Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why in the world would an over-50 take up aikido?

Why, indeed. I first heard about aikido as a young teenager and was immediately fascinated. However, circumstances didn't allow me to pursue it at the time. Took up karate in my late teens and continued for a couple of years. A few years later, I finally  started aikido in Cambridge, MA under Kanai Sensei. The training was great, but I only stayed a few months. I was still in my hot-headed years and after training in Shotokan karate,  found aikido "too soft". My exact phrase was, "doesn't feel like I'm doing anything". After that experience, life and responsibility took over and I dropped all thoughts of martial arts. Spent the next decades concentrating on strength training and physical fitness. 

Fast forward 20 years. Stumbled on an aikido dojo in town and decided to check it out. Liked it and joined. I was 48 and in great shape, but the training was challenging. Especially the bruises. Plus, I was having trouble with rolling and was constantly landing on the same tender spot.  For 4 months I nursed sore shoulders and back until I lost patience and quit. That was 7 years ago.

Now I'm older, wiser and still in pretty good shape. Probably better than before,  since I added running to my training a few years ago. So I'm going back to the dojo. This blog will track my experiences as a middle-aged man starting aikido all over again. I know the training is going to be tough. I know there will be sticking points and frustration. I also know I don't want to quit again.  I'm hoping writing everything down will give me a some objectivity and even little encouragement when the going gets rough, and it will.


  1. Hello, and welcome back to Aikido!

    I'm so glad to have found your blog (via AikiWeb, I think?). I'm sure I'll be a regular reader.

    I just started training in May 2009, at 46 (and not in great shape, at that point). My blog is at You might enjoy it, too.

    See you here, on AikiWeb, and maybe on the mat someday!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Linda (and for following!). You have a great blog, very professional. Mine's just a scratchpad for my workouts. Best of luck with your training!