View Single Post
Old 03-24-2014, 11:04 AM   #7
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,070
Re: Why Aikido has such strange strike defense.

1. I like the video - I think for clarity they are great and I applaud posting them because it takes a brave soul.
2. I think that while we rely upon stylized attacks and the foundation of our kata, we may need to review how we perform the stylized attacks as a function of "attacking".

Aikido is not the only art that uses stylized attacks for training. It is actually prevalent enough to warrant the attention of Jim Carey in his [in]famous self-defense video. Yet it does concern me that aikido as a whole encounters difficulty converting stylized attacking to more practical application (both as attacker and defender). For example, functional rounded strikes (haymaker, roundhouse, etc.) rarely surpass the 3/9 line, but in aikido we see a variety of hyper extension, bladed body format and double-weighting. Aside from serious risk of injury to the shoulder, this stylized attack is often done to create time and space in which our partner can perform kata. That's from a sword? Not the sword people with whom I am impressed.

It is also something to consider that if our attacking methodology is based upon aikido weapons and aikido weapons have been criticized for being less-than-functional, it stands to reason that our attacking methodology (based upon as less-than-functional knowledge of weapons) would inherit at least some of the flaws pointed out by our weapons-oriented friends.

Personally, I have experienced several occasions of humility when either working out with a weapons person or a good fighter. I think there is some foundational corrections that we need to make as we let weapons people enjoy their expertise and fighting people enjoy their expertise. I think there are aikido people who attack well. I think there are aikido people who do not. I think we can be more precise when critiquing our attacking and give our partners more concrete ability to correct their instruction. And to keep away from doom and gloom, I am not saying that we cannot excel in our fighting, only that we could be more critical in our stylized attacking to improve our ability to function.

Otherwise, one day a sword person walks into your dojo, sees what you are doing and hears "this is based on sword"; depending on the art, he may actually be obligated to kill you. Or at least give you a envelope of black sand. In that case, ninja kill you.

Not really. But maybe.

  Reply With Quote