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Old 04-27-2007, 01:25 PM   #1
skinnymonkey
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Aiki-Boxing

We were inspired by our interview with Shihan Seiji Tanaka (8th dan, JAA/USA) and the recent PCS article by Toby Threadgill (Shindo Yoshin-ryu) about handling full speed attacks. Bob King and I (Jeff Davidson) decided to try out some "Aiki-Boxing". It's very difficult to time Aikido techniques off of a boxer, so we thought this would be a fun way to get some practice in.

Check out the video here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QreuuPm24UI

The first two rounds are body movement (tai sabaki) only, the "boxer" is only going about 50% speed (for a warm-up) then we kick it up a bit and get to about 75% speed. Thought it might be an interesting excercise... and it definitely was! We'll post some more as we kick up the intensity a bit.

We'd love to hear your comments! Hope you all enjoy it.

Check out our podcast at http://www.usaikido.com or visit our club page at http://www.mansfieldtomikiaikido.com
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Old 04-27-2007, 01:39 PM   #2
John Kelly
 
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Well, it looks like a fun excercise. Thanks for sharing the video.
jk
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:25 PM   #3
aikidoc
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Although it looked like a useful exercise, other than an occasional turning movement where was the aiki? Mostly dodging and ducking and a lot of times off balance. IMHO. Aiki with a boxer is definitely a challenge since the attacks are not as committed-jabs for example.
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Old 04-27-2007, 04:38 PM   #4
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

I like the sentiment but...
There is little or no "aiki" here. The ideal in Aikido is to have katsuhayabi or "instant victory". You need to own the space you both are in at the moment of entry... no, actually you need to own it before you enter. This largely has to do with the aspect of kimusubi. What you are doing here is entirely physical and is largely about evasion. A nominally better boxer would have his way with you because your mind is on escape.

Ushiro Sensei, the karate teacher who was introduced to the US at the Aiki Expos talks about the proper irimi leaving no room for the second attack. It is over on the entry. Because this is not happening, there is no kuzushi on the entry which leaves the opponent space and time for follow up strikes. It also leaves him with a solid structure. Consequently, the take downs you are able to execute are very physical and demand a lot of strength and tension.

The opponent should either not feel he is able to throw the second strike or he throws it but you are already inside it. Either way he shouldn't have a viable second strike if you understand "irimi".

As I said, I am sympathetic to the thought behind the exercise but it won't imprint the proper mental aspect to the practice. Remember, "offense and defense are one" is one of the fundamental tenets of not just Aikido but Japanese martial arts in general. In your exercises you are training the nage to think and react defensively. This can work against an incompetent or uncommitted attacker but it won't work against someone who knows what he is doing and is willing to go straight at you and keep going.

If I were the attacker and you reacted in such an evasive manner i would keep going straight at you and back you right in to the wall and then tool off on you. There cannot be even an instant in the martial interaction in which you are not capable of moving forward, even if you are zoning out (increasing distance). Your mind must be forward and your body orientation must allow instant forward movement all of the time.

Before you start freestyling, just tell the attacker to go at you with a full speed jab and cross combo. Practice entering such that no matter how he tries he never gets the cross off with any power or fast enough that you aren't already in. Once you can do this, then try some freestyle, it'll be totally different.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:32 PM   #5
skinnymonkey
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Thanks for the input George. I am the one in the blue shirt and I've only been doing aikido for a little over a year. I agree that my technique and style need a LOT of work. I do feel that Bob managed to get several good aiki techniques at about 4:27, 4:40, 6:40 and a few other places. There were a few of those techniques that would have been match enders, had he taken it to it's logical conclusion with a lock, but we agreed before hand not to go that far. I (unfortunately), didn't manage to get much. As I said, the Toby Threadgill article on PCS got us motivated to try this out and it was a nice change of pace. I'll definitely suggest your idea about practicing our entry with the jab cross combo for a bit and then go back to freestyling. Seems like a very good suggestion.

I did enjoy the speed of the freestyling tho. It definitely makes you use a different part of your brain when there are gloves flying and you are on the move.

When we do some more... I'll post it (if anyone has any interest in seeing it)!

Thanks!

Jeff D.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:11 PM   #6
darin
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

I thought it was pretty good especially at the end. Have you tried it with kicks too? Anyway good training. Keep it up.
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:44 PM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Quote:
Jeff Davidson wrote: View Post
Thanks for the input George. I am the one in the blue shirt and I've only been doing aikido for a little over a year. I agree that my technique and style need a LOT of work. I do feel that Bob managed to get several good aiki techniques at about 4:27, 4:40, 6:40 and a few other places. There were a few of those techniques that would have been match enders, had he taken it to it's logical conclusion with a lock, but we agreed before hand not to go that far. I (unfortunately), didn't manage to get much. As I said, the Toby Threadgill article on PCS got us motivated to try this out and it was a nice change of pace. I'll definitely suggest your idea about practicing our entry with the jab cross combo for a bit and then go back to freestyling. Seems like a very good suggestion.

I did enjoy the speed of the freestyling tho. It definitely makes you use a different part of your brain when there are gloves flying and you are on the move.

When we do some more... I'll post it (if anyone has any interest in seeing it)!

Thanks!

Jeff D.
Another thing to do is allow the defender to strike as well. If one guys is designated as a defender and only tries to evade or snag a technique it changes the interaction. The attacker has to be worried about being struck as he closes, he has to change his energy substantially and look for an actual opening to attack. That is more realistic and allows you to start playing with the energy a bit.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-28-2007, 12:05 AM   #8
xuzen
 
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

OP's example is so-so. 5/10.

Here is an example of a good Aiki-Boxing or whatyourmacallit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhNKMqlSzcI&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ebullshido%2Enet%2Fforums%2Fshowthrea d%2Ephp%3Ft%3D54004

Look at 1' 44" for a whoop-ass good kokyu-shomen-ate combo.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 04-28-2007, 06:47 AM   #9
skinnymonkey
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Thanks Darin. We have talked about introducing kicks. This was our first attempt at this and we thought we should see how it went before adding that. Probably will tho.

Thanks for the additional input George. We had planned on letting the "defender" strap on some MMA gloves to allow some strikes after a few more drills. As you said, that adds to the realism, but we thought we should try a few drills like this first and then add to it.

Xuzen... I've actually seen that video before! I noticed that same movement. Pretty interesting to see it in a real application.

Aiki-Boxing is a lot of fun to do and we'll definitely be giving it some more time in our workouts. I'll try to incorporate some of the suggestions here next time around. Let me know if you would like to see some more.

Thanks,

Jeff D.
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:01 AM   #10
darin
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote: View Post
OP's example is so-so. 5/10.

Here is an example of a good Aiki-Boxing or whatyourmacallit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhNKMqlSzcI&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ebullshido%2Enet%2Fforums%2Fshowthrea d%2Ephp%3Ft%3D54004

Look at 1' 44" for a whoop-ass good kokyu-shomen-ate combo.

Boon.
The female news presenter at the end is pretty cute... Oh yean, nice fight too.
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:17 AM   #11
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote: View Post
OP's example is so-so. 5/10.

Here is an example of a good Aiki-Boxing or whatyourmacallit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhNKMqlSzcI&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ebullshido%2Enet%2Fforums%2Fshowthrea d%2Ephp%3Ft%3D54004

Look at 1' 44" for a whoop-ass good kokyu-shomen-ate combo.

Boon.
Actually, this is much more what I was talking about. Even though the guy is zoning out to get more space, his attitude is forward. You notice, virtually every time the attackers move in to strike, he strikes them first. Notice how when he drops that one guy at his feet he is already looking at the next attacker, he's got his focus on the whole group, not just the one he is dealing with. I would say he's done this before... His mind is "inside" their attacks. Of course, they are all adrenalized and raging so they aren't paying any attention to the fact that he owns the space so they simply run into his strikes. If this had been an armed situation, they'd be dead. Good practice should make each person sensitive to when there are openings or not. Then you can play with giving openings to draw an attack and then closing the openings when the other guy commits.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 04-28-2007 at 07:26 AM.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:18 AM   #12
darin
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Hey Jeff,

I recommend checking out Yoseikan Budo. You may be able to pick up some good techniques.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z7N5Nt9-Q8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSDyLY-KySo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36igXLTOYV0

Darin
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:46 AM   #13
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Quote:
Darin Hyde wrote: View Post
Hey Jeff,

I recommend checking out Yoseikan Budo. You may be able to pick up some good techniques.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z7N5Nt9-Q8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSDyLY-KySo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36igXLTOYV0

Darin
That is some really gorgeous stuff I must say.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:21 AM   #14
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Interesting video. I can see where the graduated approach (evasion alone, evasion with body control and then all out technique) was used, like we use in the Shodokan randori training method.

However, as we see in our own form of toshu and tanto randori if ones tai sabaki, footwork and posture is poor then it only gets worse when one tries to execute waza from a poor foundation. I agree with George completely regarding keeping a "forward" or irimi mindset. This is also what we do when practicing Shodokan style randori.

However I can't say that the tai sabaki here was the best selection from which to create tsukuri for Aiki waza. Both persons at some point turned their back, hunched over (self-inflicted kuzushi) to a leading side jab and turned to the inside of the attacker, placing them in a prime position each time for a knockout punch to the temple or back of the head by the boxer's trailing edge hand which was always cocked and ready. Imho the waza executed is what one would expect to get as a result of the level and type of tai sabaki and other tactics being used. Much more irimi and kuzushi on initial contact was required before attempting the full application of technique imho. The mindset displayed was too defensive for the sort of attacks a good boxer would give imho. Retreating would result in severe punishment as one gets cornered or placed on the back foot, which would result in limited mobility.

Also the thing about boxing gloves is that one limits the amount of viable aikido techniques available since it is nearly impossible to execute effective tekubi waza (wrist techniques) on a person wearing boxing gloves and resisting. When we practice this sort of thing we use mma or bag gloves (keeps one alert too).

Quote:
Jeff Davidson wrote: View Post
We were inspired by our interview with Shihan Seiji Tanaka (8th dan, JAA/USA) and the recent PCS article by Toby Threadgill (Shindo Yoshin-ryu) about handling full speed attacks. Bob King and I (Jeff Davidson) decided to try out some "Aiki-Boxing". It's very difficult to time Aikido techniques off of a boxer, so we thought this would be a fun way to get some practice in.
In all honesty if you wanted to work on speed and PCS then one should go full speed, full power as soon as possible, especially if you are experienced Tomiki Aikidoka. If not, then I understand. If the attacker has on heavy boxing gloves then one should not hold back too much in attack and one should not be afraid to be hit hard in defence since adrenaline dumps only occur if we feel sufficiently threatened. PCS training requires that one adrenalises at least a little bit, so unless one feels the "rush" during a training bout then it can be safe to say that adrenalisation and by extension PCS conditioning is not happening.

Finally if you are working on trying to execute Aikido waza in this context then it will be good practice to discipline oneself to use only Aiki waza instead of resorting to Judo/Jujutsu type takedowns and techniques that sacrifice balance.

Just my 2 cents. I reserve the right to be wrong. We also do training in this sort of way at times. Happy training.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 04-28-2007, 01:47 PM   #15
Don
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

I would like to suggest one thing that I started trying with some of the students at our school. GET YOUR ARMS UP! I have always worried about the boxing issue. A while back, when George Leydard was writing Aiki columns (REALLY miss your contributions Leydard sensei....) one time he wrote about the maai that different arts/styles use. Kickboxers have one, muay tai has another, boxers have a closer one, aikido has a large one....etc. Leydard sensei pointed out that if you as the aikidoka are standing there with your arms down against someone like a boxer, the range he/she will close to will be much closer than you are used to. Further, beyond a certain point, no matter how fast you are, if the boxer is fast and within HIS range, you won't be able to respond in an aiki-like manner.

So, I experimented with this and dog-gone, Leydard sensei was right, and what I ended up doing was ducking and dodging, like on the video.

THEN I read and saw some video of the Yoshinkan guys and some Muay Tai video, and it dawned on me that, rather than starting with my arms down like we mostly practice aikido, if I put my arms up in a "holding a sword" position, I could very effectively execute aikido techniques against the boxer, or for that matter anyone. Why?

The boxer is trying to close in. If you are holding your arms up like you are holding a sword, except a little higher, (which by the way is like some muay tai guys do it) you can effectively make the boxer extend his distance and frustrate him by being able to block. If he tries to bull in he still has to get past your arms. That is okay because now you have contact and a connection with which to work. This greatly "makes practical many aikido techniques in "modern" situations. So, now I tell students at our school in classes that I teach, "If you stand there with your arms down and you get punched, its your fault....GET YOUR ARMS UP" Give it a try...it makes aikido a lot more useful against so called "modern attacks"
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Old 04-28-2007, 01:52 PM   #16
skinnymonkey
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Great suggestions from all! Thanks.

I'll try to keep this all in mind next time through.

Jeff D.
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Old 04-28-2007, 02:33 PM   #17
mwible
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

hey i was just wondering: if u wish to do aikido on a boxer, why not just wait for the attack, then dodge/ enter, and go for a punch to the solar plexes/ stomach, or some other atemi. then grab an arm and go into a sankyo or something? that sounds completely possible to me.
-morgan
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Old 04-28-2007, 03:08 PM   #18
Michael Douglas
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Quote:
Jeff Davidson wrote: View Post
... It's very difficult to time Aikido techniques off of a boxer, so we thought this would be a fun way to get some practice in.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QreuuPm24UI

The first two rounds are body movement (tai sabaki) only, the "boxer" is only going about 50% speed (for a warm-up) then we kick it up a bit and get to about 75% speed.
We'd love to hear your comments! Hope you all enjoy it.
It looks interesting but both participants seem very off-balance much of the time.
The 'aikidoist' turns his back a lot!
The 'boxer' is not a boxer obviously, he looks to be an aikidoist wearing boxing gloves, BIG difference.

I think properly training in this exercise will bring great results, keep at it!

Smaller gloves are essential for this, and if not going all-out against a real boxer why have him wear gloves at all?
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Old 04-28-2007, 05:41 PM   #19
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Quote:
Morgan Wible wrote: View Post
hey i was just wondering: if u wish to do aikido on a boxer, why not just wait for the attack, then dodge/ enter, and go for a punch to the solar plexes/ stomach, or some other atemi. then grab an arm and go into a sankyo or something? that sounds completely possible to me.
-morgan
Morgan,
You need to try this when someone is really trying to hit you. Get some head gear though because you are going to find out it's a bit harder than what you are talking about.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-28-2007, 05:44 PM   #20
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
It looks interesting but both participants seem very off-balance much of the time.
The 'aikidoist' turns his back a lot!
The 'boxer' is not a boxer obviously, he looks to be an aikidoist wearing boxing gloves, BIG difference.

I think properly training in this exercise will bring great results, keep at it!

Smaller gloves are essential for this, and if not going all-out against a real boxer why have him wear gloves at all?
A partner wearing gloves is usually a bit more willing to commit to an attack than one who isn't... Makes the practice better. It's the same reason I like doing tachi dori against someone with a shinai rather than a bokken. It's not for my safety, it's because I get a better attack.

Also, in case of contact, gloves keep the blood to an absolute minimum.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-28-2007, 05:58 PM   #21
Aikibu
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Smaller MMA Gloves and Headgear are good. Keep it simple first and build on technique by incorporating feints, jabs, counters, and backfists.... Good Luck.

Let them pound away and it will give them a great perspective on taking punches, kicks, relaxation and focus under randori duress despite the adrenaline dump. Let the Uke's use strong Kiai too.

William Hazen
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:05 PM   #22
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Ledyard sensei.
Great critiques. Maybe you could post a video of yourself demonstrating what you are talking about against an attack like we see in Jeff's video. I would love to see your skill.

Those Yoseikan guys move really well. I wonder how they would look doing something with resistance, like we see in Jeffs videos.

Jeff.
Nice videos.

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Old 04-28-2007, 11:05 PM   #23
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Thumbs up Re: Aiki-Boxing

The Aiki-Boxing is exactly what is needed in the Aikido world. Certainly it isn't perfect--who amongst us is? It is a tremendous step forward in realizing the practicality of Aikido is real life situations. I personally believe that non-compliance is the true key to the full development of one's potential. Good job!
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:34 PM   #24
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

Finally the Aikikai World is waking up to the truth of practical application. I bet the Yoseikan guys catch a lot heat from the traditionalist Aikikai. Keep up the development of practical application of Aikido against real attacks. There are some many things in Akikai that even though they are fun, are really impractical for self defense. This is just great. Please continue the development, this is a tremendous boost to look at reality for the Aikido World.
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Old 04-29-2007, 03:34 AM   #25
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Re: Aiki-Boxing

At the risk of catching a lot of flak I'd like to strongly disagree with many of the last posts. I don't think aiki-boxing is "exactly what is needed in the Aikido world". Bobbing and weaving and ducking has nothing to do with "real" aikido. The cultivation of the spirit of irimi is difficult enough without further hampering it with poor technique stemming from an entirely different approach to combat.
"There are some many things in Akikai that even though they are fun, are really impractical for self defense." What kind of aikido do you practice that is "fun" but impractical. That is not Budo, either what you are studying contributes to martial development or it has no place in a dojo.
I have great respect for Yoseikan having trained briefly with some of them including Augier Sensei. Please do not confuse the athleticism required to do dramatic sutemi on the mat with the spirit of "cutting the enemy down with one strike".
I think that the intention behind this kind of training is admirable and I mean no criticism towards the people involved, but I firmly believe that proper study of the actual principles embodied in the waza with an attitude of shugyo, rather than self defense or sport, would go much further in creating the foundations required.
I have fought against different kinds of martial artists and i agree that the first thing that goes out of the window when you are hit is "the plan", so if people want to improve forget the plan. Practice your art until it is embedded to the bone, follow the practice of shu ha ri, but not too quickly. Personally I think that aikido will suffer more form the so-called "realists" than from the traditionalists.
If people really want to learn to fight stop wasting your time in the dojo, just check out a few bars and issue a challenge. If you want to box find a boxer and if you want to learn aikido find out what it is.

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