A recent reunion with my old Jitsu club saw the question, “Is it any good?” The “it” being Aikido, though I am sure the question could be asked of any of the disciplines I study. A happy ten minutes was spent explaining my initial understanding of Aikido and trying my best to answer questions.
The martial arts world abounds with people who happily state that “such and such is shit, their system is best.” Yeah, yeah. When I’ve mastered every single martial art in the world (and if you look at this website, http://www.maotw.com/list/ma01.html it would appear there is a lot) I’ll get back to you on which martial art is best. But until that unlikely point in the future I am going to share what I have gained to date from each of my disciplines.
Please do note that I am NOT claiming perfection in these areas, far from it. They are simply concepts which I have found useful both within that martial art, and have been able to apply back to the others.
1) The connection between weaponless and weapon exercises.
2) The need to review techniques. Just because it was done like that five or fifty years ago, it doesn’t automatically follow that it remains the best way.
Traditional Jiu Jitsu
1) How to land from throws safely.
2) The unimportance of strength. Which explains why small people are generally so good, because they can’t “cheat” and yank people around with muscles, ie they have to have good technique.
1) Receiving ukemi, being a more active uke.
2) The importance of the direction of an attack and defence, where the difference can sometimes be minute and it is therefore imperative to feel this rather than visualise it.
So it’s not about if a system is, “any good.” It’s about if it works for you. It’s about if something adds to and enhances your skill set. It’s about what you want to achieve.
As Master Ken firmly states, “every martial art has a strength, but it also has a weakness, except for . . .” Those that know Master Ken will know the punch line. Those that don’t, enjoy the video!