How Most of my Aikido Students Abandoned Me • Martial Arts Journey

Many people know that eventually after realising the flaws with Aikido and starting to question it – I decided to close down my Dojo. But few people know that before that most of my Aikido students abandoned me for a different reasons. Learn more about it in this preview of Lessons Learned the Hard Way.

Watch the full episode here:

Welcome to the Martial Arts Journey YouTube channel!

My name is Rokas. I’m a Lithuanian guy who trained Aikido for 14 years, 7 of them running a professional Aikido Dojo until eventually I realized that Aikido does not live up to what it promises.

Lead by this realization I decided to make a daring step to close my Aikido Dojo and move to Portland, Oregon for six months to start training MMA at the famous Straight Blast Gym Headquarters under head coach Matt Thornton.

After six months intensive training I had my first amateur MMA fight after which I moved back to Lithuania. During all of this time I am documenting my experience through my YouTube channel called “Martial Arts Journey”.

Now I am slowly setting up plans to continue training MMA under quality guidance and getting ready for my next MMA fight as I further document and share my journey and discoveries.

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Check the video “Aikido vs MMA” which started this whole Martial Arts Journey:

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  1. ( MOST : PEOPLES );, ARE , NOT !!!!! . ( STUPIT );, ( THEY ) , CAN , TELL , ( REAL , MARTIAL ARTS 🥋 ) FROM , FAKE 😂.!!!!!! ……JUST BY , SEEN , MOVIES .!!!!!! ….. OR , [ DRAGON 🐉 BRUCE LEE ] . OR ( SCOTT AKKINS ) 🥋OR HIS , BOOKS 📚📚📚 👍😎.!!!!!! …IS ( STEVEN SEGAIL) , REAL ? .😂🤣😂……

  2. Did you write to them all and apologise for exploiting them financially and emotionally? Did you offer to refund the money that you cheated them out of? The self reflection is a good thing, but you are not are not hero on a journey. You were an exploiter. Somehow, this never comes across. It's always them who appointed the expectations, always them who 'abandoned' you. It's still you right at the heart of it. Why not tell us about some of the people you exploited, and how you did it, and stop blaming them, or your old teacher.

  3. As someone who also spent several years in and around Aikido, I can tell you there is a lot of petty stuff going on between the big Aikido personalities. Aikido has a big problem in that it was opened up for everyone to teach and therefore so much horrible practice has proliferated. There is not enough governance over the quality of the different schools. I think there are a lot of neat things in Aikido but the teaching method, overall, is locked in time to the founder's post-war vision from the 50s and 60s. Therefore, it is a dubious claim to call Aikido a "martial art." Few teach it this way. It is mostly a cultural study, and there is nothing wrong with that. You can join an Aikido dojo and get a good workout, but you are not going to learn how to handle yourself in a real fight situation. A beginner BJJ, Boxer, or Muay Thai practitioner will annihilate an Aikidoist who has been training for a much longer period. Most people don't understand that Aikido is based off of Japanese sword arts, which is cool but does not translate very well to fighting in the modern day. Aikidoists make their practice look cool because they are cooperating with each other. In real fights, this doesn't happen. After several years in Aikido, I realized it was not giving me what I really needed, and in fact, was keeping me sheltered from the important lessons. For all of Aikido's high mindedness and lofty claims, I had to admit to myself that I just wanted to learn how to fight, and this is anathema in Aikido dojos. I believe this is true: The sword that cannot take life, cannot give life.

  4. I have noticed this in the traditional arts I dabbled in. It’s personality worship. The veneration of a personality who is deemed to have qualities and knowledge that place him/her in a lofty position way above the students.

  5. going through a revelation myself. I stop practicing for a 20 year period and came back to my dojo. When I left it was a fighting school. It became a classical school for a number of reasons and in my opinion became ineffective. I am going up for my black belt finally ., which means I could have a class where I can at least bring back fighting drills. The class is mainly older adults because they do nothing for kids, no tournaments, etc. I would like to start a dirty fight class for older adults. Start training them on low kicks and pressure point strikes and other tactics. any advice

  6. Mr. Rokas,
    I have checked in on your progress now for a while, and while I’m not a “ martial artist” myself, you seemed genuine, passionate, and good natured. I have found it important to surround yourself with genuine people who posses and display the positive attributes you want to nurture or acquire.
    This situation you described, says everything anybody should want to know about you and in my opinion, marks you as an individual worth knowing. Far too many people have found themselves (or directly cultivated) in situations where they’ve obtained an inflated sense of power/control over others. Often, the control is accompanied by total dependency on the authority figure. It is very hard for a person to stop once they get a taste of real control and influence over others. Too often, they start to expand their reach and cultivate deeper and more thorough control. I commend you on being a decent human being and rejecting an opportunity for wickedness and moral depravity.

  7. I do to some extent follow your argument, idolation being a major pitfall. I myself have been in my dojo for 16 years (started out at 14). Most of our senior students at that time only held shodan ranks, whereas now of course the situation is very different. However, most of the senior students and teachers stayed. One of the reasons is we have different teachers of around the same (yondan) level and no one gets payed. This has created a group that respects whoever is teaching on the tatami, but outside of that that same person is just one of the guys. No one claims to be infallible and I think this counters the possible pitfall of idolation. Happy to hear your thoughts!

  8. oh you do kendo too?! I've been wanting to practice that! sword play is something that I've been wanting to learn. karate didnt teach much of it. ya need to teach them fear is an illusion. you must face them to fight those negative impulses, because our greatest enemy is ourselves. once we are able to conquer our inner demons then we can worry about the ones here that want a fight lol XD. control started with ourselves before we could ever hope to control a situation in life or in a fight. it should be thier first lesson. that was what my karate teacher did. I wasnt afraid of her but I would not want her mad at me lol I done seen her break 6 boards in mid air before coming down X3. if I had to tho and it was life or death, fear would be gone. that's what is needed to save thier life in a situation like that and it can happen at any given time. conditioning is the biggest part of martial arts in general. you should tell them you should be respected always but also you should be a goal to surpass just like fear. we also had sparing tho so honestly that would make them less scared too ;). they get that mano e mano and see that they are not so different but need to improve. I got a taste of this with my karate teacher at whilst in first grade lol XD she would make it a game and mess with me while we fought haha. she turned it into a tickle fight one time Haha. did the same thing up into the older years when I could give her a run for her money XD. ide die laughing to where I couldnt even fight haha XD. it gets rid of alot of tension. me and her were probably closer to family than anything. I honestly miss her.

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