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I was having a discussion with a friend who used to do aikido and what started as a discussion eventually led to an argument. The qquestion was, what is the value of a MA where a person is taught pretty much all defensive technique and little offensive? I was kind of at a loss as to how to retort this comment. So everyone, is there any value in such an art? I am intersted in seeing what everyone else thinks.:confused2
There is no law saying an aikidoist can't strike first if he needs to.
There is tremendous value in learning a system that teaches to deal with the energy of an incoming attack and not just strike it out. In a litiguous country like the US, it's much safer to deal with an attack than to pop someone in the nose.
Also, since pads aren't worn in aikido, we don't go around hitting people in the face, but that doesn't mean that those opportunities aren't there. A good instructor can show you those openings where an atemi (strike) can be used.
I must admit that I picked the scent of flame-bait from the start of this thread, especially while there's lack of proper signature… However, I might be wrong (it happens, occasionally), and if opening to thread is real, genuine question about nature and usage of martial art(s), it deserves some sort of answer.
On general level, there's hard to make any strong distinctions between offensive and defensive techniques. Many techs that look offensive on surface have defensive derivates, et vice versa; defensive looking techniqus can have very offensive usage, also. Arts that have lot of formal exercises have deep studies about these different interpretations and applications, sometimes referred as bunkai.
Asking question like 'what is value of this art' or 'what is use of this technique' leads to counter-question: What is the need of your study in some art? What are the purposes for you? People train different arts for different reasons, because they meet different kind of situations. Professional soldier, nurse in mental institute, police officer, taxi driver, liquor store keeper, they all have different needs. Average Joe Doe doesn't necessary need art that focuses to devastating fellow peoples bodies.
Then to aikido. As many other arts, also aikido has nowadays different styles, and different teachers emphasize different points of art. Can aikido techs be used as offensive? Yes. Even though O-Sensei Ueshiba stated that core of budo is love, aikido offers quite effective set of techniques to use both defensive and offensive purposes. The reason why aikido usually looks very soft and gentle art – especially during some pre-arranged trainig drill - is that usually practioners give room for each other to follow softly technique applied. Throws, joint-locks and take-downs can be very devastating techs if they are done by full speed and force in such a manner that doesn't allow opponent to get into movement and technique. Aikido's weapon-forms for jo and bokken have sets of offensive techs, too. Also, several of aikidos formal exercises include attack that is countered by applying some aikido's technique: these strikes and punches (like shomen -uchi, yoko-men –uchi, chudan –tsuki) can be see as offensive techs. Yes, in early steps in art these are shown in very formal way, step-by-step, not really scaring, is it?… But it is same in every art: you don't do full speed, targetted-to-kill attacks in any art on your first lessons, neither you are attacked by such a ways. Not in karate, not in judo, not in kung-fu, not in hapkido, not in tae-kwon-do… Not in aikido. But when the speed and force grow during training, you have also learned some attacking methods, too.
Ok., time for the caveat I usually put to this type of posts: I'm not teacher, neither do I stand for any art or school. Mine opinions are not truth carved in stone, merely notes I've done while studying different arts during years. Possible misinterpretations and misunderstandings I've done of arts/philosophies/styles studied are mine to blame, not teachers or arts. Especially aikido: there is more than couple years from that I've last taken part to official aikido training. Still, I recall aikido as elegant, sophisticated – and yes, effective martial art.
I would like to apologize for not signing my last post. I was in a hurry and always forget. In response to Riku, I would just like to say that I wasn't trying to rile people up by my post. I started doing aikido about a year ago and now am a second degree blue belt. I decided that since this was the first martial art I had ever done before I tested for my brown belt I wanted to make sure that I was absolutely dedicated to aikido. Though I have tried a whole bunch of offensive arts none seem to be able to quite measure up to the quality level of training I recieve from my aikido dojo... Thanks for the responses, I was just curious to see what others thought.
My moment of paranoid, my mistake, my apologies. I'm sorry for my suspicion about your intentions, MotokotheGreat.
I can only speak from my personal experience but I've been instructed that the root of Aikido is in sword techinque and that the sword isn't a defensive weapon.
While many of the basics are practiced in static forms with a passive nage at higher levels the nage draws out the uke and leads uke to a position best for nage. And yes, Aikidoka can strike first (In Budo Ikkyo begins with nage striking out at uke).
Ultimately I wouldn't worry about the defensive side of Aikido, its more than compensated for with leading and atemi.
P.S. If Aikido wasn't effective then it wouldn't used by riot police and security forces around the world
I don't study Aikido, I study it's ugly brother Hapkido, or more specifically Hapkiyoosool( Aiki Ju-Jutsu). But I just wanted to share my thoughts about this discussion. Yes Aikido is a defensive art, but the actual meaning behind it is ( as the samurai faces the sword, turning defense into offense) To merge, or harmonize between the attacker, and yourself you are redirecting their energy, so you are basically turning defense into offense. As far as the sword go's, it is very important for the techniques, infact the techniques themselves come from the sword movements, so it is very important to learn how the sword moves to better the open hand techniques. The sword "IS" a defensive weapon. The sword was only used as a last resort. If the samurai could not win the fight by using open hand then the sword would do the trick. The sword is a instrument of death, so I would not think that unless they had to use it they would. Anyway I think the Aiki, and Hapki arts are very effective, infact I feel it's one of the most effective arts in the world. The reason I say this is because really there is no defense to a defensive martial art. It as taken all possible attacks the human body can do, and built a defense to it, and in the process has taken all oposition away from the attacker eliminating any kind of counter measures to the defense. Just wanted to share my thoughts. Thank you:D
good, analythical answer!
How come hapkido an ugly brother :confused: (I study Sin Moo myself)?
Defending, attacking: old saying on more "attack-stressing" art: "Karate has no first attack."
Think of things this way as well
Aikido is very good to learn with today's "punch a crook, go to jail" law system
I studied Aikido for a short while. Yes the art is good for harmonizing and finding your center, as well as defensive spur of the moment reflexes...however, along with Aikido for a more well rounded fighing ability, I would study another art in coalition with Aikido. I have met many people that say studying Aikido after studying another art has opened them up or allowed them to flow better in whatever other style they are studying.
I would say you'd have to have some offense... I mean , come on!
Anyway I think the Aiki, and Hapki arts are very effective, infact I feel it's one of the most effective arts in the world. The reason I say this is because really there is no defense to a defensive martial art. It as taken all possible attacks the human body can do, and built a defense to it, and in the process has taken all oposition away from the attacker eliminating any kind of counter measures to the defense.
I disagree with you here. Aiki and Hapki arts may very well be effective, but there is no art that is all powerful and indefensible. Whether you think your art is offensive or defensive, does not change the fact that every technique can be countered. In fact, there are MANY counters to any given technique. Anyone who feels that any art or technique is all powerful, is only fooling themselves. This is why harmony is so important. IF you can harmonize with your opponent, then as he counters this move, you change to counter his counter and so on. The reason this works is because every move can be countered. It is by understanding the flow of move and counter move that we gain the advantage of knowing where to go. By believing your art is the ultimate uncounterable art, you stop developing your harmony, thus your effectiveness.
Yes William I agree with you, but when I was talking about not being able to counter, I was talking in the sense of street application. Yes ofcourse others that study the art with you are going to know how to counter, and then you counter them. But I was refering to the average street punk, or bar fight ( not like I go to bars) These types are most likely not going to understand how to reverse the energy of the defense, especially in the time allowed. Before they know what has happened they have already been a break, dislocation, or worse when they hit the concrete. I hope I have cleared up what I was trying to say in my last post. "namaste"
The reason that uke cooperates so much when a person starts aikido or judo or jujitsu is because it is so easy to counter the moves. The guy you fight at the bar or on the street has some very effective techniques. They are effective precisely because he learned them the hard way, on the street. If they catch you with their move, you go down, end of story. They do practice on fully resisting opponents and hold nothing back. Every move has countless counters to it. You need to accept that before you can ever learn to really apply your technique on the street. Yes, that big guy at the bar can counter your aiki, jujitsu, kung fu, TKD ..... whatever.
Aikido is very good to learn with today's "punch a crook, go to jail" law system
It's also a lot easier to apply and aiki technique after smashing/jabbing the person in nose/throat/eyes. If you do it right it can look like you were sticking out your hands in a defnsive gesture.
Ueshiba said, "Master the divine techniques of Aikido, and no enemy will dare to challenge you."
Such is the usefullness of a defensive art.
Meditate on this.... OOOOOOOOOommmmmm
Just in case someone is still reading this thread... My son is by far the smallest kid in his 5th grade and because of being height challenged the worry arises in his mind about being bullied at school and how to react. Even though he studies Judo and I feel he could defend himself if the need arose his mother and I have contiuously told him that the best way to defend yourself is to avoid the conflict, and if that can't be done to turn and run real fast.
I don't feel that any martial art is an answer to conflict, whether you study Judo, Aikido, Karate, or whatever. To say that a strictly defensive martial art such as Aikido has no value makes no sense to me. What value is any Martial Art if you are "planning" on needing to use it in a physical confrontation of some kind? Martial Arts, for me, are about personal growth and dealing about inner conflict. As soon as I begin to train with the purpose of stopping an attacker I feel that I am almost looking to be attacked. That is no way to live. Totally avoid conflict. Try training at the local track.
I understand what you are saying, but I think you are misguided. You basically said that training in an effective art will make you more prone to violence than training in an ineffective art. Also you say that martial arts should be for personal growth and dealing with inner conflict. I think that this is way off. If your goals are personal growth and such, you can find much better activities that will offer the same thing, like sports, arts, clubs, religeons, and activities that do not involve any "martial" aspect.
A student's desire to find fights has nothing at all to do with the effectivness of the martial art studied. It has everything to do with the attitude of the student and the attitude of the instructor. Why would you want to waste your time or your child's time studying an art only to have it fail if you really needed to defend yourself?
I see no connection at all with training to stop an attacker and then looking to be attacked.
First let me restate that "for me" martial arts are for person growth, not to mention physical activity. I am not at all stating that this is what martial arts should be for everyone. In a perfect world there would be no need for defense at all. But, of course, this not a perfect world. I was simply stating that for my family stress is put on avoidance of a confrantation. I do not want my son to be trained to the point that he becomes completely without fear. There are always kids on the "playground" bigger and tougher than you are. As a parent I get worried sometimes, that's all.
And, no, you are right, the martial art that is studied has no bearing on the desire to seek out and participate in fights. If that is the immpression I gave then I appologize. But you mention "effectiveness" as if the only purpose of martial arts training is combat related. If my son is trained in a "hard" style of martial arts does that make him more "effective" than a person trained in Tai Chi or Aikido? There are many purposes to Martial Arts, defense is only one. I just hate seeing people becoming overconfident with their physical abilities when there are other options available to them when confronted.
Oh, and Mr. Wright is my Dad. Just call me Steve. I feel old when people call me Mr.
I just hate seeing people becoming overconfident with their physical abilities when there are other options available to them when confronted.
I agree with that.
Oh, and Mr. Wright is my Dad. Just call me Steve. I feel old when people call me Mr.
Sorry about that Steve. Oh and don't forget one of the most important things that we gain in martial arts in addition to fighting skill and personal growth....................
It is very wrong to see Aikido as aimple a selfdefense art. IT AINT. Osensei always talked about tori initaiting the first move wether it be the very first teaching of shomen when he said that tori must strike at ukes face to make uke react then you apply ikkyo ni,san, yon etc, etc, after that you always try to offer the area where you want attacked or grabbed. YOU NEVER STAND AROUND WAITING TO BE ATTAKED. There is no true martial syteme that thinks that way.
Inaba sensei of Shiseikan dojo, Meiji Jingu; my teacher's teacher uses the principle of attacking the attacker.
Just my small input to this thread.
"Then there is no attack peacful resolution."
I have a friend who studies MA and has resolved 'disagreements' with a simple block. The attacker decided that if their attack could be so easily stopped then it wasnt worth their trouble and legged it :D
But just to answer the original post:- whats wrong with a defensive MA? I study for self defence, i have no reason to go on the attack. And when does defence become offence?
I study Nihon Goshin Aikido, It's a style of Aikido that uses kicks and strikes as part of it's everyday training you can check it out at Aikidoinc.com
That sounds interesting, do you intergrate the kicks into the waza as well as using kicks as the starting point of waza? I'm still waiting for someone to attack me with an overhead chop..... :p
Oh and do you do this in hakama? Thats the only issue i'd have with that idea.
We use kicks to keep our distance from our attacker, I've had many people ask me if Aikido would work against a good striker, I tell them if you let them get in on you probibly not in that case you propibly want to strike them also, but if you keep your distance by using a front kick to the mid section everytime your attacker comes in on you, eventually he will have to throw that big jab or roundhouse and then you got him!!!!!!! And about the Hakama, only Blackbelts in our school can wear them, but most don't.
I find your distinction between aikido and jujitsu/judo particulary interesting.
"Then the princiles of how to do this are
a) Force meets force (Karate)
b) force avoids force (Aikido)
c) Force Joins Force (Judo/jujutsu)"
I'm not sure I see a stark contrast between force avoicing force and joining force. I don't "do" aikido, but isn't the joining/blending element a consistent them in both aikido and aiki-jujitsu?
I did train Aikido for a while, but from observing legitmate Aikijujutsu, blending is not used in the same way... Nage/Tori/Shite doesn't make much of an effort to move off-line or take large steps. Everything seems to be smaller, tighter, and more about controlling Uke/Kake/Uchite's center using the most efficient means possible.
Based on feeling techniques done by some solid practitioners, the feedback as Uke is night and day from the 'blending' done in aikido. Of course, YMMV.
Just have to put this in regarding response to force. In Judo, one would push when pulled, pull when pushed, in Aikido,when one is pushed you turn(tenkan), if pulled,enter or irimi. I also have to say that in the dojo where I studied,defenses against strikes and kicks were very much a part of practice! One small thing about the use of big movements,in the beginning, every movement is larger than it should be to allow for good "feeling" or "blending" with uke's energy, the more advanced the practitioner, the smaller the movements needed to "blend". so...I would say that even though some movements are big, you should not think that this version is the "perfected" end result of any given technique, it just depends.
Paul Bladen--Midwest Hapkido Group--Hanmninjok Hapkido
How about reading the book by doshu titled "The Spirit of Aikido", it answers the question of this thread almost completely.
Also read Budo Rensho by O Sensei, it has many techniques from the aiki-bujutsu days.
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