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Old 11-07-2005, 08:24 AM   #1
Pretzl
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Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Hello everyone. Obviously new to forum.

I was hoping for some explanation and advice here. I have a past of assorted MA's including MT, CLF..and Bjj/mma. As I was aging (34) ... I thought I'd like to find an art to go with the bjj/mma that might be easier on the joints etc, that I could do into my 50's+.

I've never done Aikido, and truthfully am very skeptical. I'm in Law Enforcement and have unfortunate lengthy -direct exerience with reality SD

I've watched some ridicoulous videos of some of the "softer Aikido", that I would never consider in in the least. I don't need to research it to plainly see it is not a fighting art- no offence intended, but I stand by this 100%

However I had read that the Aikikai? "post WW2" stuff was more realistic, applicable and intended to be trained for realistic SD purposes etc. Therefore to be open minded I located a Aikikai club that I will be starting tommorow night.

Can posters please tell me if I understand the differences of this pre-post war aikido correctly, And how Aikikai differs from the softer Aikido......and any experiences regarding the different camps/styles.

Any advice is truly appreciated, and I hope my skepticism is proved unfounded.

thx...Brian.
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Old 11-07-2005, 08:57 AM   #2
senshincenter
 
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Federation lines can be very misleading. The same is true with the cultural and/or historical narratives they use to define themselves (e.g. pre/post WW2). You should go and check out each dojo/instructor to see if it is something that you'd be interested in, etc. It is the only real way of knowing what's what. The need for this is something you seemed to have stumbled across already, only the difference between Aikido interpretations is still much more varied than you are currently/probably imagining.

For better or for worse, there is no one Aikido. There is only a bunch of aikidoka going around saying their Aikido is the one. My advice: Find the one Aikido that speaks to you and make it your own.

(fyi: Not sure I would say that Aikido is easier on the joints than BJJ - my experience points me toward the inverse being true. Finding an Aikido that is martially congruent with your other disciplines may prevent you from finding an Aikido that is easier on your body than BJJ. Perhaps you will have to make some sort of compromise in that regards.)

best of luck,
dmv

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:13 AM   #3
Devon Natario
 
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

I have read here that there is a small circle Aikido, and this might be more of what you seek. But, it will still be hard on the joints.

You may want to go with Small Circle Jujitsu though in my honest opinion. It's more practical (no offense to anyone) and I know Wally Jay still teaches and he's got to be in his mid 80's by now.

Good luck in your search...

Devon Natario
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Northwest Jujitsu
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:16 AM   #4
Pierre Rood
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Hi Brian,

I am doing the Aikikai style of Tissier, and while I am doing this for a hobby (which became a passion) I want it to be a real MA. I like the mental side, the philosophy, the tradition, and the SD side to be real each on its own.

The Tissier style is working with real world attacks quite from the beginning. While the traditional attacks are practiced, also the applications are exercised: the traditional moves are then used when the attacker is using karate or boxing style strikes.

I noticed others are quite shying away from the idea of using Aikido to fight, but I believe the SD component belongs to the art.
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:37 AM   #5
aikidojoe
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Even within Aikikai there are different styles. You really have to do your research and check out the teachers and schools. Where are you located?

Also, sometimes you can still gain SD knowledge from practicing the softer aikido once in a while. If you're learning proper body positioning and balance, then that always helps, especially if you're already used to dealing with a street situation. It'll be harder at those dojos because you'll have to learn on your own how to translate the softer methods into something you can use practically.

You'll also see differences within a dojo. Some people only do aikido as a club, for application of philosophy, others for SD, and others like myself try to get the whole MA point of view. None are wrong, just depends on what you're looking for.

As far as joints go, heh, I'm not so sure ANY grappling art is great on the joints if you don't learn flexibility and proper ukemi. Those are what you should work on straight away so that you don't have to worry about injury down the road, and you can concentrate on good technique.

Let me know where you train,

Joe
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:39 AM   #6
Nick Simpson
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Martial arts cant teach you to fight. Fighting teaches you to fight. Self defence cant be taught, defending yourself is about doing anything in the moment that will save you, Its about instinct, adaptibility, reactions and luck.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:34 AM   #7
crbateman
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

I'm with David on this one... No style or art is better than the instructor you're learning from. Find what works for you, and go with it. Don't try to fit into any certain mold or ideal.

As for the joints, you did not mention whether there is injury, inflammation or deterioration (arthritis, for example) in your joints, or if you are just dealing with a lack of flexibility. If it is the former, Aikido practice could become deleterious and increasingly painful. If it is the latter, then Aikido will help you improve your range of motion. Regardless of the cause, you can always moderate your practice within your confort range.
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:49 AM   #8
Young-In Park
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Dear Mr. Gibson,

[quote=Brian Gibson]
I've watched some ridicoulous videos of some of the "softer Aikido", that I would never consider in in the least. I don't need to research it to plainly see it is not a fighting art- no offence intended, but I stand by this 100%
[quote]

Since you are in LE, I'll assume you've been trained to use a handgun (correct me if I'm wrong). And you probably learned how to use a handgun at a firing range. I don't need to research it to plainly see it is not a fighting art - no offence intended, but I stand by this 100%.

After all, at a shooting range, people learn to shoot their gun at a stationary paper target that doesn't shoot back in a controlled environment (ie usually well lighted, weather is not a factor and on a flat surface).

It is my understanding the USMC trains their recruits to dry fire their weapons for a week before actually giving them ammunition.

So why don't you go to your chief or rangemaster and suggest your department do away with the completely unrealistic training given at a firing range?

Because people have to learn certain things in an extremely controlled enviornment. For example, people have to learn how to smoothly pull the trigger with their finger instead of jerking it back. Advancing on the target or ducking behind cover doesn't do you any good if you can't smoothly pull the trigger back.

About ten years ago, two highway patrolmen in the midwest (Ohio?) stopped two felons (bank robbery?) in a Suburban. A shootout ensued and they got away. Afterwards, the first patrolman said his holster system wasn't working. Perhaps he should have learned how to draw his gun correctly (ie slow & soft) instead of fast and incorrectly.

Granted, some "soft" aikido out there isn't very flattering to the art. But the practicioner should always ask themselves what they are learning and why are they learning it. Going fast and hammering the crap out of your partner doesn't make it right.

Once a person has learned the seemingly unrealistic practice of aikido, it is incumbent upon them to adapt, improvise and adjust to make it realistic and applicable for your purposes.

YoungIn Park
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:55 AM   #9
Devon Natario
 
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.


Muay Thai teaches you how to fight. Brazillian Jui-Jitsu and those that are the like teach you how to fight. Any art that you get to actually fight or compete with teaches you how to fight. But guess what? They are considered martial arts. They also teach you to defend yourself against someone that is fighting you.

The practice of fighting or Martial Arts, develops your instinct, adaptability, reactions and increases your luck.

We are all born with certain traits of each of those (except maybe luck), but training increases this.



Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
Martial arts cant teach you to fight. Fighting teaches you to fight. Self defence cant be taught, defending yourself is about doing anything in the moment that will save you, Its about instinct, adaptibility, reactions and luck.

Devon Natario
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:18 PM   #10
roosvelt
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Why dont' you just go around to different Aikido clubs and bring up your boubt to the instructors there? If the instructor can show you something (free sparring, push hand, static escape?) depending his/her ability, you're convinced, learn from him/her. If not, find another dojo.

This way, you may miss some instructor who really know how to teach but can't do it effectively themselves. But you'll surely find an instructor that you can trust to learn from. That's very important.

There is no ammount of verbal Aikido can convince you.
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:38 PM   #11
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

IMHO, skepticism is healthy.
Aikido is not a spectator sport, to know it you have to do it.
I have to agree that its more the instructor than the style of federation.
I train regularly with several LEO/SWAT personnel at our Dojo.
Keep an open mind, effectiveness comes with time.
I am 55 and started at 44.
Relax, breath, and enjoy the training.
Welcome to the art.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:08 PM   #12
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

I find aiikido is as hard, if not harder on my joints and body than BJJ is. IMHO, aikido is a perfect complement to BJJ. In fact, the softer nature of it that teaches the principles is a wonderful fit.

Find a good Sensei and give it some time. AIkido as practiced by most (not all!) is a principle oriented art, not so much concerned with the "SU" skills as the "DO" side of thing. So by nature, you will probably be slightly frustrated at the different approach most take to it.

You asked some honest questions so I won't preach my two cents worth BUUUT I tend to agree with Young-In park.

BTW, I am a MMA, BJJ guy that is in the U.S. Army and find the "soft" side of aikido very applicable. In fact I am teaching my soldiers tommorrow!

I start out with some warm ups, we do about 20 minutes of pure aikido work, then transition to MT type strikes for mid-range training, followed by pure BJJ ground work, then back to aikido (suriwaza) and Kokyu tanden ho, for a cool down.

I consider it MMA, but aikido is the base of what we do.
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:20 PM   #13
Pretzl
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Thanks very much for all the responses here. And just to clarify- there's no offence intended for any one here as to why they are taking an art. Mine is purley SD orienated.

The advice is greatly appreciated as, admittingly my experience greatly relates to the Aikido schools I had witnessed yrs ago, which I did not favour in the least.

I've trained coming up on 19 yrs, trying about every style that I could-so as to be able to judge/make decisions from experience/ evaluation, and I'm sure like a lot of people here, have seen exc schools, and absolute fraud/schools. Im simply saying- like many others here I'm sure- that because of having to fight regularly, I've learned realities of actual fighting situations that crushed many ideas I originally had about effective training ideas. I also think that someone who stumbles upon 1 art- say TKD, at an early age, and then never has exposure to any other arts- styles...will never have a good working reality of SD.

As for the hangun comparison..I couldn't agree more. thats why we switched to simunition, and moving real life scenarios...in alleys, or woods etc, increasing pressure testing/stress, real life factors etc. I relate your point exactly to MA's. If you train for defence by having someone run at you from 10 feet out with an arm extended, or defend knife attacks with spinning kicks, I feel it's the same dangerous habits.

And I agree 100% with the posts stating you learn to fight by fighting. So... if I'm goingto train to survive, I'll want to make that training as close to actual fighting as possible.

I'm excited about trying this particular club..as many have said here- this particular guy listended to my needs and concerns, and seems to have the same approaches/beliefs I do, and was very forward about letting me train and see 4 myself. . and look forward to sharing my experiences here, and getting more advice, and again am very greatful for the # of responses. Thanks Kevin L..I appreciate the encouragement from a MMA'er.

Last edited by Pretzl : 11-07-2005 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:41 PM   #14
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

No prob. Frankly if you are looking purely from a self defense point of view, I wouldn't waste my time as most aikido dojos spend most of the time dealing with principles and SD is really a by product.

What you will learn is correct posture, how to better relate to someone from zero conflict to full scale escalation...most of it is theoretical though. Useful, but not so "upfront" as a SU art, and many,many other things such as multiple opponents etc. (god this is going to get me in trouble with everyone here!)

To be honest, I'd think I'd also check out a decent Sambo place if you are looking for a compliment to grappling.

I don't know, you might find aikido much too "slow" and not so effcient in learning and practicing what you are looking for.

I will tell you that I am 40 years old, started in Karate, then Aikido...finally BJJ about 2 years ago. I progressed fairly rapidily in BJJ and regularly defeat senior blue belts and purple belts at their game. Once you change the rules and go to weapons and NHB, I end up doing VERY well.

Still have alot to learn about grappling...AND i LOVE IT! However I find aikido to be pretty darn good as a basis for developing the subtleness and refinement I am looking for.

As A LEO, you will find aikido a decent model for basing "Use of Minimal Force". Again, aikido typically isn't situational focused, but you do learn alot about this. I think learning to place yourself in a certain way, to relax, protect your strong side, reducing the agression of your opponent to be things that I learned from aikido.

The only way to find out, is to go to a dojo and try it out.

Be warned though, you probably need to attend training for a while to form a decent opinion as it can be totally different than what you are used to. and YES, it will appear that people are attacking you with lame attacks sometime (and they will), but get a good sensei, and they will also show you with that same methodolgy why you suck at this range of conflict!
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:00 PM   #15
senshincenter
 
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Hi Brian,

We run an arrest and control program out of our dojo - you can check what some law enforcement agents think/feel about it here:

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/dojoinfo/arcon.html

Anyways, I was wondering if you would be kind enough to elaborate upon which parts of MT training and/or BJJ you find practical in the field of law enforcement work. I think the benefit of training in these arts is pretty obvious when you are yourself are being assaulted and would need to fight off an attacker that is either comparable to your weight or less or when you yourself happen to find yourself taken to the ground as a result of being assaulted by an assailant. However, I was wondering how you would use these arts in relation to gaining and maintaining control - say during an arrest - when most assaults do happen. Additionally, I would be very thankful if you could explain how you might use these arts in relation to department policy and public perception regarding striking a suspect resisting arrest and/or how you might go to the ground in light of weapon retention issues, multiple assailants, and/or crowd control/environmental awareness.

To explain where I'm coming from, our own ARCON program is Aikido-based - not MT or BJJ based. And while I had folks who have trained in it say, "Wow, that is not Aikido," I've never had one say that it wasn't practical and/or suited for duty. So I'm very interested in learning how one might be able to apply striking and ground-fighting to police work outside of the "oh crap!" situations that come up here or there (for whatever reason).

Much appreciation,
dmv

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:06 PM   #16
aikigirl10
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

One of my teachers' husbands was in law enforcement. She said that he took aikido to help with his self defense as did many of his fellow officers, so its not totally ineffective. If you need to pin someone on the ground or take a knife out of someones hand then im sure its a good martial art to learn.

Aikido also teaches you how to unarm or disable your opponent without hurting them too badly which i would think would be good for law enforcement. It might help keep you from being accused of police brutality or something like that. I dont know much about law enforcement in general, just some thoughts.

-Paige

Last edited by aikigirl10 : 11-07-2005 at 02:08 PM. Reason: add
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:57 PM   #17
Pretzl
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Yeah thx kevin. Im a big fan of bjj myself. It's not "perfect"...but I use it as my base art. I have a very good bjj/mma guy who is very helpful towards gearing my training a bit to help with work needs. I thought similar to what you expressed- i thought the Aikido might compliment the bjj rolling- give me some different ways to work things. As for stand-up, I really am I firm believer in MT or boxing style striking..which I can cover in the MMA training.
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:58 PM   #18
Michael Varin
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

I am curious about the same things that David brought up. I have been in a POST certified police academy, and all the arrest and control we did was aikido based. Being comfortable on the ground and knowing how to get up from there is very important. The grit and warrior mindset one gets from intense competition is also important once the fight is on. The techniques of aikido were designed to be used by someone who is armed and is not necessarily going to choose empty handed fighting as his first option. Although it may not always be presented this way, with a little look past the surface I think you will find aikido techniques lend themselves well to LE applications. A couple of examples are getting into position for handcuffing, and disengaging from an assault so you can go to a higher level of force option.

Michael
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:20 PM   #19
Pretzl
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Michael, David V... thx for the link to your site- looked very good.

I suppose I really like th bjj. mma stuff because it fell more natural and instinctual? to myself in any encounters. I found it comfortable and effective to smother/control a guy?- not neccesarily the sub's and everything- even just the bases, movement, weight control and positioning felt very relaxed and safe? One of th bjj Inst. I had would show me lots of effective pins and controls that caused no injury, and were safe positioning to await assistance and such. Like simple side back controls and such.

We were originally taught the PPCT pressure point- small joint manipulation- and I never found it very comfortable or natural for myself.

I also tend to work out a lot, and keep a heavier weight- so I suppose the bjj/wrestling stuff may be more suited for myself, and explain my comfort with it.

I suppose I got thinking of the Aikido, because I thought it might be helpful to clinch/control- like the clinching in the MT (in a different manner of course). Or that's what I'm hoping to find. I suppose that was similar to what you might have been alluding to Michael.

Last edited by Pretzl : 11-07-2005 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:31 PM   #20
Pretzl
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

And thanks Paige, I tend to agree on limiting injuries and such - when possible. I really don't need the stress of explaining injuries even when they are justified, as I don't trust the court systems to appreciate the realities of what occurs.
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Old 11-07-2005, 05:15 PM   #21
senshincenter
 
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Well, that is a lot of "translation" you are doing then with those two arts as well. So you should be quite able to do the same thing with your Aikido training (if need be -- since it depends upon where you go). However, I would bet that you will have to translate even less for on the job application with Aikido -- since pretty much no matter where you go you'll get more than just bases, positioning, distance/timing, etc. You will find the various types of balance breaking tactics, arm controls, etc., directly applicable to the job.

Can't say I'm a fan of PPCT's pressure point control theory and/or any other type of arrest and control system that seeks to gain some type of compliance in order to function as designed. So it is good to hear you are one more law enforcement agent that is looking for something that actually functions in the face of resistance and not just something that tries to get someone to stop resisting. Moreover, Aikido will definitely give you a lot more options (i.e. fill in a lot of the blank spaces) between PPCT's pressure point attempts and their nerve/muscle attacks with the baton -- which the public, departments, and the courts alike are becoming quite (rightly) dissatisfied with.

Not sure where you are at now, but if you are ever in California, near the Santa Barbara area, by all means, please feel free to drop in -- whether or not you have actually started your Aikido training. You can also see our ARCON schedule on our web site.

Stay safe,
dmv

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:22 AM   #22
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I find aiikido is as hard, if not harder on my joints and body than BJJ is.
I concur. My bride, Emily, a shodan in aikido, has remarked more than once that she has far fewer injuries studying our jujutsu than she did in here old (soft style) aikido dojo.

And mid-30s ain't yet old, my friend. Unless you got lots of mileage ...

There are some rock-n-roll aikido folks out there (anybody hear from Julian Frost -another LEO hisownself- these days?), and there are fluffy aiki-bunnies.

It's a broad spectrum. Look around.

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Old 11-08-2005, 08:47 AM   #23
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

I haven't heard from Julian for years...I had heard he stopped training in aikido due to back injuries, but I don''t know if its true. And I did hear he could 'rock the house'! In the pictures I saw of him, I always liked his form. But then Chiba Sensei's top students all have 'good form' by yoshinkan standards...

Does he still post on aikido-l?

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:54 AM   #24
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I haven't heard from Julian for years
I've gotten sporadic notes from J-man, but nothing for probably more than a year. He posted something to Aiki-L even more rarely, but again, not a peep in a long time. Too bad, he was great fun in the e-dojo and on the real-world mats, too.

While he was in the police academy, he was just too busy to keep up with the lists, then he graduated, got to work and got even busier for a while. Had some serious life changes about that time, too.

Quote:
...I had heard he stopped training in aikido due to back injuries,
I thought he had the back under pretty good management, though the probs were fairly aggravating.

Quote:
And I did hear he could 'rock the house'!
I'd testify to that, Bro'.

cg

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Old 11-08-2005, 10:09 AM   #25
James Davis
 
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Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Quote:
Brian Gibson wrote:
And thanks Paige, I tend to agree on limiting injuries and such - when possible. I really don't need the stress of explaining injuries even when they are justified, as I don't trust the court systems to appreciate the realities of what occurs.
While doin' a google search, I found this:

FALSE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST POLICE ARE PROTECTED SPEECH



The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nullified a California Criminal Law against filing of false police reports. California enacted this law to contend with false police reports due to anti-police sentiments after the Rodney King beating...

Now it's kaput.

Now, people in Cali can pretty much say whatever they want about the police without fear of prosecution??

Brian, I wouldn't place too much trust with the courts either, if I were you. I think things are gonna get real scary for cops whose hands are tied in California.

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