NGAExperience® Nihon Goshin Aikido

Nihon Goshin Aikido Versus Brand X  

Why Controlled Fight Simulations Are So Important To Your Training

Generally, once a week there is an open mat period at the Lexington, SC dojo that is dedicated to “Fight Simulations.”  Participating students don the head gear, mouth pieces and sparring gloves and go at it for 2 minute bouts.  It can be quite entertaining, and there is no where to hide if your fitness is lacking.

As we develop our abilities, we need to do these controlled bouts more and more ~ because this is where the rubber meets the road.  The roles of “nage” and “uke” become interchangeable throughout the bout and the best nage will win.

Keep in mind that the aim is to keep it playful, but also spirited.  At least a part of it should be dojo managed so that students can learn by observation.  While watching one bout, I leaned over to the person next to me and pointed out the person sparring with Kristine (Call him “Jim” ~ not his real name).  I said, “Jim sure has gotten good at blocking Kristine’s jab with his face.”  My companion chuckled , and before he could muster a reply, Kristine executed a perfect double leg takedown (Gracie JJ cross training ~ look into it!), on Jim, quickly mounted her opponent, and Jim was done.  Checkmate!  Fight Over!

Now we can all learn from these bouts as long as our objective is common ~ to avoid injury and fight within the rules.  

A Few  Suggested Rules for your Fight Simulations:

  1. No small joint locks ~ they break too easily.
  2. Utilize Ukemi as you can, and when you need to.  If you get caught in a Peel Off, resisting the technique could result in your wrist being broken ~ so concede the technique, roll with it or try to counter if possible; but live to fight another day.
  3. No level 10 punches, but punches must be thrown by both attackers.
  4. No anger.  The fight needs to end if you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry.
  5. Vocalize your tap!  No sense getting your elbow dislocated because your training partner couldn’t feel you tapping his leg.
  6. 2 minute bouts ~ kept by an alarm or stopwatch.
  7. After Action Reviews... Popularized by the military, this is a great learning opportunity in which the two combatants discuss the “good, bad, and ugly” about the bout.  Suggestions should be made by each combatant with the interest of helping the other on the next bout, etc.

Finally, I believe this needs to be a “By Sensei Invitation Event” or reserved for senior belts in the dojo.  Use your discretion when determining who may or may not be ready.

Along these lines, there are many videos on that display a common title.  The title/ heading can be found listed here:  

“Aikido Versus ‘Brand X’ Martial Art.”

There are hundreds of them; many of which are unflattering, featuring aikidoka with no martial instincts, and few glimmers of hope.  In time, I believe that our students will begin to resemble the marital aikidoka, who kick tail.

Here is an example of one of these “kick tail” videos ~ in which the aikidoka is completely martial.  Watch it and you can see hope for Aikido’s martial future.

One final point:  The martial art we study will not guarantee our safety   What makes the art successful is our ability to use the style to accentuate our strengths and cover our weaknesses.

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This is A Video Demonstrating A Martial Interpretation of Aikido Versus A Very Active Muay Thai Fighter (fighting begins @2:27).  

Important Observations From This Video

  1. Your Martial Arts Affiliation Does Not Guarantee Your Safety.  Your Actual Ability Within That Sphere Determines Your Success In A Martial Situation.
  2. Proper Distance management at all times.
  3. Active Hands (Keeping Your Hands Up is 80% of Most Defensive Solutions).
  4. Attempted Spin Around/ Atemi @ 2:31.
  5. Elbow Chop from a Front Kick @ 2:33.
  6. Front Wrist Throw from Hand Placed On Top of the Head (weird...but true) @ 2:54 (Note the Missed Opportunity to Secure our Arm Bar Pin).
  7. Missed Opportunity To Take the Back @ 3:04 (Don’t Neglect Your Cross Training).
  8. KICKS!  KICKS! And More KICKS!  (Used throughout as a distance ‘enforcer.’)
  9. Scoop Against the Kick @ 3:20.
  10. Excellent Use of Ukemi (Back Roll) to reduce impact trauma of a received kick off the ground, escape pressure, and reestablish proper distance @ 3:34.

This Attacker Will Think Twice Before Pulling Out A Pistol Again.  See our principles in action:  Elbow Chop to unbalance ==>, Elbow to the Side to strike ==>, then Hellfire and Brimstone Raining Down, etc.

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