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Old 05-12-2002, 12:50 PM   #1
aikido_fudoshin
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Kicking in Aikido?

I have heard various reasons why kicking is not included in Aikido, but doesnt it seem reasonable for it to be incorporated into the practice since it is a commonly used attack? Am I missing out on something here or do others feel the same?
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Old 05-12-2002, 01:50 PM   #2
Jakusotsu
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Defending against kicks is very easy and is something that one will be able to do almost automatically once one has learned to deal with being punched and grappled.

Aikido practioners don't kick because kicking makes you very easy to unbalance.

In my opinion, kicking is usually impractical, unless one has closed past ma-ai. In which case one should kick to the vulnerable areas such as the knee, shin and instep.

I have seen Mitsugi Saotome kick the legs out from under his ukes, but that was after having taken their balance. It functioned more as a throw than as atemi.

Eric Kroier
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Old 05-12-2002, 01:50 PM   #3
Olivier Uyttenh
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hi,
Sometimes I also think that kicking should be included in practising aikido because it is as you say a common attack. However I think there is at least one kick we use in aikido (mae geri sorry about the spelling).
greetings,
olivier
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Old 05-12-2002, 04:04 PM   #4
Bruce Baker
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kicks in Aikido

In the course of learning to unbalance an opponent there are many opportunities to kick, punch, and generally use striking found in other martial arts ... but for Aikido to be effective you must first learn how to do the basic pillars of Aikido.

In our attempt to become proficient with these pillars, it is not out side the tenent of Aikido to learn how to punch and kick, so long as it is brought into the harmony of Aikido's benefit of life and respect for that life. Normally, most people who come to Aikido do so because they have had training in other striking and martial arts, so in learning Aikido, it merely adds to the arts they already practice.

I know of, at least, four people who have been severely injured with kicks to legs or knees when breaking the balance for jujitsu, or judo throws ... something most people who come to aikido try to avoid by using other means to effect throws. If you have ever stepped into a chuck-hole while backpacking or a stepped off a curb to twist your ankle of knee, then imagine having three or four times the force of your accidental slip applied for a really painful injury by a well placed kick? Most people don't know their own strength when doing simple throws in Aikido, kicks would be even more so dangerous as the balance of both uke and nage are taken for a second or two when kicking?

Funny the question should come up? This weekend my teacher did, indeed, add a kick to our Saturday class. Maybe it was because the people attending observed a margin of safety, or simply because he was in the mood, but with careful instruction ... yes ... kicks could be added to a technique. Don't expect to get it everyday though.

Once you have added a variety of kicks from either studying other martial arts, or with a little help from someone who can show you how to kick with the least amount of balance loss, it will make many of the movements for your Aikido practice much easier to learn.

If you can kick in any direction on one foot, and still have balance, how hard can it be to use the eight directions of movement in Aikido?

Don't get too cocky though, you will still have to figure out how to get the upper hand to apply kicks ... this will come as you get proficient in Aikido.

If your teacher asks why you are smiling or laughing, tell him/her you saw something new in your Aikido practice.
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Old 05-12-2002, 04:10 PM   #5
lt-rentaroo
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Hello,

We train to defend against kicks on a regular basis. At least twice a month a class is dedicated to defenses against different types of kicks such as front, side, back, roundhouse, etc.

LOUIS A. SHARPE, JR.
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Old 05-12-2002, 05:02 PM   #6
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jakusotsu
Defending against kicks is very easy and is something that one will be able to do almost automatically once one has learned to deal with being punched and grappled.
This is one of the common explanation you hear, but I don't buy it. If kicks are so easy to defend against, then why is it that so many arts use them with such effectiveness? Further, I doubt that most people in any art deal easily with situations that they have never trained in (and in many cases, not even considered).

Quote:
Aikido practioners don't kick because kicking makes you very easy to unbalance.
Train with some people who kick well - it's not all that easy to unbalance them.

Mostly, Aikido folks don't train against kicks because the Japanese arts in general (including Aikido) put very little emphasis on kicking techniques.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-13-2002, 03:18 PM   #7
Lyle Bogin
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Kicks are dangerous because they use large muscle groups in a series, a striking surface that is very hard (the shin or the heel), they can be be hidden under other techniques, and the legs are sometimes better than the arms at carrying the full weight of the body.

Kicking, IMO, is something that should be taken quite seriously. Including the knees, long range thrusts, and cutting kicks with the shin or the foot, jabing toe kicks, stop kicks, stomps, spinning heels, and jumps.

However, I think it best to be exposed to them outside of an aikido context.
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Old 05-13-2002, 05:21 PM   #8
Don_Modesto
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Re: Kicking in Aikido?

Quote:
Originally posted by aikido_fudoshin
I have heard various reasons why kicking is not included in Aikido, but doesnt it seem reasonable for it to be incorporated into the practice since it is a commonly used attack? Am I missing out on something here or do others feel the same?
I feel that way, too. But the ukemi is TOUGH.

Quote:
Originally posted by Eric Kroier

I have seen Mitsugi Saotome kick the legs out from under his ukes, but that was after having taken their balance. It functioned more as a throw than as atemi.
He's done more than kick legs out; he's kicked ribs. Been there, been done to. It shocked the other uke at that particular demonstration.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 05-13-2002, 05:40 PM   #9
thomasgroendal
 
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My take would be that the primary reason kicks aren't taught much is just that there aren't many people that can take an honest ukemi. Most honest and unexpected throws give you a moment to go round, but most kick falls a quick but long fall straight on your back. (Not to many forward throws)
I also second the thought that aikido comes from the samurai tradition which does not commonly include kicking above the waste.
my two yen

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Old 05-13-2002, 06:49 PM   #10
PeterR
 
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So teach the back breakfalls. In Shodokan Aikido it is the back breakfalls which are taught first, rolls come later. I've had students within a year taking wonderful breakfalls from techniques against kicks.



Quote:
Originally posted by thomasgroendal
My take would be that the primary reason kicks aren't taught much is just that there aren't many people that can take an honest ukemi. Most honest and unexpected throws give you a moment to go round, but most kick falls a quick but long fall straight on your back. (Not to many forward throws)
I also second the thought that aikido comes from the samurai tradition which does not commonly include kicking above the waste.
my two yen

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-13-2002, 11:19 PM   #11
thomasgroendal
 
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I agree and generally teach back break falls while including kicks. However, a truly affected leg lift will take you on a long trip. Even very advanced students will have a very difficult time taking full falls with one of their legs held up against their chest. It is also dangerous because if someone panics on an accidentally extra big back breakfall they are likely to forget their head or brace with their hands, either one leading to a world of pain.
movement vs. kicks, and the general sense of disbalance is taught. I then allow them to throw me. (I teach four very beginners, so that is more than enough.)
Regardless, I believe that kicks of different varieties should be incorporated more into aikido study. I also agree that if you aren't used to a kick, you won't see it coming, and won't be able to react, no matter how much you know about fists and grabs. Feet move faster!
my regards
tom Groendal

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Old 05-14-2002, 03:31 AM   #12
Aikilove
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O-sensei against kicks

I find it interesting that O-sensei choose not to focus on to teach how to kick (maybe ha wasn't all that good at it himself), and yet frequently when newcommers would come he would say to them -ATTACK! or -KICK ME! or -PUNCH ME! In either case the newcomer would end up flying. He didn't seem to mind if he was attacked by kicks (sometimes he even demanded it!)

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 05-14-2002, 07:55 AM   #13
Lyle Bogin
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In order to properly train kicks in an aikido context, new kinds of exercises and drills would have to be added. Body conditioning, pad and sheild work, stance work, stretching... to develop effective kicks takes a lot of work. Kicking is a whole other art. And what kind of kicks would we use? Are there kicks good for aiki-training, like yokomen and shomen uchi are for hand strikes? Kick with the shin? Kick with the foot? Kick for speed? Kick for power? Do we need stance training? Or training with weights? 100 leg lifts after class? Then there all of the additional stress on the knees and hips. There will be more injuries (from experience I suspect to the head and neck as well). The kicking arts themselves are extremely varied...at this point, is it possible to standardize leg attacks for aikido?
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Old 05-14-2002, 08:07 AM   #14
Carl Simard
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Quote:
Originally posted by thomasgroendal
Even very advanced students will have a very difficult time taking full falls with one of their legs held up against their chest. It is also dangerous because if someone panics on an accidentally extra big back breakfall they are likely to forget their head or brace with their hands, either one leading to a world of pain.
movement vs. kicks, and the general sense of disbalance is taught. I then allow them to throw me. (I teach four very beginners, so that is more than enough.)
It's exactly what my instructor said when I asked him why we don't practise kick often (we were just coming out of a seminar where we have practised kicks). He answered that each time people practised kicks, someone get hurts, specially the beginners, because the falls can be quite hard... Not only because of backfalls, but also because people tends to push too hard on the leg...

Second thing he tells me is that kicks aren't the most used attack. If someone want to agress you on the street, you have a lot more chance that he tried to grab you or punch you in the face than trying to give you a mae geri... Even if someone know how to kick, it will probably not be his first attack, he will try something else before... So, you better to concentrate on punch and grab...

Another thing, but it's only a personnal feeling, is that many aikidokas (instructors included) doesn't seem to know how to kick... So, it's difficult to teach someone how to kick if you don't know how to do it itself...

Last edited by Carl Simard : 05-14-2002 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 05-14-2002, 09:56 AM   #15
JMCavazos
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To learn kicks I took Tae Kwon Do. I learned to see how a kick begins and the destruction that a kick can do. You learn to be very appreciative of the quickness and effectiveness from a kick. I took it for 1 1/2 years before I got my shodan in aikido.

I don't believe that kicks should be a contant training portion of aikido. Sure, we do have classes about once a month covering kicks, but the kicks that an aikidoko throw are nothing compared to a skilled Tae Kwon Do practicioner. Of course, the chances of a street fighter throwing kicks like a TKD martial artist is also slim to none.

I think that in aikido it more important to learn to take your uke's balance. Once you truly learn this - then a kick is like a punch. Don't focus on the kick, focus on the uke's center. It has worked for me. I have tried it with my fellow TKD practioners.
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Old 05-14-2002, 10:24 AM   #16
nikonl
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Ai symbol

thomasgroendal said,"I also agree that if you aren't used to a kick, you won't see it coming, and won't be able to react, no matter how much you know about fists and grabs. Feet move faster!"

Based on what thomasgroendal said:
i was wondering, then how can we effectively defend against a kick if we don't usually train with kicks?
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Old 05-14-2002, 12:38 PM   #17
mj
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The last thing I 'learned' in Aiki was that any attack desires a 'space' (usually my face) where it wants to be. A kick is no different.

Although I already 'knew' this about attacks, from many years MA, it only showed itself to me in it's 'purity' at a course with Patrick Cassidy, months ago.

Frankly, seeing this has stunned me into not training for months.

The attacks change, the desire stays the same, I suppose.

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Old 05-14-2002, 12:42 PM   #18
akiy
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mj
The last thing I 'learned' in Aiki was that any attack desires a 'space' (usually my face) where it wants to be. A kick is no different.
Interesting. Can you elaborate?

As an aside, I've had great experiences training with Patrick in the past, too...

-- Jun

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Old 05-14-2002, 01:02 PM   #19
mj
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I'm not sure if I can elaborate, Jun.
Any attack is an aggressive incursion into my space, so to speak. To actually 'give' that space away, and not to..er....defend it (kinda), to give the attacker their desire, requires a lack of ego that I only ever reached after many years of Judo, and in Judo it was never explained, only learned.

As you can see, my elaboration is simplistic

Patrick Cassidy really opened my eyes to the 'wider' aikido, I was pretty sure he had done Judo

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Old 05-14-2002, 05:47 PM   #20
thomasgroendal
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by nikon
Based on what thomasgroendal said:
i was wondering, then how can we effectively defend against a kick if we don't usually train with kicks?
You can't really. From a self-defense or budo perspective training against kicks is important. I don't think it is the most important or important up to a certain level in aikido. I think you should certainly see it before shodan, but should not be asked to be fully involved in it a few months after starting. A perfect way to cement someones terror of back falls would be to make them take the uke from 15 kicks before their ready!
Same thing with reinforcing a G.I. joe's bad attitude. But dealt with carefully (and SAFELY!) kicking should be a part of everyone's training.
Besides, the if you don't train against it, you can't defend against it also goes to ground fighting, bullet dodging, and baseball bats. The point being that a dojo has to choose the priorities in their training. I like to think my dojo teaches aikido that will help you when you get into a fight with your spouse. Throwing trained TKD practitioners is just way less common, and way farther down on my priority list. (besides, I'd probably get my butt kicked!)
Cheers
tom

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Old 05-14-2002, 08:45 PM   #21
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The problem with training against kicks is a bit like the problem with training against punches. If the person delivering it is truly committed and follows through like an out-of-control drunk, then it is fairly easy to deal with them once they throw all their weight in your direction - and that's great for basic training, I suppose.

However, good kickers (of the karate, TKD or whatever variety) are an altogether different animal. They don't easily lose their balance or just deliver a single blow the way many here would expect.

I'm not by any means suggesting that these people are the types who would get their kicks (yikes! ) by getting into street brawls with the decent people here in this forum. Still, it's something to think about - trains you better for handling the committed drunk (an oxymoron? Or just a moron that is large like an ox?).

Jim23

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Old 05-14-2002, 09:46 PM   #22
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23
However, good kickers (of the karate, TKD or whatever variety) are an altogether different animal. They don't easily lose their balance or just deliver a single blow the way many here would expect.
Now Jim, let's get real. You know the Aikidoist will simply maintain maai and as a result be perfectly safe.

Sheesh!
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Old 05-14-2002, 10:13 PM   #23
Edward
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Maybe the karateka and TKD and all guys from striking arts think exactly the opposite:

What about if I fight with one of these wicked grappling aikidoka, judoka? I could probably finish him quickly with a punch or a kick, but what if he gets hold of me? My art doesn't teach me anything about that! How about if he applies one of their vicious wrist locks which are so painful and can eventually break my wrist and my carrier in MA?

When I was doing judo, which is not so self-defence oriented as you know, my sensei used to say that on the street, the judoka should be man enough to be able to take one punch (or kick?) before he gets hold of his opponent and finish him. I have to admit that at that time, with the all competition oriented hard training that we were having, taking a punch or two (or kicks?) did not seem so frightening compared to the pain during the training
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Old 05-14-2002, 10:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Maybe the karateka and TKD and all guys from striking arts think exactly the opposite:

What about if I fight with one of these wicked grappling aikidoka, judoka? I could probably finish him quickly with a punch or a kick, but what if he gets hold of me? My art doesn't teach me anything about that! How about if he applies one of their vicious wrist locks which are so painful and can eventually break my wrist and my carrier in MA?
That's a funny image. They do that too. We had a kempo on board for awhile for exactly that reason. Forget the specifics. Anyways, he had me pop a nikyo on him and he went down. His comment though was that in a fight he'd just give up his arm. Needless to say that led me to rethink my positioning on that critter. Dude was wicked fast too. I don't think too many of us would do well against that kind of speed. We just don't do much with that rapid-fire speed stuff. On the other hand, we scared him too, although to be honest I have no clue why. He was much more dangerous than the rest of us combined.

Quote:
When I was doing judo, which is not so self-defence oriented as you know, my sensei used to say that on the street, the judoka should be man enough to be able to take one punch (or kick?) before he gets hold of his opponent and finish him. I have to admit that at that time, with the all competition oriented hard training that we were having, taking a punch or two (or kicks?) did not seem so frightening compared to the pain during the training ;
Had a Judo guy come in for awhile too. Apparently a very accomplished Judo guy. Had extremely tender wrists. Even tiny stretches or pins made him very uncomfortable. Apparantely he got into a fight one day in traffic. Maybe an accident or something to do with someone's ancestry. So this guy swings at him. The Judo guy picks him up and tosses him down. The guy gets back up, tries again and gets tossed down again. Third time is the charm though. The guy tries again only this time he knocks him unconscious by tossing him across the car (hit his head). So much for choking him out.
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Old 05-14-2002, 10:48 PM   #25
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik



Had a Judo guy come in for awhile too. Apparently a very accomplished Judo guy. Had extremely tender wrists. Even tiny stretches or pins made him very uncomfortable. Apparantely he got into a fight one day in traffic. Maybe an accident or something to do with someone's ancestry. So this guy swings at him. The Judo guy picks him up and tosses him down. The guy gets back up, tries again and gets tossed down again. Third time is the charm though. The guy tries again only this time he knocks him unconscious by tossing him across the car (hit his head). So much for choking him out.
That's a good one! I remember having the same impression when I first started aikido. Obviously they don't teach wristlocks in judo so they were very painful to me, and I was wondering about why the yudansha had disproportionate wrists comparing to their forearm size, somehow like popeyes. I felt however that aikido throws were less efficient. But that's another subject
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