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Cannea
10-06-2009, 06:59 PM
Today a good friend of mine who has been training Muay Thai for about a year called me and flat out told me that Aikido according to his oppinion and that of others in his gym is not practical and that he was afraid that I was wasting my precious time.

As a new student of Yoshinkan Aikido (as of yesterday I have been to a grand total of 3 classes :) I have been bombarded by the same opinion in every forum and youtube video I have ever saw on Aikido. This has weighted on my mind even before I signed up, but I chose to sign up anyway because I sensed something special about Aikido. Something that I still can not verbalize.

After watching many Aikido videos and observing my Sensei I don't share my friends opinion. But I can't say why.

Why do people think Aikido does not work?

Cannea
10-06-2009, 07:37 PM
Actually forget that I posted this Thread, if I knew how, I would delete it. This is something I believe that I will have to find for myself.

Cheers

dps
10-06-2009, 09:03 PM
This is something I believe that I will have to find for myself.

That is your answer, everyone makes Aikido out to be what they want it to be. If you want it to be effective you will find a way to make it so.

David

Shadowfax
10-06-2009, 09:44 PM
An interesting question. Perhaps because for their purpose it does not work. They don't want the same things from their MA that an aikidoka is looking for from theirs.

Take this with a grain of salt this is simply my own observation based on my limited experience.

Lots of people take up a martial art because they want to be able to hurt someone and or win a fight. Their minds are on preparing for a fight and they are looking for the brawny way out of it. They want to look cool, be perceived as powerful and strong physically, be feared for the damage they can do to someone who might attack them.

Now I understand that in MA of any type, many practitioners ,when they reach a certain level no longer tend to have those desires. But I suspect that the majority of those ,ridiculing Aikido as ineffective, have not reached that level.

Aikido looks weak because in most cases effective aikido prevents the physical fight from ever happening. And should that conflict become physical it still looks for the least damaging way to resolve the conflict. It seems contrary to what most people expect from a martial art. But because of those very facts Aikido is quite powerful. IMHO.

Of course if gentleness fails Aikido has a few surprises in store for those who might have doubts. Let it remain our little secret. ;)

odudog
10-06-2009, 09:51 PM
I would tell your friends that an entire planet can't be wrong. If it were so, then this art would not have spread to the four corners of the world. Besides, history tells us that the original students of O'Sensei were accomplished martial artists in other arts yet they to decided to study. I don't think they who had real world fighting knowledge and experience would have wasted their time learning this art from him.

Tinyboy344
10-06-2009, 11:07 PM
Why do people think Aikido does not work???
Because it doesn't! ;-p

Who cares what people think or say.

observer
10-07-2009, 12:13 AM
Lots of people take up a martial art because they want to be able to hurt someone and or win a fight.
I think, such motivation is rare. Mostly, lack of self-confidence and fear of violence. It applies to followers of combat sports and Martial Art.

Aikido looks weak? It is exactly the opposite. Aikido looks at films and shows very impressive. Also the media present it as a modern art of self-defense.

"... effective aikido prevents the physical fight from ever happening. And should that conflict become physical it still looks for the least damaging way to resolve the conflict.
This is wishful thinking. It has nothing to do with the real situation.

However, responding to the original question: "Why do people think Aikido does not work?" - because it is not the answer to the expectations. The whole propaganda is just commercialism. Aikido is budo, the art of killing.

jss
10-07-2009, 01:31 AM
Why do people think Aikido does not work?
Here are a few reasons. (I don't completely agree with all of them, btw, and some of them overlap a bit.)
- No sparring or 'alive' training.
- Limited technical curriculum (no body-to-body grappling, no punching/kicking).
- No aiki.
- Aikido has not proven itself in MMA fights.
- Developed from a very limited paradigm (koryu jujutsu / yawara) and never transcended that.
- Assumes the presence of weapons, but rarely trains with weapons present.
- Aikido makes unrealistic claims about doing a minimal amount of damage to the attacker.
- Most Aikido practitioners don't look mean enough.
- Lack of physical conditioning (strength/endurance/speed).
- Knowingly practicing many unrealistic (too elaborate) techniques to explore principles and ideas.
- Training techniques on poorly executed attacks during training.
- Aikido doesn't look violent enough.
- Training atmosphere is too relaxed, loose, fun.
- Lack of martial intent during practice.
- Practitioners with unrealistic ideas about fighting and self-defense.

Edward
10-07-2009, 03:12 AM
In my opinion, Aikido has limited effectiveness in fighting as proven in MMA events, but is a very effective way of self-defence, if you see what I mean.

Maarten De Queecker
10-07-2009, 03:39 AM
Here are a few reasons. (I don't completely agree with all of them, btw, and some of them overlap a bit.)
- No sparring or 'alive' training.
- Limited technical curriculum (no body-to-body grappling, no punching/kicking).
- No aiki.
- Aikido has not proven itself in MMA fights.
- Developed from a very limited paradigm (koryu jujutsu / yawara) and never transcended that.
- Assumes the presence of weapons, but rarely trains with weapons present.
- Aikido makes unrealistic claims about doing a minimal amount of damage to the attacker.
- Most Aikido practitioners don't look mean enough.
- Lack of physical conditioning (strength/endurance/speed).
- Knowingly practicing many unrealistic (too elaborate) techniques to explore principles and ideas.
- Training techniques on poorly executed attacks during training.
- Aikido doesn't look violent enough.
- Training atmosphere is too relaxed, loose, fun.
- Lack of martial intent during practice.
- Practitioners with unrealistic ideas about fighting and self-defense.

What Joep said. This pretty much nails it, and I agree with some of those points.

DonMagee
10-07-2009, 07:14 AM
If you only 'think' or 'believe' aikido is effective, then in my opinion you are training wrong.

I know my bjj/judo/boxing works. I don't think it works, I don't believe some old guy that it works, and I don't need the justification of others to say it works.

I got out there and I use it every single day.

How do I know? It's simple.

I've been boxing for 4 weeks now. When I had my first sparing match 2 weeks in I was awful. I was beaten and bloodied and broken (spiritually). My last sparing session I was able to slip punches and hit a guy who was trying to beat my face in. So now I know that it works. I know that if someone is taking shots at me, I have the ability to slip punches and hit him back.

The same is true with my judo, my bjj, even my aikido. I've actually used ikkyo against someone trying to take me down and choke the crap out of me. I've actually been able to use my judo to throw down guys bigger and stronger then I was who were trying to do the same. I've even used them all together at the same time.

So I have no doubts about if what I'm training works. I know it does. I did the testing. I put in the blood sweat and pain.

Does that mean what you are doing works? Nope.

You need to be a skeptic. You need to be a scientist. You need to test what you are learning.

Does this mean failure means what you are doing doesn't work? No. In many cases as a beginner what you are learning simply will not work for you. It took me a year to really get a good grasp of many sweeps and transitions of bjj. I never won a match in a judo tournament until i was a brown belt. I still get more then I give in boxing.

The difference is I see progress. I can walk into any gym in this country and jump into a sparing session and use what I know to defend myself. I see continuous improvement on these skills. Most importantly, they work when I don't know what my attacker is going to do and my attacker is not cooperating. For example, 2 years ago when a large muscle guy with no training would take a bjj class, I would struggle to control and submit him. Today if a guy like that takes a bjj class he is almost comical in my eyes. I can defeat him without even breaking a sweat.

I don't know if that helps you. Maybe give this a read http://aliveness101.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-aliveness.html

CarrieP
10-07-2009, 10:16 AM
We've had a lot of new members join our dojo recently, so this question in a similar form has come up a lot recently ("How do I use aikido in a fight? What if I get into a fight at school? How do I defend myself?")

Our dojo flat-out says that if you want to learn self-defense, aikido's not the way to go. Aikido is more a holistic art, where you are learning a lot of basic body movement, and more subtle things, especially at the beginner levels. And yes, some aikido dojos are better than others at teaching the martial part of martial arts (distance, striking effectively, etc).

I see it as a different way of learning. MMA is a faster style of learning. But aikido is much more gradual. Both are valid depending on what you are trying to do.

It takes a lot longer to learn the principles of aikido, but I think that laying that deep foundation is really important.

And I'm all about sparring or grappling or some such. Because sparring does help you see what works and what doesn't in a situation that is more controlled but a bit more dynamic, closer to real-life.

You do tend to learn to move off the line faster when a punch is being thrown at you.

Flintstone
10-07-2009, 10:23 AM
Just let them believe Aikdio doesn't work.

lbb
10-07-2009, 10:39 AM
An interesting question.
Yes, and one that nobody has ever asked before. Especially not on this forum.

http://www.masonicinfo.com/images/BeatDeadHorse.gif

ChrisHein
10-07-2009, 11:05 AM
Here are a few reasons. (I don't completely agree with all of them, btw, and some of them overlap a bit.)
- No sparring or 'alive' training.
- Limited technical curriculum (no body-to-body grappling, no punching/kicking).
- No aiki.
- Aikido has not proven itself in MMA fights.
- Developed from a very limited paradigm (koryu jujutsu / yawara) and never transcended that.
- Assumes the presence of weapons, but rarely trains with weapons present.
- Aikido makes unrealistic claims about doing a minimal amount of damage to the attacker.
- Most Aikido practitioners don't look mean enough.
- Lack of physical conditioning (strength/endurance/speed).
- Knowingly practicing many unrealistic (too elaborate) techniques to explore principles and ideas.
- Training techniques on poorly executed attacks during training.
- Aikido doesn't look violent enough.
- Training atmosphere is too relaxed, loose, fun.
- Lack of martial intent during practice.
- Practitioners with unrealistic ideas about fighting and self-defense.

This list is pretty great. It includes all of the major points of contention.

While some of these points are dead on, some are dead wrong, and some are simply misconceptions. All of them need to be addressed and understood. That is if we ever do want to stop beating the proverbial dead horse (Nice gif Mary).

Aikibu
10-07-2009, 11:14 AM
For the same reasons they believe The Moon landing was staged...Elvis is still alive...and our current President was born in Kenya...

Some folks got allot of mileage out of continuously bashing Aikido's "effectiveness"

They hold up this analogy and that fact and shout out how dreadful it all is that we Aikidoka are fooling ourselves...

Well in answer to your question Folks have a right to think anything they want and I have no right to change their opinion other than to express mine.... All I know is that my Aikido works just fine thank you very much. That being said even after almost 20 years I have my hands full just trying to improve my practice...

If your Aikido sucks what are YOU going to do about it....

Me...Continue to Cross Train to improve our Aikido's "effectiveness" as a Martial Art

Practice Hard (though I am getting old LOL)

Find someone who actually knows Aiki locally

and see how far I can go because I love it!!! I hope to practice for another 20 years and can't wait to see what's around the next corner in my Aikido journey.

Good Luck with yours youngster and remember... A little doubt is a good thing if you use it as motivation to get better. :)

William Hazen

Phil Van Treese
10-07-2009, 11:34 AM
Some people have never had to use it. Others have more than their share of ignorance. I used it in Viet Nam and that's why I am still here and others are not. Convince me it doesn't work!!!!

SeaGrass
10-07-2009, 11:49 AM
Like Ikeda sensei said: "It's not aikido that doesn't work, it's YOUR aikido that doesn't work" :D

jss
10-07-2009, 11:49 AM
Convince me it doesn't work!!!!
Ok! Grab my wrist. No, dammmit, the other one! :D

observer
10-07-2009, 11:52 AM
and see how far I can go because I love it!!! I hope to practice for another 20 years and can't wait to see what's around the next corner in my Aikido journey.

Is this you think about basketball, William? It is just a game and the points do not count. :)

Aikibu
10-07-2009, 12:07 PM
Is this you think about basketball, William? It is just a game and the points do not count. :)

The points count in Basketball because it is a game with rules, a winner and a loser...

Life cannot simply be reduced to a "game" of "win or lose", and this is why I enjoy Aikido so much...:)

"We are all one..." Sai Baba

William Hazen

thisisnotreal
10-07-2009, 12:13 PM
Bas Rutten: Aikido in MMA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k_uumIQ1uk)

Eric Joyce
10-08-2009, 01:37 AM
I think the majority of people on here covered it already so I won't add a whole lot to the conversation. The problem with techniques that can't be practiced in alive training (sparring, randori, rolling etc) is that you never develop your nervous system to use it under anything but idealized circumstances. The key in making your Aikido effective is in the training methodology...to train your body and place your self under varying and adverse circumstances.
That's where it will come alive. This goes for any art really.

Edward
10-08-2009, 02:14 AM
There is only one way to prove aikido's effectiveness. It's not sparring, not MMA. You go to the port and pick up a fight with a few sailors, like Gozo Shioda used to do. Alternatively you can pick up a fight in a bar or something similar. That's the only way to know, at your own risk. Not for me though, I have nothing to prove neither to myself nor to others. I prefer to avoid any kind of conflict that might lead to physical damage, even if you win.

jss
10-08-2009, 03:54 AM
There is only one way to prove aikido's effectiveness.
To actually prove it, we should do a double-blind study. ;)

You go to the port and pick up a fight with a few sailors, like Gozo Shioda used to do. Alternatively you can pick up a fight in a bar or something similar.
That's a limited view on effectiveness. Going to a bar, approaching a sailor without him noticing your ill intent, inflicting a deadly wound with a concealable edged weapon and being able to leave the bar without anyone knowing you killed the guy, seems to be more effective.

Edward
10-08-2009, 04:17 AM
That's a limited view on effectiveness. Going to a bar, approaching a sailor without him noticing your ill intent, inflicting a deadly wound with a concealable edged weapon and being able to leave the bar without anyone knowing you killed the guy, seems to be more effective.

But, but, that's not aikido, that would be Ninjutsu :D

The aikido way is to insult that man's mother and sister so hard so that he would be blinded with rage and attacks you without reserve. Then you use one of the aikido techniques to throw him, and break one of his arms, or two, but never kill him. Aikido is not violent :D

Marie Noelle Fequiere
10-08-2009, 01:15 PM
Why people think that Aikido does not work? Because they haven't tried it.

ryujin
10-08-2009, 02:20 PM
Alternatively you can pick up a fight in a bar or something similar. That's the only way to know, at your own risk.

If you do decide to go this route, apply at a bar or night club as a bouncer. At least this way you can get paid to test your aikido. :D

Reuben
10-12-2009, 11:19 PM
Traditional attacks also don't really prepare someone. Yes i know the argument that they are representations of attacks and that if you practice enough, you can deal with any attack but I think there comes a point in your development in Aikido after becoming familiar with the basic movements, is to actually try this 'any attack' scenario and see how Aikido comes into play. You'll be taken aback at first and probably suck at it a lot....but be pleasantly surprised later when you do find ways to apply Aikido principles in defending against almost any attack.
I've found that being exposed to different martial arts and mma styles have further developed my understanding of Aikido as a self defense system and increased its effectiveness.

The problem is the traditional dojo environment does not put you in the stress levels necessary to get you mentally prepared for a real conflict. Sure, maybe after years and years and years of dojo training but I've done Aikido for say 16 years and gained no such stress innoculation. When faced with a real fight, my heart still went racing, adrenaline rushed into my body and my fine motor skills went out of the window along with my Aikido.

After cross-training with styles that do spar, yes sparring is different than self defense but it does help you accustom yourself to 'fight' situations and give you the necessary mental calmness to apply your Aikido.

Aikido is not for sparring, it's for self defense and there's a huge difference there.

In most cases, self defense situations happen where the other guy doesn't really expect you to fight back or believes in his overwhelming strength. For those situations that do expect a fight for example bar room squabbles, most of the time you can avoid them or you can use Aikido before he actually kicks into gear (for e.g. the pre-fight stage where they shove you a bit and stuff).

This is way different where two trained fighters are expecting to duke it out. Hence why we don't see Aikido in MMA.

Lyle Bogin
10-14-2009, 02:16 PM
My question is why obsess over this question of "effectiveness". The problem is that something like Muay Thai is gear towards "fighting," while aikido is geared towards "resolving".

I remember in a tv interview Imaizumi Sensei was asked about this question. He smiled and said "the goal of all martial arts is an end to fighting, so how can you compare them?"

Rob Watson
10-14-2009, 02:42 PM
The problem is the traditional dojo environment does not put you in the stress levels necessary to get you mentally prepared for a real conflict.

Train with Shibata Ichiro shihan and when asked to attack really try to crack him in the head. Get ready for the adrenaline. I'd say after a year of such practice you'll be ready for anything.

I'm certain there are plenty of others out there besides Shibata shihan but he's the one I have experience with. Fell free to discuss with him if he fits your definition of 'traditional dojo environment'.

It would be much simpler to just give a few beginners some knives and have them attack you in randori. The only rule is you are responsible for the beginners not getting hurt in the slightest (makes it a bit harder).

Thanks

Kevin Leavitt
10-14-2009, 02:57 PM
My question is why obsess over this question of "effectiveness". The problem is that something like Muay Thai is gear towards "fighting," while aikido is geared towards "resolving".

I remember in a tv interview Imaizumi Sensei was asked about this question. He smiled and said "the goal of all martial arts is an end to fighting, so how can you compare them?"

I guess it depends on your vision of resolving. Mine is to have the ability and the potential to control the situation...that is holding the cards in my hands that matter....then having the compassion, wisdom and insightfulness to do the right thing.

I think their is a certain level of "fighting skill" that goes with this and a good teacher should be able to demonstrate how these pieces of the puzzle fit together. Unfortunately, we have alot of folks out there that fail at being able to do this.

Having problems figuring out how a muay thai clinch works.....well then maybe you go and find a decent muay thai guy and figure it out and then look at the various risk factors, applications, and points that surround it.

Good instructors are like that, they are well rounded and can answer alot of questions for their students and are not afraid to say "I honestly don't know"..if they don't know.

roninroshi
10-14-2009, 04:22 PM
I trained police cadets for the MT Dept of Justice for years in Aikido based arrest and control techniques...the field reports I received from officers over the years were very positive in regards to Aikido joint locks and take downs...It work´s you just have to do it right...

philippe willaume
10-15-2009, 07:08 AM
Why people think that Aikido does not work? Because they haven't tried it.
Nope
It is because there is a world of difference between training in a method and the actual application of the afore mentioned method.

If you are riding a horse as you would in dressage that is not going to help you a lot in a roping competition.
Now there plenty of thing you do in dressage that will give a massive edge in other equestrian discipline, from jousting to jumping passing by barrel racing but it does not give the basic set of skill for each of those discipline.

I really believe that aikido is a very very good system and really has answer to lots of situations. In fact I think aikido has a very systematic approach of the basic components. For exemple Irimi, tenchin tankan are used in any martial arts weapons included but not than may martial arts do explain them as clearly as in aikido.

You do not deal with druken uncle harris at a family due like deal with Marcellus Wallace when he says he is going to get medieval on your arse.
You can use the same method but the way to apply it will be different.

All that aikido do not work really comes from disconnection between the method and the relevant way to apply it in a given situation.

phil

DonMagee
10-15-2009, 08:05 AM
I honestly find myself able to use aikido techniques in situations more and more as time goes on. However, I still strongly believe that if I was training the same way I was when I was training aikido that I would never be able to accomplish these things.

This is reflected in my boxing training as well. My coach commented the other day that I look amazing doing pad work. Simply amazing. He then made the joke "Now just do that when you spar". I told him "I would, but the other guy keeps punching me in the face!" That to me sums it all up.

MM
10-15-2009, 08:27 AM
We've had a lot of new members join our dojo recently, so this question in a similar form has come up a lot recently ("How do I use aikido in a fight? What if I get into a fight at school? How do I defend myself?")

Our dojo flat-out says that if you want to learn self-defense, aikido's not the way to go. Aikido is more a holistic art, where you are learning a lot of basic body movement, and more subtle things, especially at the beginner levels. And yes, some aikido dojos are better than others at teaching the martial part of martial arts (distance, striking effectively, etc).

I see it as a different way of learning. MMA is a faster style of learning. But aikido is much more gradual. Both are valid depending on what you are trying to do.

It takes a lot longer to learn the principles of aikido, but I think that laying that deep foundation is really important.


Really? History doesn't uphold that idea. Ueshiba learned from Takeda in a short amount of time. Shioda and Tomiki learned from Ueshiba in a short amount of time. Research suggests that learning aikido principles can be done in a short time frame.

The real question is why is it taking *everyone* else so long and in the process, rationalizing it all away?

MM
10-15-2009, 08:36 AM
Here are a few reasons. (I don't completely agree with all of them, btw, and some of them overlap a bit.)
- No sparring or 'alive' training.


Ueshiba was tested throughout his life by all manner of men. He had "alive" training.


- Limited technical curriculum (no body-to-body grappling, no punching/kicking).


Actually, there was no curriculum with Ueshiba. Or Takeda, if I remember right. So, really, when studying the way of aiki, why didn't Ueshiba use a curriculum?


- No aiki.


As can be seen, Ueshiba learned aiki in a short time frame (5-10 years as opposed to everyone's belief in "20 year techniques", etc.)


- Aikido has not proven itself in MMA fights.


I know of one karate student who met Shioda and tested himself against Shioda. He didn't fare very well and became a student of Shioda. While not "MMA", it was a free attack encounter. True aiki in the hands of an adept works in any situation.


- Knowingly practicing many unrealistic (too elaborate) techniques to explore principles and ideas.
- Training techniques on poorly executed attacks during training.


If you are training aiki, there are a lot of "unrealistic", but not too elaborate, training methods. Even techniques can be utilized for training methods. And a push to the chest, shoulder, etc are definitely poor "attacks" but yield very good aiki training.

MM
10-15-2009, 08:40 AM
In my opinion, Aikido has limited effectiveness in fighting as proven in MMA events, but is a very effective way of self-defence, if you see what I mean.

What happens when you meet someone who uses aiki in an MMA training hall and wins? How then, can aikido be of limited effectiveness in fighting? Did Shioda back down from challengers because his aikido was of limited effectiveness in fighting? Did Ueshiba? The major concern, IMO, of aikido in MMA is Ueshiba's spiritual beliefs that his aikido was not meant for competition in the sense of the UFC. But, that didn't mean that Ueshiba's aikido couldn't be effective in the UFC. :)

MM
10-15-2009, 08:44 AM
For the same reasons they believe The Moon landing was staged...Elvis is still alive...and our current President was born in Kenya...

Some folks got allot of mileage out of continuously bashing Aikido's "effectiveness"

They hold up this analogy and that fact and shout out how dreadful it all is that we Aikidoka are fooling ourselves...

Well in answer to your question Folks have a right to think anything they want and I have no right to change their opinion other than to express mine.... All I know is that my Aikido works just fine thank you very much. That being said even after almost 20 years I have my hands full just trying to improve my practice...

If your Aikido sucks what are YOU going to do about it....

Me...Continue to Cross Train to improve our Aikido's "effectiveness" as a Martial Art

Practice Hard (though I am getting old LOL)

Find someone who actually knows Aiki locally

and see how far I can go because I love it!!! I hope to practice for another 20 years and can't wait to see what's around the next corner in my Aikido journey.

Good Luck with yours youngster and remember... A little doubt is a good thing if you use it as motivation to get better. :)

William Hazen

Hey! Elvis is alive! The King can't die. ;)

Seriously, nice to see you posting again. I second what you wrote. My only additional point of view is that it shouldn't take 20 years to be really good at aikido and you shouldn't have to cross train to do it.

MM
10-15-2009, 08:54 AM
I guess it depends on your vision of resolving. Mine is to have the ability and the potential to control the situation...that is holding the cards in my hands that matter....then having the compassion, wisdom and insightfulness to do the right thing.

I think their is a certain level of "fighting skill" that goes with this and a good teacher should be able to demonstrate how these pieces of the puzzle fit together. Unfortunately, we have alot of folks out there that fail at being able to do this.

Having problems figuring out how a muay thai clinch works.....well then maybe you go and find a decent muay thai guy and figure it out and then look at the various risk factors, applications, and points that surround it.

Good instructors are like that, they are well rounded and can answer alot of questions for their students and are not afraid to say "I honestly don't know"..if they don't know.

Nice post, Kevin.

I look at Ueshiba and his training. He had to handle farmers, military men, karate, judo, jujutsu, all manner of koryu men, etc.

And who did Ueshiba turn to, early on in his training, to handle some of the tougher men? Takeda. The man who'd been through some sh... stuff. With Takeda's experience and aiki, Ueshiba then started dealing with all manner of martial artists. In a relatively short amount of time. Simply amazing, but very, very unlike modern day aikido training.

The question is how do you resolve that?

Allen Beebe
10-15-2009, 09:36 AM
My only additional point of view is that it shouldn't take 20 years to be really good at aikido and you shouldn't have to cross train to do it.

Hi Mark,

It seems that there are a lot of things in life that shouldn't be, but are nonetheless. Many pretend or rationalize the in-congruency away. Others do something about it even though they believe they shouldn't have to. Based on what little I know of your training history, it seems you fall into the latter category. I can't see faulting you or anyone else for that . . . far from it.

Allen

MM
10-15-2009, 09:45 AM
Hi Mark,

It seems that there are a lot of things in life that shouldn't be, but are nonetheless. Many pretend or rationalize the in-congruency away. Others do something about it even though they believe they shouldn't have to. Based on what little I know of your training history, it seems you fall into the latter category. I can't see faulting you or anyone else for that . . . far from it.

Allen

Hi Allen,

I agree. :)

Aikibu
10-15-2009, 12:30 PM
Hey! Elvis is alive! The King can't die. ;)

Seriously, nice to see you posting again. I second what you wrote. My only additional point of view is that it shouldn't take 20 years to be really good at aikido and you shouldn't have to cross train to do it.

Thanks Mark. :)

As Joko Roshi said to me a very long time ago. "Lifetime lessons take a lifetime to learn so don't be in such a hurry!" The journey I am is not just technical proficiency so perhaps I needed to clarify that a little bit. :) It is to fully realize "IT" from all it's human aspects... Technical to Spiritual. That is the nature of a 'Way" for me.
So I don't need to cross train? Then why are you training with Dan? He doesn't practice Aikido HA HA HA HA HA HA (ribbing you a little bit)
Shoji Nishio encouraged Cross Training and I understood why many years ago and it should be obvious...Indeed How many times do we see questions like this thread or... "Is Aikido effective" or "Is Aikido a Martial Art" or "Why does Aikido suck?"

Aikido will not survive unless A. It works as a Martial Art and B. It (thanks in a large part to you Aiki boys) reconnects to it's Aiki roots.

What's even more INSANE is the rumor that Hombu is BANNING weapons practice in Aikido. But that is the topic of another thread.

William Hazen

Buck
10-15-2009, 11:25 PM
See it is like this: Aikido observes a fair amount of spiritual kind of stuff. In it there is a pacifism, and a whole bunch of other contemplative introspective stuff. That catches people's attention, and they often don't give it allot of credibility because it doesn't fit their beliefs. People are really sensitive and critical of this stuff. Therefore automatically the disregard the technical application side of Aikido.

Aikido because of it's philosophy has been practiced to reflect it's philosophy. Aikido has many different styles and takes on what Aikido is and isn't. Skill is look at within subjective and abstract framework. There is no venue to evaluate skills, like MMA has.

There is a lot of myth woven in Aikido. Allot of creative language and stuff and that concerns lots of people. Which doesn't attract the average fighter wanntabees. Such language which is hard to understand and is in poetic form has lots of people thinking the art is for the artsy-fartsy, intellectual types.

All of this for many people who don't think Aikido works, does indicate that if an art is heavy with such philosophy and stuff then logically the techniques can't work.

And it also has to do with those who promote or represent the art via seminars or dojos to their communities who poor represent their art.

Then there is those who are jaded and share it with the world. And those who want to make their art or their self a name and discredit Aikido openly.

But they are in the minority.

Edward
10-19-2009, 04:44 AM
What happens when you meet someone who uses aiki in an MMA training hall and wins? How then, can aikido be of limited effectiveness in fighting? Did Shioda back down from challengers because his aikido was of limited effectiveness in fighting? Did Ueshiba? The major concern, IMO, of aikido in MMA is Ueshiba's spiritual beliefs that his aikido was not meant for competition in the sense of the UFC. But, that didn't mean that Ueshiba's aikido couldn't be effective in the UFC. :)

I have no doubt that anyone with the right physical condition and mental attitude can potentially win in the UFC, even an ikebana practitionner. Aikido as a martial art has been designed to for self-defence against a set of armed and unarmed attacks. As such I have no reason to doubt its efficiency. There are other sport oriented martial arts that are more suited for competition and sparring. But then again, it depends on the individual.

philippe willaume
10-19-2009, 06:02 AM
I have no doubt that anyone with the right physical condition and mental attitude can potentially win in the UFC, even an ikebana practitionner. Aikido as a martial art has been designed to for self-defence against a set of armed and unarmed attacks. As such I have no reason to doubt its efficiency. There are other sport oriented martial arts that are more suited for competition and sparring. But then again, it depends on the individual.

Hello
Well, you see one can not expect to miraculously be able to deal with several potentially armed opponents in an asymmetric situation when one can not deal with a single empty handed one in an even starting situation.

If you aikido training consist mainly of tenchin back against back against any incoming attack and you do have any atemi, you will need to be 2rd DAN to deal with year old grand-mother armed with a stick after you threaded on her beloved geraniums. Yes I know she is fierce, but she is 88.

Don't get me wrong I am the first one to say that your average SD customer is very unlikely to be skilled either in open hand or with the weapon he is using.
That being said he is very likely to manipulate the situation and the environment to get the drop on you.
If you do no train for that I do not think you can not expect to perform adequately in SD.
As well you state of mind in SD should not be different of than in competition. You are going to do and you have trained to get what it takes to win.

The differences are only the win conditions, in sport you will score points, submit to knockout or knock down your opponent.
In SD it can be anything from avoid the situation before it happens to doing you opponent uglier.

There are times when getting out of the way and letting the guy crash or throw him nicely until he sees the error of his ways if the right thing to do.
There are times when you throw them your intent is to make any nearby seismograph register the impact.

For me the beauty of aikido is that you can do both using the same method.

Phil

dalen7
10-19-2009, 07:24 AM
Tell you what to do... instead of asking, try it out for yourself.

Take Tai Boxing with your Aikido.
[I started after 2+ years of Aikido into Thai Boxing],

I will say that people tend to box all situations into the same scenario.

i.e. - The "Dont taze me bro" guy on youtube.
Had one of the multiple security guards just jumped in and done a sankyo they could have controlled and walked him out without the need to gang up on him and taze him.

If your in a mma fight, you probably will be nailed. Why? There is a lack of 'live' training and true attacks to defend against.

At a certain point your aikido is going to plateau in certain aspects, primarily as a viable means of fighting. [didnt say its not a good self-defense, as it has the potential to teach one to not even get into situations they previously would have, so in this regards its preemptive self-defense... which arguably is the best.]

But as far as showing off to your buddies or winning some medal, you have to make it real to get that timing down and feel how the techniques can be made flexible... as I promise you that executing some of the more viable techniques still might not look as 'pretty' as it does during an Aikido demonstration.

Ill say this, I have been doing this for 2+ years, and for me Ive peaked in the current conditions with Aikido. From here on out, as far as how things are structured, I might as well pick up ballet. [which I actually wouldnt mind doing, the shape those people are in is quite amazing... that and some yoga.]

This peak was with my 3rd kyu test. [6kyus in this system.]

Belts to an extent are irrelevant, but do support one as far as milestones and personal achievements.

Again, each system and dojo is different, and each person has to try it out for themselves... but eventually you will probably run up what I, and many others have when it comes to the particular topic of using Aikido in the likes of MMA. [I believe it has its place, but many are not either wanting to go that route, which is totally fine, or deceive themselves into thinking they can magically whip out a technique without having some real movement to whats happening.]

This is kind of like beating a dead horse with a stick, and again, the point is that Aikido is quite flexible and it ultimately is what you make of it...

If your into this kind of thing, take BJJ and Tai Boxing with your Aikido. At the same time, Aikido has a more valuable lesson, it can teach you how not to even get in that fight.

From personal experience I have written before how I have mellowed out and realized the futility of trying to argue points.
Once this led to an attack on me by a bigger guy who did jui-jitsu and I smashed his face to get him to stop. [not that this was choice, but at the time I did not know Aikido. With the way it went down, had I known AIkido, I would have been able to pin him...just what I know of how this fight played out. - And its one reason I took Aikido was to learn alternative ways to stopping the fight, and the primary was that of just letting things go... if someone wants to be right, let them go for it, otherwise they will explode in your face. [bet a lot of fights start like that] ;)

Keep us updated with how your Aikido goes.
From what I understand you have picked a good branch of Aikido to train in... I like that they get the foundations and pound it into you and have a system, so to speak. - but to each their own.

Peace

dAlen

dalen7
10-19-2009, 07:59 AM
Ill add one more thing.

In regards to does Aikido work in a MMA type situation, you have to realize that you have guys who have trained daily...

... they have had their thighs kicked repeatedly by someones shins, and have had their stomachs punched continually, etc. - all to 'toughen up their bodies.'

Then you have black belts of Aikido who cant even run a quarter of a mile without being winded, etc.

Point is that it is unrealistic to believe that someone who has not undergone a tough training cycle, nor subjected their body to such rigorous abuse with the goal of toughening it up... [regardless of if you agree with this concept of training or not]... how are they to fair against someone who has?

I think this is the one point that people tend to stick to when they think of Aikido as ineffective. Sure its limited to the aspect of sport fighting, but within that aspect one must concede that in such a scenario they are correct. [unless their are some 'magic' powers at work, then the guy in shape has more than the upper hand.]

Aikido could do with a bit more conditioning. Im not saying break the body, leave that to those who wish to do such training, but I have seen many examples of out of shape people who move up the ranks... This shouldnt be the case, and thats regardless of if you want to sport fight or just use Aikido as a meditative practice.

In a way Im sure this goes a long way in the rep that Aikido has gotten, even in yoga people are left in a better condition than when they came. [not the best way to phrase it, but the pointer is there.] ;)

Peace

dAlen

observer
10-19-2009, 11:24 AM
Sorry, folks. This discussion went too far. Actually it fits the subject: "Why people think Chess does not work?" Is it true that mixing Chess with MMA and Thai Boxing will make it more effective? Just my opinion.:D

dalen7
10-19-2009, 12:45 PM
Sorry, folks. This discussion went too far. Actually it fits the subject: "Why people think Chess does not work?" Is it true that mixing Chess with MMA and Thai Boxing will make it more effective? Just my opinion.:D

you may be onto something... it can help open your mind to various strategies, so yes it just might help. ;)

peace

dAlen

DonMagee
10-19-2009, 01:02 PM
Then you have black belts of Aikido who cant even run a quarter of a mile without being winded, etc.


I have long stated that step one in valid self defense is being at least moderately physically fit.

What good is defending yourself against a attacker going to do you when you are going to get beaten by heart disease and high blood pressure?

Fights often don't go the way you want, and being able to keep up the pace will help.

Anjisan
10-19-2009, 06:30 PM
I have long stated that step one in valid self defense is being at least moderately physically fit.

What good is defending yourself against a attacker going to do you when you are going to get beaten by heart disease and high blood pressure?

Fights often don't go the way you want, and being able to keep up the pace will help.

Often, I believe the training system that is often utilized of the "one and done" attack and response contributes to the perception that the encounter will end quickly (and of course always in our favor). Real encounters may take a little longer and therefore, require some conditioning.

DonMagee
10-20-2009, 06:57 AM
Often, I believe the training system that is often utilized of the "one and done" attack and response contributes to the perception that the encounter will end quickly (and of course always in our favor). Real encounters may take a little longer and therefore, require some conditioning.

And sometimes, the proper response is run like hell in a zigzag pattern. If you can only make it a 1/4 mile down the road, your probably still in the same trouble that started you running.

philippe willaume
10-21-2009, 02:24 AM
Often, I believe the training system that is often utilized of the "one and done" attack and response contributes to the perception that the encounter will end quickly (and of course always in our favor). Real encounters may take a little longer and therefore, require some conditioning.
There is that, as well lots of SD is overemphasise the gross motor skill high efficiency move which give the impression that it will all be over in one swift simple move that anybody can do.

Like Don said you do need a certain level of fitness and tanking.

It is true in SD, the physical abilities is as high a differentiator as it is in combat sport. But there is still a minimum to be had.

that being said trainning by isolation of component is a very effecieient way to train.

Phil

Kevin Leavitt
10-21-2009, 07:30 AM
Often, I believe the training system that is often utilized of the "one and done" attack and response contributes to the perception that the encounter will end quickly (and of course always in our favor). Real encounters may take a little longer and therefore, require some conditioning.

How long in your opinion? just want to make sure I understand how long you think a fight might last and maybe also, the conditions in which you envision it...as that of course, affects things.

Aikibu
10-21-2009, 10:13 AM
Often, I believe the training system that is often utilized of the "one and done" attack and response contributes to the perception that the encounter will end quickly (and of course always in our favor). Real encounters may take a little longer and therefore, require some conditioning.

Well if you're training the way you've described "One and Done" on the mat Then yes I can see how this would lead to some bad habits...That's the fault of the instructor more that anything else...Randori Anyone? :)

"Real encounters" is such a loaded scenario here in Aiki-Web...Under this generic description My Aikido has worked 99% of the time I have used it...

I know folks in their 50's 60's and 70's who practice Most of them appear to be a good shape for their age...Remember the goal of Aikido Practice is not always to "fight" or "kick ass"...I push myself pretty hard but I am still in piss poor shape, overweight, and getting over being really sick for almost a year now...I don't expect to hang with a 20 something Airborne Ranger Type Physical MMA Stud (yet :D) so it had better be one and done LOL.

I always ask myself and others... If you Aikido Sucks Be honest about it....How much of it has to do with you? The Answer is is Obvious. :)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
10-21-2009, 01:59 PM
William Hazen wrote:

don't expect to hang with a 20 something Airborne Ranger Type Physical MMA Stud (yet ) so it had better be one and done LOL.


...awww come on William...Ranger up bud.

"Recognizing that I volunteered....I will ALWAYS endeavor....."

All I can say is age and treachery...age and treachery....

ps...those 20 year old MMA Ranger types still kick my ass though!

Anjisan
10-21-2009, 04:23 PM
How long in your opinion? just want to make sure I understand how long you think a fight might last and maybe also, the conditions in which you envision it...as that of course, affects things.

I guess a stab in the dark might be say...........4 to 5 minutes--which I am guessing would seem like an eternity. Research may indicate two minutes or less--I cannot recall for sure--but I would rather prepare for the worst and hope for the best. It is difficult to say for sure.

I just feel that a one and done approach may leave one short changed in terms of stamina as well as mindset (ie This guy keeps coming at me). Also, this is to say nothing of executing tecniques after being hit the attacker coming at Nage with multiple strikes as opposed to a single attack.

I have encountered many a senior student who was had their Aikido world blown when that style of attack was put upon them. Perhaps unlike those who feel that under pressure, they will execute as they train, others feel that after enough training---even if not similar--the switch will just flip if the moment ever comes. I don't know.

Kevin Leavitt
10-21-2009, 04:44 PM
Thanks for the reply...hmmm 4 to 5 minutes...

I have neer seen a "fight" last that long. 10 to 20 seconds...30 on the longside....imo and experiences.

Go out on Youtube and take a look at the videos out there...even with all the chest bumping and shoving, I have never seen a fight go longer than a minute or two.

When I say 10-20 seconds, I am talking about actual, no kidding, another person trying to destroy, hurt, or injure someone else.

Even Kimbo Slice's longest fight on youtube is what like 3:42 and that is with all the pomp and circumstance that IS Kimbo Slice!

For me, I try and develop fighters on the 10-20 second model. Whoever is winning at that point will end the fight fairly quickly in reality typically...so you have to develop skills and ability to gain control rapidly and get in the dominate position.

Of course, there is always the chance that the guy won't quit, you don't want to hurt him, vice versa, the tie up in a headlock, kesa gatame.....and then things might go on a bit longer, but the actual fighting to gain dominance and control happens quickly, and once that happens, if someone is bent on ending it...well it usually doesn't take too long.

Anyway, of course, YMMV!

Anjisan
10-21-2009, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the reply...hmmm 4 to 5 minutes...

I have neer seen a "fight" last that long. 10 to 20 seconds...30 on the longside....imo and experiences.

Go out on Youtube and take a look at the videos out there...even with all the chest bumping and shoving, I have never seen a fight go longer than a minute or two.

When I say 10-20 seconds, I am talking about actual, no kidding, another person trying to destroy, hurt, or injure someone else.

Even Kimbo Slice's longest fight on youtube is what like 3:42 and that is with all the pomp and circumstance that IS Kimbo Slice!

For me, I try and develop fighters on the 10-20 second model. Whoever is winning at that point will end the fight fairly quickly in reality typically...so you have to develop skills and ability to gain control rapidly and get in the dominate position.

Of course, there is always the chance that the guy won't quit, you don't want to hurt him, vice versa, the tie up in a headlock, kesa gatame.....and then things might go on a bit longer, but the actual fighting to gain dominance and control happens quickly, and once that happens, if someone is bent on ending it...well it usually doesn't take too long.

Anyway, of course, YMMV!

When I said 4-5 minutes (you will notice that I did mention the research of 2 min or less and I was not far off for the actual fight) I was referring to the entire interaction when your candle is burning bright, adrenaline pumping, expending a lot of energy not just the combat. Also, who knows, he might have a friend or two so a little left in the tank may not be a bad idea.

mickeygelum
10-21-2009, 06:55 PM
Go out on Youtube and take a look at the videos out there...even with all the chest bumping and shoving, I have never seen a fight go longer than a minute or two.

When I say 10-20 seconds, I am talking about actual, no kidding, another person trying to destroy, hurt, or injure someone else.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbyFnrtUtJQ&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvlUcPmayPQ

Now you have...:ki:

Been there, done that...peace, harmony and yada-yada..whatever.

Train well,

Mickey

DonMagee
10-22-2009, 06:46 AM
Thanks for the reply...hmmm 4 to 5 minutes...

I have neer seen a "fight" last that long. 10 to 20 seconds...30 on the longside....imo and experiences.

Go out on Youtube and take a look at the videos out there...even with all the chest bumping and shoving, I have never seen a fight go longer than a minute or two.

When I say 10-20 seconds, I am talking about actual, no kidding, another person trying to destroy, hurt, or injure someone else.

Even Kimbo Slice's longest fight on youtube is what like 3:42 and that is with all the pomp and circumstance that IS Kimbo Slice!

For me, I try and develop fighters on the 10-20 second model. Whoever is winning at that point will end the fight fairly quickly in reality typically...so you have to develop skills and ability to gain control rapidly and get in the dominate position.

Of course, there is always the chance that the guy won't quit, you don't want to hurt him, vice versa, the tie up in a headlock, kesa gatame.....and then things might go on a bit longer, but the actual fighting to gain dominance and control happens quickly, and once that happens, if someone is bent on ending it...well it usually doesn't take too long.

Anyway, of course, YMMV!

Hey now, this is aikido!

Sure it might be 10-15 seconds for a single person. But as an aikidoka, you know you will never face a single unarmed person. It's going to be 5+ all with weapons. So lets add 5-10 seconds a person because they are armed. :D

At least that is what I seem to be constantly told about self defense situations.

But seriously, my comment on physical fitness isn't about fighting. It's about taking care of yourself. To me self defense is a lot more then not getting into or stopping fights. It's about survival. The first step of survival is to make sure you are going to be a healthy human being. To me that means being a healthy weight, getting a healthy amount of exercise, and doing things that are good for my body. Once I've helped my body win it's fights, I can work on winning my own.

Kevin Leavitt
10-22-2009, 07:11 AM
When I said 4-5 minutes (you will notice that I did mention the research of 2 min or less and I was not far off for the actual fight) I was referring to the entire interaction when your candle is burning bright, adrenaline pumping, expending a lot of energy not just the combat. Also, who knows, he might have a friend or two so a little left in the tank may not be a bad idea.

Thanks for the clarification Jason. I undestand what you are saying now. That makes more sense to me now! There is a "bell curve" that applies to the whole of the situation for sure!

What is interesting though is when the front end of the bell curve is "lopped off" that is....you are ambushed and go from a state of disorientation/disconnect/dissonance, and you have to ramp up quickly...i.e...he/they is/are in the middle of the curve and you are still orienting to what is going on.

Kevin Leavitt
10-22-2009, 07:15 AM
Hey now, this is aikido!

Sure it might be 10-15 seconds for a single person. But as an aikidoka, you know you will never face a single unarmed person. It's going to be 5+ all with weapons. So lets add 5-10 seconds a person because they are armed. :D

At least that is what I seem to be constantly told about self defense situations.

But seriously, my comment on physical fitness isn't about fighting. It's about taking care of yourself. To me self defense is a lot more then not getting into or stopping fights. It's about survival. The first step of survival is to make sure you are going to be a healthy human being. To me that means being a healthy weight, getting a healthy amount of exercise, and doing things that are good for my body. Once I've helped my body win it's fights, I can work on winning my own.

oh I am with you on this one Don, and agree with your logic.

I used to be in the insurance business and I was always curious that folks would buy lots and lots of life insurance, but not disability insurance for $50.00 a month.

I'd explain the odds to them and they where willing to risk it.

These same people would spend the same money on a lottery ticket with the hopes of winning against odds that where just fricking nuts!

The psychology was that they could visualize themselves dead, they could visualize themselves winning the lottery.

What they could not visualize is becoming disabled, and if they did, they could figure a way around that financially.

The human mind works in the most bizzare ways!

Andrew Hinge
10-27-2009, 05:06 PM
Sebastian...... Aikido is what you yourself make of it.........its all to do with how you apply yourself to the learning cycle......do you train to keep fit, do you train to defend yourself, do you train to expand yourself....????? all of these are relevant but its all to do with your mental attitude. I have been practicing Aikido for 17 years......the first 10 without doing any gradings.......I used to do it five times a week during that first 10 years..... with different factions of aikido, unskilled, white belt grades, black belt grades , all round the country and even abroad........and it didnt stop there, even at home in the kitchen or even in the lounge watching television...i would sit on the floor with my legs outstretch and bending over to touch my toes or even to hold my self flat to the floor (eventually) .. when driving to a contract or any distance and caught up in a traffice jam I would be doing my wrist exercises.. all this leads to how I saw MY AIKIDO........To me Aikido is Aikido despite its faction.It all goes in to my brain and I always take something from it .
Take a look at.......all the Great Martial Artists......
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
Steven Seagal,
Jack Chan,
and even Bruce Lee
...they all include some aikido in with their Martial Art.
I have never pushed my self out to be someone that could beat anyone else that does some martial art, however I have had occasions whereby I was invited to attend a class or two to see how their martial art was made up and to show how i could apply my martial art against theirs, and if it is applied correctly and you are aware as you should be (as taught in most dojo's of Aikido) you can diffuse their attacks. I remember one such instance where i was invited by a guy I knew that ran a string of Korean Take Aways and he trained guys in his version of a korean martial art.... which was a bit like a cross between Karate,Judo,and Mua Tai, (I can't remember what he called it .. sorry) anyway after about 15 mins of watching him and his guys train...(and boy was it tough, and they went at it 'hell for leather'.. no messing about ) if the guys messed it up they actually got hit ... HARD..... I could go on about the symantics about watching how they didi it .. like their stances, timings etc.. but I wont.....what it came down to in the end was I was eventually asked to show how my Aikido would fair in that situation...all friendly like..which is what I was there to show......however most of the guys wanted to see how it would fair against a full blown attack.....like I said I am not big headed or anything like that.. but I do know my aikido... so i said ok .....Yan the sensei then came out onto the matted area he's 16 stone and me 11 stone..... (I remained completely calm and relaxed and I didnt think anything about beating him or him beating me) I would just show how my aikido would fair against his martial art.
He was on his back on the floor four times in fifteen seconds, and not one punch, kick, headbutt or elbow touched me.
Ever since that day Yan always calls me Aikido Man. I take that with affection.. there was no sense that I beat him, or that he lost.. it just proved that aikido is as good as the person that applies it correcly.

Treat your fellows with respect.
Contribute positively .

Regards
Andrew

chillzATL
10-30-2009, 05:01 PM
Aikido has long been plagued by the myth that it doesn't work. This has only gotten worse with the rise in popularity of MMA. Everyone thinks MMA is real fighting, which it is, but it's not street fighting. It's designed to simulate SOME of what a real fight between two skilled fighters would be like, with some rules thrown in for good measure. These days, so many people watch MMA and think they know lots of stuff, but most of them have never trained in anything and have no idea just how little they actually know. They think fighting is fighting is fighting and if it doesn't work in the cage with the cages rules, it's no good. Conversely, if it works in the cage, it must be effective in any scenario? This couldn't be further from the truth. What is a pure wrestler or BJJ guy going to do when someone starts something in a bar? He's going to take the guy down and control him, which he will probably do without issue. The only problem is that meatheads travel in packs and that guy could easily have a few buddies standing there that wrestler or bjj guy didn't notice while he was shooting for his legs. So while he's on the guys back choking him out, his buddies could easily come over and stomp his face. The same goes for an MT fighter. While he's not at the disadvantage of his style putting him on the ground in a fight, the style is focused on engaging with one target and finishing him. He's still in danger from other people in the area, weapons that the meathead might be carrying, etc. Aikido, on the other hand, trains you to deal with attackers without putting yourself at a disadvantage. Deal with the threat, painfully if need be, and be prepared for what may come next. That's something that is somewhat unique to Aikido compared to many other martial arts.

These same friends would have probably told you Karate was worthless too, before Lyoto Machida showed up using..karate, to pretty much dominate the LHW division. There's no difference in the Karate he uses vs. all those that come before him. He simply trained with a mindset towards using it in MMA fighting. Taking all the things that made Okinawan karate great and making them fit that type of fight. He also trained in lots of other things, so he knew what worked and what wouldn't. When you want to be prepared for as many scenarios as possible, cross-training is a good thing! Never be afraid to learn other things, it will only help you and your Aikido in the long run. Just take your time, train hard and be patient!

Aikido, to watch it, simply doesn't paint a powerful picture, especially when you don't understand the nuances. It also doesn't help that too many people have taken the Ki aspects and spirituality to a point that it overshadows the effectiveness of the waza. O'sensei didn't teach weak Aikido, ever, even in his final days. It may have looked pretty and flowing, but that simply highlights his mastery of the art. One thing that all of his students would tell you is that when he threw you, you felt it! Often times it felt like you got hit by a truck! That's a far cry from the image painted by those videos of him in his later years, but even in his final days few would have called his aikido "gentle"! Most all of his early students were ranked in other arts (judo, jujutsu, karate, etc). These guys didn't start training in Aikido because it was pretty, they trained because it worked! They took what they were doing seriously as a serious martial art capable of being used in any situation. If these skilled and trained fighting men believed in it, I think it's safe to say we can believe in it too! Again, it just comes down to how you train.

Since these guys are your friends, you have a resource available to you that not many people have. Watch them train when you can or maybe even train with them some. Learn what makes their style good and in turn, learn how to apply what you're learning (in aikido) to that style. As you improve, you will eventually start seeing things that you didn't see before and in time you will be able to maybe change your friends opinions of Aikido.

Kevin Leavitt
10-30-2009, 06:08 PM
Jason,

Your first paragraph...you make generalizations about people that do MMA, BJJ, MT, Wrestling etc....the same generalizations that you are arguing that others make of aikido. They are not necessarily true as most folks that I train with in these sports have a far more broader 'fight" perspective than what I have encountered in other TMA backgrounds such as Aikido. Generalizations just don't work.

Second paragraph. Machida is a very good fighter and employs some very good elements I am sure he has learned from his Karate training. I do the same. However, you are using the logic of association to validate a whole art based on one guy (Machida), poor logic. Machida is a good fighter because he has trained to be a good fighter, and alot of other factors too..but those things only apply to Machida. They don't validate the whole art. Poor logic.

You can draw the same exact parallel to BJJ in the UFC, actually more so, since you find more folks using that as a baseline than karate. However, you also threw out the UFC as a model of "real fighting" so why would you return to that again as a model in the second paragraph to imply the validity of Karate?

Third paragraph. Again, validating by association. O Sensei was probably a good martial artist from all the accounts we have and from our various experiences with his direct students. I believe that is assumed by most of us these days. However, as in the Machida example, he was good because he was good, not because Aikido was good. Why he "invented" aikido? well that is a big debate all the time. I believe he was trying to transcend somethings that were much different than fighting. It was probably implied that you had baseline abilities when you came to study with him, or life was very difficult for you until you obtained those skills.

His students did study other arts. I believe they probably came to aikido for the same reasons I am doing it today, not for the fact that it is complete (it is not), or a higher form of fighting (it is not), but it is/was a good methodology for refinement and mastery of a particular way of doing stuff.

I think it is poor logic to assume all these good judoka etc came to aikido because it was somehow superior in it's effectiveness. I bet that thought probably was never even debated as they understood what they were there to work on having the ability to fight already.

I am not so sure you can say that about the average aikidoka off the street today.

You talk about believing in it...

What is it that you believe in? What is the measures you have established to quantify the effectiveness?

Without establishing a sound, logical, and measurable system of evaluation we cannot really have an intelligent discussion about what good aikido will do for us...THEN we can have faith.

I have wasted way too much time in martial arts over the years using this very kind of logic which is essentially "blind faith".

Sorry to be so negative in my reply, but hopefully it is constructive too!

I had a guy sit down with me a few years ago and kinda lay it out this way for me and it was a big Duh! moment for me!

Rob Watson
10-30-2009, 06:48 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbyFnrtUtJQ&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvlUcPmayPQ

Now you have...:ki:

Been there, done that...peace, harmony and yada-yada..whatever.

Train well,

Mickey

The one where the perp gets shot is interesting...

Perp bent over hood of car with officer in control ... oops that didn't seem to help.

Pepper spray ... oops, that doesn't seem to help.

Run away, slip and fall down. Perp on top. That didn't work.

Wrestle, wrestle, shoot perp at point blank range. MISSED! Shoot again and hit perp in the belly.. that doesn't work very well. Shoot again ... gun jams!

PERP TAKES GUN! Run around a bit and then get punched as few times. Not much working here ...

Officer seems gassed at this point and barely attempts to defend self. A bit of wobbling around then back up arrives.

Lesson 1: When control is established maintain control or suffer.
Lesson 2: Pepper spray ... tastes good on toast.
Lesson 3: Running away may not be a viable option.
Lesson 4: Marksmanship is best practiced as close range.
Lesson 5: Maintain your weapon in perfect working condition at all times.
Lesson 6: Weapon retention techniques are actually really important. Practice, practice and practice some more.
Lesson 7: Always end the fight as aggressively as possible. One and down is good but 40 and some more is not.
Lesson 8: Conditioning and cardio will be required if any of the previous 7 lessons are not put into effective action. If all you tolls and training fail then the one with the best conditioning will prevail-evan a big fat ex-boxer can have decent conditioning.
Lesson 9: Have some friends close by for backup.

I did not see any aikido in the vid at least none that I've ever practiced. If one thinks aikido does not work then one must conclude that whatever the officer in the video was doing is not a valid system either.

In the aikido I've been taught all 9 of the above lessons (and many others) have been taught at great length. I will admit that after 2 minutes of vigorous ukemi I'm gassed-working on that.

Train well, indeed.

mathewjgano
10-30-2009, 07:22 PM
I got the impression Jason was basically saying it all depends on how one applies whatever it is they're learning and that the validity of what one's learning is based on the context in which it's being used.
My view is that systems are basically empty. You don't get anything from a system. You get something from the people you train with and how much you're able to pick up from them...and on your own, since we're also learning how to master our own bodies.

Kevin Leavitt
10-30-2009, 07:22 PM
Then I'd say you have a pretty good system of study!

Kevin Leavitt
10-30-2009, 07:29 PM
I got the impression Jason was basically saying it all depends on how one applies whatever it is they're learning and that the validity of what one's learning is based on the context in which it's being used.
My view is that systems are basically empty. You don't get anything from a system. You get something from the people you train with and how much you're able to pick up from them...and on your own, since we're also learning how to master our own bodies.

okay...sounds good Matthew.

Context is very important. If your goal is to learn effectiveness within a set of conditions or parameters, I believe it is actually not too hard to train to develop skills that will help you manage those situations as best as one might be able to manage them.

Principles are very important, however, I would submit that Principles that are embodied in the right context is even more important.

So, the people you are training with my be the best in the business and be very good at (insert martial art here), however, if they have not trained within that context, or understand all salient risk and all the things that impact that context, then you are not really going to pick up much that is useful to help you in reality.

I have met some very talented men/women that are at the top of their art, however, they could not apply it very well, or could they teach it very well in a given situation/context.

If someone is able to "pick up" something from them, it would be by almost shear luck in those situations.

mathewjgano
10-30-2009, 07:31 PM
Then I'd say you have a pretty good system of study!

Now I just have to actually study!:o
...one of those minor details.:D

mathewjgano
10-30-2009, 08:13 PM
okay...sounds good Matthew.

Context is very important. If your goal is to learn effectiveness within a set of conditions or parameters, I believe it is actually not too hard to train to develop skills that will help you manage those situations as best as one might be able to manage them.

Principles are very important, however, I would submit that Principles that are embodied in the right context is even more important.

So, the people you are training with my be the best in the business and be very good at (insert martial art here), however, if they have not trained within that context, or understand all salient risk and all the things that impact that context, then you are not really going to pick up much that is useful to help you in reality.

I have met some very talented men/women that are at the top of their art, however, they could not apply it very well, or could they teach it very well in a given situation/context.

If someone is able to "pick up" something from them, it would be by almost shear luck in those situations.

Well said, Kevin! Good points. I guess part of the trick to maximizing our training is to find a nice blend of contextual lessons (so we're familiar with those contexts we're likely to find ourselves in) with the principle-based lessons (which I take to imply a kind of universal quality).
One of the things that stands out to me from my short time with Peter Rehse and the Shodokan method was that idea of principled movement: taking a few simple lessons and applying them to, well, every other situation...things like unbalancing, constantly filling in openings, etc. Not that I'm particularly good at any of those things, just that as an approach, I think it's a very good way to go.
After that I think it's a matter of both finding folks who can pinpoint our errors in a way we can understand, and finding folks who have a detailed familiarity with the principles themselves.
as it relates to the thread I suppose part of the reason this perception about Aikido exists is because of the difference between the pretty waza we see and the not-so-pretty results that comes about in more organic situations. I've always been taught it's about making it work though. I remember I guy that came into Kannagara dojo and asked a sempai what he would do in X situation. Sempai tried it out and it took a minute before he was able to make something work. To me, that has always epitomized what training is.

Kevin Leavitt
10-30-2009, 08:39 PM
as it relates to the thread I suppose part of the reason this perception about Aikido exists is because of the difference between the pretty waza we see and the not-so-pretty results that comes about in more organic situations

I think there are several reasons AIkido in general has this perception.

1. the common man has an idea about what fighting should look like, or what they want it to look like.

2. We have grown up on the myth of martial arts ala Bruce Lee and the Karate Kid.

3. We logically expect that #2 should be in synchronization with #1.

4. We have people out there that teach #2 and really don't go too much out of their way to explain to folks clearly about this issue between #1 and #2. Either they don't understand what the hell they are doing...or they are more conscious of it, but let the myth lay there anyway (hey it pays the bills!)

5. People apply #2 to #1 and when it don't work..they logically state that is crap cause it did not help them with #1.

..and the legacy of misinformation continues.

I think, however, if Budo and AIkido are framed with the correct expectations and within the context of what really is about, then there is no issues if students clearly understand it.

But, then again, not all the blame is on the instructor....people hear what they want to hear and will continue to project whatever it is they want to believe.

Rob Watson
10-30-2009, 09:23 PM
....people hear what they want to hear and will continue to project whatever it is they want to believe.

I think this is why shoshin and mushin are the keys to progress. All our experience and skill is an impediment to progress because it 'colors' what we see next. One must always keep an open mind and constantly question what we think we know. This is not doubt but scrutiny and constructive criticism. Easy to apply to others but hard to apply to oneself.

It does not matter what art one studies mindlessly - it will always fail.

I know and work with a great many very talented people in a technical field that constantly produce just mediocre or failed solutions based on previous but similar problems. Aikido is no different than any other pursuit of excellence. If one does not strive to be the best then the results will be ho hum.

mathewjgano
10-30-2009, 10:16 PM
1. the common man has an idea about what fighting should look like, or what they want it to look like.


All our experience and skill is an impediment to progress because it 'colors' what we see next. One must always keep an open mind and constantly question what we think we know.

Good points. I enjoyed reading those posts, thank you!
A semi quick thought on "what works":
I've always been told it's a stupid idea to punch a guy in the forehead...broken hands and all.
10 years ago I stopped off to pick up some milk at the ampm by my house and saw a big-ish guy with a dazed look in his eye and a golf ball sized knot on his forehead standing in the doorway. I get home a block away and my childhood best friend comes up to me looking for a place lay low because he "just knocked some guy out." He punched the dude almost square in the forehead and had no discernable damage. Simply put, what works, works.
My buddy didn't take a real refined view on fighting...and I don't recommend that approach to anyone, but I think it points to a kind of bottom line of "fighting."

chillzATL
10-31-2009, 01:04 AM
Jason,

Your first paragraph...you make generalizations about people that do MMA, BJJ, MT, Wrestling etc....the same generalizations that you are arguing that others make of aikido. They are not necessarily true as most folks that I train with in these sports have a far more broader 'fight" perspective than what I have encountered in other TMA backgrounds such as Aikido. Generalizations just don't work.

Second paragraph. Machida is a very good fighter and employs some very good elements I am sure he has learned from his Karate training. I do the same. However, you are using the logic of association to validate a whole art based on one guy (Machida), poor logic. Machida is a good fighter because he has trained to be a good fighter, and alot of other factors too..but those things only apply to Machida. They don't validate the whole art. Poor logic.

You can draw the same exact parallel to BJJ in the UFC, actually more so, since you find more folks using that as a baseline than karate. However, you also threw out the UFC as a model of "real fighting" so why would you return to that again as a model in the second paragraph to imply the validity of Karate?

Third paragraph. Again, validating by association. O Sensei was probably a good martial artist from all the accounts we have and from our various experiences with his direct students. I believe that is assumed by most of us these days. However, as in the Machida example, he was good because he was good, not because Aikido was good. Why he "invented" aikido? well that is a big debate all the time. I believe he was trying to transcend somethings that were much different than fighting. It was probably implied that you had baseline abilities when you came to study with him, or life was very difficult for you until you obtained those skills.

His students did study other arts. I believe they probably came to aikido for the same reasons I am doing it today, not for the fact that it is complete (it is not), or a higher form of fighting (it is not), but it is/was a good methodology for refinement and mastery of a particular way of doing stuff.

I think it is poor logic to assume all these good judoka etc came to aikido because it was somehow superior in it's effectiveness. I bet that thought probably was never even debated as they understood what they were there to work on having the ability to fight already.

I am not so sure you can say that about the average aikidoka off the street today.

You talk about believing in it...

What is it that you believe in? What is the measures you have established to quantify the effectiveness?

Without establishing a sound, logical, and measurable system of evaluation we cannot really have an intelligent discussion about what good aikido will do for us...THEN we can have faith.

I have wasted way too much time in martial arts over the years using this very kind of logic which is essentially "blind faith".

Sorry to be so negative in my reply, but hopefully it is constructive too!

I had a guy sit down with me a few years ago and kinda lay it out this way for me and it was a big Duh! moment for me!

Kevin,

The generalizations about the three major MMA disciplines were perfectly valid. They weren't meant to demean those arts, so I'm not quite sure how you draw a comparison to the topic of discussion, the widespread notion that Aikido isn't effective. The TS mentioned that his MT friends felt Aikido wasn't any good. I simply gave very valid examples of how those styles, styles that are now viewed by so many (his friends likely) to be the most effective fighting styles around (which in turn lead to so many TMA's to being considered ineffective), aren't necessarily as dominant as they appear in the cage. It's a topic that can be discussed for near infinity, but I felt that what I said got the point across. No style is perfect and as mentioned, cross training is a requirement for being a complete fighter, if that's what you desire to be.

I did use Machida to validate Shotokan as a whole, though I certainly know that it doesn't apply to everyone who studies it and I felt most would clearly understand that. Not everyone who golfs is Tiger Woods, for a multitude of reasons. Machida, in my opinion, most certainly validates Shotokan (and most other striking styles) as valid MMA styles when trained properly (including cross training), with the right mindset and intention and obviously, the right person. He simply shows that karate, as an art, can be just as good a striking art as muay thai. Again, remember the context of my reply. His friends felt Aikido was no good. Before Machida, his friends likely felt the same way about karate. It was only an example to highlight how these popular generalizations aren't exactly true.

I never said those good judoka came to Aikido because it was superior. Their reasons for devoting themselves to it were their own, but they obviously felt that it was effective. Again, many of those early students were tough, fighting men. They trained in martial arts for a variety of reasons and one of them was that fighting was far more common than it is these days. It doesn't make sense that they would devote their life to another art unless they felt it worked.

As for believing, again, I thought my brief comment on it was fairly clear. If you want to know that what you are learning works, you have to test it. That doesn't mean you go out starting fights, but you can certainly cross train and work with people of other styles/backgrounds/size/etc and form, with experience, a fairly valid opinion that what you're learning will work for you. That was my measuring stick, along with having to actually use it a few times. There's no blind faith there, though if people are happy with blind faith (as many are), that's fine. Our society is such that you can avoid fights pretty easily and if what you're doing makes you happy, more power to you. Happiness is more important than fighting any day.

I'm just confused as to why you felt the need to dissect my comments the way you did. You obviously read something into my comments that wasn't there or simply overlooked the context in which they were given. Again, The TS's friends felt Aikido didn't work and he asked why people feel this way. I don't feel there was anything inappropriate or incorrect in my reply, given the context.

mathewjgano's reply to your initial comment was spot on. He understood EXACTLY what my overall point was and the context it was given in. It was simply that how you train and who you train with is far more important than what you train in.

Kevin Leavitt
10-31-2009, 12:08 PM
Jason, no problem, sounds like I may have misunderstood a little. Sorry. It can be hard to communicate this way.

It is not so much the styles themselves that are anymore valid, but what they do within the context of their practice that is.

There is a reason that MT, BJJ, and Wrestling are held in high regard by those that fight for a living both in the ring and out of the ring and there is a reason why arts like Aikido are not.

The challenge is to look at WHY this is the case, and then evaluate what you are doing against those reasons.

I guess my real point is that your argument/logic does nothing really to constructively look at those reasons.

A big reason that MMA guys do so well is that for the most part, they think differently than most guys in martial arts. They are innovators and thinkers, they fully understand how to evaluate their training and adapt it.

I guarantee you that if someone that studied aikido demonstrated that the training methods worked for them, then they would adopt them. The problem is, you'd probably never know about it as they would keep it a secret as long as possible to give them a competitive advantage!

Okay, but even this discussion derails the argument/logic because, I agree the MMA model is not the end all be all of evaluating the legitimacy of training.

The only point is that MMA guys have a system of evaluation and measure and are willing to adapt training to meet their goals.

It is not always so clear in Aikido for some reason. If it was, we would not even be having this discussion!

I train in Aikido for some very specific reasons. I also train in BJJ, MT, Judo and a few other things as well for the things those systems offer. I have my own set of criteria and evaluation for determining what I need to do, so when I look at MT, for example, I look at how training like this can help me.

I don't look at it in the way you presented your case above as it does not help get me anywhere.

Hope that makes sense?

Voitokas
10-31-2009, 12:17 PM
MMA also has a specific goal that is common to all MMA players. As Kevin noted, there are many different goals for aikido, depending on the aikidoka. Some people come to aikido already confident in their ability to beat most people up, and some come with little strength or exposure to any MA. Those two groups, at least, are going to have wildly different goals for their aikido. And, really, most of these discussions of aikido's effectiveness assume the MMA-type goal of the latter group. For a lot of us, that question is not a relevant or a valid one...

Kevin Leavitt
10-31-2009, 01:05 PM
Well I am one of those guys that came into Aikido looking for the ultimate fighting system (tm). So the logic is very near and dear to my heart as it was a big part of my reason for being in Aikido for so long. Needless to say, I was let down in the end.

Ironically, in the end, the reasons I am in Aikido today are much different, and I feel I am now ready to start studying it for real now.

No longer do I feel the need to have every technique be tactical, fast, hard, or strong.

I find myself wanting to slow way down, correct my responses, re-wire myself....a totally different approach than I had a few years ago.

Anyway, it took and takes looking at things a bit differently as "effectiveness" is a loaded questions depending on what part of it you are dealing with.

I think Jason is really saying the same thing really, so I am not in a big disagreement with him at all. Just the perspective/logic of his evaluation..that is all...but the more I look at what he is saying, the more I think we are really on the same page..so thought i'd bring that up.

mathewjgano
10-31-2009, 03:14 PM
It is not always so clear in Aikido for some reason. If it was, we would not even be having this discussion!
I suppose it's an assessment issue here then. Aikido seems to rely so heavily on the abilities of the senior instructors to determine whether or not their students are picking things up that it leaves something perhaps unaccounted for in the way of student self-assessment. Maybe this is where more competition-oriented methods start to have an advantage. I found it very enlightening to practice randori in Shodokan (not that Shodokan is necessarily "competitive"). It said nothing about how good my technique was in terms of overall potential, but it did provide a relative marker based on whoever I happened to be paired up with.
Comparing that form of assessment with my experiences at Kannagara Dojo there's only a subtle difference, as I see it anyway. The main difference was external in that Shodokan has a formal way of creating the setting. My experience at Kannagara Dojo included a similar kind of assessment opportunity primarily by way of open mat time. I also recall a number of times where, practicing a given technique, sempai uke challenged nage by not always being so easy. In my own case, as I became familiar with the basic form, sempai would kick it up a notch (BANG!:D ) so it became more and more difficult to perform the waza. Some sempai did this more than others, and there's a fine line to be walked in this kind of interaction, but I learned to be glad when people shut me down because it gave me a problem to solve...the theory being that I should be in complete control from the moment of first contact, and as such, should be able to move however I want to (e.g. should be able to MAKE the technique come about). This isn't absolute, in that uke's applied vectors often determine whether I pivot right or left, etc., but it seemed to work well as a rule of thumb.
Sensei Barrish has described Aikido as a kind of dialogue and I have to say I really like that idea. In order for any dialogue to reach new understandings, there has to be room for a bit of play between the operators. I offer a line based off my understanding so far; my partner responds by taking what I've given and building off it. If I sense a hole I address it and see what I get, and so on and so on. To me this is the basic nature of training.
The problem comes about when the operators have little or no sense of the language or when one side is always subserviant...a kind of yes-man uke if you will...because then the conversation never really progresses and neither do the people involved.
The last thought I'd like to share has to do with the Shinto taboo of affecting another person's destiny. Because of this idea, assuming it had much to do with O Sensei's Aikido methodology, I can see why he might have been reluctant at times to cause a huge shift in his students' approach. I know I've read several people who claim O Sensei wasn't concerned with whether or not his students got "it" and that doesn't seem entirely unreasonable to suggest based on this idea. My feeling is that people will generally take from a situation that which seems most applicable. As such it's not a bad thing when you get students who train just for fun or for friendship or even with a bit of a "half-assed" quality (e.g. my half-assed interaction has still proven quite useful to me personally). The trick to maintaining a highly effective system lies in the hands of those who are seriously concerned with making it a highly effective system.
Anyhoo...Lord I was born a ramblin' man.
Cheers all!

thisisnotreal
11-01-2009, 06:47 AM
What's the first thing you should do: wrist control! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2REG3-Wb5gM)
-but don't forget step 2!
^ ^

Kevin Leavitt
11-01-2009, 10:38 AM
Matthew wrote:

I suppose it's an assessment issue here then. Aikido seems to rely so heavily on the abilities of the senior instructors to determine whether or not their students are picking things up that it leaves something perhaps unaccounted for in the way of student self-assessment

In a perfect world, I think this is all that would be needed. However, what if the Senior students are not competent, lazy, or indifferent?

A waza or practice that has an "external" measurement of control/accountability can balance this out some what, but of course, that has it's own issues as well. Competitive/Semi Competitive models are good examples of this and can be seen in BJJ, Judo, Sambo to name three Gi based grappling systems that would work well together.

Outside of that, we end up putting alot of faith in people and as you know you get varying degrees of competence, which is why we then turn to lineage to try and ascertain a degree of competence or standards...and to be honest, I think we have a big problem in this area.

Another discussion, but alot of other organizations such in Yoga are working across styles to at least form a common core competency through a "professional" certification program.

Failure of the common man to really understand martial arts, what good martial arts should look like, the wide range of systems, measures etc....that are out there mean that we will never answer this question.

So we have a model based on trust and vague accountability/measurability and YMMV!

I have come to the conclusion to be successful as a "instructor", Sensei, or Shihan you simply need some notoriety, have had the inkling of transmission through direct experience with a founder of a system..or demonstrate one generation removed, a semi charismatic personality, the ability to work a room, a universal Schtick that you can replicate over and over, and the most important thing...at the end of the day...the students go home feeling good about themselves.

That is not to say that every Shihan or sensei out there is doing this, or is this a judgement of aikido...only that I have found that the public will accept this as a baseline code of standards.

This is something we need to be aware of I believe...because it is easy to validate someones abilities based solely on the headcount of folks they can attract If a 100 people go to a seminar, then they must be good.

This may or may not be true. In fact, they may indeed be an outstanding teacher, but are they able to teach you? Do they understand you and have the "PRESCRIBED" the right things that you need to work on?

Anyway....I am getting off on a tangent now. The point is, each individual needs to look critically at what they need as best they can and formulate their own models, methods and criteria in order to get out of things what they want.

Unfortunately, a rote beginner simply does not have the ability or background so they are left with simply training with who ever they can (insert here...afford, reach, fit into their schedule, like etc.).

..AND the world goes on!

Kevin Leavitt
11-01-2009, 10:49 AM
Matthew wrote:

Some sempai did this more than others, and there's a fine line to be walked in this kind of interaction, but I learned to be glad when people shut me down because it gave me a problem to solve..

Yup, I agree this is how I have learned. BJJ was a huge help in this area as you begin to learn spontaneous responses that are appropriate.

HOWEVER...

There is also a downside to this, as you know, once you start "Playing the Game", and you have to be aware that the game is going on. In BJJ this really starts to happen at the mid Blue Belt level, your partners start stalling, being less committed, develop "Game Strategies" etc. So then you develop tactics and strategies to time, bait etc.

All lots of fun for sure as it is physical chess and lots of great skills can be honed through this process. LOTS.

This process is fairly external though and you rely on those external factors to form your responses...it is easy to get very good and get caught up in this game.

To transcend this process, there is another type of practice that is necessary, one which I think alot of aikido dojos use that is interpersonal and based on a certain level of trust, feel, and cooperation.

I think that a mixture of the two types of models/methods to be a pretty good way to do things, although, it ain't for everyone for sure and there are other ways to go about doing it.

mathewjgano
11-02-2009, 08:59 AM
Matthew wrote:

Yup, I agree this is how I have learned. BJJ was a huge help in this area as you begin to learn spontaneous responses that are appropriate.

HOWEVER...

There is also a downside to this, as you know, once you start "Playing the Game", and you have to be aware that the game is going on. In BJJ this really starts to happen at the mid Blue Belt level, your partners start stalling, being less committed, develop "Game Strategies" etc. So then you develop tactics and strategies to time, bait etc.

All lots of fun for sure as it is physical chess and lots of great skills can be honed through this process. LOTS.

This process is fairly external though and you rely on those external factors to form your responses...it is easy to get very good and get caught up in this game.

To transcend this process, there is another type of practice that is necessary, one which I think alot of aikido dojos use that is interpersonal and based on a certain level of trust, feel, and cooperation.

I think that a mixture of the two types of models/methods to be a pretty good way to do things, although, it ain't for everyone for sure and there are other ways to go about doing it.

Nicely said! I can't say that I have a deep understanding of this point, but I do think I have an inkling and it's been a big reason I've been so "anti-"competition in the past. To my mind, competition is usually more about holding the other guy down than it is about doing our very best; it's sort of a short-term-oriented response.
Barrish Sensei once expressed to me his view that a person can get very good through competitive methods, but that in his view it will only get someone so far. My guess is that he views training as a process of discovery which should focus on the internal structure as the primary concern and that honest interaction (i.e. no feints or other games of trickery) requires cooperation. In other words, how can you discover subtleties of movement when the other guy is constantly trying to sabotage your ability to connect directly.
The more I type the less confident I feel in trying to capture the gist of it so I'll leave it at that for now.
Thanks once again for sharing your insights, Kevin. I always enjoy reading them.
Take care,
Matthew

MM
11-02-2009, 10:14 AM
All IMO ...

Question: "Why do people think Aikido does not work?"

I'll use examples of Shioda and Tomiki. Both used their aikido in venues outside of aikido. They were tested and challenged. Both were very capable men. I would be willing to wager that people who encountered them found something very unusual or unique.

Most Aikido practitioners aren't up to that level of skill. So, we have to take a step back and try to figure out why. I won't go into all the relevant posts that I've made. Guess there's too many by now. :)

Daito ryu has a base in jujutsu. Content is sometimes broken down by jujutsu, aiki jujutsu and aiki no jujutsu. Remember, Ueshiba's primary art was Daito ryu. Aikido is based upon jujutsu. The single, most prevalent aspect to Daito ryu and Aikido is "aiki". Without "aiki", you only have jujutsu. Without "aiki", the intricate techniques do not work very well.

Judo and BJJ trace their history to jujutsu. It's what they do. MMA also has a history of jujutsu, along with wrestling, boxing, etc. The people in these arts train jujutsu and apply it in a free-style manner. Some move into competition. However, for our purposes, I want to eliminate the competition or competitive events because Ueshiba did not look favorably upon them. So, we'll try to keep the playing field as even as we can. We'll look at Judo, BJJ, and MMA in their learning and training environments only.

Aikido has "20" year techniques which Shioda nor Tomiki ever needed. Why? I believe it is because without "aiki", one would need many years of perfecting the jujutsu to make some of the intricate techniques work. The training in that involves very specific timing, very specific body movements, a relaxing of the body so that the whole body can be used, connecting physically to uke so that one can "lead" uke into a hole, etc. All jujutsu based actions. (Not stating jujutsu is bad. Really good jujutsu can be an awesome thing.) But, the training curriculum in aikido isn't based upon jujutsu but aiki. The way of aiki, literally. And without aiki, that training takes on a completely different aspect. An aspect that involves trying to make techniques work outside of their original purpose. Can they work? Yes, but it involves a lot more training on jujutsu aspects, which is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

So, we look at comparing Aikido, which does have jujutsu in its history, and Judo, BJJ, and MMA. When comparing equal time periods of say 1, 3, 5 and 10 years -- for the most part, Aikido lags well behind the others. But, when looking at Shioda and Tomiki, at 5-10 years, we find that isn't the case. (Just for those who like to bring up the fact that Tomiki and others had prior martial arts backgrounds, please see my thread about How Long and in What Manner. Tomiki was a great judo player but got tossed like a child's rag doll when he met Ueshiba.)

IMO, today's Aikido is mostly jujutsu. And the training paradigm of Aikido is one of the worst jujutsu training paradigms out there. Aikido was never meant to be jujutsu centric, but aiki centric. So, when comparing Aikido people to Judo people to BJJ people, etc, it's going to be common that Aikido people don't do well. They are learning jujutsu in a system that wasn't supposed to train jujutsu, but aiki.

So, the answer to the initial question is because, for the most part, it's true. Aikido does not work in the jujutsu world on equal terms (sure someone with 20 years Aikido could best a 5 year BJJ student). To fix that, as Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, etc all learned, one must train aiki, for all their previous knowledge and skills in jujutsu failed them when they met Ueshiba. Not the peace and love and harmony "aiki", but the real body skills of Takeda's Daito ryu aiki.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-02-2009, 10:24 AM
I think that a mixture of the two types of models/methods to be a pretty good way to do things, although, it ain't for everyone for sure and there are other ways to go about doing it.

I think you'll like what BJJ instructor Chris Haueter says in the first 50 s. of this clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGhvBW127M4).

heathererandolph
11-02-2009, 11:40 AM
I heard of an apprentice noodle maker in japan who trained for years in making dough. Since you can purchase perfectly good noodles in a supermarket, I suppose such training is of no use. Try telling that to him, though! Then again, the process is the important part of the journey. To really learn something, to invest yourself in something, that is quite different from learning a wrist lock you can use in your next fight. It is a risk to be spending all this time on something with no tangible short term reward.

Some people are looking for short term rewards, in fact most people want short term rewards. But just because most people eat at fast food doesn't mean that you have to also. If you are patient enough to devote yourself to an art like Aikido, then you are not looking for short term rewards. But there is no shame in that.

Kevin Leavitt
11-02-2009, 12:37 PM
Mark Murray wrote:

IMO, today's Aikido is mostly jujutsu. And the training paradigm of Aikido is one of the worst jujutsu training paradigms out there. Aikido was never meant to be jujutsu centric, but aiki centric. So, when comparing Aikido people to Judo people to BJJ people, etc, it's going to be common that Aikido people don't do well. They are learning jujutsu in a system that wasn't supposed to train jujutsu, but aiki.

I agree for the most part. You can learn fundamentals of jiujitsu from a good school in about 5 years I think, maybe less if you are not worried about too high a level of refinement of skill.

I agree that aikido is a poor way and most inefficient to learn jiujistu too as it was not really designed to teach jiujitsu.

I think there are many ways to approach the subject, it depends on what you want out of your training.

For me, in hindsight, I think it would have been best to learn good, basic jiu jitsu ala "Kano Jiu Jitsu", acheive Dan ranking in that system in about 5 years, then move on to "Grad School" with a good bunch of folks that have fundamental skills that are doing Aiki.

That said, show me where that model might be found today?

The closest thing I have found to "Kano Jiu Jitsu" is the Jiu Jitsu taught by Helio Gracie, not sport BJJ, and you will not find that taught in too many places today at a high level.

In addition you have schools of Aikido with varying degrees of students with varying backgrounds, few of which I have found have good fundamental Jiu Jitsu Skills.

Even if they do, as is the case with myself, there are challenges that will arise in "unlearning" or "reframing" skills sets, game plans from habits, defaults, and instincts picked up in the process.

Which is better, well YMMV I suppose.

I can tell you that I feel that the time I spent in BJJ was invaluable to me in learning, and I don't think i'd be were I was today with out the training.

Conversely, my aikido training is just starting to pay off in my Jits game, so I am continuing to increase my quality time spent with that as well.

but overall, I agree with your assessment.

Kevin Leavitt
11-02-2009, 12:53 PM
I heard of an apprentice noodle maker in japan who trained for years in making dough. Since you can purchase perfectly good noodles in a supermarket, I suppose such training is of no use. Try telling that to him, though! Then again, the process is the important part of the journey. To really learn something, to invest yourself in something, that is quite different from learning a wrist lock you can use in your next fight. It is a risk to be spending all this time on something with no tangible short term reward.

Some people are looking for short term rewards, in fact most people want short term rewards. But just because most people eat at fast food doesn't mean that you have to also. If you are patient enough to devote yourself to an art like Aikido, then you are not looking for short term rewards. But there is no shame in that.

Well I think a big part of the problem is that the average person has no idea what they are investing their time in when it comes to martial arts and it is not definitive when we start training. That and as a lot we like it that way I believe as it allows us to have a great deal of flexibility in attracting students and being accountable for our "product".

A guy that goes on an apprenticeship for making noodles probably would not do so unless he had a pretty good idea that the guy he was studying with was the best noodle maker he could find in his area, within his budget, time etc. i.e. he understands WHY he is studying with the Master Noodle Maker.

That Master Noodle Maker probably has won awards, has run a high quality restuarant, has a product that sells, taste good etc. We are able to define what "Quality Noodles" are.

So, that begs the question...what is quality Aikido?

It ain't for me to judge or define it...but think about it for a minute...do we really understand what that is and how you define it?

I have my own definition and I feel pretty comfortable on my journey right now to acheive my goals, albeit the path has been an interesting one, and one that I had to define for myself as I have learned along the way.

The biggest thing I have learned is constant self introspection, always willing to look at what others are doing, developing criteria and models to define success, and re-evaluation as I go.

I have felt "ripped off" at some points, but I have gotten over that once I started accepting responsibility for my own training and stopped living by the definitions of others. I am responsible for Me.

Sure it requires long hard work and some faith, patience etc.

However, this is a far cry from placing blind faith in one guy or one dojo...I think this is not healthy for anyone at all.

I think the best students constantly look, seek, challenge critically and ask the tough questions.

Again, I don't buy into the 20 year model for learning base line and fundamental skills. I think this can and should happen quickly.

I think 20 years comes as we look long term at refinement and progressive skill sets.

Unfortunately we have folks on a 20 year plan to learn basic, fundamental waza...skills that should be obtained in about 5 years.

20 years should be about learning pedagogy, methodology, learning to interact with students, breadth and depth of a system, and how to be a leader within your community of practice.

On top of that...skills should be progressive...say 5 years to learn good fundamental jiu jitsu. 5 years to begin to learn Internal Skills, 5 years to synthesize, and 5 years to refine...something like that.

But, lots of folks are fixated on the 20 year model for waza and get caught it a "do loop" of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Aikibu
11-03-2009, 02:53 PM
Well I think a big part of the problem is that the average person has no idea what they are investing their time in when it comes to martial arts and it is not definitive when we start training. That and as a lot we like it that way I believe as it allows us to have a great deal of flexibility in attracting students and being accountable for our "product".

A guy that goes on an apprenticeship for making noodles probably would not do so unless he had a pretty good idea that the guy he was studying with was the best noodle maker he could find in his area, within his budget, time etc. i.e. he understands WHY he is studying with the Master Noodle Maker.

That Master Noodle Maker probably has won awards, has run a high quality restuarant, has a product that sells, taste good etc. We are able to define what "Quality Noodles" are.

So, that begs the question...what is quality Aikido?

It ain't for me to judge or define it...but think about it for a minute...do we really understand what that is and how you define it?

I have my own definition and I feel pretty comfortable on my journey right now to acheive my goals, albeit the path has been an interesting one, and one that I had to define for myself as I have learned along the way.

The biggest thing I have learned is constant self introspection, always willing to look at what others are doing, developing criteria and models to define success, and re-evaluation as I go.

I have felt "ripped off" at some points, but I have gotten over that once I started accepting responsibility for my own training and stopped living by the definitions of others. I am responsible for Me.

Sure it requires long hard work and some faith, patience etc.

However, this is a far cry from placing blind faith in one guy or one dojo...I think this is not healthy for anyone at all.

I think the best students constantly look, seek, challenge critically and ask the tough questions.

Again, I don't buy into the 20 year model for learning base line and fundamental skills. I think this can and should happen quickly.

I think 20 years comes as we look long term at refinement and progressive skill sets.

Unfortunately we have folks on a 20 year plan to learn basic, fundamental waza...skills that should be obtained in about 5 years.

20 years should be about learning pedagogy, methodology, learning to interact with students, breadth and depth of a system, and how to be a leader within your community of practice.

On top of that...skills should be progressive...say 5 years to learn good fundamental jiu jitsu. 5 years to begin to learn Internal Skills, 5 years to synthesize, and 5 years to refine...something like that.

But, lots of folks are fixated on the 20 year model for waza and get caught it a "do loop" of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Malcom Gladwell and I would disagree LOL....In any discipline it's really simple mathematics... It's takes about 10 Thousand Hours to achieve Mastery in almost any craft..In most Aikido Practice you are awarded rank based on two criteria...1.Technical Knowledge and Application of Techniques 2. Number of Hours in the Dojo...I've known Aikidoka who've gone to Japan to hang out with Shoji Nishio Shihan when he was still alive, practiced 8 to 10 hours a day everyday for a few years in both Aikido and Iaido and come home as 3rd Dans or even 4th Dans in rare cases where Sensei felt they have reached that level...Our current Doshu Kenji Yoshida Sensei lived with Nishio Shihan for over 10 years and practiced Aikido and Iaido 10 to 12 hours a day everyday and has for over 30 years (Any other followers of Nishio Shihan and Yoshida Sensei please correct me if I am wrong :) )

My Roshi's teachings on Zen Master Dogen's "Instructions to the Cook" has been a great guide for me too...

Some folks are obsessed with achievement in their practice other's wish to achieve mastery... Both take time...However I believe you can experience "Mastery" at anytime and in anyplace as a 5th Kyu or 8th Dan right here right now. :) Though these Mastery "Experiences" may only be glimpsed or slightly felt in the beginning of ones practice (indeed you may be so inexperienced that you are completely unaware of them Which is one of many reasons you have a Sensei LOL) With Hard practice this Mastery seems easier to "achieve" :)

When I was younger I almost fell into the trap of Achievement mistaking it for Mastery...Now I realize that with every breath Mastery can be Achieved and I am no longer in such a hurry to "obtain" it...:D LOL!

I still remember well what a great honor it was to have Shoji Nishio Shihan award me my Shodan and what he said to me..."All a black belt means is that you have the potential to be a good student."

Aikido works on any level you want it too As long as you're willing to put in the work... My goal with it has always been to Master Myself...In an age of Automatic Weapons.. Predator UAV's..JDAM's and Glocks...It matters just a little how much I can kick ass with my bare hands or a sword... But if I can learn to resolve conflict without causing undue harm, and develop a "Sincere Heart" the way Shoji Nishio and O'Sensei expressed it. Then I will have "Achieved" "Mastery" :) Aikido is my "vehicle" for this "journey" and there are many others too.

Continue to practice hard my Dear Friend Kevin..I am blessed to be acquainted with someone who has such a passion for the Martial Arts and bettering themselves. :)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
11-03-2009, 03:11 PM
Hey WIlliam,

well no issue of course.

the question I think boils down to functional, working knowledge or mastery.

I think that you can achieve functional knowledge at a fairly quick level if trained properly as you know from your time in the miltary.

Pedagogy of our martial practice needs to be structure in a way that allows for successvie and progressive levels of mastery.

I believe that it should be codified some how in this manner, and in many ways it is.....6th Kyu can perform some basic technical functions...5th..4th etc...

Overall, the process from technical master to synthesis probably is a 20 year process.

I think though that alot of folks are eihter selling themselves short of what they have "mastered" early on...or they spin their wheels doing stuff that really is not allowing them to progress through the various levels.

Simply doing something for 20 years with no check points or measures along the way does not mean you will master anything.\

I mean sure if you do 100 suburi cuts every day for 20 years, you will get good at suburi cuts..no doubt about it! But what good does it really do you? I think you could probably master that task in a couple of months actually...so then what? what do you do with this skill? Does your practice or pedagogy provide a progressive path to build upon this mastery...or are you simply doing suburi cuts 20 years later.

Aikibu
11-03-2009, 03:42 PM
Hey WIlliam,

well no issue of course.

the question I think boils down to functional, working knowledge or mastery.

I think that you can achieve functional knowledge at a fairly quick level if trained properly as you know from your time in the miltary.

Pedagogy of our martial practice needs to be structure in a way that allows for successvie and progressive levels of mastery.

I believe that it should be codified some how in this manner, and in many ways it is.....6th Kyu can perform some basic technical functions...5th..4th etc...

Overall, the process from technical master to synthesis probably is a 20 year process.

I think though that alot of folks are eihter selling themselves short of what they have "mastered" early on...or they spin their wheels doing stuff that really is not allowing them to progress through the various levels.

Simply doing something for 20 years with no check points or measures along the way does not mean you will master anything.\

I mean sure if you do 100 suburi cuts every day for 20 years, you will get good at suburi cuts..no doubt about it! But what good does it really do you? I think you could probably master that task in a couple of months actually...so then what? what do you do with this skill? Does your practice or pedagogy provide a progressive path to build upon this mastery...or are you simply doing suburi cuts 20 years later.

Well Kevin..I do cutting everyday and perhaps it means nothing other than I have been doing cutting everyday or perhaps it's means that It helps my Iremi, Atemi, Maai, and other aspects of my practice...At this point in my life it feels like the latter. :)

The challenge for me is not doing 100 cuts everyday...It's doing every cut perfectly and intuitively without thinking about it...LOL

For me Mastery would be to do that everyday all day under any set of circumstances

To see someone do a 100 "perfect" cuts everyday naturally and intuitively is pretty rare, and I don't know how long it will take me to actually experience it myself (one of these days before I die perhaps LOL)

William Hazen

Aikibu
11-03-2009, 04:09 PM
My last post reminds me of two poignant vignettes...

1.The Movie "The Last Samurai" and Cruise's Major Algren being introduced to the concept of "no mind" during his practice dual with the local swordmaster.

2. Shoji Nishio Shihan's mastery of the Jo...Every seminar he did all of us were spell bound at how easily he wielded the Jo...His mastery of it was breath taking and one of the only times I have truly seen "no mind" embodied in a Martial Artist.

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
11-03-2009, 09:53 PM
William,

I think we are having a hard time lashing up our conversation! lol! so sorry if I am misunderstanding! :)

I think it depends on your goal and endstates. That 100 cuts I agree is very important to do everyday. FWIW I am doing alot more of this stuff now a days than I did when I started as I am beginning to see the light and the importance of development and conditioning as I gain more and more experience.

There is much to be said for this kind of practice.

The hard part, of course, is the linkages back to application.

I think in the beginning we tell students to "wax on wax off" and don't really necessarily tell them why the need to do these things, even if we do tell them, they won't really do them or believe them as being important since alot of time things like suburi are really out of the norm for people and they can't imagine why they would do this boring silly practice that isn't really doing much for them.

That is great theat Shoji Nishio Shihan could also show you the linkage.

How well did most folks pick up on that? How many of them today can do what he can do? How good a job did he do in transmitting this to you and others?

No criticism intended...just asking the questions. Of course I cannot pass judgement on him or you or anyone else...as I have not ever been with you guys!

Kinda getting off the subject...but the point on mastery is what are you there to master?

Of course it could be different for everyone....and maybe your goal is to do 100 cuts daily simply because you like to and it makes you feel good.

However, I think there is more to it. Chess for example is fairly measureable. Some folks want to be a regional champion, world, local...or simply beat their husband or wife etc.

You have to master alot of things to play well. It requires you to really do alot of the same type of things you have to do in martial arts. Repetitive drills, kata, exercises...over and over..daily...developing habits and instincts.

but those drills are not the endstate are they? Playing chess is the endstate. Winning chess is the end state, or maybe simply playing well if not winning.

So what is the linkage of 100 suburi cuts daily back to mastery?

What is the tie in? what is the progression? the building blocks? the feedback process? how do you know they are helping you?

These questions may not be important if you simply see it as a form of exercise or meditation. That is, something you simply do for the joy or the feeling of doing it.

I think for most though that this is not the case when they study a martial art.

The want the strange stuff we do to lead to something the "works"...whatever "work" may mean.

Ketsan
11-05-2009, 10:53 AM
Why do people think Aikido does not work?

People have different conceptualisations of what a fight is which are usually defined by their culture. When they see something that doesn't conform to their ideas about what a fight is they have a choice. They either have to change their views or reject the challenge to their views. Most choose the latter.

MMA is deemed to work largely because that's how Americans and most of the western world chooses to fight. Aikido is the exact opposite of the west's culturally ingrained pattern of violence and so it is deemed to be ineffective.

The most amusing thing for me in Aikido so far is dealing with people who say, "But who runs at you with their hands out" and then finding out that when you run at them with your hands out they have no effective defence against it and end up on the floor. Why? Because in their mind their cultural programming tells them that you're going to stand slightly closer than arms length and trade blows with them and in fact IME the hardest part of Aikido is stopping yourself from doing just that and entering in like you've been taught to.

CNYMike
11-05-2009, 01:49 PM
Today a good friend of mine who has been training Muay Thai for about a year called me and flat out told me that Aikido according to his oppinion and that of others in his gym is not practical and that he was afraid that I was wasting my precious time .... Why do people think Aikido does not work?

Why don't you ask him?

But at the end of the day, AFAIK, every martial art -- karate, Aikido --Thai Boxing, MMA, Kun Fu -- is backed by someone who says it worked in real life when they needed it. So who's right?

My Kali instructor keeps saying, "Any technique that saves your bacon is the best technique in the universe." If you save your bacon with Yoshinkan, who careswhat your buddy thinks? And if you like doing it, that' all that matters. And the same applies to your buddy. Live and let live. In twenty years, you ad your buddy will either be teaching seminars in your respective arts, or you'll be drinkin beers and thinking it might be great to still be training.

I'll stop rambling now.

kironin
11-06-2009, 11:50 AM
Bas Rutten: Aikido in MMA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k_uumIQ1uk)

LOL, just his comments about grabbing show he is not surprisingly completely clueless about correct aikido technique. This like going to a knee specialist for an opinion of cancer therapy. It's also a fairly stupid question to begin with.

kironin
11-06-2009, 11:54 AM
I think you'll like what BJJ instructor Chris Haueter says in the first 50 s. of this clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGhvBW127M4).

very nice comment.

Chris Evans
09-05-2012, 01:29 PM
I would tell your friends that an entire planet can't be wrong. If it were so, then this art would not have spread to the four corners of the world. Besides, history tells us that the original students of O'Sensei were accomplished martial artists in other arts yet they to decided to study. I don't think they who had real world fighting knowledge and experience would have wasted their time learning this art from him.

good observation.

Adam Huss
09-05-2012, 06:38 PM
When people say aikido does not work in a fight, they mostly mean it does not work in a match...as in kumite or and MMA/MT fight. If you mean an actual street fight I can attest that I was jumped at a party and used sudori and irimi tsuki.

Who is your teacher, if I may ask....Mustard Sensei?

Chris Evans
09-06-2012, 09:51 AM
When people say aikido does not work in a fight, they mostly mean it does not work in a match...as in kumite or and MMA/MT fight. If you mean an actual street fight I can attest that I was jumped at a party and used sudori and irimi tsuki.


That is true. But also true that many aikidoka neglect conditioning and do not practice enough unpredictable randori or jiju waza -- which also happens to be true of many karateka.

Adam Huss
09-06-2012, 12:56 PM
Yep, its pretty easy to get in a rhythm of training easily.

Like karate schools that don't practice much sparring until testing or tournament times approach, many aikidoka neglect randori practice until just before testing.