Dave de Vos
I kind of assumed the type of competition we were talking about here was match competition with strict rules, a referee and such. That's why I was hypothesizing about how aikido match competition might differ from MMA rules (if they would be the same, why study aikido instead of going to an MMA school only if you want to compete with MMA rules?).
What you are describing, to me seems to be more along the lines of free form sparring / rolling / randori, not match competition (or is it?). In my limited experience in sparring, it appeared to be more like a training or testing tool than competition (learning being more important than winning, mostly).
I was thinking that competition meant match competition, not sparring / rolling / randori. But from your post and Kevin's, I now realize that it can mean either of those things. Sorry for the thread drift I caused by my misunderstanding.
Just about any fight exists within rules. Sparring for the most always happens with agreed rules-and then most people who spar- are doing it to experiment and learn, sometimes for competition, sometimes not.
Training-to me- exists on three levels
1. You do solo work to change the mind/body
2. You do push/ pull stress testing to learn to condition the mind/body- to forces against it.
3. You do static martial arts kata (including drills in sport oriented forms like Judo BJJ and wrestling) to learn principles of movement and to condition the mind/ body for use in technique.
4. You do flow drills to condition the body and to learn how to make those principles and techniques happen against someone who doesn't want them to happen to them at speed.
5. You spar to test and better learn how to utilize all of your training in a more pressurized yet controlled environment. For most people this only included people in one style. This included almost all competition.
6. You fight for different reasons. Sport fighting has rules. Believe it or not most bar fights have preconditioned "rules" implied or through conditioning;
- Men will almost never kick you in the balls (women almost always do) So there is a natural inhibitory factor for men to not do that over women
- Men will almost never pull hair (women almost always do) though I did see guys hold on to a guy's beard while they pummeled him on two different occasions.
- Both will almost always grab you to try and close the distance
- Women will almost certainly try to embarrass and rip the clothes and pull earings of women. For men (unless it is hockey where they need the counter balance on the rink) it is usually accidental.
- Women don't usually punch in the face-it is the number target for men.
- Women will scratch at face and eyes -I have seen a man do that
- Both will defend their friends and start gang fighting...you.
- Men used furniture -chairs, pool cues, pool balls.
- Neither that I have seen go for a lethal attack to the throat.
- Only men-in my experience will change on you and go lethal.
- I have only had a knife (pulled on me and others) by men.
This is from my experience hanging out with bikers in the 70's and also being a bouncer and watching You tube videos and talking with other bouncers. Things may be different today and in different cultures
My main point here is that fighting- for strange reasons- typically included inhibitors without being stated. As an alternate example (for reasons I will not discuss here) I know professionals that will go for your eyes, balls, and throat to stop you and then kill you. One of which ended with a huge guy opened up from crotch to ear as he bled out on top of the guy below him. Their idea of a fight is a bit different for some pretty serious reasons. Now, oddly, while they need to make it home over any perceived notion of rules, their peers on a different day, may have to function within very defined rules.
So, competition with rules is not as artificial as some claim, yet it is also a big jump toward a more reality based martial art experience. Sparring is another level that Aikido randori does not come close to covering.
Most so called martial artists -in real fight would- prove to be neither martial
or an artists
in any sense of the word. The reasons for that are simple. other than in your own imagination, you are never going to be able to pull off what you do in a dojo in a stress induced adrenaline-dump state, unless you have done that so many times you can go cold and move freely.
In fact most Martial artists (and by the way MMA and Bjj guys) when they start to get totally dominated and picked apart while getting pummeled, amp up and stress and start to gas. And when they see the other guy cold...instantly realize they are in trouble. I've seen a couple of guys talking to the guy as the beat the crap out of him, thus putting the nail in the coffin that they are head hunting and not stressed in the least way. That alone controls their mindset even further.
On the whole I don't think it is wise for the majority of Aikido people to even be in these discussions. Due to the nature of their training, they really have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to combatives. It is the another one reason they have earned a reputation for falling apart under stress against better trained Martial artists sport or otherwise. I am not saying all Aikido-ka as I know and have met guys around the world who cross train and are extremely capable. They will be the first to tell you that their aikido has soared to new heights because of it.
In closing I don't want to hear some nitwit telling me I am bashing aikido again. I think I am on the cutting edge of making Aikido extremely powerful again-in dojos around the world filled with Aikido teachers. Why? Because I have a love for what Morihei Ueshiba was trying to do and say, and he would be behind this movement 100%.