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17

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 ...


16

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 ...


11

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 ...


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 ...


10

I don't have medical studies, but I can at least point you in the right direction of what to look up, based on kinesiology and adult biology. Tendon Plasticity "Tendon Plasticity" (Viscoelastic tissue) - Tendons work somewhat like rubber bands - they have some stretch to them, but if you over-stretch them, just like a rubber band, it ends up loose and ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


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

Break falling is a way to safely escape a technique that could impart serious harm to the receiver. It is self defence at its most basic form. For obvious reasons, without it, one cannot practice Aikido safely. Thus, it is one of the first thing student should learn to do well. In no order, the purposes of ukemi are: Safely escape technique. Help the ...


8

You might never get into a fight, but you will fall down several times in your life. Aside from that, if you're working in an art or practice that's going to have a lot of throwing, you need to learn breakfalls early just so you can get to the meat of your training. Avoiding breaking your wrist or collarbone is something you don't want to have to learn 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 ...


7

ikkyo is not different whether you're doing it Omote or Ura, Irimi or Tenkan. ikkyo is ikkyo. Everything else defines the path of how you get to ikkyo. It doesn't matter how you start, in the end you are in ikkyo. That probably isn't the answer you're looking for. But ikkyo can be applied from almost any formal Aikido attack: Starting from ...


7

In my experience it is simply a traditional and formal way of sitting at floor level. Other than the social aspects of it (everyone is considered to be of equal height when sitting in seiza) it has no special benefits - although it should be noted that it is a position that is both stable when seated and easy to rise from while keeping your balance ...


7

It is said that the first female instructor was Takako Kunigoshi. She was one of the first women to train under Ueshiba Sensei and started in January 1933 at what is now the Hombu Dojo. She trained there with another woman, but I don't know her name. Later she was asked to teach self-defense to other women. More information can be found here and here


7

Virtually all of the martial arts use the hands in some way. Even Taekwondo, which uses mostly kicks during sparring, will use the hands to block and punch. Whereas, grappling arts use the hands to grab onto the gi or wrists or whatever. It's not uncommon in Brazilian Jiujitsu or Judo to sprain your pinky and ring fingers due to the fact that your grip ...


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

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 ...



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