The aikido thing

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Finlay, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Finlay

    Finlay Green Belt

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    Hello

    Over the years I have seen more scorn poured on Aikido as a martial art than pretty much any others. This is apart from the qi and kiai masters and macdojos.

    It seems that people are always calling the art out for being impractical etc. While other arts, that maybe equally impractical in some ways, escape such criticism.

    I guess the criticism may be caused by:

    Flashy nature of the techiques.

    Personalities like Segal claiming it is effective and/or superiour to other arts.

    There is no resistance involved

    Again, other arts can be guilty of the above but dont seem to get the flack that Aikido does.

    There is also a gentleman who after many years of training in Aikido has created a whole youtube channel about leaving the art to study MMA.

    This is one way of dealing with the issue but another would be to look into the underlying issues and try to solve them.

    So, if you were asked how would you change Aikido, would you

    Change the strikes for more realistic ones?
    Introduce some form of resistive training?
    Make all the movements smaller?

    I know that some practioners have already played around with their aikido and come out with some interesting stuff.

    What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  2. Hanzou

    Hanzou Senior Master

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    Oh boy.... How much time do you have for this one?

    I think Aikido would be better off if it positioned itself away from marketing itself as a combative MA into more of a spiritual exercise like Tai Chi, or a dance like Capoeria. You know why Tai Chi and Capoeira don't get any grief? Because you step into those schools and they tell you from the beginning that you're not learning how to fight or defend yourself.

    The demonstrations are over the top, and are generally considered fake. When you demonstrate one way, and can't replicate that demonstration when someone is really trying to beat the crap out of you, you have a problem.

    I've heard some pretty wacky stuff from Aikido practitioners that they can't seem to back up. All that ki stuff and Eastern magic goes out the window when someone shoots the double leg and starts turning your face into hamburger meat. Then they start dumping out excuses like "You need to practice Aikido for decades to even begin to learn how to use it", or "Your Ki wasn't properly aligned!" Unfortunately for Aikido, nobody buys that crap anymore. It shouldn't take you 10 years to be functional in a MA. You can earn a Bjj black belt in 10 years, and be "functional" a lot sooner than that.

    Anyways, you mentioned the Aikido instructor who dumped his school and art completely and went into MMA and Bjj; He actually made a video about why people hate Aikido, and I think its very illustrative:

    Why Aikido is Disliked by BJJ and MMA Practitioners? • Martial Arts Journey
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Ultimately Aikido is incomplete.

    It needs someone to take it's philosophy and explore how you employ said philosophy against attacks that aren't a guy charging towards you like a bull.

    Figure out what to do against non-committal attacks, like jabs.
    Figure out how you handle stuff that doesn't go your way, like people resisting throws or locks.

    I imagine the end result would look like some combination of wing chin or bagua, judo and bjj as well as Aikido.

    Also I would not dispense with the low percentage techniques. Ultimately being able to apply them is a level of mastery that is worth seeking, but it's the everyday stuff that needs work.
     
  4. BrendanF

    BrendanF Orange Belt

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    There are multiple approaches to Aikido, that each have benefits and drawbacks.

    One point of view is that Ueshiba's original 'Aiki' was Daito ryu (Aikijujutsu/Aiki no jutsu) - some lineages of Daito ryu (which focus [allegedly] on 'aiki' - ie kodokai/roppokai/sagawa) practice in a similar vein to Chinese 'neijia' arts (ie tui/roushou type work), and develop (again.. allegedly) a near magical ability to effect kuzushi/unbalance an opponent immediately on contact (often at arms length.. as opposed to judo/wrasslin type kuzushi). Proponents of this view emphasise that modern (particularly Aikikai) aikido was actually codified by Kisshomaru, not the founder - and this internal/aiki focus was abandoned (or not taught) for the choreography based, external form we see today.. the implication being that, with the loss of these internal skills, the choreography is robbed of efficacy. There are several folks who have focused on reintroducing those skills to aikido (Dan Harden, Akuzawa Minoru, Sigman etc).

    It always seemed to me that modern aikido was just an exploration of force vectors and kinetic chains - perhaps a cleverly designed introduction to the more complex internal training developed by DR aiki type work, where the lines of force and spiralling power are writ large and explicitly learned. Quite divorced from fighting, and certainly not a comprehensive 'fighting' art.

    A fascinating art and history.. but I'll stick to learning Judo and Sosuishi ryu.
     
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  5. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    I think aikido is a perfectly fine performance art. You gotta admit it's kinda cool watching them wave their arms around as dudes do facedives by the dozen. Like a live action Donnie Yen movie.

    And that's what I have good to say about aikido.
     
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  6. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    I am a little disappointed. I thought you might tell us how you really feel about the superiority of any other martial art over Aikido. :)

    I haven't met any Aikido practitioners who have recounted daily encounters where they beat up multiple attackers. I have known some who recounted one or two instances where they had to suddenly, without warning, defend themselves with the Aikido they studied, and it worked. I guess your 3rd paragraph doesn't apply to them? That said, some of the demonstrations appear unrealistic due to some of what you said, and the pathetic desire of the attackers not to be injured. Shame on them!

    If all that ki stuff doesn't work for you, so be it. Ki is real, but if you don't believe in it, no, it will not work for you. And in my case, the ki that I can use doesn't move mountains, levitate opponents to defenseless positions so I can beat them at will, or allow me to blow out candles from 20 feet away through a wall. It does allow me to move faster, and more accurately when I need to, and strike harder. I can also resist/redirect attacks in ways that seem magical to those who do not know the simplicity of what I am doing, but that is normal Hapkido grappling, normally no ki involved. Other that is, than once you have an ability to use ki, you will probably use some amount, large or small, in all you do.

    So, if it pleases you, continue to disbelieve in ki. It won't bother me. I will feel sorry for you, but that shouldn't bother you.
     
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  7. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    What is seen in demonstrations is indeed often rather flashy. The demo-attackers moving with the flow of the technique, is often quite discernable. It is done to prevent injury. But some people see it and don't realize that, instead thinking the whole art is phony.

    Can you define what you mean by "no resistance?".
     
  8. Hanzou

    Hanzou Senior Master

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    It has nothing to do with superiority, it's all about the proper classification and purpose of the art form. Aikido simply isn't a combat art. A self-preservation/improvement art, perhaps, but a combat art? Not even close. Certainly there's some spill over, but saying that Aikido is something akin to Judo, Bjj, Muay Thai, Boxing, etc. is simply a mis-classification. Once Aikido is classified correctly, all the malice towards it will be avoided.

    As for Ki, hey, whatever you want to believe in. I once believed in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, so it's all good.
     
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  9. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    Resistive training is the number one for me. With that, everything else falls into line. If you don't have resistance, then you don't even know if you're doing the move effectively, let alone are able to find out what the strengths and weaknesses of each technique are.

    If you have resistive training, then all of the others will fall into place. Your footwork will adjust to what works. You'll figure out what to do with your hands to keep from being countered. You'll figure out which techniques leave you vulnerable and which don't. It all stems from actually training.

    My training model is that you have the following steps:
    1. Learn the technique
    2. Drill the technique for muscle memory
    3. Drill the technique for resistance and application
    4. Use the technique in sparring
    5. Experiment with the technique to improve it or find new applications
    If you never leave Step 2, it doesn't matter how good or bad the technique is, you won't be able to use it effectively.

    This is why I like Hapkido. Technically it's very similar to Aikido, but in practice we move beyond that second stage of learning.
     
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  10. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    When you apply hip throw on me, if I always sink down to the ground, you will never be able to throw me with hip throw no matter how many times that you have tried it.

    To train force against force is not the solution. You have to train how to borrow force. The moment that you have detected my sinking force, you change your hip throw into single leg.

    To use sport to test Aikido skill is number one for me. Wrestle, wrestle, and still wrestle.
     
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  11. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    That's the 4th step I left out - train for failure.

    What I mean is that when someone is just beginning to learn the technique, you kind of go with them to help them build the mechanical understanding and the confidence. Then you make it harder and harder so they learn how to do it right.

    If you never add that resistance then they basically just get an overview of the technique and probably won't be able to use it. Just like someone who only punches air but never punches the heavy bag won't learn how to put real power into their punch or how to protect their hand when they punch.
     
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  12. FriedRice

    FriedRice Master Black Belt

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    When self proclaimed chopsocky masters (not just of Aikido) goes around saying crap about how MMA and fighting in the ring like Boxing, etc. are merely sports with rules and real bad ***es like themselves, train "real deadly techniques".....but then runs away from challenges when called out, then they really brought it upon themselves mostly.

    Not all Martial Arts are created equal. It's just time to accept that there has always been a pecking order where the strong dominates the weaker. This is especially true with the Asians, who created most of these MA's and often fought each other to prove who's style is better. The ones who hide from challenges, are usually the biggest snake oil salesman. This White guy's version of respecting all arts is just cult-like. Karate Kid is a movie. Mr. Miyagi is really Arnold from Happy Days.
     
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  13. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    When I push you, if you resist, should I keep pushing, or should I change my pushing into pulling?

    Resistance training seems to encourage "force against force" training. IMO, when your opponent resists, it's time for you to change.

    We both agree that resistance training is important. But our goal are different.

    - You want to make technique A to work even if your opponent resists.
    - I want to change technique A into technique B when resistance happen.

    Here is an example of resistance -> change.

     
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  14. Hanzou

    Hanzou Senior Master

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    That's what always got me about this argument. According to the stories, Ueshiba was an ardent dojo stormer who would beat up on other fighters all the time. He seemingly loved to prove his Aikido against other martial artists. Yet for some reason, his modern disciples claim to be above all of that. Interesting paradigm shift if you ask me.
     
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  15. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    I don't mean resist to the point where the technique won't work. I mean resist to the point where the other person has to have control in order for it to work.

    At stage 2, the Uke should be helping the other person out by following the script. In Stage 3, the Uke should be a dummy that goes where he is made to go. And if the leverage isn't there, the Uke should just stand there until the leverage is correct.

    At Stage 4, (which I left out in my numbering above) you drill for failure. It is at this point that the Uke can purposefully make the drill fail so the person may learn how to deal with that failing.
     
  16. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Now I agree with you 100% there.

    Force against force has value too. Old saying said, "Strength can beat 10 best techniques". If you can hold on your opponent that he can't move, none of his technique can apply on you.

    I don't mean you have to change the moment that your opponent resists. You have to change the moment that your opponent's resistance is more than you can handle.
     
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  17. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar Yellow Belt

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    I studied Aikido for a couple of years in college and then when I moved to a different state took up Hapkido. I've also tried Aikido (in a variety of flavors) again in about 3 different cities.

    The Hapkido I did (and having seen a LOT of Hapkido, it's definitely not all the same) had a heavy emphasis on striking that was influenced by our instructor's experience with TKD/TSD, western boxing, and his own experimentation with resisting opponents. Our throwing and grappling techniques, while fundamentally very similar to Aikido, were done with much smaller movements and a lot more focus on breaking the opponent's structure through a variety of means; body mechanics, striking, etc. We also trained them with real resistance, both in isolated grappling drills and in sparring and drills that fully integrated striking, kicking and grappling.

    I found the Hapkido that I did to be a lot more effective for my purposes. I think a lot of that was the training method. Integrating the throws and grappling with practical strikes and kicks and training them all together with resistance, did a lot to ingrain the ability to apply those throws and grappling techniques in a broad set of circumstances. It taught us to use the right tool for the job. Aikido frequently felt like I was trying to use a wrench when I needed a hammer or a screwdriver.

    On a positive note, I will say that my Aikido training really taught me how to fall and role without getting hurt and that those skills have saved me from injury more often than any of my MA training has helped me in violent confrontations. Also, I found after training in Hapkido that I had a much better idea how to apply the Aikido I had learned. There were times when I could use the larger, more flowing Aikido throws in sparring to great effect and that on those specific occasions they were frequently more effective than the Hapkido way. I'm just not sure that I'd ever have gotten there with the methods most Aikido schools use for training.
     
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  18. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar Yellow Belt

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    Double post.
     
  19. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ki works for wrestlers, judokas, boxers and kick boxers.

    Those guys are made of stone and hit like trucks.
     
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  20. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    My hapkido experience is the opposite, but for the same reasons. Hapkido is kind of an elective at my Taekwondo school. We have 25 martial arts classes every week. 24 Taekwondo classes for different age/belt ranges, and 1 Hapkido class. So we basically throw all the stuff that Taekwondo does better than Hapkido out the window and focus on what Hapkido does better than Taekwondo.
     
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