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Old 04-19-2007, 05:58 AM   #101
DonMagee
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Yes, I am sure there are schools out there that do add elements of aliveness and freestyle grapppling.

Back to the original question, MMA as a catalyst for change in aikido...

assumes that aikido, in general, needs to change, or will be changed by MMA.

One assumption this question poses (the main one I believe) is that aikido as practiced by the general population is incorrect or "missing" something that MMA has to offer that is vital.

If the original arts had these components and ways of training, if modern Koryu has these things, if modern Gendai arts also have them, Judo being pretty much developed at the same time.....AND we have much documentation to say that much of this was intentionally left out by the founder and continues to be left out by his senior students/uchi deshi......

Maybe they were not as ignorant, blind, or as clueless, as the question or assumption that MMA is a catalyst for change in aikido assumes!

Possibly there is very good reason for it!

What is also possible, if you look at the many threads and discussions concerning internal martial arts is that the following two conditions might exist.

1. Some teachers may not understand aliveness and have enough skill to be able to intentionally teach around it, correctly isolating principles without losing the tactical presence (bunkai) that is associated with the practice of aikido.

2. Some Aikido students really do not have an appreciation or understanding of the purpose and intent of aikido, the principles being taught, and the tactical applicaiton (bunkai), and how it may be applied, (or not), as the case may be. That is, "we are trying to beat a round peg into a square hole"....trying to turn or make aikido into something it was never designed to do!

Short version:

Go study MMA if that is what you want to do. Study aikido (good aikido) for what aikido can teach you about aikido!
But was Tomiki less of an aikidoka for adding some minor elements of aliveness to his aikido?

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:49 AM   #102
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Short version: Go study MMA if that is what you want to do. Study aikido (good aikido) for what aikido can teach you about aikido!
While I thoroughly enjoy MMA as a spectator sport and am certainly glad it wasn't around when I was young, for me the MMA has been a great catalyst for my (to each their own) Aikido holding its own intent, intensity, and identity

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 04-19-2007, 08:11 AM   #103
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Back to the original question, MMA as a catalyst for change in aikido...
assumes that aikido, in general, needs to change, or will be changed by MMA.

One assumption this question poses (the main one I believe) is that aikido as practiced by the general population is incorrect or "missing" something that MMA has to offer that is vital.

If the original arts had these components and ways of training, if modern Koryu has these things, if modern Gendai arts also have them, Judo being pretty much developed at the same time.....AND we have much documentation to say that much of this was intentionally left out by the founder and continues to be left out by his senior students/uchi deshi......

Maybe they were not as ignorant, blind, or as clueless, as the question or assumption that MMA is a catalyst for change in aikido assumes!

Possibly there is very good reason for it!
What comes around goes around! The reason I originally charged the MMA with being a "fad" is because it's really nothing new in regards to emphasizing competition in the martial arts...or in being regarded as the synthesis of the best elements of various martial arts. Take for example the history of Judo in Japan during the early 20th century...the time period in which O'Sensei encountered Judo. Judo dominated the martial arts world of Japan. It seemed that every major koryu school of jujutsu was joining the Kodokan (c.1905). Judo was quite simply an unstopable force, all the great atheletes and martial artists of the day were going with Judo and the koryu arts were on the brink of exstinction.

Of course, with the benefit of history, we know how that all turned out. Some of koryu schools of jujutsu managed to survive the "Judo takeover" of the early 20th century without adopting the Kodokan syllabus and remaining structurally independent. Aikido was born in a martial arts world dominated by Judo, but not as an "answer" to it. Most of O'Sensei's early students were high ranking Judoka who quite literally abandoned Judo for Aikido and never looked back.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
But was Tomiki less of an aikidoka for adding some minor elements of aliveness to his aikido?
I see your point, and would agree that the addition of competitive randori in Shodokan Aikido helps "keep it real," but I don't think that competition is same thing as "aliveness." In competition, the main concern is winning the match...not necessarily perfecting technique. Whereas, I understand "aliveness" as good randori where ukes make sincere, spontaneous, committed attacks and who don't throw themselves (i.e. resisting). The intent in randori is to perfect technique. Perhaps it just a matter of semantics...

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Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
While I thoroughly enjoy MMA as a spectator sport and am certainly glad it wasn't around when I was young, for me the MMA has been a great catalyst for my (to each their own) Aikido holding its own intent, intensity, and identity
Yes! That's why I originally posted this thread. It is indeed a catalyst for change in my study of Aikido. Not from the perspective of being perceived as a "threat," but more as a matter of healthy comparison. Whenever I watch a UFC or IFL match, I always watch in from the perspective of "how would I counter that move or technique?" Brain candy, I suppose.
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Old 04-19-2007, 08:22 AM   #104
DonMagee
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

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I see your point, and would agree that the addition of competitive randori in Shodokan Aikido helps "keep it real," but I don't think that competition is same thing as "aliveness." In competition, the main concern is winning the match...not necessarily perfecting technique. Whereas, I understand "aliveness" as good randori where ukes make sincere, spontaneous, committed attacks and who don't throw themselves (i.e. resisting). The intent in randori is to perfect technique. Perhaps it just a matter of semantics...
My point is really that Tomiki added judoish randori to his aikido and it did not change the nature of aikido, it is still aikido. Something very few aikido schools do today. His aikido is minor elements of aliveness on a foundation of kata. MMA training is a foundation of aliveness with very little if any 'kata'. From the very first day you will be training alive, spending no more then a few minutes working static drills to get the idea, then adding progressive resistance until eventually full on sparing.

As far as I can tell, Tomiki found enough value in aliveness from his judo training to make sure it stayed. It seems that Osensei did not care enough to put a stop to it. I have a feeling he could of stopped it if he really wanted to.

I still contend that MMA is just training martial arts with aliveness focused on ring fighting. The main thing that makes MMA, MMA is that aliveness. Aliveness exists in many arts and is much older then MMA. Aliveness has already infiltrated aikido many decades before I was born. So MMA can't change aikido, but it might help those elements of aliveness grow.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:01 AM   #105
Ron Tisdale
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Sometimes I have to wonder how many posters have felt the strength of a national or world class athelete. It really is an eye-opener.

Best,
Ron

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Old 04-19-2007, 09:06 AM   #106
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?



Hi,

4 me, Aikido as it is, is just fine.

i dont think we should change it into MMA.

have fun,
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:28 AM   #107
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Sometimes I have to wonder how many posters have felt the strength of a national or world class athelete. It really is an eye-opener.

Best,
Ron
Amen LOL...You should see who trains here in Malibu.LOL Let's just say I am "blessed" with humilty and everytime I get too big for my Dogi Britches there is always a good pro fighter ready to humble me in less than a minute. and believe me it has nothing to do with technique and everything to do with talent.

Thats why the myth of the ultimate street fighter exists because some internet MMA/Aikido folks believe they can toe to toe with the likes of Chuck Liddel...or Mirco CroCop. LOL You MAY get one shot but thats only if your lucky and can survive the first 30 seconds...LOL.

William Hazen
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:34 AM   #108
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Sometimes I have to wonder how many posters have felt the strength of a national or world class athelete. It really is an eye-opener.

Best,
Ron
This is an important point as well. A couple of brothers at my gym have wrestled their entire lives, jr. high, high school, college. They're not extremely large, they're both about 180 lbs, but they are phenomenally strong. Their strength-to-weight ratio is off the charts and their speed and explosive power is something to see as well. Having one of them grab you, or get on top of you feels like being caught in a pair of vice grips. The thing is, these guys aren't that good. They wrestle at a small, not even 6A, school. The guys who make it into MMA at the elite levels are WAY stronger and faster than these guys.

Again, I think a lot of Aikido practitioners are very ignorant of how a MMA gym functions, the people it attracts, and how Aikido would fair in such an environment. Sometimes it seems as though there is a bit of the old "head in the sand" mentality at work. If people really want to understand MMA, they should just go to a gym, and find out about it first-hand.

Keith Lee
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:58 AM   #109
Martin Ruedas
 
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

First of all, I would like to ask, is there really a need for change? Have really really really understood what Aikido teaches us that we think it should change thru the help of MMA? or is this just an issue of popularity, because MMA is really popular these days? IMHO

IMHO, I don't think MMA should be catalyst for change in Aikido.
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:59 AM   #110
Ron Tisdale
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

William and Keith understand exactly what I'm talking about.

Best,
Ron (been hosed by div. 3 wrestlers...I wouldn't even want to think what it would be like for the div 1 champion in 81 to have gotten his hands on me. His walking around weight was about 170 to 180...his wrestling weight was 134. And believe me, he was just as strong at 134 )

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Old 04-19-2007, 10:02 AM   #111
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Braulio Estima is holding a seminar at my club on saturday for 45.00. He's a world class bjj guy who has an amazing competition record in the largest events in the bjj world such as Mundial, Pan-Amercians, Abu Dhabi etc. If everything goes well I should get to roll with him. This will probably be the best competitor I've ever gotten a chance to roll with. I can't wait to feel it.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:05 AM   #112
Cady Goldfield
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Ron,
Are you talking about muscular strength, or the way they use their bodies/skills? Strength isn't the same thing as power or body skills. Would you really say that a guy who is "just as strong at 134" is using muscular strength and mass to equal effect as his 180-lb self?
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:11 AM   #113
Ron Tisdale
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

I don't know how I would describe it. I just know I was putty in the hands of some of the 134 div 3 guys. I had at least 3 or 4 div 3 champions / all americans on my team. At any weight, these guys were incredibly strong. Back then, I was considered fairly strong for my size, but when I cut weight from 138 or so to 126 I was weak as a kitten. These guys dropped much more weight, and from rolling with them, they didn't seem to lose any strength. Truly amazing...

I guess my point is that there are people out there to whom it would never occur to set foot in an aikido dojo, and unless you've stepped up on their turf, you'd have a pretty warped idea of just how strong many of them are. Watching them on TV just ain't the same as them putting their hands on you.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:19 AM   #114
Cady Goldfield
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

That's interesting. They drop weight/muscle mass but lose nothing in "strength," while you dropped weight/muscle mass but found yourself feeling "weak as a kitten."

Could it have been that they were masters of their game in terms of their body skills, and that muscle mass and weight, while they (of course) confer an advantage, don't necessarily make someone a better wrestler?
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:21 AM   #115
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

MMA as a catalyst for change in aikido? Well, I dunno, maybe for people that already have a "Let's see how this works" mentality, or like to get out and experience what other people are doing. As for the Establishment of aikido (whatever that means), I don't know that it will have any (but who knows?).

I do know that, similar to others here, ever since we had D1 wrestlers from Edinboro University (then coached by Olympic Gold-medal heavyweight Bruce Baumgartner and including one NCAA national champ) come crash our Freestyle/Greco club, any illusions of me being hot s41T were quickly wiped away. Funny thing that even in that sort of training/competitive setting, I think I had more a budo mindset in the sense of "Screw winning or losing, I just wanna survive!".

I like to think that it made me better and taught me that sometimes getting humiliated and taken down a few pegs is its own form of worthwhile teacher (forgive the machismo, but especially in the 1 on 1, mano e mano sense - humiliation and abuse for their own sake carry their own pathological baggage and unfortunately can also too easily be found in martial settings).

Either way, I still find it educational, worthwhile, draining, exhilerating and at times disheartening, but darn it if I don't like to still go find people that can pound me, submit me, etc. within their specific martial contexts. The older I get, the more I find I'm trying to apply "my aikido" (sometimes strictly as a physical skillset, whatever that means and for whatever it's worth) in those same contexts, rather than necessarily trying to start from scratch as a boxer, bjjer, etc.

The nice thing is that with more people getting involved in MMA or combative sports, the easier it is to find people to go visit and play with . . . if you'll pardon the selfish point of view.
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:30 AM   #116
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Ron has ipponed the correct!!

What should also be noted is how relaxed and fluid people at the National level or beyond can be. I'm lucky to train at a Judo dojo that has repeat Senior National champions, a former Olympic team member, and Collegiate and Junior National Champions. (And, I've heard but haven't confirmed, a former All Japan champ.)

I've trained BJJ with Pan Am champs at different belt levels and a Mundial medallist.

Some of these guys were state champion or collegiate scholarship wrestlers.

Grappling with some of these guys is like "fighting an empty jacket," as they say.

Many, many people in martial arts simply have no clue how good these people are, as Ron said. They have no frame of reference.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:28 PM   #117
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

My instructors in the states are all world class BJJers. I also train with a former pro MMA fighter here in Germany. It is a very humbling experience to roll with these guys...its as if I have never studied anything my whole life.

Serves to show you how much I have to learn...and I can hold my own against most any one that walks in my dojo!

There are definitely different levels of understanding and skill out there!

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Old 04-19-2007, 12:41 PM   #118
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Don,

I'd say there is nothing wrong with Tomiki. Not that I know anything about it, but certainly there are as many ways to do aikido as there are personalities.

My point was that simply having an absence of those things does not necessarily make it less of a viable and relevant methodology for training, simply something different.

Although, no one way of training can be all things for all situations. We have to figure out what is important for ourselves, and then seek to find those elements that we feel we need.

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Old 04-19-2007, 01:19 PM   #119
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Sometimes I have to wonder how many posters have felt the strength of a national or world class athelete. It really is an eye-opener.
Quote:
Keith Lee wrote: View Post
Again, I think a lot of Aikido practitioners are very ignorant of how a MMA gym functions, the people it attracts, and how Aikido would fair in such an environment. Sometimes it seems as though there is a bit of the old "head in the sand" mentality at work. If people really want to understand MMA, they should just go to a gym, and find out about it first-hand.
Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I guess my point is that there are people out there to whom it would never occur to set foot in an aikido dojo, and unless you've stepped up on their turf, you'd have a pretty warped idea of just how strong many of them are. Watching them on TV just ain't the same as them putting their hands on you.
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Kit Leblanc wrote: View Post
Many, many people in martial arts simply have no clue how good these people are, as Ron said. They have no frame of reference.
I do not question at all either the athletic caliber or the character of serious MMAers. If I have given that sort of impression in previous postings, I apologize. It's the idiotic "wannabes" that upset me, just as they upset serious MMAers (Aikido also has "wannabes"...as we all know). Many of these guys are world-class athletes as well as formidable martial artists...even if some don't consider themselves as such. I have met some amateur MMA athletes here in the mid-West, and I must say that I greatly admire them for their singular dedication, athleticism & sportsmanship. They're truly gentlemen & family men.

The point I have been trying to make in this thread so uneloquently is that: should Aikido, in regards to remaining an effective martial art of self-defense, adapt and/or utilize the training methodology of the MMA, since it seems to consistently yield up excellent fighters & athletes? Or, should the traditional training methodology be retained unaltered? In the vocabulary of the MMA community, should "alive" training be given emphasis over the traditional partnered kata method?

Apparently, the jury's still out, based upon the responses so far...and probably will be for the foreseeable future. Personally, I found some very persuasive arguments have been made in favor of some sort of "alive" training in order to keep Aikido training realistic and maintain the Art as a legitimate system of self-defense. However, I am thoroughly unconvinced that Aikido needs "fight clubs" or that the partnered kata training needs to be de-emphasized.
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Old 04-19-2007, 01:39 PM   #120
Ron Tisdale
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

I think I get what you mean a little better now.

I have seen less compliant but still somewhat cooperative training in aikido and it is refreshing. At 45, I'm not likely to go in for full speed, full resistance randori. I have to work tomorrow. But I think it would be good for at least some of the young pups...as long as consideration is taken for safety.

I think a bigger question is whether people begin to focus on modern methodologies for physical training (wieghts, interval training, running, etc) to suppliment their aikido, or will they stay with some of the more traditional methods of conditioning (things that might get put in the non-aikido forum). I'll be very currious to see what happens especially if those types of skill sets are taught more openly.

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 04-19-2007 at 01:42 PM.

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Old 04-19-2007, 01:53 PM   #121
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Quote:
Brian Dewey wrote: View Post
Yes! That's why I originally posted this thread. It is indeed a catalyst for change in my study of Aikido. Not from the perspective of being perceived as a "threat," but more as a matter of healthy comparison. Whenever I watch a UFC or IFL match, I always watch in from the perspective of "how would I counter that move or technique?" Brain candy, I suppose.
In that case, bring on the sugar rush!!!!!

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 04-19-2007, 02:46 PM   #122
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

It sounds like there's some sort of general agreement here: MMA is making us rethink our approach by exposing us to some excellent fighters and techniques.

Narrowing down to one specific issue: striking. The main aikido strikes are shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, and tsuki. Tsuki is a punch, but it's generally practiced as a sort of chambered-at-the-hip lunge punch.

None of those strikes show up in the UFC/Pride. The straightforward conclusion is that they are not efficient methods of unarmed striking. So perhaps they're meant to be weapon attacks? (I know this has been critiqued as silly, but despite the obvious problems, it's one of the more persistent solutions.) I've always found the notion of snatching away a live blade to be quite silly. However, shomenuchi and yokomenuchi could represent swinging some sort of handheld blunt weapon.

If there's some truth to this, should we be doing more shomenuchi/yokomenuchi with uke grasping a short stick or something, to better understand the spacing?

Last edited by Paul Sanderson-Cimino : 04-19-2007 at 02:57 PM. Reason: typo; word choice; clarified "weapon"
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Old 04-19-2007, 03:31 PM   #123
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
It sounds like there's some sort of general agreement here: MMA is making us rethink our approach by exposing us to some excellent fighters and techniques.

Narrowing down to one specific issue: striking. The main aikido strikes are shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, and tsuki. Tsuki is a punch, but it's generally practiced as a sort of chambered-at-the-hip lunge punch.

None of those strikes show up in the UFC/Pride. The straightforward conclusion is that they are not efficient methods of unarmed striking. So perhaps they're meant to be weapon attacks? (I know this has been critiqued as silly, but despite the obvious problems, it's one of the more persistent solutions.) I've always found the notion of snatching away a live blade to be quite silly. However, shomenuchi and yokomenuchi could represent swinging some sort of handheld blunt weapon.

If there's some truth to this, should we be doing more shomenuchi/yokomenuchi with uke grasping a short stick or something, to better understand the spacing?
For what it's worth, 90% of the striking I've encountered at Aikido dojos is half-hearted at best. Furthermore, the 3 main strikes Aikido uses (shomen, yokomen, tsuki) are ridiculous attacks. Maybe they supposed to mimic weapon striking, I don't know. However, none of them come close to what a real strike would be like. Plus, I don't think I've ever been to an Aikido dojo where they practice combinations. Even unskilled people with no martial arts training are not going to stop with one punch. They'll just keep throwing bomb after bomb at someone in hopes of overwhelming the person they are attacking. Lastly, if you're practicing against strikes, the person doing the striking has to wear pads and be able to actually strike and win the training interaction. Otherwise it's just play acting and no one is getting anything out of it; if your goal is actually learning how to deal with striking in a conflict situation. If one's goal is something else; learning to blend, light exercise, fun, etc. than it's quite alright.

The other thing to keep in mind is this: alot of what's going on in MMA right now is brand new. People like to romanticize the martial arts and make it out like every technique and combination was discovered and created 1000 years ago by some wispy old monk on top of a mountain. F that. In the past 100 years more time, effort, and money have been put into sports and athletic competition than in any time in recorded history. Combat sports, especially at the elite level, Olympic level, UFC/Pride for us(incidentally, both have had silver and gold medalists compete), have athletes who focus their entire lives on one specific activity: fighting. These guys have access to training information from all over the planet, the latest in nutrition and supplement information, doctors, perfect weight and cardio training, etc. etc. They are bringing together various bits of separate fighting disciplines and integrating them into one new, complete fighting package: MMA. Essentially: Thai boxing + Wrestling + Judo/Sambo + BJJ. Aikido is not a part of it because its techniques and training methodology are inferior and ineffective in a combat sports context.

Keith Lee
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Old 04-19-2007, 03:47 PM   #124
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
It sounds like there's some sort of general agreement here: MMA is making us rethink our approach by exposing us to some excellent fighters and techniques.

Narrowing down to one specific issue: striking. The main aikido strikes are shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, and tsuki. Tsuki is a punch, but it's generally practiced as a sort of chambered-at-the-hip lunge punch.

None of those strikes show up in the UFC/Pride. The straightforward conclusion is that they are not efficient methods of unarmed striking. So perhaps they're meant to be weapon attacks? (I know this has been critiqued as silly, but despite the obvious problems, it's one of the more persistent solutions.) I've always found the notion of snatching away a live blade to be quite silly. However, shomenuchi and yokomenuchi could represent swinging some sort of handheld blunt weapon.

If there's some truth to this, should we be doing more shomenuchi/yokomenuchi with uke grasping a short stick or something, to better understand the spacing?
Shomen, Yokomen, and Tsuki are practice strikes in our style and are designed to get newcomers experiance with Atemi. Shoji Nishio came from a Karate and Judo background and every technique is done (as he put it) with "the flow of Atemi." In other words it's enter,accept the attack, strike first as hard as you can THEN execute the technique that becomes availible, and... within every facet of every technique there are more strikes but I digress.... We have a more martial style than most even (dare I say it and please forgive me for my lack of humility ) Shodokan or Yoshinkan and closer to Aikijujitsu. I often hear when I spar "Hey I thought Aikido was about grabbing the wrist!" LOL

You have the right idea about spacing. Executing every technique with a Bokken greatly helps folks get a proper sense of spacing with Uke and helps bring a greater sense of awareness to Nage.

Where MMA helps tremendously is in that sense of timing and spacing, ground work and feints/jabs in knowing when/how to enter.Most Gendai Arts feature straight punches and I have seen most Aikidoka/Karateka have difficulty initially with the bob/weave of a good MMA striker and the better ones take your mind with a few jabs and BOOM! You're on your back. It's over unless you have been trained on how to deal with it. Being pinned and getting pounded HURTS! LOL

In that sense MMA is of great benefit for the average Aikidoka. You truely come to experiance letting go... giving up your fear... and ENTERING with everything you've got to accept Uke's attack and end the conflict. Just the way Shoji Nishio insisted Aikido should be done... and why he greatly encouraged cross training.

You're on the right path.

William Hazen
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Old 04-19-2007, 03:50 PM   #125
Aikibu
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Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?

Quote:
Keith Lee wrote: View Post
For what it's worth, 90% of the striking I've encountered at Aikido dojos is half-hearted at best. Furthermore, the 3 main strikes Aikido uses (shomen, yokomen, tsuki) are ridiculous attacks. Maybe they supposed to mimic weapon striking, I don't know. However, none of them come close to what a real strike would be like. Plus, I don't think I've ever been to an Aikido dojo where they practice combinations. Even unskilled people with no martial arts training are not going to stop with one punch. They'll just keep throwing bomb after bomb at someone in hopes of overwhelming the person they are attacking. Lastly, if you're practicing against strikes, the person doing the striking has to wear pads and be able to actually strike and win the training interaction. Otherwise it's just play acting and no one is getting anything out of it; if your goal is actually learning how to deal with striking in a conflict situation. If one's goal is something else; learning to blend, light exercise, fun, etc. than it's quite alright.

The other thing to keep in mind is this: alot of what's going on in MMA right now is brand new. People like to romanticize the martial arts and make it out like every technique and combination was discovered and created 1000 years ago by some wispy old monk on top of a mountain. F that. In the past 100 years more time, effort, and money have been put into sports and athletic competition than in any time in recorded history. Combat sports, especially at the elite level, Olympic level, UFC/Pride for us(incidentally, both have had silver and gold medalists compete), have athletes who focus their entire lives on one specific activity: fighting. These guys have access to training information from all over the planet, the latest in nutrition and supplement information, doctors, perfect weight and cardio training, etc. etc. They are bringing together various bits of separate fighting disciplines and integrating them into one new, complete fighting package: MMA. Essentially: Thai boxing + Wrestling + Judo/Sambo + BJJ. Aikido is not a part of it because its techniques and training methodology are inferior and ineffective in a combat sports context.
I respectfully disagree with most of your statement especially the last sentence...

William Hazen
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