View Full Version : Aikido & Judo Seminar/DC Metro Area

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Michael Neal
08-25-2005, 11:42 AM
This is not an announcement, just an exploration of the possibility of such an event.

As I understand, there is a direct relationship from the following Judo forms to Aikido through Tomiki's relationship between the two schools, as well as Kano’s background in several forms of jujitsu.


I am unaware of any Judo school in my area that teaches all of these techniques. There is some exposure but very little. I also know that many of these techniques are part of the Aikido syllabus, while some of them are not.

In the spirit of Tomki, Kano, and others who believed in exposing themselves to many styles and their open mindness I want to put forth the idea of having some sort of joint seminar in the Washington DC area for both Aikidoka and Judoka.

I am not sure what the focus of the seminar would be: sharing different techniques, focusing on common knowledge etc, but the last thing I would want this to be is a “my art is better than yours” demonstration. My idea is that it would not be a competition but cooperative practice with maybe a demonstration at the end of the seminar of both Aikido and Judo randori by higher ranked people.

This something that would take a lot of thought to put together and I am thinking that this probably would be something way in the future, not anytime soon. Maybe even years away but I just want to get the thought process going and find out if anyone is interested in the idea.

My motivation for this is to expose the often overlooked self defense techniques to Judoka and to help highlight the common ground between the two arts. Aikidoka would surely have much to gain as well, by possibly learning different forms of koshinage and how to apply chokes.

I am also thinking this should probably be limited to intermediate level Aikidoka and Judoka or those who have a recommendation by their instructor. But that is just a thought. I don’t want to limit the possibilities by having novice Judoka that do not have enough experience at being good ukes, as well as novice Aikidoka who are not comfortable yet with taking breakfalls from hip throws.

I would obviously have to find some Judoka more experienced than myself to lead the Judo aspect but I am confident I could get some interest.

This is just a thought and maybe it is a good idea, or maybe it is not. I just want to see what reaction this idea gets. I think it would be a great experience as there are a lot of Judoka that are interested in the self defense aspects. Many in my club (at least 5 that I know of) have some background in Aikido and I know there are some Judoka in the local Aikido schools.

I know there have been Aikido seminars where there has been other martial arts participating (including Judo) but this is a more focused approach between Judo and Aikido specifically, and their common bonds.

So go ahead and shoot me down if you think it is a evil & twisted idea :) It is just something that popped into my head this morning.

Jim Sorrentino
08-25-2005, 01:31 PM
Hello Michael,

I suggest that you visit the Aikido Shobukan Dojo and observe some of Lewis Cuffy's classes. According to the schedule on the ASD website (http://www.aikido-shobukan.org/), Lewis teaches Monday at 7:45 PM, and Wednesday and Thursday at 7:00 AM. He also runs the ASD children's and teens' programs. Lewis got his yondan in judo many years ago, and is familiar with many of the senior practitioners in the DC area. He is a sandan in aikido (through ASU), and is also either nidan or sandan in Uechi-ryu karatedo. And he used to box as well.

It seems to me that Lewis, who is quite experienced in both judo and aikido (as well as other arts), would have some useful suggestions for you. Please feel free to tell him I sent you.

Good luck!


Michael Neal
08-25-2005, 01:47 PM
Thanks Jim,

Those are some pretty impressive credentials. Getting a yondan in Judo is no easy task not to mention a sandan in Aikido plus the karate rank. I will certainly try to discuss this with him and observe his class. This is a wild idea that sort of came out of nowhere so I am sure this will take some time to put together.

Another motivation of mine here is that one day in the very distant future I would like to be a Judo instructor and I want to be able to offer students the whole aspect of the art rather than just sport or just self defense. There are very few Judo instructors that teach those forms.

L. Camejo
08-25-2005, 04:24 PM
Hi Michael,

Great idea.

As a trustee and executive member of our local Judo association I tend to get a lot of requests from my Judo instructor pals to partake in the sort of collaborative effort you are proposing. So far the results have been enlightening to both groups.

If you are looking at having Shodokan Instructors in the mix there is a good group who trains in Baltimore I think. This is their site - http://www.atlanticmartialarts.com/aikido_tmp.html. The instructor is Godan in Aikido under the Japan Aikido Association (Tomiki/Shodokan) and Sandan in Judo.

As far as similarities go, a few of the techniques in the Kime no Kata link above resemble some of what we do in our Go Shin no Kata (Koryu Dai San).

The Goshinjutsu Kata looks extremely familiar. I can see where a lot of the kihon waza we do in Shodokan have their Judo/Jujutsu counterpart in this kata. Some of the same gun takeaways are explained in Tomiki's book "Judo and Aikido." Another book with good info on a few of these techniques is "Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge" by F. Shishida and T. Nariyama of the J.A.A.

I think this is a great idea and would love to be a part of it if possible. I may also know a few Judo/Aikido/JJJ mid-high level Yudansha from the U.S. who may also be interested in that sort of collaboration.

Good stuff.

Michael Neal
08-26-2005, 08:52 AM
Great I hope this can be done. I do want to make it clear though that I don't think it is necessary that Aikido instructors who want to participate have any Judo background or training. The same goes for Judo, I don't think they necessarily need to have an Aikido background either. The whole idea is to open an opportunity for some cross training and learning some new things.

A mixed background is great but should not be a requirement for demonstration, teaching, or participating at this proposed seminar.

Michael Neal
08-26-2005, 09:10 AM
If I ever get to open my own dojo in the future I would love to do things like this on a regular basis between a variety of different arts. I remember Jim Sorrentino did a class where he had someone with a Kung Fu background teach a class in striking to help his students attack better in practice, great stuff. This is exactly the kind of thing that all martial arts need to do to focus on their weak spots.

I am convinced that in order to become really good at martial arts you have to frequently be taken out of your comfort zone. Not that I am really good myself, but I am trying.

Ron Tisdale
08-26-2005, 09:39 AM
I think its a great idea. Keep us posted...maybe even worth a road trip.


Michael Neal
08-26-2005, 10:16 AM
I don't have much experience putting things like this together but from what I can tell the following are some of things that need to be resolved.

1) A place to hold the seminar, figuring out the seminar fee and how much the host would accept for use of their facilities.
Included in this would be figuring out whether or not the various schools' insurance would cover their students at such an event.
2) Aikido & Judo instructors to teach the various aspects of the seminar.
3) Coming up with the material for the seminar and the order which the various subjects will be presented.
4) Reaching out to the various Aikido and Judo schools to get people to attend.

Any other ideas?

Jack Simpson
08-26-2005, 12:40 PM
I don't think there would be a problem finding aikido people in the area interesting in attending/teaching, there's a bunch of great folks out there (hi Jim!). On the judo side you may want to contact the Baltimore Judo Club (http://users.erols.com/cdp9000/) to see if they are interested in participating or know clubs closer to the DC area.

Jack :ai:

Michael Neal
08-26-2005, 01:05 PM
I am sure there are several blackbelts from my Judo club in Arlington who may be interested. We have a rokyudan & yondan, as well as several sandans, nidans & shodans at our club. There is also an 8th dan in Washington DC.

I would not be worried about getting enough Aikido people there but judo people will be a bit more difficult. There seems to be more Aikidoka in the area and most Judoka around here seem to have a sole sport focus. We will see what happens.

Michael Neal
08-26-2005, 01:28 PM
I am actually more worried about having a whole lot of people interested and then where to host such a large event. Having too few people would be less impressive yet more manageable.

Jack Simpson
08-26-2005, 01:35 PM
Sorry, guess I should have read your whole post. I thought you were coming more from the aikido side. My bad. :sorry: Of course you'll know judo folks in the area. Another way to look at it is have it as a "judo seminar" and invite aikido folks to participate.

I understand your statement about the "sole sport focus", and as many aikido techniques may or may not be allowed in judo competition, the judo folks might have just a passing interest. On the other hand, we aikido people can happily come along and learn judo techniques and then just call them "kokyu-nage" or "koshi" when we forget the judo names :D .

Jack :ai:

Michael Neal
08-26-2005, 02:17 PM
True we could have a judo seminar and invite aikidoka along but then the judoka would not gain much knowledge in the area I was hoping. My ultimate goal is to have an experience that is rewarding for everyone, not sure it is possible but that is my aim.

My vision for this (which is certainly subject to change and discussion) is to

1)Have both aikido and judo show techniques that are relatively easy to pick up fast, at least when compared to more difficult ones. And to highlight the common themes between the two arts.
2)Encourage judoka to pair off with aikidoka when practicing so that each person could help the other through the techniques better than if both were totally new to it.
3)At the end maybe have some demonstrations of randori by both Aikidoka and Judoka

L. Camejo
08-26-2005, 10:09 PM
Hi Michael,

Maybe it'd be a good idea to speak with someone who has experience conducting cross art seminars. I know one such person who has done this for years and he is sometimes on this board. I may send him the link to this thread and he may contact you here or via PM if you'd like. Another option may be to start this idea up on Budoseek.net with a thread. Lots of Aiki-friendly Judoka there from my experience.:)

Let me know if you'd like the assistance first though.

From my experience the numbers and space problem can be addressed somewhat by having an early registration time, with an incentive such as a reduced seminar fee, that is well in advance (about 1 month) of the seminar. That way you can get an idea of numbers beforehand and know what size mat area etc. you'd need. A website with info may help also.

Another option may be to piggyback the seminar onto a larger Aikido or Judo seminar that is occuring in your area. An example may be that seen at this year's Aiki Expo by the infamous Mark T. :rolleyes: Checking out high level contacts in the area is always good in these cases imo.

Just some thoughts.

Michael Neal
08-29-2005, 07:21 AM
Larry, I could certainly use all the help I can get with this. Your help would be great.

Eric Webber
08-29-2005, 12:27 PM
I am actually more worried about having a whole lot of people interested and then where to host such a large event. Having too few people would be less impressive yet more manageable.
Hi Michael,
If you have a large number of people showing interest, and don't want to limit the event to a smaller number, you may want to consider renting a large space and bringing mats from area dojos. also limiting numbers the first time then expanding it later if it is a great success is also an option. Personally, I know of at least several aikidoka from our aikido dojo in PA who would want to attend. Good luck!

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2005, 04:45 PM
Louis Cuffy is a awesome martial artist. He really helped me see the light on aikido and erased any skepticism I had concerning the art. He also showed me the value of having breadth of experience. You really should try and train with him if you ever get the chance.

I remember about 8 years ago laughing as we (he) attempted to chase down a thief breaking into a dojo members car in Takoma park in hakama! Never got close to catching the guy...but the mental image still sticks with me till this day!

Michael Neal
09-02-2005, 12:19 PM
I think I was a bit ambitious with this idea but hopefully it will come into being sometime in the next couple of years, this depends if I am able to find a place suitable for it and enough mats in order to make the space useful.

The rest, getting people to attend and teach is the easiest part of this puzzle to solve.

Ron Tisdale
09-02-2005, 12:31 PM
Personally, I know of at least several aikidoka from our aikido dojo in PA who would want to attend. Good luck!

Could I car pool with you?


Kevin Leavitt
09-02-2005, 03:34 PM
Michael...I am living the dream right now!

We are essentially doing MMA in my "dojo" right now. REAL MMA approach...just a bunch of great, experience guys that get together a couple of times a week an draw from each others experiences to make ourselves better!

We just had an awesome seminar with A BJJ black belt, a Judo dude, a few state champ/ collegiate level greco roman guys, kali etc...

It really is interesting when you start breaking down various paradigms formed from your perspective art and questioning your methodologies and learning.

I am constantly suprised...not by what is WRONG with aikido...but I find I understand the dynamic and reasoning behind the methodology applied in it much better!

The only advice I can offer you is persistence. Keep plugging away...build it and they will come if it is worthwile!

I was training every morning for about a year by myself wondering if I was a failure or if what I was doing was a waste of time. I know have at least four to ten people that show up 3 days a week!

What I originally envisioned has how I would do things has migrated and evolved...but it forced me to grow and face reality and figure out how to properly LEAD a dojo...not spout of information that I had in my head from years of training.

I am facilitator/leader...not an Instructor/Sensei....BIG difference! I now get it! AND it is why things are now working for me!

Good luck!

Michael Neal
09-08-2005, 09:42 AM
Glad to hear you are having a great time, I will certainly stick with it. I have to say my biggest dream would be one place where one could crosstrain many arts including Judo, BJJ, Aikido, Muay Thai/Boxing, etc.

Right now I would love to take all of those things at one time but it is cost and time prohibitive.

Eric Webber
09-08-2005, 10:30 AM
Could I car pool with you?

Absolutely. :)
As well, if you're ever in the Reading area, feel free to stop by the dojo, make sure to bring your dogi.