View Full Version : X-Training within Aikido

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L. Camejo
10-21-2002, 08:36 AM
Hi all,

Having read so many threads on things like cross training with other arts and questions on Aikido's effectiveness and the realism of attacks etc. etc., I was wondering how many of us out there have ever trained at other Aikido dojo outside the style that we are accustomed to?

From my experience in other Aikido styles than my own, I have come to understand the danger of making sweeping statements about anything in Aikido. There is so much variety out there, within Aikido itself, that I don't think many of us realise how much we can learn about our own styles by doing a little Aikikai seminar here, then sometime later visiting a Yoshinkan dojo; or training in Shodokan to get a different perspective on things for example.

I think the different students who trained under O-Sensei Ueshiba each left with an Aikido that was very personal to them, which in some cases became the different styles which we know today. Different expressions of the same thing (kinda like the universe :)).

Personally, I have gained great insight into and respect for some of the other Aiki styles thru cross training within Aikido. They have been some of the most rewarding experiences in my training, technically as well as spiritually. They also corrected many of the myths I held about other styles gained from reading and/or listening to incorrect information.

What do you think?

Arigato Gozaimashita

10-21-2002, 09:06 AM
I had the same experience at the Aiki Expo earlier this year. Very different syles and emphasis, but the same Aikido. Open my eyes.

BTW: Aiki Expo in Las Vegas September 2003.

Until again,


Greg Jennings
10-21-2002, 09:51 AM
I travel a lot on business and try to make time to train everywhere I go. So, I get a lot of intra-aikido cross training.

One thing I noticed early on was that training in a different style or even just with a different instructor tended to help me when my training was in a rut.

Since then, when I feel like I'm in a rut at home, I'll make a road trip to an ASU dojo where I have friends. It's never failed to help the situation.

Best Regards,

10-21-2002, 10:34 AM
I grew up in Seidokan in Israel where I cross-trained quite a bit with the AiKiKai people and went to a lot of their seminars. When I got to the states, I joined an ASU dojo in Baltimore, but often when I travel I've been to more traditional USAF dojos.

I can't even begin to describe how important cross training has been for my own understanding of what AiKiDo is. One of the things that it particularly brought home to me is my own responsibility in deciding for myself what AiKiDo was going to be for me.

10-21-2002, 11:01 AM
I would say that many aikido dojos now say they do not train for self defence -thus if you want self defence and you go to one of those dojos you are may be deceving yourself,


10-21-2002, 01:40 PM
I would say that many aikido dojos now say they do not train for self defence -thus if you want self defence and you go to one of those dojos you are may be deceving yourself,

IanWhen I was growing up, a family friend was an ex-Marine who was in Guadacanal. He mentioned that he could never use the ju-jitsu he was taught. All of the techniques were killing moves.

It seems to me that self-defense and battlefield techniques are special situations. If you're taking out a sentry or protecting yourself on the street, those scenarios call for specific techniques. I'm not sure any average dojo qualifies to teach that.

The thing that being in a strange dojo does, is give you another perspective on aikido. It's not always light and wonderful, but it's always different.


10-21-2002, 11:59 PM
Although I feel that experiencing other styles is important, I also think we should stick to the style that best suits us before reaching a certain level. All styles have the same underlying concept, yet they do it in different ways and I feel that this could mess up an Aikidokas progress if they were to cross train. I train in Yoshinkan and have trained with Aikikai and found it difficult to adapt to the different form. Until a certain form is embedded into your psyche, I feel cross training may have negative effects on learning. Cross training is better for more advanced Aikidoka.

Bruce Baker
10-22-2002, 06:36 AM
As mcuh as I think cross training is the best way to experience true knowledge, I believe that you must come to a point of having traveled the road so many times you know every bump in the road. That is to say, you are becoming bored with the same old practice so your interest is seeking to be broadened, this is the attitude needed to bring your mind to understand crosstraining with what you have already learned.

Learn to read in one language before you wander about, or the intermix will be quite confusing.

I am just an average person, so this works for me. The vision of cross training enlightens what I already practice.

As for killing techniques of special forces, or trained sentrys, well ... being shown how everything is used to kill maim or injure does turn the mind into a skeptical critic of being able to learn how not to kill. That too, is a matter of training and control, which if pursued with the proper spirit, open mind, can be done by slightly changing force, impact, and angle of deflection.

It may be tough to do things wrong so they are safe after learning to do things right, but that is a matter of personal fortitude.

Get bored before you wander about cross training. (Although an occasional sojourn never hurt, now and then.)

Fiona D
10-22-2002, 08:12 AM
Not sure about the "getting bored" before starting cross-training, but I can see a good point in the comment "learn to read in one language before you wander about".

I started learning Aikido a couple of months ago, having trained for several years in Jiu Jitsu. The style of Jiu Jitsu I studied uses a lot of the locks that Aikido focusses on, but often with quite different entries and emphases. Not only that, although we use similar breakfalls in general, some are just different enough to require a LOT of concentration on my part - like the fact that the backward rolls are done diagonally opposite to the way I learned them in Jiu Jitsu.

Having several years' experience in Jiu Jitsu means, I think, that I can really put my mind to exploring (and enjoying!) the similarities and differences between the 2 styles, and trying to work out where they come from. If I'd only had a few months or a couple of years of Jiu Jitsu, I might still have been in the mindset of 'it must be done this way or it's wrong', and found the variations harder to understand and learn.

James Trueman
10-22-2002, 10:29 AM
I know that this thread is x training within Aikido, but Fiona's post leads nicely into my thoughts whilst reading all the posts. Keeping to the thread - I fully agree with most of the points, i.e x training is hughly beneficial, and the complexities of learning a form early on can be confused when confronted with the many teaching styles implemented by the various schools / styles. Though I too am not sure about waiting 'till one is bored before looking further. Moving on / away from the thread, I believe and practice in a manner that manifests my beliefs in x training with all forms of art. Whilst our club is a member of a multi style Aikido only group, facilitating Aikido x training, we are also a member of a multi style martial arts organisation, and regularly train with sensei from traditional okinawan karate ryu, ju jitsu, kung fu, aiki jutsu, kali etc. The similarities are endless and learning intense. What I find particularly binds the learning process is the bunkai within our techniques and those from other forms of martial art - together we explore what is taught and what indeed is meant by that teaching.

Jonathan Lewis
10-22-2002, 12:04 PM
Get bored before you wander about cross training.
Bruce can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this just a manner of speaking. I read "bored" here to mean stuck in a training rut of some sort, either mentally, philosophically, physically, or otherwise, OR, if you feel like there is not much left to learn at home cross training can show you that, in fact, there is.


L. Camejo
10-22-2002, 09:57 PM
The thing that being in a strange dojo does, is give you another perspective on aikido. It's not always light and wonderful, but it's always different.

I agree with this totally.

Training with some Aikikai folks I experienced some subtleties that improved and refined some of my Shodokan applications.

Due to the focus of certain styles/dojos so much can be learnt that may not seen in the practice of one's own dojo, simply because that aspect of Aikido may not be as well emphasised in one's usual training.

I remember those same Aikikai folks being really interested in how tanto randori is done in Shodokan and the whole application under full resistance training method.

It can be a lovely give and take sometimes:).

However, having a stable core of training in one style will help to avoid the confusion while X-training.

I know a simple problem I had was the practice of adopting left or right kamae before uke attacked. We normally use mugamae, no stance.

Still fun all around though:).


Kevin Wilbanks
10-22-2002, 10:46 PM
I'm with you on that stance issue. I don't think my previous school had a 'no stance' philosophy, it just wasn't considered much of an issue. At the club where I train now, and other places I have visited, people are much more particular about which stance goes with which attack. I still kind of bumble around at it.

10-22-2002, 10:52 PM

Sorry to bother you. Are you anywhere near Hellerup? If so, would you please contact me privately. I would greatly appreciate it. If not, thanks for reading my few sentences...

Fiona D
10-23-2002, 09:11 AM

Would have emailed you directly (apologies to all other readers!) but didn't see an email address to reply to. Anyway, I'm training within the city of Copenhagen, at a dojo in the Nørrebro district (if you want to be precise). Probably of the order of 10km or so from Hellerup. Is that of any help?

L. Camejo
10-24-2002, 10:30 AM
I'm with you on that stance issue. I don't think my previous school had a 'no stance' philosophy, it just wasn't considered much of an issue.
Gerenally, stance is not an issue at our dojo either. We use one beginning stance which stems from shizentai. i.e. feet side by side, facing uke. This way we are able to move in eight directions from a central point to enter into or avoid and attack. By not adopting a forward leg before the attack is made we do not telegraph or limit our proposed direction of avoidance.

This is quite necessary when you're up against a tanto intent on getting you with tsuki, who will follow you wherever you go on the mat and who plans on resisting every technique you throw at him/her.