PDA

View Full Version : I don't get aikido training method.


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


ronmar
11-12-2002, 05:08 PM
As a relative newcomer to aikido I have found it very different to other martial arts I have done, and, to be honest, am finding it hard to adapt to aikido training.
It is not that I think aikido is a fundamentally bad martial art. In fact I think a lot of the ideas are good. It is the training method that I have problems with.
For example there is no attack in aikido. I feel this is the biggest flaw. Often the best way to resolve a conflict is by attacking first. Aikido does not allow for this.
Another problem is the sort of idealised attacks and cooperation from partners that you find in aikido. People say this helps them to react in the right way when under stress, but how do they know this if they never train with realism or aliveness.
The third problem I have is the lack of sparring or randori in aikido. There is randori of a sort but it never involves the sort of attacks a regular person might make and isn't exactly athletic, i.e. it doesn‘t involve a struggle like you might get in a fight with a resisting opponent.
How can aikido training be complete when there is no stress in the training. People say that you fight how you train, and there is plenty of stress and tiring activity in a fight. Aikido people never test themselves in competition or otherwise so how can they be sure that what they are doing is worthwhile? Aikido training is quite relaxing even. How is this good preparation for fighting?
What are peoples opinions on this, especially people who have done a competitive full contact martial art prior to aikido.

shihonage
11-12-2002, 05:32 PM
Often the best way to resolve a conflict is by attacking first. Aikido does not allow for this.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but do yourself a favor and get "Aikido Shugyo" book by Gozo Shioda.

It addresses pretty much all of your concerns.

ronmar
11-12-2002, 05:46 PM
Books and theory are all very well but its the regular training you get in aikido that I'm talking about.

I've looked at a couple of Shioda's books. A little black one and a big red one (can't remember names). They seemed good for descrbing how the techniques are applied but didn't have much on modern training methods.

The examples of attacks seemed really weak. Why not just train the way all the other (effective) martial arts train?

Alfonso
11-12-2002, 06:03 PM
training method in Aikido may be slow, but it's probably because there's a little more finesse in the concepts being explored.

for one thing; No attack in Aikido in the sense that you describe it is just not true in all Aikido practices.

training methods - look up Shu Ha Ri , most training tends to follow that pattern , though it's not explicitly stated.

then, there's the other progression that's found in most places:

static - interactive - proactive.

You are working on sensitivity training, using stylized attacks to explore "angles of attack", balance, timing ,speed distance.

Most of the time no one will say anything about this to you, unless you have a talkative Sensei.

as you get comfortable with the basic moves you'll start understanding this better.

Why do it the other way? What is the stated purpose Aikido? To destroy efficiently?

Now, what's this "other efficient" arts vs aikido?

you're spending too much time on the web:eek:

shihonage
11-12-2002, 06:04 PM
Books and theory are all very well but its the regular training you get in aikido that I'm talking about.

I've looked at a couple of Shioda's books. A little black one and a big red one (can't remember names). They seemed good for descrbing how the techniques are applied but didn't have much on modern training methods.

The examples of attacks seemed really weak. Why not just train the way all the other (effective) martial arts train?
I also have the "big red Shioda book", and it was useless to me. Too dry and overly technical.

This one is different.

In other news... if you're striving for energetic attacks, how about you start giving them ? (as long as they still resemble Aikido attacks by form)

See what kind of reaction you get.

ronmar
11-12-2002, 06:22 PM
In other news... if you're striving for energetic attacks, how about you start giving them ? (as long as they still resemble Aikido attacks by form)

If I stary giving decent attacks people moan. I don't blame them because its not expected in aikido. People with a black belt in aikido might be tolerated if the tried this but not me.

If I try too hard with attacks etc I get told to wait and train for a long time before I can finally "understand". I think this is silly when I can already do judo and other things quite well.

Why not just let me learn through my mistakes. I don't mind getting thrown on the floor a bit, although to be honest nothing that has been done on me would throw me.

What is the problem people have with resistance vs techniques.
You are working on sensitivity training, using stylized attacks to explore "angles of attack", balance, timing ,speed distance.

Exactly, I don't think this works as a training method. Why not build up balance, timing speed and sensitivity through sparring.

What makes you think you can go from a completely cooperative atmosphere in training to the opposite in a fight.

Andy
11-12-2002, 06:28 PM
How many dojos have you trained at, Ron?

How many shihans have you felt?

lt-rentaroo
11-12-2002, 06:29 PM
Mr. Marshall,

Please don't place the whole of Aikido into one basket based upon what you have experienced thus far in your training. You state that Aikido students don't compete or "test" their skills, I know some dojo that compete regularly. You also state there are no attacks in Aikido, I know many dojo that train in such a fashion that allows Nage to initiate the execution of the technique.

I apologize if I may sound crass. My recommendation is that if your current Aikido Dojo does not train in a fashion that you like, find another that does. I realize this is not always possible, so I suggest that you get out of your training what you put in.

shihonage
11-12-2002, 06:30 PM
If I stary giving decent attacks people moan.
If your training resembles something like this (http://www.parameterid.com/~aikido/mov/weekly/sept2702/Yokomenuchi_kokyunage_s.avi) , everyday, without exception, in regular class, and nobody even _lets_ you experiment with attacking stronger, then um... consider changing dojos.

PeterR
11-12-2002, 06:34 PM
Hi Louis;

The young man is from Edinburgh, there is at least one dojo that is as you describe. He only has to look.
Mr. Marshall,

Please don't place the whole of Aikido into one basket based upon what you have experienced thus far in your training. You state that Aikido students don't compete or "test" their skills, I know some dojo that compete regularly. You also state there are no attacks in Aikido, I know many dojo that train in such a fashion that allows Nage to initiate the execution of the technique.

I apologize if I may sound crass. My recommendation is that if your current Aikido Dojo does not train in a fashion that you like, find another that does. I realize this is not always possible, so I suggest that you get out of your training what you put in.

Kevin Wilbanks
11-12-2002, 07:02 PM
If your training resembles something like this (http://www.parameterid.com/~aikido/mov/weekly/sept2702/Yokomenuchi_kokyunage_s.avi) , everyday, without exception, in regular class, and nobody even _lets_ you experiment with attacking stronger, then um... consider changing dojos.
Once that clip got to those two guys with the red belts on, I was practically cackling. The attacker looked like somebody shot him up with sodium pentathol before class.

ronmar
11-12-2002, 07:04 PM
How many dojos have you trained at, Ron? How many shihans have you felt?
Believe me, I would LOVE to get thrown about by someone who is great at aikido. It would motivate me. Training the same way as a pensioner might train doesn't motivate me. I just don't often get the feeling I could be thrown in aikido unless I am put in some position I would not choose to assume myself. I'm a beginner in aikido but a 1st dan in judo, and I have tried other sports too. I just can't seem to get a feeling for aikido. All I know is that your average judo guy, any dojo, can give you a decent fight because the training and standards are all the same. You compete for the belt. I didn't realise aikido was so variable. I am moving to Luton (near London) soon and might try a different aikido dojo down there. Can you recommend any good ones.
The young man is from Edinburgh, there is at least one dojo that is as you describe. He only has to look.

Ok pretend I'm not here. Which place would you suggest. I can find Ki aikido, Aikikai (sp?)- very strict discipline, demands cash upfront, Iwama (sp?)-far from where I live, and a couple of others, unsure of affiliation but I think aikikai. Which sounds best to you? They all seem to hold the opinion that the techniques speak for themselves and don't like talking too much.

Jucas
11-12-2002, 07:14 PM
I am glad you are posting here Ron, hopefully we can ease some of your fears. I am suprised no one has related, and said they had the same fears when starting aikido. When I started, I had such questions that, ultimately, my training was halted for a short period of time. This is unfortunate, and when it comes down to it, all of questions and concerns were answered through my training.

It is important not to generalize "Aikido" too much. Perhaps the Dojo you are in does not suit your needs, that doesn't mean all aikido dojo's won't.

All I can say is your, questions will be answered without questions. Through training, hopefully, all of your questions will be answered. If not, try another dojo.

As far as the structure of aikido is concerned. Yes, it is very different from all other martial arts. That is because aikido is truely based on principles, not techniques. It is one of the many reasons aikido can take so long to learn and adapt to.

Does any of that help?

:D

PeterR
11-12-2002, 07:16 PM
Try http://www.aikido-baa.org.uk/

There is a dojo in your city but I don't know the teacher. Spend some time on the web site - its quite well done.
Ok pretend I'm not here. Which place would you suggest. I can find Ki aikido, Aikikai (sp?)- very strict discipline, demands cash upfront, Iwama (sp?)-far from where I live, and a couple of others, unsure of affiliation but I think aikikai. Which sounds best to you? They all seem to hold the opinion that the techniques speak for themselves and don't like talking too much.

aikido_fudoshin
11-12-2002, 09:34 PM
I agree with Jonathan, everyone at some point as a beginner has doubts. Aikido is not something you can feel right off the bat. It takes a lot of time and effort not only to feel it but to understand it aswell. Believe me, Aikido works. Just give it time. Oh yeah, and if you have described the atmosphere of your dojo correctly, I think its time to find a new one. Best of luck!

Edward
11-12-2002, 10:49 PM
Well, Ron , I have a similar problem with my fellow aikidoka at the dojo. When I attack, either they moan, or they take it too personal and start fighting.

However, my teacher asks me to attack him as strong as I can, and to try to resist him as much as I can. I try very hard, but I never came close to affecting his technique even slightly.

My advice, test your teacher. If you can beat him, change the dojo.

Edward
11-12-2002, 10:55 PM
By the way, I myself come from a judo background too. You have to understand that aikido techniques are very dangerous. Judo is a sport and all dangerous techniques have been eliminated, leaving only the ones that allow struggling with an opponent without too much risk. I have had much more injuries in aikido than in judo and much more serious ones. You will notice this yourself when you start practicing the hard way (if you find willing partners). That's why most people who know prefer a softer approach because they know where it leads.

leefr
11-13-2002, 12:35 AM
"...to be honest nothing that has been done on me would throw me."

If you've been at your dojo for at least a few months and have felt your instructor's technique several times and still feel this way, then I wish you happy hunting in finding another place to train.

happysod
11-13-2002, 03:59 AM
Leefr, very surprised you've been asked to hold back on the attacks if you can show you can breakfall properly (as you're a 1st dan judo I'm confident you can). The only times we do that is when the defender is a obviously outclassed (relative beginner etc.) or dealing with a particular attack with the correct precision is the aim of the exercise - and we're a ki bunch! (add useless hippy dancers etc as required).

Sounds like you just need a different dojo, I'd go along with the suggestions for an aikikai or tomeiki (sp?) dojo for what you're wanting as these will be more likely to give you an "instant hit". If you fancy giving even a high grade aikidoka some problems, just get them to try floor work with you - but be warned, most (all?) aikido senseis cheat.

Hope you stick with it and find a dojo that suits.

Sam
11-13-2002, 04:13 AM
Hi Ron,

If you want to train in an Aikido style and club where you can do competitive randori (i.e. sparring, although I hate that word)

and receive more explanation during and after your training, I would recommend you contact Martin Livingston:

martin.livingston@talk21.com

Martin is a very experienced martial artist with a lot of cross training experience.

Shodokan aikido has a lot in common with Judo and I'm sure you would find both the atmosphere and techniques easy to adapt to.

Good luck finding the answers to your questions.

Dojo Address & Practise Times

The Centre for Sports & Exercise Tuesday 20:15 - 21:15

Heriot-Watt University Sunday 13:15 - 15:15

Riccarton Campus

Edinburgh

EH14 4AS

Intructors

Martin Livingston

PeterR
11-13-2002, 04:28 AM
Hey Sam;

Haven't heard from you for a while. You going to make the trip this way sometime.

I went to Nariyama for advice in finding a dojo closer to home and next thing I know ... well let's just say I would love to show off my facillities.

Bronson
11-13-2002, 05:03 AM
Yeah we all have doubts when we start. One of the things that helped me was when I took a look at the people around me in the dojo. We have our sensei who has a lot of judo experience and some experience with other martial arts, we have an 8th dan in uechi ryu karate who used to teach hand to hand in the military and has forgotten more about martial arts than I'll ever know, there are various other dan grades from other arts, and several police officers including the local chief of police. All of these people find aikido to have value and bring benefit. They tell me it can "work" in real life and I believe them. Of course I've never been the guy who, after being told the match is hot, had to touch it to make sure ;)

Also you can do the thing I did. After class I told my, then, teacher about my doubts and asked him if he could please really do the technique to me. After some convincing he did it. Gravity was not strong enough to pull me away from the pain fast enough. It was my first real nikyo and it changed my perspective entirely. Just because we don't do it full out every single time doesn't mean we can't do it full out.

I hope you find a dojo where the training matches what you're looking for. Or you come to grips with the training at your current place. Either way good luck.

Bronson

Sam
11-13-2002, 05:38 AM
Hi Peter,

I occasionally post here, but I've been up to my ears in my first postdoc. Whereabouts is Himeji? I will probably be in Japan in the next three years, but before I do that, I have to pay for my last trip!! I am about to take the plunge and start a dojo with Jo under the wing of P. Nukecome, but the problem as ever is finding a good facility....

SeiserL
11-13-2002, 08:38 AM
I had the same doubts when I started, now I don't.

Until again,

Lynn

Bud
11-13-2002, 12:04 PM
If your training resembles something like this (http://www.parameterid.com/~aikido/mov/weekly/sept2702/Yokomenuchi_kokyunage_s.avi) , everyday, without exception, in regular class, and nobody even _lets_ you experiment with attacking stronger, then um... consider changing dojos.
OMG, that's bad :eek: ..the most lifeless aikido class I have ever seen. They look really bored.

Irony
11-13-2002, 01:38 PM
Also, you have to take into consideration that generally, the speed at which you attack will determine the speed of the technique. If you are a beginner, more than likely it wouldn't benefit you to power through the moves without going slow first. It takes time to learn the forms flawlessly and smoothly, the latter being the most important. Full-speed attacks have their place but I wouldn't want to try it until I had a few years under my belt. It's both for safety and for learning purposes. Also, though I haven't trained in any other art, it's my understanding that even people with great experience in other arts have difficulty with the way aikido works. I've seen black belts from different arts come in and have more trouble than some beginners. So perhaps you should discuss your feelings with your sensei and try to figure out whether or not changing schools would benefit you in the long run.

This may also just be a case of being in an unfamiliar training environment.

L. Camejo
11-13-2002, 06:49 PM
... I think this is silly when I can already do judo and other things quite well.

...What is the problem people have with resistance vs techniques.



...Why not build up balance, timing speed and sensitivity through sparring.
Sounds like you need some Shodokan my friend :D

Check out these linnks (http://www.aikido-baa.org.uk/baadojo.html), visit one of these dojos and remember...

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE evileyes

Happy Training.

L.C.:ai::ki:

PeterR
11-13-2002, 07:30 PM
Himeji is a gorgeous castle city an hour south of Osaka station on a fast train. I live a further 20 minutes on the local. Just to make you exceedingly jealous I have yet to count them but I estimate I have 350 high grade Judo mats in my class. Good luck in finding a place though, it took me awhile when I was in Quebec but taking your time is worth it. I ended up teaching at a local college.
Hi Peter,

I occasionally post here, but I've been up to my ears in my first postdoc. Whereabouts is Himeji? I will probably be in Japan in the next three years, but before I do that, I have to pay for my last trip!! I am about to take the plunge and start a dojo with Jo under the wing of P. Nukecome, but the problem as ever is finding a good facility....

Matt Whyte
11-14-2002, 02:59 AM
I agree with the guy that was talking about giving strong Aikido attacks in order to therefore receive them. Ron, I was curious, how much of a 'relative newcomer' are you? If your views on Aikido are that it is not effective, watch a yudansha class, and see just how effective it really is. See, the purpose of Aikido training is to give Aikidoka the aiki priciples, and then allow them to apply them in the way they see fit to their particular situation. I can understand that as a newcomer you maybe frustrated by the slowness and technicality of the style, but these things will give you a strong baase for excellent technique in the future. Stay with it my friend. It is worth it, every moment.

Stay Strong.

erikmenzel
11-14-2002, 04:32 AM
As a relative newcomer to aikido I have found it very different to other martial arts I have done, and, to be honest, am finding it hard to adapt to aikido training.



Ever considered the idea that that might be your problem and your fault! Maybe you started with some expectations both towards your own skill as towards aikido that were not completely in sync with reality.

It is not that I think aikido is a fundamentally bad martial art. In fact I think a lot of the ideas are good. It is the training method that I have problems with.

For example there is no attack in aikido. I feel this is the biggest flaw. Often the best way to resolve a conflict is by attacking first. Aikido does not allow for this.

Is that true?? As far as I understand it there is absolutly no reason one cannot take initiative in aikido.
Another problem is the sort of idealised attacks and cooperation from partners that you find in aikido. People say this helps them to react in the right way when under stress, but how do they know this if they never train with realism or aliveness.
Here there are two basic problems. First of all they are normal attacks. Just because they dont agree with your idea about violance and "normal" (TM) attacks does not make them weird either. I have, for instance, seen that grabbing the upper sleeve and striking is in violant situation indeed very very common.

Second is that all techniques and speeds have to be adjusted to the level of both partners, especialy the level of ukemi. I know not all Judoka are the same, but I have seen already a few judo shodan that were very proud on there ability to do breakfalls, but who when doing aikido realy had problems with ukemi, both from a technical points as from a perspective point of view. If falling on the ground becomes losing than the mind may think it to be legitimate to avoid this at all cost. One should realize that judo competition is in that respect an even more stylized and unrealistic enviroment were things that might occure are limited by a set of rules. No rules in Aikido (and therefor the concept of cheating does not exist in Aikido). Even biting and spitting are ok (although I must say that I havenot been to a dojo were they also practised these things). Thus ukemi is transformed from not losing in a contest to surviving in a no rules situation. I normaly train very slowly with judoka, as nage to keep them safe, as uke because they are even with there judotraining quite often clueless. If you can only do ukemi at 7 mph you should not attack at 70 mph.
The third problem I have is the lack of sparring or randori in aikido. There is randori of a sort but it never involves the sort of attacks a regular person might make and isn't exactly athletic, i.e. it doesn‘t involve a struggle like you might get in a fight with a resisting opponent.
Well, if you want contest, go look in a Shodokan dojo. If it is judocontests you want then go do judo and dont complain that aikido is different from judo!!
How can aikido training be complete when there is no stress in the training. People say that you fight how you train, and there is plenty of stress and tiring activity in a fight. Aikido people never test themselves in competition or otherwise so how can they be sure that what they are doing is worthwhile? Aikido training is quite relaxing even. How is this good preparation for fighting?

What are peoples opinions on this, especially people who have done a competitive full contact martial art prior to aikido.
Aikido has its own training manners and own context. Of course there are plenty of schools were they train in a "weird" way from my perspective. Still I detect some I am right, I studied Judo and respect my (shodan) authority. It does not work that way.

If you only flew in airoplanes before and take a look at the bus you might definitly see it has no wings, it cannot fly and it does not travel as fast. That is the way it should be. No sense complaining about it. It is different.

You dont have to like aikido. If judo makes you happy and then go and do that. No sense in sticking in Aikido and claiming it is incomplete and misses a lot of things you think judo can offer you, because that simply means you are in the wrong place.

opherdonchin
11-14-2002, 12:02 PM
Yeah, I have the same sort of responses as Eric Knoops did, but I'll express them a little differently:

Ron, I was unclear from your posts why it was that you took up AiKiDo and what you were hoping to learn. It's very hard for me to evaluate how the difficulties you are having with the way they train in your dojo are likely to interfere with these goals because I'm not sure what they are. Could you post again, please, and tell us a little bit more about what you were hoping to find in AiKiDo that had been missing for you in Judo?

ronmar
11-16-2002, 10:00 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I might try a bit of Tomiki aikido, it looks more like what I am after.

I guess my main problem could be that I still think of myself primarily as someone who does judo/grappling. The reason I train in other things is to attempt to gain a basic level of proficiency in all types of fighting so I am not surprised by anything. I plan to compete in mixed events. I thought aikido might be something unusual to try.

I do like aikido. I think the techniques are good. Sorry if that didn't come across in my original posts. Its just that I get frustrated. Its not that I think I am better than everyone else, I just feel that in some ways I am capable of training a little harder than I am presently allowed to. Unfortunately, people see my lack of aikido "form" and take it to mean that I am totally clueless and have to be treated with kid gloves. I do not tell them how I feel because I don't want to put people on the defensive when I am trying to learn from them. But then they get angry when I can retain my balance and not fall over. They are more pleased with my progress when I fake it, jump onto my back and slap the mat.

Similarly I know I can launch a good attack.

This also seems to cause problems with training partners because they often complain I am not "committing" to my attacks. This is unconcious on my part and is not an attempt to test them or make them look bad. Its just the way I learned to attack prior to aikido so I didn't get thrown or countered. Anyone who has trained with contact in a will do the same.

Aikido does not have live training so how do I know that which techniques will work and which will not when someone reacts in an unexpected way. ie I want to try and use some aikido techniques in mixed events, but how can I get good at them when I feel like the training I receive is not good preparation for a fight. Its a no win situation.

If there was a randori component to the class I wouldn't mind training soft when learning the techniques. But as it is people in the aikido class judge ability not on what you can actually do (randori/sparring/whatever), but on a techniques demonstration with more/less resistance. Its hard to know when to cooperate and when to resist. Those who do exactly what they are told tend to do well regardless of whether they can or cannot fight, and some of them surely can't.

SeiserL
11-16-2002, 11:44 AM
IMHO, all training methods are in some sense artificial and simulations. The only way to know is to really get into a fight.

Most reality stylist will probably tell you that it is less about your style or training method than it is about your personal psychology and willingness to fight that makes the biggest difference.

Until again,

Lynn

Bruce Baker
11-16-2002, 01:53 PM
I am sorry you are having such a hard time getting the rythym of Aikido, but I know how you feel, as I too, tell myself to be gentle when practicing Aikido.

There will rarely, if ever, be rock'em sock 'em Aikido practice ... this is for a couple of reasons.

The stronger the attack, the more energy that must be dissappated, and so the margin for error, the cause of most disabling injurys, is drastically increased.

If you have done full force Judo, they you should be acquainted with the redirection of oncoming energy, and using that energy against itself. Maybe your experience was to use as much physical force as necessary, overlooking the use of technically proficient Jujitsu, which is found in many Judo and Aikido techniques.

A lot of Aikido's sttrength is using the oblique angles, taking away the balance, and using manipulations that cause pain and can cause injury, that should be right up your alley if you want to learn to be a good fighter without throwing about sacks of potatoes?

Don't listen to those whining little weasels who tell you to quit Aikido, they are just trying to use reverse psychology to get you motivated. Learning the secrets hidden within Judo will start to come out with continued Aikido training.

If it doesn't, maybe you should reexamine what you have learned, and find out why manipulation causes pain through pressure points to awaken the knowledge you need to get back into Aikido.

I have been where you are, and it does take a bit of time to integrate what you know with what you need to know to blend Aikido into you martial arts training.

Give it some time. Look for the pressure points in the classic techniques, they will be there in the openings for strikes, manipulations, and, your old friend, sweeps or low kicks

Enough of this for now.

Hey, Peter Rehse, you haven't come across a fellow named Carl Baldini?

He went to Japan a little over a year ago, trained with me and my friend David Hulse sensei, he took up Aikido. If, by chance you do, tell him to dash off a letter.

I have seen stranger things happen.

As for you Ron Marshall, look into the heart of martial arts, pressure points, and see if you are not awakened to Aikido's secrets hidden in the open.

opherdonchin
11-16-2002, 06:22 PM
Ron, it's great that you are looking around for ways to improve your proficiency in mxied events. I'm not sure that AiKiDo is meant to be an answer to this need, and I'm not sure that it will provide you much of an answer. My thoughts are similar to Lynn's. To wit, mixed events competition is a very artificial scenario that AiKiDo was, to a large extent, specifically designed to ignore and overlook. That's my take, although you can find a lot of different takes on this question in the long thread on AiKiDo and the cage. It sounds like what your looking for is something that an art like jiu jitsu would be more likely to provide. The techniques are very similar, but the approach is more focused on the preconceived idea of what constitutes being 'martial' that you seem to be interested in.

mattholmes
11-16-2002, 09:14 PM
I think a lot of good things have been said regarding your concerns about the "combat" effectiveness of your aikido training, Ron.

I don't know that I have too much more to say, however, I will offer the following:

Envision a whole new approach to communication - something like sign language. While sharing definite characteristics with spoken language, sign is very different from other languages, than, say, English is from Spanish.

This is like aikido. The PURPOSE of aikido, the GOAL, is very different than your classical judo (and many other martial arts).

In respect to your being treated with "kid gloves," consider that the positive reinforcement offered you when you so-easily fall down, EVEN WHEN YOU COULD HAVE STAYED AND FAUGHT, may not be so far off. Your teachers may be trying to show you another way to be. You do not always have to show your superiority.

What if, one day, someone walks up to you and punches you. You, as a competent fighter, could easily overcome them, possibly with out seriously harming them. However, instead, you overreact, clutching your face in pretended pain. They may stop then, seeing the destruction they cause. If they do not, you can always resort to your nage skills.

"But what about another person they might victimize? Don't I have to teach them my way of nonviolence?" I hope you have the opportunity. But no one will learn if they do not want to - even you. So in the meantime, consider leaving the people you come into contact with unharmed - leave them with a joyful heart, even if you disagree with the validity of the cause.

The Aikido may be trying to teach you to loose.

Guess I kinda got going there. Sorry.

Matt

Edward
11-16-2002, 09:27 PM
I recommend that you read the following article:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/_article.asp?ArticleID=768

Cheers,

ian
11-17-2002, 10:03 AM
IMHO, all training methods are in some sense artificial and simulations. The only way to know is to really get into a fight.
The problem with martial arts training - whatever it is - is it is not real self defence. In Judo, punches and kicks (and certain throws and attacks to the face)are not allowed; in karate/taekwondo (competition) padding is worn (making strikes to pressure points ineffective). Even in these 'ultimate' fighting scenarios you are not allowed to have several people attacking at once, rear attacks (unless you run around!) or throat grabs.

Aikido takes a different format - anything is allowed. However, to ensure we actually learn something and don't always get injured, we train in a repetitive and cooperative way. Consider your partner as a moving training dummy. If you want to try techniques with resistence, try them - but make sure the your partner is aware of this (and capable of dealing with this, so that one of you can give in before anything breaks).

Ian

eric carpenter
11-17-2002, 04:50 PM
something ive always been told is that if we did aikido properly the fight would be over in the blink of an eye bang bang finished,a lot of what we practice is after the atemi has been landed(a lot of people seem to forget atemi)as ueshiba said 70 % of aikido is atemi.i found aikido very difficult to learn at first and still now it has many surprises and an infinite variety of moves ,theories,techniques etc.

my dojo has a lot of people who have trained in other arts and i think this can only improve knowledge plus it is a good idea to have an understanding of other arts.

what i like about japanese arts is that there is a complete repetoire,kendo,iaido,judo,jujitsu,karate,aiki jutsu,etci think this is a good thing and if i had time would practice them all,but to have some knowledge is interesting.

something i read is that the strongest state is a relaxed state,i take this to mean aware and not tense but ready.

we train the body to react quicker than the eyes or mind so if something does happen your body reacts.

a nice story i was told was of a extremly upset person who was going to punch a glass mirro,the aikido practicionercaught her arm before contact swung her around and landed her on a soft object nearby,is this the sword that saves,any way i enjoy aikido and intend

to train and train till i no longer can,

Young-In Park
11-17-2002, 08:32 PM
Dear Mr. Marshall,

I do not tell them how I feel because I don't want to put people on the defensive when I am trying to learn from them. But then they get angry when I can retain my balance and not fall over. They are more pleased with my progress when I fake it, jump onto my back and slap the mat.

"The attacker just takes the fall" is a common complaint about Aikido and/or Aikido training methods. So in an attempt to inject more "realism," attackers struggle, resist or just stand waiting for the defender to execute a technique. In addition to frustrating a partner and "proving" Aikido doesn't work, many people fail to grasp the lessons of simply "taking the fall."

As an attacker IN THE BEGINNING STAGES OF TRAINING, you "fake it, jump onto your back and slap the mat" because you are learning sensitivity (For others, they first have to learn how to fall properly).

There are many exercises, drills or training methods in Aikido (or any martial art) that at first glance are really silly.

Another common criticism about Aikido is its dance-like nature (aka Aiki Dance) that's devoid of any martial aspect.

But as you "dance around," the attacker moves all by themselves because they are falling away from danger, counterattack, preserve the option to reverse the technique and/or control their landing.

Regardless of what you're doing during ukemi, in all cases, you're learning the principles of redirecting energy (you're own) and controlling your center. (When I told a high school girl the four reasons why an uke takes the fall, she told me what you're really learning/doing...).

[B]Aikido does not have live training so how do I know that which techniques will work and which will not when someone reacts in an unexpected way. ie I want to try and use some aikido techniques in mixed events, but how can I get good at them when I feel like the training I receive is not good preparation for a fight. Its a no win situation.[/B}

So after you've learned sensitivity, redirecting energy and controlling your own center, then you can apply those skills as a defender - that's the direct benefit to "simply taking the falls."

For example, "when someone reacts in an unexpected way," you can "feel" your partner and do a different technique if they resist. This is another stage of training.

There was a similar discussion on another Aikido message board. Some people were wondering about Aikido's training methods.

So I rhetorically asked the following question: Since they are not an accurate reflection of a lethal force encounter, why do people learn how to shoot guns at a shooting range shooting at stationary paper targets that don't shoot back?

A police firearms instructor wrote the following reply:

--------------

Young In Park,

I am sorry that I have not been able to address your post in a more timely manner. Quite ironically, much of my recent time has been spent running squads through bi-annual firearms qualifications. I believe this question is somewhat rhetorical and thus why it has yet to be addressed. You seem to have already made up your mind and thus your understanding of the topic. I will, however, attempt to shed some light on the subject and try to clear up any questions you may have.

First, to whom do refer to as recruits; military, police? You do not make that clear. Do you mean police recruits and if so you seem to be fixated on the initial stage of training. Please correct me if I am wrong, I believe you are of the opinion that shooting at a range is somewhat of a waste of time.

Well the answer is actually somewhat complicated. Your post refers to “recruits” so I will attempt to shed some light on this stage of training.

Recruit firearms training, the recruit must learn and be proficient in the following areas:

1) Proper techniques of drawing, weapon presentation, holstering.

2) Proper stance, firing positions.

3) Proper grip (both one handed and two handed).

4) Proper target acquisition and sight picture / alignment (use of sights differs at different ranges).

5) Proper trigger control (open / closed breaks).

6) Proper follow through / threat assessment.

7) Proper reloading / tactical reloading techniques.

8) Proper clearing and assessment of weapon malfunctions.

9) Proper use of cover and change of firing positions accordingly.

10) Proper firing techniques for low light conditions / proper use of flashlight.

Any one of these could actually be a full course. To move on, the shooter must be able to be proficient in double taps, triples, etc. All this means nothing without consistency and shot placement!!! Consistency equals accuracy!! This is of course a controlled environment, if you can’t do it at the range, you can’t do it under stress!!

As in any martial art, how do you expect to train in “scenarios” without mastering the basics? And believe it or not, the basics are difficult to “master.” The basics are like kata. The recruit must be able to do all this before he would move on to a higher level of training. And to complicate matters, there simply isn’t the time (money) to stress higher-level training until the basics are mastered.

After the recruit completes this type of training, then he can benefit from scenarios, F.A.T.S. (video simulations), and simunitions (live scenario training using soap bullets).

So yes, if someone was to “only” and “always” train by shooting at paper targets, you could argue your point. But even try to place a time limit on your shooting exercise and test your shot placement (i.e., double tap to the body, one to the head – in 4 seconds from holster and do it consistently). How about the “simple” exercise of headshots at 25 yards with no support or shooting while walking? After you have mastered the above, let me know, then we can move on to the shotgun. I hope this helps.

Ted Howell (NJ DCJ Firearms Inst.)

Daito-ryu Study Group

Baltimore, Maryland

-------------------

Happy Training!

YoungIn Park

DavidEllard
11-18-2002, 05:49 AM
Hi Ron, I have just registered so I can respond to you here!

You say you are moving to Luton soon, ignoring the obvious question of why, I wanted to invite you to our Dojo in Dunstable.

(http://www.aikido-ksk.org - look for dunstable. OR just email me direct.)

Now i'm not sure if we are training the way you want to, in fact i fairly sure we aren't, but it would be pleasure to welcome you.

Let me explain:

We train primarily in, what can be easily be described as a kata, placing as much emphasise on the role of Uke being alive and keeping themselves safe as possible. We have adopted this approach from Endo Shihan and a number of scandanavian instructors: Jan Nevelius, Jorma Lyly are two whose names i can spell(!)

Our idea, I think, is more than just learning some techniques for self defense, it is... emphasising the 'do' syllable. Setting goals that may take many years to achieve, may never be acheived, about being able to control and attackers body completely no matter how they may attack.

We train soft much (but not all) the time. Not only does this allow us to learn, some things becoming instinctive through repetition but also relates to this long term aim. Not breaking people allows us to turn more and train longer. We training in good humour for the same reason, we intend to do this for a long time, lets enjoy it.

Do rember though what other people have said though, aiki techniques can be absolutely devistating and what we learn unquestionalby has defensive benefits. That just isn't the

sole reason for doing it...

Come along and see what you think - we have dan grades from Karate-do as well as Iado and other weapon based arts with us, they have all found something to enjoy in our way of training.

Hoping to here form you...

yours,

David

paw
11-18-2002, 06:01 AM
Lynn,
Most reality stylist will probably tell you that it is less about your style or training method than it is about your personal psychology and willingness to fight that makes the biggest difference.

You've trained with Peyton Quinn, haven't you? Doesn't his training method better prepare someone for real world self-defense than a "traditional" martial arts class, because it encompasses psychology and willingness to fight?

Bulletman suit training isn't static, it's dynamic and alive, isn't it? If static training was all that was needed, why would Quinn et al, ever use Bulletman suits?

Ian,
If you want to try techniques with resistence, try them - but make sure the your partner is aware of this (and capable of dealing with this, so that one of you can give in before anything breaks).
Some arts/styles do this nearly every class. It's usually called sparring, rolling, pummelling, you know, randori.

Young-In-Park,
Since they are not an accurate reflection of a lethal force encounter, why do people learn how to shoot guns at a shooting range shooting at stationary paper targets that don't shoot back?
Why do boxers hit the heavy bag? Conditioning, repetition, attribute development. But boxers eventually spar. Just like tactical shooters eventually use FATS and simunition for scenarios and force on force training.

No one is saying there isn't a place for static training (unless I've misunderstood someone's post). No one is saying that aikido doesn't work (again, unless I've misunderstood someone's post). The original question, as I understand it to this point is: how much static training is necessary and when should dynamic training begin?

Regards,

Paul

Kevin Wilbanks
11-18-2002, 08:05 AM
Just to reiterate David's point, and one I've made many times before: there is a lot more to Aikido than self-defense. If all you can see in Aikido is it's potential to help you in some hypothetical fight at some indeterminate date in the future, is it really worth spending hours and hours per week for the rest of your life on? To me, Aikido practice is so rich with various possiblities for exploration and development that reducing the whole thing down to whether it 'works' for self-defense indicates a sad, narrow... reductionist point of view. For me, the fact that Aikido has self-defense applications in a certain set of situations is more like a fringe benefit.

Jason Tonks
11-18-2002, 09:35 AM
I believe at heart that Aikido training polishes people's character with a view to developing the spirit of both ourselves and those we train with. We realize through training a paradox of how powerful and how fragile human beings are. It is up to the practicioner to bring the techniques to life. Regarding self defence Aikido gets a lot of bad press thrown at it. It doesn't matter whether you do Thai Boxing, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, it's all can fly out the window when someone "puts it on you" out there. As the quote from O'Sensei goes, it's your spirit that is your true shield.

All the best

Jason T

ronmar
11-18-2002, 03:59 PM
More good replies, but I'm afraid I dont have a lifetime to spend doing aikido. I am more dedicated to other things, so sadly I will probably never see the full scope of aikido training.

I am just looking to integrate some aikido stuff into my other training, and am finding it hard to do, because aikido doesn't train in a way I really believe in. For example:
Aikido takes a different format - anything is allowed. However, to ensure we actually learn something and don't always get injured, we train in a repetitive and cooperative way.

- I just don't agree that I can get anything from training this way. I (personally) feel that I have to try a technique many times in a sparring situation before I will feel comfortable with it. Its very easy to throw a cooperative partner in judo or hit a bag in boxing, but anyone who has done either of these knows that sparring/randori is completely different. I the former you get used to the basic physial moves of the technique, build power and speed. The latter are much harder to get good at and require timing, reading of an opponent, experience, and determination.

I dont demand that you all train this way, do what you feel is right. I am just trying to say how I feel about something that is a problem for me.

shihonage
11-18-2002, 04:17 PM
It doesn't matter whether you do Thai Boxing, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, it's all can fly out the window when someone "puts it on you" out there. As the quote from O'Sensei goes, it's your spirit that is your true shield.

If you do Thai Boxing, you'll beat the snot out of most Aikido practitioners who sit around the forums and lament about how fragile is human life and how their spirit is their true shield.

PeterR
11-18-2002, 07:01 PM
Hi Aleksey;

Agreed, well sort of. A few weeks ago I met a reedy guy who did Thai Boxing and was going on about your same point. There is a difference between doing X and DOING X. There were a few Aikidoists within a 30m radius that could have had him for breakfast.

That said I have to agree with Kevin in that there are a number of reasons for doing Aikido and not all of them winning a "street fight". When I work on technique it helps me to understand how to turn it into nasty but the primary reason I train is because I like the training. We have a guest from Northern Ireland who, much to his protestations to the contrary, is fixated on fighting. I am sure he could use Aikido to great effect and he seems relatively happy with the training. Of course our training is a wee bit different from much Aikido out there but even here some equally capable Aikidoists are saying that for his sake, I hope his eyes get opened while he's here.

Maturity has a lot to do with it.
If you do Thai Boxing, you'll beat the snot out of most Aikido practitioners who sit around the forums and lament about how fragile is human life and how their spirit is their true shield.

YEME
11-18-2002, 08:00 PM
I'm relatively new to aikido too and its people who are there to fight/resist/strain that impede my training.

I recently had one student about to be graded 'teach' me that I was doing things incorrectly by resisting. I ended up with bruising on my arms and not from falling. And to top it off I felt like the lesson had been wasted. I learnt no technique. I just had someone try to show how good he was and how little I knew. Aside from being discouraging I felt it didn't represent the art I had chosen. If I wanted to 'fight' i would have gone to my BJJ or kickboxing class instead.

Were you in aikido to fight or to learn? It is an art and not one that is aquired quickly. (as I'm slowly and painfully learning)

I took Aikido for possibly the exact opposite reason you did. I needed to focus and calm down.

." once you throw a punch, you have both lost the fight".

Jason Tonks
11-19-2002, 02:44 AM
Shihonage, I'm not lamenting about anything mate. I'm just stating facts. When I talk about spirit I mean guts and courage not God and the Universe.

All the best

Jason T

Jason Tonks
11-19-2002, 02:57 AM
Having said that you are right Shihonage, having done Muay Thai for about a year or so, the sheer ferocity of these practicioners would psyche out the vast majority of most Martial Artists.

All the best

Jason T

creinig
11-19-2002, 05:09 AM
However, to ensure we actually learn something and don't always get injured, we train in a repetitive and cooperative way.
I (personally) feel that I have to try a technique many times in a sparring situation before I will feel comfortable with it.
I for one would never do "Aikido sparring" with you unless I know that you have already some years of cooperative Aikido training under your belt.

The problem is that unless you learned the proper sensitivity for your partner in cooperative training, you're very likely accidentally injure him when tempers go hot, when under pressure etc.

Just yesterday I was training shihonage with a friend (he's been doing Aikido for 6 months, I'm in for one year now), and *twice* he almost broke my arm without noticing.

As this was in cooperative training, I could yell at him before anything serious happened. In a "sparring setting", well, bad luck...

A punching/kicking martial artist can give me bruises, make me bleed and eventually break my nose or so during sparring - and protective padding helps rather well against all this. An Aikidoka can rather easily break my arms/legs/shoulders/hips, snap my neck or crack my skull - and this can happen accidentally unless he knows both how to execute the techniques peoperly and how to have a "feel" for Uke.

Ukes should be re-usable ;-)

erikmenzel
11-19-2002, 05:17 AM
Ukes should be re-usable ;-)
Yep,

and as Alan Ruddock sensei told us:"Be nice to your uke for he/she is going to have a turn at you next!".

andrew
11-19-2002, 06:38 AM
How can aikido training be complete when there is no stress in the training. People say that you fight how you train, and there is plenty of stress and tiring activity in a fight. Aikido people never test themselves in competition or otherwise so how can they be sure that what they are doing is worthwhile?
Try reading either of these, they should help answer your question.

http://gargas.biomedicale.univ-paris5.fr/eurocal/sncemeng.html

http://gargas.biomedicale.univ-paris5.fr/eurocal/ecrits/ukemi1.html

andrew

paw
11-19-2002, 07:58 AM
Christian,
I for one would never do "Aikido sparring" with you unless I know that you have already some years of cooperative Aikido training under your belt. ... Ukes should be re-usable
Jigoro Kano on randori:

“The main conditions in randori are that participants take care not to injure each other, and that they follow judo etiquette, which is mandatory if one is to derive the maximum benefit from randori. Randori may be practiced either as training in the methods of attack and defense, or as physical education. In either case, all movements are made in conformity with the principle of maximum efficiency. If training in attack and defense is the objective, concentration on the proper execution of techniques is sufficient. But beyond that, randori is ideal for physical culture since it involved all parts of the body and, unlike gymnastics, all its movements are purposeful and executed with spirit. The objective of this training is to perfect control over mind and body and to prepare a person to meet any emergency or attack, accidental or intentional.”

Draeger on randori:

“The main conditions in randori are that participants take care not to injure each other, and that they follow judo etiquette, which is mandatory if one is to derive the maximum benefit from randori. Randori may be practiced either as training in the methods of attack and defense, or as physical education. In either case, all movements are made in conformity with the principle of maximum efficiency. If training in attack and defense is the objective, concentration on the proper execution of techniques is sufficient. But beyond that, randori is ideal for physical culture since it involved all parts of the body and, unlike gymnastics, all its movements are purposeful and executed with spirit. The objective of this training is to perfect control over mind and body and to prepare a person to meet any emergency or attack, accidental or intentional.”

In other words, if people are getting injuried during randori, then just like training, something is wrong.

Regards,

Paul

Irony
11-19-2002, 09:06 AM
Ron, I think the best testimonial anyone can give is to look at any yudansha. Aikido training technique has worked well for them. As for just trying to take aikido moves and integrate them into your other style, I think you'll have a hard time. For aikido (what I view as aikido anyway) the mindset is going to be totally different. IMHO, taking a dangerous move out of the protective context of aikido is both difficult and misusing. You say you don't have a lifetime to train... well, I'm sorry, but aikido takes a lifetime.

creinig
11-19-2002, 09:27 AM
Me:
I for one would never do "Aikido sparring" with you unless I know that you have already some years of cooperative Aikido training under your belt. ... Ukes should be re-usable
Paul:
In other words, if people are getting injuried during randori, then just like training, something is wrong.
Don't quote me out of context :)

I completely agree with you, but you're missing my point. I wrote the above as response to this:
I (personally) feel that I have to try a technique many times in a sparring situation before I will feel comfortable with it.
My point was that you can not safely try most Aikido techniques in a sparring situation unless you already got a good feel for both the technique and for your uke in cooperative, "slow" training. Would you tell beginners "ok, so you've seen iriminage, now let's test it in a randori session" (emphasis on "beginners")?

paw
11-19-2002, 10:22 AM
Christian,
Would you tell beginners "ok, so you've seen iriminage, now let's test it in a randori session" (emphasis on "beginners")?

Yes. Absolutely.

We roll in bjj after the first class. My first judo class ended with randori. No injuries, no problems, no worries.

Randori does not mean "beat the stuffing out of each other". The main conditions in randori are that participants take care not to injure each other, and that they follow judo etiquette, which is mandatory if one is to derive the maximum benefit from randori. Kano, previously quoted.

Regards,

Paul

Alfonso
11-19-2002, 11:18 AM
don't confuse us any more. most people posting here seem to be novices, people in the first period of their training.

do other martial arts train differently? Yes.

are they effective? Yes.

are they aikido? No.

is their stated purpose to reach as many people as possible (the world) and be available to old men, women, children, sick and disabled people? I think not.

Aikido can offer that as well. It's not solely a martial art, it's also something more, a training in cooperation, connection and compassion.

as well, it is a martial art. And it contains Kata practice that must be transcended, it contains freestyle practice that will teach application of principles learned in Kata.

can it be improved with modern ideas? I would assume so, why not?

But think of the people who have been able to find in Aikido a practice that has been of value, that has in many cases saved their lives, and given meaning to lives thought lost. Even at ages where by all "modern" concepts you should be relegated to the sidelines to watch.

And go , test and feel the tecnique of those who have spent their lives training in it. You should be able to tell if its all crap no?

ronmar
11-19-2002, 02:37 PM
I for one would never do "Aikido sparring" with you unless I know that you have already some years of cooperative Aikido training under your belt.

I've had lots of other training, much of which is transferrable to aikido. Is aikido so much more dangerous than other martial arts that randori is impossible? Is it not possible for aikido experts to go easy in a randori situation, if needs be, without patronising and humiliating those they are training with? Its possible in boxing, judo, wrestling and other fighting arts, so why not aikido.

I guess most of you probably haven't trained in a randori style format too much. Those that have (eg Paul Watt, Aleksey Sundeyev, Peter Rehse, and others) recognise that this could be possible in aikido, whether they agree that it should be done or not.

shihonage
11-19-2002, 02:53 PM
I guess most of you probably haven't trained in a randori style format too much. Those that have (eg Paul Watt, Aleksey Sundeyev, Peter Rehse, and others) recognise that this could be possible in aikido, whether they agree that it should be done or not.
Ron, I haven't trained in a randori style.

I've only been in a few scuffles, a few "simulated self defense scenarios", and a couple of "wannabe boxing in backyard with buddy" encounters.

On a separate note, I think many of your inquiries of Aikido will solve themselves in your mind if you give it a year, assuming you're not in an extremely off-the-wall dojo.

ronmar
11-19-2002, 03:06 PM
Ron, I haven't trained in a randori style.

I appologise for accusing you, you sound like you might have. At least your a realist.

Erik
11-19-2002, 04:07 PM
Randori practice, as such, is very possible in this art. I spent a fair amount of time in a place that uses randori almost exclusively as it's base of practice and did so immediately. The idea that you can't do this in Aikido because it's TOO dangerous is wrong.

How did you work with a beginner for instance? Simple, you didn't throw them in dangerous ways and went slow with them. Basically beginners were full-on blending practice in a moderately controlled way. As they became more advanced the practice evolved into whatever it evolved into. More than a few times, with the right partners I'd wind up wrestling on the mat. I've even tackled the sensei when called up to uke.

Paul is exactly right.

A couple of notes. I personally don't subscribe to the above approach. I think there needs to be a structural base, particularly for raw recruits. Without one they pick up as many bad habits as good habits. I don't, however, subscribe to the idea that it takes years to achieve. If it takes years to get there (and I'm thinking a decade or so as some do it) my belief is that moving to this flowing practice will be very difficult at best. I honestly think it's almost impossible at that point but recognize there are exceptions.

Second, the dojo mentioned above was definitely taking a more spiritual (whatever that means) approach. This was actually a source of frustration for me as there were really only a couple of people interested in playing more physically. Still, randori is very doable and I've done plenty of it. For what it's worth, I've been bashed both in structured and unstructured environments too.

creinig
11-19-2002, 04:17 PM
Is it not possible for aikido experts to go easy in a randori situation, if needs be, without patronising and humiliating those they are training with?
Ok, I guess it's apologizing time. Somehow my brain seems to have completely ignored the fact that it's also entirely possible to do randori / to spar with an experienced partner :freaky:. So - please ignore my posts for the situation where at least one randori partner is experienced (as in, say, 4+ years of training). For the "beginner beating the crap out of another beginner" they still hold though ;)

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

PS: please experiment with cooperative training as well - I'm sure you can get very much out of it too.

akiy
11-19-2002, 04:31 PM
Hi Ron, everyone else,

Couple of questions for you.

Do you think, at this point in your life and experience in the martial arts, that you would be willing to accept aikido's training methods as valid?

If you aren't willing, do you think your opinions on aikido's training methods would change if you got to feel, for yourself, some more experienced people in the art who learned and/or teach aikido through those very same training methods?

Frankly, I think it's healthy to think about things like training methods. I sure have...

-- Jun

PeterR
11-19-2002, 07:09 PM
Hi guys;

In the Shodokan university system there are definate programs to get you doing full blown randori within two years. Honbu, being made up of a wider range of students, doesn't have the same emphasis but you can be doing it pretty quick if thats your inclination.

The secret is graduated randori, coupled with kata and drills. At each stage of randori it is made very clear what can and can not be done. In that context even your first class you could be doing tanto taisabaki (the lowest level). This by the way is a great exercise. Take a rubber knife (or failing that pipe insulation wrapped with masking tape). Uke has 30 seconds or five attempts to connect to tori's chest with a straight thrust. Tori's only function is to get out of the way using only body movement and light blocking with his hands. Want to up the aerobic content of your training - this is a good way.

paw
11-19-2002, 09:05 PM
Jun,
Do you think, at this point in your life and experience in the martial arts, that you would be willing to accept aikido's training methods as valid?

Valid for what? A knife is a perfectly valid tool, but not a good method of transportation. A bike a great tool to use to get from point A to point B, but I wouldn't use it to spread butter on my toast.

Even if a training method is valid, is it the most effecient?

There was a program on the discovery channel about traditional chinese martial arts. It started with some shaolin temple training and ended with san shou fighter Cung Le. The techniques were the same. The shaolin temple people punched, kicked and threw just like Cung Le (and vice versa). But the training methods were vastly different.

No one can question Cung Le's success as a fighter or as a trainer of fighters. But one could argue that he's not preserving the traditions of the chinese martial arts as completely as the shaolin temple folks are. But then shaolin temple approach isn't going to produce a world class fighter as quickly as Cung Le will (if at all).

This thread:

Ron has specific goals from aikido and in my mind legitimate doubts that the training method in the dojo he's in will help him reach those goals.

Different people have different goals from aikido (or martial arts in general). Some of us have probably changed our goals over the years. I'm willing to bet if Ron had said that he wanted a more spiritual outlook from aikido this thread wouldn't have made it past a page and people would have recommended books, videos or other schools and wished him well. Instead, because he has the audacity to expect a martial art to be, well, martial, he just doesn't get it?

If I tell you that I've got the "one, true, unstoppable method of self-defense" and it's available to you in 5 lessons, I don't think you're disrespectful if you ask me for some type of proof. I also don't think you're disrespectful if you ask why it can't be taught in 3 lessons.

Dynamic training:

The Shodokan folks randori without any significant differences in injuries than other styles of aikido that don't randori (Peter, please correct me if I'm wrong). Randori can be done. It is done, even in aikido.

Regards,

Paul

PeterR
11-19-2002, 09:18 PM
The Shodokan folks randori without any significant differences in injuries than other styles of aikido that don't randori (Peter, please correct me if I'm wrong). Randori can be done. It is done, even in aikido.
Perhaps even less. Based on what I've seen, heard and read (Aikido Journal has an article written by Shishida Shihan which is worth a read) the serious injuries are obtained not in randori but in uncontrolled waza execution. By uncontrolled I mean both accidents and the repeditive shihonages that occur in some university clubs in Japan. Schools which base their training on precise kata have by nature, less of these injuries. Schools which have randori as an outlet often avoid the rampant egos which can lead to abuse and injuries.

mle
11-20-2002, 04:04 AM
*snip*. Schools which base their training on precise kata have by nature, less of these injuries. Schools which have randori as an outlet often avoid the rampant egos which can lead to abuse and injuries.
Having cross-trained a bit over a spectrum of aikido styles (and I recommend that to everyone for perspective) I have to say that I tend to enjoy those with more "interactivity".

I also find the practicioners more realistic, effective, and softer. And yeah, jiyuwaza or randori will keep a rampant ego in check.

It wasn't so much in my curriculum, but my fave instructor was a judo guy so it sort of naturally worked its way into my training.

I found it very helpful and, with an experienced and well-intentioned practicioner, very educational. And darn fun!

mle

akiy
11-20-2002, 08:40 PM
Hi Paul,
Valid for what?
Good question. From what I've read, I'm guessing that Ron is talking about the age-old question of "martial effectiveness."
Ron has specific goals from aikido and in my mind legitimate doubts that the training method in the dojo he's in will help him reach those goals.
I agree -- his doubts are perfectly legitimate.

My questions above were more aimed at whether Ron is willing to change his thoughts about aikido's training methods or if he's on a one-track mission to "prove" aikido's training methods wrong...

Personally, I think that the training method as used in aikido does work as far as it producing martially effective people. Of course, that doesn't mean it can't stand a bit of self reflection nor changes.

To close, I'd like to quote Karl Friday from his book, "Legacies of the Sword" where he talks about his thoughts on the different training methods of sparring and kata:
Proponents of sparring and the competitions that developed concomitantly argued that pattern practice alone cannot develop the seriousness of purpose, the courage, decisiveness, aggressiveness, and forbearance vital to true mastery of combat. Such skills, they said, can be fostered only by contesting with an equally serious opponent, not by dancing through kata. Pattern practice, moreover, forces students to pull their blows and slow them down, so they never develop their speed and striking power. Competition, it was argued, is also needed to teach students how to read and respond to an opponent who is actually trying to strike them.

Kata purists, on the other hand, retorted that competitive sparring does not produce the same state of mind as real combat and is not, therefore, any more realistic a method of training than pattern practice. Sparring also inevitably requires rules and modifications of equipment that move trainees even further away from the conditions of duels and/or the battlefield. Moreover, sparring distracts students from the mastery of the kata and encourages them to develop their own moves and techniques before they have fully absorbed those of the ryuha.

The controversy persists today, with little foreseeable prospect of resolution. It is important for our purposes here to note that it represents a divergence in philosophy that transcends the label of "traditionalists versus reformers" sometimes applied to it. In the first place, the conflict is nearly 300 years old, and the "traditionalist" position only antedates the "reformist" one by a few decades. In the second, advocates of sparring maintain that their methodology is actually closer to that employed in Sengoku and early Tokugawa times than is kata-only training. And in the third place, modern cognate martial arts schools -- the true reformists -- are divided over this issue: Judo relies exclusively on sparring to evaluate students, while aikido tests only by means of kata, and kendo uses a combination of kata and sparring in its examinations.

In any event, one must be careful not to make too much of the quarrels surrounding pattern practice, for the disagreements are disputes of degree, not essence. All of the traditional ryuha that survive today utilize kata as their central form of training. None has abandoned it or subordinated it to other teaching techniques.
Phew. That was longer than I thought, but I think it contains a lot of good thoughts on this subject. He devotes an entire section on "kata and pattern practice" (pp 102-119) which is too long to repeat here but recommended for people interested in why many koryu arts including Kashima Shinryu (which the book is about) rely heavily and sometimes even solely upon kata training.

-- Jun

PS: Diane Skoss also has a good piece on kata training on this very site here (http://www.aikiweb.com/training/skoss2.html).

paw
11-20-2002, 09:45 PM
Jun,

Let's trade homework assignments then. Kali - Aliveness and dead patterns (http://www.inosanto.com/yabbse/index.php?board=1;action=display;threadid=59) is a thread that discusses this very issue.

Regards,

Paul

akiy
11-20-2002, 09:56 PM
Hi Paul,

Thanks for the link! It looks rather interesting. I'll see if I can read it over (although at 24 pages, it's quite long!).

-- Jun

Erik
11-21-2002, 03:02 AM
In that context even your first class you could be doing tanto taisabaki (the lowest level). This by the way is a great exercise. Take a rubber knife (or failing that pipe insulation wrapped with masking tape). Uke has 30 seconds or five attempts to connect to tori's chest with a straight thrust. Tori's only function is to get out of the way using only body movement and light blocking with his hands.
Jun, in regards to your question the above illustrates much that frustrates me about what I see and often participate in. Peter describes something that operates outside of rigid context. For instance, when I discover that a thrust doesn't work, I might try spinning or changing hands. Once something begins to work I'll repeat it until it doesn't work anymore as my opponent learned how to respond to it. Then when that doesn't work I evolve again. This type of practice provides a vital, dynamic and evolving process which is often lacking in Aikido practice. If you add into that a structured teaching plan which taught someone optimal ways to strike or defend you have a strong fundamental base with a system allowing for dynamic growth and learning.

For me at least, this is much of what I see missing within normal Aikido practice. On second thought, I'd say it's there but extremely minimized.

One more thought.

Everytime the issue of randori comes up, someone chimes in with "IT'S TOO DANGEROUS! We can't practice Aikido outside of controlled parameters." So riddle me this, isn't Aikido the art of harmonious reconciliation to conflict? If so, and we can't safely find ways to execute our techniques on mats, with people who know how to fall, outside of controlled paramaters, then how the heck are we going to do it outside of the dojo where it's all outside of controlled parameters?

akiy
11-21-2002, 09:48 AM
Hi Erik,

I agree in the fact that many people do not engage in "dynamic" aikido practice -- meaning that it seems many are content to repeat techniques in a, say, 4th kyu fashion for 20 years.

My teacher often tells his students during his regular classes to not do the same exact technique twice but to do, say, four different variations on the same theme. Sure, they may all be katatedori shihonage, but make them different. As such, I'll very often give slightly different attacks as uke in respect to timing, intent, and so on. This is still within the context of "kata" training in my mind and, to my understanding, happens in the context of such in koryu arts as well.

Relatedly, it often amuses me to see people in aikido tests being able to successfully do the technique that's been called every single time -- even if the technique were not appropriate for that attack. I hardly see people just avoiding the attack if that's all they could do.

I also agree that the "aikido is too dangerous to be used against people who are resisting" argument is flawed as other martial arts like judo and jujutsu work against people who are actively resisting. The auxiliary argument of, "but martial art XYZ is a 'sports' martial art and has rules" doesn't really do too well in my eyes as aikido practice has many, many rules as well...

As Ushiro sensei at the Aiki Expo said, his wish was that if people in aikido learned more "effective" ways of attacking as uke that the whole art would benefit. I can't agree more...

-- Jun

SeiserL
11-21-2002, 10:42 AM
Kali - Aliveness and dead patterns (http://www.inosanto.com/yabbse/index.php?board=1;action=display;threadid=59) is a thread that discusses this very issue.
Coming from the FMA (Lucaylucay Kali/JKD)I felt the "dead patterns" were a great way to learn the basic flows and angles of attack. Labeling them as "dead" let you know there was something more "alive" coming. I know we all tend to be attached to a specific training method. But, IMHO, there are many ways to the same goal. I have practiced my Aikido against some other arts, and found the Aikido training method very effective. It was just different than what I had done before. I too had troubles accepting it at first.

Until again,

Lynn

paw
11-21-2002, 11:12 AM
Lynn,

Did you read the thread? Because....

Other people made the same statements you just did and ... the thread is still ongoing.

Regards,

Paul

ronmar
11-21-2002, 03:06 PM
My questions above were more aimed at whether Ron is willing to change his thoughts about aikido's training methods or if he's on a one-track mission to "prove" aikido's training methods wrong

There is nothing I would love more than to be proved wrong. The more I know the better, I think. However, I am not learning how to do aikido by attending an aikido class and practicing in a set, rigid, repetitive way. I have tried to make the stuff work against resisting opponents, and I can't get it to.

I haven't been doing aikido very long, but surely I should be able to do something.

Another thing that makes me doubt (as I have mentioned ad nauseum) is the attitude of the higher grades. They do not seem willing or able to demonstrate techniques against what I would call realistic attacks. If the best aikido people I have seen don't look like they can fight too well, then I will inevitably doubt the aikido training method they employ. (note I do not doubt that the techniques could be effective.

SeiserL
11-22-2002, 01:44 PM
Lynn,Did you read the thread? Because....Other people made the same statements you just did and ... the thread is still ongoing.Regards, Paul
Nope, haven't had time to go read it. Sounds like it might be good though. Thanks for the heads up.

Until again,

Lynn

opherdonchin
11-22-2002, 02:22 PM
So, Ron, I'm beginning to get the feeling that you are repeating yourself. There's nothing wrong with that, but the feeling usually indicates that there is some breakdown of communication. Maybe you feel like people on this thread haven't understood what you are asking for? Maybe something in all the responses has somehow missed the boat for you?

I honestly doubt that we will be able to offer you any demonstration you would find convincing by electronic means, since a lot of the issues you raise seem to involve the importance of physically experiencing something.

The only thing we do seem to have offered, electronically, is the experience of a number of members who haveean looking for. I don't mean by that any disrespect either for you or for AiKiDo. You have very specific needs and interests, and if you had come to me before you'd tried AiKiDo and asked me which martial arts might interest you, AiKiDo would not have come to mind.

gregg herbert
11-24-2002, 07:42 PM
were i practice atemi is given to the nage with a tap or harmless slap to the nage for bad techniqe and also given to the uke , so the uke can see the possible atemis.randori also helps with awarness of possible threats. I think you need to find a dojo that likes to but heads.....

pcallen
11-25-2002, 12:03 PM
Mr. Marshall,

As you begin to learn technique your practice and attacks should be slow and formal. If for no other reason than to insure that you have a practice partner at your next class. If you have been practicing a technique for a while and your sempai or sensei is not pushing you for more speed and to meet the vagaries of attack inherent with working with several partners then I would agree it's time to move to another dojo. Blending with differences is essence of the art.