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Old 10-07-2004, 10:48 PM   #1
SublimeAikido
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Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Hi I am new to the board and do not currently study Aikido. I am very interested in its style and the discipline involved with it however am somewhat unsure about whether or not this style will be right for me. I am a criminal justice major in college and in about a year and a half, I plan on graduating and persuing a career as a police officer. I am aware that Aikido is a disciplined art that trains to walk away from fights and use force only when neccesary. My question is- would Aikido be an effective tool in the law enforcement when required to take a perp and gain control or would a more aggressive style such as jiu jitsu be more appropriate for what I am looking to do. I myself am one who avoids physical conflict as much as possible, however will be entering a career where physical self defense will be a much more common aspect of my life. Please let me know what all of you experienced aikido followers feel. (If you do not believe aikido is appropriate, please be honest, either way i greatly respect the art and will more than likely take it someday anyways) Thank you.
Mike
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:02 PM   #2
PeterR
 
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Judo would be more appropriate mainly because you get to mix it up with resisting opponents. It toughens you up and teaches you to think under that sort of pressure.

The specialty techniques of Jujutsu (Aikido is jujutsu) are all well and good but better learn simple techniques that you know will work when push comes to shove. I assume that specific arrest techniques will be taught to you eventually and some of the more interesting techniques of Jujutsu you probably can not use legally anyway.

I'm an Aikido guy, my teacher until recently taught the Osaka police and several of my dojo mates are or will become cops. I think Aikido done right has a lot to offer but ----- do Judo.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:16 PM   #3
SublimeAikido
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

i never really thought to look into judo, i did look into brazillian jiu jitsu however that looked far too aggressive for a law enforcement official. what exactly does judo include?
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:29 PM   #4
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Dear M. Vignale,

My understanding of modern policing (not those shown on TV e.g., NYPD blue, The shield etc) is all about investigation, deduction, surveillance, evidence collection, forensics, helping to prosecute etc.This is also based on the assumption that since you major in criminal justice, you will probably work in the Criminal Investigation Service, yes? Unless your chosen career involves tactical policing like SWAT or Riot police, your opportunity to use MA in your everyday work is probably just like most civilian.

Having said that, knowing extensive MA will only be adjunctive to your professional career. Nonetheless, aikido has the ability to make its committed practitioner, more centered thinking and focused. I would say, the main benefit that you will get from aikido wrt your professional career is the mental toughness and "kokoro" /spirit more than its martial applicability.

If you are thinking about your professional career, IMO, you will better off honing your Sherlock Holmes' skill than aikido, BJJ or Judo for that matter.

My two cents half baked ramble,
Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:34 PM   #5
SublimeAikido
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

i do hope someday to be promoted to detective however will start out in the streets as a local police officer where at times it can be dangerous. As many people know, not many people anymore have much respect for a badge and sometimes i can be put into a situation where self defense and repremandent can be essential. With that in mind, would aikido be a good choice for this career?
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:37 PM   #6
PeterR
 
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Judo has both stand-up and ground grappling in fact BJJ derives from Judo.

What does it include? Well in the randori there are no punches and kicks, but there are joint locks, throws, holds and chokes.

Within 10 minutes of walking into a Judo dojo (the time it took to make sure I could fall reasonably ok) I was mixing it up - great fun. It was quite awhile before I was doing full resistance randori in Aikido and most likely you would never do it (most Aikido dojos don't). The end result is that technically I'm not that good at Judo but I know what I can and can not get away with respect to my opponent. This in my mind is far more important than looking pretty in your future line of work.

Again long term Aikido has a lot to offer but .....

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:46 PM   #7
maikerus
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

It might not matter so much as a police officer, but one private detective I know said that one of the benefits of Aikido as opposed to something like Karate was that when you are doing an Aikido technique to someone it is not obvious who the aggressor is.

This is probably more valid in his situation because if he started punching someone there is a chance that people would come after him since he looks to be the aggressor, but if he is doing nikkajo noone might notice and if they did it might not be obviously aggressive.

And of course...the Tokyo Riot Police are taught Yoshinkan Aikido at the Yoshinkan Hombu in Tokyo and I believe that female police officers in Tokyo are also either required or strongly encouraged to study Aikido.

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:38 AM   #8
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Quote:
Mike Vignale wrote:
i do hope someday to be promoted to detective however will start out in the streets as a local police officer where at times it can be dangerous. With that in mind, would aikido be a good choice for this career?
Mike,

You did not specify country of origin, but in my country, if you have a tertiary education, and choose to be a police officer, you will be enrolled into an ASP (Asst. Superintendent)course. That means once graduate, you need not be a bobby. Your portfolio will consist mainly with investigative and assisting with prosecuting the law breaker. But then you are probably not from my country, so the scenario is different. My dojo has a student who graduated Law, enrolled into the ASP course, flunk it. That is why I know a little about modern policing.

Will aikido be good for you. Simple answer: YES. The Tokyo Riot, The Tokyo Metropolitan Women Police Force are encouraged to take up aikido, specifically the Yoshinkan style aikido. I hope that answer your question. Pls note, that they can also choose kendo, karate or judo as well.

Regards,

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 10-08-2004, 03:33 AM   #9
Peter Seth
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Smile Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Hi Mike,
Aikido is eminently suitable to be used in restraint situations. Some of the other arts tend to get you too involved
ie: grappling with a person, and if he is bigger, well it can be a struggle. A friend of mine teaches arrest and restraint techniques in the army and he finds that jujitsu, aikijitsu etc techniques are very effective but can be a bit of a struggle to apply. Whereas Aikido techs can be applied in a more subtle manner and tend not to elicit the same sort of resistance but are still as effective.
Pete
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Old 10-08-2004, 04:47 AM   #10
paw
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Quote:
Mike Vignale wrote:
Hi I am new to the board and do not currently study Aikido. I am very interested in its style and the discipline involved with it however am somewhat unsure about whether or not this style will be right for me. I am a criminal justice major in college and in about a year and a half, I plan on graduating and persuing a career as a police officer.
With respect to those who answered before, I feel you're putting the cart before the horse.

As a law enforcement officer what techniques you will be authorized to use to subdue a suspect are going to be dependent on the situation and the guidelines of your department. Without knowing those guidelines, a perfectly fine technique could cost you your job.

Personally, I would choose a martial art because I enjoyed it and it benefited me in some way (ie fitness, practice against a resisting opponent, mental toughness, discipline, social benefits, etc...).

Regards,

Paul
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Old 10-08-2004, 04:52 AM   #11
ian
 
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Talking to police officers in N. Ireland they tell me that they have no end of problems for legal cases where the police officer has struck them. From a practical view point I'd also say aikido is also more effective than ju-jitsu (though obviously this is heavily dependant on the instructor). However some aikido instructors don't teach for practical self-defence or realistic restraint - ask the aikido instructor the main purpose of the training.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:45 AM   #12
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Mike,
I am an Aikido instructor but I am also a Defensive Tactics Instructor in Washington State. Yes, I recommend Aikido as being closest to what you would use the most in your law enforcement work. But you have to find a dojo that is training in a more martially oriented Aikido. Check out the dojo before you enroll. It will be fairly apparent whether they are training in a way that would prepare you for practical application.

But just doing Aikido won't suffice. The techniques as done in the dojo are generally designed to be done on partners who know ukemi. On a trained partner the techniques are non-injurious but on a subject who does not know any ukemi and is being resistant, you will find that many techniques require modification before they are appropriate for your police work.

The good news is that you'll be taught basic arrest and control techniques in your academy training. They won't be taught well, generally, but you'll get enough that you can take what you know from your Aikido and adjust the academy techniques to get them to be more effective.

Check out the videos from Robert Koga Sensei. He was the first man in the US to teach Aikido based Defensive Tactics for Law Enforcement and he is still going strong via his Koga Institute which is in LA . He's the grandaddy of this stuff.
The Koga Institute

Also, feel free to roam around on my own site:
Defensive Tactics Options The arrest and control material contained in the DTO program is Aikido based but reworked to be appropriate for law enforcement and security use.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 10-08-2004 at 05:48 AM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 10-08-2004, 07:47 AM   #13
SublimeAikido
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Thanks everyone very much for your replies. I am based in the United States and am aware that I will be going through police academy. However, the impression I got is that it is taught fast, not quite very effectively, and would prefer to also have a "last resort" self defense tactic. I am aware that if i do certain moves, etc I will be in trouble, however in a life or death situation and this big guy is trying to kick the living ____ out of me, I want to be able to control the situation and not have to back down, even being a relatively small guy- 5'9", 155 pounds. Thank you all for your replies and keep them coming!
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:19 AM   #14
kironin
 
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Quote:
paul watt wrote:
As a law enforcement officer what techniques you will be authorized to use to subdue a suspect are going to be dependent on the situation and the guidelines of your department. Without knowing those guidelines, a perfectly fine technique could cost you your job.

Personally, I would choose a martial art because I enjoyed it and it benefited me in some way (ie fitness, practice against a resisting opponent, mental toughness, discipline, social benefits, etc...).
This is good advice. It's really nonsense for someone to tell you to go do judo or jujutsu instead of aikido. All three contain elements that could be useful to you but your context of application is very specialized. You are best off finding a place to train where you enjoy the practice so you continue on a regular basis. The nice thing about aikido for you is that it has a long history in law enforcement both in Japan and in the U.S. and has been proven many times over to be readily adaptable to police work. I have taught and am teaching aikido to a number of police and correctional officers. They are great group of students and have felt uniformly very positive about aikido training's impact on their job. As separate from regular class, we discuss issues specific to their procedures. One of my students has been patroling and stationed in some of the worst gang infested parts of the city and has numerous stories of applying aikido training both on mental and physical levels.

One problem I have encountered with police officers, especially rookies, is that their schedules conflict with the typical aikido dojo class schedules. You may find it difficult to train where you want to for that reason. Many colleges have aikido clubs on campus or nearby. I would highly recommend you find a place to practice for the next year and half while your schedule is so flexible and before your academy training.

You could also get a hold of a copy of Bill Sosa Sensei's book,
Secrets of Police Aikido

that book and many others on Police tactics can also be found here...
Ryukyu

I second George's recommendation of Robert Koga Sensei's videos. Definitely worth taking his seminar intensive if you ever get the opportunity.

Last edited by kironin : 10-08-2004 at 08:25 AM.

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Old 10-08-2004, 09:00 AM   #15
John Boswell
 
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Mike,

Pardon me for skipping most of the posts to share my thoughts, but I feel they are of great relivence.

In being a police officer, "Liability" is a key thing to consider. Police took a bad rap after the Rodney King issue. Many other officers since then have been caught on film trying to "detain" perps by beating on the s.o.b.'s. Bad move.

Though aikido takes a while to learn in terms of developing skill, there is an underlying philosophy that helps in everyday life... not to mention the fact that you can still execute techniques on most perps due to the majority of them being drunk, stoned, etc. and not thinking fast enough to counter you. Ya know?

Get off line.
Good ma-ai. (distance between you and opponent)
Good extension. (control, but more than just that)
Taking balance.
ATEMI ! (Threat of an attack from you though you don't have to really hit em if you don't want to.)
... these are all things you start to learn from day one and will all benefit you in the long run.

Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, etc. are all good as well, but when your job as an officer is to detain but NOT injure or bring to harm, you really start to see the differences between other arts and aikido. You said you wanted to avoid physical conflict and aikido is very much that.

I highly encourage you to go try a course. Most dojo's will give ya at least one free class to try it. For sure you can go watch and then ask questions after class. Good luck in your future. I hope you find what you are looking for, but I really think you already have.

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Old 10-08-2004, 09:47 AM   #16
Shane Mokry
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Mike,

Congratulations,
I also graduated in criminal justice. I did not however wind up as a police officer. I began working in the oil field for income through all the law enforcement job testing and background checks...you name it...When the time came, I just couldn't give up the money.

Anyway, I have lots of friends and relatives in law enforcement and corrections. The way I see it, most of the controlling and arrest techniques police use are modified Aikido techniques anyway. I have seen some really good judo techniques on cops too...usually on fleeing suspects.In my opinion training in Aikido and or Judo would benefit you greatly. You are going to get semi specialized police training anyway. Training in a dojo to learn proper balance breaking and fitting will only add to what you will be taught at P.O.S.T training.(If that's what they still call it) You will have more tools and a better understanding of how the techniques you are using work...resistance or not.

I would like to add that whatever you decide to study you seek out a teacher that emphasizes balance breaking. I say that because in my limited experience, and discussions and training sessions with my law enforcement friends, the most important yet seemingly always missing element from their techniques is balance breaking. I attribute this to the relatively short time a new law enforcement officer has to be trained and out on the street.

Good luck,

Shane
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Old 10-08-2004, 10:31 AM   #17
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
Unless your chosen career involves tactical policing like SWAT or Riot police, your opportunity to use MA in your everyday work is probably just like most civilian.

Having said that, knowing extensive MA will only be adjunctive to your professional career. Nonetheless, aikido has the ability to make its committed practitioner, more centered thinking and focused. I would say, the main benefit that you will get from aikido wrt your professional career is the mental toughness and "kokoro" /spirit more than its martial applicability.
I am afraid that you are quite unrealistic in your assessment here. With drugs and alcohol present in all segments of our society an officer can expect to encounter a resistant subject with some regularity depending on where he is working. The original Seattle officers who trained with me were working a fairly rough neighborhood and they had to put their hands on a resistant subject almost daily and were in a self defense situation in which the subject was aggressive about once a week. Every officer that has trained with me over the years has at least one story of a full out fight or a protracted struggle with an eggressive subject. My dojo is in a very affluent suburb of Seattle in which there isn't much crime at all. An officer was killed with his own gun by a naked, emotionally disturbed subject right in front of the Safeway where I hang dojo brochures. His inability to protect himself was fatal.

George S. Ledyard
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Aikido Eastside
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Old 10-08-2004, 10:49 AM   #18
Michael Hackett
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Dear Mike,

Ledyard Sensei gave you some of the best advice you will ever get as a new cop. After three decades on the street, I have a little insight into law enforcement training as a patrol officer, detective, narc, supervisor, manager and executive. You will receive some training in the academy to help you deal with violent subjects - not nearly enough, but at least some. You probably won't get a great deal of refresher training the rest of your career and your skills will degrade. Aikido is a terrific tool for cops in street confrontations and the various controls and pins are directly applicable to police work. The exposure to aikido from my original defensive tactics instructor in the academy is what brought me to the dojo as an aikido student. My son, a third generation cop, is a devotee of Robert Koga Sensei and teaches BJJ in his own dojo. Koga Sensei teaches really practical applications of aikido principles for law enforcement and his tapes are terrific, but his classes are even better.

Make up your own mind of course, but Ledyard Sensei has drawn you an accurate road map for increasing your chances of going home safely at the end of watch. Best wishes on your new career path.

Michael

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:18 AM   #19
SublimeAikido
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Thank you all very much for your replies and encouragements. I just scheduled my first Aikido class for tomorrow and cant wait. Through research and your opinions, I have come to the conclusion that Aikido sounds like just what I am looking for. Thank you all again.
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:46 PM   #20
vanstretch
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

In full agreement with Mike H, and Ledyard Sensei, and would further ad(I am ex- l.e.o. 8+yrs),to the thread: I wish you well in your new career, and here are some things I have learned. Aikido has aided in making me a more effective officer when I was on the road. Play the crowd if at all possible, Have the suspect under control before you even think of pulling those cuffs out(when bad guys see the restraints they go into fight or flight mode)-so again, have your man/woman under control prior to handcuffing! Sankyo while talking to them in a calm voice as you are cuffing them has saved me too many times! You may have to slam a female, thats right: pretty little bo-peep can kill you too. Do not let yourself be manipulated by their charm or use of it as a tool to "get over" on you. My worst fights on the street were with females, due to my not clueing into this a few times. Dont go looking for trouble either as a new road officer, there is enough of it out there and you will probably be too busy learning it all initially. I mean, by this, to not be over-zealous to jack people up and in a rush to arrest anyone. You will learn to adjust your dial hopefully and keep yourself out of the captains office. Been there, done that,got the t-shirt. Again, I wish you well, keep your eyes open and learn from it all. Its gonna be a wild ride and it Will change you. There is so much more I want to tell you , but you will have to learn on your own. Take care.
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:39 PM   #21
Christy S
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Mike,

I'm majoring in Criminology right now and plan on pursuing a career as a law enforcement officer. About a year or two ago, I competed in Defensive Tactics, for law enforcement, and I found that my previous Aikido training made it very easy and quick to pick up and all the tactics and techniques, it came very naturally to me b/c they were similar to Aikido. My instructor that trained me for the competition was a defensive tactics instructor for a local police department and gave me a crash course right before the competition. BTW I placed first in the state in this competition so I think Aikido would be a great addition. Good luck!
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:31 AM   #22
Dave603
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

As a former street cop (5 years), I can second what others have said about the positive value of adding aikido to your "tool belt" when on the job. All those nifty things on your belt...gun, baton, cuffs, OC spray...are just tools to help you do your job and to come home safe every day. Same with any training you receive...it's just another tool on your tool belt. In today's law enforcement environment, where liability is such an issue, why not add a tool (aikido) which may help you avoid injuring someone unnecessarily? If the situation requires it, you may indeed have to hurt someone in the course of doing your job and protecting yourself and others. That's an unfortunate fact of police life. But my personal opinion is that while policing can get brutal, and people can and do get hurt...if you can defuse and control a situation without injuring someone, you should. That's just good police work, good legal sense, good ethics...and it is what good aikido is all about. (A footnote to my previously stated opinion is that if you want to hurt people, if you like hurting people, you have no right putting on a badge.) So my advice would be to train in aikido, and put that on your tool belt, right next to the gun and the rest of that stuff (including judo, jujutsu, or police DT, if you like), and then you can have one more tool available when you are deciding which one to use. Good luck in your class...please post and let us know how it went.

Dave
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Old 10-09-2004, 08:34 AM   #23
Michael Hackett
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Bravo! Well said, Dave.

Michael

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 10-09-2004, 08:58 AM   #24
Hagen Seibert
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Mike,

although many people encourage you to take up Aikido,
IŽd advice to carefully pick the dojo.
Because in 9 out of 10 dojos the things you learn there will not get you prepared for practical self defence.
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Old 10-09-2004, 09:35 AM   #25
SublimeAikido
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Re: Aikido and Law Enforcement?

Went to my first class at one dojo- It went well i really enjoy the technique of aikido however I was not taught basics, the sensei went straight to take downs and throws. I know this sounds like a good thing but because i didnt know the basics, my balance was all off and i didnt really know what was going on. Is this what everyones first classes were like?
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