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View Full Version : How we can save Aikido: An honest opinion.



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Colin
4/08/2011 11:48am,
Ok. I'll start by stating that I have a modest experience with Aikido over many years involving training with Aikidoka of vastly different philosophical outlooks, physical abilities, and training methodologies.

I started to think about a few opinions I had read in some threads here, and about my own experiences with Aikido, and have come to the conclusion, that with no other martial art, with the possible exception of some obscure TCMA or overly acrobatic Booj Dojos, will give you the same high-level constant ukemi practice.

As I mentioned - this point has been brought up before, that ukemi in Aikido isn't only crucial to the art, it IS the art. Tori's job after all, is just a different kind of ukemi, right?

If we operate under the suspicion that Aikido is a means of dealing with Ueshiba's attacks, much like Judo is a way of dealing with Kano's attacks, we can probably surmise that Ueshiba prized (and probably sported) a very elusive fighting style, perhaps due to a very advanced Ukemi. (rolling out of the way of a strike to control the sword arm from behind, and failing good position, able to roll and gain better position again?)

If this is a plausible explanation, then perhaps modern Aikido could transition into an MMA or SD accompaniment called UKEMIDO which includes the study of MA-AIDO.

To define specifically what kind of training this should constitute, and to what amount of time the modern fighter may get value out of investing in intensive ukemi training is really a matter of discussion, a discussion I hope to encourage out of the JMA and MMA community here.

What I'm proposing is perhaps a single training session per week of standard length (1-2 hrs) dedicated entirely to breakfalling, rolling safely, learning how to roll behind someone (or indeed through them, if the technique is appropriate).

How do the other bullies feel about this?

Colin
4/08/2011 11:50am,
Ok. I'll start by stating that I have a modest experience with Aikido over many years involving training with Aikidoka of vastly different philosophical outlooks, physical abilities, and training methodologies.

I started to think about a few opinions I had read in some threads here, and about my own experiences with Aikido, and have come to the conclusion, that with no other martial art, with the possible exception of some obscure TCMA or overly acrobatic Booj Dojos, will give you the same high-level constant ukemi practice.

As I mentioned - this point has been brought up before, that ukemi in Aikido isn't only crucial to the art, it IS the art. Tori's job after all, is just a different kind of ukemi, right?

If we operate under the suspicion that Aikido is a means of dealing with Ueshiba's attacks, much like Judo is a way of dealing with Kano's attacks, we can probably surmise that Ueshiba prized (and probably sported) a very elusive fighting style, perhaps due to a very advanced Ukemi. (rolling out of the way of a strike to control the sword arm from behind, and failing good position, able to roll and gain better position again?)

If this is a plausible explanation, then perhaps modern Aikido could transition into an MMA or SD accompaniment called UKEMIDO which includes the study of MA-AIDO.

To define specifically what kind of training this should constitute, and to what amount of time the modern fighter may get value out of investing in intensive ukemi training is really a matter of discussion, a discussion I hope to encourage out of the JMA and MMA community here.

What I'm proposing is perhaps a single training session per week of standard length (1-2 hrs) dedicated entirely to breakfalling, rolling safely, learning how to roll behind someone (or indeed through them, if the technique is appropriate).

How do the other bullies feel about this?

Conde Koma
4/08/2011 1:25pm,
could have interesting results. i'm subscribing to see what other people say, i don't have the space to participate at the moment.

DCS
4/08/2011 1:28pm,
http://nosologeeks.es/wp-content/uploads/tommy-lee-jones-nosologeeks.jpg

tao.jonez
4/08/2011 1:38pm,
Elusive rolling could work, but only in limited circumstances.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpTNH1hbbF0&feature=player_detailpage

Colin
4/08/2011 1:39pm,
To clarify - I'm not representing the Ukemi as a combat tool outside the realms of potential personal safety with regard to safe falling.

If there is a further implication, it is that falling safely in an expert or well-trained manner will enable a potentially quicker recovery of a bad position involving open space between you and an assault.

Permalost
4/08/2011 2:01pm,
Ukemi has saved my ass dozens of times while skateboarding. In da str33tz!

Colin
4/08/2011 2:06pm,
It's saved my ass from generally being a clumsy bastard too.
Falls that may have seriously injured me, I have sustained minimal damage from due to practised Ukemi. (ie: I've never broken a bone, and it's not for lack of trying).

tao.jonez
4/08/2011 2:07pm,
If there is a further implication, it is that falling safely in an expert or well-trained manner will enable a potentially quicker recovery of a bad position involving open space between you and an assault.

OK, but why Aikido-specific breakfalling? What seems to me to be specific to aikido are the big wheel type rolls. Seems like very few of the takedowns in MMA lend themselves to this type of recovery, since there are no aikido type throws (that I've seen).

You said the point is "breakfalling, rolling safely, learning how to roll behind someone (or indeed through them, if the technique is appropriate)". Out of all that, breakfalling seems to have some potential, the rest is garbage under MMA ruleset.

Why not devote that time to train judo breakfalls and positional recovery? Or just focus on control in the post-throw scramble? Rolling away allows both parties to re-set. If you're the party that just got thrown (therefore needs to breakfall), that's probably not to your advantage.

When they change the ruleset so that the "rolling out of the way of a strike to control the sword arm from behind" becomes necessary, THAT's when to start aikido break-roll training.

Colin
4/08/2011 2:11pm,
This is more from a SD perspective than an MMA perspective, but if you have been thrown to the ground, and you are close enough to be kicked in the face, yet you are not close enough to smother a kick attempt with a takedown or shoot of any type, I think rolling backward to reset your distance is a perfectly favourable outcome.

In addition to this, it's not about Aikido-specific breakfalling. The reason that Aikido is the case in point is because during Aikido training (overly compliant drilling) you will be thrown to the ground probably 2 to 3 as many times as you would during a judo, wrestling, or JJ class. This means you get more breakfall practice.

The point here isn't to improve modern MMA.

The point is to retain what are probably the only relevant valuable waza in a modern fight (the ukemi) in a dying system.

Rene "Zendokan" Gysenbergs
4/08/2011 2:14pm,
Colin, while the ukemi in Aikido is great, there's a fundamental difference with the ukemi in Judo which could get you hurt.

In Aikido tori will let go of uke once uke is "airborne" so that uke can roll out of the fall, which has created the habit of falling with a leg bend so that it's easier to roll.

In Judo tori won't let go of uke. Tori will keep control of the arm to guide uke to the mat and that's why uke "smacks" into one place and can't roll out. Out of safety a Judoka will fall with his both legs straightend.
The only Aikido style that I have seen use this same principle is Tomiki/Shodokan Aikido.

You do not want to fall Aikido fashion in a Judo throw (your knee bend in a 'smack' in one place throw) and since most Combat Sport fighters are trained in a style that uses these same principles (Judo, SAMBO, Wrestling, BJJ, etc...), there isn't very few demand for Aikido ukemi in MMA.

That doesn't mean that it is a waste of time, but like every technique the fighter should know in which circumstances to use a certain technique. If he gets thrown and 'tori' loses the grip an Aikido roll-out would be good to getting back immediatly on his feet, else Judo ukemi would be preferable.

If you want to 'save' Aikido and Hapkido, start a school where the minimum requierement is that students should have a Judo Shodan (or the equivalent in other grappling arts) before they can start to study Aikido.

Colin
4/08/2011 2:20pm,
In Aikido tori will let go of uke once uke is "airborne" so that uke can roll out of the fall, which has created the habit of falling with a leg bend so that it's easier to roll.

Cmon this isn't always true, and furthermore good breakfall training does NOT equal 'airborne'. Also, I do Judo, so what's your point?

DCS
4/08/2011 2:30pm,
Even if there are various kinds of safe landing in aikido, depending of the technique one is receiving

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22BL4ierNJA
Zendo is mostly correct.

Colin
4/08/2011 2:40pm,
Even if there are various kinds of safe landing in aikido (depending of the technique one is receiving) Zendo is mostly correct.

Correct about what? That there is little value in breakfall training, or that the goals of said training are too ambitious?
Please imagine for a moment that this has nothing to do with Aikido, and the only breakfalls that are trained are the best kind of breakfall for such techniques as:

Double leg takedown
Hip throws
Shooting body lock

ie: Techniques that people actually use.

Rene "Zendokan" Gysenbergs
4/08/2011 2:43pm,
Cmon this isn't always true, and furthermore good breakfall training does NOT equal 'airborne'. Also, I do Judo, so what's your point?

I never said that breakfall training equals 'airborne', I said that with a lot of throws in Aikido once uke is in mid air, tori will let go and that this created the habit to continue rolling out of a throw.
Like you said, not with all the throws tori will let go, but in Judo tori will almost never let go, making the mechanic of rolling out of a throw impossible. So if uke makes a wrong judgement in his fall and thinks that he can roll out and bend his knee, but tori keeps a tight grip on his arms it is going to hurt on impact with the mat.
I speak also out of experience, started with Hapkido and went later on to Judo.

My point is (and this is MY point, mileage may vary) that a part of the ukemi of Aikido is not competable with the ukemi of Judo (especially not for newbies), but a superset for that rare occassion where you can use it in a safe way.

Colin
4/08/2011 2:46pm,
My point is (and this is MY point, mileage may vary) that a part of the ukemi of Aikido is not competable with the ukemi of Judo (especially not for newbies), but a superset for that rare occassion where you can use it in a safe way.

Which has zero relevance to my actual argument. Not the Argument in my first post, nor any argument in any subsequent post.

This is called the straw man fallacy. You are attempting to argue against a position that nobody is supporting or representing.