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10-27-2002, 12:01 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of October 27, 2002:

Do you think aikido is a good "first" martial art?

I don't do aikido
Yes
No


Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=137).

Chuck Clark
10-27-2002, 07:56 AM
It is if it's taught and practiced properly.

That's kind of a "universal" rule. Aikido is no better or worse than many other disciplines that can become art and Way.

SeiserL
10-27-2002, 09:32 AM
IMHO, personally, I am glad Aikido was not my first art. I don't really think I would appreciate the subtleties or applications. I like giving and receiving a strong committed attack and feel that other arts gave me a better base than I have experienced from most Aikidokas. I think this is a major criticism of Aikido, its lack of ability to really train against strong committed attacks.

Until again,

Lynn

Amendes
10-27-2002, 10:29 AM
I am sure glad it was my first martial art.

Now I do Aikido, Tai Chi, and Pencak Silat.

If I had the time I would do Taekwondo too.

Most people I know started something else then came to Aikido. I guess I am the odd one that went backwards. :cool:

Choku Tsuki
10-27-2002, 02:32 PM
Aikidoka I feel are the best to learn from (who have the most insight) started elsewhere and ended up with aikido.

Aikido is the perfect destination; but only after you've disproved "the grass is greener" theory for yourself by playing with other arts.

--Chuck

Jucas
10-28-2002, 12:52 AM
But this comming from martial artists from varying backgrounds? Why? Aikido has been an absolutely amazing first art from my stand point. Not only are the majority of aikido folk, fun loving, fullfilled people, but the art itself is the same. I don't see any disadvantages starting from aikido personally.

Lynn, I thought aikido was about controlling comitted attacks. In my experience it has always been about redirecting a commited attacks, many times uncommited attacks lead to uncommited techniques.

I am sure in some point in my life I will try, or at least train with other martial arts/ists, but I will train aikido first and foremost for the rest of my life, and in my daily existence as human.

ian
10-28-2002, 05:00 AM
I would agree with Lynn in that I think other martial arts give you a fuller understanding of the reasons behind why we do some things and not others. Anyone could invent flwoing movements to redirect an attack, but what aikido does is also to limit further strikes from the attacker (in most cases) and put yourself in a safe position whilst providing you with the opportunity to do useful strikes.

For example, unless you know that striking under the armpit or in the ribs, and also on the back of the neck are very useful (damaging) blows, ikkyo looses some meaning.

Although I started in aikido, I did other martial arts, but I found the people I trained with in aikido actually considered such things more than many other martial arts which often have more rigid thoughts towards forms of attack and defence.

Ian

aikido_fudoshin
10-28-2002, 07:20 AM
I think Aikido, (at least Yoshinkan; i dont know how other styles train) is the best martial art to start out with because it teaches you two important things:

1. Body basics: we learn how to remain in a stable posture and use our power (not muscle power) properly. ex. lowering your hips, center line, hip power. We learn the proper way to move so we can maximize this power.

2. Aikido is about co-operation and respect for your opponent. It teaches us the best way to train so we can learn from one another.

happysod
10-29-2002, 10:54 AM
I'm afraid I did have a slight problem with this poll as I've found yes and no to be the answer. We've found that younger children often want "to be like buffy" in martial arts, so aikido hasn't proved to be a good first martial art for them. However, I've been lucky enough to teach some people who never dreamed they'd learn a martial art because of age/physical problems and have found aikido to be excellent.

Guest5678
10-29-2002, 11:25 AM
NO! Reason?

simple: A person should learn how to fight prior to understanding how not to..

-Mongo

Wormwood
10-29-2002, 11:42 AM
NO! Reason?

simple: A person should learn how to fight prior to understanding how not to..

-Mongo
What about never having to learn to fight at all, is that not simpler.

Nathan

timcraig
10-29-2002, 12:35 PM
it's simpler, but in my opinion, it's better to know and not need to know, than to need to know and not know.

rachmass
10-29-2002, 02:03 PM
Having done no other martial art for close to 20 years, my vote is that aikido is a terrific first, last, and only martial art!

Nothing against doing multiple arts, but why the need? I have learned committed attacks through aikido. I don't think my aikido has suffered due to lack of some other art. This is a question that each individual answers for themselves, and cannot be answered universally in this type of forum; but for me, the answer is an overwhelming yes.

Alfonso
10-29-2002, 02:21 PM
Good for what?

Chuck Clark
10-29-2002, 02:40 PM
What about never having to learn to fight at all, is that not simpler.
In order to really be able to "not fight" you must be able to make a choice. Unless you can "fight" there is no decision to make.

We begin this practice learning to throw people down and when we can do that efficiently, we learn how to not throw people down.

Peter Malecek
10-29-2002, 03:42 PM
Coming from a background of Judo and Karate (as well as that well known Canadian combative art Jr'A'hockey-do) I am of the opinion that there may very well be a real advantage to prior martial art training when first coming to aikido for most people.

I was however fortunate in that most of my teachers stressed basics (Kyhon-Dosa, Kihon Giho as well as atemi application) so that I am open to the arguement that a good teacher/dojo that teaches the correct delivery of atemi and spends time on the physical realities of the techniques (eg. blocking, stance, distance, moving off line etc.)could negate the advantage of having prior martial art training for some or maybe even most beginers.

In fact first hand (first black eye, first busted lip....)experience with military combative training has demostrated the martial abilities of certain, all be it very motivated, people who had no prior martial arts training.

kklipsch
10-29-2002, 03:52 PM
I would be very interested in what some of the longtime Aikido instructors in the group who came to Aikido from other things have to say. Sensei Clark, I beleive your background was in something else, but you have taught many people over the years. What do you think?

Usagi
10-29-2002, 08:00 PM
Coming from a background of Judo and Karate (as well as that well known Canadian combative art Jr'A'hockey-do)
Jr'A'hockey-do...isn't that a variation of Kanadaajin Daigakkou ShinNaginata? :)

Back to topic...

The problem, imho, is that in AiKiDo, to get punched in the face usually is an acident.

In my view, if you never got punched in the face in a fight, you may end up being tooooo cautious in a fight.

I believe aikidoka (at least instructors) should engage in boxing at least,to see the other side of the fence.

But a reasonable person may work out combat with AiKiDo only, as long as he/she uses common sense.

Chuck Clark
10-29-2002, 10:51 PM
I would be very interested in what some of the longtime Aikido instructors in the group who came to Aikido from other things have to say. Sensei Clark, I beleive your background was in something else, but you have taught many people over the years. What do you think?
Hello,

I don't think I know you, do you know Don Levine at the university club?

Anyhow, this is a loaded question. "Aikido" is taught in many different ways. Some I agree with and some I do not. For example, I have seen some dojo where the instruction for ukemi is - "do a roll like that guy over there for this technique." Sort of like learning to swim by being thrown into the lake. Some learn and many don't.

I started out with judo when I was six and added GoJu ryu karate-do at twelve or so along with a form of jujutsu that my teacher called "Okazaki ryu" (Danzan ryu) in 1959. I learned to punch, kick, throw, grapple, etc. early. I saw Tohei sensei in California in 1964 and knew I wanted to learn aikido. Lots of water under the bridge since then...I met a Chinese man named Mr. Li in 1965 and I left the "dark side of the force" and dove deeply into the internal arts. I have come to the conclusion now, just shy of my 50th year of practice (some 38 years of teaching experience of one quality or another...) that whether technique is "hard" or "soft" is determined by intent, distance, and timing changes, not by how much muscle you have or how fast you are.

How would I teach beginners? Simple, just like I do now, and I call it aikibudo, aikijutsu, aikido...I think they're all shades of the same thing. My students are taught a principle based system. Techniques are just examples of how fundamentals are hooked together, etc. Shisei, shintai, ukemi, how to attack, how to take balance and fit with the attacker and so on and so on. Students are also taught how to "test" each other often so there is a strong feedback loop in our practice.

Is this a good system to start with yes. By all means. It's why I do it. That simple. If I knew a better way, I'd do it. Do other people agree? Some do, and some don't. That's the nature of things.

Your question was what do I think about aikido as a first art...there it is. Like many other questions in life the answer is ... Yes/No.

Sincerely,

Guest5678
10-30-2002, 07:15 AM
Having done no other martial art for close to 20 years, my vote is that aikido is a terrific first, last, and only martial art!

Nothing against doing multiple arts, but why the need?
Experience..... with various attacks and techniques you normally won't get in your Aikido dojo. Also, it really helps us maintain the beginners mind!
I have learned committed attacks through aikido.
Committed? ok..... well, have you put on some head gear, light gloves and shin guards and have uke REALLY try to knock you out....? (Boxing)

Ever train with an active college level wrestler? Someone that can really shoot in on you, bring you down and pin you?

(Wrestling or even Judo)

Now I haven't been to your dojo, but I'd venture to say that I doubt you'll be working at this level of "commitment" in your daily Aikido practice....
I don't think my aikido has suffered due to lack of some other art. This is a question that each individual answers for themselves, and cannot be answered universally in this type of forum; but for me, the answer is an overwhelming yes.
Suffered? certainly not! But it can expand greatly with other experiences..

I believe all martial art styles have someting to offer and should be explored whenever possible. To limit our experience is to limit our knowledge....

-Mongo

Guest5678
10-30-2002, 07:30 AM
What about never having to learn to fight at all, is that not simpler.

Nathan
Certainly would be, and perhaps one day we will realize that concept after the mothership returns and takes away all the horrible violent bad people in the world... jeeeez!

-Mongo

Ta Kung
10-30-2002, 08:47 AM
I voted no.

A thought: We want a strong and comited attack from our uke, but we never practise attacks in Aikido. The attacks are often, but not alwawys, lame (as many threeds here prove).

A former Karateka can throw a tsuki that is committed. An Aikidoka (who has no other martial arts training) can merely mimik that motion, with more or less success. For most of us, there is a difference. A real tsuki is not something every one does good automaticly. You need to practise it, not just mimik it. Otherwise you could learn Kung-fu just from watching movies... :)

Also, I find Aikido to be a bit harder to learn than other arts. Other arts use force, Aikido don't, and it's common that newbies compencates lack of technique with strength.

I find that my pre-aikido arts (judo and taekwon-do) has helped me a lot in my Aikido. I feel no need to "move on" to another art.

/Patrik

Wormwood
10-30-2002, 09:19 AM
Certainly would be, and perhaps one day we will realize that concept after the mothership returns and takes away all the horrible violent bad people in the world... jeeeez!

-Mongo
Note that I did not say that it was realistic, I just said that it was simple, even simpler than your statement. It was a comment on your statement. Just because a statement is simple, does not make it correct.

I was also trying to say that the reason I took up Aikido as my "first" MA (I don't count G/R Wrestling) was so that I would be able to avoid fighting. You don't need to know how to fight to realize that you can live without it and long to avoid it. This is why I choose Aikido, so that when the chaos comes, that I might be able to give order to it to balence it, not with brut force, but by entering and blending.

:circle: :square: :triangle:

Nathan

Bruce Baker
11-02-2002, 11:14 AM
NO ... aikido is not a good first martial art.

About half the questions of Aikido not working are because people have not had the experience of training in other martial arts, or understanding the mechanics of Aikido come from a variety of these other arts.

Example.

My 13 year old son, who has had a couple of years of basic karate started Aikido recently, and he not only did the adult class, but easily mastered many of the instructions much quicker than the usual adults who have no previous training.

Then, today, my daughter tried her first class, and although it has been ten years, when she was eleven for her last lesson, she too was able to easily keep up with the normal class with only minor adjustments.

No ... Aikido is not a good first martial art, but it is not to be missed in any persons training.

You must eventually learn some Aikido to make what you learn elsewhere to make it work better.

I know those who have practiced other martial arts truly appreciate the power of Aikido after being in other arts.

Wormwood
11-03-2002, 07:20 AM
My 13 year old son, who has had a couple of years of basic karate started Aikido recently, and he not only did the adult class, but easily mastered many of the instructions much quicker than the usual adults who have no previous training.
Bruce, you seem to be saying that if one has previous experience in another MA before they start Aikido, they tend to catch on quicker, and I totally agree with that, actually it is obvious that that would be true. Someone who has experience controlling how there body moves from one MA, learning it from a different MA quickly is not surprising. I think that isn't even the question. The real test would to take a look at different beginners from an assortment of MA and watch how they progress over a year.

If you really want to compare an Aikidoka starter with previous MA experience vs. those without, compare total MA time, not total Aikido time, that is just unfair. ie. karate 2yrs & Aikido 2yrs vs. Aikido 4yrs (comparing two individuals with similar MA aptitude)

Nathan

Bruce Baker
11-03-2002, 10:18 AM
Let me put it this way ....

IF someone has the experience of learning the basics of judo,jujitsu,and karate there is a strong base of learning that allows for Aikido lessons to be learned easier, quicker, faster.

I have yet to see an Aikido dojo that covers the basic cresent steps, the punches and kicks available, the difference in judo, jujitsu, and aikido, or where the striking area of the body are? If you have a school that does this within the Aikido class, I would bet it is also a karate school of some type also.

The time line is not important to me, but the coverage of the basic mechanics of martial arts is ... I don't see it covered in the curriculum of Aikido.

My first teacher had the masters of Karate, judo, jujitsu, and aikido as the masters who we were to learn from to become versed in martial arts.

My answer of NO, aikido not a good first martial art is based on my own experience, my ability to see techniques of other arts hidden within aikido, and my ability to find variations based upon my experience in other arts to extend or amplify those previous arts with what I learn from Aikido.

So, I do not condemn Aikido as a first art, but my clarity to see things others do not, seeing my children practice Aikido without any instruction from me as if they had been to many classes, not just one class, becomes the foundation to strengthen my beliefs with the performance of them in class.

I have seen many first timers to Aikido and Karate, and I have seen practitioners who have had experience in other arts come to Aikido and struggle mercilessly for weeks and months, this was not the case with my children.

I have to take the evidence of what I see into account as verification of what I have stated.

Maybe I should mention that their first teacher was very generous in teaching and explaining martial arts, so that may have contributed to their attitude, knowledge, and performace beyond the normal student. Good teachers do indeed have great students.

Maybe one day, my aikido teacher will let me give the basic karate class to the my aikido classmates and awaken them to just how the teachers can be so martial while the new students take years to catch on to what is martial. It just might awaken them to really learn their lessons, not play fall down and get up from line drills.