Ah, it's hard to say. How much is your natural ability, and how much is the Aikido? When I started BJJ, I had five years of Aikido, and I got tapped out by everyone in class that day. I did make progress very fast, and by my second year was able to give most of the purple and brown belts a run for their money. Lot's of my class mates said that this must be because of my Aikido training, but again, how much is my past Aikido training and how much is my natural ability and dedication to training?
When I did Kendo, Aikido put me a bit behind in a few things. I had to drop a few habits that Aikido weapons work had engrained into me. So that was a problem that came from previous Aikido training. It's really hard to tell.
One thing that is clear, Aikido doesn't teach the kind of techniques and strategies taught in MMA.
Good to hear from you Chris.
I honestly think it's all due to my aikido background: it took me ages, in aikido, to overcome what was natural - tension; strength; aversion to manipulating someone's body/joints; unfamiliarity with physical contact with random people - and if i'd gone straight into BJJ, i'd have had to overcome those same barriers, and it would have taken me a long time to do that.
Hell, I am still having to overcome the aversion to sitting on someone's chest, or getting a knee-ride, ha; plus, I am quick to apologise if I even think i've caught someone - even a little - with a finger in the face, or anything like that (a courtesy I do not wish to ever overcome) - as opposed to some right lunatics, who go full-whack in sparring, as though it's life or death.
This guy gave me a carpet/mat-burn on my knee the other day, because I was averse to getting into a struggle with him - and he ended up headbutting me; crazy.
Then there's the massive new guy, very toned, and muscular, who started the week after me, who tries to use the strength/muscles of an arm to push my bodyweight off him...i'd probably do things like that, still, if not for aikido - I actually stared BJJ so I could practice aikido, outside of the one class a week I can get to.
To be honest, I love how straight-forward, and effective, BJJ is: I can see what works, and why, and I can then do it myself - and when I do it against a resisting partner, I feel very pleased, and in no doubt that i've just used technique on someone; such a relief from aikido: the minute, hard to comprehend detail; the frequent corrections/being told i'm not doing it right...but it's actually helping my aikido a lot, because I effect BJJ techniques through use of the hips, and alignment between my hips and arm/legs.
Regards aikido/MMA strategies.
I was in the MMA class the other day, and the teacher explained the intention behind boxing: 'you don't want to be at your opponent's twelve o'clock', is how he put it - i.e., you're always trying to get from in front of him, and off-line...just like aikido, I thought.
He also taught a left jab, right cross, left hook, right roundhouse kick combination - and the left hook set me up off-line, and with my right hip back, to then deliver a kick; the exact same kind of hip movements i've found time and again in aikido, where the back hip is naturally and powerfully rotated forward to execute a technique.