Tag Archives: Aikido Culture

The next in our series of Quotes That Need to Die is an interesting one for several reasons. It would seem that no particularly famous person has said this. It’s not a quote in that sense. It is something that comes up time and again though, it’s something that everybody seems to know, or at least say. You’ll quite often encounter this whenever the subject of grading or skill level has come up. This is less of a quote and more of a phrase in common use; however, it really…

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There is a school of thought in aikido that is almost impossible to miss. You cannot spend any time in an online forum that involves aikido without coming across the statement that aikido ‘needs to modernise’. This is inevitably met with loud voices claiming the exact opposite, and the infighting is off to the races. After seeing this discussion and listening to both sides for many years I have come to the conclusion that it’s annoying and utterly boring. I also can’t help but notice that both sides are wrong,…

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The internet gives us the ability to find out things that we just didn’t know about before. One of those is the fabulous fantasy of internal power. To be clear, before this goes any further, I’m referring to the no-touch chi/ki/qi blasts that knock people out. I’m sure you’ve seen them because they’re all over the internet. I completely understand why this stuff exists. Somebody sold people the myth of the all powerful martial artist that can defeat armies with a gaze or knockout foes without ever having to see…

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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, it’s about aikido being lethal. 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…

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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 is to hit them. For example, if they are standing right in front of you…

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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. Self-defence 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…

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