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Old 01-21-2005, 10:42 AM   #1
fatebass21
 
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Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

What does everyone think about training different muscle groups for Aikido? (wrists, legs, etc..) Would doing this help with performing various techniques? I know that Aikido is not about physical strengh, but would working with these muscles help?

Chris
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Old 01-21-2005, 10:59 AM   #2
TheWonderKid
Dojo: Memorial University Aikido Club
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

I'm of the opinion that any training in muscle groups or any fitness training will help in Aikido. The critical thing to be careful of is that you're not relying solely on the wrong muscles to do the work. Aikido comes from the center, and your center is more powerful than any individual or collection of muscle groups.

Techniques may be improved with increased muscle training, but as I said previously, if you're finding your muscles aren't strong enough to do a particular technique, your probably doing it wrong. There some exceptions though.

I'm trying to get into a gym schedule myself but not necessarily for Aikido. The main thing I'd want to work on for Aikido is my grip. Sensei has an iron grip that is just really amazing. Often when I'm doing a particular technique involving grip, such as Tsuki Kotogeish (I think that's the name I'm thinking of, ignoring spelling), I find my grip isn't as good as I'd like because I slip often or can't seem to find a grip I like.

To increase this, I would suggest going to a chin-up bar and hanging off for a short time (if you let go of the bar your palms should face away from you) and try and increase that time every time you try it. Time yourself, if nothing else it gives you a moment to pause and think about stuff

Personally, I think flexibilty training would help out the most. Cause when you've got someone applying a pin with your arm being plied behind your back aiming towards your head, it's nice to have enough flexibility so that if they do it quickly, you'll have plently of time to tap. Also one of our instructors (a nidan) is really flexible and he uses it a lot in his ukemi, and his ukemi is simply amazing. Whatever it is, he never makes a sound, whether he's falling straight down or being launched across the room.

That that said, I have only been practicing Aikido for about 4 months so if you'd rather wait until someone with more experience advises you, I understand.
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Old 01-21-2005, 11:09 AM   #3
Qatana
 
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

Just train for general fitness. You do not need to be flexible, and the most "muscling" you will have to do will be getting up from the mat, so I'd say, work your upper legs for strenghth-this could be as simple as taking the stairs.
People with flexible wrists are more prone to injury because sometimes they won't tap out becaue it "doesn't hurt" and by the time it hurts, its too late.And as I learned the other night, even a "gentle" sankyo can be pretty devastating to a person with underdeveloped ukemi and loose wrists.

Q
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:44 PM   #4
paw
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

Quote:
Chris Sawyer wrote:
What does everyone think about training different muscle groups for Aikido? (wrists, legs, etc..) Would doing this help with performing various techniques? I know that Aikido is not about physical strengh, but would working with these muscles help?
I would be hard pressed to find an example where being physically fit wouldn't help aikido, and the benefits of being physically fit are numerous.

I honestly believe there isn't any good data to suggest a strength routine specifically for aikido, as no one has studied the physical demands of aikido and then studied various approaches to meeting or exceeding those demands and the results on performance. So that leaves, two choices (maybe more)

1. Pick an activity similar to aikido and adopt those strength and conditioning methods. There's been a fair amount of research on good conditioning routines for judo and wrestling, for example.

2. Develop your general physical ability to a reasonably high degree. For this, I strongly encourage a wholistic approach (something that develops strength AND flexibility AND anerobic capacity AND aerobic capacity and so on.....) rather than a segmented approach (lift weights M, W, F...run T, Th).

One person on this forum (who's name I've fogotten again, sorry) mentioned "The Firm" tapes and while I've not seen them, they sounded solid. Other resources I can recommend are Scrapper , Wiggy and Crossfit

The last three have approaches that are quick (no 1 hour a day workouts), require minimal equipment, minimal space, and definately get results.


Regards,

Paul
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:54 PM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

IMHO, generic fitness is always a plus. Include cardio and stretching. To work muscles, its resistant work. Generally lighter weight with full range of motion. Arms (fore, tri, and bi), delts, pecs, lats, legs. Do lots of core for abs and lower back. But the most important muscle group to train is you mind and heart. Keep them relaxed, calm, and open.

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 01-21-2005, 02:28 PM   #6
kironin
 
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

However stupid and superficial as the name is this stuff works for me.

http://www.beachbody.com/p90x

but keep in mind, if you are not already in decent shape (or can't pass
their fitness test) you should get the less ambitious P90 program that
starts out slow.

I like it. I feel it's helped my functional fitness and strength.
I like the variety.
YMMV.
Craig

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Old 01-21-2005, 10:09 PM   #7
giriasis
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

I'm the forum "FIRMie" mentioned above. Their site can be found at http://www.firmdirect.com and you can buy many of their videos at http://www.collagevideo.com . I'm a big at-home fitness buff.

I agree with the assessment of overall fitness. Working the legs helps you get up and protect your knee joints, working your arms helps to protect those joints and with grip, and core work (back/abs/hip flexors) are great for developing your center. Aerobics helps with endurance (to last through a class) and Anaerobic activity helps with things like tests and randori.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 01-22-2005, 05:14 AM   #8
paw
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote:
I'm the forum "FIRMie" mentioned above.
Anne, please forgive me for once again forgetting your name.

Warmest Regards,

Paul
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:08 PM   #9
giriasis
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

Quote:
Paul Watt wrote:
Anne, please forgive me for once again forgetting your name.

Warmest Regards,

Paul

Of course I'll forgive you. There are too many names to remember on this site and I don't post a lot. I'm glad you remembered about The FIRM.

(BTW, their older vidoes, pre-Goodtimes-take-over, rock although they are rather dated and cheesy still well worth the money. I have about 50+ of these videos. Yes, I use them all...just not all at once.)

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:22 PM   #10
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

I noticed, after doing Aikido for a few years that my quads got very tight. I def. needed to put stretching into my Aikido fitness routine.

Jeanne
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:39 AM   #11
darin
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

The best way to improve your techniques is to train more often and with the right people. Also try to find a teacher who can advise you on how to apply techniques for your size and body type.

By training more often your body will get used to the movements of aikido and you will be become more relaxed. The more relaxed you are the more power you will generate in your techniques because you will be faster and have better timing.
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:19 PM   #12
Tim Gerrard
 
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

[quote=Jeanne Shepard]I noticed, after doing Aikido for a few years that my quads got very tight.


No, no, no, you need to have a break every few hours.

Seriously though, I find usual sit-ups, pressups, dips etc. as well as a few hundered cuts of a bokken and a few more with a suburi bokken build arms and shoulders with strength not size. So faster and with more power.

Aikido doesn't work? My Aikido works, what on earth are you practicing?!
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Old 01-24-2005, 07:58 AM   #13
rob_liberti
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

I think that doing 1000 suburi can be good for you but I'd say that if you do not have a lot of training in the proper form for cutting then you are much better off doing 1000 cuts where you cut in as many different directions as you can (in a meaningful way). If you can learn to start and stop your sword from hara (you'll notice it wont bounce when you abruptly stop it) you'll really be getting the kind of training that is helpful for open hand practice. If you are really new to this practice then I'd also recommend doing it infront of a mirror (at a safe distance!) so you can keep checking your posture. If you can do this with an iaito even better.

In my opinion, if you want to get in the best aikido shape of your life, go join Lia Suzuki sensei's dojo and take her ukemi as long as you can after each class!

Rob
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Old 01-24-2005, 08:48 AM   #14
ian
 
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

I think body conditioning is excellent (including weights) as long as you are not training your muscles to work in isolation i.e. it must not be the major part of your training, or if it is, you must work relevant groups simultaneously.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:14 AM   #15
paw
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

Quote:
Tim Gerrard wrote:
Seriously though, I find usual sit-ups, pressups, dips etc. as well as a few hundered cuts of a bokken and a few more with a suburi bokken build arms and shoulders with strength not size. So faster and with more power.
That's not exactly what's happening. What has most likely happened is an increase in neural response. You've gotten more skilled at swinging a boken, hence you swing the boken faster.

It's very debatable if strength can be signifcantly increased without muscle hypertrophy (increasing muscle size).

Regards,

Paul
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Old 01-24-2005, 01:09 PM   #16
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Training Muscle Groups for Aikido

I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but for me training the basic movements taught in yoshinkan aikido seems to help. Since our form is pretty much supposed to match those movements in all of our techniques, it seems like a good way to work the correct muscles. Getting proper instruction would be a must for it to be of any real benefit I'd think.

I also don't know how usefull they would be outside of the yoshinkan...since form is often very much a teacher to teacher, school by school kind of thing.

Ron

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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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