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Old 06-11-2007, 05:26 AM   #1
aikishrine
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Aiki and cross training

Hi all,

I have a question, i hope this subject hasn't been broached before, and if so i apologize.

Is it possible to train in AIKIDO, phyisicaly, philosophicaly, and spiritualy, while cross training in other martial arts?

I am not refering to Tai Chi or arts like that, or even aikijujutsu, i am asking about the more combative arts. Or would you consider this trainig to go against the ultimate aim O'SENSEI meant for Aikido?
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:52 AM   #2
DonMagee
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Why do you think Ueshiba would care? I can't come up with a good reason for not training other martial arts. They do not teach you to hurt anything that will go directly against your aikido. The spirit of aikido is your responsibility. You can keep that spirit even while training judo or kendo, karate, boxing, basketball, etc.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:01 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
Is it possible to train in AIKIDO, phyisicaly, philosophicaly, and spiritualy, while cross training in other martial arts?
...
Or would you consider this trainig to go against the ultimate aim O'SENSEI meant for Aikido?
IMHO,
Yes
No

Now quit questioning and get back to training.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:28 AM   #4
MM
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Re: Aiki and cross training

I don't really understand why this question comes up again and again? I guess my question to you, Brian, is why did you ask it? Or in a different way of asking that question, what gave you the indications that it would *not* be okay to cross train? In any art?

Now, to answer your question.

Let's dig up a bit of history. Mochizuki, Akazawa, Hikitsuchi, etc. They studied a lot of other arts, not including judo. Tenryu came from Sumo. Ueshiba watched as some of his students took TSKSR training. In fact, Ueshiba is quoted (paraphrasing here) saying something like, This is how we do it with aiki.

Let's go to current.
Ikeda sensei brings in Ushiro sensei for seminars.
Skoss sensei (plural) have backgrounds in aikido along with a lot of other arts. You can view their bios on koryu.com. (Along with ordering the new TSKSR book)

The list goes on and one both historically and presently. I actually find that it goes against Ueshiba's Aikido when one does *not* pursue other arts. Why do you think Ueshiba watched TSKSR training? He was learning, too. I have yet to see any of the old budo masters claim that they perfected their art, that they stopped learning, or that they quit looking outside their own art for progress.

IMO,
Mark
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:50 PM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I don't really understand why this question comes up again and again?
IMHO, I think it comes up repeatedly is because there are a lot of insecure people who don't want you to think/train outside of the little box they control.

IMHO, train on.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:42 PM   #6
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, I think it comes up repeatedly is because there are a lot of insecure people who don't want you to think/train outside of the little box they control.

IMHO, train on.
It's true.

Τὰ πάντα ῥεῖ , What Flows, Is.
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:07 AM   #7
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
Hi all,

I have a question, i hope this subject hasn't been broached before, and if so i apologize.

Is it possible to train in AIKIDO, phyisicaly, philosophicaly, and spiritualy, while cross training in other martial arts?

I am not refering to Tai Chi or arts like that, or even aikijujutsu, i am asking about the more combative arts. Or would you consider this trainig to go against the ultimate aim O'SENSEI meant for Aikido?
Not much to add to those good replies.
I don't believe, that Tournament driven training is recommendable cross training. One reason is, that is extremely time spending and it drives your mind to the other direction, aikido does. But it is not a question of the art, but more the school/dojo or even more how you do it. Nothing against participating in tournaments - unless you recognize unwished effects. Just winning a tournament should not be the major/only goal for training.

And I am irritated, about your complaints with Tai Chi. Which art is more combative than Tai Chi? Well many schools just teach the slow motion forms, but as i understood Tai Chi, especiallly Chen style, is a complete combat system, including competitive fights and even tournaments.

Best regards

Dirk
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:54 AM   #8
Aristeia
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote: View Post
Not much to add to those good replies.
I don't believe, that Tournament driven training is recommendable cross training.
I disagree with this. One thing Aikido doesn't develp particularly well is the things that you get from the competitve einvironment - such as the ability to keep your head and access your skills under the pressure of true resistance and competition.

I personally don't think that we should look to add that to Aikido - if we it ceases to be Aikido in my mind. But do like the idea of cross training in other forms that do develop those abiities - which can then be transferred to your Aikido skill.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:53 AM   #9
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Re: Aiki and cross training

The best thing you can do is cross train! It will open your eyes to new things, and hopefully help you come to some understandings about Aikido itself.

Please Please, cross train!!

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Old 06-12-2007, 01:25 PM   #10
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Just a thought here....in many ways you are cross training already. For some, me include, Aikido is like the Johnny Cash 1976 song "One Piece At a Time" were working that the GM factory he built a car by taking one piece out at a time. In part the lyrics go "The first day I got me a fuel pump. And the next day I got me an engine and a trump. Then I got me a transmission and all the chrome. The little things I could get in my big lunchbox. Like nuts and bolts and four shocks. But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddy's mobile home......." In the song he ended up with a 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 automobile. For me Aikido is like that taking a piece here and part there, taking them in and making it your own. Outside stuff is like adding on things you buy at the speed shop or other places. You put it together, polish it up, paint it and make it your own. In 30 plus years I have been involved with Aikido I have never given it up......just added what I though could help and was useful.
Gary
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Old 06-12-2007, 03:43 PM   #11
Mark Uttech
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
The best thing you can do is cross train! It will open your eyes to new things, and hopefully help you come to some understandings about Aikido itself.

Please Please, cross train!!
Jesus Christ did cross training and in George Ohsawa'a book:
The Art of Peace ( A new translation of The Book of Judo) reports
that Jesus was a master of Judo.

In gassho,

Mark
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Old 06-12-2007, 03:50 PM   #12
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Aiki and cross training

The danger in cross training is the accumulation of doubt that can lead to more stress than you are alleviating by training. But if the stress of doubt is already there, you've got one foot hovering over the bottomless pit anyway. Might as well plummet for a while.
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:37 PM   #13
Keith R Lee
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, I think it comes up repeatedly is because there are a lot of insecure people who don't want you to think/train outside of the little box they control.
I think this nails it. Just because someone is a teacher/sensei, it doesn't automatically make them an open-minded or good person.

Keith Lee
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:52 AM   #14
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Re: Aiki and cross training

I think it is not a good idea to do cross training with Aikido. To be a serious student, a great deal of time and energy must be devoted to practice and cross-training can be a distraction.

-John Matsushima

My blog on Japanese culture
http://onecorneroftheplanetinjapan.blogspot.jp/
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:55 AM   #15
DonMagee
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Define serious student. Are you saying a serious student of aikido, of self defense, of philosophy? People have different goals for their training. Some goals may be better suited by cross training, some may not.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:29 PM   #16
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
I think it is not a good idea to do cross training with Aikido. To be a serious student, a great deal of time and energy must be devoted to practice and cross-training can be a distraction.
How do you know your Aikido won't improve unless you try cross training?
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:04 PM   #17
John Matsushima
 
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Mr. Magee, since this is an Aikido forum I assumed that we were talking about Aikido. Of course, if one is a student of MMA, or tennis, or basket weaving then it doesn't really matter. If you don't know what it means to be a serious student (of anything) then maybe that is what you should focus on becoming instead of cross-training.

How do I know my Aikido won't improve unless I try cross-training? I have observed numerous people who came to Aikido from other arts and had trouble because they were trying to apply what they learned elsewhere in Aikido. Kendo practitioners have a difficult time with Aikiken, Karate practicitioners are always trying to block instead of blend, etc.

Personally, I have always wanted to do Iaido; it looks cool and fun to do. But thought if I couldn't practice it seriously then I shouldn't do it. When I have time outside of dojo practice, I practice Aikido with my wife, practice my Aikiken and Jo, surf the web for information about Aikido, read books about Aikido, contemplate Aikido principles, discuss Aikido with my friends, and when I'm doing this or that and try to live my live according to the Way. And, since I'm not anyone's uchideshi I have to squeeze all this between my job, studying Japanese, drinking beer and other life responsibilities. I think if I were to try another Way, it would take away from what little time I have for Aikido.

Have a nice day.

-John Matsushima

My blog on Japanese culture
http://onecorneroftheplanetinjapan.blogspot.jp/
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:52 PM   #18
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote: View Post
How do I know my Aikido won't improve unless I try cross-training? I have observed numerous people who came to Aikido from other arts and had trouble because they were trying to apply what they learned elsewhere in Aikido. Kendo practitioners have a difficult time with Aikiken, Karate practicitioners are always trying to block instead of blend, etc.
Most of Morihei Ueshiba's first generation of students cross-trained - certainly all of the well-known ones did, and it didn't seem to slow them down too much. It was more or less required in order to become an uchi-deshi. Morihei Ueshiba, of course, cross trained quite a bit, as did his primary teacher, Sokaku Takeda.

In a parallel example, children raised to be bi-lingual often start out more slowly, but they tend to develop superior linguistic skills in the end - there are a number of studies supporting this.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-13-2007, 08:54 PM   #19
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Personal lifestyle choices are fine. Aikido didn't come with a bible written by O-sensei, that's what makes it so great.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:58 PM   #20
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
Personal lifestyle choices are fine. Aikido didn't come with a bible written by O-sensei, that's what makes it so great.
Not in English, anyway .

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-13-2007, 09:23 PM   #21
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Meant more of a rule book with outlined restrictions. I wrote "bible" for giggles.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:37 PM   #22
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote: View Post
Mr. Magee, since this is an Aikido forum I assumed that we were talking about Aikido. Of course, if one is a student of MMA, or tennis, or basket weaving then it doesn't really matter. If you don't know what it means to be a serious student (of anything) then maybe that is what you should focus on becoming instead of cross-training.

How do I know my Aikido won't improve unless I try cross-training? I have observed numerous people who came to Aikido from other arts and had trouble because they were trying to apply what they learned elsewhere in Aikido. Kendo practitioners have a difficult time with Aikiken, Karate practicitioners are always trying to block instead of blend, etc.

Personally, I have always wanted to do Iaido; it looks cool and fun to do. But thought if I couldn't practice it seriously then I shouldn't do it. When I have time outside of dojo practice, I practice Aikido with my wife, practice my Aikiken and Jo, surf the web for information about Aikido, read books about Aikido, contemplate Aikido principles, discuss Aikido with my friends, and when I'm doing this or that and try to live my live according to the Way. And, since I'm not anyone's uchideshi I have to squeeze all this between my job, studying Japanese, drinking beer and other life responsibilities. I think if I were to try another Way, it would take away from what little time I have for Aikido.

Have a nice day.
From this I can only think that the only reason you practice aikido is to become good at aikido? Is this a norm here? I do not train in bjj/judo/aikido to be good at them. I train to get into good physical shape, for enjoyment, to develop the ability to win one on one unarmed fights in a ring, to impress chicks, to meet new people and make friends, etc.

I do not think the point of aikido is to be good at aikido. People have a reason why they train. They did not just decide they wanted to be good at aikido. They had a goal, and they decided aikido was a good way to develop that goal. However, some goals will lend themselves better with other types of training, some will lend themselves better with cross training.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:10 PM   #23
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Re: Aiki and cross training

[quote=John Matsushima;180779 If you don't know what it means to be a serious student (of anything) then maybe that is what you should focus on becoming instead of cross-training. [/QUOTE]how does cross training mean that a student is not serioius?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:30 PM   #24
John Matsushima
 
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Is it the norm? I dunno, maybe its just me, but I don't practice Aikido for any reason except for the sake of doing it. It is something I want to master. I have met people who are very passionate about what they do, and have been doing it for a long long time, and what they do is like magic; I wanna be like that. I guess in the beginning I had goals like self-defense and picking up chicks, but since I'm a nice guy and I got married, those goals kinda floated away. And before I got married I used to go to practice once, maybe twice a week (other time spent cross-training in picking up chicks) but I really wanted to become good in Aikido. Then someone I respected told me it was just about priorities.

There is a great book written by the late Furuya Sensei called KODO. In it he mentions that the practice of the Way is not a means to an end. You should practice simply because you love it.

In my opinion, those who go out to cross-train have a lack of commitment in Aikido. If one is practice another art soley to make his Aikido better, then isn't that disrespectful to the other teacher?

Regarding Ueshiba Sensei and his uchi-deshi and cross-training, did they go out and start other arts to make their Aikido better? I think they learned other arts first, and then came to Aikido. I know of some great teachers like Kenji Shimizu who was a 4th dan in Judo before he came to Aikido, and Shoji Nishio who had dans in Karate and Iaido. But these guys, like many others had studied other arts before coming to Aikido, and didn't use these arts for cross training. As I understand it, Ueshiba didn't even like it when certain uchi-deshi went out to study zen, so I can't imagine him approving of someone going out to study, let's say karate.

I think this is how any of the Ways should be practiced, not only Aikido.

By the way, Mr. Li, are you telling me that if I go out and cross-train in a third language it will help my Japanese? Would Spanish help? Andoleshite yo! Hikokimashoooooo!!! Adiosayonnara!!!!!

-John Matsushima

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Old 06-14-2007, 09:45 PM   #25
raul rodrigo
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Re: Aiki and cross training

Even after coming to Hombu, some of the uchideshi continued training in other arts and they did this with Osensei's knowledge and approval. You can't imagine it, John? Well thats the way it was. Check out the Pranin interviews of Osensei's uchideshi. Morihei didnt consider it a slight or an insult to his art or his teaching. Why should you?

Stan Pranin wrote: "Nisho was convinced that aikido was the true martial path for him. At the same time, he found shortcomings in its practice methods, especially after watching Ueshiba's incredible sword work and noting the lack of inclusion of sword techniques in the art's curriculum. To remedy things, as he had done before, Nishio took up the study of iaido (Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu) with 10th dan Shigenori Sano in 1955, and then jodo (Shindo Muso-ryu) with the famous Takaji Shimizu (1896-1978). Each of these arts contributed to his knowledge of the use of weapons and, in turn, complemented his aikido training."

Terry Dobson said: "The uchi-deshi at Honbu, particularly Chiba, started giving me a raft of shit that I was being disloyal to O-sensei by studying with Wang [Shu Jin, Chinese martial arts teacher], and I asked O-sensei, and he said, 'sure, do what you want,'"

So if Morihei had no problem, why should you?

Last edited by raul rodrigo : 06-14-2007 at 09:56 PM.
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