Our aikido approach- as requested in the aikido on knees thread
Ok folks, this is going to be a long coupla posts. A little background.
I train at the Itten Dojo in Harrisburg PA. We are currently involved in aikido training with Ellis Amdur, out of Seattle. He is helping us devise an approach to aikido that is trainable under resistance, effective against a variety of common attacks, relativley simple to learn, and that lives up to the promise that aikido makes- the ability to resolve conflict.
We ARE NOT the be-all-end-all of combatives. We do not claim to be the best system out there, and you aren't gonna see us taking the MMA world by strom or anything.
Over the next couple posts, I will detail how we practice, and why, as best as I understand it. I ask that you wait till I give you the go ahead to post any commentary, because I will need a couple of posts to get this all down.
I am very interested in your input, because this approach to aikido is a work in progress. It may change and evolve as we continue to train in it, adapt techniques to it, and becoem better at it.
So, without any further ado, I will get down to business.
Atemi- It hits all by itself
Atemit must be able to be used effectively at any point in a technique. The reason uke moves is because if he doesn't, he knows he will get hit. He moves to protect himself.
All of our techniques have many, many oppurtonities for atemi. We use these oppurtonities to move into techniques, cover mistakes, counter, and in general to facilitate technique.
We are not trying to land knockout punches, nor do we ascribe to the eyegouge/tiger strike school of thought.
Our most common atemi are a backfist, a back forearm strike, an uppercut, an elbow strike, and a thrust/jab.
We believe that atmei is used to fix uke in place, whilst nage moves around him to effect the control and throw. Alot of aikido people think the other way, using pain to make uke move around nage to effect the throw. We feel that it unrealistic. OUr aikido acutally doesn't hurt very much, apart from getting hit and pins, becasue we don't try to move uke through pain. We also learn several counters to pain based methods of aikido techniques, for our safety when practicing with unknown aikido/jujutsu people.
Alos, we learn how to throw effective attacks, including jabs, and we throw our shoman/yokomen strieks with intent and minimal telegraphing. We only have one kick, a front push kick, usually used of the lead leg.
Techniques- Do unto to others before they do unto you
All techniques have counters. We are taught them, and we practice them.
When you find that you can not complete a technique, you abandon it and go to a henka(recovery technique). We train to KEEP MOVING and get another technique.
We have a relatively small amount of techniques. We use Ikkyo, Nikkyo, Irimi-nage, shiho-nage, tenchi-nage, sumiotoshi, kokyu-nage, koshi-nage and aiki-otoshi. We do not label each possible variation of a technique as a seperate waza, but rather practice them against all possible attacks. The methods of initiating a technique tend to be the same regardless of how you were attacked.
We are free to go train with other people and get things we like or want. We are not limited to this curriculum, but it is our technical core.
These techniques were selected by Ellis because they either 1) are good at teaching principles, and if so they are taught as such or 2) they are combativley effective.
Where all this is going-the end of a diatribe
Thanks for sticking with me folks. ALso thanks for not posting till I was done. After this, you may disect at will all that I have written. I will try to answer all your questions, and Budd, who trains with me, will surely chime in with his view on things.
We are different from most aikido dojo. We are expirimenting with adapting aikido to the nature of today's conflcit. We are also trying to be true to the roots of the art.
The goal is to be able to effectively stop violence, to be able to make a choice as to how much, if at all, we hurt our attacker. We try to stay grounded in reality. We do not claim to be able to defeat multiples, we do not hanress ki for amazing feats of martial tom-foolery.
We train hard, so that we can go home.
There is contact. We try tp stay fairly light, but will throw harder to the body then the face. MMA folks would not be impressed by our overall level of contact in a normal class, but some of us do work in open mat times that is more vigourus. At some point this year, we will put the gloves on and have at it.
OUr system has been in existence for a little less then a year. It is a work in progress. I have not yet seen Ellis' ground methods, though I know he will be showing us some ground work. We will also be allowed to fill in any gaps we find with appropriate stuff, assuming Ellis agrees that it has a place in our aikido.
Ellis believes in trying new things and seeking new methods, as inbreeding leads to stagnation. We try to follow that as well as possible.
We also question him, as he is only human and ain't always right. We have won concessions and changes from him when we showed him a better method.
I hope to attend a throwdown at some point and show this stuff to you folks. This is not a complete breakdown of the system, and I will try to make it all more clear as I go. Ask questions, please.
And again, thanks for your patience in reading.