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Annoynamus Person 1231
03-25-2008, 08:59 AM
Hello everyone. Though I have an account on here, this is the topic I never wanted to post. So I am under Annoynamus.

I have been doing Aikido for about 8 years now, and it has become a great important part of my life. There has even been uchideshi phases and lots of money spent on travels and fees, on countless videos and books.

So.. At my school I have learned lots from my Shihan and Aikido. Self Confidence is the big one. My social skills have improved alot as well. I also have broken bad habits I used to do that invalid going out lots to bars.

Aikido has been great to me, but what do you ask then is the problem?

While the problem lies here in... I always wanted to start my own school since I started.. I know it is still 8 - 10 years down the road... This is fine, but the other day I trained with a professional fighter. I did not expect to win sparing, and your right.. I lost..

But then I tried with people who were not even in martial arts, and more then often enough I am still getting my ars handed to me.

This greatly upsets me.. I cannot run a school to teach self defense and confidence if I have not faith my own abilities. :-(

I look at the black belts in my school, and they are able to do all this stuff awesome, however at brown belt I am still missing it.

In relation to this, if I work with new students who co-oporate they look at my technique with awe, and seem impressed. However after training with a few now Aikido people I am finding that people outside don't co-oporate. Even people who are in class that are really stiff make the technique very difficult. I tried to teach one friend ikkyo and he was even stiff as hell and I had trouble with it.. Tried everything to make it work, in the end I resorted to atemi for it to work.

Infact the only way I can make Aikido work for me at all anymore is by adding Atemi. :-( The lost of confidence in my abilities has gotten so bad now that even when doing my technique with others I have to add atemi. It is like a crutch I have to use. I know my teacher has taught atemi many times, but I know alot of the time we havent used it as well. WHY CAN'T I GET IT WITHOUT ATEMI!

I also want to add that I try real hard to obsorbe it, and practise all the time. I focus on every detail, sometimes too hard to the point I lose it.. And I will be honest I am A.D.D, so it is sometimes hard. Honestly I don't know if this is why other people have it by now and I do not. But I honestly feel I am missing everything. I am frustrated and after 8 years I am ready to move to something else.

Unless.............. Unless there is some sort of explanation for this, or some sort of reason that someone can bring to my attention of why I am not getting it. Please tell me there is something to get, because I know my seniors have found it, and even some of my juniors... Just not me. :-(

Any idea on whats going on? Anyone else been here before?

Ron Tisdale
03-25-2008, 09:25 AM
Been there before, sometimes still there now, will be back again. Each time I improve, I find new challenges. It's called life, and raising the bar. Perfectly normal.

Continue to visit your MMA friend, you will learn lots. Continue to train in aikido, and polish your basics. Pair with the Seniors that you believe have it as often as possible. Note every detail of how they move, what they do when faced with power, how they take your balance.

Begin to get to know your body...find exercises you can do at home to enhance your own balance and familiarity with your structure (bones, ligaments, tendons). Yoga under the correct instructor can be very good for this.

Don't quit. Nana Korobi Yaoki Jinsei Wa Kore Kara Da! Fall down seven times, rise eight, life begins from now.

Best,
Ron

Larry Cuvin
03-25-2008, 10:36 AM
Like you, I plan to operate an affiliated dojo in my retirement years. I'm going on my 5th year and know I have a long, long way to go but if I may offer a suggestion: work on blending and leading. Also avoid collision and try not to give your partner something to resist to. Go beyond the physical and lead their mind. Once you lead the mind, the body follows. These are the things that I constantly remind my self and they are hard to do.

At least, you have the luxury of training with a MMA friend. A chance to polish your technique.

2 cents from a newbie.

GrazZ
03-25-2008, 11:08 AM
well considering Aikido is 80% atemi i dont think thats a problem, in fact you need to add MORE atemi if anything because good luck getting any technique that isnt kokyunage to work without it

theres a couple threads on this that was just posted recently, might want to check it out, one is on atemi in Aikido and the other was about that motivation poll posted a while ago.

aikidoc
03-25-2008, 11:19 AM
Try to find more of the aiki-don't try so hard to "make it work".

James Davis
03-25-2008, 11:23 AM
So.. At my school I have learned lots from my Shihan and Aikido. Self Confidence is the big one. My social skills have improved alot as well. I also have broken bad habits I used to do that invalid going out lots to bars.
Aikido has improved you to some degree, but the improvement never ends.


While the problem lies here in... I always wanted to start my own school since I started.. I know it is still 8 - 10 years down the road... This is fine, but the other day I trained with a professional fighter. I did not expect to win sparing, and your right.. I lost..
"Lost"? What did you lose? It sounds like learning to me.


But then I tried with people who were not even in martial arts, and more then often enough I am still getting my ars handed to me.
So you're in the process of learning how stupid fighting can be? Ever seen anyone injured? Badly?


This greatly upsets me.. I cannot run a school to teach self defense and confidence if I have not faith my own abilities. :-(
You probably shouldn't do it without some humillity either. ;)


I look at the black belts in my school, and they are able to do all this stuff awesome, however at brown belt I am still missing it.
There are things that you're getting that they are missing. It's just not readily apparent.


In relation to this, if I work with new students who co-oporate they look at my technique with awe, and seem impressed. However after training with a few now Aikido people I am finding that people outside don't co-oporate. Even people who are in class that are really stiff make the technique very difficult. I tried to teach one friend ikkyo and he was even stiff as hell and I had trouble with it.. Tried everything to make it work, in the end I resorted to atemi for it to work.
What happens when you resist technique?


Infact the only way I can make Aikido work for me at all anymore is by adding Atemi. :-( The lost of confidence in my abilities has gotten so bad now that even when doing my technique with others I have to add atemi. It is like a crutch I have to use. I know my teacher has taught atemi many times, but I know alot of the time we havent used it as well. WHY CAN'T I GET IT WITHOUT ATEMI!
Sometimes, you can't. Fish around in your toolbox and see what else you have.


I also want to add that I try real hard to obsorbe it, and practise all the time. I focus on every detail, sometimes too hard to the point I lose it.. And I will be honest I am A.D.D, so it is sometimes hard. Honestly I don't know if this is why other people have it by now and I do not. But I honestly feel I am missing everything. I am frustrated and after 8 years I am ready to move to something else.

Unless.............. Unless there is some sort of explanation for this, or some sort of reason that someone can bring to my attention of why I am not getting it. Please tell me there is something to get, because I know my seniors have found it, and even some of my juniors... Just not me. :-(
No matter how good you get, this will continue to happen. True Victory Is Self Victory. Look at that person who's looking back at you from the mirror. Are they better than they were yesterday? That's what matters.

Any idea on whats going on?What's going on for you may be entirely different from what's going on for me. Just know that EVERYONE has something going on. Those classmates that seem to be so together have problems of their own, believe me.

Anyone else been here before?

HAHAHAHAHAHA!! HECK YEAH!!:D

gregstec
03-25-2008, 11:26 AM
Sounds like you need to get back to basics. Techniques are just a physical manifestation of the underlying principles involved. I heard mentioned somewhere that there are four basic principles of technique application: (1) get off the line of attack, (2) receive Uke's energy (Ki, intent, etc) into your sphere of control, (3) redirect energy and take Uke's balance, and (4) eject or throw energy away (along with Uke). Of course, all four things are done immediately at the instant of contact. If you focus on those principles, eventually your techniques will come together. Further, it is also important to do all of that while focusing on the four principles of Aiki movement: (1) keep mind centered in tanden (Tohei"s One Point), (2) Relax completely, (3) Extend Ki (from One Point) & (4) Keep weight underside (think down!)

Of course, I am not an expert (not even close) at all that stuff, I just have an idea on where I need to go...

Good Luck

Greg

cguzik
03-25-2008, 11:32 AM
You have discovered one of the most subtle things about this art:

The reason why our techniques manifest the way they do is because uke moves in a certain way in response to your technique because they are aware of their own openings as created by or identified by how you move.

Any of the following will cause your aikido to not work.

(a) Uke does not care if they are open because they don't believe you can exploit the opening -- this includes them not caring if you hit them.

(b) Uke is not aware of the opening and therefore does not move to close it.

(c) You do not move correctly to create or identify the opening.

You have to do certain things to make sure the above don't happen. This may include actually delivering an atemi to build uke's respect for those openings. It may include making your intent a bit more clear to help uke become aware of their own openings. It may include working on your own movement, including stopping trying to do a technique to uke and focusing on moving yourself in response to their openings.

Aikido is a study of suki. If your partner doesn't care or isn't aware, then half of what you need to do aikido is missing.

fullerfury
03-25-2008, 11:37 AM
Infact the only way I can make Aikido work for me at all anymore is by adding Atemi.

Aikido "technique" works when uke becomes unbalanced. In order to create this unbalance, some sort of Atemi is usually required. I would suggest continued study with this in mind.

Also, have some patience with yourself. While 8 years is a significant time in study, it is only a beginning.

NagaBaba
03-25-2008, 12:15 PM
This greatly upsets me.. I cannot run a school to teach self defense and confidence if I have not faith my own abilities. :-(
You want to teach aikido as self defence?????

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

Annoynamus Person 1231
03-25-2008, 01:20 PM
Thanks for your replies.
Most of them were positive. :-P

Prehapse I will not worry so much about using Atemi, and revist the basics even more.

Kevin Leavitt
03-25-2008, 03:55 PM
Wow, your post could have been written by me about 4 years ago!

I had almost the exact same set of experiences.

Mine came from training with my soldiers in the Army Combatives Program. i could not demonstrate anything that worked even against new students that had been in the program for less than a year.

I got on board with the program, took up MMA and BJJ and now have a better appreciation and can cross both sides of the fence somewhat now.

Don't give up, be patient, you are probably going through a period of deconstruction which in the end, if you survive, will lead to a new concepts, ideas, and understandings.

Don't be afraid to "let go" of what you know, get outside of your comfort zone, and learn from those that are "owning you".

Not sure where you are, but there are many out there that have gone through this.

Feel free to PM me in confidence if you ever want to talk about this issue, I have been there too!

Aristeia
03-25-2008, 03:57 PM
some of the answers you get you may not like - but they are the ones that are likely to be most honest.

Albeit with slightly less derision, I agree with Szczepan. The sweet spot for Aikido is not self defence. Confidence, fitness, the philosophy and tradition etc etc with some self defence application. If people are simply looking to fight an Aikido dojo is not the right place for them.

Ask yourself more honestly why *you* do Aikido. If some higher power was giving you a cast iron guarantee you would never get in a fight from here on in, would you quit? If the answer is no then clearly you are getting something else out of the training that is not simply self defence. Given the low statistical likelihood of you personally being attacked I would suggest you are probably getting something out of it that is more important than self defence. That's what you should be concentrating on offering in your dojo should you create one.

Second point. You seem to think your seniors "have it" but you don't because you can't handle attacks from non aikidoka. How often have you seen your seniors in a similar situation to what you've been experimenting with. You may be surprised that they don't fare terribly different - iow stop beating yourself up about it, it's probably not an issue with you at all.

Tharis
03-25-2008, 04:09 PM
I think "practical" Aikido will always require a certain degree of atemi, unless you've got the skill of a shihan.

And yeah, I've been there. A big revelation for me was that "technique" isn't really what you should expect yourself to do if you're in a free sparring situation. "Technique," practiced well, will teach you the instincts that you'll need to use in a situation.

To paraphrase an old cliche:

Fighting with Aikido is like screwing for virginity.

Pauliina Lievonen
03-25-2008, 07:03 PM
Second point. You seem to think your seniors "have it" but you don't because you can't handle attacks from non aikidoka. How often have you seen your seniors in a similar situation to what you've been experimenting with. You may be surprised that they don't fare terribly different - iow stop beating yourself up about it, it's probably not an issue with you at all.I was wondering about this as well - how do your seniors handle resistance? One way to find out is to give them some (with a willing senior) and see what kind of solutions they will use. Could be a way to really learn something. If, on the other hand, they don't have any solutions (other than "don't resist")...well, in that case you shouldn't be surprised that you didn't know how to handle a resisting partner either. But you might want to look for somewhere else to train if that is the thing that you are after. But hopefully they will have ways to handle resistance, and you get an opportunity to learn something new.

kvaak
Pauliina

Lyle Bogin
03-25-2008, 07:06 PM
I think you should take some time off from aikido and work your way through some MMA or another heavy contact, competitive martial art.

Like Ripley said in aliens, it's the only way to be sure.

d2l
03-25-2008, 07:33 PM
I believe if you search more with in your arsenal, you will find more than just the standard locks that lead into throws. If your Uke is resisting, be "Johny on the spot" and throw a punch, an elbow, or a knee. One thing that annoys the hell out of me, is people not learning to use transitions. If something doesn't work right away, you have to have a clear enough mind to look for an opening. This could mean going from one lock to another in an instant, chokes, or strikes. I think a lot of people are afraid to get hit, and thus their technique suffers. There is NO perfect system. Sometimes the only way to survive is to fall back on to what you already know will work. :)

Kevin Leavitt
03-25-2008, 08:58 PM
It is not that skills, principles, or techniques that are the problem typically with aikido...they are spot on I think (usually)

The challenge in timing, speed, distance, and compliance....also known as elements of aliveness.

This is what I found that gets you into trouble when you take aikido out of the dojo and work with those that do not respond how you do in the aikido dojo.

So, the answer, if you are not finding it in your aikido dojo is to train more or harder, or to add "more resistance". The answer is to find people outside of that environment that train this way and start making the mistakes (de-construct) and start figuring out how to respond with the new elements of timing, speed, distance and non-compliance.

That is, unless you are really lucky and have a dojo that does all of that. Sounds like you don't though...or you wouldn't have this issue.

Kevin Leavitt
03-25-2008, 09:01 PM
Matt Thornton on this issue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAUaeo6QeCo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3r-G33oKHc&feature=related

edtang
03-26-2008, 01:08 AM
This honestly reads to me like someone who wishes Aikido was something it really isn't.

Michael Varin
03-26-2008, 01:54 AM
I concur with Kevin.

There is nothing wrong with the principles, philosophy, or techniques of aikido, but the training method leaves a lot to be desired (at least if you expect to use it against a noncompliant person).

Don't get me wrong, you should continue practice the fundamentals, but if you want to use it, you'll have to go beyond that.

The following links are videos showing some of the drills we do at our school. They have various restrictions, and are practiced with varying levels of intensity, but they all involve noncompliant partners. And we don't use atemi.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=i02Mkq0yrsE

http://youtube.com/watch?v=9KAbbKRhnN4

http://youtube.com/watch?v=tlGST3nR8WY

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NGJCl6IS_xQ

You can do drills like these too. You just have to give yourself permission. If you are interested, send me a private message and I'll give you some ideas on how to structure these drills.

funky
03-26-2008, 03:04 AM
" In a practical situation Aikido is 90% Atemi" - O Sensei.

erikmenzel
03-26-2008, 03:11 AM
There is pitfall in Aikido-training. Aikido isnt about executing a technique gracefully in a way that it looks beautiful and natural. Looking gracefully, beautiful and natural are all a side effect of the continued study of Suki.

Jeep
03-26-2008, 04:57 AM
[QUOTE=Anonymous User;202510]
Infact the only way I can make Aikido work for me at all anymore is by adding Atemi. :-( The lost of confidence in my abilities has gotten so bad now that even when doing my technique with others I have to add atemi. It is like a crutch I have to use. I know my teacher has taught atemi many times, but I know alot of the time we havent used it as well. WHY CAN'T I GET IT WITHOUT ATEMI!

I also want to add that I try real hard to obsorbe it, and practise all the time. I focus on every detail, sometimes too hard to the point I lose it.. And I will be honest I am A.D.D, so it is sometimes hard. Honestly I don't know if this is why other people have it by now and I do not. But I honestly feel I am missing everything. I am frustrated and after 8 years I am ready to move to something else.

QUOTE]

The reason why the Atemi works is because it disturb uke's balance. But you should still be able to disturb Uke’s balance with Tai-sabaki, so concentrate on taking uke's balance with body movement. Specifically with Ni-kyo there is always a chance you will struggle if you are doing it standing directly in front of uke. So try to do it by positioning yourself more off to uke’s side. The arms greatest sphere of strength is directly in front of the human body, moving or extending the arm off to the side weakens this strength making the Ni-kyo easier to apply.

Struggling with people who resist or who are stiff/awkward is a common problem. So you also need to learn how to respond to how uke is reacting. Rather than force the technique on you should switch into something else that is more appropriate for example irimi-nage is a natural follow-on when uke locks up or spins out of shihon-nage. Some of the techniques of aikido flow naturally into others, Ikkyo into Ni-kyo into Sankyo, and you should be reaching the stage now where by the odd other technique slips into the practise (i.e sensei wants you to do technique A but you end up doing technique B instead) these often are the most nicest ones from uke’s point of view. I would suggest that you actively ask you seniors to offer some resistance (and give some in return) so that you can explore/learn what to do in these situations.

Above all remember that aikido is full of plateau’s where everything you do, seems to be getting worse. In reality you are just consolidating your knowledge and getting ready for the climb to the next level.

Kevin Leavitt
03-26-2008, 06:10 AM
Edward Tang wrote:

This honestly reads to me like someone who wishes Aikido was something it really isn't.

...AND the rest of the aikido world knows EXACTLY what it IS and SHOULD BE?

In my experiences and perceptions, most of us suffer from this. I think the thing that draws us to budo in general is unrest, uneasiness, "something is not quite right", "I want to learn to protect myself", "I want to learn about myself", "A deeper understanding"...list goes on.

The ones I worry about are the ones that think they have the answers. I study with several higher ranking dans, one 6th Dan in particular that has been doing this for 30 years and seems to be re-interpreting aikido and finding new ways to explore it, different perspectives, ways of doing it etc....he will be the first to tell you he has some answers, but mostly not!

Kevin Leavitt
03-26-2008, 06:14 AM
Erik wrote:

There is pitfall in Aikido-training. Aikido isnt about executing a technique gracefully in a way that it looks beautiful and natural. Looking gracefully, beautiful and natural are all a side effect of the continued study of Suki.


Agreed. It is about mastery of self I think. with such a goal, I think you want to improve in many ways...which leads me to want to be able to respond in such a way that is natural, graceful, and beautiful.

I think it is more of an endstate, however, maybe not the methodology of getting there. Might not seem like such a huge distinction, but if you are chasing that dream, it is sort of like wanting to be on top of the mountain by being on top of the mountain, however, you are not interesting in climbing the mountain to get to the top of the mountain...creates a paradox that you can't solve if you aren't willing to put in the hard work.

xuzen
03-27-2008, 12:12 AM
This reminded me the story " Hey, who moved my cheese" .

In the story, the mice knew that they are not getting what they want and the move on to newer pasture, end of story.

The human, on the other hand, linger on... and they became miserable, resentment set in, they curse, they scold because they are not getting what they want.

Some of the posters here I know are like the mice... they move on to other art to get a feel of what is out there to meet their needs. Folks like Don Magee, Kevin Levitt, Michael Fooks are some I can think of.

I think you will probably look at Aikido in a different light after spending some time in a more rough and tumble art.

Boon.

rob_liberti
03-27-2008, 12:31 AM
Another option is to refuse to accept that aikido doesn't work and find people to help you make it work. That's my plan.

My opinions is that aikido doesn't need MORE teachers. It needs more determined students.

Rob

Gernot Hassenpflug
03-27-2008, 01:40 AM
Maybe this will help you get some direction (or at least the motivation to go out and look for some). My teacher said the other night that the difference between Budo and Bujutsu is like night and day.

Budo is like a religion: the practitioner takes some mental construct, a set of principles, and keeps those in mind as an ideal, and then goes through stylized moves that allow him or her to feel as though they are putting those ideals into physical motion and instilling discipline in themselves (budo is intended for social benefit). With that there is some exercise for the body. However, no great development of the body ever happens, nor detailed understanding of it; ergo, the understanding people find from doing budo is really not very deep at all. This is Shin-gi-tai in the order expressed in the phrase.

Bujutsu, on the other hand, does tai-gi-shin, exactly the opposite: the practitioner forces his or her body to undergo specific exercises that change the body and give him or her some deep understanding of the body, to great detail. As that understanding develops, the body can be used to perform so-called techniques (which are not really special movements, but only the body in motion according with the understanding given the practitioner), and finally, when the practitioner is really powerful, he or she may decide to no hurt or harm an opponent and use the training as a kind of ascetic exercise.

Thus, budo and bujutsu are sort of polar opposites.

Regards, Gernot

Michael Varin
03-27-2008, 03:34 AM
Another option is to refuse to accept that aikido doesn't work and find people to help you make it work. That's my plan.
Rob,

Your last post brought up some interesting questions.

What is it that leads someone to believe aikido doesn't work?

When you can make aikido work, What does that mean? What does that look like?

phitruong
03-27-2008, 07:41 AM
what fun would it be if all of your aikido techniques worked? to me that's just plain boring. it's more interesting when things don't work and you spent time and effort figuring out. that is when you learn. that is how you find out what you made out of.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-27-2008, 08:44 AM
When you can make aikido work, What does that mean? What does that look like?

Looks like this:
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=NhoLFF3Z7u4

heathererandolph
03-27-2008, 09:03 AM
Keep practicing and try not to look too far down the road. Everyone feels a lack of confidence teaching other students when that time comes. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Experience is the best teacher. Don't let yourself get down on yourself. Think positively & aim high.

Don
03-27-2008, 08:43 PM
Aikido teaches principles of (not to sound too eastern here) blending with the energy a person presents (for those of you who want to think concretely think kinetic energy or momentum), and off balancing. You know that. These principles are all very valid in a martial or fighting context, We use contrived attacks to practice these principles. Uke cooperates so nage can practice mastering these principles. However, if you want to apply these principles in a "modern attack scenario you usually will have to ask yourself "what is aikido teaching me about martial application. You've already figured out that, for instance, (a) most people don't attack shomenuchi or even yokomenuchi, unless they are wild. Most people don't come and grab your wrist and then do nothing else.....so how do you translate what you have hopefully begun to put in muscle memory into applying it toward, say a right cross, or a push? You've got to ask yourself those questions and consciously try and figure them out for yourself. Your sensei can only help. Why? Because (a) he or she may not KNOW how to apply techniques in a martial context, (b) but more likely, (and don't take this as an insult), he or she is probably at a place where what SEEMS obvious to them is not to you and can only be explained to a degree. When I teach people with much less experience, I wrack my brain to figure ways to get as much over to them as I can both by verbal explanation and demonstration of technique. And still there are things they do not get. I know this from observation and by being their uke. Some of it you just have to consciously experiment with, For instance, we practice in this benign way of receiving techniques usually with our hands down by our sides. Well, duh, someone who wants to hit you is not going to use aikido maai. They are going to close the distance first. You have to go beyond starting at aikido maai, and learning to react when someone enters that zone AND getting your hands and arms up and out like holding a sword. I guarantee you if you are positioned correctly (lead foot outside their lead foot) you can block (deflect) their right cross or left hook and execute a devestating ikkyo (for instance). I had to teach myself that though. I did not directly learn it from my sensei.

Here's another thing to think about martially. We do iriminage and wonder how this is going to work for real. Well, usually you aren't going to do a full tenkan. Or another strategy is teaching yourself to move in literally right behind nage (and I do mean right behind them). This usually isn't done in the beginning because iriminage is about entering and blending. Usually so we are practicing in big lazy circles to practice the blending aspects. But if you teach yourself to enter right behind nage, you have put yourself in their dead spot, and in perfect position for a choke. Is it the nice figure 8 iriminage we have all come to love and practice? NO! But is is very martial. A choke out from this position can end an altercation quickly.

Also in randori practice all the uke's are attacking like madmen on a battlefield. Is that the way it would happen if you were stupid enough or unlucky enough to get in a bar fight? Nah. You'd most likely suprise the first guy, and if you were that lucky, what do you think would happen next. Well the way I figure it, their buddies would all either rush you at once or if they attacked indivdually, you can bet they would be expecting you to do something and be resistive. Wouldn't you if you just saw your buddy get trashed and you were about to take up for him? So at some point you have to practice henka waza. If you practice diligently and long enough you will see the openings to change to another technique or angle when someone is resistive. It just takes time and conscious effort. You HAVE to take some responsibility for what you get out of aikido if what that is is to be martially effective. I just don't buy this argument that some are putting out there that aikido is just really not about being martially effective. It may not be taught in a way that appears to make it martially effective, but jeez there HAVE been plenty of practitioners who have made it martially effective and the techniques did COME from martial systems. However, what we have is a system that has been invented by O'Sensei with a different purpose in mind. So like I said in the beginning. If you want your aikido to be martially effective, YOU have to ask yourself what aikido is teaching you that can be martially effective and then seek to develop that. Then you have your aikido. Someone else may not want that and may be perfectly happy getting better and better at blending and extending just doing the kihon kata. That is their aikido. Take charge, Don't just depend on your sensei to feed it all to you. You will never discover what you want if you don't take that initiative.

ChrisHein
03-28-2008, 03:34 AM
Looks like this:
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=NhoLFF3Z7u4

I guess I don't get it...

Don
03-28-2008, 08:01 AM
Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
Looks like this:
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=NhoLFF3Z7u4

Looks like aikido to me

Daniel Blanco
03-28-2008, 02:00 PM
ADVICE for you and your 08 yrs of training,when you train try on a semi non cooperative uke, respect each other first,learn from each other. When I teach a tech, i sometimes use a new student because the student will only go where you put him because he doesnt know where to go.Aikido does work,I know, I am an active P.O., and use this art all the time.First you must always use atemi to soften up your target to either off balance him,or get him in your loop to either throw or lock on to him and pin him. This art is a get your attacker in motion art,its not like BJJ or karate where you go directly forward on a hard target/person who waits to fight,you get him as he comes for you got it,listen you are a brown belt get your target moving and train always in motion not from static/stand still,we all get bored its normal,but trust in yourself and the art you study, and this is my direct message to you,from a NY.COP/SHODAN.

akiy
03-28-2008, 04:29 PM
Hi folks,

I'm moving this thread out of the Anonymous forum at this time and into the Training forum, as I feel the nature of the thread has more moved towards a general discussion of the topic rather than one that necessitates anonymity.

-- Jun

edtang
03-28-2008, 07:21 PM
This art is a get your attacker in motion art,its not like BJJ or karate where you go directly forward on a hard target/person who waits to fight,you get him as he comes for you got it.

Ugh, from my experience (about eight weeks now) this is not universally true at all in BJJ training.

Kevin Leavitt
03-28-2008, 09:35 PM
Yea, I was going to say the same thing about BJJ...not necessarily true. I am a purple belt in BJJ.

Buck
03-28-2008, 11:53 PM
Confidence is really a big issue, and I feel for the guy with this issue. This is something I think many of us go through at some point in our careers. I did.

You have to have a healthy ego to be confident, and ego comes from positive results. If you are losing too many times you lose confidence in yourself. Then you go through a bunch of self-doubt in who you and what you can do. That is the real fight to win to defeat self-doubt and poor confidence. Practice and keeping up on your skill, and continue to improve are all part that help to overcome that rut.

Aikido is a way to defend yourself in a situation where you’re attacked by a punk. Doing that is a small part of Aikido. Because, I don't about you, but I don't think too many of us ever face a situation like in a Steven Segal movie. I mean those scenes in his first movie. Not that the movies don’t base their scenes on real life. It is rare for most of us have ever had to encounter that type of hard core situation as depicted by the movie. That is a good thing, I think. Aikidoka (if they are true Aikidoka) are not out there to purposely get into fights. I have heard the stories of some of O’Sensei’s students doing that. I am saying it doing that isn’t in the blueprint. It's not typical of Aikidoka. Because what we understand proving that we can kick anyone and everyone's butt- the biggest myth ever invented- isn’t our thing. Kicking butt isn’t a very realistic expectation; it stunts the growth.

I told a friend once Aikidoka are not fighter pilots. Our training is different. It is so because of our different ideal then most other martial arts. We are more like commercial pilots trained to save the lives we carry. Bush pilot or crop duster pilot are good examples too. Instead of being fighter pilots, we are pilots that are trained to handle special conditions; we have a different outlook then most. Of course, it is an easy step to fighter pilot if we want. By reading this board it looks like some people already have.

Another comparison I make is Aikidoka are helicopter pilots we have our own specialty that we work. It can't be compared to that of a top gun fighter pilot. Planes and helicopter don’t have the same designs, they are different types of aircraft. Each aircraft has a different purpose and use, why compare. Though being human we do, judging everything across the board by the same wooden yard stick, we can't help it. We are human. Aikido strengths are in its form and function.

Aikidoka like any other martial artist are going to have those who are not good and those who are great in the area rear end kicking department. That is the individual and not the art. Some people don't seem to make Aikido work for them in a challenge, but they might experience the opposite in a different situation. People under pressure of saving their life or other's live confronted by a dangerous punk can do amazing things. Those who do well in challenges, on the other hand, may freeze up in a real danger situation. You never know what a person will do, or is able to do, or can’t do, or not do under the right circumstances of an intensely dangerous situation.

Aikidoka are not fighter pilots, and shouldn’t be taking on challenges from fighter pilots. Aikidoka don't train for that arena. It isn't what an Aikidoka was designed for, or what we practice for.

Anytime you’re a fish out of water, you will experience doubt. Fighting on the other guys terms to prove your art is capable is always going to be fatal. I don't care what art it is. You take a MMA fighter, Muay Tai, any fighter like that put them in skates, on the ice, in the rink, and tell them to play hockey. I can't tell you how ugly that is going to be when they eat the boards, or a stick, get really checked, or find themselves being locked helpless as they are rifled by a blur of punches to the head by their opponent. The only person who can compete with that would be an other hockey player. Martial arts don’t seem to work when you’re on skates while being roughed up by the jersey, a whole different world. A world most martial artists great and small or people ever experience, if they did it would be at a huge disadvantage.

I agree, if you are going to run a school you have to have the skill and knowledge required by that art. People have to have confidence in what you teach to others in form and function. A funny thing about martial arts instruction is, it isn't like being a coach. A coach doesn't have to prove themselves beyond being able to coach to win. He doesn't have to out perform his players in skill and ability. In martial arts including Aikido we expect that. We expect that thing out of other teachers, it is unrealistic. How often the sensei’s ability to teach effectively is stressed over their ability to kick butt? We don’t expect a coach to defeat anyone who walks on the field. A sensei, on the other hand, must meet every challenge offered and never lose! Isn’t that way of thinking dated, and unrealistic? Has there ever been such a person? I don’t think so. Everyone one is beatable, just not everyone can do it.

Bottom line is being realistic about it all. If you are going to run a school I think there has to be at least a realistic level of skill, a realistic level of competency, a realistic level of the ability to teach. Not the unrealistic and out-dated idea that the sensei has to be an undefeatable Superman to be worthy of teaching. Upon this realization, I think confidence is built, self-doubt is gone, and the need to prove something not part of the menu. Do Aikido for Aikido, teach Aikido to spread Aikido, Aikido is for Aikido. If you find yourself in a bad situation even badly done Aikido can save your life. What will not save your life is self-doubt and lack of confidence in yourself. You really got to weight it out for an honest view of why you teach and why you do Aikido.

Good luck, and don’t be so hard on yourself, high expectations don't lead anywhere nice.

Didn't realize I wrote so much, WOW. Got to cut back.

Amir Krause
03-30-2008, 10:48 AM
Hello everyone. Though I have an account on here, this is the topic I never wanted to post. So I am under Annoynamus.

I have been doing Aikido for about 8 years now, and it has become a great important part of my life. There has even been uchideshi phases and lots of money spent on travels and fees, on countless videos and books.

So.. At my school I have learned lots from my Shihan and Aikido. Self Confidence is the big one. My social skills have improved alot as well. I also have broken bad habits I used to do that invalid going out lots to bars.

Aikido has been great to me, but what do you ask then is the problem?

While the problem lies here in... I always wanted to start my own school since I started.. I know it is still 8 - 10 years down the road... This is fine, but the other day I trained with a professional fighter. I did not expect to win sparing, and your right.. I lost..

But then I tried with people who were not even in martial arts, and more then often enough I am still getting my ars handed to me.

This greatly upsets me.. I cannot run a school to teach self defense and confidence if I have not faith my own abilities. :-(

I look at the black belts in my school, and they are able to do all this stuff awesome, however at brown belt I am still missing it.

In relation to this, if I work with new students who co-oporate they look at my technique with awe, and seem impressed. However after training with a few now Aikido people I am finding that people outside don't co-oporate. Even people who are in class that are really stiff make the technique very difficult. I tried to teach one friend ikkyo and he was even stiff as hell and I had trouble with it.. Tried everything to make it work, in the end I resorted to atemi for it to work.

Infact the only way I can make Aikido work for me at all anymore is by adding Atemi. :-( The lost of confidence in my abilities has gotten so bad now that even when doing my technique with others I have to add atemi. It is like a crutch I have to use. I know my teacher has taught atemi many times, but I know alot of the time we havent used it as well. WHY CAN'T I GET IT WITHOUT ATEMI!

I also want to add that I try real hard to obsorbe it, and practise all the time. I focus on every detail, sometimes too hard to the point I lose it.. And I will be honest I am A.D.D, so it is sometimes hard. Honestly I don't know if this is why other people have it by now and I do not. But I honestly feel I am missing everything. I am frustrated and after 8 years I am ready to move to something else.

Unless.............. Unless there is some sort of explanation for this, or some sort of reason that someone can bring to my attention of why I am not getting it. Please tell me there is something to get, because I know my seniors have found it, and even some of my juniors... Just not me. :-(

Any idea on whats going on? Anyone else been here before?

I have several ideas on what is going on, and would like to ask you about them:

a. Are you a warrior?
No martial art can fight for you. Some people can study M.A. for years and they will still be behind others who are know less but are much more a warrior. I know some of my Kohai are better fighters then me, I can teach them quite a bit about Korindo Aikido techniques and tactics. But I they were and still are better fighters, and since I do not have a huge technical advantage, I am more likely to lose a fight against them then win.
In my case, it is easier to reconcile – I know myself, I know those people. I also know they have learned a few other M.A. to high level and some also have significant real life experiences (being in special army units etc.).

b. Is your teacher teaching you to fight?
One should also find a teacher who considers the fighting skills which can be developed via Aikido to be of importance. Otherwise, the way you learn may hide those skills from you. Some Aikido teachers consider fighting to be the last thing of importance, and are not interested in it. Learning to fight from such a teacher requires you to be better.
A partial answer to that is the fighting skill of your Sempai, and other students – can they fight?

c. Is your teacher teaching to fight
In some places I have seen people teach Aikido which would never be effective against an attack, not without great modifications. Can you perform any technique in a single step? Are your locks painful on the joints?
In my opinion, such places are part of the previous group, except their teacher and students are ignorant of this fact. I recall seeing a teacher trying to show Aikido as S.D. fighting by simply pacing up the same thing, not realizing he requires several steps to each technique, and Uke could have resisted him or attack him during that time.

d. Can YOU learn to fight given a symbolic methodical approach?
Aikido is often taught in a very symbolic way. In many places Aikido teaches correct and high level technical principles, but the attacks are only symbolic and far from realistic. This requires you to be better to learn how to take those principles and apply them in real life.
Not all places teach this way. And even in those which do, some teachers are so good at sending intent that one can learn to fight in this way too.

Another way of looking at the situation you had would be on the individual case:
Check where are you failing, and it is easier to test this in a backwards order:
1. Can your Uke evade you after you finished the lock? Why? Are you letting them go due to fear of injury to them?
2. Are your techniques mechanically correct? When you perform a lock, does Uke feel he is about to break? Can he resist with force after you are in position? Practice slowly with a good Uke, ask him to resist in a way proportional to the situation, can you execute your technique?
3. Start the technique, can Uke get out after you have started? How many steps are required for your technique (this is a simple measure for time and simplicity - for each step you take, Uke can take one too)
3. Facing resistance: Are you sure you select the correct technical response to the situation? The Aiki approach is one of sensing Uke force and utilizing it to lock him by selecting the correct response at the correct time. Again with a good experienced Uke - test your ability in static situations with resistance at first – you are free to use any technique you wish, can you?
4. Can you get a Kuzushi of Uke? This requires correct position and timing. Again, start slowly with a good Uke, he should be allowed to follow you if he can sense you move before his commitment to a specific attack (If he is better then you, you may need some leeway).
5. Situational readiness – can you sense Uke intent and react to it. This is an higher level of timing required to utilize Aiki at high speeds. One idea to practice is similar to the one above – but with a Shinai – now you must get to Uke before he finishes his attack and you have a large distance to cover. If you start too soon, Uke steps back and hits you on the head.
6. Opportunity creation – I am not at this level yet, I only sense it on occasion, thus I will not try to explain more then the term. You should lead Uke and select his attack.

Hope this helps a bit.
Amir

Demetrio Cereijo
03-30-2008, 01:22 PM
I guess I don't get it...

Take away strikes and weapons and what you get is basically standup grappling with restraining intent.

Mary Turner
03-30-2008, 07:28 PM
Yes!
I totally agree, especially point #3. If a technique is not working, Most times I have not moved the center, mine or Uke's in a way that affects balance. Sometimes it is hard to see it when observing experienced folks, but they are dropping their center or subtly turning their hips and really moving their partner.

Sometimes it looks like THE FORCE :)

Ketsan
03-30-2008, 09:53 PM
Hello everyone. Though I have an account on here, this is the topic I never wanted to post. So I am under Annoynamus.

I have been doing Aikido for about 8 years now, and it has become a great important part of my life. There has even been uchideshi phases and lots of money spent on travels and fees, on countless videos and books.

So.. At my school I have learned lots from my Shihan and Aikido. Self Confidence is the big one. My social skills have improved alot as well. I also have broken bad habits I used to do that invalid going out lots to bars.

Aikido has been great to me, but what do you ask then is the problem?

While the problem lies here in... I always wanted to start my own school since I started.. I know it is still 8 - 10 years down the road... This is fine, but the other day I trained with a professional fighter. I did not expect to win sparing, and your right.. I lost..

But then I tried with people who were not even in martial arts, and more then often enough I am still getting my ars handed to me.

This greatly upsets me.. I cannot run a school to teach self defense and confidence if I have not faith my own abilities. :-(

I look at the black belts in my school, and they are able to do all this stuff awesome, however at brown belt I am still missing it.

In relation to this, if I work with new students who co-oporate they look at my technique with awe, and seem impressed. However after training with a few now Aikido people I am finding that people outside don't co-oporate. Even people who are in class that are really stiff make the technique very difficult. I tried to teach one friend ikkyo and he was even stiff as hell and I had trouble with it.. Tried everything to make it work, in the end I resorted to atemi for it to work.

Infact the only way I can make Aikido work for me at all anymore is by adding Atemi. :-( The lost of confidence in my abilities has gotten so bad now that even when doing my technique with others I have to add atemi. It is like a crutch I have to use. I know my teacher has taught atemi many times, but I know alot of the time we havent used it as well. WHY CAN'T I GET IT WITHOUT ATEMI!

I also want to add that I try real hard to obsorbe it, and practise all the time. I focus on every detail, sometimes too hard to the point I lose it.. And I will be honest I am A.D.D, so it is sometimes hard. Honestly I don't know if this is why other people have it by now and I do not. But I honestly feel I am missing everything. I am frustrated and after 8 years I am ready to move to something else.

Unless.............. Unless there is some sort of explanation for this, or some sort of reason that someone can bring to my attention of why I am not getting it. Please tell me there is something to get, because I know my seniors have found it, and even some of my juniors... Just not me. :-(

Any idea on whats going on? Anyone else been here before?

You've got toriitus (or nageitus). The belief that reality should conform to training and that if it doesn't you and the art have failed and/or the belief that anything that doesn't look like training isn't Aikido. There is a cure: ukeitus.

When I was going through what you're going through I was hung up on the fact that untrained people were stopping my technique. My thought process was "I can't do x against a resisting opponent, I can only do it on a co-operative uke. I'm crap, Aikido is crap."
I was so busy worrying about the technique being stopped that I didn't look to see what position uke was in.

Every time someone stops my ikkyo they have their back to me because by the time they feel what I'm doing I've turned them. They're all tense. Tension is good, you can't do much when you're tense, having their back to me is good, it means they are open.
It means there is nothing they can do when I decide to plant my feet and dump my hips into a nice big punch into the back of their head or I decide to stamp down on the back of their knee, or bring them down with irimi nage, or reach under their arm and put them in sankyo or move in and choke them out, or knee them in the kidneys, or drop an elbow on their head or......................evileyes

Maybe there are 7th or 8th dan shihans out there with totally irresistable technique, if so then we all need to work towards that. Until you get there the truth is your technique will be resisted but if you think like an uke and accept the reality of whats going on and react to it in a common sence way then it really doesn't matter.

Aikido works, everything you've been taught is valid, it's just that you've not figured out how to use it.

Daniel Blanco
03-31-2008, 07:51 AM
Just want to inform all concerned my perspective may not have been correct on BJJ,thats because I train in aikido,and also have boxing background (06yrs) I respect all arts,but I am trying to give some positve advice on aikido,remember this is an aikido website,so lets stay focused on AIKIDO.

Cephallus
03-31-2008, 11:09 AM
I totally understand the issues you have with a.d.d. - one of the things I like about aikido (and similar activities) is that it challenges my disorganized brain to find ways to focus. I've found that the more I practice in practical ways (like imitating instruction in aikido), the less the a.d.d. impacts other areas of my life. A fun, non-threatening, yet direct way to learn coping/adaptive skills.

I don't know much about your background, but speaking personally, a.d.d. has definitely impacted my self-confidence. Sometimes it's easy to laugh off some of the harmless issues that come with it (like losing every tool I'm using for a project before finishing), but a lifetime of people making assumptions that you either just don't care or are too lazy to 'get it together' definitely takes a toll.

Anyway, stay with it. Keep learning. And don't get so down on yourself. Focus on the progress you've made in your own life doing aikido.

rob_liberti
04-05-2008, 09:18 PM
Maybe this will help you get some direction (or at least the motivation to go out and look for some). My teacher said the other night that the difference between Budo and Bujutsu is like night and day.

Budo is like a religion: the practitioner takes some mental construct, a set of principles, and keeps those in mind as an ideal, and then goes through stylized moves that allow him or her to feel as though they are putting those ideals into physical motion and instilling discipline in themselves (budo is intended for social benefit). With that there is some exercise for the body. However, no great development of the body ever happens, nor detailed understanding of it; ergo, the understanding people find from doing budo is really not very deep at all. This is Shin-gi-tai in the order expressed in the phrase.

Bujutsu, on the other hand, does tai-gi-shin, exactly the opposite: the practitioner forces his or her body to undergo specific exercises that change the body and give him or her some deep understanding of the body, to great detail. As that understanding develops, the body can be used to perform so-called techniques (which are not really special movements, but only the body in motion according with the understanding given the practitioner), and finally, when the practitioner is really powerful, he or she may decide to no hurt or harm an opponent and use the training as a kind of ascetic exercise.

Thus, budo and bujutsu are sort of polar opposites.

Regards, Gernot

This was such a great post I have wanted to get back to this for a long time now. The interesting point to me about this distinction is that most of the Budo people we all admire have changed their bodies mch more in accord with what was described above in the bujutsu definition. My opinion is that these ideas as polar opposites are only surface level inconsistencies that only few dedicated and passionate individuals have somewhat reconciled. I want to completely reconcile them myself.

Michael asked me 2 questions I have meant to get back to as well. I think many many people want delusion. Many people avoid the work of a transformative practice. Teachers who can help reconcile budo/bujitsu are very hard to find. It is easy to get complacent and get the ego fix of blending in with the martial arts wallpaper. Even the most dedicated, understand that their techniques only work on some percentage of people and work to inmprove the percentage. Breaking through to an understanding where your aikido works on skilled kamikazi type attackers is no small task.

What does aikido look like when both people have internally powered MMA and true fighting experience who are both protecting their aggressor? I'm not sure. I think it will look like atemi(s) with strong inititive, tremendous structural integrity, energy splitting from breath work as some kinds of attacks on people's reflexes and nervous systems into locks, throws, and submissions but at a level rarely seen - if ever - so far. :)

Rob

Dan Austin
04-06-2008, 07:21 PM
Looks like this:
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=NhoLFF3Z7u4

You're joking, right? That's Luis Gutierrez of So-Flo Jiu-Jitsu, an SBGi coach. This has f@#&-all to do with Aikido. He is demonstrating the use of a deep underhook, which the SBGi group learned from Randy Couture. This is MMA applied to streetfighting, which is what SBGi does. Granted this will work if you adopt it for Aikido (and I would strongly recommend people interested in things that work do) but then it becomes increasingly pointless to claim the Aikido label.

What the OP has discovered is that standard Aikido techniques are low-percentage. Perhaps if Ueshiba were alive today he would modify the syllabus, but it is very outdated. If the OP's goal is to teach self-defense, he owes it to future students to learn high-percentage modern techniques. SBGi is a good choice.

Ryan Sanford
04-06-2008, 11:18 PM
You're joking, right? That's Luis Gutierrez of So-Flo Jiu-Jitsu, an SBGi coach. This has f@#&-all to do with Aikido. He is demonstrating the use of a deep underhook, which the SBGi group learned from Randy Couture.
I dunno about you, but all I saw was someone doing irimi-nage.

Demetrio Cereijo
04-06-2008, 11:44 PM
You're joking, right? That's Luis Gutierrez of So-Flo Jiu-Jitsu, an SBGi coach.

No, I'm not joking and of course I know who Luis Gutierrez is.

Dan Austin
04-07-2008, 04:10 PM
I dunno about you, but all I saw was someone doing irimi-nage.

Well I suppose if your Aiki-blinders are opaque enough, you can watch Capoeira and call it Aikido too. ;) The basis of what he's showing is the underhook from Greco wrestling. Please show some evidence that deliberately securing an underhook like this could possibly be considered standard fare in Aikido, preferably something before the modern MMA era.

Dan Austin
04-07-2008, 04:14 PM
No, I'm not joking and of course I know who Luis Gutierrez is.

So what is the point of calling this Aikido? It's not Aikido, it's MMA.

Michael Varin
04-08-2008, 02:23 AM
What the OP has discovered is that standard Aikido techniques are low-percentage. Perhaps if Ueshiba were alive today he would modify the syllabus, but it is very outdated. If the OP's goal is to teach self-defense, he owes it to future students to learn high-percentage modern techniques.

The aikido syllabus is not outdated. It's misapplied. You have to shift your paradigm to understand the relevance of aikido's techniques.

The "modern" paradigm is 1-on-1 empty-handed fighting. The techniques found in aikido don't make much sense in this paradigm, and there are certainly "higher percentage" techniques that can be used, which is now recognizable as mma.

But serious fighting has never occurred on those terms. In serious fighting, people use weapons, numbers, and the element of surprise. In this environment, most of the techniques of mma are suicide.

Are you going to throw a jab at an opponent armed with a machete? How ‘bout a double-leg?

The presence of a weapon changes things.

I firmly believe that the primary reason we don't see bjj techniques commonly used in mma anymore is because they are not necessary when the opponent is unarmed. Ground and pound is much "higher" percentage in that situation.

None of this factors in training methods, which in aikido are typically insufficient to allow the average student to use it at "the speed of life" (thanks David V., I kinda stole that phrase from you).

Demetrio Cereijo
04-08-2008, 09:59 AM
Well I suppose if your Aiki-blinders are opaque enough, you can watch Capoeira and call it Aikido too. ;) The basis of what he's showing is the underhook from Greco wrestling. Please show some evidence that deliberately securing an underhook like this could possibly be considered standard fare in Aikido, preferably something before the modern MMA era.

I think I know you from another place.

Anyway, you can find greco underhook, for instance, in Yoseikan Aikido under the name of Kata Ha Otoshi (is Hyori no kata old enough for you?) and in some mainline Aikido as Kaiten Osae/Kata Ha Gatame).

Dan Austin
04-08-2008, 11:16 AM
I think I know you from another place.

Anyway, you can find greco underhook, for instance, in Yoseikan Aikido under the name of Kata Ha Otoshi (is Hyori no kata old enough for you?) and in some mainline Aikido as Kaiten Osae/Kata Ha Gatame).

The only mention of these I could find on a short search is this http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/aikidobasics-tachiwaza-mae.htm which states that Kaiten Osae is rarely considered a standard technique. I can't find pictures or a description, so I can't verify this. Anyway the SBGi use of the underhook has very specific goals and methods, and is an important part of the whole clinch game. I don't find it credible to claim that this situation is analogous to an obscure technique out of hundreds that may be seen once in a blue moon in particular Aikido schools.

Ron Tisdale
04-08-2008, 11:52 AM
I don't find it credible to claim that this situation is analogous to an obscure technique out of hundreds that may be seen once in a blue moon in particular Aikido schools.

I'm not taking a position one way or the other but...

If that obscure waza is used in the same way, no matter how infrequently...how can it not be credible? I can state that I have seen it taught in a basic class in an IYAF school.

Best,
Ron

Dan Austin
04-08-2008, 12:48 PM
I'm not taking a position one way or the other but...

If that obscure waza is used in the same way, no matter how infrequently...how can it not be credible? I can state that I have seen it taught in a basic class in an IYAF school.

Best,
Ron

Hi Ron,

It's not a credible comparison because in the SBGi curriculum and in MMA securing that specific dominant tie-up position is a big part of the whole clinch game. It's like saying that because you sometimes throw an atemi with the right hand, Aikido uses a right cross like a boxer does. Perhaps another analogy is that idea that something like a position in BJJ is not just a technique, there is a whole strategy and array of counters and recounters pertinant to that position, trained live, to use an overused but good SBGi term. A big part of Randy Couture's game that he brought to the SBGi is based around that underhook tie-up. It's also a much higher percentage thing than getting your ikkynos, nikkyos, and xxkyos, and doesn't belong in the same category for that reason alone. The ratio of underhook usage to standing jointlock attempt in SBGi is probably 10,000 to 1, whereas in Aikido it's probably the reverse. Rough numbers, but in that aspect as well it's in no way comparable.

Demetrio Cereijo
04-08-2008, 01:37 PM
The only mention of these I could find on a short search is this http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/aikidobasics-tachiwaza-mae.htm which states that Kaiten Osae is rarely considered a standard technique. I can't find pictures or a description, so I can't verify this.

From Stenudd site. You could have used Google for your search

http://www.stenudd.se/aikido/tekniker/kaitenosae.jpg

He uses to post here, may be he can explain you how it is done.

Anyway the SBGi use of the underhook has very specific goals and methods, and is an important part of the whole clinch game. I don't find it credible to claim that this situation is analogous to an obscure technique out of hundreds that may be seen once in a blue moon in particular Aikido schools.

MMA and Aikido work under different tactical assumptions and with different training methods. However, some techniques are found in both as they are in many other arts.

Ron Tisdale
04-08-2008, 01:45 PM
Ah, I see...

On the one hand you want to invalidate it because of it's nature as a technique...and if that technique is then found, you want to invalidate it because of training method. Just currious...what is the next hoop to jump through? If say, I can show you where the training method also meets your requirements? :D

Best,
Ron (though I do agree on the training method differences...)

Hi Ron,

It's not a credible comparison because in the SBGi curriculum and in MMA securing that specific dominant tie-up position is a big part of the whole clinch game. It's like saying that because you sometimes throw an atemi with the right hand, Aikido uses a right cross like a boxer does. Perhaps another analogy is that idea that something like a position in BJJ is not just a technique, there is a whole strategy and array of counters and recounters pertinant to that position, trained live, to use an overused but good SBGi term. A big part of Randy Couture's game that he brought to the SBGi is based around that underhook tie-up. It's also a much higher percentage thing than getting your ikkynos, nikkyos, and xxkyos, and doesn't belong in the same category for that reason alone. The ratio of underhook usage to standing jointlock attempt in SBGi is probably 10,000 to 1, whereas in Aikido it's probably the reverse. Rough numbers, but in that aspect as well it's in no way comparable.

Keith Larman
04-08-2008, 06:32 PM
We have similar "underhooks" in Seidokan. Naming is often fraught with dangers as most groups use different terminologies -- we tend to use the term "hiji gatame" unless I'm misunderstanding the conversation. They're not obscure or uncommon at all. Some of them are even on the "required arts" list for our yudansha and have been for decades...

Dan Austin
04-08-2008, 08:30 PM
Hi Michael,

OK, let's dissect these claims. I'm not going to belabor these things because the Aikido faithful are immune to them for the most part, but the OP deserves a fair response.

The aikido syllabus is not outdated. It's misapplied. You have to shift your paradigm to understand the relevance of aikido's techniques.

The "modern" paradigm is 1-on-1 empty-handed fighting. The techniques found in aikido don't make much sense in this paradigm, and there are certainly "higher percentage" techniques that can be used, which is now recognizable as mma.

But serious fighting has never occurred on those terms. In serious fighting, people use weapons, numbers, and the element of surprise. In this environment, most of the techniques of mma are suicide.


That's quite a few direct and implied claims in a short space. My first comment would be that it flies in the face of common sense to imply that an art can have trouble with one opponent relative to MMA, but somehow be superior when there are multiple opponents. So the Aikidoka can't defend himself against the MMA guy, but he can defend against three MMA guys? Hmm. You see the flaw in that logic, I hope.

Then there is the implicit claim that people who train in MMA are somehow too stupid to realize the difference between street fighting and the ring. Apparently only Aikidoka are wise enough to ponder this issue. ;) Just look at the Bas Rutten street defense clips available on YouTube and you'll see that this is not the case. There is no modern paradigm that says street defence is 1-on-1 empty-handed. Any sensible martial artist can understand the difference between sport and street. The SBGi group, since they've been brought up, is a JKD group. They compete in MMA, and also teach for self-defence. They're not stupid, they're very well aware of the differences in the two environments. It's not exactly rocket science, and their "alive" training is going to have far better carryover.

As for multiple opponents, the goal there is the same for any art: get away, or at the least stay on your feet and keep moving. MMA trains staying on the feet against someone skilled and determined to take you down as a matter of course. Yet somehow the Aikidoka is going to be able to stay on his feet, and someone with actual wrestling training isn't? That's ridiculous. You're essentially saying that working on high-percentage counters to common boxing and wrestling attacks is inferior to training low-percentage counters to prearranged attacks that will likely never happen. That makes no sense. At no point is an intelligent modern hybrid approach less prepared than Aikido regardless of the scenario. Take for example this clip that has been posted here many times:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iDlzL7zrNU

This is a boxer doing what Aikidoka dream of, but invariably don't train as effectively for. He didn't seem to have much trouble transitioning from gym training to street use. I know plenty of boxers and MMA guys, and far from getting confused they're rather tough in street confrontations. The idea that an Aikidoka is going to handle street situations better is fall-down funny. In this video clip had one of his opponents tried to grapple him effectively, MMA training would also come to the rescue far better than Aikido in stuffing those attempts. And think about it, if you can hit this well under pressure, what is the use of following it with some throw or lock attempt? At what point do you need to go from atemi to the rest of Aikido? If your atemi is good, the answer is practically never. And here's something important to think about, why even risk tying yourself up with someone if you don't need to, especially in a multiple opponent scenario? Attempting any irimi/tenkan with lock/throw technique X brings you in closer contact and increases the chances of getting tied up in standing grappling. The Aikido approach is much riskier than just being a good puncher and keeping everything near the kill zone of your punching range.


Are you going to throw a jab at an opponent armed with a machete? How ‘bout a double-leg?


That's an interesting choice of examples considering that Aikido has a hard time with jabs and double-legs - AND machetes. At least MMA can handle the first two reliably.


The presence of a weapon changes things.


Yes it does, and the reality is that no art is going to make empty hand vs a machete even. Aikido people are frequently under the delusion that handling someone with a sword or machete would be doable for them because they train against mock sword attacks from a bygone era. Maybe it would come in handy if you're attacked by a drunken time-travelling pirate. ;) This is an area where Aikido's cooperative training is particularly dangerous. It's about as self-defeating as the idea that one should reduce one's own chances one iota by being concerned about harming an attacker. Even Filipino masters wouldn't be so delusional as to feel confident empty-handed against a blade. If you feel the slightest confidence that you can handle that barehanded, your training is having dangerous effects on your mind. Even so, Aikido doesn't train against this nearly as well as Filipino and Indonesian arts, which you will also find trained at a JKD/cross-training gym like an SBGi affiliate. If fighting effectiveness is a goal, the fact is that spending more than 0.2% of your training time on standing joint locks is a waste of time. That works out to about 1-2 minutes a month, which is about right, and only then for fun. ;) Even if done in a more realistic manner than you see in Aikido dojos it's still a horridly inefficient use of limited training time.

The lesson of MMA is that any one art is insufficient to the task of addressing all things with maximum effectiveness, hence the "mixed" in the title. Boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, BJJ, and Filipino/Indonesian systems excel in particular areas, and their combination is far more potent than any single one. Aikido doesn't excel at ANY of the areas covered by these arts. It has a hard time dealing with boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai and BJJ, and doesn't address weapons as realistically as Filipino and Indonesian systems. Yet it's not difficult to find schools nowadays that teach all these things under the same roof.


I firmly believe that the primary reason we don't see bjj techniques commonly used in mma anymore is because they are not necessary when the opponent is unarmed. Ground and pound is much "higher" percentage in that situation.


This is somewhat off the main point, but not quite accurate. I think I know what you're trying to say, but everything you see on the ground in MMA is BJJ technique. You may be projecting the idea that voluntarily pulling guard in MMA is not good, but any sensible practitioner knows this already. It's a no-brainer that being on the bottom in the guard is not an equal position. Ground and pound is simply a strategy of trying to capitalize on that fact rather than trying for an even better position. However the fact is that if the fight does go to the ground in the ring or street, getting guard is better than being under side control or mount. Also for street use many more techniques are available because there will be more clothing on than in the ring. That makes it easier to protect yourself, reverse to top position, or disable. Again using SBGi as an example, they actually train this, using a T-shirt for a rat choke or what have you. No matter how you slice it, MMA technique is going to be more effective than Aikido because the whole point is to find the most reliable techniques and training methods. The sport aspect gives lots of feedback on what's realistic when faced with an opponent tougher than a drunken relative at Thanksgiving. If you go train at an MMA gym, you're not suddenly going to lose your mind and forget what you should and shouldn't do on the street, you'll just have much more reliable tools at your disposal. If training concurrently in Aikido keeps you better in the overall mindset and perspective that you prefer, or you just like it for other reasons, I have no argument with that at all. That's a personal choice, but the more time you spend on mostly useless things like standing joint locks the slower your progress. Every minute you waste doing another round of some multi-syllable sanyko variation is a minute you could have trained something with a much bigger bang for the buck. If you're concerned about weapons there are plenty of schools that cover that better. In terms of really increasing your fighting odds I don't see any advantage to doing Aikido even a little bit, you're simply incurring the opportunity cost of missing out on more efficient training.

The OP's situation is sadly not unusual. He just discovered that he has wasted YEARS of his life and learned nothing that will help him in a fight. In fact he might be a worse fighter for all his training, because instead of acting naturally he's conditioned to fish for low-percentage things. Fortunately for him he found that out in a safe way instead of a real confrontation that could have seen him in hospital, yet people are still advising him to plug away at his training. If his goal is to learn self-defence well enough to be a teacher some day, he would be doing his future students a real disservice to perpetuate the same sort of dysfunction by continuing to train as he has and hoping it will just work better some day. It's also sad to see him blame his ADD. Mr. Anonymous, the fault is not with you, the fault is with what you trained and how. So don't feel bad about yourself at all, you were sold a bill of goods, though it was most likely not deliberate. In fact if your goal is to be a teacher some day, it's important to understand that not all people are equally talented or coordinated. If you believe you're less gifted than others in your school (and most people must be in that boat, statistically) then finding out what works for the non-blessed would be a very good thing indeed for your future students. Then you can be an example that they can follow. I'll cut to the chase and give you the answer in case it isn't obvious by now, no matter what your talent you'll be the best you can be by training the most reliable high-percentage techniques and methods. Only the super gifted can afford to dabble in nonsense.

People can train what they like for personal reasons, but people who want to teach self-defence are a public menace if they willfully or ignorantly present the usual Aikido fare as suitable to that goal. It's also misleading in general to present Aikido as a self-defence art without a major caveat, because it's simply not equal to more modern evidence-based approaches. If you tell noobs off the street that they will learn to defend themselves, they have a reasonable expectation that this will be the case and that it's comparable to other training options available to them. They don't know any better, but you as their prospective teacher do. The argument as to whether you can get there in 20 years with the help of a lot of cross training is debatable, but it's still unfair to omit that and pretend to the lay public that Aikido is anything but a very slow road to self-defence ability at best. The OP should go train in MMA for six months and then beat the crap out of his Aikido teacher for wasting years of his life while taking his money. I would put a smiley after that, but I'm only half joking. He trusted his teacher with his life in a sense, and that's a damn shame. He was clearly looking for self-defence ability. I deplore the fact that anyone can hang out a shingle and be a martial arts teacher. Without an honest up-front presentation of what's being taught it's not much safer for the public than allowing anyone to say he's a dentist. I won't needle anyone for liking Aikido, but as a public service that point deserves to be hammered home instead of sugar-coated or swept under the rug. If you want to learn to defend yourself, there are much more efficient martial arts programs available. To the OP, if you've gotten nothing after many years in Aikido, the smart money says you won't get much more by spending another big chunk of your life doing it. Many people are understandably vested emotionally in Aikido here, and will give other opinions that they are perfectly entitled to, but the truth is that comparing something like SBGi and Aikido is like comparing a high-end sportscar to a hybrid. The hybrid is peaceful, happy and eco-friendly, but if performance is your goal it's not exactly a tough choice. ;)

Dan Austin
04-08-2008, 08:35 PM
From Stenudd site. You could have used Google for your search

http://www.stenudd.se/aikido/tekniker/kaitenosae.jpg



I did, but didn't feel it worth a lot of effort because quite frankly it's a silly proposition. This picture doesn't tell me how he got into it, but from uke's right hand position it looks like it was done off of a shoulder grab. Nage's position is also different in several ways which you can compare to the video posted if you are interested. If Aikidoka want to believe that Aikido includes Greco/MMA wrestling in any meaningful way, they are welcome to do so.

Dan Austin
04-08-2008, 08:50 PM
Ah, I see...

On the one hand you want to invalidate it because of it's nature as a technique...and if that technique is then found, you want to invalidate it because of training method. Just currious...what is the next hoop to jump through? If say, I can show you where the training method also meets your requirements? :D

Best,
Ron (though I do agree on the training method differences...)

Hi Ron,

No, converting the faithful is not within my powers or interest. ;) You are free to believe there is no meaningful difference, although you say you agree on the training method difference. Isn't that already enough? A poor training method can neuter even the best technique, and as I tried to explain a technique does not exist on its own as a very meaningful thing. It fits into a strategic and technical framework. A letter is a letter, but meaning is in words and sentences. Equating Aikido and MMA based on this position is tantamount to equating words based on the letters they contain. Next someone is going to tell me there's an Aikido lineage that pummels for this position. ;)

Enough said, the OP can come to his own conclusions. But, like when purchasing something on Amazon, it often pays to carefully consider the negative reviews and not just the positive raves. Caveat emptor. ;)

Kevin Leavitt
04-08-2008, 11:52 PM
It's all the same to me, but the degree of aliveness affects much about how you will approach and respond to things. It is a small thing, but it is also everything.

Demetrio Cereijo
04-09-2008, 08:59 AM
... but the truth is that comparing something like SBGi and Aikido is like comparing a high-end sportscar to a hybrid. The hybrid is peaceful, happy and eco-friendly, but if performance is your goal it's not exactly a tough choice. ;)

Taxi drivers here are switching to hybrid..., and these are guys very focused in performance. They don't drive a lot of hours daily for fun, they drive in "t3h street" for putting food on the table.
:)

It's all the same to me, but the degree of aliveness affects much about how you will approach and respond to things. It is a small thing, but it is also everything.
Exactly.

Ron Tisdale
04-09-2008, 10:20 AM
A poor training method can neuter even the best technique, and as I tried to explain a technique does not exist on its own as a very meaningful thing. It fits into a strategic and technical framework.

:D I was mostly just ribbing ya... :D BUT I will say that I disagree that aikido has a POOR training method. Good aikido has a DIFFERENT training method, based on different goals.

Best,
Ron

Dan Austin
04-09-2008, 11:49 AM
It's all the same to me, but the degree of aliveness affects much about how you will approach and respond to things. It is a small thing, but it is also everything.

So says a purple belt in BJJ, case closed. ;)

rob_liberti
04-09-2008, 07:52 PM
Dan,

I get the impression that you you feel the OP wanted to learn self-defense and got sold a bill of goods. I re-read that original post and that is just not the case. I seemed to me that this person loved aikido, wanted to be an aikido teacher some day, and wanted to be more martially effective in his aikido against MMA. That describes me too. I don't think I wasted a moment. Thank you very much. I just kept finding other people to help me with my goals. I think that person should do the same.

This high percentage argument is never quite balanced with the high percentage of that sort of training actually being useful.

First, let me say I strongly encouraged an aikido student/friend to GJJ because he spent most of his work life in prison cages evaluating bad guys alone. Seemed like the best fit for him. I don't see myself in that situation too often. :) I might be in a bar when a fight breaks out. I'll want to use my ability to get out of there fast and be home watching TV about the idiots who stayed and fought getting carted off to jail on the latenight news. But to each his own.

Frankly I'm a bit tired of MMA folks talking down to me like high percentage is a new concept. I'm not all that bad at math myself. Maybe I just see a different - dare I say - bigger picture about the hig percentages.

Regardless, I do want the ability to fight MMA folks, have the ability to destroy them, and then not hurt them. So I study that with a MMA teacher who understands a lot of aikido and what looks a lot like DR. I don't think aikido practice has hurt me in my goals at all. I never would have been able to just start from zero and go deal with my current MMA training. That just wouldn't have worked for me.

If the OP wants to be more effective there are better teachers and training methodologies. There are also better ways of being a student. I encourage everyone to find these things themselves.

Rob

Dan Austin
04-09-2008, 11:53 PM
Dan,

I get the impression that you you feel the OP wanted to learn self-defense and got sold a bill of goods. I re-read that original post and that is just not the case. I seemed to me that this person loved aikido, wanted to be an aikido teacher some day, and wanted to be more martially effective in his aikido against MMA.


Hi Rob,

People can obviously read things very differently, but he stated pretty clearly that he trained for 8 years, but not only couldn't get it to work against an MMA guy, a result he probably expected, but against anyone else either - a result he probably didn't expect, which led to much agonizing and then starting this thread.



That describes me too. I don't think I wasted a moment. Thank you very much. I just kept finding other people to help me with my goals. I think that person should do the same.


He is entitled to hear all opinions, but his goal seems a little different than yours.


This high percentage argument is never quite balanced with the high percentage of that sort of training actually being useful.


Based on what evidence...? I think I would just be repeating my earlier lengthy post, my answer here is already contained there. It sounds like you are projecting what "those evil MMA guys" are capable of. Despite the fact that you may see a lot of tattoed shaven-headed guys in MMA, there is no shortage of doctors and other white collar folks you would likely find more respectable, along with serious intellectuals who study these arts. Hell, my doctor has a purple belt in BJJ. There are plenty of schools who take the MMA syllabus and training and train it for street use. Aikidoka do not have a lock on thinking about what to do in real confrontations outside of sport rules! In actual fact by training against unrealistic attacks most of the time, it's probably too much theorizing and not enough doing.


Regardless, I do want the ability to fight MMA folks, have the ability to destroy them, and then not hurt them.


OK you just got done describing a bar scenario where the MMA knuckleheads were stupidly duking it out while you cleverly went home, then you say you feel like you're always being talked down to by MMA guys, and here you say you want the ability to destroy those evil arrogant bastards - and then not hurt them. Man, you've got some issues. Seriously. This is supposed to the art of peace and love, not the art of low self-esteem fantasies. You sound like a guy who got sand kicked in his face and is exorcising childhood demons by envisioning thrashing shaven-headed tattoed MMA losers like Steven Seagal going through Jamaicans. :) No offence but there is some really emotionally immature psychology at work here. We're talking about upping the odds of protecting yourself and your loved ones, not walking around with comic book powers that we magnanimously keep from using on jerkoffs. You and the guy who posted about machetes are really making me wonder about the psychology that may pervade the Aiki-sphere. MMA is not the enemy. Repeat that many times.


So I study that with a MMA teacher who understands a lot of aikido and what looks a lot like DR. I don't think aikido practice has hurt me in my goals at all. I never would have been able to just start from zero and go deal with my current MMA training. That just wouldn't have worked for me.


Fair enough. But you also cross train, which is realistically the only way to gain the skill that Aikido depends on. This is a major point I am making to the OP as well.


If the OP wants to be more effective there are better teachers and training methodologies. There are also better ways of being a student. I encourage everyone to find these things themselves.


No argument there.

Roy Dean
04-11-2008, 11:59 PM
Post #62 should get some kind of recognition (i.e. post of the year, or even post of the decade!).

I agree with everything Dan Austin wrote, and thank him for taking the time to do so.

I had my own disillusionment with the effectiveness of Aikido many years ago, after sparring with a BJJ blue belt (who was really just an old high school wrestler with a rear naked choke). It helped me recognize Aikido for what it is, rather than what I had wanted it to be. I wrote extensively about that process of realization here (http://www.roydeanacademy.com/articles/an_uchideshi_experience_chapter_five), for those interested.

Ultimately, words will not give you the truth, only direct experience will. I remember a discussion on this very board about how kaiten nage was a perfectly viable option against a double leg, rather than a simple sprawl. The Aikido option is always preferred, regardless of how improbable it may be to execute. It's almost like a religious belief, and many of us left that church years ago for the atheistic approach of repeatable, scientifically verified martial effectiveness (and with it, repeatable, scientifically verifiable losses against more skilled opponents).

To the original poster: It seems that people are trying to fill in the chasms on the road to effectiveness through structural realignment, internal exercises, etc. I'm not sure what to think about this, but I'm trying to keep an open mind. What would really help is the slightest amount of visual proof for the claims offered. So I would not venture down that path as a vehicle of saving your Aikido. Here is my alternative:

Video tape a match with your MMA friend and let us see how it unfolds (a good college wrestler will also do if an MMA fighter is unavailable). Do it. Test it. Film, examine, and analyze. This is the path of true progress.

Then let us then look at it objectively and offer advice. If you're serious about opening a school, you need the confidence that only comes through direct experience, with full resistance. That way, you won't be intimidated when the 320 pound powerlifter wants to test you out. You're aware, but not intimidated. You've got it mapped out. You know what techniques will work on this guy because you'd wrestled a thousand bodies at full resistance, and know that big guys are almost helpless once you take their back. You also know they have tight shoulders and are suckers for bent armlocks. You know that if necessary, you will expend up to 50% of your energy to not be sidemounted by the behemoth, and avoid that position at all costs. These are the lessons experience gives you. And these lessons are often taught by losing.

I will say that BJJ has increased my Aikido effectiveness a thousand fold. Against a resisting opponent, I now realize how fleeting those pockets of aiki actually are. BJJ taught me a process of eliminating space with my opponent that is undeniably effective. It taught me how to push, how to pull, and how to set up your opponent to push and pull as you'd like. It taught me how to flow with resistance, and keep calm during duress, even as you're being smashed.

Above all, I realized that softness is an illusion. Soft is not soft, soft is just hard enough.

In my opinion, the only way to save Aikido as a martially viable art form is to not do Aikido. I do not limit Aikido to the severely pared down syllabus derived from Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu. I feel that the BJJ I practice and teach is also Aikido. Minoru Mochizuki did not limit his expression of Aikido to Morihei Ueshiba's tai jutsu techniques, so why should you?

Every generation must rediscover effectiveness for themselves. Your recent experience is a huge step for your own development. Don't stop now. Continue on the path and discover your own truth. It will be infinitely more meaningful than the truth that had been handed to you previously.

Best,

Roy Dean

Kevin Leavitt
04-12-2008, 11:28 AM
good post Roy. My feelings as well, and experiences.

Dan Austin
04-12-2008, 09:03 PM
Post #62 should get some kind of recognition (i.e. post of the year, or even post of the decade!).

I agree with everything Dan Austin wrote, and thank him for taking the time to do so.

I had my own disillusionment with the effectiveness of Aikido many years ago, after sparring with a BJJ blue belt (who was really just an old high school wrestler with a rear naked choke). It helped me recognize Aikido for what it is, rather than what I had wanted it to be. I wrote extensively about that process of realization here (http://www.roydeanacademy.com/articles/an_uchideshi_experience_chapter_five), for those interested.


Hi Roy,

Thank you very much for the compliment, it's sincerely appreciated. I read the article you linked, and I've been chuckling all day about the "Kimo would be the new O'Sensei" line. I suspect that one's going to stay with me. :) You had a wise teacher, and I enjoy your writings and agree wholeheartedly.

I'm not ashamed to admit that "Above the Law" got me into Aikido as well. Seagal did put on a good show, didn't he? A friend of mine got me to see the movie, and thence to a local Aikido school. I had also been to the library and looked at various Aikido books, and was impressed by the photos showing people being tossed about. The amazing thing to me is that I had already done karate and kickboxing for many years, yet because I knew nothing of grappling I still bought it. I did enjoy the classes, and since I wasn't a beginner martial artist I found the techniques to be very easy. As you mentioned, that didn't gain me anything in terms of how quickly I could advance in rank, but for the most part I had emptied my cup and assumed that I needed to walk before I could run, and the realism would pick up with time. Questioning wasn't encouraged, it was a pretty formal environment, and it's a lesson that even someone with a more combative background can drink the KoolAid for a while until his head clears. The higher ranking folks I saw at seminars didn't impress me that they could really pull these things off against a tough fighter, but they did look good. I'm not certain how long I would have stuck with it, but as it happens life periodically insists on moving you to another stage whether you were looking for it or not. I had a sparring match with a good Thai boxer one day, and immediately realized that there was not the slightest hope in Hades of ever getting him with any Aikido technique. It was also glaringly obvious that my timing, perception speed and reaction speed was in the toilet compared to where it was when I used to spar on a regular basis. In real terms, I was worse than before I took Aikido! That deterioration in competitive skills really shouldn't come as a surprise, it's just another affirmation of the specificity principle, but that encounter knocked the KoolAid effect out of my system for good. :)

There are still things that I appreciate about Aikido (residual KoolAid?) but if you are interested in what works, then you have to apply the scientific method and keep the BS detector on high. This is what Bruce Lee recommended decades ago, and what made UFC president Dana White refer to him as the father of MMA. I still don't see a practical alternative to that inescapable logic. Proven fighters like Mario Sperry have the same mindset. When he's asked what his advice for young fighters is, Sperry says to be humble, always be open to learning new things from anyone, and always assume that your opponent is just as skilled, tough, and determined to win as you are. That last bit of advice torpedoes unrealistic attacks, cooperative training, and low percentage technique in one soundbite. Figuring out how to beat that really tough opponent is what will keep you thinking, searching and improving, and the more you improve, the tougher he gets. In terms of gaining real ability, anything else is like playing chess against people who just learned how the little horsie moves - sure you'll look good, but good players will wipe you off the board, and at some level you'll know that. How fun is that really? Ultimately, real reward is proportional to real challenge.

rob_liberti
04-12-2008, 09:35 PM
If I missed the OP point, I humbly appologize.

Hi Rob,Based on what evidence...?


I have to say I wasn't prepared for that. I tried that writing style of making the point, providing an example, and then wrapping up. It appears you responded to my post without reading all of it it first and then going back. I was making a simple real world example of what I might use martial arts for in real life. I don't get attacked in cages and no one has tried ground and pound on me in stop and shop or the bank. Kevin at least trains people whose job it is to be fighting people who I suppose may happen to run out of ammo at the same time the enemy does - but aren't we getting to LOW percentages here in terms of when this is really going to happen? I think it makes a lot more sense for women in high school and colleges to learn ground fighting because I can see a lot more situations where some bad guy might try to lay on top of them in a fight. I can even see it as valuable for school yard scuffles. Anyway. I certainly agree that training high percentage moves is a great idea. My idea is to give me the highest percentage chance of surviving and keeping someone from suing me and taking my house. I honeslty have not seen too many real life situations where someone was sprawling to defend the double leg take down. I think it is a great move. When does it happen? Seems like only if I show up to someone's MMA dojo.

It sounds like you are projecting what "those evil MMA guys" are capable of. Despite the fact that you may see a lot of tattoed shaven-headed guys in MMA, there is no shortage of doctors and other white collar folks you would likely find more respectable, along with serious intellectuals who study these arts. Hell, my doctor has a purple belt in BJJ. There are plenty of schools who take the MMA syllabus and training and train it for street use. Aikidoka do not have a lock on thinking about what to do in real confrontations outside of sport rules! In actual fact by training against unrealistic attacks most of the time, it's probably too much theorizing and not enough doing.

I am not really sure where you got this impression. I train in MMA myself and I'm a white collar person with an unshaven head and I think tatooes look great on other people but on me - not so much. No one is saying that aikido have a lock on thinking. But we do have SOME people in aikido who are capable of thinking and we for some reason still train aikido. Yes, we are all mostly insane. We spend years practice the same thing over and over and expect different results - which I believe is a tell tale sign of insanity. But in my personal insanity, I happen to have a fairly reasonable and logical - and apparently - different opinion of what high percentage criteria to value. It doesn't mean I hate the evil MMA folks or that aikido people are smarter. It just means that aikido people are not necessarily dumber.

Maybe we just value different things. The MMA I'm training these days depends on a lot less doing and a lot more being super relaxed and almost non-doing so physical listening is possible. It's terriblly mentally exhausting getting rid of tension under increasing pressure. I think aikido training CAN BE fantastic help in this if you have some different basics than are generally taught in aikido class, but like Roy Dean basically says, we'll just have to see about how the internal training power bridges the gaps.

OK you just got done describing a bar scenario where the MMA knuckleheads were stupidly duking it out while you cleverly went home, then you say you feel like you're always being talked down to by MMA guys, and here you say you want the ability to destroy those evil arrogant bastards - and then not hurt them. Man, you've got some issues. Seriously. This is supposed to the art of peace and love, not the art of low self-esteem fantasies. You sound like a guy who got sand kicked in his face and is exorcising childhood demons by envisioning thrashing shaven-headed tattoed MMA losers like Steven Seagal going through Jamaicans. :) No offence but there is some really emotionally immature psychology at work here. We're talking about upping the odds of protecting yourself and your loved ones, not walking around with comic book powers that we magnanimously keep from using on jerkoffs. You and the guy who posted about machetes are really making me wonder about the psychology that may pervade the Aiki-sphere. MMA is not the enemy. Repeat that many times.


1) I got done describing the only scenario I can realistically imagine I'll be in a real confrontation in my daily life.

2) I'll want what I want. I'm suprised anyone who is doing martial arts wouldn't want what I described, but it takes all kinds. So you don't want such abilities? I'm not saying I'll achieve them. But heck I think I described Dan Harden fairly well. I want to have his ability. Heck I want to surpass his ability. I work towards that by working out wih him whenever I can - like just today. As far as having comic book level abilities, I wouldn't mind having them either! If I could turn invisible and or fly that would be awesome. If you have no fantasy life as an adult that most likely speaks to issues as well. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't want to be like that myself. I see a lot of martial artists trying so hard to keep it "real". Good luck with that.

Rob

Dan Austin
04-12-2008, 10:44 PM
If I missed the OP point, I humbly appologize.

I have to say I wasn't prepared for that. I tried that writing style of making the point, providing an example, and then wrapping up. It appears you responded to my post without reading all of it it first and then going back.

Hi Rob,

I read it top to bottom, and that was the impression I got; I won't claim it was correct since I'm not a mind-reader. I also won't go into quote-indentation hell by responding point by point.

I actually would have made the same comment about other definitions of high percentage, but my post was already long enough. It's a fair statement to say that if your goal is self-defence, going from say, purple belt to black belt in BJJ probably brings diminishing returns compared to shoring up some other weaker area of your knowledge. Time in any art can become a matter of learning the detailed nuances of that art, but as I said there are other reasons people value certain training. A black belt in BJJ is an accomplishment to be proud of, even if it's overkill for what you're likely to need. That said, there is still high-percentage training vs low-percentage (competitive vs cooperative), and within those there is still high-percentage and low-percentage in terms of responses to the given scenario. A full-grown man is probably never going to be subject to a double wrist grab, but there are still reasonable counters and silly counters even though it doesn't really matter much. ;)

I don't know much about what Dan Harden does, though I've heard good things. I've also followed Mike's and Rob's posts with interest. I would also agree that it remains to be seen what these things can add to the modern repertoire, but I would be very pleased to see a good result. Why would anyone be against impressive martial skills? I believe in keeping an open mind, just not so open that your brains fall out. So I can't go quite as far as wishing for comic book powers, but since I'm not so difficult to please it's really not an issue. Good-for-a-normal-human is good enough for me. ;) Besides, people just aren't meant to have such powers. I remember an old Steve Martin comedy special where he gave a realistic example of what having invisibility powers would do. He was ignored by some attractive women, and so assumed he must be invisible. He excitedly painted a picture of being the world's greatest spy, and the wonderful things he could do for America. In the next scene, he was being led out of the women's restroom by the police, still claiming to be invisible. :)

The important thing to note here is that you also cross-train, which seems par for the course for the respondents here. That should say what it needs to say to the original poster.

rob_liberti
04-13-2008, 08:49 AM
All fair points.

My understanding of the problem statement was:
1) The OP said: "I cannot run a school to teach self defense and confidence if I have not faith my own abilities."
2) The OP felt the people in his dojo could do it.
3) The OP can only do things after atemi.

I do not think it is clear to know if the OP believes the people in his dojo are effective in aikido against non-aikido attacks. My understanding of aikido cooperative model is to work with symbolic attacks with progressive resistance such that the techniques are designed to NOT WORK with low level understanding and ability. As the resistance increases, the techniques are supposed to continue to be on the edge of failure to continually drive you deeper and deeper into internal power. The problem is that the vehicle is generally plagued with delusion. Let's face it, delusion typically pays the rent. But it's not like that everywhere and there are many varrying degrees of this - although in general I tend to find less transformation and research than I would like to see.

My advice to the OP as well as everyone is to concentrate on being a student. People who want to be teachers rather than being forced into it are *generally* the people I don't want teaching me.

To that end, for the OP, get additional help - if that is inside or outside of aikido doesn't matter. I wouldn't say you MUST cross train to get help, that may be going a bit too far. We all don't learn the same way. Good students seek out teachers to help them - *just define your goals clearly*. Are you looking for purely self defense? What exactly is meant by that? Does that include the ability to defend others? (I find aikido generally sucks in that area.)

After defining your goals, the way the math works as I understand it - is that you have to MULTIPLY the probabilities of technical effectiveness by the chance of that situation popping up in the first place to determine if you are wasting time for "reality". So if I'm leaving a bar when a bar fight is starting to happen (which has happened) and someone grabs my wrist or shoulder while I'm trying to get out of the door I suppose I'll be in a higher percentage situation. If someone in that bar goes for real naked choke or a single leg take down, well maybe I'll be screwed. But you have to ask yourself or maybe better others -> Has anyone seen this happen? Was it in a bar full of pissed off and drunken MMA guys? Hey, who pissed off Bas Ruten again?!

Regardless, I honestly think a better argument for doing MMA is if someone is attacking a family member or friend. I don't see a lot of useful aikido things to do in that situation. Sometimes you have to attack and I wouldn't do that with a shomenuchi. :) But that's not "self" defense" as much as "other" defense.

Personally, I am doing MMA as a means to my goals of better transformative practice. I want to learn the internal power and skills, apply them to fighting and aikido so that I can understand a lot more of the spiritual aspects of aikido. That aspect of aikido seems to be sorely lacking in terms of teaching as well. It seems it would be a lot easier for me to grasp it if I were manifesting some of the concepts physically and had something more concrete to relate the theory to. But those are my goals or current path I suppose.

Rob

Kevin Leavitt
04-13-2008, 09:09 AM
Delusion is everywhere. It is what makes the world go round from diets fads to aikido. Without Delusion we'd have no art of aikido. Think about it, two people line up with perfect knowledge of exactly what the other person is getting ready to do! No aikido whatsoever would be possible or ever needed!

Anyway...

Everyone has his/her own reasons, goals, endstates, Delusions, and expectations in life. This also applies to the study of budo to include aikido. Budo is very personal in nature, IMO.

I think most of us, myself included, come to Budo with perconcieved notions about what it is and isn't, and what we expect to get out of the study of Budo.

We live in a world of immediate and instant gratification. It is why we have a Kyu and Dan system. It is why we have a graduated and codified hierachial practice in all arts!

It is also the tools that perpetuate and extend the delusion.

We need these tools though, because, you are right, without them, we would have no students or training partners!

The trick is to provide just enough to provide structure and order and keep things lose enough so people will be frustrated and walk the edge an lose themselves in the abyss of aikido! That is, to disrupt the process of delusion!

I think this is what makes aikido so wonderful as an art! You have to lose yourself to find yourself!

So, I think it is healthy and it is the desired effect to have us study this for years, then "wake up" and realize that we suck and feel we have wasted years of our life studying it, and to then contemplate what might be better or what might be something else we should be studying.

I think a small percentage will do this. Only a small percent. Many will leave the art at this point feeling ripped off maybe. Especially if they don't have adequate guidance and mentorship that can steer them correctly through the fog.

You start asking your dojo leadership some very tough questions and holding them very accountable during this stage. If they do not have the abilities or skill to handle them, then you will lose the student.

Even if you do, the student may not be able to work it out and leave any way.

Some may just simply say "I have the answers I was seeking" an leave.

It is individual in nature.

Things like MMA and BJJ have proven to be very good adjuncts to aikido in this stage as they directly deal with the questions that we develop at this stage, that is they help us push and breakdown the limitations and paradigms of our training.

I think age has much to do with it also. Now in my 40's, I may not have had this same view in my 20's if BJJ or MMA would have been around. I would not have seen aikido for what I see it for right now because althletically and physically I would have been making good success in BJJ and would not have looked long term at the aging process. I see many BJJers in the older generation struggling with this as they become older and the younger generation takes over. What does your practice become in your 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, and 90s???

Good stuff! Keep it up!

MM
04-13-2008, 10:17 AM
The idea that an Aikidoka is going to handle street situations better is fall-down funny. In this video clip had one of his opponents tried to grapple him effectively, MMA training would also come to the rescue far better than Aikido in stuffing those attempts. And think about it, if you can hit this well under pressure, what is the use of following it with some throw or lock attempt? At what point do you need to go from atemi to the rest of Aikido? If your atemi is good, the answer is practically never.


Hi Dan,
I think you probably meant this in general terms rather than an overall blanket, right? As for atemi ... if you think about situations, anyone can find themselves amidst all kinds of things. The legal system in the U.S. can be either helpful or a real pain in the rear. Throwing the first atemi to help gain control of the situation is one thing to a D.A. Throwing severe atemi to end an altercation can be a D.A.s dream come true, especially if he/she is looking to run for office. However, after an atemi, using a throw or lock attempt severly inhibits a D.A.s option to prosecute. If the throw or lock doesn't work and you resort back to atemi, even that sequence of events inhibits prosecution efforts. Just in that instance, aikido servers a world of good. :)

There are others ... controlling with throws or locks in a non-lethal situation is really more desirable anyway. Especially when you get to LE.


And here's something important to think about, why even risk tying yourself up with someone if you don't need to, especially in a multiple opponent scenario? Attempting any irimi/tenkan with lock/throw technique X brings you in closer contact and increases the chances of getting tied up in standing grappling. The Aikido approach is much riskier than just being a good puncher and keeping everything near the kill zone of your punching range.


I think some of the early students have a great answer for that. There are accounts out there about the early students using what they'd learned in fights, bar fights, etc. :)


That's an interesting choice of examples considering that Aikido has a hard time with jabs and double-legs - AND machetes. At least MMA can handle the first two reliably.


Again, you seem to be using a blanket statement for the whole aikido world. That isn't true. Maybe for a majority. :) But, then again, that just shows it isn't the art that fails, but the student. Happens in all the arts: karate, judo, etc.


If fighting effectiveness is a goal, the fact is that spending more than 0.2% of your training time on standing joint locks is a waste of time. That works out to about 1-2 minutes a month, which is about right, and only then for fun. ;) Even if done in a more realistic manner than you see in Aikido dojos it's still a horridly inefficient use of limited training time.

The lesson of MMA is that any one art is insufficient to the task of addressing all things with maximum effectiveness, hence the "mixed" in the title. Boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, BJJ, and Filipino/Indonesian systems excel in particular areas, and their combination is far more potent than any single one. Aikido doesn't excel at ANY of the areas covered by these arts. It has a hard time dealing with boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai and BJJ, and doesn't address weapons as realistically as Filipino and Indonesian systems. Yet it's not difficult to find schools nowadays that teach all these things under the same roof.


The downfall of modern MMA (which is different than what I consider "true" MMA), is that it doesn't ever come close to learning any one art's principles. And that means that they never get close to realizing just what is happening in specific arts. They gain surface knowledge only and think that that knowledge applies to the whole art. It doesn't, but they can't see that because they're busy learning other surface stuff from other arts.

Now, that I'm not saying that modern MMA is bad. Just that there is a weakness in it in that aspect. It's why I see quips like yours often from modern MMA people.


Every minute you waste doing another round of some multi-syllable sanyko variation is a minute you could have trained something with a much bigger bang for the buck.


This is a very good illustration of the weakness I noted above in modern MMA. Sankyo, in aikido, is *not* done to gain a wrist lock. There is a principle in executing sankyo that does not have anything to do with a wrist lock. Believing that sankyo in aikido is all about gaining a wrist lock is utterly wrong and you've missed the principle completely.

Going to go on that note. You want principles ... find a good aikido instructor. I have. Several, in fact. It makes a world of difference. :)

Mark

MM
04-13-2008, 12:22 PM
I had my own disillusionment with the effectiveness of Aikido many years ago, after sparring with a BJJ blue belt (who was really just an old high school wrestler with a rear naked choke). It helped me recognize Aikido for what it is, rather than what I had wanted it to be.


Hello Roy,
As I noted to Dan. I'm hoping that you're not making a blanket statement to all of aikido. I can understand your disillusionment, however, that might not be the case for other schools/dojos/teachers in the aikido world. Unless, you've been to them all. :) Certainly, there are some very ... um, aiki bunny type schools. I've seen vids posted of some dan tests from other schools where the uke is *literally* jumping into breakfalls for the tester. Not my cup of tea, thank you.


To the original poster: It seems that people are trying to fill in the chasms on the road to effectiveness through structural realignment, internal exercises, etc. I'm not sure what to think about this, but I'm trying to keep an open mind. What would really help is the slightest amount of visual proof for the claims offered. So I would not venture down that path as a vehicle of saving your Aikido.


Okay, here I sort of disagree completely. First, like others I've posted to, I would say you are trying to make the mountain come to you on your terms. Instead, try going to the mountain to see for yourself. :) Otherwise the mountain isn't really listening, so all you get is continued being-in-the-dark on the subject. Second, you're giving advice to people without any understanding of the subject. Wouldn't you say that's like being a Liberal Arts major and giving advice to NASA on how to build their Space Shuttle? :) If you wouldn't, then I strongly suggest visiting Dan Harden or Mike Sigman and then posting back here.


I will say that BJJ has increased my Aikido effectiveness a thousand fold. Against a resisting opponent, I now realize how fleeting those pockets of aiki actually are.


I know next to nothing about BJJ. Won't comment on any of that. But, as for "aiki" ... that really depends on your definition and view of it is. :)

Just wanted to offer opinions on those points.

Mark

edtang
04-13-2008, 02:55 PM
I'm sure Mr. Dean isn't attempting to speak for all experiences, but I will ask bluntly to the others with similar experience here on the board - has anyone who's walked away from Aikido and/or decided to cross train in Judo or BJJ or Wrestling or MMA (etc.etc.) not come to at least very similiar revelations about the nature of Aikido?

MM
04-13-2008, 04:38 PM
I'm sure Mr. Dean isn't attempting to speak for all experiences, but I will ask bluntly to the others with similar experience here on the board - has anyone who's walked away from Aikido and/or decided to cross train in Judo or BJJ or Wrestling or MMA (etc.etc.) not come to at least very similiar revelations about the nature of Aikido?

I'm currently training aikido and Albo kali/silat. I haven't had similar revelations yet. If I wanted, I could probably train MMA with a top notch instructor and I still don't think I'd have similar revelations.

Consider this ... Ueshiba Morihei took challenges from top notch Budo people. They considered him very good. Shioda took challenges from other martial artists. He was considered very good. Tohei, Tomiki, etc. So, at some point some people were doing Aikido and it was good.

In other words ... it isn't the art that's wrong ... it's the people doing it. That's blunt and a lot of people will argue that point. But ... if walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc. :)

Mark

Kevin Leavitt
04-13-2008, 06:01 PM
It's not the people that are doing it wrong that is the problem, IMO. It is the expectations they have of aikido that are incorrect. It is the teachers that are failing to provide clear guidance on the path.

It is also the methodology, that is good for transmitting certain things, but also not other things.

Arts like BJJ have been found to help many fill some gaps in producing a "holistic" experience in jiujitsu.

YMMV depending on what your goals and endstates are.

That should not be taken as a slam on Aikido...as Mark states, if it walks and quacks like a duck.....

I think this is sums it up quite well. Many attempt to turn aikido into something other than the duck.

Dan Austin
04-13-2008, 08:10 PM
Hi Dan,
I think you probably meant this in general terms rather than an overall blanket, right? As for atemi ... if you think about situations, anyone can find themselves amidst all kinds of things. The legal system in the U.S. can be either helpful or a real pain in the rear. Throwing the first atemi to help gain control of the situation is one thing to a D.A. Throwing severe atemi to end an altercation can be a D.A.s dream come true, especially if he/she is looking to run for office. However, after an atemi, using a throw or lock attempt severly inhibits a D.A.s option to prosecute. If the throw or lock doesn't work and you resort back to atemi, even that sequence of events inhibits prosecution efforts. Just in that instance, aikido servers a world of good. :)


Hi Mark,

I said "practically never", which is a generalization. It should go without saying that one can always find exceptions. I think the boxer being attacked by four guys in the clip was within rights to punch people, so one can't make blanket statements about how the law will view things because every situation is different. I will reiterate that had he attempted to "control" or lock people in such a situation, it would have been foolish and would have increased the odds of him losing. This falls into the "don't harm the attacker" mantra, which I think is severely misguided. The priority should be the defender. I won't even presume to talk about LE issues, only law enforcement professionals know what they face and what's in their best interest.


Again, you seem to be using a blanket statement for the whole aikido world. That isn't true. Maybe for a majority. :) But, then again, that just shows it isn't the art that fails, but the student. Happens in all the arts: karate, judo, etc.


A statement about the majority is pretty much what a generalization is. :) I don't subscribe to the PC "it's not the art". It's the art AND the man. If my art consists of doing a backflip before every punch, it's a stupid art that maybe one guy in billion will be decent at. Some arts are more practical than others, just as some schools within the same art are better than others. An art doesn't meaningfully exist as a thing separate from its current schools and practitioners, and if most of them suck then the art mostly sucks. If I'm a noob looking for a martial art, and I'm told that 1% of Aikido schools are good, then Aikido pretty much sucks. Only people emotionally vested in art will point to the 1% with pride. ;) If the art is somehow different from what everyone practices in its name, then it's practically dead and the name is just a label.


The downfall of modern MMA (which is different than what I consider "true" MMA), is that it doesn't ever come close to learning any one art's principles. And that means that they never get close to realizing just what is happening in specific arts. They gain surface knowledge only and think that that knowledge applies to the whole art. It doesn't, but they can't see that because they're busy learning other surface stuff from other arts.


Now you're making a generalization and forcing me to point out the exceptions. :) MMA is a sport, not an art. If you can incorporate drunken monkey kung-fu, good for you. But I know what you mean, and ironically, in this case it does depend on the practitioner. :) Some MMA guys may train under someone who isn't deeply knowledgeable in any of the usual constituent arts, while other people have a deep speciality, or may have the opportunity to have separate coaches for wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai and so forth. BJ Penn states in his MMA book that he feels it's necessary to have depth in at least one component. Many if not most of the upper echelon guys in MMA exemplify this. Bas Rutten was a kyokushin and Muay Thai guy who learned grappling. He's also a real thinker, constantly coming up with new ways to win. Same for your Mario Sperrys, Randy Couture obviously is a world class wrestler, and so on. Occasionally you have a freak of nature like GSP, who learned wrestling late in life and is now good enough to consider trying out for the Canadian Olympic team. He's pretty much good at everything in addition to being insanely conditioned. But because a sport is competitive, the people who do acquire serious depth will rise to the top. If someone can get to the top with a generalist knowledge in each discipline, it really wouldn't matter. If you beat everybody, you're just good. That's the benefit of competitive feedback. The rest for martial artists looking for effectiveness is taking the lessons of MMA and applying them to self-defence. If the goal is "for the street", MMA can easily filtered through the same lens as can anything else.


This is a very good illustration of the weakness I noted above in modern MMA. Sankyo, in aikido, is *not* done to gain a wrist lock. There is a principle in executing sankyo that does not have anything to do with a wrist lock. Believing that sankyo in aikido is all about gaining a wrist lock is utterly wrong and you've missed the principle completely.


Let's assume for the sake of argument that the internal guys are correct, and that it's all about a certain body mechanic that's missing in the majority. If that's true, then sankyo simply becomes a means of expressing the body connection or whatever you want to call it in a particular scenario. But if it's about the whole body and how you use it, then a particular instance like a sankyo is no more important than any other technique. Whatever that body skill is, from basic logic and everything I have read it is technique-agnostic. You could practice it thousands of ways without ever doing sankyo. I don't think any of the internal guys does Aikido, and they harp on solo training, which by definition means no partner, ergo no sankyo, nikkyo or anything else. You can delete sankyo from the repertoire and still get what they have. No matter how you look at it, focusing on doing particular technical variations 120,000 times completely misses the point, whether it's for working some overall body skill or for self-defence effectiveness. It's inefficient at accomplishing either goal.


Going to go on that note. You want principles ... find a good aikido instructor. I have. Several, in fact. It makes a world of difference. :)
Mark

Unfortunately that's what everyone under the KoolAid influence will say as well. ;) Not MY school, we do it right. By definition, good martial art X is what's practiced in the poster's school, and bad martial art X is what everybody else does. Heard that way too many times to get excited about the prospect of finding real X. ;)

Dan Austin
04-13-2008, 08:29 PM
Consider this ... Ueshiba Morihei took challenges from top notch Budo people. They considered him very good. Shioda took challenges from other martial artists. He was considered very good. Tohei, Tomiki, etc. So, at some point some people were doing Aikido and it was good.


Even if he was considered good by his contemporaries, what can that mean to us today? Sankyo still isn't likely to save my bacon in a pinch, and nobody's going to shomen-uchi me. Here's about the only footage available of anything the looks remotely uncooperative, and it's not impressive, to say the least:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvJ3bI-VyDg

This is asian master vs fat untrained palooka, and it looks a lot closer a match than it should be. Against guys with real wrestling skills like this completely random clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSe23eKymSM

it would be a washout. Even high school wrestlers in his weight class would be tougher than the fat load his was sparring with, and of course you have much higher levels of skill and athleticism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubxzhsnxh_Y

How is this supposed to deal with modern conditions, where people routinely lift weights and box and wrestle? I'm talking about untrained people, the TRAINED people are at another level entirely. This isn't 1940's Japan, and expecting this level of technique and ability to cut it today just doesn't make any sense.

rob_liberti
04-13-2008, 09:18 PM
Even if he was considered good by his contemporaries, what can that mean to us today? Sankyo still isn't likely to save my bacon in a pinch, and nobody's going to shomen-uchi me. Here's about the only footage available of anything the looks remotely uncooperative, and it's not impressive, to say the least:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvJ3bI-VyDg

This is asian master vs fat untrained palooka, and it looks a lot closer a match than it should be.

I don't think Tohei was allowed to use any techniques or atemi. That makes it a lot harder. What MMA guy could stand up to Herman completely disallowed from techniques or striking again? I'd like to see that clip. Funny thing is Dan Harden could. So could Jill whose been training with Dan for about a year. She is about 100 pounds, and would have made Herman look more stupid than Tohei did.

It's not the 1940s for sure. But some of the training that powered those techniques is alive and well and dare I say improving in terms of being taught effectively in a short time rather than over many many many years. What Mark has been saying about surface level effectiveness rings very true. One of the best MMA types near me stopped rolling so much because he considered himself too old. He had turned 30. :)

Rob

Dan Austin
04-13-2008, 11:39 PM
I don't think Tohei was allowed to use any techniques or atemi. That makes it a lot harder. What MMA guy could stand up to Herman completely disallowed from techniques or striking again?

Well, considering that Herman looks like a complete zero, I'm guessing all of them? Is this a trick question? ;) I think anybody with a decent sense of balance would put Herman down, he's a complete flounder. If you see anything redeeming in this clip we'll just have to agree to disagree on it, I don't know what else to say. I've never seen clips of Jill or any of Dan's students, or Dan himself, so I can't say a thing by way of comparison. Based on his writings though I'm guessing Dan wouldn't be impressed with Tohei here either, but of course that's for him to say. The point is that Ueshiba's contemporaries saying great things about him doesn't give us a lot of information.

rob_liberti
04-14-2008, 12:05 AM
Herman may be complete zero ability wize but he was like 200+ lbs. When you are not allowed to hit him or do any techniques, exacly what would you do that would be so different from Tohei? Answer that question.

While I'm sure that while any professional fighter could stand up to such an attack by just ignoring Herman, I'm sure that they would definately get pushed around by 200+ lbs of force pushing them when they can't do any techniques or striking. And my point here is that those MMA heros would probably look a lot like Tohei or mostly likely get pushed around MORE.

As far as Dan and his students. I've personally seen Jill doing that same exercise with Dan attacking like Herman (not like Dan would attack with internally powered technique and striking) and she handles such attacks by basically just standing in one place, disrupting the attacks, and not be knocked over at all. It's incredible. That is the level beyond very impressive external power that fades as you get older.

I would suggest that Tohei sensei - 20 years after that film would stand up against a Herman like attack with the same rules even better. If the typical MMA guy tries this with the same rules, and then again 20 years later, I would guess that person would do worse.

Rob

Dan Austin
04-14-2008, 12:34 AM
Herman may be complete zero ability wize but he was like 200+ lbs. When you are not allowed to hit him or do any techniques, exacly what would you do that would be so different from Tohei? Answer that question.


Tohei is the one who is supposedly capable of doing things differently and better than your average Joe. Isn't it supposed to look better than this even without using ikkyo or another "technique"? He should be able to decisively move someone without resorting to a lock, right? So where is anything like this evident in the Tohei clip? It looks like a shoving match with some judo thrown in. Ueshiba was supposedly able to get people to fall down even without touching them, how is that not possible under these rules? There are plenty of examples here that would be fine in this no-atemi no-arm-attack situation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUtB2aB8Q_Q

You talk about 200 lbs, at the end here Ueshiba is taking on what looks like a dozen people together, that's a lot more than 200 lbs. So why is Tohei having so much trouble with one uncoordinated guy? The only apparent difference is the lack of cooperation. If Tohei doesn't impress, how is his opinion of Ueshiba's skills going to impress? Past tales of greatness aren't going to help, which is why so many people believe the art needs to be seriously updated to meet modern standards.

DonMagee
04-14-2008, 07:28 AM
Post #62 should get some kind of recognition (i.e. post of the year, or even post of the decade!).

I agree with everything Dan Austin wrote, and thank him for taking the time to do so.

I had my own disillusionment with the effectiveness of Aikido many years ago, after sparring with a BJJ blue belt (who was really just an old high school wrestler with a rear naked choke). It helped me recognize Aikido for what it is, rather than what I had wanted it to be. I wrote extensively about that process of realization here (http://www.roydeanacademy.com/articles/an_uchideshi_experience_chapter_five), for those interested.

Ultimately, words will not give you the truth, only direct experience will. I remember a discussion on this very board about how kaiten nage was a perfectly viable option against a double leg, rather than a simple sprawl. The Aikido option is always preferred, regardless of how improbable it may be to execute. It's almost like a religious belief, and many of us left that church years ago for the atheistic approach of repeatable, scientifically verified martial effectiveness (and with it, repeatable, scientifically verifiable losses against more skilled opponents).

To the original poster: It seems that people are trying to fill in the chasms on the road to effectiveness through structural realignment, internal exercises, etc. I'm not sure what to think about this, but I'm trying to keep an open mind. What would really help is the slightest amount of visual proof for the claims offered. So I would not venture down that path as a vehicle of saving your Aikido. Here is my alternative:

Video tape a match with your MMA friend and let us see how it unfolds (a good college wrestler will also do if an MMA fighter is unavailable). Do it. Test it. Film, examine, and analyze. This is the path of true progress.

Then let us then look at it objectively and offer advice. If you're serious about opening a school, you need the confidence that only comes through direct experience, with full resistance. That way, you won't be intimidated when the 320 pound powerlifter wants to test you out. You're aware, but not intimidated. You've got it mapped out. You know what techniques will work on this guy because you'd wrestled a thousand bodies at full resistance, and know that big guys are almost helpless once you take their back. You also know they have tight shoulders and are suckers for bent armlocks. You know that if necessary, you will expend up to 50% of your energy to not be sidemounted by the behemoth, and avoid that position at all costs. These are the lessons experience gives you. And these lessons are often taught by losing.

I will say that BJJ has increased my Aikido effectiveness a thousand fold. Against a resisting opponent, I now realize how fleeting those pockets of aiki actually are. BJJ taught me a process of eliminating space with my opponent that is undeniably effective. It taught me how to push, how to pull, and how to set up your opponent to push and pull as you'd like. It taught me how to flow with resistance, and keep calm during duress, even as you're being smashed.

Above all, I realized that softness is an illusion. Soft is not soft, soft is just hard enough.

In my opinion, the only way to save Aikido as a martially viable art form is to not do Aikido. I do not limit Aikido to the severely pared down syllabus derived from Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu. I feel that the BJJ I practice and teach is also Aikido. Minoru Mochizuki did not limit his expression of Aikido to Morihei Ueshiba's tai jutsu techniques, so why should you?

Every generation must rediscover effectiveness for themselves. Your recent experience is a huge step for your own development. Don't stop now. Continue on the path and discover your own truth. It will be infinitely more meaningful than the truth that had been handed to you previously.

Best,

Roy Dean

I don't think I could of ever written anything that well. Great post.

MM
04-14-2008, 07:29 AM
An art doesn't meaningfully exist as a thing separate from its current schools and practitioners, and if most of them suck then the art mostly sucks. If I'm a noob looking for a martial art, and I'm told that 1% of Aikido schools are good, then Aikido pretty much sucks.


And there's the real point. At what percent are there good versus bad schools? Has anyone invested the time to figure that out? Or are they going by the 0.5% of total schools that they've actually studied or been to a seminar? :) It's a hard thing to guess. I know of a couple of systems that are doing good stuff and a couple that are not doing good stuff. So, for me, say 50/50-ish.


Let's assume for the sake of argument that the internal guys are correct, and that it's all about a certain body mechanic that's missing in the majority. If that's true, then sankyo simply becomes a means of expressing the body connection or whatever you want to call it in a particular scenario. But if it's about the whole body and how you use it, then a particular instance like a sankyo is no more important than any other technique.


Yep. And that's precisely the point. Sankyo in aikido isn't about getting this wrist lock that looks like sankyo. It's about control of the other person through that physical point of contact. So, why sankyo? Think about trying to armbar someone while grappling. You can't armbar a bent, pliable arm. You have to stretch it out and twist it just right to get the joint locked. Sort of similar with sankyo. Only it goes one step further. Twisting the wrist in a sankyo takes the slack out of the arm and shoulder and gives a concentrated connection through to the person's center/hara/dantien/whatever. From there, you can single weight the person, etc. The same goes for nikyo, ikkyo, kotegaeshi, etc, etc.

back to your point. Yep, technique doesn't matter. :) Once you get to a certain point in aikido, you realize this. That what you are working on in training isn't about getting this or that technique out in the "real world". It's all about keeping structurally intact while destabilizing the other person on contact through various physical interactions in a dynamic environment. The art that is called aikido uses certain "techniques" (These will vary from school to school but some carry over) to train in this manner.


Whatever that body skill is, from basic logic and everything I have read it is technique-agnostic. You could practice it thousands of ways without ever doing sankyo. I don't think any of the internal guys does Aikido, and they harp on solo training, which by definition means no partner, ergo no sankyo, nikkyo or anything else. You can delete sankyo from the repertoire and still get what they have. No matter how you look at it, focusing on doing particular technical variations 120,000 times completely misses the point, whether it's for working some overall body skill or for self-defence effectiveness. It's inefficient at accomplishing either goal.


Solo training is only one part of the equation. How do you know your solo training is going down the right path if you don't test it? :) So, yes, there is more than just solo training. But, I agree it can be technique-agnostic.

In regards to "focusing on doing particular technical variations 120,000 times completely misses the point", I agree and I disagree. It isn't about techniques, no. But using techniques to train is worth doing. So is resistance in training. So is freestyle of some sort. And good aikido schools have all that. :)


Unfortunately that's what everyone under the KoolAid influence will say as well. ;) Not MY school, we do it right. By definition, good martial art X is what's practiced in the poster's school, and bad martial art X is what everybody else does. Heard that way too many times to get excited about the prospect of finding real X. ;)

Eh, well, I've been in good dojos and bad dojos. Seen some really good stuff and some really bad stuff. As they say ... YMMV. Me? I'm just trudging along outside of organizations, hoping that what I'm doing is good.

Mark

MM
04-14-2008, 07:40 AM
Even if he was considered good by his contemporaries, what can that mean to us today?

and


Past tales of greatness aren't going to help, which is why so many people believe the art needs to be seriously updated to meet modern standards.

Dan,
You've touched upon the highly debated point we in the aikido world are having. To me, it's obvious that IF Ueshiba, Tohei, Tomiki, Shioda, etc were very skilled and they all said they did aikido, then some "thing" was lost between then and now if we do not have any more people of that skill level. So, no, I don't believe that the art needs to be "updated". Rather it needs to regain what it originally had. If it does that, IMO, it will meet modern standards.

Mark

rob_liberti
04-14-2008, 07:49 AM
I agree entitrly. In my opinion Osensei had something he didn't pass on directly. Maybe there was some reason, like one of those blood oaths people take when studying some Koryu. Maybe Osensei felt he could teach by means of kinesthetic perception and drop hints using kotodama. I had been trying to learn that way myself becuase I thought it was the ONLY way until I met Dan. Now I get to train both ways and it is very interesting.

For some reason I thought Dan was comparing aikido training to MMA training and using this bizzare test for the comparison. Since I'm actively practising all 3 things, I feel like I can respond with a bit more insight than the norm.

In that video, Tohei WAS clearly deomonstarting that he was one who is was capable of doing things differently and better than your average Joe. You can bring anyone from MMA (except Dan) to show me how they handle that situation and you'll see that they don't handle it nearly as well as Tohei sensei did when he was totally suprised by this set up. You can pick the MMA person and let them know to start preparing for it now. ;)

I've personally witnessed one of the people who train that exact sort of thing directly with clear instructions do it even better. I'm training to be abe to do that too so I have a pretty good idea what to look for in terms of posture, arm movements led by intention, and central pivoting. Tohei sensei did okay for a surprise test like that.. Give me some time and I'll be happy to show you myself. I'm kind of a bonehead, my legs still shake wildly trying to hold the stance for any length of time (and I can probably squat 400lb+ easily so it has little to do with leg muscles).

But the bottom line here is that you define your goals, and seek out proper training to achieve it. It can be found in aikido if you seek it out. It can be found outside aikido as well. I got myself a structural tutor if you will. I could have taken the longer road but that didn't match my goal. I'm not sure what the OP wanted for their goals - but I won't agree that MMA is the ONLY way to achieve any martial goals. I've provided enough examples to support the position and I'm certainly not wearing aikido-blinders. Just taking on what seems to be MMA-blinders (which is a good way for a short time which meets only CERTAIN goals itself and meets THOSE well).

Rob

Budd
04-14-2008, 09:35 AM
Just like, maybe, some skills didn't get passed down in the mix of transmission, I don't think that means that it's not a good idea to be able to train/spar/randori against someone executing a skilled attack. Just because you don't see video of aikidoka doing it, doesn't mean it ain't happening. I like working out with MMA folks. I like working out with BJJ folks, wrestlers, boxers, etc. I like scrapping ;) These days I'm spending time building some skills I didn't have before. At some point, I'll go back to working out with other folks more, but for right now, I'm kinda happy having lots of dedicated time and a narrow focus.

But, I also think it depends on the skill set you want to build. If you are training to manifest "teh in73rnal skillz", then sparring against resistance, in the earlier stages, may be detrimental to your development of them. At some point, I think you need to pressure test them against skilled people (and skilled in ways you are not, maybe) in an honest fashion -- but there's limitations around that, too.

But basically, running your mouth about what your teacher can do, doesn't exactly give you any credibility for having an informed opinion or being able to demonstrate anything worthwhile. In other words, what can you do? What are you training to do? If you aren't worried about being able to use your skills against someone offering a skilled attack - or in a randori situation, then what's the problem? If you are, then get thyself into a randori situation and see what happens, already . . . no need to overcomplicate things with "what if's" or point to other people . . . what can you do?

If you are in aikido and care neither about internals or sparring, then no problem, enjoy yourself. If you care about both, then your training agenda better include a logical progression towards both (and maybe worrying more about that rather than talking about what your teacher can do - especially if you can't do it). If you are in MMA and don't think there's much value in aikido (or only 2% value) good, thanks for offering your opinion. My experience is different, but I'm too lazy to bother trying to change your mind ;)

rob_liberti
04-14-2008, 08:16 PM
But basically, running your mouth about what your teacher can do, doesn't exactly give you any credibility for having an informed opinion or being able to demonstrate anything worthwhile. In other words, what can you do? What are you training to do? If you aren't worried about being able to use your skills against someone offering a skilled attack - or in a randori situation, then what's the problem? If you are, then get thyself into a randori situation and see what happens, already . . . no need to overcomplicate things with "what if's" or point to other people . . . what can you do?


Seems to be a chasm between "a bit more insight than the norm" and "doesn't give you any credibility".

"Running your mouth about what your teacher can do"?! That kinds of speaks to finding someone who can help you achieve the goals you have defined for yourself. Especially since the point of what I was saying was that I found someone with the skills I wanted who had successfully imparted some of those skills rather quickly. If that was truly directed at me then I'm surprised you didn't agree with the relevance.

Even if that is not directed at me, all i can say is: if you want to only know about opinions from more accomplished folks there is a "voices of experience" section here.

It's hard to tell if that was directed at me because we seem to agree on every other point. Just in case - to make it abundantly clear, (because I was the last poster) my answer to: What can *I* do? - would be that I can define my goals, and find people with those skills to help me attain them. I can also resist 10 times the push I used to be able to. I can listen to other people's bodies remarkably better than ever before. I can relate what I'm learning to people who are ahead of me because I'm on the same track. My ability to recognize such things at a basic level is maybe moderately informed as opposed to expert. But I believe I had already made that clear to avoid any such confusion.

Rob

Budd
04-14-2008, 09:05 PM
Hi Rob - nope, not solely directed at you - I don't think I've ever asked that only experienced people chime in (hell, I'm unexperienced, depending on your viewpoint). What I think is more powerful an argument, though, rather than talking about how tough somebody you're studying under is (because even the greatest teachers have students that suck and never get anywhere) is what you can do right now - what you're training to do, specifically . . . is it receive pushes? Build structure? Apply what you're doing in a freestyle environment?

I agree with a lot of things you say regarding MMA and Aikido, but what are you training to do right now (beyond the higher level ki powers)? And . . . how is it going (besides receiving ten times the push - though what are you doing differently to achieve that, for that matter)? Are you finding your aikido is better now? Your MMA sparring? You see what I'm getting at? Most of us have a "where we'd like to get to" place in the training journey, but I'm particularly interested in the cold assessment of "where we are right now", because I think realistically you only really make progress farther down by creating those little checkpoints along the from from A to B . . . so . . . whatcha doing now? ;)

For example . . . Me, I'm seeing how I can use the ground in a single leg to take someone down a lot easier than I could before when I was using raw muscle . . . :D

rob_liberti
04-14-2008, 11:10 PM
I agree it may have been stronger had I been say 5 years further down my current path. I just didn't want to wait that long before posting. ;)

I'm currently in the duldrums of building better structure/clean power lines and applying intent to new skills.

My aikido is much better now. I understand a lot more what Gleason sensei is telling me in aikido. The principles make a lot more sense because I'm training some of them in a much more isolated way.

Also, I suppose I'm building/rebuilding my standing, resisting of throws, walking, sword swings, punches, ground fighting, low kicks. None of that is all that impressive right now probably to anyone but me becuase I'm so aware of the differences. I showed my 4 year old how to row backwards while pushing his intent forwards at the same time. About an hour later my wife tried it out by grabbing his hand while he did it and remarked how he was energetically splitting her senses or something like that.

Good luck in your training!

Rob

gi_grrl
04-15-2008, 03:00 AM
nobody's going to shomen-uchi me.


Many of the comments in this thread seem to be from people that train in aikido at beginner levels. Aikido techniques against a hand or shoulder grab are beginner level techniques. Techniques against shomenuchi or yokomenuchi are medium level techniques. We start small, with soft attacks, and uke learns to flow with the technique. But aikido is a martial art. A shomen attack becomes a straight punch (or a knife stab), a yokemen becomes a roundhouse punch (or a knife slash).

When aikido students understand the basics (how the techniques work, how to flow and extend), then their training should start to get harder - and by that I mean, the attacks should get harder. They should be realistic - uke should be coming in hard and fast, trying to knock your block off. Attacks should come from different distances, at different speeds, from different directions, from multiple attackers.

And then when the techniques don't work, you go back to the basics. Because if the techniques don't work, then you don't understand aikido yet.

At least, that's how it works in my dojo. I have trained in schools where the attacks are predominantly soft, and the students' aikido falls apart if someone attacks them hard. They don't know how to deal with more realistic attacks. But when students from soft styles come to my dojo, the learn quickly if they have already a good grasp of the basics. It's like taking theory and putting it into application.

My advice (and I heed it myself) to Annoynamus Person 1231 is to just keep on training. If you want to deal with realistic attacks, either change dojos or do as others have advised and cross-train.

One thing to remember - your training will always be better if you can train with peers or betters. I wouldn't rush off to start your own dojo. I teach, and learn a lot from teaching, but I learn a whole lot more training with partners that challenge me. You want people around who won't go with the technique unless it's perfect, and that means people who've been training at least as long as you - people you cannot overpower or force.

Good luck!

rob_liberti
04-15-2008, 07:33 AM
Fiona,

Do you teach people how to deal with realistic attacks?
Can you describe the realistic attacks? How are their MMA skills?
How balanced are the attackers? Do they use any combinations?

What do you teach for protecting "others" using your aikido skills?

Can you describe the basics you are developing at your dojo beyond other dojos that better prepare you for more realistic attacks?

I'm very open to your training ideas. Thanks, Rob

Kevin Leavitt
04-15-2008, 08:03 AM
Budd,

You comiing down for Aunkai workshop? If so, would love to roll around with you. I am really looking forward to getting down on the ground with Rob John!

Budd
04-15-2008, 08:52 AM
Hi Kevin,

Unfortunately, I'm leading a project in Mississippi and my best bud from high school is getting married in CA around that time as well - so I am not going to be able to make it *GRUMBLE* - HOWEVER - there's no reason why we can't just hook up at some point post - workshop and play (seeing how some other folks want to participate as well).

As I mentioned, I've backed off the more pugilistic stuff for now, while I just work the bodyskills (bad movement habits come back when I get competitive ;) ), but the rolling is something I can be very relaxed/chill about - so that would be fun!

Best,

Kevin Leavitt
04-15-2008, 04:53 PM
I here ya....i have the exact same issues with punching. Rolling is not a problem as long as you avoid eye contact :)

Dan Austin
04-16-2008, 12:59 AM
You've touched upon the highly debated point we in the aikido world are having. To me, it's obvious that IF Ueshiba, Tohei, Tomiki, Shioda, etc were very skilled and they all said they did aikido, then some "thing" was lost between then and now if we do not have any more people of that skill level. So, no, I don't believe that the art needs to be "updated". Rather it needs to regain what it originally had. If it does that, IMO, it will meet modern standards.

Mark

Not to be the contradiction police, but a few posts back when I talked about the "percent suckage" you said:

"I know of a couple of systems that are doing good stuff and a couple that are not doing good stuff. >So, for me, say 50/50-ish. "

So on the one hand you're saying finding a good Aikido school is easy (50-50 in your experience), on the other you seem to subscribe to the idea that the core of Aikido has been lost, as the internal guys say. Among the people posting on this thread there must be thousands of direct and indirect connections with other Aikidoka, and the only people generally acknowledged by the board to have these skills in any serious measure are Dan Harden, Mike Sigman, Akuzawa, and Rob John. We can presume that there may be other more advanced people that train with them or their teachers, but still the numbers are vanishingly small compared to the population of Aikidoka. It's a far cry from 50-50, it sounds like very small, secretive groups that are just becoming publicly known.

If this is correct, then the overwhelming majority of Aikido people doing sankyo are just doing a lock, basically, and completely missing the boat. Is that a fair interpretation? However for those who are working on the original core body skill or whatever you want to call it, it could be done by training sankyo or anything else, and the Dan Hardens of the world don't seem to have anything to do with sankyo. Harden seems to incorporate this into MMA, which to me is the only thing that makes sense. I've seen you espouse the "you fight like you train" idea, which I agree with, so I'm still confused as to why you wouldn't train an MMA technique internally instead of a sankyo internally. The only thing I can come up with is that if you train in an Aikido school I suppose you really don't have much choice. :) Other than that I'm at a loss as to how "train internally" + "you fight how you train" leads to training something that you still won't deal with in a fight internally or otherwise. How you do sankyo has no bearing on how likely sankyo is to be on the menu against serious opposition. It's still a low-percenter. Restoring internal skills to Aikido sounds great, but there is still technique and training to be updated.

Dan Austin
04-16-2008, 01:22 AM
Hi Fiona,

Many of the comments in this thread seem to be from people that train in aikido at beginner levels.


Actually I think most of the comments are from people who have advanced beyond what most Aikido schools offer.


Aikido techniques against a hand or shoulder grab are beginner level techniques. Techniques against shomenuchi or yokomenuchi are medium level techniques. We start small, with soft attacks, and uke learns to flow with the technique. But aikido is a martial art. A shomen attack becomes a straight punch (or a knife stab), a yokemen becomes a roundhouse punch (or a knife slash).

When aikido students understand the basics (how the techniques work, how to flow and extend), then their training should start to get harder - and by that I mean, the attacks should get harder. They should be realistic - uke should be coming in hard and fast, trying to knock your block off. Attacks should come from different distances, at different speeds, from different directions, from multiple attackers.


I'm sorry, but I just don't believe it. I have NEVER seen Aikido done against anything I would consider realistic. Doing a reverse punch as hard and fast as you can is still meaningless when nage knows it's coming and uke leaves his arm hanging out in space for nage to work on. I know this is what passes for realistic every time I have heard this claim, but using stronger faster attacks in cooperative training doesn't make it anywhere near competitive training. The only thing I've seen that's competitive at even a low level is in the aiki-boxing thread, and the result is as expected (with all due respect to those guys). Good modern striking frustrates every attempt to do anything other than modern striking, or going full into a clinch. Any clever counters that depend on manipulating the opponent via his arms are suicide to try on anybody decent, end of story. Anyone making a serious claim to be able to do that can expect the "video or it doesn't happen" refrain, and rightly so. ;)

And then when the techniques don't work, you go back to the basics. Because if the techniques don't work, then you don't understand aikido yet.


That's easy to say, but difficult to prove - in fact no one has done it. No one has demonstrably gotten to a level where the techniques will work against any serious competition, let alone elite competition. The alternative and more likely correct explanation for things not working is that current Aikido won't cut it without serious retrofitting and updating. The idea that it's the person and not the art is, objectively speaking, hopeful but unproven speculation. The OP should ponder the logical truth of that statement carefully. The last thing I would advise is to simply keep on plugging away as he has.

Aristeia
04-16-2008, 01:36 AM
I've said this before and I'll say it again. If it's the person not the art - why bother training at all?

Ketsan
04-16-2008, 07:02 AM
Amazing. The test of our martial art is getting attacked by a boxer/kick boxer/mmaer. When was the last time that ever happened? How "real" is that?

I've been attacked many times the most common attack in my experience is katadori jodan tsuki, one of those unrealistic Aikido attacks that no-one ever does, supposedly.

To my way of thinking the problem with the entire martial arts world at the moment is that 99% of practitioners and students have never been in a real fight.

Unfortunately we all think like defenders "If I am attacked I will do this" which is fine except we assume that the other guy is going to attack us in the way we expect to defend, we have to get past the idea that people want to fight us.
They don't. They want to beat us up without risking getting beaten up. "know yourself and know your enemy..........."

Aikido doesn't work against boxing attacks...and what? Is boxing an effective form of mugging? Is MMA an effective form of mugging?
May as well ask it "Is Aikido an effective form of mugging?"

The questions we need to ask ourselves are these:

1) How do I get someones phone off someone that doesn't want to hand it over, without getting into a fight?

2) How do I beat someone up in a bar, without getting into a fight?

These aren't really questions of technique, they're strategic questions. We can argue that Aikido as a group of techniques is ineffective against MMA as a group of techniques all day long.

What's important is that which ever group of techniques you chooses fits and counters the strategy employed by people who are actually going to attack you and by asking these questions we can begin to sort out what kind of strategy we are likely to face.

The people Amir Krause calls warriors are the people that understand what it is to attack someone. They know how to do it and so they know how to counter it. Most people in martial arts don't bother worrying about how to beat someone up in a completely unprovoked attack, it's counter to our training and our self image, so we've no clue who our enemy is any how he operates.

I suppose basically our problem is that we're a nice bunch of people trying to become better, whereas really what we need to be doing is spending time getting familiar with being nasty.

MM
04-16-2008, 08:04 AM
Not to be the contradiction police, but a few posts back when I talked about the "percent suckage" you said:

"I know of a couple of systems that are doing good stuff and a couple that are not doing good stuff. >So, for me, say 50/50-ish. "

So on the one hand you're saying finding a good Aikido school is easy (50-50 in your experience), on the other you seem to subscribe to the idea that the core of Aikido has been lost, as the internal guys say.


Seems like something of a contradiction, doesn't it. :) Then again, I'm nowhere near as eloquent as George Ledyard. One day, maybe. I haven't been to a whole lot of other aikido schools. So, take my experiences in that light. And I won't go into the schools doing what I'd consider "bad" stuff, but I'll illustrate a couple of the schools that I think are doing "good" stuff. One would be Itten dojo. Another would be Ledyard's dojo. I've heard some good things about Allen Beebe, so I'd count him in there. Some of the people at Sorrentino's dojo have seen Mike Sigman twice, so there's something there at his dojo. That's four dojos. There are others. And they're working on this "core of Aikido" that's been lost. But, considering that there's hundreds, if not thousands of aikido dojos, no, it wouldn't be easy to find a place like that.

And I didn't say that for everyone it was 50/50. Just that it has been my experience. :)


Among the people posting on this thread there must be thousands of direct and indirect connections with other Aikidoka, and the only people generally acknowledged by the board to have these skills in any serious measure are Dan Harden, Mike Sigman, Akuzawa, and Rob John. We can presume that there may be other more advanced people that train with them or their teachers, but still the numbers are vanishingly small compared to the population of Aikidoka. It's a far cry from 50-50, it sounds like very small, secretive groups that are just becoming publicly known.


I think you mistook my saying that some dojos are doing "good stuff" to mean that they are experts in these skills. I didn't mean it that way. I meant that these dojos are doing good stuff. Erg. Look at it this way. There are some dojos that have people who have gone out and trained with the above mentioned people. While there are other dojos where the people do not go outside their system/school and some places where it is frowned upon to go outside their system/school (or so I'm told). For me, the former is doing good stuff while the latter is doing bad stuff.

As another example, Ron's dojo. Utada sensei invites Ikeda sensei in to teach at seminars. That's great, IMO. Not only are the people at the dojo getting some view into another school, they are getting hands on training with Ikeda sensei (He makes it a point to try to get around to everyone there). If you'll remember, Ikeda sensei is training with Ushiro sensei.


If this is correct, then the overwhelming majority of Aikido people doing sankyo are just doing a lock, basically, and completely missing the boat. Is that a fair interpretation?


I think most people training under a few years in aikido, yeah, that's true. But, not overall. I know of several places that teach sankyo, not as pain compliance, but as a control of the other person's center. But, again, I'm going with my experiences. YMMV, as they say.


Harden seems to incorporate this into MMA, which to me is the only thing that makes sense.


Hmmm ... If you want to try to make sense of other things, then my best suggestion is to make a workshop with Sigman and a seminar with Akuzawa. While I haven't trained with Akuzawa, I'm pretty sure he incorporates his training differently than Harden or Sigman.

But, the bottom line isn't the incorporation at all. Because, whatever martial art you are doing -- that will be what you incorporate these skills into. These skills aren't "tools to put in your toolbox" to use at opportune times. These skills are like breathing. They become a part of you. It's why all of Takeda's students looked so different. It's why Ueshiba's students looked so different.


I've seen you espouse the "you fight like you train" idea, which I agree with, so I'm still confused as to why you wouldn't train an MMA technique internally instead of a sankyo internally. The only thing I can come up with is that if you train in an Aikido school I suppose you really don't have much choice. :) Other than that I'm at a loss as to how "train internally" + "you fight how you train" leads to training something that you still won't deal with in a fight internally or otherwise. How you do sankyo has no bearing on how likely sankyo is to be on the menu against serious opposition. It's still a low-percenter. Restoring internal skills to Aikido sounds great, but there is still technique and training to be updated.

It still sounds like to me, you're viewing sankyo as some "technique" that you'd use against some opponent. I might be wrong, but it just sounds that way.

Throw "technique" out the window. Forget that sankyo is a "technique". Go under the assumption that you will never use sankyo on some opponent.

Now, go back to training aikido. You're working on twisting the wrist inwards toward uke -- defined as what people call sankyo. Now, you want to control uke, but with the arm extended and loose, it's hard to get uke's body to move. The arm just wiggles. So, you take the slack out of that arm. In this case, you twist it inwards into what people describe as sankyo. Then, you find that with no slack, you can move uke's body in an easier manner. You can actually effect their center and the connection between the two of you is more pronounced.

At a beginner's level, the pain compliance works more to move uke than the center-to-center connection. As you work on this more, you get less pain but better control. As you progress, the amount of twisting to take out slack becomes less as a center-to-center connection becomes stronger.

Why "sankyo"? Because aikido came from Daito ryu and Daito ryu had this technique (well, had quite a lot of sankyos from what I'm told). Ueshiba sort of pared down the Daito ryu syllabus.

But, in the end, the training isn't about getting some sankyo technique on an opponent at all. It's about using a training paradigm to work on disrupting an opponent's center by a point of contact at the wrist.

Just to throw another wrench into the mix ... the training for uke in sankyo is to use the suit and ground to negate tori's attempt at any pain compliance or center-to-center connection. :)

Dan Austin
04-16-2008, 09:30 AM
Amazing. The test of our martial art is getting attacked by a boxer/kick boxer/mmaer. When was the last time that ever happened? How "real" is that?


Hi Alex,

That's not the point being made here. The question to ask is, what is the point of training to a low standard, of assuming your opponent is a complete flounder? It's like playing chess against 3rd graders and thinking of yourself as a chess master. To be objectively good you have to CHALLENGE yourself, and that means imagining a dangerous, crafty opponent instead of an easy one. Why train to beat someone you could probably already beat without training? It makes more sense to learn to handle the difficult cases since the lesser cases will be relatively easy, than to train easy cases and either imagine you can do it or assume it will never happen.

This thread was started by someone who didn't know he was training for the easy, unrealistic case and got a rude awakening.

Ron Tisdale
04-16-2008, 10:24 AM
If this is correct, then the overwhelming majority of Aikido people doing sankyo are just doing a lock, basically, and completely missing the boat. Is that a fair interpretation?

No, I don't think it is. Like any martial art, there are the majority of people who train in it for some time because they find it fun or interesting, and maybe they feel they'll get a little self defence out of it. I'll bet the average BJJ/MT/karate/whatever dojo sees a good share of these folks too. I wouldn't call them representative of the art though.

Beyond that, there are plenty of people at various levels of the art doing various levels of sankyo. Some depend more on pain compliance, some less. Beyond that there are others who are very good at using sankyo. Beyond that there may be some who can use it in an adversarial situation...and maybe some of all of these groups can at some point depending on who they are facing. Who knows...complete hypothetical, so why waste time on it?

That break down of the "user group" is probably going to be different than a competitive art...which does not invalidate the training as long as everyone is honest about it.

However for those who are working on the original core body skill or whatever you want to call it, it could be done by training sankyo or anything else, and the Dan Hardens of the world don't seem to have anything to do with sankyo.

Dan Hardin, while showing me what he does, went through pretty much all of the major aikido waza showing me how what he does can apply to it. He is also quite familiar with the Hiden Mokuroku of Daito ryu, so your statement is incorrect.

He does prefer for his own purposes to train in a more MMA environment. But his preferences in no way invalidate someone elses's.

The bottom line is this...The original poster can continue to train in aikido, get used to other environments and techniques, and discover where they can use aikido in those areas and where they can't, and then train to improve what he does. That does not necessitate leaving aikido.

It does necessitate being honest with himself, and at some time if he teaches, with his students.

As to whether or not sankyo works, it works fine with me, as do other waza in the right situation, even when I have "rolled" with people with a background in MMA/BJJ. Sometimes I get tapped, sometimes I tap them. Often they are quite surprised by the outcome, even when I do get tapped. No biggie...it doesn't mean MMA sucks. I'm surprised an experienced person such as yourself would think otherwise.

Best,
Ron

Ketsan
04-16-2008, 12:09 PM
Hi Alex,

That's not the point being made here. The question to ask is, what is the point of training to a low standard, of assuming your opponent is a complete flounder? It's like playing chess against 3rd graders and thinking of yourself as a chess master. To be objectively good you have to CHALLENGE yourself, and that means imagining a dangerous, crafty opponent instead of an easy one. Why train to beat someone you could probably already beat without training? It makes more sense to learn to handle the difficult cases since the lesser cases will be relatively easy, than to train easy cases and either imagine you can do it or assume it will never happen.

This thread was started by someone who didn't know he was training for the easy, unrealistic case and got a rude awakening.

Actually I'd argue it was started by a person training for one strategy who then tested it out against another.

See you've started anassumption that anyone who isn't trained is easy to defeat because of the higher technical skill of the fighter.
I'm just pointing out that attackers have more strategic freedom on the street than fighters do in the ring and infact they can and do use that strategic freedom to negate any advantage the MMAer supposedly has.

The second point of my argument is that Aikido is strategically set up to counter most mugging strategies because of it's emphasis on movement.

So my ultimate point is ok, under fixed strategic conditions Aikido looses to MMA but that proves nothing about Aikido's or MMA's effectiveness in the real world and it may be that Aikido actually serves you better in the real world than MMA does.

Don
04-16-2008, 03:57 PM
This thread has taken some interesting turns, since I posted. Seems that the argument has been put forth that MMA (however you define that) is "better" than aikido. I guess I would have to agree that any cross training is good. Also, it seems that a corollary argument is lurking just underneath that perhaps aikido needs to change to become relevant as a martial art. I'm not sure I'd exactly agree with that but perhaps that sensei's need to make sure what it is that they are selling.

I was watching this program last night on the military channel, Top Army Fighters, and it was basically army guys from around the country who had advanced in a competition of MMA/Army Combatives. It was basically like watching Ultimate Fighter in camo shorts (no slight intended - just tryiing to give you a flavor of what the competition was).

I think I recall Kevin L. in another thread, or perhaps it was reading I was doing that the Army's logic in its Combatives program was less about creating a bunch of martial artists who could defeat anyone anywhere in hand-to-hand, and more about instilling the warrior ethos. This because the reality of most of modern combat is not hand-to-hand (although you do want proficiency in it).

(Kevin please elaborate or correct if I have mispoken)

Well anyway, I have to wonder if in combat situation if a soldier would want to get in a ground position and tussle around? Comments from police officers on this board and in our school would say that for them at least, the ground is the last place they try and be unless they are cuffing. Seems to me that the same might apply to a soldier. However, I do agree that a knowledge of how to apply technique on the ground is useful.

So, back to the show. I saw several instances where while in a clinch one or the other combatant could have for instance applied a FORM of kote gaeshi. Might not have been kihon, but it was there if only for seconds.

Now would something like be allowed in competition? This particular competition had rules that were in excess of what you even see on UFC because some of they participants were deploying within days.

My point is that we don't have definitive data, (nor are we likely to get it) of how aikido fares against MMA in an all out, arm breaking, choking, punching circumstance, because competition (which is all we see) doesn't allow that for obvious reasons.

I don't disagree with the fact that there are schools that teach martially ineffective aikido. What I do disagree with is the implied (or did I infer) thought that all aikido is martially ineffective.

Dan Austin
04-16-2008, 09:14 PM
And I didn't say that for everyone it was 50/50. Just that it has been my experience. :)


That's why I prefer objective analysis over subjective experience. ;) And if some people from a dojo seeing Mike Sigman twice makes the dojo promising, then it sounds like seeing Mr. Sigman is a lot more worthwhile than going to these dojos. ;)


It still sounds like to me, you're viewing sankyo as some "technique" that you'd use against some opponent. I might be wrong, but it just sounds that way.


I think we're talking past each other at this point. I understand what you're saying about it being a training device, but it's also a "technique". If I can train sankyo, or the underhook scenario shown in the SBGi clip earlier in the thread, and do them both internally, then I clearly choose the latter because it's more likely to be useful in addition to being an internal training opportunity. That's what I'm getting at.

Dan Austin
04-16-2008, 09:54 PM
Actually I'd argue it was started by a person training for one strategy who then tested it out against another.

See you've started anassumption that anyone who isn't trained is easy to defeat because of the higher technical skill of the fighter.


No, I didn't say easy, I said easier.

'm just pointing out that attackers have more strategic freedom on the street than fighters do in the ring and infact they can and do use that strategic freedom to negate any advantage the MMAer supposedly has.

I've already discussed this at length in this thread. MMA is a sport. However it is possible to take the lessons of that sport and apply it to street self-defence. Maybe if I call it an "evidence-based modern hybrid approach to self-defence utilizing lessons learned from sport competition" that would be clearer, though it's easier to write MMA. I'm talking essentially about cross-training MMA with an eye toward self-defence (which many Aikidoka in this thread do) just without the Aikido. :)


The second point of my argument is that Aikido is strategically set up to counter most mugging strategies because of it's emphasis on movement.


I can't spend time to rehash things I've already said in this thread, see post #62 and the link to the boxer in the street fight with multiple attackers. Using any kind of Aikido in that scenario would have lessened his chances of such a favorable outcome by risking getting entangled in standing grappling.

So my ultimate point is ok, under fixed strategic conditions Aikido looses to MMA but that proves nothing about Aikido's or MMA's effectiveness in the real world and it may be that Aikido actually serves you better in the real world than MMA does.

For MMA (hybrid modern techniques tested against full resistance) we have ample evidence that the techniques and training methods work under serious pressure. We have no such evidence for Aikido, nor is it reasonable to think that cooperative training can lead to the same skills. We also see that boxing punches are too fast and dangerous to allow a serious chance of manipulating the opponent's arms as many Aikido techniques do. Odds are low that your proposition is correct, so there would need to be some compelling evidence to think there is equivalence.

To look at it from another direction, name an attack that Aikido can handle, that a modern hybrid approach can't handle more reliably and with far less training time invested.

rob_liberti
04-16-2008, 10:14 PM
A while back, I let some BJJ dude (who taught BJJ) try to take me to the ground for about 2 hours in vain. I tried my aikido against Dan Harden's MMA and it was like I was a 3 year old trying to deal with a full grown professional fighter (who was desperately trying not to hurt me).

So my opinion of MMA and aikido has changed recently. But what was powering the MMA and the aikido is what's important to me. Getting my body in shape to do it has been an interesting journey as well. I started forrest yoga and have since found AIS (active isolated stretching) and I'm now doing a combination of these things. I'm looking for the most efficient usage of time to achieve my goals. I do this by finding the best experts and doing as much research as I can while I continue to learn. I'm fairly certain that is the only way I'll be able to make the progress I want to make without having to quit my day job.

I want fast-proficiency aikido. I think it requires a working knowledge of MMA trained by people who have actually had real fights (not in a ring). I know not everyone will agree with me. But I feel the OP probably wanted to know what other people in aikido are doing towards the originally stated issues.

Rob

Kevin Leavitt
04-16-2008, 10:28 PM
Don wrote:

This thread has taken some interesting turns, since I posted. Seems that the argument has been put forth that MMA (however you define that) is "better" than aikido. I guess I would have to agree that any cross training is good. Also, it seems that a corollary argument is lurking just underneath that perhaps aikido needs to change to become relevant as a martial art. I'm not sure I'd exactly agree with that but perhaps that sensei's need to make sure what it is that they are selling.


Better in what way? Better at somethings, not all. There must be a reason that some of us choose to still study aikido that are fairly committed to MMA/BJJ as a way of life.

Cross training is good I think.

No, I don't think aikido needs to change. Aikidoka need to change if the shoe fits. Leave the "way" alone....it was designed with specific purposes in mind, I think it works quite well in those areas.

Dan wrote:

I was watching this program last night on the military channel, Top Army Fighters, and it was basically army guys from around the country who had advanced in a competition of MMA/Army Combatives. It was basically like watching Ultimate Fighter in camo shorts (no slight intended - just tryiing to give you a flavor of what the competition was).


Small world, Ben Bradley, one of the fighters on that show, is the guy that "showed me the light", and led me into the world of MMA. He and I ran the Combatives program at our post in Germany for two years.

Dan wrote:

I think I recall Kevin L. in another thread, or perhaps it was reading I was doing that the Army's logic in its Combatives program was less about creating a bunch of martial artists who could defeat anyone anywhere in hand-to-hand, and more about instilling the warrior ethos. This because the reality of most of modern combat is not hand-to-hand (although you do want proficiency in it).

Fairly correct. It is about a couple of things, but I think primarily it is about building warriors....or ethos. Skill is also important, but less so, certainly NOT a by product by any means though.

Dan Wrote:

Well anyway, I have to wonder if in combat situation if a soldier would want to get in a ground position and tussle around? Comments from police officers on this board and in our school would say that for them at least, the ground is the last place they try and be unless they are cuffing. Seems to me that the same might apply to a soldier. However, I do agree that a knowledge of how to apply technique on the ground is useful.

No soldiers don't want to get on the ground. It would be a little long for me to go into the logic here, but it is not a choice you make, (to go to the ground)...it is one that is made for you without your consent or control. One of the criticisms I have about non-grappling arts is that there is an assumed paradigm that fights always start from hamni or fighitng stance....most do not, they start with you in a position of disadvantage, so why not start training from that point of failure??? Makes sense once you really think about it, doesn't it?

The issue I think is Sensei that have invested alot of time in "stand up", AND they have no clue how to train this range the correct way, so they dismiss it either intentionally, out of fear or irgnorance...or they are simply training budo and it is not a primary purpose of the art, which I think is fine...and what you see in arts like aikido. Nothing wrong with that, but aikidoka (students) extrapolate and try and turn it into something else.

Dan Wrote:

So, back to the show. I saw several instances where while in a clinch one or the other combatant could have for instance applied a FORM of kote gaeshi. Might not have been kihon, but it was there if only for seconds.


Get with a good grappler that understands alot...Bottom line, you won't get it. Occassionally you may...but in competition you won't. Interject weapons or the "unknown" factor of weapons..your chances go way up. On the street against non-skilled, semi skilled opponents...again, chances go up. So Kotegaeshi is good to know...AND good to know how to do it correctly.

Dan Wrote:

Now would something like be allowed in competition? This particular competition had rules that were in excess of what you even see on UFC because some of they participants were deploying within days.


You can use kotegaeshi in Army Combatives rules, absolutely...wrtist locks are allowed. Good luck getting them! Only restriction is single digits.

Dan Wrote:

My point is that we don't have definitive data, (nor are we likely to get it) of how aikido fares against MMA in an all out, arm breaking, choking, punching circumstance, because competition (which is all we see) doesn't allow that for obvious reasons.


Nor will you ever have it. I am an aikidoka, and was first and foremost before starting my MMA/Combatives training. My skills from aikido allowed me to move more rapidily up through the system in BJJ/MMA/MACP, AND....that training helped by aikido training. However, two different training methodologies with different training objectives in mind. I train some days both in MACP/BJJ and AIkido....I never am confused as to where I am and what I am doing in each dojo!

That said, to be honest, I don't ever really change much in my responses, nor limit myself to the options from both methodolgies...I simply do the same things and respond appropriately based on what is being offered to me. Difference is timing, speed for the most part...range/distance somewhat, as well as degree of aliveness...but over all not much difference.

There are correalations to clinching and irimi/tenkan and/or irimi nage, for example. I do them both the same way...again timing speed dictates what options you have available at that range.

Dan Austin
04-16-2008, 10:34 PM
A while back, I let some BJJ dude (who taught BJJ) try to take me to the ground for about 2 hours in vain. I tried my aikido against Dan Harden's MMA and it was like I was a 3 year old trying to deal with a full grown professional fighter (who was desperately trying not to hurt me).

So my opinion of MMA and aikido has changed recently. But what was powering the MMA and the aikido is what's important to me. Getting my body in shape to do it has been an interesting journey as well. I started forrest yoga and have since found AIS (active isolated stretching) and I'm now doing a combination of these things. I'm looking for the most efficient usage of time to achieve my goals. I do this by finding the best experts and doing as much research as I can while I continue to learn. I'm fairly certain that is the only way I'll be able to make the progress I want to make without having to quit my day job.

I want fast-proficiency aikido. I think it requires a working knowledge of MMA trained by people who have actually had real fights (not in a ring). I know not everyone will agree with me. But I feel the OP probably wanted to know what other people in aikido are doing towards the originally stated issues.

Rob

Rob,

No problem with any of that (although that BJJ sounds lame - not that BJJ trains takedowns much though, that's wrestling's specialty), and I think the OP has probably gotten a lot more than he expected. :)

From your descriptions I'm beginning to think Dan must have a dad named Jor-El somewhere. ;)

Kevin Leavitt
04-16-2008, 10:42 PM
Rob,

A while back, I let some BJJ dude (who taught BJJ) try to take me to the ground for about 2 hours in vain. I tried my aikido against Dan Harden's MMA and it was like I was a 3 year old trying to deal with a full grown professional fighter (who was desperately trying not to hurt me).

Good points, but I'd caution people to be careful about dismissing BJJ or thinking you have developed something special simply because a good BJJ guy can't take you to the ground. Frankly, I could do this pretty much day one when I first linked up with Ben Bradley.

If you are not "playing the game" and are only avoiding being taken down...then the average aikidoka with a modicum of skill can avoid a takedown. It only requires you staying out of range, and manuevering around. Now, close down the room tightly, put up some walls and what not...and it might be different.

That said, sure, there are many BJJers that train for the game and are not going to be able to take you down if this is all that is trying to be avoided...BJJ is about engaging the fight...not avoiding it.

So, actually it is a good point though to consider that we don't have to actually play the same game that they play.

I do this many times in BJJ...I will play a game of going to the ground and seeing how many times I can disengage and get back to my feet in say a 5 minute period. Many BJJ guys don't practice this way, so they will leave themselves open for you to escape.

I think this is a good way to train and mix in your aikido training paradigm, put yourself at a disadvantage, then see if you can re-create space and escape.

BJJ is typically about creating space and turning the tables and taking the fight back in to your opponent to soundly defeat him...however it is not the only way to train as Rob points out!

Kevin Leavitt
04-16-2008, 10:44 PM
All BJJ dojos I have trained in practice takedowns quite a bit. In fact in tournaments most matches are won by the iniative gained by the takedown...so they are very important. True though, the ground game is practiced most of the time.

DonMagee
04-17-2008, 07:16 AM
I specialize my bjj in takedowns. Which is why I'm almost ready for my black belt in judo. Fast takedown, lots of ride time and waiting for submissions. That's how I try to play my game. To be honest, I have not met anyone without prior wrestling, judo, or competitive experience who can stop my takedowns. That is of course assuming they want to engage. If they did not want to fight, why would I be chasing them down trying to take them down? I wouldn't chase someone down in the real world who didn't want to fight. I'm sure as hell not going to do it in the fake world either. However, as you stated, if they want a match and are playing that game. I find I can usually use my half ass ring control to corner them.

I'd like to point out I'm not anywhere near the mythical levels of skill reported on this forum. I am also not even close to the level of skill a purple belt in bjj or a black belt in judo (I'm almost there though damn it) will have. I'd classify myself as a below average martial artist. I am not strong, I am not fast, my cardio is not all that great, my technique could use a lot of work. I can only imagine what I could do if I had the physical attributes and time of some of our competitive mma fighters in the gym. I 'know' a lot more then they do, they simple use what they know better.

But what do I know. I haven't even been to an aikido class in over a month. I haven't trained in aikido in at least 3 months.

Ron Tisdale
04-17-2008, 08:30 AM
:D I think you know a lot Don M. And your contributions are always welcome. I think there is a lot to think about here.
Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
04-17-2008, 08:50 AM
That's why I prefer objective analysis over subjective experience. ;) And if some people from a dojo seeing Mike Sigman twice makes the dojo promising, then it sounds like seeing Mr. Sigman is a lot more worthwhile than going to these dojos. ;)

What makes the Itten dojo promising (hell more than that) is a number of things, even before Mike Sigman walked in the door there.

a) Their instructor has a long background in karate and aiki jujutsu (people might quibble about the source of the AJ, I did myself at one point...but I've felt his waza, and it is strong).

b) They have both classical and modern training with legitimate instructors in a wide variety of empty hand and weapons based arts.

c) They allow input from BJJ/Grappling sources, and even have kata based on modern ground work.

d) One of their primary aikido influences is Ellis Amdur, who trained with Kuroiwa Sensei, an ex-boxer whose waza is often based off of boxing strikes.

e) Atemi is part and parcel of their aikido waza. They are as likely to hit you three times (hard) then throw as anything else. And they train for that.

d) They've got some tough SOBs who train there.

That is what makes that dojo unusual. I often find it amazing how quick we are to put down groups we've never trained with. Me too...I've done this as well in the past...but I'm learning better.

Best,
Ron (sometimes I've been personally schooled better...) :D

Kevin Leavitt
04-17-2008, 08:24 PM
I have learned more in the past couple of years than I have in all my years prior. I think it is all out there, you just have to open your mind and look around. One thing I have come to realize, much like you Ron is that there is alot of talent out there if you can get past the parochialism and "this is the way we do it" mentality, and simply "let go"

mwible
04-18-2008, 05:20 AM
Dont get so down about having to use atemi in your Aikido. Atemi is a integral part of the execution of Aikido. Didn't O'Sensei say to use atemi before, during, and after a technique?

-rei,
morgan

Budd
04-18-2008, 08:23 AM
Here's something else that I think is salient . . . people talk about doing atemi, ki/kokyu skills, grappling, mma style training . . . to me - talking about what you do doesn't matter a whole lot. I can take any technique or "concept" and set it up to make it look like I know what I'm talking about. The key is in "how" you train it, do it and practice it. And you will never find that out on a message board. At best, you might get some interest in finding out what someone does in person . . . and sometimes that can lead to disappointment on a number of levels. Other times, it can radically change how you think about budo and train.

But "what" you say you are doing doesn't always relate to "how" you are actually doing it.

Ron Tisdale
04-18-2008, 10:03 AM
Agreed Budd. What I was referring to was what I had actually seen and experienced at Itten dojo. So for me, it wasn't just talk, or a rumor of some dojo some where that has The Stuff (TM).

I get a little tired sometimes of people saying that all aikido dojo are full of fluffy bunnies...it just ain't so.

Best,
Ron

Budd
04-18-2008, 10:36 AM
Ron, I think I know what you meant. I also think this goes back to another conversation we were having regarding the web as a means to get interest to meet people in person. I think at Itten we don't talk in too much detail about what we're doing, because as Wolfe Sensei has mentioned elsewhere, we're just NEVER satisfied :) So some things are always in flux. But it's nice to have good people like you stop by when you are able.

I'm speaking more in generalities/terms, even such as "atemi" -- it means so many things to different people, don't even get me started on "ki", etc. . . I always enjoy reading your writeups of where you've been, with whom you've trained, etc. and think you do a good job explaining the meaning of your terms..

On the other hand, I have no problem letting people assume I'm a fluffy aikido bunny. :D

Ketsan
04-18-2008, 10:23 PM
I've already discussed this at length in this thread. MMA is a sport. However it is possible to take the lessons of that sport and apply it to street self-defence. Maybe if I call it an "evidence-based modern hybrid approach to self-defence utilizing lessons learned from sport competition" that would be clearer, though it's easier to write MMA. I'm talking essentially about cross-training MMA with an eye toward self-defence (which many Aikidoka in this thread do) just without the Aikido. :)


I'd have to respectfully disagree :D The critical part of any fight isn't the bit where you throw punches and kicks. The most important bit, and the bit MMA pays no attention to, is the bit where you've some how given your opponent an opening and they attempt to put an end to you there and then. Simple fact is if you're alert and on guard you're probably safe.


I can't spend time to rehash things I've already said in this thread, see post #62 and the link to the boxer in the street fight with multiple attackers. Using any kind of Aikido in that scenario would have lessened his chances of such a favorable outcome by risking getting entangled in standing grappling.

The boxer started the fight and then utilised the same kind of strategy an Aikidoka uses and the complete opposite strategy to the one he would employ in the ring. If he'd have stood and fought, traded punches like a boxer or mmaer does in the ring he'd have been dead. There's no "train as you fight" here.
In fact I'd say he behaved more like a good Aikidoka than a boxer, he used atemi to buy time and space to disengage.


For MMA (hybrid modern techniques tested against full resistance) we have ample evidence that the techniques and training methods work under serious pressure. We have no such evidence for Aikido, nor is it reasonable to think that cooperative training can lead to the same skills. We also see that boxing punches are too fast and dangerous to allow a serious chance of manipulating the opponent's arms as many Aikido techniques do. Odds are low that your proposition is correct, so there would need to be some compelling evidence to think there is equivalence.

Evidence where? I've not seen MMA or sport fighting in a real situation. The video shows the employment of an Aikido like strategy not an MMA like strategy. If anything we have evidence that if you use tai sabaki and atemi you'll be fine and from that we can suppose that if you stand and fight as you see in the ring and as sport fighters train to do that you're going to loose.
Who cares about the boxers punches? Aikidoka can cover massive distances very quickly, use all that momentum to push him over and then start kicking.


To look at it from another direction, name an attack that Aikido can handle, that a modern hybrid approach can't handle more reliably and with far less training time invested.

Any attack that involves grappling and striking or a weapon.

Aristeia
04-23-2008, 05:44 AM
fascinating debate. It has all the hallmarks of the classic tma vs mma discussion.
For example "sport fighters only train for the ring, real life is different". The assumption that some how Aikidoka can magically adapt their training methods for the real world but sport fighters can't, even though they have less adaption to do. And now when a video is shown of a boxer doing a good job you are saying that he is not employing boxing strategy but aikido strategy (somehow) so it doesn't count?

Fascinating.

rob_liberti
04-23-2008, 11:47 PM
I was hoping for a you tube video of Alex.
I do believe that the basic idea of enter, turn, and get out of there related to real life better than staying there and fighting in real life. In real life people have knifes and worse. I'm more of a fan of scooby and shaggy. Aikido lends itself to that mindset better. I only want to stick around and fight when I have to protect a family member or friend and for that MMA rules. Debate that if you like, but I'm driving off in the Mystery Machine.

Rob

David Paul
04-24-2008, 11:02 AM
my 2 cents. I haven't watched the you tube video, but I am going to say that a real fight is much closer t what happens in the world of MMA because of the intentions of the attacker. In MMA, while it is a sport, those guys (and gals) are trying to hurt the other person. In aikido-you're not. That simple. A real attacker wants to hurt you. This isn't to diminish anyones's study of aikido or aikido as a method of self defence--but if you have an MMA background, you'l fare better. I say this as someone who boxes now and has studied aikido. I dont think of boxing as a form of self defence--but I do think it has better prepared me for being attacked since the guys hitting me are really trying to hit me and really hitting hard. In aikido (in my experiences) it can often be difficult to find someone with a truly sincere attack. If someone isn't trying to hit you as hard as they can--or reasonably hard--you have no need to get out of the way or defend the attack and that is what I have seen at way too many dojos and seminars.

David Paul
04-24-2008, 11:20 AM
Many people are understandably vested emotionally in Aikido here, and will give other opinions that they are perfectly entitled to, but the truth is that comparing something like SBGi and Aikido is like comparing a high-end sportscar to a hybrid. The hybrid is peaceful, happy and eco-friendly, but if performance is your goal it's not exactly a tough choice. ;)

Hi Dan. All I can say is AMEN. Nothing wrong with Aikido--but it doesn't toughen one up the way MMA would--which I think prepares you better for real world physical conflicts. This isn't to say that someone who has trained in Aikido for a long while can't defend themselves, but rather someone doesn't need to train nearly as long in MMA (or say boxing or muay thai) to be able to defend themselves.

Dan Austin
04-24-2008, 09:12 PM
Hi Dan. All I can say is AMEN. Nothing wrong with Aikido--but it doesn't toughen one up the way MMA would--which I think prepares you better for real world physical conflicts. This isn't to say that someone who has trained in Aikido for a long while can't defend themselves, but rather someone doesn't need to train nearly as long in MMA (or say boxing or muay thai) to be able to defend themselves.

Hi David,

Thanks very much, and best of luck to you in your return to competitive boxing!