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Old 01-24-2014, 12:53 AM   #1
Abdul Rashid
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Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Hello guys . I am new member here . However i have been reading forums here for the past few years . A little introduction about myself . I started training in aikido in 2012 after watching some seagal movies . Ever since then , i got hooked onto training and just loved it . But after a while , i started to realise that what i was being taught was just impractical . We would often have some scuffles and fights in schools and i got beaten almost everytime . I can't tell you the number of times i have thought of qutting aikido .

Anyway , something big happened last year where i got into a big fight ! I managed to control this huge guy with a sankyo . I realised that placing a lock on someone who is trying to beat that crap out of you is different from the dojo . Also , a lock can be countered . I brought this up to my teacher and could not get a proper answer.

One of my concerns right now is whether my training would work for me in a fight . If it does not , i shall try to find ways to make it work . I cannot seem to find people teaching aikido in a practical way . Everyone now seems to be doing the same old , shomen uchi , yokomen uchi etc . I understand that is the traditional stuff . But don't we need to evolve at the same time ?

Another one of my concerns is that people telling me aikido cannot be used in a fight as it is " really dangerous , deadly " or either " it is the art of peace " . I have sparred sometimes and found techniques that work against a resisting attacker .

It seems now that people are practicing aikido only as an art . Looks like anybody from other arts can simply mop the floor even with an aikido black belt . I don't see any aikidoka now trained to fight . Most of them seem fat , skinny , overweight going along with " Oh , you don't need strength in aikido " excuse .

Looks like the downfall of aikido in the future . I am simply stating my opinions . I wish to be good at aikido in the dojo and be practical and realistic at the same time . I am not training in aikido to beat up people.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:32 AM   #2
JoelLM
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

I can not give you an answer from the perspective of an Aikidoka, but I can give you a little insight from someone who is pursuing aikido and who has a good deal of experience in Boxing and a few Brawls. Any system or art you practice needs to be practice under the conditions that you intend to apply them in. For this reason a lot of people prefer or seem to find more value from sport derived martial arts becuase they are pressure tested, this however dose not mean that they will work any better then Aikido. I will however state that a system that has been pressure tested stands a better chance in a real life situation then one that is not.( this is my own opinion and a great deal of people may disagree).

That being said, the more exposure you have to different martial arts the better understanding you will gain of aikido and any other Martial art that you practice. I personally plan on pressure testing my aikido once im at a level I can do it safely. Its also my belief that aikido works better in accordance with an other system if its to be used as self deffence. There is no such thing as the perfect martial art and Aikido will offer you a skill set that boxing, judo, or bjj wont.

You will find good and bad practitioners in all martial arts. I once took a Bjj class from an "instructor" who was out of shap, did not participate in the class and continued to reference a book during class. I never went back.

Last edited by JoelLM : 01-24-2014 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:12 AM   #3
ryback
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Hello Abdul and welcome aboard.
The subject of whether aikido works or not has been discussed here many times and as I have mentioned before, it works fine as a martial art if you practice it as such.
The phrases "aikido can be deadly" or " aikido is the art of peace" cliche and contradictory as they may sound, are both real but you are too young in the world of aikido for these terms to have any meaning. But if you keep on practicing, there will come a time when more things will be unlocked and start making sense.
Now, this been said, don't you think you are getting involved in too many fights and brawls? Aikido takes a lot of time, so you are in fact a beginner. Aikido is not a combat sport it is a self defense martial art and the only way to be sure that you won't be hurt in any fighting situation is to not be there in the first place. Aikido techniques, in my experience, work fine but you are too inexperienced to make them work and to realize that school fights or brawls are not the best way to test yourself, but things to be avoided.
Keep practicing at the dojo, let aikido become your nature and you will start unlocking its martial secrets. All you need is patience and practicing time in the right direction...
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:16 AM   #4
dps
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

It is not necessarily the techniques of Aikido that work in a fight but the principles that you learn practicing the techniques. Basically you learn how to keep your balance and recognize or disrupt your opponent's balance. Once your opponent's balance is gone and you maintain yours then you have control and can do anything including Aikido techniques.

dps
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:54 AM   #5
lbb
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Quote:
Abdul Rashid wrote: View Post
One of my concerns right now is whether my training would work for me in a fight . If it does not , i shall try to find ways to make it work . I cannot seem to find people teaching aikido in a practical way . Everyone now seems to be doing the same old , shomen uchi , yokomen uchi etc . I understand that is the traditional stuff . But don't we need to evolve at the same time ?
Sure, I guess. But evolve for what? You say you wonder if your training would work "in a fight". How many fights do you get into, and why? What are you fighting for? What is your opponent fighting for? Do they want to muss your hair, or steal your wallet, or beat you into a bloody pulp for insulting their sister? What skills and weapons are they armed with, and what are they trying to with them? And where are the cops in all this?

Asking if your aikido will work "in a fight" is like asking if a vehicle will work "for a trip". A trip to where, the corner store? The Hebrides? There's no point in questioning the usefulness of aikido if you can't say what you want to use it for.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:21 AM   #6
Brian Gillaspie
 
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Quote:
Abdul Rashid wrote: View Post
Anyway , something big happened last year where i got into a big fight ! I managed to control this huge guy with a sankyo . I realised that placing a lock on someone who is trying to beat that crap out of you is different from the dojo . Also , a lock can be countered . I brought this up to my teacher and could not get a proper answer..
You said you were able to control a huge guy with sankyo. It sounds like aikido worked for you.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:44 AM   #7
GMaroda
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Quote:
Brian Gillaspie wrote: View Post
You said you were able to control a huge guy with sankyo. It sounds like aikido worked for you.
Yeah, I'm confused. He used sankyo but he wonders if it works?

And a lock can be countered, yes. A punch can be blocked. A grab can be broken. A kick can be evaded.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:14 AM   #8
sakumeikan
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Dear All,
I dont know about all you guys on this forum but I get fed up with guys like Abdul writing about Aikido being an effective art. Abdul says he started in 2012, he would be hard pushed to state that he is an experienced aikidoka. My advice , train for a few more years ,Abdul, get into more scraps then come back and tell our readers how you got on. As other contributors said you handled a guy with sankyo why then ask if aikido 'works'????Cheers, Joe.
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:30 PM   #9
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

If you want to understand how to "use" Aikido as a martial art, you'll first have to understand what Aikido is teaching martially. That is to say, what is Aikido's context. Not all martial arts have the same context, and if you want to "use" a martial art you'll have to first understand what kinds of problems it's context is addressing.

Second, you'll have to train Aikido in an alive manner. You'll have to find a kind of active resistance training to practice your Aikido techniques within their proper context.

If you want to come to California, we do this at my Dojo. And we have an Uchi Deshi program. If you're interested you can find all you're asking about here in Fresno.

Best of luck, whatever path you choose!

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Old 01-27-2014, 03:25 PM   #10
Eric Winters
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Hello,

This only my opinion.

Aikido is derived from an older jujitsu (Koryu) therefore the assumptions are a little different. The original art (Daito Ryu) came from a time when people carried weapons. ( katana, wakizashi, tanto). So the empty hand stuff is really about weapons retention because the assumption is you will be carrying a sword or some other weapon. If you look at most Koryu, their curriculum is mostly about how to use your weapons and how to retain them. Koryu has empty hand against empty hand but that is a very small part of the whole art and is not as efficient in dealing with that situation as an art that specializes in empty hand against empty hand. If you want something that is more appropriate to modern times you might want to try MMA and/or Krav Maga otherwise you will have to find ways to apply aikido waza and principles on you own.

Best,

Eric
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:12 PM   #11
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

I'm not an expert, but for the sake of trying to refine my own thinking on these ideas:
There's a lot of divergence within the Aikido world. There are a lot of different goals and some styles are definitely more martially oriented than others. Some are more art than martial. And then there's the varieties between those two ends of the spectrum...and that's just the schools themselves, never mind the individuals applying whatever they're learning in their own way. You can see how some of whatever version of Aikido you're learning has practical use and some of it doesn't...or is at least less obvious. Different aspects will lend themselves differently based on the context they're being used in.
Quote:
Abdul Rashid wrote: View Post
One of my concerns right now is whether my training would work for me in a fight . If it does not , i shall try to find ways to make it work . I cannot seem to find people teaching aikido in a practical way . Everyone now seems to be doing the same old , shomen uchi , yokomen uchi etc . I understand that is the traditional stuff . But don't we need to evolve at the same time ?
Yes and no. On one hand we're learning how to use the body, which is somewhat timeless; on the other hand, I think it depends on the nature of the school. A lot of schools cross-train, for example. I get the impression Aikido can be viewed as a healthful activity which allows for a variety of purposes...so people of all ages and ability can practice safely together. The personal emphasis of the teachers will of course shape what the students can choose from, but as a general rule, this is how I view Aikido: It's generally less about fighting than it is fostering healthy living.
Quote:
Another one of my concerns is that people telling me aikido cannot be used in a fight as it is " really dangerous , deadly " or either " it is the art of peace "
I'm sure for some it is a cop-out, but I also think there is a valid point to be made there. Fighting can be dangerous and testing your skill can be less important than being able to keep using your shoulder. I love it when my kohai resist my efforts because I usually feel confident enough to deal with it safely. I am also very happy to tell them, "you beat me," even if I am sure I still could have reclaimed the initiative. For me the risk simply isn't worth it and I'd rather check my ego since it effects me more on a day-to-day basis than whether or not I can toss someone who's trying to pummel me. We all live under different circumstances and that will be reflected in how we respond to different hypotheticals.
Quote:
I don't see any aikidoka now trained to fight . Most of them seem fat , skinny , overweight going along with " Oh , you don't need strength in aikido " excuse.
Keep looking, they're out there. I suppose there can be a fine line between authentic reasons and cheap excuses.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 01-27-2014 at 04:21 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:03 PM   #12
odudog
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Aikido has been stress tested. I'm re-reading my book on Aikido Masters and numerous interviewees state that they survived WWII due to Aikido. Plenty of senseis have stress tested Aikido in the back alleys and bars in bad neighborhoods of Japan (Seagal, Suenaka, Saito, etc.,,).

One guy I know whose art is very similar to Aikido has been kicked out of several MMA dojos in my area. He goes there to get a good work out. He keeps breaking people. He applies an Aikido technique during the match, tells the training partner to stop for he has him, yet the MMA guys doesn't see or truly feel the problem. Not their art so they doesn't understand. They continue to fight throw the situation to their own detriment.

I was watching one episode of Lockup on TV. Saw two correction officers apply a sankyo on one hand and a nikyo on the other simultaneously on an unruly convict. That guy was hoping around and gave up really quick.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:15 AM   #13
Sojourner
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

The reason why Aikido can be termed "deadly" is simply this, the locks and holds work, yet lets bear in mind that they are not always meant to be used as simple submission holds; yes that works in some situations, yet if someone is attacking you physically you may have no option but to use the technique in full and break someones joints or limbs, that is the final end move of several Aikido techniques... If you think as a novice or even intermediate Aikidoa you can over power and lock someone indefinatley, you are likely going to struggle, more so if its against multiple attackers where you have no choice but to render the first and second ones unconcious or with damaged joints / limbs so they are immobile.

Then what comes next? You will be charged by the police, you will need a lawyer and you may well get a conviction depending on how good the prosecution people are. Aikidoa are in general well aware of what capacity they have to use Aikido to hurt people, yet its our philosophy that we are taught that causes many to simply walk away from conflict situations and the aftermath that comes with it. Aikido can easilly kill, maim or injure, learning how to deal with that is the larger part of the learning that comes with Aikido IMO.

Besides which, if Aikido did not work, why would the Israeli Military teach it within Krav Maga and use it to disarm miltiants and so on, when their own lives depend on it?

Last edited by Sojourner : 01-28-2014 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:12 AM   #14
earnest aikidoka
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Hi rashid. I'm from singapore and believe it or not I have had the same issues as you regarding aikido. I had my share of scraps and experiences and I can say that I kinda understand how you feel about aikido and training in general. Honestly, i will say that aikido is effective, but it can be hard to see.

Where in singapore do you train? I train at shinjukai hq at aljunied 260 sims avenue on sat and sunday afternoons. If you are interested, look me up and lets practice with each other?
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:58 AM   #15
JJF
 
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

In my opinion we need to stop using words such as 'breaking', 'initiating', 'winning, 'effective', 'control' before Aikido even begin to contain the subtle elements that make it unique. Other Martial Arts will get you 'proficient' faster (in lack of a better word), but without training those other elements any art can only take you so far. At one point or the other you have to put in the effort to learn the intangible qualities. In Aikido (some styles) we choose to do that from the start. Aiming for what in many ways is pretty much the same final destination but with different and maybe fewer stops along the way.

With enough training things will begin to become clearer (I hope).

JJ

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Old 01-29-2014, 01:09 AM   #16
RHKarst
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

As for Aikido's effectiveness . . . I have seen where a few minutes of instruction have saved people from being taken hostage. A simple break away caused a man from an insane ward to run and get someone other than my girlfriend at the time! Yes effective.

I have shown very simple techniques to people that show how easily I take their balance yet it looks like I am keeping them from falling. If they resist, I simply let go. Can I help it if they fall on their head and get a concussion? Effective . . . yes. Dangerous . . . yes.

The point of Aikido is to avoid being hurt yourself. It is most often a very passive art. Some forms teach no hits or kicks. But the throws can be very dangerous. Most originated from killing Samurai that were wearing armor, by breaking their neck!

But do not expect to understand Aikido in even a few short years, let alone be proficient at it. Unlike other arts, it removes all the bad habits like blocking. Instead you learn to simply not be where the attack is coming to. This skill is used in many things. I even used it to impress a young man with a water balloon on the lake. He could not understand how he missed me! Just suddenly I was not there. Understood properly it will affect all your dealings with others in daily life. . . not to fight but to give in and then with slight alterations . . . control. Yes it works. Once you truly understand it.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:08 AM   #17
Dalaran1991
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

People have all brought up very good points.

There's something else I didn't see mention: atemi. This is what I think is missing in modern aikido except for some very martial styles. O Sensei himself said that atemi is at the heart of the technique. It's just that we rarely see it in practice bc everyone knows its coming so they follow the technique/take the fall to avoid it. Without the implication/possibility of Atemi no aikido technique would really work. Ikkyo starts with atemi. Iriminage ends with a deadly atemi to the neck/face region. Tenchi nage presents atemi to the face or behind the kneecap.

This is a weakness in modern aikido IMHO. I've been to many seminars where even tapping the uke/tori lightly to indicate that the ma ai/waza is bad is considered rude. When some people see an atemi being applied they are like "That's cheating. It's too easy with atemi" Supposedly with a "good" partner we never see an atemi because the technique is so flawlessly execute without any conflict that atemi is not necessary.

The consequence is that very few aikidoka know how to apply an atemi nowadays. Thats why everybody posting here is talking about pairing aikido with another striking art because they teach you what Aikido should also be teaching you: how to apply atemi to vulnerable parts with good timing and proper force. Without atemi I seriously don't think Aikido could be used effectively. It's like firing a rifle without a bullet. You are left with charging in and hit people with the rifle butt. Ineffective and not how a rifle should be used.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:17 AM   #18
jonreading
 
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

First, I believe aiki is an effective tool in many martial arts and I believe aikido is a great foundational education in aiki with a great selection of waza that are found in many other arts. It's not like what we do is drastically different from many similar throws or locks you will find in judo, jujutsu or karate.

I think you can be over-invested in the kata of aikido. I think you can be under-committed to your training. And I think you can be isolated in your exposure to a great world of martial arts. Aikido does have people who commit these sins; other arts have similar offenders, too. If your critique is "aikido people do not train enough and they do not condition their bodies enough", then that may be true. But that is a critique of the person, not the art.

Second, kata is a different process than what other arts call randori. Much of our training is kata oriented, not randori. Kata in not bunkai (applied) fighting. If your critique is "aikido people do not practice enough randori," then that may be true. But that is a critique of the dojo curriculum, not the art. My opinion is that good kata will teach you the technique shapes, which you can then execute in a fight.

Your aikido training does not need to stop when class ends. Visit a judo dojo, or karate dojo. Put some gloves on and spar. Hit the gym. Just because you saw someone in aikido who does not reflect your self-image does not mean you cannot work towards realizing your self-image.

Aikido is dangerous. Many arts are dangerous. Walking on a slippery sidewalk is dangerous. We have a rule in class that if nage can use atemi, so can uke. The distillation of aikido kata was designed to focus developing aiki. The reason there is no fighting in aikido is because it is difficult to manifest aiki in a fight. The learning process of aikido is not to win a fight, it's to manifest aiki. There is no rule that you cannot fight in aikido. There are many people to use their aikido in other sports like judo and karate.

Having been on the wrong end of some people who do aiki I will tell you, yes, it is dangerous. Probably moreso than putting on pads and sweating out a good sparring session with some rules and protective gear. But that is what makes sport fighting something that can be practiced regularly. Enjoy what you have in your art and don't worry about that grass that looks greener on the other side of the fence.

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Old 02-19-2014, 08:34 AM   #19
mickeygelum
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Greetings Mr. Rashid,

If you are relying on Aikido alone, you will fail.

If you are accepting that a single technique or two will end your conflict, you will fail. If you overlook the value of the instinctive survival techniques, honing and incorporating them in to your Aikido training, you will fail.

Crosstraining , in my opinion, is the key to an effective martial toolbox. Punch/Kick, Lock/Pin/Break/Throw and Weapons. Yes, I said weapons, Improvised and Traditional, will help you realize your goal. Seek out the opportunities, discard the ineffective and apply yourself to the ones that are effective.

Ask questions, demand answers and make them demonstrate. Seeking knowledge is good, do not make decisions based solely on open discussions. Go, participate and decide, you are the only one that choses which direction to follow.

Train well...train hard,

Mickey

Last edited by mickeygelum : 02-19-2014 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:35 AM   #20
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
Greetings Mr. Rashid,

If you are relying on Aikido alone, you will fail.

If you are accepting that a single technique or two will end your conflict, you will fail. If you overlook the value of the instinctive survival techniques, honing and incorporating them in to your Aikido training, you will fail.

Crosstraining , in my opinion, is the key to an effective martial toolbox. Punch/Kick, Lock/Pin/Break/Throw and Weapons. Yes, I said weapons, Improvised and Traditional, will help you realize your goal. Seek out the opportunities, discard the ineffective and apply yourself to the ones that are effective.

Ask questions, demand answers and make them demonstrate. Seeking knowledge is good, do not make decisions based solely on open discussions. Go, participate and decide, you are the only one that choses which direction to follow.

Train well...train hard,

Mickey
Just to be obtuse I think that Aikido does contain all you need - it just depends on how you train.

Besides that the rest of the post is spot on - great fan of cross-training, situational training and just being aware of your own limitations and strengths.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:12 PM   #21
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

To be even obtuse-er...

1. We have a generation of shihan who trained under O Sensei with an attitude of "keep what works, get rid of what doesn't." Many of them have since admitted, in writing on occasion, that they wish they would have listened better to what they thought was unimportant at the time. You could argue damage was done to the art when some of the early teaching was discarded or removed from circulation.
2. Specifically to Peter's point, I would agree that aikido contained everything to teach how to use aiki. I think two serious points at issue is if aikido contains (present tense) what we need to learn aiki and also if dojos are soliciting students to participate in the entirety of the training. It does depend on how you train.
3. Aiki is not bunkai. Aikido is gendai budo, not koryu. As its purpose, Aikido is about teaching aiki, not fighting. My first instructor would say, learning how to fight is a by-product of aikido. I thought that was BS macho talk until a few years back. You do not need to know how to fight to do aiki. You can put aiki into your fighting. In either case, you still need to know how to do aiki.

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Old 02-19-2014, 12:32 PM   #22
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

A few people have mentioned Krav Maga, and I thought I would share an experience.

My wife started taking KM recently and I went and watched a few classes. I couldn't believe how much aikido/jiu-jutsu was in it. Of course the throwing aspect is heavily supplemented by the most effective striking that they could find or figure out. For self-defence, I think it is the way to go. I just thought it was interesting that the hardest art and one of the softest (supposedly) are actually very similar.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:50 PM   #23
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

i wonder if folks would tell the judo folks that they need to do more punching and kicking; the karate folks need to do more throwing and locks; BJJ, more stand up striking; sword folks, more pitch forks; dogs, more cats; .....

if you want an all-around martial artists, then take up as many martial arts as you can. go running. weight lifting. put on leotard and do aerobic. swimming. rock climbing. shooting. etc and etc. don't do curling as what in the god name why that's an olympic sport????!!! guys with brooms and a rock, what the hell? sheesh!

we are doing aikido. the way of aiki, whatever the heck that is, right?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:10 PM   #24
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
i wonder if folks would tell the judo folks that they need to do more punching and kicking; the karate folks need to do more throwing and locks; BJJ, more stand up striking; sword folks, more pitch forks; dogs, more cats; .....

if you want an all-around martial artists, then take up as many martial arts as you can. go running. weight lifting. put on leotard and do aerobic. swimming. rock climbing. shooting. etc and etc. don't do curling as what in the god name why that's an olympic sport????!!! guys with brooms and a rock, what the hell? sheesh!

we are doing aikido. the way of aiki, whatever the heck that is, right?
Curling can be an effective martial art if you have a cooperative attacker who will stand still on a patch of ice while you slide stones at him.
It is an offshoot of the martial art bocce where there doesn't have to be ice.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:29 PM   #25
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Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Curling can be an effective martial art if you have a cooperative attacker who will stand still on a patch of ice while you slide stones at him.
It is an offshoot of the martial art bocce where there doesn't have to be ice.
I was once banned from the ice - yes its true banned from curling. I could say its why I started Aikido ....

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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