Discussion in 'Aikido' started by Big will aikido, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Big will aikido

    Big will aikido New Member

    Hi all, I have been training in Aikido for nearly 7 years and currently at 2nd kyu, I took my last grading in 2014. I have always wanted to achieve my Dan grade but not in an ego way like some but I have become very dissaponted with the whole set up.
    I am a big lad over weight but I never give up, always respect my sempai and senses's. For the past two years I have been told I am over weight and unfit and this has really knocked my confidence. I love aikido and found it to be a great release for daily pressures but feel I can't get over the comments of some seniors in my organisation. Also my confidence is low which has never been an issue as I played semi professional rugby, but grading does mean a lot to me and the achievement of a Dan grade is essential for progression, can anyone give me feedback on how to overcome my issues or is it time to find a new martial art, or just enjoy my training
  2. Simon

    Simon The Bulldog Admin

    Welcome to MAP.

    Being told you are overweight by those you look up to for guidance is bullying and it's possible these people are being unkind to mask their own insecurities.

    First off I'd ask if you are happy with your weight, or just unhappy with the comments.
  3. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    Nothing wrong with being large mate.

    Size is an advantage, as is having a background in contact sport to a high level.

    People putting you down over that say more about their own insecurities than about percieved deficiencies in you.

    If you enjoy Aikido then stick with it but I'd put money on you being able to paste everyone in your dojo on size and rugby experience alone (based on my experiences of aikidoka).

    If they are giving you jip after 7yrs then maybe give em the finger and try judo.

    Keep your heart and joints healthy and keep on trucking!
  4. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    They're probably just cheezed at how much extra work they have to do to make techniques work on you :D Don't sweat it. If you want to get fitter, do it, but do it for you.
  5. aikiMac

    aikiMac boxing is fun Moderator Supporter

    Very good comments, but for the sake of completeness let's play out the other side. Over the last 7 years, or even over the last 12 months, why have you not gotten yourself back into fighting shape? Why? See, the context here is that you've been doing a fighting art for 7 years, tossing people around and tying them up like pretzels and whacking them with sticks, but for some reason you have not gotten yourself into fighting shape. Well, what's going on?

    I don't mean it's right for anyone to pick on you. It's not. I'm just pointing out that there must be something going on in your life.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
  6. Simon

    Simon The Bulldog Admin

    Forgive me but that sounds a bit harsh.

    Take into account trying to earn a living, family pressures, paying the bills, relationship issues, health issues and a whole load of other issues.

    Also just because someone has been doing a fighting art doesn't mean they have to be fighting fit.

    We all train for different reasons.

    Also take into account the lack of support from the instructors.

    If I was picking on a student I'd hardly expect them to be my prize pupil.
  7. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    I think obesity is yet a very poorly understood problem. I'm always very skeptical of people who put it down to willpower or habits. These two papers:




    Inform my viewpoint greatly.

    The first is a review of three studies, one showing that adopted children's weight is more closely tied to their biological parents than their adopted parents, the second showing separated identical twins tend to have the same weight and the third an overfeeding experiment with prisoners; despite being force fed 10,000 calories a day, they only gained a moderate amount of weight and dropped it after the treatment, except those with a genetic history of obesity.

    The second paper shows that obesity is rising in pets, wild animals, zoo animals and lab animals.

    In other words anyone being a jerk about your weight is not only a jerk, they're ignorant. Managing obesity can be done, but it's likely to be a lifelong thing for you (as far as my reading suggests), and not one that's particularly easy. I'm really sorry that you're encountering this level of ignorance from your physical instructors - as if it needed to be harder to stay active, right?
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
  8. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member

    Calm yourself!

    .... Aikido is hardly a "fighting art" :D
  9. bigreddog

    bigreddog Valued Member

    Speaking as a 'big boned' martial artist, I wouldn't pay any attention to them. Your performance is the only measure that counts, and what you are happy with. (This is something have wrestled with a fair bit, but I've managed to keep scrapping regardless of my weight - pm me if you fancy having a chat about it)
  10. aikiMac

    aikiMac boxing is fun Moderator Supporter

    That's what I'm wondering about. We don't know if he's single and 25 and otherwise without any health concerns (one extreme) or married with children and 55 and taking care of an infirm family member (the other extreme). Or has his own health issues (also the other extreme).

    Nor forever 130 lbs overweight -- to make an extreme hypothetical. Our scenario is sketchy. That's all I meant.

    Indeed. Picking on a student is wrong. :mad:
  11. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    Is it really only for progression that you want a Dan grade or might ego a bit of reason as well.

    I'm just curious because: I think you need a little "ego-reasons" within as well, so you have the constant motivation to get better.

    "Ego" is not always as bad thing.
    It can become one, yes, but it's not necessarily though.
    In my opinion anyway.

    For example, what I mean:
    Do you want the Dan, so you can walk around shouting "Look at me!" - than it might be bad.

    Do you want the Dan, so you can say to yourself: "Gee, you did it, mate!" - that's not a bad thing at all.

    Playing a bit of the devils advocate, I don't mean it in a bad way!

    And first of: I even think that "overweight" (to a certain degree!) doesn't necessarily mean "unfit" as well!

    In my personal case it did!
    In the case of someone I know: He was 20/25kg overweight, but would be jogging for half an hour easily, probably more.

    I also think, there is a difference between "overweight" and "obese".

    In case you are "only" overweight but more or less fit, healthy and happy - who cares?
    Your life, you don't harm anyone.

    In case you actually are obese: Maybe they're not trying to be mean, but want you to get healthier, to have a "better life".
    Because, let's be honest: Being obese isn't fun and it's risky from a health point of view.

    I was roughly 100kg on 165cm and that wasn't fun. Sooner or later things hurt and are getting hard to do.
    I struggle to imagine how it must be, if they weight would have been 120kg or more kilos.

    So much for that example.

    Another thought: Are they actually trying to be mean and bullying you?
    or are they trying to give you a push, to get fitter, so you can get even better at Aikido and whatever else?

    I have two or three teachers that would say quite some stuff to me, they would never say to others - but it's to help me and give that little "kick in the butt", so I get moving and get better.

    In case it gets so bad, that you feel worse everytime you have to go there - do you have the opportunity to learn Aikido at another school?
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  12. Big will aikido

    Big will aikido New Member

    Hi all, thanks for the feedback some positive but some misunderstanding.
    Aikido is not a fighting art nor do you need to be fighting fit, it is a defensive art, my post was about confidence and if others have had the same treatment, anyone who knows me know I give 110% on the mat, it is a minority who think this way, I am physically very strong but always try to use the technique not strength as that would be too easy.
    Think I will look for a different organisation but keep training in aikido as I am passionate its just a pity these comments come from a sensei who I respect, this has stopped my progression due to his comments, can't move on to be honest,

    Cheers for comments
  13. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    Another thought, that seems to be obvious but for some reason isn't: Have you talked to him/ them?

    In case you have and they keep going to make you feel bad: Switch clubs to where you feel good again!

    Besides: Big Kudos for not working with strength alone!
    As someone who is a small weakling I always appreciate it, when my partners do that!
  14. Big will aikido

    Big will aikido New Member

    Hi Latikos

    When I first started I would agree with you about walking around and shouting orders but over the years and reading and understanding aikido I now think of achieving Dan status as a great achievement but the beginning of my training,

    The sensei's who made the comments possibly could be genuine in their comments and want me to better myself, but when it is constant that's where I think it starts to be a personal attack and uncalled for. I never give up I always get up every time I am thrown I push myself more than a lot of people,

    But thanks for the different though process points taken but I love aikido and respect most teachers, I need to put this to bed and move on I think thanks
  15. Big will aikido

    Big will aikido New Member


    I have never tried to be too strong, this is unproductive for both tori and uke, I personally like training with not as strong uke's as it is harder I believe to use the techniques and you have to concentrate hard to achieve this goal, uke with strength is easier to move and unbalance plus they have stiffness when using strength, thanks for your views
  16. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Best wishes with it and let us know how you get on in the next stage of your journey :)

  17. aikiMac

    aikiMac boxing is fun Moderator Supporter

    We'll agree to disagree about that. :D Over the years we've had a lot of threads on that topic.

    Very understandable. I can't fault you one bit for leaving a place where you're put down.

    Strength and suppleness are not mutually exclusive, but -- you're exactly right that your emphasis should be on correct technique. And for you as a bigger guy to be saying that, that's awesome. You're the guy I want for my uke. :happy:
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  18. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I am a tad confused. Are your Sensei's actually withholding possible grading due to your weight?
  19. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Why would you show respect to your teachers if they don't respect you?

    Either they should expect to get as good as they give or they should be polite to their students.

    I really hate all that fake hierarchy stuff. Respect should be earned in both directions.

    But at the end of the day, your instructor's comments are irrelevant. Either you're happy with your weight, in which case tell them so or find another dojo, or you aren't happy with your weight, in which case do something about it and find a dojo that will be supportive of your goals rather than belittling you.
  20. Poirate

    Poirate New Member

    My own experience, though in JuJutsu/Judo, is when wazza are being applied properly -- perhaps excepting some leverage based techniques -- raw strength shouldn't be necessary to achieve the desired effect. To illustrate my point: some years ago I was a strapping 6ft rugger and my training partner, a far weaker woman of 5ft 4 could very easily put me on the mat doing just that. Moreover, being able to moderate your strength in favour of technique surely demonstrates greater mastery.

    As for your predicament. If you could bear attempting to discuss the matter with your Sensei (correct me if I have misunderstood, he isn't the only culprit?) to ascertain what is motivating his behaviour, then perhaps reason with him, that seems like a sensible approach. If his really is a hurtful eejit, change club asap. Unfortunately I only have passing familiarity with Aikido, nonetheless can't see why weight is any real impediment to further promotion unless hyper-fitness is a crucial component of the exam syllabus.

Share This Page