Can Aikido work in MMA?
The early days of MMA delivered a collision of fighting styles, where bouts rarely lasted more than three minutes. But the sport has evolved, and now mixed martial arts is composed of multiple fighting styles. The combination of the best aspects of Wrestling, Judo, Sambo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing, and Muay Thai makes it one of the most popular sports in the world. The traditional martial art of Aikido is pretty efficient in disabling street bullies and cocky attackers, but in this video we are going to take a look at how effective it would be in MMA.
But before we do this, remember to give us a thumbs up and a quick click on our subscribe button to get more videos like this one and support Brutal TV. Thanks. But for now, let’s get back to Aikido.
Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art that is split into man.y different styles, including Iwama Ryu, Iwama Shin Shin Aiki Shurenkai, Shotokan Aikido, Yoshinkan, Aikikai and Ki Aikido. The word “Aikido” roughly translates to “the way of unifying energy”. That might seem abstract but when you learn what the philosophy of Aikido is, it is much more apparent.
It was originally developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy and religious beliefs. Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attackers from injury. It closely resembles the fighting methods of Jiu-Jitsu and Judo in its use of twisting and throwing techniques, and in its aim of turning an attacker’s strength and momentum against himself.
The traditional martial art of Aikido is mostly based around defensive throws and joint locks. Its ultimate goal is to disable the attacker and force him to forfeit his attacks. A true master of Aikido is “trying to overcome oneself instead of cultivating aggressiveness and violence”. According to its creator Ueshiba, the experts of this martial art rarely attack and would rather wait for their foes to make the first move. Techniques can vary due to different styles of Aikido.
In general, they are divided into throws, wrist and elbow techniques, floating techniques, parries, striking, choking and defensive maneuvers. Basic Aikido techniques include ikkyo or first teaching which is an elbow control technique. It is believed to be the most basic technique suitable against any attack and an entrance move for more complicated maneuvers. Nikkyo or second teaching is the basic defense of wrist control that disables even the toughest of opponents and leads to an enormous amount of pain. Sankyo or third teaching is a harder wrist control that can be used in many defensive situations. It is also brutal for your opponent thanks to a wrist twist. Yonkyo or fourth teaching refers to wrist control plus pressure point. It takes some time to master this one. Gokyo or fifth teaching is one of the best ways to remove a knife or other sharp weapon from the attacker’s hand. Rokkyo or sixth teaching is an arms control position. When all six are mastered, then the basics are covered.
We are almost at the halfway mark now, so just a reminder to like this video and subscribe to Brutal TV for more top quality fighting videos. Now, back to self-defense.
In MMA, you cannot grab an opponent, hold their gloves or shorts, throw them beyond a certain perimeter, and you cannot use wrist locks. All of which are aspects of several prominent techniques in Aikido. But there are some techniques that are allowed in MMA which are all primarily defensive.
One of the most basic and yet most powerful Aikido techniques is always being aware of the center line and swiftly sidestepping it when an assailant is about to attack you. It is simple, smart and effective. The next technique is Randori which is the awareness of attacks from multiple directions. And thirdly, Ukemi – learning how to fall.
Good Aikidokas know how to roll on the floor to minimize pain and damage. In Aikido, as in virtually all japanese martial arts, there are both physical and mental aspects of training. The physical training is diverse covering both general physical fitness and conditioning as well as specific techniques.
Physical training goals pursued in conjunction with Aikido include controlled relaxation, correct movements of joints such as hips and shoulders, flexibility, and endurance with less emphasis on strength training. Pushing or extending movements are much more common than pulling or contracting movements. Specific muscles or muscle groups are not isolated and work to improve tone, mass or power.
Aikido-related training emphasizes the use of coordinated whole body movement and balance similar to yoga or pilates. For example, many dojos begin each class with warm-up exercises which may include stretching and break falls. The mental training involved in Aikido emphasizes the ability to relax the mind and body even under the stress of dangerous situations. This is necessary to enable the practitioner to perform the ‘enter and blend’ movements that underlie Aikido techniques, wherein an attack is met with confidence and directness.
Morihei Ueshiba once remarked that one must be willing to receive 99% of an opponent’s attack and stare death in the face in order to execute techniques without hesitation. As a martial art concerned not only with fighting proficiency but with the betterment of daily life, this mental aspect is of key importance to Aikido practitioners. There have been many famous people that have trained in the art of Aikido and probably the most famous in the world of movies is Steven Seagal.
Seagal is a defensive minded fighter who uses his opponent’s strength against him. He is known for high-level anti-weapon techniques. He is also known for the ‘Steven Seagal kick’ – a version of the front kick. MMA fighter, Lyoto Machida, credited him for perfecting this technique, which turned the lights out for the former UFC champion Randy Couture at UFC 129. Other celebrities that trained Aikido are Karl Geis, Patricia Hendricks, Terry Dobson, Frank Doran, Jon Takagi, Alan Ruddock and Harvey Konigsberg.
Aikido has been criticized on many occasions for being too soft and not being pressure tested against resisting opponents. Some masters tried to salvage their favorite martial arts by fighting in tournaments. But unfortunately, Aikido in MMA was mostly unsuccessful, even in minor MMA promotions. That being said, there were a handful of experts that did find success in using some aspects of Aikido in MMA competitions.
Pancreas fighter, Jason DeLucia, appeared at UFC 1 and scored the first ever rear naked choke over Trent Jenkins. But he was also trained in Kung Fu, Taekwondo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. But Jason created his own fighting style – combat Aikido, which combines Judo throws, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques and strikes. His UFC record is 2-1.
Dan “The Wolfman” Theodore combined Aikido with various aspects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, and Wrestling to create a unique grappling style. He scored 2 wins and 3 losses. Dan also did an Aikido wrist roll in a professional catch Wrestling competition.
Jay “Prodigy” Dods is a former Bellator fighter known for the Tai sabaki technique in MMA.
Kathy Long is another famous name, a master of several martial arts; Aikido, Kung Fu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Taekwondo. She has used Aikido moves in two of her bouts.
A fighter who only knows Aikido would not be an effective MMA fighter. This is not only due to the fact that most deadly Aikido techniques are banned in MMA, but also that most Aikidokas would shun that type of competition and not participate. MMA fighters are driven by the desire to inflict intense harm, something that is alien to a true Aikidoka.
What do you think of Aikido and MMA? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to Brutal TV for more top fighting videos just like this one. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time.
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