Re: Getting very discouraged, need your help.
I can sympathize with getting discouraged with all the derogatory opinions out there about aikido. I went through a period of questioning myself, my aikido training, and the reasons for practicing, after getting way to focused on these seemingly prevalent opinions. What I noticed most about these opinions is that they are espoused by sports fighting fans, Gracie-followers, and sports fighters. The idea they put forth is that if it isn't effective in the "ring" (Pride/UFC/K-1) it must be worthless.
These are the thoughts I have come up with for myself. The goal of Pride/UFC/K-1 type fighting events are to win by knockouts (KO's or TKO's), submissions, or scoring decision. Fights occur in a controlled environment (ie - the ring) with one-on-one adversaries. Training is specifically focused on acheiving these goals. These professional fighters spend at least 5 times as many hours training a week than I ever will be able. The fighting they do is extremely effective for the goals they are striving to achieve, and I have a lot of respect for their skills.
However, TKO, KO, and submissions are not the only possible goals, or outcomes to a fight. What about avoiding the fight? What about escaping the situation? There are more variables that exist in the much vaunted "real world" or "street", such as, terrain, space, multiple combatants, etc. So are these types of events really the only gauge of "effectiveness" for all styles of Martial Arts? If it's not "ring worthy", is it automatically worthless?
I have come to believe that "ring worthy" is not the end-all-be-all to determining martial effectiveness. I'm not saying, nor implying, the professional fighters can't hold their own out in the "real world", and I'm not claiming that MMA venues have no bearing on what is effective technique. Ortiz, the Gracies, Liddel, and all the others are probably some of the best prepared people for any type of fight. All I argue is that it isn't the only gauge to what is effective. If you lead a person to the ground, using Aikido, there is a good chance that person isn't going to jump right back up. Let's face it, the ground is very unforgiving.
Would I be able to jump in the ring and compete with a professional fighter? Absolutely not! Not because Aikido is ineffective, but because I don't train to fight professionally. The difference in training regimes and overall fitness is why I would get beat. If I were to get in a confrontation with the average person, I am confident of, at the least, being able to hold my own long enough extract myself. I don't train to be "invicible", and "unstoppable" (in part because that's just not realistic for me); I train to be able to extract myself from a situation. Different goals to my training.
Why is it so hard to apply aikido techniques? Because it is a very technical and difficult art to learn. That is part of why I love it. It constantly challenges me to improve.
I don't know if this helps you, Paul. However, good luck.
Last edited by Just Jamey : 03-01-2007 at 07:45 PM.