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Jorx 04-30-2005 09:59 AM

Aikido challenges today
 
It is an offshoot from "Tohei throwing judoka" thread...

There are quite many descriptions of "old" aikido masters (including O'Sensei) taking different challenges and succeeding in them. Most of them fall into the before 50's era and there are mostly written descriptions and "supposedtobe" films.

Could someone gather info on films that are actually widespread and remained?

That was question one.

Secondly - nowadays why noone does it? I would love to see a less-than-10-year old videoclip of some Aikidoka taking on 5 (even one would be a start) professional judoka/boxer/whatever "sport" stylist.

But I've never heard of it. At least nothing that is supported by proper evidence.

Why?

Bodhi 04-30-2005 02:49 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
"Secondly - nowadays why noone does it? I would love to see a less-than-10-year old videoclip of some Aikidoka taking on 5 (even one would be a start) professional judoka/boxer/whatever "sport" stylist."

But I've never heard of it. At least nothing that is supported by proper evidence.

Why?


From what i know, have seen, or heard, Aikido people just arent that interested in such a thing, much less trying to train in a way that would even be able to deal with all comers.
I think Aikido is what it is, and thats ok, because in the end its not the style that matters! You gotta be happy with what your doing or your just not gonna want to do it for very long! From what i have seen, Aikido people are happy folks who dont give a rats about being able to handle other styles, challenge matches, or whatever. So what, they are doing what they want to do, and a person that is at peace with themselves must be respected!

Kevin Kelly 04-30-2005 02:58 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Jason, that's pretty much how I feel about it. I really don't care if I ever fight anyone. That's not the reason I started Aikido in the first place. Not sure why I did. I guess I just needed something to do, and I found out I love doing it.

Charles Hill 04-30-2005 07:59 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Those people taking part in and receiving challenges were all professionals/full time practitioners. All they did was to train. Contemporary aikido people are largely hobbyists and those who are pros make their money teaching hobbyists. I think that if you look into people who teach combat methods to people who will actually use the skills, you will find that they are challenged in similar ways to the "old masters."

Charles

ChrisHein 05-01-2005 02:48 AM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Honestly I feel that Aikido is not a very strong empty handed system. I don't think it was ever meant to be used as an effective means of combat bare handed. Tohei, and all those guys did allot more then Aikido, they had a large syllabus of techniques and empty handed knowledge to fall back on. I believe that if swords were still a prevalent means of making war, then we would see more Aikidoka in a combative roll. I fought with the dog brothers (full contact stick fighting), and found that as long as I was holding a jo, Aikido held up very nicely. However when the fight went to closer range, I was very happy that I knew how to strike and fight on the ground.

-Chris Hein

Jorx 05-01-2005 03:45 AM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
But there are still full-time Aikidoka and other "stylists".
Is Aikido evolved since then that it is nor longer a real combat art? Because that's what the "old masters" wanted to prove back then - that it was combat efficient and would work even in demonstrative (I mean dojo challenge) circumstances very well.

takusan 05-01-2005 04:56 AM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
To all those that think Aikido is not an effective art, or a weak 'karate ryu', you are correct. Your attitude makes it such.

I happen also not to belong to that particular school of thought.

Aikido, as a 'karate' system is highly effective, just so long as the person doing the training has a budo spirit within them, rather than a sporting spirit. That goes for ANY martial art. The effectiveness is directly proportionate to the spirit with which one trains - even with-in a system that promotes itself as having a 'gentle form'.

In fact even a 'sport' done with the martial / competitive spirit, makes itself stand out as better than merely average.

Fighting spirit does not however mean brutal or base in nature.
I do not consider my technique as brutal when I lower my partner to the ground 'fast', if it was done with sufficient timing.
Indeed, I consider my best techniques to also to be the gentlest.
I just love it when I ask someone to really resist, (or speed up, or get a helper or two)and then proceed to do the technique as gently as I can, without them even beginning to resist.

I then like to qualify the situation by saying, that was probably still only a fraction of what a real street attack would be like, and to go and train your spirit, not your muscles.

PS I do understand competition and the ability to over-come another person that is resisting, (I was an amateur wrestler before Aikido) but equally, I have a far larger arsenal at my disposal that is NOT allowed in wrestling, judo, most karate competition etc, does that mean I am not to make use of this (unfair) advantage.
Rubbish.
If the **** really hits the fan, the training that I received (and teach) should stand well against a wide variety of other 'styles', BUT equally my teaching should also allow for me to 'talk the situation down' - what other systems even has that as a concept let alone a guiding philosophy?

ChrisHein 05-01-2005 10:49 AM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
David,
I think there is no need to defend Aikido. Everyone here understands it's merits. It's an awesome system that teaches lots of things that can't be found else where. However to say that it is a sound empty handed system is foolish. Aikido has no real striking ability (shomen, Yokomen, and Tsuki are all Representative of what would happen with a weapon in hand). Aikido has almost no ground techniques (Suwariwaza is very limited in full on ground fighting). Has no real defenses against striking,throwing, or ground fighting. Has a syllabus that is full of wrist grabbing, which is a clear indicator that it's infasis is on controlling a man with a weapon. Worst of all Aikidoka don't spar, sparring is a key that you will find in any readily usable empty handed system (western boxing, wrestling, kick boxing, Bjj, MMA etc etc).
I think Aikido has amazing things to show the world, however it's not designed for, nor meant to be an empty handed combative system. Budo spirit is not limited to traditional Japanese martial artists. I think that if you spent some time with modern mixed "sporting" martial artists you would find that they are shinning exsamples of martial spirit. We should stop pretending like Aikido is something it clearly is not, and be happy for what it is, a wonderful unique system.

-Chris Hein

Misogi-no-Gyo 05-01-2005 01:17 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Quote:

Chris Hein wrote:
David,
I think there is no need to defend Aikido. Everyone here understands it's merits. It's an awesome system that teaches lots of things that can't be found else where. However to say that it is a sound empty handed system is foolish. Aikido has no real striking ability (shomen, Yokomen, and Tsuki are all Representative of what would happen with a weapon in hand). Aikido has almost no ground techniques (Suwariwaza is very limited in full on ground fighting). Has no real defenses against striking,throwing, or ground fighting. Has a syllabus that is full of wrist grabbing, which is a clear indicator that it's infasis is on controlling a man with a weapon. Worst of all Aikidoka don't spar, sparring is a key that you will find in any readily usable empty handed system (western boxing, wrestling, kick boxing, Bjj, MMA etc etc).
I think Aikido has amazing things to show the world, however it's not designed for, nor meant to be an empty handed combative system. Budo spirit is not limited to traditional Japanese martial artists. I think that if you spent some time with modern mixed "sporting" martial artists you would find that they are shinning exsamples of martial spirit. We should stop pretending like Aikido is something it clearly is not, and be happy for what it is, a wonderful unique system.

-Chris Hein

...Yeah, I had heard this about some of the dojos up in Northern California... Looks like you should be moving on and finding another dojo where they are teaching Aikido, as opposed to Aikidance.


In all seriousness though...
I fear that you may have wasted too much time at the one you are at if that is what you think of the training that you received there. Of course, it could just be you and not the dojo at all. Perhaps we should ask your Sensei what he/she thinks about the effectiveness of the art, or their own ability to use it effectively. Should they feel about the same as you (indicated by your prior sentiments) perhaps you should take my earlier recommendation. If that doesn't work for you, well I give up. In either case, you should really get out more and check out some of the dojos that are run by teachers with different training goals than the one you seem to have accepted.



.

CNYMike 05-01-2005 03:01 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Quote:

Jorgen Matsi wrote:
..... Secondly - nowadays why noone does it? I would love to see a less-than-10-year old videoclip of some Aikidoka taking on 5 (even one would be a start) professional judoka/boxer/whatever "sport" stylist.

But I've never heard of it. At least nothing that is supported by proper evidence.

Why?

Nowadays, cross-training is all the rage. Rather than try to beat up the "new kid on the block," many martial artists view other sytstems as things to learn from than challenges to take one. So it's more likely a Judo person would cross-train in Aikido than march into an Aikido dojo issuing a challenge. Even MMA guys cross-train in Aikido, according to this thread I found in usenet:

http://webnews.newsfeeds.com/webnews...id=28731&th=12

When you look at arts as things to learn from instead of as potential challenges, the ego-motive to issue a challenge is gone.

Charles Hill 05-01-2005 04:55 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Quote:

Jorgen Matsi wrote:
But there are still full-time Aikidoka and other "stylists".
Is Aikido evolved since then that it is nor longer a real combat art?.

Yes, exactly. Aikido is no longer a real combat art. A real combat art would necessarily be firearm based, Aikido is not. In the days of challenges, to train in an art that was not martially effective meant that someone could be killed, thus the challenges. I imagine that those who nowadays teach police, for example, get challenged by the officers. Of course, what they are learning is not combat, however.

What Aikido is today is a way for self-development through hard physical, martial training. The fact that we can improve self-defense skills and combat skills is a bonus not a central point. To look to Aikido or any martial art solely for self-defense is to be lost in b-movie fantasyland, in my opinion.

If one is interested in modern day dojo busting, you could go into the dojo and tell the chief instructor that he/she is a jerk and their art is a joke. If they get angry and defensive, consider the dojo "busted" and get out. If they handle your outburst in a calm, polite manner, apologize profusely and start training right away.

Charles

ChrisHein 05-01-2005 06:03 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Well said Charles! I belive once Uyeshiba saw what an attomic bomb could do he thought the same thing. Aikido works wonderfully for self development, much as it was intended to do!

Shaun,
Do you think that any of the original members of Daito Ryu were planing of fighting predominantly empty handed? The techniques of Aikido are clearly first and formost a weapons system. If you don't understand this you havent' been training Aikido, weather you live on the east coast, west coast or Antartica! Aikido has large number of weapons strikes, tons of parries, lots of grappleing methods for dealing with someone who attacks your weapon hand. I'm sure that you belive your sensei to be the toughest man in the whole wide world, but lets face facts, if any, and I mean ANY Aikidoka with training only in Aikido faced a person of equal size and will who was trained in a competitive empty handed fighting system, they would lose.

-Chris

deepsoup 05-01-2005 06:17 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Quote:

Chris Hein wrote:
Worst of all Aikidoka don't spar

They dont?

Michael Neal 05-01-2005 07:43 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Quote:

Michael Gallagher wrote:
Nowadays, cross-training is all the rage. Rather than try to beat up the "new kid on the block," many martial artists view other sytstems as things to learn from than challenges to take one. So it's more likely a Judo person would cross-train in Aikido than march into an Aikido dojo issuing a challenge. Even MMA guys cross-train in Aikido, according to this thread I found in usenet:

http://webnews.newsfeeds.com/webnews...id=28731&th=12

When you look at arts as things to learn from instead of as potential challenges, the ego-motive to issue a challenge is gone.

As a Judoka I agree with you, Aikido has alot to offer any martial artist. I happen to believe that Aikido has weaknesses that require some crosstraining to fix, but the same can be said for other arts as well, including Judo.

Instead of making challenges maybe Judoka and Aikidoka should get together and train together during special seminars or something and show each other the benefits of each art. Aikidoka learning more about the value of randori training and Judoka learning a host of techniques that are not allowed in competition.

Right now Aikido has many "Friendship" seminars for different Aikido styles, maybe a special type should be organized to host different arts.

Chris Li 05-01-2005 07:45 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Quote:

Charles Hill wrote:
Yes, exactly. Aikido is no longer a real combat art. A real combat art would necessarily be firearm based, Aikido is not. In the days of challenges, to train in an art that was not martially effective meant that someone could be killed, thus the challenges. I imagine that those who nowadays teach police, for example, get challenged by the officers. Of course, what they are learning is not combat, however.

"Get a gun"? Well, that presupposes that you live in a place where you can carry firearms - more than half my adult life was spent in a place where you couldn't. It also presupposes that you would be willing and able to carry a firearm on a regular basis, which is not an option for most people. It also assumes that firearms are appropriate for all situations, which they are not. For similar reasons, empty hand arts survived in Japan for hundreds of years even though almost all battlefield combat was performed with weapons. And there were plenty of challenges.

Best,

Chris

Ibaraki Bryan 05-01-2005 08:06 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Quote:

Shaun Ravens wrote:
...Yeah, I had heard this about some of the dojos up in Northern California... Looks like you should be moving on and finding another dojo where they are teaching Aikido, as opposed to Aikidance.

I wholeheartedly agree -- but it would be good to point out that Northnern California is host to many traditional or otherwise serious dojo -- of the non-hippy variety.

Notable are Tatoian Sensei (http://www.traditional-aikido.com), Goto Sensei (http://www.baymarinaikido.com) and most any other listed on http://www.takemusu.org... and quite a few others. My father, who lived about 5 hours away from me when I was in California, was forced to train at what I would call a "hippy dojo" for a number of months when he lived in a very rural area. Now he lives in an even MORE rural area and trains only in weapon suburi... iwama style. :)

CNYMike 05-01-2005 08:55 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Quote:

Michael Neal wrote:
.... Instead of making challenges maybe Judoka and Aikidoka should get together and train together during special seminars or something and show each other the benefits of each art. Aikidoka learning more about the value of randori training and Judoka learning a host of techniques that are not allowed in competition.

Right now Aikido has many "Friendship" seminars for different Aikido styles, maybe a special type should be organized to host different arts.

Sounds like a good idea; multi art events like that aren't uncommon, just a !@$%^%$# to put together. Has that ever been done for Aikido and other arts? I don't know; wouldn't be surprised if it has, though.

CNYMike 05-01-2005 08:59 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Quote:

Charles Hill wrote:
.... A real combat art would necessarily be firearm based, Aikido is not .....

I imagine some of the guys at the Wing Chun seminar I was at today and yesterday might beg to differ on that part. Although Sifu Francis Fong is no stranger to firearms, and made several references to them during the seminar, no one with a functioning brain in their skull would suggest he couldn't handle himself empty handed just because Wing Chun isn't firearm based.

stuartjvnorton 05-01-2005 09:16 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
I think the concept of "dojo busting" doesn't take the western legal system into account.

takusan 05-01-2005 09:22 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
It would seem that in stating my position, I was defending the art of Aikido.
No problem with that being the impression. But I wasn't doing that intentionally.
The art of Aikido will / can stand on its own two feet, with or without my help.

I stand by my stance of Aikido being a sound syllabus (perhaps not complete, nor diverse) 'karate ryu'.
What is important is that the individual art that one trains in, if done with a strong personal budo spirit, can be considered worthy. This I say from MY perspective, but must qualify that by stating that I'm not a purist.
Indeed, some of my 'kung fu' is of a mixed heritage and therefore is not constrained by a single system. Thats the benefit (and weakness I suppose) of having many instructors over many decades.
No ground techniques - correct, and will support your view on that, (I teach some limited waza in class)
No real defense against strikes or throwing - to a degree I agree but I think my clubs students wouldn't agree, as we do alot of - 'what if it all goes wrong' type scenarios.
Syllabus full of wrist grabbing - yup - and loving it. But thats just the base - isn't it - not the entire art.
Worst of all, Aikidoka don't spar - oh yes they do. In our dojo. I would prefer they didn't sometimes, but they are energetic souls.
But I must concede, you are right, as it really is only amongst ourselves, and that really doesn't count.
We share the dojo with a judo group , and their idea of sparring is totally different from ours, however, the diverse nature of Aikido's techniques still allows me feel confident in its ability to 'match' it on the mat.

But thats possible because I'm considered a 'mean son of a really quite nice lady.' :D

Bodhi 05-01-2005 09:37 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
"Nowadays, cross-training is all the rage. Rather than try to beat up the "new kid on the block," many martial artists view other sytstems as things to learn from than challenges to take one. So it's more likely a Judo person would cross-train in Aikido than march into an Aikido dojo issuing a challenge. Even MMA guys cross-train in Aikido, according to this thread I found in usenet:

http://webnews.newsfeeds.com/webnew...sid=28731&th=12

When you look at arts as things to learn from instead of as potential challenges, the ego-motive to issue a challenge is gone"





Very true, JKD concepts people have been doing this forever!

In the 70s, Muay Thai fighters were going through people in other systems like a hot knife through butter, thus everyone began to barrow from the Thai's. They saw that the Thai fighters trained reality, lots of sparring, with resistance, and were just all around tough guys. Their art derived from Krabi Krabong, a military combat system wich was known for its effectiveness, so people began to supplement because of its no nonesense approach, and it worked very well!

In the 90s everyone saw a little 180 lb Brazilian deal with all that came his way, size, strength, speed, different systems etc all fell to BJJ. A 65 year challenge was brought to America, and helped to open the eyes of martial artists everywhere! Royce has said many times that he is the least skilled of all his brothers and that is why they chose him to show the effectiveness of their familys art (if they would have put in Rickson it just wouldnt have been fair ) :D So now strikers started to learn to grapple, thus increaseing their effectiveness in that range. What do the Brazilians do now, they start supplementing with Muay Thai and boxing, because they were beginning to have trouble with strikers that now knew how to grapple. Boxers learned to wrestle, and wrestlers learned to box. Kickers learned to punch, and punchers learned to kick, and EVERYONE learned to grapple, thus creating a more well rounded fighter in all the ranges! Granted i am speaking of a MMA tournament setting but there is no denying that becomming proficient within all the ranges will make you a more complete martial artist and all around better fighter, with or without weapons!

Learn from different arts, just as you would learn from different cultures and ways of thinking! You enjoy different foods, books, movies, hobbies, vacation spots etc, so learn to see the worth in other martial arts as well! Bruce Lee once said, "Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is uniquely your own" He took from 26 different systems in creating the "Original Jeet Kune Do", some of it was actual technique, some of it was just theory and principle, but all played a part in the overall developement! He later said that he wished that he would have never even named his art because of the way people fuss over labels. Its just a name, not a set way of doing anything, but an individual expression! Its not a Chinese way, its not a Japanese or Korean way, its not a Thai, Indonesian, or Philipino way, its having "no way" as way, so you are able to fit in with all ways, ideas, and systems!

I believe that if more people could possibly move towards this way of being, then we might be able to get a closer look at what the principles of Aikido seem to speak of in the first place.



BTW, it has been said many times that BJJ is Aikido on the ground ;)

ChrisHein 05-01-2005 10:36 PM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Hey David, I didn't mean to make it sound like I was anti-wrist grab. I think lots of good things come from it, and I think it's really the only way to deal with someone who has a weapon in their hand. I was just using it to illustrate my point about Aikido being a predominantly weapon system.

Nice post Jason!

-Chris

Misogi-no-Gyo 05-02-2005 12:38 AM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Quote:

Bryan Sardoch wrote:
I wholeheartedly agree -- but it would be good to point out that Northnern California is host to many traditional or otherwise serious dojo -- of the non-hippy variety.

Notable are Tatoian Sensei (http://www.traditional-aikido.com), Goto Sensei (http://www.baymarinaikido.com) and most any other listed on http://www.takemusu.org... and quite a few others. My father, who lived about 5 hours away from me when I was in California, was forced to train at what I would call a "hippy dojo" for a number of months when he lived in a very rural area. Now he lives in an even MORE rural area and trains only in weapon suburi... iwama style. :)

Bryan,

Of course my comments were meant to be taken "tongue-in-cheek" and in no way indicative of any generalization that I feel should be attributed to Aikido dojos, or the like. However, having said that, that doesn't mean that it isn't true about any particular dojo, Chris Hein's dojo apparently excluded by him from the mere possibility. He seems to think that his opinions based upon his limited experiences amount to the truth, but don't we all... However, simply restating them, albeit with a little more verve" as he did in his last post doesn't seem to make them any more right - pity.

Taking a closer look
For whatever reason, he stepped up and stated, " you think that any of the original members of Daito Ryu were planing of fighting predominantly empty handed? The techniques of Aikido are clearly first and formost a weapons system." Spelling mistakes aside, dealing with his first, "original" idea, well, he seems to forget that Aikido is not Daito-Ryu. However, should we choose for a brief moment to stand on the weak shoulders of that argument as a misbegotten truth, and extrapolating further from the farce of it all, even those on the wrong side of that argument would then agree that Aikido is merely a subset of the Daito-Ryu syllabus. We hear that message all the time coming from Daito-Ryu land, and even further along the path of extrapolation that this limited set of techniques are, at some level a way one competently deals with attackers who are armed when one happens not to be.

He later states, " If you don't understand this you havent' been training Aikido, weather you live on the east coast, west coast or Antartica! I would venture that if we gathered up a 100 person committee to judge our two perspectives, his being that one trained in (his art of) aikido could as he states, "…never face even an unarmed skilled opponent…," and my view being that someone competent in (my art of) aikido should be able to face a skilled, armed opponent, it may be judged by same committee that he may be the one who, in fact, may be missing the proverbial point.

As for his second point, as it so happens, I do remember fifteen or so years ago the shihan of my dojo at the time uttering a few words selected amongst many others for the consumption of those attending one of his public seminars. They went something along the lines of "I am teaching you how to be practical, how to make it work. …it has to work… If you can't go outside into that street and let a couple of gang-bangers come at you with baseball bats, and know that you are going to do the right thing, then you don't know aikido." These were uttered just prior to this other memorable ditty, "…it has to be real, otherwise, you may as well go take up aerobics, or something…" Again, with regards to his second point that The techniques of Aikido are clearly first and formost a weapons system" interestingly, the answer to the next question we asked of, "how much of your aikido is based upon kenjutsu, he answered, "I would say all parts of it. When I do nikyo, I cut, when I do irimi, I cut, when I do shihonage, I cut…" So given all of that, perhaps there is some element of truth to what Mr. Heins in his infinite wisdom has said. The problem I have with his argument is that this coming from someone that says that Aikido doesn't work.

Funny thing is the seminar where this question and answer session was taking place was in Northern California. His comments were designed to encourage those whose aikido was not effective to question their training methods, and their allegiances to dojos, teachers or organizations that have gutted aikido into something it never was, that isn't practical and has sold the student short on promises of the spiritual and harmonious without any basis in reality. My post simply echoed the sentiments of an old proverb (but aren't they all old?) Don't spend ten years aimlessly practicing an art, but focused on finding a teacher that can lead you to the place you want to go. It doesn't sound like with regards to Aikido that Mr. Heins has found that for himself - yet.

Mr. Heins hailing from a "KI" dojo in Northern California tells us, "Aikido doesn't work." Now O-Sensei didn't teach ki, but his aikido worked, so who are we to believe?



.

takusan 05-02-2005 04:37 AM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Thats ok Chris, I think making our respective points can lead us down paths that are rather hard to solidify in the typed medium.
You are welcome at my dojo anytime.

Mmm, seems you have lit a candle under a couple of people.
Real strong opinions being shared.
None have all the answers and none are totally wrong.
Its perspective.
I teach 'hard aikido' so therefore might be considered a brute.
I also teach very 'gentle aikido', so therefore might be considered a *******, by certain others.

Thing is, I like to teach.
Whether a student likes to learn, is not my problem, but I often teach just one thing and still have various students give me a critique of the technique that is diametrically opposed.

Go figure.

Point here is that while we may all be on the same path,(maybe), we are most definitely on very different positions on said path.
How then can one persons perspective be invalidated if viewed from another's? :rolleyes:

takusan 05-02-2005 04:50 AM

Re: Aikido challenges today
 
Ooops, meant to ask - why is Aikido thought of as (only)a weapons based / focused system?????

I agree and support the idea that to do most karate waza, you must have a sound understanding of weapons, but for all that, I don't see aikido as a weapons based system.

Weapons derived - yes
even weapons directed - yes -but
'karate waza' dominated - I would believe more so.

The thought of doing shiho nage without a real good appreciation of weapon is almost laughable, but I don't see shiho nage as a weapons technique. It came from weapons, its practiced with / against weapons, but for day to day training and self protection, it is a karate waza.

Thats my penny's worth :p
Night all


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