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Old 06-30-2008, 05:59 AM   #1
Enrique Antonio Reyes
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Lightbulb Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Hi Guys,

In a recent session. A senior instructor mentioned that he himself will not use Aikido for Self-Defense he then mentioned that Aikido is a martial art and not designed to be used or relied upon for self-defense, that Aikido is somewhat like an art comparable to ballet. (he actually used ballet as a comparison)

I am a martial artist and have studied various martial arts. I would like to think that I am an Aikidoka first before anything else. I train in the hope of keeping myself ready for self-defense. so after this remark I find myself questioning my motives for training Aikido again.

I would just like to hear what you guys think. Perhaps there was an underlying message that I was not able to grasp.

One-Aiki,

Iking
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:22 AM   #2
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Here is what I think about the subject:

http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.p...44&postcount=3

http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.p...8&postcount=33

http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.p...&postcount=171


Here is a great column on this:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12221
(I liked post 11 myself.)

Good luck in your search,
Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-30-2008 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:09 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Underlying message? He told you what he thought. Sounded pretty straight forward to me. He doesn't practice Aikido as a martial art. His right.

I do though. My right.

How do you practice yours?

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 06-30-2008, 07:31 AM   #4
Nick P.
 
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

His message seems pretty clear, with little room for an underlying message.

I always go back to these, when in doubt...

http://www.aikiweb.com/general/founder.html

You want unclear? Try this one a shihan told the class...

"There a three generals and a canary.
The first general says: "If the bird will not sing, I will kill it!"
The second general says: "If the bird will not sing, I will make it sing!
The third general says: "If the bird will not sing....I will wait.
Which general do you want to be, and which Aikido do you want to do?"

I still love that....

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Old 06-30-2008, 07:43 AM   #5
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

I would put the bird in the freezer for a moment and then take him out and he'll sing. And he may ask "so what did the turkey do to displease you?"

Rob
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:06 AM   #6
Nick P.
 
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I would put the bird in the freezer for a moment and then take him out and he'll sing. And he may ask "so what did the turkey do to displease you?"
Rob
HAH! I think that falls squarely into the "I will make him sing"-category. So would plucking his feathers, breaking joints, immersing in water, waterboard, etc....

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Old 06-30-2008, 09:13 AM   #7
lbb
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

I want to be the general who doesn't give a damn about whether any bird sings or not.
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:33 AM   #8
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

The three daimyo (generals?) were supposedly (in order) Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Ieyasu...

the one who wouldn't give a damn would probably be Takeda Katsuyori

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:40 AM   #9
Tharis
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Some might think if you're only thinking of your own self-defense, you're not thinking big enough.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:00 PM   #10
Counsel
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I want to be the general who doesn't give a damn about whether any bird sings or not.
That is harmony--staying centered regardless of the melee, or lack of it, that surrounds you.

James
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:15 PM   #11
mwible
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Simply put, I believe the senior instructor to be wrong in his assumption that Aikido was never meant for self-defense. Atleast in the context of the dialogue in which you quoted. O'Sensei, to my knowledge, ALWAYS meant Aikido to be for self-defense. And i always train with an attitude and state of mind of learning to defend myself and my loved ones.

As always, just my 2 cents.

in aiki,
morgan
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:27 PM   #12
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Yeah, nothing to say. Rob Liberti pretty much covered it. It is and it isn't. For me Aikido is a great methodology for learning Ai Ki...which is a part of fighting skills, but it and of itself is not about fighting.

Self Defense...well that is a broad topic. I think in many respects aikido does a very good job...in others, it is a pretty poor delivery mechanism for self defense skills.

YMMV.

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Old 06-30-2008, 05:48 PM   #13
Gonšalo Alves
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Exclamation Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Hi everyone!!!

Aikido will never work on a figth ??? That s because training Aikido is a diferent thing than dancing like the doshu and others on aikikai?? keep dreaming!!!.. keep dancing with the aiki spirit!!
Aikido is a martial art!! MARTIAL ART!!! any doubt? Not dancing!!
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:17 PM   #14
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Aikido is a martial methodology..just like all "martial arts". It is designed to teach you the lessons that the founder of the art wanted to convey and developed a waza to convey those points.

It might seem like splitting hairs, but if aikido were focused on fighting, that is fighting defined as self defense or "combat",

Then there would only be pretty much one Waza as there really are only so many ways the human body moves and the way you employ your limbs to disable or destroy your opponent.

Look at Marksmanship? How many different "schools" or "Ways" (waza) are there with Marksmanship? really not too many...they all pretty much look the same and train on the same things..why is that? well, there are only so many ways to put a bullet in a target and everyone has gravitated to a level of efficiency at teaching those things dealing with Marksmanship.

Budo is different. It is not so much about the fighitng is it is about the budo. Each founder had his own approach to how to train what he wanted to convey....so you have all these different wazas now that do things very different.

MMA is a good example. I can visit Chuck Liddel's school, Randy Couture's School...or any other school and find them doing pretty much the same things....because they are oriented on the same endstate and there is a certain level of efficiency realized in their training.

Some aikido IS about dancing IMO, that is because that is what the people doing dancing aikido want to do.

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Old 06-30-2008, 08:02 PM   #15
Mannix Moya
 
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

for me, aikido is both a martial art and a way of life. in the event of aggression, if aikido will work or not, depends entirely with me.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:18 PM   #16
Ketsan
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Quote:
Enrique Antonio Reyes wrote: View Post
Hi Guys,

In a recent session. A senior instructor mentioned that he himself will not use Aikido for Self-Defense he then mentioned that Aikido is a martial art and not designed to be used or relied upon for self-defense, that Aikido is somewhat like an art comparable to ballet. (he actually used ballet as a comparison)

I am a martial artist and have studied various martial arts. I would like to think that I am an Aikidoka first before anything else. I train in the hope of keeping myself ready for self-defense. so after this remark I find myself questioning my motives for training Aikido again.

I would just like to hear what you guys think. Perhaps there was an underlying message that I was not able to grasp.

One-Aiki,

Iking
Hmmm. "Martial Art" is a dangerous term. Is the art of war an art in the same sence as ballet? Clearly not. If the art of war was impractical would we stick it under the heading "martial philosophy?" No. Why? Because we all know that martial implies a function, this art is for something, it has practical value.

I think the problem is that there isn't really such thing as Aikido. There are people who are concerned with developing fighting skills, training their body to generate power without reliance on muscle power and their minds to proactively deal with conflict who call their discipline "Aikido." Their skill is measured in functionality.

There are also people who don't care about fighting skills or developing power and teach themselves to deal with conflict by avoiding it who also call their discipline "Aikido." Their skill is measured in aesthetic appeal.

I think the latter group struggle with why they need a physical activity, especially since they don't take it seriously in so far as producing something functional goes and so basically make excuses up. A good excuse is "It's an art, it's not meant to be functional."

So you need to figure out what the people you're training with are doing and that'll tell you if you're doing a martial art or just doing art.
Are these people making the right noises about body power and posture? Or are they talking about ukemi? Can anyone do shomen uchi ikkyo on the spot using just their body power (not strength) or can they only do techniques with massive huge flowing movements?
Is uke's back curved or straight when they go down? Is uke trying to fall over in the manner he's been trained to or is he trying to stand back up?
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:43 PM   #17
seank
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

The more I train Aikido the more I am reminded of one of O'sensei's sayings "Ultimately, you must forget about technique. The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are. The Great Path is really No Path." (or words to that effect)

The idea that we train "techniques" seems fallacious at worst and slightly mis-guided at best.

Watch a high level demonstration with no "Aikido" attacks and look at the effect. The singular technique that we practice time and time again is not regurgitated wholesale, but the parts of the technique, the shapes and form, are employed.

It is my fervent belief that day to day we practice kihon-waza to ingrain the fundamentals of Aikido, with the ultimate aim being to spontaneously create something using those principles - in a way that is appropriate to the time and the situation.

Do people criticise Karate styles for spending half a class practicing kihon such as punching, kicking, blocking, etc. or do they see the effect of an overall technique when sparring or fighting?

I think its a narrow view to say that Aikido is like ballet and that the techniques would not work or should not be used for self-defence.

As a few people have already posted that their intent shapes their Aikido and you develop your Aikido to be what you want to be. I want to create my own technique based on no technique and be adaptable to the needs of the situation without being bogged down in the technicalities of what to do given a set situation or whether Aikido "works" or not.

I definitely stand with you on being an Aikidoka first, even though I have practiced other martial arts. I'm not convinced that you heard the wrong message or missed anything.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:42 PM   #18
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Quote:
Enrique Antonio Reyes wrote: View Post
Hi Guys,

In a recent session. A senior instructor mentioned that he himself will not use Aikido for Self-Defense he then mentioned that Aikido is a martial art and not designed to be used or relied upon for self-defense, that Aikido is somewhat like an art comparable to ballet. (he actually used ballet as a comparison)
That he said it's a martial art and not for self defense is interesting. I'm curious what the distinction is. I've heard some folks say Aikido is not a martial art, in that martial arts are arts of war and Ueshiba Aikido is an art of peace. Most (pretty much all actually) martial traditions I know of tend to favor peace, but perhaps it's not as heavily emphasized?
At any rate, it's also my understanding that Aikido should be applicable to self defense. In fact, it's my beginner's perception that Aikido is supposed to epitomize the highest levels of self-defense in which a person can operate with efficiency and powerful subtlety. Of course I'm describing Aikido as I presume it's supposed to be, not necessarily how it's practiced.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:18 PM   #19
Aikibu
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Never Mind..... Ooops I meant no mind

When I figure that one out I'll let yah all know.

William Hazen
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:03 AM   #20
Enrique Antonio Reyes
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Thank you for all the comments. I will be back in the gym this evening to practice my Aikido.

I guess there really is no special message behind the words of my instructor. Thanks again.

One-Aiki,

Iking
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:24 AM   #21
Gonšalo Alves
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Some aikido IS about dancing IMO, that is because that is what the people doing dancing aikido want to do.[/quote]

IF there is some aikido about dancing, it should not be called Aikido!!
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:29 AM   #22
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Is uke's back curved or straight when they go down? Is uke trying to fall over in the manner he's been trained to or is he trying to stand back up?
I'm not 100% with you on this one (and I tend to be more in agreement than in disagreement with your words).

I agree that uke shouldn't be trying to fall over. But I do appreciate the training methodology of level appropriate progressive resistance. (Shutting someone with nothing completely down isn't super helpful.)

I'm sure we also agree that it is best to to always be uke (that is to receive the partner). However, where we differ is that when I'm attacking and I get overwhelmed by a superiorly structured/intentioned nage such that I cannot receive enough of them without my structure blowing apart I just try to fall in the safest way I can - be it straight spine or curved.

Lastly, if I'm thrown to the ground, I might not look to stand back up - I might look to defend getting mounted from that position/angle - even if nage has no idea how to do it.

Rob
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:50 AM   #23
Haowen Chan
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
That he said it's a martial art and not for self defense is interesting. I'm curious what the distinction is.
Kendo is a martial art that is not for self defense.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:55 AM   #24
Ketsan
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I'm not 100% with you on this one (and I tend to be more in agreement than in disagreement with your words).

I agree that uke shouldn't be trying to fall over. But I do appreciate the training methodology of level appropriate progressive resistance. (Shutting someone with nothing completely down isn't super helpful.)

I'm sure we also agree that it is best to to always be uke (that is to receive the partner). However, where we differ is that when I'm attacking and I get overwhelmed by a superiorly structured/intentioned nage such that I cannot receive enough of them without my structure blowing apart I just try to fall in the safest way I can - be it straight spine or curved.

Lastly, if I'm thrown to the ground, I might not look to stand back up - I might look to defend getting mounted from that position/angle - even if nage has no idea how to do it.

Rob
I should have qualified it with "Look at how the senior students train" my bad. I think we agree on all points.
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:40 AM   #25
lbb
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
That he said it's a martial art and not for self defense is interesting.
When I studied jodo, it was quite clearly not for self-defense. When people came by the dojo and expressed an interest, Sensei always explained to them that as they were very unlikely to be attacked by someone wielding a sword, there were no modern self-defense applications of what we were learning. Then he made them sit and watch an entire three-hour class Sure did weed out those with only a casual interest.
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