Aikido against a boxer

O'Malley

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My Master was a student of Kushida from Ann Arbor Michigan that still taught punching and kicking etc many years ago. Kushida was told to eliminate this but did not and broke off from the main school in Japan many years ago. When my master moved to Canada from Ann Arbor he became friends with Professor Wally Jay (circle jiu jitsu) and Dr. Yang Jwing -Ming. He incorporated these martial arts into the Aiki Jiu Jitsu curriculum. To answer your question I think it was Yoshinkai base Aikido or Aiki Jiu jitsu old school.

Thanks, looks like an interesting mix!

The answer, like other arts, is it varies by individual. Many do not. Some do.

I know some folks in Aikido who are deep into the philosophy of peace and would be bothered by a student competing - a very closed-minded view of competition. I know others in Aikido who have no issue with it.

Well, on a philosophical level, competition was against the founder's beliefs. However, he did not require his students to subscribe to his religion. Also he let Tomiki invent a competitive aikido style without having any problem about it, maintaining a good relationship until his death.

The founder did not want aikido to become a sport either (like judo had done) because "aikido is about life and death". This actually reflects a debate that has been going on since medieval times in Japan and is still going on in this very thread: are kata (drills) needed? Should we include sparring and competition in the training curriculum? Various arguments were already used back then: kata training does not develop courage nor the sense for position, timing and dealing with resistance while sparring is still different from a combat situation and, if success in sparring becomes the goal of training, this will make practitioners pick up bad habits (like exposing vital points that do not constitute targets in competition) and leave them unprepared mentally for life and death situations. It is my understanding that most schools kept kata as the primary method of teaching.

On a technical level, competition/sparring (focusing on downing the opponent) is actually counterproductive to the practice of aikido, which becomes physically easier to do and learn once you stop trying to do something to your uke.

That seems plausible. I can't speak to the accuracy of it, but it would explain why some of the older arts have such an emphasis on wrist grips. My personal view of the current usage is that it's an easy way to practice - you know exactly where to find their hand, because it's attached to your forearm. From that, you're actually learning what to do with a hand/arm when you end up with it in your possession while grappling with someone (or blocking, or whatever).

I believe that, in koryu, wrist grab defenses were indeed used to free your sword. However, Sokaku Takeda's peculiar background (including his family history, his alleged sumo background and his apparent lack of formal training in jujutsu) makes me think that the grabs and techniques used in daito ryu (and even more in aikido) are meant to teach you how to deal with forces applied to your body (someone grabbing you and pushing/pulling), how to move correctly, what are the right positions and angles for kuzushi and to condition your body/joints to receive forces (this theory has been developed by E. Amdur in great detail).

IMO, the techniques that would translate the most into "real life application" would be the ones we lump together as "kokyu nage":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrSgu-TuNUI
 

Gerry Seymour

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On a technical level, competition/sparring (focusing on downing the opponent) is actually counterproductive to the practice of aikido, which becomes physically easier to do and learn once you stop trying to do something to your uke.
Agreed, especially on that part I bolded. And that's where an Aikidoka needs a base of non-aiki technique (or at least non-aiki application of their techniques). It takes time (both calendar time in training, and patience in the conflict) to allow the movement to open up an opportunity for aiki-based technique. That's an inherent weakness that can be filled with good striking/countering and a solid grappling underpinning. This also opens up some of the very easy early opportunities for those non-aiki applications.

I believe that, in koryu, wrist grab defenses were indeed used to free your sword. However, Sokaku Takeda's peculiar background (including his family history, his alleged sumo background and his apparent lack of formal training in jujutsu) makes me think that the grabs and techniques used in daito ryu (and even more in aikido) are meant to teach you how to deal with forces applied to your body (someone grabbing you and pushing/pulling), how to move correctly, what are the right positions and angles for kuzushi and to condition your body/joints to receive forces (this theory has been developed by E. Amdur in great detail).
That's a good point about Takeda's background (which I often forget to consider). And that's how I view the grip attacks in NGA. In fact, the actual technique, as I view it, doesn't start from the grip. The beginning of what NGA calls a "technique" is actually an entry (which could potentially be used for other techniques, as well). The entry is used to get to/create (so you can recognize it later) a position where the technique is fully available. The entry starts the kuzushi, provides protective positioning, etc. Combined into a system, these entries are the controlling and defensive movements NGA uses to get to those openings (as you said, rather than manufacturing them).

Personally, I'm a proponent of being able to manufacture openings, too, and being able to take advantage of openings for more forceful (striking or Judu-esque grappling) techniques. I think those abilities make aiki movement and technique more effective and more plausible in most situations. And I actually think that allows the practitioner to be more aiki-focused in his Aikido.
 

vince1

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O'Malley we practice sword forms/Jo forms in order to strengthen wrist grab defense along with pin pointing the many pressure points . The sword forms that I have learned so far have really helped my wrist grab techniques(flow) along with hand strength and pinpointing pressure points throughout the body. Everything we learn standing up can be applied while sitting or in a grappling scenario.
 
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