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Thor's Hammer
05-28-2005, 11:27 PM
I read somewhere that O'Sensei did not let anyone train in aikido until they were ranked at least blackbelt in another art. I of course jumped straight into aikido, but I am beginning to discover that I don't really know what I'm doing- probably because of my lack of previous martial experience. I feel like I would be learning more from aikido, with its slow, commited attacks, if I really knew what these symbolic attacks stood for.

So my question is- should I drop aikido for a while, take something else, and come back when I am ranked high in another art, as O'Sensei recommended? I don't want to take two styles at once, becoming a dabbler in the martial arts that so many seem to detest. Any suggestions?

Amir Krause
05-29-2005, 09:02 AM
If you found a good school stick in it. A good teacher will be able to compensate for the knowledge you don't have.

Learning more then a single M.A. and from more then one teacher is recommended in the long range, but it is not suited to most beginners, just like learning two languages.

Amir

James Jones
05-29-2005, 11:15 AM
I read somewhere that O'Sensei did not let anyone train in aikido until they were ranked at least blackbelt in another art.

I have heard similar things as well. It seems to keep coming up, and I am beginning to think it may have some merit. But keep in mind that I have not begun to train in Aikido yet. So I would definitely want to hear more from those who are experienced and what they have to say about the matter. Personally, I am interested in many martial arts, and I hope to be proficient in several during my lifespan. While I am most interested in Aikido, I have considered taking Judo or Brazilian Ju Jitsu first(though not necessarily waiting until black belt level to take Aikido, because a BJJ black belt can take 10+ years). The ground techniques of Judo or BJJ would compliment Aikido nicely. As a matter of fact, on the website of the organization that heads Tomiki Aikido www.tomiki.org , they admit Aikido's deficiency in ground techniques and state

"If one feels that one is likely to be in situations where a fight is likely to end up on the ground, one should supplement one's Aikido with Judo, wrestling, or one of the grappling-heavy jujitsu systems, like Gracie Jujitsu."

But I don't know if they are necessarily recommending taking them simultaneously or successively.

-Jones

Neil Mick
05-29-2005, 02:13 PM
I read somewhere that O'Sensei did not let anyone train in aikido until they were ranked at least blackbelt in another art. I of course jumped straight into aikido, but I am beginning to discover that I don't really know what I'm doing- probably because of my lack of previous martial experience. I feel like I would be learning more from aikido, with its slow, commited attacks, if I really knew what these symbolic attacks stood for.

So my question is- should I drop aikido for a while, take something else, and come back when I am ranked high in another art, as O'Sensei recommended? I don't want to take two styles at once, becoming a dabbler in the martial arts that so many seem to detest. Any suggestions?

The short answer? My advice: stick with Aikido, if that is your love and interest.

O Sensei had a lot of requirements for his students that we do not have, today. But remember that he was developing Aikido, and his students were an intergral part of that development.

Other martial arts have different forms and stances that, IMO: make it more difficult when making the transition to Aikido-training (at least, going on personal experience).

Your feelings of inadequacy and "not knowing what you are doing," are fine: stay with them. We call this feeling "beginner's mind." Over time, you will better understand the relevance of "symbolic" attacks.

Stefan Stenudd
05-29-2005, 03:25 PM
I read somewhere that O'Sensei did not let anyone train in aikido until they were ranked at least blackbelt in another art.I doubt it. When Osensei commenced teaching his own Martial art, the belt system was hardly established - not outside judo, anyway. As far as I know.

I have read about firm demands he had on new students to be accepted, but these demands had more to do with their moral standard, devotion, training discipline, and such. I think they had to be recommended by somebody he knew and respected.

Still, many of them were experienced and advanced in other budo, before taking up aikido. It is clear that Osensei did not mind that at all, quite the contrary - but I do not believe he made it a prerequisite.

DustinAcuff
05-30-2005, 12:52 AM
O Sensei's black belt requirement is not that far fetched, to me anyway. Black belt just means you have attained some skill. Traditionally it just meant you were no longer a rank beginner. If you are developing an art from scratch (kinda) it would make sense that you want experienced practitoners to help you create your art...kinda the way if you want to carve a statue you dont just start with a butter knife.

As to if you should drop Aikido or not, the answer is most definately NO! I've got 8 years total experience in the Martial Arts, been in since I was 10-11. I've studied TKD to black belt level (I did not get my black belt, rift went through the school among the senior instructors and almost everyone bailed, but I was only a month or so away from my test), then I went through an experimental phase training from anyone who had something to teach (Tai Chi, Wing Chun, various kung fu, alot of theory, etc), then I got back into organized ma's 9mo bjj, 9mo muai thai, mma stuff from someone ranked black belt/sash in 8 diffrent arts. Then I started Daito Ryu/Aikido (Daito technique softened with Aikido philosophy). I literally had to unlearn everything I had learned. I could no longer grab, grip, move, react, kick, punch, push, pull, or leverage anymore to properly execute technique. I am not sorry that I trained in other arts because I have some skills that may be useful one day, but if I were given the option to have trained Aikido instead for 8 years, then I would make that trade happily.

IMHO, you will be better in the long run with a good, knowledgeable, skilled instructor than you would be with any crosstraining. A good instructor should fit your personality (you learn from them well), have good technique (you dont feel it, uke does not throw himself or have to cooperate), if you are looking for reality based training then look for badges, uniforms, and scrubs (police, military, medical professionals).