View Full Version : Is Aikido unique?

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05-24-2004, 02:42 PM
Aikido is so far my first and only martial art. Granted that I dont know anything about other arts I decided to browse around a bit. I read some rather interesting posts on the senshido forum. They were discussing a concept they call the "straightblast" apparently from what I can understand it is a flurry of puches and kicks delivered while moving towards your opponent.

They were discussing the general response to this concept and the concensus was the following:

1. They will cover and stand their ground.
The opponent when being blasted will instinctively put his hands up to protect his face, but not necessarily run backwards like a wild man. It's natural human instinct (especially for athletic fighters) to counterattack and fight back even when being pressed. The blast will cause a cover more times than not, but in reality that cover will be there only a few seconds so your opponent can mount a counter attack...

2. The opponent will try to hit you back.
The opponent, when being blasted, (even if after an interception) will sometimes try to punch you as he moves backward. He will try to regain his balance and strike with as many blows as you are delivering.

3. The opponent will take you to the ground.
The opponent, when being blasted, will try to cover instinctively, but change levels and go underneath the blast. He will shoot in for a double leg, a single, or just a body tackle. This strategy is actually quite sound for the momentum of the blast gives the grappler a decided advantage in shooting in. And when JKDers don't know any groundwork.......goodnight.

There were some other opinions but one of them posted the following:

reaction 4: Your opponent yawns and sidesteps as you are plowing forward off balance. Lateral movement causes havoc on sloppy SB. Have a guy hold a pad and move backward as your student hits, without his knowledge get the pad holder to sidestep quickly, if he can do it at 45 deg angle .... forward... you read good. Instant chest to back. I did it 10 x in a row, the guy was expecting it to. Not a testament to my skill but rather of his stupidity!

an irimi-tenkan? How is it that most of these guys dont even consider the possibility that someone could enter as opposed to back away from an attack?

My opinion of Aikido is that the techniques themselves, the actual cranking of arms and legs and pushing and pulling is the least part of it, the driving principle is the evasive footwork, timing and taking or atleast attempting to take balance.

Please understand that I'm not judging other arts, that I know only by some forum posts but is the concepts and principles of Aikido absolutely unique?

For the interested: http://senshido.savi.ca/viewtopic.php?t=1589

Jordan Steele
05-24-2004, 05:48 PM
Aikido unfortunately is not very unique, but the person practicing it can be however which will naturally translate into his expression of Aikido. The footwork is more active and irimi is far more powerful than entering movements in other arts, but the idea of getting off the line and blending is found in many other martial arts. Also Aikido is a modern martial art, it is not original, more a hybrid of aikijitsu, sword work, and jujitsu.

05-24-2004, 08:20 PM
Unfortunately, I would have to say the answer to that question depends on what precisely you mean by "unique." By contrast, is Karate unique? Brazilian Ju-jutsu? Jeet Kune Do?

Yours in ukemi,


Chris Birke
05-24-2004, 08:35 PM
Jeet Kune Do is unique because it isn't really a martial art. That straightblast discussion is bunk. Entering on a straightblast is like entering on a jab. If they can, you didn't jab at the right time.

Aikido, BJJ, Judo, Sambo - these things are only new names and reorginazations of old techniques, adapted for the present day, and given philosophic underpinnings. That's just the way things are.

05-24-2004, 08:56 PM
I think I seriously misunderstood the last post.

Are you saying that Jeet Kune Do has completely new and never before seen ways to injure another person? :confused:


Chris Birke
05-24-2004, 11:45 PM
Yes, you misunderstood.

I mean that Jeet Kune Do is the one art who's premise is that all of its technqiue's are simply expressions of other martial art's technique.

"Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all way and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques which serve it's end."

"No, I did not mean to create another style. JKD started out as my expression of Lop Sao."

My impression is biased towards the concept schools, but thats how I meant JKD was different. I (think) it was the first major movement to make any cannon of technique wholly dynamic.

(Since Bruce Lee's death, JKD has split into two major branches:

The Original/Jun Fan JKD branch, whose main proponents are Taky Kimura, Ted Wong, Tim Tackett and Lamar Davis II, teaches only what Bruce Lee taught, and leaves individual development of the art beyond this framework to the individual student;

The JKD Concepts branch, whose main proponents are Dan Inosanto, Larry Hartsell, Paul Vunak and Burton Richardson, have continued to develop JKD, under the philosophy that it was never meant to be a static art but an ongoing evolution. This branch has incorporated elements of Kali, silat, Gracie jiu-jitsu, and elements from many other martial arts into the main fold of its teachings. - wikipedia)

I don't have much expirence with Core Jkd, but I think they lose a bit of this formless approach, which is what makes JKD different. They still argue about this all the time.

My instructor paraphrased Bruce in that JKD is when you: Try everything with an open mind, take what works for you, discard what doesn't.

This is different from the instructor knows best approach of most martial arts where a cannon exists and is stablizied. JKD concepts just taught different. Same techniques, different approach to learning them. No attempt to throw a loop around them and say they are jkd, or they are not jkd, as that's considered personal.

05-25-2004, 03:32 AM
To me Aikido consists of technique and strategy, sure the techniques of Aikido are nothing new, sankyo is a standard move in wrestling, I have seen variations of koshinage in judo and most joint techniques are pretty well known. What I meant was the strategy of Aikido being unique.

Aikidoka dont want to fight, try and maintain their distance from an opponent and enter when the opponent attacks, as opposed to a grappler that would try and get into grappling range for a takedown or kickboxer who blocks / snipes / retreats.

Clearly the assumptions that the original poster made that I have quoted made it clear that against most arts, the other guy usually tries to stand their ground, counterattack or rush in force on force. The other poster who replied has a strategy that the original poster never even considered, the closest the original poster came was describing a Wing Chun guy who moved backwards passively.

05-25-2004, 05:06 AM
"Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all way and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques which serve it's end."

I really believe that should be everyone's budo. Fundamentally we want a martial art which achieves its objectives. I don't believe any top martial artist (inc kano, Ueshiba, Musashi..) ever studied under one master and restricted their training.

Aikido maybe is 'unique' in that it focuses on blending from an early stage, but now I think of it, so does tai-chi.

Nope, not unique - just a different training method.

(P.S. I expect everyone's individual Budo is unique in some way. If you remember Ueshiba, when asked by someone "I really want to learn your aikido" responded, "that's strange, most people want to learn their own aikido".)

05-25-2004, 05:11 AM
P.S. also when you formalise a system it leaves you very open to people developing strategies against you. Where there are no rules and no form there are endless opportunities (but obviously one needs structured training and there are general rules of thumb which help progression to an advanced stage).

P.P.S. I've dabbled in other martial arts, and I would say PRACTICALLY the difference between most aikido and other martial arts is psychological. Aikido gives you confidence to defend yourself without agression. Many potential fights have been AVOIDED because of my aikido, without having to be submissive.