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Gingerdave

Starting Aikido - Any tips?

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I am going to disagree with lucidzfl as well.  I understand your point but I do not agree with this statement…

 

“MMA is quite simply the most realistic form of self defense.â€

 

Despite what you may say otherwise, MMA is a sport.  It’s a set of techniques that are learnt and that are most likely to be successful in the generic ruleset that MMA is governed by.  Due to different body types and personal preference different competitors will tend to use different techniques and tactics when competing.

 

Does this mean that MMA is bad or useless to learn when interested in self defense?  No.  The techniques taught and training methodologies generally use do make it a good choice.  But certainly not the best and not the most realistic.

 

MMA teaches you how to be a fighter.  But self defense is more than just fighting.  If you are genuinely interested and focused on self defense then you would want to look at somewhere that teaches you about common self defense scenarios and even better runs scenario based training and methods of self defense that are not simply ‘fighting’.  Unfortunately these places and very very rare, but if you keep your eyes and ears alert you may be able to find seminars or courses that will cover this sort of material.

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It saddens me that so often what should be open honest discussions about martial arts quickly devolve into "my Sensei could beat up your Sensei" nonsense.  I practiced Aikido for several years and have had the great fortune to have trained in dojos both domestically and in Japan.  Did I train with people who trained "soft" and focused on ki? Sure.  Did I train with people who could have snapped me in half? Yes, more often than not.  My (limited) understanding of martial arts leads me to the conclusion that they train you for life first and combat a distant second.  Lets be the type of folks that people don't want to dropkick in the first place, that way we don't need to worry about the effectiveness (street value) of our chosen art.  If you want to practice a martial art to boost your confidence, get in better shape, and to help you get out of  situation if need be.  Let's not be Ed Gruberman -

 

If Aikido fits your Physiology and you enjoy it, go for it!  If not choose a different art and stick with it, that is the only way to success ;-)

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Don't expect to learn anything that is practical for self defence. 

 

Thoroughly disagree.

 

As a Shodan in Yoshinkan Aikido, I know what is taught is practical, because I've used it.  Styles and teachings differ from dojo to dojo, but as with any martial art, you get out what you put in.

 

This topic seems to have been picked apart by a lot of members, so I won't elaborate further.  If you have any questions, you can ask.

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@Gingerdave - starting Aikido can be a great way to exercise AND learn practical self-defense.  Make sure you pick a dojo with a good instructor, and start with the basics.  Aikido can be challenging on many levels, but stick with it and you will be changed by the art.

 

All the best.

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Hey all,

 

At the end of next challenge, it'll be the first week of September, re-opening of all schools.  And I would subscribe at an Aikido Dojo.  Been postponing this for 3years already :s

I have the luck of living in a city with at least 4 Dojo's & some more 'independent sensei'.  So I guess i'll be fine finding one where the spirit is to my liking.

 

but still :

- how feasible would it be to attend two Dojo:  would it be confusing, or in contrary helpful by having different angles on the same material.

- I'm wearing glasses:  I suppose I cant wear them on the tatami with all the falling going on?  Things get blurry in the distance, i'm stressed about not seeing the sensei's explanations.

- how real is the statement: that long time students still learn from training with total beginners ?   I have this mental thing that I hate myself for wasting other people time.  I'd sink through the ground of shame if this black-belt dude 'lost half an hour of his training' re-explaining things I don't seem to get into my head.

 

Tnx in advance, be seeing you soon in the NF Monastery as fresh Novice.

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Well, far be it for me to speak for the aikidoka in this place, but let me take a crack at it and y'all can correct me if I get it wrong.

 

-Probably not a good idea to attend two schools on the same style. Most schools have more than one instructor anyway, so you'll get a lot of different points of view regardless. You'd rather have these points coming from a consistent vision of what the martial art is and what it's trained for. Training in multiple dojo will disrupt that.

 

-I wear glasses too. Can't wear 'em when doing falling, rolling, or sparring. That said, if it really worries you, most teachers are cool with it if you run to get your seeing accessories. :D

 

-Oh, my God. They learn all the time from white belts. White belts and other noobs never know what they're supposed to do, how they're supposed to fall, things like that. This forces the black belt to explain and practice the most basic things, the foundational parts of the style. It's incredibly useful to them to train white belts, even if they don't know it or understand it, so don't let them guilt you one way or the other.

 

Looking forward to seeing you next challenge!

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I've been practicing Aikido for only a couple months so I am very much a white belt. a couple of weeks ago one of the higher level students commented that he had been doing better with a technique by imitating how I had been doing it.

So yeah don't feel you're wasting their time. Besides from my experience someone who relily enjoys something loves to teach it to others.

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So take everything I say with a large grain of salt.  I've only been practicing aikido for a year or so but I'm testing for my 4th kyu (second grade) in 3 weeks (eek!), and apparently I've been solidified in my dojo as one of the more serious students.  Whether or not that means anything, who the hell knows.  But anyway, my take:

 

- how feasible would it be to attend two Dojo:  would it be confusing, or in contrary helpful by having different angles on the same material.

 

I'd honestly say it's not a horrible thing, but I'd start off by going to 1 dojo to get a "home base."  In my immediate area there are 3 dojos, 2 of which are related (my dojo broke off from the main dojo several years ago), and there's at least 2 academic institutions with aikido clubs that are pretty damned serious (which, since they are Ivy league schools kinda makes sense).  So there's a good chunk of "cross pollination" as it were in regards for who trains where.  I've frequently been told that I should visit the Harvard aikiai people to train with them, and several of them train regularly at my home dojo.

 

Barring all of that, aikido doesn't have tournaments, but seminars.  If you're really just looking to experience a wide variety of techniques and people, you're better off saving up and going to a few of those a year.  Plus you can meet really cool people, if you're not a petrified introvert like myself.

 

 

- I'm wearing glasses:  I suppose I cant wear them on the tatami with all the falling going on?  Things get blurry in the distance, i'm stressed about not seeing the sensei's explanations.

 

I also wear glasses.  For a while I was pretty much wearing them all the time, mainly because I was stressed about not seeing the instructor, too.  For the most part, the falls were never so hard that the glasses came flying off.  Yes, I was going across the room, but the centripetal force kept the suckers on.  Worst case scenario is you could get sports glasses or just the chum glasses holders to keep them secure on your face.  I stopped wearing them once I realized I a.) was starting to panic more about them crunching than trying to view what the instructor taught, b.) I realized that by hearing the name I could mostly figure out what foot went where, and that c.) if I was wrong the instructor was likely to correct me pretty quickly.

 

 

 

- how real is the statement: that long time students still learn from training with total beginners ?   I have this mental thing that I hate myself for wasting other people time.  I'd sink through the ground of shame if this black-belt dude 'lost half an hour of his training' re-explaining things I don't seem to get into my head.

 

The other day I was training with 2 new students (less than a 2 months).  While I'm certainly not the most experienced person in the world, I learned things from both of them.  The first one was nailing a technique I have to test on soon, which is one of the hardest techniques you get down.  The second had about 2 classes under his belt, and while his technique was as you would expect, the process of me throwing him allowed me to slow down and work on things I know I have an issue with. 

 

What I'm saying is don't worry about the "wasting training time" part of it.  The senior student should always be aware on what they can do better, and try to improve that while training with a new student (and an instructor was telling us how early on she had all her students practicing things she was horrible at).  And beyond that, if they want more training time odds are they'll just grab someone after class to get some throws in.  Only thing I'd say is if a senior student gives advice, TAKE IT.  The students/peers who drive me up a wall are the ones who I tell/pass information along to to give them help who then promptly ignore my advice or argue that it's wrong (seriously, I had a student who'd been around for 3 months tell me I was supposed to let him fully grab before moving, rather than blending and using his energy to make the throw easier....).  Question all you like, but people give advice to help.  That being said, also note that people do techniques differently, and sometimes it's just better to do the technique one way with one person, and another way to someone else.

 

Hope my long-windedness helps a bit!

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Going back to the original question,

 

 

So from those of you who have done Aikido what are your tips for newbies?

 

Work on your core strength, balance and flexibility.  As others have mentioned, most of the exercise in aikido comes from falling down and getting up.  Most of the injuries come from falling down incorrectly.  You want to be able to get up from a roll using your core muscles and legs, not your arms.

 

Most schools teach in a non-linear fashion.  The teacher will choose a topic for the class that has nothing to do with what was taught in the previous week.  The same moves are combined in many different ways.  That can be very confusing for a beginner.  The dojo I started in had basic, regular and advanced classes.  I was on summer break from college and all my friends were out of town so I went to all the basic and regular classes.  They were all over my head.  The only real difference was that in basic class the instructor said more about the technique I wasn't able to do.  I went to six classes a week.  Luckily the advanced class was on Sundays so I could stay up late on Saturdays playing RPGs with no guilt. :)  Don't worry about remembering techniques from one class to the next.  That will just sink in naturally over time.  Go to as many classes as you can.

 

One thing to really work on is good form in rolling.  You will be taking back and front rolls over and over again in every class.  Make sure that your foot and knee are lined up with the direction of your movement EVERY TIME you stand up.  You want a 90-degree angle between the foot and the shin as you get up.  If your feet are too close together your knee will be in front of your toes.  That puts stress on your knee.  Having the knee bent to the side with stress going forward is even worse.  Repetitive stress to the knees will catch up with you.  Ask around any dojo - most of the senior people have knee problems.  Even more people have to drop out because of knee or back injuries.  Don't let that happen to you.  Form good habits from the start.  You may not be able to follow the technique the sensei demonstrated, but you can concentrate on improving your rolls every time.

 

My first aikido class was in 1981. I continue to train 2-3 days a week.

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-Oh, my God. They learn all the time from white belts. White belts and other noobs never know what they're supposed to do, how they're supposed to fall, things like that. This forces the black belt to explain and practice the most basic things, the foundational parts of the style. It's incredibly useful to them to train white belts, even if they don't know it or understand it, so don't let them guilt you one way or the other.

 

Great point, Kishi. I loved my time spent practicing aikido, and it was a similar comment from one of the more senior students that really made be feel like a contributor, rather than dead weight. It's that "wild card" that keeps even pros on their toes.

 

And to the naysayers: you are correct, no one will ever come at you in the nice clean style of a "practice aikido" (or any other martial art "practice" strike. But I've been in an alternate training environment where my classmates and I had to go at each other (monitored by an instructor), and I honestly tell you that Aikido helped. I did not perform any four-direction throws, or graceful sidestepping, but my understanding of entering, keeping my centre of weight low, stepping out from the attacker, etc.  did help.

 

Learning aikido helps with the gross fundamentals, as I'm sure any other martial art would.  I'd just really, really recommend Aikido for the emphasis on flow.

 

Plus, randori is fantastic to watch.

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Is aikido effective in self defense... well even now lost of japanese masters says yes because it develops mobility, awarenes, flexibility... But they don't say it is a lethal martial art for the one who want to be the strongest :)

 

This martial art tends to kill...the EGO, in the sens that it develops softness, inner well being and consciousness. So the main target is not to defend the body, but to defend the brain and the soul, meaning that in stead of focusing on "are you the best fighter?", but on "are you a better man". If you are paraoï about your enemies you think about getting the best and the most weapons possible, but you forget about you inner ennemies (greed, violence, laziness,etc...) which in time of peace matter the most.

 

So in the inner part Aikido is one of the best self defense art, also develops the body..

 

After, for street selfdefense, there is always the legend of MMA is the best. Or aikido is the best... well i don't know about it.

Aikido as says kishi focuses only on joints blocks and throws, and weapons, and MMA on punching wresling and body power.

Well if you are beaffy and muscle in a one to one fight MMA wins :), agains weapons aikido wins. I an multi attackers fight, nobody wins!!! Just run man !!! :D

At 70 years old MMA is not the best... aikido still can be practiced easyly..

 

When i first practiced krav maga after practicing jujitsu and aikido for more than 10 years i thought only jujitsu would be usefull, but when i got attacked by various opponents, with weapons my aikido practice pop up surprisingly... so the only thing i know now, it's that you can find ressources for self defense every where.

 

But about REAL self defense it's starts first :

 

Inside (with a peacefull mind) and aikido brings it.

After for the body: the diet, the fitness, and a good job:D brings it (yes that is being really realistic :D)

And against opponents in the street external arts (like MMA, jujitsu, judo ,kudo, kyokushinkai, kali,thai boxing , wing chun and krav maga ....) seem to be the easiest to be remembered and realistic in a fight. (some also use systema) those are practiced by police forces.

But you have to adapt to your body, your age, your style, your purpose...and time because external arts are easier to learn, some internal can be really efficent after years of practice....

 

If you really really want to be a killing machine then...join the special forces... :D

 

And anyway it not only  what style you practice, but how you practice it ! And what it brings you...

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Stumbled across this comical thread, and forums, by sheer luck. I'll get straight to the point and put you Aikidoka's in your place - since I do not like seeing people being led to a false sense of security. 

 

I always come across the same typical arguments from Aikido practitioners: 

 

         "Aikido works, you are just ignorant and need to try it out!" 

 

No, it does not work. We are all still yet to see some real evidence of Aikido being used under duress against a real threat.

 

"Aikido isn't used in MMA because Aikido is not a sport!"

 

Plenty of Martial Arts do fine in MMA. If Aikido would work, MMA/NHB fighters would use it. Simple as that. No need for any excuses.

 

"Aikido isn't used in MMA because small-joint manipulation is banned!"

 

Incorrect. Most Aikido "attacks" do not involve small-joint manipulation. Wrist locks and throws are not small-joint manipulation either, and so therefore, are allowed in MMA and no-holds-barred competition. But still, it is not used, and for obvious reasons. 

 

"Comparing Aikido with MMA is stupid. Your MMA benchmark is bullcrap!" 

 

Not at all. MMA and no-holds-barred fighting is the real deal. It is real evidence. Aikido is pseudo-scientific bullshit based on untested theory. And no one uses it. In fact, just to cut Aikido a little bit of slack, the most action that Aikido has seen is where a police officer is arresting a compliant subject.

 

"Aikido was designed for war!"

 

Many styles were designed for war. Many of them also do fine in MMA and no-holds-barred. Why is Aikido an exception?

 

"Aikido has plenty of techniques that are effective" 
 
How do you know they are effective? Do you have any real evidence to back this claim? 
 
"Aikido is not a sport"
 
Because it wouldn't work as a sport. Because it doesn't work.

 

"Aikido is good for self-defense" 

 

Again. Pure myth. There is no video evidence of Aikido being officially used to defeat or stop a worthy assailant.

 

 

 

Apologies to those dedicated Aikidoka's of whom are offended by what was just said - but there is the cold, hard reality for you. Enjoy.

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@Realitycheck

 

Firstly, you revived a thread that is over a year old.

Secondly, your first post on this forum is trashing another art.

Seems to me like you're trying to pick a fight. 

 

In regards to your comment, have you ever even tried Aikido? As in, walked into a place actively training Aikido and tried it fully? Like, spent a couple of months feeling out the art and deciding whether you like it or not?

 

(Further responses will not be biased. I am not an aikidoka, I'm a boxer and grappler.)

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@Realitycheck

 

Firstly, you revived a thread that is over a year old.

Secondly, your first post on this forum is trashing another art.

Seems to me like you're trying to pick a fight. 

 

In regards to your comment, have you ever even tried Aikido? As in, walked into a place actively training Aikido and tried it fully? Like, spent a couple of months feeling out the art and deciding whether you like it or not?

 

(Further responses will not be biased. I am not an aikidoka, I'm a boxer and grappler.)

 

^This.

 

Interesting you claim aikido is useless, and there is no 'proof' of it being effective.  You could make the argument that MMA has no proof at being effective - after all, you only see it in a sporting ring.

 

Anyway, I have the proof I need for aikidos effectiveness.  I've used it on drunk, aggressive friends to get them to stop.  I've used it to help protect myself from a mosh pit at a concert.  I've fallen countless times and never thought once about what would happen because my body knew how to take a fall.  As for untested theories... interesting how physics and human anatomy are considered 'untested.'  That's what drew me to aikido in the first place - the basic principles behind it are much more complex and elegant than a simple kick or punch.

 

Anyway, enough of wasting time.  An MMAer with your attitude, RealityCheck, clearly won't change your mind, regardless of any exchange that may happen.  But as a heads up, I do not tolerate trolling.  Take that as you will.

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      "Aikido works, you are just ignorant and need to try it out!" 

 

No, it does not work. We are all still yet to see some real evidence of Aikido being used under duress against a real threat.

 

It actually took me less than two minutes to debunk this completely.

 

 

Evidence that somebody with three months of aikido training managed to stop an armed robber from robbing an ice-cream store?!

Call it what the hell you want, but that just screams effective.

If a dude with just three months can stop an armed robber, I wonder what established people in the art can do?

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I'm honestly not sure, but I think it's because most people lack real experience.

A lot of people (you know, those types that think China and Japan are the same place) get a lot of their martial arts knowledge from the TV and movies.

Not only does this completely misrepresent the reason people study martial arts, but it makes them into armchair experts.

There are a lot of these types who glorify MMA as the ultimate fighting style, whilst never having walked into a MMA gym. I'm willing to bet that there are people who glorify aikido too, or eskrima, or wrestling, or whatever.

An experienced fighter will know most of the time that it's not about the style, but the person.

 

Armchair experts aside, there are also a lot of people do practice a style, but only for a little while. These guys usually glorify their style because they haven't got enough experience in anything martial. Give it a couple of years, some hard losses and a bit of good teaching, they'll grow up.

 

I'm willing to bet that lil Ol'Realitycheck either has no experience in martial arts or if so, has been training martial arts for not nearly long enough. In the rare case that he does have a lot of experience, then he's most likely got sub-par experience and pretty shit teachers.

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For the proponents of Aikido, I would invite you to show a you-tube video of someone teaching/practicing classic Aikido that is realistically usable in a dynamic environment that doesn't over-utilize extremely compliant partners.

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For the proponents of Aikido, I would invite you to show a you-tube video of someone teaching/practicing classic Aikido that is realistically usable in a dynamic environment that doesn't over-utilize extremely compliant partners.

 

For proponents of striking arts, I would invite you to show a youtube video of someone teaching/practicing classic martial arts that is realistically usable in a dynamic environment that doesn't over-utilize standing in a single place in a line repeating the instructor's movements with no one in front of them of while wearing sparring gear.

 

Yea, any *practice* or *teaching* will clearly use people who are more compliant.  That's how demonstrations work.  Doesn't matter if its is a soft or hard art.  When you're teaching, you need people to work with you, not against you.  The goal is as you progress, particularly in aikido, your partners also become less compliant.  That allows you to further your technique.  Are there people who don't do that?  Of course.  I know several at my dojo.  I avoid working with them for that reason.  But just because a teaching method looks soft and compliant doesn't mean it is that way in 'real life.'  I say that as someone who's used techniques on non-compliant people in the past.  They don't get up fast, and the get the idea quick to stop what they are doing.  

 

Now, this isn't a thread of "Should I do aikido or not" but "I started aikido, can I have advice."  Calling aikido crap in any terms is not what this thread is for.  You want to discuss it, make a new thread.  Otherwise I will lock this.

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Wow. Go figure someone would step in to lower this thread down to the lowest common denominator. So, to get this back on track of advice I'll offer a little more:

Yes, advanced students learn all the time from beginners. This happens both because they are encouraged to share what they know with the beginner (which forces them to consider what they do more deeply) and also because beginners are not indoctrinated yet so to speak. Beginners possess what I call N00b Fu. Their responses to a stimulus more closely

emulate the untrained and show how easy it is to actually defend against a technique that is mostly good. Mostly is the key to that sentence.

With most percussive systems you can get away with your techniques being "mostly" good. They will do their job, but with less effectiveness. When their job is to do damage, then less effective means it will take more of them to subdue your opponent. In joint manipulation it means you don't have squat. It is a good idea to find a teacher that allows a certain level of spontaneous training in order to show this.

I tell my students that the Uke (ie bad guy) is never wrong. Only the Tori (defender) can be wrong. This is because the Tori is supposed to harmonize with the Uke to perform. It is like ballroom dancing, and the Aikidoka is actually the female role. You have to constantly respond to the Uke to be able to defeat him.

In the striking arts, this is possible but not necessarily so. The striker needs to focus more on the ability to use any given weapon on any given attack. I demonstrated this in class to my black belts the other night when I used a low block to defend against a high punch.

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I tell my students that the Uke (ie bad guy) is never wrong. Only the Tori (defender) can be wrong. This is because the Tori is supposed to harmonize with the Uke to perform. It is like ballroom dancing, and the Aikidoka is actually the female role. You have to constantly respond to the Uke to be able to defeat him.

 

That is an amazingly apt analogy.  I may hijack that quote in the future when I work with newbies.

 

>.>

 

<.<

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