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Old 07-12-2006, 10:33 AM   #1
Stanley Archacki
Dojo: Shinjitsu Dojo
Location: Chicago
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Other arts in the dojo?

There have been numerous discussions of the pros and cons of individuals engaging in other arts in addition to Aikido. My question is a little different. How many people come from dojos that explore other arts? I mean, either hosting seminars of non-Aikido masters or having a relationship with someone from another art? How does this tend to work? Do you find yourself "blending" the other influences into Aikido without clear differentiation between the two, or do you learn the "foreign" techniques with the intention of keeping them separate from O Sensei's Aikido? If your dojo doesn't do this, as I assume most don't, do you think it would be a good idea in some circumstances? What types of arts would you like to explore? Boxing, Kali, Western Martial Arts, grappling, modern combatives?

"Doch das Messer sieht man nicht"
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:26 AM   #2
James Davis
 
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

Quote:
Stanley Archacki wrote:
There have been numerous discussions of the pros and cons of individuals engaging in other arts in addition to Aikido. My question is a little different. How many people come from dojos that explore other arts? I mean, either hosting seminars of non-Aikido masters or having a relationship with someone from another art? How does this tend to work? Do you find yourself "blending" the other influences into Aikido without clear differentiation between the two, or do you learn the "foreign" techniques with the intention of keeping them separate from O Sensei's Aikido? If your dojo doesn't do this, as I assume most don't, do you think it would be a good idea in some circumstances? What types of arts would you like to explore? Boxing, Kali, Western Martial Arts, grappling, modern combatives?
Our dojo shares space with two Tae Kwon Do schools. I've hung out and taken some classes with them, so I've learned to do some kicking. I don't actively emply it in my aikido, but I see openings where I could...

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:47 AM   #3
heyoka
 
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

The dojo I attend instructs in Muso-Shinden Ryu Iaido and Toyama Ryu completely separate from Aikido. Iaido students are welcome to practice Aiki-ken on Wednesday evenings with the Aikido students, however.

I am pretty strict about just studying Aikido right now, but Iaido looks fascinating.

Paul Major
Dojo Secretary
Aikido Center of Los Angeles
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:51 AM   #4
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

To keep two arts seperate in training is possible. To internalize two arts and keep them seperate is impossible. What makes an aikido technique an aikido technique? What makes a kick a TKD kick? What is the difference between a bjj armbar and a judo armbar? Its in the philosphy. Internalize the techniques, worry about practicing in the spirit of the art you are training in. When your in aikido, train in the spirit of aikido.

Now when I'm doing free sparing, I dont stop and think, oh this is judo, or oh this is bjj. I just do whatever is allowed within the realms of the ruleset. The techniques are internalized. When I spar I'm not using aikido, bjj, judo, tkd, boxing. I'm using my own internalized art that comes from those formalized arts.

As for sharing the dojo. Our bjj club shares mat space with a kyokushin karate school. I haven't seen any conflicts, each person just does their own thing. I dont even think anyone crosstrains in the two (In fact, I dont think I've met any of the adult students in the karate class). We are also looking at bringing in a judo guy to share some mat time and teach judo classes . Now I know there will be lots of crosstraining if that happens.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:18 PM   #5
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

I know of aikido dojo that have separate classes in bjj. They kept it seperate. One place I trained for a long time would have shodan and above students from other arts teach clinics in grappling, striking and kicking. Again, we usually kept it seperate, although this approach did cause some bleeding in of other technique.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:20 PM   #6
John Brockington
Dojo: Retsushinkan/Birmingham, AL
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

Our dojo and primary affiliation organization, USA Martial Arts, emphasize multiple arts taught separately by instructors who are particularly qualified for each art. My immediate sensei, Van Bushnell, has been studying Karate and Tae Kwon Do for over 30 years, Aikido for almost 20 years, and also holds dan rank in Iaido and Judo. His instructor and head of the organization, Roger Jarrett, trained for a number of years in Chicago with Fumio Toyoda sensei and holds advanced dan ranks in these arts as well as others. There is an interesting interview with him in a recent trade journal, which I believe is called Martial Arts Professional, on this very topic. He relates an interesting story, when he was at a seminar in Europe with other instructors and was asked by one of them how he could possibly teach so many arts at one time yet keep them separate (and I think there was an implied question as to how could he even be qualified to do this). Before he could answer, another person walked up and asked his questioner something in another language to which his questioner quickly responded in the same language, then quickly switched back to english again. Sensei Jarrett laughed and said that his capability of instruction was no different from their adeptness in changing languages, which they could do without confusion or hesitation. So, although we do different arts, we keep them separate and the classes are taught by instructors who are particularly qualified in that particular art. That being said, in our aikido training against kicks and strikes, it has helped tremendously to have multi-art instructors who really know how to kick and strike. Doing an aikido technique intended as a response to a kick or strike attack against someone trained in kicking or striking is a LOT different than against someone who has not trained extensively in those attacks. While we do not go into some sort of UFC mode while training, this type of attack can at least help you see the strengths or weaknesses of one's technique, at least to the extent that we attempt to perform it. Lastly, let me say that I am consistently impressed by the "traditional" aikido as done by those members of our dojo who hold dan rank in other arts, not that it's "better," just that it seems somehow more flexible or integrated or something- I'm not quite sure what it is, but when you see it, you know it.

John
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:59 PM   #7
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
Location: Rhode Island
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

We used to share a space with a uechi ryu karate school, it was their space so we had to pick up the mats after each class and we got weird times to train, but they were cool people never had any issuse with them, its kinda funny, though, we now have our space, they needed a place to train so now they are moving into our school......so they have to deal with the mats that are perminatly down, which shouldnt be to bad for them. But I do think it is a good thing to share space, specifically for financial reasons, also we are talking to a yoga teacher who is intrested in using our space on saturday afternoons and sunday mornings both times when we dont have class

Dan Hulley
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:12 PM   #8
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

Quote:
Stanley Archacki wrote:
There have been numerous discussions of the pros and cons of individuals engaging in other arts in addition to Aikido. My question is a little different. How many people come from dojos that explore other arts?.....
The dojo I'm going to used to be hosted by a martial arts school run by the gentleman who'd been teaching my mother and I Tai Chi. Visiting his web site in 2001 is how I'd found out about them, and I'd been thinking about it for a couple of years before I took the plunge back in. Ultimately, that was where I ended up doing Aikido, Kali, Pentjak Silat Serak, and Tai Chi.

You may have noted the "used to be." The gentleman who owned the school closed it this past May, after many of the groups there, including Aikido and Kali/Serak. Except for Tai Chi, I still train in all of the above, but at different locations, and I have to fire off two tuition checks each month instead of just one. Then again, Kali, Serak, and now Jun Fan Gung Fu/JKD are in my home town whereas theye all used to be with the Aikido dojo, 25 miles away. So I'm saving a little on gas money.


Quote:
..... How does this tend to work? Do you find yourself "blending" the other influences into Aikido without clear differentiation between the two, or do you learn the "foreign" techniques with the intention of keeping them separate from O Sensei's Aikido? .....
I'm going to agree with Don Magee (deep breaths, Don, deep and slow! ) and say that in the formal classes, you do that given art. In Aikido, do Aikido. In Kali, do Kali. (Your Aikido sensei decided to use the school's supply of Kali sticks to give everyone's shomen uchi's more oomph, you're on your own. ) In sparring, of course, you can't consciously say which you are doing. You can't even consciously decide what techniques to do; I've had some Aikido techniques try to "pop out" during low intensity practice sparring. But it was refelxive -- I have no idea what I did.
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:24 PM   #9
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
....As for sharing the dojo. Our bjj club shares mat space with a kyokushin karate school. I haven't seen any conflicts, each person just does their own thing. I dont even think anyone crosstrains in the two (In fact, I dont think I've met any of the adult students in the karate class). We are also looking at bringing in a judo guy to share some mat time and teach judo classes . Now I know there will be lots of crosstraining if that happens.
Back at Full Life, Aikido was MWF 6-7:30 and Kali/Serak (45 minutes Inosanto Kali and 45 minutes Pentjak Silat Serak, stopping to bow out of one class and into the other) was Tusedays and Fridays, 7:45-9:15, so they were back-to-back on Fridays. No conflicts there, either; in fact, one daym one of the Aikido guys played with Guro's kids for a couple of minutes before leaving. I think people are tribal by nature; they get in their own groups and mind their own business, whether it's sitting in a college hangout or training in a martial arts class.

Of course, I joined the Aikido class, and so did one or two other Kali guys, but none of the Aikido people joined us. However, I do know that some of them, including sensei, do things other than Aikido. It's a hard thing to sort out. I believe there's a "clustering" of Aikido, Judo, Kendo, kenjutusu and other systems, just as there's another "clustering" of Jun Fan/JKD, Kali, grappling systems, and SE Asian systems. The difference is if you're in the JKD cluster, especially with Sifu Dan Inosanto in your lineage, you will cross-train; if you're in the Aikido cluster, you might. However, it's because the JKD people embrace cross-training that the two worlds might will bump into each other over time. Assuming, of course, this has not already started; I can't be the only one!

That said, it's humerous to note that after Aikido left last December, Guro Andy joked he felt "lonley" because he wasn't being trampled by a stampede of departing Aikdoists when he came in for his class.

Last edited by CNYMike : 07-16-2006 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Adding a detail
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Old 07-16-2006, 08:42 PM   #10
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
In sparring, of course, you can't consciously say which you are doing. You can't even consciously decide what techniques to do; I've had some Aikido techniques try to "pop out" during low intensity practice sparring. But it was refelxive -- I have no idea what I did.
I sort of agree with you. I always know what I'm trying to do when i'm sparing, what I'm trying to setup and what I did to get there. However the line between "this is judo" or "this is TKD" or "This is boxing" is just not there. I can say, "I see an opening for a punch and I took it" but I can't say "I did a punch I learned from my TKD teacher". Maybe that is what you ment, but my reflexes are usually very subdued. I find they get me more into trouble then out of it. I've been training for over 10 years and my brain still screams "back up and cover up" when someone tries to hit me. However instinct is still drilled into my skull. For example, I just realized while writing that last part that I never throw a single punch. I always throw a combo. That is instinct from training and I can tell you its a boxing thing. So I guess there are no hard and fast rules there :-)

We just got word that the judo instructor will be teaching at our club, i'm really excited this means I can train in the same place for all my loves now (judo, bjj, mma), hopefully he is able to promote rank in the usja so I can finish my black belt. I want to open my own club some day.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-16-2006, 09:08 PM   #11
aikigirl10
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

Quote:
Stanley Archacki wrote:
There have been numerous discussions of the pros and cons of individuals engaging in other arts in addition to Aikido. My question is a little different. How many people come from dojos that explore other arts? I mean, either hosting seminars of non-Aikido masters or having a relationship with someone from another art? How does this tend to work? Do you find yourself "blending" the other influences into Aikido without clear differentiation between the two, or do you learn the "foreign" techniques with the intention of keeping them separate from O Sensei's Aikido? If your dojo doesn't do this, as I assume most don't, do you think it would be a good idea in some circumstances? What types of arts would you like to explore? Boxing, Kali, Western Martial Arts, grappling, modern combatives?
My sensei does this to a certain extent at our dojo.

He actually had a blackbelt in judo if i'm not mistaken and he has taught us a few judo techniques, mainly just as something extra to know. He doesn't include these techniques into our curriculum for tests or anything, but he still feels that we should know them and i feel the same way.

He has also taught us some basic kicks before which i think is a good thing as well.
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:06 PM   #12
shadowedge
 
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

I've been with a couple of mixed martial arts groups that have members from different arts... we share, and learn from one another. and give respect to each one's respective arts.

As long as each one's intentions are pure, and not for showing off, I guess this kind of relationship with other MA practicioners is healthy...
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Old 07-16-2006, 11:10 PM   #13
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I sort of agree with you. I always know what I'm trying to do when i'm sparing, what I'm trying to setup and what I did to get there. However the line between "this is judo" or "this is TKD" or "This is boxing" is just not there. I can say, "I see an opening for a punch and I took it" but I can't say "I did a punch I learned from my TKD teacher". Maybe that is what you ment, but my reflexes are usually very subdued. I find they get me more into trouble then out of it. I've been training for over 10 years and my brain still screams "back up and cover up" when someone tries to hit me. However instinct is still drilled into my skull. For example, I just realized while writing that last part that I never throw a single punch. I always throw a combo. That is instinct from training and I can tell you its a boxing thing. So I guess there are no hard and fast rules there :-)
It gets even more .... "confusing" may be the right word but it's close enough .... when Aikido is thrown in the mix: Since most dojos (including the one I'm in) don't do freestyle sparring or randori, trying to deduce what is or isn't Aikido is a bit tricky. I just realized that ikkyo "partially deployed" in a practice sparring session ... sometime last year. But how does Aiki, "blending," manifest itself in that context? Something of a little project of mine.
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Old 07-17-2006, 07:37 PM   #14
CNYMike
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Re: Other arts in the dojo?

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
..... The gentleman who owned the school closed it this past May, after many of the groups there, including Aikido and Kali/Serak .....
The missing word is "left," in case you haven't guessed.
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