Why Aikido is so difficult

Spinedoc

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Ok, Houston, we have a problem.

We train shomen uchi ikkyo from when you are about to get hit. In real life you are unlikely to have that massive lift up, and if the arm is already up as he moves in you haven't got that option anyway. As I said, for me this is the most difficult technique in Aikido. It has four points of potential resistance and if you use the slightest amount of strength it will be stopped at any one of those places. We train the same movement for shomen uchi nikyo and sankyo. Shomen uchi yonkyo and gokyo take a different grip.

This is a better example of the technique ..


BTW why the bruises? Aikido is the gentle art, isn't it? Just don't tell Hanzou there is contact. :D

Love Tissier, he's awesome, we train this slightly different. We train that as you see there hand coming up you need to be bringing your hand up, and you need to catch it near the apex. Maybe just as he is starting the downswing, but if he is really swinging down and it's much past that level, well, you can't really do Ikkyo if it's reached your face level. You can do other things.just not ikkyo, because it then becomes a struggle of strength.

I also had a little bit of a bloody nose;) The other student and I were actually "doing" the entry atemi in the tenkan. He connected once very well.So, sure.Aikido is "soft"..LOL.
 

K-man

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Love Tissier, he's awesome, we train this slightly different. We train that as you see there hand coming up you need to be bringing your hand up, and you need to catch it near the apex. Maybe just as he is starting the downswing, but if he is really swinging down and it's much past that level, well, you can't really do Ikkyo if it's reached your face level. You can do other things.just not ikkyo, because it then becomes a struggle of strength.

I also had a little bit of a bloody nose;) The other student and I were actually "doing" the entry atemi in the tenkan. He connected once very well.So, sure.Aikido is "soft"..LOL.
So how do you get on against a taller opponent? We do shomen uchi ikkyo from kneeling against Uke who is standing (hanmi handachi). It is just not possible to reach up from that position but you can still perform ikkyo. I'm having trouble finding it on youtube but it is similar to this clip of hanmi handachi shomen uchi nikyo.

As I said earlier, to me this is the most difficult of all the Aikido techniques. It took me over seven years to be able to do it. I understand what you are saying about clashing and a physical struggle. Getting around that physical struggle is what the technique is all about. That is why it is so difficult and why I say that I have only seen a handful of people doing it against a non compliant partner.
 

Shajikfer

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It's difficult because it is very different from other martial arts. The movements are circular, and flowing....like water. It's also difficult because tension and strength don't work. It is completely natural to tense your muscles when fighting, but aikido doesn't work like that. It needs to be loose, relaxed.......this is difficult.

It also takes great courage to remain calm and controlled so you CAN step into their techniques and use their energy against them.
 

K-man

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It also takes great courage to remain calm and controlled so you CAN step into their techniques and use their energy against them.
When first attacked, particularly if it is an unexpected attack, the adrenalin dump will make you tense anyway. The advantage of training gives you the ability to consciously relax once you overcome that initial response.

Your post actually made me recall the randori we were doing yesterday morning. I was thinking to myself just how relaxed I was and how that was so totally different to how I was just a few years back in my training. So I'm not sure it is courage that allows you to relax but the confidence in your ability to handle the attack.
 

JP3

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K-Man, I totally agree with the thought of, "Wow, this feels easy and smooth.... not at all like (insert time frame a few years back)." My second main aikido instructor told me about 15 years or so ago, "Ah, you've got that BTDT look now, good."

So I asked him, "BTDT," and of course he replied, "Been There, Done That."

One thing that causes fear automatically is fear of the unknown, it's almost more guaranteed to cause the fight/flight adrenaline reaction than things with big, gnashy teeth. Once you've spent a few hundred hours actually doing randori, or sparring, or ring work, or whatever you call it in your style, you've probably seen or felt 99% of the things that can happen to you, so there is very little left to be discovered. That's not to say you won't get surprised, but you've also learned that being surprised on the mat isn't so bad. It applies to Drop Bear's stated issues with Judo, definitely. My first 10 years in judo were a constant reminder of, OK, nneed to work on that some more.... but the steady accretion of knowledge accumulated over those same years caused less and less instances of surprise, and more and more of understanding. It comes, as students, I'd say that in the beginning we're all impatient.

One thing to consider... I was talking with a guy who trains divers, the kind who jump off platforms and diving boards and do the flips/twists as they enter the water, not that that see how far down they ccan go.

He told me that there's a general range of times of repetitions for muscle memory to be grooved and unconscious, i.e. "mastered." His word, unfortunately loaded with other meanings in the MA world. But still, applicable. The number, generally, is 10,000 repetitions for a movement to be automatic, and grooved nto muscle memory and coordination systems. Really great atheletes have a lower number, but hardly ever below 7,000 reps, and those of us who are more clumsy might need as many as 12K to 15K reps, but it does get there.

Think about the time frames involved to get 10,000 reps of a certain punch, or even a jumping, spinning kick.... versus how long it will take the partner-training grappling art person (pick one, aikido, judo, wrestling, sticky hands, BJJ whatever) to be able to get 10,000 reps in on something?

Say it's the shomenuchi ikkyo above... how many years of training? Thanks to K-man, I'd say the time frame for a dedicated student with presumably above-average athleticism and stick-to-itiveness (I'm assuming that's K-man) gets to 10,000 reps in 7 years.....

In my opinion, THAT is why aikido (and Judo, Drop Bear) is hard. It takes a lot longer to get the required reps in. Do this analysis... time how long it takes you and your partner to work through a single technique from aikido. Include the set-up time, as that is included in your "rep" time. Then, compare that witht he tim it takes you to practice a basic reverse punch. How much quicker to get to 10K reps on the reverse punch? How much quicker to have that mastered?

There you go. There is the reason for the difficulty. My opinion, of course.
 

SAConner

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I have a hate/love relationship with aikido, I really love to see aikido into action but it's so diffcult to me comprehend and or adhere to it's principles and these drives me crazy!

Don't know if it's about to empty the cup principle or what but Aikido really amazes me and would like to learn it buu feel the techs to intrincate that desmoralize me a lot.

Manny
The 1st style I learned was Aikido and the best advice I was given when starting was treat it like a dance. If you've never studied a flowing style before (or taken a a dance class) it may take a little bit to pick up, but imo it is a great addition to any martial artists toolbox.
 
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