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Old 02-21-2006, 03:12 PM   #1
MG22
Location: Cranston, RI
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Is Aikido right for me?

There is a dojo down the street from my house that I never knew about.

Robert Boehm Sensei holds the rank of Sandan. In addition to Aikido, he has trained in a variety of martial arts and has over 20 years of experience. Boehm Sensei is a sergeant with the Providence, RI, Police Department, chief firearms and defensive tactics instructor, and bomb technician. He is also a member of the department's SWAT team. Boehm Sensei is a recognized police use of force expert.

Frank Gallo Sensei holds the rank of Sandan. In addition to Aikido, he has trained in a variety of martial arts and has over 20 years of experience. Gallo Sensei is a retired police officer from the Cranston, RI, Police Department. His experience with the department included chief defensive tactics instructor, firearms instructor and training coordinator, training officer, and member of the department's SWAT team. Gallo Sensei has written several law enforcement books on "Police Force", has taught law enforcement officers from around the world, and is a recognized police use of force expert. Gallo Sensei is a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology. His research work includes the application of social and cognitive theories to law enforcement settings and problems.

Seems like two very good instructors. The only MA training I've had came as kid, when I took Kenpo for 3 years. I ended up with a green belt with 1 stripe. Next was brown, 2 stripes, then black. The only thing I can remember is Saturday morning sparring, with some pinions.

As of now I'm 22 years old, 23 in a few months. I'm 5'9", 140 lbs?, so I'm not that big. I've been trying to find some MA that teaches more along the lines of defense, rather than forms. I was about to sign up for Krav Maga, but they stopped teaching it.

My other option would be Jeet Kune Do, that instructor is a 4th "generation" teacher straight from Bruce Lee. I've never seen JKD in a defense situation. So I'm having a hard time choosing.

I'm not a bad ass who's looking to start fights. I usually stay clear of trouble. I don't want to re-inact Matrix scenes in public, fight CIA sponsored drug cartels, or turn a hardware store into a deadly weapon. However if trouble DOES find me, I want to difuse the situation quickly as possible.

So would Aikido be a good choice? I'd like to learn stuff that can be put to use after proper training obviously, as long as I don't have to become some grand master in the mountains first. I know Aikido is more complex, which is why I have no idea how long the learning curve is. Like I mentioned, my other option is JKD. Other than that, it's all McDojos around my house offering Kenpo/TKD; not what I want.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:21 PM   #2
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

The learning curve is long for most people but I suspect the same is true for those other arts as well. The basic self defense arts might have a shorter curve but I suspect they aren't as much fun as Aikido is. I have had a blast the last 11 years!
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:23 PM   #3
crbateman
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

The best advice I can think of is to try it and see. You will not have to sacrifice your firstborn, or get grafted to Aikido at the hip. If it doesn't feel right, try something else. It may be just the thing for you. It is for many people. It may be just the opposite. It is for many people. All the forethought in the world will not compare to time in the dojo. I hope you enjoy it.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:24 PM   #4
Aristeia
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Aikido does have a fairly long learning curve. there is some stuff that will be instantly useful (like learning off balancing points) and some stuff that will take much longer to get your head around (like blending properly with incoming force).

If fastest time to effectiveness is your criteria, it may not be the best choice. Having said that from what little I can glean of your temperament from your post, it may be a good fit. Best thing to do is get on the mat at both places and try a couple of classes. See which atmosphere, style and techniques seem like the best fit for you.

JKD from what I understand has a huge variety of approaches, from farily traditional "this is what bruce lee did so it's what we do" through to much more progressive types, such as the straight blast gym. I'm sure others on the board are much more qualified to talk about it.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:33 PM   #5
eyrie
 
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Didn't you like my response on FightingArts.com?????

I'm deeply offended....

Ignatius
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:45 PM   #6
Edwin Neal
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

aikido is right for everyone, although some are in denial about that... i think you will like the aikido, and would also like and benefit from the JKD... i have found that they have more in common than most want to admit... try each/both if it feels good then do it, or both...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-21-2006, 05:20 PM   #7
Aristeia
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
aikido is right for everyone, although some are in denial about that.
Interesting position. Are you serious about that or is it a throwaway line?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 02-21-2006, 05:47 PM   #8
jmcrae
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Aloha, Michael:

I am a JKD instructor and I used to teach Aikido (I took a few years off and have recently resumed my Aikido training). Generally speaking, if you are interested in self-defense training, JKD is a much faster art to learn and it encourages functionality in all ranges (kickboxing, clinch, and ground). As for JKD's effectiveness, I have used it in several self-defense situations, and it has kept me out of the two places I want to avoid the most: the hospital and prison.

Typically, Aikido requires a bit more finesse and thus it will take you a lot longer to become functional against a skilled, resisting opponent (though if your instructors have SWAT experience, they can probably show you some pretty effective stuff).

That said, it is important to look at the particular instructors to determine their skill as teachers and practitioners (i.e. can they teach the material and can they handle someone who is attacking them realistically with resistence?). I would encourage you to participate in a trial class in both schools to see which one works best for you. If you have the time and can afford the dues, you may want to train at both schools (I have found that JKD has improved my Aikido and vice-versa).

One caveat... Make sure the JKD guys are not from the "traditional" camp that refuses to engage in any kind of training other than what Bruce Lee himself did. JKD is about functionality, which often defies the limits of tradition (this issue is a political sore spot within JKD).

Temet nosce,
Jim

Last edited by jmcrae : 02-21-2006 at 05:53 PM.

"We cannot live better than in seeking to become better."
--Socrates

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Old 02-21-2006, 06:03 PM   #9
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Quote:
Michael Gulotta wrote:
There is a dojo down the street from my house that I never knew about.

Robert Boehm Sensei holds the rank of Sandan. In addition to Aikido, he has trained in a variety of martial arts and has over 20 years of experience. Boehm Sensei is a sergeant with the Providence, RI, Police Department, chief firearms and defensive tactics instructor, and bomb technician. He is also a member of the department's SWAT team. Boehm Sensei is a recognized police use of force expert.

Frank Gallo Sensei holds the rank of Sandan. In addition to Aikido, he has trained in a variety of martial arts and has over 20 years of experience. Gallo Sensei is a retired police officer from the Cranston, RI, Police Department. His experience with the department included chief defensive tactics instructor, firearms instructor and training coordinator, training officer, and member of the department's SWAT team. Gallo Sensei has written several law enforcement books on "Police Force", has taught law enforcement officers from around the world, and is a recognized police use of force expert. Gallo Sensei is a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology. His research work includes the application of social and cognitive theories to law enforcement settings and problems.

Seems like two very good instructors. The only MA training I've had came as kid, when I took Kenpo for 3 years. I ended up with a green belt with 1 stripe. Next was brown, 2 stripes, then black. The only thing I can remember is Saturday morning sparring, with some pinions.

As of now I'm 22 years old, 23 in a few months. I'm 5'9", 140 lbs?, so I'm not that big. I've been trying to find some MA that teaches more along the lines of defense, rather than forms. I was about to sign up for Krav Maga, but they stopped teaching it.

My other option would be Jeet Kune Do, that instructor is a 4th "generation" teacher straight from Bruce Lee. I've never seen JKD in a defense situation. So I'm having a hard time choosing.

I'm not a bad ass who's looking to start fights. I usually stay clear of trouble. I don't want to re-inact Matrix scenes in public, fight CIA sponsored drug cartels, or turn a hardware store into a deadly weapon. However if trouble DOES find me, I want to difuse the situation quickly as possible.

So would Aikido be a good choice? I'd like to learn stuff that can be put to use after proper training obviously, as long as I don't have to become some grand master in the mountains first. I know Aikido is more complex, which is why I have no idea how long the learning curve is. Like I mentioned, my other option is JKD. Other than that, it's all McDojos around my house offering Kenpo/TKD; not what I want.

Ahh a fellow Rhode Islander...Welcome, I know of Frank Gallo sensei but not the other you mentioned....I would honestly suggest you try out a class and see if you like it. Also I suggest you should try different instructers, come down and take a class at my dojo, Aikido Downtown, a nice school good people, we are right on Weybosett street in downtown provadence. (sorry i have to plug my own school), well once again welcome, and its nice to see some locals on here.
dan

Dan Hulley
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:21 PM   #10
eyrie
 
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

That's it Dan... plug away!

I know it's bad form to cross post from another forum, but I just can't help myself....

This was my response to Michael:
http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthrea...age/0#15831301

so sue me....

Ignatius
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:15 PM   #11
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

hmmm I should have probably added this www.budojo.com

Dan Hulley
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:32 PM   #12
MG22
Location: Cranston, RI
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Didn't you like my response on FightingArts.com?????

I'm deeply offended....
Just trying to get as many views as possible.
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:11 PM   #13
eyrie
 
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Well, what do you think a bunch of aikidoka are going to say?

Dan's got the right idea though.... I think he should get a "recruiter of the month" award. (Lorraine DiAnne if you're reading this....)

So far, nothing anyone has said, detracts from my original response to you.

Maybe the question should be "are you right for Aikido"?

Whatever art you end up deciding with, do it because you love it. If you don't like it, even if it is the most effective self-defense system in the world, it is not going to help you one bit.

Besides, (almost) everyone else here (and over at FA) will tell you the same thing: it's not the art that's effective, but the practitioner.

Ignatius
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:33 PM   #14
roosvelt
Location: Ontario
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Well, what do you think a bunch of aikidoka are going to say?

:
:

Maybe the question should be "are you right for Aikido"?

Whatever art you end up deciding with, do it because you love it. If you don't like it, even if it is the most effective self-defense system in the world, it is not going to help you one bit.
I agree with Teo.

For self-defense, putting on another 40lbs of muscle is quicker and more effective way. you basically can do it in a year.

IF you train Aikido 1-2 hours a session, twice a week. After 10 year you may use it in a real life setting.
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:42 PM   #15
Edwin Neal
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Roosvelt said,
"For self-defense, putting on another 40lbs of muscle is quicker and more effective way. you basically can do it in a year.

IF you train Aikido 1-2 hours a session, twice a week. After 10 year you may use it in a real life setting."

that all depends on a lot of variables... so this statement is rejected as it is completely arbitrary...

Mr. Fooks... not a throw away... i think it is for everyone, i think this was Osensei's position as well... even hardcore MMA types who think it has nothing to offer... could benefit IF they opened their minds and looked deeper into the art...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-22-2006, 06:51 AM   #16
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Honestly the only time I used aikido in an obvious self-defense situation was after about 6 months of training, and it worked fine. I was traveling in India and some nutcase guy in Madras charged at me as if he were going to knock me over and grab my bag. This was in broad daylight on a fairly busy street. Anyway, I just stood in hamni and stuck my arm up in a basic block -- very static, not very refined at all, but enough to unbalance him, not me, so that he reeled away looking at me strangely and I continued on my way (and proceeded to freak out quietly for about an hour when I reached my destination). I guess my point is that self defense is more about attitude, about having a response, any response, than having great technique. Real life applications are many and varried.

I will put in a plug for yet another dojo in Providence, the Brown/RISD club http://www.usafaikido.com/ I think that Carl is a nidan now, but I know that he's been practicing for about 20 years, and is a super nice guy and an excellent teacher. It will probably be a little less self-defense oriented than the two places you mentioned, but it's worth a look. I mean, take a week and watch classes at each of these places, and then you'll be better able to choose the best dojo/sensei for yourself.
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Old 02-22-2006, 07:25 AM   #17
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

They sound like intstructors with a wealth of experiance and knowledge, especially in a wider field with the law enforcement side. Check it out, what have you got to lose?

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-22-2006, 10:37 AM   #18
Aristeia
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Hi Edwin. I agree that it should be availible for everyone. I don't agree that everyone will find Aikido to be a good fit for them however. Many many people will not. From those that just aren't interested in a martial art period to those that do not have affinity for the philosophy. If you could wave a magic wand and have everyone do Aikido as part of the education system for a year or two. I doubt you'd see many more continue doing it after school than those currently practicing.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:10 AM   #19
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

I have decided that I do want to fight CIA sponsored drug cartels that wear jehri curls and white suits. To this end, I have just ordered everything Amazon.com has to offer by one Ashida Kim. I think this will supplement my aikido quite nicely. I guy with a name that Pan-Asian has to know what he's talking about...

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:18 AM   #20
akiy
 
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

To provide some fodder for this discussion, here are some polls I've taken in the past that pertain to this thread:

Do you think Morihei Ueshiba intended aikido for everyone? - 11/27/2004
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=248

Is absolutely everyone suited to learn aikido? - 9/4/2004
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=236

Is aikido suitable for absolutely everyone to learn? - 8/28/2004
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=235

Do you think that studying aikido would be beneficial for everyone? - 1/20/2001
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=42

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:57 PM   #21
Tambreet
Dojo: Tenshinkan Dojo, Chicago
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

I can't speak for JKD versus aikido, but Gallo Sensei visited our organization in Chicago for a seminar last fall, and he is a great instructor. He brings a lot of psychology, as well as experience he's had trying out techniques both on the street and in while doing his PhD research, and the end result is a very practical approach to aikido that will really work out on the street.

The seminar focused on tactical and police use of aikido, modifying rolls to never lose eye contact with the attacker, many multiple attacker situations, and incorporating things like guns, batons, and handcuffs - all with the mindset that your uke is seriously out to kill/hurt you. I'm not sure if that's how he always teachs at his dojo or it he focused on that because it was a tactical seminar, but I'd definitely at least try a class.
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:51 PM   #22
Steven Gubkin
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

I would really suggest that you do not make the mistake of only trying one or two schools before settling on one. Near you there is a bjj school http://www.timburrill.com/index.asp which i think you should definately check out. Definately look into a boxing or kickboxing school. See if you can get in contact with a judo club. Try all of these for at least a couple of classes, preferably a week or two. If you don't do this now, you might end up spending years in a school which really isn't that suited to you, just becaause you don't know what options are available to you.
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Old 02-22-2006, 07:00 PM   #23
Eliot
Dojo: Bucks County Aikido
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

My two cents, I have been a Police Officer for 15 years and I have been investigating different Martial Arts for the past few months. I sat in on classes from Tae Kwon Do, Jeet Kune Do, Jiu Jitsu, Kenpo and BJJ. I finally found Aikido and I was very impressed with it. I realized after being a cop for such a long time that it is easy to hurt someone. It is however more difficult to treat you advesary with respect and diffuse the situation without anyone getting hurt. There is an entire explanation for that last statement (Way too long). Anyway I believe that Aikido will work in almost every situation because you can be gentle or as devastating as you need to be. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-22-2006, 07:43 PM   #24
Aristeia
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Quote:
Steven Gubkin wrote:
I would really suggest that you do not make the mistake of only trying one or two schools before settling on one. Near you there is a bjj school http://www.timburrill.com/index.asp which i think you should definately check out. Definately look into a boxing or kickboxing school. See if you can get in contact with a judo club. Try all of these for at least a couple of classes, preferably a week or two. If you don't do this now, you might end up spending years in a school which really isn't that suited to you, just becaause you don't know what options are available to you.
Good advice. As a great instructor once said to me - you can waste alot of time in martial arts. Best have a decent look around first.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 02-23-2006, 06:49 AM   #25
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Is Aikido right for me?

Even looking around may not give you the information you need. It can take months before you can really know what you've gotten yourself into at any martial arts school.

JKD was my first martial art and, although aikido is a passion of mine, JKD may be a better place to start. But what kind of JKD is it? Is is a more strict "Jun Fan" style, or is a a "JKD concepts" school? Do you want to learn how to spar?

We are the same size, btw...at least that's how much I weighed at 22 .
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