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Why Aikido is Disliked by BJJ and MMA Practitioners? • Martial Arts Journey

Why Aikido is Disliked by BJJ and MMA Practitioners? • Martial Arts Journey

Aikido often has a mixed or even negative reputation, especially between practitioners of MMA and BJJ. It took me years to realize why this is actually the case. If you want to know what is the real reason why Aikido is disliked by BJJ, MMA and other combat sports practitioners, check the video.

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Aikido often has a mixed or even negative reputation, especially between practitioners of MMA and BJJ. Having practiced Aikido for more than a decade, and for years being a loyal student, in the beginning I used to misunderstand the reason for this negativity and hatred. Only years after, I realized why this is truly happening, and that dramatically changed my approach and understanding of Aikido and it’s situation.

Hi, my name is Rokas, and in this Martial Arts Journey video we’ll take a look at one of the reasons behind the negative reputation of Aikido between modern combat sports practitioners.

As we practice martial arts and combat sports, we all have our stages. We often begin by having unconscious bias of loving our practice and believing that it is the best. If lucky, we then gradually move to a conscious bias, of understanding why we prefer our practice, instead of others, and eventually the next step of maturity is being able to recognize the flaws and reality behind our practice, and appreciating it for what it is, while respecting other arts as well. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to move along these stages, even after training for years.

In my initial stage of practicing Aikido, I was told by my instructor that it is the purest martial art of them all, mainly because of it’s sophisticated and peaceful philosophy. While other martial arts were accepted in my first Dojo, there was a somewhat negative view on combat sports, as if they were meant for less “sophisticated” people, or to put it simply “meatheads” of martial arts. Looking up highly to my instructor, and having no experience in combat sports, I believed that to be true, and while I never put too much attention to this thought, part of me was proud to be “above” the “dirty and unsophisticated” practices and people. Knowing that I am “up to something better” than they are.

As I moved on to the next Dojo – a similar type of mentality in regards to combat sports was felt, although not spoken as openly. Yet cross training in combat sports was not suggested what so ever, since “it would ruin the understanding of the pure Aikido philosophy.”, thus I kept avoiding any combat sports practices, continuing to believe that Aikido is the best, that it is all that is necessary and if I would practice other, more combat oriented practices – my practice would suffer because of it.

Only when I was already running my Dojo and I met a BJJ practitioner who convinced me to try rolling with him, and eventually to train together, after many talks I started to see how vast and amazing the combat sports world is. Talking to him I saw nothing but respect and curiosity. When I met his gym buddies, I had pretty much the same impression, and I was left wondering: so where are all these combat sports meatheads that I was told about? When considering then, why Aikido was disliked by combat sports practitioners, I thought – maybe it’s because Aikido is not really as practical in the realm of fighting as their practices.

Eventually, another big exposure happened. Tired of some Aikido people believing that “Aikido is too deadly for MMA”, or that “Aikido people do not go to MMA not because it wouldn’t work, but because it’s philosophy of “not fighting” prevents them from it”, I went to prove that Aikido actually doesn’t work, by filming the “Aikido vs MMA” video. Filming it, was my first great direct exposure to mixed martial arts. I was ready to get a black eye and lose some teeth, expecting the MMA guy to be this ruthless, arrogant, disrespectful and uncaring person, as I was told about “people like him”, who would beat the hell out of me given the opportunity to prove that Aikido doesn’t work. To my great surprise, this MMA guy was one of the nicest people I’ve met, and he took great care of me during my first sparring experience!