View Full Version : "Show me Aikido"

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Ta Kung
01-03-2003, 09:00 AM

If someone would ask you to show him/her Aikido, what would you do?

And I don't mean take him to the dojo to see a class. :rolleyes:



Tim Harley
01-03-2003, 09:15 AM
I'd ask them to walk toward me. Then I'd move out of the way.



01-03-2003, 09:25 AM
grab my wrist! come on grab my wrist!!!

01-03-2003, 09:49 AM
For newbies (as me) it's a very difficult proposal...

Even more when people that are outside the mat think that it's fake...You know, one of the common misconception about Aikido.

01-03-2003, 10:05 AM
I love it when I can get a friend to come out to some grass for a session of tenkan, but that doesn't happen very often.

I often talk about training about how to touch people. The difference between touching in a way to relaxes and unbalances and touching in a way that stiffens and creates resistance is usually pretty easy to demonstrate, plus it's always fun (and usually socially acceptable) to touch people even if only on the shoulder. :)

01-03-2003, 10:16 AM
It is pretty difficult to explain Aikido. It is easy to show it technical-wise. But, then it's too similar to JuJutsu. Unless it's an Aiki-waza.

I would probably ask them, "Are we communicating right now?" If yes, "Then we are actually practicing Aikido."

Jason Tonks
01-03-2003, 10:47 AM
Hello there Pablo. You are caught between a rock and a hard place here. People want to be convinced of Aikido technique but at the same time dont want to feel any pain! Techniques become more painful as a person resists,(we are talking joint locking techniques here as opposed to throws). If you ask someone not to resist of course most will say, but I'm not going to just stand there! When it comes to throwing someone you need them to come in with a true spirited attack to punch, kick or whatever. For someone that can't breakfall you can't do that without potential serious injury. That's why we learn Aikido the way we do. What your left with is the situation of having a person in front of you (in my experience) who doesn't want to feel any pain but will resist your techniques (as a natural response). To be honest overall it's best not to bother showing anybody anything outside of a dojo.

All the best

Jason T

Lyle Bogin
01-03-2003, 11:06 AM
Well since inviting them to the dojo has been ruled out, I'd probably offer myself as an uke and show them how to do shihonage. This way I can point out thing like "see you took my balance..that's part of aikido...see how our two strengths can come together and move here...." etc. So they get an idea of the principals. My aikido is not so great that I can suddenly turn skeptics into true believers...so a simple rough explaination will have to do.

Someone told a story about this scenario that I thought was very effective at demonstrating points about this issue...with a TKD teacher or somesuch. Right?

01-03-2003, 11:39 AM
It never works out too well.

We automatically adapt to the stiffness of the "party guest uke" as not to hurt them, and we go at leisurely speed because we need to feel if they're being overextended and/or hurt.

They perceive it as a weakness and try to get out of technique as much as possible.

This makes Aikido practitioner feel as if their technique was inadequate, even though they haven't applied it at the level which they should have.

Mel Barker
01-03-2003, 11:44 AM
I never "show Aikido", I teach it.

01-03-2003, 11:49 AM
I grab their wrist and push into them with it. They do one of 2 things: retreat or push back. The first thing I do is get them to push back (even if they retreated), then I push back, then they push back and it escalates. Everyone has also been a verbal situation, or a fight, where this happened. They relate to it and point one is made.

I then talk about retreating and how it can draw conflict in. Everyone's seen a dog chase something that ran. Most people have probably been chased themselves as a kid. They relate to it and point two is made.

Finally, I have them grab me and I blend with it. Usually they get it. Not always, and it doesn't always go perfectly when you run into an ox or someone who is pretty insubstantial but it works as well as anything I've tried.

01-03-2003, 12:33 PM
Have you ever seen a Steven Seagal movie?


Ta Kung
01-03-2003, 02:02 PM
Eww, Michael! We actually want people to start training Aikido... and mentioning Segal isn't helping! =)


Paula Lydon
01-04-2003, 02:44 PM
~~I have had people ask me this very question and I always approach the answer from the principles. I explaine that there are different styles of Aikido as with all MA, but that (IMHO) the underlying principles upon which Aikido is based should be reflected somewhere in all the styles. Then I let them 'feel' some things like connection, disbalancement, the advantage of position instead of opposition. If they've training in other arts, especially harder ones, I let them feel the principle of 'neutralizing' :)

01-05-2003, 12:00 AM
LOL! No mentioning Seagal, eh? Dammit, I'm in trouble. ;)

I agree about showing technique, with regards to people wanting to see something "effective". The more they resist, the more the technique will hurt, so I endeavor to avoid that altogether.

A "parlor trick" I learned, though, I really like to use... the classic one where you have them make a fist, hold it straight out in front of them (arm parallel to the ground), then ask them to hold it there with all his/her might.

Then, push linearly on the hand (up, down, left, etc) and they can resist easily. At the end, gently place your hand over the front of the fist and move in circles, and watch 'em smile :) I'm sure you all know that one, but it's definitely a nice, non-injuring demo of what aikido can be.


01-05-2003, 12:21 AM
Eww, Michael! We actually want people to start training Aikido... and mentioning Segal isn't helping! =)

Geez Patrik,

For some of us that started Aikido in the late 80's, he was an icon.

I was first skeptical of Aikido (coming from a Okinawan Kempo background) until I felt it. And the reason I first started to research it was because of Seagal Sensei.

Phil Johnson (username PhilJ) and I still have prospective students come in and "check us out" because of <i>Above the Law </i> or one of his subsequent films.

Ta Kung
01-05-2003, 05:05 AM
He he he, ok then Mike. I was just kidding anyway. :) All I really know about Segal is that he is a lousy actor, but that he's supposed to be good at Aikido. And that's all I need to know. :)


01-05-2003, 08:14 AM
Probably my favorite party trick is to pull out my wife (she is a nikyu--but will be testing very soon).

If I demonstrate a simple wrist lock its not that cool because I am a pretty big guy. When my wife dumps some big guy on his butt at a party with no effort, does unbendable arm or unbreakable circle...it gets peoples' attention.

BTW, she absolutely hates it when I do that to her. :) She calls me an Aiki pimp.

Brian H
01-05-2003, 09:36 AM
I had somebody ask me that one day when we had been doing Katate Dori Kokyo Nage the night before in class. It seemed the perfect technique at the time for a "parlor trick" and I have used it ever since.

I just stuck out an arm and told him to grab my wrist (after assuring them that I would not slam him against the whole planet)

I then did a little irimi so that I was standing dead in front of him.

I explained that he was in a position of advantage and could easily smack me in the face. I then used my bladed hand to cut down toward his elbow and showed him how easy it was to resist my efforts to break his balance.

Then I shuffled my hamni over to a 30-45 degree angle to his body and repeated gentle pressure toward his elbow until I broke his balance by dropping his shoulder. I made no effort to throw him and pointed out that if he were to reach around to try and hit me that it would only force him more off balance.

For the truly faint at heart, you can reverse roles and explain to them how to do it to you.

I then say "Aikido is finding a way to do something like that, regardless of the situation."

01-05-2003, 09:37 AM
What about "the unbendable arm"?

Bruce Baker
01-05-2003, 10:15 AM
There are a couple of party tricks that can be used.

My first trick is usually to shake hands and then turn around causing a kotegaeshi, or what I call Wally Jays "student follows the teacher as he walks."

Most times, I use the get out the way, with using the opponents own strength against them, then Ikkyo, Nikkyo, Sankkyo ... etc ... so long as it doesn't mean throws.

If they get mean, or try to wrestle, I revert to a quick finger grab, or back to Ikkyo.

It is amazing how much starts at Ikkyo and ends at ikkyo.

Most people just nod their heads, and say, how interesting, but show me people? They tend to get a little rough.

Don't show me in a small space with breakables, and remember to be gentle ...

Yeah, my wife says she can't take me anywhere too.

I always thought rooting and unbendable arm were pretty good party tricks ... especially when you get strangers to do it the first time they try?

mike lee
01-05-2003, 10:37 AM
Two cats tumbling.