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#163353 - 07/02/05 01:44 AM Aikido by yourself...
thesurgeon Offline

Registered: 07/02/05
Posts: 2

My dojo currently only offers a couple classes a week which isn't quite enough for me. Do any of you have any suggestions on what kind of Aikido training you could do by yourself (besides practising break falls and rolls).


#163354 - 07/02/05 04:22 AM Re: Aikido by yourself... [Re: thesurgeon]
charlie Offline

Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 187
Hi surgeon,

I would recomend doing reaserch as well as home training, looking for information on the net like aiki web or aikido journal. also get some good books on aikido.

training wise you could do things like shikko - knee walking or running through your basic attacks very slowly and precise. Aikido is best done with an uke, as you can feel their intension, you can then absorb - re-direct whatever, however when I was starting off with my aikido training I would visalise my attacker/uke coming at me with various attacks and I would practice the movements of techniques like shiho nage, irimi nage, kote gaeshi, tenshi nage etc..this helps with your posture and gaining some muscle memory, it kind of looks a little like tai chi without a partner an you can also feel the benefits of tai chi with this practice.

I also go into horse ridding stance, place my fists one on top of the other and cicle them at the same time shifting my center in a circular fashion, almost like stiring a big pot of soup! its good for generation hip power though. centralised cutting is also important for learning center.

hope this has given you some ideas.

#163355 - 07/02/05 09:49 PM Re: Aikido by yourself... [Re: thesurgeon]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Let me preface my response by saying that I understand your predicament. At one stage I was training 4 times a week with 3 different instructors and it still wasn't enough.

However, allow me to offer a slightly different perspective....

Aikido is not just a bunch of physical techniques. It is more than that. Physical Aikido technique is merely an outward expression of a deeper sense of being in touch with people and nature, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Look beyond your physical limits.

The dojo mat isn't the only place where you can practice Aikido. The whole world is your dojo. You can practice Aikido anywhere, with anyone. Look beyond your spatial limits.

When training, focus on quality of training, rather than quantity. Look beyond your temporal limits.

Look deeper into the art and find "aiki" in every moment.

#163356 - 07/06/05 01:56 AM Re: Aikido by yourself... [Re: eyrie]
katsuhayai05 Offline

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 49
Loc: florida
Practice applying principles of aikido into your every day life. whether thats concentrating on your hara and balancing while standing in line at mcdonalds. Using foot work to open a door, or practicing sensative with your hands on the steering wheel while you drive. If you focus on making all the movement you do in practice part of your every day life that will make it easier when you actually do practice. That is why martial arts are considered a way of life not just a way of 3 nights a week.

#163357 - 07/06/05 06:07 PM Re: Aikido by yourself... [Re: thesurgeon]
Canyon Offline

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 42
I've been troubled by this in the past. Now I work on my weapons every morning at 6 AM for half an hour. I'm not sure how many weapons forms you practice in your school but I always find myself being surprised when 30 minutes has already gone by. It's also good motivation for me to wake up in the morning.

I realize that this doesn't include any empty hands work but it's greatly improved my balance, hamni, and helps me keep shoulers relaxed (I've always had problems with this).

Here are some weapons katas I practice:
20 jo suburi
happo giri
roku no jo
31 jo kata
13 jo kata
10 kumijo (practice both sides)
ken tai jo (jo side)

7 ken suburi
happo giri
7ken awase (you have to use your imagination here a little bit or use some random event for your timing)
5 kumitachi
ki musubi no tachi (aka the 6 kumitachi)
ken tai jo (ken side)

If you really want to mess with yourself, try doing everything on the opposite side.

Lastly, my advice is that because you're not in class you can and should go as slow as you want to. You can really clean up a lot that way.

I hope that helps.

#163358 - 07/06/05 10:29 PM Re: Aikido by yourself... [Re: Canyon]
katsuhayai05 Offline

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 49
Loc: florida
Thats a very good Idea canyon. Actually we don't do too much sword or jo stuff in my style of aikido because we kind of lean towards just learning the more "practical side" and my teacher doesn't really focus on sword stuff that much becuase he doesn't see it that anyone would attack wtih a sword. But would you mind explaining to me some of the sword exercises you talked about?

#163359 - 07/06/05 11:44 PM Re: Aikido by yourself... [Re: katsuhayai05]
Canyon Offline

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 42
I would agree that you're unlikely to be attacked by the sword but the applications of practicing with weapons are very real. For example, the shihonage throw is analogous to a shomenuchi sword strike. The yonkyo pin is essentially a bokken tsuki. The entry to yokomenuchi shihonage is basically a yokomenuchi sword strike. Anyway you get the point.

The kata I listed are taught by Saito sensei. There are DVD's of Saito sensei demonstrating all of these forms available from Aikido Journal. However, I'm not trying to convert you to Iwama aikido. Simply I would suggest practicing the forms you've learned in your school. It will help with your posture, body positioning, etc. You can also start to draw parallels between the weapons movements and the empty hand forms. The last thing it's really helped me with is randori; once I get a hold of someone's forearm with two hands I can whip it around my head like I'm striking with a sword and send them flying.

Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying your aikido so much.

#163360 - 07/07/05 03:15 AM Re: Aikido by yourself... [Re: katsuhayai05]
Chanters Offline

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 559
Loc: Manchester, UK
At first I had the same opinion as yourself, "why do we learn to use a sword when we don't carry one around with us on the street?" I'd say almost every open hand technique in aikido stems from the sword work. We practice with both bokken and jo and follow the saito sensei's weapon system. Many of my open hand techniques have improved since practising with weapons.

As many others have posted here, learning technique is not the be all and end all of aikido. Have you ever considered practising zazen? This is a meditative practice which is believed to help focus and calm your mind which is beneficial when practising in the dojo and if in the unfortunate event, on the street. If your mind is calm and still even in the face of danger or confrontation, you remain relaxed and your mind is clear, ready to deal with the situation appropriately.

Also try practising your tenakn, irimi tenkan and kaiten movements, this will improve your balance.

Hope this helps!


#163361 - 07/07/05 11:51 AM Re: Aikido by yourself... [Re: Chanters]
katsuhayai05 Offline

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 49
Loc: florida
Thanks a lot. I actually am very interested in practicing sword arts even if they are not practical. There is just something I love about the samurai sword arts. I also have found in the past though if I parallel a move to a sword cut it has been easier to do and easier to teach some of the newer students the technique. I've heard of this book I don't remember who it is by or what it's called but I know it has detailed pictures of how each aikido move parallels a sword move. Gosh If I could only remember the name of that book.

#163362 - 07/07/05 10:16 PM Re: Aikido by yourself... [Re: katsuhayai05]
thesurgeon Offline

Registered: 07/02/05
Posts: 2
Thank you all.

Very helpfull!

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