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TomanGaidin
10-23-2002, 12:43 PM
I just have a few questions regarding sparring within Aikido. As I've said in my post on the intro board, I'm very new to all this, so bear with me ;).

First of all... can sparring actually be done easily enough in Aikido? I haven't seen much of a 'dynamic' practice of any sort so far. Then again, I'm new, so I'm not sure if something like that only comes in at the later levels. I presume it can be done alongside other styles, as I've read a few posts commenting about sparring with those who do other martial art styles, but I'm not sure - at this level - how it would work too well. So far, all I can think of is that both would be waiting for the other to attack, as it seems to be the defender who'd come off best if purely Aikido techniques were utilised.

On another note... they do karate at the local gym, where I play squash as a member of one of their squads. It's a fairly small gym, not a 'factory-type' one with ranks of treadmill-runners by any means ;p. If I asked, I could probably set up a spar easily enough with one of the karate students there, though I'm just wondering at what level I should get to before I even think of trying anything like that - even if something like that is just for fun.

Replies and help are appreciated :).

shihonage
10-23-2002, 02:41 PM
"Dynamic sparring" in Aikido is often dangerous, because eventually one person will lose their temper and start yanking and twisting, which will eventually end up in injury.

If you're interested in sparring, perhaps you'll be more interested in taking boxing/kickboxing/muai thai boxing.

G DiPierro
10-23-2002, 03:39 PM
First of all... can sparring actually be done easily enough in Aikido?It can be done, but not easily. As Aleksay pointed out, it is dangerous, and therefore only advised for advanced students working with partners that they know and trust. Most schools do not teach or practice this.So far, all I can think of is that both would be waiting for the other to attack, as it seems to be the defender who'd come off best if purely Aikido techniques were utilised.The way I have done it was to start with hands crossed as for morotetori or ushiro. That's just within the Aikido ma-ai, so it puts both parties in a relatively uncomfortable position.

Chuck Clark
10-23-2002, 06:00 PM
"Dynamic sparring" in Aikido is often dangerous, because eventually one person will lose their temper and start yanking and twisting, which will eventually end up in injury.
The quote above is almost true. Dynamic randori is possible, and often people "get their juices flowing" so to speak. It is dangerous and can lead to injuries. However, that's why you need a teacher that has many years of experience in this randori practice and has transcended winning/losing during training. The paradox is that it doesn't matter which person catches a technique that can not be countered; what matters is that both partners take part in quality technique following good principle.

In learning this randori it is essential to start very slowly but with strong intent and committment. After a couple of years it usually is growing in speed and force until at some point you can go full speed. We have no serious injuries from this sort of training in the Jiyushinkan and quite a number of people have become capable of strong, fast, dynamic randori.

Chris Li
10-23-2002, 06:36 PM
"Dynamic sparring" in Aikido is often dangerous, because eventually one person will lose their temper and start yanking and twisting, which will eventually end up in injury.

If you're interested in sparring, perhaps you'll be more interested in taking boxing/kickboxing/muai thai boxing.
Plenty of yanking and twisting (and injuries) in Aikido even without sparring, I'd say. Anyway, Shodokan folks seem to get along OK with sparring without having a significantly higher injury rate than the other Aikido styles...

Best,

Chris

Deb Fisher
10-23-2002, 07:28 PM
In my dojo all levels do jiyuwaza or freestyle with one attacker, starting with grabs only (katate or gyakute-dori) and then moving on to any attack usually by about 5th kyu. This is a really important part of my sensei's program, we do it at the end of most classes, and I can only remember one injury over the past year - a yudansha was mistakenly thrown into the peanut gallery and hurt his knee. Even the hot-heads (myself included, unfortunately) don't get so wound up that they lose their sense of responsibility for uke.

Even though everybody pretty much sucks at it for quite some time and fear of doing it almost made me quit a thousand times during the first six months, it's really valuable and exciting and SO MUCH FUN! I can't imagine waiting until shodan to do this!

I've tried playing with a friend of mine who does Kung Fu, and it was ridiculous - he was too fast and kept his attacks a secret until they had already happened - Ouch!

So I am wondering: aside from the obvious fact that we are all aikidoka, is there a difference between what I am describing and what you all are talking about? What is the difference between sparring, randori and jiyuwaza anyway?

G DiPierro
10-23-2002, 07:42 PM
So I am wondering: aside from the obvious fact that we are all aikidoka, is there a difference between what I am describing and what you all are talking about? What is the difference between sparring, randori and jiyuwaza anyway?I think that the "dynamic sparring" or "dynamic randori" about which people are talking here differs from conventional randori and jiyuwaza in that there are no fixed roles and no restrictions on counters. In other words, each person is always trying to throw the other. The way I have done it, there is no attack, per se, either. We start with contact at wrists and then when one person feels an opening he attempts to apply a technique. It's fun, but much different from the more formal practice that is standard.

Pretoriano
10-23-2002, 10:54 PM
Be didactical, forget about boxing/karate sparring, you wont be able to do one single technnique with someone jumping, hidding, feinting, grapp the guy is done.

So get pair 10oz. Gloves and ask a leveled partner first to try to touch your face in real time, several times, then, ask for franctly attacks, open, straight, jabs, curves. After, try some desordered street like attacks, do your aikido technniques. Then, put all together includind several kick attacks. Tune up confidently with your Uke to guide the practise you ll learn for sure.

Pretoriano

Anne
10-24-2002, 12:20 PM
At our dojo randori is an important part of practice, usually at the end of the lesson. Two or three persons attack one in the middle, who sometimes has to close his/her eyes. It helps to relax from the technical approach of the class and to get a feeling for a more dynamic and realistic situation. Also with groups of three or four, there's always someone who can keep an eye on the situation and call for a stop if things get too rough. Personally I really like those sessions e.g. because it gives you confidence in your abilities and your reactions.

Anne

Deb Fisher
10-24-2002, 04:18 PM
G diPierro wrote:

"each person is always trying to throw the other..."

Oh! Thanks for the clarification Giancarlo. That's a huge difference. I can see now how actually thinking about winning might make things dangerous.

Deb

gasman
10-24-2002, 09:00 PM
First I would like you all to know that I know nothing!

to be honest, sparring, or free techinuque training is the most fun. But I always retain the tori/uke mind even though it might shift a few times before a techniuque is applied. this way the sparring becomes safe, yet lethal. i would sincerely reccomend a serious tai chi school for atemi practice.

TomanGaidin
10-25-2002, 08:30 AM
This is a bit 'off-topic'ish from Aikido, but I was thinking of Judo, perhaps. I've heard that's one 'sport' where it's easy enough to go all out without risking much injury? (Provided it's done correctly, I assume ;p) I'm thinking of either taking up that, Taekwondo, or Karate alongside Aikido - a bit later, so I can actually get somewhat grounded in Aikido first ;).

kklipsch
10-25-2002, 08:45 AM
Just to let you know, I've been seriously injured during Judo (I tore my ACL, took about 6 months to get over that one). So even in "sport" martial arts, there is a good chance of getting injured if uke/tori don't take care of each other. Not that I'm discouraging you from checking out Judo, just know that it is no safer to go all out in Judo than it is in Aikido, if the proper attitudes aren't maintained.

TomanGaidin
10-25-2002, 09:16 AM
Admittedly in almost any sport there can be injuries, pretty much - tennis, running, soccer, etc - though yeah... if it's something where there are two people playing 'against' each other, then they both need to have the right attitude about it and try to take care of the other where possible.

I was guessing that in Judo it's possible for freeform sparring/practice?

paw
10-25-2002, 10:13 AM
Christian,
I was guessing that in Judo it's possible for freeform sparring/practice?

Absolutely. Depending on where you train, the instructor might want to have you hold off until it is deemed your ukemi is up to par, but in my experience with judo, dynamic methods (drills, randori) happen every class. Further, the more experienced people spend most of their time in dynamic training.

Regards,

Paul

TomanGaidin
10-25-2002, 11:31 PM
Just another few questions... can Judo groundwork be transferred to easily enough once an opponent is on the ground after, for example, an Aikido technique? I've heard BJJ is good when it comes to switching between the two, but no schools for that around here to my knowledge.

Also - are atemi taught in Judo, or is it purely throws/pins, etc?

paw
10-26-2002, 06:27 AM
Christian,
can Judo groundwork be transferred to easily enough once an opponent is on the ground after, for example, an Aikido technique?

Absolutely.
Also - are atemi taught in Judo, or is it purely throws/pins, etc?

It depends on the school. Most schools focus on sport judo (Olympic Judo) so very little atemi is taught. There are self-defense katas and self-defense applications within Judo, and those do include atemi, but I personally don't know of too many schools that devote much training time to atemi.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Paul

TomanGaidin
10-26-2002, 07:27 AM
Thanks for the help and information :).

Brian
10-26-2002, 03:35 PM
Just thought I'd mention my bit of experience as far as Judo injuries are concerned...

By and large, randori will take place at every Judo class you attend. When you participate, you must be very, very aware of the type of person you are sparring with. Just as aikido attracts more peace loving hippie types, judo attracts more "Me Grak! Grak destroy!" types (of course the majority are average folk, but you'll find a larger portion of respective types in respective arts... um, respectively). You have to remember that you are putting your body at risk every time you grapple, and you'll only want to "loan" it to someone who is going to take care of it.

I had been taking judo for about a year at a local club. Though I always left class with scrapes, bruises, and minor cuts, I had never suffered any serious injury. The case was the same with my classmates - most of whom had been practicing 8 to 20 years. We all knew what our limits were, and we never pushed anyone past them - and no one got hurt.

Until Grak showed up (his name isn't Grak, but I'll refer to him as Grak to protect his privacy and to effectively label him as the ego-driven goon that he was). He was a brown belt - he was quite experienced, especially next to my fresh, crisp, yellow belt - but he was a goober. You see, Grak wasn't especially respectful of everyone's limits. He kept chokes on a few extra seconds after you tapped. He didn't just try to throw you, but he slammed you into the ground and drove his shoulder into you as you hard as he could - every single time. People were getting fed up, avoiding doing drills with him, and sensei had warned him about his control. Man, that guy was a goober.

Well, anyway, one wonderful June day this past summer, it's nearing the end of practice, I had just exhausted myself doing standing randori, and I was taking a breather. Grak wanted to go another round, but no one volunteered to fight him. Sensei looks down the line, decides I've got too much wind left ;) , and tells me to go get him. "You got it, sensei."

So we're grappling, I'm being a weiner and defending too much like I always did - and then I see a perfect opening. I step in, fully committed, trying to take his balance - but I twisted myself too much in the process. I try to slip back out, but it's too late, Grak has me in a perfect counter. Alarms are going off - my back is twisted, and I know I'm going to land at a bad angle. I could only hope that Grak remembered what sensei had told him about control.

He hadn't.

Down we go, full force, and Grak digs himself into me as much as he can. Bam, vertebra out of alignment. No more judo, no more aikido. Haven't been able to do much athletically since.

And to address atemi - yes, it's in the Judo syllabus. But just as in aikido, though it's supposed to be a part of the curriculum, it's rarely practiced in class.

ronmar
10-30-2002, 06:27 PM
Down we go, full force, and Grak digs himself into me as much as he can. Bam, vertebra out of alignment. No more judo, no more aikido. Haven't been able to do much athletically since

Why was this guy practicing with you? Sounds like a real nut, slamming a beginner like that. Why didn't the instructor suggest a more competitive place for him to go to?

On atemi in judo- you would be better looking for it somewhere else. Judoka are primarily grapplers in their day to day practice. Why would their atemi advice be worth listening to? Try boxing. Contrary to popular opinion, the eastern arts do not have the best striking.

gasman
10-30-2002, 08:18 PM
boxing is good. but you should definately check out a good tai chi or gonfu class and see palm strikes and poison hand forms. no gloves, but tori/uke mind.

Ja'E
10-31-2002, 05:50 AM
Down we go, full force, and Grak digs himself into me as much as he can. Bam, vertebra out of alignment. No more judo, no more aikido. Haven't been able to do much athletically since

That's why I think there is no sparring in aikido, of course there is jiyuwaza but in jiyuwaza each partner take their turn to be uke and nage respectively, but in sparring randori type there is no such thing, so the results is injury, sometimes a heavy one.

by the way, atemi was taught according to Kodokan Judo syllabus (according to the book I read) but I think more and more dojo neglected this aspect as they focus more on competition.

Ja'E
10-31-2002, 05:53 AM
can Judo groundwork be transferred to easily enough once an opponent is on the ground after, for example, an Aikido technique?

Sure, why not?. I was thinking of kote gaeshi followed by juji gatame, sounds neat.

paw
10-31-2002, 08:17 AM
That's why I think there is no sparring in aikido, of course there is jiyuwaza but in jiyuwaza each partner take their turn to be uke and nage respectively, but in sparring randori type there is no such thing, so the results is injury, sometimes a heavy one.

With proper instruction and the correct attitude among participants, randori is no more dangerous than regular training.

Regards,

Paul

Bruce Baker
11-06-2002, 08:47 AM
I would like to meet Grak. Might have to hurt him to convince him to be a bit more gentle, but that is what I do best.

"Grak play nice or I hurt you.", say I.

"Oh-Kay....", say Grak.

Sparring? I do believe we should explore more avenues of self defense in Aikido, but not in the sparring arena or randori practice until the level of practice is up to a high enough standard to promote safe practice.

I have explored many different attacks, defenses, and styles of defenses in karate, but Aikido seems to be quite slow in its adventures to explore it effectiveness against other styles of Martial Arts.

Could be it is because there is not enough knowledge of teachers or students coming from other martial arts, or that cross training would confuse the normal Aikido practice.

In either case, I would like to see more of it explored in seminars, or higher level classes so that we begin to complete the total training in Aikido against the specter of sparring or alternative martial arts.

There should be higher training beyond randori, or randori with other types of attacks beyond our standard practice.

Erik
11-06-2002, 12:23 PM
Wow, a thread I missed. Unimaginable.

Anyways, I hung out in a place for a couple of years that did almost nothing but free-form practice. It's not dangerous if you work with someone you know well because you learn their temperments, habits and ability level. This place actually did it with beginners right out of the gate. It can, however, be very lively when working with people you don't know and I have one story of landing on the back of my neck and hearing popping sounds after I upset a 5th dan. Then again, people get popped in structured training as well.

With a little bit of care, and a decent ukemi base, there really is no reason you can't do this sort of thing. Not sure I'd go up against the local Karate guy though. They might not have the willingness to admit 'gotchas' and that can lead to injury. I'd sure use them for spacing and timing practice though.