Digging Deeper....

Gerry Seymour

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So, have been training Aikido for a number of years now, and BJJ for a while as well. Was thinking a lot about Aikido earlier this week, and how so many people, including myself for a long time, simply don't/didn't understand it. Been thinking a lot about effectiveness, pressure testing, etc. Well, as I was thinking about Aikido and Tai Sabaki and I realized, that Aikido techniques were never really designed to be combat effective, I mean...they can be..but that was never the point. O'Sensei's first students (overall-I think Shioda might have been the exception) were all experienced martial artists already. People came to O'sensei because he moved in a way that no one had experienced. They didn't know what it was, but his presence and movement was so effective and so different from anyone else, that Kendo, Judo, and even some Sumo guys all realized that they wanted to learn that. But, Aikido was teaching a form of body movement and aiki to strengthen what they already knew, not necessarily to start from scratch. This was higher level stuff... The purpose was not to learn specific, effective techniques, but to really learn no techniques at all. To use the techniques as a scaffold, not as the end result. The techniques are only there to teach the body to move in a way that enhances aiki and teaches you to apply a redirection of energy. The whole point of Aikido is to train the body to move in a different manner....where techniques become secondary and really irrelevant to a degree. Kind of mind blowing realization to be honest...

To be fair, it occured while I was trying to escape a triangle that my BJJ partner had me in, so blood flow could have been affected..:) All of a sudden, I realized that all of the criticisms about Aikido being an effective martial art were ABSOLUTELY true, and ABSOLUTELY wrong at the exact same time. They were true in the sense that Aikido isn't trained with significant pressure testing and/or combat effectiveness, but this also is wrong, because it misses the entire point of Aikido. If we follow this line of reasoning, it also means that BJJ, Judo, MMA, and other artists should all take Aikido to strengthen their own game/art because it's sole purpose is to make what you already do more effective by improving your flow and body movement....
This has been my thought on Aikido (Ueshiba's, as well as the overall aiki concept) for some time. Even within NGA, I teach the aiki as a higher level concept, though I start the foundations of it early. It works best (by far) when there's a strong foundation of non-aiki principles and techniques to build upon.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Thanks for the thread Spinedoc. I have had an interest in Aikido for a long time. I think since Hapkido and Aikido can be said to have a common heritage, I like to watch and learn possible techniques. That isn't always easy since I think their basic philosophies are quite different. Neither is wrong, they are just different.
I think Hapkido's approach, if I understand it correctly, is a bit closer to NGA's. The "aiki" (hapki??) is a part of the art, and not all of the art. It gives it some character and adds some tools.
 

Gerry Seymour

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If that is true then that's fine but instructors need to be honest about that fact
I don't think most instructors share that view. I think that's unfortunate. Ueshiba's early students were (so far as I know) all accomplished martial artists. Aikido worked for them because of that, and they liked it because it was useful to them in improving what they already knew.
 

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Some folks study Aikido (I think especially in Shin-shin Toitsu) as a study of ki (and aiki), rather than as a combat system.
I'm prepared to believe in " chi" as a number of real physiological and psychological , process that result from exercises and meditation lumped together by people who had no medical knowledge and called ki. However any one who is selling you qi is a snake oil sales man as its totally unquantifiable. They can't even decide how it's spelt
 

Gerry Seymour

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I'm prepared to believe in " chi" as a number of real physiological and psychological , process that result from exercises and meditation lumped together by people who had no medical knowledge and called ki. However any one who is selling you qi is a snake oil sales man as its totally unquantifiable. They can't even decide how it's spelt
Agreed. I teach about ki in my classes, and start that teaching by explaining that it's just a shorthand for something - organization of muscles, use of structure in cooperation with gravity, relaxation and tension, weight shifts and directionality, etc. It's just easier to say "extend your ki" as a shorthand for "extend your arm with relaxed tension, being sure to not tense the opposing muscles, while lowering your center of gravity and staying centered over your stance".
 

hoshin1600

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They can't even decide how it's spelt
while your post is humorous, the problem is not theirs its yours. Ki is Japanese and Chi is Chinese. and they know how to spell it quite reliably. the issue is yours that you cant distinquish between two different cultures and the fact that you cant read their writing, in their language, so you romanize it into your own.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Aikido was never designed to be a combat art. That is not its purpose.
My friend Armando Flores may disagree with you on this. One day Armando and another Karate instructor visited me. I told them that there was a local Karate tournament in Austin (1977). 3 of us brought our soft Karate gloves and competed in that tournament. A week later, Armando was kicked out of his Aikido Association.

IMO, your MA teacher may lead you into the MA door. How you will develop your combat skill will be up to yourself.

 
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Gerry Seymour

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My friend Armando Flores may disagree with you on this. One day Armando and another Karate instructor visited me. I told them that there was a local Karate tournament in Austin (1977). 3 of us brought our soft Karate gloves and competed in that tournament. A week later, Armando was kicked out of his Aikido Association.

IMO, your MA teacher may lead you into the MA door. How you will develop your combat skill will be up to yourself.

I'm missing how that's counter to the statement you quoted.

I'm also curious what the reason was that they gave for kicking him out of the association.
 

Martial D

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Especially after WWII, there was little distinction for Ueshiba from what I can tell.
My love for martial arts is only rivaled by my distaste for religion.

The thought of the latter tainting and polluting the former makes me cringe a little.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I'm missing how that's counter to the statement you quoted.

I'm also curious what the reason was that they gave for kicking him out of the association.
Whether a MA style is good for combat or not may depend on you and may not depend on your MA instructor.

In his Aikido Association, to compete in public tournament was not allowed.
 

drop bear

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So, have been training Aikido for a number of years now, and BJJ for a while as well. Was thinking a lot about Aikido earlier this week, and how so many people, including myself for a long time, simply don't/didn't understand it. Been thinking a lot about effectiveness, pressure testing, etc. Well, as I was thinking about Aikido and Tai Sabaki and I realized, that Aikido techniques were never really designed to be combat effective, I mean...they can be..but that was never the point. O'Sensei's first students (overall-I think Shioda might have been the exception) were all experienced martial artists already. People came to O'sensei because he moved in a way that no one had experienced. They didn't know what it was, but his presence and movement was so effective and so different from anyone else, that Kendo, Judo, and even some Sumo guys all realized that they wanted to learn that. But, Aikido was teaching a form of body movement and aiki to strengthen what they already knew, not necessarily to start from scratch. This was higher level stuff... The purpose was not to learn specific, effective techniques, but to really learn no techniques at all. To use the techniques as a scaffold, not as the end result. The techniques are only there to teach the body to move in a way that enhances aiki and teaches you to apply a redirection of energy. The whole point of Aikido is to train the body to move in a different manner....where techniques become secondary and really irrelevant to a degree. Kind of mind blowing realization to be honest...

To be fair, it occured while I was trying to escape a triangle that my BJJ partner had me in, so blood flow could have been affected..:) All of a sudden, I realized that all of the criticisms about Aikido being an effective martial art were ABSOLUTELY true, and ABSOLUTELY wrong at the exact same time. They were true in the sense that Aikido isn't trained with significant pressure testing and/or combat effectiveness, but this also is wrong, because it misses the entire point of Aikido. If we follow this line of reasoning, it also means that BJJ, Judo, MMA, and other artists should all take Aikido to strengthen their own game/art because it's sole purpose is to make what you already do more effective by improving your flow and body movement....

It is about bang for buck.

So as one of my coaches said to me. Everything you find in judo you will find in wrestling. And they have the better training ethic.

If what Aikido as a whole system had that sort of value. Aikido fighters would be out there beating people.

Otherwise time is taken away from training in a system that will progress the martial artist
 

drop bear

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this is a mystical rabbit hole your carrying us down, if it has fighting applications then it's a " combat" art, if it has other benefits and it does, these will be much the same as any other exercise

Yes and no.

The idea is it might have a timing or sensitivity advantage that is useful. But not in itself evident.

Like yoga. I could do yoga and not be able to fight my way out of a wet paper bag.

But I could do yoga and BJJ and be better at BJJ because of it.
 

jobo

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Yes and no.

The idea is it might have a timing or sensitivity advantage that is useful. But not in itself evident.

Like yoga. I could do yoga and not be able to fight my way out of a wet paper bag.

But I could do yoga and BJJ and be better at BJJ because of it.
if it's not EVIDENT, ie there us no EVIDENCE for it then it doesn't exist, you might as well claim the fairies are helping you
 

hoshin1600

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Jobo VS drop bear .....in an argument.
this should be entertaining. let me get some popcorn.
 

Martial D

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Jobo VS drop bear .....in an argument.
this should be entertaining. let me get some popcorn.
In that there would be 0 passive agressive dilly -dallying or subject dodging or overly sensitive feelings involved, it would indeed. A refreshing change really
 

Martial D

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No subject dodging from Jobo??
Not that I've noticed. Where he seems to get people is holding on to points that have been defeated long after their death, but it usually seems to be on topic.
 
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