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Mark Freeman 02-08-2006 12:14 PM

Music in the Dojo?
 
In my career life as a training consultant, I used music to great effect in the learning environment.
I do not however use music in the dojo, probably because it is just not part of my experience so far.
My question is:
1. Does anyone use music in their dojo, and if so what?
2. If you were to stop for a moment and imagine in your mind aikido being practiced as if you were an observer, what would the soundtrack be?

Just a thought, curiosity sometimes forces me to do these things! :)

regards
Mark
p.s. for me the answer to 2 is Miles Davis :cool:

justin 02-08-2006 12:23 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
never heard of that before in any martial art, dont quite like the idea myself.

Josh Reyer 02-08-2006 12:42 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Quote:

Mark Freeman wrote:
2. If you were to stop for a moment and imagine in your mind aikido being practiced as if you were an observer, what would the soundtrack be?

Just a thought, curiosity sometimes forces me to do these things! :)

regards
Mark
p.s. for me the answer to 2 is Miles Davis :cool:

Halcyon + On + On, by Orbital

Or, "Moon Light" from the Odoru Daisousasen soundtrack.

Both are soft, but with energy. :)

Edwin Neal 02-08-2006 12:57 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Kitaro "kojiki" might be appropriate... we used to do kung fu to quiet meditative music... no not "kung 'fu fighting"!!!... i can't see how it would be 'more' effective than not, but it might be motivational for say a randori, but could have the downside of impairing your sense of hearing, which could be a vital part of awareness training...

Nick Simpson 02-08-2006 01:10 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
I reckon anything by 'Sigur Ros' would be the perfect soundtrack to most aikido classes. Although in randori some good metal like Darkest Hour or Johnny Truant would be cool. New Noise by Refused is also blatantly an ass kicking song.

Trish Greene 02-08-2006 01:15 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Quote:

Mark Freeman wrote:
p.s. for me the answer to 2 is Miles Davis :cool:

Can't go wrong with Miles in any situation!!!! Miller Sensei usually plays music when we are warming up before class but not during class.

aikidodragon 02-08-2006 01:46 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
In our Aikido dojo we don't have music. However; my first judo club we always played music. Our coachs found that we learned the drills and techniques if we had a rhythm. It veried from rap, rock, japanese soundtracks, to movie sound tracks. It just depended who was running class what we listened to. And my jujitsu school, we have some kids movie running almost all the time.

Mark Uttech 02-08-2006 02:06 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Kind of like people who bring music along when they go camping....

Don_Modesto 02-08-2006 02:39 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Ya just gotta wonder how much of the antipathy to music in the dojo is inertia.

Muay Thai and Capoeira use it. With not too much imagination you could think of benefits.

We just didn't come up in dojo using it so we lack that IMAGE of music being appropriate to MA. Anyone remember that anecdote toward the end of Blink about the blind audition for the brass section of some prestigious symphony?

Dajo251 02-08-2006 04:10 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Quote:

Don J. Modesto wrote:
Ya just gotta wonder how much of the antipathy to music in the dojo is inertia.

Muay Thai and Capoeira use it. With not too much imagination you could think of benefits.

We just didn't come up in dojo using it so we lack that IMAGE of music being appropriate to MA. Anyone remember that anecdote toward the end of Blink about the blind audition for the brass section of some prestigious symphony?

well capoeira is intended to look like dancing, music is as much part of the art as the physical aspect

neaikikai 02-08-2006 04:21 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
I hear these things and my mind is blown. Music in a Aikido dojo. Unbelievable. People, I know Aikido is pretty when performed well, and has an artistic look to it. But please lets not forget this is a martial art first and foremost. It can be other things also, which it is, and people practice for different reasons, but don't ever loose sight that first and foremost it must be approached as the martial art that it is. A martial art to defend oneself against attack. Don't get me wrong, I know it encompasses much more than that and has a deep spiritual background, but don't ever forget Osensei was a martial artist, the best of his time, and not just because he was religious, his martial technique was incomparable. My sensei Kanai Shihan would be very offended by this notion. He viewed the dojo as an extremely serious place. A place for serious martial training and respect. I also don't feel like I am jumping out on a limb here by assuming that the uchi deshi of Osensei would not approve of music in an Aikido dojo. I know it looks like dancing, but practiced correctly it is a vigorous martial art.

Edwin Neal 02-08-2006 04:35 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
easy Michael... music does not automatically, or necessarily, eliminate the seriousness of the dojo and training... nor does it negate aikido's martial nature or self defense applicability... Kanai and uchi deshi's don't have to freak out either... it is no offense to them, nor should it be viewed as such...

Karen King 02-08-2006 05:12 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
I attended a seminar with Chiba Sensei where he talked about how he had used disco music in a class once to try to get people to move/use their hips. I pretty sure he doesn't use it on a regular basis, but he certainly didn't seem adverse to using music.

Don_Modesto 02-08-2006 06:09 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
LOL.
Quote:

Michael DiFronzo wrote:
I hear these things and my mind is blown. Music in a Aikido dojo. Unbelievable.

Cultural. The Jpn can be pretty uptight folk. Sclerotic about precedent and tradition and the like. Why limit ourselves to their neuroses? Surely we can find a few of our own?
Quote:

People, I know Aikido is pretty when performed well, and has an artistic look to it. But please lets not forget this is a martial art first and foremost. It can be other things also, which it is, and people practice for different reasons, but don't ever loose sight that first and foremost it must be approached as the martial art that it is.
DiFronzo...Di is short for didactic? :)
Quote:

A martial art to defend oneself against attack. Don't get me wrong, I know it encompasses much more than that and has a deep spiritual background, but don't ever forget Osensei was a martial artist, the best of his time, and not just because he was religious, his martial technique was incomparable. My sensei Kanai Shihan would be very offended by this notion. He viewed the dojo as an extremely serious place. A place for serious martial training and respect.
Not sure I see the necessary contradiction between music and efficacy/gravity. Tomiki asserted that ballroom dancing would help technical progress.
Quote:

I also don't feel like I am jumping out on a limb here by assuming that the uchi deshi of Osensei would not approve of music in an Aikido dojo. I know it looks like dancing, but practiced correctly it is a vigorous martial art.
Takeda didn't like where Osensei to his DR. That didn't stop Osensei. Why should we be anymore limited by our teachers? Tradition in Jpn didn't mean rigormortis. It was taken for granted that MA-ists would adapt what their teachers gave them.

(Btw, non-sequitur, I suppose, but I've never played music in any of my classes. Don't a priori have anything against the idea, though. Kinda like it actually, in a devil's advocate kind of way...)

Qatana 02-08-2006 07:04 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
We listen to music throughout every class, except when the ballet school is closed. We don't get to choose what we hear.

Karen King 02-08-2006 07:12 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Theres certainly been a lot of music playing in my head when I am thinking about/doing Aikido. Everything from the soundtrack to Gladiator to that Chumbawumba song that goes..."I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never going to keep me down"

Edwin Neal 02-08-2006 07:26 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
hehe she said chumbawumba... rofl...

djyoung 02-08-2006 07:48 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Thats 'Chumbawumba - Tub Thumping' i do believe

I think thats a good song for a lot of grappling arts, I used to think of that when doing a randori style activity.

Although, I think music can be a distraction to many of the people these days that seem to not be able to pay attention properly, without music they have nothing else to focus on but the class. Its not necessary either, unless your a believer in all the rediculous research that proves X makes us learn better (which the researchers promptly disprove in a few years). Use in one or two classes could be beneficial.

**Note: Last I heard its classical music that is supposed to be beneficial to study.

mriehle 02-08-2006 08:01 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Music is an integral part of our training in our dojo.

But the comment about serious is apropos.

It doesn't matter all that much what the music is, as long as it conforms to some rules:

1) Solid rhythm. The point of the music is to practice rhythm. To this end, my teacher will often turn the music off without warning to see if our rhythm falls apart. Let's say he gets a little grumpy if it does. But the music stays on pretty much non-stop in beginner's classes.

2) Careful about vocals. This isn't just about inappropriate lyrics (though that is a factor), it's also about distraction. If the music stops being a rhythm enhancing tool and starts being a distraction, it's no good.

3) When the music is on, it's on. When it isn't, just shut up and do your Aikido. IOW, the music has a purpose and when that purpose doesn't apply to the particular lesson, it goes away.

I'm also an instructor and I find I use the music or not depending on what I'm teaching that day. The character of the music may change depending on the lesson as well. Different music for meditation (if we use it at all) versus randori.

One thing I use the music for in kids classes (and sometimes it even works) is to cut down on talking. Play it just loud enough that talking is difficult, set them a difficult, non-stop exercise and yell, "No talking" occasionally during class. Even the most unruly kids eventually give up the attempt to talk. :D

Michael O'Brien 02-08-2006 08:20 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Quote:

Michael DiFronzo wrote:
... first and foremost it must be approached as the martial art that it is. A martial art to defend oneself against attack.

But if I train without music and get attacked in a bar won't the music be a distraction then?

"WAIT WAIT ... Everybody be still and quiet so I can focus on my technique here".

Sorry, couldn't resist just a little sarcasm. :D

Dajo251 02-08-2006 08:54 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Quote:

Jo Adell wrote:
We listen to music throughout every class, except when the ballet school is closed. We don't get to choose what we hear.


yeah our school shares a wall with a dance school so we do hear some music most classes, last week it was the white stripes.....

jk 02-08-2006 09:43 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
Everybody was kung-fu fighting
Those cats were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they fought with expert timing

They were funky China men from funky Chinatown
They were chopping them up and they were chopping them down
It's an ancient Chineese art and everybody knew their part
From a feint into a slip, and kicking from the hip


Sorry, couldn't resist that one hit wonder. One of the things about music in Muay Thai (and what I've seen of Capoeira) is that it's live, and as such the musicians do have some interaction with what's happening in the ring. Not quite the same as putting on your Carl Douglas LP from 1974 in the dojo (or listening to it on your iPod). But then again I remember singing Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" in the dojo...

aikidoc 02-08-2006 10:13 PM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
I have used light flute background music (Cusco) in class before to create an atmosphere of flow. There were also two articles written on music and aikido in the Journal of asian Martial arts-although I have not read them.

Chuck.Gordon 02-09-2006 02:40 AM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
I've experimented with using a soundtrack to establish, mostly, a rhythm to practice. Used shakuhachi, koto and taiko mainly, but also injected some less trad. more rad stuff, too. The thing I found most useful on the mat wasn't music at all, though. It was an environmental audio CD of a seashore, waves breaking and all that.

After a while, I abandoned the soundtrack idea entirely, as being too much of a distractor.

In some (though, not many) dojo, I've seen (mainly for special events) taiko drumming being used to call class to order or to establish transitions between classes and so forth.

Aristeia 02-09-2006 03:17 AM

Re: Music in the Dojo?
 
A BJJ school I went to for a while often had loud dance music playing at the start of class - because the Muay Thai guys that had just come off had it playing while they sparred. Annoyed the hell out of me.

But I love having music going for BJJ sparring. In fact when we're rolling in my garage that's how I time the rounds, either one or two songs worth. Adds a certain something to it when you can hear the song coming to the end and know you don't have much time.

I can see how it could be very useful in Aikido, at the appropriate volume and the appropriate type. Particularly to get people to flow into the techniques.

One of the problems a certain set of beginners have is that they come in looking for something *too* martial. And are so busy trying to yank peoples arms around the miss the point on blending. Perhaps music could help with that.


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