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Old 11-03-2009, 11:08 PM   #1
bobbarooskie
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Confused Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Hello,
I'm a 6'1 30 year old male looking to learn a Martial Art. I'm really interested in Aikido however I lack any kind of fighting/self-defense training. There is a local Aikido place by me that teaches a form of Aikido that includes strikes.

Here is the link
http://www.greenwoodaikido.com/
I wanted to get opinions from Aikido members here at AikiWeb about the school above.

I realize that Aikido takes several years of training before one can be effective in a real situation. I think Aikido is a beautiful MA and I'm intrigued with Aikido philosophy. However, I'm a little worried that it'll take me too long to become effective.

There is also a school close to me that teaches ITF traditional Tae Kwon Do. The school incorporates bits of up close fighting style of Hapkido. The sensei mentioned to me that as you advance there is heavy/full contact sparing that is offered. I like the idea of heavy/full contact sparing because I think it'll train my body to be able to react correctly when my adrenaline is pumping.

I'm kind of interested in enrolling in Tae Kwon Do school, because I feel that within 2 years of training I'll be proficient enough to defend myself in a real situation.

So my two options are-

take the ITF traditional Tae Kwon Do for a couple of years then, once I'm proficient enough to defend myself I would then start training in Aikido. At this point I would make Aikido a lifelong training commitment.

Or scrap the Tae Kwon Do idea and just start training Aikido

Sorry for the long winded post, if any AikiWeb members have any advice or opinions I would really appreciate to hear from you. Thanks!
I also posted this same question on MartialArtsPlanet but did not get many responses. Thanks again.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

The first question to answer I think is: what's your situation that you need self defense skills in the first place? Do you live in a particularly dangerous area, is it your job, or is it just a vague feeling of not feeling safe? Is it that you just want to be able to feel that you're tough? And what kind of self defense is the most appropriate for your situation? Learning to use a weapon? Better security measures in your building/area? Learning to recognize the signs of imminent danger? Learn to control your temper so you don't end up in fights all the time? the last one was a joke just in case you're wondering...

It really comes down to what you want out of your training. Aikido won't give you any self defense skills quickly or possibly even slowly. But if you like the philosophy and movement like you said then that might be reason enough to do it anyway. And it will teach you things about awareness and staying calm that may turn out to be very useful.

Whether or not the taekwondo will give you the most appropriate self defense skills is something I can't answer not knowing enough about it.

Good luck with your training!

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

It is really hard for me to give you advice about this. You need to sit down and think about what you want out of the style. Do you want to do lots of punches and kicks? If so, then TKD is proabably more for you. What made you decide that 2 years of training in TKD will be sufficient enough to defend yourself? You very well may be able to, but you also may not be able to. Just depends on how you learn. By the way I read your post, I seem to get that you really are leaning towards TKD, but maybe you are posting here in hopes of being swayed to do aikido instead.

Go and physically watch the classes at both places. You may be attracted to one over the other. Or, you may like the way one teaches or think the training atmosphere is better at one place. Maybe you could take a trial period at both places (I wouldn't advocate doing these trial periods at the same time though!) and then see which one feels more "you". Just be honest and up front with the people running the dojo. Just tell them that you aren't really sure if the style is for you or if it is what you are looking for, but that you want to try it out. Most places offer a free first class and then a trial period at a reduced cost.

Good luck.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:25 PM   #4
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Bob:

A 30 year old male at 6'1" is not an easy target. Most people who start problems look for easy targets. Hand-to-hand stuff is not the most efficient way to defend yourself. Inequity of force is the ticket to efficient and effective defense. Then again, the statistics are in favor of you not being selected to be attacked. That being said....

1) The Aikido dojo you mentioned looks like an excellent place to study. Solid history behind the chief instructor. Aikido will be an excellent venue to develop a calmer center with increased awareness of your surroundings. That, in and of itself, should make you safer.

2) Few Tae Kwon Do schools teach "old style" which was a very effective way of fighting. Most dojos are based upon a franchise system where the emphasis is on making a healthy income while teaching the SPORT. The SPORT is a points-based system with a lot of moves and a rhythm of moving that are not practical (to me, down right stupid) to be trying in a real fight.

In summary, if you want to be safe, drive in an armored car, carry a firearm, edged weapon, tactical flashlight, and some mace for (just-in-case) and wear ballistic-proof clothing. THEN, go to a dojo and enjoy the training that you will receive. The side benefits will help you stay in shape, develop a better sense of self, calmer center, better situational awareness, and you should develop some good skills if the unusual circumstance happens where you have to resort to hand-to-hand means to defend yourself.

Marc Abrams
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:11 PM   #5
eyrie
 
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Thumbs up Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

@Marc - thumbs up.

Ignatius
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:22 PM   #6
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

I am personally acquainted with, and have taken Ukemi from Sensei Phillip Greenwood; and He has taken Ukemi from me.

I highly recommend him. He is a great human being, and embodies Shoji Nishio's expression of "Sincere Heart through Austere Practice."

Our Aikido is different than most More Innovative and Martial in it's approach to Aikido. Good Luck and tell Sensei Greenwood Hello from me.

William Hazen
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
Rob Watson
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
@Marc - thumbs up.
Along with a few freinds for backup ...

Also, since 30 is young so do both (unless the TKD is McDojang then skip it). Eventually you will figure out what works best for your needs. Sometimes one needs to get kicked in the head, hard, a few times to make up their mind...

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:12 PM   #8
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Good advice from Paullina and Marc both...nothing to add really.

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Old 11-04-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Pick one which makes you happy... and just have enough sense to know if it works or not.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:29 AM   #10
Eric Winters
Dojo: Aikido of San Leandro and Berkeley
Location: Emeryville, CA
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Do what you like the most. All martial arts take some adjustments to make them a little more "street worthy". You will not know how to do that until you get a good base in your martial art and really take a look at what you consider "self defense" . Everybody on here has their own idea about what self defense means. Just be honest with yourself about what you want and go do the necessary steps to get there.

Best wishes and good luck.
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:19 PM   #11
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Quote:
Bob Roosk wrote: View Post
Hello,
I'm really interested in Aikido however I lack any kind of fighting/self-defense training.

I wanted to get opinions from Aikido members here at AikiWeb about the school above.

I realize that Aikido takes several years of training before one can be effective in a real situation. I think Aikido is a beautiful MA and I'm intrigued with Aikido philosophy. However, I'm a little worried that it'll take me too long to become effective.

There is also a school close to me that teaches ITF traditional Tae Kwon Do. The school incorporates bits of up close fighting style of Hapkido. The sensei mentioned to me that as you advance there is heavy/full contact sparing that is offered. I like the idea of heavy/full contact sparing because I think it'll train my body to be able to react correctly when my adrenaline is pumping.

I'm kind of interested in enrolling in Tae Kwon Do school, because I feel that within 2 years of training I'll be proficient enough to defend myself in a real situation.

So my two options are-

the ITF traditional Tae Kwon Do for a couple of years then, once I'm proficient enough to defend myself I would then start training in Aikido. At this point I would make Aikido a lifelong training commitment.

Or scrap the Tae Kwon Do idea and just start training Aikido
Sorry to sound rude or blunt, but neither art is for you. Aikido isn't for you. Nor is TKD. What you really want is Hapkido.
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:30 PM   #12
crbateman
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Nishio Sensei had a broad MA background, and stressed the martial roots and fundamentals in his Aikido. I have attended seminars of Yoshida Sensei (he of the infectious smile) and was impressed by the similarities to Nishio Sensei. Although I have not encountered Greenwood Sensei, his lineage would indicate that yours would be a good experience. Can't hurt to give it a try...
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:50 PM   #13
Pradeep Nair
Dojo: Temecula Aikikai
Location: Murrieta, CA
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Greenwood Sensei will be one of the guest instructors at the Pasadena Aikikai 2009 Friendship Practice on Dec 6, 2009 at the Pasadena Japanese Cultural Center, 595 N. Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena, CA

There is no charge for the seminar.

Here is the link:

http://pasadenaaikido.com/events/200...ship-practice/
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:01 PM   #14
markgunther
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Red face Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

In Taekwondo you will start sparring in a month or two. You test your skills against a live opponent who is also out to tag you. He kicks, punches, side steps, closes the gap, throws a fake, constantly moving, everything fluid. You are not confined to waiting for an attack before moving into action, but have the option to initiate your own attack. Outside the dojang, you can spar against other strikers from different arts: boxing, karate, muay thai, etc. TKD provides a good cardio workout.

Aikido works for real. But i think the years spent sparring helped give me a sense of distance and timing, in order to execute the aikido technique against a live opponent in the street.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:45 PM   #15
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Onegaishimasu. I personally believe that the best way to learn an art, any art, is to choose one art and train for ten years. After ten years, you will be at a place where you can choose another art or choose to train another ten years. I am presently in the middle of my third round of ten years, and I have no regrets.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:54 PM   #16
dalen7
 
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Re: Advice on Aikido and a school/dojo. Help please

Quote:
Bob Roosk wrote: View Post

I realize that Aikido takes several years of training before one can be effective in a real situation. I think Aikido is a beautiful MA and I'm intrigued with Aikido philosophy. However, I'm a little worried that it'll take me too long to become effective.

I'm kind of interested in enrolling in Tae Kwon Do school, because I feel that within 2 years of training I'll be proficient enough to defend myself in a real situation.
It appears your decision has been made as you left only this one post, but here are a couple of thoughts regardless.

1 - Define 'real situation'
This isn't as cut and dry as many initially make it out to be, as 'real situations' call for different types of fighting.

Are we talking about "bullies", dark allies, or the occasional disagreement that turns into a brawl or a bar fight? Even then it depends on culture and your immediate milieu.

Some places people love to yell at each other... you do that here and they will pin you down. [Not really into punching it seems, but even stateside there is always that 'legal' issue of who is responsible hanging over you.]

Are we talking about MMA fights?
If so then learn grappling, Thai Boxing, etc. [I am one who believes Aikido fits in]

And the bigger question is, how does one get in these real situations? You mentioned your in your 30s and perhaps we can assume you have gone this many years without a fight? If so then what will change this?

I understand, its about the self-confidence.
Ironically, Aikido can be a tool to help in this - so can the other arts as well.

At one point the realization will be there that you dont even have to get involved in many of the situations that would lead to a fight.

Thats what happened here basically. You basically can learn to root out that aspect which would lead to a fight to begin with.

Of course there is no reason that you cant just train to have fun.
Thats why Im doing it now, as I don't anticipate a fight.

Also you can mix arts if you have the time and money.
Many people take Aikido and another art.

In many ways, I look at Aikido as a 'finishing' art.
Its like Yin and Yang, there is quite a bit you can learn from Aikido.

Anyway, Ive babbled on enough, and its quite late - well early now...

Peace

dAlen

dAlen [day•lynn]
dum spiro spero - {While I have breathe - I have hope}

Art
http://www.lightofinfinity.org

Philosophical
http://dalen7.wordpress.com
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