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Old 12-31-2007, 03:53 AM   #1
Daniel Ranger-Holt
Location: Luton
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 37
United Kingdom
I'm Leaving Aikido

In short i don't have the time it's going to take to keep going at this art...and it's a shame, and a bit embaressing for me, after all this time put into it...

I'm not sure exactly how long ive been studying / doing Aikido but its got to be about two years now i think, i attend lessons three times a week for the most part but the last few months it's slowly grinded to a halt. My enthusiasm for the art and what i feel i'm personally getting from the art. Which is very little. Perhaps it's my teacher i'm unsure but for the job i now do, Door Supervisor Aikido seems impractical Or should i aikido...what ive been taught??

After two years commited learning i feel the enviornment of the mat, the bowing, the measured, often slow mo attacks, and the spiritual aspect thats to heavily influenced the art, hasn't at all prepared me for real face to face confrontations and attacks. Nearly all the techniques ive learn are useless in a split second attack when a fist is flying at you, someone is up in your face, red faced BOOM they swing. Grapple you to the floor etc I feel very 'empty' with Aikido, and thats the only way i can describe it. In all honesty i've gone back to street fighting. But without the fists or feet as my job wont allow it. Jus basic throw downs, bear hugs etc. But no Aikido, it just doesnt work, or hasnt felt natural.

Watch videos of real fights, caught on CCTV. And look at the speed someone geared up can throw a fist, split second. In no way can a technique be applied in a split second. And ive seen this with my own eyes, and its really REALLY woken me up...thus my choice to persue another art, and gracefully leave aikido behind.

It should have all clicked when i was told "you wont even begin to touch the basics for 5 years" etc etc. and talks of the "20 year technique" looking around at the dojos i've been to, and the people. It's more of a meeting gathering event than solid, hard self defence, neautrilizing. So i think all along i've picked the wrong art...and its very frustrating. Im 29 in three months, not getting any younger really. But you learn from these things and move on in life. Jo waving, and Bokken slashing, Ki channeling, and grabbing of wrists. But no sparring, hard contact, real REAL neautrilization i see all of this i actually needed, for my personal preference and i have picked the wrong art.

It's important to let people know in my opinion, and i belive i have the right to voice it. Its important that those new to aikido know that if they wish to learn an art for self defence and to be able to handle them selves if a fight confrontation was to happen. Then Aikido isn't the ideal choice for many reasons. It takes way to long to learn, it's more of a life growth art, as opposed to something you can be good at in 6 months etc. And on the mat is just so completely different to flinching, shouting, flailing aggressors, and i see this first hand five nights of the week. I think my job opened up my eyes to this...

I work two very bad clubs for three nights of the week, and ok clubs the other two nights, and i've never actually used any Aikido technique, without knowing it im sure the endless tai sabaki's have helped me movement wise, they must have. But as far as actual techniques? in real situations i've just taken someone to the ground, open hand slapped if i feel im in danger, or headlocked. Not once have i applyed a Nikkyo, Yonkyo, Shinage, etc and i'm dissapointed i havent. In reality everything happens way to fast to use Aikido techniques alone for the kind of job im doing, or for real street self defenceand i only noticed this since i started...

Of course there will be doormen who it works for and who use it. Perhaps they learned quicker, had better teachers etc or another art to back them up, but i was pure aikido no other arts. And i find the techniques in Aikido useless in real life situations. in fact, ive almost created my own system of holds, takedows etc through natural learning trial and error when confronted with people. And ive only been on the doors for 4 months.

The art i should have spent the last two years doing is an art called Krav Maga, another doorman introduced me to. No grading, no bowing, no spiritial stuff, no ki energy, no sticks, just short quick self defence in all situations, grappling, guns, knives he's been doing it for 3 months with no other background and it works, ive seen him use it in front of me on about four occasions. The streets are very very very nasty, when you see someone smash a pint glass in front of you and run for your face's then when you realise the niceness and the "aikido is turning your back" approach is jus plain silly.

Also there seems to be almost something shameful about being able to learn an art quickly in Aikido/Martial art circles. But in practicality, if you can learn an art in 3-6 months, then just improve and improve...whats bad about that? Becoming good in 5 years may be honourable etc etc but in real life...? on the streets?? And even then, you wouldnt be able to throw a punch or even a kick if you needed to?? if you really really needed to??

I dont want those new to aikido to make the same mistake i did, and waste two maybe more years on something for the wrong reasons. Aikido is very relaxing, and i'm sure it has good stuff in there as far as how the body works, etc. And if someone was slow enough all the techniques could work. But i havent once...on my life seen anyone throw a punch as slow as they do in an aikido dojo, or aikido videos ive watched. SNAP...thats how they normally come flying. Out of the blue. Move out the way fine, but what then? throw a shinoage on them. We can all type about what we think would work, but try actually being there...

I personally feel in Aikido (because thats the only martial art i know) locks holds etc are not practical in a street situation. Unless you've had a good 5 or so years solid Aikido to perfect them? and thats just way to long. Aikido techniques I'd imagine most people like ive found i have, discard them almost completely and do what feels right..and in a split second, its not a yonkyo or shionage. Its a grapple, or a slap/punch if needed. Very ugly but very true.

BJJ, Chinese Kickboxing, Judo, Muay Thai, out of all of them Krav Maga seems to be the most practical and simple. In barely a month i feel like i could do something. 2 years with Aikido and im still unsure...

skip to 1:48 if you dont want to watch the whole thing. But its this point in the video which really hit home, the boxes the arts are put in, and how if you just want to defend yourself, and learn as quickly as to defend yourself. Also the point earlier on the guy makes about its not pretty, meant to be flowing, but simply meant to defend you, so you can run...


Just my personal opinion and my thoughts. Maybe i will be back to post in a year how i'm doing with the Krav Maga but from this point on. I'm hanging up my Aikido KI and waving goodbye to the art with as much respect as is possible...

Not for me.

Thanks for reading have a happy and SAFE new year.
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