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Old 10-21-2002, 09:57 AM   #1
Graff
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Aikido featured on the learning channel

The T.V. program "Ultimate 10" featured Aikido along with 9 other martial arts as the Ultimate 10 martial arts. Unfortunatly, they kind of lumped Aikido and Iaido together and portrayed Aikido as a somewhat mystical, cult like practice. The sensei they interviewed was a Japanese man who was a "Reverend".

The program also featured BJJ, Ninjitsu, Tai boxing, Okinauian (sp?) Karate, Shaolin kung-fu (that's what they called it anyway), Mauv Krava (sp?), and a couple of others that I can't recall.

I bet all the Judoka felt snubbed! Judo was not featured (unless you lump it together with BJJ).
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Old 10-21-2002, 10:22 AM   #2
Graff
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Here's the link to on TLC's website.

http://tlc.discovery.com/schedule/ep...sode=553472004

BTW - the "create a virtual force field" comment on the show was in regards to Aikido. And to think I had one of those all this time!
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Old 10-21-2002, 10:36 AM   #3
Kevin Wilbanks
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I saw the show, and I thought it was rather lame overall, including many inaccuracies and misleading portrayals.

The worst was that art where it seemed like their entire emphasis/strategy was to be able to psyche themselves up and just stand there and take groin kicks, neck punches, etc... I always thought getting out of the way was a better idea... Along with ninjutsu, it was obviously chosen for it's sensationalist value. The idea that it's among the top ten martial arts in the world, by any measure, is pretty far-fetched. It looked more like preparation for a circus act to me.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 10-21-2002 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 10-21-2002, 10:56 AM   #4
Erik
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
The worst was that art where it seemed like their entire emphasis/strategy was to be able to psyche themselves up and just stand there and take groin kicks, neck punches, etc... I always thought getting out of the way was a better idea... Along with ninjutsu, it was obviously chosen for it's sensationalist value. The idea that it's among the top ten martial arts in the world, by any measure, is pretty far-fetched. It looked more like preparation for a circus act to me.
That thar fellow has quite a following over on e-budo. Probably won't take too long to figure out which forum.
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Old 10-21-2002, 04:03 PM   #5
aikido_fudoshin
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I'm not sure who the Aikidoka were in this segment, but didnt it look pretty sloppy to you? I felt the shows portrayal of Aikido was poorly done.
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Old 10-21-2002, 04:07 PM   #6
rachmass
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I turned on the t.v. when they had the karateka featured and totally missed the aikido segment. I just tried the website that was linked above, but didn't get any action from it (just info, right?). Is there any way to look at the footage? I was really curious, but by the sounds of it, am probably lucky that I missed it.
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Old 10-21-2002, 04:23 PM   #7
memyselfandi
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Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
I turned on the t.v. when they had the karateka featured and totally missed the aikido segment...
I also turned it on at about the same time...but according to tvguide.com it'll be showing again next sunday (not sure what time...). I hope to catch it then .

PS - when they did that quick review thing at the end, they named Aikido but showed some wierd guy in a skirt drawing a sword on a dummy...what was up with that...? (yeah yeah, I know what a hakama is...it was the drawing of the sword bit that confused me...)
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Old 10-21-2002, 05:20 PM   #8
Kevin Wilbanks
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It was also an Iaido dojo, and they played up the 'Zen' aspect, as that teacher was apparently some kind of Roshi. This was part of the problem - while zen is closely associated with Iaido, it is not particularly with Aikido. There was also talk of weilding an 'invisible force-field' which made it sound like Aikido was very hocus-pocus - like something you might see in Big Trouble in Little China.

As far as the Aikido they showed, it didn't look bad to me. I don't know what was meant by 'sloppy'. Throwing in accordance with the principles and the energy of whatever is happening rarely looks like clean, textbook technique. Precise, kata-like Aikido may look prettier, but at what price in terms of connection? It all depends upon what they were trying to demonstrate, which wasn't explicated.
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Old 10-21-2002, 05:31 PM   #9
DaveO
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I saw that episode quite a long time ago, before I started taking Aikido. IMHO, The Learning Channel is mis-named, based on that and other show they have. The channel isn't about learning, it's about sensationalism and entertainment. Case in point: Anyone who has watched TLC has seen at least 20 people a week attacked by tornadoes (TLC seems to have a thing for tornadoes). The narration goes something like this: "...just another normal evening in Mississippi, but Mr. Smith had no idea a WHIRLING COLUMN OF RAGING DEATH!!!!!! was bearing down on him, putting HIS LIFE IN MORTAL PERIL!!!!!!!" etc. LOL!

Their hospital show are even funnier: "Just another evening at Chicago Hope..." (cut to Intern "Well, we've got a guy with a 14-inch steel bar embedded in his skull...does it hurt, Mr. Johnson?"

Don't get me wrong, TLC's FUN to watch. (hee hee!) But don't expect that Martial Arts would fare any better from their take on things as anything else - - any channel that has a whole hour dedicated to whether or not the Pyramids are alien landing platforms is bound to have a somewhat suspect honesty.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 10-21-2002, 05:33 PM   #10
akiy
 
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This program was mentioned a while back in this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...?threadid=1176

-- Jun

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Old 10-21-2002, 05:40 PM   #11
Thalib
 
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Re: Aikido featured on the learning channel

Quote:
Robert Graffagnino (Graff) wrote:
The program also featured BJJ, Ninjitsu, Tai boxing, Okinauian (sp?) Karate, Shaolin kung-fu (that's what they called it anyway), Mauv Krava (sp?), and a couple of others that I can't recall.
Okinawan Karate... and Krav Maga maybe...

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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http://funkybuddha.multiply.com/
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Old 10-21-2002, 06:03 PM   #12
Kevin Wilbanks
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Actually, I've kind of been pondering on that Krav Maga. I've only seen a couple of things on TV about it, but I wonder about the wisdom of training a bunch of US civilians in that art. It seems to be the equivalent of Airborne/Seal combat training. Everything I saw looked like the responses would be categorized as acting 'with extreme prejudice' - like really hurting the other person explosively. On that recent program, they showed them doing pistol takeaways with the pistol pointed at the torso at point blank range. Is this really the kind of thing to teach people outside of a combat situation? To me, it seems possible they are teaching attitudes and techniques that are likely to get their students sued or killed unnecessarily.
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Old 10-21-2002, 06:34 PM   #13
Brian
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
To me, it seems possible they are teaching attitudes and techniques that are likely to get their students sued or killed unnecessarily.
To the Krav Maga folk, the objective is not to attain harmony with your attacker and take him down without hurting him with an air of benevolence. To them, the objective is simply to survive, and the simplest way to do that is to fight back and fight hard. They may think that teaching defensive movements that do not come naturally to the body and have a very big learning curve would get students hurt or killed unnecessarily. But, alas, it's all about perspective.

As for the program - yeah, it was terrible, and as mentioned before, all about sensationalism. I couldn't believe that Brazilian jiu-jitsu - which has proved itself time and time again in UFC, Pride, etc - got number ten, while Shaolin Kung Fu came out on top. But then I remembered I was watching TLC, and Chinese monks leaping through the air in flowing colored robes is much more appealing to the masses than shirtless Brazilians wrestling eachother.
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Old 10-21-2002, 07:03 PM   #14
Kevin Wilbanks
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I'm not talking about Aikido philosophy/dogma. I'm talking practicality and self-interest. A gun takeaway has to be a pretty low percentage success technique. If you're on a combat mission, dealing with someone who will torture or execute you, or your mission is more important than your life, sure you're going to try the takeaway. If you're a block away from the 7-11, and you're being mugged, it would probably be far smarter to give them the money. US civilian students are much more likely to encounter the latter situation than the former.

Likewise, if you're a commando and a terrorist attempts to strike you while you're attempting to apprehend/kill him, striking him in the head so hard that you break his neck, even if the blow injures your own striking appendage, might be a good idea. If some dumbass in a nightclub parking lot attempts to punch you, doing the same could easily land you in prison and/or the hospital.

Perhaps they have a whole range of intensities and responses and give out sound advice along with the training. I don't know. I'm just questioning the rah-rah attitude I see on these shows about teaching a bunch of ordinary citizens battlefield combat techniques.
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Old 10-21-2002, 07:43 PM   #15
Kevin Leavitt
 
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All I can say is it is hard judge an art by watching one TV show that most people think is lousy.

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Old 10-21-2002, 08:40 PM   #16
SeiserL
 
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Saw the show again too. IMHO, it was hard to tell the Aikido from the Zen from the Iaido. But at least we got an honrable mention.

Until again,

Lynn

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 10-22-2002, 12:46 AM   #17
Ta Kung
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I saw a show on discovery channel a couple of months ago. They showed some Kung-fu: a guy pushing his arms inbetween to enormous concrete cylinders, that were REALLY heavy. A few monks lifting another and bashing his head against a heavy boxing bag (or whatever you call it in english). There were also some Aikido. I guess it was ok. Especially when compared to what I've gathered from this TLC show...

All in all, there is way to few Aikido demonstrations/features on TV.

/Patrik
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Old 10-22-2002, 08:25 AM   #18
Don_Modesto
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Re: Aikido featured on the learning channel

Several threads on several boards have documented the dubious (others have used less tactful language) lineages and claims of Jukokai and the ninjutsu character (whom I saw once at a demonstration; what a rude crew he brought with him.

I've got to agree with the posts slamming the channel; what sloppy research and sensational presentation.

Yuck.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 10-22-2002, 12:41 PM   #19
stoker
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I was giggling about the part where Aikidoka out sweeping the street in front of their dojo dressed in hakama. No one sweeps in Los Angeles anymore, that's why God invented leaf blowers, dontcha know. And the locals figured the guys in the funny clothes were either another odd cult or a very fastideous gang.

dave stokes
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Old 10-22-2002, 07:07 PM   #20
batemanb
 
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Quote:
David Stokes (stoker) wrote:
I was giggling about the part where Aikidoka out sweeping the street in front of their dojo dressed in hakama. No one sweeps in Los Angeles anymore, that's why God invented leaf blowers, dontcha know. And the locals figured the guys in the funny clothes were either another odd cult or a very fastideous gang.
I`ve seen this done often here in Japan, and even have a video clip with someone doing it

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:52 PM   #21
chadsieger
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Sad but true...

A while back I worked at a documentary film company. I was pitching some show ideas to TLC/HIS, DISC, A&E, ect., including one entitiled "Martial Art." My intention, of course, was to sufficently inform the public, make it extremely entertaining, and please the large number of martial artists that view television. (This is no easy task; generally lawyers hate courtroom dramas, just as poilce often have difficulty not burting out laughter at "tv detective work.")

Regardless, I was rejected accross the board. Each company informed me that this had already been done. What I eventually came to fully realize is this: As long as a cable channel is "in the black," they really don't care how good their programming is. As long as they are selling commercials, they will play overused reruns till the end of time. Perhaps the best example is so-called "Comedy Central." They put as much cash into their programming as I spent on tacos this month.

Sadly, this phenomenon extends well beyond television networks. Have some fun, see how many examples of this attitude you can see in any given day.

Peace

Sieger

Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is exactly the place to train-
M. Ueshiba
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Old 10-23-2002, 04:04 AM   #22
DaveO
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Re: Re: Aikido featured on the learning channel

Quote:
Don J. Modesto (Don_Modesto) wrote:
I've got to agree with the posts slamming the channel; what sloppy research and sensational presentation.

Yuck.
LOL! This isn't Aikido-related, but I wanted to put it into my last post; unfortunately, it was getting too long.

My favourite example of TLC's research abilities came in an extreme sports show; where it covered a 200-plus-jumper skydiving formation. During the show, the announcer actually said: "Skydivers don't need to breathe - they are moving so fast through the air, oxygen is forced directly into their bodies!!!! I kid you not, he really said that.

The real scary part is; a couple of my friends saw the same show and actually believed that until I set them right.

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