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rgfox5
09-17-2002, 11:41 AM
I have just finished watching the Universal Fighting tournament in Japan on DVD, where Royce Gracie lost to a guy named Sakamura, I think. It was interesting but I was ultimately dissapointed in what is billed as the roughest toughest competition in the world. Maybe it is, but each and every fight can be summarized like this:

Fighters box a little and (maybe) throw a few kicks.
One fighter shoots and there is
a) a takedown or
b) lots of holding on the ropes and then a takedown
One fighter is mounted on the other and pounds away

Usually the bottom fighter escapes and then there is a repeat of the steps.

Where is the finesse? Where is irimi? Are the fighters just too good to allow an irimi? I kept trying to imagine what Osensei would do in such a fight (yes I know he would never enter such a ring but I said "imagine"). My mates at the dojo feel that 99.9999% of aikidoka would get creamed in that ring, even if they trained very hard in physical conditioning. But why? Because aikido does not lend itself to ring fighting with rules, I'm told. But... why not? Shouldn't the same prinicples apply?

I am very curious as to your opinions on this.

Rich

paw
09-17-2002, 01:07 PM
Richard,

Background:

Gracie fought Sakuraba in this Pride event. In the Sakuraba/Gracie fight there were special rules that are not normally in place for Pride events.

In general, Pride has a number of mismatches and occasionally has fights that have special rules. It's best to view each Pride event as a completely different event.

As you live in the US, you would probably be better off watching the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) which has standardized rules, established wieght classes and specifically a "no holding on the fence" rule. Unfortunately, the later UFC have not been made available on video or DVD, so you either have to watch the event "live" on pay per view, or track down one of the "Best Damn Sports Show on TV" which showed full UFC fights on two of it's episodes.

---- added this when I realized I missed it
The ring (with ropes) vs the cage has advantages and disadvantages. In both cases, the confinded area forces a confrontation (you can't run away). With ropes, you have to worry about falling out of the ring (some events ban holding the ropes or assign penalties for holding the ropes). With a cage, while you can't fall out, a popular strategy is to wedge your opponent against the cage and pound away. Some fighters have preferences, but for most, it's not a big deal one way or the other.


Your questions:
Where is the finesse? Where is irimi? Are the fighters just too good to allow an irimi?
How are you defining finesse and irimi. I've seen some of the Gracie/Sakuraba fight and would find it to be an excellent example of both finesse and irimi. <shrugs>
My mates at the dojo feel that 99.9999% of aikidoka would get creamed in that ring, even if they trained very hard in physical conditioning. But why?
Your mates are correct. The "why" is simply the training method. No fighter in the world competes in the UFC, Pride, Extreme Challenge, etc... without cross training in other arts and without scouting their opponent. If one's skill set is only in grappling, you'll be beaten by a skilled striker who has learned to prevent takedowns and throws, for example.

Also the physical conditioning of competitors now is astounding: Olympic wrestlers (Henderson, Couture ....) and world champion bjj'ers (Minotaro, Sperry, Royler Gracie) are the rule these days, not the exception. Many of the top tier fighters train full time.
Shouldn't the same prinicples apply?

I think so. I suspect most will disagree. <shrugs>

Regards,

Paul

Bruce Baker
09-17-2002, 08:09 PM
Let it go.

To correctly use Aikido against these fighters you would have to really hurt them, with illegal strikes, or break some bones, which is not very Aikido like.

If they ever learn pressure point fighting, there would be no market for this type of fighting. ]

"Oh look, he touched the other guy and he fainted? What kind of trick was that? I paid how much to see some guy put another guy to sleep?"

No. The barbaric fighting of blood, guts, and punching a guy into submission is what sells air time. Just let it go.

Brian
09-17-2002, 08:56 PM
Are the fighters just too good to allow an irimi?
It pretty much boils down to this. An irimi won't occur because the fighters aren't stupid enough to fully commit to an attack. Fully committing is just like passing a basketball - only the attacker is the ball, and whoever catches it is in full control of them. The average joe, lacking training, may not know this. These men fight for a living, and the fact is ingrained in them.

Chris Li
09-18-2002, 02:34 AM
It pretty much boils down to this. An irimi won't occur because the fighters aren't stupid enough to fully commit to an attack.
If you ask me (although nobody did :) ), you don't need a fully comitted attack in order to use irimi. IMO, the attacker and the defender don't even have to move much at all. But then, I suppose that part of that depends on your definition of "irimi"...

Best,

Chris

ian
09-18-2002, 08:28 AM
Many of these 'no rules' matches have rules, especially as regards attacks to the throat. Since many of the more lethal techniques involve the throat (strikes and neck brakes) and are easily performed from aikido techniques, it makes the more lethal potential of aikido obsolete. Also throws usually cause little damage since the floor is padded.

However I would agree that cross-training, full time commitment and a genetic predisposition is essential to get to the top in these matches.

Like all matches, in any martial art, you are usually aware of the other persons capabilities - and thus you fight to their disadvantage (and therefore committed attacks are rare). Top tip - don't tell potential assailants that you do aikido! I've never seen anything in a ring or match that is like a real situation.

Ian

fabion
09-18-2002, 10:45 AM
once i was watching ultimate fighting and a friend asked me the same - what would be the chances of an aikidoka in there. answer was, i dont think an aikidoka would participate because that's not what aikido is about.

anyway, i dont think someone who knows aikido only has good chances, but if he also pratice other(s) martial(s) art(s) i think aikido can be of great help. of course, proper training is essential in any case (cross training, sparring, etc.).

Aristeia
09-19-2002, 09:09 PM
Aikido is designed to handle specific kinds of attacks. What it doesn't do very well is deal with a patient cautious fighter. Usually an opponent with this approach while protecting themselves would be giving you lots of opportunity to exit the situation. Different story in a cage of course.

The other thing Aikido doesn't have alot of great answers for is someone who is trying as hard as they can to take you to the ground and is skilled at it. We shouldn't feel bad about this as it turns out most other arts weren't prepared for this either.

Once on the ground Aikido is hard to do. We relay on using our bodies to control uke, and you can't move properly on the ground so you're left trying to muscle a nikyo on someone with just arm strenth. Doesn't work.

The answer of course is to abandon traditional aikido techniques, and figure out how to use the underlying principals whilst on the ground. Principals like staying off the line, takeing uke's balance (base), using the combined force of your body targeted at the weakest part of ukes body etc. All these principals can be applied on the ground. And then you get something that most people describe as Brazillian Jujitsu.

For Bruce, I'm afraid you're making some incorrect assumptions. The early UFC's (and countless similar competitions before then) had few illegal strikes. Certainly there was nothing in the rules to prevent even harsh styles of Aikido being used. The simple fact is Aikido isn't great at this type of fighting, which shouldn't be surprising, it's not what it was designed for <shrug>.

As for pressure points, they are not outlawed in many events but they've not been seen. That indicates to me that they are hard to nail on a professional trained, restisting opponenet. Believe me, if someone entered the UFC and started dropping people with one touch knockouts, the ratings would go through the roof.

DaveO
09-19-2002, 09:32 PM
From what I've seen of the UFC, (I liked watching it before they changed the rules), Aikido alone wouldn't last very well in the Octagon. Instead; it would work - and work very well - as a supplementary skill; a sudden change of style to pin or throw an opponent who may be unaware of the fact he's opening himself to a kote-oroshi when he overextends on a power punch, for instance.

Dave

Kevin Leavitt
09-20-2002, 07:31 PM
Aikido is a training methodology, it is not a sport. What techniques does aikido specifically "own". Answer: none. Aikido uses technique to teach various principles that are grounded in physics and kinesetics.

Therefore, all is aikido, and aikido is all. You use yourself and the sum of your experiences when you fight in the ring or for real.

In a real situation, as someone already pointed out, you do not get a fully committed attack like you do in the dojo, therefore things get much smaller, more tactical, and much more dicey.

Comparing what you learn in the dojo (aikido) is ludicrous to try and fundamental apply it to real life in the same context.

Reccomend if this is what you want to do, find some "sport" guys like BJJers and have a lot of fun!

Edward
09-21-2002, 02:30 AM
It has been said above and in other thread,but let me repeat it my way :) :

There are sparring arts and self-defence arts, aikido happens to be in the second category. Eventhough some arts try to accomodate both options, aikido is strictly self-defence and as such works beautifully. Conditions in the ring are not similar to real life situations, hence the incompatibility. Aikido, and even aikido predecessors such as daito-ryu, cannot and were never intended to be used in sparring, so I guess this kind of discussion is rather pointless. Needless to mention that in any form of confrontation, not only experience and technical prowess, but also physical condition and muscle power, play an important role.

mike lee
09-21-2002, 04:43 AM
Walk softly and carry a big stick. (I prefer a bokken.) But for some reason, they won't let me in the cage with it.

Actually, I think that someday, some crazy aikido guy will go into the cage, but first he''ll have also cross-trained for eight hours a day for about a year. How many people have time and energy for that?

Generally speaking, I think aikido people have a different mind-set than high-strung, testosterone-driven, steroid taking face smashers -- but I could be wrong.

P.S. O'Sensei frowned on the concept of competition in aikido. (Years ago, someone got killed doing aikido, and that really upset him.) Maybe that's why you don't see "aikido competitors" in the cage. But I do see aikido-like techniques and movements being used in the cage and elsewhere. After all, aikido is basically natural -- the best athletes, the survivors, will probably start figuring out some aikido-like principles on their own or through their coaches and training partners,

paw
09-21-2002, 11:50 AM
Edward,
There are sparring arts and self-defence arts, aikido happens to be in the second category. Eventhough some arts try to accomodate both options, aikido is strictly self-defence and as such works beautifully. Conditions in the ring are not similar to real life situations, hence the incompatibility

I agree that the ring is different from self-defense (whatever that means this week), but I disagree with your conclusion.

In the ring, I deal with one and only one opponent, and they will not be armed with any weapons. Further, I know in advance what day and time I will be fighting and can prepare accordingly. I will also know the relative size of my opponent, their experience and most likely their age. At highler levels of competition it is likely that I have scouted by opponent by watching their past performances and have further tailored my training to a strategy I believe with thwart my opponent.

To my way of thinking these are advantages that make the ring easier than self-defense.

In self-defense, I will not know when or where I will be attacked. I have no guarantees that my opponent will not be armed, or that I will only face one opponent. I will not know my opponent's strengths and weaknesses, because I could not scout them. I will have no idea as to their strategy, their size, their age, or their experience.

Since it seems to me that the ring is easier than self-defense, if one cannot perform in the ring, how can one expect to perform in a self-defense situation? Or to put it another way, if I cannot throw anyone koshi in training, can I expect to throw someone koshi out in "the real world"? Wasn't this one of the reason why Kano created judo?

Regards,

Paul

paw
09-21-2002, 12:01 PM
Mike,
Generally speaking, I think aikido people have a different mind-set than high-strung, testosterone-driven, steroid taking face smashers -- but I could be wrong.

I think it's pretty clear what you think about MMA competitors and aikido's role in MMA competitions specifically and competition in general. That's fine. That's your point of view and I don't have a problem with it.

I do have a problem with your gross generalization and insulting remarks about people who do compete. I know professional fighters, I've sparred with professional fighters, and I've trained with professional fighters. I am honored to know them. The folks I know are more moral, compassionate and honorable than 99.9% of all aikidoka on the planet, and certainly not deserving of the petty insults you've written.

mike lee
09-22-2002, 10:17 AM
I know professional fighters, I've sparred with professional fighters, and I've trained with professional fighters. I am honored to know them. The folks I know are more moral, compassionate and honorable than 99.9% of all aikidoka on the planet ...

If they're such great people compared to us, why are you practicing aikido?

mike lee
09-22-2002, 10:52 AM
I know professional fighters, I've sparred with professional fighters, and I've trained with professional fighters. I am honored to know them. The folks I know are more moral, compassionate and honorable than 99.9% of all aikidoka on the planet ...

If they're such great people compared to us, why are you practicing aikido? (Or are you just plaguing this site for the fun of it?)

I have no problem with competition in any form, and there are plenty of true martial arts that hold civilized competitions.

Aikido just happens to be an art, generally speaking, that does not hold competitions.

That thing that they hold in a cage fit for animals, with scantily-clad women walking around the ring and blood-thirsty fans screaming for a brawl -- well I just don't see the "art" in it. (But I suppose the promoters do. $$$)

MMA in this case is a misnomer. There's no art in UFC or any other similar event. In fact, it's MA abuse. These people are using all sorts of unarmed combat training, such as boxing and wrestling, in an effort to win a bundle of money. I've heard fighters admit this fact outright on TV.

And If they are lucky enough to win a championship, they can use their new-found fame to open a school, attract students, teach their form of brutality to others, and make more money. I don't see how this makes them fitting role models for the youth of America or any other place.

If people want to reduce themselves to participating and actually enjoying this garbage, that's their business. I just wish they would stop confusing the public by calling what they do "martial arts." There is no relation in UFC, morally or otherwise, to the fundamental priniciples and philosophies of modern Asian martial arts. They are simply bastardizing martial arts for profit.

I hope I've made my position on this issue clear.

Mel Barker
09-22-2002, 11:50 AM
Perfectly clear.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-22-2002, 12:33 PM
I think both sides are getting unnecessarily hyperbolic here.

I find it hard to believe that your average UFC fighter is an overall better human being than 999 out of 1000 Aikidoka, whatever criteria are used.

I also think that Mike's description of UFC is overly reductionist and simplistic. One could apply the same diatribe, almost word-for-word, just as well to most commercialized professional sports. One thing to note is that professional boxing is actually causes more lasting harm to the participants. Although it may appear more civilized and less bloody, the rules and hand protection make inflicting brain injury on the opponent the primary goal.

While there is some valid analysis in there, it's not the whole story. Many people participate in and watch NHB fights because they are truly interested in what works in one on one fights. If one is highly skilled at something, it is natural to want to excel and aspire to greater levels of competition and challenge, and maybe even find a way to make a living from it financially. I can't see too many world-class athletes of any type refusing to participate in high level competition because they find the commercial hype surrounding the television contract distasteful, or because they disagree with the sexism of using cheerleaders or round card girls.

Tadhg Bird
09-22-2002, 05:48 PM
I remember watching the first Ultimate Fighting Challenge on a bootleg videotape back in the early 90s. My first impression was the amazing similarity to one of my favorite vid games at the time, Street Fighter II. Folks with different fighting styles going at it.

I remember one guy got injured and could not continue so an alternate fought in his place. This guy was small, wearing a pristine karate gi, wearing a black belt.

That fight was the shortest I saw. The karate guy hurridly backed away, tried one ineffective kick and was quickly taken to the ground and forced to submit.

I surmised that this fellow was way over his head because he had only practiced within his own art, and when others weren't playing by the familiar rules he knew he did not know how to respond. He wasn't prepared for the "Real World".

What we practice in the dojo is an ideal version of Aikido. We are never in any real danger there. The attacks are [I}simulations[/I], not something intended to injure. They convey the same intent and energy of a "real" attack so that we can perform technique. Don't let me be misunderstood: what we learn in the dojo can be REAL SELF DEFENSE, it just won't be as pretty on the street as it is on the mat. :D

My Sensei tells us that we train in a certain way so that in a real situation we will respond correctly. Much emphasis on concept over form.

As to Aikido in the Octagon, I can only dream... a reincarnation of O Sensei or someone who can effectivly channel Aikido O Kami, in the ring never being touched, throwing and pinning the other fellow, finally the other fellow, though unhurt submits because he can find no way to defeat or be defeated.

-- Tadhg

Tadhg Bird
09-22-2002, 06:07 PM
Michael Fooks said:
Once on the ground Aikido is hard to do. We relay on using our bodies to control uke, and you can't move properly on the ground so you're left trying to muscle a nikyo on someone with just arm strenth. Doesn't work.
No it wouldn't work the way you describe, but believe it or don't it *is* possible to do "Horizontal Aikido" still using your body!

Then He said this too:
The answer of course is to abandon traditional aikido techniques, and figure out how to use the underlying principals whilst on the ground. Principals like staying off the line, takeing uke's balance (base), using the combined force of your body targeted at the weakest part of ukes body etc. All these principals can be applied on the ground. And then you get something that most people describe as Brazillian Jujitsu

Bear Gamboa Sensei of Albuquerque, NM has developed Aikido ground techniques. Why is it still Aikido and not Brazillain Jujitsu? Because the techniques hold to the Aikido philosophy of non-violence, non-injury, and non-resistance! There are many throws, pins and holds that can be done on the ground and still be Aikido. My Sensei is continuing to innovate in this arena, and it has become part of the curriculim for New School Aikido.

The other night we were doing an intersting technique... a kokyu, using our legs. It was interesting to extend ki out my foot instead of my hands....

Smooth Roads,

-- Tadhg

Kevin Leavitt
09-22-2002, 09:40 PM
I like aikido, but I also like to spar and compete, albeit, I do not do it much any more.

How does the fact that I am affiliated with an organization like ASU make me a better or worse person than the next guy?

It is not right or good to judge a person in most cases based on what they do. (Unless you belong to something like a Neo Nazi or hate related group).

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, however, being an Aikidoka, does not make you a better person than someone who is not an aikidoka and studies a competition style art, and vice versa.

If you believe this, then you are missing the whole purpose and principle of aikido.

Walk the path you walk, but do not judge another's path until you have taken the time to walk in their shoes.

Edward
09-22-2002, 10:53 PM
Edward,



I agree that the ring is different from self-defense (whatever that means this week), but I disagree with your conclusion.

In the ring, I deal with one and only one opponent, and they will not be armed with any weapons. Further, I know in advance what day and time I will be fighting and can prepare accordingly. I will also know the relative size of my opponent, their experience and most likely their age. At highler levels of competition it is likely that I have scouted by opponent by watching their past performances and have further tailored my training to a strategy I believe with thwart my opponent.

To my way of thinking these are advantages that make the ring easier than self-defense.

In self-defense, I will not know when or where I will be attacked. I have no guarantees that my opponent will not be armed, or that I will only face one opponent. I will not know my opponent's strengths and weaknesses, because I could not scout them. I will have no idea as to their strategy, their size, their age, or their experience.

Since it seems to me that the ring is easier than self-defense, if one cannot perform in the ring, how can one expect to perform in a self-defense situation? Or to put it another way, if I cannot throw anyone koshi in training, can I expect to throw someone koshi out in "the real world"? Wasn't this one of the reason why Kano created judo?

Regards,

Paul
This has been said innumerable times and I will repeat it again: Self-defence is exactly the opposite from ring situation. Everything you said about match preparations are all true. You know in advance that you will fight, whom, his style, his strong and weak points...etc. Self-defence is ususally against surprise attacks where the attacker doesn't know that you do MA, and thinks you must be an easy prey. He will attack with full committment... etc.

Aristeia
09-22-2002, 11:33 PM
"Bear Gamboa Sensei of Albuquerque, NM has developed Aikido ground techniques. Why is it still Aikido and not Brazillain Jujitsu? Because the techniques hold to the Aikido philosophy of non-violence, non-injury, and non-resistance! There are many throws, pins and holds that can be done on the ground and still be Aikido. "

I would be interested to see some of these techniques. BJJ is also about non resistance and can be non violent and non injurious - it's just a matter of when you stop cranking (just like any aikido pin). If this "horizontal" aikido is effective, I wouldn't be surprised if it looks similar to BJJ, or Judo Newaza...[I]

mike lee
09-23-2002, 04:06 AM
I also think that Mike's description of UFC is overly reductionist and simplistic. One could apply the same diatribe, almost word-for-word, just as well to most commercialized professional sports.

Commercialized professional sports do not imply that they are representative of martial ARTS, and any art for that matter.

I am not being simplistic, I'm being staight forward -- a quality that some people are unable to deal with.

There're major differences between what's going on in UFC and what's going on in dojo where the word :do: is at the end of the name of the ART being practiced.

UFC gives the public a VERY bad impression of martial arts, which may in the end be bad for the image of all dojos. This is because the uninitiated tend to lump all Asian martial arts together.

Boxing is not an art or a :do: , it's a sport. Even the general public knows enough not to link this crude form of barbarism with Asian martial arts.

I have nothing to say about what UFC or similar venues are doing, other than that they should not create any linkage with true martial arts. They should call what they are doing "unarmed, commercialized brutality." UCB -- that's what it is.

Aristeia
09-23-2002, 05:00 AM
Commercialized professional sports do not imply that they are representative of martial ARTS, and any art for that matter.

I am not being simplistic, I'm being staight forward -- a quality that some people are unable to deal with.

There're major differences between what's going on in UFC and what's going on in dojo where the word :do: is at the end of the name of the ART being practiced.

UFC gives the public a VERY bad impression of martial arts, which may in the end be bad for the image of all dojos. This is because the uninitiated tend to lump all Asian martial arts together.

Boxing is not an art or a :do: , it's a sport. Even the general public knows enough not to link this crude form of barbarism with Asian martial arts.

I have nothing to say about what UFC or similar venues are doing, other than that they should not create any linkage with true martial arts. They should call what they are doing "unarmed, commercialized brutality." UCB -- that's what it is.
I guess it's all about how you're defining art, a thorny issue to be sure. Many people would not see the art in breaking a board, or in kumite. You're concerned that the UFC gives budo a bad name because there's not enough art. I'd argue the point. But others are concerned budo is being given a bad name where there's not enough martial. Guess it just depends on your perspective. I believe it's possible to have both, it's just a matter of how you mix them. Aikido has both, so does MMA.

I get annoyed when people, after hearing you do Aikido go into a diatribe about how violent and terrible martial artists are without knowing what they're talking about (and they've been doing that since well before the UFC). Same thing when people talk about the brutality of Mixed Martial Arts. There's a couple of brawlers, streetfighters that have been involved, but the vast majority are dedicated, hard working martial ARTists, who have spend more time and sweat on their art than most of us ever will.

paw
09-23-2002, 06:03 AM
"Evertyhing happens when I'm gone" Michael Brecker

Mike,

My objection is not about your point of view, but in your stereotype about MMA competitors. If I made similar slanderous comments about aikidoka my gut feeling is you would be the first person to call for my banning from this site.

Evidently, you are incapable of expressing your opinion without resorting to personal insults of people you've never met. But I suppose in your mind you don't have to apologize because you are so spiritually enlightened and in tune with the universe. I expected better from you.

paw
09-23-2002, 06:07 AM
Edward,

Let me be sure I understand.
Self-defence is ususally against surprise attacks where the attacker doesn't know that you do MA, and thinks you must be an easy prey. He will attack with full committment... etc.

So are you saying or are you suggesting that, in general, in a self-defense situation an attacker attacks in such a way as to make it easier than an attack by a trained, conditioned athlete in a competition?

Regards,

Paul

paw
09-23-2002, 06:19 AM
Kevin Leavitt is correct.

Aristeia is also correct.

Tadhg,

re: ne waza and aikido....

Mits Yamashita has combined bjj newaza with aikido. I gather from his Aikido Today interview, that he considers the two arts to be indentical in philosphy. There are some of his students on this board (Steven Miranda, paging Steven Miranda), so hopefully they can chime in with more specifics.

In general, my thoughts are similar to Aristeia's .... I'm willing to bet it looks a lot like bjj or judo ne waza.

Regards,

Paul

mike lee
09-23-2002, 07:32 AM
I expected better from you.

And what was this "expectation" based on? :confused:

paw
09-23-2002, 08:18 AM
Mike,

I have a feeling that you're not going to apologize despite anything I, Kevin, or anyone else says.

My expectations were very simple. You've posted some 200 + times. In the time I've been on this forum, I've read your posts, and it's pretty clear to me that you can state what you think and why very clearly. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem that you can make a gross generalization about a group of people based on what they do that is demeaning, slanderous, and in my experience completely without merit, and evidently not feel that such a statement was in any way wrong.

Let me give you an example to see if it helps explain how I feel. Glancing through the thread titles, I could writing something about the "fat, unathletic, pot smoking dunderheads who train in aikido". Now, you know and I know, that wouldn't be a true statement. I mean, I've never met an aikidoka like that. So in all fairness, if I did post something slanderous, I would expect folks to call me on it. They would have a problem with my unjust stereotype of a group of people. (And for the record, I don't believe aikido is populated with folks who are "fat, unathletic, pot smoking dunderheads" --- that's just an example of a false, slanderous statement)

I feel that's what you did when you wrote,
high-strung, testosterone-driven, steroid taking face smashers
refering to MMA competitors. I feel that was out of line and complete unnecessary, and as I've said before, completely untrue.

Does that help you see where I'm coming from? Do you feel that I'm behaved inappropriately regarding this concern (that I'm over-reactiving, taking things out of context, etc....)?

Oh, and about the aikido thing. Kevin Willbanks can vouch that I've trained in aikido. I did train for 5 1/2 years and attended a number of seminars with a diverse group of aikido instructors. I'm certainly no authoritative expert, but I'm not talking about stuff I haven't experienced. If you need more information, contact me privately and I'll happily go into details of who I've trained with. (Although, I'm not sure why any of that would be relevant to this discussion)

mike lee
09-23-2002, 08:40 AM
Glancing through the thread titles, I could writing something about the "fat, unathletic, pot smoking dunderheads who train in aikido".

That would be your prerogative. :eek:

Kevin Wilbanks
09-23-2002, 11:03 AM
Oh, and about the aikido thing. Kevin Willbanks can vouch that I've trained in aikido. I did train for 5 1/2 years and attended a number of seminars with a diverse group of aikido instructors. I'm certainly no authoritative expert, but I'm not talking about stuff I haven't experienced. If you need more information, contact me privately and I'll happily go into details of who I've trained with. (Although, I'm not sure why any of that would be relevant to this discussion)
Why, yes, I seem to remember you... You were that big, fat, unathletic guy that was always offering to get me stoned before and after class...

paw
09-23-2002, 11:04 AM
LOL!

Thanks Kevin, I needed that!

Regards,

Paul

Tadhg Bird
09-23-2002, 12:23 PM
Mits Yamashita has combined bjj newaza with aikido. I gather from his Aikido Today interview, that he considers the two arts to be indentical in philosphy. There are some of his students on this board (Steven Miranda, paging Steven Miranda), so hopefully they can chime in with more specifics.
Well obviously I am ignorant of the philosphy behind BJJ. Again the first time I saw it was on that UFC bootleg I mentioned in my first post. Gracie wrapped the guy up and beat the living crap out of him, perhaps it was just the grappling that was BJJ, and the beating was added for UFC.

My Sensei told me that all the good martial artists eventually find non-violence, in thier own way. That the good teachers are actually teaching non-violence at the core no matter what the art is.
I would be interested to see some of these techniques. BJJ is also about non resistance and can be non violent and non injurious - it's just a matter of when you stop cranking (just like any aikido pin). If this "horizontal" aikido is effective, I wouldn't be surprised if it looks similar to BJJ, or Judo Newaza...
Its very hard to describe with words. I'm not sure if I tried if I would clarify or muddy the waters...

Aikido vs. Jujitsu pins: The forms are very similar, and in some cases identical, its the [I}intent[/I] that makes it one or the other. Also, I think some pins are designed to be non-injurous when some mindfullness is put into its application. As an illustration, lets take Shiho-Nage. Its not a matter of cranking or not cranking. Done properly uke's hand should be taken to his/her shoulder, this facilitates a roll, and not injury. YET, if uke's hand is taken away from the shoulder, say besides the shoulder, this CAN lead to injury. A small difference, but one that makes all the difference.

I can't comment on the Aikido Ground Techniques (Bear did call it newaza when he taught it! (there were also to other "wazas" one for holding and one for pins, but I forget what those are called)) we practice and its similarity to BJJ, or Judo because of my own ignorance of these arts. I'm definatly interested into looking into it now! Any resources on the internet you can recommend? Or good books I may be able to get at the library?

Smooth Roads,

-- Tadhg

SeiserL
09-23-2002, 12:42 PM
As one of those cross trainers, it has been wonderful to see how the difference can create harmony not discord, by accepting (enter and blending)with the differences rather than judge them (or people) better or worse.

IMHO, everything except actual combat has rules of engagaement. Yes, I know war is supposed to have them to but somehow its so much harder to apply them and live. Who ever sets the rules and turf will probably benefit from them.

I personally would love to see some body with Aikido training step into the cage and give it a reality check. But, it won't be me.

Until again,

Lynn

paw
09-23-2002, 01:36 PM
Tadhg,

For all things judo on the internet, I like the Judo Information Site (http://www.judoinfo.com). Specifically, the grappling techniques may be found here (http://www.judoinfo.com/techdrw.htm)

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Paul

rgfox5
09-23-2002, 02:25 PM
Art is a term that can apply to many human endeavors. The "art" in aikido is, IMHO, when a practitioner can use the form of aikido to express his or her inner self in a spontaneous manner. The techniques almost dissappear and the master is an island of perfect posture and movement surrounded by a swirling and off balance attacker. This is when I feel I am watching art.

Why can't UFC fighters also achieve this level? Sure, they can, why not? In all the UFC fights I've watched I have only rarely seen this level of accompishment. But just because soemthing is brutal doesn't mean it can't be art.

A guitar player can call himself a musician, but until he/she can really express himself without paying attention to the technique of guitar playing, it coming so naturally from years of practice, then he is not really an artist but rather an imitator, a technician. The same with aikido or UFC.

I think that ring fighting with a return to gladiator rules, i.e. no rules with death as the outcome, would make for great entertainment, very educational, and a much more interesting level of fighting.

Tadhg Bird
09-23-2002, 04:47 PM
Paul,

Thanks for the links! The pictures are good, but unfortunalty I'm also interested in whats going on in a Judoka's mind while he is doing the technique. That is, what is s/he trying to accomplish? How is s/he going about that?

Also it seemed that it was all holds what about escapes? Does Judo or Jujitsu (Brazillian or otherwise) address this?

In our Aikido Ground Techniques, there is emphasis on escapes and throws from the horizontal position -- not neccisarily being the dominant grappler.

Smooth Roads,

-- tadhg

Aristeia
09-23-2002, 08:20 PM
Well obviously I am ignorant of the philosphy behind BJJ. Again the first time I saw it was on that UFC bootleg I mentioned in my first post. Gracie wrapped the guy up and beat the living crap out of him, perhaps it was just the grappling that was BJJ, and the beating was added for UFC.
Hmmm, I don't remember Gracie pounding on anyone, not his style. He may have thrown a few of those little heel kicks in and a few punches to the head to make the opponent change position. In fact, you could rightly say that the only striking he did could be called atemi, on the way to getting the choke.
Aikido vs. Jujitsu pins: The forms are very similar, and in some cases identical, its the [I}intent[/I] that makes it one or the other.
Well if it walks like a duck, and quaks like a duck. Seriously if the techniques are the same we're left with what's in the persons head. Which will change from individual to individual and situation to situation, even within the same art. You cannot distinguish in any sort of meaningful way on that basis. The overwhelming majority of BJJ-ers fight with *some* sort of consideration for their uke. As witnessed by the relatively few cases of broken joints.

Aristeia
09-23-2002, 08:23 PM
Paul,

Also it seemed that it was all holds what about escapes? Does Judo or Jujitsu (Brazillian or otherwise) address this?

In our Aikido Ground Techniques, there is emphasis on escapes and throws from the horizontal position -- not neccisarily being the dominant grappler.

Smooth Roads,

-- tadhg
Something you learn very quickly when you start doing BJJ is that position is everything. If you are fumbling for a submission without good position you are pretty much toast. Just like if you try and apply nikyo or kote gaeshi without first taking uke's balance you are in for some trouble.

So first and formost you must be able to control position. Which means throws (sweeps) and escapes. That's what being the dominant grappler is all about.

paw
09-24-2002, 07:22 AM
Tadhg,
Also it seemed that it was all holds what about escapes? Does Judo or Jujitsu (Brazillian or otherwise) address this?

Michael (Aristeia) is correct. Both Judo and bjj strongly emphasize pin escapes, and rightly so. When beginner's start aikido, it is common to strongly emphasize ukemi, otherwise the beginner gets injuried and cannot continue to train. In the same way, a beginner in bjj must learn to escape, or they will never be able to control their opponent to apply any submissions (and then get frustrated and stop training).
The pictures are good, but unfortunalty I'm also interested in whats going on in a Judoka's mind while he is doing the technique. That is, what is s/he trying to accomplish? How is s/he going about that?

In their mind....who knows? In my mind, I'm trying to flow, get be present in the moment, but I'm not there yet. I'm usually thinking, "oh, now I can try this move...." I've got a lot to learn.

What they are trying to accomplish and how....well, that depends on the situation and their personal preferences.

Mike Jen has produced a DVD which is available for sale (http://www.jenbjj.com/Merchandise/DBJJ.html) where he reviews sparring matches highlighting the strategies and thought processes of the participants. I have the DVD and it's very interesting to get "inside the head" of a great grappler.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Paul

Don_Modesto
09-26-2002, 12:16 PM
In my time I've seen Shotokan Karate revered as the ultimate only to be belittled by full-contact Kyokushin which was given the lie by BJJ in the UFC and now...aikido?!:

"I remember training at the Gracie Academy in 1991. I was rolling with a purple belt (I was a white belt at the time) and had him inside my guard. I decided to go for a wrist lock just for the heck of it, and I sunk it in deep and hard. The purple belt got this funny look on his face and then screamed. Royce looked over and shook his head. Someone asked, 'What was that?' I replied, 'Oh, something I saw in Bruce Lee movie.'"

....

"I had a similar experience with at a Gracie Training Academy in Parma, Ohio. I put a wrist lock on the instructor. He was so furious that he refused to tap. Rather than break his wrist, I simulated breaking it. I paid the price and eventually I had to train at the Rickson Gracie school that was 55 minutes away rather than 10."

See below for thread:

http://www.royharris.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=454

Bruce Baker
10-01-2002, 05:00 PM
Training to compete in this gladiator wrestling match could be a lot of fun, but as far as some of the results of different styles of fighting, the results speak for themselves.

Stop whining how much you trained here, or experience this there, if you really want to get together and wrassle, then you guys should make arrangements to visit each other and come to more definite conclusions, or sign up to get into the ring yourselves.

Yeah, I agree it is the testosterone of youth, or a man's man who is blinded by what is expected and not judging for himself what should be.

Aren't students of martial arts, and even of Aikido a bit wiser than this bickering over about what you saw on television?

Dangus
10-01-2002, 11:04 PM
One could apply the same diatribe, almost word-for-word, just as well to most commercialized professional sports
Not wrongly so either though. A lot of sports are touted as this great magical thing that will turn young men into better people, but that's a complete load of crap, at least in and of itself. The discipline, the examples, the mentoring, those are what shape the young men, and the programs they offer are only as good as the teachers offering them. I see a lot of young athletes who become worse thugs than they were before going into the sport. Why? Because they are elevated to a higher social and socio-political level, and effectively removed from most forms of discipline. Not only does this often make them worse people, but makes them worse athletes as well. Once the glory of the games are gone, and their age makes them unable to play in the NFL, NBA, etc., they'll either have to become a commentator, or try and lead some sort of normal life. No matter the route, chances are, they really haven't grown much as a person if the game is all they ever were taught to focus on.

I would contend that most sports backgrounds do not continue to offer anything significant to that person at that point, whereas a proper example in those sports, or in martial arts, would give them a lifetime of benefit. A good football coach teaches you discipline of spirit, just like a good sensei.

Too much emphasis is put on the game, or the winning in particular, even in martial arts. That distracts from the true core of any art, be that football, boxing, ultimate fighting, or Aikido. Ultimate fighting in particular is a bad sport simply on the basis of it being so heavily driven by a juvenille need to see people beaten and hurt. It certainly offers some educational value for studying various techniques under those conditions, but it's a brutal thugmatch at it's core, driven by bloodthirsty weekend warriors who get off on seeing people pound each other.

They are the modern-day gladiators, and I suspect with time it will continue to get more and more brutal. The movie Running Man really poked fun at this progression, but it's inspiration was certainly based on the continous reduction of standards and moral limits.

I believe strongly this was why O Sensei disliked competitive fighting, not because he felt it had no value. Instead because he felt it distracted from the spirit of the art, because it made people focus on winning, rather than the discipline, rather than honing and perfecting techniques that require a great deal of training to become effective When they become effective, however, they are extremely effective. Competition would drive the fighters to go straight for the techniques which they can learn to win with quickly. I would contend that a first kyu versus a newbie UFC thug would probably lose quite quickly, but a 5th Dan versus a well-ranked UFC thug would probably not go well for the thug. Sure that's a gross over-simplification, but my point still remains. It's about discipline, it's about honing and perfecting, it's about growing into a warrior of natural grace and ease, not patching techniques on till you become a frankenstien's monster of techniques.

paw
10-02-2002, 08:11 AM
Dangus,

Well, I feel compelled to reply. I gather that we've had vastly different experiences or something <shrugs>

In any case, I agree with much of your post about professional sports and the role of good coaches. However, then you jump to
Ultimate fighting in particular is a bad sport simply on the basis of it being so heavily driven by a juvenille need to see people beaten and hurt. It certainly offers some educational value for studying various techniques under those conditions, but it's a brutal thugmatch at it's core, driven by bloodthirsty weekend warriors who get off on seeing people pound each other.

And I don't see how that logically follows.

Why is the UFC a "brutal thugmatch"? It's injury rates are lower than boxing, football, wrestling, heck, I bet they are lower than inline skating. How can it be driven by "bloodthirsty weekend warriors" when the last UFC was peopled with professionals (folks who train "full time, 7 days a week") who were champions in bjj (BJ Penn, Matt Serra), shooto (Uno), ADCC submission wrestling (Ricco Rodriques) and Greco Roman wrestling (Randy Couture). I've met Ricco personally, and I saw nothing that would indicate he "get's off" on pounding someone. Certainly Randy Couture does not as anyone who has met Randy can attest to.
Instead because he felt it distracted from the spirit of the art, because it made people focus on winning, rather than the discipline, rather than honing and perfecting techniques that require a great deal of training to become effective When they become effective, however, they are extremely effective. Competition would drive the fighters to go straight for the techniques which they can learn to win with quickly. I would contend that a first kyu versus a newbie UFC thug would probably lose quite quickly, but a 5th Dan versus a well-ranked UFC thug would probably not go well for the thug.

Again, I'm at a loss. How does someone who trains 7 days a week, 6 - 10 hours a day, watches what they eat and when, lack discipline?

As for "people focusing on winning", well maybe. I can honestly say I haven't met or trained with a single person who wanted to win for the sake of winning. Instead, they wanted to train. Then they wanted to test themselves in a local tournament. Then they went back to training. Then they wanted to test themselves in a regional tournament, and so on. The people I know have always used competition as a way to measure progress, to see where they are at and what they have to work on. Are there people who only want to win for the sake of winning (satisfy some ego issue)? I guess so, but I've never met one.

Frankeinstein's Monster? Again, the people I know who compete in such events are not running around looking for the "next great technique". They are seeking mastery in their own way. They want to be complete, having experience and technique in all ranges of competion: standing, clinch and groundwork. For years now, anyone without a complete game is going to be taken out of their element and defeated.

You may not like the UFC (or Pride or Extreme Challenge, etc...) that's fine. I don't like baseball. So it's not your cup of tea. I get that. But I confess I'm a bit confused as to how you reached your conclusions.

Regards,

Paul

Roy Dean
10-02-2002, 11:44 AM
" I would contend that a first kyu versus a newbie UFC thug would probably lose quite quickly, but a 5th Dan versus a well-ranked UFC thug would probably not go well for the thug."

I would have to disagree. Of course, anything can happen in a fight, but let's take a look at a few factors:

1. Attributes. The UFC competitor is a professional athelete/ fighter, which means he has conditioned his body to possess a high degree of stamina, power, explosiveness, flexibility, etc. I have never seen a Godan that even comes CLOSE to being in the same physical condition as a UFC competitor. Without attributes, techniques have no substance and are therefore ineffective. Unless there is a large skill disparity, the person with superior attributes usually comes out on top in a physical altercation.

2. While the Godan may be highly skilled in their specific range of combat (i.e. right as a person has overextended themselves after a punch; just as a person is beginning to grab them), how could a Godan possibly compete against someone once they've been taken out of that range? On the ground, the Godan would be dead. On the feet, how could the Godan defend against Thai kicks and boxing combinations? The windows of opportunity are too small, especially at this level of competition.

I have two friends that recently signed up for NHB matches. They're not into beating people up- they're simply into testing themselves, in the most demanding situation possible. I also compete (sport jiu-jitsu, not NHB), and gearing up for a tournament is the ultimate in discipline. Once you decide to compete, training becomes more focused and more physically taxing. Because you know you'll be facing someone who has been through similar preparation.

Competition brings up a lot of emotions- before the match, during the match, and afterwards. Sometimes it forces you to take a hard look at your training patterns and examine methods for improvement. There nothing like a loss (particularly a humiliating loss) to force this kind of introspection. If you win, the tournament can serve as a celebration for all your efforts and dedication.

I have met, trained with, and felt a number of amazing Aikido practitioners (from Shodan to Godan and more). I have felt techniques delivered so cleanly that it makes me giddy just to receive them. However, I have yet to see any high ranking Aikido practitioners that would give a UFC competitor a run for their money.

Good training to you,

Roy

Suru
10-02-2002, 11:12 PM
From what I've read, O'Sensei said something along the lines of "sports [like the UFC] are good for physical exercise." So let's face it, great athletes are not heroes because they are great athletes per se. Some of them however truly give back to the community and thereby are heroes. We must not forget the lesser known heroes who can't throw a football 60 yards and can't make a strong opponent tap out inside a cage. Training the spirit is why I do aikido, and self-defense is a nice by-product. The lack of competition makes aikido powerful.

Drew

mike lee
10-03-2002, 03:52 AM
If I could choose one guy to be at my side during a bar brawl, I would instantly choose just about any 5th dan in aikido over a UFC champion.

Dangus
10-03-2002, 09:41 AM
Without attributes, techniques have no substance and are therefore ineffective. Unless there is a large skill disparity, the person with superior attributes usually comes out on top in a physical altercation.
I agree on basic principal, but I have seen few advanced practicioners of Aikido who weren't in very good shape. As long as they remained in a fight which kept within the scope of Aikido, their specialization would offer a huge advantage relative to the broad focus of most UFC fighters. Sure, the guys that practice 6-8 hours a day 7 days a week are going to have an advantage in pure attributes relative to a martial artist who actually contributes something useful to the world when he's not practicing martial skills. While there may be no huge strength training aspect to Aikido, I have certainly met practicioners of Aikido, as well as Kung-Fu and Karate who are absolutely built solid as a rock. The main problem most Aikido practicioners would have would be an unwillingness, or hesitation to inflict serious damage, despite the fact that Aikido does teach them how to do so if they're paying attention to that aspect of it. I hardly meant to turn this into an Aikido vs. UFC debate though. That's not really my point.
I have two friends that recently signed up for NHB matches. They're not into beating people up- they're simply into testing themselves, in the most demanding situation possible. I also compete (sport jiu-jitsu, not NHB), and gearing up for a tournament is the ultimate in discipline. Once you decide to compete, training becomes more focused and more physically taxing. Because you know you'll be facing someone who has been through similar preparation
While I am glad to hear your personal experiences with the UFC is so good, I have met several people who are really into it as competitors, and more that are into it as fans. With a couple exceptions, I've seen very little maturity. What little maturity I have seen has largely been built around some bizarre code of martial honor that allows for hurting other people for sport. I just disagree with the whole concept on principal. You can be dedicated, intense, focused, strong, all that, but at the core, you're still either watching people hurt each other for fun, or you're hurting other people for fun/money/challenge. I don't buy into all the pseudo-honor and glory crap. That's just me. I just personally see it as an immature exercise which does nothing to benefit humanity. In all fairness, I feel entirely the same way about boxing. If these people devoted one tenth the energy that they do into something beneficial to mankind, they'd be saints.
It's injury rates are lower than boxing, football, wrestling, heck, I bet they are lower than inline skating.
First off, I doubt the injury rates are actually lower than inline skating. The number of them in total is probably lower, but statistically, I doubt it. Also, it's a competition that is only practiced a very small amount relative to the amount of time spent training for it. Compared to any other sport it's incredibly disproportionate. I would gaurantee that for the amount of time actually spent engaging in the sport, the rates of injuries are much higher than in most other sports. Furthermore, it has a very high turn-over rate, with a lot of local morons getting into it so they can play toughguy, and then realizing it's way above what they ever realized and drop out before really getting seriously involved into it. At the top levels of it, the money and the skill levels involved would naturally reduce the injury levels, and reduce the recovery time from any injuries received.

Again, I did not want this to degrade into a "My sport is better than your sport" kinda exchange. I just strongly disapprove of UFC and the motivations behind it, and also the same goes for boxing. I have no problem with martial competitions, but I just believe their goals are not coming from the right intentions, and that they take things too far. I compete in sword fighting(SCA, Dagorhir, etc.), kung-fu, soccer, computer games, etc. I have no problem with competition, I just have a problem with the goal. I even like hockey, and that's very violent, but violence is not the express goal of the competition. I believe in hurting people when you have to, not when you want to be entertained or challenged. I guess we'll fundamentally disagree on the maturity of that. I do appreciate the debate though.

Mscott
10-03-2002, 11:33 AM
mike lee is correct.

i cant believe that people always cling to the belief that a 5th dan could do ok in then UFC/PRIDE.

sure they are more skilled then lower ranked aikidoka, but the techniques are the same, based on overcommitted attacks, and very poor strikes

MattRice
10-03-2002, 12:42 PM
I was very interested in the first couple of UFC bouts. Where it was ACTUALLY MIXED MARTIAL ARTS. Now it seems, that now matter what the paticipants call what they do, it's just UFC-STYLE, it all looks the same. It's geared toward a ring with a fence, certain time limits on rounds, basic rules etc. In the early matches, you could see how one figthter/style faired against another. Now it seems like this--> shoot/knockdown--> lock and submit or mount and pummel. It all seems pretty barbaric to me, but I might be a wuss.

As far as aikidoka getting into the ring for a UFC match...why? Sure you could train like a madman, alter your techniques to fit the match/rules/ring, cross train etc etc. But once there you would not be doing Aikido anyway. You'd end up wearing a speedo and going for the mount&pummel cuz that's what wins matches.

Roy Dean
10-03-2002, 01:54 PM
Mike,

I used to share your beliefs, but over time, experience has shown me otherwise.

No doubt that a Godan is a skilled individual. However, I would rather be in a bar with someone that has endured a physically demanding and rigorous training method. Aikido can be tough, but not nearly as tough as what a UFC competitor has endured. I know the UFC fighter can take a punch or kick delivered by a skilled individual. I know the UFC fighter can grapple. He will not fold under duress. The Godan may be able to handle an altercation just as smoothly, if not more so, than the UFC competitor. However, if taken out of his specified range of combat or sphere of expertise, then it's all over.

This is what my experience has shown me. Your experiences are different, leading to a different conclusion. Perhaps you will change your view over time, perhaps I will. Neither one of us is "right", we are simply putting forth what we believe to be true.

Dangus,

Nice post. You bring up many good points, and if you fundamentally disagree with the intentions behind competitions like boxing or the UFC, there is little I can offer to dissuade you from your position. We have different perspectives, that's all.

Personally, I don't really see much difference between and olympic judo competition and the UFC. Slamming people on their backs and choking or locking out joints until submission... sounds like violence to me. Or maybe it's just the application of martial techniques. The same goes for NHB competitions. Less rules, more variables.

I don't think a sport or art should be fully judged by the maturity level of the practitioners, esp. those in the early stages of training. People come to Aikido classes wanting to be Steven Seagal and/or achieve enlightened invincibility. People have different attitudes and motivations for training, in a variety of arts. When I view MMA or NHB competitions, I see warrior spirit, technical excellence, and the finest martial atheletes on the planet (if not ever). That is my perspective. Not everyone shares it.

Personally, I feel that many of the hot blooded Japanese masters that studied under O'Sensei would have entered the UFC if it had been around in the day. Mochizuki was obviously into cross-training. Same with Tomiki. Gozo Shioda picked at least one fight to test himself; Tomiki challenged and fought many. They were seeking martial truth. The UFC is an arena to offer answers to those that pursue martial truth.

Many of the hot blooded Japanese warriors of today are engaged in new and evolving arts/events like Pancrase, Shooto, and MMA training/PRIDE. It is the Kazushi Sakurabas and Rumina Satos of the martial arts world that are becoming the new masters.

Excellent debate. Good training to you.

Roy

paw
10-03-2002, 02:14 PM
Roy is correct.

Well said.

Dangus
10-03-2002, 10:33 PM
This has been a good debate Roy, and if I seem overly harsh at any point, it's mostly due to posting at the end of the day when I am most tired and crabby.

I suppose I should spell out where I'm coming from on all this a bit more, so as to define the basic reasoning of my position. I believe martial arts are a complicated and subtle thing at their very best, and I believe that the philosophy is at the very core of those arts. To me, a true practicioner of martial arts, a true warrior, fights unnecessary fights only to teach or to learn, not to entertain or profit. Violence is a tool we must sometimes use, not a tool we should exploit. By violence, I mean conflict, not in the true dictionary definition of it. Aikido is one of my two major focuses, the other is Kung-Fu(mix of styles). These arts both focus heavily on fighting for a noble purpose, not for whimsical or selfish reasons.

At the core of both of these arts is a deep philosophical core that can offer advantages both in fights and in life as a whole that any brute fight style never will. I have witnessed advanced practicioners of kung-fu purposely take what should be incapacitating blows, using a subtle strength of body and mind that allows them to withstand and give way just enough to leave them unharmed. I have seen my Aikido teacher demonstrate throws on a pigheaded monster of a football player who insisted he could not be thrown, and proceeded to push and goad my very small sensei. Aikido and kung-fu are so heavily dependant upon the philosophical cores that I would contend that neither can be truly used to their full intensity without those ideas guiding every move. Call me a new age hippie if you will, but I believe strongly in this. UFC teaches dedication, it teaches brute strength, but it does not teach the life, and the mindset that true practices of these arts do. Even when such a case arises where the martial artist cannot defeat the UFC fighter, I still contend that in the long term the martial artist has all the advantages, because he benefits every day, in so many various ways. He learns an approach to living, to fighting, to decision-making, and I would say even to loving. Those I have met who have really accepted these philosophies are the calmest, wisest, most fair people I have ever had the fortune of meeting. This is what I mean about dedication, about taking the time to really learn in depth. A UFC fighter may train ten times more, but he trains ultimately for his goal, to win fights, and as such he will learn the techniques that give him that, neglecting the less obvious. A true martial artist trains to improve his very core, and spends deep time devoted to lessons that will not win him fights, and looks to the long run. To me that is the very heart of the difference.