Thread: The decline of effective Aikido?
9/29/2006 12:34pm, #1
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- Aug 2006
The decline of effective Aikido?
These days the majority of martial artist of Gendai Budo (Modern Combat Sports) or Sports Orientated Combat arts of whatever persuasion other than aikido, view Traditional Aikido as ineffective against someone who is hell bent on giving an aikidoist a thorough pasting! As a Tomiki/Shodokan Aikido (Aikido style that encourages contest) practitioner I can well understand the reasoning behind that argument and would have to confess that I would have to agree having seen the often fantastic seductive and well performed, pre rehearsed demonstrations done from ineffective striking attacks and grabs as is often the norm in most traditional dojos.
This of course does not fool people from other martial arts yet why were people from other martial arts such as Karate, Judo, Kendo, etc etc attracted to Aikido and its Founder Morihei Ueshiba? It is well known that Ueshiba could really do the business as his teacher Sokaku Takeda could and also proved it beyond all doubt!
I personally feel that having seen demo's of the Iwama style of Aikido today (which Professor Ueshiba taught at his residence and dojo in Iwama) differs much from what one sees today in other traditional dojo's.
I think this is down to all the individual 1st 2nd and successive generation students of Ueshiba's Aikido interpreting it in their own ways and inflence with their own personality traits with possibly the exception of Shihan Morihiro Saito's version (Iwama style), in which he has passed on faithfully and accurately Professor Ueshiba's Aikido.
This can also be seen in Yoshinkan style of Gozo Shioda fame which is also very martial in its practice where the use of atemi (striking) is not omitted. The same is also quite true of Tomiki/Shodokan Aikido which employs atemi in its kata's (forms) randori and shiai (to a limited extent), Professor Tomiki being one of the earliest students of Ueshiba.
So why has Aikido, in other martial artists opinions and which is also the view of aikidoka as well, degenerated to the weak limp practice that one often see's in a lot of traditional dojo's?
Is it all down to each successive generation of teachers progressively toning down the martial art in Aikido into something softer which in their eyes is aikido, which resembles aikido but somehow without the martial? In other words has it become a health system based on a martial art? The martial effectiveness of Aikido not being the goal but rather the spiritual practice being paramount? This put together with very good movement and breakfalls akin to gymnastics or acrobatics, which is great for health etc but not much good in an actual combat scenario where an opponent or opponents are not going to cooperate and take falls for you!.... Albeit ukemi practice (breakfall practice) which is neccessary to avoid or escape injury from a truly applied technique!
Is it possible that Ueshiba as he grew older coupled with his spiritual influence wanted Aikido to become a highly refined harmonious practice? Have the majority of successive post war teachers purposely watered down the practice of Aikido?
Are the majority of Aikido teachers today not really bothered about the self defence effectiveness of Aikido at all! Or are they just deluding themselves and their students?
Its a difficult one really. How does one change what has basically become a defensive kata art with no teeth into an effective martial art without some kind of resistive testing?
To some degree Professor Kenji Tomiki (8th Dan Judo 9th Dan Aikido) foresaw what would happen to aikido and addressed this with his idea of introducing one on one randori and sporting shiai (contest) coupled with kata (form) training to understand the mechanics of technique.
This system is still in developement so we could still see things changing depending on the will of top ranking teachers or innovative individuals in the Shodokan. But until then the progress of Aikido under the Aikikai banner as a martial art, in most quarters, will most likely gradually decline or develop into a health system similar to exercise Tai chi with rolls and falls, to which to some extent it already has. The other styles such as mentioned above will either progress or fall by the wayside.
Its also interesting to note that the watering down of martial effectiveness has also occurred in other Martial Arts so its not just Aikido that is suffering from this kind of criticism.
There is also another reason to why this is happening. Not everyone wants to become a lean mean fighting machine but wants to do martial arts because they are just attracted to the beauty of cooperative kata like practice which is fine for improving health and harmony but not much good for martial effectiveness. If this is the case then students who prefer this kind of practice only should be made fully aware of this!
Unfortunatley many so called professional martial art instructors today are more concerned about how many students they can sign up and so increase their income and status! If they are allowed to get away with what can only really pass off as a martial art dance, then there will always be those who will be duped and deluded especially if they can wow gullible people at demo's with their useless (for self defence) beautiful pre arranged choreographed kata, then we really have a paper tiger with no teeth!
Kata is important to understand the mechanics of technique which then should be done gradually from resistive grabbing and holding with full strength and strong atemi (striking techniques) and then when one becomes more skilled applied into full randori and shiai against an uncooperative partner to test ones technique for effectiveness.... how else can one know if they are effective if this is not done?.... Go out onto the street and hope to get mugged?.....This is very doubtful!
Last edited by towag; 10/04/2006 7:59pm at . Reason: Transfered from written essay
9/29/2006 12:39pm, #2
9/29/2006 12:40pm, #3
...bold, big, italics test does not prove or disprove the validity of any statement
[/whisper]There is no cheating, there is only jiu-jitsu.
9/29/2006 12:43pm, #4
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- Aug 2006
- Sheffield, England
Why the decline of effective Aikido?
Revisionist hippies who want to LARP.
9/29/2006 12:46pm, #5
Que?? (Yes, shameless post-whoring. So Tl;dr but quess it is about same the bazillion other
aikido-threads lately. Meh! :biblethum )
9/29/2006 12:50pm, #6
I am officially boycotting all Aikido threads. I have said everything important there is to say about it.
9/29/2006 4:44pm, #7
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- Sep 2006
- Ontario, Canada
I'd just like to see an "aikido" class with just the hand-to-hand techniques, no mysticism or meditation or sword attacks/defenses, and I'd like to see minimal instruction in the striking and grappling arts that Aikido is meant to deal with, like boxing, MT, BJJ, Judo, etc. along with some sparring that allows strikes and grapples (MMA style) - then I'd sign up.
Sadly what I describe is not only super improper from a traditional point of view (probably) but also would only attract fairly hardcore students and so not be very economical. But that's what the class would have to be like before I signed up for aikido, which was definitely the main point of this thread - finding out what I'm looking for in an aikido school.
...What? decline of what now?
9/29/2006 4:51pm, #8Originally Posted by Neildo
What the guy with the Big Gay Boat wrote.
Not . . . that there is anything wrong with that. . . .
9/29/2006 5:18pm, #9
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- Jul 2002
- Rhineland Pfalz, Der Vaderland
Wait, when was Aikido effective?______
Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invincible Asia) Dark Emperor of Baji!!!
Didn't anyone ever tell him a fat man could never be a ninja
You can't practice Judo just to win a Judo Match! You practice so that no matter what happens, you can win using Judo!The key to fighting two men at once is to be much tougher than both of them.
9/29/2006 5:24pm, #10
I agree with what was said, although it's nothing revolutionary.
Oh, and just a tip - use punctuation and paragraphs to split articles like that up. Makes it much easier to read.Mr Politically Correct GIJoe6186:
Fat people disgust me in every way imaginable. I was at Freindly's with my girl tonight and saw a bunch of fat fuckers. I felt sorry for the pavement they were killing and the people who had to see them. .