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Old 09-08-2008, 05:33 PM   #47
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: Why isn't this showing Aikido as effective?


Buddy of mine just sent me the link I'd forgotten about.

This was a GI submission fight I did as a blue belt about 4 years ago. At the time I had about 10 years of TMA and about 8 solid years of aikido practice, and about 1 year in BJJ under my belt (self trained BJJ). So keep this in mind, as my BJJ sucks big time in this video.

I weighed about 225 at the time (not the 265 that Pablo posted!), but I did outweigh him by quite a bit! Pablo is a Purple Belt and a wonderfully skilled, athletic player.


Pay attention to several key things in the video. Look past the fact that it is a tournament and I dive into the guy several times and he stays on the ground, it is a strategy that works well for Pablo.

Here is what is important form a fighting or aikido standpoint.

Watch at at the beginning of the tape. Posture, I stay upright and relaxed, I am not playing the grappling game with him like alot of guys do. Watch his other tapes and you will see that he pulls guard easily when guys bend over.

I deflect his attempts to grip several times remaining relaxed and then move in to the clinch. I do good until I eventually bend over, break my posture then he begins to drag me into the guard. (:25)

We then roll around in the guard. Me with terrible posture trying to gain control of the situation. At about 1:00 I start to settle down in the guard and work on his arms. At exactly 1:20 you see I gain control of his left arm across his body and begin to work on Sankyo. The sankyo creates "some space" and I get away a little. He shrimps back into the guard. (1:33).

I continue to work on the sankyo from around 1:33 - 1:45 when he finally breaks free from it and re-establishes guard.

Today, I don't do that so much as it is wasting my time to get out of this guard. Sankyo was cool and all that, but as you can see it did not do much to improve my position which was still to be in his guard. I a real fight, His buddy would have clocked me right?

Anyway, back in the his guard and at (1:49) I catch his arm again fumble with sankyo and end up in Ikkyo at (1:51) Good ikkyo, but I am still in his guard, so I ikkyo him right back over on his back and we reset...of the guard. I go right back into Sankyo AGAIN!

What you can't see at around 2:00 is that my right hand has his left in Sankyo. You can see it there at around 2:15 as he moves his hips up to attempt the arm bar. Actually I think the Sankyo prevents him from gaining the arm bar...this time I do manage to break free and go back to standing. (2:25)

From an Aikido perspective...I'd say that I was successful some what at this point. I grappled with a very experience (albeit much lighter) opponent and it resulted in my standing and him on the ground.

But this is Grappling so I throw his legs to the side for a sweep and dive right back in on the ground (2:38)

Into side control, then he shrimps right back to the Guard.

This time I do okay, posture up, and go right back to standing with him on the ground. (3:00)

Back to the ground, we roll around a little bit longer, bunch of crap happens..I am searching again for his arm because by this time I am convinced that I am going to submit Pablo with an Sankyo...even though it appears that he is going for a arm bar at around 4:00...I don't care as I am in there hunting for that hand. (Remember, I outweigh him by alot).

Around 4:4 or 4:45 I am on top of him with my right shin across his face. Sort of have "some" control...not much, really unstable actually...but 4:48 I am going for that arm again. Looks like this time I am going to lay a decent sankyo on him!

Doesn't work, but I do manage to get away again to standing. (success from a combat perspective?) 4:57

then you watch Pablo scoot around the floor while I take a break.

Well 30 seconds of that, then dive right back in for more ground fighting at 5:38. Actually I remember getting kinda frustrated and pissed at this point. (This was a "no time limit" "fight to the finish" grappling fight) So I get pretty violent in his guard trying to upset the situation. At 5:43 you actually see me kinda cross face pablo with a right forearm (Sorry bud).

We screw around a little more in the guard at 6:00 I pick him up and slam him down to loosen him up Pablo messes around trying for a leg bar, then manuevers back into the guard and me right in to his triangle choke for his finish.

How much "aikido" was in there? None if you ask me. Lots of jiujitsu and a few things the aikidoka are familiar with such as sankyo and one ikkyo.

I think the techniques were "okay" they disrupted Pablo, he was not used to them and I used them probably to defend off quite a few of his submission attempts, but he was never really in danger of being submitted by me.

What I think was successful was the fact that I broke away at least three times from the grappling situation and went back to standing.

I try to do this in tournaments as it is my personal philosophy that this is the goal. However, it does not win submission fights, and it does not help if your "job" is to subdue your opponent, which I failed to do.

Today, I don't really waste time on doing the sankyo in this position, as I now know how to use myself more efficiently to get out of the guard (or never get in it), and to gain control of the dominant position before attempting those cool wrist locks.

Anyway, forgot about this and thought some of you might like to see an "aikidoka" doing Grappling.

Last edited by Kevin Leavitt : 09-08-2008 at 05:37 PM. Reason: grammer and syntax

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