PDA

View Full Version : Experience in a striking art before Aikido. Help or Hindrance?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


gregg block
07-31-2007, 01:09 PM
I started in Tae-kwon-do in 1988 and still practice regularly at home. I also have experience kick boxing (several amature bouts in younger years ) and boxing. I know I was very good when I was younger and still I am a very good striker. I'm on my 2nd year training in Aikido and I love it.I really struggled early on but things are starting to come together now. I sometimes feel that my martial arts background can be a hindrance to me in learning Aikido . I'm used to a very hard style that meets attacks at times head on and uses angles more than circular motions. I sometimes wonder if Aikido would come easier to me if I had no matial arts background when I started. Anyone else have a similar experience or is it just me?

Aikibu
07-31-2007, 02:11 PM
I started in Tae-kwon-do in 1988 and still practice regularly at home. I also have experience kick boxing (several amature bouts in younger years ) and boxing. I know I was very good when I was younger and still I am a very good striker. I'm on my 2nd year training in Aikido and I love it.I really struggled early on but things are starting to come together now. I sometimes feel that my martial arts background can be a hindrance to me in learning Aikido . I'm used to a very hard style that meets attacks at times head on and uses angles more than circular motions. I sometimes wonder if Aikido would come easier to me if I had no matial arts background when I started. Anyone else have a similar experience or is it just me?

You should take to it like a fish to water. Prior Martial Arts experiance is alway a major plus as long as you keep it in perspective. I used to get fired once a month for the first couple of years of my practice because of my "fighting attitude" so be mindful of your initial approach...You're not there to beat folks up (and this is easy to do in some schools of Aikido Practice) but to learn how to connect and blend with your "opponent". It took me a good few years to relax my attitude (though some would say I still have too much of a Martial Attitude LOL)

Your Martial Experiance is also a great benefit to your fellow Aikidoka...

Good Luck. :)

William Hazen

stan baker
07-31-2007, 08:55 PM
sometimes we have to let go our prior martial habits to develope aiki and other aspects of internal power.

stan

Roman Kremianski
07-31-2007, 10:50 PM
Hi Gregg

Me being quite the opposite (having switched to hard striking/grappling martial arts after a couple of years of Aikido) I can tell you that there's no such thing as too much martial arts experience. Be glad you're doing Aikido with knowledge of these other arts.

crbateman
07-31-2007, 11:33 PM
It's what you make of it. There will be some things done differently, and you will adjust. There are other things that you bring with you that can make your Aikido better. Each situation will obviously be different, so it is difficult to generalize in this manner.

Jess McDonald
07-31-2007, 11:49 PM
Yo!! I don't think it really matters. Just go to class. Late:cool:

philippe willaume
08-01-2007, 06:56 AM
Hello
No I would not say that it is an hindrance provided that you are interested in the martial aspect of aikido and that you recognise the tactical differences.
Regardless of all that, you will have a good understanding of timing, distance, attacking with commitment whilst preserving you balance and all the intellectual components needed to deliver a technique safely. That can only be beneficial.
Meeting attacks heads on is exactly what Irimi is for. It is just a smart way of doing it.

We have/had a few people at the dojo doing TK, shotokan and so on and we all seems to come follow the same trend. (I did a bit a muy thai when I was young and fit) I need to say that we do use atemi quite a lot in our aikido regardless of the back ground.

Here a rough summary of what we experienced, please bear in mind that it is just an explanation what I experienced and not scripture quotation or a Cartesian demonstration.

In the beginning, we saw the movement we do in aiki as a good way to gain position, to deliver strikes (i.e. combination)
Then we found that in a give situation some type of strike are totally opposed to the technique , and some really makes the technique easy and do not get in the way of where you want to end up.
So it kind of made more sense to use a strike to gain "entrance" and put us in a position where we gain a better or the same advantage than if we used combination striking, as well as you are isolation a member and you applying force in a way that it is difficult to resist.
An then that there was a way to use your body in a smarter way so that you do not rely so mush on direct antagonistic muscles (which by definition have an adverse effect on movement) but more on body mechanic (which makes our movement easier ).

That is where I am a the moment (keep you posted in another 6-7 years)
phil

Ps Will I do not think that there can be too much martial attitude.

Dewey
08-01-2007, 08:27 AM
Frankly, I think it only helps, despite the initial difficulties. We have a lot of crosstrainers in my dojo (including myself), many who hold advanced ranking in other systems. As such, they bring a wealth of diverse experiences and martial skill with them. All agree that their previous training has only enhanced their study of aikido and makes their aikido more effective in a self-defense situation.

From what I understand about the early history of Aikido, especially the Kobukan days, I believe that prior martial arts experience was required in order to gain admittance (aikido historians out there please weigh in on this).

SeiserL
08-01-2007, 09:34 AM
IMHO, previous experience in a striking art makes your approach and atemi as uke better, but tends to get in the way of waza as tori.

It is my understanding that originally, O'Sensei only accepted student with previous experience and training. Which is why you seldom find correct striking as part of the curriculum. A major criticism of Aikido.

CitoMaramba
08-01-2007, 11:35 AM
If you are serious about your aikido training, then I very much urge you to acquire at least a minimum knowledge of striking

Nishio Sensei, from Aikido-Yurusu Budo: The Irimi-Issoku Principle

Toby Bazarnick
08-01-2007, 02:52 PM
IMHO, previous experience in a striking art makes your approach and atemi as uke better, but tends to get in the way of waza as tori.

I did Tae Kwan Do, Tang Soo Do and Kung Fu for several years each before aikido...in general, I think that previous training helps in some ways and hurts in others.

Specific to the idea of striking, the most important aspect of learning about this depends on the intent of one's strike, not the precision of a particular movement.

The common Western teaching of martial arts striking (a la TKD) is not all that useful beyond mechanics. Fighting is spontaneous/fluid, and hitting the air is only good for form. Plus, static objects (like boards) are rarely aggressive. Free-sparring (with full pads) is best, IMO, to learn the limits of safely getting hit and hitting (mechanics, emotions, strategy, angles, breathing, etc). Getting hit is a good teacher about how to not be unsafe (open).

I think in my case, it was harmful to do many years of pre-orchestrated kata, board-breaking and jump-spinning air kicks. For me, in aikido I have trouble overcoming my "I vs. thou" attitude, "doing techniques" (instead of aikido), and thinking all the time on the mat. On the other hand, I try to give real attacks at a level that is helpful to a nage and try to be safe in my ukeme. I still get hit, but I very rarely hit someone accidentally.

A couple years of previous martial arts is good, plus some experience free-sparring. After that, the stored trappings of the ego, body memory, brain rigidity, etc. rapidly go from the point of diminishing returns to harmful for a future aikidoka. Some say that all martial arts are similar in the higher levels, but not many people get to that point and get stuck in thinking that an effective martial art resembles something familiar, like TKD or Jujitsu.
It is my understanding that originally, O'Sensei only accepted student with previous experience and training. Which is why you seldom find correct striking as part of the curriculum. A major criticism of Aikido.
I think that any good instructor can teach the importance of safety at the level that the student can absorb the concept. To understand hitting and being hit, it helps to experience both (at the pace and level that is not dangerous).

Since it's no longer required to have previous martial arts experience to do aikido, people might need to be taught why they are doing certain movements, or how to recognize when they are not safe.

Perhaps the lack of martial awareness/aptitude perceived in aikido suggests that teachers are not adapting to the new students' needs and a lot of people really are just dancing (even if they can swivel their hips really fast and snap off a killer nikkyo on a rag-doll uke).

Atemi is the only teaching tool we have - instructors should teach people how to do this properly. To the disservice of aikidoka in general, it tends to be over- or under-used, or at worst, bastardized. The latter refers to when someone does a slow "ghost punch" to show that you're open, thereby halting the aikido and/or exposing themselves. It's also a drag to have an uke throw a fist near your head, kamakazi-style, or to punch the air like a robot regardless of nage's movement.

Similarly, when a person is not taught safety from a martial perspective, they can take bizarre ukemi that leaves them wide open, and/or muscle through techniques that would only work on someone who is polite, meek or compliant. Some practitioners experience this ignorance to safety as a lack of respect and some go to extremes, like some say of Chiba sensei.

dongaleb
08-01-2007, 05:02 PM
It Helps, coz you are already disciplined and you already have form. I think you just had difficulty with the flow/harmony at first. :)