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Old 05-31-2010, 02:27 PM   #1
RED
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Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

I'm not sure if it is or not.
I was reading some online forums and came across this: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=96920

It is an MMA forum so maybe it isn't the greatest proof of over all misunderstanding of Aikido.
But I came across every opinion from "aikido has nothing to do with weapons work" to "aikido doesn't do randori" on that forum post, even as far as aikido not being a martial art... ???

Do you think Aikido is misunderstood... or does the ignorance just over shadow logic in this isolated case?

Last edited by RED : 05-31-2010 at 02:34 PM.

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Old 05-31-2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

This is not necessarily a good example, but for what it's worth. Aikido IS an equal martial art:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1w-8...eature=related

Now, I'm not using this to promote competition, but at least it shows to some degree that applied aikido merits itself in certain arenas.

But deeper than this, I find that aikido, at least in the physical sense, is only a symbol of a greater meaning. We train to penetrate the truth to O-Sensei.

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Old 05-31-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

I'm not sure if in your video this guy is doing what I'd call Aikido. Aikido is a very large umbrella in much regards, but It looks like some sort of Jujitsu. I'd at least call it some kind of jujitsu. But the guy really isn't getting off line, and the extension isn't there.

But frankly, everyone's Aikido is different. *shrugs*

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Old 05-31-2010, 03:02 PM   #4
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Like I said......It's not a very good example.

My teacher mentioned during techniques that I execute with a lot of speed. Most of the time, the training is done in what I feel is slow motion.

Remember that it was said that trying to catch O-Sensei was like trying to catch smoke. When techniques are applied fluidly, they are far more effective.

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Old 05-31-2010, 03:15 PM   #5
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Michael McNamara wrote: View Post
Like I said......It's not a very good example.

My teacher mentioned during techniques that I execute with a lot of speed. Most of the time, the training is done in what I feel is slow motion.

Remember that it was said that trying to catch O-Sensei was like trying to catch smoke. When techniques are applied fluidly, they are far more effective.
They really are.

Sometimes when people first get on the mat we tell them to do everything at a slower speed than everyone else. However they do it faster than everyone else. lol They think they are going slow...its just that the people around them appear to be going VERY fast around them. When the truth is the fluidity of the techniques are deceiving I think. Fluidity makes it look fast when it is in fact just efficient.

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Old 05-31-2010, 03:21 PM   #6
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Well, we certainly know about Japanese efficiency.

It seems to me that Aikido is something that PASSES through the martial arts world, meaning it can hold its own when entering the martial arts. Deep down, there is a strange feeling I have that there is much more to this art.

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Old 05-31-2010, 03:28 PM   #7
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

In the end I think Aikido is about self mastery. I don't care if you do water colours, Aikido, BJJ or ballet. Everyone needs something that feeds their spirit. It's not about beating others, it should be about beating yourself.
I think sometimes people are looking to earn their "man card" in Martial Arts, or show off their bad-assery. LOL If they focused on themselves and their own training and self improvement as much as they worried about how other men view them, they'd find something deeper to any martial art in my opinion.

The first thing you typically teach a new guy in Aikido is "Off line" then "get uke off ballance" "Off-line" you worry about yourself, tend to your safety first. Then worry about what the attacker is up to. So many people see an attack coming in and run right into it... like they are gonna deal with that big bad attacker who dared offend them... but Aikido... off-line first, then off ballance uke.

My teacher said in bokken kata that when you see a bokken raise, just move in...it doesn't matter what you plan to do with uke, just get off the line of attack. What you wanna do with the attacker won't matter if you have a sword sticking in you. :/

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Old 05-31-2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

I know exactly what you're talking about in regards to bokken kata. This video describes what you mean at 2:25:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9PTMSwr1h0

I think after much training, one can anticipate an opponent's next move. We really can't see ourselves in the same way as MMA fighters. it's not the same ballpark....It ain't even the same sport. we are intellectual as well as physical.

As far as a deeper meaning in aikido, I find it similar to what I call the "Jim Morrison" discovery. Sure, I knew of him as a rock and roll god, but when I picked up a copy of "An American Night" or "The Lords and the New Creatures", I discovered something much more complex and meaningful in his poetry. I think O-Sensei is a poet more than an aikido master.

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Old 05-31-2010, 06:07 PM   #9
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Who cares what other people think of Aikido?

Why would you even be concerned?

David
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:13 PM   #10
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Personally, I think the big part of the mis-understanding of aikido centers around the whole "getting off the line thing". I long and indepth conversation, but I do not personally subscribe to the theory that you can "avoid" or get off the line and still be effective at influencing uke.

The only way that works IMO, is if uke lets it work.

Irimi, if that is what we are talking about is entering, and to me, entering is not "getting off the line" in the sense that many folks perceive it.

You can change the angle of advance by entering, and the perception would be "getting off the line". Uke has to adjust or respond to that situation that puts him in a tactically un-advantageous position.

I know for myself, I did not understand this for many, many years and had a hard time making this stuff work for me. Once I figured it out, Aikido made a lot better sense to me.

Again, I do think that alot of folks simply get this small but important aspect wrong and it is huge!

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Old 05-31-2010, 06:13 PM   #11
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I'm not sure if it is or not.
I was reading some online forums and came across this: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=96920

It is an MMA forum so maybe it isn't the greatest proof of over all misunderstanding of Aikido.
But I came across every opinion from "aikido has nothing to do with weapons work" to "aikido doesn't do randori" on that forum post, even as far as aikido not being a martial art... ???

Do you think Aikido is misunderstood... or does the ignorance just over shadow logic in this isolated case?
First I don't think bullshido is necessarily MMA exclusive, they do have a number of forums for other arts. Link here

As for Aikido and weapons work, I think that largely depends on what you mean by 'weapons work'. For learning to use the actual weapon, I would argue that their opinion is true, for the majority of schools. (However there are exceptions.)

As has been told to me and I seem to recall reading this on Aikido Journal by some well known practicioners, the weapons work in Aikido is more or less to compliment the empty handed component as well as focus on teaching some key principles that can be overlooked in empty handed training.

The term 'randori' used by Judo/BJJ practicioners is rather different than the same term used by the majority of Aikido practicioners.

IE resistive grappling with me trying to do whatever technique compared to, ukes who only seem to attack one after another with me executing techniques. (And again there are exceptions.)

Both have their purposes.

I don't think Aikido is misunderstood as much as people would like to think. A number of people have at one time or another practiced Aikido.

Last edited by Gregory Pinkerton : 05-31-2010 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:19 PM   #12
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Michael McNamara wrote: View Post
I know exactly what you're talking about in regards to bokken kata. This video describes what you mean at 2:25:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9PTMSwr1h0

I think after much training, one can anticipate an opponent's next move. We really can't see ourselves in the same way as MMA fighters. it's not the same ballpark....It ain't even the same sport. we are intellectual as well as physical.

As far as a deeper meaning in aikido, I find it similar to what I call the "Jim Morrison" discovery. Sure, I knew of him as a rock and roll god, but when I picked up a copy of "An American Night" or "The Lords and the New Creatures", I discovered something much more complex and meaningful in his poetry. I think O-Sensei is a poet more than an aikido master.
Maybe you can anticipate an opponents next move. However, I am not willing to bet my life that I am wrong. As the experience level goes up, opponents get harder and harder to read.

What is better, IMO, is not so much trying to "Out Skill" or antcipate your opponent, that amount of processing or thought will be about 70/30 in his favor I believe since it requires you to think and process what he is about to do. (Observe and Orient)

What is better is to put him on the defensive and behind in his decision loop and have him doing all the Observing and Orienting. That turns the tables in your favor.

A completely different perspective on fighting that does not rely so much on highly technical skills, but on the ability to quickly make decisions, get in this decision loop and put him on the defensive.

THis to me is what entering and irimi is really all about, and one of the main lessons in Jiu Jitsu and/or aikido.

A good read on this whole subject in western terms is Dr John Boyd and the OODA process.

In a fight, it is not so much what you are doing to him as much as what he is not able to do to you that is important.

We get caught up in learning the technical syllabus and worrying about what we are gonna due to uke, vice what we are not allowing uke to do to us.

Once I figured this out in training, aikido got alot more fun and alot more simple.

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Old 05-31-2010, 06:23 PM   #13
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Cool Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Who cares what other people think of Aikido?

Why would you even be concerned?

David
The only relevance I can see is recruitment. I have heard that enrollments (at least in some organizations and I cannot see any reason to discriminate) are down and perception unfortunately is reality. People lead busy lives these days and may not have the time or inclination to do the homework regarding what a martial art is all about or what is best for them. Consequently, if there is a perception out there that Aikido doesn't work than to a certain degree it is true from the public's perception.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:32 PM   #14
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Our dojo has been consistent in enrollment over the last 10 years. Economy I think might have something to do with it. I think most folks in the general public really have no clue what is and what isn't, but simply are attracted to things based on what feels right to them or what they are comfortable with. Alot of it is also location, location, location!

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Old 05-31-2010, 06:40 PM   #15
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I'm not sure if it is or not.
I was reading some online forums and came across this: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=96920

It is an MMA forum so maybe it isn't the greatest proof of over all misunderstanding of Aikido.
But I came across every opinion from "aikido has nothing to do with weapons work" to "aikido doesn't do randori" on that forum post, even as far as aikido not being a martial art... ???

Do you think Aikido is misunderstood... or does the ignorance just over shadow logic in this isolated case?
Sure I think it's misunderstood, but every martial art is misunderstood somewhat, isn't it?
People have a funny habit of imposing their own justifications on other people. If I act like a lovey dovey hippie, my tough-guy friends don't get it; if I act like a tough-guy, my hippie friends don't get it. From my vantage, both are on to something important to living a good life, they just have trouble recognizing how they're connected.

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Old 05-31-2010, 09:14 PM   #16
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Sure I think it's misunderstood, but every martial art is misunderstood somewhat, isn't it?
People have a funny habit of imposing their own justifications on other people. If I act like a lovey dovey hippie, my tough-guy friends don't get it; if I act like a tough-guy, my hippie friends don't get it. From my vantage, both are on to something important to living a good life, they just have trouble recognizing how they're connected.
To a certain extent I think everyone judges each other by their own standards.(Dale Carnegie sociology) Therefore if you yourself are in the mindset that Martial Arts is about "beating" some one else, there is the assumption that everyone else must have a similar mind set. Thus, it becomes hard to comprehend that some one else might not be in something for the same reasons you are. I think that road goes both ways. :/

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Old 05-31-2010, 09:15 PM   #17
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Who cares what other people think of Aikido?

Why would you even be concerned?

David
Just for the sake of discussion. The board has been slow for a week.

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Old 05-31-2010, 09:20 PM   #18
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Our dojo has been consistent in enrollment over the last 10 years. Economy I think might have something to do with it. I think most folks in the general public really have no clue what is and what isn't, but simply are attracted to things based on what feels right to them or what they are comfortable with. Alot of it is also location, location, location!
I compared prices around town. Compared to your typical karate americas, and BJJ clubs, the Aikido dojos in my state were a lot cheaper, and had no contracts. For this reason, Aikido feels a little bit like a grass root movement. Its like the art spreads through evangelism, from practitioner to practitioner. I don't get the same mass market feel I get from some of the BJJ and karate schools in the area. I guess you'd term some of those places "McDojo"

MM
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:30 PM   #19
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Bulshido as a source means well but IME it's troll city on allot of topics especially Aikido...I used to post there a few years back but after one of the moderators physically threatened me completely disrespecting the US Army combatives program's and MMA...

That being said When you do have Aiki-Bunnies running around expecting to fall down it sadly provides allot of these trolls with enough fodder to keep them fat and happy.

William Hazen
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:40 PM   #20
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Bulshido as a source means well but IME it's troll city on allot of topics especially Aikido...I used to post there a few years back but after one of the moderators physically threatened me completely disrespecting the US Army combatives program's and MMA...

That being said When you do have Aiki-Bunnies running around expecting to fall down it sadly provides allot of these trolls with enough fodder to keep them fat and happy.

William Hazen
yeah i think one of the mods is actually trolling that thread I posted lol.
and he claimed to do aikido for years on top of it...that and every other martial art.

MM
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:10 PM   #21
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I'm not sure if it is or not.
I was reading some online forums and came across this: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=96920

It is an MMA forum so maybe it isn't the greatest proof of over all misunderstanding of Aikido.
But I came across every opinion from "aikido has nothing to do with weapons work" to "aikido doesn't do randori" on that forum post, even as far as aikido not being a martial art... ???

Do you think Aikido is misunderstood... or does the ignorance just over shadow logic in this isolated case?
Yes it is misunderstood. We refuse to communicate with the rest of the world or even take notice of it, we don't do our own talking; we let people with no experience of Aikido tell the world about Aikido. It's hardly suprising that we have the reputation we have; it's what comes of refusing to harmonise with the situation: conflict, confusion and ignorance.

The rest of the world asks how and why we do things and we ignore them. We're very insular. Even when we do demos we like to show off how good we are at training rather than what we can actually do as a result of that training. It be like turning up to a Thai Boxing demo and just seeing people laying into kick bags or skipping; the natural assumption would be that it's just a way of working out and that it had little real application.

People see us as we present ourselves.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:14 PM   #22
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Who cares what other people think of Aikido?

Why would you even be concerned?

David
I can imagine several hundred heads of now defunct koryu systems thought exactly the same thing about their systems.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:33 PM   #23
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Yes it is misunderstood. We refuse to communicate with the rest of the world or even take notice of it, we don't do our own talking; we let people with no experience of Aikido tell the world about Aikido. It's hardly suprising that we have the reputation we have; it's what comes of refusing to harmonise with the situation: conflict, confusion and ignorance.

The rest of the world asks how and why we do things and we ignore them. We're very insular. Even when we do demos we like to show off how good we are at training rather than what we can actually do as a result of that training. It be like turning up to a Thai Boxing demo and just seeing people laying into kick bags or skipping; the natural assumption would be that it's just a way of working out and that it had little real application.

People see us as we present ourselves.
With that said, why do you think it is this way? The low kyu ranks are on fire and want to tell everyone how awesome it is, while the high dan ranks are quiet and isolated.
Like most things, maybe it is like being in love; at first you are shouting from the roof tops, and about after 10 years of marriage thing grow comfortable, maybe?

I have made an observation however in my experience however. The new students that are the loudest to boast and scream(often with little understanding) the virtues of Aikido, tend to quit after 2 months. Is Aikido publicly represented by 6th kyu that quit the Martial Art 2 months before they can even roll then?

MM
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:36 PM   #24
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

I am not sure that there is any martial art that is universally understood, nor am I certain that is necessarily a requirement. One thing I have noticed is that the noisiest critics are often the least credible. It is not unusual to trash what one cannot understand. It takes less effort than learning does.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:40 PM   #25
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
I am not sure that there is any martial art that is universally understood, nor am I certain that is necessarily a requirement. One thing I have noticed is that the noisiest critics are often the least credible. It is not unusual to trash what one cannot understand. It takes less effort than learning does.
I think there is technically a real calling in Aikido to spread the art. Misrepresentation in that light, might not be something that should be easily accepted.

MM
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