Aikido.. The reality?

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O'Malley

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Nope. You do not see the difference. There is no body-to-body connection on footage you have posted. Rokas and Olivier are talking about torso touching torso.
In the footage I posted, the body-to-body connection is between Tori (the "doer")'s shoulders and uke (the "receiver")'s extended arm and shoulder. It acts as a leverage point and allows Tori to keep the arch of uke's back. That way the arm is extended and uke cannot regain his structure. It is more obvious in the first shiho nage video I have posted (katate mochi shiho nage ni).

On that note, Rokas's version is too far in front and the initial balance breaking is wrong: he just tries to bend Oliver sideways instead of locking the shoulder to arch his posture backwards. This leaves uke stronger and exposes his back. Moreover, his bent-over posture is quite bad for power generation and gives him inferior leverage. Finally, the angle at which he does the throw is dangerous for uke: in training, it should be done straight back, not to the outside, as this can tear the shoulder joint badly. Fortunately for Enkamp, there is no shoulder-to-shoulder connection so he has the room to turn with the throw and avoid injury. Compare this with the above-mentioned katate mochi shiho nage ni video, where the throw goes straight down safely into a control position.

This thread is starting to feel a bit like The Truman Show, looking in from the outside. Its a The Rokas Show. We are following his life, noting milestones, cheering for his success
An aptly named thread indeed.
 

Gerry Seymour

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His BJJ looks pretty good, and his striking is pretty sharp. I'm not trying to stir the pot, but when I look at that video, I see a lot of what is obviously boxing, a lot of what is obviously BJJ, a lot of what is obviously pretty standard MMA training, and maybe some cross-training in Judo (which is where I would presume he learned that waki-gatame).

So, all of that said, if he has trained his aikido in such a way that it now resembles functional BJJ and Judo, good on him. Truly.
This is something Ive brought up before. Aikido in action doesnt look like the drills. Its not meant to - the drills are purposely exaggerated to emphasize (and attempt to require) specific principles. For folks who know the principles, its possible to spot some of them, but the overall look will be closer to Judo than to the drills and forms seen in most Aikido classes.

I think there are Aikidoka who dont understand this, too.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Yeah, this seems very familiar. It's circular logic. Because their Aikido didn't work, they are not skilled... because if they were skilled, it would have worked. I'm skilled, and my Aikido works, because I actually understand these fundamental concepts.

I am sincerely interested in whether Rokas could also explain these concepts to us. I'm guessing he could, but maybe not. Anyone have his email? If so, I'll email him some of the concepts outlined in this thread and ask him directly whether he learned them in his Aikido training.
Thats not the argument being made. Independent of whether proper Aikido would work or not, what Rokas comments describe is not proper Aikido. So his assessment of the art is flawed.
 
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JowGaWolf

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I think there are Aikidoka who dont understand this, too.
I don't train it, but I know this statement is true. In general it's true for all TMA. There will always be a set who don't understand what they are training and will often try to get it to do something that it was never intended to do. The first signs of this is when someone says "they fixed the technique."
 
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JowGaWolf

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Thats not the argument being made. Independent of whether proper Aikido would work or not, what Rokas comments describe is not proper Aikido. So his assessment of the art is flawed.
I think Rokas has even acknowledge this in so many words
 

Steve

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Thats not the argument being made. Independent of whether proper Aikido would work or not, what Rokas comments describe is not proper Aikido. So his assessment of the art is flawed.
Is it? I took his comments as practical, not philosophical. What it is; not what is is supposed to be. You say similar from time to time, yourself. I would suspect, if asked a few years ago, he would sound very much like an aikidoka.
 

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Is it? I took his comments as practical, not philosophical. What it is; not what is is supposed to be. You say similar from time to time, yourself. I would suspect, if asked a few years ago, he would sound very much like an aikidoka.
He missed very basic principles. So, yes, his assessment is flawed.

Mind you, I suspect his flawed development is at least partly due to flaws in the common delivery model used in Aikido.

One thing that might get in the way of our understanding each other in this is how we identify the art. As I understand BJJ, it is formless. There are principles, of course, but a fundamental background principle is to follow what works, wherever it comes from. So the training methodology pretty much is the art.

For arts with a more classical (my term) approach, the training method can vary a good deal, without it becoming a different art. So I tend to differentiate between the art (the collection of principles and classical drills) and the system (how that art is trained, which may be specific to a school).
 

drop bear

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However, aikido has fundamental principles as an art (e.g. maintain body structure, use whole-body power, enter and take the centerline, etc.) and, likewise, aikido techniques have principles that make them work mechanically (e.g. enter deeply in iriminage, which he doesn't do in that video). Rokas does not demonstrate a good grasp of these. I've found discussions from his pre-MMA-stuff period where he shared instructional videos and lots of other aikidoka would say "look it doesn't work because X, Y and Z". He never adressed the technical criticism. His poor aikido knowledge and ability puts him in a bad position to do his research. You won't know how good your vacuum cleaner is if you use it like this:

Sort of.

I like this concept when it comes to any practical application of martial arts.

And a look. I don't think aikido achieved this very well.
 

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Hanzou

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Rokas' consistent push to prove the effectiveness of Aikido is getting tiresome. Dude trained in it for over a decade and couldn't fight his way out of a paperbag. He takes BJJ and MMA for about a year and he can actually protect himself. Case closed. Let it go, or pull a Roy Dean and mix it with BJJ (which pretty much only amounts to forcing students to take insanely hard belt tests).

Also the Karate Nerd gives me hives.
 
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JowGaWolf

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Sort of.

I like this concept when it comes to any practical application of martial arts.

And a look. I don't think aikido achieved this very well.
Yeah I'm going to say no to that. I understand the value he tries to place on timing. But anyone who tells you that technique doesn't matter when doing a back flip has never done a back flip.


Timing is important, but without technique, timing won't matter. Timing needed to kick someone in the head doesn't matter if you don't have the ability to kick someone in the head. When you train MMA, Boxing, or anything else in life. You first learn technique, then you learn timing.

To break it down even more I would say.
1. Learn the technique - Concept, structure, Basics
2. Learn the applied technique - Function, structure, Basics (light sparring)
3. Learn timing - Application, Fuction, Structure, Basics (advance sparring / fighting)

Most people who aren't interested in fighting or being able to use stop at #1. Then you have the set of people who make the assumption that because they are good at #1 that they possess the skills that can only be developed by #2 and #3.

If you look at Aikido and some other TMA systems you will see that same patter where most will stop at #1. Those who get good at #1 think they have acquired Skills that can only be developed in #2 and #3. Roka's fits this. The Martial Art Tutor Fits this. DK Yoo fits this. He learned #1 and #2. But never actually applied his techniques in #3.

I do agree that timing is important. That's how slower older guys deal with faster younger guys. But if you have good timing and bad technique, you can still fail. You can have good timing to dodge a punch to your face only to find yourself catching a knee to the face.

I think I understand where the quote was going, but really didn't agree with how it was said.
 

drop bear

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Yeah I'm going to say no to that. I understand the value he tries to place on timing. But anyone who tells you that technique doesn't matter when doing a back flip has never done a back flip.


Timing is important, but without technique, timing won't matter. Timing needed to kick someone in the head doesn't matter if you don't have the ability to kick someone in the head. When you train MMA, Boxing, or anything else in life. You first learn technique, then you learn timing.

To break it down even more I would say.
1. Learn the technique - Concept, structure, Basics
2. Learn the applied technique - Function, structure, Basics (light sparring)
3. Learn timing - Application, Fuction, Structure, Basics (advance sparring / fighting)

Most people who aren't interested in fighting or being able to use stop at #1. Then you have the set of people who make the assumption that because they are good at #1 that they possess the skills that can only be developed by #2 and #3.

If you look at Aikido and some other TMA systems you will see that same patter where most will stop at #1. Those who get good at #1 think they have acquired Skills that can only be developed in #2 and #3. Roka's fits this. The Martial Art Tutor Fits this. DK Yoo fits this. He learned #1 and #2. But never actually applied his techniques in #3.

I do agree that timing is important. That's how slower older guys deal with faster younger guys. But if you have good timing and bad technique, you can still fail. You can have good timing to dodge a punch to your face only to find yourself catching a knee to the face.

I think I understand where the quote was going, but really didn't agree with how it was said.

The issue is it is easy to a point to see if a person can do a backflip.

Where with Aikido we are trying to tell without ever having all to pieces.

This is a black belt Aikido randori grading. And I couldn't even tell you what this is trying to develop.

 

drop bear

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This is something Ive brought up before. Aikido in action doesnt look like the drills. Its not meant to - the drills are purposely exaggerated to emphasize (and attempt to require) specific principles. For folks who know the principles, its possible to spot some of them, but the overall look will be closer to Judo than to the drills and forms seen in most Aikido classes.

I think there are Aikidoka who dont understand this, too.

What do you think that over emphasis achieves?

I have never heard Aikido principles to be that partner has to be the more highly trained fall guy.

Yet this sort of training leads people to develop in that way.

And you see this with stunt work. That the guy who is loosing is the guy who has put all the work in.

 
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drop bear

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Rokas' consistent push to prove the effectiveness of Aikido is getting tiresome. Dude trained in it for over a decade and couldn't fight his way out of a paperbag. He takes BJJ and MMA for about a year and he can actually protect himself. Case closed. Let it go, or pull a Roy Dean and mix it with BJJ (which pretty much only amounts to forcing students to take insanely hard belt tests).

Also the Karate Nerd gives me hives.

I think he goes about it the wrong way. Give a MMA hard charger 20 minutes to learn an Aikido move and then see if he can drop Rokus with it.

Then you see Aikido with all the relevant back of house needed to make a move work.
 

dvcochran

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What do you think that over emphasis achieves?

I have never heard Aikido principles to be that partner has to be the more highly trained fall guy.

Yet this sort of training leads people to develop in that way.

And you see this with stunt work. That the guy who is loosing is the guy who has put all the work in.

This stuntman is legit on gymnastics and Parkour stuff. MA's skills? Not so much.
That said, I imagine he could give most anyone a run for their money.
 
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JowGaWolf

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This is a black belt Aikido randori grading. And I couldn't even tell you what this is trying to develop.
Well here are some realities that would make this difficult
1. You don't train Aikido (this includes me)
2. You don't train at that school (this includes me)
3. We don't any one who trains at that school (this includes me.

Without one of those three things then it's going to be difficult to know what they are testing or what they are trying to develop. The most I can tell you is that the movements that they are doing are similar to grappling with a staff. I recognize hints of what I train (the twisting of the staff not the footwork).

Do I think it will work the way that they are showing it. No. There's a lot of of key elements missing. It would be like trying to jump over a ditch without knowing anything about the ditch or what elements that may affect it. There are key elements that will make it possible. I'm basing this on my use of a staff and I don't see it here, just hints of what it is or may be.

For example, they seize the wrist instead of the staff. I can tell you that in reality, trying to seize the hand is not the best choice, not even close. I use sliding hands on a staff that size. My hands will not be in the same position. In the video you can see that one uses sliding hands and the other doesn't. It's easier to grab the wrist or hand if they aren't moving. If the hands are sliding then you'll never be in range to grab one, unless you are in close range or grappling range. There is more stick to grab, and so a larger contact with the staff, would be better to use than to pluck the staff out of the air. After you contact the staff, you can follow it to seize the wrist if you like and depending on the technique that you are using. Side stepping a staff jab is also difficult. It's this difficult

Another key issue. Over committing. You only advance as far as you need to land the strike. This is also displayed in Aikido drills. Notice they only as far as needed to land the strike. They are not trying to run through their opponent. The energy from their flow will stop before you'll have a chance to use it against them. They understand this and practice this


Here it's easier to see that there are key elements missing. Even at a slow speed he misses the grab. The strikes used break the rules that I stated above.

Knowing the context in which they are training. Are they training against a bayonet charge? or a staff? But even Bayonet fighting advances only has far as needed to make contact. But without knowing more about what that school does, how they train and how they grade, there's no way we can say one way or the other.
 

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Honest question. Is Aikido discrete techniques or is Aikido a system?

BJJ, Judo, and Sambo... when I think of these systems, I think they're in the same family. They share many techniques, but it's the training philosophy and culture that links them. Aikido and ninjutsu share many of these same techniques, but the training models, culture, and philosophy of the styles is dramatically different.

And we can see this in the video above. A guy who purportedly uses Aikido in MMA, he trains his Aikido differently than most Aikidoka. As his training and philosophy morphs to more closely align with BJJ and Judo, his application looks just like Judo or BJJ. Indistinguishable, IMO. It no longer looks like Aikido, unsurprisingly, because the techniques are the same, but most or all of the rest is different.

Conceptually, at what point does his Aikido actually become something else, because the things that are uniquely "aikido" are all gone and what is left is Basically Just Judo.

Edit: To close the loop, I guess what I'm really asking above is, if Dan the Wolfman doesn't know anything more about Aikido than a few moves he learned from his pal (who was a Judoka)... is that really Aikido? I wouldn't have thought so.
Its a system of techniques that one should learn after already mastering other systems...those arent my words. Thats the thing people dont seem to get into their thick heads, theres plenty of things in other arts that dont work well in the street or cage.

great for him but Im talking about Dan the Wolfman AND youre not suppose to use certain techniques from Aikido in mma...no small joint manipulation.

also I dont get this attitude, well it doesnt work in a cafe it must not work at all...the cops, prison guards, bouncers make it work because it works against drunks or layman. I once heard someone say that, I was like huh, Lol huh, is every guy in a fight suppose to be a wrestling champ etc?

people make this huge thing about BJJ as though its the end all be all, though I actually speak to masters who say thats not so and one needs to learn how to defend against say multiple attackers.

also for some reason you assume Dan the wolfman Doesnt know aikido...lol. Thats another big thing in this forum, goal post moving. Well aikido doesnt work, oh well it doesnt work in mma, well that guys not an aikido expert.

Dan the wolfman used Aikido in mma, is he a black be,t in the system? No but he has Several black belts and trains to this day,

also his friend you mentioned...you mean Judo Gene Lebell...who helped train Ronda Rousey?
 
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JowGaWolf

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I think he goes about it the wrong way. Give a MMA hard charger 20 minutes to learn an Aikido move and then see if he can drop Rokus with it.
It'll take longer than 20 minutes. lol. But I get your point. I think the difference there is the training mentality. An MMA fighter would be more likely to practice the technique in sparring and will continue to work it until he understands it enough to get the right timing and situation for the technique. But I think that's true with anyone that does this with their training.

I watch Roka's spar with the karate guy and he's still trying to do the technique with the same approach where he's trying to grab a jab out of the air. I believe that in Aikido the movement is against a strike going to the body and not a jab going to the face. If I were going to try that technique, then I would think of punches where the strike is targeting that area. Then test to see if the technique works against any of those punch.

Maybe the technique is easier against these types of punches. I'm just guessing because I've never tried to grab a punch in the way that Rokas is trying to grab it. If look at this picture then I would need to spin off the center line and grab wrist as I move off center line. Maybe my opponent will turn his punch into a long guard in an effort to keep distance. This should give me enough time to complete the grab. But it's all theory for me until I can learn the technique then try to use it in sparring.
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JowGaWolf

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Thats another big thing in this forum, goal post moving.
umm I take offense sir. I don't move the goal post. I change the subject ha ha ha ha. but yeah. goal post moving is a thing here lol
 

Steve

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Its a system of techniques that one should learn after already mastering other systems...those arent my words. Thats the thing people dont seem to get into their thick heads, theres plenty of things in other arts that dont work well in the street or cage.

great for him but Im talking about Dan the Wolfman AND youre not suppose to use certain techniques from Aikido in mma...no small joint manipulation.

also I dont get this attitude, well it doesnt work in a cafe it must not work at all...the cops, prison guards, bouncers make it work because it works against drunks or layman. I once heard someone say that, I was like huh, Lol huh, is every guy in a fight suppose to be a wrestling champ etc?

people make this huge thing about BJJ as though its the end all be all, though I actually speak to masters who say thats not so and one needs to learn how to defend against say multiple attackers.

also for some reason you assume Dan the wolfman Doesnt know aikido...lol. Thats another big thing in this forum, goal post moving. Well aikido doesnt work, oh well it doesnt work in mma, well that guys not an aikido expert.

Dan the wolfman used Aikido in mma, is he a black be,t in the system? No but he has Several black belts and trains to this day,

also his friend you mentioned...you mean Judo Gene Lebell...who helped train Ronda Rousey?
If it helps, let's just start with you winning the argument. I'm fine with that. So, no more goal posts to move since we all know who won. :)

Regarding Dan the Wolfman, yeah, I do think it's a valid question whether he actually knew any aikido. I know how to do an RNC. Do I know ninjutsu, aikido, judo, or sambo? They all teach the same technique. So, yeah, it doesn't make sense to me that Dan learns a trick and then says he knows Aikido. I don't get it. Maybe you could explain it to me.

And regarding Gene LeBell... yeah, the famous judoka. I had know idea he was an aikidoka. Is that what you're suggesting? Not saying it's wrong... just saying I've never heard it before. News to me, and a quick google search didn't turn up anything linking Gene LeBell and aikido. So, if you could point me to some information, I would appreciate it. I'm curious.

Regarding BJJ, if it works, it's BJJ.
What do you think that over emphasis achieves?

I have never heard Aikido principles to be that partner has to be the more highly trained fall guy.

Yet this sort of training leads people to develop in that way.

And you see this with stunt work. That the guy who is loosing is the guy who has put all the work in.

That is a great video. Really fun to watch that guy fall with style.

As I was watching that video, it occurred to me that falling is one thing aikidoka actually do train a lot. They fall a lot, and with style. I bet aikido, along with tricking, parkour, and TKD, would be an excellent compliment to stunt work. It wouldn't surprise me at all if we learned that many of them do train in aikido.
 

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What do you think that over emphasis achieves?

I have never heard Aikido principles to be that partner has to be the more highly trained fall guy.

Yet this sort of training leads people to develop in that way.

And you see this with stunt work. That the guy who is loosing is the guy who has put all the work in.

The exaggeration is to force/emphasize body movement in a specific way. The idea is that it's hard to lean on other principles when moving that way (those other principles being a solid foundation, but lacking what makes it "aiki").

I find this difficult to explain, because it's never been something expressed in words in my training - the folks I discuss it with know some of the same drills and exercises I do, and we're able to discuss it with that shared experience. And, yes, I see that lack of verbal explanation as a hole in my training. I know how to develop the principles, and once a student gets them a little, we can talk about them more easily. But I lack the vocabulary to discuss it well with anyone who hasn't studied it deeply. That bugs me.

Back to your point, the over-cooperation is partly due to the exaggeration of the drills, and partly due to how exposed uke's joints are in some of the techniques. They are trained to protect their joints by going for the fall, but I'm not sure enough of them learn to recognize when it wouldn't have worked, to be able to either not go for the fall, or to at least express to their partner afterwards that the lock wasn't there. And many people get so cooperative they fall even when they're not being properly controlled. That last part can absolutely be fixed with some regular resistive training - it breaks the habit.
 
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