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Old 09-03-2014, 11:57 PM   #1
R. Watson
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Aikido practicality

Hello,
my name is Robert. I've recently been wanting to get back into martial arts. I have some experience in both shorin ryu karate and boxing both of which I didn't really enjoy. Instead of doing martial arts, for the last few years I've been doing sports but have recently wanted to get back into it. After doing some research I was really drawn to aikido. Specifically yoshinkan aikido due to it's more hard and practical style. I really like the spiritual and mental development that is involved, as well as the non aggressive manor in which it's practiced and taught. Although I really like a lot of things about aikido there are some things I dislike. I'm a bit of a fitness nut and if I'm going to devote a lot of time to my art I'd like for it to have physical development which I don't think aikido really has. Also even though it's been said a thousand times it's not the martial art it's the practitioner some arts are better at certain things than others. One thing that aikido isn't the best at is street defense which isn't vital but is important to me. Because of these things I thought maybe aikijutsu might be a better choice but I wanted to consult some aikidoka anyways. Btw just a side note I live in SoCal so if anyone knows of a good dojo around here that fits those needs it would be greatly appreciated. So if anyone knows of a certain style or art or whether I should go with aikijutsu over aikido anything would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
R. Watson
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:23 AM   #2
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Aikido practicality

Robert,
Where are you in Southern California? You're talking about a whole lot of territory, from Bakersfield to Mexico, from the Pacific Ocean to the Colorado River. Narrow it down a bit and maybe someone can be of help.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:49 AM   #3
kewms
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Re: Aikido practicality

I think you should visit local dojos and talk to the instructors. There is an enormous range out there. At some dojos, fit 20-somethings pound each other into the mat for hours at a time. At others, people spend hours working on static movement exercises. At some, the instructor yells at you if you don't hit your partner when he leaves an opening. At others, if someone gets hit by mistake you would think someone detonated a stink bomb in the middle of the mat.

You might also want to be aware of the contradictions in your post. Any school that emphasizes "street defense" is necessarily going to be much more aggressive and physical than one that emphasizes spiritual and mental development. Training time focused on "physical development" is time that can't be spent in more contemplative practices. (Well, assuming that yoga, tai chi, and similar practices don't fit your definition of physical development.) It might be worthwhile to consider why you didn't enjoy karate or boxing, and how you expect other arts to be different.

Katherine
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:54 AM   #4
lbb
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Re: Aikido practicality

Hi Robert, and welcome! Here's my take on it:
  • Aikido is very different in different schools (and also, very much the same...but it takes a bit of study to see that). You really have to observe training to have any hope of knowing what it's like. Thus, it doesn't really make any sense to ponder what flavor of aikido you'd like in the abstract. The impression you get from a school or style's self-description is going first through their filters, and then through your filters, and so your idea of what a school should be like may differ radically from what is happening on the mat. Start by seeing what schools are in your area, being honest with yourself about how far you'll actually travel to train. For all practical purposes, what those schools have to offer represents all the choices you have -- so really, there's no point reading definitions on the web and deciding what your perfect style is. Look at what's actually available.
  • The word "practical" doesn't mean anything on its own. To have meaning, you have to say what job the "practical" whatsis is fulfilling. Practical for what? "Street defense"? Again, be specific. I just walked down several streets in a major US city, and only had to defend myself against a bunch of people trying to get me to vote for Michael Sullivan, whoever he is. Are you being attacked on the streets where you live? Who's attacking you, and when, and why? Do they want your wallet, do they hate your skin color, did you just say something rude about their girlfriend, are you wearing the shirt of the wrong sports team? Define the problem first, then think about what a "practical" solution is.
  • "Spiritual and mental development" is taught at very few martial arts schools, no matter what the style. This is because very few martial arts instructors are qualified to teach these subjects, and honest enough to know it. There are obviously some exceptions, but in general, no matter what the marketing says, you should not assume that "spiritual and mental development" is something that you will be taught as part of aikido training. You may luck out (I was fortunate to have a sensei once who could, and did, teach esoteric practices including zazen), but if it's something that interests you, you're likely better off seeking out a meditation instructor or teacher of whatever mental whatsis interests you.
  • "Physical development", like "spiritual and mental development", is not the purpose of any martial arts school. If it is important to you, you're better off finding a good gym or exercise program -- one where the whole purpose is physical development (either to supplement your martial arts training, or on its own).

You might think that all the above boils down to, "there's no point in practicing aikido", but if that were true, I wouldn't be doing it. I'm very happy with my practice -- but I don't expect it to be everything for me. The more of your mat time you spend meditating or doing pushups, the less time you spend learning a martial art. So I'd say, make sure your martial arts practice fits in with what you want to accomplish as your personal development, but don't expect it to be the whole enchilada.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:37 AM   #5
Brian Gillaspie
 
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Re: Aikido practicality

I don't really have much more to offer than anyone else on finding a school that is the best for you. Like others said, go out and try out a few things and find what you enjoy.

As far as physical development I don't think you'll get enough from Aikido if you currently work out a lot. I'm a runner and I also lift and do total body workouts so I workout 6 days a week. I love aikido but it does not get me in the same shape as my other training.

If you don't workout, or at least don't workout often, then aikido may help you get in better shape. But again, how much better in shape depends on how the school trains.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:23 PM   #6
R. Watson
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Re: Aikido practicality

Wow thank you for all the replies. That post I made was written in a bit of haste so I'll try to answer and address all the points you guys made. First, I'm in the OC to address the first reply. Second, the street defense part. When I say street defense I literally mean street defense. If I were attacked by an individual, unprovoked as aikido is a "nonviolent" martial art, I would be able to disable the attacker or defend my self long enough to escape. I didn't mean street defense like in the movies where a one man army Rambo character beats everyone into a mush. I meant that if were in a real world situation would I be able to use my aikido against someone who might not be as cooperative as uke would in a dojo, sorry if that's incorrect or ignorant I apologize. Thirdly, the mental and spiritual development. By this I didn't mean that I expected to have secret spiritual or mental knowledge instilled into me. What I did mean was that martial arts require great focus and self discipline. I've also read some posts from aikidoka claiming that their dojo incorporates qi,ki, development and meditation into their classes. So maybe self improvement is more fitting than spiritual and mental development. Fourth, as to the physical development. I work out a lot but I would be willing to cut into my gym time for aikido time, because of this I just wanted to know if aikidoka here thought that their aikido class gave them a thorough workout is all. Fifth, the practical in the title is just a stupid mistake I wrote the title and them hastily wrote my post so I apologize if that caused any confusion. Lastly, how do people feel about aikijutsu vs aikido, is aikijutsu just a marketing scam or what? Also how do people feel about yoshinkan because a lot of people seem to frown upon it in the aikido community or am I just ignorant.
Any help is appreciated thanks in advance,
R. Watson
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:32 PM   #7
R. Watson
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Re: Aikido practicality

Oh ps I almost forgot. I have a partially fused spine and have had a pars fracture in my back to over work of my spine. I have healed up and have been playing sports but I am not the same. It's stiffer I'm not as mobile it's very weird. I've been told by my doctor that yoga will help my problem and hopefully restore me back to normal, or at least as close as I can get. Does aikido incorporate some stretches and static poses the way yoga does or is there none of that?
Thanks again,
R. Watson
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:30 PM   #8
kewms
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Re: Aikido practicality

Again, go visit local dojos. As Mary pointed out, speculating about "the ideal dojo" isn't as useful as visiting the dojos where you might actually train.

In answer to all your specific questions, it depends. The differences among dojos are huge.

Katherine
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:57 PM   #9
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Aikido practicality

Robert,

I would suggest you contact Patrick Auge Sensei of Yoseikan in Orange County and visit that dojo. Another worth looking at is Orange County Aikikai and Brendon Ishisaka Sensei. They are located at 610 E. Katella in Orange. Old time dojo, started in 1964 and good, good people there. I don't recall where Auge Sensei is located now, I think it is Irvine. He is a great instructor and their art is awesome. Yet another is James Nakiyama Sensei of Chushinkan Dojo. I'm not sure where they physically are now, but they are in the OC. Steve Wasserman Sensei is dojo cho of Seal Beach Aikido. Wasserman Sensei is also a DC and RN, so he could be helpful with your back problems in addition to aikido training. So, there's four different places in your neck of the woods that are well worth visiting and considering. Good luck on your quest.

Michael

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:31 AM   #10
phitruong
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Re: Aikido practicality

Quote:
Robert Watson wrote: View Post
If I were attacked by an individual, unprovoked as aikido is a "nonviolent" martial art, I would be able to disable the attacker or defend my self long enough to escape.
have you give thought on the whole "nonviolent" martial art? kinda contradiction in terms. i assumed that you have seen youtube videos of aikido? can you imagine what it would like to a body that gets thrown into a concrete paved street or a tree or a moving bus? using the earth to hit someone isn't what i would call "nonviolent".

as far as exercise goes, i go the gym to get extra workout on my non-aikido days. and wearing bright neon color body suit to the gym, in order to blend in, is highly recommended. please post picture if you do.

"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 09-05-2014, 08:12 AM   #11
R. Watson
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Re: Aikido practicality

Thanks Michael for all those dojos I'll be sure to check them out. As far as the "non violent" martial art thing goes I agree. Aikido, even though it is often said to be, is not a "nonviolent" martial art. There are no "nonviolent" martial arts it's an oxymoron. The whole idea of a martial art is to cause harm or disable your opponent. That being said aikido is one of the only martial arts that I have found that is self DEFENSE and not self OFFENSE. Compare aikido to some other martial arts like sambo, Krav Maga, or even jujitsu and it seems pretty "nonviolent". I only put the term "nonviolent" in my post to point out that I understand that aikido isn't an art you train in expecting to beat the life out of people. You only use the amount of force that is necessary.

Last edited by R. Watson : 09-05-2014 at 08:15 AM. Reason: Adding a statement
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:59 AM   #12
Zoe S Toth
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Re: Aikido practicality

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
have you give thought on the whole "nonviolent" martial art? kinda contradiction in terms. i assumed that you have seen youtube videos of aikido? can you imagine what it would like to a body that gets thrown into a concrete paved street or a tree or a moving bus? using the earth to hit someone isn't what i would call "nonviolent".

as far as exercise goes, i go the gym to get extra workout on my non-aikido days. and wearing bright neon color body suit to the gym, in order to blend in, is highly recommended. please post picture if you do.
Compared to shooting someone or breaking their arm, I'd say Aikido is non-violent. We are giving a person a /chance/ to not get seriously hurt, despite them attacking us. I'd say if someone has hit the point in Aikido where they could drop a street attacker, they have put some real time on the mat.

Now imagine if someone put that same amount of time into something like Muay-Thai or Boxing and used that instead. I think we'd all agree that while effective, it would be a violent resolution as the person beings by trying to hurt another.

Remember the word violent definition refers to 'intent'. There isn't the intent to hurt someone in Aikido, although there is the chance to hurt them. However, if the word still bothers you I know several Aikidoka who prefer to call it a de-esculation art.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:01 AM   #13
Dan Richards
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Re: Aikido practicality

AikiDO is a martial "way." And can absolutely be "non-violent" in its practices and philosophies.

Robert, if you're in LA, and visiting dojos, go see Corky Quackenbush in your considerations.

http://westlosangelesaikido.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/Kakushitoride

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Old 09-05-2014, 09:12 AM   #14
phitruong
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Re: Aikido practicality

Quote:
Robert Watson wrote: View Post
That being said aikido is one of the only martial arts that I have found that is self DEFENSE and not self OFFENSE. Compare aikido to some other martial arts like sambo, Krav Maga, or even jujitsu and it seems pretty "nonviolent". I only put the term "nonviolent" in my post to point out that I understand that aikido isn't an art you train in expecting to beat the life out of people. You only use the amount of force that is necessary.
i was going to mention yoga https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrYlNNy929Y

there are threads on this forum that folks argued about the percentage of atemi (body hitting) are aikido techniques. the range is somewhere between 80 - 100%. there are aikido practices where the so-called defender initiated the attack, then as the so-called attacker responded, the defender applied aikido techniques. don't be fool about the passive thing of aikido that you saw. it's a marketing ploy, and a good one too. there is quite a bit of aggressiveness hidden behind the exterior of passiveness while waxing philosophical about life preservation, peace and love of enemy and so on and so forth. which is one of the major reason why aikido tends to attract the passive-aggressive type of folks.

a hammer is just a hammer until you found a nail. but then if you have a hammer, everything would look like a nail.

"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 09-05-2014, 09:21 AM   #15
kewms
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Re: Aikido practicality

Quote:
Robert Watson wrote: View Post
That being said aikido is one of the only martial arts that I have found that is self DEFENSE and not self OFFENSE.
I think you need to spend some mat time with some senior aikido people. While I agree that aikido has different goals from something like krav maga or muay thai, the idea that it's purely defensive is fairly ridiculous. Offense and defense are one and the same.

Katherine
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:42 AM   #16
lbb
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Re: Aikido practicality

Eh. This whole debate about non-violent and offense and defense could go on for longer than any of us will be alive, and honestly? In this case, I think it's a complete waste of time. Robert, I think your best bet is to just set aside your preconceptions and anything that you think you have figured out about aikido, and just go see some dojos. Ask yourself one simple question: does what you see on the mat look like something you'd like to do three or four times a week? Never mind what it's for (or what you think it's for). What you see on the mat? That's the path. If it's not one you want to walk, then all the discussion and debate about what it's all for is beside the point.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:13 AM   #17
David Orange
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Re: Aikido practicality

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Eh. This whole debate about non-violent and offense and defense could go on for longer than any of us will be alive, and honestly? In this case, I think it's a complete waste of time. Robert, I think your best bet is to just set aside your preconceptions and anything that you think you have figured out about aikido, and just go see some dojos. Ask yourself one simple question: does what you see on the mat look like something you'd like to do three or four times a week? Never mind what it's for (or what you think it's for). What you see on the mat? That's the path. If it's not one you want to walk, then all the discussion and debate about what it's all for is beside the point.
The trick is to find out if what's in the dojo even "is" aikido.

The further we go from O Sensei, the weirder things get that promote themselves as aikido.

When you encounter real aikido, you understand why Ueshiba said "Aikido kills the opponent at a single blow"

When you run into the fake stuff, they naves are asking whether they are actually supposed to throw or intend to throw or whether it's all like... accidental... or should it be on purpose? And don't forget to be "aiki," meaning... not sure, exactly... like "don't be disagreeable" or something like that.

Aikido is the most powerful, devastating and effective martial art in the world. Otherwise, it would have disappeared in the 1930s. As it is, I guess it started disappearing around 1960 or so. And since O Sensei died, it's really hard to find.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:32 AM   #18
Dan Richards
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Re: Aikido practicality

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Eh. This whole debate about non-violent and offense and defense could go on for longer than any of us will be alive, and honestly? In this case, I think it's a complete waste of time. Robert, I think your best bet is to just set aside your preconceptions and anything that you think you have figured out about aikido, and just go see some dojos. Ask yourself one simple question: does what you see on the mat look like something you'd like to do three or four times a week? Never mind what it's for (or what you think it's for). What you see on the mat? That's the path. If it's not one you want to walk, then all the discussion and debate about what it's all for is beside the point.
Mary, I think we're all agreeing Robert should visit various places to get a better feel for things. But I wonder why you are having resistance to this discussion. For many people who have never tried Aikido, starting a topic in the General form on Aikiweb is a place to start. And in less than a day or so, Robert has asked some questions, stated a few things, and had people come along who have a cumulative experience in aikido (and other martial arts) of a few hundred years, and are taking the time to answer some questions and throw their two cents into what is an evolving discussion.

It's like the guy just walked in the door, was greeted by some experienced people, and you're discounting the experience and the exchange. How would you feel if you were new to a dojo and got a similar experience to the one you're offering?

People who never post or register read these forums. Perhaps if you feel discussions with new people wanting to explore aikido are a "complete waste of time," then maybe you could chose to not participate in them. Please allow those who would rather be part of an open "welcoming mat" to the aikido community chose how to invest their time.

The idea of defense and offense that's come up is good. Katherine's input is insightful. What people go "looking" for in various dojos can, to varying degrees, be affected by their initial questions and possible misconceptions that are addressed by people here.

Robert, welcome to the forums, and I hope your taking the time to register and ask some questions, and the replies you get, and the discussions you inspire, proves fruitful to you in your journey.

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Old 09-05-2014, 10:54 AM   #19
lbb
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Re: Aikido practicality

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
Mary, I think we're all agreeing Robert should visit various places to get a better feel for things. But I wonder why you are having resistance to this discussion.
Because someone started the thread looking for information, and it's digressed into a debate -- or discussion of issues, if you prefer, doesn't matter what you call it -- that is just not meaningful to someone who has never stepped on the mat and who is looking for an answer to the questions he initially posed. That's why. He may like the answers and enjoy the discussion, but I don't think it will help him make a good decision.

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
It's like the guy just walked in the door, was greeted by some experienced people, and you're discounting the experience and the exchange. How would you feel if you were new to a dojo and got a similar experience to the one you're offering?
I'd feel like a bunch of people had been talking over my head about things I don't know anything about, and someone just finally told me something useful. Your mileage may vary. His mileage may vary. But I'm a pragmatist. I understand when I'm out of my depth, and I look for information that is useful to me from where I stand right now.

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
People who never post or register read these forums. Perhaps if you feel discussions with new people wanting to explore aikido are a "complete waste of time," then maybe you could chose to not participate in them. Please allow those who would rather be part of an open "welcoming mat" to the aikido community chose how to invest their time.
By means of an out-of-context quote, you've completely changed the meaning of what I said. Let's look at the difference.

What I actually said:

I think this whole debate about non-violent and offense and defense, in this case, is a complete waste of time.

What you said I said:

Discussions with new people wanting to explore aikido are a complete waste of time.

Do you see, perhaps, a small difference? Or perhaps a great big painfully glaring one?

You may have noticed in my initial reply that I pointed out the problem with wanting to study a martial art for "self-defense", when you haven't yet defined what you're defending against. Well, a lot of people come to martial arts with that sort of notion. Again, YMMV, but I think it needs clarification if it's to be a useful goal on any level. In Robert's response to me, I don't think he did clarify it, but I chose not to belabor the point. But since you went there, don't you feel that an intellectually honest answer can only come in response to a well-defined question? If someone asked you, "Is an eggbeater a good tool to make a meal?", you'd probably ask them what they were making, if they had any eggs, if they had anything to cook with, etc. If they could not or would not answer any of those questions, what would you say?
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:27 AM   #20
dps
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Re: Aikido practicality

Quote:
Zoe Toth wrote: View Post
Compared to shooting someone or breaking their arm, I'd say Aikido is non-violent. We are giving a person a /chance/ to not get seriously hurt, despite them attacking us. I'd say if someone has hit the point in Aikido where they could drop a street attacker, they have put some real time on the mat.
Depends on what that someone already knew. The op already has training in boxing and karate.
He may be able to incorporate the Aikido fairly quickly.
dps
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:42 AM   #21
Dan Richards
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Re: Aikido practicality

Quote:
Robert Watson wrote: View Post
Oh ps I almost forgot. I have a partially fused spine and have had a pars fracture in my back to over work of my spine. I have healed up and have been playing sports but I am not the same. It's stiffer I'm not as mobile it's very weird. I've been told by my doctor that yoga will help my problem and hopefully restore me back to normal, or at least as close as I can get. Does aikido incorporate some stretches and static poses the way yoga does or is there none of that?
Ah, just saw this. And I'd say it changes the picture, and not sure I'd even recommend Aikido at this point. AIkido can be pretty rough and tumble, especially for a beginner. And if you're stiff with a recovering back, an Aikido dojo would be a good place to get hurt and further mess things up.

I don't agree with your doctor that Yoga is a good idea. And depending on the type, there are a lot of perfectly healthy people who hurt themselves in Yoga. Check out this article, How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body.

I'd say something more along the lines of a good Tai Chi Chuan school where you can work on a solo form – which would work towards not only restoring, but correcting, your posture. And slowly work your way into push hands exercises.

If you're in LA, you've got a good range of quality CMA out there. Start with something like http://www.chenbing.org

In a really good Chen school you'll pick up internal body skills that are/should be in Aikido, but are missing from many Aikido schools.

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Old 09-05-2014, 09:25 PM   #22
R. Watson
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Re: Aikido practicality

Wow it appears I've sparked quite the discussion. Ok well let me first start off by saying thanks to all of you people for participating in this thread. I've gotten a lot of good information from some good aikidoka. I'm glad you all took the time out of your day to help me with my predicament. I really appreciate it, the info I get from aikidoka, people who've had hands on experience with aikido, is great so thank you all. I apologize if I came off as ignorant because the fact of the matter is I am when it comes to aikido so sorry if I sparked a big fire fight I didn't mean to. Alright so I've taken all of your points and such into consideration and I've come to the conclusion that I'll go visit some dojos around my area and see if it's something I'd invest a lot if time into. To address Dan Richards concerns about my back I actually did boxing with my back problems and excelled at it. My fracture was caused due to overwork and poor stretching habits combined with extremely high levels of exercise it wasn't an acute fracture. My spinal condition is a slight merger of two of my lumbar vertebrae which is just uncomfortable. I've been wanting to get into a martial art and once I was told that stretching exercises like that of yoga would help it. So don't worry about me getting hurt my back is pretty stable but to prevent further injuries I'd need to become more flexible. Again thank you all for the help and I'm sure I'll be back here again for more assistance. If anyone has any input please do tell me thank you all again I'm very appreciative.
Thanks again,
R. Watson
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:20 AM   #23
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: Aikido practicality

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
The trick is to find out if what's in the dojo even "is" aikido.

The further we go from O Sensei, the weirder things get that promote themselves as aikido.

When you encounter real aikido, you understand why Ueshiba said "Aikido kills the opponent at a single blow"

When you run into the fake stuff, they naves are asking whether they are actually supposed to throw or intend to throw or whether it's all like... accidental... or should it be on purpose? And don't forget to be "aiki," meaning... not sure, exactly... like "don't be disagreeable" or something like that.

Aikido is the most powerful, devastating and effective martial art in the world. Otherwise, it would have disappeared in the 1930s. As it is, I guess it started disappearing around 1960 or so. And since O Sensei died, it's really hard to find.
Dear David,
On Facebook there is a clip of Chiba Sensei .Look for Paul Milburn- A podiatrist.Then check out Seminar at Sonora.I do not know how to send messages using Facebook Cheers, Joe.
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:35 AM   #24
crbateman
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Re: Aikido practicality

Robert,

Just my humble opinion, of course, but it's always gonna be about finding the right fit in instructor and dojo. Some will say that it will be difficult to go right from point "A" to point "C", or right from beginner to learning the practical, self-defense applications of aikido without first getting a firm grasp of the fundamentals of the art. In the OC, if you want a good traditional foundation, maybe try Phong Sensei at Westminster Aikikai. If you prefer a more direct approach, you might go just south of the OC to Fallbrook, and the Koga Institute (Police restraint and control, based largely on aiki principles).

There are all kinds of other good places out there... Just go with what feels right for you, and change it up if it's not working...
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:01 PM   #25
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
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Re: Aikido practicality

Clark,

Fallbrook isn't all that close to Orange County. It is about an hour and half with light traffic. The Koga Institute travels to other locations to put on their training programs and there is no actual training site in Fallbrook. The late Koga Sensei created some really good stuff and it truly is worth looking at. As far as I know, they are still producing training classes and their schedule can be found on-line.

Michael

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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