bad rap on aikido

Manny

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Aikido is one of the most elegant martial arts, I think aikido can be efective in a real situation on life and death on the streets, I studied very little aikido so many years ago.

I've been hearing in my MA circle of friends that aikido is not efective, that's almost like a dance and the moves of aikido are beautiful executed oside dojo (but not practical outside dojeo) using the help of the partners and that techs are very softh. I told my friends that is true the aikidokas help their partner in the techs because if not bones will be broken, back will be severely damaged and even one can collpse from a trow or take down.

From my point of view and akidoka defending from an average joe bad *** can send him to the ground easily in pain, the average punk does not know how to break a fall.

What can you tell me about your elegant MA? have you ever used aikido to put down a scumbag?

Manny
 

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Unfortunately, this "my dad can beat up your dad" argument goes on in every system, sometimes in the same family. Funny thing is quite a few of those styles use the SAME joint locks as Aikido. When they use them, it's effective; when Aikidoka do it-it's "soft" or "won't work." It's all garbage! When I worked a security job for a few years, one of my co-workers was strictly an Aikido practitioner. He never had a single issue using it for real--continuously. And lord knows- you NEVER see partners "help" each other out in any of the other styles. Some of those styles just have the attacker stand there for multiple strikes.
 
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Manny

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I am more an striker (TKD/KENPO) but definetively I use a lot of wrist/elbow control on my self defese techs, sadly one of my senseis once said what I wrote early in this post.

I am a person who listens and sometimes I give my opininon, I think that any MA can be good if the person using it knows how to use it well.

Talking about the "my dan can beat your dad" argument it only reflects the lack of knowledge about other MA's, and I think a person who rides in that kind of arguments can't be a good martial artist.

I train in TKD and learning Kenpo and love them but this not blinds me to recognice there are some good martial arts out there.

Aikido is martial art I want to try again.

Manny
 
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Manny

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BTW I've been listening bad rap about Tae kwon Do too, something like this.... TKD is good for sport only, TKD kicks are awesome for show only, TKD people doen't know how to punch or defende themselves from punches, kicks are slower, etc,etc and I can tell you, Sport TKD is a nice thing, flashy-jumping-high kicks are awesome for the show... HOWEVER I will never kick on the streets to head level, never will use on the streets jumping flashing kicks. What I will use in the streets are the basic kicks coupled with fists,knife hands,take downs,wrist,elbow and shoulder locks,etc,etc. The sport side of TKD is very nice but the very efective thing about TKD is what you don't see on T.V. or movies.

I think Aikido done properly can be as good as any other MA.

Manny
 

K-man

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I've been hearing in my MA circle of friends that aikido is not efective, that's almost like a dance and the moves of aikido are beautiful executed oside dojo (but not practical outside dojeo) using the help of the partners and that techs are very softh. I told my friends that is true the aikidokas help their partner in the techs because if not bones will be broken, back will be severely damaged and even one can collpse from a trow or take down.
I use aikido training to better understand my karate but I have no doubt that straight aikido will work on the street against a committed attacker.
Most of the aikido training people see are training exercises, not a reality based defense. By the same token, most of the karate training we do is also training exercise and it could easily be argued that karate would not be effective on the street. Fact is no martial art will be 100% effective on the street unless training involves some understanding of the adrenalin dump that will occur in a real attack. I believe that most MAs will be reasonably effective in a street situation, just that an aikido student will take longer to get to an effective level as the training is more complex. I have heard it said that aikido is the thinking persons martial art. Problem is, in the real life scenario there is little time to think.
As to the complying partner. Yes, it happens and unfortunately it happens in demonstrations. People throw themselves all over the place like acrobats in a circus. However, learning to receive is important as it stops physical clashing and the next step from there is to learn how to reverse techniques. In this case you can't clash or you end up in a power struggle. That is not what aikido is about. Unfortunately few practitioners get to the level that they teach reversals and I have never seen then done in demonstrations.
 

Andy Moynihan

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Well whenever I hear the accusation that Aikido doesn't work, my first response is "Which Aikido?"

The Hombu style which I guess is headed up By Uyeshiba's son? The freaky Omoto-kyo cultish religion type? Yoshinkan? Yoseikan? Nihon Goshin? Tomiki-Ryu?

Does no one remember that when Uyeshiba had taught his main few disciples all he had, that he then told them each to go "find their own Aikido?"

"Oh, but there's an overreliance on cooperative partners" Well find one of the Pre-epiphany schools.

"But you don't get to pressure test because there's no competitive or randori aspect" No? Go check out Tomiki-Ryu which DOES have randori.

If you find yourself curious about Aikido's principles of efficiency--go try it. If you like it but you know what's missing, go add it. What's hard?

Remember--Judo has a pretty good reputation in MMA circles who are ostensibly a hard assed bunch. And Judo's founder, Jigoro Kano, back in the way back when before all this splintering occurred, Went and saw Uyeshiba give a demonstration of Aikido( though I'm unclear if this is what he called it by this time), approached Uyeshiba afterward, and said to him "This is what I was trying to do ".
 

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BTW I've been listening bad rap about Tae kwon Do too, something like this.... TKD is good for sport only, TKD kicks are awesome for show only, TKD people doen't know how to punch or defende themselves from punches, kicks are slower, etc,etc and I can tell you, Sport TKD is a nice thing, flashy-jumping-high kicks are awesome for the show... HOWEVER I will never kick on the streets to head level, never will use on the streets jumping flashing kicks. What I will use in the streets are the basic kicks coupled with fists,knife hands,take downs,wrist,elbow and shoulder locks,etc,etc. The sport side of TKD is very nice but the very efective thing about TKD is what you don't see on T.V. or movies.

I think Aikido done properly can be as good as any other MA.

Manny
Hey I have question. How come you guys would not use head kicks in a no rule/street situation?

Isn't headkick easier to do to someone who has no experience on blocking them?
I do realize someone can come in on your kicks... but I would think with a high level kicker. His distancing, timing, and setup would guarantee a hit on an inexperienced guy. Good round house to the head is a good way to get an early KO, eh?
 

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There are no guarantees, that kind of overconfidence gets people beat or killed. How would you know your opponent is inexperienced until it was too late?

Do you commonly wear pants that would allow you to do a head kick? I don't have those Chuck Norris jeans with the gusset.

If you're wearing something that will allow a head kick, and you're fast and powerful with it maybe it would work. But high kicks are much riskier than low kicks. What could go wrong with a high kick? What if they grab it? If you're lucky you end up on the ground, what gets exposed for a counter when you have one foot up at head height? Compare those risks to knee or thigh high kicks.
 

Bruno@MT

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The problem with aikido in many places is that it is really not practiced in a 'martial' way but in a 'here is my hand, do something with it' kind of way.

I've seen aikido demonstrations that were truly horrible. Bad form, no sense for maai, no spirit. Among the participants in a public demo, I saw 1 wristwatch and several piercings, earrings and wedding rings, and the people not actively participating in the demo were sitting with their legs crossed, feet pointing towards the kamidana, chatting with ech other and not paying attention. And the punches were no punches, it was the presentation of a hand on a silver platter. When they did something with a bokken, they were standing in kamae, but way too close, in a way that the tip nearly touched the other guys nose. It really looked like a simple rehearsed drill that had zero intensity and zero feeling.

I've thought about that for a while, and while there is room to argue about the importance of etiquette, I think that the real problem of such aikido (or ninpo or whatever) is this: if you don't have to worry about getting hit if you do something wrong, then whatever you are doing loses all meaning and degenerates into something that deserves neither the moniker 'martial' or 'art'.

Granted, this does not apply to aikido in general. I've seen effective aikido as well. But I've also seen the way in which it was practiced, and that was with intent. It just seems that this intent is missing from many aikido dojo.
 

dancingalone

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Good post, Bruno. I was about to write up much the same thoughts, but you've saved me the effort.
 
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Manny

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Hey I have question. How come you guys would not use head kicks in a no rule/street situation?

Isn't headkick easier to do to someone who has no experience on blocking them?
I do realize someone can come in on your kicks... but I would think with a high level kicker. His distancing, timing, and setup would guarantee a hit on an inexperienced guy. Good round house to the head is a good way to get an early KO, eh?

Tanaka, I am a midle age man who can kick nastly from toes to midsection, however high kicks to the head are dificult to me to achieve properly, so I kick below the head to ensure a good hit. Take note too that a high kick to the head it's easier to grab than a kick to the groin,tight or even stomach. I am not as quick and flexible as I was before, that's why I preferr low to mid section kicks for self defence aplications.

When I got inside Kenpo I asked my sensei if kenpo had kicks to the head and he answered me: " Oh yeah, sure, we kick to the head... once we bend the bad guy with another kick or punch or when the bad guy is on the floor", as you may see we have kicks to the head.....this makes sence to me.

Manny
 
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Manny

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I have to admit the aikido I've been seing live (not internet) is the kind of dance I wrote before,where all the moves are softh and with not hurt intention and this what the people sees , I know deep in my heart a good trow from an aikidoka can be debastating but as you mentioned here one must train the way we train.

Few months ago I went to an aikido dojo and chated a while with the sensei, at some point of our conversation he asked why I wanted aikdio classes, I answered to learn self defense, the sensei told me that dojo was not the adecuate cause he teaches to live in harmony and how to overcome the problems in life but if I wanted self defense classes I need to go another place. I was a little despointed cause AikiDo is a martial art, isn't it? If I want to be in harmony I could go to Yoga classes.

Any how I think Aikido is something good for self defense and it has it's aplications.

Manny
 

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I don't practice TKD, but I do spend a lot of time on high kicks in karate. I wouldn't use them deliberatly (maybe by reflex though) in a real fight for two reasons - first, because my hips and low back don't always cooperate, so why chance a crappy kick when I could do something I know is effective, but mostly, because it increases the potential for losing my balance exponentially, either by miscalculation or because the opponent caught my leg. Better just to take out the knees and call it a day if you ask me.

I began practicing Aikido a year ago (I've been studying karate for 7 years, and still am), and one thing that has always frustrated me is that many of the people I train with don't know how to attack effectively.
Some of the students also have a hard time receiving a real attack. I use proper techniques on anyone I can, but there are a number of people I have to hold back on because they have never been trained to take a punch, so if they fail to get out of the way I'll end up hurting them - which maybe be acceptable in a Karate dojo, but is absolutely not in an Aikido dojo.

Aikido is a strictly defensive art, so training people to really hit goes against its fundamental philosophy. You could argue that this makes Aikido unrealistic, but in a good dojo this is accounted for. My own Sensei has various ways of compensating for it, and he does make a point of correcting people who are particularly ineffective in their attacks if it means their partner can't train the Aikido properly. He also uses the more skilled students to demonstrate whatever we're working on so that he can really throw them around, and despite my beginner status will get me up there sometimes to show people what a focused attack might actually look like.

As far as overreliance on cooperative partners goes, he has a system for that as well, where we start each pairing going easy on each other to get a feel for things and end with full resistance for more realistic practice. In my experience that kind of "scaling" is very effective for training purposes and it seems to work well enough here.

Whether or not Aikido is effective outside the dojo? I would say yes, absolutely, with the usual caveats of "with proper practice" and "after training for, like, ever". There have been many times when the better Aikido students have surprised me with the ease with which a properly executed technique can take me down - it is one thing to see it done, and quite another to be on the receiving end. I pretty much "know what I'm doing" as far as fighting goes, and there are plenty of Aikido techniques I am hard pressed to get out of if they are done right.

There are arguments for and against the effectiveness of every martial art. Many traditions require us to some degree to buy into the myth that the way we are training is the best way. Even when they don't, sometimes its just the love of our own art talking. Whatever the reason, none of its really true - nothing is 100% guaranteed effective. We all know it. The fact is there is just no accounting for what may or may not happen on the street. Any number of variables come into play when two (or more) people come together in situation of violence - trained? how? armed? buddies? witnesses? Every "real" fight is unique to its situation and the people in it.

Stastically speaking we know certain types of violence occur more often than others so we can take steps to prepare ourselves for them, but there is no guarantee that these are what will happen to you should something happen to you. What makes one art better than another for a real situation, when there is no telling how a real situation will come down? They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Many of us train multiple arts for that very reason. Every style has something to teach.
 

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Aikido is a strictly defensive art, so training people to really hit goes against its fundamental philosophy.
I agree with most of what was in your post but have to debate two points.
I don't believe aikido has to be purely defensive. It is possible to use aikido as an attack by using similar attacking techniques that we use in karate. Certain attacks are almost certain to provide a predictable response at which point you enter and perform your aikido technique.
The other thing is that aikido does use atemi and it depends on the school or your sensei as to what degree atemi is taught and at what level of your training. We train it all the time as it could be the difference between being able to perform the technique or failure. With a karate background it is easy to incorporate atemi.
 

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We seem to have drifted slightly away from the question about who has used Aikido to put down a scumbag (for the record I have not needed to do so).

Few months ago I went to an aikido dojo and chated a while with the sensei, at some point of our conversation he asked why I wanted aikdio classes, I answered to learn self defense, the sensei told me that dojo was not the adecuate cause he teaches to live in harmony

It has been said on a different Aikido thread that the definition of what harmony is will vary widely between Aikido styles and sometimes between one instructor and another within a given style. I have some background in Nihon Goshin and Yoshinkan styles and my personal experience has not been that we seek the peace, love, and joy kind of harmony. Rather, we harmonize with the scumbag's intent. So if someone is intent on fighting you and they push you then you can pull them and take them further in the same the direction than they had intended to go and lead them into a throw. If you're in close and they want to straighten their arm out then you act to extend it even further than they wanted to go and you now have a joint lock.

I am fortunate enough to be training with an instructor who has a strong background in striking arts and he teaches about proper striking technique, distance, and keeping your guard up along with the Aikido techniques. If you decide to join an Aikido dojo you may find a teacher like this or, failing that, there may be other students with a striking background who will be willing to work with you on those skills.
 

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My thought on this is that youtube helps put a bad rap to this style as a lot of stuff on there just looks rubish.

Being a Wing Chun student I know of this too well as we get the same rap from youtube videos due to those with no experience just going up and making WC videos or then again labeling it a certain style when its not.

Then again it may not just be our too arts Im sure other arts have the same problem. That the videos people see are not real life situations and there for they cant see the forrest for the trees.

Like bruce said, Its like a finger pointing toward the moon...

Too many people do concentrate on that finger and miss the art itself.
 

Tez3

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My thought on this is that youtube helps put a bad rap to this style as a lot of stuff on there just looks rubish.

Being a Wing Chun student I know of this too well as we get the same rap from youtube videos due to those with no experience just going up and making WC videos or then again labeling it a certain style when its not.

Then again it may not just be our too arts Im sure other arts have the same problem. That the videos people see are not real life situations and there for they cant see the forrest for the trees.

Like bruce said, Its like a finger pointing toward the moon...

Too many people do concentrate on that finger and miss the art itself.


How very true!!
We seem to have a cluster of threads at the moment that are basically all saying well I've heard ....(insert art here) doesn't work. it's far too great a generalisation to say an art doesn't work when there are so many instructors and differences in even the same styles out there. I've seen a TKD instructor teach complete nonsense but that was him, he would teach any style badly! It had nothing to do with the style,though it may say something about the organisation than promoted him, he's a very bad instructor. I've seen and trained with very good TKD instructors too. I know little about Aikido other than we do a fair few techniques from that style both in karate and MMA. I went to a seminar once where someone from Aikido assumed my black belt was in Aikido and sent me flying during a technique we were learning, I landed badly having no idea of how to breakfall at the time, I had concussion and had to miss the rest of the seminar so if that proves it works?
The advice to every beginner is the same, check out schools/clubs and instructors, see if it's for you etc, the advice should be the same for those doubting the abilities of styles, check it out, investigate and see for yourself who makes what work.
 

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Speaking on a similar note. I found a new light in my Aikido training. I won a free two week class at another school that taught a punching and kicking art. I decided to go and I thought it was a good work out. At the end they did a self defense technique where someone chokes you from behind and pulls you back. They showed the defense and when I went to work on I reacted, turned with the motion, locked up the guys wrist, bent his arm at the elbow and stopped at the point of throwing him. I am use to people rolling with it, but the guy had panic on his face and was making a sound due to the pain. I apologized, but I usually never work out with people who do not know what is going to happen once I started technique. I was impressed that I reacted, the technique worked, the person was in pain, and they wanted to learn more about what I was doing. It would have been nice to incorporate their moves with the Aikido I know due to the fact that sometimes I make a mistake and the energy goes bye, bye and then its a knee to the Uke's groin or face, but the school was a little on the pricy side.

-Gary
 

K-man

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.... the technique worked, the person was in pain, and they wanted to learn more about what I was doing. It would have been nice to incorporate their moves with the Aikido I know due to the fact that sometimes I make a mistake and the energy goes bye, bye and then its a knee to the Uke's groin or face, but the school was a little on the pricy side.

-Gary
I learn aikido for that very reason, to incorporate the aikido techniques into my karate. If you are BB in aikido you could offer to teach those guys some aikido in return for a reduced tuition fee in their school. I've done that and it can work well. You need to be competent because the 'punching, kicking guys' will test you! I had one instance where I used a 3rd dan aikidoka in my karate class and he couldn't make his moves work against resistance. Bad news all round! What that really means is, stick to techniques that you know well and that don't require a compliant partner.
 
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Manny

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Speaking on a similar note. I found a new light in my Aikido training. I won a free two week class at another school that taught a punching and kicking art. I decided to go and I thought it was a good work out. At the end they did a self defense technique where someone chokes you from behind and pulls you back. They showed the defense and when I went to work on I reacted, turned with the motion, locked up the guys wrist, bent his arm at the elbow and stopped at the point of throwing him. I am use to people rolling with it, but the guy had panic on his face and was making a sound due to the pain. I apologized, but I usually never work out with people who do not know what is going to happen once I started technique. I was impressed that I reacted, the technique worked, the person was in pain, and they wanted to learn more about what I was doing. It would have been nice to incorporate their moves with the Aikido I know due to the fact that sometimes I make a mistake and the energy goes bye, bye and then its a knee to the Uke's groin or face, but the school was a little on the pricy side.

-Gary


Gary, something similar hapened to me when I started in Kenpo Karate. We did three or four techs and at the end of class sensei set up a self defense scenario where I have to defend myself of 4 agresoers from diferent points, in the rush I defned as I could (using my backgreound of TKD) and when the last person grabed my shoulder from behid I roll my arm and aplied a elbow lock and tried to crush the trachea of my foe with the other hand, my elbow lock was so quick my classmate was in pain even before I could execute the troat chop. In other ocacion I defend from sensei and aplied a tech from TKD/HKD and send him away efortesly.

I want to learn some judo or akido techs to have a enrch my TKD.

Manny
 

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