Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?
Aikido isn't an easy art by far. To manipulate the entire body from a simple offensive movement, to a level where the body can't right its self or control what is happening to it, isn't easy as learning to or applying a strike, or putting a hold someone.
Aikido came from an art that was very effective and proven results that range from brutal to deadly. That art called Daito Ryu is unique. No other country developed anything like it or applied it in warfare. On top of that Daito Ryu tradition because it was a weapon was kept from others who'd use it against them. Daito Ryu has a tradition of secrecy as a result it is full of coded and cryptic language that made it difficult to learn, I am sure even for O'Sensei.
I would bet O'Sensei struggled with learning and understanding the art from a hard core traditional Takeda who subscribed to the samurai way and the traditional Daito Ryu way. It wasn't a quick few lessons and BAM! O'Sensei was instantly proficient at Daito Ryu. Daito Ryu also has allot of things to learn from.
Aikido isn't something you can learn in 6 mos, It isn't instant. It isn't something that is a single dimensional art that focuses on merely combat. There are layers of complexity because of it's spiritual, it's traditional martial arts culture base mixed in with personal philosophy of a very complexed founder. Who valued the past and worked toward the future.
It is very difficult to take a combat tool made for violent conflicts, and use that to deescalate the conflict without harm avoiding it to a higher level of violence where both parties suffer injury.
Look at UFC, both fighters take heavy damage. Most fighters because of that very short fighting careers. The body can only take so much punishment dealt out in a UFC fight. A fighter who has fought like 20 pro MMA fights is rare (not BJJ which is easier on the body as damage goes as finishing is chokes or arm bars and you tap out). These rare MMA guys are not the average MMM fighter. They may have years of wrestling or karate skills behind them prior to MMA and fighting in the UFC. Plus, these fighters take many months off between fights to heal and rest. And their numbers are few.
Injuries rates are very high in MMA fights no one walks away without damage. That is a fact. Now Aikido takes that fact and shoots for not injuring the other guy thus no injury to the defender. Very difficult thing to do in a conflict situation. There by itself is a lot to learn and understand. And is only one of many such components contained in Aikido.
It will take many years to understand Aikido. Some people come along and say "do this or that" that can be helpful. But that doesn't mean it didn't already exist in Aikido, it means there is so much to learn and contained in Aikido that it takes time to learn, and very easy for those not engrossed in their studies to point something out. For instance, I had allot on my mind and had to consider many possibilities on a project at work I was working on. My brain is seeing and processing allot of information contained and required by this project that I was involved in. As a result, I ran into a slight problem. A co-worker looking at the project, who was not working on it, not engrossed in it, not thinking about all it's complexities and considering them was able to see the problem in a way I didn't. As a result came up with the solution. A solution that was so obvious and simple. That is because he was not taking on all the weight, all the considerations of the project, he simply walked in looked at it and seen the problem. I do the same for him on his projects. And sometimes, in these situations I find the solution on my own, but I am carrying all the weight of the project. That is am considering all angles, possibilities, and consequences, I understand the project. It is something about humans where it is easy to come from the outside and point out a solution, that is the only focus, they are not carrying the total weight of the thing. Being on the inside of a something takes longer to solve a problem because of the weight that is carried and stuff. You have so much more to think about and consider as just one angle or area.
Understanding something as complex and complicated as Aikido that has so many dimensions to it isn't easy. It was built on layers of contributions of others for centuries until it came to O'Sensei. Part of the learning process then is misunderstanding it in every way as an insider. That is why you work at it. That is why there is no simple fixes. Someone can point out something, to a new student and it will not have the same depth or impact as those who have 20 years of experience. And the person pointing that thing out doesn't have the same depth of understanding in relation to Aikido and it's purpose than the person of 20 years of experience in Aikido has. Such an aikido person has made hundreds of discoveries and not just one. So of course it is easy to point something out from the outside. But that is just one part of it, one component of many, that will have a greater impact on those with years of experience and understanding than those who first start.
Understanding Aikido isn't easy, you are taking physics and applying them in such away to defeat someone without doing harm to yourself or others. To control another human's body where they lack control and ability to right themselves. I guess Aikido is like science the more you understand the more you realize the vastness of what you don't know.
Yea, it is misunderstood if it wasn't it would be a challenge in learning it, and I think that is often forgotten or not considered. If you want to defeat someone with harm and injury, quickly and effectively then weapons like a knife and gun is what you want to learn. There is no depth to that. But Aikido has depth where you keep searching and digging, nothing is instant. And that is want makes it worth learning. That is what is misunderstood in my book.
Last edited by Buck : 06-03-2010 at 10:56 AM.