Aikido and Judo
Good morning everyone
I spent some time on a Judo message board yesterday, and it seems as though they have some interesting conversations regarding Aikido.
The majority of their views concerning Aikido seem to be quite generalised, and I wanted to make a few comments about this.
I have no experience of Judo myself. But if someone talked to me about Judo I would probably say to them that Judo is more of a sport than a martial art. This view doesn't have any foundation, I've never practiced Judo or seen a Judo class. I guess the only reason I come to this conclusion is because I've seen Judo in the Olympics, where it is a sport.
But I know that this generalistion is false. True, there are probably many Judo schools that practice as a sport, but I'm certain that are also many schools that practice Judo as a martial art. I'm aware that my opinions of Judo being a sport are probably wrong and are down to my inexperience rather than anything else.
When asked about Aikido most Judo practitioners on the board I visited were similarly inexperienced. However they appeared quite confident in their ability to comment about it.
The common ideas were that Aikidoko:
1. do not practice with any realism because they believe their art to be too dangerous if practiced with real commitment. Therefore, how can they know that Aikido is effective?
2. schools are all concerned with the belief in Ki. If you do not have a believe in Ki then you cannot practice Aikido. Another comment was that all Aikidoko have "their head in the clouds"
These generalisations seem disappointing to me. True, there are many schools where the idea of Ki is all important. However in my experience of Aikido I have trained with Sensei's who freely comment that "there is nothing mystical about Aikido" or that "the body is only a system of levers".
As for not training with commitment because our art is "too dangerous". I've lost count of the punches I've taken because I've failed to get out of the way of a committed attack in time or the times I've been winded from a committed throw.
To an extent we do hold back. I could quite happily crank Nikkyo onto another student but it would be his go next and he would most likely do the same to me. I don't need to crank on Nikkyo or Sankyo to know that it would hurt if I do so with more committment. However, my experience is that Aikidoko certainly do not hold back from a committed attack and that I would feel confident in knowing that - should I have to use Aikido - I would be able to do so.
This rant is draggin on a bit, but I guess my question is: do you feel that Aikido is subject to a number of unfair misconceptions from other martial artists? Alternatively, what do you feel the view of Aikido from other martial artists is? From my readings yesterday we appear to be a group of philosophical pansies who don't commit ourselves to knowing whether our art works because we are overconfident in its effectiveness.