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Old 04-12-2002, 01:09 AM   #6
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Hey unregistered, you do come off as a troll without a name and it is forum rules. Anyways, as a critic, I'm happy to address these questions as best I can and assume you are not a troll.

As a guest surfing on these forums... every thread about combat efficiency of Aikido seems to go down to 2 principles: maai and irimi.

What arts don't come down to maai? I can't think of any that don't have irimi either.

If we stand at correct maai a reasonable fighter won't give any commited attacks but tries to sneak up with fake strikes and little steps. And in real life in one moment there may be nowhere to back up to!

Well, ideally, correct maai (more on that later) in the context of this statement is right at the edge (boxers hang out here or pretty close to here as well). Just enough to tempt but not enough to get us in too much trouble. It's a very delicate place and by itself very hard to rely on. It's why there are a lot of other concepts such as controlling centerline or center, "before the beginning" and atemi to pick a small handful. Most of those are also useful in close.

When we try to IRIMI from the correct maai we cannot move our body ahead without the opponent noticing and just slightly turning his body and landing a strike on us because he has so much time to react to our irimi.

Again, by itself I would agree. I've been watching a lot of boxing lately and I'm convinced that many of those guys could hit me 13 times before I even began to close on them, and getting to their backside...good luck. However, bring in a bunch of other facets and it's got a chance. It's not so simple as just closing on the winds of the universe, hopefully, no one does that. You close when you've shifted the dynamic to a position where you can close. If you can't close, you do something else. If the attacker closed you do something else again. There are a lot more options besides keeping an exact distance and closing on an overcomitted attack although we often practice that way.

When we are potentially close for a successful irimi... (when the opponent has made the distance short or we have helped him) then it is too close to be the correct maai and we won't be able to react to the commited attacks.

If I've closed right I have a huge edge. Maai is not static and merely represents ideal spacing. For instance, a kicker is probably going to be much less dangerous in close where many of his kicks won't execute (as opposed to a grappler who might eat my lunch in close), so my ideal maai might be close, distant or even in the middle. Also, if I've closed right, I've also taken balance or I'm in a position to take it. Maai, is I think, often misrepresented even when it's accurately stated. Yes, there is spacing in the hope an attacker will overcommit but there's also an element of shifting maai. Maai is not a static thing as your post implies, nor is Aikido solely blending with an overcommitted attack. It just seems like that and it is kind of that in both a good and bad way.

Aikido provides fantastic solutions to fantastic situations! True or not?

I think that's somewhat true. For instance, taking away swords and knives qualifies as both. Folks who play with real blades are doubly exaggerating that one. I also think a lot of the techniques and training methods imply a certain type of result and combat (one attack one throw) which suggests perfect resolution to a fairly static attack. In anything approaching free form it almost never works that way, at least for me. I think we also make many other assumptions as well but realistically all arts do that. The question for me is do I attempt to address those assumptions and just how much of an assumption are they?

Okay, there are lot's of you out there who will go that "this is not the purpose of Aikido" and blah blah... Maybe then we should stop calling it a MARTIAL art and equalize it with other way's of life and gymnastics as YOGA for example. Grrr...

I know some who have done pretty much this. Believe it or not, I've found more value in those places than anywhere else. I will also admit that I find those places lacking in their way as well but it would really suck to see them go away. There's a lot of sincere, good and really valuable work done in that realm.

What use is a self defence system in which you aren't (as it seems from some posts) effeciantly able to defend yourself after 5 or even more years of practice? (if not relying on some skills which are earned crosstraining but not Aikido) Grrr...

I think this is an incredibly valid question for those who see effectiveness as a part of their practice and while we might not easily admit it, that is probably all of us.

I know it's hard to doubt in somthing that some of you have done for very long BUT think real...

I had huge doubts the first time I saw it and I've doubted it ever since. I'm still here though.

By the way, Chuck, if you are reading this, I really like how you used the bold and decided to steal it.

Last edited by Erik : 04-12-2002 at 02:57 AM.
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