My Response to my Haters and My Hippy Dancy Aikido Thing Explained

Recently a video was published of me doing a hippy dancy Aikido thing. The poster used it as “proof” that my Aikido was inadequate. Here’s my response.

Welcome to the Martial Arts Journey YouTube channel!

My name is Rokas. I’m a Lithuanian guy who trained Aikido for 14 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.

If you want to support my journey, you can make a donation to my PayPal at

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Check the video “Aikido vs MMA” which started this whole Martial Arts Journey:

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#Aikido #MartialArts #MartialArtsJourney



  1. One thing I did not cover fully in the video is the claim that this was my 3rd degree black belt exam. This is untrue. I was preparing for my 3rd degree black belt, which I never got since I quit Aikido before I did. This was a short demo of my free movement abilities during a seminar as a preparation for my final 3rd degree black belt exam.

  2. The budo garbage clip is only small part though, I have a vague memory that your demo hotted up at the later part, and that it was quite good, I might even had been one of your uke's (I can't quite remember if I was though): The format of the demo/grading in your old organisation is very different to most Aikido groups, which probably accounts for a lot of the criticism it received. Take away the music and the free movement and the rest is basically the same as any other normal pre-grading demo in Aikido. Personally i never had much of an issue with the format, yes sometimes it could be a bit naff, but it was usually interesting seeing how people moved, plus I always enjoyed doing Aikido to the music element (on seminar & training that I attended). One of the comments on budo garbage said that it was a copy taken from a video that you originally published but took down because of the negative criticism it received. I think you should publish the whole video again so that people can see the rest of it, and see the demo in full.

  3. Imma be honest tho man
    Aikido is worth learning just for the ukemi lol
    Shit has saved my dumbass from falling headfirst on to concrete multiple times.

  4. So let’s take your argument apart then. Sports analysts have a specific job as journalists. They are to analyze stats, break stories, and on occasion give opinions. The job requires a degree in sports analysis with a secondary degree related to journalism, marketing, communication, or some such related field. They must have the relevant education for the job they do, which is to talk about sports in a general sense.

    What you have done and continue to do is talk about aikido from a technical perspective. While in theory you could make an argument that might be right regardless your experience, there is still the reason for why we should listen to you at all. The only reason people did in the beginning is because they gave you the benefit of the doubt and took your experience in aikido as good experience. But it was not good experience, proof by your own words and the video posted. Still, you made and continue to make statements that require you to have that experience which you lack in order to be reasonably taken seriously.

    It would be like an engineer claiming a bridge was good and you, a non engineer who has been discovered to have gone to a junk cultish engineering school that builds bridges out of soap bubbles which can’t carry any weight, makes a counter claim. Could your claim be correct? In the realm of possibility, sure. But it’s not likely to. It’s the likelihood of you knowing what you are talking about that makes the difference.

    You don’t know what you are talking about. That is a true statement, not a personal attack. A personal attack would be someone saying you are an idiot therefore we shouldn’t listen to you, or you just want the attention of high school age boys on YouTube, therefore we shouldn’t listen to you. Even if both things are true, it has no bearing on your arguments. But this video surfacing has a great deal to do with your arguments in terms of you knowing what you are talking about.

    Regardless, you are a fraud on the grounds that you chickened out of our debate.

    Hard to prove you wrong when you only entertain people who will confirm your bias or be relatively nice to you instead of give you the pressure test you really deserve. The one you ran away from me for offering.

  5. I can't believe anyone would criticize a martial artist for dancing. I thought every martial artist knew that dancing was great training. And as for your opinions being invalid because you're not an "expert" in aikido, as far as I know you've never claimed to be an expert in aikido or any martial art. The whole point of your channel is that it's following your martial arts "journey" towards mastery. Plus you were obviously knowledgeable enough that a major regional aikido organization saw fit to make you an instructor. You're more than knowledgeable enough about aikido and martial arts in general to analyze their effectiveness and give your opinions on them.

  6. Far most comment writers never done any kind of martial art themselves. They just howl with the wolves. Peoples opinion can be bought and is extremely easy to manipulate. See the whole corona thing.

  7. Isn't it funny how people are so quick to blame your aikido. Whether it's of a low,average or high level compared to other aikidoka the fact is you didn't give yourself a black belt. So people saying that you don't have the experience should be blaming your instructors not you. In way it actually strengthens your arguement. If people class your aikido as low. Then doesn't that mean that other black belts from the same lineage must be of similar skill. ?

  8. spot on sir. ad hominem is the default go to for those who dont have a firm grasp of the concept they wish to debunk. Personal attacks are so popular now, especially in politics and on the news regarding current events. I think you do a good job of re-evaluating your opinions as you take on new knowledge and experiences in your martial arts journey

  9. To me a martial art is about composure, demonstrating good form through discipline. So your cute little hippie dance 🤭 has a place in there. Beating people up is fun and all, but not the greatest value you get from the art. It can be a lifelong journey for those committed so when you get to my age and it takes ages to recover from "pressure testing" you have to do something else.

  10. To me, unfortunately you didn’t have a good Aikido instructor for what type of Aikido you were looking for. That’s on you. There are soft martial arts teachers and there are realistic martial arts teachers. One thing you have learned is how to make money on YouTube. Nice job. The downside is that your impact has created even more challenges for Aikido. Especially for those schools who are martial in their Aikido application. Hope the money was worth it.

  11. So both perspectives could be true at the same time- Right? You made some valid claims about aikido but you were also demonstrating non-martial aikido too. An issue Aikido already has to deal with and the type of aikido shown at that test certainly didn’t help. The issues aikido has can be addressed for someone like myself with a martial practical application focus. Also while aikido has holes- so do most other martial arts systems. Aikido is not alone in this by a long shot!😎

  12. I think youre too humble and generous. How many aikido guys have to get slapped around a gym by a pressure tested fighter before these guys accept reality.

    Also, as a guy who like MA and dancing, the hippy dance is cool.

  13. The biggest question you maybe can ask yourself ( and please do not answer it to the world) is WHY do you feel the need to measure so much against other things and publish about it? And WHY do you feel the need to defend yourself publicly (in videos) against people who judge you or your opinion? Please don't answer it in public as then I am sure it will turn into a defense or attack again. Just think about it for yourself. I wish you peace.

  14. You don't need to be a third degree blackbelt in aikido and other bullshit martial arts to know thay they don't work, you can be someone that never even trained.
    You just need Internet connection and 2 hours of research.

  15. How dare you add flow to your practice. Free thought bad! Just kidding. Let the cult argue over what Osensei was doing and continue bro. Your channel rocks.

  16. Aikido wants to believe it has real world application but struggles to point to any examples where it does. Doesn't mean its useless as there are other benefits to a martial art than raw fighting skills. But don't sell yourself as an art that teaches how to fight trained opponents if the majority of students don't know how to.

    A great example of clinging to identity trumping reality.

  17. Meh, I’m not sure I would have even responded to that guy. I think everyone in martial arts enjoys moving for its own sake. Nothing wrong with noodling around, all artists, painters, musicians, dancers, and yes, martial artists too, benefit from formless practice.

  18. Loser. See , it’s just words. Dude, just be yourself. You need to try the decalf and not take everything so serious. You are wayyyyy over thinking things man. You are seeking what you already possess Rokas. You are asking the wrong questions bud and it’s starring you right in the face…. the one thing… who ever said seek and ye shall find was a complete moron. Aikido is perfect and it’s beautiful. I am truly sorry you lost your way…. just remember suffering only lies in memories and imagination, the contents of yourself, lose your self and you will be free. And you Rokus are already special as last time I checked there was only ONE of you. One is rare. Rare is special in and of itself. So loosen the belt, breath , maybe crack a smile and chill. Love watching you struggle, as we all can relate. peace.

  19. As someone who did Aikido for 10 years in the 90s, it was a very strange martial art as far as realism went…

    My school was in the UK Aikido Union which was affiliated with the European Aikido Union under Andre Nocquet. In around 94ish we went to France for a week's course with Andre Nocquet and it was an odd thing in that those (black belt) students who partnered up with the Uke of Andre Nocquet when it came to practice the technique he'd demonstrated came back saying they could barely make their technique work and that he was battering them all over, with very strong technique. Yet a 70 odd year old Andre Nocquet was using this Uke and throwing him flawlessly.

    There seemed to be great variety in schools and you'd be exposed regularly by other schools where your technique would be exposed. An instructor of mine who was a 2nd degree black belt at the time went on a course somewhere and relayed back that had been chosen as Uke for one demonstration. The attack was supposed to be from shomen-uchi…a straight downward strike to the top of the head. After the first attack and throw, the instructor stood there and just held his arm above his head, making the point that the strikes were weak and needed no real defence. Ended up sending my instructor back to the side of the mat and got another Uke.

    It seemed that different schools had wildly different standards and expectations…I've never trained any other martial art where a (legitimate) black belt could go to another school and be made to feel like a white belt who knew nothing. Judo wasn't like that. Tae Kwon Do, although I only did it briefly, wasn't like that. But Aikido seemed to have massive variation in standards and many schools would NOT just roll over under your technique and would expose weaknesses.

    Not sure what my conclusion is to be honest, the lack of attack training and lack of any "reward" for preventing your opponents being able to carry out his technique means it's virtually impossible to really learn whether something is working. Many techniques DO have legitimate uses and could be effective, but the training methods at the schools I went to just didn't seem to enable you to develop effective technique. It was the only martial art I ever did where there wasn't a single black belt who I'd really have thought would be able to defend themselves against a competent attacker…other than those black belts who were also black belts in other martial arts.

  20. A lot of ppl have no clue and just watch pictures and judge. They dont understand that you did your way much further than they would even think so. They even dont get the point of your jurney. You dont claim to be the best fighter of world. You tell your story to look at things that didnt work for you and try to improve it. Keep on your great personal journey ! <3

  21. 2rd grade blackbelt. Hmm, so he got 2 times approved to have the skills beyond a student and is capable of teaching others.

    Do they want to attack his teachers to? None of them saw he has "no skill" and gave him the black belt?! Or his students who changed the Dojo, aquired the skills in his dojo and progress further in the other Dojos, because his training was legit. All the other teachers did not see their supposed lack of skills?! XD

    They would rather throw a lot of people under the bus before they give up their belief. It's like a house of cards falling down xD

  22. 1) this is not an ad hominem fallacy (learn more here It is relevant to the unnuanced blanket criticism you started yourself about Aikido and it is a legitimate reply to most of the arguments in your videos which are based on your personal experiences, anecdotes or personal impressions about the uselessness of TMAs .
    2) Expert knowledge and experience is obviously needed to understand the course of a (professional) fight…even more so if it is to emit a universal judgment about the uneffectiveness of all TMAs.
    3) points 1) and 2) are even more relevant in MAs whereby a specific MA cannot be evaluated independently of the practitioner's ability to draw from what they have learnt and use it when the situation calls for it.

    Are you wrong to call out practitioners who oversell their art and to question training methods that may not be able to support these overblown claims? Absolutely not. But it is poor argumentation to call "hater" any person disagreeing with you and calling you out for your lack of general experience which does not support indeed the overblown claims you make about the inefficacy of TMAs in your videos.

  23. That's not true! They didn't say your hole argument is wrong little buddy.
    They said most your argument is wrong. Not to say you said some things that are not dumb. 15 years and you still can't figure out that your trash?!? Lmaooooo funny guy.

  24. It sounds like you're rediscovering your love for your foundational art. Good for you, man. Study what makes you happy not what you think you need to study in order to win bar fights or whatever other dumbass mutual combat situations you want to get into. However, these facts remain: 1) Training focus is the single most important aspect of any martial artist because 2) the artistic expression, the sporting application, and the self-defense applications have very little crossover. For example, putting your hands up by your face, palm out, while lowering your body posture to feign surrender is not going to work in a ring and it's not going to look very good in a kata, either. It is, however, an effective way of setting up a real-world attacker for a violent counter-attack because it not only makes you appear scared and untrained (as opposed to scared and trained) but it also puts your guard up where it needs to be. For another example of something that's not going to happen in a ring or a kata, some guy squared up to you and pushing on your chest with one hand, trying to goad you into a fight. What works here? A basic wrist lock, provided you've actually trained it for this purpose. If it's a real threat and the guy's got something like a broken bottle in the other hand, you're going to want to execute this technique with enough snap and violence of action to immediately break their arm in at least one place if not more. You know how to do this with your Aikido, but your training focus was the artistic expression not either of the practical applications. You then fell into the trap of thinking that mutual combat is the same thing as self-defense and that if it doesn't work in the ring it doesn't work anywhere. You know what else doesn't work in rings? Guns, knives, clubs, multiple attackers with guns, knives, and / or clubs. If you're still stuck on getting beaten up by a group of guys, because you wanted to test yourself and your martial art in the worst possible fashion, you should go look up what gang jump-in / initiations look like here in America and be thankful that's not what happened to you.

    Go enjoy your arts, dude.

  25. I think you should continue your Aikido training. You have started on that journey don’t let “people” talk you out of or stop you from it! You can do Aikido and BJJ and whatever else you desire! Don’t disregard the many years of your training in Aikido. I personally started in Judo, then Goju Ryu Karate, then Ninjitsu and Aikijitsu, then Kali, Arnis, Ve-Jitsu, Modern Arnis, Small Circle Jujistu, Ryukyu Kempo Karate, Shing Yi Gung Fu and Kyusho Jitsu. I hold five black belts of which three are high ranking and I still consider myself a student. I am so glad I did all the different studying and diverse training that I did! The diversity help me to perfect myself as a lifelong martial arts. Let your training become your “DO!” Your way of life and use what you like best to perfect you! Why then, if karate came from the same place do we have so many different styles? The person took what they liked and made it their own. The same thing with Kenjitsu/Kendo and Iaido/Iaijitsu! With and style, system or art, you should, eat the meat and throw the bone away! Keep training my friend and don’t listen to people, live your life!

  26. If you got an idea about what martial arts are instead of combat sports you would get the importance of ad hominem arguments. You use martial arts the same way you use rethoric. Ironically, you look happier when you were doing aikido. Cheers!

  27. I think you have some elements of characteristic structural coolness inherent within your personality but the problem some people may find is a lack of constructive critique. Ok, some martial arts and or self-defense technical methods may have limited combative effectiveness and/or may not be implementationally practical during actual combat. Ineffective or impractical techniques should be exhibited and exposed to the public. However, after or during the showing of questionable martial technique why not explain scientifically why a specific technique would not work in practice from a physics perspective as in not enough force, momentum, torque could be practically exerted by the technique or from a tactical perspective as in the technique is potentially ineffective because it could be potentially telegraphed to an opponent before its execution or is inefficient with regard to time and energy expenditure in terms of military science. In addition to showing and explaining why some martial techniques are inherently ineffective why not show others or perhaps yourself demonstrating how a questionable technique could be executed more efficiently and/or effectively?
    The absolute perfect example is the operational realm of knife defense. There are a multiplicity of martial arts styles and schools of thought which have formulated a multitude of specific knife defense techniques. For example, against an upward stab by an adversary weilding a knife with his right hand a widespread general technical method of defense would be to strike/block the incoming knife weilding arm on the outside surface of the adversary's arm with the outside surface of the defender's right arm. Yeah, Right??? The defender is just going to suspend time for a moment to cross over an incoming knife weilding arm to block/redirect it on the outside??? Ok, So demonstrate a more practically effective knife defense technique. Instead of comprehensively denouncing a particular martial arts school or style why not explore technical methodology adaptations which can potentially make existant martial arts' techniques more functionally effective?

  28. Actually, the ad hominem rebuttal is somewhat beside the point. Why bother? But I trained in Aikido for many years and spent a year in Japan where I did witness the no touch movement many times. I do not find your excessive intellectual analysis too useful. All the elements you name are a factor, but do not help. You are using Newtonian physics to analyse a spiritual event that must be apprehended, not analysed. Osensei wished to teach a way of being beyond the model of conflict. That is how he brought about the system we call Aikiido, which is as full of ego driven teachers as anything. I have trained with some of the best and each is attempting to grasp a truth that will express the mind of God. This is Aikido – not a vain attempt to grasp techniques. Your truth will be unique and universal. That is part of existing on this earth. Your goal is to rediscover, as an Aikidoka, the truth of being here. Best wishes.

  29. Fighting has no rules so you got to go in there with a killer be killed attitude I've been in several fights lost some one some that's how the game is played it's all about mindset a fighter can make a martial art effective any one of them because we're not going in there thinking ABC or d if you can see a technique that you can use use it the goal is to survive by any means necessary

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