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Old 05-27-2004, 03:02 PM   #1
gamma80
Dojo: Avon Kempo & Aikido Academy
Location: Avon, CT
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Physical Fitness

Our Aikido class does not focus on physcial fitness as a part of our training. We stretch and warm up prior to starting class but it is very mellow and not the least bit aerobic. Yet the Karate classes in our school do more physcially challenging warm ups than we do.
In my limited travels to other Aiki schools this appears to be the case as well.
I originally came out of a physically demanding jujutsu school and think that regardless of your style, hard or soft, you should push yourself to be as strong, flexible and aerobically fit as possible.
Is it an Aikido thing or just us?
Chris
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Old 05-27-2004, 03:39 PM   #2
GrazZ
Dojo: Aikido Yoshinkai Canada
Location: Toronto
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Re: Physical Fitness

well i know for Yoshinkan its a hell of a workout thats for sure
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Old 05-27-2004, 03:50 PM   #3
stern9631
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Re: Physical Fitness

My dojo is the same, so I make sure I do my push-ups on the nights I am not at the dojo and I jump rope to build some dexterity/explosiveness in my legs. I think the fitness aspect is more extra- curricular until you are proficient enough to practice with vigor. I am not there yet, but working on it.
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Old 05-27-2004, 04:42 PM   #4
Berney Fulcher
Dojo: Roswell Budokan
Location: Marietta, Ga
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Re: Physical Fitness

At our Dojo, I am typically sweating after warming up. As far as class exertion goes, we have specific nights that are great workouts, and nights that are a bit slower.
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Old 05-27-2004, 07:48 PM   #5
Ninja Mike
 
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Re: Physical Fitness

i don't think physical fitness in aikido is all that important because in the end the main goal is to be able to "disable" an apponent by using his physical force against him, while using little or none of your own.

Before man had guns, he had balls!!!
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Old 05-27-2004, 08:24 PM   #6
PeterR
 
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Re: Physical Fitness

Our warm-ups are moderate - our randori very aerobic. At the end of the session we should be sweating like little piggies.

Quote:
Mike Bennett wrote:
i don't think physical fitness in aikido is all that important because in the end the main goal is to be able to "disable" an apponent by using his physical force against him, while using little or none of your own.
My God. Physical fitness is what allows your technique full reign. An unfit Aikidoist just can not move adequately no matter how good he imagines their technique to be.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:13 PM   #7
giriasis
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Re: Physical Fitness

I have to say physical fitness is important, too. And this is coming from someone who used to say it didn't matter. I had to lose 30 pounds and build my strength up so that I could go all out.

We train pretty hard in my dojo, and despite the air conditioning you still build up a huge sweat. But, we don't spend our time on conditioning and physical fitness exercises during class. You get conditioned to do aikido but doing aikido.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:19 PM   #8
Aristeia
Location: Auckland
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Re: Physical Fitness

Some classes are harder than others physically depending on what techniques are being shown, how much you're asked to uke for demonstrations (robbing you of that crucial breath catching opportunity ) etc etc. The real difference is that the workout you get from Aikido will likely be constituted entirely by training the technique, whereas in other arts they have specific times in class focused purely on conditioning.

I'm in two minds on this. I agree with Peter in that I think the more fit you are the better an Aikidoka and a fighter you will be. On the other hand students come to class to gain access to specialist knowledge and people who are prepared to throw them and be thrown. To take up any serious chunk of that precious time on something that can, after all be done in your own time seems like something of a waste.

I'm currently training in Judo and BJJ in three seperate schools in addition to my Aikido. One of the BJJ schools and especially the Judo school have some mad conditioning routines. In some ways I'm pleased at the extra challenge and in other ways I wonder how many more cool techniques we could be doing without them. Like I say two minds.

But the upshot is, if you don't feel like Aikido is giving you physical fitness, find something to suppliment it with. Most Aikido teachers will feel they are there to show you Aikido, not to get you in to shape.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:24 PM   #9
PeterR
 
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Re: Physical Fitness

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote:
We train pretty hard in my dojo, and despite the air conditioning you still build up a huge sweat. But, we don't spend our time on conditioning and physical fitness exercises during class. You get conditioned to do aikido but doing aikido.

Ah I knew there was something I wanted to add in my last post. We only have a limited mat time so I don't think Aikido class is the place for conditioning exercises per se. However, strong intensive practice is conditioning in its own right. I know several people that are incredibly fit and all they do is Aikido. Randori practice every day in addition to regular practice and no supplemental training.

Good point Anne and (quick edit due to simultaneous posting) you too Michael.

Last edited by PeterR : 05-27-2004 at 09:27 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:38 PM   #10
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Physical Fitness

Quote:
Chris Jordan wrote:
Is it an Aikido thing or just us?
Chris
yes, I think it is pretty aikido mentality. For example warm up should warm your body, but I assited very many classes where I was cold as ice cream in the middle of winter after "warm up".

Hallo!!!!!!! Instructors!!!!!!! Do you hear me???? warm up it is NOT meditation!!!!!!!

but many ppl, particularly "new age" aikido from California, and apparently some from Halifax don't understand that you come to the dojo to train your body. But they don't need really strong body. Their attacks usually are very sloppy, so techniques are sloppy too, and in fact, attacker is such noodle, that he can kill himself hitting his head with his own fist. so , really, tori must protect attacker against himself LOL.

it is very clear , that in such conditions, these ppl think like that
Quote:
i don't think physical fitness in aikido is all that important because in the end the main goal is to be able to "disable" an apponent by using his physical force against him, while using little or none of your own.
I suggest you ask for friendly randori a friend that is a judoka. and then come here, and repeat one more time your naive "aikido philosophie" about fitness....

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 05-28-2004, 02:16 PM   #11
jester
 
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Re: Physical Fitness

In my experience, training is done at a slow pace no matter what your level is. Try to see how slow you can go and do a technique. You will find you can internalize a technique more effectively, and your automatic responses will be faster (this is also why musicians practice slow). For me, speed/exertion is what ruins a technique. I don't get a great aerobic workout doing aikido. I play basketball for that.
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Old 05-28-2004, 03:57 PM   #12
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
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Re: Physical Fitness

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Our warm-ups are moderate - our randori very aerobic. At the end of the session we should be sweating like little piggies.
This is so pedantic that I'd post it anonymously if it wasn't so much troube, but...piggies don't sweat. That's why they roll around in mud.

To head you off at the pass, doggies don't sweat either, that's why they drool.

Sweat like a horse, now there's an image...all of us flecking off lather...

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 05-30-2004, 07:56 PM   #13
PeterR
 
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Re: Physical Fitness

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
This is so pedantic that I'd post it anonymously if it wasn't so much troube, but...piggies don't sweat. That's why they roll around in mud.

To head you off at the pass, doggies don't sweat either, that's why they drool.

Sweat like a horse, now there's an image...all of us flecking off lather...
Damm I knew that too. One of my relatives bred pigs and I spent a glorious summer in a war of wills with those devils.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-03-2004, 12:27 PM   #14
gilsinnj
 
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Re: Physical Fitness

My style of Aikido has always been one of the black sheep and we insist on physical fitness of our students. In order to reach 2nd kyu and above, you need to demonstrate that you are capable of defending yourself with Aikido technique. If you aren't at least somewhat physically fit, its not really easy to do this.

Above black belt, some of our students have become less physically fit, but they are still powerful in their Aikido. They've learned how to use their ki more, and don't need to do as much with their body. Regardless, our Sempai and Sensei still insist on physically demanding practice most of the time, so we all stay in reasonably good shape.
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:21 PM   #15
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
Location: Pärnu, Estonia
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Re: Physical Fitness

I personally think that conditioning is conditioning and training is training.
Being all sweaty after warm up is just pointless...

My 2 cents.
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Old 06-03-2004, 08:00 PM   #16
PeterR
 
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Re: Physical Fitness

Good Aikido training is conditioning.

My mother is Estonian but personally I never went. Last time a trip was possible it would have been me for two weeks with a gaggle of little old ladies. Some time though I'll make the trip.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-04-2004, 03:35 AM   #17
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
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Re: Physical Fitness

Quote:
Above black belt, some of our students have become less physically fit, but they are still powerful in their Aikido. They've learned how to use their ki more, and don't need to do as much with their body.
naughty little black belts, they may have become more efficient at their technique, but if they're letting their physical fitness drop "cos they're a dead 'ard black belt" they're not doing themselves or anyone else in the club any favours. Tell them there skirt-riders to hitch up their hakama and get back to a decent workout.
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Old 06-04-2004, 04:31 AM   #18
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
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Re: Physical Fitness

I agree with Peter.
Good MA training IS conditioning.
But one beautiful thing about Aikido is that it doesn't force people to conditioning. And extra conditioning should be everyones own concern not should be wasted valuable class-time on pushups etc.
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Old 06-04-2004, 07:19 AM   #19
gilsinnj
 
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Re: Physical Fitness

I agree with you Ian, that's why I still practice fairly frequently and enjoy a good beating. By "some of our black belts", I meant the ones that only seem to come out for camps, not the ones who practice on a regular basis. Those of us that practice frequently never end class without gettign a good sweat.

For the others who think that Aikido practice should not involve working out, think about O'Sensei's view on Shugio (? spelling), or purification through sweat. He practiced Aikido and performed amazing feats of strength almost up until the time of his death. Without being physically fit and practicing hard, there is no way to practice Shugio and probaably no way to practice the Aikido that was taught by O'Sensei. IMO
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