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cck
10-11-2005, 09:58 AM
Do any of you out there kayak? I just took two classes this weekend - I've been sea-kayaking a lot many years ago, but never had any fomal training and this really helped. It struck me how much I could relate to aikido - hips, go with the flow (don't muscle the stroke), rotation on own center, absorb into core (there's a really deep stomach muscle thing going on, as well as back - it gives great posture!), don't fear the incoming (we unintentionally went beyond the reef and had some pretty big waves...) etc etc.
Any thoughts?

James Davis
10-11-2005, 03:53 PM
I've never kayaked, but I did go canoeing with my wife. It was neat sitting in the back of the canoe to steer and blend with her actions up front. I also liked sitting in seiza in the front and getting a good all around workout pulling us around as fast as I could. The river was low, so there were a bunch of sand bars to avoid. We also paddled up and down the river waiting for our less harmonious pairs to catch up with us. :)

Go with the flow. :D

Nathan Gusdorf
10-11-2005, 04:14 PM
I've had a decent amount of experience in whitewater kayaking as well as sea kayaking. The sea kayaking was with my family in Florida, and the whitewater has been through camps in the west and a teacher at my high school who has been teaching me. Rolling a whitewater kayak (which you are sealed into, and is short and squarish so as to perform tricks) is completely a function of the hips; you must drop your head down in order to roll up with your hips. Rolling without a paddle is also lots of fun and a good hip exercise. To control a whitewater kayak on the river you must have good posture and control the boat with your hips. To roll on a river you must blend with the power of the river, adjust to the speed of the river, and use the power in yoru hips. I haven't practiced recently but when we start doign some pool sessions I'm definitely going to apply aikido principles because now that I look at it they apply so clearly.

Mike Sigman
10-11-2005, 08:13 PM
Do any of you out there kayak? I just took two classes this weekend - I've been sea-kayaking a lot many years ago, but never had any fomal training and this really helped. It struck me how much I could relate to aikido - hips, go with the flow (don't muscle the stroke), rotation on own center, absorb into core (there's a really deep stomach muscle thing going on, as well as back - it gives great posture!), don't fear the incoming (we unintentionally went beyond the reef and had some pretty big waves...) etc etc.
Any thoughts?I dunno. I've done white-water a long, long time and I've thought about the relationship or assistance to martial arts training (plus I kayak with people who have been on Olympic kayaking teams, occasionally). I don't think it'll do a lot for your Aikido, although of course it's aerobic and good for cardiovascular.

Anyway you cut it, kayaking is going to be more upper body, even if you paddle well (push the upper paddle, offset the pull of the blade in water by transferring a lot of the pull to the opposite foot, use the torso muscles, etc.). Most of the long-term kayakers have "kayaker's hump" from relaxing their back into a kind of slump if that's their major sport... so posture is necessarily a guarantee. If you cross-train with jogging, bicycling, weights, etc., of course it helps, but if Aikido is your exercise of choice, I wouldn't depend on Kayaking to assist it too much; just some.

FWIW

Mike Sigman