Aikido against a boxer

samurai69

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I was teaching in class a couple of days ago and the subject of self defence against a boxer type attack came up.

We hold a 20 to 30 minute section dealing with SD specifics at the end of class.

During this, the subject came up of the boxer flying in and out of range and throwing short fast jabs in and out

I wondered what the aiki way of defence would be against this style of attack, where its difficult to respond directly to specific attacks that are designed to wear down the opponent (jabs) and also the fairly fast footwork of a boxer.
 

Hand Sword

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Remember, a boxer probably won't kick, so don't worry about the legs. Also, the fast footwork isn't a factor really, with jabs. All they do is step and flick. If they commit too far, they leave a reference point for you to deal with, as the jab will be slower, and will be more push like, coming off a lead foot. When they move to jab, you move, keep your circle!
 

MartialIntent

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Hand Sword said:
Remember, a boxer probably won't kick, so don't worry about the legs. Also, the fast footwork isn't a factor really, with jabs. All they do is step and flick. If they commit too far, they leave a reference point for you to deal with, as the jab will be slower, and will be more push like, coming off a lead foot. When they move to jab, you move, keep your circle!
Good points...

Boxers and kickboxers are fast-footed but by the nature of those arts, generally the attacks are cyclical [fast in and fast out]. What I've found that's always helped in cross-art fights is an appreciation of this cyclical pattern and at least some attempt to catch that rhythm.

Likewise the perception and utilization of ma-ai, that is, the maintenance of critical distance to the opponent, is drilled into us aikidoka and never leaves. So combining these two ideas I've found, can become in some form, a strategy.

Rrom there, it's not news: speed is of the utmost essence when an attempt is made to try to close and take the boxer's center. And don't forget their stronger arm when they're jabbing with the weaker arm and vice versa their weaker arm [forward and good for... shihonage maybe?] when they're winding up for a big hit...

Of course that's all theoretical, it'd be naive to think of escape without at least taking a number of hits [and how good at this are we as aikidoka?? Hmmm...] But regardless, we should still be at least *prepared* for unavoidable incoming strikes. Boxers / kickboxers are in no ways as compliant as many aikidoka are accustomed to in routine practise... hehe.

It'd be a hard fight no doubt. I just hate to see Aikido being written off as impotent in the face of striking arts. I think the aikidoka would hold and perhaps gain ground over the boxer. The caveat to that [as always] is that I'm talking about an aikidoka with a decent training duration under his or her belt. The boxer on the other hand can get in -hit- and out as soon as their training begins.

Aikidoka vs boxer? Good thread samurai69.

Respects!
 
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samurai69

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MartialIntent said:
Of course that's all theoretical, it'd be naive to think of escape without at least taking a number of hits [and how good at this are we as aikidoka?? Hmmm...] But regardless, we should still be at least *prepared* for unavoidable incoming strikes. Boxers / kickboxers are in no ways as compliant as many aikidoka are accustomed to in routine practise... hehe.

It'd be a hard fight no doubt. I just hate to see Aikido being written off as impotent in the face of striking arts. I think the aikidoka would hold and perhaps gain ground over the boxer. The caveat to that [as always] is that I'm talking about an aikidoka with a decent training duration under his or her belt. The boxer on the other hand can get in -hit- and out as soon as their training begins.

Aikidoka vs boxer? Good thread samurai69.

Respects!

These were really the 2 things that struck me when we practiced

I teach SD completely differently from my aikido teaching. When i Talk Self defence at the end of an Aikido session, it is completely from an Aikido perspective..............When i teach/run SD courses there is very little in the way of aikido that i introduce in to them.

But regardless, we should still be at least *prepared* for unavoidable incoming strikes. Boxers / kickboxers are in no ways as compliant as many aikidoka are accustomed to in routine practise

I think this is a valid point, In a lot of classes there is little in the way of the contact you would expect from a striking art...

I also think that a punch thrown in anger (possibly from a brawler) is less likely to be a (in out) jab and will probably be held out a little longer, long enough to take and control.


The caveat to that [as always] is that I'm talking about an aikidoka with a decent training duration under his or her belt. The boxer on the other hand can get in -hit- and out as soon as their training begins.

This, to a degree is why, in my SD classes/courses we dont dwell on aikido techniques
 

bladenosh

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You need to know how to defend and parry. Like you said, keep the circle and wear them down a bit. When you see an opening, realize you are well versed in small join locks, so that one punch you finally can get a grip to that wrist, take it into a clench or straight to the ground. A kick boxer would probably win in a clench, but a plain out boxer would be petrified... its against the rules. Of course boxers dont train on the ground at all, so whether you are on the top or bottom, you are at a large advantage on the ground. Work the small join submission and pressure points and you should win.

I dont know much about aikido, but does that sound about right?
 

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bladenosh said:
You need to know how to defend and parry. Like you said, keep the circle and wear them down a bit. When you see an opening, realize you are well versed in small join locks, so that one punch you finally can get a grip to that wrist, take it into a clench or straight to the ground. A kick boxer would probably win in a clench, but a plain out boxer would be petrified... its against the rules.

That never seems to stop 'em from clinching and even working from there when they're in the ring. In pro fights the ref will break it up eventually and issue warnings etc, but I can't see how it'd be an alien situation to a boxer.
 

swiftpete

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I don't think I'd be trying to grab a wrist if i was fighting a boxer. I think getting down to the ground asap sounds a good idea though.
 

theletch1

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One possible strategy is to follow the jab as it retracts in order to take control of the boxers head. Remember, where the head goes the body will follow. There's another thread on here somewhere that deals with neck cranks and neck breaks. Parry the jab and follow it as it retracts.
 

Stan

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Are we talking about this match up as a thought experiment, or as a potentially real situation? If it's the latter, comments like, "don't worry about kicks from a boxer" are dangerous. In a real situation, there isn't "a boxer", nor is there "an aikidoka". There are two people who have trained to move in certain ways, but can move in any way the physical circumstances allow. First of all, just because someone displays what looks like boxing, you should not assume that that's all they know. Second of all, basing your defenses on a narrow strategy, like, letting them wear themselves out with jabs and then getting them on the cross, ("which is more like our traditional tsuki"), is about as un-budo as it gets.

It really gets me when aikidoka say that they'll just stand there and wait for an attack, and if there's no committed attack, there's no need for a defense. In the dojo, as a training paradigm, this makes sense. An obvious feint that is not threatening doesn't have to be dealt with. But when an attacker shows aggression toward you, you can't wait around playing cat and mouse, hoping that you will tire them out like O Sensein famously did with that Japanese officer in the duel.

How about some irimi?! Don't let a boxer play his stick and move game. Get in there and disrupt him. If you are threatened, do you wait for him to give his center to you, in which time his friends might show up, or do you TAKE his center? Maybe he can't kick, but you can. How does he react to this? What does it do to his stance? His center?

So many martial artists, when asked to deal with a boxer, try to box him. They lose. That's his game, and the way most boxers train, it is a game. That NOT to say that boxing isn't a very effective martial art. Just that boxing in the ring as our culture envisions it has a goal which is different than neutralizing an attacker.
 

jujutsu_indonesia

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samurai69 said:
I was teaching in class a couple of days ago and the subject of self defence against a boxer type attack came up.

We hold a 20 to 30 minute section dealing with SD specifics at the end of class.

During this, the subject came up of the boxer flying in and out of range and throwing short fast jabs in and out

I wondered what the aiki way of defence would be against this style of attack, where its difficult to respond directly to specific attacks that are designed to wear down the opponent (jabs) and also the fairly fast footwork of a boxer.

Aikido or any Aiki arts does not have defense against boxing techniques. None of the waza is called "Jab Punch Ude Osaedori" or "Uppercut Makizume" or "Right Cross Kotezume" :) We defend against very different attacks, from very different era, to be used in very different situations, certainly not inside the ring with boxing rules against a heavyweight boxer.

however, the AikidoKA (the person) surely could use the principles of Aiki techniques to deal with boxers.

Such as ducking under the right hook/jab, get a clinch and do your thing.
 
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samurai69

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I wondered what the aiki way of defence would be against this style of attack, where its difficult to respond directly to specific attacks that are designed to wear down the opponent (jabs) and also the fairly fast footwork of a boxer

I suppose i was talking about this point particularly, but it was a generally open question so all answers and view points would be good......Thanks

Its in the aikido section to address the aikidoka in particular, as it will be covered in my aikido class, and as i have said before i like to keep aikido specific in aikido class

If it was of the more street orientated syle i would probably slip the jab/cross and get behind and control from the head

:jedi1:
 

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We have practiced against someone fighting like a boxer. What we worked on was keeping hands up to block the jabs, follow the jab in and then do something. We also worked on striking with a kick to the groin or knee.

Standing still and waiting was not a good option.
 

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Stan said:
Are we talking about this match up as a thought experiment, or as a potentially real situation? If it's the latter, comments like, "don't worry about kicks from a boxer" are dangerous. In a real situation, there isn't "a boxer", nor is there "an aikidoka". There are two people who have trained to move in certain ways, but can move in any way the physical circumstances allow. First of all, just because someone displays what looks like boxing, you should not assume that that's all they know. Second of all, basing your defenses on a narrow strategy, like, letting them wear themselves out with jabs and then getting them on the cross, ("which is more like our traditional tsuki"), is about as un-budo as it gets.


I was the one who commented on the kicks. For real--You're right, anything goes! However, the original post was asking about jabs in and out, short and quick and dealing with that specific element. Anyone who is going to box you will have their feet wide apart, to give a good base for a punch, jab or otherwise. One can't kick from this position, to do so they have to bring the feet closer together. Therefore, not worrying about kicks from a boxer is valid. Besides, Kicks are much slower, an Aikidoka would pick them up easier, and if they are circling, they won't be a problem. Any attack that's committed to will be dealt with by experienced Aikidoka (I work with some, believe me!).
 

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An elimination bout with a dozen boxers fighting against a dozen aikidoka would be cool to watch. The people at MT could place bets and the winners could then brag that they were right all alone. The losers could argue that if their guy was allowed to use deadly techniques then they would have won.
 

Hand Sword

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BlackSheep said:
An elimination bout with a dozen boxers fighting against a dozen aikidoka would be cool to watch. The people at MT could place bets and the winners could then brag that they were right all alone. The losers could argue that if their guy was allowed to use deadly techniques then they would have won.



I'd like to see it against any kind of martialartists. Especially those that feel secure in their abilities, inspite of never using them outside the dojo.
(I have seen it numerous times outside, not pretty for the martial artists)
 

MartialIntent

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Hand Sword said:
I'd like to see it against any kind of martialartists. Especially those that feel secure in their abilities, inspite of never using them outside the dojo.
(I have seen it numerous times outside, not pretty for the martial artists)
Heartily agree with you both.

Again, it comes back to the old chestnut that it's not the art but the artist, still in particular, I think the aikidoka vs boxer would be quite an interesting bout simply because in many of their techniques and underlying philosophies, they're diametrically opposite.

Having play-fought both boxers and kickboxers I found as an aikidoka that it tested the limits not just of Aikido techniques but also of the integrity of the art. I'd find myself [after some 15+ years of Aikido] still blocking punches instinctively from my old KF training... *purses lips and shakes head*

Hand Sword, your "not pretty" comment is suitably apt in this situation. In a for-real fight, the whole cohesiveness of one's art has a tendency to become muddled in the confusion.

Respects!
 
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samurai69

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MartialIntent said:
Having play-fought both boxers and kickboxers I found as an aikidoka that it tested the limits not just of Aikido techniques but also of the integrity of the art. I'd find myself [after some 15+ years of Aikido] still blocking punches instinctively from my old KF training... *purses lips and shakes head*

Yep, this was what i found happening, and wanting to box back (I also studied Muay Thai and other MAs).


.
 
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