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Old 04-07-2004, 09:05 AM   #1
Mark Williams
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Aikido and Judo

Good morning everyone

I spent some time on a Judo message board yesterday, and it seems as though they have some interesting conversations regarding Aikido.

The majority of their views concerning Aikido seem to be quite generalised, and I wanted to make a few comments about this.

I have no experience of Judo myself. But if someone talked to me about Judo I would probably say to them that Judo is more of a sport than a martial art. This view doesn't have any foundation, I've never practiced Judo or seen a Judo class. I guess the only reason I come to this conclusion is because I've seen Judo in the Olympics, where it is a sport.

But I know that this generalistion is false. True, there are probably many Judo schools that practice as a sport, but I'm certain that are also many schools that practice Judo as a martial art. I'm aware that my opinions of Judo being a sport are probably wrong and are down to my inexperience rather than anything else.

When asked about Aikido most Judo practitioners on the board I visited were similarly inexperienced. However they appeared quite confident in their ability to comment about it.

The common ideas were that Aikidoko:

1. do not practice with any realism because they believe their art to be too dangerous if practiced with real commitment. Therefore, how can they know that Aikido is effective?

2. schools are all concerned with the belief in Ki. If you do not have a believe in Ki then you cannot practice Aikido. Another comment was that all Aikidoko have "their head in the clouds"

These generalisations seem disappointing to me. True, there are many schools where the idea of Ki is all important. However in my experience of Aikido I have trained with Sensei's who freely comment that "there is nothing mystical about Aikido" or that "the body is only a system of levers".

As for not training with commitment because our art is "too dangerous". I've lost count of the punches I've taken because I've failed to get out of the way of a committed attack in time or the times I've been winded from a committed throw.

To an extent we do hold back. I could quite happily crank Nikkyo onto another student but it would be his go next and he would most likely do the same to me. I don't need to crank on Nikkyo or Sankyo to know that it would hurt if I do so with more committment. However, my experience is that Aikidoko certainly do not hold back from a committed attack and that I would feel confident in knowing that - should I have to use Aikido - I would be able to do so.

This rant is draggin on a bit, but I guess my question is: do you feel that Aikido is subject to a number of unfair misconceptions from other martial artists? Alternatively, what do you feel the view of Aikido from other martial artists is? From my readings yesterday we appear to be a group of philosophical pansies who don't commit ourselves to knowing whether our art works because we are overconfident in its effectiveness.
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Old 04-07-2004, 09:27 AM   #2
mantis
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Re: Aikido and Judo

Quote:
Mark Williams wrote:
do you feel that Aikido is subject to a number of unfair misconceptions from other martial artists?
From some people yes, but this is typical in the martial arts. There is an "Everyone's own art is the best, and everyones instructor knows more" type of attitude.

I'm sure we have misconceptions of other arts as well.

I do think people attach a mystical or even religious tone to aikido, which for me is totally false.
Quote:
Mark Williams wrote:
what do you feel the view of Aikido from other martial artists is?
TKD people have told me that their kicks are so devastating and powerful and that we couldn't defend against them.

Jujitsu people have told me the art is to soft. Judo people say that we would be weak if grabbed and thrown to the ground.

It's the nature of the beast to find weaknesses in other martial arts, or even between other aikido styles.
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Old 04-07-2004, 09:28 AM   #3
Yann Golanski
 
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[quote]do you feel that Aikido is subject to a number of unfair misconceptions from other martial artists?
[quote]Hell yes.

Not even by other martial artists but by other Aikidoka as well. I've been told that Shodokan is just a sport and would never work in self defense by Aikikai practitioners. I've been told that Aikikai would never work in self defense since they don't resist techniques and that competition is the only way to test that techniques work. I've been told by other martial artists that Aikido does not produces fighters which are any good and that studying Aikido is an evolutionary dead end. I've been told that Aikido is the ultimate martial art that always wins against anything else....

It annoys me to hear any of those descriptions and labels. So, I just sigh, nods and get back to training thinking of Tomiki-shihan words:

``Those who understand, understand perfectly''

BTW, I hold Sturgeon's Law to be true, if you _really_ want my opinion.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:01 AM   #4
bob_stra
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You know, when someone rags on judo as being a "just a sport" or some such, I *really* have to restrain myself from saying something naughty. I've been lucky to attend nothing but non sport judo schools. (this last one is kinda borderline - sporty, but not overtly so)

However, even doing aikido, I still get the general impression that aikido is as you described it. No idea why. Perhaps aikido as a "martial art" is harder to find then judo as a "martial art"? (I suspect the lack of chaotic, resisiting randori in aikido until later in the training plays a part in this perception?)

Plus - I'm a newbie to aikido, so ... grain of salt.

Anyway - if I listened to what others said, I wouldn't be keen on aikido or judo. Nor kendo, nor savate or any of the other so called "unrealistic" arts.

In the end, you do what you enjoy.
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:15 AM   #5
drDalek
 
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Aikido is one of those arts that just does not come naturally. Punching and kicking comes naturally, so does grabbing someone and trying to push or pull them over and onto the floor. Not that Karate and Judo dont require skill, but you build on something you already have with these arts, with Aikido you start with nothing.

Its a bit like my perception of Shaoling Kung-Fu. How do they manage to move let alone fight from those deep stances. How do you ever get those complicated animal styles to "come naturally" enough to use them in a fight? Very few people I have met doubt the effectivity of Shaolin Kung-fu though, whether they have any proof that its effective or not is a different matter.

What did you want to hear from people who have invested a significant amount of pain, sweat, tears and blood into THEIR martial art anyway? That your martial art is better or more effective than theirs? thats crazy!
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:51 AM   #6
paw
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Quote:
1. do not practice with any realism because they believe their art to be too dangerous if practiced with real commitment. Therefore, how can they know that Aikido is effective?
My guess is this is because of differences in training methodolgy. Judo uses randori and shiai a great deal. A fair generalization can be made that many aikidoists do not train with uncooperative opponents at the same level of resistance that judo players commonly use in randori, much less shiai.

At least, that's my guess.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:16 PM   #7
Matt Molloy
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As far as Judo goes, I think that someone has asked before on these type of discussions why being able to pick up a resisting opponent and dump them on the floor (often from a dizzy height) shouldn't be seen as a decent system of self defence/martial art whether sport or no? Also the Judoka that I have met have always come across as friendly and open minded.

So, respect to Judoka.

As far as other martial artists view of Aikido, those that have tried it tend, in my experience, to respect it. As to the others, well they will always have their prejudices.

Am I the only one who thinks that, from a tactics point of view, it can be better to let them go on thinking that all we do is a bit of new age dancing?

Cheers,
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:31 PM   #8
Kensai
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Go to this Judo board and say 'Aikido is better and I can float using Ki.'

I believe this will sort out any problems.

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
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Old 04-07-2004, 03:16 PM   #9
shihonage
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Click here for my opinion.
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Old 04-07-2004, 08:41 PM   #10
thatoldfool
 
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All my martial arts friends laughed when I told them I was starting Aikido.

"Man, nobody uses Aikido on the street. You'd get your ass kicked"

Three years later, I can say that they were both right and wrong. They're right, because if you "just train," I don't know that you will achieve an applicable level of proficiency. What do I mean by "just train" ?

Well, it struck me that Aikido will be whatever I make it be. Once I have a technique down, instead of practicing it statically, even if we're not doing randori, I try to begin the movement immediately, to make it dynamic. I stay after class and practice iriminage against various attacks, which come at mixed intervals, so that I can't prepare for them. I have those who have practiced other martial arts show me how to "really" punch, and get them to show me their counters and attacks in a non competitive environment.

Remember high school? Remember college? Maybe you can get a "B" or a "C+" by going to class, but you won't get that "A" unless you do your homework. Likewise, with Aikido - I really believe that the "after class time" is what will tune your Aikido to an effective level.

"Best to be like water,
Which benefits the ten thousand things
And does not contend."
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:16 AM   #11
pointy
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i get my butt whooped in aikido all the time. aches, bruises, pulled muscles, mat burn, stubbed toes, sprained wrists, etc. it's not like aikdio practice is the physical equivalent of playing checkers! (my experience is with 3 aikikai dojos across 4 years. ive visited other dojos on occasion as well)

ive never found aikdio practice to be wimpy at all.

the comment is true, aikdio isnt exactly the most sensible set of ideas at first. after a decent amount of exposure it makes a lot of sense, but not at first i think.

it's a little like learning music - a person who studies afro cuban music exclusively probably wouldnt be able to make something sound like indian music. you gotta learn the different styles to have the bigger understanding.
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Old 04-08-2004, 05:41 AM   #12
p00kiethebear
 
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Quote:
Aikido is one of those arts that just does not come naturally. Punching and kicking comes naturally, so does grabbing someone and trying to push or pull them over and onto the floor. Not that Karate and Judo dont require skill, but you build on something you already have with these arts, with Aikido you start with nothing.
I have to agree with that to some extent. Isn't that what we all instinctively did when we got into fights as kids? We did what seemed like a reasonable action. Punch the other guy in the stomach and try to pin him to the ground.

How many people are born with the ability to instinctly step out of the way of someone coming at them full force.

There was an experience that i've always remembered because it really changed my thinking a bit.

Some of my friends gave me bad time because of my "new age hippie dancing" One time one of them even challenged me and i started to step out of the way but he got to me first and gave me a good sock in the stomach, knocking the wind out of me. Some of the other guys started chuckling a bit. A million things were running through my mind, anger, frustration, confusion, fear. All I could bring myself to do is get my breath back and say "What the hell did that prove?"

I tried to say it meaningfully. But when i said it, it sounded as if someone just gave me a real awful insult, and the comeback I gave only made me look more pathetic. A few of them laughed again as i said this.

Shortly after I walked home feeling miserable almost on the verge of tears, thinking about the other martial arts around the town that were available, and went to sleep.

But then the next morning I really did think about that. "What did you prove?"

I keep thinking back to that question. what DID they prove? That they can hurt someone? why would you want to prove that? Why would anyone want to prove that? What an awfull thing to prove.

And that was when i decided I really wanted to commit to my training.

Don't know how relevent that was to this thread. but for some reason reading all of these posts made me think of that experience.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 04-08-2004, 09:27 AM   #13
bob_stra
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Quote:
Nathan Gidney (p00kiethebear) wrote:
say

"What the hell did that prove?"
That, infact, straight lines are a lot faster than circles?

Had a similar thing happen to me playing chasey with kids. It should be archived here someplace.

Everyone has blindspots until experience comes a' knocking. A good while back, before I started BJJ, I visited a friend's BJJ school. I attempted to throw my opponent with a hip throw. My opponent jumped on my back, dragged me to the floor and sent me to sleep.

Made me think long and hard about judo. Came to realize that turning your back on your opponent ain't too bright. Ever since then, I try and stick to forward facing throws, as well as learning the rudiments of greco roman wrestling.

Same thing for aikido. Fall down, learn, get back up, do something different.





Last edited by bob_stra : 04-08-2004 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 04-08-2004, 09:46 AM   #14
Kensai
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People canny jump oh your back with broken balance....... try jumping without balance..... you cant.

Break balance then turn your back...

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
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Old 04-08-2004, 09:50 AM   #15
bob_stra
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Quote:
Chris Gee (Kensai) wrote:
People canny jump oh your back with broken balance....... try jumping without balance..... you cant.

Break balance then turn your back...
That is true as well. I was taking it easy on the guy - figured he didn't know breakfalls.

Still, folks get quite adept at "spoiling" throws for their own advantage. I've seen guys get throw with excellent hip throw roll under the throw and snatch ude garami on the other side. But that's another thread.

Moral of the story - sh*t happens. Learn from it, move on.

Last edited by bob_stra : 04-08-2004 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:40 AM   #16
markwalsh
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People are prejudiced, what can you say.

(All except me obviously).

Re kids: They can be very aiki completly untutured. Certainly when it comes to rolling around, blending and grabbing each other. The only strike they seem to use naturally is shomen uchi with a closed fist, and kicks are normally to the shins.

Have noticed that judo people seem as nice as aikidoka despite the lack of emphasis on spirituality.

Would say a few judo classes would be an eye opener for most aikido bunnies.

Mark

x
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Old 04-08-2004, 11:53 AM   #17
shihonage
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Quote:
Nathan Gidney (p00kiethebear) wrote:
There was an experience that i've always remembered because it really changed my thinking a bit.

Some of my friends gave me bad time because of my "new age hippie dancing" One time one of them even challenged me and i started to step out of the way but he got to me first and gave me a good sock in the stomach, knocking the wind out of me. Some of the other guys started chuckling a bit. A million things were running through my mind, anger, frustration, confusion, fear. All I could bring myself to do is get my breath back and say "What the hell did that prove?"

I tried to say it meaningfully. But when i said it, it sounded as if someone just gave me a real awful insult, and the comeback I gave only made me look more pathetic. A few of them laughed again as i said this.

Shortly after I walked home feeling miserable almost on the verge of tears, thinking about the other martial arts around the town that were available, and went to sleep.

But then the next morning I really did think about that. "What did you prove?"

I keep thinking back to that question. what DID they prove? That they can hurt someone? why would you want to prove that? Why would anyone want to prove that? What an awfull thing to prove.

And that was when i decided I really wanted to commit to my training.

Don't know how relevent that was to this thread. but for some reason reading all of these posts made me think of that experience.
Well it proved that your Aikido does not work for you as well in practice as it does in theory.

You might want to research into the atemi which is built into the techniques, as well as why the Aikido footwork is there.

I've noticed that during jiyu-waza with random attacks, munetsuki-ikkyo/munetsuki shihonage and variations is a lot safer to apply than munetsuki kotegaeshi.

Even if you can't apply a technique, you are still out of reach.

Or you can enter and sock your friend in the face with your other hand.

In overall I find that jiyuwaza with random ENERGETIC attacks (shomen, yokomen, munetsuki, grab) is a very interesting thing to do and I feel like there's actually some dose of "real" in it - as long as you and your partner do everything to make the attacks connect as fast as possible while not terribly disbalancing yourselves.

And atemi - here's a dose of reality...

I couldn't even tenkan an energetic 8-year-old kid who while giggling kept trying to "tackle" me until I started doing a quick "poof" implied atemi toward his face just before i would turn and let him pass me.

That's because in real life even uncoordinated 8 year old kids "track". Atemi, which is built into most techniques (and quite a few should start with it), is partially there to reduce the tracking and create a moment of hesitation which allows to do a decisive movement.

Last edited by shihonage : 04-08-2004 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:35 PM   #18
bob_stra
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Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
I couldn't even tenkan an energetic 8-year-old kid who while giggling kept trying to "tackle" me until I started doing a quick "poof" implied atemi toward his face just before i would turn and let him pass me.
Damn stupid kids. In true Jim Carey (SNL karate skit?) they attack wrong ;-)

*reminds self to hit next kid he sees*

*What? It's a highly scientifical experiment*

*scientifical *is* a word, right? ;-) *
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