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Old 04-03-2014, 11:09 AM   #47
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: Why Aikido has such strange strike defense.

Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
See the thing is, if you want to try to figure out how to "make your Aikido work against" proper boxing techniques, you need to learn how to box properly. Right? Or else you won't be giving good combinations of jabs, crosses, uppers, hooks, what have you. You'll wind up with a new set of attacks that still don't look to an actual boxer like real attacks.

In order to begin to figure out how to apply the principals of Aikido on this new field, you need to learn the principals of pugilism yourself.

So how much of your Aikido training time should you spend doing that? That's always my question when people start talking about the attacks as though they are singular physical events as performed by a robot on an assembly line. We've all got a finite amount of time to train, even if we're full-time students. How much Aikido training time do you spend practicing in a different martial context (or non-martial context, as the solo training people do) in order to develop some level of understanding of that context, so you can then begin to figure out how Aikido is supposed to work over there?

For boxing that's going to be heavy bag and speed bag work, hitting striking pads with a trainer, various types of conditioning, and lots and lots of sparring. For knife fighting that is going to require hours and hours of learning techniques (often similar to Aikido fwiw) and running through continuous flow drills. So how much time is left for Aikido, and what happens when you realize you like boxing or escrima better?

I tend to think that the most reasonable answer to these questions involves taking some generalized, standard attack vectors and sticking with those. Get new students familiar with them and then build intensity...I am not sure increasing complexity or sophistication of the attacks is worth the effort.
I think this is where I start to get confused. Using the same logic, should we not be able to change arts... So the claim would then be, "You need to learn aikido to make your boxing work against aikido people." I am not sure this is a bi-directional declaration, which implies (to me) that we are still missing a step in our educational process that precludes us from learning how to deal with attacks beyond aikido-style attacks. Is a point of concession in aikido that we excuse our inability to deal with a boxer-style strike, as opposed to an aikido-style strike? Is a boxer-style strike so dissimilar to an aikido-style strike that is renders our waza ineffective?

Thoughts again rise up of Jim Carey... "Like most beginners, you attacked me wrong."

I completely get style attacks for our kata. As a learning tool, I understand we need everyone to know their role and work within defined movement. I am still unresolved as to why our stylized attacks are so dissimilar from our sister arts as to cause issue for us. This is both from the standpoint of our empty-hand attacks and our weapons attacks.

Honestly, I do not have a problem if the answer is because I do not train enough. To Cliff's point, a lot of this conversation is answered by training more. But to at least reach a point where the judo player says, "That's not a bad throw. If you trained more you'd probably be pretty good." Or from the boxer, "You kept up a good guard and have some great combos, if you trained more you'd be a pretty good boxer." After all, shouldn't we be able to say to a judo player, "you've got some good throws. If you softened up a bit and used more aiki, you'd be a good aikido person." There should be some elementary education that affords us the appreciation from our sister arts to look at aiki and not the shell of movement that is an "attack".

We practice aiki and should be demonstrably better at illustrating aiki than other sister arts. That is the focus of our training and we should allow the other arts the expertise in what they do better. My continued observation for this thread is that we need to be critical in assessing our level of ability for what we do. Are we? If we sacrifice the practical martial arts education for focused education in aiki, are we satisfied in our ability to express aiki? If I can express aiki, shouldn't I be able to put that power in my hand? or my sword? Isn't that what gives me the respect and appreciation of my sister arts? Not that I can box, but that I can put power in my hands? Not that I can throw, but that I can put unmovable stability in my posture? Not that I can duel, but I can put aiki in the tip of my sword?

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