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 Some are outdated and belong in a different field of engagement i.e., samurai combat but all have modern equivalents.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