Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Re: Aiki in MMA
Hey Erick, welcome back. As always, I had to spend sometime thinking about your post! lol!
I agree mostly with your assessment.
Problem has already been well defined by many. 1. the definition of aiki. in the sense we are talking, it is a purely physical nature. That is developing physical structure to be able to do things. Not the other things in the spiritual or mental realm...which while connected in some fashion, not what we are talking about in this thread. Although you can argue that you cannot do the physical without the mental as all movement begins with thought.
Actually that is a good tranistion into what I want to comment on.
Aiki development involves isolation of conditions and factors in order to ehance/encourage development of "aiki". Much discussion has gone on about the whole myo-fascial development process...don't want to get into the science or discussion of that...it is not important to this conversation right now. So setting that aside. what I am addressing is methodology, perspective and/or observation.
So, as we do in anything, we isolate and control in order to acheive desired results or effects. We also develop "test" in order to gauge how well or not we are doing.
Nothing new...science right?
Problem is that we make a huge jump to integration, synergy, or function...and that is where we go wrong.
The whole "god particle" comes to mind. I see it as the same exact issue.
It exist...no it doesn't...yes it does.
lets develop a way to prove it....They have that HUGE machine in CERN that is doing that right??? again, setting the controls and conditions in a major way to prove that it is real.
So, lets move to Anderson Silva....
So once we agree the God Particle exist and does cool stuff and it is everywhere..we say. "hey check out the youtube of Silva...he demonstrates that he has good use of his God Particle".
I mean so if we all agree after the God Particle experiments are done that it exist...then what...how does this change anything on a daily basis??? what does it do for us driving to work? sure, it may have application, but in our daily functions...what does it change when we drive, fight in the UFC etc.
WTF???? how did we go from the classroom to application over night???
How subjective is the discussion, and how subjective can it be...ever?
IHTBF is frustrating, but I think it is appropriate too..having felt it. You can't see it, but you can feel it (or not...that is the dilemma lol).
For me, here is the dirty little secret in methodology and training.
it boils down to control and conditions.
On one end of the spectrum you have an IS guru...on the other end of the spectrum you have a fighter like Anderson Silva.
The IS Guru trains and teaches in an environment that sets the conditions for him to teach and demonstrate what he does. A good instructor KNOWs exactly how to do this very well. Not disparaging in anyway, but you certainly don't do things that make you look bad. A good instructor can set the conditions and transmit the information/knowledge to students in a way that can be reproduced.
The problem with this is that students make HUGE assumptions many times. Dan has constantly WARNED folks about this BTW...yet I believe few actually listen to him.
So you go to seminars, train at home and begin to understand your body, IS/IP to some X degree...you GET IHTBF and can begin to replicate it.
The problem is, how to you change the conditions or expand them towards the direction of non-compliance or "less control"? How do you integrate this into what you do?
As you change those conditions and remove isolation...other variables as you mention Erick, begin to become important. Things like OODA, speed, strength etc. So now things become relative and we have to assign priorities. My point has been the IS/IP are lesser important than some of thes other things. That is ONE issue.
The other issue deals with IHTBF.
The fact that Aiki deals with INTERNAL aspects such as myo-fascial networks and controls...much of what is changed cannot be seen...it simply has to be felt. A guy like Dan may be able to see it, but for most of us...probably not...and even if we could....what does that really mean? Doesn't mean we can do it, nor might it be that important in the "whole" of the situation like in a UFC fight.
Anyway, I have thoughts on this...and some of them are not coming out very clearly and I am starting to ramble some. There are many issues I have and many pyschological assumptions/perspectives that come into play with Teachers and Students.
1. teachers/seminar gurus have to make money or set conditions in order to convey and transmit what they have to convey effectively. There is not a thing wrong with that..it is just how the process works. That is a factor. An honest one will tell you the limitations and caveats. I see a guy like Dan doing this all the time...sigh, the student can't or won't get it.
2. Students. have made an emotional commitement to want to be successful in whatever they choose to invest their time in. If you've bought into the IS/IP as being the holy grail...then of course you will begin to see it everywhere and begin to filter all your information based on that. Marc Abrams or another psychologist can comment better on this...what is it Dissonance theory???? and THUS will tend to filter out stuff that appears to be contrary to what they want to hear...like Dan saying, his caveats.
The combination of #1 and #2 can lead to a type of pyschosis (right?). Where we have folks selectively applying stuff, pulling up youtube videos, over-emphasing priorities, putting emotions and hopes in areas that and outsider would simply scratch his head on.
For me, the real issue is "what do you want?" that is...what is your endstate/goal. I think for many in budo this is not well defined...especially in Aikido. We really have no clue why we do what we do.
Guys like Dan Harden, I respect. A specialist with a broad background. Dan I think understands what his endstates are and he is focused.
However, for many, I think we'd like to think about oursevles as being 80 years old and like O'sensei. We want to be like him, yet we don't fully grasp what it takes to get there, nor do we fully understand the conditions that allowed O'sensei to be O'sensei.
We have hope..we look for secrets and shortcuts. hence the issue I outlined with #1 and #2 above and the impending psychosis that develops. We look to associate and attach labels to things...look for hidden meanings. for example, like the relationship between Silva and Segal...BTW, what is that relationship really? Sensei, friendship, or convienent marketing??? who knows for sure???
Silva I am sure knows what he wants martially as well. I don't think he really cares if he is using IP/IT if he is or isn't....he does whatever he does and uses whatever seems to work for him.
Anyway, enough rambling about the sickness!