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Old 07-05-2006, 11:32 PM   #78
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
Location: Cortland, NY
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 980
Re: Brawling with a friend

Don Magee wrote:
I am saying consistant level of skill. This means you have a method of teaching that tends to train people in a consistant manner. Most martial arts are lacking in this. I am not saying everyone should train MMA and fight in a cage. In fact I know that's not for everyone. What I am saying is that I feel judo, bjj, MMA, boxing, and kickboxing training methods are superior to other martial art training methods. I feel that everyone could benifit from adding the type of training methods the SBG advocates to their current training. I'm not sure if you read my bullshido link or other material on training methods, but these 'sport' ideas seem to build skill much faster then 'traditional' methods (I put traditional in quotes because I feel these new sport methods are really the way people used to learn back in the old days anyways). These training methods do not require putting on mma gloves and getting into competition, getting agressive, or any other misinformed opinion on them. They are simply training methods. They could be applyed to chess, martial arts, painting, etc. Every criteria you have could be matched with an art that used SBG training methods. In fact some these training methods are used in some aikido schools today (tomiki style aikido has resistant randori).
Weeelllll maybe. And maybe not.

When you learn a martial art, you are really learning two things at the same time -- the techniques, presumeably for practical use in self defense; and the paritcular system. It sounds the same but they're not. A martial art is more than just an amalgam of techniqes. It is, as my Kali instructor put it, a snapshot of the thinking of its founder. In some cases it is hard to point to one founder; if there's a single founder of Kendo, I missed it someplace. But in Aikido, that founder is O Sensei. Granted no one is getting pure, undiluted "Ueshiba Aikido" because everyone has put their own spin on it; but even then, allowing for that is part of O Sensei's thinking.

The "system level" means one should be carefull in how one propgates the system when it is time to teach it to other people. Even if we agree, for the sake of argument, that O Sensei was laboring under a misconception when he banned sparring from Aikido, does this mean we should just put it back in because we want it? Well, Tomiki put it in, but AFAIK, none of his contemporaries did. And I'm pretty sure Tomiki Sensei isn't in my Aikido lineage. One would, therefore, be at risk of not preserving and propagating the system as itr was passed to you if you change things to suit yourself; you might be better served calling it something else, just as O Sensei gave his art its own identity when he divered from Daito-ryu Aikijutsu.

..... I would like to answer your criteria with my bjj training. It is good criteria and I would like to use it. I feel it is a good place to show some perceived weakness in sport training. For example:

can I do it as I get older? I know guys who are 65 and still doing judo. I know guys who are 55 and doing bjj. Sure they can't compete with young guys. But they can train and teach just fine.
So? I met an Aikido black belt who had started in the same age group. He can't take ukemi very well, but he knows the material enough to have got a black belt.

..... what is the potential of injury? I feel that the potential for injury is actually much lower in bjj than in judo and aikido. This is because we take much less falls. Falls are very dangerous. Even with proper ukemi it is possible to hurt yourself. In fact I have yet to see a new person come to aikido class who didn't hurt their shoulders, back, or knee seriously within the first 6 months of training ....
You'me met one now: No such injuries within six months of beginning Aikido the first time in the '80s. No such injuries withink the first six months of coming back to it in 2004.

Falling is more dangerous than anything I know of in the martial arts.
Well, the gentleman I mention above solved that problem by not falling, and I went along with him on that. Although it might also explain why ukemi waza is so specific.

..... In the end you have to train how you are comfortable. But you have to also be honest about what you are actually getting from your training. I perfer efficancy, function, physical fitness, and competition. I dont care about being street lethal, learning a culture, using ancient weapons, or looking good while i'm training. If there is a new training method that can cut months or years off of learning and build consistant skill more reliably than older methods then I will be the first person to throw out the old and bring in the new. I personally do not train aikido anymore. The reason is not a flaw in technique, but a flaw I found in traing methods. After going out and trying judo and bjj and seeing how fast I was able to gain skill and seeing how fast I could apply these techniques against someone who was trying to do the same, I simply could not go back to the old ways of training. I was able to leverage these training methods outside of the gym to help my aikido, but I could not live with going to class and use what I feel are inferior methods of learning.

Funny you should say that. My Kali instructor, who is also a Jun Fan/JKD instructor, is a big advocate of sparring. Yet when I told him I wanted to get back into Aikido, he all but shoved me in the dojo door. I was reluctant to do it beacuse I thought I would be pooped at the end of the week (I was doing four other arts at the time), but he said, "Do it. You'll be a better martial artist." Food for thought.
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