PDA

View Full Version : Effectiveness of Aikido


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


dalen7
08-21-2007, 05:45 AM
You know, from the get go it was interesting for me to try to 'evaluate' the effectiveness of Aikido.

Simply put, boards and forums (even comments here) led me to question the true effectiveness of Aikido in a fight.

First let me put it this way. From a spiritual point, and really a true point...the conflict can end before it starts if it ends within yourself.
And Aikido can be used as a point to learn such a lesson by instilling a confidence.

My experience is that fights stem from fear...and then stupid stuff happens.

But let me get past this. Lets just say you want, for the fun, to beat the crap out of someone. (Lets say boxing match scenerio...not just a bully type thing).
In this situation, how well would aikido work?

Well, from what I have experienced, Aikido is effective - however it depends on the cirucmstances.
I would not go in a boxing ring and use it against a boxer (at least I couldnt imagine it at this point), and this is including if gloves were off so you could effectively use aikido.

Aikido seems to be useful for the 'brute' and bully that goes up and grabs your shirt or arm. I find it ironic that people think this would never happen, but I can attest 99% of every attack that has happened to me has been like this. And its from the 'bully' mentality.

Now if it was a 'ring' sport, I would say it may work sometimes and sometimes not...but you would need to combine it with thai boxing, bjj, etc.

So a sport like MMA, people are right, you wont get anywhere with it. But if you are in normal everyday situations where some 'thug' comes up - I think its a very effective sport. Especially in situations where you dont want to bloody up the person attacking you.

Well, my 2 cents on my perspective on where aikidos effectiveness lies, in response to all that I have read basically pointing at its useless nature.

and from a spiritual perspective, again, its useful to as I pointed out at the beginning.

Peace

dAlen

Aristeia
08-21-2007, 05:52 AM
My favourite thing about aikido was always the range of choices it gave you depending on the situation. I also think you've hit the nail on the head with something else - I've always thought the appropriate response to "a BJJer would kick an aikidokas ass!" was "I believe you, but so what?"

Amir Krause
08-21-2007, 06:11 AM
It is not the Aikido or any other M.A.

It is the person!!!

Some people could use Yoga to become great fighters, others would not become fighters whatever has been done.

The person you are will also determine the way you practice. Aikido can be practiced against punches and can teach you to deal with them effectively.

A ring situation is very specific in the sense most people would like to limit the damage they inflict in the ring, or at least have control over it without in a smooth manner (as in BJJ). Aikido (this also holds true for many other M.A.) does not help you to achieve this unless you are much better then the other person on the overall (force, weight, size, swiftness, skill, experience, attitude, etc.)

Amir

Christopher Gee
08-21-2007, 06:37 AM
Its not just the person, its the training methods used and the opportunities given to the nage (if you like) to train with like minded people.

dalen7
08-21-2007, 07:02 AM
A ring situation is very specific...

Amir

I guess overall it seems that I cannot fathom some of these boxers trying to catch someones hand to apply nikkyo or what-not. (that is given the boxers had their fingers freed to even attempt such a move.)

It seems enough to just avoid a fast moving arm, let along trying to catch it (and I use the term lightly) and apply a technique on them.

Whereas, its far more practical in the situation where someone is in your face and starts pushing you around, grabbing you,etc.

So in a way, each fighting style really is 'specific' in its range of effectiveness, and by that I mean the range in which it would work under 'normal' circumstances.

Peace

dAlen

SeiserL
08-21-2007, 07:53 AM
It is the person!!!
Ditto.
Yea, what he said.
Its the person, not the style.
The question isn't if Aikido is effective, it is if "your" Aikido is.
IMHO, mine is.

salim
08-21-2007, 08:08 AM
Dalen Johnson,

What particular style of Aikido are you referring to? Perhaps this depends more on the methodology of your Aikido. Yoseikan, Aikibudo and Yoshikan are very effective in a fight. A lot of Aikido schools have removed atemi waza, which is part of the problem.

Roman Kremianski
08-21-2007, 08:18 AM
So a sport like MMA, people are right, you wont get anywhere with it.

I think many MMA folks who've put people to sleep peacefully and without injuring them would disagree.

Ron Tisdale
08-21-2007, 08:54 AM
I guess overall it seems that I cannot fathom some of these boxers trying to catch someones hand to apply nikkyo or what-not.

Look up Kuroiwa Sensei on AikidoJournal.com.

Best,
Ron

Amir Krause
08-21-2007, 09:06 AM
Its not just the person, its the training methods used and the opportunities given to the nage (if you like) to train with like minded people

The person decides the location he would like to train at, thus deciding on the nature of training methods. If one does not like those, he would often leave to another place.

I guess overall it seems that I cannot fathom some of these boxers trying to catch someones hand to apply nikkyo or what-not. (that is given the boxers had their fingers freed to even attempt such a move.)

It seems enough to just avoid a fast moving arm, let along trying to catch it (and I use the term lightly) and apply a technique on them.


Well, the secret is once again in the practice.

We practice against punches all the time. We do not try to catch the punch (an error we keep facing among beginners)!
If one starts by going after the hand, the response is closer to the Philipino\Wing-Tsun approach of intercepting the punch and then redirecting it to achieve Kuzushi, from this position one can continue to apply some techniques immediately, or move to a grasp, depending on the exact situation development.
Note that if he punches you, you can also not be there (preferably with a ready hand for redirection) and apply your technique on any other part of his body (like his head).

By the way, the above approaches are not unique, they exist in multiple other M.A. which teach about confronting punching attacks. And I can see no reason an Aikidoka would not be able respond along the same lines as a Karateka.

Amir

Bill Brownlow
08-21-2007, 09:14 AM
...Aikido seems to be useful for the 'brute' and bully that goes up and grabs your shirt or arm. I find it ironic that people think this would never happen, but I can attest 99% of every attack that has happened to me has been like this. And its from the 'bully' mentality.

Now if it was a 'ring' sport, I would say it may work sometimes and sometimes not...but you would need to combine it with thai boxing, bjj, etc....



I think this is why these Aikido vs bjj (or other art) discussions are kind of moot.

IMO, Aikido is a very effective martial art for self defense. I admit that my experience with Aikido is very limited (a few fun months), but my understanding is that Aikido's effectiveness comes from a fully committed attack (good uke?) which is what you are going to encounter "on the street". If I want to mug/rape you, I'm not going to pop a few light jabs in your face to get you to open up for a combination or takedown. Im going straight for the haymaker, the purse grab, the lapel or bearhug i.e. a committed attack. The Aikidoka is adept at the committed attack and not as trained at the half hearted attack.

In the same aspect the more sport adapted martial arts like bjj rarely make an initial committed attack. We are taught to feint, push/pull, grab/let go to work for an opportunity to make an attack. If you overly commit, you're going to get caught attitude. Although adaptable to a fighting situation, its not fighting. The bjjer is adept at the half hearted attack and not as trained at the committed attack.

The biggest challenge for someone who has a some skill in bjj is to grapple with a committed non-grappler coming at him like a bat outta hell. I see it all the time when complete new guys come to our club. Its almost like "hey you're not supposed to do that when I do this".

This has become my biggest thrill and challenge in training. Surprisingly, I count my biggest personal victory as rolling with a brand new white belt ex-Marine (5'10" 220lbs brick sh**house) who was there to prove something to everyone and relying only technique to carry me through, not the one and only time I caught my instructor and he tapped.

Thanks for reading
Bill

dalen7
08-21-2007, 01:52 PM
Quite a few responses, and not quite what I had expected.
Interesting to see peoples take on this issue in general.

- Bill your comment about the mugger,etc., I think I agree with.
Aikido tends to work with this 'brute' thug style mentality.
Also point well taken about not being committed to soon...but those that 'train' I suppose will be used to this, so in a 'ring' you loose that advantage.

- Amir, so your familiar with wing-chun and am I correct that you say they try to grab? Interesting indeed...I wonder if that would work practically, again if it did I suppose you could apply your aikido (or in that case wing chun techniques...Im just not sold on it that is that feasible for the 'average' guy. But again, I dont know, it would be interesting to see examples. And this is what we seem to lack is examples from Wingchun and Aikido in the 'ring'. Albeit I suppose a lot of techniqes would really 'damage' someone in a 'real' all out fight.

- Ron, i will try to do a search in google to see if there is a video of the sensei you talked about. Does he demo against a boxer type or something like that?

- Roman, I guess I miss understood you before. I thought you would be one to say Aikido would not be effective for 'ring' type work, but something like thai boxing with BJJ. Good to understand you better, so you do think Aikido can be used in a MMA (and I mean on a 'regular' basis and not by 'chance' of getting a move right

- salim, I have no idea what kind Im referring to.
Im supposed to be part of some Aiki group that has mean learning ki stuff along with atemi. What a combo...so maybe they are their own unique beast.

Sorry if I didnt cover all responses, they are quite thought provoking indeed and I appreciate the response.

Indeed I came back from one of my most disappointing lessons yet. More of a communication thing...or frustration at not being able to express myself to clarify things with my sempai...it would help my training...but thats neither here nor there, its something I need to do myself. Maybe it would be useful for me to pick up some gloves and vent my frustration on a bag. lol But I digress...

Peace

dAlen

Ron Tisdale
08-21-2007, 02:26 PM
Ron, i will try to do a search in google to see if there is a video of the sensei you talked about. Does he demo against a boxer type or something like that?

Kuroiwa Sensei was an ex-boxer. Many of the waza he taught apparently used boxing movements from hooks and jabs as entries into aikido waza. I think Ellis Amdur spent some time training with him. Maybe he can go into more depth on that "style".

Best,
Ron

Roman Kremianski
08-21-2007, 03:09 PM
Good to understand you better, so you do think Aikido can be used in a MMA (and I mean on a 'regular' basis and not by 'chance' of getting a move right


Erm...where did I say that? I merely meant that just because MMA practitioners train to otherwise brutalize their opponents doesn't mean they can't use their skills to overcome someone peacefully.

(e.g clinches, chokes, wrist/arm control)

(In respone to your comment stating that MMA is usless in real situations because you don't want to "bloody" the other person up)

statisticool
08-21-2007, 04:04 PM
IMNSHO the martial arts that are best for sport/entertainment are least suited for real life.

This makes sense to me.

Mike_SMD
08-21-2007, 05:58 PM
"... the Aikidoka is adept at the committed attack and not as trained at the half hearted attack.

In the same aspect the more sport adapted martial arts like bjj rarely make an initial committed attack. We are taught to feint, push/pull, grab/let go to work for an opportunity to make an attack... "

----------

Wow.
Full credit goes out for such a poignantly insightful observation.

And it heads right into the concept of defining arts as either combative or sporting in character. It's an old definition and as such I won't go into it in too much depth but the difference between a cockfight and a slaughter are fairly obvious. In the one case you try to provide for a fair and equitable showcase of skill and in the other you simply try to destroy an opponent as quickly as possible.

Aikido tends to shy away from sporting applications and as such has a much stronger lean towards the slaughter end of the scale. Sure, we can mitigate things as far as possible to avoid injuring an attacker too much but there's a point where the types of locks and throws housed in the classical repertoir have to be respected as legitimately dangerous weapons in their very own right.

I'm mooted as to which approach (sport vs combative) is better though, I'm heavily reminded of the early history of Judo (another capable art unjustly overlooked these days) and strongly suspect that one trains best if they train for a specific environment. Duelling requires a highly specific and heavily adapted skillset if one is to be successful, but it's no less specialized than the skillset required to function adequately in a good old fashioned bar brawl... just different.

All in all, a very good conversation to read and be a part of.

Mike.

Aristeia
08-21-2007, 06:59 PM
IMNSHO the martial arts that are best for sport/entertainment are least suited for real life.

This makes sense to me.
boxing, kickboxing wrestling judo bjj no good for real life? hmm...

Conversely - aikido looks real pretty in movies - does that mean that its no good in real life either?

dps
08-21-2007, 10:25 PM
If you really want to know if your Aikido is effective, go into a bar some saturday night and pick a fight with the biggest meanest person you can find.

Be sure to let us know what happens.

David

Roman Kremianski
08-21-2007, 11:20 PM
the martial arts that are best for sport/entertainment are least suited for real life.

This makes sense to me.

You're right, striking/wrestling/grappling would never work in "real" life, only in fabricated fantasy life. Because real life demands real martial arts, not this flashy entertainment crap.

Glad there are folks like you on board here.

:)

Aristeia
08-21-2007, 11:39 PM
come on roman, everyone knows that 1-step sparring is the answer to your self defence needs....

Roman Kremianski
08-21-2007, 11:43 PM
Do you know what kind of legal trouble I can get in for using that stuff though? I mean, it's illegal in like, 79 states.

Too deadly for the real world.

salim
08-22-2007, 12:07 AM
You know, from the get go it was interesting for me to try to 'evaluate' the effectiveness of Aikido.

Simply put, boards and forums (even comments here) led me to question the true effectiveness of Aikido in a fight.

First let me put it this way. From a spiritual point, and really a true point...the conflict can end before it starts if it ends within yourself.
And Aikido can be used as a point to learn such a lesson by instilling a confidence.

My experience is that fights stem from fear...and then stupid stuff happens.

But let me get past this. Lets just say you want, for the fun, to beat the crap out of someone. (Lets say boxing match scenerio...not just a bully type thing).
In this situation, how well would aikido work?

Well, from what I have experienced, Aikido is effective - however it depends on the cirucmstances.
I would not go in a boxing ring and use it against a boxer (at least I couldnt imagine it at this point), and this is including if gloves were off so you could effectively use aikido.

Aikido seems to be useful for the 'brute' and bully that goes up and grabs your shirt or arm. I find it ironic that people think this would never happen, but I can attest 99% of every attack that has happened to me has been like this. And its from the 'bully' mentality.

Now if it was a 'ring' sport, I would say it may work sometimes and sometimes not...but you would need to combine it with thai boxing, bjj, etc.

So a sport like MMA, people are right, you wont get anywhere with it. But if you are in normal everyday situations where some 'thug' comes up - I think its a very effective sport. Especially in situations where you dont want to bloody up the person attacking you.

Well, my 2 cents on my perspective on where aikidos effectiveness lies, in response to all that I have read basically pointing at its useless nature.

and from a spiritual perspective, again, its useful to as I pointed out at the beginning.

Peace

dAlen

I suggest you read the history of Aikido, before the heavy influence of the Shinto religion, which is it's philosophical bases today. Aikido post WWII was very combat ready, originally called Aikibudo. Perhaps visiting some of the local dojos from the Yoseikan and Yoshinkan organizations will give you the perspective for effectiveness that you are looking for.

The Aikikai and Ki organizations are not heavily advocates for self defense. If self defense is what you are looking for from your Aikido, then Yoseikan or Yoshinkan Aikido maybe a better alternative.

If peace, love and happiness is you focus, then you have the right organization, Ki. Your Aikido is are ready working for you, instead of fighting, love someone.

dalen7
08-22-2007, 02:59 AM
(In respone to your comment stating that MMA is usless in real situations because you don't want to "bloody" the other person up)

I stand corrected and shows my biased thought as to what is effective. I was thinking just thai boxing aspects and not BJJ. - again my mistake.

Peace

dAlen

dalen7
08-22-2007, 03:06 AM
Do you know what kind of legal trouble I can get in for using that stuff though? I mean, it's illegal in like, 79 states.

Too deadly for the real world.

o.k. Im lost, what is illegal in the states? shooting someone? - I missed something between the 1-step attack post and this one.

Peace

dAlen

- sorry I posted back to back, should have included this comment with the other, anyway...

Amir Krause
08-22-2007, 04:43 AM
- Amir, so your familiar with wing-chun and am I correct that you say they try to grab? Interesting indeed...I wonder if that would work practically, again if it did I suppose you could apply your aikido (or in that case wing chun techniques...Im just not sold on it that is that feasible for the 'average' guy. But again, I dont know, it would be interesting to see examples. And this is what we seem to lack is examples from Wingchun and Aikido in the 'ring'. Albeit I suppose a lot of techniqes would really 'damage' someone in a 'real' all out fight.


Sorry, you miss-understood me:
I am not that familiar with Wing-Tsun or Arnis, but I did have a short seminar or two with them, and saw their concept of "intercept", our approach is very similiar.

We do not train for a ring, but we do practice a lot against punching situaitons, and not only against grabs.

Amir

ChrisHein
08-22-2007, 11:01 AM
Real Fights (over things worth fighting for) don't happen in rings (unless you’re a pro and that’s how you make a living). They also seldom happen empty handed. There is a whole paradigm you are missing.

How much better does even the best empty handed martial art make you at using a weapon. Do you think you'd rather have a weapon if 2 guys were raping your wife?

If you're training for real life practicality, why focus so heavily on unarmed systems? If you want to train for the ring, why not learn ring systems? And if you just want to go around fighting people to prove yourself (why most empty handed fights happen), why are you fighting at all?

Daniel Ranger-Holt
08-26-2007, 03:09 PM
If I want to mug/rape you, I'm not going to pop a few light jabs in your face to get you to open up for a combination or takedown. Im going straight for the haymaker, the purse grab, the lapel or bearhug i.e. a committed attack.

I agree with this, i never took up aikido to become a fighter in any way. I learned it to feel more comfortable with my surroundings, and people around me who may be a threat. These people are not going to be professional martial artists training 7 days a week for the most part.

Im talking louts, yobs, brawlers, street fighters punchers. Not UFC, MMA stuff, which i hightly respect. It's hard to explain, even though these guys look sometimes like they are scrapping, its very technical. If someone who trains UFC etc is going to attack me, i see it as im not going to stand a chance regardless...

Aikido for real life situations in my opinion would be very effective...(but heres the important bit) once you are competent. Year and a half in three times a week i dont feel competent, but i feel i could "do something" where before i didn't have a clue. Small advantage maybe but im in a better place than i was a year an half back.

Dan Austin
08-26-2007, 03:40 PM
But let me get past this. Lets just say you want, for the fun, to beat the crap out of someone. (Lets say boxing match scenerio...not just a bully type thing).
In this situation, how well would aikido work?



It would probably work as well as whatever your fighting ability is without Aikido. People who can fight well with Aikido can fight well without Aikido. People who can't fight won't learn to fight well training in Aikido. So Aikido plus 5 bucks will get you a cup of coffee, in terms of fighting ability. ;)

If your goal is to "have fighting ability", whether you choose to use it or not, Aikido is simply not an efficient means to that end. The man, the techniques, and the training method all matter. Take the man out of the equation, and the techniques and training method of Aikido won't get you anywhere near your potential in your lifetime.

Arts that are effective (efficient in producing real fighting ability, in this definition) do not have popular discussion boards where some variant of "does it really work?" is always on the menu. People have many reasons for training, and saying it is inefficient does not say it can't ever be used well, but you posed a narrow question, and that is the truthful answer. You can draw your own conclusions as to why the question keeps coming up.

Justin Azevedo
09-02-2007, 01:54 PM
Just a couple of thoughts from a relative newbie (sankyu):

I think the previous point of Aikido being more effective against a wild, committed attack is very important. I think that my Aikido would work very well against a bumrush or a haymaker. It wouldn't work so well against someone circling and looking for a opening to take me down, and that's where the philosophical element would come in for me... I'd try to avoid getting into that sort of fight at all, and if I did, my foremost application of my Aikido would be to subdue long enough to escape, rather than "win."

In terms of techniques, etc.... well, yeah, trying to do a picture-perfect shihonage in a real fight is likely to make you look foolish and get you hurt. I think the same can be said for any martial art. For me, the real-life effectiveness of Aikido is in the movement and awareness. Moving from the center, being aware of what is around me, and getting off the line. In my training, as long as I'm doing those three things, it doesn't really matter what else I'm doing. The finer points have, for me, fallen into place once I'm focused on those three things. So, in a fight, instead of using my kick-ass Aikido to beat someone up and get the girl, I'd keep alert, move from the center off of the line of attack, and enter or escape as is appropriate to end the fight as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
09-02-2007, 02:17 PM
I think the previous point of Aikido being more effective against a wild, committed attack is very important.

As an increasing fan of the "aikido is about weapons" theory, I'd add that a "wild, committed attack" is also part of that model. If someone's going for a weapon and you're trying to stop them from getting it out, or at least trying to get a hand or two on the drawing arm by the time the weapon comes out, speed is at a major premium for you. If neither of you has any weapons, and knows the other does not, and the area does not contain any weapons (proper or improvised), then a less speed-intensive approach makes far more sense.

wildaikido
09-02-2007, 04:00 PM
The question isn't if Aikido is effective, it is if "your" Aikido is.
IMHO, mine is.

So is mine.

This is the only sensible thing someone has said!

If your goal is to "have fighting ability", whether you choose to use it or not, Aikido is simply not an efficient means to that end. The man, the techniques, and the training method all matter. Take the man out of the equation, and the techniques and training method of Aikido won't get you anywhere near your potential in your lifetime.

Arts that are effective (efficient in producing real fighting ability, in this definition) do not have popular discussion boards where some variant of "does it really work?" is always on the menu. People have many reasons for training, and saying it is inefficient does not say it can't ever be used well, but you posed a narrow question, and that is the truthful answer. You can draw your own conclusions as to why the question keeps coming up.

Your objective view is important to the Aikido community. We must remember that the original MMAists were Jigoro Kano and Morihei Ueshiba. Both of these men proved beyond a doubt that their arts were effective, period. What some have done with these arts after their passing is not in line with their teachings. Jigoro Kano was addiment that Judo should not become an Olympic sport. Morihei Ueshiba proved that Aikido was an effective martial art, and he saw this as a means to cultivate peace. But the art none the less was effective. O'Sensei used to say "Aikido wa odori janai desu" Aikido is not a dance. I see lots of people on youtube dancing and saying they are doing Aikido, this is the problem with Aikido. That's not my point of view, it is OíSensei's, he said it not me.

The reason I am on this board is to answer these sorts of questions, from what some may call miss guided students. Hopefully they can ask there instructor "why are we dancing, O'Sensei said Aikido is not a dance?" Before O'Sensei's death Aikido was a strong art spread around the world by people who had black belts in several arts, especially Judo. It was a requirement of learning Aikido that you had previous experience in a couple of arts. The next generation of people purely came from an Aikido background and the art changed a lot. It is for this reason I think Mochizuki Kancho used to say to his students after they had gotten their black belt in Aikido that they had to go and get a black belt in Judo, then they could continue with Aikido.

In terms of techniques, etc.... well, yeah, trying to do a picture-perfect shihonage in a real fight is likely to make you look foolish and get you hurt. I think the same can be said for any martial art. For me, the real-life effectiveness of Aikido is in the movement and awareness. Moving from the center, being aware of what is around me, and getting off the line. In my training, as long as I'm doing those three things, it doesn't really matter what else I'm doing. The finer points have, for me, fallen into place once I'm focused on those three things. So, in a fight, instead of using my kick-ass Aikido to beat someone up and get the girl, I'd keep alert, move from the center off of the line of attack, and enter or escape as is appropriate to end the fight as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Does no one remember the lessons of OíSensei, in a real fight Aikido is 90% atemi! A technique like shiho nage should be used only if the opportunity arose. If you are going to do a technique, it should be irimi nage, but as a strong atemi.

Regards,

mathewjgano
09-02-2007, 08:40 PM
It would probably work as well as whatever your fighting ability is without Aikido. People who can fight well with Aikido can fight well without Aikido. People who can't fight won't learn to fight well training in Aikido. So Aikido plus 5 bucks will get you a cup of coffee, in terms of fighting ability. ;)
LOL, I knew I wasn't taking full advantage of Aikido! I love my expensive coffee!
Kidding aside, I disagree. For one thing you have a wide variety of methodology contained in "Aikido." You can't talk about the whole group as if it were a single way of doing things. There are unifying archetypes/principles, but most, if not all of them, can be applied to any number of "martial art," including all the recently popularized MMA stuff. The underlying principles are quite sound and effective.

The man, the techniques, and the training method all matter. Take the man out of the equation, and the techniques and training method of Aikido won't get you anywhere near your potential in your lifetime.
Now you're speaking my language. It's up to the individual to make their art come alive, regardless of what that art is; period.

Arts that are effective (efficient in producing real fighting ability, in this definition) do not have popular discussion boards where some variant of "does it really work?" is always on the menu...You can draw your own conclusions as to why the question keeps coming up.
Oh? Are you really going to tell me that popularity and questions have anything to do with determining effectiveness? I think you were closer to the right track when you spoke about the man, method and means coming together.
Anytime people make absolute statements, they're never right; always. :D

ChrisHein
09-02-2007, 09:36 PM
Funny thing about the “Aikido works fine, but does YOUR Aikido work”, argument. While it’s a very true statement. A system can only work as well in practice as it’s practitioner knows how to use it. It can also be a very misleading statement.

Lets take a look at something abstract for a second so I can clearly make my point.

Lets say I go to school to become a carpenter. I learn the tools and the methods of carpentry. And I call my self a “builder”. Then one day I decide to build something out of metal. My hammers don’t work very well. I can’t drive nails into the steel. My planes won’t shape the steel. It seems my carpentry skills must suck.

I tell other carpenters about how I can’t seem to build anything. I tell them about how I can’t drive the nails, and how I can’t shape anything with my planes. The other carpenters tell me that I must have horrible carpentry skills because they build stuff all the time, and the system of carpentry they learned works great.

In this scenario no matter how long I go to school and no matter how good I get at working wood, I will never learn to work steel.

While it’s true carpentry is a good system of wood working, it’s a poor system of steel working. And no matter if you’re a master carpenter that won’t make you a master steel worker.

Nikopol
09-02-2007, 11:39 PM
While it's true carpentry is a good system of wood working, it's a poor system of steel working. And no matter if you're a master carpenter that won't make you a master steel worker.

If I understand you correctly, then to master Aikido we must study metallurgy. I guess that makes sense because one of my instructors is a shipbuilder and his Aikido is very powerful.

But it is hard for me to understand, then, why we are using wooden weapons in training? But maybe that is a small point.

Anyways I was watching one of those youtube videos and it said, 'no-one can stand there and let a fighter come at him and not get hit..." something like that. I didn't waste my time commenting on the youtube, but the point of AIkido is to move out of the line of attack. That is its essence, more than any joint lock. And when it is said that Atemi is 90% of a fight, it is when your opponent is a mindless destructive force coming at you that you had better make the most of your sabaki/atemi to the side of his head. The surprise of the blow coupled with his momentum should take some of the steam of his attack, when he has crashed to the ground ten feet from the point of his last recollection. That seems to be the only way one would be able to deal with multiple attackers.

philippe willaume
09-03-2007, 11:23 AM
Hello
Well yes, real fight does seldom happens as they do in a ring, and it is true that usually MMA/combat sport people fails top see the context in which they are fighting in is the pinnacle of promoting fairness, which is exact opposite of what and opponent would do in real life.

However, what Traditional martial arts fails to see, is that sport combat develops/puts in evidence the right strategy and tactic to win a real life fight.
Yes, technique and tactics will get adapted to a certain degree to the rules and the finality, but just seing that and dismissing it as something that would not happen in the real life and hence has no value in real life is as narrow minded as not seeing the difference of context in sport and actual fighting.

From medieval fighting treatise to modern MMA coach, it seem to me that they all have the following in common
Entrance =>isolation (which is equate to control/unbalance)=> technique
Technique can be strike, takedown, lock+ throw, lock takedown , lock+ throw down+ immobilisation or another technique that give a better advantage)
When your opponent is coming like a mindless force of destruction, there is no ďneedĒ for atemi other than atemi being the technique in itself.
The opponent has given us entrance and isolation.

If he opponent attack properly or if we attack him then we need atemi to gain entrance and create the condition for the isolation.

phil

mathewjgano
09-03-2007, 12:01 PM
Lets take a look at something abstract for a second so I can clearly make my point.

Lets say I go to school to become a carpenter....

One of the most important tools I've learned as a student teacher is the idea of continual assessment. I think it ties into the constant training aspect I've heard ascribed to Aikido. So to follow your analogy, if one wants to be the best "builder" they can, they should learn the various mediums and what those mediums are best suited for.
In my mind it's categorized as specialization and generalization. A healthy balance of the two is always needed. If you're not specialized enough (dabble too much) you'll never be that master carpenter. If you're not generalized enough (too much tunnel vision), you're going to try and hammer nails into steel. Balance the two and you're going to be a builder capable of more than a handful of situations.
As it relates to martial arts, most people these days seem to cross-train to achieve this. I don't think it's always necessary, but it's definately a good way to triangulate toward a more enriched understanding of what it means to be a "builder."

ChrisHein
09-03-2007, 12:18 PM
Nice post.

jennifer paige smith
09-03-2007, 12:50 PM
Nice post.

yeah. I thought it was a nice post, also.

I'm still in digestion of the last fews days posts on this forum. I think the turn towards the building metaphor is a 'constructive' one, if you will. It is an example that I personally find cogent because I am literally a builder; a builder of artistic lanscsapes and buildings, among other broader definitions of 'builder' (as in: my dojo, my family, my life). I have to switch mediums at a stunning pace on some days. I go from cement, to carpentry, to plumbing, to metal,to stone, to the planting of natural elements. Everything has to be done in quality and concert, and it has to be an amalgam of my vision, my skills, and the practical requirements of the site and the client. A bit of randori on a creative level. In the midst of all this smoke and mirrror kind of assembly is a personal alchemy and that is where the skills begin to combine into principles and then warp in to Take Musu. When I'm done ,and my crew of amazing helpers and trades-people are also finished, we have to have made a product that is a recognizable form; it has to be the landscape we designed.
From the application of my focus I have learned to 'swing a hammer' at different levels of efficiency in the above skills I mentioned. I'm not a master at any one of them, except the planting elements, but the level of proficiency I have is adequate to support the overall project.
The thing that combines all of this, and the jumping point of my thoughts related to Chris's post about metals etc.... is Alchemy:
the study of element, essence, distillation and vibration. That is how you (one /I) can get it done, maintain aiki principles and be effective. Whatever the application

Thanks for the ear;) .
jen

Douglas Fajardo
09-09-2007, 07:46 PM
Ditto.
Yea, what he said.
Its the person, not the style.
The question isn't if Aikido is effective, it is if "your" Aikido is.
IMHO, mine is.

I'm totally ok with you, is the person who made the job, the art is there, so perfect ,so clean,all it's up to you ,
most of people don't understand the real meaning of Martial Art ,
Martial art is not a sport is about life, your life,
I think thats if you have your mind open, and the most important you have to belive in you as a martial artist . if you do that, them you can do a good work .

Nos vemos chamacos

Douglas Fajardo
09-09-2007, 08:01 PM
Funny thing about the ďAikido works fine, but does YOUR Aikido workĒ, argument. While itís a very true statement. A system can only work as well in practice as itís practitioner knows how to use it. It can also be a very misleading statement.

Lets take a look at something abstract for a second so I can clearly make my point.

Lets say I go to school to become a carpenter. I learn the tools and the methods of carpentry. And I call my self a ďbuilderĒ. Then one day I decide to build something out of metal. My hammers donít work very well. I canít drive nails into the steel. My planes wonít shape the steel. It seems my carpentry skills must suck.

I tell other carpenters about how I canít seem to build anything. I tell them about how I canít drive the nails, and how I canít shape anything with my planes. The other carpenters tell me that I must have horrible carpentry skills because they build stuff all the time, and the system of carpentry they learned works great.

In this scenario no matter how long I go to school and no matter how good I get at working wood, I will never learn to work steel.

While itís true carpentry is a good system of wood working, itís a poor system of steel working. And no matter if youíre a master carpenter that wonít make you a master steel worker.

that's a good point of view, that's why I'm going to learn the methods of carpentery and become a master steel worker ,..
And I will keep learnig new methods ,(time never ends)but me ,,,,

Kevin Leavitt
09-09-2007, 08:53 PM
Another way of looking at the carpenter analogy.

You enter into an intensive apprenticeship studying all the types of wood, the wood tools, fasteners like nails, screws etc, which ones work best for fastening to what types of wood joints etc. You study how to hand make nail less joints...in short you become a master at all the little things and details that you will need as a carpenter.

You graduate.

Then...some one says...okay build a house!

Problem is, you have never built one...only studied the little individual pieces of carpentry that go into building a house.

There is a macroscopic and a microscopic approach to everything.

To me...I see aikido is more concerned with mastering certain aspects of martial arts that enhance those things that O'sensei felt were important.

It ain't all about building being a carpenter, but about studying the small things that might make a carpenter a master of his trade...IF he were indeed a honest to goodness carpenter!

Nikopol
09-09-2007, 10:06 PM
Have noticed that the amount of discussion on these topics is excessive.

It's like some nut-job from a destructive style puts the seed of doubt in our minds and we let ouselves forget all we have learned or are learning. Why waste the ki?

I saw one video on youtube where a fighter (MMA?) breaks someone's arm with a hijijime. He wasn't using it as a control, he just yanked it around as hard as he could, snapped the joint, and then began dancing for joy over his ... victory?

In my opinion, if through Aikido we avoid becoming such individuals, then Aikido has been effective.

- - -

"What technique would you use..." etc. these threads show that our thoughts are straying from Aikido, from what we practice in the dojo... mokuso kamae sabaki zanshin... there can never be presupposition of what technique to use until the other party reacts.
Are you going to flail around trying to do a kotegaeshi, if for example, he has his hands raised over his head? This sort of fantasy is the equivelent of a bad pick-up line.

Let's be mindful of our 'way'.. Aikido... because it is a way and not a way of dominating others.

Perhaps Aikidoka have a higher likelyhood of becoming masters in Aikido because of the nature of our training and lifestyles. The MMA practitioner, if he is violent and combatitive, is going to sustain crippling injuries at some point. In AIkido, if we apply ourselves, we can tune and condition ourselves for the long haul, and in the process each one of us who commits has removed a potential troublemaker from society.

We are not street-brawlers or sensationalists.

And just for the record I have searched Youtube and could not find a video anywhere of any real Aikidoka getting beat in any fight. Nor winning any fight either.

So let's keep it this way. aikiweb for Aikido, youtube for whatever, and who gives a flying ukemi about the trash-talking.

If we present one good example to society, through our actions and expressions, and anyone at all is inspired to emulate us, then we have done more to change the world than all the butt-kicking we could ever dish out.

Arigato gozaimashita.

Roman Kremianski
09-09-2007, 10:39 PM
I'm tired of people talking about what Aikido training gives you as a person vs what MMA gives you. You have no idea what "dishing out butt-kicking" has done to people. Humility, confidence, and a chance to pursue a passion in life. The arts MMA is composed of has made just as many people happy as Aikido did. Aikido isn't rocking the world.

Just try to look past the hype. MMA is commercialized.

Take 5 MMA guys in their 30's and 5 Aikido guys in their 30's. Shave their hair, give them all identical white clothing. Put them in a room and socialize with all of them. Find out what they're all like and what their personalities are like. You'll find you won't be able to tell who the MMA or the Aikidoka guys are.

ikkitosennomusha
09-10-2007, 12:48 AM
This question resurfaces from time to time here and while I tend to avoid these posts, I realize some are just seeking an honest answer. I agree with those that state it depends on the person. For me, Aikido is 99% flawless and is logical to me. Therefore it is very effective for me. For those who cannot grasp the logic and are not deicated that need more immediate gratification my do better in karate for example because the more immediate gratification keeps them interested. Aikido is not for everyone and everyone who trains aikido will not be great. Regardless of skill, aikido has something to offer everyone. What is offers is unique to the individual. For those who plant a seed in aikido will find great reward in the study and life long journey in aikido. It takes patience, understanding, hard work, and constanly relearning what you think you already know. One will shave many layers of rough off before the true nature is realized. Understanding that it is a gradual process, one will more likely stick with it long enough to determine if it is right for them. Typically, it should take a person training 3 times a week about 4-5 years to reach shodan on average. We all know that once a person reached shodan, you are then considered a serious student of aikido, not a master. I got a little off topic here but the point is, don't train aikido for a few months and use that to determine your own effectiveness. Once you start to learn some techniques doesn't mean you can apply them unders stress with control. So, effectiveness is compensatory with experience and discipline.

Budd
09-10-2007, 06:32 AM
I also dislike the notion that studying aikido instead of mma somehow automatically makes you a better human being. I think that's hogwash and basically a thinly veiled ingroup/outgroup division built on a house of cards when, frankly, there's things that people from both camps can learn from each other.

Think of it this way, it's best to not be like the guy that goes to church who therefore feels like they then are entitled to be an arse the rest of the time. Just training in aikido doesn't mean that 1) You are spiritually superior to anybody. 2) You can use your skills in real self-defense situations (i.e. Steven Seagal movies are just movies) 3) You get any kind of free pass to speak in flowery language/metaphor and expect anyone to understand you.

I enjoy training aikido, but honestly examining what you're training for and the subsequent results that the training yields is also a worthwhile endeavor (and no falling back on "My sensei says", either -- at some point you need to work it out for yourself).

Okay, so it's Monday morning, I'm cranky and I haven't had my coffee . . .

gdandscompserv
09-10-2007, 08:37 AM
Okay, so it's Monday morning, I'm cranky and I haven't had my coffee . . .
lol. So it would seem.
Go grab yourself a cup of coffee, but don't forget to serve the aikidoka first.:p

Tony Wagstaffe
09-10-2007, 08:37 AM
Ditto.
Yea, what he said.
Its the person, not the style.
The question isn't if Aikido is effective, it is if "your" Aikido is.
IMHO, mine is.

I would concur everytime with the statement that Lynn puts across, in other words.... The martial art is only as good as the person who practises it.... period !!

All the whys and what fors will not change that..... For goodness sake if you do not think aikido is effective then do something else .... there is plenty to choose from..... this same thing crops up time and time again !! Its very simple really either you do mock combat (ie kata or dance in some circles) only, pun not intended, or you get on the mat and do hard randori with a noncompliant uke.... that's it.... you'll soon find out !!

Tony

darin
09-10-2007, 11:19 AM
Nice aikido demos. Don't think the guy at the end could ever use that hand again...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fWKRpyTCbE

Aikibu
09-10-2007, 11:45 AM
I suggest you read the history of Aikido, before the heavy influence of the Shinto religion, which is it's philosophical bases today. Aikido post WWII was very combat ready, originally called Aikibudo. Perhaps visiting some of the local dojos from the Yoseikan and Yoshinkan organizations will give you the perspective for effectiveness that you are looking for.

The Aikikai and Ki organizations are not heavily advocates for self defense. If self defense is what you are looking for from your Aikido, then Yoseikan or Yoshinkan Aikido maybe a better alternative.

If peace, love and happiness is you focus, then you have the right organization, Ki. Your Aikido is are ready working for you, instead of fighting, love someone.

That's funny... We're part of the Aikikai and our Aikido is just as Martial as Yoshinkan (if not more LOL) and has all the lovely fluffy bunny stuff too...

Perhaps you should do some further research as well. By "Aikikai" do you mean Hombu, Iwama, Nishio, Kobyashi, and the dozens of other flavors???

I can't speak for the Ki society but why is it some folks disrespect Aikido by misrepresenting it with such broad generalizations?

Thank God for Stan Pranin, Ellis Amdur, Professor Peter Goldsbury and others who have sought to preserve and expand the entire History of Aikido...

William Hazen

Basia Halliop
09-10-2007, 11:48 AM
Think of it this way, it's best to not be like the guy that goes to church who therefore feels like they then are entitled to be an arse the rest of the time. Just training in aikido doesn't mean that 1) You are spiritually superior to anybody. 2) You can use your skills in real self-defense situations (i.e. Steven Seagal movies are just movies) 3) You get any kind of free pass to speak in flowery language/metaphor and expect anyone to understand you.

:lol. Reminds me of someone I knew once who kind of went on a lot about how non-judgmental and in tune with other people's feelings she was, and how unlike many people that was, and how she just couldn't stand people who were less tolerant than her... (she had lots of good qualities too, but...)

Aikibu
09-10-2007, 12:03 PM
I also dislike the notion that studying aikido instead of mma somehow automatically makes you a better human being. I think that's hogwash and basically a thinly veiled ingroup/outgroup division built on a house of cards when, frankly, there's things that people from both camps can learn from each other.

Think of it this way, it's best to not be like the guy that goes to church who therefore feels like they then are entitled to be an arse the rest of the time. Just training in aikido doesn't mean that 1) You are spiritually superior to anybody. 2) You can use your skills in real self-defense situations (i.e. Steven Seagal movies are just movies) 3) You get any kind of free pass to speak in flowery language/metaphor and expect anyone to understand you.

I enjoy training aikido, but honestly examining what you're training for and the subsequent results that the training yields is also a worthwhile endeavor (and no falling back on "My sensei says", either -- at some point you need to work it out for yourself).

Okay, so it's Monday morning, I'm cranky and I haven't had my coffee . . .

Right on Budd...All the Arts have thier faults including Aikido.

Since I've had my coffee I would like to help you make a bigger point.

Why is it Folks have to knock any Martial Art that is not thiers??? Why the single mindedness and insecurity???

To me that is a sign of Black Belt Disease...

Last night I watched UFC75 with great interest. I am a big fan. I practice Aikido...Study Submission/MMA under a student of Gene LeBell...Have started to look into Kali...Spar at the local Karate Dojo to teach some students how to hit (Atemi) and I just wish I had more time.

When I was growing up my Idols were Waterman. In the Surfing world Watermen were guys who not only surfed, they dive, swim, sail, kayaked, ect.ect. In other words they did everything they could to learn about the ocean.

In the Martial Arts Bruce Lee comes to mind The style of no style is still my inspiration....I was lucky to start as a small boy back in 1967 with Chuck Norris and have moved on from there....

Aikido is like the Ocean to me...Everything I do revolves around it...No where in my mindset does the thought "My art is better than yours" appear. It's not about being better than you.... It's about making me a better human being and letting the Martial process transform me...

LOL Maybe I have had too much coffee.

William Hazen

Cyrijl
09-10-2007, 01:02 PM
Something that has been said before but needs repeating is "Plans Change Upon Contact."

People hypothesize that a real fight would be X,Y, or Z. Or that in a real fight the other person would be armed. Or that you should always be armed. All of this is pretty irrelavant to the bigger issue of self-preservation.

What annoyed me about the aikido dojo I attended was the lack of physical conditioning. I am not talking about running for 2 miles or lifting weights, I mean the total lack of emphasis on being in good physical shape. Having a good fitness routine and paying attention to your surroundings are much more valuable than whether or not your aikido is effective.

All of the "MMA" places I have trained (Muay Thai, BJJ, Judo, Krav) have placed alot of emphasis on being in shape. If you look at the old Aikido clips, most of the students were in good shape. Today however, the picture is much different.

Budd
09-10-2007, 01:39 PM
Aikido is like the Ocean to me...Everything I do revolves around it...No where in my mindset does the thought "My art is better than yours" appear. It's not about being better than you.... It's about making me a better human being and letting the Martial process transform me...

LOL Maybe I have had too much coffee.


Right on, back at you, William :) I think we are of a similar mind regarding making our aikido as good as it can be, while at the same time playing with others. I appreciate your input and your experience (heck, I'm downright jealous) of Nishio Sensei's interpretation of aiki.

Joseph, I like your thoughts on physical conditioning and also agree there as well.

Best/Budd

Will Prusner
09-10-2007, 02:36 PM
I have read this entire thread... it reminds me of one of those trick math questions a teacher would sometime slip into a quiz, which was unanswerable due to a missing piece of information... very frustrating!

I have been receiving instruction in Aikido for the past 6 months or so (a total noob)... off the mat for now, while i recover from knee surgery (although i still go to class, because i believe there is an opportunity to learn (which has more to do with mindset than anything), there is ALWAYS an opportunity for learning ).

Effective against what or who?

O'sensei claimed that the only true enemy was within ourselves.

Should the question be, (a) Is aikido effective at combatting our internal enemy?, OR - (b) Is it effective against the individual who is trying to pummel us with his MMA prowess, who may or may not have found their way into our path, had we taken the time to confront our internal enemy? OR - (c)Is it effective against the junkie who's trying to steal our collective wallets.

I don't know the answer to the larger question, or any of the smaller questions. Although I do know a gun would work great for scenarios b and c.

I am learning Aikido because I like learning Aikido, I enjoy the process, it makes me feel good. I am more than capable of tearing flesh, spilling blood and claiming human lives, like every other animal on the earth, I am capable of defending myself - my ancestors have proved that for tens of thousands of years... All of our ancestors have... that's why we are here, able to discuss these interesting conundrums... It is also not the point.

Two statements that have been applicable through all of my experiences (martial and otherwise) and have ALWAYS held true were expressed by Bruce Lee:

I paraphrase, (but if you haven't already read "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do", what are you waiting for?)

1. Rigidly staying within any "style" will eventually be your downfall. This is as applicable to fighting as it is to loftier endeavours, like creating art and music.

2. Accept and incorporate any techniques and philosophies that are useful to YOU. Reject those that are useless (however, reject nothing until you fully understand it).

These statements are at the core of the ideal by which i attempt to conduct myself through this life. I am not studying Aikido so that I can be a master of aikido (i would certainly love to have that degree of understanding and insight in to the art, however). I study Aikido because I want to become a better human being, and because I am fortunate enough to have individuals with skills that I admire, who are willing to teach.

As a parting thought: Aikido on it's own, has no effectiveness, it requires the individual to decide how they will incorporate the technique and philosophies into their movements and experiences. This decision is made "on the fly", it is the spontaneous and "Divine" (creative and intelligent) nature of the techniques that O'sensei referenced.

To say that Aikido is either wholly effective or ineffective is kind of ignorant, in my opinion. It has many qualities and defects. The only way to enhance the qualities and remove the defects is to use the greatest weapon of all time, the human mind (of course, used properly, the human mind can, in most situations, be used to avoid a physical confrontation in the first place.) Be limitless.

...and if you are concerned that you might be in imminent danger of being attacked by a violent individual who will attempt to use martial arts against you... then buy a gun and learn it's proper use and strategy.

-Will

gdandscompserv
09-10-2007, 04:42 PM
What annoyed me about the aikido dojo I attended was the lack of physical conditioning. I am not talking about running for 2 miles or lifting weights, I mean the total lack of emphasis on being in good physical shape. Having a good fitness routine and paying attention to your surroundings are much more valuable than whether or not your aikido is effective.That is mostly solo training and should be done outside of the dojo. And I am talking about lifting weights, sumo stomps, aiki-taiso, running, situps, pushups, etc. You should not rely on the dojo atmosphere to provide conditioning that can be done on your own. Unless perhaps you are an uchideshi in which case you're probably gettin all you need at the dojo.

Budd
09-11-2007, 06:12 AM
That is mostly solo training and should be done outside of the dojo. And I am talking about lifting weights, sumo stomps, aiki-taiso, running, situps, pushups, etc. You should not rely on the dojo atmosphere to provide conditioning that can be done on your own. Unless perhaps you are an uchideshi in which case you're probably gettin all you need at the dojo.

I both agree and disagree with this - I believe that it's important for the student to learn, in the dojo, proper form for the execution of many of the exercises you mention above. I also believe that a conditioning period during each class will allow the instructor to check the student's progress in the form of the exercise and the ability to do the exercise.

That being said, I also think that the student then needs to obsessively work out on their own outside of class periods, to include conditioning, other "bodywork", waza, etc.

gdandscompserv
09-11-2007, 06:15 AM
I both agree and disagree with this - I believe that it's important for the student to learn, in the dojo, proper form for the execution of many of the exercises you mention above. I also believe that a conditioning period during each class will allow the instructor to check the student's progress in the form of the exercise and the ability to do the exercise.

That being said, I also think that the student then needs to obsessively work out on their own outside of class periods, to include conditioning, other "bodywork", waza, etc.
Agreed.