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Old 09-27-2007, 10:48 AM   #6
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
Re: Aikido and Judo/jujitsu

Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
There is no newaza in Aikido. You have to think back to what ju-jitsu was originally for which was a way of using minor weapons like the tanto, yoroi doshi, kodatchi close in and on a battlefield.
Put simply there isn't much newaza because newaza with a weapon doesn't tend to go on for very long, someone gets killed pretty quickly.
Why mount someone and go for a submission when you can just stab him? Why get into complex ground work when all you need to do is trap his sword arm long enough to draw your weapon or his and kill him with it?

Plus every second you're on the ground is another second for your opponents friend to kill you.

And the same lessons are true today. Do you want to be rolling around on the floor with a man with a knife? Are his friends going to stand back and see who wins or are they going to be using you as a kick bag?

So that's why newaza as we know it today wasn't really a part of ju-jitsu and so it never got passed on to Aikido.

As for atemi it's not often done in my organisation and I think that might be the case generally, so it's seldom treated as an important thing.

I realise I've made a few generalisations about koryu ju-jitsu but hopefully everyone can see what I'm getting at.
Fusen Ryu jiujitsu is credited (usually) for the development of modern day ground work. If memory serves me, it's from the early 1700's.

My aikido instructor says he simple can not allow a fight to go into that range. I agree with him, a ground fight is a bad place to be for self defense. Where we differ is in our approach to keeping ourselves off the ground. That is another topic entirely. Suffice to say I think the best anti-ground training is training on the ground.

However, there are photos of Ueshiba doing newaza, so it was known to him, and decidedly not focused on in aikido. It is obvious he did not place much importance on it.

Modern day military train newaza tactics for use in police actions. They are useful for when you want to disable, but not kill someone, obviously they find it useful, or they wouldn't bother training their recruits in it.

As for striking, I think it was originally assumed you would be coming to aikido from arts where you had already mastered a system of combat (such as karate or judo). So it was not about teaching these basic requirements, but refining a very complex and advanced skill. Unfortunately, this has degenerated today to some hand waving when it comes to striking. The grappling side sometimes is better represented with hip throws and reaps.

I agree that at least in the clubs I've visited, good striking instruction is very lacking and very important.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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