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Old 06-04-2006, 05:15 PM   #26
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
Re: Mixing Aikido with other martial arts

Grant Wagar wrote:
Hey Jorge, I'm glad my thread helped your high blood pressure

Since I started the thread I'll attempt to answer your questions from my point view and situation.

Agreed. Finding time to practice Aikido, let alone additional martial arts is tough. The problem I am faced with is that for up to 6 months at a time I may be unable to find an aikido school/class to practice in. Depending on my lack of luck I may even be unable to simply find a partner to practice with. If I am posted to a base without an active aikido community I may have to drive one or two hours each way to attend a class.

A very real possibility! I am of the mind that exploring any martial art when faced with the choice of that or no martial art at all is a good thing.

Of course but this can beg the question of why bother to learn any martial art.

Good question! And a fair one too. In my case it is a matter of career. I'm looking at self defense because in my job there is a very real chance I will need it. An inability to defend myself will not only threaten my life but my peers as well. The feeling I'm getting from people (referring to your question #6) is that Aikido DOES take a long time to learn. Even at the "higher" levels your still learning. Looking at aikido and self defense from a practical point of view (using the amount of time I have to study and train with it), I feel that I run a good chance of not being able to use it effectively for a while at least. Perhaps when I've been exposed to it more but I may not have the opportunity to wait. Better safe than sorry.

Right. Eluding back to question 4, if you're barely understanding Aikido with 11 years under your belt how much do I honestly understand about it? (IE being able to use it effectively)

Guilty of the latter. 6th Kyu myself.

Good question. I've been debating with myself over this. Over all I prefer the aikido philosophy of not using force. I think it works much better on a practical level AND spiritual one.
I'll be glad when I'm at that level. Since I am not (yet) I feel that completely abandoning using force (in a real life self defense situation) while trying to understand how NOT to use force wouldn't be wise in my case.
I see it as a controlled gradual process.

This is quite a bit beyond my level. I would venture a guess that he created aikido after seeing what a good punch to the nose COULD do? In order for him to really understand what aikido was (or would be?) he had to understand the In's and outs of using force.
I can't answer why he would make Aikido. Why he didn't incorporate punching or ground work. He had a dream. Considering his martial arts experience I am sure he was more than comfortable defending himself on the ground as much as standing, his aikido came after a life time of other martial arts (unless I am wrong please correct me)

Now I'm not suggesting aikido can only be done after you've trained in other martial arts. (I wouldn't know) I'm certain there are students out there who have only studied aikido and are just amazing. I can also understand how frustrating it must be to probably have a stream of people always asking the same questions, thank you for being patient.
My main reasons for bringing this up is again from a practical point of view centering on the fact that as much as I love all things aikido I do not have the luxury of 10 years of training.

I see aikido as an art that just takes a long time to learn due to how powerful it is, if it was easy everyone would be doing it. I'm looking to cover my butt until I get there.

Kevin the self defense your describing in your post is pretty much taken from the material found in the link you sent me? Seems like a very simple no non-sense approach!

For #1- I say take an art close to you and don't go that far for Aikido.
On #6 - Yes, Aikido takes a long time to learn, a very long time. At 5 years, I felt confident. At 10 years, I lost my fears and had my questions answered. In the last year, I have been realizing that Aikido isn't about the techniques as much as it is about how you move and how you shoot your energy. Hearing my teacher tell me that Aikido has no form and then watching him demonstrate that let me look at another entire level.

You're response to # 3 may beg the question but the answer is that maybe you shouldn't take Aikido or add it as an addendum to other arts since it does take so long to learn.

You're answer to# 5 is that maybe Aikido isn't for you right now.

Aikido is a Japanese budo. For me, the book, The Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba spells the meaning and purpose of Aikido clearly. The Founder didn't mind people taking other arts. I asked my own teacher if I could take other arts and he said to me, "Whatever your do with your time is your own business." For me, that's not the issue. I just hate to see the mindset that we should or even could suggest to the public at large that Aikido is a good mix with other arts for self defense. That, I do disagree with.
Again , sorry for being too much about this. You've heard enough here Grant, to make a good choice and whatever you do will be fine.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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