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Old 04-17-2003, 04:53 PM   #1
Jesse Lee
Dojo: Tenzan Aikido, formerly named Seattle Aikikai
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 94
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Maintaining aiki during cross training

What do folks think about aikido's philosophical and spiritual compatibility with other arts? Anybody wrestling with buying into aiki core philosophy, while simultaneously seeking mastery in other arts that have competition, sparring, and attacks? How do you reconcile training in other arts that meet aggression with more aggression, strength with more strength, attack with injurious counter-attack?

I used to train in Tae Kwondo and Tung Su Do, and the hard style never sat well with me, even as a little kid. Now I cross-train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I'm loving it! O Sensei mastered jiu jitsu and it is invigorating to feel that I am in some tiny way stepping onto that great one's path, before he conceived of aiki-jitsu. It offers another window into my aikido training, and vice versa for aikido-into-BJJ.

To me, BJJ seems *fairly* compatible with aiki principles, in that the entire game is about controling your opponent's aggression. The wrestler does not need to strike and brutalize his opponent, if he can control him. A BJJ arm bar is totally anologous to a nikkyo arm bar in this respect. And as O Sensei said, "To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace."

Personally I do not buy into the BJJ pressure to compete in tournaments. Even so, it is tough to reconcile with aikido, when every BJJ class ends with a free-roll session (one-on-one sparring), something which O Sensei flatly rejected.

Anybody else out there pondering this?

PS brand new user here, hopefully this has not all been hashed out in a parallel thread
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Old 04-17-2003, 07:36 PM   #2
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
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Hey Jesse - please take a look at the Shodokan style.

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/index.html

It really boils down to what you definition of Aiki is. I see it as an acute sensitivity to you opponent - your actions in harmony with theirs. Not the harmony of peace, love and happiness but in tune with their intent.

I do Judo - I use (well try) aiki. I do full resistance randori in Aikido I use (well try) aiki. I do find that in Judo since you are in contact with your opponent it is much easier to maintain this harmony (aiki). At the other extreme of course is my favorite description of aiki. Two ken masters absolutely still waiting for an opening - the result of which will be disasterous for the lesser of them. The aiki of Aikido tends to fall somewhere in the middle.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-17-2003, 08:29 PM   #3
paw
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Jesse,
Quote:
Personally I do not buy into the BJJ pressure to compete in tournaments. Even so, it is tough to reconcile with aikido, when every BJJ class ends with a free-roll session (one-on-one sparring), something which O Sensei flatly rejected.
Who are you training with? I've never felt pressure to compete in bjj although I have done so. In every school I've trained tournaments were individual decisions, there was never any pressure of any kind to compete.

If sparring = winner and loser, never use the word in your vocabulary again. It's not about who taps and who doesn't. It's all about learning.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:14 PM   #4
sanosuke
Dojo: Seigi Dojo
Location: Jakarta
Join Date: Nov 2002
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Indonesia
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I took up TKD and I found out that the philosophy between TKD and aikido is like heaven and earth. One of the TKD philosophy that i knew is "Be gentle to the weak, but be tough to the strong". what the hell is this? are strong people does not deserve to be treated gently and vice versa. besides, i get dissapointed because what they taught and what they done is very different. we were taught to control our power during sparring, but when it comes to the tournament they were fighting like animals, yes that's true, it's like animals fighting over a carcass, very brutal with no techniques shown. I remember my aikido teacher said that if you start fighting, then you are no different than animals.
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Old 04-18-2003, 01:18 AM   #5
aubrey bannah
Dojo: Yoshinkan Brisbane
Location: aust
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My cross training is pistol shooting, I can't resovle myself to the fact that competing in any sport that has rules that restricts your movements or abilities can inhance your Aikido. Practicing something that promotes focus, one pointedness, strong commitment, strict discipline etc without any inhibitions when performing the technique will inhance any other training or your life in general.
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Old 04-18-2003, 03:31 AM   #6
sanosuke
Dojo: Seigi Dojo
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wow, pistol shooting sounds interesting. unfortunately there's no shooting range here
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Old 04-18-2003, 04:12 AM   #7
PeterR
 
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Quote:
aubrey bannah wrote:
I can't resovle myself to the fact that competing in any sport that has rules that restricts your movements or abilities can inhance your Aikido.
Can't help but point out that normal cooperative Aikido practice is full of rules that restricts your movements or abilities. In fact I would say that there are way more rules to worry about than in let's say Judo.

Consider the cross-training as a drill to enhance a specific part of your Aikido. Much as your list with respect to target shooting Judo for example enhances physical toughness and responsiveness, among others.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-18-2003, 04:42 AM   #8
paw
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Quote:
Can't help but point out that normal cooperative Aikido practice is full of rules that restricts your movements or abilities. In fact I would say that there are way more rules to worry about than in let's say Judo.
Peter is so right that it's worth repeating.
Quote:
Judo for example enhances physical toughness and responsiveness, among others.
Amen.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:14 AM   #9
Jesse Lee
Dojo: Tenzan Aikido, formerly named Seattle Aikikai
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Wow this thread is rockin! Thanks for all the great insights. I will look at the Shodokan Aikido link in a sec.

Peter, I hear ya re. boiling down to one's definition of aiki. I realize my definition is more rooted in love and realization and peaceful resolution of conflict. For me it goes beyond awareness of mental and bodily intent. My BJJ training explores that and goes no further, not overtly anyway.

Paul, my BJJ school puts pressure on me only to the extent that other students cajole me to compete, and I keep saying no thanks.

I just had a similar experience as Reza, yesterday at BJJ -- I was working out with a big-ass bruiser, practicing a super painful elbow crank called the "entangled arm." This guy kept going easy (for him) on me , and he said "I don't want to hurt you; you are my training partner. Now in a tournament, hell yeah I would try to hurt you!" WTF? Total aiki-noncompliance, right?

-- Jesse

PS Looks like the above quote robbed Peter to pay Paul! LOL

, can't find m s
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Old 04-18-2003, 12:02 PM   #10
paw
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Jesse,
Quote:
I just had a similar experience as Reza, yesterday at BJJ -- I was working out with a big-ass bruiser, practicing a super painful elbow crank called the "entangled arm." This guy kept going easy (for him) on me , and he said "I don't want to hurt you; you are my training partner. Now in a tournament, hell yeah I would try to hurt you!" WTF? Total aiki-noncompliance, right?
Well, there's a different context with competition. My take on it is that I will abide by the rules. In other words, I will give the competitor a chance to tap, the coach to throw in the towel or the ref to stop the match. But part of competition is accepting the risks and understanding that, unlike training I have no obligation to look after your safety. Hence, divisions by weight, rank, gender, etc....

For example, in my first ever judo match, I choked my opponent out. I knew the choke was on, knew it was working, but he didn't tap. The ref didn't stop the match, so the choke stayed on. The instant my opponent went limp, I released the choke and stood up. My opponent had both their hands free. He could have tapped. He didn't. His choice and his brain cells. In practice, I would have let go.

Is that un-aikido like?

Regards,

Paul
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Old 04-18-2003, 12:10 PM   #11
paw
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
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Jesse,
Quote:
I just had a similar experience as Reza, yesterday at BJJ -- I was working out with a big-ass bruiser, practicing a super painful elbow crank called the "entangled arm." This guy kept going easy (for him) on me , and he said "I don't want to hurt you; you are my training partner. Now in a tournament, hell yeah I would try to hurt you!" WTF? Total aiki-noncompliance, right?
Well, there's a different context with competition. My take on it is that I will abide by the rules. In other words, I will give the competitor a chance to tap, the coach to throw in the towel or the ref to stop the match. But part of competition is accepting the risks and understanding that, unlike training I have no obligation to look after your safety. Hence, divisions by weight, rank, gender, etc....

For example, in my first ever judo match, I choked my opponent out. I knew the choke was on, knew it was working, but he didn't tap. The ref didn't stop the match, so the choke stayed on. The instant my opponent went limp, I released the choke and stood up. My opponent had both their hands free. He could have tapped. He didn't. His choice and his brain cells. In practice, I would have let go.

Is that un-aikido like?

Regards,

Paul
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Old 04-18-2003, 12:18 PM   #12
paw
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How did I post twice?!?!

I'm soooo confused....

*backing away from the keyboard*
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Old 04-18-2003, 01:41 PM   #13
gamma80
Dojo: Avon Kempo & Aikido Academy
Location: Avon, CT
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 32
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Cross Training

This is a subject that I have given much thought to. Though I don't actively cross train I currently study Aikido and have Shodan rank in Goshin Budo JuJutsu. In my mind it really boils down not to your definition of Aikido but to your own philosophical approach to martial arts. If you follow the non-aggressive tenet of Aikido to the letter, you essentially eliminate the vast majority of the remaining martial arts. I personally enjoy Aikido training but find that my training spirit leans more toward the "hard" side vs the soft side. I find myself still having to supress the urge to throw kicks and punches during randori when the openings present themselves.

So, long story short,though I study Aikido, I am not inherently following the true spirit that Ueshiba meant for us to pursue. That may change for me as time goes on (and I move from 40 to 50 or 60). For now, I just enjoy my Aikido and get my banging in when I go back to my old dojo for a visit.

Chris

PS: I do think that until one reaches a SIGNIFICANT level of proficiency in Aikido, you had best know how to kick and punch to effectively defend yourself in the street.

Much Aikido training on the horizon to get to that point............. Thoughts on that???
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