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Old 02-13-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
Hebrew Hammer
 
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Do you train for strikes?

After catching the UFC highlights this last week Anderson Silva was crediting Seagal Sensei for this front kick technique that won the fight. Now I'm not here to debate the validity of the claim or even Seagal himself, but he is one of the few Aikidoka whom I've seen in training practicing striking. It got me thinking how many of you actually practice strikes or kicks in your Aikido training? Do you ever put some gloves/sparring gear on an practice receiving or avoiding strikes? Has it been useful?

I believe that the Yoshinkan branch claims to practice strikes and low kicks as part of their syllabus .If so which ones do they use or does your dojo practice?

Stay Cut,

The Hebrew Hammer
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:38 AM   #2
AsimHanif
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Hi Kevin,
yes, since I also train fighters (mainly boxers), I usually have the opportunity to practice aikido principles under 'live' fire when I work with them.
Within the context of teaching aikido, occassionally we'll work on kicks or close range punching. With punching the emphasis is usually on dealing with the distance and how to deal with the retracting arm/fist.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:50 AM   #3
lbb
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

It sounds like two different things are being discussed: one, training in aikido with "real" strikes, and two, training to develop striking skills. Our dojo doesn't train to develop striking skills, but many of us have it from previous training in striking styles. Still, you won't find a makiwara in our dojo.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:03 AM   #4
AsimHanif
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

hmmm..I see what you mean Mary.

So we don't put on gloves during aikido practice but we do practice dealing with strikes. We also emphasize correct committed attacks without leaving yourself totally vulnerable.
Personally I do put on gloves when I work with boxers. I also leave the door open to my aikido students to do the same. I think it is quite informative in understanding the physical and emotional side of things when someone is actually trying to knock you out.

When I work with boxers I obviously DO NOT try to put on locks but I do try to control them with inside and outside distancing, my jab (atemi), and other methods. To me this is an attempt at good aikido.
Hope that was helpful.

Last edited by AsimHanif : 02-14-2011 at 09:16 AM. Reason: corrected sentence
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:31 AM   #5
jonreading
 
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

I advocate that good aikido requires the knowledge of [proper] striking, even if one chooses not to employ it. To that extent, yes, we'll throw kicking and punching into our training. However, we do not "teach" kicking in punching; that is a separate education each student has the choice to undertake.

I think this is a component of aikido that is sorely lacking... striking competency. It's amazing how much more senseitive and responsive uke (or nage) becomes when they realize their partner might just punch them in the face...
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:19 AM   #6
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
It sounds like two different things are being discussed: one, training in aikido with "real" strikes, and two, training to develop striking skills. Our dojo doesn't train to develop striking skills, but many of us have it from previous training in striking styles. Still, you won't find a makiwara in our dojo.
I have makiwara and a heavy bag as well but the only folks who use hem are the students who already had striking backgrounds... When I teach striking in class, we use yellow pages. They don't rebound like a foam pad and the partner starts to get a sense of the impact but without getting hurt. There are several of us who will have their partners use two yellow pages to stay inside their comfort range. Of course the systema boys will just let you hit them... but regular folks tend to freak out even when it's not themselves that are getting struck so I keep that to a minimum.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:19 AM   #7
phitruong
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

yes. we do, at least the basic stuffs.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:30 AM   #8
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Training in a Yoseikan dojo, yes, we do train for strikes.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:59 AM   #9
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

I think the most important strikes to practice in Aikido are Shomen, Yokomen, and Tsuki, however those are best practiced with a knife, club, sword or something similar in your hand.

We do about a month of unarmed striking at our school each year. We cover a full syllabus of strikes. To have a full understanding of the Martial arts, unarmed striking is something you need to know, but far less useful than what Aikido teaches.

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Old 02-14-2011, 02:52 PM   #10
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
yes. we do, at least the basic stuffs.
Can you expand on that Phi?

Stay Cut,

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Old 02-14-2011, 03:03 PM   #11
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Sensei is considering installing a makiwara in the dojo. We are having more and more beginners who have absolutely no striking art background, and their not attacking correctly sometimes creates problems for their partner.
Didn't O Sensei require all his students to have a background in Karate?
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:20 PM   #12
phitruong
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

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Kevin Hagens wrote: View Post
Can you expand on that Phi?
i used karate as the basic model (mostly).

for kicks: front kick, round house, and side kick. i skipped all the other fancy ones like spinning kick, hook kick, back spinning kick, crescent kick, and so on. i also skipped the running on top of bamboo stuffs, since it upset the local game hunters having shooting down martial arts folks in pajamas, and having to answer to the game warden on why they don't have permits for shooting such thing.

hand strikes: regular punch, jab, combo of punch and jab, knife hand strikes (don't like the see-me-coming-a-mile-away-yokomen by most aikido folks), palm strike, elbow strike. i skipped all the various claws such as eagle, tiger, chicken, duck, dog, cat, and so on. i was tempted to teach the five point start exploding heart technique, but we are trying to keep our membership up, and it's hard to dig hole to hide the body in the winter, since the ground is kinda hard.

there are a number of stuffs that folks need to learn not to hurt themselves when they hit things. also, learn to get hit and not freezing up. lots of important stuffs.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:30 PM   #13
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
Didn't O Sensei require all his students to have a background in Karate?
Huh?
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:54 PM   #14
Walter Martindale
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
Didn't O Sensei require all his students to have a background in Karate?
I wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure he took in people from a variety of martial arts backgrounds. Some from Judo, some from - well - the judo guys are the ones I've heard about, but from what little I've read, he was pretty open.
Cheers,
W
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:09 AM   #15
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Given the timing of Funakoshi Sensei's arrival in Japan, and the fact that karate in Japan was in its formative stages at about the same time aikido was, I think it's unlikely that O Sensei required a background in karate.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:28 AM   #16
OwlMatt
 
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

My dojo talks a lot about atemi and where and when to apply it, but spends almost no time actually practicing it. I think that's a big reason I haven't been able to give up my taekwondo training yet, despite the fact that I generally find aikido more satisfying.

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Old 02-16-2011, 12:57 AM   #17
Michael Varin
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Quote:
Matthew Story wrote:
My dojo talks a lot about atemi and where and when to apply it, but spends almost no time actually practicing it. I think that's a big reason I haven't been able to give up my taekwondo training yet, despite the fact that I generally find aikido more satisfying.
How do you feel taekwondo integrates with aikido?

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:34 AM   #18
Benjamin Mehner
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

I trained in McDojo Karate and Baguah Zhang before I came to Aikido. In those schools I studied nothing but strikes. We even considered our blocks to be strikes.

I do see a lack of what I would call a real sincerity in some of my dojo mates. They kind of swing their arms loosely and wait for me to direct them in the direction that they know I want them to go. Sometimes my sempai will just stand there and watch the attack not connect, or just move out of the way and ask for a more sincere attack. I'm starting to think that this is all too common in Aikido, and I've found that many of these people haven't ever studied another martial art. Maybe they should. I understand why we train slower and softer at first, but it makes more sense when you've had to defend yourself against full speed, full power attacks.

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Old 02-16-2011, 01:54 AM   #19
Hebrew Hammer
 
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

I do have some striking experience and think its definitely a skill with diminishing returns, if not practiced. I also think its important to feel what its like to receive a strike, because at times its shocking to the system and imperative to know how to react. Especially during randori and as people get more advanced.

I think Benjamin is right on in his assessment. Even just doing some bag work can improve this skill, improving timing, distance and speed, not to mention very therapeutic in its own right...at least for me.

Matt, that's also an interesting observation about atemi and you have a curious contrast in styles there. By the way, I've been enjoying your blog and have been meaning to comment on them.

Phi, thanks for the details and the humor. Sarcasm is always welcome and free of charge.

Sensei Ledyard, when are you going to open a dojo in San Diego? I'm always impressed with your knowledge, training, and philosophy with regards to Aikido. Would love to see you put out a book or two, not just on techniques which most martial books are all about but on philosophy, training, anecdotes etc.

Asim, thank you also for your response, would be interested in seeing some of that training. I'm sure a lot could be learned from it.

PS Alejandro, I forgot how much striking is in Yoseikan, its very much an all aspect martial art. Wish there was some of it here in San Diego.

Last edited by Hebrew Hammer : 02-16-2011 at 01:56 AM.

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Old 02-16-2011, 05:45 AM   #20
osaya
 
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

in my previous dojo, we had several senseis who rotated instructions throughout the week. each had their strengths and weaknesses to be sure, but in relation to strikes, a couple of senseis in particular came from solid karate backgrounds and thus, their atemis were very 'sincere'... and if you don't move, you'd get hit - bad.

so i'd very quickly learn to move appropriately, and to be very aware of vulnerable spots while doing a technique. i.e. if you didn't perform a technique properly/seamlessly, and there was an opening, you might get an atemi. similarly, i'd get called on if i wasn't providing proper strikes while being uke.

all that said, even with the [relatively] heightened awareness of this aspect, it did not prepare me for actually being hit. when i had a friendly spar with a guy from striking background some time ago, my composure went to shits after being hit in the head a few times.

i've recently started Systema in addition to Aikido, and they train not only giving, but taking strikes there, and IMHO, it's done me a lot of good... if not technically, then certainly psychologically.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:04 AM   #21
phitruong
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

a few stories about strikes

one time we got a few young guys came and checked us out. they asked if we can punch and kick. my sempai, who also played with the systema folks, said "like this?" and proceed to hit in the body a couple of times. you can hear the loud thuds of the strike. then i said "my turn" and proceed to hit my sempai a couple of times. the looks on faces of those guys who came were priceless. folks wanted to learn how to strike but never expect to get hit. they never came back. folks just have strange expectation.

another time, a guy with nidan in karate came to join the dojo. i was teaching techniques against stomach punch. he would stop a few inches in front of the stomach. i told him to hit through as though to rip uke's spine out the other side. he would not. i asked him why? he said at his previous karate dojo, they were not allow to touch (my jaw was on the floor). i told him not here. i waved my son over, and said "hit me". my son proceed to punch me in the gut and sent me staggering back a few steps. so i told the guy, that's how i want you to punch. you should have seen the look of disbelief on his face. anyway, he didn't stay with us too long after. it was just too uncomfortable for him to change.

a friend of mine practiced in our dojo. she has a very long reach and great reflex. so one time we practiced techniques against face punch. as we squared off, i noticed our distance was quite a bit far. so here i was thinking with that sort of distance, i could have gone for coffee then come back and still have time to deal with her punch. suddenly a fist came out of nowhere and snapped my head back. as i recovered i realized she had crossed that distance and tagged me. she had a horrified look on her face and was apologized to me profusely. i just cracked up and laughed and told her to hit me again. later i talked to her and found out that she had a bad experience with hitting at one of the seminar. she hit her partner, a black belt (she's kyu rank), in the face in the same manner. the black belt got upset and lectured her. she was quite upset with that experience. i told her that if she encounter that sort of experience in the future. the proper respond would be to apology and thank the guy, then proceed to hit him again until his technique improve.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:04 AM   #22
Walter Martindale
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
i told her that if she encounter that sort of experience in the future. the proper respond would be to apology and thank the guy, then proceed to hit him again until his technique improve.
I keep looking for a "like" link to click...


I don't have a background in strikes (neither physically hitting people or downing tools and carrying signs around in front of the employer). However, I understand that we're supposed to be actually trying to hit someone, so, I actually try to hit people - as you say, through the belly to the spine, for example. And if they're too far away or swinging the "fist" off to the side, I'll say "I'm over here - punch over there and I don't have to do the technique."
Cheers,
W
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:23 AM   #23
Michael Varin
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

I'm seeing a lot of references to UFC, boxing, karate, gloves, jabs, kicks, backgrounds in striking, etc.

Is this merely a problem of a lack of intensity or sincerity with regard to strikes during aikido training?

Or is there something specifically lacking from shomen uchi, yokomen uchi, mune tsuki, and the other atemi included within the kihon waza?

-Michael
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:47 AM   #24
Janet Rosen
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Most of the dojos I've been in, if newbies were afraid to aim on target or punch through, it was corrected. Many folks with no background in fighting or in m.a. are truly afraid to deliver a good strike, much less receive one, because they honestly have no idea what to expect. Taking time out from doing techniques to work with them specifically on this always seemed like time well spent to me.

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Old 02-17-2011, 12:45 PM   #25
Hebrew Hammer
 
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Re: Do you train for strikes?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
I'm seeing a lot of references to UFC, boxing, karate, gloves, jabs, kicks, backgrounds in striking, etc.

Is this merely a problem of a lack of intensity or sincerity with regard to strikes during aikido training?
You are correct on both accounts, in addition to that, the one thing I always notice defensively with regards to most Aikido demonstrations, is that people tend to keep their chins up providing a lucrative target...slightly tucking the chin downward and swinging one of your shoulders towards the uki can provide for simple basic protections against a knock out strike.

Stay Cut,

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