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Old 03-05-2011, 12:17 PM   #51
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I do think, with modern distractions (video games, ipods, cell phones etc.) there is a real lack of person to person contact. We are losing our ability to deal with real people, in real situations, and are overly focused on fantasy worlds. Sparring is something real, a true exchange between two living humans that will have a real outcome.
I think this is part of the problem, now distractions are too plenty. I remember as kids all we had was bats, balls, bikes, and ourselves to entertain ourselves. All of these took some form of physical exercise, something the education system in the UK seems to neglect too much.
You do not see any martial arts on the P.E. curriculum other than after school activities. With litigation, 'elf & safety being paramount these days it is a virtual minefield in the education system....Anything a little bit rough is considered too risky so it's not allowed..... The cotton wool syndrome.....
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:17 PM   #52
Hellis
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
I think this is part of the problem, now distractions are too plenty. I remember as kids all we had was bats, balls, bikes, and ourselves to entertain ourselves. All of these took some form of physical exercise, something the education system in the UK seems to neglect too much.
You do not see any martial arts on the P.E. curriculum other than after school activities. With litigation, 'elf & safety being paramount these days it is a virtual minefield in the education system....Anything a little bit rough is considered too risky so it's not allowed..... The cotton wool syndrome.....
Tony

So !! you was one of those posh kids with a bike

Derek Eastman and I were the first teachers in the UK to introduce Aikido to the Education System in the early 1960s...Just a few years ago we gave up our 30/40 junior students because of the new tree hugging controls, just not worth the trouble anymore.

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:58 PM   #53
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
Tony

So !! you was one of those posh kids with a bike

Derek Eastman and I were the first teachers in the UK to introduce Aikido to the Education System in the early 1960s...Just a few years ago we gave up our 30/40 junior students because of the new tree hugging controls, just not worth the trouble anymore.

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/
Henry,
Is was an old one me and my Dad made up from a scrap yard, painted and found some newer bits to put on it... it wasn't exactly posh!! The forks were bent inwards as we couldn't straighten them out. The dam thing was to big for me to start with so we put wooden blocks on the pedals so I could reach them.... I looked funny when I rode it as my ass would go from one side of the saddle to the other!! That was my first bike The racer I bought from my paper round proceeds....
Some of the other kids had new bikes, but they didn't go to Italy every two years....

As for the schools they only have themselves to blame and they go on about dysfunctional kids, who breed more dysfunctional kids, why the country is getting fatter by the year, why people can't cope with their lot, it make's one want to puke. When all they have to do is get off their areesses.....!!

Last edited by Tony Wagstaffe : 03-05-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:28 PM   #54
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

So the issues we've come up with so far are:

Fear of being hurt.

Fear that we are breaking the Aikido way.

Fear that our system may fall apart politically.

Fear that our system may become something else.

Fear of the reality of the situation.

Lack of understanding "how" we could have a sparring system with Aikido.

Did I miss any? These are the reasons that most Aikido schools don't have a sparring practice.

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Old 03-05-2011, 08:56 PM   #55
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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So the issues we've come up with so far are:

Fear of being hurt.

Fear that we are breaking the Aikido way.

Fear that our system may fall apart politically.

Fear that our system may become something else.

Fear of the reality of the situation.

Lack of understanding "how" we could have a sparring system with Aikido.

Did I miss any? These are the reasons that most Aikido schools don't have a sparring practice.
That just about sums it up Chris......
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:37 PM   #56
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

1. Fear of being hurt
I think we covered this one Pretty well. While getting hurt is always a risk with any physical activity, it's not a huge factor.

2. Fear that we are breaking with the "Aikido way"
We haven't touched to much on this one yet. But many might feel that sparring is against the ideals of Osensei. I'd like to hear more from the side that has this problem.

3. Fear that our system may fall apart politically
Again, we haven't touched too much on this. I would love to hear from those who have this fear.

4. Fear that our system may become something else.
My main argument for this is to simply find the context for that which Aikido is teaching to. If we understand where Aikido technique fits, this problem will be easily addressed.

5. Fear of the reality of the situation
As we said, this is just something you've got to get over. I think we all agree that learning to deal with this reality is the real benefit of a sparring practice.

6. Lack of understanding how to create a sparring practice
I think this relates largely to 4. I think a conversation on how we can create a sparring practice for Aikido would be a great place to take this discussion.


To all those who are reading this thread, are there any unvoiced concerns about having a sparring practice? Anything that you'd like to see discussed further? Any reasons why you're sure that we can't all spar with Aikido?

Last edited by ChrisHein : 03-05-2011 at 09:44 PM.

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Old 03-06-2011, 03:40 AM   #57
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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1. Fear of being hurt
I think we covered this one Pretty well. While getting hurt is always a risk with any physical activity, it's not a huge factor.

2. Fear that we are breaking with the "Aikido way"
We haven't touched to much on this one yet. But many might feel that sparring is against the ideals of Osensei. I'd like to hear more from the side that has this problem.

3. Fear that our system may fall apart politically
Again, we haven't touched too much on this. I would love to hear from those who have this fear.

4. Fear that our system may become something else.
My main argument for this is to simply find the context for that which Aikido is teaching to. If we understand where Aikido technique fits, this problem will be easily addressed.

5. Fear of the reality of the situation
As we said, this is just something you've got to get over. I think we all agree that learning to deal with this reality is the real benefit of a sparring practice.

6. Lack of understanding how to create a sparring practice
I think this relates largely to 4. I think a conversation on how we can create a sparring practice for Aikido would be a great place to take this discussion.

To all those who are reading this thread, are there any unvoiced concerns about having a sparring practice? Anything that you'd like to see discussed further? Any reasons why you're sure that we can't all spar with Aikido?
Yoshinkan and shodokan show different ways of how it could be done. But as I understand it, both of these styles also have competitions. Is it possible to spar well without introducing rules and competitions that turn aikido into a fighting sport?

You suggest that fear blocks this direction. But perhaps many of us choose a non fighting style of aikido because they/we just don't like fighting competitions.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 03-06-2011 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:05 AM   #58
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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Yoshinkan and shodokan show different ways of how it could be done.
Oops, I meant to yoseikan instead of yoshinkan.
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:00 AM   #59
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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You suggest that fear blocks this direction. But perhaps many of us choose a non fighting style of aikido because they/we just don't like fighting competitions.
Yeah, I should have stated number 2 differently. I think that dislike of competitions is very fair. Believe it or not, I dislike competitions to a certain extent myself.

The problem I have with competition is that it tends to make the competition the focus, instead of the training. Your training can often become about winning the competitions and not about training to become a better person. I think this is a pretty valid argument.

For me, sparring doesn't have to be about competition. In our school, everyone works against each other when we spar, but with the ultimate goal of helping to make everyone stronger. It's not just about winning a trite victory, it's about overcoming adversity. I'm not an advocate of Aikido being a sport martial art. I like sport martial arts quite a bit, and when one encounters the right teacher of a sport martial art system, they are in for a real treat. But I think sports can over complicate the real issue of training. We train to become stronger, better adjusted people, not collect trophies.

So for myself, I don't confuse sparing and competition. Sparring is done without concern for who the winner is, or the loser, but instead provides a challenge to be met and overcome. I believe this is what is really at the heart of martial arts training; meeting, overcoming and sometimes being humbled by challenge.

Thanks Dave!

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Old 03-06-2011, 10:36 AM   #60
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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Yeah, I should have stated number 2 differently. I think that dislike of competitions is very fair. Believe it or not, I dislike competitions to a certain extent myself.

The problem I have with competition is that it tends to make the competition the focus, instead of the training. Your training can often become about winning the competitions and not about training to become a better person. I think this is a pretty valid argument.

For me, sparring doesn't have to be about competition. In our school, everyone works against each other when we spar, but with the ultimate goal of helping to make everyone stronger. It's not just about winning a trite victory, it's about overcoming adversity. I'm not an advocate of Aikido being a sport martial art. I like sport martial arts quite a bit, and when one encounters the right teacher of a sport martial art system, they are in for a real treat. But I think sports can over complicate the real issue of training. We train to become stronger, better adjusted people, not collect trophies.

So for myself, I don't confuse sparing and competition. Sparring is done without concern for who the winner is, or the loser, but instead provides a challenge to be met and overcome. I believe this is what is really at the heart of martial arts training; meeting, overcoming and sometimes being humbled by challenge.

Thanks Dave!
This is exactly what Tomiki Shihan wanted for all those interested in Shodokan......
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:48 AM   #61
graham christian
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
1. Fear of being hurt
I think we covered this one Pretty well. While getting hurt is always a risk with any physical activity, it's not a huge factor.

2. Fear that we are breaking with the "Aikido way"
We haven't touched to much on this one yet. But many might feel that sparring is against the ideals of Osensei. I'd like to hear more from the side that has this problem.

3. Fear that our system may fall apart politically
Again, we haven't touched too much on this. I would love to hear from those who have this fear.

4. Fear that our system may become something else.
My main argument for this is to simply find the context for that which Aikido is teaching to. If we understand where Aikido technique fits, this problem will be easily addressed.

5. Fear of the reality of the situation
As we said, this is just something you've got to get over. I think we all agree that learning to deal with this reality is the real benefit of a sparring practice.

6. Lack of understanding how to create a sparring practice
I think this relates largely to 4. I think a conversation on how we can create a sparring practice for Aikido would be a great place to take this discussion.

To all those who are reading this thread, are there any unvoiced concerns about having a sparring practice? Anything that you'd like to see discussed further? Any reasons why you're sure that we can't all spar with Aikido?
Chris, yes and no to all three.

Sparring can be good for all the reasons discussed and mentioned. It would logically lead to a competitive 'tomiki' style Aikido if done and called Aikido. In other words if made as a major part of Aikido.

As an additive to the training but done as a minor part then I would say it could help. Now when I say minor I don't want you to think I mean worthless, what I mean is if you are serious and believe it should be part of Aikido without taking away the foundation of Aikido then you could debate where in a curriculum you coud put it. For example would it be something for beginners, would it be part of a level or part of a test?

However, for me it is a foreign concept to Aikido. I did it in amateur boxing and it fitted. It fits all competitive martial arts. It doesn't fit non-competitive martial arts obviously, except maybe as an aside.

For me Aikido is an art of non-competition, non-aggression, no fighting. The principles and moves done and learned as a discipline in the face of opponents who represent someone wanting to attack or fight is the whole purpose of Aikido from my point of view. Therefore all the plusses you feel you get from sparring you get from not sparring as well. In my opinion to an even greater degree.

I would loosely equate this with the bullfighter. If he tried to spar or fight the bull he would be considered quite foolish. His whole art is to do with harmonizing with it, keeping alert, calm, in motion, etc. in the face of a rampaging enemy.

Regards.G.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:17 AM   #62
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

Did someone fart?

Last edited by Tony Wagstaffe : 03-06-2011 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:31 PM   #63
Basia Halliop
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

I think the word sparring has very specific connotations for me: two people 'squaring off', both playing by the same rules, each trying to attack the other and dominate.

If I try to think of something 'sparring-like' in an Aikido context, there is more than one model that comes to mind... I tend to think of something more like a very active jiuwaza, where one person starts as the uke and one starts as the nage (rather than both starting the same which is more like what I think of when I think of sparring), but with an emphasis on kaeshiwaza and on either partner taking advantage of openings or opportunities to either strike or do another technique, i.e., where nage's goal is to pin or throw uke and uke's goal is to become nage and pin or throw, and where if your partner does not have your balance or control of you, you reverse on them, and where you strike if they leave themselves open (could e hard strikes or could be lighter strikes)...

And really, this does not seem at all like a new or foreign idea to me, and certainly not 'anti-Aikido' or 'untraditional'.... most branches of Aikido don't do this in any formal way, i.e. we don't have tournaments or anything, but basically it's just jiuwaza with lots of kaeshiwaza and atemi, isn't it?

Last edited by Basia Halliop : 03-06-2011 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:45 PM   #64
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I think the word sparring has very specific connotations for me: two people 'squaring off', both playing by the same rules, each trying to attack the other and dominate.

If I try to think of something 'sparring-like' in an Aikido context, there is more than one model that comes to mind... I tend to think of something more like a very active jiuwaza, where one person starts as the uke and one starts as the nage (rather than both starting the same which is more like what I think of when I think of sparring), but with an emphasis on kaeshiwaza and on either partner taking advantage of openings or opportunities to either strike or do another technique, i.e., where nage's goal is to pin or throw uke and uke's goal is to become nage and pin or throw, and where if your partner does not have your balance or control of you, you reverse on them, and where you strike if they leave themselves open (could e hard strikes or could be lighter strikes)...

And really, this does not seem at all like a new or foreign idea to me, and certainly not 'anti-Aikido' or 'untraditional'.... most branches of Aikido don't do this in any formal way, i.e. we don't have tournaments or anything, but basically it's just jiuwaza with lots of kaeshiwaza and atemi, isn't it?
This might help Basia...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZw-p...eature=related
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:44 PM   #65
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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As an additive to the training but done as a minor part then I would say it could help. Now when I say minor I don't want you to think I mean worthless, what I mean is if you are serious and believe it should be part of Aikido without taking away the foundation of Aikido then you could debate where in a curriculum you coud put it. For example would it be something for beginners, would it be part of a level or part of a test?
The more comfortable I become with my Aikido, the more I see three important areas of training developing. I believe all three of these are parts are needed in order to get a complete picture of Aikido, and what we are studying with Aikido. Those three are:

Kihon Waza, static, slow, cooperative partnered forms practice.

Ki no Nagare Waza, dynamic, cooperative partnered forms practice.

Jiyu Waza/ Randori Practice, Freeform, spontaneous, practice, ranging from semi cooperative to noncooperative.

All three of these offer things that are unique, or best served in it's own practice.

Quote:
I would loosely equate this with the bullfighter. If he tried to spar or fight the bull he would be considered quite foolish. His whole art is to do with harmonizing with it, keeping alert, calm, in motion, etc. in the face of a rampaging enemy.

Regards.G.
I agree with this completely! Those are my goals when doing Aikido. However, without the "bull" the bullfighter never really has the opportunity to see if he's staying calm, alert and harmonizing. With out a sparring practice, we never know if we are in fact learning to do all these things. A sparring practice give's us the "bull" to test ourselves, in order to see if we are progressing, and to help us progress farther!

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Old 03-06-2011, 05:55 PM   #66
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I think the word sparring has very specific connotations for me: two people 'squaring off', both playing by the same rules, each trying to attack the other and dominate.
I think of it differently. We tried several different ways of sparring, and found that the type of model you are describing never really worked right. I believe Aikido sparring must be done with different rolls, each roll having it's own goal, but those goals must be mutually exclusive. The mutually exclusive goals is the important part when considering a "sparring practice".

Quote:
And really, this does not seem at all like a new or foreign idea to me, and certainly not 'anti-Aikido' or 'untraditional'.... most branches of Aikido don't do this in any formal way, i.e. we don't have tournaments or anything, but basically it's just jiuwaza with lots of kaeshiwaza and atemi, isn't it?
The problem with most Aikido practices like this, is that they end up having mutually inclusive goals. For example, in regular jiyuwaza, Nage and Uke have mutually inclusive goals, this is to say that both can achieve their goal at the same time. Uke wants to connect with Nage, and fall as safely as possible, Nage wants to connect with Uke and help him to fall safely. This doesn't provide conflict, the conflict is what we are interested in learning to deal with, so it's important that with our sparring practice we have mutually exclusive conflict. The conflict is what we are trying to learn to deal with in a calm "Aiki" like way.

Kaeshi waza is an interesting practice, but I think when you enter into Kaeshi waza a different context starts to appear, one different then you see in most Aikido training. This context looks much more like Judo than Aikido. Not that there is anything wrong with Judo, it's just that it won't provide from many of the techniques and theories found in the majority of the Aikido forms.

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Old 03-06-2011, 06:14 PM   #67
daniel loughlin
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

After reading the whole thread i have come to the conclusion that Chris from Fresno speaks a whole lot of sense

Danny Loughlin
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:45 PM   #68
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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After reading the whole thread i have come to the conclusion that Chris from Fresno speaks a whole lot of sense
Thanks!

Also, "Chris from Fresno" is an awesome title.

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Old 03-07-2011, 06:37 AM   #69
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

Fresno is perhaps the number one reality check in North America.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:08 AM   #70
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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Really, what is the problem whith the kind of work you can see in this clips of aw member D. Valadez Sensei? or in this other ones of british or brazilian Shodokan stylists?
forgot to respond to this. i don't have problem with what Valadez doing. i think that's fun to do as a learning/training tool. i do have problem with the shodokan clips where i don't see atemi involved.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:11 AM   #71
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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forgot to respond to this. i don't have problem with what Valadez doing. i think that's fun to do as a learning/training tool. i do have problem with the shodokan clips where i don't see atemi involved.
It is sport aikido, atemi is used, you just don't see it....
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:11 AM   #72
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Fresno is perhaps the number one reality check in North America.
Ha, I think the people of Fresno would be much more happy to be known as the number one reality check place, instead of some of the other names we're known by...

Fresno is a fun place, people should come visit (<--I somehow just became Fresno's Aikido Ambassador).

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Old 03-07-2011, 10:22 AM   #73
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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forgot to respond to this. i don't have problem with what Valadez doing. i think that's fun to do as a learning/training tool. i do have problem with the shodokan clips where i don't see atemi involved.
Atemi (talking about punching and kicking when I say atemi here) is something that I feel needs to be able to be removed and put into the sparring practice at will.

The reason I say this is, regular sparring with strong punching and kicking can quickly take it's toll. Even professional athletes in striking arts don't spar with heavy strikes everyday. While I think it's good to get into heavy striking every now and again, so you know what it feels like to hit someone hard, and have them hit you hard, it's not something most people want to experience on a regular basis.

I would regularly do BJJ sparring for 5 hours straight at least once a week, I always felt fine the next day. However, every time I'd do some heavy kickboxing, for a much shorter period of time (maybe and hour or less), I'd wake up the next day with a headache, and bruises here there and everywhere. Good training sometimes, but not something I'd want to experience every morning.

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Old 03-07-2011, 01:19 PM   #74
Basia Halliop
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

You can strike without always striking hard, though, can't you? I have many times been fairly 'gently' hit by people just aiming to show me that I was positioned in such a way that they could easily get in a good hit.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:34 PM   #75
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Re: Aikido, Martial Arts & Sparring

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Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
You can strike without always striking hard, though, can't you? I have many times been fairly 'gently' hit by people just aiming to show me that I was positioned in such a way that they could easily get in a good hit.
Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. Just as with any technique, the amount of fine control you can exercise depends on the situation and your skill level.
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