PDA

View Full Version : Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


RED
05-31-2010, 02:27 PM
I'm not sure if it is or not.
I was reading some online forums and came across this: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=96920

It is an MMA forum so maybe it isn't the greatest proof of over all misunderstanding of Aikido.
But I came across every opinion from "aikido has nothing to do with weapons work" to "aikido doesn't do randori" on that forum post, even as far as aikido not being a martial art... ???

Do you think Aikido is misunderstood... or does the ignorance just over shadow logic in this isolated case?

Mikemac
05-31-2010, 02:48 PM
This is not necessarily a good example, but for what it's worth. Aikido IS an equal martial art:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1w-8XhXutI&feature=related

Now, I'm not using this to promote competition, but at least it shows to some degree that applied aikido merits itself in certain arenas.

But deeper than this, I find that aikido, at least in the physical sense, is only a symbol of a greater meaning. We train to penetrate the truth to O-Sensei.

RED
05-31-2010, 02:53 PM
I'm not sure if in your video this guy is doing what I'd call Aikido. Aikido is a very large umbrella in much regards, but It looks like some sort of Jujitsu. I'd at least call it some kind of jujitsu. But the guy really isn't getting off line, and the extension isn't there.

But frankly, everyone's Aikido is different. *shrugs*

Mikemac
05-31-2010, 03:02 PM
Like I said......It's not a very good example.

My teacher mentioned during techniques that I execute with a lot of speed. Most of the time, the training is done in what I feel is slow motion.

Remember that it was said that trying to catch O-Sensei was like trying to catch smoke. When techniques are applied fluidly, they are far more effective.

RED
05-31-2010, 03:15 PM
Like I said......It's not a very good example.

My teacher mentioned during techniques that I execute with a lot of speed. Most of the time, the training is done in what I feel is slow motion.

Remember that it was said that trying to catch O-Sensei was like trying to catch smoke. When techniques are applied fluidly, they are far more effective.

They really are.

Sometimes when people first get on the mat we tell them to do everything at a slower speed than everyone else. However they do it faster than everyone else. lol They think they are going slow...its just that the people around them appear to be going VERY fast around them. When the truth is the fluidity of the techniques are deceiving I think. Fluidity makes it look fast when it is in fact just efficient.

Mikemac
05-31-2010, 03:21 PM
Well, we certainly know about Japanese efficiency.

It seems to me that Aikido is something that PASSES through the martial arts world, meaning it can hold its own when entering the martial arts. Deep down, there is a strange feeling I have that there is much more to this art.

RED
05-31-2010, 03:28 PM
In the end I think Aikido is about self mastery. I don't care if you do water colours, Aikido, BJJ or ballet. Everyone needs something that feeds their spirit. It's not about beating others, it should be about beating yourself.
I think sometimes people are looking to earn their "man card" in Martial Arts, or show off their bad-assery. LOL If they focused on themselves and their own training and self improvement as much as they worried about how other men view them, they'd find something deeper to any martial art in my opinion.

The first thing you typically teach a new guy in Aikido is "Off line" then "get uke off ballance" "Off-line" you worry about yourself, tend to your safety first. Then worry about what the attacker is up to. So many people see an attack coming in and run right into it... like they are gonna deal with that big bad attacker who dared offend them... but Aikido... off-line first, then off ballance uke.

My teacher said in bokken kata that when you see a bokken raise, just move in...it doesn't matter what you plan to do with uke, just get off the line of attack. What you wanna do with the attacker won't matter if you have a sword sticking in you. :/

Mikemac
05-31-2010, 03:43 PM
I know exactly what you're talking about in regards to bokken kata. This video describes what you mean at 2:25:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9PTMSwr1h0

I think after much training, one can anticipate an opponent's next move. We really can't see ourselves in the same way as MMA fighters. it's not the same ballpark....It ain't even the same sport. we are intellectual as well as physical.

As far as a deeper meaning in aikido, I find it similar to what I call the "Jim Morrison" discovery. Sure, I knew of him as a rock and roll god, but when I picked up a copy of "An American Night" or "The Lords and the New Creatures", I discovered something much more complex and meaningful in his poetry. I think O-Sensei is a poet more than an aikido master.

dps
05-31-2010, 06:07 PM
Who cares what other people think of Aikido?

Why would you even be concerned?

David

Kevin Leavitt
05-31-2010, 06:13 PM
Personally, I think the big part of the mis-understanding of aikido centers around the whole "getting off the line thing". I long and indepth conversation, but I do not personally subscribe to the theory that you can "avoid" or get off the line and still be effective at influencing uke.

The only way that works IMO, is if uke lets it work.

Irimi, if that is what we are talking about is entering, and to me, entering is not "getting off the line" in the sense that many folks perceive it.

You can change the angle of advance by entering, and the perception would be "getting off the line". Uke has to adjust or respond to that situation that puts him in a tactically un-advantageous position.

I know for myself, I did not understand this for many, many years and had a hard time making this stuff work for me. Once I figured it out, Aikido made a lot better sense to me.

Again, I do think that alot of folks simply get this small but important aspect wrong and it is huge!

Gregory Pinkerton
05-31-2010, 06:13 PM
I'm not sure if it is or not.
I was reading some online forums and came across this: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=96920

It is an MMA forum so maybe it isn't the greatest proof of over all misunderstanding of Aikido.
But I came across every opinion from "aikido has nothing to do with weapons work" to "aikido doesn't do randori" on that forum post, even as far as aikido not being a martial art... ???

Do you think Aikido is misunderstood... or does the ignorance just over shadow logic in this isolated case?

First I don't think bullshido is necessarily MMA exclusive, they do have a number of forums for other arts. Link here (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=100)

As for Aikido and weapons work, I think that largely depends on what you mean by 'weapons work'. For learning to use the actual weapon, I would argue that their opinion is true, for the majority of schools. (However there are exceptions.)

As has been told to me and I seem to recall reading this on Aikido Journal by some well known practicioners, the weapons work in Aikido is more or less to compliment the empty handed component as well as focus on teaching some key principles that can be overlooked in empty handed training.

The term 'randori' used by Judo/BJJ practicioners is rather different than the same term used by the majority of Aikido practicioners.

IE resistive grappling with me trying to do whatever technique compared to, ukes who only seem to attack one after another with me executing techniques. (And again there are exceptions.)

Both have their purposes.

I don't think Aikido is misunderstood as much as people would like to think. A number of people have at one time or another practiced Aikido.

Kevin Leavitt
05-31-2010, 06:19 PM
I know exactly what you're talking about in regards to bokken kata. This video describes what you mean at 2:25:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9PTMSwr1h0

I think after much training, one can anticipate an opponent's next move. We really can't see ourselves in the same way as MMA fighters. it's not the same ballpark....It ain't even the same sport. we are intellectual as well as physical.

As far as a deeper meaning in aikido, I find it similar to what I call the "Jim Morrison" discovery. Sure, I knew of him as a rock and roll god, but when I picked up a copy of "An American Night" or "The Lords and the New Creatures", I discovered something much more complex and meaningful in his poetry. I think O-Sensei is a poet more than an aikido master.

Maybe you can anticipate an opponents next move. However, I am not willing to bet my life that I am wrong. As the experience level goes up, opponents get harder and harder to read.

What is better, IMO, is not so much trying to "Out Skill" or antcipate your opponent, that amount of processing or thought will be about 70/30 in his favor I believe since it requires you to think and process what he is about to do. (Observe and Orient)

What is better is to put him on the defensive and behind in his decision loop and have him doing all the Observing and Orienting. That turns the tables in your favor.

A completely different perspective on fighting that does not rely so much on highly technical skills, but on the ability to quickly make decisions, get in this decision loop and put him on the defensive.

THis to me is what entering and irimi is really all about, and one of the main lessons in Jiu Jitsu and/or aikido.

A good read on this whole subject in western terms is Dr John Boyd and the OODA process.

In a fight, it is not so much what you are doing to him as much as what he is not able to do to you that is important.

We get caught up in learning the technical syllabus and worrying about what we are gonna due to uke, vice what we are not allowing uke to do to us.

Once I figured this out in training, aikido got alot more fun and alot more simple.

Anjisan
05-31-2010, 06:23 PM
Who cares what other people think of Aikido?

Why would you even be concerned?

David

The only relevance I can see is recruitment. I have heard that enrollments (at least in some organizations and I cannot see any reason to discriminate) are down and perception unfortunately is reality. People lead busy lives these days and may not have the time or inclination to do the homework regarding what a martial art is all about or what is best for them. Consequently, if there is a perception out there that Aikido doesn't work than to a certain degree it is true from the public's perception.

Kevin Leavitt
05-31-2010, 06:32 PM
Our dojo has been consistent in enrollment over the last 10 years. Economy I think might have something to do with it. I think most folks in the general public really have no clue what is and what isn't, but simply are attracted to things based on what feels right to them or what they are comfortable with. Alot of it is also location, location, location!

mathewjgano
05-31-2010, 06:40 PM
I'm not sure if it is or not.
I was reading some online forums and came across this: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=96920

It is an MMA forum so maybe it isn't the greatest proof of over all misunderstanding of Aikido.
But I came across every opinion from "aikido has nothing to do with weapons work" to "aikido doesn't do randori" on that forum post, even as far as aikido not being a martial art... ???

Do you think Aikido is misunderstood... or does the ignorance just over shadow logic in this isolated case?

Sure I think it's misunderstood, but every martial art is misunderstood somewhat, isn't it?
People have a funny habit of imposing their own justifications on other people. If I act like a lovey dovey hippie, my tough-guy friends don't get it; if I act like a tough-guy, my hippie friends don't get it. From my vantage, both are on to something important to living a good life, they just have trouble recognizing how they're connected.

RED
05-31-2010, 09:14 PM
Sure I think it's misunderstood, but every martial art is misunderstood somewhat, isn't it?
People have a funny habit of imposing their own justifications on other people. If I act like a lovey dovey hippie, my tough-guy friends don't get it; if I act like a tough-guy, my hippie friends don't get it. From my vantage, both are on to something important to living a good life, they just have trouble recognizing how they're connected.

To a certain extent I think everyone judges each other by their own standards.(Dale Carnegie sociology) Therefore if you yourself are in the mindset that Martial Arts is about "beating" some one else, there is the assumption that everyone else must have a similar mind set. Thus, it becomes hard to comprehend that some one else might not be in something for the same reasons you are. I think that road goes both ways. :/

RED
05-31-2010, 09:15 PM
Who cares what other people think of Aikido?

Why would you even be concerned?

David

Just for the sake of discussion. :cool: The board has been slow for a week.

RED
05-31-2010, 09:20 PM
Our dojo has been consistent in enrollment over the last 10 years. Economy I think might have something to do with it. I think most folks in the general public really have no clue what is and what isn't, but simply are attracted to things based on what feels right to them or what they are comfortable with. Alot of it is also location, location, location!

I compared prices around town. Compared to your typical karate americas, and BJJ clubs, the Aikido dojos in my state were a lot cheaper, and had no contracts. For this reason, Aikido feels a little bit like a grass root movement. Its like the art spreads through evangelism, from practitioner to practitioner. I don't get the same mass market feel I get from some of the BJJ and karate schools in the area. I guess you'd term some of those places "McDojo"

Aikibu
05-31-2010, 09:30 PM
Bulshido as a source means well but IME it's troll city on allot of topics especially Aikido...I used to post there a few years back but after one of the moderators physically threatened me completely disrespecting the US Army combatives program's and MMA...

That being said When you do have Aiki-Bunnies running around expecting to fall down it sadly provides allot of these trolls with enough fodder to keep them fat and happy.

William Hazen

RED
05-31-2010, 09:40 PM
Bulshido as a source means well but IME it's troll city on allot of topics especially Aikido...I used to post there a few years back but after one of the moderators physically threatened me completely disrespecting the US Army combatives program's and MMA...

That being said When you do have Aiki-Bunnies running around expecting to fall down it sadly provides allot of these trolls with enough fodder to keep them fat and happy.

William Hazen
yeah i think one of the mods is actually trolling that thread I posted lol.
and he claimed to do aikido for years on top of it...that and every other martial art.

Ketsan
05-31-2010, 10:10 PM
I'm not sure if it is or not.
I was reading some online forums and came across this: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=96920

It is an MMA forum so maybe it isn't the greatest proof of over all misunderstanding of Aikido.
But I came across every opinion from "aikido has nothing to do with weapons work" to "aikido doesn't do randori" on that forum post, even as far as aikido not being a martial art... ???

Do you think Aikido is misunderstood... or does the ignorance just over shadow logic in this isolated case?

Yes it is misunderstood. We refuse to communicate with the rest of the world or even take notice of it, we don't do our own talking; we let people with no experience of Aikido tell the world about Aikido. It's hardly suprising that we have the reputation we have; it's what comes of refusing to harmonise with the situation: conflict, confusion and ignorance.

The rest of the world asks how and why we do things and we ignore them. We're very insular. Even when we do demos we like to show off how good we are at training rather than what we can actually do as a result of that training. It be like turning up to a Thai Boxing demo and just seeing people laying into kick bags or skipping; the natural assumption would be that it's just a way of working out and that it had little real application.

People see us as we present ourselves.

Ketsan
05-31-2010, 10:14 PM
Who cares what other people think of Aikido?

Why would you even be concerned?

David

I can imagine several hundred heads of now defunct koryu systems thought exactly the same thing about their systems.

RED
05-31-2010, 10:33 PM
Yes it is misunderstood. We refuse to communicate with the rest of the world or even take notice of it, we don't do our own talking; we let people with no experience of Aikido tell the world about Aikido. It's hardly suprising that we have the reputation we have; it's what comes of refusing to harmonise with the situation: conflict, confusion and ignorance.

The rest of the world asks how and why we do things and we ignore them. We're very insular. Even when we do demos we like to show off how good we are at training rather than what we can actually do as a result of that training. It be like turning up to a Thai Boxing demo and just seeing people laying into kick bags or skipping; the natural assumption would be that it's just a way of working out and that it had little real application.

People see us as we present ourselves.

With that said, why do you think it is this way? The low kyu ranks are on fire and want to tell everyone how awesome it is, while the high dan ranks are quiet and isolated.
Like most things, maybe it is like being in love; at first you are shouting from the roof tops, and about after 10 years of marriage thing grow comfortable, maybe? :confused:

I have made an observation however in my experience however. The new students that are the loudest to boast and scream(often with little understanding) the virtues of Aikido, tend to quit after 2 months. :( Is Aikido publicly represented by 6th kyu that quit the Martial Art 2 months before they can even roll then?

crbateman
05-31-2010, 10:36 PM
I am not sure that there is any martial art that is universally understood, nor am I certain that is necessarily a requirement. One thing I have noticed is that the noisiest critics are often the least credible. It is not unusual to trash what one cannot understand. It takes less effort than learning does.

RED
05-31-2010, 10:40 PM
I am not sure that there is any martial art that is universally understood, nor am I certain that is necessarily a requirement. One thing I have noticed is that the noisiest critics are often the least credible. It is not unusual to trash what one cannot understand. It takes less effort than learning does.

I think there is technically a real calling in Aikido to spread the art. Misrepresentation in that light, might not be something that should be easily accepted. :confused:

OwlMatt
05-31-2010, 11:04 PM
Who cares what other people think of Aikido?

Why would you even be concerned?

David

I agree with this sentiment in principle, but I think there is a danger in thinking this way. If we are too quick to dismiss aikido's critics, we might leave some very important questions unanswered. Is our aikido really martial art? There are a lot of people out there who don't think so. We can blow them off if we want, but until we have extensively examined that question and honestly answered it for ourselves, dismissing this kind of criticism is a manifestation of insecurity and not security.

L. Camejo
05-31-2010, 11:19 PM
I think that Aikido is misunderstood in the world of Aikido, much less the wider world of martial arts. The word is used to describe training methodologies that differ quite significantly depending on how one traces ones lineage back to Ueshiba M.

Yes it is misunderstood. We refuse to communicate with the rest of the world or even take notice of it, we don't do our own talking; we let people with no experience of Aikido tell the world about Aikido. It's hardly suprising that we have the reputation we have; it's what comes of refusing to harmonise with the situation: conflict, confusion and ignorance.I think Alex has a very valid point here. Over the years of training in all sorts of multi-style seminars I often see a recurring trend - there are 2 types of Aikidoka that show up (and this applies to some other Budo as well) - those who have faith in their abilities and are honestly willing to learn - and those who do not have faith in their abilities and who would really rather return to the safe environment of their home dojo.

The ones who do not are rarely seen outside of seminars of their own style or own dojo. They are quite insular and unwilling to interact with other groups who have no ill intent but just want to train honestly. In a real sense these groups train daily in a shared illusion at their dojo and do not want to endanger that illusion by exposing themselves to others outside their dojo and/or style who might start critiquing what they do. Their idea of sharing is for the outsider to drink the kool aid and share in the illusion.

Then you have those who actually have some skill and have the confidence to not be afraid of practicing outside their paradigm and sometimes risk being schooled by someone else - they train all over the place and though they may not be masters, they give an honest impression of what their training is all about because they explain only what they understand and leave the rest to others who are more qualified.

Sadly, for a lot of Budo where there is an empty handed aspect, there will be questions surrounding effectiveness of technique etc. (i.e. how does that strike/throw/lock work). The question is a valid one since in Aikido we go about throwing around each other and locking joints - it looks good, so others want to know if it really works that way. Here is where the problem in communication starts as many have no idea why techniques work because they've never really executed a technique that has worked without the total collusion of their partner. Communication and sharing with someone from outside your paradigm often goes downhill from there in my experience.

In some sense many Aikido practitioners do not understand the jutsu or martial science behind what they do. As a result they misunderstand their own training, spreading that to others who know even less.

Just some thoughts.

LC

GMaroda
06-01-2010, 02:38 AM
It's Bullshido. They misunderstand EVERY martial art. To them, if it's not MMA then not only is it not for them but it's not for anyone.

Frankly, I don't pay attention to posts from that site anymore. Sure, there's some good stuff but it takes too long to sift through the dirt.

Carsten Möllering
06-01-2010, 03:35 AM
Hi
In the end I think Aikido is about self mastery. I don't care if you do water colours, Aikido, BJJ or ballet. Everyone needs something that feeds their spirit. It's not about beating others, it should be about beating yourself.
If you do water colors, you learn to be able to "paint a picture". If you do ballet, you learn to be able to dance.

What do you learn when you do aikido?
Is the martial aspect, the budo-side of aikido really not important for you?

And can you achieve true self-mastery through aikido, in the case it will only work if done with other aikidoka and not if practiced with people of other MA?

Aikido is a very large umbrella in much regards, but It looks like some sort of Jujitsu.I don't like this video. but:
Isn't aikido one particular sort of jujutsu? How do you distinguish between them?

I think there is technically a real calling in Aikido to spread the art.
???
What do you mean by this point?

Greetings, Carsten

DonMagee
06-01-2010, 07:02 AM
It's Bullshido. They misunderstand EVERY martial art. To them, if it's not MMA then not only is it not for them but it's not for anyone.

Frankly, I don't pay attention to posts from that site anymore. Sure, there's some good stuff but it takes too long to sift through the dirt.

I wouldn't say that. I'd say there are two groups of people on bullshido.

1) Young people new to the martial arts who are trying to feel good about their choices. AKA just there to rip on anything that's not the flavor of the week.

2) People with scientific minds who believe strongly in result based training. These people read a lot of the crap many 'traditional' martial artists post on bullshido and simple become so jaded they can't help anymore and instead just insult you.

I'm probably in that number two category. I used to care and try to help people past the mistakes I feel I made. Now I realize it doesn't matter. I could introduce a 100 people to proper training methods (in my opinion) and a 1000 more would be signed up at the local ATA the next week.

lbb
06-01-2010, 07:25 AM
Sure I think it's misunderstood, but every martial art is misunderstood somewhat, isn't it?

Yes. Also every religion, every musical style, every field of scientific research, and every hobby. In fact, the only time something is not misunderstood by those outside it is when they accept that they can't understand what they don't know. Aikido is certainly not some kind of uniquely persecuted stepchild in that regard, although it may have an unusually high percentage of practitioners who expect or want to be understood. Maybe we need to get over that. Somehow I don't think particle physicists lose a lot of sleep over the fact that no one at the neighborhood barbecue really understands what they do.

RED
06-01-2010, 10:53 AM
Hi

If you do water colors, you learn to be able to "paint a picture". If you do ballet, you learn to be able to dance.

What do you learn when you do aikido?
Is the martial aspect, the budo-side of aikido really not important for you?

Having been a painter, baker, cook, and Aikidoka. None of these practices have been about painting pictures, or doing splits, or making bread, or doing nikkyo for that matter. It's been about challenging yourself. Pushing your body, or mind where you didn't think it could go, and defeating your own preconception or prejudice that keep you from excelling further.

When I did art it had nothing to do with making pictures; i remember working days on getting a perfect shading technique down. Once I figured out how to do that technique in art I thought I could never do, you could of thrown my canvas out the window and I could care less(hell, i think i did throw it away in a spring cleaning.) the purpose of the picture was about mastering a technique I thought I'd never be able to figure out.
I view Aikido, and Budo this way.

The martial aspect is important o me. Making every movement martially effective is important. Not for self defense though. I don't care if I ever use Aikido on the street, I'd be blessed if I never have to in fact. But it is an endless challenge to take these techniques and make them work frankly.
It is about pushing yourself, and accomplishing things your own prejudice normally wouldn't allow you to achieve. It's not about refining art techniques, but it is about refining a person's character through the refinement of those techniques. I refine my nikkyo endlessly, not just so I have a killer nikkyo, but because it is an endless challenge.

I've wrestled, and done a little BJJ before. I'm short, stout and naturally muscular. When it comes to wrestling, I'm good naturally, I can get in spaces and positions my more long armed, leaner sparring partners wish they could .. and I can get better quickly, I have a natural advantage from genetics in grappling and wrestling. Therefore those arts bored me... but Aikido, that's hard, that's a challenge. I gave up all other arts to practice it. It is physically hard, mentally hard, it pisses me off and makes me feel inadequate one moment, then it makes me feel courageous the next moment... and through training it really does change the way you view and think about stuff in the world. O'Sensei said his goal was to create people of superior character through Budo.
I went into Aikido afraid to fall down, and frankly the ability to fly in ukemi was liberating for a stout little ball like me. Aikido like every other art to me is about self-refinement. From that aspect, only the Budo-side of Aikido is important to me.

And can you achieve true self-mastery through aikido, in the case it will only work if done with other aikidoka and not if practiced with people of other MA?
Like I said I don't care if you do Aikido, or ballet... you are practicing selfmastery if you are doing it for honest reasons.

I don't like this video. but:
Isn't aikido one particular sort of jujutsu? How do you distinguish between them?
Aikido is a type of jujitsu. But I think a 5th kyu could look at that video and not recognize it as Aikido. Aikido hasone technique(kokyu) and many principles. That video is lacking some vital principles that define Aikido from other jujitsu.Therefore I can't say it without doubt that it is Aikido...but to each their own if they choose to call it that.

???
What do you mean by this point?
O'Sensei said his goal was to spread Aikido to every nation, and that it was created for the benefit of all people. Thus, with that said, there is a calling, according to the founder, to spread and share the art with others.

ChrisHein
06-01-2010, 11:05 AM
Ha,
Of course Aikido is misunderstood by those outside the community. It's misunderstood by those inside the community. Just look at all the internal arguments we have. It's okay though, just like everything else.

Ketsan
06-01-2010, 12:26 PM
With that said, why do you think it is this way? The low kyu ranks are on fire and want to tell everyone how awesome it is, while the high dan ranks are quiet and isolated.
Like most things, maybe it is like being in love; at first you are shouting from the roof tops, and about after 10 years of marriage thing grow comfortable, maybe? :confused:

I have made an observation however in my experience however. The new students that are the loudest to boast and scream(often with little understanding) the virtues of Aikido, tend to quit after 2 months. :( Is Aikido publicly represented by 6th kyu that quit the Martial Art 2 months before they can even roll then?

Partly it's demographics. The average 6th kyu I see is seldom under 35 and the majority are over 40. The only people screaming from the rooftops (and into the wind) are the very rare group of mid to senior kyu grades that are under 30. Peeps that by rights should probably be in a Muay Thai or MMA gym.
Partly it's also organisation; Aikido organisations are usually monolithic feudalistic structures that tend to be ultra conservative and are run by people that have often been running them or at least senior in the organisation since before the internet.

There's no-one really fired up to do anything; instead there's 40-50 years of entrenchment and a suspicion of anything new and a constant intake of people that aren't all that interested in or even in a position to challenge things. As we say "Do as Sensei says" "Do as your dojo does." Got a question? The answer is, "Shut up and train." Any student who doesn't find their questions answered simply leaves, the only people left are the ones that don't ask questions i.e people that aren't all that interested in doing anything other than Sensei says.

People often ask why we're not in MMA. The reason is simple; we're really good at weeding out anyone that would want to be in MMA. We have them off the mat and bitching online in double quick time. We'd rather show someone the door than show them how Aikido is relevent to them.

That said the reason we can't show how Aikido is relevent to them is because often it is irrelvent. The hierachy doesn't encourage development of Oyo waza; put your hands up if you even know what Oyo waza is because I'll put money that I've just sent a load of ni, san and yon dans onto google to find out.

How many times do we hear off Aikidoka "Aikido can't deal with a boxer" as if we as a group even bother trying? Then when someone perhaps suggests that we should be perhaps investigating ways of doing it we get blank looks. Even worse if you know how to do it you're met with complete indifference. Literally if I had gone off into the mountains and come back with a bunch of Oyo waza that could totally defeat any one in MMA the reaction amongst Aikidoka would be total indifference at best and probably outright hostility.

The fact that we could, if we could as a group be bothered, demonstrate that we are actually quite an effective art, thus drawing in new and younger people who would preserve our art and push it forward just isn't important to us.

It infuriates me. It's monumental short sightedness.

I share your observation; the biggest gobs are on the people that at most have a years worth of training. With the exception of myself of course. :D

lbb
06-01-2010, 12:52 PM
The fact that we could, if we could as a group be bothered, demonstrate that we are actually quite an effective art, thus drawing in new and younger people who would preserve our art and push it forward just isn't important to us.

Yes, well...speaking only for myself, I'll say that life is too short to pursue some notion of "effectiveness" if the person promoting it can't (or won't) tell me what it's effective for. A hammer is an effective tool for driving nails, not so much for fixing a broken window. Should I practice against boxers? Maybe, but first I want a reason why. Saying that I should train to be "effective" against a boxer presupposes that that's a goal for me. So why should it be?

Anjisan
06-01-2010, 02:23 PM
"The martial aspect is important o me. Making every movement martially effective is important. Not for self defense though. I don't care if I ever use Aikido on the street, I'd be blessed if I never have to in fact. But it is an endless challenge to take these techniques and make them work frankly.
It is about pushing yourself, and accomplishing things your own prejudice normally wouldn't allow you to achieve. It's not about refining art techniques, but it is about refining a person's character through the refinement of those techniques. I refine my nikkyo endlessly, not just so I have a killer nikkyo, but because it is an endless challenge."

I believe that developing one's character, self-defence (and defence of others), and personal challenge are all very valid reasons to train. It is just that I never understood why some (particularly in the AIkido community) choose to separate them out. Why not incorporate all three into one's training? Without moral and character development one risks being no more than a trained thug and on the other end of the spectrum, one risks being a self-righteous prude who is largely helpless to help others in a physical situation despite having trained in a martial art.

I certainly cannot understand why someone would want to have a self-defence situation just so they had a "opportunity" to use their stuff per say, but it seems wise to be ready in case and if the "opportunity" never comes its OK. I mean, one is still a better person for training, conquering their demons and others (even if they didn't realize it, they will have been safer when you were around).

RED
06-01-2010, 02:34 PM
I believe that developing one's character, self-defence (and defence of others), and personal challenge are all very valid reasons to train. It is just that I never understood why some (particularly in the AIkido community) choose to separate them out. Why not incorporate all three into one's training? Without moral and character development one risks being no more than a trained thug and on the other end of the spectrum, one risks being a self-righteous prude who is largely helpless to help others in a physical situation despite having trained in a martial art.

I certainly cannot understand why someone would want to have a self-defence situation just so they had a "opportunity" to use their stuff per say, but it seems wise to be ready in case and if the "opportunity" never comes its OK. I mean, one is still a better person for training, conquering their demons and others (even if they didn't realize it, they will have been safer when you were around).

That's pretty much my opinion. I think all these aspects of training have to work together to make for a fruitful training experience. Everything needs ballance.
You can't be so far delved in the art that you forget the martial part, nor can you be so far into the martial effectiveness that you forget that its an art. These techniques should be martially effective, but they shouldn't be learned with the hope of using it some day. I believe in refining your character, through the refinement of martially effect technique. It needs each other in my opinion.

RED
06-01-2010, 02:46 PM
Partly it's demographics. The average 6th kyu I see is seldom under 35 and the majority are over 40. The only people screaming from the rooftops (and into the wind) are the very rare group of mid to senior kyu grades that are under 30. Peeps that by rights should probably be in a Muay Thai or MMA gym.
Partly it's also organisation; Aikido organisations are usually monolithic feudalistic structures that tend to be ultra conservative and are run by people that have often been running them or at least senior in the organisation since before the internet.

There's no-one really fired up to do anything; instead there's 40-50 years of entrenchment and a suspicion of anything new and a constant intake of people that aren't all that interested in or even in a position to challenge things. As we say "Do as Sensei says" "Do as your dojo does." Got a question? The answer is, "Shut up and train." Any student who doesn't find their questions answered simply leaves, the only people left are the ones that don't ask questions i.e people that aren't all that interested in doing anything other than Sensei says.

People often ask why we're not in MMA. The reason is simple; we're really good at weeding out anyone that would want to be in MMA. We have them off the mat and bitching online in double quick time. We'd rather show someone the door than show them how Aikido is relevent to them.

That said the reason we can't show how Aikido is relevent to them is because often it is irrelvent. The hierachy doesn't encourage development of Oyo waza; put your hands up if you even know what Oyo waza is because I'll put money that I've just sent a load of ni, san and yon dans onto google to find out.

How many times do we hear off Aikidoka "Aikido can't deal with a boxer" as if we as a group even bother trying? Then when someone perhaps suggests that we should be perhaps investigating ways of doing it we get blank looks. Even worse if you know how to do it you're met with complete indifference. Literally if I had gone off into the mountains and come back with a bunch of Oyo waza that could totally defeat any one in MMA the reaction amongst Aikidoka would be total indifference at best and probably outright hostility.

The fact that we could, if we could as a group be bothered, demonstrate that we are actually quite an effective art, thus drawing in new and younger people who would preserve our art and push it forward just isn't important to us.

It infuriates me. It's monumental short sightedness.

I share your observation; the biggest gobs are on the people that at most have a years worth of training. With the exception of myself of course. :D

My opinion is Aikido works in all elements and venues. It wouldn't be super entertaining however. MMA fights are designed with specific rules to make the fights last longer for entertainment purposes. Like no rabbit punching, no small circle waza etc. The rules are for the sake of preserving the fighter and lengthening the fight for the audience. The need to lengthen a fight conflicts with the Aiki enter and eliminate nature. It might get boring.... however outside of an octagon.. Aikido can be very useful against the type of fighting an MMA man does. Being Aikikai I don't promote competition as part of training, but I acknowledge it's usefulness in all venues.

I don't think Aikido really has limits in that regard... Aikidoka have limits.

But I don't disagree. There are most likely a lot of school out there that isolate themselves and alienate some practitioners. They might not give a reason why for real questions. However, I'm also not a fan of the newbie walking in who questions out of malice, rather than skepticism. There is a point where it becomes rude, and obvious the person is being demeaning towards your school. But the people who show up to show off their bad-assery at the expense of your 14 year old 6th kyu girls usually weed themselves out.

Kevin Leavitt
06-01-2010, 03:07 PM
Aikido a type of Jiu Jitsu?

I'd say no it is not. Not in the sense of what I consder SU arts. sU arts are trchniques, tactics, and proceedutrs designed for particular situations and conditions.

Aikido while based on the framework of historical Jiu Jitsu is a methodology designed to teach martial principles and aiki. What you do with what you learn in aikido is up to you. I think focusing primaryily on effectiveness means you are possibly allowing the "TTPs". To drive the train and this limits your ability to develop a foundation.

I am a soldier that is highly trained in modern warfare and modern Jiu Jitsu. To me, a study like aikido if trained correctly can be benefical in many ways. However I think the fascination with style or tactics to be a distraction and hindrance to the practice somewhat.

Aikido is methodology not Jiu Jitsu.

Mark Gibbons
06-01-2010, 03:09 PM
I read that whole thread on bullshido. The one self proclaimed aikidoka semi-troll seemed inexperienced and without much of a clue. Generally the rest of the folks seemed to have a pretty clear understanding of Aikido.

The other folks may or may not have liked Aikido but their opinions were at least pretty well informed.

Regards,
Mark

Anjisan
06-01-2010, 04:00 PM
Yes, well...speaking only for myself, I'll say that life is too short to pursue some notion of "effectiveness" if the person promoting it can't (or won't) tell me what it's effective for. A hammer is an effective tool for driving nails, not so much for fixing a broken window. Should I practice against boxers? Maybe, but first I want a reason why. Saying that I should train to be "effective" against a boxer presupposes that that's a goal for me. So why should it be?

IHO it is far easier to work on becoming a better human being when one is vertical than horizontal and maybe not breathing. Not that a confrontation is "probable", but hey, why play the Vegas odds if one is already practicing a martial art already. It isn't like one has to go someplace that one isn't already going. If martial effectiveness is not taught during class then perhaps at an open class or after class could work.

lbb
06-01-2010, 04:15 PM
IHO it is far easier to work on becoming a better human being when one is vertical than horizontal and maybe not breathing. Not that a confrontation is "probable", but hey, why play the Vegas odds if one is already practicing a martial art already. It isn't like one has to go someplace that one isn't already going. If martial effectiveness is not taught during class then perhaps at an open class or after class could work.

Okay. So what's the nature of the "confrontation"? Gosh, won't you be a sorry-looking smear of bad-smelling paste if you spend all your time working on remaining "vertical" by means of techniques to defeat a boxer, only to get laid "horizontal" by an enraged former employee with several firearms and a matching set of ammo? Won't you make a nice-looking "horizontal" corpse when your significant other stabs you while you're sleeping?

In order to honestly tell yourself that you're training to remain "vertical", you need to honestly -- honestly -- ask yourself just what is threatening to make you "horizontal".

Ketsan
06-01-2010, 07:19 PM
Yes, well...speaking only for myself, I'll say that life is too short to pursue some notion of "effectiveness" if the person promoting it can't (or won't) tell me what it's effective for. A hammer is an effective tool for driving nails, not so much for fixing a broken window. Should I practice against boxers? Maybe, but first I want a reason why. Saying that I should train to be "effective" against a boxer presupposes that that's a goal for me. So why should it be?

Simple; if you can't convince potential new students to take up your art the art will die.

Mark Gleadhill
06-01-2010, 07:41 PM
Partly it's demographics. The average 6th kyu I see is seldom under 35 and the majority are over 40. The only people screaming from the rooftops (and into the wind) are the very rare group of mid to senior kyu grades that are under 30. Peeps that by rights should probably be in a Muay Thai or MMA gym.
Partly it's also organisation; Aikido organisations are usually monolithic feudalistic structures that tend to be ultra conservative and are run by people that have often been running them or at least senior in the organisation since before the internet.

There's no-one really fired up to do anything; instead there's 40-50 years of entrenchment and a suspicion of anything new and a constant intake of people that aren't all that interested in or even in a position to challenge things. As we say "Do as Sensei says" "Do as your dojo does." Got a question? The answer is, "Shut up and train." Any student who doesn't find their questions answered simply leaves, the only people left are the ones that don't ask questions i.e people that aren't all that interested in doing anything other than Sensei says.

People often ask why we're not in MMA. The reason is simple; we're really good at weeding out anyone that would want to be in MMA. We have them off the mat and bitching online in double quick time. We'd rather show someone the door than show them how Aikido is relevent to them.

That said the reason we can't show how Aikido is relevent to them is because often it is irrelvent. The hierachy doesn't encourage development of Oyo waza; put your hands up if you even know what Oyo waza is because I'll put money that I've just sent a load of ni, san and yon dans onto google to find out.

How many times do we hear off Aikidoka "Aikido can't deal with a boxer" as if we as a group even bother trying? Then when someone perhaps suggests that we should be perhaps investigating ways of doing it we get blank looks. Even worse if you know how to do it you're met with complete indifference. Literally if I had gone off into the mountains and come back with a bunch of Oyo waza that could totally defeat any one in MMA the reaction amongst Aikidoka would be total indifference at best and probably outright hostility.

The fact that we could, if we could as a group be bothered, demonstrate that we are actually quite an effective art, thus drawing in new and younger people who would preserve our art and push it forward just isn't important to us.


Interesting ideas.. Although the student contingent of Shodokan Aikido may be against what you say :)

As a 4th Kyu, 25 year old Fan of MMA.. I feel I totally go against everything you've typed lol. but I can see why you think that, and in some cases agree. Lots of people join try it, and then disappear, but that's the same with all martial arts. Because you need to learn and can't be an all action hero after 2 weeks people get bored and leave. I can't wait until I get good at this and can start just messing around with stuff, grappling with Judoka just for kicks and stuff.

I regularly try to defend Aikido on the depths that is the Sherdog Forum (MMA forum) and usually get nowhere, I do sometimes resort to slamming the whole not competitive side a little bit, if nothing more than just to draw a line stating that Shodokan / Tomiki is different and we do have competition, at least then maybe changing some MMA fan's minds slightly. but alas I don't get a lot of support. saying that Shodokan sometimes feels like the red headed stepchild of Aikido, not appreciated by the other sections of the art and at the same time tarred with the same brush by others

RED
06-01-2010, 07:48 PM
Aikido a type of Jiu Jitsu?

I'd say no it is not. Not in the sense of what I consder SU arts. sU arts are trchniques, tactics, and proceedutrs designed for particular situations and conditions.

Aikido while based on the framework of historical Jiu Jitsu is a methodology designed to teach martial principles and aiki. What you do with what you learn in aikido is up to you. I think focusing primaryily on effectiveness means you are possibly allowing the "TTPs". To drive the train and this limits your ability to develop a foundation.

I am a soldier that is highly trained in modern warfare and modern Jiu Jitsu. To me, a study like aikido if trained correctly can be benefical in many ways. However I think the fascination with style or tactics to be a distraction and hindrance to the practice somewhat.

Aikido is methodology not Jiu Jitsu.

Put that way, I'd have to agree.

It is the difference between prescription and proscription to a certain extent imo.

lbb
06-01-2010, 08:02 PM
Simple; if you can't convince potential new students to take up your art the art will die.

And how should I convince them? With dishonesty? By telling them that they'll be "effective", presumably against everything since I've specified nothing?

Kevin Leavitt
06-01-2010, 08:14 PM
plenty of people have done that for sure Mary Go pull up anyone's website and look at what they say.

None of it is really lies, but nobody really says what it is either.

I tend to just let people believe what they want to believe. You can't really convince them anyway. You could tell them the truth or level with them....they will still attempt to beat a round peg into a square hole, then go away and say "they ripped me off".

Some people are like that.

I don't personally care if it dies or lives. The way I figure it, if folks find value in it...it will live, if not then we are probably doing something wrong anyway so better to find out now!

RED
06-01-2010, 09:11 PM
plenty of people have done that for sure Mary Go pull up anyone's website and look at what they say.

None of it is really lies, but nobody really says what it is either.



Among that, our site says it is an excellent way to lose weight! :cool:

Keith Larman
06-01-2010, 09:11 PM
Simple; if you can't convince potential new students to take up your art the art will die.

Then it will be its time to die.

The incredible popularity of Aikido is paradoxically both its greatest strength and the source of its greatest weakness. So I just keep training and focus on what I do, why I do it, and enjoy the sights and sounds along the way. Everyone else's mileage *will* vary. And that's fine.

Erick Mead
06-01-2010, 09:29 PM
... martial effectiveness is not taught during class ... ... "Martial effectiveness" is not practiced in almost any "martial art" on offer outside of truly military training. "Martial effectiveness" is measured by willfully entering a situation in which you have an objective you commit your own life to achieve, there are men who are willing to kill you to prevent it, and you train to achieve your objective despite all of the above, which may, or may not, involve killing those men or others to achieve it, or you dying to do so, depending. NO ONE trains for that unless they -- well, train for THAT.

Nothing else is actually "martial." Brutal is not martial, nor even necessarily effective. Winning is not martial, many martial engagements don't involve that kind of "winning." "Winning" may mean dead -- with target achieved.

Aikido is a "DO" -- meaning that it is not merely a set of martial tools that accomplish the martial purpose ( a "bujutsu") -- it is a WAY -- a way in which those tools may be used to maximize a martial effect with the least martial harm -- not "no harm" and not "no effect."

Aikido is a measure of a certain martial optimality -- not the only one, nor necessarily the "best" set of optima for given set of circumstances -- but as an means of training critically optimal measures of types of martial action, it informs the WAY in which to understand and choose optimal criteria more generally -- without having to think about it -- because there is rarely time to think optimally in a truly martial circumstance. Thinking should be used in training in inverse proportion to the likelihood of being able to use it in the real circumstance -- but with equal intensity.

RED
06-01-2010, 09:38 PM
I really do think there is a calling to spread the art. However I don't want to see the art losing itself in the process. Aikido has to be Aikido. Aikido can't be MMA or boxing. To flex just to fit the new fad is not authentic. And I'd be sad to see that sort of thing.

Kevin Leavitt
06-01-2010, 09:44 PM
Among that, our site says it is an excellent way to lose weight! :cool:

Good point...which is true...but I wonder how many people go around calling it a fraud when they don't lose weight? lol!

Somehow, I suspect that many people simply are looking for a short cut, or someone or something to absolve themselves of any personal responsibility in the end.

Amazing how it is always someone elses fault when they fail to achieve an expectation isn't it!

RED
06-01-2010, 10:02 PM
Good point...which is true...but I wonder how many people go around calling it a fraud when they don't lose weight? lol!

Somehow, I suspect that many people simply are looking for a short cut, or someone or something to absolve themselves of any personal responsibility in the end.

Amazing how it is always someone elses fault when they fail to achieve an expectation isn't it!

I'm not upset that it hasn't made me look like Tyra Banks. Because most people take personal responsibility when something doesn't live up to what it claims it can do. Like, Aikido claims that it can help me lose weight...but I'm not a size 2, because I enjoy pound cake! I take responsibility for my love of pound cake and the way pound cake love hinders the weight loss Aikido can provide.

The same personal responsibility should be taken when Aikido fails to make us martially effective. In stead of calling it a false claim, look at your training. What are you doing to make Aikido not work for you? What is hindering you to achieve Aikido's claims?

pound cake is an acceptable answer in this case as well ;)

AikiBike
06-01-2010, 10:37 PM
First: to ask the question, "Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?" without giving your definition of Aikido opens up the box - as can be seen by the varying answers within our own community. Maybe that was intentional - I like.

If by misunderstood, you mean others do not consider Aikido to be a relevant Martial Art, then yes and no.

To answer, "No" means Aikido is not misunderstood. But is it seen as relevant or not? Reading Larry's post gives a legit knowledge of many Aikido schools with inbred illusions of grandeur and very little martial application or the ability to use Aikido techniques to protect oneself or others in a real-world street situation. If this is how some "outsiders" see us, they are unfortunately too often correct in their understanding of Aikido.
There are schools that never train against a punch that even a two-month karate yellow-belt dropout can do (even ten years later) - much less training against attacks that may be administered by a street thug - which is more likely to occur than a "trained" attack.
Alex' response (and others) concurs this non-martial training is not new.

To answer, "Yes" means we are understood. But again, how so? The same discussion as above applies.

If Aikido is to be "understood" as a legitimate, relevant Martial Arts Style by non-aikidoka, then, in their minds, one way to prove so would be to compete in their arena. But in so doing, would we then be aikido practioners? For an aikidoka to climb into the octagon would immediately show himself to be one not having the intent to master himself but only to prove himself better than his newfound opponent. ie: it would be going entirely against the spirit of aikido and hence giving a false definition - which indeed would be a misunderstanding of Aikido.

How is that for a non-answer.

I think that Aikido is misunderstood in the world of Aikido, much less the wider world of martial arts. The word is used to describe training methodologies that differ quite significantly depending on how one traces ones lineage back to Ueshiba M.
...
...In a real sense these groups train daily in a shared illusion at their dojo and do not want to endanger that illusion by exposing themselves to others outside their dojo and/or style who might start critiquing what they do. Their idea of sharing is for the outsider to drink the kool aid and share in the illusion.
...
In some sense many Aikido practitioners do not understand the jutsu or martial science behind what they do. As a result they misunderstand their own training, spreading that to others who know even less.
...
...
There's no-one really fired up to do anything; instead there's 40-50 years of entrenchment and a suspicion of anything new and a constant intake of people that aren't all that interested in or even in a position to challenge things. As we say "Do as Sensei says" "Do as your dojo does." Got a question? The answer is, "Shut up and train." Any student who doesn't find their questions answered simply leaves, the only people left are the ones that don't ask questions i.e people that aren't all that interested in doing anything other than Sensei says.

People often ask why we're not in MMA. The reason is simple; we're really good at weeding out anyone that would want to be in MMA. We have them off the mat and bitching online in double quick time. We'd rather show someone the door than show them how Aikido is relevent to them.
...
I share your observation; the biggest gobs are on the people that at most have a years worth of training. With the exception of myself of course. :D

mathewjgano
06-02-2010, 12:17 AM
...although it may have an unusually high percentage of practitioners who expect or want to be understood. Maybe we need to get over that.

Well i certainly fall into the "want to be understood" camp, though I don't usually expect to be. My first viewing of Aikido left me thinking it was unrealistic so I had a good example of how easy it is to misunderstand something shown in plain sight.

George S. Ledyard
06-02-2010, 03:24 AM
Aikido is misunderstood in the Aikido world.

Alec Corper
06-02-2010, 04:20 AM
Yes, Aikido is misunderstood also within Aikido, after all, even some Shihsn suggest that what other Shihan do is not Aikido. After all Tohei and Kishomaru didi not see eye to eye over what "Aikido" is.
Does it matter? Not really. Everyone practices for their own reasons, with their own goals, with differing methods, and arrives where they arrive eventually. It is no different than any other MA I have studied or observed.
Is it effective in sport situations? Not if practised as a pure Do, but throw in the atemi and incline it more towards jutsu, then yes. But why would you want to, if you want sport MA then do that. Do not confuse sport skill for combat or street skill, they are entirely different.
Should Aikido be martially effective? IMO, yes, but that is a matter of how you train and the ring is not a test for martial effectivity, it is not life or death, it is rule based physical training which may or may not contribute to survival. Some of the best boxers in the world have been mugged on the street or broken their hand after hitting someone without boxing gloves on.
Will Aikido die if it is not represented correctly? Hopefully yes, but I doubt it, it will become something else. Only things which refuse to change die, so Aikido will morph into something else. It is impossible to preserve skills you do not have no matter how much you discuss them. As for the philosophy encrypted within Aikido. well one look at the Aikido world will tell you we have not come far with embodying "harmony and love", but we keep trying!

GMaroda
06-02-2010, 04:33 AM
I wouldn't say that. I'd say there are two groups of people on bullshido.

1) Young people new to the martial arts who are trying to feel good about their choices. AKA just there to rip on anything that's not the flavor of the week.

2) People with scientific minds who believe strongly in result based training. These people read a lot of the crap many 'traditional' martial artists post on bullshido and simple become so jaded they can't help anymore and instead just insult you.

I'm probably in that number two category. I used to care and try to help people past the mistakes I feel I made. Now I realize it doesn't matter. I could introduce a 100 people to proper training methods (in my opinion) and a 1000 more would be signed up at the local ATA the next week.

I'm... jaded about the forums. Heck, I know of the founder from another site and when martial arts threads crop up there I duck and cover.

Frankly, I'm just sick of people judging things by a criteria I don't (which is ok) and then claiming I need to judge things the same way (which isn't ok).

Lots of folks get hung up on "martial" and "effectivness" without defining either and.... well, we've dealt with it here before, haven't we?

Ketsan
06-02-2010, 05:19 AM
Interesting ideas.. Although the student contingent of Shodokan Aikido may be against what you say :)

As a 4th Kyu, 25 year old Fan of MMA.. I feel I totally go against everything you've typed lol. but I can see why you think that, and in some cases agree. Lots of people join try it, and then disappear, but that's the same with all martial arts. Because you need to learn and can't be an all action hero after 2 weeks people get bored and leave. I can't wait until I get good at this and can start just messing around with stuff, grappling with Judoka just for kicks and stuff.

I regularly try to defend Aikido on the depths that is the Sherdog Forum (MMA forum) and usually get nowhere, I do sometimes resort to slamming the whole not competitive side a little bit, if nothing more than just to draw a line stating that Shodokan / Tomiki is different and we do have competition, at least then maybe changing some MMA fan's minds slightly. but alas I don't get a lot of support. saying that Shodokan sometimes feels like the red headed stepchild of Aikido, not appreciated by the other sections of the art and at the same time tarred with the same brush by others

Yeah I can imagine things are totally different in shodokan; it appeals to a different set of people to Aikikai.

bulevardi
06-02-2010, 08:58 AM
The question is: "when is some physical movement a martial art?".
Since Aikido is not meant to do any harm to the opponent.... is it still a martial art?

Erick Mead
06-02-2010, 09:31 AM
The question is: "when is some physical movement a martial art?".
Since Aikido is not meant to do any harm to the opponent.... is it still a martial art?John Paul Jones famously described his martial purpose ".. I intend to go in harm's way."

In his first cruise aboard Ranger he succeeded in only one indecisive engagement with a small sloop, the Drake, and in plundering the plateware from the Lady Selkirk, for whose husband his father formerly worked as gardener. According to her, the affair of the silverware raid which occurred by a knock on her door as she was at breakfast was remarkable in at least one respect-- "Upon the whole, I must say they behaved civilly."

Now, was that "martial" or not? That initial and very indecisive cruise by a single and relatively lightly armed ship did more than all his other more famous exploits combined to tilt the naval balance. It sowed complete public distrust in the Royal Navy as the vaunted "wall of oak." It kept disproportionate naval forces around England and European sea lanes for the duration of the Revolution, and thereby denied the British sea lane dominance in the New World. It was therefore necessary to remove the British fleet back to sea to resume patrols once the army had been disembarked at Yorktown, and thus allowing the French fleet to come in and block any chance of escape or of any supporting naval bombardment.

Martial effectiveness is not -- simple. Wars are won in the will. Ask General Giap. As with our Revolution, in a life or death struggle, it is not always necessary to kill the other -- the other side often loses the will to destroy you, merely if you simply manage stay alive in the face of the threat. Not always -- but often enough to bet on -- with some hedging.

phitruong
06-02-2010, 10:01 AM
aikido isn't misunderstood; it's just baaaaddd. it's sheep in wolf clothing. oh wait... i am doing aikido. need to find something else. maybe ballet. wonder if i would look good in tights. maybe we should merge ballet and aikido to make "ballaikido: the way of men in tights" :D

chillzATL
06-02-2010, 10:24 AM
aikido isn't misunderstood; it's just baaaaddd. it's sheep in wolf clothing. oh wait... i am doing aikido. need to find something else. maybe ballet. wonder if i would look good in tights. maybe we should merge ballet and aikido to make "ballaikido: the way of men in tights" :D

Ballkido? Just don't extend ki in my direction, thanks!

lbb
06-02-2010, 10:25 AM
Agreeing with Kevin and Keith here. I guess I'd summarize it as follows:

Honesty and truthfulness don't "work" any more than aspirational marketing does (that's the kind where you present images and messages that encourage the belief that if people buy your product, they'll take on certain desired characteristics or achieve certain things). Aspirational marketing is dishonest, and it tends to fail over time because it doesn't fulfill its promises, but it works in the short term because it tells people things that they want to believe. That's part of the reason why honesty and truthfulness doesn't work: because most people prefer the attractive lie to the not-quite-so-shiny truth. The other reason is because most people lack the prior experience to understand an honest and accurate explanation of the benefits of aikido, at least in detail. You might be able to tell them what the benefits are, in large outline, and they may choose to take it on faith...but most people don't have the life experience with something else that will allow them to understand the details.

So the evangelizing of aikido is ultimately futile, no matter what route you take: because no matter how honest and accurate (and articulate) you are, very few people outside aikido will understand what you're saying (bringing us back full circle to the subject of this thread). Do what you do for your own reasons. Don't expect, much less insist, that others practice for the same reasons. Let others come and go as they will, for their own reasons. It may not always be easy, but it is that simple.

John Matsushima
06-02-2010, 10:57 AM
I think Aikido is misunderstood in the Aikido world.

Buck
06-02-2010, 11:57 AM
Aikido is misunderstood by those who don't understand it. Aikido is criticized in the way some do here because it is understood by them. It is easy to make shallow and bitting quip criticisms. It is harder to commit to it, to work at it, to take the time to understand it.

It is not the end goal that brings understanding, but it is the process of learning that brings understanding.

Mike Sigman
06-02-2010, 12:58 PM
I think Aikido is misunderstood in the Aikido world.True, but it builds characters. ;)

Mike

sakumeikan
06-02-2010, 01:05 PM
Hi

If you do water colors, you learn to be able to "paint a picture". If you do ballet, you learn to be able to dance.

What do you learn when you do aikido?
Is the martial aspect, the budo-side of aikido really not important for you?

And can you achieve true self-mastery through aikido, in the case it will only work if done with other aikidoka and not if practiced with people of other MA?

I don't like this video. but:
Isn't aikido one particular sort of jujutsu? How do you distinguish between them?

???
What do you mean by this point?

Greetings, Carsten

Hi,
To answer your question what do you learn when you learn Aikido ?-you learn about yourself.

Janet Rosen
06-02-2010, 01:36 PM
As a painter, I don't really care about what art teachers, art critics or even other artists think is "correct" or "relevent" art any given moment - if I work in a particular mode (say, for instance, representative or abstract) it is because it is what speaks to me, not because of anybody else's understanding of the value of representative vs. abstract art.

As a student of aikido, similarly, it doesn't really affect my training what other people, esp those not doing aikido, think about aikido.

RED
06-02-2010, 02:00 PM
I'm specifically torn in this case. I do agree that you shouldn't care what others think. You should practice for your own reasons. But I'm greatly against isolationism in Aikido. There is a call to represent and spread the art. You have to do Aikido for your own reasons, but like anything else, people are not islands. They aren't meant to do things in life just for themselves.
However, some people are just trolls....you're not gonna win over a troll while they are trolls.

DonMagee
06-02-2010, 03:28 PM
Hi,
To answer your question what do you learn when you learn Aikido ?-you learn about yourself.

*put's on my devils advocate hat*

Does aikido teach me more about myself then the following?

Basketball?
Wrestling?
Guitar Playing?
Running?
Texas Hold em?

I learned the most about myself when I started teaching at a college. My failings, my skills, etc were all on display and I was forced to face them. In terms of self discovery I learned a lot about myself, but nowhere close compared to how much I learned standing in front of a room of 18 year old kids.

Anjisan
06-02-2010, 03:58 PM
... "Martial effectiveness" is not practiced in almost any "martial art" on offer outside of truly military training. "Martial effectiveness" is measured by willfully entering a situation in which you have an objective you commit your own life to achieve, there are men who are willing to kill you to prevent it, and you train to achieve your objective despite all of the above, which may, or may not, involve killing those men or others to achieve it, or you dying to do so, depending. NO ONE trains for that unless they -- well, train for THAT.

Nothing else is actually "martial." Brutal is not martial, nor even necessarily effective. Winning is not martial, many martial engagements don't involve that kind of "winning." "Winning" may mean dead -- with target achieved.

Aikido is a "DO" -- meaning that it is not merely a set of martial tools that accomplish the martial purpose ( a "bujutsu") -- it is a WAY -- a way in which those tools may be used to maximize a martial effect with the least martial harm -- not "no harm" and not "no effect."

Aikido is a measure of a certain martial optimality -- not the only one, nor necessarily the "best" set of optima for given set of circumstances -- but as an means of training critically optimal measures of types of martial action, it informs the WAY in which to understand and choose optimal criteria more generally -- without having to think about it -- because there is rarely time to think optimally in a truly martial circumstance. Thinking should be used in training in inverse proportion to the likelihood of being able to use it in the real circumstance -- but with equal intensity.

For me, martially effective is about giving one self a chance in a self-defence situation that is all-a chance. There are certainly no guarantees and one cannot train for everything. However, I believe that giving it my best to protect myself, family, and innocent is a worthy goal. Is a physical solution always practical? Of course not, but I want to have it as an option and in some situations I may (however unlikely) not have the choice-I may just be attacked.

Only speaking from my perspective, if one engages in a martial art following in the footsteps of the warriors past who have paved the budo path, to just focus on self development and not "effectiveness" only addresses to half of the coin in my opinion. Besides, how can one truly consider one self developing if on does not address defending not only oneself, but also others as well?. There seems to be a selfish element in there somewhere. I am speaking in general terms of course and and not addressing it to anyone in particular. The posting just got me thinking.

IMHO, to practice a budo, Aikido or otherwise, is in essence to attempt at least to walk the warrior path. A warrior's training would seem to address one's character, morals, ethics, among other aspects of personal and civic life as well as martial effectiveness. The last point seems appropriate should--however unlikely--a situation were to arise where we Aikidoka cannot intellectualize harmony back into a situation and real danger to well-being exits. Again, this is just my opinion.

As a side note, I would recommend the Warrior Wisdom book series by Bohdi Sanders Ph.D. and web-site for those so inclined. It has some great nuggets from some of histories philosophers, warriors, and many others. Not dogma, for me at least but perspectives to contemplate.

Buck
06-02-2010, 04:23 PM
Aikido is misunderstood by those who don't understand it. Aikido is criticized in the way some do here because it is NOT understood by them. It is easy to make shallow and bitting quip criticisms. It is harder to commit to it, to work at it, to take the time to understand it.

It is not the end goal that brings understanding, but it is the process of learning that brings understanding.

Error I needed to correct

Ketsan
06-02-2010, 05:46 PM
And how should I convince them? With dishonesty? By telling them that they'll be "effective", presumably against everything since I've specified nothing?

The point is we are dishonest at the moment. We dodge questions and tell half truths. We lie by omission. We don't tell people what the benefits of Aikido are, we just say that it's a martial art and hope that will stop them asking any more questions. We do imply that Aikido is effective against everything because we dodge the question of effectiveness entirely.

If someone asks if what we do is effective in a fight we question just what effectiveness means as if the person asking the question is a moron. We never say, "Well what's your definiton of effectiveness?" and then give an answer based on that. We're passive aggresive; either they shut up and train or we call them morons.

This is, IMO, because to answer the question would be to settle what Aikido is and then we'd be in real trouble. At the moment we just lable our personal goals as Aikido. If Aikido suddenly aquires a definition then either we'd have to start working towards that definition or seek a new art! :D

How do you convince them? Or better yet how do we as an art convince them? Same way O-Sensei did.

Ketsan
06-02-2010, 06:23 PM
I really do think there is a calling to spread the art. However I don't want to see the art losing itself in the process. Aikido has to be Aikido. Aikido can't be MMA or boxing. To flex just to fit the new fad is not authentic. And I'd be sad to see that sort of thing.

I don't think it would loose itself. It's more a case of getting up off it's lazy arse and showing what it can do than adapting.

bulevardi
06-03-2010, 01:08 AM
Does aikido teach me more about myself then the following?

Basketball?
Wrestling?
Guitar Playing?
Running?
Texas Hold em?

It teaches me not specially more than the other things. Basketball won't learn me more about Texas Hold em.

Since I'm doing Aikido, I learned I get a better condition by playing basketball or by running.
As sport, Aikido isn't meant to get fit :)
All things have different purposes.
I play guitar aswel, and enjoy creating new stuff. It's a totally different thing than Aikido, of course. Let's say for example, I do aikido in group and play guitar alone.

Janet Rosen
06-03-2010, 01:20 AM
*put's on my devils advocate hat*

Does aikido teach me more about myself then the following?

Basketball?
Wrestling?
Guitar Playing?
Running?
Texas Hold em?

I learned the most about myself when I started teaching at a college. My failings, my skills, etc were all on display and I was forced to face them. In terms of self discovery I learned a lot about myself, but nowhere close compared to how much I learned standing in front of a room of 18 year old kids.

Don, that's a really valid point you raise. I can say - speaking JUST FOR ME - that in the practice of aikido on the mat, the encounter with the other person, I find I work on how I am in the world with other people in a way that nothing else has ever done for me. I think it is why, despite having no natural talent for anything having to do with movement, from the moment I bowed into the mat I was hooked. I have been/am a nurse and a teacher and a massage therapist and an artist. I learn things about myself in all endeavors, push against my limits, and try to grow in all areas. But it is in the process of working with another being in the dojo, nonverbally, trying to incorporate all at once an open heart, a martial spirit, an extending presence, a sensitivity to the partner, plus yeah the myriad little technical or postural details I'm working on, that I feel small transformations in myself for the better. That's why I consider aikido my spiritual practice. But I don't think it has to be anybody else's.

bulevardi
06-03-2010, 02:58 AM
Aikido vs playing guitar.
From a martial view, you can smash someone to the ground with a guitar like you should with a katana. ;)

Darryl Cowens
06-03-2010, 03:34 AM
Yeah, but I suspect if Hendrix tried playing a katana with his teeth it might have hurt... :D

dps
06-03-2010, 06:33 AM
Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Before you complain about how Aikido is misunderstood by outsiders, it would be a good idea to see how well it is understood by insiders.
Good Luck with that.

David:)

bulevardi
06-03-2010, 07:45 AM
It will always be misunderstood in any way.
Things just happen like this.
For example in music, name a particular music band, and someone will say it's metal, another one says rock, someone different says 80's prog symphonic power metal, etc... depending on the box you want to put it in. Every metal band is misunderstood in the metal world. Trust me. And that's for anything else...

If you name Aikido, one will claim it's a martial art, another says it's just a sport, someone says it's budo, it's self defence or it could even be a paradigm.

A paradigm !! :blush:

Whatever you call it, don't stress your mind about it, or replace it into another box ;-)

lbb
06-03-2010, 08:55 AM
The point is we are dishonest at the moment.

Eh. Some people may be, but that's not true as a blanket statement.

If someone asks if what we do is effective in a fight we question just what effectiveness means as if the person asking the question is a moron. We never say, "Well what's your definiton of effectiveness?" and then give an answer based on that.

Horsefeathers we don't. I've said just that many times. Funny how you rarely get a response, though.

Aikibu
06-03-2010, 09:55 AM
It's all selective perception...Pathos and Ethos.

I don't think Aikido is "misunderstood" and I have allot of experience with it's "effectiveness"

I also think that most of the folks here understand what those two "terms" mean for them and they don't have to jibe with mine...

It took a few years...but when it comes to most Bulshido Posters and some folks here I think Herbert Spencer said it best..

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

I don't know about you but the one thing I enjoy about Aikido is the fact I still have so much to "understand."

William Hazen :)

Keith Larman
06-03-2010, 09:57 AM
Gotta agree with Mary here. I try to be as honest and forthcoming with visitors to the dojo as I can. And I find issues of effectiveness to be a difficult one to discuss because it is a nuanced and usually context dependent issue. I don't pussy foot around it. I want people to be informed when they walk through the door. I also routinely suggest people check out other arts depending on what they're looking for. I've referred people to friends doing Chinese Arts, Kempo, Krav Maga, BJJ, and a variety of other things. You just can't brush with such broad strokes.

I get tired of the bliss ninnies on one side and the "we're rad martial artist/octogon of death martial wizards -- AIKIDO RULZ" crowd on the other. Reality is a lot more nuanced. But in the end it matters little to me what others think. What matters is my own training. And hopefully some of the kids I work with will pick up some of the things I find of value in the training themselves and pass it along. If not... Well... I've done my part. That's as much as we can do. It needs to stand on its own merits.

Or as I was told when I first starting learning traditional sword crafts, "Let the work speak for you. That's enough."

RED
06-03-2010, 10:52 AM
I'm just curious; does the skeptics have practical experience where Aikido has personally failed them? Or, are the criticism based on prejudice, or preconception of how combative should operate?

There was that time O' Sensei chased a kid out in the street and out of carelessness, he slipped and fell in a puddle. I guess that's Aikido failing... but if that's the only example skeptics can site than Aikido frankly has a good track record.

Erick Mead
06-03-2010, 11:13 AM
The last point seems appropriate should--however unlikely--a situation were to arise where we Aikidoka cannot intellectualize harmony back into a situation and real danger to well-being exits. Speaking as a lawyer -- for whatever it is worth -- intellectualizing is not a road to harmony -- it is merely another field of possible conflict on which harmony may -- or may not -- be sought ...
:)

Erick Mead
06-03-2010, 11:18 AM
We never say, "Well what's your definiton of effectiveness?" and then give an answer based on that.

Well, what's your definition of effectiveness? :)

Buck
06-03-2010, 11:45 AM
Aikido isn't an easy art by far. To manipulate the entire body from a simple offensive movement, to a level where the body can't right its self or control what is happening to it, isn't easy as learning to or applying a strike, or putting a hold someone.

Aikido came from an art that was very effective and proven results that range from brutal to deadly. That art called Daito Ryu is unique. No other country developed anything like it or applied it in warfare. On top of that Daito Ryu tradition because it was a weapon was kept from others who'd use it against them. Daito Ryu has a tradition of secrecy as a result it is full of coded and cryptic language that made it difficult to learn, I am sure even for O'Sensei.

I would bet O'Sensei struggled with learning and understanding the art from a hard core traditional Takeda who subscribed to the samurai way and the traditional Daito Ryu way. It wasn't a quick few lessons and BAM! O'Sensei was instantly proficient at Daito Ryu. Daito Ryu also has allot of things to learn from.

Aikido isn't something you can learn in 6 mos, It isn't instant. It isn't something that is a single dimensional art that focuses on merely combat. There are layers of complexity because of it's spiritual, it's traditional martial arts culture base mixed in with personal philosophy of a very complexed founder. Who valued the past and worked toward the future.

It is very difficult to take a combat tool made for violent conflicts, and use that to deescalate the conflict without harm avoiding it to a higher level of violence where both parties suffer injury.

Look at UFC, both fighters take heavy damage. Most fighters because of that very short fighting careers. The body can only take so much punishment dealt out in a UFC fight. A fighter who has fought like 20 pro MMA fights is rare (not BJJ which is easier on the body as damage goes as finishing is chokes or arm bars and you tap out). These rare MMA guys are not the average MMM fighter. They may have years of wrestling or karate skills behind them prior to MMA and fighting in the UFC. Plus, these fighters take many months off between fights to heal and rest. And their numbers are few.

Injuries rates are very high in MMA fights no one walks away without damage. That is a fact. Now Aikido takes that fact and shoots for not injuring the other guy thus no injury to the defender. Very difficult thing to do in a conflict situation. There by itself is a lot to learn and understand. And is only one of many such components contained in Aikido.

It will take many years to understand Aikido. Some people come along and say "do this or that" that can be helpful. But that doesn't mean it didn't already exist in Aikido, it means there is so much to learn and contained in Aikido that it takes time to learn, and very easy for those not engrossed in their studies to point something out. For instance, I had allot on my mind and had to consider many possibilities on a project at work I was working on. My brain is seeing and processing allot of information contained and required by this project that I was involved in. As a result, I ran into a slight problem. A co-worker looking at the project, who was not working on it, not engrossed in it, not thinking about all it's complexities and considering them was able to see the problem in a way I didn't. As a result came up with the solution. A solution that was so obvious and simple. That is because he was not taking on all the weight, all the considerations of the project, he simply walked in looked at it and seen the problem. I do the same for him on his projects. And sometimes, in these situations I find the solution on my own, but I am carrying all the weight of the project. That is am considering all angles, possibilities, and consequences, I understand the project. It is something about humans where it is easy to come from the outside and point out a solution, that is the only focus, they are not carrying the total weight of the thing. Being on the inside of a something takes longer to solve a problem because of the weight that is carried and stuff. You have so much more to think about and consider as just one angle or area.

Understanding something as complex and complicated as Aikido that has so many dimensions to it isn't easy. It was built on layers of contributions of others for centuries until it came to O'Sensei. Part of the learning process then is misunderstanding it in every way as an insider. That is why you work at it. That is why there is no simple fixes. Someone can point out something, to a new student and it will not have the same depth or impact as those who have 20 years of experience. And the person pointing that thing out doesn't have the same depth of understanding in relation to Aikido and it's purpose than the person of 20 years of experience in Aikido has. Such an aikido person has made hundreds of discoveries and not just one. So of course it is easy to point something out from the outside. But that is just one part of it, one component of many, that will have a greater impact on those with years of experience and understanding than those who first start.

Understanding Aikido isn't easy, you are taking physics and applying them in such away to defeat someone without doing harm to yourself or others. To control another human's body where they lack control and ability to right themselves. I guess Aikido is like science the more you understand the more you realize the vastness of what you don't know.

Yea, it is misunderstood if it wasn't it would be a challenge in learning it, and I think that is often forgotten or not considered. If you want to defeat someone with harm and injury, quickly and effectively then weapons like a knife and gun is what you want to learn. There is no depth to that. But Aikido has depth where you keep searching and digging, nothing is instant. And that is want makes it worth learning. That is what is misunderstood in my book.

Shadowfax
06-03-2010, 12:56 PM
How can I expect non-aikidoka to understand aikido when I myself don't understand aikido? That's why I go to the dojo 3x a week. so I can learn about what I don't understand. Because Iit fascinates me. It really does not matter what others think about aikido.It only matters (to me) what I think about aikido.

Recently I said to my sensei that I did not find certain other martial arts to be of real interest. I disliked what I saw. I had some criticism of those arts. My senseis answer... "there is a reason you do aikido and not those other martial arts."

well there is a reason other people do other martial arts and not aikido. We don't have to agree with them to recognize their right to decide what does and does not have value in their own eyes.

I kind of like that aikido is not so well known or so popular as other martial arts. Its a small but not exclusive club. One made up of people who are serious about that they do. Who appreciate it for what it is... to them. The weeds quickly weed themselves out.

When someone asks me what aikido is about I explain what it is to me as best I can but I tell everyone aikido is something you really have to experience for yourself in order to find what it means to you.

As for the how has aikido helped your life, sport, hobby etc.... everything in our life is part of a whole. An interlocking puzzle where each thing enhances the other.

IE: my aikido has really enhanced my horsemanship. My horsemanship brings a lot to my aikido. My aikido and my horsemanship influence how I deal with other situations, and people, in life.

DonMagee
06-03-2010, 02:39 PM
I'm just curious; does the skeptics have practical experience where Aikido has personally failed them? Or, are the criticism based on prejudice, or preconception of how combative should operate?

There was that time O' Sensei chased a kid out in the street and out of carelessness, he slipped and fell in a puddle. I guess that's Aikido failing... but if that's the only example skeptics can site than Aikido frankly has a good track record.

I don't care how awesome the founder of a martial art is. It doesn't matter if Helio Gracie was undefeated, or if O'Sensei could dodge bullets and disappear like a mystical ninja.

I have to base my decision on experience, observation, and evidence. My experience in aikido lead me to find myself unable to cope with 1 month judo and bjj students, and generally finding myself unable to find rational reasons why or why not things would work. The only answers I could get from the art were faith based. I am simply not a man of faith.

I could go on and on with reasons, but that really isn't the point. The point is I did what I consider due diligence in attempting my training. What I found was that the training method did not realistically prepare me to perform what I was being taught in any venue outside of a willing participant. I wanted more then that. I wanted a means of unarmed self defense. While I did eventually find some merit to techniques I had been taught in aikido, I still believe that I would never had achieved my desired results had I not started using the training methods I use today.

It is obvious to me that aikido comes from effective forms of combat. I just think the measuring stick was lost somewhere and many people have forgotten that martial arts are about more then just feelings and philosophies. Unfortunately (to me) I see it as an eventuality that left isolated, martial arts all eventually turn into a watered down system of physical activity and morality preaching.

Anjisan
06-03-2010, 02:42 PM
Speaking as a lawyer -- for whatever it is worth -- intellectualizing is not a road to harmony -- it is merely another field of possible conflict on which harmony may -- or may not -- be sought ...
:)

Agreed!!!

RED
06-03-2010, 02:47 PM
I don't care how awesome the founder of a martial art is. It doesn't matter if Helio Gracie was undefeated, or if O'Sensei could dodge bullets and disappear like a mystical ninja.

I have to base my decision on experience, observation, and evidence. My experience in aikido lead me to find myself unable to cope with 1 month judo and bjj students, and generally finding myself unable to find rational reasons why or why not things would work. The only answers I could get from the art were faith based. I am simply not a man of faith.

I could go on and on with reasons, but that really isn't the point. The point is I did what I consider due diligence in attempting my training. What I found was that the training method did not realistically prepare me to perform what I was being taught in any venue outside of a willing participant. I wanted more then that. I wanted a means of unarmed self defense. While I did eventually find some merit to techniques I had been taught in aikido, I still believe that I would never had achieved my desired results had I not started using the training methods I use today.

It is obvious to me that aikido comes from effective forms of combat. I just think the measuring stick was lost somewhere and many people have forgotten that martial arts are about more then just feelings and philosophies. Unfortunately (to me) I see it as an eventuality that left isolated, martial arts all eventually turn into a watered down system of physical activity and morality preaching.

I heard a teacher say something I found useful at a seminar recently.. He said he knew a girl who wrote an essay on aikido, he read it but couldn't find anything about aikido in it...it was just a letter of philosophical principles. He said that there has to be a ballance. A martial art has to respect both the martial side and art side. Sometimes the martial side is lost.

However, I don't share your experience of inadequacy in dealing with sport martial students. I've found that the rules of the sports arena also put the 1 month Sports student at a disadvantage. It's all how we train. If the Aikidoka never has a live uke they never learn to get a feel for a moving attacker. If the Judo student never has to worry about some one striking, they never train to deal with it. If the Karate student never has to worry about protecting his face because face kicks are illegal in competition...he will never learn to prepare for a kick to the face.
There are flaws in the training of every art, not in the art it self IMO.
The object is to be aware of the failings, and adapt to work out the kinks.

Anjisan
06-03-2010, 03:39 PM
I heard a teacher say something I found useful at a seminar recently.. He said he knew a girl who wrote an essay on aikido, he read it but couldn't find anything about aikido in it...it was just a letter of philosophical principles. He said that there has to be a ballance. A martial art has to respect both the martial side and art side. Sometimes the martial side is lost.

However, I don't share your experience of inadequacy in dealing with sport martial students. I've found that the rules of the sports arena also put the 1 month Sports student at a disadvantage. It's all how we train. If the Aikidoka never has a live uke they never learn to get a feel for a moving attacker. If the Judo student never has to worry about some one striking, they never train to deal with it. If the Karate student never has to worry about protecting his face because face kicks are illegal in competition...he will never learn to prepare for a kick to the face.
There are flaws in the training of every art, not in the art it self IMO.
The object is to be aware of the failings, and adapt to work out the kinks.

I agree with your take on this one and see a lot of validity in Don's comments as well. Based on what type of Aikido training is available to a Aikidoka, one can incorporate other forms in during some classes if appropriate or during open mat time. I have found that there are often others who feel the same way but have not spoken up for whatever reason.

Personally, I incorporated my karate background, and now am incorporating Kali and Krav Maga as well and it all seems to blend. Just the other night in the changing room I was speaking of incorporating other arts to compliment my Aikido and I found a guy who said "I'm in."

RED
06-03-2010, 03:47 PM
I agree with your take on this one and see a lot of validity in Don's comments as well. Based on what type of Aikido training is available to a Aikidoka, one can incorporate other forms in during some classes if appropriate or during open mat time. I have found that there are often others who feel the same way but have not spoken up for whatever reason.

Personally, I incorporated my karate background, and now am incorporating Kali and Krav Maga as well and it all seems to blend. Just the other night in the changing room I was speaking of incorporating other arts to compliment my Aikido and I found a guy who said "I'm in."

I'm not saying necessarily to mix other martial arts into your Aikido.

I think Aikido is adequate on its own. The principles are sound, the same principals that have been in use for and combat effective for centuries. I'm saying their might be, in some schools a lack of training in aliveness. No live uke. If you never have a live uke, how will you learn to defend against one? If you don't ever train to guard your face, what will you do when some one kicks it?

I think the core principles are adequate and universally adaptable to any attack. But if you have a static uke holding your wrist forever, you might never get there.
The kata is key, don';t get me wrong. You gotta walk before you run.

Anjisan
06-03-2010, 04:21 PM
I'm not saying necessarily to mix other martial arts into your Aikido.

I think Aikido is adequate on its own. The principles are sound, the same principals that have been in use for and combat effective for centuries. I'm saying their might be, in some schools a lack of training in aliveness. No live uke. If you never have a live uke, how will you learn to defend against one? If you don't ever train to guard your face, what will you do when some one kicks it?

I think the core principles are adequate and universally adaptable to any attack. But if you have a static uke holding your wrist forever, you might never get there.
The kata is key, don';t get me wrong. You gotta walk before you run.

I agree. I am speaking of those whom Aikido techniques are not enough, don't have access to a teacher who incorporates realistic martial aspects into training or just want (like me) to expand for the fun, additional pragmatic options, and the challenge of it all.

Stormcrow34
06-03-2010, 05:49 PM
ALL martial arts have intential flaws built in to their training models to make training safe, or there would be no healthy students. When you train and/or judge an art (your own or someone elses) without realizing what those flaws are, there are bound to be a ton of misunderstandings.

Kevin, the only aikido I know, is absolutely jujutsu...but then again maybe it's not "aikido".

Stormcrow34
06-03-2010, 06:08 PM
Sorry. Meant to type "intentional flaws", not "intential flaws".

sakumeikan
06-03-2010, 06:21 PM
*put's on my devils advocate hat*

Does aikido teach me more about myself then the following?

Basketball?
Wrestling?
Guitar Playing?
Running?
Texas Hold em?

I learned the most about myself when I started teaching at a college. My failings, my skills, etc were all on display and I was forced to face them. In terms of self discovery I learned a lot about myself, but nowhere close compared to how much I learned standing in front of a room of 18 year old kids.

Hi Don,
Aikido may or may not learn you more about yourself than any of the other examples you quote.I do not think that Aikido has the monopoly in terms of self discovery.Obviously in your case college teaching made some impact on your own understanding of your own self
. I simply replied to the question being asked.I did not state that one could not discover ones True Self solely by Aikido.There can be many paths to reach the top of a mountain.

bulevardi
06-04-2010, 12:03 PM
If you read Morihei's biography, you can clearly notice that Ueshiba meant: "Aikido is becoming one with the universe"
"Aikido is love and harmony", "Aikido is combining the three worlds". etc etc...
He didn't meant to create another martial art. He didn't want competition or fights. He wanted to create a movement where people get closer to enlightment, where people get in harmony instead of fight. Where people would misunderstand Aikido in the Martial Art world.
Aikido is an achievement of awareness in the physical and spiritual world.

phitruong
06-04-2010, 12:27 PM
read a story the other day and want to share. it's about a guy climbed up the mountain to ask a guru question. ever notice, that guru and such folks always hang around mountain tops. there can't be that many mountain tops are there? and why nobody bother to install an elevator of some sort? if i was a guru, i would hang around Las Vegas. but i digress...

so a guy climbed up the mountain to see a guru. he asked the guru, "what is the meaning of life?" the guru said "life is a cup of tea." the guy screamed at the guru, "I almost killed myself climbing up this mountain to ask such important question, and you said it's a cup of tea! are you mad?!!! the guru said "maybe it's not a cup of tea!"

aikido is a cup of tea! :D

bulevardi
06-04-2010, 12:44 PM
Was it a ceramic raku cup ? :)

Ketsan
06-04-2010, 06:31 PM
Well, what's your definition of effectiveness? :)

Effectiveness is the ability to subdue an untrained and unarmed opponent all of the time, an untrained armed opponent 25% of the time and the ability to subdue a trained unarmed opponent 50% of the time after five years training.

Ketsan
06-04-2010, 06:33 PM
If you read Morihei's biography, you can clearly notice that Ueshiba meant: "Aikido is becoming one with the universe"
"Aikido is love and harmony", "Aikido is combining the three worlds". etc etc...
He didn't meant to create another martial art. He didn't want competition or fights. He wanted to create a movement where people get closer to enlightment, where people get in harmony instead of fight. Where people would misunderstand Aikido in the Martial Art world.
Aikido is an achievement of awareness in the physical and spiritual world.

With atemi.

Ketsan
06-04-2010, 06:35 PM
Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Before you complain about how Aikido is misunderstood by outsiders, it would be a good idea to see how well it is understood by insiders.
Good Luck with that.

David:)

As I see it, if you can't reach a common definition you're talking about something which doesn't exist.

Ketsan
06-04-2010, 06:42 PM
I'm just curious; does the skeptics have practical experience where Aikido has personally failed them? Or, are the criticism based on prejudice, or preconception of how combative should operate?

There was that time O' Sensei chased a kid out in the street and out of carelessness, he slipped and fell in a puddle. I guess that's Aikido failing... but if that's the only example skeptics can site than Aikido frankly has a good track record.

They assume that if Aikido was effective it would be in MMA.

RED
06-04-2010, 08:17 PM
They assume that if Aikido was effective it would be in MMA.

but...MMA is a sport.
One in which small circle manipulation is illegal as well.......:confused:

Kevin Leavitt
06-04-2010, 09:20 PM
what do you mean small circle manipulation is illegal? It isn't that I know of.

Aikido failed me big time in non-compliant situations when i tried to use it in the context of my aikido training..that is applied literally.

I was too ignorant to realize that what we train in the dojo as methodology and principle....well, it does not mean you fight that way...there is alot we typically leave out in aikido. ALOT!

Now that I understand that, it doesn't fail me too often, yet of course, you also don't win all the time and every time too! lots of parameters.

RED
06-04-2010, 09:26 PM
what do you mean small circle manipulation is illegal? It isn't that I know of.

Aikido failed me big time in non-compliant situations when i tried to use it in the context of my aikido training..that is applied literally.

I was too ignorant to realize that what we train in the dojo as methodology and principle....well, it does not mean you fight that way...there is alot we typically leave out in aikido. ALOT!

Now that I understand that, it doesn't fail me too often, yet of course, you also don't win all the time and every time too! lots of parameters.

Correct me if I am wrong of course, in my experience, finger and wrist locks are not allowed in non-black belt MMA fights and in BJJ competition.

Of course you don't fight that way... Aikido was never meant to be used to fight. Self defense yes, but fights no.

Kevin Leavitt
06-04-2010, 09:29 PM
Effectiveness is the ability to subdue an untrained and unarmed opponent all of the time, an untrained armed opponent 25% of the time and the ability to subdue a trained unarmed opponent 50% of the time after five years training.

thanks for trying. You get big points in my book for being like the first guy to actually come out and throw something out there!

Now this opens up a whole nother discussion really.

To me, there are so, so many parameters that get factored into a situation, that I really don't think you can nail this down quantifiably like this, but okay, for discussion sake sure! at least we have the beginning of a frame work.

how do you account for the ambush? how about initiative? size, weight, age, speed etc. these things have nothing to do with the skill level of the opponent, yet have a direct impact on the odds and percentages you list above.

if you use the "all other things being equal" limitation, well then it really doesn't help either, cause "all things are never equal".

I suppose my point is, that you can't say, this or that is effective/ineffective.....the only thing you can do is give yourself as many experiences as possible under different conditions, sizes, light conditions, suprise, spontaneous reactions etc...and attempt to ellicit appropriate responses in those situations.

Since we typically don't train aikido that way...as a RBSD system, then by methodology alone, it is really not a very effective way to train, IMO, if this is your primary concern.

Hence, why it will get the bad rap of not being effective. I certainly don't spend time training my soldiers in aikido methodology in the short amount of time I have to spend with them! why, cause it is simply NOT effective as a methodology for the percentages you list above.

That doesn't mean that it does not work...or is INEFFECTIVE. no not at all. Just that if your criteria is based on the things you say above...then I can think of alot better ways to mitigate those risk.

Hence why alot of RBSD guys say it is "not effective" and in a real sense...well they are absolutely right!

Kevin Leavitt
06-04-2010, 09:49 PM
Correct me if I am wrong of course, in my experience, finger and wrist locks are not allowed in non-black belt MMA fights and in BJJ competition.

Of course you don't fight that way... Aikido was never meant to be used to fight. Self defense yes, but fights no.

most BJJ and submission grappling tournaments it is three or more fingers..and it usually okay. it depends on the tournament.

Wrist locks are okay usually except at white belt level. I use wrist locks all the time.

what is the difference between self defense and a fight?

If your talking about sport fighting vice fighting for defense..sure I agree..there are some different strategies because of the rules etc.

However, I don't necessarily agree that with the reasoning that says that aikidoka can't prove themselves in the ring cause of limitations of the rules and that makes a big difference.

I disagree, I personally believe that anyone that calls him or herself a "master" of empty handed martial arts, especially a jiu jitsu type system should be able to demonstrate an acceptable level of skill across the spectrum of "fighting" to include submission grappling and/or MMA type fighting.

I don't think you need to be able to beat a pro fighter, but you should at least be able to handle yourself in some basic non-compliant scenarios under those rules.

such as being able to pummell for under hooks, do some basic takedowns and throws, avoid headlocks and sprawl techniques, maintain and escape the guard, the mount, side control etc.

These are fundamental things you see in all fights or self defense situations and there simply IMO no way around needing to have an understanding of these things.

MMA and UFC type events have demonstrated this over and over..that there are some common, fundamental and basic skills that need to be acquired.

Also, remember the early UFCs. There were no illegal techniques actually, that was a fallacy. They agreed to some standards, yet there was nothing in the end that would have prevented them from winning if they went to those things.

Not trying to give the BJJ dogmatic speech..yet I am also constantly amazed that people are still in denial over the fundamental skills that are important that are covered in BJJ and Judo curriculums.

Not saying you need to learn BJJ or 100 open guard techniques, or even spend a great deal of time doing BJJ for SD.

However, you do need to have some basic, fundamental skills, that I have found many in aikido simply do not have and refuse to face.

MMA and especially Royce Gracie and BJJ has proven this.

That does not mean that MMA or BJJ is the the gold standard to measure all effectiveness by. I agree Maggie.

However, at the same time, we can learn alot about what is important and fundamental about fighitng.

The first step in learning to fight, is learning how to survive the initial attack. If nothing else, MMA and BJJ can teach us what we need to know to do this.

ONce you survive, go for all the eye gouging, submission, finger locks and groin kicks you want to use!

RED
06-04-2010, 10:15 PM
most BJJ and submission grappling tournaments it is three or more fingers..and it usually okay. it depends on the tournament.

Wrist locks are okay usually except at white belt level. I use wrist locks all the time.

what is the difference between self defense and a fight?

If your talking about sport fighting vice fighting for defense..sure I agree..there are some different strategies because of the rules etc.

However, I don't necessarily agree that with the reasoning that says that aikidoka can't prove themselves in the ring cause of limitations of the rules and that makes a big difference.

I disagree, I personally believe that anyone that calls him or herself a "master" of empty handed martial arts, especially a jiu jitsu type system should be able to demonstrate an acceptable level of skill across the spectrum of "fighting" to include submission grappling and/or MMA type fighting.

I don't think you need to be able to beat a pro fighter, but you should at least be able to handle yourself in some basic non-compliant scenarios under those rules.

such as being able to pummell for under hooks, do some basic takedowns and throws, avoid headlocks and sprawl techniques, maintain and escape the guard, the mount, side control etc.

These are fundamental things you see in all fights or self defense situations and there simply IMO no way around needing to have an understanding of these things.

MMA and UFC type events have demonstrated this over and over..that there are some common, fundamental and basic skills that need to be acquired.

Also, remember the early UFCs. There were no illegal techniques actually, that was a fallacy. They agreed to some standards, yet there was nothing in the end that would have prevented them from winning if they went to those things.

Not trying to give the BJJ dogmatic speech..yet I am also constantly amazed that people are still in denial over the fundamental skills that are important that are covered in BJJ and Judo curriculums.

Not saying you need to learn BJJ or 100 open guard techniques, or even spend a great deal of time doing BJJ for SD.

However, you do need to have some basic, fundamental skills, that I have found many in aikido simply do not have and refuse to face.

MMA and especially Royce Gracie and BJJ has proven this.

That does not mean that MMA or BJJ is the the gold standard to measure all effectiveness by. I agree Maggie.

However, at the same time, we can learn alot about what is important and fundamental about fighitng.

The first step in learning to fight, is learning how to survive the initial attack. If nothing else, MMA and BJJ can teach us what we need to know to do this.

ONce you survive, go for all the eye gouging, submission, finger locks and groin kicks you want to use!

I really am arguing sports fighting vs real street attack.
Sport fighting has rules. Which greatly limit how the athletes train. I mean some competitive Karate schools never teach you to guard your face, because hits to the face are illegal in competition. So they don't bother wasting time with it... they also prefer you to get kicked in the face, because it automatically disqualifies the opponent in some arenas.

With that said I don't believe in fooling yourself. If you are a white belt in Aikido and you think you can win some MMA fight you are disillusioned. There is this weird mixed bag of people in Aikido. Some don't think it is effective...others, are too convinced of their own legend.

Bruce lee was once asked "What would you do if a guy grappled you to the ground." He replied "Bite them of course!"

Michael Varin
06-05-2010, 03:21 AM
Bruce lee was once asked "What would you do if a guy grappled you to the ground." He replied "Bite them of course!"

Bruce Lee must never have faced a half way decent grappler!

One in which small circle manipulation is illegal as well

For the record, it's small *joint* manipulation.

Of course you don't fight that way... Aikido was never meant to be used to fight. Self defense yes, but fights no.

I would like to set aside Morihei's grander visions for aikido, which I happen to believe are very valid. I would also like to set aside for the moment training methodologies, which unquestionably have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the martial artist.

So how do we define self-defense and fight?

The techniques that form the recognizable core of aikido are not meant to address empty-handed situations.

If this is not grasped, it is hard to go to the next level of understanding.

These techniques come from a time when the men who developed them were constantly armed with at least a sword and a long knife and most likely shuriken, as well.

It's not a mistake that there are no boxing type punches in the traditional aikido attacks. A rush and a katate dori are much more of a threat to the armed man facing the unknown.

I don't think you need to be able to beat a pro fighter, but you should at least be able to handle yourself in some basic non-compliant scenarios under those rules.

such as being able to pummell for under hooks, do some basic takedowns and throws, avoid headlocks and sprawl techniques, maintain and escape the guard, the mount, side control etc.

These are fundamental things you see in all fights or self defense situations and there simply IMO no way around needing to have an understanding of these things.

MMA and UFC type events have demonstrated this over and over..that there are some common, fundamental and basic skills that need to be acquired.

Trust me. Trying to double-leg a man with a sword is far stupider than trying to apply tsuki kotegaeshi to a jab, which is pretty stupid.

Many, if not most, of these things are irrelevant to the armed man. He can easily dispatch of a person who attacks in that fashion. He is primarily concerned with the ability to continue to use his weapons. Closely related to this is dealing with multiple attackers and surprise.

This is the context for aikido's techniques. Whatever progress we are going to make regarding effectiveness must start from here.

Amassus
06-05-2010, 03:23 AM
To answer the OP, yup, aikido is misunderstood.

I think the main reason for this is the lack of competition or free sparring that the other martial arts provide.

How does one truely guage their progress against a resistant opponent if one of the above elements is not in place?

I think this answers another question, some people have posted here. How do we recruit young, enthusiastic members?
I teach aikido to teenagers at the high school I work at and by and large most are looking for competition. Many of them just can't fathom a non-competitive martial art. In fact many of them enjoy a session where I allow them to choose any attack they can think of and their partner must first avoid the attack and then take the attacker's balance. They enjoy this immensely! I wouldn't call that typical aikido training.

Aikido will continue to be the misfit of martial arts because of the above reasons. Hey, I'm cool with that. It keeps me plenty busy.

Many, if not most, of these things are irrelevant to the armed man. He can easily dispatch of a person who attacks in that fashion. He is primarily concerned with the ability to continue to use his weapons. Closely related to this is dealing with multiple attackers and surprise.
Also, the point above about training context resonates with me.

Dean.

L. Camejo
06-05-2010, 07:15 AM
what is the difference between self defense and a fight?

If your talking about sport fighting vice fighting for defense..sure I agree..there are some different strategies because of the rules etc.

such as being able to pummell for under hooks, do some basic takedowns and throws, avoid headlocks and sprawl techniques, maintain and escape the guard, the mount, side control etc.Personally I think the BJJ/MMA concept of a fight applies primarily to 1 on 1 duels. It does not really deal with self defence scenarios where the odds and numbers are stacked against you. But then it is a sport, designed for entertainment, this is not its objective.

The main differences between this sort of thing and self defence is mindset and objective. As said before - in a self defence situation nothing is always equal, so to assume a 1 on 1 encounter and go to ground can be fatal.

Don't want to beat the dead horse anymore so I would like to offer this link - http://www.targetfocustraining.com/how-effective-self-defense-methods-are-thwarted#more-11743

It gives a good comparison of what can happen when one has the wrong mindset for the situation, even with the expected training. A mindset for sport has no place in self defence.

Best
LC

chillzATL
06-05-2010, 08:09 AM
Personally I think the BJJ/MMA concept of a fight applies primarily to 1 on 1 duels. It does not really deal with self defence scenarios where the odds and numbers are stacked against you. But then it is a sport, designed for entertainment, this is not its objective.

The main differences between this sort of thing and self defence is mindset and objective. As said before - in a self defence situation nothing is always equal, so to assume a 1 on 1 encounter and go to ground can be fatal.

Don't want to beat the dead horse anymore so I would like to offer this link - http://www.targetfocustraining.com/how-effective-self-defense-methods-are-thwarted#more-11743

It gives a good comparison of what can happen when one has the wrong mindset for the situation, even with the expected training. A mindset for sport has no place in self defence.

Best
LC

What you say may be true of BJJ or most martial arts, but applying that same theory to MMA is absurd. MMA fighters know the consequences of getting cornered, hit, clinched and taken down far better than any practitioner of a singular martial art. I agree about mindset, but the every day environment of MMA training is going to prepare someone for the pressure of a self defense situation FAR better than any amount of training in bjj/karate/aikido, alone or in combination.

Ketsan
06-05-2010, 09:22 AM
but...MMA is a sport.
One in which small circle manipulation is illegal as well.......:confused:

No doubt but most people in martial arts have never been in a real fight and in all probability will never be in a real fight. In fact I doubt most of these people have even seen a real fight. The only reference point most of these people have is MMA. This is the world we work in.

Your comment about small joint manipulation actually reminds me of a lesson I wa taught a couple of weeks back about "protecting the thumb" where it was pointed out rather forcefully the dangers of allowing your thumb to be taken hold of.

Ketsan
06-05-2010, 09:59 AM
thanks for trying. You get big points in my book for being like the first guy to actually come out and throw something out there!

how do you account for the ambush? how about initiative? size, weight, age, speed etc. these things have nothing to do with the skill level of the opponent, yet have a direct impact on the odds and percentages you list above.



Same way we do now, you look at the overall picture rather than individual cases so that you can seperate circumstances and individual ability from the art. Look for the pattern.

Ketsan
06-05-2010, 11:15 AM
Since we typically don't train aikido that way...as a RBSD system, then by methodology alone, it is really not a very effective way to train, IMO, if this is your primary concern.



I'm not so sure. One thing that's always impressed me about Aikidoka is that after about five years it seems to become a reflex action. Statled Aikidoka do some pretty interesting things.
When I first saw Tony Blauer's stuff my initital reaction was that he was teaching Aikido; we practice a slightly stylised version of the flinch response in every class. Unless there are people out there dealing with tsuki, shomen and yokomen in really weird ways.

It makes me wonder if rather than a movement that's intended to be taught it's just a stylised representation of the flinch response. "Here's your flinch response; then you do this" rather than "He attacks like this and you respond like this."
Startled Aikidoka go ballistic in my experience, the opponent is standing their throwing or trying to throw punches and kicks and the Aikidoka just powers straight through them.

Aiki1
06-05-2010, 11:44 AM
I think one of the reasons Aikido is so misunderstood is because it is practiced so many different ways, defined so many different ways, and what is offered as Aikido is so diverse, that no one can understand Aikido as "one discernible art." It isn't.

Obviously, effectiveness in Aikido is always a hot topic. The "intended purpose" of Aikido notwithstanding (much debated as well) I think the discussion tends to be confusing and amorphous because effectiveness is difficult to define - there are many different possible circumstances one might encounter, and many different levels of intention involved.

Generally, and this is of course limited but a place to start, I think about Levels of Attack:

- Static
- Dynamic
- Aggressive

With the Intent To:

- bother
- intimidate
- immobilize/control
- grapple
- rob
- hurt
- fight (untrained)
- fight (trained fighter - fakes, set-ups etc.)
- create Chaos

Within this framework, in order to understand how to make my Aikido what I call Martially Responsible, I consider these basic questions:

Do I understand how to evaluate the threat and approach it accordingly

Do I understand possible attacks my partner (attacker etc.) may attempt

Do I understand how to respond initially, and why

Do I understand how to move in relation to what my partner is doing

Do I understand how to cover the strike zone and the various other targets available to my partner

Do I understand how to close down any opening I may have, or use them purposefully

Do I ever turn my back to my partner (I single this out because I see this mistake all the time, in dojos and on YouTube, at every level of practice and demonstration)

Do I understand how to progressively limit my partner's options

Do I understand how to stay ahead of the game

Do I understand what my goals are in relation to any encounter

Do I understand what it means to "not fight" yet to fully engage

Do I understand how to "do all this" in the context of what "my Aikido" is to me

The answers to these questions, to me, can all be found in Aikido, but not in what I call "Dojo Aikido" and not what I think of as "mainstream practice (or mainstream instruction, from what I have seen and experienced.)" The answers have to be looked for, and one must have a fair amount of experience in Aikido to find them, and much discernment and discipline to not give in to the desire to "add stuff from other arts" to "make up the difference." It is all there, but not very obvious, in fact, it is often hidden. But I feel it is very important to not change the art to achieve the goal of making one's Aikido Martially Responsible.

The only place that that changes, for me, is in ground work. I don't mean suwari waza, but ne waza, and I don't mean submissions either, as that would, to me, change Aikido into something it isn't. But the escapes from the ground that BJJ offers are great and in accord with what I consider to be the basic principles of Aikido, and I incorporate them, when I can time-wise, into my Aikido instruction.

The end point is not to make Aikido into a "fighting art" but to offer a practitioner an understanding of the broader field of experience around threatening life circumstance, and include the physical skills necessary to allow them to do the best they can in any situation, staying within an Aikido framework and mindset. This can fully include the spiritual level of Aikido, in terms of experience and outcome, in fact it might be absolutely necessary. It takes a high level of skill to "protect" an attacker in almost any situation.

niall
06-05-2010, 01:09 PM
Great questions. And from an aikido point of view rather than a general fighting one. I agree about ne waza.

And to take just two more of Larry's excellent points: yes what do we do against a feint (a trained fighter in his description).

Yes what do we think we are doing if we are turning our backs on our attackers.

Erick Mead
06-05-2010, 04:34 PM
what do you mean small circle manipulation is illegal? It isn't that I know of.

Aikido failed me big time in non-compliant situations when i tried to use it in the context of my aikido training..that is applied literally.

I was too ignorant to realize that what we train in the dojo as methodology and principle....well, it does not mean you fight that way...there is alot we typically leave out in aikido. ALOT!

Now that I understand that, it doesn't fail me too often, yet of course, you also don't win all the time and every time too! lots of parameters.Amen. I try to point out in most waza --

" ... and please remember that I would be hitting him -- here -- Here -- and --HERE --- as the movement progresses, but I want to avoid that at the moment -- because I want him to like me... and train with me again...

:)

Kevin Leavitt
06-05-2010, 07:33 PM
Personally I think the BJJ/MMA concept of a fight applies primarily to 1 on 1 duels. It does not really deal with self defence scenarios where the odds and numbers are stacked against you. But then it is a sport, designed for entertainment, this is not its objective.

The main differences between this sort of thing and self defence is mindset and objective. As said before - in a self defence situation nothing is always equal, so to assume a 1 on 1 encounter and go to ground can be fatal.

Don't want to beat the dead horse anymore so I would like to offer this link - http://www.targetfocustraining.com/how-effective-self-defense-methods-are-thwarted#more-11743

It gives a good comparison of what can happen when one has the wrong mindset for the situation, even with the expected training. A mindset for sport has no place in self defence.

Best
LC

Larry,

Noted and I agree to a point. I train Soldiers every day right now in CQB from 300 meters out to 0 meters out and transitioning in between and dealing with multiple opponent.

I got it.

We work on transitioning from all our weapon systems and then practice point of failure drills throughout the ranges.

what I stated above deals with obviously an extreme point of failure and all I am stating is that you need to know how to survive in those situations to recover yourself back to a position that is higher in the hierarchy.

If we only practice the stuff we want to use, or imagining ourselves use then we have problems.

in an unarmed or a situation that you cannot use a weapon system, you will have to survive and maintain integrity till you can get back the space and distance you need.

So, yes, you need to know the basics of clinch, sprawl, mount, guard etc....this are fundamentals...not optimal fighting strategies!

if the odds are stack against you, then they are stack against you. that is just the way it is. Training to deal with situations when they are stack against you in paramount. point of failure training is important.

The guy in the website actually covers some good points concerning habits for sure. Not sure if his information is 100% credible as he provided no references and I am always suspect of someone that is selling something, but agree the main thing he points out is something you need to consider, which is paradigms and habits, something I am constantly preaching too!

Kevin Leavitt
06-05-2010, 07:45 PM
I'm not so sure. One thing that's always impressed me about Aikidoka is that after about five years it seems to become a reflex action. Statled Aikidoka do some pretty interesting things.
When I first saw Tony Blauer's stuff my initital reaction was that he was teaching Aikido; we practice a slightly stylised version of the flinch response in every class. Unless there are people out there dealing with tsuki, shomen and yokomen in really weird ways.

It makes me wonder if rather than a movement that's intended to be taught it's just a stylised representation of the flinch response. "Here's your flinch response; then you do this" rather than "He attacks like this and you respond like this."
Startled Aikidoka go ballistic in my experience, the opponent is standing their throwing or trying to throw punches and kicks and the Aikidoka just powers straight through them.

Tony has some good stuff for sure, basic, but good. I teach the spear pretty much as the standard go to position in dealing with controlling and keeping distance and integrity.

When I work with people that need to learn something in a short period of time, I look at their natural responses first and then try to work with that natural response and change it into a better habit, or reprogram it is it is a bad response through repetitive stimulus until the can do that spontaneously. no need to teach folks alot of complicated and stylized stuff if they still have not learned or burned in a correct spontaneous response, IMO.

On "going ballistic", I think most folks probably have trained slow and relaxed and may actually cognitively know what to do since we typically will sit in seiza, sensei will demonstrate three times, then we stand up and copy sensei. We can do this cause we had time to think about it and had time to process and feel it through the visual and auditory channels first.

However, when the same person is presented with unknown "stress", before they have time to process it, then they may react quite differently all together.

It is why it is important to train the way Tony trains.

BTW, I trained with some decent MMA guys today and I mastered blocking with my face pretty good today! I tend to drive straight in vice circle out.

I have no issue with going in (irimi), as in a combatives situation, as Larry and a few others pointed out, we ain't trading blows and kicks for submission or a knock out. but, still good training and it helps me see and identify the differences in tactics between MMA sport fighitng and Combatives/Street stuff.

Kevin Leavitt
06-05-2010, 07:49 PM
Michael Varin wrote,

Trust me. Trying to double-leg a man with a sword is far stupider than trying to apply tsuki kotegaeshi to a jab, which is pretty stupid.

Many, if not most, of these things are irrelevant to the armed man. He can easily dispatch of a person who attacks in that fashion. He is primarily concerned with the ability to continue to use his weapons. Closely related to this is dealing with multiple attackers and surprise.

This is the context for aikido's techniques. Whatever progress we are going to make regarding effectiveness must start from here.

Agreed. and I agree about the context of aikido techniques. no problems at all with that.

yes, trying to maintain integrity to use weapons, absolutely.

What I probably didn't say very well, is that these things are fundamental when you lose that integrity and now it becomes a fight over the weapon or control to get to that weapon.

Context is important of course, as well as training for point of failure.

I know from reading your post over the years and watching your videos this is near and dear to your heart and you understand this.

Kevin Leavitt
06-05-2010, 07:54 PM
Larry Novick:

Great post Larry. I like your criteria. I think it offers a great framework to base a study on and determine your relative effectiveness as I believe that effectiveness is relative and not really quantifiable.

The end point is not to make Aikido into a "fighting art" but to offer a practitioner an understanding of the broader field of experience around threatening life circumstance, and include the physical skills necessary to allow them to do the best they can in any situation, staying within an Aikido framework and mindset. This can fully include the spiritual level of Aikido, in terms of experience and outcome, in fact it might be absolutely necessary. It takes a high level of skill to "protect" an attacker in almost any situation.

Larry, I really like this...yes.

CNYMike
06-13-2010, 08:50 PM
Who cares what other people think of Aikido?

Why would you even be concerned?

David

Amen. You know what you want to do and what you think. Some will agree and some won't. Don't let online discussions bother you too much. People will vote with their feet; those who don't want to train in Aikido won't go there. It's telling that I have never had such debates in the real world.

As long as you enjoy it and think you're getting something out of it, that's all that really matters.

Now, all I have to do is follow my own advice! :o :)