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Old 04-04-2014, 01:30 AM   #52
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 567
Re: Why Aikido has such strange strike defense.

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think this is where I start to get confused.
I couldn't have said it better.

You really do seem to be confused.

Context matters. In a sense, it's everything. This is an interesting topic, but it isn't all that complex.

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
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 would hope to God that the boxer took some time to learn about the context of weapons, because I suppose I'd probably crush his skull with my bokken and he'd never really have any clue about the distance and timing, so he'd have to resort to pure luck and aggression.

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
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?
No. It renders much of our waza unnecessary! And things that are unnecessary are inherently superfluous. And things that are superfluous are inherently inefficient. If you disrespect aikido's ukemi and atemi waza, you will certainly struggle greatly against boxers.

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
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".
You have to stop viewing this discussion from the perspective of a one-on-one empty handed format. Baseline for traditional aikido training is to imagine you have multiple opponents and they are armed. A boxer literally never concerns himself with this.

As Morihiro Saito said, "In aikido a contest means a fight with a real sword." And Minoru Mochizuki, "Aikido is a fight with real swords."

We could say, "Hey, Judoka. Great turtle. If you only trained harder you wouldn't have had the shit kicked out of you by the other five guys." Or, "Hey, boxer. You've got a great guard and great combos! If you would've only trained harder the length of my jo might not have prevented you from landing punches and you wouldn't have broken your arms when you tried to block my jo strikes." These are equivalent statements to those that you made.

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
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?
Your mention of "sister arts" is curious. Is kyudo a sister art? What is the focus of judo? Ju or throwing?

Can aiki be implemented in a variety of contexts and arts? Of course it can! But aikido has a technical and strategic basis that it is not antiquated nor useless, and I believe that was the OP's point.

As my final point, I'd like to say that your conception of aiki is obviously very different than mine. Excuse my French, but why do I give a shit if I can put "aiki" in the tip of my sword? Swords are amongst the most unforgiving handheld weapons man ever created. One rarely gets more than two brief instances of contact before one or both of the combatants are mortally wounded. The first contact almost always wins. And that contact is more likely to be sword on flesh than sword on sword. Real skill with the sword must be a skill precedes physical contact. It must. If your conception of aiki doesn't account for this, then I very seriously doubt it is in accord with Morihei Ueshiba's conception of aiki.

P.S. All of the foregoing assumes that the aikidoist has the mettle of the average boxer, judoka, mmaist, etc., which, of course, in most cases they do not. But that's a topic for another thread!

"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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