Martial Arts for Old Guys

I've seen it in action to in a bar fight. The kid was a total goof off in class but his muscle memory kicked in and took out the douche at the bar swinging the beer bottle in one very fluid motion. After wards we all said in unison "Holy sh*t". JMDanny should remember this story.

Plus this is the ideal martial art for the original purpose of the thread, old people. Our class had more old people over 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80 than those under 40. Those guys were brutal.

I think people should look at both hard and soft styles, get used to grappling and striking styles. Very few punchy-kicky schools teach integrated and effective grappling (despite the fact that most systems have grappling techniques and entries); likewise, there are soft-art styles that don't seem to have noticed the existence of boxing, much less Muay Thai.

I remember when I was taking Hapkido (very, very old school, not the 80% TKD stuff you usually find) I ran into a TKD guy who said he studied some Hapkido. He argued vehemently that it was "useless" in combat - he felt he could kick and punch anyone into submission. Me, I sparred with it - it was a bizarre assertion from my view. Conversely, when I studied in an Aikikai affiliated school, some senior students felt that they had been so well trained that they would only have to take one punch or kick before they could engage. Obviously, neither of these was correct.

The best fighters I've seen came out of very practical, even simple styles - Bando, for example; Muay Thai (simple in principle, but highly specialized in practice); Kyokushinkai and similar full contact Karate; boxing; some Kung Fu styles; and various Ju-jitsu styles. In all of those cases (except boxing), there's a good knowledge of both striking and grappling. (And I'd say boxing has it's own advantages in the training and conditioning.)

Specialization is for insects.

It also depends on the flavor of aikido. There are the older styles that are more to the roots and hard core of aiki ju jitsu or daitoryu, and etc. There also which type, aggresive or peaceful, depending on lineage of the sensei's training.

Robear wrote:

words

That's all good and well if you're driven to be a competitive athlete, engaging in drawn-out encounters done under controlled conditions, with the same intent for "submission" on both sides.

In real world, however, the window of opportunity is usually small, the fight is explosive and lasts a few seconds, reducing the endurance gap between a regular guy and an athlete, the environments are less restrictive, the mats aren't present, one has to account for concealed weapons, and both the attacker and "defender" have completely different goals. One wishes to either inflict harm or take something, another wishes to untangle from the encounter and get away. This too, changes the nature of defender's technique. The tolerance limits for when the attacker may be persuaded to disengage are also completely different, depending. This creates completely different dynamics of intent, distancing and method.

In the end, you have a finite amount of time per week. Some people can afford to put a lot of time to warrant in-depth study of two or more martial arts at once, without sacrificing either one, and without sacrificing their other interests, but most can't. They just study the one that can give them the most of what they want at once. Aikido is that one for me, its principles being aligned with my experiences of assault. Its weapon work can be useful too, as long as you get your hands on a pool cue or similar.

Over the 8.5 years that I've been doing it my perception of Aikido kept changing. Yes, i went out and messed around with some other arts, which was invaluable, but it helped me better understand what I was doing wrong in Aikido. When I just started, I asked some questions to a beginner's class instructor, who smiled and said "ask me in a year". I thought that was kind of cryptic, if not arrogant, but in a year I realized how hard it would've been for him to put some things into words. I was asking questions from a viewpoint based on misperception, so the answers would've been irrelevant and only would've sent me farther in a wrong direction. At best, they would be simply fragmented instances of a larger whole.

This process went on, with plateaus, frustrations, more plateaus, experimentations, etc etc.

Now I see that Aikido is vast and free, and anyone who thinks of it as specialization, or gets overly attached to the stylized teaching methods, has trapped themselves in a limited mindset. Moreso, I see that my Sensei has actually been trying hard to demonstrate this to us all along, with his frequent spontaneous resistance demos ending with unrecognizeable, unpretty throws. He wasn't just fooling around. He was trying to show that this is what organic Aikido looks like - principles in motion. The end goal.

Aikido is a freeing mindset based on universal principles, out of which you generate spontaneous movement without thinking. It is required to be deeply ingrained, for the way it is required to operate. The body and the mind are one, and this link is crucial in Aikido. It dictates how you meet an attack that you do not know is coming, and how you continue to move upon contact, and whether you get blocked (by your mind) or continue to flow around spontaneous resistance. All in a blink of an eye. Are you a gust of wind blowing by, a pile of bricks, or an ocean wave ? At any point you may need to be any of those things.

Either Aikido becomes a part of you and eventually becomes effective and permeates everything else that you do, or you keep it at arm's length as "part of yet another arsenal of techniques", at which point it never becomes more effective than an arsenal of techniques. It never becomes a martial way. Aikido and binary switching mindsets do not get along.

Shiho & Edwin: I've read a little about Aikido but I was wondering if you could give me some advice on what I should look for when choosing a good dojo, and some advice on the different styles. Here in San Diego there are several different places to train Aikido. These are a few that I'm thinking of checking out:

San Diego Jiai Aikido
San Diego Aikikai
Aikido of San Diego

My martial arts experience until now has been done with boxing gloves in a gym. A dojo will be a completely new experience for me so any advice at all will be helpful.

There's a 50% chance that my evaluation of these is completely wrong. You need to go and check them out for yourself.

That said, I'd rank them by priority like this:

1) San Diego Aikikai
2) Jiai Aikido
3) Aikido of San Diego

Dojo etiquette varies. AikidoFaq used to have some articles on dojo etiquette before it went down, but here's a cached version of one of them.

I really wouldn't know. After a few months and going to seminars with other people from other dojos you will get a good sense. I was lucky enough to find a really good group out of the gates. People will talk and give you advise on your local area as you practice more. I do suggest trying them all out for a few weeks and if you can for a month at each place to see how they all approach a beginner.

shihonage wrote:

Aikido is a freeing mindset based on universal principles, out of which you generate spontaneous movement without thinking. It is required to be deeply ingrained, for the way it is required to operate. The body and the mind are one, and this link is crucial in Aikido. It dictates how you meet an attack that you do not know is coming, and how you continue to move upon contact, and whether you get blocked (by your mind) or continue to flow around spontaneous resistance. All in a blink of an eye. Are you a gust of wind blowing by, a pile of bricks, or an ocean wave ? At any point you may need to be any of those things.

This is definitely true of Aikido, but it's also the way of many other styles. It just depends on your Sensei/Suro and how he teaches the style you're in. I've had my life saved because a Suro taught us this same mindset.

I'm not sure I really get the question.

Most often, when I hear folks say "X is a great martial art for older people", it is usually followed by some magical, mystical, hand-waving explanation of qi's and chakras, promises that you don't have to work hard to get a workout, and pictures of folks that look like corpses that claim the secret to their youth is dancing in pajamas in the park every Sunday.

None of that is for me.

If you're going to study a martial art, study a martial art. Study it to get better at achieving its original purpose: kicking righteous tail. If you're not, you're better off doing Pilates.

If you ARE studying it to get better at kicking righteous buttocks, remember the golden rule of martial arts: The effective application of ANY martial art is 85% conditioning and 15% skill. Getting in shape before you learn is optimal, but don't let that stop you from starting. Get in shape through the martial art if you have to, but by all means get in shape. Folks who can't knock out two dozen pushups (a VERY low bar, btw) shouldn't have black belts.

Have at you, sir!

Or you could just get one of these.

Paleocon wrote:

I'm not sure I really get the question.

Most often, when I hear folks say "X is a great martial art for older people", it is usually followed by some magical, mystical, hand-waving explanation of qi's and chakras, promises that you don't have to work hard to get a workout, and pictures of folks that look like corpses that claim the secret to their youth is dancing in pajamas in the park every Sunday.

None of that is for me.

Silly strawmans aside, the question is understandable. Some arts cause lasting negative effects on the body in the long run. At some point many people stop practicing them because they feel that they have too many lasting injuries that aren't going away, well, ever. For instance, Muai Thai kickboxing, where the hardcore practitioners at 35 years old can look like they're 50.

BJJ can be less abusive on the body, as is Aikido. Even though I appear to be surrounded by people with foot and knee injuries, saw a collar bone dislocation, popped shoulder, and had a fractured wrist, elbow and a rib.

If you're going to study a martial art, study a martial art. Study it to get better at achieving its original purpose: kicking righteous tail. If you're not, you're better off doing Pilates.

While practicality should never be neglected, some martial arts are also a martial way (hence the "do"), and their scope is larger than this. It includes maintaining a balance between practicality and also maintaining a body that will last into old age, and cultivating a healthy set of mind. It is about the whole person.

There are extremal views on this subject on both ends, one coming from the delusional "QI masters", and another coming from, well, people like Paleocon. I prefer to allow some room for a less rigid perspective. There's not just "zero effectiveness" and "best effectiveness". There's always a middle ground, and people should be allowed to find the balance they want.

If you ARE studying it to get better at kicking righteous buttocks, remember the golden rule of martial arts: The effective application of ANY martial art is 85% conditioning and 15% skill.

Again, it's not that clear cut. Skill is very important. Timing, experience and skill can defeat power and endurance. Helio Gracie and Jigoro Kano would like to have a word with you.

Getting in shape before you learn is optimal, but don't let that stop you from starting. Get in shape through the martial art if you have to, but by all means get in shape. Folks who can't knock out two dozen pushups (a VERY low bar, btw) shouldn't have black belts.

Folks who can't make what they learned practical shouldn't make it to black belt IMO. Whether they can do a set number of push-ups doesn't mean a whole lot.

If current self, who does about 35 push-ups, was pitted against my 1999 self, who did 2 sets of 50 pushups, it would be no comparison. It would be like playing with a toy. My 1999 self had no understanding of balance and posture, his weight was up in his upper body, he was easy to float, and his reactions were predictable and easy to manipulate.

Well, I think I've decided on the first place I'm going to check out. They state that they're a member of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba. I'm sure that means something to somebody but I'm not one of them yet. I have no clue what differentiates the various schools and since this is the only Aikido dojo in my city I figured I might as well just hop right in. On their website they state that the minimum age for attending a class is 15 so at least I know there won't be a lot of ankle biters running around like I see at a lot of the other places in my area. You also get the first week for free, pay a per week fee for the next 3 weeks then start paying a flat monthly fee with no contracts. So if I get a month into it and it's just not my thing then no loss. According to their website the sensei has been practicing aikido since 1970 and in his picture he looks a lot like Mister Rogers with glasses. I won't get to try them out for another couple weeks but here's to hoping I like the place.

I think you'll enjoy it. If you stay long enough, (and if you get the chance) I suggest that you go to a seminar, especially if it has Ikeda sensei or Saotome sensei. Edwin and I got to see Saotome when he was in Orlando, and it was definitely one of greatest experiences I've ever had.

I haven't trained for a while. I've been itching to get back for the last couple of months and will be looking for a new place to train sometime soon (once my insurance kicks back in).

shiho,

What Paleo says about the 85% conditioning vs 15% skill requirement is absolutely true -- in application to Muay Thai. As well as many other hard styles, to be fair, but especially so in case with Muay.

As much as Muya is lauded these days for its street practicality and no-nonsense techniques arsenal, it indeed has a very high entry threshold in terms of conditioning and athletic requirements. An average Joe who watches UFC with a can of Bud from his couch cannot execute most of the basic Muay, techniques. Much less so he is ready to receive a couple of them and continue fightning on.

To wit, the hallmark knee strikes require dynamic strength plus groin and hip flexibilty which normal people without proper training simply do not posses. Few non-athletic people can strike with a knee above their waist level. For them, the requisite clinch-borne knee-to-ribs are out of the question, much less so jumping/flying knees to the face. Same goes for elbows -- strength/dynamic range requirement for these is such that without training, most of what the beginners can produce is an elbow jab.

When we get to the striking surface conditioning aspect, again, it just takes time. Regardless of the art, it takes roughly two years to develop any area into a decent "weapon" condition. This goes for Muay's trademark kicks with a shin, elbow strikes, and forearms to block from either.

In the process of developing all of these areas, an aspirant would also develop defence attributes that are necessary for any well-rounded fighter -- ability not only to deliver strikes and execute throws, but also to be thrown around and to receive occasion blows without being incapacitated by pain or being momentarily frozed in an apprehension of a possible injury.

I do agree with you that in certain arts (Muay again being the prime example), these points, when brought to their fullest, essentially result in a meat-grinder/threadmill combination. It will do well for Muay fans to remember that the modern system, as we know it, was minted in the middle of XX century with a single goal in mind -- train young and promising talents in way that would allow to put them into the commercial ring fights as quickly as possible. It's not necessarily the fighter's well-being or athletic longevity that the fights organizers had at their hearts. The balls-to-the-wall type of mentality and invincibility-through-self-punishment indoctrination that underlie that approach got toned down and moderated somewhat in the West, but still remain an important aspect of the training doctrine.

I took up Aikido at age 32 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did have to stop going as the strain on my back was a little too much for me. I started Kendo last year, love it but am currently sitting on the bench waiting for my ankle to heal from a bad day at the dojo.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

shiho,

What Paleo says about the 85% conditioning vs 15% skill requirement is absolutely true -- in application to Muay Thai. As well as many other hard styles, to be fair, but especially so in case with Muay.

As much as Muya is lauded these days for its street practicality and no-nonsense techniques arsenal, it indeed has a very high entry threshold in terms of conditioning and athletic requirements. An average Joe who watches UFC with a can of Bud from his couch cannot execute most of the basic Muay, techniques. Much less so he is ready to receive a couple of them and continue fightning on.

To wit, the hallmark knee strikes require dynamic strength plus groin and hip flexibilty which normal people without proper training simply do not posses. Few non-athletic people can strike with a knee above their waist level. For them, the requisite clinch-borne knee-to-ribs are out of the question, much less so jumping/flying knees to the face. Same goes for elbows -- strength/dynamic range requirement for these is such that without training, most of what the beginners can produce is an elbow jab.

When we get to the striking surface conditioning aspect, again, it just takes time. Regardless of the art, it takes roughly two years to develop any area into a decent "weapon" condition. This goes for Muay's trademark kicks with a shin, elbow strikes, and forearms to block from either.

In the process of developing all of these areas, an aspirant would also develop defence attributes that are necessary for any well-rounded fighter -- ability not only to deliver strikes and execute throws, but also to be thrown around and to receive occasion blows without being incapacitated by pain or being momentarily frozed in an apprehension of a possible injury.

I do agree with you that in certain arts (Muay again being the prime example), these points, when brought to their fullest, essentially result in a meat-grinder/threadmill combination. It will do well for Muay fans to remember that the modern system, as we know it, was minted in the middle of XX century with a single goal in mind -- train young and promising talents in way that would allow to put them into the commercial ring fights as quickly as possible. It's not necessarily the fighter's well-being or athletic longevity that the fights organizers had at their hearts. The balls-to-the-wall type of mentality and invincibility-through-self-punishment indoctrination that underlie that approach got toned down and moderated somewhat in the West, but still remain an important aspect of the training doctrine.

With respect to western Muay Thai, you won't see many of the body destroying elements. Few here are training to become great Muay Thai fighters (as they start at 8 and are in the ring at 14/15 to retire in their early 20s). Also, the development of the shins and forearms is rarely done in the US, as can be seen by any US Thai competition (they will almost always wear shin guards due to the lack of conditioning in that area).

kitzilla wrote:

I took up Aikido at age 32 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did have to stop going as the strain on my back was a little too much for me. I started Kendo last year, love it but am currently sitting on the bench waiting for my ankle to heal from a bad day at the dojo.

I'd love to try Kendo, but the few places I've seen around here are ridiculously expensive.

jmdanny wrote:
kitzilla wrote:

I took up Aikido at age 32 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did have to stop going as the strain on my back was a little too much for me. I started Kendo last year, love it but am currently sitting on the bench waiting for my ankle to heal from a bad day at the dojo.

I'd love to try Kendo, but the few places I've seen around here are ridiculously expensive.

Kendo as a whole is a ridiculously expensive sport.

Hello, newbie here to this great community.

I'm actually going to recommend something in the other direction. If you don't have alot of experience in martial arts or sports I recommend starting with a softer style to enhance your balance, coordination, and focus.

I would recommend taking some tai chi classes for a semester or two. There are a ton of tai chi instructors around and you can often sign up at your local rec center or community college.

There is a martial form of Tai Chi but I would not bother with that. You don't need an expert teacher or anything either so there's not much need to shop around.

Tai Chi is a form of moving meditation. It is a "massage for the inside of your body". It will help you develop balance and muscle tone in the muscles that MA works that most other physical endeavors don't.

Tai Chi also serves to heighten the mental aspects of martial arts, improving your focus and body awareness. (without getting all NINJAR mystical about it)

Once you learn that really you should approach your situation by looking at what is available.

Instead of picking a style you should really pick a school. Ask to sit in on local classes. Any prospective school that won't let you observe or sit in a class does not deserve your consideration. If you have a relatively "average" body type then you should be able to pursue any of the arts. Those who are larger in girth may want to opt for softer styles like Aikido/Hapkido and stay away from grappling or Muay Thai at first.

Your comfort with your fellow students and primarily your instructor should be your main concern. Good dojos are hard to find and bad dojos are often a waste of time and money.

In regards to the "lots of kids" thing I think you'll find that Tae Kwon Do usually has a younger base due to its sports appeal. Internal or hard style MA's will often skew older. Also what time of day you show up has a big effect. Your best bet is to research and speak with all of the head instructors at your local schools and go with the one whose style makes you feel most comfortable.

Regards,

~Taos

jmdanny wrote:

I'd love to try Kendo, but the few places I've seen around here are ridiculously expensive.

In San Francisco, I think I pay about the same for a year of kendo dojo dues as I did for 3 months of Aikido. Equipment costs are far higher but you're not even supposed to buy the bogu until you get permission from the sensei and that could take between 6 months to a year. So upfront costs aren't bad at all.

With respect to western Muay Thai, you won't see many of the body destroying elements. Few here are training to become great Muay Thai fighters (as they start at 8 and are in the ring at 14/15 to retire in their early 20s). Also, the development of the shins and forearms is rarely done in the US, as can be seen by any US Thai competition (they will almost always wear shin guards due to the lack of conditioning in that area).

Yes, that's my point exactly. Muay stylists who go on compete in octagon do the conditioning (kicking posts and rolling shins), and go trhough other gruelling aspects of the training just in order to be able to deploy the arsenal of standard techniques -- such as blocking a rounhouse kick with a sh*t, kicking opponent's head with a shin, or just not collapsing in pain if your knee strike is met with an elbow block into quadriceps. The mass of TV viewers bases their judgement of the efficacy of Muay based on those fighters. However, these people are hardcore. They're going thru much more than those who are merely dabbling in Muay are willing to subject their tender selves to in order to get even to a basic level of proficiency in fighting w/o padding and staying in one piece.

Those who are larger in girth may want to opt for softer styles like Aikido/Hapkido and stay away from grappling or Muay Thai at first.

A misconception here. Hapkido contains extreme hard-style elements. It is as hard as Taekwondo (e.g., expect to have to break boards and bricks), plus added weapons curriculum and rather violent takedowns and joint manipulations (think Aikijutsu, which it really is).

Besides that, the oft-unmentioned aspect of Aikido (or Hapkido) as a "softer style" is the requirement to learn proper breakfalls. There is nothing "soft" in spending endless hours learning how to crash properly when thrown around.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

Besides that, the oft-unmentioned aspect of Aikido (or Hapkido) as a "softer style" is the requirement to learn proper breakfalls. There is nothing "soft" in spending endless hours learning how to crash properly when thrown around.

Yea, where we trained, they started nice and soft with regular rolls, before they even attempted to show us breakfalls, and dedicated an entire day of the week to ukemi training. Ukemi is an extremely important part (in my opinion the most important).

Another vote for Aikido. I did Tang Soo Do for 8 years and I'm much happier with Aikido now (going on 2.5 years). Much more of a "thinking man's" martial art. I've also seen a LOT of older marital artists migrate to Aikido because it's much less of a low impact type thing. If you enjoy having your mind melted on a regular basis with concepts that make perfect sense but you can't do give Aikido a try.

As always though. Pick something with an instructor you like. That's the most important part.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

stuff.

I'm actually more with you than not. If there is anything that training in Muay Thai has revealed to me, it is that conditioning is critically important no matter what form you study. I suspect it is even true of your beloved TKD. If you lack the conditioning to make that high sidekick to the neck and the speed to do it in a manner that doesn't expose you to all kinds of counters and retribution, you might as well be playing Wii Fit for all the good the knowledge will do you.

Way too often, I find folks advocating the study of martial arts as some sort of substitute for the hard work of conditioning. And though I admit to being a bit extreme, I am convinced that folks that claim that their mystical ancient Japanese hand-waving secrets can make up for their being unable to complete a single pullup are exercises in salesmanship and wishful thinking.

Don't get me wrong. Skill DOES matter. It matters a lot, but if you aren't in shape, get in shape. The knowledge is pretty worthless without the conditioning.

Though a very strong case can be made that Brian Stann is in significantly better physical shape than Brian Cantwell and Cantwell's skill made last night's fight pretty lopsided in his favor, it is also true that neither of them were anywhere near the kind of mediocre shape I find folks who try to tell me that heavy conditioning is unnecessary.

Does this conditioning require doing lasting damage? Not any more than hard physical effort and almost certainly far less than contact sports like football or rugby. Go to any reputable Thai camp in Thailand and they are extremely protective of their fighters (though also very demanding of their conditioning). You do drills in a manner that is dangerous or harmful to your teammates and the Kru is going to have you hit the bag until you get the message. You get conditioned to take blows in a controlled, safe environment (e.g.: holding Thai pads and half-speed drills).

Competition, granted, can be a bit rough, but so is life. The ring is the closest you will get to a real life violent encounter in a controlled environment. With the notable exception of other full-contact competition forms with competitions that provide the necessary laboratories for the adjudication of sh1t and shinola (e.g.: MMA, BJJ, Savate, Boxing) I can't think of any other way one can effectively learn and validate one's ability to defend one's self.

The above is quantitatively different from martial arts that rely entirely on "passed on ancient knowledge". Martial arts that rely on such devices as the judgement of ancient forms or katas at the expense of open, full contact competition lack an adequate feedback mechanism. Someone can, for instance, be a world champion at the Tai Chi "grasping the swallow's tail", but if he/she can't execute that move against a non-cooperative, hostile opponent, what good is it?

And in order for this competition to be efficacious, you need the conditioning.

Way too often, I find folks advocating the study of martial arts as some sort of substitute for the hard work of conditioning.
[...] folks that claim that their mystical ancient Japanese hand-waving secrets[...]
Someone can, for instance, be a world champion at the Tai Chi "grasping the swallow's tail", but if he/she can't execute that move against a non-cooperative, hostile opponent, what good is it?

Incoming strawmen, everyone into the vault !

The ring is the closest you will get to a real life violent encounter in a controlled environment. With the notable exception of other full-contact competition forms with competitions that provide the necessary laboratories for the adjudication of sh1t and shinola (e.g.: MMA, BJJ, Savate, Boxing) I can't think of any other way one can effectively learn and validate one's ability to defend one's self.

My attitude to games tends to be perceived as an all-or-nothing absolutism, if I hate it, then it's worthless and everyone who doesn't hate it is being purposely obtuse. If I love it, it is an absolute masterpiece and everyone who doesn't agree with me is being purposely obtuse (or retarded).

Seeing a similar all-or-nothing, "useless or effective", "zero resistance or full resistance only", binary, rigid mindset applied to a martial arts discussion truly opens my eyes to its ridiculousness. Thank you, Paleocon, for this lesson.

jmdanny wrote:

Edwin and I got to see Saotome when he was in Orlando, and it was definitely one of greatest experiences I've ever had.

That's cool to hear - I've enjoyed the chances I have had to train with Saotome Sensei, as well.

Saotome Sensei is actually not too far away from you guys (well, same state at least). When he's not teaching seminars, he's often at the Aiki Shrine he built near Sarasota. I got to attend a weekend seminar there last spring - it was a great time, and a spectacular setting.

Dojo by day:
IMAGE(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/184/419011343_1d903be24e_m.jpg)

Dojo at night:
IMAGE(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/145/419019589_3944d8f989_m.jpg)

TheArtOfScience wrote:

Those who are larger in girth may want to opt for softer styles like Aikido/Hapkido and stay away from grappling or Muay Thai at first.

Those that are large in girth can be very effective in grappling. Guys in our BJJ class that get conditioned and are able to breathe effectively are absolute terrors. When you get one that actively works on technique and not their girth it's very scary to be their partners at time.

I would also recommend anyone that gets the chance to try tai-chi. If nothing else it helps make you more aware of your own body.

@ shihonage:

Paleocon wrote:

Don't get me wrong. Skill DOES matter. It matters a lot, but if you aren't in shape, get in shape. The knowledge is pretty worthless without the conditioning.

Paleo is not denying the importance of skill ourtight. I guess what he's trying to say is that shape comes before skill. To use your own remarks on the notions of continuum, I don't think you'd feel very confident about your abilities if you were able to do not 35, but, say, <20 pushups.

jmdanny wrote:
Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

Besides that, the oft-unmentioned aspect of Aikido (or Hapkido) as a "softer style" is the requirement to learn proper breakfalls. There is nothing "soft" in spending endless hours learning how to crash properly when thrown around.

Yea, where we trained, they started nice and soft with regular rolls, before they even attempted to show us breakfalls, and dedicated an entire day of the week to ukemi training. Ukemi is an extremely important part (in my opinion the most important).

This is actually one of my only physical concerns with aikido. The falling. I know, I know... they'll teach me how to take a fall properly and essentially you and your partner are working as a team to pull off the throws... but still. And the main reason I have this concern is because of my size. As I stated earlier I work out a good bit, I'm 6'2, 245 lbs and, just for build reference sake, used to be a left tackle in football. So as some would say, "I ain't a little guy." Just imagining spending 2 hours getting tossed head-over-heels has me wondering how my body will handle that early on. Guess we'll see.

Kehama wrote:
jmdanny wrote:
Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

Besides that, the oft-unmentioned aspect of Aikido (or Hapkido) as a "softer style" is the requirement to learn proper breakfalls. There is nothing "soft" in spending endless hours learning how to crash properly when thrown around.

Yea, where we trained, they started nice and soft with regular rolls, before they even attempted to show us breakfalls, and dedicated an entire day of the week to ukemi training. Ukemi is an extremely important part (in my opinion the most important).

This is actually one of my only physical concerns with aikido. The falling. I know, I know... they'll teach me how to take a fall properly and essentially you and your partner are working as a team to pull off the throws... but still. And the main reason I have this concern is because of my size. As I stated earlier I work out a good bit, I'm 6'2, 245 lbs and, just for build reference sake, used to be a left tackle in football. So as some would say, "I ain't a little guy." Just imagining spending 2 hours getting tossed head-over-heels has me wondering how my body will handle that early on. Guess we'll see.

I am 6'6" at 265 Lbs. you will be ok.