Thread: A question
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:06 AM   #6
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: A question

Taijutsu really is just unarmed techniques, so karate/judo/jujitsu styles are also taijutsu. Indeed the 'techniques' of aikido in a broad sense are all seen in other martial arts (for example modern exploration of karate kata suggests that these kata encompass many of the grappling techniques similar to ikkyo, irimi-nage, kokyu-nage etc). Non-japanese martial arts (e.g. greek wrestling) also have developed similar techniques (e.g. 'sankyo'), probably through some convergent development (only so many ways to manipulate a body practically for self-defence).

However aikido is obviously different from ju-jitsu and other martial arts. I would say the main reasons for this is i. the training method, ii. the use of blending iii. the concept of destruction of the opponent not being an overall aim.

Daito ryu aikijitsu was certainly the basis for aikido development, and indeed 'aikijitsu' does have some concept of blending (though maybe not as exagerated as aikido). However the number of daito ryu techniques far exceedes that of what most people consider aikido (see M.Ueshibas first book).

I believe Ueshiba 'created' aikido in that he slimmed down the daito-ryu syllabus to the most important techniques (ikkyo, irimi-nage, shiho-nage, kokyu-nage, sokumen irimi-nage, sumi-otoshi, kaiten-nage, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, gokyo, rockyo... and on occasion aiki-otoshi and koshi-nage). Indeed, later on it pretty much seemed that just ikkyo and irimi-nage were the order of the day unless something unexpected happens. He also altered some techniques slightly (nikkyo done on the other side of the chest for example).

Also, traditional techniques had to be practiced in quite a static way with expressions like 'and then you break their neck' (thus things like karate kata which encompass some lethal techniques, but which cannot be practisced in their entirety with a person). However these methods often do not work in reality because the person has not practices them with a live person. Gigorano (in Judo) got around this problem by using the most effective techniques which could be practised full out in a non-lethal manner. Thus many techniques (such as rokyo) tend not to be practiced much in Judo now.

Aikido could be considered somewhere in between with the training method. You can have full power attacks and can throw quite hard, but the lethal or damaging end-points are not used. Thus we can practise techniques with a much more realistic uke than many traditional methods, but we retain the basis of techniques which are designed to kill or maim someone (e.g. throw onto the head with irimi-nage/shoulder disslocation with kaiten-nage or shiho-nage) - indeed aikido techniques also enable vital point strikes intrinsically within the technique. Though we have the same problem that, if we aren't actually doing them in practice, can we do them?

Thus, this is why aikido is often criticised as being unreal. We have tried to retain the real battlefield killing techniques with a semi-realistic training approach. Other traditional arts tend to be less realistic, other modern arts have taken out dangerous techniques. I'm guessing that what must have seemed like enlightenement for Ueshiba was that this logically led to thinking that these lethal techniques could thus also be done in reality in a non-harmful way. I'm not convinced that this is always practically possible (i.e. in a multiple-attack situation I think you really do need to put someone out of action with an irimi-nage quite quickly, and not throw them so they will get back up immediately and attack again - but maybe thats my failure in ability).

Last edited by ian : 10-17-2006 at 05:13 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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