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Old 08-17-2004, 07:54 PM   #1
Dojo: aikido of charlotte
Location: Charlotte
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 112
What is the nature of modern fighting

I don't post frequently, but I have been reading here and elsewhere numerous posts and aritcles about the efficacy of aikido. It is not my intention to repeat that thread again, but to ask a question that is probably at the root of that thread. What is the nature of modern fighting or combat and how does that relate to the efficacy of aikido.

Quite simply put, is the nature of fighting today different than the type of fighting that gave rise to aikijujutsu and later aikido?

On one level, I think it may be. On the level that most people ask the question "does aikido work", I think that what most people envision as a "fight" is some sort of unreal blend of (a) what we learned as kids (for most of us that was probably boxing and perhaps wrestling), (b) an environment where people are sparring; i.e. looking for openings while minimizing the risk to themselves, and (c) what we see on TV and in the movies. Hence the term unreal.

On a more brutal, perhaps real level, is fighting for survival, where you are trying to do the other guy in with every ounce of your being before he does you in.

I will be the first to admit that in 12 years of aikido, I am not of the inclination or age to go around looking for fights, and the closest I have ever had to using aikido is a soft iriminage on a stoned teenager. However, it seems to me that the people who worry about the effectiveness of aikido are probably not thinking of the survival type of attack, but more of the mugger or punk kid that jumps you (which may turn into a survival fight I suppose) In a "sparring" type of fight resistance will probably be there and atemi waza would seem to be a real possibility. Aikido in its "pure" form (for those who aschew atemi waza as part of aikido - not me) of blending with the energy might seem to be more atuned to the all out survival fighting, at least until you have started studying aikido as applied in oyo henka waza, to deal with resistance. However, studying that is generally a long time coming for most aikidoka, so they never really get to appreciate that aspect, and think that aikido can't work in a resistive situation. It can but it is a much more subtle thing to learn.

Anyway, I'd like to see if anyone else has any thoughts on the nature of fighting/combat and how that might relate to why people think aikido may or may not work.

Cheers all
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