Aikido Impressions / Nishio Sensei

Argus

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Greetings everyone.

I have been looking into Aikido recently, having found that there is a good school near me. I come from a background in Wing Chun, and have a very pragmatic view towards martial arts. As such, I wasn't initially impressed with much of what I saw in Aikido, until I stumbled upon this:


Nishio Sensei seems to present a very pragmatic view on Aikido. My question is, what do you as practitioners think of his Aikido? Is your training similar, or is the Aikido demonstrated in this video unconventional? I am not as well versed on lineages and methods of Aikido as I would like to be.

I'm not sure how much Aikido's circular movement will come in conflict with the linear/angular movement I am so accustomed to in WC, but I may give it a try and see if I can keep the two separate in habit and form. Given that I don't get confused, I could see how a basis in a striking art could benefit my Aikido, and Aikido's focus on softness could benefit my Wing Chun.

I'll be observing a class soon at a school that is affiliated with the United States Aikido Federation, and the Aikikai foundation / Honbu Doujou.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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I'm not sure how much Aikido's circular movement will come in conflict with the linear/angular movement I am so accustomed to in WC, ...

If you start from a linear striking art (such as the Win Chun system) and move into a circular grappling art (such as the Aikido system), you may want to concentrate on the "circular footwork" first.

1. Stealing step - move one foot behind the other (body spinning).
2. Covering step - move one foot in front of the other (body spinning).
3. Wheeling step - move in one foot forward, move the other foot behind it into a circular stealing step (linear stepping first, body spinning afterward).
4. 3 points step - wheeling step + another advance step (linear stepping first, body spinning afterward, linear stepping again).
5. ...

I don't train Aikido but by looking at your clip, I can say that all grappling art may use similar "circular footwork". With a basic understanding in the "circular footwork", all the hands and body moves can be pick up easily afterward.
 
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Argus

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If you start from a linear striking art (such as the Win Chun system) and move into a circular grappling art (such as the Aikido system), you may want to concentrate on the "circular footwork" first.

1. Stealing step - move one foot behind the other (body spinning).
2. Covering step - move one foot in front of the other (body spinning).
3. Wheeling step - move in one foot forward, move the other foot behind it into a circular stealing step (linear stepping first, body spinning afterward).
4. 3 points step - wheeling step + another advance step (linear stepping first, body spinning afterward, linear stepping again).
5. ...

I don't train Aikido but by looking at your clip, I can say that all grappling art may use similar "circular footwork". With a basic understanding in the "circular footwork", all the hands and body moves can be pick up easily afterward.

Yep. I imagine that is going to be one of the more difficult things to get accustomed to.
 

hussaf

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There's definitely a circular element to aikido, but there is also entering, pivoting, and angling. Here's another Nishio clip. http://youtu.be/vl6QxeLvVXQ

I don't recall if I've ever trained with that group. I've trained with USAF before, including Yamada, but it's just not for me. More importantly than organization is teacher and dojo atmosphere, so definitely give any place our due diligence. By that, I mean don't make a snap judgement based on observing or trying one class. try it out for a couple weeks....

I did linear karate for years before aikido. and now I prefer aikido, judo. and jujitsu...so you never know you may like it
 

K-man

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Greetings everyone.


I have been looking into Aikido recently, having found that there is a good school near me. I come from a background in Wing Chun, and have a very pragmatic view towards martial arts. As such, I wasn't initially impressed with much of what I saw in Aikido, until I stumbled upon this:


Nishio Sensei seems to present a very pragmatic view on Aikido. My question is, what do you as practitioners think of his Aikido? Is your training similar, or is the Aikido demonstrated in this video unconventional? I am not as well versed on lineages and methods of Aikido as I would like to be.


I'm not sure how much Aikido's circular movement will come in conflict with the linear/angular movement I am so accustomed to in WC, but I may give it a try and see if I can keep the two separate in habit and form. Given that I don't get confused, I could see how a basis in a striking art could benefit my Aikido, and Aikido's focus on softness could benefit my Wing Chun.


I'll be observing a class soon at a school that is affiliated with the United States Aikido Federation, and the Aikikai foundation / Honbu Doujou.
If you can find a school teaching like that I would love to train there. Nishio did not teach 'conventional' Aikido. Although he was a student of Ueshiba he trained with Koichi Tohei (whom it could be argued was better than Ueshiba, at least from a teaching perspective) and Ueshiba's son, Kisshomaru. He incorporated his vast martial art knowledge to develop the aikido associated with his name. I think you will find it a bit different to an Aikikai school. I visited the Aikikai Hombu dojo in New York some years back and was very disappointed by what I observed.

Here is a bit about Shoji Nishio you might find of interest.


Shoji Nishio: ?Aikido?s Innovative Genius,? by Stanley Pranin


The aikido I train is based on Aikikai but with a lot of Tohei's influence. We don't do as much with weapons as was demonstrated in the video but we do use the bokken and jo to explain various techniques. Like the video we do train to avoid being in a position where you can be hit and and we do train the atemi.

If you have a dojo nearby also check out Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido.
:asian:
 

Tony Dismukes

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Not being an aikido practitioner, I can't answer your questions. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing that video. I enjoy seeing martial artists who move exceptionally well regardless of style. Nishio Sensei's movement is definitely remarkable.
 
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Argus

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There's definitely a circular element to aikido, but there is also entering, pivoting, and angling. Here's another Nishio clip.
Aikido Sensei Nishio. - YouTube

I don't recall if I've ever trained with that group. I've trained with USAF before, including Yamada, but it's just not for me. More importantly than organization is teacher and dojo atmosphere, so definitely give any place our due diligence. By that, I mean don't make a snap judgement based on observing or trying one class. try it out for a couple weeks....

I did linear karate for years before aikido. and now I prefer aikido, judo. and jujitsu...so you never know you may like it


Yep. Much of the initial entering / atemi is familiar. I suppose that's where a background in something like Karate or WC is helpful.

What was your experience with USAF / Honbu dojos? I have to say that I am a bit apprehensive about large organizations. Or, heck, even the belt / rank system that goes along with all of this. But, like you said, the attitude of the teacher and the school itself are what matter most.


If you can find a school teaching like that I would love to train there. Nishio did not teach 'conventional' Aikido. Although he was a student of Ueshiba he trained with Koichi Tohei (whom it could be argued was better than Ueshiba, at least from a teaching perspective) and Ueshiba's son, Kisshomaru. He incorporated his vast martial art knowledge to develop the aikido associated with his name. I think you will find it a bit different to an Aikikai school. I visited the Aikikai Hombu dojo in New York some years back and was very disappointed by what I observed.

Here is a bit about Shoji Nishio you might find of interest.


Shoji Nishio: ?Aikido?s Innovative Genius,? by Stanley Pranin


The aikido I train is based on Aikikai but with a lot of Tohei's influence. We don't do as much with weapons as was demonstrated in the video but we do use the bokken and jo to explain various techniques. Like the video we do train to avoid being in a position where you can be hit and and we do train the atemi.

If you have a dojo nearby also check out Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido.
:asian:


That's a fascinating article.

It seems that I always wind up being drawn to the pragmatic innovator. Reading that article, Nishio reminds me of my favourite Wing Chun practitioner. I kind of get a kick out of the fact that I was immediately drawn to his Aikido.

I'll be checking out my local Aikido school today. I'll do as recommended and give it a few weeks. There's always something to be learned, after all.
 

hussaf

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I'm just not a fan of any USAF dojo I've trained. Good people, decent energy in class, but not the atmosphere I prefer. Yamada isn't one of my favorites either. I'm sure he is talented, and i respect him for dedicating his life to martial arts. I'm sure we'd get along great having a beer and talking shop, but he doesn't train like I like to. I've trained with students of his I prefer. It's such a vast organization, invariably there are differences between dojo.

I also have no interest in Ki Aikido, or Shinshin Toitsu.

Originally we learned aikido (Yoshinkan and AAA) to find more creative ways to implement karate kata bunkai. Now, aikido is my martial art, and always will be, but I am currently focusing on jujitsu and judo.
 
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Argus

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Well, I just came back from my first class.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The class was small, and the instructor was very humble and pragmatic. I think I'll enjoy this.

The footwork reminds me much of weapons based martial arts. I think the falling / rolling is going to take a while to get used to, though.
 

ST1Doppelganger

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Congrats on enjoying your first aikido class and yes the footwork and hand strikes are pretty weapon oriented.

I also came from a CLF Foundation with WC as a complimentary art and recently started doing aikido which I find compliments my Kung fu training quite well.

The key thing in my opinion is its just as hard to find a martial Aikido instructor as it is to find a Martial Tai Chi instructor and this is the reason why these styles are frowned upon at times.

I will admit theres a few techniques in the system that are more of a training utensil then an applicable throw or lock but they do serve their purpose.

Well hope you enjoy the Aikido journey like I'm doing at the moment.
 

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There's definitely a circular element to aikido, but there is also entering, pivoting, and angling. Here's another Nishio clip. Aikido Sensei Nishio. - YouTube

Wow! Interesting entries - I haven't seen Aikido like this from other lines - but I like the look of it. Nishio Sensei has really wonderful footwork. But... B'Jesus... there's a Nishio school in my city (I just googled it). So it looks like... there's yet another MA school I need to check out when I have the time :)
 
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