Martial Arts


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#41 Sunflash

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 01:00 AM

Grats FA!

#42 Space Voyager

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:50 AM

View PostFullAuto, on 19th June 2011, 10:30pm, said:

and my main instructor threw a barbeque afterwards.

Suddenly I have a bit less respect for my former karate instructors, cheap bastards!  :P

Cool, it sounds like loads of fun, FA!

#43 ERISS

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 01:10 PM

View PostSpace Voyager, on 19th June 2011, 8:53pm, said:

You will always have a negative opinion of your own knowledge,
Oh thank you. Remembering things, I think now I was not so bad:
I have somewhat a female skeleton (ex: remove fur, and I see female hands when I watch at mines).
I practiced just almost 3 years of kung-fu wushu and taļ-chi-chuan (one before other, or reverse, both in each sessions)
. As I went teaching by myself the smaller children, playing (seriously) with them, the master 'officially' made me their coach.
I was somewhat honored (but too questionned myself about my skills). By myself too, in the end of lessons, I told them to let it go and hit without control (I know the littles like that). Sometime, some surprised me and were learning fast, and that made them laugh. I was thinking this way was not personnaly very good for me as they would be better than me lol.
. In the reverse, I now remember I was the sole (save our master) our 'champion' (best student) was afraid. When we fought, even for just training and trying to control, it was quickly going serious and we hit harder and harder. At last each time I stopped the fight and bowed to salute, almost ashamed. Finally, I learnt a story where others told me I tried to steal his girlfriend (I didn't, even she was nice) and that's why we would fight so hard lol!! Maybe that was just I was not so bad.

#44 FullAuto

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 04:07 PM

View PostSpace Voyager, on 20th June 2011, 6:50am, said:

Suddenly I have a bit less respect for my former karate instructors, cheap bastards!  :P

Cool, it sounds like loads of fun, FA!

It was, actually.  Perhaps it's just because of the smaller class size, or the different approach, but the group seems tighter and closer than others.  My main instructor takes it seriously, it's not something he picks up and leaves at the dojo, but nor does he try to be Japanese, he just has a thoughtful approach. And he was training on Saturday, so he basically went home and started preparing the barbie, with the help of his wife, another black belt, and they played kind hosts until 3 am.  A lot of effort and dedication for something they definitely did not have to do.

Thanks Sunflash!

ERISS, why did you stop training, it sounds like you had a lot of fun?

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#45 FullAuto

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 01:24 AM

For all of its reputation as a martial art in which one's progress is slow, one of the things I'm enjoying most about aikido is the sense of progression. Already, even at my humble level, basic techniques are changing, counters are emerging, and the mindset and principles are either changing or revealing more of themselves.

At your basic starter level, for instance, you wait until you are grabbed. The technique's beginning is static. As you advance, you begin to anticipate the attack, then you move onto countering it, often counter-intuitively moving into it before it can gain momentum.

My rolling still isn't up to scratch. Essentially, you never roll over your head, but on a kind of diagonal, starting behind your shoulder and diagonally down and across your back to the opposite hip. On my left side, mostly fine. On my right, terrible. I am left side dominant, so on my right I am lacking some flexibility, or confidence or just not turning enough.

Backward rolls? Oh God. They started off perfect. From day 1, no problem. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, I started going over on my left shoulder, all the time. No idea how this started, but it's messed me up, not to mention wrecking my left shoulder. I now find it incredibly hard to roll over backward on my right.

On a sidenote, I was lucky enough to stumble and fall over backwards in front of the entire class one night. However, I naturally turned it into a backwards roll, which scored me some points. Didn't really help with the humiliation, though.

Now I've advanced a little, I'm being held to a higher standard across the board. Techniques must be faster and more fluid, but I have to stay balanced. I can't simply muscle it any more, I need to use more finesse and skill. Bugger.

I'm gaining insight into the philosophy of aikido, a little, but I am really beginning to appreciate the different options the techniques give you. Nikkyo is a basic wrist lock, using your hands on one of theirs. Now, you can merely cause agonising pain, or you can lever nice and hard, ignore their cries, and break the wrist. So if pain compliance doesn't work, it isn't hard to escalate.

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#46 Space Voyager

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 07:04 AM

Sounds like we won't be messing with you any more! Posted Image

#47 Thorondor

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 10:42 AM

It should be interesting when you start doing backflips... :P

The issue with a number of martial arts is that they often favour a certain style of fighting too much for their own good. Meaning that everything you do either leads to or counts on certain situations to develop, so as to apply the techniques they usually employ or rely on.

For instance, close contact and grappling on one end of the spectrum to quick leg-work and mid-distance crippling kicks on the other.

::

Watch and learn... :D



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Posted 25 June 2011 - 12:33 AM

No backflips yet, but I have been doing kotegaeshi, another wrist breaker, which involves flipping.



Probably the number one cause of wrist injuries, this. If applied properly, and you don't flip, goodbye wrist. Speaking of injuries, I'm doing well. One bit of agony from a bad fall, which taught me to fall properly. A back spasm near the shoulder blade (old injury, possibly) which lasted a second, and ached the rest of the day, and hasn't troubled me since. A minor bout of rotator cuff tendonitis (thank you shitty rolling technique) dispelled with ibuprofen and improved rolling.

Good point, Thor. Every martial art has strengths and weaknesses, and you do have to be aware of them and not limit yourself artificially. Coming from a striking background, I don't think aikido does enough of it. Some techniques incorporate them, and you're meant to use them opportunistically in an actual fight, but some people don't train them at all. While aikido offers plenty of techniques and versatility, I'd hate to have a scrap without punching and kneeing. Aikido has given me a new respect for the elbow, though, which I didn't have confidence in before.

Kicking isn't really something aikido or myself worries much about, and as a lot of the techniques are close range, there's plenty of scope for punches, gouges, forearm smashes, elbows etc. Not to mention everyone's favourite, the headbutt. Or the gentlemanly bite.

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#49 FullAuto

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 01:25 AM

Ahh, the purple badge of courage that is the kotegaeshi bruise!
Posted Image
The dark spots are merely mottling on a much larger, ripe yellow bruise that is still developing.

My right arm is both stronger and more flexible than my left, which is odd, because I'm left-handed.  Some mornings I get up, and it's much more difficult to touch my toes than usual.  No idea why.  I'm also finding sitting seiza (kneeling) more comfortable than cross-legged, plus I sit up straighter.

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#50 Azrael Strife

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 05:43 AM

View PostFullAuto, on 17th July 2011, 1:25am, said:

Ahh, the purple badge of courage that is the kotegaeshi bruise!
Posted Image
The dark spots are merely mottling on a much larger, ripe yellow bruise that is still developing.

My right arm is both stronger and more flexible than my left, which is odd, because I'm left-handed.  Some mornings I get up, and it's much more difficult to touch my toes than usual.  No idea why.  I'm also finding sitting seiza (kneeling) more comfortable than cross-legged, plus I sit up straighter.
You're finding seiza comfortable? that is weird, in the years I had been training the most I could ever find seiza is tolerable, and for short periods of time.
Posted Image

#51 Space Voyager

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:49 AM

View PostAzrael Strife, on 17th July 2011, 5:43am, said:

You're finding seiza comfortable? that is weird, in the years I had been training the most I could ever find seiza is tolerable, and for short periods of time.
Me too... The periods did get longer with training but never would I call it comfortable. Perhaps FA is the ultimate fighter material!  :P

FA, great work on those bruises! Chicks love those.  :D

#52 FullAuto

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 11:46 AM

Doubt it, SV, I think my knees are just buggered.

Speaking of which, on my first ushiro ukemi (backwards roll) on monday, when I came back up on my knees, my left kneecap gave a solid pop, and hasn't been quite right since.  I don't think it's anything serious, as it's fully functional and there's no pain, but I'm still thinking about seeing a doctor.

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#53 Thorondor

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:30 PM

Good start on that bruising, you loose-cannon. :D

Do try not to 'pop' your neck in the near-future, though, FA.

::

Here's something to consider to reduce pain... :P



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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:27 PM

Ahh, my first foray into the swamp of aikido politics.

Signed up to Aikiweb and within a short while received an email from a rather senior chap in another organisation.  Did I know so-and-so who runs classes near me, welcome to come along and train, etc.

Mentioned this chap to my instructor last night and the look on his face said it all.  Apparently this chap is no friend to our organisation, knocks our sensei, instructors, training, etc.  My instructor made it perfectly clear he didn't like the chap but also said I was welcome to go and see, none of his business if I did.

Don't think I'll be touching that one with a ten-foot pole.

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#55 Thorondor

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 02:13 PM

Nice way to get oneself in a pickle, FA. :D

It could, however, prove profitable if you get them to fight each other. :P

::

Meet my instructor... :D




Edit: not that I don't like teasing... but here's linkage:

#56 FullAuto

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 02:17 PM

You little tease, Thor, embedding has been disabled on that.

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 08:00 PM

An aikiblog post commented on a much more famous (apparently) martial arts blog by karateka Rob Redmond, 24 Fighting Chickens, covering posts about why karate practice is not noble and why martial arts do not make people more moral.

While I sort-of agree, I mainly disagree quite pointedly.  Karate isn't a noble pursuit?  I don't think it's quite as simple as that.  Redmond mentions earning a living for your family as being more noble, but personally I think that's more of a biological imperative (I'm feeling very sceptical of free will these days, apologies).  Maybe I'm deluding myself (it's happened before), but when participating in a martial art, you're helping to propagate it, extend its lifespan.  You don't have to get to black belt to do this, you can be a lowly talentless idiot and yet your going will suck in other people, directly and indirectly.  People who would otherwise leave, or try it once and not come back, will stay, partly because of you.  You're spending your time/effort/money, which could be spent on many other things, participating in a form of physical education which I daresay every human being on the planet should have (not necessarily karate, I just think it would be better if everyone knew the basics of a martial art, for self-defence if nothing else) but which none of your descendants will necessarily participate in.  It will benefit other people, even if you go there for purely selfish reasons.

And what of aikido, for which one of the main goals is preventing the attacker from being injured?  I can't help thinking that's a step well beyond the vast majority of martial arts in terms of nobility.  Is it attainable for your average aikidoka?  I doubt it, but nevertheless it's an ideal to be strived for.

As for martial arts making people more moral.  I do agree mostly with Redmond here.  I think if you're a bad person, you can learn a martial art and it won't make you good.  However, (and to be fair Redmond mentions this) we have no way to measure morality, self-confidence, maturity, etc.  So saying "I think", "I believe" and so on is of limited usefulness, because you can think and believe all you like, someone else may believe the exact opposite and will be just as correct because there's no proof one way or the other.

The aikiblog post mentions Seagal's recurring infidelity and an aikido instructor who became involved with an under-age student.  But, we have no way to gauge morality, so perhaps these people were really really bad before they did aikido and aikido made them more moral?  Perhaps they would have behaved even worse had they not done aikido?  No way to tell, unfortunately.  And just to round off my argument, a sample of two is far too small to have any kind of meaning for a population numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

P.S.  I am grumpy.

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#58 Space Voyager

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 12:09 AM

Ok, it is 2 am and I am slightly drunk but... this whole this-or-that martial arts making you more or less moral... is bollocks.

A person will train martial arts for various reasons, most likely (modern world) being a need for exercise. You will most likely train martial arts being available to you, meaning it is in your neighbourhood and price affordable.

No martial art whatsoever will shift your morals. NONE. What CAN actually accomplish that is the trainer. If he/she is into morals, honour and all that he/she will try to pass it on to trainees, as simple as that. Karate being the issue here... I've seen karate abused and I've seen people, real street fighter class imbeciles, find a new calling in karate, calm down and seek deeper truth in it. Deeper than there really is, but that remains in the eyes of the beholder.

P.S.: Thank gods for spelling checker.

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 03:10 PM

I keep making the assumption that ladies are delicate flowers.  When attacking or performing a technique I automatically tone it down, which is a mistake when there are so many aikido ladies that are either brown or black belts.  When paired with one particularly fetching example I threw her gently, and she politely encouraged me to do it properly.  I did it semi-seriously the next time, and when it was her turn, she blasted me across the mat.  And I must weigh twice what she does.  A tad humbling.  I can use speed and strength to make up for failures in my technique, but I can't compare to someone who is not as fast or as strong, but more skilled.

I like the way aikido adds an extra dimension to people.  When discussing another aikidoka, you talk about what they are like, their personality, how you feel about them, and also what their aikido is like, e.g. "I don't like the man, but his aikido is good."

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#60 Thorondor

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 03:14 PM

My thoughts on this are mostly in line with what SV expressed.

People see martial arts in different light, depending on how they approach them: most simply see it as a form of exercising, others as a competitive sport, some as a means gaining basic self-defense techniques and some still which see it as more than a physical activity, as a discipline and a philosophy that is then translated into a certain personal stance in daily life.

Morality, honourability, honesty are values either more prevailing or less prevailing in people and have nothing to do with martial arts.

People can be influenced by other people in either a good or bad way (peer pressure, etc).

All I would add with regards to martial arts is that they can be potentially misused with very real consequences. Instructors have the responsibility of teaching trainees not just techniques, but also how to act responsibly now they know them, because some can cause great harm or even death if used without restraint or proper knowledge of their effects.

Some idiots, just because they have some proficiency, tend to get too keen on provoking fights, mostly during adolescence or early adulthood, simply to show they can beat up other people.

So, for me, immaturity and petty evilness, responsibility and nobility all come down to each individual - one's own moral compass, temper and personal conduct.

::

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The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

- William Shakespeare





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