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Yianie 02-23-2012 06:31 PM

Still On The Fence
 
Hello, I am still on the fence on choosing a martial art. I have become very interested in Akido. Currently I am taking Chinese kung fu because I could not find a location that teaches combat Tai Chi. And I did not know of any Aikido schools until recently. The reason I wanted to learn combative Tai Chi is so I can learn flow with my appointment and was told that it is very useful in street fighting. I did locate an aikido school and it is seems very interesting. I have a concern that if there is a defense against someone who knows Chinese kung fu. My main concern is in Chinese kung fu they have rapid, machine gun type punches, that another Kung Fu master could quickly deflect by rapidly using your palm and twisting your waist left to right repeated deflecting all the punches. Please forgive me, but I worry that there may not be an Aikido defense (if I can not grab and lock) and I become a human punching bag. Your advice and forgiveness for asking a dumb question is requested. Thank you.

Alic 02-23-2012 07:00 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
The thing you want to remember about both Aikido and Tai-chi is that they're extremely complex. They are highly effective and powerful, but you have to put in a lot of time and effort in training in order to reach that level of effectiveness.

I don't think you would have to worry about fighting thugs who know kungfu. Thugs don't last long in a school or dojo, which requires great dedication and patience, two important values that thugs tend to lack. Most trained martial artists don't pick fights, they end them. You most likely will never face off against a martial artists, as you're more likely to sit down and and drink with them. :)

Aikido offers so much more than just a fighting system, it's also a way of life. You will learn how to deal with folks even outside of combat situations, and how you should act so that you do not provoke any violent reactions from others.

In response to your combination punch worries, the thing about those is that they're basically punches that flows down the centre line. If you learn Aikido well, you'll know to get off the centre line immediately, and then either evade and escape, or apply a technique of some kind. Hook punches that flows from the outside is slower, and as a result, it isn't usually included in those rapid combinations. Never try to block all those punches, a master may be able to, but you wouldn't be able to do that until after several decades of training. Get off the centre line, that's how you avoid getting punched.

The only thing you can do to see if Aikido is for you is to try it. Most dojos will allow you to try out for a class or two to see how well it fits you.

kewms 02-23-2012 07:13 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
If you think kung fu offers a better defense, then study kung fu. *shrug*

Outside of the movies, though, street encounters involving trained martial artists are extremely rare. You are much more likely to encounter, say, a thug with a knife or a group of untrained attackers.

I'd suggest visiting the school(s) that you're considering and asking the chief instructor these questions.

Katherine

matty_mojo911 02-23-2012 07:36 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Hi John

Always ask yourself "why do you want to do a martial art?" If you want to learn how to defend yourself on the street take up kickboxing, or boxing, or MMA. There is a real good reason you do not see Aikido masters, Kung Fu masters, or Tai Chi masters stepping into the ring with these people.

Aikido, Tai Chi, and many forms of Kung Fu are very introverted and less "street" orientated.

As for blocking rapid fire punches - I give you 100% certainty that if I was stand within arms reach of your Sifu I could punch him in the face with a snap punch before he could block it. Remember "action is always faster then reaction." The only way they can block these punches is because they are both "playing the same game."

Good luck, and don't fall for the mystical bull%^& that comes from some clueless instructors.

robin_jet_alt 02-23-2012 07:50 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Hi John,

If you want to be able to block or grab "machine gun punches", you are looking in the wrong place. The aikido response would be to find a distance/angle/position where they find it difficult to punch you in the first place. This does not mean retreating, but rather entering into their 'dead angle'.

From the sounds of things, I don't think you would be happy with aikido. A lot of the early practice deals with unrealistic attacks, and it won't help you to deal with the sort of things you are talking about. Once you have done it for several years, you might start to see the solutions, but I get the feeling you want an instant fix. Maybe sticking to kung fu would suit you better for now.

gates 02-23-2012 08:05 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Worried about punches - kick them in the crown jewels !

Whatever MA you do first and formost you must enjoy it !
Life is too short. Stress is the biggest enemy.
Each MA has some plusses some minuses.

Indecision, inaction, fear based indecision, these are the worst things you can do in a self defence situation.
My sister in law was at home when two home invaders surprised her, she grabbed a fry pan, started screaming and foaming at the mouth and proceeded to chase them out of the house over two fences and up the street. She is 5 foot something with no MA training. Her positive instant reaction was enough to scare off two male home invaders, they did not have time to think anything other than: run away - run away from the psycho girl !!

I had a very geeky and quite weakly school friend who got held up for his wallet. Before the guy could finish the demand my friend had smacked him in the face as hard as he could and was running half way up the street. The guy didn't stand a chance, my friends reaction was so fast that the guy just didn't know what happened.

Fear based inaction, hyperthetical speculation of theoretical events, 'what if' statements are all just a waste of time.
Just do something !!
Try out a few classes, see what fits, then get to it !!

Walter Martindale 02-23-2012 10:58 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Train your running. If they're choking on your dust they may lose interest in punching you.
That's a bit facetious, but then the others (above) have given valid responses regarding the training/technique/learning/fighting...
W

Michael Douglas 02-24-2012 06:09 AM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Quote:

John Vasos wrote: (Post 303668)
... The reason I wanted to learn combative Tai Chi is so I can learn flow with my appointment and was told that it is very useful in street fighting. ...

Street fighting eh?

IF this isn't a troll, ...

Boxing, Running, Judo, carry a weapon, live in a nice place.

Also, (in my opinion) don't do this ;
Quote:

Katherine Derbyshire wrote: (Post 303671)
...I'd suggest visiting the school(s) that you're considering and asking the chief instructor these questions.

You ideally want independent and somewhat broad-based opinions.

phitruong 02-24-2012 06:17 AM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Quote:

John Vasos wrote: (Post 303668)
. I have a concern that if there is a defense against someone who knows Chinese kung fu. My main concern is in Chinese kung fu they have rapid, machine gun type punches, that another Kung Fu master could quickly deflect by rapidly using your palm and twisting your waist left to right repeated deflecting all the punches. .

you have been watching Ip Man movies haven't you? the way to deal a kungfu master in the street, don't know what street there would be a kungfu master loitering around to pick fight, but if there is such a street, then the best defend against such master is either whip out your cell phone and call the police, or invite him/her/it into the local pub, out of the street, and duel over a few pints.

get off the fence and take up something, anything. old sailor saying "if no destination in mind, any direction would do".

DonMagee 02-24-2012 11:40 AM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Quote:

John Vasos wrote: (Post 303668)
Hello, I am still on the fence on choosing a martial art. I have become very interested in Akido. Currently I am taking Chinese kung fu because I could not find a location that teaches combat Tai Chi. And I did not know of any Aikido schools until recently. The reason I wanted to learn combative Tai Chi is so I can learn flow with my appointment and was told that it is very useful in street fighting. I did locate an aikido school and it is seems very interesting. I have a concern that if there is a defense against someone who knows Chinese kung fu. My main concern is in Chinese kung fu they have rapid, machine gun type punches, that another Kung Fu master could quickly deflect by rapidly using your palm and twisting your waist left to right repeated deflecting all the punches. Please forgive me, but I worry that there may not be an Aikido defense (if I can not grab and lock) and I become a human punching bag. Your advice and forgiveness for asking a dumb question is requested. Thank you.

If you want to learn "traditional martial arts" then I suggest studying kungfu or aikido. If you are really worried about fighting, then you need to go train with this guy http://www.teamcorral.com/

Braulio runs one of the best Full Contact fighting (MMA) shows and grappling tournaments in the region and has amazing students. As a bonus, he has a gym in the same city as you!

Mario Tobias 02-24-2012 11:53 AM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
you always have to remember, it's not the martial art, it's the martial artist that makes the difference

kewms 02-24-2012 12:01 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Quote:

Michael Douglas wrote: (Post 303695)
You ideally want independent and somewhat broad-based opinions.

Sure. But if someone is concerned about specific attacks, the chief instructor's thoughts on that kind of attack might be helpful in deciding whether to join that school. As might his or her response to that sort of question in general.

Katherine

Shadowfax 02-24-2012 01:34 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
How many kung fu masters are regularly starting street fights and attacking random strangers where you live?

Janet Rosen 02-24-2012 03:23 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Quote:

Cherie Cornmesser wrote: (Post 303742)
How many kung fu masters are regularly starting street fights and attacking random strangers where you live?

Probably not the same town that had skilled karateka randomly kicking the citizenry. :D

OwlMatt 02-24-2012 03:39 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Training aikido or kung fu isn't going to prepare you for a street fight. In fact, I can't think of anything other than street fighting that's going to prepare you for a street fight.

Don't get me wrong; there are some self-defense benefits to martial arts training, but people who start training with the goal of taking on street thugs are bound to be disappointed. Find something you like and then train it because you like it, not because you think it will make you an invincible fighting machine (it won't).

Yianie 02-24-2012 06:08 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Everyone has stated some excellent points. To bring everyone up to date, sadly today after 5 sessions, I ended my Wing Chun training. I could not take the walk of shame every time After class as I walked to the car. All I can say for all current and future instructors is that: When you teach your stundents, teach them one small piece at a time and only when that piece in well known and performed well, then go to the next piece. Gage your progression by the student pace, not a schedule. Your students, no matter what they learn will take great pride in there skills, no matter how limited they are. This was not the case with me. Every session, something new, difficult, with not enough time to perform well or even medeocor. It all adds up to frustration, disappointment and sadness. I start Aikido tommarrow.

gates 02-24-2012 07:45 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Only you can decide what is the right environment for you to learn in. Good on you for trying and keep looking. Do not be mistaken MA are hard and can be frustrating at times, learning to overcome these challenges is part of building confidence and teaches deeper lessons.

Different classes move at different paces, no shame just find the right environment for you.
Good luck. A good aikido class should suit you sir.
Keith

Shadowfax 02-24-2012 07:47 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Walk of shame? What's that about?

Goodness if you don't like being frustrated and confused you might not enjoy aikido either. I am frustrated and confused at least 50% of the time I am on the mat.

You don't get to work on one thing over and over until you master it, at least not where I train.

Alic 02-25-2012 01:47 AM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
When you start Aikido, you are going to be as confused as hell.

And that's perfectly normal.

Remember that with any martial art, you are essentially rebuilding your body. For Aikido especially, you will become extremely flexible through constant stretching. You also rewire the way your mind functions. The way you move, how you consider space and timing. Everything will change.

You will do the stances, the movements, the techniques, and you will do it all wrong. It will not work, and you may even fall flat on your face. No worries though, that's what happens to most people when they start. The magical thing about the training is that even if you don't understand the current technique, you'll learn more about how to properly move your body while training at different techniques, and when you finally revisit the first technique, you'll find that you suddenly is able to perform it much better. This is because all the motions of Aikido are related, and the more you internalize and make those movements natural to you, the better your Aikido will be in general.

As with anything, the key to success is sticking with it. You won't start to "get" it until at least about a year in anyhow, so don't mind the mess up, and just pick yourself up and move on. Always keep a positive outlook and be optimistic, and you'll have fun during training.

OwlMatt 02-25-2012 08:18 AM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
What is "the walk of shame"?

Dave de Vos 02-25-2012 09:03 AM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Quote:

John Vasos wrote: (Post 303765)
.. Every session, something new, difficult, with not enough time to perform well or even medeocor...

I think that will be the same in aikido, or even more so. I may get a bit frustrated sometimes, but aikido training never makes me sad. I don't know what makes the difference. It could be the training atmosphere of the dojo or it could be personal, or both.

lbb 02-25-2012 04:56 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Er, yeah, what everyone else said.

Whenever I talk to someone who is interested in aikido training, I always warn them that compared to most other martial arts (the ones that they are likely to have seen, trained in, or to have access to as an alternative to aikido training), aikido is very frustrating at first. It offers much less gratification in the early stages. It is harder to get, or even to kid yourself that you're getting. You have to stay with it for a while before it will become anything but confusing and frustrating.

On the other hand, if you DO stay with it, you've got the opportunity to learn not only aikido, but also how to approach all kinds of new things with patience, persistence, and an open mind.

Yianie 02-25-2012 05:23 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
I think I confused some of you. Yes, frustration is expected, but how many of you can start going to medical school and get something out of it or let's say 2nd year calculus? What is even more frustrating is when an instructor s showing off how easy it is as they do it with a smile. Or how some enjoy talking down to you. That's when I wish I can pull out. 44 Magnum and show him what self defense really means. I know there are good instructors out there, but I think that only the best of the best never forget that there is always someone that can do it better then them and can undoubtingly kick their butt.

Linda Eskin 02-25-2012 06:26 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Quote:

John Vasos wrote: (Post 303833)
I think I confused some of you. Yes, frustration is expected... What is even more frustrating is when an instructor s showing off how easy it is as they do it with a smile. Or how some enjoy talking down to you. ...

I'm glad to hear you are willing to be patient with yourself. You're right, I think, that there is no place for arrogance in teaching. I fully expect a teacher to be able to do things easily, and even better if it's done with a smile, but showing off or talking down to students is just petty.

Quote:

John Vasos wrote: (Post 303833)
... That's when I wish I can pull out. 44 Magnum and show him what self defense really means.

Well, that's a pretty scary thought. It's hard to tell if you're really angry, or if that was said tongue in cheek, but it's the kind of comment that could (and should) get you walked out the door and told never to return, if you really think that way.

Quote:

John Vasos wrote: (Post 303833)
...I know there are good instructors out there, but I think that only the best of the best never forget that there is always someone that can do it better then them and can undoubtingly kick their butt.

Aikido isn't about kicking anyone's butt. I don't know if that will be a welcome relief to you, or a disappointment. If you are coming from fear of being beaten in street fights you may find Aikido a great opportunity to start looking at the world from a new perspective - one that isn't about fighting, or even about defending yourself. I'm looking forward to hearing about your experience. I'd encourage you to stick with it for at least 2 months. It takes at least that long (depending on how often you train) to even start figuring out left from right and front from back. If you can hang in there I think you might find it a very valuable experience.

lbb 02-25-2012 06:55 PM

Re: Still On The Fence
 
Quote:

John Vasos wrote: (Post 303833)
I think I confused some of you. Yes, frustration is expected, but how many of you can start going to medical school and get something out of it or let's say 2nd year calculus?

I'm more confused now than I was before. Medical school requires a certain background; so does 2nd year calculus. Aikido doesn't. Kung fu doesn't. I don't get the connection.

Quote:

John Vasos wrote: (Post 303833)
What is even more frustrating is when an instructor s showing off how easy it is as they do it with a smile. Or how some enjoy talking down to you. That's when I wish I can pull out. 44 Magnum and show him what self defense really means. I know there are good instructors out there, but I think that only the best of the best never forget that there is always someone that can do it better then them and can undoubtingly kick their butt.

If you're seriously having violent fantasies, that's a place where you shouldn't be, clearly. If you're not having violent fantasies, but you're convinced that the instructor is "showing off" or "talking down to you", that's a place you shouldn't be. It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong about the instructor's attitude; if you think it's so, that's not a place for you to train.


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