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Old 11-10-2017, 04:15 AM   #1
Dothemo
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What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Hi Aikiweb,

So apart from reading a lot about Yoshinkan, I also enjoy researching the Eastern European style of "real aikido", however there isn't a heap of information out there about it. My favourite combat style of Aikido to research is Lenny Sly Sensei of Tenshin Aikido, he has a YouTube channel called something like "the rogue warriors". He is extremely pragmatic and street orientated. He is not afraid to show street defence applications of aikido and I really enjoy and appreciate his work.

Some argue that Aikido is a spiritual art but it also truly is an effective martial art, as some people demonstrate. I think there is nothing wrong with focusing on the combat element of aikido (among other elements) because self defence and freedom from sudden unwelcome violence is a human right. Sometimes one can't avoid a fight, sometimes one can be attacked in the street - aikido is perfect for these situations. I believe more so than other martial arts.

What are your thoughts about the combat orientated styles of aikido out there? (or one could argue, just different interpretations of classic Aikido)

Last edited by Dothemo : 11-10-2017 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:29 AM   #2
grondahl
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Most of what I´ve seen promoted of real aikido, Lenny Sly etc is just ordinary aikido with more atemi and a lot of grunting.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:37 AM   #3
Avery Jenkins
 
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
Lenny Sly etc is just ordinary aikido with more atemi and a lot of grunting.
Nailed it. lmao.

Avery Jenkins
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:51 AM   #4
SeiserL
 
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

IMHO, training is not sparring, sparing is not sport competition, sport competition is not fighting, and fighting is not combat.
They differ in intent and intensity.
I have yet to see any "combat" oriented Aikido (even if its marketed that way).
BTW, I do actually like a lot of what I see in Tenshin as an alternative/option.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-10-2017, 08:53 PM   #5
robin_jet_alt
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
Most of what I´ve seen promoted of real aikido, Lenny Sly etc is just ordinary aikido with more atemi and a lot of grunting.
And a lot of unnecessary spinning in circles.
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:11 PM   #6
robin_jet_alt
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
And a lot of unnecessary spinning in circles.
That is to say the "REAL Aikido TM" that I've seen is like that. No idea about this Lenny fellow. I haven't heard of him.
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:51 AM   #7
MrIggy
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Edward Matthews wrote: View Post
So apart from reading a lot about Yoshinkan, I also enjoy researching the Eastern European style of "real aikido", however there isn't a heap of information out there about it.
A comment I posted on a "Real Aikido™" video, on the so-called founder and why he looks like a junior level Aikido guy:

"Because the guy doing the techniques in the video was in fact only a junior level in Aikido. His name was Ljubomir Vračarević, he was the creator of "Real Aikido™" which is what he is essentially presenting in the video. He was from the former Socialist Yugoslavia/Serbia, a black belt in Judo back in the day when it took about 10-12 years to achieve it, and by most accounts a level between orange and green in Aikido. He never managed to get a higher rank because for some reason he never did understand much of the principles in Aikido. Back in 1989. there was a falling out between him and Kenji Shimizu when Shimizu discovered that Vračarević was giving himself higher ranks. It happened during a seminar where Vračarević put up his picture besides Shimizu's and underneath it wrote "5. Dan" implying that it was Shimizu who actually gave him this rank. When Shimizu confronted him and asked how did he get 5. Dan and from whom, and also 4.Dan, Vračarević replied that it was given to him as part of a general consensus in his dojo. That's where Shimizu lost it and cut all ties with him. Shimizu actually wrote this all down and sent an official letter to the Yugoslav edition of Black Belt magazine who published it. He also stated in the letter that Vračarević's techniques where all out of place, especially his stance for which he said was in confrontation with all of the theory of practice in Aikido. There is a pdf file with the letter on the net. It's in Serbian but I'l post it here nevertheless, the title is "Sayonara master Vračarević":"

Here's the pdf picture of the article: https://s18.postimg.org/uyhv7y9m1/ke...zupismozd1.jpg

Quote:
My favourite combat style of Aikido to research is Lenny Sly Sensei of Tenshin Aikido, he has a YouTube channel called something like "the rogue warriors". He is extremely pragmatic and street orientated. He is not afraid to show street defence applications of aikido and I really enjoy and appreciate his work.
Here's a group were you can discuss, among other things, Lenny's videos: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1426312564098161/

However a word of advice, the first thing that should come to your mind when somebody mention's "combat/combatives" is weapons not empty hand fighting.
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:31 PM   #8
sorokod
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Vračarević replied that it was given to him as part of a general consensus in his dojo.


Blind leading the blind.

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Old 11-11-2017, 02:36 PM   #9
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Edward Matthews wrote: View Post
What are your thoughts about the combat orientated styles of aikido out there? (or one could argue, just different interpretations of classic Aikido)
They are the WWE of aikido.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:27 AM   #10
Dothemo
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Thanks everyone for your opinion! I can see that most have little time for these aspects, fair enough, each to their own :-) I see much value in Lenny Sensei's work despite him sometimes saying controversial things. He works hard and is extremely transparent and generous with his teaching, free on YouTube. I really respect that. It has been interesting to recently learn that Tenshin Aikido (what Lenny Sensei teaches), isn't a separate Aikido style but a slightly different way of looking at classic Aikido. Apparently Tenshin Aikido is graded under AikiKai? It looks similar to classic Aikido to me despite the Uke attacks being made more combat orientated, the interesting hand deflections and some slightly changed throws, like for example the abridged Iriminage (goodness I'd hate be the Uke recieving a full strength abridged Iriminage). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

Thank you Igor for the information regarding Real Aikido™, I had no idea about those things, thankyou for making me aware, I will not search for information on that anymore - I am not a fan of self grading and those kinds of controversies. Furthermore I shall have a look at that Facebook group Thankyou.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:17 AM   #11
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

I suspect what you call "abridged iriminage" is nothing more than classical iriminage, and this "modern" and "combative" aikido is a poor attempt at recovering the original aikido techniques stripping them from the dancing moves that were added later.

Classical aikido is not the one developed from the late 60's on but the one that was practised from the late 30's until the early 50's. If you are after the "combative" aspects of aikido look for early aikido not for modern pseudocombatives in full tacticool regalia.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:57 PM   #12
sorokod
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Nowadays there is a tendency to call Iwama "traditional Aikido".

Here is Saito sensei doing a bit of (traditional) Irimi Nage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5wrkVx9okQ

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Old 11-12-2017, 03:27 PM   #13
robin_jet_alt
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Edward Matthews wrote: View Post
Thanks everyone for your opinion! I can see that most have little time for these aspects, fair enough, each to their own :-) I see much value in Lenny Sensei's work despite him sometimes saying controversial things. He works hard and is extremely transparent and generous with his teaching, free on YouTube. I really respect that. It has been interesting to recently learn that Tenshin Aikido (what Lenny Sensei teaches), isn't a separate Aikido style but a slightly different way of looking at classic Aikido. Apparently Tenshin Aikido is graded under AikiKai? It looks similar to classic Aikido to me despite the Uke attacks being made more combat orientated, the interesting hand deflections and some slightly changed throws, like for example the abridged Iriminage (goodness I'd hate be the Uke recieving a full strength abridged Iriminage). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

Thank you Igor for the information regarding Real Aikido™, I had no idea about those things, thankyou for making me aware, I will not search for information on that anymore - I am not a fan of self grading and those kinds of controversies. Furthermore I shall have a look at that Facebook group Thankyou.
I had a bit of a look at some of Lenny Sly's videos after your initial post. Unlike Real Aikido™ it looks like he actually knows his stuff. Just bear in mind there is very little that is revolutionary about what he's teaching. It's just aikido.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:42 PM   #14
MrIggy
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Nowadays there is a tendency to call Iwama "traditional Aikido".

Here is Saito sensei doing a bit of (traditional) Irimi Nage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5wrkVx9okQ
To be fair Saito did author books labeled "Traditional Aikido" back in the seventies.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:43 PM   #15
MrIggy
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Basically.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:19 PM   #16
MrIggy
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Edward Matthews wrote: View Post
Thanks everyone for your opinion! I can see that most have little time for these aspects, fair enough, each to their own :-) I see much value in Lenny Sensei's work despite him sometimes saying controversial things. He works hard and is extremely transparent and generous with his teaching, free on YouTube. I really respect that. It has been interesting to recently learn that Tenshin Aikido (what Lenny Sensei teaches), isn't a separate Aikido style but a slightly different way of looking at classic Aikido. Apparently Tenshin Aikido is graded under AikiKai? It looks similar to classic Aikido to me despite the Uke attacks being made more combat orientated, the interesting hand deflections and some slightly changed throws, like for example the abridged Iriminage (goodness I'd hate be the Uke recieving a full strength abridged Iriminage). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.
Tenshin is the name of the dojo in Japan where Seagal used to train. Similar to Shioda's "Yoshinkan" dojo from which the name came. And yes they are under the Aikikai. As for everything else, not much of what he says, or similar to what he is saying or doing for that matter, hasn't been said or done by others. The whole "problem" is the manner in which he is doing it that makes people fell unpleasant about him. However, despite my disagreement with some the aspects of his methods and training, looking at how much bu***hit goes around as Aikido these days, about 90% of it, he falls into that category of 10% that's actually worth what he is saying. So you won't make an error of at least experimenting with his stuff.

Quote:
Thank you Igor for the information regarding Real Aikido™, I had no idea about those things, thankyou for making me aware, I will not search for information on that anymore - I am not a fan of self grading and those kinds of controversies. Furthermore I shall have a look at that Facebook group Thankyou.
Real Aikido™ was created by a man who had political support more than he had actual knowledge on the matter (either his father, uncle or father in law was an officer in the army which opened a lot of doors for him). Even many of his "high-ranking" students left him at one point or another and now are regular attendees at Aikikai, Yoshinkan and also Iwama Aikido seminars. He past away a couple of years ago. His organization still lives on with his daughter but it's a shell of the strength it used to have. In general it's just better to stay clear away from them. To much political non-sense involved, literally.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:38 AM   #17
JJF
 
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

It seems to me that after having practiced for a while people tend to go in one of a few directions:
1) Aikido is not my kind of budo - I'll find something else
2) Aikido is amazing, and the more I learn, the more there is to be found
3) Aikido looks cool but most others do it wrong, and I am going to change the s*** out of it

In my experience - with the 2) approach you will eventually start seeing something interesting in many of the different approaches to aikido. I am personally not a big fan of the teaching methods of Saito senseis aikido, but the video linked above shows that this is a man who has paid his dues in mat time to develop timing, skill and the ability to gain power from relaxed body posture. His Aiki-body has been developed and eventually the actual waza becomes less important than the ability to respond to each situation. He is doing Aikido - not aikido techniques.

The typical 3) type however, seem to be often very hung up on specific ways of 'making the technique work'. I think that is a dangerous mindset that foster excessive use of force and build a competitive or destructive mindset. It may look very effective and cool... I just don't feel it's the fastest path towards mastering what makes aikido unique.

I've only seen a few of Sly's videos. I don't care for his language though I agree with him when he talks about the lack of martial intent seen in many aikido dojos. My main quarrel with his videos is the attitude. Pain and suffering.. punishing.. controlling with pain and intention to hurt is in the front seat. I believe working with Aikido for enough time will enable one to put it in the backseat and only use it when all other options fail. But to achive that require that you can forget about 'effectivenes' and be patient. A trait not common in 1) and 3) scenarios above.

For 'Real Aikido'.. it's pretty much the same. Combined with a huge amount of ego and selfpromotion.

In short - I believe that focusing on effectiveness alone may ruin a great chance to discover something more important.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

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Old 11-14-2017, 07:27 AM   #18
MRoh
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Edward Matthews wrote: View Post
It looks similar to classic Aikido to me despite the Uke attacks being made more combat orientated, the interesting hand deflections and some slightly changed throws, like for example the abridged Iriminage (goodness I'd hate be the Uke recieving a full strength abridged Iriminage). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.
Look at Isoyama Sensei and you will know where this Irimi nage comes from. He was Steven Seagals teacher, and tenshin Aikido is Seagals Dojo, not a style.
In wrestling you call it a clothes line.
But in my eyes it is all normal aikido, same movements and same katas.
Ways to throw more destructive exist many, and all of the early students of O Sensei knew or know them.
But still it is kata, not fighting.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:21 AM   #19
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
the actual waza becomes less important than the ability to respond to each situation.
This.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:28 AM   #20
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
In short - I believe that focusing on effectiveness alone may ruin a great chance to discover something more important.
And in response to the inevitable question, "But isn't effectiveness the only thing that really matters, ultimately?" - my response would be, effectiveness for what purpose? The response to that is always phrased in undefined terms like "combat" or "the street", never in terms of real problems that this person is actually facing. "Effectiveness" in an imagined situation is just another kind of fantasy, and its proponents are in the most fragile of glass houses.
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:51 PM   #21
sorokod
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

I think that the most basic "is it effective" question is: "is it effective in the dojo". If one is taught waza such that by design , the uke can poke one in the eye and walk away, one is taught rubbish.

Once, "is it effective in the dojo" question has been answered in the positive, a reasonable discussion can be had about the next level of effectiveness.

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Old 11-16-2017, 03:12 AM   #22
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Seems like Peter Boylan have picked up the gauntlet of this theme in his latest musings....
Always a pleasure to read: http://budobum.blogspot.dk/2017/11/e...-for-judo.html

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

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Old 11-21-2017, 10:36 AM   #23
phitruong
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

whenever i heard "combat oriented", i am thinking thermal nuclear or kinetic energy weapons. i wondered if there is an aikido style out there that has rail gun in the curriculum. wonder if the rail gun would make me look fat.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 11-21-2017, 05:46 PM   #24
shizentai
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Every negative description of Lenny Sly's Aikido in this thread is generated from surface impressions at best. Tenshin Aikido has significant improvements in usability compared to mainstream Aikido, #1 of them being integration of ken jitsu-style rapid arm movement, which allows the practitioner to operate at a distance and speed most Aikido people are very uncomfortable with.

The uke-nagashi deflection/blend alone is a great tool. Yubi dori (finger manipulation) is also taught in technical manner (there's some trickery to it), and can be used to transition into traditional techniques.

The way Tenshin Aikido approaches randori and irimi, are derived from more practical standpoint. There are technical guidelines on how to do these things which differ from other systems, and I don't want to trivialize them by trying to enumerate the subject I'm not fully familiar with.

The honest attacks by uke are of great importance in the system - a subject which is neglected in many Aikido schools. In addition to honest attacks, there are also more realistic attacks used, such as shoves, or kick and punch combos.

Calling Tenshin Aikido "Aikido with more grunting" is entirely inaccurate. You can goof off about Lenny's "Youtube personality", but the truth remains - he's a great representative of Tenshin technique and methodology, with legit credentials. Tenshin is the closest Aikido has come thus far to being a functional self-defense system.
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Old 11-22-2017, 04:06 AM   #25
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Aleksey Nikolaevich wrote: View Post
Tenshin is the closest Aikido has come thus far to being a functional self-defense system.
Because you say so or because you have proof?
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