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Odd One
01-13-2007, 09:57 PM
ok first off I'm not posting this to start another on of "THOSE" threads....quite frankly I really only want to hear from people that actually know what they are talking about but I have a feeling I might be asking too much....but anyway here goes.

I've been watching alot of footage on Aikido and for some time had a deep urge to begin training in a life long Martial Art, meaning I don't think I can go back to Kick Boxing as I feel I am getting older. ....From what reading I have done I am very interested in taking up Aikido BUT I have a couple of problems with what I have seen in the video footage and from all the reading I've done in the forums and so on.....You see as much as I like the the attitude of Aikido there is that nagging question in the back of my mind "does Aikido really work"????.....from my understanding it takes a very long time to begin to master this art and be able to apply it in real situations....I perfectly understand that one would say that Aikido is not about learning how to fight people but quite the opposite, but if I'm going to spend the next ten years training in a Martial Art I would hope to think that after all that training I would be more than able to handle an attack on the street if needed..........

Now I hope anyone reading this post is reading all of it and not just picking out the parts that looks like I'm attacking the credibility and effectiveness of Aikido....were as in actual fact i cant decide either way..

Does any of the training in Aikido involve handling Boxing techniques???....for all the footage I have seen has been defense against some kind of over the head (slowly applied) type of chop, which quite frankly in my entire life I have never seen anyone attack someone like that. Nor have I ever had someone grab my wrist to attack me. They usually just punch me "straight" in the face.

I'm from Melbourne in Australia.....nearly every second guy I've met here has some Boxing experience as I do too....I'm skeptical!

I suppose the short answer is to train in striking and apply it into Aikido techniques. But then why wouldn't I just go and join a Hapkido club instead?....I like the idea of softness but I ask sincerely .....is this Martial Art just going to get my ass kicked? :( ..

01-13-2007, 10:49 PM
Other people study dancing, I study Aikido, just another "art", like a hobby of mine. I enjoy the dynamic/flowing movements of Aikido as a friend of mine at the dojo calls it "beautiful Aikido".
About Aikido works or no, I really don't know b'cuz where I live, I probably won't have a chance to (hopefully don't have to) apply Aikido to save my rear end and actually while training, I slightly enjoy being uke more than nage.

Mike Galante
01-13-2007, 11:21 PM
Yes, how many times have I heard people say that they started Aikido because they wanted what you want and then realized that they wanted much more. Choose wisely. (It might be your holy grail!)

Ryan Sanford
01-13-2007, 11:28 PM
It all depends on your goal. Quite frankly, if your goal is strictly self-defense, then you're probably better off studying a different martial art. In my opinion, Aikido takes a longer time before you would feel comfortable to use it in a real life situation. If you aren't worried about hurting your opponent, than just kicking/punching them is a whole lot faster and easier than a complex throw. For me, however, the non-violent side of Aikido is really important, so other arts wouldn't suit me as well.

Also, I wouldn't rely on videos on the internet to decide your martial art for you. Anyone can put something on youtube, they don't have to be a certified dan rank to do that. IMO, you should get out and experience an Aikido class firsthand. Look up some dojos in your local area, and ask if you can pay a mat fee to just train for a day or so. Hope this helps. :D

L E Heggestad
01-13-2007, 11:46 PM
Hi Tony,
You may be interested in reading through the "Emergency Services" thread in this forum (General) started on 12-26-2006. The poster wanted feedback from people whose jobs give them the opportunity to use their Aikido in real life. There aren't a lot of replies, but the consesus is that it works.

01-13-2007, 11:56 PM
IMHO, you should rephrase one question, and ask yourself another. Instead of asking "Does Aikido work?", ask "Can Aikido work for me?" If you are called upon to defend yourself, there are many variables which will determine whether and how you will use your Aikido training, not the least of which are all those other things you have trained in. Perhaps you will use an Aikido frame of mind, or improved balance, or breathing principles to aid you while you are using your boxing training or grappling skills as well. Aikido does not have to be the complete answer, but can add dimensions to your "toolbox" in so many ways.

The other question you should ask yourself is "If not Aikido, then what?" If there are other options available to you in your own situation that make better sense, then pursue them. Only you will be able to determine what is the best fit for you. We on this forum really cannot answer that for you. But I put it to you that it wouldn't hurt to experience Aikido firsthand for as long as it takes to reach an informed decision.

01-13-2007, 11:57 PM
Does any of the training in Aikido involve handling Boxing techniques???....for all the footage I have seen has been defense against some kind of over the head (slowly applied) type of chop, which quite frankly in my entire life I have never seen anyone attack someone like that. Nor have I ever had someone grab my wrist to attack me. They usually just punch me "straight" in the face.
If you visit enough dojos you'll see Aikido applied to probably any attack, so really it depends on the goals of the particular dojo. The grab is more than simply holding on to someone...as I've been taught. It's really a suppression of the arm designed to allow entry/penetration, perhaps with a strike from the other hand. Some will focus more on the martial aspect of things and some won't, but I think all of them provide a very healthy activity which promotes coordination and relaxation, things which have helped me far more than any ability to throw a punch. Still, it's all a matter of taste. Check out a variety of dojos...you might prefer Shodokan/Tomiki style...in my limited experience, they're quite vigorous and defense-oriented.
Good luck!

01-14-2007, 01:13 AM
First of all you need to understand how Aikido works. the methodology is to teach strategy over tactics. Which means instead of teaching alot of "defence vs" type things (that would include boxing attacks, MT attacks, karate attacks etc etc - IOW a huge amount of tactical training time required), it has representational attacks. These may not be realistic in themselves but the idea is they are enough to teach you the aiki concept which can then be applied in any situation. Aikido is not about learning projection28 to deal with attack 22. It's about learning to get off the line, blend, lead and finish.

The subject of whether at some point attacks beyond the standard "representational" ones should be applied is the subject of huge debate. You'll find many people on both sides of the fence.

Two more things to bear in mind.
1. If self defence is indeed your *primary* motivator - *most* would agree Aikido isn't the best, and certainly not the fasted track.

2. Many things I've seen and thought looked unrealistic were a different kettle of fish when I was experiencing them on the receiving end. Don't judge *too* much by videos - go get on a few different mats and see what you think.

scott rogers
01-14-2007, 02:03 AM
Hey, hows it going, i have heard and been asked those very same questions.As well as asked them myself in the beginning of my training.Well i had a friend who has been an aikido student for about twenty four years and i posed some of the same questions to him,like whats up with the overhead strike and such.He said, and now i understand, that actually applying aikido techniques is easier when it's from someone throwing a regular punch.And my teacher(sensei) explained to me and i have seen it in other arts i have studied,that when it comes to a real combat situation, things like wrist grab techniques and all the other seemingly complex moves aren't going to be done step by step in the street,rather what ever opening arises, take it.What we do in the dojo is like the sensei giving us the tools, we must learn the way to use them.Aikido is wonderful, it opens your mind , eyes, and heart in a huge way to things i never thought possible.When it comes to a fight, basically the idea is don't think, just act, the moves just kind of flow out like thoughts or words.

Michael Varin
01-14-2007, 02:12 AM
Hello Tony,

Aikido has a lot to offer. If you can find a good dojo, I highly recommend making a commitment to training at least three times per week for three months before you write aikido off. It really can be a transformational practice.

As for practicality, you have to understand that the techniques you will learn in aikido probably aren't the best if all the scraps you plan on being in look more or less like a boxing match.

The wrist grabbing and the shomen uchi may seem ridiculous to you. Just as your boxing skills would seem to a man who carries a sword, a knife, and a few shuriken. If you had no weapon yourself, you would have to either stop him from accessing his weapon or stop him from using it against you. Both will likely involve you grabbing his hand or arm. If he strikes at you, your approach has to be entirely different than boxing; you can't absorb even one cut from a sword.

I believe that you shouldn't fight unless you are defending yourself, your property, or someone else from an unprovoked attack. 99.9% of these situations can be avoided, but when they occur they are life or death, and preferably you would be armed, because while undesirable killing the aggressor is legitimate. If this is more like your idea of a "real" situation, then boxing isn't very practical.


Mark Uttech
01-14-2007, 08:28 AM
Aikido will not protect you from death when the time for your death comes. Practice = life simply means that you have an agenda for living.

In gassho


Kevin Leavitt
01-14-2007, 08:48 AM
Good advice from all above.

I think you need to ask yourself why you want to study martial arts to begin with.

1. "I'am too old for kick boxing".

This implies to me that you'd like to study some art that will allow you to be effective without having to deal with the much of the physicality that is associated with Martial arts.

I am 41 years old, I do not have the speed, nor do I heal as fast as I used to. That said, I have developed experience to mitigate those factors.

There is no holy grail, If you care about martial effectiveness, you need to be in shape, you need to be as fast as you can, and conditioned. There is a certain amount of pain that will be involved in any martial art that is worthwile studying. Aikido possesses no secrets in this area.

That does not mean you need to be a hard head or demonstrate physical proweness everyday, but you need be there physically.

2. Does aikido work? apply in real situations:

A tricky question, it depends on what real situation you are talking about I suppose. Sure it works.

I will assume that you are talking about some sort of Realty Based scenario.

Bottomline, speed, strength, wits, experience all play a part. Personally if I were really, really concerned with developing myself rapidly I'd stay away from aikido.

That said, schools that would help you develop these skills, might be in conflict with your first issue. "I feel I am too old".

If you are too old now...then 10 years from now you will be too old then! What will change in the equation?

There are many shorter ways to prepare yourself for physical violence. Mitigation through avoidance would be the best. Followed by learning to use some sort of advantage through weapons of some sort. If ethics and laws come into play, then non-lethal weapons training.

You still need to be in good physical condition at some point though.

What happens when you are 70 or 80 years old and a 20 year old guy attacks you? You probably lose. so why bother in the long run?

To answer your last question, IF you are worried about getting your ass kicked, then most likely this will happen if you study aikido ( or really any martial art) from this frame of reference.

Don't waste your time with aikido, there are better ways to mitigate your risk than aikido. It is primarily not concerned with fighting but concerned with living.

01-14-2007, 12:36 PM
Being that you are used to sport training like kickboxing with lots of sparing, drills, resistance. I'm not sure aikido will fit with you well in the beginning. You will have to unlearn a way of learning and learn a new way of learning.

Does it work? Well that all depends on how you train it. If you train with compliant kata 100% of the time, your chances are low that it will work. But if you add resistance, timing, motion, maybe even sparing. Your chances will go up.

The trick is to find a dojo, go in there and take a class. Decide for yourself after feeling it. But don't stop there, make a list of other arts you think might fit in as you get older (I would suggest bjj personally, but I think you should also look at tai chi, karate, judo, etc). Go try those classes out, see how they mesh with you.

Before you do that however, sketch out your goals in training, and what you do not want from training. Take this list with you. See if the classe meets these goals.

Personally, I don't see how you can ever be too old for kickboxing. You might get too old for competition, or sparing with the younger guys, but you can always spar, train, and even coach. It's just a change in approach.

Jorge Garcia
01-14-2007, 01:33 PM
Everyone has learned their parts so well, it sounds like an old choir practice! I think I won't sing the soprano this time. I'll just lip sync. :) You all know my part in the old song anyway.


01-14-2007, 02:10 PM
Now I hope anyone reading this post is reading all of it and not just picking out the parts that looks like I'm attacking the credibility and effectiveness of Aikido....were as in actual fact i cant decide either way..

Greetings Tony,

I see you are a "right-to-the-point" individual...as am I. You are going to find that there are several individuals, who will readily identify themselves, that are sharpshooters at any ones posts...ignore them.

I have thirty five years Shotokan and Kenpo Karate training, and thirty years Shodokan Aikido training. I am 51, and operate two schools. One school is in the projects/slums and all types of violent crime is prevalent. We promote a community policing attitude with the students we draw from there. At any given time, there are two or three marked units parked out front...and most of the time unmarked SRT/Forensic units. The "Five-Oh" as the locals call us, are in side training.

From firsthand, twenty five years plus street level experience...Aikido will save your behind. If you try to apply the "dojo ballerina" technique, you will get eaten up. You have a background in kickboxing..do not forget what you learned, add it...it will enhance you martial attitude.

We train ERT/SRT/ESU...there is no sugar coating to our training and its methods. There is a huge difference between learning an art and learning to apply it in actual violent situations.

I started the thread "Emergency Services"...I thought that I might get more replies...I am still hoping. I know that most who would post there do not sit in front of the computer on their off time...we are training instead.

There are Shodokan dojos in Australia...you might want to visit one and check it out.


Roman Kremianski
01-14-2007, 03:16 PM
I don't think anyone can explain how you "do" Aikido on the street.

If you think you're not good enough, then odds are, you probably aren't good enough.

01-14-2007, 03:32 PM
Everyone has learned their parts so well, it sounds like an old choir practice! I think I won't sing the soprano this time. I'll just lip sync. :) You all know my part in the old song anyway.


We could switch, next time, you tell them my part, I'll do yours.

My part is simple, just tell them they need to question, be open minded, spar, and read matt thornton.

I'll just tell you that you are wrong :D