Justin Smith wrote:
We're talking about hypothetical people here in hypothetical situations, so it is somewhat difficult to evaluate.
It really wouldn't matter to me if a practicioner of martial art X wins 30 straight UFC-ish events, or if a person or persons are more "consistent" in the gym because they enjoy full contact and resistance there; I'd still practice aikido instead of martial art X because of its unique philosophy and proven effectiveness for defense in the real world.
Plus it fits me for a variety of other reasons. A short list of factors involved with settling down on a martial art might include
- is it good exercise
- is it effective in real life
- does it use leverage or brute strength
- how expensive is it
- do I live near the school
- is there an ample number of training days per week
- what is the general reputation of style/school/teacher
- does the time of classes fit in with my schedule
- can any of it be practiced at home
- can I also practice weapons
- can any of it be practiced with minimal equipment
- what is the potential of injury
- did I enjoy what I found when I watched or participated in a trial class
- can I do it as I get older
- do I find the culture it comes from interesting
- can I do it in street clothes
- is the philosophy compatible with how I think
and in my research I found aikido to satisfy these more than others for me. For MMA stuff, my research showed it to lead to too many injuries, be too expensive, too few possible training days per week, and I don't care for aggression and competition that I've found it to promote. Others might find it works for them.
I know you're not saying one martial art is better than another, but it sounds like you are replacing "better" with "consistent level of skill", and it sounds like someone trying to convince that no matter the food a fork is better than a spoon.
I am saying consistant level of skill. This means you have a method of teaching that tends to train people in a consistant manner. Most martial arts are lacking in this. I am not saying everyone should train MMA and fight in a cage. In fact I know that's not for everyone. What I am saying is that I feel judo, bjj, MMA, boxing, and kickboxing training methods are superior to other martial art training methods. I feel that everyone could benifit from adding the type of training methods the SBG advocates to their current training. I'm not sure if you read my bullshido link or other material on training methods, but these 'sport' ideas seem to build skill much faster then 'traditional' methods (I put traditional in quotes because I feel these new sport methods are really the way people used to learn back in the old days anyways). These training methods do not require putting on mma gloves and getting into competition, getting agressive, or any other misinformed opinion on them. They are simply training methods. They could be applyed to chess, martial arts, painting, etc. Every criteria you have could be matched with an art that used SBG training methods. In fact some these training methods are used in some aikido schools today (tomiki style aikido has resistant randori).
Its a simple process really.
Introduce: Demonstrate and explain the material being taught, let them drill it to get a basic understanding and put it static reps.
Isolate: Work on the material in isolation, usually with drills or restricted sparring with progressively increasing resistance/difficulty.
Intregrate: Have the students encorporate the material into their whole game, usually in free rolling/sparring.
The bullshido link above goes into much more detail on ways to use this training.
Consistant performance in practioners should be VERY important to your decision to train. I mean if only a handful of people at 'high rank' can actually perform the art, then what does that say about your chances? If the training methods are inferior, then your chances of actually being able to use this art outside of your gym is smaller. I see more consistant levels of skill in places with this 'sport' type training. However, if you are just doing aikido for standing meditation and have no desire to use it as a martial art, then I would suggest not using these methods. They will be a waste of time.
Finally I would like to answer your criteria with my bjj training. It is good criteria and I would like to use it. I feel it is a good place to show some perceived weakness in sport training. For example:
can I do it as I get older? I know guys who are 65 and still doing judo. I know guys who are 55 and doing bjj. Sure they can't compete with young guys. But they can train and teach just fine.
what is the potential of injury? I feel that the potential for injury is actually much lower in bjj than in judo and aikido. This is because we take much less falls. Falls are very dangerous. Even with proper ukemi it is possible to hurt yourself. In fact I have yet to see a new person come to aikido class who didn't hurt their shoulders, back, or knee seriously within the first 6 months of training. Falling is more dangerous than anything I know of in the martial arts.
In the end you have to train how you are comfortable. But you have to also be honest about what you are actually getting from your training. I perfer efficancy, function, physical fitness, and competition. I dont care about being street lethal, learning a culture, using ancient weapons, or looking good while i'm training. If there is a new training method that can cut months or years off of learning and build consistant skill more reliably than older methods then I will be the first person to throw out the old and bring in the new. I personally do not train aikido anymore. The reason is not a flaw in technique, but a flaw I found in traing methods. After going out and trying judo and bjj and seeing how fast I was able to gain skill and seeing how fast I could apply these techniques against someone who was trying to do the same, I simply could not go back to the old ways of training. I was able to leverage these training methods outside of the gym to help my aikido, but I could not live with going to class and use what I feel are inferior methods of learning.