Martial Arts


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#1 FullAuto

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 01:00 AM

Anyone got any experience of aikido?

I'm looking at picking it up.  I have previous knowledge of boxing, judo, jeet kune do, and karate.  I've also rubbed shoulders with folk who have done krav maga, ju jitsu, and kickboxing.  I didn't get on that well with the technical side of things in boxing and judo, and where I studied karate it was, sadly, reduced to a sport.

Aikido appears to have an interesting idea behind it (that of injuring your attacker as little as possible), studies both striking and grappling, with joint locks and throws, and of course this leaves you with the choice to take things further in a practical situation if you wish.  Basically, it looks like it will keep me interested, just would like to hear other's experiences.

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#2 Thorondor

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 11:49 AM

In terms of martial arts I did Karate for several years, but that's all I have under my belt. As you say, kinda became sporty, so lost its charm.

There used to be a south-african fellow going by the nick of Monde at the ALTAR boards that did Aikido, but since the boards are all down I'm unable to presently point you his way.

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#3 Matri

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 01:00 PM

Well, my brother is a practitioner of wushu. I'm not sure how high his rank is, but he's been in several exhibition performances the past few years. He also owns a pair of butterfly blades.

Also, Cracked to the rescue! :P
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#4 Sunflash

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 01:29 PM

I'd help, but all I know is a variety of minor-to-moderate amounts of weaponry fighting. (swords and such). D:

#5 Sunflash

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:14 PM

*hauls thread off to the taxidermist* ANOTHER VICTIM FOR MY TROPHY WALL!

#6 Space Voyager

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 10:09 AM

I trained karate for several years, more of a gym than serious "way of life". When the trainers started demanding more and more investment of time and the prices went up, I quit.

Anyway, aikido is interesting, though as I was told it takes a looooooooong time before you are able to use it in a real-life situation.

#7 7h30n

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:59 PM

I trained Karate and Tae-Kwan-Do. Did some Aikido but I disliked the teacher so I stopped.

Aikido as a Martial Art is really interesting (that's why I started going for it). Recommended!
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#8 FullAuto

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 03:04 PM

I wouldn't be surprised.  The point seems to be to use the minimum force necessary to get the job done, which is at odds with my approach up 'til now.  :P

From what I've read, it seems to be an emphasis on skill and technique, and a lot of joint locks/pain compliance to get the opponent to submit.  Now, while you can't take it any further in the dojo, I think that if applied outside, and it fails to work, you can always go one step further.  While a wrist lock might not make an attacker quit, leveraging the arm to get him down low, and then kicking him in the face, standing on his head, etc very well might force him to reconsider his course of action.

I'm a little sceptical of the claim that women can progress just as well as men, as size and strength are often deciding factors, but then I've never practiced aikido so I don't know it's not true.  Certainly, it would be nice if it is, as there are definitely people bigger than me.

Another aspect of it is remaining calm and relaxed throughout.  Now, in the past, I've always used anger as motivation, especially when sparring or fighting, and it's worked fairly well.  The extra adrenaline seems to help speed, strength, and generally I don't feel pain until a little while after.  However, I had a talk with a kung fu practitioner and he stressed it was vital to remain relaxed.  He said speed, flexibility, situational awareness etc are all far superior if you're not wound up.

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#9 Sunflash

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 05:45 PM

Most of the people I know interested in Aikido(i only think one or two of 'em actually have legit training in it) all say it's focused more on using your oppnent's momentum against them, via redirecting etc. Saw a video of a master aikido guy awhile back who was demonstrating the technequies against several other non-aikido students. Most amazing thing to watch, as he really never seemed to STRAIN against those people, but they generally went flying across the mat regardless.

As for the staying calm and relaxed bit; have you ever heard of the phrase 'cold anger'? :P

#10 Space Voyager

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 11:21 AM

View PostFullAuto, on 10th December 2010, 4:04pm, said:

I'm a little sceptical of the claim that women can progress just as well as men, as size and strength are often deciding factors, but then I've never practiced aikido so I don't know it's not true.

The bigger bloke will always have an upper hand. I once won a green-belt training tournament simply because the other guy way like 10 cm smaller (and I'm not tall). He was faster, had better technique but my reach was much longer... In a controlled fight the mass doesn't mean all that much, in a real fight that too is one big factors, up to a point, naturally.

I don't enjoy fights at all, I had to get "martial points" for the blue belt advancement. I got the points but I never went for the blue belt.

#11 Matri

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 12:56 PM

In terms of stability, yeah. The bigger one will be more stable and less likely to topple over. That's why technique and precision is more important for the smaller one.
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#12 NKF

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 11:58 AM

I've only gone as far as yellow belt in Karate back in high school (i.e. second to the bottom) - and never advanced beyond that since at the time I was too poor to pay the fees to go for the examinations. Heck I even dyed my white belt yellow. But that's not the point.

My sensei was a woman, and she was a very small person. However, through skill alone she made everyone look like ragdolls in comparison - even the seniors who had already attained their black belts. Leverage, knowledge on how to shift mass, weak points, grasp of the basics, etc. Brute force is just another tool in the toolbox.

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#13 Space Voyager

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 01:45 PM

View PostNKF, on 22nd December 2010, 12:58pm, said:

Brute force is just another tool in the toolbox.

Very well said.

Using leverage can be very successful, though one must be really fast and accurate as the opponent will not wait for you...

We trained a load of different defences for each type of attack but when it came to tournament we all used the most basic attacks and the most commonly used defence was a step back... Kinda disappointing as even the brown and black belts usually resorted to these same "techniques". Very NOT Hollywood. Or Hong Kong.

What can you do, the most basic punches are the fastest and most useful in a real-life fight as well. Anyway, that took some of the magic out of karate for me.

Higher and higher demands for participation in the karate club and higher and higher cost of trainings did the rest. I could train for free but that would mean I'd have to become a an instructor's assistant (meaning training double, as an assistant for lower belts and for my own advancement) and eventually an instructor. And I really didn't have the time or the will for that.

#14 FullAuto

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:03 PM

The arse-kicking begins in April!  I went along tonight to check it out, and it looked good.

The head man was away (he trained with Nocquet, who trained with Ueshiba, who created modern aikido), but the second and third in command were there, and seriously impressive.  The efficiency and economy of motion was something special to see, and the combination of rotation and flexion looked like pain on a stick.  The teacher differentiated between real and dojo techniques, which was heartening, and everyone was welcoming.  It's going to be 20-30 a month, but that is all-inclusive.  If I train once a month or five times a week, it's covered, and while there's only one training venue near me, lifts are easily available to other places.

Looking good so far!

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#15 Space Voyager

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:32 AM

View PostFullAuto, on 15th March 2011, 12:03am, said:

If I train once a month or five times a week, it's covered
Cool, try to invest as much time as possible.

I don't like "all inclusive" deals though as usually it just means the same quantity of training for more money. For me it was best to have two trainings a week and a "free" training (no guarantee of an instructor) on Saturdays. Sadly the price slowly rose and rose to 40 EUR and up and than a six month fitness pass with heaps of training equipment became cheaper (per month) than traditionally cheap karate class...

#16 FullAuto

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:55 AM

I should be able to train 2-3 times a week, perhaps more if work is slow.  There's only half an hour gap between the end of work and training, which is going to rule out some of the sessions that are held further away, but my finish time varies, so it will vary.

Another plus is that they're not all dragon ninjas, which is reassuring.  Although some of them are in great shape, most are normal men and women, and on average they're probably older than me, they are also in better shape than I am.  I'm probably stronger than most, but in terms of agility, cardio and flexibility, I am well behind.

The teacher emphasised relaxation, which was very weird for me.

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#17 Thorondor

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 12:54 PM

Yeah, you gotta learn to relax... *yipe!*

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#18 Space Voyager

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 01:11 PM

He he he Thorondor! Nice find.

View PostFullAuto, on 15th March 2011, 11:55am, said:

The teacher emphasised relaxation, which was very weird for me.
You CAN NOT move fast and be agile if you're all tensed up. In all martial arts you learn to use the muscles you need at the moment and as much as needed.

Most problematic are shoulders and upper back, people really like to get all tense there to be "strong". What you get is an immobile sucker burning his energy faster than he can think.

#19 FullAuto

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 11:57 PM

One of the most impressive aspects for me is shown in Thor's lovely poster there.  Not only do much larger opponents get thrown, opponents, if aikido-trained, can be thrown again and again and again and they just get back up.  The idea seems to go beyond simple breakfalling and/or resilience, especially for the highly skilled.  They incorporate the force into their movement, and it doesn't appear to bother them any more than moving from a walk into a run.  If I learn that, and nothing else, I shall be happy.

Edit:  Okay, I feel I'm getting it a bit more than I was to begin with.  It's all about speed and movement, it's hardly ever about strength.  Totally different approach than my usual.  Still can't relax, but that's not holding me back so much as my poor footwork.  Got praise for some of my throws, which were said to be good for someone so inexperienced, and my rolls are excellent, apparently.

A main basic technique, ikkyo, is simple and effective.  Catch the arm, lock it, leverage them to the ground, apply pain in whichever quantity you need.  Like a lot of them, it's relatively open, so you can add on strikes if you like at various points without ending the technique early.

I'm thinking back to past encounters now and seeing them in entirely different ways.  One of the wristlocks is a marvel to see (a petite lady instructor dropped me to my knees with it, one handed, in about two seconds) and something I will definitely be using if someone is daft enough to grab me.  The knowledge of the body is marvellously integrated, bones, joints, nerves etc are all turned against their owner, and I got to see some defences versus knife that made a lot of sense (hand/wrist/arm isolation in particular) which kept the knife pointed at the wielder, which made me chuckle.

The idea that, when well-trained, you can disable even an armed asailant and leave him with nothing more than a bruise or sore spot the next day is alien to me, I must admit.  The idea, so far, has been to carry out the equivalent of a nuking if someone turns up with a blade.  Isolate the knife hand, then strikes to the knees, throat, eyes, groin, etc, get them down, and kick the living shit out of them.

Implementing aikido in such a situation would probably mean intense pain for the attacker, but no permanent damage, as you often isolate the knife hand, lock the arm, leverage him to the floor, pin, and take the knife away (the idea that anyone could resist a knife being taken from their hand when you're applying rotation to a locked hand, wrist, elbow, arm, and shoulder is ridiculous) and then simply wait for the police.  This strikes me as being an ideal.  In such a situation, I'd probably break the attacker's arm at least, even if I managed to pin him without breaking it in the first place.  I think I'd be so angry I'd take the knife off him and stamp him to paste.

But I suppose it's excellent from a legal standpoint.  If I can stop an attacker, pin him to the ground, and hold him there easily and call the police, so much the better for me.  The police can't accuse me of excessive force, and I can work the arm until they turn up.

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#20 DragonHawk

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:04 AM

View PostSpace Voyager, on 15th March 2011, 8:11am, said:

You CAN NOT move fast and be agile if you're all tensed up. In all martial arts you learn to use the muscles you need at the moment and as much as needed.

Definitely agree.  Keeping the muscles tense just wastes your energy while making you slower.  Just because Goku tenses up in Dragonball doesn't make it a good idea.  :)  Not that it is really a martial art, but keeping loose in fencing is something that I'm working on.  Mostly it's just my bad everyday posture though, haha.
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