“Aikido doesn’t work in cage fighting…” by Charles Warren

“Aikido is false practice because if we’d train to win a
cage combat, none of the techniques would work!”

As though cage fighting or any other rule-based sport is realistic! The important elements of aikido, and most effective fighting, timing, distance and deception are removed or seriously circumscribed. The only things which are left are strength, speed, endurance and the ability to absorb punishment.

Whenever people think of WWI they think of the Western Front in France. It was simply a trial of strength and endurance. The English Channel and the Swiss border constrained maneuver. Any questions of time, distance and deception were reduced to the small unit level. Churchill had the right idea about attack through the Ottoman Empire, but it failed tactically. The Eastern Front was much more fluid because it couldn’t be entrenched and fortified from one flank to another.

In most real situations, no matter what the original intentions of the parties, uncertainty is dominant in all of the parameters of conflict. Because aikido encourages an upright posture without a “fighting guard,” it offers great advantages. The Boyd cycle — after Lt.Col. John Boyd – USAF — is Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (repeat). The first two are crucial in real situations, but limited in sport. Boyd analyzed aerial combat and ascribed the combat superiority of the F86 to the MiG to superior visibility. The upright posture of aikido with circling moves like two-step and tai-no-henko greatly assist in Observing and Orienting to real situations. Enough training compresses the Decide-Act part of the cycle as well. Of course, if your particular training style emphasizes ineffective actions…

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