is aikido a grappling martial art?

Chris Parker

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Hi John,

What is the point of your thread? Are you asking a question or trying to prove a point, trying persuade someone, is there a greater purpose to discuss this, it is lost on me?

Firstly, this isn't Tanaka's thread, it was started by Manny. Manny, in case you were unaware, lives in Mexico, and does not have a complete grasp of English, so was seeking clarification due to the common usage of the term grappling, and his growing interest in Aikido. Tanaka, from the looks of things, is doing what I aim to do, put out correct information and corrections of common beliefs when they are not entirely accurate.

What is the importance here of terming Aikido as grappling? We don't see it in grappling venues, Aikido isn't a duck out of water. It doesn't change Aikido either way. But, Aikido was started with the idea of it not being competitive like Karate, that said, caps the well.

The importance is this context is simple: Manny asked the question, and he was answered. Why it's continued when in this manner is more confusing, though. Like Tanaka, though, I'm a little confused by the term "grappling venues" there.... it does seem to imply that you are looking purely through the limited and largely inaccurate usage of the term in sporting events. Tanaka and I are simply trying to put forth a more complete and accurate picture. Oh, but it wasn't started with the idea of being "non competitive", as that wasn't even part of the equation for Ueshiba.

There is a hybrid Aikido that does competitions.

No, there is a form of Aikido that engages in competitive matches. It's called Tomiki Aikido, also refered to as Shodokan Aikido, and is known for a few things, including the use of and defence against knife. It is not a hybrid, though. Tomiki Kenji was one of Ueshiba Sensei's senior students for many years, eventually leaving to do his own thing, as did Mochizuki (Yoseikan), Shioda Gozo (Yoshinkan), and Tohei Koichi. There is also the Iwama Ryu, which was part of the Aikikai, and currently exists in two forms, both in and out of the Aikikai (mainline).

They hasn't been inducted into main stream fighting venues. Or any other venue outside of its own that it created, nothing wrong with that.

Again you are mentioning these "venues". They really have nothing to do with whether or not Aikido is a grappling system, though. Grappling is not necessarily competitive, sporting, or anything else that seems to be implied here.

I mean I can't for the life of me figure any reason why Aikido being or not being termed as grappling being more than a head scratching conversation.

Honestly, I'm a little confused as well. Grappling = grabbing/seizing. Not striking. That's really about it. Rolling around on the ground looking for submissions is grappling, but it's only one limited form of grappling, and quite a restricted definition. Aikido is grappling, Judo is grappling, wrestling is grappling, BJJ is grappling, Shui Chao is grappling, Chin na is grappling, and so on. Some are throwing based, some feature locks and pins more, some have striking to aid, chokes aren't uncommon, but this is the actual definition of grappling we are discussing here.

What does it matter if it is or isn't a grappling art? To keep things straight in my head and answer questions without getting all technical, boring people. I say Aikido is a throwing art, it ain't wrestling, because people have a specific picture in their mind what wrestling looks like, and Aikido doesn't fit that.

Well, here may be the thing. Aikido is not a "throwing" art. Yes, there are a number of throws in Aikido, but that's not it's emphasis. There is just as much, if not more, controlling action in the form of locks, holds, and pins. I can understand you thinking that it is a throwing system if your main experience with seeing it is based on things like Aikido Randori, but there are quite a number of reasons for such Randori being the way it is, and it hardly shows the full scope of Aikido, really. But, out of interest, if throwing doesn't fit your image of "wrestling", how do you class the suplexes that are found in abundance in wrestling?

Grappling by definition is wrestling, they are inter-changable words.

Actually, the definition you provided defined grappling as: a close-quarters fight (without weapons - although I can think of quite a few Japanese systems that would argue that point!), to wrestle, to seize (take hold of someone), with the idea of "seizing" being the original definition there. Hmm. Personally, though, I'd say that wrestling is a form of grappling, as grappling is more inclusive term, which includes things like wrestling, throwing, locks, ground fighting for submission etc.

It is weird to say that Jujutsu or Judo is Japanese wrestling, for some ears that sounds odd. Instead we say Jujutsu is Japanese grappling that fits in the ears of many better.

Not really sure that it's that odd, myself. I might suggest that it doesn't really cover it, but that's it. Especially with Jujutsu, as that can refer to an incredibly wide range of systems, running the gammut from almost purely throws and locks to primarily striking, no weapons to a wide arsenal, and anything inbetween.

When we say Japanese wrestling we think Sumo, as it more closely fits with picture of wrestling.

Hmm, I think that depends on who you are there... but for contrast, let's look at some examples.

Wrestling:

Judo:

Sumo:

Honestly, the Judo looks closer to the Freestyle Wrestling than the Sumo, to me.

Jujutsu, on the other hand, can be quite varied. In Koryu (old school) systems we have systems like:

Takenouchi Ryu, which includes a range of short, typically bladed weapons (such as short swords or knives [Tanto]):

Tenshin Shinyo Ryu, one of the foundation schools of modern Judo:

Fusen Ryu, another major influence on Judo, particularly in it's development of it's ground work (ne waza):

Yagyu Shingan Ryu, which features a fair amount of striking:

In modern systems we get arts like -

Hakko Ryu, which is based on Daito Ryu, similar to Aikido:

or, at the other end of the scale, eclectic systems such as this one:

Hmm. The youtube description says "just a few clips, nothing special". Agreed.

I think you can see, though, that the term Jujutsu is fairly broad, when it comes down to it.

Honestly, it don't matter if you call Jujutsu or Judo wrestling or Aikido grappling. But in my mind, I call it a throwing art, cause you ain't on the ground entangled in a fight struggling to get a submission. It's all just labels to help us talk about it.

Cool, but our point is that ending on the ground entangled in a fight struggling to get a submission is far from the definition of grappling. It's an application of it, but that's all. And that's really all we were getting at.
 
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JohnEdward

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I realize that end up on the ground isn't what ya'll are getting at. But, application and results seem to define what grappling is or isn't. Be the word "grappling" used as a verb or a noun dictated by the common colloquial language of where your at, or not is still just terms, labels semantics. People need language to communicate what sounds we use to do that is ever changing. You say tomato, I say tomatoe, or tomates, or nyanya. Later it will be Towmater. It is still what is it. Is Aikido grappling, no. Not by the traditional idea of what most people define grappling by. Throwing can be either it's one class of combat or a sub-class of grappling, which can be a sub-class of wrestling. We can redefine people's idea of grappling, as BJJ did, or not. It is all based on what we are trying to communicate and the purpose of that communication. The Japanese language has already classified Aikido, not to be jujutsu, hence "do." Is Japanese grappling jujutsu, the Japanese don't use the word grappling, they use jujutsu. Is jujutsu the same term as grappling, I don't know. But the Japanese have a Japanese wrestling, a formulation of moves that come from western wrestling. There are several levels of skill in Aikido the higher levels you have at the lower levels they look like they are grappling and higher levels that all you see is a person flying through the air. What importance does it make to put Aikido in the grappling box? that I don't understand, I sincerely is dumb as a stump on da one. If I know that maybe I would shut up. :)
 

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The problem lies in assumption and interpretation. Its just like that game, when someone shows a picture or says something, and the other person has to say the first thing that comes to their mind. Say BJJ, and the majority will automatically think ground. Why? Because anyone who knows Royce Gracie, and knows that he does BJJ, and knows that whenever he fights he goes to the ground, well...the rest should be common sense.

So, that being said, no, BJJ doesnt just mean the ground. Many locks and chokes can be applied while standing, though some mods. will need to be made. For me, I consider any grab or clinch, grappling. Its simply standing grappling.

So, as I said earlier....AFAIK, from what I've seen of Aikido, there is no ground grappling, ie: taking someone down, mounting and looking for a sub. If it is in there, I've never seen it, but I'm not a student of the art. Perhaps someone added some in, for their own benefit. But yes, it is grappling, to the extent of grabbing.
 

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I realize that end up on the ground isn't what ya'll are getting at. But, application and results seem to define what grappling is or isn't. Be the word "grappling" used as a verb or a noun dictated by the common colloquial language of where your at, or not is still just terms, labels semantics. People need language to communicate what sounds we use to do that is ever changing. You say tomato, I say tomatoe, or tomates, or nyanya. Later it will be Towmater. It is still what is it. Is Aikido grappling, no. Not by the traditional idea of what most people define grappling by. Throwing can be either it's one class of combat or a sub-class of grappling, which can be a sub-class of wrestling. We can redefine people's idea of grappling, as BJJ did, or not. It is all based on what we are trying to communicate and the purpose of that communication. The Japanese language has already classified Aikido, not to be jujutsu, hence "do." Is Japanese grappling jujutsu, the Japanese don't use the word grappling, they use jujutsu. Is jujutsu the same term as grappling, I don't know. But the Japanese have a Japanese wrestling, a formulation of moves that come from western wrestling. There are several levels of skill in Aikido the higher levels you have at the lower levels they look like they are grappling and higher levels that all you see is a person flying through the air. What importance does it make to put Aikido in the grappling box? that I don't understand, I sincerely is dumb as a stump on da one. If I know that maybe I would shut up. :)

You are making semantics more subjective than what they really are. Of course words can be used differently informally, or culturally. But by formal definition(which can be agreed upon) Aikido is defined as a grappling art. What importance is there for you to make Aikido a "throwing art" and not a "grappling" art? When in order to throw in Aikido you have to grapple someone. If you want to be informal, things can be very misleading. I can go... Well I don't think BJJ is grappling by my definition. But instead if I go by the correct and proper definition. Which can be agreed upon by all cultures(using english language). Aikido meets the definition of "grappling." Primarily of what you do in Aikido requires you to grapple.

And no, Jujutsu is not a Japanese term for grappling. It is a term used for Japanese martial arts that follow the principle of "Ju" in Japanese worldview(Usually unarmed or small weapons). Aikido actually has Ju concept within its philosophy. Therefore considered a form of "Jujutsu." "Do" in Aikido is used to represent modern budo which is no longer for war, but concentrates more on philosophy of Aiki. Since Japan is considered in a "Peaceful"&"Modern" time.

I don't understand where you were going with the different sounds and different spellings of tomato. I hear people pronounce wrestling as "wrastling," but it does not change the formal meaning of the word wrestling. It just goes to show how different cultures evolve, just like biological evolution.
 

JohnEdward

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Thinking about this and seeing a video termed Aikido/jujutsu that was all aikido, I have to make a comment. Having taken a koryu jujutsu for over 20 years, learned in Japan and the US from an old school Japanese sensei, i want to help inform. Aikido isn't a jujutsu by jujutsu standards, it was derived from Aikijujutsu, but that doesn't make it a jujutsu. No more than Judo is a Jujutsu. Aikido was primarily from Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. The founder of Aikido, came accept the name of his art as Aiki-do, after several other name considerations. He didn't name it Aiki-jujutsu. Avoiding the Japanese lesson, there is a difference. On the technical level because Aikido modifies Aikijujutsu it share similar techniques. Both arts share a budo philosophy, though Aikido modifies it, and take a more modern approach than Aikijujutsu. Neither is a grappling art, one is a "do" and the other jujutsu. It may behove some of the Aikido community to relabel itself as jujutsu. It may behove some grapplers to relabel Aikido as a grappling art. It just may behove some poster to rename Aikido as grappling. Or they may be other reasons that may incite persistent arguments that may catch people's attention to persuade them Aikido is grappling. Aikido can call it's self anything it wants. Though it would be sad if it did. I think the name Aikido is a well established and recognized brand. It would be a shame if people become confused it with something else, something it wasn't. If someone took Aikido and added say Western wrestling moves, then I can see a name change. To something like Aikiwrestling. If someone took took Aikido and added grappling as we know it, then I would say it is Aikigrappling. I would really hate to see Aikido lose its current name for a new one, for nothing more than catching peoples attention. Why confuse people with a new name or redefine it, when it is already successful and recognized brand, you don't mess with success. But that is up to the Aikido community. I wish them the best.
 

JohnEdward

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Another thought, why not replace the word grappling with the Japanese word "do"?
 

Tanaka

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Another thought, why not replace the word grappling with the Japanese word "do"?
Your Japanese Sensei would explain to you that Aikijujutsu and Jujutsu is interchangeable.
Aikido is considered Jujutsu, Jujutsu is a very broad term that can be used to describe a variety of Japanese martial art systems. "Aikido" was used specifically to designate it as a "new art" with an entirely different focus from the former art of Daito- Ryu Aikijujutsu. Same with Judo and its former Jujutsu systems. Judo can still be considered Jujutsu as well.

Aikido is a grappling martial art.
That is why we don't replace "do" with grappling.
 

Chris Parker

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Hi again John,

Thinking about this and seeing a video termed Aikido/jujutsu that was all aikido, I have to make a comment. Having taken a koryu jujutsu for over 20 years, learned in Japan and the US from an old school Japanese sensei, i want to help inform. Aikido isn't a jujutsu by jujutsu standards, it was derived from Aikijujutsu, but that doesn't make it a jujutsu. No more than Judo is a Jujutsu.

First off, and this is my personal interest in all things Koryu, do you mind saying which Ryu you study? Feel free to PM if that is something you would prefer.

Okay, next, uh, yes it is. Jujutsu, like grappling, is a more generic term in context here, and as such it both Aikido and Judo are forms of Jujutsu. Many Jujutsu (or, more accurately, Jujutsu-like) systems have different terms to Jujutsu in their curriculum, such as Taijutsu, Aikijutsu, Hade, Wa, Wajutsu, Yawara, Yawaragei, Karate, Kenpo, Kogusoku, Koshi no Mawari, Kumiuchi, Kattchu Yawara, Yoroi Kumiuchi, Goho, Ju, Judo (yes, 150 years before Kano), Torite, and more. And they are all considered to be forms of Jujutsu.

To look at it properly, the "do/jutsu" distinction is rather artificial, and really doesn't exist much from a Japanese perspective in this context. But for the record, "Do" 道 means "way", but not necessarily in a spiritual, esoteric fashion. It's alternately pronounced "michi", and takes on more the meaning of "path", or "street". "Jutsu" 術 refers to a practical art. So "do" can mean simply a way of getting a result, and "jutsu" refers to a practical means of obtaining a result. Saying Judo isn't a Jujutsu isn't really accurate (same with Aikido, when you really get down to it).

Aikido was primarily from Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. The founder of Aikido, came accept the name of his art as Aiki-do, after several other name considerations. He didn't name it Aiki-jujutsu. Avoiding the Japanese lesson, there is a difference.

Ah, sorry, didn't quite avoid the Japanese lesson there... But to be clear, there was more influence than just Daito Ryu in Aikido, including Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, and some Kukishin Ryu (as well as a number of others), so perhaps the name choice was more about separating his methods from those of Takeda Sokaku, while at the same time showing direct reference (and reverance) to it's origins? It may also be noted that one of the Daito Ryu organisations around refer to themselves as Nihon Daito Ryu Aikibudo Daito Kai, tracing themselves to Tokimune, a student of Takeda Sokaku's.

On the technical level because Aikido modifies Aikijujutsu it share similar techniques. Both arts share a budo philosophy, though Aikido modifies it, and take a more modern approach than Aikijujutsu.

Hmm, I'd disagree with most of the premise of that statement, honestly. Both share a philosophical outlook based in the concept of Aiki, sure, but express them slightly differently (okay, in some instances, a little more than slightly!), rather than just "Aikido modifying it". And, looking at the technical methods of Aikido, I'd be hard pressed to say that it takes a more "modern" approach. Some practitioners, yes, but the art? Nope.

(PS It may be prudent to note that the alteration, or refinement, however you want to see it, of Ueshiba Sensei's Aikido from the Daito Ryu he learnt was a later development. Remember that Aikido was originally plenty martial in it's approach, with Ueshiba's dojo earning the nickname "Jigoku Dojo", or "Hell School").

Neither is a grappling art, one is a "do" and the other jujutsu.

Really not sure what you mean here... as I said, the "Do/Jutsu" conflict is largely non-existant, a system can absolutely be a "do" art and still be a "jujutsu" system. All it really means is that the system itself uses a different name for it's Jujutsu-style syllabus. But to say that one art is a "do" art, and the other a "jujutsu" art, and therefore neither are "grappling" arts is just plain confusing. It's like saying that neither of these things are cars; one is a Mazda, and the other a Toyota(?).

It may behove some of the Aikido community to relabel itself as jujutsu. It may behove some grapplers to relabel Aikido as a grappling art. It just may behove some poster to rename Aikido as grappling. Or they may be other reasons that may incite persistent arguments that may catch people's attention to persuade them Aikido is grappling.

Again, respectfully, what?!? Grappling = combative or fighting methods that involve seizing, pressuring, or grabbing. End of story. There is no movement to rename Aikido, any more than there is a move to rename Karate as "boxing kicking". Aikido isn't being renamed "grappling", it's being categorised as grappling. Mainly because it is grappling. There's really nothing in this about catching anyone's attention with a new name here, and honestly I don't know where you got that from.

Aikido can call it's self anything it wants. Though it would be sad if it did. I think the name Aikido is a well established and recognized brand. It would be a shame if people become confused it with something else, something it wasn't.

Aikido is Aikido. It's not changing it's name, all we are doing is correctly categorising the methods employed in the system. And the only people who would confuse Aikido with BJJ are the ones who think that grappling only means ground fighting, working for submissions. Seriously, it isn't. No one is confused by classing Aikido as a grappling system. But I will say that I would never describe Aikido as a "brand", well recognised or established or otherwise. It isn't a brand. It's an art.

If someone took Aikido and added say Western wrestling moves, then I can see a name change. To something like Aikiwrestling. If someone took took Aikido and added grappling as we know it, then I would say it is Aikigrappling.

If someone took Aikido and added non-Aiki aspects to it, I can see a new art forming, which would certainly justify a new name. But where did this odd hypothetical come from? No one here is talking about anything like this....

Oh, and one more time, say it with me, Grappling means grabbing, and Aikido grabs!

I would really hate to see Aikido lose its current name for a new one, for nothing more than catching peoples attention. Why confuse people with a new name or redefine it, when it is already successful and recognized brand, you don't mess with success. But that is up to the Aikido community. I wish them the best.

Really, where has this bizarre idea come from? It's not losing any name, it's not having new aspects added to it, it's not changing from a recognised entity to something completely different (or at all, really), we are just categorising it based on it's methodology and movement. That is all. Okay?

Another thought, why not replace the word grappling with the Japanese word "do"?

Because that is completely beside the point of the thread.
 

JohnEdward

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Thinking about this, my Japanese sensei would not call Judo, Jujitsu. I understand it as this, people consider many popular tools and products by their brand name instead of the technical name. Like for a reciprocating saw, is often called a "Sawzall" it's brand name. Or a facial tissue by it's brand name Kleenex. Now that doesn't always happen in all places, but it does occur frequently. Though the proper way to identify an object is not by it's brand name, as there are many brands out there. Jujitsu isn't a brand name, it is the technical common term. Another example of this concept of proper identification, is you don't call a cross head screw driver as a flat blade screw driver. Both are screw drivers, yet work with different screws, or fasteners. Which bring us to an interest point. Screw vs. Fastener. Are they the same? Yes, when the design and function of the object are the same, i.e. cross head screw. Now, the question can be answered as "No" also. Because fastener can be a machine bolt and nut, among other things. Design and function differ and are specific, therefore, a screw identifies a specific object and its function. Relate those ideas to Aikido being established as a popular recognizable name for a specific type of martial art. Then complicate that with terms from another language and meaning, and it gets really confusing as everything becomes indistinguishable. When confusion happens it gives some of those with an agenda an opportunity to capitalize on the confusion, taking advantage of the situation. Keeping terms straight is a good rule of thumb, and something my Japanese Sensei often pointed out - avoid confusing people. We really don't want to call golf, crochet and confuse the two because they are both played on grass with and swing similar instruments at balls. A think point, for me for respect out of both arts Aikido is Aikido that some people see there is grappling by some definition of the word as a verb. I feel though Aikido isn't grappling by defined as a identifying noun. Call me old school, I don't consider Aikido a "grappling" art. But I respect those who see it differently.
 
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Tanaka

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Thinking about this, my Japanese sensei would not call Judo, Jujitsu. I understand it as this, people consider many popular tools and products by their brand name instead of the technical name. Like for a reciprocating saw, is often called a "Sawzall" it's brand name. Or a facial tissue by it's brand name Kleenex. Now that doesn't always happen in all places, but it does occur frequently. Though the proper way to identify an object is not by it's brand name, as there are many brands out there. Jujitsu isn't a brand name, it is the technical common term. Another example of this concept of proper identification, is you don't call a cross head screw driver as a flat blade screw driver. Both are screw drivers, yet work with different screws, or fasteners. Which bring us to an interest point. Screw vs. Fastener. Are they the same? Yes, when the design and function of the object are the same, i.e. cross head screw. Now, the question can be answered as "No" also. Because fastener can be a machine bolt and nut, among other things. Design and function differ and are specific, therefore, a screw identifies a specific object and its function. Relate those ideas to Aikido being established as a popular recognizable name for a specific type of martial art. Then complicate that with terms from another language and meaning, and it gets really confusing as everything becomes indistinguishable. When confusion happens it gives some of those with an agenda an opportunity to capitalize on the confusion, taking advantage of the situation. Keeping terms straight is a good rule of thumb, and something my Japanese Sensei often pointed out - avoid confusing people. We really don't want to call golf, crochet and confuse the two because they are both played on grass with and swing similar instruments at balls. A think point, for me for respect out of both arts Aikido is Aikido that some people see there is grappling by some definition of the word as a verb. I feel though Aikido isn't grappling by defined as a identifying noun. Call me old school, I don't consider Aikido a "grappling" art. But I respect those who see it differently.
So in old school, grapple had nothing to do with grappling?
 

JohnEdward

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No...umm...it's more stuck in tradition, traditional views? I just don't see Aikido as what I am accustom to as being a grappling art. I still don't know the purpose of it doing so. If I did, maybe I would see it differently, ya know?
 

Chris Parker

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Thinking about this, my Japanese sensei would not call Judo, Jujitsu.

Honestly, I would hope not! I don't know of any Japanese instructors that would refer to anything like this as "jujItsu"... but they would class it as a form of "jujutsu". Okay, that's a real pet peeve of mine, admitted, but it's also accurate.

Now, here I'm going to try to tread delicately and I'm going to say this with no disrespect intended or implied, as I am making no judgement or condemnation of your instructor, what he taught you, or your training, but I have been going through your older posts since this discussion came up, and to be completely frank it does not come across that you learnt an actual authentic Koryu system. I'm not sure what you learnt, but I am convinced it was not an old traditional Japanese form. That doesn't take any value from it, it must be said. But it really doesn't seem to be close to what would be recognised as Koryu from any practitioner of the forms that are classified as such. I'm not going to speculate any further, but I will say that a lot of your posts had me initially thinking that you didn't have any experience in the Japanese arts, or very limited exposure at best.

I understand it as this, people consider many popular tools and products by their brand name instead of the technical name. Like for a reciprocating saw, is often called a "Sawzall" it's brand name. Or a facial tissue by it's brand name Kleenex. Now that doesn't always happen in all places, but it does occur frequently. Though the proper way to identify an object is not by it's brand name, as there are many brands out there. Jujitsu isn't a brand name, it is the technical common term.

I really don't know what you're talking about here, honestly. As I said, Aikido is NOT a "brand", so any such discussion is really fairly moot (and rather confusing, I might add). And Jujutsu is both a generic term and a specific term, depending on it's usage (and the context in which you are using it... for example, talking about "Japanese Jujutsu" you are discussing unarmed combative methods from Japan, which includes Jujutsu, Taijutsu, Yawara, and many others, whereas talking about Hontai Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu you are talking about a specific syllabus and training methodology which is taught within the Hontai Yoshin Ryu), but is not really a "technical common term", unless you mean it as the generic term I described above. But the most important thing to remember is that Jujutsu is a Japanese term.... we'll revisit that in a bit.

Another example of this concept of proper identification, is you don't call a cross head screw driver as a flat blade screw driver. Both are screw drivers, yet work with different screws, or fasteners.

And again I really don't know what you're getting at here either.... yes, both are screwdrivers. Agreed. And both are different types of screwdrivers. Sure, I'm with you there. But what do you mean? The reason I ask is that this is pretty much exactly what we've been saying.... grappling (screwdrivers) is a grouping term, and it includes specific types and approaches (philips head and flat head). Grappling is not striking (screwdrivers are not hammers). Grappling is not a restricted single aspect of grappling (groundwork only, or only offensive actions). You seem to be arguing with us by providing the same argument that we are saying.....

Which bring us to an interest point. Screw vs. Fastener. Are they the same? Yes, when the design and function of the object are the same, i.e. cross head screw. Now, the question can be answered as "No" also. Because fastener can be a machine bolt and nut, among other things. Design and function differ and are specific, therefore, a screw identifies a specific object and its function.

What on earth do screws and fasteners have to do with the discussion at hand?!? You've left your metaphor (which was not really all that well applied in the first place) well behind here, and there doesn't seem to be any reason for some of the things you're bringing up (such as the idea of "changing the name of Aikido", which was not a part of the discussion at all).

Relate those ideas to Aikido being established as a popular recognizable name for a specific type of martial art. Then complicate that with terms from another language and meaning, and it gets really confusing as everything becomes indistinguishable.

First, this comment makes no sense. Saying that Aikido, as it features a large repertoire of throws, locks, pins, and holds, is a grappling system in no way confuses or complicates things, really. All it is is a simple categorisation of the system.

Second, Aikido is not a "popular and recognizable name", it is a term given to describe a particular approach to combative methodologies. In a very real way, it is not a "name". Yoshinkan is a name, Aikido is a description or categorisation. Iwama Ryu, or Takemusu is a name, Aikido is a description or categorisation.

When confusion happens it gives some of those with an agenda an opportunity to capitalize on the confusion, taking advantage of the situation.

Really, none of this is making much sense to me... how on earth is classing a system that features primarily grappling methods (holding, seizing, pinning, locking, throwing) as a grappling system creating confusion, and how would someone with "an agenda... take advantage of the situation"?

Keeping terms straight is a good rule of thumb, and something my Japanese Sensei often pointed out - avoid confusing people.

Then we'll make it really, really simple, and hopefully this will be the end of it.

Unarmed combative methods can be classed, broadly speaking, in two ways: striking, or grappling (okay, a third one is "generalist"... but I'll try to not confuse things that much!).

Striking features impact as it's primary methodology, whether that is punching (boxing, karate, Wing Chun etc), kicking (Tae Kwon Do, Capeoira, Savatte), or a mixture of both (Muay Thai, kickboxing etc).

Grappling features seizing, or holding and pressuring as it's primary methodology, whether that is throwing (judo, sambo), locks and chokes (BJJ, many traditional Jujutsu systems), pins and holds (Aikido, Hapkido), or combinations of some or all of the above. These may be stand-up, seated, on the ground, or a mixture of some or all of the above.

I'm going to be blunt here and say it really doesn't matter what you personally feel or think grappling is to you, this is the categorisation of these methods. So say it with me now, AIKIDO IS GRAPPLING.

Let's stop confusing people then, okay?

We really don't want to call golf, crochet and confuse the two because they are both played on grass with and swing similar instruments at balls. A think point, for me for respect out of both arts Aikido is Aikido that some people see there is grappling by some definition of the word as a verb. I feel though Aikido isn't grappling by defined as a identifying noun.

And by the same token we wouldn't call Aikido a striking system, or a weapon system, even though it can and does involve those aspects.... but we would call both golf and crochet ball games.

As for defining grappling as a verb or noun, it can be both, but you're missing the point of both. As a verb it refers to the action of holding or seizing, and as a noun it refers to "a grapple", or a hold.

Hey, you know what, let's see a definition, shall we?

[h=2]grap繚ple[/h]   [grap-uh
thinsp.png
l
] Show IPAverb, -pled, -pling, noun

verb (used without object)1.to hold or make fast to something, as with a grapple.

2.to use a grapple.

3.to seize another, or each other, in a firm grip, as inwrestling; clinch.

4.to engage in a struggle or close encounter (usually followedby with ): He was grappling with a boy twice his size.

5.to try to overcome or deal (usually followed by with ): tograpple with a problem.


verb (used with object)6.to seize, hold, or fasten with or as with a grapple.

7.to seize in a grip, take hold of: The thug grappled himaround the neck.


noun8.a hook or an iron instrument by which one thing, as a ship,fastens onto another; grapnel.

9.a seizing or gripping.

10.a grip or close hold in wrestling or hand-to-hand fighting.

11.a close, hand-to-hand fight.



Origin:
1520–30; apparently a frequentative of Old English gegrǣppian to seize; associated with grapnel


Related formsgrap繚pler, noun
in繚ter繚grap繚ple, verb, -pled, -pling.
un繚grap繚pled, adjective


So, to take these one at a time....

1: Refers to a particular item, a grapnel or grappling hook, but also refers to holding something (can be someone). That certainly applies to Aikido.
2: Again, seems to refer to a particular item, but can means to use a grappling method, I feel. Certainly applies to Aikido.
3: Holding/seizing in a firm grip? Well, that certainly fits Aikido!
4: We really can't get much closer to fitting Aikido, can we?
5: And here we hit part of the essence of Aikido (overcoming a situation, such as an attack).
6: Back to the object (here specifically), and back to the idea of "holding". This once more applies to Aikido.
7: Seizing in a grip? Well, Aikido is well known for it's holds and locks, so, yes!
8: Now we're up the noun form, first off is a specific tool. This one is not Aikido.
9: If taken as "a seizing or a gripping" method or action, which I feel is what is meant here, then we are absolutely talking about Aikido!
10: This is basically a decent description of Aikido's methods (a grip or a close hold, rather than strikes), so this matches quite well as well.
11: We really can't get anymore unequivocal than this.

At this point in time, I'd like to reiterate my first post in this thread: Since when did "grappling" refer only to ground fighting? It never has, and simply doesn't. It refers specifically to any method that is based in holding, or seizing. End of story.

Call me old school, I don't consider Aikido a "grappling" art. But I respect those who see it differently.

Sorry, John, but to be old school you'd be absolutely saying that it is a grappling art. Without question.

So in old school, grapple had nothing to do with grappling?

No...umm...it's more stuck in tradition, traditional views? I just don't see Aikido as what I am accustom to as being a grappling art. I still don't know the purpose of it doing so. If I did, maybe I would see it differently, ya know?

I gotta ask, what traditional views? The traditional view of grappling is that it involves holds, locks, throws, pressures, pins, chokes etc.

Aikido is grappling. There really isn't anything else to it.
 

punisher73

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I realize that end up on the ground isn't what ya'll are getting at. But, application and results seem to define what grappling is or isn't. Be the word "grappling" used as a verb or a noun dictated by the common colloquial language of where your at, or not is still just terms, labels semantics. People need language to communicate what sounds we use to do that is ever changing. You say tomato, I say tomatoe, or tomates, or nyanya. Later it will be Towmater. It is still what is it. Is Aikido grappling, no. Not by the traditional idea of what most people define grappling by. Throwing can be either it's one class of combat or a sub-class of grappling, which can be a sub-class of wrestling. We can redefine people's idea of grappling, as BJJ did, or not. It is all based on what we are trying to communicate and the purpose of that communication. The Japanese language has already classified Aikido, not to be jujutsu, hence "do." Is Japanese grappling jujutsu, the Japanese don't use the word grappling, they use jujutsu. Is jujutsu the same term as grappling, I don't know. But the Japanese have a Japanese wrestling, a formulation of moves that come from western wrestling. There are several levels of skill in Aikido the higher levels you have at the lower levels they look like they are grappling and higher levels that all you see is a person flying through the air. What importance does it make to put Aikido in the grappling box? that I don't understand, I sincerely is dumb as a stump on da one. If I know that maybe I would shut up. :)

This is where I have to respectfully disagree with your premise. Aikido is derived from Daito-Ryu AikiJUJITSU. When Ueshiba started his art he maintained it was aiki-jujitsu, in fact his school was so hard at training it was called "Hell School", it wasn't until after WW2 that HE changed the name of his art to focus on people's spiritual development more than combat application.

Aikido has strikes, joint locks, takedowns, throws, submissions and what no one else has pointed out yet that I noticed PINS. All of the "grappling" arts that you have mentioned also have these same aspects to them so how is it NOT a grappling art? Aikido like others arts will emphasize different aspects based on each individual school/lineage and instructor.
 

oftheherd1

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JohnEdward - if you have already done so, I missed it and apologize. But this is a lengthy thread with lots of opposing views.

What is you definition of grappling, and a grappling art?
 

JohnEdward

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At this point in time, I'd like to reiterate my first post in this thread: Since when did "grappling" refer only to ground fighting? It never has, and simply doesn't. It refers specifically to any method that is based in holding, or seizing. End of story.



Sorry, John, but to be old school you'd be absolutely saying that it is a grappling art. Without question.



I gotta ask, what traditional views? The traditional view of grappling is that it involves holds, locks, throws, pressures, pins, chokes etc.

Aikido is grappling. There really isn't anything else to it.

Chris, WOW, you can put allot out on the table and I can't digest it all. :) I am more old school thinking, sorry about not being more specific, I can understand I was sort of confusing, by using the terms interchangeable. The idea of Aikido being a grappling art, grappling as a noun, is new to me. I have a paradigm of grappling, a general view of it based on observation - Aikido doesn't fit into that box of what I define grappling as a noun, to be, based on wrestling and like old school (Koryu) Jujutsus. Aikido doesn't fit for me, to be a grappling art. It is more a throwing art. I don't see the same struggle, or holding like that of BJJ, wrestling or jujutsu. Yes, I don't define the noun grappling to be only on the ground. I don't think the man who started Aikido called it grappling, I think if that was so he may have stuck with the jujutsu and not called it Aiki-"do." I don't think he wanted to associate his art as a grappling/jujutsu art- as the noun. Jujutsu (as Japanese grappling as the noun) is brutal intended to really put the hurt on someone, I don't think that is the intention of Aikido. That is my guess. That is the best I can do to answer your question, concerning my opinion. The difficult thing here is there are many other layers to the discussion of calling Aikido a grappling art. It is not as simple as putting on a new label on a folder. Japanese are complex and complicated people, more so generations ago. I guess am not up on the latest labels or definitions, call me old fashion. :)
 

punisher73

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Chris, WOW, you can put allot out on the table and I can't digest it all. :) I am more old school thinking, sorry about not being more specific, I can understand I was sort of confusing, by using the terms interchangeable. The idea of Aikido being a grappling art, grappling as a noun, is new to me. I have a paradigm of grappling, a general view of it based on observation - Aikido doesn't fit into that box of what I define grappling as a noun, to be, based on wrestling and like old school (Koryu) Jujutsus. Aikido doesn't fit for me, to be a grappling art. It is more a throwing art. I don't see the same struggle, or holding like that of BJJ, wrestling or jujutsu. Yes, I don't define the noun grappling to be only on the ground. I don't think the man who started Aikido called it grappling, I think if that was so he may have stuck with the jujutsu and not called it Aiki-"do." I don't think he wanted to associate his art as a grappling/jujutsu art- as the noun. Jujutsu (as Japanese grappling as the noun) is brutal intended to really put the hurt on someone, I don't think that is the intention of Aikido. That is my guess. That is the best I can do to answer your question, concerning my opinion. The difficult thing here is there are many other layers to the discussion of calling Aikido a grappling art. It is not as simple as putting on a new label on a folder. Japanese are complex and complicated people, more so generations ago. I guess am not up on the latest labels or definitions, call me old fashion. :)

That is the interesting part, if you look at Ueshiba's book "Budo" at the Noma Dojo technique pictures (the place nicknamed "hell school") shows him striking vital points with a dragon's fist (middle knuckle fist) and says that you must strike before throwing. Again, it wasn't until after he saw the destruction of WW2 that he emphasized the unity of his techniques. Also, in the pictures you will see different applications of well known techniques, such as Tenchi Nage (Heaven/Earth throw I believe) that HE is grabbing onto them to execute the throw, where as now most schools teach it from BEING grabbed.

So, the techniques didn't change just their emphasis. Also, Tomiki aikido has competitions to compete and have resisting partners.
 

JohnEdward

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JohnEdward - if you have already done so, I missed it and apologize. But this is a lengthy thread with lots of opposing views.

What is you definition of grappling, and a grappling art?
Sure no problem. This is from a previous post.

I use the following dictionary definition of the word grapple as a verb to: engage in a close fight or struggle without weapons; wrestle. * seize hold of (someone). Archaic use: seize or hold with a grapnel. The origin of grapple comes out of the mid 16th cent Germanic language to mean "grapa hook" related to grape. As a noun, grapple is an act of grappling. Informal use: a wrestling match. *An instrument for catching hold of or seizing something; a grappling hook. According to the dictionary I have. The term grappling than is to hook and hold/seize resembling of a grapnel. A clinch as in fighting styles that of Thai, BJJ, Wrestling, etc. Grappling as related to grapnel is offensive. You throw a grapnel and hook a wall or something. In fighting, reasoning then grappling is a struggle engagement, where there is struggle or close fight. I don't think Aikido can be definitively stamped as grappling - in context of the English language vs. Jujutsu being used by the Japanese to identify close struggle or fight in the way they do it. Here we have Aikido which was the result of modified Aiki-Jujutsu of whence is came to become Aikido and not Aikijujutsu. The arts are not the same, though Aikido shares its roots and properties, hence similarities, they key word, modification took place changing the art. Much as Football and soccer, baseball and cricket are not interchangable nouns to discribe each. There are actions we term with the same verb, i.e. kick, or swing, throw, run, maybe similar, though as nouns, they are different activities.

I think there is nothing else I could add to that. :)
 

JohnEdward

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That is the interesting part, if you look at Ueshiba's book "Budo" at the Noma Dojo technique pictures (the place nicknamed "hell school") shows him striking vital points with a dragon's fist (middle knuckle fist) and says that you must strike before throwing. Again, it wasn't until after he saw the destruction of WW2 that he emphasized the unity of his techniques. Also, in the pictures you will see different applications of well known techniques, such as Tenchi Nage (Heaven/Earth throw I believe) that HE is grabbing onto them to execute the throw, where as now most schools teach it from BEING grabbed.

So, the techniques didn't change just their emphasis. Also, Tomiki aikido has competitions to compete and have resisting partners.
I would say that Tomiki Aikido, a Aikido hybrid of Judo and Aikido would be closer to grappling. Throw in say fireman's carriage, and that recent crazy wresting move where the USA wrestler jumps over his opponent, and a leg pick, and you got a deal. :) It is my understanding, also as a Jujutsu guy and a buff, I think Aikido was a pre WWII Aikido was still a jujutsu.
 

oftheherd1

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I would say that Tomiki Aikido, a Aikido hybrid of Judo and Aikido would be closer to grappling. Throw in say fireman's carriage, and that recent crazy wresting move where the USA wrestler jumps over his opponent, and a leg pick, and you got a deal. :) It is my understanding, also as a Jujutsu guy and a buff, I think Aikido was a pre WWII Aikido was still a jujutsu.

For curiosity's sake, how would you categorize Hapkido?
 

Chris Parker

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Okay, this'll take a bit. Sorry bout that...


Chris, WOW, you can put allot out on the table and I can't digest it all. :)


Just a heads up, but you may want to go back and re-read what I've posted over the last few pages, perhaps a few times, before coming back to this. Yes, there's a fair bit to digest, but a lot is repeated, and the message is consistent.

I am more old school thinking, sorry about not being more specific, I can understand I was sort of confusing, by using the terms interchangeable.

Hmm, I really don't get what you mean by "old school thinking... traditional views" etc when you're actually flying in the face of the traditional (old) interpretations and definitions of the terms we're talking about here. And, for the record, you'll actually be hard pressed to find a more "old school" person here than me. Gotta say.

The idea of Aikido being a grappling art, grappling as a noun, is new to me. I have a paradigm of grappling, a general view of it based on observation - Aikido doesn't fit into that box of what I define grappling as a noun, to be, based on wrestling and like old school (Koryu) Jujutsus.

John, your own definition of grappling as a noun is that it is "the act of grappling", with your supplied definition of grappling being "seize hold of (someone)", so I really don't see any support for your contention that Aikido isn't grappling. In fact, your own supplied definitions, as well as the dictionary definition I supplied, categorically put Aikido in the grappling realm, whether you agree with it by understanding what the term means or not.

Aikido doesn't fit for me, to be a grappling art. It is more a throwing art. I don't see the same struggle, or holding like that of BJJ, wrestling or jujutsu.

John, throwing is one aspect of grappling, they are not separate. If it is throwing, it is grappling. Your reading into the idea of "a struggle" is not relevant, honestly, and is only one word in part of a definition as an example (not the definition itself by any means). Okay?

Yes, I don't define the noun grappling to be only on the ground. I don't think the man who started Aikido called it grappling, I think if that was so he may have stuck with the jujutsu and not called it Aiki-"do."

Well, the main reason that Ueshiba Sensei didn't call Aikido "grappling" is that he didn't speak English.... but you really need to understand that "Jujutsu" doesn't mean "grappling", if we were to use a Japanese term as a translation of "grappling", it would be "torite". Interestingly, this is term used in some systems, but we'll come back to an example of that.

I don't think he wanted to associate his art as a grappling/jujutsu art- as the noun. Jujutsu (as Japanese grappling as the noun) is brutal intended to really put the hurt on someone, I don't think that is the intention of Aikido. That is my guess.

Firstly, Aikido can put the hurt on plenty. Second, Jujutsu is not the Japanese word for grappling (as stated). Third, that is not the defining aspect of Japanese Jujutsu. I would say that your understanding and experience of the breadth of Japanese Jujutsu systems is relatively limited.

For example, Yagyu Shingan Ryu has four diffferent categorisations for it's unarmed tactics and methods, including methods they describe as Torite (literally "capturing, or seizing hands", as close a translation for grappling as you'll find), which is designed for protection of another, and in a range of it's methods, are designed to not injure unduly.

That is the best I can do to answer your question, concerning my opinion. The difficult thing here is there are many other layers to the discussion of calling Aikido a grappling art. It is not as simple as putting on a new label on a folder. Japanese are complex and complicated people, more so generations ago. I guess am not up on the latest labels or definitions, call me old fashion. :)

These are not the "latest labels or definitions", though. It is actually quite the opposite. Grappling is an old term, and is being applied correctly here. And, just to make absolutely sure here, there really isn't any other layer to describing Aikido as a "grappling art" than to look at if it grapples. Which it does (grappling being the act of seizing and holding, particularly in a martial or combative sense).

The use of an English word to categorise Aikido has absolutely nothing to do with the Japanese being complicated or complex people, really.

Sure no problem. This is from a previous post.

I use the following dictionary definition of the word grapple as a verb to: engage in a close fight or struggle without weapons; wrestle. * seize hold of (someone). Archaic use: seize or hold with a grapnel. The origin of grapple comes out of the mid 16th cent Germanic language to mean "grapa hook" related to grape. As a noun, grapple is an act of grappling. Informal use: a wrestling match. *An instrument for catching hold of or seizing something; a grappling hook. According to the dictionary I have. The term grappling than is to hook and hold/seize resembling of a grapnel. A clinch as in fighting styles that of Thai, BJJ, Wrestling, etc. Grappling as related to grapnel is offensive. You throw a grapnel and hook a wall or something. In fighting, reasoning then grappling is a struggle engagement, where there is struggle or close fight. I don't think Aikido can be definitively stamped as grappling - in context of the English language vs. Jujutsu being used by the Japanese to identify close struggle or fight in the way they do it. Here we have Aikido which was the result of modified Aiki-Jujutsu of whence is came to become Aikido and not Aikijujutsu. The arts are not the same, though Aikido shares its roots and properties, hence similarities, they key word, modification took place changing the art. Much as Football and soccer, baseball and cricket are not interchangable nouns to discribe each. There are actions we term with the same verb, i.e. kick, or swing, throw, run, maybe similar, though as nouns, they are different activities.

I think there is nothing else I could add to that. :)

I have to say, John, that this entire paragraph here is badly skewed and misinformed. There is nothing in the definition that means that it is inherently offensive. And when it comes to your sporting analogy, that really makes no sense whatsoever. In that regard, grappling would be used the same way "kick" would (for example, football is a "kicking" game), Aikido is used the way the different games themselves are used (football, rather than baseball to identify a game itself).

I would say that Tomiki Aikido, a Aikido hybrid of Judo and Aikido would be closer to grappling. Throw in say fireman's carriage, and that recent crazy wresting move where the USA wrestler jumps over his opponent, and a leg pick, and you got a deal. :) It is my understanding, also as a Jujutsu guy and a buff, I think Aikido was a pre WWII Aikido was still a jujutsu.

John, I've said before that Tomiki Aikido is not a hybrid. Tomiki Sensei, when Ueshiba moved from a Menkyo licencing system to a Kyu/Dan ranking system, had his Menkyo Kaiden converted to 8th Dan (same with other Menkyo Kaiden holders), and was, along with the other senior members, to "go and find his own Aikido". He brought across some training approaches from Judo, but the core of the art remained (and remains) Aikido, not a hybrid with Judo.

And really, you'll find things like a fireman's carry (slightly different, but still there) in Aikido, but I really have to say that the presence of a leg-pick or not in no way makes it more or less grappling. At all. And in regard to it being "still a Jujutsu" pre-WWII, it still is one. We could go through things like Asayama Ichiden Ryu Taijutsu (very much an "old school" Jujutsu system) and see many things that exist in modern Aikido. Once again, your take on what makes something Jujutsu or not seems a bit lacking, honestly.

This is where I have to respectfully disagree with your premise. Aikido is derived from Daito-Ryu AikiJUJITSU. When Ueshiba started his art he maintained it was aiki-jujitsu, in fact his school was so hard at training it was called "Hell School", it wasn't until after WW2 that HE changed the name of his art to focus on people's spiritual development more than combat application.

Aikido has strikes, joint locks, takedowns, throws, submissions and what no one else has pointed out yet that I noticed PINS. All of the "grappling" arts that you have mentioned also have these same aspects to them so how is it NOT a grappling art? Aikido like others arts will emphasize different aspects based on each individual school/lineage and instructor.

Ha, hate to tell you this, Punisher, but I've mentioned "pins" as a major part of Aikido at least 5 or 6 times now.... starting with my first post in this thread! Also brought up the "Jigoku Dojo" moniker as well. That said, agree completely!
 
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