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Old 12-12-2011, 06:42 PM   #1726
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
It's a curious kind of martial artist that doesn't like fighting, fighting being at the core of anything martial. If a person doesn't like it and sees that there is a better way then learning how to do it strikes me, pun intended, as being bizarre. There are lots of other ways to follow the

If Aikido is a better way of handling fighting, then as a group, we're not exactly going out of our way to demonstrate it so we can't blame people for not wanting to learn it.
I guess that indeed many martial artists like play fighting to some level of intenstity (randori, sparring or even matches), but if one likes to fight for real, I'd say doing aikido or MMA or whatever martial art won't do at all. For example, joining a gang of hard core soccer hooligans would be much better to fulfill ones needs

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 12-12-2011 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:54 PM   #1727
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

It is not about fighting, it is about what budo men like Yukiyoshi Takamura say:

"Some aikido teachers teach aikido as a martial art while others don't. This is okay as long as the teacher is honest with his students about the aim of his teaching. Some teachers claim there are teaching a martial art when they are not. I believe this is a big mistake. Other aikido teachers teach the art as a purely spiritual discipline and are honest about this with their students. This is okay by me. Aikido as a spiritual pursuit is an honorable thing and I believe this was the ultimate aim of Ueshiba Sensei. But the spiritual aspects of the art are more likely to apply when it is taught as a martial art. Martial arts are a big responsibility! Martial ability is a tool that allows spiritual discipline to flourish and work magic on the soul. The heart and mind must wrestle with demons and be victorious to find enlightenment. Without a struggle, the character never really is challenged and never matures. That is why shugyo (ascetic discipline) is so important.

Some aikido teachers talk a lot about non-violence, but fail to understand this truth. 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. He chooses peace. He must be able to make a choice. He must have the genuine ability to destroy his enemy and then choose not to. I have heard this excuse made. "I choose to be a pacifist before learning techniques so I do not need to learn the power of destruction." This shows no comprehension of the mind of the true warrior. This is just a rationalization to cover the fear of injury or hard training. The true warrior who chooses to be a pacifist is willing to stand and die for his principles. People claiming to be pacifists who rationalize to avoid hard training or injury will flee instead of standing and dying for principle. They are just cowards. Only a warrior who has tempered his spirit in conflict and who has confronted himself and his greatest fears can in my opinion make the choice to be a true pacifist."


It's about forging the spirit.

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Old 12-12-2011, 07:42 PM   #1728
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
There are always dojo that buck the trend; my dojo did for a long time because we were located in a six form college so most of the new guys were under 18. That doesn't impact the trend significantly.
What trend is this and what proof do you have that it is actually occurring? Your own observations are subjective and prove nothing.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:45 PM   #1729
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Geoff Byers wrote: View Post
What trend is this and what proof do you have that it is actually occurring? Your own observations are subjective and prove nothing.
It's just my observations although now that I'm looking through videos on youtube of courses and seminars I see lots of grey hair, bald patches and receding hairlines and not much else. I suppose it could be that Aikido courses and seminars are only attended by the follically challenged.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:03 PM   #1730
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
It is not about fighting, it is about what budo men like Yukiyoshi Takamura say:

"Some aikido teachers teach aikido as a martial art while others don't. This is okay as long as the teacher is honest with his students about the aim of his teaching. Some teachers claim there are teaching a martial art when they are not. I believe this is a big mistake. Other aikido teachers teach the art as a purely spiritual discipline and are honest about this with their students. This is okay by me. Aikido as a spiritual pursuit is an honorable thing and I believe this was the ultimate aim of Ueshiba Sensei. But the spiritual aspects of the art are more likely to apply when it is taught as a martial art. Martial arts are a big responsibility! Martial ability is a tool that allows spiritual discipline to flourish and work magic on the soul. The heart and mind must wrestle with demons and be victorious to find enlightenment. Without a struggle, the character never really is challenged and never matures. That is why shugyo (ascetic discipline) is so important.

Some aikido teachers talk a lot about non-violence, but fail to understand this truth. 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. He chooses peace. He must be able to make a choice. He must have the genuine ability to destroy his enemy and then choose not to. I have heard this excuse made. "I choose to be a pacifist before learning techniques so I do not need to learn the power of destruction." This shows no comprehension of the mind of the true warrior. This is just a rationalization to cover the fear of injury or hard training. The true warrior who chooses to be a pacifist is willing to stand and die for his principles. People claiming to be pacifists who rationalize to avoid hard training or injury will flee instead of standing and dying for principle. They are just cowards. Only a warrior who has tempered his spirit in conflict and who has confronted himself and his greatest fears can in my opinion make the choice to be a true pacifist."


It's about forging the spirit.
He seems to be coming down on the side of being able to fight as prerequisite for forging the spirit. Most of this quote is about how Aikido is best done, in his opinion, as a martial art that can "kill or maim in the blink of an eye" how you can then say "It's not about fighting" and use this as an explaination I don't understand. To me he seems to be saying "Well, yeah, you can get away without learning to fight and it's still valid but the best way is to learn how to fight because that's the main tool for spiritual development."

If a person wants spirtiual development without fighting there's zazen or chado or ikebana or shodo and many other paths. To imitate fighting without intending to fight as a path to truth, to me, seems rather an odd approach because it is intrinsically devoid of truth.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:21 PM   #1731
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Been a cop for 27 years,have been in every kind of mix mangled mess you can think of ,usually came out in one piece most of the time, but i still can't say for sure what works or doesn't work in a real fight,sometimes everything works,sometimes nothing works.There is one thing you can be certain about,a real physical confrontation is 100% unpredictable.Most times in the really violent confrontations things happened so fast i'm not sure what i did just kind of reacted instinctively, and would advise anyone to stay as far away from physical confrontations as humanly possible.Today's post by George Ledyard is as good as i have ever heard any explanation given on this topic and any other similar to it.Whether this thread goes on forever the only accurate answer needed is this "refer to post #1709".

Regards
WJ
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:28 PM   #1732
Ketsan
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I guess that indeed many martial artists like play fighting to some level of intenstity (randori, sparring or even matches), but if one likes to fight for real, I'd say doing aikido or MMA or whatever martial art won't do at all. For example, joining a gang of hard core soccer hooligans would be much better to fulfill ones needs
It's a bizarre mismatch to learn something you don't want to do. Hooligans aren't particularly good fighters though, they don't love fighting enough to train for it; they don't build their lives around it, it doesn't drive them to seek perfection, it's just a rush at the weekend.Their fighting is pointless because done just for the excitement. Nothing comes of it, nothing is affirmed by it because they don't love it, they just love the thrill.

I love fighting and paradoxically this means I don't do it all that often in the same way that foodies don't spend their whole time stuffing their faces and real ale lovers aren't in an alcholic daze their whole lives. I love fighting so much I've found a system that refines it into an art and way of life that pervades everything I do and is at the centre of my being. That means that when I do actually fight it's in circumstances which give it meaning and dignity not just for my own self-gratification.

Which is why I don't like combat sports. Spending years training so that you can gratify yourself by beating someone up for a trinket that'll be passed on to someone else when they beat you up doesn't strike me as having much meaning which means the person doing it doesn't have much meaning either.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:12 AM   #1733
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
He seems to be coming down on the side of being able to fight as prerequisite for forging the spirit. Most of this quote is about how Aikido is best done, in his opinion, as a martial art that can "kill or maim in the blink of an eye" how you can then say "It's not about fighting" and use this as an explaination I don't understand.
It is difficult to explain to someone that practicing aikido has nothing to do with fighting. Such an assertion does not make sense for many and words of Yukiyoshi Takamura will never reach them. However, you can assume that in spite of their wisdom, they are just empty words. The author expressed his wishful thinking of the modern budo, and probably did not believe that it has, or would have something in common with reality. The reason is simple. This ideal has already become legend. Today it is a business based on selling illusions.

It is a pity. And the idea of ​​aikido is so simple. It delighted Jigoro Kano, admiral Takeshita, and earned the respect of contemporary military authorities. Evade and kill. No one imagined that it was possible. Maybe sometimes, by surprise, or random luck they managed to eliminate the enemy from the fight in a similar manner, but no one dared to say that his art always lead to victory. Victory, after which there will be peace guarded by the elite of aikido.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:39 AM   #1734
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
how you can then say "It's not about fighting" and use this as an explaination I don't understand.
IHTBF

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Old 12-13-2011, 08:09 AM   #1735
graham christian
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
It's a curious kind of martial artist that doesn't like fighting, fighting being at the core of anything martial. If a person doesn't like it and sees that there is a better way then learning how to do it strikes me, pun intended, as being bizarre. There are lots of other ways to follow the

If Aikido is a better way of handling fighting, then as a group, we're not exactly going out of our way to demonstrate it so we can't blame people for not wanting to learn it.
Curious being the operative word, yes. For me it's a curious type of person who likes fighting. Don't think I've ever met any.

I've met plenty who like a sport, met plenty who like competition, met plenty who do martial arts and like both the a fore mentioned. None of them liked fighting. My best friend was in his younger days a very good amateur boxer, unbeaten, but stopped when he found Aikido. He found it more challenging.

Too many examples I could give here so for me it's a no brainer.

Aikido has a higher purpose than mere fighting and competing and thus is a superior activity.

As a group it's not going out of it's way to demonstrate such maybe. Why?

Maybe too many have yet to grasp just how much greater Aikido is than fighting or competing and thus are still yet to get through their 'fighting mind' barrier and yet to grasp the meaning of true budo.

As I said, it's more challenging and maybe too many are not up to the challenge.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:56 AM   #1736
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
It's just my observations although now that I'm looking through videos on youtube of courses and seminars I see lots of grey hair, bald patches and receding hairlines and not much else. I suppose it could be that Aikido courses and seminars are only attended by the follically challenged.
I've seen plenty of younger people in classes and seminars I go to; college Aikido clubs probably have very few bald patches. The gray heads are probably all in the front rows.

"I am not a big fat panda. I am the big fat panda." --Po, Kung Fu Panda
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:43 AM   #1737
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote: View Post
I've seen plenty of younger people in classes and seminars I go to; college Aikido clubs probably have very few bald patches. The gray heads are probably all in the front rows.
I travel all over the country teaching and it is my observation the the average age of the Aikido population is rising steadily, as is the proportion of women vs men. I can only attribute this to the shift in interest on the part of young men and the popularity of the mixed martial arts.

I think that the traditional arts will have to hang in there for a few more years until these young men are so beat up that they will be looking for something more sensible to do. I have talked to several body work / massage professionals who have noted that the young men doing MMA are managing to do as much damage to their bodies in 6 or 7 years as it took me 35 years to do. This is not sustainable over time. I think many of them will be looking to keep training but in something more sensible... and perhaps something with a bit more intellectual content.

This really does have implications for the art. In the old days young folks came in and trained crazy hard (and pretty stupid) and really pushed the limits physically. Then after they had matured a bit, they'd slow down and start looking a bit deeper into the art. Most of the folks walking in my doors these days are already past the point at which they can train that hard, those days are behind them before they even start.

At my dojo I try to address this by putting a lot of emphasis on sword work. Weapons is an area in which folks can "push the envelope" without getting beaten to a pulp. Even folks in their seventies can train out at their limits with weapons in a way that they simply can no longer do in empty hand.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:59 AM   #1738
Ketsan
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
It is difficult to explain to someone that practicing aikido has nothing to do with fighting. Such an assertion does not make sense for many and words of Yukiyoshi Takamura will never reach them. However, you can assume that in spite of their wisdom, they are just empty words. The author expressed his wishful thinking of the modern budo, and probably did not believe that it has, or would have something in common with reality. The reason is simple. This ideal has already become legend. Today it is a business based on selling illusions.

It is a pity. And the idea of ​​aikido is so simple. It delighted Jigoro Kano, admiral Takeshita, and earned the respect of contemporary military authorities. Evade and kill. No one imagined that it was possible. Maybe sometimes, by surprise, or random luck they managed to eliminate the enemy from the fight in a similar manner, but no one dared to say that his art always lead to victory. Victory, after which there will be peace guarded by the elite of aikido.
Then Aikido is not Budo. It is not about fighting as a spiritual path, it is not Budo. The movements are not techniques they are just meditative forms so we can do away with technical gradings because how you do them is irrelevent, all that matters is your state of mind when you do them.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:25 AM   #1739
Ketsan
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I travel all over the country teaching and it is my observation the the average age of the Aikido population is rising steadily, as is the proportion of women vs men. I can only attribute this to the shift in interest on the part of young men and the popularity of the mixed martial arts.

I think that the traditional arts will have to hang in there for a few more years until these young men are so beat up that they will be looking for something more sensible to do. I have talked to several body work / massage professionals who have noted that the young men doing MMA are managing to do as much damage to their bodies in 6 or 7 years as it took me 35 years to do. This is not sustainable over time. I think many of them will be looking to keep training but in something more sensible... and perhaps something with a bit more intellectual content.

This really does have implications for the art. In the old days young folks came in and trained crazy hard (and pretty stupid) and really pushed the limits physically. Then after they had matured a bit, they'd slow down and start looking a bit deeper into the art. Most of the folks walking in my doors these days are already past the point at which they can train that hard, those days are behind them before they even start.

At my dojo I try to address this by putting a lot of emphasis on sword work. Weapons is an area in which folks can "push the envelope" without getting beaten to a pulp. Even folks in their seventies can train out at their limits with weapons in a way that they simply can no longer do in empty hand.
The thing that worries me, and my perfectionism may be showing here, is what am I, as a person about to start teaching going to do with a bunch of mashed up 30-40 year olds? That has implications for the art because it places limitations on what can be taught.

It's fine for most people to train within their limits but for the art to survive and progress there must be people within in that can train to the limits of the art, which isn't aways in a destructive way. Even now I regularly train with people who can't take ukemi too well through age or injury, which limits how I do technique and they've never even done martial arts before.

If Aikido's future is bashed up middle aged ex-MMAers who are held together by steel pins and plates then Aikido will come to resemble something bashed up and held together by steel pins and plates also and it will be regarded as the thing that has beens do when they're bashed up from doing the real thing.

We're being very passive and defencive about this.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:27 PM   #1740
Ketsan
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Curious being the operative word, yes. For me it's a curious type of person who likes fighting. Don't think I've ever met any.

I've met plenty who like a sport, met plenty who like competition, met plenty who do martial arts and like both the a fore mentioned. None of them liked fighting. My best friend was in his younger days a very good amateur boxer, unbeaten, but stopped when he found Aikido. He found it more challenging.

Too many examples I could give here so for me it's a no brainer.

Aikido has a higher purpose than mere fighting and competing and thus is a superior activity.

As a group it's not going out of it's way to demonstrate such maybe. Why?

Maybe too many have yet to grasp just how much greater Aikido is than fighting or competing and thus are still yet to get through their 'fighting mind' barrier and yet to grasp the meaning of true budo.

As I said, it's more challenging and maybe too many are not up to the challenge.

Regards.G.
People find it hard to grasp what they are not told. Most people just think Aikido is a naff martial art that doesn't work and they have no reason to think otherwise.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:54 PM   #1741
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
The thing that worries me, and my perfectionism may be showing here, is what am I, as a person about to start teaching going to do with a bunch of mashed up 30-40 year olds? That has implications for the art because it places limitations on what can be taught.

It's fine for most people to train within their limits but for the art to survive and progress there must be people within in that can train to the limits of the art, which isn't aways in a destructive way. Even now I regularly train with people who can't take ukemi too well through age or injury, which limits how I do technique and they've never even done martial arts before.

If Aikido's future is bashed up middle aged ex-MMAers who are held together by steel pins and plates then Aikido will come to resemble something bashed up and held together by steel pins and plates also and it will be regarded as the thing that has beens do when they're bashed up from doing the real thing.

We're being very passive and defencive about this.
I have heard some Judo guys say that "Aikido is where old Judoka go to die" or something like that. Not that I share that sentiment but it is a commonly held concept in the Judo community.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:32 PM   #1742
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Michael Neal wrote: View Post
I have heard some Judo guys say that "Aikido is where old Judoka go to die" or something like that. Not that I share that sentiment but it is a commonly held concept in the Judo community.
I remember when I first started Aikdio and after class while were lining up my instructor used to labour the point that Aikido is "not an old man's martial art". This was in a sixth form college so none of us were more than nineteen or twenty and we didn't really know what he was talking about.

As soon as we started going out to courses and visiting other dojo we understood though. Even at twenty nine I'm usually the youngest person on instructors courses by at least a decade. I hear stories like "I used to do *insert art* and then I got injured and I wanted to take something else up and then I found Aikido" quite often.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:48 PM   #1743
graham christian
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
People find it hard to grasp what they are not told. Most people just think Aikido is a naff martial art that doesn't work and they have no reason to think otherwise.
You must mix with strange people. Never had that problem ever. Heard about it on this forum, strange.

Maybe it's the ones who say it that are the ones who believe it. They sound either very incapable or unaware.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:51 PM   #1744
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
I remember when I first started Aikdio and after class while were lining up my instructor used to labour the point that Aikido is "not an old man's martial art". This was in a sixth form college so none of us were more than nineteen or twenty and we didn't really know what he was talking about.

As soon as we started going out to courses and visiting other dojo we understood though. Even at twenty nine I'm usually the youngest person on instructors courses by at least a decade. I hear stories like "I used to do *insert art* and then I got injured and I wanted to take something else up and then I found Aikido" quite often.
Though the average age in aikido class is a lot higher than it was in karate class (my guess is 40 versus 25), I'd say most of the student under 50 are quite fit (thanks to aikido training I'd say). Past 55 ageing seems to start affecting joints of some, sometimes from old injuries.

I don't see that an average age of 40 makes it an old man's art, in the sense that everyone is so fragile from old age that training has to be extra slow and careful (in fact I think the 16 year olds seem more fragile than the 40 year olds. Actually, also in karate class, I think the 35 to 50 year olds were the toughest)

For me there is one major disadvantage of starting late: because I started at 41, I may not be able to continue training for as many years as I hope to.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 12-13-2011 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:15 PM   #1745
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I wonder if Joey is still alive?

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 12-13-2011 at 03:17 PM. Reason: insertion of smiley

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Old 12-13-2011, 03:27 PM   #1746
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Beyond physical capability, another issue is that older students have lives: meaningful jobs, families, etc. Training like crazy becomes less of an option the more other things you have going on. Someone who starts in their twenties can structure their whole life around their aikido if they choose, but someone who starts in their forties may be much more reluctant to do that.

Which is not to say that older students can't train hard and get a lot out of the art, but the kind of dedication that makes future senior instructors is a lot harder to achieve.

Katherine
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:09 PM   #1747
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
People find it hard to grasp what they are not told. Most people just think Aikido is a naff martial art that doesn't work and they have no reason to think otherwise.
Do you guys just make up words to drive Yanks crazy?
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:45 PM   #1748
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Do you guys just make up words to drive Yanks crazy?
Yes. When we go down the pub there is a box on the wall for suggestions of new words just to drive American's crazy and only the best are approved and passed into general useage.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:40 PM   #1749
Ketsan
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
You must mix with strange people. Never had that problem ever. Heard about it on this forum, strange.

Maybe it's the ones who say it that are the ones who believe it. They sound either very incapable or unaware.

Regards.G.
Talk to people from other arts.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:51 PM   #1750
Ketsan
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 860
United Kingdom
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
Though the average age in aikido class is a lot higher than it was in karate class (my guess is 40 versus 25), I'd say most of the student under 50 are quite fit (thanks to aikido training I'd say). Past 55 ageing seems to start affecting joints of some, sometimes from old injuries.

I don't see that an average age of 40 makes it an old man's art, in the sense that everyone is so fragile from old age that training has to be extra slow and careful (in fact I think the 16 year olds seem more fragile than the 40 year olds. Actually, also in karate class, I think the 35 to 50 year olds were the toughest)

For me there is one major disadvantage of starting late: because I started at 41, I may not be able to continue training for as many years as I hope to.
It's an old man's art simply because the average age is higher.
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