View Full Version : Supplemental fitness training for Aikid

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10-30-2004, 08:58 AM
I was a runner until about a year ago. I didn't do much by way of strength or core training, but my upper body had gotten collateral benefits from the running. I stopped running for several reasons and since then have basically walked for fitness. Not as much as I'd like.

I've started Aikido and so far can easily get through a class (though my poor knees are not what they were when I was in my 20;s :) ). But I was wondering if folks who practice Aikido augment the practice with running, lifting and other fitness activites. Right now I am trying to get to class 3 x a week.

Thanks in advance for any comments.


Gawad Adham
10-30-2004, 02:43 PM
HI Kay
to make your aikido skills better, you should practice aikido, however if you want suplemental training to remain fit, then in the broad sense any kind of fitness routine will do you good as long as you remain flexible, and try not to bulk up up too much. pushing weights seems to make aikidoka rely on thier new found muscular strength to preform thier techniques. if you want to be particular, I've found yoga to be quite beneficial for my aikido, giving me a much better sense of my balance, center, and allround posture. I would strongly recomend core training (abs, back, legs etc.) and any thing else for endurance.
solo bokken training (1000 cuts, the 7 suburi,etc..), is usually quite helpful as well, but get someone to show you proper form and posture first.
hope this is helpful

Janet Rosen
10-30-2004, 02:46 PM
I agree that endurance and core training are good supplements. The strength training that can be very beneficial is hamstrings and quads, as those are key to support of the knees.

10-30-2004, 08:16 PM
Hello Kay,

I stopped my aerobic training about a month before my last test. I WAS SUCKING WIND DURING THE TEST. Being an older aikidoka (53) compared to the young kids (18 to 25) who are blithely throwing me around, and I them, I need to supplement because I like throwing them around !!!

I have done all that aerobic stuff from 10k's to marathons to triathlons etc and the "athlete for life " "love of training" is still there; but that's just me and everyone is different.

We could go into a discussion on specificity of training and the people who believe that only doing your primary activity is the way to get in shape. etc. but the bottom line is the fitter you are the longer you can practice and perform without your techniques failing/breaking down. The fitness between supplemental training and aikido must be bridged but this can be done simply by practicing 3 to 4 times a week. The body is an incredibly adaptive organism. You don't have to run if your knees give you problems you can walk , hike, use the stationary bike, rowing machine or other devices.

How many days you cross train/ or supplement your aikido depends on your goal. If it is to be a runner, as well as an aikidoka ,that it is different from simply being fit for life ,or fit for aikido.

The previous responders comments on core work is valid and should not be ignored. The body is like a chain and if there is one weak link in the chain then the chain breaks; this weak link could be core strength and stability or aerobic or anaerobic capacity.

My suggestion to any aikidoka would be to supplement his/her aikido with at least 3 sessions a week of aerobic activity and 2 of strength/core work. Be sure to space your training to allow for recovery, and so the sessions don't fight each other for adaptation. For example after a upper body strength session I've found raising my arms or holding onto a nage is a challenge.

Find someone who is qualified to give you advice and be sure to give them your parameters and goals for this training so they don't design a program for a person they see, rather than the one you want to be. Also be sure it is progressive and allows for recovery/rest and is organized so you are not tired for seminars or testing.

If you have any specific questions drop me a line .

Good luck and have fun.

10-31-2004, 12:36 AM
Sword Fit (http://www.swordfit.com/) :D :p ;)


Pauliina Lievonen
10-31-2004, 01:56 AM
Now I'm imagining our male yudansha topless in hakama... mmmm.... :D


Jordan Steele
10-31-2004, 10:01 AM
I run as well (about 10km, 4 times/week). I don't find a relationship between running and Aikido except for the obvious cardiovascular gains. Weight lifting of any variety on the other hand makes a huge impact on my Aikido training. Improved strength, stamina, stronger center, and a tightness or connectedness that just feels right. By tightness I don't mean stiff but a sense of being more solid. Strength training also makes a noticeable difference in weapons training which in my opinion requires a certain amount of strength to be good at.

10-31-2004, 12:14 PM
Few people practicing Aikido work out with weights as much as I do, and I agree, if you train very heavy, it may have a negative impact on your Aikido. However, some type of resistance exercise is necessary for your health and fitness. If you pick the right exercises, then resistance training can also improve your joint range of motion. For Kay, I recommend the use of bands and a resister ball. This combination can be used to improve strength, posture and endurance. If you are practicing Aikido 3 times a week, then you probably do not have the time to also train at a gym. The bands and exercise ball are cheap to buy, and you can get a great workout without leaving home.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has a great forum, http://acefitness.infopop.net/3/OpenTopic, where you can get advice from certified professional trainers.

10-31-2004, 03:14 PM
Thanks for all of the good advice.


11-01-2004, 07:57 AM
Yep, run, swim, lift, skip, and bash (heavy bag work).

11-01-2004, 09:14 AM
From Crossfit (http://www.crossfit.com/)

World-Class Fitness in 100 Words:

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.