Sunday, January 23, 2011

Taking up a Martial Art. Aikido

Before I started Aikido, I had a really sedentary life. I tried several tricks like going swimming regularly or going to the gym. I never felt motivated to go on with solitary sports on the long run.

So after being fed up with swimming, or better to say with not swimming as regularly as I should have, I decided to pick up a martial art. I opted for a martial art because I had some deeply imprinted memories about karate trainings from my childhood. I did not remember much, just stretching, being really thirsty, being punched in the stomach, laughing a lot on the way home. That kind of pleasant exhaustion we all know after intense physical activity. Not only this, but also that feeling of balance and self-confidence the practice of a martial art can give you.

With all these nice memories I started browsing among martial arts. I read a lot about martial arts in that period and tried to figure out what would fit me best. I had a green belt in Shotokan Karate when I was a kid, but most of the knowledge was forgotten. It was not something I could build too much upon, so I decided I would sign up as a beginner anyway. Browsing among martial arts I found Aikido. I must admit I chose it because of the nonviolence and best martial art for women motto, but by now I know better.

So after picking Aikido I was sure I was on the right way. Training would imply meeting other people who would be enthusiastic about martial arts and most probably about Japan and Japanese culture also. This was the perfect ground that would keep me motivated to train regularly. I knew that missing classes would result in Sensei and the others asking why I wasn't there the last time. I also knew from previous martial arts experience that it was really hard to catch up with the others once you missed out (a reason why I hated Katas in Shotokan Karate). In addition, something you instinctively do in martial arts in compare yourself with others, which is sometimes demotivating but other times can make you develop and earn more knowledge.
I hope this small article helped you and if you are still undecided, I listed some points that might help you.

You should pick up a martial art because:

1.) it is healthy
2.) practice is done in groups, which is more motivating than struggling alone
3.) comparing yourself to others can both motivate and demotivate you, it is up to you!
4.) you learn something new and can develop yourself
5.) you gain more self-confidence

And these are just a few points I listed above.  About the first Aikido training in my next post. Until then, keep it real and let me know if this article helped you in deciding to change your lifestyle and picking up a martial art! Feel free to leave a comment or send me a mail.

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The Voice of Aikido


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