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Old 11-15-2005, 05:49 AM   #1
LadyLailah
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Question Is it possible?

Hi all,

As I tried to explain in my introduction, my current goal is to master and teach, for many reasons. There's nothing else in life I want to do more, it's a must.

I've just turned 23, which I know in the run of things is still young, but I know people at more advanced levels have been practicing since their childhood. I'm worried that I'm too old now to achieve what I want, especially as I'm so unfit at the moment.

Is it possible to master when starting at an age of 23?
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Old 11-15-2005, 06:17 AM   #2
philipsmith
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Birmingham
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Re: Is it possible?

Yes of course it is possible but don't look for quick results.

One good example is Mr. William Smith who began Aikido at the age of 32 in the early 60's. He was a IAF superior councillor and head of national Coaches for the British Aikido Federationfrom 1976 to 88. He still trains at the age of 76 and is now an Aikikai Shihan and was awarded the MBE for his services to Aikido in 2002.

So it's a long road but worth pursuing.
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:02 AM   #3
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
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Re: Is it possible?

Hi Victoria,

As Phil says, don't expect to master Aikido quickly! First things you will learn are just how uncoordinated, unfit, and unbalanced you are It does get better. You will learn how to move, balance, be aware, flow with the timing of other's movements.

23 is not too old to learn these things. I'd say it's about the right age - you still have youth and baseline fitness on your side, you will recover more quickly, your bones and joints have stopped growing so less chance of damage, and you are mature enough to understand the subtleties of the art and exercise some patience.

Aikido does not in of itself teach self defence. It does teach self awareness and allows you to grow in many ways. It's a great art to study for a lifetime. If it's self defence you want, there are other avenues to explore - feel free to PM me for more info!

Ruth (training since age 19)
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:12 AM   #4
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
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Re: Is it possible?

Master Aikido? Very few people can be called masters of Aikido, so try not to set too high of a goal, because early setbacks (there will be) will just frustrate you. Just start, set realistic objectives, commit and work hard, in time you will see progress in yourself, you will grow and hopefully you will gain the strength to fullfill your dream. Now, less talk, start the journey!
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:52 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: Is it possible?

IMHO, Aikido is not something you "master" but something you continually refine.

It is never too late to start or to share with others what you have learned.

There is an old sword story of a young man wanting to master the sword, the master said it you take him 5 years. The young man offered to train everyday, and the master said it would take 7 years then. The young man offered to train all day everyday then. The master said it would then take him 10 years. Astonished, the young man asked why longer. The master explained that if he focused so much on the end goal he could not pay attention to the lesson he was learning today.

A distance running coach said that the secret was, "not stop".

Relax, breath, and enjoy the training.

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 11-15-2005, 09:08 AM   #6
EricH
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Newfoundland
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Re: Is it possible?

At the risk of sounding like a character in a bad kung fu movie, "You should concentrate on the journey and not the destination." Training should be a goal in and of itself. Mastery will follow by itself.
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:57 AM   #7
tedehara
 
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Re: Is it possible?

Quote:
Victoria Tonks wrote:
Hi all,

As I tried to explain in my introduction, my current goal is to master and teach, for many reasons. There's nothing else in life I want to do more, it's a must.

I've just turned 23, which I know in the run of things is still young, but I know people at more advanced levels have been practicing since their childhood. I'm worried that I'm too old now to achieve what I want, especially as I'm so unfit at the moment.

Is it possible to master when starting at an age of 23?
If you know that this is what you want to do, then do it to the best of your ability. If you want to improve your Aikido and need to increase your general fitness, then there are other activities you can do for that.

You will never master Aikido. You will never master any art. There may be people who call you "Master" but for the practitioner there is no mastery, only more to learn. If you think of yourself as a "Master" then you have stopped learning. Learning Aikido is a process, not a destination.

Ted (training since age 38)

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:14 AM   #8
James Davis
 
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Re: Is it possible?

Victoria,

You don't necessarily have to be a master to teach. You can be of help to a beginner regardless of your rank. If you want to get good at aikido, you can. If you want to teach, you will.

If you don't quit.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:20 AM   #9
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Is it possible?

Quote:
Victoria Tonks wrote:
I've just turned 23, which I know in the run of things is still young, but I know people at more advanced levels have been practicing since their childhood. I'm worried that I'm too old now to achieve what I want, especially as I'm so unfit at the moment.
What you want to do with your life is a decision you have to make yourself. If you seriously want to become a professional aikido teacher or something like that, I think it's entirely possible, but you need to think about how to achieve that. What's your plan? How much time are you prepared to devote to aikido practice? Are you planning to do other things to get fitter? Are you going to be able to support yourself financially while you prepare yourself for your goal? as far as I know, there are no student loans for studying aikido...

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:19 AM   #10
justin
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Re: Is it possible?

I have often heard my fellow students say what a good session that was only to hear the sensei say I don't know I was to busy teaching, why rush I say just enjoy the ride.
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Old 11-15-2005, 12:06 PM   #11
roosvelt
Location: Ontario
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Re: Is it possible?

One of my sensei started in his late thirty.
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Old 11-15-2005, 12:36 PM   #12
LadyLailah
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Re: Is it possible?

I do understand it's the journey and not the destination, and enjoy training a lot. And of course, you can never stop learning. I don't have any problems supporting it financially either. I have been to groups in the past but haven't found one suitable. I'm very much hoping to find somewhere soon, and get up and go

Thank you all for your opinions Much appreciated
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Old 11-15-2005, 02:12 PM   #13
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
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Re: Is it possible?

My teachers tell me that one of Ki Society's senior instructors didn't start aikido until he was 48. I find this very encouraging (I was 39 myself, and sometimes wonder if I will live long enough to be any good at it....) It seems that aikido is not like gymnastics or figure skating, where if you don't start as a child you will never be excellent at it. You can definitely reach excellence starting as an adult.

If you passionately want to teach, you may wish to choose your dojo on that basis, or seek out opportunities to learn to teach aikido--it only partially overlaps with learning to do aikido. One of my instructors did a year-long teachers' training in Japan, and she definitely has a much richer set of instructional skills for it, as well as remarkable eye for assessing students' technique. Some dojo put a heavy emphasis on learning to teach, others don't, and if that is a major focus for you, it's worth searching out.

Mary Kaye
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Old 11-15-2005, 02:26 PM   #14
ajbarron
Dojo: Calgary Aikikai
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
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Re: Is it possible?

Hello Victoria,

Welcome to the wonderful and wacky world of aikido. I started at 49 and after 6 years will be testing again in 4 months. I believe George Leonard Sensei (Co-founder of Aikido of Tamalpais)

www.tam-aikido.org

started in his late forties, and in his 70's now and still active and teaching..

It never stops; my ikkyo changes all the time.................................... one day it will work.

I teach a children's class and they teach me..................... but mastery.......................... that is an elusive one.

Enjoy the ride.
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Old 11-15-2005, 07:03 PM   #15
Nick P.
 
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Re: Is it possible?

Mastery is one thing. Teaching is another.

You will likely be called upon to teach before being anything close to a master.
Or you might be a master, and never be asked to teach.

Count your blessings, and enjoy where you are now; it only happens once.

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Old 11-16-2005, 03:09 AM   #16
crbateman
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Re: Is it possible?

In Aikido training, one should simply strive to be better today than yesterday, and better tomorrow than today. With this philosophy, it's NEVER too late to start.
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Old 11-16-2005, 05:17 AM   #17
Ben Joiner
Dojo: Templegate Dojo
Location: Cardiff
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Re: Is it possible?

Hi Victoria,

Where in Wales are you based, where have you trained to date, and how far are you prepared to travel to train?

Please feel free to mail me privately if you don't want to post all that on the thread. Good luck with your search.
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:33 AM   #18
ian
 
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Re: Is it possible?

Someone here used to have a good saying on their signature like "some people have 12 years of experience and others have 1 year of experience 12 times".

I completely believe that your advancement depends on many more factors than time spent. This includes:
1. ability of instructor to teach you
2. your predisposition to understanding aikido
3. commitment
4. ability to reflect and analyse what you do effectively to improve your training

Thus if you are focused (and probably if you get to see alot of different instructors in a serious and commited way) you could improve rapidly.

23 is young for starting aikido - you'll only be 43 in 20 years time. Unfortunately with aikido I don't think just jamming in lots of training can necessarily make you a great aikdoka or a great teacher. Much of it is making the internal connections with what you are doing and unifying your aikido into a complete whole - I think that's what takes alot of time. After 17 years of training I have only just started to do that.

Wanting to be a master and wanting to teach aikido are two very different (and possibly contradictory) things. If you want to be a superb martial artist you need to learn and learn and learn and never stop learning. If you want to teach, maybe you should try teaching something that is easier to transfer accurately with less experience until you feel more confident with aikido (not that teaching doesn't help you learn more about aikido). I don't know any good martial artist that would consider themselves a 'master' in the western sense - the more you know, the more you realise how little you know!

If you have been training a while, ask if you can help with beginners classes - this may help you get an insight into what you yourself are doing.

P.S. why are you so unfit at the moment? - that is much easy to solve than becoming an expert in aikido!

Last edited by ian : 11-16-2005 at 08:38 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:30 PM   #19
Leon Aman
 
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Re: Is it possible?

Quote:
Victoria Tonks wrote:
Hi all,


Is it possible to master when starting at an age of 23?

Why not, I see nothing impeding you to reach that point so long as you devoute yourself to that goal.
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:34 PM   #20
Leon Aman
 
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Re: Is it possible?

Quote:
Victoria Tonks wrote:
Hi all,
Is it possible to master when starting at an age of 23?

Why not, I see nothing impeding you to reach that point so long as you devoute yourself to that goal.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:10 PM   #21
RobertFortune
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Thumbs down Re: Is it possible?

Quote:
Victoria Tonks wrote:
Hi all,

As I tried to explain in my introduction, my current goal is to master and teach, for many reasons. There's nothing else in life I want to do more, it's a must.

I've just turned 23, which I know in the run of things is still young, but I know people at more advanced levels have been practicing since their childhood. I'm worried that I'm too old now to achieve what I want, especially as I'm so unfit at the moment.

Is it possible to master when starting at an age of 23?
-----
Hiya, Victoria!

As Clark, Eric, Lynn and others have all said, it's possible to start at age 23. To master with the intentions of teaching before you have even begun is like the old saying of "putting the cart before the horse".

Mathematically speaking, statistically the average healthy person can expect to live some 75 years or more. Given that you've lived 23 years to date and have learned all that you know to date in those 23 years do you think you can learn (some) Aikido over the next 50+ years or do you think you will require more than 50+ years to do that?

Not to be a over-quoter of quotations, but like the saying says "The longest journey begins with the first step." From a more practical view there are some questions only you can answer:

1) Can you afford it financially? If not, is there any thing(s) you can\would give up that would allow you to be able to afford it financially?

2) Are you able and willing to add it as a new and regular part of your daily life? Do you have the time to add it to your daily life? If not, are there any thing(s) that you are willing to give up doing to make the time for it? Aikido like any physical activity cannot be completely mastered then forgotten and ignored. It is a lifelong, day-at-a-time commitment.

Many people fail at taking up things like Aikido because they fail to live up to the commitment required of them. It's all about "patterns of behavior". One can do just about anything that one puts one's mind to do, including doing nothing at all, provided that one is willing to commit the time and effort required to do that which one wants to do.

You should, if you aren't already, be aware that Aikido is not just about one's physical self. It is also about one's inner self and learning a means to manage and maintain it in as healthy a state as possible much as one learns to manage and maintain one's physical health from the regular and continued practice of Aikido. They are two sides of the same coin. Aren't *I* a quoter of quotes tonight folks? :-)
Peace, Justice & Love.

Aloha,

-Robert
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:50 PM   #22
6th Kyu For Life
Dojo: Oberlin Aikikai, Oberlin Ohio. Utah Aikikai, Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Re: Is it possible?

O-sensei started doing Martial Arts when he was 19 years old, and, of course, didn't start doing Aikido until much later.

Looks like you got four years of catching up to do.

Peace,
Tom Newhall
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Old 11-18-2005, 04:51 PM   #23
James Kelly
Dojo: Glendale Aikikai
Location: Los Angeles
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Re: Is it possible?

A beginning student once asked my sensei what he had to do to become a sensei himself (I'm sure he was in his late 20s early 30s). My sensei replied, ‘practice for 20 years. if you still like it, open up a dojo.'
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Old 11-23-2005, 11:02 PM   #24
AlexisB
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Re: Is it possible?

Quote:
Tom Newhall wrote:
O-sensei started doing Martial Arts when he was 19 years old, and, of course, didn't start doing Aikido until much later.

Looks like you got four years of catching up to do.

Peace,
Tom Newhall
Really???
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Old 11-24-2005, 05:27 AM   #25
LadyLailah
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Re: Is it possible?

Thank you all for your input.

I'm popping to National Aikido Federation in Bristol and will hopefully find what I'm looking for there
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