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Old 09-05-2009, 11:30 PM   #73
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

I'm not sure if I'm going off tangent here, but I've been thinking about this and I think it should be relevant.

Bruce Lee used to lift weights anytime he can. He's like a machine, doing several things at once just so that he can achieve more and more than the time allotted to him would allow.

By all accounts he's a very strong man, but you do not see a physique like Arnold. His training regime, methods, etc all make him strong for his martial arts power requirements. He used to point out that a lot of muscular guys do not have the strength that he has at his disposal. And if you think about it, he's probably right. Because he's talking about application not theoretical. Theoretically, the bigger muscles are stronger. But application wise, very few techniques uses only 1 muscle group. They are used in combination, thus Bruce Lee's training methods, trains those muscles in unison/unity. He also trains muscles no one's heard off. Particularly because he knows those muscles corresponds to a technique that not many people do.

Then there is also those fast and slow muscle fibers and the different way they are trained and the differences in how they are used. There's also fascia training. Also flexibility because we know whiplike motion makes for the best velocity. Power and speed in combination.

So why are we talking about muscles here? Actually we're not. I'm really talking about the training. Here we have a guy who's training every hour of the day and not just one particular part of the body but as many parts as he can at the same time. He's training his legs flexibility, his arm muscles and his brain at the same time. He does this every day. His Will pushes him beyond normal limits and his mind transcends the regular schmoes 'do it this way' regime.

Same thing you see with the UFC guys everyone loves to talk about. Yadda yadda... they are training every single day to compete once every 3 months. They peak. They have a good diet, they have good physical recuperation and training, they have focused fighting coaches and techniques. And then on the other side we have you guys. Training anywhere between 2-3 times a week for a couple of hours or maybe 4-5 for the above average aikidoka. And we don't forget the teachers who do it every day but seldom work as uke's anymore. They also seldom go all out against fully combative ukes and the reason is simple, no one here is paying for a walking punching bag. Injuries will come and we've got a life beyond wearing white pjs and black skirts.

Face it. Aikido training methods today is geared for the part time martial artists. You may hate the word weekend warriors but there it is. Yet you will like to compare yourself against SWAT and Green Berets... its not very realistic.

Its not just Aikido. Name me any martial art that gives you the kind of performance comparable to UFC for just 3-4 sessions a week. Wing Chun and other CMA? BJJ? Krav? JKD? Seriously has there been someone as good in JKD as Bruce ever was?

After all that is said though. There are good schools who understand that Aikido is still a path. A long path that begins with kihon and ends up with a lot of self questioning. Once you've reached takemusu aiki it would probably come together. Of course you have to know what it is before admitting you are there. Otherwise you'll just be kidding yourself.

Now lets go back to power. There's a lot to be said about a guy who can muscle up a 400 pounds bench press. Or even a 200 pounds bench press. Throw in the UFC guys and they could probably do the 2nd one easily enough. Throw in a guy you know who is good in aiki and most likely he won't be able to do it. But now you can ask them to push each other and it is likely the aiki guy will not move for the UFC guy but the reverse will happen.

The concept has never changed. Aiki training is about handling external energy and making it your own. Its not about stealing it but taking it when its freely given. Now... if that has always been what Aikido is all about, how the heck are you ever going to achieve it if all you go about every day is how can I bring my opponent down, how can I joint lock his elbows out, how can I stop him, how can I defeat him, how can I throw him like really powerful like, yadda yadda. It'll be like Bruce Lee trying to make JKD but training like a power lifter.

Mmm and before someone says yeah that's fine, its all nice and dandy at the dojo when sensei picks me up like a rag doll and its cool cause I never felt any force. But hey how about 'In a RealLife Situation' herein referred to as "IRS", can sensei actually do this stuff in IRS? Everyone groans cause no one likes to hear about the IRS. Its bad enough we have to deal with it every year, but at the dojo and the forum too? I mean come on give me a break. I believe we all know how to deal with IRS. You Prepare the best you can in the time given to you and when they come a knocking, you Accept the fact that you can't run away and you Deal with it.

Well, that's my genius thought for the day. :P

Last edited by Abasan : 09-05-2009 at 11:32 PM.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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