PDA

View Full Version : Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


Michael Varin
03-01-2011, 02:07 AM
There have been several interesting and important threads going recently.

I'm starting this thread in order to have a more comprehensive discussion. Hopefully, it doesn't prove to be unmanageable due to the size of the topic.

A few questions to get us started:

1. Is aikido a martial art?

2. If aikido is a martial art, why would it lack a sparring practice?
Can/should any of these reasons be overcome?

3. Assuming you will not be entering combat, can you realistically expect to reach the upper echelons of a martial art without sparring?
If possible, what does this process entail?

4. What does sparring look like in aikido?
How is it different from jiyuwaza?
What would be the ideal aikido sparring practice?

5. Is the presence of/reliance on weapons a factor in any of the above questions?

Demetrio Cereijo
03-01-2011, 03:32 AM
A few questions to get us started:

1. Is aikido a martial art?
Depends on the definiton of "martial art". But it looks aikido is a martial art.

2. If aikido is a martial art, why would it lack a sparring practice?
Can/should any of these reasons be overcome?
A martial art can lack sparring practise for various motives: practitioners safety, avoiding to develop competitive feelings amongst the members of the team, avoiding focusing in techniques and tactics that only make sense in sparring, maintaining the status quo, etc.
Some of them could be solved, but maybe shouldn't.

3. Assuming you will not be entering combat, can you realistically expect to reach the upper echelons of a martial art without sparring?
If possible, what does this process entail?
No.
Lots of drilling and realistic scenario training.

4. What does sparring look like in aikido?
How is it different from jiyuwaza?
What would be the ideal aikido sparring practice?
Depends on the school.
Depens on the school.
Vale Tudo with weapons.

5. Is the presence of/reliance on weapons a factor in any of the above questions?
IMO, yes.

lbb
03-01-2011, 09:12 AM
I'm starting this thread in order to have a more comprehensive discussion. Hopefully, it doesn't prove to be unmanageable due to the size of the topic.

A few questions to get us started:

1. Is aikido a martial art?

It just got unmanageable. Buh-bye!

Tony Wagstaffe
03-01-2011, 09:40 AM
There have been several interesting and important threads going recently.

I'm starting this thread in order to have a more comprehensive discussion. Hopefully, it doesn't prove to be unmanageable due to the size of the topic.

A few questions to get us started:

1. Is aikido a martial art?

2. If aikido is a martial art, why would it lack a sparring practice?
Can/should any of these reasons be overcome?

3. Assuming you will not be entering combat, can you realistically expect to reach the upper echelons of a martial art without sparring?
If possible, what does this process entail?

4. What does sparring look like in aikido?
How is it different from jiyuwaza?
What would be the ideal aikido sparring practice?

5. Is the presence of/reliance on weapons a factor in any of the above questions?

Shodokan?

HL1978
03-01-2011, 11:11 AM
I was under the impression that various koryu styles, at least in weapons, lacked a free sparing element. Instead paired kata were the norm, but the timing could be unpredictable.

SeiserL
03-01-2011, 11:36 AM
IMHO, Aikido can be a martial art, but it doesn't have to be.

It all depends on the intent and intensity you bring to your training.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-01-2011, 11:37 AM
I was under the impression that various koryu styles, at least in weapons, lacked a free sparing element. Instead paired kata were the norm, but the timing could be unpredictable.
While others engaged in sparring. The kata vs sparring controversy in classical JMA is, as Prof Friday states in his "Legacies of the sword: the Kashima-Shinryū and samurai martial culture", 300 years old.

dps
03-01-2011, 12:11 PM
It just got unmanageable. Buh-bye!

It just got more manageable.

dps

KaliGman
03-01-2011, 01:21 PM
...
A few questions to get us started:

1. Is aikido a martial art?

2. If aikido is a martial art, why would it lack a sparring practice?
Can/should any of these reasons be overcome?

3. Assuming you will not be entering combat, can you realistically expect to reach the upper echelons of a martial art without sparring?
If possible, what does this process entail?

4. What does sparring look like in aikido?
How is it different from jiyuwaza?
What would be the ideal aikido sparring practice?

5. Is the presence of/reliance on weapons a factor in any of the above questions?

1. My personal favorite definition of "martial art" is "a system or systematic method of training for fighting." Training to shoot, move, take cover, shoot while moving, etc. would be a martial art. Training in defined methodologies to deal with unarmed attacks and utilize joint locks, throws, etc. against attackers would be a martial art. Having a training syllabus and systematic method of training is hugely important. For example, consider Man A and Woman B. Man A was blessed with good genetics and is a very fast runner, but does not condition and train his body on a regular basis. Woman B was also born with better than average ability in running, but she does interval training, runs races, keeps a training log, and works to condition her skills. It is possible for Man A to beat Woman B in a footrace, but, as Man A and Woman B age and the distance to be run increases, personally, I would bet more and more heavily on Woman B:D. In several decades of training and real world experience, I have found the differences in fighting ability between those who train diligently and those who do not to be even more great than in the running example above.

By the definition above, and by most other definitions that I have encountered for the term "martial art," Aikido should be considered a martial art. Now, the interesting thing is, even though a martial art should, by definition, be a method of training for fighting, there are always two different poles in an art. Some people who practice a martial art are really not interested in fighting at all. For these people, what they do is a Martial ART, with the focus on the system of movements, health or other physical benefits, spiritual or mental development, social interaction, or what have you. Some see their practice as moving meditation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. At the other pole are the MARTIAL Artists, where the focus is on fighting, being able to survive a real attack, and the like. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. All martial arts have a fighting component or they would not be martial. All have a system or art or they would be merely unskilled brawling. For those on the ART extreme, unskilled brawling is uncouth, boorish, and thuggish. For those on the MARTIAL extreme, unskilled brawling is just bad fighting and will get you killed if you ever come up against someone who is skilled and who decides you have polluted the planet with your carcass long enough. In reality, very few people who train are at the extremes, and the general "truth" lies somewhere in the middle. With that said, I am pretty close to the extreme MARTIAL side, probably due to my work, various violent encounters, seeing the aftermath of violent predatory attacks, my training, and maybe even a few bumps and bruises to the psyche and a bit of callousness due to the quantity and quality of the damage I have seen people inflict on each other. What that means is, FOR ME, training combat abilities is where it is at. This does not hold true for others, and their "truth" will be different. I will say that is annoys me a bit when someone on either the far MARTIAL side of the spectrum or the far ART side of the spectrum starts mucking about with the other side's area of expertise. If you are on the ART side and are talking about spiritual development, I will not be jumping into your conversation, because, quite frankly, I lack the expertise and skill set to add much to your discussion. I may ask a question, if you say something that peaks my interest, but that would be about it. If you are talking about physical fitness, flexibility, and the like, I may join in, as I have some knowledge in these areas. If you are on the ART side, however, and you engage one of those on the MARTIAL side in a discussion about what to do when a man points a handgun at your face and starts to squeeze the trigger or some other discussion of a street attack, you really are out of your element and will contribute little to nothing to the discussion.

2. There can be many reasons why Aikidoka do not spar. If on the ART side of the spectrum, and unconcerned with combat, sparring may or may not help their training. That is for them to decide. If on the MARTIAL side, then the odds are the individual has added a sparring component of some nature to their training, so that working against a resisting opponent is trained.

3. You could reach a high level of training in movement, athleticism, flexibility, spiritual or mental development, etc. in the ART, without sparring. I do not know if it is possible to get what I consider truly good at fighting in real combat or defending oneself from realistic attacks without sparring. In my experience, sparring teaches about getting hit, being placed in positions of disadvantage, distancing, timing, and, while working out against resisting opponents many will be taken out of their comfort zone and/or disabused of the martial fantasy they have woven for themselves. I have never met someone who was really, really, good at fighting who did not spar, though I am sure there are some out there, as "always" and "never" are very rare adjectives when describing the real world.

4. Good sparring in Aikido would look like good sparring does in virtually every other art. To be direct, it will look like Aikido, but a bit sloppier and not as precise, as it will be done at a speed and with a partner who is not compliant and who is adding stress and stimulus to the training partner. In general, I have found the best practice is to control the action between students, or control sparring between a student and myself, so that the "prime learning zone" is reached. In my experience, students learn the most from sparring when they are not quite comfortable, the attacks are coming just a bit too fast for them and they have to grow and develop a bit to intercept the attacks and counterattack successfully. Thus, I do not just pummel a student or throw multiple strikes in one second. That teaches them nothing. I take them out of their comfort zone, let them get a bit ragged, but do not let everything degenerate to wild flailing or having them cover up and "turtle" and just accept attacks. When the student starts to make this kind of sparring look easy and the techniques are very crisp, it is time to up the speed and intensity so they can keep growing in ability.

5. In reality, Aikido does not rely on weapons. It is mostly an empty hand system. It actually is very good, in my opinion, empty hand against longer impact weapons (a bat, pool cue, etc.), and is good in the close range standup empty hand arena. It is not so good against someone who throws fast combination attacks, and it has problems with the knife. According to Uniform Crime Report Statistics, in the United States, the most prevalent weapon in criminal homicides is the handgun. Following the handgun comes the knife. Knives kill more people in the U.S. than all non-handgun firearms (rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, whatever) combined. Bad guys rely on weapons a lot. So do good guys. However, a lot of robberies and other violent attacks, and all rapes, are going to be at very close range. If you can control an arm, you can control a weapon held in that arm. Of course, gaining control of anyone who is very good with a weapon when you are unarmed is very, very difficult.

WOW. I really did run off at the mouth. I also probably drifted a bit from what was expected in this thread. Hopefully, some have found it interesting or useful.

Take care and train hard.

Jon

Tony Wagstaffe
03-01-2011, 02:10 PM
IMHO, Aikido can be a martial art, but it doesn't have to be.

It all depends on the intent and intensity you bring to your training.

I would have to agree to disagree on the first comment....
But I would say spot on for the second.....

ChrisHein
03-01-2011, 07:12 PM
Some of them could be solved, but maybe shouldn't.


Why not?

Demetrio Cereijo
03-02-2011, 06:43 AM
Because practitioners safety, avoiding to develop competitive feelings amongst the members of the team, avoiding focusing in techniques and tactics that only make sense in sparring, maintaining the status quo, aiming to a specific demographic market niche etc. can be seen as more important than the benefits obtained if serious sparring was included as a pedagogical tool.

There has been a lot of work done and money spent to create a specific image in the minds of the people of what aikido is about, what is aikido for, how aikido should be trained/taught and how aikido is politically structured.

Serious sparring in aikido can be as dangerous and counterproductive for this "building" stability as making IS/IP training available to the masses and the cannon fodder.

IMO, of course.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 11:06 AM
1. My personal favorite definition of "martial art" is "a system or systematic method of training for fighting." Training to shoot, move, take cover, shoot while moving, etc. would be a martial art. Training in defined methodologies to deal with unarmed attacks and utilize joint locks, throws, etc. against attackers would be a martial art. Having a training syllabus and systematic method of training is hugely important. For example, consider Man A and Woman B. Man A was blessed with good genetics and is a very fast runner, but does not condition and train his body on a regular basis. Woman B was also born with better than average ability in running, but she does interval training, runs races, keeps a training log, and works to condition her skills. It is possible for Man A to beat Woman B in a footrace, but, as Man A and Woman B age and the distance to be run increases, personally, I would bet more and more heavily on Woman B:D. In several decades of training and real world experience, I have found the differences in fighting ability between those who train diligently and those who do not to be even more great than in the running example above.

By the definition above, and by most other definitions that I have encountered for the term "martial art," Aikido should be considered a martial art. Now, the interesting thing is, even though a martial art should, by definition, be a method of training for fighting, there are always two different poles in an art. Some people who practice a martial art are really not interested in fighting at all. For these people, what they do is a Martial ART, with the focus on the system of movements, health or other physical benefits, spiritual or mental development, social interaction, or what have you. Some see their practice as moving meditation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. At the other pole are the MARTIAL Artists, where the focus is on fighting, being able to survive a real attack, and the like. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. All martial arts have a fighting component or they would not be martial. All have a system or art or they would be merely unskilled brawling. For those on the ART extreme, unskilled brawling is uncouth, boorish, and thuggish. For those on the MARTIAL extreme, unskilled brawling is just bad fighting and will get you killed if you ever come up against someone who is skilled and who decides you have polluted the planet with your carcass long enough. In reality, very few people who train are at the extremes, and the general "truth" lies somewhere in the middle. With that said, I am pretty close to the extreme MARTIAL side, probably due to my work, various violent encounters, seeing the aftermath of violent predatory attacks, my training, and maybe even a few bumps and bruises to the psyche and a bit of callousness due to the quantity and quality of the damage I have seen people inflict on each other. What that means is, FOR ME, training combat abilities is where it is at. This does not hold true for others, and their "truth" will be different. I will say that is annoys me a bit when someone on either the far MARTIAL side of the spectrum or the far ART side of the spectrum starts mucking about with the other side's area of expertise. If you are on the ART side and are talking about spiritual development, I will not be jumping into your conversation, because, quite frankly, I lack the expertise and skill set to add much to your discussion. I may ask a question, if you say something that peaks my interest, but that would be about it. If you are talking about physical fitness, flexibility, and the like, I may join in, as I have some knowledge in these areas. If you are on the ART side, however, and you engage one of those on the MARTIAL side in a discussion about what to do when a man points a handgun at your face and starts to squeeze the trigger or some other discussion of a street attack, you really are out of your element and will contribute little to nothing to the discussion.

2. There can be many reasons why Aikidoka do not spar. If on the ART side of the spectrum, and unconcerned with combat, sparring may or may not help their training. That is for them to decide. If on the MARTIAL side, then the odds are the individual has added a sparring component of some nature to their training, so that working against a resisting opponent is trained.

3. You could reach a high level of training in movement, athleticism, flexibility, spiritual or mental development, etc. in the ART, without sparring. I do not know if it is possible to get what I consider truly good at fighting in real combat or defending oneself from realistic attacks without sparring. In my experience, sparring teaches about getting hit, being placed in positions of disadvantage, distancing, timing, and, while working out against resisting opponents many will be taken out of their comfort zone and/or disabused of the martial fantasy they have woven for themselves. I have never met someone who was really, really, good at fighting who did not spar, though I am sure there are some out there, as "always" and "never" are very rare adjectives when describing the real world.

4. Good sparring in Aikido would look like good sparring does in virtually every other art. To be direct, it will look like Aikido, but a bit sloppier and not as precise, as it will be done at a speed and with a partner who is not compliant and who is adding stress and stimulus to the training partner. In general, I have found the best practice is to control the action between students, or control sparring between a student and myself, so that the "prime learning zone" is reached. In my experience, students learn the most from sparring when they are not quite comfortable, the attacks are coming just a bit too fast for them and they have to grow and develop a bit to intercept the attacks and counterattack successfully. Thus, I do not just pummel a student or throw multiple strikes in one second. That teaches them nothing. I take them out of their comfort zone, let them get a bit ragged, but do not let everything degenerate to wild flailing or having them cover up and "turtle" and just accept attacks. When the student starts to make this kind of sparring look easy and the techniques are very crisp, it is time to up the speed and intensity so they can keep growing in ability.

5. In reality, Aikido does not rely on weapons. It is mostly an empty hand system. It actually is very good, in my opinion, empty hand against longer impact weapons (a bat, pool cue, etc.), and is good in the close range standup empty hand arena. It is not so good against someone who throws fast combination attacks, and it has problems with the knife. According to Uniform Crime Report Statistics, in the United States, the most prevalent weapon in criminal homicides is the handgun. Following the handgun comes the knife. Knives kill more people in the U.S. than all non-handgun firearms (rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, whatever) combined. Bad guys rely on weapons a lot. So do good guys. However, a lot of robberies and other violent attacks, and all rapes, are going to be at very close range. If you can control an arm, you can control a weapon held in that arm. Of course, gaining control of anyone who is very good with a weapon when you are unarmed is very, very difficult.

WOW. I really did run off at the mouth. I also probably drifted a bit from what was expected in this thread. Hopefully, some have found it interesting or useful.

Take care and train hard.

Jon

I did...... thanks....;)

ChrisHein
03-02-2011, 11:46 AM
Because practitioners safety, avoiding to develop competitive feelings amongst the members of the team, avoiding focusing in techniques and tactics that only make sense in sparring, maintaining the status quo, aiming to a specific demographic market niche etc. can be seen as more important than the benefits obtained if serious sparring was included as a pedagogical tool.

There has been a lot of work done and money spent to create a specific image in the minds of the people of what aikido is about, what is aikido for, how aikido should be trained/taught and how aikido is politically structured.

Serious sparring in aikido can be as dangerous and counterproductive for this "building" stability as making IS/IP training available to the masses and the cannon fodder.

IMO, of course.

So spot on it's scary. This is again why I hate political things!

Looking away from Aikido as a money making venture, you would agree that sparring is a total necessity? At least in the sense of learning to "use" Aikido as a martial art.

phitruong
03-02-2011, 12:07 PM
still trying to figure out what this sparring in aikido involved. i came from kick boxing (the full contact type, not the spandex health type) and judo background. sparring usually involved bruises and blood letting. my sparring purpose is to bury the other buggers 6 feet under. so i am wondering what sparring would be in aikido.

if you look at this article on statistics of judo winning judo techniques (a bit dated but should still relevant) http://www.bestjudo.com/article/0924/frequency-judo-techniques . based on the statistics, i could just learn the top 5 techniques and could win 80% of the time. would that still be doing judo? should i do the same with aikido, just learn a few techniques?

Demetrio Cereijo
03-02-2011, 12:18 PM
So spot on it's scary. This is again why I hate political things!

Looking away from Aikido as a money making venture, you would agree that sparring is a total necessity? At least in the sense of learning to "use" Aikido as a martial art.

I'd say sparring is more necessary as a tool for character forging than for the usually remote (for the average aikido practitioner) self defense or combative situations.

How people behaves when SHTF show whats really inside them and what they are made of. How many are ready to look inside this snakepit?

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 12:32 PM
I'd say sparring is more necessary as a tool for character forging than for the usually remote (for the average aikido practitioner) self defense or combative situations.

How people behaves when SHTF show whats really inside them and what they are made of. How many are ready to look inside this snakepit?

Not many that's for sure....

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 12:43 PM
still trying to figure out what this sparring in aikido involved. i came from kick boxing (the full contact type, not the spandex health type) and judo background. sparring usually involved bruises and blood letting. my sparring purpose is to bury the other buggers 6 feet under. so i am wondering what sparring would be in aikido.

if you look at this article on statistics of judo winning judo techniques (a bit dated but should still relevant) http://www.bestjudo.com/article/0924/frequency-judo-techniques . based on the statistics, i could just learn the top 5 techniques and could win 80% of the time. would that still be doing judo? should i do the same with aikido, just learn a few techniques?

Being really good at half a dozen is far better than being at best mediocre in 100..... Every technique differs from one to another and one picks those they know they are exceptionally good at, plus any combinations/counters within those half dozen or so....
Having a good knowledge at the rest has some learning in how you can improve those waza to suit you and you choose to be your best.... It's how I found it to be....

Hellis
03-02-2011, 01:05 PM
Not many that's for sure....

That is for sure :straightf

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

dps
03-02-2011, 05:17 PM
Because practitioners safety, avoiding to develop competitive feelings amongst the members of the team, avoiding focusing in techniques and tactics that only make sense in sparring, maintaining the status quo, aiming to a specific demographic market niche etc. can be seen as more important than the benefits obtained if serious sparring was included as a pedagogical tool.

There has been a lot of work done and money spent to create a specific image in the minds of the people of what aikido is about, what is aikido for, how aikido should be trained/taught and how aikido is politically structured.

Serious sparring in aikido can be as dangerous and counterproductive for this "building" stability as making IS/IP training available to the masses and the cannon fodder.

IMO, of course.

Excellent post. Mass production at the expense of quality.

dps

ChrisHein
03-02-2011, 06:22 PM
I'd say sparring is more necessary as a tool for character forging than for the usually remote (for the average aikido practitioner) self defense or combative situations.

How people behaves when SHTF show whats really inside them and what they are made of. How many are ready to look inside this snakepit?

This is about as on point as one can get! Great post.

ChrisHein
03-02-2011, 06:36 PM
still trying to figure out what this sparring in aikido involved. i came from kick boxing (the full contact type, not the spandex health type) and judo background. sparring usually involved bruises and blood letting. my sparring purpose is to bury the other buggers 6 feet under. so i am wondering what sparring would be in aikido.

I've done a fair amount of competitive sport martial arts myself. I can never say my goal was remotely near burying any buggers 6 feet under. In fact I would say sport martial arts taught me more respect for my fellow competitor than I previously had.

Sparring isn't, at least as I've experienced it, about hurting anyone. Granted, there are the occasional weirdo's who attempt to use sparring to play out some strange fantasy that only exists in their head. But most people I've encountered in martial arts with sparring have been the most mellow people I've met. Sparring forces you to look at yourself in a very honest way. Making you deal with your ego, human limitations, and loss. Sparring tends to make people better, mentally and physically.


if you look at this article on statistics of judo winning judo techniques (a bit dated but should still relevant) http://www.bestjudo.com/article/0924/frequency-judo-techniques . based on the statistics, i could just learn the top 5 techniques and could win 80% of the time. would that still be doing judo? should i do the same with aikido, just learn a few techniques?

A martial arts system, is a system. An event is an event. I don't see why it matters that generally 5 techniques tend to raise to the top. That's interesting, is worth looking at, but doesn't change my study of a martial art system. I don't study martial arts to win competitions. Some people do, and that is fine, maybe they should study only those 5 techniques. I study martial arts to find out more about myself, sparring helps me do that like no other practice. A side affect of martial arts training is that it helps me deal with physical confrontation. The physical confrontation is what we are studying, but winning the confrontation is not the goal. We use the conflict to help ourselves grow, that is the goal.

dps
03-02-2011, 06:49 PM
. Sparring forces you to look at yourself in a very honest way. Making you deal with your ego, human limitations, and loss. Sparring tends to make people better, mentally and physically.

.

Hmmm, a good definition of "personal transformation".

dps

lbb
03-03-2011, 07:39 AM
Because practitioners safety, avoiding to develop competitive feelings amongst the members of the team, avoiding focusing in techniques and tactics that only make sense in sparring, maintaining the status quo, aiming to a specific demographic market niche etc. can be seen as more important than the benefits obtained if serious sparring was included as a pedagogical tool.

How about "because if we sent two or three people to the hospital every class, we soon wouldn't have a dojo"? I've sparred in taekwondo and karate, and I confess I can't imagine anything like sparring in aikido that wouldn't result in a lot of non-trivial injuries.

grondahl
03-03-2011, 08:47 AM
How about "because if we sent two or three people to the hospital every class, we soon wouldn't have a dojo"? I've sparred in taekwondo and karate, and I confess I can't imagine anything like sparring in aikido that wouldn't result in a lot of non-trivial injuries.

Or not. The Shodokan stylists seems to have found a way to do sparring in a safe format.

I dont think sparring is necessary, but honest jiyu waza where uke is free to escape or reverse techniques is.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-03-2011, 09:20 AM
I've done a fair amount of competitive sport martial arts myself. I can never say my goal was remotely near burying any buggers 6 feet under. In fact I would say sport martial arts taught me more respect for my fellow competitor than I previously had.

Sparring isn't, at least as I've experienced it, about hurting anyone. Granted, there are the occasional weirdo's who attempt to use sparring to play out some strange fantasy that only exists in their head. But most people I've encountered in martial arts with sparring have been the most mellow people I've met. Sparring forces you to look at yourself in a very honest way. Making you deal with your ego, human limitations, and loss. Sparring tends to make people better, mentally and physically.

A martial arts system, is a system. An event is an event. I don't see why it matters that generally 5 techniques tend to raise to the top. That's interesting, is worth looking at, but doesn't change my study of a martial art system. I don't study martial arts to win competitions. Some people do, and that is fine, maybe they should study only those 5 techniques. I study martial arts to find out more about myself, sparring helps me do that like no other practice. A side affect of martial arts training is that it helps me deal with physical confrontation. The physical confrontation is what we are studying, but winning the confrontation is not the goal. We use the conflict to help ourselves grow, that is the goal.

Aaaaaaahhhhh! That is so good to hear.....:) ;)

Your comments give me great inspiration in that somebody has taken the courage to look inwards and see the worth behind that which many think heretical.... I take my hat off to you Chris Hein

Demetrio Cereijo
03-03-2011, 10:09 AM
How about "because if we sent two or three people to the hospital every class, we soon wouldn't have a dojo"? I've sparred in taekwondo and karate, and I confess I can't imagine anything like sparring in aikido that wouldn't result in a lot of non-trivial injuries.

Well, I've sparred in TKD (and competed at national level in my early 20's) Kickboxing, BJJ, Judo and MMA. Never sent anyone to the hospital nor I've seen this happen in a daily basis in any of the clubs/gyms/dojo I've attended since the late 70's.

Bloody noses, busted lips, brown eyes, bruises, muscles pulled and luxations are not uncommonly seen. For me these are trivial injuries. Surely for some people this can be seen as a very high price to pay, a very expensive shugyo. But I'm of the "You gotta pay yo dues to play da blues" approach and the old "Know thyself" doesn't come for free. .

On aikido sparring, well, you imagine a lot of non trivial injuries as a result. I think your imagination doesn't mach reality. As Peter has pointed "Shodothugs" all around the world spar at a decent contact and resistence levels without crippling each other. Maybe what you imagine as the result of sparring in aikido is the result of some rationalization.

As I said before, a lot of effort has been put in creating a "image" of aikido. Now, is up to everyone to check (if he/she is interested) to what point this image matches reality, be it the objective or everyone's subjective one.

@Peter,

Where is the difference between honest jiyu waza where uke is free to escape or reverse techniques and sparring.?

phitruong
03-03-2011, 10:52 AM
Where is the difference between honest jiyu waza where uke is free to escape or reverse techniques and sparring.?

atemi (including the usage of legs)

look at this video and tell me what you think aikido sparring rules should be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsZk7Eha1Us&feature=related

grondahl
03-03-2011, 10:53 AM
There is still an designated attacker.

When people think of sparring they mostly think about a training situation where both participants are trying to dominate, this kind of jiyu waza is more like a drill with elements of aliveness. And already an existing element in aikido practice.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-03-2011, 11:01 AM
Phi,

With all respects to Saotome Shihan, this is a demo. It is a theathrical, well interpreted, event.

I've already pointed what are the ruleset I consider more appropiate for aikido sparring: Vale Tudo with weapons; something in the line of DBMA gatherings.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTKqYkvmdkU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVhZBDgcUxQ

So yes, atemi waza is included in the rules.

ChrisHein
03-03-2011, 11:14 AM
How about "because if we sent two or three people to the hospital every class, we soon wouldn't have a dojo"? I've sparred in taekwondo and karate, and I confess I can't imagine anything like sparring in aikido that wouldn't result in a lot of non-trivial injuries.

We spar at my school a lot. Currently we are sparring and doing heavy jiyuwaza every class. In the last four years of doing this very regularly we've had:

One separated ac joint
One broken hand-boxers break
One broken pinky toe (this came while doing forms practice)
and a bunch of bruises, bumps and odd ball small injuries.

No hospital visits, and one of our bigger injuries was from forms practice. I don't think sparring with Aikido is any more dangerous than playing basket ball.

Sparring is pretty safe as far as physical activities go. I honestly think that Aikido done in demonstrations, with nage throwing with all his might, and uke trying to falling hard for every throw is MUCH more dangerous than sparring is.

ChrisHein
03-03-2011, 11:19 AM
I've already pointed what are the ruleset I consider more appropiate for aikido sparring: Vale Tudo with weapons; something in the line of DBMA gatherings.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTKqYkvmdkU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVhZBDgcUxQ

So yes, atemi waza is included in the rules.

I've fought with the Dog Brothers, it was a good experience, and showed me more about Aikido than years of forms training had. Not to say that forms training isn't important, it's just that it only goes so far.

I've found a pretty easy way to spar using Aikido methodologies. It's really simple, safe, and covers a lot of what is important in Aikido training. If I get a chance I'll post a pdf of the practice tonight.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-03-2011, 11:30 AM
I honestly think that Aikido done in demonstrations, with nage throwing with all his might, and uke trying to falling hard for every throw is MUCH more dangerous than sparring is.
I second that.

When people think of sparring they mostly think about a training situation where both participants are trying to dominate, this kind of jiyu waza is more like a drill with elements of aliveness. And already an existing element in aikido practice.
Then if is a drill is not completely "honest". But yes, I agree this kind of training is necessary as a intermediate step between contrived pattern training and the freewheeling non-holds-barred training Saito M. Sensei proposed in Traditional Aikido Vol 5, p 39-40.

grondahl
03-03-2011, 12:01 PM
Yes, Itīs a matter of progression.

One wouldnīt want it to be like most karate; do kata in a certain fashion, do kumite in a completely different one.


Then if is a drill is not completely "honest". But yes, I agree this kind of training is necessary as a intermediate step between contrived pattern training and the freewheeling non-holds-barred training Saito M. Sensei proposed in Traditional Aikido Vol 5, p 39-40.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-03-2011, 02:36 PM
One wouldnīt want it to be like most karate; do kata in a certain fashion, do kumite in a completely different one.

Why not?

This is kata (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk1JQk90UbY) and this is kumite (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvUbrbFdJ8g).

Look different but they are still the same art.

lbb
03-03-2011, 03:09 PM
]Maybe what you imagine as the result of sparring in aikido is the result of some rationalization.

Stop projecting, Demetrio. It's based on my prior experience in sparring in a different style of martial art, which as you say did often result in trivial injuries but not hospital-grade ones, and my prior experience with shoulder dislocations and the like outside of aikido. It's a reasonable question to raise: in sparring in a striking style, you are really trying to hit someone, so in sparring in aikido, you are really trying to...well, to do things that seem to me like if you did 'em for real, you'd end up with some serious injuries. If you think the reality is different, then explain how. There's no "rationalization" in that, so stop being insulting.

ChrisHein
03-03-2011, 03:26 PM
Stop projecting, Demetrio. It's based on my prior experience in sparring in a different style of martial art, which as you say did often result in trivial injuries but not hospital-grade ones, and my prior experience with shoulder dislocations and the like outside of aikido. It's a reasonable question to raise: in sparring in a striking style, you are really trying to hit someone, so in sparring in aikido, you are really trying to...well, to do things that seem to me like if you did 'em for real, you'd end up with some serious injuries. If you think the reality is different, then explain how. There's no "rationalization" in that, so stop being insulting.

I don't think he was trying to be insulting. I think he was just pointing out that often our ideas of how scary something might be, are worse than the reality.

Let's look at BJJ for example. The system is full of ways to break your arms, and strangle you. I have probably done over well over 500 hours of BJJ "rolling" (mild sparring) and competed against 12 different people in tournaments (the hardest kind of sparring). I've never broken an arm, I've never had my arm broken. It seems like I should have had at least one broken arm by now, or at least broken someone else's arm, but I haven't. Nor have I ever been in a dojo when It happened. I've seen lot's of small injuries, and one torn ACL (which was from a very strange and uncommon position) in all my BJJ sparring. It seems more dangerous than it really is.

I believe this is due mostly to the fact that in a Dojo, everyone is working together. Even though we go hard on each other, we aren't actually trying to hurt each other. Even in competitive events.

If you have pervious injuries, or are a fragile person, you should certainly be careful, and maybe sparring isn't for you. But over all, sparring isn't all that risky, at least compared to other contact sports.

ChrisHein
03-03-2011, 03:29 PM
Yes, Itīs a matter of progression.

One wouldnīt want it to be like most karate; do kata in a certain fashion, do kumite in a completely different one.

I see where you're going with this. And I agree! That is why
understanding the context of our system is so important.

phitruong
03-03-2011, 03:49 PM
Phi,

With all respects to Saotome Shihan, this is a demo. It is a theathrical, well interpreted, event.

I've already pointed what are the ruleset I consider more appropiate for aikido sparring: Vale Tudo with weapons; something in the line of DBMA gatherings.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTKqYkvmdkU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVhZBDgcUxQ

So yes, atemi waza is included in the rules.

demetrio, i am aware that's a demo, but that wasn't my point of using that particular video. the point i was trying to make was saotome sensei threw kicks, punches, and leg sweep. i just want to find out what would be "aikido sparring"? if you use Dog Brothers as rule, then what would be different from practice aikido then go and test out your stuffs at the local MMA playground? and if we are going to that, would we even care to practice aikido at all?

Demetrio Cereijo
03-03-2011, 03:51 PM
Stop projecting, Demetrio.
Why?

It's based on my prior experience in sparring in a different style of martial art, which as you say did often result in trivial injuries but not hospital-grade ones, and my prior experience with shoulder dislocations and the like outside of aikido.
What is really your sparring experience in TKD and Karate? Full contact or "tag"? What ruleset?. What is your knowledge of said arts (rank, years spent practising, tournaments you've participated? for I'd like to know if you are "old school" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nx7IY_l3tE) or "space age" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np9t-StA8cE).

Let me put your words (I've sparred in taekwondo and karate) in proper context, please.

It's a reasonable question to raise: in sparring in a striking style, you are really trying to hit someone, so in sparring in aikido, you are really trying to...well, to do things that seem to me like if you did 'em for real, you'd end up with some serious injuries.
What seems to you is not what happens.

If you think the reality is different, then explain how
I've sparred full contact, vs. fully resisting partners (in subgrappling, bjj, judo and mma) and I've pulled aikido tecniques. Never crippled or killed anyone.

There's no "rationalization" in that, so stop being insulting.
Do you feel insulted?

Demetrio Cereijo
03-03-2011, 05:53 PM
demetrio, i am aware that's a demo, but that wasn't my point of using that particular video. the point i was trying to make was saotome sensei threw kicks, punches, and leg sweep.
Understood.

i just want to find out what would be "aikido sparring"? if you use Dog Brothers as rule, then what would be different from practice aikido then go and test out your stuffs at the local MMA playground? and if we are going to that, would we even care to practice aikido at all?
Because aikido has things MMA usually doesn't offer.

Really, what is the problem whith the kind of work you can see in this clips (http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/learning.html) of aw member D. Valadez Sensei? or in this other ones of british (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4Rg-8Z3h88) or brazilian (http://www.youtube.com/user/Jotada#p/u/1/2R2HPJpALVQ) Shodokan stylists?

ChrisHein
03-03-2011, 09:00 PM
There seems to be this strange attachment to the idea of "doing Aikido" while sparring. This is not the way it works.

Aikido is a system, based on things learned from physical conflict. The foundation of Aikido didn't just get made up as an ideal way of fighting, and we have to try to "do Aikido". The things we practice in Aikido are natural to a certain context of fighting. If you spar in that context, Aikido technique will naturally arise. Will things look slightly different than forms, yes, everything gets smaller, and less pronounced, but all the techniques of Aikido will be used. Not because we want to use them, but because they are the most natural thing to do.

Michael Varin
03-04-2011, 04:13 AM
I confess I can't imagine anything like sparring in aikido that wouldn't result in a lot of non-trivial injuries.
Mary,

Although I no longer believe it to be true, I remember having the same thought.

Would you please describe a few of the things that you believe would be likely to result in frequent injuries?

What exactly are you envisioning?

And from the OP:

What does sparring look like in aikido?
How is it different from jiyuwaza?
What would be the ideal aikido sparring practice?

Tony Wagstaffe
03-04-2011, 04:44 AM
There seems to be this strange attachment to the idea of "doing Aikido" while sparring. This is not the way it works.

Aikido is a system, based on things learned from physical conflict. The foundation of Aikido didn't just get made up as an ideal way of fighting, and we have to try to "do Aikido". The things we practice in Aikido are natural to a certain context of fighting. If you spar in that context, Aikido technique will naturally arise. Will things look slightly different than forms, yes, everything gets smaller, and less pronounced, but all the techniques of Aikido will be used. Not because we want to use them, but because they are the most natural thing to do.

I can remember well as kids that we would have mock fights as cops and robbers, cowboys and injuns, sometimes they would get overheated and twisting of limbs arose because we didn't want to hurt eachother by hitting..... it was a childish attempt at wrestling, sometimes we got hurt or a sprain, but we learnt how to grapple.
Kids don't do it now unless they join the local judo club....they would rather do it on the play station.....

lbb
03-04-2011, 09:04 AM
Why?

What is really your sparring experience in TKD and Karate? Full contact or "tag"? What ruleset?. What is your knowledge of said arts (rank, years spent practising, tournaments you've participated? for I'd like to know if you are "old school" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nx7IY_l3tE) or "space age" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np9t-StA8cE).

You'd probably call it full-contact. People really hit each other, and we had the occasional broken nose, broken rib, knockout, etc. It was an ITF school. I trained for, geez, I dunno...a bit more than five years. I dislocated my shoulder (not in training) a week before I was supposed to test for my black belt. While I was healing up, I had time to think about some changes that had been taking place in the school that I didn't like -- I had fallen victim to "black belt tunnel vision" for a bit there, and when I was forcibly idled, I had to ask myself the question whether I wanted to be there any more. The honest answer was no. So I walked away from it. I could have come back, tested and been handed a black belt, but it would have been the wrong thing to do for all kinds of reasons (which were basically the reasons why I was leaving).

I'm glad I have sparring experience. I think it taught me some very worthwhile things, and I do see those things missing in aikido as it's practiced where I train now. I see situations where I think that prior experience gives me an advantage in aikido training, even sometimes over people who have trained longer. It's nice to know that it's possible to introduce that element into aikido practice, but I don't have a grasp of exactly how it could be done.

Do you feel insulted?

The word "rationalization" usually connotes or implies excuse-making. Perhaps your usage is different.

ChrisHein
03-04-2011, 11:18 AM
I'm glad I have sparring experience. I think it taught me some very worthwhile things, and I do see those things missing in aikido as it's practiced where I train now. I see situations where I think that prior experience gives me an advantage in aikido training, even sometimes over people who have trained longer. It's nice to know that it's possible to introduce that element into aikido practice, but I don't have a grasp of exactly how it could be done.

Nice.

ChrisHein
03-04-2011, 11:23 AM
I can remember well as kids that we would have mock fights as cops and robbers, cowboys and injuns, sometimes they would get overheated and twisting of limbs arose because we didn't want to hurt eachother by hitting..... it was a childish attempt at wrestling, sometimes we got hurt or a sprain, but we learnt how to grapple.
Kids don't do it now unless they join the local judo club....they would rather do it on the play station.....

I do think, with modern distractions (video games, ipods, cell phones etc.) there is a real lack of person to person contact. We are losing our ability to deal with real people, in real situations, and are overly focused on fantasy worlds. Sparring is something real, a true exchange between two living humans that will have a real outcome.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-04-2011, 11:40 AM
You'd probably call it full-contact. People really hit each other, and we had the occasional broken nose, broken rib, knockout, etc. It was an ITF school. I trained for, geez, I dunno...a bit more than five years. I dislocated my shoulder (not in training) a week before I was supposed to test for my black belt. While I was healing up, I had time to think about some changes that had been taking place in the school that I didn't like -- I had fallen victim to "black belt tunnel vision" for a bit there, and when I was forcibly idled, I had to ask myself the question whether I wanted to be there any more. The honest answer was no. So I walked away from it. I could have come back, tested and been handed a black belt, but it would have been the wrong thing to do for all kinds of reasons (which were basically the reasons why I was leaving).
Thanks.

I'm glad I have sparring experience. I think it taught me some very worthwhile things, and I do see those things missing in aikido as it's practiced where I train now. I see situations where I think that prior experience gives me an advantage in aikido training, even sometimes over people who have trained longer. It's nice to know that it's possible to introduce that element into aikido practice, but I don't have a grasp of exactly how it could be done.
Well, finding balance between safety and intensity while keeping aikido technical-tactical-strategical-philosophical principles is the most complex part.

Especially because, imo, while on safety and intensity an agreement can easily be achieved*, on the t-t-s-p principles there is more "politics" and personal views involved.

If one says, for instance: "aikido is a weapons retention art" while other says "aikido is an empty hand standing grappling art" and other says "aikido is a striking+grappling+weapons use art" and so on, the possibility of developing a general method of sparring is very remote unless some consensus is made about what is aikido from a t-t-s-p point of view.

Trying to get a common definition of what aikido is could generate more conflicts and schisms than letting the issue go. Even if Doshu published an "Imperial Rescript on Sparring" it will be more damaging to aikido as a whole than Tohei resignment.

The word "rationalization" usually connotes or implies excuse-making. Perhaps your usage is different.
Excuse-making is the connotation intended. But I don't see it as an insult.

---------------------
*Shodokan randori system (toshu & tanto) is a method which I think could be easily translated and adapted to other aikido styles as a starting point. Work from there and let it evolve.

ChrisHein
03-04-2011, 12:25 PM
If one says, for instance: "aikido is a weapons retention art" while other says "aikido is an empty hand standing grappling art" and other says "aikido is a striking+grappling+weapons use art" and so on, the possibility of developing a general method of sparring is very remote unless some consensus is made about what is aikido from a t-t-s-p point of view.

Trying to get a common definition of what aikido is could generate more conflicts and schisms than letting the issue go.

This gets to the heart of the issue. I think what is important, is for each approach to the study of Aikido find it's own sparring practice. I have one that works very well for what I believe Aikido technique to be getting at. I think it's the best, but that's because I'm me. Perhaps it's not, perhaps someone else's ideas work better, or approach from a different angle than I would take.

Sparring is important to martial arts practice. We should all have a sparring system. We don't have to agree upon the best one, but we should all be working towards one.

This has been the most productive thread I've seen in awhile.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-04-2011, 01:30 PM
BTW, I think this entry in former SBGI instructor Rodney King's blog is illustrative about the benefits of sparring.

More Than The Fight: The Real Reason to Spar (http://www.crazymonkeyblog.com/?p=483)

Tony Wagstaffe
03-05-2011, 01:17 PM
I do think, with modern distractions (video games, ipods, cell phones etc.) there is a real lack of person to person contact. We are losing our ability to deal with real people, in real situations, and are overly focused on fantasy worlds. Sparring is something real, a true exchange between two living humans that will have a real outcome.

I think this is part of the problem, now distractions are too plenty. I remember as kids all we had was bats, balls, bikes, and ourselves to entertain ourselves. All of these took some form of physical exercise, something the education system in the UK seems to neglect too much.
You do not see any martial arts on the P.E. curriculum other than after school activities. With litigation, 'elf & safety being paramount these days it is a virtual minefield in the education system....Anything a little bit rough is considered too risky so it's not allowed..... The cotton wool syndrome.....

Hellis
03-05-2011, 02:17 PM
I think this is part of the problem, now distractions are too plenty. I remember as kids all we had was bats, balls, bikes, and ourselves to entertain ourselves. All of these took some form of physical exercise, something the education system in the UK seems to neglect too much.
You do not see any martial arts on the P.E. curriculum other than after school activities. With litigation, 'elf & safety being paramount these days it is a virtual minefield in the education system....Anything a little bit rough is considered too risky so it's not allowed..... The cotton wool syndrome.....

Tony

So !! you was one of those posh kids with a bike :straightf

Derek Eastman and I were the first teachers in the UK to introduce Aikido to the Education System in the early 1960s...Just a few years ago we gave up our 30/40 junior students because of the new tree hugging controls, just not worth the trouble anymore.

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
03-05-2011, 02:58 PM
Tony

So !! you was one of those posh kids with a bike :straightf

Derek Eastman and I were the first teachers in the UK to introduce Aikido to the Education System in the early 1960s...Just a few years ago we gave up our 30/40 junior students because of the new tree hugging controls, just not worth the trouble anymore.

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Henry,
Is was an old one me and my Dad made up from a scrap yard, painted and found some newer bits to put on it... it wasn't exactly posh!! The forks were bent inwards as we couldn't straighten them out. The dam thing was to big for me to start with so we put wooden blocks on the pedals so I could reach them.... I looked funny when I rode it as my ass would go from one side of the saddle to the other!! That was my first bike ;) The racer I bought from my paper round proceeds....
Some of the other kids had new bikes, but they didn't go to Italy every two years....;)

As for the schools they only have themselves to blame and they go on about dysfunctional kids, who breed more dysfunctional kids, why the country is getting fatter by the year, why people can't cope with their lot, it make's one want to puke. When all they have to do is get off their areesses.....!!

ChrisHein
03-05-2011, 04:28 PM
So the issues we've come up with so far are:

Fear of being hurt.

Fear that we are breaking the Aikido way.

Fear that our system may fall apart politically.

Fear that our system may become something else.

Fear of the reality of the situation.

Lack of understanding "how" we could have a sparring system with Aikido.

Did I miss any? These are the reasons that most Aikido schools don't have a sparring practice.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-05-2011, 09:56 PM
So the issues we've come up with so far are:

Fear of being hurt.

Fear that we are breaking the Aikido way.

Fear that our system may fall apart politically.

Fear that our system may become something else.

Fear of the reality of the situation.

Lack of understanding "how" we could have a sparring system with Aikido.

Did I miss any? These are the reasons that most Aikido schools don't have a sparring practice.

That just about sums it up Chris......:hypno: :dead:

ChrisHein
03-05-2011, 10:37 PM
1. Fear of being hurt
I think we covered this one Pretty well. While getting hurt is always a risk with any physical activity, it's not a huge factor.

2. Fear that we are breaking with the "Aikido way"
We haven't touched to much on this one yet. But many might feel that sparring is against the ideals of Osensei. I'd like to hear more from the side that has this problem.

3. Fear that our system may fall apart politically
Again, we haven't touched too much on this. I would love to hear from those who have this fear.

4. Fear that our system may become something else.
My main argument for this is to simply find the context for that which Aikido is teaching to. If we understand where Aikido technique fits, this problem will be easily addressed.

5. Fear of the reality of the situation
As we said, this is just something you've got to get over. I think we all agree that learning to deal with this reality is the real benefit of a sparring practice.

6. Lack of understanding how to create a sparring practice
I think this relates largely to 4. I think a conversation on how we can create a sparring practice for Aikido would be a great place to take this discussion.


To all those who are reading this thread, are there any unvoiced concerns about having a sparring practice? Anything that you'd like to see discussed further? Any reasons why you're sure that we can't all spar with Aikido?

Dave de Vos
03-06-2011, 04:40 AM
1. Fear of being hurt
I think we covered this one Pretty well. While getting hurt is always a risk with any physical activity, it's not a huge factor.

2. Fear that we are breaking with the "Aikido way"
We haven't touched to much on this one yet. But many might feel that sparring is against the ideals of Osensei. I'd like to hear more from the side that has this problem.

3. Fear that our system may fall apart politically
Again, we haven't touched too much on this. I would love to hear from those who have this fear.

4. Fear that our system may become something else.
My main argument for this is to simply find the context for that which Aikido is teaching to. If we understand where Aikido technique fits, this problem will be easily addressed.

5. Fear of the reality of the situation
As we said, this is just something you've got to get over. I think we all agree that learning to deal with this reality is the real benefit of a sparring practice.

6. Lack of understanding how to create a sparring practice
I think this relates largely to 4. I think a conversation on how we can create a sparring practice for Aikido would be a great place to take this discussion.

To all those who are reading this thread, are there any unvoiced concerns about having a sparring practice? Anything that you'd like to see discussed further? Any reasons why you're sure that we can't all spar with Aikido?

Yoshinkan and shodokan show different ways of how it could be done. But as I understand it, both of these styles also have competitions. Is it possible to spar well without introducing rules and competitions that turn aikido into a fighting sport?

You suggest that fear blocks this direction. But perhaps many of us choose a non fighting style of aikido because they/we just don't like fighting competitions.

Dave de Vos
03-06-2011, 06:05 AM
Yoshinkan and shodokan show different ways of how it could be done.

Oops, I meant to yoseikan instead of yoshinkan.

ChrisHein
03-06-2011, 11:00 AM
You suggest that fear blocks this direction. But perhaps many of us choose a non fighting style of aikido because they/we just don't like fighting competitions.

Yeah, I should have stated number 2 differently. I think that dislike of competitions is very fair. Believe it or not, I dislike competitions to a certain extent myself.

The problem I have with competition is that it tends to make the competition the focus, instead of the training. Your training can often become about winning the competitions and not about training to become a better person. I think this is a pretty valid argument.

For me, sparring doesn't have to be about competition. In our school, everyone works against each other when we spar, but with the ultimate goal of helping to make everyone stronger. It's not just about winning a trite victory, it's about overcoming adversity. I'm not an advocate of Aikido being a sport martial art. I like sport martial arts quite a bit, and when one encounters the right teacher of a sport martial art system, they are in for a real treat. But I think sports can over complicate the real issue of training. We train to become stronger, better adjusted people, not collect trophies.

So for myself, I don't confuse sparing and competition. Sparring is done without concern for who the winner is, or the loser, but instead provides a challenge to be met and overcome. I believe this is what is really at the heart of martial arts training; meeting, overcoming and sometimes being humbled by challenge.

Thanks Dave!

Tony Wagstaffe
03-06-2011, 11:36 AM
Yeah, I should have stated number 2 differently. I think that dislike of competitions is very fair. Believe it or not, I dislike competitions to a certain extent myself.

The problem I have with competition is that it tends to make the competition the focus, instead of the training. Your training can often become about winning the competitions and not about training to become a better person. I think this is a pretty valid argument.

For me, sparring doesn't have to be about competition. In our school, everyone works against each other when we spar, but with the ultimate goal of helping to make everyone stronger. It's not just about winning a trite victory, it's about overcoming adversity. I'm not an advocate of Aikido being a sport martial art. I like sport martial arts quite a bit, and when one encounters the right teacher of a sport martial art system, they are in for a real treat. But I think sports can over complicate the real issue of training. We train to become stronger, better adjusted people, not collect trophies.

So for myself, I don't confuse sparing and competition. Sparring is done without concern for who the winner is, or the loser, but instead provides a challenge to be met and overcome. I believe this is what is really at the heart of martial arts training; meeting, overcoming and sometimes being humbled by challenge.

Thanks Dave!

This is exactly what Tomiki Shihan wanted for all those interested in Shodokan......:) ;)

graham christian
03-06-2011, 11:48 AM
1. Fear of being hurt
I think we covered this one Pretty well. While getting hurt is always a risk with any physical activity, it's not a huge factor.

2. Fear that we are breaking with the "Aikido way"
We haven't touched to much on this one yet. But many might feel that sparring is against the ideals of Osensei. I'd like to hear more from the side that has this problem.

3. Fear that our system may fall apart politically
Again, we haven't touched too much on this. I would love to hear from those who have this fear.

4. Fear that our system may become something else.
My main argument for this is to simply find the context for that which Aikido is teaching to. If we understand where Aikido technique fits, this problem will be easily addressed.

5. Fear of the reality of the situation
As we said, this is just something you've got to get over. I think we all agree that learning to deal with this reality is the real benefit of a sparring practice.

6. Lack of understanding how to create a sparring practice
I think this relates largely to 4. I think a conversation on how we can create a sparring practice for Aikido would be a great place to take this discussion.

To all those who are reading this thread, are there any unvoiced concerns about having a sparring practice? Anything that you'd like to see discussed further? Any reasons why you're sure that we can't all spar with Aikido?

Chris, yes and no to all three.

Sparring can be good for all the reasons discussed and mentioned. It would logically lead to a competitive 'tomiki' style Aikido if done and called Aikido. In other words if made as a major part of Aikido.

As an additive to the training but done as a minor part then I would say it could help. Now when I say minor I don't want you to think I mean worthless, what I mean is if you are serious and believe it should be part of Aikido without taking away the foundation of Aikido then you could debate where in a curriculum you coud put it. For example would it be something for beginners, would it be part of a level or part of a test?

However, for me it is a foreign concept to Aikido. I did it in amateur boxing and it fitted. It fits all competitive martial arts. It doesn't fit non-competitive martial arts obviously, except maybe as an aside.

For me Aikido is an art of non-competition, non-aggression, no fighting. The principles and moves done and learned as a discipline in the face of opponents who represent someone wanting to attack or fight is the whole purpose of Aikido from my point of view. Therefore all the plusses you feel you get from sparring you get from not sparring as well. In my opinion to an even greater degree.

I would loosely equate this with the bullfighter. If he tried to spar or fight the bull he would be considered quite foolish. His whole art is to do with harmonizing with it, keeping alert, calm, in motion, etc. in the face of a rampaging enemy.

Regards.G.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-06-2011, 12:17 PM
Did someone fart?

Basia Halliop
03-06-2011, 01:31 PM
I think the word sparring has very specific connotations for me: two people 'squaring off', both playing by the same rules, each trying to attack the other and dominate.

If I try to think of something 'sparring-like' in an Aikido context, there is more than one model that comes to mind... I tend to think of something more like a very active jiuwaza, where one person starts as the uke and one starts as the nage (rather than both starting the same which is more like what I think of when I think of sparring), but with an emphasis on kaeshiwaza and on either partner taking advantage of openings or opportunities to either strike or do another technique, i.e., where nage's goal is to pin or throw uke and uke's goal is to become nage and pin or throw, and where if your partner does not have your balance or control of you, you reverse on them, and where you strike if they leave themselves open (could e hard strikes or could be lighter strikes)...

And really, this does not seem at all like a new or foreign idea to me, and certainly not 'anti-Aikido' or 'untraditional'.... most branches of Aikido don't do this in any formal way, i.e. we don't have tournaments or anything, but basically it's just jiuwaza with lots of kaeshiwaza and atemi, isn't it?

Tony Wagstaffe
03-06-2011, 01:45 PM
I think the word sparring has very specific connotations for me: two people 'squaring off', both playing by the same rules, each trying to attack the other and dominate.

If I try to think of something 'sparring-like' in an Aikido context, there is more than one model that comes to mind... I tend to think of something more like a very active jiuwaza, where one person starts as the uke and one starts as the nage (rather than both starting the same which is more like what I think of when I think of sparring), but with an emphasis on kaeshiwaza and on either partner taking advantage of openings or opportunities to either strike or do another technique, i.e., where nage's goal is to pin or throw uke and uke's goal is to become nage and pin or throw, and where if your partner does not have your balance or control of you, you reverse on them, and where you strike if they leave themselves open (could e hard strikes or could be lighter strikes)...

And really, this does not seem at all like a new or foreign idea to me, and certainly not 'anti-Aikido' or 'untraditional'.... most branches of Aikido don't do this in any formal way, i.e. we don't have tournaments or anything, but basically it's just jiuwaza with lots of kaeshiwaza and atemi, isn't it?

This might help Basia...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZw-pw0U3sk&feature=related

ChrisHein
03-06-2011, 06:44 PM
As an additive to the training but done as a minor part then I would say it could help. Now when I say minor I don't want you to think I mean worthless, what I mean is if you are serious and believe it should be part of Aikido without taking away the foundation of Aikido then you could debate where in a curriculum you coud put it. For example would it be something for beginners, would it be part of a level or part of a test?

The more comfortable I become with my Aikido, the more I see three important areas of training developing. I believe all three of these are parts are needed in order to get a complete picture of Aikido, and what we are studying with Aikido. Those three are:

Kihon Waza, static, slow, cooperative partnered forms practice.

Ki no Nagare Waza, dynamic, cooperative partnered forms practice.

Jiyu Waza/ Randori Practice, Freeform, spontaneous, practice, ranging from semi cooperative to noncooperative.

All three of these offer things that are unique, or best served in it's own practice.


I would loosely equate this with the bullfighter. If he tried to spar or fight the bull he would be considered quite foolish. His whole art is to do with harmonizing with it, keeping alert, calm, in motion, etc. in the face of a rampaging enemy.

Regards.G.

I agree with this completely! Those are my goals when doing Aikido. However, without the "bull" the bullfighter never really has the opportunity to see if he's staying calm, alert and harmonizing. With out a sparring practice, we never know if we are in fact learning to do all these things. A sparring practice give's us the "bull" to test ourselves, in order to see if we are progressing, and to help us progress farther!

ChrisHein
03-06-2011, 06:55 PM
I think the word sparring has very specific connotations for me: two people 'squaring off', both playing by the same rules, each trying to attack the other and dominate.

I think of it differently. We tried several different ways of sparring, and found that the type of model you are describing never really worked right. I believe Aikido sparring must be done with different rolls, each roll having it's own goal, but those goals must be mutually exclusive. The mutually exclusive goals is the important part when considering a "sparring practice".


And really, this does not seem at all like a new or foreign idea to me, and certainly not 'anti-Aikido' or 'untraditional'.... most branches of Aikido don't do this in any formal way, i.e. we don't have tournaments or anything, but basically it's just jiuwaza with lots of kaeshiwaza and atemi, isn't it?

The problem with most Aikido practices like this, is that they end up having mutually inclusive goals. For example, in regular jiyuwaza, Nage and Uke have mutually inclusive goals, this is to say that both can achieve their goal at the same time. Uke wants to connect with Nage, and fall as safely as possible, Nage wants to connect with Uke and help him to fall safely. This doesn't provide conflict, the conflict is what we are interested in learning to deal with, so it's important that with our sparring practice we have mutually exclusive conflict. The conflict is what we are trying to learn to deal with in a calm "Aiki" like way.

Kaeshi waza is an interesting practice, but I think when you enter into Kaeshi waza a different context starts to appear, one different then you see in most Aikido training. This context looks much more like Judo than Aikido. Not that there is anything wrong with Judo, it's just that it won't provide from many of the techniques and theories found in the majority of the Aikido forms.

daniel loughlin
03-06-2011, 07:14 PM
After reading the whole thread i have come to the conclusion that Chris from Fresno speaks a whole lot of sense :)

ChrisHein
03-06-2011, 09:45 PM
After reading the whole thread i have come to the conclusion that Chris from Fresno speaks a whole lot of sense :)

Thanks!

Also, "Chris from Fresno" is an awesome title. :p

lbb
03-07-2011, 07:37 AM
Fresno is perhaps the number one reality check in North America.

phitruong
03-07-2011, 10:08 AM
Really, what is the problem whith the kind of work you can see in this clips (http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/learning.html) of aw member D. Valadez Sensei? or in this other ones of british (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4Rg-8Z3h88) or brazilian (http://www.youtube.com/user/Jotada#p/u/1/2R2HPJpALVQ) Shodokan stylists?

forgot to respond to this. i don't have problem with what Valadez doing. i think that's fun to do as a learning/training tool. i do have problem with the shodokan clips where i don't see atemi involved.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-07-2011, 10:11 AM
forgot to respond to this. i don't have problem with what Valadez doing. i think that's fun to do as a learning/training tool. i do have problem with the shodokan clips where i don't see atemi involved.

It is sport aikido, atemi is used, you just don't see it....;)

ChrisHein
03-07-2011, 11:11 AM
Fresno is perhaps the number one reality check in North America.

Ha, I think the people of Fresno would be much more happy to be known as the number one reality check place, instead of some of the other names we're known by...:o

Fresno is a fun place, people should come visit (<--I somehow just became Fresno's Aikido Ambassador).

ChrisHein
03-07-2011, 11:22 AM
forgot to respond to this. i don't have problem with what Valadez doing. i think that's fun to do as a learning/training tool. i do have problem with the shodokan clips where i don't see atemi involved.

Atemi (talking about punching and kicking when I say atemi here) is something that I feel needs to be able to be removed and put into the sparring practice at will.

The reason I say this is, regular sparring with strong punching and kicking can quickly take it's toll. Even professional athletes in striking arts don't spar with heavy strikes everyday. While I think it's good to get into heavy striking every now and again, so you know what it feels like to hit someone hard, and have them hit you hard, it's not something most people want to experience on a regular basis.

I would regularly do BJJ sparring for 5 hours straight at least once a week, I always felt fine the next day. However, every time I'd do some heavy kickboxing, for a much shorter period of time (maybe and hour or less), I'd wake up the next day with a headache, and bruises here there and everywhere. Good training sometimes, but not something I'd want to experience every morning.

Basia Halliop
03-07-2011, 02:19 PM
You can strike without always striking hard, though, can't you? I have many times been fairly 'gently' hit by people just aiming to show me that I was positioned in such a way that they could easily get in a good hit.

lbb
03-07-2011, 02:34 PM
You can strike without always striking hard, though, can't you? I have many times been fairly 'gently' hit by people just aiming to show me that I was positioned in such a way that they could easily get in a good hit.

Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. Just as with any technique, the amount of fine control you can exercise depends on the situation and your skill level.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-08-2011, 03:47 PM
It is sport aikido, atemi is used, you just don't see it....;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k12CdLuH9mM&feature=related

Tony Wagstaffe
03-08-2011, 03:55 PM
This looks like fun....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUCR-bkhPwM&feature=related

lbb
03-08-2011, 08:06 PM
Fresno is a fun place, people should come visit (<--I somehow just became Fresno's Aikido Ambassador).

If I have to visit Fresno again, it will be to meet with a contankerous customer. I'll need some aikido and a friendly face after that!

ChrisHein
03-09-2011, 01:43 AM
If I have to visit Fresno again, it will be to meet with a contankerous customer. I'll need some aikido and a friendly face after that!

Ha! You're welcome to come train with us whenever you're in town!

Demetrio Cereijo
03-09-2011, 01:50 PM
You can strike without always striking hard, though, can't you? I have many times been fairly 'gently' hit by people just aiming to show me that I was positioned in such a way that they could easily get in a good hit.

Yes, you can hit "gently" but it changes the dynamics and can be a source of delusion in everyone involved.