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Yianie
02-23-2012, 07:31 PM
Hello, I am still on the fence on choosing a martial art. I have become very interested in Akido. Currently I am taking Chinese kung fu because I could not find a location that teaches combat Tai Chi. And I did not know of any Aikido schools until recently. The reason I wanted to learn combative Tai Chi is so I can learn flow with my appointment and was told that it is very useful in street fighting. I did locate an aikido school and it is seems very interesting. I have a concern that if there is a defense against someone who knows Chinese kung fu. My main concern is in Chinese kung fu they have rapid, machine gun type punches, that another Kung Fu master could quickly deflect by rapidly using your palm and twisting your waist left to right repeated deflecting all the punches. Please forgive me, but I worry that there may not be an Aikido defense (if I can not grab and lock) and I become a human punching bag. Your advice and forgiveness for asking a dumb question is requested. Thank you.

Alic
02-23-2012, 08:00 PM
The thing you want to remember about both Aikido and Tai-chi is that they're extremely complex. They are highly effective and powerful, but you have to put in a lot of time and effort in training in order to reach that level of effectiveness.

I don't think you would have to worry about fighting thugs who know kungfu. Thugs don't last long in a school or dojo, which requires great dedication and patience, two important values that thugs tend to lack. Most trained martial artists don't pick fights, they end them. You most likely will never face off against a martial artists, as you're more likely to sit down and and drink with them. :)

Aikido offers so much more than just a fighting system, it's also a way of life. You will learn how to deal with folks even outside of combat situations, and how you should act so that you do not provoke any violent reactions from others.

In response to your combination punch worries, the thing about those is that they're basically punches that flows down the centre line. If you learn Aikido well, you'll know to get off the centre line immediately, and then either evade and escape, or apply a technique of some kind. Hook punches that flows from the outside is slower, and as a result, it isn't usually included in those rapid combinations. Never try to block all those punches, a master may be able to, but you wouldn't be able to do that until after several decades of training. Get off the centre line, that's how you avoid getting punched.

The only thing you can do to see if Aikido is for you is to try it. Most dojos will allow you to try out for a class or two to see how well it fits you.

kewms
02-23-2012, 08:13 PM
If you think kung fu offers a better defense, then study kung fu. *shrug*

Outside of the movies, though, street encounters involving trained martial artists are extremely rare. You are much more likely to encounter, say, a thug with a knife or a group of untrained attackers.

I'd suggest visiting the school(s) that you're considering and asking the chief instructor these questions.

Katherine

matty_mojo911
02-23-2012, 08:36 PM
Hi John

Always ask yourself "why do you want to do a martial art?" If you want to learn how to defend yourself on the street take up kickboxing, or boxing, or MMA. There is a real good reason you do not see Aikido masters, Kung Fu masters, or Tai Chi masters stepping into the ring with these people.

Aikido, Tai Chi, and many forms of Kung Fu are very introverted and less "street" orientated.

As for blocking rapid fire punches - I give you 100% certainty that if I was stand within arms reach of your Sifu I could punch him in the face with a snap punch before he could block it. Remember "action is always faster then reaction." The only way they can block these punches is because they are both "playing the same game."

Good luck, and don't fall for the mystical bull%^& that comes from some clueless instructors.

robin_jet_alt
02-23-2012, 08:50 PM
Hi John,

If you want to be able to block or grab "machine gun punches", you are looking in the wrong place. The aikido response would be to find a distance/angle/position where they find it difficult to punch you in the first place. This does not mean retreating, but rather entering into their 'dead angle'.

From the sounds of things, I don't think you would be happy with aikido. A lot of the early practice deals with unrealistic attacks, and it won't help you to deal with the sort of things you are talking about. Once you have done it for several years, you might start to see the solutions, but I get the feeling you want an instant fix. Maybe sticking to kung fu would suit you better for now.

gates
02-23-2012, 09:05 PM
Worried about punches - kick them in the crown jewels !

Whatever MA you do first and formost you must enjoy it !
Life is too short. Stress is the biggest enemy.
Each MA has some plusses some minuses.

Indecision, inaction, fear based indecision, these are the worst things you can do in a self defence situation.
My sister in law was at home when two home invaders surprised her, she grabbed a fry pan, started screaming and foaming at the mouth and proceeded to chase them out of the house over two fences and up the street. She is 5 foot something with no MA training. Her positive instant reaction was enough to scare off two male home invaders, they did not have time to think anything other than: run away - run away from the psycho girl !!

I had a very geeky and quite weakly school friend who got held up for his wallet. Before the guy could finish the demand my friend had smacked him in the face as hard as he could and was running half way up the street. The guy didn't stand a chance, my friends reaction was so fast that the guy just didn't know what happened.

Fear based inaction, hyperthetical speculation of theoretical events, 'what if' statements are all just a waste of time.
Just do something !!
Try out a few classes, see what fits, then get to it !!

Walter Martindale
02-23-2012, 11:58 PM
Train your running. If they're choking on your dust they may lose interest in punching you.
That's a bit facetious, but then the others (above) have given valid responses regarding the training/technique/learning/fighting...
W

Michael Douglas
02-24-2012, 07:09 AM
... The reason I wanted to learn combative Tai Chi is so I can learn flow with my appointment and was told that it is very useful in street fighting. ...
Street fighting eh?

IF this isn't a troll, ...

Boxing, Running, Judo, carry a weapon, live in a nice place.

Also, (in my opinion) don't do this ;
...I'd suggest visiting the school(s) that you're considering and asking the chief instructor these questions.
You ideally want independent and somewhat broad-based opinions.

phitruong
02-24-2012, 07:17 AM
. I have a concern that if there is a defense against someone who knows Chinese kung fu. My main concern is in Chinese kung fu they have rapid, machine gun type punches, that another Kung Fu master could quickly deflect by rapidly using your palm and twisting your waist left to right repeated deflecting all the punches. .

you have been watching Ip Man movies haven't you? the way to deal a kungfu master in the street, don't know what street there would be a kungfu master loitering around to pick fight, but if there is such a street, then the best defend against such master is either whip out your cell phone and call the police, or invite him/her/it into the local pub, out of the street, and duel over a few pints.

get off the fence and take up something, anything. old sailor saying "if no destination in mind, any direction would do".

DonMagee
02-24-2012, 12:40 PM
Hello, I am still on the fence on choosing a martial art. I have become very interested in Akido. Currently I am taking Chinese kung fu because I could not find a location that teaches combat Tai Chi. And I did not know of any Aikido schools until recently. The reason I wanted to learn combative Tai Chi is so I can learn flow with my appointment and was told that it is very useful in street fighting. I did locate an aikido school and it is seems very interesting. I have a concern that if there is a defense against someone who knows Chinese kung fu. My main concern is in Chinese kung fu they have rapid, machine gun type punches, that another Kung Fu master could quickly deflect by rapidly using your palm and twisting your waist left to right repeated deflecting all the punches. Please forgive me, but I worry that there may not be an Aikido defense (if I can not grab and lock) and I become a human punching bag. Your advice and forgiveness for asking a dumb question is requested. Thank you.

If you want to learn "traditional martial arts" then I suggest studying kungfu or aikido. If you are really worried about fighting, then you need to go train with this guy http://www.teamcorral.com/

Braulio runs one of the best Full Contact fighting (MMA) shows and grappling tournaments in the region and has amazing students. As a bonus, he has a gym in the same city as you!

Mario Tobias
02-24-2012, 12:53 PM
you always have to remember, it's not the martial art, it's the martial artist that makes the difference

kewms
02-24-2012, 01:01 PM
You ideally want independent and somewhat broad-based opinions.

Sure. But if someone is concerned about specific attacks, the chief instructor's thoughts on that kind of attack might be helpful in deciding whether to join that school. As might his or her response to that sort of question in general.

Katherine

Shadowfax
02-24-2012, 02:34 PM
How many kung fu masters are regularly starting street fights and attacking random strangers where you live?

Janet Rosen
02-24-2012, 04:23 PM
How many kung fu masters are regularly starting street fights and attacking random strangers where you live?

Probably not the same town that had skilled karateka randomly kicking the citizenry. :D

OwlMatt
02-24-2012, 04:39 PM
Training aikido or kung fu isn't going to prepare you for a street fight. In fact, I can't think of anything other than street fighting that's going to prepare you for a street fight.

Don't get me wrong; there are some self-defense benefits to martial arts training, but people who start training with the goal of taking on street thugs are bound to be disappointed. Find something you like and then train it because you like it, not because you think it will make you an invincible fighting machine (it won't).

Yianie
02-24-2012, 07:08 PM
Everyone has stated some excellent points. To bring everyone up to date, sadly today after 5 sessions, I ended my Wing Chun training. I could not take the walk of shame every time After class as I walked to the car. All I can say for all current and future instructors is that: When you teach your stundents, teach them one small piece at a time and only when that piece in well known and performed well, then go to the next piece. Gage your progression by the student pace, not a schedule. Your students, no matter what they learn will take great pride in there skills, no matter how limited they are. This was not the case with me. Every session, something new, difficult, with not enough time to perform well or even medeocor. It all adds up to frustration, disappointment and sadness. I start Aikido tommarrow.

gates
02-24-2012, 08:45 PM
Only you can decide what is the right environment for you to learn in. Good on you for trying and keep looking. Do not be mistaken MA are hard and can be frustrating at times, learning to overcome these challenges is part of building confidence and teaches deeper lessons.

Different classes move at different paces, no shame just find the right environment for you.
Good luck. A good aikido class should suit you sir.
Keith

Shadowfax
02-24-2012, 08:47 PM
Walk of shame? What's that about?

Goodness if you don't like being frustrated and confused you might not enjoy aikido either. I am frustrated and confused at least 50% of the time I am on the mat.

You don't get to work on one thing over and over until you master it, at least not where I train.

Alic
02-25-2012, 02:47 AM
When you start Aikido, you are going to be as confused as hell.

And that's perfectly normal.

Remember that with any martial art, you are essentially rebuilding your body. For Aikido especially, you will become extremely flexible through constant stretching. You also rewire the way your mind functions. The way you move, how you consider space and timing. Everything will change.

You will do the stances, the movements, the techniques, and you will do it all wrong. It will not work, and you may even fall flat on your face. No worries though, that's what happens to most people when they start. The magical thing about the training is that even if you don't understand the current technique, you'll learn more about how to properly move your body while training at different techniques, and when you finally revisit the first technique, you'll find that you suddenly is able to perform it much better. This is because all the motions of Aikido are related, and the more you internalize and make those movements natural to you, the better your Aikido will be in general.

As with anything, the key to success is sticking with it. You won't start to "get" it until at least about a year in anyhow, so don't mind the mess up, and just pick yourself up and move on. Always keep a positive outlook and be optimistic, and you'll have fun during training.

OwlMatt
02-25-2012, 09:18 AM
What is "the walk of shame"?

Dave de Vos
02-25-2012, 10:03 AM
.. Every session, something new, difficult, with not enough time to perform well or even medeocor...

I think that will be the same in aikido, or even more so. I may get a bit frustrated sometimes, but aikido training never makes me sad. I don't know what makes the difference. It could be the training atmosphere of the dojo or it could be personal, or both.

lbb
02-25-2012, 05:56 PM
Er, yeah, what everyone else said.

Whenever I talk to someone who is interested in aikido training, I always warn them that compared to most other martial arts (the ones that they are likely to have seen, trained in, or to have access to as an alternative to aikido training), aikido is very frustrating at first. It offers much less gratification in the early stages. It is harder to get, or even to kid yourself that you're getting. You have to stay with it for a while before it will become anything but confusing and frustrating.

On the other hand, if you DO stay with it, you've got the opportunity to learn not only aikido, but also how to approach all kinds of new things with patience, persistence, and an open mind.

Yianie
02-25-2012, 06:23 PM
I think I confused some of you. Yes, frustration is expected, but how many of you can start going to medical school and get something out of it or let's say 2nd year calculus? What is even more frustrating is when an instructor s showing off how easy it is as they do it with a smile. Or how some enjoy talking down to you. That's when I wish I can pull out. 44 Magnum and show him what self defense really means. I know there are good instructors out there, but I think that only the best of the best never forget that there is always someone that can do it better then them and can undoubtingly kick their butt.

Linda Eskin
02-25-2012, 07:26 PM
I think I confused some of you. Yes, frustration is expected... What is even more frustrating is when an instructor s showing off how easy it is as they do it with a smile. Or how some enjoy talking down to you. ...

I'm glad to hear you are willing to be patient with yourself. You're right, I think, that there is no place for arrogance in teaching. I fully expect a teacher to be able to do things easily, and even better if it's done with a smile, but showing off or talking down to students is just petty.

... That's when I wish I can pull out. 44 Magnum and show him what self defense really means.

Well, that's a pretty scary thought. It's hard to tell if you're really angry, or if that was said tongue in cheek, but it's the kind of comment that could (and should) get you walked out the door and told never to return, if you really think that way.

...I know there are good instructors out there, but I think that only the best of the best never forget that there is always someone that can do it better then them and can undoubtingly kick their butt.

Aikido isn't about kicking anyone's butt. I don't know if that will be a welcome relief to you, or a disappointment. If you are coming from fear of being beaten in street fights you may find Aikido a great opportunity to start looking at the world from a new perspective - one that isn't about fighting, or even about defending yourself. I'm looking forward to hearing about your experience. I'd encourage you to stick with it for at least 2 months. It takes at least that long (depending on how often you train) to even start figuring out left from right and front from back. If you can hang in there I think you might find it a very valuable experience.

lbb
02-25-2012, 07:55 PM
I think I confused some of you. Yes, frustration is expected, but how many of you can start going to medical school and get something out of it or let's say 2nd year calculus?

I'm more confused now than I was before. Medical school requires a certain background; so does 2nd year calculus. Aikido doesn't. Kung fu doesn't. I don't get the connection.

What is even more frustrating is when an instructor s showing off how easy it is as they do it with a smile. Or how some enjoy talking down to you. That's when I wish I can pull out. 44 Magnum and show him what self defense really means. I know there are good instructors out there, but I think that only the best of the best never forget that there is always someone that can do it better then them and can undoubtingly kick their butt.

If you're seriously having violent fantasies, that's a place where you shouldn't be, clearly. If you're not having violent fantasies, but you're convinced that the instructor is "showing off" or "talking down to you", that's a place you shouldn't be. It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong about the instructor's attitude; if you think it's so, that's not a place for you to train.

Yianie
02-25-2012, 08:19 PM
The 44 Mag was all fictitious, I could not hurt a fly (in fact I usually am able to catch them and set them free outside). That is what is so attractive to me about Aikido. I am not a quitter, and quitting the Wing Chun class yesterday because of someone else's errogance really bothered me. This IS the first thing I ever quit in my entire life, and I am serious about that.

kewms
02-25-2012, 08:22 PM
Hmm... I'm a little confused. You came into this adventure looking for, by your own description, "street self defense." But now you are leaving because you encountered a teacher who enjoys what he does and is good at it?

I'm not there. I'm not saying that this particular teacher isn't an arrogant jerk. I'm not saying you should stay. But why did you join his school in the first place? You might want to consider how it was that your expectations so badly misread the reality before you join another school.

In particular, I would strongly suggest that you watch at least one class, ideally several. If the teacher doesn't welcome guests, that's a bad sign in itself.

Katherine

Linda Eskin
02-25-2012, 10:34 PM
The 44 Mag was all fictitious, I could not hurt a fly (in fact I usually am able to catch them and set them free outside). That is what is so attractive to me about Aikido.

Delighted to hear it. :-) I think you'll really like Aikido.

I am not a quitter, and quitting the Wing Chun class yesterday because of someone else's errogance really bothered me. This IS the first thing I ever quit in my entire life, and I am serious about that.

One of the things that struck me on my first visit to check out the dojo where I now train was the complete absence of "bad-a**-ery." I was very impressed with how supportive everyone was of everyone else. Patience is the rule. I don't mean coddling - people expect you to try your best - but nobody is a jerk or creep about anything. And everyone is learning, at their level. Even the dan-ranked students, never come across as "knowing everything." Indeed, they are often the most aware of how much more there is to learn, practice, and refine. And I've found the same environment at seminars, when training with people from other dojos.

dps
02-26-2012, 01:51 AM
Hello, I am still on the fence on choosing a martial art. I have become very interested in Akido. Currently I am taking Chinese kung fu because I could not find a location that teaches combat Tai Chi. And I did not know of any Aikido schools until recently. The reason I wanted to learn combative Tai Chi is so I can learn flow with my appointment and was told that it is very useful in street fighting. I did locate an aikido school and it is seems very interesting. I have a concern that if there is a defense against someone who knows Chinese kung fu. My main concern is in Chinese kung fu they have rapid, machine gun type punches, that another Kung Fu master could quickly deflect by rapidly using your palm and twisting your waist left to right repeated deflecting all the punches. Please forgive me, but I worry that there may not be an Aikido defense (if I can not grab and lock) and I become a human punching bag. Your advice and forgiveness for asking a dumb question is requested. Thank you.

In a "street fight" you will be using gross motor skills. Learn some basics, don't worry about advanced techniques.

Learn how to move to avoid the attack while maintaining your balance.
Learn how to disrupt your attacker's balance.
Shodokan Aikido has great katas for this.
Practice everyday.

Go to a boxing gym and learn how to throw a punch.
Put up a punching bag and a speed bag and practice everday.

Practice sprinting everyday.

dps

Shadowfax
02-26-2012, 02:05 PM
I get a sense that perhaps what you don't like is being an adult beginner. It is hard to go into something and feel completely incapable inadequate and unable to do what you see everyone else doing. Especially when you are an adult and have not been in that situation for many years.

Just because an instructor or someone of higher rank is letting loose and practicing at their level does not mean it is a negative at all. Even if it is a bit of showing off... you should look at that as a great chance to see what lies further down the path that you have stepped onto. Some day you also might be this good.

Goodness I just love it when my teacher has a great uke and just takes a moment to have some fun tossing them around in front of the class. So what if he/she is showing off... they have worked hard for a lot of years and they deserve to.

You have made some very general statements that really don't give any way to know if this teacher was really not behaving as a good teacher. At this point I have to feel that it is you whose attitude needs to be considered and perhaps adjusted. Open your mind and even when you don't maybe agree with what your teacher is doing try your best to go along. Sometimes I get kind of upset and frustrated and think my teacher does not understand that I just can't do it and I used to constantly say "I can't"... but my teacher very patiently just kept telling me to do whatever and then I started to realize that I could and that it was actually my own negative attitude that was in my way.

So when you step onto the mat in this next place try really hard to just empty that cup and give it a
I used to think I was nuts to even consider a martial art. I certainly never say myself wearing a brown belt much less a black and yet I'm still at itchance. Even if it looks impossible.

matty_mojo911
02-26-2012, 06:38 PM
Hey John - in reference to your comment about your Wing Chun instructor who doesn't get it.

The most enjoyment you'll ever get doing a martial art is watching all the "higher ranks" walk around like they are the next Jesus Christ. You know what I mean, its that look, the posture that says "I know what I'm talking about...look at me."

Even better is the posts you sometimes see here, where someone asks a decent question and some Sensei/guru replies something like "Aikido is about discovery of yourself, one day you will find it." We all know who those people are.

Sadly, Aikido is absolutely rife with these people as it can be very much an "art form" it atracts that mind set.

Prepare yourself you're in for a ride my friend, unless of course your Aikido instructor is honest, and is well based and balanced.

DonMagee
02-27-2012, 07:25 AM
The 44 Mag was all fictitious, I could not hurt a fly (in fact I usually am able to catch them and set them free outside). That is what is so attractive to me about Aikido. I am not a quitter, and quitting the Wing Chun class yesterday because of someone else's errogance really bothered me. This IS the first thing I ever quit in my entire life, and I am serious about that.

How is choosing not to do something quitting? Do you quit walmart when you go to target? Or did you just find a "better" place to do your shopping?

Remember, you are paying these people for a service, if that service is not being provided (or you don't like how it's provided, or you even think it's not being provided) it is only logical to take your money, time, and attention elsewhere.

lbb
02-27-2012, 09:56 AM
The most enjoyment you'll ever get doing a martial art is watching all the "higher ranks" walk around like they are the next Jesus Christ.

Really?

If that's really "the most enjoyment you'll ever get doing a martial art", I'd say you should probably do something completely different. Watching other people and making up stories in your head about what's going on in THEIR heads sure doesn't sound like enjoyment to me, and if that's "the most enjoyment" you get from martial arts, I think you could get more enjoyment picking up litter in the local park.

LinTal
02-28-2012, 12:15 AM
It's strange but different types of frustrations inspire different emotions. Personally, the fact that 'perfect' aikido is so elusive is a significant reason for me to keep coming back. It's finding another little clue to make my aikido better that gives me the greatest joy, especially in hindsight.

A few of your comments here seem either vague or contradictory, I think a few people have picked up on this. It may well just be that typing's tricky to get across a person's intentions, maybe! Collecting experiences in this very broad area (eg. 'martial arts', philosophy', 'self defence') will help clarify your preferences and stance though, so don't worry about it to much at this stage. It will be easier to recognise and define when you find something that clicks, that just feels right, that makes you realise you've found what you've been looking for.

All the best for your new class! For your sake I hope that it is quite challenging for you, but only in the most wonderful way; that's where the element of personal growth comes to the fore. Please keep us updated on how it all goes!

Yianie
02-29-2012, 08:49 AM
I know I confused a lot of you so please let me take you there. You walk I to the dojo and get on the mat with the instructor, a master in another M.A. and a well trained student. After stretching, there will always be a conversation all hour between the two masters about comparing their technics. Then it went to the students either holding the protective pads and let the masters beat the hell out of you, or being the one trying to do something that that master should know that it should be for accelerated students. On top of that, the master in the other M.A. (not the instructor) would get off on punching you as close as he can, without hitting you. The problem would be that he would hit you. OK, so can you tell there's a problem yet? That fact is that people will only do, what gives them pleasure, something positive or the hope of someday getting something positive. The only thing I saw was getting beaten up on by one master and confused by the other. Does this sound like something you would like to try?

lbb
02-29-2012, 09:21 AM
OK, so can you tell there's a problem yet?

Uhhh, sure, but you started this thread by stating it as a problem of choosing between aikido and kung fu...not as a problem of choosing whether waste your time being confused and abused and learning nothing, or to do just about anything else as an alternative.

Shadowfax
02-29-2012, 03:09 PM
Uhhh, sure, but you started this thread by stating it as a problem of choosing between aikido and kung fu...not as a problem of choosing whether waste your time being confused and abused and learning nothing, or to do just about anything else as an alternative.

What he said.

Much better to just say what the real problem is up front. The problem you had was not wiht the actual martial art but with the person teaching you. You might have found a very different and more positve experience in another dojo of the same art. Of course I do hope that you find aikido more to your liking but if you find another sensei who is not a good teacher don't blame the art, just keep looking for the right teacher.

Advice I was given when I fist decided to try aikdo. Go and visit every dojo in you r area at least once. Visit the ones yo like again. Try it for a class or two. Only then can you really know if you found the right teacher.

I got incredibly lucky and hit gold on my first visit but I doubt that this is often the case.

hughrbeyer
02-29-2012, 08:45 PM
I know I confused a lot of you so please let me take you there. You walk I to the dojo and get on the mat with the instructor, a master in another M.A. and a well trained student. After stretching, there will always be a conversation all hour between the two masters about comparing their technics. Then it went to the students either holding the protective pads and let the masters beat the hell out of you, or being the one trying to do something that that master should know that it should be for accelerated students. On top of that, the master in the other M.A. (not the instructor) would get off on punching you as close as he can, without hitting you. The problem would be that he would hit you. OK, so can you tell there's a problem yet? That fact is that people will only do, what gives them pleasure, something positive or the hope of someday getting something positive. The only thing I saw was getting beaten up on by one master and confused by the other. Does this sound like something you would like to try?

Depends on the name you put on the "master" and on the "instructor." I know two names I could fill in those slots and I'd be more than happy to hold the pads...