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A. Nonymous 07-14-2004 04:04 PM

Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
I'm a former Judoka and current Aikidoka, and had moved to a new city and started out in the only Aikido dojo in town, a Ki Society dojo, a couple of months ago. Before that I had been training in an unaffiliated Aikikai-meets-Yoshinkan dojo, and hold a mid-kyu grade there.

I'm learning lots in my new dojo, but it's small and ill-attended, and the instructor puts far more focus on Ki training than Aikido. What I mean by that specifically is that the instructor seems to have much less enthusiasm for Aikido than Ki training: in a two hour training session (which is supposed to be two, one hour slots), we spend a full hour on Ki training, and only 35-45 minutes on Aikido. Invariably he gives us a long "break" or returns voice mail calls between classes which seriously eats into our Aikido time.

Here's the rub: the Ki Society is costing me quite a bit per month. My wife has just joined the local YMCA, which has a thriving "Budokai" dojo, which teaches MMA: Aikido, Judo, and Karate concurrently. Tuition would cost me about 1/3 of what the Ki Society costs, and I'd be able to train 3 days a week instead of 2.

I'm obviously going to go work out with the Budokai people to see what I think, and that will most likely make up my mind for me. (I think I just answered the main part of my own question. hehe).

One thing that was a bit irritating about my old dojo was that my rank was only good in that one school: my rank isn't recognized anywhere else, so I'm starting over. I'll be in this city for a while, so I'm not terribly concerned about rank anyway, but I've no idea how a "Budokai" does ranking/testing, etc. They are affiliated with Jujitsu America and a national Judo organization, though (ironically) not the USJA, where my Judo ranks are registered.

So here's the real question: Does anyone have any experience with these dojos? How does the learning progress? What's the training like? Can I expect weapons work?

Any responses are much appreciated. I'd never heard of a Budokai until recently. . .

Chris Birke 07-14-2004 05:02 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
I would leave, your present Ki society instructor sounds unmotivated towards his teaching.

Low rank means very little to you, I wouldn't ever have a problem with starting over in rank; you quickly rise to where you should be in any case. Your opponents might have a problem with the sandbagging, though. =)

As for Budokai, I can't comment. Are they your only option?

A. Nonymous 07-14-2004 06:17 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
Yup. The only all-Aikido dojo in town (within a reasonable drive) is the Ki Society. There are lots of karate, TKD, etc. dojos in town. I could go back to sport Judo, I suppose, but I like incorporating atemi and middle-distance work into my training. I do miss the ne waza, though.

kironin 07-14-2004 07:00 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
Quote:

I'm learning lots in my new dojo, but it's small and ill-attended, and the instructor puts far more focus on Ki training than Aikido. What I mean by that specifically is that the instructor seems to have much less enthusiasm for Aikido than Ki training: in a two hour training session (which is supposed to be two, one hour slots), we spend a full hour on Ki training, and only 35-45 minutes on Aikido. Invariably he gives us a long "break" or returns voice mail calls between classes which seriously eats into our Aikido time.
I am betting this is in the Northwest, sigh

Budokai sounds like an independent local school. Kyu grades are pretty meaningless in this context. If you are good in your grade, starting over should be no big whup. You will move up quick enough anyway.

The only concern about the MMA thing is they may be a Karate/TKD person that is faking it in the Judo/Aikido area. I have seen that before.
Charismatic liars and conmen can sadly have really thriving schools. Best to ask questions. On the other hand it might be someone who is sincere. You never know till you go check it out.

Craig

NagaBaba 07-14-2004 09:17 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
Why not open your own aikido dojo? You can invite every week/month an instructor from well structured federation (yoshinkai, aikikai, tomiki, whaever....)
At least you will have some serious training.

Chris Birke 07-14-2004 11:38 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
Aikido / Judo / Karate isn't often billed under MMA, though technically it applies. Craig might be right to be suspicious, check on bullshido.com and see if anyone can or has reviewed them.

Meanwhile, what's wrong with the Northwest? =D

happysod 07-15-2004 02:08 AM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
Agreed, leave the Ki society dojo, the instructor sounds like a complete tool. Ki training should be focussed on helping your aikido, not a means of avoiding doing aikido and an half-hour break - the guy needs a painful lesson in obligations to students while teaching.

A. Nonymous 07-15-2004 12:25 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
Did some checking on the Budokai school - it's actually 4 arts, taught concurrently: Jujitsu, Judo, Karate, and Aikido. I still haven't gotten a chance to speak with one of them about what the primary art practiced is. Now that I know they're doing Jujitsu (and it's listed first in the list of arts on all their promotional materials), I'm guessing that's the primary art, and that they're a Kodenkan Danzan Ryu dojo (hence the affiliation w/Jujitsu America), which is fine with me. I'm still fuzzy as to why they're not just calling it a jujitsu dojo, rather than saying that they practice four arts.

Anyway, I'll be working out there next week to see how it is: I'll definitely report back.

Craig: Yes, I'm in the Northwest. I'll talk to the Budokai to find out about the primary art form, and how they practice the arts in conjunction. It just seems logical that practicing four arts at once would either take forever to build any understanding, or that several arts are just glossed over. I'm not really sure I'm ready to practice Aikido only in pieces and parts. That's precisely the reason I ended up at the only all-Aikido dojo in town, despite sort of odd experiences with the Ki Society before. That being said: the aikido we do in the Ki Society dojo is very strong - it's good Aikido, plain and simple (IMHO, of course), and the people are very nice. My main complaint is that there's not enough of it.

Szczepan: That's an interesting suggestion, but not one that I'm ready to take on. Too many home/work/job responsibilities to open my own dojo at the moment. And, the simple fact is, I want to find a good school that feels like a "fit" and train my ass off - I'm tired of jumping from school to school, art to art. I've finally gotten some stability in my work location, so I'm trying to set things up to keep my head down and TRAIN.

Chris: I'll also check out bullshido.com. And there's nothing wrong with the Northwest. I love it! These dojos are right in your back yard, though (you're in Eugene, right?). I'm a former Duck (I used to train at the U of O), and still living in state. Also - if MMA isn't the right term, what is? I thought since the dojo practices four arts together, that made it MMA. My mistake.

A. Nonymous 07-15-2004 12:31 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
No references on bullshido.com, but good lord that's a great site. Thanks for the info!

Jill N 07-15-2004 01:28 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
If you do decide to stick with Ki Society dojo, you could perhaps get involved with helping to organize seminars with some of the senseis in Ki Society to come to your local dojo. This will give you some new stuff to play with. In this dojo, If the heart is there, but needs an injection of entusiasm, you may be able to be the needed change agent. There are some terrific senseis in Ki Society ( and in many other styles too, of course!)

e ya later
Jill N.

Ron Tisdale 07-15-2004 02:17 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
MMA is usually used in the context of people combining Brazilian Jiujitsu(sic), boxing, thai boxing and things of that nature for use in competitive fighting (something like NHB). I'm sure there's nothing 'wrong' with the way you used it, though some might find it misleading.

Ron

Chris Birke 07-15-2004 03:32 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
Yes, I am in Eugene (braving the terrible 85 degree heat), but I don't know any nearby dojos called the Budokai. I know of one place here that I think teaches Aikido, Judo, TKD, and JuiJitsu, but they (I believe) call themselves Best Martial Arts. They are associated with the California Aikido Association and are fairly nice people.

Calling any set of martial arts MMA is technically fine, but (as Ron says) it usually implies a combat oriented system. It would be a bit odd to see Aikido featured as part of MMA (though not impossible www.aikidog.com)

kironin 07-15-2004 03:59 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
Quote:

That's precisely the reason I ended up at the only all-Aikido dojo in town, despite sort of odd experiences with the Ki Society before. That being said: the aikido we do in the Ki Society dojo is very strong - it's good Aikido, plain and simple (IMHO, of course), and the people are very nice. My main complaint is that there's not enough of it.
.
You will get no argument from me!!! :D

I understand the wanting enough of it. Unfortunately (in my world view) there is some variation in opinion among Ki Society teachers in how much time to divide between Ki development and Aikido practice. I take it to heart that the Ki Development is the heart of our practice but I like seeing my students sweat also (trying to keep up with me heh heh heh).

In teaching, I take my cue from the late Iwao Tamura Sensei (9th dan Ki Society) whose classes were always a nice interwoven mix of Ki development and Aikido technique. Little talk - much doing for yourself and a lot of fun. I don't pretend that I am able to do it as well or as effortlessly or as with as much depth of understanding that he did, but it's a goal.


I have heard of Danzan Ryu jujutsu.

best of luck!

A. Nonymous 07-20-2004 10:18 PM

Training update
 
Well, I trained at the Budokai last night. I was right in my earlier assumption: it's a Kodenkan (Danzan Ryu) Jujitsu dojo, which uses elements of Judo, Karate, and Aikido. i.e. their groundwork is adapted from Judo newaza, their punches and kicks are from Karate, joint locks and "harmonizing" throws from Aikido. Something REALLY ironic? The style of Aikido they practice is Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido: KI AIKIDO! I about fell over when I heard that. They're affiliated with Jujitsu America (where their dan ranks come from), and also a major Karate organization (I didn't catch which one) and USJA (so my rank DOES transfer there). I'm not sure where they're affiliated, Aikido-wise. I can't imagine the Ki No Kenyukai allowing them as an affiliate dojo, so they may be unaffiliated, or . . .?

In any case, the dojo environment is friendly, fun, intense, and thriving. On a lazy Monday night, there were 6 yudansha and 7 mudansha, most of whom were rank beginners or low kyu grades. The dans are a mix ranging from about 25 to 60 years old. There were even women practicing, which I haven't seen in a dojo in years: one yudansha and one mudansha.

The techniques we did were . . . well, very powerful (i.e. lots of power used, lots of muscle + focus on proper technique for leverage). We also did everything static, starting from a grab or a choke. For those that care, we were working on the "Yawara" syllabus. Here's a link if you're interested:
http://www.danzanryu.com/yawara.html
In any case, pretty basic stuff. I watched the yudansha doing a bit of playing around before and after class, and they were doing mostly close quarters work. When I asked the head instructor how the arts were integrated, he told me pretty much what I paraphrased above: they use whatever fits the situation they're in (though he did say they offer rank in each art, as well. I'm going to check more into that - he could have just meant Judo and Karate, since this particular dojo competes in both arts, I believe). In response to questions about ma ai, he said that the bulk of their work is close quarters, and mostly standing. Again, they do practice Judo-ish newaza, so they do some ground work, but the bulk of the art is close in stand up stuff. BTW, this is just my impression from one 90 minute class, so if there is anyone out there who has trained in this art that would like to clarify, I'd really appreciate it.

In any case, there are no clear cut decisions for me: I was half hoping the Budokai would be a dojo full of jerks, so the decision would be made for me. As it sits, I'm agonizing over the decision to stay with the Ki Society or go with Jujitsu. Truth be told, I'd love to train in both, but the classes are at exactly the same times. Go figure. When I "found" Aikido (my old dojo), I thought I had finally found the perfect art for me. . . but Ki Aikido as it's practiced in my current dojo isn't the kind of intense practice I loved in my old dojo. AND (as noted in my earlier posts), there's just not enough of it going around: 35-45 minutes twice a week doesn't cut it for me. Especially when I'm not usually breaking a sweat. Again, I'm not bashing Ki Aikido - I find the aikido there terrifyingly efficient, and very powerful.

Ack. I really am agonizing. I feel like I'm trying to decide whether I should break up with my girlfriend! :) In any case, this dilemma is really forcing me to examine my training goals, which can't be a bad thing, right? I'll most likely post my decision here at the end of the month, in case there's anyone who cares which way I go.

Thanks very much for all the advice, and carefully considered opinions.

kironin 07-20-2004 10:46 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
never a bad thing to examine your goals.

I would say train both places but the time conflict makes that easy decision impossible.

I am curious how it was ki-aikido. Some one trained at the Ki Society school ?

sorry, I can't help unless you move to Houston, TX :D

:sorry: :ki:

A. Nonymous 07-20-2004 10:53 PM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
If I go back to the Budokai, I'll definitely ask more about the Aikido. I've just been browsing the net trying to learn more about Danzan Ryu: I'm not seeing anything official about Aikido being included in the curriculum, so I'm guessing you're right - someone at the budokai must have studied Ki Aikido in the past? The shomen has four pictures on it: O'Sensei, {some karate guy - my apologies to any karateka}, Kano Sensei and Okazaki Sensei. There's also a scroll hanging prominently with Aikido in kanji on it - NOT the usual Ki kanji by Tohei Sensei that I've seen in Ki Society dojos.

Abasan 07-21-2004 12:22 AM

Re: Leave Ki Society for MMA?
 
Instead of moving, why don't you ask for extra mat time after class with the yudanshas or whoever. i'm sure someone must share your sentiments and would like to let loose a bit.

Although, the tution fees may also be a determining factor as well. I love ki aikido... its plain aikido that exists in aikikai but generally overlooked.


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