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Old 11-12-2002, 05:08 PM   #1
ronmar
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
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I don't get aikido training method.

As a relative newcomer to aikido I have found it very different to other martial arts I have done, and, to be honest, am finding it hard to adapt to aikido training.
It is not that I think aikido is a fundamentally bad martial art. In fact I think a lot of the ideas are good. It is the training method that I have problems with.
For example there is no attack in aikido. I feel this is the biggest flaw. Often the best way to resolve a conflict is by attacking first. Aikido does not allow for this.
Another problem is the sort of idealised attacks and cooperation from partners that you find in aikido. People say this helps them to react in the right way when under stress, but how do they know this if they never train with realism or aliveness.
The third problem I have is the lack of sparring or randori in aikido. There is randori of a sort but it never involves the sort of attacks a regular person might make and isn't exactly athletic, i.e. it doesn‘t involve a struggle like you might get in a fight with a resisting opponent.
How can aikido training be complete when there is no stress in the training. People say that you fight how you train, and there is plenty of stress and tiring activity in a fight. Aikido people never test themselves in competition or otherwise so how can they be sure that what they are doing is worthwhile? Aikido training is quite relaxing even. How is this good preparation for fighting?
What are peoples opinions on this, especially people who have done a competitive full contact martial art prior to aikido.
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Old 11-12-2002, 05:32 PM   #2
shihonage
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Re: I don't get aikido training method.

Quote:
Ron Marshall (ronmar) wrote:
Often the best way to resolve a conflict is by attacking first. Aikido does not allow for this.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but do yourself a favor and get "Aikido Shugyo" book by Gozo Shioda.

It addresses pretty much all of your concerns.
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Old 11-12-2002, 05:46 PM   #3
ronmar
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books

Books and theory are all very well but its the regular training you get in aikido that I'm talking about.

I've looked at a couple of Shioda's books. A little black one and a big red one (can't remember names). They seemed good for descrbing how the techniques are applied but didn't have much on modern training methods.

The examples of attacks seemed really weak. Why not just train the way all the other (effective) martial arts train?
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:03 PM   #4
Alfonso
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training method in Aikido may be slow, but it's probably because there's a little more finesse in the concepts being explored.

for one thing; No attack in Aikido in the sense that you describe it is just not true in all Aikido practices.

training methods - look up Shu Ha Ri , most training tends to follow that pattern , though it's not explicitly stated.

then, there's the other progression that's found in most places:

static - interactive - proactive.

You are working on sensitivity training, using stylized attacks to explore "angles of attack", balance, timing ,speed distance.

Most of the time no one will say anything about this to you, unless you have a talkative Sensei.

as you get comfortable with the basic moves you'll start understanding this better.

Why do it the other way? What is the stated purpose Aikido? To destroy efficiently?

Now, what's this "other efficient" arts vs aikido?

you're spending too much time on the web
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:04 PM   #5
shihonage
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Re: books

Quote:
Ron Marshall (ronmar) wrote:
Books and theory are all very well but its the regular training you get in aikido that I'm talking about.

I've looked at a couple of Shioda's books. A little black one and a big red one (can't remember names). They seemed good for descrbing how the techniques are applied but didn't have much on modern training methods.

The examples of attacks seemed really weak. Why not just train the way all the other (effective) martial arts train?
I also have the "big red Shioda book", and it was useless to me. Too dry and overly technical.

This one is different.

In other news... if you're striving for energetic attacks, how about you start giving them ? (as long as they still resemble Aikido attacks by form)

See what kind of reaction you get.
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:22 PM   #6
ronmar
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re

Quote:
In other news... if you're striving for energetic attacks, how about you start giving them ? (as long as they still resemble Aikido attacks by form)
If I stary giving decent attacks people moan. I don't blame them because its not expected in aikido. People with a black belt in aikido might be tolerated if the tried this but not me.

If I try too hard with attacks etc I get told to wait and train for a long time before I can finally "understand". I think this is silly when I can already do judo and other things quite well.

Why not just let me learn through my mistakes. I don't mind getting thrown on the floor a bit, although to be honest nothing that has been done on me would throw me.

What is the problem people have with resistance vs techniques.
Quote:
You are working on sensitivity training, using stylized attacks to explore "angles of attack", balance, timing ,speed distance.
Exactly, I don't think this works as a training method. Why not build up balance, timing speed and sensitivity through sparring.

What makes you think you can go from a completely cooperative atmosphere in training to the opposite in a fight.
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:28 PM   #7
Andy
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How many dojos have you trained at, Ron?

How many shihans have you felt?
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:29 PM   #8
lt-rentaroo
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Mr. Marshall,

Please don't place the whole of Aikido into one basket based upon what you have experienced thus far in your training. You state that Aikido students don't compete or "test" their skills, I know some dojo that compete regularly. You also state there are no attacks in Aikido, I know many dojo that train in such a fashion that allows Nage to initiate the execution of the technique.

I apologize if I may sound crass. My recommendation is that if your current Aikido Dojo does not train in a fashion that you like, find another that does. I realize this is not always possible, so I suggest that you get out of your training what you put in.

Last edited by lt-rentaroo : 11-12-2002 at 06:32 PM.

LOUIS A. SHARPE, JR.
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:30 PM   #9
shihonage
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Re: re

Quote:
Ron Marshall (ronmar) wrote:
If I stary giving decent attacks people moan.
If your training resembles something like this , everyday, without exception, in regular class, and nobody even _lets_ you experiment with attacking stronger, then um... consider changing dojos.

Last edited by shihonage : 11-12-2002 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:34 PM   #10
PeterR
 
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Hi Louis;

The young man is from Edinburgh, there is at least one dojo that is as you describe. He only has to look.
Quote:
Louis A. Sharpe, Jr. (lt-rentaroo) wrote:
Mr. Marshall,

Please don't place the whole of Aikido into one basket based upon what you have experienced thus far in your training. You state that Aikido students don't compete or "test" their skills, I know some dojo that compete regularly. You also state there are no attacks in Aikido, I know many dojo that train in such a fashion that allows Nage to initiate the execution of the technique.

I apologize if I may sound crass. My recommendation is that if your current Aikido Dojo does not train in a fashion that you like, find another that does. I realize this is not always possible, so I suggest that you get out of your training what you put in.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:02 PM   #11
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Re: re

Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
If your training resembles something like this , everyday, without exception, in regular class, and nobody even _lets_ you experiment with attacking stronger, then um... consider changing dojos.
Once that clip got to those two guys with the red belts on, I was practically cackling. The attacker looked like somebody shot him up with sodium pentathol before class.
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:04 PM   #12
ronmar
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re

Quote:
How many dojos have you trained at, Ron? How many shihans have you felt?
Believe me, I would LOVE to get thrown about by someone who is great at aikido. It would motivate me. Training the same way as a pensioner might train doesn't motivate me. I just don't often get the feeling I could be thrown in aikido unless I am put in some position I would not choose to assume myself. I'm a beginner in aikido but a 1st dan in judo, and I have tried other sports too. I just can't seem to get a feeling for aikido. All I know is that your average judo guy, any dojo, can give you a decent fight because the training and standards are all the same. You compete for the belt. I didn't realise aikido was so variable. I am moving to Luton (near London) soon and might try a different aikido dojo down there. Can you recommend any good ones.
Quote:
The young man is from Edinburgh, there is at least one dojo that is as you describe. He only has to look.
Ok pretend I'm not here. Which place would you suggest. I can find Ki aikido, Aikikai (sp?)- very strict discipline, demands cash upfront, Iwama (sp?)-far from where I live, and a couple of others, unsure of affiliation but I think aikikai. Which sounds best to you? They all seem to hold the opinion that the techniques speak for themselves and don't like talking too much.
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:14 PM   #13
Jucas
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I am glad you are posting here Ron, hopefully we can ease some of your fears. I am suprised no one has related, and said they had the same fears when starting aikido. When I started, I had such questions that, ultimately, my training was halted for a short period of time. This is unfortunate, and when it comes down to it, all of questions and concerns were answered through my training.

It is important not to generalize "Aikido" too much. Perhaps the Dojo you are in does not suit your needs, that doesn't mean all aikido dojo's won't.

All I can say is your, questions will be answered without questions. Through training, hopefully, all of your questions will be answered. If not, try another dojo.

As far as the structure of aikido is concerned. Yes, it is very different from all other martial arts. That is because aikido is truely based on principles, not techniques. It is one of the many reasons aikido can take so long to learn and adapt to.

Does any of that help?


Last edited by Jucas : 11-12-2002 at 07:16 PM.

  • Like a rotten log half burried in the ground.
  • My Life which has not flowered.
  • Comes to this sad end.
-Minamoto Yorimasa
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:16 PM   #14
PeterR
 
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Re: re

Try http://www.aikido-baa.org.uk/

There is a dojo in your city but I don't know the teacher. Spend some time on the web site - its quite well done.
Quote:
Ron Marshall (ronmar) wrote:
Ok pretend I'm not here. Which place would you suggest. I can find Ki aikido, Aikikai (sp?)- very strict discipline, demands cash upfront, Iwama (sp?)-far from where I live, and a couple of others, unsure of affiliation but I think aikikai. Which sounds best to you? They all seem to hold the opinion that the techniques speak for themselves and don't like talking too much.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:34 PM   #15
aikido_fudoshin
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I agree with Jonathan, everyone at some point as a beginner has doubts. Aikido is not something you can feel right off the bat. It takes a lot of time and effort not only to feel it but to understand it aswell. Believe me, Aikido works. Just give it time. Oh yeah, and if you have described the atmosphere of your dojo correctly, I think its time to find a new one. Best of luck!
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Old 11-12-2002, 10:49 PM   #16
Edward
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Well, Ron , I have a similar problem with my fellow aikidoka at the dojo. When I attack, either they moan, or they take it too personal and start fighting.

However, my teacher asks me to attack him as strong as I can, and to try to resist him as much as I can. I try very hard, but I never came close to affecting his technique even slightly.

My advice, test your teacher. If you can beat him, change the dojo.
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Old 11-12-2002, 10:55 PM   #17
Edward
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By the way, I myself come from a judo background too. You have to understand that aikido techniques are very dangerous. Judo is a sport and all dangerous techniques have been eliminated, leaving only the ones that allow struggling with an opponent without too much risk. I have had much more injuries in aikido than in judo and much more serious ones. You will notice this yourself when you start practicing the hard way (if you find willing partners). That's why most people who know prefer a softer approach because they know where it leads.
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Old 11-13-2002, 12:35 AM   #18
leefr
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"...to be honest nothing that has been done on me would throw me."

If you've been at your dojo for at least a few months and have felt your instructor's technique several times and still feel this way, then I wish you happy hunting in finding another place to train.
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Old 11-13-2002, 03:59 AM   #19
happysod
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Leefr, very surprised you've been asked to hold back on the attacks if you can show you can breakfall properly (as you're a 1st dan judo I'm confident you can). The only times we do that is when the defender is a obviously outclassed (relative beginner etc.) or dealing with a particular attack with the correct precision is the aim of the exercise - and we're a ki bunch! (add useless hippy dancers etc as required).

Sounds like you just need a different dojo, I'd go along with the suggestions for an aikikai or tomeiki (sp?) dojo for what you're wanting as these will be more likely to give you an "instant hit". If you fancy giving even a high grade aikidoka some problems, just get them to try floor work with you - but be warned, most (all?) aikido senseis cheat.

Hope you stick with it and find a dojo that suits.
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Old 11-13-2002, 04:13 AM   #20
Sam
Dojo: Kyogikan Sheffield
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Hi Ron,

If you want to train in an Aikido style and club where you can do competitive randori (i.e. sparring, although I hate that word)

and receive more explanation during and after your training, I would recommend you contact Martin Livingston:

martin.livingston@talk21.com

Martin is a very experienced martial artist with a lot of cross training experience.

Shodokan aikido has a lot in common with Judo and I'm sure you would find both the atmosphere and techniques easy to adapt to.

Good luck finding the answers to your questions.

Dojo Address & Practise Times

The Centre for Sports & Exercise Tuesday 20:15 - 21:15

Heriot-Watt University Sunday 13:15 - 15:15

Riccarton Campus

Edinburgh

EH14 4AS

Intructors

Martin Livingston
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Old 11-13-2002, 04:28 AM   #21
PeterR
 
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Hey Sam;

Haven't heard from you for a while. You going to make the trip this way sometime.

I went to Nariyama for advice in finding a dojo closer to home and next thing I know ... well let's just say I would love to show off my facillities.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-13-2002, 05:03 AM   #22
Bronson
 
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Yeah we all have doubts when we start. One of the things that helped me was when I took a look at the people around me in the dojo. We have our sensei who has a lot of judo experience and some experience with other martial arts, we have an 8th dan in uechi ryu karate who used to teach hand to hand in the military and has forgotten more about martial arts than I'll ever know, there are various other dan grades from other arts, and several police officers including the local chief of police. All of these people find aikido to have value and bring benefit. They tell me it can "work" in real life and I believe them. Of course I've never been the guy who, after being told the match is hot, had to touch it to make sure

Also you can do the thing I did. After class I told my, then, teacher about my doubts and asked him if he could please really do the technique to me. After some convincing he did it. Gravity was not strong enough to pull me away from the pain fast enough. It was my first real nikyo and it changed my perspective entirely. Just because we don't do it full out every single time doesn't mean we can't do it full out.

I hope you find a dojo where the training matches what you're looking for. Or you come to grips with the training at your current place. Either way good luck.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-13-2002, 05:38 AM   #23
Sam
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Hi Peter,

I occasionally post here, but I've been up to my ears in my first postdoc. Whereabouts is Himeji? I will probably be in Japan in the next three years, but before I do that, I have to pay for my last trip!! I am about to take the plunge and start a dojo with Jo under the wing of P. Nukecome, but the problem as ever is finding a good facility....
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Old 11-13-2002, 08:38 AM   #24
SeiserL
 
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I had the same doubts when I started, now I don't.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-13-2002, 12:04 PM   #25
Bud
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Re: Re: re

Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
If your training resembles something like this , everyday, without exception, in regular class, and nobody even _lets_ you experiment with attacking stronger, then um... consider changing dojos.
OMG, that's bad ..the most lifeless aikido class I have ever seen. They look really bored.
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