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lars beyer
03-03-2012, 02:02 PM
Hello everybody.
I have a question which I have been asking myself for quite some time now, but I can only answer
it from my own perspective and that doesnīt show me the whole picture offcourse.

What is it that makes Aikido unique in relation to other martial arts ?

In Aiki
Lars Beyer

ChrisHein
03-03-2012, 03:16 PM
Lot's of interesting things. For one, its a "traditional style" Japanese martial art that is not a koryu. Which makes many of the types of techniques used in koryu available to those who would otherwise never have a chase to experience them.

From a marital standpoint, Aikido focuses on multiple attackers, off hand it's hard to think of another martial art that is as focused on multiple attackers. Perhaps something like Ba gau or Krav maga might be close, but Aikido isn't overly interested in "squaring up" and winning one on one confrontations. Aikido is also the only martial art I know of that focuses so heavily on what most of the Aikido community calls "Aiki", or the ability to understand the mind of my attacker and make a harmonious interaction with those intentions.

Aikido is one of the most interesting and mysterious of the martial arts. We have a very iconic founder, and his students are very diverse and interesting characters themselves. In a very short time Aikido has built up quite a following and has a deep rich history. There is always someone trying to "figure out" exactly what Aikido is.

Then there is the fact that it has all of this, and is so common. Every major city in the US has at least one Aikido school. Here in California you can't throw a rock without it hitting an Aikido school. So Aikido is interesting, mysterious, deals with unique/hard to find martial skills, historically influenced/practiced and is widely available. Pretty tough to find another system like that.

TheAikidoka
03-03-2012, 08:33 PM
It shows what is possible from one remarkable individual.
look what sprang forth from that initial seed, indeed, I could Imagine in one full sense that,
Master Ueshiba, literally gave birth, to this art, through his entire sprint, and body, but spirit, Always comes first. not the competting enemy.

The spirit in which you choose to act. you choose your teacher right? So in this sense you choose in which style your sprit will be expressed. you will know if it is not the right one for you, your spirit will let you know, if you indeed listen hard enough.

this is the beauty of Aikido. This is what makes it different, if there is indeed such a thing?

it does not matter what form it is as long as your spirit is being expressed in right way, and your real needs are being met. Not the competing, mind I need a black belt, I need this Technique, this that and the other.

it does not compete so always victorious, HARD PHYSICAL TRAINING IN AIKI, is the only way to understand this, you simply must choose to go through it. Then it is totally non competitive, and Then it helps show you the way to harmonise all things, to simply be yourself in the way, this is the way of my AIKI.

In Budo

Andy B

Alic
03-04-2012, 03:12 AM
Simple, it is the only MARTIAL art that espouses non-conflict.

See the irony in that?

Good.

But we know that it is the truth of the universe. This is what makes US, who follow the path, unique and special.

And if we are special for being able to see it, what does that say about O-sensei, who figured out this stuff himself?

Kevin Leavitt
03-04-2012, 04:23 AM
Not true Alice. Kano, Funakoshi, and many others saw budo and martial arts as an alternative to violence and practiced non violence in their own way. To answer this would require a more detailed discussion on how Ueshiba's methods differed from others that espoused the same concepts albeit using maybe different methods.

Alic
03-04-2012, 05:08 AM
First of all, read my name properly before replying :p

Well, I suppose I should be clearer in saying that we completely abandon any attachment to strength, and comparing it. See, many martial arts, especially the modern ones in Japan, all has the end focus of improving oneself to the point of perfection, where fighting is no longer necessary. However, how they approach this is very different.

For example, Iaido's method is to train to point where the opponent fears you too much to engage you. Judo is about competing in a non-fatal fashion, an alternative to the dueling to death methodology of the old martial arts world. Kendo does the very same, all the whilst attempting to remove all of your fears and hesistations, so that you see your opponent's intentions clearly, and thus avoid violence. Sumo is of course the old way to do all this, competition without fatality. and can probably be said as the original Japanese combat sport. Okinawan Karatedo is probably the least competition of them all, choicing to avoid fighting by simply being so durable that your opponents break themselves upon you as they strike.

But notice how they are all still about conflict with one another. The mindset of all those martial arts is about being able to dominate the opponent, mentally or physically. They pursuit the way of the kill. Ippon in Judo symbolizes the opponent's death, Karate's katas are all for counterattacking in damaging ways, often needing only a few deadly blows. Kendo is obvious in it's nature as a swordfighting art. Sumo is obviously all about competitions, and has always been. Iaido is basically Iaijutsu sans the killing motives, but can still be used to dominate the opponent by simply killing him. Kyudo isn't even about fighting at all, so it can't really be used to defend oneself, since they aren't trained to fight on the move like kyujutsu, and they treat it more as meditation.

Aikido can kill, of course. It's important that we realize the significance of renouncing competition and being purely defensive and pacifistic. We basically do not aim to dominate, just control in order to reach an understanding with uke. We don't even consider the other person as an opponent, and thus we aren't actually competiting at all. By blending and going with the flow, or making uke blend with you, you can avoid not just violence, but mental conflict altogether. In this way, you can foster the spirit of cooperation and peace.

Karate, Judo, Kendo, and various other competitive martial arts are slowly becoming less a Budo and more a sports. They look only at how to win the game, and not what winning or losing means, and why that is significant. Other arts are still about coming out on top of someone else, meaning there is always a winner, and a loser.

Kyudo, Iaido, and Aikido are perhaps some of the best arts in terms of promoting peace. We aren't fully vested in being able to murder someone, although no doubt an arrow in the chest, a sword through the neck, or a throw onto the head will end your life no problem. We are different still from these, though. We still don't have a target at all. We are supposed to see uke as nothing more than a child with a temper tandrum, and we are tasked with stopping the tandrum, and teaching the child. In that way, we truly improve the world and promote peace and harmony. Kyudo and Iaido is mainly for self inprovement, whereas we are also considered with the improvement of not only uke, but everyone else in the world.

This is why O-sensei said "if everyone in the world practices Aikido, then there would be world peace."

Demetrio Cereijo
03-04-2012, 06:25 AM
What is it that makes Aikido unique in relation to other martial arts ?


The practitioners.

Kevin Leavitt
03-04-2012, 06:29 AM
Alic. Sorry my auto correct added the e. Good response I will try and respond later.

Amir Krause
03-04-2012, 08:59 AM
Are you sure it is unique?

Why?

The same techniques exist in many other M.A.

I seem to recall quite a few traditional style Japanese martial arts that are not a koryu (Judo, Jujutsu styles ...)

Most modern M.A. founders looked for social influence beyond the martial (Kano, Funakoshi).

There is not inherent element in Aikido that focrces a philosophical view such as Alec wrote, similar views can be taken by practitioners/teachers of other M.A.
Note, this is my opinion from the external POV - I practice Korindo and not Ueshiba Aikido, you could claim I am missing it and without this philosphy, it would not be Aikido. But, is anyone actually enforcing these beliefs?

Amir

Carsten Möllering
03-04-2012, 09:32 AM
... I practice Korindo and not Ueshiba Aikido ...
Well, I practice the aikidô of Ueshiba. And I think you said it quite correct.
And reading your post we can see that not not even the name of the art is unique to Ueshibas aikidô.
;-)

Does it matter whether it's unique or not?
I'm feeling better living in a big family ...

Kevin Leavitt
03-04-2012, 09:57 AM
Sorry Alec. I cant seem to get your named spelled correctly. I agree with Amir's perspective. As a METHODOLOGY there might be some things that are done in Aikido that are distinct and do a better jobs than other methodologies at training specific aspects. But I don't think these things would make it unique at all.

Kevin Leavitt
03-04-2012, 01:19 PM
To go back to the OPs question. I think that people ind an affinity for things in life that they are comfortable with or that resonates with them. It could be Ueshiba's legend, the charisma he still carries forward, or it could be the ambiance of the dojo, the rituals that give them meaning or any number of things.

It is just like choose a college or even a religion. There are stylistic or ritual things that may be done that label people different, but in the end, I think the differences are all superficial in most cases.

So with martial arts, and Aikido specifically, I see nothing that is done that may not be found in other arts.
ne may argue that the focus on multiple opponents is a difference, the focus on the emphasis in many dojos on conflict resolution, or the focus on IS or IP skills makes it unique.

It could be, however in any given dojo YMMV, so I don't think categorically you can make such a bold statement concerning Aikido as a whole.

I spend the majority of my time these days doing combatives and BJj, however, I am highly influenced with many things I learned in Aikido, and vice versa for BJJ. I see no distinguishing elements between my practices and to me they are the same.

having found something unique in training methods of IS or IP training, I believe there are some good training methods being practiced by some in Aikido arts that are very unique. Alas, these things seem to be the exception and not the norm in most dojos, so I'd have to say that therefore, you can't say categorically that the concentration on IS and IP make Aikido unique.

I think the question is essentially in unanswerable categorically.

phitruong
03-04-2012, 08:38 PM
aikido is unique like every other martial arts. :D

Janet Rosen
03-04-2012, 10:05 PM
Wherefore is that martial art different from all other martial arts.
In all other martial arts we eat leavened bread...oh...wait...wrong..
In all other martial arts we train reclining but in...oh...wait...wrong...
(sigh) I knew I should have paid more attention at Seder when I was a kid.... :-)

lbb
03-05-2012, 08:01 AM
Lot's of interesting things. For one, its a "traditional style" Japanese martial art that is not a koryu. Which makes many of the types of techniques used in koryu available to those who would otherwise never have a chase to experience them.

That's not unique to aikido.

lbb
03-05-2012, 08:04 AM
It shows what is possible from one remarkable individual.
look what sprang forth from that initial seed, indeed, I could Imagine in one full sense that,
Master Ueshiba, literally gave birth, to this art, through his entire sprint, and body, but spirit,

Really?

That must have been quite a sight.

lbb
03-05-2012, 08:06 AM
Are you sure it is unique?

Why?

And why do you need it to be unique?

The need for specialness is a trap of self-deception. It will lead you to many, many disappointments. Let it go.

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2012, 08:25 AM
And why do you need it to be unique?

The need for specialness is a trap of self-deception. It will lead you to many, many disappointments. Let it go.

+1

jackie adams
03-05-2012, 10:10 AM
A noob on this forum, I would like to chime in on the question, "What is it that makes Aikido unique in relation to other martial arts?"

Well, there has been some good comments to start, my perspective is that Aikido for one, has a paradoxical philosophy. The Omoto religion being marred into feudal warrior philosophy would be unique. Most Japanese martial arts, I am aware of are either married with Shinto or Buddhism. Aikido in this sense is unique.

Second, the Founder's spiritual mission for Aikido is commonly found in other martial arts. The revolutionary spiritual mission of Aikido universally is appealing, translatable and adoptable across the globe. When we look at the more difficult metaphysical elements of the Founder's mission and his words they too are unique.

Third, the technical. It is debatable the source of Aikido's technical catalogue. There is argument on the technical variation and the degree of variation done by Founder from the parent art(s). How much of the parent art's technique was altered or modified to fit within his philosophy and mission. Defining technical is the inclusion of everything physical within Aikido. You can't singularly focus only on techniques. Etiquette and warm up exercises can't be excluded. A disservice to Aikido is not taking an holistic approach that as a result can't be questioned as not unique.

Lastly, those who practice Aikido make Aikido unique. Aikido isn't something that is designed or intended for use on a battlefield, in a combat situation. Oddly, looking at Aikido it is hard to miss that there are elements and structure of Japan's feudal military in the Founder, his practice and in his art. In the mist of that there is strong anti-violence and competitive leg to Aikido. That paradox is found in those people who take up the art. People who take a BJJ, MMA, and punching/kicking arts have motivation in varying degrees want fight in competition proving themselves as superior fighters. If not they still like that environment of fighting or otherwise be doing something else. People who take Aikido do so for less aggressive combat fighting purposes. Most people who take Aikido want a safe and caring personal environment to learn in, that encompasses the attention to the personal and spiritual levels. Something they can also use in a self defense situation if call upon. Those who stay with Aikido are people who are not to make a name for themselves as fighters, but see a greater dynamic. People who generally are not interested in the sterile diminutional environment associated solely for the purpose of competition and fighting. Those in the ranks of Aikido seek the unique experience outside the norm of martial arts, because they are not the norm.

Alec Corper
03-05-2012, 10:28 AM
The ratio of talking to training:D

Michael Douglas
03-05-2012, 10:31 AM
...What is it that makes Aikido unique in relation to other martial arts ?
The same details that makes Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling unique in relation to other matial arts,
although use of specific magic pants does help.

Phi already made my point, some posters have even suggested you drop the idea that it is more 'special' than other arts. I also think that would be the best view.

lbb
03-05-2012, 03:41 PM
People who take a BJJ, MMA, and punching/kicking arts have motivation in varying degrees want fight in competition proving themselves as superior fighters. If not they still like that environment of fighting or otherwise be doing something else.

So...you've trained in one of these styles, or more appropriately in several of them, in several different dojos, and so you can state with authority that people who train in those styles are motivated to fight and "like the environment of fighting"? Do you know what the environment in a "punching/kicking arts" dojo is like?

As someone who has trained in two "punching/kicking arts", what you say sounds like hooey to me.

Keith Larman
03-05-2012, 04:16 PM
What makes it unique? Well, the incredibly high ignorance-based smug factor from some is one identifying feature...

Of course that would never apply to me...

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2012, 04:18 PM
Some of us do both...Aikido and BJJ, and have advanced belts in both arts. In actuality, my Aikido background has proven very useful in developing CQB methodologies and I find much of the Aiki things to be very relevant on the modern battlefield. There are many police officers and US Marshall's in my dojo back in Virginia too. Gotta be careful with over simplifying things and forming generalizations as already stated. It is tempting to do, but for Evey stereotype you assume, there will be someone that can refute it.

Marc Abrams
03-05-2012, 04:29 PM
What makes it unique? Well, the incredibly high ignorance-based smug factor from some is one identifying feature...

Of course that would never apply to me...

Three pointer! All NET! Game Winning Basket!!!!!!

Marc Abrams

mathewjgano
03-05-2012, 04:35 PM
Hello everybody.
I have a question which I have been asking myself for quite some time now, but I can only answer
it from my own perspective and that doesnīt show me the whole picture offcourse.

What is it that makes Aikido unique in relation to other martial arts ?

In Aiki
Lars Beyer

My inexpert opinion is that it has a unique history and everything else is present somewhere else, though in different proportions...so my guess is:
history and emphasis.

hallsbayfisherman
03-05-2012, 04:59 PM
What makes Aikido unique from what I have seen/experienced is that Aikido seems to be the martial art that generates the most discussion and opinionated comments on whether it is an effective form of actual self defense.I think there was a thread on this site ongoing for 11 or so years discussing this exact issue.Besides that it is an excellent martial art like all others.

lars beyer
03-05-2012, 05:59 PM
Thank You all for sharing your interresting ideas, I have surely gotten some new food for thought.

In Aiki,
Lars

Shadowfax
03-05-2012, 06:05 PM
What makes a rose unique among flowers? Does that make the other flowers lesser or better?
What makes you unique among humans? Does that make the other humans lesser or better?

Aikido is unique (to me) because it is the one martial art that I was drawn to. That does not make other martial arts lesser or better. If it were like some other martial art it would be that other martial art. And that other martial art, flower, human, is unique because it is what it is. It is not trying to be something else.

Sometimes it is good to just accept something for what it is without needing to weigh and measure it against something else. :)

gregstec
03-05-2012, 06:33 PM
"u·nique - Definition.

 adjective
1. existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics.
2. having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable.
3. limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area.
4. limited to a single outcome or result; without alternative possibilities.
5. not typical; unusual.

noun
6.
the embodiment of unique characteristics; the only specimen of a given kind."

Personally, I don't see where Aikido actually fits any of the above definitions - people are unique - martial arts are not; different maybe, but not unique.

Greg

Shadowfax
03-05-2012, 08:16 PM
[I][B]

Personally, I don't see where Aikido actually fits any of the above definitions - people are unique - martial arts are not; different maybe, but not unique.

Greg

People are certainly comparable. All human being have many things in common. And yet they also have individuality. Same can be said for Martial arts, rocks, flowers, animals of a species....

Based on the above definition I doubt there is much at all in the universe that is really totally unique. :)

RuteMendes
03-06-2012, 03:54 AM
Aikido is a martial art that teaches us how avoid a to fight... ironic isn't it? ehe :P

lars beyer
03-06-2012, 04:06 AM
I feel I would probably have to rephrase my question infinitely.. :)

I also feel there are some unique undelying principles present that make Aikido Aikido and thats probably why there so many different approaches to Aikido and the reason itīs been so widely accepted.. which I like.

In aiki,
Lars

lars beyer
03-06-2012, 04:12 AM
What makes a rose unique among flowers? Does that make the other flowers lesser or better?
What makes you unique among humans? Does that make the other humans lesser or better?

Aikido is unique (to me) because it is the one martial art that I was drawn to. That does not make other martial arts lesser or better. If it were like some other martial art it would be that other martial art. And that other martial art, flower, human, is unique because it is what it is. It is not trying to be something else.

Sometimes it is good to just accept something for what it is without needing to weigh and measure it against something else. :)

True :)

lars beyer
03-06-2012, 06:21 AM
And why do you need it to be unique?

The need for specialness is a trap of self-deception. It will lead you to many, many disappointments. Let it go.

The need springs from the thought that the future is in part created by ideas and the things we have in common expressed as ideas works as milestones in the bigger picture.
Aikido didnīt reveal itself only by chance but as a consequence of a number of people trying their best
to achieve something out of the ordinary..?
Thatīs the foundation of all arts, still your argument makes 100% sence.

In aiki
Lars

lbb
03-06-2012, 06:46 AM
The need springs from the thought that the future is in part created by ideas and the things we have in common expressed as ideas works as milestones in the bigger picture.

Perhaps so, but I still don't see how uniqueness is necessarily the outcome of such a process -- or even, that it's a desirable outcome.

Aikido didnīt reveal itself only by chance but as a consequence of a number of people trying their best
to achieve something out of the ordinary..?

Well. I'm no expert on Japanese culture, but I think that the implications and outcomes of "trying one's best" are quite different in Japanese culture than they are in western cultures. In Japan, one doesn't "try one's best" in order to become unique, different, "out of the ordinary", or to be better than others, but simply to do the best that one can do at what one has chosen to do. Rather than striving against others, or with reference to others ("I'm better than him, my art is better than his art"), it's a choice to do the best one can on one's chosen path -- which could be the pursuit of a very ordinary activity (for example, the brewing of tea).

Shadowfax
03-06-2012, 07:24 AM
Well. I'm no expert on Japanese culture, but I think that the implications and outcomes of "trying one's best" are quite different in Japanese culture than they are in western cultures. In Japan, one doesn't "try one's best" in order to become unique, different, "out of the ordinary", or to be better than others, but simply to do the best that one can do at what one has chosen to do. Rather than striving against others, or with reference to others ("I'm better than him, my art is better than his art"), it's a choice to do the best one can on one's chosen path -- which could be the pursuit of a very ordinary activity (for example, the brewing of tea).

Posts like this make me wish aikiweb had a like button. :)

lars beyer
03-06-2012, 10:13 AM
Perhaps so, but I still don't see how uniqueness is necessarily the outcome of such a process -- or even, that it's a desirable outcome.

Well. I'm no expert on Japanese culture, but I think that the implications and outcomes of "trying one's best" are quite different in Japanese culture than they are in western cultures. In Japan, one doesn't "try one's best" in order to become unique, different, "out of the ordinary", or to be better than others, but simply to do the best that one can do at what one has chosen to do. Rather than striving against others, or with reference to others ("I'm better than him, my art is better than his art"), it's a choice to do the best one can on one's chosen path -- which could be the pursuit of a very ordinary activity (for example, the brewing of tea).

Hi Mary, Iīm no expert in Japanese culture either.
I believe itīs possible to discuss and compare anything respectfully without the need to judge or compete.
:)

Cliff Judge
03-06-2012, 02:22 PM
My answer to the thread title is:

There is no martial art where the practitioners exhibit nearly as pronounced a sense of doubt and self-loathing over something they choose to apply a significant portion of their life energy to.

Chris Li
03-06-2012, 02:28 PM
My answer to the thread title is:

There is no martial art where the practitioners exhibit nearly as pronounced a sense of doubt and self-loathing over something they choose to apply a significant portion of their life energy to.

Actually, I think that the standard Aikido student could do with a little more doubt - then maybe they'd start examining what it is that they are actually doing.

Best,

Chris

lbb
03-06-2012, 02:38 PM
Summing up what Cliff and Christopher said: aikido is unique because its practitioners are headcases :D

...or perhaps, a little overly inclined to "practice" in their heads maybe? Either to pick apart their practice, or to shore it up with imaginary buttresses? Certainly there's a ton more hand-wringing and paralysis-by-analysis and "when I'm riding the subway/changing the baby/mowing the lawn, I'm training" in aikido than in any other style I've studied. I don't think that's intrinsic to the style, but it does seem to be very widely tolerated and indulged (where it isn't actively encouraged), so maybe aikido tends to attract those who can't abide being told "shut up and train".

Demetrio Cereijo
03-06-2012, 02:55 PM
... perhaps they know deep inside there's something wrong and need to overanalyze until they find some kind of validation.

Kevin Leavitt
03-06-2012, 05:08 PM
It does seem to attract those that want to intellectualize.

lars beyer
03-07-2012, 06:17 AM
It does seem to attract those that want to intellectualize.

Hi Kevin,
I appreciate your answer.
In Aiki
lars
:)

lars beyer
03-07-2012, 06:25 AM
... perhaps they know deep inside there's something wrong and need to overanalyze until they find some kind of validation.

Maybe youīre right in the sence itīs a trait of human character to dismiss ones own shortcomings and project them outwards, but that doesnīt apply to Aikido people only I guess.
In Aiki
Lars
:)

Demetrio Cereijo
03-07-2012, 06:39 AM
I think yu and me are talking about two different defense mechanisms.

lars beyer
03-07-2012, 06:51 AM
I think yu and me are talking about two different defense mechanisms.

Ok, please explain ?

Mario Tobias
03-07-2012, 08:49 PM
It does seem to attract those that want to intellectualize.

Aikido does indeed need a lot of analysis, theorizing and validation. IMHO, it is not an art based on a collection of techniques but on a collection of principles. That is probably why it takes so long to understand because the principles are hard to analyze, theorize and validate. Over the years in your career, you don't actually collect techniques but you collect principles one by one as you become "enlightened":) . Aikido, imo is a principle-based art and not a form-based art. That is the big difference for me.

The difficult thing is that unless you know what to analyze, you can't come up with the theories. Even if you start generating ideas for theories, the next comes the next to impossible task of validating those theories as that idea of yours needs to work on every body morphology.

An example of a principle I know (although it is a natural law) is to use/apply of the concept of work in physics terms to understand where use of energy is minimal to control uke. Our idea of what work is is totally different in the context to work as described as a physical entity. Our mental idea of work is to labor, and in doing labor you are exerting effort every time. But in physics, work = Force X distance. Work is dependent on 3 factors: Force(Ki), distance(where you displace uke or a portion of him) and the angle of the force and distance (relative position of nage and uke). You are doing maximal work if the angle of the force and direction of the distance is 0(or 180) degrees. On the other hand, you are doing minimal work if the angle between the two entities is 90(or 270) degrees. Work varies if the angle is between the 2 angles

As a very simple example, consider that you are travelling with a heavy suitcase. Although you might feel tired because of carrying it and think that you are doing a lot of work, it might not be the case. Consider these 4 cases:

1) if you are just carrying it and just walking along a road, you are actually doing minimal work. The force here is gravity which is towards the earths center, the displacement is parallel to the road. The angle between the 2 is 90 meaning you are doing minimal work.
2) If you are walking up a flight of stairs then you are doing some more work as the angle changes
3) If you are climbing through a ladder, then you are doing maximum work.
4) If you put down the heavy suitcase (no wheels) and push it along the road's surface, then you are doing a lot of work. In this case, not only will you contend with the force of gravity but of friction as well. Friction is along the road surface so the angle is 180.

The application in aikido. You can simplify a person's Ki(force) by imagining it running along the spine and the arm's length. You can observe in all techniques a particular movement by going perpendicular to a persons ki to minimize the energy needed to control uke. Sometimes it is in the form of circles (tangential) like iriminage or ikkyo ura. This "principle" can be applied in all techniques. Unless you know this, you will be just trapped in the forms.

Again this is just a theory of mine but since it is a law of nature, surely it will work all the time no matter who you work with. I have a collection now of about 30 odd "principles" over a 2 decade period. The collection started very slowly but started to accelerate these past few years. The beauty of it is no matter how much difficulty you encounter, you always learn something new every practice. The so called "enlightenment" never stops.

Amir Krause
03-08-2012, 03:29 AM
What makes it unique? Well, the incredibly high ignorance-based smug factor from some is one identifying feature...

Of course that would never apply to me...

What makes Aikido unique from what I have seen/experienced is that Aikido seems to be the martial art that generates the most discussion and opinionated comments on whether it is an effective form of actual self defense.I think there was a thread on this site ongoing for 11 or so years discussing this exact issue.Besides that it is an excellent martial art like all others.

Summing up what Cliff and Christopher said: aikido is unique because its practitioners are headcases :D

...or perhaps, a little overly inclined to "practice" in their heads maybe? Either to pick apart their practice, or to shore it up with imaginary buttresses? Certainly there's a ton more hand-wringing and paralysis-by-analysis and "when I'm riding the subway/changing the baby/mowing the lawn, I'm training" in aikido than in any other style I've studied. I don't think that's intrinsic to the style, but it does seem to be very widely tolerated and indulged (where it isn't actively encouraged), so maybe aikido tends to attract those who can't abide being told "shut up and train".

My answer to the thread title is:

There is no martial art where the practitioners exhibit nearly as pronounced a sense of doubt and self-loathing over something they choose to apply a significant portion of their life energy to.

:D :D :D :D :D
Thanks, I loved reading this

What makes a rose unique among flowers? Does that make the other flowers lesser or better?
What makes you unique among humans? Does that make the other humans lesser or better?

Aikido is unique (to me) because it is the one martial art that I was drawn to. That does not make other martial arts lesser or better. If it were like some other martial art it would be that other martial art. And that other martial art, flower, human, is unique because it is what it is. It is not trying to be something else.

Sometimes it is good to just accept something for what it is without needing to weigh and measure it against something else. :)
KUDOS for this great and very real answer (like)

Amir

Sasha Mrkailo
03-08-2012, 05:49 AM
It tries to transcend the conflict. It offers no other incentives and rewards than self development.

Marc Abrams
03-08-2012, 07:59 AM
Folks,

We truly need to get over our diseased sense of self-importance/uniqueness.

A form of budo is little more than a stylized slice from an antiquated pie that derived itself from fighting systems from a LONG TIME AGO. Every form of budo has it's strengths and weaknesses unique to itself. No one slice of the pie is necessarily more universally tasty than the other.

Next time you are in a conflict, please take all of the time you need to continue with your overly intellectualized, philosophical pondering of the meaning of no conflict amidst conflict to be in harmony with O'Sensei' s message of making the world more peaceful as you connect with the universal powers that harmonize.......:hypno: . Maybe your next of kin will report back to us as to how you made out in the violent encounter.

Marc Abrams

aikidoka81
03-08-2012, 08:43 AM
Aikido is unique because it uses the attacker's energy against him. It is a very gentle yet effective martial art therefore requiring very little strength so even elderly, women and children can learn.
Most martial arts 'clash', they have a very head-on collision with each other resulting in both attacker and defender getting hurt, whereas in Aikido only the attacker gets hurt :)

lbb
03-08-2012, 09:26 AM
Aikido is unique because it uses the attacker's energy against him. It is a very gentle yet effective martial art therefore requiring very little strength so even elderly, women and children can learn.
Most martial arts 'clash', they have a very head-on collision with each other resulting in both attacker and defender getting hurt, whereas in Aikido only the attacker gets hurt :)

Yes, that's the standard PR line. What's the truth?

1. Aikido is not unique in "us[ing] the attacker's energy against him". Practically every martial art could be said to do exactly that. Do you truly think that every other martial art is merely a contest of strength? Why, then, did Jigoro Kano teach judo to Keiko Fukuda?

2. Most martial arts don't "have a very head-on collision with each other". Again, this presumes that every other martial art is a "biggest horse wins" contest. What would be the point of that?

3. In a real-life encounter, someone using aikido is just as likely to become injured as someone using another martial art -- and, although you didn't bring out this popular fiction, is also just as likely to inflict serious damage on their attacker, rather than simply gently restrain them as the PR would have it.

Again, why do you need to be unique? Why do you need to be special? Why do you need to proclaim, "My style is better"? Do you think that it somehow makes you superior to other people, that you practice a "superior" style?

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2012, 09:44 AM
Yeah BJJ uses the attackers strength against him too. Hence the term jiu jitsu.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-08-2012, 10:47 AM
Ok, please explain ?

Do you really think further ellaboration is needed?

lars beyer
03-08-2012, 04:09 PM
Do you really think further ellaboration is needed?

You: "Grab my fist..!"
Me: "Hmm..no." (the distant sound of footsteps fading off rapidly..)

Hanna B
03-18-2012, 04:19 AM
We've had plenty replies saying aikido isn't unique, or at least no more unique than any given martial art.

If this thread was started on a web board 20 years ago. Would people have said that then? Even 10 years ago?

I am under the impression that the online aikido communhity has learned lots, from conversations with people who have experience in aikido and in other arts.

But I think that most aikido people out there still think that what they do is very, very special. I sure used to think so.

Kevin Leavitt
03-18-2012, 05:01 AM
Nothing wrong with it being special to you on a personal level. There are lots of things that resonate with us personally that make it special.

lars beyer
03-18-2012, 05:52 AM
We've had plenty replies saying aikido isn't unique, or at least no more unique than any given martial art.

If this thread was started on a web board 20 years ago. Would people have said that then? Even 10 years ago?

I am under the impression that the online aikido communhity has learned lots, from conversations with people who have experience in aikido and in other arts.

But I think that most aikido people out there still think that what they do is very, very special. I sure used to think so.

Hi Hanna
What do you think now..? Thatīs interresting :)

lbb
03-19-2012, 08:00 AM
I'm with Kevin. There's a difference between, "This is the first and only time that I have had an experience like this," or "This is the only thing I do/have done that makes me feel like this," and "This thing that I am doing has characteristics that are shared by nothing else in the world". The world is much bigger than any one person's experience of it -- the ostrich sees only sand, but there's much more out there.

Hanna B
03-19-2012, 08:27 AM
Hi Hanna
What do you think now..? Thatīs interresting :)

This has been said already, I think. So it's the same thing all over again, just from the mouth of yet another individual.

The way I see it, aikido as a derivative of old Japanese jujutsu - and those are plenty. Pretty much all techniques you can find in aikido, and certainly all principles used, can also be found elsewhere in other derivatives of old Japanese jujutsu, many of them also in historically completely unrelated lines of martial arts.

The "no conflict" thing, "harmony" and what have you not. I think you will have plenty of people talking like this in old arts, where people have spent many years practising. After a certain amount of time I guess the "being able to win over others" gets boring, and you need more sophisticated goals. It's a gendai budo thing also, probably. Once you don't need the stuff in some kind of reality and you do the art for the art itself you will have other goals with training.

Morihei Ueshiba probably was a very unique individual, more so than the rest of us. But that also applies to some founders of other arts.

The only thing truly unique about aikido probably is the amount of people talking about non-confrontation etc regarding their training :) but then, not all aikidoists do this talking.

You didn't ask me what I used to think, but I'll answer that one anyhow. I used to think that aikido was somehow a more developed martial art, because of the not seeking aggression etc. I say people in the dojo who had karate background, judo background etc. and thought that they did that less developed things first, then they went for higher goals - maybe that is the logical development? Little did I know then that the flow of students in the other direction, from aikido to other arts, is of roughly the same size :D

lars beyer
03-19-2012, 11:19 AM
This has been said already, I think. So it's the same thing all over again, just from the mouth of yet another individual.

The way I see it, aikido as a derivative of old Japanese jujutsu - and those are plenty. Pretty much all techniques you can find in aikido, and certainly all principles used, can also be found elsewhere in other derivatives of old Japanese jujutsu, many of them also in historically completely unrelated lines of martial arts.

The "no conflict" thing, "harmony" and what have you not. I think you will have plenty of people talking like this in old arts, where people have spent many years practising. After a certain amount of time I guess the "being able to win over others" gets boring, and you need more sophisticated goals. It's a gendai budo thing also, probably. Once you don't need the stuff in some kind of reality and you do the art for the art itself you will have other goals with training.

Morihei Ueshiba probably was a very unique individual, more so than the rest of us. But that also applies to some founders of other arts.

The only thing truly unique about aikido probably is the amount of people talking about non-confrontation etc regarding their training :) but then, not all aikidoists do this talking.

You didn't ask me what I used to think, but I'll answer that one anyhow. I used to think that aikido was somehow a more developed martial art, because of the not seeking aggression etc. I say people in the dojo who had karate background, judo background etc. and thought that they did that less developed things first, then they went for higher goals - maybe that is the logical development? Little did I know then that the flow of students in the other direction, from aikido to other arts, is of roughly the same size :D

Ok, why do you practise Aikido, when there are so many equal arts without any real difference as you say.. that is if you practise Aikido ?
:)
Lars

Chris Li
03-19-2012, 11:54 AM
Ok, why do you practise Aikido, when there are so many equal arts without any real difference as you say.. that is if you practise Aikido ?
:)
Lars

Why would somebody eat strawberry ice cream instead of chocolate? Everybody wants to believe that they're doing what they're doing because it's the "best", but that's rarely the case.

Best,

Chris

lars beyer
03-19-2012, 12:03 PM
Why would somebody eat strawberry ice cream instead of chocolate? Everybody wants to believe that they're doing what they're doing because it's the "best", but that's rarely the case.

Best,

Chris

Well, Art is Art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.
Groucho Marx

:)
Lars

PS. I think Hanna is old enough to answer her own questions :)

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2012, 12:30 PM
Well for me personally, I'd say I don't really "do" Aikido anymore. Meaning I don't subscribe to anyone master or system per se. I do tend to seek out people that share a common interest or have a particular set of skills that I want to acquire or learn. My journey is my own now.

That said, most of us got our start somewhere. Mine was in DC with Saotome Sensei's dojo. So hence I tend to want to hang with people I've developed friendships with and still aspire to as teachers and people that have something to teach me.

I like Hanna, thought once upon a time that it was special. That kept me away from a lot of things that I could have learned too if I would have been open to other possibilities and paradigms.

I think most of us still do what we do cause that is what we do and that is where we have cultivated relationships etc. So as I said, that makes it special to us. Does not mean it is unique or special or distinctive in someway that cannot be found anywhere else. IMO that kind of myopic thinking can be dangerous.

morph4me
03-19-2012, 01:00 PM
What makes it unique to me is my experience. When I was training in karate, we used to hit and kick each other, when we sparred and I got hit, it didn't make me want to stop fighting, I went back harder. When I started Aikido and hit the mat hard for the first time, I laid there and took stock to make sure everything was where it was supposed to be and still working, and I didn't want to fight any more, and I was hooked.

Other than that it's another tool in the toolbox.

Chris Li
03-19-2012, 01:06 PM
Well, Art is Art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.
Groucho Marx

:)
Lars

PS. I think Hanna is old enough to answer her own questions :)

Well sure she is, but the question that you asked is relevant to the question that started the whole thread - and that's what I'm talking about.

I really have no idea what you mean by the first part.

Best,

Chris

lars beyer
03-19-2012, 01:58 PM
Well sure she is, but the question that you asked is relevant to the question that started the whole thread - and that's what I'm talking about.

I really have no idea what you mean by the first part.

Best,

Chris

If your question goes back to the start of this thread, I donīt understand anything either- I never said Aikido was better.. I asked what people feel is unique about Aikido.
Some people give examples and others like you are talking about values.
What people believe they hear is their responsability, not mine.
:)
Lars

Nicholas Eschenbruch
03-19-2012, 02:31 PM
I believe - and it is my ow experience - that people in the modern world mostly engage with martial arts (and most similar passionate pursuits) because they speak to their life koan, they adress an existentially important, often yet inchoate question deep within them, and - ideally - help them formulate it and work with it.

I also believe that aikido - as it is today - offers a unique and specific way to engage with that question in those cases when it has to do with violence and peace, conflict and cooperation, aggression and affection. As much as I love grappling and respect boxing etc. aikido offers a different perspective. I do not think it is superior in the least, and I dont think it is for everybody at all, but it is unique: When taught adquately, it can hold both extremes right from the start, and adress people who are interested in precisely that.

Whether aikido was originally meant to be that, whether is normally taught that way, or whether it is a budo or combative art, are all different questions for me.

Finally, that is my personal perspective - aikido means a lot of things to a lot of people, and I do not think we have to agree.

Chris Li
03-19-2012, 02:48 PM
If your question goes back to the start of this thread, I donïŋ―t understand anything either- I never said Aikido was better.. I asked what people feel is unique about Aikido.
Some people give examples and others like you are talking about values.
What people believe they hear is their responsability, not mine.
:)
Lars

Well, I suppose that there is something "unique" about chocolate ice cream as opposed to strawberry, but the difference is virtually meaningless, isn't it? That's what I'm saying.

Best,

Chris

lars beyer
03-19-2012, 02:56 PM
Well for me personally, I'd say I don't really "do" Aikido anymore. Meaning I don't subscribe to anyone master or system per se. I do tend to seek out people that share a common interest or have a particular set of skills that I want to acquire or learn. My journey is my own now.

That said, most of us got our start somewhere. Mine was in DC with Saotome Sensei's dojo. So hence I tend to want to hang with people I've developed friendships with and still aspire to as teachers and people that have something to teach me.

I like Hanna, thought once upon a time that it was special. That kept me away from a lot of things that I could have learned too if I would have been open to other possibilities and paradigms.

I think most of us still do what we do cause that is what we do and that is where we have cultivated relationships etc. So as I said, that makes it special to us. Does not mean it is unique or special or distinctive in someway that cannot be found anywhere else. IMO that kind of myopic thinking can be dangerous.

I understand what youre saying.
In martial arts there are obviously many similarities as well as differences too many for me to list or even be aware of here.
I donīt have a problem with people or things being unique or special or one of a kind or even different
and contrasting because I donīt nessecarily put value in these differences and similarities.
I like things for being unique as well as being equal, it all depends on the premise and context.
Maybe I should have explained this but I was not really aware of it, so I guess itīs my fault to some extent but I do feel that some people hear what they want to hear and I canīt vouch for that I feel.
:)
Peace
Lars

lars beyer
03-19-2012, 03:04 PM
Well, I suppose that there is something "unique" about chocolate ice cream as opposed to strawberry, but the difference is virtually meaningless, isn't it? That's what I'm saying.

Best,

Chris

I understand, but being a choclate affecionado I have to disagree !
(even I like strawberry with choclate)
:)
Lars

Hanna B
03-19-2012, 04:15 PM
Ok, why do you practise Aikido, when there are so many equal arts without any real difference as you say.. that is if you practise Aikido ?
:)
Lars

Sure there are differences. No two arts are the same - not two schools of aikido are the same, btw.

I dropped out of aikido for reasons that didn't really have to do with the actual training - and I was devastated. But after a while, I noticed that what I had wanted in aikido also was to be found elsewhere - that "good aikido" really equals "good jujutsu".

PS. I think Hanna is old enough to answer her own questions :)

Oh, I liked Chris Li's answer! And it's not like it's gonna stop me from adding my own.

Hanna B
03-19-2012, 04:22 PM
And if we're to discuss just how chocolate icecream is different from other icecreams, we're in trouble. Because there's so darn many kinds of chocolate ice cream! With chocolate chips in it, and without, and light brown or really really dark... Training in Iwama Ryu or in Ki Society - is it the same art? In a way, yes. But there are plenty of people who love one of the varietes and wouldn't touch the other with a stick. OK part of that is prejudice, but only part. The differences within the aikido umbrella is hugh.

I could try and define what I think is fairly unique about the line of aikido that I consider mine. But less than 5% of the participants of this board would then agree that I was describing "aikido". Some might even assume I was describing "bad aikido". :cool:

lars beyer
03-19-2012, 05:20 PM
Sure there are differences. No two arts are the same - not two schools of aikido are the same, btw.

I dropped out of aikido for reasons that didn't really have to do with the actual training - and I was devastated. But after a while, I noticed that what I had wanted in aikido also was to be found elsewhere - that "good aikido" really equals "good jujutsu".

Oh, I liked Chris Li's answer! And it's not like it's gonna stop me from adding my own.

Ok, I have aproximately 1/3 of a lifetime in total to practise Aikido and I feel the style of traditional Aikido I practise suits me just fine, I tried other aikido styles that didnīt suit me even I feel there are many things that various Aikido lineages have in common.
We have people crosstraining in the dojo but in my personal perspective this is less desireable because it takes a lifetime to master one art..so plenty of room for learning in my perspective.
:)
Lars

lars beyer
03-19-2012, 05:37 PM
And if we're to discuss just how chocolate icecream is different from other icecreams, we're in trouble. Because there's so darn many kinds of chocolate ice cream! With chocolate chips in it, and without, and light brown or really really dark... Training in Iwama Ryu or in Ki Society - is it the same art? In a way, yes. But there are plenty of people who love one of the varietes and wouldn't touch the other with a stick. OK part of that is prejudice, but only part. The differences within the aikido umbrella is hugh.

I could try and define what I think is fairly unique about the line of aikido that I consider mine. But less than 5% of the participants of this board would then agree that I was describing "aikido". Some might even assume I was describing "bad aikido". :cool:

Itīs true, and I believe all Aikido styles have something in common and something valuable to pass on to their students.
:)
Regards,
Lars