Re: Change In The Martial Arts
I am not so sure that Martial Arts change as such, but they seem to move focus on different areas from time to time. Many Martial Arts Masters will tell you that there are always more moves and skill sets for even the most experienced graded members of their art. Hapkido I was told draws on over 20 000 different techniques.
The biggest shake up we have seen in modern martial arts was a man named Tank Abbott, an overweight street fighter who had no martial arts training at all and walked into MMA competitions and walked through a number of well trained martial artists with a flurry of punches, slams and vocal disrespect. - He liked to state that "Martial Arts are s**t". This lasted until he met up with a Russian Sambo practitioner Oleg Taktarov who utilized toughness and technique to overcome him. Once he had been beaten other smaller and less physically strong martial artists also began to beat him by using strategies and techniques taken from their own systems. Whilst many people may not have liked what happened I believe it was the wake up call that many marital arts systems needed. Especially considering the claims that they liked to make re what their system would do training wise for people that joined them.
Yet its fair to say that the MMA challenge is not something Aikidoka can ignore either. If an experienced MMA person was to attack an Aikidoka it would be my expectation that our martial art should offer enough technique and strategy to repel that attack. There is no shame in discovering that certain Aikido techniques do not work against people that are far physically stronger than you and can easily break the holds you are attempting to put on them. The challenge is to train in what does actually work. Its all in the AIkido Syllabus, its a case of experiencing it and learning from it.