View Full Version : Is it advisable to have two cups?

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Marie Noelle Fequiere
03-05-2007, 10:38 AM
After studying shotokan for thirteen years, I decided to start a new adventure and to try a martial art using a different concept of fighting. So in September, I started a´kido. I am really enjoying my new training, but I do not want to forget what I have learned previously, so I still review my shotokan kata (about fourty of them) every week. Another fellow a´kidoist who also used to train in shotokan told me that upon signing up for a´kido, he emptied his cup and completely forgot his shotokan techniques. I would'nt want to do that. I sincerly believe that what my shotokan Sensei taught is good stuff, just as good as what my a´kido Sensei is teaching me rignt now. The problem is, I do have poor coordination, and sometimes, my shotokan reflexes take over. One day - I had been training for only a month or two - , during a randori session, I planted a beautifull side kick in a senpai's ribs. Was I embarassed. I have learned to controll my legs during randori, but I still sometimes try to parry a shomen uchi with an age uke block. I suppose that with time, things will get better, but I also feel sometimes that I may not be learning as fast as I should. So, my question is: Is ti possible, or advisable, to have two cups?;)

03-05-2007, 11:38 AM
I can't imagine any reason that you should lose what you spent thirteen years acquiring. It's perfectly normal at the beginning to fall back on what you know best. I value every student that comes to my school, but those that come with background like yours tend to be a real asset to the dojo, and a real wake up call for those who don't know when they are stepping right into a dangerous place.

I like to use the analogy with experienced beginners that training is like a wax record. You teach yourself to do certain things, which digs grooves in the wax. This makes them easy to fall into instinctively when the need arises. When you start training in a new art (or even style of the same art) your needle is often very close to the old grooves, and so slips in. In time, you will dig new grooves without losing the old grooves. The ideal is to wear all of the wax off of the record so the needle is sliding unhindered on the glass below. If only we could all live that long and train that hard.

Anyhow, hope this helps and welcome to aikiweb.


Dennis Hooker
03-05-2007, 03:27 PM
Mari I find that my karate, judo, boxing and sword work all blends into my Aikido. I don't do the other stuff anymore with the exception of sword but I sure am glade I had it and benefit from it. I have been doing this stuff for a long time and I find most Aikido schools can use a little help in some departments. I evaluate my students and sometimes if they are really after something I send them somewhere to augment their training. Some go to a Wing Chun teacher who is a good friend some go to a sword teacher and some to a boxing gym for some real hard training. Depends on what they are lacking, hungry for, or need. Some need nothing more than what they get but others need something I find best delivered from a fresh standpoint. I got no desire to strap on boxing gloves at my age but some need it so I have no problem pointing them in the right direction. It’s an exceptional teacher that can give us everything we need. Either that or we don’t need much or don’t know what we need. I would like to see a lot of Aikido people I know walk into the boxing gym where a lot of hungry your black, Hispanic and white guys are trying to get ahead in by boxing. Not a lot of flowery talking and no good will generally just a lot of body banning by guys that know how.

So enjoy and use your knowledge that was hard won.

Josh Reyer
03-05-2007, 05:20 PM
Marie, it might encourage you to know that before the Aikikai was established, anyone who wanted to train in the Founder's dojo needed to get a letter of introduction from at least one, often two, well respected people in the budo community, and this generally meant being a shodan in karate, judo, or kendo. Many of these students found that Aikido was beneficial to their earlier arts and vice-versa.

The important thing is to empty your cup when you enter the dojo. In other words, when you're on the mat, focus on aikido. But off the mat, continue your karate, do your kata, and think about how they can complement each other.

03-06-2007, 12:04 AM
..... So, my question is: Is ti possible, or advisable, to have two cups?;)

Yes, it is possible, and I am the guy who currently has five, including Aikido. What you learned in Shotokan will never leave you; if anything, it should be easier to pick up new things since you (should have) learned a long time ago to make your body do something specific.

Let's put things in perspective: You did Shotokan for 13 years, and you've done Aikido for six months. IOW, you did shotokan 26 times as long as you've done Aikido, so it's no wonder your "Shotokan reflexes" are still in force. It won't be easy to keep them separate, but you will learn to do so over time, and focuse on the new structures. Remember, you are just starting here.

But yes, you can have two cups if you want. Some don't; some do. It's your choice.

03-06-2007, 09:41 AM
2 Cups. :-P

I must drink too much I got 3 cups infront of me; and if you count that year I dabbled in Tai Chi that would make 4. But I only dabbled in that one. :-)

However all were from the same teacher. :-)

03-06-2007, 11:53 AM
...The problem is, I do have poor coordination, and sometimes, my shotokan reflexes take over. One day - I had been training for only a month or two - , during a randori session, I planted a beautifull side kick in a senpai's ribs. Was I embarassed. I have learned to controll my legs during randori...

Why should you be embarrassed? It's their fault for not being ready for anything and getting caught with their pants down!


Charlie B.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
03-06-2007, 01:25 PM
Thank you guys for your support. In fact, yesterday night, I picked up an issue of Black Belt Magazine (March 2007), and what do I see on the cover? "Karate-A´kido Hybrid". It turns out that Sensei Phillip Skornia, who operates a dojo in Lawndale, California, is teaching just that: a style that combines Karate and A´kido. As I have long suspected, because those two styles take such a radicaly different approach to fighting, they make up for each other's flaws, so they complete each other.
In fact, my A´kido Sensei used to train in Karate before switching to the Way of Harmony. He is a friend of my Shotokan teacher, and, when the Shotokan school was still operating, he used to come to visit and watch the classes. When I came to his dojo to ask for informations, he recognized me at once. As a result, he was not really surprised to see me kick Senpai, and he laughed. Of course, Senpai - a six foot male black belt - had a shock, but he did not hold any grudge on me (for the record, I am exactly five feet tall).
In fact, I found out that several advanced students in my new dojo used to study Karate, but they stopped practicing entirely to immerse themselves in A´kido. So I was wondering if it was wise for me to try to hold on both, especially at my age (45).
Now, I know that I am not completely a fool
Thank you guys again, and have a nice day.;)

03-06-2007, 01:45 PM
If you look at the Karate of Kenji Ushiro Sensei, you will see some of the most aiki-relevant stuff seen anywhere. Fundamental physical principles are just that... fundamental. That means they will work practically anywhere, and Ushiro Sensei displays that very clearly. There are others, to be sure, but I use him as an example because he does it so eloquently.

03-06-2007, 02:11 PM
Maybe we can have one cup and drink more than one flavor from it? Personally, I know the best way to empty a beer-filled cup is by drinking it in. :D Can you get a hang-over from too much martial arts? I know you can get a head-ache from too much bokken and not enough getting out of the way!
Take care,

Lyle Bogin
03-06-2007, 06:13 PM
I've recently acquired a heavybag at work and noticed that my old striking skills have changed somewhat.

Right now I'm working on just the JKD straight lead. It's very irimi. Good book on it by Teri Tom that cites a lot of hard to get reference manuals.

I figure if my old training was really worth the effort I put into, the skills will remain as long as I dust them off now and again.

Pehaps you could teach karate and learn aikido?

Amir Krause
03-07-2007, 01:04 AM
If you are looking for a general answer, then I believe in learning more then one M.A. and from more then one teacher.

But, I do not believe this is true for all nor at all stages of development. Non can answer but you, since we will never know how difficult is the inclusion of both ways is for you.


Rupert Atkinson
03-07-2007, 03:17 AM
One of my teacher's in Japan - Omura Hiroaki, was 7th Dan Aikido and 7th Dan Karate. He is now 8th Dan in both. An example: You could see that his zanshin was influenced by his Karate in that it was far more pronounced than in most Aikido teachers.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
03-07-2007, 10:14 AM
Pehaps you could teach karate and learn aikido?[/QUOTE]

People keep sugesting me that. In fact, I used to teach the children's class at my Shotokan school. It's just that I am not a very gook teacher. Anyway, you don't just open a dojo. You need to operate it, wich means, you have to take care of administrative details, harass students who don't pay regularly, etc...
On top of that, when my first Sensei closed his school, I was begininng to experience pains in my knees. These days, my knees are actually better, because I spend less time in a horse stance.
Anyway, health and self defense were my primary goals when I decided to learn martial arts. Maby one day I will change my mind, but for now, I am just happy trainning, making friends and keeping fit.
Keep punching this bag, your old striking skills will be back faster than you think.
So, let's hit the dojo!

03-07-2007, 10:31 PM
There is no reason to have to give up your Shotokan. You can drink from 2 cups.
Some people find it awkward to train in different arts at the same time. Some have no problem.
I teach both Yoshinkan Aikido and Motobuha Shito Ryu Karate.
I know one Aikido teacher who also teaches Goju Ryu. Aikido and Goju Ryu share so much that he used to bring his Goju Ryu students to Aikido so they can see the the bunkai to the kata they are learning.
If you have not been schooled in the old bunkai to the Okinawan Kata, you may find that your Aikido will give you a whole new prospective on Kata.
Shotokan is somewhat different than our Karate in that we do not rely so much on the deep, low stances. You may find it difficult to apply some Aikido techniques or to move from one of those stances to an Aikido stance. But it is possible to work the 2 together.
One of the things that I like about Yoshinkan is that it blends better with Karate than other styles I have trained in. The highest of my Dan grades is in Kuniba Ryu, which was created largely from Shito Ryu Karate, Judo and Aikido.

03-07-2007, 10:55 PM
Lots of good posts and good advice. Just wanted to pipe in and say that you really only have one cup.... how empty or full it currently is, determines how much of whatever else you can put in it. So, how much you throw out and how much of what you put in it matters too.... particularly if you intend to drink the concoction later.

Personally, I like my coffee, hot, short, black and 1, but occasionally I'll have cream... or scotch... or both... in any case, it's still coffee and... drinkable. ;)

03-08-2007, 04:04 AM
Those who are like Eccentrica Gallumbits (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_characters_from_The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Eccentrica_Gallumbits ) would need three cups :)

03-08-2007, 05:17 AM
Those who are like Eccentrica Gallumbits (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_characters_from_The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Eccentrica_Gallumbits ) would need three cups :)

LOL, I'd completely forgotten about Eccentrica, think it's time for me to re-read the hitchikers guide :)

Mike 'planning an exceedingly unpleasant nikyo based lesson at tonight's session' Haft

03-09-2007, 07:14 AM
Drink from both cups and enjoy the buzz!