Thursday, May 19, 2011

Aikido is mostly just illegal judo

I've seen this idea blogged on several times in the past, I think on Nate Teodoro's blog and Charlie James' blog and Chris Marshall's blog - but I'm too lazy to chase down the URLs for you.  The idea that if you want to see what the most useful techniques would be in a real street fight, look at the actions that are illegal in any combat sport.

Take Judo for instance, If you look at the IJF judo rules, section 27 - Prohibited actions and penalties, you will see that what is illegal in judo includes...
  • To intentionally avoid grabbing the guy - and not letting them grab you.
  • To avoid attacking the guy, or to try to get away from them
  • Endangering small joints or spine (neck cranks, finger locks, wrist locks, leg locks)
  • Grabbing their legs
  • Touching/hitting the face, kicking
  • pushing the opponent out of bounds
  • squeezing leg scissors
  • entangling a leg and falling onto it
  • lifting and dashing them against the ground
  • falling while applying jointlocks (like wakigatame) or falling/bridging backward into the ground with them on your back
  • wearing/using hard metalic objects
  • and of course, such non-sporting actions as poking, gouging, ripping, biting, spitting, head-butting, groin attacks, etc... fall under the category of "against the spirit of judo."
Typically we like to think of the aikido that we do as self-defense judo.  That is, all the stuff that is illegal in judo contest, we try to find a way to practice in aikido.  So, in aikido you see lots of hitting/pushing the face and a wider variety of jointlocks than you see in judo. You also see good taisabaki and gripping actions that deny the opponent a grip/position.
But there are still actions in the above list that our aikidoka are probably unfamiliar with.  Might be worth going through this list and finding a way to safely and carefully and systematically give aikidoka some exposure to some of these situations.
Patrick Parker

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