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fivebyfive
08-27-2004, 10:25 AM
Hello all,

I'm new here and was looking for assistance in picking a school by me. My background is mainly in Wing Chun and Ba Gua. I've also done some cross training in JKD. I'm really looking for an Aikido school that emphasizes realistic self-defense. Here are the schools by me:

http://www.liaikido.com/

http://www.nyaikidocenter.com/center.htm

http://www.dojos.com/suffolk/

http://www.aikido4nassaucounty.com/


Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone!

Ron Tisdale
08-27-2004, 10:44 AM
http://www.nyaikidocenter.com/center.htm is Shaun Ravens' (Misogi no Gyo) school. He posts here, on the aikido journal site, and on e-budo. I've never trained with him, but if I was in his area I would look strongly at training with him. Try some classes and see what you think. He has some good connections back to Japan as well.

The long Island aikido site looks interesting...I don't know of this teacher, but the biography looks good.

I don't know the other folks at all, but that doesn't mean anything...go by and check them out, see which one you like. I did like the fact that one of the instructors at the last site is ranked in judo...since self defense seems important to you, his background in the kodokan might be helpfull.

Ron

AsimHanif
08-27-2004, 11:03 AM
It depends on what you mean by realistic self defense. Do you mean something that is dependent on physicality or something that is martial?
Hagihara Sensei (Long Island Aikido Assoc.) has been around for quite some time and is a well respected instructor. I've also heard good things about Ravens Sensei (NYAikidoCenter). But I suspect their aikido is different. I would suggest making the rounds and not committing to any school in particular until you can see which one feels right to you.

fivebyfive
08-27-2004, 11:16 AM
Ron, Asim:

Thank you for your responses so far. Of course I will visit all the schools this upcoming weekend, I'm very interested in their different expressions of Aikido.

It depends on what you mean by realistic self defense. Do you mean something that is dependent on physicality or something that is martial?

Hmmm, I'm not sure what you mean between "physicality" and "martial." When I refer to "realistic self defense," I mean drills and techniques that work against a boxer, muay thai fighter, or judoka. Something more martial I'm thinking.

AsimHanif
08-27-2004, 11:30 AM
There are many approaches to learning aikido. Some people take a more philosophical approach, some more physical, some more technical, some more internal, etc. I happen to like a good balance. Any manner can potentially work. It's not about whether it works against a particular style of martial arts, it boils down to the person. There is good judo and not so good judo. Good muay thai and not so good muay thai. It has more to do with what aikido method allows you to express yourself best as you see fit. And I use the term "against" loosely because I personally don't look at it as aikdo "against" anything. Rather "with" since my personal goal is to resolve conflict. But I definitely understand where you are coming from.
Sorry if I made assumptions about your intent.

Fred Little
08-27-2004, 11:35 AM
I've practiced with both Shaun Ravens and Joe Nemeth, who are among the instructors at the schools you list. Shaun is shorter, Joe is taller, their movement is very different, but they're both serious practitioners and teachers who have something to offer. That's not to say that the others don't, it's just that I don't have any personal experience with them.

Most of the schools you list are associated with the USAF, but even within a single organization, you will find different flavors of aikido, based on the simple fact that you are considering different instructors with different body and personality types who are expressing the qualities that are optimal for them.

Shaun has a strong connection to Abe Sensei and an interest in some aspects of the Founder's training, such as misogi practice, which are not so commonly taught, and if I were out on the Island, my interest in that area would make it likely that I would practice with him as much as possible.

But the standard advice remains: You're lucky to be in an area with that many schools to choose from. Visit them all, get a feeling for each instructor and situation, and then make a decision based on what feels right and is structured so you really can make it to practice as often as possible.

Best,

Fred Little

Ron Tisdale
08-27-2004, 11:38 AM
Martial is a tough one...depends on how you look at it. I've seen very soft aikidoka that could handle the above...and very 'hard' aikidoka that could do the same...and many more (myself included) that would have at the least a very difficult time. What's your timeframe for learning "drills and techniques that work against a boxer, muay thai fighter, or judoka."? If you are looking for one year of training to accomplish the above, I don't think aikido is for you... On the other hand, if you are looking at 10 years of training, and are already pretty skilled, any one of the schools might do...

I don't think you can take the input from a board like this to make your decision. You'll have to go on your gut for the most part. Unless you plan to visit the schools with each of the above and see how they do against the instructor. :) Not recommended... :) Let the instructors know your goals for your training, maybe ask them how they could help you accomplish those goals. I'd spend some time writing out the questions I want to ask before hand.

Best of luck,
Ron

fivebyfive
08-27-2004, 12:56 PM
Asim,

Sorry if I made assumptions about your intent.

Heh, no, if anything, I had trouble getting my intentions across. :)

Fred, Ron:

Yes, I'm going to stop by Shaun's school tomorrow morning. I will try to stop by the others on Sunday and the upcoming week. Thank you all for your help. :D

fivebyfive
08-29-2004, 01:58 PM
yesterday I stopped by Sensei Ravens school, but it seems to have closed down. I emailed his teacher in California, so hopefully I'll still be able to get in touch with him.

There are also 3 Yoshinkai Aikido schools listed on the Yoshinkan Aikido Headquarters site, but they all seem to have up and gone.



fivebyfive

Lachlan Kadick
08-29-2004, 05:50 PM
I am not positive of where you want to go, but my dojo is Aikido of Central New York, which is located in Syracuse. http://members.aol.com/rkrytusa/ it is quite an enjoyable school, you may find you would like it. Sensei Mehter is a pleasure to work with as are all of the students and we also have several other great instructors to learn from.

fivebyfive
08-31-2004, 04:56 PM
Thanks for the school listing Lachlan. Unfortunately I live on Long Island, so I'm looking for someone closer.




I've just located a second dan Yoshinkan Aikido teacher in my area. I will be dropping by his school Update on school search: to watch a class. I spoke to him over the phone and he was very pleasant. He also had a background in judo and kali. I'm very excited about seeing him this week.

kironin
08-31-2004, 05:21 PM
I am wondering where these miscreant no-good boxers, muay thai fighters, and judokas are hiding out in my city that I need to practice self-defense against. Thugs around here seem to either practice gun ryu or break-in-grab-it-when-you-are-not-there-and-run ryu.

:D

Mel Barker
08-31-2004, 06:04 PM
Thanks for saying it Craig. :)

AsimHanif
09-01-2004, 11:51 AM
Five said, "I mean drills and techniques that work against a boxer, muay thai fighter, or judoka. Something more martial I'm thinking."

Kironin replied with, "am wondering where these miscreant no-good boxers, muay thai fighters, and judokas are hiding out in my city that I need to practice self-defense against. "

Maybe I'm missing something but I took Five's intent to mean training with other martial artists for the sake of just training. The need would be to practice self-defense against non-aikidoists who have a different set of skills.

kironin
09-01-2004, 12:47 PM
Five said, "I mean drills and techniques that work against a boxer, muay thai fighter, or judoka. Something more martial I'm thinking." The need would be to practice self-defense against non-aikidoists who have a different set of skills.

I don't have a problem if the last sentence was changed to
"The need would be to practice fighting against non-aikidoists who have a different set of skills."


learning specific drills to go toe to toe with a boxer, muay thai fighter or judoka is learning to fight. That's quite a different thing than learning or practicing self-defense which is usually what technically aikido as a martial art is considered most relevant to.

AsimHanif
09-01-2004, 02:01 PM
Why does the sentence have to conform to your liking?
I just gave you MY interpretation of his intent based on what was posted by Five.

You have added phrases like "miscreant no-good boxers, muay thai fighters, and judokas " and "drills to go toe to toe with a boxer, muay thai fighter or judoka is learning to fight", which Five did not state. He did not say he wanted to go "toe to toe" with anyone. He stated "drills and techniques" that would work against other martial artists. I train with judoka to see if certain aikido techniques work. I don't consider that fighting and neither do my training partners.

Five actually did state in his initial post, "I'm really looking for an Aikido school that emphasizes realistic self-defense."

I also asked Five to clarify some of his statements so I could ascertain his intent so I would not jump to conclusions haphazardly. I would not want to answer his questions looking through MY window. I have to look through his.

Plain and simple, he wants to know what works. I don't get the impression he is looking for a fight.

AsimHanif
09-01-2004, 02:08 PM
BTW-
most people on the street fight like boxers, grapplers, or a combination of the two. I would want to study an art that teaches me effective self defense against those skills in case I run into that kind of situation.

fivebyfive
09-01-2004, 02:32 PM
Yes Asim, that is exactly what I am stating. I didn't think this would turn into some deconstructionist linguistic exercise. :D Basically I've studied martial arts for about 13 years. I love martial arts and how different traditions approach the martial aspect of "martial arts." The way savate deals with other styles, or the way brazilian jiu jitsu deals with other styles. My intent is based on a self defense perspective against higher level martial artists as opposed to the drunk guy at the bar. I've often gone to boxing gyms, kung fu schools, JKD school, and Brazilizan Jiu jitsu schools and paid a mat fee to spar with some guys to see what worked and what didn't. This was all done on a very friendly basis with no ego involved. I'm honestly not worried at all dealing against someone with no training or average training in a self defense situation. My concern is more of a comparative interest between different martial arts styles with practitioners on a higher level. Thanks for your help all. :)


fivebyfive

kironin
09-01-2004, 02:51 PM
shrug,

I don't have a problem if you guys want to learn to fight other martial artists. Whether that is learning realistic self-defense is debatable.

That's just not what Aikido is about, but go ahead and try to jam the square peg into the round hole.

AsimHanif
09-01-2004, 02:58 PM
See Five, we're here 'O' (pointing at the brain)!
I didn't think it would (or should) turn into so much.
And yes, there have been many times when I found myself on the wrong end of an arm bar against a grappler and said "OK, let's try this another way (ooch)". I always say, it's easy to be dominant against someone who knows less than you. What happens when that's not the case. Best to be prepared. And I've also found myself incorporating the things I've learned on the aikido mat (with KI of course)
Check out the photo at the bottom
http://www.woodbridgeaikido.org/History.htm

fivebyfive
09-01-2004, 02:58 PM
I don't have a problem if you guys want to learn to fight other martial artists. Whether that is learning realistic self-defense is debatable.

For me, being able how deal with a haymaker punch, tackle, suckerpunch, jab/cross, muay thai roundhouse, multiple attackers, knife slash, or triangle choke is what is realistic. If I can handle any of the above, I'm quite satisfied. I enjoy the martial aspect of "martial arts."


That's just not what Aikido is about, but go ahead and try to jam the square peg into the round hole.

Since I am a newbie in Aikido here, please enthrall me as to what Aikido is "really" about.



fivebyfive

AsimHanif
09-01-2004, 03:02 PM
You know Craig, some people would say what you study is "not realistic self-defense". But to each his own. You've taught me something just conversing with you.
Thanks.

AsimHanif
09-01-2004, 03:05 PM
Oh I almost forgot..
wasn't it Tohei Sesnei who had an encounter or two with some 'rasslers and judo types back in the day? I guess he wasn't doing aikido then heh?

fivebyfive
09-01-2004, 03:19 PM
Asim, nice pics on your site!

kironin
09-01-2004, 04:15 PM
Check out the photo at the bottom
http://www.woodbridgeaikido.org/History.htm

Followed the link to Aikikai Foundation of Delaware website and there is a picture of Tim Gion, on the front an old friend. Thought he was down in Baltimore area still. Went there for a couple of seminars seems like ages ago. nice place though the tire shavings under the mat made it sort of soft and uneven. time passes fast.

kironin
09-01-2004, 04:27 PM
Since I am a newbie in Aikido here, please enthrall me as to what Aikido is "really" about.
fivebyfive

If I was going to enthrall you I would have written a massive essay.

a too short answer - it's not about fighting.

AsimHanif
09-01-2004, 06:27 PM
Craig, I believe Tim Gion is training at Capital Aikikai. A few people from Capital are regular attendees at AFOD seminars.

I still think if you train with other arts it doesn't have to equate to fighting.

Asim

PeterR
09-01-2004, 08:51 PM
If I was going to enthrall you I would have written a massive essay.

a too short answer - it's not about fighting.
It's not about dancing either :D

I think analyzing and testing technique outside the box is all part of the way.

Some Aikidoists have a different interests and choose to emphasize different aspects - who am I to judge.