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06-16-2000, 11:57 PM
What's the earliest aikido memory that you have?

Mine is that of a class about two weeks into training. I was quick in getting the hang of front rolls and such and was working with our senior student in the dojo in tsuki hijinage. He noticed that I was able to punch and perform the roll pretty well so he said, "Go ahead -- hit me." I gave him another not-so-intense punch. He said, "No, really. Hit me." So I thought, okay and tried to hit him. He went and did the hijinage without any problems and threw me several feet through the air. I remember the teacher walking by saying, "Sheesh -- it's only Jun's second week here. Don't break our students!" Luckily, I survived, and here I am today...

-- Jun

06-17-2000, 01:22 PM
My first memorable experience didn't have quite the impact that yours did in that I was very put off by what I saw. I watched a 4th kyu test and it looked like crap to me. Weird ass stuff, openings all over the place (IMO at the time) and it was very disappointing to see for an outside observer.

Then there were nidan tests that weekend and it initially got worse. One of the nidans gave a god-awful test (good ukes are good things) and I was thinking to myself that I'd never sign up for this stuff, it's not only fake, it's bad.

Ah, but that second nidan test was a different animal. Had himself a light uke he did and it was a whole different experience. My eye's lit up and I was hooked and now I'm a doer of weirder ass stuff.

Jun, you are gumby man-unbreakable. There was the possibility you might shatter but it was a risk I was willing to take. Thanks for posting that.

Chuck Clark
06-17-2000, 02:04 PM
My first real "aikido" memory was seeing Koichi Tohei Sensei in 1964 and thinking, "I want to learn to do that!"

I had been doing judo & karatedo for some time and was a new shodan in both. I was very turned on by the aikido I saw.

06-19-2000, 04:52 PM
Well, my earliest memory...

Musta been my 3rd or 4th class. It was a college club taught by about 2 or 3 shodans. We all paired off to do some musubi renshu (connection exercises) and I actually got one of the shodans to work with (doesn't happen often in a class of 15 - 20 people). We went through some stuff a couple of times (well, he went through it several times, and I just sort of floundered about). then he turned to me after one of them and asked "How did that feel?"

Not in the sense of did I feel completely dominated and do I realize that aikido is the Ultimate Martial Art(tm), but in the sense of did I feel anything that seemed wrong. A black belt was asking me (a white belt in my 3rd or 4th class) if his technique felt right! I wasn't sure what to think of this then, but I later realized he asked because it's not about what tori (nage) is doing, but about what is happening to uke. Seemed pretty profound when I figured it out (still working on putting it into my practice).

Will Schutt

06-21-2000, 10:12 AM
My earliest aikido memory was back in the early eighties watching an aikido demonstration by the Colorado State University Ki Aikido Club with my (then) kenpo instructor. He did nothing but point out weaknesses in their techniques, while I sat there in silence thinking they looked pretty cool. My next aikido memory is of my first class in aikido with Matt, a yudansha who displayed amazing patience with me while I struggled to learn ukemi and some basic techniques, even when our Sensei scolded us about something. I wasn't used to Sensei's Japanese accent and couldn't understand him at the time, so Matt took the blame for whatever it was that I was doing incorrectly. I've been hooked ever since.

12-09-2000, 06:53 PM
it would first be looking at my current dojo after a karate class- a person whom I would later recognize as Shihan was teaching jo-waza, and one of my current sensei came over and talked to us. The jowaza intrigued me, not sure why, and I stayed until my dad pretty much pried me out the door. I came back Saturday, where it was me, two ikkyu (now shodan), and another white belt whom I would not see again. We worked on a technique that I would learn was called ikkyo, with a submission. After my first class that cold Saturday morning almost a year ago, I walked out knowing not much Aikido, but knowing I would die trying to grasp just a little bit of it...


12-09-2000, 08:57 PM
My first memory?

I used to be a fan of the GI Joe comic books. In one of the sidestory books (GI Joe: Special Missions, I think)one of the medics assigned to the team was a devout pacifist. It came to pass that Lifeline as he was called was forced into a hand to hand fight with a Soviet Spetznaz trooper while the rest of his team watched with their hands tied.

This pacifist starts throwing this giant Georgian around like he was a rubberball. The machine gunner turns to the team leader and says: "what is this? I thought he couldn't fight." What followed was a short description of Aikido and how it worked using an opponents own aggression against him.

At the time I wasn't interested in pacifism nor am I now but the idea of using an aggressor's own attack against him sort of stuck with me.

I guess that is a pretty strange way to learn about something as profound as Aikido but there it is.

BTW, I'm much better now.


12-12-2000, 01:59 PM
My best memory is from the first time I ever got on the mat.

I was never really interested in martial arts before, but I got to talking to my friend in college, and he started telling me about aikido... He had done a little, and there was a big club at our school, so I agreed to go check it out.

I think I was really confused watching the first class, but the second time I went, I trained a little, and finally got to work with a shodan. We were doing iriminage, but I had no clue what I was in for. I punched, pretty hard, and he moved right into me, and took my head to his chest, like hugging a brother... and I was on the floor. I couldn't believe it. I felt like his brother, because he had accepted me in the midst of my attack. Anything else was gone...

wow. ;)

01-18-2001, 09:31 PM
My first experience with Aikido was very positive. I was a student of Judo for about 2 years. I asked my sensei what the difference was between Aikido and Judo. He introduced me to the Aikido instructor right before the class next door was about to start and asked if the sensei would quickly show me the difference between Judo and Aikido. I was instructed to take an attack position, and asked to mave a move in any direction. I did as I was told, and within what seemed like half a second, I was looking up at the lights on the ceiling. I asked if I understood the difference. I replied, "No, sensei. But that didn't take very long," I laughed out loud, perplexed and confused. I looked around at the 20-30 students around the edge of the mat, some laughing playfully, all with smiles on their faces. I guess they had looked up at the lights before.

I said, "I don't even know what happened. I was standing. I took an attack position, and now I am looking up at the ceiling. I don't even know what I tried to do."
"There was no fight. No Judo," he said matter-of-factly.
"I didn't have a chance to do anything," I said, grinning.
"Exactly. (pause) Aikido," he stated, bowing out, and he went to begin his class.

01-19-2001, 03:17 AM
I was training jiujiutsu and at one seminar there was this little japanees man doing incredible things, and was talking about something called KI. I didn't really understand anything at the time, but it turned out his name was Jamae sensei and he is a master in Aiki jiujiutsu (among hole lot more). I decided I wanted to learn that. (As I saw it, it wasn't like jiujiutsu, much more gracefull and somehow with more dignity :)). When I began studying at an University, there was a club in that town called Lund's Aikido club, and I figure that It was the next best thing, so I tried it out and I will allways thanking myself for that.

01-19-2001, 07:21 AM
ntrcptr_00 wrote:
and asked if the sensei would quickly show me the difference between Judo and Aikido.

This is in french. It explains some of the technical differences between aikido and judo and karate. I'm too lazy to translate it, but there's a pretty handy translator at http://www.alavista.com.
I think this was written by Tiki Shewan, a french 6th dan. More of the same at http://www.aikido-jaffraji.com too.

L'AÏKIDO se différencie du JUDO par quelques principes techniques.
Lors d'une poussée de l'adversaire, le JUDOKA tire et l'AIKIDOKA tourne. Lors d'une traction de l'adversaire, le JUDOKA pousse et l'AIKIDOKA entre en avançant. La distance de combat lors de la pratique à main nue se situe entre celles du Judo et du Karaté car on trouve à la fois des techniques de saisies et de coups. Le mode de combat est différent en fonction de la distance séparant les deux protagonistes. Lorsque les pratiquants agrippent directement un vêtement ou un segment de membre, leur distance de combat est très proche, par contre lors du combat aux poings et pieds, les pratiquants sont plus éloignés.
Enfin, une distance d'engagement de combat plus importante éloigne les pratiquants lorsqu'il pratique avec les armes (sabre, bâton ou poignard). Dans la pratique de l'Aïkido, toutes ces différentes distances sont exploitées en fonction de la situation. L'intensité des chutes est variable. L'Aïkido comporte des chutes apparemment violentes pour les pratiquants de haut niveau, et des chutes entièrement contrôlées et modulées pour les débutants, les enfants ou les personnes du 3ème âge qui n'encourent dans ce cas aucun risque.
Le KARATE est principalement axé sur le travail des coups (poings et pieds). Les adversaires ont une distance de combat correspondant à ce travail et utilisent assez rarement le corps à corps à la différence de l'Aïkido. Par ailleurs, KARATE, JUDO et IAIDO, comme beaucoup d'arts martiaux japonais comportent des KATA, enchaînements de mouvements stéréotypés et théoriquement immuables représentant des situations combatives et qui se travaillent seul ou à deux suivant les disciplines.
Cette notion figée qui est une pratique importante de ces Budos n'existe pratiquement pas en Aïkido qui se veut une discipline en constante évolution aussi bien sur le plan collectif qu'individuel.

01-19-2001, 01:37 PM
Well my "earliest aikido memory" and perhaps the best so far was simply walking into Shindai Aikikai for the first time. Hooker sensei was just sitting there. He looked me up and down as I did him. We didn't say much to each other, we didn't have to........ I'm still there.


Dan P. - Mongo

Robert Cowham
01-22-2001, 02:08 PM
Well I was living in Italy at the time and I came across this book called "Ki and Everyday Life" (in Italian) by Koichi Tohei. It sounded interesting and had some addresses in the back. I called, went along, had fun, and started. 14 years later I'm hooked worse than ever...