Aikido and Tai chi

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disciple

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First of all, I just want to say that I have NO knowledge at all about Japanese art...
My question is: I have been told that Aikido is more less like tai chi. How far alike are those two? Is it only the "using opponent's energy to attack" part or is there something else?

salute

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Jay Bell

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Hi disciple,

Taiji and Aikido do have some likenesses, especially in how they root themselves. Ueshiba sensei studied Bagua Zhang while in China...and I'm sure he did some Taiji as well.
 
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Despairbear

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The human body only moves in so many ways. The basic goal of all martial arts is the same. The more I study the more I find that all martial arts are the same martial art. Renaissance Italian combat manuals illistrate some of the same throws used in Aikido and Jujitsu, different people on different contenents in different centureys and yet the same moves are done. There are similaritys in all martial arts to all martial arts.



Despair Bear
 
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Despairbear

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Jeeze my spelling is REALLY bad. Sorry about that but I hope you understand what I was sayng.



Despair Bear
 
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Humble artist

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My bunch of cents-
What I think is very important thing they have in common is that they both are INTERNAL.It seems to be that japanese and chinese approach to Ki/Chi is a bit different.
Tai chi is a lot like qi-gong and works that way (slow motion solo movements etc. great health benefits) Even though aikidokas talk very much about ki if compared to various other japanese arts like judo,jujutsu (at least to a point) or karate (again,I織d say to a point because my idea is that it comes to play later and they don織t slam it into your face as in aikido :D )
Aikido has some qi-gong in it though,founder built his own kind of short qi-gong set which includes "rowing exercise" and such.
Tai Chi Chuan players definitely strike&kick more than aikidoists,that is an essential part as far as my limited knowledge goes.To tell you the truth,this is also an "original" part of aikido,but is often neglected in modern aiki,not to say it would be completely lost though (AND it is used to follow-up with a throw,lock whatever they come up with.It is called atemi,used to soften up) Aikido also does not do much solo kata,except weapon forms maybe.
In tai chi there is a great amount of pressure point techniques in it,this is not so much of a big thing in aikido (but some pressure points for joint manipulation,some for strikes)
I also feel that while aikido is theoretically meant to be non-harmful in application,causing from none to minimal injury,tai chi then,has more deadly potential to it (as dim mak/pressure points previously mentioned,you might want to consider this a brief point though for it is hard to find an art as peaceful in application as aikido but schools and teachers vary)
Aikido is completely defensive in application (sure you could just grab someone織s wrist and shake them to a throw,and if it works that織s allright but generally,it would not fit to principles as you would have to borrow opponent織s force,especially if you織re physically lower) while I bet a tai chi person could throw a heel kick or two without turning tables on his/her art (please note though that this is more like my own understanding as I have not trained in TCC) also remembering that chinese MA is basically defensive.

This is some things I consider worthy and I wrote this for a long time...there may be more.
I hope this does help some.


:asian:
 
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Chiduce

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Aikido and Tai Chi Ch'uan make very good partners as philosophy and technique combine to form soft and brutally defensive art form. Cheng Hsin T'ui Shou or "The Art Of Effortless Power" combines these two major martial arts systems along with Baguazhang as it's primary root. It also has influences of Judo , Jujitsu, and Boxing! I wish everyone could research this "Total Body Being" experience. Grandmaster Peter Ralston is the Founder of this "Cheng Shou Work", which is truely, an Ontological experience of being!
Sincerely, In Humility;
Chiduce!
 
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Caine

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Originally posted by Jay Bell

Hi disciple,

Taiji and Aikido do have some likenesses, especially in how they root themselves. Ueshiba sensei studied Bagua Zhang while in China...and I'm sure he did some Taiji as well.


That is an often muted statement but there has been nothing solid to confirm it.

see here

http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=11036&highlight=ueshiba+AND+china

or try here

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=2098&highlight=Ueshiba+china+chris

If you have something that substaniates this I would be interested to read it.
 

Yari

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Originally posted by Jay Bell

Hi disciple,

Taiji and Aikido do have some likenesses, especially in how they root themselves. Ueshiba sensei studied Bagua Zhang while in China...and I'm sure he did some Taiji as well.

I havn't done that much tai chi, and I don't know the style I tried (it was only a half a year). But the root part wasn't simulair.

Where in the taichi we nearly tried to grip the floor, compared to the aikido style which uses the 3 point stand of the foot (which is the natural balance points in the foot).

If somebody could elaborate on taichi "rooting" please come forth. It would be interesting to know.

/Yari
 
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Lunumbra

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I can elaborate on the Tai Chi concept of Rooting. At length....
I spent five years studying Yangjia Michuan Tai Chi Quan, which translates into "Yang Family Hidden tradition Tai Chi", no secret cult involved just a tradition that got buried under the New Yang Tai Chi that is so popular. I'll refer to it as "Michaun" to keep it short.

Michuan is an older form of the Yang family tradition and more martially based, uses larger angles and a predominatly up and down motion of the legs rather then the New Yang technique of shifting the weight back and forth.

Which FINALLY brings me to the question at hand. Because Michuan uses the legs to absorb incoming attacks by sinking on the back leg, rooting is all important in the style. Thought of in the simplest terms, rooting means to keep your balance, to not be knocked off your feet. We spend a lot of time excercising the lower legs to be strong and the upper body to be loose and flexible. That way the incoming attack can be deflected by the upper body and the energy absorbed by the lower body (by sinking down on the back leg). From there we release the energy back at the opponent by "uncoiling the spring" , i.e. the back leg springs up, direct and add the energy of the hips, direct and add the energy of the shoulders, direct and add the energy of the arms. This is how you see "masters" of Tai Chi throw people around. The deflection usually leaves the opponent off balance, when the "spring" is released you get the power of your full body applied through the center of the opponents center of gravity it usually results in something spectacular. None of this works if your off balance yourself though, which brings back to the "root". The foot is usually thought of as being connected to the ground, as if it literally had roots driven down through the earth. Practicing a strong root at the foot, strong legs to absorb and return the opponents energy and a flexible upper body to deflect an opponents attack, it makes it VERY difficult indeed to physically move a practicioner of Tai Chi. We're kind of like trees, it can be done but it takes a LOT of work.

The other foot:
Most schools of Tai Chi practice Rooting a lot, but mobility or agility (footwork) very little. "But I see Tai Chi practictioners take steps all the time when they are doing the form!?" Yes, you do. But rarely are there full speed excercises that allow you to transfer the techniques into full speed application. This is the primary reason that Tai Chi doesn't make a very good SD system, it takes YEARS to learn the techniques well enough to be used at full speed. Natural abilities of strength, agility and speed are not very helpful in this art, technique is everything. So, if you can't apply technique very well.........

The other similarity that I have noticed between the two arts is the idea that the attacking energy is returned to the attacker. In Tai Chi the circle used to return the energy is usually within the body of the defender, while in Akido the circle is bigger and usually encompasses the attacker and the defender. This is a very general statement, there are exceptions to it in both arts.
 

Yari

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Originally posted by Lunumbra


The other similarity that I have noticed between the two arts is the idea that the attacking energy is returned to the attacker. In Tai Chi the circle used to return the energy is usually within the body of the defender, while in Akido the circle is bigger and usually encompasses the attacker and the defender. This is a very general statement, there are exceptions to it in both arts.


This sounds very interessting. I like looking into different ways principles can be used. It makes me want to try out some more TaiChi.

/Yari
 

SET_Coo

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im currently an orage belt in aikido, and have watched a few tai chi classes and i an safely say that aikido and tai chi really have nothing alike at all. aikido is like joint locks, pins, throws, not much punching or kicking, and yes redirection of the oponents PHYSICAL energy. tai chi deals mostly with internal energy, not physical, muscular energy. also tai chi is really like kata (forms)
 

arnisador

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Are there any styles of Aikido that have (non-weapons) kata? Some do have iaido and jo kata, for example.
 

Yari

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Originally posted by arnisador

Are there any styles of Aikido that have (non-weapons) kata? Some do have iaido and jo kata, for example.

I hanv't heard about it. But alot of teachers say that the kata's are the two man "drills" that are done.

But come to think about it, I would say yes there are, but it's a case of definition.

We do something called irimi-tenkan. It's a simple move of doing a step into, and then rotating(on a 180 degree line). It's basic for most Aikido styls. And most classes always do it. But doing it in different variations and steps, you can get trough a lot of basic moves. And you can do differnet things with your arms while doing irimi-tenkan. So in that sense yes. there is kata. But not any kata that is called a name, depending on the differnet arm/leg movement.

/Yari
 
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