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Old 08-07-2005, 11:48 AM   #1
dan guthrie
Dojo: Aikido of SLO
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Question Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

The local Buddhist temple had its Obon festival yesterday. Along with judo, karate ( which I missed ) and shin (sp?) kendo the local sensei demonstrated daito-ryu aiki jujutsu kodokai.

Good news: the dojo is within driving distance, a beginner's class is starting soon, there's a relationship with aikido and the sensei is one of "those guys." He teaches at the highest possible level. Learning from him would be a unique experience akin to learning in Japan.

Bad news: he won't teach anyone studying other martial arts, it's an extremely painful martial art, my wrists aren't what they used to be and I'm kinda old to be starting something this all encompassing.


Someone talk me out of this. If he'd let me continue with aikido there'd be no problem. I think I could handle the pain just to learn from a master and my age didn't keep me from starting aikido two years ago.
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Old 08-07-2005, 12:01 PM   #2
Roy
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

I also found a local Aikijujutsu dojo to be way too hard on the joints.
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Old 08-07-2005, 12:37 PM   #3
DustinAcuff
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Don, gotta play the devil's advocate here. Go for it! Yeah, it can be painful, but so can BJJ, Boxing and any number of arts, it goes with the territory and you get used to it. If the instructor is good then you should not have anything pushed too far. Dedication seems to be a trade mark of the older samurai type schools; so what, you have to drop aikido for a while, you will learn the same stuff to a diffrent degree since the goal is a bit diffrent. You are never too old!!! Your body will adapt to whatever you throw at it and I'd dare say that you will actually feel better after 6 months than you do now.

Give it a try! Stay with it for six months or so and if you hate it then leave. It is a great opportunity, don't pass it up or you will tell stories for the rest of your life "I had an opportunity to train under a really great Daito Ryu sensei once but I was just too old..."

Go for it!

Dustin
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:22 PM   #4
Adam Alexander
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Quote:
Dan Guthrie wrote:
1)He teaches at the highest possible level.

2)Learning from him would be a unique experience akin to learning in Japan.
1)Yes, but how long does it take before a master (expert, what-have-you) needs to be your guide? How many basic techniques must you learn before his expertise will really make a difference for you?

That's why 1kyu and sho-dans can run classes...It takes a while before you can use the info of the master (atleast, that's my experience).

Stick with your stuff for know. After two years, do you feel like you've really learned the lessons that your current Sensei has to offer? Probably not, because you're just not ready to receive them yet.

So, if you go to the new person, you're starting over from zero...or atleast closer to zero than in your current style. You've got to cover new ground in the new style just to get to where you are now in your current. Sooo, you're this close to understanding your style...why start over?

2)Unique experiences are great. That's how you should approach your daily training...Every movement should be approached as a unique experience having something brand new to offer.

With that perspective, it doesn't matter where you train.

Last edited by Adam Alexander : 08-07-2005 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:25 PM   #5
dan guthrie
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Quote:
Dustin Acuff wrote:
Don, gotta play the devil's advocate here. Go for it! Yeah, it can be painful, but so can BJJ, Boxing and any number of arts, it goes with the territory and you get used to it. If the instructor is good then you should not have anything pushed too far. Dedication seems to be a trade mark of the older samurai type schools; so what, you have to drop aikido for a while, you will learn the same stuff to a different degree since the goal is a bit different. You are never too old!!! Your body will adapt to whatever you throw at it and I'd dare say that you will actually feel better after 6 months than you do now.

Give it a try! Stay with it for six months or so and if you hate it then leave. It is a great opportunity, don't pass it up or you will tell stories for the rest of your life "I had an opportunity to train under a really great Daito Ryu sensei once but I was just too old..."

Go for it!

Dustin
Leaving aikido "for a while" might mean lying. I'll talk to one of his more experienced students tomorrow.

This is new territory for me.

I've talked to some former students - in aikido now - and they've ALL told me the pain never decreases. One aikido brown belt said "the experienced students look at new students as fresh meat."
They aren't sadists. There just isn't any other way to learn this.

At least the pain, if the technique is done correctly, stops soon after the technique is over. With other striking arts bruises and broken fingers last a lot longer.
It's just the idea of knowing that pain will be felt and inflicted. In the demo every technique was accompanied by uke constantly slapping feet and hand. Some ukes had to be "pried" open after cramping.

At the very least I'll ask if it's okay for me to come and just pay my respects.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:37 PM   #6
dan guthrie
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
1)Yes, but how long does it take before a master (expert, what-have-you) needs to be your guide? How many basic techniques must you learn before his expertise will really make a difference for you?

That's why 1kyu and sho-dans can run classes...It takes a while before you can use the info of the master (at least, that's my experience).

Stick with your stuff for know. After two years, do you feel like you've really learned the lessons that your current Sensei has to offer? Probably not, because you're just not ready to receive them yet.

2)Unique experiences are great. That's how you should approach your daily training...Every movement should be approached as a unique experience having something brand new to offer.

With that perspective, it doesn't matter where you train.


My dilemma in a nutshell. I haven't even begun to scratch aikido's dusty cover on top of it's shell.
The AJJ shihan is getting on in years and may retire soon.

I guess it's the difference between being a student of a student, uchi deshi or uke to Osensei. There are four or five people in the world at his level and the others never leave Japan.

There is all the difference in the world between the applications of aikido and AJJ.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:49 PM   #7
Adam Alexander
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Quote:
Dan Guthrie wrote:
My dilemma in a nutshell. I haven't even begun to scratch aikido's dusty cover on top of it's shell.
The AJJ shihan is getting on in years and may retire soon.

I guess it's the difference between being a student of a student, uchi deshi or uke to Osensei. There are four or five people in the world at his level and the others never leave Japan.

There is all the difference in the world between the applications of aikido and AJJ.
If, after two years, you haven't begun to scratch it, then you haven't been training well. In two years of the other, you'll not of scratched the surface there either.
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Old 08-07-2005, 02:45 PM   #8
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Quote:
Dan Guthrie wrote:
"the experienced students look at new students as fresh meat."
Hi Dan,

This would definitely make me choose not to train there. In my opinion, this kind of attitude produces weaker people, not stronger.

Charles Hill
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Old 08-07-2005, 03:07 PM   #9
Aristeia
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
If, after two years, you haven't begun to scratch it, then you haven't been training well. In two years of the other, you'll not of scratched the surface there either.
Either that or he just has a realistic view of what he does know.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-07-2005, 03:12 PM   #10
Aristeia
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Dan
Here's the real bad news - the decsion is yours, nothing that anybody writes here can change that. For instance, if it were me I probably wouldn't do it (admittedly I didn't see the demo). But the fresh meat comment, and the insistance on studying no other styles would ring alarm bells in my head. But you're not me. You've already got arguments for both sides. At the end of the day you'll end up listening to the ones that validate what you want to do, so it's back to you. The only comment I'd make is to say what are the ex students like? No doubt if you were to ask about them at the DR place you'll be told they just couldn't "hack"it - to they seem like that type to you when doing Aikido or reasonable people? If the former it doesn't matter what they say, if the latter it might pay to listen to their reasons for leaving.
The constant pain thing would make me very nervous. Yeah MA's involve pain but within limits. I've seen too many old timers who can barely move to want to abuse my joints unnecessarily.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-07-2005, 05:05 PM   #11
dan guthrie
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Maybe I should wait until after I visit the AJJ dojo to comment further. Mike, you're correct, it is my decision. I've been using this forum as a sounding board, perhaps inappropriately. I've been using hearsay opinions and my ignorance is showing. I'll keep you posted.

Honestly, the idea of giving up aikido panicked me. It took me a while to recognize this. My apologies.
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Old 08-07-2005, 05:08 PM   #12
Aristeia
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

No need to apologise and using the forum as a sounding board was a great idea. I fully sypmathise with how the idea of giving up aikido could engender panic :-)
Let us know how the class looks.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-07-2005, 05:20 PM   #13
DustinAcuff
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

On the pain -- yeah, it does hurt, and in alot of ways you will have some serious pain, but very little harm will actually be done. Yeah, it is possible that the ex-students have some legitimate points, it is also possible that they simply couldn't hack it. No disrespect to these individuals intened, I picked up MMA stuff for a while and didn't like it too much, I did not belong there and I knew it -- one could say that I couldn't hack it and if they did I would happily agree with them. It is not a martial art for everyone.

DR is one of the smaller (number of students) arts out there just because of the nature of the beast. As I have read on one site, it has over 3000 techniques! From what I understand at shodan I will have over 650 techniques. Traditionally weapons training was included, it is to a more minor extent in my school, but you may be expected to be proficient with more than 5 diffrent weapons. Plus the suwari waza is pretty indepth. It is a huge all inclusive system. Crosstraining in anything would probably slow you down.

In aikido you are supposed to gain an indepth understanding of balance and energy, aiki. In DR you gain that same understanding, but also combine it with a much enhanced understanding of human anatomy and physiology, of the anatomical lines involved in every technique.

Michael is right, it is really your decision. What are the circumstances? How often will you be able to train? Are you willing to learn it? I would put money on if you do learn it you will have a much more indepth understanding of aikido because you will have walked in O Sensei's footsteps.

Why would lying be involved????
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Old 08-07-2005, 06:27 PM   #14
Roy
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Myself, I could not afford to be hurt, or get sprained at a MA club! Loose work time, and then try to work with a bunk joint for the rest of my life! The reason I take MAs is for self preservation, or self defense. The chances of getting hurt in an abusive MA club, is far, far greater then being attacked on the street. Is it worth it? There are a few postings that claim you can't really get hurt at these places, well all I have to say to this is, "don't kid yourself."
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Old 08-07-2005, 08:04 PM   #15
DustinAcuff
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

It is not that you cannot get hurt, it is that you should not. The worst I have had so far is a twisted ankle from a technique gone bad. If your partners are responsible then you should never be injured, in temporary pain or minor brusing are pretty normal, but I have never seen any injuries as a result of training where I am. The worst I have heard of was a broken nose during full force practice with the advanced guys.
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Old 08-07-2005, 11:28 PM   #16
dan guthrie
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Quote:
Dustin Acuff wrote:

Why would lying be involved????
I would be lying if I ever told anyone I want to give up aikido permanently. From what I've been told I'd have to make that kind of a commitment. In a perfect world I'd like to do both. The beginner's classes are on Thursdays. The general/advanced are Tuesdays (?) and Fridays. I think they're from 7 - 9 p.m.

Also, I don't think there's many injuries, at least no more than judo, for example.

Thanks to everyone for your input. I was cranky and upset all day without knowing why until I wrote my previous post.
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Old 08-08-2005, 12:19 AM   #17
DustinAcuff
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

More likely is that they don't want you doing Daito and Aikido at the same time. Depending on your school your Aikido would actually make your Daito less effective and reinforce some bad habits. It is also a koryu, loyalty to the ryu is just part of the territory. Most of the people who stay with Daito feel that it is all they will ever need and training in other styles is unnecessary. Those who don't go and do other things.

I am about to move 250 miles south of where I am which unfortunately means giving up my full time Daito training so I am going to have to find some other arts to train in that will not mess with my progress too much so that I can continue to progress and rank. If I was not moving then I would not be looking into any other arts because I don't need to. But since I am then I'll find some other stuff to fill my time.

I'd venture that I feel the same about DR as you feel about Aikido, and that it upsets me as much to not be able to do DR fulltime anymore as you are about giving up Aikido for another art. This is the crux of the matter I suspect, not the pain or age involved. But it sounds like you really want to try it you just don't like the idea of giving up Aikido. So try it for a few months and leave if you ever hate it after you get over the initial shock.
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Old 08-08-2005, 12:39 AM   #18
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Dan,
I've been doing Aikido for 10 years and Aikijujutsu for one year and I am an aikido person all the way. Having said that though, if I were you, I would go ahead and study the Aikijujutsu Kodokai because that is hard to come by and it is an amazing art. Aikido is everywhere and will always be there but the Kodokai won't always be around. The higher level stuff is actually quite soft and won't be painful except for some lower back stuff until you adjust to the kinds of throws they do. I am 48 myself and haven't found the ukemi to be harder than aikido.
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:49 AM   #19
ian
 
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Personally, I would go for it as well. You aren't going to get younger, so give it a go for a while and see what you can pick up. I think the opportunity will be all the better if you can make a good comparison with the aikido you presently do. If/when you go back to aikido you may have a much deeper insight. However, if you feel you are being damaged by it and are therefore unable to train properly, reconsider!

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 08-08-2005, 03:42 AM   #20
ruthmc
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Perhaps you should arrange to have an informal chat with the DR teacher before the beginner's classes start? You can then ask him all the questions you have asked here, and get his take on it. You don't have to commit to anything at that time - either leaving Aikido or starting these new classes - you are allowed to have as much thinking time as you need!

Once you have all the facts, it will be easy to make a decision.

All the best,

Ruth
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Old 08-08-2005, 11:50 AM   #21
Michael Hackett
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Another thought......you might consider attending a DR seminar before making your decision. At the last Aiki Expo I got the opportunity to get on the mat with Kondo Sensei and his students. I found it really interesting and very challenging. I also learned that Aikido is the art for me and wouldn't choose to train in DR unless there were no Aikido available. That is just a matter of personal taste; I don't like red cars and won't eat liver.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 08-08-2005, 09:40 PM   #22
Keith Larman
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Just a quick comment. There are *lots* of guys who claim to teach Daito Ryu who are not really affiliated, trained, or frankly know their own butts from a shihonage... Daito Ryu is an art that is alive and well today but in reality fairly hard to find in any sort of authentic fashion. But there are lots of crackpots who claim to be teaching it who are more interested in getting students due to the name and reputation of Daito Ryu.

Not saying yours isn't legit, just get references and ask the important questions before you start.

E-Budo (http://www.e-budo.com) has a forum devoted to aikijujutsu where some rather hard core fellas hang out. Some there are also *real* sticklers about lineage, validity, all that stuff. Ask there.

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Old 08-08-2005, 09:43 PM   #23
Keith Larman
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Oh, and I forgot about the original question. I've practiced a few times with some guys doing daito ryu. I rather enjoy it and would pursue it more myself if I had the time. I see it as somewhat looking at the "dark side" of our own art. And yes, it hurts. Those pressure points in the wrist and elbow seem to be used in every bloody freaking art. They don't give you *any* wiggle room. Once the technique starts, you're gone. No holes, no openings. But also very aiki at the same time. No question about effectiveness here. And be prepared to end every technique with a killing blow...

Different side of the tracks so to speak...

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Old 08-08-2005, 10:26 PM   #24
dan guthrie
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

Keith, this guy is legit. I've checked and several of my aikido sempai have confirmed this.

I talked to a student today who's been training for 15 years. His wife took "model mugging" from my dojo cho. He's going to put me on the list for the beginners class. I'll take a few classes - maybe a month - before deciding if I'm going long term. My plan is to keep going to aikido weapons classes, if possible. I'll weigh my feelings every class but I plan on returning to aikido.

I will continue posting here but probably won't discuss daito-ryu.

To Mike Fooks: Sensei doesn't forbid students from taking other classes, he just frowns on it because most people can't separate training very well. There are several people who take other classes but they're all high level students.

Jorge, the student I talked with also said the beginning is painful but the higher level is very soft.

To Charles Hill: the "fresh meat" comment was hearsay. I shouldn't have mentioned it and I regret it.
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Old 08-08-2005, 10:32 PM   #25
Aristeia
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Re: Aiki jujutsu, I have an oppty to train

well you know what they say, it's seldom the things you do that you regret so much as the things you don't do.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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