Re: Aiki in MMA
I really enjoy coaching, it is a great profession. You get to see a variety of levels in talent and skill in players. The players that catch my eye are those not only who can deliver the skill, but have instinct. The ability to utilize strategy. In sports you have to also teach strategy along with skill. If not, well then your not doing your job as a coach, because skill and strategy work hand in hand. You can't afford to have your player(s) not understand and use strategy and expect to win no matter how much skill they have. Strategy is a component I really look for in players.
When I first seen Osensei in that 1935 film, I was impressed with his ability to move strategically. His movements reminded me of bobbing and weaving. I thought this man had moves I could teach my players. His timing was really well executed. His ability to read his opponents and react. Realizing his innate talent, I wondered who coached him at the time. Later, I found out later who it was and more about Osensei's sword background, alas it made sense.
Fully aware of fight reality, I still love the old samurai movies, watching those choreographed movie fights. Stylistic fight scenes when well done are entertaining. Guilty as the next guy, you can't help to be a critic. I laugh to think about the time when I shoot of my mouth critiquing the fight scenes and being put in place by someone who schooled me, an 8th dan Kenjutsu/Kendo champion. It was a very valuable lesson to listen to what he had to say. Let me tell you, I was shocked to here him compliment Osensei's movements during randori. How Osensei reflected old school strategy used by the samurai to avoid the sword. I asked him, what did he think of how Takeda moved, was it similar to Osensei or was it different? It was an eye opener when he said Osensei blending and movements during randori where authentic. Too many people he said, think movies are true, but they aren't. They are movies.
That is when I as a player. Now as a coach that really hits home. You can teach players skills, you can teach them strategy, but you can't teach them independently. It is fine to coach fixing a move or tweak a bad habit in players, it must be applicable and sensible to the game. Coaching without teaching applicable strategy, voids skill. I see that so much in coaching, and the players unaware of what they lack wonder why they don't win, and there skills don‘ t match up. That rests on the shoulders of a coach who has failed to understand the importance of and the use of strategy. I always value strategy and it's use.
In Aikido or other martial arts, I see it happening too. Where the sensei focuses too much on one thing like skill or correcting errors. They over-looking the importance of the whole package. It isn't a fault executed purposefully on the sensei, it is one of those things not easily recognized. It's a slump thing, a trap thing, that people fall into. 99% of most senseis are in it, and don't even recognize it. The best way to fix it this and discuss it is over beer and a game of Texas hold'em debating first what was the best sports car ever made. I suggest if a person feels they are in that slump, that trap, is to look into the field of sport coaching and sports science. And then go have some beers.