View Full Version : Is Aikido specifically human?

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Silvère Thommerel
04-22-2017, 02:38 AM
Hello all!

I get that Chinese martial arts generally derive from observing and copying the animals.
I also get that (really roughly) Aikido gets its origins from fighting methods imported to Japan from China.
From these assessments, I wonder if some of you have in mind some examples of animals using Aiki (or something similar) while striving? Not necessarily for fighting.
Next, would applied Aikido work with an animal? or even with anthropoid such as a chimp or a gorilla or even a standing bear? If not then what is so special in Aikido?

Thank you

04-22-2017, 03:06 AM
Please name an unarmed martial arts that works on any of the great apes or a regular sized bear.

Silvère Thommerel
04-22-2017, 03:34 AM
Well, provided you are strong and fast enough you can strike and hit this animal. These hits will have an effect. Even if this only leads to some more anger.
My point is not about comparing martial arts.
Now I think about it corrida or bull fight might be somehow an aspect of it.
Even if there is no kuzuchiing the bull, though.

04-22-2017, 07:39 AM
I would say that "getting of the line" and staying "relaxed" (non-fear response) would be a better strategy/skill in fighting animals that direct confrontation/fear/tension/resistance ...
But I never really intend to find out ... LOL

Michael Hackett
04-22-2017, 09:07 AM
This cracked me up as I was reading it. In my younger days I was a rodeo clown/bullfighter in my off duty time. I can't think of any aikido technique that would work on a bucking bull, but getting off the line and doing irimi-tenkan and tenkan movements were absolutely necessary. I didn't know those were associated with aikido until years later. Ukemi proved valuable too! LOL.

Silvère Thommerel
04-22-2017, 11:40 AM
Thank you Michael, Lynn, Peter,

Imagine a standing bear in front of you. It is about to strike you with its paw. Kind of yokomen uchi.
I take for granted we can step out of the line.
But then why wouldn't you try a kotegaeshi? Why do I think it would not work?
What is so different in a bear's arm in that case? Is it just because you couldn't reach his center? Is it just because this arm is so stronger?

Now imagine standing in front of a chimpanzee, it tries to grab your hand (you are holding a banana). Isn't this grabbing qualifying for a katate dori? Would shionage work? What about sankyo? Why not?
If you think it might work on the chimpanzee, would this work on a gorilla?

Are these techniques only bound to work on a human body?

Demetrio Cereijo
04-22-2017, 11:49 AM
You serious?

04-22-2017, 01:13 PM
Yes. Yes it is.

04-22-2017, 01:38 PM
Half of learning technique is learning skills to neutralize incoming force, and that includes being out of the way. I seem to remember an old VHS on Japanese martial arts describing Aikido as "Avoid a falling rock."

Another aspect of technique is how the body can be aligned for greater functional strength and fewer injuries. Some of the same things learned in kokyu-ho are also learned in power lifting, ergonomics, and kinesiology. It's the alignment principles my hospital has in posters up everywhere on how to push a stretcher or a food cart.

So, an inanimate object or a dog won't have a joint to do Sankyo or kotegaeshi on, but we should have learned to get out of the way and how to move with our whole body. What makes us special? Many would say it's not the combat aspect, but rather it is our connection to ethics and spirituality which I am not convinced is real for all of us.

I understand that Ueshiba himself, rather than using animals as metaphors and a method of developing a more complicated engram used Shinto religious imagery instead. Instead of "snake" as in spiraling and coiling or "crane" as an image of wings open and powerful, or "tiger" as whole body and intent coming together for power, or "bear" as in standing powerfully and rotating for power, Ueshiba talked about Amaterasu. To my understanding, we are not animal based but rather have on one level a very pedantic rudimentary connection to the divine instead. For some maybe more.

Janet Rosen
04-22-2017, 06:27 PM
I play with, and if necessary move against their will, large dogs using aikido principles.

Silvère Thommerel
04-30-2017, 12:20 PM
Thank you.
I spent some more time on Aikiweb, researched and read then reached the conclusion that Aiki is somehow restricted to a cortex activity (i.e human) and above the fight or flight response.

My first assumption that Aikido as a martial art derived from observation of the animals (e.g Shaolin Chinese martial arts) was obviously misguiding.

I now get that Aikido is not so applying a technique (Kotegaeshi or Sankyo in my examples, above) but rather creating a situation from which one can anticipate the opponent's actions and lead toward a peaceful resolution.

To this extent my bullfighter example above was not suitable as this doesn't fit the definition.
https://youtu.be/oHmtWbHK9nQ < This is not Aikido :-)