Tag Archives: martial arts

The key to improving Aikido is daily practice.

The key to improving Aikido is daily practice. I say it all day. But that is not
enough. One spends so much time and effort acquiring any skill that once a
certain level is reached it is easy to become complacent or to not take new
information on. This is the beginning of stagnation. Everyday one must come
in with something in mind to sharpen or to focus on a weak area. This way we
keep fresh and at the same time condition ourselves to practice excellence.

True Aikido is a level of virtuosity above what would normally be considered
good. As a martial art Aikido can be functional at a lower level but will not
become transcendent until excellence has been attained and maintained.
Real Aikido soars above the techniques and the movements of the art. It
becomes High Art, philosophy mastery. One has to go through the normal
levels one would in any martial art but also go further.

To cross train or not

A big question for many Aikido-ka is how much to cross train? In Japan at the Aiki Jinja or

shrine it was forbidden to practice other Martial Arts. I wasn’t to keen on that at the time.

Now I understand it. Number one at an Aikido shrine it is not appropriate to do other

martial arts. Also over the course of a career in Martial arts and especially at the beginning

it is hard to keep ones focus. Beginners don’t need to be encouraged to other arts when it

is hard enough to stick to one. In a world of MMA where multiple methods are advocated it

seems rational to do many styles. Personally I believe in cross training be it weights, Yoga,

or even other martial art styles. But where it becomes detrimental is where a student

spends time on other activities that could be spent doing Aikido. When they miss classes

and seminars or events that improve their Aikido skills. I suppose it just relates to how

good you want to be. If you want to be outstanding at Aikido you have to put Aikido first. If

you are content to do as a purely social or recreational thing then a lower level of intensity

is OK. So to sum up when you consider yourself a true Aikido practitioner who is trying to

take the art to its quintessential form you have to ask yourself if the time you spend on

other things is diminishing your Aikido mat time. If it competes for Aikido time you have to

say IT IS DETRIMENTAL , if you can do it and maintain your regular classes and practice

sessions its OK. One thing is for sure. A student will never be able to equal the feats of

O’Sensei by putting Aikido second. Aikido was an art which originally was learnt by experts

of other Budo arts. Obviously it requires a singular focus to master it. Just research how

hard O’Sensei trained or his best students Morihiro Saito Sensei, Rinjiro Shirata sensei,

Tohei sensei, trained. They put in superhuman efforts. This is what I attempt to model. In a

world where so much competes for time its difficult over a lifetime to maintain focus.

Personally I want for myself, and my students to engage in a practice that they maintain for

life, when they get a partner, have children, get more challenging jobs, So by all means do

cross training and even other martial arts …..just don’t let it cut down, or take over your

Aikido time. In ones life there are many things that compete for your time. To

excel….choose Aikido

Aikido v other Martial arts

Aikido vs other martial arts.

by Marcus Encel

I am often asked by new students questions like who wins between Aikido and MMA, or how do I counter Karate techniques etc. I answer in this way:
Aikido has no need to prove itself. Aikido works, well. In fact it is among the most effective martial arts in existence. The fact remains though that Aikido serves many purposes such as mental, physical and spiritual development, meditation and self defense. In Aikido we also allow anyone to train. Students may be old, infirm, ill or otherwise unsuited to sparring and physical combat. In a sport based martial art such as boxing, BJJ, MMA, Teakwondo etc students always practice their moves at full power which gives them a great deal of skill when using them. The techniques are developed in a manner to be able to practice in a more or less safe manner. Aikido however is a Budo. Traditional arts were never practiced as sparring forms as in the old days one only practiced to kill someone in a life and death battle and they practiced them the same way they would use them in reality, which is not the same as you would in a sport. I have often heard people from modern combat arts like Systema, Krav Maga and others say that Aikido is weak and that only they practice real fighting techniques. Well let me just say Aikido techniques are real world techniques. Some are outdated and belong in a different field of engagement i.e., samurai combat but all have modern equivalents. Aikido contains many of the most effective techniques in the Martial arts. In any military today enlisted men are taught what could be seen to be Kata., (pre arranged moves), these are a method of understanding technique. All arts use them from wrestling to Escrima, Systema to Krav Maga, BJJ to MMA its only the emphasis that differs.

So back to the original question….there is no best martial art for combat. It comes down to the individual. MMA students will have a huge advantage unless the Aikido-ka is familiar with full contact or real combat scenarios. Just remember though there is a huge difference between someone who does MMA at a gym and a real MMA fighter who gets in the Octagon and puts it all on the line. Professional fighters are light years ahead of other fighters. MMA is a great discipline. It is very different from Aikido. Aikido lets all people participate at a level comfortable for them that doesn’t mean that someone who doesn’t take the same risks with their life and health as a professional fighter could ever hope to beat one in combat.

All the combat arts are good. Find one that you love and take it to the limit. Thats how to be good. Martial artist who think they can train a few times a week and beat a mugger who bashes and maims people every week is crazy, similarly if you want to be able to hang with a pro fighter you have to train just as hard as they do. Thats about 4 hours a day 5 or 6 days a week for all your formative years 10-20.

The good news is you will be able deal with about 90% of combat scenarios that are likely to come up in a normal persons life if you train a few times a week. For those who come to class casually well….they can expect results in line with the effort.

by Marcus Encel 20/4/2012

Training recommendations

Morihei Ueshiba said, “Training is not real because nobody dies or is injured.”


As it should be, Personal power resides in being true to promises you make to yourself. Morihei Ueshiba exemplified this sincerity of purpose in his life and training. If you want to be like him, it’s not going to fall from the sky by a wish, or be bestowed by copying his beard. You will have to expend the same amount of energy, sincerity, hard work, both physical and mental, the same austerities, the same singularity of purpose, the same integrity..


Lasting success only comes to those who know how to persist.Nature does not understand resting on laurels, such as certificates, belts, name droppings (what lineage you think you may come from) and the like. Once you cease training, you start to downslide.
Your only true and real qualification is to be found in the barometer of practice. This varies from day to day in a cyclic manner, but persistence does add to a gradual ascension.



“This old man must keep improving and training..” said Morihei Ueshiba when caught training on his last day on earth.


Unfortunately, too many people believe that life should be a movie, where instant gratification is possible after waxing on and waxing off in about three five second clip edits. Not in this galaxy folks. And probably not in any other.Lest we forget, Aikido is Budo! Nothing less. Only the major purpose is the winning the battle within oneself, Masagatsu Agatsu Katsu Hayabi, a far more meaningful and consequential enterprise than accumulating debt and death in the killing fields of futility. Matter, by its very nature is subject to entropy. If energy does not act upon it, decay then sets in and random particles return to original substance as happens to organic bodies after they die.


Most humans don’t know how to directly affect or modify sub-atomic source particles. Or their products such as atoms, molecules etc. However, we can evoke change by the use of mind and will to generate purposeful, skilled activity on a regular basis. The nature of the universe and natural evolution being as it is, this will bring about transformation.The average person knows but a fraction of themselves. The yogi, meditator and Aikidoka has within their grasp, the tools to become cognizant of, and also to activate a considerable part of themselves which would otherwise remain dormant and unconscious.