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Old 06-11-2002, 08:07 PM   #1
AZ Burns
Join Date: May 2002
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Martial Art or Teacher?

This is my first time posting here, so Hi. I'm AZ. I have no experience in martial arts. I have been searching for a good Aikido Dojo in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area for a little while now. I am hoping to find a place where some emphasis is placed on the mental benefits of martial arts, as well as learning the techniques.
Lots of places seem to teach good technique, but not much about how to apply the martial arts to everyday life.
However, I have found a place that seems to really offer this. The instructor is 7th dan, and I have heard a lot of good about him. I have talked to him a few times, and he really seems to focus on the mental conditioning that martial arts offers, and doesn't just teach you how to do the technique. The only problem is... he teaches Hapkido, not Aikido.
Hapkido itself does not appeal to me as much as Aikido. I would rather throw or subdue someone who tries to hurt me, than deflect their attack and then strike them and then subdue or throw them. However, hopefully I will never actually have to use what I learn, so the mental training that will be emphasized by this teacher might be more important than what I will learn to defend myself.
I have heard it said that what martial art you take is not as important as how good your instructor is. How do some of you feel about this? Is the martial art you take the most important, or is a good teacher more important. If this teacher can help me gain much more than technique from my martial arts practice, is that what really matters?

Thanks
AZ Burns

AZ Burns
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Old 06-11-2002, 09:57 PM   #2
Greg Jennings
Dojo: WPAFB JiuJitsu Group
Location: Springboro, OH
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It's almost always all about the instructor.

I would put absolutely zero stock in their dan rank, btw. There is no uniformity of grading.

We have a 7th dan from another art/organization that is a 4th kyu in our dojo.

I'd check http://www.aikiweb.com/search and visit all the dojo within a practical commute before I made a decision.


Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 06-11-2002, 11:24 PM   #3
shihonage
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Re: Martial Art or Teacher?

Quote:
Originally posted by AZ Burns

Hapkido itself does not appeal to me as much as Aikido. I would rather throw or subdue someone who tries to hurt me, than deflect their attack and then strike them and then subdue or throw them.


The choice is dictated not by art you study but by your attacker. If you keep locking yourself in "Aikido only, Aikido only, I'm a gentle pacifist who wishes to use my newfound power wisely" at that point, then you, sir, will be the one lying in a bloodied heap on the asphalt in about 500 milliseconds.

Quote:

However, hopefully I will never actually have to use what I learn, so the mental training that will be emphasized by this teacher might be more important than what I will learn to defend myself.


Aikido is not a religion, a shrine, or your psychiatrist.
It does not teach you any "mental training".

Any mental changes that you acquire through Aikido are caused by your work at the correct technique.

If you abandon caring for the sincerety of your attacks and quality of your technique, and instead leave your jaw gaping open everytime your Sensei says "ki", then you should just get your Nimbus 2000 flying broomstick and fly... fly... far away...

Last edited by shihonage : 06-11-2002 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 06-12-2002, 04:38 AM   #4
Bronson
 
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Quote:
leave your jaw gaping open everytime your Sensei says "ki", then you should just get your Nimbus 2000 flying broomstick and fly... fly... far away...
C'mon Shihonage, don't hold back. Tell us what you really think

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 06-12-2002, 06:40 AM   #5
ChrisDuSCAMB
Dojo: SCAMB/Beausset
Location: Castellet (Var-France)
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Talking Re: Martial Art or Teacher?

Quote:
I am hoping to find a place where some emphasis is placed on the mental benefits of martial arts, as well as learning the techniques.
Lots of places seem to teach good technique, but not much about how to apply the martial arts to everyday life.
Hi AZ,

Welcome on Aikiweb.

The spiritual learning starts with the technics learning. More and more with your technics progression, the spiritual part will come naturally with it. Your senseļ can explain you some spiritual aspect of Aļkido, but ear it is easy, understand it is very more difficult. With your own experiences,you will discover these "spiritual aspects".
What do you mean when you say "....how to apply the martial arts to everyday life".
If you want to learn how to use the technics in a street fighting, know that the technics efficiency will come with many many years of practice. I advice you to search in the forum posts, this subject is often discuss.
If you speak about the way to apply the spiritual aikido view in your everyday life, this depends mainly of you, I used to say that Aikido attitude (shisei)and spirit is not only valid on the mats and in the dojo, but it can also be applied in your everyday life (at your job, with your friends, with your familly, etc...)


Best regards,


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Old 06-12-2002, 01:23 PM   #6
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, both the art and the teacher matter. They both need to fit your prupose and personality. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. With some searching and some patience (all part of the discipline) you can have both.

Good luck on your quest and on your journey.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-12-2002, 08:29 PM   #7
jk
Location: Indonesia
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Re: Re: Martial Art or Teacher?

Quote:
Originally posted by shihonage
If you abandon caring for the sincerety of your attacks and quality of your technique, and instead leave your jaw gaping open everytime your Sensei says "ki", then you should just get your Nimbus 2000 flying broomstick and fly... fly... far away...
Hey, where's the pic?
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Old 06-12-2002, 11:26 PM   #8
shihonage
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Re: Re: Re: Martial Art or Teacher?

Quote:
Originally posted by jk


Hey, where's the pic?
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Old 06-13-2002, 12:12 AM   #9
tedehara
 
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
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Exclamation Look Around

Many people have accused the Ki Society of being focused on mental training. You don't have to believe them, you can check them out for yourself at:

The Minnesota Ki Society
Lyndberg Athletic Center
Hopkins High School
2400 Lindbergh Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55305
Tel: 612-988-4500
sudori@aol.com

You should also visit the other aikido dojos in your area to get a comparison. Using the dojo search database on aikiweb is a good start.

After all this running around, you can make a more educated decision. Even if you end up in Hapkido, you'll know that you made the best effort in selecting a school.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 06-13-2002, 01:33 AM   #10
bruja
Dojo: Westside Aikido Kokikai
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Previous posters have it right: all that wonderful mental/spiritual stuff comes out of training. Lots of it and extending what you are learning off the mat. Good teachers make the process of learning and integrating quicker and more effective, but Aikido or any other martial art is primarily a physical discipline which happens to have some very wonderful mental/spiritual aspects. If you want someone else to enlighten you, find a guru. If you want to learn to enlighten yourself, learn a defensive martial and experience. Your teachers may be willing to give you instruction in areas other than techniques, but realize that 'master' martial artists does not necessarily mean 'master' spiritual leader. Learn for yourself, why let someone else shape your ideas?

Choose the art because you believe in the ethics and practicalities. What is the point of 'mental conditioning' if your response is to fight violence with violence?

I chose to practice an art that is defensive because of my own ethics, that does not mean that I would not kill someone if necessary...but Aikido gives me the choice to kill, maim, injure, concuss, throw, pin, or gently set down (and a few things in between). I am not saying that this choice is the right one for everyone. I am saying that I made a concious decision to train in this art and have always been able to find teachers that are amazing (and I've seen a few that weren't). I would worry if an instructor promised specific mental conditioning as a function of training. It comes as a result of the process, not as a focus of it.

Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2002, 01:38 AM   #11
jk
Location: Indonesia
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Re: Look Around

Quote:
Originally posted by tedehara
Even if you end up in Hapkido, you'll know that you made the best effort in selecting a school.
Heaven forbid...
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Old 06-27-2002, 12:21 AM   #12
Steven
 
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Dojo: Aikido Yoshinkan Sacramento - Seikeikan Dojo
Location: Orangevale, CA
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IYAF dojo in Minneapolis

Dear AZ,

The International Yoshinkan Aikido Federation has s dojo in Minneapolis. The instructor is Mr. Alvin McClure and he is a godan. The dojo info is a follows:

Aikido Yoshinkai Minneapolis St. Paul (AYMSP) (IYAF)
Instructor(s): Alvin Mc Clure
Renseikan Dojo
Keewaydin Center
3030 E. 53rd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Phone: (612)889-2098
http://members.aol.com/aymsp/ - English

Please do contact Mr. McClure if you are still seeking a dojo to train at. I recommend you give him a try.

Regards,

Steven Miranda
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Old 12-13-2004, 11:55 PM   #13
Adramalek
 
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Dojo: Okami Ryu Ninjutsu
Location: Carolina
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Evil Eyes Re: Martial Art or Teacher?

Hi Kid, am 30 now and am starting to fell old ,but when I first stepped into a dojo in 1983 (Judo), I was looking for Bruce lee, because I was a child ,and hey ,that skinny s.o.b can whoop some a.. ,so the teacher Mr. Ramos took me aside and told me, if you wanna practice you can , but think first, is your hero real or not , is he gonna defend you or not, com on kiddo , think , so I did and I trained with him till 85, when he died from leukemia , I only have cried like that when my old man died, so it was him, the one who showed me that its not so much the style but how you practice it., that lead me into boxing and wrestling later in 91 to Ninpo but it was him who opened my eyes to follow logic and not fantasy , a lot of guys watch Steven Seagal flicks and just say , hey , that Aikido stuff is great , then go and find some guy who's certificates were both not earned , but because it is Aikido (like in the movie) hey is gonna work right, so you pay for 3, 4, 6, 12 months ,and now you think that you are a badass, so you walk around secure of your ability , till that day that a guy , with no training just plain meanness re arranges your face to look like a uncooked meatball and that is how you learn to not go by style but by competence of the teacher , AZ think , I have 18" biceps do you think you can put me in a movie technique kiddo, what if is a skinny guy that have been raised in the projects fighting since he was 5 and knows to bite the neck when up close , Knee the crotch then upper and hook, think kid , walk around , no one has a tattoo in their forehead saying am trained in this or that , so when you have a guy telling you (Cu's people in the street don't know that) guess what sparky , am on the street , so are my students, so are others in this forum , so what is that crap that (no one on the F$%#@ing street knows how to counter this or that) , so you see Hispeed , if the guy available to ya is a hapkido guy , and he is honest about the pros and cons of the system , he is strait forward with his approach on training, he does reality training such as hey!! you two !! go at it!! and try to use one of the techniques I show you today and make the other summit , and not only that , he goes at it too , he is trying to get you ready for real situations so even if the guy was teaching freaking Valet I'll join, so stop looking at style so much Corkie, and look for effective training and forget about if it is Chinese , Japanese, Korean ext. just make sure it's not tae kwon do Cu's that is how you say crap in Korean This have been The Evil Ways of Dave tha Snake

Evil Ways Of Dave (Tha Snake)
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Old 12-14-2004, 07:09 AM   #14
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
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Re: Martial Art or Teacher?

Oh dear...I have to follow the Snake mans post.....

For me you just can't separate the two. A great ballet instructor is still doing ballet, a bs merchant teaching BJJ / vale tude or chain fighting wont be much use despite the effectiveness of his art form.

If you are starting out...check out a few schools and go with the one that appeals to you most.

Keep an open mind and keep checking the other options...If you see something you need incorporate it into your martial art.

Cheers

D

ps. 18 inch biceps? your wasting away man...get some donuts down yer neck and a few beers..
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:31 AM   #15
Adramalek
 
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Re: Martial Art or Teacher?

Jajaja Daren the(Dazzlerrr) Sims sounds like the illegitimate child of Joe Isuzu but hey!!

Hey what if the kid can't go checking because not every state if choke full of schools like Tennessee for example. OK a few beers OK donuts, well pal if a copper stops me because I drank to many beers,then I'll ask him for a donut wada ya think sparky? you'll like that? jeje but remember not every body lives in an area where they have a good quantity of schools to go compare so this people have to develop good instinct's based upon the person available , or you'll see like in many other cases, guys who wait till they are 40 and fat to start training , and then go around posting with names like jeje DAZZLER jajajaja dirt diggler was better squixis jaja but hey if it makes you happy you go Dazzler Seagal

Evil Ways Of Dave (Tha Snake)
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Old 12-17-2004, 05:22 AM   #16
Pavel.Dobrus
Dojo: Prague
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Re: Martial Art or Teacher?

Hi AZ,
It seems to me, that there many common principles in martial arts. My teacher teaches aikido, and practise karatedo and tai chi along with aikido. And often he says, it is the same stuff - in abstract level. The same concepts, which appears in aikido are in karate do, or in tai chi. Just different views on the same or similar things. I had been doing karate for 10 years before I have started aikido, and it was completely different from it. And it was different from karate, which I am learning along with aikido. It really depends on teacher. That's why I think, the good teacher is one of the first criteria. Of course, the martial arts should suit to you. If it does not, perfect teacher cannot do anything. So consider more criteria to choose right (right for you) martial art. But teacher is very important part of the decision process , from my point of view.
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:13 AM   #17
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
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England
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Re: Martial Art or Teacher?

Quote:
David Olavarrķa wrote:
Jajaja Daren the(Dazzlerrr) Sims sounds like the illegitimate child of Joe Isuzu but hey!!

Hey what if the kid can't go checking because not every state if choke full of schools like Tennessee for example. OK a few beers OK donuts, well pal if a copper stops me because I drank to many beers,then I'll ask him for a donut wada ya think sparky? you'll like that? jeje but remember not every body lives in an area where they have a good quantity of schools to go compare so this people have to develop good instinct's based upon the person available , or you'll see like in many other cases, guys who wait till they are 40 and fat to start training , and then go around posting with names like jeje DAZZLER jajajaja dirt diggler was better squixis jaja but hey if it makes you happy you go Dazzler Seagal
It does make me happy snakeman, it really does.

and if it amuses you then I'm all for it.

Keep in touch with yerself.

D
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