Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas:
>Is aikido a martial art or is it a
>form of dancing?
Speaking as a longtime student of budo in general and occasionally of aikido, I have to say that aikido is definitely a budo.
However, what that means may not be what you're asking. Remember, too, that there are lots of different kinds of aikido and lots of different teachers. To some, it's all about the philosophy of peace-love-harmony, to some it's about rock-and-roll with tori being the rock and uke doing the rolling. There's a huge spectrum of variation. For more, it's about a little of both.
>So far it appears to be a dance with no >combat application. I have heard no one >defend the art as a MARTIAL ART.
It's both, at different times. For a more martial application of aikido and it's principles, look at the aikido of some of the Yoshinkan folks, look at the Aikikai aikido of Chiba or Nishio.
But it's an art also capable of great beauty and grace.
>If I want to be able to defend myself should >I study Karate and Ju Jitsu and forget about >aikido?
Bottom line. You want self defense? Learn to box, learn to wrestle, buy an axe handle. You'll be well-set to handle 99% of anything you encounter.
You want to learn a martial art, then aikido might be for you. Self defense is a part, but not the whole -- by a long shot.
Aikido and the UFC -- IIRC, there WAS an aikidoka in the UFC some years back, a Tomiki stylist, I think. Don't remember how he did, but don't think it was a very stellar performance. What does that mean? Not a damn' thing. UFC, like any such competition is governed by rules and restrictions. It is tailored to folks who train to those rules and conventions. And don't forget, first and foremost, almost ALL of those NHB things are entertainment.
Aikido and jujutsu -- Foist of all, aikido IS a type of jujutsu. Jujutsu is a rather generic Japanese word used to describe any number of unarmed or lightly armed fighting systems. Aikido has roots in Daito Ryu jujutsu and Ueshiba also studied other old JJ systems in his youth. It is a unique and innovative system of jujutsu, but is still JJ.
Trad. vs Mixed MA -- Sigh. There are so very few pure budo out there. Judo is an amalgam of older jujutsu systems. Kendo is an amalgam of sword styles, iaido is same. Even the old guard (koryu like Shinto Muso Ryu, Kashima Shinryu, TSKSR, etc) tend to have some drift and inclusion in their histories.
I think the real question you're asking (correct me if I'm wrong) is 'What good is aikido?'
It's an art rich in philosophy and theory. It's an art capable of great power and potential. It's an art of subtle depths and broad reach.
You want fighting? Join a boxing club. You want budo? Get thee to a dojo.
The bottom line is that it ain't about effectiveness. Study budo for a long time and you'll learn a lot about personal combat, but you'll also learn a lot of other stuff that may not interest the individual looking solely for that ever-elusive and legendary 'street-effective' martial art.