Re: aikido vs jiu-jitsu
You could very well be right. I might not have the experience to adequately compare arts. I feel that I DO have a fair grasp of the techniques of Aikikai Aikido for a few reasons: I've trained under excellent teachers, did my time as an uchideshi, and have a strong aiki-jujutsu background, where I've trained techniques removed from the Aikido syllabus, furthering my perspective on where Aikido came from, what it is, and what it is not.
But then again, I may not have a leg to stand on, considering that it's impossible for me to gauge the depths of my own ignorance! I admit that I've been on the mat only a handful of times since receiving my shodan in 99, as I let that field lie fallow so that I could further my study of BJJ. Skills develop in the areas you train, period. Aikido is not my area of expertise, especially in comparison to someone who's focused their training for 15+ years. I will bow out with that, and would welcome an opportunity for you to share techniques with me.
As for the shoot: All techniques have a beginning, middle and end phase. The middle and end phase for the shoot involve sprawling. Stopping the shot at the beginning stage involves changing levels when your partner changes levels (so he can't get under your hips), and blocking their entry into your space by placing your hand or hands on their shoulder or head and stopping their forward motion. If you can't stop their motion, then with arm(s) still outstreched and connecting with their shoulders or head, shuffle backwards to maintain the same relative distance as they come forward. Maurice Smith did this beautifully with Mark Coleman in an early UFC, and Chuck Liddell is also very crafty in maintaining distance.
Stepping off the line and striking is also a popular tactic. When the shooter strikes, though, it can make things more difficult. The Gracie set-up of exploratory strikes to check distance, then crashing into the clinch is a tried and true method. It can be stopped by sprawling and counterstriking (Mirco Crocop represents this strategy well). As far as pre-setups go, I'm at a loss, other than initiate an attack or movement. Trying to stop a shoot after your opponent has had time to set everything up (distance, rhythm, etc) to his liking puts you at an immediate disadvantage.
Randy Couture will be our guest at the Harris International Instructors Conference later this year. I'll ask him about stopping shots in various phases, and see what he says.
The best way to find the answer is to join a wrestling club or participate with a school team. A high level aikidoist with a wrestler's sprawl and instincts would be quite a formidable opponent. If they can't take you down, then they have to play your game...
Last edited by Roy Dean : 01-07-2005 at 03:35 PM.