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John Boswell
10-05-2004, 11:41 AM
I'm curious if anyone out there teaches or plays football? If so, do you use aikido in the process?

I have always seen ukemi from aikido as a benefit for anyone playing football, not to mention stepping tenkan, iriminage and goodness knows what the heck else.

On top of the benefit of saving one from injury, you could also make your way through the busy line-up of linemen. Don'tcha think?

Just curious!
Bozz

kironin
10-05-2004, 12:30 PM
classic Texas question. ;-)

there was an Aikido instructor in Indiana doing this with high school teams, some years ago, don't know if he still is.

My instructor worked briefly with the Denver Broncos. I think there was disagreement between trainers about bringing in outsiders.

The running joke in my dojo is that new people show up to classes I don't teach. Earlier this year, one of the Houston Texan linebackers took a class. The guys said he seemed very enthusiastic, but then he never showed up again. go figure.

seems likely, but football has it's own traditions, so it really takes someone interested in both worlds in a position to do something about it.

Robert Jackson
10-05-2004, 03:43 PM
There was a cool article in the ATM several months back about Walter Payton (I believe). It didn't say he studied Aikido but it went to metion his use of Iriminage or something to that extent. Check out there back catalog and see if you can find it.

Jordan Steele
10-05-2004, 03:51 PM
I'm a Canadian, so I play Rugby, but I have noticed many instances where ukemi skills have probably saved me from a serious injury. Also koshinage type throws are incredibly effective, but the refs don't like when I do that, so I usually just hit the knees.

willy_lee
10-05-2004, 05:24 PM
I'm a Canadian, so I play Rugby, but I have noticed many instances where ukemi skills have probably saved me from a serious injury. Also koshinage type throws are incredibly effective, but the refs don't like when I do that, so I usually just hit the knees.
Was watching a match a couple days ago (Canterbury vs. Auckland, I think) where the ball carrier wrapped his free arm around a tackler's head and tried a hip throw. Didn't work in this case, but then again the tackler had some help. :)

Here's a tough one, though. In the same game I saw a couple rucks where a big strong guy was stomping on the face of an opponent who had the bad luck to be lying face up on the bottom of the pile -- looked like a bull moose trying to pry up some lichen in the dead of winter, poor guy on the ground's head was literally bouncing off the grass :o What aikido ukemi would help in that case?

:)

=wl

Murgen
10-05-2004, 05:38 PM
At my dojo's annual seminar Randy White showed up and talked to us on how his traning in the martial arts helped him get around much larger offensive linemen. He said it made a huge difference since he always was playing against larger guys. He always wondered why the offensive guys never picked up some of this stuff. He figured they were content to be good, and not "The Best". So the gist of his message was Martial Arts = Good for football, but that coaches and trainers are intimidated by something they don't know. That is why it isn't encouraged that much by the coaches.

Mark Balogh
10-06-2004, 07:40 AM
Yes, but you would call it Soccer!!! :D

Play 5-a-side once a week and train Aikido 3 times a week!!! :)

paw
10-06-2004, 08:05 AM
So the gist of his message was Martial Arts = Good for football, but that coaches and trainers are intimidated by something they don't know. That is why it isn't encouraged that much by the coaches.

I have a very hard time believing that on a number of levels. In a sport with millions of dollars on the line, everyone is looking for an edge. From what I've heard in the media, there have been teams that have employed martial arts teachers/coaches for their players, but none on a full-time basis. I would hazard to guess that the problem is context and goals.


Football players are paid to play football. Unless a martial art is going to have an immediate application to improving football performance, it won't last as supplemental training. Neither would anything else.

Football is a team sport, and is coached, played and trained as such. Most martial arts are taught as individual pursuits, making that another disconnect. Increasing one person's performance may have no impact on the results of the team's performance, depending on what play is run, the individual player's position, etc....

Football has it's own context. Not just the rules of the game, but different coaches bring about difference strategies and styles of play. Unless the martial art training was general enough, it could become useless when a new coach takes over because it is no longer applicable in the new scheme.

I'm not suggesting there couldn't be a benefit in cross training, but I am suggesting it would take someone who was very knowledgeable about football and martial arts, and designing a holistic approach. The result would not look like martial arts training as most of us know it. My guess is it would look like general physical preparation (GPP), actually

Regards,

Paul

PS --- there was a college football player who trained with us for a week or so... He would occasionally do a forward roll after being hit, which his teammates thought was funny.

John Boswell
10-06-2004, 10:01 AM
Found it! Didn't know this about Randy White.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/s/1999/0802/30748.html

As for the arguement that martial arts training is a very personal thing, yeah... that's true. However,

Being able to take ukemi is half of football as well as many other sports. Rugby was mentioned and that's an even more vital place to know how to fall right and get off line. As far as Aikido itself goes, I'm not looking to make the Cowboys or Broncos into a bunch of black belts or anything. I'm just trying to get the idea out there that martial arts (aikido specifically) could really make an impact on sports and be disseminated to the mass via sports.

When you see fewer injuries, more tackles, defense that shuts down the opponents, offensive lines that can not be broken... people WILL NOTICE! And yeah... money was mentioned and it is on the line when it comes to the NFL. Take a look at Randy White's stats. He's a legend in football! How much MA training did it take to give him that skill?

I really think there's a lot of potential here. We have one student (football player) in our class who happens to be a very young and egotistical guy, but with the proper training and motivation... he can go from being a freshman football bench-warmer to a varsity somebody!

Anyways... just thinking out loud. Anything that makes aikido more popular is a good thing in my book. ;)

Domo!

Big Dave
10-06-2004, 11:29 AM
Hmmm....Having 15 years of football experience and and only one year of Aikido probably means that I do not know enough about aikido to really answer this question.
Having said that. I'll try anyway.....Currently I coach the varsity defensive line of a high school team here in Connecticut.
I think that football uses a lot of similar principles to aikido, especially in line play. The offensive lineman tries to drive the defensive line back. He does this by capturing his center basically....The d-line tries to avoid this fate by avoiding the surge of the o-lineman and getting past him using off -balancing techniques, reading the Ki of the o-line man, strikes to the body and shoulders, etc. The technique that the d lineman uses depends on his read of the intent of the o-lineman. Footwork is hugely important in football for everyone, as in aikido. Tackling is all about keeping focused on the center of the ball carrier.
As a d-line coach, I have tried to integrate some aspects of Ki into our reads of the o-line. I have not yet discovered any particular aikido technique that can be directly applied to d-line play - perhaps I will in the future. Obviously wrists locks and throws and such are not allowed in d-line play....It may be that karate or something similar has a more direct application to football.
BTW, there was a linebacker up in New England back in the 1980"s - Andre Tippet I believe - who was also very good and an accomplished martial artist as well.

John Boswell
10-06-2004, 02:14 PM
David,

Looking at just the concept of rolling and taking falls, do you teach any of this to your kids? I was talking to a buddy of mine and we both agreed that just learning to roll (forward and/or backward) would go a long way into preventing injury. Not to mention the thought, okay... picture this:

Receiver goes out to catch a pass, it's thrown in front of him forcing him to jump and catch the ball in the air. (This happens alot more in Pro than High School, but anyways...) Once they catch the ball, all they have to do is use that forward momentum to tuck and roll, come up standing and continue the run. Right?

I know your defense, but still... I dunno. I'm just convinced there's a valuble resource here.

And looking at defense, Tenkan or getting off line and pivoting, would really be of use to get passed the offensive linemen and sack the QB.

OR... I'm just dreamin! :D

*makes a mental note to stay away from the "Hemp thread: Supplies Forum" as it may be effecting my senses. ;)

Note to Lan: Hey Buddy... wanna go play ball this weekend??? :rolleyes:

Bronson
10-06-2004, 02:29 PM
I know next to nothing of this thing called football (is that the one with home runs? ;) ) But I seem to remember asking some guys at work about the whole catching-the-ball-rolling-and-come-up-running-thing. I believe they told me that if any thing other than the hands or feet hit the ground the receiver was considered down. If this is true it would seem that something more like gymnastics flips and cartwheels would be more helpful than just practicing football :rolleyes:

Bronson

Matt Jay
10-06-2004, 03:29 PM
Depends what level you are playing at, I believe--
I believe in High School and College ball, once you contact the ground you are down.
In the NFL, you have to be touched by a defender to be considered "down".

Bronson
10-06-2004, 09:24 PM
Depends what level you are playing at, I believe--
I believe in High School and College ball, once you contact the ground you are down. In the NFL, you have to be touched by a defender to be considered "down".

Ahhh, perhaps it was a college game they were watching.

Bronson

Damon
10-07-2004, 01:41 PM
So the gist of his message was Martial Arts = Good for football, but that coaches and trainers are intimidated by something they don't know. That is why it isn't encouraged that much by the coaches.

I have a very hard time believing that on a number of levels.

I was at the same dojo that Randy White spoke to as well, and that was pretty much his words. He needed an edge against the bigger guys, was introduced to martial arts, eventually came across Aikido, integrated it into his game, and did exceptional with it.

He was asked how many other players did the same and his initial response was "nobody". He could not get other players or coaches to take the suggestion seriously.

On a side note, from my understanding, he also takes (has taken?) private lessons in knife-fighting.

A six-foot-plus now 280lb hall-of-famer aikidoka knife fighter. :hypno:

Just... damn.

paw
10-07-2004, 02:13 PM
I was at the same dojo that Randy White spoke to as well, and that was pretty much his words. He needed an edge against the bigger guys, was introduced to martial arts, eventually came across Aikido, integrated it into his game, and did exceptional with it..

I don't doubt that Randy White said that. I doubt that coaches and trainers don't pursue the integration of martial arts because coaches and trainers are intimidated by what they don't know or they fail to see the potential benefits.

I believe coaches and trainers don't pursue the integration of martial arts and football (or other sports) for other reasons, which I tried to outline in my earlier post.

Regards,

Paul

Damon
10-07-2004, 04:09 PM
I believe coaches and trainers don't pursue the integration of martial arts and football (or other sports) for other reasons

...or a mix of both yours and Randys opinon. :)

shihonage
10-07-2004, 04:46 PM
My couch refuses to learn martial arts no matter what I do.


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