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Old 05-15-2013, 01:51 PM   #26
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
[name your demon here]
Quote:
a excellent form of self defiance.
That made me smile, thanks folks.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:37 PM   #27
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

It will take longer than forever for most people (myself included no doubt) because few are teaching it with real effectiveness in mind.

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Old 05-16-2013, 02:07 AM   #28
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
It will take longer than forever for most people (myself included no doubt) because few are teaching it with real effectiveness in mind.
This is true with another me too included.

The idea that we just need to train for a long time and then one day we will be masters at wrestling demons using techniques we learned in the dojo is just wrong.

You need to focus your training to that need - if that is what your need is.

Does understanding Aikido equate to effectiveness - that is a whole new can of worms. I actually don't think understanding Aikido is all that difficult.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:28 AM   #29
St Matt
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

I sometimes spar with a friend who is 2nd dan Shotokan Karate, technically he is far superior to me (I'm 3rd kyu) and he always is able to get past me somewhere. However there have been a number of times that I have successfully managed to use my training to 'beat' him. When we do spar my aikido is far from the graceful flowing examples you see on the youtube and I use a lot of atemi to distract and enter (I believe this is how aikido should be anyway) but its the techniques I have been taught that I use and nothing else.

I am not foolish enough to believe that I could beat my friend if it was a real life and death struggle but he is trained in Karate to 2nd dan level and therefore SHOULD be able to handle me. BUT I do believe that I could use aikido in a self defense situation, I just think you have to be prepared to get a little dirty if need be!
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:08 AM   #30
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

To understand Aikido is like to understand the solar system. You can understand the outer part of it quickly but the mysteries are infinite.

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Old 05-16-2013, 09:17 AM   #31
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Matt Bostock wrote: View Post
I am not foolish enough to believe that I could beat my friend if it was a real life and death struggle but he is trained in Karate to 2nd dan level and therefore SHOULD be able to handle me. BUT I do believe that I could use aikido in a self defense situation, I just think you have to be prepared to get a little dirty if need be!
It's interesting that you bring this up, because I was just discussing something along the same lines with a friend of mine who has been studying Judo for a long time. He kept insisting that Aikido will not work against a trained Judoka, and then I brought up my counter point. Aikido is not designed to show off fighting skills. Aikido is designed to resolve conflict, at first verbally, and at last physically. Someone who is trained in Judo, or any other martial art, for that matter, will never be my opponent, simply because a trained martial artist is generally not going to come up to someone and pick a fight. It is the untrained people who are more likely to cause the problem. My Judo friend is never going to come up to me and start an actual fight. And what I find most interesting is that the 'beginner' level attacks that we all train with are actually more likely to happen to me as a woman. I have never been in a situation where someone tries to start a fist fight with me. I have, however, been in situations when men have grabbed my wrist or shoulder and tried to force me to go somewhere with them. And those beginner grab attacks are what I am looking to be able to handle in a real life situation.

--Ashley
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:42 AM   #32
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

What is it that you wish to understand? How the physical techniques work in the dojo? How to freely apply the techniques you learned in the dojo against opponents who are not operating on the same Aikido paradigm?

Or are you even more ambitious? Perhaps you wish to understand the words ofthe Founder when he talked about the art... He said that Aikido was the a "true Budo" and that Budo was Love. Is that what you wish to udnerstand? If so, you are truly ambitious indeed.

Do you have any idea how a question like yours sounds to people who are serious about this art? It's hard to even know wher to start. There are any number of people on this forum who have spent their entire adut lives pursuing this art (some even started when they were kids). How do you even start to describe what is in the art to someone who has read about it on the internet and perhaps seen some videos on YouTube?

The Founder did not create this art as a fightig form. It's not that he didn;t elive it was a functional martial art; it's just that I do not belive that he felt the world needed anither fighting style. He felt that the world needed a practice that would put an end to fighting. So, in my opinion, when you enter into the world of Aikido worried about how soon you can be functional fighting, it's coming at the art from the wrong perspective right from the start.

From the purely technical standpoint, the basic techniques of Aikido, simply from a physical standpoint take a good ten to fifteen years to be very good at. This is within the Aikido paradigm of the dojo practice, not going out and pitting oneself against trained martial artists from other styles. When I say training hard, I am talking about three times a week minimum. Ihave never seen anyone getto any degree of mastery training less than that. Most of the people I know whom I would consider truly competent spent some period of time when they trained every day, often multuple classes each day.

The uchi deshi of the Founder (apprentice live-in students) spent 6 - 8 hours on the mat every single day for 5 years or more (my own teacher, Saotome Sensei did this for fifteen years). Even with that level of committment there was a wide range of skills that resulted. Many of them were merely technically adept and admitted that they really had little or no understanding of the spiritual / philosophical side of the founder's teachings. Uniformly, they all admitted that they really didn't have more than a fraction of the skills that the founder had. That's with a level of commitment most foreigners will never make.

In my opinion the people who are making the greatest strides towards gaining an understanding of the Aikido of the Founder are engaged in quite a bit of cross training. There are a number of great teachers from arts that use what we would call "aiki" (most notably Daito Ryu, Aikido's parent art and what is now being called Internal Power training) who have developed a methodology for teaching that can shorten the learning curve for those serious about Aikido. But adding another type of trainig to what you are already doing simply increases te level of commitment you need to make.

Then there's the fact that most Aikido really doesn't involve much "aiki". It is simply physical applicationof force against weak lines of an opponent along with a lot of locking. You could train this way for ten years and hae some self defense capability but basically you'd really just be strong. This type of capability Aikido will diminish as you get older because it is merely physical.

To have an Aikido that actually utilizes the principles of "aiki" isn't about technique so much as re-programming your body. It is about learning to bring the various components of your structure into balance and, eventually, learning how to create a stronger structure by using your intent to create oppositional forces in the connective tissue rather than by using muscle tension. Doing this requires a level of relaxation that is difficult to acheive in the dojo setting when you are training with your friends in a non-threatening setting, forget about being able to stay that relaxed on the street in a life and death situation. It can be done but most people will not train enough under the proper conditions to actually get there.

And that's just the physical / technical side. If it is just about the technical side I do not think it is the Aikido of the Founder. I do belive than some leevel of understanding of the principles of "aiki" in ones own body is a prerequisite for understnding the actual words of the Founder. Once again, most of what's commonly put about regarding the spiritual foundations of the art is highly watered down from the founder's original intent. If you do not understand the basis of internal power or the principles of "aiki" in ones own body there is simply no way you can even start to understand what the Founder meant when he talked about the spiritual side of the art, which to him was really the most important reason for creating the art in the first place.

If this sounds like it is really complex, you are right. It is probably one of the most difficult arts to master. It takes a huge commitment It is easily the longest road to any kind of applicable martial skill set of any with which I am familiar. To my mind, that also makes it one ofthe most intersting pursuits one could undertake. Nothing in my life has engaged me like this art. It is so far and away more than about just fighting. I have been training for 37 years and I am just starting to see what is really in this art. I wish I had started sooner and understood better how to structure my training.

Anyway, that's why a question like this just can't be answered in the way you probably wished it to be. It's not the right question but you'd have to have at least part of the answer to actually be askin the right question.

As for people saying Aikido doesn;twork, I wil quote Hirsohi Ikeda Sensei. "It's not that Aikido doesn't work... It's YOUR Aikido that doesn't work." So, there's a lot of bad Aikido out there andthat is what has given the art a bad name martially speaking. That isn;t the art itself but the way it has been taught and practiced. There are a number of folks out there who are more than capable martial artists. You just have to find them if you wish to train.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:11 AM   #33
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Ashley Hemsath wrote: View Post
It's interesting that you bring this up, because I was just discussing something along the same lines with a friend of mine who has been studying Judo for a long time. He kept insisting that Aikido will not work against a trained Judoka, and then I brought up my counter point. Aikido is not designed to show off fighting skills. Aikido is designed to resolve conflict, at first verbally, and at last physically. Someone who is trained in Judo, or any other martial art, for that matter, will never be my opponent, simply because a trained martial artist is generally not going to come up to someone and pick a fight. It is the untrained people who are more likely to cause the problem. My Judo friend is never going to come up to me and start an actual fight. And what I find most interesting is that the 'beginner' level attacks that we all train with are actually more likely to happen to me as a woman. I have never been in a situation where someone tries to start a fist fight with me. I have, however, been in situations when men have grabbed my wrist or shoulder and tried to force me to go somewhere with them. And those beginner grab attacks are what I am looking to be able to handle in a real life situation.

--Ashley
I agree that a martial artist should be disciplined enough to not go round starting fights and I also believe that I am very unlikely to be attacked by a trained martial artist. I do believe, however, that aikido can work against any other art if you train for it, ie, realistic attacks and a martial attitude. I have managed to apply a nikio on another friend who trains in MMA and he said he would have never expected a defense like that (as he was getting up ;-)) it took him completely by surprise. So I reckon it is effective, especially on the untrained.

I live in a small village that sees its fair share of pub brawls. I personally havent been in one (yet) but I have observed a few and was surprised at how many times the aggressors grabbed their oponents on the arm, wrists and throats etc. All things we train for, plus the wild haymakers and wanna be boxer jabs.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:45 AM   #34
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

For me, Aikido is budo, first and foremost. That is, largely understanding the role of conflict in my life and how to adapt my lifestyle to address the conflict I experience. So for me, if I can say that I understand these two elements and I have adapted my lifestyle in accordance with my understanding then I would say that I understand aikido in my life. I have not done these things yet.

Secondly, the effective application of technical curriculum is variable depending on many things. I think applying aikido waza within its art is one type of effective. I think applying aikido waza outside of its art is another. "Street effective" is the latter and I think very difficult to accomplish if you are limited to waza. I think if you expand aikido to be a budo, you are not limited in doing what needs to be done. In definition, this comes back to how we define aikido.

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Old 05-16-2013, 11:54 AM   #35
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Matt Bostock wrote: View Post
I agree that a martial artist should be disciplined enough to not go round starting fights and I also believe that I am very unlikely to be attacked by a trained martial artist.
i don't bother with trying to understand aikido. it's not worth my time and effort. as far as effective goes, i have been training my aikido to deal with ninja or ninji (is that a plural for ninja or is it ninny?). there is a group of ninja training around here. i have no idea where. i have problem track them down. but every once in awhile, they would show up at the various seminars around here. it was like..*pop* and they are there. freaky buggers! i figured if i can handle the ninja, i can deal with anybody from any arts, with the exception of grandma. grandma has techniques that "no can't defense". she got this homemade cookies and pies and meatloaf. no arts known to man survived such contact. the only thing you can do is pray that you can make your pants expand a few more inches around the waist and hope that you don't pop your buttons when sitting down and getting up from the table.

*btw, if you see them ninja, please let them know that they need to clean the dishes after they ate all the foods. it's just not cool leaving a sink full of dirty dishes like that!*

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:27 PM   #36
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

My view is that a person studying aikido needs to be able to get the physical/technical side of aikido to work for them in realistic self-defence situations. If that can't be done, then all the "higher" philosophical and spiritual attributes of aikido loose their value. If the physical/technical side of aikido is not working in a realistic situation, then the training methods need to be reviewed and revised. I accept that when a woman is attacked she is often grabbed and techniques for this need to be practised. However, when a man is attacked, the attacker often attacks with a barrage of punches...and I think aikido needs to correctly address this scenario more than it does.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:09 PM   #37
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Daniel Wilson wrote: View Post
My view is that a person studying aikido needs to be able to get the physical/technical side of aikido to work for them in realistic self-defence situations. If that can't be done, then all the "higher" philosophical and spiritual attributes of aikido loose their value. If the physical/technical side of aikido is not working in a realistic situation, then the training methods need to be reviewed and revised. I accept that when a woman is attacked she is often grabbed and techniques for this need to be practised. However, when a man is attacked, the attacker often attacks with a barrage of punches...and I think aikido needs to correctly address this scenario more than it does.
I have to respectfully disagree with this argument. I don't think you can legitimately make a pragmatist argument without getting down to specifics yourself. You can't generalize "self-defense" - not even "self-defense for women" vs. "self-defense for men" -- and call it a "realistic self-defense situation", there's nothing realistic about that at all. Who's the attacker, what's their skill level, why are they attacking you, what other resources do you have to defend yourself? If you can't be specific about the self-defense situation, it's not reasonable to complain about lack of a specific practical response.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:18 PM   #38
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I have to respectfully disagree with this argument. I don't think you can legitimately make a pragmatist argument without getting down to specifics yourself. You can't generalize "self-defense" - not even "self-defense for women" vs. "self-defense for men" -- and call it a "realistic self-defense situation", there's nothing realistic about that at all. Who's the attacker, what's their skill level, why are they attacking you, what other resources do you have to defend yourself? If you can't be specific about the self-defense situation, it's not reasonable to complain about lack of a specific practical response.
Let's say some hot-headed young strong man has done six months of boxercise or kickboxing and hasn't learnt that there is always someone better than himself and his coach hasn't taught him not to pick fights in the street. He's had a couple of drinks and it's night time. He finds some excuse to start throwing punches at your head. He doesn't rush in allowing you to use tai-sabaki to evade his rush and he isn't stupid enough to grab your arm if you were to offer it (which of course you don't). However, he has enough skill to do a barrage of reasonably effective punches and maybe a kick as well without being substantially off balance and being skillful enough to recover those punches should they not make contact. Aikido doesn't adequately train for that scenario and this is partly because this sort of scenario (a semi-skilled kickboxer or boxer) was not common in feudal Japan, so suitable responses were not developed. However, this scenario is now common and so aikido needs to adapt/evolve and adequately address this type of scenario.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:24 PM   #39
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Daniel Wilson wrote: View Post
Let's say some hot-headed young strong man has done six months of boxercise or kickboxing and hasn't learnt that there is always someone better than himself and his coach hasn't taught him not to pick fights in the street. He's had a couple of drinks and it's night time. He finds some excuse to start throwing punches at your head. .
what if that young man is your brother, son, nephew, grandson, ...etc? how much damage do you wish to inflict? or be inflicted upon?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:31 PM   #40
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Daniel Wilson wrote: View Post
Let's say some hot-headed young strong man has done six months of boxercise or kickboxing and hasn't learnt that there is always someone better than himself and his coach hasn't taught him not to pick fights in the street. He's had a couple of drinks and it's night time. He finds some excuse to start throwing punches at your head. He doesn't rush in allowing you to use tai-sabaki to evade his rush and he isn't stupid enough to grab your arm if you were to offer it (which of course you don't). However, he has enough skill to do a barrage of reasonably effective punches and maybe a kick as well without being substantially off balance and being skillful enough to recover those punches should they not make contact. Aikido doesn't adequately train for that scenario and this is partly because this sort of scenario (a semi-skilled kickboxer or boxer) was not common in feudal Japan, so suitable responses were not developed. However, this scenario is now common and so aikido needs to adapt/evolve and adequately address this type of scenario.
Respectfully, Daniel...this has never happened to me. So it may be common for you...but not so much for me or for that matter, for Ron....who has also never been randomly attacked by a strong, young man on the street.

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Old 05-16-2013, 07:49 PM   #41
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Daniel Wilson wrote: View Post
Let's say some hot-headed young strong man has done six months of boxercise or kickboxing and hasn't learnt that there is always someone better than himself and his coach hasn't taught him not to pick fights in the street. He's had a couple of drinks and it's night time. He finds some excuse to start throwing punches at your head. He doesn't rush in allowing you to use tai-sabaki to evade his rush and he isn't stupid enough to grab your arm if you were to offer it (which of course you don't). However, he has enough skill to do a barrage of reasonably effective punches and maybe a kick as well without being substantially off balance and being skillful enough to recover those punches should they not make contact. Aikido doesn't adequately train for that scenario and this is partly because this sort of scenario (a semi-skilled kickboxer or boxer) was not common in feudal Japan, so suitable responses were not developed. However, this scenario is now common and so aikido needs to adapt/evolve and adequately address this type of scenario.
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Respectfully, Daniel...this has never happened to me. So it may be common for you...but not so much for me or for that matter, for Ron....who has also never been randomly attacked by a strong, young man on the street.
Hasn't happened to me either...but I'm 47 and lately I don't find myself in too many situations in company of young hotheads with alcohol. BUT...I'm going to the BJJ gym nearby lately (Aikido is hour drive, so that's for weekends). I've brought this up with the guys there - what's the point of realistic training, who's really going to have to defend themselves? Turns out - their lives are different than mine, and for some of them, it's a real issue. Bullies are out there....and even if there aren't *really* all that many, the perception of them being out there is a motivator for people to start Martial Arts training. For myself - I wish the commonly-taught styles of Aikido had more some more immediate and tangible things to offer these guys - then maybe I'd have more people to train Aikido with closer to home. Frankly, the way Aikido is taught in a lot of places, (and what anyone can find on YouTube) doesn't bring in these guys in as beginners. You might say these BJJ guys might not be the beginners we want...but I don't buy it. The dedication these guys are putting into BJJ is nothing to sneeze at.

Last edited by NekVTAikido : 05-16-2013 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:08 PM   #42
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Let's say some hot-headed young strong man has done six months of boxercise or kickboxing and hasn't learnt that there is always someone better than himself and his coach hasn't taught him not to pick fights in the street. He's had a couple of drinks and it's night time. He finds some excuse to start throwing punches at your head.
So, is this something you encounter frequently? Or even once in a while? Maybe so, in which case it's a good basis for "self defense". If it's only something you speculate might happen some day...then maybe not. There are only so many hours in the day, and I've only got time to deal with threats that reasonably be expected to manifest.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:17 PM   #43
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
So, is this something you encounter frequently? Or even once in a while? Maybe so, in which case it's a good basis for "self defense". If it's only something you speculate might happen some day...then maybe not. There are only so many hours in the day, and I've only got time to deal with threats that reasonably be expected to manifest.
You asked to be specific about a self-defence situation, so I gave you a specific example. I also previously said that women are more likely to be grabbed and men more likely to be punched in the head. Males being punched in the head at night by another who has had a few drinks is a common occurrence, and obviously it is not something that happens to me regularly.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:10 AM   #44
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Frankly, the way Aikido is taught in a lot of places, (and what anyone can find on YouTube) doesn't bring in these guys in as beginners. You might say these BJJ guys might not be the beginners we want...but I don't buy it. The dedication these guys are putting into BJJ is nothing to sneeze at.
This is a huge problem for Aikido. Guys like these used to be the bulk of your new beginners uin the old days. That would have been true for all the martial arts, not just Aikido. Now young men want to "fight" and they expect quick results.They don;t wantto spend decades gettingto the "goodies". They don;t even know what the goodies are and if you try to tell them they just pooh pooh it.

MMA skills can be acquired in a relatively short time and you can start "fighting" very quickly after you begin. Not only Aikido but almost all of the traditional martial arts, including the koryu, ar suffering in terms of enrollment. This has implications for the future of these arts in terms of where the next generation of teachers will come from.

It's not that these arts will disappear, but the huge growth they went through back in the seventies and eighties has ended. There will be a small number of highly skilled teachers keeping these arts alive but with such a small pool of really serious students, you are highly likely to see a real fall off in the quality of the instruction at many dojos. In other words the "dumbing dwon' of the arts will accelerate, despite the fact that there is now more access to high level instruction than ever before. When I look around I ask myself how many of the people I see running dojos today have one or more students who will be as good as they are (or better). The answer, in my experience, is very few. The teachers hae not been able to pass on their skills. Whether this is because they didn't teach very well or that they didn;t have any students who were willingto train as they did back in the day is open to question.

The only thing that is going to save Aikido as an art that maintains itself as a form of real Budo and has anything at all to do with what the founder created and hoped Aikido would be is for there to be a huge shrinking in the number of dojos and the number of folks training. if we had a quarter the number of dojos, run by really qualified teachers, and the folks that were serious about training could collect at these dojos, you might stop the slip of quality and even reverse it. The koryu don;t have quite the same probelm because they never allowed their arts to spread in the first place. There are only a handful of people teaching koryu and a very small number of students under them. In the cases with which I am familiar these teachers do have a student or students to pass their arts off to.

But I am seriously concerened about the future of our art. In most ofthe dojos at which I teach, the average age is rising steadily. These folks simply can't train the way they might have back in their 20's. This fact forces te dojo to tone down the training and makes it even less likely that we attract those young folks who really want to train like maniacs. I have talked about this to some senior Japanese teachers and they see the same thing. One in particular simply agreed with me that Aikido as a martial art was dying. He seemed unconcerened about it, as if he saw no point in fighting a ternd that was inevitable. He had his own training and had pointed the way to the students out there. Whether they follwed along or not was not his problem. I still care but I do not see a solution in sight.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:33 AM   #45
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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Daniel Wilson wrote: View Post
My view is that a person studying aikido needs to be able to get the physical/technical side of aikido to work for them in realistic self-defence situations. If that can't be done, then all the "higher" philosophical and spiritual attributes of aikido loose their value. If the physical/technical side of aikido is not working in a realistic situation, then the training methods need to be reviewed and revised. I accept that when a woman is attacked she is often grabbed and techniques for this need to be practised. However, when a man is attacked, the attacker often attacks with a barrage of punches...and I think aikido needs to correctly address this scenario more than it does.
This debate has been going on for hundreds of years inthe Japanese martial arts. Traditionally martial arts in Japan have been kata based systems. This has been true for many hundreds of years. Periodically there have been people who came along and maintained that "sparring" was the only way to really hone your skills learned via the kata.

There was one true story recounted in an Aikido Journal article (unfortuately I do not remember which issue) of two students in a koryu system who started traiing at the same time and were both motivated and talented students. After a certain period of years, one of them became disillusioned and left the school in favor of another style in which they sparred with shinai, which his previous school did not.

Many years later he had gotten his teaching license and was traveling around engaging in matches to further hone his skills. He went back to his old school and challenged his former classmate. When they stood before each other, he said he experienced a feeling of being frozen in place, unable to attack. His opponents presence was too strong and he presented no suki (openings). He was simply outclassed.

Focusing on street application too soon in ones trainig virtually guarentees that you wil lnot get to a high level in the art. Winning fights can be done with good physical strength and a few tricks and some solid basic technique. I guarentee that if you focus on fighting too son in your training you will imprint a tremendous amount of physical and metal tension that will prevent you from understanding "aiki" at all.

I am not saying that the way Aikido is taught everywhere is very good or that if you train most places you will get to a high level by simply following their programs. Most of the Aikido out there isn't very high level either. But, ifyou can find a place where the training is what it should be, the form of the trainig is more liekly to get you to a higher level of skills than you would ever encounter by worrying about non-traditional attacks, free application of technique, etc too early inyour training.

Frankly, if you are that worried about the self defense side of things, I'd recommend going and training with someone like Peyton Quinn who uses the armored instructors to do what is called scenario training or force on force training. One weekend wit him and you'd be covered for 90% of any self defense situations you might encounter. Then go back to your Aikido and look at how the form the training takes can isolate various principles for you to work on in a way that free sparring or matches never would.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:54 AM   #46
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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So, is this something you encounter frequently? Or even once in a while? Maybe so, in which case it's a good basis for "self defense". If it's only something you speculate might happen some day...then maybe not. There are only so many hours in the day, and I've only got time to deal with threats that reasonably be expected to manifest.
Hi Mary,
It's interesting to see what so-called "threats" people choose to focus on. 911 caused the whole country to go to war, change our concepts of individual rights and privacy, kill many tens of thousands of people and have far more of our own casualties than the original terrorist incident itself. We are far more at risk getting in our own cars every day than we have ever been from terrorist incidents.

People spend vast amounts of time and effort, spend huge sums of money, preparing for violent incidnets that may never happen. This while their environment is polluted, their diets are poisonous, our health deteriorates and medical costs soar. We are far more likely to die from cancer or heart disease than from some hypothetical violent attack (unles we are young and black and live in the ghetto... then death by violence is one of the main health risks).

Tens of thousands of people die every year in auto accidents yet you don't see people attending defensive driving classes three times a week at night in their spare time to prepare for that instant when another driver causes an accident.

The vast majority of male Aikido students wil never in their lives apply a technique in self defense. Given the ridiculous rate of violence against women in our society, it is far more likely that a female require a technique for self defense and that would be against her domestic partner, not some street thug.

Aikido is an amazing art. I hate to see it become an extension of "pub crawling'. It's not that martial effectiveness shouldn't be there. But it isn;t the point. Self defense capability is a by product of proper training and when it becomes the prime focus, it loses the depth and breadth that makes it such a deep study.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:34 AM   #47
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
But I am seriously concerened about the future of our art. In most ofthe dojos at which I teach, the average age is rising steadily. These folks simply can't train the way they might have back in their 20's. This fact forces te dojo to tone down the training and makes it even less likely that we attract those young folks who really want to train like maniacs. I have talked about this to some senior Japanese teachers and they see the same thing. One in particular simply agreed with me that Aikido as a martial art was dying. He seemed unconcerened about it, as if he saw no point in fighting a ternd that was inevitable. He had his own training and had pointed the way to the students out there. Whether they follwed along or not was not his problem. I still care but I do not see a solution in sight.
I was joking with one of my judo buddies and I said, "so what do you do with a old judoka? Do you take him to an open pasture with trees on the horizon..." He conceded it was hard for the older, injured judoka to continue training, especially with the younger stronger players. He then said, "if aikido got their s%$t together, we would train that. At the risk of derailing the thread, I think this is an important point. There are many good fighting systems that are natural feeders into aikido training. It is interesting that we spend a great deal of effort marginalizing the other arts. The 20-something MMA fighter could potentially be a 40-something aikido person if we do not alienate him... bringing fighting skill, energy, and the desire to embrace a new art.

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Old 05-17-2013, 11:23 AM   #48
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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I was joking with one of my judo buddies and I said, "so what do you do with a old judoka? Do you take him to an open pasture with trees on the horizon..." He conceded it was hard for the older, injured judoka to continue training, especially with the younger stronger players. He then said, "if aikido got their s%$t together, we would train that. At the risk of derailing the thread, I think this is an important point. There are many good fighting systems that are natural feeders into aikido training. It is interesting that we spend a great deal of effort marginalizing the other arts. The 20-something MMA fighter could potentially be a 40-something aikido person if we do not alienate him... bringing fighting skill, energy, and the desire to embrace a new art.
mediocre minds think alike. i was thinking the same thing. maybe we should market aikido as the retirement pasture for MMA folks. that's what happened to me. i spent years learning how to beat up other buggers. you can hear the begging for mercy only for so long. it gets old after awhile. so it was old for me and tired of it. so now i take up aikido and realized that i actually enjoy wearing the skirt. however, i draw the line at shaving the legs or BJJ wax.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:14 PM   #49
lars beyer
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

a splitsecond..










(Maybe)

Last edited by lars beyer : 05-17-2013 at 01:17 PM. Reason: ...hmm.. just seems like a funny arrangement...
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #50
NekVTAikido
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Re: How long does it take to understand Aikido? How long to use it effectively?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Hi Mary,
It's interesting to see what so-called "threats" people choose to focus on.

environment is polluted, their diets are poisonous, our health deteriorates and medical costs soar. We are far more likely to die from cancer or heart disease than from some hypothetical violent attack

Tens of thousands of people die every year in auto accidents yet you don't see people attending defensive driving classes three times a week at night in their spare time
Frankly - though I couldn't have admitted at the time - a big reason for me to start any Martial Art was the "threat" to my pride of the feeling of being unable to take care of myself in a scrap. I know the real threats that MA could help me with even in those days are negligible, but I had the muscle memory of being in 3rd grade and backing down from the older kids who were terrorizing the scene on playground/schoolbus etc. I've talked to enough others who feel the same way, whether or not they're comfortable sharing it a group, that I think this is big part of what gets many of us involved. Then like many of us here, we find lots more reasons to stay . Today, the benefit I get goes far beyond whatever fighting skill that I might have...but I wouldn't have gotten here if I hadn't believed that it was possible to get the fighting skills I wished for in 3rd grade.

It's not logical, it's emotional. Logic comes in later to justify - Aikido fit with my personal philosophy, I could tell myself all along that I was there for more than the fighting...but I wouldn't have had the dedication that kept me coming back through all the plateaus on the learning curve if fighting ability wasn't part of the promise.
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