Brian Cates wrote:
There is a simple, and quite effective technique that an Aikidoka or Daito-Ryu practitioner can use to thwart an opponent going low trying to wrap them up around the knees and take them down.
I found this out during a randori where person training with us who had a Judo background and he decided to take me down that way.
It was so simple I couldn't believe it. I did it instinctively too, without any conscious thought.
As he came in low, his head down, arms wide and just as he was about to make contact with my thighs I pretended I had a sword in my hand, dropped my center and moved forward as if striking an opponent 3 feet away.
You do not pick your feet up when you attack with a sword. You glide, your feet never leaving the surface.
I did not step straight forward, either, but at a 45 degree angle, right into him.
The result was, he was totally unprepared for me to MOVE RIGHT INTO HIM as he was just about to wrap me up. He was still going forward and all of a sudden the space between his neck and shoulder met my thigh and my thigh was moving at an angle and my entire bodyweight was behind it.
We are taught to put our entire body into the sword strike, so that's what I did. He weighed around 195 but I weighted around 245. He's bent over and coming forward. I'm perfectly straight and centered.
Guess what happened?
It was like he was pulled backwards with one of those stunt wires they use when they pretend someone has been shot by a high-powered weapon in the movies. He flew backwards, hit the mat with his rear and then rolled completely over and sprawled out.
I didn't know a whole lot back then, but I figured I was onto something there. A few years later I saw a video of Gozo Shioda doing a demonstration and he was doing that sort of thing almost constantly; several times as attackers came at him he would suddenly swivel and hit them with his BACK and send them flying. Just when they were about to make contact he would move forward with his whole body and their own attacking energy would be thrown back at them.
That has to be the simplest and most direct way to thrward a BJJ style shoot that anyone can do. Simply move into the other person when they are about to wrap you up, and move into them STRONGLY with a low center and use your entire body.
And yet...somehow...in the thousands of years that greco style and free style wrestling have been practiced...no one has come up with this answer and have been busy doing other things? In the past two decades of MMA, in the past 40+ years of BJJ and Sambo, people with countless hours of full contact, full resistance sparring have not come up with this answer either? The whole time this answer has been in Japanese sword fighting systems!!!
If I wanted to know about wrist locks, I'd go to an Aikido dojo. If I want to learn about double legs, I'll go to a wrestling gym.
First, judo does not focus that much on full-body, leg-wrap take downs. Judo players just aren't that good at them, although they are fantastic at many other things. So I wouldn't put that much stock into being able to defending his take down. Not to mention, a "judo background." That could be anything from 8th kyu to 1st dan. Also, it's randori, in which people tend to not exactly give it their all when attacks are made. And lastly, you're surprised that you could stop him when you had a 50 pound weight advantage??? Yeah...if a 130 pound guy came in and gave me a crappy shoot I could stop it by leaning into him as well, no problem.
The only high percentage moves in reaction to low-level take downs are (in order): sprawls, whizzers, and kneeing someone in the face. Anything else might work one time, but will definitely not work reliably over a long time against a variety of opponents. Just in the 20th century, people have spent their entire lives in wrestling and studying how to execute low level take downs and how to counter them. I assure you, anything else is fantasy against someone who has good low-level take downs.
The answer is out there, it's just not in Aikido. Don't try and re-invent the wheel when it's not necessary. If you want to learn how to defend low-level take downs go to (in this order) a wrestling, Sambo, or BJJ gym. However, it really isn't necessary for Aikido practice, so unless you're just interested in expanding your martial repertoire, I'd say just practice Aikido and don't worry about those types of attacks.