An Aikidoka's controversial journey into MMA: Is it helpful?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Hanzou, Aug 22, 2018.

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  1. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    I've been following this guy for the past year or so, and I found his videos pretty interesting. This guy was an Aikido instructor who owned his own dojo and decided to test his Aikido against a MMA practitioner and got completely destroyed. After his first "defeat", he began to try to reform and modernize his Aikido practice mixing in elements of MMA and Bjj. However, last week he began to realize that it would serve him better to just stop practicing Aikido, close his dojo and train in MMA full time. Again, he largely based this on a second sparring match with a MMA fighter.



    He's gotten a lot of hate for all of this, mainly from fellow Aikido practitioners who think that he embarrassed their art or something. I think it took stones to put your money where your mouth is and actually post a video of you fighting someone from another martial art. ESPECIALLY when you own a business or have financial stakes in your martial skill.

    Anyway, my question is this; Do individuals like this hurt or help their respective styles or martial arts in general?

    Oh, I almost forgot, here is a MMA coach's blistering critique of the video above;


     
  2. now disabled

    now disabled Master Black Belt

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    His choice to do as he has done

    He obviously wants to go to MMA maybe he wants to compete and well if that is the case then fine

    I would say tho that he is no fighter and going in with that attitude to start with isn't kinda the right mindset

    As for the coach he is as entitled to his opinion as any one else however I would point out that he did right off the bat promote his dvd training !!!

    He most certainly has not made himself popular in the Aikido world lol and well all the sensei he hung round with etc will feel i'd think kinda let down.

    Yes he holds a BB what rank I don't know I did say in an earlier thread I thought I could see iwama in him as the way he was trying to break things down to tech levels and he most certainly was influenced by at least two sensei that were deshi in iwamma. That said his style is not the full Iwama nor is it really any one style that I can see

    I am not going to slate the guy he has made his choice and if he is happy then that is all that matters just don't base all your ideas on what he was saying or doing and one thing I will say is that his actual movement is that vid is shocking regardless of how good the other guy is he had already lost before he got in the ring lol and the mma guy had him physced out long before the bell went ding lol

    Also do bear in mind that Aikido is not a comp MA and never will be and I have already said many time that if you stick to classical and the big circle stuff then ummmm you will lose.

    I did have a look at some of his vids and well I never once saw him have any strike delivered at him with intent it was always slow and static (hence he can't move) (his basic Aikido tech is ok not the best but ok ) Honestly it like has has chucked his toys out the pram lol
     
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  3. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    I've been following this guy for a while. It's interesting to me largely because his story mirrors my own in a lot of ways; I was in the same boat about 16 years ago when I decided to join my first MMA club and test my wingchun.

    It's a hard pull to swallow. It's hard to admit your system doesn't work as intended, especially after years and years put into it. The easy way is to make rationalizations and excuses, but that doesn't actually help anything.

    Only now, nearly two decades later, do I have a WC system I can actually use..and to get here I had to empty my cup.
     
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  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think whether it helps or hurts the art depends on a point of view and how the mainstream of the art reacts to it. If you (generic "you") want the art to stay "pure", stuff like this is nearly always bad. Purists will rarely be able to compete with those who simply seek the best answer to a given question. If your aim is to help the art grow and become more effective for a given context, then things like this should provide useful data.

    I will say I think he has the order backwards, but that's not his fault. He'd have been much better off getting a base from something like MMA training, then adding Aikido training on top of that. Then he'd understand how to use that Aikido training properly. I suspect the reason he closed his dojo was that his aim had been to teach effective counter-fighting (defensive fighting). He found out he didn't really have that to teach, so he's gone back to school. Once he gains some real ability at fighting, I suspect some of his Aikido will start to show up again. He might even end up teaching again, offering Aikido (or at least some of the principles) as an advanced add-on.

    Of course, things like this do break down the mystique of things like Aikido, so that makes it harder for dojos to draw students. And since a lot of folks aren't really training for self-defense (even some who say they are - the difference is in their own focus), I'm not sure how much something like this should really matter to most practitioners.
     
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  5. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    You can train to preserve the art or train for a reliable result. Onky way you can do both is to train in an art that puts results above all else. And the only arts that do this are sport arts.

    Helping the art, keeping the art pure, preserving the integrity of the art... These are all different ways of saying the same thing.

    Simply put, non-sport arts have identity and methods and look for results from these. Sport arts look for results, and the results shape the methods, which create the identity. This means in the former, that the art will become more and more fixed and inflexible as time marches on, while the lattwr will continue to evolve and eventually look very different depending on the goals.
     
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  6. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    That's so true! At least in my case.

    I'm not sure if it's true for aikido, but for WC, at least in my case, there are things that can only be realized and understood by training in a more alive manner. I've learned way more (functional) WC from the last year of MMA training than I ever did in the 20 previous years of classical WC.
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Well said, Steve. And I think a lot of this comes from what students are taught early on about what "makes" their art - what's different about it. This is partly marketing language, partly a way of guiding thinking early on, but eventually can (doesn't have to, but often does) become a way of limiting options, rather than a way of seeking solutions. This does happen some in sport, but it's more obvious. Judo rarely includes strikes if they are training for competition, and the same with BJJ. But at least they are seeking the best solutions within the rulesets, rather than being tied to a definition of what they "should be".
     
  8. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    But this is at least in part, the delusion refers d to in the vid, it's always but he wasn't very good and or its not a competition art, which then begs two questions, who is good enough at aikido or wing Chun or karate etal, to give a better result, and if the purpose of a martial art isn't an ability to fight, then how is it different from say yoga or Morris dancing and should the title ma be modified in some way to make it clear that it's more art than martial
     
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  9. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    I could definitely see this guy eventually go the Roy Dean route and simply merge his Aikido training with some Bjj or MMA. He interviewed Roy Dean a few times, so I'm sure he's already considered that.

    Your last point is a very interesting one, and I think that's the one where a few people get concerned with videos like these. I can imagine that individuals owning Aikido dojos aren't very happy with the present state of things, because the goal of many people in self defense (right or wrong) is to stop the boxer or the wrestler and it appears that Aikido doesn't have an answer for that at the present time.
     
  10. now disabled

    now disabled Master Black Belt

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    I do agree with what your saying

    I love the classical Aikido and always will does it work on the street as in seen in the Dojo ummm no hence why I guess I arue a rattle on about Aikido so much and look deeper into things or try to lol ....Classical Aikido is flowing and beautiful to do and watch ...street Aikido is ugly and not nice to see and much of it is not recognizable to any who cannot see where certain ideas and concepts are coming from. To me and this ids just me the street Aikido is more akin to what Ueshiba first taught and what in his first book he had translated (even that he was almost forced to do and that was not translated until after his death ) , it had the Atemi and the slightly different ideas lol and well mix in a bit of pure Daito-ryu a bit of ground work and more than anything common sense and you got a street system as such.

    Really what that guy is kinda doing is burning his own bridges in a way as doing what he is doing so publicly (yeah some may call it balls ) he will find it difficult to throw off later if he ever wants to return and study more and deeper as pissing off the future shihan and high dan grades would do have clout within Aikido is not the wisest move as it kinda unlikely that he will ever he overly welcome again to grade ....I say that as really he has sorta said I'm a former BB now I'm an MMA guy and well not the wisest move at all imo

    He really does seriously need to learn to move lol as he is well umm kinda got lead in his boots as far as fighting is concerned and he has (I went and looked) posted a vid saying he used Aikido in a fight himself and a near fight and noe he saying really nope it don't work what I just taught all my students offered a deshi program was all rubbish .....again not the wisest of moves imo
     
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  11. now disabled

    now disabled Master Black Belt

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    Yeah I think I get you

    Again he ain't a fighter imo and jumping ship as he kinda has isn't gonna make him one either ....................but just my opinion ....I didn't say he wasn't good I said he was ok ....and well if you really want me to crit his Aikido I will do that in private not in public
     
  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I actually think Aikido has some good answers for this, but the common training approaches lack the toolset to control the situation to make Aikido's tools available. The techniques in aiki arts are often taught as "one and done" answers. Punch comes, you technique, it's over. That's an unrealistic expectation against anyone who can actually fight. You need the ability to hold your own, control the space, pace, etc to let the situation develop. That's part of how everyone works (even if they're focused on "attack first", they have to be able to hold out if the other person attacks first), and if it's lacking you end up trying to get to techniques, rather than using openings. You can see this happening pretty clearly in his first sparring video.
     
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  13. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    More martial than martial arts

    (Mmtma)

    :p
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, I think "jumping ship" from a training style that doesn't actually cover foundational basics to one that does will absolutely help him. There are probably schools within Aikido that could help him with that, but those are rare, and MMA gyms aren't.
     
  15. now disabled

    now disabled Master Black Belt

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    I will take issue with you that it cannot stop the wrestler or the boxer ..........if it a pro boxer then possibly not but tell me what art would ? and a wrestler yes Aikido has the tools for that

    Are you basing that on what he said when he went to ground as if you then well no basically ....yeah Aikido doesn't have ground techs the secret is don't go to ground (ok don't jump at me ) No Aikidoka will go to ground unless he makes a real screw up and again don't base that on that clip as seriously that lad is no fighter at all
     
  16. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    Ok isn't good, it's eer, just ok.
    But then who is the more than just ok fighter that will uphold the reputation of aikido. And where are the contests that demonstrate this
     
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    now disabled Master Black Belt

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    Yeah fair point just he has burned his bridges and publicly and maybe just me but never thought that was a wise idea better to quietly do things and seek other avenues as opposed to set things on fire lol
     
  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that's honestly how he feels right now. He might change his mind later, if he actually learns how to layer the aiki movement and concepts on top of what he gets from MMA training. He may wish later he'd been less harsh in his wording, or he may not. If he was someone from NGA and came to me later to try to build on his prior NGA training, I'd be happy to have him - I'd expect his combined experience to bring a lot to a school. I don't think any of the CI's I trained under would likely have the same response.
     
  19. now disabled

    now disabled Master Black Belt

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    There ain't any comp Aikido fighters lol or none that use pure Aikido lol
     
  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with that. I don't think anyone knowingly taught him poorly, passed along bad techniques, etc. But right now, he's feeling very let down and is willing to share those thoughts just as he shared his disappointment in his own performance.123
     
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