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Old 03-25-2007, 06:47 PM   #1
Brian22
 
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Post Aikido Free Mat Time

I was just wondering if any of you have a chance to work on your aikido outside of class. If so has this mat time helped you to improve your aikido? I have only practiced for 3 years in an Aikikai dojo and feel that I am could use more unstructured mat time. Does any one know if this is a common practice in dojos, or if Osensei allowed this at his dojo? I want to get more from aikido and feel that solo practice just isn't getting me there. Any advice would help.



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Old 03-25-2007, 10:45 PM   #2
gstevens
 
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Dojo: Aikido Of San Leandro
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

Sunday mornings for 3 hours at our dojo is open training. Bring a partner and train or pick one up when you get there.

Guy
:-)
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:09 AM   #3
tarik
 
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

Quote:
Brian Rozell wrote: View Post
I was just wondering if any of you have a chance to work on your aikido outside of class. If so has this mat time helped you to improve your aikido?
IMO, it's the only way to make any real progress in your training, particularly if the class is structured as is the all too typical : demo, practice. Demo new technique, practice. etc..

Quote:
I have only practiced for 3 years in an Aikikai dojo and feel that I am could use more unstructured mat time.
Do it.

Quote:
Does any one know if this is a common practice in dojos, or if Osensei allowed this at his dojo?
It is a common practice in many dojo. I'm curious why it matters whether O-sensei allowed it? Certainly he reputedly did a LOT of solo training, so I can't imagine why he wouldn't (or why it would matter).

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 03-26-2007, 06:42 AM   #4
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
Location: New York
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

We can practice on our own before class, in between classes, after class (anytime the dojo is open)....or if you have the keys (like I do), anytime you want. So lots of times people set up practice with a partner on their own, usually for test practice or ukemi practice or whatever they want to work on outside of class.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:50 AM   #5
Eric Webber
Dojo: Aikido West Reading
Location: Reading, Pa
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

I typically tell students at our dojo that it is their responsibility to grab another student, usually a senior, and work before and after class and practice on their own.

I think there is a difference between learning and practice, and both are important in improving a skill. Sometimes scheduled clsses are practices with a teacher monitoring, but most of my classes are principles being presented which need to be practiced further outside of the structure between bowing in and bowing out.

I think that the students who improve the most are the ones who take personal resposibility for their learning and training and seek opportunities outside the realm of structured classes to learn as well as in the classes.
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:15 AM   #6
mrfeldmeyer
 
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

Our dojo instructor is usually busy enough during the week, that we can only have structured practice two days a week. After receiving a key to the dojo, I have looked for any option I could to go out an have some open mat time. Mostly I'll just call one of the other members and ask them to meet me there for a couple hours. If I can't find anyone, I will go out and work on some Iaido and some solo Aikido exercises. I believe I learn more while the instructor is there and able to give me advice, but training of any kind is valuable.
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:32 AM   #7
justin
Location: swansea wales
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

I would be lost without my private practice, I can only manage one private session a week due to work commitments, this week I have been working on my over the top ukemi as I felt this needed some work as we don't have a lot of time to work on it in class, I often find that it is handy to tell your instructor what you have been working on just for him to give your practice a quick once over to make sure your not building in any bad habits so they can be corrected before they stick.

Good luck happy training.
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:19 PM   #8
shidoin
Dojo: Aikibuken
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

I try to get private instruction after class to learn more advance techniques, and to work on my Aikido when resistance is applied.
Also my 12 year old son will be joining Aikido soon and we go through some basic techniques at home often. I like doing kokyu on him because he has no idea of compliance. So either I do it right and it works or I do it wrong and I look bad.

Matt
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:22 PM   #9
Brian22
 
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Thumbs up Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

I am glad to see that this is a common practice. One of the reasons that I wanted to know if O-Sensei practiced this way was because he obviously attained a great level of skill and his philosophies on training are important to the way we practice aikido. Do you recommend any two person drills that will help with timing, flowing with a resistant Uke, stepping off the line, ect. When I wrestled there were maybe 6 or 7 drills that, when practiced correctly, made the techniques more of a reaction than a thought out response . This is my real goal for free mat time.

Last edited by Brian22 : 03-26-2007 at 10:22 PM. Reason: spacing
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:51 AM   #10
shidoin
Dojo: Aikibuken
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

taisabaki can always be practiced. If you want to make the training a bit more realistic have uke put some gloves on and throw punches at you. try to evade his strikes.

I'm sure there are some instructors on the board that can give more detailed advice.

Matt
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:39 PM   #11
Largo
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

Mat free training is some of the best training I've ever had. I would hope everyone would do it.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:59 PM   #12
Jill N
Dojo: K-W Ki Aikido (Kitchener, Ont)
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

We have open practice at our dojo for 2 hours on the weekend, and approx 1/2 hour each class (classes are 2 hours long)

e ya later
Jill.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:35 PM   #13
Eric Webber
Dojo: Aikido West Reading
Location: Reading, Pa
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

Quote:
Brian Rozell wrote: View Post
I am glad to see that this is a common practice. One of the reasons that I wanted to know if O-Sensei practiced this way was because he obviously attained a great level of skill and his philosophies on training are important to the way we practice aikido. Do you recommend any two person drills that will help with timing, flowing with a resistant Uke, stepping off the line, ect. When I wrestled there were maybe 6 or 7 drills that, when practiced correctly, made the techniques more of a reaction than a thought out response . This is my real goal for free mat time.
I recommend a simple irimi exercise: Have a partner strike shomenuchi, either empty hand or with a weapon. Practice your irimi movement, adjusting attack speed and your patience in moving to your skill level. Move in and turn your hips to face the same direction as your partner, lightly touching the attacking arm and the neck of uke (begin to take his/her balance after you start getting the movement down). Same thing can be done with munetsuki, and modified to work with yokomenuchi. After some time start to adjust the exercise and move to the inside of uke rather than just the outside. Can't ever do too much irimi practice.
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:35 PM   #14
Brian22
 
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

I worked on the irimi techniques today, but with more movement than I noramlly do in a formal class. This practice helped me to discover a great deal about this seemingly simple irimi step and the positioning that it creates with Uke. This will definitely brings greater fluidity to my future practice sessions.
Other than balance, posture and breathing (which I would also like exercises to help me improve upon), it seems that there are about four concepts that reign supreme in aikido, conection, distancing, entering, and timing. Although physical strength and conditioning are not on this list, these seem like a resonable outcome of rigorous practice.
What do you recommend? What do feel is your strong point in your aikido practice, and why? What has made the real difference in your practice and enjoyment of aikido?
I would like this post to grow into a series of best practices from devoted aikidoka.

Thank you for your help on my path to maturity in this incredible art.


Last edited by Brian22 : 03-31-2007 at 07:35 PM. Reason: spacing
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:12 PM   #15
jennyvanwest
 
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Re: Aikido Free Mat Time

we have this sunday afternoons and I've been a couple times, and it's been excellent in addition to class. a great opportunity to work on specific things or just run through a bunch of stuff to work on fluency or try a different way of doing a technique. i'm also new so it's been interesting to feel the sense of ownership of what I'm doing...aikido can happen outside of class.
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