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Old 10-09-2006, 07:13 AM   #20
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

I think people criticise all self-defence systems and martial arts as 'unrealistic' - which to some extent is true. I would also say that many martial artists train in a way in which they are reducing rather than improving their self-defence capabilities. Psychology plays an enormous part in self-defence and thinking that sets of techniques helps is eronneous. I think most techniques are extremely effective if the practioner understands how they are applied practically, and that they don't have 'technique overload (i.e. have trained in just one or two until they are instinctive), and they have the psychological ability to apply these under stress.

Also, the 'testing' of martial arts is often considered one-on-one competition, which is completely artificial. Conversely aikido does not have a competitive aspect and generally frowns upon resistance or uncontrolled full-out attacks. Thus all training methods suffer. I think the struggle within martial arts is often to train in something safely which can be applied in reality.

Also, compared to other martial arts, Aikidoka are often physically unfit, suggesting that they don't really take the martial aspect seriously.

P.S. it struck me several years ago that there is some hypocracy within aikido in that often two incongruent positions are held, namely: 1. the techniques are too dangerous to apply in competition 2. aikido can be conducted without hurting the attacker.

I think the prime advantage of what aikido offers is gentle ways to diffuse simple attacks (grabs etc), a framework of fighting which integrates different techniques well, a method of developing instantaneous reaction to a sudden attack, good timing and distance training without severe impact.

Personally I think the violence of an attack is sometimes lost and the ability to strike (which is 80/90% of real aikido according to Ueshiba). Also, people can get technique overload (Ueshiba focused on ikkyo and irimi-nage pretty much).

Last edited by ian : 10-09-2006 at 07:19 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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