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Old 05-30-2004, 11:04 AM   #42
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: aikido vs jiu-jitsu

These questions of what if a guy from style "A" encounters an Aikido guy from teacher/style/organization "B"? are really silly.

The martial arts trade journals estimate that only 1% of the population is interested in taking martial arts classes at all. Of that 1% only 10% or less will stay to attain any degree of skill at all. Of that already small number, how many are actual bad guys who, you might encounter in a fight? For law enforcement, only 1% of the folks they arrest resist to the level where it becomes a fight. And they are actively seeking out bad guys, not avoiding them as we are supposed to do.

You are far more likely to have a gun pulled on you by someone you know, at least in the states, or be attacked by a family member using a kitchen knife. Your chance of being accosted on the street or in a bar by your local equivalent of Royce Gracie are infinitesimally small.

From a purely training standpoint, if you look at the BJJ guys, there is a lot of aiki there. They are very relaxed, very efficient. The idea that your Aikido doesn't apply on the ground is not valid. Aikido is not a set of techniques like nikkyo. All of what you know about body mechanics, balance angles, etc still applies you just aren't used to working them without the aid of moving your feet. Power still comes from the hips, they still tip over at all the same angles they did when they were upright, their joints still lock just as they did when you were standing. But now you have other possibilities such as using the legs to run those balance lines or apply a lock... I see no reason that one can't incorporate some ground work into his Aikido and still be using aiki. If you look at the Systema ground fighting work it is very aiki, completely compatible with the principles of Aikido.

The reason that there is no ground fighting in Aikido is that our art derives from the old battle field combat done by samurai who were walking weapons systems. Everything we do pre-supposes that the opponent is armed and that there are more than one of them. If you are out on the battle field you do not want to be on your back applying the perfect elbow lock to your enemy when his buddy decides to stick you with a spear. The mounted position is just an opportunity to be stabbed or cut by another attacker because you can't move from it worth a darn.

Worrying about Aikido vs BJJ is like the knife guys talking incessantly about knife vs knife fighting. In most places in the modern world this is a less likely scenario than winning the lottery. Nobody is going to duel you with knives. If they want to kill you they will ambush you and you will be stabbed before you ever even know it's an edged weapons situation.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 05-30-2004 at 11:07 AM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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