About Aikido, How To Make The Techniques More Combat Ready
When I hear the uninformed speak about Aikido, it is generally a description of how the aikido techniques are graceful, or how they don’t work. This becomes the old disagreement, do you want form or function? This can further be understood as, do you want force or flow?
If one analyzes Aikido History, and here we are looking directly to O Sensei, one needs examine two specific martial arts. One should examine Daito Ryu Aiki Ju Jitsu, and one should inspect the techniques of the sword and spear. These are generally accepted as the two martial arts from which Aikido was created.
Daito ryu Aiki Ju Jitsu was established over 800 years ago. After a tumultuous period in Japan’s history, the samurai who had survive countless wars were gathered and asked for the most efficient techniques. They wound up with a list of over 3,000 highly workable martial techniques.
About Aikido sword and and spear techniques, these are brought together from a variety of martial schools throughout Japan. While a few of the schools could be pointed to, the fact is that techniques are shared, and there will be a commonality here. This holds true for the arts of both the sword and the spear.
The direct result of this combining of Daito Ryu and sword and spear is plain to see. The attacks done in Aikido are drawn from the sword or the spear. They tend to be large and simple, and some people think that this makes Aikido inadequate as it is based on handling types of attacks one would not see on modern streets.
The defenses, again, are large. They are drawn from Daito Ryu, but they are wide arcs and curves, instead of the tight geometry one would need in modern self defense movements. This fact, of wide and large being the faulty geometry, is the key to tightening up Aikido.
Go at a slower rate of motion (in the beginning), and make the geometry of the attack tighter. Instead of the large circle of a chopping hand coming down like a sword, come off the elbow and make the circle of attack tighter, and let the defender adapt to street fast attacks. And, instead of the slow motion of the wrist grab, translate the movement into a quick fist, and let the defender learn to move in a combat manner.
These two things should cure any uninformed person who dares to think that Aikido is less than combat ready. One should, of course, take their aikido training at a slower rate, and take the time to adjust their body harmony so that there are no harmful incidents, and so that Uke can adjust to the fact that he is going to be thrown quick and fast, and not in gentle ballet fashion. These simple things accomplished, no person should ever think less about aikido again.