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Old 04-06-2009, 03:18 PM   #1
Fox
Dojo: Samurai Dojo, Exeter
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Feelings on "open mat" policy

Hi have just recently joined an aikido class in my area. I just recently found out that my sensei has an "open mat" policy, this meaning that anybody who would like to "test" aikido can do so again my sensei (shihan/6th dan). He does so in front of his students as well. There seems to be a lot of MMA stuff going on around here and some of those guys don't seem very fond of our style of martial art. Some of them even seem to have enough nerve to be disrespectful directly to my sensei, in those cases he offers anybody wishing to test him onto the mat. I have not seen anybody attempt to "take down" my sensei, but I have heard a few stories from many of his senior students about it. I personally think that it's nice to see his confidence in his art and standing up for it without breaking Aiki principles. Any thoughts or opinions?

Last edited by Fox : 04-06-2009 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Don't let Dan see this thread.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:25 PM   #3
Fox
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Don't let Dan see this thread.
who's Dan?
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:34 PM   #4
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Quote:
Gary Fox wrote: View Post
I personally think that it's nice to see his confidence in his art and standing up for it without breaking Aiki principles. Any thoughts or opinions?
Well it's certainly a limus test many people approve of. I have nothing against that kind of policy. I mean, to me it just sounds like a form of crosstraining or giving a sample of the training if the attitude is as open as the mat is. I can see where some folks could interpret it as a standing challenge if the wrong impression were given...or taken for that matter, but I think generally when people share ideas and experiences it only strengthens them further.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 04-06-2009 at 07:38 PM.

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Old 04-06-2009, 08:37 PM   #5
Tom H.
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Quote:
Gary Fox wrote: View Post
who's Dan?
He's talking about DH, example of the thing Ricky might be talking about: here.

Last edited by Tom H. : 04-06-2009 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:12 PM   #6
Mark Mueller
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

gary, what is your sensei's name....and who did he receive his ranking from? Just curious.....
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:58 AM   #7
raul rodrigo
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Ueshiba and many of his seniors, usually the ones with a judo background, used to accept challenges. It was how Ueshiba was able to convince the young Shioda to become his student, and how the young Saotome was convinced by Yamaguchi that aikido was worth studying.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:17 AM   #8
Fox
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

not sure where he got his rank i'll have to ask him next time i see him, but his name is Michael Tan. I know that he was a part of some program in japan as a live-in student, but then again i don't know the name of the program. I'll have to get back to you on that one.
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:24 AM   #9
Alex Megann
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Gary - this seems to be your teacher!

http://fightclub-uk.com/index.php?mo...=details&id=10

Alex
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:54 AM   #10
Aristeia
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

hmmm....this is going to end badly..

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:36 AM   #11
Geofa
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

I will call for Rickson Gracie to cames to his dojo.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:33 AM   #12
crbateman
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Just my $0.02, but I think a standing challenge might be fine for a MMA school, but will appear boastful, confrontational and undignified in an Aikido dojo. Not looking to be flamed, just offering an opinion...
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:19 AM   #13
Nick P.
 
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote: View Post
hmmm....this is going to end badly..
Now why would you go and say something like that?

Following the link provided by Alex, and reading Michael Tan's biography, the publisher of this video goes on to say (note that at least that is not a direct quote from Mr. Tan)....

"This stuff is NOT difficult to learn.
You can, in fact, learn most of itů
OVERNIGHT!
It's that simple."Whoa, you mean I have wasted the last ten years of training when, with this product, I could have learned it overnight?

NOTE> Until Fox confirms this is the same Michael Tan we should not be jumping to any conclusions; my above comments are humour, not fact. I share Mr. Batemen's opinion on the matter.

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Old 04-07-2009, 08:25 AM   #14
Geofa
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Invite Sensei Tan to post here on Aikiweb!!
Also, dont forget to put on youtube the challengers!!
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:35 AM   #15
Ketsan
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Seems like a reasonable policy to me. I'm in Aikido because I fought my instructor and lost.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:55 AM   #16
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Thank you Google! http://www.tanaikidojo.com/html/Abou...ichael_Tan.htm

Well, the other web site certainly had a marketing flair! This one looks a little different and in the history portion includes a bit of the AAA, so I'm guessing that's the source of his Aikido training, though he mentions Daito-ryu as well.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 04-07-2009 at 09:58 AM.

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Old 04-07-2009, 10:40 AM   #17
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote: View Post
hmmm....this is going to end badly..
agreed
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:37 PM   #18
aikidoc
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

From the website: this is a really strange statement.

"Working with him is his son, Aikido Shihan Fumio Toyoda. Toyoda Shihan is a professional instructor at Aikido World Headquarters. He is actively engaged in training the next generation of shihan-level instructors and promoting Aikido instruction on the national level"

It sounds like Toyoda sensei was the sun of Nidai Doshu. Awkward wording.
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:08 PM   #19
Fox
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Quote:
Lucas Silva wrote: View Post
Invite Sensei Tan to post here on Aikiweb!!
Also, dont forget to put on youtube the challengers!!
I don't think that he goes around asking ppl to challenge him, it's people who with to test it, like others coming from martial arts sometimes like to test the effectiveness of aikido on certain techniques of theirs. These past two weeks we've had two judo students join the class after Sensei showed him how he could counter their throws and whatnot. Stuff more along the lines of that, but also those who are disrespectful to Aikido and saying how it wouldn't work on them he offers them to come test it out as well. I think you guys are kinda making assumptions about the type of person he is.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:00 PM   #20
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
Just my $0.02, but I think a standing challenge might be fine for a MMA school, but will appear boastful, confrontational and undignified in an Aikido dojo. Not looking to be flamed, just offering an opinion...
I agree.
Mary
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:18 AM   #21
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
It sounds like Toyoda sensei was the sun of Nidai Doshu. Awkward wording.
It happens...now which one orbits which?!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:45 AM   #22
salim
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Ueshiba and many of his seniors, usually the ones with a judo background, used to accept challenges. It was how Ueshiba was able to convince the young Shioda to become his student, and how the young Saotome was convinced by Yamaguchi that aikido was worth studying.
I agree. The method of Ueshiba accepting challenges, allowed him to convince his competitors to study Aikido. It's one way to attract the newer generations. If it's done in a positive, respectable manner, it could provide a real building block to show the effectiveness.

Last edited by salim : 04-08-2009 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:53 AM   #23
Michael Hackett
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Tan Sensei's waza looks much like the Daito Ryu I've seen and not like the AAA Aikido from Toyoda Shihan. He seems pretty effective and "martial" in the You Tube clips, but I haven't seen that movement in the AAA lineage. Accepting a dojo challenge is certainly time-honored, but probably not a good practice today in the good ol' litigious United States. OTH, apparently his stuff works.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:35 PM   #24
lbb
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

Quote:
Salim Shaw wrote: View Post
I agree. The method of Ueshiba accepting challenges, allowed him to convince his competitors to study Aikido. It's one way to attract the newer generations. If it's done in a positive, respectable manner, it could provide a real building block to show the effectiveness.
But the whole context of the "respectful challenge" doesn't exist in the here and now. Also, I'm willing to bet that many (most?) of us live somewhere where you could get into a world of legal hurt if someone took you up on this challenge and got injured. In the modern world, the idea behind this "open invitation" to dance is a romantic notion with significant practical drawbacks, to the point where I question the good sense of anyone who would do it.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:25 PM   #25
Aikibu
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Re: Feelings on "open mat" policy

From my own personal experiance it depends on intent. We've had an open mat policy forever and Shoji Nishio Shihan always encouraged his students to check out other arts...

How else does one learn what works and what does'nt??? How else does one make connections in the Spirit of Aikido???

Heck Stan Pranin had the good spirit to invite allot of qualified teachers from all corners on the Martial Arts Universe to the Aiki-Expo's and 99.9% of the time you saw teachers exchanging ideas and learning from each other. What the heck is wrong with that?

I have experianced many technical disagreements over the years here on Aiki-Web and other sites...and as a result met some pretty darn good folks when they dropped in or I went to visit them...Not once have I experianced any intent to harm or embarass me from anyone who showed up. Not once have I ever gone to someone's Dojo with ill intentions...

Stepping on someone else's mat should always be done in this spirit...

William Hazen
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