Oh Lord, where to start with Aikido?

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by cypher, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. cypher

    cypher Yellow Belt

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    So, I've done TKD, both Bujinkan and Genbukan Ninjutsu and frankly, have always been attracted to the flow of aikido (and yes I like Steven Seagal but the interest was there before I saw his movies). That said, there's something like 16 different flavors. As this is not Pokemon and I can't "catch 'em all" I thought I'd see what ya'll think.

    I'm looking for practical, (aka I can save my *** if need be) along with some weapon work (I've personally always liked the sword and the bo (big stick)). In my local area there is an Akikai Iwama Ryu dojo, a Ki Aikido dojo and a Yoshinkan dojo...

    I believe the practical aspect would rule out the Ki dojo but I'm not sure about the Yoshinkan version. Can folks more knowledgeable than me please share their insights?
     
  2. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    What area are you in?
    aikido can work in a realistic encounter same as budo taijutsu or tkd, the problem lays in how uke feeds you an attack.
    You have waza and goshin jutsu which is self defense. If you are looking for an aikido style that you can actually use in a realistic encounter, you need one that focus on goshinjutsu and not an uke who feeds you a weak shuto and offers no resistance and throws himself during ukemi. I mainly practice daito ryu aikijujutsu and not aikido however, I do practice some aikido but we don't go soft
     
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  3. cypher

    cypher Yellow Belt

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    I'm in Kitchener Ontario Canada
     
  4. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    There is a hakko ryu in that area there is supposedly a daito ryu aikijujutsu school but not sure about them. Personally, I think hakko ryu is closer in line with daito ryu and the training is more in line with koryu then aikido and also more realistic.
    Affiliates | Tokumeikan
    Some sword schools around you that would be a better fit for sword as aikido teaches aikido principle with the sword but it's not the same as an actual sword school. That is why I train in Katori shinto ryu kenjutsu.
     
  5. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    Hi @cypher.. So you are attracted to the aiki flow and but you want something that is a viable art in your defence, right? Within all your three options, you have the potential to satisfy your two or three basic criteria.. most styles will use bo or jo.. several basic Aiki strikes are straight mirrors for sword work.. sword practice itself varies though from place to place.. go see..

    The potential issues I believe in satisfying your criteria lie not with Aikido in any of its variants.. I am biased and will always direct you closest to the source of Aikido, like on the face of it you have that option: Aikikai/Iwama.. Then again, you may find the Yoshinkan fits more with your current arts because it can tend to be more staccato in nature.. like techniques can appear on the surface less contiguous compared to pure Aikikai style..

    So the issues ultimately in satisfying your criteria might lie not the style and but TO WHAT END THAT STYLE IS TAUGHT.. Some sensei like dancing their students around the mat to no obvious end.. some are rigid in implimentation or in their technique and pass it on thus.. Please do bear in mind also though that Aikido as observed can often appear soft.. it must be understood that ukemi is not for show and but for uke to fall without harm and roll out of danger and avoid harm.. to some one observing this can often appear like play or flamboyance.. done right it permit you to escape from most technique unharmed.. problem is some times in some dojos randori *IS* soft and it *IS* play and flamboyance.. And so how do you tell which is which?? It is difficult unless you are the one feeling it..

    My suggestion if you are new to Aikido is take a trip to each dojo. If you can and satisfy for your self that the sensei has no shyness when you ask about how his or her Aikido can be practically -NOT JUST THEORETICALLY- used in defence and is able to show you, or demonstrate on a student then that is possibly the best research you can do.. Please look out if the sensei is in any way reticent or avoidant.. you know like they seem to operate in the void of their dojo and seem out of touch with the day-to-day threats you might face.. if that sensei seem vague in any way about how her Aikido can be used practically well.. you know what to do..

    Hope you find what you are seeking
     
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  6. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    I would check with Kevin Blok Sensei in Windsor if he has anyone teaching nearby. Blok Sensei was a direct student of Gozo Shioda.
     
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  7. Kinghercules

    Kinghercules Blue Belt

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    I grew up in TKD and we had Aikido techniques that were part of the curriculum. I would say go with Yoshikan Aikido but Im bias because my teacher trained with Gozo Shioda. ;) But go check out both places as Jenna said above and see which one you like.
     
  8. slink

    slink White Belt

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    I've never set foot in a Ki Aikido dojo so I can't speak from experience but I've yet to see a Ki demo where it appeared to be martially applicable.

    For practical use I would prefer Yoshinkan over Iwama Ryu but Iwama Ryu is still good stuff. If you're wanting weapons work then Iwama Ryu would be the better choice. While it may vary from school to school in general Iwama guys do a lot more weapons work than Yoshinkan (or any other kind of Aikido that I've tried).
     
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  9. cypher

    cypher Yellow Belt

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    Thanks guys, especially Jenna! As with most hobbies, life gets in the way, in this case moving Mum to Kitchener and then moving in to take care of her. As I want to be mostly local, I and my wife are going to check out Golden Triangle as that is an Aikikai studio and direct lineage (as much as possible) is important to me. They're also part of the Canadian Aikido Federation, also good. And I've heard good things about the teacher from my old Ninjutsu Sensei.
     
  10. Hanshi

    Hanshi Yellow Belt

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    I don't know if this will help but I will give you my take on it. First I'll mention that I'm 70 years old, which means nothing, but I am now permanently disabled. I still do some teaching and as much training as I'm able to. I can no longer take falls or even go to the mat. With that out of the way, I'll say that aikido is mostly all I can do, nowadays. I'm too old and crippled up to fight or run away and I walk with a cane (a wonderful weapon). If s-d is called for I use a weapon first.

    Although I am a 6th dan in aikido, I hold even higher ranks in jujitsu and karate which was my first art some 56+ years ago. So it's a good idea to absorb a martial mentality and skill set from the more "violent" arts, so to speak. I have no favorite technique or method but I do have a simple strategy. If I must use aikido or jujitsu on the street it will be done as hard and violently as possible. The idea of being careful of injuring someone or being compassionate is valid ONLY IN THE DOJO. I've studied and ranked in quite a few martial arts and when someone asks me what style I am/use I say truthfully that I have no style. I have techniques that I can still perform and use and that's all.

    What I'm getting at is that you must have excellent striking and/or kicking skills plus the willingness to use them and go all the way. Self-defense is really about "will" and not so much about "skill".
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Agreed. I'm surprised at how the "harmony" translation of "aiki" has been translated to a philosophy of non-injury to an attacker. Philosophically, that's a nice idea, but it has to take a back seat to survival, IMO. In all the other aiki arts, the aiki is a physical principle. So far as I'm aware, only in Ueshiba's Aikido has it been taken to that extent. Your attitude is a realistic approach to self-defense.

    Your comment about needing a base in what you call the "more violent" arts is also spot-on, from what I know. There's a theory (I think Stan Pranin is a proponent of it) that Ueshiba didn't teach much in the way of strikes and the simple, direct violence of combat because most of his early students already had a base in that. He wasn't excluding those things from the art, but subsequent instructors only taught what he did, so they left those things out.
     
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  12. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    You're absolutely correct in that. What I learned from back in my aikido days, was that Ueshiba changed his aikido to more closely match his ideals as he aged. As his spiritual outlook became more peaceful, so did his aikido. The lines of aikido that come from his earlier students tend to be much more aggressive than the hombu Aikikai version, which follows his later idealistic outlook.
     
  13. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    I like to give an interesting thought using Daito Ryu ippon Dori, kihon has a strike, omote has no strike but still linear while ura has the spin, I do wonder if aikido is a higher redefined version of Daito Ryu in regards to being based on taijutsu vs kenjutsu. Just a thought
     
  14. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    Can you define please how you might do your Aikido as violently as possible?

    Why do you think basic compassion or taking care not to inflict unnecessary injury might be concepts valid only in the dojo?

    Thank you
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I can't speak for Hanshi, but my approach has always been that in self-defense the focus is on surviving the incident. I use what I consider to be clearly enough to achieve my goal of survival. If the person is clearly inept, I can afford to change my focus to protecting them. If they are earnestly attacking with intent to do me harm, protecting them limits my selection of tools. No matter how good I am, being gentle to someone trying to hurt me with a knife will never be an acceptable choice for me. That is an extreme, but it makes the point clearer. They put me in a position where hurting them is the most likely way to stop their attack with the least injury to me.
     
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  16. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    I think I get it. Example for a technique that I learned in Aikido and a similar form exists in other arts. Basically it amounts to a standing cutting arm bar but I am currently brain frying on the Aikido technique name.



    Now I can do it like the video shows, which will do limited injury or I can do it in such a way that I hyperextend the wrist and potentially dislocate the shoulder, if I have a wrist lock applied with my "outside" hand and simultaneously yank hard while executing the take down as seen in the video, or you could also hyperextend the elbow by not rakeing along the tendon as in the video by by apply a good solid strike to it.

    Now I would only do the later if there was a weapon involved or if the person was being actively aggressive towards me or another (vs trying to escape) and made it clear that aggression was likely to continue but you can go from protecting the opponents safety to injuring them with just a couple simple changes.



    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
     
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  17. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Nope.

    You are shutting down a threat. So the hurting is geared towards that end. So for me. If I rush a guy and power bomb them into the deck I will probably hurt them because I am relying on speed,suprise and agression to get a quick task done before they can react.

    If you are controlling a limb then your ability to hurt them diminishes because you are focusing on them not hurting you. Here you would be securing a position of safety.

    You dont really get a good hurting position untill you have a dominant position. Once you have a dominant position you are not really under the same sort of threat.

    Now I have broken an arm and dislocated some joints absolutely ripping on arm locks. But for the most part people come off pretty well.

    Unless I just wanted to beat on them.
     
  18. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    His shoulder has to be lower than yours for that to work. So the rubbing the tricept is pretty meh..

    I mean it is irritating but not really devastating.


    ignore the rubbish about BJJ being the answer to everything. just a convenient video of police fighting on arm bars.

     
  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    In NGA, we have a complicated name for that: "Arm Bar." :p
     
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  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Why the "nope"? You didn't say anything materially different than I said. Those breaks and dislocations are injuries. Many who train in Aikido will say that those are to be avoided. My point is that I don't bother to avoid them so long as there's a real danger. As you said, there comes a point where the danger has been nullified, and that's when a different approach is available.
     
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