T Nation

Some motivation

Last night I took my first Aikido class. It’s a Japanese self-defense martial art focused on stopping attacks as quickly as possible. Mostly by using techniques that focus on breaking bones. Pretty cool actually. Really the point of this post is not about Aikido. It is about motivation. I took this class and I woke up this morning with that NEED (I know some of you will know exactly what I am talking about) to go to the gym because the next time I go to class I want to be stronger. I want to be faster. I guess the gist of this message is that 1) Keep it fresh and find a way to get excited about going to the gym. Yah I know it’s hard to be excited about it every day but you know what I mean. 2) Use the gym as a catalyst to reach other goals. Not just being (to quote T-Mag) HYYYYUUUGE! ! ! But to build self confidence or maybe even to do a sport you never thought you could do (I am thinking about doing some rock climbing soon). 3) My last point… Life is short… Play hard… Peace…

The best way to stay motivated in my case is to document pounds used and chart it. The problem with the entire focus on hypertrophy is that changes happen in millimeters.

I’m glad you had a good time at aikido class. It’s great to hear that you also found a way to turn it into a motivational tool. But I was alarmed to see that you think aikido is about breaking bones and that you need to get stronger to make it work.

First: aikido is about blending energy to reach a point where you can discuss your conflict. It is NOT about breaking bones. The words “ai”, “ki” and “do” in Japanese basically mean “the way to harmonize energy.” The founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (also known as “O” Sensei) conceived of his aikido as a martial art with a moral compass.

Second: aikido is not about who is stronger or bigger. I am a 45 year old female. My weight generally ranges around 130 - 135. Height is 5’ 6.5". Obviously there are a lot of men (and women) who are taller than me, stronger than me, younger than me and outweigh me. Nonetheless, aikido still works for me. It works especially well with taller, heavier, more muscular individuals because I use the physics of that person’s own body against them.

Third: Who the hell am I to talk? I am a shodan (1st degree black belt) married to a nidan (2nd degree black belt). Although we’ve both put our aikido on hold for the past year in order to really concentrate on our lifting, we’ve both put in many, many, many years on the aikido mat. We’ve been to aikido dojos from Guam to Virginia. We’ve attended aikido seminars taught by students who learned directly from O-Sensei. Gotta tell ya, not one of them ever said aikido was about breaking bones.

In another post, on the Off-Topic Forum, this guy says it was a street-defense class under an Aikido umbrella. I don’t think he really believes that aikido is about breaking bones.

to trialdog. First. I am really sorry you took one line out of that whole post and where “alarmed”. But you will have to admit, and since I am pulling this information from other resources than just my Sensei, that Aikido has many combative techniques that put a lot of focus on controlling the conflict (Pg 5 Nihon Goshin Aikido Student Guide by Steven Weber, Yon-dan, SouthEast Director, The Aikido Academy of Self Defense). If that means snapping their wrist/arm then so be it. I am also sorry you were offended so much that you had to start a pissing match which honestly you would win. But none the less you felt a need to flex your muscles. Good job. And brider was right. That’s not all I think Aikido is about. If it was then I wouldn’t be taking the classes. Maybe you think Aikido is about publicly intimidating others on internet bulletin boards? Good luck in your journey in Aikido and weight training.

Trialdog was not “attacking” you, but trying to educate you about the true background of Aikido. Calm down.

My apologies for having offended you. That was certainly not my intention. I just wanted to clarify some of the principles of aikido. Since last night was your first night, I was under the impression that you had walked out of the dojo thinking aikido is an aggressive or offensive martial art.

As I mentioned in the first line of my post, I’m glad that you found this class motivational. Outstanding! Keep it up. Aikido can be very rewarding, relaxing and satisfying. I hope you enjoy the rock climbing also. No one is trying to rain on your parade here.

Where my concerns lie is in your inter-action with other aikido students. Having taught and been taught, I can assure you that most other beginning students are simply trying to figure out where their hands and feet go. They aren’t ready to handle your level of enthusiasm and you could easily hurt someone who meant you no offense. If, on the other hand, you have senior students on the mat also (which is common in many dojos) then you need to be aware that the energy that you give will be returned in kind. In that situation you could easily be hurt and then you’re off the mat for a period of time.

Bottom line: your excitement and enthusiasm are great. I wish you good luck on your journey. Just make sure you pack your common sense with you. A self-defense class where you or your collegues get injured is something of an oxymoron, wouldn’t you agree?

Rock Climbing is fantastic. I used to climb constantly and got quite good at it. Eventhough I still do regular pull ups in my gym routines, i can’t do nearly as many as i used to be able to while climbing. You don’t grow bigger, you grow rock hard… . . My grip and finger strength was also much better then than now.

motivation is having mirrors in your house…everywhere. kidding, but it helps if u look ‘hyoooge.’ Getting motivated to go to the gym consists of making a HUGE pot of coffee and dissolving some ephedrine alkaloids (or hydrochloride) (or both) in it. I get to lift tomorrow…yay!

ef… Like I said in my first post I would like to try rock climbing. How did you get into it? Any tips would be great. Thanks !