Likes Likes:  0
Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 82

Thread: Aikido: Sink or Swim

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,549
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Tisdale View Post
    What I disagree with is the idea that MMA is accurately portrayed by what we see of it in the media. The picture there is warped by the nature of entertainment, and the hyperbole of mass marketing. But when I meet people who actually train consistantly in MMA, or BJJ, or submission wresling, I usually find people with many of the same goals as those in Aikido, with a bent for competitive training. Even many of the "headliners" in the Ultimate Fighter series and presentations are people who have black belts or extensive training in BJJ, Muay Thai, or other arts. And that training often shows in the respect the competitors show each other.

    Another mistake would be to assume that Aikido has the componants of respect over and above what you see in MMA environments. Certainly Aikido has the trappings...but when you scratch the surface, you still see internicine struggles between styles, dojo, people (even in the same organizations).
    Very well said. Thank you.
    Cheers,

    Mike
    No-Kan-Do

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    67
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    From Shioda's Aikido Shugyo

    My Aikido Enlightenment

    During my twenties, my life consisted solely of training intensively day in and day out, trying to become stronger. However, since Aikido has no competitive matches, I had no idea just how strong I was. Still, in accordance with Ueshiba Sensei’s instructions, I believed in the soundness of my training and I practised diligently.

    Meanwhile, war had broken out and word came that I was to go to China as a civilian serviceman. Since it had always been my dream to go to the continent, I responded without giving it a second thought. When I went to pay a courtesy visit to Ueshiba Sensei in order to say goodbye,he looked at me with unusual kindness and said: “Shioda, you won’t be beaten by anyone. I have made sure of that by what I have taught you, so be confident in your task.”

    I had never experienced such a happy occasion. This was the first time that Sensei had ever given me any recognition. Until then all he had ever done was shout at me. With these encouraging words, I went over to China and took up my duties. And while I was there something happened to me that proved Sensei’s words to be true.

    I was stationed in Shanghai at the time, performing my military duties. By chance I met up with one of my kohai, so that same night the two of us ventured into the French Settlement. As it turned out we ended up in a bar and got into an altercation with a local con artist. At any moment his supporters would arrive, so we entrenched ourselves in the bar and prepared for the impending fight.

    At that time in Shanghai, killings and beatings went unpunished. Murders were everyday occurrences. So now that this altercation had begun, I didn’t think I would be returning to Japan alive. This was the first time that I had experienced a life or death struggle.

    From the other side of the closed door we heard the sound of footsteps thundering toward us. I grabbed a beer bottle, held my breath and waited. When the first guy tried to open the door, I beat him to it and suddenly pulled the knob. He lost his balance and came crashing into the bar. I smashed him on the head as hard as I could with the beer bottle and then I thrust the jagged opening of the broken bottle into his face.

    Looking down at the four men lying all over the floor I was amazed at myself. This was the explosive result of kokyu power when mind, body and technique truly become one. This was Aikido.

    Then and there I firmly believed that “at long last, I have made Aikido my own!” This was my Aikido enlightenment.
    Even though Aikido had no competitions, Shioda & friends used to go to the wrong part of town to "test their skills."
    Michael Hobson

    Mukyudoka

  3. #33
    Samurai Jack Guest

    Default Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance

    MMA is violent conduct turned into a brutal sport . I think MMA rings are brutal places, its probably one of the most brutal sports. A sport with such an intense purpose doesn't is devoid of the same focus on personal development, and character building as it is seen in Aikido/traditional martial arts. I don't see MMA forcusing on avoiding harm like Aikido does. Aikido very well can do damage, but that is not it's focus. Read this interview for example where competition Aikido still holds core precepts of Aikido, of budo. It can't be denied as it has been recently done here. There is another article, at the same place, which I can't find that was written by one of Aikido Founder's students about why Aikido is about the individual struggle, and not about sport like competition.

    It is interesting to read that some of the early Aikido masters have traditionally tested their skill that is didn't go into a competition instead of venturing into a ring to improve their skills. Now a days, you do that and you will be shot-something I am not recommending. Anyway, many Japanese traditional martial arts refrained from competition. This excludes the individual, whereas in the 1800’s-1900’s many Japanese individuals of traditional martial arts fought in brutal competitions in Japan and overseas. But many Japanese like these early Aikido masters rather would have street tested their skill, a much more traditional venue.

    This is why I choose Aikido as representative for my concern. It is easy to see such traditional elements framed very visibly, and accessible.

    In the US. It will be interesting to see if a large number of Aikido instructors cross over as a means to keep a good presence by incorporating MMA ground work. I use Ground work rather then another things is because ground work is the attractive exciting staple of MMA.

    In the past, Japanese martial artists fought in brutal ring fights, the predecessors to MMA competition of today. In those days, Japanese martial arts where fighting for recognition to champion Japanese martial arts. In my opinion, the time period was the gate way for the Japanese martial arts to become popular overseas and in the US. Now, there might be a turn with MMA being the gateway for competition of martial art sport over tradition.

    A possibility I am interested in seeing the outcome. Especially, when this topic is discussed in great concern among my buddies and me. Many of them are concerned their children and grandchildren’s generations will grow up with MMA (representing sport brutal competition not that it is bad or good) as the staple and be illiterate of and lack the exposure of the value of traditional arts. I can see their concern.

    Had to reference Philip Glass
    Last edited by Samurai Jack; 5th March 2008 at 01:07. Reason: To stop leaks, cracks, and creaking

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    68
    Likes (received)
    5

    Default

    A preface: My experience in martial arts took me in the spring of my late teens to an MMA gym wherein I was schooled in hard knocks, fractures and swollen eyes. Within a few years I moved on to go to school and was introduced to more traditional martial arts – an addiction that would lead me to older and older Japanese martial arts. I have been on the receiving end of a mount-bottom ground and pound, trained full contact with fighters headed to the ring and also worn the skin off my knees practicing shikko.

    First off, I do not see aikido going anywhere fast. Though, like all things made by human hands it can be undone by human hands, it took a great many years to be made and will likely take easily as many to be unmade. Tradition has a habit of sticking around; it naturally persists. Further, the immense benefits to be gained from combining physical and spiritual practice in the particular method of aikido make it a “strong product” in its own right and unlikely to be pushed out of the market by MMA.

    MMA and Aikido have very different prima causa and as a result have vastly different draws that can and do often overlap – anyone in martial arts long enough is very likely to cross train. Their differences, however, are a strength in this case. By not directly competing, I find it highly unlikely that MMA will “replace” Aikido if for no other reason than that MMA simply can not and does not concern itself with the same subjects in the same way and thus can not ‘deliver the goods’.

    As far as MMA becoming vogue… Well, other posters have noted that other arts have come and gone. We had the Ninjer craze, a Karate Kid decade, the Bruce Lee Spinoff Dynasty etc. etc. etc. One thing that the passing of these eras can indicate is that with popularity comes weakness. A dedicated core of students and teachers are all that any art or tradition can hope for and there is a certain surface area to volume issue at hand when any craze gets out of control. That said, the quality core of any tradition will be what is left standing and we can expect such a thing from MMA as boxing or what have you (or the longevity of Bruce Lee’s legacy for example).

    I do agree, however, that the vogue and media attention that MMA gets is worrisome. The double edged sword is very nasty in this case. I consider martial arts to be one of the few practices that can truly act on a student and improve them objectively for the better… This would mean that I love anything that gets more people into dojos / training halls / gyms. On the other hand, the aforementioned watering down and weakness inherent in mass popularity has proven to me personally that there are just as many knock around guys, drunks, repressed hate filled people, young men looking to prove something (maybe I was one of these?) etc. around that are getting their kicks punching dudes in the teeth.

    Like aikido (like anything, really) the integrity of the instruction is paramount. What is at risk when it comes to violent practice, however, is that failure to have integrity can have the direct opposite effect: students become maligned, corrupt and dangerous at the very worst – nothing but beat up at best.

    When it comes to popularity aikido does itself no favors. I consider this a strength. A small, non-advertised dojo on a mountainside with 4 or 5 dedicated students practicing powerful aikido is a beautiful thing. In the same vein a small, sweat stinking gym with a few meat bodied gorillas practicing MMA in a righteous fashion is just as awesome a sight to behold. I don’t think that popularity is going to be an issue for either – find the small gym / dojo with the right kind of instruction and everything falls into place.

    If nothing else, the gorillas will eventually wear out. It will be a funny sight to see, their braced joints knee-walking about the aikido dojo. There is a certain desire (even need) in young men to beat things with their naked fists. Then these young men grow up.

    - Chris McGaw

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter."
    ~Ernest Hemingway

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Nagoya, Japan
    Posts
    522
    Likes (received)
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Samurai Jack View Post
    MMA is violent conduct turned into a brutal sport . I think MMA rings are brutal places, its probably one of the most brutal sports. A sport with such an intense purpose doesn't is devoid of the same focus on personal development, and character building as it is seen in Aikido/traditional martial arts. I don't see MMA forcusing on avoiding harm like Aikido does. Aikido very well can do damage, but that is not it's focus.
    College budo clubs here in Japan, including aikido clubs, are brutal places. Frequent injuries and even the occasional death. At best, hard training on the edge, at worst it dives headfirst into the realm of abuse.

    I think the main problem here vis a vis MMA is the Octogon. It colors everything. I recall being rather disgusted with the idea of the UFC back when it first started. But when I came to Japan and started watching things like Pride, it was a completely different take. It was boxing with kicks and grappling. It was controlled, safety was a prime consideration, and the participants were sportsmen and budoka, not cage fighters.

    I think Jack's take on MMA is completely off-base and wrong. There is certainly an interesting discussion in the popularity/future of MMA vs traditional martial arts (such as aikido). However, Jack, I think it would behoove you to investigate more into MMA -- talk to some MMA fighters, go to a gym and take a lesson or two -- before you make wildly provocative statements like "MMA is violent conduct turned into brutal sport." You might be surprised by the ethics involved. And don't be fooled by Olympic Judo. Before it was "cleaned up" and heavily regulated for competition, Judo (not unlike pre-war aikido) was extremely rough, closer to MMA than it's modern incarnation.
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, ţonne he ćt guđe gengan ţenceđ longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearađ. - The Beowulf Poet

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    202
    Likes (received)
    0

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Reyer View Post
    I think the main problem here vis a vis MMA is the Octogon. It colors everything. I recall being rather disgusted with the idea of the UFC back when it first started. But when I came to Japan and started watching things like Pride, it was a completely different take. It was boxing with kicks and grappling. It was controlled, safety was a prime consideration, and the participants were sportsmen and budoka, not cage fighters.
    I believe Josh has brought up an important difference here: MMA is not necessarily the same as cagefighting. Imho there are 2 main forms in which MMA manifests itself. A) Mainstream events for real athletes like UFC and Pride. These have strict safety regulations B) Underground stuff based on pure brute force like the early ufc, or more recently, bare knuckle extreme cage fighting.

    I practise both gendai MA (genbukan) as well as MMA (boxing/judo/grappling/...). I find my MMA training to be of great value as a complement to my Taijutsu. I believe both sides can profit and prosper from eachother. If only we give them half a chance.

    Cheers,


    Regards,
    Christophe van Eysendyck.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Outside of Phila.
    Posts
    1,494
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    There is a certain desire (even need) in young men to beat things with their naked fists. Then these young men grow up.
    Heh, tell that to Randy Couture

    That being said, it is true that I personally would probably have loved MMA as a younger man, and that I would now have no interest in competing at 46. Or even training in that way on a consistant basis. An earlier poster spoke about the differences, and how aikido holds something for some that other arts don't. Not sure I agree with that...but one thing is for sure, different arts/sports attract different people at different times in their lives. Which is why I am glad these other venue are around.

    Another thing to remember is that Japanese Jujutsu once had the same public perception as MMA/cagefighting. A bunch of rufians, they were

    Best,
    Ron

  8. #38
    Samurai Jack Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Reyer View Post
    College budo clubs here in Japan, including aikido clubs, are brutal places. Frequent injuries and even the occasional death. At best, hard training on the edge, at worst it dives headfirst into the realm of abuse.

    I think the main problem here vis a vis MMA is the Octogon. It colors everything. I recall being rather disgusted with the idea of the UFC back when it first started. But when I came to Japan and started watching things like Pride, it was a completely different take. It was boxing with kicks and grappling. It was controlled, safety was a prime consideration, and the participants were sportsmen and budoka, not cage fighters.

    I think Jack's take on MMA is completely off-base and wrong. There is certainly an interesting discussion in the popularity/future of MMA vs traditional martial arts (such as aikido). However, Jack, I think it would behoove you to investigate more into MMA -- talk to some MMA fighters, go to a gym and take a lesson or two -- before you make wildly provocative statements like "MMA is violent conduct turned into brutal sport." You might be surprised by the ethics involved. And don't be fooled by Olympic Judo. Before it was "cleaned up" and heavily regulated for competition, Judo (not unlike pre-war aikido) was extremely rough, closer to MMA than it's modern incarnation.
    I know your coming from Japan. But please understand this concern and perspectives are not intended to be mine personally, but from what a teenage male 13-19, and young males (20+) sees and what attracts him to MMA over Aikido, possibly.

    Also how the general US public perceives MMA and Aikido. You being in Japan, and you may be isolated to how the US see MMA and Aikido, and what I am speaking to here in the US. The general public does see MMA as brutal and violent. A number of states (overtime has decreased) prohibits MMA bouts because they brutal. But over the years, as the popularity of MMA has grown we see more acceptance of MMA as seen with the advent of CBS televising it.

    What every your opinion of brutal Aikido can be is based on individual actions and not as the art on a whole. As the article I pointed out previously indicated by the founder of a competitive Aikido school that Aikido doesn't approve of violence. This then generally defines and thus separates the philosophies between Aikido and MMA which is seen by the public here in the US. Simply, MMA works on a completely different platform design and premise then Aikido. That is interpreted in by US teenagers and young men in its most simple and basic form. Aikido isn't for the same kind of fighting as MMA is designed for.

    What happens in Japan doesn't happen here in the US. For example, if Aikido schools behaved like they do in the US there would be law suits abound, and there would be no kids programs. No parent in their right mind would subject their 5-13 year old child taking Aikido or any martial art to such treatment.


    I have more to discuss on this later.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    179
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    I absolutely agree with with Ron's position in this thread. Violence and brutality begin from within a person and are not the fault/responsibility of the venue in which they get expressed. When I retired from wrestling (MANY years ago) I would have easily gone into MMA. I am glad today that this did not happen. I know people who do train in those areas. Most of them tend to be people with good character who are competitive. They are not cruel, brutal beasts that some would make them out to be. Those "beasts" are in our art, MMA, Karate,......

    There are a lot of differences and overlaps between MMA's and Aikido. How we choose to acknowledge and use those "realities" tints how we view MMA as a threat/benefit to the traditional martial arts community.

    I am very clear in my position when people inquire as to the nature of training at my school. I teach people how not to fight. I can easily demonstrate how "not fighting" allows the attacker to destroy him/herself in the process (we just take the credit). MMA's teaches people how to fight. Both have purposes, advantages and disadvantages. Principles from both areas can be directly utilized in both MMA's and Aikido. I work with competitive athletes in teaching them how to apply aiki principles and movements into making the contact in the sport have more "bang for the buck." I have no problem exploring the larger world of martial arts with my students and prospective students. The choice that they make (what art and what teacher) is simply a path that the person chooses at that point in life. I am thankful for the exposure that MMA's has with the general population so that more people have some basis of knowledge in which to explore the similarities and differences of arts and fighting styles, so that they can make choices.

    Marc Abrams
    Dr. Marc Abrams
    www.aasbk.com

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    68
    Likes (received)
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Tisdale View Post
    Heh, tell that to Randy Couture
    Randy Couture represents a pillar of MMA in the way that some of Bruce Lee's disciples (Joe Lewis etc.) are pillars of that community. He (and they) is a man of great integrity with a deep love for what he does. These are particularly the kind of men that improve an art, maintain its traditions and train students to be good people as well as good fighters.

    Violence and brutality begin from within a person and are not the fault/responsibility of the venue in which they get expressed.
    I am not sure that I can let MMA off the hook so easily. To not hold the art as a whole responsible for its practitioners sounds more than a little absurd to me.

    When the ninjer craze went down or the McDojo TKD craze was huge what was the worst thing that could happen? Some ninjers posted a myspace page with goofy pictures? A TKD tournament fighter bounced around with their hands at their waist throwing spin kicks in place of jabs? These arts, like aikido, have a basis and pedagogy that is far more intellectual, non-violent in the brutal sense and less indulgent of personal violence.

    When an art or practice includes in its realm of possibility and necessity pounding another man's face into hamburger there is some very serious spiritual danger involved. Tameshigiri Reigi by Yukio Tamakura elucidates on what I am getting at here. He insists that training to kill a man with a sword opens your soul to all manner of evil things and I would tend to agree with the premise. When training to defeat another man in violent and/or mortal combat a certain mindset is needed... Much less getting into the octagon and doing it; and that mindset is a dangerous animal. Men can learn to be tyrannical, dangerous, aggressive, corrupt and hateful cowards doing this sort of thing.

    The good news is that the nature of competition breeds humility - everyone gets ground hardcore by someone and learns how to make themselves small. I have seen, participated in and been on the receiving end of many a humility inducing beating. The bad news is that if competition does not get a chance to work its magic you can instead have a young man who learns only how to be brutal, physically aggressive and tyrannical. MMA can make a fine individual out of someone, but the stakes are pretty high - it can also make someone very accustomed to a maligned form of violence.

    Compare this to aikido or TKD or whatever. Lacking that knuckle breaking, face splitting, joint popping brutality, these arts do not necessarily place the practitioner in physical or spiritual risk in the same way that direct and (mostly) unmitigated fighting does.

    I have personally known several young men who were just as I described: violent people who used training in MMA to expiate all of their frustrations, shortcomings, anger and hate and only learned how to use violence to achieve their goals. They were corrupt and dangerous people - willing to get into a bar fight over 'principles' if for no other reason than to overwhelm their victim with their ring-honed skills and willingness to get hit in the face and not care about it. They were not interested in training, learning and improving. When they got into the ring with you they just wanted to hurt you. Period. End of story. I felt that their conduct lowered me by association and it was one of the reasons that I left training in MMA.

    Anyways. Small groups training with integrity are the core of any art or tradition and they can and will be found in MMA, Aikido etc.

    - Chris McGaw

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter."
    ~Ernest Hemingway

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    67
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drmarc View Post
    I am thankful for the exposure that MMA's has with the general population so that more people have some basis of knowledge in which to explore the similarities and differences of arts and fighting styles, so that they can make choices.
    That's the key to me. A lot of these young turks may later want to study some of the root arts, such as Aikido, Judo, Jujutsu, etc.
    Michael Hobson

    Mukyudoka

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    179
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Chris:

    What about the well-known sadists within the Aikido community? What is the reasoning behind their sadism? Should we now not let Aikido off the hook? Having started off in "hard" arts, I have seen more abuses in Aikido than I did in the "hard" arts. When you allow a person to do a technique on you in which the integrity of your joints are at stake, you expect the teacher to respect that. Yet there are many examples of teachers (Shihans, Senseis, ....) who had knowingly violated this trust and injured students.

    I do not dispute that the MMA's can create conditions in which brutality does occur. The rules of that sport encourage a degree of effective brutality in order to win. There have been countless times when a fighter will stop an attack, choke,... and notify the ref. that the person is out or in real danger. We can contrast that to the number of times that we have seen people tapping and the instructor keeps on inflicting pain.

    I am not putting any art or fighting style on a hook. The responsibility starts and stops with the individual.

    I, for one, enjoy watching MMA matches. I appreciate the spotlight that MMA brings to the world of martial arts. I have no problems using that "spotlight" to highlight the similarities and differences between a variety of fighting styles and arts.

    Instead of complaining about the mixed martial arts world, maybe we should focus in on how we can use that to the advantage of our art. Heck, rolling on the mats and sparring with them is fun. We can even learn something to bring back to what we do. The founder of our art was open to experiencing different arts and bringing things into what and how he did things. Why should we treat what we do as a closed, orthodox system when the founder did not do so?

    Marc Abrams
    Dr. Marc Abrams
    www.aasbk.com

  13. #43
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Outside of Phila.
    Posts
    1,494
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Offered as a counter point to many of the mis-characterizations in this thread:

    http://www.ultimate-fighter.ca/Forum...ic.php?id=3291

    Best,
    Ron

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    213
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Jack,

    Maybe I'm confused, but don't you study gung fu?

    Where is all the hubbub about Aikido being killed off by the popularity of MMA coming from?
    John Connolly

    Yamamoto Ha Fluffy Aiki Bunny Ryu

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    68
    Likes (received)
    5

    Default

    Mr. Abrams:

    I am not of the Aikido community and do not feel right commenting directly on it. My more serious and lengthy experience is limited to MMA. Martial arts always has a certain dark side when sadism and masochism shift from a positive event to the malign... I have seen this nearly everywhere I have gone and trained, regardless of style. Either case, I strongly believe that an art is accountable to its practitioners.

    I do not wish to be misinterpreted. I love MMA as a sport, a practice and as an event. I trained hard in it when I trained and took the lessons I learned there to heart and can not even imagine being what I am now without having done what I have done. No matter what anyone says about brutality or what have you at a certain point you either have or have not gotten punched in the face / punched dudes in the mouth. Similar to military men - you either have or you have not seen the elephant. The results are simple, when it comes to fighting having fought makes you better at it (markedly so) the next time you do it. MMA is indispensable for this very reason.

    - Chris McGaw

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter."
    ~Ernest Hemingway

Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •