Aikido vs MMA

It's exactly what you would expect

(but more obnoxiously arrogant)

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  • As an Aikido practitioner of about 30 years (on-and-off for the last 10), I gotta say that Aikido has its place (and, no, not at the bottom of the pail).

    It works a whole lot better when the energy of the attacker is strongly committed as was seen on the battlefields of 300-forever years ago. Travis says “overextended”, I’ll say really f-ing committed.

    It still works today and offers valuable insight and technique – but not for everything!

    BTW, I also do boxing and grappling/judo. As I alluded to, a toolbox with only a screwdriver is kinda limited.

    And then there are the clowns that insist that Aikido is the end-all-be-all of martial arts. As 5th dan in Aikido, I’ll tell you now, it isn’t.

    • No offense to you or your art, but if it had validity in actual fighting we would see it in the ring – and we don’t. Steven Segall made it look cool though; before he was all bloated and cheesy.

  • Aikido isn’t useless. It has good footwork and is good for flow, but anyone who mistakes it for a fighting style deserves what they get.

  • No offence to Trav (who provides great content) or the crash test dummy in the video, but –

    Q. What does showing an out of of shape dweeb getting his ass kicked by a hardened tough guy prove?

    A. Absolutely Nothing. Except for the fact that the dweeb is of course going to lose. And (again no surprise) that the aggressor will usually have the advantage – especially when he deprives the victim of the ‘space’ he thinks he needs to ‘practice his art’.

    The quality of the practitioner always trumps ‘the art’ imho.

    • I think it proves everything. Martial Artists/Fighters/Self Defense Experts who dont stress or pressure test their discipline against the enemy they “claim to be able defeat” will result in this same conclusion. They dont know what real violence looks/feels like and that will put them drastically behind the curve of personal protection.
      You video of Yi Long is impressive, but his craft has been pressure tested against real violence. Yi Long has dedicated his adult life to never getting smacked around like the Aikido fighter.
      Of course real violence comes in many forms. Can that same MMA fighter work their way out of a gun fight or a knife fight? Maybe. Maybe if they had military combat experience or law enforcement training.
      Point is, we need to pressure test ourselves to “know” if what we practice works. Until then, its just guess work.
      “Practice what you preach.”

  • As former Aikidoka, I can testify that Trav CORRECTLY estimated Aikido as generally non-applicable martial art in modern meaning of that word. Trav is 100% right about general inefficiency of Aikido in usual life situations. In modern terms Aikido is NOT martial art at all.
    Moral story: in 1990es there has been here a lot of criminals coming from war here (Serbia). A group of young men were waiting their friend at building entrance then. A man came with a knife and ordered them to give their money. One from the group was training Aikido, made a wrong move and was killed at the spot. Murderer picked the possesions and went into the darkness never to be found.
    I’ll stop here – and let the clever reader drive his own conclusion from this story. Maybe this real story will save somebody’s life, and that would be my reward if contributed to that.
    Good work Trev.

  • Practicing against a fully or at least partially (i.e. 50-90%) resistant opponent is a necessity. You get to run the experiment over and over again. Then ask yourself if this worked: 1) if not why–ask the coach 2) maybe my body is not suited for this technique at this time 3) is there another option …etc. And, this is why Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, MMA, and even Judo have such an advantage.

    The training usually filters out this type of attitude quickly.

  • So one person is a recreational MA hobbiest, a bit over weight and lacking what looks to be any physical fitness.

    The other person is beefed up and clearly athletic.

    Trav, you think this is a good representation of the comparable martial arts practiced by these guys?

    I bet the athletic guy would win even if he was an aikidoka. (And for the record I’m not an aikido fan in the slightest).

    • But isn’t Athleticism something that comes with certain fighting styles and their typical style of training?
      Usually a Boxer will have great stamina, a Taekwondoin great flexibility and a Wrestler great overall Athletic capabilities.

      And Aikido practitioners often look like the dude in the video.
      Like with this Wing chun/Wing tsung/whatever, where they claim to redirect the force of the Opponent…
      If someone believes in this kinda crap, he or she will train accordingly, if you want to call it training then.
      Someone competing in a Combat Sport like Boxing, Muay Thai or whatever will rather improve the abilities of his body if he wants to win.

  • I’m a BJJ artist but also that was just a huge mismatch for body types. One athletic bruiser vs. a couch potato. If they both knew nothing and you reversed the situations and gave the bruiser a month of aikido and the couch potato a month of BJJ, the bruiser would still dominate.

  • Most dudes with lady hair are not ready for actual violence. He is lucky it was a slap, I’m just trying to remember if open hand is the discipline or the respect side.

    • I thought that being in condition had nothing to do with the skills of Aikido. Steven Segal is certainly not in shape these days. I. Would venture that an out of shape ex pro boxer would have the same results in this situation. That first slap from the MMA guy, could have been a really pissed off woman, and he couldn’t defend against that.


  • But Trav, a black belt (in a shitty discipline) is a black belt right? Maybe THIS guy wasn’t “properly trained”….

  • Man… so many Aikido practitioners and teachers think this way, and fill each other’s heads with the same dangerous crap: that They. Are. Invincible!!! I trained in Iwama style Aikido for 15 years, and I use some of it in what I teach today, but have moved on for more practical stuff. Like a taser.

  • Hey, I wanna learn the Chinese art of flying!! You know, the stuff you see in the movies with the subtitles.. Where can I find that dumbjo, I mean dojo???

  • Bruce Lee wasn’t a big fan of the art and the guy who represented the art form furthered the point for me i think they should have gotten a guy who was more about the applications instead of a guy who wanted to explain the concepts and not actually get in their and apply it , i hope he got paid for his time and for the mma guy he really seemed to enjoy his time in the video.

  • Some Aikido schools includes a lot of jujitsu and judo in their style ! AIKIBUDO for instance is really great. It includes also stikes, punches, knee elbows and kicks. I agree of course that aikido must be teach by real master with a martial focus and it is rarely the case.

  • The Aikido guy got schooled, and relatively gently.

    Extraordinary claims (“Aikido is better than _____”) require extraordinary evidence / proof.

    Being athletic counts. I bet a rugby player who’s smaller and lighter than the Aikido guy with NO martial arts training could defeat the Aikido guy. Aikido guys don’t work on cardio, explosiveness, or aggressiveness. Mindset and mentality are important.

  • MMA is just a sport, akido is a real martial art for mass destruction. If the akido guy did his art that mma guy would be seven times dead.

    You mma sport fags (no judgement) that play mma don’t understand real martial arts is for killing in war not points in a tournament…….. 🙂

    Just trolling.

  • All I see is a severely out of balance weight and reach difference in the bald dudes favor. You beat up a less experienced dude many times smaller than you. gj

  • Look Circumstances make Rules…and Rules make Systems.

    If you try to rigidly force a System to a different Circumstance it will put you in a disadvantage.

    Just like pure kick-boxers and thai guys had a major disadvantage in early MMA fights against grapplers.

    In the good old waring days in Japan, footsoldiers at arms wore at least a helmet and something of a chest protection. It was pointless to punch or kick. (Circumstances)

    So if you lost your sword (=bad), the best you could do is to somehow grab the guy swinging, take him down and knife him…or brake his arm. (=good)
    This brought to life Jawara…the ancestor of Jiu-Jitsu doing exactly that

    If you watch old, pre-world war kendo sparring (search kenjutsu old) you see that there is a lot of unpleasant takedowns and ground grappling in it.

    After the II. World War all imperialist samurai practices were no-no and the the arts softened into sports. (Rules) Jitsu-s became Do-s. Ju-do. Ken-do. Aiki-do.

    Just like Kano culled and softened for Judo, so did Ueshiba for Aikido with a nostalgic attraction to anti-sword moves but soften down to non-hurting. (System) That’s why the many iwaza (on the knees) techniques – from old sword forms (katas).

    AIKIDO WAS NOT DESIGNED (System) WITH MODERN STREET CONFLICTS IN MIND (Circumstances) where you are repeatedly kicked, punched, stabbed, bitten in a chaotic manner aiming mostly at your face. (Rules)

    It was SOLD as a self-defense system in the Oh-Japanese-Martial-Arts’ hype in the 80’s by his apprentices. Because more practitioners = more money.
    It’s nice. It’s healthy. It’s pro-culture, pro-tradition and builds a peaceful mindset.

    So is dancing.

  • I would just like to say. That aikido guy got smacked the hell up by the MMA guy. But I will have to say that a true aikido practitioner that takes it serious and I can name a few around my area that would’ve took that guy and not only wrapped his leg around his head but tossed him somewhere over on one of those side padded walls. That’s the truth. But a true aikido practitioner most likely wouldn’t walk into something like that to prove what he’s got that’s just the way they are. But I love seeing stuff like that and I love the fact that that aikido practitioner had a lot of enthusiasm about the art good for you . Hey there is always winners and losers what are you going to do even though he lost he still has aikido in his heart so he’s a winner in my book. Ron

  • i agree with a couple of other commenters here who point out that aikido does have some value. it’s been reformatted and sold to the western market in its worst version. its best version shares a lot with judo and jiu jitsu (its sister arts) and has a unique emphasis on negotiating space in 360º and confronting multiple opponents. there’s a reason a whole bunch of tokyo police practice aikido.

    i’ve done some wrestling, judo, and jiu jitsu, and i’ve grappled with a couple aikidoka who could hold their own, and who had no other formal grappling instruction.