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Old 02-26-2012, 02:53 PM   #38
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: My thoughts on competition vs Non-competioin

I was an "Aikidoka" long before I became a competitive Jiu Jitsu Player. I also have competed in Judo and done fairly well at that too. I progressed faster than normal in BJJ because of my aikido background so you can definitely say I suppose that an "aikidoka" has been successful in BJJ. Roy Dean is another one.

That said, competitive BJJ is a very focused sport. I even train differently for tournaments than I normally train. It is a much narrower focused "game". Any judoka will also tell you that training for competition is a very focused practice vice training in the complete curriculum of judo.

I have never competed in Sambo, but it is similar to Judo and BJJ, yet again with a different set of rules, that calls for a different practice and fight strategy. Now if I trained in Sambo for a while, I'd probably progress very quickly there too.

Yet, if I were on the mat, in Judo, Sambo, or'd not say "hey that guys is using Judo in a Sambo tournament...yeah there'd probably be some DNA left over. In fact, in the European Championships (BJJ) in January that I competed in, you can definitely see the influences of Judo more in Europe whereas Wrestling seems to dominate more in the USA.

That said, you develop efficient fight games around the rules. Over the years coaches and instructors develop good training methodologies to win at these sport contest.

While good Aikido....taught as a core principle based system, definitely helps, the principles of Aiki are foundational and universal and NOT STYLISTIC. That is why you cannot see "Aikido" being used in a contest.

It tells alot about someones level of understanding of martial arts when they wish to see an Aikidoka be successful in sport. They are out there...I do well having won a few NAGA tournaments and a few European Championships in BJJ over the years and I am an Aikidoka. Roy Dean has done well too!

That said it is laughable and irrelevant to me to boast that I am using "Aikido" to win a contest.

I try and apply the principles I have learned over the years and I am trying to learn more and more when I can spend the time with those that have decent skills in Aiki. It is hard work and takes time to learn has to be balanced too and priorities have to be set, IMO, on what you spend your time on in training....but that is another subject!

Aikido uses the structure of a mid-range Jiu Jitsu system in order to teach the principles of aiki. However, it is not the jiu jitsu skills that are important, but the other things you learn through that framework that are important.

Unfortunately, too many focus on the framework and stylism and being definable as Aiki or Aikido and if you can never get past that...well you will only progress so far.

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