Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-22-2010, 03:22 PM   #1
Alberto_Italiano
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Offline
Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Ok first of all English is not my native language, so be indulgent with my grammar and typos.

I practiced over 20 years ago boxing - for 3 years and with decent results. However, I have always been attracted to Aikido. It is immediately patent how difficult it is, yet it always seemed to me the ultimate, final conception for fighting.
Unpractical, true: yet since the aim of boxing is the cerebral incapacitation of your adversary, if you defend yourself with boxing and (ouch how unlucky.......) you find your adversary doesn't fall at your first blow, and not even at your second or third, you find yourself engaged in a regular beating and if nobody intervenest to stop the both of you, you and your adversary, with naked hands, are going to inflict each other permanent damages - you will remember that day every time you look in the mirror.
That's how serious that can be.

So, Aikido though difficult is a better conception: if (if) a tecnique is successful, game over and with minimal damage.

Now, I am a beginner, and yet i have seen thus far 5 aikido gyms. Why 5? Because at first I thought I landed in the wrong gym - it's only now that I see that _all_ gyms are like that.

No later than today a black belt could not do sankyo on me - he cpontinued handling my wrist, with scarce success. I must emphasize that I did not oppose any active resistance - i was simply offering my normal posture and stance in such a case. With 25 years of bodybuilding on my shoulders, you can image what could have happened if instead than just offering my normal stance, I would have offered an active and dynamic resistance.
The black belt concluded "well, that's ok anywya, by now you would have been in the hospital".

Arguably, he thought that by wrnagling a bit a strong man's wrist, one may inflict damage.

How does that happen? because in 99% of the gyms, apparently, UKE is a joke. Uke is indulgent and complacent, and actively helps you to delude yourself into the idea that you have learned aikido.
Do these person know what being in a fight with a 180cm tall boxeur with a _mild_ boxing experience means? I have seen by now endless black belts who would be simply overwhelmed by a strong opponent determined to inflict harm. EVIL exists.

It's all fictional. And people end up believing their own fictions.
Now, I know I am being unpopular, but this is a dramatically serious issue for me, because I DO LIKE Aikido and I wish I could learn it.
How?

There was a Zen story of a man who wanted to learn the art of the sword, and his master accepted him as a pupil only if he would have stayed in his house as a servant and ask no questions. For 2 years the guy cooked and cleaned in the house. No fighting or lessons ever occurred. He was about to break the deal and ask when he was going to learn the art of the sword, when the master one day attacked him, with a wooden sword, with such a vehemence that he was badly beaten up and he bled. Since then, every day, many times a day, without any forewarn, he was brutally attacked. Most of his days ended up with injuries and pains. Eventually, he was forced to defend himself or succumb and, in utter desperation, he learned under severe punishment to feel his body as an holistic totality. Form that moment on he started to feel the attack and to follow the flow, and in less than 3 years he become a master of the art.

It may be only a story, but it comes out from one of those old Japan milieus when martial arts were a serious thing.

I have a question. Since most aikido gyms will actively cooperate to corrupt me, what can I do (besides keeping attending the dojo) to develop the presence, the self awareness in combat: any exercises I could do on my own?
I have no real uke, and no one would fight with me - i asked them if we could use the dojo to one to one active combat techniques - i am ready to be "beaten up" for 3 years like in the japanese story: they seemed shocked even by the prospect. To them, techniques are that stupid flaccid menuet they make 5 minutes every other day.

I need the real thing. I need A-I-K-I-D-O, and I need to practice it over and over again, not a few minutes per lesson as it normally occurs only to become another one who does nothing and then thinks "oh, I have sent him to the hospital"...

Any idea? I am desperate. I have no interlocutor.

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 04-22-2010 at 03:24 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 03:56 PM   #2
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 846
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post

I have a question. Since most aikido gyms will actively cooperate to corrupt me, what can I do (besides keeping attending the dojo) to develop the presence, the self awareness in combat: any exercises I could do on my own?
I have no real uke, and no one would fight with me - i asked them if we could use the dojo to one to one active combat techniques - i am ready to be "beaten up" for 3 years like in the japanese story: they seemed shocked even by the prospect. To them, techniques are that stupid flaccid menuet they make 5 minutes every other day.

I need the real thing. I need A-I-K-I-D-O, and I need to practice it over and over again, not a few minutes per lesson as it normally occurs only to become another one who does nothing and then thinks "oh, I have sent him to the hospital"...

Any idea? I am desperate. I have no interlocutor.
Well... where to start.. you just have to keep looking for a dojo that trains the way you want. I'll be honest though. In the end, you may find out that Aikido just isn't for you. Aikido dojo that train hard and fast and simply expect you to keep up are few and far between.

At the very least you've come to the right place to start your search anew. If there's a dojo near you that trains the way you're looking to train, someone here will know of it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 04:20 PM   #3
Alberto_Italiano
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Well... where to start.. you just have to keep looking for a dojo that trains the way you want. I'll be honest though. In the end, you may find out that Aikido just isn't for you. Aikido dojo that train hard and fast and simply expect you to keep up are few and far between.

At the very least you've come to the right place to start your search anew. If there's a dojo near you that trains the way you're looking to train, someone here will know of it.
The black belt comes forward with a wooden knife.
I am supposed to do kote gaeshi.
I step backward. It's more than enough.

The black belt says: do the technique.
he comes forward. I do tenkan. It's more than enough.

The black belt stares at me: do the technique.

He comes forward with the knife once again.
I make one step on my side. It is more than enough.

The guys screams: do the technique.

"I just did".
LOL
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 04:51 PM   #4
Alberto_Italiano
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Ahhhhh. This is why I love forums. They keep my mind ticking.

Do you know what my plea was for?
Now I get it, and it was so simple!

RANDORI !

However, now: how can i manage to explain to these guys in a polite manner I would need randori every time? The gym is not there for me alone.

Randori everyday would be the right (and even Aikido orthodox!) answer.

Randori ladies and gentlemen. Randori.
Give your pupils a chance to be creative, to feel the dynamics, to start experiencing themselves within a really dynamic setting. Give them a chance to make lots of mistakes in a setting that is alive.

Why should a person who feels a passion for aikido be willing to settle down performing like a determined lemur who tries to wrangle a wrist in desperate and utterly blind attempts to implement a technique as if s/he were a zombie?

Randori.
Make your pupils run, jump, dodge, and enjoy dynamic attempts to apply the techniques that flow naturally from within themselves. Your true master is within: how can you meet Him if you can experience your natural flow only occasinally?
Make them face arms placed in ways that are random, and no longer complacent for the purpose.

I dream of a world where any Aikido gym would devote 30 mins to techniques and 30 minutes to collective randori.
That would make your pupils truly spin.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 04:53 PM   #5
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,115
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Alberto,
There are two sides to this story. Some dojo do practice with an utter lack of martial effectiveness and some are incredibly martial. Even in the most martial dojo, they start new students off gently, with the idea of causing them no harm until they can take ukemi safely. Could the black belt have put an effective sankyo on you? Maybe, maybe not. If he had the skill to do so, it could have been dangerous and damaging to do to a new student, body-building boxer or not.

Find a dojo that you feel comfortable in, try it their way for three months and see if you are getting what you are looking for. If not, move on to something or somewhere else. Remember that Aikido, just like boxing, requires learning some fundamental building blocks for your future training. What seems weak and ineffectual today may prove valuable as your training progresses. And, unfortunately, it may prove weak and ineffectual. I hope you find what you are looking for and need.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 06:11 PM   #6
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 846
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

I'm having a hard timing understanding what your problem is then... It just sounds like you already know what you want to do In any given situation, so why bother going? Seriously. Why are you there if you think what you are doing is already better than what they are trying to teach you? From your last example that is clearly where the problem is. It's no different than if you boxing coach said "tonight were going to work on the jab" and everytime he tells you to throw a jab you throw a cross instead. He keeps saying "give me you best jab" and you keep throwing the cross saying "that is my best jab!"
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 06:26 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,836
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

You cannot walk into a party where everybody is speaking Portuguese and, because you know some Italian, expect to join in the conversation. You may memorize some phrases, but at some point you need to start with words, then sentences, finally paragraphs. And you need to be able to both speak AND listen to the language.

Aikido dojo mostly don't call what they do "kata" and the black belts at your dojo did you a disservice by trying to "apply" a technique to you using muscle instead of backing up and explaining the rationale for fully cooperative kata-based training. If your body does not have a chance to learn and practice over and over again SUCCESSFULLY the proper building blocks of each attack and each technique (and yes, successfully for a beginner means no resistence), then you may do something in randori but it won't be aikido.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 06:35 PM   #8
Alberto_Italiano
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Jason, lol.

As stated I knew I was going to be unpopular; but I also found my answer though, and as stated it was even an orthodox one: randori.

However let me explain better to you what may have been given as implied and yet may not be so implied for everyone.

If in Aikido I avoid an attack - that is indeed my best technique: I mean, if the tenet that aikido is meant to avoid fighting holds true, that is quintessential aikido then LOL

This was obviously said, then as now, in an humourous intention.

The underlying issue is another one: our way of teaching aikido is flawed. We put on the tatami all these pupils and we make them practice for years with complacent ukes.

Do you have an idea what kind of impression it may give to a newcomer, who happens not the be utterly stupid after all, seeing black belts that are patently unable to manage even the simplest situation, namely that are called in by the sensei to illustrate a technique and after 7 attempts they still totally fail and the sensei has to take over and illustrate it himself?

It clearly makes the newcomer understand that, in the process, there must have been something broken. It alerts him/her that there is a danger that must be avoided.

Let me see if I can explain this even better using your example; in boxing, I was flung almost immediately on the ring: my "uke" was landing real blows. I was in a desperate situation and I HAD to react with REAL jabs.

If uke does not make me feel there is going to be a fight, I am not going to fight.

You say: alberto, you're a moron! you are learning.
Yes, the only problem being: they are going to give me that treatement even if I would have been there 10 years. How ukes attack me, is the very same way they attack black belts, simply. It's a fact, unfortunately. I don't mean everywhere, I am not so naive: but in most dojos, it seems so.

I want ukes that attack. I want ukes that slam me down if i fail. I want to fail and fail and fail because Jason, there is only a way to learn: make your pupils face attacks that are not complacent. From day zero. The habit to face that situation must grow in your pupil parallel and simultaneously to learning the techniques.

Randori may be enough of an answer to this issue, yet it is not a part of daily workouts, but rather an exception - at least here.
It would be _essential_!

Teach to me the techinque at first: I am fine with it. But then treat me like a man: attack me, and attack me as a man.

I am going to try the technique on you, positive, and fail, granted. But not like a zombie that obeys to orders. I want first to dodge, i want to feel myself in the movement, in the flow of an action.

What I see are invarably endless fictional attacks, that do not seem tailored to my weak consitution lol, but in store for me also for the future.
Attack me - FORCE me to react. Make me feel that if i haven't the courage to err, my life could be a stake in a real fight. Our attacks are already necessarily a fiction, there is no need to make them even more fictional.

Randori. Make me find the master within. Make each pupil find his/her own aikido. If you spare your child the risk of falling, s/he will never learn how to walk with his/her gait.

You may do no aikido if you do only randori, but i have seen too many by now that do no randori and no aikido too!

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 04-22-2010 at 06:38 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 07:37 PM   #9
danielajames
 
danielajames's Avatar
Dojo: Brisbane Aikido Republic
Location: Brisbane
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 291
Australia
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Hi Alberto,

Aikido Kata are paired practice and are the techniques and responses to techniques practiced the world over to learn the form of technique and the safe escape/ defense to technique. The problem with the kata is it doesn't work...its true and has been demonstrated many times by many people.

When you look at solo karate kata you also see also that it doesn't work.. in the sense that the long deep stances and elaborate feet and hand movements aren't often done in kumite/sparring.

Randori/ tanninzugake/ jiyuwaza are a chance to play with the kata but still under controlled circumstances and the norms developed during the kata allow us to do so safely. To much randori without a foundation in kata leads to scrappy aikido. At the end of the day this practice is also with its flaws, governed by uke largely but also by the need for safety.

Bunkai or the application of kata is why we see O'Sensei doing, the technique disappears and its just aiki (being truly in harmony with an opponent..rather than in a flowery way) Its where we all want to get to but it takes some tim (unfortunately many are stuck back at kata and believing that its the end point)

One approach is to find something/someone that satisfies you that aikido can and does work (you sound like you have found the desire from somewhere), once you have done that you shouldn't need to do it every time you step into a dojo... so cast it aside! Then suspend disbelief in daily practice for a period and trust the learning process to get you to your goal.

best,
dan

PS You might enjoy rik-ellis.blogspot.com as an MMA artist that cites aikido as a major influence.

Also one of my teachers David Brown Sensei has had some success in working with professional fighters and kareteka.

best,
dan

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 07:43 PM   #10
CurtisK
Dojo: Aikikai Victoria
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 24
Canada
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

First you have to clarify for yourself that it is not Aikido you want to learn and live, you just want to learn Aiki(do) techniques.

There are arts such as Aiki-jitsu, forms of Daitorya, and many other martial arts I'm sure that might structure their training a bit more to your liking, but all of them will feel slow when you're in a hurry. (No, I would have no idea where to find this training). However, as you have already learned, you wont fit in at most Aikido dojo's because your goals will be different than everyone elses.

I see three options

1) Patience, practice & persistence. Find the best (of the bad) dojo suited to you and spend a few years learning. Please try not to injure too many other beginners (or sempie), respect sensei and the dojo rules. Maybe even learn Aikido, emphasis on the do.

2) Find some personal Aiki(do) training. Either by yourself or maybe with a few like-minded friends of similar interests, look for a large, strong skilled Yoshodan with access to a dojo and bills to pay.

3) Look for another martial art more suited to your preferred learning style, including the Aiki ones.

Good luck and remember I say all of this without judgement. I have no cause to expect anyone else to want to train or live on the same path I happened to choose. The world may be safer but I admit it would be awfully boring.

Edit: For the record, I like Daniel James post better and may not have written mine if it had been there first

Last edited by CurtisK : 04-22-2010 at 07:49 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 08:23 PM   #11
Alberto_Italiano
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Quote:
Curtis Kayfish wrote: View Post
First you have to clarify for yourself that it is not Aikido you want to learn and live, you just want to learn Aiki(do) techniques.

There are arts such as Aiki-jitsu, forms of Daitorya, and many other martial arts I'm sure that might structure their training a bit more to your liking, but all of them will feel slow when you're in a hurry. (No, I would have no idea where to find this training). However, as you have already learned, you wont fit in at most Aikido dojo's because your goals will be different than everyone elses.

I see three options (...)

Edit: For the record, I like Daniel James post better and may not have written mine if it had been there first
Thank you Curtis.
Yes I agree, I liked a lot Daniel's reply too.

The fact is: I don't take what I engage in lightlhearthedly. I see myself that most persons seem to find in Aikido more of a workout routine than a real training to fight.
Some guys avoid me in fact - they complain I don't "follow" them when they try a technique. Not sure what they mean. They can't ground me and they complain *I* was mistaken. It makes me feel sad because they make me feel as if I was doing something bad to them.

To be honest, most of them in a real fight would likely be overwhelmed. After you train for years with Ukes that don't retreat their arms once they strike so to leave it conveniently placed for your technique, it is fatal that in a real fight most (most, not all of course) would simply find themselves out of tune.

Perhaps it should be emphasized that if I would have been my intention to hurt somebody, I would have never thought of aikido in the first place, of course.

So, if you think that desiring to learn Aikido for use in a real fight makes me unfit for Aikido, what is aikido for, and who is the ideal candidate for it then?

I saw a few videos of something that they called "Real Aikido" - that was more my thing, but in Italy we haven't them and I read a few comments by other aikidokas that said that wasn't aikido uh.

I was under the impression (no irony implied, to be sure) that, being rubricated as a martial art, it was meant to train you to use those techniques in a real fight.
Is it not so? And if it is not so, it is not so now but maybe it was different in the past, or has it become like this over time?

The dojos I saw seem all built up in order to accommodate persons who do not take it too seriously: 1 hour where you actually practice maybe 5 minutes at best, every time several different techinques (which does not contribute to avoid confusion!), randori as a rarity, and ukes that are very gentle regardless of your level.

My ideal setting: 1 hour, 30 minutes of slow techniques (just as now), then 30 minutes with a dedicated partner either to repeat those techniques as many times as you prefer, or for randori.

The fact such would be my ideal setting places me as unfit for Aikido given how most average dojos are, or as unfit under an "ontological" perspective?

Thank you!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 09:03 PM   #12
Rob Watson
Location: CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 698
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Sweet.
I was just like you and I got what I asked for ... it hurt, a lot, and I found out that I really didn't learn very much that way (not much aikido anyway). I'm sure if you are very up front with the sensei of any dojo they will either tell you 'no thanks' or they will hand you your ass - I don't think you will learn much aikido that way either. It's possible you might but I think it will be a rarity.

A good balance of 'traditional' kata style practice so you can learn the forms with some randori and jiyukeiko will give you a good chance to 'play'. Make no mistake randori is also structured and is not a 'free for all'. Also, private lessons so you can get what you think you need on a regular basis. I think this mix will work in most any art.

The real problem is you are fit and think you can fight and probably can handle a great many aikidoka. Also your idea about stepping back and tenkan or avoidance is actually not at all the aikido I know so it does not work in the slightest. One must dominate and control totally from the first instant or it is not the aikido I know. Since you have what I consider a fatal misconception of aikido you gotta sort that out before getting to far along.

Of course, I don't know very much and I'm not very good so I'm likely completely wrong. I have made several very strong and scary fellows with evil in their hearts and vile intentions about my person cry and beg for mercy ... a bit of sankyo was involved.

"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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 09:23 PM   #13
Alberto_Italiano
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Yes sankyo and nikkyo are painful.
The point is: I do not want to make "cry and beg for mercy" anyone. Actually, I never complained for any sankyo or nikkyo. A thin girl said to me she did not mean to hurt me with nikkyo, I told her: I am here to help you to learn too, "you're a petite woman and if a big man grabs your wrist, I would not be too considerate" - do nikkyo as it is meant to be done, and I shall take care of the pain.

We just haven't these ukes.

I just wish I could train in a realistic environment, that is. It has nothing to do with sadism.
Not everybody learns in the same way, but all dojos by now seem to assume there is only one way.

This is more or less the type of answers I expected however. Once most dojos are structured that way, no wonder many persons believe (rightly or wrong is immaterial - for the same perception never arises from karate or boxing, for instance) Aikido can't be used in real fights.

I will settle down with Daniel's reply: "Then suspend disbelief in daily practice for a period and trust the learning process to get you to your goal.". It seems to me the wiser one, integrating it with Curtis': "Find the best (of the bad) dojo suited to you and spend a few years learning."
Private lessons would probably suit me better but I just can't afford them.

Thank you to all.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 09:26 PM   #14
CurtisK
Dojo: Aikikai Victoria
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 24
Canada
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

I have no authority to speak for any never mind all, but most "do" arts are not intended to train you to use techniques in real fights. This does not mean the knowledge can not be applied outside the dojo, it just mean this is not a focus of the training.

My sensei commonly makes refferences to how the thought/action behind a technique would be modified for a real life situation. I've always got the impression he does this since we have a diverse class and he does his best to engage everyone and keep things interesting. However, from him, much reading I have done, personal experience and many, many topics on this very forum, it would be a very unconventional situation for an Aikidoka ever to need to use martial skills is any real life situation. This is part of the "do" in Aikido.

Now forget what I wrote, it applies but... I agree with you. I dont want to train to learn to fight better, but being relativaly new I'm addicted and want to train more and harder for no other reason that I enjoy it. Not that I'm "better" than anyone in my class, but I want stronger, more real uke simply because it is more intersting and I feel I learn more. Sometime I speak up and say "hold tighter" or pull/push harder, but I also realize that they are there for their training not mine.

Things I do:

- I know who the soft students are and avoid them when possible, but practice best I can very politely when we are partnered
- Practice all the movements I know, going over the techniques in my mind, at home daily. This helps me teach my body to know what to do; so rather than me having to think about how to do it during class, I can focus on how to do it better.
- I'm taking classes with a friend and we practice some techniques together outside of class. We do our best not to get ahead of ourselves and focus solely on sharing our understanding of what sensei taught us.

Most important thing I have learned so far in AIkido that would help in a real fight: balance. Mine and my opponents. This includes knowing the line of attack and not being there.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 09:29 PM   #15
Shadowfax
 
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 872
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Just keep searching for a place that suits you.

On first reading your original post I had the same impression of some of the others here. Then I read more and I thought I thought about what you are saying and I think I can understand where you are coming from. Your last post especially made it clear to me.

I also like to train hard and fast and I tend to prefer someone to not baby me or go easy on me. I do have the good fortune to have a sensei and dojo mates who don't get mad if they can't move me and don't see it as a flaw in me but rather look at it as an opportunity to work on themselves. I've had a few in early days who did pull the if you don't move I could break your arm card.... it happens. its just frustration speaking. Ignore that and just train. Actually learning to follow your partner when you are uke has useful benefits. You will find it helps you to learn just as much about connection as being nage, not to mention eventually you learn how to spot openings in order to reverse the technique.

I have heard that there are those out there who don't have this point of view about heavy ukes. Trust me there are dojos that don't take this view. You just have to find them.

My dojo is not the, beat you till you figure it out type, but is also not overly soft. It's a nice middle road. We do lots of paired slow work. Its very important to do so. Teaching the body how to move in the patterns of the technique.

But yeah I like randori and jyu waza and kaeshiwaza and so on. They allow us to explore what we have learned and see what things we have going well and what things we need work on. Fortunately these are a regular feature in my classes. Even the beginners get to play with them a bit. But it definitely shows the vast difference in time spent working on paired kata between a first timer and a 5th kyu and a 5th kyu and a shodan and so on.

Anyway I think I do understand your frustration. I hope you find what you are searching for. I can speak for the satisfaction of training in a dojo that is exactly right for your needs.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 09:32 PM   #16
CurtisK
Dojo: Aikikai Victoria
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 24
Canada
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Also, for the record, your English is just fine and better than many native speakers who grew up in the Internet age.

Last edited by CurtisK : 04-22-2010 at 09:35 PM. Reason: Fixed spelling mistake, couldn't bare it in a post about language :)
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 09:49 PM   #17
Alberto_Italiano
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Quote:
Curtis Kayfish wrote: View Post
I dont want to train to learn to fight better, but being relativaly new I'm addicted and want to train more and harder for no other reason that I enjoy it. Not that I'm "better" than anyone in my class, but I want stronger, more real uke simply because it is more intersting and I feel I learn more
p-r-e-c-i-s-e-l-y.

I don't seek a "more realistic" opportunity because I want to fight, but because I feel the real paradigm beyond the whole thing ought to be that one - the _real_ fight.
Practicing Aikido without striving for that paradigm, seems pointless to me.

You used a magnificent word - maybe because I am more of a pessimistic guy it did not come to my mind: "enjoy".

Fighting is enjoyable. And it is a magnificent way to structure a personality, not a fighter.

When you also say "I am not better than anyone in my class", I am totally with you there. It is in fact my greatest fear that, if I voice my learning needs, they may believe I feel better or superior to them, or that the Sensei may feel annoyed.

I just need the action.

Take Kote gaeshi. Do you know what I'd need?
A guy that attacks me with a punch. I start retreating or dodging, and he KEEPS attacking me. Once I FEEL the magic moment for ME has arrived, I'll try the technique - and I will fail miserably NO PROBLEM! but I dream of the possibility to learn it in a setting where my whole being may be called in.

I wish I could just try only a PART of the technique, and this precisely because I am NO superior to anyone. If uke attacks me with a punch, my tendency would be to cross with my jabs, of course. Instead now I need to brush aside his arm and also grab it.

This alone, would need me to be attacked repeatedly in order to make the mere brushing aside and grabbing (I'd think of the Kote gaeshi after I assimilate that part!) as FLUENCY, as something that comes out of my whole being. Which will simply never happen if I train 2 minutes on it every ten days, since techniques vary constantly.

I leatrn the technique first like a dummy. Then, I am called in a real action.
I dodge, I step back, I wait to feel either the right moment for me or a real danger. Then I try a part of the technique. And we start back.

The aikidokas look at me with puppy eyes - do the technique, I am here with this still arm for you...
But I need to dance.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 10:06 PM   #18
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Malaysia
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

If you are sincere in learning, you will find your teacher one day. But keep training. Sometimes we have preconceived notions. Keep asking too.

Form be gets function. You do have to learn the form to understand function. But sticking to form won't be effective till you achieve function. If your dojo mates get stuck in their forms, then you know they have yet to understand function. Maybe they are still in the process of achieving it, so bear with them. At the same time, your sensei and senior belts must be able to show you they have grasp function over form, otherwise you'll never learn much in that dojo.

Look for good teachers to attend their seminars. Don't worry about affiliations at this stage. If you get the chance to meet Inoue (Shihan?Sansho?), then do so. Ask him what's aiki. Tell him those brutes in Aikikai keep thinking pain is enough to take a boxer down ()

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 10:11 PM   #19
ChrisHein
 
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,628
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
My ideal setting: 1 hour, 30 minutes of slow techniques (just as now), then 30 minutes with a dedicated partner either to repeat those techniques as many times as you prefer, or for randori.
At our school we do an hour of forms (technique) followed by an hour of Randori. There are schools out there for you, you just have to keep looking.

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 10:22 PM   #20
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 846
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
p-r-e-c-i-s-e-l-y.

I don't seek a "more realistic" opportunity because I want to fight, but because I feel the real paradigm beyond the whole thing ought to be that one - the _real_ fight.
Practicing Aikido without striving for that paradigm, seems pointless to me.

You used a magnificent word - maybe because I am more of a pessimistic guy it did not come to my mind: "enjoy".

Fighting is enjoyable. And it is a magnificent way to structure a personality, not a fighter.

When you also say "I am not better than anyone in my class", I am totally with you there. It is in fact my greatest fear that, if I voice my learning needs, they may believe I feel better or superior to them, or that the Sensei may feel annoyed.

I just need the action.

Take Kote gaeshi. Do you know what I'd need?
A guy that attacks me with a punch. I start retreating or dodging, and he KEEPS attacking me. Once I FEEL the magic moment for ME has arrived, I'll try the technique - and I will fail miserably NO PROBLEM! but I dream of the possibility to learn it in a setting where my whole being may be called in.

I wish I could just try only a PART of the technique, and this precisely because I am NO superior to anyone. If uke attacks me with a punch, my tendency would be to cross with my jabs, of course. Instead now I need to brush aside his arm and also grab it.

This alone, would need me to be attacked repeatedly in order to make the mere brushing aside and grabbing (I'd think of the Kote gaeshi after I assimilate that part!) as FLUENCY, as something that comes out of my whole being. Which will simply never happen if I train 2 minutes on it every ten days, since techniques vary constantly.

I leatrn the technique first like a dummy. Then, I am called in a real action.
I dodge, I step back, I wait to feel either the right moment for me or a real danger. Then I try a part of the technique. And we start back.

The aikidokas look at me with puppy eyes - do the technique, I am here with this still arm for you...
But I need to dance.
You're not going to find any dojo that's going to give an inexperienced person what you're asking for. You're just going to hurt someone. That same scenario has happened more times than you can count. I have little doubt that you can find a number of people in any dojo that would be more than willing to go hard and fast with you, but they're not going to do it when you haven't proven that you can do the techniques in a controlled manner in a static or slowed down situation. That's not for your benefit either,it's for theirs and it's perfectly understandable.
You gotta walk before you can run!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 10:36 PM   #21
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Alberto Italiano,

I agree with you. Personally I think you have the right mindset to learn to really apply techniques. Unfortunately you are going to find very little in the aikido world who agree with you.

You should always keep looking. But you may also want to start looking outside of aikido. What is it about aikido that draws you to it?

Try Jujutsu style which will have similar throws and joint locks and typically will be more agressive. Don't even count out good old fashioned judo.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 10:38 PM   #22
Alberto_Italiano
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
At our school we do an hour of forms (technique) followed by an hour of Randori. There are schools out there for you, you just have to keep looking.
My dream.
Unfortunately one has to find what he can where life has put him to live.

But perhaps there is something we can do - well not me, I mean.
Spreading, under control of each sensei of course, the idea that making your pupils do form for half the session and randori for the second half could be a good solution to get Aikido rid of that idea it's unsuitable for real fights.
To date, there are just too many dojos that consider randori as an occasional option.

As for what chillzATL said, it's quite right and sensible. One has to learn how to walk before running. But we are already in tune there, actually - my "run" is not meant to apply the technique, but as I said to get myself gradually (exactly!) accustomed to a _portion_ of the technique, only this time in a dynamic setting.

The holistic perception of your whole being engaged in "dancing" around your opponent is essential in itself, or at least every fiber of my being seems to scream so to me!
We cannot be more goofy at randori than how we already are when studying the form.

We want control, and it does not escape my attention or intelligence that control is not an option but mandatory. But we also need to get our pupils accustomed to the dynamic setting since day one - in that setting they will do what the know to do - if little, little; if much, much.

My best day in 1 month of aikido has been 20 minutes a few days ago. The sensei went away and allowed us to practice freestyle as a couple of black belts were overseeeing. I picked a girl, Beatrice, who was willing to learn and was a principiant as myself.
I attacked her and she tried techniques - and then it came the beautiful part, attempting to do ikkyo she moved my arm outward instead than inward, and besides i was retreating rather than hrling towards her. I stopped realizing she came to a standstill and didn't know what to do. We paused a second, than I exclaimed: "put me in shio nage! the position may be suitable. Do something Bea!"
She did a perfect shionage.

I loved that moment.

Let's spread this option. Our pupils may benefit from randori immensely, and do not make tho adult guys always the wrong of assuming them as irresponsible adults who need tutoring at all times.
I have never been grounded feeling happier than that day.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 10:43 PM   #23
Rob Watson
Location: CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 698
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
Yes sankyo and nikkyo are painful.
The point is: I do not want to make "cry and beg for mercy" anyone.
I'm afraid I didn't present the situation clearly. These fellows were intent on evil and would not be stopped without being locked up unable to move. The result was seemingly exactly what the situation called for and no one was hurt. The alternative to "cry and beg" was much worse.

What I should have said was since you boxed for 3 years why don't you give aikido the same time? With 3-5 hours a day of high level instruction and dedicated practice you should become quite proficient in 3 years.

Anyway you seem to be looking not for info but validation of your opinion so best of luck on your journey. I hope you heal well and fully.

"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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 10:58 PM   #24
Alberto_Italiano
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
Alberto Italiano,

I agree with you. Personally I think you have the right mindset to learn to really apply techniques. Unfortunately you are going to find very little in the aikido world who agree with you.

You should always keep looking. But you may also want to start looking outside of aikido. What is it about aikido that draws you to it?
This question calls a reply!
In short: that Aikido is impossible.

So, it is going to give to me a true metaphysical experience, because if I ever want to be able to _fight_ using that, I will need to call _all_ my being in.

This is why I need the randori option. Studying the metaphysical beauty and impossibility of Aikido eventually making it fit a real fight, is to me a dream worth pursuing. I am ready to beat my face one million times on the tatami for that. But at times it is this very same enthusiasm and intention that is seen as too unusual, and frames me.

I feel like a canary in a cage in the setting most Dojos use. I wish they could let me fly 30 minutes every other day, I just wish I could experience and follow _also_ the flow I feel within; but merely expressing this need is immediately faced with disbelief - this because of the prevailing habit in most Dojos I think, and not because there would have been anything really detrimental to Aikido in it.

This is why i said spreading to all Dojos the idea of making randori a daily part of your pupils protocollar training might do an enormous deal of good to Aikido - besides attracting more akidokas maybe.

How will I ever learn a decent iriminage, if I can't freely dance?
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 11:02 PM   #25
Alberto_Italiano
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Offline
Re: Aikido For Dummies: Desperation, period.

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post

Anyway you seem to be looking not for info but validation of your opinion so best of luck on your journey. I hope you heal well and fully.
No, why? perhpas you expected a different answer - I simply did not get your idea of "cry and beg" - it just did not make ring any chord in me.

Actually, I was settling down with Daniel's and Curtis suggestions, when suddenly someone seemed to understand what I was saying. I wasn't hoping anymore for that!

If that validates my opinion, I don't know. I only know it was a validation I was not hoping to get, for I was about to part with Daniel's and Curtis suggestions.

If having a passion for something is a malady, I hope I won't heal at all.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Mugendo Budogu - Official Aikikai Hakama now available!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
AikiWeb Raffle for Mary Heiny Sensei akiy General 68 05-27-2008 10:37 AM
Women and Everybody Else in Aikido George S. Ledyard Teaching 113 03-16-2008 07:27 PM
What Aikido is Not (IMHO) SeiserL Columns 17 12-24-2007 02:23 PM
For Ted Ehara - Boundary of your aikido? billybob General 123 12-18-2006 04:52 AM
Two things. Veers General 8 04-04-2003 01:54 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:18 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate