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*Aiki*Jimmy_yan
03-16-2004, 10:47 PM
Ok, ive done with all the intros, and im ready ffor my 1st normal thread...

:eek: Im not strong!!!! when sensei tells us to have grappling compos, i ALWAYS lose!!! :'( pls help!! :dead: Pls pls pls pls pls can ne1 pls tell me how to win these comps? do i HAVE to use my brute strenth? :(

Largo
03-16-2004, 10:54 PM
strength doesn't really matter. It's your technique and execution that really matter. Using brute force will only delude you into thinking you know what you are doing until you run into someone stronger.

*Aiki*Jimmy_yan
03-16-2004, 10:55 PM
but but but.. why does sensei teach us to have grappling comps?! :(:(

Largo
03-16-2004, 11:04 PM
You do it because it shows you the limits of using force. If you really want to be a brute, kick the guy in the nads, then throw him. But, if you do that, you won't learn the principles that your sensei is trying to teach.

MaryKaye
03-16-2004, 11:54 PM
What kind of grappling contest is it?

I'd guess that the intent is to show the limitations of using strength. At most, a few of the strongest students will be able to succeed, and others will fail. The same moves can be done with technique so that any student can succeed, even against the strongest in the class.

I'm forty, female, and a computer potato. I will never win an arm strength contest with the young men in the dojo. But, on a good day, I can move in ways they are not able to stop. At first I assumed they were letting me do this, but I've gotten them mad enough to really exert themselves and it's still possible for me to succeed with technique.

Hang in there. It will get clearer eventually, and in the meantime it may help to know that you're not expected to be stronger than everyone else--after all, that's a goal that by definition most of the students can't meet. I'm not sure I'm stronger than *anyone* else, but aikido still works.

Mary Kaye

George S. Ledyard
03-17-2004, 07:06 AM
What kind of grappling contest is it?

I'd guess that the intent is to show the limitations of using strength. At most, a few of the strongest students will be able to succeed, and others will fail. The same moves can be done with technique so that any student can succeed, even against the strongest in the class.

I'm forty, female, and a computer potato. I will never win an arm strength contest with the young men in the dojo. But, on a good day, I can move in ways they are not able to stop. At first I assumed they were letting me do this, but I've gotten them mad enough to really exert themselves and it's still possible for me to succeed with technique.

Hang in there. It will get clearer eventually, and in the meantime it may help to know that you're not expected to be stronger than everyone else--after all, that's a goal that by definition most of the students can't meet. I'm not sure I'm stronger than *anyone* else, but aikido still works.

Mary Kaye
Grappling requires a great deal of strength. Whoever say different hasn't grappled. Technique will allow you to us that strength more efficiently which means that you can outlast you opponent. But how often do you see a grappler, wrestler, Brazilian jiu jutsu competitor who isn't ripped?

That said, an Aikido instructor might have two reasons for having his students do grappling. First is simply martial. Although it is the ideal in Aikido to resolve a conflict before it goes to grappling range, practically, a real fight might very well go to grappling range, either standing or on the ground. Knowing some grappling is essential to be a complete martial artist in my opinion.

Second, grappling is GREAT conditioning. You go anaerobic pretty quickly. It builds physical strength but it also builds metal strength. This is the main reason the military has been introducing grappling in its training. They don't expect their guys to actually grapple the enemy. But in terms of developing a great combat mindset, going toe to toe, body on body, is unbeatable. I think for this reason it is great for Aikido folks. Aikido people often have a lot of back-off about getting too close and being too physical. The do their Aikido with an "escapist" mindset. Grappling helps remove that back-off folks have about going straight to the center and dealing with someone.

SeiserL
03-17-2004, 08:15 AM
I agree with Ledyard about grappling being a great adjunct training to Aikido, as is almost any other martial art that utilizes different ranges and weapons. Grappling usually goes to the strongest. You need to develop more strength and rely more on your quickness and mobility to avoid or slip out of the take-downs and mounts.

OTOH, neither grappling or competitions seem to be a regular part of Aikido training. If you want better advice, you may need to ask a different forum.

George S. Ledyard
03-17-2004, 10:22 AM
I agree with Ledyard about grappling being a great adjunct training to Aikido, as is almost any other martial art that utilizes different ranges and weapons. Grappling usually goes to the strongest. You need to develop more strength and rely more on your quickness and mobility to avoid or slip out of the take-downs and mounts.

OTOH, neither grappling or competitions seem to be a regular part of Aikido training. If you want better advice, you may need to ask a different forum.
What I was told was that O-Sensei felt that suwari waza was to be used if we went to the ground.

This makes more sense if you remember that the roots of what we do are from the battle field and are specifically meant for mutiple attacker situations. You don't want to be cranking that sit-out arm bar on a guy when his buddies are standing over you.

O-Sensei also said that he felt "rolling around on the ground with another person was unseemly".

Kensai
03-17-2004, 12:38 PM
I'm my opinion, do some BJJ or Judo ne waza if you wanna help your ground game.

Sticking strictly to Aikido, work on your suwari waza and knee walking to really develope your center so you can work on getting that strong position. Good suwari and shikko will help with your hold downs and chokes, especially just lowering yourself onto your oppenents neck until they tap. Also look at the cheeky little pins like nikkyo and things like hiji-jime (I think thats the one I'm thinking of, where you take their arm under yours and pin the elbow, more of a gyaku lock) and waki gatame.

Regards,

mantis
03-17-2004, 01:19 PM
Grappling requires a great deal of strength. Whoever say different hasn't grappled.
I would have to disagree with this statement.

That's like saying aikido requires a great deal of strength to throw someone. If you can put an opponent in an architectually inferior position, then they will fall regardless of their strength.

It also takes very little strength to hold someone down.

Strength = poor technique and that's all.

shihonage
03-17-2004, 01:48 PM
I would have to disagree with this statement.

That's like saying aikido requires a great deal of strength to throw someone. If you can put an opponent in an architectually inferior position, then they will fall regardless of their strength.

It also takes very little strength to hold someone down.

Strength = poor technique and that's all.
I'm just curious... have you grappled ?

paw
03-17-2004, 02:05 PM
Grappling requires a great deal of strength. Whoever say different hasn't grappled.

I say different, and I've grappled (bjj for 5 years now). I've definately been thrashed on the mat by folks whom I'm definately bigger and stronger than. I've also thrashed people who are bigger and stronger than I am.

One of the most inspiring things I've witnessed is then 87 year young, Helio Gracie (all 110 pounds of him), completely distroying an athletic twenty-something who was 30 pounds of solid muscle heavier. All while joking with his grandsons in Portuguese. Helio owned him. Completely. And the twenty-something was a blue belt, so it wasn't like he didn't have a clue.
It also takes very little strength to hold someone down.

I would tend to agree (it's amazing how much technique is involved).

George and Lynn,

I'm surprised by your responses. I was under the impression that both of you have trained with good bjj'ers. Was I mistaken?

Regards,

Paul

George S. Ledyard
03-17-2004, 05:05 PM
I say different, and I've grappled (bjj for 5 years now). I've definately been thrashed on the mat by folks whom I'm definately bigger and stronger than. I've also thrashed people who are bigger and stronger than I am.

One of the most inspiring things I've witnessed is then 87 year young, Helio Gracie (all 110 pounds of him), completely distroying an athletic twenty-something who was 30 pounds of solid muscle heavier. All while joking with his grandsons in Portuguese. Helio owned him. Completely. And the twenty-something was a blue belt, so it wasn't like he didn't have a clue.



I would tend to agree (it's amazing how much technique is involved).

George and Lynn,

I'm surprised by your responses. I was under the impression that both of you have trained with good bjj'ers. Was I mistaken?

Regards,

Paul
No, I haven't done much myself. Just seminar stuff and enough basics off of the Gracie instructional videos that I could deal with heir basic moves. I had seminars, offered through the police academy with Eric Paulson (Shoot Fighting in Japan and Extreme Fighting Champion) several times, Matt Hume (Pancration guy who fought in Japan and also lost to Eric Paulson in the Extreme Fighting challenge) once, a student of Gene La Belle once (Tactical Ground Fighting for Law Enforcement) but that's it on the high level instruction. The rest was working off the Gracie films and some Sambo films on my own.

By the way, I absolutely agree that technique will beat strength any day but that strength is important when two folks at the same level of cometency meet because one won't be able to dominate the other with technical superiority.

I saw archival footage of old Helio fighting in the thirties and the matches would last for 30 minutes or more. Those guys were in incredible shape AND they had technique.

jk
03-17-2004, 08:41 PM
Jimmy, can you be a bit more descriptive about the grappling done in your dojo? My guess is that your instructor(s) at the very least want you to be familiar with that environment.

Also, I think it's important that whenever you "lose" during grappling, you find out why you lost. Did you stick your limbs out too much? Did you let your partner get your back? Things like that. Losing during grappling can be a very educational process...just ask your partner how he/she got into a position to submit you. Chances are they'll be happy to let you know where you screwed up.

As for the discussion about the importance of strength, I recall having a HELL of a time during newaza with a female judoka I outweighed by at least 30 lbs. I was in college, and pretty damn fit compared to now. She was able to counter all that running and weight lifting with superior skill. Jimmy, if you want to do better during grappling, then just practice grappling. Getting stronger may help, but it's not all there is to getting better. My opinion, FWIW.

Steven
03-17-2004, 08:51 PM
but but but.. why does sensei teach us to have grappling comps?! :(:(
Excellent question. Why does he? I believe all the answers to your questions can be found at your dojo. Have you tried asking your sensei or one of the senpai?

Any answers you get here will be pure speculation considering we don't know what exactly you're talking about nor do we know your sensei and what he's thinking. Not to mention that grappling by default, is not part of the Yoshinkan curriculum.

As your teacher!

SeiserL
03-17-2004, 09:22 PM
George and Lynn, I'm surprised by your responses. I was under the impression that both of you have trained with good bjj'ers. Was I mistaken?
So let me get this straight, if we don't agree with you then apparently we have not trained?

Did you not read the rest of my post giving credit to quickness and mobility?

That being said, I am not a great grappler. Never claimed to be. I am a fighter, or at least used to be when I was young and really stupid. I would never want to tie myself up with one opponent on the ground while his buddies bash my skull in. I prefer to slice-and-dice or bash-and-dash.

Are you saying that strength does not play any role whatsoever in grappling? That all things being equal, the stronger would not probably win in a grappling game?

I would agree that the use of physical muscle strength in the application of an Aikido technique usually implies a very poor execution. One of the reasons I like Aikido, it gets me away from my size and strength.

IMHO, we can all be well trained and still experience our arts differently.

Steven
03-17-2004, 09:56 PM
As your teacher! = Ask your teacher!

*Aiki*Jimmy_yan
03-18-2004, 02:12 AM
i AM a senpai -.-

wendyrowe
03-18-2004, 02:31 AM
Jimmy,

Keep grappling. Work on your speed. Try hard to find your weak spots (such as leaving openings, allowing yourself to get off balance, leaving too much space between yourself and your opponent so he can maneuver too well, or having poor hand strength) then work to correct them.

In our dojo, Sensei teaches a Saturday AM pancrase hybrid jujitsu grappling class that many of his aikido students attend.

I (female, 125lbs, 5'3") am tied for smallest and least strong in the class; most of the people are LOTS stronger than me and many also outweigh me by at least 60 pounds.

I get trounced a lot, but I always learn something and it's also helping get me in MUCH better shape than I was -- I'm stronger and don't gasp for breath anymore.

I can't talk about what it's like to be small with fabulous technique (e.g. Helio), but I can talk about what it's like to be small and have decent technique:

1. I can hold my own with people within about 30lbs of me unless their technique is lots better than mine.

2. I can win at least sometimes against very strong beginners.

3. In the mid-range, going against strength makes it a lot harder for me to pull off techniques. I have to rely on speed and good positioning, so I have been working very hard on both. I tend to go for chokes, at Sensei's recommendation, because I'm not strong enough to armbar a lot of these guys. Offline, I work with weights to strengthen my arms and hands since those are a definite weak link. It's helped.

4. With the strongest guys in class,it's very likely that one of them'll have me armbarred before I can even move far; if he grabs my arm and hangs onto it right at the start, often I can't free it or move enough to counter it. And if one of the strongest & heaviest guys pins me, I can't yet shrimp out to get my back off the mat so I'm stuck. Theoretically, I'll be able to improve my technique enough to manage that.

Relating this to our aikido training, Sensei tells us stick with suwariwaza, shikko and seiza if at all possible in a fight instead of going all the way to the ground. In aikido class, he has us practice the same standing techniques on the ground. Saturdays, though, we definitely take it to the ground and concentrate on submissions.

As for holding people down: that's where I've seen the best results from technique improvements. I can hold down all but the strongest people for lots longer than I'd ever imagined would be possible. That wasn't the case until I learned more about how to do it well.

paw
03-18-2004, 04:44 AM
George,
No, I haven't done much myself. Just seminar stuff and enough basics off of the Gracie instructional videos that I could deal with heir basic moves. I had seminars, offered through the police academy with Eric Paulson (Shoot Fighting in Japan and Extreme Fighting Champion) several times, Matt Hume (Pancration guy who fought in Japan and also lost to Eric Paulson in the Extreme Fighting challenge) once, a student of Gene La Belle once (Tactical Ground Fighting for Law Enforcement) but that's it on the high level instruction. The rest was working off the Gracie films and some Sambo films on my own.
Oh. Sorry, I was mistaken. I've met and rolled with Eric, he's a great guy and a monster on the mat. He and Matt Hume had a battle for the ages in Extreme Fighting.

I'll shoot you an email in next couple of days to chat more.

Lynn,
So let me get this straight, if we don't agree with you then apparently we have not trained?
Not at all. I was under the impression that you trained regularly in bjj and held rank, so I was surprised by your response.
Are you saying that strength does not play any role whatsoever in grappling?
No. If I ever make such a statement, I'm clearly in need of physical and/or mental care.
That all things being equal, the stronger would not probably win in a grappling game?
All things being equal, sure. But that wasn't the caveat that was given initially. The statement was "Grappling usually goes to the strongest. You need to develop more strength and rely more on your quickness and mobility to avoid or slip out of the take-downs and mounts." Which looked like "strength" trumps everything in grappling. (And I count aikido, judo, bjj, and sambo as a grappling arts, for what it's worth.)

Wendy,

Nice post.

Regards,

Paul

cuguacuarana
03-18-2004, 10:30 AM
I wrestled in high school. Technique counts for a lot, and I've definitely been beaten by smaller guys. But no one will ever convince me that its not also a matter of strength. even to simply stay in a match for the full durration, let alone win requires a great deal of physical strength and stamina. think about it. if anybody with the proper tecnique could out wrestle anybody else there would be no need for weight divisions. but that is simply not the case. that is what makes aikido so cool, that anyone can do it on anyone else regardless of strength.

paw
03-18-2004, 11:28 AM
Austin,
I wrestled in high school. Technique counts for a lot, and I've definitely been beaten by smaller guys. But no one will ever convince me that its not also a matter of strength. even to simply stay in a match for the full durration, let alone win requires a great deal of physical strength and stamina. ... that is what makes aikido so cool, that anyone can do it on anyone else regardless of strength.

With all due respect, have you now or in the past "sparred" in aikido with anything approaching the intensity of a wrestling match?

I don't think you're making an apples to apples comparison.

Regards,

Paul

Aristeia
03-18-2004, 01:32 PM
Are you saying that strength does not play any role whatsoever in grappling? That all things being equal, the stronger would not probably win in a grappling game?

I would agree that the use of physical muscle strength in the application of an Aikido technique usually implies a very poor execution. One of the reasons I like Aikido, it gets me away from my size and strength.
The all things being equal is the sore point. In any art, if all things are equal it's going to come down to natural attributes, so that doesn't tell us much. I think BJJ style grappling can help overcome size and strength differentials faster than almost anything else. Most people have no idea how to use their strength on the ground, so someone can quite quickly be trained to overcome that strength with technique. Of course if the training differential is less the strength differential is more important, but again show me an art where that isn't the case.

Aikido seems like it relies less on strength because we struggle less on the mat. But this isn't necessarily down to the art so much as the training method. Plenty of BJJ techniques seem to come off with aikido-like effortlessness when we're learning them and drilling them. It's only when resistance and sparring is added they become such hard work and the less skilled newbies like me find ourselves going back to more and more muscle power. If we had similar sparring sessions in Aikido it would be a different story.

I actually think the two arts are very similar in their utility of technique over strength, if anything the only difference is that BJJ will allow you to implement earlier in the training cycle (in it's domain against motivated resisting opponents).

*Aiki*Jimmy_yan
03-26-2004, 08:58 PM
thanx guys

p00kiethebear
03-26-2004, 10:33 PM
You should pull a tohei sensei on them(as i like to say)

Just stand there being centralized thinking about extending your ki through your body. Eventually you'll get so good that no one will be able to move you in any way.

willy_lee
11-09-2004, 10:32 PM
I actually think the two arts are very similar in their utility of technique over strength, if anything the only difference is that BJJ will allow you to implement earlier in the training cycle (in it's domain against motivated resisting opponents).
I just wanted to share my (reborn) excitement about this -- I don't get to train that often currently so when I do train I get very excited about it. It is frankly amazing and such a great visceral demonstration of technique over strength the first time you roll with a newbie after you get even just a tiny bit of experience under your belt.

I don't have very much experience or skill, but I I rolled for the first time in a long while the other day against a newbie who probably outweighed me by at least 30-40 lbs and had upper arms twice the size of mine (not fat). He was tentative and didn't know what he was doing -- I was amazed at just how easy it was. There were moments where I could feel that he was trying to use all his arm strength to get out of things, but it availed him not -- and I stayed relaxed and felt at the end that I had hardly broken a sweat.

The great thing about bjj/subwrestling is that you get to experience this so much sooner (as Aristeia said).

=wl

ian
11-10-2004, 07:25 AM
Skill, body-weight, strength, stamina - all these help. The balance between them depends on your opponents abilties. Weight (rather than strength) has an enormous advantage with gappling esp. on the floor. Watching the gracie brothers though, you can see how they relax and use skill and awareness to overcome opponents heavier than themselves. People tend to be a bit obsessed with what is better than what. The real question should be though, 'how can I be the best I can be?' Thus, although tiny weak women may not be good at grappling, there are plenty of things they can do which will improve there chances in a self-defence situation. Try everything, use anything that works.

Kevin Leavitt
11-10-2004, 03:12 PM
Size and strength are important where it counts. The bigger and stronger you are, the more margin of error you can afford when you make mistakes or are lacking in skill.

When I work with guys that are less experienced than I, I don't get out of breath and I am very aiki, however, match me with a guy that has more experience than I, then things get a little more dicey. If he happens to be bigger than me and better, well...I have my work cut out for me and usually lose.

I am working with guys on grappling right now...it is amazing how applicable the aiki methods are in teaching them to relax and find center. I am finding it sort of like a chess match, you balance trying to submit your opponent to wearing him out to anerobic exhaustion. I would never fight like this for real though and demonstrate why you don't want to do this in a real fight when there are multiple opponents....when this occurs...well...you have a whole different fight management style that more resembles randori.

willy_lee
11-11-2004, 04:44 PM
When I work with guys that are less experienced than I, I don't get out of breath and I am very aiki, however, match me with a guy that has more experience than I, then things get a little more dicey. If he happens to be bigger than me and better, well...I have my work cut out for me and usually lose.Exactly -- my experience also.


I am working with guys on grappling right now...it is amazing how applicable the aiki methods are in teaching them to relax and find center. I am finding it sort of like a chess match, you balance trying to submit your opponent to wearing him out to anerobic exhaustion.
Also interesting that grappling, especially when being compressed in a bottom situation, really rewards and amplifies the reasons for practice in relaxed breathing.

I would never fight like this for real though and demonstrate why you don't want to do this in a real fight when there are multiple opponents....when this occurs...well...you have a whole different fight management style that more resembles randori.
Could you possibly elaborate on this a little more?

Thanks,
=wl

Kevin Leavitt
11-11-2004, 04:59 PM
easier to demonstrate. I have found many points where I would simply end the fight with strike to vital area or disengage once slipping the guard for instance.

My favorite is fighting two opponents, that changes the whole grappling dynamic. You basically manage two fighters much like randori by keeping one off balance while you deal with the other. Concentrating on one opponent will get you into trouble.

In strict BJJ grappling style I would do a take down then mount...in real situation I might do something different like run away after off balancing him,or irimi behind the second guy...it is situational dependent like all things!