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Old 03-03-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
lars beyer
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What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Hello everybody.
I have a question which I have been asking myself for quite some time now, but I can only answer
it from my own perspective and that doesn´t show me the whole picture offcourse.

What is it that makes Aikido unique in relation to other martial arts ?

In Aiki
Lars Beyer
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:16 PM   #2
ChrisHein
 
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Lot's of interesting things. For one, its a "traditional style" Japanese martial art that is not a koryu. Which makes many of the types of techniques used in koryu available to those who would otherwise never have a chase to experience them.

From a marital standpoint, Aikido focuses on multiple attackers, off hand it's hard to think of another martial art that is as focused on multiple attackers. Perhaps something like Ba gau or Krav maga might be close, but Aikido isn't overly interested in "squaring up" and winning one on one confrontations. Aikido is also the only martial art I know of that focuses so heavily on what most of the Aikido community calls "Aiki", or the ability to understand the mind of my attacker and make a harmonious interaction with those intentions.

Aikido is one of the most interesting and mysterious of the martial arts. We have a very iconic founder, and his students are very diverse and interesting characters themselves. In a very short time Aikido has built up quite a following and has a deep rich history. There is always someone trying to "figure out" exactly what Aikido is.

Then there is the fact that it has all of this, and is so common. Every major city in the US has at least one Aikido school. Here in California you can't throw a rock without it hitting an Aikido school. So Aikido is interesting, mysterious, deals with unique/hard to find martial skills, historically influenced/practiced and is widely available. Pretty tough to find another system like that.

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Old 03-03-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
TheAikidoka
 
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

It shows what is possible from one remarkable individual.
look what sprang forth from that initial seed, indeed, I could Imagine in one full sense that,
Master Ueshiba, literally gave birth, to this art, through his entire sprint, and body, but spirit, Always comes first. not the competting enemy.

The spirit in which you choose to act. you choose your teacher right? So in this sense you choose in which style your sprit will be expressed. you will know if it is not the right one for you, your spirit will let you know, if you indeed listen hard enough.

this is the beauty of Aikido. This is what makes it different, if there is indeed such a thing?

it does not matter what form it is as long as your spirit is being expressed in right way, and your real needs are being met. Not the competing, mind I need a black belt, I need this Technique, this that and the other.

it does not compete so always victorious, HARD PHYSICAL TRAINING IN AIKI, is the only way to understand this, you simply must choose to go through it. Then it is totally non competitive, and Then it helps show you the way to harmonise all things, to simply be yourself in the way, this is the way of my AIKI.

In Budo

Andy B

Last edited by TheAikidoka : 03-03-2012 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:12 AM   #4
Alic
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Simple, it is the only MARTIAL art that espouses non-conflict.

See the irony in that?

Good.

But we know that it is the truth of the universe. This is what makes US, who follow the path, unique and special.

And if we are special for being able to see it, what does that say about O-sensei, who figured out this stuff himself?
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:23 AM   #5
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Not true Alice. Kano, Funakoshi, and many others saw budo and martial arts as an alternative to violence and practiced non violence in their own way. To answer this would require a more detailed discussion on how Ueshiba's methods differed from others that espoused the same concepts albeit using maybe different methods.

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Old 03-04-2012, 04:08 AM   #6
Alic
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

First of all, read my name properly before replying

Well, I suppose I should be clearer in saying that we completely abandon any attachment to strength, and comparing it. See, many martial arts, especially the modern ones in Japan, all has the end focus of improving oneself to the point of perfection, where fighting is no longer necessary. However, how they approach this is very different.

For example, Iaido's method is to train to point where the opponent fears you too much to engage you. Judo is about competing in a non-fatal fashion, an alternative to the dueling to death methodology of the old martial arts world. Kendo does the very same, all the whilst attempting to remove all of your fears and hesistations, so that you see your opponent's intentions clearly, and thus avoid violence. Sumo is of course the old way to do all this, competition without fatality. and can probably be said as the original Japanese combat sport. Okinawan Karatedo is probably the least competition of them all, choicing to avoid fighting by simply being so durable that your opponents break themselves upon you as they strike.

But notice how they are all still about conflict with one another. The mindset of all those martial arts is about being able to dominate the opponent, mentally or physically. They pursuit the way of the kill. Ippon in Judo symbolizes the opponent's death, Karate's katas are all for counterattacking in damaging ways, often needing only a few deadly blows. Kendo is obvious in it's nature as a swordfighting art. Sumo is obviously all about competitions, and has always been. Iaido is basically Iaijutsu sans the killing motives, but can still be used to dominate the opponent by simply killing him. Kyudo isn't even about fighting at all, so it can't really be used to defend oneself, since they aren't trained to fight on the move like kyujutsu, and they treat it more as meditation.

Aikido can kill, of course. It's important that we realize the significance of renouncing competition and being purely defensive and pacifistic. We basically do not aim to dominate, just control in order to reach an understanding with uke. We don't even consider the other person as an opponent, and thus we aren't actually competiting at all. By blending and going with the flow, or making uke blend with you, you can avoid not just violence, but mental conflict altogether. In this way, you can foster the spirit of cooperation and peace.

Karate, Judo, Kendo, and various other competitive martial arts are slowly becoming less a Budo and more a sports. They look only at how to win the game, and not what winning or losing means, and why that is significant. Other arts are still about coming out on top of someone else, meaning there is always a winner, and a loser.

Kyudo, Iaido, and Aikido are perhaps some of the best arts in terms of promoting peace. We aren't fully vested in being able to murder someone, although no doubt an arrow in the chest, a sword through the neck, or a throw onto the head will end your life no problem. We are different still from these, though. We still don't have a target at all. We are supposed to see uke as nothing more than a child with a temper tandrum, and we are tasked with stopping the tandrum, and teaching the child. In that way, we truly improve the world and promote peace and harmony. Kyudo and Iaido is mainly for self inprovement, whereas we are also considered with the improvement of not only uke, but everyone else in the world.

This is why O-sensei said "if everyone in the world practices Aikido, then there would be world peace."
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:25 AM   #7
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Quote:
Lars Beyer wrote: View Post
What is it that makes Aikido unique in relation to other martial arts ?
The practitioners.

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Old 03-04-2012, 05:29 AM   #8
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Alic. Sorry my auto correct added the e. Good response I will try and respond later.

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Old 03-04-2012, 07:59 AM   #9
Amir Krause
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Are you sure it is unique?

Why?

The same techniques exist in many other M.A.

I seem to recall quite a few traditional style Japanese martial arts that are not a koryu (Judo, Jujutsu styles ...)

Most modern M.A. founders looked for social influence beyond the martial (Kano, Funakoshi).

There is not inherent element in Aikido that focrces a philosophical view such as Alec wrote, similar views can be taken by practitioners/teachers of other M.A.
Note, this is my opinion from the external POV - I practice Korindo and not Ueshiba Aikido, you could claim I am missing it and without this philosphy, it would not be Aikido. But, is anyone actually enforcing these beliefs?

Amir
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:32 AM   #10
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
... I practice Korindo and not Ueshiba Aikido ...
Well, I practice the aikidō of Ueshiba. And I think you said it quite correct.
And reading your post we can see that not not even the name of the art is unique to Ueshibas aikidō.
;-)

Does it matter whether it's unique or not?
I'm feeling better living in a big family ...
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:57 AM   #11
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Sorry Alec. I cant seem to get your named spelled correctly. I agree with Amir's perspective. As a METHODOLOGY there might be some things that are done in Aikido that are distinct and do a better jobs than other methodologies at training specific aspects. But I don't think these things would make it unique at all.

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Old 03-04-2012, 12:19 PM   #12
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

To go back to the OPs question. I think that people ind an affinity for things in life that they are comfortable with or that resonates with them. It could be Ueshiba's legend, the charisma he still carries forward, or it could be the ambiance of the dojo, the rituals that give them meaning or any number of things.

It is just like choose a college or even a religion. There are stylistic or ritual things that may be done that label people different, but in the end, I think the differences are all superficial in most cases.

So with martial arts, and Aikido specifically, I see nothing that is done that may not be found in other arts.
ne may argue that the focus on multiple opponents is a difference, the focus on the emphasis in many dojos on conflict resolution, or the focus on IS or IP skills makes it unique.

It could be, however in any given dojo YMMV, so I don't think categorically you can make such a bold statement concerning Aikido as a whole.

I spend the majority of my time these days doing combatives and BJj, however, I am highly influenced with many things I learned in Aikido, and vice versa for BJJ. I see no distinguishing elements between my practices and to me they are the same.

having found something unique in training methods of IS or IP training, I believe there are some good training methods being practiced by some in Aikido arts that are very unique. Alas, these things seem to be the exception and not the norm in most dojos, so I'd have to say that therefore, you can't say categorically that the concentration on IS and IP make Aikido unique.

I think the question is essentially in unanswerable categorically.

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Old 03-04-2012, 07:38 PM   #13
phitruong
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

aikido is unique like every other martial arts.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:05 PM   #14
Janet Rosen
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Wherefore is that martial art different from all other martial arts.
In all other martial arts we eat leavened bread...oh...wait...wrong..
In all other martial arts we train reclining but in...oh...wait...wrong...
(sigh) I knew I should have paid more attention at Seder when I was a kid.... :-)

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:01 AM   #15
lbb
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Lot's of interesting things. For one, its a "traditional style" Japanese martial art that is not a koryu. Which makes many of the types of techniques used in koryu available to those who would otherwise never have a chase to experience them.
That's not unique to aikido.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:04 AM   #16
lbb
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Quote:
Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
It shows what is possible from one remarkable individual.
look what sprang forth from that initial seed, indeed, I could Imagine in one full sense that,
Master Ueshiba, literally gave birth, to this art, through his entire sprint, and body, but spirit,
Really?

That must have been quite a sight.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:06 AM   #17
lbb
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
Are you sure it is unique?

Why?
And why do you need it to be unique?

The need for specialness is a trap of self-deception. It will lead you to many, many disappointments. Let it go.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:25 AM   #18
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
And why do you need it to be unique?

The need for specialness is a trap of self-deception. It will lead you to many, many disappointments. Let it go.
+1

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Old 03-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #19
jackie adams
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

A noob on this forum, I would like to chime in on the question, "What is it that makes Aikido unique in relation to other martial arts?"

Well, there has been some good comments to start, my perspective is that Aikido for one, has a paradoxical philosophy. The Omoto religion being marred into feudal warrior philosophy would be unique. Most Japanese martial arts, I am aware of are either married with Shinto or Buddhism. Aikido in this sense is unique.

Second, the Founder's spiritual mission for Aikido is commonly found in other martial arts. The revolutionary spiritual mission of Aikido universally is appealing, translatable and adoptable across the globe. When we look at the more difficult metaphysical elements of the Founder's mission and his words they too are unique.

Third, the technical. It is debatable the source of Aikido's technical catalogue. There is argument on the technical variation and the degree of variation done by Founder from the parent art(s). How much of the parent art's technique was altered or modified to fit within his philosophy and mission. Defining technical is the inclusion of everything physical within Aikido. You can't singularly focus only on techniques. Etiquette and warm up exercises can't be excluded. A disservice to Aikido is not taking an holistic approach that as a result can't be questioned as not unique.

Lastly, those who practice Aikido make Aikido unique. Aikido isn't something that is designed or intended for use on a battlefield, in a combat situation. Oddly, looking at Aikido it is hard to miss that there are elements and structure of Japan's feudal military in the Founder, his practice and in his art. In the mist of that there is strong anti-violence and competitive leg to Aikido. That paradox is found in those people who take up the art. People who take a BJJ, MMA, and punching/kicking arts have motivation in varying degrees want fight in competition proving themselves as superior fighters. If not they still like that environment of fighting or otherwise be doing something else. People who take Aikido do so for less aggressive combat fighting purposes. Most people who take Aikido want a safe and caring personal environment to learn in, that encompasses the attention to the personal and spiritual levels. Something they can also use in a self defense situation if call upon. Those who stay with Aikido are people who are not to make a name for themselves as fighters, but see a greater dynamic. People who generally are not interested in the sterile diminutional environment associated solely for the purpose of competition and fighting. Those in the ranks of Aikido seek the unique experience outside the norm of martial arts, because they are not the norm.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:28 AM   #20
Alec Corper
 
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

The ratio of talking to training

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:31 AM   #21
Michael Douglas
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Quote:
Lars Beyer wrote: View Post
...What is it that makes Aikido unique in relation to other martial arts ?
The same details that makes Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling unique in relation to other matial arts,
although use of specific magic pants does help.

Phi already made my point, some posters have even suggested you drop the idea that it is more 'special' than other arts. I also think that would be the best view.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #22
lbb
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Quote:
Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
People who take a BJJ, MMA, and punching/kicking arts have motivation in varying degrees want fight in competition proving themselves as superior fighters. If not they still like that environment of fighting or otherwise be doing something else.
So...you've trained in one of these styles, or more appropriately in several of them, in several different dojos, and so you can state with authority that people who train in those styles are motivated to fight and "like the environment of fighting"? Do you know what the environment in a "punching/kicking arts" dojo is like?

As someone who has trained in two "punching/kicking arts", what you say sounds like hooey to me.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:16 PM   #23
Keith Larman
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

What makes it unique? Well, the incredibly high ignorance-based smug factor from some is one identifying feature...

Of course that would never apply to me...

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Old 03-05-2012, 03:18 PM   #24
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Some of us do both...Aikido and BJJ, and have advanced belts in both arts. In actuality, my Aikido background has proven very useful in developing CQB methodologies and I find much of the Aiki things to be very relevant on the modern battlefield. There are many police officers and US Marshall's in my dojo back in Virginia too. Gotta be careful with over simplifying things and forming generalizations as already stated. It is tempting to do, but for Evey stereotype you assume, there will be someone that can refute it.

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Old 03-05-2012, 03:29 PM   #25
Marc Abrams
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Re: What makes Aikido unique as a martial art ?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
What makes it unique? Well, the incredibly high ignorance-based smug factor from some is one identifying feature...

Of course that would never apply to me...
Three pointer! All NET! Game Winning Basket!!!!!!

Marc Abrams
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