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Old 06-25-2003, 08:56 AM   #1
Peter Klein
Dojo: Aikido Kreis Koeln (Germany)
Location: Cologne
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slow & soft?

have you people noticed that lots of aikido dojos teach really soft and slow aikido. it may be effective. but in the end it does not help you for real life situations at all! no one will attack you really slowly and take ukemi without no resistance what do u guys think?
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:11 AM   #2
Dave Miller
 
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There's two dynamics at work that you need to keep in mind, Peter. One is certainly effectiveness. Doing a technique "slow and soft" doesn't limit its effectiveness at all. If you can do it perfectly "slow and soft" then speeding it up and powering it up will happen when the need arises.

The other thing to consider is more basic. One of the big reasons for practicing Aikido "slow and soft" is for protection. Most of us want to still be doing Aikido when we're old and gray. If we're always doing thing as full speed and power, the risk of injury goes up substantially. Some dojos find that risk acceptable. Segal Sensei often comments that if you choose to train in his dojo, you will experience a serious (as in loaded up in the ambulance) injury before you reach shodan. That's not the sort of training environment I would enjoy, personally.

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:12 AM   #3
Greg Jennings
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I think you should not worry about anyone else's aikido. Worry about your own.

People come to aikido for different reasons, with different mindsets, with different physical abilities, etc. It should be no surprise that there are different styles of practice.

Some people like Vanilla, some like Rocky Road, some like Lime Sherbert.

FWIW,

Greg Jennings
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:39 AM   #4
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
Greg Jennings wrote:
Some people like Vanilla, some like Rocky Road, some like Lime Sherbert.
That's all good and well so long as we all understand that Rocky Road is really the best.

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:50 AM   #5
akiy
 
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Hi Peter,

You seem to question and criticize a lot of different aikido dojo. How long have you been training? How many dojo have you trained at to arrive at your conclusions?

As for the question at hand, I believe that unless you can do the technique slow and soft, you're not going to be able to do it fast and hard. I've seen too many people use speed and strength to try to make up for their lack of ability and, consequently, leave themselves much more open for kaeshiwaza.

-- Jun

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Old 06-25-2003, 09:54 AM   #6
Hanna B
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I think that Peter can not distinguish between pedagogics and reality. Why don't you ask your teacher to explain the no resstance-ukemi.
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Old 06-25-2003, 10:13 AM   #7
paw
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Peter,

I think a good conversation with your instructor is in order. You have questions, and frankly, your instructor can be answer them, particularly as they pertain to your training.

I do want to comment on this remark, though
Quote:
Doing a technique "slow and soft" doesn't limit its effectiveness at all. If you can do it perfectly "slow and soft" then speeding it up and powering it up will happen when the need arises.
One would have to train at the appropriate speed to perform at that speed. For example, if making a nice tennis forehands "slow and soft" with perfect form is all one does, you will not be able to return a serve at Wimbledon.

Having said that, it isn't a good use of training time to jump right in and attempt to play tennis at Wimbledon levels. One has to work progressively to get there.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 06-25-2003, 10:19 AM   #8
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
One would have to train at the appropriate speed to perform at that speed. For example, if making a nice tennis forehands "slow and soft" with perfect form is all one does, you will not be able to return a serve at Wimbledon.

Having said that, it isn't a good use of training time to jump right in and attempt to play tennis at Wimbledon levels. One has to work progressively to get there.
I see what you're saying, paw. I could indeed be wrong but this notion has been share with me by multiple, independant persons and is not without precident. Indeed, I would not be suprised to learn that many tennis pros fine tune their techniques using many of the "slow and soft" principles we use in Aikido for the purpose of building muscle memory. That's essentially all I was talking about.

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 06-25-2003, 10:35 AM   #9
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
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Aaah but grasshopper, fast is only slow speeded up!

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 06-25-2003, 11:53 AM   #10
Peter Klein
Dojo: Aikido Kreis Koeln (Germany)
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sorry for those questioning posts, the only reason i enterd aikido was because i wanted to be able to fight like steven seagal to be honest. and right now my training reminds me of dancing
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Old 06-25-2003, 12:08 PM   #11
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Quote:
the only reason i enterd aikido was because i wanted to be able to fight like steven seagal to be honest.
Wow. What a great dream. It's almost impossible for me to imagine being motivated by something like this, but it's hard not to respect something so clean and simple and pure. And I say this without sarcasm.

Judging your own training, particularly early on in the study of any art, is very hard to do. The bedouin have a saying that I heard once and really liked: the path is wiser than the man. That is, even if it doesn't look like the trail is going in the right direction, you are usually better off following it than heading off bushwacking in what you think the right direction is. There may be a very good reason to go around.

That said, you may want to have a serious discussion with your instructor about the goals of your training and whether he or she thinks this is something you are likely to gain from studying in their school. Also, talk about how long it will take. Ultimately, if they say they can teach you what you want, you will either have to trust the path they offer or stop training with them. If they don't offer what you want, or if you don't trust them enough to follow the path they lay out, then you should find someone who can offer you those things.

At least, I think that's right.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 06-25-2003, 12:19 PM   #12
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
Peter Klein wrote:
sorry for those questioning posts, the only reason i enterd aikido was because i wanted to be able to fight like steven seagal to be honest. and right now my training reminds me of dancing
Like I said in my earlier post, 100% of students in Segal Sensei's school receive some sort of serious injury, i.e. a ride in an ambulance, by the time they reach Shodan. That is what it takes to be able to "fight like Steven Segal". Not to mention that most of what he does in his movies, by his own admission, is not Aikido. Just some food for thought.

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 06-25-2003, 12:21 PM   #13
bones
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Confused

Quote:
Peter Klein wrote:
...the only reason i enterd aikido was because i wanted to be able to fight like steven seagal to be honest. and right now my training reminds me of dancing
Well, then, why are you bothering with all that time-consuming training? Hire a good fight choreographer, some competent stuntmen, and a decent special effects tech (if you want to break bones). I guarantee you can take on as many attackers, with any array of weapons, as you can afford. Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2003, 12:24 PM   #14
Peter Klein
Dojo: Aikido Kreis Koeln (Germany)
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i spoke to my instructor and he said learning a second art is good and then adapt the techniques from aikido for rl situations mixed with another art. he showed me what he would do in this and this situation and it looked very similiar to seagals fighting style. so if i mix for example win chung or silat with aikido and train for 10 years with lots of devotion i should become rather good. i am 5th kyu to be honest right now ;D

and by the way thank you for the replies
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Old 06-25-2003, 12:28 PM   #15
Kensai
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Segal in films or recorded tape? A lot of the hand work he does in film I believe is from Wing Chun, perhaps your in the wrong art all together my friend.

I go through constant phases of doubt whether Aikido will make the STREET SOLDIER I was born to be.... lol. Even to the point where I consider taking BJJ! AHHHH! (Kiddin' BJJers, respect where its due).

I think, in my aged and learned experience of Aikido, which is one year, that you either like it or you dont. Speed and strength are NO subsitute for powerful technique, and this cant be rushed.

Just enjoy the journey, and if you're not, change trains.

Osu.

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
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Old 06-25-2003, 12:45 PM   #16
Peter Klein
Dojo: Aikido Kreis Koeln (Germany)
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i will take two trains during my journey.

i will stay with aikido and when i have a solid basis start up my win chung training again and mix both. thx kensai my old karateforums.com fellow aikidoka
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Old 06-25-2003, 01:37 PM   #17
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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I think practicing softly is actually much more difficult than practicing hard. To practice softly and well takes a lot of skill. A couple months ago, I went to a seminar taught by Elliot Freeman, one of Steven Seagal's top students. He insisted that everyone practice full power, just at a speed that your partner can handle. I think it would take years of this kind of training to then be able to deal with people who don't give full power.

Charles
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Old 06-25-2003, 02:54 PM   #18
Peter Klein
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i agree charles. hmm yeah that really is true, it could really get effective. but wouldnt it be better to first train slowly until u get a good technique and then train faster to make it more dynamic?
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Old 06-25-2003, 03:09 PM   #19
shihonage
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Train softly until you get some muscle memory, then continue training softly 50% of the time, and training near-full-speed 50% of the time.

Although training softly is a must for getting a feeling of the energy flow, the REALITY is that a simple light sparring match against a non-Aikidoka will show you just how much speed really matters.

Hell, a coked up homeless guy can throw a punch 5 times faster than many dojo's practice shomen-uchi.

At the way things are now (for this sad state of affairs look no further than "Aiki Expo"), I think the unfortunate fact is that many high level practitioners would get stunned by the speed and intensity of a real fight with some young punk suffering from road rage, not to mention that they'll realize just how much they underestimate their opponent.
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Old 06-25-2003, 03:16 PM   #20
Young-In Park
Location: Santa Ana, CA
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Dear Mr. Klein,

You should read the following article:

Slow Sparring Game Of Russian Martial Arts

By Arthur Sennott

http://www.dojoofthefourwinds.com/sparring.html

YoungIn Park
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Old 06-25-2003, 06:28 PM   #21
sanosuke
Dojo: Seigi Dojo
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Hi Peter,

I don't disagree with you about cross training, just do it if you have the time and if you're enjoying it.

Peter, remember that in order to be able to run, people had to learn to walk first. Same thing with aikido, we should learn the slow and soft first until we get the picture and form about the techniques then we can do fast and powerful. Also remember that fast techniques done carelessly may cause injury to your uke(do you know that Seagal very oftenly injured his stuntmen?).
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Old 06-25-2003, 08:24 PM   #22
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Peter,

It is important to separate slow and soft. They are two different things. I guarantee you, the best way for a beginner to train is slow AND strong, that means 100% power but at 5% speed.

Charles
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:41 PM   #23
C. Emerson
Dojo: Emerson's Martial Arts
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Of course you are going to start off slow until you understand what you are doing?

And as your skill level improves, you will speed things up.

Does a 5 yr. old start swinging at a baseball from randy johnson at 100 miles an hour. No. As your skill increases you maybe able to hit that 100 mph ball.

Are we really debating this???????
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:50 PM   #24
C. Emerson
Dojo: Emerson's Martial Arts
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Plain and simple, you need to train for what you want to do. If you want to be street effective, you need to train for the street. If thats not important, then train however you like. And if you are training for the street, you need to learn more then Aikido. And I would say that to any style, not just Aikido. The street is different then anything you have ever seen. The more you are exposed to, the better you are going to be prepaired for that kind of encounter. You need to be familiar with all ranges of fighting.
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Old 06-27-2003, 03:23 AM   #25
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
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Well I'll throw in our two cents (that's what most of us including the sensei think in our dojo):

1. It is impossible to start training hard and fast from the scratch. (for beginners)

2. Yet, it is much easier to make hard techniques softer when you are used to hard and fast than make soft techniques harder when you are used to soft and slow. (for advanced students)
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