A New Journey

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Gyakuto

Gyakuto

3rd Black Belt
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So basically, he's Seagal's Glimmer Man. A man of war, who chose to walk a peaceful path, and that path was paved with the blood of his enemies, as he quested to find his true paradise: Russia.
SeaGULL. He’s a big white bird unfairly notorious for stealing one’s chips and ice creams on the seafront. Seagull has stolen a few chips in his time 😉

I was buying some cologne the other day and found one I liked. It was called ‘Russian Leather’ and as a vegetarian, both those words put me off it 😂 Looking at my expression, I was quickly informed by the shop assistant, that the word ‘Russian’ was being replaced by ’Dark’ in the next batch. 😃😄😂🤣
 
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Gyakuto

Gyakuto

3rd Black Belt
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First lesson last night. A great dojo with lovely teacher and students. They had a very special (and expensive) sprung, bouncy matted floor which made me feel like an Apollo astronaut, walking on the moon! 👨🏽‍🚀

The teaching was excellent and I soon worked out the principles in terms I could comprehend. There was much talk of ‘expanding Ki and ‘pushing energy upwards’ etc but it seemed to me to skilful manipulation of one’s opponent’s centre of gravity (CoG), edging it out of their base and encouraging a rotational torque to flip them over. Forces were applied at a tangent to the opponent to initiate a torquing force whilst simultaneously manipulating their CoG again causing them to flip away! It was lovely to watch and attempt. It seemed the teacher’s real skill was in the timing of application of torque/CoG perturbations to achieve whatever he wanted. Beautiful. It did remind me somewhat of the Wado Ryu Karate I practised (which incorporates Shinzo Yoshin Ryu Ju Jitsu) and the take home message of ‘get out of the way’ was familiar although in Wado Ryu this was often achieved with a twist of the body rather than stepping in and to the side. Thus, I was a little better at the moves than was expected thanks to the brilliant Ohyo Gumite throws we practised in Wado Ryu so it felt somewhat familiar.

The difference between the two arts was the Aikido didn’t work if one even slightly resisted. If you simply let go of the sleeve you were gripping the technique would abort on the spot. If one shuffled along rather than flip oneself over, you could easily remain on your feet to counter. I was told several times not to resist otherwise it would be a case of the strongest person winning “like in Judo”! Yes, there are joint opposition grips that are more likely to compel you to cooperate and throw yourself, but getting to the stage of applying them was a real contrivance requiring you to not let go as the lock was being applied. It seemed more like a beautiful dance, where each person knows what’s coming and how to move accordingly. I certainly saw degrees of freedom, where the receiver could decide which direction he was going to go and the attacker could manipulate that too and it was very skilful indeed. From what I saw (and have seen elsewhere) Aikido did not fulfil the criteria of an effective fighting system, i.e. it would not consistently perform against an uncooperative , fully-resisting, aggressive opponent. This is probably why you don’t see Aikido-based MMA fighters! But I don’t think this is what it’s about. It is more akin to freestyle dancing perhaps where beauty of technique is the physical aim. It is very lovely.

I must point out these are only my limited observations with all my biases accrued through years of experience in other combat sports and in no way a criticism of this clearly wonderful art with dedicated, hard training practitioners.

On a slightly different note, I was very aware that the risk of injury to me, as a beginner, through hitting the ground awkwardly or an overly keen wrist lock, was high. I hit the ground once and saw stars and my neck was painful for a few minutes. Also, little allowance was given to a rotator cuff injury I have and at times I had to point-blank refuse to use the effected side with the teacher which he was slightly reluctant to accept, but I am more than confident enough to stick to my refusal. Since I’m attempting a significant grading examination in my primary art in 7 months time, I feel I should probably wait until after that attempt before returning to Aikido and I will contact the dojo to say as much.
 

Darren

Green Belt
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First lesson last night. A great dojo with lovely teacher and students. They had a very special (and expensive) sprung, bouncy matted floor which made me feel like an Apollo astronaut, walking on the moon! 👨🏽‍🚀

The teaching was excellent and I soon worked out the principles in terms I could comprehend. There was much talk of ‘expanding Ki and ‘pushing energy upwards’ etc but it seemed to me to skilful manipulation of one’s opponent’s centre of gravity (CoG), edging it out of their base and encouraging a rotational torque to flip them over. Forces were applied at a tangent to the opponent to initiate a torquing force whilst simultaneously manipulating their CoG again causing them to flip away! It was lovely to watch and attempt. It seemed the teacher’s real skill was in the timing of application of torque/CoG perturbations to achieve whatever he wanted. Beautiful. It did remind me somewhat of the Wado Ryu Karate I practised (which incorporates Shinzo Yoshin Ryu Ju Jitsu) and the take home message of ‘get out of the way’ was familiar although in Wado Ryu this was often achieved with a twist of the body rather than stepping in and to the side. Thus, I was a little better at the moves than was expected thanks to the brilliant Ohyo Gumite throws we practised in Wado Ryu so it felt somewhat familiar.

The difference between the two arts was the Aikido didn’t work if one even slightly resisted. If you simply let go of the sleeve you were gripping the technique would abort on the spot. If one shuffled along rather than flip oneself over, you could easily remain on your feet to counter. I was told several times not to resist otherwise it would be a case of the strongest person winning “like in Judo”! Yes, there are joint opposition grips that are more likely to compel you to cooperate and throw yourself, but getting to the stage of applying them was a real contrivance requiring you to not let go as the lock was being applied. It seemed more like a beautiful dance, where each person knows what’s coming and how to move accordingly. I certainly saw degrees of freedom, where the receiver could decide which direction he was going to go and the attacker could manipulate that too and it was very skilful indeed. From what I saw (and have seen elsewhere) Aikido did not fulfil the criteria of an effective fighting system, i.e. it would not consistently perform against an uncooperative , fully-resisting, aggressive opponent. This is probably why you don’t see Aikido-based MMA fighters! But I don’t think this is what it’s about. It is more akin to freestyle dancing perhaps where beauty of technique is the physical aim. It is very lovely.

I must point out these are only my limited observations with all my biases accrued through years of experience in other combat sports and in no way a criticism of this clearly wonderful art with dedicated, hard training practitioners.

On a slightly different note, I was very aware that the risk of injury to me, as a beginner, through hitting the ground awkwardly or an overly keen wrist lock, was high. I hit the ground once and saw stars and my neck was painful for a few minutes. Also, little allowance was given to a rotator cuff injury I have and at times I had to point-blank refuse to use the effected side with the teacher which he was slightly reluctant to accept, but I am more than confident enough to stick to my refusal. Since I’m attempting a significant grading examination in my primary art in 7 months time, I feel I should probably wait until after that attempt before returning to Aikido and I will contact the dojo to say as much.
Sparred with a Aikido guy once, it was beautifully the way he slipped my punches of course he was also a black belt in kenpo so don’t know how much extensive knowledge he had in other arts but it must have been two truck loads the way he moved!! Just beautiful!!!! Interesting what ya posted above enjoy the journey!!!!! And good luck!!!!!
 

Mider

Blue Belt
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I’ve finally decided to try Aikido after years of turning my nose up at because of the sight of people seemingly throwing themselves around and, of course, because of Steven Seagulls 🦆

I watched an NHK Spiritual Explorers episode about it (not a very good one) and this prompted me do a search for a local dojo. After a couple of emails from the teacher asking about my motivations, health etc,he invited me along this coming Thursday. I’m looking forward to it.
Good luck, hope you find a good dojo
 
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Gyakuto

Gyakuto

3rd Black Belt
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I sent an email to the Aikido teacher saying “I’ll be back” (after my next significant grading examination) and he was appreciative that I hadn’t just disappeared.
 
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Gyakuto

Gyakuto

3rd Black Belt
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I went to a nice and different veggie restaurant to my usual haunt in Totnes, for lunch yesterday. As I walked in the person behind the counter said, “Well hello, Gyakuto, fancy seeing you here!” I was very confused. Who is this person who knows me but I don’t recognise? I delivered a fishing reply, “ Oh hello….<pause>…when did I last see you?” he replied with a chuckle, “Oh I think you we’re looking up at me from the mat after I threw you!” He was the Aikido dojo teacher but I didn’t recognise him out of the dojo context!😀

We had a nice chat, I felt a bit awkward that he was serving me my food (😳), and he said he was keen to maybe have a joint Aikido/Iaido dojo in the future.

I’m pleased I’d done the polite thing and told him of my plans in an email the night before!
 
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