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Old 03-05-2004, 03:27 PM   #1
Mark Holloway
Location: Las Vegas
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 4
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Starting - Aikido

Hi everyone..

I know very little about martial arts but I'm looking to better myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

In Las Vegas there is a reputable dojo called Desert Winds Martial Arts and James Sterling Sensai teaches both Aikido and Aiki Weapons. Aikido was the first thing that appealed to me after attempting to research the grass roots of various martial arts. I visited Sterling's dojo today and he was a great person to talk to. Very friendly, full of life, energy, and very positive to be around.

Reylson Gracie (son of Carlos Gracie) also has a Grace Jiu Jitsu dojo here and seems to be very committed to working the mind just as much as the body. Originally I was turned off by the idea of BJJ because I, like many other "newbies", see BJJ as one of those arts you learn to fight and be agressive. That may have been a bit extreme but it was the initial impression I had. Reylson Gracie seems to go out of his way to make sure people understand he does not focus on BJJ in that violent aspect you seeon TV.

Deciding what to pursue is really tough. For the life long journey I think Aikido offers so much for the body, mind, and soul, and I don't know if I would get that personal gain out of BJJ. I'm one of those people who likes to feel good about what they practice and dedicate their time, money, and energy to. Feeling like I am training for BJJ, a martial art that sort of threw itself on to the streets challenging anyone who dared, kind of rubs me the wrong way. I feel liket he grass roots are not as pure in BJJ because it's more about physical strength and how many people you can take down. Aikido, more so than any other martial art I've discovered, seems to be the most pure and stems from those grass roots that one can feel good about.

Am I making sense? I feel as if I'm getting ready to make a life long decision. The instant adrenolin rush from BJJ is short term. Eventually it wears off I think. Aikido seems to live on forever (at least by the posts I read on the net and people I've talked to). It's more a way of life and philisophy rather than just a sport.


Just looking for some advice from everyone. I know this is an Aikido web site but maybe everyone can shed some light on their personal experiences and what made them gravitate towards Aikido.

Regards,
Mark

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Old 03-05-2004, 05:14 PM   #2
p00kiethebear
 
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Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
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No one says you have to stay in a martial art for x number of years, try them. And no one says you can't do more than one! I do Battojutsu, Aikido, jojutsu and I have 2 other senseis I go to to augment my training with my main one!

No one is going to think any less of you if you try BJJ and decide it's not for you after a few months, same with Aikido or any other martial art. They'll all just be glad you tried it!

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 03-05-2004, 05:25 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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I know have some aikido friends who have played with some of the Gracie stuff and they report that its a lot of the same principles we play with--non-resistance, blending, redirecting. The emphasis on grappling/going to the ground is very different from the way most of us train in aikido.

If you are a quick learner of movement and have lots of energy, taking up both might work. Otherwise, it sounds like your first inclination is aikido, so why not at least get on the mat there, see if you like it.

I bet that if you like aikido and are still curious about the Gracies, they would be open to have you cross train even on a short term basis to enrich your aikido.

Whatever you do--have fun!!!

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-05-2004, 05:56 PM   #4
willy_lee
Dojo: City Aikido
Location: San Francisco, CA USA
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 178
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Re: Starting - Aikido

Quote:
Mark Holloway wrote:
Aikido, more so than any other martial art I've discovered, seems to be the most pure and stems from those grass roots that one can feel good about.
Be wary of romanticism. Aikido is unique, but not that unique.
Quote:
I feel as if I'm getting ready to make a life long decision.
As other have said, you're not.
Quote:
The instant adrenolin rush from BJJ is short term. Eventually it wears off I think.
I don't think it does. Think of it as play. Does the enjoyment of play wear off? Is constantly learning and refining a short term thing?
Quote:
Aikido seems to live on forever (at least by the posts I read on the net and people I've talked to). It's more a way of life and philisophy rather than just a sport.
Again, be wary of romanticism...it is still a martial art, after all. As I heard someone say once (not an aikidoist), "It's fighting, not folk dancing!"

Still, I understand. I felt the same way when I started aikido. Probably most people here did to some extent. It's just due to the way aikido is presented and thought of outside of Japan. Ask some of our members who've trained in Japan about it sometime.....

=wl
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Old 03-05-2004, 06:45 PM   #5
Aristeia
Location: Auckland
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New Zealand
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If you can do both. It will at least give you a better basis on which to make a choice if you find you dont' have the time to keep them both up, and BJJ and Aikido tend to be a good mix because they don't interfere with each other too much.

It sounds like you're leaning toward Aikido, and if that's the case just do it. Particularly as you haven't stipulated speedy aquisition of self defence skills as a reason to start.

But be aware you reasons for deciding against BJJ aren't that great. It is certainly not based on strength - it's principals are actually very Aiki. And don't be caught up in hype, it's no more aggressive than you want it to be. Yes it has a history of proving itself in vale tudo environments, but you think O'sensei didn't have the occasional challenge match?

Aikido is a pretty recent art, but has roots back into ancient tradiitons. The same can be said about BJJ, and in fact it goes bact to the same traditions, so there's not a heap of difference in that respect, one is no more "pure" than the other.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:55 PM   #6
Ian Williams
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 136
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Have you considered traditional Japanese Jujitsu?

Perhaps blunter than Aikido from what I have seen, but I don't believe it teaches one to be overly aggresive.

Tsutsumi Ryu Jujitsu
Adelaide, South Australia

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure
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Old 03-06-2004, 06:23 AM   #7
fo2sh-nico
Dojo: body masters
Location: EGYPT
Join Date: Feb 2004
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.....

well, i have been training in aikido for a month now, and i had the same problem between aikido and boxing, i thought that boxing would be better in streetfights and self defense not like aikido which i thought was nonsense, but i was WRONG after i met a guy who is a national champion in judo and did little aikido, he told that aikido is the [pure extract] of all martial arts] and i mean that it is the most effective, so i tried it and guess what IT IS THE BEST , as u said it is not only a sport it is a way of life, but be ware, yes it is the most peaceful thing in the world but yet it could be the most devastating thing too, it depends on the situation, if a guy tries to punch you , you could either throw with a minor kotegaeshi or you could actually kill him , so bottom line aikido is the best selfdefense even infront of a boxer, BUT U HAVE SPENT AT LEAST SIX MONTH to start using it in street, and at the same time it is beautiful

THAT WHICH DOES NOT KILL US MAKES US STRONGER
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Old 03-06-2004, 09:56 PM   #8
aikiSteve
Dojo: Aikido of Norfolk
Location: Norfolk, VA
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 68
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Re: .....

Quote:
fouad basem (fo2sh-nico) wrote:
BUT U HAVE SPENT AT LEAST SIX MONTH to start using it in street
Yeah, it's probably not wise to test your Aikido knowledge against the gangs of New York until you've had at least 6 months. Maybe even wait until 7 months.

(Sorry for the sarcasm, I couldn't help myself)

Steve
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Old 03-07-2004, 12:40 AM   #9
Ian Williams
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 136
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at 8 months you become impervious to bullets

Tsutsumi Ryu Jujitsu
Adelaide, South Australia

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure
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Old 03-07-2004, 02:35 AM   #10
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
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In my experience aikido can be good for quite an adrenaline rush too. I remember the first breakfall I did--I had just time in midair to think "Hey, this isn't going to be a forward roll, is it?" A moment later I was standing on my feet, breathless but unharmed, going "Whoah! Wow! What was that?"

Never really believed a plumpish forty-year-old computer geek could do something like that.

But I'll second what other people have said--try something, see if it's for you, you don't have to make a lifelong commitment on day one. One of my teachers is dan ranked in both aikido and karate, and I know of other such combos. No one considers them dilettantes.

Mary Kaye
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Old 03-07-2004, 09:34 AM   #11
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 659
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Taste everything..enjoy

Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 03-08-2004, 07:39 AM   #12
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 916
United Kingdom
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Impervious to bullets? No one told me that, I've wasted almost a year where I could have been getting shot

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 03-09-2004, 08:19 PM   #13
Ian Williams
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 136
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Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
Impervious to bullets? No one told me that, I've wasted almost a year where I could have been getting shot
I didn't say anything about being shot!

I've had some bullets thrown at me and used my "elite martial arts skillz TM" to deflect them away without harm..

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Old 08-05-2005, 12:00 PM   #14
justin
Location: swansea wales
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 249
United Kingdom
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Re: Starting - Aikido

i dont think any martial art teaches anyone to be agressive just gives people the tools to do it should they want to.

i get asked a lot have i ever used my martial arts, i answer yes every day they say that many fights i reply nope never had a single fight in over ten years of training. leaves them to ponder over that one...
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