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aikishrine
06-11-2007, 05:26 AM
Hi all,

I have a question, i hope this subject hasn't been broached before, and if so i apologize.

Is it possible to train in AIKIDO, phyisicaly, philosophicaly, and spiritualy, while cross training in other martial arts?

I am not refering to Tai Chi or arts like that, or even aikijujutsu, i am asking about the more combative arts. Or would you consider this trainig to go against the ultimate aim O'SENSEI meant for Aikido?

DonMagee
06-11-2007, 05:52 AM
Why do you think Ueshiba would care? I can't come up with a good reason for not training other martial arts. They do not teach you to hurt anything that will go directly against your aikido. The spirit of aikido is your responsibility. You can keep that spirit even while training judo or kendo, karate, boxing, basketball, etc.

SeiserL
06-11-2007, 07:01 AM
Is it possible to train in AIKIDO, phyisicaly, philosophicaly, and spiritualy, while cross training in other martial arts?
...
Or would you consider this trainig to go against the ultimate aim O'SENSEI meant for Aikido?
IMHO,
Yes
No

Now quit questioning and get back to training.

MM
06-11-2007, 08:28 AM
I don't really understand why this question comes up again and again? I guess my question to you, Brian, is why did you ask it? Or in a different way of asking that question, what gave you the indications that it would *not* be okay to cross train? In any art?

Now, to answer your question.

Let's dig up a bit of history. Mochizuki, Akazawa, Hikitsuchi, etc. They studied a lot of other arts, not including judo. Tenryu came from Sumo. Ueshiba watched as some of his students took TSKSR training. In fact, Ueshiba is quoted (paraphrasing here) saying something like, This is how we do it with aiki.

Let's go to current.
Ikeda sensei brings in Ushiro sensei for seminars.
Skoss sensei (plural) have backgrounds in aikido along with a lot of other arts. You can view their bios on koryu.com. (Along with ordering the new TSKSR book)

The list goes on and one both historically and presently. I actually find that it goes against Ueshiba's Aikido when one does *not* pursue other arts. Why do you think Ueshiba watched TSKSR training? He was learning, too. I have yet to see any of the old budo masters claim that they perfected their art, that they stopped learning, or that they quit looking outside their own art for progress.

IMO,
Mark

SeiserL
06-11-2007, 03:50 PM
I don't really understand why this question comes up again and again?
IMHO, I think it comes up repeatedly is because there are a lot of insecure people who don't want you to think/train outside of the little box they control.

IMHO, train on.

antonis paps
06-11-2007, 07:42 PM
IMHO, I think it comes up repeatedly is because there are a lot of insecure people who don't want you to think/train outside of the little box they control.

IMHO, train on.

It's true.

Dirk Hanss
06-12-2007, 02:07 AM
Hi all,

I have a question, i hope this subject hasn't been broached before, and if so i apologize.

Is it possible to train in AIKIDO, phyisicaly, philosophicaly, and spiritualy, while cross training in other martial arts?

I am not refering to Tai Chi or arts like that, or even aikijujutsu, i am asking about the more combative arts. Or would you consider this trainig to go against the ultimate aim O'SENSEI meant for Aikido?
Not much to add to those good replies.
I don't believe, that Tournament driven training is recommendable cross training. One reason is, that is extremely time spending and it drives your mind to the other direction, aikido does. But it is not a question of the art, but more the school/dojo or even more how you do it. Nothing against participating in tournaments - unless you recognize unwished effects. Just winning a tournament should not be the major/only goal for training.

And I am irritated, about your complaints with Tai Chi. Which art is more combative than Tai Chi? Well many schools just teach the slow motion forms, but as i understood Tai Chi, especiallly Chen style, is a complete combat system, including competitive fights and even tournaments.

Best regards

Dirk

Aristeia
06-12-2007, 02:54 AM
Not much to add to those good replies.
I don't believe, that Tournament driven training is recommendable cross training.I disagree with this. One thing Aikido doesn't develp particularly well is the things that you get from the competitve einvironment - such as the ability to keep your head and access your skills under the pressure of true resistance and competition.

I personally don't think that we should look to add that to Aikido - if we it ceases to be Aikido in my mind. But do like the idea of cross training in other forms that do develop those abiities - which can then be transferred to your Aikido skill.

ChrisHein
06-12-2007, 09:53 AM
The best thing you can do is cross train! It will open your eyes to new things, and hopefully help you come to some understandings about Aikido itself.

Please Please, cross train!!

Gary David
06-12-2007, 01:25 PM
Just a thought here....in many ways you are cross training already. For some, me include, Aikido is like the Johnny Cash 1976 song "One Piece At a Time" were working that the GM factory he built a car by taking one piece out at a time. In part the lyrics go "The first day I got me a fuel pump. And the next day I got me an engine and a trump. Then I got me a transmission and all the chrome. The little things I could get in my big lunchbox. Like nuts and bolts and four shocks. But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddy's mobile home......." In the song he ended up with a 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 automobile. For me Aikido is like that taking a piece here and part there, taking them in and making it your own. Outside stuff is like adding on things you buy at the speed shop or other places. You put it together, polish it up, paint it and make it your own. In 30 plus years I have been involved with Aikido I have never given it up......just added what I though could help and was useful.
Gary

Mark Uttech
06-12-2007, 03:43 PM
The best thing you can do is cross train! It will open your eyes to new things, and hopefully help you come to some understandings about Aikido itself.

Please Please, cross train!!

Jesus Christ did cross training and in George Ohsawa'a book:
The Art of Peace ( A new translation of The Book of Judo) reports
that Jesus was a master of Judo.

In gassho,

Mark

Lyle Bogin
06-12-2007, 03:50 PM
The danger in cross training is the accumulation of doubt that can lead to more stress than you are alleviating by training. But if the stress of doubt is already there, you've got one foot hovering over the bottomless pit anyway. Might as well plummet for a while.

Keith R Lee
06-12-2007, 04:37 PM
IMHO, I think it comes up repeatedly is because there are a lot of insecure people who don't want you to think/train outside of the little box they control.


I think this nails it. Just because someone is a teacher/sensei, it doesn't automatically make them an open-minded or good person.

John Matsushima
06-13-2007, 10:52 AM
I think it is not a good idea to do cross training with Aikido. To be a serious student, a great deal of time and energy must be devoted to practice and cross-training can be a distraction.

DonMagee
06-13-2007, 10:55 AM
Define serious student. Are you saying a serious student of aikido, of self defense, of philosophy? People have different goals for their training. Some goals may be better suited by cross training, some may not.

Roman Kremianski
06-13-2007, 02:29 PM
I think it is not a good idea to do cross training with Aikido. To be a serious student, a great deal of time and energy must be devoted to practice and cross-training can be a distraction.

How do you know your Aikido won't improve unless you try cross training?

John Matsushima
06-13-2007, 05:04 PM
Mr. Magee, since this is an Aikido forum I assumed that we were talking about Aikido. Of course, if one is a student of MMA, or tennis, or basket weaving then it doesn't really matter. If you don't know what it means to be a serious student (of anything) then maybe that is what you should focus on becoming instead of cross-training.

How do I know my Aikido won't improve unless I try cross-training? I have observed numerous people who came to Aikido from other arts and had trouble because they were trying to apply what they learned elsewhere in Aikido. Kendo practitioners have a difficult time with Aikiken, Karate practicitioners are always trying to block instead of blend, etc.

Personally, I have always wanted to do Iaido; it looks cool and fun to do. But thought if I couldn't practice it seriously then I shouldn't do it. When I have time outside of dojo practice, I practice Aikido with my wife, practice my Aikiken and Jo, surf the web for information about Aikido, read books about Aikido, contemplate Aikido principles, discuss Aikido with my friends, and when I'm doing this or that and try to live my live according to the Way. And, since I'm not anyone's uchideshi I have to squeeze all this between my job, studying Japanese, drinking beer and other life responsibilities. I think if I were to try another Way, it would take away from what little time I have for Aikido.

Have a nice day.

Chris Li
06-13-2007, 08:52 PM
How do I know my Aikido won't improve unless I try cross-training? I have observed numerous people who came to Aikido from other arts and had trouble because they were trying to apply what they learned elsewhere in Aikido. Kendo practitioners have a difficult time with Aikiken, Karate practicitioners are always trying to block instead of blend, etc.

Most of Morihei Ueshiba's first generation of students cross-trained - certainly all of the well-known ones did, and it didn't seem to slow them down too much. It was more or less required in order to become an uchi-deshi. Morihei Ueshiba, of course, cross trained quite a bit, as did his primary teacher, Sokaku Takeda.

In a parallel example, children raised to be bi-lingual often start out more slowly, but they tend to develop superior linguistic skills in the end - there are a number of studies supporting this.

Best,

Chris

Roman Kremianski
06-13-2007, 08:54 PM
Personal lifestyle choices are fine. Aikido didn't come with a bible written by O-sensei, that's what makes it so great.

Chris Li
06-13-2007, 08:58 PM
Personal lifestyle choices are fine. Aikido didn't come with a bible written by O-sensei, that's what makes it so great.

Not in English, anyway :).

Best,

Chris

Roman Kremianski
06-13-2007, 09:23 PM
Meant more of a rule book with outlined restrictions. I wrote "bible" for giggles.

DonMagee
06-14-2007, 06:37 PM
Mr. Magee, since this is an Aikido forum I assumed that we were talking about Aikido. Of course, if one is a student of MMA, or tennis, or basket weaving then it doesn't really matter. If you don't know what it means to be a serious student (of anything) then maybe that is what you should focus on becoming instead of cross-training.

How do I know my Aikido won't improve unless I try cross-training? I have observed numerous people who came to Aikido from other arts and had trouble because they were trying to apply what they learned elsewhere in Aikido. Kendo practitioners have a difficult time with Aikiken, Karate practicitioners are always trying to block instead of blend, etc.

Personally, I have always wanted to do Iaido; it looks cool and fun to do. But thought if I couldn't practice it seriously then I shouldn't do it. When I have time outside of dojo practice, I practice Aikido with my wife, practice my Aikiken and Jo, surf the web for information about Aikido, read books about Aikido, contemplate Aikido principles, discuss Aikido with my friends, and when I'm doing this or that and try to live my live according to the Way. And, since I'm not anyone's uchideshi I have to squeeze all this between my job, studying Japanese, drinking beer and other life responsibilities. I think if I were to try another Way, it would take away from what little time I have for Aikido.

Have a nice day.

From this I can only think that the only reason you practice aikido is to become good at aikido? Is this a norm here? I do not train in bjj/judo/aikido to be good at them. I train to get into good physical shape, for enjoyment, to develop the ability to win one on one unarmed fights in a ring, to impress chicks, to meet new people and make friends, etc.

I do not think the point of aikido is to be good at aikido. People have a reason why they train. They did not just decide they wanted to be good at aikido. They had a goal, and they decided aikido was a good way to develop that goal. However, some goals will lend themselves better with other types of training, some will lend themselves better with cross training.

Aristeia
06-14-2007, 07:10 PM
[QUOTE=John Matsushima;180779 If you don't know what it means to be a serious student (of anything) then maybe that is what you should focus on becoming instead of cross-training. [/QUOTE]how does cross training mean that a student is not serioius?

John Matsushima
06-14-2007, 09:30 PM
Is it the norm? I dunno, maybe its just me, but I don't practice Aikido for any reason except for the sake of doing it. It is something I want to master. I have met people who are very passionate about what they do, and have been doing it for a long long time, and what they do is like magic; I wanna be like that. I guess in the beginning I had goals like self-defense and picking up chicks, but since I'm a nice guy and I got married, those goals kinda floated away. And before I got married I used to go to practice once, maybe twice a week (other time spent cross-training in picking up chicks) but I really wanted to become good in Aikido. Then someone I respected told me it was just about priorities.

There is a great book written by the late Furuya Sensei called KODO. In it he mentions that the practice of the Way is not a means to an end. You should practice simply because you love it.

In my opinion, those who go out to cross-train have a lack of commitment in Aikido. If one is practice another art soley to make his Aikido better, then isn't that disrespectful to the other teacher?

Regarding Ueshiba Sensei and his uchi-deshi and cross-training, did they go out and start other arts to make their Aikido better? I think they learned other arts first, and then came to Aikido. I know of some great teachers like Kenji Shimizu who was a 4th dan in Judo before he came to Aikido, and Shoji Nishio who had dans in Karate and Iaido. But these guys, like many others had studied other arts before coming to Aikido, and didn't use these arts for cross training. As I understand it, Ueshiba didn't even like it when certain uchi-deshi went out to study zen, so I can't imagine him approving of someone going out to study, let's say karate.

I think this is how any of the Ways should be practiced, not only Aikido.

By the way, Mr. Li, are you telling me that if I go out and cross-train in a third language it will help my Japanese? Would Spanish help? Andoleshite yo! Hikokimashoooooo!!! Adiosayonnara!!!!! :crazy:

raul rodrigo
06-14-2007, 09:45 PM
Even after coming to Hombu, some of the uchideshi continued training in other arts and they did this with Osensei's knowledge and approval. You can't imagine it, John? Well thats the way it was. Check out the Pranin interviews of Osensei's uchideshi. Morihei didnt consider it a slight or an insult to his art or his teaching. Why should you?

Stan Pranin wrote: "Nisho was convinced that aikido was the true martial path for him. At the same time, he found shortcomings in its practice methods, especially after watching Ueshiba's incredible sword work and noting the lack of inclusion of sword techniques in the art's curriculum. To remedy things, as he had done before, Nishio took up the study of iaido (Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu) with 10th dan Shigenori Sano in 1955, and then jodo (Shindo Muso-ryu) with the famous Takaji Shimizu (1896-1978). Each of these arts contributed to his knowledge of the use of weapons and, in turn, complemented his aikido training."

Terry Dobson said: "The uchi-deshi at Honbu, particularly Chiba, started giving me a raft of shit that I was being disloyal to O-sensei by studying with Wang [Shu Jin, Chinese martial arts teacher], and I asked O-sensei, and he said, 'sure, do what you want,'"

So if Morihei had no problem, why should you?

Roman Kremianski
06-14-2007, 09:51 PM
Agreed. Why would O-sensei be against the very thing he did his own entire life? (Pre-Aikido)

Chris Li
06-14-2007, 10:48 PM
Regarding Ueshiba Sensei and his uchi-deshi and cross-training, did they go out and start other arts to make their Aikido better? I think they learned other arts first, and then came to Aikido. I know of some great teachers like Kenji Shimizu who was a 4th dan in Judo before he came to Aikido, and Shoji Nishio who had dans in Karate and Iaido. But these guys, like many others had studied other arts before coming to Aikido, and didn't use these arts for cross training.

As someone else mentioned, they certainly did - he even required his son Kisshomaru to do so.

By the way, Mr. Li, are you telling me that if I go out and cross-train in a third language it will help my Japanese? Would Spanish help? Andoleshite yo! Hikokimashoooooo!!! Adiosayonnara!!!!! :crazy:

There are plenty of studies that show that foreign languages become increasingly easier with from the third language up, check it out.

Best,

Chris

John Matsushima
06-15-2007, 07:56 AM
Well, I wonder why Chiba and the other uchideshi gave Dobson a hard time for practicing another art? hmmmmmmmm Why do you think they did this? I don't know what Ueshiba meant when he said "go do what you want", but you don't either. How do you know Raul, that Ueshiba didn't consider it a slight or insult? It is hard to tell, I think especially of Japanese, who don't say exactly what they are thinking.

If Ueshiba thought it was ok to put fish heads in his wheaties, it doesn't mean I'm ok with it.

I think the definition of cross training is getting blurred here. Whatever Ueshiba or anyone else did "pre-aikido" doesn't make it cross-training. According to Wikipedia, cross training " It takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of each training method, while at the same time attempting to neglect the shortcomings of that method by combining it with other methods that address its weaknesses.

So what are the shortcomings in Aikido that one can improve by cross-training?

And again, I'm sure that once a person learns a second language, learning more becomes easier, but do you think it means at the same time???

Drew Mailman
06-15-2007, 08:31 AM
Terry Dobson said: "The uchi-deshi at Honbu, particularly Chiba, started giving me a raft of shit that I was being disloyal to O-sensei by studying with Wang [Shu Jin, Chinese martial arts teacher], and I asked O-sensei, and he said, 'sure, do what you want,'"

So if Morihei had no problem, why should you?

The problem that the uchi-deshi had with what he was doing may have been that he was learning a Chinese art from a Chinese teacher. O'Sensei probably did not have the same prejudices that they did. Hell, my Aikido teacher suspects that Ueshiba may have learned a little bit from the Chinese himself while he was in China.

This reminds me of reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (he's on the show No Reservations on the Travel Channel). While he was studying at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), there was a Chinese teacher who taught oriental cooking. He taught the students all about cooking Chinese food, and spend an entire class period talking about how horrible the Japanese are, and how disgusting their food is.

But that was just a sign of the times... Luckily, Asian martial arts are no longer much of a "new frontier" to the Western world, so we don't have to deal with many of the prejudices that some teachers may have experienced while learning.

But yeah, I'm going off topic.. Sorry. History is interesting stuff. :)

jxa127
06-15-2007, 08:54 AM
I think the definition of cross training is getting blurred here. Whatever Ueshiba or anyone else did "pre-aikido" doesn't make it cross-training. According to Wikipedia, cross training " It takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of each training method, while at the same time attempting to neglect the shortcomings of that method by combining it with other methods that address its weaknesses.


I'm not sure Wikipedia is a real authority on anything, but I like the definition above. It may help to make a distinction between studying arts that complement aikido and studying an art specifically to address perceived shortcomings in aikido.

For example, my rifle and handgun shooting have improved as a result of my aikido training, but I can't really say that the firearms practice has improved my aikido training.


So what are the shortcomings in Aikido that one can improve by cross-training?


That depends on whether or not we can even agree on what the standard components of aikido are. I'm sure that the moment I suggest that aikido has a weakness in teaching how to punch, somebody is going to post saying that in his or her dojo, the instructor teaches very effective punches. :)

In my dojo, we spend very, very little time working on any sort of formal ground techniques like judo has.

For my part, I'd like to learn more about judo and explore the similarities and differences of that art compared to aikido.

Ellis Amdur has written about watching Don Draeger (I think) doing aikido. What Ellis noticed when he saw footage of Donn Draeger doing aikido, is that Draeger always had three points of contact with uke -- a concept taken from Judo. That's pretty cool.

Regards,

-Drew

DonMagee
06-15-2007, 08:55 AM
So what are the shortcomings in Aikido that one can improve by cross-training?


The method of training in aikido is not designed to quickly build the ability to apply techniques on a full resistant attacker. Also many aikido schools method of practice lacks in the development of good striking skills (atemi). Yet another lacking area is the development of ground grappling skills. I can go on and on about many things that could be developed quicker with training outside of aikido. I can do the same with most any art. No art is 'complete'.

Chris Li
06-15-2007, 09:15 AM
Well, I wonder why Chiba and the other uchideshi gave Dobson a hard time for practicing another art? hmmmmmmmm Why do you think they did this?

Young and fanatic would be my guess, especially if you know Chiba. I'd note that Chiba himself cross-trained both before and after he started studying with Ueshiba.

So what are the shortcomings in Aikido that one can improve by cross-training?

What are the shortcomings in anything that can be overcome by a broader range of experience?

And again, I'm sure that once a person learns a second language, learning more becomes easier, but do you think it means at the same time???

Yes I do.

Best,

Chris

George S. Ledyard
06-15-2007, 09:36 AM
Well, I wonder why Chiba and the other uchideshi gave Dobson a hard time for practicing another art? hmmmmmmmm Why do you think they did this?

This attitude has more to do with notions of what loyalty means than it does with some fundamental attitude against cross training. Chiba Sensei, in particular, is quite outspoken about the teacher student relationship.

In this way of thinking, one has only one Teacher. I believe that many of the deshi did other training. But their relationships with these other teachers was simply that of student and instructor. O-Sensei was clearly their Teacher.

Chiba Sensei cross trained... he is a Shihan level teacher of Iaido. His teacher was Mitsuzuka Sensei.

I don't know what Ueshiba meant when he said "go do what you want", but you don't either. How do you know Raul, that Ueshiba didn't consider it a slight or insult? It is hard to tell, I think especially of Japanese, who don't say exactly what they are thinking.

Actually, I strongly suspect that O-Sensei was just fine with it. You will often see the senior deshi getting their knickers all in a twist over something the Teacher doesn't give a rip about. It is often the senior deshi who are the worst about political garbage. When I visited Hombu dojo, some of the resident foreign students made comments about how I should lay low because I was Saotome Sensei's student. In fact what happened was the the senior teachers treated me as an honored guest. I had tea with the Nidai Doshu at his home, he and Osawa Sensei both used me for ukemi repeatedly, Watanabe Sensei used me as uke for an entire class. They went way beyond ordinary politeness. It was the juniors, in this case the foreign juniors who were all worried about the political BS. O-Sensei was off worrying about the Kami and World Peace... you think he cared if someone did some outside training if it came from being serious about ones desire to master the art?

If Ueshiba thought it was ok to put fish heads in his wheaties, it doesn't mean I'm ok with it.

Ok, although if he had said that fish heads on your wheaties were central to mastering the art, I guess I'd try to figure out why. I'd at least give the idea some attention. O-Sensei represents the model for all of us in the Ueshiba line of Aikido. I wouldn't arbitrarily write off something he said just because I didn't feel like doing it.

I think the definition of cross training is getting blurred here. Whatever Ueshiba or anyone else did "pre-aikido" doesn't make it cross-training. According to Wikipedia, cross training " It takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of each training method, while at the same time attempting to neglect the shortcomings of that method by combining it with other methods that address its weaknesses.

So what are the shortcomings in Aikido that one can improve by cross-training?

Well, aside from the fact that there must be 1000 pages of writing here on the Aikiweb about the shortcomings of Aikido training,,, here are a few of the big ones:
1) the inability of most Aikido folks to execute their stylized attacks with any speed and power
2) lack of exposure to non-standard striking techniques as done in "striking " arts.
3) lack of competition which forces people to really be able to do their techniques as opposed to doing them with cooperative partners.
4) simplistic understanding of lines of attack, especially in weapons work.
5) way over simplified knife work
6) lack of understanding of sword and staff work that comes from outside the art. Most folks doing Aikido weapons work have no idea of the real context, they are just going through the motions
7) massive superiority complex about the moral high ground occupied by the art, sustained only by not getting out and seeing what's out there.
8) a training methodology (if you want to call it that) which isn't really structured to reproduce the skills of it's Founder or his most accomplished students. Training which encourages tension, both mental and physical, rather than the relaxation required to do high level technique.
9) very little understanding of "aiki" in an art called "Aiki-do".

People need to get out more. Some of the finest "aiki" technique I have seen was done by teachers not from Aikido (Angier, Kuroda, even Vasiliev).

While I am not a believer in making Aikido competitive, people could benefit from investigating what it's like to try sword work on a kendo practitioner or to try to get kotegaeshi on a Jeet Kun Do student.

I simply don't see any way that people are going to learn to strike with any competency simply by training within mainstream Aikido.

Aiki sword is interesting but you can't really appreciate what is going on unless you get some wider exposure. The same is really true of jo.

And again, I'm sure that once a person learns a second language, learning more becomes easier, but do you think it means at the same time???

I think that there are arts which are more complementary than others. Japanese arts are more complementary in general than non although T'ai Chi and Systema would, in my mind, be closer in the intention behind the training than modern sport Judo for instance. Kenjutsu under a top teacher would be better than kendo, in my opinion. But either would be better than nothing.

Most folks are completely unaware that, back in the 1930's O-Sensei adopted a son and was in tending for him to be his successor. The man he recruited for this position was a kendo practitioner. O-Sensei's perception of our art was that it was closer to kendo, a weapons art, than it was to Judo or Jiu Jutsu (at least as empty hand arts). I found this fact to be very revealing about how the Founder saw what we do.

The lack of quality weapons training for most Aikido folks makes an understanding of why O-Sensei had felt this way, impossible.

Some training is less compatible I think. Most karate taught in the US is not very high level. It is all about physical power and strength. So that level of karate training wouldn't help and would probably hinder your Aikido. Mixed martial arts is also a mixed bag. Brazilian jiu jutsu under someone like the Gracies or the Machados is very aiki and would probably be helpful. UFC style "ground and pound" would almost certainly imprint all sorts of tension, both mental and physical and I believe would hold one back.

Any type of T'ai Chi, Hsing-I, Bagua training with an accomplished teacher would be great, with the typical instructor one finds around, may not very helpful but not detrimental.

Iaido is good but Iaijutsu is better. Doing ones sword work in solo forms all the time doesn't tie in well with the fact that what we do is largely partnered. Whereas, iai training which has paired kata is excellent.

Another little known fact: There were sword teachers brought into Hombu who taught kenjutsu classes to the interested deshi. It was all done on the QT and the folks who participated will not talk about who came and what they did. The fact is that teachers like Imaizumi Sensei, Saotome Sensei, and others, have a whole repertoire of technique derived from Itto Ryu, Kashima Ryu and Yagyu Ryu sword. I asked Stan Pranin about who and what was taught and no one seems to know, outside of the folks that attended, and they aren't talking. If you look at the post war Hombu dojo group of Shihan, you can clearly see the difference between teachers who acquired some skill with the weapons and those who didn't.

Last little known fact: The deshi, right after the war, used to go out and test their stuff out by getting in fights (Shirata Sensei recounts that this was not unique to after the war). Often the preferred targets were American military guys out in the bars. O-Sensei would yell at them when he caught them sneaking back into the dorm but he also wanted to know if they had won or not. These guys "cross trained" by trying their stuff out on people who had no Aikido training whatever. I am not recommending this, just showing the the best folks out there all had a larger experience than jst Aikido by itself.

Chuck Clark
06-15-2007, 09:47 AM
Thanks for that post Geoge. There's lots in there for everyone to think about for sure.

Chuck Clark
06-15-2007, 09:53 AM
Ellis Amdur has written about watching Don Draeger (I think) doing aikido. What Ellis noticed when he saw footage of Donn Draeger doing aikido, is that Draeger always had three points of contact with uke -- a concept taken from Judo.

Donn Draeger Sensei was a godan in aikido in Tomiki Sensei's organization.

Roman Kremianski
06-15-2007, 10:27 AM
Last little known fact: The deshi, right after the war, used to go out and test their stuff out by getting in fights (Shirata Sensei recounts that this was not unique to after the war). Often the preferred targets were American military guys out in the bars.

Nice stories don't really make for nice evidence. I don't really see how this bit is relevant. No one will ever know the truth in my opinion.

Everything else was spot on George. Always a pleasure reading your stuff.

Basia Halliop
06-15-2007, 10:38 AM
By the way, Mr. Li, are you telling me that if I go out and cross-train in a third language it will help my Japanese? Would Spanish help?

Actually yes, most of the research I've seen on multilingualism (plus my own personal experience) suggests it would...

Roman Kremianski
06-15-2007, 10:53 AM
Is it normal to show a decrease in brain activity with each new language learned? Hehe. :)

MM
06-15-2007, 10:56 AM
Well, aside from the fact that there must be 1000 pages of writing here on the Aikiweb about the shortcomings of Aikido training,,, here are a few of the big ones:
1) the inability of most Aikido folks to execute their stylized attacks with any speed and power
2) lack of exposure to non-standard striking techniques as done in "striking " arts.
3) lack of competition which forces people to really be able to do their techniques as opposed to doing them with cooperative partners.
4) simplistic understanding of lines of attack, especially in weapons work.
5) way over simplified knife work
6) lack of understanding of sword and staff work that comes from outside the art. Most folks doing Aikido weapons work have no idea of the real context, they are just going through the motions
7) massive superiority complex about the moral high ground occupied by the art, sustained only by not getting out and seeing what's out there.
8) a training methodology (if you want to call it that) which isn't really structured to reproduce the skills of it's Founder or his most accomplished students. Training which encourages tension, both mental and physical, rather than the relaxation required to do high level technique.
9) very little understanding of "aiki" in an art called "Aiki-do".

People need to get out more. Some of the finest "aiki" technique I have seen was done by teachers not from Aikido (Angier, Kuroda, even Vasiliev).

While I am not a believer in making Aikido competitive, people could benefit from investigating what it's like to try sword work on a kendo practitioner or to try to get kotegaeshi on a Jeet Kun Do student.

I simply don't see any way that people are going to learn to strike with any competency simply by training within mainstream Aikido.

Aiki sword is interesting but you can't really appreciate what is going on unless you get some wider exposure. The same is really true of jo.


It was a great post. Thank you for that.

I'd wonder if you would care to expand a little on some of the above?

Let's take #5 and #6. Would it be better to change the way knife, sword, and jo work is done inside aikido training or to get a better foundation of them from another art?

Both have been done. Nishio sensei, I believe, created his own sword work that correlated to aikido. I think Saotome sensei has his own distinct sword work, too. Mochizuki sensei changed how he taught aikido.

While other dojos have some form of koryu available for training, whether kendo, kenjutsu, jodo, etc. but keep the aikido portion fairly separate.

How do you decide which way to go?

Thanks,
Mark

Budd
06-15-2007, 11:19 AM
Nice stories don't really make for nice evidence. I don't really see how this bit is relevant. No one will ever know the truth in my opinion.


I disagree. Witness accounts are some of the means to glean what was actually going on, as opposed to the official party line. Ignore it if you want, but I'm sure plenty will find it relevant.

Cyrijl
06-15-2007, 12:28 PM
Roman just doesn't want to face reality. For him it is all glowing and peace. I have no doubt that a bunch of young men might go out on the town and get into a little scrap. They had the home turf, there was not the danger of weapons being involved like today, etc etc. It's not like George is recounting some strange bizarre story full of fantasy and intrigue. The guys were essentially bullies. Same with alot of the early karate guys. That's how they learned.

raul rodrigo
06-15-2007, 12:30 PM
Well, I wonder why Chiba and the other uchideshi gave Dobson a hard time for practicing another art? hmmmmmmmm Why do you think they did this? I don't know what Ueshiba meant when he said "go do what you want", but you don't either. How do you know Raul, that Ueshiba didn't consider it a slight or insult? It is hard to tell, I think especially of Japanese, who don't say exactly what they are thinking. If Ueshiba thought it was ok to put fish heads in his wheaties, it doesn't mean I'm ok with it.


So now you are more of an authority than Morihei himself? Nishio, Chiba, Yamaguchi and many others cross-trained even after they arrived in Hombu, with the knowledge and permission of Osensei. You know more about aikido than them? Don't argue from received ideas about political correctness, John, or what you think proper respect to a sensei consists of. Its a loser of an argument. Argue from facts, from what those who came before you did. Respect to one's teacher is not about closing one's mind to other paths. Morihei and his deshi took many paths to improving their aikido. Who are we to say they were wrong?

raul rodrigo
06-15-2007, 12:34 PM
The judo masters, tenth dans, like Mifune and Iida loved going on the town and getting into trouble with gangsters and bullies. It was how they preferred to prove that their waza worked in the real world. Kano would complain about how often he would have to bail them out of jail. But that was what young men did. so it shouldnt be surprising that the deshi of Morihei did something similar.

Tim Fong
06-15-2007, 02:00 PM
John,

I think what's at work a lot of times is the difference between public face/private face. So sure, in public "aikido is all you need. don't crosstrain." But privately, watch what people do...that tells you all you need to know.

Roman,

Sure it's "just a story." That's how history works. You look and see if one story from one person can be corroborated with the stories of others. There's plenty of corroboration about aikido people going out to look for street fights. Again, it's the public face of "peace, love etc," and the private face of "yeah so, smash them!" I don't even know why I have to explain this at all, because what I'm talking about is documented in the literature.

Even Shioda wrote about getting into scraps with people in the streets, and in a brothel in Shanghai.

Millerwc
06-15-2007, 02:27 PM
I've been training in Aikido for almost 4 years now, will be testing for nikkyo in the next month or so. About a month ago, I started training with a kenpo/jujitsu club in the area, and I have enjoyed it.

My recomendation- cross training is a great idea once you have a firm foundation in what you want to be your primary art, assuming here that it's Aikido. I think if I had tried to train in more than one art at a time while I was still learning the fundamentals of Aikido, it would have been more difficult to learn and apply the fundamentals of Aikido consistently, due to how different Aikido is from almost every other martial art out there.

Once you have a good foundation in Aikido, I think cross-training is a great idea. It's given me a chance to try aikido in situations outside of our normal practices, and to work with people who can protect themselves, but don't know expect an aikido technique. Personally, I've enjoyed it.

George S. Ledyard
06-15-2007, 02:35 PM
Nice stories don't really make for nice evidence. I don't really see how this bit is relevant. No one will ever know the truth in my opinion.

Everything else was spot on George. Always a pleasure reading your stuff.
Since I heard the stories from someone who was there, I feel like I have a pretty good picture...
- George

Roman Kremianski
06-15-2007, 07:50 PM
Roman just doesn't want to face reality. For him it is all glowing and peace. I have no doubt that a bunch of young men might go out on the town and get into a little scrap. They had the home turf, there was not the danger of weapons being involved like today, etc etc. It's not like George is recounting some strange bizarre story full of fantasy and intrigue. The guys were essentially bullies. Same with alot of the early karate guys. That's how they learned.

Reality? How is a filtered, second-hand retelling of what some Aikidoka went out and did reality? And I'm not talking about the "I was there" people. I'm talking about the "a friend of a friend of a friend told me..." folks. When the Gracies wanted to demonstrate BJJ for the world, they held actual physical matches, filmed on tape and with commentary. No one needed to spread stories about how Royce went to the local bar and arm-barred thugs to test his skills.

Again, I'm not saying these stories never happened. Just don't place all your confidence and faith in Aikido on a few vague events where some young dudes went out and got into shit. I just don't see what it adds to your training, and how that actually serves as any kind of evidence to benefit Aikido's image.

Sorry, just my wacky opinion. This is why I train in MMA alongside Aikido, Joseph. To do the opposite of "avoid reality".

:)

Tim Fong
06-15-2007, 11:28 PM
Reality? How is a filtered, second-hand retelling of what some Aikidoka went out and did reality? And I'm not talking about the "I was there" people. I'm talking about the "a friend of a friend of a friend told me..." folks. When the Gracies wanted to demonstrate BJJ for the world, they held actual physical matches, filmed on tape and with commentary. No one needed to spread stories about how Royce went to the local bar and arm-barred thugs to test his skills.

Yeah, how is some second hand retelling of what some guys saw at Waterloo, reality. Yeah. That stuff never happened. :crazy:

Again, I'm not saying these stories never happened. Just don't place all your confidence and faith in Aikido on a few vague events where some young dudes went out and got into shit. I just don't see what it adds to your training, and how that actually serves as any kind of evidence to benefit Aikido's image.
Okay so you're not saying it never happened, and you're not saying it ever happened. So what exactly are you trying to say?

And I don't place any confidence in Aikido based on a "few vague events." My knowledge that these things likely happened, has nothing to do with my confidence. Rather, it has to do with assessing what kinds of people were studying aikido during its prime, as opposed to what kinds of people are studying it now, by and large.

Sorry, just my wacky opinion. This is why I train in MMA alongside Aikido, Joseph. To do the opposite of "avoid reality".

:)

Great. More people should be doing that. How do you feel that your aikido training benefits your ringtime in MMA?

Chris Li
06-16-2007, 02:07 PM
An interesting quote from an interview with Kazuo Chiba:

Yes, I started doing iaido when I was an uchideshi, because O-Sensei told me to.

Best,

Chris

Aikibu
06-16-2007, 02:22 PM
Nishio, Chiba, Yamaguchi and many others cross-trained even after they arrived in Hombu, with the knowledge and permission of Osensei. You know more about aikido than them? Don't argue from received ideas about political correctness, John, or what you think proper respect to a sensei consists of. Its a loser of an argument. Argue from facts, from what those who came before you did. Respect to one's teacher is not about closing one's mind to other paths. Morihei and his deshi took many paths to improving their aikido. Who are we to say they were wrong?

Great Post Raul!

Nishio Shihan greatly encouraged his students to cross train in fact it was almost required. Heck he even throw out almost the entire Hombu style cirriculum and started from scratch with O'Sensei's blessing! Nishio Shihan started his own Iaido since he understood what O'Sensei meant by "Aikido is the Sword. Nishio Shihan studied various Jo-Ryu in order to compliment and develop our own Jo technique...He held Dan Ranks in Judo and Karate and said that there was ONLY ONE WAY to measure our Aikido. How effective was it against other Martial Arts!!! Not just Gendai Arts... but Koryu Arts as well.... How can an Aikidoka KNOW if he/she has an effective technical practice if they have never experianced Randori/Kumite with another Martial Art at a bare minimum???

Once again Ledyard Sensei and Don Magee both hit the nail on the hard headed.

If folks really listen they can here the whispers of something about Aikido that is hardly ever said directly... and the practical application of which can only be experianced when one practices Aikido against a non-cooperative seasoned Martial Artist...

AIKIDO really works...LOL

If you have a Sensei who restricts this "baptism of fire" (so to speak) by not allowing you to crosstrain. GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE. He/she is doing the both of you a great disservice... Is not in the spirit of Harmony and is giving Aikido a bad name.

Just my humble opinion. LOL :D

Please also accept my humble apologies in advance. :)

William Hazen

How do folks expect Aikido to grow... remain vibrant... and alive.... if they close themselves off to the world around them???

DonMagee
06-16-2007, 06:40 PM
My aikido instructor showed me a variation of shihonage that is really more of a kotegaeshi. I was asking his advice for a setup to use when getting my posture broke while standing or on my knees in bjj (kinda like a failed shot.) After telling him my ideas on what I thought was possible, and what I have been trying. He showed me a great way to get a quick submission or at the very least a good pin that I can use to secure a north/south.

I can tell you this is something my bjj and judo coaches would never think of. Very aiki, very slick movement. However, as great as I could do it at my aikido class, when I took it to the mat in bjj it took me a better part of an hour setting it up in sparing to finally get it. There were tons of things that I had to account for and learn that were not pointed out in the compliant kata like training it was shown in aikido. Once I got it, it was sweet and I ended up getting it 2 more times before I left. Without that cross training, I would not of had the forum I needed to make this technique work, hell I don't even think I would know this technique even exists. Now its a part of me and something I can wait to break out on the higher belts the next week.

James Stedman
06-16-2007, 07:34 PM
IMHO

There is much to learn from all martial arts .You don't eat only one food or wear one type of clothes, do you?Your devotion to Aikido can only be enhanced by sampling what other styles offer.One should not remain insular in his studies.The possibilities of development are infinite if you open yourself up to variety.Your Aikido doesn't have to take a back seat to outside studies.Go for it!

gregg block
06-17-2007, 08:19 AM
I think cross training is important to becoming a complete martial artist. Some styles at better on the ground, some at short distances, some at long distances ect. Plus having experience in different styles allows you the ability to vary your attack. You don't box a boxer, You would not try to trade kicks with a TKD expert. You wouldnt want to end up grappling with a BJJ expert..

CNYMike
06-17-2007, 03:59 PM
..... Now its a part of me and something I can wait to break out on the higher belts the next week.

And so long as they don't read thois forum, they'll never see it coming. :p Sorry; couldn't resist! :)

Aristeia
06-17-2007, 04:37 PM
I think don's pretty safe on that score.
I'd be interested in more deal on the move though.....

DonMagee
06-17-2007, 04:47 PM
I think don's pretty safe on that score.
I'd be interested in more deal on the move though.....

I'll try to explain it.

You just shot in for a single leg, or maybe you are on your knees with a person on top of you facing you, or some variation of this position. A lot of the time a person will try to go for the guillotine choke, or they will try to secure a grab on your lapel or wrist. What you do is grab their hand with a cross hand grab gently near the thumb in a way that will let you turn the wrist like a kotegaeshi. Now this is the hard part, you need to spin your whole body as a single unit in towards the arm you are grabbing as you do this you are turning the wrist like a single handed kotegaeshi. This should pull their arm across your chest and you should be spinning over onto your back. Keep spinning all the way though to your stomach again, you should be flat and not on your knees. The spin is a drop and spin if you can picture that. It should pull them forward then the pressure on their arm/wrist should force them to move with you. As you complete the spin you are escaping your head (usually this happens normally) and you are tying their arm up like a shihonage (again if the head is clear, this happens naturally) as they fall on to their back. You should end with all your weight basically pinning their arm to the mat next to their head in a wrist lock (like a goose neck). This would be the part in the shihonage where the throw would be happening, but instead he is pinned to the mat. You should be on your knees with all your weight holding that hand down. He might tap, or he will try to spin out to escape, as he spins you want to switch hands to keep control of the wrist and keep it tight to the mat, and move to side or north south.

Its a horrible explanation, but its the best I can do with words.

Aristeia
06-17-2007, 06:29 PM
interesting - will try after my injuries heal up.

CNYMike
06-18-2007, 10:56 AM
..... You should end with all your weight basically pinning their arm to the mat next to their head in a wrist lock (like a goose neck). This would be the part in the shihonage where the throw would be happening, but instead he is pinned to the mat .....

Not sure if you alreay knew this, but as an aside, there are a couple of ways to pin with shiho nage. One way -- which you see in Moreiteru Doshu's book -- is to hang onto uke's hand and follow him (or her) all the way down. This is trickier than it sounds, because for uke's safety, you have to drop quickly enough so his/her hand hits the mat before the rest of the body. If the body hits first, the unwinding of the arm could lead to inujury.

Due to flexibility issues, I can't drop quickly enough to get the hand on the mat first, but I have been on the business end of it when done correctly -- it's an intresting feeling of being controled all the way down.

Of course, the foregoing is from the standard standing reference points, but you can adapt it.

The joint locks -- ikkyo, nikkyo, and sankyo -- can also be used as throws. Sankyo nage can be pretty insane. But this shouldn't be a surprise because shiho nage is also based on a joint lock.

If you already knew all that, mea culpa. If not, thought you'd find it interesting.

Just my 2p.

CNYMike
06-18-2007, 11:03 AM
Hi all,

I have a question, i hope this subject hasn't been broached before, and if so i apologize.

Is it possible to train in AIKIDO, phyisicaly, philosophicaly, and spiritualy, while cross training in other martial arts?

I am not refering to Tai Chi or arts like that, or even aikijujutsu, i am asking about the more combative arts. Or would you consider this trainig to go against the ultimate aim O'SENSEI meant for Aikido?

Hi, Brian,

Well, philosophically and spiritually, remember that the intent behind all arts is not to go out and attack other people but to be able to handle yourself should you be attacked. The toughest fighters I know also are the nicest guys. Case in point: Guro Kevin. Nice guy, isn't he? Want to go toe-to-toe with him if he's going at his level? I rest my case. Aikido may go a bit farther at this than other arts, and even then, it's more in the "flavor" of the techniques and how you practice than anything anyone recites to you.

Physically, I think sure, why not. I think the main thing about Aikido is not that its techniques are unique -- Kali has the same locks, more or less --- but that you spend a lot of time on them and should become instantly aware of the possibility when it arises. So far this has only happened to me with push hands or freestyle lockflow, but you get the picture.

So "yes" on both counts.

DonMagee
06-18-2007, 11:32 AM
Not sure if you alreay knew this, but as an aside, there are a couple of ways to pin with shiho nage. One way -- which you see in Moreiteru Doshu's book -- is to hang onto uke's hand and follow him (or her) all the way down. This is trickier than it sounds, because for uke's safety, you have to drop quickly enough so his/her hand hits the mat before the rest of the body. If the body hits first, the unwinding of the arm could lead to inujury.

Due to flexibility issues, I can't drop quickly enough to get the hand on the mat first, but I have been on the business end of it when done correctly -- it's an intresting feeling of being controled all the way down.

Of course, the foregoing is from the standard standing reference points, but you can adapt it.

The joint locks -- ikkyo, nikkyo, and sankyo -- can also be used as throws. Sankyo nage can be pretty insane. But this shouldn't be a surprise because shiho nage is also based on a joint lock.

If you already knew all that, mea culpa. If not, thought you'd find it interesting.

Just my 2p.

I know a few ways to throw with Sankyo and Ikkyo, never thought about using nikkyo though. I usually use it as a transition lock into something else. Thanks for the info!

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-18-2007, 02:22 PM
I'm very happy that I've picked up some BJJ practice to complement my aikido study. It's an enjoyable art in its own right, and it fits nicely with aikido in that I don't exactly have lots of "aikido groundfighting" skills to get mixed up with my BJJ training. Actually, starting from knees/standing gives me a chance to practice some aikido with an intelligent, "alive" opponent.

Highly recommended.

CNYMike
06-19-2007, 09:18 AM
I know a few ways to throw with Sankyo and Ikkyo, never thought about using nikkyo though. I usually use it as a transition lock into something else. Thanks for the info!

You're welcome. I've never heard of "nikkyo nage" either, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't out there. Remember that (at least the way I've been taught it) the wrist cruncher usually considered nikkyo is what you do during nikkyo ura if your partner stands up; then you crunch him down, atemi the floating ribs (to check your posotion, of course), and continue the pin. Unfortunately, the cruncher is the easiest way to tell it from ikkyo; somtimes ikkyo and nikkyo have the same grip! Ask your Aikido instructor about nikkyo omote; that's where telling it from ikkyo is really tough, esepcecially if you grp the hand the same way. :hypno:

Another thing to remember is that everything you know from BJJ and Judo is somewhere in Aikido, but you may not see them as often as you will elsewhere. For instance, the figure four arm lock is a mainstay in many systems (I learned it in Kali ten years ago), but I've only seen it twice in the last three years of Aikido. Other things are done differently: elbow lock is, IMO, a straight arm bar, just like juji gatame, only you're standing up. Just more food for thought.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-19-2007, 01:40 PM
Let's not mistake joints only rotating certain ways for "all systems having the same technique". Yes, aikido hyperextends the elbow in certain techniques, and so does BJJ...but are you going to claim that this:
http://www.bicesteraikido.org/images/techs/hijishime.gif

and this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Armlock_juji-gatame_armbar.jpg

are somehow the same technique? Is omoplata really a nikkajo osae? (Answer: No, except at a purely anatomical level.)

Ude-garami (like shihonage, but with a figure four hold) might effect the same joint-turning as is used in an "Americana"...but the way they're deployed is very different. And that's really where the "technique" comes in, in my opinion.

Aristeia
06-19-2007, 04:16 PM
Another thing to remember is that everything you know from BJJ and Judo is somewhere in Aikido, bwahahahahahahaaaa....

This is not the case. Absolutely not.

Mark Uttech
06-19-2007, 04:28 PM
Nikkyo nage, is when you do a nikkyo frontal pin and then simply extend. Uke falls into a backward roll.

In gassho,

Mark

philippe willaume
06-20-2007, 12:26 PM
Hello
I will probably go against the grain here
But I think cross training is fine as far as being exposed to different thing and different tactics and develops our own to counter/take advantages of that.
So there is indeed a need to cross train.
However I would think aikido is enough on its own.
As someone says if I want to go to ground with a BJJ free wrestler, I need to be at his level for grappling so I need to train as much as he does to be about the same level, and the same for kick and punches (I consider atemi being intrinsic part of aikido but why would I try to out box a boxer).
I think my time is better spending developing my aikido to counter/take advantage of what grappler, kicker puncher do than trying to beat them at their own game.

If you are practicing kenjustsu or medieval longsword, you will not only try to exchange the point with a late16th century rapier on the ground that it is a thrusting weapon? Especially since the longsword and the tachi are far superior cutting weapons.

phil

DonMagee
06-20-2007, 12:33 PM
Hello
I will probably go against the grain here
But I think cross training is fine as far as being exposed to different thing and different tactics and develops our own to counter/take advantages of that.
So there is indeed a need to cross train.
However I would think aikido is enough on its own.
As someone says if I want to go to ground with a BJJ free wrestler, I need to be at his level for grappling so I need to train as much as he does to be about the same level, and the same for kick and punches (I consider atemi being intrinsic part of aikido but why would I try to out box a boxer).
I think my time is better spending developing my aikido to counter/take advantage of what grappler, kicker puncher do than trying to beat them at their own game.

If you are practicing kenjustsu or medieval longsword, you will not only try to exchange the point with a late16th century rapier on the ground that it is a thrusting weapon? Especially since the longsword and the tachi are far superior cutting weapons.

phil

How do you know what a boxer is like if you don't train in boxing? How do you know what ground fighting is like if you don't train some bjj/judo/wrestling/etc?

There is no replacement for personal experience.

However, I do not buy that you need to train as much as the other guy to fight him in his range. Look at the UFC, we see BJJ black belts getting beat by guys with only moderate wrestling skills. They just focused all their wrestling training on stuffing the bjj guy, getting on top, and beating his skull in. Chuck liddel is not know for his ground game. He is known for his striking game, but he has to spend time grappling to learn how to stuff those takedowns and stay where he wants to be.

dbotari
06-20-2007, 12:49 PM
. Chuck liddel is not know for his ground game. He is known for his striking game, but he has to spend time grappling to learn how to stuff those takedowns and stay where he wants to be.

Yeah, out flat on his back thanks to "Rampage" Jackson!:D

Aristeia
06-20-2007, 01:06 PM
Yeah, out flat on his back thanks to "Rampage" Jackson!:Dyep - a grappler who knocked him out standing.

Aikibu
06-20-2007, 02:40 PM
yep - a grappler who knocked him out standing.

Chuck was a great wrestler before he started Hawaiian Kempo and the UFC.

Perhaps he needs to go back to his roots. :)

William Hazen

Roman Kremianski
06-20-2007, 05:54 PM
However, I do not buy that you need to train as much as the other guy to fight him in his range. Look at the UFC, we see BJJ black belts getting beat by guys with only moderate wrestling skills. They just focused all their wrestling training on stuffing the bjj guy, getting on top, and beating his skull in. Chuck liddel is not know for his ground game. He is known for his striking game, but he has to spend time grappling to learn how to stuff those takedowns and stay where he wants to be.

Agreed. Many fighters like Mirko Cro Cop come in and take out BJJ guys with little BJJ experience themselves. And many wrestlers have gone on to become phenomenal strikers. Who is to say you cannot be soft, fluid and "aiki" while still being a good striker and grappler?

Roman Kremianski
06-20-2007, 06:27 PM
Ack the 15 minute edit thing won't let me post and I forgot to reply to Tim!!

Okay so you're not saying it never happened, and you're not saying it ever happened. So what exactly are you trying to say?

Ok, let me put it this way. Newbie walks into dojo and is interested in learning Aikido. Said newbie doesn't know alot about Aikido apart from a bit of reading material, but he's interested. But he's a bit curious: He has never personally performed the techniques, but after watching a class he asks the sensei: "This stuff is very intriguing! How do the principals of Aikido work on resisting opponents?"

What are you going to tell him?
"Well of course it works on resisting opponents. Why, back in the day Chiba Sensei took on 3 dudes in a parking lot in broad daylight and ended up killing one of them without even getting charged with murder. There's no actual video footage of Aikido being used in a competitive setting"

(Mind you, this story actually was recited by a fellow Aikidoka after hearing it first hand from Yamada Sensei at a dinner party. Now you can tell why I take stories with an open mind)

How do you feel that your aikido training benefits your ringtime in MMA?

Aikido taught me how the human body works and moves. I'm sure you can list more than a few benefits.

:)

gregg block
06-20-2007, 07:00 PM
The fact that a few UFC fighters have taken out BJJ fighters isn't enough to convince me that you should go to the mat with them! That is unless you are looking for a serious beat down. If you know ahead of time or can figure out quickly where a fighters skill lies you need to avoid fighting to their strength. This is really just common sense. Unless no other option exists dont box a boxer, don't grapple with a grappler ect. . Being eclectic and proficient in different arts and styles loses its functionality if you dont use it to your advantage.

Roman Kremianski
06-20-2007, 07:26 PM
he fact that a few UFC fighters have taken out BJJ fighters isn't enough to convince me that you should go to the mat with them!

UFC fighters and BJJ fighters are one the same. That's why they compete in UFC. Takanori Gomi is lightweight champion because he's known to knock people straight out with amazing strikes. Funny thing is, he's a wrestler. You wanna roll with his broad amount of wrestling experience, or stand up against his fast hands? Just an example.

The ring has proven people wrong so many times that it has become an inspiration for me to learn MMA for it's never ending surprises. While at the same time pursuing Aikido.

DonMagee
06-20-2007, 08:39 PM
The fact that a few UFC fighters have taken out BJJ fighters isn't enough to convince me that you should go to the mat with them! That is unless you are looking for a serious beat down. If you know ahead of time or can figure out quickly where a fighters skill lies you need to avoid fighting to their strength. This is really just common sense. Unless no other option exists dont box a boxer, don't grapple with a grappler ect. . Being eclectic and proficient in different arts and styles loses its functionality if you dont use it to your advantage.

My point is that you can't train to take a grappler out of his element if you don't understand how he works. You can't train to deal with a boxer if you don't train boxing. Without personal experience, you are just guessing. Far too often I see judo instructors say "Now when the bjj guy does this", or an TKD instructor saying "A boxer is going to come at you like this" and they are 100% wrong. I know, because I do bjj and I've boxed.

philippe willaume
06-21-2007, 04:20 AM
hello don
How do you know what a boxer is like if you don't train in boxing? How do you know what ground fighting is like if you don't train some bjj/judo/wrestling/etc?
There is no replacement for personal experience.
.
hence my
But I think cross training is fine as far as being exposed to different thing and different tactics and develops our own to counter/take advantages of that.
So there is indeed a need to cross train.


However, I do not buy that you need to train as much as the other guy to fight him in his range. Look at the UFC, we see BJJ black belts getting beat by guys with only moderate wrestling skills. They just focused all their wrestling training on stuffing the bjj guy, getting on top, and beating his skull in. Chuck liddel is not know for his ground game. He is known for his striking game, but he has to spend time grappling to learn how to stuff those takedowns and stay where he wants to be.

Exactly my point, you need to know and understand what is comming and develop a strategy but you do not need to be as good as your opponenet is in it.

philippe willaume
06-21-2007, 05:13 AM
My point is that you can't train to take a grappler out of his element if you don't understand how he works. You can't train to deal with a boxer if you don't train boxing. Without personal experience, you are just guessing. Far too often I see judo instructors say "Now when the bjj guy does this", or an TKD instructor saying "A boxer is going to come at you like this" and they are 100% wrong. I know, because I do bjj and I've boxed.

Don, greg.
I am not sure we are saying something totally different.
What I thing Greg is saying is that you do not need to know boxing but I think he agree that you need to train/spar against someone who does boxing.

I agree with Don on assumption but there is good chance that in you dojo you have people that do something else. (For example we have and had a few karate guys a bjj wing Chung and Tkd))

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-21-2007, 07:38 AM
I think it's probably true that you need experience with a style to effectively counter it. And hopefully, by learning to deal with a few of the best styles, you'll be pretty effective against the majority of the other stuff too (because the best styles contain most of the high-percentage moves, and you don't need to be too afraid of low-percentage moves.) For a while, I'd thought along the lines of, "No! I can't learn their style before I practice with them...that'd be cheating!" It's only now occurring to me how absurd that is.

I have to say, though...cross-training is the suck sometimes, on an emotional level. I keep trying not to reach the conclusion that I wasted a good part of 4 years of my life learning aikido.

Budd
06-21-2007, 09:02 AM
I think that the key benefits from any kind of cross-training come from having a solid base in "something" (grappling, striking, weapons, etc.). It then helps to understand that you're stepping outside of your box and that the intent is to learn something (being nice and humble never hurts, imo).

In addition, it greatly helps if the people you're working out with (either in informal "sparring-type" settings or more formally at other gyms/schools) are trustworthy fellows that want to help you learn as well.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-21-2007, 09:09 AM
I think that the key benefits from any kind of cross-training come from having a solid base in "something" (grappling, striking, weapons, etc.). It then helps to understand that you're stepping outside of your box and that the intent is to learn something (being nice and humble never hurts, imo).

Part of the trick about "cross-training in aikido" is that I'm not entirely clear on what aikido's "box" is. I think I have an idea for aikido's ideal range -- a little bit inside striking range, a little bit outside judo range -- but that's about it.

One of my big martial arts questions that I'm desperately eager to figure out is: "What the heck is aikido FOR?" I've heard people start arguing that it's an armed system about weapons retention...but A) Why don't they teach it explicitly that way, with training weapons in hand and B) I'm pretty sure that there are better styles of weapon usage and retention out there. I've wondered if the answer is that "It's from weapon arts, but adapted to work empty-handed" line ... but I'm still skeptical. Every other martial arts authority says "standing submissions do not work".

Aikibu
06-21-2007, 10:27 AM
Part of the trick about "cross-training in aikido" is that I'm not entirely clear on what aikido's "box" is. I think I have an idea for aikido's ideal range -- a little bit inside striking range, a little bit outside judo range -- but that's about it.

One of my big martial arts questions that I'm desperately eager to figure out is: "What the heck is aikido FOR?" I've heard people start arguing that it's an armed system about weapons retention...but A) Why don't they teach it explicitly that way, with training weapons in hand and B) I'm pretty sure that there are better styles of weapon usage and retention out there. I've wondered if the answer is that "It's from weapon arts, but adapted to work empty-handed" line ... but I'm still skeptical. Every other martial arts authority says "standing submissions do not work".

Kind of a confusing post to me so my apologies in advance...Aikido is FOR you...It teaches conflict resolution through the application of physical technique and the use of Aikido Principles (which have been discussed a Zillion Times on Aikiweb... In Books... over Tea Blah Blah Blah)

There is Aiki in other Martial Arts and it has other powerful uses but in Aikido we use to resolve conflict and restore harmony.

"Every other authority says standing submissions will not work.' Well I am sure my Submission/MMA Cross Training partners will be happy to hear that. LOL They were starting to wonder why techniques like Kimi-Nage (Spelling) and other "standing" Aiki-Armbars hurt so much. :) Those must have come out of Shoji Nishio's Judo Experiance. LOL :)

Respectfully,

William Hazen

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-21-2007, 10:43 AM
Ah, yes, I suppose that was a confusing post. To provide a little context...I was doing a little BJJ with a guy at my local grappling club, who's mostly a wrestler. Afterwards, he asked if I had done anything before, besides my limited BJJ experience. I mentioned aikido.

He asked, "Aikido ... is that ... takedowns?"

And I was honestly not entirely sure how to respond. (I went with "Yeah, sorta.") I'm not sure if aikido is really about unarmed grappling takedowns; if so, it sure has some quirky ideas about how to do it. (Quirky ideas that might have some merit, of course.)

P.S.: Yeah...actually, I've ended up slipping into a few hiji-shime/waki-gatame armbars during BJJ rolling (from kneeling) myself. I think I might eventually be able to finish it then and there, if I remember to, say, twist back inwards after the initial turn out to sink it. As is, they at least bring the person down and give me an arm. Hooray for elbow locks? Although I'm not yet sure if those were flukes/the person going easy on me or if they're actually repeatable, solid techniques.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-21-2007, 11:08 AM
Put another way ... is it grappling-only? Is it striking? Is it weapons? I dunno. It'd be tempting to say "all of the above", but I don't think that's accurate.

Budd
06-21-2007, 11:19 AM
I think with the different types of aikido being practiced today, I could see an argument for focusing on any of the things you mentioned (though I really like what William Hazen said), but would depend on the school and how the instructor(s) transmitted the art.

philippe willaume
06-21-2007, 12:16 PM
Part of the trick about "cross-training in aikido" is that I'm not entirely clear on what aikido's "box" is. I think I have an idea for aikido's ideal range -- a little bit inside striking range, a little bit outside judo range -- but that's about it.

One of my big martial arts questions that I'm desperately eager to figure out is: "What the heck is aikido FOR?" I've heard people start arguing that it's an armed system about weapons retention...but A) Why don't they teach it explicitly that way, with training weapons in hand and B) I'm pretty sure that there are better styles of weapon usage and retention out there. I've wondered if the answer is that "It's from weapon arts, but adapted to work empty-handed" line ... but I'm still skeptical. Every other martial arts authority says "standing submissions do not work".
hello, paul
It really depends what aikido you practice, by that I mean what is your reference point. (And not if it is fluffy or well hard). And how easy it is to transpose to sparing/booting

For every technique we do, there is a not so nasty and there is a right mean version, to see aikido martial side you need to have seen and practised the nasty version.
For me, without that you can not see the link of the technique in relation of time and distance. Ie you are missing the martial aspect.

Any technique has a "range", it you take DLT/SLT if you do it too far or against an opponent in balance and frankly committed to something, it will probably fail.
Medieval wrestling manuals advocates using Gokio and Nikkio from a collar garb (with and without a dagger attack from the opponent).
But trying to do nikkio/or gokkio moving back with tenchin when some one has punched and is still in balance is very difficult, I can be done but odds are not in our favour.
Phil

DonMagee
06-21-2007, 12:29 PM
For me aikido is a study of body movement from outside striking range to inside striking range and possibly from outside striking range to clinch. Once I'm in the clinch I prefer judo, I don't like grappling when in the striking range. But neither bjj, judo, or mauy thai teach me to deal with that weird area of moving from outside the striking to the clinch.

Basically for me it's a study of body movement with some fun locks stuck in for good measure.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-21-2007, 02:29 PM
Once I'm in the clinch I prefer judo, I don't like grappling when in the striking range. But neither bjj, judo, or mauy thai teach me to deal with that weird area of moving from outside the striking to the clinch.

Interesting. While I'd assume Muay Thai covers striking --> clinch, I guess the "outside striking --> clinch" is a peculiar leap? That's the sort of thing I'm trying to figure out about aikido ... trying to get at its purposes and rationales in the martial sense. It seems very sophisticated and well-developed, but it doesn't see much use in competition -- I find that combination sort of odd.

Basically for me it's a study of body movement with some fun locks stuck in for good measure.

I have a hunch that might be the winning answer -- "aikido as meta-art". But sometimes it at least SEEMS like it might be genuine art in its own right...

As always, I know the answer is train-train-train rather than read-read-read ... hence the topic of aikido and cross-training. :) I think said cross-training does at least help fit aikido into the context of, well, martial arts.

Aikibu
06-21-2007, 02:30 PM
Put another way ... is it grappling-only? Is it striking? Is it weapons? I dunno. It'd be tempting to say "all of the above", but I don't think that's accurate.

"The application of physical technique" would apply to "all of the above." Pick your poison aka "style" when it comes to the " technical application" However, as I also mentioned it is Aikido's principles which make it unique (Though most all of the Martial Arts have a set of principles). At some point most Martial Arts ( aka Budo) go beyond teaching you just technique. :)

Sadly this is where most folks get lost. Most of my MMA/Submission partners cannot fathom why anyone would want to learn the "Art of Peace", and they do not understand how These Principles can co-exist/thrive with the symbiotic Martial Application of technique.

As the Carpenter might interject "How does one learn to beat thier swords in plowshares anyway?"

Why Aikido of course. :)

William Hazen

CNYMike
06-21-2007, 02:48 PM
Let's not mistake joints only rotating certain ways for "all systems having the same technique". Yes, aikido hyperextends the elbow in certain techniques, and so does BJJ...but are you going to claim that this:
http://www.bicesteraikido.org/images/techs/hijishime.gif

and this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Armlock_juji-gatame_armbar.jpg

are somehow the same technique? .....

I claim that the arm position is the same ("branch out" in Filipino terminology); how you get there is differently, but the lock is the same regardless of whether you are staning, lying down, using just your arms, just your legs, or some combination thereof.

There are only three armlock positions; the Filipinos identify them as branch out (see above) brach down (ikkyo is an elongated branch down and nikkyo, sankyo, and yonkyo just ramp it up) and branch up (kotegaeshi, figure four, and shiho nage all evolve from this). That's it. If you get one of thos positions, you have a lock. Period.


Is omoplata really a nikkajo osae? (Answer: No, except at a purely anatomical level.)


I don't know what omoplata is; post and image and I'll tell you. (But if they're both branch down, then they are.)


Ude-garami (like shihonage, but with a figure four hold) might effect the same joint-turning as is used in an "Americana"...but the way they're deployed is very different. And that's really where the "technique" comes in, in my opinion.

First off, when I say figure four, I meant figure four. I have seen that twice in Aikido since I returned to it. Not something else.

Second, my point is just that there are only so many lock positions and the only difference is how you deploy them. Are we agreeing on that or not?

CNYMike
06-21-2007, 02:50 PM
bwahahahahahahaaaa....

This is not the case. Absolutely not.

BJJ, Judo, and Aikido all come out of Japanese jujitsu, albiet different styles. And I've seen more things in Aikido than even in the Doshu's Best Aikido books.

Aikidoists may not roll around on the ground, but there's a lot there. You just have to know what to look for.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-21-2007, 03:08 PM
the lock is the same regardless of whether you are staning, lying down, using just your arms, just your legs, or some combination thereof.

There are only three armlock positions [...]

my point is just that there are only so many lock positions and the only difference is how you deploy them. Are we agreeing on that or not?

Yes, using those definitions, I will agree that there are only a very few techniques shared by all arts.

However, another useful question (using a different definition of "the same technique") concerns both the lock itself and the means by which it is deployed. I notice that you group several aikido techniques under the same "branch" category; using the first definition, they are the same, but using the "deployment" definition, they are quite different.

One word can be defined in many ways to enable different discussions to take place.

CNYMike
06-21-2007, 03:29 PM
However, another useful question (using a different definition of "the same technique") concerns both the lock itself and the means by which it is deployed. I notice that you group several aikido techniques under the same "branch" category; using the first definition, they are the same, but using the "deployment" definition, they are quite different.

If you get hung up on the deployment, yes, they are different. My point is once you understand the locking positions, the deployment is secondary. And even the, there are concepts and principles behind the deloyment, too.

So the point is not to look at the techniques as totally unique but at the ideas behind them.

DonMagee
06-21-2007, 05:56 PM
Interesting. While I'd assume Muay Thai covers striking --> clinch, I guess the "outside striking --> clinch" is a peculiar leap? That's the sort of thing I'm trying to figure out about aikido ... trying to get at its purposes and rationales in the martial sense. It seems very sophisticated and well-developed, but it doesn't see much use in competition -- I find that combination sort of odd.

I have a hunch that might be the winning answer -- "aikido as meta-art". But sometimes it at least SEEMS like it might be genuine art in its own right...

As always, I know the answer is train-train-train rather than read-read-read ... hence the topic of aikido and cross-training. :) I think said cross-training does at least help fit aikido into the context of, well, martial arts.

What I ment by the clinch is that its a very effective way of moving around to get to the clinch. Very complimentary to everything else I've learned in that regard. It's not that MT doesn't have techniques for this, its just that personally I find some of the body movement principles better for getting to the clinch. Of course I'm usually looking to throw more then knee from the clinch.

Upyu
06-21-2007, 06:08 PM
How do you know what a boxer is like if you don't train in boxing? How do you know what ground fighting is like if you don't train some bjj/judo/wrestling/etc?

There is no replacement for personal experience.

However, I do not buy that you need to train as much as the other guy to fight him in his range. Look at the UFC, we see BJJ black belts getting beat by guys with only moderate wrestling skills. They just focused all their wrestling training on stuffing the bjj guy, getting on top, and beating his skull in. Chuck liddel is not know for his ground game. He is known for his striking game, but he has to spend time grappling to learn how to stuff those takedowns and stay where he wants to be.

Sure theres no replacement for personal experience.

But I do buy into the you train more than the other guy next to you in whatever it is you do. That means more time, more intellect, more efficiency in training, everything.
I dont train in BJJ or grappling, actually I do it only about twice a month. But the training I do on my own, augments and changes my body mechanics enough that generally the grapplers that I roll with are like "WTF man...you changed again... whered you come up with a move like that?" (as I get out of whatever new fad technique of the month is)
Movement and development of the core is everything.
Everything else is just filler ;)
If training the core isnt enough...then maybe the core/foundation isnt being trained properly.

M2C

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-21-2007, 06:29 PM
What I ment by the clinch is that its a very effective way of moving around to get to the clinch. Very complimentary to everything else I've learned in that regard. It's not that MT doesn't have techniques for this, its just that personally I find some of the body movement principles better for getting to the clinch. Of course I'm usually looking to throw more then knee from the clinch.

Ah, I see. That's interesting. As always, I appreciate your sharing of your aikido cross-training experience.

If you get hung up on the deployment, yes, they are different. My point is once you understand the locking positions, the deployment is secondary. And even the, there are concepts and principles behind the deloyment, too.

I think there's some truth to that. I certainly find that, as I learn locks more deeply, I start being able to imagine them more readily from different spontaneous situations. It's actually kind of funny how myopic I can be when I first learn something ... often, at first I can only envision it happening from one specific technique, and can't understand it outside the context of that one technique. Looking back, it seems utterly silly.

On a humorous tangent, I'm reminded of something I heard once...someone was going on about how Saito-sensei would say all techniques were "the same" at heart. And he recalled (jestingly) thinking, "You jerk! Of COURSE it's all the same to YOU! You spent 30 years in O-sensei's backyard!"

Aristeia
06-21-2007, 06:50 PM
I claim that the arm position is the same ("branch out" in Filipino terminology); how you get there is differently, and this is the difference. How you get there is everything.
My point is once you understand the locking positions, the deployment is secondary.

I would *strongly* argue for the converse. Once you can control position, the finish is secondary and almost trivial.

Seriously - you wouldn't beleive the amount of people I have seen come through BJJ from TMA saying "we've got all of this in our syllabus" who then recant after a couple of months training once they realise that yeah, they had the locks, but no way to actually put the things on.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-21-2007, 06:56 PM
Like I said, I think it's true that it's important to be able to see a control from all sorts of situations and angles.

But yeah. I caught myself thinking, "A kimura is just yonkajo!" and then realizing how dumb that was. I mean, it's good to understand they're the same anatomical manipulation, and maybe sometimes they even use the same principles...but honestly, sometimes a common position is more important than a common joint manipulation.

DonMagee
06-21-2007, 07:20 PM
Position before submission...the mantra of bjj.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-21-2007, 07:38 PM
And you know ... I always felt like that was the mantra of aikido, too.

raul rodrigo
06-21-2007, 07:48 PM
Paul is right; if you get the right position, the technique itself is almost an afterthought.

Aristeia
06-21-2007, 08:36 PM
And you know ... I always felt like that was the mantra of aikido, too.yep. seeing say a bjj armlock and thinking that is the technque is akin to seeing uke do top ukemi and thinking that's the important bit - without realising the cool stuff came much earlier with the ma ai, entering, turning blending, off balancing etc etc.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-21-2007, 10:33 PM
It's one of those things that I heard about and sort of studied in aikido, but in many ways am really getting into in BJJ. A fresh angle, at least.

Other such ideas would include, for instance, the saying "The enemy does not know how he is killed" -- not being so obvious with "NOW I WILL AMERICANA YOU" or "NOW I'M GOING TO TWIST YOUR ARM INTO SHIHONAGE". Easier said than done. And perhaps also easier to play at in kata practice than really accomplish in live rolling.

CNYMike
06-21-2007, 11:30 PM
..... I mean, it's good to understand they're the same anatomical manipulation, and maybe sometimes they even use the same principles...

It's more than "good;" understanding thos things is what allows you to come up with your own stuff! Having a catelogue of techniques in your head is a good start, but IMO, if you don't move past that to the concepts and principles, you haven't moved anywhere.

It goes back to that old saw: If you teach a man to fish, he can feed himself for life. Learning the concepts and principles is learning how to fish. Then you can invent your own stuff, and understand how the stuff you have works.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-22-2007, 07:43 AM
seeing say a bjj armlock and thinking that is the technque is akin to seeing uke do top ukemi and thinking that's the important bit

That's a great analogy. In fact, I think a lot of people early on in their study of aikido have exactly that mindset. We're all focused on "making uke fall down". We're so gleeful about doing some cool movement and watching uke smack the mat that we get a distorted sense of what's important.

It eventually started occurring to me that often the very first movement is the most important. This was a crucial break, I think, from the attitude of "Okay, there's some pivoting and turning, and then some footwork...and then the technique happens!"

Budd
06-22-2007, 08:00 AM
I think I'm in agreement with what some others are saying when I state that I think one of the best benefits in cross-training is being able to see how people are training the same or similar core body principles (posture, relaxed power, controlling distance, receiving external input, connecting with the other guy, manipulating that connection by moving yourself, etc.) vis a vis another type of practice and how it manifests in the techniques, kata, sparring, etc.

CNYMike
06-22-2007, 12:21 PM
.... It eventually started occurring to me that often the very first movement is the most important. This was a crucial break, I think, from the attitude of "Okay, there's some pivoting and turning, and then some footwork...and then the technique happens!"

To each his own. Personally, I'm practicin the pivoting and turning via irimi tenkan exercises every morning because they seem to form the building blocks of the techniques; some are a direct application of them. You can an alphabet of movements, and the techaniques come out of putting them togehter.

How this plays within the larger context of empty hand technaiquwe, I don't know. And after 22 years of training, it will be almost impossible to discern Aikido's influence when I spar. But I'm still looking at how the art is put together and I'll take it from there.