Just about everything is more applicable than aikido in the short term. If you wanted to stay long enough to be able to use aiki in a fight, then youll have to stay quite a few years. If you practice any jiyu waza (which I assume is what you mean by randori) youre wasting your time if you do this in the first few years anyway. Learn form first, use it later. If you want real aiki, not McDojo aiki, this is the only way, and this is true in any authentic aikido or aikijujutsu dojo.
Originally Posted by Qidori
I agree with you fully; I understand that aikido is an art in which there must be EXTREME dedication for even the smallest skill to develope. I would have very much liked to stay, as I posted, but I was moving across the country in a couple of months, so I didn't have much of a choice. Believe me, I understand the years of practice it takes to begin being 'good'. I would have very much liked to have been one of the 50 year old guys in the class that were actually able to use these techniques in a useful way, but I was simply unable.
6. Aikido does work. Morihei Ueshiba was an absolute baddass from accounts
and the videos of Kancho Sensei just look painful on the attacker
he moved like a robot, step1, step2, step3,step4,step5,....step10
. But these were Aikido Gods. For Mr Mc. Muppet Aikido is a long up hill struggle and offers no street skills at all until you "get it". This will take years and years judging from the age of the lads down in chigwell.
some ppl dont realize that martial arts masters who came from asian countries dont usually teach the full techniques to western students
i couldn't put my finger on what, if anything, was the problem with those clips, but now i know---some people aren't realizing that asian masters don't teach the full techniques to westerners.
on the internet see-and-say. . . .
"the zombie thread says, 'you resurrected me for this!?!?'"
Well it seems I am quite late for these posts, still, I feel forced to make a few comments on what I’ve read. I believe the origin of all this confusion is nothing but a huge misunderstanding of the technical aspects of aikido. Please, I don’t try to look like I hold the ultimate truth about the art or anything, but I’ve been practicing for almost 14 years now (with a few breaks) and I think I might be able to make a pretty decent comment. Some of the things I’m about to say have already been mentioned, some haven’t, maybe if we put them together things will make a little more sense.
I hope if I write it in this way it will make it easier and a little less painful to the eyes of those who care to read. Here it goes.
1.- What the hell is wrong with you guys, why do you wear such an uncomfortable, unpractical (it’s like putting handles all over your legs for your opponent to grab) thing as a hakama?.
It is simply a matter of tradition in the martial art. Some believe it’s purpose is to hide the feet from the opponent, in aikido this could be debated, what it is known is that Aikido/Aikijujutsu belongs to a class of martial arts that were studied by certain samurai family clans as part of their martial training, as such, they shared a similar outfit to the rest of the martial arts with which they were studied, i.e. Kenjutsu, Iaido, Jodo, Kyudo, Naginatajutsu… Look closely and you will also realize that all of these martial arts share another common feature: all of them train in the use of weapons, and Aikido (although chronologically Aikijujutsu would be a more appropriate term, I will simply put aikido since it is aikido we are talking about and we all know the derivative relation between the two.) is not the exception.
2.- Why in God’s name do you guys practice with such unrealistic (if not completely fake) attacks?
Aikido puts much stress, at the beginning (the 1st years, not months of training), on techniques against grabbing, not because we are afraid someone might kill us by cutting the blood flow to the distal arm but because most aikido techniques (regardless of the attack) end up reduced to a situation where the aikidoka is doing exactly that, grabbing your arm (or elbow, or shoulder…) before getting into the actual technique, so you might as well learn that from the beginning and learn it well. Interestingly enough this is the origin of kaeshiwaza (countertechniques). The other reason is, in empty handed fighting, grabbing someone’s hand just for the fun of making contact is not really a practical approach, but suppose someone had a knife, and I don’t only mean your opponent, maybe it is you the one with the knife, the point is that there is a weapon involved in the fight, then grabbing the person’s arm holding the weapon doesn’t sound like such a crazy idea.
Later aikido focuses on hits which, understandably, look fake to most people. Aikido’s yokomenuchi (side hit), and specially shomenuchi (frontal hit) are meant to represent blows to the head using weapons such as a sword, stick, etc. (if you try a shomenuchi, empty handed, against any regular human being, chances are you’ll fracture your metacarpals, so…). These weapons or their wooden representations are not used at the beginning; this is to make the practice less intimidating and stressful to mudansha (beginners). People that do not know this fact simply take the attacks for fake (aikidokas that don’t understand this fact make actual fake attacks). Later on aikidoka will learn aikiken, tanto and aikijo, not as a separate ryu of kendo or jodo but as the basics to handle the weapons that represent most attacks for which they’ve trained. In aikiken and aikijo aikidoka DO learn attacks.
3.- So, if you don’t train for common attacks such as jabs, uppercuts, grappling… what do you do when someone attacks using those?
Pretty much the same thing a boxer, karateka or BJJ practitioner would do if attacked with a sword to their heads by a kenjutsuka, i.e. probably do something useless and get our ass kicked anyway. Here I would like to stop for a moment because I know many aikidoka won’t like this, but not realizing these simple facts is what makes dojos get full of delirious imbeciles (not being aikido dojos the only ones they frequent) that believe aikido is some sort of multipurpose tool that will be effective in any conceivable situation.
There IS NOT such thing as multipurpose martial art; this is the reason why samurais (or any other ancient warrior of your choice) studied different martial arts. This is what they did for a living, it was not just a hobby, and going to battle only knowing one martial art was like trying to go to fix a machine only carrying a screwdriver. When I hear you people saying “this art sucks because it doesn’t work against this or that” it sounds to me like someone saying “this screwdriver sucks because it is terrible at hammering these nails”. I think it’s more intelligent to believe that, if a martial art that’s been around for hundreds of years doesn’t work well in a particular situation, it is maybe because you are not applying its principles in the right context, and not just because it “sucks”. Technically speaking and leaving aside the deep philosophical teachings of aikido (which are impossible to separate but just for the sake of the argument) aikido is most effective at handling attacks with feudal Japanese non-shooting weapons, the outer you get from this spectrum the weaker your technique will become at handling the situation. This is what we call in my dojo “context”, or as we say, the reason why anything you practice is useless against nuclear weapons (because martial arts against nuclear weapons are obvious and brutally out of context). This same applies to martial arts currently regarded as very effective (because THEY ARE, for the current context on which they are applied, very effective), such as BJJ or MT, etc. BJJ for example, was practically develop for street fighting and for such purposes, logically, it is very effective, if you take it out of its context (as you are trying to do with aikido and other martial arts I’ve read) and put it in the context where aikido’s techniques were created, even BJJ looks very useless. For example, let’s say, a very skilled BJJ practitioner versus an equally skillful kenjutsuka (aikido’s non-compliant opponent, for those who were wondering). I bet that the BJJ guy is not only going to get his ass kicked but he is also going to get very, very dead. I’m not saying this situation is a piece of cake for any aikidoist but the odds favor the aikidoka over the BJJ guy, in the same way they favor the BJJ guy in a street fight.
If you want a simple test that aikido is technically meant to defend against weapons try this. Whatever martial art you practice, go to your dojo/school and ask your instructor what is your art’s approach for a straight knife attack (or any other armed attack you’d like). I bet, whatever they teach you (if they actually teach you anything whatsoever), you will find yourself doing some technique (very lousily I might add) that already exists in the aikido repertoire or at least has its more practical equivalent.
Just to finish, aikido won’t be very effective in the situations mentioned simply because it’s not meant to be used for that purpose (not only for philosophical but also for technical reasons) just like a screwdriver is not very useful at hammering anything. Please notice that I’m not saying is absolutely useless, you might pull out a few things (just like you might push the nail a few centimeter by hitting it with the screwdriver’s handle) but there are certainly more useful things for those situations.
4.- Why don’t you train against kicks?
Of course we do!!! , we just do it proportionately to the number of weapons you can “handle” with your feet. Besides, picture the vast number of situations where kicking will be the best way to handle someone with a sword.
5.-Why don’t you put your arms up when fighting, are you stupid or you just wanna get hit on the head?
On the contrary, because we don’t want you to hit our hands with the weapon we believe you carry, we don’t give you easy access to them. We put them somewhere where it’s equally easy (or difficult) for you to hit as any other part of the body, usually at the hip level where they move with the rest of the body. Exceptions are some old (if not outdated) schools were they put both hand in the front (one at the head level, the other at the abdomen’s) trying to represent a fencing stance. Again, if you are not holding a sword then you are just making a bad habit of unnecessarily exposing your hands.
6.-What’s all this crap about not using strength, using the opponent’s force, I mean, you are just lazy, you don’t even do decent physical training?
Weapons were developed to win even if your opponent is physically stronger. If I have a knife I just have to push it through your abdomen (with much less force than it takes to break a wooden table with your fist) and I only have to do it once to “neutralize” you. So, when you work with weapons you don’t need to hit hard to be able to kill (the edge of any sword will bleed anyone to death if you just gently and firmly slide it against the neck, provided is sharp :-) ), nor any amount of push-ups, aerobic exercise or whatever will turn your skin into stone. It is in those situation were technique does make A HUGE LOTS OF difference.
This IS NOT by any means an excuse to become a disgusting fat pig, martial artist are supposed to be disciplined, what kind of discipline shows such lack of autocontrol?. This is just to make the point that, like kendo, iaido, kyudo… and unlike karate, judo, jujutsu… strength is not a primordial factor in aikido.
Now, about the non-strength philosophy, if we consider the 1st paragraphs to be true, then this philosophy is simply the most logical approach to the situation given. In fact, as a nage (the person doing the technique), if you are sweating to get the technique done, you can be pretty much sure that you are doing something wrong (unless it is summer of course ;-) ). In aikido the person supposed to be sweating his ass off is uke not nage.
7.-Why don’t you have competitions or sparring in aikido? This is known to be a great way of pushing you to be better and improving your techniques.
We do not have them, 1st because it is philosophically incorrect and 2nd, for the same reason you don’t see them in iaido or why fencing stops at every 1 point. Failure to perform the technique appropriately doesn’t mean you lose, means you’re dead. So if it is easier for you, you can think of aikido practice as 1 point match (for any technique the instructor chooses) repeated over, and over and over… at the highest intensity the participant partners are able (or willing) to perform, in fact, differences in intensity between partners is what usually leads to injury and this is the most common and expected thing to happen if you are competing to win, so it would be like: “Yeah I won, I broke my partner’s elbow, yuuuupi!!!...”. Also, this is the reason why aikido practice has a natural tendency to become unrealistic (if not utterly bullshit), because keeping it real is not an easy thing to do (this is also why being uke is considered an art all by itself). If you go to one extreme you might get hurt, if you go to the other extreme you find yourself doing lightkido (as we call it in my dojo), since nobody likes to get hurt guess which extreme is the most popular?, so the idea is to be in the middle, always trying to push it a little bit, that’s the ideal thing to do, but not an easy one.
8.-What’s with the stupid supremacy attitude of most aikidokas?
Now, to finish this pseudoconversation, this is my personal point of view. One of the most common worst-case scenario in the context on which aikido’s techniques were developed was having to fight, empty handed, someone carrying 2 swords, who knows very well how to use them and is also very willing to kill you. Because, as previously stated, the best chances of survival stood by the aikijutsuka and not the karateka, jujutsuka, etc, etc…, and because aikijutsu was not a martial art you could just find a place to practice at every corner (it was kept as a family tradition passed down to members of the clan) their techniques came to be regarded as “divine” (I mean, if you are a pageant in feudal Japan, looking at some empty-handed guy, beating the crap out of 1 or maybe 2 swordsmen, and barely breaking a sweat, what else would you call what he’s doing??? ). Now, in modern times, aikido’s techniques are out of context, but still one can find in many books and dojos the stories when they were so highly regarded. Most of us know that arrogant people are to be found in every dojo, if we combine arrogance with ignorance (or maybe selective listening would be a more appropriate term) of the technical and philosophical origins and implications of aikido, one can understand were this whole bullshit of “I have the divine techniques handed down to me by God himself and are therefore bound to work against everything at one point or another…” comes from. Sadly, in my experience, these people don’t learn the hard way, as one would expect (or like) but for some unexplained mechanism, keep themselves save and warm in their parallel universe trying to recruit newbies or some other brainless, and although I fell urged to take them out of their misery it is against my nature to kill stupid people.
Hope this helps a little bit to clear things up and remember, Bullshido is not only what you practice but it is also what you think. :happy3:
An excellent sensei can get their students looking good in about a year or two, but you are absolutely correct about the extreme dedication part. Some people never get good at all, even with an excellent sensei. It really is a totally different experience from all the other martial arts I have participated in.
Originally Posted by Qidori
I am so sad I came in late in this thread. Wow, just wow! I must say this is a very good thread with balanced and informed views from the aikido basher and well defended points from the aikido defenders.
It took me 2 and a half days to go through all 42 pages and 400++ posts.
Kudos to Budd and Shinshoryu for giving a unbiased and balanced view of aikido's pro and cons.
Last edited by GRAB MY WRIST; 7/14/2006 10:26pm at .
Tori is just fooling himself everytime uke jumps into the throw, again and again and again.
Yep, no jumping, forget about pleasing the masses. If you don't feel the "chi", sensei should make you feel it. If you're not sensitive enough, hey, then maybe it's time for another teacher :lol: