Shiro Kuma asked in SportsMartial Arts · 9 years ago

MMA fighters training in aikido; thoughts?

Somebody pointed out these two videos:

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basically showing Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva training with Steven Seagal.

Interestingly, while the majority of aikidoka who has seen the videos agree that these fighters might be interested in looking at the possibility of adding something new to their arsenal, most of them also agree that these videos reminded them of the annoying uncle during family reunions who simply don't know when to shut up.

So, any thoughts about these?

12 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    I only have one thing I want to add here. ANYONE who thinks MMA fighters want "quick and easy" has never set foot into an MMA gym and tried to open their mind to the training. I work full time and still train twice a day four times a week. When I am training for a fight it is six times a week every other week (five on the other because I have my son for two days). You have no idea the dedication that goes into MMA and like ALL other athletes we know that _nothing_ worth attaining comes easy. You children deceive yourselves for your own bias. It is old now. Grow up.

    P.S. The Aikido instructor where I lives loves MMA and has a couple of buddies that train at our gym. His exact words. "Aikido can be used in MMA, it just doesn't translate the way a lot of people think it will"

  • 9 years ago

    I don't think someone interested in UFC, MMA and the like really has the patience for a traditional martial art. To truly master a martial art takes years. Most people interested in MMA want the easy/short way and do not want to invest years into training. So they dispense of learning the basic principles that define a technique. Look at the questions here on Y/A that pop up on a regular basis. They all want an easy answer and a quick way to get there. MMA satisfies this demand. These people have no use for Kata and do not understand it. Kata is the very fundamentals of a martial art vs a fighting style.

    People watch a fight on TV. They think it's cool, they hear MMA can get you there in a few years so they hit an MMA gym and learn a few techniques which can get the job done without really having to learn the principles and basics of that technique. The kids are usually 16 years old with the prospect of being in the ring as Professional fighters by the time they are 20. Traditional martial arts does not offer that. If you were up against a true martial arts master after only 4 years of training I guarantee you you still would not stand a chance. Nothing beats 30 years of training diligently. Techniques are learned painstakingly slow and the precision of a technique determines how well it works without applying a lot of strength. Traditional martial artists spend years to hone their skills. MMA is easier. The guys are young they lift a few weights and build the strength to make up for what they lack in precision of the techniques. It works, until they get old and then they won't be able to do anymore.

    Self defense Aikido techniques are quick and meant to use on the battlefield in hand to hand combat. You finish off an opponent quickly and move on to the next opponent. The techniques are not meant for fancy drawn out fights lasting several rounds. I saw several techniques Steven Seagal demonstrated that I am sure would not be allowed in UFC fighting but are great in the streets. Yes they could be adapted to fit into the rules of MMA fighting but their use would still be limited because of lack of the basics. It was easy to see that Silva used arms rather than body trying to duplicate Seagal's techniques. You could also see that Seagal applied his techniques with relative ease vs the arm strength Silva used.

    I am not saying one is better than the other. Merely that there are differences which serve different purposes but there just is no match for the hard work of a skilled traditional martial artist.

    Thanks for posting this. I always wondered about this and the videos really confirmed my suspicions.

  • 9 years ago

    While I'm not an aikidoka, I enjoy the art and the limited training that I had in this art. I'm glad you posted this. This shows that aikido can be valuable in mma too. It shows that it doesn't require a compliant partner for it to work. Silva went down and he wasn't compliant. He didn't have any idea that Seagal was going to do that. You can tell he liked the techniques and that it gave him some pain.

    I think this training was good, but it might not benefit them much unless they spend a considerable amount of time practicing the techniques. Most people don't just do a technique like this or tai sabaki and trust the technique enough to use it in a fight.

    Source(s): Martial Arts since 1982 Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Black Belt in Jujitsu Brown Belt in Judo
  • Uguisu
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Steven Segal's old aikido videos from back in (if I remember correctly) the mid 90s showing his dojo were awesome, if a little bit more like Ueshiba's aikibudo than aikido. This... this was just awful. Aikido's principles can be applied against MMA fighters, but would take so much discipline that they're just not going to bother.

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    There's such a break in their centerline that their balance can be disrupted. Bring them forward, and turn. Move in on the kicks. I can see the application. I would think there'd be an aikidoka capable of doing it, but again, that's not really what aikido is about. So who knows.

    I will say this: Those videos would be a lot more entertaining if Segal would STFU.

    Source(s): Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu
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  • 9 years ago

    Based on the two videos, the only thing I can see in what's being taught by Seagal that they can use in MMA would be the concept of Tai Sabaki, which they can use to close the gap for a takedown. But even so, that would require them to actually train in Aikido to be able to grasp the idea of moving your body in harmony with your attacker's energy, something not easily translated over a couple of sessions, but takes years to develop. As for the annoying uncle analogy, I can certainly relate to that. There also used to be a time when I was like that during my younger years ; P

  • 9 years ago

    I have a bias against Seagal in most things. Hate his recent, self-gratifying movies, hate that he thinks he's Buddha or whatever, am alarmed by reports of abuse to stuntmen and especially the alleged sexual abuse of a PA of his... Still, at one point, he USED to train Aikido as a combat art, which I think is commendable. He shows shades of that here. Kind of.

    I imagine that Seagal was getting paid thousands of dollars to do these training sessions; that being the case, it's hard to imagine Silva and Machida not thinking it was worth the investment of money and training time. On the flip side, maybe they're both just fanboys with money to burn. I don't think that's the case, but it's a possibility all the same.

    On Aikido in MMA in general, I think a lot of non-MMA guys forget that the vast majority of MMA fighters are martial artists, when you get down to it. If you can show us how a technique or strategy will win a fight, we'll use it, no matter what system it comes from. With that said, everything needs to be modified for MMA. "Pure art" coaches/instructors like Freddie Roach (boxing) and Saulo Ribeiro (BJJ) are unquestionably good at what they do, but MMA is more than just the sum of its parts. I believe Aikido can be a good addition to the training of an MMA fighter for a few reasons, but its effectiveness in MMA would be complicated by the fact that it would take a few years of pure Aikido to make the basics second nature, plus an insight into MMA competition to properly modify the techniques.

    In the final analysis of these two cases, I'm not sure how much training with Seagal helped them. Silva's next fight was vs. Sonnen, where he was dominated for four and a half rounds before pulling of a submission he learned in BJJ. Machida was matched up with Jackson next, and dropped a decission. Maybe if Silva had spent his time in Iowa working his wrestling takedown defense, and Machida had spent his time in Bangkok working his Thai clinch techniques, their fights would have gone differently. It's hard to see Seagals influence on their fights, if you're looking for something positive.

  • Jay
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I'm honestly not sure what to think. Personally I highly doubt the patience of MMA fighters in order to learn a sophisticate art like Aikido. On the other hand if any one of them were to see the true ability and value of aiki-jutsu then I'm sure they'd actually strive to learn it. Whether they want to except it or not, the majority of MMA practitioners have quite the cocky attitude so there could be a problem in humbling themselves to be a "beginner" at something again, *especially* something to do with martial arts.

    The videos could always be a sort of promo for something, maybe Lawman. It really wouldn't surprise me if either of them were getting paid to do that just because it's Steven Seagal.

    The majority of MMA's hate traditional martial arts and think that it's out dated and MMA is the new evolution of fighting.

    I really doubt that if an MMA fighter were to learn Aikido that they would allow themselves to get very far. I theorize this based on Aikido's theology and how in that combat sport is greatly contrasted. I can't see it happening.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    MMA means you are a master or novice lol of many different arts that combine to make you a great fighter. So yes Akido could be used in MMA it is known to be a great defense against Jujitsu. I am a purple belt in TKD and I also have a yellow belt in weeping Jujitsu. I have fought MMA and won all my matches thus far. It all depends on how good your trainer is and how much you practice. (note: I do not train in sport style TKD I train in the traditional military style of TKD. As long as arts compliment each other its fine. Taking Karate than TKD is bad or taking judo then Gracie jujitsu is a waist of time.

    Source(s): me
  • ISDS
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    I think Steven Seagal should rename whatever it is he does and teaches "Seagal Jujutsu" and stop pi*sing on O'sensei Morihei Ueshiba's grave. To me it's the same as if Jesus the Christ created a martial arts style and then some one altered it to beat the crap out of homeless people and children.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    My thought was always when will someone who is a master a nintijsu join the UFC... I wish I had the opportunity to train in ninjitsu and from what I have had the chance to see, I think a ninjitsu master would give a UFC fighter a run for his money.

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