Raul Rodrigo wrote:
As someone who has actually trained with you, Leon, I would have to agree with the others who say that you're mistaking muscle power with the power of aikido. Giving up the first kind of power is the only way to get to the second kind. But its an act of faith to do that, and you will stumble over familiar waza at first, and it takes a while for that second kind to arrive. In the meantime, you can get impatient and long for something that gives you more immediate results. I say go for it. Maybe BJJ is the way to go.
I don't belive you have to give up strenght to get power. You just have to set it aside. When I train in bjj I rarely use any muscle at all. I usually focus on using techniques that work against bigger stronger partners. However, when I compete, I will use both tools to my advantage. It is good to be both strong of muscle, and strong in coordination of mind, body and breath. This is why it really bothers me to hear someone tell someone to give up their strenght. I say no, keep it, build it and learn when it use it.
I think you are going to find that your bjj training will help build valuable skills, as will any sport. You are going to have to learn to relax, how to breathe properly, how to keep your center, how to move with your center, and how to use both muscle and 'power'. The only difference is nobody is going to tell you how to do it. Rather, you are going to learn though physical conflict.
I am not a tell me learning. I had a VERY hard time learning aikido (and based on the skills of my fellow students, I belive my teacher to be an excelent teacher). I however have no problem learning judo/bjj/boxing, etc. I am analytical in my approach to learning. I like to struggle all night long sparing and drilling. Then go home, write out my experiances and thoughts and study what I did wrong and how to improve. I spent over a decade in the martial arts and basically learned nothing. I spent a year in bjj and was 5 times the martial artist I was before that. Now however the concepts my aikido teacher was trying to explain are falling into place on their own. I frequently talk to him about my experiances in life and I think we agree that there are many paths to life that can lead to the same place. I like to call it 'learning though struggle' or 'Higher consciousness through harder contact'. I think I just need different teaching methods to learn then aikido tipically provides.
And that is not a rip on aikido. As I've said, though my judo and bjj training I have developed many of the skills I was trying to learn in aikido. Though sparing I learned to relax and move from my center to protect my balance. I learned to use leverage, speed, timing, motion, and full body movements instead of 'muscle strenght' movements. I've become a more peaceful person as well and found almost spirital moments in competition. The more I train in bjj and judo, the more I can understand what my aikido teacher was trying to tell me. And maybe someday I might reach a level of skill where I no longer desire or need sparing and competition and can go back to learning though kata. As of right now though, I can not picture a limit to where my skills can go with bjj, boxing, and judo.