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encounters with aikido

June 4, 2008

Trolling the cage potato forums I came across a thread where the TS (thread starter) posed a question whether or not aikido could effectively “defend” from any and all possible attacks. A few smart ass replies later and someone posts saying that he uses a “martial” form of aikido – one that saved him from a serious altercation (it “protected” him while seriously injuring his attackers thereby getting him suspended from school) and is the primary art he uses in his mma matches.

I smell BS but it made me wonder about aikido. Actually, I’ve always been curious about the “art of fighting without fighting”.

Most of my friends back home – the crazy ones anyway – all took aikido (as well as other forms of martial arts). At the Academy where I used to train BJJ I rolled with a few guys who did aiki-jutsu. I learned a bunch of wrist locks that were somewhat aikido-ish at Yushinkai. The applications for the locks I learned there were every linear as opposed to the circular motions of aikido.

The way I see it, there are two types of aikido.

There’s really more than just two but this is just to keep things simple, because the founder of aikido – Morihei Ueshiba– trained different pupils during his development and refinement of aikido, and those pupils taught their own students very different styles of aikido.

The first type of aikido is the Chi Super Supreme Level form. Everyone has seen this type of aikido. The demonstrations usually have one guy running towards a stationary guy. The running man throws a super telegraphic punch with probably no intention of hitting the stationary guy. Stationary guy flicks his hand in midair and the running man does a triple summersault in the air before hitting the ground and receiving a 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.2 from the judges.

This is the type of aikido that Bullshido members look down upon. And I would be in that group. It’s pretty to watch, like a kung fu demonstration, but like a friend of mine back in Hawaii would say concerning aikido, “It works, until you get into a fight.”

The second type of aikido is the functional, martial form. The same friend with the nifty “aikido doesn’t work” quote is a police officer with the Honolulu Police Department. He’s used a few aikido techniques as pain compliant or immobilization methods of arrest. The cage potato forum poster who uses aikido in his mma matches claims to use Tomiki Aikido.

Believe it or not, Tomiki Aikido actually has aikido tournaments. Hard to imagine an aikido competition without the image of two competitors within an arms length telling each other, “Go ahead, grab me. No, you grab me. NO, you grab me.”

I’d imagine it’d resemble a Judo match with wrist locks thrown in. Sounds like fun.

Then there’s potential of cross training. I mean, if BJJ practitioners are encouraged to take up Judo, why not aikido? Judo and aikido almost have the same martial roots, like 2nd cousins of the martial world. There are more than a few members on the aikiweb forums that do BJJ and aikido.

Roy Dean is a presence in aikido and BJJ because he holds a black belt in both arts. Ari Bolden from Submissions 101 holds a black belt in aikido, Japanese Jujutsu and a purple under Eddie Bravo. Here you have genuine Brazilian “proof is in the pudding” Jiu-jitsu practitioners and they have an appreciation for aikido. That’s got to say something about the art.

I’m still unsure about where I stand with aikido. I’m sure it has useful applications. But I’ll never know until I find out for myself. Still it’d be pretty cool to enter a tournament and pull off a sankyo. I would have said “pull off a wristlock” but I can already do that in jiu-jitsu tournaments.

Super Saijin Advance Chi Level 5 aikido – from Bullshido

The following vid makes me more curious than suspicious. Like BJJ, its all in the details – Hiroshi Ikeda sensei in an aikido seminar

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2008 1:18 pm

    so funny post!!!
    i am practicing both your above mentioned styles.. and i am still laughing..
    yes, you can do aikido and still keep a sense of humor..
    unfortunately not practicing for real you do not really understand what aiki is..
    and trust me, if you practice enough with serious instructors, they want to punch you and hit you!
    still, funny post!
    good to keep a smile during practice..
    i mean, your art is called like BJ+++, with more jobs on that…

  2. June 27, 2008 3:13 pm

    Hey aikidude,

    Thanks! In all honesty, I really do want to take up aikido and when I do I’m looking for really good qualified instructors. There’s a vast and exciting world of martial arts out there to experience and I try my best to keep an open mind.

    Oh, dude, btw my art is much more poofy than yours 😉

    Good luck in your training! 🙂

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