FightingArts Estore
Pressure Points
From a medical professional, straight facts on where and how to hit that can save your life.
Stretching
Limber or not, anyone can add height and speed to their kicks with this method.
Calligraphy
For yourself or as a gift, calligraphy is special, unique and lasting.
Karate Uniforms
Look your best. Max snap. low cost & superior crafted: “Peak Performance Gold” 16 oz uniforms.

MOTOBU
Classic book translation. Hard to find. Not in stores.
Who's Online
0 registered (), 40 Guests and 2 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
LeroyCFischer, JadeKing, Beefcake, WesJones, simonajones111
22933 Registered Users
Top Posters (30 Days)
futsaowingchun 2
charlie 2
simonajones111 1
GojuRyuboy13 1
Zombie Zero 1
November
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30
New Topics
unrecognized kata
by William_Bent
11/19/14 07:05 PM
I gained a lot of month in the last few months
by simonajones111
11/19/14 04:54 AM
Siu Lin Tao-3rd section applications
by futsaowingchun
11/13/14 06:48 PM
Screen fighting course UK December 2014
by charlie
11/11/14 04:09 PM
Siu Lin Tao-1st section Pak Sao explanations
by futsaowingchun
11/09/14 10:30 PM
I spy kata bunkai..
by GojuRyuboy13
10/29/14 08:28 AM
The Karate punch
by Matakiant
10/30/13 07:41 AM
Where Are They Now?
by Dobbersky
05/30/13 08:08 AM
MA style video library
by
03/22/06 03:18 PM
Recent Posts
unrecognized kata
by William_Bent
11/19/14 07:05 PM
I gained a lot of month in the last few months
by simonajones111
11/19/14 04:54 AM
Siu Lin Tao-3rd section applications
by futsaowingchun
11/13/14 06:48 PM
Screen fighting course UK December 2014
by charlie
11/11/14 04:09 PM
MA style video library
by charlie
11/11/14 04:05 PM
Siu Lin Tao-1st section Pak Sao explanations
by futsaowingchun
11/09/14 10:30 PM
The Karate punch
by Matakiant
10/29/14 10:01 PM
I spy kata bunkai..
by GojuRyuboy13
10/29/14 08:28 AM
Forum Stats
22933 Members
36 Forums
35589 Topics
432521 Posts

Max Online: 424 @ 09/24/13 10:38 PM
Topic Options
#126532 - 07/17/03 03:13 PM 5000 answers, but I still need them
Iceman37 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/17/03
Posts: 10
Loc: Daytona, FL USA
If I ask 5000 people this question, I'm going to get that many answers. Yet ask I must, and I've been reading many of the posts in this forum concerning the Aiki arts...you all seem well versed in differences in styles and application, so you can give me some insight, I hope.

I'm looking to become involved in the Martial Arts, at age 37. I briefly studied TKD fifteen or twenty years ago, and had a few problems with the art. This, along with knowing my own personality and weaknesses, has me nervous about choosing the right path.

These are my reservations...to begin with, I'm not in good physical shape. I'm tall and lean, but lack exceptional strength and have virtually no cardio-vascular stamina. I know I am stronger than I give myself credit for because I can lift/carry/handle things that others of my age cannot, but nonetheless I don't feel strong or 'with stamina' at all. Secondly, I have zero, zero, ZERO interest in fighting for competition, prizes, belts, or any other outward accolade. In fact, my TKD instructor's first words were 'you have tournament legs' and I turned off immediately. I was never right in that class from that point forward. I'm looking for something that can give me inner peace, confidence, and admittedly martial skills, but not trophies. I don't need to fight, or want to. I just want to be able to. Next, I found from he TKD classes that I have difficulty delivering a strike with any force. Flat out, I couldn't hit anyone. Everything I would throw I pulled. I actually had other students complaining because I WASN'T hitting hard enough. I don't know how to overcome this, especially considering that the whole reason I'm looking to become involved in MA is because I need a constructive channel for some increasingly alarming aggression I've been experiencing within myself lately. I'm 6'3, 220lbs. and while I don't think I could ever truly hurt someone, I've lost my temper in ways that put me and other people in danger of just that...fortunately, nothing ever came of the incidents.

Lastly, and most importantly, I need to find an art that addresses one fundamental personal limitation of which I am aware as a man...and that is that I am afraid. I honestly believe that most men go through life with that very fear locked deep in their core, almost like we're given such a high bar right from the start and we're always trying to prove we've measured up, even though we know deep down we haven't, and we're AFRAID someone will find out the truth. I am flat out scared...afraid of failure, afraid of making a fool of myself, even afraid of being hit, thrown or otherwise physically manipulated. I don't honestly know if my body can take the punishment (or if my inner scared little kid can, either).

So which of the arts, if any, could address some of these issues? Which of the individual disciplines seem best suited to my needs and weaknesses? Which 'schools' or schools of thought focus more on tackling these things than winning trophies and boasting how many black belts they have?

Any advice will be appreciated.

Top
#126533 - 07/17/03 03:23 PM Re: 5000 answers, but I still need them
Iceman37 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/17/03
Posts: 10
Loc: Daytona, FL USA
I left off some very important information concerning the 'fighting' part of the art, as well...lol. For starters, I'm interested more in practical than traditional. Since I'm not interested in competitions and the like, learning to fight with a sword is probably fairly useless to me...but learning to fight with a broomstick might come in rather handy someday. Likewise, roundhouse kicks to the head are simply wonderful on film, and flying tiger-claw poses look great on a poster, but John Q. Guntoter won't be impressed as he's pumping my spinning, airborne body full of hollowpoints. I need something that gives me confidence in true life situations. Hope this doesn't offend anyone who practices more traditional methods, but it's just not for me.

Besides, I never could quite get the hang of that Bruce Lee high-pitched "HWWAAAAA" sound anyway. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

Top
#126534 - 07/17/03 05:06 PM Re: 5000 answers, but I still need them
the504mikey Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
Iceman, you are to be commended for taking the time to study yourself and be honest about your own limitations and what you want to get out of training.

Based on your personality, it seems like you are a natural for some kind of aiki art. The question is, which one? I may get into trouble for saying this, but most aiki arts are more alike than they are different, and there is a great deal of variation in how different people approach the same style.

I guess what I am saying is it is less important what style you pick than it is who you pick to learn from. Also, it is likely that when you look for schools that claim to teach aiki arts in your area you will be faced with a limited selection.

My advice would be to flip open the phone book and make a list of schools that make some reference to "aiki". Throw in a couple of judo and jujitsu schools for comparison. Make a promise to yourself that you will personally vist every school that is in range. Pick schools you can get to consistently... if you can't make it at least twice a week it is going to be hard to make progress.

Anyway, sit in and observe a class at each school. A decent school will welcome visitors. In all likelihood, you will feel more comfortable in one school than all the others. After all, if this is the right road for you you will be spending several years in that school.

I know you wanted to emphasize self defense over tradition, but I would caution you that aiki has become something of a buzz word. Make sure that the teacher you pick has out in his time with a verifiable source. New modern styles can be great-- but make sure there is a real solid root somewhere in the history.

All good martial arts focus on personal development as well as self defense. Don't worry so much about conditioning-- it will happen no matter where you end up if you practice with gusto.

I hope this helps.

PS: If you are serious about self defense, I would make some effort to solve the hitting problem you mentioned. The only way to do that is by hitting things. I would suggest that you get a heavy bag (water filled is cheaper, easier, and less likely to cause injury), hang it at home, and practice. Start slow and easy, and correct any problems with your form. Open handed strikes are your friend-- they can be really strong and you run less risk of breaking fingers, or spraining your wrist. An open handed defense posture looks less aggressive to witnesses and allows you to strike or grab or both as the opportunity arises. Anyway, get your form down and then spend a few minutes a few times a week whapping the old heavy bag. It will help your conditioning, hitting power, and confidence. I truly believe aiki arts are the best fit for your personality, but aiki schools that do a lot of striking practice are relatively rare.

Anyway, I think I will stop rambling. Good luck in your search-- remember to take your time and choose a school carefully, and we are always around if you have questions. The martial arts community is a small world.

Top
#126535 - 07/18/03 01:02 AM Re: 5000 answers, but I still need them
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Bruce Lee tells of the story of a student who came to him to train, but told Mr. Lee everything he couldn't do and all of his limitations. Bruce Lee in turn poured the gentleman some tea, yet when the glass was full, kept pouring the tea. The man startled by this and asked why he kept pouring the tea, Bruce Lee answered that the cup was this persons mind, filled with all the things he couldn't do, not what he could do. While it is admirable you see yourself a certain way, I suggest the first thing is get rid of all prejudices, limitations and go into training with a complete open mind. There are so many arts, and so many ways to practice. You have to find your niche. Visit dojos, watch the instructor, which I believe is key. You may find the best art in the world, but the sorriest teacher, who really doesn't have the knowledge you may need. As a beginner a Brown Belt can instruct so rank is not a consideration either. I have seen as many phony 10th degree Black Belts as I have great 1st degrees.
My biggest advice is find what suits you, find a Sensei who appears to care about students, not money, and an art that you will ENJOY doing. Specifically I will not mention any art as all have their pluses and minuses, that is what you need to determine, what you think is best for you. It may not happen the first time, I have changed arts and Sensei's more times than most people train, so you need to find what suits you.

Top
#126536 - 07/18/03 02:30 AM Re: 5000 answers, but I still need them
Iceman37 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/17/03
Posts: 10
Loc: Daytona, FL USA
Thank you both for your insights, thus far. Oddly enough, I never really considered sitting in on assorted classes; it seemed to me that I needed to almost 'know what I was getting into' before even approaching an instructor. So this suggestion in itself is helpful.

I fully expect that if I do indeed find a class that motivates me, I will jump in with both feet and learn as much about the selected art as possible. My personality tends toward that approach...I'm the 'jump in with both feet' type. I think this is why I want to be very sure that I've made a good choice of art...because I wouldn't want to waste my time, so to speak, on the wrong form for me. It is true I have many preconceived notions to overcome; that, too, is a natural personality trait I've been cursed with. To be honest, I think that's the whole reason for posting this question in the first place--I very much want to 'de-bunk' many of the myths of the arts, many of my own fears and prejudices, and to 'de-hollywoodize' myself before taking up a serious study of MA.

I'm learning, though. I am beginning to gain a more clear understanding of some of the differences between the arts. I do have two aiki-related questions, though, that I would want an aiki practitioner to answer honestly, rather than hearing strictly from the 'other' arts. For instance, one of the 'knocks' on aikido that I seem to hear fairly consistently is that it is stylish, but soft. More specifically, I've seen numerous references--even from practitioners of the art itself--that aiki-trained fighters sparring with one another seem to 'throw themselves'...like they never even touch one another yet bodies go flying around all over the place. I know this can't be entirely true, but there seems to be at least a nugget of validity to it. It is almost like the art is practiced more for show than combat, to hear some tell it. Is this just a product of the particular instructor, the particular application, or is it a weakness of the art itself? Or, could it just be a knock on the art perpetrated by those who tend more toward striking techniques?

Steven Seagal also makes it hard to get a real 'handle' on the aiki arts (here comes Hollywood again) because he makes the use of MA look very quickly effective...no long, drawn out crouching tiger hidden dragon stuff. Just one or two maneuvers and his opponents are no longer threats. How real is this? And how well skilled would someone have to be to dispatch combatants in such an efficient manner? This will sound silly, but if wham-bam-seeya-man can truly be achieved with aikido, where do I sign up...and how long before I'm incapacitating opponents with ease? [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

I've rambled again. Can't seem to help myself, this preliminary study has become fascinating for me. But you are all aiki practitioners...help me sort the myth from the reality. Again, many thanks.

Top
#126537 - 07/19/03 01:15 AM Re: 5000 answers, but I still need them
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Quick note, what you see on the screen is indeed choreographed, but I have seen video of Segal Sensei, and worked with his first wife, Miko Fujutana Sensei, his Aikido is right on and make no mistake, very effective. Even if you decide on Aikido, there are various approaches just like Karate, not all styles are the same or the same approach. Good Luck

Top
#126538 - 07/19/03 05:12 PM Re: 5000 answers, but I still need them
the504mikey Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
I practice an aiki art, so I think I can address some of your questions about combat efficacy and uke's (uke is japanese for the receiver of the technique) throwing themselves.

Everything you have heard is true somewhere, but also false somewhere else. Sorry. Senseilou hit the nail on the head when he said there is a tremendous variation in how these techniques are taught and practiced. In my dojo, we strike in almost every technique. IMHO it is very difficult to take a lock on an uncooperative person if you don't give him something else to think about. A smack in the face or kick in the knee qualifies. That said, a very proficient person might not need to resort to hitting someone in order to get control. It just depends on the situation.

Anyway, the combat effectiveness can be there for you if you train for it. In almost all aiki techniques we are gaining control over our attacker's motion. Once we are driving, nothing prevents us from running the attacker into a nearby wall or onto the ground head first at high speed. I believe this could be fatal if done "properly". After all, the earth is a pretty big stick to hit someone with.

Many would argue that boxers are among the most effective strikers out there, yet how many times have we seen boxers beat each other unmercifcully for 12 rounds only to find that neither is incapacitated? Don't rule out throws, joint locks, and strangles as ways to end a confrontation quickly. They are at least as effective if not more so than striking. I like them all in combination-- keep a full toolbox, and use the right tool for the job.

Getting to the people "throwing themselves" question, there are two reasons for that kind of thinking. First, aiki is all about learning to blend with an attacker's energy. So we can learn what that feels like, the attacker usually starts by attacking in a very well defined way, and doesn't change tactics or offer resistance to what we do. That way, we can learn what the technique should feel like in a perfect environment. Once we are familiar with the technique, then the attacker can (and should, IMO) offer increasing levels of resistance so we can learn to do the techiniques on people who want to hurt us and aren't about to give us any slack. It is true (again, this is only my opinion) that in some dojos people don't resist enough to make the training suitable for street application. Even in a dojo like this, though, there are usually some people who are aware of the issue. You can always practice with these people and push things a little further.

The other reason uke's throw themselves is for their own protection. Once a joint is locked, it will sustain damage if it is forced further. Bones might break, tendons might pop, or ligaments might tear. Often, when a joint reaches the limit of its motion, an uke will throw himself to take all the pressure off of the joint. Sometimes you have to jump over your locked arm to do this, and that is when you see the high falls. So yes, the person *is* jumping, but they are jumping for their own protection, not just to make things look good (although looking good is part of the plan in demonstrations).

I don't favor these high falls, because most people on the street don't react that way. It doesn't occur to them to jump over their own arm to take the torque off, and they will usually just take the damage while trying to physically stuggle against the lock. In our dojo, we offer resistance and we don't take the high falls unless we are forced to. While it is true that it is dangerous to resist an *established* lock, it is safe to resist until the lock comes on. We train to feel when the lock is "on", and we don't push past that point to keep from getting hurt.

Some of these joint locks can be painful, and I have seen people get in the habit of just going with a technique so they never feel it. For example, if a person knows I am going for throw X, then he will quickly move his joints into position for throw X and take the fall in order to avoid feeling the joint lock come on.

This is not good practice, because it gives me false impressions about how easy it would be to throw someone who does not want to be thrown. If you are interested in self defense (and it sounds like you are) keep an eye out for practice partners who are willing to make you work harder to get the technique.

In aiki arts, it is always a question when and how much to resist, and there is always a range of preferences in the dojo. Sometimes people will get upset with you if you offer more resistance than they are comfortable with, so you have to feel it out.

Top
#126539 - 07/20/03 04:35 PM Re: 5000 answers, but I still need them
Iceman37 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/17/03
Posts: 10
Loc: Daytona, FL USA
I figured it almost had to be something along those lines...intentional 'assistance' in order to avoid serious injury...but because I'm still basically unfamiliar with the art as a whole, I am not even clear on just how aiki techniques achieve 'injury' in the first place. Besides the 'big stick' of throwing someone to the ground, it is difficult to see just how pain, pressure and force is applied to the body when the art is such a graceful one in the first place. Without firsthand knowledge of both how it feels to have a joint locked, or of how the person applying the lock is actually doing so, it makes it very difficult to see where or how damage is or could occur. It's a lot more cut and dried when a fist strikes a nose.

For what it's worth, from a layman's point of view, I think it might be in the best interest of the art if the 'demonstration' activities were a little less choreographed, a little less 'assisted' and somehow presented in a bit more 'street applicable' fashion--not because there isn't a beauty and grace to the art itself, and not because the art needs to grow beyond tradition, but more because as a society increasingly concerned with practicality, and increasingly short on time, the art may suffer a decline in interest if there is any perception either that it is 'fake' or that there is little 'combat effectiveness' to it. While you (as an aikidoka) know that it is a beautiful and effective 'traditional' art, those on the outside have no way of discerning this until they come through the 'door' into the art itself. If the advertising (so to speak) isn't appealing, they may never take the opportunity to discover this. I hope that makes sense. But of course you aren't in charge of Aikido promotion...lol. Those who are, though, might want to consider that opinion, despite that it comes from a relative outsider of limited information.

Thank you all for having taken the time to respond. I've researched two aiki dojos in my area and I intend to visit both. I don't know just yet that aikido or the aiki arts are just what I'm searching for, but I've at least got a framework by which to better understand what I'm seeing...and what I'm seeking. And I have also found that a lot of the so-called differences between the arts is as much a 'my sensei can beat up your sensei' mentality as it is any quantifiable 'better' or 'worse'. It is what it is, as someone so eloquently put it in a post I've read on here somewhere. Not better, not worse, not right or wrong...and there isn't necessarily a measureable distinction between the arts and their intent so much as between the schools and their methods. This is helpful to know when taking the first steps down the martial arts path. Again, I thank you all for that insight.

Top
#126540 - 07/21/03 04:22 PM Re: 5000 answers, but I still need them
the504mikey Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
Iceman wrote:

"For what it's worth, from a layman's point of view, I think it might be in the best interest of the art if the 'demonstration' activities were a little less choreographed, a little less 'assisted' and somehow presented in a bit more 'street applicable' fashion."

I agree completely. For that matter, I think it would be great if aiki arts were universally practiced in this way, much less demonstrated. At the very least, I think there should be more explanation to the audience what is happening, because a lot of what is going on is subtle.

In the end, I wound up getting away from aikido proper and moving towards aikijujitsu, but as others have pointed out there is a lot of variation in how aikido is practiced from dojo to dojo. I am sure there is an aikido dojo somewhere that does almost the same thing we do in our jujitsu classes, except for the judo throws. (My sensei would probably disagree, but I call them like I see them.)

You are definitely right about the need to feel the locks for yourself before you can appreciate them. A proper joint lock does not just rely on pain to get the attacker under control, but actually breaks his posture and balance as well. Most of them can also result in broken bones if they are applied with that intent.

Anyway, good luck in your search.

The hardest part is just getting started. I know you had said in another post that you were worried about "wasting time" in the wrong art. I am not sure that any training time is wasted, even if all it does for you is help solidify your idea of what you don't want, you will still take something with you from it.

So check out a few schools/teachers and then jump on in!

Top
#126541 - 07/28/03 09:08 AM Re: 5000 answers, but I still need them
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Well, Iceman, I never yet met a "scared" man who could admit to it, so perhaps your not as scared as you think?

I think my very knowledgeable freinds have answered your questions better than I can so I wont go over old ground. All I would say to you is please don't get hung up on the whole "street effective" thing. Give the art a go before you decide whether it is for you or not, it may surprise you.

Budo

Top


Moderator:  Ames, Cord, MattJ, Reiki 




Action Ads
1.5 Million Plus Page Views
Monthly
Only $89
Details

Fight Videos
Night club fight footage and street fights captured with the world's first bouncer spy cam

How to Matrix!
Learn ten times faster with new training method. Learn entire arts for as little as $10 per disk.

Self Defense
Stun guns, pepper spray, Mace and self defense products. Alarms for personal and home use.

TASER MC26C
Stop An Urban Gorilla: Get 2 FREE TASER M26C Replacement Air Cartridges With Each New TASER M26C!

 

Unbreakable Unbrella

krav maga