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Old 11-17-2004, 04:39 PM   #1
chrisward
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BJJ vs Aikido

Greetings everyone. I hope this find's everyone well. I have been in Aikido for just a couple of weeks now and I had planned to take BJJ at the same time anyway, in order to learn to protect myself while on the ground, should for some reason I ended up there in an altercation.
Today, I visited a very respected school of BJJ that has one of the top sensei's in the United States. I just wanted to ask a few question's to learn a little more about things and what it's all about. The instructor asked me about my background in the arts and to save a lot of time here I only mentioned that I was a new student to Aikido and I made it very clear to him from the very beginning that should I take BJJ, that I would still remain in Aikido as well. He was very polite but he kind of disappointed me when he said like most arts that it really wasn't very effective from a realistic stand point. He went on to ask me "what would you do in the event for whatever reason, you ended up on the ground with some 250lb bully stradeling you and punching you in the face?" PLEASE UNDERSTAND IN ADVANCE, I know there are probably thousands of you who could give me tons of stories to contradict that, no doubt. But he went on to say that he could put a blue belt of his against any art out there and he would put his money on BJJ everytime, he doesn't care what rank the opponet was from whatever style. He was very polite about it, really, but very confident. And I know some folks are probably thinking Chris this guy is trying to sell his dojo. I'm sure of it, but this guy is NOT hurting financially, so there is more to it than money. Finally, I understand this is an Aikido web site but I am interested in some feedback from the Aikido family that might have some practical insight of BJJ and the comments made by this instructor? Thanks in advance for all of your help...Chris
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Old 11-17-2004, 04:53 PM   #2
jss
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

[quote=He went on to ask me "what would you do in the event for whatever reason, you ended up on the ground with some 250lb bully stradeling you and punching you in the face?"[/QUOTE]

For one thing, in aikdio we do care about the reason we end up in that kind of situation.
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Old 11-17-2004, 05:46 PM   #3
mj
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

I don't care what he says.

As for 'how to beat BJJ'....biting their nuts off usually does the job. Or their fingers, or anything else they bring in proximity. Personally I like biting the carotid artery so I can do a 'full connection' kaiten-nage (ude hineri). You have to elevate the leg instead of the arm though...but what the hell, we all make sacrifices for our arts. At least most of us don't wear or condone lycra..that's the important thing.

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Old 11-17-2004, 06:04 PM   #4
Bryan
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

The core of BJJ is ground techniques. The question I always like to ask of grapplers is..."would you take the fight to the ground if your oponent has two buddies standing by, if not, then what does your system offer in those cases? "

I don't plan on focusing on 1vs1 altercations or competitions, so I cross-train in multiple arts...one of which includes ground techniques. Some arts address certain scenarios better than others; besides, why would I want to limit myself to only one perspective? For me, MA training is more about the journey and not as much about the destination. Greatfully, I'll be able to travel the Aikido road long after my body refuses to support my striking arts.

just my perspective
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:10 PM   #5
Demetrio Cereijo
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Smile Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
Chris Ward wrote:
I know there are probably thousands of you who could give me tons of stories to contradict that, no doubt.
I would say hundreds, being benevolent.
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:18 PM   #6
L. Camejo
 
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Sounds like the typical type of talk one might get when faced with an Instructor of another style who for one feels the need to sell his style's superiority (or at least his own) and secondly thinks that the person in front of him does not know enough about the styles being compared to actually dispel some of the BS he may be putting out.

As far as what one does when on the ground with the 250lb person punching etc .etc. if one sticks to Aikido principles this does not happen and even if it did there are some options within Aikido before the other person gets full advantage to put you out. If it still happened that Aikido did not work, then this is when one goes into grappling and striking from the ground, whatever format it may take, whether Judo, Jujutsu or a mix of unidentifiable things.

But then again, this is why you are visiting his dojo, to learn how to handle the scenario he gave effectively, so it's obvious to me that he is less concerned about you learning something from him and more concerned about blowing his own horn and beating his chest.

He also made sure to put forward a one on one scenario that he knew his blue belt could survive and win to attempt to show superiority. I wonder why he didn't give the scenario of his student or himself against a group of 5 or 6 FMA knife or stick weilding attackers (not saying that Aikido will necessarily deal with this scenario better, but the strength of BJJ is in dealing with one attacker at a time.)

Happily my experience at the BJJ dojos I've visited was not like that. Even when they have been proud of what they do, general respect was there and they knew that no one art does everything well and is effective in all situations. For me though, the Sensei you met would have been left talking and bragging while I walked out the door.

Just my 2 cents.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:30 PM   #7
Huker
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

A blue belt against any rank of any martial art?? I think this guy is a bit too proud of himself, regardless of how modestly he puts it. If that were really true, he wouldn't feel compelled to tell you that. Every martial art has its weaknesses and strengths--there is not really a 'best'.

I do love a story about how people say that aikido is not very effective "from a realistic stand point". First off, the mother art of aikido, aikijutsu was a battlefield martial art used by the greatest swordsmen that history has seen. Does that stand for nothing in the eyes of your BJJ instructor?? Second, if I say that squares look like circles "from a realistic standpoint", would you believe me??

Confidence sells--ask any real estate agent, lawyer, or even my landlord. It doesn't mean the person you're talking to isn't full of it.

If you're having problems with 250lb bullies, you should change grade schools because you're probably in over your head.
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:32 PM   #8
Huker
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Good finish, Larry
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:32 PM   #9
Roy Dean
 
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Chris,

Biting nuts, gouging eyes... these are generally very weak mental coping mechanisms for people that don't understand how to achieve positional dominance over their opponent. Such remarks are usually fear based. Believe me, there have been many matches where such things occur, and the "dirty stuff" is not nearly as effective as people believe it to be, especially if it's not trained in scientific/realistic scenarios beforehand. My own BJJ instructor, Roy Harris, has clips where people have attempted to gouge his eyes. Such people get what they deserve, usually a popped elbow...

As for BJJ being put against other arts... well, it does very well. Why? Because it is the premiere groundfighting art. Nothing else is quite as effective IN ITS SPECIFIC RANGE OF COMBAT. On the ground, BJJ is the king. Standing up.. it is not.

Aikido addresses a very specific range of combat. Standing up, striking distance. Aikido is excellent where it is designed to be applied.

Also, there is considerable debate as to whether or not the training methods employed by Aikido are realistic enough to translate into martial effectiveness when there is full resistance by an unwilling and uncooperative opponent. Competition and resistance are discouraged in most dojo's, while almost all BJJ schools have a randori/sparring component to their class that launches people into the realm of applicable skill quite quickly. This is also an extremely humbling part of the training, especially the first year.

I have spent many nights wondering how to employ full resistance sparring into Aikido, and I'm not sure if it's possible given the nature of the techniques and the very small range of motion of a wrist versus the arc of an arm extending or major joint locking out.

That said, after 8 years of training and competition in BJJ, I find the arts almost identical. That's right, the principles, angles, and movements are essentially the same, the only difference is the plane where techniques are applied (horizontal vs. vertical plane), and the aforementioned training method.

You can read about it, talk about it, and mentally conjure a million scenarios, but until you actually FEEL the martial truth of what each art offers, don't make any premature judgements. Even the masters are whitebelts outside of their spheres of expertise.

Best of luck to you.

Sincerely,

Roy Dean
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:35 PM   #10
paw
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
mark johnston wrote:
As for 'how to beat BJJ'....biting their nuts off usually does the job. Or their fingers, or anything else they bring in proximity.
LOL! Yeah...that's like saying you could take out any aikido shihan by jabbing them in the eye. Much, much easier said than done.


Quote:
Byron wrote:
The core of BJJ is ground techniques. The question I always like to ask of grapplers is..."would you take the fight to the ground if your oponent has two buddies standing by, if not, then what does your system offer in those cases? "
To assume a bjj'er would always take a fight to the ground is like assuming an aikidoist would always use swari waza. If your bjj academy only trains groundfighting, change schools.


Quote:
chris ward wrote:
Today, I visited a very respected school of BJJ that has one of the top sensei's in the United States.
Name names. If not publically, then send me a private mail. I have an idea who you talked to and can give you some background.

Ultimately, I would recommend not training somewhere because of the "famous" name on the door or the reputation of the chief instructor. If, for whatever reason, the school isn't exactly what you are looking for, find another school.


Regards,

Paul
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:49 PM   #11
Chad Sloman
 
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

good post, Roy Dean...

I concurrently train Aikido and Judo with our ne waza being taught by a couple BJJ blue belts. I too see a lot of similarities. Remember that BJJ is just ne waza-specialized judo. BJJ people hate it when that's said, but it's true for the most part. This reminds me of a couple good quotes from Bullshido....

"BJJ is Aikido on the ground" -Anthony

"BJJ is just Judo in a thong" -Ronin69

I recommend it though as I see it as a major plus to my overrall training. Ne waza is a lot of fun, and is nice to see where your fight can go after a throw. Sometimes it's like where Aikido ends, BJJ begins.

A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.
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Old 11-17-2004, 07:25 PM   #12
kironin
 
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

there is also the point that BJJ really stretch training time before black belt. (15 years ?) There is blue belt, blue belt stripe 1, blue belt strip 2, ...

You see blue belts in BJJ running schools. I am not even sure there is a rank beyond "black belt", though probably something.

There is BJJ teacher who teaches classes on alternate nights where I teach Aikido, Leonardo Xavier, http://www.leonardoxavier.com/ .
He is in the only black belt in his organization so far.

He has two schools in Oklahoma associated with him (neither has a BJJ black belt yet). Could that be who the school is associated with ?

He is polite and friendly and clearly has nothing to prove.

I like this quote,
"BJJ is Aikido on the ground" -Anthony

some truth in that.

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Old 11-17-2004, 07:34 PM   #13
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
Tanner Hukezalie wrote:
First off, the mother art of aikido, aikijutsu was a battlefield martial art used by the greatest swordsmen that history has seen.
Huh? On what are you basing that assertion?

Kentokuseisei
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Old 11-17-2004, 07:55 PM   #14
Aristeia
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Some good comments.
The BJJ instructor is right, one of his blue belts most likely will take out the majority of other martial artists in a one on one "duel" (although perhaps not a judo black belt). But he's still a chump. The reason he's a chump is he's missing the point. No one chooses to train Aikido because it is the best most bad ass fighting style in the world. It's not designed to be that way. It's designed to achieve other goals be they physical or spiritual. Because it's looking to acheive those goals, it's more complex, it's harder.
This is not the same as saying it cannot be a very effective means of self defence.
The fallacy I see alot from BJJ circles (which I train in as well), is the argument "Art X will be beaten by BJJ, therefore Art X has no combat utility".
This simply does not follow. BJJ has specialised in an area of combat that:
A. many other arts have neglected
and B. that is done in a range that it is easier for the BJJ'er to control. By which I mean it's easier to get someone on the ground than it is to stay on your feet. It's easier to close distance than to keep distance.

So yes, it can show up people from other arts. But all it shows is that those arts have a hole in that particular area. What this BJJ guy doesn't get, is that you probably don't care if you can't beat a BJJ'er with Aikido. You may care that Aikido will be useful against the attacks you're most likely to face in a self defence situation. You may care about your ability to get back to your feet if you do fall down (which may be why you are looking to cross train). But to say that a BJJ'er can beat Aikido doesn't mean that there aren't many good reasons to still do Aikido.
Sounds to me like he was over selling when he didn't need to. Particularly when you'd all ready indicated you wanted to do both, and weren't making a choice between the two (a good strategy IMO). He should have been saying "you're going to do Aikido? That's great it's got some similar concepts, and BJJ will help you in areas Aikido doesn't cover and compliment it nicely in other areas". But he couldn't resist beating the drum with the "my art is better than yours" with not a seconds thought about what YOU are actually looking to accomplish. I don't care what the name on the door is, find another teacher. You can learn some great stuff on the BJJ mat, but like any art, you need to find a place that suits you and understands what it is you are looking to get out of it.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 11-17-2004, 07:56 PM   #15
Aristeia
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:

I like this quote,
"BJJ is Aikido on the ground" -Anthony

some truth in that.
Lots of truth in that

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 11-17-2004, 08:22 PM   #16
JessePasley
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
I have spent many nights wondering how to employ full resistance sparring into Aikido, and I'm not sure if it's possible given the nature of the techniques and the very small range of motion of a wrist versus the arc of an arm extending or major joint locking out.
(trumpets please)
One person has a tanto, one person doesn't. Figure things out.


On another note, a blue belt in BJJ actually means something. It takes anywhere from 2-3 year to get one, and that means the person has had 2-3 years of full-resistance randori. A confident instructor means only one of two things: 1) He's only thought about for a long time and has convinced himself, or 2) He's actually competent. I'm voting for the latter.
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Old 11-17-2004, 08:27 PM   #17
David Yap
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Roy,

Nicely posted. If I may add my two cents.

Quote:
As for BJJ being put against other arts... well, it does very well. Why? Because it is the premiere groundfighting art. Nothing else is quite as effective IN ITS SPECIFIC RANGE OF COMBAT. On the ground, BJJ is the king. Standing up.. it is not.

Aikido addresses a very specific range of combat. Standing up, striking distance. Aikido is excellent where it is designed to be applied.
IMO, both BJJ and Aikido are defensive rather than offensive in nature. There are hardly any first attack. Most SD type of MA have these three principles: move off the line of attack, off-balance the attacker, and control the attack. In most fights, one would always be brought to the ground if one did not move offline.

Quote:
Also, there is considerable debate as to whether or not the training methods employed by Aikido are realistic enough to translate into martial effectiveness when there is full resistance by an unwilling and uncooperative opponent.
IMO, this depends on the individual's understanding & skill in the art and that of his/her instructor or teacher. I have seen many MArtists going away from Aikido with the view that it is a fake MA after one or more lessons. Why? Most time, they walk into the wrong dojo where the instructor is 100% mindset on choreographing every moves including on how he or she is to be attacked.

Quote:
That said, after 8 years of training and competition in BJJ, I find the arts almost identical. That's right, the principles, angles, and movements are essentially the same, the only difference is the plane where techniques are applied (horizontal vs. vertical plane), and the aforementioned training method.
Agreed absolutely.

Quote:
You can read about it, talk about it, and mentally conjure a million scenarios, but until you actually FEEL the martial truth of what each art offers, don't make any premature judgements. Even the masters are whitebelts outside of their spheres of expertise.
Wow!! You said it like a true MA.

Best regards

David Y
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:42 PM   #18
Huker
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
Huh? On what are you basing that assertion?
History.
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:00 PM   #19
CNYMike
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
Chris Ward wrote:
..... But he went on to say that he could put a blue belt of his against any art out there and he would put his money on BJJ everytime, he doesn't care what rank the opponet was from whatever style ....
I'm pretty sure there are some Jun Fan/JKD people out there who would beg to differ on that point, because they know BJJ and the ground fighting game as well as the standup games. Yes, I said "games," plural. But I digress (although if you can find a Jun Fan/JKD school in your area, that might compliment Aikido even better, and -- hopefully -- if the Sifu is like the Kail instructors I know, you won't get an attitude) ....


Quote:
..... I am interested in some feedback from the Aikido family that might have some practical insight of BJJ and the comments made by this instructor? Thanks in advance for all of your help...Chris
Well, he has a point about what to do when you're on the ground; that's why you're going to BJJ for, right? Aikido also addresses joint locks and throwsbut from the perspective of standing up. They compliment each other, I should think.

Other than that, the issue for you is, IMHO, will your instructors in Aikido and BJJ have cows if you continue with cross-training? If the answer is no, keep at it. If the answer is "Yes" for either one of them, you have some hard choices to make.
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:06 PM   #20
Michael Young
 
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Blue belt in BJJ versus Yagyu Ryu student armed with Katana (the instructor did say any other martial art)....I'm sure the BJJ guy would take him out in a second Run from this dojo don't walk. (I'm not bashing BJJ, just making a point)

Mike
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:52 AM   #21
Matt Molloy
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
Michael Young wrote:
Blue belt in BJJ versus Yagyu Ryu student armed with Katana (the instructor did say any other martial art)....I'm sure the BJJ guy would take him out in a second Run from this dojo don't walk. (I'm not bashing BJJ, just making a point)

Mike
Now that's what I call mixed martial arts!

As to the original question. Release Shodothug! (I'm sorry but I really like that cartoon.)

Cheers,

Matt. (Who has had it to the back teeth on this vs that and still thinks that it depends on the person applying the principles and not the martial art.)
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Old 11-18-2004, 01:15 PM   #22
rob_liberti
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Please have him send his BJJ blue belt to the Takasago Dojo of Shoheijuku in Fukuoka, Japan on Thursday night, and ask for Nishida san. If it proceeds, he'll be expected to sign some papers saying that there will be no legal actions taken due to injury. If you can let me know when to expect him, I'll make the trip and bring a video camera.

I respect ground work very much. I was hoping that this conversation would address the specific tactics used by a BJJ player to set up the shoot. That is where the training should be focused if you are going to go head to head. I asked a friend to set up single and double leg takedowns and it was good training. It left me with a lot to think about and I'd love to hear what other people think.

Rob
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Old 11-18-2004, 01:23 PM   #23
kironin
 
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
Lots of truth in that

except when the focus of training is cage matches and sport competitions and they get them in guard postion and start smacking the hell out of their opponent repeatedly.


but when it's about being relaxed and fluid on the ground. yes sure.

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Old 11-18-2004, 01:34 PM   #24
Aristeia
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:

but when it's about being relaxed and fluid on the ground. yes sure.
Which is exactly what the guy on the bottom is trying to do to stop getting smacked in ther face.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 11-18-2004, 02:27 PM   #25
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: BJJ vs Aikido

Quote:
Tanner Hukezalie wrote:
History.
And what history is that? Given that Daito Ryu, the technical antecedant to aikido, in any recognizable form dates from the later half of the nineteenth century, how is it a "battlefield martial art" (or are you using "battlefield" to mean any combat), and which "greatest swordsmen that history has seen" were exponents of it?

When I think of great Japanese swordsmen, none of them are from Daito Ryu. In fact, the only Daito Ryu swordsman I know of is Takeda Sokaku, but when you've got the likes of Takano Sasaburo, Sasamori Junzo, Nakayama Hakudo, and Yamaoka Tesshu as contemporaries, let alone earlier masters like Musashi Miyamoto, Tsukahara Bokuden, Ono Tadaaki, and Chiba Shusaku, none of whom are connected to Daito Ryu, I find the claim that Daito Ryu "was a battlefield martial art used by the greatest swordsmen that history has seen" incredible at best.

Not that what Daito Ryu is has much to do with "BJJ vs Aikido."

Kentokuseisei
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