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#127266 - 12/15/03 04:08 PM Re: Nihon Goshin Aikido
ralphrom Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 4
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
Hi Joe,
My name is Ralph and I am a student at GoldenGate University. I have read several of your posting and it seems that you are very knowledgable about the martial arts. I have been given an assignment to do a paper on the differences between karate and Aikido. I hope that you can give me a summary or tell me a little about the differences between these two. I thought that instead of trying to read about it, I could get it directly from someone who is on the inide of this sport and its paradigms.
Thanks
Ralph
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Joe Jutsu:
Ahh, suckered into yet another one of "these" discussions.

I think when Ueshiba Sensei founded aikido, he developed a system derived from daito ryu aikijujutsu that could be practiced vigorously and without "pulling" the techniques, as would be necessary when practicing many older-style techniques that involve breaking the joint. This is purely my hypothesis, but I bet in older days different jujutsu schools were able to actually practice these bonebreaking techniques. They would have prisoners and the like to practice on, and most definitely not themselves. It is my understanding that samurai would test the effectiveness of armor and weapons against prisoners. So in the old days, they wouldn't have to "pull" the techniques, because they weren't practicing against each other. You couldn't really do that in a dojo these days, there'd be no students left after one day of practice. However, it would be one's own folly to think that aikido techniques can't be used to break a joint, or that an aikidoka can't strike. Though maybe many aikidoka do not have effective striking skills, this is a product of poor training methodology, and not the art. But I don't believe strong atemi skills to be necessary, I'll get to that in a bit.

So here's another instance of aikido getting shit slung at it, by an outsider, observing the "weak attacks" and complex movements to be ineffective. When attending an iaijutsu demonstration about a month back, the sensei made a point of relating how samurai schools would hide their techniques within the kata, and broke down a two-person bokken kata, showing what the "outsider" sees, and what the practitioner would actually do in a combat situation. It was really cool to see, and quite informative. Dare I suggest it?? Could this be true in aikido as well, or is it unique among Japanese arts in that it has no secrets? This question has me reexaming aikido from the ground up, and has been yeilding some interesting results.

I also take issue with the statement, "this is not your mother's aikido," in reference to certain styles which the Painbringer evidently deems ineffective. O'Sensei was hardly a feeble old lady, and styles based off of his teachings when he was in his later years of his life are far from ineffective. Which of the shihans did he ask to introduce Aikido to the western world again?? I can say that I am not at that point in my training where I can be sure what I am doing is 110% combat effective (I've always wanted to make the stupid 110% cliche, thanks for indulging me), but who, in any art, can make such a claim. Dojo versions of throws teach balance, principle, and discipline-it's easier to teach one to shorten up a technique than to lengthen it, IMHO. In my club we have made a consorted effort to up the intensity, resistance, etc. and I will admit it can be quite frustrating at times. I'm still very new to the art in a relative sense, and realise how many aikidoka practice their art is pretty flawed, but then again, how is that different from most arts (point sparring anyone??)

Anyway, if anyone is actually interested in aikido, genuinely interested, I challenge you to go check it out. Hopefully you will be lucky enough to have a good dojo in your area. If not, well, too bad, maybe your situation will change some day. A good friend of mine, ex-Navy, and a bouncer at a big KC club, had similar criticism of aikido as those that are offered in this thread and on this website. I finally got him into practice, and, being a big guy and experienced in martial arts, at his request we didn't really "hold back." After having the wind knocked out of him multiple times and eating the tatami (not literarly) at least as often he's coming back, and loving it. He's a strong guy, and is helping us all improve by his presence.

The moral of the story, I guess, is don't flop as an uke. You're doing no one a favor, and it invites this sort of nonsensical criticism of aikido. I don't really care to change the mind of those who already have their minds made up about aikido, especially when they haven't been on the mat, but misinformation may keep those away from aikido who aikido would be a great benefit to. It certainly isn't for everyone, nor would I want it to be, but most of the criticisms that I've read are pretty much BS if aikido is being practiced as I believe it should be.
Anyway, enough with my rant.

Joe
[/QUOTE]

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#127267 - 12/16/03 11:26 AM Re: Nihon Goshin Aikido
the504mikey Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
Ralph,

You may want to seek out a book called "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" by Adele Westbrook and Oscar Ratti. The early material in that book is about the ethics of self defense, and explains the philosophy of aikido and how it differs from primarily striking based arts like karate. I don't think I have ever come across a more clearly written explanation.

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#127268 - 12/16/03 12:15 PM Re: Nihon Goshin Aikido
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Ralph-

I agree, check out Aikido and and the Dynamic Sphere for a good basic understanding of Aikido. I'd also recommend to go to an aikido club and ask them directly, hopefully your university has one. Thanks for your compliment that I seem to know much about the martial arts. But if you want to get to the horses mouth, so to speak, of someone who has practiced both aikido, karate, as well as many other arts, I refer you to Sensei Lou who also posts here. (not to imply that you are a horse sensei [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG] ). He has been studying the arts MUCH longer than me, or most anyone I know for that matter, and could give you a better perspective than me. For aikido info, i also recommend www.aikiweb.com and www.aikidojournal.com . Both have sections with terminology, I believe, and a wealth of information on both the physical and spiritual aspects of our art. And aikidoka(aikido practitioners) don't refer to aikido as a sport, in fact it is supposed to be inherently noncompetitive. Just a heads up, there are some touchy people out there and you never know who might be insulted by such a minor point.

By the way, what class are you taking that you get to compare karate and aikido? I wish they offered that at my university! [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

Good luck with the project,

Joe

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#127269 - 12/16/03 06:55 PM Re: Nihon Goshin Aikido
Painbringer Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 18
Loc: Buffalo, Ny USA
I just watched some of the Mpegs on the Aikiweb site, I hate to say it but I can see where people get the idea that Aikido attacks are weak, before people start getting mad at me let me say that I also study Aikido, I just hope that people don't think that all Aikido attacks are like this, the Uke's were not even attacking they were running up to him and letting him grab them!!!!!! TRAIN SOFT, FIGHT SOFT, FALL HARD

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#127270 - 12/17/03 12:13 AM Re: Nihon Goshin Aikido
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
This will probably lead to another feud, but here goes. I am not saying all Aikidoka attack softly, as its an individual thing, but I am not sure that they attack for real, but I think there is a good reason. In a Karate dojo, you practice your basics over and over and over. In some cases across the room 100's of times. You are constantly working on kicking and punching, then putting together combinations, then techniques. Aikido on the other hand doesn't practice stiking or kicking on a repeatative basis. Most Aiki schools don't practice punching at all unless they are associated with Karate schools or include Karate in their curriculum. So when you watch a Karate-ka attack, he has practiced the attack part of the equation. Aikidoka,if they practice striking is usually the atemi waza within the technique. So this is why Aikidoka attacks seem soft or not as real as other arts, simply, they don't practice the attacking side of the equation. I find this really odd in light that Aikido is based on Kenjutsu, and if one practices the Kumitachi's they are 2 people sword techniques, which requires the uke to attack with the sword. Why don't they attack the same way without it?

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#127271 - 12/17/03 10:30 AM Re: Nihon Goshin Aikido
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi senseilou:

I agree with you.

I've also found that with some Jui-jitsu schools I've studied at as well. Even though they claim to do striking, throwing and grappling, they tend to have an emphasis depending on what the instructors strong suit is.

I trained at one where the emphasis was on throwing/grappling (the instructor was a high level judo competitor as well as teaching jui-jutsu) and their punching and kicking skills while included were only really taught from the perspective of how to defend against them, and were rudimentary at best.

In karate, as you say, we practice striking all the time. That's why we get good at it.

What I also find though, is that when karateka try and teach throwing and grappling, they invariably do a poor job. I train with Judoka's for that. They're better.

JohnL

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#127272 - 12/17/03 02:20 PM Re: Nihon Goshin Aikido
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
[QUOTE]Originally posted by senseilou:
This will probably lead to another feud, but here goes. I am not saying all Aikidoka attack softly, as its an individual thing, but I am not sure that they attack for real, but I think there is a good reason. In a Karate dojo, you practice your basics over and over and over. In some cases across the room 100's of times. You are constantly working on kicking and punching, then putting together combinations, then techniques. Aikido on the other hand doesn't practice stiking or kicking on a repeatative basis. Most Aiki schools don't practice punching at all unless they are associated with Karate schools or include Karate in their curriculum. So when you watch a Karate-ka attack, he has practiced the attack part of the equation. Aikidoka,if they practice striking is usually the atemi waza within the technique. So this is why Aikidoka attacks seem soft or not as real as other arts, simply, they don't practice the attacking side of the equation. I find this really odd in light that Aikido is based on Kenjutsu, and if one practices the Kumitachi's they are 2 people sword techniques, which requires the uke to attack with the sword. Why don't they attack the same way without it?[/QUOTE]

There's actually an article sort of about this on aikiweb, by George Leynard Sensei I believe. He writes that the main problem involving attacks in aikido is not the fact that the attacks are traditional and stylized, but the fact that there are no attacks period in alot of the dojo's that he's been to. I'm sure that there is alot of variety even within a particular dojo when it comes to this, I know that there is in mine.

Joe

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