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Old 03-25-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
aiki-jujutsuka's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 192
how do we define martial?

So I've been watching the Nishio Aikido dvd series, I bought and downloaded on I have been greatly inspired by his approach to maintaining the martial integrity of Aikido, and many of his variations to training that are designed to emphasize the place of atemi in Aikido, appear like a bridge into Aikido for me from my Aiki-Jujutsu experience. His commitment to teaching the Ken and Jo techniques that have influenced the empty hand techniques is also very praise worthy, and the Samurai heritage of the art is very compelling to me. However, the very reason for the dvd series is a defence of Aikido as a martial art or budo.

As a student of aiki and jujutsu (I say that deliberately as I am trying to walk the twin path of Aikido and Aiki-Jujutsu) I want to know how we define "martial"? If Aikido is questioned by the martial arts community as whether it can be considered a martial art, then what do we mean by "martial"? Is there a universal definition for martial? When we speak of "martial art" does Judo, Karate, Muay Thai, Kick-boxing, Iaido, Kendo, Kung Fu etc. understand the same thing? I mean I know the arts are different - some are grappling arts, others striking, yet others weapons based but are there underlying principles that unite all of them underneath the umbrella of martial art and if so then where does the question come from regarding Aikido's place within this umbrella?

From what I've read about O'Sensei's understanding of the true nature of budo, it differed radically from the traditional concept but nevertheless he was a serious martial artist (having trained in multiple disciplines) who was well respected amongst his peers (I've heard Jigoro Kano had very complimentary things to say about Aikido). Why then do so many modern students of Aikido not share the same respect O'Sensei earnt?
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