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Old 06-07-2006, 11:50 AM   #50
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: Mixing Aikido with other martial arts

Good comments and observations Dennis. I would tend to agree with you, I am one of those "5 to 10 year" guys you are referring to.

In my particular situation I don't have access to competent aikido instruction these days, and I am studying/teaching BJJ. I use aikido methods all the time in my teaching, how can i not? It is my base art and I think principally at least it has lots to offer as a methodology.

I also frame everything I do and evaluate it from an "aikido" mentality, that is, I try to do the samethings I do in BJJ that I do in aikido. Actually the principles are EXACTLY the same, but they are not stressed in BJJ, it is assumed that you will implicity learn them, vice explicity as we teach in aikido.

That said, I have studied aikido long enough to appreciate the nuance of the art and what it is trying to teach. I am a 2nd Kyu at best in the study of aikido, so don't presume to be able to be knowledgeable enough about it to even begin to teach it!

While I use aikido skills and methods in what I do, it is not aikido, nor would I presume it to be. I did try and offer aikido to a few guys that said they were interested in aikido, what would happen is that because of my skill level, I found just what you said, things would migrate into the stuff I do to fill the gaps!

So, to me, I study aikido (when I can these days), and I study BJJ and MMA. I see them all related and I am growing as an aikidoka because of these things, but as you state, they are not aikido. On the surface it would seem the logic argument is there, but it really isn't.

I will probably end up teaching one of those "mutt" arts you are talking about, as I think there are some good methodologies out there that do much better at bridging the gaps that "I" think exist in aikido for many of us. Also, I do believe that Aikido should be influenced and open to outside things or it is in danger of becomng inbred and extinct. BUT, this is another subject all together, and even though it may seem I am countering what I just said above about outside influences, it is NOT a contradiction, but a different perspective and application.
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