Aikido and Dan Inosanto

From Aikido Journal
Dan Inosanto: On Bruce Lee and Aikido

Well, if I remember clearly, he thought the system was good for dealing with grabs and that it had some powerful joint locks, but he felt it wouldn’t do well against someone who is punching and kicking. He thought the falling techniques were great. Bruce would always analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the arts he researched. As one example, I remember when he looked at Korean karate, he really liked the discipline, kicking skill, and the flexibility it built. But then he’d outline what he saw as the weaknesses of the style – no takedowns, no grappling, and no falling skills. Bruce did this for almost every art that was known at the time.

Bruce told me that you want to research, you want to experiment, then you want to develop something for you, and finally you have to develop something that will work for the majority of your students, because what works for one individual may not work for another individual.

And by the way, I don’t think the disadvantages or weaknesses of an art discounts its value. Every art has to specialize in something. For example, I’ve seen some stuff on the Internet where people criticize Aikido because it doesn’t do well in an MMA ring. Well that‘s not the point. I personally don’t think you should do that because you’re looking at an art out of context and asking it to perform in an environment it’s not designed for.

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