View Full Version : Am i right for Akido?

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11-07-2000, 08:02 PM
I have tried two other types of martial arts (one of which included Karate , but i felt i did not fit into these catagories. I have now decided to do a little research on the thing i try. I'd apprectiate it if a few of you could answer my questions thanks.

I am a sophmore in High School. I'm a generally peaceful person and dont really get in any conflicts. But i have always been pretty facinated with pressure points and the human body. I met this one dude who could grab my wrist and a second later i'd be begging him to let go. I read on the web that Akido has to do with pressure points and utilizing someone's energy against him/her. I do not plan on entering any tournments but hope that in the future if i get in a fight i will be able to defend myself. Through practice I wish to be like my friend and make someone submitt to me just by grabbing his wrist. I understand Akido has to do with alot of Phycology and stuff. I am aware of this and am also intrigued by it. My main goal is to be able to defend myself when people feel they are able to walk all over me.

A few other questions, what is the dogo and the BJJ? i read a few posts and wondered what they were.

If you feel Akido is not the right martial art for me, do you think i could get some advise or where to find more info on other martial arts?

I thank you for taking the time to read this and hope you can help me out.


11-07-2000, 08:56 PM
Hi James,

i don't know if anyone can tell you if you are 'right' for Aikido, or if it is 'right' for you...my best advice is find a few dojos in your area (see 'dojo search' under databases, or use the phone book), visit them, try a class or two...

a dojo is a place where you study a 'do', or way...in our case, where we study Aikido.

i think BJJ refers to Brazilian JuJitsu, but i'm stretching a bit....

i hope you give Aikido a try, and good luck to you,
Colleen Annes

11-08-2000, 12:46 AM
Hi! James

Sure your right - Allmost everybody is potentially good Aikido students, and the only way to find out what Martial Art is the right for you is to start practicing. Off course it's a good idear to do some research before you throw yourself into the hands of any instructor or teacher but eventually you will have to begin practicing and it is only then you will begin to develop a true understanding of what kind of MA is right for you. I tried out two types of karate, kendo and nin-jutsu before I found Aikido and for the first time really felt at home within MA.

It sounds like you have the right basic attitude towards Aikido - now go find a dojo where they teach a form of Aikido that corresponds with your beliefs and values on a personal level.

All the best wishes in your search towards the right path. :)

11-08-2000, 01:25 PM
James, like the others, I believe that practically anybody can benefit from practicing Aikido. If you practice from your heart it can be a quite a world- changing experience. Aikido is an entirely new way of viewing the world, conflict, people and relationships (of whatever kind they may be) and our place in them. So, go ahead, try it! Even if you find it's not quite right for you, you'll walk away enriched by the experience. But, I'm biased, so don't take my word for it. Still, research the different schools in your area. The dojo search engine in this site gives good info as to the more reputable schools open in your area.

Although Aikido does use the body's pressure points (particularly as targets for atemi), this is just a small part of Aikido's self defense technique repertoire and potential. However, you will come to realize that Aikido is far MORE than just self- defense: its fundamental goal is to create better, honest, earnest sincere people through the discipline of a martial way.

A "dojo", or "place of the way" in japanese, is where you will learn the Art; basically where you go to train and learn.

BJJ does indeed stand for Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and it refers to the Ju-jitsu styles that originated from the Gracie Jujitsu school created by the Gracie family of Brazil. It is something of a misnomer because, from what I understand, it was developed and refined from a classical Ju-jitsu style (I don't recall the name) taught to the Gracie Brothers (Carlo and Helio Gracie) by a japanese ambassador in Brazil. The Gracies then elaborated on this style and called it Gracie Ju-jitsu. People then started calling it Brazilian Ju-jitsu when schools of this type of fighting started popping up. Incidentally, I understand that the Gracies themselves guard their techniques and teachings very jealously and to be a Gracie Jujitsu instructor you must be certified and licensed by the Gracies personally.

Still, calling it Brazilian Ju-jitsu is a misnomer. It'd be like calling an Aikido style that originated in the U.S. "American Aikido". It's still Aikido.


11-08-2000, 03:10 PM
Hello James!

Being a sophomore myself, I sympathized with your post and decided to respond.

I study Tomiki Aikido at a local YMCA. From what I have seen and practiced there, I don't think you'll be able to simply grab someone, apply some pressure, and have them begging for mercy. You will, however, be able to move your butt off the line of attack, redirect their momentum, usually throw them, and THEN be able to apply pressure in such a way as to have them begging for mercy.

Also, I don't think there are any actual 'tournaments,' wherein two aikidoka are put in a designated area and told to try and throw each other. There are certain sport-like activities, where one aikidoka holds a fake tanto and tries to stab the other, who tries to keep that from happening for a certain amount of time (In tomiki style at least). I'm pretty sure that in most other styles of aikido, there are no competitions of any sort. I realize you didn't want to enter any tournaments anyways, but just thought I'd mention it.

Also, certain styles of aikido are more oriented toward psychology and character building, and others are more oriented toward self defense. Regardless of this, you will be able to achieve what you said was your ultimate goal, to be able to defend yourself when people feel they can walk all over you, no matter what style you choose.

I would just like to note that you should keep in mind that it may take you awhile before your aikido becomes 'combat effective.' Some people are faster learners than others, but it took me at least two months before I could actually execute a throw in such a way as to REALLY move uke with my body weight, and I am only just now beginning to perform what techniques I know fluidly. However, being able to overcome the desire for instant results is part of the psychology/character building that was mentioned earlier. It is extremely beneficial to keep this attitude while training.

Finally, I do not know of any resources with info on other martial arts (you only wanted those if aikido wasn't right for you anyways, but...)
aikidofaq.com is filled with information on the origin, development, and principles of aikido, among other things. I'm sure you would enjoy stopping by it. Not to mention the several articles here at aikiweb =P.

Whatever your decisions, I wish you the best of luck.


Mike Collins
11-08-2000, 06:57 PM

You have no business studying Aikido. This art is only for people who are already superior persons and can defend themselves in all situations. What makes you believe you have any place studying Aikido? Of course you must not be allowed to study it, but if you somehow get in the door, you must never train more than twice a week. And if they let you train more frequently, you should never be allowed to actually take falls for any advanced teachers.

Hey, some people need a challenge in life. Consider it made.

Wade in and try it out. The reason you start isn't as important as why you stay after the first year or two.

Be patient, this is a VERY difficult art. Not hard, or complicated, but difficult. Good luck, have fun, make friends, laugh, sweat, get frustrated.

11-09-2000, 07:16 AM
Hi James,
It is spelt aikido (ai means harmony/blending). Also phycology is the study of fungi, at rarely has anything to do with aikido. Apologies for my flipancy, I've been reading too much Haiku recently!

I always feel aikido is for everyone (which is probably why everyone argues over styles all the time). I suggest you give it a go and find out, however your experience will very much depend on the club you go to so if there are 2 local clubs try them both out.

The range of people I have trained with goes from the bully, who wants to beat people up (and usually ends up developing a very spiritual aspect, and changing their whole approach to combat), to the person who does weaving and is trying to get in tune with his chakras (and goes to wine parties). Aikido is great 'cos people can get out entirely different things, and it often changes you personally.

Aikido crowds are usually very friendly and enjoy the input of beginners.

BJJ is Brazilian jujutsu (tends to be a lot of floor work and grappling).

If you are interested in pressure points chinese boxing (wing chun, kung fu) might interest you, although they can seem overtly aggresive. Tai-chi may interest you, though it often takes a long time before you get into fighting styles and pressure points. Chi-Kung involves ki building and (later) fighting and pressure points.

Alot of it depends what is available. There are several Tai-chi practioners in my Aikido class at the moment because there are no local Tai-chi instructors. There are common threads running through most martial arts, but emphasised to different degrees.

Most people tend to like Aikido - the ones who are put off tend to be put off because it takes longer than most martial arts to get your body to move in such a way that the techniques become practical/instinctive. However this also makes it more interesting and means that you can develop your aikido over your lifetime, rather than getting bored after 2 years.

Don't worry about dipping in to everything and having a go.