Tired of hearing “it doesn’t work”

angrywhitepajamas

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Hello everyone,
Please pardon my rant but I am tired of hearing the complaint of "Aikido doesn't work".

The complaint that "it doesn't work" in aikido usually can be traced back to five issues. The first issue is that aikido techniques require years practice or a specialized training regimen to obtain sufficient grip strength to apply many techniques. Many dojos do not teach or require a training regimen using Jo or Bokkendo to aid in the development of technique and strength. This is understandable because both Jodo and Bokkendo take additional time to practice, lots of space which may not be available, and come with significant safety issues which may not be worth the risk of practicing in that particular dojo. Therefore many dojos wait for hand strength to develop as a side effect of years of practice.

The second issue is that Aikido practice is geared in mindset of not causing permanent damage to your partner. A lot of techniques if done wrong will permanently injure your partner. This can be a difficult problem with large classes as they are harder to observe in detail as well as manage instruction on correct technique application and performance.

Third is that Aikido is a partner interaction based system. In the beginning it is a struggle for both the the attacker and the receiver to be able to practice together. The receiver has the capability of doing permanent harm to the attacking partner if they misapply the technique. At higher levels your partner giving the attack (the “uke” for those non Aikidoka here) has to have a better ability to control his or her fall than the partner receiving the attack (the “nage”) has to perform the technique. If the uke cannot ukemi (a break fall or the ability to control their own fall) to the appropriate degree of proficiency then the nage does not have the chance to perform more advanced techniques. Also the mutual practice between the uke and nage builds trust and competency. Without the trust, there can be very little skill building; therefore the technique that is being attempted is not effective. So unlike many striking forms, it is easier to practice aikido with a partner (it looks kinda funny to outsiders when you’re doing shihonage by yourself). This is also why you don’t see many people doing “rigorous waza” like Boulder Drop.

Fourthly there aikido has no kata and is circular in the stepping patterns. The lack of kata (patterns, forms, poomce…) is a plus an a minus. I won’t get into the specifics of each technique and its applicability beyond saying that yes even shihonage can work against a baseball bat. Each technique has the presentation for, the foreword application, the reverse application, the counter application, kind application, “hard and nasty” application…and so on. Further complicating this is an additional layer of complexity of neutralization, projection and redirection techniques. The easiest way to accommodate this, and depending who you talk to the path to least resistance, is the lovely two step (“ude furi undo”). Most dojos teach ude furi undo as a two step dance and it works for the most part. This stepping pattern has the potential to put the practitioner in a more advantageous position (ie “not meeting force with force, but arranging a date with gravity and the floor”).

Fifthly there is the philosophical nature of the different Aikido associations. To my knowledge on the gentle extreme there is the Ki society with their emphasis on soft throws and extreme cooperation, on the other side of the spectrum is the Tomiki groups which have greater emphasis on application. Most dojo’s fall in between so the aikido you are talking about may not be the aikido someone else is talking about. Each group shares most of the same techniques they just practice and apply in vastly different manners. In addition similar to Shotokan, many aikido dojo’s try to teach in a manner that results in the fewest possible injuries during practice.

Finally many people seem to have the opinion that aikido is a “peace and love art man”. Practice in aikido can be painful, mentally complex, and difficult. Like any other art we try to be careful not to injure our willing vic/partner. Please consider all this when someone makes the statement that “Aikido doesn’t work”. Those are some of the difficulties involved, but they are not insurmountable. They merely require a different perspective in order to be applicable.

Just to mention this, but Aikido was my first martial art and I have used it since grade school and it hasn't let me down yet.
 

Drac

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Learn to ignore the idiots as I have.. Let them believe what they will..I have heard similiar statements about Karate and Hapkido. If one of these jackwagons ever attacks you they will find out that IT DOES WORK...
 

Flying Crane

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Let everyone THINK it doesn't work. If you every have to use it, their ignorance works to your advantage. Keep it in your back pocket.
 

bribrius

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I know little about it so take my comment for what it is worth (nothing pretty much)

i like any moves in which you can use your opponents own momentum or force against them. Rather than blocking, or stopping, use the energy to your benefit.

I see some of this in it. Grabbing the arm or wrist, is something i actually enjoy for knocking someone backward, dropping the head for a knee to the face or throat. use it while sweeping the legs in a combo and the power that can be had from control over their arm is a wonderful thing. i actually call it " leading" for lack of another term. Because you are doing exactly that to your opponent. Leading them where you want to. Be it from the pain they feel making them succumb to the direction you want them to go or by using their own energy and directing it.

The problem i see with it, is it takes a certain amount of time to get that grip and any leading (my term not yours) you depending on the person reacting, or rather not reacting. In your training you partner aids you, or at least goes along with it so that you can perform the move to completion. This way of course no one gets hurt, you learn. I understand all this i do the same in certain moves. But i wonder if you grabbed someones arm and attempted that flip they would not react. For instance my upper torso goes down, you have my arm twisting. you are counting on me flipping or using that movement, my own weight against me and leverage. Flipping backwards or forward doesn't matter. But what if your opponent does something unexpected? what if when you grab that arm or wrist i come sideways and lock it in? Or i get ahold of that leg on the way and attempt to sweep it out from that same enertia? what if your opponent simply pulls back and strikes down for a break? If your gripping my arm then you are exposed as well. while your doing that what is to stop the strike from landing?

Don't get me wrong. Far as what i know i like it. Definatley worth learning. I wonder of some plausible flaws in it but only wonder, i don't know enough to judge it..I do think the fact you need that partner and that reaction is a hindrance. I am not so sure in a real world sit the person would react the same as your partner. Your also expecting the move to carry out. Real world it may not. You may get stopped half way through or may be caught by surprise. Alot of moves seem to be that way. Just take their hand or grab their arm and.......

Start out with the assumption, a. someone is just going to let you grab their arm or b. someone is going to let you grab their arm AND react according to your plan. Both questionable. course in practice it works great as you have a willing person. kind of like using the arm to push the face down for that kick. your starting with the premise you have their arm, that your strong enough to hold it and twist it, and they arent reacting.
 

Carol

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Don't tell Satoko Shinashi....or the people that lost to her in the octagon...that Aikido doesn't work ;)

[yt]xf9W9luyxHw[/yt]
 

teekin

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I think the trouble is not with the Art it'self, it's with finding a Teacher, a studio to learn proper Aikido. I do know people who are very acomplished in the more traditional arts who have taken up Aikido later in life and assure me that once you can master the technical aspects of the locks and throws (and this is no mean feat) they are wonderfully effective tools. I love how spiritual Aikido is and the small glimpses into what technical complexity lies behind the wrist throws makes me want to come back.

lori
 

Jenna

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Hello everyone,
Please pardon my rant but I am tired of hearing the complaint of "Aikido doesn't work".

The complaint that "it doesn't work" in aikido usually can be traced back to five issues. The first issue is that aikido techniques require years practice or a specialized training regimen to obtain sufficient grip strength to apply many techniques. Many dojos do not teach or require a training regimen using Jo or Bokkendo to aid in the development of technique and strength. This is understandable because both Jodo and Bokkendo take additional time to practice, lots of space which may not be available, and come with significant safety issues which may not be worth the risk of practicing in that particular dojo. Therefore many dojos wait for hand strength to develop as a side effect of years of practice.

The second issue is that Aikido practice is geared in mindset of not causing permanent damage to your partner. A lot of techniques if done wrong will permanently injure your partner. This can be a difficult problem with large classes as they are harder to observe in detail as well as manage instruction on correct technique application and performance.

Third is that Aikido is a partner interaction based system. In the beginning it is a struggle for both the the attacker and the receiver to be able to practice together. The receiver has the capability of doing permanent harm to the attacking partner if they misapply the technique. At higher levels your partner giving the attack (the “uke” for those non Aikidoka here) has to have a better ability to control his or her fall than the partner receiving the attack (the “nage”) has to perform the technique. If the uke cannot ukemi (a break fall or the ability to control their own fall) to the appropriate degree of proficiency then the nage does not have the chance to perform more advanced techniques. Also the mutual practice between the uke and nage builds trust and competency. Without the trust, there can be very little skill building; therefore the technique that is being attempted is not effective. So unlike many striking forms, it is easier to practice aikido with a partner (it looks kinda funny to outsiders when you’re doing shihonage by yourself). This is also why you don’t see many people doing “rigorous waza” like Boulder Drop.

Fourthly there aikido has no kata and is circular in the stepping patterns. The lack of kata (patterns, forms, poomce…) is a plus an a minus. I won’t get into the specifics of each technique and its applicability beyond saying that yes even shihonage can work against a baseball bat. Each technique has the presentation for, the foreword application, the reverse application, the counter application, kind application, “hard and nasty” application…and so on. Further complicating this is an additional layer of complexity of neutralization, projection and redirection techniques. The easiest way to accommodate this, and depending who you talk to the path to least resistance, is the lovely two step (“ude furi undo”). Most dojos teach ude furi undo as a two step dance and it works for the most part. This stepping pattern has the potential to put the practitioner in a more advantageous position (ie “not meeting force with force, but arranging a date with gravity and the floor”).

Fifthly there is the philosophical nature of the different Aikido associations. To my knowledge on the gentle extreme there is the Ki society with their emphasis on soft throws and extreme cooperation, on the other side of the spectrum is the Tomiki groups which have greater emphasis on application. Most dojo’s fall in between so the aikido you are talking about may not be the aikido someone else is talking about. Each group shares most of the same techniques they just practice and apply in vastly different manners. In addition similar to Shotokan, many aikido dojo’s try to teach in a manner that results in the fewest possible injuries during practice.

Finally many people seem to have the opinion that aikido is a “peace and love art man”. Practice in aikido can be painful, mentally complex, and difficult. Like any other art we try to be careful not to injure our willing vic/partner. Please consider all this when someone makes the statement that “Aikido doesn’t work”. Those are some of the difficulties involved, but they are not insurmountable. They merely require a different perspective in order to be applicable.

Just to mention this, but Aikido was my first martial art and I have used it since grade school and it hasn't let me down yet.

Dear angrywhitepyjamas, please say why are you so angry about this? If your Aikido works why are you seeking to prove that to everyone else?

If your Aikido works then the proof will be in your ability to avoid a confrontation or to mitigate the damage to yourself and to your aggressor if that confrontation cannot be calmed.

You do not have to prove to everyone here that your Aikido works. For not everyone has that negative viewpoint, yes, even some people that practice other arts. If people do not want to believe that Aikido works then that is entirely their prerogative. Everyone here practices their own arts. They practice their own arts for their own various reasons. You need not feel you have to execute any mission to prove Aikido to them. They are happy with their own art.

For those arguing with you that Aikido does not work, why do you care to prove them wrong? They are speaking from a position of ignorance. Why do you care to enlighten those that seek no enlightenment and but more often seek only an argument with you? Is that in itself not poor Aikido on your part to engage?

Anyone that argues that Aikido does not work plainly practices nothing more than youtube-Aikido [which is not even of O'Sensei origin and but is becoming increasingly prevalent].

I might say that your anger, whilst seeming wholly justified and righteous [which our own anger invariably does] might be better directed into your training, or perhaps better yet into your own mental and philosophical centering, no?

Please do not be angry like this angrywhitepyjamas, for anger will temper your Aikido in a negative way. Please consider just being WHITEPYJAMAS and be happy being whitepyjamas and practicing your Aikido for you, for your own defence, for your own pleasure, for your own camaraderie, for your own self-confidence, for your own fitness and do not be worried about what anyone else has to say to criticise your choice of martial art.

Aikido works because it works for you.

Jenna xo
 

Cirdan

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You yourself know the value of Aikido. You`ll just have to respect the fact that many don`t and that some make unfounded statements mainly because of insecurity.

I find that most who make statements like that are either armchair warriors or some fresh student of "the ultimate art" who in all likelyhood will quit within a year.

Wiser people know to shut up and train.
 

Bruno@MT

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It's not that it doesn't work, but in many dojo it is taught in a way that really has nothing to do with martial application.

I've seen aikido demonstrations that were trully 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 each other and not paying attention. And the punches were no punches, it was the presentation of a hand on a silver platter. It was horrible.

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'.

The same applies to other arts as well, of course, but imo aikido is more vulnerable to this with the whole 'soft' mindset / philosophy behind it.
 

l_uk3y

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Don't tell Satoko Shinashi....or the people that lost to her in the octagon...that Aikido doesn't work ;)

[yt]xf9W9luyxHw[/yt]


Thats an impressive Highlight reel.

On topic. As always. Its the People involved and the way it is trained that will ultimately say how effective it is. The techniques themselves are highly effective with the only condition of them working is the practitioners ability to "read" the opponent and respond appropriately.

Luke
 

zDom

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Tanaka

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Well to be honest... those type of people who go around trying to prove other martial art systems don't work. Normally won't be convinced unless you compete in MMA.
Why should anyone have to do this just to prove their system.

I think clips like these are good enough
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biHkZCv_aP4&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6lravpr9GU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8heQfCl4Fh8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_LC5ptMR50&feature=related
 
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MA-Caver

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I agree with Drac and Flying Crane, ignore the talkers, pay attention to the walkers. Folks that watch an early Segal video or any other of the masters just-don't-seem-to-get-how-much-training-over-x number-of-years those guys have been doing their chosen art to get to where it looks SO easy or ineffective because their ukes get right back up and charge at them again.
They (to me) obviously have no sense of real-world, full strength application that can be applied. This goes also for Karate and just about any other MA that is out there.
When I uked for a Kenpoist I knew that they were only applying marginal strength/power to their kicks and blows on my body. Having been in a LOT of full-power for real fights my own experience told me just how effective that particular art would be if used full strength. I mentally apply that to ANY art (especially Aikido) that I see a demo or training of.

Case in point with this post.
Don't tell Satoko Shinashi....or the people that lost to her in the octagon...that Aikido doesn't work ;)

Mental note... upon meeting her (if ever) do NOT make Miss Shinashi mad at me! :eek:
That gal is quick and effective. I loved two things about watching that vid. 1. How she took on that guy that outsized and out weighed her by a factor of 4 or 5 and he looked like he was in trouble. 2. That pretty smile of hers at the end of the video that showed she was having fun kicking ***....at full power.
 

K-man

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Don't tell Satoko Shinashi....or the people that lost to her in the octagon...that Aikido doesn't work ;)
I couldn't recognise the aikido so checked her out. She started with Judo and added Jujutsu. No mention of Aikido.

Tanaka ...
Well to be honest... those type of people who go around trying to prove other martial art systems don't work. Normally won't be convinced unless you compete in MMA.
Why should anyone have to do this just to prove their system.
Aikido is designed to protect people in their personal environment. It was never intended as sport, nor was it designed to compete against trained martial artists.

Now from a personal point of view, I believe effectiveness depends on how you train, and that applies to any martial art. I have seen karate that 'wouldn't work' on the street, and I've seen aikido that wouldn't work. Any martial art needs to be pressure tested from time to time to ensure that what you are learning will work in the real world. I have no doubt that aikido can be effective or I would not have spent years trying to get it right. What I can say from personal experience is that it is far easier to wack someone with a fist or kick them in the shin than to develop an automatic response ending with an effective joint lock or take down. :asian:
 

Laus

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Anyone who thinks Aikido doesn't work has obviously never been thrown around by someone who practices it
 

MrBigglesworth

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The biggest problem with Aikido, if there is one, is how people train.
There is a big difference to someone giving you a commited attack in a more accustomed manner in a confortable environment, and an experienced brawler who intimidates and stalks and messes with your head first to get you out of your comfort zone. Adrenalin surges, your timing is just a little out of whack and what works "all the time" doesn't do much any more.

I trained in Aikido for a number of years, but the first time you get hit with some intent, it's a different story. It's very confronting, even if it is in a familiar setting like training and you know the other guy doesn't have the intention of really hurting you.

This isn't just about Aikido, but panicky Aikido that comes out (like a random attempt at sankkajo or kote gaeshi without some sort of softener or balance break) tends to be less effective than a crude whack that might come out from a striking art applied equally badly.
 

K-man

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This isn't just about Aikido, but panicky Aikido that comes out (like a random attempt at sankkajo or kote gaeshi without some sort of softener or balance break) tends to be less effective than a crude whack that might come out from a striking art applied equally badly.
Yes, but with training that crude wack can become a very effective atemi that facilitates your take down or lock. Unfortunately most aikido I have seen doesn't teach the atemi. :asian:
 

Touch Of Death

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Hello everyone,
Please pardon my rant but I am tired of hearing the complaint of "Aikido doesn't work".

The complaint that "it doesn't work" in aikido usually can be traced back to five issues. The first issue is that aikido techniques require years practice or a specialized training regimen to obtain sufficient grip strength to apply many techniques. Many dojos do not teach or require a training regimen using Jo or Bokkendo to aid in the development of technique and strength. This is understandable because both Jodo and Bokkendo take additional time to practice, lots of space which may not be available, and come with significant safety issues which may not be worth the risk of practicing in that particular dojo. Therefore many dojos wait for hand strength to develop as a side effect of years of practice.

The second issue is that Aikido practice is geared in mindset of not causing permanent damage to your partner. A lot of techniques if done wrong will permanently injure your partner. This can be a difficult problem with large classes as they are harder to observe in detail as well as manage instruction on correct technique application and performance.

Third is that Aikido is a partner interaction based system. In the beginning it is a struggle for both the the attacker and the receiver to be able to practice together. The receiver has the capability of doing permanent harm to the attacking partner if they misapply the technique. At higher levels your partner giving the attack (the “uke” for those non Aikidoka here) has to have a better ability to control his or her fall than the partner receiving the attack (the “nage”) has to perform the technique. If the uke cannot ukemi (a break fall or the ability to control their own fall) to the appropriate degree of proficiency then the nage does not have the chance to perform more advanced techniques. Also the mutual practice between the uke and nage builds trust and competency. Without the trust, there can be very little skill building; therefore the technique that is being attempted is not effective. So unlike many striking forms, it is easier to practice aikido with a partner (it looks kinda funny to outsiders when you’re doing shihonage by yourself). This is also why you don’t see many people doing “rigorous waza” like Boulder Drop.

Fourthly there aikido has no kata and is circular in the stepping patterns. The lack of kata (patterns, forms, poomce…) is a plus an a minus. I won’t get into the specifics of each technique and its applicability beyond saying that yes even shihonage can work against a baseball bat. Each technique has the presentation for, the foreword application, the reverse application, the counter application, kind application, “hard and nasty” application…and so on. Further complicating this is an additional layer of complexity of neutralization, projection and redirection techniques. The easiest way to accommodate this, and depending who you talk to the path to least resistance, is the lovely two step (“ude furi undo”). Most dojos teach ude furi undo as a two step dance and it works for the most part. This stepping pattern has the potential to put the practitioner in a more advantageous position (ie “not meeting force with force, but arranging a date with gravity and the floor”).

Fifthly there is the philosophical nature of the different Aikido associations. To my knowledge on the gentle extreme there is the Ki society with their emphasis on soft throws and extreme cooperation, on the other side of the spectrum is the Tomiki groups which have greater emphasis on application. Most dojo’s fall in between so the aikido you are talking about may not be the aikido someone else is talking about. Each group shares most of the same techniques they just practice and apply in vastly different manners. In addition similar to Shotokan, many aikido dojo’s try to teach in a manner that results in the fewest possible injuries during practice.

Finally many people seem to have the opinion that aikido is a “peace and love art man”. Practice in aikido can be painful, mentally complex, and difficult. Like any other art we try to be careful not to injure our willing vic/partner. Please consider all this when someone makes the statement that “Aikido doesn’t work”. Those are some of the difficulties involved, but they are not insurmountable. They merely require a different perspective in order to be applicable.

Just to mention this, but Aikido was my first martial art and I have used it since grade school and it hasn't let me down yet.
So the art is un-useful for those that don't do the work.
Sean
 
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