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Old 07-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #127
Dojo: Aikido of Missoula
Location: Missoula MT
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Two problems with this.
Certainly it doesn't hurt to be strong. But saying that strength is the answer to whatever might be wrong with your aikido is simply missing the point of how aikido techniques are supposed to work.
This is true.

Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Which brings us to problem number two, which is that training like a powerlifter is not really compatible with the flexibility and sensitivity that aikido requires.
But this is not, and I'd really like to see this myth go away. There's a lot to be learned from strength training. The benefits of strength training on general health are well studied and very well documented.

When it comes to Aikido, my experience with powerlifting is that it enhanced my body's resilience, enhanced my ability to recover from injuries, taught me about leverage and body structure, taught me about intense mental focus, showed me how hard human beings can push themselves, and all sorts of other good stuff. There's nothing like exerting such a maximal effort that you fry your nervous system.

The flexibility thing is just another misconception. There are plenty of strong and flexible people, it goes hand in hand. Go to youtube and check out how sumo wrestlers, power lifters, olympic lifters, and the old school circus strength guys train. You'll be amazed. I doubt most people here have the flexibility to do a legal power squat without any weight, let alone any of the olympic lifts or sumo warm ups.

Strength training has never had a negative effect on my Aikido training, it's only enhanced it. A lot of Aikido students would do well to pick up something heavy and actually learn what physical power is, how it works, and why they can't rely on it in a martial art. They might even stop missing classes or taking half-assed ukemi because their (insert body part here) hurts.
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