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Pdella
09-02-2005, 01:14 PM
So I'm getting a paycheck and a little free time soon and I've decided to pick up a second art. Due to location, time, etc., I've narrowed it down to two choices: Danzan Ryu Jujitsu and Judo (at the YMCA). Now, I will probably end up going to both classes at least once each to get a sense of how they are run, and will base most of my decision on that. But since yall are experts, I also wanted to throw it out to you folk.

I read all the old threads about Judo and Aikido, so I have a sense of how that works, ie Judo is more grappling, groundwork, and throwing, more useful when you are closer to your opponent, and more "real" or "rougher." I don't know much about Jujitsu though. It looks like its kinda similar, there are locks and groundwork, etc. Not sure about much more than that.

Any advice on which to take as a secondary martial art?

Ron Tisdale
09-02-2005, 01:29 PM
Take the judo. It's not that the Danzan ryu won't have effective technique...but I don't believe they use the randori system of judo...and the biggest benefit there will be the randori. If you practice a cooperative model martial art, and you want a secondary art, look for something either historically related or something that offers a non-cooperative model. In my opinion, of course. Both would be sweet...but I don't think you'll find both.

Best,
Ron

Mark Uttech
09-02-2005, 01:33 PM
Don't bother cross training. That is just another desire for some sort of 'shortcut'. There are no shortcuts.

Ron Tisdale
09-02-2005, 01:37 PM
Intersting...you just read his mind over the internet?? Neat trick!

Pehaps I should soften my sarcasm by illucidating my own motivations for what cross-training I do.

I found myself not really getting my main style of aikido. There was something missing in my approach to the art, and I wasn't sure how to fix it. "train more/harder/different teacher" didn't seem to be the issue. Along with that, I was getting older, and rougher just wasn't an answer.

On top of that my knees have been becoming increasingly problematic. I had to find ways to train to get better at training...and change the mode I had been in for some years.

On top of that, I was in the midst of a dojo change.

It was more than my earlier motivation to seek out the historical roots of aikido (Daito ryu) even though I find that an acceptable reason for cross-training in and of itself. I really needed (and need) to focus on moving, holding, using my body differently. And it wasn't that I hadn't been told to do that, or wasn't trying. It just wasn't working very well. So I took some time to train with a mid to high ranking instructor in a much 'softer' style of aikido. It made a world of difference, and it jumped my ability in my regular style. Not a short cut...a way past what seemed to be an impasse.

I believe that other people might just have similar, or completely disimilar motives for cross training that have nothing to do with 'short cuts'. To assume that 'short cuts' is all they want, seems rather derogatory to me.

Best,
Ron

Dan Herak
09-02-2005, 01:46 PM
I agree with Ron on the main point he made - look for the art that has a competitive form of randori. I am using the word competitive broadly, not simply in a sports context. In aikido randori, uke attacks and nage counters the attack with an aikido movement. In judo, the uke/nage distinction is meaningless. Both people have the opportunity to be uke and/or nage based on what happens. It is a whole different ballgame when you are not only trying to throw a reluctant training partner but the partner is trying to do the same to you at the same time. I do not know if Danzan Ryu Jujitsu has this but it would be the thing I watch for most. I cross train with taihojutsu, a combination of judo, kendo and other things thrown in that is used by Japanese police forces. My sensei is explicit that the free practice of judo and kendo is a big reason why he teaches both.

Paul D. Smith
09-02-2005, 01:46 PM
Don't bother cross training. That is just another desire for some sort of 'shortcut'. There are no shortcuts.

Mark: I'm of the same mind.

Budd
09-02-2005, 03:18 PM
I think it depends on what your goals are . . .

Are you interested in learning and practicing an artform? How long have you been doing aikido? Is effectiveness a primary concern?

Depending on your goals for training, it may make a lot of sense, as others have noted, to train in an environment where you can get some resistance-based randori/shiai.

A word of caution, though, I don't really recommend trying to learn, wholesale, another martial art if you're just starting in aikido as, initially, the body mechanics and training goals may seem to conflict (not to mention the ukemi can be different enough to make you frustrated AND crap at both if you're just starting out and trying to make sense of it all).

Also, depending on how much time you have to dedicate yourself to training, if you only visit one place once each week, you're not likely to really get anywhere in either system (in terms of getting the transmission, muscle-memory and intangible "stuff" that comes from budo).

Assuming you're convinced you want to do two systems, have time to give both plenty of attention and have a good base in aikido already:

Are you looking to continue to primarily practice kata? Then Danzan Ryu might be a better fit as the schools I've visited typically follow this model of practice more closely than the judo schools I've trained at.

Are you looking for effectiveness as quickly as possible? Good judo players are all-around tough folks. I, personally, think a combination of kata (aikido) and shiai (judo) makes for great well-roundedness in terms of purity of form and the ability to mix-it-up. If you have time for both then that's probably the course I'd take.

Also, my caveat is that I'm writing using a lot of generalities. If we're sticking with the aikido is a path metaphor, though, while I agree there aren't any shortcuts to the destination that practically nobody reaches (YMMV), I don't think there's anything wrong with taking detours to explore different scenario (or even mode of transport), so long as you keep making progress on the path.

toyamabarnard
09-02-2005, 03:36 PM
Just my personal choice, but if I had the extra time to cross train, I think I would try to find another Aikido Dojo in the area and see how two schools would work.

Aristeia
09-02-2005, 03:57 PM
Listen to Ron, don't listen to Mark.
Judo will do you well, the randori will give you delivery system that will actually make your aikido effective. By contrast, from what I know of Danzan Ryu, the techniques will be similar yet different enough to potentially confuse the whole thing. In the hypothetical confrontation you may find yourself vacillating between which version of an outside wrist turn you are doing. With Judo it's clear, at this range I'm doing Aikido, at this range I'm doing judo.

But as you say the atmosphere and dojo culture should go a long way to your decision as well.

Kevin Leavitt
09-02-2005, 04:23 PM
agree with Ron.

There are many shortcuts...it depends on what your goals are.

The hard part is spending years studying MA and finding out that what you originally start for is much different than what your goals are 20 years from now! For that process, there are no shortcuts...it is called LIFE and it happens along the way while you are studying!

However, if you have a particular focus/goal in mind...then yes there are many ways to approach your method of study such as cross training that will be time better spent than performing an art that is very much align with traditions, culture, and ettiquette such as aikido...which BTW are very important to aikido...if that is your goal!

Good luck on your journey!

Aristeia
09-02-2005, 04:48 PM
good post Kevin. Some of the "don't bother cross training" I would understand if the question was "should I cross train". It wasn't. This is someone that has made that decision already and is just looking for guidance on what to take up. It kind of stuns me that people think they know more about his motivations than he does.

Devon Natario
09-02-2005, 04:58 PM
I think some people are off topic here.

In my opinion you should try both and see what compliments your style of training.

I personally try to find something that is not so similar. In Aikido we didn't do much ground fighting, so I loved BJJ or Jujitsu. You have to remember that most arts stem from Jujitsu, even Judo. Judo is the Jujitsu in a different form.

I personally would go with Jujitsu because it has more to offer than Judo, depending on the teacher. What is noce about Judo is that you get to compete, but most Jujitsu practitioners also compete.

On a daily basis my classes compete against one another and use the tehcniques I teach them.

Anyways, either way, you won't go wrong. It all depends on what "you" want.

aikigirl10
09-02-2005, 05:05 PM
Don't bother cross training. That is just another desire for some sort of 'shortcut'. There are no shortcuts.


Hate to break your heart, but aikido doesnt cover everything. Some people want to further their knowledge, not take a short cut to being able to beat up someone. Of course there are ppl like that but what give u that idea about Peter.

Cross training to me is great. There are other great styles out there. Aikido is awesoem, no doubt , but that doesnt mean its better than everything else. I've always wanted to do Judo, just because its so competetive, and im a very competetive person.

Im sure you know whats best for you Peter. Dont listen to ppl like mark. Chances are they havent looked in to other styles to see what they are all about , they are just stuck in their ways.

Good luck
Paige

Chris Li
09-02-2005, 06:04 PM
Don't bother cross training. That is just another desire for some sort of 'shortcut'. There are no shortcuts.

Morihei Ueshiba crosstrained, so did Sokaku Takeda. For that matter, virtually all of the early students of Morihei Ueshiba crosstrained to some extent.

Best,

Chris

aikigirl10
09-02-2005, 07:19 PM
Morihei Ueshiba crosstrained, so did Sokaku Takeda. For that matter, virtually all of the early students of Morihei Ueshiba crosstrained to some extent.

Best,

Chris

good point

Pdella
09-05-2005, 10:38 AM
thanks for all the feedback. as for crosstraining being a "shortcut,' I see it differently, even though I haven't done it yet. I see Aikido as PART of a journey or path in my life, not the entire journey. When I read a book or talk to a friend or go to work, that's "crosstraining" for me. If lose my temper or do something stupid or betray someone's trust, then I feel like I've slipped in my life journey, just like if I was attacked and I was unable to protect myself.

Pdella
09-05-2005, 01:16 PM
About my Aikido experience, I've been training for a little more than a year, right now only 2 days a week. I would likely do Judo/Jujitsu two days a week as well.

crbateman
09-05-2005, 04:57 PM
I am confident that crosstraining in Judo will make your Aikido better, and that should factor into your decision. The jujitsu might also help, but there is much variation in styles there.

Charles Hill
09-06-2005, 01:12 AM
Mark Uttech is a long time Aikido practioner/teacher. He is highly respected in the US midwest area by all accounts. If it were just some newbie making comments, that would be one thing, however, judging by the tenor of all of Mark`s recent posts, he is offering advice in terms of his long experience. I hate to speak for Mark, but I would guess that if one were to really think about his comments and then still take up another art anyway, he would be pleased and/or satisfied.

Charles

Ron Tisdale
09-06-2005, 11:07 AM
Hi Charles,

That is just another desire for some sort of 'shortcut'.

Thanks for providing some context for Mark's statement. The problem is that the context doesn't really elucidate his comment much. No matter how much experience someone has, he still would not be capable of assigning motivations to someone else based upon the query I saw...especially not in such an apparently negative manner.

I know people who at one point didn't appreciate me going out of my way to go to seminars in other styles. They referred to me as a 'technique junkie'. Thankfully I ignored their rude assumptions, and continued to try to look deeper, to 'look under the hood' as it were, both in aikido and in other budo. I believe it has paid some significant dividends, though it has been at a cost.

Everything in life has a cost. Individuals must figure out how much they are willing to pay for any particular good, service or ideal. Personally, I think if Mark had provided more context himself, and less of a one liner, he might have not only been received better, he might have influenced the original poster more.

Best,
Ron

Charles Hill
09-07-2005, 01:28 AM
Hi Ron,

I am not sure that what you are doing is "crosstraining." It sounds like what you are doing is trying to understand things at a deeper level. To me crosstraining is doing two or more things to make up for deficiencies in both. To me, aikido practice is doing martial arts to become a better person. (I guess that means I have to start training harder.:)) It is complete, if one is practicing in the correct way. For example, I think that to study bjj because Aikido doesn`t do groundwork is to miss the point of Aikido (and probably bjj.) If one wants to study more than one art because its fun, challenging, or to make more friends, then I say go for it. In this case, the word crosstraining doesn`t really apply.

Charles

Budd
09-07-2005, 07:49 AM
What if you want to study bjj (in addition to aikido) because it's fun, challenging, to meet new people and to learn some groundwork?

Different goals in budo (martial effectiveness, learning how to use one's body, becoming better people, etc.) can mandate different paths up the mountain -- even if the end destination is the same -- the important thing being (IMO) that you are committed to walking the path -- and stick with it.

I think that to study bjj because your Aikido doesn't do groundwork could be a logical progression -- assuming three things: 1) You have a good base in aikido (subjective, yes, based on the person). 2) You want to learn groundwork. 3) Studying means you commit several years to the effort.

What I don't think is useful is . . . . studying a little aikido here to get some joint locks and throws . . . studying a little bjj to get some groundwork . . . studying a little escrima/arnis/kali to get some sticks and knives . . .

Eventually you'll just be a jack of all trades and master of sh*t.

Paul D. Smith
09-07-2005, 12:25 PM
What if you want to study bjj (in addition to aikido) because it's fun, challenging, to meet new people and to learn some groundwork?

Different goals in budo (martial effectiveness, learning how to use one's body, becoming better people, etc.) can mandate different paths up the mountain -- even if the end destination is the same -- the important thing being (IMO) that you are committed to walking the path -- and stick with it.

I think that to study bjj because your Aikido doesn't do groundwork could be a logical progression -- assuming three things: 1) You have a good base in aikido (subjective, yes, based on the person). 2) You want to learn groundwork. 3) Studying means you commit several years to the effort.

What I don't think is useful is . . . . studying a little aikido here to get some joint locks and throws . . . studying a little bjj to get some groundwork . . . studying a little escrima/arnis/kali to get some sticks and knives . . .

Eventually you'll just be a jack of all trades and master of sh*t.

Budd - Excellent post. I agree wholeheartedly. I should apologize for my presupposition in my initial reply. I simply think that in any martial art, it takes years to deepen the experience to such an extent that it has been seized, and owned. And at that time, I fully agree, another "path up the mountain" may be useful to some.

I simply fear the mindset that shops around for bits and pieces, and agree with you that such a search will ultimately gain little.

Paul

Ron Tisdale
09-07-2005, 12:33 PM
I simply fear the mindset that shops around for bits and pieces, and agree with you that such a search will ultimately gain little.

I think we all could agree with that...

Best,
Ron

Esaemann
09-07-2005, 04:05 PM
I won't argue that O'Sensei trained in different arts. Didn't he also say later that Aikido is all anybody should need (context?)? I assume as a martial art. Is anybody familiar with that idea from O'Sensei? I could be wrong.
Anyway, I'm going to start Bagua tonight. Read a book from someone who studied both Bagua and Aikido under O'Sensei (BK Frantzis). He saw similarities between the two. One way was in Bagua's changing with the situation rather than forcing the situation against the opponent.

aikigirl10
09-07-2005, 04:17 PM
Hi Ron,

To me, aikido practice is doing martial arts to become a better person.

Charles

Other arts can help u be a better person too. Aikido is not allmighty contrary to what u might think. If u think its the only one that focuses on ki practice , u are wrong. If u think its the only one that teaches good morals, u are wrong. If you think that aikido alone will make u the best person you will ever be then you are definitely wrong.

I love aikido and i love practicing it, but it is not the sole axis of the universe (which i know is an exaggeration , but some people make it seem this way)

Good intentions only
-Paige

Charles Hill
09-12-2005, 01:55 AM
Aikido is not allmighty contrary to what u might think.

Paige,

I don`t know if "u" equals me, but I think Aikido is pretty "allmighty."

Charles

thomanil
09-12-2005, 07:22 AM
Paige,

I don`t know if "u" equals me, but I think Aikido is pretty "allmighty."

Charles

I'm with Esaemann on this. Personally I don't see crosstraining providing any "shortcuts" in my Aikido- rather it adds context to regular Aikido practice.

For instance: learning some proper basics about punching won't magically make my existing Aikido techniques better, but having some proper understanding of throwing and reacting to a jab, hook and cross will provide some background for my "normal" Aikido practice.

I have this vague impression that we can be an insular lot, invoking the mantra of "Aikido principles will work regardless of the attack! Everything you need is in our art!". Well yes, after a lifetime of practice I'm sure that's the case. However, personally I've found that the instructors that I've trained with and respect the most often turn out to have some breadth of experience in other arts.

To put it another way: I'm more confident that a senior-but-not-Shihan-level instructor can find and correct openings in my technique, if he actually has some background in arts concentrating on attacking those same openings. Does this make sense?

Whew, rambling post... :)

Michael Neal
09-12-2005, 07:59 AM
Eventually you'll just be a jack of all trades and master of sh*t.

Complete nonsense, it is the people that crosstrain that usually are the people who can best use martial arts most effectively. Every martial art has weakenesses and if you become a master of one you will still be deficient in many areas.

Budd
09-12-2005, 08:21 AM
Complete nonsense, it is the people that crosstrain that usually are the people who can best use martial arts most effectively. Every martial art has weakenesses and if you become a master of one you will still be deficient in many areas.

Actually (since you used my quote), the thrust of my argument is that you should have a base in one style from which to branch . . . (e.g. base in Judo, train boxing, MT, etc.)

What I argued against was training a little bit in aikido, then a little bit in judo, then a little bit in karate . . . as (having been in that boat years ago) not being very beneficial.

Context matters.

aikigirl10
09-12-2005, 02:36 PM
Paige,

I don`t know if "u" equals me, "

Charles

wow cant get anything past you can i?

Kevin Leavitt
09-12-2005, 02:44 PM
It certainly helps to develop a base in one art. However, it is not necessarily harmful to search around. It may take you a while to find a fit for yourself.

It is important though, I think, to not become an "experimenter" that is constantly trying a new school all the time and making excuses for it not being "right" and moving on.

I did karate for years and that was my "base" art while I started aikido. Now aikido is my "base" art while I do MMA/BJJ. I think it is good to develop a base that is centered on good principles.

I really started understanding myself and aikido now that I do BJJ better than when I did aikido! Not that I am any better at aikido, but I have a deeper appreciation and understanding of what my teachers are trying to convey. This should not be construed as "aikido is better" only that I have reached a deeper understanding by challenging my paradigm.

Budd
09-12-2005, 03:14 PM
Kevin,

I agree with pretty much all of what you've written. My base arts (that I currently train in as "systems") are aikido and jodo. I initially was a wrestler/judoka as a kid and teenager, then trained in aikido and karate through the end of high school and through college (with some side trips in freestyle and greco-roman club wrestling). These days, I still visit some of the BJJ and Sambo guys to roll, work out some boxing drills with a former boxer every so often, practice my shin kicks, push kicks and elbows on the heavy bag and pads -- mostly because I find the different types of conditioning worthwhile (supplying different shocks to the system) and I enjoy the opportunity to randori and shiai.

The aikido and jodo are my systems that I am committed to learning. The other stuff, it's pretty much informal learning lab type things to keep other skills in play, polish some things and generally have a good time with some fun people in settings that can be less formal than a traditional dojo (adult recess, maybe?).

I think a distinction maybe needs to be made between folks that train with commitment in more than one thing -- versus -- "Experimenters" and "Tourists" that don't hang around any one place long enough to develop any real skill at anything. I agree that trying things out can be a necessary step, but the best martial artists (and combat sports players/fighters that might not consider themselves as such) that I've known have had their base experiences in one or two systems, then branched from there.

wmreed
09-12-2005, 09:13 PM
Don't bother cross training. That is just another desire for some sort of 'shortcut'. There are no shortcuts.
I'm a very new member to the list, but I've read it for some time. This argument comes up quite regularly as most of us know.

My experience has been that several of the best Aikido practitioners have multiple Dan rankings. They practice them separately, by that I mean I don't see judo in their aikido, or vice versa.

That being said, I would ask Mr. Uttech whta he means by a "shortcut". I would guess he means a "shortcut" to improving in aikido. But if the person mearly wants to learn a different martial art, separate from aikido, how is that different from someone who enjoys playing basketball in the winter, and golf in the summer?

If Mr. Della has decided to cross-train I would recommend the art that has the best groundwork, which I have always felt aikido missed. But if Mr. Della is considering cross-training, I would suggest he be sure he knows what his goal is, and consider carefully whether either of the other arts will really get him there.


Bill

SeiserL
09-12-2005, 09:30 PM
Yep, my cross-training "short-cut" has only lasted 38 years. Guess I got lost on the journey and just started enjoying myself.

Nathan Gusdorf
09-12-2005, 11:09 PM
I have no experience cross-training so I can't speak from experience. Many people have in other threads, however, said that studying two martial arts is like studying two languages. I am currently in French 3 in high school and I have been studying Hebrew for a while as well out of school. I plan to continue to do this however it is impossible to not speak in one while studying the other. I was at a hebrew camp over the summer and now in french class i understand everything but it can be extremely frustrating because often the word i need, even if i know it, will not come to mind. Even when my teacher asked me something in english i responded in hebrew by accident. If this truly is similar to studying two martial arts then I personally would not want to start cross training until i had a very solid base in aikido. I would want to be certain that i could immediately think of the required technique in one art without having to concentrate really hard to overcome the tendency to apply a different martial art. I imagine that it would also be difficult to do the technique relaxed if you are having a hard time thinking of it.

It also seems to me that it is necessary to examine your real motive for cross-training and make sure that deep down it really isnt a shortcut to better aikido but truly a desire for more martial arts ability even if it may be a more difficult path.

Eventually you'll just be a jack of all trades and master of sh*t.

On that note, I would love to be a 'jack of all trades', let alone aikido. After all there cant be that many masters. Doesnt it take many many years of studying to become a true master? I'm sure you can become a master of aikido by studying only aikido, which is by no means an insignificant goal. But then again, an aikido master cannot do the five point palm exploding heart technique. Oh and Jet Li trained in a ton of styles of kung fu as well.

I guess in the end its possible to be an excellent martial artist whether you study one or many types of martial arts, as there are many examples of both. What really matters is your devotion to it, and not committing yourself to something that will hold you back be it practicing just one or many types of martial arts.

Pankration90
09-13-2005, 04:37 PM
I don't buy into "base styles" anymore. To put it in Matt Thornton's terms (not to say I agree with everything he says, I know nothing about him other than what I've read in one or two of his articles), I'm more concerned with delivery systems.

Training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, sombo, etc. at the same time isn't going to confuse you or cause conflicts in your training because the delivery systems are so similar; if you trained in any of them you could expect to learn essentially the same positions, submissions, etc. Obviously there will be differences, but that's why they compliment each other as opposed to being exactly the same.

I don't train in aikido, but the impression I get is that it is just another part of the puzzle. I don't mean to offend anyone but I think it's one of the less-important parts. IMHO if someone wants to get better at fighting/self defense (I realize many people train for different reasons), then they needn't worry about blending, wrist locks, etc. right away. I think learning the fundamentals of striking, clinching, and ground-fighting are the most important. Something like aikido would probably be a lot easier to apply after having a solid base in the other areas of fighting.

To paraphrase Steven Richards, systems that have a narrow bandwidth of techniques are best learned after having a wide base in the other areas of fighting. (IIRC he said something to that effect in regards to learning mixed martial arts before moving on to more complicated Chinese martial arts such as southern praying mantis.)

Mark Uttech
09-13-2005, 05:00 PM
I don't understand why you come to an aikido website to post this, unless it is already clear that you do not understand aikido at all. In gassho.

Aristeia
09-13-2005, 06:17 PM
While Phillip doesn't train Aikido, I agree with much of what he's said. Is it so unlikely that other martial artists may have ideas that we may benefit from?

Mark Uttech
09-13-2005, 10:14 PM
We can learn from just about anyone. That is true there. I simply reacted to his observation that aikido was a "less-important" part of the martial arts puzzle.

Aristeia
09-13-2005, 10:34 PM
Well it's a fair point I think. Can anyone here, hand on heart, say that if someone were to come to them asking what they should study to become an effective unarmed fighter as quickly as possible, that Aikido would be the reccomendation?

If someone wants to get better at fighting/self defence, he's quite right, Aikido type technique isn't your first stop. We sacrifice speed to effective self defence in favour of other benefits. Do we not?

wmreed
09-13-2005, 11:05 PM
Well it's a fair point I think. Can anyone here, hand on heart, say that if someone were to come to them asking what they should study to become an effective unarmed fighter as quickly as possible, that Aikido would be the reccomendation?

If someone wants to get better at fighting/self defence, he's quite right, Aikido type technique isn't your first stop. We sacrifice speed to effective self defence in favour of other benefits. Do we not?
I can't buy that at all, the idea that martial art means only fighting. If that's someone's interpretation then I would say they DON'T get what aikido is all about. I would even venture to day they don't really understand what martial arts are about.

The ability to win a conflict DOES NOT mean you must fight.

Aristeia
09-13-2005, 11:50 PM
*sigh*
re read my post. I'm not saying winning fights is all martial arts is about. I would however contend that functional fighting skills must be at least a part of it. Beyond that it's a bit silly to say what martial arts are or are not about, or complain that some people don't understand what they're about. Because it's entirely subjective. Personally I don't train to protect myself physically - that's a skill I seem less and less likely to need as I get older. But I do beleive all the other benefits I get from an art, I get in large part because it is effectively martial.
If someone wants to train because it makes them happy and some sort of a better person and knowing how to fight isn't important, all well and good, but who are they to say their motivations should be everyone elses.
In this particular case, what I'm saying is that when you choose Aikido as your art of choice, you give up a shorter time to physical proficinecy. And the reason you do that is because of some of the other benefits you get that are beyond winning a fight. People that do Aikido obviously think this is a fair trade.
But we also need to understand why people like Phillip would say that Aikido waza is less important to the make up of a fighter than some of the other skills he mentioned. Because he's quite right.
In other words there's a trade off that is happening and it's not a bad thing if it's happening conciously.

Keith R Lee
09-14-2005, 07:40 AM
*sigh*
re read my post. I'm not saying winning fights is all martial arts is about. I would however contend that functional fighting skills must be at least a part of it. Beyond that it's a bit silly to say what martial arts are or are not about, or complain that some people don't understand what they're about. Because it's entirely subjective. Personally I don't train to protect myself physically - that's a skill I seem less and less likely to need as I get older. But I do beleive all the other benefits I get from an art, I get in large part because it is effectively martial.
If someone wants to train because it makes them happy and some sort of a better person and knowing how to fight isn't important, all well and good, but who are they to say their motivations should be everyone elses.
In this particular case, what I'm saying is that when you choose Aikido as your art of choice, you give up a shorter time to physical proficinecy. And the reason you do that is because of some of the other benefits you get that are beyond winning a fight. People that do Aikido obviously think this is a fair trade.
But we also need to understand why people like Phillip would say that Aikido waza is less important to the make up of a fighter than some of the other skills he mentioned. Because he's quite right.
In other words there's a trade off that is happening and it's not a bad thing if it's happening conciously.

Agreed. 100%

Again, people who train in Aikido and only Aikido tend to have a rather insular viewpoint about this topic. Cross-training isn't a bad thing, it's really only going to open someone up to new possibilities.

Michael Neal
09-14-2005, 08:14 AM
Actually (since you used my quote), the thrust of my argument is that you should have a base in one style from which to branch . . . (e.g. base in Judo, train boxing, MT, etc.)

What I argued against was training a little bit in aikido, then a little bit in judo, then a little bit in karate . . . as (having been in that boat years ago) not being very beneficial.

Context matters.

I agree with that, you should have a good base in at least something

Ron Tisdale
09-14-2005, 09:22 AM
Someone said:
Something like aikido would probably be a lot easier to apply after having a solid base in the other areas of fighting.

Someone responded:
I don't understand why you come to an aikido website to post this, unless it is already clear that you do not understand aikido at all. In gassho.

Actually, the first statement is exactly how many of the founder's first students came to aikido...with a solid base in judo, jujutsu, boxing and other arts. It seems to me that such a base informed them well. To me, one of the real challenges in aikido today is taking someone with no real fighting or training experience and teaching them the martial art aspects of aikido. Of course that is not the only focus of our training. The training may extend far beyond that. But if Budo is your vehicle to whatever, martial seems to be at least some part of that. The trick is finding a teacher and school whose balance of these factors approaches what you are looking for.

As to coming to an aikido web-site to make that statement...why not? The more input and exposure the better, as far as I'm concerned. Even if I don't always agree.

Best,
Ron

Budd
09-14-2005, 10:19 AM
I think this is an interesting discussion as we're touching on several areas from goals for training, training methodology, cross-training and martial effectiveness.

As far as goals for training -- if you're training because you want to become an awesome hand-to-hand fighter, then I'd recommend someone go train in BJJ and Muay Thai (or some other combination of grappling and pugilism), as that will cover the primary three ranges of unarmed fighting -- standup, clinch and ground. If you're training to learn a sophisticated system of taijutsu that involves throwing and pinning, while also including a philosophical bent towards harmony and reconciliation, then aikido might be for you (just postulating, reasons for training can be much more simple or complex).

Training methodology, as supposed to martial systems, I think, is the cruxt of what I've read from the SBG stuff that Matt Thornton teaches. I think he says a lot of good things, but I don't necessarily agree with all of his conclusions. I do think he's a great salesman and makes some good points on "alive" vs. "dead" training drills. Some guys I work out with have been to his seminars and say good things. Having said that, the talk of delivery system seems just newer buzz words for training methodology (kata and randori in the traditional unarmed arts). I think that as long as the training methodology is congruent with the stated goals of practice (e.g. If you're training to fight, then you'd better fight . . . If you're training harmony through blending, then have concrete definitions of such and train towards that end), then there's at least a core honesty in what you're doing (even if your goal is as simple as, "I train in art X under Sensei Y because I like the art and the teacher!").

Cross-training is one of those topics that causes a whole host of blanket responses (yup, I've used some of them) from "Aikido is all you need!" to "Learn groundfighting and striking!", but I think it again comes back to your goals of practice. I won't go over the ground already covered in Ellis Amdur's essay, "How Tough Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up" (from 'Duelling with O-Sensei'), but I think an additional trend has been "Let's Add Striking and Grappling to Aikido". I'm of mutlitple minds about this -- certainly some teachers (examples such as Tomiki Sensei with Judo Nishio Sensei with Karate and Kuroiwa Sensei with Boxing) have blended other arts with aikido. I know I'm not arrogant enough and nowhere near capable of trying to "fix" aikido myself by adding stuff I've picked up from sports grappling and pugilism (nor do I think that aikido necessarily needs "fixing" in that manner) -- but those other skills I still have in my sandbox, they aren't going anywhere if I maintain and polish them through supplemental workouts. I'm not training anymore to compete in the ring or on the mat for trophies or money, I train because it's part of who I am and I enjoy it.

Martial Effectiveness (see the poll that's up) is of importance to me. I, however, am still working on what it means, to me, to be and train in a martially effective manner. Part of it comes from what I get from my teachers. Part of it comes from my own experiences (competition, bouncing, etc.). I suspect if I ever get arrogant enough to think I know, for sure, what it is to be martially effective, then someone will no doubt come along to prove me wrong. As it stands, I like to mix it up with the guys that train to fight (it's fun and I love the shiai). I like to train in aikido because of the ranges of responses to conflict that are built into the techniques and philosophically ascribed to the martial system -- and I believe my dojo does an excellent job (thanks to the instructors) of teaching aikido in a martially effective manner. I don't think those things have to conflict nor do I think they are necessarily the same.

So for the others that train that are participating (in favor or against cross-training), what are your goals for training and how does cross-training factor in (if at all)?

jonreading
09-14-2005, 12:06 PM
I haven't sorted out the entire thread, but to address whether cross-training is good or bad...

I tend to advise against cross-training if the student shows difficulty differentiating kata between the martial arts. I don't want to see a jujitsu-style kotegaeshi when I am in aikido class and I don't want to see judo when we are practicing koshinage. To some, this is not a problem; to others, this is a problem. I would not swing a golf club like a baseball bat, or tackle my ultimate frisbee partner, so I find it difficult to justify cross-training if it affects kihon waza technique (what I sometimes call kata). I do find that some people actually have this sort of problem, so I wouldn't be so bold to say it wasn't a problem or unimportant.

That said, I have no official position about integrating other martial systems in freestyle training. I would hazard a personal observation that freestyle technique is "free of style;" other fighting systems would probably be invited, if not expected in this kind of training.

Ron Tisdale
09-14-2005, 12:21 PM
Hi Budd, I think I already answered that on the first page. If not, maybe you could ask some specific questions?

Best,
Ron

Budd
09-14-2005, 12:34 PM
Hi Budd, I think I already answered that on the first page. If not, maybe you could ask some specific questions?

Best,
Ron

Hiya Ron,

I liked your response to the initial post in this thread (though I am curious, since I read somewhere else that you're an ex-wrestler, if you still do any close grappling). Since some other responses have been of the "Cross-training is good/bad/depends" variety, and my own postulation is that such a thing is dependent on what one's individual training goals are (also recognizing that such things change over time) . . . I'm curious to see how others will respond.

So, questions for you, specifically, Ron Tisdale:

1) Still grappling *grin*?

2) We gonna see you at Itten anytime soon *another grin*?

3) Is the "Hidden in Plain Sight" thread over at AJ making your head spin, too?

Best/Budd

Ron Tisdale
09-14-2005, 01:50 PM
1) Still grappling *grin*?

:) Not so much. I get to train in Daito ryu about once or twice a year (when Kondo Sensei comes to the states and I can afford the time and money. Still kata, but a lot closer than most aikido. I try to keep up on things, have some familiarity with bjj/judo stuff informally, but can't\don't want to train very much at that level. My knees have become precious at 44 years of age. :) But if we get together sometime, body permitting, we can have a go :)

2) We gonna see you at Itten anytime soon *another grin*?
Hope so...maybe the next time Ellis does something public there. I've over booked for this fall considering how my knee is doing, but hey, ya gotta live, right? :)
3) Is the "Hidden in Plain Sight" thread over at AJ making your head spin, too?
Nah, I've spoken over the years to most of the people in the thread at one point or another. But actually being able to do what is being discussed under pressure is a whole 'nother nut. One I hope to crack eventually...

Good keiko to you...
Ron

Aristeia
09-14-2005, 02:47 PM
In terms of "adding" stuff to Aikido, I'm not such a fan. I much prefer to train in seperate systems in total rather than cobbling together bits and pieces. Which isn't to say I won't throw a BJJ sub on top of an Aikido throw from time to time when I'm in "play" mode, but that is the exception rather than the rule and only when it is appropriate to the context and training partner.
I really haven't seen techniques bleeding from one art into the practice of the other much amongst the cross trainers I've seen. I know people who do BJJ, Judo, various weapons styles, hard striking styles, and JJJ alongside Aikido and no one seems to have much trouble knowing which class they're in. Certainly their Aikido will at time show the influence in their style of movement, atemi, attitude etc but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
MTCW

Budd
09-14-2005, 03:03 PM
Ron,

Thanks for the response -- in re-reading, I hope my questions didn't come across as a grappling challenge (though it will be fun to roll!) as much as, I look forward to meeting you sooner rather than later! I hear you on the knees and training expenses.

Aristeia and Jonreading,

I like what was written in terms of training aikido when doing aikido (as instructed by the teacher leading the class/seminar). I think it's true (not to mention polite, good ettiquette and a better reflection on you and your teachers than trying to show off) whether you're training in something else and trying aikido or if you're an aikido person training in a different dojo.

I also agree about segmenting, especially with regard to what's "appropriate to the context and training partner". I will say this, though, as far as techniques bleeding over into one another. I've noticed that my sprawl to a leg-shoot has started to greatly resemble the mae ukemi we perform in aikido class. I'm still trying to figure out if I'm messing up my sprawl (though the way we drilled/conditioned it in wrestling was as grass drills and squat thrusts -- which I don't think is THAT different from mae ukemi) somehow or if my aikido (which I train in a focused manner as a system, as opposed to playing at grappling) is bleeding over too much.

Ron Tisdale
09-14-2005, 03:38 PM
Challenge? nah. I get smoked regularly enough to be used to it! :)

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
09-14-2005, 04:00 PM
I think that there are some fundmental paradigm differences between Aikido and BJJ that make it better to keep them separate as two distinct arts. They are two different methodolgies!

However, as a martial artist it has proven very useful to me to help me sort through both arts to find what really works for me. It has also broadened my understanding of the human mind and how we can form paradigms and assumptions about situations, and reality. Both arts are very good at demonstrating this.

I think this is why many beginners are critical of each others art, they have only experienced the OTHER art through the filter of their limited experience...in not so polite terms it is called ignorance.

Anyway, it has been interesting to see how aikido asumes a certain assumptive dynamic dealing with the "rules" or etiiquette within it's methodology and how BJJ assumes a certain assumptive dynamic as well. It really affects what you validate as being effective.

Pankration90
09-14-2005, 04:32 PM
I didn't mean to offend anyone, and I apologize if I did. I just meant that if someone wants to get better at fighting, then I wouldn't recommend starting with something like aikido.

For example, someone could go to one wrestling practice and pick up something that they could apply pretty quickly to the average person. They wouldn't be great at it but after a short period of time they would probably have a good chance of being able to use it in a fight.

Like I said I haven't trained in aikido so I could be wrong. That's just the impression I get from reading posts on this website and from the books I've read (Total Aikido and a book about Tomiki/Shodokan that I can't remember the name of).

Note: I was just using wrestling as an example, but the same could have been said for a lot of styles.

Kevin Leavitt
09-14-2005, 04:55 PM
I wouldn't necessarily draw that conclusion Phillip. I am more curious about what your definition or assumptions are about what fighting is. We must first establish that premise before we can really have a serious discussion about what martial techniques are most effective and which arts are most effective at developing those techniques through the training methodology.

No one has ever been able to answer this question for me...or has at least refused to answer it for some reason.

I submit that no one art has the answers, as fighting is situationally dependent on the established rules between the combatants. Sometimes guns work best, other times other things...it all depends on the rules.

Personally I think all martial arts are a waste of time for fighting skills as we can never adequately define the parameters and conditions of a particular fight in which a civilian...but again, that depends on your definition of what fighting is and what the objectives of the endstate are, and the rules.

Pankration90
09-14-2005, 05:17 PM
Do you think someone could walk into an aikido dojo and in one or two lessons walk away with something they could apply against the average person? I think you could teach someone how to do an arm drag, elbow strikes, or something and they would be able to apply that against an average person after only a little practice, but I don't think the same could be said of irimi-nage or shihonage.

The reason I think it's a good idea to form a solid base of striking, clinching, and groundfighting before moving on to something like aikido is that in a fight you're most likely going to be confronted by strikes, clinching, tackles, and in some cases fighting on the ground. In my experience not many fights are initiated by someone grabbing the other's wrist or charging at them so off-balance that irimi-nage would be easy to pull off.

I think punching and how to defend against punches are the first set of skills people should learn, and from what I've seen I don't think an aikido dojo is the best place to go for that type of training.

When I talk about using martial arts for self defense, I don't usually think of being attacked by four armed men because in that situation there isn't much you can do. I think wrestling practices are great for that kind of thing- we typically spent about an half an hour doing sprints and jogging.

Kevin Leavitt
09-14-2005, 05:59 PM
Fair enough, I understand the assumptions you are making about how fight go from your perspective and your experiences.

From mine, I would say yes, there is much that someone can learn in a short time from aikido. General situational awareness comes to mind, keeping your distance, judging your distance from an potential assailant, minimizing exposure, allowing yourself and exit, and simply holding yourself with good posture and walking with confidence.

I submit, that you can learn these things and they are much more relevant to a real fight, that of which the first step is avoidance, or minimizing exposure to the risk.

Your assumption is that most fighitng involves punches. Maybe in some fights, but what got you to that point that you need to either trade blows or defend against blows? Lets explore that first.

I tend to agree with your last paragraph about self defense in both single attacker and multiple attacker senarios. So I submit that empty heand martial arts are a poor method of self defense.

So, what is fighting??? Not self defense...then for sport? If so, then YES I'd say aikido is not such a good art for sport fighting.

So what is it good for? what it was intended, self improvement for the most part.

There are some uses/application I believe for folks that might need to confront or detain people such as police or military. However, for civilians, I'd say that for the most part the applications based on risk/return are simply not there.

The key to understanding and judging aikido and all arts is to establish the endstate and purpose of your training first.

Do understand your definition of fight??? Is it Sport, or is it something like a bar room brawl...which I submit is also a sport based on a clash of egos fueled alcohol, the drive for sex, and male prowness in which the endstate is not serious physical injury or death, but simply to "beat" the other guy and avoid damage to yourself.

Pankration90
09-14-2005, 07:18 PM
Your assumption is that most fighitng involves punches. Maybe in some fights, but what got you to that point that you need to either trade blows or defend against blows? Lets explore that first.
Awareness, avoidance, and de-escalation aren't 'fighting'. They can certainly help you prevent a fight, but I was talking about someone training to get better at actually fighting.

I'm mainly talking about physically defending yourself against a single person, a street fight, or a barroom brawl situation. I agree with you that a street fight/barroom brawl is a sport, but I think contest is a better word.

Charles Hill
09-15-2005, 01:19 AM
If one defines "martial art" as studying fighting techniques or strategies for combat situations, you`re gonna leave out a lot of martial arts. Iaido and Kyudo, to name two, have no practical application yet are rightly considered martial arts. In my opinion, those who think Aikido is not complete and in need of crosstraining are looking at Aikido as a fighting method, something that it is generally not. If one does look at it in that way, there is a strong possibility that that person will never understand what Aikido truly is, which is a "Budo," a method of developing ourselves as better people USING martial arts practice.

This does not mean that one can not use aikido practice as a part of practical physical conflict training. In this case one must look elsewhere or expand training as David Valadez has done. (see the grappling clips on his website.) I have never seen anyone argue that aikido is the end all be all of practical self defense, the argument that aikido (or judo or kendo, or DRAJ, etc) is complete means that it is complete as a Budo.

Charles

Ron Tisdale
09-15-2005, 09:16 AM
Nice post Charles. There are so many assumptions that fit into a topic like this. It makes it difficult to give a one size fits all kind of answer. This is why I personally think it is important to leave room for individual expression, exploration, and development.

Cross-training will always be debated, both from the viewpoint of Aikido as Budo and Aikido as Martial Art.

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
09-15-2005, 11:51 AM
I agree with you Phillip, contest is a much better word. I would contend with you based on your definition that aikido is not well suited for this type of contest.

I do think that judging aikido from that point of view as being ineffectual as a martial art to be wrong and really pointless. In this situtation, aikido works well since the philosophy tends to center around conflict resolutoin and deescalation and not entering into the fight...in this per view aikido is 100% perfect in my book.

Excellent discussion!

Also I like your comments Charles!

It is wonderful when we can have an intelligent conversation and get to the core of the symantics. Phillip does not consider avoidance as fighting, I do.

I think this is why we seem to have so many arguments on here, simply over perspective and symantics! I agree with your assessment within the confines of your definition and parameters Phillip!

Aristeia
09-15-2005, 05:12 PM
Nice post Charles. I see various arts as sitting on a specturm. Akido gives me some tools to physcally protect myself in the midst of an altercation and a bunch of tools for other stuff. BJJ gives me some really great tools for the altercation and some other stuff. They round each other out so I'm getting everything, but although one is more geared to "develeopment" and one to "fighting" they do both have some overlap in this area.
The only thing I disagreed with is that you said you've never seen anyone arguing that Aikido is the end all for practical self defence. Sadly if you you think about some of the treads that have been active over the past few months you'll realise that's not the case.

But although these debates continue to crop up we should take a moment and consider how lucky we are to be training in the modern era. We have access to a huge variety of arts and viewpoints. By and large we have a freedom to investigate a range of them without being disowned and shunned by other schools. If I could just get someone to pay me to train and drop that pesky employment thing, everything would be perfect.

Mike Fugate
09-16-2005, 04:07 AM
Hey,
Interesting thread, I have been reading it and I would like to make a comment on my personal experiences. I train in multiple martial arts, from the same teacher. O-Mei Kung Fu, Shorei Goju-Ryu Karate, and Aikido, and I find that they are all the same in a way. I know they all have different techniques, but The circular movements in KungFu, and the blocks in both Karate and Kung Fu have given me a better understanding of Aikido. At first I struggled, wanted to learn Aikido so bad, but after a while, by accident, I realized the more I worked on Blocks and Strikes from Kung Fu and Karate, the easier it became to redirect an oppenent with out actually striking them. My Sifu told me after I made this personal discovery that this is what he hoped I realized and it is best to allow a person to eventually make their own discoveries, that way they know with understanding. The concepts of Qi in Shaolin and O-Mei element theory ect.. all gave me a better knowledge of the softness, and power of Aikido. Now when in training, I never plan on using a style, they all come out together, they are more less blended. But the instinct is more and more becoming natural the longer I study. Iono, just my thoguhts on "cross training" :ki:

aikigirl10
09-16-2005, 03:57 PM
If one defines "martial art" as studying fighting techniques or strategies for combat situations, you`re gonna leave out a lot of martial arts. Iaido and Kyudo, to name two, have no practical application yet are rightly considered martial arts. In my opinion, those who think Aikido is not complete and in need of crosstraining are looking at Aikido as a fighting method, something that it is generally not. If one does look at it in that way, there is a strong possibility that that person will never understand what Aikido truly is, which is a "Budo," a method of developing ourselves as better people USING martial arts practice.

This does not mean that one can not use aikido practice as a part of practical physical conflict training. In this case one must look elsewhere or expand training as David Valadez has done. (see the grappling clips on his website.) I have never seen anyone argue that aikido is the end all be all of practical self defense, the argument that aikido (or judo or kendo, or DRAJ, etc) is complete means that it is complete as a Budo.

Charles


Like i stated in my first post that responded to you (and u completely ignored my points) is that aikido is not the only martial art that focuses on things like this. And you said it too as you can see above.

The difference is, there are effective martial arts that also teach good morals and focus on working to make yourself a better person. Im not saying that Aikido isnt effective, im saying , self defense wise, that aikido doesnt cover everything. Budo wise? maybe. But i'm sure there is more to be learned somewhere.

But do u see what i'm getting at? It is possible to want to learn both self defense AND how to be a better person. At which point people may choose to step outside Aikido and explore everything else thats out there. Personally this is why i chose to start crosstraining. I found another martial art that taught a different kind of fighting style but still incorporated good morals, ki (in this case qi, same thing tho) and how to further yourself as an individual. And that martial art is Shaolin Kung fu. And i find that it goes along with aikido quite nicely in almost all aspects.

Hope this makes things clearer.
Paige

Charles Hill
09-17-2005, 06:52 AM
and u completely ignored my points

wow, cant get anything past u can i

aikigirl10
09-17-2005, 08:26 AM
how original^^

It sux that you cant think for yourself.
I guess if you ever thought of something to say it would die of loneliness.

Paul D. Smith
09-17-2005, 11:34 AM
Not sure how this is now relating to the thread at hand. Tenkan, anyone?

Paul

aikigirl10
09-17-2005, 12:06 PM
well if Charles would respond to the things im trying to point out to him instead of dodging the fact that i might have a good point then maybe we could get somewhere

Ron Tisdale
09-21-2005, 09:24 AM
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=258

is an excellent interview with a prominent aikido instructor that has many points relevant to this thread. I highly recommend it.

Paige, I'm not sure why you are taking offense to Charles' statements. Could you clarify? Often these kinds of discussions don't involve a 'yes, points a,b, and e, I agree with, the others I question' type of call and response. They tend to be much less formal. Just a part of the environment.

Best,
Ron

aikigirl10
09-21-2005, 08:32 PM
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=258

is an excellent interview with a prominent aikido instructor that has many points relevant to this thread. I highly recommend it.

Paige, I'm not sure why you are taking offense to Charles' statements. Could you clarify? Often these kinds of discussions don't involve a 'yes, points a,b, and e, I agree with, the others I question' type of call and response. They tend to be much less formal. Just a part of the environment.

Best,
Ron

lol, charles is no where near offending me... im simply trying to point out things that he may not realize. If he chooses not to respond then fine. I was just trying to show him how Aikido is not the only martial art that works on the things that he was talking about. There was absolutely no offense taken by anything.

And i realize that this environment is informal , i was simply trying to make conversation.

Shannon Frye
09-21-2005, 10:47 PM
Crosstraining is a bad idea for priests....not for martial artists. As a crosstrainer in several arts, I strongly recommend seeing whats going on "on the other side of the fence". Whether an art compliments what you are already doing, or is a total opposite, ANY knowledge you get is worth the time spent looking into it. Even if all you get out of trying an art is "It's not for me".

As for the comparison of jujitsu and aikido, Ive heard it put like this...
Aikido will teach you to send an opponent flying.
Jujitsu will send them flying too, but you keep the arm as a souvinere.

Jujitsu (and I know I'll get hammered for this) as the parent art to judo and Aikido incorporates movements of both. The judo is much more hard contact (with the floor), but as with jujitsu/Aikido, the best judo moves are done not with force, but with use of balance and leverage. When Ive trained in either, some of my best throws were when I was too tired to put any force into it.

Give it a try. You may hate it - you may love it. You'll never know till you try.

Shannon
ps. Anyone Iv'e ever met who says "don't crosstrain", never has.

Shannon Frye
09-21-2005, 11:05 PM
In further reading the threads, it strikes me how people tend to view fighting as a totally avoidable thing, and that Aikido will teach you how to avoid it. I can understand that de-escalation is important in avoiding conflict, but you can't simple label a fight as "sport" or "bar room brawl". Not everyone who in intending to "fight with you" is a drunken boozer who can't stand on his own too feet. It's almost as if people have a dicotamy of what a fight is.
I've got a college degree in counseling that can help me deescalate a situation if possible, but I want to knwo that my martial art will cover my butt if I need it. There's only so much control you have over a situation. If they intend to do you harm, and you have to protect yourself, all this religious sounding "give peace a chance" stuff will land you in the hospital.

I dont mean for this to sound demeaning, but are most aikidokas really that removed from reality to think that they can just "aware" themselves out of any conflict? A karate guy knows not to let em get too close, a BJJ guy knows not to let them get too far away, - what does the aikido guy think? It aint gonna happen to me? " Random assault victim of a group of teen could NEVER happen to me, I'm too aware for that." "Carjack attempt at the local mall? I never go to THOSE kinda places, so I avoid that kind of thing". I dont get it.

Shannon

Charles Hill
09-22-2005, 01:29 AM
Hi Shannon,

I`d like to respond to a couple of your points. I think it is obvious that some of those who say don`t crosstrain have never done it. The word crosstrain, from what I understand, comes from the idea that doing one sport probably does not cover the whole spectrum of exercise, so it might be a good idea to do a complimentary sport. To crosstrain in martial arts might then be seen as a way for making up for the inadequecies of one martial art. For us to discuss whether crosstraining is good or not, we have to agree on a definition of crosstraining.

Second, we have to agree on the purpose of doing martial arts, right? I personally think that any so called martial art is close to useless to practice as a means of self-protection, meaning physical safety. I fully realize that many disagree with me, and that`s totally cool. To reply to your second post, I would like to point out that statisically the odds of an individual being attacked by a stranger are incredibly remote in North America and even remoter (is that a word?) in Japan, where I live. These remote odds can be reduced much more easily by checking out websites such as nononsenseselfdefense.com and reading books like "the Gift of Fear" then by wasting time in martial arts practice.

I think that crosstraining is generally a bad idea. Also, I practice Iaido and Systema in addition to Aikido. I also "play BJJ" with friends. I consider all of them complete and I enjoy doing all of them. I don`t think any of them is in need of "crosstraining."

Charles

creinig
09-22-2005, 03:28 AM
In further reading the threads, it strikes me how people tend to view fighting as a totally avoidable thing, and that Aikido will teach you how to avoid it. I can understand that de-escalation is important in avoiding conflict, but you can't simple label a fight as "sport" or "bar room brawl". Not everyone who in intending to "fight with you" is a drunken boozer who can't stand on his own too feet. It's almost as if people have a dicotamy of what a fight is.
I've got a college degree in counseling that can help me deescalate a situation if possible, but I want to knwo that my martial art will cover my butt if I need it.
Charles already gave a very good comment on this, but there's IMHO another very important point in your post that I'd like to address: Not only is being able to physically defend oneself another part the "personal safety net", but also look at these two possibilities:

a) You know: If your deescalation fails, you'll have a serious problem.
b) You know: If your deescalation fails, the attacker will have a serious problem.

Any deescalation attempt will have a much higher chance to work in case (b).

Ron Tisdale
09-22-2005, 08:18 AM
what does the aikido guy think? It aint gonna happen to me?

What *this* aikidoka thinks:

A) True victory is self victory, victory at the speed of light

B) Enter and cut

C) Connect

The order above is not meaningfull. They should pretty much all happen at the same time.

What I don't understand is why people make so many assumptions about aikido. Get on the mat. Try it out.

Best,
Ron

Shannon Frye
09-22-2005, 12:27 PM
First off, my thanks to Charles for your thoughtful response. It is true, that we must first agree on what "cross training" means, as well as what "martial arts" means. I had thought that these were no-brainers, but I guess they do indeed require a closer look.
To me, cross training is several things. One is that it, as you stated, covers the gaps in any one art. When I started in karate, I felt comfortable when the opponent was far away. When I learned jujitsu, I felt comfortable close up. Judo made me feel comfortable with a "grabby" opponent while standing, BJJ made me functional while on the ground. Shaolin Kung Fu taught me that there are endless "right" ways of doing something, and Muay thai added the boxing skills that all the others were lacking (as well as some killer elbow/knee strikes). Each art had something that the others didn't. If I had only taken karate, and ended up on the ground, I'd be like a defensless turtle.

Now, to address "martial arts". Again, I thought this was self explanitory. "how to defend/fight/combat" You can add your own definition, but without the physical "fight" aspect of it, it is simply gymnastics, or dance, or inner reflection. There are many other aspects to martial arts oter than fighting, but I think this is a neccesary component. Remove it, and you have a "feel good" get in shape art, like aerobics.

As for the comment of "being attacked by a stranger in N.A. being very remote", ..man, what small town do you live in?? I worked as a cop, and with the courts for a while, and I saw first hand all the "remote" attacks that happen. PErhaps you are fortunate to live in Japan, where you said the events are few, but here (U.S.), you can expect anything at anytime, from anyone.

I've read and reread Christains post, and Im afraid I cant figure out if you were trying to state a different point. You say that option b is prefered, andthis seems to be in line with when I said "my martial arts needs to be physically effective to cover my butt". If you meant something else, can you please elaborate...Im sorry, but I missed it.

And Ron....oh Ron ron ron - I mean no disrespect..I really don't, but your last post is EXACTLY the kind of response that turns people off from aikido. It sounds like a minister spouting scripture.. "Victory at the speed of light"? "True victory is self victory"? Are you serious? I agree with these statments, just like I agree with the statement "Red jello is much redder than green jello is". It is a factual statement, but has no relevance in a fistfight. Im not intending to lessen what you believe in. Enter and cut sounds much more reasonable, but good intentions will not "git er done". A happy go lucky person with good intentions will not find themselves the victor in a fight with a person intent on hurting them. You may find your internal victory, but your external is having a face-to-face with reality.

As a new student to Aikido, I'd like to offer this observation. Ive met people in any one martial art that thought their art was the best for self defense. Aikido is the only art that has such an intense component , that I can only classify as religious. And maybe thats the way Osensei intended it to be. But keep this in mind...when someone says "I cant change that flat tire on my car", and the response is "The wind must first blow the tree, then the leaf".....you end up with a frustrated listener who still has a flat tire.

Again, thanks to all for your responses. I hope to bring an "outsiders" view to some of these topics. I don't mean to come across brash. I sometimes feel like a visitor at a new church..looking on, accepting, learning, but always questioning based on my own experiences. As was said on South Park."There are no stupid questions...only stupid people" (hehe)

Shannon

Ron Tisdale
09-22-2005, 01:48 PM
And Ron....oh Ron ron ron - I mean no disrespect..I really don't, but your last post is EXACTLY the kind of response that turns people off from aikido.

:) You obviously don't know my writing here and on other boards. This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about when I speak about ASSUMPTIONS. I used to wrestle, kickbox, did shotokan, still practice Daito ryu when I get the opportunity, and my main art is Yoshinkan aikido. And there's a few other odds and ends I won't get into.

Victory at the speed of light"? "True victory is self victory"? Are you serious?

Very. No fight, right at the moment of contact. If you must think in terms of defeat, defeat the opponant the moment they have the idea to attack you. If that doesn't work, enter and cut. The connection is how you start right from the beginning. I'll post a link to an experience of mine:

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?p=201800&highlight=masakatsu#post201800

Please note that the opponant was already reconsidering his choice the moment he realized I was already aware of him. Also note....Charles is quite correct. No unarmed martial art would have guaranteed my safety if those thugs were armed. Nothing. Even the knife I occationally carry in that area wouldn't have helped against a gun (if they knew how to use it).

So basically, you can scoff, others can scoff, it doesn't really bother me that much. If you choose to laugh at what you don't understand, you fall into the category of all the other idiots out there. No big thang to me. Your loss.

Best,
Ron

creinig
09-22-2005, 03:48 PM
I've read and reread Christains post, and Im afraid I cant figure out if you were trying to state a different point. You say that option b is prefered, andthis seems to be in line with when I said "my martial arts needs to be physically effective to cover my butt". If you meant something else, can you please elaborate...Im sorry, but I missed it.
I was only trying to underline an important point you made only -- IMHO -- implicitly in your post. Sorry for the confusion.

Shannon Frye
09-22-2005, 06:39 PM
As per his suggestion to post it in the open forum, the following was a private message I mailed to Ron:

Hi - hope you don't mind my emailing you
I read your recent post about people making assumptions about Aikido and that they should just get on the mat and try it. I fully agree. Without trying it, you really have only second hand interpretations.

I am very new to aikido, but the reason I chose the dojo I did was that they have a "liberal" attitude towards the art. By this, I mean that they'd throw in an atemi, or show a "non-aikido" addition/version of a technique that may better suit the nage (or the situation). This fits well in what I want out of my training. I want to learn new things, and blend them with what I already know.

Just wanted to explain a bit of where Im coming from. I didn't want you to think I was making fun of you for your comments about "Victory". I agree..Im just trying to find where they "fit" in my own training.

Shannon

Aristeia
09-22-2005, 06:51 PM
Hi Charles
Your two points of definition are obviously related, and rely in the end on the "what is a martial art for" question. I note that you've told us you think a martial art is useless for self protection but don't say what it is useful for.
I, like I suspect many would disagree with your claim. In fact it seems to me you're just re iterating the issue pointed out by Shannon. You haven't said martial arts are useless because the techniques don't work, or assaults are too unexpected, or likely to involve firearms etc. You've said they are useless (for self protection) because you will never need them. Surely this misses the point? Whether or not a skill is ever employed doesn't speak to whether I am competant in it.

I continue to maintain that although most people who have been in the martial arts for any time will agree that self defence is not their primary objective, all other benefits derive from or a greatly enhanced when what you do is effective. In other words if you're doing aikido to become a better person etc etc, that goal can be compromised if there's a niggle in the back on ones mind saying "i'm not sure this would actually work". I think this is a pretty primal thing. I think one of the reason martial arts benefits us is that when you have the beleif that you can take care of yourself in primative combat, your psyche gets a boost that allows you to attack other areas of your life with vigor. Because you beleive one of those basic drives/fears has been taken care of. Now all that matters here is beleif and it doesn't matter if it's ever put to the test. But I think alot of people training in various arts are actually missing out on benefits becuase deep down in a corner of their mind they try not to look into they harbour doubts. Which is why I think it's important to confront those doutbts and either really satisfy yourself that they are unwarranted or add something to your repetoire that will give you back your primal peace of mind as it were.

Am I out on a limb by myself here?

Shannon Frye
09-22-2005, 06:54 PM
:) You obviously don't know my writing here and on other boards. This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about when I speak about ASSUMPTIONS.



No unarmed martial art would have guaranteed my safety if those thugs were armed. Nothing.

So basically, you can scoff, others can scoff,
Best,
Ron


You are very correct that I am unfamiliar with your writing. I've already stated that I am new to this forum and to the art.

And I have no idea what "assumptions" you are talking about - Im talking from experience.

I agree fully that when dealing with armed opponents, no art would guarentee your safety. This was never argued. Why did you bring this up?

Why is it that asking questions, speaking from experience, and even theorizing siituations has to be "scoffing"? Just cause I dont think the same as you doesn't mean I am scoffing. If so, are you scoffing because you disagree with me?

I gotta tell you, the more I read/encounter aikidoka that answer questions with riddles, or little sayings, or evasive quotes that don't address the question, I really start to wonder if I'm wasting time even trying to learn this art. There's a physical component that this art is centered around, that a lot of aikidoka want to pretend isnt there. You don't run into the problem with jujitsu or judo.

Shannon

Charles Hill
09-24-2005, 04:24 AM
There are some interesting things here I`d like to address. One problem I have when I write my posts is finding a balance in making my opinions clear while not wasting time (mine and yours) by stating what is obvious. I myself tend to skip long posts so I probably error by not making myself clear. This is probably what happened with the post Micheal read. I see that I didn`t explain myself clearly, sorry.

I feel that personal definitions of words are in some ways more important than dictionary ones. For me, the word "martial arts" is made of two words that have equal balance. To me, "martial" means war, combat, how to kill another human being. The word "art" to me means something that doesn`t have a functional use, but is something that exists to better the quality of life. Thus, martial art is studying martial skills, principles, and philosophy for the aim of improving the quality of my life. In my definition, only those who are financially stable and are not in danger of violence can study "martial arts." I don`t think studying martial arts for self protection is a waste of time because I will never need them. I think it is a waste of time because that is not what they are made for.

I also believe that equal emphasis should be put on the word "martial." Martial artists should be constantly improving their strength and flexibility, physically, mentally, and spiritually (oohh, ain`t that a loaded word:)) This will undeniably be extremely useful should a physical altercation should arise. But I also believe that if one truly develops in the martial arts, physical altercations are much less likely to happen. So I do believe that martial arts are useful for self defense, however in a non direct way.

Shannon,

I was born and raised in Chicago until I graduated my university which was right downtown on the lake. The statistics I have read from various sources state that about one person in about 200 becomes a victim of a violent crime. This also includes victims who were attacked by people known to them, mostly women who are attacked by boyfriends/husbands etc. They make up something like 70% of victims of violent crime. My math skills are horrible, but I can see that makes the odds of being attacked by an unknown person rather rare. If you have a better source of statistics I would really appreciate hearing about it.

I would certainly like to hear any response to what I wrote, but please remember that the above is only my opinion, something that works for me.

Charles

Ron Tisdale
09-27-2005, 11:22 AM
You are very correct that I am unfamiliar with your writing. I've already stated that I am new to this forum and to the art.

And I have no idea what "assumptions" you are talking about - Im talking from experience.

You are talking about experience in other arts, no? You said yourself that you are a beginner in aikido. I'm talking about experience in aikido. And when I refer to assumptions, I am referring particularly to the assumption that the things I've mentioned in the post above AREN'T PHYSICAL. There are direct physical aspects to every thing I've mentioned. Some of which are referred to in arts other than aikido. Are you asking for specific techniques that an aikidoka might use against a specific attack? I didn't get that from your post, so maybe that's my bad.

I agree fully that when dealing with armed opponents, no art would guarentee your safety. This was never argued. Why did you bring this up?

Because it is mentioned in other posts in this thread, and it is an important part of self defense. In other words, unless your experience in other arts includes fire arm training, and you have a permit to carry, aikido is no weaker in that area than other arts.

Why is it that asking questions, speaking from experience, and even theorizing siituations has to be "scoffing"? Just cause I dont think the same as you doesn't mean I am scoffing. If so, are you scoffing because you disagree with me?

You said And Ron....oh Ron ron ron That sounded like 'scoffing' to me. :) But maybe I misinterpreted it. I know that I have heard that same attitude in the past from other arts. If you have questions, just ask them. Without animus, or insinuations. One thing I've learned posting on these boards...if I have to appologize for what I'm about to say, then I probably am offending someone. If I asked my teacher questions with some of the attitudes I see here...well, let's just say I might stop asking :) This is not specifically aimed at you...more of a general statement.

I gotta tell you, the more I read/encounter aikidoka that answer questions with riddles, or little sayings, or evasive quotes that don't address the question, I really start to wonder if I'm wasting time even trying to learn this art. There's a physical component that this art is centered around, that a lot of aikidoka want to pretend isnt there. You don't run into the problem with jujitsu or judo.

As I said above, everything I mentioned has physical components. That's why I posted the quote from an actual physical real world encounter that I had, that seemed to me to address some of the what if's often asked about. Let's try again...You ask specific questions and I'll try to answer them. Feel free to use my initial post as cannon fodder. :) Sorry for the delay in getting back to the thread, I've actually been *training physically* the last 3 days. ;)

Best,
Ron

aikigirl10
09-28-2005, 05:04 PM
Hi Shannon,
Second, we have to agree on the purpose of doing martial arts, right? I personally think that any so called martial art is close to useless to practice as a means of self-protection, meaning physical safety. I fully realize that many disagree with me, and that`s totally cool. To reply to your second post, I would like to point out that statisically the odds of an individual being attacked by a stranger are incredibly remote in North America and even remoter (is that a word?) in Japan, where I live. These remote odds can be reduced much more easily by checking out websites such as nononsenseselfdefense.com and reading books like "the Gift of Fear" then by wasting time in martial arts practice.

Charles
First off, i REALLY dont mean to keep picking on you.

With that said... no matter how remote something it is still entirely possible. What are the odds of winning the lottery? slim to none. But yet people still play the lottery. This is the exact same thing. Even if people dont get attacked very often, that risk is still there. And i think it occurs more than you realize. Like they always say... better safe than sorry.

I think that crosstraining is generally a bad idea. Also, I practice Iaido and Systema in addition to Aikido. I also "play BJJ" with friends. I consider all of them complete and I enjoy doing all of them. I don`t think any of them is in need of "crosstraining."

Ok... you just contradicted yourself...

You dont like crosstraing but yet you take 3 different martial arts....... hmm... to me that sounds like crosstraining. :confused:

Sure , all of them might be complete "budo" wise but if you have absolutely no interest in learning self defense then why dont you just practice budo?

To me it just doesnt make any sense.
Oh well this is probably just a useless post anyway since you find it so hard to respond...

-Paige (very confused)

Charles Hill
09-28-2005, 08:28 PM
First off, i REALLY dont mean to keep picking on you. )


Hi Paige,

Don`t worry, I`m married, so I`m used to it :)

I agree, the possibility is there, so one should do something. However, I feel that there are many things that are more helpful than practicing a martial art to protect myself. Please realize that I don`t mean that I don`t practice hard or that I don`t insist on serious attacks both from myself and from others.

I wrote that last bit on purpose to help make my point. I do a variety of martial arts, not to crosstrain, but to enjoy each one. i also climb mountains, travel, and I am starting a new hobby - making beer. I think I made my personal definition of crosstraining pretty clear. I am not crosstraining, just trying to develop myself while having fun.

Charles

MattRice
09-29-2005, 11:44 AM
...mmmm....beer....

CNYMike
09-30-2005, 12:34 AM
.... I do a variety of martial arts, not to crosstrain, but to enjoy each one .....

Well, I'm also doing a variety of martial arts -- five, including Aikido -- and I'm doing them because I like them, they're interesting, and I'm a creature of habit. I did not set out "to crosstrain," and if anything, I'm making it a project to compartmentalize them in my head, not combine them. Yet I consider it "crosstraining" because I am doing them concurrently. If you want to split hairs and argue it's only crosstraining if you INTEND to crosstrain (whatever that means) and that you're not really crosstraining if you're doing things for fun, fine, be that way. But it sounds a bit like Bill Clinton giving a speech against adultery. :straightf

Charles Hill
09-30-2005, 07:13 PM
Well, again we are having a problem with the definition of crosstraining. Cross doesn`t mean concurrently, it means something like against or a bridge btwn two differing things. The term came into vogue in the fitness world, to do different types of exercise to be more well rounded, to do something different because what one is doing now is not sufficient. There is nothing about intending anything in the term or my usage. If you are compartmentalizing what you are doing, you are not crosstraining, you are training concurrently.

This all may seem trivial but I think the overall topic is quite important. On this forum, many diagreements seem to come from the problem that different people define terms differently. I think that if we really made an effort to understand what another is saying, we would have much more productive discussions.

Charles

CNYMike
10-01-2005, 10:07 AM
Well, again we are having a problem with the definition of crosstraining. Cross doesn`t mean concurrently, it means something like against or a bridge btwn two differing things. The term came into vogue in the fitness world, to do different types of exercise to be more well rounded, to do something different because what one is doing now is not sufficient. There is nothing about intending anything in the term or my usage. If you are compartmentalizing what you are doing, you are not crosstraining, you are training concurrently.

This all may seem trivial but I think the overall topic is quite important. On this forum, many diagreements seem to come from the problem that different people define terms differently. I think that if we really made an effort to understand what another is saying, we would have much more productive discussions.

Charles

Well, then, let me try and clear things up for you:

By "cross training," most people refer to doing at least one martial art in addtion to Aikido -- period. While they may mean "concurrent training," they, perhaps eroneously, use "cross training." But the question is whether or not to do at least one martial art in addition to Aikido; there is an opposing view (that I disagree with) that you should do just Aikido and nothing else, concurrently or otherwise.

That is what it is about, whether to do other art(s) in while doing Aikido, not what to call it.

Hope this helps.

Kevin Leavitt
10-01-2005, 11:13 AM
I don't really see how you could split hairs and call something concurrent. You are one being and while you may try and compartmentalize your life, all your experiences will add to you being you. So while you may have the best intentions in the world of isolating your training, your experiences will spill over into the other aspects of your life.

Certainly when you are in an aikido dojo you play by the rules and ettiquette of that environment, as well as say, a BJJ dojo. I think that is only appropriate.

However why on earth would you train concurrently and limit yourself to exploring those things that can be synthesized.

In prinicple, I'd say, anything you would learn in any good art would be relevant in the other, as long as you stayed within the parameters of ettiquette and training. Infact, no one would know but you!

Ron Tisdale
10-01-2005, 03:23 PM
Sorry, I couldn't help it...

from www.dictionary.com:

cross-train (krôstrn, krs-)
v. cross-·trained, cross-·train·ing, cross-·trains
v. intr.
To undergo or provide training in different tasks or skills: The department has cross-trained in firefighting and emergency medical services.
To train in different sports, mainly by alternating regimens, as in running, bicycling, and swimming.

v. tr.
To train (another) in different tasks or skills.

So to me, when I train in yoga (whew! those ashtunga yogi give you a work out!) I am cross-training. When I train in Daito ryu, I am cross-training. When I train in an AKI aikikai dojo, I am not sure...the skills are similar, the methodology very different. But some of the skills are different too.

My motivation, however, is the important thing to me. What is it that I want to get out of the training? In the case of yoga, a good physical workout that stresses breathing, suppleness and active relaxation. In the case of Daito ryu, to look deeper into what aikido came from, and to foster relationships in that art. In the case of the AKI dojo, to leave the form of Yoshinkan aikido, and explore deeper relaxation and less attachment. I also really like the AKI instructor and senior student, so I would probably get together with them just for the heck of it.

Anyway, to each his own. If someone wants to cross-train in BJJ to build ground fighting skills, more power to 'em. I believe that in time, their aikido will benefit from that training if they stick with the aikido. And if they find BJJ is more to their liking, at least they have experienced something else.

Best,
Ron