Aikido is a very fascinating martial art. Personally I believe that Aikido is perhaps even more effective in a real-life situation than other similar things such as Judo. Basically how it works is to use your opponent's strength against them. The really great thing about Aikido is that absolutely anyone can do it. Whether you are 80 years old or whatever, the techniques that apply can be done by anyone with virtually no physical effort against someone much stronger than them. The only real thing that will determine whether you can be successful in Aikido is your mental strength. You must have good 'will-power' and be able to concentrate in the most difficult situations. Aikido is almost more mental work than physical work. While getting the actual throws is important, you must to let your ego get the better of you.
You are obviously very inexperienced in aikido in particular and the martial arts in general. There are a lot of people here who know a great deal more than you do, and they're not likely to take kindly to a newbie like you presuming to educate them.
Here are two free lessons for starters:
1. Aikido is not about "mental work". The more you train, the less "mental work" you have to do. And if you're training hard enough to make real progress on that, you're definitely doing a lot of "physical work".
2. "Personally I believe" means nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. It's bullshit. Unless you're going to explain (a) what evidence led you to this belief or (b) why you're an expert whose personal belief should be considered authoritative, you're just wasting our time and your effort.
Lurk more, post less.
Also, let's skip the part where you lecture the entire forum about proper martial art behavior and respect and just get straight to the ragequit. Your brand of stupidity has just grown too tiresome.
As an Aikido practitioner (do not know for how much longer), let me throw my two cents into this.
First, some background:
I've done Aikido for about 4-5 years (with 2 long interruptions), no other martial arts. I first trained in a very serious dojo in Italy, 4 hours a day, 2-3 times a week (as much as I could). We did all the standard Aikido stuff plus tsuki and maegeri. The training was hard and involved also some ininterrupted training sessions (1 hour, same technique, no breaks just change of partner).
After getting to 5th kyu I had to stop and re-started some 10 years later. It was fun, I enjoyed doing it again, got in shape and felt like getting somewhere. My sensei was very traditional one and now I realise he actually taught us some jujutsu techniques (neck lock with throwing your oponent's spine on your knee and saying "but we do not do that! :)")
I then stopped again at 2nd kyu and moved to UK when I did nothing for almost 4 years.
I have restarted since 2 months time with an Iwama-ryu dojo. Probably due to getting more and more experienced and skeptical in life, my outlook on Aikido has changed greatly.
1) Many aikido techniques are streatching/breathing excercises. Everybody expecting to get any martial result from the kokyu-ho group has to be either extremely lucky or extremely deluded.
2) Aikido without atemi is bollocks. It might work is some odd case but now I feel striking (punches kicks elbows) is essential to take the opponents balance. I find the fact that many dojos skip entirely on atemi terryfing - at least they shouldn't pretend to teach self-defence
3) Aikido attacks are mostly unrealistic and fail on providing a proper training, on top of that most of the time are poorly executed. Many are stuck in archaic forms which are not updated, against the simplest common sense.
4) I do not believe in Ki. I believe in aiki, taking balance, changing attack vectors, re-directing the attack energy where it belongs (on the ground and in some way incapacitated)
5) Aikido is overrun by deluded people who think they are learning a "martial art" where thay just learn to do some movements. The problem is these people get up the ranks and get dan grades without being disillusioned. I guess that's just the way it goes and I foresee a bleak future for most Aikido branches.
That said, I really enjoy aikido. I like its traditional japanese roots, iI like the way it taugh me to move and what I have learned about the body mechanics. I also like very much the weapons part and due to that will be starting Kendo very shortly.
But I do not believe just studying aikido will take you anywhere in "martial arts". You absolutely have to cross train, learn to strike, participate in true competition, whatever it is, in which the oponent in some way or another is trying to take you down. Without that, Aikido is nice to watch and sometimes a decent workout.
I will probably be starting Judo (can't find a good jujutsu dojo around my area) and also will start learning how to properly strike, then some basic kicks. I think I will stil continue aikido but in a different way, trying to get the most out of it and leaving the rest to those who like to stretch once a week.
Finally, can Aikido work? Yes, if you cross train in other arts, know how to strike, have good physical conditioning and are prepared to really hurt somebody till he can't get up.
That's all folks, hope my "insiders" view will help people who intend to or are starting Aikido to consider all the implications.
Zargor, kendo and judo will be an eye-opener for you for sure.
There are a lot of commonly held beliefs about Japan popular among enthusiasts; that Ikebana contains the Japanese soul, or that Japan was totally isolated for hundreds of years, or even that the principle warring tool of the samurai was the sword, etc. You might be surpised to learn these are all misleading if not absolutely false statements. If anyone likes podcasts and wants to get a head start on straightening their heads, the Samurai Archives podcast is right up your alley (http://www.samuraipodcast.com/).Quote:
I was wondering if theres any Aikidoka's that can tell me the mental side of aikido? ( i am interested in the psychology of aikido self - actualization, Harmony, respect, finding more about your self, confidence etc )
If you find all the lies have left something of an aftertaste, I hear sak-er, Nihonshu has purifying qualities.
On the topic of Aikido's "mental" side, there is an American psychological professional and former Aikidoka by the name of Ellis Amdur who has authored some compelling pieces on both Aikido's technical rationale and ethical value. They can be found here: http://edgework.info/buy-books-on-martial-arts.html