Dojo: Roy Dean Academy, Bend OR
Location: Bend, Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2002
Re: aikido vs jiu-jitsu
Aikido on the Ground?
Excellent post. I agree with most of your points, and would like to flesh out a few more:
In regards to fights going to the ground... Not all fights go to the ground, and many fights can be ended before ever entering that region. However, if someone is skilled and wants to take an untrained person to the ground, it is usually not difficult to do so. In a 1 on 1 interation, if they want it to go the ground, it does.
Also, if you've ever seen such high brow entertainment such as "Worlds Wildest Streetfights", then you may have observed a pattern when two individuals who are bent on beating each other up go for it. Wild swings, an adrenaline dump, and 2 people falling to the ground during the struggle. The fight goes to the ground without the participants intending it. The same pattern, fight after fight, emerges. A little groundfighting knowledge in such situations could go a long way, for both men and women.
In regards to kaiten nage as a defense for a double leg tackle... well, it's possible, but I've never seen it done, and if it were high percentage, then I'm sure MMA fighters would be adding it to the arsenal. Even the spinning backfist has been successfully implemented by fighters (for KO's!)... but kaiten nage as a replacement for the sprawl is something I do not forsee happening soon. But it could.
Quotes like this strike me as odd:
"people make sloppy entrances to their takedowns because you are not allowed to stick your thumb in their eyes at that point."
"avoiding putting their ears into positions where you can rip them off on the way down to the ground,"
Why? Because it all happens very quickly. And, the person attempting to take you down also has "the dirty stuff" at their disposal. They can throw a punch and based on a reaction of flinching from or blocking the strike, drop levels and shoot for a double. It doesn't have to be perfect if your reaction is large enough. Or they can fake a shot and throw an overhand right (this has also proven to have KO potential). Or whatever. It's simply distraction to enable his technique, and once your opponent has control of your center (hips), then trying to gauge his eyes or rip his ears off won't do you much good.
In fact, it's a poor choice, since all your attacker has to do is squint his eyes REALLY HARD and then slam you into a disorienting and inferior position. Then it's on, and your choice in the rules of engagement will have some serious consequences. Defending a takedown is a very dynamic situation, and relying on ripping ears or gauging eyes is not going to get you very far, especially if you haven't practiced ripping ears after a failed takedown defense at least a few hundred times with competent grapplers.
"This is the problem with competition, at a certain level of competence, once you have something working well it's not to common that someone will be willing to give up success for a long period of time to get to that next level -- like we commonly do in aikido."
In fact, I believe the opposite it true. Unless you're willing to let one part of your game suffer (i.e. footlocks) so you can focus on another area (i.e. passing the guard), then your jiu-jitsu becomes "small" and stagnant. One trick ponies to not rise through the ranks. Times change and people adapt, your training partners get wise to your moves and develop the counters, your opponents in competition remember past interactions, and if you don't let one area lie fallow so another may develop, then you won't make it to that next belt or skill level.
Are the two arts the same? No, but I find remarkable similarities, and it is possible to feel center to center connection on the ground, if your partner has a "pressure" based game rather than a "movement" oriented game.
"BJJ is aikido on the ground" is a statement that is true enough, IMO. I'm far from a master, but I do have some grounding in both arts, being a shodan in Aikikai Aikido, and brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They complement each other beautifully, and can enable practitioners to have seamless integration for martial techniques from the vertical plane to the horizontal.
Good training to you,