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Old 05-18-2006, 02:06 PM   #1
christine vee
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Lightbulb Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Greetings all, I'm a complete n00b (please keep that fact in mind as you read the rest of this post!! k, thx!).

I'm now 25, the mother of two great little kids, and even after two pregnancies (I'm SO done now, fyi) I'm still the size of a toothpick (literally, I eat like a horse and I'm a size 0-- yes, my gal friends hate me). So, I don't foresee my body-type changing greatly, and my height surely isn't going to change (I'm barely 5 feet, 3 inches). As I've been wanting to train in martial arts for eons now-- over the years, I've seen friends mature and become, well, more centered with everything they do because of their art. I'm finally making a point to get started. My real interests lie with Kendo and Iaido, however, I'd also like to be able to go out in the evenings with the confidence that if I were to suddenly find myself in a bad situation, I'd be able to defend myself well enough to be able to A) live through it, and B) get out of there and get help. And I don't foresee myself walking around with a live weapon, so, I think it's in my best interest to learn something hand to hand.

In my research, I've found two arts that would probably work well for me, as both rely on using your opponent's weight rather than brute force: Aikido and Wing Chun Kung Fu. Although these arts have the same basic principal, they are vastly different as far as training and such. So here lie my questions:

-Is there anyone here with experience in both Aikido and Wing Chun Kung Fu?

-If so, which would you think would be more effective to thwart a potential attacker (please remember, if I'm out and about, I generally have a kid or two in tow, so I'm looking to be able to disable an attacker for long enough to get myself AND THE KIDS to safety)? ~~yes, I'm sure some of you are thinking "leave the kids and get help to get the kids" but honestly, what's the point if you spend the rest of your life blaming yourself for leaving them rather than taking a stand??~~

-If anyone has crossed trained at all, is it good practice to take up two new disciplines at once, or, would it be better to go off in one direction and then start on a second?

Please know that I do realize that the Martial Arts are so much more about developing one's sense of self, discipline, focus, et cetera. I am looking forward to the meditative focus that comes from practicing a technique over and over again- the same sensation that I've experienced while sketching for my fine arts classes, as I eyeball the finer details of an object in order to successfully transfer it's likeness to my page. I get that. My life, on the whole, has been out of balance, and I'm hoping this new discipline will help that. I'm just looking for some guidance here as to how best to help myself out of a bad situation should it potentially arise.

Please also realize, despite my youth, I've had nearly ten years experience in the emergency services/law enforcement fields. The most striking thing I've learned is about how random violence can be; although I do my best to live a good, faithful life, and raise my children in a good, honest manner, I am not so naive as to think that just sticking to the right places and doing the right things will always be enough to keep one from harm's way.

Thank you for reading this and for any insights you have as to help me begin my training! Thank you!
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:24 PM   #2
Talon
 
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

I studied both...Wing Chun and Aikido. I found that at least at my Wincg Chun school, the learning curve was alot faster than in Aikido. I enjoyed doing Wing Chun and enjoy Aikido. I think you'll pick up wing Chun faster. I also find that Wing Chuns reliance on proper dflection angles compliments Aikido. I'm not sure you should start both at once, but I think its plausible. Check out the schools near you and take a coupe of lessons in both systems and see which one suits you better.
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:34 PM   #3
Aristeia
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

I'm afraid to say neither. Both are fun arts for various reasons - but from your post I take it your primary goal is street ready self defence. If so I'd go with judo. At your size you will have to be *extremely* competent at striking to have an effect, You are likely to have the distance closed down on you and may well end up on the ground. Judo will help you with this. Also you may want to think about weapons. MTCW.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:47 PM   #4
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

I don't do Wing Chun but I see it every day because our dojo has a Wing Chun group in it. I am the Aikido instructor. This is my opinion only but I am not a fan of new people cross training. My belief is to become proficient in one art and then learn some others if you like. I train in Iaido and Aikijujutsu but only after ten plus years in Aikido. These arts take a lifetime to learn and it's better to be proficient in one than doing two and being proficient in none. Keep in mind that it's not the art, it is you that will make the difference and in my mind, no one can forecast how well you will do with any art against an attacker or even if you will end up on the ground or not.
Pick your art and do it. Wing Chun claims one style to counter all styles so maybe you should pick that if you believe the saying. I for one have made my choice.
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:16 PM   #5
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

I try to be positive. But if this is really your concern, i'd avoid empty hand martial arts all together. If you can't mitigate your risk by never walking alone, or avoiding high risk areas, you might want to invest in taking some classes on the use of non-lethal weapons.

Sounds like you have a level head on your shoulders and are in the arts for the right reasons. Your LE background...sounds like you understand the risk and what goes down for real.

I second Michaels comments. with your size..if you want something else other than non-lethal weapons training...i'd go to a ground grappling type school like BJJ or Judo.

Contrary to popular belief, don't be intimidated by these schools, the people in them are typicially nice.

Internal arts like aikido and Wing Chung are fine, they simply have many other concerns than self defense...if your sole reason is to augment your iaido and kendo training with something for solely self defense..then do something that is spending most of your time in the areas that are high risk for the type of scenarios you would find yourself in.

I am also not high on the standard "women's self defense" courses that teach "stomp, grab, kick, and run". They are too short in length, and to not offer enough in controlling weight and size to be effective.

I'd personally spend my time on non-lethal weapons. Escrima training is good to, but you have to carry a stick with you!

Guns and knifes are sticky because they can be taken away from you and used against you. You run into the same issue with non-lethal weapons such as mace and tasers, but if you combine that training with ground grappling..you have mitigated your risk about as best as you can. There is no perfect solution, but you probably already know this!
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Old 05-18-2006, 05:51 PM   #6
christine vee
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
but from your post I take it your primary goal is street ready self defence.
Primary, no. But I do want to make sure that with my limited physical stature that whatever it is that I do study would prove as an effective technique should push come to shove (wow, no pun intended). I don't see this as one techinique being more effective than another (as if anyalized in a vaccum) but rather, what technique works well for a toothpick-sized female?

What is it about Judo that would be particularly helpful to someone of my size?
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:24 PM   #7
christine vee
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

First, let me say I appreciate the responses so far. As with any athletic endeavor, I can see how taking on too much at once can be counter productive, so, that's why I wanted to hear from folks regarding the benefits of cross-training, or, the "un"benefits

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I try to be positive. But if this is really your concern, i'd avoid empty hand martial arts all together. If you can't mitigate your risk by never walking alone, or avoiding high risk areas, you might want to invest in taking some classes on the use of non-lethal weapons.
I try to be positive, too. At the same rate, I don't live in a bad neighborhood (yet) and I believe that I *should* be able to go out and walk my dog between the hours of 9 and 11 pm without worrying. I also believe that I should be able to get in and out of the shopping malls with two kids in tow during the evening hours after work, 'cause that's really all the time that I have to get errands done.

I live in a "suburban utopia" (if you know the area, I'm sure you can figure out where that is). My concern is with the influx of persons from the areas where it has been decided to get rid HUD housing so now the HUD housing around here is being snapped up by folks of much more questionable natures. Maybe I'm hard-headed, but, I firmly believe that when you give into your fears and can't walk alone through your own neighborhood, you've lost. I'm not, on the other hand, looking to go out and visit their former neighborhoods!

Mostly, it's a question of when do these high-school drop-outs start moving onto "bigger and better" things like carjackings, abductions, etc. It's sad, because there is no lack of community outreach here, nor lack of positive activities to engage in. The youth that decide to travel that path here, in this town, are simply making a very conscious decision to throw their lives away-- it's not as if this particular area is in a truly desperate situation where crimes could almost be "understood". We have a lot of entitled people here, I guess. It's very sad.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I second Michaels comments. with your size..if you want something else other than non-lethal weapons training...i'd go to a ground grappling type school like BJJ or Judo.
It was my impression that in order to carry out these techniques you had to be pitting force against force, and if that's a correct impression, that then it becomes a battle of strength, which, I don't posses and won't posses (short of body building, I guess?). Then again, maybe I'm just totally missing as to why BJJ or Judo would be a workable art for someone of my stature. So, why is that you, like Michael, think either would work for wee me?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
if your sole reason is to augment your iaido and kendo training with something for solely self defense..then do something that is spending most of your time in the areas that are high risk for the type of scenarios you would find yourself in.
Sadly, not doing either of those yet although I have wanted to for about 8 years now. I had a friend who did kendo, and I very much enjoyed the basics he had shown my ages ago. Now, it's a babysitting challenge to get to the Dojo I've found around here. Le sigh.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I am also not high on the standard "women's self defense" courses that teach "stomp, grab, kick, and run". They are too short in length, and to not offer enough in controlling weight and size to be effective.
Heh. We had the "grab, twist, and pull-- then SCREAM" lecture series in our elementary school. I can't say that I think that's enough to get by on either, but I was glad for it at the time (not that I had to use it, ever).

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I'd personally spend my time on non-lethal weapons. Escrima training is good to, but you have to carry a stick with you!
Non-lethal weapons as mace and tazers as you mentioned? Or non-lethal weapons that are taught in Martial Arts (if so, which)?

Thanks for you time!
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:39 PM   #8
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

BJJ and Judo are not about using strength, but using correct physics and dynamics to control without strength...much like aikido. Difference is the range and it is more fully resistive training..hence you gain skill quicker.

Unfortuately whatever you study...size still matters, and you must deal with this as a factor.

Non-lethal weapons...yes mace, tazers. also escrima/kali which are short stick based weapons...good to use. I used to use a kubaton which I think is a wonderful weapon 4 inches long, hard to use it against you if you drop it. Requires a little skill...most assailants would not know what to do with it if they picked it up. Kubaton is a round metal or plastic flat end "key chain" about 4 inches long. No sharp ends, and not long enough to strike with. so, you have to use it as a pressure point instrument. combined with close in clinch, and ground fighting skills, is a wonderful tool.
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:41 PM   #9
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

oh yea..as far as close in ground fighitng, obviously you would avoid this situation if at all possible...but if you are attacked and overpowered and can't get away...you need these skills to survive.
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:50 PM   #10
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Trained in both.

Given the choice, aikido or wc, its faster to efficiency and effectiveness with wc, but long range would have to vote aikido.

Wouldn't advise beginning two new arts at the same time, though I am a huge fan of cross-training.

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 05-19-2006, 12:05 PM   #11
Yo-Jimbo
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Up front, I have no WCKF training experience (although I saw a few demonstrations, beautiful). I'm perhaps biased to aikido a bit. I've had good experiences cross-training in other arts (BJJ, Judo, TKD, TC). That said...

What would your training schedule look like if you were going to both aikido and WCKF?
What would it look like if you were going to just one?

You have an interest in both. Forget conventional wisdom with respect to starting two arts at the same time. If both fit into your schedule and you find you like both, keep training in them. As a working mother (or any human being with responsibilities) you may find that you have to cut back to one or the other, but you will then have experience with both and know which you like better. If you can handle training in both, then so much the better.

I suggest this because:
1. You should trust your instincts, your are drawn to these arts.
2. You should think to the benefits assuming that you are never attacked.
3. You are you. My instinct is to trust you on that subject.

If you decide to focus on one, you were wondering about cross training benefits:
1. Seeing the different perspective.
2. Centering on another focus.
3. Learning to identify intension outside your normal experience.

The two biggest things I usually try to take away from cross-training are additional options for myself and more importantly a recognition of what other martial arts practitioners desire in a conflict. Seeing more than one art hopefully releases me from the false senses of "it must be this way" and makes me more sensitive to the true "it must be this way" principles. Also, I have learned the effectiveness of controlling someones desire in conflict, either by keeping their desire unattainably distant and thus neutralizing what they believe is their chief strength or by trapping them in their desire and using it to control the situation.

Cross-training is particularly useful when focusing on what someone else can teach you instead of fixating on what you can teach them. You are at a great time in your martial arts journey/development. Your beginner's mind is true and fresh. A great skill is to keep and renew this beginner's mind even after many years of practice.

Now for an ad not from our sponsor:

Aikido is about refining your instincts and then trusting them.

You have already been using good aikido principle. You have trusted your instincts in identifying a threat (unsavory elements in your neighborhood) when it is easiest to deal with... when it is nebulous/forming. You are moving to act appropriately on that recognition of danger, training yourself before something bad happens, not after. With continued aiki-principle the conflict can be destroyed without sacrificing your self or freedom. You will be protected and hopefully will never be physically accosted, not because of luck/chance, but because you have the confidence in yourself and the instincts for avoiding/handling danger.

Your instinct is to embrace an art that complements your size (I would; pun intended), aikido is definitely one. Trust your instincts when they are good. You seem to have an open and inquisitive mind. Trust/train this instinct.

A circle comes back to the beginning. I hope that your instincts are correct about aikido and WCKF. Get in there and give them a try.

"One does not find wisdom in another's words." -James D. Chye
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:06 PM   #12
ESimmons
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

If you like kendo/iaido, go with aikido.

Most people take up aikido expecting to learn how to defend themselves. Yes, you will learn a few tricks, and you may be able to after years of training (I wouldn't know), but keep in mind that your expectation will fade quickly if you do in fact choose aikido.

If your primary concern is self-defense, I recommend Wing Chun. I have a little experience with karate and tae kwon do, and I have a friend who has done Kung Fu for a few years. Striking arts incorporate really physical, responsive training. You will learn a lot of self-defense basics that you may not ever practice in aikido and you'll get a chance to work on them all the time. If you're in a scary situation, it'll be a lot easier to break out the kick/knee to the groin with eye gouge, for example, than it will be to do some aikido technique where you will have to extend the attacker and move in such a way as to not leave any opening for escape or retaliation. I also hear judo and jujitsu are good ways to go, as someone pointed out.

Last edited by ESimmons : 05-19-2006 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 05-19-2006, 03:17 PM   #13
Michael Douglas
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

I suggest training with a weapon from the clinch, standing and on the ground.
Neither Aikido nor wing-chun commonly train this area, so why choose either?

You said ; "In my research, I've found two arts that would probably work well for me, as both rely on using your opponent's weight rather than brute force: Aikido and Wing Chun Kung Fu."
Well, as far as I know wing-chun doesn't use the opponent's weight at all, so the argument is empty there, and it seems to me Aikido works best when the practicioner is rather strong (not big, strong) so again, neither would be very good for you in their typical form.
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Old 05-19-2006, 03:33 PM   #14
jducusin
 
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Christine,

Glad to see a future fellow female martial artist looking to make an informed decision!

I'm a fellow toothpick --- 28 years of age (turning the big 2-9 this June)/ size 0 at 5'1" and weighing in at 107lbs currently. I have been training in Aikido consistently, 4 to 5 times per week for what has been almost 4 years now.

When I first set out years ago to find the right martial art for me, I was also faced with the very same possibilities that you have also narrowed things down to: Wing Chun or Aikido. Both emphasize the use of deflection and rooting to give smaller people an advantage over their attacker, among other similarities. At the time, I felt that I could go either way and be happy with my choice. I did, however, (and still do) favour the philosophy of non-violence at the basis of Aikido principles --- it is a purely defensive art that uses striking primarily as a means of distraction. At the time, the lack of Wing Chun instruction in my area also influenced my choice. Since then, I have had the opportunity to briefly try Wing Chun at a local university and have reflected upon my findings in my AikiWeb training blog which you can read by clicking on the link to the left of this post.

I always say that nothing worth having ever comes easily. So far, I can agree with most of the responses to your post thus far: It would be advisable to get rooted in one art before cross-training in another. Wing Chun will probably be easier to learn in the short-run and Aikido is a longer-term investment --- but in my limited experience, I believe that Aikido is well-worth it. I will add, however, that this all depends upon the dojo/school you decide upon. I am fortunate enough to have an instructor whose focus is to make Aikido street-effective, so we combine our training of the classical forms with closer-range sparring-like exchanges, Randori (even for beginners) and even some Wing Chun-esque sticky hands on a regular basis.

Best of luck with your search and if you ever want to chat about your MA experiences as a fellow toothpick, don't hesitate to contact me!

Jamie

Open Sky Aikikai - http://www.winnipegaikido.com
"Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:20 PM   #15
christine vee
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

May I just say THANK YOU to all of you awesome people for such thoughtful and insightful replies!!!!

You've all given me much to consider, which I will use to help evaluate my experiences as I visit the different dojos in my area and "try things on for size". I guess part of my predicament is that there are not only several styles easily accessible in my area- in WCKF, Aikido, Judo, and JJ/BJJ, but even several dojos for each style!

A second question: of all of the forms of Aikido out there, which one(s) follow most closely to the art as it was at the time that it was first recognized as a unique style?
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Old 05-26-2006, 06:32 AM   #16
justinmaceachern
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

IMO If you want to be streat ready then i would mixyour martail arts up. Mysugestion is to take a striking art and mix it with some ground work. For instance, mix Taekwondo with Judo or Aikido. I think you will be very happy with the two. But it realy comes down to what you are more comfortable with. There is an old saying: Train the way you want to. Thats what you have to do. Do some reserch on the school in and around your area.
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Old 05-26-2006, 03:20 PM   #17
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Nothing personal, but on this forum, I read alot of posts where people start talking about cross training for groundwork, striking and adding Aikido to that.
I train in Aikido , Aikijujutsu and Iaido but not for the purpose of mixing the arts or trying to create a super martial art or even to cover up some deficiency in Aikido. I believe that kind of pursuit is a folly and that Aikido isn't Aikido if you remove the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training.

If anyone really thinks Aikido is deficient in groundwork, and you want the assurance of street effectiveness, I think you should leave Aikido completely and just work on one art (if you can find one) that teaches all three ranges of fighting and give yourself to that. In that way, Aikido won't be misused for what the Founder never intended (mixing arts without regard to the philosophy) and you can still get what you want. I don't know about all the arts but Wing Chung claims to teach all the ranges of fighting.
If you just learn one art, your time will be more efficiently used. Who can study 3 arts and become proficient in three? A few people maybe but not the majority for sure. Most people have trouble enough with one art. I have been doing Aikido for 12 years and am no where near mastering it to the point I think I can master another. I will be years and years learning Iaido and years and years learning Aikijujutsu. If I needed some kind of proficiency for self defense, then I would be better off buying a gun. This could take me 25 years!

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:12 AM   #18
hapkidoike
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

"In that way, Aikido won't be misused for what the Founder never intended (mixing arts without regard to the philosophy) and you can still get what you want."

O' Sensi is not God. Why is it necessary to sweat what Ueshiba intended for the art to be. I will stipulate that he was a martial badass, but this does not necessarily make his "intentions" (if we can really know what they were) necessary to learning the art. When I was in school, I sudied Marx, Hegel, Locke, Hobbes, ad infinitum, and I learned to make arguments using their various frameworks for and against various positions. But what I did not have to do was 'buy' into Hobbes or Locke to do this. I studied the 'teachings of the masters', not because I wanted to learn to think LIKE them, but because I wanted to learn to THINK. Martial arts is the same thing. Not to learn to be martial LIKE o' Sensi or Takeda or anybody else, but to lean to be MARTIAL. Technique is just the application of scientific principles (geometry/physics) that have been sorted out for thousands of years. That being said philosophy is not science. The only authority I have to say that philosophy is not science, or at least not at this time within the scope of science, is that I have a bachelors deg. in Phil.

"If I needed some kind of proficiency for self defense, then I would be better off buying a gun"
Thats a fact Jack, but you better learn how to handle it first.

Last edited by hapkidoike : 05-29-2006 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:04 AM   #19
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Jorge wrote:

Quote:
think you should leave Aikido completely and just work on one art (if you can find one) that teaches all three ranges of fighting and give yourself to that.
What traditional system do you know that trains all ranges effectively? Just curious.

I try and train grappling, striking range, and weapons ranges...While I train in all three of them, trying to do this all the time is very time consuming....not to mention it is hard to get good at anyone of the ranges! I trained kicks and strikes for many years, then moved on to aikido, now I am training BJJ.

What I haven't done is (and I am starting to now!) is to combine and synthesize all three ranges. Not easy as it ihas been difficult to find people that are competent at all of them. So I do it myself...trial by error.

If I had to do it again...i'd go almost exactly opposite. Start off in Ground fighting, then to aikido, then to strikes. I think you develop a better base working ground, weapons, then strikes...but that is me!

Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2006, 06:53 AM   #20
ian
 
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Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
I'm afraid to say neither. Both are fun arts for various reasons - but from your post I take it your primary goal is street ready self defence. If so I'd go with judo. At your size you will have to be *extremely* competent at striking to have an effect, You are likely to have the distance closed down on you and may well end up on the ground. Judo will help you with this. Also you may want to think about weapons. MTCW.
I would say this is absolutely wrong. If Judo was so effective for small people they wouldn't have weight classes would they? Also, ground-fighting is well known to be the worst situation to practically defend yourself in (although obviously it can happen despite your best efforts) and the heavier person has a MASSIVE advantage in groundfighting. Of course, as other posters mentioned, size does matter in (almost) all fighting situations. What people often imagine as a fight though is a big face to face brawl whereas in reality (for women esp.) it can be very different.

I would say aikido is particularly useful for women - women often deal with different attack type than men i.e. grabs, chokes, pushes rather than punches or kicks. Also, you want to stop violence escalating so often breaking a hold and screaming is sometimes more useful than trying to get into a fight with a man or group of men. Additionally, aikido teaches you to move and react instantaneously - sometimes this is difficult, but this alone saved me from being killed in a knife attack (though it didn't save me recently when I was hit from the side with a bottle!)

Luckily you have seen the randomness of violence (only someone who has seen violence tends to realise just how unpredictable it is). Thus you probably have a more realistic outlook than most.

I have known people who have done quite a lot of wing-chun, and I would say they are pretty good at avoiding being hit, though maybe the time commited to multiple attack scenarios or breaking holds tends to be less than in aikido.

However, no matter what martial art you do it is often your own mental state and you ability to do something useful under pressure that determines the outcome. I would go to the local martial arts or self-defence clubs and actually experience what they have to offer. The competence of the instructor and their focus on self-defence aspects is likely to be far more important than choosing this or that martial art (the similarities between all martial arts at a higher level is quite striking).

Ian

P.S. there was also a post about carrying non-lethal weapons. I strongly advise against that. Many many people are killed or maimed with their own self-defence weapons. Carrying a weapon 'ups the ante'. I am the same in that if someone had e.g. a knife I would be prepared to kill them. Maybe guns are different, but if you don't take someone out first time with a weapon, they will be sure to try and get it off you and use it against you.

Last edited by ian : 05-29-2006 at 07:00 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:52 AM   #21
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

I wrote,
"In that way, Aikido won't be misused for what the Founder never intended (mixing arts without regard to the philosophy) and you can still get what you want."

You wrote,
O' Sensi is not God. Why is it necessary to sweat what Ueshiba intended for the art to be.

Thanks Isaac,
As a former Episcopal priest and a person who has spent the greater part of my 50 years studying about God, I have managed to figure out that O Sensei isn't God. He is certainly not my God - I already have one.

I spoke though as an Aikidoist and not as a neutral person. Aikido is an art not created for fighting and because of his philosophy, the Founder selected (and modified) the particular techniques that make up Aikido because they reflected the principles and philosophy he was trying to convey. He did not create Aikido to be an invincible martial art or even one to help small people so they could dominate a bigger person. While I have no doubt he intended it to be a martial art, his mind and work were into creating a new budo that would develop a mind and body harmony with the ki of the universe. I'm not trying to preach, I am stating a fact so I think it is a mistake to sell Aikido as something to add to something in order to round out martial skills. Aikido as a martial art has limited techniques with a high level of skill requirement that takes years to learn. In his own background, he already had a martial art designed for killing, with thousands of techniques able to bring a short and quick end to an opponent. It was called Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. Aikido was not that.
Aikido would be a poor fit for someone with only a short term self defense concern.

As for the gun, I don't and won't carry one but if I did, the class and training would be a given.
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:55 PM   #22
Yo-Jimbo
Dojo: formerly Windward Aikido, formerly at Keewenaw Schools of Aikido (ASU)
Location: Formerly Hawaii Pacific University, formerly at Michigan Technological University
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Quote:
Christine "Vee" Vlahov wrote:
A second question: of all of the forms of Aikido out there, which one(s) follow most closely to the art as it was at the time that it was first recognized as a unique style?
(Since I see this thread as a place to help you/others and not a place for the benefit of our egos, I will do my best to stay on that task.) It is good that you are asking questions, but this one is dangerous if asked/answered blindly. Lineage is academic knowledge, but not meaningless. It can be a good first order filter of the relative merits of martial arts, but it is certainly no guarantee. Critical evaluation is the best way. O-sensei isn't taking uchi deshi right now, so we have to get training second or more hand. I'd say that a wise answer to your question is that since there is no way to evaluate the absolute validity of any answer to your question as stated. Having said that, a good operative answer is to say that Hombu dojo(s) (and typically those that are on good terms with Hombu) are certainly trying to stay true to "The Founder's Aikido" whatever that means. I don't think that aikido is about being true to someone else's form anyway though.

You started this thread because you are different. You are smaller than me. Your aikido is different than mine, although they would share certain principles. A person's aikido changes as they change. Not only because they (hopefully) get better, but because every moment is different. If I were to lose my left arm at the shoulder, my aikido would have to be much different than it is now, but some of the principles would remain unchanged.

I know that you want credentials. If they are important to your enthusiasm and peace of mind, I can vouch for the organization that I'm a part of ASU. I don't know what your options are (Maryland is a big place with 23 dojos currently listed on aikiweb), but I can put a good word in for my Aikikai/USAF brethren since I have some experience with them. I only "know of" the others (Tomiki/Ki Society/etc); although I've heard good things, I can't say either way on their account since my exposure to them is limited to less than a handful of times (some not at all). Even these generalizations can be meaningless as there are good and bad dojos in very good organizations.

Then again the value of my endorsement is based on you trusting me. Trust yourself. If you have an ASU dojo in convenient proximity (use aikiweb dojo search) with good training times for you, please give it a try.

Don't worry "which one(s) follow most closely to the art"; focus on which makes you the most proficient/noble aikijin/bujin/human being.

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
Aikido would be a poor fit for someone with only a short term self defense concern.
Aikido is the complete budo. Life is just to short to learn/teach it all. It is the perfect fit if it destroys the illusion of "a short term self defense concern". There is no such thing. This is just buying into a fantasy. No matter what is trained, avoid being seduced by the idea that you can now "take on anybody". Not after 6 months, not after 60 years...

This reminds me of a scene from Conan the Destroyer. The princess wants to learn to be a warrior (for the wrong reason); Conan is drunk. He hands her his bastard sword, has her stand with it in kamae in front of her and then raise it over her head. He then wisely says that she is now ready to take on anybody.

There is a truth to that scene and therein lies the comedy.

O-sensei didn't possess all of aikido; he embodied it and thus kept learning more his whole life.
I cross train not because aikido is deficient in any way; I cross train because my aikido has deficiencies.

"One does not find wisdom in another's words." -James D. Chye
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Old 06-10-2006, 03:33 PM   #23
christine vee
Location: Maryland
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

A friend of mine has a quote. It goes, "Be the change you'd like to see in the world". In other words, lead by example.

So, as for my neighborhood, my community, I'm working on a few other ways to help that situation.

I asked the questions I asked in a community of people with experience because I was curious about one specific aspect of martial arts. I appreciate the time each of you took to respond.

I've found an Aikido Dojo that I'm going to train with. The most attractive thing about this Dojo is the people there and the sense of community among them. It's a great environment. It feels right.

I've also begun weight training. Because it never hurts to be strong (just hurts while getting strong!). And, it'll help ward off osteoporosis (muscle density decreases risk).

Will I eventually try to do more things? Probably. Then again, down the road, maybe mastery of just one art will be my goal.
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Old 06-10-2006, 04:17 PM   #24
Aristeia
Location: Auckland
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
I would say this is absolutely wrong. If Judo was so effective for small people they wouldn't have weight classes would they?
Yes they absolutely would. The fact that Aikido doesn't have weight classes does not tell you it's better for small people. It just tells you that it doesn't train with live resisitance so people never find out who it does and does not work against.
Weight classes are there to make it interesting when everyone has some training. Training will help the smaller person beat the larger person - judo goes as far toward this goal and any art I know. But when people are close in skill level, strength and weight of course make a difference.
No training will turn you into buffy the vampire slayer against larger opponents. The unfortunate truth is that size and weight matter *no matter what the training*. It's just a matter of how much your training can help to bridge that gap. Judo does it nicely.

Quote:
Also, ground-fighting is well known to be the worst situation to practically defend yourself in
And yet people end up there all the time. Annoying huh. Would pay to have tools to defend there then wouldn't you say.
Quote:

(although obviously it can happen despite your best efforts) and the heavier person has a MASSIVE advantage in groundfighting.
heavier person always has the advantage. But groundfighting in my experience is the area where the gap can be most quickly bridged. Big guys have an idea how to swing hold and maul on their feet. Very few people have an idea how to move on the ground at all, so training here provides excellent bang for buck as it were. Not that I'm advocating *intentionally* going to the ground for women in self defence. But given the likely size difference it is *probable* they will end up there.
Quote:
I would say aikido is particularly useful for women - women often deal with different attack type than men i.e. grabs, chokes, pushes rather than punches or kicks.
yep - sounds like judo to me
Quote:
. Additionally, aikido teaches you to move and react instantaneously -
Do you think it's unique in that?

Quote:

However, no matter what martial art you do it is often your own mental state and you ability to do something useful under pressure that determines the outcome. I would go to the local martial arts or self-defence clubs and actually experience what they have to offer. The competence of the instructor and their focus on self-defence aspects is likely to be far more important than choosing this or that martial art (the similarities between all martial arts at a higher level is quite striking).
good advice.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 06-10-2006, 04:21 PM   #25
christine vee
Location: Maryland
Join Date: May 2006
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Re: Cross-training:Aikido & WingChunKungFu ?

Quote:
Christine Vlahov wrote:
A friend of mine has a quote. It goes, "Be the change you'd like to see in the world". In other words, lead by example.
heh. just found out from my friend that she was paraphrasing Ghandi. I hope to be able to catch up in reading as much as she has . . .
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