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Old 02-09-2008, 02:24 PM   #1168
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Don Magee wrote: View Post
I'm sorry, I simply can not agree. While it is a personal responsibility to improve yourself, you should not be alone in the pursuit. This is why you train with an instructor. It is the job of the instructor to push you beyond your own personal limits and beyond your breaking point. The training method is the way this is done. Great boxers will never be made by standing in a line throwing jab, cross, hook. Great bjj players will not be made doing nothing but hip movement drills and complaint armbars. Great judo players will not be made doing nothing but randori all day.The best of the best in anything in the world have a training method that developed that skill better then the people lessor than they are.
Not my experiance at all so we'll just have to disagree. I hear this kind of excuse all the time. "It's not ME Sensei It's the training!" Training methods are very important but they only get you half way. The philosophy of instruction I was taught in the Martial Arts is slightly different and seems to produce good results...It is my "job" to take a person to his/her limit and then show them the point beyond it. Either they step into a new world or they don't. Success or failure means nothing at this stage... Only effort. Pick any cliche in this regard but I like this one... It does not matter how many times you fall down It's about wether or not you have the intestinal fortitude to stand back up and do it again.

You mentioned the Gracies, perfect example of what I am talking about. They are no longer the best at bjj in the world. Their students took the art further then they did, developed better training methods, stole from other sports and arts, and made something bigger than what it was. I'm not nearly the best blue belt in my club, but I've been to a few clubs that still train the old way and found out that I was in better shape, had better technique, and better balance then most of the blue belts in those clubs. I've been to other clubs with a even better training method then what I do, and I found I was out classed by everyone there with the same amount of experience as I. I trained in a judo club that did nothing but standing uchi komi for 2 years. Almost no randori, no moving uchi komi, hardly ever a throw line. Of course the brown belts could beat me up, I sucked at every tournament I went to. Then I switched to a gym that trains properly, with a good balance of uchi komi, strength and cardio drills, moving uchi komi, throw lines, moving throw lines, and lots of randori. A few months later I went back to my old gym, I cleaned the mat with all those brown belts. Why? I think the answer is simple. At the old club, they were doing judo, but with a training method that developed the skills much much slower than what could be done. At the other club, they were training judo in such a way to really build skill quickly in every area needed. The same is true with the ground work. In most judo clubs I've been to (except the ones in chicago), mat work is practiced like this. You are shown a pin or submission, you drill it a few seconds, then you do like maybe 1 minute of sparing. When I went to bjj, I was destroyed on the mat by white belts I had a few years of aikido, and almost 2 years of judo. Why? Because their training method was designed to produce better mat work. When I took that mat work back to my judo club, even after just a couple months, I was the "king" of mat work. Today, most of my judo partners train in bjj and have brought that training method with them. We evolved our training method to improve our abilities.
Again training is important I agree However at the risk of repeating myself once again You make my point most convincingly so I don't see why you disagree. Folks took what they were taught and made it better. I find your thinking puzzling in this regard unless of course it's all leading to this....

This is in stark contrast to what I've seen in my experience in aikido. I have not heard of anyone taking the art greater than Ueshiba. It seems like his students were not able to reach his level (at least that is what I'm told) and I have not heard of people reaching the levels of his greatest students even. To make matters worse, I see a lot of people modifying their training methods and techniques without ever getting in a fight and finding out how the old ones worked. Simply put, they have no point of reference to be making those changes, so the results are unknown.
Sorry Don but with all due respect I understand this is your experiance. I submit to you that my exposure to Aikido is far more broad based than yours. Like you said "That is what you were told." Did you ever think the folks who told you that did not have any idea or experiance on the subject either? LOL I think I know where this comes from The old Hero Worship Syndrome regarding O'Sensei...This has mutated over the years to the point where some here in the West treat O'Sensei as a Demi-God. You can thank John Stevens for that. Let me say these plainly. The "Old Greats" were men. Thats right men...They did not descend from the heavens... At best one or two my have had great spiritual awakenings... But at the end of the day they were Mortal. That means in my world anyone else here can reach the top of the mountain like they did. 99% of most folks don't want to undertake this task. They're just satisfied with the Journey. All of these Greats I have mentioned recognized that thier Arts were not complete They EXPECTED thier direct students to take them further...Some did and you have many flavors of Aikido now and I will tell you what I may draw allot of heat for this but some of O'Sensei's students lived up to O'Sensei's legacy and the Sword has been passed on to this generation.

It puzzles why you think improving on something somehow lessens the original. All I know is that we have more than one portrait in our Shomen.

But don't get me wrong, I still train from time to time in aikido. But I don't go for the work out. I go to get ideas that I can practice using my training methods. Sense switching to this method of practice, my success rates have gone up. Although my aikido instructor would probably tell me what I am doing is not aikido, and maybe even that I have no right to do it.

And yes, I really think everyone can train as I do. I'm not a jock. If I can do it, I can't see why anyone can't do it. Maybe a little more or less intense, or more or less often, but it can't be done.
Good on ya Don. I for one appreciate your insights. Do yourself a favor and continue to explore Aikido. You may just find your own path up the mountain and someone to guide you there.

Take Care my Aiki-Web Friend.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 02-09-2008 at 02:28 PM.
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