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orenb 07-19-2000 06:36 AM

Hi all,
I am interested in learning another matrial art in addition to my Aikido training. Which art should i choose?

jxa127 07-19-2000 09:35 AM

Judo, maybe?
 
My sensei studied Judo for about a year so that he could practice hip throws. He ended up with a Shodan in that art from the time he spent there.

-Drew A.

akiy 07-19-2000 09:40 AM

I think it's hard to say which martial art anyone would like. I've heard of people cross-training in other arts including judo, iaido, jujutsu, karate, wing chun, capoeira, and others.

I'd say go to a few schools and see if you like what they offer. Try them out, if you get the chance. Many schools will let you take a class for free or will have cheap "introductory" courses.

One warning -- don't get your plate too full...

-- Jun

Aiki1 07-19-2000 10:05 AM

I think it depends on what you are seeking to learn or experience. I often suggest Brazilian jiujitsu because even if you don't stick with it, you can learn two interesting things - one, how to feel safe on the ground (even the basic siklls will give you this), and two, how to deal with panic and adrenal stress overload - and I can pretty much guarentee that you will feel these in a way you probably never have. It's interesting.

Nick 07-19-2000 12:58 PM

I'd say the sword arts (kenjutsu, iaido, etc). They help with hip movements and the "cuts" of various techniques.

-Nick

Erik 07-19-2000 06:03 PM

Quote:

orenb wrote:
Hi all,
I am interested in learning another matrial art in addition to my Aikido training. Which art should i choose?

What appeals to you?

I've been playing around with strikes and have been contemplating something along those lines. Possibly one of the Chinese variants as I like the general nature of what I've seen in a couple of cases (Cheng Hsin in particular). There's also a Jiu Jitsu school run by a hybrid Aikido/Jiu Jitsu instructor that I'd love to train at but then he's about 2 1/2 hours away in Bay Area time and the only day I could make is early Saturday morning.

I have a Gracie (forget which one) school literally within 200 yards of my apartment but I just can't get myself to go visit. I have no doubt it would be great for my study but the interest isn't there.

Do what's fun and interests you.

Erik 07-19-2000 06:09 PM

Quote:

orenb wrote:
Hi all,
I am interested in learning another matrial art in addition to my Aikido training. Which art should i choose?

What appeals to you?

I've been playing around with strikes and have been contemplating something along those lines. Possibly one of the Chinese variants as I like the general nature of what I've seen in a couple of cases (Cheng Hsin in particular). There's also a Jiu Jitsu school run by a hybrid Aikido/Jiu Jitsu instructor that I'd love to train at but then he's about 2 1/2 hours away in Bay Area time and the only day I could make is early Saturday morning.

I have a Gracie (forget which one) school literally within 200 yards of my apartment but I just can't get myself to go visit. I have no doubt it would be great for my study but the interest isn't there.

Do what's fun and interests you.

By the way, I love the spelling error.

Keith 07-19-2000 06:48 PM

Depends largely on why you want to train in another art. Is it to cover for perceived flaws/weaknesses in Aikido? Is it to help your Aikido? Tai Chi and sword arts can supplement Aikido training. If it's the first reason, where do you think Aikido is lacking? Personally, I'm not a huge fan of trying to study more than one art at a time. I think you can end up knowing a little about a lot but not much of anything.

BTW, Judo won't help your Aikido hip throws very much. Apples and oranges.
Keith Engle

BC 07-20-2000 09:52 AM

I think that having experience in more than one martial art can be very beneficial. From what I understand, many of todays senior aikidoka who were uchi deshi for O Sensei had previous experience in other martial arts. In fact, I recall reading somewhere that prior experience in another martial art used to be required prior to beginning aikido training under O Sensei. I came to aikido after training in other martial arts for more than fifteen years, and for me the greatest benefit was that my prior experience helped me realize that aikido is the best fit for me among martial arts. Although I would probably still be practicing taiji along with aikido, if I could find an instructor near me and I didn't have my existing family and work responsibilities (probably the biggest barrier - time). Orenb, I don't know how long you've been studying aikido, but one thing I would recommend is that the practitioner developes a strong understanding at least in the basics of one martial art before trying to simultaneously begin and practice another art. This is because there is the risk of "blending" the basics and subleties of each art, thus missing out on the full benefits of each art. I don't mean to say that those individuals who have and continue to practice only aikido are better or worse. On the contrary, some of the sensei and sempai I respect and admire most have focused exclusively on aikido. I only think that some people might enjoy and benefit from being exposed to more than one martial art - it all depends on the individual. IMHO.

-BC


[Edited by BC on July 20, 2000 at 08:57am]

Nick 07-20-2000 09:56 AM

When I came to Aikido, my karate experience helped me, well, not at all. I had a _very_ basic understanding of ukemi, and was like "wow... how's he doin that?"

Come to think of it, I'm still like that :).

Kanpai,

-Nick

akiy 07-20-2000 10:11 AM

Quote:

Nick wrote:
When I came to Aikido, my karate experience helped me, well, not at all.
Really? My karate background helped me (and continues to help me) quite a bit.

I remember only one time in which we actually practiced falling in my karate classes; it was just not part of our curriculum. So when I came to aikido, I knew nothing about falling and rolling.

However, ukemi is far more than just falling. Some people say that the falling part is about 10% of ukemi and I tend to agree with them.

With my karate background, I have some notion of how to have power behind my attacks without being too off-balance. I have a feeling of what is open in my body during a certain movement and can react when these openings are taken. I have some knowledge of how my body moves and can move. I can use the same basic principles of deriving power through my body as I did in karate in aikido.

So for me, at least, karate has helped me in my aikido.

-- Jun

Nick 07-20-2000 11:13 AM

I'd say the only part of karate that helped me with my aikido is knowing proper reiki and knowing how to sit in seiza, and I suppose it's helping me pick up the ukemi.

-Nick

Sid 07-20-2000 01:34 PM

Nick, you mentioned reiki - what is this?

Sid

Sid 07-20-2000 01:36 PM

Quote:

Sid wrote:
Nick, you mentioned proper reiki - what is reiki in this context?

Sid


Erik 07-20-2000 02:37 PM

Quote:

Nick wrote:When I came to Aikido, my karate experience helped me, well, not at all. I had a _very_ basic understanding of ukemi, and was like "wow... how's he doin that?"

Come to think of it, I'm still like that :).

Kanpai,

-Nick
We had a student come to the dojo whose father taught Shotokan. He was I believe a nidan and picked up Aikido faster than anyone I've ever seen. This included ukemi, posture, center and all the rest. Maybe it was because he was so close to it, maybe he was a fluke or maybe they did something different from other schools. I don't really know. All I know is he picked Aikido up damn fast.

Quote:

With my karate background, I have some notion of how to have power behind my attacks without being too off-balance. I have a feeling of what is open in my body during a certain movement and can react when these openings are taken. I have some knowledge of how my body moves and can move. I can use the same basic principles of deriving power through my body as I did in karate in aikido.
I'm curious Jun. Did your Karate time focus more on principles (ie fundamentals) or was it orientated elsewhere? It seems to me that all the arts would have certain things in common (we all have 2 legs, arms and that getting hit is usually not a good thing) and I'd imagine that focusing on those things would accelerate the learning process between styles.

akiy 07-20-2000 03:41 PM

Quote:

Erik wrote:
I'm curious Jun. Did your Karate time focus more on principles (ie fundamentals) or was it orientated elsewhere?
We did, of course, spend time on the fundamentals like hand and foot positioning, kata training (I think I knew about 20 kata when I stopped), and such, but we were probably more focused on the kumite (sparring) training moreso than the "specifics."

Quote:

It seems to me that all the arts would have certain things in common (we all have 2 legs, arms and that getting hit is usually not a good thing) and I'd imagine that focusing on those things would accelerate the learning process between styles.
I think I remember someone saying that all koryu have within it a form of "kotegaeshi." I guess it's not a very tough technique to figure out and incorporate into a system...

-- Jun

Nick 07-20-2000 03:51 PM

Quote:

Sid wrote:
Quote:

Sid wrote:
Nick, you mentioned proper reiki - what is reiki in this context?

Sid


Reiki- unless I have the word wrong, it means respect. I knew about bowing in, the words for it and what it meant, and how to treat your partner with respect. Also- my karate training did help me, just not with Aikido- for me, they were apples and oranges, one can't really be compared to the other.

-Nick

akiy 07-20-2000 03:53 PM

Quote:

Nick wrote:
Reiki- unless I have the word wrong, it means respect.[/b]
That would be "reigi." "Reiki" is a form of energy work used in healing.
Quote:

Also- my karate training did help me, just not with Aikido- for me, they were apples and oranges, one can't really be compared to the other.
It may be a good exercise to start finding similarities, then.

-- Jun

Erik 07-20-2000 04:09 PM

Quote:

akiy wrote:
I think I remember someone saying that all koryu have within it a form of "kotegaeshi." I guess it's not a very tough technique to figure out and incorporate into a system...

-- Jun
That's a really interesting one to comment on and it does seem to show up a lot in other forms I've watched. We seem to be the only ones who do it with the idea of connecting it to center. Most other's seem to be of the idea that you grab the wrist and twist really hard. If uke slaps like a wounded duck you did a really good job.:eek:

Of course, there are those upon whom that doesn't work very well.:p

Sid 07-21-2000 02:12 PM

Lol(Luaghing out loud)

I was jsut wondering what u meant by reiki, as reiki helps a lot with aikido!

Sid

E.J. Nella 07-28-2000 05:20 PM

I had studied Aikido for 11 years before even imagining trying out any other Martial Art. I felt it was hard enough to get to my own school regularly without adding more to my plate. Then my training started feeling like something was lacking or maybe it was a plateau, I don't know. Then I met a Martial Arts instructor that is so jazzed by all of the Martial Arts it was just infectious. He truly believes all Martial Arts are good in their own way, and that all Martial Arts have their own specific shortcomings. I always felt that Aikido had an answer for everything. But now I am learning that was just a biased opinion based on faith. I believe Aikidoists should learn how to kick, so they can practice their defense from an actual skilled kick. Learning the dynamics of how to kick allows you to learn how far away they have to be from the kicker to be susceptible to a kick. What if you are on your back and your attacker is on top of you pounding or choking away? Should probably take some Gracie Ju Jitsu. Can I take Gracie Ju Jitsu and do its' techniques in an Aikido-like way? Can I defend myself from a kick in such a way as to not harm my partner? Questions, questions.

I am sorry this is going on so long but I feel I need to expand on what I am going through as a true Aikido lover trying to base this love on more than just faith. I need to know Aikido can handle everything. To that end I am rethinking what Aikido is to me.

I started taking some Jeet Kune Do classes from my new teacher (JKD -- "The Art of Fighting Without Fighting.", I thought that was what Aikido was). He has clinics through his Association that allows the participants to experience different Martial Arts. Through these I have had the opportunity to try Judo, Ju Jitsu, Hapkido, Russian SAMBO, Knife Fighting and Eskrima. While I am not by any means proficient in all of these with such little exposure, I believe I have gained some insight into how a potential attacker may act. I have seen some stuff that I think I may be able to incorporate into my Aikido. In addition to this if I can use Aikido to defend myself from someone skilled in a fighting art, the common thug on the street will seem a little less intimidating.

I am not practicing as much in Aikido right now, but feel it is a temporary situation. I don't believe I will stay with these other arts as long as I have Aikido, but I do know they are helping open my eyes to many aspects that I just wasn't getting in my training of Aikido. I am not saying the lessons can not be found in Aikido, or that I would not have eventually uncovered these points somehow. The time had come, and the situation arose, so off I went (so to speak).

I think the saying goes something like "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear". I sincerely believe this is what happened in my case and don't claim to be able to say it is right for everybody.

George S. Ledyard 07-29-2000 05:43 AM

Other Training
 
There are basically two reasons for training in another martial art. First is to find compatible training that will enhance the skills that you are developing in the Aikido. From that standpoint many people find that Iaido complements their Aikido training well. It is basically a form of moving meditation and will teach you the basics of handling a blade properly (some debate here). If you are lucky enough to have access to a qualified teacher of Classical Sword (Caveat Emptor on the various claims to teaching credentials) it would be invaluable. Jodo is more available than sword in terms of classical styles. Chuck Clark sensei could tell you what he thinks about the benefits. An excellent source for info about where to train would be Phil Relnick Sensei (see http://www.shindo-muso-ryu.org/?prelnickbio.html for information about this top notch teacher) It will certainly improve your Aikido from a number of standpoints. I know a number of Aikido instructors who have chosen to go cross-cultural and study T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Uniformly their Aikido technique tends to be relaxed and beautiful.

The second reason to do another martial art is to improve your capacity to do your Aikido effectively from a martial standpoint. There are many avenues you can take here. Bruce Bookman Sensei took a couple years of boxing instruction under a coach and has now spent quite a bit of time working on Machado Brazilian Jiu Jutsu ( http://www.machadojj.com/ ) . Can't think of too many people I'd rather have with me in a tough spot.

If I were to take on another art there are essentially two areas on which I'd focus. First, I'd look for a school that had a qualified teacher of Jeet Kun Do. Their training will give you an eclectic mix of Muy Thai, Wing Chun derived technique, and Filipino martial arts. The Wing Chun components will teach you trapping and stripping. Aikido people tend to rely a lot on grabbing an opponent and this training will cure you of that fast. Also, the Filipino components will teach you how people in the real world use bladed weapons (usually a shock to folks who have only done Aikido). The flow drills that are taught in Filipino martial arts are wonderful for teaching Aikido folks to use both hands separately and handle combination attacks, which is a weak area for most Aikido folks. (See the wonderful instructional videos by Robert Bryner Sensei for an example of how you can incorporate some of the Filipino exercises in a traditional Aikido practice - http://www.aikido-world.com/highlights/bv/videos.htm). The style of Jeet Kun Do that has the most interest for me is done by Sifu Larry Hartsell, one of Bruce Lee's original students ( http://www.jkdassoc.com ) . He was interested in grappling and is considered to be the source for Jeet Kun Do grappling application. His style shows you how a lot of the locking technique that we do can be done against more conventional styles of fighting.

If you want a real humbling but educational experience take a look at Mr. Vasiliev up in Toronto, Canada ( http://www.russianmartialart.com ) . I would dearly love to get to train with this man, he is clearly a master of unique skill. He is a former instructor of what the Russians refer to as the "Systema". It was only taught to the Russian Special Ops folks like Stalin's body guards and the Spetsnaz commandos. Before you prejudge this stuff you should take a look. It was totally different from what I had expected when I ordered some of his tapes (every one is worth twice what they ask). The Systema is aikido without any of the form. Every thing is done with no set postures, even designed to be done from positions of great disadvantage. Their training has no set form either. It is basically a form of jyu waza and randori which gets faster as you progress. I have been working off some of Mr. Vasiliev's tapes and they can help you immensely with your Aikido I believe. The level of his relaxation is an inspiration yet he is quite effective. This stuff is very compatible with Aikido. And Mr. Vasiliev is a real gentleman. I had occasion to correspond with him and he was extremely gracious. The only problem here is that there are virtually no qualified instructors around who teach this. There is an American teacher on the East coast who teaches some of the same stuff but is with a different organization (ROSS Russian Martial Arts) but I have only seen his website ( http://www.amerross.com/main.html )

[Edited by George S. Ledyard on July 29, 2000 at 04:51am]

E.J. Nella 07-30-2000 01:08 PM

I agree with Ledyard Sensei. The philosophy of Jeet Kune Do is paradoxically like Aikido and the dramatic opposite. Like Aikido in the fact that you learn what skills from which Martial Art works best for you. If you can't kick well then don't. Find what works for your body shape and your mental/spiritual disposition and use it. It is the exact opposite of Aikido because the philosophy of Bruce Lee was "Jeet Kune Do is the art of fighting without fighting." But wait, you say, we can and probably have said that about Aikido. Where it differs is Bruce thought that if a physical altercation was imminent, it is best to start the action. He figured that if he could get in the first punch or combination to stop the fight without any attack getting back through was the best defense. There is no fight if the "defender" takes the initiative and stops the fight before it starts, usually with violence that will injure the opponent. (I hope I explained that well!)

As a kind of interesting aside, as an Aikidoist trying to use the concepts of JKD in practice doing a little what they call "Flowing practice" (Jiyu Waza) I had to pretend I was initiating the action as if using JKD in a "real life" situation. I could not immediately come up with any Aikido technique to start the drill. I had to use JKD. Once I got started though and the person receiving my attack tried to counter or just started moving some spontaneous Aikido popped up to my great satisfaction. I am really enjoying the cross training in JKD. But like Ledyard Sensei said, it is very difficult to find anyone teaching it, let alone someone good. I consider myself lucky.

So Oren, good luck!!

Keith 07-31-2000 12:12 AM

Quote:

E.J. Nella wrote:
There is no fight if the "defender" takes the initiative and stops the fight before it starts
They're called suigetsu-waza. Read "Budo" and you'll see O-sensei repeatedly writes that tori initiates the technique.

Keith

MikeE 07-31-2000 10:28 AM

Before I started Aikido, I trained extensively in Ryukyu Kempo. It was a very hard transition, but the Twite-jutsu (quick joint locks) in Kempo transferred easily to the basic immobilizations of Aikido. The Kyusho-jutsu (nerve strikes) have made my atemi-waza more effective. I went to aikido because you literally just learned to destroy your opponent in Kempo.
Now im my dojo we also teach Crosstraining which I believe has helped my aikido. We do kicks, punches, standing grappling, (things that look like nikyo and kotegaeshi at times), and then also Rickson Gracie Jiu-jitsu. How this has helped my aikido is that I have learned to deal with more attacks than just the basics found in most aikido training. Mainly, because I am dealing with more combat savvy students. And Brazilian jiu-jitsu flows like aikido, its very soft and relaxed, when practiced correctly.
I believe getting a flavor of the different arts can be beneficial as long as you don't spread yourself too thin.


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