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Old 05-08-2005, 07:56 PM   #248
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
Location: Cortland, NY
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 980
Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Jason Potenza wrote:
"I dont see how in Gods name u can find Brazilian jiujitsu effective and not aikido.. makes no sense."

What color is the sky in your world?

"Hahahahah, that statement has to be a joke.
Look at what happend in martial arts history about 12 years ago."

-Chris Hein

Chris, people dont want to talk about what really happens, they dont like to be takin out of their confort zones, especially if they feel they have found a worthwhile pursuit! Its also much more fun to talk about mystical things and all the great feats of the old masters! These kinds of discussions have been going on sense i was a kid, probly always will.
Oh, puh-LEAAAZE. Could you be more condescending if you tried?

When the Gracies first hit the scene (which was more than 12 years ago, closer to 15 or 20), I was plus-plus-nonplussed. Even though I hadn't done more than traditional karate and Aikido at that point, my first karate sensei had made a point of saying some things over and over again: Every move has a counter-move; you won't win all the time; and someone out there knows something you don't. So when the Gracies claimed to be able to take on all comers, my first though was, These guys are proving sensei was right -- they have counters to their opponents moves, the other guys are losing for once, and they know something other people don't. So I didn't see what all the fuss was about, or why "stand up striking" systems were in a tizzy.

Fast forward to 1997, and I started taking Kali at the now-defunct East West Martial Arts Academy under Guro Kevin Seaman, which is also where I began training under Guro Andy Astle. Guro Kevin is heavily interested in grappling, not just from Shoot and BJJ but it's incorporated into Kali. (I'm actually a little hazy on what he knows from where, now that I think about it. I know that Sensei Eric Paulson is Guro Kevin's grappling instructor, but other than that, I'm hazy on his lineage outside Kali. Although I think -- don't quote me on this --- that BJJ is part of the Jun Fan/JKD curriculum, but I can't say for certain because I'm not a Jun Fan person. But I digress.) So even though Kali has a lot of stuff going on standing up, I periodically got exposed to th grappling system; and Guro Kevin also did a couple of grappling systems. I wouldn't claim to be any good at it -- far from it -- but I'm acquainted with the basic positions. But something I also became acquainted with a plaque on the wall of the academy, a list of precepts Guro Kevin wanted his students to follow, and the one that sticks in my mind was, "I will refrain from criticizing other martial arts styles and systems; they all have something to offer." That plus their approach to looking at the arts in general during their lectures, as well as the fact that I could go into East West for "open training" and do karate kata without any word from any avowed kata haters about it imparted to me a live-and-let-live with attitude towards the arts: Some arts specialize in certain things and neglect others, but that's ok, that's the way they are; you will still benefit from doing it. I don't know if Guros Kevin and Andy intended me to think that way, but that's the impact they had. (BTW, Guro Kevin once illustrated the need to practice regularly by saying something like, "'Oh I don't want to practice my basic kata!' Mr. Gallagher does his forms every day." Actually it was closer to every other day then; barely once a week now. But you get the idea.)

So when I return to Aikido after 16 years -- and although I'd been thinking about it for a while, there's a yarn and a half about what gave me the final push -- I'm not looking at it and saying, "It should do this, that, and the other thing." I will, in fact, agree that the Aikido I'm doing doesn't go near those areas, no question! But my attitude is, "They don't do those things? Ok. They don't do those things. So what do they do?" And I work on trying to learn what is there than lambaste it for what's not.

If you want to shoehorn Aikido into looking like every other MMA system, fine, go right ahead. It's your prerogative. Knock yourself out. But if you want to believe that people who don't hop on your bandwagon are in denial or hiding from the facts of life .... Well, it doesn't apply to me. And I'm probably not the only one. So forgive me if I don't go along with that.
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