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Old 06-07-2004, 01:58 PM   #63
Chad Sloman
Chad Sloman's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of West Florida, Pensacola, FL
Location: Pensacola, FL
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 89
Re: aikido and competition

I hate to try to resurrect this dead horse, but I feel like I should whip it some more............. I realize that this argument has a lot to do with theoreticals (mainly on the part of people who don't speak from experience), but something should be said about individual skill and applicability. Mr. DeLucia is very skilled and has awesome ability. He can make aikido work for him in whatever situation he chooses. Can I take my aikido skills and fight a NHB/MMA fighter and win? No. Why? Because I'm just not that good. But that DOESN'T mean that aikido doesn't work in that situation. For people like me (not so skilled), aikido can work best against people who overcommittedly attack. When some guy says, "I am going to punch you out", I say "please, I don't want to fight" and he takes a swing at my head unprovoked, this is where my aikido will work best. But, if said situation I say "OK, let's go" and I put my fists up, I'm going to have a much harder time. I've given up my element of surprise and I've raised my opponents defenses. Not saying aikido won't work just that for me it's going to be more difficult now. Last weekend I had the unique opportunity of training with a submission wrestler. I had a great time. As soon as we started it was obvious to me that if I didn't initiate something it was going to be a mexican stand-off of us circling each other and slapping hands looking for a weakness that neither of us were going to give. So I decided to fight his fight (which I was planning to do anyways) and he taught me a lot about ground-fighting. But for me at least, it goes to show that there are applications where aikido works better than others, and all out competition is not one of them. Something else to note is that wrestling and aikido share techniques and principles but just have different names. I, for one, have become an advocate for "alive" training for those wanting to speed up the process of making their fighting techniques applicable. My cross-training in full-contact karate has given me this opportunity and I believe it's good. I now can really try to catch my partners in iriminage during full speed sparring and use other aiki principles. But the important thing for me though is that when I spar or wrestle at 100%, I'm not fighting to beat the other person but rather I'm just challenging myself to get better. We can still have good attitudes and train hard with our brothers and sisters. Kano really was on to something I think.

A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.
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