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mathewjgano
08-30-2008, 12:38 PM
What exactly do you folks mean when you talk about grappling? I get the sense that it's considered to be very different from the technical aspect of Aikido. Is it? How?

Shany
08-30-2008, 01:09 PM
Judo, wrestling, BJJ, and anything that relates with grappling other people (shirt, pants, legs, hands, head..etc)

mathewjgano
08-30-2008, 01:27 PM
Judo, wrestling, BJJ, and anything that relates with grappling other people (shirt, pants, legs, hands, head..etc)

Why wouldn't Aikido be considered grappling?

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2008, 04:13 PM
Good question!

I think Aikido SHOULD be considered a form of grappling, based on my definition of grappling.

To me, grappling refers to any art that emphasizes the use of your body, especially the use of your hands, to gain control over your opponent in an attempt to submit or subdue him.

As stated grappling arts are arts such as judo, BJJ, sambo, greco-roman, free-style, catch-as-catch can, Aikido, Aikijiujitsu, DRAJ, and many, many more.

Some arts are more sport/competitive based than others, but most also contain a "self defense" or "combative" elements. Some emphasize them more than others. Some do a better job at training these aspects than others.

Aikido and/or hapkido as a grappling art is sort of a "hybrid", if you will. it works, what I call "mid range" on the spectrum of grappling engagement. Most of that is based on the fact, I believe that it is somewhat associated with dealing with weapons such as katanas and jo,

Other forms of jiujitsu (BJJ, Sambo, Judo) deal with a closer range and typically focus limited use of weapons at that range at the point of kuzushi. The nature of this training allows you to practice at a faster speed with more resistance.

Many arts (most) incorporate at least some forms of grappling, wrist locks, arm bars, or immobilization techniques. TKD, Karate, etc, Kendo, Muay Thai, However they are typically more concerned with the use of objects or striking and are therefore typically categorized as "striking arts" or "weapons based" arts.

Traditionally, (and really warriors today in the Army and Marine Corps), would be schooled at all ranges of combat. you'd find comprehensive systems that would work all ranges of combat.

The U.S. Army and Marine Corps have recently started to return to the roots of Martial Arts training. for many years we thought that spending time of skills that have been assumed to be obsoleted by technology as a ineffective use of time. We have found that not to be true.

however, for most of us, spending the time necessary to be proficient at the full spectrum of armed and unarmed fighting to be a little difficult, therefore, most modern forms of MA training typically will focus on a particular range, weapon, or group of tactics that allow them to train those things that they feel are most important to convey the skills or message they want to get across.

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2008, 04:16 PM
elements that I think are important in defining a grappling art.

1. Closing the distance (ma ai)
2. Establishing dominance (kuzushi)
3. Finishing the fight (Resolution, stasis, control, or submission)

If it is done without the use of knives, sticks, or guns (or even if you have them involved!) it can be considered grappling.

Shany
08-30-2008, 04:32 PM
The very core essence of Aikido is non resistance, so how could you imply Aikido has grappling in it?

There are occasions where the attacker grabs you (Katate/Kata Dori, Ushira ryote dori..etc) and grab back only to redirect the attacker/uke as a part of the technique/KI Flow, and actually! you wouldn't be in that position in the very beginning if your Aikido is dynamic, so therefore Aikido is none-grappling art (In my opinion)

everyone who is in passive state would be grabbed easily (Judo for example, but in Judo that's the very essence of the art),
Where in Aikido, being passive makes sure your already lost in most cases.

Some Dojos around the world teaches Aikido from static & passive forms, therefore if this is your idea of Aikido than that's why you think it has grappling in it.

Aristeia
08-30-2008, 04:50 PM
Shany I suspect your response comes from an assumption that Grappling inherently assumes a contest of strenght or resistance. At high levels bjj is often about non resistance as well. But based on Kevins definition Aikido certainly qualifies as an art where you are using your body to control and redirect uke's. Hence grappling.

In some sense then Aikido is grappling. I think though in the context it usually comes up on this board "grappling" is referring to practice with live training as a component as well.

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2008, 04:51 PM
Interestingly enough, the core of BJJ is non-resistance!

You learn very quickly that resistance will get you in trouble fast!

I was just flipping through my "Wrestling for Fighting" book by Randy Couture. In it, you will find very few "grabs" as in No Gi grappling, grabs are a fairly weak form of gaining control.

Pummelling, whizzers, hand on back of neck...etc...all the same stuff you see in aikido is really at the core of grappling arts, if you are doing them correctly.

Yes, I agree, in Gi based Judo and BJJ grabs are definitely involved, as they should be. If you are ever faced with a situation on the street, the grabbing of clothing is a reality that you have to deal with, that is why we have Gi's involved in Judo and BJJ. They simply take it to a different level of play in competition.

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2008, 04:53 PM
Yes I agree with Michael. From a Aikido paradigm I think "grappling" has more to do with dealing with non-resistance, or "struggle" to gain control or dominance over the other person in what we would call an "alive" environment.

Factor that out, and I think you essentially have kata or static training and that is not Grappling in my opinion.

Shany
08-30-2008, 05:10 PM
Shany I suspect your response comes from an assumption that Grappling inherently assumes a contest of strenght or resistance. At high levels bjj is often about non resistance as well. But based on Kevins definition Aikido certainly qualifies as an art where you are using your body to control and redirect uke's. Hence grappling.

In some sense then Aikido is grappling. I think though in the context it usually comes up on this board "grappling" is referring to practice with live training as a component as well.

Well yeah, if someone categorize grappling with joint locks / distance / being better - faster - stronger.
than I guess you can say Aikido has grappling elements in it.

I think that if you can resolve a dispute without any of the elements said above by other aikidokas than I would strongly say Aikido is a non grappling art, since not all aikido techniques ends/needs joint locks or must have dominance in them.

Aristeia
08-30-2008, 05:18 PM
I'm confused. Are you talking now about verbal descalation or about handling physical aggression?

Shany
08-30-2008, 05:24 PM
I'm confused. Are you talking now about verbal descalation or about handling physical aggression?

No no, I mean that not all techniques in Aikido requires you to grab/lock/be faster-better-stronger in order to finish the conflict.

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2008, 05:25 PM
Shany,

The tough part for all of us is agreeing on a common paradigm for sure!

That is why I said above, probably very poorly, that there is a spectrum of things that all arts have in them.

Philosophically I would agree that aikido can cover non-physical de-escalation or resolution. I think most of us would agree though that as a martial art, aikido must be prepared to back that up with some use of force. O Sensei talks about this in his writings.

What makes up that force? sure, lots of things. based on my definition, at the core of the art, it requries kuzushi or off balancing.

Not all grappling situation need submission holds etc. Kuzushi or body dominance is the most important thing.

Aristeia
08-30-2008, 05:30 PM
No no, I mean that not all techniques in Aikido requires you to grab/lock/be faster-better-stronger in order to finish the conflict.

hmm...I would agree with faster/stronger - and the same would hold true for BJJ. Better - suppose it depends on how you define better....

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2008, 06:44 PM
Yea, not following you either Shane. Actually the thing we do in BJJ as you get better is to constantly be responding appropriately and getting ahead of your opponents next move. Our objective is to think three or four moves ahead, much like in chess.

With such experience and skill, you can defeat stronger, faster, heavier opponents as they get behind the curve.

Good grappling is as soft and blending as aikido.

that said, strength, size etc are always factors. In competition, obviously they get played to as you will use everything you have to your advantage.

Aristeia
08-30-2008, 07:34 PM
as always - when there is a huge skill disparity size and strength aren't a big issue. However it's rare the disparity is soooo large that it doesn't factor into it all. As skill gap decreases the role of size and strength increases.

But as Kevin says - if you can do what we call getting inside their OODA loop you're in a pretty good postion - and that's pretty much the goal of both BJJ and Aikido I'd say.

DonMagee
08-30-2008, 10:02 PM
elements that I think are important in defining a grappling art.

1. Closing the distance (ma ai)
2. Establishing dominance (kuzushi)
3. Finishing the fight (Resolution, stasis, control, or submission)

If it is done without the use of knives, sticks, or guns (or even if you have them involved!) it can be considered grappling.

What do you call using a stick for a choke or joint lock?

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2008, 10:32 PM
Don,

I'd call it using a stick for a choke or a joint lock! :)

Seriously, absolutely it involves grappling, poor wording on my part, I suppose.

Splitting hairs, but for the sake of distillation down to basic elements, I'd factor out the stick in the definition, but then factor it back in as a "factor" that must be dealt with when grappling.

From my perspective, a military one, all of our grappling fights are fights over or involving weapons. So yes sticks, kubotans, ASPs become a player in grappling.

I guess IMM, the use of the stick still requires you to manipulate posture to gain control, that is unless you are using it as a blunt object to bludgeon.

Don't think I am making much sense...sorry it is late.

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2008, 10:34 PM
Yeah, I was thinking OODA loop when I wrote that post Michael. Good stuff.