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jackien1

Which martial art to learn first?

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Ooh, what was the story?

 

The semi-short version:

 

Drunk guy at a party (Brother of a friend) was being a dick and splashing his beer bottle at me (alcohol waste AND a dick? Terrible!), so I kept backing up.  But I got to a point where I was wedged into a corner made by a stair case (going down), the wall, and a huge dining table.  So I grabbed his wrist a few times to get him to stop.  Wrist grabs are terrible - the point between the thumb and forefinger is incredibly easy to break through even with impressive grip strength, so this guy did just that.  However, he then grabbed my wrist. 

 

And then suddenly he was on the floor.

 

I have no memory of thinking "I am going to apply a technique."  I was grabbed.  There was a significant potential for threat to me (drunk, hyper martial artist who had already been playing with his brother with various techniques).  I could not inflict injury because as dickish as he was being, the guy is normally pretty chill.  I just acted, and locked him in a very basic wrist lock.  And held him there until his brother said it was enough.  But it was instant muscle memory.

 

I've been told aikido doesn't work.  I have experienced otherwise.  I actually told this story to someone who told me aikido was fake.  And their response?  It didn't count because the guy was drunk and anyone can subdue a drunk.  Ignoring how wrong that is for a second, the question about the efficacy wasn't did I subdue him, but could he get back up uninjured when I stopped.  That is aikido.  I knocked him down.  He got back up with enough knowledge that doing what he had been doing to me was probably a poor idea to continue.  Harmony was restored, barring one sore wrist.

 

Was my application perfect?  Gods no.  But it was effective and required minimal effort on my part.  All reasons why I love aikido.  Did it require a specific application before I could apply it?  Yea.  Aikido is passive like that (one of the things my girlfriend and another friend of mine tease me about - how I can't act until something is done to me.  But that suits my personality).  But I certainly ended it.

 

 

I was kinda confused about the belt colours. Following this image (found it on the site of the Aikido place I'm gonna trial at), does that mean my first belt will be green? 

 

How long did it take you to earn your very first belt?

 

SkHAQ6Z.png

 

I have no idea on how to interpret that image.

 

Higher kyu numbers indicate lower ranks.  So I suspect that for people who want to test for 8th kyu to just be able to say they "Have a Belt" might be allowed to test to get that forward momentum motivation (some people need that reward to keep motivated).  Otherwise it seems like the "normal" first rank is 6th kyu?  No idea.  Ask on you visit how the grading system works.  My place has a "You're all white belts until your are black belts" flavor.  We also aren't given hakamas until we hit shodan (woman included - which is one thing that makes us different that Aikikai in Tokyo).

 

As for my gradings.  These are my requirements (spoiler because huge):

ATJB%20Test%20Requirements.png

 

For my first belt I think I had 80 classes logged or so?  Took me eight months, but a portion of that was because we only have 3 gradings a year (April, August, December).  I wasn't quite ready by August, but was well past what I needed by the next test in December.

 

Ultimately, test when you're ready, not when you've logged enough hours.  My first belt I needed many more hours than required.  The one I'm currently testing for I have been told I had the ability to pass the grading almost immediately after the last exam, hours withstanding.  Just means I've gotten to apply myself in different ways as I spend time on the mat.

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Dang! I'm glad I asked about the story. That's really cool. 

 

And holy moly. Do you know what each of those refer to? All the words.

 

What is testing like? Are there many judges?

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Dang! I'm glad I asked about the story. That's really cool. 

 

No problem.  It's my story of using aikido, and I hope to never have to use it off the mat ever again. :P

 

(I use falling, balance, and awareness all the freaking time, though).

 

 

And holy moly. Do you know what each of those refer to? All the words.

 

What is testing like? Are there many judges?

 

Hahaha.  Yea, I know what they mean.  Do I know the techniques for what they mean?  Slightly different answer.  I know some of the techniques those words mean.  Lots more exist though.  This is just the start.  Like I said - I gots a long way to go.

 

I've only tested at my dojo, and haven't seen a seminar grading, so grains of salt with this.  Our exams have three judges (Chief instructor and the two most senior instructors).  We get called up, they announce the techniques/requirements, and we perform them until we hear them state the next one.  Goes on until the exam ends, then you bow out and switch.  Honestly, our dojo grading is.... a formality.  I feel in any non-McDojo that's the case.  Instructors won't let you test unless you are ready to test, not because 2.4 months have passed and you can now test.  Testing in front of people is just a way to let everyone know "Yea, Sensei said he can continue progressing upwards."  I have never seen a person fail an exam when they've been allowed to test. (I will note that I've seen people who have tested who I think should have failed, or just not had the skill level I think for a rank, but I am not the judge clearly.)

 

Anyway, I have a post somewhere with my 3rd kyu grading that was posted on Youtube.  I'll dig it up.

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Awareness? Is that like, spidey sense?

 

Wow, martial arts is a really lifelong thing. 

 

(I will note that I've seen people who have tested who I think should have failed, or just not had the skill level I think for a rank, but I am not the judge clearly.)

Hahaha!

 

 

Anyway, I have a post somewhere with my 3rd kyu grading that was posted on Youtube.  I'll dig it up.

I'm excited to see it!

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Awareness? Is that like, spidey sense?

 

Kinda.  Just becoming more sensitive to body language and motion in general.  And seriously, being able to fall has saved my ass (and neck) so many times now.

 

 

I'm excited to see it!

 

This is the link to the challenge I did it in.  Because I'm lazy and would have to fight with Youtube otherwise.  Enjoy!

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Very few martial arts meatheads would tell an NFL Linebacker that his Aikido was useless to his face.

 

Your martial art will never be in an emergency with you, it will be you. You with YOUR athleticism and YOUR wits against THAT threat at THAT time at THAT location. 

 

A GOOD Aikido program is probably the best of the major arts at de-escalation, exactly as the example risen phoenix pointed out. I have used wrist locks/arm bars in the real world in the same situation as risen phoenix.

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I'm watching your video right now RisenPhoenix, and yesterday I watched a Judo falling video. Why do people smack the ground as they fall? 

 

Also, at the 9min 42 sec mark, the uke does a little bow(?). Is this because he had to adjust his gi?

 

Also, another question, why do some people walk on their knees to the center to take their test? Instead of normal walking. Is this a respect thing?

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I'm watching your video right now RisenPhoenix, and yesterday I watched a Judo falling video. Why do people smack the ground as they fall?

 

Kind of a force dispersal thing.  On one had, it's a function of being forcefully thrown to the ground and using that hand to orient yourself to the ground so you land properly (ie - in a way to not break yourself).  I also feel like it's in the same category as an itch when you're not thrown with a great deal of force - the fall can still sting, but you end up focusing on the stinging hand instead of the stinging body in that case.  Sometimes it backfires.  Like when I slam my hand against the wood boarder at me dojo.  Ow.

 

 

Also, at the 9min 42 sec mark, the uke does a little bow(?). Is this because he had to adjust his gi?

 

You know, I don't even remember him doing that.  But yea, it's more or less because he interrupted practice to adjust himself, and it signaled that he was both sorry and ready to being again.  Honestly, he could have skipped it - our dojo etiquette doesn't require that.  But he probably went a tinge more formal since it was the exam. (Also I'm ashamed that my back was to the kamiza/front/judges while waiting - THAT is an etiquette breach).

 

Also, another question, why do some people walk on their knees to the center to take their test? Instead of normal walking. Is this a respect thing?

 

Kind of.  It's also a way of showcasing their ability to walk that way.  Sheiko is a terrible, terrible thing.  Tough on knees, tough on toes, tough on movement.  Kind of the bane of my existence.  But exams require it, so we do.

 

 

 I have used wrist locks/arm bars in the real world in the same situation as risen phoenix.

 

Not in the "Proper use of aikido" category, but.....

 

I've both put and NF admin in an arm bar and then a nikkyo hold AND taught another NF admin how to do a basic ikkyo arm bar.  The former was fun because said admin is a lanky bastard.  The latter was fun because she is this tiny little girl and even with a significant amount of force I could only raise myself up maybe 3 inches while she just sat there.

 

Fun with anatomy, physics, and Nerds!

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Ok so I just had the lesson and we learnt the front roll and tried nikkyo and sankyo I think. (There was another dude who was there for his first time as well.) 

 

That was really fun and while I was trying nikkyo, it kinda hit me for the first time that wow, you really have to pay attention cause, like, you're doing the move and you don't really know how the uke is feeling. 

 

Like, I don't really know how to say it but when I was trying nikkyo and he tapped I was like 'oh was that painful?' Cause it didn't take a lot of force on my part and so I didn't think it would actually be painful for him. So, that was like. kinda eye-opening. 

I think what contributes to that is also that I was a head or so shorter than him and me being so small has usually always required me to put in more force than other people do so I wasn't used to that. 

 

All in all, it was a super super cool class and I had fun doing it! 

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Like, I don't really know how to say it but when I was trying nikkyo and he tapped I was like 'oh was that painful?' Cause it didn't take a lot of force on my part and so I didn't think it would actually be painful for him. So, that was like. kinda eye-opening. 

I think what contributes to that is also that I was a head or so shorter than him and me being so small has usually always required me to put in more force than other people do so I wasn't used to that. 

 

Welcome to why I love aikido.  Very tiny movements, very dramatic results.  Just make sure not to break uke.  Lots of force on an untrained nikkyo has injured many-a-wrist I believe.

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Grats on your first class!  With any new locking technique, I ask the instructor to do technique on me if I wasn't the volunteer for the instructor demo. I do this for two reasons: I want to get a feel for where/how it is supposed to hurt, so I understand how fart to go on my uki...and I do it to so when I am the Uki, I can tell if the tori is doing it right.

 

Safety for your Uki is more important than you learning the technique perfectly that day. "Aki" take years to master, don't be disappointed if your not perfect immediately. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, don't rush to failure.

 

If you are the Uki and you don't think the Tori is doing something right, ask the instructor to come over and watch. Often times I know the tori is doing something wrong, but I can't explain it (or even worse, I think I know what they are doing wrong, but I am incorrect). I have never met a tori that was offended by that. They want to learn too.

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Yeah, there was at least one instructor with the other guy and I at all times since it was our first lesson so it was a really meticulous class but I'm sure once we integrate into the main class that won't be the case so I'll remember that advice. 

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I wouldn't sweat the style or school, if you are just getting a workout on the weekend. Just do whatever and have fun. I'm no martial artist, but if you decide you are interested in it for defense, I can maybe give some free (and therefor questionable lol) advice. 

 

I second the Judo, for what it's worth. Throwing and rolling will help your balance and mindset in a clinch, and is a great base for other athletic stuff. And mostly have fun. Good luck.

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I'll go out on a limb and recommend Judo for a complete beginner. It teaches you how to fall (an eternally useful skill) and gets you used to being up close and personal, having some one in your space and being in some ones space. It also teaches some basic skills about human physiology and levers that stand you in good stead. Good for conditioning to...oh and it's fun :D

 

I second this! Judo is my first martial art I ever did and after a good ten years, I would recommend it to anyone!

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I would personally recommend Karate, I know it may sound cliche and for little kids, but it really depends on the style you are practicing and the instructor. Karate is not only a sport but a state of mind, as well as any traditional martial art. Belts and ranks don't really matter, my dojo only has 4 belts mainly because IF we decide to compete we need to have a rank; white, green, brown and black. There is no definite time to have your exam, it depends on your physical, technical and mental improvement, plus the exam has no additional cost. Shobakan (SHOBA- chinese word for school and KAN- one time or period), the style is 70% feet and 30% hands, with longer and less rigid postures than Shotokan and  Goyo ryu. It is an old style that conserves the essence of Wushu (kung fu). The only weapon we use is the bo, and because my Sensei used to be a gymnast we stretch A LOT.  Karate is a beautiful Martial art, however, the experience is merely based in the dojo and the style, this link is a simple, yet helpful explanation of the most known styles. 

http://www.livestrong.com/article/478997-10-types-of-karate/

 

 

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Just as an update to the thread, I'll be going for my first grading on December 13th! White to blue belt. 

 

I chose Aikido btw, mostly cause it was the closest to me. 

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Three months is no necromancy yet :D

 

So? How did your grading went? I hope you still enjoy your training. Have you visited other martial arts yet or just sticking with Aikido for now?

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Three months is no necromancy yet :D

 

So? How did your grading went? I hope you still enjoy your training. Have you visited other martial arts yet or just sticking with Aikido for now?

Three months is no necromancy yet? Sorry didn't really get that.

 

My grading went fine, I passed. I haven't yet tried out other martial arts but I would like to.

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I was refering to answering to a three month old post. I raised the dead, so to speak :-)

 

Congratulations! That is in my opinion one of the greatest things regarding martial arts: You have a goal you can work towards which is reachable in reasonable time. You just go from graduation to graduation, until you are a master :-)

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This really depends.  And it all depends on what you like.  Some people start with kickboxing because they like striking.  Or some people choose a submission art because they like utilizing their strength.  People start in one usually and build a good foundation and perhaps move onto others.  However my top 3 picks would be the following :

 

Krav Maga - For Learning Practical Street Defense

Muay Thai - For Fitness

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - For an effective martial art.  Particularly if you do BJJ with GI, it can also be a good traditional art.  Which has allot of the good aspects of the tradition of respect and discipline amongst the members.

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I'm really happy this thread was started. After reading through it and doing a bit of research online, I think I am going to sum up some courage to sign up for Aikido this year. If I like it, I may progress to Judo, as both seem to interest me the most (I tried Kendo many years ago and liked it, but it's not as available in my area).

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9 hours ago, curryfiend said:

 

I'm really happy this thread was started. After reading through it and doing a bit of research online, I think I am going to sum up some courage to sign up for Aikido this year. If I like it, I may progress to Judo, as both seem to interest me the most (I tried Kendo many years ago and liked it, but it's not as available in my area).

 

GO FOR IT! NOW!!!

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I would love love love to learn aikido. It's been at the back of my mind for 3-4 years. At the time, I had an amazing massage therapist who was training in aikido and also helped teach little kids (including her own two) at her dojo. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to go (I could only afford the massage because I was a volunteer at the studio), and I've never made it a priority. But I've pretty much been obsessed with the idea of it and have been trying to figure out a way to make it happen.

 

Flash forward, and I'm living in a tiny college town in the Appalachias. Amazingly enough, there's a super-affordable local dojo, so I really don't have an excuse! It ranges from just $35-$60 a month. School's not in session now, but I'm moving and I'll be traveling starting next week, so I probably won't start monthly enrollment until I get back. I've often thought about just trying to teach myself but that doesn't really seem encouraged/possible, so I'm thrilled to know there really is a place in town.

 

I don't know anything about different types of aikido; this place does Ki-Aikido. Guess I'll find out more soon.

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On 5/14/2016 at 5:42 PM, inittowinit said:

I would love love love to learn aikido. It's been at the back of my mind for 3-4 years. At the time, I had an amazing massage therapist who was training in aikido and also helped teach little kids (including her own two) at her dojo. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to go (I could only afford the massage because I was a volunteer at the studio), and I've never made it a priority. But I've pretty much been obsessed with the idea of it and have been trying to figure out a way to make it happen.

 

Flash forward, and I'm living in a tiny college town in the Appalachias. Amazingly enough, there's a super-affordable local dojo, so I really don't have an excuse! It ranges from just $35-$60 a month. School's not in session now, but I'm moving and I'll be traveling starting next week, so I probably won't start monthly enrollment until I get back. I've often thought about just trying to teach myself but that doesn't really seem encouraged/possible, so I'm thrilled to know there really is a place in town.

 

I don't know anything about different types of aikido; this place does Ki-Aikido. Guess I'll find out more soon.

 

Yessss.... Join my aikidoka army.

 

University-based dojos tend to be cheaper, because it seems they shut down during academic calendar breaks.  But they can be well worth it (I'm friends with several of students from a local university - they're fun to work with).

 

I'm sure there are more, but the three big styles of aikido seem to be Aikikai, Yoshinkan, and Kokikai, the last one I assume being the style your local school is teaching.  @sarakingdom has experience in kokikai, so she'll be able to tell me if I'm wrong.  But at the end of the day, aikido is all more or less the same, just slight variants on things.  Philosophical application probably differs, too, but that's a universal trait for martial arts - philosophy of application is different by school, even in the same style.

 

Really, go and watch a class.  See if you like the group.  And then give it a shot. :)

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