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Old 08-14-2012, 10:20 AM   #1
aiki-jujutsuka
 
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How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Hi there, as my username suggests I don't actually practice Aikido, I'm actually a brown belt in Aiki-Jujutsu. My style is based on Hakko Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu, which shares a common root art with Aikido in Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu. This thread isn't about which art is better - I have alot of respect for Aikido and from what I've seen there are many similarities between our two arts. Rather I am curious as to whether it is worth my while to explore Aikido as a natural extension to Aiki-Jujutsu; so I have a few questions...

From the clips I've seen on youtube Aikido seems to place more emphasis on motion than Aiki-Jujutsu. In Aiki-Jujutsu the majority of our techniques are performed from a static position. Is Aikido therefore better for conditioning and fitness?

I have watched (and been inspired by) randori in Aikido, something we don't do in Aiki-Jujutsu and something I am very eager to experience. Is randori a fundamental part of all Aikido or does it differ from club to club? Is it only for Dan grades? There are a few waza techniques for multiple attackers in Aiki-Jujutsu but they are only found in the Dan grade syllabus and again they are all from a static position.

Although I love training in Aiki-Jujutsu sometimes I get frustrated by how light our training is - no-one takes ukemi very hard and other than at gradings I rarely break a sweat. This may or may not be down to my own club so I don't want to make generalizations about Aiki-Jujutsu but how hard do you train in Aikido? I've seen some hard ukemi on youtube is this typical of Aikido training?

I know a little about Morihei Ueshiba's own training in Daito-Ryu before developing Aikido and feel that my Aiki-Jujutsu would help me pick up Aikido quickly, however I don't want to have a rose-tinted view of Aikido that may not match up with reality. I look forward to getting to know people and read your responses.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:53 AM   #2
lbb
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

On the point of conditioning and fitness: I would look elsewhere than in any martial art if this is a major goal of yours. Yes, martial arts training does involve exercise, but the goal of any martial art is something than conditioning and fitness. If that's a major reason why you're considering aikido, I would instead design a systematic program whose sole focus is conditioning and fitness.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
Cliff Judge
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

You should find yourself an Aikido dojo that is softer and less techniqe-oriented, but preferably one that has an instructor who is a good technician and can exchange notes with you. Give it a year or two and see whether or not it helps your jujutsu!
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
aiki-jujutsuka
 
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Thank you for the responses so far. There is an Aikido club in my home town that says it teaches Traditional Aikido but I am not sure what that really means? Can anyone elaborate?
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:16 PM   #5
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

I can only speak for the dojo where I train.

Our classes take 90 minutes. The warming up is light, it's actually more loosening and activating the body than warming up. But we move a lot and ukemi in particular quickly warms up the body. So most of us will sweat, even when the weather is cold. My gi is usually soaked when class is over.

Randori may not mean the same thing in different styles and dojos. In our dojo randori means multiple attackers. There is also jiyuwaza (freestyle), which in our dojo means that nage has some freedom of choice about which technique to apply. Sometimes we train with uke having some freedom of choice about his attack (I don't know if that kind of training has a name).

In our dojo it depends on the teacher and the amount of space on the mat and the composition of the class how often we do this kind of training. I train two times a week and about once or twice a month we train multiple attackers and / or freestyle techniques and / or freestyle attacks for about 15 minutes near the end of a class. Lower rank students also participate, but I don't think we do it with novice students.

Anyway, I really enjoy the the extra intensity of this kind of training and I wish we'd do it more often.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:55 PM   #6
odudog
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

I am going to assume that you are at a lower level in your aiki-jujitsu trainging. This is the reason for your training slow. If your aiki-jujitsu is done well, then your partner gets seriously crunched. You need to really know what you are doing in your aiki-jujitsu to prevent this from happening while moving at a good pace.

Aikido techniques were changed so that they could be done at a good pace but without crunching your partner. Even with this said, this varies with the style of aikido practiced and the outcome that a dojo/Sensei desires. We do have some techniques that were not changed so you have to be in total control to not crunch your partner.

I cross trained in aiki-jujitsu style. My mentor crunched me with several techniques even though he held back just to teach me the flavor or mentality of the technique being taught.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:31 PM   #7
Basia Halliop
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Quote:
Ewen Ebsworth wrote: View Post
Thank you for the responses so far. There is an Aikido club in my home town that says it teaches Traditional Aikido but I am not sure what that really means? Can anyone elaborate?
That could mean almost anything, since many people of many different styles believe that their style is the most traditional and it's everyone else who's moved away from the original .

Regardless, though, the best way to know what it means or in fact to answer any of your questions is to stop by at the dojo you're thinking of and watch a class or two.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:08 AM   #8
Alex Megann
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

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Thank you for the responses so far. There is an Aikido club in my home town that says it teaches Traditional Aikido but I am not sure what that really means? Can anyone elaborate?
Your profile doesn't say where you are based, but in the UK, at least, "Traditional" is often used to mean Aikikai/Iwama (in fact anything that isn't Tomiki/Ki/Yoshinkai). It is also used by groups who have a long history of practising aikido, but aren't affiliated to the Aikikai. I have on accasion met people who say what they do is "traditional aikido" but not "Aikikai style", often with a dismissive curl of the lip as they say the latter.

There is an additional (but less common) connotation: because Morihiro Saito's first series of books were entitled "Traditional Aikido", some Iwama groups use the phrase as a kind of trade mark.

I personally don't like the description - I can't see how a martial art like aikido that only has three generations of history can be "traditional" in any meaningful way, beyond abiding by the common etiquette of Japanese martial arts...

Alex
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:44 AM   #9
JJF
 
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Could you supply a web-adress to the dojo? then we could take a look and give you a better interpretation of the term 'traditional' used in the specific context.

On topic: Aikido differs A LOT. from very soft to very hard. From emphasis purely on technique and footwork to flow and dynamics and further on to the very selfdefence oriented - and all the different combinations in between. It usually comes down to 'the pedigree' of the dojo and - not the least - the the sensei in charge.

Aikido can be really really good for your overall health, but it is not a given. Some do pushsups and weightlifting to become physically strong. Some do ki-exercises for hours.

Regarding randori - it is usually only for the more advanced students, but we do 'limited randori' where you train the feeling of moving and taking initiative in the situation. It is good cardio training for both the person doing the waza and those attacking.

Aikido does however tend to be a little difficult in the beginning so it wont be a good workout until you get the basics down. Depending on ability, the people in the dojo and prior MA experience this might take anything between a few months up to years.

Best thing to do is to go observe a class - or maybe even join in - in what ever dojos that may be in your area, and then take a few days to mull it over. You should find a place that give you what you want, and where you enjoy the way it is given to you.

You might even find something that you didn't expect you would like. One of my students wanted to be like Steven Seagal and took little interest in the weapons work we do - but he's slowly warming up to it, and is actually thinking about buying an iaito for more serious sword practice. So stay open minded

Good luck with it

JJ

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:58 AM   #10
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Quote:
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I am going to assume that you are at a lower level in your aiki-jujitsu trainging. This is the reason for your training slow. If your aiki-jujitsu is done well, then your partner gets seriously crunched. You need to really know what you are doing in your aiki-jujitsu to prevent this from happening while moving at a good pace.
Well I have been training for 2 years and am a brown belt (we grade every 4 months). As much as I love the art I can get frustrated by the way my instructors teach. The problem with my club is that it is relatively small but with a wide range of ages and ability. We have teenagers and pensioners and white belts to black. For different reasons my instructors never train that hard. I've been to several seminars where we have trained harder so I know that my experience is not the norm for all Aiki-Jujutsu clubs but the other clubs are too far to travel to regularly and it would end up costing me alot each week in time and petrol (I'm from the UK).

That's not to say the wrist locks aren't applied properly - my wrists get really sore after an evening of Nidan or Shodan and depending on the instructor they can really crank them on! However, whenever we practice otoshi's or Kote-Gaeshi we never really get to practice our ukemi properly. This is more what I am referring to when I say we practice 'light'.

@ JFF here's the website: http://www.aikidocircle.com/aboutus.html

Thank you for all the feedback, I appreciate that Aikido is not taught uniformly from club to club and that finding the right club/dojo/instructor is important. I am not put off by the fact that Aikido may be difficult to pick up initially for the beginner as I feel it is similar for Aiki-Jujutsu (the first grading is purely Sureware waza, which puts many people off who are not interested in the traditional aspect of the art).
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:36 AM   #11
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

As an Aikidoka, I have really enjoyed training opportunities in Aiki-jujutsu and Daito-ryu.

Seeing the same things from a different perspective is always useful.

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 08-15-2012, 02:21 PM   #12
Richard Stevens
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Ewen, do you practice Dentokan Jujutsu? Your name seems familiar. Aikido and Hakko-Ryu training methods are fundamentally different. Hakko-Ryu, especially mainline, almost exclusively focuses on paired kata training and is far less "organic" than many of the popular styles of Aikido.

With that being said you're also going to see a large variation in training methods between dojo's that practice offshoots of Hakko-Ryu (like Dentokan and KoKoDo). Our training regularly includes "spirited" jiyuwaza and randori training, while many other Dentokan groups tend to focus more on kihon-waza.

We have some Aikidoka that train with us and there is definitely a benefit in participating in both arts. Jujutsu practitioners can certainly benefit from the movement found in Aikido.

You might try searching for some Roy Dean articles as he has written a bit about training in both Aikido and Seibukan Jujutsu (another off-shoot of Hakko-Ryu).
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #13
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Quote:
Ewen Ebsworth wrote: View Post
Chiba, Saito, Tamura and Nishio covers a lot of ground! All vigorous in their approach. Followers of the Saito methods generally include randori quite a bit even at beginning levels. One could easily find much worse places to train.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:01 AM   #14
aiki-jujutsuka
 
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

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Ewen, do you practice Dentokan Jujutsu? Your name seems familiar. Aikido and Hakko-Ryu training methods are fundamentally different. Hakko-Ryu, especially mainline, almost exclusively focuses on paired kata training and is far less "organic" than many of the popular styles of Aikido.

With that being said you're also going to see a large variation in training methods between dojo's that practice offshoots of Hakko-Ryu (like Dentokan and KoKoDo). Our training regularly includes "spirited" jiyuwaza and randori training, while many other Dentokan groups tend to focus more on kihon-waza.

We have some Aikidoka that train with us and there is definitely a benefit in participating in both arts. Jujutsu practitioners can certainly benefit from the movement found in Aikido.

You might try searching for some Roy Dean articles as he has written a bit about training in both Aikido and Seibukan Jujutsu (another off-shoot of Hakko-Ryu).
Yes I do train in Dentokan Aiki-Jujutsu and from your description it is very accurate, we almost exclusively train paired kata style. While training methods are fundamentally different they are still based on a symbiotic relationship between uke and tori. I enjoy training in the waza techniques of Aiki-Jujutsu, however I feel that the art could benefit from incorporating randori into the training methodology but perhaps it would be too difficult an adjustment to make without making the kata work more organic as you said?

Correct me if I'm wrong but from my observations Aiki-Jujutsu seems to concentrate on what to do once the uke has a firm hold of tori, whereas in Aikido it is more about intercepting uke's attack creating the motion?

Incidently, I am a huge fan of Roy Dean, I think he is an inspirational martial artist and I own a couple of his dvds - art of the wristlock and white belt bible. He is one of the reasons I am pursuing cross-training in Aikido.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:47 AM   #15
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Quote:
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. Followers of the Saito methods generally include randori quite a bit even at beginning levels.
This is by no means a universal rule.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:36 AM   #16
Richard Stevens
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Quote:
Ewen Ebsworth wrote: View Post
Yes I do train in Dentokan Aiki-Jujutsu and from your description it is very accurate, we almost exclusively train paired kata style. While training methods are fundamentally different they are still based on a symbiotic relationship between uke and tori. I enjoy training in the waza techniques of Aiki-Jujutsu, however I feel that the art could benefit from incorporating randori into the training methodology but perhaps it would be too difficult an adjustment to make without making the kata work more organic as you said?

Correct me if I'm wrong but from my observations Aiki-Jujutsu seems to concentrate on what to do once the uke has a firm hold of tori, whereas in Aikido it is more about intercepting uke's attack creating the motion?

Incidently, I am a huge fan of Roy Dean, I think he is an inspirational martial artist and I own a couple of his dvds - art of the wristlock and white belt bible. He is one of the reasons I am pursuing cross-training in Aikido.
How far have you gotten into the curriculum? I feel like once you get into Sandan and Yondan things start to make more sense and you can start to see how the kihon-waza can be applied in varying situations (especially with attacks that require you to enter/receive/blend). We do practice a great deal of oyo-waza which really helps things make sense in my opinion.

However, I totally see your point in regards to the attacks in the paired kata. It involves a great deal of static positioning. You have to keep in mind though the intention of the training method is to be able to learn to perform the technique as flawlessly as possible in a short amount of time. With that in mind it is much easier to learn Ude Osae Dori if the attack is a grab as opposed to gedan tsuki. If a strike is coming you have to factor in how to receive that strike. That adds more to the equation. The KISS theory applies.

It was explained to me that this is why in each set you go from seated to half-standing to standing. When you first learn to perform the technique there are less variables involved in the interaction between tori and uke. By the time you progress to the standing versions of the techniques you should feel fundamentally comfortable and have a good feeling of how your posture should be and how to use your hips to move uke. Imagine if you first learned how to do Ude Osae Dori standing as opposed to seated. If you couldn't manage to take uke's center you could simply cheat and step out to force them to break their posture. However, in seiza you are forced to learn the proper method or the technique.

Could you perform Ude Osae Dori from a strike? If you have a strong grasp of the kihon-waza, of course. However, you have to be in an environment where you have the opportunity to experiment with responding to various attacks (jiyu-waza/randori). If your group focuses exclusively on the kata you may want to bring up the issue. Myself and another yudansha in our group decided we wanted to include more jiyu-waza in our training so we took it upon ourselves to work on it together.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:51 AM   #17
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Thank you for your interest Richard, I have graded in the Shodan kata and learnt the Nidan kata, which I will need for my 1st Brown and 1st Dan gradings. We have had a little training in the Sandan and Yondan katas but it will be years before I can grade in them.

I wish someone would have explained the logic of learning the sureware waza first for the importance of mastering the technique as none of my instructors explained this to me. Usually they explain the historical context of the techniques (why we are kneeling) but from memory they've never linked that to the logic of minimizing the variables and the progression of moving from seated to standing.

We don't practice Jiyu-waza at my club, we do practice variations and they are a requirement for the grading but I tend to get frustrated with the balance between kata and variations. We grade every four months but we usually spend at least a good month after each grading doing variations (with self-defence applications in mind), Dan grade kata or ground work and then training for the next grading seems rushed as we have to polish the kata, learn new variations if necessary and knife-defence variations for the senior kyu grades.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:49 PM   #18
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Quote:
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....whereas in Aikido it is more about intercepting uke's attack creating the motion?....
This all depends on your point of view. As a person learning Aikido, I have always thought of the kihon waza as being that I have messed up and that is why my partner was able to grab my wrist. It is much harder to do the technique from kihon waza than from oyo waza.

Last edited by akiy : 08-16-2012 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:59 AM   #19
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

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This all depends on your point of view. As a person learning Aikido, I have always thought of the kihon waza as being that I have messed up and that is why my partner was able to grab my wrist. It is much harder to do the technique from kihon waza than from oyo waza.
Thanks for the insight. It is interesting you talk about from an Aikido perspective you feel that you have "messed up" if your partner is able to grab you; on a similar note my instructors have touched upon counters but it's something I've asked for more training in. For me now that I am a senior kyu grade I want my techniques to become natural - like an extension of myself if you will, rather than having to rely on textbook 'set ups'. Whenever we are taught techniques or variations they're usually taught with such sanitized finality, meaning if your opponent grabs you, do this and the confrontation will be over! But in reality we may mess up the technique and our attacker may be able to resist forcing us to change and adapt to the situation. I feel in my club more needs to be done on linking techniques and experimenting with different hypothetical scenarios.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:10 AM   #20
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

One more thing: I've heard it said that Aikido is a path whereas Aiki-Jujutsu is a set of techniques but both Hakko Ryu and Kokodo are conscientiously humanitarian in their application of Jujutsu and incorporate Shiatsu healing, which I believe is a requirement for all Shihans. So is the difference more superficial than has been made out? I think Hakko Ryu would consider itself a Budo the same as Aikido.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:01 PM   #21
Robert Cowham
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

A couple of points:

One of my students did his shodan with Paul Barker in 2002. He has since moved around and practiced in other places. The good side is that he has excellent movement and techniques and good basics. The bad side is organisational - in order to promote him to nidan (long overdue) I first had to recommend him for shodan aikikai (with relevant payment of fees and membership) in January, and will be able to recommend him for nidan at the end of this year - grading politics is a pain, but worth being aware of - depending on what you want to do with said grades (and it becomes important when you start having your own students - what system will you be plugging them in to?)

Regarding building up a sweat during practice - this varies significantly in the style involved. If that is something you like, then for example a Tissier sensei associated dojo is likely to give you an excellent workout! As it was put to me after I had taught a class in an affiliated dojo "you work on relaxation from the start - we work on it when you are exhausted from practice..."

It takes all sorts, and I would recommend regular seminars and/or visits to other dojos to ensure you get a good overview of what's on offer.

Enjoy your search!
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:39 PM   #22
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Thank you Robert,

I would love to move to Japan next year and while I love my AJJ training, I am very tempted to take up Aikido over there as I very much doubt my Dentokan AJJ rank would be recognized. From what I know of Hakko Ryu/Kokodo Jujutsu there are not that many clubs across the country and so Aikido may be more available, but also Aikido seems to offer a little bit more in terms of waza and randori.

However, I do have another Aikido related question - in AJJ we have shodan, nidan, sandan and yondan katas. Though I am many years from training grading in yondan I wondered if Aikido had its equivilent? Do you use the kakoon grip (sp?) in Aikido and if so at what level?
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:40 AM   #23
Richard Stevens
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Ewen, the grip you are referring to (gakun) is similar to what you would feel from an Aikidoka applying a yonkyo technique. There is a particular member of the Indianapolis Aikikai who has done it to me and it is just as painful as Hobbs-Sensei's.

Some styles of Aikido feature kata training, but many seem to be more organic in their methods (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Hakko-Ryu..........Aikido..........Daito-Ryu

Shodan.......... .....Ikkyo.............Ikajo
Nidan..................Nikkyo...........Nikajo
Sandan...............Sankyo.........Sankajo
Yondan...............Yonkyo.........Yonkajo

Have you considered Yoshinkan? It may suit you well.

Last edited by Richard Stevens : 09-04-2012 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:45 AM   #24
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

Quote:
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One more thing: I've heard it said that Aikido is a path whereas Aiki-Jujutsu is a set of techniques but both Hakko Ryu and Kokodo are conscientiously humanitarian in their application of Jujutsu and incorporate Shiatsu healing, which I believe is a requirement for all Shihans. So is the difference more superficial than has been made out? I think Hakko Ryu would consider itself a Budo the same as Aikido.
It might interest you to know that Okyuama wasn't a legitimate Shiatsu practitioner. He never had proper training. However, Irie-Sensei went to school and is a licensed Shiatsu practitioner. Hobbs-Sensei learned Shiatsu through his Kokodo Jujutsu training. I think it is more accurate to say that legitimate Shiatsu training is a part of Kokodo.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:30 AM   #25
pastor michael wolfe
Dojo: South Carolina Ki Aikido
Location: Greenville SC
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
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Re: How does Aikido compare to Aiki-Jujutsu?

From pastor michael wolfe

I have thirty plus years in martial arts training--Karate-do, Aikido, and Ki-Aikido. I agree that few martial arts classes provide a strong conditioning work out. The pace of giving instruction and then practicing in not conducive to a long time period of fast paced activity. You should create your own workout for heart and lung work.

As for effectiveness, everyone is always asking this question. Does Aikido work? I wold ask--Does it work and is it effective for what? I have found that I "use" my aikido almost daily. I use it for stress. I use it for relaxation. I use it to be a better person in my work and family. Now I actually once used it to escort a man in the park away from a group of children having a birthday party. extending ki and speaking calmly, I was able to take his arm and guide him away. There was no conflict. I think this was what O'Sensei would have envisioned for his aikido.

What can I say?

Pastor Michael Wolfe
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