Heh, when I switched to CMA from Aikido I learned it was okay to put your weight on the back of their elbow. Breaking elbows is okeedokee in CMA. (But not while training!)
There are many reasons to do any of the variations of aikido; but quite often effective self-defense skills are at the bottom of the "wish list". It is a beautiful art to watch when it is done well and when my pre-teen sons trained in it; I spent many an hour watching classes of all types while waiting for them. (As an aside, being a parent is much like being a soldier, fireman or policeman -- you spend most of your active duty waiting and never know when trouble will arise and you don't get much respect for your service!).
The club that they trained at had an excellent reputation locally; the chief instructor was very capable and also had a black belt in tae kwon-do. Watching the senior belts move and throw each other was a delight; but less impressive from a combative point-of-view. Like many with some martial experience, I tended to think that "it's pretty, but not very functional".
One day there was a stranger waiting to participate in the senior belts class; a young giant visiting from Russia who had come to participate in an open class as he trained in the same style in Moscow. I had pegged him as a martial artist when I first saw him in civilian clothes and it was quite an eye-opener later to see him in action on the matts.
The local boys and girls were sent flying in all directions with snap and power and afterwards, from the visitor's bench, I heard a lot of muttering -- some cheerful, some not -- about how "he had used too much force, how he struck with some power before locking or throwing, etc". Two of the locals had suffered minor injuries and the young giant didn't seem at all contrite. It was obviously the way he was used to training.
So I learned that there was at least one aikidoist whose skills might serve him well on the streets as opposed to the skillful "playing" I was used to seeing done by the locals. The same kind of comments could apply to most schools of yang-style taiji, expecially those that only teach solo form and push-hands. This is not an indictment though as many western taiji and aikido students aren't willing to train properly or have the health to do so (at least initially).
So, perhaps aikido should be admired for the great art that it can be and not judged arbitrarily on the basis of the one example that you may have seen in your own town.
Thanks Michael Babin,
Some people forget that all of these arts were designed as COMBAT/FIGHTING arts, regardless of whether they are practiced appropriately or not by others. In this country few really learn a martial art (myself included -- so far).
Even the likes of former heavy-weight Boxing champion Jack Dempsey lamented that western Boxing wasn't being taught or practiced correctly by the vast majority of newcomers that flooded into the ring after it became extremely popular due to its big prize "money."
In any art, few students are taught well. Of those being taught well, few stay at it long enough to really get proficient (& some of these become instructors who don't teach well). And even fewer still go on to cross train (with good instructors) in other arts/techniques in order to fill gaps not covered by their base art.
I think it's a waste of time to admire something for what it can be especially when you see that end result is a bunch of fat guys wearing pants inside their pants. How stupid is that?
If you're a friggin giant from Russia why would you need to learn aikido anyway. That's a dumb story. His aikido is better because they have different training standards in Russia. Perhaps...but whatever...he was just big kid! Why would anyone have to suffer injury in an aikido class its all cooperative? Where they sparring or actually fighting? No? Then the a**hole Russian was just a big bully! That must be one of the stupidest story I ever read!
I think aikido is plenty effective, against people who don't know anything. or durnkards, or if you're bigger then anyone else around. If a little guy from russia came in and did that, I would ask you his name, and i might just be on a plain to Russia tomarrow.
ps. on second thought i think i would rather stay where i'm at.
'...a bunch of fat guys wearing pants inside their pants.' That's hilarious! Thanks for a good laugh, Meynard.
I trained in Tomiki Ryu but only for a short time. I enjoyed the experience. My impression of the school that was involved in was much like many other schools. There is plenty there to teach you to fight, but until you have an instructor experienced in fighting that wants to help you learn how to apply the art in that direction, it's going to be very hard. My impression of the Tomiki school specifically of Aikido is that it is well organized. He seemed to want his students to learn concepts and principles and basics, rather than big flashy sequnences on a dummy. All the material focuses on drilling the basics into you so that you can build bigger things with them yourself, but again, without the right guidance, I don't think that you'd ever reach a very high level of skill. Positive: THey were more roudy than I would think. I learned hip tosses and the like within weeks, which was a lot of fun. Did I see any hard-ass Bruce Lee mo-fos??? No, but I think that was more the atmosphere/instruction/students more than the style itself. I think that many martial arts could be adapted to extreme effectiveness for building a streetfighter army. Perhaps that's not what a lot of teachers are going for. Go figure...
In your Tomiki school, did the students practice non-cooperative randori (I'm talking about the Judo type, where the partners are actively resisting and trying to throw each other, not the cooperative type)?
sparring in tomiki style i understand involves an attacker with a dummy knife trying to score by stabbing or cutting the tori. the tori scores by effecting techiques, including submissions.
to those who have doubts about aikido's effectiveness, i shared the same doubts shortly after getting into it not long ago. however i've since been pleasantly surprised.
out of class i now practice the tomiki style sparring with my younger bro (5 years MA experience), and found that i've been able to pull-off the disarming and submission techniques 10 times out of 10 against my bro in non-cooperative situations. my background in yang tai chi (about 7 years) helped in terms of power, but still believe the techniques themselves to be very effective indeed.
i know there are many tougher opponents whom with it would be very difficult to make the techniques work, but that doesn't say anything about the art, only the man.
bottom line is, if practiced in the right way i'm sure aikido can be made to work.
It seems that too many people think that 30 or 60 minutes 3 times a week is training,and just don't practice enough to make anything work. then they blame the style.
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