Digging Deeper....

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Spinedoc, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Spinedoc

    Spinedoc Brown Belt

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    So, have been training Aikido for a number of years now, and BJJ for a while as well. Was thinking a lot about Aikido earlier this week, and how so many people, including myself for a long time, simply don't/didn't understand it. Been thinking a lot about effectiveness, pressure testing, etc. Well, as I was thinking about Aikido and Tai Sabaki and I realized, that Aikido techniques were never really designed to be combat effective, I mean...they can be..but that was never the point. O'Sensei's first students (overall-I think Shioda might have been the exception) were all experienced martial artists already. People came to O'sensei because he moved in a way that no one had experienced. They didn't know what it was, but his presence and movement was so effective and so different from anyone else, that Kendo, Judo, and even some Sumo guys all realized that they wanted to learn that. But, Aikido was teaching a form of body movement and aiki to strengthen what they already knew, not necessarily to start from scratch. This was higher level stuff... The purpose was not to learn specific, effective techniques, but to really learn no techniques at all. To use the techniques as a scaffold, not as the end result. The techniques are only there to teach the body to move in a way that enhances aiki and teaches you to apply a redirection of energy. The whole point of Aikido is to train the body to move in a different manner....where techniques become secondary and really irrelevant to a degree. Kind of mind blowing realization to be honest...

    To be fair, it occured while I was trying to escape a triangle that my BJJ partner had me in, so blood flow could have been affected..:) All of a sudden, I realized that all of the criticisms about Aikido being an effective martial art were ABSOLUTELY true, and ABSOLUTELY wrong at the exact same time. They were true in the sense that Aikido isn't trained with significant pressure testing and/or combat effectiveness, but this also is wrong, because it misses the entire point of Aikido. If we follow this line of reasoning, it also means that BJJ, Judo, MMA, and other artists should all take Aikido to strengthen their own game/art because it's sole purpose is to make what you already do more effective by improving your flow and body movement....
     
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  2. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i agree with this but i would say the entire art and not limit the comment to apply just to the techniques.
    i have also thought a lot about this and i remember reading or hearing about how OSensei would "ramble on" about stuff but that the students would humor the man and just want to get to the fighting and throwing. they were not listening.
    i was listening to a psychologist on Youtube talk about the correct way to deal with violence and confrontation. he was saying that the highest moral response you can have is to not engage the person. because it only escalates the violence. i cant explain his idea and do it justice at the moment but all i could think about was how what he was saying was exactly what Ueshiba was trying to do with Aikido.
    something to remember is that we have to put Aikido into the proper context. it was post WWII Japan. a country that for a long time was set in a mindset of Budo as a way to war and destruction. Ueshiba was twisting the national identity to be budo as a way of harmony. the nations self identity was wrapped up in Budo. he was not trying to show people self defense technique. Ueshiba was totally against using Aikido as a competitive sport like the way Kano was doing with Judo. it wasnt about that at all. it was about the spirit of Budo being developed as a way of peace and harmony. to counter act the years of an entire nation set on a path of fighting and war. the technique just by chance happened to be the vehicle for the psychology to be taught.
    i mean he said this stuff ALL THE TIME. but none wants to listen all they see is the martial art technique and want to live in a fantasy of how it can be effective for fighting. some people believe Aikido needs to change in order to be effective. lol its not meant to be effective,,,it is actually the opposite of being effective , at least for fighting.
     
  3. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I don’t know much of aikido, other than watching a bad local teacher (separation of art and practitioners here) run a few bad classes. That being said, it’s what you’re arguing kind of the ultimate aim of pretty much every art - to perfect the techniques to the point where you’re not longer “using techniques,” but rather, subconsciously just using principles? Mu shin in a sense.
     
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  4. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    If that is true then that's fine but instructors need to be honest about that fact
     
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  5. Spinedoc

    Spinedoc Brown Belt

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    I think most instructors are. I know mine is. And yes, the goal is to get to a point where you are using mushin, but Aikido goes even deeper than that. Using subtle, slight changes in movement to affect your opponents center. But at the end, it is all Tai Sabaki. Most of the yudansha I practice with would tell you that Aikido was never designed to be a combat art. That is not its purpose.
     
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  6. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    one of my instructors consistently said that "it doesnt matter one iota if my aikido works or not, its not about that"
     
  7. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    , sounds like a snake oil salesman, what is it about then?
     
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  8. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    wouldnt you need to define combat, to say that, it was certainly never intended to be a battle field art, to say it has no fighting use at all, begs the question of what its purposes is
     
  9. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Read the op
     
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  10. Spinedoc

    Spinedoc Brown Belt

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    I would not say that. I think Aikido does have fighting use, and the techniques certainly can be effective. I just think that was not the point of the development of the art. It's far, far beyond that.
     
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  11. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    this is a mystical rabbit hole your carrying us down, if it has fighting applications then it's a " combat" art, if it has other benefits and it does, these will be much the same as any other exercise
     
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  12. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.

    There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within.


    As soon as you concern yourself with the 'good' and 'bad' of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.


    To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.
    Read more at: Morihei Ueshiba Quotes
     
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  13. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    “The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.

    One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.”

    The art of peace
    Morihei Ueshiba
     
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  14. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    If Aikido has a combative application it is by mere inheritance from the previous generation of Daito ryu
     
  15. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    You're not the first person to come to this conclusion. It is an epiphany because it's your epiphany. Most people come to this conclusion about Aikido after having trained in Aikido and in some other fighting style.

    For what it's worth, I more or less agree with most of what you are suggesting. My conclusion about Aikido is a tad more restricted/refined. I believe that Aikido is generally focused on a very limited subset of "the fight." It is narrow in such a way that only people with a developed fighting system can really integrate the concepts of Aikido effectively.

    But "fighting" isn't the only reason people might want to learn a martial art.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  16. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Budo is Budo, its not jogging in the park with your dog. if you dont know what Budo is from the Japanese perspective then you have some homework to do. its not my job to give you an education.
     
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  17. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    if jogging with my dog, is part of your ma training, and it is for me, then its as much part of budo as anything else, ergo, it has the same value if its part of ma training or not
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  18. Martial D

    Martial D Master of Arts

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    wait are you talking about a martial art or a religion? It really sounds like the latter.
     
  19. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Those are Ueshiba's words not mine, and yes he was into a sect of the Shinto religion. His art was a reflection of his beliefs. For o Sensei there was no separation between the two. Modern practioners might understand the art better if they looked into that.
     
  20. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Thanks for the thread Spinedoc. I have had an interest in Aikido for a long time. I think since Hapkido and Aikido can be said to have a common heritage, I like to watch and learn possible techniques. That isn't always easy since I think their basic philosophies are quite different. Neither is wrong, they are just different.
     

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