Some questions about Aikido

Decker

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Hi all, I'm new here, and I've just got some questions/uncertainties. I've asked these questions in the general beginner's area, and someone suggested I come here.

I've been learning Taekwondo (WTF style) for almost 2 years, and have been taking Sports Chanbara for about one and a half years. I was wondering if Aikido, more specifically the Ki no Kenkyukai version, would be a good complement to what I already have.

I learn the abovementioned arts/sports mainly for self-defence, but also for fitness and the fun of it all, especially for Sports Chanbara, which teaches some rudimentary Kenjutsu strikes, and allows students to practice full-speed and full-impact weapons sparring using safe padded or airsoft weaponry. I've trained with katana-length and wakizashi-length "swords".

Anyway, I was thinking of picking up a "softer" martial art that doesn't emphasise so much on striking for a change of "flavour", as well as more exposure/experience, and I thought of Aikido. I'm also somewhat curious about the so-called "internal" martial arts like taijiquan: is their manipulation of qi the same as that of standard/Ki no Kenkyukai Aikido?

Also, how does the Aikido way handling of weapons like bokken and jo differ from that of other arts like Kenjutsu and Jodo (Shinto Muso Ryu maybe)? Am kind of interested in learning jo, more on the practical application side than tradition (no jodo schools in my country): perhaps there are some effective basic moves possible to learn by myself?

Finally, I ask this out of sheer curiosity, and for more knowledge on various opinions. Some people I know have the impression that Aikido "is useless for self-defence". I'm aware of the concept of the practitioner making the art effective, and realise that nothing is suitable for every situation.

-Example of something I've been told (source is someone who's a shodan in Aikido, but has moved on to teaching "street" self-defence) is, for example, if someone wishes to strike you or whatever, they most probably wouldn't leave their arms within range long enough for you to grab and throw them. I suppose with enough dedicated training, this little setback can be overcome by skill, and throwing isn't the answer to everything, right?

Sorry for the digression. Main question is: the joint locks/holds/throws practised in Aikido are performed on a skilled partner (uke, I believe?) who is expecting or anticipating the action, and is skilled enough to roll/fall safely or whatever. I suppose the uke's attack will also be performed in such a way that the ki flow allows a nice, smooth throw. How 'bout in a "street" context, would those still work?

Please correct me if I'm wrong about anything. I mean no offence to anything whatsoever, am just curious.

Thank you very much.
 

theletch1

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Best way to get answers to the "Is aikido street effective?" question is to do a search of this forum for threads on that topic. You'll find lots of answers there. As an aikido-ka I'll tell ya that, yes, it is street effective but don't expect to get really efficient really quickly.
 
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Decker

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Thanks, theletch1, I've taken a look at those threads, and I feel my questions on that aspect are answered. ^_^

Um, there're still some questions I hope to get answered (and yeah, I've tried searching already, couldn't find).

1)Ki-aikido vs "standard" (Aikikai?) Aikido. Not a question of which is better, but what the differences are. I know the former places more emphasis on ki, but that's all. The thread I managed to find via search didn't turn up a lot of useful info. Hope someone can enlighten me here.

2)Ki usage - Aikido vs other internal martial arts. Again not which is better, but how they are different. Aside from some similarities like blending with the attacker's attacks, are there any other differences?

Thank you very much.
 

morph4me

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It's hard to give comparisons unless you have experience in all arts you're trying to compare.
 

theletch1

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Too true, Tom. I will, however, take a stab at ki usage from the stand point of someone who studies Nihon Goshin Aikido. Ki, when discussed for use during technique, for us is not the esoteric energy that flows through everything. For us it is simple leverage and proper body mechanics. When we talk about flowing ki we simply mean redirecting the flow of uke's energy in the proper manner. When we discuss dropping ki into a technique it is dropping your center or redirecting energy to the ground. For us it's not so much about visualizing our internal energy flowing through our bodies as it is about feeling the energy being given to us and redirecting that energy back to our hara (center).

As for comparing it to other arts I haven't studied other internal arts, just kempo, which is decidedly external. You could try asking the same question in the hapkido forum and see if anyone bites.
 

Yari

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Hi all, I'm new here, and I've just got some questions/uncertainties.

........

Please correct me if I'm wrong about anything. I mean no offence to anything whatsoever, am just curious.

Thank you very much.

I know it's a jungle out there. Many people have good answers, and mostly you need to try to find what fits you. That is the hardest part. You can discuss from here to eternaty and not find your preferred style/answer. But trying and being curious will bring you to the "correct " questions and answers.

there are pot holes in the way. Some very obvious, others your the only one that can see them.

Your questining I read as some one who wants to "understand" before you try.

It's like saying , which cool dessert is best? Ice Cream? Smoothies? Milkshake? and so on. Even in the given categories there are differences. You can ask alot of people of what is best, but I think you understand were I'm going. Dont forget some poeple also what the lean approach to the dessert question.

I would say that if a person is willing to state anything concret about styles, and which is best. The person is Bias, and that is OK. The problem is if the person says that he/her isn't bias but knows best. Steer away....


/yari
 

Budo_NJ

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1)Ki-aikido vs "standard" (Aikikai?) Aikido. Not a question of which is better, but what the differences are. I know the former places more emphasis on ki, but that's all. The thread I managed to find via search didn't turn up a lot of useful info. Hope someone can enlighten me here.

2)Ki usage - Aikido vs other internal martial arts. Again not which is better, but how they are different. Aside from some similarities like blending with the attacker's attacks, are there any other differences?

Thank you very much.

Hey Decker,

All these choices can be confusing. To add to your confusion, I'd like to say that the Akikai is an umbrella organization that contain different styles. For example, my dojo is Akikai but belongs to an organization called the Birankai (which is under the Akikai). Our aikido tends to be a harder style than other Akikai dojos.

I would suggest going to a couple of dojos near you and checking out which suits you best. It has been my experience that a good teacher is sometimes more important than the style. So search for the best aikido teacher you can find.

Good luck.
 
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Decker

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Thanks for all the advice. When I can find the time, I'll sign up at a dojo near my place to try out. Have a rather packed schedule for the time being...

I found this aiki-jo clip on YouTube. Are the movements well executed? They look so to me.
 
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Yari

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Thanks for all the advice. When I can find the time, I'll sign up at a dojo near my place to try out. Have a rather packed schedule for the time being...

I found this aiki-jo clip on YouTube. Are the movements well executed? They look so to me.

Looks OK, but you never know the hows and whys when you see a vid. Best is to check out the real ting.

/Yari
 
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ejaazi

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As for people falling with skill, this is in order to avoid injury. If I went to throw someone on the street and they didn't take the fall or roll, their injury would be very severe. Therefore, it wouldn't look pretty, but it would be very painful. The last time someone tried to do a karate strike on me, I had the chance to snap his elbow. But we are friends and he didn't even realize what could have happend. So much for the uneffective theory.
 

theletch1

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As for people falling with skill, this is in order to avoid injury. If I went to throw someone on the street and they didn't take the fall or roll, their injury would be very severe. Therefore, it wouldn't look pretty, but it would be very painful. The last time someone tried to do a karate strike on me, I had the chance to snap his elbow. But we are friends and he didn't even realize what could have happend. So much for the uneffective theory.
You are very correct here. Good ukemi is a must have when doing aikido in the dojo. Without knowing how to fall or roll your class would be very short indeed. Those who don't study don't know how to do the falls or rolls or at the least aren't aware enough of how aikido works to feel the energy flow and figure out what's coming from nage quickly enough to counter. We had a couple of guys visit our dojo that are long time TKDers. Both of them great guys and very knowledgeable in their given art. We did a flow drill where in a set of motions are repeated over and over again and then without warning you move from flow to technique. The TKD quys were blown away with how seamless the transition from motion to technique was. So, you see, even knowing another martial art is not always a guarantee of success against a trained aikido-ka.
 
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