Aikido has no reason to prove itself!

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,355
Reaction score
5,296
I'm wondering how likely that is. Someone who has experience with real fights would know BS if someone was trying to teach it to them. I imagine that the kind of person that would be fooled by an ineffective art would be very unlikely to find themselves in a situation where they would have to use it.

I am going to say that surprisingly doesn't happen.

People who have been in real fights are just as susceptible to being convinced as anyone else.
 

Hanshi

Green Belt
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
141
Reaction score
87
Location
Virginia
I've been in the martial arts for at least 60 years; and if there's one thing I've learned it's that NO empty hand martial art works. The only thing that will work is the man/woman using that art. It's the most determined person and not the better trained or experienced person that will prevail in an encounter, the exception that is usually the rule.

I taught aikido for years and had students who used it in real situations and prevailed. Aikido goes from mild to wild and yes some teach it as an art form rather than a martial art. I learned it as a martial art. O'sensei once said "atemi is 90% of aikido. I do not believe he was referring simply to raining blows on the opponent but rather that forceful manipulation of the opponent could be used as a means to an end. I guess this attitude is of a recognition of "hard style vs soft style" approach.
 
OP
J

Jaz

Yellow Belt
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
28
Reaction score
9
Morihei Ueshiba developed Aikido as a functional system, following world war 2 he became a pacifist and neutered most of the system and began presenting it as an esoteric lesson in conflict for the world. The pre war and world war 2 students were experienced martial artists, Ueshiba taught Aikido as a practical skill set to the Japanese military and helped formalize the doctrine for the Japanese clandestine services at the Nakano school in Manchuria. Until his post war crisis of faith with ultra nationalism, Aikido was developed as a "secret weapon" to teach the Japanese people and to convey "yamato-damashii" or the spirit of ancient Japan as understood by the nationalists.

This said, functional Aikido was taught to experienced martial artists who understood fighting and already had a good idea about how everything worked. It was never taught alone but as an additive to blend the various styles of Budo together into a "next level" Japanese warrior who could embody the highest ideals of his people. Think, racist, ultra-nationalist Jedi. Aikido was a bridge between arts, that's why it has a very small toolkit of highly situational techniques. The main takeaway from Aikido is the movement, methods of entering/exiting/blending, etc.

Problem is, we have all the post war baggage and a century of abuse and neglect and Aikido being taught out of context. The system does need to figure out what it wants to be and it needs to update itself with more modern training if it wants to be viewed as practical.
You raised some good points. I guess that Aikido could go through an evolution process, where the aim is to make it effective against a resisting opponent. Even with the foot work, it's incredibly difficult for an Aikidoka to maintain the required distance for Aikido to work. Basically, would Aikido start to become more like Judo or BJJ? If that's the case, you might as well just go and train in one of those arts. Aikido seems so far behind, it might as well remain as a philosophical art, rather than try to evolve into a combat system.
 

Shatteredzen

Purple Belt
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
378
Reaction score
106
You raised some good points. I guess that Aikido could go through an evolution process, where the aim is to make it effective against a resisting opponent. Even with the foot work, it's incredibly difficult for an Aikidoka to maintain the required distance for Aikido to work. Basically, would Aikido start to become more like Judo or BJJ? If that's the case, you might as well just go and train in one of those arts. Aikido seems so far behind, it might as well remain as a philosophical art, rather than try to evolve into a combat system.

Aikido is its own thing, its an entirely different way to deal with conflict and its techniques are all very niche because it is not trying to do what BJJ and Judo do. It was originally taught as a bridge between the different "Budo" and I think that's where it should remain. Aikido can and should adopt modern training methods against resistant opponents and it should attempt to refine itself but I don't think it suffers any more than other TMA in that respect, it is being held back by an unwillingness from its community to change and update itself. What Aikido needs is schools focusing on doing the work to bring it up to modern times, if that happens, I think you will see much more "practical" Aikido.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
18,276
Reaction score
3,893
Location
Covington, WA
But is it perceived to have substance? Because that's what's going to attract people to something. If people see that something is "MAC Approved," and they have no idea what that means, then it's not going to matter to them.
I think you're both right, which gets back to my original point. Accrediting bodies are only as credible and prestigious as they are perceived to be. I think of JD Powers awards... some time about a decade ago, a car company added a line to their commercial about how they were given the JD Powers award for excellence. I'd never heard of it before. But now, apparently, it's a big deal. I have not once looked them up to figure out why that is.

So, @Dirty Dog comes up with his training and certification, and a school says, "MAC certified as AAA Self Defense certified." It's credibility is pretty subjective.

Aikido is its own thing, its an entirely different way to deal with conflict and its techniques are all very niche because it is not trying to do what BJJ and Judo do. It was originally taught as a bridge between the different "Budo" and I think that's where it should remain. Aikido can and should adopt modern training methods against resistant opponents and it should attempt to refine itself but I don't think it suffers any more than other TMA in that respect, it is being held back by an unwillingness from its community to change and update itself. What Aikido needs is schools focusing on doing the work to bring it up to modern times, if that happens, I think you will see much more "practical" Aikido.

We see karateka ramp up to functional skill in relatively short order. We see kung fu practitioners ramp up to functional skill in relatively short order. TKD, too. I've yet to see any Aikidoka do the same. I agree with you that Aikido would benefit from a more practical training approach, but it's demonstrably behind just about every other TMA style around, with the possible exception of budo taijutsu.
 

Shatteredzen

Purple Belt
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
378
Reaction score
106
I think you're both right, which gets back to my original point. Accrediting bodies are only as credible and prestigious as they are perceived to be. I think of JD Powers awards... some time about a decade ago, a car company added a line to their commercial about how they were given the JD Powers award for excellence. I'd never heard of it before. But now, apparently, it's a big deal. I have not once looked them up to figure out why that is.

So, @Dirty Dog comes up with his training and certification, and a school says, "MAC certified as AAA Self Defense certified." It's credibility is pretty subjective.



We see karateka ramp up to functional skill in relatively short order. We see kung fu practitioners ramp up to functional skill in relatively short order. TKD, too. I've yet to see any Aikidoka do the same. I agree with you that Aikido would benefit from a more practical training approach, but it's demonstrably behind just about every other TMA style around, with the possible exception of budo taijutsu.
I'm not arguing with you here, it perhaps has the farthest to go of the Budo arts, I'm simply saying there is a baby in the bath water. I also don't advocate training it alone but as a bridge between multiple styles. I've never viewed Aikido as some holistic or particularly dangerous system, its a small tool kit for stuff not covered in the other budo and it adds another layer of complexity and refinement to dealing with combat as well as perspective. In context, Aikido is a methodology more so than a style unto itself. The big problem comes from outside perceptions of what others think Aikido should be or is and poor attempts on the part of the Aikido community to make Aikido something it isn't for outside validation.

I remember having these same arguments about TKD back in the late 90's, early 2000's about how it was not functional at all, a double leg takedown was all that was needed to wreck shop on anyone kicking over their waist, etc. It's fairly common within the martial arts community for a small but loud percentage of the population to rush into whatever is new, popular and shiny and to then loudly proclaim their choice of style's superiority (and by proxy, their own) as if most of this stuff had no basis in reality or practical fighting. The reality is actually that most of this stuff has practical application and comes from a place of hard earned experience, what separates function from form is training and the individual fighter.

The same cognitive dissonance in someone who has just taken some Aikido classes thinking they can equate their skills to MMA is the same as the student of BJJ or MMA who takes a class or two every week and draws a logical line to infer that they can replicate the results of professional athletes they see on TV or execute their techniques with the same skill that they see from the guys doing Youtube videos. Would you take a spin class at your local senior center and then assume you were ready for the tour de France? The guys I know who train to actually use their martial arts don't just go to class once a week, they aren't learning their first or even second martial art in their twenties or older. But now we are talking about a limited sub set of the population, less than a percent, with the spirit and dedication to train and use their martial arts in some kind of "live" format, either in the ring or on the street.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
18,276
Reaction score
3,893
Location
Covington, WA
I'm not arguing with you here, it perhaps has the farthest to go of the Budo arts, I'm simply saying there is a baby in the bath water. I also don't advocate training it alone but as a bridge between multiple styles. I've never viewed Aikido as some holistic or particularly dangerous system, its a small tool kit for stuff not covered in the other budo and it adds another layer of complexity and refinement to dealing with combat as well as perspective. In context, Aikido is a methodology more so than a style unto itself. The big problem comes from outside perceptions of what others think Aikido should be or is and poor attempts on the part of the Aikido community to make Aikido something it isn't for outside validation.

I remember having these same arguments about TKD back in the late 90's, early 2000's about how it was not functional at all, a double leg takedown was all that was needed to wreck shop on anyone kicking over their waist, etc. It's fairly common within the martial arts community for a small but loud percentage of the population to rush into whatever is new, popular and shiny and to then loudly proclaim their choice of style's superiority (and by proxy, their own) as if most of this stuff had no basis in reality or practical fighting. The reality is actually that most of this stuff has practical application and comes from a place of hard earned experience, what separates function from form is training and the individual fighter.

The same cognitive dissonance in someone who has just taken some Aikido classes thinking they can equate their skills to MMA is the same as the student of BJJ or MMA who takes a class or two every week and draws a logical line to infer that they can replicate the results of professional athletes they see on TV or execute their techniques with the same skill that they see from the guys doing Youtube videos. Would you take a spin class at your local senior center and then assume you were ready for the tour de France? The guys I know who train to actually use their martial arts don't just go to class once a week, they aren't learning their first or even second martial art in their twenties or older. But now we are talking about a limited sub set of the population, less than a percent, with the spirit and dedication to train and use their martial arts in some kind of "live" format, either in the ring or on the street.
It's actually quite the opposite. Everyone I've ever known who has trained in a style like wrestling, boxing, bjj, judo, mma, etc has a very realistic understanding of their own skill level. This is a wonderful benefit of getting crushed every class by people who are more skilled than you are.
 

Shatteredzen

Purple Belt
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
378
Reaction score
106
It's actually quite the opposite. Everyone I've ever known who has trained in a style like wrestling, boxing, bjj, judo, mma, etc has a very realistic understanding of their own skill level. This is a wonderful benefit of getting crushed every class by people who are more skilled than you are.
Not really, in my experience, its young and inexperienced fighters who call out other styles and take positions like "(insert martial art here) doesn't work." People who have been in real fights tend to not take the road of the absolutist.
 

Cynik75

Green Belt
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
112
Reaction score
39
Not really, in my experience, its young and inexperienced fighters who call out other styles and take positions like "(insert martial art here) doesn't work." People who have been in real fights tend to not take the road of the absolutist.

I think, Steve was talking about constatn sparings during class, not about so called "real fights". (In da streetz, madafaka :))
 

Urban Trekker

Purple Belt
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
302
Reaction score
80
Location
Hampton, VA
Not really, in my experience, its young and inexperienced fighters who call out other styles and take positions like "(insert martial art here) doesn't work." People who have been in real fights tend to not take the road of the absolutist.
Oh, Jesus. This is like saying "real men carry purses" or "real men do (insert thing usually associated with women here)." It takes someone from a rural area to say something like this. I tell you what: go the nearest hood and show a few guys there some videos of aikido. Then ask them if they're intimidated by it.
 
Last edited:

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
18,276
Reaction score
3,893
Location
Covington, WA
I think, Steve was talking about constatn sparings during class, not about so called "real fights". (In da streetz, madafaka :))
Yeah, getting smashed by pretty much everyone cultivates a realistic understanding of your relative skill level. But that's all made possible through application. A BJJ school that discourages competition and doesn't engage with the larger BJJ community will see skill level diminish very quickly. Within a few generations of black belts, I would expect that school to feel a lot like how @Shatteredzen describes Aikido schools. Fortunately, this doesn't happen often and where it does, the schools are well known.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,506
Reaction score
2,937
Location
San Francisco
I tell you what: go the nearest hood and show a few guys there some videos of aikido. Then ask them if they're intimidated by it.
Interesting.

I’m having some difficulty grasping how this is at all relevant. Go to someone’s neighborhood, show some random fellows a video and ask them if it frightens them. Somehow, their response is supposed to guide my choice of what martial art I should train?

interesting.
 

Urban Trekker

Purple Belt
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
302
Reaction score
80
Location
Hampton, VA
Interesting.

I’m having some difficulty grasping how this is at all relevant. Go to someone’s neighborhood, show some random fellows a video and ask them if it frightens them. Somehow, their response is supposed to guide my choice of what martial art I should train?

interesting.
Please quote where I or Cynik75 were discussing choosing a martial art.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,506
Reaction score
2,937
Location
San Francisco
Please quote where I or Cynik75 were discussing choosing a martial art.
It’s implied in what you stated, that how these fellows might react to it is what determines its value and would inform what is worth training.

I do feel like you know that already, though.
 

Urban Trekker

Purple Belt
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
302
Reaction score
80
Location
Hampton, VA
It’s implied in what you stated, that how these fellows might react to it is what determines its value and would inform what is worth training.

I do feel like you know that already, though.

Um, no. Cynik75 claimed that people with real fighting experience don't look at a martial art and say whether or not it's effective. I was giving my rebuttal to that claim. Stay on topic!
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,506
Reaction score
2,937
Location
San Francisco
Um, no. Cynik75 claimed that people with real fighting experience don't look at a martial art and say whether or not it's effective. I was giving my rebuttal to that claim. Stay on topic!
Um, no. Cynik75 claimed that people with real fighting experience don't look at a martial art and say whether or not it's effective. I was giving my rebuttal to that claim. Stay on topic!
Um no, you made the comment in response to something said by @Shatteredzen.

so can you explain to me in simple, easy to understand terms (i am getting old and my brain isn’t as sharp as it once was) why anyone should be concerned with how some random fellows in a neighborhood might react to a video of a martial art? Why would that be meaningful?
 

Urban Trekker

Purple Belt
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
302
Reaction score
80
Location
Hampton, VA
Um no, you made the comment in response to something said by @Shatteredzen.
Okay, I got the wrong guy. No biggie.
so can you explain to me in simple, easy to understand terms (i am getting old and my brain isn’t as sharp as it once was) why anyone should be concerned with how some random fellows in a neighborhood might react to a video of a martial art? Why would that be meaningful?
No. I'm handing you a big fat W to the argument with me that's going on in your own mind. You win. I refuse to defend a point that I never tried to make.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,506
Reaction score
2,937
Location
San Francisco
I tell you what: go the nearest hood and show a few guys there some videos of aikido. Then ask them if they're intimidated by it.
I’ll try this one more time, and take a different approach: can you explain a little more clearly, what you mean by this statement?
 
Top