UFC and Aikido
Where are the Aikido champion fighters in the brutal UFC octagon?
The UFC is an international sport, that is practised in a bloody battleground called the octagon.
The UFC is not a gentleman’s sport. It is bloody, brutal, and unforgiving. It is a real blood sport.
The rise of the UFC has rendered and painted many traditional martial arts such as kungfu, capoeira, krav-maga, sambo, and Aikido as second rate martial arts. The rise of UFC also disregarded all the weapons arts such as kendo, jodo, and arnis as pointless and not practical.
You all have heard this question, “why is Aikido NOT in the UFC”?
I have answered this question many times, and will probably keep on answering the question as long as the UFC is still trendy.
I have a four part answer that I usually give. The fourth answer is not easy to understand because it is not easy to relate to if you haven’t done it.
Most Aikidokas are pacifists and don’t want to be in the UFC
Believe it or not, most people that do Aikido, don’t like fighting and don’t like thuggery. We avoid unnecessary violence, especially the ego fights and the drunken fights. Yes we train for self-defence and we spend decades perfecting our martial art Aikido, however, we really are not thugs. Almost all of us are pacifists.
UFC has rules, they don’t permit small joint techniques
Did you know that Aikido has no rules (that’s why we don’t have competition) and we use a lot of small joint techniques? We practice in a controlled manner to avoid injuries and learn in the most effective way. We practise wrist locks, finger locks, neck twists, wrist twists, lock and throw techniques (E.G. Shiho + Koshi Nage) and atemi (shots to glands and pressure points – this includes an atemi to the balls). If you want to know how does an Aikido small joint wrist lock feels like, just ask for a nikyo at your nearest good Aikido dojo.
Check out Osae Waza for Aikido control and pinning techniques.
Let me share with you an honest interview with Lenny Sly Sensei of Tenshin Aikido (aka Aikido’s most dangerous man), by Edgar Ortega.
In this interview, Lenny Sensei addresses the question of why you don’t see Aikido in the UFC octagon.
Aikido is practised on the mat and used on the streets
Besides the peaceful Aikidokas around the world that practices the art, Aikido is used daily by police, riot squads, the military, SAS, Marines, and Special Units. Aikido is used on the streets. Aikido is used on the battlefield. The martial Aikido is not really for competition (except for Tomiki style, because it is heavily influenced by judo). This ‘no-competition’ concept is one of the unique things about Aikido that people don’t get, there is no sport-type competition.
If Aikido was used severely, the fight will be over quickly with broken joints and bones. (This is not good for the UFC for the sake of ratings). Because of the possible devastating effects, we have a peaceful philosophy as a guideline when to use the martial art of Aikido.
Here is a video of Aikido being used in the ‘real world’ by the Chinese SWAT team disarming a knife-wielding man using Kote Gaeshi.
Read and learn more about Aikido:
We love weapons and weapons are not allowed in UFC
My fourth answer won’t really make sense to the UFC guys because it is outside what they think are ‘real martial arts’ – the octagon. The Aikidoka is trained with weapons (ken, jo, tanto, and shuriken), loves using weapons, and will use a weapon if confronted with violence, especially if they are defending their friends, family, and love ones.
Weapons are a big no-no in the UFC octagon.
Here is what I noticed with the question of Aikido in UFC
Most people that asked the question aren’t even martial artists. Almost all that asked are couch potato UFC fans who only watch tv and has never stepped on the ring nor the mat.
Having said all of this, we don’t really care if the UFC nor the MMA world gives us the blessing and anoints us with the title of a ‘real martial art’. We really don’t give a shit. We will just keep on training.
What is the big deal about MMA anyway?
Oh and by the way, Mix Martial Arts is not new, Osensei Ueshiba was technically an MMA practitioner because he has mastered many different types of martial arts, and fused all of them into Aikido. The ancient samurai warriors learned many martial arts to survive a battle. Also, a lot of Aikido practitioners came from karate, judo, and boxing. Most good Aikidoka that I know, practices two or more martial arts. The current (2016) Russian National Knife Fighting Champion is a Godan (5th Degree Black Belt) in Iwama Ryu.
I don’t think MMA should only be used to describe a UFC fighter. A good martial artist will know many techniques from different martial arts.
Check out how to do Kote Gaeshi
How does MMA look like when you mix Aikido with it?
Check out this video about MMA practitioners and wrestlers using Aikido techniques.
Here is the video on Steven Seagal Sensei training with UFC champion Anderson Silva.
Here is the video of Steven Seagal training with Karate legend and UFC champion Lyoto Machida