path of self-discovery, one capable of actually supporting the self, it comes to us through or with distractions that are themselves a kind of spiritual hindrance. First, there are the most common ones -- such as the pleasure of moving, or the pleasing self-image that becomes ours as we come closer to fulfilling our various fantasies (e.g. of violence, of victory, of the being the exotic other, etc.), etc. As these lose meaning, because they must, because they are fleeting things, many of us quit in our training -- moving on to the next practice that can offer other distractions which are only as fleeting. Some of us press on -- realizing what we need to realize by having our pleasures and fantasies exposed for the irrelevant (in terms of discovery ourselves through Aikido) and fleeting things they are.

However, out of those of us that press onward, there are those that simply come to replace their pleasures and/or their fantasies with ones more culturally acceptable by the art in question. In terms of Aikido, this means things like rank, title, political power, fame, etc. While these things are today designed to last a lifetime, it may very well be the case that some of us may pierce through these distractions deep enough to realize that we are not these things, that these things cannot and should not make up our inner selves and thus neither our practice for discovering our inner selves. At this point, some of us, those that cannot see an escape from such distractions, may opt to leave the art altogether. Others of us, those who may be able to distinguish the art from its institutional trappings, will opt to remain practicing. However, this art now is more prone to support our being -- as our being is more able to support the art.

When I speak of ego, as I did before, I am trying to point out the simple engine of being distracted by those material things (of the art as it is presented to us and from ourselves as a result of our habitual existence), those things that eventually we must confront because they cannot support a life of commitment. In terms of "surviving" (opting here to not get too stuck on the various meanings of this word), when we confront these things, we may either fall to replace one set of impotent (but now fully spent) distractions with another set of distractions (i.e. quitting Aikido and starting something else up), or we may expose all distractions for what they are then and there and thereby come to seek more real things, less material things, by which we can support our inner being and thus a lifelong commitment.

I am not out to denounce distractions, or those of us that consciously opt to train in Aikido as a distraction from other things, etc. However, this in my opinion is a short summary of the process that is underlying a lifelong commitment (one that is not in need of or making use of the official cultural distractions that the art now has in place to keep one going).

dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 09-08-2005, 04:07 PM   #59
MM
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

David Valadez wrote:
Quote:
I feel several people are saying very similar things here. If I may try to summarize what that might be, I think we are trying to discuss that "shift" that occurs in our practice where we go from having Aikido be less about what we do and more about what or who we are.
(Rest of post deleted to save space)

You expressed that more eloquently than I could have but it mirrors how I view things.

Mark
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Old 09-08-2005, 04:59 PM   #60
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Hello,

intersting topic. I love AIKIDO and have always and will always have the deepest gratitude for it in my life , both in the physical form of traning , which I did for many years and teaching , which I also did for many years , including starting dojo's.. I now surf and this is my PRACTICE. there is indeed many reasons why people leave formal training and move on to other things . life is amazing journey , process ... I appreciate all the parts of my journey and the opportunity to learn and reveiw life and bring the things I experience into the new challenges i face daily.. intergrating them ,growing , changing. Aikido has taught me so much . when I learnt to surf , which like Aikido takes disipline and patience , i was told , i was to old and would never get it , too late ect.. but from my experience of AIKIDO i knew to atay with it , daily and keep going over and over the basics till i got it... and now i teach and I compete and have many older and younger people amazed that I did this and do it so well... it inspires them to reslise if you have the heart and desire , you can do anything. literally. this is one thing aikido gave me..

ALSO , aikido has saved my life 3 times. twice when I was attacked , I was able to deflect the energy by simply by being calm and talking to the attacker , this happened atomatically and was because of my training... the other was when I fell 12 ft from a balcony and again automatically curled into a ball and rolled and thus broke extremties and not my back and neck.. i didn' think , it just HAPPENED... I know THIS WAS because of my training.

the other way it has helped is in my atttitude. no matter how ahrd and how diffuclt life has been and belive me I have had my share , even if I am knocked down and lost for a while , i eventually come back to center and push through... this is also from my training.

I do not currently PRACTICE on a mat , I don't wear a hakama , but i do practice AIKIDO , in my way... and maybe one day I will step back onto a mat and be a beginner again... and this is also is a gift i learnt form Aikido , being a beginner ....open to learn , fresh and willing even if I am older , limited physically whatever.

in my surfing , i work with a group for disabled surfer , last week , i taught a women with a prosetic leg , she couldn't do it like everyone else , again due to my training in AIKIDO , i was able to watch and then work with her to find out waht she COULD do and adjust the moves accordingly , guess what , she stood up and caught a wave.. for me , this was a complete high , nothing like it and to the others able bodied and young , an true inspiration...

so , for me , AIKIDO is very alive in my life ... and as I said I AM forever grateful.

thanks and hope this adds to this discusssion.

samia
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Old 09-09-2005, 02:09 AM   #61
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Haven't read all posts, but I got the gist....

I was introduced to aikido by way of an extremely energetic young man.

I trained in his dojo for three months, six days a week. He then explained that he was traveling to his sensei's dojo in Japan and invited me to come.

I came. I trained for three months. I learned more than I ever thought I would. I thought that I would never quit training in aikido given what it had given to my body and spirit.

After returning to the states, and training in a dojo with one yudansha who had never trained in Iwama, I found all kinds of reasons to avoid training.....they switch partners after every technique, the drive is 45 minutes each way, the guy is only a black belt, he doesn't teach technique the way I learned it, he tells me that I learned my technique wrong..." All kinds of reasons to begin to question my training.....

I trained off and on for the next two years, then left the mat for almost fifteen years. I always missed aikido, but practiced it off the mat.

However, even during the very intense three months that I lived in the dojo in Japan, I had days that I did not wish to be on the mat, but my presence was required. I still trained. Some nights, I just went through the motions as did my partner. Other nights, I ended up having to give it my all because of circumstances. Whether, "going through the motions" or "giving it my all" I always learned something. Sometimes, I learned something that night. Othertimes, I realized at a different keiko that I had learned something on a night of less than total enthusiasm.

My personal experience has been that whether I enter the mat with the total focus and intent to learn, or the grateful relief that I managed to drag my butt to the mat, I always learned something, my partner(s) learned something, and I walked off the mat a better person than I had walked on....

Such is aikido,

Brenda
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Old 09-09-2005, 09:42 PM   #62
rachmass
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Samia, thank you for stepping in and giving your own experience, as you appear to have practiced quite some time before stopping.

One thing I was thinking about today was that most of the people I personally know who have quit, and were at yudansha level, quit at sandan. Maybe this is a real mid-point rank where you are no longer a beginner yudansha, but are also not one of the higher levels, and maybe that contributes to it; or maybe it is just the circle of friends I have.

One of these people quit because he moved to another city where he did not like any of the aikido in the area, and he's far too busy with his work to start his own. Another quit because she adopted a child as a single woman and simply doesn't have the time, and yet another quit because she switched to a different dojo because of a move, and never felt welcome at the new dojo. All of these people practiced between 15-25 years, so a significant amount of time.

At this level, people have usually been training for quite some time, and so are at an age where life forces such as jobs, family, moves, etc. force changes, and aikido can often be the thing to go (most unfortunately). I quit once before, when I was pregnant with my son, and I stayed away from aikido for two years. When I came back, I opted to start in a different style (it arrived in town during my absence from aikido), so in some real way started all over again. At this point I have been practicing for 22 years, but am keenly aware that life could at anytime force me to re-evaluate practice. I sincerely hope that I will still be practicing in another 22 years, but have been around long enough to know that many people do leave, and there are as many reasons to leave or stay as there are people practicing this wonderful art.
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Old 09-09-2005, 11:04 PM   #63
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Rachel Massey wrote:
Quote:
One thing I was thinking about today was that most of the people I personally know who have quit, and were at yudansha level, quit at sandan. Maybe this is a real mid-point rank where you are no longer a beginner yudansha, but are also not one of the higher levels, and maybe that contributes to it; or maybe it is just the circle of friends I have.

One of these people quit because he moved to another city where he did not like any of the aikido in the area, and he's far too busy with his work to start his own. Another quit because she adopted a child as a single woman and simply doesn't have the time, and yet another quit because she switched to a different dojo because of a move, and never felt welcome at the new dojo. All of these people practiced between 15-25 years, so a significant amount of time.
I guess I see the difference like this. Someone who takes fencing lessons in college and then continues on after that because he/she likes it. And an Olympic Fencer. The first does it because he/she likes it, is entertained, enjoys it, and finds it stimulating in some aspect. But the Olympic Fencer lives and breathes it, wakes up to it and sleeps with it. It is a way of life intertwined with their whole being. Or the difference between someone who has a piano in their home and loves to play and a concert pianist who is in a symphony and plays because it is a part of their life.

The differences are that the first person does love the art that he/she studies and he/she practices as much as they can. They find a spiritual stimulation in it. But, when other things intervene, they find that they can step away from it and it doesn't really affect them as much as they thought it would. They find that they can stay away from it.

But, the second person. No, that's different. They love the art, but not because they find a spiritual stimulation in it. They love the art because it is a part of them and their spirituality encompasses all. That's the difference between those who reach a certain yudansha level and then quit, and those who reach that yudansha level and progress further.

I've seen both types of people and I've talked to both types. You'll hear it from them, too, because some know which catagory they fall into. For some, Aikido is a martial art. For some, it's their life. And people fall into the grey area between them. That's why some take longer than others to quit. But I still believe it all falls back into a "spiritual" aspect. For some, they find that Aikido doesn't fulfill that spiritual aspect. That isn't good or bad, it just is. They may find that some other martial art does, or chado or ikibana or bonsai or yoga. Sometimes their stage in life isn't at the right point for them to view, or accept, Aikido as their spiritual aspect. Some quit and then come back and take off from there. Some don't. Each person has his/her own spiritual aspect in some type of worldly function, whether that is a martial art, religion, sports, etc.

Throw into all the above, that people will change their priorities in life. So, even if Aikido is something spiritual for them, they may step back and put other things ahead of it. Examples are like you said, moving away, having a child, etc. Neither good nor bad, just living a life with certain priorities. Not everyone will choose spiritual over mental, physical, emotional, etc all the time, 24 hours a day.

But in the end, in my opinion, those that quit or stay, do so for spiritual reasons. Aikido is a spiritual path.

Mark
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Old 09-10-2005, 03:14 AM   #64
senshincenter
 
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

An interesting thing about folks quitting at 3rd dan is that this seems to be a place where for a great many of us the cultural distractions of Aikido training tend to thin out. In other words, this is where we either choose to go on to be a teacher, get a dojo, get a license, keep seeking higher rank (for the purpose of establishing yourself more as a teacher, etc.), do seminars, lead in federations, etc., or we do not. If we do not, one rank sort of becomes like any other rank - and as a result the hierarchy, etc., loses meaning or significance (in comparison to what it may have once been). In short, we are left only with our training and our relationship to that training. If we've figured out the spiritual significance of our training, it matters not that rank has lost its meaning, for example. In fact, rank losing its meaning actually comes to bring us to a deeper relationship with the art! If we have not figured out the spiritual significance of our training, and if we do not go on to distract ourselves with the art's various forms of cultural capital, quitting at 3rd dan is most likely as good a place as any to quit. I wonder... It's just a theory.

Where these folks going on to be teachers, etc., or were they more prime to go on just training for themselves as higher ranked practitioners?

dmv

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 09-10-2005, 04:21 AM   #65
gi_grrl
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Hear, hear, Anne-Marie!
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Old 09-10-2005, 09:07 AM   #66
giriasis
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Quote:
Fiona Evans wrote:
Hear, hear, Anne-Marie!
Hi Fiona! It's good to see you!

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 09-10-2005, 05:07 PM   #67
rachmass
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Interesting point David; I think you might be onto something there...
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Old 09-10-2005, 08:37 PM   #68
samiagoudie
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Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Thank you Rachel and everyone else in this interesting discussion,

I would like to add another aspect. I have traveled a lot in my life , especially when younger. I therefore trained with many many different Sensei , some for years , some for months , some weeks. I learnt something from all of them and could only do so because no matter what I would approach it as a beginner each time. I learn flexibility due to this and was able to mostly incorporate and ajust accordingly to the styles I was expose to and take something away each time that strengthened my technique and center. Some would say this is not a good way to train and each way has pros and cons.. I did have main influences and bias as to what was Best suited for me , but I also learnt to respect the strengths in each way and each teacher . SOME i found more difficult to adapt to and others felt familiar. For me this was a better option than only training where I felt most comfortable and was known. Sometimes as a black belt , people would try challenge me , try prove their way was better , but these incidents were not of concern for me and if anything simply became another learning. I was always told to pick partners who I found difficulties with and took this to heart , it is here we can learn the most , sometimes the joy of training with someone you just love to flow with is also fantastic and of course i loved those moments most , but the difficult ones taught me more for sure, about myself if nothing else.

I started teaching because when I returned to Australia , noone was teaching in the state I lived , SO with permission , I started and the dojo still xists 25 years later , with a wonderful SENSEI who took over after some years. I then traveled again and each place I lived started a dojo , so I COULD continue my own training where none was available. I loved it and learnt so much through this process , but often over time felt lonely and missed having regular teachers available ( as I had to travel to seminars or invite them to come to the DOJO and this was infrequent> . EVENTUALLY , after the landlord of the last place I taught didn't renew the lease , i decided to stop. I needed a break and to focus on other things and various other reasons as well played into this decision. WHEN i stopped I don't think I thought i would not formally train again , but I also felt i needed more just for myself and life was getting hectic and time was harder and harder to find. I never ever made money out of AIKIDO and never did it to get rank or money , just did it because I loved it , breathed it , dreamt it , lived it ... I still miss it and through this conversation find myself considering the challenge of returning ( there is a dojo near by ) this dojo is one of the styles i am least familiar with .... but then so what ... and I have also had severe injuries and my age ect ... all perhaps excuses , but yes , I do miss it , and yet i do feel that the spiritual teachings , the path , the way , is in my soul to stay ( as i wrote in the last post ) and have translated to other aspect of my life in new ways and new challenges .

I feel itis a mistake to think just because someone gets off the mat ... they are no longer training , the whole point is that the MAT is a practice place , yes a PRACTICE , for real life ... so , just cause you go onto other things , does not mean your not practicing... the Form is OUTER , the essence is inside ...

so , not totally sure if I am making any point specifically here , just some more thoughts and experiences from my life and my relationship with AIKIDO... each has their own way to journey. sometimes I feel i would love to have stayed in one place and built on my training with one school , imagining where this may have led me , but then who can know ? comparing mind will get you every time >>>LOL...

thanks , be well and may we all grow and learn and be open to the beauty around us.
samia
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