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Old 04-25-2005, 12:54 PM   #1
kevincarlin
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Is Aikido for me?

Hi, I originally wished to begin Wing Chun but there is no clubs in my area. There is however a well established Aikido club. I would really appreciate your advice in deciding whether or not this discipline is for me.

I am only 5ft 6in, although I have a fairly good build. The chances of my opponent being much stronger than me are still high given height disadvantage - hence my interest in Wing Chun. I know Aikido is much different to Wing Chun but would it still have similar self defence properties for potentially weaker individuals.

Its definitely self defence and Kung Fu that I am interested in. By the way is Aikido Kung Fu?
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:16 PM   #2
giriasis
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Kevin,

I don't know much about Wing Chun, but I'm 5ft 5in tall and I find that I can apply our techniques to stronger and taller opponents. It takes some getting used to though and you will quickly discover that you can't muscle your way through a technique as easily as someone stronger than you.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:25 PM   #3
paw
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

My advice is for you to visit the club and see if it's the sort of thing that interests you.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:37 PM   #4
MikeLogan
 
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Kevin,
Hey, welcome to Aikiweb! There's lots of stuff posted here demonstrating the positives of your build. At 5'11", there are more times than not when I wish I could lose at least 6 inches from my height. I have never wished to be taller, which in this case is worth saying. When I need to get low to stretch someone out (and off their balance), I have to go that much lower. I may even be so reckless as to say you have the perfect height for Aikido. Naturally there is "no such thing as the perfect" anything for aikido, cuz it's for everyone, but perhaps you know what I mean. Enjoy!

michael.
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:40 PM   #5
kevincarlin
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Thanks for the advice folks. I'll definitely try Aikido.

Self defence is my goal. I got beat up pretty bad by my sisters boyfriend who was much stronger in an unprovoked attack. I think he was on steroids. I also have a bad knee injury - tore anterior cruciate ligament, got reconstructin surgery but I still have probs. Im seeing ortopedic surgeon next mnt before I begin training.
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Old 04-25-2005, 02:27 PM   #6
Ian Upstone
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Hello Kevin

Not wanting to sound too negative but just a couple of things to bear in mind about aikido:

Firstly, and in my experience, (some may disagree here ) aikido takes a long time to become even vaguely proficient with, so it's best to take a long term view. Don't expect quick results - you'll probably think it's ineffective when you first start and there'll certainly be many doubts before you get familiar with it - just focus on the movement and techniques rather than think in terms of 'self-defense' is my advice.

Secondly, and again in my experience, aikido places an awful lot of emphasis on the knees, from just merely standing - not to mention all the pivoting, turning, shifting weight etc - so it'd be worth explaining to your potential instructor your knee situation before joining in! I'd use the time before you plan on joining somewhere to read up on various arts and go and watch training sessions to find what you think will suit you best.

Good luck with whatever you try!
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Old 04-25-2005, 02:52 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

For info on knee injuries and aikido you can check out some things I've written at http://www.zanshinart.com/Aikido/AikiKnee.html and feel free to email me w/ any concerns. I am about 4 yrs postop acl graft and have trained over 9 yrs.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 04-25-2005, 03:32 PM   #8
kevincarlin
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Thanks for knee advice Ian and Janet. I am worried about that but I will seek advice from my orthopedic surgeon. Im getting an MRI scan next mnt to check the status of my knee.
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Old 04-25-2005, 07:16 PM   #9
Amassus
 
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Quote:
Its definitely self defence and Kung Fu that I am interested in. By the way is Aikido Kung Fu?
Aikido is a Japanese martial art so therefore not Kung Fu (in the commonly used sense of the word).
As for using Aikido in self defense, sure, but heed the warnings of the other posters here. It takes a lot longer to get on top of these techniques than some other martial arts.
Enjoy the journey

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 04-25-2005, 09:51 PM   #10
NixNa
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Sup Kevin, welcome to Aikido. Im pretty much around your height and ive trained in both Wing Chun and Aikido over the years. Aikido in practical terms gave me most, the foundation of moving and avoiding as well as being able to roll and fall safely. Wing Chun, i have to say is still wot i use most when i spar with friends attributed to its fast, direct and simple techniques - without all the mumbo jumbo. I've also noticed something tt amazed me: While Wing chun is extremely efficient for cleaning up a single guy, Aikido is equally good when u're gettin multiples. Its nice to be able to move through those Mr. Smiths.

Now, if you are talking abt serious self defence or training to be efficient in the shortest amt of time, i'll suggest taking some self-defense (not martial arts) class, or if u can find, a wingchun class. Though i hope u'll never ever gonna need those skills. Speak to someone abt ur sis's bf, im sure u'll get help somewhere. Take care
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Old 04-25-2005, 11:01 PM   #11
xuzen
 
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

G''day Kevin,

If your motive for learning aikido is Self Defense, pls caveat the following.

Aikido has a steep learning curve towards SD. Unless you are naturally good, it may take many years to be able to successfully apply aikido techs on a uncooperative opponents.

Wrt Wing Chun/Ving Tsun lets take a look at its history. After the sacking of the Shaolin Monastery by the Imperial Qing army circa 17 or 18th century, many MA there fled to southern China. The Qing Army deemed the Shaolin Monastery of harbouring insurgents. Many MA were also killed in the defense of the Monastery. In a typical training, it takes about 15 years of training to produce a proficient fighting monk. With so many dead, the abbes Ng Mui revamped the syllabus to produce proficient fighters in 5 years time. Hence you can argue WC is a watered down version of the shaolin fighting system. It is not surprising then you view WC as quite easy to learn and apply.

The word Kung Fu is formed by two Chinese ideogram. Kung/gung means work. Fu means hardship. It means that someone who has gone through work and hardship to attain proficiency. Kung fu does not mean just martial art. Just the other day, I hired a painter to repaint my business premise and I commended his good workmanship by saving "You have good kung fu". That does not mean he is a MArtist, it just mean he is skillful in his work.

Hence, if you have gone through much hardship to attain a good proficiency in aikido, then it that context you can also claim to have good aikido kung fu. However not to depart from its cultural context, aikido is budo/bujutsu (Chinese = wu tao/wushu): The art of stopping axes and halberd (literal translation) or the art of war.

With respect if aikido is better or WC is better for you.... So sorry, can't help you there, my little grasshopper.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 04-26-2005, 02:24 AM   #12
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Quote:
Kevin Carlin wrote:
I am only 5ft 6in, although I have a fairly good build. The chances of my opponent being much stronger than me are still high given height disadvantage - hence my interest in Wing Chun. I know Aikido is much different to Wing Chun but would it still have similar self defence properties for potentially weaker individuals.
Having experienced the Aikido of quite a few Japanese of 6th Dan and higher, I can't imagine that lack of height is necessarily a problem!

Shioda Sensei of the Yoshinkan was five foot nothing, and I can't think of many people I'd rather have had on my side in a fight

Alex
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Old 04-26-2005, 04:15 AM   #13
thomas_dixon
Location: Florida, USA
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
G''day Kevin,

If your motive for learning aikido is Self Defense, pls caveat the following.

Aikido has a steep learning curve towards SD. Unless you are naturally good, it may take many years to be able to successfully apply aikido techs on a uncooperative opponents.

Wrt Wing Chun/Ving Tsun lets take a look at its history. After the sacking of the Shaolin Monastery by the Imperial Qing army circa 17 or 18th century, many MA there fled to southern China. The Qing Army deemed the Shaolin Monastery of harbouring insurgents. Many MA were also killed in the defense of the Monastery. In a typical training, it takes about 15 years of training to produce a proficient fighting monk. With so many dead, the abbes Ng Mui revamped the syllabus to produce proficient fighters in 5 years time. Hence you can argue WC is a watered down version of the shaolin fighting system. It is not surprising then you view WC as quite easy to learn and apply.

The word Kung Fu is formed by two Chinese ideogram. Kung/gung means work. Fu means hardship. It means that someone who has gone through work and hardship to attain proficiency. Kung fu does not mean just martial art. Just the other day, I hired a painter to repaint my business premise and I commended his good workmanship by saving "You have good kung fu". That does not mean he is a MArtist, it just mean he is skillful in his work.

Hence, if you have gone through much hardship to attain a good proficiency in aikido, then it that context you can also claim to have good aikido kung fu. However not to depart from its cultural context, aikido is budo/bujutsu (Chinese = wu tao/wushu): The art of stopping axes and halberd (literal translation) or the art of war.

With respect if aikido is better or WC is better for you.... So sorry, can't help you there, my little grasshopper.

Boon.
You better hope no one from Wing Chun sees this post or you'll have a lineage war going on. (since no one in the WC community can seem to agree on where WC came from, and it's become a bit of a joke over at Bullshido.net forums.)

I suggest Boxing, Wrestling, Brazilian JiuJitsu, Krav Maga, or Filipino Martial Arts if you want self defense, but alas, I have never tried Aikido.
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Old 04-26-2005, 05:27 AM   #14
Bodhi
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

JKD
FMA
BJJ

Krav is alright depending on how its being taught, they teach it differently to the public!
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Old 04-26-2005, 06:43 AM   #15
Bronson
 
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

For self defense I suggest: awareness, not carrying yourself like a victim, posture, a sense of humor, and good manners.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-26-2005, 07:22 AM   #16
Cyrijl
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

I agree with bronson but I would add two more things.

1-start running/jogging/power walking....if they can't catch you, they can't hit you.
2-start at a boxing club. They are usually cheaper than a dojo, they offer real contact. And it will build your stamina and cardio.
3-aikido is not ideal for self defense. I think you would do better starting with boxing. When you get the basics, then start aikido. Aikido will then teach you how to move more fluidly.



oops, i meant three things

melior est canis vivus leone mortuo
Bog svsami!!!
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Old 04-26-2005, 07:40 PM   #17
NixNa
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Quote:
Thomas Dixon wrote:
You better hope no one from Wing Chun sees this post or you'll have a lineage war going on. (since no one in the WC community can seem to agree on where WC came from, and it's become a bit of a joke over at Bullshido.net forums.)

I suggest Boxing, Wrestling, Brazilian JiuJitsu, Krav Maga, or Filipino Martial Arts if you want self defense, but alas, I have never tried Aikido.
LOL ive seen it. I've got to say WC is one of the more political arts out there. *shiver me timbers*
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Old 04-26-2005, 08:56 PM   #18
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Quote:
Kevin Carlin wrote:
Thanks for the advice folks. I'll definitely try Aikido.

Self defence is my goal. I got beat up pretty bad by my sisters boyfriend who was much stronger in an unprovoked attack. I think he was on steroids. I also have a bad knee injury - tore anterior cruciate ligament, got reconstructin surgery but I still have probs. Im seeing ortopedic surgeon next mnt before I begin training.
Kevin,

Perhaps it is time for a reality check. If self defense is your goal, and it is foremost in your mind then I would seriously question whether aikido is the art for you at this time. I would check into Krav Maga, and then move to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Once you have your fill of the self defense arts and are feeling confident about your skills and abilities, then perhaps you can take another look at aikido to determine if it something for you.

Although people on this board may not want to say it to you, to take Aikido simply because it is there is really not a good way to achieve your stated goals. And just so you know, I am an aikidoka (person who does aikido) and I teach self defense to Corrections Offices who need to use viable techniques to avoid both getting injured and unnecessary injury to the prisoners. I love aikido, and I do not study the arts that I am recommending to you. "Why not?" you ask? I would say that self-defense is not my ulterior goal, and it actually falls way down on my list. Of course it is on my list, and I train with an intense and realistic approach, so I feel that I can honestly tell you that it takes years, in fact to even get a sense of what Aikido really is. Sure, aikido works, but in truth it takes a long time to understand how to make it work in a real scenario. Also, I would make sure that you knee can take the kind of intense pressure you will experience doing things on your knees as 2/3 of the body of aikido techniques that you will need to learn (suwari waza & hanmi handachi waza - sitting techniques, and sitting techniques when facing a standing opponent, respectively) are done on your knees. I went into Aikido shortly after a motorcycle accident, and let me tell you that it was a miserable and painful experience at best for about six months. Of course, those who know me will tell you that I love pain, so what's a guy to do? Also, sitting in seiza actually was better for me than all of the physical therapy - and a hell of a lot cheaper, too! As a matter of fact, you will need to watch your injury for the first year, regardless of the art you choose. Just a heads-up there.

I don't mean to discourage you from taking Aikido. I am all for anyone giving it a go, but as long as it is the best answer on how to reach their individual goals. In your case, it doesn't sound as though it is. If that is the truth, and only you really can know, then that is really okay.


.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 05-07-2005, 02:30 PM   #19
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

i'm 5'2" and I can drop a 6 footer with incredible arm strength, so I don't see why you can't do the same.

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 05-07-2005, 09:49 PM   #20
aikigirl10
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Kevin,
This is a good thread. Im about 5' 6" and being a girl , i face opponents who are alot stronger than me , but aikido is not about who is stronger. It is about using someone strength against them. I think this is why most women choose aikido over other martial arts. (but dont get me wrong its for men too) . If u go try out aikido i think u'll better understand what im saying . Only u can decide if its for u.
hope this helps
-Paige
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Old 05-09-2005, 05:11 AM   #21
Jorx
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Kevin, what are your goals or objectives on taking a martial art? Learning how to fight quickly, to have a good time, to keep your body working etc etc? If Aikido suits you all depends on that.
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Old 05-09-2005, 05:50 AM   #22
eyrie
 
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Re: Is Aikido for me?

Since most everyone has piped in and said what I was going to say...
All I will add is:
1. Check out http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com, in particular this page:
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com...setraining.htm
2. Get Forrest E. Morgan's book "Living the Martial Way" and read what he has to say about martial arts in general, martial art systems, and self-defense in martial arts.
3. Do some basic research on some of the arts people have already mentioned, before forming an opinion on whether it is something you want to try.
4. Then go check out a school near you that you can watch and maybe try out a lesson.

Ignatius
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