Tag Archives: Aikido Culture

Last month we introduced a new concept. You shouldn’t be claiming aikido is lethal unless you’ve given it some serious thought, and worked out how to do it. The first part of that is actually quite simple and easy to achieve. The second part though, how to actually make your aikido dangerous, requires a bit more consideration, and a fair bit of practice. The techniques of aikido, the ones we see in every session on the mats, are brutal. As aikidoka we have a tendency to focus on the opposite.…

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It’s time to take a look at the next of our new rules. This is something that so many people are guilty of and it’s time to stop. New Rule #2: You are not allowed to claim lethal effectiveness for aikido unless you can prove it. Aikidoka seem to love to claim that it is ‘lethal’, or ‘too dangerous for competition’, or ‘incredibly deadly if we want it to be’. I understand why we claim that. I really do. There’s a whole host of reasons that would drive us to…

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Our quote that needs to die this time is that old chestnut that appears all over social media. It usually takes the from of an ‘inspirational’ meme. I can see why it would work that way for some people but really, this one is just dumb. Ready for it? Here we go: “A black belt is just a white belt that never gave up.” Are they though? I mean it’s a lovely sentiment, but that’s all it is. Importantly though it really doesn’t hold true. If you aren’t a black…

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There is an idea that floats around that is a bit weird. It’s the concept that everybody’s opinion is valid. We have to respect everybody’s opinion because…reasons. Unfortunately this just isn’t the case. Saying we have to respect someone’s opinion is kind of like stating we can say whatever we want and if you argue against it you’re being disrespectful. That may be true but it’s a terrible argument. It’s up there with people who say, “That’s offensive” and use it as the entire basis of their argument. Sadly, ‘that’s…

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I recently came across a really great concept that in my head immediately related to the practice of aikido. Not just one aspect of it though, but pretty much right across the board. It’s pretty simple and goes like this;  Stupidity should be painful. Initially as an uke, then even further as a teacher, I’ve learned that one of the quickest ways to teach somebody that they shouldn’t be in the position that they are (e.g. standing right in front of you when doing shiho nage) is to hit them.…

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There has been a large amount of conversation on social media over the last number of years about the ineffectiveness of aikido as a martial art. This has been caused by numerous factors ranging from aikidoka themselves, to the nature of the demonstrations, to the near meteoric rise of mixed martial arts competitions. Aikido hasn’t been the only art to suffer under this. Many traditional martial arts are experiencing the same thing. Perhaps the most famous example of this is the loss of numerous kung fu masters in China to…

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Another question that has come up on social media recently was, ‘What would you like aikido training in the future to look like?’ Again, this was an interesting and thought provoking question that prompted many responses. I’ve expanded on my thoughts on this topic here. Unsurprisingly, there’s a few factors to take into consideration on this subject. The first and most obvious is the self-defence aspect. 99% of people (and that’s being generous) have no real concept of what self-defence actually is. This includes the vast majority of self-defence instructors…

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A question came up on social media recently that I answered but thought it was important enough to expand on that answer in a different forum. The question was lengthy but essentially boiled down to, ‘Why are most aikido dojo’s run poorly, what is the solution to prevent them from closing?’ This prompted an interesting discussion in many ways. Naturally I have my own opinions on this and none of the arguments made against it were, to me, convincing.  As I see the problem the reason is, actually, pretty simple.…

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There is an interesting conundrum in aikido that is simply neither acknowledged nor talked about. It’s actually built into the fundamental training method of the art and, in my opinion, is a bad thing. Aikidoka, in general, do not know what it feels like to be hit. On the surface of it this is a good thing. The whole point of aikido is that you do not get hit. If you are being hit then you are messing up on Rule #1. I completely accept that and do actually agree.…

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The last post was on the concept of grade inflation in aikido and that it has led to overly high standards in non-japanese dojos. The big question though is whether or not there is a way to actually solve or at least alleviate the issue. I think there is and all it would require is a revamped grading system. There are a few ways that this could be done. Just get rid of it The first thing that we could do is abandon the grading system altogether. Return to a time when…

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