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Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-02-2008, 12:22 AM
Hi Guys,

Has anyone of you ever considered having classes without the Gi? No Gi training is a usual part of BJJ and personally I though this would be more applicable to Aikido since we seldom grab the lapels to apply our techniques.

I thought about conducting a class this way but is somewhat weirded about it. (still wearing the pants, lose the top and use long-sleeved dri-fit shirts instead)

How do you guys feel about this?

Iking

CitoMaramba
06-02-2008, 01:35 AM
When my Sensei was still living in Baguio, we used to train outside (no mats!) in jogging pants and t-shirt, for taijutsu and weapons.

DonMagee
06-02-2008, 06:55 AM
I think it is a great idea.

Kevin Leavitt
06-02-2008, 11:02 PM
At least in my aikido dojo, we don't use the gi all that much. I grab it sometimes to slow my ukemi down when being thrown, but that is about it. The GI in my experiences in aikido is really not much of a factor.

What I do like to do, is to "collapse the distance" and "increase the pressure" to a clinch range in and work the clinch using aikido principles without the GI being a factor.

It is not the GI or the lack of GI that makes the difference in the situation ala "BJJ"style, but more so, the timing, speed, and level of compliance that changes the dynamic.

John Connolly
06-03-2008, 03:16 AM
Excellent post by Kevin! I agree!

First off, Aiki techniques should not depend on clothing grabs, or in fact, grabs at all. All the silly ideas of Aiki practitioners being grabbers of Uke's hand, when Uke is throwing combination punches is just dumb fantasy. What the Aiki (or Jujutsu) practitioner needs to do is strike at the power source (Uke's center) of the punch/chop/stab/kick and then, when in control of Uke's collected force, re-direct it or add force to it overwhelmingly, to Uke's disadvantage....

IMO, Aiki happens when you have a stable base and completely connect to uke's center, and you are then able to manipulate that center into a take-down, throw,choke, joint-lock, hold/control, or to receive a strike.

Everything els is just icing on the proverbial cake. That being said, no gi contests are a fantastic way to expand your arsenal of kuzushi, etc.

Aristeia
06-03-2008, 05:44 AM
I agree with Kevin. In BJJ you train no gi because it has significant impact on how you roll in many cases. That's why you need to train both. In Aikido I'm not sure there would be much of a difference so why bother?

DonMagee
06-03-2008, 08:03 AM
Well, sweats/shorts/tshirts are MUCH cheaper then gi's and magic pants.

wideawakedreamer
06-03-2008, 10:08 AM
I wear either the gi pants or my old taekwondo pants (which is much lighter), or jogging pants. I don't like to wear the top. I prefer to wear a t-shirt.

wideawakedreamer
06-03-2008, 10:10 AM
Well, sweats/shorts/tshirts are MUCH cheaper then gi's and magic pants.

If you wear shorts, how do you keep the skin on your knees intact during knee-walking?

DonMagee
06-03-2008, 03:01 PM
At this point, my skin is basically immune to the mat. I actually noticed the other day that I spend so much time doing bjj that I no longer actually feel anything on my knees and the tops of my feet have callouses. Unless your mat is made out of carpet (where I practice judo, the mat is carpeted and it hurts) it is not much of a problem. I knee walk all the time in bjj wearing fight shorts and a rashguard.

But either way, sweatpants and a tshirt is still a lot cheaper then any gi.

Kevin Leavitt
06-03-2008, 04:21 PM
I notice that some of the newer guys will sometimes burn up their knees and joints on my mats in germany. (they are rough).

it happens because they are sliding them across the mat. Not a good thing as it represents lost or spent energy in the form of friction. Moving correctly, you shouldn't get much mat burn.

Yea, occasionally I still drag my toes and burn the tops of them off. I hate that! On carpet it is pretty much darn near impossible to not do because you sink down into it a little.

Al Gutierrez
06-03-2008, 05:25 PM
Although some aikido techniques are practiced against gi grabs (sleeves, lapel, etc...) most aikido techniques are more based on directly affecting your partner's body.

The whole gi/no gi issue in BJJ has more to do with traditional BJJ deriving from Judo and it's higher level usage (reliance?) on using the gi as a tool to help control your opponent and/or set him up for techniques. The gi is used both offensively and defensively to hold your opponent and/or restrict his movement while you manuever and position yourself for holds and submissions as well as an aid for chokes. The whole gi/no gi debate really developed because sport bjj practitioners often had a hard(er) time adjusting to no gi submission wrestling and/or MMA because they didn't realize how much of their game depended on using the gi.

It applies less for aikido - still there's some old films of Kisshomaru and Tohei floating around that show them practicing in business suits, and a great demo by Kuroiwa at one of the early Aiki News Friendship demonstrations in a suit as well. Practical self defense should at least occasionally practiced in street clothes as a matter of common sense (imo).

Al Gtz.

Ketsan
06-03-2008, 08:01 PM
I'm not sure it would make any difference, except that mayeb you'd get through 45 of t-shirts in the same time it'd take to wear out a 40 keikogi.

rob_liberti
06-03-2008, 09:38 PM
I like the dogi for 4 things. These are not in any particular order.

1) having the people wear black from the middle down, and white from the middle up helps me focus on always directing what is black down and what is white up (never the same direction, or the reverse).

2) My pants have a tendancy of ripping when I work out without my dogi

3) I like to work on quite/silent rolling. The whole dogi/hakama get up makes that more of a challenge.

4) I find it helps contribute to the whole "experience" in terms of the hero's journey mythalogical experience. You go to some strange place have an experience, and come back to your normal life a bit changed. The "get up" contributes to the strange place. Kind of like when some Church used to be in Latin.

Given all of that, I'd still not care al that much if no one ever wore dogis/hakamas again.

Rob

Joseph Madden
06-03-2008, 09:39 PM
Since many techniques are based on shite being proactive and moving just as the attack occurs, no gi aikido seems completely practical, especially in 90 degree weather.

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-04-2008, 09:30 AM
Since many techniques are based on shite being proactive and moving just as the attack occurs, no gi aikido seems completely practical, especially in 90 degree weather.

Thank you for the post Joseph. The post is really about testing the acceptability of this. I agree that is completely practical and I'm probably worried about the backlash of straight-up/hard core/ultra-traditional aikido practitioners. Have a nice day.

Iking

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-04-2008, 09:34 AM
I agree with Kevin. In BJJ you train no gi because it has significant impact on how you roll in many cases. That's why you need to train both. In Aikido I'm not sure there would be much of a difference so why bother?

Thank you for sharing your thought. I actually share the same question "why bother" but more on why bother wearing the gi?...aside from the obvious traditional reasons (and the 4 cool reasons rob posted)

Sincerely,

Iking

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-04-2008, 09:35 AM
I'm not sure it would make any difference, except that mayeb you'd get through 45 of t-shirts in the same time it'd take to wear out a 40 keikogi.

This is another dimension (of practicality) to consider. Nice one Alex. Thanks

Aristeia
06-04-2008, 12:07 PM
yep you're right -the only reason is tradition. I had thought you were suggesting a bjj approach - where you'd do some classes gi and some no gi - in bjj there's reasons why both are trained, in Aikido I guess it would make sense to go with one option and run with it - if for you that's no gi - I personally don't see an issue. You will of course get dissapproval from anyone who is staunchly in favour of tradition. *shrug*.

As to practicing in street clothes occassionally for self defence application as someone suggested - fair point. I would suggest practicing in shoes would be the biggest transition?

Mark Uttech
06-04-2008, 12:20 PM
I've always considered 'informal practice' a bad idea. I've noticed folks going from: 'no hakama' to: 'no gi' to: 'no showing up at the dojo for class'.

In gassho

Mark

Budd
06-04-2008, 01:07 PM
I think you should be practicing 24/7 in and out of a gi. Make everything you do . . . practice.

lbb
06-04-2008, 01:12 PM
I think you should be practicing 24/7 in and out of a gi. Make everything you do . . . practice.
Hey, whatever works for you. Me, I like to sleep 7 hours a night, 8 if I can get it. I like to ride my bike, play tennis, paddle my kayak, work in my garden, write stories, drink wine, and hang out with friends. When I'm doing each of those things, I want to be doing that thing, not practicing for something else.

Budd
06-04-2008, 01:15 PM
Mary, whatever works for you. Right back atcha ;)

JeffDuncan
06-04-2008, 01:28 PM
I've always considered 'informal practice' a bad idea. I've noticed folks going from: 'no hakama' to: 'no gi' to: 'no showing up at the dojo for class'.

In gassho

Mark

Have you actually seen this, Where people care more about what clothing they wear than the instruction?

In my dojo I take every student once they get to nikkyu out to the park at least once, so they can practice in an imperfect environment.
For day to day Classes I have some folk that Borrowed a Dojo loaner GI when testing included lapel grabs, but haven't owned one in well over a year

Aiki, as I know it to be is not clothing dependant in any way shape or form. the only thing it depends on is your honest internalization of the principals.
One thing you may find as I did, when you do the "No GI" days is that participation goes up and you (if you allow it) have more and more visitors some friends of and some from other dojos.

Ikei,
Jeff Duncan

CitoMaramba
06-04-2008, 04:14 PM
I remember posting this before...
"Look Ma! No Gi!"

http://pics.livejournal.com/dangayan/pic/0005f6sa

Kevin Leavitt
06-04-2008, 08:39 PM
lol! that is awesome! Glad O'sensei is turned the way he is, I wouldn't want to see his KI projection full on.

Jonathan
06-04-2008, 09:16 PM
We practice very Tuesday night without gi. Mostly, people wear jeans and a t-shirt. In the summer when we are practicing outside we don't wear gi. I didn't wear a gi until about a week before my fifth kyu test. Gi, no gi, whatever.

CitoMaramba
06-05-2008, 01:54 AM
lol! that is awesome! Glad O'sensei is turned the way he is, I wouldn't want to see his KI projection full on.

In "Angry White Pajamas" Robert Twigger recounts the anecdote that O-Sensei used to tell his students to test their "KI projection" by being able to punch a hole through a shoji (paper screen) using a certain "bodily function" :D

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-05-2008, 08:04 AM
Nice post Dr. Cito. (I actually love it) It seems to be a good illustration...Would be hard to find waterfalls in the city though...(natural or man made)

...also I would probably discourage the wet look...

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-05-2008, 08:08 AM
Hey guys, thank you for all your thoughts. What seems to be an initially dry topic is quite building its pace...

BTW, who's the partner of O Sensei in that picture?

We did some training at the beach before but not really while in the water...

Iking

Jonathan
06-05-2008, 08:15 AM
The guy in the waterfall with O-sensei is his son, Kisshomaru.

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-05-2008, 04:10 PM
Thank you Jonathan.

I wonder if the current aikikai doshu does the same? or did he practice this with his father?

Pictures anyone...?

Dan Richards
09-21-2014, 10:05 AM
Found this conversation, and would like to give it a bump. The manner in which people can train, and the changes and progressions being made to it, are related - and contribute to - a topic I've started, Third Wave Aikido (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23873).

Our group's been training outside all summer, and people are just dressing in comfortable clothing. I often have on a dress shirt and shorts - because that's what I usually wear in the summers. There's even one of the guys who wears a distressed straw cowboy hat.

There is no ritual or bowing. We train informally, and shake hands upon meeting and departing.

I certainly still think there's a place for kieogi and hakama, but I think it also can create a barrier. I've seen a marked progression in the movement abilities of people when they can dress how they want and what they find comfortable. They remain in their "everyday energy," rather than suiting up and feeling like they have to become something more formal, or a character from another culture and time period.

It's allowing the training to be much more accessible, and people have been responsive.

PeterR
09-21-2014, 10:51 AM
Personally I like the dogi and the rei of training but .....

Every now and then you should go out and practice outside the confines of the dojo. The first time I did this my aikido literally collapsed - I did not feel nearly as competent as I normally did.

Once you realized the difference - you can adjust your training.

Years ago one of my teachers of Nihon Kempo (read armored MMA) did not believe in warming up because he wanted to be ready for a fight at any moment. On a certain level that makes a lot of sense. We use our environment to mentally define our training and hence how we react.

JP3
09-28-2014, 08:05 PM
We do "real world" classes sometimes where we all wear shorts and t-shirts, or sweat pants and t-shirts, or even slacks/khaki's and long-sleeve shirts.

Once people get over the "weirdness" of practice while not "looking like practice" it's all fine and normal.

But, I draw the line at wearing my suits on the mat. Do a big long roll= torn sleeve from shoulder seam, I'm certain.

Sojourner
09-30-2014, 01:59 AM
Perhaps it depends on what your goals are in training for Aikido and if you are there for personal development, fitness or self defense training? If its for self defense training then no gi training should be an option as should small circle aikido techniques in confined spaces.

lbb
09-30-2014, 08:50 AM
Everybody does no gi aikido, it's called a "dojo party".