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#125846 - 04/23/03 06:05 PM Aikido and Shoot Fighters
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
I was just wondering if anyone out there has seen or developed an aiki-defence against a BJJ or wrestling type shoot fighter. I realize the first response would be to keep proper ma'ai and all that, but apart from this best case scenerio what would your response be? I was a pretty descent wrestler in high school, and I think if someone shot really deep in on me I'd probably have to throw the technical side of my Aikido training out the door, and resort to the wrestling techniques that I know work for me. The problem that I could see is that those damn BJJ guys would choke me out before I knew what the hell is going on (sorry, no offence to any BJJ guys, I have a lot of respect for what you do). So anyway, I would never want to get into a wrestling match with one, ever. I highly doubt that I will ever get into an altercation with a BJJ practitioner, so this question is not pragmatic but really purely hypothetical. I'd appreciate any thoughts that you guys have out there.

Thanks,
Joe Jutsu

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#125847 - 04/24/03 04:43 AM Re: Aikido and Shoot Fighters
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Well, Joe, this question poses a real problem. The suggestion is that BJJ is a better art than aiki for grappling. I wouldn't accept that. On the other hand I also wouldn't accept that aiki is a better art than BJJ. This is why I really don't like these type of hypothetical questions.

Having said that I do feel that there is a lot of hype at play here as well. BJJ has recieved an awful lot of positive press, aiki arts tend to get as much negative as positive press. It can create the impression that the wrestler has the advantage in Kumi uchi.

I think that overlooks an important point. Before a wrestler can wrestle he/she has to take hold of their opponent. Aiki arts are very efficient at dealing with an opponent who grabs hold of you. What is to say that the wrestler will still want to wrestle if his elbow has been shattered by sankyo, or his wrist broken by kote gaeshi? Remember that aikido locks are really aiki jutsu breaks.

I would also counter that it is impossible to leave out ma'ai and tai sabaki but still consider you are doing aiki.

I do however conceed that aikido is only an idealisation of a martial art and as such may well struggle to overcome a determined wrestler, but aiki jutsu is a different matter entirely.

Budo

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#125848 - 04/24/03 05:00 AM Re: Aikido and Shoot Fighters
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
Wise words Cato.

In the end, try it, cross train with BJJ or wretlers and see what happens.

I don't think its much to worry about as I expect most muggers aren't trained in BJJ or wrestling...

but they might be...

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#125849 - 04/30/03 01:22 PM Re: Aikido and Shoot Fighters
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Cato-
I've been away from the computer for a few days, so I wish I could have responded more quickly. But I believe I worded my question wrong. I was not implying to ignore ma'ai in the least, I believe that this is one of the most effective tools in the aikidoka's bag o' tricks. Let me try again.

A friend and I are drinking Guiness in his backyard at a barbecue. Enter beautiful young lady that catches my attention. My friend, who has been secretly set on showing that his wrestling skills are more honed than my aikido skills, shoots in and grabs a leg or two looking for a takedown. At this point, what technique would you think plausible to attempt. I would be thinking sprawl, then pancake (which probably could be modified a bit to be like koshinage). But I was just curious, as my dojo does not address this kind of attack. If I would have had the awareness at the time, keeping proper ma'ai would have probably let me avoid the situation. But Guiness and women are always a distraction for me anyway [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG].

I apologize if I implyed that BJJ was superior, it was not my intent. It just seems to me that they focus on the ground combat more, where (at least my aikido) the emphasis is on standing technique.

Thanks.

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#125850 - 04/30/03 03:36 PM Re: Aikido and Shoot Fighters
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Having done both, Aikido, Brazillian Jujutsu and my favorite Sambo, I can only say this. If you get on the ground with a ground fighter, Aikido doesn't work that well on your back, or on your stomach. Now this is not an opinion but fact as I have trained with ground fighters and only used Aikido on the ground, and was not very succesful, kotegaeshi, sankyo don't work as well on the ground as standing up, ant this IS an opinion, I think it has to do with the direction of the energy at you. Its really hard to have large cirlce techniques work on the ground. However Aikido is great for trying to stop going to the ground, this works and the direction of energy is somewhat different. I called an Aikido friend of mine, who is a Shihan in Aikido and asked if he would just do ground work with me as an experiment. He would not just go to the ground, and start there but said if I could get him to the ground he would be a part of the experiment. Getting him down was not as much a problem as I had thought, showing one thing to have him react and moving on to something else, and he was down. While down I gave him some locks just to see, and once again an opinion, he couldn't get the lock to work because he couldn't get his body into the lock. Standing up, Aikido uses the hips to apply such locks as sankyo and kotegaeshi, I took his hips away on the ground and the sankyo did not get me to tap. I played with arms bars and here he manged to stall the lock for a bit, but by changing mounts(I prefer side mount)I easliy got the bars, and the key here, he had no escapes for the chokes. When we stood up I asked him to stop the chokes, which he did, and arm bars as well. So this is not Aikido bashing Cato, so don't bring the wrath of Cato on me, but Aikido doesn't work as well on the ground as standing up. Once again my opinion is this, Aikido needs energy and the space to work around a persons body, techniques are not taught from being on top of someone, or under them, so its hard to say how it would work if taught that way. To sum up, when I was seriously applying Sambo techniques on the ground, my Aikido friend had a hard time dealing with them. That is not to say all Aikido is weak that way, I know of a Sensei in California who studied Aikido in Japan and is currently training with the Gracies. I am sure he would have been more of a contest, but Traditional Aikido is not meant to be a ground art. An intersting note here, I asked my friend to tell me what was the most difficult to defend against. He had me do all sorts of techniques and he tried to stop them. The one thing he could not handle, and he said was the hardest thing for him to deal with was a face grab, where I pulled his head down and grabbed his face. The hardest technique for him to deal with was no technique at all, a face grab. Kind of interesting I thouhgt.

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#125851 - 04/30/03 06:10 PM Re: Aikido and Shoot Fighters
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Aaaah, the old Guinness and women distraction - works every time, that one. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

Given the circumstances you describe Joe, I think there is no martial art that can hope to teach a defence to the "sneaky attack by your mate whilst your not looking" sort of scenario. Learning about a martial art is just a way of improving your chances, not making you invincible. There will always be circumstances which you can't overcome. Anyone who tells you their martial art equips them to deal with anything is, quite simply, lying.

I honestly believe that there is no single supreme art, and that you must choose the art that best suits you, your way of thinking, and your way of moving. My reasoning behind that is so when you are faced with a novel situation, you are better able to adapt your art and cobble together some kind of response. It is, if you like, more natural. You can't ever learn a technique that deals with this and another for that. I have a bit of problem with these mixed martial arts styles because I think they try to do just that. They seem to teach that you must learn punching so you can fight a boxer, grappling to fight a wrestleer and so forth. I think that is wrong. I believe in a fight you should stick to what you're best at, in order to maximise your chances. Of course, there are plenty of people who will disagree.

So, going back to the question, (sorry, I often digress quite a bit) your mate attacks you with what is essentially a double handed, two leg grab (morote gari if you want to be all martial artsy about it), what can you do? Not much really from an aikido point of view. As Lou rightly says, aikido doesn't deal with that kind of attack. No doubt by the time you realiosed what had happened and how it came about, you were already on your way to the ground, looking very uncool and having little chance of impressing the ladies with your manly fighting prowess. Content yourself with this thought if you can: It really would've made no difference what MA you trained in, the result would've been the same. Ouch.

Budo

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#125852 - 05/02/03 06:41 PM Re: Aikido and Shoot Fighters
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10813
Loc: North Carolina
There may certainly be no "superior" art, but there ARE more efficient methods of training. Bear that in mind.

If aikido would train more realistically against strikes, I might develop a better view of the art. As it is, I don't see it being that effective.

Is there a style of aikido which trains against boxing attacks (not static attacks, but dynamic boxing attacks where the opponent is trying his best to knock you out?). If so, and the aikido practitioner is consistently able to execute his maneuvers, then THAT is a style of aikido which is truly street relevent!!

Thanks,
-John

[This message has been edited by JKogas (edited 05-02-2003).]

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#125853 - 05/05/03 05:50 AM Re: Aikido and Shoot Fighters
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
JK - You're absolutely right. Realistic attacks in training are essential for realistic defence outside the sanitised world of the dojo.

I know you are an experienced martial artists so I hope you will agree with me when I say that MA training is a progression, new skills build on earlier established ones. That is nowhere more true than in aikido. In the early stages of training the attacks are highly idealised, but with a reason. Aiki depends upon the practitioner being able to feel the energy and direction of an attack in order to harmonise (synchronise, if you prefer) with it.

Clearly it would be impossible to learn this without some kind of help. By attacking in the manner so often seen in aikido, the practioner is allowing his partner to "feel" the attack. Nage knows that the attack will be going in a certain direction and so can learn to accept and harmonise with any attack from that same direction.

That is why there is so much misunderstanding about co-operative training in aikido. Co-operative training exists in every art going. Think of it as being similar to the pre-arranged one and three step training in karate. Tese are the kihon waza of aikido. Karateka don't stop practising the basics once they achieve shodan, so why would we expect aikidoka to do so?

The progression comes from within randori, much like karate kumite. Randori is the essence of practical training. Attacks are harder, faster, less proscribed and completely random. This is where people begin to misunderstand the whole art. Randori is fundamental to aikido training, but it doesn't teach new skills, only puts into practice those you already have. It is the fine tuning process which turns a series of movements into a way of fighting.

Too many people get hung up on thinking all training has to be randori. It doesn't because if it where then technical ability would go out of the window. Some people who train in martial arts are content just being able to fight rough and dirty. They think it enables them to take their training onto the street. That's fine, but it isn't what aikido is all about. Aikido is about self improvemnet across the board, not just in fighting ability.

I hope that helps clear up any preconceptions about the validity of aikido for self defence. You need to understand the training before evaluating the art.

Budo

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#125854 - 05/05/03 01:33 PM Re: Aikido and Shoot Fighters
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Great post Cato-

The "unrealistic attacks" seen in Aikido did worry me abit when I started practicing. Until one day in the dojo an ikkyu and I were talking before class, and he had me attack him with an "all out come to knock me out" roundhouse punch. Sure, he knew it was coming, but as soon as I tried to punch him I was staring up at the ceiling, thinking "what the..." I still don't know what technique he did on me, perhaps I'll ask him if I see him this week. But his response was very appropriate to the energy of my attack, which was not a traditional aikido attack. My point has always been, IMHO, one should study aikido more for the aiki principles than the techniques. The principles work, period. Some of the techniques I would never dream of applying outside the dojo, but they do serve to help me develop ability to blend, flow, etc. My sensei does not give us any false illusions about these techniques. That's why there are so many versions of kaiten nage, for instance.

On a quick sidenote, I completely agree with what Cato said about randori. Most of the time, I practice at my university aikido club, where we have enough turnover that most people on a given day are really too "green" to take either nage or uke's role. I feel like my practice has been lacking over the past few months because of this, not wasted, but lacking. I can't wait for finals to get over so I can start practicing in our mother dojo again!!

I'd still be curious what aikido techniques somebody would apply against someone going for a takedown. I'm in ki society, so alot of our names for techniques are a bit different, so a description of the technique would be greatly appreciated [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG].

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#125855 - 05/06/03 02:20 AM Re: Aikido and Shoot Fighters
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
2 cents worth. I think training can be divided into different parts, 1. learning 2. practicing 3. training. I see these all being different. I agree with Cato about the co-existing relationship between uke and nage in the dojo. I think that this relationship is imperative as you get feedback of what and how things are progressing. I disagree with Cato in the fact that this relationship does not exist in Karate. In the Karate dojo you do know the attack is coming, but there is little or no feedback. You goal in Karate is to help yourself and not worry about what your partner does. Depending on the person, some may correct or offer advice, but for the most part, you are trying to blow away your attacker, or take his head off in the attack. My Sensei says if your learning you can advise, if your practicing, shut up and attack, and if you are training, take his head off. The relationship with uke/nage is not the same in a Karate dojo. However, if you look at the study of kata, you can see the same relationship to how to practice. Step one, learn the pattern, step two-add speed, step three add power. In the dojo, you need to learn the technique and here you need feedback. I disagree with my Sensei as I think there needs to be a relationship in the practice stage, does it hurt, do you have my balance etc. However in the training stage, it needs to be more realistic, no feedback, everyone just attacks, reacts and counter attacks, and swiching back and forth. In randori or training mode, you need to see if your technique works, but if you are just trying to work on your technique, you need the information feedback. I encourage a uke/nage relationship in my dojo, I feel its real important, but when we go into randori(we do Jujutsu randori which is a bit different than Aiki randori) no body knows what the attacks are, and on the other side, no one knows the techniques. This gives a more realistic effect to training. I will only let student who feel comfortable with their techniques, go beyond the practice stage. When they are ready, we kick in randori. I usually tell people in private what attack to use, and then tell nage what to use, other times any attack, any technique goes. We even go to the effort to change the angles of attack. For us, there is a building block stage, learn the technique, the concepts and the principles of that techniqe. Practice that techniqe, get it to work for you, then when comfortable its time to train for real.

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