Matt Banks wrote:
You asked if fights often go to the floor. The main reason you hear this line is due to the gracies, rabbiting on about it. I wouldnt agree with it, in the fights Ive seen and been in. If you been do they go to the ground, yes people do go to the deck but there is never any complex grappling going on. The main reason for the this is that it hurts. When on your back on concrete it is really painful. What I do agree with is that most fights are over within 3 seconds. Everyone must understand that just because we practise aikido in a very clean manner doesnt mean the tecniques cannot be applied on the ground etc etc. If you truly know the basics youll be surprised what you pull of in extreme situatiuons. My older brother just got his blue belt in gracie jiu jitsu, this is quite a high grade it normally takes about 2 years I think to get it and youve got to do alot of sparring and competions to earn it. I spare with him every weekend and all the ground locks etc etc are just the same as ours but on the floor. What is more i find it is very easy to become proficient on the floor against the average attacker in a matter of months intensive training. My brother said he feels the stand up aikido stuff to be more affective and I agree. Whenever I get the chance I go to some of his sessions and spar with the guys. Its fun but I definately feel you cant beat a good hard style of aikido. The main thing is the mindset for fighting at aikido, training is so hard I feel I could deal with anything.
find what works for you
I think people underestimate their art because they judge it's effectiveness on imaginary fights against highly skilled opponents of other styles. Not many people have a chance against fighters like Rickson Gracie, Sam Greco, Maurice Smith, Mike Tyson or Akebono.
I always advise people to cross train so as to get an idea of what's out there, each style's strengths and weaknesess as well as your own.
I think once you learn the basics of one art its easier to learn another.