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Old 11-23-2005, 07:15 PM   #14
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Aikido against judo

Keane Lee wrote:
Hey Dean,thank you.I guess you really understood how i really feel.Its not really abt beating a Judo student,its just that i read a book about Tohei sensei,and in it,it made it seem like Aikido is the nemesis of Judo kinda thing.I really like Aikido alot.I believe in the philosophical aspect of Aikido as well,but i started learning Aikido as a martial art.And i believe i shld at least be able to defend myself after like 5-6 years of training.Abt getting getting in combat, i use to get into alot of fights when i was younger.Occasional use of weapons but mostly fist fights.Aikido changed my life in a way,i stopped all those crap after i started training in Aikido.But it struck me recently when i realise i cant seem to be able to use Aikido to defend myself against my friends when we were doing some wrestling kinda game.Thats when i really started questioning abt my Aikido.Sorry i know i might seem to be repeating myself alot ard here,but i just hope i can get the right msg across.

And er, i really hope someone knows where to get the footage of Tohei sensei fending himself in Randori while he was in Hawaii.Lotsa ppl wanted to put Aikido down, but he proved all of them wrong and demostrated that Aikido works! i really wanna see it.I hope you guys have sources on it.
It's all about your teacher. Seriously. Are they teaching Aikido as serious Budo or are they more into energy and conflict resolution? In the end there is no separation between these but most people more less fall into one camp or the other. If you want to do what Tohei and the other deshi did you have to train. The video you are talking about is rather disappointing, nothing big deal. It does not represent Tohei taking on some UFC type fighter...

If you want some better example, look at Shioda during the war. He and a companion got cornered by some Chinese Green Gang members in a bar. The first guy through the door got a broken bottle in his face. The next guy through threw a kick and Shioda broke his leg. That's Aikido as self defense in a real sense. not cool stories of conflict resolution and verbal deescalation but a life and death encounter.

Now one could say that we aren't training in those prewar techniques these days... but what do people think they aredoing when they do a tsuki, empty hand or with the sword? The applied version is a knife or a broken bottle. The thing is that people are training in the motor skill but they aren't training with the attitude. Everything you need to handle that hypothetical Judoka is in the kihon waza of Aikido but you have to train with the right mindset and you have to have partners who are training with the right mindset. You absolutely have to have a teacher who sees what he is doing as Budo and preferably has some background in martial arts on top of Aikido.

I don't have any idea of what your training situation is but you are talking about handling a Judoman after five years or so of training which means you be a Shodan at that point. Tohei was a Shihan at the point you are describing. Are you talking about defeating a Judo man of the same level as you or are you talking about defeating the types of Judo men Tohei dealt with (Shihan level judo practitioners)?

At five years of hard training I doubt you'd handle a good five year judo man. At five years an Aikido student is still trying to learn the basic principles of the art. At five years the Judo man has been throwing resistant subjects for years in competition.

You have to understand how the old guys trained... O-Sensei had a match with a Judo man and the fellow went to do a koshi on O-Sensei. O-Sensei delivered an atemi to his hip and the collision broke the fellows back. If you feel the absolute necessity of getting to this place you'd get there sooner by doing the art that all this came from, namely Daito Ryu.

Aikido is one of the most sophisticated arts. Its hard enough to be good at it simply within its own context much less getting to the point where your understanding is such that you can spontaneously apply its principles to freestyle application with trained people from other arts. I am not saying that it can't be done but its a whole different focus than what most folks are doing in their dojos. If you want to do this you are talking about training for twenty or thirty years the way most of us train. Tohei is considered on of the giants of modern Aikido. If that's how good you want to be then you need to make your entire life revolve around Aikido and give ity everything you've got... and then be innately talented to boot.

The time when you could get to Toheis level in five or six years is past. That just isn't happening any more...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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