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Old 07-31-2005, 05:17 AM   #1
Pdella
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Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Whats up everybody...

I was messing around and boxing with my buddy the other day in the street and it made me think about my aikido more. As a disclaimer, I've only been practicing aikido for a year and I have much to learn. Anyway, the boxing wasn't serious (no head shots), but I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to actually pull off an aikido technique. I was wondering how people get close enough to opponents using boxing-type techniques. In my case, I have shorter arms than my homeboy who I was boxing so it was hard for me to get close enough to do shiho nage, which was the technique I had in my head to use. I also noticed that in the dojo we train by responding to & giving attacks that rush in recklessly, whereas most Americans in a fight utilize a boxing style that is a lot more careful than that. You punch strong but you don't fall over onto the ground if the person dodges the punch.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this situation? Is there a way to draw a fuller attack from the other person, perhaps using atemi or another idea? If someone is in a very stable boxing stance, is there a simple way to take his/her balance? I couldn't figure it out at the time. I could chalk it up to my alcohol consumption at the time or my relative newness to aikido, but I'd also like to learn how to handle this, since most American bar fights result in some amateur form of boxing technique being used.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Last edited by Pdella : 07-31-2005 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 07-31-2005, 06:40 AM   #2
seank
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Quote:
utilize a boxing style that is a lot more careful than that. You punch strong but you don't fall over onto the ground if the person dodges the punch.
Hi Peter,
It's surprising how many people do actually throw their shoulder and/or body behind a punch, much in the way that is stylized in Aikido. If you watch professional boxers very carefully, you will generally notice two things about their punching technique:
  1. They don't tend to advertise a punch before throwing it
  2. They don't tend to throw a punch much past the line of their body

What this means in a real sense is that it is particularly difficult to get a boxer to overextend when punching you, with the resultant "fall over onto the ground".

By comparison, many normal people will advertise a punch, often mimicking a windmill, or they often try the proverbial hay-maker. If you don't happen to hit your target with either of these types of punches, you can easily overbalance, and with a little help from nage can be tipped over.

Quote:
If someone is in a very stable boxing stance, is there a simple way to take his/her balance?
You hit on an interesting point here. Boxing stances aren't stable in the same way Aikido hanmi are; boxers tend to move a lot on the balls of their feet, skipping and bouncing around. This makes them a hard target and allows them to quickly shift their aim and to launch an attack. This is not a stable stance per se, it is a very dynamic stance. The most stable point in this approach is when the boxer actually punches, and they tend to ground their feet for a split second.

When training in boxing, you spend an inordinate amount of time practicing this footwork, and skipping with a rope and the likes to build up your technique. The expression being caught on the back foot stems from this.

You also need to be careful with boxers in that they don't tend to throw just one punch. Another very heavily practiced part of boxing training is stringing together multiple punches. A boxer might lead for example with a couple of jabs, followed by a cross, an upper-cut and a body rip. The punches tend to come in multiples, but very very quickly. To make this even more difficult, different weight classes of boxer will punch and move differently. Lighter weight generally means faster footwork, more/faster punches, whereas a heavier boxer is generally going to wear you down with continuous heavy punches.

With a boxer, sometimes the best defence to throw them off their game is to change your stance around. If a boxer comes at your orthodox, face them south-paw and keep moving to their left (your right). This is unnatural for most boxers and is very hard to counteract on the fly. You might just get lucky and throw them off balance
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Old 07-31-2005, 06:46 AM   #3
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

There's a book on this subject which was written about a hundred years ago (literaly) but with Jiujitsu (or judo?) instead of aikido. I found it on my grandmother's bookshelves shortly after I started aikido... and I'm not quite sure where it is now. Anyway, it's full of illustrations of how "the jiujitsu man" will beat the boxer every time. Given that there is a close family resemblance between many jiujitsu, judo, and aikido techniques, it would be interesting if you could dig this one up. It's also entertaining for the photos of late 19th/early 20th century Japanese guys in different-colored hakamas and gis, and in tight-collared Edwardian suits.

Not really answering your question, but that's what came to mind. I think that the main issue would be to somehow stick to the boxer, so you have a point of contact for a throw, pin, or choking technique. Try getting behind, if you can... otherwise, I don't know.
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:09 AM   #4
Charles Hill
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

This reminds me of a story I heard about Vladimir Vasiliev, the Systema teacher, at the recent AikiExpo. There were some Japanese Karateka who asked him how Systema might be used to handle kicks. He said "Ok, kick me." They kicked at him and he kept moving out of range of their kicks. I heard that there was a lot of cunfusion. The Karate guys were wondering when he was going to start handling their kicks.

Charles
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:21 AM   #5
CNYMike
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Quote:
Peter Della wrote:
Whats up everybody...

I was messing around and boxing with my buddy the other day in the street and it made me think about my aikido more. As a disclaimer, I've only been practicing aikido for a year and I have much to learn .....
Same here. But I am also training in Kali, which includes Panantukan, or Filipino Boxing, which is pretty much the same as Western Boxing.

Quote:

Anyway, the boxing wasn't serious (no head shots), but I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to actually pull off an aikido technique. I was wondering how people get close enough to opponents using boxing-type techniques. In my case, I have shorter arms than my homeboy who I was boxing so it was hard for me to get close enough to do shiho nage, which was the technique I had in my head to use. I also noticed that in the dojo we train by responding to & giving attacks that rush in recklessly, whereas most Americans in a fight utilize a boxing style that is a lot more careful than that. You punch strong but you don't fall over onto the ground if the person dodges the punch.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this situation? Is there a way to draw a fuller attack from the other person, perhaps using atemi or another idea? If someone is in a very stable boxing stance, is there a simple way to take his/her balance? I couldn't figure it out at the time. I could chalk it up to my alcohol consumption at the time or my relative newness to aikido, but I'd also like to learn how to handle this, since most American bar fights result in some amateur form of boxing technique being used.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.
For the near term, I think the best advice is not to get fixated on doing any technique in particular, but just do what presents itself. If you're hellbent for leather to do shiho nage, say, and for whatever reason it doesn't work, the longer you struggle with it, the more chances the other person has to pound the living crap out of you. If something presents itself, great. If not, cover and try to avoid being hit.

That said, I sometimes think the issue is one of complexity. From a timin persepctive, something like kata dori shomenuchi -- one hand grabs your shoulder or lapel and the other strikes -- is closer to a beginner's timing, but it gets more complicated: You can do something off the striking hand, or if that fails, off the grabbing hand, or you can do what the Doshu does in one of his books and strike first! A lot to deal with when you're just trying to get the basics. So you start with one hand held or one simple strike and use that to deal with what can be complicated techniques. THEN you move on to complicated stuff.

So when you talk about boxing or kickboxing systems, it's a real hairball, not just because of the techniques involved but because the other person is -- or should be -- thinking, analyzing, and stratgizing. It's a mess. Not impossible to deal with, I don't think, but very difficult. In addtion, if you wanted to codify this, the challenge would not be to have one response to any technique but to have every Aikido techique work against each boxing attack and combination.

That's depressing.

If you don't think you'll have anything else to do with your free time for the next 25 years, by all means, try and dope this out. Good luck. Me, I'm just too lazy to think about it.
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:36 AM   #6
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Peter,
Your first mistake is that you're trying to "take on" the boxer. Once you enter his sphere, you are beaten. You must get him to enter yours. It's very hard for Aikido technique to flow from conflict, so we are taught to first create harmony (blend), and there are many ways to accomplish that. In trying to blend with a boxer's quick jab, you're making it hard on yourself. Walk away from him. If he really wants to fight, he'll come after you. At this point, he's no longer boxing and he's likely to do something you're very accustomed to seeing in the dojo, such as a tackle or grab to stop you from leaving or to turn you around. At that point, HE is beaten.
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Old 07-31-2005, 01:59 PM   #7
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

I agree with Devin. Aikdo isn't great against people that want to "spar". That aren't commiting to attacks in the first instance, are dancing round throwing feints and jabs etc. However much of this style of fighting is predicated on someone standing in front of you doing the same thing. So many times you can just leave. If they really want you they'll have to come out of their game at least a little bit to come get you.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 07-31-2005, 02:45 PM   #8
Don
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Aikido can successfully deal with a boxer. Some things to consider. The original poster's statement about most American's in a fight using a careful boxing stance may not really be true. It doesn't take long to watch available video of prison fighs, riots, soccer matches out of control, and robberies gone haywire to realize that attacks come in as many forms as there are people, and more likely than not will be wild head long rushing in and wild swinging attacks. The chances of you standing toe to toe in a real fight in a boxing stance and with another trained boxer are very very small. Think about it. If someone really is pissed off at you and wants to attack you, they probably are not carefully thinking about a three minute round and scoring points. They want to hit you and hurt you, AND if they are mugging or robbing you, they don't want to hang around. So it all happens really fast and generally as best as I can tell in a pretty random manner.

Second, if you are standing toe to toe or even trying to adjust maai, but just standing in front of them then you haven't internalized irimi and tenkan movements. The last thing aikido teaches you is to stay on the line of attack. Instead you should be moving to their rear, or their blind spot where you are safe and they aren't. Boxers tend to expect you to remain in front of them, and think about it, when that doesn't happen; they clinch.

Third, if you try for a grab technique, such as shiho nage, most likely, unless your timing is very good (you have been practicing a long time AND you are lucky) you will either miss grabbing the punch or you will end up struggling with the opponent. Grabbing presents the opponent with something to work against. Aikido teaches more than just techniques; it teaches movements and openings. For instance, a really good movement might be to enter irimi as if to do irimi nage. However, you don't HAVE to do irimi nage once you have the opening. You can choke out, push them away and/or trip them, deliver atemi to their exposed back, or change to another technique.

You can't stand there with you arms down, like many people do when practicing static technique. Read George Leydard's articles on timing and distance on this website. If you find yourself in a fight situation, get your hands and arms up in unbendable arm position to proctect yourself and increase maai. That way the attacker has to get through your hands/arms and once he invades that spacing, it gives you something to work with.

Once you have your arms up, don't deal with jabs. Deflect them and move off the line and make the opponent commit. Aikido is more than technique it is strategy. That use of strategy is "leading their mind"

Finally an example of technique that I have used that works. I have already mentioned getting behind and changing to a choke. That stops a fight really fast. Next if you have your arms up, and you move off the line, against say a straight right or a right cross or left hook, you can use basic old ikkyo omote, BUT YOU CAN'T GRAB. If your arms are up and you think of them as sword blades, then you will find you can execute ikkyo without the grab until ready to pin from a committed right cross, straight right or left, or a left hook. Wild haymakers are more like yokomen strikes.

Lastly do not neglect practicing both sides. 90% of people will punch and lead with their right. However, you will find lefties.

Now, I've been practicing for 12 years and it took me a long time to figure most of this out and I am still figuring it out. But it is possible to deal with a boxer, perhaps just not right away.
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Old 07-31-2005, 03:26 PM   #9
Pdella
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

I appreciate everybodys' responses to this one. I think there is truth in both of the main thoughts in here--1) that aikido is not suited to sparring, but that 2) there are certain aikido-inspired movements and principles that will assist in such a confrontation.

If anyone feels like building on this more, feel free to keep posting, its an interesting discussion.
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Old 07-31-2005, 04:53 PM   #10
justin
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

i am new to this forum but every week there seems to be a aikido against this style and then against another, why does aikido come under such scrutiny this sort of question was hardly ever asked on a karate forum i used to use, not having a go at anyone just wondering thats all.
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Old 07-31-2005, 07:50 PM   #11
Ketsan
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Probably because Karate is a striking art and you can appreciate that if you kick or punch someone that it's going to be effective in stopping them. Aikido is more abstract.

This debate throws up several problems that for all my effort I can't solve. I've done kick boxing and a bit of boxing so I can punch like a boxer to a certain extent. I often do thought experiments, contemplate senarios, usually against myself. The only way I can see a boxer beaten with Aikido is if the boxer does something totally stupid. The way I see it provided space isn't too much of an issue the boxer can't catch the evasive Aikidoka and the Aikidoka can never get into a position to perform a technique. If space is an issue I reckon that the odds are heavily in favour of the boxer.
The only technique I think you could possibly do is irime nage ura.

Aikido is dependent on leading the opponent into a position where he's off balance or to one where kuzushi can be applied and boxers move in to much of a controlled and stable manner for that.
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:00 PM   #12
seank
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
Aikido is dependent on leading the opponent into a position where he's off balance or to one where kuzushi can be applied and boxers move in to much of a controlled and stable manner for that.
Hi Alex,
One of our most senior instructors is an ex-champ boxer who still practices with professional boxers for just this purpose. He is also a detractor from the idea that there are no attacks in Aikido.

His idea is that entering to make an opponent move is very important, rather than the idea of leading the opponent. A sizeable part of his technique appears to be centred around irimi.

Mind you though, he has forty-odd years of Aikido in his favour
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:08 PM   #13
CNYMike
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Quote:
Peter Della wrote:
I appreciate everybodys' responses to this one. I think there is truth in both of the main thoughts in here--1) that aikido is not suited to sparring .....
Sparring can complicate things you in one-step sparring in karate because the other person will move away and/or defend against what you're doing. I ran into this problem a lot in karate class. If you know an ippon kumite combination inololving moving forward at a 45 degree angle, say, it hinges on your partner staying still. In sparring, he/she won't preferring to move away and/or keep their distance. Doesn't mean the one-step stuff is bad, just that sparring complicates things.

That said, one has to factor in one thing: The range most Aikido technques are at. Going by the way things are organized in Kali -- kicking range, punching, trapping, grappling (which includes ground fighting) --- I find that most Aikido techniques start at punching range or farther, but then get you in closer for all or part of the technique. So in a situation where someone is keeping you at bay with jabs, or evading you, you will have a problem, but not because Aikido is "unsuited for sparring" but because he is keeping out of your range. The only possible way around this might be if he tries to clinch; then he is getting in closer for you. But (a) I've never boxed, and (b) I've never used Aikido against a boxer, so (c) I don't know how well this could work if at all. But if it can, then you have to say "thank you for the Aiki buffet." But again, I don't know; I thought of this while I was typing. Sean, if you can run this by the ex-boxing champ, that would be great.

To examine Aikido techniques in a random situation, you have to do the kind of things Aikido likes to do at the range it likes to do it at. So while I'm all for crosstraining, neither kickboxing nor ground grappling does it because, if you think about it, Aikido is neatly sandwiched between those two ranges. So coming up with a sparring/randori that is truly appropriate to it is a challenge. (Yes, I know there are people around here who think Aikido works great on the ground, but I am looking at what I've done from the perspective of Kali ranges. Ok?)

So the bottom line it's not that it's unsuited to sparring necessarily, just works best at a range slightly closer than boxing and kickboxing systems want to be at.

'Zat clear? Please say yes.

Quote:
but that 2) there are certain aikido-inspired movements and principles that will assist in such a confrontation.
Possibly. I've "stuck" to sparring partners in certain ways that might be Aikido related, but I'm not sure yet.

Last edited by CNYMike : 07-31-2005 at 09:12 PM. Reason: Add an idea
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Old 07-31-2005, 10:39 PM   #14
Tubig
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Atemi Atemi Atemi. shomen and yokomen

One should not be shy with low atemis as well including shin kicks, step on the foot or toe.

Watch out for the step one two (left right) jab with boxers. Very tricky. when they step in for the one two, back step. when they step back afterwards, step in.. your turn for a one two. shomen ate, and yokomen to the temples.

Get them to over extend, then arm bar or kotegaeshi.

also do not stay on static hamni, they will dance around you. Like Sean said change from orthodox to south paw depending on their stance. Make them wanna grab you. This is very possible as you can see in title bouts. As soon as they grab well aikidoman do your stuff.

Last edited by Tubig : 07-31-2005 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:35 AM   #15
Nick Simpson
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Enter, knock them down, sit on them and punch them in the face.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:37 AM   #16
Tubig
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

also do not bite their ears off
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:43 AM   #17
DustinAcuff
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Just my take on this question. No real right/wrong answers, whatever works then worked.

Boxers have to readjust after every strike and will rarely (quickly) shoot on the same side unless it is a jab. Pick a direction and keep that circle going. You probably will get hit a couple times but your goal is to survive. If you have to make a quick irimi/tenkan and try to intercept that wrist/elbow/forearm ikkyo style then you have all your techniques. In almost every technique your body almost touches uke at the hip. You are at home in the clinch, if you can touch him and he can touch you, he is yours. Do your techniques the same way as with wrist grab but grab his wrist and then let him try to pull off of your center. But I cannot emphasize enough, dont look for a technique but take them as they come.

Make them throw that proverbial first punch and enter on you. Talk smack if you have to. If they want to fight you then put them down as quick as possible but if they are calling you a pansy the just take it and laugh about how easy it would be to snap their favorite arm.

You are not sparring for giggles when confronted with the real thing. If you head on one of these guys then you deserve to have your butt handed to you. You either get in and take control of his body through his head (tenchi nage and irimi nage work well, but you are gonna get hit) or you make this guy come and get you if he wants the fight bad enough.
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Old 08-01-2005, 01:56 AM   #18
Nick Simpson
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Has no one brought up Shioda Kancho Sensei breaking a boxers arm with shihonage?

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:04 AM   #19
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

When one doesn't know it, no matter how much technical explanation is given... he/she will still not know it. That is because, if you are not adept at using aikido, even your brain wants to do it, your body will not do it. Hence the outcome is still ineffective aikido against whatever "insert name of any martial art here".

When one knows it, even without any explanation, he/she will instinctively know what to do with or without technical explanation. Therefore no explanation needed.

What is needed is too learn and trust your teacher's guidance. It will come surely if you stick with it long enough.

I personally have seen my sensei just raise his guard, walk right in to the centre, control the boxer's neck and apply a rear naked choke and brought the boxer into submission.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:10 AM   #20
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Or Ueshiba sensei breaking both arms of one boxer, "Piston Horiguchi" I think, with a strong atemi.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 08-01-2005, 04:53 AM   #21
Nick Simpson
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Ooooooo, never heard that one before.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 08-01-2005, 08:17 AM   #22
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Aikido is a martial art, despite a few dumb threads that state otherwise, so pick up a chair and smash his arms with it - that's what all the bokken practice is for - and if he's still keen after that, whack him on the head with it.

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Old 08-01-2005, 01:03 PM   #23
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

My sensei used to box...I don't know if he went pro or whatever...I think he was just amateur (which is sweet 'cause amateurs have a lot good, clean skill in technique which includes a tremendous amount of speed) but anyway...he always teaches us that like boxing, aikido revolves around staying on the balls of your feet. He also applies really cool traditional, unadulterated, non-modified aikido techniques to different boxing like scenarios. I don't know...I guess the best way to defeat someone of another style is to study their movements and techniques so that you can distance yourself better from the individual in combat and be able to aptly use your own techniques.
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Old 08-01-2005, 01:34 PM   #24
Adam Alexander
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

I didn't read everything, so please forgive if I repeat something.

1)Shiho-nage's pretty ambitious for one yr. of practice, drunk and against a boxer (if he's experienced)...actually, after rereading this, shiho-nage is pretty ambitious for one yr. without the other stuff.

2)To move your hands fast, they need to be "attached" to your hips...and you have to use the hips to move.

3)If your ukes are attacking recklessly, I'd chalk it up to a bunch of newer folks who don't understand it. Ideally, I think, the attacks are controlled and authentic.

4)No bi-ped has good balance. Get up along side of him, grab by the neck and spin.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:50 PM   #25
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikdio vs. someone using a boxing style?

Hi Jean, I know I'm being picky here, but

no bi-ped has good *stability*...quite a few have good balance...even some kickers I know.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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