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Suru
07-12-2009, 09:06 PM
Dear Ledyard Sensei,

You're a senior instructor (rokudan) in the the ASU, as I understand. I know you go to seminars, and surely you have seen and probably felt Saotome Shihan's Aikido. Now, I'm not a big fan of the UFC, or TV in general, but when I happen to watch UFC, I get enjoyment from the bouts of highly skilled and usually strong fighters. For many, many years, I've had a futile argument (because it will never be solved) with my brother. I have told him that I have seen a 70-year-old Japanese man (Saotome), who simply would not lose a fight in the octagon. Now, granted, he might have to "complete" some kotegaeshis or perhaps execute shihonage the "special" way. My brother's sound arguments usually pertain to the youth and strength of many of the fighters, and how that would overwhelm Saotome. To this day, though resulting probably in many conclusions requiring hospitalization for his opponets, he would prevail. I tell my brother the Aikido is not "here" (pointing to my bicep), but here (pointing to my head). Ledyard Sensei, I know we're not talking about even vaguely the average Aikidoka, but what do you believe would happen if for some reason a master (let's stick to Mitsugi Saotome for this argument), were for some reason forced to enter the octagon? I hope you respond, Ledyard Sensei, because your thoughts on this would mean a great deal to me.

Drew

DH
07-12-2009, 09:31 PM
I'm not George but...I wouldn't go there Drew.
Your comment about it not being about muscle? Don't e-v-e-r make the mistake of thinking that old school grapplers nor some of the smarter younger ones (I know a few) are muscle heads. It's not wise. Soft wrestling, and winning by positioning, thinking set-ups and feints and playing your opponent have been around for a very long time, sir. It is disrespectful of both parties efforts for you to assume so much going in.

And FWIW, fighting a trained fighter is not the same as self-defense or what most weapons based martial arts even train for. Nor is it what aikido is about. I would save your comparisons for something else more viable. Budo can do much more for you than the octagon.
Cheers
Dan

thisisnotreal
07-12-2009, 10:00 PM
I think it is good to continue to point out there is not only technical differences but spiritual ones as well. But....you also need to begin to discuss a separation of aiki itself from technique. This is a deeper discussion that I believe you would benefit from. Aiki is not waza. It is not small circle VS big circle or anything of the like. As some might tell you the training they do with me is affecting ...them...spiritually and emotionally.

No, not that they are the same, I'm not saying that at all, just that you can separate internal training and Aiki and what it does to you out from both arts DR and Aikido and or make them inexorable componants of the arts.
Aiki is not about just about your quote that "Aikido missing out on some of Ueshiba's "martial" aspects" It is deeper than that.
...
Cheers
Dan

Hi Dan,
Could you please say a little bit more about this? This seems deeply insightful but I cannot grasp your meaning.
With Respect,
Josh

George S. Ledyard
07-12-2009, 10:04 PM
Ledyard Sensei, I know we're not talking about even vaguely the average Aikidoka, but what do you believe would happen if for some reason a master (let's stick to Mitsugi Saotome for this argument), were for some reason forced to enter the octagon? I hope you respond, Ledyard Sensei, because your thoughts on this would mean a great deal to me.

Drew

I will say that the only time I know of when Sensei had to actually defend himself, he went straight to the center with an atemi and broke the guys jaw with one shot. That was the end of it.

So, let's get real. The man is seventy. His shoulder is shot, he has knee problems, his body is old and has high miles on it. If by some chance he had an encounter of that nature he would need to end it in one shot or he'd lose. I certainly don't think he'd even consider a wrist lock or any other type of lock or throw.

That is the difference between sport and combat. In a sport fight Sensei would lose. Of course he would. Wouldn't even be close. In a combat encounter he would have a chance by ending it immediately. His sense of space and timing is superb and he can strike with a lot of power when he turns it on. If he got the first shot in, he'd win if he hit the target he aimed at. But if he takes a shot from some 380 lb 27 year old who bench presses 350 lbs, it's over for him. He is old. That said, it is VERY hard to hit him.

So for someone like Saotome Sensei it is about "one strike, one death" or something close.

Suru
07-12-2009, 10:05 PM
I'm not George but...I wouldn't go there Drew.
Your comment about it not being about muscle? Don't e-v-e-r make the mistake of thinking that old school grapplers nor some of the smarter younger ones (I know a few) are muscle heads. It's not wise. Soft wrestling, and winning by positioning, thinking set-ups and feints and playing your opponent have been around for a very long time, sir. It is disrespectful of both parties efforts for you to assume so much going in.

And FWIW, fighting a trained fighter is not the same as self-defense or what most weapons based martial arts even train for. Nor is it what aikido is about. I would save your comparisons for something else more viable. Budo can do much more for you than the octagon.
Cheers
Dan

One man is announced the winner. Just because Aikidoka are never seen in the UFC, partially because it is a non-competitive MARTIAL art, and partially because joints would probably have to be snapped, doesn't mean a master Aikidoka can't hold his own. AND OH YES, I WENT THERE.

Drew

George S. Ledyard
07-12-2009, 10:18 PM
Now, granted, he might have to "complete" some kotegaeshis or perhaps execute shihonage the "special" way.

Drew,
I wanted to address this separately. Ellis Amdur Sensei once told us that in almost all martial arts there are techniques which one trains in . not because he thinks he will actually do those techniques on an opponent, but rather so he can understand those techniques well enough that no one can do them on him.

The idea that anyone would go out and whip a lock on a professional fighter of the UFC caliber is a non-starter. These guys do locking and they practice how to not get locked.

This is why in all the old Noma Dojo photos of O-Sensei in the thirties EVERY single entry had a strike. That was the very first thing you did, strike the opponent on the first beat. For someone with real internal power those strikes were finishers in themselves. I am talking about death or serious injury.

The whole "I can defend myself without injury to my opponent" only applies when you have vastly superior skill. Against a professional, one or the other of you is going down with serious injury.

There is no magic. Much of what we do is "magical" in many ways. But real fighting is different and it isn't elegant or pretty. The only way you'll see me get a kotegaeshi on someone skilled in a fight is if they are half unconscious already from my entry.

Suru
07-12-2009, 11:18 PM
Ledyard Sensei,

Thank you so much for your replies. They weren't exactly what I expected, but they make a lot of sense to me. Now, I hate to sound all rainbows-and-butterflies, but I think life is about finding something close to happiness. Saotome Shihan seems to find happiness through sharing his vast knowledge of Aikido, and Royce Gracie (if he still fights) seems to find himself happiest with the thrills of getting arm bars on opponents in the UFC and making them tap-out. We're all kinda the same but certainly have our differences. That's pretty much what makes life enjoyable to me. And I'm going to show this thread to my older brother, and he will finally shut me up! Anyway, I'm drifting away. Please excuse the fact that this post is drifting all over the place. I hope to read some good posts tomorrow morning.

Drew

Kevin Leavitt
07-13-2009, 07:16 PM
Royce seems to find happiness in teaching Jiu Jitsu these days....just like any other martial arts master of his skill, knowledge and caliber.

George brings up a good point about locks and practicing to avoid them.

During our Army Combatives course, I spend about 4 hours over the course of three days discussing martial methodology and paradigms watching the trend of fighting strategies from UFC 1 through about 20.

Bottom line is in the early ones you see alot of dissonance occur, for example, when fighers meet Royce Gracie and do not have a strategy to deal with him effectively. As time (knowledge and skill) progress, rules become more codified and understood (constraints, limitations, and the operating environment)...we see fighters and strategies solidify and evolve.

It was easy to assume early on the ground fighting and BJJ was the answer to everything. However, fighters that did not have ground skills learned how to defeat the grappling game somewhat.

They did not have to become proficient at grappling, just had to learn enough to defeat that strategy and respond to it appropriately.

Much can be learn at adaptive learning and from MMA paradigms in these areas.

As I say, at least once a day it seems, you have to understand why you are doing what you are doing, how to measure it effectively, and develop a sound strategy for meeting that endstate.

Comparing Saotome Sensei (who is my senior shihan and has jacked me up good when I was a young Mudansha!), to say Brock Lesnar is not a good comparison at all ( I train with one of Brock's old wrestling competitors too!).

You are comparing two completely different "fighters" with different strategies, goals, and endstates. (not to mention size, age etc!).

What is the point?

There is much I can learn from Saotome Sensei, as Ledyard Sensei points out, he has some very good skills especially in the category of timing, mushin etc. Years, and years of wisdom that can help me.

Same with a guy like Lesnar, much to be learned there as well.

UFC and MMA teaches us many, many good lessons "IF" we are willing to take the time and evaluate what we are learning from them.

Same can be said of arts like Aikido.

We don't need to pit the two against each other in order to determine which one is best.

It is like trying to take a Ferrari in the Jungles of Africa! Why?

swalsh
07-13-2009, 11:44 PM
I couldn't resist :D These aikido vs MMA discussions always remind me of this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I

Michael Hackett
07-13-2009, 11:51 PM
Great simile, Kevin. I will use it, perhaps with appropriate credit, when this debate comes up again.

gdandscompserv
07-14-2009, 02:54 AM
Soft wrestling,
I really wish I'd had some instruction in "soft wrestling" when I was actively involved in that sport. I think I would have done so much better.

Charles Hill
07-14-2009, 06:59 AM
Hi Drew,

Kudos to you for having the courage to ask the questions you want answers to.

Royce Gracie (if he still fights) seems to find himself happiest with the thrills of getting arm bars on opponents in the UFC and making them tap-out.

In Japan, to kill time between fights, they show biographical background, documentary type footage of the fighters before the next fight. I forgot who Gracie's opponent was, but he talked a bit of trash and there were scenes of him kicking the crap out of sparring partners. Royce's footage focused mainly on his family, his wife and two sons. They had footage of him sparring with his sons in the garage dojo, one shot of his 5 year old putting an arm bar on Royce. The smile on his face could not have been bigger. He is a serious and even scary guy in the ring, but he comes off as a great dad. I bet that is where he is happiest.

Charles

DonMagee
07-14-2009, 07:06 AM
Hi Drew,

Kudos to you for having the courage to ask the questions you want answers to.

In Japan, to kill time between fights, they show biographical background, documentary type footage of the fighters before the next fight. I forgot who Gracie's opponent was, but he talked a bit of trash and there were scenes of him kicking the crap out of sparring partners. Royce's footage focused mainly on his family, his wife and two sons. They had footage of him sparring with his sons in the garage dojo, one shot of his 5 year old putting an arm bar on Royce. The smile on his face could not have been bigger. He is a serious and even scary guy in the ring, but he comes off as a great dad. I bet that is where he is happiest.

Charles

You are thinking of Rickson, not Royce. That movie was Choke.

Charles Hill
07-14-2009, 05:49 PM
You are thinking of Rickson, not Royce. That movie was Choke.

Hi Don,

No, I haven't seen Choke yet. This was definitely Royce. It is interesting that there are similar scenes with the two brothers. I am sure we are seeing how they themselves were raised.

Aikibu
07-14-2009, 06:18 PM
I have never seen nor "sparred" with anyone without using Atemi...Aikido without "strikes" is not a Martial Art and don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise

Anyone who watched UFC 100 saw that over half the contests were won with strikes and that striking/feints/counters and kicks... were used to get opponents to the ground

From the look of it no one in the world is going to beat Brock Lesner by out wrestling/grappling him even though it's true he lost his debut to Frank Mir by tapping out on an ankle lock.

In his pre-fight interview Lesner admitted he would not make the same tactical mistake again. the dude pounded and destroyed Mir with strikes...

Striking is such a powerful weapon that once you get knocked out The chances of you getting knocked out again increase ten fold which is why Chuck Liddel retired after getting knocked out in his last three fights.

For most Aikidoka (and for me) the only chance of you prevailing in a "Martial Contest" is knowing how to execute proper Atemi and counter your opponents strikes.

In that context I noticed how popular Karate is again in the UFC (Thanks Sensei Machida! LOL) since all forms of Karate emphasize Maai and Striking. I saw a few of the contestants throw kicks without "winding up" (Like most do in Muay Thai) It should be no different with good Aikido.

William Hazen

Aikibu
07-14-2009, 06:22 PM
I couldn't resist :D These aikido vs MMA discussions always remind me of this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I

Why??? He's not practicing Aikido...

William Hazen

Suru
07-14-2009, 07:00 PM
You are comparing two completely different "fighters" with different strategies, goals, and endstates. (not to mention size, age etc!).

What is the point?

We don't need to pit the two against each other in order to determine which one is best.

It is like trying to take a Ferrari in the Jungles of Africa! Why?

Different strategies of course! That's the whole point! Different goals? Oh no, there is but one goal shared between the two fighters in the octagon: win. Of course this is against any serious Aikidoka's philosophy. It is a hypothetical situation, which is why I initially called my argument with my brother "futile." By endstates, I suppose you mean the goal is not to get hurt at all while KOing or forcing the opponent into conscious submission.

Don't you realize the guys in the UFC are martial artists? Don't you consider Aikido to be a martial art? If not, it is not a true budo, is it?

As far as size, there are weight classes. As far as age, there's one guy who usually wins and he looks like a porn star out of the 60's!

I proposed a thoughtful and realistic hypothetical, and I'm surprised you don't realize that.

As soon as I can afford my F50, I'm going to tear up the Savannah.

Drew

DonMagee
07-14-2009, 07:59 PM
Hi Don,

No, I haven't seen Choke yet. This was definitely Royce. It is interesting that there are similar scenes with the two brothers. I am sure we are seeing how they themselves were raised.

Do you know what the movie was called. I spent the last 10 minutes searching imdb.com and can't find any movies Royce was in where they went to fight in Japan. The closest movie is about Mark Kerr which features Royce in the cast, yet does not seem to be focused on him at all.

I'd really like to see it, that's why I'm asking.

Oh and here's choke http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4878207955834503993. It starts with his Son armbaring him LOL.

George S. Ledyard
07-14-2009, 08:25 PM
Saotome Shihan seems to find happiness through sharing his vast knowledge of Aikido,

Actually, Drew, I think that Saotome Sensei, and most of the former uchi deshi I have met, carry their Aikido as a kind of burden. Every Shihan I talked to felt a huge debt of gratitude towards the Founder and a deep responsibility to justify the trust O-Sensei bestowed on them by teaching them.

I do not think this is an easy thing. I think it has a tendency to weigh upon them, especially as they get older and start thinking about whether their legacy would seem to justify their unique fortune in being deshi to one of the great martial arts figures of the twentieth century. It's like having a super famous Dad... how do you measure up?

Sensei has been my teacher for 33 years. I have seen him on and off the mat on good days and bad days. I will tell you that I honestly think that Sensei is happiest, not when he is teaching Aikido, but when he is doing something creative, something artistic. Teaching is his way of trying to pay back the Founder. But his success or failure is dependent on us as his students. If we don't measure up, he can't feel as if he has fulfilled his own mission. That's the hard part about being a teacher... you cannot achieve anything alone. You must have willing students who will sacrifice to go the distance in order to teach. That somewhat distorts the teacher student relationship because there is something more going on than just the teacher passing on knowledge to you. Anyway, as a teacher myself, I can tell you that this is not an easy thing to have as a mission.

I was in DC for Summer Camp many years ago. We were on break between classes and I was hanging around the dojo. Saotome Sensei had this huge, beautiful piece of drift wood and was busy with his hand tools (no power tools) working away on it. Turns out he was making a table for Paul Kang Sensei, one of his seniors students. I had this flash that this was the totally authentic Sensei, the one that wasn't burdened by his mission, who worried about whether we'd screw up Aikido, whether O-Sensei would think he had been a success. Sensei was totally in the moment, creating something beautiful simply because he wanted to, not because he had to. He was completely and absolutely content. That's when I think Sensei is truly happy.

Suru
07-14-2009, 09:11 PM
Ledyard Sensei, thanks for that information. When I spoke of Saotome Shihan's happiness, it was rather quick and projective. I can totally see how passing on O'Sensei's Aikido is indeed a burden. It's not like he's super-rich because of it, or, more importantly, has gobs of free time to spend whatever income he makes. One of his books had slipped my mind at the time. His book about woodworking, tailoring, cooking, Shodo, and other arts in which he partakes, certainly shows he finds enjoyment and probably much of his happiness in these undertakings. I know what he means! I am fortunate enough to have spent last winter in woodworking, ceramics, and painting. Making my own jo and bokken seemed impossible at first, but working with much guidance from a master who had never seen an Aikido weapon, we pulled it off. My jo is pretty much perfect, as we were fortunate enough to find a 1.5 x 5 of walnut that reached perfectly to my armpit. The clearer I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, the happier I was. Making a jo, bokken, and kake out of raw planks really felt good. The bokken is a little too thick, as my fingers don't quite touch the base of my hand, but it's not so far off that I wouldn't use it in class on that glorious day I go back. I made ceramics, mostly Western Raku, for about 17 friends and family members. Making them, I was happy. Giving them to people I love made me happier. I got back into acrylic painting, and covering a 50" x 50" canvas after stretching it is not easy. But I'm really happy with my neurotransmitter synapse image, even though I'll probably never give it away. The same is true for my kanji paintings of the elements, as well as, ai, ki, jin, and kikari. I have received an incredible, natural high from my paintings. Anyway, I've been rambling. The point is that I appreciate your views, Sensei, and I have some understanding first hand of what you mean.

Drew

Aristeia
07-14-2009, 09:19 PM
Anyone who watched UFC 100 saw that over half the contests were won with strikes and that striking/feints/counters and kicks... were used to get opponents to the ground You do realise that striking is back to the fore only because all the fighters now have a very strong grappling base right?

From the look of it no one in the world is going to beat Brock Lesner by out wrestling/grappling him even though it's true he lost his debut to Frank Mir by tapping out on an ankle lock. I agree Brock is going to be hard to out wrestle -makes sense given he a a wrestler and huge. He may still be vulnerable to some subs but the setup is crucial.

For most Aikidoka (and for me) the only chance of you prevailing in a "Martial Contest" is knowing how to execute proper Atemi and counter your opponents strikes.

In that context I noticed how popular Karate is again in the UFC (Thanks Sensei Machida! LOL)

waitaminnut. Karate is popular in the ufc? Other than Machida who else is using karate? (and I don't mean who else took somse karate lessons for a while - who is actually using it?)

since all forms of Karate emphasize Maai and Striking. I saw a few of the contestants throw kicks without "winding up" (Like most do in Muay Thai) It should be no different with good Aikido.
lets pout the karate thing to one side and agree that muay thai is effective in the octogon. Do you see any differnce between how striking is trained in a muay thai club and an aikido dojo? It's not enough for folks to simply say "well we'd do more atemi and be effective" it's all about how you train. The whole aliveness thing. I agree with Kevin,Aikido and MMA have very differnent purposes and to compare them is a little silly. Moreover I think these types of conversations tragically undervalue aikido which is a shame.

Aristeia
07-14-2009, 09:49 PM
Do you know what the movie was called. I spent the last 10 minutes searching imdb.com and can't find any movies Royce was in where they went to fight in Japan. The closest movie is about Mark Kerr which features Royce in the cast, yet does not seem to be focused on him at all.

I'd really like to see it, that's why I'm asking.

Oh and here's choke http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4878207955834503993. It starts with his Son armbaring him LOL.

Don I don't think he was referring to a movie per se as a "background" clip shown before a fight -maybe on pride v saku or someone like that?

Michael Varin
07-14-2009, 09:56 PM
I was initially going to post on the obsurdity of Saotome participating in a UFC event. The thread seems to have steered away from that discussion.

The UFC has contributed much to martial arts, but it is a sad day if we believe the final word has been spoken.

The paradigm contemplated by aikido, jujutsu, and most other traditional martial arts is far from that of the UFC.

It is one where weapons, multiple opponents, and the element of surprise are the most important ingredients.

The techniques of aikido are simply out of place in the context of the UFC. This is by no means a knock on aikido. The techniques of BJJ are not relevant in the UFC anymore either.

The reason why is that they are not necessary in unarmed fighting.

But add a weapon to the mix and ground and pound will look a whole lot less attractive.

Kevin Leavitt
07-14-2009, 10:43 PM
Different strategies of course! That's the whole point! Different goals? Oh no, there is but one goal shared between the two fighters in the octagon: win. Of course this is against any serious Aikidoka's philosophy. It is a hypothetical situation, which is why I initially called my argument with my brother "futile." By endstates, I suppose you mean the goal is not to get hurt at all while KOing or forcing the opponent into conscious submission.

Don't you realize the guys in the UFC are martial artists? Don't you consider Aikido to be a martial art? If not, it is not a true budo, is it?

As far as size, there are weight classes. As far as age, there's one guy who usually wins and he looks like a porn star out of the 60's!

I proposed a thoughtful and realistic hypothetical, and I'm surprised you don't realize that.

As soon as I can afford my F50, I'm going to tear up the Savannah.

Drew

Well yes, if they were both in the ring for sure they have the same goal of winning. The difference is that one guy has trained to be good enough to win in the Octagon, the other has trained for something entirely different.

I actually wrote a post on my blog about this a couple of months ago "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight" http://www.budo-warrior.com/?p=157

No, by endstates I am referring to the fact that each of them train with different goals in mind in their training practices on a daily basis. Which is why I offer up the whole Ferrarri analogy. Which, yes makes this a "futile" subject really. BUT a good one to frame a decent discussion on martial practices and methodology.

Of course they are both "martial artist", but that covers a whole range of folks and paradigms for sure! I like to paint, but I can't really paint a car nor can I restore a 12 Century painting, or paint portraits for a living...but I still like to do that and consider myself a "painter". There is alot of room for interpretation and practice in the martial arts.

IMO, it does not have to be all about how well you do or don't do in the Octagon.

Do I consider aikido to be a martial art? well somedays I do and somedays I don't. I try and practice it as such, but my aikido is not for everyone, and even the guy standing next to me in the same dojo may do something entirely different. I don't think we can really generalize. Budo is a concept, and their are budoka, but I believe i the same dojo you will have some folks doing budo and some folks doing something else such as Exercise, socialization, or whatever else they see themselves doing.

Certainly did not mean to be little your post, I do think it is meaningful and a good topic of discussion, which is why I contribute!

Have fun in the Ferrari! :)

DonMagee
07-14-2009, 10:51 PM
The techniques of BJJ are not relevant in the UFC anymore either.



I have to disagree. Submission, defenses, and positional control are 100% relevant to the UFC. Is it the predominate style practiced by MMA practitioners? I have no idea, however any hand to hand combat sport trained in an alive fashion (judo, boxing, bjj, wrestling, sambo, etc) is 100% relevant in the UFC.

Far too many people think that just because a guy is on top doing a ground and pound that he must be a wrestler. I've never had a day of wrestling training. But what I've learned in judo and bjj allow me to control the top and lay down blows just as easily.

It all comes down to method of practice. If you practice by doing what you actually expect to be doing then you are going to be effective. If you practice by playing a game of grab ass then you will not.

Charles Hill
07-14-2009, 11:08 PM
Don I don't think he was referring to a movie per se as a "background" clip shown before a fight -maybe on pride v saku or someone like that?

Yes, this is correct. Sorry for not making it clear enough. In Japan, these fights are shown prime time on national tv. As we all know, individual fights can be 5 seconds or even less. So the promoters seem to try to come up with things to fill the time, thus occasionally very extended "background" clips.

Michael Varin
07-15-2009, 12:34 AM
Submission, defenses, and positional control are 100% relevant to the UFC. Is it the predominate style practiced by MMA practitioners? I have no idea, however any hand to hand combat sport trained in an alive fashion (judo, boxing, bjj, wrestling, sambo, etc) is 100% relevant in the UFC.

I respect your opinion, Don. And you may be correct.

I haven't been around the mma scene for a while, but I do watch the UFC and WEC fairly regularly. In the past year or so, the most common submission I've seen is the guillotine, with the rear naked choke being a very distant second. Far more fights end by decision, KO, or TKO.

I agree that position is important, but most ground and pounders are more than comfortable (and effective) working out of the guard. And I never said ground and pounders are exclusively "wrestlers." It is the safer approach to ground fighting.

Jujigatame and basically all other joint lock submissions are now seldom used and almost never successful. I will concede that most fighters will need a certain degree of awareness of these techniques, but it is very evident that they are "low percentage" techniques and not necessary within the context.

I don't know how useful these statistic are, but thought I'd put them up here for discusions sake. I wish they had them broken down further.

http://www.sherdog.com/stats/fightstats/matchstats-ufc

If aikido were "trained in an alive fashion" would it be 100% relevant to UFC? Why/why not?

Aristeia
07-15-2009, 04:27 AM
Jujigatame and basically all other joint lock submissions are now seldom used and almost never successful. Michael can you clarify what you see the implication of this being?


If aikido were "trained in an alive fashion" would it be 100% relevant to UFC? Why/why not?imo if aikido were trained live, and with a focus on an mma ruleset/context it would be completely relevent to UFC. It would also no longer look like Aikido

DonMagee
07-15-2009, 07:14 AM
I respect your opinion, Don. And you may be correct.

I haven't been around the mma scene for a while, but I do watch the UFC and WEC fairly regularly. In the past year or so, the most common submission I've seen is the guillotine, with the rear naked choke being a very distant second. Far more fights end by decision, KO, or TKO.

I agree that position is important, but most ground and pounders are more than comfortable (and effective) working out of the guard. And I never said ground and pounders are exclusively "wrestlers." It is the safer approach to ground fighting.

Jujigatame and basically all other joint lock submissions are now seldom used and almost never successful. I will concede that most fighters will need a certain degree of awareness of these techniques, but it is very evident that they are "low percentage" techniques and not necessary within the context.

I don't know how useful these statistic are, but thought I'd put them up here for discusions sake. I wish they had them broken down further.

http://www.sherdog.com/stats/fightstats/matchstats-ufc

If aikido were "trained in an alive fashion" would it be 100% relevant to UFC? Why/why not?

If you think BJJ is mostly submission then you don't understand bjj. BJJ is about position and control on the ground. It's not about the deadly guard, its not about the omoplata, or triangle choke. It's about securing and controlling a dominate position on the ground. Once you are there you can submit, ground and pound, or you can gouge your opponents eyes out.

Who is better to ground in pound from inside the guard then someone who spends most of his time inside the guard and knows the risks of his position?

My favorite techniques in bjj are not submissions. Submissions are like little gems of fortune that show up now and then. Most punches thrown are jabs, but that doesn't mean that uppercuts are not relevant. It just means they are harder to setup.

Further more, to say only a RNC makes it seem like this doesn't require extensive training to be effective. It's like saying, well it's only ikkyo and any moron with 5 minutes of training can do it. While technically true, with proper practice in positioning, control, and purpose you can set it up and execute it MUCH better.

Suru
07-15-2009, 12:49 PM
Have fun in the Ferrari! :)

I'll have great fun searching the globe for one that's automatic, which defeats the entire purpose. I've only driven standard on the open road once. I would need a new transmission every month! But it would all be worth it for the conspicuous consumption aspect: I would impress every lion and rhino.

Drew

Michael Varin
07-15-2009, 03:44 PM
If you think BJJ is mostly submission then you don't understand bjj. BJJ is about position and control on the ground. It's not about the deadly guard, its not about the omoplata, or triangle choke. It's about securing and controlling a dominate position on the ground. Once you are there you can submit, ground and pound, or you can gouge your opponents eyes out.
What have we here?

Is this the first does BJJ work in a "real fight" thread, accompanied by all the defensiveness typically displayed by aikidoists?

I never said, nor do I think that BJJ is mostly submissions, however it is undeniable that submissions are intrinsic to BJJ, as is the notion of using the guard to win despite being on your back.

I'm still curious about your answer to my earlier question.

If aikido were "trained in an alive fashion" would it be 100% relevant to UFC? Why/why not?

Aikibu
07-15-2009, 05:07 PM
You do realise that striking is back to the fore only because all the fighters now have a very strong grappling base right? I agree Brock is going to be hard to out wrestle -makes sense given he a a wrestler and huge. He may still be vulnerable to some subs but the setup is crucial.

Sure I would agree with that to a point. Striking actually never "went" anywhere... The UFC is just more balanced now. To clarify... Striking "sets up" everything and more than 50% of the time is the primary means of winning...

waitaminnut. Karate is popular in the ufc? Other than Machida who else is using karate? (and I don't mean who else took somse karate lessons for a while - who is actually using it?)

Well perhaps I was getting ahead of myself LOL but I can tell you that every place I have visited since Machida won is dusting off some of the old "dated" techniques/methods...I know I am preaching to the choir here but the folks on the sport side of MMA are always looking for an edge...

lets pout the karate thing to one side and agree that muay thai is effective in the octogon. Do you see any differnce between how striking is trained in a muay thai club and an aikido dojo? It's not enough for folks to simply say "well we'd do more atemi and be effective" it's all about how you train. The whole aliveness thing. I agree with Kevin,Aikido and MMA have very differnent purposes and to compare them is a little silly. Moreover I think these types of conversations tragically undervalue aikido which is a shame.

Of course I see a distinction Sensei Fooks... and let me take you down memory lane...You and I have been talking about "aliveness training" off and on here FOR YEARS LOL My point was and still is something I did not come up with but has been drilled into me by the founder of our Aikido... To whit (and forgive me...for the 1000th time) For Aikido to be considered Budo it MUST be effective against other Martial Arts...(and not just other branches of Aikido) Otherwise "It's just dancing"

I say this with all due respect to you, Kevin, Saotome Shihan, and Ledyard...

So far the only way I have been able to gauge the effectiveness of my practice in order to live up to the Principles of Aikido is to practice against other skilled Martial Artists...I have found that I have much to learn and understand about how to apply the principles of Aikido with Martial effect LOL

I totally agree with folks like Dan Harden and other some folks here (sight unseen mind you but I trust the posters here who have experianced it) Aikido without Aiki "Power" or Atemi is Martially suspect... So I don't think the Martial Goals of BJJ MMA or Aikido are any different at all...Just the Budo Approach and there is nothing shameful about that. I also empathy though for those that think that Aikido is above Martial Intent or better than Budo and I pray that they never have to put this arrogance to the test (to some poor Aikidoka's undue harm)...I personally have seen a few broken jaws and knew one dead guy who mistakenly thought Aikido was "above all that"

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
07-15-2009, 06:41 PM
I respect your opinion, Don. And you may be correct.

I haven't been around the mma scene for a while, but I do watch the UFC and WEC fairly regularly. In the past year or so, the most common submission I've seen is the guillotine, with the rear naked choke being a very distant second. Far more fights end by decision, KO, or TKO.

I agree that position is important, but most ground and pounders are more than comfortable (and effective) working out of the guard. And I never said ground and pounders are exclusively "wrestlers." It is the safer approach to ground fighting.

Jujigatame and basically all other joint lock submissions are now seldom used and almost never successful. I will concede that most fighters will need a certain degree of awareness of these techniques, but it is very evident that they are "low percentage" techniques and not necessary within the context.

I don't know how useful these statistic are, but thought I'd put them up here for discusions sake. I wish they had them broken down further.

http://www.sherdog.com/stats/fightstats/matchstats-ufc

If aikido were "trained in an alive fashion" would it be 100% relevant to UFC? Why/why not?

Like I was saying earlier, during my Combatives instruction we show the evolution of the UFC to illustrate exactly what you are accessing above. This is important to understand. UFC has evolved for a number of reasons. Mainly because an increase in knowledge and skills AND because of the evolution of the rules and refereeing philosophies.

BJJ is a very relevant methodology to practice for UFC type fights, but I think if I were training for the UFC i'd work much differently than I do in a BJJ class as we really OVER TRAIN many things in BJJ that are not necessary to be successful in the UFC.

If your game is stand up, then you don't need to know a bunch of submissions, you simply need to know how to escape them and avoid getting into bad positions and how to defend against them. Learning to stall is a good skill too so the ref will stand the fight back up and you can continue your game.

This assessment is not meant to take anything away from the fighters and what they do as martial artist, they simply understand how to train properly for their desired endstate! How many Martial Artist can really say that they understand this or even have an desired goal at all that is deeper than "getting a black belt"?

Once you look at training in terms of methodologies, begin to understand pedagogy your training starts to make a little more sense (or not!).

The UFC example does a good job of helping us demonstrate and understand this issue!

If aikido were "trained in an alive fashion" would it be 100% relevant to UFC? Why/why not?

Well I think probably not, or maybe yes?

I think it depends on how you train and what your definition of Aikido.

I think not. MMA Gyms (the good ones) have developed and evolved pretty much as "Open source" schools and have adapted their training to be pretty efficient means of delivery of skill sets for the UFC environment.

So, if you trained to be 100% relevant to the UFC, well you'd spend a couple of years evolving your practice to look like a MMA gym..cept you'd have hakama, grey mats, and a Kamiza. (and you'd probably ditch the Hakama! That is a huge investment to reach a conclusion that could be adopted from good, exsisting methodolgies such as those practiced at say "The Pit".

I think what most folks in AIkido focus on is the "cultural" aspects of MMA, that is the Tapout, tatoos, black and red mats, angry loud music etc and dismiss the actual training that is going on.

I think it is important to separate cultural issues from actual training methodologies when assessing "effectiveness" of training.

It is hard for us to do cause we like to identify with a cultural aspect like hakama or tapout shirts!

In my club, Pentagon Combatives Association, we are based on BJJ since it is a very good methodology for learning Jiu Jitsu skills. We do however have a more martial or military focus when training vice sport. We will train slightly differently than sport schools from time to time because we are military focused.

My point is, you adapt your training environment to fit the objectives that you are trying to accomplish.

Good discussion!

Kevin Leavitt
07-15-2009, 06:51 PM
If you think BJJ is mostly submission then you don't understand bjj. BJJ is about position and control on the ground. It's not about the deadly guard, its not about the omoplata, or triangle choke. It's about securing and controlling a dominate position on the ground. Once you are there you can submit, ground and pound, or you can gouge your opponents eyes out.

Who is better to ground in pound from inside the guard then someone who spends most of his time inside the guard and knows the risks of his position?

My favorite techniques in bjj are not submissions. Submissions are like little gems of fortune that show up now and then. Most punches thrown are jabs, but that doesn't mean that uppercuts are not relevant. It just means they are harder to setup.

Further more, to say only a RNC makes it seem like this doesn't require extensive training to be effective. It's like saying, well it's only ikkyo and any moron with 5 minutes of training can do it. While technically true, with proper practice in positioning, control, and purpose you can set it up and execute it MUCH better.

Don is correct. When I started BJJ I was all about the cool submissions. Now that I am an "experienced" BJJer, I care alot more about the "aiki" aspects of BJJ and realize how important they are. Getting ahead of the OODA loop, transistioning, proprioception, timing, pressure, breathing, posture and all that good stuff. that is where the money is made in BJJ if you want to evolve and get better.

The fundamentals of BJJ apply in UFC. Dominance is paramount.

Guess what.... these same fundamentals are true in aikido as well.

Problem is, we are having the wrong discusision when you are talking about training principles or long range improvement.

When you are talking about winning in the UFC, yes the principles apply, but your training has to focus on strategy and tactics so training methodology is much different than most of us do.

You see the same thing in Judo. those training for olympics will focus on different aspects than those training Judo for life.

Principles of kuzushi are the same in MMA, Judo, and Aikido.

Again, we have to be careful to not assume a paradigm based on our limited understanding of our habits or methodology of study.

If I could get all I wanted in my training in one dojo, i'd go to one dojo. The fact is I go to ALOT of different places to assimilate and learn the things I feel I need to learn. My latest pursuit is in Yoga which I am learning quite a bit about my body as I go!

Suru
07-15-2009, 07:00 PM
With Aikido's anti-fighting philosophy, and BJJ's or even Tomiki's competitive philosophies, how does a cross-trainer reconcile this dichotomy? My guess is the cross-trainer has to stick with Aikido philosophy while having a greater arsenal of techniques, or lose Aikido altogether.

Drew

Demetrio Cereijo
07-15-2009, 07:11 PM
With Aikido's anti-fighting philosophy, and BJJ's or even Tomiki's competitive philosophies, how does a cross-trainer reconcile this dichotomy?

There's no dichotomy, or if there is, is a false one.

Kevin Leavitt
07-15-2009, 08:00 PM
With Aikido's anti-fighting philosophy, and BJJ's or even Tomiki's competitive philosophies, how does a cross-trainer reconcile this dichotomy? My guess is the cross-trainer has to stick with Aikido philosophy while having a greater arsenal of techniques, or lose Aikido altogether.

Drew

Well I think it depends on how you view the whole "anti-fighting" thing.

I think aikido is about fighitng, that is the whole point of the art and practice. I was just listening to a podcast on itunes the other days with Ellis Amdur, it is worth a listen to get his view on the nature and view of aikido and how O'Sensei's philosophies and views shaped aikido later in his life.

I think there is a key difference between "anti-fighting" and "understanding fighting" or even "skillfull fighting".

To me, a anti fighting paradigm implies that there is no fighting involved at all or we have to dismiss certain aspects of fighting out of ethical concerns. I don't think this is correct personally.

Skillfull fighting or a "compassionate fighting" paradigm I think is more correct. That is, we are not limited in what we can study or choose as possible actions, but if we develop or hone ourselves to be better, well in theory we can make better choices, or atleast expand our ability to make appropriate choices when we can.

I study a whole range of violent actions (I am a soldier). My understanding of these things, and the abilitiy to use them comes with great responsibility. The fact that I have skills and abilities, and knowledge in these areas does not make me a less ethical person by studying them. I think it actually makes me more so as I gain a better appreciation for the damage that they can do and that I can do, therefore, I think about it more and think about the choices I have along the spectrum of violence.

Again, just as in the UFC verses Budo example, I think you have to separate out the ethical/cultural frame from the skill frame. Skills are skills and do not possess any morale base at all, Skills are clinical, scientific, and procedural.

Ethics, philosophy, compasion, and mindfullness can help us make choices to employ or not employ these skills.

When we lump it all together, we get a huge confusing mess and we end up with folks doing interpretive crap that I simply can't stand...and that is when our practices go awry!

DonMagee
07-15-2009, 09:09 PM
What have we here?

Is this the first does BJJ work in a "real fight" thread, accompanied by all the defensiveness typically displayed by aikidoists?

I never said, nor do I think that BJJ is mostly submissions, however it is undeniable that submissions are intrinsic to BJJ, as is the notion of using the guard to win despite being on your back.

I'm still curious about your answer to my earlier question.

If aikido were "trained in an alive fashion" would it be 100% relevant to UFC? Why/why not?

I fail to see how I am taking a defensive position. I am only stating what I believe to be fact from personal experience. The notion of winning though your guard is a white belt notion. It is a competition bjj notion. It is not what any serious bjj player aspires to. They aspire to be on top and control the fight. Submissions are not paramount, they are incidental. This is my personal direct experience training in bjj (In which I currently hold a blue belt). The same is true in my experience of judo. It is not about submissions or throws, it is about controlling the balance of your opponent. The throw is just there. I stopped pulling guard a year ago. I consider the guard to be a losing position. Can I submit guys from my guard? Yes. I however consider it to be a secondary goal. The primary goal is to reverse the position and gain dominance. My coach told me that for almost 2 years before it sunk in. I believe him now and the experience of myself and the club competitors proves it.

As Kevin stated you train differently for MMA. But you are still training bjj. You still practice passes, sweeps, pummeling, reversals, takedowns (yea bjj has those), and yes even submissions. What is the difference? Well, I like to practice cool stuff for fun. If I'm just training sport BJJ I might spend an hour working on some cool half guard submission stuff or a cool sweep from a spider guard. If I was training for a MMA fight I would train a small subset of white belt bjj. This would be technical standups, simple sweeps. controlling the opponent from my guard (tie ups and head control), passing the open guard, takedowns, and maintaining top position.

Would aikido work if trained alive? I will say no. The reason? The range of fight in which most aikido techniques I see are practiced is rarely a range of fighting used in MMA. I would place aikido in the trapping range. It is a very quick split second range. This makes aikido as a base very limiting for MMA. Could diligent practice make aikido useful for MMA? I would say yes. I simply think the amount of work it would take makes it infeasible. Too much of the art would need to be replaced or removed to be useful in the cage.

This is in stark contrast to bjj, where the majority of your training can be directly applied to mma. 85-90% of a bjj practice is directly applicable to use in MMA. I'd say that even trained with aliveness that only 10-15% of aikido would be. There are better places to learn striking, there are better places to learn clinch fighting, that only leaves that weird and often split second trapping range. I wouldn't place my money on a range of combat that can almost be skipped. With bjj you only need to supplement some form of striking and add mma sparing to be well rounded and do well in the ring. With aikido you would need to add some form of striking and some for of grappling. The most useful parts of aikido would only cover the range between the striking and into the clinch.

Could this be useful if you were diligent at it and had enough time to be really good at it? Hell yes. Movements like Ikkyo or breath throws could have a significant advantage and we see these happen on accident from time to time in the ring. Would I spend my time on this? Not when there are high percentage easier to perform techniques that are hard to defend (trips, judo style throws and single/double legs).

Another way to look at it is if your current method of practice would allow you to win a mma fight today.

Boxing - Yes
MT - yes
full contact karate - yes
judo - yes
bjj - yes
wrestling - yes

What is the common thread? These arts all master simple gross motor skill movements that are effective and efficient. They can be quickly learned (not mastered, but learned) and applied almost immediately in a alive environment with minimal risk to your partner. This also means that after developing a base in one you can spend just a few short months training another and add a whole new dimension to your ability. The proof is in the MMA fighters that were all bjj or wrestling suddenly getting huge gains in striking after spending a 6 months to a year training under good instructors.

The same can not be said about aikido. I can not teach you nikkyo in 5 or 6 minutes and have you doing it on a fully resisting partner 10 minutes later. Someone is going to the hospital. Likewise you couldn't go visit a top aikido sensei for 6 months and have a large impact on your ability to perform in mma (technique wise). The could help you in other areas, such as maintaining distance, movement, breathing, etc.

I'd say aikido can help your MMA ability the same way it could help your golf game. That is indirectly. If you tried to apply it directly you would find yourself with very little to actually practice.

Honestly, its my same reasoning as to why I don't recommend it for people who are only looking for self defense. If you can perform the majority of it at full power and full speed against a resisting opponent in training, then you are not prepared to do it in 'real life' or the ring. And I don't believe that much of aikido can be trained in that manner. You would have to cut out much of what makes aikido unique and would be left with a weak form of ju-jutsu.

In time I think MMA fighters will either discover or bring into their training the most useful parts of aikido for their sport. Just as the guys in my gym have learned the usefulness of the small pieces of aikido I have brought to their bjj training. It's not a matter of "is this art good for MMA", its a matter of "is this technique useful and high percentage in mma" and "can I make this work for myself in mma". Most of the techniques of bjj can be taught and applied in a rudimentary fashion quickly (as little as one day of training) for a mma fighter. I can teach someone the basics of maintaing the top position, or using a choke, or a sweep or the guard. They can be sparing using that the same day. Sure they will need a lot of work to really know the movement. The same can not be said with aikido. This is why it will be hard to train with aliveness. If you taught a new aikido throw to someone for the first time, your chances of having them spar using it in the next 10 minutes are flat out zero. Unless you are training GSP or something.

gdandscompserv
07-15-2009, 10:20 PM
Does anybody here in this forum have any experience in 'the cage?'

Jason Morgan
07-15-2009, 10:21 PM
I couldn't resist :D These aikido vs MMA discussions always remind me of this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I

I think this is a much better MMA Aikido video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxm09n5lIMk

Kevin Leavitt
07-15-2009, 10:52 PM
Does anybody here in this forum have any experience in 'the cage?'

What do you mean by "cage"?

I have fought a couple of "cage" type matches as well as "no point, no time limit submission only fights. As well as a fair amount of CQB experience with the military practicing "combatives" in a VERY alive environment.

I am considering entering the All Army Combatives Tournament this year in which we fight "Pride Style". Probably won't though primarily because of my age and the rash of injuries lately. If I do, I will have to adapt my training significantly since I am primarily a grappler and I need to work on my Muay Thai skills which suck.

ALL three have the same foundations, yet you employ strategies and tactics differently.

Michael Varin
07-16-2009, 01:04 AM
Don,

Thank you for your reply. It was well thought out.

In fact, I almost completely agree, with only a few exceptions.

I found this interesting:
There are better places to learn striking, there are better places to learn clinch fighting, that only leaves that weird and often split second trapping range. I wouldn't place my money on a range of combat that can almost be skipped.

The question now becomes:

Why do these "useless" techniques exist? Why were they ever created?

Not when there are high percentage easier to perform techniques that are hard to defend (trips, judo style throws and single/double legs).

Just to clarify, do you consider bjj joint lock submissions to be "high percentage" in the mma context?

jss
07-16-2009, 03:15 AM
Why do these "useless" techniques exist? Why were they ever created?
Trapping range makes more sense when one of the participants in the fight has a weapon. So it should not come as a surprise that that's exactly the historical context in which Japanese ju jutsu was developed. (Although it wasn't called 'ju jutsu' at the time.)

gdandscompserv
07-16-2009, 04:26 AM
What do you mean by "cage"?

I have fought a couple of "cage" type matches as well as "no point, no time limit submission only fights. As well as a fair amount of CQB experience with the military practicing "combatives" in a VERY alive environment.

I am considering entering the All Army Combatives Tournament this year in which we fight "Pride Style". Probably won't though primarily because of my age and the rash of injuries lately. If I do, I will have to adapt my training significantly since I am primarily a grappler and I need to work on my Muay Thai skills which suck.

ALL three have the same foundations, yet you employ strategies and tactics differently.
Yeah, that's the kind of experience I was asking about.
Thanks Kevin.
Anybody else?

jss
07-16-2009, 05:58 AM
Why do these "useless" techniques exist? Why were they ever created?
And here's a nice thread: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=204635).
And from post #11:
1. Re a discussion of the origins of DR, more than a little at variance to the orthodox story - my book, Hidden in Plain Sight. I'm guessing publishing date will be in the fall. [That would be the fall of 2008.:D (jss)]
2. Paul - the techniques were/are the best one could ever come up with regarding empty-hand vs. weapon. Nothing absurd about them. It's just that anyone of experience (those who made the kata) were not sanguine about their survival chances against an expert with a blade - but one still did what one could. They would still be applicable today in similar situations.
3. Jujutsu was an amalgam of those techniques, retrofitted, so to speak, + sumo + sophisticated body alignment/organization/ki-kokyu type training - each ryu emphasizing one or the other of these, and further researching them. (remember that most jujutsu ryu had a LOT of weapons training as well - sometimes far more than empty-handed training).
4. As I (and a few other notables ) have written, the ukemi side of training includes the absorbing of force, running it thru your body and then doing various things to take or regain advantage over tori (not going to repeat all those threads again! - please God, not again!). So I do think that Ueshiba adopted some of the particular techniques (kotegaeshi, for example) as training methods in "running forces," so to speak.

DonMagee
07-16-2009, 07:38 AM
Why do these "useless" techniques exist? Why were they ever created?


As stated above, I would say weapons. I can't see me wanting to clinch when my opponent has a knife, sword, jo, etc. Further more, if I had a weapon, let's say a sword) and someone was grabbing my wrist to prevent me from using it, I would want to engage in trapping style movements to free myself, off-balance my attacker and then slice him into bits. I wouldn't want to abandon my sword and try to clinch unless I had no option.


Just to clarify, do you consider bjj joint lock submissions to be "high percentage" in the mma context?

Only at the top end of the sport (say bj penn and other high level bjj/sub grappling players) would I consider the majority of submissions high percentage. I feel they are lower percentage then in a judo or bjj match because of the lack of clothing. If you added clothing I would consider them high percentage, but still would have caveats to using them. Even in pure bjj matches I tend to stray away from joint locks and focus mostly on maintaining the top position and if a choke presents itself, taking it. In fact, I'm hard press to remember more then about 2 times in the last few weeks I've even attempted a joint lock in a bjj sparing session. I spend all my time trying to sweep to the top and control the position.

The majority of joint locks in bjj are bad for MMA because they either are attempted from a inferior position (the guard) or give up a superior position (armbar from the mount). This is the same reason I don't like leg locks from inside a person's guard. Falling back and giving up your position should never be an option imho. This isn't to say that they don't work. I just think it is a bad strategy and one that leaves you open to losing should you fail. Using bjj to get the mount and putting your fists though the guys head is the most effective use of bjj I can think of for MMA.

Ron Tisdale
07-16-2009, 08:13 AM
What have we here?

Is this the first does BJJ work in a "real fight" thread, accompanied by all the defensiveness typically displayed by aikidoists?


Hi Michael, you do know who you are typing to, correct? Don would be the LAST person on this board to fall into that characterization.

I might be the first... :D

Best,
Ron :eek:

Ron Tisdale
07-16-2009, 08:42 AM
Don and Kevin, excellent posts, and you have both increased my understanding immensely.

Best,
Ron

Keith Larman
07-16-2009, 09:50 AM
Just to toss in an observation from the uber-cheap seats here...

A few years ago I was out at a restaurant with some friends. One is a BJJ guy, young, fairly new, fairly enamored with his BJJ as the be-all, end-all of "martial effectiveness" evidenced by UFC, etc. style bouts. Also there were a few guys I know from different, varied arts, mostly Japanese, some koryu, some with BJJ backgrounds as well, and so forth. A few were LEO and a few others were military. The young, enthusiastic guy went on and on about how he could come in fast at the legs and take any one of us down. We all looked at each other then slowly each on of us brought out the blades we'd already all taken out and were holding under the table. Of course mine was my steak knife I had on the table all along, but hey, I had the presence of mine to pull it off the table quietly and drop it in my lap as he went on thinking I'd make a point... Great minds and all that.

I also know that at least three of them were otherwise legally armed with vastly more powerful weapons that they didn't pull out in a crowded restaurant (imagine the mob scene then...).

Now this doesn't go to any sort of discussion like Aikido vs. BJJ or anything like that. But I found it interesting that each one of us felt the need to make the same point. To me what I think is interesting about a lot of Japanese arts is the inherent assumption that each person is otherwise likely armed. There are a lot of movements that involve grabs, etc. which makes sense in an environment where many would have a tanto thrust in their obi at all times. You can't just go in with your head down if the other guy is pulling a tanto out behind his back. One has to try to isolate and control the arms/hands before closing too much of the distance. Or keep them extended out so they can't effectively bring the weapon into play. The emphasis on kuzushi ASAP is important on so many levels!

There's a lot of things you can do martially if you *assume* the other guy isn't armed. But that's a major assumption and was obviously quite wrong in the particular situation I described above. If for some odd reason he was a "bad guy" and had tried to go after any person at that table he would have been in serious trouble. That stuff works great up until you realize the guy you're grappling with isn't going to tap out but is instead shoving a sharpened object between your ribs. You may be able to take a few light punches there, but how tough are your major arteries?

Two guys wearing only tights in a closed ring don't tend to have shanks hidden in their pants so that opens the door to a lot of things you'd otherwise be insane to try if you didn't know if the other guy had a 12" steel blade behind his back.

So is it any surprise that many things done in a ring environment (no weapons thank you) aren't part of the core curriculum of arts that operated under a completely different assumed context?

To me the real point of most of these discussions is that context matters. Aikido in UFC strikes me as quite silly -- it is too easy for an experienced, wily attacker to bust up the "operating system" with powerful, devastating and direct attacks. The underlying aiki skills *can* be very useful (having wrestled, played in Judo, and boxed a bit) but that's true of all things as has already been pointed out. Just not the right "tool belt" to be wearing in a ring.

But to me none of this denigrates aikido or any other art for that matter. You just have to keep things in perspective. The aiki arts evolved in a very different context. Now we can have discussions about how one should train in order to be the best aikidoka possible, but that will assume some understanding of what that really means. Personally I enjoy randori, jiuwaza, and I get out and work on the mat with people from outside my aikido. I'm not trying to learn their art, just trying to learn to expand my understanding of the art I train in.

But if I was forced at gun point to compete in a UFC style match I'd be looking for MMA figthers to train with. And I'd be going back to old greco wrestling, Judo, and my boxing experiences. And I'd hope my aikido would add refinement to my movement, positioning and application of those things.

I'll never forgot training with one guy a few years back. A student asked why we bothered with pins when pins tend to be problematic "in the real world/on the street" (fill in your favorite expression). He just smiled and said "because you're supposed to break their arm and then shove your tanto into them if they're that much of a threat."

You stop them from attacking in the first place if you can. Take them down and calm them if you can't stop them first. But you have to be able to end it if you must. But that's a very different world from a ring experience.

Enough rambling for me... I normally stay out of these discussions because they're fraught with conflicting expectations and different assumed contexts. Just be honest about why you're doing what you're doing. I'm not training for UFC. I find value in the things that go beyond the waza themselves -- the internal structure work, the balance, the grace, the flow, the difficulty, the notions of a larger philosophical context to my training, and so forth. And we all weight those things differently. So should anyone be surprised that intelligent people will differ on what is "best" for themselves?

Best of luck folks. Just be honest with yourself and let everyone else figure it out for themselves...

RED
07-16-2009, 10:32 AM
I went to a Brazilian Jujitsu class a while ago on the request of a friend. (He in return visited our dojo.)
What I found interesting about the grapple art is that it is wasn't like what some aikidoka told me it was like. I mean we've had a bunch of UFC wanna-be's who were meat heads that basically just stopped by to make fun of our "silly skirts".( These people never lasted past one class at our dojo.)
What I found interesting is that the grapple art was very much like Aikido intellectually. It required a lot of intuition when it came to the movement of the human body. In Brazilian jujitsu it seemed like the two people work in unison, almost like the other person's body was a puzzle and you were moving to solve the puzzle-- thus submit them and win. Unlike Aikido, there is no nage or uke. Both are the same, in that light it is like Aikido I think; they are equals going into the bought. What is different is that it is a competitive art.

Hanging out with them also brought light to me on how strong the homni stance is.
In Brazilian jujitsu you do something called "shooting" to get your opponent on the ground so you can grapple. You basically both stand in a horse stance, and one of you shoots their upper body into the other's hips with your hands around the back of their knees and your shoulder against their hip joint.
Well me and the person I was working with were messing around with shooting and they asked about the stances we had in aikido, and I explained the homni. They then proceeded to shoot at me when I stood in homni. I was surprised. I couldn't fall over in this position. In fact, the harder they pushed against me the lower I sunk, until we were at eye level, at that point my opponent was so off balance any movement from me knocked them over. They seemed to have fun with it. But I had a feeling that if they weren't my friend they'd get annoyed with that homni crap pretty quick. lol

Of course Brazilian jujitsu is just one art UFC guys train in to be good for competition. And when all is said and done with UFC I think it is no longer martial art, all the resemblance of the martial elements from it's influences (like jujitsu) are stripped away, and only the competitive elements are left.

Michael Varin
07-16-2009, 03:37 PM
Halleluiah!

To me what I think is interesting about a lot of Japanese arts is the inherent assumption that each person is otherwise likely armed.

As stated above, I would say weapons. I can't see me wanting to clinch when my opponent has a knife, sword, jo, etc. Further more, if I had a weapon, let's say a sword) and someone was grabbing my wrist to prevent me from using it, I would want to engage in trapping style movements to free myself, off-balance my attacker and then slice him into bits. I wouldn't want to abandon my sword and try to clinch unless I had no option.

the techniques were/are the best one could ever come up with regarding empty-hand vs. weapon. Nothing absurd about them. It's just that anyone of experience (those who made the kata) were not sanguine about their survival chances against an expert with a blade - but one still did what one could. They would still be applicable today in similar situations.

The majority of joint locks in bjj are bad for MMA because they either are attempted from a inferior position (the guard) or give up a superior position (armbar from the mount). . . . Using bjj to get the mount and putting your fists though the guys head is the most effective use of bjj I can think of for MMA.

That stuff works great up until you realize the guy you're grappling with isn't going to tap out but is instead shoving a sharpened object between your ribs. You may be able to take a few light punches there, but how tough are your major arteries?

I think the above comments, taken as a whole, are worth meditating on.

Things are starting to get interesting. . .

Michael Varin
07-16-2009, 03:41 PM
Ron,

I have a full understanding of everything I do.

Awareness is part of my aiki training. ;)

RED
07-16-2009, 03:46 PM
My Sempai once said something very crucial I thought in regards to defending against an expert with a weapon: "You're gonna die, so you might as well learn how to die correctly."

Keith Larman
07-16-2009, 05:45 PM
My Sempai once said something very crucial I thought in regards to defending against an expert with a weapon: "You're gonna die, so you might as well learn how to die correctly."

Yeah, I've always loved this graphic...

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_auJyNd2jdmE/SYGzRh6CDlI/AAAAAAAABNw/GUZhPErcCIk/s400/never-give-up-frog.jpg

Michael Hackett
07-16-2009, 07:00 PM
I got to see something terrific last summer. Roger de Santos was visiting my son from Brazil and the two of them put on a mini-BJJ seminar for our Aikido folks on a Saturday. We all had a great time experimenting with some basic takedowns and techniques and the four hours flew by. After the formal class, Roger and our Dojo Cho began to roll for a few minutes. Roger is about 5-6 and 140 while Sensei is 6-2 and 190. They just played for about an hour, each reaching a position of dominance or securing a submission and then giving it up. There was no ego in evidence and the two men just kept going and feeling for openings and weaknesses. Although we were holding a big dojo BBQ at that point, we all sat around the mat and enjoyed watching two highly skilled individuals experiment with the other's art and finding common principles. While there were big differences in the two arts, Roger said later that he thought BJJ was "horizontal Aikido". Could either man have won a contest? Sure, at various times Aikido ruled and at others BJJ was superior, but that shifted back and forth many times. How would they fare in UFC 101? I doubt very well, but both are great practitioners in their respective arts and not too shabby in the other.

RED
07-16-2009, 07:15 PM
Yeah, I've always loved this graphic...

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_auJyNd2jdmE/SYGzRh6CDlI/AAAAAAAABNw/GUZhPErcCIk/s400/never-give-up-frog.jpg

LOL AWESOME!!

Kevin Leavitt
07-16-2009, 10:04 PM
Halleluiah!

I think the above comments, taken as a whole, are worth meditating on.

Things are starting to get interesting. . .

Hey Michael,

I agree with their points 100% too. I think though that we need to be careful to not dismiss the lessons learned from clinch based training, MMA, and BJJ...they have their place.

I was just reading a Master's thesis today on Martial Modalities in the Military, the author had a bias as a Korean Martial Artist and was very critical of grappling based arts, even dismissed Aikido as it was not applicable cause it was a "self defense" system!

Anyway, I have heard the weapons argument so many times used as an excuse to dismiss training methods such as BJJ. Heck I did the same thing for many years!

It has it's place and we should not ignore it based on assumptions of weapons.

However, I do agree that weapons change our strategy tremendously.

I do, however, think you need to understand the clinch in a weapons fight as you will go there and need to understand how to protect yourself at this range when weapons are there.

Suru
07-16-2009, 10:28 PM
Hey Michael,

I agree with their points 100% too. I think though that we need to be careful to not dismiss the lessons learned from clinch based training, MMA, and BJJ...they have their place.

Yeah, and their place is raw personal protection or brutal sport. Where's the SPIRIT? That is all that matters.

Drew

Keith Larman
07-16-2009, 10:33 PM
Anyway, I have heard the weapons argument so many times used as an excuse to dismiss training methods such as BJJ. Heck I did the same thing for many years!

The weapons argument isn't intended to dismiss anything at all. It is about context of each art and the assumptions made. In my story the issue wasn't that BJJ was a bad thing -- not at all. That young man was younger than all of us, stronger, and could probably outlast us all in a ring. The issue was instead one of hubris -- that what he was able to do quite well in the ring would be equally applicable and equally appropriate in other contexts. And that's simply not the case.

Of course many people in every art out there likely make the same mistake about their own art. We all tend to place ours at the top of the pile otherwise it wouldn't be the art we'd be studying, neh? But that again is my point -- each person has their own reasons, preferences, and needs that are met by the arts they study. And each art brings its own context, history, and assumptions along with it.

I am perfectly comfortable with saying Aikido wouldn't fare all that well in a UFC bout. Or at least not any sort of Aikido I'm familiar with. Some of the lessons learned in Aikido might be directly applicable and one could probably find ways of employing those things in direct application (Dan Harden often posts about this sort of thing). I have no doubt that could be the case. But again that's really not the issue. The issue is one of trying to compare things that just don't compare. Apples and chipmunks.

One should no more dismiss BJJ than dismiss Judo than dismiss Krav Maga than dismiss karate than dismiss even tae bo (Yay! Billy Blanks!). Heck, if your goal is kick-butt fitness and chiseled abs then tae bo is the way to go! If your goal is a gendai Japanese art based on jujutsu with a rather comprehensive if somewhat incomprehensible at times philosophy, Aikido is the way to go. If you want to study a good ground game that has been well demonstrated and proven within the context of the ring, BJJ is a place to start. And on and on...

But I'm rambling... Time for a martini... ;)

Kevin Leavitt
07-16-2009, 11:31 PM
Thanks Keith. I didn't mean to infer that anyone here felt that way. I just run into this all the time as a reason to discount or dismiss other training methods.

ChrisHein
07-17-2009, 12:09 AM
I don't think anyone is dismissing BJJ. I think Michael was simply trying to explain that MMA is far from the be all end all paradigm.

Arm controlling skills (like those learned in BJJ submissions) are essential to weapon control situations.

Like wise, "high percentage" MMA techniques, like double leg takedowns, ground and pound, head control techniques, and boxing covers become low percentage and dangerous in some paradigms.

The right tool for the right job. The real problem here is that most people don't realize there are many martial paradigms.

Kevin Leavitt
07-17-2009, 09:16 AM
Agreed Chris. I like the way you guys train actually from your videos. I think it is essential to keep thinking about things constantly.

Ron Tisdale
07-17-2009, 10:40 AM
Ron,

I have a full understanding of everything I do.

Awareness is part of my aiki training. ;)

Oh? Then I really have to wonder why you made that statement to Don, someone who has always questioned the methodolgy behind most Aikido training, and who trains regularly in Judo and BJJ.

I remember hearing a story about an aikido instructor in the neighborhood. He was at a dinner at someone's house, and talking about being constantly aware of his balance and surroundings while leaning back in his chair.

He fell over.

Best,
Ron

Michael Varin
07-17-2009, 04:08 PM
Then I really have to wonder why you made that statement to Don
Gee, Ron.

Sorry you're having a difficult time following the thread. Maybe you should go back and re-read it.

gdandscompserv
07-17-2009, 06:23 PM
I remember hearing a story about an aikido instructor in the neighborhood. He was at a dinner at someone's house, and talking about being constantly aware of his balance and surroundings while leaning back in his chair.

He fell over.
That sounds like me!

Kevin Leavitt
07-17-2009, 06:43 PM
Yeah, and their place is raw personal protection or brutal sport. Where's the SPIRIT? That is all that matters.

Drew

What do you mean by Spirit? It can mean alot of things.

When we talk about "Martial Spirit", I think it means things like Indomitable Spirit. Being strong, robust, unable to give up, to be conquered. It would include courage, doing what is right..and all that good stuff.

Martial practices, physical methodologies for learning, pedagogy....I don't believe have "spirit" people do.

Even in an aikido dojo we can have two people practicing side by side and one of them have "good" martial spirit...the other could be a child molester.

If the practice, methodology, or pedagogy contained spirit or any other such concept of the human pysche...then the practice itself would expose them just from practicing it.

However, it does not. It is possible to me immoral, amoral or whatever...and still be a high ranking Aikidoka with very good aikido physically...and be a complete louse!

Suru
07-17-2009, 07:50 PM
Good points, Kevin. Aikido per se does not create in all its practicioners people full of love and empathy with generous spirits. However, it is an activity which fosters such spirits and strengthens them in those who have them to begin with. I believe it was the second Doshu who wrote in his book, "The Spirit of Aikido," "[Those only interested in Aikido for superficial reasons will usually not last three months.]" I do think that many "superficials" stay in longer than that. Aikido is not a secret society, but people who thrive on conquering others through conflict, wanting to engage in an activity, will probably end up reaping more enjoyment from another MA or a sport. Sports are huge in today's world, and I know you know this. I'm not preaching to you. I believe it was the summer after 11th grade that I was playing basketball in a students/alumni league at my high school. I made six three-pointers in a row from the same spot on the wing. After a few they'd start covering me on the outside, and I'd shoot with them in my face. After the game an alumnus on the other team came up to me and said, "You were shootin' the lights out!" Ego-boost. Another game, I made the winning shot. This kid runs up to me after the buzzer and says enthusiastically, "Nice shot!" I said, "Thanks, buddy" and gave him five. Then, there have been hundreds of games with little or no personal glory. The point is, I have enjoyed thrills, even watching Michael Jordan dunk against the Heat as a middle schooler thrilled me. Sports and sporting MAs often crank up the sympathetic nervous system to afterburner. Fostering personal peace seems boring to many people, if even possible at all. Even though Aikido is probably not the best activity for them, I've trained with kyu-rank-mongers and other such glory hounds. I am not always immune to these feelings myself. However, many Aikidoka including myself chose to practice this particular MA, sincerely agreeing with most or all of its philosophy, often remembering to pay gratitude toward countless people whom with their free-willed pro-social spirits began this, and keep it alive.

Drew

DonMagee
07-17-2009, 09:10 PM
It has been in my experience the guys I've trained with in bjj have had less ego, been better mannered, more polite, more reasonable and open to suggestions, and just all around nice people.

The aikido people I have met have been that way as well. I have also met complete tools of human beings in martial arts. I've met people who told me they were humble. I mean come on! Humble people don't tell you they are humble. I've met "pacifists" who were really just passive aggressive. AKA "We train to inspire peace, but I'm telling you right now, you put me up against a MMA fighter and I'll gouge that mother F***ers eyes out!".

Personally, I didn't have any changes in my lifestyle and personality until I got a good ass kicking on a regular basis. It's humbling to train in martial arts for years and get destroyed by a kid who trained in a "sport" for 6 months. The amount of inner reflection and growth that went on after that was off the charts. Did I waste my time? Do I suck? Am I defenseless? Is it too late? Was I lied to? Is it me or the art? Could I have won if I did x? Why do I care that I lost? What did I learn? How can I improve myself and grow as a fighter? Screw that, how can I grow as a person?

Eventually you stop trying to win and you start trying to improve yourself. Kano saw this in judo and I think it's there in any personal sport.

In contrast, I learned a lot of things in martial arts that I feel were counter productive to feeling at peace and learning about myself. False chains of command, being subversive, abuse of power, Desire for power, pretense of authority when you have none, a belief of entitlement where there is none (I'm the black belt here, do what I say or else!)

I'm not saying I didn't learn anything about myself from martial arts prior to judo and bjj. I did learn a lot then. I just feel I have grown more after I left then when I was there. And I've been in bjj long enough to watch spastic meat heads turn into graceful, helpful students of art.

RED
07-17-2009, 09:28 PM
It has been in my experience the guys I've trained with in bjj have had less ego, been better mannered, more polite, more reasonable and open to suggestions, and just all around nice people.

The aikido people I have met have been that way as well. I have also met complete tools of human beings in martial arts. I've met people who told me they were humble. I mean come on! Humble people don't tell you they are humble. I've met "pacifists" who were really just passive aggressive. AKA "We train to inspire peace, but I'm telling you right now, you put me up against a MMA fighter and I'll gouge that mother F***ers eyes out!".

Personally, I didn't have any changes in my lifestyle and personality until I got a good ass kicking on a regular basis. It's humbling to train in martial arts for years and get destroyed by a kid who trained in a "sport" for 6 months. The amount of inner reflection and growth that went on after that was off the charts. Did I waste my time? Do I suck? Am I defenseless? Is it too late? Was I lied to? Is it me or the art? Could I have won if I did x? Why do I care that I lost? What did I learn? How can I improve myself and grow as a fighter? Screw that, how can I grow as a person?

Eventually you stop trying to win and you start trying to improve yourself. Kano saw this in judo and I think it's there in any personal sport.

In contrast, I learned a lot of things in martial arts that I feel were counter productive to feeling at peace and learning about myself. False chains of command, being subversive, abuse of power, Desire for power, pretense of authority when you have none, a belief of entitlement where there is none (I'm the black belt here, do what I say or else!)

I'm not saying I didn't learn anything about myself from martial arts prior to judo and bjj. I did learn a lot then. I just feel I have grown more after I left then when I was there. And I've been in bjj long enough to watch spastic meat heads turn into graceful, helpful students of art.

Yeah in my experience too. The bjj guys were always cool.... granted there was always the random bjj guy that was a meat head UFC wanna be that hurt themselves or others. But over all serious bjj guys didn't seem to look kindly on them.

I've had my share of experiences with meat heads. They always say the same thing: "Well, I could just punch you in the throat if you did that!!" or other such statements to a similar affect.

Michael Varin
07-17-2009, 10:42 PM
I've met people who told me they were humble. I mean come on! Humble people don't tell you they are humble. I've met "pacifists" who were really just passive aggressive. AKA "We train to inspire peace, but I'm telling you right now, you put me up against a MMA fighter and I'll gouge that mother F***ers eyes out!".

Sounds like you've run into some of the same types in aikido that I have.

I learned a lot of things in martial arts that I feel were counter productive to feeling at peace and learning about myself. False chains of command, being subversive, abuse of power, Desire for power, pretense of authority when you have none, a belief of entitlement where there is none (I'm the black belt here, do what I say or else!)

Not much I can add to this.

This is starting to cut to the core of what I think has gone "wrong" with aikido.

rob_liberti
07-20-2009, 06:45 AM
Let me first say that at a certain level, I am all for pressure-tested aikido - and I mean very high pressure. For that kind of training, I think aiki powered MMA moving as if you are holding a knife is the way to go.

I actually am VERY interested in eventually trying every drill that Chris Hein has come up with for his unique study.

For that kind of thing to be what I consider my kind of aikido training in a pressure-tested situation - it has to be movement without struggle. To me, the idea of 2 people *struggling* over a knife and that getting resolved by an externally powered shihonage technique offends my idea of what aikido ever was or can be.

In my view, pressure-tested aikido should be like I am holding a knife, and no matter what you try to do to me you feel stabbed and slashed - but now you cannot get away and you are wishing you were somewhere else from the moment of engagement - regardless of how confident you started. And at higher levels (relative to the attacker), it is still that way but somehow the attacker gets thrown or pinned and it didn't turn out nearly as badly for them as they thought when they hit their "oh sh*t! I'm in trouble!" revelation, so they they wind up a bit more grateful than you would typically expect.

Triaining that way against someone else who also has aiki in their body as well as position dominance takes training where I would prefer to continue my research. My feeling is that this is the best way to explore the universal physical principles so I can better relate them to my attempts to understand universal spiritual principles (which to me is more why it is aikido).

Rob

DonMagee
07-20-2009, 07:05 AM
Let me first say that at a certain level, I am all for pressure-tested aikido - and I mean very high pressure. For that kind of training, I think aiki powered MMA moving as if you are holding a knife is the way to go.

I actually am VERY interested in eventually trying every drill that Chris Hein has come up with for his unique study.

For that kind of thing to be what I consider my kind of aikido training in a pressure-tested situation - it has to be movement without struggle. To me, the idea of 2 people *struggling* over a knife and that getting resolved by an externally powered shihonage technique offends my idea of what aikido ever was or can be.

In my view, pressure-tested aikido should be like I am holding a knife, and no matter what you try to do to me you feel stabbed and slashed - but now you cannot get away and you are wishing you were somewhere else from the moment of engagement - regardless of how confident you started. And at higher levels (relative to the attacker), it is still that way but somehow the attacker gets thrown or pinned and it didn't turn out nearly as badly for them as they thought when they hit their "oh sh*t! I'm in trouble!" revelation, so they they wind up a bit more grateful than you would typically expect.

Triaining that way against someone else who also has aiki in their body as well as position dominance takes training where I would prefer to continue my research. My feeling is that this is the best way to explore the universal physical principles so I can better relate them to my attempts to understand universal spiritual principles (which to me is more why it is aikido).

Rob

The most important part of pressure testing is this: If it's going exactly how you thought or wanted it to go then you are not being pressured hard enough.

In a perfect world everything I want to do works and it's as if I am an invincible wall of win. I'm still looking for that perfect world. Pressure testing is about learning to cope with adversity, to be creative and adjust to your environment. If you start off with a game plan, and thinking you know how the next few minutes will go, but end up being forced into a situation you never wanted to be in and using your intelligence, skill, and character to get out of it, then you know you are training properly.

My sparing matches always have the same plan. Clinch, judo throw, maintain side control, choke. Anyone want to take a guess on how often that happens against anyone near my skill level?

Ron Tisdale
07-20-2009, 07:47 AM
Gee, Ron.

Sorry you're having a difficult time following the thread. Maybe you should go back and re-read it.

No problems following the thread here. Have fun...

Best,
Ron

Carl Thompson
07-20-2009, 07:50 AM
For whatever it is worth, Don has made some excellent posts here IMO.

rob_liberti
07-20-2009, 10:53 AM
The most important part of pressure testing is this: If it's going exactly how you thought or wanted it to go then you are not being pressured hard enough.

In a perfect world everything I want to do works and it's as if I am an invincible wall of win. I'm still looking for that perfect world. Pressure testing is about learning to cope with adversity, to be creative and adjust to your environment. If you start off with a game plan, and thinking you know how the next few minutes will go, but end up being forced into a situation you never wanted to be in and using your intelligence, skill, and character to get out of it, then you know you are training properly.

My sparing matches always have the same plan. Clinch, judo throw, maintain side control, choke. Anyone want to take a guess on how often that happens against anyone near my skill level?

Sure Don, but you know, when you pressure test, you expect to be able to hold up to a certain degree of pressure, and then past that you have to do your "growth". I attempted to describe that aspect when I wrote: "Training that way against someone else who also has aiki in their body as well as position dominance takes training where I would prefer to continue my research." So think we are on the same page.

Rob

DH
07-20-2009, 12:01 PM
On the whole I think grapplers have always...always been a healthier lot than most people I have met in formal budo. Winning and losing and putting it out there keeps you in check and in balance.
That said, I think we should give credence to the fact that most grapplers have a level of confidence and lack of fear that is inherent in them from their training, and not enough credit is given to the fact that in itself that is a very profound aspect -of- Budo.
I really only have one thing to say to people who keep trying to do knife training.
Find someone who really knows how to use a knife (not a knife technique teacher) it may open your eyes to how much trouble you can really get yourself into and how ill-equipped most budo people are in dealing with it.
Cheers
Dan

Marc Abrams
07-20-2009, 01:45 PM
On the whole I think grapplers have always...always been a healthier lot than most people I have met in formal budo. Winning and losing and putting it out there keeps you in check and in balance.
That said, I think we should give credence to the fact that most grapplers have a level of confidence and lack of fear that is inherent in them from their training, and not enough credit is given to the fact that in itself that is a very profound aspect -of- Budo.
I really only have one thing to say to people who keep trying to do knife training.
Find someone who really knows how to use a knife (not a knife technique teacher) it may open your eyes to how much trouble you can really get yourself into and how ill-equipped most budo people are in dealing with it.
Cheers
Dan

Dan:

Grapplers have confidence because of the uniforms that they put us in :eek: ! It takes a whole lot of cajones to wear those around your friends during your adolescence and early twenties.

:D

Marc Abrams

ChrisHein
07-20-2009, 01:55 PM
For that kind of thing to be what I consider my kind of aikido training in a pressure-tested situation - it has to be movement without struggle.

Even though my critics would say otherwise, this as well is my goal. However one has to put in his time with resistance before this becomes even remotely possible.

Using Bjj as an example. I'm not sure if you've ever hand the chance to "roll" with a high level Bjj black belt, but if you have you'll know that they can often effortlessly out grapple people with several years experience who may be much larger then they are.

Now that's not what they looked like the first time they started grappling. They resisted, and used force and wasted lot's of energy. But now, because they did that, because they constantly faced the resistance with the goal of being better next time, they improved.

This is also what the UFC, and other MMA competitions have done with unarmed fighting. They have constantly faced resistance, in an attempt to get better. Watching MMA on television, seeing two guys of similar physicality and ability fight you can't always tell that. However if you see them spar with lessor competitors, they can effortlessly handle them.

Two guys of the same ability with opposing will, will always create a struggle. That is what a "fight" is. However the intended goal of martial technique should be to easily defeat those who are untrained of your same physicality. Or to be able to achieve a victory against someone untrained who is larger then you.

My apologies for the long post.

Suru
07-20-2009, 03:26 PM
Drew,
I wanted to address this separately. Ellis Amdur Sensei once told us that in almost all martial arts there are techniques which one trains in . not because he thinks he will actually do those techniques on an opponent, but rather so he can understand those techniques well enough that no one can do them on him.

I was just re-reading my first post on this thread, and then I read the few that followed. At the University of Miami Aikido Club, led by Cat Fitzgerald Sensei (rank unknown to me), he dedicated an entire class solely to reversals of several Aikido techniques. That was an extremely fun and probably highly beneficial class. I had a few years training under my "belt," but I hadn't done these. It was just really frickin' cool! I wonder if that particular class was some kind of an anomaly, or if many of you all have studied reversals. If so, to what degree? By the way, FItzgerald Sensei has the potential to be intimidating, but he is a really warm-hearted sensei, who guides while fully respecting his students and their feelings.

Drew

gdandscompserv
07-20-2009, 03:48 PM
On the whole I think grapplers have always...always been a healthier lot than most people I have met in formal budo. Winning and losing and putting it out there keeps you in check and in balance.
That said, I think we should give credence to the fact that most grapplers have a level of confidence and lack of fear that is inherent in them from their training, and not enough credit is given to the fact that in itself that is a very profound aspect -of- Budo.
I really only have one thing to say to people who keep trying to do knife training.
Find someone who really knows how to use a knife (not a knife technique teacher) it may open your eyes to how much trouble you can really get yourself into and how ill-equipped most budo people are in dealing with it.
Cheers
Dan
Yeah, I think the only appropriate response to a knife being drawn on one is to draw a weapon of superior force (gun), or run like hell.

Grapplers have confidence because of the uniforms that they put us in :eek: ! It takes a whole lot of cajones to wear those around your friends during your adolescence and early twenties.
What are you talking about Marc? I look GOOD in tights!:p

Ron Tisdale
07-20-2009, 03:52 PM
My memory is not very good anymore, so I can't remember the names, but I've seen at least a few MMA fights where the opponants where evenly matched, yet you didn't really see what I would call struggle when they matched each other on the ground. What I saw was an endless flow from one position to another...some of the best scrambles I have ever seen!

Best,
Ron
Even though my critics would say otherwise, this as well is my goal. However one has to put in his time with resistance before this becomes even remotely possible.

Using Bjj as an example. I'm not sure if you've ever hand the chance to "roll" with a high level Bjj black belt, but if you have you'll know that they can often effortlessly out grapple people with several years experience who may be much larger then they are.

Now that's not what they looked like the first time they started grappling. They resisted, and used force and wasted lot's of energy. But now, because they did that, because they constantly faced the resistance with the goal of being better next time, they improved.

This is also what the UFC, and other MMA competitions have done with unarmed fighting. They have constantly faced resistance, in an attempt to get better. Watching MMA on television, seeing two guys of similar physicality and ability fight you can't always tell that. However if you see them spar with lessor competitors, they can effortlessly handle them.

Two guys of the same ability with opposing will, will always create a struggle. That is what a "fight" is. However the intended goal of martial technique should be to easily defeat those who are untrained of your same physicality. Or to be able to achieve a victory against someone untrained who is larger then you.

My apologies for the long post.

Marc Abrams
07-20-2009, 05:13 PM
Yeah, I think the only appropriate response to a knife being drawn on one is to draw a weapon of superior force (gun), or run like hell.

What are you talking about Marc? I look GOOD in tights!:p

Ricky:

I would agree, I think we all looked DAMN GOOD :cool: ! The girls certainly could accurately gauge our potential ;) . Still took a lot of grief from friends. That usually ended when I invited them to "dance with me" on the mats. I always said that those big guys who played with bigger balls throwing them through hoops were simply engaged in a contest of over-compensation!!!!

Marc Abrams

ChrisHein
07-20-2009, 06:14 PM
My memory is not very good anymore, so I can't remember the names, but I've seen at least a few MMA fights where the opponants where evenly matched, yet you didn't really see what I would call struggle when they matched each other on the ground. What I saw was an endless flow from one position to another...some of the best scrambles I have ever seen!

Best,
Ron

Exceptions don't make rules even though all rules have them.

Watching someone like Carlos Newton who is a master grappler and known for his smooth ability can make you think that maybe at a high level, struggle or fighting doesn't exist, even with people who are at the same ability level.

there are several fights under Newton's belt that are breath taking. Like Newton v.s Sakuraba. Where both guys decided to "play" the grappling game. When two master technicians meet, they may choose to see "who's better" at the said game. If the game is high level positional grappling, it will look as if there is not struggle, simply transition.

Then you can watch that same guy face someone who is not willing to play that game and again see a fight or struggle. Example: Newton v.s. Hughes. Those guys are similar in physicality and ability in their perspective styles, however Matt Hughes chooses to play the pick them up and smash them down style of fighting with Newton. Hughes is a master technician, however their fight doesn't look like seamless position changes, it looks like one guy picking the other up and slamming him, and it worked for him twice.

It's easy to confuse the choice to play a specific game like Aikido Jiyuwaza, or positional grappling, with actual fighting. This is one of the major mistakes made by the Aikido community.

rob_liberti
07-20-2009, 06:39 PM
I suppose I just think all approaches have positives and negatives. (I was attempting to be evenhanded and came off as a critic - oh well, my apologies.) Regardless, I plan to learn more aiki to avoid a whole lot more of the struggle while doing that kind of work - than _just_ trying to make aikido more of an MMA approach with a weapons context. I only mentioned it at all because well this is the place to discuss how to go about "training" after all. I'm sure everyone's approach is the best they have found so far (not too many people stick with the not-as-good ways for them). -Rob

ChrisHein
07-20-2009, 07:23 PM
I suppose I just think all approaches have positives and negatives. (I was attempting to be evenhanded and came off as a critic - oh well, my apologies.) Regardless, I plan to learn more aiki to avoid a whole lot more of the struggle while doing that kind of work - than _just_ trying to make aikido more of an MMA approach with a weapons context. I only mentioned it at all because well this is the place to discuss how to go about "training" after all. I'm sure everyone's approach is the best they have found so far (not too many people stick with the not-as-good ways for them). -Rob

Sorry if It read otherwise. I didn't take your comments to be criticism Rob.

It's simply that most people look at the work we've been doing and comment on the force and struggle, not understanding the goal behind the work.

Your comment about people sticking with the best method they've yet to find is astute

Ron Tisdale
07-21-2009, 10:17 AM
Hi Chris, good examples, and good fights. Can't argue with your logic!
Best,
Ron