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Old 03-29-2012, 08:23 AM   #51
chillzATL
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
One thing that bugs me about the whole IS thing is the degree of specificity that people go to train in this area at the detrement of other areas. I have run into numerous people that will tell me they refuse to do ANY upper body exercise for the same reason. When I ask them about their goals in martial arts and I astounded (and confused) that they want to develop functionality, but have become so focused in IS development that they will never be able to integrate or use it because they refuse to see the big picture and have become hyper-focused on what is but one piece in the whole process.

Personally I think it is an excuse (intentional or not) to avoid actually having to do any real hard work.
A lot of that is, IMO, coming from those of us who simply don't have that way of moving burned into our bodies to the point that we can do traditional strength training without falling back on the traditional way of doing it. I'm quite sure someone like Dan or Mike could go into the gym and do what appears to be traditional strength training, on the surface, but is still very much in line with their IS training goals. On the flip side, having muscle feels good and looks good, but when you're training for something that doesn't need chest, biceps, traps, etc to "be strong", is there any benefit to building those muscles? If someone who trains that way and is strong without those traditional muscle groups and can engage successfully with someone who does have them, are they really needed?


A good way of thinking about it is that IS training is, at its core, very much like traditional strength training. You're learning a "proper form" for that type of movement and then slowly building up the resistance and load you can handle while doing those movements. Having proper form is important in both aspects, but if your goal is IS development, then bouncing between the two types of strength training without knowing the proper form for both is going to set you back.

As it relates to aikido, I definitely agree that most use it as an excuse to avoid hard physical work, but a lot of that has to do with not even knowing that there is a "correct form" for doing aikido and it isn't about having a big gut or blindly "not using muscle".

Last edited by chillzATL : 03-29-2012 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:48 AM   #52
Walter Martindale
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

Ok... I'm only a nidan in Aikido and a very retired shodan in Judo. I'm also a "Level 4" (of 5) professional coach in rowing, and have a master's degree for studies in biomechanics and exercise physiology. Athletes I've coached in their "early" 1-5 years of training have gone on and raced successfully (i.e., brought home medals) in international competition. If I was training stiff, clunky people, they wouldn't make it to the finals in local competition, let alone the podium at the Olympics - they wouldn't get to the Olympics because they wouldn't make the team. I use some Aikido principles when I'm guiding the learning process for some rowers/scullers, and I use coaching method/sport science info when I'm prepping people for Aikido - it's all got to blend.

Muscles contract and relax. They do not extend. A limb "extends" when muscles contract to make it extend. If you do a "grab my wrist" and "extend" through the uke's centre (center for the other North Americans), you're contracting muscles in the shoulder, upper arm, bracing (isometric contraction) the muscles in the abdomen and chest, bracing and contracting the muscles in and around the pelvis and leg muscles, and pushing with your feet on the ground - If you've managed to align all of this correctly, you can (and I've done it) lift a 200 lb person off his balance and tip him over backwards. Can you do it without looking like a professional body builder? Of course. Can you do it without using muscle? NO.

Movement (or the initiation of movement) requires first a nerve impulse, coordinated by the brain, to travel down a (very) complex path to stimulate muscle fibres (via neurotransmitters going from the nerve to the muscle) to do a bunch of stuff involving sarcoplasmic reticulum, calcium ions, adenosine triphosphate, myosin, and actin. The end result is that the muscle fibre shortens, pulling on the tendons, which pulls the bones to which the tendons are attached closer together. Since most of these operate at some distance from a joint, there's usually bone movement as a result.

Movement can't happen without muscle contracting. Full stop. Sure, if you swing your hips and flail your arms loosely attached to the shoulders (which are indirectly attached to your hips) you can move your arms without using arm muscles, but they're moving solely on momentum generated by - muscle contraction in the legs/pelvis/abdomen... If you think you can move without using muscles, let's "pith" your spinal cord just below T12 and see how much use your legs are... That's the ultimate relaxation..

Relaxation:
It's not really relaxation when high performance athletes or high-mucky-muck shihan demonstrate their expertise. It appears fluid, flowing, connected, controlled, and "easy", but there has to be muscle contraction in the main movers, or the movement won't happen. They're smooth and all because they're not co-contracting antagonist muscles which interfere with the movement and make it "jerky".

Training Muscles - a simplified overview:
First, before getting going, you need to do training in "multi-joint" or "whole body" movements that require coordination of body parts, balance, stabilization of core musculature, or you're building "beach muscles", which doesn't perform much function in sports or aikido.

What seems to work - according to courses I've taken in strength training and experience gained from my own training and 30 years of coaching - If you're after "pure strength" you need to have some muscle there to start with:

- "pure strength" is a result of better coordination of the muscles through improved neural drive to the muscles. This is done with "sets" where the loads lifted are such that you can't do more than 5 repetitions. This type of training doesn't cause muscle growth unless the person doing the training is brand new to training (but this shouldn't be the first type of training undertaken); it's the type of training that those weight lifters in the vids linked by Katherine would do - lots of sets of not many reps, but with lots and lots of weight. They have to be strong, but also have to be flexible. The flexibility is necessary to not get torn to pieces when they fail and drop the weight behind themselves, and when they're in a "nearly touching the butt on the ground while catching 3 x their body weight on their shoulders" position.

- "body building" is done with loads that permit the person do to between 6 and 12 repetitions - the muscle being under load for a longer time with sufficient resistance to create "overload" and a stimulus to the body to somehow increase the amount of contractile elements (myosin and actin) within the muscle fibres - the muscle actually grows bigger.

-"power" training is done with loads somewhere between 40% and 60% of the maximum load the person can move, and you do this more for a neural drive to get the person able to move with force, quickly - lifting is done aggressively, and from "rest" - in between lifts, you rest the weight down briefly to deactivate stretch reflexes that increase contractile force from muscle contracted while being stretched. this is primarily a "neural drive" type training, also, and it's supposed to strengthen the tendons connecting the muscles to the bones.

- "strength endurance" training is done with lighter loads (30% of max, for example) that you can do 50 - 1000 times. (so, 1000 bokken suburi, or 1000 Yokomen with your jo qualify as strength endurance training, but Aikido purists won't like using that terminology). Sure, you'll get somewhat stronger, but if the heaviest thing you've lifted is a 1275mm long 25 mm diameter jo made of oak, you're going to struggle with heavier things; the biggest load you can move doesn't get as big as it gets when you've trained with heavier stuff first. You get pretty good at aligning your body and coordinating force application when you start off it overload training, and then when you get into the lighter "actual" loads like a jo, you can put some real power behind the speedy movement, and it's a solid, coordinated platform behind the strike. This training is more aimed at the energy storage and energy enzymes in the muscle fibres themselves - so that the energy is available to make the muscles contract for longer and longer periods of time with forces (in my sport, anyway) that are more specific to the actual forces encountered in competition.

Coaches of people who are going for high performance in sport have NO INTEREST in creating "muscle bound" clunky people - we use strength training to enhance the rest of the training, or we don't do it. The problem with folks who think that strength training off the mats interferes with development of aikido is that they have this misconception that you can't be smooth and relaxed in your movements if you're strong - and I call BS on that...

Cheers,
W

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 03-29-2012 at 10:02 AM. Reason: clarification and spelling
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:53 AM   #53
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Still I hold to the maxim that if you want to improve your [inset sport here] fitness do lots of the same sport. The only proviso is that regular class sometimes does not give the intensity you need. You often have to find some way to get around that.
I think that's especially true in aikido as your level increases. The more senior you are, the less work you do as nage, and also the fewer people are going to be able to make you take really demanding ukemi.

Katherine
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:02 AM   #54
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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however, the fact is, you need strength, you need to develop coordination, muscles, and create a body that can respond and move when you need it to. Weight loading activities are a part of doing this.

So, no....categorically I do not agree that ANY kind of weightlifting brings tension to the upper body. in fact the whole physiology is wrong. there is tension in the upper body when doing marital movements. you need tension...it simply needs to be in the right areas at the right times. You can lift weights, build a strong upper body, and do it in a way that creates appropriate responses.
I can say from personal experience that the single biggest improvement in my stability for koshinage came from getting under a barbell on a regular basis. Very immediate and dramatic.

The impact of upper body strength is a bit harder to quantify, both because most aikidoka (self included) use too much upper body strength to begin with, and because many upper body exercises can degrade flexibility. I would say that a well thought out upper body strength *and mobility* program is unlikely to hurt your aikido. It will probably help your ukemi, by building up the supporting structures for the joints.

Katherine
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:25 AM   #55
Gorgeous George
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
The best way to be fit in aikido, is...aikido!
It's this kind of absurd dogmatic approach that has led me to look outside of aikido to learn what aikido teaches.

I look at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and all the innovation, all the different styles, techniques, and approaches that people have come up with - in just the last ten years - and then I look at aikido...and I really really wish aikido was so open to development.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #56
kewms
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
At O' Sensei's level of course everything is aikido.Then again farming is not weight lifting.As far as i know O' Sensei,Tohei sensei,Shioda sensei,Kanetsuka sensei (to name a few) never used weight lifting in their practice, they used jubi udo instead.The best way to be fit in aikido, is...aikido!
Unmechanised farming is pretty physically demanding, and Ueshiba Sensei was known for his physical strength long before he made his mark as a martial artist. You can't really compare him to a sedentary 21st century beginner whose only physical activity is aikido.

There are also vast differences in dojo practice and the extent to which conditioning is or is not included in early training. When I see someone post that they are concerned about taking 25 or 50 rolls on their next test, or about surviving a full day seminar, I think that person's training might not be as intense as Tohei Sensei's, Shioda Sensei's, or Kanetsuka Sensei's.

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 03-29-2012 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:33 AM   #57
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

I am a jumble of thoughts here...

When I hear an aikido person advocate against physical fitness, specifically a measure of strength, I am instantly put on guard as to why. Why you would not wish your fellow students to be strong as an oxe and fit as a fiddle? Overlapping this perspective, we are inviting mentally and physically ill people to train along with persons with disabilities. In a similar vein, we also treat other skilled martial artists with a fair amount of distain. MMA, judo, karate - anyone that can put us in our place we bully out. Give us the meek, the cult, those who would not persevere in other fighting arts...

As stewards of aikido, we need to cultivate our art. There are far more aikido people who are unfit to train then there are too fit to train. I would rather personally work with someone who is "too strong" then wait for someone to "recover" on the side of the mat. I think the elephant in the room here is that a vocal population of aikido people who want to be at the top of the pyramid are intimidated by capable opposition.

If my partner is so strong and/or inflexible as to hinder her aikido that is her problem, not mine. If I am that person, then it is my responsibility to address those issues. In either case, I think the exclusion or persecution of these persons is ridiculous.

When I hear, "lifting weights is bad for aikido people," I usually read, "lifting weights is bad for me doing aikido to you."
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:45 PM   #58
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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That mindset is why nobody has come close to his ability too. It's fairly well proven at this point that "do more aikido" isn't the answer those who want to be like Shioda, Tohei, etc, much less Ueshiba.
In my opinion that mindset is the only one looking at least in the right direction.The reason why nobody comes close to the ability of the old masters is because everybody is "westernising" something that was created under a different approach.The posts in this thread is the greatest proof of that...
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:07 PM   #59
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Thanks for the response. You haven't really at the basic level answered the question. Sure, I am convinced that you believe that it interferes, but physically and kinethetically you don't explain how it interferes or exactly which ones interfere. You can't categorically make the statement you make.

I would tend to agree that particluar types of physical activity can be determental. That is, if you isolate muscles and then train them to fire quickly when they percieve a load (proprioception) then you can build unintended habits. I am not an advocate of the "Arnold" way of weightlifing that you see prevelant in gyms that many still do based on what was learned in the past for body builders simply to build mass.

however, the fact is, you need strength, you need to develop coordination, muscles, and create a body that can respond and move when you need it to. Weight loading activities are a part of doing this.

So, no....categorically I do not agree that ANY kind of weightlifting brings tension to the upper body. in fact the whole physiology is wrong. there is tension in the upper body when doing marital movements. you need tension...it simply needs to be in the right areas at the right times. You can lift weights, build a strong upper body, and do it in a way that creates appropriate responses.

I have no idea what is meant by "blocking ki". nor do I really understand what KI is when you use it in that context (nor do I really care to get into a discussion of Ki...been there done that). However, you can't throw a concept out there like "blocking ki" and not qualify it and not explain HOW weightlifing intereferes with it.

Ki in the respect of transferrence and direction of mechanical energy involves tension and relaxation of body structures. You can respond with a push to move someone backwards...if you do this you do this...simply put. Of course there are different ways to do this that may use less force, less comittment of energy, and less feedback of structure etc.....we can train our bodies to do this by conditioning ourselves to connect our body in a particular way through varous methodologies and conditioning drills, exercises. Weights and load bearing activities can be integrated (and should be) into this process.

One thing that bugs me about the whole IS thing is the degree of specificity that people go to train in this area at the detrement of other areas. I have run into numerous people that will tell me they refuse to do ANY upper body exercise for the same reason. When I ask them about their goals in martial arts and I astounded (and confused) that they want to develop functionality, but have become so focused in IS development that they will never be able to integrate or use it because they refuse to see the big picture and have become hyper-focused on what is but one piece in the whole process.

Personally I think it is an excuse (intentional or not) to avoid actually having to do any real hard work.

IS work is important, but the preponderance of folks I have met involved with it...well martially they don't impress me. Awesome you can do well at push hands and beat me. But if we did a test of martial abiltiy along the lines of "no-rules" or limited conditions, well ask yourself...do you have the strength to make up for your lack of skill? Do you have the physical skills (jiu jitsu) to actually control? Do you have the stamina and cardio to sustain a fight for longer than 30 seconds?

For alot of IS people I think it is an intellectual pursuit that they are convinced is a martial pursuit. So, yeah...I sort of chaffe at the whole concept of "don't do any weightlifing, running, cardio etc" type of advice.
I won't say of course what ki is but what ki is not:It is NOT the topic of this thread.Any workout with the weight lifting approach blocks the flow of ki and makes the upper body and shoulders tense but of course i can't analise here something that it is a book on its own.Tohei sensei has written a number of books on the subject, so with a little research everything is available.In my opinion is wrong to build ju-jutsu strength to make up for your lack of skill.You should spend more time on the tatami...eliminating that lack of skill.If it wanted ju-jutsu i would study it.My choice in aikido is very specific and a very serious personal journey.I totally agree that one should have stamina and breath control to be able to sustain a fight but that can be achieved through jumbi udo,breathing exercises and constant practice with breakfalls.It's a way to be fit,but the aikido way!The way i practice i emphasize on being effective in any fighting situation(if possible of course)so being "fit" is of the utmost importance.Nutrition(what we eat,how much and how it is cooked as my sensei says) daily practice in the dojo with everything i mentioned above and using the stairs instead of the...lift(haha) seem to be doing it for me.I respect everybody's opinion of course but i also have the right to stick to my own.Thank you for your time.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:19 PM   #60
chillzATL
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
In my opinion that mindset is the only one looking at least in the right direction.The reason why nobody comes close to the ability of the old masters is because everybody is "westernising" something that was created under a different approach.The posts in this thread is the greatest proof of that...
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:30 PM   #61
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Unmechanised farming is pretty physically demanding, and Ueshiba Sensei was known for his physical strength long before he made his mark as a martial artist. You can't really compare him to a sedentary 21st century beginner whose only physical activity is aikido.
Katherine
yup. i can attest to that. imagine working in the rice field, in the mud about knee deep, starting before the dawn, two hours break at lunch for lunch and nap, then back to work until you no longer be able to see. the kind of works: plow the mud fields with a couple of water buffalo (those buggers are quite strong) where you control the plow (how wide, how deep and how straight) and the water buffalo provided the pulling power, or using oversize hoe to clear the field, or carry heavy load walking around in that mud. most folks here won't last an hour. now do that 7 days a week. unmechanized farmers are deceptively strong and had high endurance and tolerance for pain. ya, i can't do that any more. i am too westernized and preferred mechanized means.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:48 PM   #62
phitruong
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
For alot of IS people I think it is an intellectual pursuit that they are convinced is a martial pursuit. So, yeah...I sort of chaffe at the whole concept of "don't do any weightlifing, running, cardio etc" type of advice.
i do weight lifting, chin up bar, running (not enough), cardio (not enough) and even looking into a pair of leotards to help my fitness. i looked pretty good in one actually.

i do those things with IS approaches. one time, Sigman shown how to train IS using weight equipments. look still the same from the outside, but different from the inside. yoga rubber bands and balls work pretty well too. have not been able to figure out how to keep the yoga thong from giving me a super wedge.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #63
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

Wow. Just wow. Has this thread wandered off into the weeds, or what? I don't think OP was asking for the idealized aikido workout, and frankly, determining what the idealized aikdo workout would be is yet another of those pointless "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" arguments that waste so many electrons on this forum. The answer can never be determined because: no one can define "ki", no one can really tell what anyone else is doing because we're all on the other side of a keyboard, nobody here actually worked with O-Sensei (and let's not even get into the heretical argument about whether O-Sensei might not have had the ideal level of "aikido fitness himself, OF COURSE HE DID HE WAS O-SENSEI AND HE COULD TURN WATER INTO WINE WITH HIS KI...ahem). So on, so forth, any number of other reasons. So, unless you're interested in argument for argument's sake, it's all a lot of useless hot air -- even more so because even if we had the answer, it wouldn't help us! I don't have time in my life for the idealized aikido workout -- I work for a living, I only have so many hours in the day, and I don't have unlimited financial resources for gear, gym memberships, seminars, this and that and the other. I suspect most other people in this forum are in the same boat. So why don't we try just once to steer the discussion away from the unprovable hyptheticals and towards something that's actually useful to real human beings who live real lives?

Take it back to the beginning. You've got 24 hours in the day. Take out the hours you spend sleeping, working, and doing other necessary tasks (and let's not forget, doing aikido), and what you have left is the time you have for this "fitness program". You've got only so much money. You live in some place, which is guaranteed NOT to have absolutely every facility, teacher and resource you might want. So. What is actually USEFUL to tell someone in that situation (that is, all of us) for how to improve their fitness for aikido?
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:57 PM   #64
phitruong
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Take it back to the beginning. You've got 24 hours in the day. Take out the hours you spend sleeping, working, and doing other necessary tasks (and let's not forget, doing aikido), and what you have left is the time you have for this "fitness program". You've got only so much money. You live in some place, which is guaranteed NOT to have absolutely every facility, teacher and resource you might want. So. What is actually USEFUL to tell someone in that situation (that is, all of us) for how to improve their fitness for aikido?
run twice a week: equipment - shoes and socks (clothing optional )
run up and down the stair if you have one for about 20 times (depend on how high your stair): equipment - yourself and the stair.
jump rope, a few hundreds at a time: equipment - a piece of rope.
resistance works (funikogi undo or ikkyo undo): equipment - some bungee cords at the local hardware store
weight training: suburi with gallon jug water, run up and down the stair carrying gallon jug of water. equipment - gallon jug of water.
striking: go to local lumber yard and get a post. bury it in the back yard. wrap it with foam insulation and duct tapes. go at it. also good for suburi target practice.

mismatch: run and resistance works for two days, stair work and weight training for two days, rest in between. or run and weight, jump rope and resistance, rest.

don't cost much but time and effort.

and you can sleep when you are dead.

btw, 12 angels can dance on the head of the pin.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:07 PM   #65
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Take it back to the beginning. You've got 24 hours in the day. Take out the hours you spend sleeping, working, and doing other necessary tasks (and let's not forget, doing aikido), and what you have left is the time you have for this "fitness program". You've got only so much money. You live in some place, which is guaranteed NOT to have absolutely every facility, teacher and resource you might want. So. What is actually USEFUL to tell someone in that situation (that is, all of us) for how to improve their fitness for aikido?
Hear, hear!

Things I do that almost anybody could do and that don't take a lot of equipment:

Running and walking. Not even huge amounts, just twenty minutes to half an hour of alternating running and walking, according to how I feel.

Using a bike as my main means of transport (ok I realize that this isn't possible for everyone...)

Squats. I was surprised to find that just doing a few squats while watching tv at night made a noticeable difference in a few weeks. I could get up much easier after being thrown.

Getting to class regularly twice a week.

Hmmm...that's it really. I can get through a weekend seminar of 4,5 hours both days just fine and go to work the day after, and I've done something like 80 forward rolls in a row without dying. Those pretty much are my fitness goals, modest as they are.

kvaak
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:32 PM   #66
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

Various responses.

As others have said, the idea that weightlifting makes you inflexible is a crock. Ronnie Colman (Mr. Olympia some years back) could do a full split. I myself lifted weights fairly seriously for years and stretched out for 10-15 minutes after every workout. When I gave up weightlifting I started to *lose* flexibility because I also wasn't stretching as regularly.

That said there are a lot of stupid weightlifters around who can barely put their hands on the back of their heads.

I gave up weightlifting when I started to do the IS stuff seriously. I don't particularly like it, but when all the people teaching me this stuff tell me weights are going to get in the way of my progress, how stupid do I have to be not to listen?

From my experience, I can see two reasons. One, weights teach you that when you feel resistance, push through it. And I mean really *teach* it--I can't count the number of days I walked out of the weight room with a big grin on my face because I was nearly stapled by some PR but gritted my teeth and simply refused to let the bar come down. That's exactly the wrong instinct for Aikido, especially Aikido with aiki.

Two, my teachers say you lose sensitivity. I'm still on the fence with this one, but the more I learn to feel exactly where uke is and how to take his power where I want it in my own body, the more I think they just possibly might have some small justification on their side. Moving someone else's body is not at all like moving iron--there's no real reason why getting good at one should get you good at the other.

I'm entirely unimpressed with all the arguments about how muscles work. All those arguments are based on a simplistic hinged-joint model of how the body is moved, which researchers are finding is simply not a useful approximation of the real body. In particular, the new research about the role of fascia in movement and transmitting power suggests that saying "muscles only contract" is fairly useless to understanding how to use them.

Finally, none of this has to do with what I consider to be the biggest fitness issues with doing Aikido. I'd say you need to have enough cardiovascular fitness to do energetic activity in bursts (think wind sprints); enough endurance to keep it up for an hour or a day; be lean enough to do rolls and breakfalls safely (matters less as you get better, but you don't start better do you?); and be flexible enough to move well--and resist injury when you fail to move well. Raw strength may be useful for actual fighting but I see it as less important for getting through a weekend seminar.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:49 PM   #67
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

When someone asks what 'style' we practice (as in hard vs. soft), I always respond 'energetic'. In our school, it's just not much fun if you're always sucking air.

So my recommendation? Get in shape aerobically. When you can roll and pop up and roll and throw and throw and roll and pop up and roll again you will get plenty of workout for the rest of you.

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Old 04-02-2012, 08:39 PM   #68
Walter Martindale
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post

(snip)
In particular, the new research about the role of fascia in movement and transmitting power suggests that saying "muscles only contract" is fairly useless to understanding how to use them.

(snip)
Any chance you could cite some published research regarding this? International Journal of Sports Biomechanics? Journal of Biomechanics? Journal of Applied Physiology? Medicine and Science in Sports? etc...
I'd very much like to see some peer-reviewed, published research.

And I'm not asking this to be belligerent. If this info provides a better way to strength-train I'll be all over it. But it's gotta be better than that with which I've had a lot of coaching success.


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W

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Old 04-02-2012, 09:24 PM   #69
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Any chance you could cite some published research regarding this? International Journal of Sports Biomechanics? Journal of Biomechanics? Journal of Applied Physiology? Medicine and Science in Sports? etc...
I'd very much like to see some peer-reviewed, published research.

And I'm not asking this to be belligerent. If this info provides a better way to strength-train I'll be all over it. But it's gotta be better than that with which I've had a lot of coaching success.

Regards,
W
I would like to see this also. The term Fascia has been jumped on by some to somehow explain the uniqueness of what they do compared to what everyone else does.

The different types of fascia are pretty dense connective tissue and one supposes can be used to transmit the effect of one muscle elsewhere in the body but power generation through fascia is a bit of a stretch (I do love of bad pun). Even the idea that because you can find some myosin within the fascia and therefore this means that it can act like a muscle is pushing it.

What we can say that there are some painful conditions resulting from damaged fascia and that how one exercises can have an affect. Claims beyond that really need to be shown.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:52 PM   #70
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

Walter -- I don't have good peer-reviewed reports for you, and I don't have enough expertise in the field to know which journals are really reputable either. When I was looking at this--about a year ago--I found a lot of the pop-physiology articles but also a number of references to things scientists do when they're overturning a paradigm--that is, conferences organized on the specialized topic with researchers attending to share their findings (http://www.fasciacongress.org/), but no real new consensus yet formed. It was enough to convince me that this wasn't on a par with crystal healing, even if the actual science isn't nailed down yet.

My understanding is that the role of fascia isn't that it generates power in itself. It's more about power transmission, and how that power transmission is very much non-obvious in a structure as complex as the human body. So not only is it like pulling on a rope (tendons) but it's like plucking a guitar string, where force in one direction can be turned into force in a perpendicular direction, and like a tensegrity sculpture, where instead of the weight or force being carried by the rigid members (bones) as you'd expect, it's distributed throughout the fascial network.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:11 PM   #71
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Walter -- I don't have good peer-reviewed reports for you, and I don't have enough expertise in the field to know which journals are really reputable either. When I was looking at this--about a year ago--I found a lot of the pop-physiology articles but also a number of references to things scientists do when they're overturning a paradigm--that is, conferences organized on the specialized topic with researchers attending to share their findings (http://www.fasciacongress.org/), but no real new consensus yet formed. It was enough to convince me that this wasn't on a par with crystal healing, even if the actual science isn't nailed down yet.

My understanding is that the role of fascia isn't that it generates power in itself. It's more about power transmission, and how that power transmission is very much non-obvious in a structure as complex as the human body. So not only is it like pulling on a rope (tendons) but it's like plucking a guitar string, where force in one direction can be turned into force in a perpendicular direction, and like a tensegrity sculpture, where instead of the weight or force being carried by the rigid members (bones) as you'd expect, it's distributed throughout the fascial network.
Good response Hugh and it reflects what I have seen. By way of analogy I would use pulling the corner or edge of a rubber sheet. The effect is not as directional as the rope/tendon. I am far more comfortable with the idea that a lot of the inherent inflexibility we show is a function of the fascia rather than "stiff muscles".

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:16 AM   #72
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

I think Thomas Myers -- author of Anatomy Trains, among other things -- is one of the leaders in research on the role of connective tissue. Putting his name into your favorite journal index or citation search is likely to turn up some good papers. The book Anatomy Trains itself has lots and lots of detail, and is very clear about what he can back up with research and what is extrapolation.

Men's Health had a pretty good introduction to the subject, and searching on the sources it used might be another productive avenue:
http://www.menshealth.com/print/17771

Katherine
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:10 AM   #73
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
The way his acolytes venerate him, showing a complete lack of knowledge of BJJ, is embarrassing (see the top comment about him '99% getting a twister' on Marcelo Garcia, for example).
The rubber guard seems to be a particularly bad idea: Ryan Hall calls it 'Wacky crap' on his triangle instructional, and Saulo Ribeiro eschews locking yourself to your opponent; plus, being trapped flat on your back is a big no-no in BJJ, right?
Dunno... Kevin spoke to this and if I remember correctly had good things to say about Saulo and Ryan.

But its kind of rough going all out and calling something "wacky crap"... unless your flexible enough to try it out. [Not knowing and not having trained with these guys I cannot say.]

I do know that flexibility is beneficial to the individual so it definitely cant hurt your game.
[It could only help you.]

My kids and I have been going through the Gracie Bullyproof program, and I have emphasized flexibility with this, and one of my kids can now fly into lotus position and another one is almost there.
Many people may struggle into lotus, but to put your legs up without using your hands is a mean feat indeed.

The fact is that for many its easier to go and pump iron than to work on flexibility.
And when you can throw 'horsepower into technique' as one MMA fighter put it, there is little patience for something that is not that comfortable to begin with. You just have to put your mind to it and do it.

Eddie cant go around with his height, weight, strength and represent to each individual that flexibility works. The individual in their own weight class needs to see if their flexibility gives them an edge.

Probably 9/10 people are indeed caught by surprise when the rare occasion happens that Mr./Ms. flexi walks in, knows their stuff [or even more so, doesnt know it that well] and pulls of something that unexpected.
[i.e. like my kotegaeshi in the grappling portion of Thai Boxing class... in fairness none of these guys had an authentic BJJ teacher - though they have one heck of a THai Boxing teacher.]

Whether or not such positions can be thwarted depends on their time practicing with this and making it second nature to them. [or vice-versa making it effective.]

Im around my 40s and I want to step my flexibility game up.
If just for my own health purposes.

Kevin put it rather nicely and it goes for most people in BJJ and in martial arts in general.
Hes not that flexible so it does not fit into his games.
Also he is not totally into the counter culture bit of Eddie.

Two points which summarize much of the traditional martial arts world as well as the bit with BJJ and flexibility.

- He was humble enough to say, "look I cant do it and it does not make me feel comfortable to work with at this time" [paraphrase, sorry if it appears to come across different than what you felt you intended.]

- counter culture.
Due to the whole counter culture bit people shy away from this... as well as the fact that its just darn hard to really get your body flexi enough to do what he does. [Hurts like... for this 'old man']

But that is typically how it is in arts, yet many disguise it with a 'right' or 'wrong', black and whites without any verification or attempt to verify things. Easily dismissing something or someone that does not fit in their mode. [Again, this is not what Kevin did, he owned up and stated what was up... and at least your aware of it and at some point you may be able to add parts to your game, or at least be aware of its validity which may fit into someone elses game you train with.]

So the whole point of the thread is about fitness.
indeed... First step is to drop worry and fear or rather stress,

Then have fun and move the body [call it exercise] and push it to various limits while experimenting [running, flexibility, biking, weight training... whatever it is your body needs - not someone elses body]

Peace

Dalen

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Old 04-06-2012, 08:00 AM   #74
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Dunno... Kevin spoke to this and if I remember correctly had good things to say about Saulo and Ryan.

But its kind of rough going all out and calling something "wacky crap"... unless your flexible enough to try it out. [Not knowing and not having trained with these guys I cannot say.]

I do know that flexibility is beneficial to the individual so it definitely cant hurt your game.
[It could only help you.]

My kids and I have been going through the Gracie Bullyproof program, and I have emphasized flexibility with this, and one of my kids can now fly into lotus position and another one is almost there.
Many people may struggle into lotus, but to put your legs up without using your hands is a mean feat indeed.

The fact is that for many its easier to go and pump iron than to work on flexibility.
And when you can throw 'horsepower into technique' as one MMA fighter put it, there is little patience for something that is not that comfortable to begin with. You just have to put your mind to it and do it.

Eddie cant go around with his height, weight, strength and represent to each individual that flexibility works. The individual in their own weight class needs to see if their flexibility gives them an edge.

Probably 9/10 people are indeed caught by surprise when the rare occasion happens that Mr./Ms. flexi walks in, knows their stuff [or even more so, doesnt know it that well] and pulls of something that unexpected.
[i.e. like my kotegaeshi in the grappling portion of Thai Boxing class... in fairness none of these guys had an authentic BJJ teacher - though they have one heck of a THai Boxing teacher.]

Whether or not such positions can be thwarted depends on their time practicing with this and making it second nature to them. [or vice-versa making it effective.]

Im around my 40s and I want to step my flexibility game up.
If just for my own health purposes.

Kevin put it rather nicely and it goes for most people in BJJ and in martial arts in general.
Hes not that flexible so it does not fit into his games.
Also he is not totally into the counter culture bit of Eddie.

Two points which summarize much of the traditional martial arts world as well as the bit with BJJ and flexibility.

- He was humble enough to say, "look I cant do it and it does not make me feel comfortable to work with at this time" [paraphrase, sorry if it appears to come across different than what you felt you intended.]

- counter culture.
Due to the whole counter culture bit people shy away from this... as well as the fact that its just darn hard to really get your body flexi enough to do what he does. [Hurts like... for this 'old man']

But that is typically how it is in arts, yet many disguise it with a 'right' or 'wrong', black and whites without any verification or attempt to verify things. Easily dismissing something or someone that does not fit in their mode. [Again, this is not what Kevin did, he owned up and stated what was up... and at least your aware of it and at some point you may be able to add parts to your game, or at least be aware of its validity which may fit into someone elses game you train with.]

So the whole point of the thread is about fitness.
indeed... First step is to drop worry and fear or rather stress,

Then have fun and move the body [call it exercise] and push it to various limits while experimenting [running, flexibility, biking, weight training... whatever it is your body needs - not someone elses body]

Peace

Dalen
I don't think it's a matter of Ryan Hall being incapable of using, or understanding Eddie Bravo's, er, 'system' (he demonstrates the rubber guard himself, when calling it 'wacky crap'), but rather, the fact that he competes at the highest level, against the best in the world, and knows what is legitimate - and what is possible to pull off against those of a low level, perhaps, or the unsuspecting.

There's the maxim 'Jiu jitsu for everyone', that Caio Terra, and Saulo Ribeiro champion: and i'm with them; I read something by TK Chiba a while back where he said the same thing about aikido: it's something that allows people to find their own way, and at their own pace.
But if you teach your style as a 'one-size-fits-all', then you're excluding people, and being ridiculously dogmatic: try telling 'Joey Karate' that he just needs to work on his flexibility -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-Vw7c42HiM

Marcelo Garcia repeatedly gave Eddie Bravo - the master of the rubber guard - the position; and repeatedly escaped it.
And for all Eddie's flexibility, he ended up using strength - whereas Marcelo used relaxation, and flowed around him.

Regards fitness in aikido: don't rely on muscle to effect technique; you have to be able to move, and that requires some muscle - but you should be able to have muscles, and be physically fit, and just not use them.
I'm sick of this mentality that becoming proficient at aikido is an excuse to be an unfit slob, because all you do is stand there, and relax - and you're never under pressure to defend yourself/remove yourself from a bad situation, so you can get away with it.
I want to make the most of my body while i'm relatively young - and having a somehwat toned physique, and good cardiovascular endurance, makes me feel good, healthy, and alive.
I'm both strong, and flexible. I've also recently started practicing some gymnastics, to aid my style in BJJ, and my body feels great - and so do I.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:00 AM   #75
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Re: Fitness needed for Aikido [Help Requested]

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Regards fitness in aikido: don't rely on muscle to effect technique; you have to be able to move, and that requires some muscle - but you should be able to have muscles, and be physically fit, and just not use them.
Not sure if we are understanding one another... suppose the best way around words is just to get out and train with the individual to 'feel' what is being said. Clears up a lot.

This is how I have to learn due to the language where I live, [feeling the technique work], and I see so many people confused by when an instructor says one thing, and another comes up to stop them and says they are doing it wrong and shows them another way.

I step in, with what I do know, [Im not that 'beautiful' at it] and say with my best language skills to 'feel' if it works or not. And when it does there is a light that goes off in their head, an ah-ha moment.
And then I proceed to tell them, for political reasons, to do whatever they are taught and its up to them to show what they now learn for clarification with the given instructor.

Forums and Aikido are tough... we all have our perspective on it, but even speaking the same language - and more so - we can talk right over the others head.

Peace

Dalen

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