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15

Imrich Lichtenfeld - the founder of Krav Maga - does not appear to have any formal asian martial arts roots that I can find. His bios state that he learned wrestling and grappling from his father, and later honed his skills fighting on the street. (wikipedia, kravmaga.com). Once he immigrated to Israel he joined the para-military forces and started teaching ...


14

The best indicators I ever found were: Are the senior grades teaching the lower grades? Is the instructor friendly and approachable? Is everyone (from the top to the bottom) having fun? Are there special fees, secret techniques, and a cult mentality? Are many people injured? Are all fees clearly labelled and explained? What are the instructors' ...


14

First, you have to understand what Aikido is, and what it is not. Aikido is the final culmination of Ueshiba Morihei's training in: Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu Tenjin Shin'yo-ryu Jujutsu Goto-ha Yagyu Shingan-ryu Taijutsu (Goto Family Branch of Edo Line of Yagyu Shingan-ryu) Numerous other forms of jujutsu (Ueshiba Morihei was a dabbler in his youth) Omoto-kyo ...


13

The first, and biggest, point is that if it hurts don't do it. Be careful with an injured shoulder, possibly focusing more on the opposite side or starting on your injured side significantly more slowly or at a lower height (get the dive roll perfect from the knees first). The other major thing is to make sure you are practicing on good mats. There's no ...


11

INTERVALS! the best way to train cardio for martial arts is to train is as similar a fashion as the activity your are training for. hrm, that's a bit of an awkward sentence. take football (american) those big dudes that have to explode out and block the other big dudes, they arn't running miles and miles and miles, they are doing sprints and a lot of ...


10

I found the same picture at several websites. According to this blog, the picture was taken in 1942 at the Kenkoku University. It also mentions "(Manchria)" but that's probably a typo for "Manchuria", the old name for north-east China which at that time was under Japanese control. Another website mentions that the building in the background is Shimbuden ...


10

Not specifc to Aikido, but here's my impression from other martial arts. Generally when you do the drills, you are trying to eliminate many of the variables and focus on the technique as it flows a particular way. So if the technique in that form is supposed to be practiced with a closed stance (same foot forward), you ensure that both parties have the same ...


9

You will rarely, if ever, find a martial art that truly uses kicks above the knee*, unless that art is centered around kicks. Most art are very concerned about their balance, and use kicks for disruption, not necessarily for damage. Aikido mostly uses the feet and legs for footwork. Kicks would just take time away from footwork. By the same token, because ...


9

Although I have not practiced aikido, I have some experience in kendo and can tentatively offer an answer. In the school I was in, we used to practice a multitude of suburi (sword swings). In most of them, the jodan-no-kamae stance is assumed prior to striking. This sounds a lot like the stance your teacher is using. In this stance, your sword is placed in ...


8

Personally when I am performing ikkyo from something like kata dori (tori) I am just gingerly holding the wrist, with the emphasis on the other hand articulating the elbow. When I am performing nikyo from the same attack I am gripping the wrist in such a was to actually be applying nikyo. Some people may not make this distinction, and it could be they ...


8

Usually, it's enough to give a light sanding with fine grit sandpaper and a rub down with boiled linseed oil. It's important to use boiled linseed oil, as it will properly permeate the wood. If they were meant more for decoration or a trophy after years of service, and no longer intended to be used, a light varnish will give them a beautiful luster. ...


8

Something to understand: In Japanese society, the Sempai / Kohai relationship is largely organic. In a status-based society, the senior and junior naturally recognize their obligations to each other, and follow these social norms without issue. In Japan, the Sempai / Kohai relationship is not simply a one-way relationship. It's not simply the junior having ...


8

I think you are missing a crucial distinction here: kata vs randori practice. Or practice of a form to learn the movement (aka kata) and making that movement yours and applying it (aka randori). Kata is designed to make you do the technique in a rigid and fixed form. It is here to teach your body how to react, how to move, and why this is a reasonable ...


8

They receive a letter grade for the class. It is participation based, and they have to demonstrate a few basic things at the end of the semester. You have a fundamentally simple solution: Use positive and negative reinforcement to encourage change. When they try, recognize it and encourage them. When they slack, ignore them. At the beginning of class, ...


8

This is a fairly common problem on both sides of the equation. We have to continually emphasize the importance of breathing during the techniques with newer students… and the importance of breathing out when having a technique performed on you. So step 1 is to trust that everyone in the room you are practicing has probably had this problem before, either ...


8

Sounds like a quote from Kisshomaru Ueshiba in "The Spirit of Aikido" (合氣道のこころ). I don't have the English version to compare, but in the Japanese version it's the first line of the first chapter: 合氣道は、いうまでもなく本質的に武道である。 Kisshomaru expressed the same sentiment many times - his father may have as well, but I don't recall off hand. Morihei more often talked ...


7

Knee issues more often than not come from postural mistakes, rather than suwari waza. My advice is to just practice suwari waza and try to increase the amount of training until you get confortable. If you learn to do it properly, your movements will improve and will prove less painful to your knees. I should also note that doing suwari waza is much easier ...


7

Videos don't teach technique Learning from videos is just not an effective way of learning technique. It can work, but it's wildly inefficient and can produce bad habits. One of the primary reasons to avoid video-based learning is that without an excellent feedback system (e.g. great training partners at home, or near-daily practice where you test the ...


7

Polypropylene works well for shorter stuff, but people complain about longer weapons because of an excess of flexibility (I tend to agree). For example, my Cold Steel Escrima Sticks are pretty great and have held up well, although they've been part-time, and they're short. They make a number of training swords with the same material. I'm not sure how ...


6

It doesn't matter what they say about the school. It matters what they do. I believe, the answer to the question lies in measuring the schools ability to help you find what you are looking for. So go to the school and look for people who you can relate to. If you can see people that you have something in common with and you can see people making progress ...


6

I have always approached (and been taught) ikkyo as a martial exercise, rather than technique. Rather than being a strong technique, static ikkyo practice teaches: Moving in and off the line of attack, Footwork and movement, Posture and breathing, And other very basic concepts (hara, centeredness, maai, etc) Nikyo (as well as Sankyo, Yonkyo, ...


6

The biggest things that have helped me: To second Patricia: Squats, particularly bodyweight squats, close squats (where your feet are closer together), and (now) one-legged squats. Ensuring good form all the way through the exercise and ensuring that you go below parallel (above parallel may cause knee issues). There are a couple of good progressions out ...


6

Squats are your friend, as well as leg presses. You want to strengthen all the muscles around your knee so if/when the tendons and ligaments start to wear out, the muscles can compensate. When your doing your squats, make sure to keep your back straight, your heals on the floor, and try to keep your knees from going to far forward (they shouldn't pass ...


6

Break falls (especially those that require a student to turn over himself, as in kote gaeshi) are usually quite intimidating to new students... Most instructors take the approach of propping up mats for students to learn on, making it a nice, soft place to land. My background (I was a performing magician, specializing in applied psychology, hypnosis, and ...


6

for rolling breakfalls with new students i have 2 different methods for making them less intimidating. start from a "high kneeling" position, IE: one knee down, and one knee up. then teach the roll from their. It tends to keep their posture more inline and stops them from freaking out about the floor being so far away. the other technique i use, which ...


6

The names will depend on your style. For example, oshi taoshi is called both ikkyo and ikajo but refers to the same technique. You should try to get hold of your syllabus in romaji (the Roman alphabet transcript) as this will telly you the minimum you have to learn. The rest is just flavour. The aiki web and the Aikido FAQ both have a glossary of common ...


6

Most modern aikidoka reject competition and sparring in any form. The philosophy is delineated well on the Aikiweb forums by Stefan Stenudd: [P]ractice is not about defeating an opponent, but about both participants being victorious by finding a truly peaceful solution and growing as human beings in the process. ... We train the aikido techniques ...


6

Tenshin is the same as Tenkai "Tenshin..Pivoting with feet in one position..face other direction.( also called Tenkai )." Aikido Glossary Tsugi Ashi is the "shuffling" step (the first step in tai sabaki - there is an example at about 0:12 on this video, and some more video here (video good - I don't speak the language in which it is narraged). There is a ...


6

Speaking as an aikidoka, Mr. Clements' answer is good. I want to add my emphasis to a few points. First, look at your belt or your toes. This will prevent the most serious injuries (head and neck injuries). Tucking your head is the most important thing to remember. Second, breathe. Breathing is the second most important. I'm not aware that you'll do ...


6

When I was first instructed on rolling (apart from what has already been mentioned), I was told to imagine being wrapped around a beachball. This can help in keeping the back curved which makes for a smooth roll. This is especially for those whose instinct is to flatten out mid roll and knock the hips into the ground towards the end.



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