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Old 03-27-2007, 10:21 AM   #101
Cyrijl
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

So jennifer, be open minded to anything as long as it agrees with you. Sounds typical. Shouldn't you then be open minded to the idea that aikido is for fighting?

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Old 03-27-2007, 10:33 AM   #102
DonMagee
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

I think I should clarify after re-reading. I'm not saying if you have doubts try a bjj class. I'm saying if you have personal doubts, shop around to many different styles and take a class or two. You might be lucky enough to find something that just clicks with you. If something clicks with you just right, you don't have doubts anymore. Of course you still need to question yourself and make sure you are meeting your goals.

I personally shopped around a lot. I did TKD for years, I jumped on the krav maga train, tried (still trying) aikido, tried judo (still training in that as well), eventually I found bjj and something just clicked. I knew that was what I was looking for. In fact the reasons I train in judo and aikido is to improve my bjj LOL.

I have friend who tell me the same story about karate, or hopkido. I have a friend who absolutely loves aikido who is trains in judo to help his aikido. Not because his aikido is lacking, but because playing judo helps him understand more about the culture and history of japan, and gives him an outside view on his techniques. I've even got friends who have come to try my bjj class and thought it was absolutely a waste of time. I then went to their schools and found what they were doing very boring and was watching the clock waiting to get out of there. I've even watched the boxers who train at our club snicker when they watch us train bjj.

So it is different for everyone. You just have to understand what you want, then go out and find someone who can help you get what you want. Don't get caught up in X is better then Y. If anything focus on X is better then Y for meeting my goal. Some of these questions are obvious. If you want to be a good grappler, boxing is not going to help much. Some are not so obvious, like wrestling vs judo for learning good takedown/throws. In those situations, just pick the one that is more fun with kind of people you want to hang out and work out with.

Sometimes you even have a great club, with very skilled, and very friendly people, but the goals of that club are not in sync with the goals you are trying to accomplish. Rather then trying to make them fit your mold, sometimes its better to find a place that already fits that mold. Sometimes you need multiple training grounds to meet your multiple goals.

The final thing to remember is that goals change. The goals you have at 20 are going to be different then the goals you have at 30 or 40. Just in the last 5 years I've watched amazing changes in my life, not just in what I wanted from the martial arts. Understanding and accepting these changes will make you a much stronger person.

All of those I keep in mind myself daily and I prepare to go back to college again.

Last edited by DonMagee : 03-27-2007 at 10:35 AM.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:48 AM   #103
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Joseph Connolly wrote: View Post
So jennifer, be open minded to anything as long as it agrees with you. Sounds typical. Shouldn't you then be open minded to the idea that aikido is for fighting?
Is it me your arguing with or O'Sensei's quote? Your answer is a fighting answer. It is not an idea. You are fighting. So fight. Aikido will wait for you. I fought hard for years. I won every fight I ever fought( and I do mean physically). But this isn't about me. This is about Aikido. And last time I checked O'Sensei was still allowed to weigh in on his inspiration through the doka he left for the wandering. If you'd like to argue (fight) ,fight it out with O'Sensei.Maybe you can convince him he was wrong and closed minded. He can take it. As for me, I love Aikido, 'the way of cooperation with the spirit of nature'. This argument really belongs between you and your resolve. I wish you the best in your search and research of this art. jen
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:09 PM   #104
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Salim Shaw wrote: View Post
Jennifer Smith,

I think you missed my point about self defense. Self defense in itself does not imply fighting, nor was I implying refuting leadership. That's the problem, no independent thinking. Receiving permission to practice another martial form makes no sense. We're human beings, not programmable robots. The controlling, cult mindset scares the hell out of me! I don't like dictatorship martial art forms. If you step out of the country for just a second then your are suspect and subject gated to verbal imprisonment.

The dojo that I attend, definitely encourages exploring the world of martial arts from different perspectives. We're not into competition or beating up people. We're only interested in self protection, and protecting our love ones. The main objective is purely protection from harm, in it's various manifestations, so the competition crap is out for our dojo. We're too old as well, as stated earlier in the post by John Riggs.

George Ledyard, in his post, "The Future of Aikido", bring some interesting points. He concentrates his commentary on the American Aikidoist in particular. He states that, "Aikido is an art going through a continuous identity crisis. This can be easily recognized when one pours over the contents of the various discussions in on-line forums. Aikido practitioners can't seem to decide whether this is supposed to be a fighting style, whether it's a deep spiritual practice, or if the whole things just a dance-like metaphor for a philosophy of conflict resolution." This should tell us something about the changing mentality of the American Aikidoist.

We have to be fair in judgment and not aspect everyone to follow our form of Aikido. Our dojo respects those who want to practice spiritual and cultural aspects for the art. There is nothing wrong with this. It's very difficult in the same conversation to have the same group of Aikidoist to accept those who want more of the defense application of the art. This is a great injustice to Aikido and the psyche of martial arts in general.

We stand to see more splits and division from USAF if there is not a more multi-system approach of accepting others under one umbrella. We most banish the my way attitude. George Ledyard's commentary speaks volumes.

Jennifer Smith, the uniting the world as one can happen, if we learn to accept others ideas. We accept yours.
Actually, I didn't miss your point. But what is happening in this discussion overall is some idea that bringing mixed arts into the dojo is new. It is not. That is my point. And to clarify, I provide self-defense classes in my dojo, we practice many martial arts, and we explore the legitimacy of movement through any form. But Aikido is the form of no form and the binding feature is harmony(not fighting mind). The mindset cannot rest in fighting and it shouldn't be our goal lest we deeply shortchange our practice. Aikido is bigger than that.I'm not some bliss ninny. I'm here to represent some new thought thatI don't hear much in these forums. The uniting of the world is O'Senseis vision and not fighting was his command.
I wish people would accept O'Senseis vision. His vision that if we don't stop killing the earth we will all perish. As budoka we have a responsibility to nature. If anyone in your family is suffering from cancer because off the environment they live in, then real self-defense takes on a whole new dimension. Lets get bigger together. Protect your family and your future and this planet.js
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:34 PM   #105
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
Actually, I didn't miss your point. But what is happening in this discussion overall is some idea that bringing mixed arts into the dojo is new. It is not. That is my point. And to clarify, I provide self-defense classes in my dojo, we practice many martial arts, and we explore the legitimacy of movement through any form. But Aikido is the form of no form and the binding feature is harmony(not fighting mind). The mindset cannot rest in fighting and it shouldn't be our goal lest we deeply shortchange our practice. Aikido is bigger than that.I'm not some bliss ninny. I'm here to represent some new thought thatI don't hear much in these forums. The uniting of the world is O'Senseis vision and not fighting was his command.
I wish people would accept O'Senseis vision. His vision that if we don't stop killing the earth we will all perish. As budoka we have a responsibility to nature. If anyone in your family is suffering from cancer because off the environment they live in, then real self-defense takes on a whole new dimension. Lets get bigger together. Protect your family and your future and this planet.js
Your interpretation of Ueshiba's are a lot different then my own. I'm not in the mood to discuss his writings and their meanings at the moment however as I lack my books to quote and reference while at work.

I'd like to point out that I have not read anyone saying you should bring other martial arts into your dojo. Rather I've heard people say you might adapt modern training methods (modern being late 1800's in the case of judo and kendo) into the dojo. Other's have suggested diversifying personal training to fill missing needs a person thinks they need to fill. Aikido can not be everything to everyone. It has its limits, weaknesses, and strengths.

I personally love bjj, I'd rather grapple then do any other physical activity. But if bjj was not available to me, I wouldn't care what I studied providing it had incorporated the elements of what Matt Thornton calls aliveness ( aliveness101.blogspot.com ). Bringing new training concpets like aliveness into aikido would not be mixing martial arts. It would not lessen aikido. Nothing would be lost. However something I personally find very valuable would be gained. I fail to see how this would destroy the concept of 'no form' but rather encourage it. I have found no better way to train to then work with a person who grows and changes with me. I am forced to train harder and develop more skill because my partners are doing the same, and learning my tricks and game plans. This forces me to constantly think outside the box, to constantly have the mind of no mind.

But I'm not foolish enough to think that adding aliveness would help meet everyone's goals in aikido. In fact I know a lot of people who would quit martial arts if the one's they trained in had aliveness. It's up to the person training to identify what they want from their training. It's up to that same person to be honest to themselves about what they are getting from their training. No one can tell them what they are getting, or what they should be striving to achieve. Self development is a personal selfish act. Not even Ueshiba has the right to tell me what my training is for. Even when I'm in an aikido class. My goals and personal development are mine and mine alone. It is enough to recognize that there are those who traveled the path before me, and can guide me along the same roads. But the path I take is still my own to decide, and I don't have to agree their roads are the best traveled 100% of the time.

Last edited by DonMagee : 03-27-2007 at 12:36 PM.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:00 PM   #106
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

I agree with Don Magee, "Not even Ueshiba has the right to tell me what my training is for." People should be able to train in different ways and be accepted.

I don't like to be dictated to for growth and development in the arts. It reminds me to much of a cult.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:35 PM   #107
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Its interesteing how my little "discouraged" thread has evolved.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:41 PM   #108
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

My original statement was meant essentially that to employ the techniques of the past is nothing new.

for context, the reference to ueshiba sensei was in reference to another bloggers comment that my mind is closed because I quoted O'Sensei as saying "Aikido is not a method for fighting."

As far as this thread goes, I don't see any dictating to anyone happening from anyones angle. I hear individuals expressing thoughts and inspirations. All of our paths look like our own, of course.
By the way, check out the news post on todays' Aikiweb about the Federal project that provides martial arts to youth at risk. thanks , jen
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:02 PM   #109
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Salim Shaw wrote: View Post
Michael Gallagher,

I strongly suggest you read the commentary from George Ledyard's post, "The Future of Aikido".
I skimmed his article and read some of the comments. It goes without saying that regardless of whether he names a successor or not, after Yamada Sensei dies, one would be surprised if some people didn't leave the USAF. That's only natural. But I would hope it didn't happen. We'll just have to see.

As to wether more shihans come from Japan, there's one thing to remember: When Yamada Sensei et al left Japan, there was hardly anybody doing Aikido, certainly few, if any, with an instuctor's rank. Yet now there's a worldwide population of more than 1.5 million Aikido people, including who knows how many thousands of instructors. The situation is different.

Quote:
There is apparently a continuous identity crisis.....
Well, then, the Aikido world should take a deep breath and relax (ironically enough). Do some of the loudmouths on the 'net really represent how Aikido is seen by people from other systems? None of my training partners in Kali said one negative thing about my doing Aikido. Not one word. And my Kali instructor thinks it's great I'm doing it.

I came back to Aikido having had the concept that no one martial art has all the answers but everything has something to offer drilled into my head. That the dojo I offer doesn't do mat work doesn't bother me in the least. If most techniques exist in some nebulous region between kickboxing and ground fighting, that is fine with me. Whether anything "pops out" when I (eventually) grapple in another class remains to be seen, but that doesn't mean my Aikido class should accommodate that. I don't want it to!

Aikido apparently came through popular interest, in the US, in Judo, Karate, KungFu, TKD, and Ninjitsu without having to be altered to suit the mob. If anything, some people study other arts first and when they find Aikido they decide it's to their liking most. If some people who begin their MA careers in MMA take the same arc, deciding Aikido is what they like most, because it is different from what they did before, then altering Aikido would be self-defeating.
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:10 PM   #110
CNYMike
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I have friend who tell me the same story about karate, or hopkido. I have a friend who absolutely loves aikido who is trains in judo to help his aikido. Not because his aikido is lacking, but because playing judo helps him understand more about the culture and history of japan, and gives him an outside view on his techniques. I've even got friends who have come to try my bjj class and thought it was absolutely a waste of time. I then went to their schools and found what they were doing very boring and was watching the clock waiting to get out of there. I've even watched the boxers who train at our club snicker when they watch us train bjj.

So it is different for everyone. You just have to understand what you want, then go out and find someone who can help you get what you want. Don't get caught up in X is better then Y. If anything focus on X is better then Y for meeting my goal. Some of these questions are obvious. If you want to be a good grappler, boxing is not going to help much. Some are not so obvious, like wrestling vs judo for learning good takedown/throws. In those situations, just pick the one that is more fun with kind of people you want to hang out and work out with.

Sometimes you even have a great club, with very skilled, and very friendly people, but the goals of that club are not in sync with the goals you are trying to accomplish. Rather then trying to make them fit your mold, sometimes its better to find a place that already fits that mold. Sometimes you need multiple training grounds to meet your multiple goals.

The final thing to remember is that goals change. The goals you have at 20 are going to be different then the goals you have at 30 or 40. Just in the last 5 years I've watched amazing changes in my life, not just in what I wanted from the martial arts. Understanding and accepting these changes will make you a much stronger person.
I agree with you. And that's why I like Aikido the way it is. I'm not sitting there thining Why doesn't he go off a jab cross? When are we going to look at the Thai round kick? I get that somewhere else. I like Aikido they way I get it. How it purculates in my subconscious is another matter.
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Old 03-28-2007, 08:09 AM   #111
Largo
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

What is wrong with adding a thai style roundhouse? In aikijutsu, we use thai style kicks as well as strikes from karate and other styles as well. I think it has been interesting to try to develop "aiki" responses to attacks like that.
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Old 03-28-2007, 08:32 AM   #112
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

There is nothing wrong with it. Providing you have people actually trained to throw proper attacks. Pretending that just because you throw a round kick it is a thai kick is just lying to yourself. Same as having someone with no striking experience throw a jab and say you are trying against boxing. I'd further clarify that even if you had a trained boxer come in and throw a jab, it still wouldn't be working with boxing strikes, because you are not allowing him to work the way a boxer works. A boxer would set his distance, control the space, work in a circular motion and throw combos. So essentially, you would have to spar the boxer to truly explore how aikido works against boxing styled attacks. This is probably better done by heading to a boxing gym and finding some willing participants and taking some boxing lessons (or MMA/bjj/judo/thai/whatever art suits you)

If you have the environment, then good for you. But most don't, so rather then try to change their aikido club, it might be better to go to a kickboxing school and work out there if you want to improve your aiki vs kickboxing techniques, or go to a judo school if you want to see how aiki falls into the realm of judo throws.

This was part of my point. That you have to identify what you want, what you are getting, and what your current training location can provide realistically. If you can get everything you want from a single location, then great. For a long time I couldn't get everything I wanted from one place. Now I can get 99% of what I want from martial arts at a single place (bjj, boxing, judo, and kyokushin karate (which I do not take) all located in the same building). But before that happened, it was more productive for me, knowing that I wanted to learn judo style throws, to drive 20 minutes to a judo club then it was to try to force my bjj coach or aikido instructor to show me judo throws.

However, at some point you have to blend this together. This is why I feel aliveness is so important to your training. It all gets worked out in the sparing.

Last edited by DonMagee : 03-28-2007 at 08:38 AM. Reason: cleaing up my thoughts.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:03 AM   #113
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Michael Riehle said:

I once quoted someone who said that "Aikido with the wrong attitude is just bad jiu-jitsu" and was challenged with, "What is the right attitude?". It's a good question which I would not be able to answer. I think part of what's important is considering the question, though, and working out an answer for ourselves.[/quote]

One of my instructors, Robert Frager Sensei, trained extensively with O'Sensei shortly before O'Senseis passing in 1969. In a rare moment he was allowed to accompany Ueshiba Sensei in the back of a taxi ride through Tokyo. Not one to miss such an amazing opportunity but aware of strict protocol when it came to talking to O'Sensei (read you weren't generally granted this opportunity) Bob Sensei measured his single question well and asked'\:
"Sensei, what should Nage's attitude be toward Uke?"
With no contemplation (according to Bob Sensei) O'Sensei replied "Like a parent to a child".

I sometimes ask myself what kind of aikido parent I would like to be.

js
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:54 AM   #114
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Paul Mihalik wrote: View Post
What is wrong with adding a thai style roundhouse? .....
My point is that I accept Aikido as it is, so I'm not grousing over what they're not doing. (And I get proper Thai-style round kicks -- and the defenses for them -- somewhere else.) I agree with Don that Aikido shouldn't change to suit me. If I really didn't like it, I would leave. Since I havne't eft and have no plans to ...you get the idea.
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:51 PM   #115
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

I agree with Don Magee and Paul Mihalik. I like to use what is effective for me and leave off that which is not. I definitely look at outside sources to complement my Aikido training. To me it offers the best for my grow and development.
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Old 04-01-2007, 05:32 PM   #116
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

My first post said look around. Actually you will be pleasantly surprised at how Ai' training helps you learn in other situations. Ai' students can cross well because they develop good insight early with attention to detail etc. Judo don't strike, Karate don't ukemi- dodgy out in the street. etc . BJJ lying on floor, is that practical?. Aiki is good for body movement, ideal in multiple attacks and unique. Even try weapons- Iaido to pump up your training. OK.
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:19 PM   #117
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

BJJ is NOT about lying on the floor anymore than aikido is about grabbing wrist or doing silly shomenuchi's.

Trained properly BJJ represents a full spectrum of fighting skills at the appropriate range in which you can engage someone with empty hands.

It really doesn't take much to hit, kick, or stab, most of us are born with the inate ability to do this...however, putting yourself in a position to do it properly, or to avoid it if possible is what is key.

Judo, BJJ, Aikido trained properly...with aliveness...can accomplish this.

It ain't about the style...it is about the aliveness that you add in the art..without it...whatever you practice is basically a worthless other than for the budo aspects of your training.

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Old 04-01-2007, 08:28 PM   #118
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

This month is the month of MMA sucks on bullshido. I wonder, shoudl I quit MMA

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:05 PM   #119
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Don, Thank you for that....Makes me feel really good in starting this thread. Perhaps I should have researched bullshido a bit more before I spilled my beans about my frustrations and doubts Although that site (bullshido) was only a part of my frustations at that time.... All is good now..
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:31 AM   #120
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
Not one to miss such an amazing opportunity but aware of strict protocol when it came to talking to O'Sensei (read you weren't generally granted this opportunity) Bob Sensei measured his single question well
doesn't this bother anyone else? Why should someone feel like they can't just have a conversation with their teacher while sharing a taxi? Be it O'sensei or anyone else? I train my BJJ under one of the most respected teachers in the world, and when we share a car trip I ask all manner of questions. All this protocol stuff (which I still see today) just gets in the way imo

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 04-02-2007, 03:04 AM   #121
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Yea...i distinctly remember about 12 years ago approaching Saotome Sensei after practice to ask him some very direct questions. I did get some looks from a few in the dojo and I remember being kinda feeling wierd about it.

He did answer them though and it was no big deal. Several people later came up and secretly told me that they too had the same questions but where hesitant to ask.

turned out to not be a big deal.

That said, I do think there is a point where you do cross the line...i mean sometimes you just need to train and shut up. I have a few guys that come and train with me that contribute very little to our group and take away from it constantly. I am very hesitant to share or be too open with them as the take, take, take...but give back very little in return.

I do know what you mean though.

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Old 04-02-2007, 07:04 AM   #122
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

your spirit is the true shield
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:46 AM   #123
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Michael Fooks,

I agree 100 percent with you. The cult mentality in the Aikido world is very scary. When people have to ask for permission to expound on ideas, we are in trouble. This is one the main reasons that American Aikido needs to develop fully into it's own entity. We need to get away from cultural restrictions.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:11 AM   #124
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
So essentially, you would have to spar the boxer to truly explore how aikido works against boxing styled attacks. This is probably better done by heading to a boxing gym and finding some willing participants and taking some boxing lessons (or MMA/bjj/judo/thai/whatever art suits you)"
I would agree with this. Sparring with people from different styles has been very informative for me.

The question of why aikido techniques are not seen in MMA competitions is a daunting one. I do not think any of the following are the answer:
1) Aikido techniques are too deadly for the ring
2) Aikido doesn't work if you can't gouge people's eyes or kick them in the crotch
3) Aikido is only useful when weapons are around
4) Aikido is only useful when both people truly want to kill each other as quickly as possible.

Now, each of those might have a grain of truth:
1) "Too deadly": There -are- aikido techniques that would be too dangerous. E.g., someone going for a shihonage against a resisting/struggling opponent. If the opponent's struggling is not successful, they're probably going to lose their arm and shoulder to the shihonage, and maybe go down head-first too. But many aikido techniques are not like this. How many times have lofty types said that aikido "should allow you to control a vicious aggressor without harming them". Then let's see it!
2) "no dirty fighting": I do think this might change the overall situation some. It's possible to move into positions that would be very dangerous with those strikes allowed - positions that aikido therefore avoids. However, it is not a complete answer either.
3) "no weapons": I do think that aikido is derived from weapons-using contexts. This has various effects on aikido techniques that may make them less suitable for brawling empty-handed. But we practice all day with empty-hand: if weapons are so central to aikido, the first revision to aikido pedagogy should be using training weapons in practice! Do police officers train to shoot by pointing their fingers? (As Ellis Amdur said.) I also think this might make aikido techniques more "all or nothing": they arguably derive from desperation maneuvers. If someone's rushing you with a sword, and you have a knife, you might put everything into one attempt at decisive victory - because you sure won't win a protracted fight. Still, judo comes from the same context (feudal Japan) as aikido - and you see judo.
4) "no murderous intent": Well, they get pretty angry sometimes. But at any rate. Is the idea that aikido can't deal with a cool or methodical opponent? It seems like this should be true of several traditional martial arts - none of which have problems in UFC.

So, grains of truth, but they don't add up to a complete answer.

In that spirit, I've started practicing with some grappling/MMA types. It's been very informative so far. I don't think I'll be the one to discover the answer to this very curious question, but I'd like to at least understand it a little better. I encourage everyone else to do the same.

As a sidenote: I personally dislike UFC and Pride. Frankly, I don't like people beating each other senseless for money, fame, or ego. But there are arguments that it's safer than boxing (submissions allowed), and it is their choice. In any event, it would be foolish not to use this tremendous and very costly body of empirical data to better understand aikido.
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:47 AM   #125
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
Location: Cortland, NY
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Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.

Quote:
Salim Shaw wrote: View Post
Michael Fooks,

I agree 100 percent with you. The cult mentality in the Aikido world is very scary. When people have to ask for permission to expound on ideas, we are in trouble. This is one the main reasons that American Aikido needs to develop fully into it's own entity. We need to get away from cultural restrictions.
This is where I think one has to tread carefully. A martial art is not just a collection of techniques; there are bits of its culture of origin inextricably bound up in it. They're not separate entities; it's a whole package.

So while it's one thing for teachers to be more accessible, you have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, to be so intent on "Americanizing" it you lose something in the process.
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