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Kat.C
03-17-2002, 02:30 PM
I'm new to this forum and have not even started aikido yet but I hope some of you will answer a few questions I have.
My husband and I were karate students a few years back but we moved and the only dojo nearby did competions. Not what we wanted.
We have missed training and we now feel that we are in a position to start up again. I would like to do aikido though. I had a tiny bit of exposure to it at a karate camp one time. The sensei demonstrated a breakfall and the we lined up and he pushed us so we fell backwards and slapped our arm on the mat. I guess the slapping part was to soften the fall?:confused: I wasn't getting that part very well but it was fun. Ever notice most MA's like pain.:freaky: We also did a few techniques with a partner. I don't know what they were called. Anyways onto the questions.
Is training dangerous? I can survive some pain
I always had bruises from karate and it didn't bother me, just part of the training.
But dying! In Class!:eek: never occured to me when I was in karate . I have been reading posts on this forum for a few days and I looked at some older ones and it was about getting killed in training. I'm assuming it doesn't happen all that much or there wouldn't be too many people doing it, but is it something to beware of each time you are in the dojo. How will I know if the sensei is concerned with his students saftey? How long do you practise breakfalls and rolls before people start throwing you around? Or do people throw you when you are learning breakfalls? My exposure to aikido was minute so I know absolutely nothing on how a beginner is taught. Also I cannot do even a forward somersault will I be able to learn how to roll? Is a roll in aikido the same as a somersault? Sorry to write such a lengthy piece I never was good at outlines. By the way we only have one aikido dojo near us and unless I see something really bad there I plan to go so could some of you give me and idea of what to expect and what to look for?
Thanks.

Brian H
03-17-2002, 02:55 PM
Drinking water is dangerous, even fatal, if you try breathing at the same time.

I was in the same situation when I started Aikido. I was recovering from a bad shoulder injury. Rolls hurt like hell, break falls made my eyes bug out, and my shoulder sounded like a bag of rocks rolling down hill. To make a long story short, I discovered two things:
1) If something hurts when you do it, do it differently next time or learn how to deal with it with aikido - ie nage bears down on a joint with a technique, respond with ukemi- take the roll, drop you center etc
2) The simplest thing that did me the most good -- BREATH OUT whenever you execute a techique or take ukemi. You will always breath in afterward (When I breath in under stress I hold my breath) and best of all --- you can't get the wind knocked out of you with your lungs are already empty.

Lenocinari
03-17-2002, 03:13 PM
Kat-
Aikido techniques can be pretty painful and harmful if the uke (person who recieves the technique) is not cooperative. This is, however, usually never a problem. Half of aikido is being able to perform the technique and the other half is being able to recieve it. Most all instructors teach you how to be able to take in a technique safely before you actually have it performed on you. I hope this clears it up some.
Cheers
-Ben

Arianah
03-17-2002, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C
Also I cannot do even a forward somersault will I be able to learn how to roll? Is a roll in aikido the same as a somersault?
Rolling is not like a somersault, but it's not completely different either. You roll straight, but your head never touches the ground when you go over. You go over your shoulder instead. But if I could learn to do forward rolls, I assure you that you can. ;)

Sarah

guest1234
03-17-2002, 03:26 PM
To expand on Brian's analogy, even drinking water correctly (as opposed to breathing it) can kill you, if you drink too much. Or add an iodine tablet to it, normally needed to disinfect water, and it can kill you if you are allergic to iodine.

In that older post on dying, students usually either (a)overdid training (b)had underlying disease or (c)did the fall incorrectly in a major way

Beginners usually do not need to worry about (a) because they are so new to it they cannot overexert themselves (they rest while they are trying to figure out how to do things), or (c) because their partners protect them. (b) is self-critiqing.

Most dojos teach beginners how to fall, either in beginners' classes before they mix into main classes, or in their initial visit/first class. And after that the other students usually are very protective of beginners trying to fall.

Once you start training, do not attack any faster or harder than you expect to fall, and make sure your partner knows you are a beginner. As has been said, fall with some control by taking the fall rather than being forced to fall. Pay attention to the ukemi during the demonstration.

As for checking out the nearby dojo, look to be sure students are not all bandaged up, that they are not falling onto/into each other, etc. Does the instructor keep an eye on everyone as they are practicing (would he notice if your partner was about to kill you:eek: )?

Good luck and have fun!

Greg Jennings
03-17-2002, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C
The sensei demonstrated a breakfall and the we lined up and he pushed us so we fell backwards and slapped our arm on the mat. I guess the slapping part was to soften the fall?

Falling is one part of the art we call ukemi def. to receive with/through the body.

It's a little more complicated that "slapping is to soften the fall", but that's probably a good explanation for now.



I wasn't getting that part very well but it was fun. Ever notice most MA's like pain.

That you enjoyed it is a good sign! I personally don't know that I like pain. But I do like pushing the edges and pain often comes with it.


We also did a few techniques with a partner. I don't know what they were called. Anyways onto the questions.

That's kind of how things go in our dojo. We do some warm ups, some drills, ukemi practice, then techniques, a little multiple-partner "chaos" practice (randori) then finish up with a "polishing practice" called kokyu dosa or kokyu tanren ho. Then we clean the mats, chat and go home.


Is training dangerous? I can survive some pain
I always had bruises from karate and it didn't bother me, just part of the training.
But dying! In Class! never occured to me when I was in karate . I have been reading posts on this forum for a few days and I looked at some older ones and it was about getting killed in training. I'm assuming it doesn't happen all that much or there wouldn't be too many people doing it, but is it something to beware of each time you are in the dojo.

I've been training for over seven years. Mostly training in a pretty "edgy" way. I separated a shoulder when I first got started (being stupid), dislocated an elbow (being stupid) and injured my back (playing much, much too hard i.e., being stupid). See a pattern developing?

There have been a couple of people killed in Japan in college clubs. Basically, due to a hazing culture.

Another case was an aikidoist in CA being paralyzed from a broken neck when someone fell on her while she was in the middle of a rearward roll.

So, avoid stupidity, Japanese college clubs with a hazing culture and rolling up onto your neck in a crowded situation and you'll probably come out OK ;) .

Seriously, practice with safety as your first priority and you'll very probably experience the same sorts of bruises, etc. that you experienced in your karate class.


How will I know if the sensei is concerned with his students saftey?

Watch how he/she controls the class. Does the sensei push people way past their limitations? (Tough to tell) Does he/she say things to some students like "Do you want to try, John? If you don't just roll out to the side".

The instructor should, IMO, should be guiding the students in growth. Sometimes that means letting them do what they're comfortable with, sometimes pushing them and sometimes holding them back.


How long do you practise breakfalls and rolls before people start throwing you around?

It differs. Mostly people can do sit-outs first, then rolls and later breakfalls. I have a positive feeling from a dojo that practices ukemi vs. those that don't practice it in class.

The policy in my dojo is that people do what they feel that want to try. Because our flavor of aikido is big on breakfalls, we start people on breakfalls as soon as they can roll.


Or do people throw you when you are learning breakfalls? My exposure to aikido was minute so I know absolutely nothing on how a beginner is taught.

Refer to above. It should be a progressive thing. Sit-outs, rolls, breakfalls. Some dojo practice in such a way that they never take breakfalls (i.e. high-falls).


Also I cannot do even a forward somersault will I be able to learn how to roll? Is a roll in aikido the same as a somersault?

Once in a while people come through that can't do rolls. Mostly, they have some sort of physical limitation; the most common being severe obesity.

I had the same concerns when I started aikido. It took me a month to get over that first time in a rearward roll. The separated shoulder mentioned above was from repeatedly throwing myself into the mat in an attempt to learn a front roll. I'm a stubborn cuss :) .

But I learned. Now I live to fall. The higher, the more blind, the better. I especially love the falls where it feels that the world dropped out from under me and I'm being sucked into a black hole. But I digress...

In short, if you're basically healthy and apply yourself, you should be able to learn w/o any problems.


Sorry to write such a lengthy piece I never was good at outlines. By the way we only have one aikido dojo near us and unless I see something really bad there I plan to go so could some of you give me and idea of what to expect and what to look for?

If it's the only one that's convenient, I'd give it a try and see what happens.

If you think something is weird, feel free to e-mail me. Heck, you can call if you like. My contact info is on our dojo website. I have the grand and glorious privilige of being the dojo secretary, go-fer, janitor and a couple of other jobs that go along with being the senior student in an ultra-small dojo.


Thanks.

You're very welcome :) !

Best Regards,

shihonage
03-17-2002, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C

Is training dangerous? I can survive some pain
I always had bruises from karate and it didn't bother me, just part of the training.
But dying! In Class!:eek: never occured to me when I was in karate . I have been reading posts on this forum for a few days and I looked at some older ones and it was about getting killed in training.

I guess by their nature online forums attract people with uh... an imagination, let's put it that way.

Just regard whatever you read about "being killed in training" as "full of crap", and you will be perfectly fine.

Kat.C
03-17-2002, 04:03 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. That post had made me a little nervous. Before I read I had been ignorant about possible death while training in art that hopefully extends your life should one ever be attacked..:confused: I don't know why when I was in karate, that I never thought about the possibilty of my attacking partner killing me..:eek: Seeing as we were punching and kicking at vital areas of the body it probably could have happened. Sensei always stressed being careful and having control so that you wouldn't injure (or be injured) anyone. Never said anything about dying though. If anyone was careless or started horsing around it was push-ups, push-ups, push-ups. Needless to say very few people ever horsed around and never did it twice. Push-ups were pretty much the standard punishment in karate. Is it same in all martial arts? And we always did them in warm ups. All my senseis seemed to love making you do them. Good thing I don't mind them too much:rolleyes: Not because I got punished alot. Only ever happened twice. Once for talking during class when we were supposed to be watching sensei and once for forgetting to remind sensei about papers he wanted handed out. I never did talk at the wrong time again. By the way I have been looking at different aikido web sights trying to get info on it and I have two other questions. What is shikko and what is nikkyo? Did I spell those right? Both seem to be something students don't like practising but I couldn't find out what they were.

guest1234
03-17-2002, 04:35 PM
Shikko is sometimes called 'knee walking' but I don't like that because it makes people think they should be walking on their knees, pounding them into the mat. It is moving while essentially in a kneeling position, can be done forward or backwards, improves your balance and posture, as well as using your hips to move, and can be very tiring to do a lot of at once.

Nikyo is often called second teaching or technique, and can cause some pain in the wrist if uke doesn't know how to take ukemi for it, is trying to resist it, or a strong and inexperienced nage is more interested in twisting the wrist rather than moving uke's center.

Greg Jennings
03-17-2002, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by shihonage


I guess by their nature online forums attract people with uh... an imagination, let's put it that way.

Just regard whatever you read about "being killed in training" as "full of crap", and you will be perfectly fine.

Goldsbury Sensei, who is the president of the International Aikido Federation, a professor at Hiroshima University and a poster to this forum, had a student killed at a summer training away from his dojo in exactly the way I described above.

I assure you that neither he, nor I, are full of crap.

Sincerely,

Greg Jennings
03-17-2002, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by ca
Shikko is sometimes called 'knee walking'

Just don't pronounce it with a single guttural/hard, "K" sound instead of a softer, "shik" "ko" sound. That is, unless you need to go to the bathroom and are wanting to sound tough. ;)

Best,

Greg Jennings
03-17-2002, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C
What is shikko and what is nikkyo? Did I spell those right? Both seem to be something students don't like practising but I couldn't find out what they were.

Just want to add to Colleen's post.

"Kyo" in the context of the techniques does mean "principle" or "teaching". "Ni" means "second".

Most dojo teach ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo and gokyo. A few teach rokyo and nanakyo. Even fewer teach more still.

In our dojo, the technique names have a definite taxonomy like (this isn't all of it, but I don't want it to be too confusing):

[suwariwaza | hanmi handachi] + [ushiro] + <attack name> + <technique name> + <omote | ura> + <kihonwaza | ki-no-nagare > .

[] are optional things, the | means 'or' and the <> means mandatory.

The absence of 'suwariwaza' or 'hanmi handachi' means that it's to be done standing (tachiwaza).

E.g.

1. Hanmi handachi ushiro ryotedori ikkyo omote ki-no-nagare.

2. Shomenuchi ikkyo ura kihonwaza.

Best,

Kat.C
03-17-2002, 05:46 PM
Just wanted to thank Colleen for the definitions. I don't really understand but I guess I will once I start training.
And Greg thanks for the offer. It is definitly nice to know that if we're not sure things are right at the dojo I have someone to talk to about my concerns. I'm not sure I will enjoy having the "world dropped out from under me" or being sucked up by a black hole but I'll give it a shot.:D I used to enjoy having people punching and kicking at me so maybe I'll love this too. I'll have to get over my fear of falling first though. One of the reasons I want to learn aikido is to conquer that fear. Bet it will happen pretty quick! By the way I have done that inhaling water bit a couple of times while swimming.!:grr: Actually I guess I've done it four or five times. Slow learner I guess! Thanks everyone for all the info. I'm really curious and love to ask questions. Sensei used to threaten push-ups so that was effective at keeping me quiet but you all can't do that so I'll try not to bombard you with too many.

Greg Jennings
03-17-2002, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C
And Greg thanks for the offer. It is definitly nice to know that if we're not sure things are right at the dojo I have someone to talk to about my concerns. I'm not sure I will enjoy having the "world dropped out from under me" or being sucked up by a black hole but I'll give it a shot.

You're very welcome. Most of us are really very concerned about people having a good experience with aikido.

I bet you will come to love the black hole feeling. It's the feeling of a technique done very right. No force, no muscle, just "how the heck did I get here on the mat?".

Best,

Kat.C
03-17-2002, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by Greg Jennings


Just want to add to Colleen's post.

"Kyo" in the context of the techniques does mean "principle" or "teaching". "Ni" means "second".

Most dojo teach ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo and gokyo. A few teach rokyo and nanakyo. Even fewer teach more still.

In our dojo, the technique names have a definite taxonomy like (this isn't all of it, but I don't want it to be too confusing):

[suwariwaza | hanmi handachi] + [ushiro] + <attack name> + <technique name> + <omote | ura> + <kihonwaza | ki-no-nagare > .

[] are optional things, the | means 'or' and the <> means mandatory.

The absence of 'suwariwaza' or 'hanmi handachi' means that it's to be done standing (tachiwaza).

E.g.

1. Hanmi handachi ushiro ryotedori ikkyo omote ki-no-nagare.

2. Shomenuchi ikkyo ura kihonwaza.

Best,
Not too confusing!:confused: You might as well be speaking a differnt language. Of course you are I suppose, these being Japanese terms but that's not what I meant. Its nothing like the terminology in karate. Except for a few words like rei and sensei.
By the way what is a shihan. Is it someone of a certain rank or is it a description like teacher?

Greg Jennings
03-17-2002, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C

Not too confusing!:confused: You might as well be speaking a differnt language. Of course you are I suppose, these being Japanese terms but that's not what I meant. Its nothing like the terminology in karate. Except for a few words like rei and sensei.
By the way what is a shihan. Is it someone of a certain rank or is it a description like teacher?

Hi Kathryn,

The nice thing is that once you break the code, it'll be easy. Also, a lot of the dojo you go to will use very much the same terms, so it's easy to take in seminars or visit out-of-town dojo and such.

Here are a few links for you:

http://www.aikiweb.com/language/
http://www.aikiweb.com/technique/

http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia/index.asp

http://www.aikidofaq.com/

Here is one definition of "shihan" from the Aikido Journal Encyclopedia listed above:

SHIHAN
Master instructor. The highest of three instructor levels instituted by the AIKIKAI HOMBU DOJO in the mid-1970s at the time of the creation of the INTERNATIONAL AIKIDO FEDERATION. Corresponds approximately to 6th degree black belt and above. The three levels are in ascending order: FUKU SHIDOIN, SHIDOIN and shihan.

"Shihan", btw, has loads of baggage associated with it.
Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
03-17-2002, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by Greg Jennings


[suwariwaza | hanmi handachi] + [ushiro] + <attack name> + <technique name> + <omote | ura> + <kihonwaza | ki-no-nagare > .

[] are optional things, the | means 'or' and the <> means mandatory.


Just wanted to follow up and explain that we don't use the symbols above. That, I borrowed from my line of work. It seemed a compact way to describe the taxonomy.

Best,

Jonathan
03-17-2002, 07:14 PM
Just a quick word about the injury potential in Aikido training. One guy I have trained with has had more training-related injuries than any other ten aikidoka I know. He has broken his toes, a knee, an elbow, separated his shoulder (4th degree), and torn wrist and hamstring ligaments. The only thing to which I can attribute his injuries is being flat-footed and heavy. When he learned to move his whole body in response to applied technique and stay light on his feet he stopped getting injured. This list of training injuries is unique to this fellow (I think) but demonstrates what he means when he says, "Aikido isn't knitting class!"

I doubt you'll ever encounter such damage from training but I also doubt you'll avoid some minor sprains and strains altogether. Just goes with the territory... :freaky:

nikonl
03-17-2002, 09:08 PM
Kat: sometimes its better to find your own answers than asking them directly.(not that you can't ask them here :) ). What i mean is that, when you try to find your own answers, you will get more...maybe that's what your Karate Sensei was trying to do, developing a sense of ,observation? Well...for eg. During training(for me), no one asks questions, no one talks. Reason: Observe to get the answers.

Anyway, hope you know what i'm trying to say. :)

And about the breakfalls, trust me, you will learn to love it, it might be a little difficult at the start, but once you learn the feeling of following through, you will earn your 'wings' and you will be flying soon. :)

Kat.C
03-17-2002, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by nikon
Kat: sometimes its better to find your own answers than asking them directly.(not that you can't ask them here :) ). What i mean is that, when you try to find your own answers, you will get more...maybe that's what your Karate Sensei was trying to do, developing a sense of ,observation? Well...for eg. During training(for me), no one asks questions, no one talks. Reason: Observe to get the answers.


That is exactly how my sensei felt. I wouldn't have asked during class that was a definite no-no but after class sensei would just say something along the lines of what you did, learning more by finding your own answers. Problem is I'm overly curious and unanswered questions just eat at me, and I'm not the patient sort. Makes for alot of frustration. I want to know the answer as soon as I have a question. My second sensei would let us ask things but if you asked too many questions he would tell you to wait till you're ready to know or he would give you the look. evileyes And if you were smart you'd be quiet.


And about the breakfalls, trust me, you will learn to love it, it might be a little difficult at the start, but once you learn the feeling of following through, you will earn your 'wings' and you will be flying soon. :)

I have a question on ukemi. From some responses to my other thread it sounds as if not all dojos teach beginners ukemi. What on earth do you do if you don't know how to fall properly?! :confused: Is this where the dying aspect came from?:eek:

guest1234
03-17-2002, 11:52 PM
I think most beginners realize their limits in ukemi enough that they would not resist past the point of stupidity (that is usually the realm of more senior students) and get hurt. Beginners more often fall when you look at them;) , pain avoidance seems to be high on their list, as it should be.

Again, death and serious injury is rare, and usually related to stupidity, not to correct training.

Some dojos stress ukemi more and teach it early, some not so much and teach it later. How much it is stressed is usually related to how much good ukemi is needed. I think, even if it is not stressed at the dojo you choose, that learning it to the best of your ability will be good for you, not only because it is fun and challenging, but because the better you are at it, the less afraid you are, which is always nice:) . Really, I doubt the risk is any greater than in other MA you have done. Some folks just talk about it more. Go visit the dojo, if you like it, try it. Aikido is really something you need to experience, talking is just not a good substitute.

Erik
03-18-2002, 02:56 AM
Originally posted by shihonage
Just regard whatever you read about "being killed in training" as "full of crap", and you will be perfectly fine.

Sorry, full of crap, not! Rare, perhaps very, very, very rare, even in Japan where there is some history but it does happen. I also know of one student who was paralyzed during warm ups when a student rolled into her and another who had a stroke because she was kicked in the head, just right, and it damaged an artery. I don't know of any deaths here in the US within a dojo but there's probably been one somewhere at some time.

On the other hand, people have died playing basketball, tennis, football, boxing and 40,000 people will die in car related deaths this year.

Carl Simard
03-18-2002, 10:34 AM
If you're new at the dojo, here's two small hints that can help:

1) Place yourself at the end of the line at the beginning of the class. As in karate, people usually line up in ranked order, from beginner to the more advanced students, even if there's no "belt system" in aikido. Placing yourself at the wrong place may made some people think mistakenly that you're more advanced than you really are and applied techniques in a tougher way, since they think you know how to fall or correctly accept the technique... It happens to me one time. I was practising at a new dojo and, after some classes, was practising with a guy that was always in line with the 4th kyu guys, just before the 3td kyus. So I supposed that he was actually at least 4th kyu but he wasn't... He was a beginner and bang his his head heavyly on the mat when falling (actually it was really "falling", not "taking a fall") from a shio nage and hurt himself...

2) Learn rapidly to "tap" on the mat (or on the partner) when feeling pain. For the partner, it's the sign that he should stop because you're feeling pain. By not tapping, he may think that you don't feel pain and actually try to increase the pressure by thinking he doesn't doing it right... After some classes, this will become a reflex...

Kat.C
03-18-2002, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by Carl Simard
If you're new at the dojo, here's two small hints that can help:

1) Place yourself at the end of the line at the beginning of the class. As in karate, people usually line up in ranked order, from beginner to the more advanced students, even if there's no "belt system" in aikido. Placing yourself at the wrong place may made some people think mistakenly that you're more advanced than you really are and applied techniques in a tougher way, since they think you know how to fall or correctly accept the technique... It happens to me one time. I was practising at a new dojo and, after some classes, was practising with a guy that was always in line with the 4th kyu guys, just before the 3td kyus. So I supposed that he was actually at least 4th kyu but he wasn't... He was a beginner and bang his his head heavyly on the mat when falling (actually it was really "falling", not "taking a fall") from a shio nage and hurt himself...

2) Learn rapidly to "tap" on the mat (or on the partner) when feeling pain. For the partner, it's the sign that he should stop because you're feeling pain. By not tapping, he may think that you don't feel pain and actually try to increase the pressure by thinking he doesn't doing it right... After some classes, this will become a reflex...
Thanks for the tip. I definitly don't want to be mistaken for a more advanced student so I will make sure I know where to stand. It took me a while to learn to tap out in karate, we did submission holds on occasion, but I got it down pat after I yelped one time instead of tapping. Everyone except me thought it was funny. I thought it was embarrassing:blush: Hopefully That habit will be easy to get back into.

MaylandL
03-18-2002, 10:14 PM
Hello Kat

I hope that you will give aikido a try. The dojos that I have been at take safety and training safely as a prime consideration. Training safely allows for continued and regular practice.

Unfortunately, sometimes there are injuries for a variety of reasons, but thankfully they are not a frequent occurrence.

This post has discussed a lot of those reasons and I wont repeat them in this response.

Having practiced aikido for over 8 years and in different dojos, where you sit in a line is not always an indication of rank or position. One of the dojos I currently train at doesnt use this sort of seating. Its anywhere in the line. Yes some dojos have a very structured and formal seating arrangement. You should be aware that some dojos may not.

I found that introducing yourself to the sensei at the beginning of the class and speaking with the sempais are a useful thing if you're a beginner. I still do this when I visit other dojos as a matter of courtesy and also to make sure that I get to know their dojo protocols and ettiquette.

The dojos that I have been to will give beginners at each class individual attention, especially for the first couple of months or so. Its kind of like an induction about dojo etiquette, basic ukemi including breakfalls, tapping out. IT also allows them to get familiar with the basic techniques such as tenkan, irimi and tai sabaki movements, escapes from grabs, ikkyo, nikkyo, shikko (knee walking) etc. ITs also a way that beginners can train amongst themselves under the watchful eye of sensei and some of the sempais

At one of the dojos that I train and sometimes teach at, we allow beginners to train with selected senior students and sempais. We expect 1st Kyu and Shodans to take a beginner under their wing to show them the ropes and allow them to get the feel of aikido in a safe and non threatening way. IMHO I think that Ueshiba would like to see all people train effective, efficiently and safely in aikido and for those who are more experienced to look after and help those who are just beginning.

Personnally, I look forward to basic technique training with beginners because they allow me to train my sense of control and allow me to practice techniques fully in a way that the techniques work without injuring and putting undue stress on the beginner. I hope that beginners get something out of training with a more experienced person as well.

I think any dojo that welcomes, looks after, nurtures and encourages its beginners and promotes and practices a safe and effective training environment has to a dojo worth attending and staying with. We were all beginners once and everytime I visit a different dojo that practices a different "style" of aikido I am a beginner again. I know I want to continue to improve and practice aikido for many years to come.

All the best for your practice.

MaylandL
03-18-2002, 10:30 PM
[QUOTE]I bet you will come to love the black hole feeling. It's the feeling of a technique done very right. No force, no muscle, just "how the heck did I get here on the mat?". [QUOTE]

Hello Greg

I can certainly vouch for that kinda feeling having been launched into near geosync orbit by some very capable godan and sandan aikidoka. Its very satisfying to know what it feels like when the technique is done correctly and with power and also knowing that the ukemi was appropriate.

The main thing was that they were skilled enought to guide the uke into the correct position to allow the proper ukemi to be done so that the technique can be done powerfully but safely. That ofcourse assumes that uke is skilled enought to receive properly :)

It gives me a very tangible benchmark to aspire to when I do my techniques.

Yes having the world dropped out from under me and being sucked into a black hole is very appropo...and a real buzz when you ukemi out of it.

Mind you I have been in situations where I have been lax and complacent in my ukemi with me ending up looking like tatami generously layered with strawberry jam and vegemite :D.

Much to the disgust of my and much heavy sighing from my sensei. At least I know what Wile e Coyote feels like sometimes ;)

shihonage
03-18-2002, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by Erik

Sorry, full of crap, not! Rare, perhaps very, very, very rare, even in Japan where there is some history but it does happen. I also know of one student who was paralyzed during warm ups when a student rolled into her and another who had a stroke because she was kicked in the head, just right, and it damaged an artery.

More people die of drinking boiling water, than ... beh, this is pointless :)

Sherman Byas
03-19-2002, 04:18 PM
Remember that aikido is a martial art. A few stories.

1. I entered the dojo a few minutes late. A beginning student had just been rushed to the hospital. In attempting to roll, he did it wrong and had to go under the knife for repairs on his shoulder.

2. One of my sensei told me that he was training in Greece and the mat was crowded and Jo was being practiced. Well, one guy was unfortunate enough to be struck twice in the head. Quote, "He was bleeding like pig."

3. Same Sensei, differnet occasion. He heard more than saw someone take a very high fall (improperly) rather roughly. After The X-rays showed a couple of broken ribs He never came back.

Let's not forget the various hard bumps, bruises, pulls strains and other mishaps that befall us as aikidoka.

"Let's be careful out there." What tv show?

ps. happy birthday to me! Dojo trdation says I'll have to take 36 (my age) falls before or after class 2night. :eek:

akiy
03-19-2002, 04:45 PM
I think we each have to take responsibility to train in a safe manner both for others and for ourselves. Not recognizing nor acknowledging the dangers, however minute or slim, of serious injury or even death seems irresponsible to me. Accidents do happen, folks...

Only by being aware of the possibilities and training in such a way to minimize the risks can we actively prevent them to the best of our abilities.

-- Jun

Bruce Baker
03-19-2002, 05:02 PM
Injuries of any fall, practice, and various unnatural positions will happen, but with insight, careful practice, and teachers who have seen many of the mistakes taught by overzealous practitioners of a Martial Art, they will take proper precautions to lesson injuries.

Maybe it is from a lifetime of injuries in various degree's that haven't included major bone breaks, just minor ones, that I tend to slow down many of the techniques until rythm and motion are almost a second nature when performed at full speed.

Of course, it could be from finding new meanings in Kata done in slow motion that allowed me to understand the physical dangers of many of the simple moves we take for granted in Martial Arts, Aikido included.

I like to remember the tooth pick.

We can use it to pick our teeth in a restaurant, but in a tornado it can be driven through the trunk of a tree? Chance, or predestiny?

I don't leave toothpicks out, anymore.

MaylandL
03-19-2002, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by akiy
I think we each have to take responsibility to train in a safe manner both for others and for ourselves. Not recognizing nor acknowledging the dangers, however minute or slim, of serious injury or even death seems irresponsible to me. Accidents do happen, folks...

Only by being aware of the possibilities and training in such a way to minimize the risks can we actively prevent them to the best of our abilities.

-- Jun

I agree and nicely put. I dont think anyone deliberately seeks to injure another person. Aikido (and any martial art for that matter) training can be dangerous. Taking personal responsibility to be aware of the dangers and training safely and appropriately is the only sure way. IMHO, any dojo that doesnt promote a safe and effective training environment where aikidoka at all levels can train with each other to promote, foster, allow and nurture learning and development isnt worth staying with and doesnt live up to the principles laid down by O'Sensei.

Greg Jennings
03-19-2002, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by MaylandL
[QUOTE]I bet you will come to love the black hole feeling. It's the feeling of a technique done very right. No force, no muscle, just "how the heck did I get here on the mat?". [QUOTE]

Hello Greg

I can certainly vouch for that kinda feeling having been launched into near geosync orbit by some very capable godan and sandan aikidoka. Its very satisfying to know what it feels like when the technique is done correctly and with power and also knowing that the ukemi was appropriate.

The main thing was that they were skilled enought to guide the uke into the correct position to allow the proper ukemi to be done so that the technique can be done powerfully but safely. That ofcourse assumes that uke is skilled enought to receive properly :)

It gives me a very tangible benchmark to aspire to when I do my techniques.

Yes having the world dropped out from under me and being sucked into a black hole is very appropo...and a real buzz when you ukemi out of it.

Mind you I have been in situations where I have been lax and complacent in my ukemi with me ending up looking like tatami generously layered with strawberry jam and vegemite :D.

Much to the disgust of my and much heavy sighing from my sensei. At least I know what Wile e Coyote feels like sometimes ;)

Hi Mayland:

My instructor's aikido is mostly a "straight down" kind of thing. Gravity and momentum combine. With nothing supporting me (I'm way displaced from my center), it's time to "become one with the mat" as we say here. Very "black hole" in a literal way...a black hole being a gravity well.

There are some techniques that we do that are very powerful and, as you say, are only possible because of the combination of nage guiding uke some and uke's ukemi skills.

OTOH, we have a great many techniques that put uke in an extremely awkward position from which graceful ukemi is just about impossible. E.g., I'm nursing sore knees and a very, very bruised wrist from Monday night's class. We did a lot of our version of "the scarf" irimi/kokyu nage. It's different from what you normally see and is terribly awkward for uke.

So, Yah, I can really realate to your "strawberry jam" metaphor right now.

Best Regards,

MaylandL
03-20-2002, 12:50 AM
Thank you for you insight Greg

I think the dojo that I train at has a very similar iriminage technique. Its a very omote form of technique that projects ki very powerfully forward while evading the attack. The result is that you have to almost somersault to receive the technique. Sensei has done that one to me to demonstrate the power of iriminage. I've nursed a few bruises from that one more often than not.

We also do an omote form of shihonage that projects ki forward and incoporates forward movement when the final cut is performed. This means that Uke must project his/her ki in the same direction of the throw in order to ukemi and somersault to avoid serious shoulder, elbow and wrist injury. Done with power its a very difficult ukemi to do gracefully and Uke can travel about 20ft in the air before landing on the mat.

So Greg, I totally agree with you that there are techniques that make it very difficult for uke to ukemi regardless of how much guiding is done.

At the dojo that I train at, Sensei is very keen to emphasise ukemi training as part of the overall aikido training. We have had sessions which have concentrated on ukemi training.

You are quite correct to state that ukemi is more than breakfalling. Its also about the sensitivity of Uke to Nage/Tori. In all its really sensitivity training and the ability to maintain contact to sense posture, balance and direction.

I think I need to add that this form of "hard" and "intense" training is only done between experienced aikidoka who are familiar and confident about each others' abilities and skills. Just wanted to make the point that intense training can be done relatively safely if done responsibly. After all, we all want to keep training and have fun training.

Happy training

Bruce Baker
03-20-2002, 10:48 AM
I don't think Aikido will pose any problem for you.

Depending on the style of karate you practiced, you will have to resist punching and kicking, accept manipulations as defense when you open yourself/move your body, and don't drag your feet!

Aikido was modified by O'Sensei, Morehei Ueshiba to leave out killing techniques, but allow the full motion of movements found in Jujitsu, judo, and sword arts without causing undue injury. The really neat thing is ... all the techniques found in our softened style are completly safe.

Sometimes I think that there are more injuries in public schools and at home than ever happen in all the martial art classes in the world?

When I switched to Aikido, I had a lot of trouble learning to move my entire body or one side of my body in unison, but with time it happens. Then it really starts to become fun!

Listen to warnings about dragging feet and little hints, most sensei's only say advice twice, then it is up to you to learn?

But, all in all ... sooner or later ... everything you learned in karate will find it's way into Aikido practice, don't be surprise to find old techniques come back like an old friend?

Have fun!
(Aikido allows laughing/smiling too!)

Andy
03-20-2002, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
all the techniques found in our softened style are completly safe.

Oh, yes. Completely safe.

Next time you're in the supermarket line and you see an old lady tottering by, please do go and koshinage her onto the ground. Or iriminage. I'm sure she'll find the experience quite fun as it's "completely safe."

Kat.C
03-20-2002, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
I don't think Aikido will pose any problem for you.

Depending on the style of karate you practiced, you will have to resist punching and kicking, accept manipulations as defense when you open yourself/move your body, and don't drag your feet!

Listen to warnings about dragging feet and little hints, most sensei's only say advice twice, then it is up to you to learn?

But, all in all ... sooner or later ... everything you learned in karate will find it's way into Aikido practice, don't be surprise to find old techniques come back like an old friend?

Have fun!
(Aikido allows laughing/smiling too!)
Does aikido have no punches or kicks at all? It will be hard to resist doing that! I practised karate regularily for 3 years even though I was in the dojo for less than 1 and I still practise some of the stuff. I've forgotten most of my kata I only remember my first one. Practised that one a million times I should think. Does aikido have kata? Just curious by the way, I want to do aikido regardless. I've been intrigued by aikido since I was first exposed to the art. I've found it rather funny in a way, that people seem to question the effectiveness of aikido for self defense (this was referred to on a few posts I've read here.) I may come from a karate background but I always thought aikido would be great. From what I've seen of it (little though it's been), it seemed to me that it would be very effective. So it certainly surprised me to hear that others question it. Thanks for all the replies and info everyone, much appreciated.

Erik
03-20-2002, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C
Does aikido have no punches or kicks at all? It will be hard to resist doing that!

It does have them although they might be utilized differently (it really depends on the dojo though). Strikes are generally used as more of a positional tool to break balance or get your attacker to respond in a certain way. Kicks are a whole different can of worms and quite a lot goes unanswered in that realm although I think a fair amount of people would be fine with them as a way to loosen up your attacker. You will certainly get to punch in your role as an attacker.

I've found it rather funny in a way, that people seem to question the effectiveness of aikido for self defense (this was referred to on a few posts I've read here.)

I do that sometimes. Sometimes just to liven things up and sometimes because I see things to question in the training methods I've been exposed to. There are dojos which have virtually no self-defense value and there are others which are quite strong in this area and as such your mileage will vary.

Note: I do see self-defense and martial effectiveness as somewhat different topics.

nikonl
03-21-2002, 08:24 AM
Training your patience is part of Aikido :)

shihonage
03-21-2002, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by Andy


Oh, yes. Completely safe.

Next time you're in the supermarket line and you see an old lady tottering by, please do go and koshinage her onto the ground. Or iriminage. I'm sure she'll find the experience quite fun as it's "completely safe."

That sounds like fun !

guest1234
03-21-2002, 05:39 PM
What, no picture???

Besides, you never know, I might be that tottering old lady. take the breakfall laughing, and then pull you over into the canned soup display:D

deepsoup
03-21-2002, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by ca
Besides, you never know, I might be that tottering old lady. take the breakfall laughing, and then pull you over into the canned soup display:D
Now that really does sound like fun!

Sean
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