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Old 12-04-2000, 10:50 PM   #1
giovos
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Well, I had the desire to train in martial arts since I was little, and tried to join kung fu at that time (around 8 years old), but it didnīt work out cause the flips, (having to spin around yourself) made me completely sick and faint like (or so I thought), now 11 years later, my desire to start a martial art came back, but with much more determination added to it. So I strarted doing some research, asked some people about it, and visited a couple of dojos (one aikido, and one judo).
From what is saw, aikido seemed very technical, and non-strength requirig, so I kinda liked it more.. judo required a lot of endurance and was more of an aerobic workout.
My mind was quite set on aikido, until I started reading some postings on this forum, about it not being combat effective. The truth is that one of the major reasons I wanted to start aikido was self defence and self confidence.
I also did some research on arts like jujutsu, kung fu and tae kwo nto, and it was my understanding, that jujutsu was like judo and aikido, just a little more brutal that the first abovementioned, while kung fu and tae kwo nto were both striking arts.
I also have a cousin, which practised both tae kwo nto and aikido, who told be that when he had to defend himself tae kwo nto was more usefull, but also praised aikido and demonstrated some of its techniques to me.
The sensei of aikido I met, told me that the most importand thing is to do a lot of exersise at home.
Well since through most of my life I have been a computer geek, I realized that the 20 push ups where imposible for me, and the 1 lift up too... So my decision was to join a gym before starting any martial arts, to build endurance and muscles.. well till now its' working out fine, but the question of choosing a martial art still remains..
The purpose of this posting is to atract advice for myself, and all other aspiring martial art trainees, on what would be best for physique, self defence, and philosophy. Would it be wiser to undergo 2 different types of training, which complete each other, like jujutsu and taw kwo nto, or focus on one??

Thanks in advance, George



[Edited by giovos on December 4, 2000 at 10:57pm]

Never explain, never complain, your
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wonīt believe you anyway.
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Old 12-04-2000, 11:12 PM   #2
crystalwizard
Dojo: Aikido of Dallas
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Quote:
giovos wrote:

The sensei of aikido I met, told me that the most importand thing is to do a lot of exersise at home.
shrug. dunno about that. Nice idea and I wish I could do that but i'm a computer geek too, and about the most excerise i'm getting is when I go to aikido class. Better to just go start training than do all this worrying.

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Old 12-05-2000, 12:07 AM   #3
tedehara
 
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Wink Simply the Best?

Quote:
giovos wrote:
...The purpose of this posting is to atract advice for myself, and all other aspiring martial art trainees, on what would be best for physique, self defence, and philosophy. Would it be wiser to undergo 2 different types of training, which complete each other, like jujutsu and taw kwo nto, or focus on one??
Thanks in advance, George
[Edited by giovos on December 4, 2000 at 10:57pm]
There's Only One Choice!

Best for the physique: Aerobic actions incorporated into a combat routine.

Best for self-defense: A striking art with simple easy to learn movements.

Best for philosophy: An art that has its roots in the Far East, but has proved its popularity with a Western audience.

You've probably already guessed what I'm writing about.
Billy Blank's Tae Bo !!!
The great thing about it is you can practice without an instructor or class. All you need is a TV, VCR and his video tapes.

Exercise at home, just like that Aikido Sensei told you. Of course, you may be lucky and have a practice group close to you.

No thanks is needed, I'm just glad to help.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 12-05-2000, 12:23 AM   #4
sceptoor
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Talking

Well, since Aikido isn't based on "strength" like sports such as judo, Kung Fu, Karate, or tae kwon do, weight training for the sake of Aikido is unnecessary. It's one of the few martial arts(maybe the ONLY MA) that does not require physical strength in order to be successful. This is why I personally believe that Aikido is the MA of choice for women since size and strength make no difference in one's success.

By no means am I saying that you shouldn't exercise, but I AM saying that skinny frail people can practice Aikido just as well as a Big muscular guy. No need to build up huge muscles for Aikido, but you may need quite a bit of strength for Kung Fu and/or Judo.

Another thing you may want to consider is competition. There is no competition, no trophies, no winner or loser in ANY Aikido Dojo. Do not make your decision based on what these guys post about not being combat effective. The way I see it, Aikido is the only practical self defense. Your cousin probably only showed you joint locks or something, this is hardly a "demonstration" of Aikido. What you have to understand is, Tae kwon do and Aikido are two COMPLETELY different MA's. TKD is probably his primary MA and his Aikido training is minimal, either that or TKD is more useful to him because Aikido is best used when your body is relaxed, rather than tense. Aikido works and is extremely effective, HIS Aikido wasn't. What I recommend is attending a seminar. You'd be surprised how often they come around. Usually there will be many aikidoka from all over, some beginners and many of them highly ranked. Ask them questions, I am sure that many of them came to Aikido the same way you did, since Aikido isn't exactly "high profile" as other martial arts. Some trained in other MA's before beginning their training in Aikido. I think you'll also find that aikidoists tend to be less arrogant and more hospitable than most other dojos. At least, that was true in my case.

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Old 12-05-2000, 03:06 AM   #5
SeiWhat?!?
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Lightbulb

[quote]giovos wrote:

"My mind was quite set on aikido, until I started reading some postings on this forum, about it not being combat effective."

Make no mistake, Aikido IS effective for self defense. Those who stated in their posts that Aikido is not effective have (1) no experience, or (2) very little experience with Aikido. All you have to do is read about others experiences using Aikido for self defense elsewhere on this web page, or read the responses to those posts.

"I also have a cousin, which practised both tae kwo nto and aikido, who told be that when he had to defend himself tae kwo nto was more usefull, but also praised aikido and demonstrated some of its techniques to me."

You also have to take into consideration how long he has practiced each art. Under times of stress, we go back to what we know.

"The purpose of this posting is to atract advice for myself, and all other aspiring martial art trainees, on what would be best for physique,"

TKD or Kung Fu since they're more aerobic than Aikido.

"self defence,"

Any one of these arts are effective for self defense. Aikido is a bit more litigation friendly, since we don't aim to destroy our attacker, simply to neutralize the attack and then control the attacker. You may also want to look into Hapkido. They have the striking arts of TKD and the joint locks similar to Aikido. It is much more brutal however, as each technique usually has a bone breaking somewhere. Strength is also an issue with Hapkido whereas in Aikido, it really isn't.

"and philosophy."

As any one here will tell you, Aikido is heavy with philosophy. It is based on the idea of "Loving protection for all things", that includes our attackers. One can also use the principles of Aikido outside the dojo and not for just self defense. How do deal with conflicts, stress management, and finding the most efficient way of reaching for the remote control .

"Would it be wiser to undergo 2 different types of training, which complete each other, like jujutsu and taw kwo nto, or focus on one??"

Doing two may be difficult, but I won't discourage it. Also, some styles of Aikido practice atemi waza (striking arts), not necessarily to hurt, but to get the person off balance to do the technique. The more you know, the better. Just keep in mind that TKD (and similar arts) have a fairly linear learning curve and it reenforces basic defensive reflexes. You see a punch coming, you block it, so it's a bit easier to learn, so you may get frustrated in Aikido. Aikido has a lot of subleties and even black belts are still learning different things about even the most basic techniques. You try to learn how to stay calm when under attack (much easier said than done), which goes against the body's natural reaction of "fight or flight"; you get tense, breathing becomes rapid, and you get a huge adrenaline dump which makes you jittery, to say the least. Such is the price you pay to learn an art that is just as effective for a frail 70 year old grandpa as it is for a 20 year old athlete. Not to worry though, within several months, you'll know enough to protect yourself, it's just that by then, you'll be hooked (I was)and you'll want to learn more, and more, and more.
Personally, I recommend taking Aikido and buying the Tae Bo tapes.
Hope this helps.

P.S.- Sorry for the funky reply format, I still haven't quite figured out the reply with quote thing. Just slow I guess.

Best advise I've ever received:
"Don't just stand there, do SOMETHING! The fact that you may have failed doesn't matter, it's HOW you failed. Go down swingin'."

Scott Tanaka
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Old 12-05-2000, 03:20 AM   #6
crystalwizard
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[quote]SeiWhat?!? wrote:
Quote:
P.S.- Sorry for the funky reply format, I still haven't quite figured out the reply with quote thing. Just slow I guess.
when you look at the top of this post you'll see some icons. hold the cursor over them and click on the one that says reply with quote. you'll notice that along with all the text there will be some capital letter words inside square brackets as well as the same capital letter words with a / . That's the code that tells the forum to put the post in bold or quote it or italics.
B inside square brackets means start the bold /B inside square brackets means end the bold.
i and /i are start and end italics
QUOTE and /QUOTE are
Quote:
start and
end quote
the square brackets on either side of the capital letters with or without / is what tells the forum to do something instead of just display it as text.

if it looks wierd when displayed you probably left a right or left square bracket out some where.
hope that helps


[Edited by crystalwizard on December 5, 2000 at 03:23am]

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Old 12-05-2000, 03:33 AM   #7
SeiWhat?!?
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Thumbs down

Quote:
hope that helps


Yep, sure did. Thanks!!

Best advise I've ever received:
"Don't just stand there, do SOMETHING! The fact that you may have failed doesn't matter, it's HOW you failed. Go down swingin'."

Scott Tanaka
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Old 12-05-2000, 05:37 AM   #8
Zach Hudson
Dojo: Siskiyou Aikikai and Aikido Habatakukai
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The 'problem' with Aikido-- actually 'challenge' may be a better word-- is that like any grappling art it takes longer to learn and to use effectively. It depends on your dojo, of course, but it may take a long time to make your Aikido 'street effective'. If you want to learn how to fight quickly (which is a useful and important thing to learn) I would recomend boxing. Yep, good old boxing, though it takes a lifetime to master, will give you good fighting skills from the get go. While you're doing that, though, keep up the Aikido dilligently, and you'll find that each art contributes to the other.

Also, remeber that there are as many variations of martial arts as there are teachers. Aikido can be practiced for health, for competition, and for self-defence, and every dojo emphasizes a different aspect. This is the same with Tae Kwan Do, Kung Fu, and Ju-Jitsu. If you want Aikido for self-defence, you may have to visit a few (or many) dojos to find the right one.

Zach
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Old 12-05-2000, 07:01 AM   #9
REK
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Wink

Quote:
SeiWhat?!? wrote:
"My mind was quite set on aikido, until I started reading some postings on this forum, about it not being combat effective."

Make no mistake, Aikido IS effective for self defense. Those who stated in their posts that Aikido is not effective have (1) no experience, or (2) very little experience with Aikido. All you have to do is read about others experiences using Aikido for self defense elsewhere on this web page, or read the responses to those posts.

Well said.


Quote:
"The purpose of this posting is to atract advice for myself, and all other aspiring martial art trainees, on what would be best for physique,"

TKD or Kung Fu since they're more aerobic than Aikido.
Huh? My experience in aikido has been aerobic as h***. Your training can focus anywhere you want it to. Combat, conditioning, spirituality or all of the above.

Rob

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Old 12-05-2000, 09:57 AM   #10
Nick
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Agreed- if you're not sweating profusely and about to pass out, than work harder!!

Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 12-05-2000, 02:05 PM   #11
aikilouis
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1- Do you need to be more physical in your daily activities ?
How many times have you been involved in a fight in the last months ?
Are you increasingly curious about spiritual/philosophical matters ?Identify your real priorities.

2- Do more than just visit the dojos. Ask for a free lesson. Things are much clearer when felt physically.

LR Joseph



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Old 12-05-2000, 02:33 PM   #12
tarik
 
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Quote:
giovos wrote:
My mind was quite set on aikido, until I started reading some postings on this forum, about it not being combat effective.
Giovos, if you read those threads carefully, you will see that most people disagree with that statement and refute it.

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 12-05-2000, 06:53 PM   #13
giovos
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Thanks for the advice

Well, I wanna thank anyone who took the time to post a reply, and I add the following:
1)As far as my cousin is concerned, the people that assumed that he has done less aikido were right, (he was training 4 years in TWD, and only one in aikido.
2)As for tae bo, i think it's kinda of a waste of time, I would prefer to keep up my current program with bicycle and running exercise, and flexibility training (ouch!).
3) I am still not sure if I would manage the flips in aikido, or those safe landings with a name I canīt recall right now. I am still put of from my experience as a liitle boy, in the extent that I am afraid to try, but I will (I will either die or make it..)
4)As for the suggestion to go and try something instead of trying to decide, well I agree with it, and the soul reason I went fto the gym was to do something being undecided + unable on following a martial art.

The thing is that I am now abroad in a country which doesn't have english speaking dojos, which kinda makes it difficult for me to follow any martial art until summertime. So since I have the time, I try to invest it on making the right choise, which will follow me around for possibly more than 4 years at least (Usefulness threshold?)

I also heared from some people that the way to go is jujutsu (but I think you have to inflict permanent damage to the attacker), and I recently discovered this new martial art named wing tsung, which supposedly is a modern "perfectly practical + balanced" martial art.

Thanks again, any further comments will be appreciated.

George

Never explain, never complain, your
friends donīt need it and your enemies
wonīt believe you anyway.
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Old 12-06-2000, 01:08 AM   #14
crystalwizard
Dojo: Aikido of Dallas
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George I think what you probably need to do is go visiting. Go physicaly to a number of different dojos and sit, watch a few classes in each. Watch several classes of all the different kinds of MA you've expressed interest in. Then sit back and think about what you've seen and what looks most like something you'd enjoy.
Then go get on the mat for a few classes with a group doing that art and see what you think. See if it really is something you're enjoying. If not, back off, rethink, maybe re-observe some more or some different dojos in the same art.
There's a vast difference between listening to what other people feel is good bad or ugly and actualy experiencing yourself.

And even if you dont speak the language you still should be able to understand most of the instructions since most of the instructions for any technique should be physicaly demonstrated. it's amazing really how well people that dont speak each others language can actualy commuincate when they want to.

[Edited by crystalwizard on December 6, 2000 at 01:11am]

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Old 12-06-2000, 03:23 AM   #15
ian
 
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Hi George,
I would agree with alot of what is written already. Aikido does take longer to get into than other martial arts (most people can punch someone before they ever take up a martial art). I have trained myself in other martial arts (karate, Tang soo do and judo). What I have found is that they're good to start off with, but soon become a bit boring. They are quicker to learn but you it is likely that you will not stick at them as long (though this is just from my experience). You will notice that many Aikido clubs have older people than other martial arts. I think this is because:
1. people tend not to get bored with it
2. you can still do it when you're old
3. many people come from other martial arts where they sustained injuries.

Also, you must remember that many 'martial arts' are sports. Aikido, as a self defence does not exclude striking in real situations (or any other techniques). I would still employ things I have learnt in other martial arts in real self defence, however everything fits within the framework of my aikido training (it is a different approach to combat than the usual stand in front of each other and kick, punch, block).

My advice - try them all out at the start, and go with the one you enjoy most. You can always change afterwards and training in any martial art helps you start a new one. I think the martial art you end up will also depend on the quality of the training and the 'style' they practise.

The only wrong decision is indecision,

Regards,
Ian
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Old 12-06-2000, 03:30 AM   #16
ian
 
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P.S.
I'm tired of saying Aikido does work. I've used it many times - the benefit over other martial arts is that you can actually restrain people. Also, if someone grabs you and you punch them - you've entered a full scale fight. If you're grabbed in aikido you have the option to:
1. break they're hold (or even avoid the grab in the first place)
2. apply a restraining technique
3. apply a painful restraining technique
4. throw them
5. apply a technique interspersed with strikes
6. apply techniques which break limbs/kill

So you can actually use a level of force appropriate to the situation. Not suprsingly, the further down the list you go, the more likely you are to be arrested yourself for assault.

Aikido is also used in police and military forces all over the world.
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Old 12-06-2000, 01:58 PM   #17
giriasis
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I just want to throw in something that I noticed you were saying. That you said you were afraid of doing the "flips."

I never was much of tumbler either when I started aikido a year and a half ago. I found those "flips", aka breakfalls, intimidating. This happened to me when I first started Aikido in my old aikido school(Juko-Kai). In my second class they had me doing breakfalls, and then I could barely do a roll for weeks because I was so freaked.

However, a good instructor should not be starting you off right away on breakfalls. You actually start with rolls close to the ground. It has taken me a long time to learn to do my rolls with out being worried if I'm going to hurt myself. Also your fellow students should be just as sensitive to your ability to fall (ukemi). They should not be putting on the techniques to hard or quickly where your so uncomfortable that you can't take the technique. And don't feel bad about that either because as a newbie you are teaching them to be gentle.

And now, thanks to the school I'm at now (Florida Aikikai), I'm taking those intimidating breakfalls.

So please dojo shop. Some schools may or may not be sensitive to your fear of "flipping." So when you visit ask the Sensei about that. And watch to see how beginners are treated. And the best way to learn how beginners are treated means trying out a class.

As far as Wing Chun(Tsung) is concerned. It is a hard brutal martial art, and really is not new. One of my closest friends practices that art. While you will definently get self-defense training there, their approach is that you attack first. I have found that Wing Chun has the opposite philosophical approach than Aikido. You see they see attacking as their strenght where aikido sees attacking as weak. Aikido sees defense as strong and Wing Chun sees defense as weak. It does have good aspects. It was founded by a woman and it is good for close-in fighting.

I do respect Wing Chun as a martial art. However, if you are looking for the approach that aikido provides (that you defuse confict with as little or no injury as possible to your oppoint), then Wing Chun may not be your best choice.

I hope this helps,
Anne Marie Giri
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Old 12-06-2000, 02:09 PM   #18
crystalwizard
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Quote:
ian wrote:
P.S.
I'm tired of saying Aikido does work. I've used it many times -
I'm just curious here. You've indicated frequently that you're constantly in situations where you need to use Aikido physicaly. I'm curious why? Do you live in an especialy bad part of the city? Is it with your job? I'm also intersted in hearing, if you're intersted in sharing, some of the situations in which you've had to rely on it. I ask for no other reason than just simple curiosity.

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Old 12-06-2000, 03:12 PM   #19
giovos
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Well, the only two people I know, who practise wing tsung are girls so it makes sence that it was founded by one. Although I find myself opposite to its' philosophy, as I think that hurting someone like that is only gonna make him your eternal enemy (unless you kill him). Thus I am not interested in breaking any bones, and the idea of restraining someone so he can see reason and settle the situation peacfully seems much more logical. All advice which where given to me where very helpfull, and as for the spins, I think I am gonna follow the last suggestion.
As for the language barrier I kinda thought it would not be a forbiding barrier either, but one of my friends who actually speaks the language and goes to a dojo, told me that it would be impossible.. Well I think I am gonna try anyway this Friday!!
I would appreciate an explanation on the different styles of Aikido, and what kinda training they include. Also my friend told me that Aikido techniques are 60% weapon related? Is that true? If not how are they exactly incorporated in aikido?

Thanks again ,

George

Never explain, never complain, your
friends donīt need it and your enemies
wonīt believe you anyway.
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Old 12-06-2000, 04:15 PM   #20
crystalwizard
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Quote:
giovos wrote:
[B Also my friend told me that Aikido techniques are 60% weapon related? Is that true? If not how are they exactly incorporated in aikido?
[/b]
err well...does he mean that 60% of the time is spent with a weapon in your hand or does he mean that 60% of the techniques were derived from moves with weapons or does he mean that at his dojo they spend 60% of the time dealing with actual weaponry....(and no body take that to mean I think only 60% of the techniques are based on moves with or against weapons please).

That's a real general statement that is going to get you a whole ton of response, some completely different than the others and all correct. Better find out what he means specificaly.

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Old 12-06-2000, 06:02 PM   #21
giovos
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Well, If I knew exaxtly what he meant, I wouldnīt be posing the question, but if I remember the words exactly, he said: 60% of aikido is using weapons, as for the ton of responce, I would welcome it, since It would shed some light in the aikido + weapons relationship. One thing I did hear though is that most or many of the moves can actually be performed with weapons also, becoming lethal..

Never explain, never complain, your
friends donīt need it and your enemies
wonīt believe you anyway.
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Old 12-06-2000, 09:24 PM   #22
sceptoor
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Quote:
giovos wrote:
One thing I did hear though is that most or many of the moves can actually be performed with weapons also, becoming lethal..
I believe ALL "empty hand" techniques in Aikido are directly related to, and derived from Bokken(wooden katana), Tanto(wooden knife), and Jo(4 foot staff) techniques. Even some "pins".

Also, ALL Aikido techniques, empty hand or weapons, are potentially "lethal". I once read in Aikido Today Magazine(I think), that ALL Aikido techniques have the potential to be deadly if and when you decide to "complete" them, but that killing is not the goal in most cases. I agree with that.

I am a "beginner" though, so if there are any sensei out there that can confirm/correct my statements, please do, as I do not wish to mislead another.

sceptoor
"If I'm not back in ten minutes, just wait longer!" ---Ace Ventura
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Old 12-06-2000, 10:25 PM   #23
giovos
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You mentioned that all weapons are wooden, would techniques practised with them apply when using a real katana for example? As for all techniques beiing lethal, if aikido is what Seagal does in his movies, I am not surprised!!

Never explain, never complain, your
friends donīt need it and your enemies
wonīt believe you anyway.
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Old 12-07-2000, 12:20 AM   #24
sceptoor
Dojo: http://ctr.usf.edu/aikido/
Location: Tampa, Fl
Join Date: Nov 2000
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In Aikido, one practices with wooden weapons. Upon choosing to join a dojo, one is usually required to purchase their wooden practice weapons along with their uniform, since weapons training is part of your training from the beginning. Some dojos have extra weapons available, so you may not be required to purchase any of your own right away.

Of course, it is important to practice with wooden weapons until you are at a level where you may take Iaido classes. A "real" Katana and Tanto may cause injury in the dojo. There are Iaido(katana) classes in many Aikido dojos that focus on traditional Japanese swordmanship in more detail than working with the bokken. These classes are generally reserved for intermediate/advanced aikidoka.
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Old 12-07-2000, 12:24 AM   #25
sceptoor
Dojo: http://ctr.usf.edu/aikido/
Location: Tampa, Fl
Join Date: Nov 2000
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P.S. and yes, those techniques would apply when using a real katana. As someone said on this board before, this martial art was developed from the samurai battlefields, not on the street.
I'm still learning about the way of the samurai, but Aikido was clearly developed from that.
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