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-   -   Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10800)

AikiWeb System 08-13-2006 03:49 PM

Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
AikiWeb Poll for the week of August 13, 2006:

Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.

ajbarron 08-13-2006 07:17 PM

Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
"Good" Aikido is martially effective !

xuzen 08-13-2006 11:38 PM

Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
I am surprise at the result, majority of voters said yes. Can someone please explain to me how soft aikido = martial effectiveness? I am lost here.

Boon.

Yann Golanski 08-14-2006 02:30 AM

Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
By "soft" I understood adaptable. In randori, one cannot feel uke if one is stiff. No technique will work on a resisting uke if you try to force them. What work is softness first, then at the right time the application of kuzushi and finally technique.

Dirk Hanss 08-14-2006 02:37 AM

Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
Quote:

Xu Wenfung wrote:
I am surprise at the result, majority of voters said yes. Can someone please explain to me how soft aikido = martial effectiveness? I am lost here.

Boon.

Well Boon,
if one masters soft aikido, there is no pwer to resist against.
That means the softer the aikido the more effective it is.

2nd: the softer the aikido the more power efficient it is, i.e. you use less own power and more of your opponents'. So you save energy for the next opponent(s).

It is not effective to prepare an army of young warriers for a battle in a few month, if you understand martial as this.

Any many people may argue, that you need many years of strong aikido to achieve effective soft aikido, which is probably true for most of us.

Just my 2 cts.

Dirk

ian 08-14-2006 04:07 AM

Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
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I hate the terms 'soft' and 'hard' aikido. I think aikido should be both and neither! In my mind blending is efficiency of movement and ability to deliver power without any resistance. If you mean 'soft' in that uke just runs around and follows nage, then no, it isn't martially effective. If you mean soft in that nage follows uke (or can subtely redirect uke), then yes, it is. In the same way 'hard' aikido can be completely static and superficial. All martial arts are fundamentally the same in their desire for efficiency of force. Aikido just focuses on it more at the start. Quoting Ueshiba from his manual 'Budo' - "In reality when you hit them, use full force".

bhutchy23 08-14-2006 10:57 AM

Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
I agree with what Dirk said, and have this to add.
To beginners and even many intermediate students "hard" aikido seems most effective, because that is what tends to work for them in the dojo. "Soft" aikido must be learned later, but I believe ends up being more effective in actual martial situations.

A simple study of the many web forums and articles lends some evidence. Most people who criticize the martial effectiveness of aikido in general are beginner level students, perhaps a limited few intermediate students. These students have probably only learned "hard" aikido. The stories you read of aikido being most effective tend to come from advanced students. I've read stories of aikido being used to effectively defend against common thugs as well as seasoned fighters, trained by the military or in other martial arts.

Others have already posted in this forum that true aikido is a blend of "hard" and "soft." I think what this poll really addresses are the differences between "softer" aikido versus "harder" aikido, which may even involve striking an opponent. While some people may find that "harder" aikido works best for them, I think the ultimate goal should be to achieve "softer" aikido, where "hardness" or "power" or "kuzushi" is only applied at the moment it is necessary.

Mark Uttech 08-14-2006 03:55 PM

Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
This is a reply to Xu: if some crazed maniac comes rushing at you with a spear, staff, axe, and you merely step aside at the right time so that this attacker goes off into the outer limits, this is a soft response. The effectiveness can only be imagined. In gassho.

Jeremy Hulley 08-14-2006 04:08 PM

Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
I think that its awfully hard to define soft as it relates to aikido. Ikeda sensei comes to mind....his aikido seems soft but its awfully effective and I've sure hit the ground pretty fast. Don Angier is another person who comes to mind. He can feel soft as can be but still hs complete control of uke. Whose perception of soft?

aikidoc 08-14-2006 04:50 PM

Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
I think we get hung up on the soft or hard concept too much. Both elicit different responses based on one's interpretation of the term. I prefer personally the term relaxed vs. muscled. A relaxed response is connected and may feel soft and generally does not elicit as much of a fight from uke since the movement is from center. Endo sensei is apparently a good example of this. Muscled, however, tends to elicit a similar response or fight from uke. The feeling of strength and tension elicit a response of strength and tension vs a feeling of relaxed power, one that is calm yet assertive and center connected. Movement from center does feel "softer" but no less powerful. Movement from the periphery feels strong and muscled. One moves through the body the other through the extremities.

raul rodrigo 08-19-2006 08:15 PM

Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
 
When I move "softly" (relaxed) and uke resists, he hits the ground hard.


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