Aikido Black Belt vs BJJ Black Belt

After 15 years of Aikido practice and 4 years of BJJ I decided to try my Aikido against a BJJ black belt. Here’s what happened.

Welcome to the Martial Arts Journey. My name is Rokas. I trained Aikido for 15 years, 7 of them running a professional Aikido Dojo until eventually I realized that Aikido does not live up to what it promises.

Lead by this realization I decided to make a daring step to close my Aikido Dojo and move to Portland, Oregon for six months to start training MMA at the famous Straight Blast Gym Headquarters under head coach Matt Thornton.

After six months intensive training I had my first amateur MMA fight after which I moved back to Lithuania. During all of this time I am documenting my experience through my YouTube channel called “Martial Arts Journey”.

Now I am slowly setting up plans to continue training MMA under quality guidance and getting ready for my next MMA fight as I further document and share my journey and discoveries.

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  1. Sankyo… Again no palm contact. The problem with aikido is it works when your grip is shit. IRL you need need palm contact. Your geometry is weak and your posture broken. This lock application comes from sword cutting… and if you do not apply it correctly you will not lock out the arm and leave them room to twist out.

  2. It think all this whole experience will be very useful, he can take the aikido techniques and all his years of training, and make a functional martial art based on the aikido bases with some of the this he's learning

  3. I learned the same way the bjj instructor tought those techniques in tkd class.
    Pretty common even in karate and arts like hapkido too.

    If you pull the wrist into your chest and fall straight down it's pretty brutal, I have been able to pull that one off against my bjj and judo friends back in the day, but I think i only seen like 3 techniques from aikido that seemed worth trying.

    You have to have a resisting partner or the techniques really are not being practiced.

  4. So far the lessons I've learned from this channel:

    1) Don't dismiss "old" martial arts… they have (had?) applications in the past, they just currently tend to be watered down versions. Some techniques have surprising applications (in a limited sense)
    2) Cross Train… to fill gaps that are in every form of specialized martial art.
    3) Pressure test / Spar… get into a good gym that will pressure and test you, without breaking you. Resistance helps improve techniques, as well as build character 😉
    4) Last but not the least, keep your ego in check. By far people who I've seen improve the most in any discipline are those who keep their ego well in check and constantly ask for feedback on what/how to improve. People like this tend to be a few "levels" higher than their counterparts with the same amount of years in the discipline.

    Good job sir and keep it up! It's an inspiring thing to behold especially for us plebs who just got into martial arts and try to improve our lot in life 😀

  5. With all respect, I just believe it was the way you were taught or trained aikido. I would definitely not use aikido as the only thing I'm doing for sure but I was never trained in my aikido in the way that I see from the footage. The way I train it and was taught was always against resisting and pressure testing, sparring in all ranges. There's a lot of critiquing that can be done in those techniques that was being messed with, doing it very close to truth. One thing you learn from sparring and being able to use aikido joint locks and throws is that you can't force them they have to be there incidental or accidental, you can't be looking for a lock or throw etc. I usually will throw in a good head butt or elbow or find a way to break their structure whatever and usually loosen them up enough to throw them but all the way that I teach it, it's done with the what ifs and resistance. You can definitely use those locks if messed with enough you'll know how to use them and get maximum effect. And it isn't something else then aikido because the fundamentals are there all the same locks or concept of them and using less force and proper physics. You have to learn how to take someone's structure in sparring conditions or resistance or aliveness whatever you want to call it. Same thing with trapping hands and other arts I'm able to get it off in sparring and so are my students but as I tell my students you're never looking for the trap it has to be incidental or accidental and also knowing strategies to help you get there . Alot of these concepts work they just take messing with.

  6. If I remember correctly, these are exactly same conclusions that Lenny Sly and Steven Seagal came to in their Tenshin Aikido/Combative Concepts modifications, think you guys are all on to something. I'd love to see Lenny get in on this testing and see what you guys can come up with.

  7. The hird technique i agree with your coach, the opponent's hand will be provided to you in gi sparring+competition. Inspiring. Hey do you know roy dean? He has some hidden+secret arsenals, that combination of bjj+aikido which i see the idea is like yours. You're so inspiring!

  8. I think this shows a great example of what happens when Aikido people don't cross-train with other martial arts (or forget where the techniques come from)! Some of my best instructors were black belts in other arts (mostly karate, a few in koryu arts such as yoshin ryu and katori shinto ryu) and it's worth remembering that O-sensei's original students were all black belts in other arts before training Aikido. In my experience 7+ years of training aikido (including going to seminars and training with people with decades of experience), I can say some things immediately stood out to me:

    Nikkyo & Sankyo – I learned the basic version of nikkyo from kata dori (grabbing the gi), so it was not a surprise that the BJJ instructor immediately went there! I also think the focus on the omote waza (front techniques) is a little singleminded, considering that the techniques can be done from different positions. One sensei of mine taught me that the ikkyo-nikkyo-sankyo-yonkyo-gokyo sequence is based on different rotations of the arm and wrist – one is straight armbar, two twists the wrist, three twists the hand and elbow further, four rotates the forearm through the pressure points, and then five is a complete 180 on the arm.

    Kote gaeshi – It makes sense that it works less well away from your body. To do kote gaeshi farther out requires momentum, i.e. someone coming at you. If you don't have that momentum, it's rather difficult to put their wrist in the 3rd point, so you have to apply a different principle.

    anyway, good videos, thank you and I wish you the best with your martial arts journey! Watching reminds me that I still have a lot to learn as well, and definitely need to crosstrain more myself

  9. Rokas, when I first saw this, I was like YES! That's exactly what was taught to us by our Aikido instructor. There's this idea of keeping it close to your body so to not create a space for escape. Also, you have a stronger force if its close to your center, like opening a jar lid as an example, where you keep it closer before twisting it open. I'm surprised you didn't realize this earlier on your Aikido training.

  10. When I studied years ago I felt like my senseis had that type of insight regarding positioning. If the move is not there it is not there.. Isn't that the way of aikido?

  11. @Martial Arts Journey Remember Rokas, O-sensei first know how to fight (both striking and grappling, various styles) AND was an experienced fighter and brawler and only AFTER that he invented aikido. So it is very plausable aikido was never intended to be the main or primary style of a fighter but an optimization of a well established experience. What do you think?

  12. All the technics Yari shows us are the same principals in Hapkido (having the locks near to your body). Can you do same research on that? I am practicing hapkido for some years and your opinion and experience I believe that matters a lot.

  13. Jarí taught you how to do AIKIDO techniques PROPERLY, and not something else. You simply did not learn the aikido techniques properly earlier. In aikido the techniques have to be learned on the level that is good for beginners, and after developing one has to practice techniques on the higher level. Unfortunately I practically hardly ever met an aikido teacher who would mention on every training: we don't have to practice techniques, but to practice principles of efficient movements, techniques only help us to understand principles. It's probably not your fault, everyone focuses on the techniques,not on principles.

  14. To be fair, there are schools of aikido (and aikijujutsu) that teach what your instructor realised (I am not making a claim about functionality in general)

  15. My school is a classical karate school all kata .Years ago they were a fighting school,I came back to them and found out they had gone classical. I stayed out of loyalty to see if I could make it work.after 12 years I was wrong.Iam a worse fighter today. Iam thinking about moving on now and regret staying. Iam 68 now looming for a new school

  16. you want to improve your fighting skills?? step one: take all your aikido knowledge ……..and totally forget EVERYTHING you learned. step two: oh, there is no step two. cause after step one, you are already a better fighter than before.

  17. It's good that you no longer practicing and teaching Aikido right now. Your students wasted their time and money to you. I hope you teach them a good UKEMI. I seen all your aikido techniques and demonstration video. You had a lousy, slow and weak form of aikido. Any teenager thug can beat you up with your aikido style. I'm glad you are in MMA now to fully improve your martial arts journey.

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