Chris Hein wrote:
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.
...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.