Larry Camejo wrote:
I think this is a gross misconception and generalisation. It depends on what you perceive Aikido to be. If one understands the concept of Aiki in itself (i.e. not allowing oneself to become fettered by the set definition of any particular institution) the "sparring" done in Judo, BJJ etc. is merely one step above what even traditional Aikido schools practice as randori or jiyu waza, with the difference being the free will to resist and counter technique on both sides. If it does not "look" like "Aikido" then this is a testament to the quality of Aikido (or lack thereof) being executed, not a definition of what Aikido is not.
Hi Larry, a good post as usual. This may be a topic for another thread, but I'm interested on your thoughts on this. Let me explain what I meant in more detail.
Certainly we can ramp up uke's resistance and make things more realistic. What I'm not convinced we can do to Aikido without losing something, is instigate the sort of sparring where there is no distinction between uke and nage. Where both are concerned with winning a "match". My take is that this kind of sparring has a completely different energy pattern and therefore strategy to what Aikido was trying to accomplish. If someone is attacking me but is just as concerned about watching out for my kote gaeshi as they are about actually hurting me, it's a different kettle of fish. I guess I'm talking about the difference between a sparring match, and an assault.
Now obviously you can set up this kind of a match, but because of the changes that result you are going to doing a somewhat different style of aikido, smaller, in some sense less committed (in terms of commitment to the technique and the action). I guess I can come back to Judo and BJJ - sparring in those arts is not what real fighting looks like. The grip fighting, the feinting etc that is required for competition. No doubt they can translate this to real world effectively, but my point is the sparring and competition focus has altered the arts because it's a different set of techniques and strategy that work on someone that knows your game and is holding back their attacks because of that.
I wouldn't like to see that happen to aikido. It works great with genuine assault type attacks and I'd rather keep it as it is and get my sparring attributes from another art. My understanding is that this is what the competitive schools of aikido do within their own art to some degree? i.e. they type of fighting they use for sparring isn't the only type of aikido they practice, they also devote time to traditonal techniqes agaisnt assault type attacks? Maybe someone can confirm or deny that.