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Old 01-06-2010, 08:31 AM   #101
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Michael Crowell wrote: View Post
Amen...I think you hit the nail squarely.

To anyone interested in the topic of self defense, I highly recommend a book titled: "Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence." by Rory Miller.

The author is a prison guard who has significant experience with "street thugs" and insists that these type of attacks are almost always faster, harder and more surprising and coordinated than we could anticipate.

And I think this is why it's important to be able to take a shot or two without freezing up.
Thanks.

on taking a shot or two. I agree. When I started Army Combatives, we always practice from "point of failure". If we are in those situations...something has gone wrong...something failed, and THAT is what we must work our way out of.

Our experienced Shihan always talk about the importance of Ukemi. Ukemi is failure and ukemi should be about not falling or diving, but correcting that failure. So, I believe that we have that element in Aikido if we look at ukemi as a primary important thing.

However, we always seem to start at parity in aikido. An equal kamae. So I believe that many of us begin to translate our training to situations as we will always be on parity or somehow stop the bad guy from ever gaining the iniative or upper hand, and that ukemi is a secondary role.

I personally think this is a very dangerous proposition and perspective.

So for me, I love Ukemi as my ukemi is not about rolling, diving, or laying down, but about me maintaining my integrity, and regaining myself and finding the gaps and weaknesses in nage.

Done right, it makes Nage better too!

So, I think we should really do a better job in alot of cases of emphasizing the importance of ukemi and the role of uke as the person that is primary in waza.

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Old 01-06-2010, 08:33 AM   #102
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think if we loook at aikido more as a methodology to learn some very important elements of fighitng and less of a method of fighting, it changes how we perceive and judge aikido as a success or failure.
To say it another way, Aikido is one tool in your self defense tool box.

David
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:37 AM   #103
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Hello Don,

Does boxing give you a different perspective on atemi?

David
I think you have to be careful with boxing..just like you do with anything else. Boxing is also predicated on "rules" and assumed constraints, just like Judo, BJJ, Aikido or any other method of training.

Boxing is a sport of attrition and a sport that has very limited things you can do to your opponent. So, therefore, boxing strikes and strategies dictate to a large degree how you will punch. Some of those punches and bobing and weaving will get you in trouble.

Of course, there is great, great value in studying boxing as long as you keep this in mind.

Muay Thai is good because it allows kicks and clinching etc...so I believe the timing and "game plan" you develop in Muay Thai to be a better fit to MMA training, and it is why you see MMA guys studying MT vice Boxing. Of course, MT has it's weaknesses as well.

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Old 01-07-2010, 01:54 AM   #104
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

this is really an excellent thread

cross training actually assists all styles of MA as these days many arts have become very specific in the methods

broadening your horizons i.e. adding striking to a grappling art and vice versa can never be a bad thing

As for striking IMO

you need to train at different levels

slow and controlled: to get the feel

faster and hard: to get a more practical application

free: to help build up a mental toughnessmore flow of you technique. also build up defensive footwork ie. if you miss the defense you need to have the footwork to get back into a good position

the attack from these also vary in ferocity and style,

yes not all attacks are from a uncontrolled thugbut we must be prepared for the worst

there are very few traditional martial arts that were designed to defeat other martial artists, if you look at the huge difference between sport fighting and real fighting this really become very clear. but most people who want to 'test' their skill go into the competition circuit and there fore have ton change their game to suit

this is no a option in aikido really, so we have ot try to bring realistic training in ot our dojo, without changing what O-sensei had in mind
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:25 AM   #105
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Reuben,

In light of the conversation about fighitng, I disagree that our objective is to learn to fight without resistance. In my experiences that has been a failing proposition for me as a strategy. Resistance implies "defense only" without offensive countermeasure being applied as "resistance" would be anything that is offensive. You simply cannot control a fight without seizing the iniative and controlling your opponent, this is offensive in nature and hence you must dominate and control..
Yes sir. I agree. good point. Has anyone seen that new show "Steven Seagal: Lawman"? Apparently he demonstrates Aikido to his fellow cops and the rookies on occassion and it's all proactive..for obvious reasons.

Self-discipline is the chief element of self-esteem; and self-esteem the chief element of courage. Thucydides
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:48 AM   #106
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
To say it another way, Aikido is one tool in your self defense tool box.

David
Hey David. Splitting hairs of course, and I have followed your post long enough on Aikiweb to value highly your opininons so my contrary comments below are simply for the sake of discourse and discussion!

I think the paradigm of "Aikido is one tool in your tool box" is the best one we can have. Tool to me implies specialization and application. A phillips head screw driver is a tool for example, a specific tool for a specific kina screw. Screwing screws though is a much broader concept and the are methods and principles involved in doing so.

In that vein I would equate Aikido to the much broader paradigm, not the more narrow one.

As a methodology we are not so much concerned with the particular use of "getting the job done in the most fast in efficient way", but the study of the "Art" of screwing screws. We are concerned with how you balance your weight correctly, the right amount of pressure on the screw driver for wood, metal, number of turns needed etc.

In reality, we would look at someone that was putting that much time in the "Art of Screws" as well...being a little screwy himself!

Yet, this is what we do day in and day out in the aikido dojo! A breakdown of some very detailed and frankly inane things that while related to fighting and applicable...probably do not make us any better at using the figurative screwdriver over anyone else that simply picks up the screwdriver and two minutes later sets it backdown and goes and grabs a beer with no more thought of the screw.

No, an Aikidoka would scoff at the fact that it was not the most efficeint use of the screw driver, he could have used much less turns if he used his body instead of just his wrist! etc...LOL!

Again, I believe, such is the paradigm of aikido. It is much less a tool and much more about conceptually looking at the broader concept of martial kinesthetics. Because of this, we have developed methodology called "Aikido" that provides us a framework to practice and study martial kinesthetics.

I beleive that through this study, we can use our framework to adapt and interpret what we know into other areas of our lives. Phyiscally, Spirutlaly, Emotionally....of course...speficially...Martially.

So I think that calling it a "tool in the tool box" sends us the wrong message, and I think that for many beginners when we send them the message of "tool" they equate that to "application" and hence we have the dissonance that we have in "aikido doesn't work in a real fight" develop as intuitively and instinctively what they feel does not agree with the paradigm/definition that they think that aikido is!

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Old 01-07-2010, 07:33 AM   #107
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Sorry for the day late dolar short reply-- Just found this thread.

To the OP,

Great post. Very sensible, and I am in great agreement with most of your analysis. Very conceptually holistic too.

p.s. Fantastic post, Kevin!

p.p.s. I suppose I have nothing actually useful on the topic other than "Kudos!".

Last edited by John Connolly : 01-07-2010 at 07:36 AM. Reason: added p.s.

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Old 01-08-2010, 08:09 AM   #108
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Hello Don,

Does boxing give you a different perspective on atemi?

David
Would it be surprising to know that my coach only has me throw 3 punches 99% of the time? Almost all of the training is just different combos of jab, cross, hook.

Really, it just reinforced what I already knew.

1) Getting punched sucks.
2) Speed, power, and agility count for a LOT. Anyone who says otherwise has never been in a fight.
3) No on ever throws a single punch, it's like holding a sign saying hit me.
4) Those 'big soft pillows called gloves are neither big nor soft.
5) It's still possible for me to be overwhelmed and break rank so t he speak.
4) Getting punched sucks.

I also learned a lot abou the sport. What I thought was just two guys taking turns hitting each other is really about slipping and entering.

My coach would say "make them miss, make them pay". Most of the ring training revolved around slipping punches. You learn to enter when your opponent punches and then hit him from an unseen and undefended angle. It is those punches, the one's you don't see coming, that knock you on your ass.

I've been in martial arts from a young childs age. I still find myself 'breaking' durring heavy boxing sparring. By breaking I mean making huge fight ending mistakes like closing my eyes, turning my head, exposing my chin when I punch, and getting overwhelmed and actually turning away from my attacker.

That is why I started boxing actually. While I've made great strides in these areas though aliveness training in bjj and the small amount of mma training I do from time to time, I want to once and for all break myself of the fear of getting punched in the face by a man who wants to knock me out.

The advantage of it all is that I know punch at least twice as fast, twice as hard, and way way more accurately then I did a year ago.

Boxing is a weird beast though. Almost none of the training I've had in the past (except the few random muay thai lessons) transfers to it. The footwork is the exact opposite of judo for example. However at least 75% of everything I've learned (hell maybe 90%) is directly transferable back to my previous training. On top of that it is the hardest physical exercise I've ever done in martial arts. I've been out of boxing for a few weeks due to filling in for a teacher at the college who was sick, but I can't wait to get back. It doesn't matter that I suck at it and get beat up by 17 year old kids. It is awesome.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:21 AM   #109
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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The advantage of it all is that I know punch at least twice as fast, twice as hard, and way way more accurately then I did a year ago.
Thanks for sharing Don...I was going to call you Mr. Magee, but didn't know if you would think I was busting your chops.

Have you noticed how fast and smooth your punches/combos are after you take off the gloves? Those things are much heavier than they look too!

I boxed a little as a teenager, and more recently (as an over-the-hill adult) started training in Yoseikan Budo. Although that was a long time ago, I noticed right away the commonalities between aikido taisabaki and basic boxing footwork. Irimi, hiraki, nagashi, and irimi senkai all seem pretty similiar when broken down. What do you think?

Last edited by Stormcrow34 : 01-08-2010 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:54 PM   #110
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Thanks for sharing Don...I was going to call you Mr. Magee, but didn't know if you would think I was busting your chops.

Have you noticed how fast and smooth your punches/combos are after you take off the gloves? Those things are much heavier than they look too!

I boxed a little as a teenager, and more recently (as an over-the-hill adult) started training in Yoseikan Budo. Although that was a long time ago, I noticed right away the commonalities between aikido taisabaki and basic boxing footwork. Irimi, hiraki, nagashi, and irimi senkai all seem pretty similiar when broken down. What do you think?
I'd say there are some very basic similarities. A lot of the footwork in boxing just boils down to 'move the lead leg first'. I do a lot of what I call 'opening the door' when I box which I guess you could say is similar to Nagashi. Except I take a quick step in as I do it and throw a left hook.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:04 AM   #111
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
I'd say there are some very basic similarities. A lot of the footwork in boxing just boils down to 'move the lead leg first'. I do a lot of what I call 'opening the door' when I box which I guess you could say is similar to Nagashi. Except I take a quick step in as I do it and throw a left hook.
I guess these are just some random thoughts on correlating boxing footwork and Aikido tai sabaki, so bear with me.

I agree with you, always step with the lead foot first. But isn't stepping with the lead foot first basically the same as forward tsugi ashi?

Nagashi reminds me of rolling with a punch or a shoulder roll that sets up a counter.

Hiraki is sort of like side-stepping to cut off the ring or set up a better angle. So say you're right handed and you're sparring a hypothetical southpaw opponent, you want your lead foot to be outside his lead foot to land a straight right. A short side-step puts you in that position, so can Soto Irimi if you're on the outside.

A short Irimi is like a step jab while a long Irimi is moving inside to clinch or work the body.

Irimi senkai is a way to turn your opponent for better position if you are cornered, for example.

I have no experience in any other aikido style, but maybe Yoseikan tai sabaki isn't the same as standard aikido tai sabaki? Or perhaps I'm just reaching for common ground?

Last edited by Stormcrow34 : 01-09-2010 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:13 PM   #112
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Michael Crowell wrote: View Post
I guess these are just some random thoughts on correlating boxing footwork and Aikido tai sabaki, so bear with me.

I agree with you, always step with the lead foot first. But isn't stepping with the lead foot first basically the same as forward tsugi ashi?

Nagashi reminds me of rolling with a punch or a shoulder roll that sets up a counter.

Hiraki is sort of like side-stepping to cut off the ring or set up a better angle. So say you're right handed and you're sparring a hypothetical southpaw opponent, you want your lead foot to be outside his lead foot to land a straight right. A short side-step puts you in that position, so can Soto Irimi if you're on the outside.

A short Irimi is like a step jab while a long Irimi is moving inside to clinch or work the body.

Irimi senkai is a way to turn your opponent for better position if you are cornered, for example.

I have no experience in any other aikido style, but maybe Yoseikan tai sabaki isn't the same as standard aikido tai sabaki? Or perhaps I'm just reaching for common ground?
I'd say your just better versed in the footwork of aikido then I am

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:48 AM   #113
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
I'd say your just better versed in the footwork of aikido then I am
Don't count on it, I'm just a lowly kyu here, and it appears I made the mistake of thinking you train in aikido. Oh well, nice talking and happy landings!
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:54 PM   #114
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Don't count on it, I'm just a lowly kyu here, and it appears I made the mistake of thinking you train in aikido. Oh well, nice talking and happy landings!
Oh I still train with my aikido instructor from time to time. I've just changed my focus to combat sports.

Last edited by DonMagee : 01-10-2010 at 09:56 PM.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:16 AM   #115
Reuben
 
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Reuben,

In light of the conversation about fighitng, I disagree that our objective is to learn to fight without resistance. In my experiences that has been a failing proposition for me as a strategy. Resistance implies "defense only" without offensive countermeasure being applied as "resistance" would be anything that is offensive. You simply cannot control a fight without seizing the iniative and controlling your opponent, this is offensive in nature and hence you must dominate and control.

Personally what I think gets lost in perspective is that Aikido is a methodology for learning certain aspects of a martial pracitce...it is not a "fight strategy" per se....so when I hear "Aikido is about fighting without resistance". That implies that it is a particular way/strategy for fighitng...and I personally feel that is where we get into trouble and folks start looking at aikido as a flawed methodolgy, when in fact it is not, it is simply being looked at in the wrong way.

Fighting is my life. It is what I do. As such, I have found a place for aikido as a methodology for mastering some very key and important concepts, and frankly, It is challenging slow, but does a good job in doing what it is designed to do which is to teach you how to move your body in very efficient ways.

Integrating this into a "fight strategy"...i.e "cross training" or "MMA", is the correct perspective I think....at least it is the one that works best for me. How do you take your basic fight plan and strategy, ie clinch, kicking, punching, weapons, pushing, shoving, use of mass etc....and make it more efficient?

To me, it requires looking at all the elements and aspects of fighitng and diving in on the spectrum and training each of them under methods of control. Randori is one element, Waza is another element..etc.

I think if we loook at aikido more as a methodology to learn some very important elements of fighitng and less of a method of fighting, it changes how we perceive and judge aikido as a success or failure.
Yes I was not implying that Aikido should train WITHOUT resistance. Quite the contrary, but in general while we are learning, we are often told to let the person do the technique to us and this carries on even to the advanced levels to a certain extent.

If Aikido is viewed as a tool in a toolbox rather than a complete answer I would totally agree and from this I have actually gleaned lots of valuable lessons from Aikido.

Aikido coming into play from Clinch

For example, I have been working on fighting from clinch lately and a lot of Aikido moves have a lot of relevance there. I have successfully applied several locks in such situations once I have had contact with the person.

Traditional Aikido assumes you're this leet person who can use Aikido from the start while your attacker is starting to attack you no matter how unpredictable, persistent, fast and relentless he is. In my opinion, unless you're really really really good, this is not going to happen easily especially not with a two/three times a week training. Real fact is that for Aikido to work, you need a great ability to read your opponent's moves, something that static training and traditional randoori do not inculcate.

Once you're in the clinch position however, things change. He no longer can punch you as much and the game is a lot more slower with more body contact. This is a great time to use your Aikido sensitivity to feel his balance and utilize his weak points.

You're not so much trying to intercept his punch and his momentum at the very exact moment he's going to be most off balance (that's hard), you're probing him for weaknesses and grabbing him.

From this point, I found that I could actually use pull off locks like kote-gaeshi and hiji-jime (one of the most common ones I manage to get off actually) and my sensitivity developed from Aikido training made me realize the moments that these locks would work.

However when we weren't allowed to clinch (to just train striking techniques), it was extremely hard to get anything off (even with MMA gloves) unless he messed up.

Just thought I'll add this in since it was something I recently discovered
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:32 AM   #116
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

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Reuben Yap wrote: View Post
Aikido coming into play from Clinch

For example, I have been working on fighting from clinch lately and a lot of Aikido moves have a lot of relevance there.

Once you're in the clinch position however, things change. He no longer can punch you as much and the game is a lot more slower with more body contact. This is a great time to use your Aikido sensitivity to feel his balance and utilize his weak points.

However when we weren't allowed to clinch (to just train striking techniques), it was extremely hard to get anything off (even with MMA gloves) unless he messed up.
i'm in agreement with your assessment Reuben.

just a quick 2 cents from me FWIW. a quick background about me is that i've been training in aikido for about 4 years now, with no other significant prior MA training nor 'live sparring' experience.

a few weeks ago, i met up with a martial arts enthusiast (mainly Chinese-based MAs) who was well conditioned and a fairly seasoned fighter. we had a couple of friendly 'spars', and bearing in mind that i have had zero experience in sparring prior to that, these were the results:-

the first spar we had was purely grappling - and i was pleased to have held my own fairly well then. i successfully threw him a couple of times using my aikido training simply by 'reading' and feeling his movements, but of course got slammed a couple of times as well. balanced out okay in the end i guess.

however, when we went into a striking/punching spar, i got thrashed big time. i got a black eye, a bloody nose, and not much to show for it. LOL.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:12 AM   #117
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

Reuben, good post.

I am kinda a fan of John Boyd's work these days, as I think it gives us a good index and model to talk from. (OODA)

Quote:
Traditional Aikido assumes you're this leet person who can use Aikido from the start while your attacker is starting to attack you no matter how unpredictable, persistent, fast and relentless he is. In my opinion, unless you're really really really good, this is not going to happen easily especially not with a two/three times a week training. Real fact is that for Aikido to work, you need a great ability to read your opponent's moves, something that static training and traditional randoori do not inculcate.
If your really, really good, then you are able to read the situation and control your opponent, or gain control, or regain control fairly rapidly. Your correct, I don't think this is the primary goal or practice of Aikido..that is, to gain such experience, to naturally I think this is where alot of the problem comes in when we try and take dojo methodology to the streets and then get beat cause we simply do not have the experiences necessary to read the situations, and make the appropriate choices in a fast moving and free environment. I think this has little to do with actual waza or technique and alot to do with general body skills and proprioceptive reflex (or something like that!).

It is why "alive" arts practice the clinch so much...not that the clinch is superior in form or technique.

I haven't gotten too many KG in the clinch, but have pulled of Hiji-Jime more than once. As experience level goes up though, it gets harder and harder to do as they learn to protect these things of course! although, add in weapons, and these things amazingly become relevant again!

Thanks for the clarification and good post!

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Old 01-14-2010, 05:16 AM   #118
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post

1) Getting punched sucks.
2) Speed, power, and agility count for a LOT. Anyone who says otherwise has never been in a fight.
3) No on ever throws a single punch, it's like holding a sign saying hit me.
4) Those 'big soft pillows called gloves are neither big nor soft.
5) It's still possible for me to be overwhelmed and break rank so t he speak.
4) Getting punched sucks.

I want to once and for all break myself of the fear of getting punched in the face by a man who wants to knock me out.
Totally agree with number 1 and number 4!

Also, like you, I would like to rid myself of the fear of being punched in the face.

I still have to say age has to have something to do with all this.
Back at around the age of 18/19 being hit in the head didnt really phase me. [neither did wiping out/slamming on a sk8 board ramp... though it did take the air nicely out of me.]

With age, I have found both falling on ramps and getting punched in the face... sucks. [Gives me a new perspective on a few things to be certain... and I agree, those gloves arent that soft, especially the light ones that I have been popped in the face with recently.]

One thing though, cardio... boxing/thai boxing has that going for it.

All the pieces of the puzzle seem to be coming together for me though concerning cross-training, etc. as to what does what, why and when, etc.

As of now my newest thing is to try the bridge exercise for wrestling to build up neck strength. The importance of conditioning for any martial art, as well as just staying healthy is becoming more of a priority than technique, etc.

I remember when me and a group of friends got together at around 18 and one guy came back from college and challenged everyone one on one. He was a small guy and wiped everyone but me out... [pinned]. I had no technique, or knowledge of any ground/grappling sport, etc. and relied on pure strength.

It says a lot for him, and me, I suppose, that neither of us could pin the other. [I was too strong, though light... about 145lbs benching around 250lbs - and he had technique]

Its only very recently that I have even thought about training in any grappling, etc. - I had always preferred the striking arts, though my time in Aikido has helped me to see the value and place of grappling, etc.

... now, if I can only get more weapons training in.

Peace

Dalen

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Old 01-14-2010, 05:31 AM   #119
dalen7
 
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

Quote:
Michael Crowell wrote: View Post

But isn't stepping with the lead foot first basically the same as forward tsugi ashi?

Nagashi reminds me of rolling with a punch or a shoulder roll that sets up a counter.

Hiraki is sort of like side-stepping to cut off the ring or set up a better angle. So say you're right handed and you're sparring a hypothetical southpaw opponent, you want your lead foot to be outside his lead foot to land a straight right. A short side-step puts you in that position, so can Soto Irimi if you're on the outside.

A short Irimi is like a step jab while a long Irimi is moving inside to clinch or work the body.

Irimi senkai is a way to turn your opponent for better position if you are cornered, for example.
One problem is the lack of a consistent naming convention for steps/footwork in Aikido, as they tend to vary... or be as generic as just saying tai-sabaki for everything.

Makes it difficult sometimes in communicating points - [unless, with what you did, you describe each step]

Peace

Dalen

p.s.
We have 7 steps/footwork our 6kyus have to learn, which apply to the techniques themselves... and a couple of those have 2-3 variations to them. [the ones that specifically deal with weapons]

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Old 02-10-2010, 04:31 AM   #120
Reuben
 
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
Would it be surprising to know that my coach only has me throw 3 punches 99% of the time? Almost all of the training is just different combos of jab, cross, hook.
The interesting thing about why stuff like boxing is useful for Aikido is that boxing doesn't train so much on the technique. Once you get the technique down, it's more about learning how to chain them together and when to use them and most importantly how to read your opponent.

Aikido on the other is on the end of the spectrum where we spend most of our time perfecting technique and where we respond to predetermined types of attacks so we don't quite learn to read your opponent so much.

As I mentioned before, perhaps the greatest thing you can take from MMA and sparring martial arts is the ability to read your opponent.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:03 AM   #121
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

I can't really recall us in my Aikido training ever focusing on footwork as a step by step drill. It has always pretty much been "move your feet".

Reuben brings up a good point about chaining together movements.

I big challenge we do run into in aikido is the "one attack and stop moving syndrome".

It happens just about every person I know in my dojo as a beginner because they are trying to learn correct movements, posture, timing etc...and they simply cannot put it all together at one time, so their brains tend to do one thing...then stop.

I think this can become a bad habit, and it is incorrect and probably a big reason we get the "not alive" label put on what we do.

I don't train this way and try and keep moving regardless if I am uke or nage. I will control my speed based on the ability and skill level of uke, and may "shape" myself to allow nage to see the appropriate response...but other than that....keep moving throughout the continuum of the situation.

As a CQB instructor, I find that actually the movements we practice in aikido to be much more useful in reality (done correctly) than say the movements of boxing, which is all about striking and loss of contact until the next punch most of the time.

In CQB you will place a hand on someone, move forward gaining a kinesthetic feel for what is going on and react to it appropriately.

So I find...done correctly....if we are training the "feel" of the situation and less concerned with perfection of technique...as IMO technique only really gives us a context and shape to work with.....then it can be very, very alive and real.

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Old 02-10-2010, 09:32 AM   #122
Erick Mead
 
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I can't really recall us in my Aikido training ever focusing on footwork as a step by step drill. It has always pretty much been "move your feet".
Amen. Apart from some aiki taiso and happo undo, I suppose.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I big challenge we do run into in aikido is the "one attack and stop moving syndrome"....they are trying to learn correct movements, posture, timing etc...and they simply cannot put it all together at one time, so their brains tend to do one thing...then stop.

I think this can become a bad habit, and it is incorrect and probably a big reason we get the "not alive" label put on what we do.
There are places where movements cease/reverse/still/whatever you want to call it, these are natural and I call them cusps -- like the break of the wave. (It is the only safe place to pause, hesitate, wait, etc. and the dynamic takes over, so that you don't have to think/plan, etc. just surf).

At a cusp, action can break in can almost any direction and so "reading" defeats the purpose -- beyond that, unrelenting spiral entry (irimi tenkan) and you find techniques as they happen. Troughs on the other hand are very dangerous if you are not already moving steadily through it -- you are about to get dumped on.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
As a CQB instructor, I find that actually the movements we practice in aikido to be much more useful in reality (done correctly) than say the movements of boxing, which is all about striking and loss of contact until the next punch most of the time.
I try to tie the fundamentals into a series of techniques that progress on the same point in some way. Last night as an example we went through a progression on the continuity of in-yo action. First, we worked the whole body -- both sides -- first in and then yo in funetori, and then in happo undo, considering the turning/spiral aspects of the cusp reversals in the transitions. Then we worked on applying this in a kokyunage with spiral entry using both sides together .

Then we worked both sides together but opposite -- tenchi. I usually give an example of blades in many techniques because it usually creates the correct "shape" of the movement -- for tenchi I show the extended hands as with two knives pointed at his chest -- the advancing hand thrusts up into the neck, then turns out to cut out through the carotid on the near side while the back hand draw cuts down the belly and then opens out to cut out through the femoral artery with the body entering and turning to drive both actions at once.

Then we worked on an in-yo flow of the same advance-thrust and draw-cutting but on only one side and applying it in kokyunage and kaitennage.

Then we moved to ground from there and worked on pressing spiral entries to "find" various controls and pins as uke flipped over in the kaitennage trying to ukemi out of the technique, and emphasizing that transition to a pin or control is a "trough" lacking any safe margin for hesitation or "cusp" at that transition. The need is to press fully through it to the eventual control or pin in the same in-yo spiral entry manner as standing, and illustrating the possibilities of easy reversals by uke in the course of that "fall" if nage fails to press cleanly through or lingers in the trough.

That's sort of how we train --- different stuff different nights, but in the same sorta way.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-10-2010 at 09:46 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:39 PM   #123
Jeeves
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Re: My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido

I have to agree with you, and by the way, wonderful post.

Let me say first of all, that my Aikido training is limited I've only been training for a few months, most of my background has been in boxing, which I did with gusto for several years before injuring myself severly enough to never be able to continue the sweet sciennce again.

Obviously Aikido is a beatiful art, but, at least as I have seen it practiced so far, it's applications are somewhat limited. It does teach foot work, positioning, and proper technique both in applying and recieving a throw. Perhaps even more importantly it teaches peaceful resolution of conflicts with minmal force.

My major difficulty with Aikido has been in the application "uke" techniques. As any boxer will tell you stepping through a puch is a sure way to get taken apart, and hurt rather badly. This emphasis on straight linear, and rather transparent movements from uke is somewhat limiting. Worse still, many of my training partners, even a few who have been training for several years, appear to lack basic punching technique, the use of shoulder and head feints to comit a defender to an action, and the use of combinations and advanced footwork from the position of uke.

I don't really object to any of this, mostly because I think the spiritual benefits of Aikido are quite wonderful and fulfilling, and the training is much easier on body than boxing ever was, however I worry sometimes about the younger kids that are training in Aikido. Many of them are going to be shocked if and when they get into their first fight, and that first real punch lands flush. Pain, adreneline and fear are all things that are not readily simulated in Aikido, nor is the presence of a focused consistant combatant bent upon the bodily harm of the practitioner.

This isn't to say that Aikido isn't effective, but as mentioned its primary use may be in surprising an opponent with a set of techniques the practioners assailants are unused too. Perhaps more importantly however I think many aikido practitioners need to rethink the role uke. Intention, in my opinion, needs to mean more than giving full power to a punch, it needs to entail the proper technique behind the punch as well as the potential follow-up after that attack, whether that be a head-butt, elbow or an upper-cut.

This isn't to that anyone should go looking for fights in bars or anywhere else, I've been there, and no matter how tough anyone thinks they are, there is always someone tougher, meaner, or more willing to pull a gun, i simply think that maybe the role of uke needs to be rethought and perhaps taken back to what the founder intended. but then again what the hell do I know.

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