PDA

View Full Version : Fitness and aikido


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Paul
04-02-2005, 07:12 AM
It appears to me that a number of aikido dojo's do not take their fitness seriously. That very often these dojo never push their students limits physically.

I believe that spirit, focus and mental strength are directly related to physical fitness. One must quiet the voice of dissent within the mind in order to make gains in fitness terms. Surely this can only be a good thing in martial terms. For me a good level of physical fitness allows you to concentrate more on your technique as you don't have to divide your attention between your breathing difficulties and the technique. You can relax into a difficult posture and concentrate on your breathing. And as uke it means that he gets the full benefit of the practice, this cannot happen if you are to tired to attack properly. A tired person has poor posture.

These are my thoughts I would appreciate yours.

malsmith
04-02-2005, 07:29 AM
in my dojo we are pretty physically fit... i mean when i first joined i thought i was in shape... but after a few weeks i was REALLY in shape (lost 15 lbs, and started to see muscle in my arms and legs and abs)... and i think that goes for everyone there, that they all lost wieght and gained muscle from training.

but i geuss maybe its not like that everywhere.

SeiserL
04-02-2005, 08:23 AM
IMHO, "fit" for what specific activity. To be "fit" for one sport does not mean you are "fit" for another. While I would agree that some degree of strength, flexibility, and cardio has benefits, I would have to ask "fit" in what specific way, for what specific activity, by whose specific standard?

Jon Sharp
04-02-2005, 08:58 AM
Hi Paul,

I am inclined to agree with you. As with any sport or physical pursuit, the skills and techniques one learns only become useful when one is physically comfortable in applying them. You cannot deny that a particular sportsman is talented, but unless they are capable of playing the whole 90 minutes, you are not going to pick them for the team. I appreciate the sporting abalogy may not sit well with some people, however in aikido terms, the test of improvement can often be demonstrated when the aikidoka is pushed close to exhaustion, the state where the brain stops focussing on where your feet should be going, and switches to automatic mode. At this point you can see quite clearly what you have learned as the movements become automatic and instinctive. I believe a 'stressful' environment is useful for any martial art as it is a chance to train your mind, not just your body. This is the purpose of shiai in kendo, not to beat or be beaten, but to advance your mental training on the pursuit to mushin.

I can however see that older practitioners coming into aikido later in life may not be so interested in this side of training, but after you reach the comfort zone physically, it is tempting to wallow there for a while. We shouldn't be content to just sit on our laurels.
Regards
Jon

Paul
04-02-2005, 09:43 AM
[QUOTE=Lynn Seiser]IMHO, "fit" for what specific activity. To be "fit" for one sport does not mean you are "fit" for another.

Lynn I agree with the above statement at the higher levels of sport however in general I have to disagree. My term fitness in the general terms would be good cardio vascular fitness being able to sustain 70% of your your max heart rate for thirty mins or so and have a good anaerobic threshold.

If one has this as a minimum then this will hold you in good stead for any activity in a general way.

If one wanted to be aikido fit I would say the above cardiovascular level would be the mininmum along with a high degree of flexibility, good core strength and the ability to keep the upper body relaxed while at your VO2 max.

I agree with Jon that aikido should always be challenging and students should not be allowed to wallow in their comfort zone

Regards Paul

crbateman
04-02-2005, 10:00 AM
I'm going to have to say that it depends on your point of view. Being "physically" fit in an art that is not purely physical is only part of the picture. What about mentally, spiritually and philosophically fit?

Being physically fit usually entails the repetitive expenditure of physical energy, at levels approaching the individual's maximum stress point. But isn't the ideal in Aikido, particularly as nage, to use the training partner's own energy, and to perfect the techniques to the point where they are virtually effortless? Obviously as uke, picking yourself off the mat 300 times a night is going to involve some cardiovascular exercise, but that is not the reason one does Aikido. If you want cardio, ride your bike or run to the dojo. As a teacher, to over-emphasize the physical is to turn your back on those students less gifted or capable in that area, when they could still derive so many benefits (and make so many contributions) of a different, but equally important, nature.

And there is also more than one flavor of "athlete". Sprinters do poorly in marathons, and vice versa. Sumo wrestlers don't go 15 rounds. A typical baseball player wouldn't last one quarter in a basketball game. It's about the pace at which your "sport" uses its physical energy. Aikido is not a strength competition, nor is it a race. Ultimately, it's about becoming a better person, and that is something we can all aspire to do, whether big, small, young, old, weak or strong. There is no reason for anyone to be left out on the basis of physical limitations.

mj
04-02-2005, 10:26 AM
... As a teacher, to over-emphasize the physical is to turn your back on those students less gifted or capable in that area, when they could still derive so many benefits (and make so many contributions) of a different, but equally important, nature.

.... There is no reason for anyone to be left out on the basis of physical limitations.
Well I can't agree with those, sorry (although I understand what you are saying). Any half capable teacher is able to run a class where there is a variety of fintess levels, skill levels and even injuries. And I'm not sure that we were talking about 'over emphasising' the physical aspect of training or even talking about people with physical limitations....Lack of fitness is not an affliction. The uchi-deshi all had to work damn hard, were fit and it didn't stop them rising to the higher levels of aiki.

How fit should you have to be to do a class?

Multiply the 'length of the class' by 'aerobic exercise work rate'. The classes don't have to be like that, but that is going to be the expectation of a reasonable teacher, surely?

Remeber the fitness level of the class adds to the enjoyment. :)

You're probably talking about the ability to do a 4 mile run comfortably at jogging speed. Agree? Disagree?

Jon Sharp
04-02-2005, 10:37 AM
I agree that aikido shouldn't impose physical restrictions on those less capable in this area. There shouldn't be one particular benchmark for a certain desirable physical type, however this shouldn't mean that the individual isn't pushed to improve their physical condition. The physical training in the shugyo courses aren't necessarily designed to improve their martial artist's fitness, they are designed to exhaust the budoka to the point where their mental will is the only thing keeping them continuing. This is an aspect of the mental training side of aikido and other martial arts. The philosophy of 'harmony of mind and body' in aikido is very much the inspiration for this sort of training, for it is at this level that the movements come into their own. On a fitness side of the arguement, you will have trouble learning how to take the energy of your uke and use it if they are struggling to come at you, due to their lack of fitness, with minimal energy. Everyone has a limit physically and they should become familiar with this in order to extend their knowledge of their own body, after all isn't this one of the aims of aikido training?

Paul
04-02-2005, 01:40 PM
Hey Clark I agree with Jon, that the only true way to effortless aikido is by exhausting yourseld to a point that the mind, spirit if you will, is the only thing keeping you going and the use of force is not possible. Then any technique you perform will be effortless in one sense once you have that I believe it is possible to listen to your body so that you can recreate the sensation at will.
Tesshu utilised this method to teach his students how to best discover, for themselves, the heart of kenjutsu.
Further more I agree with you Clark that aikido is considered by many a very spiritual and philosophical art. However being a martial art are the above goals not discovered and realised through the physical realm.
As for the flavours of an athlete: I point you to my second post. But to address one of your points, I ran my first marathon while a boxer. And please consider that a world class marathon runner can run a four minute mile which and still run a sub 15 sec 100m sprint finish which is still pretty good, I am sure you'll agree.

Being a better person is of course something we all aspire to regardless of anything as you said we use aikido to this end.
However if a person will not push themselves to their absolute limit they do not truly know everything about themselves they have no idea how they will behave in extreme situations how then can they hope to a fully better person. For me aikido is a discovery of the person/spirit which for me implies that we have a duty to fully explore our corporeal reality.

I find it incredible that a horse will run until it drops dead why why has man lost this spirit?

Ki No Nagare
04-02-2005, 02:05 PM
It appears to me that a number of aikido dojo's do not take their fitness seriously. That very often these dojo never push their students limits physically.





I do not understand the concept of pushing yourself to your physical limits in an aikido training. And if a student wants to do so, he may but it is not the responsibility of the dojo.

Maybe I study a much more mental form of aikido. We have people 60 years of age in our dojo, we do not expect them to be very fit, but the philosophy is that you can do aikido no matter how old you are, or how big, small, fat or slim. So they do!

If I want to get a good work out, I will go to the gym.
I understand that you will have to be 'fit' enough to get through training. Because your attacks against others must be realistic.
Or else you won't be helping the nage at all.
But that shouldn't require much condition nor strength. Only tiresome part of training is pain and getting up 10000 times....that's all.

But if I am doing the technique, I can rest, I must focus but I use no power at all. So tell me what is the purpose of having great strength if you don't need it?

If you can lift 4 kilograms in each hand, you can do Aikido. So what would be the point in lifting more?

crbateman
04-02-2005, 02:15 PM
the only true way to effortless aikido is by exhausting yourself to a point that the mind, spirit if you will, is the only thing keeping you going and the use of force is not possible.That is certainly one way to learn, though I don't think the only way. Physical fatigue brings clarity of thought to some, and takes it from others. But that does not mean you have to be exhausted before you go on the mat and do good Aikido. I have seen some amazing Aikido from people whose tongues were NOT hanging out. You can train your mind without depriving it of oxygen. You must learn good technique, and not just how to power your way through poor technique, IMO.

Adam Alexander
04-02-2005, 05:10 PM
These are my thoughts I would appreciate yours.

I'm with you--in all cited aspects.

I think a lot of people misunderstand what is meant by "anyone can practice Aikido." (or maybe I misunderstand it) Anyone may be a better person for going through a "moving meditation." However, I don't think you can be a physically capable martial artist without being in good condition (I cited Ueshiba {K. I believe} saying that speed is important).

Paul
04-02-2005, 06:43 PM
Firstly to address Stijn Donders , I agree with you that great strength isn't required however cardiovascular strength is needed.
I may have implied that every class should/needs to be a hell for leather lungs on fire affair. I do think that once in a while it ought to be. This with a few intense minutes per week are more than enough I would suggest.

You mentioned, I would quote but I haven't got round to reading the instructions yet, that one can practice aikido regardless of age. I agree. I don't think that age should be a reason to exclude people from pushing themselves after all it will be relative to each persons circumstances.
Tell me if you agree; if ones uke is fit he will get up that bit quicker, now I am not suggesting he attack any quicker, but it does mean that he offers you more opportunities to practice your technique than someone who is taking his time due to fatigue. Which wold you prefer?

Ki no nagare cannot be performed if your uke or yourself is too tired to move properly.

Hi Crbateman now your points, as I stated above you will realise that I agree with you that good aikido can be performed, as you witnessed, without the black spots dancing in front of your eyes. And of course I don't advocate powering through techniques, as I mentioned to Stijn I am talking about cardiovascular strength. Kihon needs to be learned slowly and with great care and attention, however taking your point that being deprived of oxygen clouds certain peoples minds,I believe this clouding may help the body learn the technique without the minds often misleading advice. Good kihon demonstrated under duress must surely demonstrate a high level of technical achievement?

Wouldn't students benefit from a combination of both styles of practice ju and go? My original point is that alot of students I have encountered are simply unable or unwilling, through poor self discipline, to do both.
shochu-geiko is very good example of this I believe and is complimented by Kan-geiko I am not saying one is better than the other but both push peoples believed boundaries.
As Jon Sharp said people should not be allowed to remain in their comfort zone. The very best instructors are those that are continuously pushing themselves why should students be exempted from this process?

Regards Paul

Reg Robinson
04-02-2005, 06:43 PM
Stijn, Thankyou for your comments. I'm one of those 60 yr. olds practicing Aikido, in my more youthfull yrs. I too would push myself to my limit, if I tried to train that way now my body would protest so much that it would interfere with the quality of my training, & perhaps even stop me from training for awhile. So now my personal goal in training is this. To accomplish more, by doing less.
Thanks again, Reg

Paul
04-02-2005, 06:57 PM
Reg, where is your limit? Turning up to a martial arts class would not be contemplated by many in their golden years. Are you fitter than your peers because of aikido?

Regards Paul

Lorien Lowe
04-02-2005, 11:18 PM
Last week I was delighted by the return of a shodan to my dojo who hasn't been to practice for about two years (his wife was diagnosed with cancer, and he's been taking care of her). He's very out of shape - had to order a new gi before he could come train - and his ukemi was very strained.

As nage, however, he can still bounce me around with about as much effort as dribbling a basketball. He's practically invisible - fantastic to train with.

-LK

ruthmc
04-03-2005, 11:01 AM
My original point is that alot of students I have encountered are simply unable or unwilling, through poor self discipline, to do both.
The very best instructors are those that are continuously pushing themselves why should students be exempted from this process?
I think it is the choice of the individual student how much s/he wishes to develop her / his endurance in Aikido.

If it is being forced onto somebody who would otherwise be unwilling, it is unlikely to have any lasting effect.

If a student is self-motivated to increase her / his endurance, then s/he will, whatever the instructor does!

Ruth

Chuck.Gordon
04-03-2005, 11:35 AM
Your fitness is not the dojo's reponsibility. The dojo's responsibility is to provide an environment in which the teacher can provide instruction in budo. Neither is your fitness the teacher's responsibility (aside form trying to make sure you can actually perfom techniques and endure the class regimen).

Personally, I don't have time available to shepherd my students through a fitness regime. I need every moment I can garner on the mat to try to teach the budo itself. I make this very clear to my folks, too.

The dojo, my dojo anyhow, is not a fitness center. It is a dojo -- a place to learn budo. My students are expected to take care of thir own fitness in their own time, My time with them is scant enough to try to teach them what I am trying to impart without playing drill sergeant too.

If folks want a gym, there are many available.

Chuck

Jon Sharp
04-03-2005, 11:37 AM
This brings us to an interesting point. When you looked for an aikido class as a beginner, did you have expectations about what the training would involve? I know my own expectations of a martial art were of hard physical training and certainly increased physical capabilities, expecially flexibility. Of course I had no real idea of aikido at the time, but one of the reasons for doing a martial art was to achieve a higher level of fitness. Should it be the responsibility of the sensei to push your limits or is it principally down to you. In my opinion, the sensei has to take a lot of responsibility for this. Unless we are super-motivated individuals, we will tend to take the easier path physically (why push yourself if you don't have to?), whereas the supportive and motivating environment of the dojo can help you achieve results you would never have attempted by yourself. In this respect, I believe the idea of going to the gym, or riding a bike, to achieve your goals, can never match up to an invigorating training session in the dojo. What are your thoughts?

Jon Sharp
04-03-2005, 11:55 AM
As Chuck says, there is a lot to teach in a class, and budo is not a fitness program. I have trained in dojos where training has been very physical and draining and classes where training has been more thoughtful and precise. I can definately say that both sides have their value, however in fear of contradicting my earlier post, I believe that a balance of the two, i.e. a class combining thoughtful, precise techniques followed by a more vigorous application, leaves me with the most satisfaction. After all training in the former way is restrictive in its focus in precision - if you like, a more mental approach, the latter allows you physical freedom, away from the scrutinising eye, to feel and embed the former learnings in your movements. Both complement the other. Unfortunately I cannot speak from the point of view from a more mature practitioner, but the inspirational aikido we have all seen comes from a dynamic background, one no doubt forged from hard physical training.

mj
04-03-2005, 11:57 AM
Every now and then you need to be lying on your back unable to breath and physically exhausted :)

Pauliina Lievonen
04-03-2005, 12:40 PM
In my opinion, the sensei has to take a lot of responsibility for this. Unless we are super-motivated individuals, we will tend to take the easier path physically (why push yourself if you don't have to?) ...
This is certainly the more convenient and easy approach for the student. Why take responsibility for yourself if you don't have to.

kvaak
Pauliina

Ki No Nagare
04-03-2005, 12:57 PM
Stijn, Thankyou for your comments. I'm one of those 60 yr. olds practicing Aikido, in my more youthfull yrs. I too would push myself to my limit, if I tried to train that way now my body would protest so much that it would interfere with the quality of my training, & perhaps even stop me from training for awhile. So now my personal goal in training is this. To accomplish more, by doing less.
Thanks again, Reg

I'm very pleased to hear that :)
but it is true, I see all these people say that is good for you now and than to be on your back and be exhausted. Well ok, fine by me, but not in an Aikido training. There I want to learn! And wasting time on being fitter is a waste of precious training time.
You can do that in your own time. I train at home because I want to be fit for myself, but not for aikido.
Reg, I would love to see you throwing people without effort and without the use of any force!
Because hell, if I am 60 years or older, I wanna be able to kick ass to! And with Aikido, I am sure be able to do that because my mental abilities will have grown where my physical will have dropped.






Tell me if you agree; if ones uke is fit he will get up that bit quicker, now I am not suggesting he attack any quicker, but it does mean that he offers you more opportunities to practice your technique than someone who is taking his time due to fatigue. Which wold you prefer?

Ki no nagare cannot be performed if your uke or yourself is too tired to move properly.



Of course I would prefer someone who doesn't take 5 minutes to get up because he is tired. But than again I have never encountered anyone who has done that, young or old. You don't have to be so fit for Aikido that is why it is perfect for anyone. You can choose to push yourself to your own limit, but it is not vital for training.

And Ki no Nagare is a principal of Aikido, like Ma ai and Shisei.
Techniques are not the purpose of Aikido, but instruments to understand and use these principals. So if you do not have Ki no nagare, you are missing one of those important things in your technique.
If my uke is so tired that he can't perform a normal tsuki or shomen-uchi he would first: be so exhausted that he should stop for a second and I'd have to find an other uke for the technique.
And second of all: there should always be Ki no nagare in a ju no geiko technique, even if there isn't much power behind the attack as long as there is no stop in the fluent motion there is Ki no nagare.
In a real situation for example, you cannot ask the agressor to hit harder so you can do your technique, so if there isn't much power it is harder, but not impossible. See it as a challenge and not an obstacle :)

Looking forward to your opinion,
Stijn.

Paul
04-03-2005, 04:51 PM
Hey Chuck, I sympathise that time is a precious commodity and techniques should of course take priority. I would not have it any other way but I agree with Jon, that people will always take the easier path. Therefore I feel that an instructor can introduce the physically demanding facet of budo and hopefully help the student realise that he will at times be pushed out of his comfort zone.

Of course the dojo is not a gym but it is a place of physical exercise. Will that physical exercise always be within a students comfort zone? Is there no place within aikido for exhaustion. Hombu dojo was called the hell dojo for quite some time why do people evade this aspect of aikido in the name of more esoteric goals?

I still think that the ultimate goal of aikido can only be obtained through the careful balance of precise careful practice coupled with the knowledge gleamed from knowing the bodies natural limits. The body has very few limits in my experience. Shouldn't people be helped to discover this for themselves?

Regards Paul

Janet Rosen
04-03-2005, 10:03 PM
I am challenged in a variety of ways every time I train. Some are physical. Some are emotional. Some are spiritual. The mix and the level of challenge varies class to class, depending on tfactors involving me, the instructor, my training partners.
I can't say that trying to build my cardiovascular endurance is high on the list of things I consider important to my doing aikido. I certainly don't understand why my understanding of the art, including martial applications like kuzushi, would be enhanced by exhausting myself to the point where I'm "lying on my back" panting once every class. This is a point I will certainly AVOID reaching, thank you. I freely admit that YMMV but I do not consider it a universally appropriate or desirable goal.

Paul
04-04-2005, 04:38 AM
I never said that every class should involve exhaustion. Just some of them. If your class is challenging you physically then you may be being pushed cardio terms any how. I find it disappointing that you would avoid experiencing a particular side of aikido. Why would you avoid it? Pascals wager comes to mind.

Excuse my ignorance but what is YMMV?

Regards Paul

mj
04-04-2005, 05:40 AM
I didn't say once every class. I mean that every now and then you need to be pushed to your physical limits.

It helps you know them. It helps you be healthier. It is good for your body.

ymmv means 'your mileage may vary' ie people with different experience may have different thoughts on the subject.

happysod
04-04-2005, 06:29 AM
Interesting thread in that we've recently started putting more emphasis into upping the level of physical fitness needed to train for two reasons.

1. We'd noticed some of our mid-kyu grades were, to be frank, coasting and the general level of fitness was going down. While I'm up with the minimal effort, anything physical is easier to do with at least a competent level of fitness.

2. The type of beginner seems to have changed somewhat. By that I mean that most of the "old-timers" started aikido to only learn aikido, increasingly we're finding people who want the martial art to also act as part of their own fitness regime so we're responding to that requirement.

I haven't noticed any loss in "budo", but then again we're not turning the dojo into gym class, just upping the speed and intensity. Those who need to take a rest can and we ensure no-one pushes themselves too far.

Mel Barker
04-04-2005, 07:31 AM
Excuse my ignorance but what is YMMV?

Regards Paul

Paul, I believe it means "Your Milage May Very".

Mel

Jon Sharp
04-04-2005, 11:14 AM
When we're talking about raising cardiovascular levels here, it's surely not at the expense of training. It is not a case of substituting aikido training for a generic aerobic workout, more of a case of raising the intensity of your training to a higher level. I can't see why this should be considered as seperate from 'normal' training. Practising at a careful measured rate is all fine and good, but this level of dynamicism is not the complete form. Should we not be working towards a technical state where our techniques can be applied swiftly and powerfully, and consequently need to bring ourselves to the physical state suitable for applying and receiving these techniques.

jonreading
04-04-2005, 11:41 AM
Physical fitness is important to complete health, just as much as mental and spiritual fitness. I expect my students to care for their health and maintain their bodies without instruction or corecion. I do not believe that students should be excluded from physical fitness because they are practicing aikido. I believe that everyone can practice aikido regardless of their health, but I do not condone that statement as a free pass for unhealthy people to ignore physical excercise.

Respect your body, maintain your health. Some students want more intensity, some less. My classes vary in intensity and I encourage everyone to try to keep up, even on the harder days. I personally run a quick military workout for about an hour before class. Physical conditioning will improve movement and flexibility, reduce injury, and increase stamina. Not to mention improve your overall physical condition (cholesterol, cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, blood circulation, and other common problems).

Don't confuse rigourous training that is borderline pyscho with physical fitness. Fitness is part of training. The positive benefits of good fitness far out number any argument to avoid excercise.

The question may better be worded as, "Should we dedicate training time to physical conditioning?

Jon Sharp
04-04-2005, 12:11 PM
I'm tempted to say yes. Especially for aikido specific exercises. It would be interesting to run a poll on this.

akiy
04-04-2005, 12:31 PM
I've noted the interest in a poll on this subject.

Here are two polls I've taken related to this subject:

How important is physical fitness for you in aikido? - 6/30/2001
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=66

How well does aikido alone meet your physical fitness needs? - 7/7/2001
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=67

-- Jun

Janet Rosen
04-04-2005, 01:30 PM
[QUOTE=Paul Finn]I never said that every class should involve exhaustion./QUOTE]
Hi, Paul, the line about lying on the mat panting being a good thing came from somebody else and I never implied/meant to imply that you are the one and only person I was responding to.

[QUOTE=Paul Finn] I find it disappointing that you would avoid experiencing a particular side of aikido./QUOTE]
Um...can we have some perspective here on admitting we are talking about subjective issues and personal opinions? I have seen dojos where highly unsafe warmups were an integral part of what they do every day. I am sure they would find it disappointing that I avoid experiencing that particular side of aikido. I am equally sure that I don't consider those warmups an important or essential part of the experience of training in aikido.
Maybe it's being older and having been off the mat for surgeries/rehab, but I don't feel that I have to exceed my limits to find them. I know my limits. I train up to them and then I sit down if I have to.

Janet Rosen
04-04-2005, 01:34 PM
Should we not be working towards a technical state where our techniques can be applied swiftly and powerfully, and consequently need to bring ourselves to the physical state suitable for applying and receiving these techniques.
I agree, Jon.
And I LOVE doing really fast, smooth stuff!
However from my admittedly limited experience taking ukemi from older and very experienced instructors, I'd say that "swift and powerful" does not necessarily require either powerful muscles or the kind of cv endurance needed to run races. Efficient use of breathing and relaxed extension, ability to judge intent and dynamic maai seem to count much more.

mj
04-04-2005, 01:57 PM
Efficient use of breathing and relaxed extension, ability to judge intent and dynamic maai seem to count much more.
All of which are enhanced by a reasonable level of fitness.

imo, and I am sure many will differ but I don't mean it to seem untoward, a student should not be in charge of their own physical 'workout' on the mat. The instructor should be.

Certainly if someone is dizzy, faint or otherwise unwell - they should by all means sit down or sit out. Just because they are a bit tired, or indeed exhausted, they don't get to rest. It defeats part of the purpose.

And what happens if a student is pushed, properly, to their limits...over a period of 6 months what happens?

As has been said extreme fitness is not necessary for Aikido and I am not suggesting older people practice as vigorously as the younger ones - but it does enhance training to be fitter. It also shows others one of the so-called 'benefits' of Aikido training....that is health.

theflyingheadbuttsuplex
05-06-2005, 11:32 AM
I don't know, but I think 50 pushups, 50 crunches, 50 seconds of the boat ( :dead: AAAHH THE BOAT! :yuck: ) 50 half squats, 50 rolls and knee walking can be fairly taxing. I'll let you decide! :cool:

theflyingheadbuttsuplex
05-06-2005, 11:35 AM
But if you really want to be stronger, you should take fitness into your own hands:p

Qatana
05-06-2005, 08:04 PM
One of my teachers is about 5'4", 75 years old. he has trained in aikido for over thirty-five years and last night told the class it was Because hedidn't push his body but learned to relax. He is still taking high breakfalls and can take on ukes three times his size and half his age and they don't know what hit them.
He also says aikido is what made him fit for waterskiing.
I can say that aikido is far less strenuous than ballet.I have to practice on my own to maintain a fitness level I am happy with, but have never needed to use my flexibility in the dojo. Good cardio levels are simply a good idea in general.

Shipley
05-06-2005, 09:10 PM
I'm finding the concept that the instructor is responsible for the students' physical fitness to be interesting. As a student I always considered the intensity of my training to be my responsibility, and if I was huffing and puffing during keiko I got out to do more exercise outside of the dojo. As an instructor if a student is clearly coasting I will make it clear to him/her that I noticed and don't approve, but beyond that I consider it my responsibility to provide a good example, and their responsibility to follow it.

I take the setting an good example seriously by training hard and getting more exercise and stretching time outside of keiko. I do also, however, believe strongly that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Students need to take responsibility of their own training.

All of course, IMHO.

Paul

Jeanne Shepard
05-06-2005, 11:05 PM
I find it incredible that a horse will run until it drops dead why why has man lost this spirit?


Umm, maybe because humans are smarter than horses?

Jeanne :p

Anat Amitay
05-07-2005, 02:46 AM
Just thought this could be fitting to what was written before: :)

If you have run with men on foot and they have worn you out,
How can you compete with the horses? (Jeremiah 12:5)

enjoy training!
Anat