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Old 07-01-2011, 08:49 AM   #1
"InsanityManifested"
IP Hash: 2c40e97f
Anonymous User
Straight Face Farewell Aikido

(This is my brief observation during my time practicing Aikido)

Up till now I have experienced the highs and lows of training, the hardships and successes that come before and after grading, and the people that arrive and leave the dojo. I've enjoyed my training but I never thought I would be one of the people who would leave. There has been doubt in the back of my mind that manifested 1 year ago, that always made me question why. Why practice with no resistance, why practice with no competition, why does everyone go on about how competition only serves to boost the ego? (Do NOT answer these questions, I do not care for the answers - I've "heard it all before" - if you answer these questions I will take that as a sign that you are an illiterate and your incompetence will be forgiven.)

It was doubt that caused an internal battle within myself. In my own opinion (and from my experiences), Aikido seems to need to be believed/have faith entrusted into it for the results to show themselves. There lies the base for all my doubts. I have never been one to have faith. I consider myself to be a very logical person, relying on fact and results. I always wanted to be able to test the skills I was learning, I tested the techniques outside the dojo however the results weren't good. Inside the dojo everything seemed to work, however when I asked the Uke to add resistance I was met with the same failure. This only increased my doubts.

This continued on for quite a while, the result never changed. I felt like I was wasting my time. For those that say - "don't worry about such a thing and just practice for the sake of practice". Let me answer it this way: Deep down, when you know something isn't right and it just makes you uncomfortable that you cannot continue with what you're doing. Practice was becoming uncomfortable, ignoring the problem was difficult because it felt like I was being jabbed in the head with a needle every time.

I find it difficult to practice because the dojo practices quite different to how I prefer to practice. To which someone would say "just change dojos". I have tried other places, but the same issue is there before I have even arrived. (I have no issue with the people/instructors at any dojo, they are all wonderful people who do their best to pass on their knowledge to their students.) To be honest, it is hard to put into words what this problem is without it being misinterpreted. It just felt like what I was being told didn't fit with what I knew.

All I can say now is that after much thought and discussion with my family and with myself, I have decided to cease my Aikido practice and start training in a different martial art that I feel better suits me. Be eager to learn and practice, fight in competitions and let it mold my character.

Thanks and train hard.
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
Helle Buvik
Location: Fredrikstad
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Norway
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Good bye. I'll not try to convince you to stay at something you've found to not really be what you are looking for, only wish you good luck with what you change to now and hope that you'll find some use there for a bit of what you learned in aikido class too.

Take care.
Helle
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:06 PM   #3
Philip Hornback
Dojo: Gentle Wind Dojo Baton Rouge, La.
Location: livingston, louisiana
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Good luck with your new pursuit. Often however it all comes down the person not the art.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:56 PM   #4
"Unregistghftyb"
IP Hash: 020a0852
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Re: Farewell Aikido

What is your new art?
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:41 PM   #5
"bagogab"
IP Hash: f5dfb9b6
Anonymous User
Re: Farewell Aikido

Quote:
if you answer these questions I will take that as a sign that you are an illiterate and your incompetence will be forgiven
Thanks for the forgiveness in advance, but if you don't want something replied to, why put it up on the internet (of all places)? What is the point of writing something like this if not to get a response? You say you've experienced "the" ups downs etc. which sounds like maybe you've "seen it all." Maybe you have, but I doubt it. On the surface it seems like a presumption.
If you're looking for something more competitive, more power to you, but belief is not required for Aikido; I avoid belief as much as possible, and I know a number of other Aikido people who do too. The bottom line is that you want to try something else, and I think you should probably leave it at that if you genuinely want to avoid "belief" in favor of getting at the truth (right now I'm choosing not to believe what you say and instead am choosing to test it the only way I know how, by responding).
The "art" is nothing; the people are everything. Whatever "Art" you train in, make sure it's with people who train/behave in ways you want to train/behave. I think it's as simple as that. You're implying Aikido (a huge group of people and training practices) is faith-based and I take exception to that. That is not the Aikido I have been exposed to. Good luck and train well!
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:30 AM   #6
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 643
Israel
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Good luck in your new path.

From your description, it seems that indeed, something in the way Aikido is taught in your surrounding, did not fit with you. If indeed this is the case, leave without bitterness.
Do not bother with excuses, or assumptions regarding "Aikido" as a whole, there are too many varients. Admit to yourself this path was not for you and you were not able to learn even the techniques (correct technique are valid with resistance) let alone the art by pacing it.

I hope your experiance hasat least helped you to define your requirments of the next path.

Amir
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:33 AM   #7
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
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Posts: 2,697
England
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Re: Farewell Aikido

You say it takes faith in Aikido and I totally agree. However let me put it this way:

I see somethings been tugging at you and you have discussed it with friends and family, all good. Now you have found an art you are happy with. All good.

I would say that you have already met 'faith' in Aikido and it has led you to where you are now. In fact you finally took that leap of faith on your own personal journey. Well done. And good luck.

Regards.G.
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:37 PM   #8
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 599
England
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Good post - I can understand and agree with much of what you say - I can assure you it was not always that way. believe me.
My son Rik Ellis is a long time student of Aikido, he is now doing very well in the MMA scene - my 16 yr old grandson Jay also has an Aikido background and last Saturday fought and won against a 24 yr old fighter. He has won his first three semi-pro fights all in the first round..Good luck to you and your choice of martial art.

Henry Ellis
Rik Ellis Aikdo/MMA
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:24 PM   #9
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,133
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Re: Farewell Aikido

What purpose was accomplished with your post InsanityManifested? Why bother posting anonymously? You owe us no explanation for having made a personal decision to leave Aikido. You weren't getting what you felt you needed and have found another path. Since I don't know who you are and can't assess the value of your opinions, your screed is meaningless to me. I will simply take it at face value that you weren't happy in your training and wish you well in your new direction. Please bow as you leave the dojo.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:55 PM   #10
SeiserL
 
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Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
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Re: Farewell Aikido

IMHO, where ever you go your beliefs and doubts go with you.

Where ever you go, there you are.

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 07-04-2011, 10:07 PM   #11
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,170
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Re: Farewell Aikido

I hate long goodbyes.

dps
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:51 AM   #12
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
I hate long goodbyes.
+1

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:34 AM   #13
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: Farewell Aikido

DearInsanity manifested,
The problem was not Aikido, the problem isi n you.Any doubts etc were in your mind.In my opinion your decision to quit aikido is fine.I think you should have quit earlier.No teacher wants or needs a student who clearly feels that aikido is not for them.
Another point , how do you know that the new martial art is going to satisfy you? You might well have the same view about the new art months down the line.Why not simply spend more time with the family?Maybe that would be the right course of action?Certainly its a worthwhile , meaningful and rewarding experience.
All the best , Joe.
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:35 AM   #14
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
+1
Dear Tim,
Me too!!!Joe.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:31 PM   #15
"AnotherUnregTroll"
IP Hash: 58e912f4
Anonymous User
Lightbulb Re: Farewell Aikido

face it, what the OP posted is essentially the equivalent of going up to a bunch of sumo guys and telling them that they're fat - to pick a fight, of course. why else would someone post in a dedicated aikido forum that they're quitting? to inspire others to quit? he would have been better off joining the anti-aikido brigade on bullshido.

so the OP wants a fight that he can't find in aikido. generally i'd wish him luck in his future kajukenbo/muay thai/bjj endeavours, but really i just want to tell him to put down the ufc dvds and go eat another twinkie.

/2c
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:28 PM   #16
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 903
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
i just want to tell him to put down the ufc dvds and go eat another twinkie.

/2c

MM
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:45 PM   #17
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Canada
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Re: Farewell Aikido

I'm sorry you didn't find any good aikido. Good aikido doesn't require faith, the feeling of being slammed into the mat is a straightforward physical fact. Any teacher worthy of the title should be able to do that to a beginner with no MA experience.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:26 AM   #18
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,155
United Kingdom
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
I'm sorry you didn't find any good aikido. Good aikido doesn't require faith, the feeling of being slammed into the mat is a straightforward physical fact. Any teacher worthy of the title should be able to do that to a beginner with no MA experience.
Dear Jonathan,
What makes you think that the writer Insanity did not find good Aikido? The aikido was probably good, it was Insanity who was lacking/had issues. As far as I am concerned he /she was simply deadwood.Apart from paying the dojo subs what did the person bring to the party?Zero.The usual martial arts butterfly-floats from one art to another.Our mystery contributor [courageous soul-doesnt even want anyone to know his /her identity] is a plastic samurai if ever was one.No big loss to the aikido community.What we need is committed people not part timers.I get so fed up wasting my time trying to teach people who jump ship within a month .I say give me two students who are keen rather than 50 who are deadbeats.Why do these people enter an Aikido dojo? Anything worthwhile takes time and effort to master.
Cheers, Joe
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:29 AM   #19
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Canada
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Jonathan,
What makes you think that the writer Insanity did not find good Aikido? The aikido was probably good, it was Insanity who was lacking/had issues. As far as I am concerned he /she was simply deadwood.Apart from paying the dojo subs what did the person bring to the party?Zero.The usual martial arts butterfly-floats from one art to another.Our mystery contributor [courageous soul-doesnt even want anyone to know his /her identity] is a plastic samurai if ever was one.No big loss to the aikido community.What we need is committed people not part timers.I get so fed up wasting my time trying to teach people who jump ship within a month .I say give me two students who are keen rather than 50 who are deadbeats.Why do these people enter an Aikido dojo? Anything worthwhile takes time and effort to master.
Cheers, Joe
Though I agree he probaby didn't have the most constructive attitude (possibly a great undertsatement), I think he didn't find good aikido beacause A) they never trained with resistence and techniques always worked unless he specifically asked uke to resist and B) it required faith to believe it could ever be effective. At the very least he should have been around people who could show that it worked for them (easy to show by throwing him as he resisted), and give him the tips needed to start making it work for him (at least some of the time with people of his own level).

Jonathan Olson
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:00 PM   #20
Shadowfax
 
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Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
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Re: Farewell Aikido

I'm not sure I have ever really understood these goodbye threads that occur so often on message boards.

Trying something like aikido and discovering that it is not what you were looking for is not exactly rare. People do it all the time. I see nothing wrong with trying aikido, discovering it is not your cup of tea and moving on.But why the dramatic exit?

Have a nice life and don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:17 PM   #21
jeremymcmillan
Dojo: Kiku Matsu/Chicago, IL
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 19
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
(This is my brief observation during my time practicing Aikido)

Up till now I have experienced the highs and lows of training, the hardships and successes that come before and after grading, and the people that arrive and leave the dojo. I've enjoyed my training but I never thought I would be one of the people who would leave. There has been doubt in the back of my mind that manifested 1 year ago, that always made me question why. Why practice with no resistance, why practice with no competition, why does everyone go on about how competition only serves to boost the ego? (Do NOT answer these questions, I do not care for the answers - I've "heard it all before" - if you answer these questions I will take that as a sign that you are an illiterate and your incompetence will be forgiven.)

It was doubt that caused an internal battle within myself. In my own opinion (and from my experiences), Aikido seems to need to be believed/have faith entrusted into it for the results to show themselves. There lies the base for all my doubts. I have never been one to have faith. I consider myself to be a very logical person, relying on fact and results. I always wanted to be able to test the skills I was learning, I tested the techniques outside the dojo however the results weren't good. Inside the dojo everything seemed to work, however when I asked the Uke to add resistance I was met with the same failure. This only increased my doubts.

This continued on for quite a while, the result never changed. I felt like I was wasting my time. For those that say - "don't worry about such a thing and just practice for the sake of practice". Let me answer it this way: Deep down, when you know something isn't right and it just makes you uncomfortable that you cannot continue with what you're doing. Practice was becoming uncomfortable, ignoring the problem was difficult because it felt like I was being jabbed in the head with a needle every time.

I find it difficult to practice because the dojo practices quite different to how I prefer to practice. To which someone would say "just change dojos". I have tried other places, but the same issue is there before I have even arrived. (I have no issue with the people/instructors at any dojo, they are all wonderful people who do their best to pass on their knowledge to their students.) To be honest, it is hard to put into words what this problem is without it being misinterpreted. It just felt like what I was being told didn't fit with what I knew.

All I can say now is that after much thought and discussion with my family and with myself, I have decided to cease my Aikido practice and start training in a different martial art that I feel better suits me. Be eager to learn and practice, fight in competitions and let it mold my character.

Thanks and train hard.
So sorry that you posted this anonymously. It would have been nice to know that we could connect the dots in the future as your perspectives will likely change as you train at new dojo(s) in new art(s). In particular, I'm quite curious what you think (in retrospect) you've taken with you from Aikido into pursuit of other arts after you've had a chance to reflect on that.

I've had the benefit of training with Jonathan Knipping who's teaching Aikido at Enso Aikido and Kiku Matsu Dojo, and learning Karate at the dojo Enso shares. He claims that learning striking/linear/attack powered arts radically alters and improves one's Aikido. I have been very curious about trying some Yichuan, but I wonder if its suppleness isn't different enough to force me out of mental complacencies/ruts I might be developing in Aikido.

All that said, after having spent so much time on the mat doing Aikido, if it has effectively taught you anything (good or bad), has it not somewhat rewired your brain and the way you move? After a long time, is its effect even conscious any more? "Goodbye Aikido" seems like a very difficult thing to do. O Sensei was a student of several arts/teachers and Aikido is a distillation of those (and Omotokyo/Onisaburo Deguchi). Defending the intellectual distinctions between all of these things is confusing and fruitless. Hello Aikido; Goodbye Aikido--just keep going! Thanks for sharing your feelings, and I hope you'll feel so inclined in the future.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:05 AM   #22
inframan
Location: atx
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Re: Farewell Aikido

I'm wondering what "practice with no resistance" means. Were you told that everyone has to react in a certain way no matter if the technique worked or not?

Anyway it sounds like Aikido is not a good fit for you if you want to compete.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:53 AM   #23
"nobody nothing"
IP Hash: 05a673b7
Anonymous User
Arrow Re: Farewell Aikido

The real problem inside of the aikido world is the lack of real understanding. Everyone wants to focus on the "fine details" and the subtle uses of energy or technique. The problem is that grossly almost no one seems to understand the system.

Aikido like all martial arts is not flawless, and it's techniques are not without the weakness. But when someone says they "ask uke to add resistance" what are they asking uke to do? If you can't understand what Aikido is teaching you, then how can you "test" it?
For example, if I didn't think that MMA techniques worked, and I'm new to MMA (that is to say I'm not a regular competitor in MMA). How could I test it's techniques within the confines of a dead form? Aikido techniques and the majority of its practices don't use alive training methods, so all you have to "test" is a dead form, a form that you don't understand. If you want to test it outside of a form, and I don't really know the system, this too would fail, and be a bad test.

If you are working on some technique, within a dead form, uke must understand what it is that the form is working towards. For example if it's Ikyo, then uke must give up the elbow and relax the shoulder for that technique to be successful. If by adding resistance you mean that you are asking uke to push his elbow down and tighten his shoulder then Ikyo will never work- that is not what the technique is designed to do. It's like practicing a dead form for the jab, and telling your sparring partner to resist you by defending the jab, and then getting upset because all of your jabs "fail". Within the confines of your dead form you can't make something work when you set it up to fail.

Get a living practice, it's not your arts fault, but your inability to understand what it is that your art is doing. That coupled with a dead practice equals the frustration we see in many of those who practice Aikido.
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Old 07-31-2011, 12:58 PM   #24
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
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England
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
The real problem inside of the aikido world is the lack of real understanding. Everyone wants to focus on the "fine details" and the subtle uses of energy or technique. The problem is that grossly almost no one seems to understand the system.

Aikido like all martial arts is not flawless, and it's techniques are not without the weakness. But when someone says they "ask uke to add resistance" what are they asking uke to do? If you can't understand what Aikido is teaching you, then how can you "test" it?
For example, if I didn't think that MMA techniques worked, and I'm new to MMA (that is to say I'm not a regular competitor in MMA). How could I test it's techniques within the confines of a dead form? Aikido techniques and the majority of its practices don't use alive training methods, so all you have to "test" is a dead form, a form that you don't understand. If you want to test it outside of a form, and I don't really know the system, this too would fail, and be a bad test.

If you are working on some technique, within a dead form, uke must understand what it is that the form is working towards. For example if it's Ikyo, then uke must give up the elbow and relax the shoulder for that technique to be successful. If by adding resistance you mean that you are asking uke to push his elbow down and tighten his shoulder then Ikyo will never work- that is not what the technique is designed to do. It's like practicing a dead form for the jab, and telling your sparring partner to resist you by defending the jab, and then getting upset because all of your jabs "fail". Within the confines of your dead form you can't make something work when you set it up to fail.

Get a living practice, it's not your arts fault, but your inability to understand what it is that your art is doing. That coupled with a dead practice equals the frustration we see in many of those who practice Aikido.
Hello Nobody. Nobody nothing sounds like true Aikido.

Just to say I agree with your first sentence to a big degree. However your explanation on ikkyo as an example I can see many stuck on but that merely fits the first sentence.

People that reach the level where it doesn't matter what resistance you put there may well be few and far between but how many masters of any art are there?

The purpose of training is to handle these holds but it doesn't happen overnight.

As you say it's no different to any other martial art in as much as it takes time and disciplined learning, no short cuts. No secret techniques. No short cuts.

Regards.G
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:02 PM   #25
shidoin
Dojo: Aikibuken
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 48
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Re: Farewell Aikido

Hello there,

The techniques in aikido are there to teach you the arts principles. Not every technique practiced in the dojo is going to look the same on the street. If you were not training with resistance in the dojo that was Uke's fault and the fault of your sensei, and yours for not asking. Resistance does not mean Uke stands stiff and holds his limbs as tight as he can. If he is doing a Yokomen, ask for a haymaker and practice with real intent. If you stand there you get hit. If doing Ushiro Waza ask Uke to grab as he would in a real situation, it is up to you to time the technique correctly to make it work! If you can't make it work then you need more practice. On the street there are no rules as you know. Expect to be bit, spit on, hair pulled , eyes and ears ripped out of your head ect.. No art can prepare you for what may happen. We train and train so there is no thought-everything must become a natural reaction.
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