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Talon
03-01-2007, 05:05 PM
Hey guys, I've been training Aikido at a small dojo for almost 5 years now. These feelings that I'm having have come and gone in the past but are getting a lot stronger this time around and I'm on the verge of quitting. I joined Aikido for mainly a self defense and fun aspect. I still enjoy classes and the people I train with but I'm getting the feeling of inadequacy when it comes to martial effectiveness coming back. I've been recently checking the videos and threads on Bullshido.com recently and it really isnt helping. Actually, on bullshido.com, March was officially declared Aikido Sucks month. Everywhere I go i see Aikido bashing and no documented evidence of Aikido's effectiveness in a martial content. Not even a decent live sparring video, never mind the real deal on the streets.

I'm getting old and I have the feeling maybe I'm just wasting my time training in something that will ultimately just get me hurt if I try to use it in the real world.. In class yesterday we have incorporated, random randori with more realistic attacks such as haymakers, punches, kicks etc. and I found myself really struggling even at half speed attacks. My techniques didn't seem to flow well at all. I often resorted to taking the uke down with a Judo type throw. I admit I probably had a bad day and we did not do this type of practice in the past really so maybe it will get better.

The sensei is a personal friend of mine as we became good friends over the years of training. Recently, I have been thinking of trying a martial sport such as kickboxing, judo or jujitsu and just quitting Aikido all together. I'm getting old though so I don't know if this is a good idea as well ( I turn 37 today).... Lets just say I'm confused.

I see Matt Thornton's aliveness videos and write-ups and can't help but to agree with most of what he says. This is one of the reasons why I pushed this more random, more realistic attack training in our dojo and the sensei thankfully agreed that its probably a good idea.

Some people call Aikido a cult and think we all are delusional. I've read accounts of ex-aikidoka who quit the art of Aikido and say it was the best thing they did to improve their martial training.

I hate to start a new thread talking about effectiveness, god knows I have read enough of them on here in the past. I'm just reaching out to my fellow Aikidoka to help me through this confusing hard time and hopefully I'll get through this without leaving Aikido practice for good.

Any advice, encouraging accounts or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Dan Rubin
03-01-2007, 05:39 PM
Happy birthday!

You already know what to do. Leave aikido, start studying a different art and see what happens. After a period of time you'll decide to return to aikido or not return.

If you want to learn more aikido, stay with it. Maybe you're just burned out with your dojo and need to move to another one, perhaps a bigger one.

If you want to learn self-defense, join a school that teaches self-defense. If you want to learn kickboxing, judo, etc., join a school that teaches that.

Often people take a break from aikido (or whatever their art) for a year or two, then return to find that they're refreshed and relaxed and happy to be back. Others leave aikido to find that at this point in their lives they needed to start along a different path.

I sense that your real problem is that you feel guilty about wanting to leave your aikido dojo. If that's your real problem then focus on that, not on whether aikido is an effective martial art.

Best wishes for whatever decision you make.

jason jordan
03-01-2007, 06:05 PM
I may be setting myself up for some serious ridicule here but I have to say to you "Congratulations".

I find that whenever I feel that way, it makes me question myself, and my art, and my reasons for practicing Aikido. It then challenges me to make the things I feel are lacking, and improve on them...it's called growth.

Often times when we feel that the level we are on has stopped challenging us, and has stopped motivating us we come to a cross-roads, "Do I keep pursuing?" "Or do I quit?" There are days when I know that my Aikido is effective, and then there are days when I wonder...

There are days when Im at my dojo that I feel like "wow I really do that technique well" And then I go to my sensei's dojo and feel as though I am the biggest fraud ever.

But it is these types of days that should keep us
1) Honest, humble and not delusional
2) dedicated to perfecting the imperfections that we are questioning.

If I were you, I would think about taking what I see as in-effectivness and try to improve on it.

What makes "Aikido" "your aikido" ineffective? what should you have done, or could you have done?

Isn't it funny that Millions of people in the world practice Aikido, and yet you never see or hear of anyone using it in street situations....Budo = to stop war.??????
Maybe Aikido works to well?!?!?!?! ne?

Sometimes I work out with some BJJ and Judo guys, not to compete but to help me not be delusional. Some days these guys can't touch me, other days they own me, and I use the bad days to learn from my mistakes, and work on them.

No art is 100% "not even Bjj" this is why we are "students" of the arts; to study the art, find what works for us, and what doesn't and better ourselves, and not others.

Why should you care about what someone says about aikido or any other art, your opinions should be based on your personal study and not that of someone else's.

Do you think that after 5 years you have come to learn all that you are going to learn about your art? I would dare say that after 5 years you have probably just learned how to do your techniques without getting off balance.

I'll be quite now, but maybe you should think about these things before quitting. Because what happens when you change arts, and after 5 more years of beginning all over again, you spar with someone and they kick your butt? Do you say that art did not work as well? or in the event of starting all over again you do get into a fight in the street and that guy kicks your butt? I guess that art didn't work either?

I hope I don't sound like an ass and if I do, i'm sure my fellow aikidoka will let me know that I do, but these are just my opinions.

With all my love
Jjo

Iesu wa shu

ChrisMoses
03-01-2007, 06:41 PM
I've been recently checking the videos and threads on Bullshido.com recently and it really isnt helping. Actually, on bullshido.com, March was officially declared Aikido Sucks month. Everywhere I go i see Aikido bashing and no documented evidence of Aikido's effectiveness in a martial content. Not even a decent live sparring video, never mind the real deal on the streets.



I'm as big a critic of aikido as anyone, but Bullshido is a bunch of BOTTOM FEEDERS. I'm not saying don't give judo or jujutsu a shot just to see what it's about, but don't give up on aikido because some pimply 14 year old wanna-be Gracie tells you to. That is all..

eyrie
03-01-2007, 07:15 PM
I see Matt Thornton's aliveness videos and write-ups and can't help but to agree with most of what he says. This is one of the reasons why I pushed this more random, more realistic attack training in our dojo and the sensei thankfully agreed that its probably a good idea.


Firstly, budo is not "monkey see monkey do". Smart monkeys think. Secondly, "aliveness" is not just a physical thing, but more so a mental attitude. So, I see nothing inconsistent with Matt Thornton's words and how you choose to incorporate that into your own training.... even if you come from a "softer", more "fluid" style of aiki.

Just Jamey
03-01-2007, 07:39 PM
Paul,

I can sympathize with getting discouraged with all the derogatory opinions out there about aikido. I went through a period of questioning myself, my aikido training, and the reasons for practicing, after getting way to focused on these seemingly prevalent opinions. What I noticed most about these opinions is that they are espoused by sports fighting fans, Gracie-followers, and sports fighters. The idea they put forth is that if it isn't effective in the "ring" (Pride/UFC/K-1) it must be worthless.

These are the thoughts I have come up with for myself. The goal of Pride/UFC/K-1 type fighting events are to win by knockouts (KO's or TKO's), submissions, or scoring decision. Fights occur in a controlled environment (ie - the ring) with one-on-one adversaries. Training is specifically focused on acheiving these goals. These professional fighters spend at least 5 times as many hours training a week than I ever will be able. The fighting they do is extremely effective for the goals they are striving to achieve, and I have a lot of respect for their skills.

However, TKO, KO, and submissions are not the only possible goals, or outcomes to a fight. What about avoiding the fight? What about escaping the situation? There are more variables that exist in the much vaunted "real world" or "street", such as, terrain, space, multiple combatants, etc. So are these types of events really the only gauge of "effectiveness" for all styles of Martial Arts? If it's not "ring worthy", is it automatically worthless?

I have come to believe that "ring worthy" is not the end-all-be-all to determining martial effectiveness. I'm not saying, nor implying, the professional fighters can't hold their own out in the "real world", and I'm not claiming that MMA venues have no bearing on what is effective technique. Ortiz, the Gracies, Liddel, and all the others are probably some of the best prepared people for any type of fight. All I argue is that it isn't the only gauge to what is effective. If you lead a person to the ground, using Aikido, there is a good chance that person isn't going to jump right back up. Let's face it, the ground is very unforgiving.

Would I be able to jump in the ring and compete with a professional fighter? Absolutely not! Not because Aikido is ineffective, but because I don't train to fight professionally. The difference in training regimes and overall fitness is why I would get beat. If I were to get in a confrontation with the average person, I am confident of, at the least, being able to hold my own long enough extract myself. I don't train to be "invicible", and "unstoppable" (in part because that's just not realistic for me); I train to be able to extract myself from a situation. Different goals to my training.

Why is it so hard to apply aikido techniques? Because it is a very technical and difficult art to learn. That is part of why I love it. It constantly challenges me to improve.

I don't know if this helps you, Paul. However, good luck.

Aristeia
03-01-2007, 08:03 PM
Firstly, budo is not "monkey see monkey do". Smart monkeys think. Secondly, "aliveness" is not just a physical thing, but more so a mental attitude. So, I see nothing inconsistent with Matt Thornton's words and how you choose to incorporate that into your own training.... even if you come from a "softer", more "fluid" style of aiki.actually no, I"m sorry but that's just not accurate. You may wish to run an argument that there is something called "mental aliveness" and that it can be effective or whatever. But to claim that substituting menatal aliveness for a fully resisting training partner is consistant with what Thornton says, is just plain wrong.

NagaBaba
03-01-2007, 08:17 PM
Hello Paul,
Simply give up this self defense nonsens idea in aikido, aikido has nothing to do with fighting. O sensei developed it for completly different reasons. Buy a gun if you feel not safe -- as Gracie do it once they are in Brasil LOL.

Aikido it is very serious stuff, you need to study deeper then searching for aikido application on the street. However if you like to kick ass poor loosers then go to MMA training.

eyrie
03-01-2007, 08:44 PM
actually no, I"m sorry but that's just not accurate. You may wish to run an argument that there is something called "mental aliveness" and that it can be effective or whatever. But to claim that substituting menatal aliveness for a fully resisting training partner is consistant with what Thornton says, is just plain wrong.

Whoa! I made no such claim...

I said two quite separate things.... well 3.
1. Aliveness isn't just physical - it's also a mental attitude... as I perceive it.

2. I find nothing inconsistent with what Thornton says regarding aliveness training - physical or otherwise. IMO, aliveness training is a good thing... irrespective.

3. HOW you CHOOSE to incorporate what Thornton says is up to you.

Obviously, and unless you're a trained monkey... you are going to have to make your own judgment call on the level of aliveness, fully-resisting training, and safety. But at no point did I claim or even suggest that any sort of substitution was in order, or even consistent.

ccain85
03-01-2007, 08:48 PM
i am in no position to criticize you or tell you what to do as i have only been training for about 5 years myself. however, i do feel obligated to remind you that the true essence of aikido, is NOT fighting or winning competitions. aikido is extremely deep and, at only five years of training, you have only begun to scratch the surface. on the other hand, if you are sure that aikido just is not for you, then the best of luck to you in whatever path you choose to follow my friend.

best of luck

Hebrew Hammer
03-01-2007, 09:53 PM
Paul,
It seems to me that these 'other' people are saying what you feel. Aikido isn't the only art misunderstood or with nay sayers. Take your pick of Tae Kwon Do, Ninjitsu, Judo, Tai Chi...etc. Its what you feel in your heart my friend. Every relationship doesn't last forever, this maybe your five year ich, I think you should take a break...try another art as long as its not criticized on Bullshido or taught by Ashida Kim. If you stay you'll just be resentfull. Dont' be afraid of change.

Jorge Garcia
03-01-2007, 10:58 PM
Hey guys, I've been training Aikido at a small dojo for almost 5 years now. These feelings that I'm having have come and gone in the past but are getting a lot stronger this time around and I'm on the verge of quitting. I joined Aikido for mainly a self defense and fun aspect. I still enjoy classes and the people I train with but I'm getting the feeling of inadequacy when it comes to martial effectiveness coming back. I've been recently checking the videos and threads on Bullshido.com recently and it really isnt helping. Actually, on bullshido.com, March was officially declared Aikido Sucks month. Everywhere I go i see Aikido bashing and no documented evidence of Aikido's effectiveness in a martial content. Not even a decent live sparring video, never mind the real deal on the streets.

I'm getting old and I have the feeling maybe I'm just wasting my time training in something that will ultimately just get me hurt if I try to use it in the real world.. In class yesterday we have incorporated, random randori with more realistic attacks such as haymakers, punches, kicks etc. and I found myself really struggling even at half speed attacks. My techniques didn't seem to flow well at all. I often resorted to taking the uke down with a Judo type throw. I admit I probably had a bad day and we did not do this type of practice in the past really so maybe it will get better.

The sensei is a personal friend of mine as we became good friends over the years of training. Recently, I have been thinking of trying a martial sport such as kickboxing, judo or jujitsu and just quitting Aikido all together. I'm getting old though so I don't know if this is a good idea as well ( I turn 37 today).... Lets just say I'm confused.

I see Matt Thornton's aliveness videos and write-ups and can't help but to agree with most of what he says. This is one of the reasons why I pushed this more random, more realistic attack training in our dojo and the sensei thankfully agreed that its probably a good idea.

Some people call Aikido a cult and think we all are delusional. I've read accounts of ex-aikidoka who quit the art of Aikido and say it was the best thing they did to improve their martial training.

I hate to start a new thread talking about effectiveness, god knows I have read enough of them on here in the past. I'm just reaching out to my fellow Aikidoka to help me through this confusing hard time and hopefully I'll get through this without leaving Aikido practice for good.

Any advice, encouraging accounts or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

You already know what you want to do. You should do it. Just don't blame Aikido. Sounds to me like you guys must be pretty #### by what you describe. At a dojo where they emphasize the martial aspect more, you'll find that people have confidence in the art. Some of the others are right though, Aikido isn't about fighting so if you want to feel good about that, do what gives you confidence and is on the Bullshido.com approved list. I would hate to live my life like that but it may be your only choice. You may find that changing arts won't help your situation that much. You may be a bigger factor than the art is.
Best wishes,
Jorge

Talon
03-02-2007, 12:24 AM
Ok. Guys thanks for all your thoughts. I must say that we are not a soft style and do all our techniques in a real martial way. The sensei does treat our school as a martial school and had experience in other arts in the past (wrestling, Karate / kick boxing). We are by no means what you’d consider aiki fruities and pretty well all students feel that their training is martially effective. I hope that I did not give anyone the opinion that our school in any way was of the aiki fruity type.

When we do our techniques, we do them in a way that they are effective and often painful. I don’t really have any doubts that when performed properly the technique will be effective and I actually encourage tori/sensei to do the techniques realistically on me so that I feel some pain or lock before I submit and get a good stretch. I also perform the techniques in the same manner. I don’t like cheating these things and want to feel their effectiveness. The problem that I find in my short journey so far is how difficult it is to get into the technique in a random type attack and when there is resistance or countering from the uke. This quite simply may just be a matter of training more in this and thats what I’ll focus on doing.

Like others have mentioned, I too have days when it feels like everything goes almost perfectly and I feel my techniques are effective and smooth. There are days when I feel like nothing is working and I have learned nothing. Sometimes perhaps things seem worse than they really are just because of our mood or the way we feel that day. Yesterday was a bad day for me and combined with all the reading I have recently done just made me doubt my training and myself.I guess I just do too much reading and worrying about these things lately and it just started to spill out.

I consider myself a realist and realistically I have not tested my skills, thats all. I am not in this to beat people up, fight competitively, be unbeatable or a superman that can kick anyones ass. Lets face it I have grown up by now and those things just don’t interest me and people who have egos like that always came across to me as idiots. Becoming the toughest guy out there does not interest me in the least.

Thanks again for all your suggestions and thoughts. I have made a decision. I’ll be staying at my Dojo, training more and reading bullshido less.

Aristeia
03-02-2007, 02:19 AM
ok, I had tired to post a reply before but my connection must have given out. Shame because it was a work of art. Let me try again.

Your doubts on aikido are most likely justified. This does not mean that Aikido is of no value from a martial aspect, just that it will take longer and not be as effective as some of the other options. When people have doubts the question they ask themselves should always be - why do I train? If self defence is your *primary* goal, there are better options out there. The problem is that there are many other reasons to train Aikido, but often these reasons are harder to articulate than "self defence" so it's easy to devalue them in your mind. Ask yourself - if you had very good self defence but were not still doing aikido, would that make you happy or would you still miss the training?

Which leads me to my next point - this is not an either or situation. for many years I trained Aikido and then for several years I trained both Aikido and BJJ. I found that each art helped the other - the BJJ made my aikido more effective and the Aikido helped my BJJ flow more the way it should. So you can go out and crosstrain in something else - make it something complimentary and watch how both arts grow together. Be careful about throwoing out the baby with the bath water.

The only reason I'm not still training both is that with a young family I also need to be hanging out with, time is a problem :-)

Also there's no way you're too old to start something new. I have older people than you walk through the door of our BJJ club routinely.

There are some people (some of them on this thread) that will try and convince you that if you try to look outside of Aikido, or if you find Aikido not realistic enough for you, that it's your fault and you are somehow deficient in your aikido training. This is rubbish.

I'll say that again, this is rubbish. Don't let anyone tell you that looking to expand your knowledge beyond the confines of an aikido dojo indicates any kind of failing on your part. It is a very positive and courageous step - and something you should be firecely proud of.

The kind of doubt, questioning, and critical thinking that leads to this step is the thinking that drives progress.

Don't buy into the "but you've only been doing it for 5 years - you' can't expect it to work yet" nonsenese either. If self defence is of interest, 5 years should be enough of an investment to see a significant return. I'm often stunned that some people seem to think that telling someone in their 30's that this art is so subtle it will take 20 years to show results, is some sort of selling point. Three's plenty of arts that will give you very good unarmed self defence capability after 5 years.

Having said all of that.

Bullshido jumped the shark some years ago. where once it was a useful site dedicated to uncovering what amounted to MA fraudsters, now it's a pack of self congratulatory back slappers who need hear no more than the name of the art you do to deride it's effectiveness if it doesn't fit the mold.

I know of several people that have used Aikido effectively in physical altercations. I have used it effectively at times on the BJJ mat.

Understand also that Aikido isn't like other martial arts. It's not so much about winning the fight as getting out of the way of a fight. Which means most of the time when Aikido is deployed effectively, it's not in the sort of environment that is likely to be caught on tape.

I was reading through an old black belt magazine the other day (circa 1996) and there was an article by a well respected martial artist at the time recounting an incident where he'd had to deal with multiple attackers in a bar. He talked about the importance of not trying to "win" a fight, but just get out. He talked about throwing people aside as they came at him, not to beat them but to create space to move and escape. It sounded alot like Aikido.

The martial artists name was Rickson Gracie.

My reccommendation - find something that you think you might like from the alive arts - muay thai, judo, BJJ, wrestling, boxing, sambo etc. But keep doing your aikido as well, at least for a year or two (after the initial bloom of the new art has died down) and then make your own informed choice.

crbateman
03-02-2007, 03:24 AM
Sometimes people just get the training "blues". It might very well be that you do need a break from Aikido. Three suggestions: 1) Don't be impulsive. Wait until you're certain it's not just a passing feeling. 2) Leave the door open to return if you decide you want to. 3) If you decide (and you're the one who has to) that you need a break, find something else to do that you like, then do it with gusto. Best of luck to you.

stelios
03-02-2007, 03:44 AM
I do not know abour your aikido. Mine, tested on the street three times already, works just fine. You say you have trained for 5 years now. This makes you (at worse) 2-3 Kyu. There are lots of things to be met down the pathway, still.
For me the fact that you question your abilities is a very good thing. I wish people did this more often. Yet questioning your abilities is one thing and discarding them altogether is another. Give it some time.
What we practise in the dojo is very different from what we would do out in the street but the basic idea is the same. Most (if not all) techniques give you ample space to apply for instance a "stronger" nickyo, a stronger atemi etc.
Give it some time...

Ecosamurai
03-02-2007, 05:04 AM
I've read a large amount of these sorts of critiques referred to by the original poster.

I have two main points. One, everyone who posts on the bullshido are immature idiots and are mostly in my opinion, plankton.
Two, all martial arts throughout history have always been designed for a specific purpose and are fit for that purpose. Learning Kendo will not help you in a UFC competition. If you want the best martial art that will beat all others I'd suggest going to your local military run dojo and learning thermo-nuclear war, guaranteed to win all fights, maximum effect with minimum effort. The stated aim of aikido (stated by the founder) was to gain victory over ones self. I have found nothing better for acheiving that aim than aikido.I'd advise going to other dojo and looking at other arts and seeing what best suits you, you may find that aikido was never for you to start with.

But, having said that, to throw some more fun into your aikido training if your sensei will allow it try the following: A common critique of aikido is that if someone throws an unrealistic punch and then just leaves their hand outstretched for you to play with then and only then will you be able to grab their wrist and apply kotegaeshi.
My standard response to this is that the unrealistic punches you see are training tools only, never try to grab uke's wrist, aim for their shoulder as this is the slowest moving part of the punch and draw your hand down their arm maintaining contact until you reach their wrist, while doing this you must make sure you are away from any other attacks they may deliver. If they withdraw their hand after the punch (i.e. snap the punch quickly like a jab) then by aiming for the shoulder first you wil find that the bring their wrist to your hand rather than you having to chase it.

None of that is particularly helpful in learning the subtelties of aikido such as timing balance centredness and so on but it may be a fun thing to try and may help assuage some of your fears concering aikido.

Regards

Mike

SeiserL
03-02-2007, 05:44 AM
Happy birthday my young kohai.

I say that because we belong to the same family. I train in Tenshinkai Aikido at the Westminster Aikikai in Orange county California under Tenshinkai founder Sensei Dang Thong Phong.

IMHO, read George Leonards book on Mastery. It talks about learning plateaus and being discoraged is the time to continue training. Its a natural part of the process. To get to the next level we need to see through this one.

I would agree with a lot of the criticisms and support alivenedd in training. I often attend cross-training seminars to help keep it fresh. Very few of us will ever actually need any of this on the streets, therefore I may be wise to keep the practical application in minds, but shift the goal towards personal development, skill refinement, better health, and a good time.

Change if you want. I started at 44 and am now 56. IMHO, it has been worth the discipline to see through the rough times.

Rei, Kohai.

DonMagee
03-02-2007, 06:19 AM
I'm getting old and I have the feeling maybe I'm just wasting my time training in something that will ultimately just get me hurt if I try to use it in the real world.. In class yesterday we have incorporated, random randori with more realistic attacks such as haymakers, punches, kicks etc. and I found myself really struggling even at half speed attacks. My techniques didn't seem to flow well at all. I often resorted to taking the uke down with a Judo type throw. I admit I probably had a bad day and we did not do this type of practice in the past really so maybe it will get better.


Remember this, if you switch to a more 'alive' art like judo or bjj, everyday will be like this for months, maybe years. The struggle is part of what happens against real attacks. People do not do what you are told they will do by your teacher. Sparing is about learning to read, predict, and adjust to a living person. If you can not accept constant failure, you will never stick in an 'alive' martial art. You will fail every single day, get tapped out every single day, punched in the face, and get thrown on your butt every single day. Then when you think you have learned nothing, a new guy will join and you will realize he is now how you were. You will be the guy where everything works, and he will be the guy failing every single day. Then a purple or brown belt will put you back on your butt and the circle repeats.


The sensei is a personal friend of mine as we became good friends over the years of training. Recently, I have been thinking of trying a martial sport such as kickboxing, judo or jujitsu and just quitting Aikido all together. I'm getting old though so I don't know if this is a good idea as well ( I turn 37 today).... Lets just say I'm confused.


You are never too old to start boxing, bjj, judo, etc. You might be too old to get into the olympics, or to compete professionaly, but you are never too old to train. Contrary to what I hear, boxing, judo, bjj, etc are arts you can do your entire life.


I see Matt Thornton's aliveness videos and write-ups and can't help but to agree with most of what he says. This is one of the reasons why I pushed this more random, more realistic attack training in our dojo and the sensei thankfully agreed that its probably a good idea.


Matt has great ideas. If you frequent the posts I frequent you will hear me push them often. I believe all training should be with 'aliveness'. However, aliveness does not mean training in boxing (although Matt says any art trained alive eventually looks just like MMA, kickboxing, or bjj anyways). Aikido can be trained alive. In fact I'd suggest you find my thread on training drills I think would help make aikido more alive. Maybe give those a try and see if it gives you what you need. It looks like your sensei is open to new ideas. If he is open and will give you what you need, then switching might not be needed. However, there is no point trying to fix something that is broken when something that works is right next too it. If you can't get what you need from your school, find one that can give you what you need.

Some people call Aikido a cult and think we all are delusional. I've read accounts of ex-aikidoka who quit the art of Aikido and say it was the best thing they did to improve their martial training.

Anyone who quit any martial art and kept practicing martial arts is going to say the art they quit was the best thing that happened to them. If they thought aikido was better then bjj, they would stay with aikido. There are guys who have left judo for ninjitsu (something I think is a total scam of a martial art). they claim it was the best thing they ever did as well. Never listen to personal stories about how X martial art works or doesn't. It's not about the art, its about how seriously you are willing to apply yourself, and what training methods you use. There is no teacher in the world that can make you a fighter. They can only guide the path you set down.

Any advice, encouraging accounts or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

I'd suggest reading the threads I link on this thread http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11847

Then, think about if that will give you what you want. You need to decide what you want from your training. Then decide if your school gives that too you. If you want self defense, 90% of self defense is awareness of your environment and keeping out of trouble. 10% is learning to fight. By adding some aliveness on a regular basis, you can make sure you are ready to deal with most untrained and some trained attackers. You could stay with aikido and even supplement your aikido with a few months of bjj or boxing. With 3-6 months of bjj, judo, or boxing, you will be able to totally control most untrained attackers. Then if you enjoy your dojo, you have no reason to leave.

However if you want to fight, and be able to deal with trained attackers, guys way bigger/stronger then you, etc. You are going to need to amp up your training to a level most judo/bjj/boxing clubs train. This means cardio training, strength training, tons and tons of technique drills, and large amounts of sparing. An aikido club is not the best place to get that kind of training. If you are concerned with the development of skill rapidly, you need to understand aikido is not a place for that as well (along with most non-sport martial arts).

Finally, I like bullshido. I spend a lot of time there posting and hanging out. Its a great place with good ideas on what real training is. But they also love to make fun of stuff. Take aikido sucks month will a grain of salt. Last month was wrassling sucks, the month before that TKD sucks. It's not about what anyone says is the best or worst martial art. Its about you, and what you want from your training. If you take anything from there message, its about honesty. If you are honest with yourself about what you are really doing, then you will not fail.

If you do decide to leave aikido, I'd suggest judo or bjj. Both of these arts aikido will lend a good deal too.

Jorge Garcia
03-02-2007, 08:33 AM
There are some people (some of them on this thread) that will try and convince you that if you try to look outside of Aikido, or if you find Aikido not realistic enough for you, that it's your fault and you are somehow deficient in your aikido training. This is rubbish.

I'll say that again, this is rubbish. Don't let anyone tell you that looking to expand your knowledge beyond the confines of an aikido dojo indicates any kind of failing on your part. It is a very positive and courageous step - and something you should be firecely proud of.


I think it's alright to doubt. It's fine to test things, it's wonderful to look outside of Aikido (I do three different arts myself). What I was referencing was that Bullshido.com was affecting you more than that hard painful training you do in your dojo. It seemed to me that if your dojo's training was realistic enough, that a website should not have affected you that much.
You know what you know in your experience. I've been reading what the party line says on this topic for a long time but that will never move my opinion an inch because I know what I have been through. If I want to learn grappling, MMA or BJJ, I'll go to those schools and learn like any beginner but my current training is good enough for any normal person who lives a normal life. I am judging normal on 50 years of experience. If your Aikido training causes you to doubt, you may need BJJ, MMA and grappling and I would be the first to tell you to join one of those schools and get some confidence because that means you need it.I do not accept the proposition that for self defense,everyone needs to look to those arts first. It all depends on the danger factor in your life. If you are a cop, a soldier, or a guy who loves to hang out at bars late at night or in crime infested areas, go for those good arts. If you train hard in Aikido and get really good, you will be fine 99 percent of the time in a self defense situation. Just stay away from Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, or any of our Aikiweb ground guys if they should go to the dark side of the force. :eek:

Best wishes,
Jorge

aikidoc
03-02-2007, 09:02 AM
Just a couple of thoughts. THere are some that do focus on a more martial aspect of aikido and even train for UFC type matches (Jason DeLucia I believe).

Another thing to consider is maybe your reasons for studying have changed. If you truly want to get in the octagon and mix it up you'll need at least to do cross training. If that is your goal. Another approach and one used by my sensei in the past is to train with guys from other arts and test your aikido against them and then try to figure out what to change to make it work against their arts. If you are only trying to do aikido, then your experience against other options or attacks or styles is limited. Perhaps figuring out how to make your aikido work against other styles might be the fix.

Most people never use their art for self defense. You train your body in case you do have to use it. So why train if the likelihood of ever getting into a hand to hand combat situation is remote? Perhaps the pursuit of the discipline and the higher ideals and philosophy are what you are really seeking. Unless, of course, you are out there picking fights or putting yourself in situations where altercations will occur. Personally, I'm proud to say that I have not been in a fight since grade school and I absolutely have no interest in getting into the octagon. However, I do have several taekwondo students from time to time with black bets that like to test one's mettle. That and occasionally students who are tremendously strong physically that make techniques a challenge. For me, that is enough. I also always teach with the martial perspective-I show the openings, pressure point strikes, etc.

Perhaps the best thing to do is sit down and re-examine your motives and goals for studying aikido. If the art no longer matches your needs or purpose, then you might want to explore other arts.

Budd
03-02-2007, 09:04 AM
A few things:

1) As others have said, don't take Bullshido too seriously. There are some really knowledgeable, tough and competent people on the site and LOTS of wannabes looking for attention (even met and trained with both varieties in person). I used to participate quite a bit over there, but kind of got tired of having the same discussion every month regarding the next couple of points.

2) You'll get out of aikido what you put into it. If being able to use it effectively in different environments is a concern, then go visit and work out with other arts/sports (judo, boxing, bjj, etc.) You'll probably learn something, hopefully have a good time and get a better idea of what type of practice you most enjoy. Because at the end of the day, you really ought to enjoy your training (even if it is challenging, frustrating, something you obsess about, etc. -- that's all part of it if you want to be good). Ultimately, you may decide that something else works better for you, but at least then you'll be basing it off of your own experiences rather than what some website tells you (this also applies to my own post here and most likely this thread :) ).

3) Any endeavor that is difficult will require some sacrifice and will likely have moments of success and failure. Learning to work through and learn from both types of events is going to be critical no matter what art or path you study. Never assume just because you practice aikido/bjj/gun kata that it makes you tough or even a worthwhile human being. Likewise, never assume that because you attended the Internal Skills Master/UFC Champion's school or seminar that it necessarily means you've got anything worth to offer. That type of thing doesn't get decided by your "collection" or "association".

In other words, don't assume (if you study BJJ) because your teacher once tapped a Gracie in an MMA match or (if you study Aikido) that Ueshiba dodged bullets with his eyes closed -- that you'll be able to do the same thing - ever :D .

Josh Reyer
03-02-2007, 09:37 AM
Paul, let me heartily recommend Ellis Amdur's book "Dueling with O-sensei". I think you'll find the chapter "So How Tough Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?" quite relevant to your feelings right now. I was going to quote from it, but I'd end up quoting half the chapter.

James Davis
03-02-2007, 10:51 AM
however, i do feel obligated to remind you that the true essence of aikido, is NOT fighting or winning competitions. aikido is extremely deep and, at only five years of training, you have only begun to scratch the surface.


Agreed. I've only trained for a little over eight years and my aikido has grown a lot as of late. I read that the person who originally posted has good and bad nights. This leads me to ask the question,
When you have a "bad" night, does that necessarily make it a "good" night for the guy that "wins"?

For as long as we concentrate on "winning" and "losing", let's remember that those we train with are entitled to "good" nights too.;)

Roman Kremianski
03-02-2007, 11:15 AM
I don't understand these Bullshido muppets. Have any of of them ever walked into a dojo and attempted to slap around Chiba Sensei?

From all the talk I read, it sounds like they smack around all the great Aikido Sensei daily. You know you're reading a parody martial arts forum when you see them judging Aikido based on this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEFyswBe4x0

Budd
03-02-2007, 11:36 AM
I don't understand these Bullshido muppets. Have any of of them ever walked into a dojo and attempted to slap around Chiba Sensei?

I believe it was suggested over there a couple of years ago by an aikido practitioner to someone making a blanket bashing statement about the art. I don't think anybody followed up on the idea. ;)

From all the talk I read, it sounds like they smack around all the great Aikido Sensei daily. You know you're reading a parody martial arts forum when you see them judging Aikido based on this video:


At least a couple of years ago (the last time I paid much attention), members were having weekly/bi-weekly get-togethers/Throwdowns in the Toronto area. If they still are, you could visit in person and find out for yourself.

Talon
03-02-2007, 11:51 AM
Again. I must thank you all for posting. I originally thought I made a mistake for spilling my beans in the first place on this forum, but now I'm glad I did. You guys did made me realize that I don't want to stop my Aikido practice. I do enjoy our dojo, the people and training. I don't have any needs to be a competitor in the octagon or anywhere else for that matter. I don't live the type of lifestyle that would put me in harms way often. My fionce was not too happy when I mentioned that I wanted to train more, This would mean that I'll spend more time away from home when we both have busy jobs and don't have excess time to spend together as it is. I don't think I'l crosstrain at this point I'll just stick to Aikido and my friends at the dojo.

When in the dojo we train hard and we are a good bunch of people that are really there to help eachother learn. We never attempt to win over the other. As I mentioned before, I have good nights where everything seems to go smoothly and bad nights. Last class was in my eyes a bad night. Last class was an eye opening experience since attacks were different and there was resistance and countering from uke. Looking back I don't think I did as bad as I originally thought, my sensei told me that he actually thought I did extreemely well for this type of training given that we don't normally train like that. I mean I didn't get clocked in the head and seemed to be able to somehow deal with the situation. Di dmy techniques look pretty? No. did I screw up a couple of times, Yes. Overall I think I just need to train this way more often and I will get better at it.

Again, thanks for all your suggestions and ideas. They really helped me rethink why I train and what I really want out of my training. I will read all of the suggested material as well.

Domo

Amendes
03-02-2007, 12:24 PM
I'm getting the feeling of inadequacy when it comes to martial effectiveness coming back. I've been recently checking the videos and threads on Bullshido.com recently and it really isnt helping. Actually, on bullshido.com, March was officially declared Aikido Sucks month. Everywhere I go i see Aikido bashing and no documented evidence of Aikido's effectiveness in a martial content. Not even a decent live sparring video, never mind the real deal on the streets.



I extend the friendliest of gestures to invite you to my school in Thunder Bay. I think if you practise with us a bit you may change your mind on Aikido and find a new appreciation. If you are relly serious please come and atlest stay for the week. Airline tickets to get here are cheap and your welcome to come for a few classes. Everyone gets along great at our school, and there is no doubt about the effectivness with the way we train. We have been open 20 years in Thunder Bay now and my Shihan has been teaching twice as long as that.

If you are interested let me know and I will arange a vist for you, and I may even help you find somewhere to stay.

Just give it a month first before you come because the weather is the scariest part right now.

I am not challanging you or anything or saying I am going to put anyone in thier place or prove anything. I am not saying my style is superior or any of that bull crap, I am just saying I would hate to see someone quit based on opinions from bullshido and you might want to come here and experience what makes me happy in life.

Either then that if you don't take my offer all I can say is maybe ignore what you read on Bullshido, becuase its mostly BJJ & Kick Boxing Zombies.

DonMagee
03-02-2007, 12:59 PM
I don't understand these Bullshido muppets. Have any of of them ever walked into a dojo and attempted to slap around Chiba Sensei?

From all the talk I read, it sounds like they smack around all the great Aikido Sensei daily. You know you're reading a parody martial arts forum when you see them judging Aikido based on this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEFyswBe4x0

While there are a lot of wannabe's on bullshido, there are a lot of very knowledgeable martial artists there. Unfortunately, it seems there are a lot of people who do not get their message and confuse it with the trash talking. Its not about if I can beat up OSensei. Its about if the majority of people training in the art can perform it in a fight. It is the general consensus on bullshido that arts that do not contain sparing can not train the majority of their practitioners to use their art in a real fight. This is further reinforced by the fact that most non-sparing arts will give very silly reasons for not sparing. Unlike sport arts, there are no video's of any non sport art working against a non compliant trained attacker.

The focus on aikido I believe is not on its martial effectiveness, but rather aikido practitioners perceived martial effectiveness. I have seen tons of posts about how aikido can allow you to take down 4 attackers wielding swords with your pinky on bullshido. This is the same problem bullshido has with wing chun. Its not the art, but the unrealistic, beliefs of the practitioners that post on bullshido to defend their art.

Examples:

Question: Would you like to spar?

Common answers:

"I can't spar, if I were to spar you I would have to kill you"
" I can't spar, my art is designed to fight multiple attackers"
"I can't spar, my techniques are too dangerous to use for real"

These are not the real reason these people wont spar, but they wont admit it. They want to keep up the illusion that they are untouchable bad boys. It is ego, something that runs rampant in non-sport martial arts.

Yet another problem bullshido has with non sport arts is that there is no proof the techniques passed down actually work today. Martial arts are an oral tradition. There is a chance they can be passed down wrong. Without testing yourself, how do you know what you are learning is correct? You have blind faith, similar to religion. Rather than admit this, people will tell stories about the greats and how they could never be thrown, or beat a guy with their pinky. They seem unaware that these stories have nothing to do with what they are learning and do not validate their art any more then Royce Gracie validated my ability to use bjj in a fight. In the end, they get fed up with what happens and just make fun of non sport artists.

However, you rarely see them make fun of Tai Chi guys, unless they are claiming that can fight.

But you can earn their respect. Just go to one of the many throwdowns all over the US and other countries and show them what you got. A little friendly sparing with any rules you want.

As for slaping around Chiba Sensei this is another excuse used. It should not require a master to prove the effectiveness of an art. It should require a middle of the road student. I am not a black belt in bjj, hell i'm not even close to a purple belt. Why should it require a master to beat me? What can't a 3rd kyu hold his own with me? Plus do you think a master would bother with me in the first place? Do we really live in an age where I can call up a master and ask to come down to his school and fight? If I ran a school and some kid came in wanting to fight, I'd call the police. Anyone who would fight someone off the street in a non-controlled enviorment willingly is a fool. You don't know if I'm a meth head, have a gun, an infectious blood born illness, friends with shotguns, if I'm going to sue you, etc.

However, given the chance to spar in a controlled instance with waivers and such (like an MMA event or bullshido throwdown) I would be more than willing to fight an aikido master. Not because I think they are not effective, but because I'm sure that win or lose, I will learn something valuable. But as I said, its not about if I can beat up OSensei. Its about if the majority of sport art students are better prepared for conflict then the majority of non sport art students. Every art will have bad asses. Some people are just bad ass by nature. Would Mas Omaya been an awesome fighter if he learned bjj instead of karate? I would say the chances are high. So you can not look at individual examples of greatness. You can't point at chuck liddel and say that proves kempo is the greatest striking art ever. You can't point at Kimura and say that proves judo is better then bjj. You have to look a large sample of average joes. I believe though my experiences and interpretation of the evidence I have seen that sport arts better prepare you for physical conflict then non sport arts. I base my belief on person experience, video evidence, competency over time with my fellow bjj and judo students vs the tkd and aikido students I have trained with, my ability to gain skill in non sport arts vs sport arts, and finally the improvements I have seen in skill levels when I have had friends who train in non-sport arts switch to sport arts.

This is not to say a non-sport art can not be useful. I believe they are useful. In fact this is why I still train on occasion in aikido. I however am very frustrated when non-sport artists claim to be bad boy fighters with no evidence they can actually perform. It is one thing to claim you are learning self defense. That is a subjective term that does not need to include fighting. It is another thing to claim you are becoming an untouchable fighter. Unfortunately, a lot of non-sport martial artists make this claim, refuse to back it up, and make everyone else look bad.

Roman Kremianski
03-02-2007, 01:11 PM
As for slaping around Chiba Sensei this is another excuse used. It should not require a master to prove the effectiveness of an art.

I wasn't looking at the "average" Aikido practitioner...I only said that comment because I saw several well-known Aikido Shihans being dismissed as frauds on the Bullshido forums over the years. I merely suggested that if they believe them to be such frauds, it would probably be best to visit a seminar or a class rather then write about it on an internet forum. I'm not literally calling for an old-school dojo showdown.

It should require a middle of the road student. I am not a black belt in bjj, hell i'm not even close to a purple belt. Why should it require a master to beat me? What can't a 3rd kyu hold his own with me?

Probably because us 3rd kyus know next to nothing, and shouldn't be looked up to as examples of great Aikido. :D

DonMagee
03-02-2007, 01:12 PM
I wasn't looking at the "average" Aikido practitioner...I only said that comment because I saw several well-known Aikido Shihans being dismissed as frauds on the Bullshido forums over the years. I merely suggested that if they believe them to be such frauds, it would probably be best to visit a seminar or a class rather then write about it on an internet forum. I'm not literally calling for an old-school dojo showdown.

Probably because us 3rd kyus know next to nothing, and shouldn't be looked up to as examples of great Aikido. :D

That is my point. I would put a 6 month white belt in bjj up against a non-sport artist with years of training. That says a lot about the skill produced though sport training. To get to 3rd kyu in my aikido school would take about 3 years. And you are correct, they would still know very little. My instructor says black belt is just now ready to learn. So it would take 6 years before I would even be ready to learn how to defend myself. That is not a good solution for becoming effective in physical conflict.

This probably explains why the best aikido practitioners seem to be former high ranking black belts in other arts such as judo. Build high percentage skill quickly, then take the long time required to learn the low percentage, high skill techniques required to use aikido in real confrontation.

Alfonso
03-02-2007, 01:14 PM
ha, and here I thought it was the artist not the art..

Kevin Leavitt
03-02-2007, 01:15 PM
Yea there are some good and knowledgeable guys on Bullshido, you just have to sort through all the Bullshido to find them. One of my good friends and the guy that brought me to the next level in my training is a moderator on there, an exceptionally talented and brilliant Martial Artist for his age.

Anyway, I would recommend that you possibly consider quiting aikido for a while and studying something else. It ain't a bad thing to do, and it will not interupt your growth necessarily.

Sometimes it is good to take a step back and look from a detached point of view.

I did just that, not intentionally at first, but because of my lack of a place to train and my friend from Bullshido showed me into the world of MMA.

It was humiliating, humbling, and frustrating. I doubted all I had learned for a little while, now after nearly two years of doing it, I am finally starting to reconstruct my aikido from the inside out.

I learned aikido from the outside/In. That is we always enter from a kamae and then do technique. With BJJ we started from the inside, and now I have gotten comfortable in the inside, now I am moving back out again toward the Kamae.

It is very, very interesting to do this!

Don Magee and Michael Fooks give some good advice and the three of us pretty much see eye-to-eye on all this, so I won't re-hash.

Good advice from Lynn Seiser on reading George Leonard's book as well. It was a big help to me as I questioned budo and asked "why bother". This book answers that question.

Of course, I am not advocating that you quit Aikido necessarily. It simply is something you should think about.

Philosophically speaking many great thinkers and spiritual leaders have all recommended "letting go" as a technique to reaching the next level. It might be time to do that possibly?

mriehle
03-02-2007, 01:19 PM
You know you're reading a parody martial arts forum when you see them judging Aikido based on this video:

Wow.

That video really, um, well, no it's just really bad. :( :yuck:

Jun would probably ban from Aikiweb if I actually spelled out my opinion of that video.

Honestly, though, I've looked at a lot Aikido videos on YouTube and most of them are pretty bad unless they involve shihans. If you were to judge Aikido by YouTube videos you'd pretty much never start Aikido, IMO.

As for Bullshido, I think the remark that it used to be a good place for information nailed it. Even the intelligent people there seem to spend most of their time, IME, correcting stupid things said by the bottom feeders. I lost interest after a while.

Kevin Leavitt
03-02-2007, 01:23 PM
Here is a shameless plug for a video we produced for our Modern Army Combatives Program to introduce new combatives students to our program and the martial arts.

It covers many of the issues that Don addresses above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-lxbU47pho

Thought you might enjoy it.

Kevin Leavitt
03-02-2007, 01:28 PM
Actually Michael, I think even the shihans look bad.

In fact I PM'd my instructor Jimmy Sorrentino a while ago to discuss this very topic after having the same issues as our thread starter.

I think video can be very revealling, but also confusing at the same time. Much can be imagined or taken out of context.

Contrary, you can also see things that you did not notice before as well once all the pomp and circumstance and the ambience and hype of the dojo is gone.

It is enough to make you doubt and question everything!

Kevin Leavitt
03-02-2007, 01:30 PM
BTW Michael, you still coming over here?

Here is Chuck Gordon's website. I have not caught up with him yet.

http://www.the-dojo.com/

Budd
03-02-2007, 01:32 PM
I disagree that quitting altogether to try something else is necessarily the right step. To me, that smacks of wholesale trading one belief system for another, rather than getting exposure to different things and making an informed decision.

Ooh, ooh . . . quick aside . . .

Kevin, I think you just spilled the beans on your friend . .

1) Let's see, stationed overseas - check
2) Blue belt in BJJ - check (that was a funny story on how that was acquired by the way, lots of white belts had to suffer needlessly, was how I read it ;) )
3) No longer stationed in Germany . . . check

I think I know who it is, but don't worry, not even the continental 'dark lord' prince himself could make me tell . . . if I'm right, I didn't interact much with him personally, but always respected his experience and arguments.

anyway, back on topic . . .

To finish the discussion that I would always have on Bullshido -- after a while most people would agree that rather than style, it was training methodology that made the difference in how one performed in a sparring setting.

After a few days, some genius would ressurrect the thread by posting, "But I've never seen video evidence that aikido works . . ."

CUE for somebody to say, "But O-Sensei said that aikido is non-competitive"

Rinse, lather, repeat . . . . *grumble*

Kevin Leavitt
03-02-2007, 01:39 PM
Yeah Budd I think you figured out who he is! Man it is a small world out there!

Bradley is a trip and a fun guy to work out with. I miss him, but don't tell him that. I am hoping to go kick his butt in May when I go down to Georgia to compete in NAGA.

I actually used to post some on Bullshido to. In fact, my profile on there says Aikido. Don't go there much anymore, frankly I became bored and did not see much to keep my interest. Too much crap to wade through for the few nuggets of info.

DonMagee
03-02-2007, 01:45 PM
Here is a shameless plug for a video we produced for our Modern Army Combatives Program to introduce new combatives students to our program and the martial arts.

It covers many of the issues that Don addresses above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-lxbU47pho

Thought you might enjoy it.

Awesome video. I'm going to steal that to make points in the future.

Cyrijl
03-02-2007, 01:50 PM
To the OP:
If you are enjoying what you are doing and do not care about sport or fighting then keep doing what you are doing. I train in judo and bjj. When I see some of the fights I realize I will never be a pro fighter. But I enjoy what I do, and I am honest to myself and my others about where I stand. At the end of the day, someone who goes out and gets physical exercise will always have a hand up in the type of confrontations you are likely to encounter.


Roman,
The problem is that alot of aikidoka will not accept a challenge. They say "Do i get to carry a sword/ Challenges are not aiki/ My dog is sad". This is why alot of people think aikido training is questionable. People see some of the ridiculous demonstrations and the cult like obedience to aikido and wonder if it is any good at all.

<unrelated>
There are people who read both forums. You are talking as much trash as they do which doesn't make you much better. Being rude and obnoxious is no less unbecoming than being passive agressive.

At any rate, why do I need to fight Chiba...? Are you not good enough? If you are not, why?

People like me do not care about your theory or your masters. It is about what you can and cannot do and your honesty in answering those questions.

Budd
03-02-2007, 01:55 PM
Yeah Budd I think you figured out who he is! Man it is a small world out there!


No joke! Well, my dad's a detective and I'm an analyst, so I'm all about finding answers in minutae :)

Though, like I said, I didn't interact with him much, but always respected his perspective. As for participating there any longer, there's only so much time for this interweb thingy and training is a much higher priority.

Speaking of small worlds, we'll ought to hook up when you're back in VA (we're a pretty quick shot into PA). I just started working out with a new RGDA affiliate here in town and am realizing that my base and positioning are still where they should be, my subs and reversals have gotten VERY rusty. So, we can play aiki and the sub-grapple.

Plus, us Itten folks keep threatening to come visit NOVA some Saturday and then go play in DC.

Anyway, back on topic -- everyone, stay in school and don't do drugs . . .

Kevin Leavitt
03-02-2007, 01:55 PM
Matt Larsen from the Modern Army Combatives Program, Fort Benning, Georgia gets all the credit for the speech. It is his, my combat camera guys simply put it to video.

Matt Larsen has developed something over the past 10 years or so, that is a very good, very focused program. It is simple, it is progressive, it is focused, and it is ALIVE! :)

It is also inclusive of many of the techniques of aikido if you want it to be that as well.

DonMagee
03-02-2007, 01:59 PM
You make me want to join the army just to take the combative program

Kevin Leavitt
03-02-2007, 02:03 PM
We had a thread a while back on challenges. They are not all bad. As I have posted before, I have challenged in someway all my instructors I have ever studied with. Heck I had the audacity to pose a "what if" challenge to Saotome Sensei years ago by pinning him against a wall, only to find my face planted squarely in it.

Nothing wrong with challenges in the right context.

I will ALWAYS propose a challenge to you if you illude or conject a skill set or ability concerning your combat effectiveness. we agree to the time, place, and the parameters and I will accept as long as it does not involve life or limb!

BTW, Budd, this is how I started with Bradley. I had a couple of my Officer friends that were interested in studying Aikido, so I took them to the Gym where Bradley was teaching nut hugging. We trained our guys side by side, his students kept wanting to know the difference in what we were doing. Eventually Bradley goaded me into fighting/rolling with him under "My Aikido Rules" and he made me look like a rank amateur.

So, I studied with him, or better put he kicked my ass for two years!

Kevin Leavitt
03-02-2007, 02:07 PM
It ain't all that Don. I'll let you in on a secret...we pretty much teach BJJ most of the time! :)

It is a good program though, we have competent fighters that we train in 5 days. Of course they would not fair well against the average 6 month white belt in a BJJ class. But they do possess some real ability after the 40 hour class that they can grow upon.

I always tell the guys I work with, that the difference between me and them, is about 8 months of good solid training to be an effective fighter. (the secret is, I am growing 2 months faster than that i hope) :)

Kevin Leavitt
03-02-2007, 02:14 PM
Joseph Wrote:

The problem is that alot of aikidoka will not accept a challenge. They say "Do i get to carry a sword/ Challenges are not aiki/ My dog is sad". This is why alot of people think aikido training is questionable. People see some of the ridiculous demonstrations and the cult like obedience to aikido and wonder if it is any good at all.

This comes up in almost ALL my intro to combatives class. In fact, I was teaching a bunch of Military Postal Clerks this week that are heading down range, and they were watching my demo in the mount and side control.

Someone always brings up weapons, eye gouges, or crotch techniques.

I always tell them it is a two way street, I can do that too if we are going to go there! The difference is, the guy that has to worry about that is the one that is being controlled or dominated.

So, it is always better to practice good, sound technique/principles and learn how to dominate and control first.

Punching, kicking, knives etc are all low skill instruments. Doesn't take much to use these things, however, to use them skillfully requires you to control the fight.

If I were wanting to focus on ANY thing in aikido, BJJ, or any other art...THIS is what is CORE about training. Learning to effectively control the fight.

Irimi, tenkan is a good place to control the fight. the Clinch is a version of irimi, tenkan...just closer.

It really depends on your objectives in why you are studying Martial Arts. Figure that out, and you will not be lost in what you need to study.

mriehle
03-02-2007, 02:46 PM
Actually Michael, I think even the shihans look bad.

Well, okay, some of them.

I think video can be very revealling, but also confusing at the same time. Much can be imagined or taken out of context.

Yes. We've seen several recent examples of this.

Contrary, you can also see things that you did not notice before as well once all the pomp and circumstance and the ambience and hype of the dojo is gone.

I used to avoid watching video of myself doing Aikido. It felt, I dunno, vain. But then I had to edit together a DVD which involved me doing Aikido (along with some other people). I watched myself and realized that some of the things I thought were wrong weren't and vice versa. It was kind of a cool, new perspective.

The upshot was I started working on the real problems and quit sweating details in areas I thought was having trouble with. Thing is, I happen to know I did used to have trouble in those areas and just hadn't yet come to realize that when Sensei said, "no, it's fine" he actually meant it.

But, relative to your comment, some of what I know about what I'm looking at in that context has to do with how it felt at the time and the memory. So...

...yeah...

...the videos don't always represent people well.

It's funny, because I watched this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RaUpEMpxuY

and my first reaction was, well, horror. But I watched again more closely. I think a lot of what bothered me comes under the heading of demonstration grandstanding. But it demonstrates your point, I think. Looking at this video I don't really know very much about the people in it.

It is enough to make you doubt and question everything!

Like I need help with that. :rolleyes:

Aristeia
03-02-2007, 03:25 PM
I think it's alright to doubt. It's fine to test things, it's wonderful to look outside of Aikido (I do three different arts myself). What I was referencing was that Bullshido.com was affecting you more than that hard painful training you do in your dojo. It seemed to me that if your dojo's training was realistic enough, that a website should not have affected you that much.

This is a recurring theme I see on Aikiweb. "sounds like your dojo doesn't train hard like ours". And yet it is completely routine for people within Aikido to have these doubts. I'd wager ther are people even in your dojo who have them Jorge. I think we need a different strategy than "maybe you're training int he wrong place" as our first response.


You know what you know in your experience. I've been reading what the party line says on this topic for a long time but that will never move my opinion an inch because I know what I have been through.

There's a party line? It seems to me there's several, on all sides...



If I want to learn grappling, MMA or BJJ, I'll go to those schools and learn like any beginner but my current training is good enough for any normal person who lives a normal life.

My take on this is taht any normal person that lives a normal life doesn't really need self defence at all. But I didn't think that was what this disucssion was about. I thought it was about someone that specifically wanted self defence.


I do not accept the proposition that for self defense,everyone needs to look to those arts first.

Generally if people want self defence I'd imagine they want it quickly rather than in 20 years.

It all depends on the danger factor in your life. If you are a cop, a soldier, or a guy who loves to hang out at bars late at night or in crime infested areas, go for those good arts. If you train hard in Aikido and get really good, you will be fine 99 percent of the time in a self defense situation. Just stay away from Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, or any of our Aikiweb ground guys if they should go to the dark side of the force. :eek:


This is a good point. When I'm arguing the other side of the coin one of the things it's hardest to make the mma nuts understand, is that we don't care if we can beat a bjj'er it's not about what happens if art a fights art b. It's about does art a keep a person safe in the encounters they are most likely to face.

Aristeia
03-02-2007, 03:29 PM
I wasn't looking at the "average" Aikido practitioner...I only said that comment because I saw several well-known Aikido Shihans being dismissed as frauds on the Bullshido forums over the years. I merely suggested that if they believe them to be such frauds, it would probably be best to visit a seminar or a class rather then write about it on an internet forum. I'm not literally calling for an old-school dojo showdown.

Probably because us 3rd kyus know next to nothing, and shouldn't be looked up to as examples of great Aikido. :D
To be fair a 3rd kyu is not a good approximation of a blue belt. Probably Shodan is more accurate. But the result is likely the same.

Robert Rumpf
03-02-2007, 03:32 PM
Hey guys, I've been training Aikido at a small dojo for almost 5 years now. These feelings that I'm having have come and gone in the past but are getting a lot stronger this time around and I'm on the verge of quitting. I joined Aikido for mainly a self defense and fun aspect. I still enjoy classes and the people I train with but I'm getting the feeling of inadequacy when it comes to martial effectiveness coming back. I've been recently checking the videos and threads on Bullshido.com recently and it really isnt helping. Actually, on bullshido.com, March was officially declared Aikido Sucks month. Everywhere I go i see Aikido bashing and no documented evidence of Aikido's effectiveness in a martial content. Not even a decent live sparring video, never mind the real deal on the streets.

You're thinking of quitting Aikido completely due to an online discussion with anonymous complete strangers and a bunch of online videos and their criticism thereof?

I'm getting old and I have the feeling maybe I'm just wasting my time training in something that will ultimately just get me hurt if I try to use it in the real world..

How often do you get into fights? Are you expecting this to become more or less frequent in the future?

In class yesterday we have incorporated, random randori with more realistic attacks such as haymakers, punches, kicks etc. and I found myself really struggling even at half speed attacks. My techniques didn't seem to flow well at all. I often resorted to taking the uke down with a Judo type throw. I admit I probably had a bad day and we did not do this type of practice in the past really so maybe it will get better.

How much time do you spend outside of class working on your Aikido? Most of the training that I've gotten in spontaneous Aikido has been outside of class, and has been self-inflicted. It is odd how some techniques completely leave my repertoire at that point, while others change. Which techniques are most important for me to study in class?

The sensei is a personal friend of mine as we became good friends over the years of training. Recently, I have been thinking of trying a martial sport such as kickboxing, judo or jujitsu and just quitting Aikido all together. I'm getting old though so I don't know if this is a good idea as well ( I turn 37 today).... Lets just say I'm confused.

It can't hurt to try these things, but why does that mean you have to quit Aikido? Time constraints? If so, well... people quit all the time - many of them come back. You're not going to go to martial arts hell for quitting Aikido, as far as I can tell.. :) If there is such a hell, you'll have lots of company.

I see Matt Thornton's aliveness videos and write-ups and can't help but to agree with most of what he says. This is one of the reasons why I pushed this more random, more realistic attack training in our dojo and the sensei thankfully agreed that its probably a good idea.

So it sounds like you thinking about what you are doing and making progress based on generic criticism... Sounds good to me. The thing you need to think about here is why it took you didn't see these flaws yourself, and how you can provide better internal criticism in the future.

Some people call Aikido a cult and think we all are delusional. I've read accounts of ex-aikidoka who quit the art of Aikido and say it was the best thing they did to improve their martial training.

I think people in general have itches in their personalities or lives that need to be scratched. Aikido (at a particular time and place) doesn't scratch the itches of some people, so they leave, either partially, or fully.

That's completely ok, in my opinion.

Unfortunately/fortunately, Aikido has this set of ideals it is famous for advocating in some under-determined way that may not/may have some relationship to techniques, actual practice, lifestyle, and practitioners, and these ideals look like a great back-scratcher.

Wouldn't it be cool to know the ultimate nonviolent form of self-defense (and therefore enjoy unbridled moral and physical superiority)?

Everyone wants to be Yoda.

Unfortunately/fortunately, all ideals break down in the harsh light of reality. After that, what else is there besides relentless relativism? If I can't be perfect, well.. I can be better than you, and I know I'm better, because I just beat you up. If that helps, then go for it.

Aikido gets pilloried for its resolute decision to be different, and for trying for ideals in technique, philosophy, history, etc. by people who want to protect others from becoming disillusioned as well, or who have different itches that need scratching (like surviving a real fight in a war).

However, the (potentially unrealized) ideals of Aikido are so strong that they apparently can keep non-practitioners coming back to Aikido for years (even verbally) because they still (deep down) want to believe and get to those ideals. That said, the people who leave Aikido don't check what they learn at the door when they leave the dojo, and so often seem to take this knowledge from Aikido for granted when they go elsewhere.

And yet Aikido is supposedly useless.

I'd be interested in how much these people fit into their new arts - or do they feel like they've lost that depth of training? Sometimes, a new toy is very shiny and appealing in the short term, but so dull and shallow in the long term. But again, you can probably practice Aikido on any other mat as well, if you chose to.

So many people are in love with Aikido's ideals, and then just so disappointed with the realities and it is Aikido's fault for not being perfect. In that way, maybe it is a religion.. :) If this were a cult, then people would be being banned for dissenting. Sometimes, it seems Aikiweb is nothing but dissent.

The best solution if you have other itches to scratch is probably to try cross-training, or more targeted Aikido training (like you are trying). However, like learning to roll, give yourself time to learn before you get discouraged.

I hate to start a new thread talking about effectiveness, god knows I have read enough of them on here in the past. I'm just reaching out to my fellow Aikidoka to help me through this confusing hard time and hopefully I'll get through this without leaving Aikido practice for good.

Any advice, encouraging accounts or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

It sounds like what you're looking for is respect for your efforts and your capabilities from anonymous complete strangers. Respect is a rare commodity on the Internet. I suggest you play online less and more in real life (with or without Aikido).

In addition, it sounds like a lot of this agony is self-inflicted. In a hundred years, we will all most likely be dead. Try to enjoy your life and find meaning in it, and don't let people inflict misery on you by trying to assert their own superiority over you and reminding you of your own weakness.

If that isn't an Aikido ideal, I don't know what is. Let me know when you figure out how to implement it, because I'd like to learn.. :)

Rob

Aristeia
03-02-2007, 03:33 PM
I learned aikido from the outside/In. That is we always enter from a kamae and then do technique. With BJJ we started from the inside, and now I have gotten comfortable in the inside, now I am moving back out again toward the Kamae.
this raises a really interesting point. One of the things my BJJ coach says is that good groundwork enables great standup.

Take the example of Aikido. Aikido works best when you enter fearlessly, with full authority and confidence. The only problem is because we don't test it against full resistance, when it comes to the crunch people often have the doubt we are disucssing (which isn't so present in sparring arts).

The result is they hold back and this dilutes their effectiveness.

But if I know that the worst that can happen is that we end up in a clinch or on the ground - and that I'm likely to be even more effective in those situations, it enables my aikido to become just ridiculously confident and therefore maximise it's chance of success...

Keith R Lee
03-02-2007, 03:55 PM
Bradley is a trip and a fun guy to work out with. I miss him, but don't tell him that. I am hoping to go kick his butt in May when I go down to Georgia to compete in NAGA.

Awesome! Quite a few guys from my gym are going. Hopefully we can get together while we're there.

Also, I'm with Mike and Don in regards to cross-training or trying something else. They only thing that is going to happen is...you're going to learn something. *Gasp* The horror! It's good to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Risk is an element of learning, embrace it. Maybe you stay with Aikido, maybe you leave Aikido. It's a risk you take. Mostly you should just go wherever you enjoy yourself the most.

Talon
03-02-2007, 04:29 PM
You're thinking of quitting Aikido completely due to an online discussion with anonymous complete strangers and a bunch of online videos and their criticism thereof?


No, that combined with what I considered poor perfomance in class when thngs got more random and resistant.

How often do you get into fights? Are you expecting this to become more or less frequent in the future?


Not often at all and no more in the future.

How much time do you spend outside of class working on your Aikido? Most of the training that I've gotten in spontaneous Aikido has been outside of class, and has been self-inflicted. It is odd how some techniques completely leave my repertoire at that point, while others change. Which techniques are most important for me to study in class?


Outside of class, my friends and future wife will no longer play Aikido with me because they don't like the pain and/or feeling of fallin they get from wrist locks and techniques. I'm not sure how to effectively train without a partner so I read things and watch videos to broaden my Aikido experience.

It can't hurt to try these things, but why does that mean you have to quit Aikido? Time constraints? If so, well... people quit all the time - many of them come back. You're not going to go to martial arts hell for quitting Aikido, as far as I can tell.. :) If there is such a hell, you'll have lots of company.

Yes, time constraints is the main reason. The future wife is not too crazy about me training more often than I allready do.

So it sounds like you thinking about what you are doing and making progress based on generic criticism... Sounds good to me. The thing you need to think about here is why it took you didn't see these flaws yourself, and how you can provide better internal criticism in the future.

It took me a while to perform the techniques and then realize that our techniques work best when the uke stops and allows us to perform get into them. The techniques are not the problem, they work, but getting into them is another ball game when someone resists and mintains their balalnce. I must say that they do work even when resiting when we throw in atemes though. So I guess the answer is basically being open minded and considering the possible training deficiencies and that came after some time of training and research.

[QUOTE=Robert Rumpf;170469]It sounds like what you're looking for is respect for your efforts and your capabilities from anonymous complete strangers. Respect is a rare commodity on the Internet. I suggest you play online less and more in real life (with or without Aikido)./QUOTE]

I to make things clear, I'm not looking for respect from complete strangers. First of all, being on these forums for years and reading people's posts and reasoning I don't necessarily consider them complete strangers. Second of all, who said I'm looking for respect, I was looking for feedback from people who train in the same art and perhaps went through these stages in ther training and can offer me advice. Thanks for the suggestion that I play online less. I was not playing online, I was simply doing some homework and reading people's oppinions on the subject.

I hope that clears some things up,

Paul

Jorge Garcia
03-02-2007, 07:34 PM
"sounds like your dojo doesn't train hard like ours".... I'd wager ther are people even in your dojo who have them Jorge.... I think we need a different strategy than "maybe you're training int he wrong place" as our first response......There's a party line? It seems to me there's several, on all sides...My take on this is that any normal person that lives a normal life doesn't really need self defence at all.... I thought it was about someone that specifically wanted self defence.....Generally if people want self defence I'd imagine they want it quickly rather than in 20 years.

I have to take these one at a time.
There are a lot of straw man arguments here. You set up a statement I never made and then you refute it. That's poor Mike.

"sounds like your dojo doesn't train hard like ours" I never said that. My reference was that if website made him doubt his dojo, his dojo must not practice that hard. He rethought that and explained it differently.

"I'd wager there are people even in your dojo who have them (doubts) Jorge"
You don't know that nor do you have proof of that. That is conjecture. But even if they do, that would be on a scale that would not be the same as elsewhere depending on the training and teaching we give. I try to give a realistic picture to my studnets of the danger and our solution to it. I never tell them that with Aikido, they are going to beat a knife fighter or grappler should they end up on the ground.

"My take on this is that any normal person that lives a normal life doesn't really need self defence at all." That could be true but in fact, the self defense is for that once or twice in a lifetime situation. That's why proclaiming that everyone needs certain things can't be true. I don't teach that everyone needs Aikido. I say that Aikido is enough for most people when it comes to self defence but self defence is not the main object of Aikido anyway. Aikido offers better things than self defence. An obsession with self defence can indicate other problems a person may have. An obsession to stay on an Aikido forum with the same theme also says a lot.

" I thought it was about someone that specifically wanted self defence"
I was responding to his self doubts. He himself has now expressed new insight into the original theme.

"There's a party line? It seems to me there's several, on all sides.."
Yeah, there's a party line. If you can't see it, maybe it's because you are in that party of regular posters that likes to take things to the exact same place. I respond to it once in a while but have always tried to speak to a variation of themes. This isn't a hobby horse for me. The horse does seem to ride by in circles a lot though and most of the time, you are one of the ones riding it. This subject has been discussed enough that when someone a does post with an idea like this, he could be directed to literally hundreds of posts on the theme. I think though that then, the party line wouldn't have as much fun in wallowing in a triumphalistic self identity. I know , I know, it feels good to be right, to know you have the answers but it's not good for the soul to swim in it.

"Generally if people want self defence I'd imagine they want it quickly rather than in 20 years."
I am not convinced that BJJ is that easy. It's only in comics and the ads in the back that quick solutions are offered for long term problems. I really haven't seen any art, good ot not that people can come out with lightening self defenses that will always work in the short term. I think all training is long term. The last time I saw that, it was when the Chinese guy was on the infomercial with Danny Boniduce claiming his system was simple and could be learned quickly. That's what they all say. One of my best friends has been doing BJJ for 5 years in South Texas. It hasn't been that easy for him and I don't think he represents the superiority I see referenced here all the time. I am making the point that everyone isn't the same and no art can make universal promises. Our Technical Director for Shudokan also does both BJJ and MAA in Japan. He is really good but I never hear him saying we all need that to help our Aikido or that we are deficient in some way because we don't do what he does. He trains regularly with our Shihan and he is allowed to do any counter or any thing he can. He tells me he can't counter our Shihan. In fact, it is our Shihan who is his counselor to improve his MMA. My friend is a humble martial artist with an open mind and I don't get the feeling from him that I get when "the group" goes to work together here on Aikiweb.

That's it Mike. I'm checking out. It's just my quarterly vent. It's back to the real world for me. I'll check in again with you guys in a few months. Some poster thinking he is consulting Aikido guys will post his question on this Aikido forum that will once again give everyone the chance to go one more round again soon.

I think you guys are great. I just can't buy your arguments but a lot of the things you say have a lot of validity. I also think Kevin has balanced off alot in the recent months and is the best of your lot in terms of givng Aikido some credit and not sounding so one sided about everything. Sorry about the misspelled words. I don't have the spell check on my Aikiweb version anymore.

Best wishes,
Jorge

DonMagee
03-02-2007, 08:10 PM
Its not that bjj is easy or judo is easy. In fact they are very complex arts that require a lifetime of dedication to master. Its just that the fundamentals taught can be learned very very quickly. In fact I'd say you can build respectable skill vs an untrained combatant in 3-6 months depending on your physical attributes.

I know this for a fact, not conjecture or theory. Our club members enter mma events against what I would call untrained 'street fighters' every month, they do very well. Plus, every single bjj student I've talked to has this story, myself included that I am about to tell. I am not athletic, I'm a geek, with skinny arms, glasses, I was never good at sports as a teen, everyone I train with is much stronger and in better shape then I am. Bjj was a struggle from day one. I was horrible, 4 months later I still felt horrible, being tapped out constantly, always struggling to do even the slightest movement. I could drill fine, but I was always destroyed in sparing. I was beginning to think this art was not for me.

Then new students started to show up. Still bigger then me, still stronger then me, sometimes even wrestlers in high school. But all of them very much untrained in submission grappling. It was a night and day difference. I could control them like it was the easiest thing in the world. I could setup techniques, submit them basically whenever I felt the desire. Sure I had problems with the guys who outweighed me by 50+ pounds and the body builders gave me trouble at first, but fast forward 6 more months and not even 200+ pound guys in good shape can give me a run for my money. I'm relaxed and in control the entire time. But put me against someone with my level of experience, and its a constant struggle with my butt getting handed to me more often then not. This is because they have the same amount of technique as I do, but they also have a better body build. But agianst an average joe, 6 months bjj training will let you dominate them on the ground, judo training will give you the tools to throw them on their skulls, and a striking art like boxing will give you the skills to dominate with punches and kicks. 6 months of MMA fight training will prepare you better then any 1 of the 3 above.

I honestly do not believe the same is true with aikido. On my first day in aikido I did not feel so dominated by white belts with 6 months training as I did in my first day of bjj (which was with aikido training, tkd training, and a very small amount of judo training).

Sure, you can't learn a sure shot self defense method in a week, or maybe even a lifetime. But you can learn a solid fundamental that will give you a clear cut advantage against an average thug in 3-6 months of 3 days a week solid sport training. Of course if you don't keep training, like anything else, you are going to start to loose it.

The reason is simple. You are learning very simple full body movements that do not require a great deal of muscle, and you are practicing them every single day against a fully resisting opponent who is much more skilled then you, and can force you to do the right things and work you until you can't even breathe anymore. This is also combined with intense cardio and strength training workouts. The end result is a much better physical condition, plus a very real knowledge of your pain thresholds, combined with real experience on how a person reacts to your movements. This leads to a greater ability to control your adrenaline, and control over your breathing.

If you can develop these skills, you are way above any untrained person. Sure aikido can teach them to you, but its teaching is subjective depending on the club, so you may get it in a year, you may get it in 10 years. And there is not a real way to benchmark these skills and make sure you are indeed making progress. You simply must have faith in your instructor and hope when the chips are down, you have developed these abilities. I know that my aikido instructor would be a formidable challenge if we spared. So would his top black belt students. But I do not feel the same for the kyu ranks, even with years more training then I have and better physical attributes.

As for your director. I would say if he can never counter your shihan, its probably more old fashioned Japanese respect keeping him from doing so. I am not questioning your shihan's skill. I'm sure he is very good, but I have not met a single person alive that I could not counter at least once. Everyone has a bad day, nobody is perfect. However I do not think aikido needs to add mma stuff, unless your goal is fighting. I do not belive aikido's goal is fighting. I also do not think self defense is fighting. As I've said before, I think self defense is 90% awareness, 10% fighting in a few short months. A few months of a sport art will give you the fighting you need, but awareness can be learned anywhere from anything.

Again, this is not to say all you need is a few months bjj. Its to say that if all you ever worry about is untrained attackers, a few months of bjj or mma will give you the tools you need to dominate most of the time (Again, nobody is perfect.) I'd bet your friend in texas could hold his own easily against any untrained person trying to fight him on the ground. He only has trouble dealing with trained attackers near his skill level. There will always be somebody better, the awareness part comes from steering clear of them.

Aristeia
03-02-2007, 10:38 PM
I have to take these one at a time.
There are a lot of straw man arguments here. You set up a statement I never made and then you refute it. That's poor Mike.and it cuts both ways.

"sounds like your dojo doesn't train hard like ours" I never said that. My reference was that if website made him doubt his dojo, his dojo must not practice that hard. He rethought that and explained it differently.
whic was exactly my point ne?

"I'd wager there are people even in your dojo who have them (doubts) Jorge"
You don't know that nor do you have proof of that.

I never said I did. A wager pretty much implies conjecture - careful of those strawmen

That is conjecture. But even if they do, that would be on a scale that would not be the same as elsewhere depending on the training and teaching we give. do you have proof of that or is that conjecture?
"My take on this is that any normal person that lives a normal life doesn't really need self defence at all." That could be true but in fact, the self defense is for that once or twice in a lifetime situation.

That being the case the person needs to decide how important preparing for that once or maybe never in a lifetime event is?
My take is that if it's that big a concern, you preapre for the worst case scenario and get the best self defence training you can find - which is not Aikido- Aikido is good for other things.
But my take is also that it's almost a little unbalanced to be training excessevely for something that is likely to never happen. There's much better reasons to train MA imo and that puts Aikido back up the list.


That's why proclaiming that everyone needs certain things can't be true. I don't teach that everyone needs Aikido. I say that Aikido is enough for most people when it comes to self defence but self defence is not the main object of Aikido anyway. Aikido offers better things than self defence. An obsession with self defence can indicate other problems a person may have. yeah - that's myu point

An obsession to stay on an Aikido forum with the same theme also says a lot. I'm confused as to whether this is a comment about me or you?


"There's a party line? It seems to me there's several, on all sides.."
Yeah, there's a party line. If you can't see it, maybe it's because you are in that party of regular posters that likes to take things to the exact same place.

Again you miss my point. You may well say there's a party line from those on this forum that train in alive arts. But there's also a party line from those that don't. If you can't see it, maybe it's because....etc etc

I respond to it once in a while but have always tried to speak to a variation of themes. This isn't a hobby horse for me. The horse does seem to ride by in circles a lot though and most of the time, you are one of the ones riding it. This subject has been discussed enough that when someone a does post with an idea like this, he could be directed to literally hundreds of posts on the theme. I think though that then, the party line wouldn't have as much fun in wallowing in a triumphalistic self identity. I know , I know, it feels good to be right, to know you have the answers but it's not good for the soul to swim in it.
or .....it's possible we're just responding to someones question, a question we can identify with because we've all been through it and so want to help - the same as everyone else that's responded to this thread.


"Generally if people want self defence I'd imagine they want it quickly rather than in 20 years."
I am not convinced that BJJ is that easy.

Easy is probably not the word. It is ego crushing for sure. As Don says you get smashed and continue to get smashed until a newbie walks in the door. But also as Don says it does give you good control over newbies in a comparatively quick time.
But this isn't a thread about BJJ per se. I just use it in my examples because that's what I"ve got experience with.

I really haven't seen any art, good ot not that people can come out with lightening self defenses that will always work in the short term. I think all training is long term. The last time I saw that, it was when the Chinese guy was on the infomercial with Danny Boniduce claiming his system was simple and could be learned quickly.

For my money this is a bit strawmannish as well. Just because you can't say an art will give you self defence in 3 easy lessons, doesn't mean to say you have to go with the 20 year solution. There's a middle ground....

Our Technical Director for Shudokan also does both BJJ and MAA in Japan. He is really good but I never hear him saying we all need that to help our Aikido or that we are deficient in some way because we don't do what he does.

I don't hear anyone here saying that either. Certainly not me.
*achooo.....* - sorry bit of straw up my nose.


He trains regularly with our Shihan and he is allowed to do any counter or any thing he can. He tells me he can't counter our Shihan. In fact, it is our Shihan who is his counselor to improve his MMA. My friend is a humble martial artist with an open mind and I don't get the feeling from him that I get when "the group" goes to work together here on Aikiweb.

"The group goes to work"?? So it's all right with a group with one opinion to post (yours) but the counter opinion becomes some sort of conspiracy? Interesting. I'd be intriqued to see what posts have led you to think that anyone from the "alive" trainers are not humble open minded martial artists...


That's it Mike. I'm checking out. It's just my quarterly vent. It's back to the real world for me. I'll check in again with you guys in a few months. Some poster thinking he is consulting Aikido guys

We *are* aikido guys.

will post his question on this Aikido forum that will once again give everyone the chance to go one more round again soon.

I think you guys are great. I just can't buy your arguments but a lot of the things you say have a lot of validity. I also think Kevin has balanced off alot in the recent months and is the best of your lot in terms of givng Aikido some credit and not sounding so one sided about everything.

Jorge, somehow I think you've got the wrong side of me. Maybe my posting style is more direct than Kevin, I don't know.
But go back and read this thread again and you'll see multiple times where I've suggested that the original poster *stick with* aikido. Where I've said aikido will make his cross training better.

Kevin and I agree about most things I find. One of our differences is though that I tend to think Aikido has more self defence application than I think Kevin does.

Sounds to me like you're reading into my posts what you expect to see rather than whats there.
[/QUOTE]

CNYMike
03-03-2007, 12:21 AM
Hey guys, I've been training Aikido at a small dojo for almost 5 years now. These feelings that I'm having have come and gone in the past but are getting a lot stronger this time around and I'm on the verge of quitting. I joined Aikido for mainly a self defense and fun aspect. I still enjoy classes and the people I train with but I'm getting the feeling of inadequacy when it comes to martial effectiveness coming back. I've been recently checking the videos and threads on Bullshido.com recently and it really isnt helping. Actually, on bullshido.com, March was officially declared Aikido Sucks month. Everywhere I go i see Aikido bashing and no documented evidence of Aikido's effectiveness in a martial content. Not even a decent live sparring video, never mind the real deal on the streets.


And the testimonials you've seen here from time to time are what, chopped liver!?


I'm getting old and I have the feeling maybe I'm just wasting my time training in something that will ultimately just get me hurt if I try to use it in the real world.. In class yesterday we have incorporated, random randori with more realistic attacks such as haymakers, punches, kicks etc. and I found myself really struggling even at half speed attacks. My techniques didn't seem to flow well at all. I often resorted to taking the uke down with a Judo type throw. I admit I probably had a bad day and we did not do this type of practice in the past really so maybe it will get better.

The sensei is a personal friend of mine as we became good friends over the years of training. Recently, I have been thinking of trying a martial sport such as kickboxing, judo or jujitsu and just quitting Aikido all together. I'm getting old though so I don't know if this is a good idea as well ( I turn 37 today).... Lets just say I'm confused.


37 is not old in matial arts terms. My first Kali instructor is 50-something but moves like someone a lot younger.

....I hate to start a new thread talking about effectiveness, god knows I have read enough of them on here in the past. I'm just reaching out to my fellow Aikidoka to help me through this confusing hard time and hopefully I'll get through this without leaving Aikido practice for good.

Any advice, encouraging accounts or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

In the first place, if you like dong it and like the people you train with, leaving will leave feeling down.

Second, there is nothing wrong with crosstraining. If you want to look into doing kickboxing or something else while keeping in Aikido, no poblem.

Third, don't let the 'net get to you too much. Cetainly don't let it influence a major decision.

It's up to you, of course, but if it looks like you'd regret leaving, then crosstraining is a good option.

Kevin Leavitt
03-03-2007, 01:10 AM
Keith Lee wrote:

"Awesome! Quite a few guys from my gym are going. Hopefully we can get together while we're there."

Cool, that would be awesome! You will be able to find me, I will be the wearing the blue gi with the patches all over it. :)

Kevin Leavitt
03-03-2007, 01:15 AM
Jorge wrote:

I really haven't seen any art, good ot not that people can come out with lightening self defenses that will always work in the short term. I think all training is long term

Self Defense? Absolutely! I train soldiers all the time in very, very basic things to get them prepared for self defense situations. Of course, you will only do what you instinctually learn at the no thought level (habits).

I have stories and lessons, and have witnessed people trained to be proficient fighters in a very short period of time. It does not take years to become good at self defense or real fighting if you may.

BJJ, yes it is an art with lots of complex moves. It has at it's core a very good system for developing a good fighting base. It takes many, many years to be considered good at the BJJ level of perspective.

BJJ does not equal self defense.

Aristeia
03-03-2007, 01:21 AM
BJJ at it's intermediate stages is, like many other arts, self indulgent.

IOW you don't need to know a counter to the counter for omoplata for self defence. The self defence stuff is covered off reasonably early.

Hence the saying "blue belt to beat the world*, purple belt to beat blue belt"

*and by beat the world, read - self defence scenario.

Kevin Leavitt
03-03-2007, 02:52 AM
To clarify my stance on self defense. If you are concerned with self defense, you really need to look hard at why you are concerned.

Certainly empty hand has a place in this....but

What are the risk factors you are trying to address? there are much better ways to mitigate self defense than empty hand.

I teach a 2 hour block of instruction to soldiers deploying to combat, in it I spend a great deal of time talking about maái. Space, timing, distance, range, weapons, conditions, situations.mentality, awareness.

The actual hands on training gives them a few things to help them if they do get into a hand to hand situation. Very simple things, no submissions are taught. Simple things..dominance, control. Mount, rear mount, guard, side control. That is it. You can do these thing...then I think given self defense, you are a leg up on most scenarios.

SO, back to aikido and WHY study it?

Well if self defense is your primary concern, you should be able to mitigate that concern quite quickly once you are looking at the risk factors and situations correctly.

So, now we are back to understanding the correct principles of dynamic movement...and BUDO as being good reasons to study any martial art. Things that ARE aikido.

I think I will start another thread possibly so as not to continue to hijack this one and to discuss some of this further.

Kevin Leavitt
03-03-2007, 03:20 AM
Jorge,

Just had a few minutes to go and look back over your post. A few comments.

I don't mean to make it sound as if I am prosetlytizing quiting or coming over to the darkside of BJJ. Not at all.

I would say if anything it would be the exact opposite. I personally have studied in aikido, outside of my karate, it is my base art, one that I will return to study full time when I return to the states this summer.

I have had the same experiences and doubts concerning aikido, and frankly I found a way to deal with them and it was NOT by continuing stay within the confines of my aikido community or current trainng paradigm.

So, I DO encourage abandonment and releasing from that paradigm.

throughout history we have this. Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, and many other great people have preached this as a way to achieve greater introspection and understanding of self.

However, that must be a personal choice and there is no one size fits all in this area...I can only share my personal experiences. Here you have Don, Mike, and me all saying the same things.

Also, if you look at the very, very long, emotionally debated threat on baseline skills you will see much of this same them being injected in there. (not to put words in peoples mouths)...but look closely at that thread...there is some good gems in there to really think about.

Don, Mike and I are big proponents of aliveness, both physically and mentally. having experienced it mentally in aikido and my training for many years of studying budo, I did have many doubts about the effectiness and the validity of my aikido training.

What it boiled down to for me was a lack of physical aliveness.

Until we have adequately tested our skills and see how we measure up in an aliveness environment, we will always never be sure of where we stand physically with our training.

This is not important to many in aikido and in the study of Budo. That is okay.

Many use the physical skills of aikido as a way to better understand and discipline their mind and spirit and are primarily concerned or consider the body simply a vessel that needs to support the mind and spirit.

Hence, the concept of aliveness of mind/spirit..which aikido does a wonderful job of doing and primarily WHY I think you SHOULD study it.

I think in many ways it isolates out the physical aliveness so you CAN concentrate on furthering your mental/spiritual growth.

For many of us though, it is important to understand physical conflict a little better. (call us neanderthals???) :)

So I think what us so-called BJJ guys are saying is that we love aikido for what it is.

1.. We had issues and were lost and struggling with the same issue that the OP was struggling with.

2. We found a way to better understand that through the physical aliveness that BJJ offered.

3. It has helped us validate and understand why we feel it is important to study aikido.

4. Everyone has to find their own path to self mastery.

(Read George Leonard's book!!)

Michael Varin
03-03-2007, 09:43 PM
Self Defense? Absolutely! I train soldiers all the time in very, very basic things to get them prepared for self defense situations.Self defense for soldiers? Sounds like an oxymoron to me. Is this for going into combat or their personal lives? I'm sure you know better than I do that combat and self defense are not the same thing.

On a different note, the aliveness that Kevin, Don, and Mike are talking about is vitally important. If someone wants to train in a different art, that's great, I'd never stop them I've done it myself, however I think if we are genuinely interested in aikido, we need to bring that aliveness to aikido instead of leaving aikido to get it.

Kevin Leavitt
03-04-2007, 01:13 AM
Yes self defense. Soldiers and police officers are prone to the same things as anyone else.

The dangerous thing is when distance is closed and they lose control of the situation and they become a tangled mess of bodies.

personal and professional, we do not make the distinction. However, the skills we are most concern with is teaching them how to be effective in a combat environment.

We are not sitting in tanks and hmmvs all day. You have to get out and talk to people, deal with them, and interact. especially on search missions. If someone has something they don't want you to have or to see, welll it can get interesting quite quickly.

This is the big difference between today and 10 years ago, We have technology, but gone are the cold war days. We are back to combat on a interpersonal level in todays world!

So, we are seeing a resurgence in developing basic warrior skills and an emphasis on warrior ethos and values. Combatives or martial arts plays a big role in this process.

Robert Rumpf
03-05-2007, 07:45 AM
No, that combined with what I considered poor perfomance in class when thngs got more random and resistant.

Ok, makes sense.

Outside of class, my friends and future wife will no longer play Aikido with me because they don't like the pain and/or feeling of fallin they get from wrist locks and techniques. I'm not sure how to effectively train without a partner so I read things and watch videos to broaden my Aikido experience.

So.. here's a suggestion. Convince someone in your dojo to show up to class ten minutes early or leave ten minutes late. Get them to work on stuff with you, and if you need to, offset that with less class time.

Yes, time constraints is the main reason. The future wife is not too crazy about me training more often than I allready do.

This was true for me before I got married, seems less true after the fact... Perhaps it will be the same with you.

It took me a while to perform the techniques and then realize that our techniques work best when the uke stops and allows us to perform get into them. The techniques are not the problem, they work, but getting into them is another ball game when someone resists and mintains their balalnce. I must say that they do work even when resiting when we throw in atemes though. So I guess the answer is basically being open minded and considering the possible training deficiencies and that came after some time of training and research.

I think that much of doing Aikido well for me is learning when to abandon a technique and move on to something else. That's kind of the opposite of typical kata-based practice in the dojos I have trained where you commit to trying to fix a broken technique.

I to make things clear, I'm not looking for respect from complete strangers. First of all, being on these forums for years and reading people's posts and reasoning I don't necessarily consider them complete strangers. Second of all, who said I'm looking for respect, I was looking for feedback from people who train in the same art and perhaps went through these stages in ther training and can offer me advice.

Unless they have seen your technique, what do they really know? And even if they know, what can they really do to help, without spending lots of time with you?

Thanks for the suggestion that I play online less. I was not playing online, I was simply doing some homework and reading people's oppinions on the subject.

Play was a bad choice of words on my part. Aikiweb seems to have some pretty solid discussion, and was not what I was referring to with the anonymous complete strangers. When I look over at Bullshido, I see the martial arts equivalent of "Barrens chat" (essentially, lots of nonsensical discussion).

From personal experience, don't be afraid to let your training drop a little bit during the process of getting married. You can pick it up again afterwards, and perhaps even expand it. Besides, some things are more important than training.

Rob

Takuan
03-10-2007, 09:23 AM
To me, you are going through the typical birthday blues, where one can easlily question the paths he/she has taken in life. If you feel like leaving your dojo, leave; if you feel like staying stay. It's just that the reasons you posted seem so immature that I would like to suggest just keep on training aikido. Bullshido? Matt Thornton? Give us a break! Aikido Sucks Month? The sheer disrespect!

I'm from Rio de Janeiro, I have met Rickson Gracie, he has nothing but respect for Aikido practice, I overheard him say so. What are you seeking, getting in a fight with a bunch of imbeciles? Or becoming a better human being? Why don't you start with that question and take it from there? I wish you the very best and hope you come to a responsible decision. I'll be praying for you to overcome what to me sounds like a depression.

statisticool
03-10-2007, 10:41 AM
Paul,

Bullshido-ish bulletin boards are pretty much akin to internet toilets. I say that with complete unemotional seriousness, based on the evidence.

Selected videos are not "evidence". The vast majority of videos that are held up are people egging others on, playground fights, and sport. Such videos are more evidence of what fools consider real life evidence of self defense rather than martial efficacy.

For example, jump kicks in taekwondo get knocked around a lot on such boards. I've seen a video of such a jump kick used to knock a knife weilding assailant, who was holding the knife to a woman's neck, down during a bank robbery/hostage situation. This is self defense as applied in the real world, the only sphere which it really matters (http://www.statisticool.com/fights.htm). Such boards will never, ever, post such a video, only endless sport situations.

Also, videos of martial arts improving health will never be posted, mainly because such a video would be boring as heck. But, isn't this a great example of martial art efficacy? I think taijiquan helping with balance in all but mainly older populations is great evidence. I'll stick to medical journals for evidence, rather that expecting to see a video on a troll pit.

I think it is fairly well established that any martial art will confer martial effectiveness if practiced diligently, that there is no best (http://www.statisticool.com/bestma.htm). It is not an extraordinary claim at all to believe that hands and feet are effective tools, and that they have been used in that manner throughout time, before videotape was invented, and pre-1993 UFC era.

My 2 cents,

Justin

Talon
03-10-2007, 12:24 PM
Well, I did something yesterday. I went to check out another Aikido Dojo to see how they train. They have higher dan rated senseis and all. I'm glad I did. I now really appreciate my dojo and will definitelly want to stay. I think I get much better and more realistic training where I am now. I did not check out other styles ad I think I wont for now. I really think that most of it was caused as some of you mentioned the birthday blues and a dip or depression in my training.

I have put a video of me training in the video section here. Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think.

thanks again for all your comments.

Paul

DonMagee
03-10-2007, 04:54 PM
Its good you have found an answer to your question and a level that you are comfortable with. I knew a guy who left aikido and bjj because it wasn't realistic. He could not find a medium he found acceptable. If your heart is truly at rest with aikido, then you are blessed.

SamuraiJim
03-10-2007, 05:25 PM
I'm not sure if this idea has been mentioned before in this thread but I think it is one that has enormous potential and would go along way to combating the doubts and negative feelings some Aikidoki have. Plus it has the benefit of promoting better understanding of different Martial Arts systems between the styles.

At our dojo our head Sensei invites other Sensei's/Instructors (and their students) from other styles to come along once a week and give a demonstration. We all then train together in this style before looking at Aikido techniques that would best combat what we have learned. It makes for a fantastic and educational training session and a lot of fun is generally had by all.

I don't think that the "ULTIMATE" Martial Art will ever be proven. In my opinion it's a case of different styles being more better suited to different people. Some people will naturally have a better understanding of grappling, while others will be more comfortable with kicking and striking and therefore use them more effectively.

Also I don't think there's any harm in trying a different style if your not happy. You can always return to Aikido when and if your ready and age really shouldn't be a concern. At 37 your still young.

Cheers
SamuraiJim

Bill Danosky
03-10-2007, 07:09 PM
Hey, Paul. I haven't read the three pages of replies to your post, but I'd immediately suggest two things:

1. Don't make your beefs with your dojocho public.
If your Sensei is a personal friend of yours, address your concerns about the inadequadies of your training privately in the future.

2. Use Aikido, instead of relying solely on it in a martial context. Employ the appropriate techniques naturally, no matter where you learned it, and don't let your training sway your instincts when it comes to self defense.

godfreytaiwan
03-11-2007, 12:30 AM
Hi Paul,

Don't feel discouraged. 37 is still young!!!
First training is like that for almost everyone, it often works in stages, with ups and downs, and there are times when you feel you don't learn anything...keep practicing and at some point you'll feel fine again.
Secondly, I'd say that aikido is very technical and requires many many years of training to become efficient. However for self-defense, some other arts (such as boxing) could give you a faster edge in bad situations. Nevertheless, aikido still can be extremely efficient against weapons (as it was originally designed for this purpose).
What I would recommend is that you keep training in aikido, and pick up another art (you may start with one that would improve your striking, then grappling). In another few months, you can decide what to do, either keep going or quit aikido altogether if you feel it's not suitable for you. No hurry...
If you want to see what I say about real fighting, check this article:http://www.budoasia.com/reality-fighting.htm

PS: just ignore those pre-pubescent bullshidoists!

All the best.
Godfrey

DonMagee
03-11-2007, 09:30 AM
Hey, Paul. I haven't read the three pages of replies to your post, but I'd immediately suggest two things:

1. Don't make your beefs with your dojocho public.
If your Sensei is a personal friend of yours, address your concerns about the inadequadies of your training privately in the future.

2. Use Aikido, instead of relying solely on it in a martial context. Employ the appropriate techniques naturally, no matter where you learned it, and don't let your training sway your instincts when it comes to self defense.

I agree with point 2, but not point 1. You should never be afraid or embarrassed to talk about your training. Likewise your instructor should never be embarrassed or upset with you for seeking answers or talking about how you feel with others. Of course I would agree the first person you should talk to this about is your teacher. However there is nothing wrong with seeking outside opinion on your training. What if you were in a cult, questioned the leader, he told you to shutup, then what? Sometimes it takes a bunch of people from the outside looking in to put things into perspective.

Tinyboy344
03-15-2007, 10:30 AM
When we do our techniques, we do them in a way that they are effective and often painful. I don't really have any doubts that when performed properly the technique will be effective and I actually encourage tori/sensei to do the techniques realistically on me so that I feel some pain or lock before I submit and get a good stretch.

Isn't the "ultimate in ethical self-defense" one "defends himself with such skill and control that the attacker" is not hurt? Isn't that the true Aikido?

Try to break a drunk or drugged person that no longer feels the pain. Are they gonna beat you with their broken arm, swing it around like a weapon?

I train in Tenshinkai Aikido at the Westminster Aikikai in Orange county California under Tenshinkai founder Sensei Dang Thong Phong.

A friend and I took a class as visitors at Westminster Aikikai. I had a chance to "feel" Sensei Phong's technique and he brought me down to the mat with absolutely no pain. My friend tried it on me, lots of pain (katate tori kote gaeshi) yet he couldn't take my balance.

Talon
03-15-2007, 11:24 AM
I could not even dream of ever reaching Sensei Phong's level and at my current level, I would first worry about myself not getting hurt during the attack and would think of the attacker later (in a real life situation). The "ethical" no pian to the attacker "true Aikido" will work perhaps when someone has the skills to do this. Right now I don't.... I personally like to see that the lock works so if someone gets me in Hijime, katagateme, kote mawashi etc... I want to feel the lock and a bit of pain or discomfort. Otherwise I'd really have my doubts about myself and the people that I practice with at my dojo. The "Not hurt" attacker is perhaps a good thing to shoot for but not at my current skill level.

Also I think that the hurting of attacker is subjective and perhaps missunderstood by some. In the past, I believe maiming and killing someone was considered hurting them this was the aim of some systems like hardcore jujitsu. Not hurting the attacker did not mean that he or she should not feel temporary discomfort or pain. This in my humble oppinion is a missunderstanding by some Aikido folks. Hurting an attacker to me means knocking his teeth out, braking one of his limbs, maiming him for life. Causing a lock that temporarily causes him discomfort or pain in my oppinion is still NOT hurting the attacker.

But what do I know? I've only been training 4+ years and am a Kyu3 at the moment. Perhaps others have an oppinion on this.

Edwin Neal
03-18-2007, 02:35 AM
unsure if your training prepares you for self defense? get some of your training partners to "throw down" on you... set up a self defense scenario where you don't know whats gonna happen... but remember "aliveness" does not necessarily mean 100% resistance... even thornton says that is also a wrong view... you must balance between learning form or technique and increasing resistance... most aikido is done by most people for fun with some incidental and small self defense benefit... if you want to focus on that aspect you have to train that way, and i believe in cross training since most aikidoka have no idea how to punch or kick learning how it is really done will only help you do it and defend against it... one can talk forever about water but your mouth will not get wet... good luck

Talon
03-18-2007, 02:52 PM
We are starting to do this type of training recently. Slowly upping the randmness and resistance.

mike.quinn@fsmail.net
03-22-2007, 04:48 PM
Martial effectiveness of Aikido seems a common debate in Forums, and the strongest critics are students themselves. You must always question your art, your style, your sensei, other arts and most of all yourself. There are too many robots who blindly follow their leader so as not to offend sensei or training partners. Those people will never grow. Please keep faith in Aikido, but feel free to look around. All the great martial artists were multi styled which is often forgotten. Look at Ueshiba!. When you return to Ai' you will find new angles to your training and be better for it. Keep lookin!.

jennifer paige smith
03-25-2007, 10:05 AM
Don't Quit, (that is if you ever really started aikido).

Aikido isn't self-defense. It was born of the battlefield, an area of engagement that is nothing like brawling or sport. In sports, you're not going to get killed. On the battlefield you need 360 degree awareness. Blah,blah,blah,centuries of discussion,blah,blah,blah.bring us back to today.

Aikido is Aikido. Get to know it. Just because some people don't like your girlfriend doesn't mean she isn't the bomb. Get to know her. Bring out her beauty. Aprroach the relationship with respect, mystery, awe, wonder, willingness. See how the relationship goes after that. Is she still an unpopular guest at your 'friends' house? What did she ever do to them? Why are they so threatened by her? How are you treating her? Do you bring your best completely every time you see each other. Can you bring your true feelings to her? Can you grow in your life with her at your side? Does she help you when you need truth and support. Is she strong? Is she beautiful? Does your mother approve?Do you still want to break up? Are you prepared to receive her fully?
How are your friends relationships with their 'girlfriends'. Are they ready for marriage? Keep the faith. Relationships are hard.:D I think you get my point.

"Aikido is Love"- Morihei Ueshiba

Edwin Neal
03-25-2007, 10:35 AM
great post Jennifer... aikido is yours... what you make of it is up to you... you bear that burden not your sensei or your dojo...

mwible
03-25-2007, 05:33 PM
ok, well ill just start out by saying there are like a million different styles of aikido, so mine is probably different than yours, but i think the same underlying principles are the same.
other than that, i am a 2nd dan in taekwondo, and when i was still a 1st dan i started taking aikido, after a few months training in aikido, i noticed a definite increase in balance and just the flowing of my techniques, not just in aikido, but whenever i executed any number of kicks or during sparring. and now after i have gotten my bluebelt in aikido, my sensei in taekwondo has noticed (so he tells me) a dramatic increase in my fighting abilitys. and its not just him, i have sparred with some fellow taekwondoka and also noticed a definite increase in my fighting. not to mention (im not bragging, i thought id just give you an example of the increase in my technique) i have beaten a fellow 1st dan taekwondoka with one hand in a sparring match(no kicks) a feet which i was not previously able to accomplish. i am very sure that aikido is the cause of this, not just the increase in training between colored belts and after 1st dan. i would use aikido on the street maybe along with a kick or punch as utemi, gladly. you just have to be confident in your abilitys, and dont think about it so much, just DO. i hope this has helped atleast somewhat. my apologys if i was just rambling.
-in aiki-
-morgan

crbateman
03-25-2007, 09:31 PM
Morgan, your comment rings home for me, as well. After many years in TKD, I came to Aikido, and almost immediately noticed an improvement in stances and hip movement. It made much sense to me, although I must confess that it took me a while to overcome the TKD mindset and the desire to beat up on people in Aikido class (at least, I think I'm over that now...). :D

dps
03-25-2007, 09:46 PM
Doesn't the name of the forum 'Bullshido' imply that it is full of bull****?

David

salim
03-26-2007, 08:45 AM
It's time for the USAF to endorse or even set policy for mixing of the martial arts. The cultural, spiritual aikido is growing increasingly annoying by many. Some of us want to concentrate more on self defense and less on culture and spiritual concepts.

Martial evolution is essential to insure that we exhaust the effectiveness of self defense. The open minded mentality will ensure that this is carried out. Great attention is needed to modifying and introduce new techniques for countering an attack. This just one small example.

Organizations such as Real Aikido should be embraced for taking the core concepts of Aikido and mixing them with Judo and Jujitsu. Yes there are effective concepts in aikido as it is. The effectiveness has not been exhausted and it's not addressing the growing challenges to modern aggression, the changing world we live in.

I would continue to practice aikido and mix it with Judo or BJJ, as I plan to do. I want a well rounded set of defense application/methodology. This can only be obtained through an open minded approach.

Talon
03-26-2007, 09:21 AM
Doesn't the name of the forum 'Bullshido' imply that it is full of bull****?

David

Actually the whole idea of "bullshido" is to expose the bull in martial arts and Aikido comes up a lot on that site. Of course the majority of those people were never really exposed to Aikido and never experienced it first hand.

salim
03-26-2007, 10:14 AM
The feeling of discouragement is natural when you haven't explored other martial techniques to add to your repertoire. Let's not forget the lessons of Bruce Lee and his research into the science of fighting. Constant, habitual, exhaustive application of researching and applying effective technique is the core to great self defense.

There is some much we can gain by adding to our great martial art, Aikido. Using the core of Aikido and mixing the art with BJJ or Judo is a nice compliment of one another. It's time for the American Aikidoist to change our mentality of self defense. Cultural, Spiritual Aikido is not for those want self defense.

mriehle
03-26-2007, 10:48 AM
It's time for the American Aikidoist to change our mentality of self defense. Cultural, Spiritual Aikido is not for those want self defense.

Okay, I'm going to challenge you to defend this position as I believe it's just wrong, especially the last sentence.

I think the conflict between the spirituality of Aikido and the self-defense applications are an invention of those who'd like to turn to jiu-jitsu as a better approach and want to justify their attitude.

Part of the point of an art like Aikido is to consider our responsibilities in defending ourselves as part of our training. I guarantee there will be disagreement among Aikidoists about those responsibilities, but not considering what they should be seems like an abandonment of Aikido to me.

I once quoted someone who said that "Aikido with the wrong attitude is just bad jiu-jitsu" and was challenged with, "What is the right attitude?". It's a good question which I would not be able to answer. I think part of what's important is considering the question, though, and working out an answer for ourselves.

salim
03-26-2007, 11:40 AM
I think it's just wrong to reduce martial effectiveness to spiritual concepts and cultural etiquette. Let's stop playing games and give those who want value of what Aikido has to offer the opportunity.

Bruce Lee's, Tao of Jeet Kune Do should be in the library of all serious minded martial artist. Bruce did not bring a new style, but liberation of trained, mind controlling thought process. The idea is to explore the benefits of any art form.

If Aikido is our basis, mixed with Judo and BJJ, this affords a wonderful complementary of martial effectiveness. America is an aggressive society and peace can come from just walking away from an altercation as Bruce Lee has indicated, but there are time when we are cornered like a cat and the only result is defend yourself. Let's be real about the world in which we live in.

mwible
03-26-2007, 01:40 PM
haha, yea, the need to fight is something that me and a karate guy in my aikido school have a hard time with. we just kinda throw stuff at eachother when no ones looking, and then go back to our aikido. :P

jennifer paige smith
03-26-2007, 03:51 PM
It's time for the USAF to endorse or even set policy for mixing of the martial arts. The cultural, spiritual aikido is growing increasingly annoying by many. Some of us want to concentrate more on self defense and less on culture and spiritual concepts.

Martial evolution is essential to insure that we exhaust the effectiveness of self defense. The open minded mentality will ensure that this is carried out. Great attention is needed to modifying and introduce new techniques for countering an attack. This just one small example.

Organizations such as Real Aikido should be embraced for taking the core concepts of Aikido and mixing them with Judo and Jujitsu. Yes there are effective concepts in aikido as it is. The effectiveness has not been exhausted and it's not addressing the growing challenges to modern aggression, the changing world we live in.

I would continue to practice aikido and mix it with Judo or BJJ, as I plan to do. I want a well rounded set of defense application/methodology. This can only be obtained through an open minded approach.
I would like to remind anyone reading this forum that mixing 'aikido' with judo or jujitsu(along with any other kick ass art japan had to offer) is not innovative; it is aikidos' past physical foundation. To belong to the dojo that O'Sensei began you needed a letter of introduction from your sensei( the one in the dojo of the other art you practiced) to be accepted into the tutelage of O'Sensei. To refute the degree of expertise that belonged to this era of training is to refute the power of almost any other dicipline of the time. This era gave rise to the realization that O'Sensei experienced as his inspiration for what we call 'aikido'. Tomiki began the Tomiki style after returning to Judo. Others did similar.
Keeping an open mind is really important. Not an open mind to certain things; an open mind to anything. Having the tool of good training makes us people who are unafraid of the opinions of others. Having singlemindedness in dicipline allows us to examine our own process in this evolution. Don't distract yourselves with worldly talk about fighting. Fighting is yesterday(remember Hiroshima? Nice technique, huh?). As practitioners of O'Senseis' inspiration we have no place in this trivial conversation except to live valorous lives in example. The way to this is through valorous training.

"AIKIDO IS NOT A METHOD FOR FIGHTING. IT IS A WAY TO UNITE THE WORLD AS ONE FAMILY."-some little japanese guy:rolleyes:

aikidoc
03-26-2007, 04:08 PM
There is some much we can gain by adding to our great martial art, Aikido. Using the core of Aikido and mixing the art with BJJ or Judo is a nice compliment of one another. It's time for the American Aikidoist to change our mentality of self defense. Cultural, Spiritual Aikido is not for those want self defense.

Really. Isn't throwing all those things together simply a definition for mixed martial arts? I'm getting too damn old to mix it up on the ground with the young bucks who want to twist one into a pretzel. So what is wrong with evolving my aikido along defensive lines with a spiritual component. Do I want to compete in the octagon? Hell no! That does not mean that my training will not give me an edge and perhaps save my life if for some reason I am attacked. I'm not interested in training to beat people up or score wins in the octagon. That choice, however, does not mean that my path is any less valid.

mwible
03-26-2007, 08:04 PM
well put jennifer smith. i couldnt agree more!!

dps
03-26-2007, 08:34 PM
Actually the whole idea of "bullshido" is to expose the bull in martial arts and Aikido comes up a lot on that site. Of course the majority of those people were never really exposed to Aikido and never experienced it first hand.

All the more reason not to let Bullshido influence your thinking about Aikido.

salim
03-26-2007, 09:19 PM
Jennifer Smith,

I think you missed my point about self defense. Self defense in itself does not imply fighting, nor was I implying refuting leadership. That's the problem, no independent thinking. Receiving permission to practice another martial form makes no sense. We're human beings, not programmable robots. The controlling, cult mindset scares the hell out of me! I don't like dictatorship martial art forms. If you step out of the country for just a second then your are suspect and subject gated to verbal imprisonment.

The dojo that I attend, definitely encourages exploring the world of martial arts from different perspectives. We're not into competition or beating up people. We're only interested in self protection, and protecting our love ones. The main objective is purely protection from harm, in it's various manifestations, so the competition crap is out for our dojo. We're too old as well, as stated earlier in the post by John Riggs.

George Ledyard, in his post, “The Future of Aikido”, bring some interesting points. He concentrates his commentary on the American Aikidoist in particular. He states that, “Aikido is an art going through a continuous identity crisis. This can be easily recognized when one pours over the contents of the various discussions in on-line forums. Aikido practitioners can’t seem to decide whether this is supposed to be a fighting style, whether it’s a deep spiritual practice, or if the whole things just a dance-like metaphor for a philosophy of conflict resolution.” This should tell us something about the changing mentality of the American Aikidoist.

We have to be fair in judgment and not aspect everyone to follow our form of Aikido. Our dojo respects those who want to practice spiritual and cultural aspects for the art. There is nothing wrong with this. It's very difficult in the same conversation to have the same group of Aikidoist to accept those who want more of the defense application of the art. This is a great injustice to Aikido and the psyche of martial arts in general.

We stand to see more splits and division from USAF if there is not a more multi-system approach of accepting others under one umbrella. We most banish the my way attitude. George Ledyard's commentary speaks volumes.

Jennifer Smith, the uniting the world as one can happen, if we learn to accept others ideas. We accept yours.

CNYMike
03-26-2007, 11:18 PM
The feeling of discouragement is natural when you haven't explored other martial techniques to add to your repertoire .....

I think the original poster spelled out why he was feeling dsicouraged pretty well, so there is no need to speculate or explain it.



Let's not forget the lessons of Bruce Lee and his research into the science of fighting. Constant, habitual, exhaustive application of researching and applying effective technique is the core to great self defense.

There is some much we can gain by adding to our great martial art, Aikido. Using the core of Aikido and mixing the art with BJJ or Judo is a nice compliment of one another ....

Maybe. However, one could get that from crosstraining without having to "change" anything.

When I resumed studying Aikido in 2004, I had been doing Inosanto Kali since 1997, under Guro Kevin Seaman and Guro Andy Astle; I've continued with Guro Andy since 2003. The empty hand sections of Lacoste Insanto Kali already has kicking and punching combined with trapping and grappling; and the grappling seciton, Dumog, has many locks not unlike those in Aikido. As far as combining categories of techniques together, that's already been done, so I don't see the need for Aikido to do it.

Furthermore, I started Jun Fan Gung Fu/JKD last May, and Aikido is one of the arts Bruce Lee drew on! You want to see Aikido comibined with other things? Take a Jun Fan class.

Have you ever heard of anyone calling for Thai Boxing to be expanded by adding grappling to it? Neither have I, yet MMA people use Thai Boxing for their standup game. They draw on it for what they want without arguing that Tahi Boxing must be changed. In the same way, I don't see a problem with a martial artist using Aikido as source material without leaving it alone.

For myself, I'm not going to Aikido to see if they regurgitate what I'm learning in Kali or Jun Fan. The what's the point of doing something different?


It's time for the American Aikidoist to change our mentality of self defense. Cultural, Spiritual Aikido is not for those want self defense.

And where are the people who get into the cultural and spiritual aspects supposed to go? Never mind that by design, Aikido is the most spiritual MA at the outset! If that's where it goes to town, why mess with it? You want to throw that stuff out and pile in Judo and BJJ, that's your busniess. But please leave everyone else alone.

salim
03-27-2007, 06:37 AM
Michael Gallagher,

I strongly suggest you read the commentary from George Ledyard's post, “The Future of Aikido”.

There is apparently a continuous identity crisis. The leadership of USAF is struggling with some issues with the right direction of the organization also. I suggest you read the writing on the wall. There are some that disagree with you. This is not about personal attacks, let's be fair here.

salim
03-27-2007, 07:37 AM
I really like the perspective that George Ledyard offeres. He seems to be very balanced in his understanding.

The post, “The Point of Aikido”, George Ledyard states, “In spreading so far so fast, it lost some of its Budo aspect and its technique became watered down through lack of understanding on the part of many of the teachers of the art. I have no quarrel with looking outside the art for what it has lost in terms of the technical aspect of the waza. But we do not have to look outside the art for its essence; that is right in front of us.”

This is a balanced guy, that's the point.

DonMagee
03-27-2007, 08:42 AM
Really. Isn't throwing all those things together simply a definition for mixed martial arts? I'm getting too damn old to mix it up on the ground with the young bucks who want to twist one into a pretzel. So what is wrong with evolving my aikido along defensive lines with a spiritual component. Do I want to compete in the octagon? Hell no! That does not mean that my training will not give me an edge and perhaps save my life if for some reason I am attacked. I'm not interested in training to beat people up or score wins in the octagon. That choice, however, does not mean that my path is any less valid.

There is nothing wrong with it, as long as you are honest in what your goals are and how you are accomplishing your goals.

On a side note, but somewhat related. I finally got my wife to train with me in bjj. She tried aikido a few years back, injured herself learning to roll and didn't want to go back. Her main problem was that it wasn't focused enough on self defense for her. (Her main goals are fitness and self defense when she walks alone to her car at night after going out dancing with the girls.) She was hesitant to try bjj, but our coach started doing woman only primers with self defense oriented techniques as opposed to the sport oriented techniques we focus on a lot in the guy classes. She's now addicted to bjj. She loves it, she does the girls and the guys classes with her friend who also loves it. It helps her build confidence against the only attack she is likely to face, rape. Watching our coach teach the womans class shows a new side to bjj, similar to traditional jiujitsu, only mixed with much more alive drills then you would normally see. I can't wait to watch her start tapping out guys once she build a good base.

My point is that you have to find your own path. It might be aikido, it might not be. But if you have doubts, it might be good to take a class or two and find out. My wife tried aikido (although one could argue she did not give it enough of a try, only 3 months). She never fell in love with it. For those 3 months she went because I was going, but she wasn't clicking with it. She went to bjj because she wanted to help my coach fill his womans class up for its first class. She really didn't plan on staying in it and basically gave up on martial arts. But now she is in love with it and bugs me to help her train more then anyone else I know.

salim
03-27-2007, 09:03 AM
Don Magee and his wife understand the word self defense!

Cyrijl
03-27-2007, 09:21 AM
So jennifer, be open minded to anything as long as it agrees with you. Sounds typical. Shouldn't you then be open minded to the idea that aikido is for fighting?

DonMagee
03-27-2007, 09:33 AM
I think I should clarify after re-reading. I'm not saying if you have doubts try a bjj class. I'm saying if you have personal doubts, shop around to many different styles and take a class or two. You might be lucky enough to find something that just clicks with you. If something clicks with you just right, you don't have doubts anymore. Of course you still need to question yourself and make sure you are meeting your goals.

I personally shopped around a lot. I did TKD for years, I jumped on the krav maga train, tried (still trying) aikido, tried judo (still training in that as well), eventually I found bjj and something just clicked. I knew that was what I was looking for. In fact the reasons I train in judo and aikido is to improve my bjj LOL.

I have friend who tell me the same story about karate, or hopkido. I have a friend who absolutely loves aikido who is trains in judo to help his aikido. Not because his aikido is lacking, but because playing judo helps him understand more about the culture and history of japan, and gives him an outside view on his techniques. I've even got friends who have come to try my bjj class and thought it was absolutely a waste of time. I then went to their schools and found what they were doing very boring and was watching the clock waiting to get out of there. I've even watched the boxers who train at our club snicker when they watch us train bjj.

So it is different for everyone. You just have to understand what you want, then go out and find someone who can help you get what you want. Don't get caught up in X is better then Y. If anything focus on X is better then Y for meeting my goal. Some of these questions are obvious. If you want to be a good grappler, boxing is not going to help much. Some are not so obvious, like wrestling vs judo for learning good takedown/throws. In those situations, just pick the one that is more fun with kind of people you want to hang out and work out with.

Sometimes you even have a great club, with very skilled, and very friendly people, but the goals of that club are not in sync with the goals you are trying to accomplish. Rather then trying to make them fit your mold, sometimes its better to find a place that already fits that mold. Sometimes you need multiple training grounds to meet your multiple goals.

The final thing to remember is that goals change. The goals you have at 20 are going to be different then the goals you have at 30 or 40. Just in the last 5 years I've watched amazing changes in my life, not just in what I wanted from the martial arts. Understanding and accepting these changes will make you a much stronger person.

All of those I keep in mind myself daily and I prepare to go back to college again.

jennifer paige smith
03-27-2007, 10:48 AM
So jennifer, be open minded to anything as long as it agrees with you. Sounds typical. Shouldn't you then be open minded to the idea that aikido is for fighting?
Is it me your arguing with or O'Sensei's quote? Your answer is a fighting answer. It is not an idea. You are fighting. So fight. Aikido will wait for you. I fought hard for years. I won every fight I ever fought( and I do mean physically). But this isn't about me. This is about Aikido. And last time I checked O'Sensei was still allowed to weigh in on his inspiration through the doka he left for the wandering. If you'd like to argue (fight) ,fight it out with O'Sensei.Maybe you can convince him he was wrong and closed minded. He can take it. As for me, I love Aikido, 'the way of cooperation with the spirit of nature'. This argument really belongs between you and your resolve. I wish you the best in your search and research of this art. jen

jennifer paige smith
03-27-2007, 11:09 AM
Jennifer Smith,

I think you missed my point about self defense. Self defense in itself does not imply fighting, nor was I implying refuting leadership. That's the problem, no independent thinking. Receiving permission to practice another martial form makes no sense. We're human beings, not programmable robots. The controlling, cult mindset scares the hell out of me! I don't like dictatorship martial art forms. If you step out of the country for just a second then your are suspect and subject gated to verbal imprisonment.

The dojo that I attend, definitely encourages exploring the world of martial arts from different perspectives. We're not into competition or beating up people. We're only interested in self protection, and protecting our love ones. The main objective is purely protection from harm, in it's various manifestations, so the competition crap is out for our dojo. We're too old as well, as stated earlier in the post by John Riggs.

George Ledyard, in his post, “The Future of Aikido”, bring some interesting points. He concentrates his commentary on the American Aikidoist in particular. He states that, “Aikido is an art going through a continuous identity crisis. This can be easily recognized when one pours over the contents of the various discussions in on-line forums. Aikido practitioners can’t seem to decide whether this is supposed to be a fighting style, whether it’s a deep spiritual practice, or if the whole things just a dance-like metaphor for a philosophy of conflict resolution.” This should tell us something about the changing mentality of the American Aikidoist.

We have to be fair in judgment and not aspect everyone to follow our form of Aikido. Our dojo respects those who want to practice spiritual and cultural aspects for the art. There is nothing wrong with this. It's very difficult in the same conversation to have the same group of Aikidoist to accept those who want more of the defense application of the art. This is a great injustice to Aikido and the psyche of martial arts in general.

We stand to see more splits and division from USAF if there is not a more multi-system approach of accepting others under one umbrella. We most banish the my way attitude. George Ledyard's commentary speaks volumes.

Jennifer Smith, the uniting the world as one can happen, if we learn to accept others ideas. We accept yours.

Actually, I didn't miss your point. But what is happening in this discussion overall is some idea that bringing mixed arts into the dojo is new. It is not. That is my point. And to clarify, I provide self-defense classes in my dojo, we practice many martial arts, and we explore the legitimacy of movement through any form. But Aikido is the form of no form and the binding feature is harmony(not fighting mind). The mindset cannot rest in fighting and it shouldn't be our goal lest we deeply shortchange our practice. Aikido is bigger than that.I'm not some bliss ninny. I'm here to represent some new thought thatI don't hear much in these forums. The uniting of the world is O'Senseis vision and not fighting was his command.
I wish people would accept O'Senseis vision. His vision that if we don't stop killing the earth we will all perish. As budoka we have a responsibility to nature. If anyone in your family is suffering from cancer because off the environment they live in, then real self-defense takes on a whole new dimension. Lets get bigger together. Protect your family and your future and this planet.js

DonMagee
03-27-2007, 11:34 AM
Actually, I didn't miss your point. But what is happening in this discussion overall is some idea that bringing mixed arts into the dojo is new. It is not. That is my point. And to clarify, I provide self-defense classes in my dojo, we practice many martial arts, and we explore the legitimacy of movement through any form. But Aikido is the form of no form and the binding feature is harmony(not fighting mind). The mindset cannot rest in fighting and it shouldn't be our goal lest we deeply shortchange our practice. Aikido is bigger than that.I'm not some bliss ninny. I'm here to represent some new thought thatI don't hear much in these forums. The uniting of the world is O'Senseis vision and not fighting was his command.
I wish people would accept O'Senseis vision. His vision that if we don't stop killing the earth we will all perish. As budoka we have a responsibility to nature. If anyone in your family is suffering from cancer because off the environment they live in, then real self-defense takes on a whole new dimension. Lets get bigger together. Protect your family and your future and this planet.js

Your interpretation of Ueshiba's are a lot different then my own. I'm not in the mood to discuss his writings and their meanings at the moment however as I lack my books to quote and reference while at work.

I'd like to point out that I have not read anyone saying you should bring other martial arts into your dojo. Rather I've heard people say you might adapt modern training methods (modern being late 1800's in the case of judo and kendo) into the dojo. Other's have suggested diversifying personal training to fill missing needs a person thinks they need to fill. Aikido can not be everything to everyone. It has its limits, weaknesses, and strengths.

I personally love bjj, I'd rather grapple then do any other physical activity. But if bjj was not available to me, I wouldn't care what I studied providing it had incorporated the elements of what Matt Thornton calls aliveness ( aliveness101.blogspot.com ). Bringing new training concpets like aliveness into aikido would not be mixing martial arts. It would not lessen aikido. Nothing would be lost. However something I personally find very valuable would be gained. I fail to see how this would destroy the concept of 'no form' but rather encourage it. I have found no better way to train to then work with a person who grows and changes with me. I am forced to train harder and develop more skill because my partners are doing the same, and learning my tricks and game plans. This forces me to constantly think outside the box, to constantly have the mind of no mind.

But I'm not foolish enough to think that adding aliveness would help meet everyone's goals in aikido. In fact I know a lot of people who would quit martial arts if the one's they trained in had aliveness. It's up to the person training to identify what they want from their training. It's up to that same person to be honest to themselves about what they are getting from their training. No one can tell them what they are getting, or what they should be striving to achieve. Self development is a personal selfish act. Not even Ueshiba has the right to tell me what my training is for. Even when I'm in an aikido class. My goals and personal development are mine and mine alone. It is enough to recognize that there are those who traveled the path before me, and can guide me along the same roads. But the path I take is still my own to decide, and I don't have to agree their roads are the best traveled 100% of the time.

salim
03-27-2007, 12:00 PM
I agree with Don Magee, "Not even Ueshiba has the right to tell me what my training is for." People should be able to train in different ways and be accepted.

I don't like to be dictated to for growth and development in the arts. It reminds me to much of a cult.

Talon
03-27-2007, 02:35 PM
Its interesteing how my little "discouraged" thread has evolved.

jennifer paige smith
03-27-2007, 03:41 PM
My original statement was meant essentially that to employ the techniques of the past is nothing new.

for context, the reference to ueshiba sensei was in reference to another bloggers comment that my mind is closed because I quoted O'Sensei as saying "Aikido is not a method for fighting."

As far as this thread goes, I don't see any dictating to anyone happening from anyones angle. I hear individuals expressing thoughts and inspirations. All of our paths look like our own, of course.
By the way, check out the news post on todays' Aikiweb about the Federal project that provides martial arts to youth at risk. thanks , jen

CNYMike
03-27-2007, 04:02 PM
Michael Gallagher,

I strongly suggest you read the commentary from George Ledyard's post, "The Future of Aikido".


I skimmed his article and read some of the comments. It goes without saying that regardless of whether he names a successor or not, after Yamada Sensei dies, one would be surprised if some people didn't leave the USAF. That's only natural. But I would hope it didn't happen. We'll just have to see.

As to wether more shihans come from Japan, there's one thing to remember: When Yamada Sensei et al left Japan, there was hardly anybody doing Aikido, certainly few, if any, with an instuctor's rank. Yet now there's a worldwide population of more than 1.5 million Aikido people, including who knows how many thousands of instructors. The situation is different.


There is apparently a continuous identity crisis.....

Well, then, the Aikido world should take a deep breath and relax (ironically enough). Do some of the loudmouths on the 'net really represent how Aikido is seen by people from other systems? None of my training partners in Kali said one negative thing about my doing Aikido. Not one word. And my Kali instructor thinks it's great I'm doing it.

I came back to Aikido having had the concept that no one martial art has all the answers but everything has something to offer drilled into my head. That the dojo I offer doesn't do mat work doesn't bother me in the least. If most techniques exist in some nebulous region between kickboxing and ground fighting, that is fine with me. Whether anything "pops out" when I (eventually) grapple in another class remains to be seen, but that doesn't mean my Aikido class should accommodate that. I don't want it to!

Aikido apparently came through popular interest, in the US, in Judo, Karate, KungFu, TKD, and Ninjitsu without having to be altered to suit the mob. If anything, some people study other arts first and when they find Aikido they decide it's to their liking most. If some people who begin their MA careers in MMA take the same arc, deciding Aikido is what they like most, because it is different from what they did before, then altering Aikido would be self-defeating.

CNYMike
03-27-2007, 04:10 PM
I have friend who tell me the same story about karate, or hopkido. I have a friend who absolutely loves aikido who is trains in judo to help his aikido. Not because his aikido is lacking, but because playing judo helps him understand more about the culture and history of japan, and gives him an outside view on his techniques. I've even got friends who have come to try my bjj class and thought it was absolutely a waste of time. I then went to their schools and found what they were doing very boring and was watching the clock waiting to get out of there. I've even watched the boxers who train at our club snicker when they watch us train bjj.

So it is different for everyone. You just have to understand what you want, then go out and find someone who can help you get what you want. Don't get caught up in X is better then Y. If anything focus on X is better then Y for meeting my goal. Some of these questions are obvious. If you want to be a good grappler, boxing is not going to help much. Some are not so obvious, like wrestling vs judo for learning good takedown/throws. In those situations, just pick the one that is more fun with kind of people you want to hang out and work out with.

Sometimes you even have a great club, with very skilled, and very friendly people, but the goals of that club are not in sync with the goals you are trying to accomplish. Rather then trying to make them fit your mold, sometimes its better to find a place that already fits that mold. Sometimes you need multiple training grounds to meet your multiple goals.

The final thing to remember is that goals change. The goals you have at 20 are going to be different then the goals you have at 30 or 40. Just in the last 5 years I've watched amazing changes in my life, not just in what I wanted from the martial arts. Understanding and accepting these changes will make you a much stronger person.

I agree with you. And that's why I like Aikido the way it is. I'm not sitting there thining Why doesn't he go off a jab cross? When are we going to look at the Thai round kick? I get that somewhere else. I like Aikido they way I get it. How it purculates in my subconscious is another matter.

Largo
03-28-2007, 07:09 AM
What is wrong with adding a thai style roundhouse? In aikijutsu, we use thai style kicks as well as strikes from karate and other styles as well. I think it has been interesting to try to develop "aiki" responses to attacks like that.

DonMagee
03-28-2007, 07:32 AM
There is nothing wrong with it. Providing you have people actually trained to throw proper attacks. Pretending that just because you throw a round kick it is a thai kick is just lying to yourself. Same as having someone with no striking experience throw a jab and say you are trying against boxing. I'd further clarify that even if you had a trained boxer come in and throw a jab, it still wouldn't be working with boxing strikes, because you are not allowing him to work the way a boxer works. A boxer would set his distance, control the space, work in a circular motion and throw combos. So essentially, you would have to spar the boxer to truly explore how aikido works against boxing styled attacks. This is probably better done by heading to a boxing gym and finding some willing participants and taking some boxing lessons (or MMA/bjj/judo/thai/whatever art suits you)

If you have the environment, then good for you. But most don't, so rather then try to change their aikido club, it might be better to go to a kickboxing school and work out there if you want to improve your aiki vs kickboxing techniques, or go to a judo school if you want to see how aiki falls into the realm of judo throws.

This was part of my point. That you have to identify what you want, what you are getting, and what your current training location can provide realistically. If you can get everything you want from a single location, then great. For a long time I couldn't get everything I wanted from one place. Now I can get 99% of what I want from martial arts at a single place (bjj, boxing, judo, and kyokushin karate (which I do not take) all located in the same building). But before that happened, it was more productive for me, knowing that I wanted to learn judo style throws, to drive 20 minutes to a judo club then it was to try to force my bjj coach or aikido instructor to show me judo throws.

However, at some point you have to blend this together. This is why I feel aliveness is so important to your training. It all gets worked out in the sparing.

jennifer paige smith
03-28-2007, 10:03 AM
Michael Riehle said:

I once quoted someone who said that "Aikido with the wrong attitude is just bad jiu-jitsu" and was challenged with, "What is the right attitude?". It's a good question which I would not be able to answer. I think part of what's important is considering the question, though, and working out an answer for ourselves.[/QUOTE]

One of my instructors, Robert Frager Sensei, trained extensively with O'Sensei shortly before O'Senseis passing in 1969. In a rare moment he was allowed to accompany Ueshiba Sensei in the back of a taxi ride through Tokyo. Not one to miss such an amazing opportunity but aware of strict protocol when it came to talking to O'Sensei (read you weren't generally granted this opportunity) Bob Sensei measured his single question well and asked'\:
"Sensei, what should Nage's attitude be toward Uke?"
With no contemplation (according to Bob Sensei) O'Sensei replied "Like a parent to a child".

I sometimes ask myself what kind of aikido parent I would like to be.

js

CNYMike
03-28-2007, 10:54 AM
What is wrong with adding a thai style roundhouse? .....

My point is that I accept Aikido as it is, so I'm not grousing over what they're not doing. (And I get proper Thai-style round kicks -- and the defenses for them -- somewhere else.) I agree with Don that Aikido shouldn't change to suit me. If I really didn't like it, I would leave. Since I havne't eft and have no plans to ...you get the idea.

salim
03-28-2007, 02:51 PM
I agree with Don Magee and Paul Mihalik. I like to use what is effective for me and leave off that which is not. I definitely look at outside sources to complement my Aikido training. To me it offers the best for my grow and development.

mike.quinn@fsmail.net
04-01-2007, 04:32 PM
My first post said look around. Actually you will be pleasantly surprised at how Ai' training helps you learn in other situations. Ai' students can cross well because they develop good insight early with attention to detail etc. Judo don't strike, Karate don't ukemi- dodgy out in the street. etc . BJJ lying on floor, is that practical?. Aiki is good for body movement, ideal in multiple attacks and unique. Even try weapons- Iaido to pump up your training. OK.

Kevin Leavitt
04-01-2007, 06:19 PM
BJJ is NOT about lying on the floor anymore than aikido is about grabbing wrist or doing silly shomenuchi's.

Trained properly BJJ represents a full spectrum of fighting skills at the appropriate range in which you can engage someone with empty hands.

It really doesn't take much to hit, kick, or stab, most of us are born with the inate ability to do this...however, putting yourself in a position to do it properly, or to avoid it if possible is what is key.

Judo, BJJ, Aikido trained properly...with aliveness...can accomplish this.

It ain't about the style...it is about the aliveness that you add in the art..without it...whatever you practice is basically a worthless other than for the budo aspects of your training.

DonMagee
04-01-2007, 07:28 PM
This month is the month of MMA sucks on bullshido. I wonder, shoudl I quit MMA :D

Talon
04-01-2007, 09:05 PM
Don, Thank you for that....Makes me feel really good in starting this thread. Perhaps I should have researched bullshido a bit more before I spilled my beans about my frustrations and doubts Although that site (bullshido) was only a part of my frustations at that time.... All is good now..

Aristeia
04-02-2007, 12:31 AM
Not one to miss such an amazing opportunity but aware of strict protocol when it came to talking to O'Sensei (read you weren't generally granted this opportunity) Bob Sensei measured his single question well doesn't this bother anyone else? Why should someone feel like they can't just have a conversation with their teacher while sharing a taxi? Be it O'sensei or anyone else? I train my BJJ under one of the most respected teachers in the world, and when we share a car trip I ask all manner of questions. All this protocol stuff (which I still see today) just gets in the way imo

Kevin Leavitt
04-02-2007, 02:04 AM
Yea...i distinctly remember about 12 years ago approaching Saotome Sensei after practice to ask him some very direct questions. I did get some looks from a few in the dojo and I remember being kinda feeling wierd about it.

He did answer them though and it was no big deal. Several people later came up and secretly told me that they too had the same questions but where hesitant to ask.

turned out to not be a big deal.

That said, I do think there is a point where you do cross the line...i mean sometimes you just need to train and shut up. I have a few guys that come and train with me that contribute very little to our group and take away from it constantly. I am very hesitant to share or be too open with them as the take, take, take...but give back very little in return.

I do know what you mean though.

aikishrine
04-02-2007, 06:04 AM
your spirit is the true shield

salim
04-02-2007, 06:46 AM
Michael Fooks,

I agree 100 percent with you. The cult mentality in the Aikido world is very scary. When people have to ask for permission to expound on ideas, we are in trouble. This is one the main reasons that American Aikido needs to develop fully into it's own entity. We need to get away from cultural restrictions.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
04-02-2007, 08:11 AM
So essentially, you would have to spar the boxer to truly explore how aikido works against boxing styled attacks. This is probably better done by heading to a boxing gym and finding some willing participants and taking some boxing lessons (or MMA/bjj/judo/thai/whatever art suits you)"

I would agree with this. Sparring with people from different styles has been very informative for me.

The question of why aikido techniques are not seen in MMA competitions is a daunting one. I do not think any of the following are the answer:
1) Aikido techniques are too deadly for the ring
2) Aikido doesn't work if you can't gouge people's eyes or kick them in the crotch
3) Aikido is only useful when weapons are around
4) Aikido is only useful when both people truly want to kill each other as quickly as possible.

Now, each of those might have a grain of truth:
1) "Too deadly": There -are- aikido techniques that would be too dangerous. E.g., someone going for a shihonage against a resisting/struggling opponent. If the opponent's struggling is not successful, they're probably going to lose their arm and shoulder to the shihonage, and maybe go down head-first too. But many aikido techniques are not like this. How many times have lofty types said that aikido "should allow you to control a vicious aggressor without harming them". Then let's see it!
2) "no dirty fighting": I do think this might change the overall situation some. It's possible to move into positions that would be very dangerous with those strikes allowed - positions that aikido therefore avoids. However, it is not a complete answer either.
3) "no weapons": I do think that aikido is derived from weapons-using contexts. This has various effects on aikido techniques that may make them less suitable for brawling empty-handed. But we practice all day with empty-hand: if weapons are so central to aikido, the first revision to aikido pedagogy should be using training weapons in practice! Do police officers train to shoot by pointing their fingers? (As Ellis Amdur said.) I also think this might make aikido techniques more "all or nothing": they arguably derive from desperation maneuvers. If someone's rushing you with a sword, and you have a knife, you might put everything into one attempt at decisive victory - because you sure won't win a protracted fight. Still, judo comes from the same context (feudal Japan) as aikido - and you see judo.
4) "no murderous intent": Well, they get pretty angry sometimes. But at any rate. Is the idea that aikido can't deal with a cool or methodical opponent? It seems like this should be true of several traditional martial arts - none of which have problems in UFC.

So, grains of truth, but they don't add up to a complete answer.

In that spirit, I've started practicing with some grappling/MMA types. It's been very informative so far. I don't think I'll be the one to discover the answer to this very curious question, but I'd like to at least understand it a little better. I encourage everyone else to do the same.

As a sidenote: I personally dislike UFC and Pride. Frankly, I don't like people beating each other senseless for money, fame, or ego. But there are arguments that it's safer than boxing (submissions allowed), and it is their choice. In any event, it would be foolish not to use this tremendous and very costly body of empirical data to better understand aikido.

CNYMike
04-02-2007, 11:47 PM
Michael Fooks,

I agree 100 percent with you. The cult mentality in the Aikido world is very scary. When people have to ask for permission to expound on ideas, we are in trouble. This is one the main reasons that American Aikido needs to develop fully into it's own entity. We need to get away from cultural restrictions.

This is where I think one has to tread carefully. A martial art is not just a collection of techniques; there are bits of its culture of origin inextricably bound up in it. They're not separate entities; it's a whole package.

So while it's one thing for teachers to be more accessible, you have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, to be so intent on "Americanizing" it you lose something in the process.

Aristeia
04-03-2007, 01:46 AM
hey I'm a kiwi, the last thing I want to do is americanize anything! ;-)

Zeb Leonard
04-03-2007, 05:46 AM
hmm, reading through this has lead me to realise that I consider aikido to be more weapons-oriented than a lot of you guys out there. I wonder if this means I am wrong!

DonMagee
04-03-2007, 06:03 AM
This is where I think one has to tread carefully. A martial art is not just a collection of techniques; there are bits of its culture of origin inextricably bound up in it. They're not separate entities; it's a whole package.

So while it's one thing for teachers to be more accessible, you have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, to be so intent on "Americanizing" it you lose something in the process.

At the same time however, some of the greatest martial arts of this time were made by stepping outside of traditional bounds and stepping on some toes and egos.

Judo, BJJ, aikido. Each one has something very in common. They all broke what would be considered traditional training. Each founder had to prove their art to get it accepted because it was not the norm. BJJ in fact broke away from the Japanese culture almost entirely. The words are gone, the etiquette is mostly gone, the unapproachable teacher is defiantly gone. Yet it survived and possibly has filled a void where it's parent arts have shirked away.

I believe if you truly make the art your own instead of making yourself into the image your art wants you to be, you will go much further. I guess time will tell if I'm right.

salim
04-03-2007, 06:46 AM
There is the growing sentiment of not wanting the culture of the arts here in the states. Most Americans are more interested in health, exercise and self defense these days, especially with a heighten awareness of patriotism.

Who wants to mimic Japanese culture in today's political climate, perhaps some. The commentary of most martial arts websites reflect the same sentiment of wanting the self defense as the focal point. If you yourself feel more comfortable with Japanese culture and want to indulge, then I have no problem with that. The beauty of living in a free country is having the ability to choose your whims. It's worth the warrant to really analyze very carefully the passion of those in this country and there desire of Aikido from a marital perspective.

CNYMike
04-03-2007, 06:46 PM
hmm, reading through this has lead me to realise that I consider aikido to be more weapons-oriented than a lot of you guys out there. I wonder if this means I am wrong!

Not really. I consider Aikido weapon-based, that is the body mechanics of the empty hand techniques all come out of weaponry.

CNYMike
04-03-2007, 06:50 PM
At the same time however, some of the greatest martial arts of this time were made by stepping outside of traditional bounds and stepping on some toes and egos.

Judo, BJJ, aikido. Each one has something very in common. They all broke what would be considered traditional training. Each founder had to prove their art to get it accepted because it was not the norm .....

Yet Judo and Aikido are still recognizeably Japanese.


BJJ in fact broke away from the Japanese culture almost entirely. The words are gone ......

So I guess they don't call it "juji gatame" anymore?

.....I believe if you truly make the art your own instead of making yourself into the image your art wants you to be, you will go much further.

Maybe. That doesn't mean you haven't lost something, though.

CNYMike
04-03-2007, 07:03 PM
There is the growing sentiment of not wanting the culture of the arts here in the states. Most Americans are more interested in health, exercise and self defense these days, especially with a heighten awareness of patriotism.

Then my suspicions about Aikidoka leaning to the left (ie unpatriotic) must be correct because the USAF seminars I went to last year were PACKED, and no one was compalining about the cultural side of it. Then again, maybe the sentiment of "not wanting the culture of the arts" is not as widespread as you think.


Who wants to mimic Japanese culture in today's political climate, perhaps some. The commentary of most martial arts websites reflect the same sentiment of wanting the self defense as the focal point. If you yourself feel more comfortable with Japanese culture and want to indulge, then I have no problem with that. The beauty of living in a free country is having the ability to choose your whims. It's worth the warrant to really analyze very carefully the passion of those in this country and there desire of Aikido from a marital perspective.

You're right. It is a free country, and anyone who doesn't like going to a culture-laden traditional dojo doesn't have to go there. That's their business. The matial arts community has grown and diversified to the point where there should be something for everybody.

But that doesn't mean there aren't perfectly valid reasons why the cultural aspects are there, not just in Aikido but in othe systems that originate in other parts of the world. But I never had it explained to me until a couple of years ago. I can see why people who never had those explanations might decide to turn their back on it.

And I would hope that even in these more patriotic time, Americans haven't mutated into ethnocentric knuckleheads who want nothing to do with anything that smacks of other cultures. I'd like to think even Patriotic Americans can be more open-minded and inclusive than that. Aren't we supposed to be the melting pot after all?

Then again, maybe there have been mass protests against the Halls commercial set in a Japanes restaurant that I missed; if no one wants to act Japanese they certainly won't want to eat it. But if there's room in our society for Japanese restaurants, there my be room to squeeze in Japanese martial arts that still have their, uh, Japanese-ness. Goes back to that melting pot thing.

salim
04-04-2007, 12:21 AM
Michael Gallagher,

The strange thing about the USAF, is that on the surface and at the seminars, yes no one complains, accept in Aikido blogs, such as this one or Youtube. It's a known fact among some, of the growing feeling of discontent within the USAF. There are some notable Shihan and definitely at the Shidoin level that would like to see things change, I would rather not call any names, time will tell the true nature.

If you read very carefully the commentary written George Ledyard, “The Future of Aikido”, he clearly gives a glimpse to the growing discontent. He states, “Aikido is an art going through a continuous identity crisis. This can be easily recognized when one pours over the contents of the various discussions in on-line forums. Aikido practitioners can’t seem to decide whether this is supposed to be a fighting style, whether it’s a deep spiritual practice, or if the whole things just a dance-like metaphor for a philosophy of conflict resolution.”

He also states the growing problem among leadership of Aikikai and possibly the acceptance from the Japanese, “Other folks are even more marginalized. Perhaps they have rank recognition through a particular teacher who had enough seniority that the headquarters couldn’t ignore them. Do you think that the same recognition will automatically go to the next generation of seniors in these organizations?”

He also states that American Aikido maybe the result of the discontent, “The one thing that can get things on track again in American Aikido is that when the coming chaos arrives, groups of American students begin to seriously invest in their own American teachers. If American students of the art invest some authority in their own teachers, if small organizations begin to reform around these people, there will be some hope for the future. Small organizations headed by people who actually see the function of their organizations as systematic transmission to its members can spread Aikido to a wider base of folks. If the rank and file of Aikido must insist on results before they truly give their loyalty to a teacher or organization, if they insist that the structure benefit them before they give their all, then things will change.”

American Aikido will be different from Japanese Aikido, much like European Aikido (Real Aikido) is different. The history of all Aikido and the basic concepts are the same. The differences will be with the styles, the focal point of martial arts and removal of culture in most cases and the removal of the Japanese religion. European Aikido has already done this, they have totally removed the culture and religious aspects, I don't blame them. The Europeans are definitely more concern with the martial part of Aikido as oppose to culture and spritual concepts. American Aikidoist having the same desire. The writing is one wall weather we like it or not.

It's best to read the entire commentary to really absorb the information, even though it's long. For those who want to change, we should embrace American Aikido and shape our own destiny much like our western brethren in Europe have done. Europe has had a phenomenal success with there European Aikido (Real Aikido). American Aikido can do the same if we can be untied from our mental shackles.

Dieter Haffner
04-04-2007, 01:33 AM
American Aikido will be different from Japanese Aikido, much like European Aikido (Real Aikido) is different. The history of all Aikido and the basic concepts are the same. The differences will be with the styles, the focal point of martial arts and removal of culture in most cases and the removal of the Japanese religion. European Aikido has already done this, they have totally removed the culture and religious aspects, I don't blame them. The Europeans are definitely more concern with the martial part of Aikido as oppose to culture and spritual concepts. American Aikidoist having the same desire. The writing is one wall weather we like it or not.

It's best to read the entire commentary to really absorb the information, even though it's long. For those who want to change, we should embrace American Aikido and shape our own destiny much like our western brethren in Europe have done. Europe has had a phenomenal success with there European Aikido (Real Aikido). American Aikido can do the same if we can be untied from our mental shackles.
I pressume you are talking about the Real Aikido invented by Serbian Ljubomir Vračarević.

If so, can you tell me why you call this European aikido and not 'yet another aikido style'?
Because it appearse that you are saying that a lot of Europeans are practising this style. From my own experience this seems not to be the case.
Most people in Western Europe practise one of the Japanese styles. With Japanese shihans that are still highly appreciated in the Aikido community.

DonMagee
04-04-2007, 05:56 AM
Y

So I guess they don't call it "juji gatame" anymore?

Maybe. That doesn't mean you haven't lost something, though.

We don't bow, we don't use japanese, we don't talk about culture, we don't call the instructor sensei, etc.

It makes you feel free. I feel at ease in my bjj club. In my aikido club I feel on edge, always trying to remember "Do I bow now?", "Is it once or twice here?", "Is it considered rude not in america but in ancient japan to do this?", "Remember, it's X off the mat and sempei on the mat..", etc.

In bjj my instructor is called Wally, I can leave the mat anytime I wish, enter it anytime I wish, I can ask questions without any fear of offense in a culture that I do not understand (That neither me nor my teacher are a part of), and I am free to innovate without the "That's not Judo!". Not to mention the stuff that is not related to culture that I always seen to find in japanese arts like hero worship (You are never going to do it as good as sensei's teacher). I'm glad my judo class is ran the same way as my bjj class. It's nice to just train and not worry about all the stuff that doesn't interest me. In fact, we are getting ready for our next belt tests and it's time to stop teach the lingo, when to bow, etc again so we can fake our way thought the culture.

In my judo class, I show up, change walk on the mat, do my warm ups (or join a group warm up), grab a human or any rank who might be around (without fear of offense), do my fit-ins, if I need help I can just ask or call out "Hey John, when you get a minute, can you come fix my throw?", when he is done I say "Sweet, thanks!", after that we head over to a crash mat, work throws as hard as we can in a throw line, then near the end of the 2 hour period we stop clear the mat and do randori. I can ask anyone to go without fear of offense by "challenging" a higher belt. During this time the instructor walks around the class correcting technique, answering questions, etc. Every so often he stops us and demo's a technique he wants us to focus on. If I do not want to partake in his class, I'm free to grab a partner and find an out of the way spot and do whatever as long as I'm not in there way.

I find this far more useful to me. I can relax and be myself, something I am unable to do in more traditional environments. I think this is the greatest asset of the club I train at.

I'm not saying you should throw it all out every time. I'm just saying sometimes you can gain more then you loose. Every case is different.

salim
04-04-2007, 09:19 AM
Dieter Haffner,

Real Aikido is more dominate in eastern Europe. The term American Aikido and European Aikido is used more or less to describe the different areas of the world that we are located in and how Aikido is changing in our parts of the world.

Aikido will change according to our geographical, societal needs. This trend is already beginning to happen here in the US. It has already happen in Europe, Western Europe to a lessor degree. This dose not mean we will not see those who will try to hold onto the Japanese way. It just means that we will see the branches on the tree grow in different directions. Here in the states we have some American Shihan. Please read the commentary from George Ledyard, “ The Future of Aikido”, http://www.aikidojournal.com/index.php?id=3077.

Talon
04-04-2007, 11:42 AM
I'd say this discussion deserves its own thread or perhaps it can go into the Future of Aikido threads. It obviously has drifted severely from the original thread...

Just a suggestion...

Paul

Tim Fong
04-04-2007, 12:25 PM
Don,

Good post. The thing that I don't get is why Americans voluntarily put themselves in second place. Why accept that you are always the "under" person who can never change an art? Why?

Japanese martial arts have been pretty shameless about adopting things from other cultures. There's nothing wrong with that either-- they took things from China, put their own spin on it, tested the arts under live conditions, and made changes. Why is it that Americans (or Europeans, or New Zealanders, and so on) are denied that same right? Or rather, why is it that so many are eager to _deny themselves_ what the ancestors of their own arts in Japan did?

CNYMike
04-04-2007, 11:57 PM
I feel at ease in my bjj club. In my aikido club I feel on edge, always trying to remember "Do I bow now?", "Is it once or twice here?", "Is it considered rude not in america but in ancient japan to do this?", "Remember, it's X off the mat and sempei on the mat..", etc.

How long have you been going? How often do you go? One would think that if you went regualarly, you'd have the rules down pat and it wouln't be a struggle to remember. It's not like they're going to change them every time!

I've had similar rules in almost every MA class I've been in, with the exceptions of European Fencing an Western Boxing; but even then, it wasn't a big deal that there were no such rules.

To each his own; if it really distresses you, that's your problem. But it never bugged me one way or another.

CNYMike
04-05-2007, 12:01 AM
I pressume you are talking about the Real Aikido invented by Serbian Ljubomir Vračarević.

If so, can you tell me why you call this European aikido and not 'yet another aikido style'?
Because it appearse that you are saying that a lot of Europeans are practising this style. From my own experience this seems not to be the case.
Most people in Western Europe practise one of the Japanese styles. With Japanese shihans that are still highly appreciated in the Aikido community.

Not to mention that there's a huge seminar in Italy every summer undera Japanese Shihan. I'd be surprised if a lot of Europeans didn't go to that.

CNYMike
04-05-2007, 12:04 AM
.... American Aikido will be different from Japanese Aikido .....

I suppose. I just hope we don't throw the baby out with the bath water.


....The differences will be with the styles, the focal point of martial arts and removal of culture in most cases and the removal of the Japanese religion

'Course, if that's where Aikido goes to town, is removing that stuff really a good idea?

CarlRylander
04-05-2007, 05:35 AM
I've been thinking about studying Aikido for some years now. and I've had my doubts too.

Aikido must be some use! I mean, they teach it to policemen.
It's a good way of immobilising someone when you're not allowed to hit them or hurt them.

That Robert Lara Sensei, he's very inspirational! He teaches a 'harder' style.

On his website on You Tube, he teaches how to deal with hook punches and attacks form behind.

DonMagee
04-05-2007, 08:01 AM
How long have you been going? How often do you go? One would think that if you went regualarly, you'd have the rules down pat and it wouln't be a struggle to remember. It's not like they're going to change them every time!

I've had similar rules in almost every MA class I've been in, with the exceptions of European Fencing an Western Boxing; but even then, it wasn't a big deal that there were no such rules.

To each his own; if it really distresses you, that's your problem. But it never bugged me one way or another.

I've been training in martial arts sense childhood. I've always had problems with these rules. Really its because I think they are silly and pointless. I've never been into the Asian culture. Not to mention the rules change based on the instructor. In fact my aikido instructor and my old judo instructor have different rules on which foot you put down first to sit. Why does it freaking matter?? Each has a reason why but both are equally pointless, I just want to sit down.

My old judo instructor had a guest out. This man was very upset that I did not sit in sezia while he was there. I was disrespectful to him. Of course I have been unable to sit in sezia because I broke my ankle when I started judo. Its been a long time and just now I can sit in sezia for a few minutes before my ankle screams at me. Yet how I sat down apparently was disrespectful to some overweight american.

mriehle
04-05-2007, 02:46 PM
In fact my aikido instructor and my old judo instructor have different rules on which foot you put down first to sit.
:(

So, my current Aikido instructor likes to say he keeps as many of the Japanese rules as makes sense. Of course, he defines what makes sense and I don't always agree with him ('sokay, I make the rules in my dojo, I follow his in his).

But I know that one of his reasons for keeping a level of formality is because of safety.

Aikido is not supposed to be dangerous, but it can be. Moreover we get all kinds of interesting people in the dojo, some of whom are not quick on the uptake when things get hairy.

So, some of the rules (e.g., roll from the inside of the mat to the outside to avoid collisions) are purely about safety and obvious. Some of them are about maiintaining a level of formality that prevents misunderstandings when working with people of different levels, because such misunderstandings get people hurt. The latter set of rules are going to be arbitrary by their nature and why not use the Japanese ones?

That being said, there are a couple of lines here that shouldn't be crossed, IMO. Going one way we get too casual and accidents happen. Going the other the formality just gets silly. Which foot goes down first when sitting down crosses that latter line, IMO. But it's important to note that it's my opinion and the only say I have is whether I'll train in that environment or not.

The other reason for formality, IME, is to maintain an environment in the class where everyone can learn. I've seen classes where things were very casual and there wasn't much learning going on.

You know, and, I don't recall any teacher in any worthwhile endeavor I've engaged in who didn't have some pointless little exercise that he wanted me to do because it once helped him and I completely failed to get anything out of it. It was absolutely worthless to me. But at some point I realized it was worth going through the motions with these so I could get on with the good stuff.

DonMagee
04-05-2007, 05:02 PM
:(

So, my current Aikido instructor likes to say he keeps as many of the Japanese rules as makes sense. Of course, he defines what makes sense and I don't always agree with him ('sokay, I make the rules in my dojo, I follow his in his).

But I know that one of his reasons for keeping a level of formality is because of safety.

Aikido is not supposed to be dangerous, but it can be. Moreover we get all kinds of interesting people in the dojo, some of whom are not quick on the uptake when things get hairy.

So, some of the rules (e.g., roll from the inside of the mat to the outside to avoid collisions) are purely about safety and obvious. Some of them are about maiintaining a level of formality that prevents misunderstandings when working with people of different levels, because such misunderstandings get people hurt. The latter set of rules are going to be arbitrary by their nature and why not use the Japanese ones?

That being said, there are a couple of lines here that shouldn't be crossed, IMO. Going one way we get too casual and accidents happen. Going the other the formality just gets silly. Which foot goes down first when sitting down crosses that latter line, IMO. But it's important to note that it's my opinion and the only say I have is whether I'll train in that environment or not.

The other reason for formality, IME, is to maintain an environment in the class where everyone can learn. I've seen classes where things were very casual and there wasn't much learning going on.

You know, and, I don't recall any teacher in any worthwhile endeavor I've engaged in who didn't have some pointless little exercise that he wanted me to do because it once helped him and I completely failed to get anything out of it. It was absolutely worthless to me. But at some point I realized it was worth going through the motions with these so I could get on with the good stuff.

I agree you need rules for safety. We have rules like that. No leg locks for white belts, no neck cranks for white belts, no heel hooks until given the ok by the instructor. No throwing new guys until they have been oked on breakfalls, etc.

As for preventing misunderstandings, I'm a little torn on that. In my bjj and current judo club, our rule is simply it is up to the higher belt to protect his grappling dummy. I know better then to throw on an advanced lock on a new guy because he might not know what is happening and tap in time. I know to let go of locks if the guy is not tapping and is about to be hurt. I also know that if that guy is higher rank then me that I can go all out and it is his responsibility to tap in time. We also have common respect for each other and shy away from malicious things. The only people I see injured is when two inexperienced white belts get put together and decide it's a tough man contest, or when freak uncontrollable accidents happen like when I got dropped in a body weight exercise( pull guard and your partner sprints across the mat) and sprained my stomach. I am hard pressed to think of any spoken rules that I could see are used to prevent misunderstandings. However, i'm sure whatever those rules are, they are probably useful for that school.

I've always found the rules about bowing before and after each technique, what leg to step on the mat with, never asking a high rank to spar, always bowing after getting advice, the requirement the whole class stop when the instructor speaks to correct one person (my old judo instructor), bowing to every black belt when you get on the mat or off the mat, etc. To be silly and have no place in what I'm doing. I can understand learning the language, in fact I used to be against learning japanese names until I trained with a guy who spoke poor english. I was able to communicate the drills to him with judo terms. However, half my judo class had no idea what we were actually saying when we bowed out of class. In fact some people thought we were saying completely different words like "keska! Pray!".

And that takes us into the whole is a martial art it's culture debate. Which is the topic of another thread.

CNYMike
04-05-2007, 07:33 PM
I've been training in martial arts sense childhood .....

Actually, I was asking how long you've specifically been doing Aikido.


I've always had problems with these rules. Really its because I think they are silly and pointless .....

They're not. Is being polite silly an pointless? No of course not. All those rules are are an expression of that. But most of the time the rules are put out there without explaining how the cultural part of the art is just as important as the technical part.

However, you give the impression that you're getting seriously stressed about this every time you go to Aikido class. If that's the case, why go? You learn better if you're not under a lot of pressure; conversely, if you're stressed, you won't learn anything. So if you can't take it in stride and enjoy yourself, maybe you should stick to the clubs without cultural/ettiquette rules and stay away from anything else. You're not doing yourself any favors; you're just putting yourself through hell and getting little out of it. Food or thought.

salim
04-06-2007, 07:58 AM
Don Magee,

I would strongly suggest that you search for an Aikido dojo that is not culturally based. The Aikido dojo that I go to is located in North Carolina. We have abandoned the religious and cultural aspects from the art completely. We don't have any pictures of the founder in the dojo. We certainly respect the founder profoundly, but there is no need for such things to have an effective Aikido school. Our dojo is simply good quality mats and a few practice weapons.

There is no prostrating, sitting on the correct foot protocol. We just use good professional common politeness. Our dojo is mixture of very well educated Aikidoist, with daytime professional jobs. We are only interested in good health, exercise, self defense and the genuine love for all martial arts. Our instructor is 4 degree black belt. He's been in the arts for over 25 years, and the benefit from learning is profound. Our instructor goes to great strides to insure that we learn the martial part of the art correctly. I disagree with those who say that you can't learn the art without the culture and religion. It can be done and it's being done everyday.

I would advise to keep searching for the Aikido dojo that fits your needs and learn what's beneficial for you. Don't allow others to dictate your needs and tell you that you can't do this or that. Be very careful of the cult mentality among some Aikidoist. The pervasive business minded, cult culture of the art has really hampered the effectiveness of the martial part of Aikido. Aikido is not a business as some have made it into, giving out belts like a kid in a candy store. Some people don't like it and it's stepping on some toe's, but the truth be told the art has a bad reputation as a result of the cult following. People think that the Aikidoist are a bunch of hippy long hair, get high, love the world, want to be Japanese, and that's ashame. The martial part of the art is really amazing once you learn how to apply it effectively.

DonMagee
04-06-2007, 10:52 AM
Actually, I was asking how long you've specifically been doing Aikido.

They're not. Is being polite silly an pointless? No of course not. All those rules are are an expression of that. But most of the time the rules are put out there without explaining how the cultural part of the art is just as important as the technical part.

However, you give the impression that you're getting seriously stressed about this every time you go to Aikido class. If that's the case, why go? You learn better if you're not under a lot of pressure; conversely, if you're stressed, you won't learn anything. So if you can't take it in stride and enjoy yourself, maybe you should stick to the clubs without cultural/ettiquette rules and stay away from anything else. You're not doing yourself any favors; you're just putting yourself through hell and getting little out of it. Food or thought.

I'm going on three years in aikido, with only a year of serious exclusive practice 3 times a week, then about 6 months of semi serious practice 2 times a week, and sense then practice one time a week, recently practice twice, maybe three times a month. Obviously the change in practice habits is due to other things becoming the focus of my training (bjj/judo/mma).

I do not mean to give the impression that my aikido teacher is stringent. He is fairly relaxed in his approach to culture. He will tell you the proper way, and with the exceptions of bowing, what foot you step on the mat with first, asking permission to leave the mat, and counting, he basically will not stress the rules. He does not require we sit in sezia, he does not require seated bowing, etc. However he gives people who do the extra stuff a lot of credit, so basically everyone does and it makes me feel an outsider because I care not to.

However my old judo instructor (not my current one) is a stricker for procedure. He would point out every little thing you did that was 'improper'. It drove me up a wall. I'd spend more time with the culture then I did with the throws. I'd basically just leave frustrated that I had to do all this crap that didn't have anything to do with my ability to throw someone on their head, and none of this improved this ability either. It just wasted everyone's time.

Here's a good story about my old judo instructor. When I first started training judo I was getting a lot of minor injurys. I knew this was because their warmup was weak, didn't stretch you well, didn't create a sweat, and just did some things bad (like cold stretches). I approached the teacher about this and was told this is how he did it for 50 years, screw modern medical science on the proper ways to warm up and prevent injury, this is culture. (Later after going to other judo clubs, I found out apparently that none of them warm up like this guy did, but warm up properly). After prodding he said that if I felt I needed additional time to warm up, I could do so on my own time. So I started getting there 10 minutes sooner so I could warm up, then do their silly warmups. One day I was late, I made it on time but not soon enough to do my own private warm ups. So after he got done 'warming' us up, I continued to warm up while the talked about how his day was at work, and how 'he's really going to work us hard tonight, and his usually stuff that he repeats every class. I am in the back of the group doing stretches when I hear him say "You see Don back there, if he doesn't stop I'm going to kick him out of my class.", So I stop. Think to myself "When does he want me to warm up?" And sit in sezia like a good student. He then starts a throw line. I ask if I can warm up now. He tells me now is not appropriate because class has already started. I need to do this on my own time. I politely say ok and go sit on the edge of the mat in sezia. He then asks if I am injured. I tell him no, I am not going to get in a throw line when I am not properly stretched because I do not want to get injured. He now tells me I am being disrespectful and if this was his instructor blah blah..." I get up and left his club.

You see his americanized notion of Japanese culture (regardless of if it was right or wrong) cost him not just me, but all the students who stopped going because I was no longer going. I'll I asked was to simply be allowed to either warm the class up, or warm up by myself until I was ready to work out and not get injured. I was sick of all the injurys I got in his class that I never got in bjj, aikido, or mma sparing because I was properly warmed up. Rather then allow this 'breach of protocol' he decided that this tradition of sensei knows best, always listen to sensei even if it means sprains, and broken limbs. His notion of culture holds back his students. In fact most of his adult students are sub par compared to the guys I train with today. However his children students (who he doesn't hold to this idiotic standard) are very good competitors.

See I feel there are 3 components to most martial arts. There is technique, culture, and philosophy. Technique and Philosophy go hand in hand. You need both of these. The technique tells you what to do, the philosophy tells you how and when to do it. The culture however I do not feel is nearly as important, at least not for developing skill. It can be neat for people actually interested in cultures. I have however found most American ideas of how the Japaneses do it to be incorrect. If I want culture, there are much better ways to get it. I have courses at the college on language and art, etc. Why choose to learn it from a guy who has no formal training on speaking the language, can't read the language, and has never even been to the country? Not to mention everything he learned is from a guy who again is just the same. It's like learning math from a 5 year old who learned it from a 7 year old who probably learned it from a 8 year old who maybe was taught by a math teacher.

But you guys are right, I did find clubs that train martial arts the way I want to learn them, and I am happy. I currently train in aikido now only because I am friends with the students and instructor and it is fun to hang out with them and learn from them. I think they understand that I am not a serious student and they treat me as such. I do my best to remember all the procedures, and they do their best to let it roll off them when I forget one. I give them an outside viewpoint and they show me new ideas to play with in bjj. Rather then spend all his time correcting me, he spends more time correcting his serious students, and maybe tosses a pointer or two at me, letting anyone who cares to correct my form. Then we all go out to breakfast and have a good time. I'm happy with this arrangement and we have an understanding that I will never receive rank in aikido. However, if I did decide to become a serious student of aikido, his club would be the only choice as it is the only aikido within 100 miles. And because I respect the teacher's skill and consider him a personal friend, I couldn't think of anywhere I'd want t olearn aikido. And that is respect right there. Not bowing every time he says relax more, but treating him like a friend, allowing each other to be different and understanding that it is not threatening to either of us, but that we are following different roads, and forming a relationship not bound by awe or fear, but by healthy openness and common decency.

CNYMike
04-06-2007, 10:17 PM
..... Here's a good story about my old judo instructor ..... <snip>

Well, I've had six instructors in Japanese systems over the past 22 years, and I guess I've been lucky in that nothing like that ever happened to me. Then again, I don't know his side of the story.


..... See I feel there are 3 components to most martial arts. There is technique, culture, and philosophy. Technique and Philosophy go hand in hand. You need both of these. The technique tells you what to do, the philosophy tells you how and when to do it. The culture however I do not feel is nearly as important, at least not for developing skill .....

I disagree; it's important because you know where the art is coming from. According to Dan Inosanto, a martial art is really a snapshot of the thinking of its founder when he (or she) created it. (In Aikido it's not undistorted from O Sensei to us because there is wiggle room, but you get the idea.) To know what's going on, you need to know where that person is coming from, and the cultural part is part of that. Without the cultural part -- even if it's minimized -- you've got a tripod with two legs.


..... I have however found most American ideas of how the Japaneses do it to be incorrect ....

Maybe. But the American rejection of it isn't any better IMHO. Like I said, I find it weird that it's ok to eat food from other parts of the world, but a martial art from the same country has to be stripped of its foreign ideas. What's that about?


..... I do my best to remember all the procedures, and they do their best to let it roll off them when I forget one ....

Why not get a little notebook and write things down? Especially as you don't go very often. You may not be a "serious student," but it's nota bas idea to jot things down especially if you have trouble remembering.

CNYMike
04-06-2007, 10:30 PM
.... There is no prostrating, sitting on the correct foot protocol. We just use good professional common politeness. Our dojo is mixture of very well educated Aikidoist, with daytime professional jobs. We are only interested in good health, exercise, self defense and the genuine love for all martial arts. Our instructor is 4 degree black belt. He's been in the arts for over 25 years, and the benefit from learning is profound. Our instructor goes to great strides to insure that we learn the martial part of the art correctly. I disagree with those who say that you can't learn the art without the culture and religion. It can be done and it's being done everyday.

Readin this I remembered the times Erik Paulson (http://erikpaulson.com/) came to my home town a couple of times in the '90s. I sat in on one workshop one time, and the class began and ended with everyone sitting in Seiza and bowing. Yes, they were all wearing t-shirts and sweats. No, I don't think they bowed a lot during the class proper. But I've always heard Sensei Erik referred to that way, although you could get away with adressing him as "Sir." (But Sif Kevin Seaman would insist on either; no way he'd let you say, "Hey, Erik!")

So when people advocate stripping out the religion, courtesies, and cultural aspects, I think of the groups I know on the non-traditional side of the fence that haven't thrown that stuff out completely. They may not be as stringent as some "traditional" teachers would be, but that they haven't tossed it completely tells me it may not be worthless after all.

Kevin Leavitt
04-07-2007, 02:13 AM
interesting discussion.

I can certainly understand what Don is saying, as I seem to study for many of the same reasons in MMA that he does and more often than not we are on the same side of the fence.

I think moderation and appropriateness is key in every situation for sure.

I would offer the following as a reason why it is important to have some ettiquette in an aikido.

As an American living overseas, I have gained a greater apprieciation for the importance of understanding other cultures. It helps us better understand the way the world works and helps create a greater sense of awareness and empathy in us.

I think that having the cultural aspects (in balance and moderation) in aikido serves of a reminder of the heritage of where aikido came from. It also allows us to enter a different set up habits and practices that serve as a sort of ritual or practice that can remind us that everything is not like the secular world that surrounds us on a daily basis. I think it creates a deeper sense of community, awareness, empathy and bond between people.

I would not subscribe that it should be a part of BJJ or a MMA school, as they have a different culture or focus. although, a little bit of it never hurts such as bowing in and bowing out of class.

Typically warrior societies are hierachial based and have codes of conduct, rituals, and the like.

The anthesis of this has always been the Guerrilla...the undisciplined warrior that has a disdain for authority and breaks down the paradigms of the hierarchial warrior society and exploits his weaknesses in bureacracy, immobility, and adaptability.

However, as the guerrilla comes into power, he turns to hierachies in order to replicate and mass produce command and control over a large base.

The guerrilla then pops back up to show him all the lessons he failed to remember! so, the cycle goes on.

salim
04-07-2007, 09:33 AM
Michael Gallagher,

It's to late, we have already removed the religion and culture from our Aikido and others will follow. The simple fact is, some people don't want what you want. You can't force people to practice Aikido the Japanese way, it's up to the individual dojo. We love our school, individuals have there our own religion, we want good health, exercise and self defense in our lives. Our instructor has been teaching this way for over 25 years without the bowing, foot protocol and other Japanese culture. We do use the gi, hakama, and the japanese terms for the different movements only.

As mention before, our dojo is a mixture of law students, doctors, and engineers. The question about behavior is well established in our professional careers. We work with people all over the world. The basic principles of behavior is not in the equation. We exemplify the same behaviors in the dojo as we would with a business colleague. One can be formal without the need for Japanese protocol. A person can simply say, “excuse me instructor Charles, I would like to ask a question, or I don't quite understand the concept of a movement”.

swchiro
04-07-2007, 10:28 AM
...good points.......

Mark Uttech
04-07-2007, 10:51 AM
I have always thought that rules and etiquette existed for safety. A good rule is something to be respected, etiquette lends a little bit of ceremony. 'Tenchi nage' still sounds better than 'hamburger throw'...

In gassho,

Mark

salim
04-07-2007, 12:04 PM
Respect should not be confused with obeying or following. We respect, but don't necessarily follow every etiquette.

CNYMike
04-07-2007, 04:54 PM
Michael Gallagher,

It's to late, we have already removed the religion and culture from our Aikido and others will follow ....

And there are plenty of dojos that have been around a long as your instructor's if not longer and they haven't. Maybe they'll drop it but maybe not.


The simple fact is, some people don't want what you want. You can't force people to practice Aikido the Japanese way ....

I'm not interested in forcing anybody to do anything; I just think there are perfectly valid reasons for it. Your teacher doesn't want to do that, that's his business, but that doesn't mean there weren't good reasons for doing it that way in the first place.


.... A person can simply say, "excuse me instructor Charles ... "

"Instructor Charles"!? OMG, does he really use that? :crazy: :yuck: That sounds just too combersome. If you want to anglicize it and still be polite, "Excuse me, Sir, I would like to ask a question," works just as well, without sounding like it came out of a robot.

salim
04-07-2007, 10:10 PM
Michael Gallagher,

That's was just an example. Yes we must certainly say, "please excuse me." That's definitely better than sounding like the karate kid, "Oh Mr. Miyagi”.

I'm glad there are choices in this world and we don't have to follow the communist manifesto mentality.

DonMagee
04-08-2007, 01:56 PM
I perfer "Name, when you have a second, I could use some help."

And "Thanks" when they are done.

Kevin Leavitt
04-08-2007, 02:13 PM
Yeah I prefer 'Name" as well.

However, in ASU, I am completely comfortable calling Saotome Sensei, "Sensei, can you help me with this?" As that is what he is....sensei, seems very normal and natural.

Same with stopping and going to seiza when he is demonstrating, heck everyone can see, and why waste an opportunity to learn something when time is so valuable to be with him.

That said, I would feel very ridiculous calling my actual dojo instructor sensei...I call him by his first name, he and I both would feel silly doing this.

DonMagee
04-08-2007, 09:22 PM
Yeah I prefer 'Name" as well.

However, in ASU, I am completely comfortable calling Saotome Sensei, "Sensei, can you help me with this?" As that is what he is....sensei, seems very normal and natural.

Same with stopping and going to seiza when he is demonstrating, heck everyone can see, and why waste an opportunity to learn something when time is so valuable to be with him.

That said, I would feel very ridiculous calling my actual dojo instructor sensei...I call him by his first name, he and I both would feel silly doing this.

I have no problem stopping to watch a demonstration. My problem is stopping to watch someone getting corrected yet again on basic foot placement for a hip throw. Or even worse, when there were not enough adults and the class was combined with the kids class, we were stopped to get lessons on how to tie a belt.

CNYMike
04-08-2007, 10:57 PM
..... I would feel very ridiculous calling my actual dojo instructor sensei...I call him by his first name, he and I both would feel silly doing this.

To each his own; I've never had a problem calling any of the instructors in any of the karate or Aikido dojos I've been in "Sensei." Maybe that the rules don't bug me means I'm not sufficiently patriotic enough, but they don't. Never did; probably never will.

CNYMike
04-08-2007, 11:09 PM
.... My problem is stopping to watch someone getting corrected yet again on basic foot placement for a hip throw ....

Them's the rules; if you don't like them, don't go there. You want to hang with your friends from the dojo, you can meet them socially outside class. If they put you off, then hang with people from the other grous you go to. But if the rules bug you so much, don't go there. Even with the "identity crisis" in American Aikido, it is highly unlikely they will change any time soon. So you have a decision to make.

A Vegeterian friend of mine once told me that in order to be a vegeterian, you have to like the food. You don't do yourself any favors by telling yourself, This is good for the animals. This is good for the planet. This is good for my health. But it really tastes like BLEEP! You're better off not doing it. Same applies here. If the only reason you go to Aikido two or three times a month is to hang with the people training there but you like almost nothing else about it and can't stand the rules, maybe you're better off skipping the classes altogether and trying to meet the Aikido people socially outside the dojo. If they don't want to meet you, oh, well. Food for thought.

DonMagee
04-09-2007, 05:50 AM
I know full well what I'm doing and why I do it. If I had a problem with it, I would stop. If you read my posts my problem is 90% with schools I no longer attend, with the remaining 10% an annoyance that I tolerate because I find what's left over fun.

It's just like bjj competitions. I hate the waiting, I hate the drive there, I hate the mass amounts of people, I hate the costs, but once all that is out of the way I usually have a good time.

James Davis
04-09-2007, 10:20 AM
I have no problem stopping to watch a demonstration. My problem is stopping to watch someone getting corrected yet again on basic foot placement for a hip throw. Or even worse, when there were not enough adults and the class was combined with the kids class, we were stopped to get lessons on how to tie a belt.

People who aren't ready to go when the traffic light turns green must really piss you off!:D

DonMagee
04-09-2007, 10:55 AM
People who aren't ready to go when the traffic light turns green must really piss you off!:D

Are you spying on me?

CNYMike
04-09-2007, 10:57 AM
.... the remaining 10% an annoyance that I tolerate because I find what's left over fun.

You could have used the "F" word five posts ago and saved me a lot of typing! :crazy: The you are getting something out of it .... probably more than you know. Good for you!

CNYMike
04-09-2007, 10:59 AM
Are you spying on me?

Just so's you know, I usually wait two seconds after the light turns before going. Just in case you're ever stuck behind me. :)

James Davis
04-10-2007, 11:29 AM
Just so's you know, I usually wait two seconds after the light turns before going. Just in case you're ever stuck behind me. :)

Everybody put your guns down!:p

mriehle
04-10-2007, 12:01 PM
Just so's you know, I usually wait two seconds after the light turns before going. Just in case you're ever stuck behind me. :)

Actually, I've started doing this as well. Ever since the times I've nearly been hit by the guy trying to race through the light at the last minute. One time it was a city bus. :eek: :(

I actually don't wait an arbitrary time, I look both ways to make sure any cars that should have stopped are stopped (or at least are definitely stopping).

crbateman
04-10-2007, 12:23 PM
My brother and I both run through red lights all the time. I also stop at green lights, as I never know when my brother might be coming the other way...:rolleyes:

James Davis
04-10-2007, 03:13 PM
Sounds like four way stops around here where I live. No matter how well versed one is in the rules of the road, one's actions must be contingent upon what the idiot in the other car does. The only real rule is Get Home Alive.

Eyes open, prepare to evade.:)

Mark Uttech
04-12-2007, 03:25 AM
I recall a roadside sign that I glanced at as I drove by, it simply said: "You aren't watching the road."

In gassho

Mark