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Would Aikido be compatible with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu?
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Hello all. This is my first time posting on Kutaki. I've been training in the Bujinkan for a little over a year now. In about three weeks I will be moving to Cali around the San Fransisco area to go to school. I may have to take a phys ed. course as a requirement. The school teaches Aikido and Aikido with a weapon (iaido maybe?). I was just curious if anybody had an opinion on the compatibility of Aikido and Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu? I really don't know enough about either art to have much of an informed opinion, but it seems to me that some of the principles are the same. Such as using balance, momentum, body movement, timing, and distance. I appreciate any input on this.

-JB

Posted on: 2007/12/10 12:12
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-Jesse Brackman

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Re: Would Aikido be compatible with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu?
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Aikido is a very interesting art but the beginning levels are taught with very large movements (very much like our very early instruction) and it takes a long time before they get to the smaller movements of our taijutsu. You would probably do very well as if you've worked with the Bujinkan you should already be "shrinking" you movements and making them more difficult to counter.

Posted on: 2007/12/10 13:37
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Re: Would Aikido be compatible with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu?
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Aikido contains very sophisticated and effective combative principles, but it is not generally taught as a combatively-effective art. Following on what Papa-san said, it's always struck me as an art where the whole thing consists of an analogue to our Kihon Happo.

Back when I was a yondan in the Bujinkan I ended up training in aikido for about a year here in San Francisco as something additional to do. Initially everyone commented on how supple my wrists were, and they were sort of taken aback by my rolling skills -- particularly the fact that I tended to do these very compact and silent little rolls out of techniques rather than the "Great Wheel" typical of aikido. I just told them I'd spent previous time in a couple of other forms of Japanese jujutsu, and they were cool with that.

Then I left for a couple of weeks on a military special-ops mission to Korea. Got back, told everyone I'd had a great time eating kimchi and drinking soju, and we got down to training. 'Bout halfway through the class we began working with an application of shiho nage (4-direction throw) in response to uke coming in with a shomen-uchi (vertical knife-hand strike, done much like a sword cut straight down from daijodan no kamae). I was doing fine, we switched partners a few times. Then I got a newbie white belt, big guy. Suddenly he was coming at me full-speed, full-power, and I didn't even have time to think "Whisky Tango Foxtrot, over?". I still did shiho-nage, sortakinda, but with a couple of steps taken out to make it more streamlined and efficient.

I stopped myself just in time, at a point where had I continued I would have dislocated his elbow, torn out his rotator cuff, and broken his ankle all at the same time. Then I realized the instructors were looking at me, the horrified expressions on their faces showing they could see exactly what could potentially happen from there but that they couldn't quite tell how I'd gotten to that point. The general reaction was about what you'd expect from the release of a great and juicy flatus in the midst of a church service.

The white belt was clueless -- I let him think I'd just bungled the technique because he was too fast for me to get it right. I apologized to the instructors after class and filled them in on my actual background; and they weren't offended or upset but actually intrigued. (Oh, and the training with the aikido dojo got me laid, too )

Ultimately I left the dojo, not because I didn't admire the art or love the people I trained with but because the way they were doing things left all kinds of "exploitable openings" I could see very clearly. That's not a drawback for them, because they are not "about" combat effectiveness. But I was afraid of developing habits and reflexes that would get me, a teammate, or a loved one killed.

Posted on: 2007/12/10 16:06
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Re: Would Aikido be compatible with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu?
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It is not easy to answer your question because it depends on several factors. I have been doing Aikido for two years only before I started with Bujinkan, so I have only a little insight into the issue, but here is what I think:


The most important factor in my opinion is where are you at in Taijutsu. How much did you manage to make it yours, how steady your Taijutsu skills are. If you are a beginner which means that you still need to learn how to apply the correct distance, timing, balance, etc etc, then maybe it is not too fortunate to start Aikido besides Bujinkan. At least not yet.
As Papa-san said it usually starts with big and very circular movements, which are not exactly the same in our Art.
Most probably you will bring in the movemenet of one style into the other (like Aikido's big circular movements in Bujinkan) which will not lead you closer to understanding the other art.
This is a kind of problem which usually comes up for everyone and if you are not skilled or if you do not have a steady understanding and gut-feeling of your original art, you can easily get confused and you will have to decide which one to give up in order to be able to keep at least the other clear and study and practice that they way as it should be practiced and studied.


The other factor is how that particular Aikido training is.
I.e. I was invited to attend an Aikido training 2-3 weeks ago.
The instructor there was teaching on a way which was quite different to what I usually saw and experienced in other Aikido dojos. I have to say it was more combat-effective. It used the same principals as we do, did not do huge circular movements and they've put a great importance on taking the balance as a first leg. It was not that softie-airy Aikido that I have seen so far but was something very Taijutsu-like.
However there were still things which were quite different, like for example the ukemi (as Dale also mentioned) - they were surprised that I do the ukemi silently and less spectacularly. At least not with that wheel-like movement. Also, the throws are a bit different and I noticed quite often the lack of sufficient control and self-protection during a technique.

If you are a Bujinkan student and if it is obligatory for you to take physical education course and they do not accept Bujinkan but they have Aikido, Karate, etc., then I would definitely recommend taking the softest possible style, which may be Aikido, Taichi, etc. First however, I would try to arrange for having accepted my Bujinkan training as a phys. ed. course

Eva

Posted on: 2007/12/10 16:53
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Re: Would Aikido be compatible with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu?
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Quote:

Cuthalion wrote:
If you are a Bujinkan student and if it is obligatory for you to take physical education course and they do not accept Bujinkan but they have Aikido, Karate, etc., then I would definitely recommend taking the softest possible style, which may be Aikido, Taichi, etc. First however, I would try to arrange for having accepted my Bujinkan training as a phys. ed. course


Good advice from Eva. You are of course welcome to train in my San Francisco dojo while you're here; and there are a few other good Bujinkan dojo "within reach" that I would happily recommend as well,

Posted on: 2007/12/10 18:48
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Re: Would Aikido be compatible with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu?
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Eva's advice sound's good to me. I don't want to risk mixing the two styles and bringing "bad habits" into my Bujinkan training, whether consciously or subconsciously. Working on the bad habits I already have is hard enough. It seems, if I read right, that the Aikido would be a setback in a way to my taijutsu, if I can't keep the two styles seperate. Any opinions on Tai Chi?

I had read somewhere that there are two types of Aikido being taught. One combat style and the other sport. Just curious if anybody else had read the same.

Thank you for taking time to answer my question, most helpful. And Dale, I would be privileged to train with you and your class. Does your dojo have a website or e-mail that I could contact you?

Posted on: 2007/12/10 19:53
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Re: Would Aikido be compatible with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu?
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Jesse, if you get the chance to train with Dale,GRAB IT!!! You are in San Francisco so don't miss that chance. Dale and Eva have given you excellent advice.

Posted on: 2007/12/10 23:06
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Re: Would Aikido be compatible with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu?
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Not wanting to discount what Eva suggests, taking a PE course in college usually gives you just a taste of the art or sport and can actually be fun. You get a flavor for it but the key, you are not committed…next term may be something else. I took Wrestling, Boxing, Judo, Fencing and Archery at college and had a blast. Except for Boxing, I never played with the others again. 3 or 4 months a couple times a week shouldn’t be crippling to your extra curricular Bujinkan training. If you stay with Aikido after the taste test, then Eva and Dale are spot on. Just my 2 yen.

I hope to meet and train with you when you get to the Bay area.

Dave Connell
Santa Clara Dojo

Posted on: 2007/12/11 4:00
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Re: Would Aikido be compatible with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu?
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Thank you for your input David. I look forward to meeting and training with you as well. I do think it would be important to study other arts, if only briefly, if for nothing else except to be informed about what else is out there. I think it could be important to my Bujinkan training to not be totally in the dark about other styles of fighting that I could possibly have to defend myself against. It seems that a lot of the really good people in this art of have studied other fighting styles, coincidence maybe?

Papa-san, I will most definitely take the opportunity to train with Dale. When I told my teacher that I was moving to Cali, training with Dale was the first thing he mentioned. If I were to list out my reasons for moving to Cali, being able to train with other people was on the top of the list. It seems there there are a few people around the Bay area that I can train with. Even though leaving my dojo here will be one of the hardest things for me to do, my teacher and classmates have become like family to me over the last year. I am excited to train and learn with other people.

I forgot to mention this in my first post, so if anybody was wondering my teacher is Markk Bush and I train in the Earthway Bujinkan Hayashi Shugyo Dojo.

Posted on: 2007/12/11 4:51
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-Jesse Brackman

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Re: Would Aikido be compatible with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu?
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Quote:

Kiyoshi wrote:
It seems that a lot of the really good people in this art of have studied other fighting styles, coincidence maybe?


A lot of folks have found the Bujinkan after studying one or more other arts, and decided to stay with it.

Quote:
It seems there there are a few people around the Bay area that I can train with.


Indeed there are -- the area is relatively "fat" with instructors who go to Japan regularly (as do a lot of the students). It seems that at any given point in the year someone is just getting back with goodies to share, so we have a continuing flow and connection to what's going on over there. And we's pretty much all friends out here, so you needn't feel you need to pick just one group to train with: A fair number of folks train with more than one on a pretty regular basis.

Quote:
I forgot to mention this in my first post, so if anybody was wondering my teacher is Markk Bush and I train in the Earthway Bujinkan Hayashi Shugyo Dojo.


Very cool!!

BTW, to get to my website just click on the link in my sig.

Posted on: 2007/12/11 6:29
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Dale Seago
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