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Old 05-21-2010, 05:21 PM   #33
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

OP Wrote:

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I love aikido for its philosophy, but as a martial art I do think it's far removed from what O Sensei intended when he taught men like Gozo Shioda.
This is what I am talking about when I say "categorical assumption". Could it be that your experiences with aikido led you to this? It is not my experiences, maybe I am fortunate to have a good Shihan? I think many folks have different experiences, but that does not categorically mean that this applies across the art.

OP Wrote:

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I do know the difference between a combat system, martial art, self defense system and budo. Maybe my post was a little loose on using those terms but I do know the difference between them. I don't want aikido to be a form of RBSD (which it should not be), nor must it be part of MMA. Since Aikido is considered a form of budo, then it should be trained as such.
I agree with this, but then the next paragraph:

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But as a budo, I feel that Aikido must live up to the "martial" in "martial way". If not, then maybe people should stop calling Aikido a martial way and just consider it a form of moving yoga or flowing zen, with no martial component whatsoever. Which is fine by me, to be perfectly honest. From what I've seen from the aikido dojos around here lately, this "new age aikido" is already here to stay anyway.
You would need to explain this more. It seems like a contradiction to the prior paragraph. How do you define "martial way". I think it is another way of saying "effective", which, you have to define "effective at WHAT?". (BTW, rarely is that done here in my years of this debate").

What is a "martial component". I'd say most of the waza that we do has martial components...shionage, irimi nage...which BTW is VERY effective in combatives situations to understand.

I assume you understand and have practiced irimi nage in aikido, so I must assume when you say "martial component" that you are saying that the WAY it is practice is not martial..which again...circles back around to the "effectiveness" criteria.

OP Wrote:

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Just surfing around here and other online aikido communities indicate that self-defense ability is important to aikido students. Important enough to have students insisting all over the internet that aikido is indeed a martial art.
I agree, I think there are alot of folks out there that are dishonest in the "Sensei" world. A random survey of ANY Aikido site will almost always have the words "Self Defense" on their website or will allow the inference to float around out there and yet inadequately actually train their students. Absolutely, this is a pet peeve of mine.

However, I don't think because they may do a poor job of it...means that aikido is not a martial art...this conclusion does not follow based on those facts. It just means that that instructor is either being dishonest or doesn't really understand WTF he is doing.

Can what we consider normal aikido training/waza to be beneficial to SD? Absolutely, a wonderful framework to build upon. The key is FRAMEWORK. A foundation does not make a complete house.

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For example, if you get three identical people and teach one of them karate for 10 years, another does judo for 10 years and the other does aikido for the same amount of time, I'm willing to bet that, all things being equal, the first two have a far better chance of surviving an assault than the aikidoka. That sounds harsh but that's my opinion.
my experiences were different. I studied Karate for about 10 years..aikido was an eye opener for me! It improved my ability to fight 10 fold.

Judo, well, I do that too. All I will say is it is another methodology that is complementary...but AIkido and Judo are two different methodologies trained under different training constraints...both have their pros and cons. If you train extensively in them, then you will understand this. If not, then you make sophomoric statements like this. (Sorry to be harsh, but that is the way I see it).

OP Wrote:

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It's easy to talk peace and harmony, but it should be done from a position of strength. If aikido should be taken seriously as a martial art, it should remember what "martial" means.
I agree it is easy. I am fortunate in my line of work...I get to do this when doing my job, and it is not something the average person can really say they do or have the ability to influence one way or the other. I try to promote peace and harmony, but also carry a big stick with lots of lethality behind it. I also take my aikido practice very seriously as do many that practice aikido.

I think you'd be surprised at the number of combat veterans on Aikiweb that either took aikido or picked it up after their combat experience. These guys understand the importance of a practice such as aikido in the realm of peace and harmony and also understand the fragile nature of that balance and why it is important to study budo.

OP Wrote:

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My understanding of self-defense skill is that it's a collection of tools. I'm not looking for the Ultimate Martial Art; there is none. You study various systems and pick up what you need. Aikido as a martial art still has much to offer. If I were train law enforcement officers on ways to arrest, pin and restrain individuals, I would gladly recommend aikido.
Self defense skills are not really so much a collection of tools, but the synthesis of training and building muscle memory correctly to the stimulus of your enemy. Tools are typically thought of as specific and pulled off the shelf when needed. I believe this to be a incorrect paradigm. Yes, you might train in different methodologies to enhance different aspects of your body/responses, but that to me, is not the same thing as a tool...like a hammer, a punch, kick or something else. I know it seems like splitting hairs, but I think alot of paradigms get established incorrectly based on this perspective of "tools".

On the law enforcement statement. No I wouldn't recommend aikido, I'd recommend finding a qualified instructor in arrest and dentention TTPs that understands your departments policies. Now I might recommend aikido if they wanted to develop a framework, but i'd also recommend BJJ, Judo or any other number of methodologies depending on what that person had an affinity for.

OP Wrote:

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How about training aikido as a martial art, practicing and testing its its application to more realistic and authentic attacks? Is that too radical a concept?
No, not radical at all. I do it all the time as well as many guys here. Chris Hein and Michael Varin out on the west coast are big advocates of this too. I'm down in Florida for a few months with nothing to do on the weekends so if your close by...get with me I am bored and LOVE to train in anything!

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