Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Aikido in MMA by Rik Ellis Aikido / MMA

Item 17:

AIKIDO in MMA by Rik Ellis

Just my personal thoughts on this often discussed subject.

By Rik Ellis

I am a MMA / Aikido Cage Fighter

Trained by Suleman Raja of Prize Fighters Gym Farnborough and the Fight Science Gym Aldershot with Nick headhunter Chapman. I have a strong background in Traditional Aikido. There has been a great deal of interest in the transference of Aikido technique and movement into MMA with the influence of the action movie actor Steven Segal with his strong dynamic style of Aikido which is similar to that taught to me by my father Henry Ellis a pioneer of British Aikido from 1957.

Modern Aikido

Modern Aikido receives a great deal of criticism from the public and fellow martial artists, the ridicule is often justified. I too have been vilified for my involvement in MMA by some Aikidoka from the safety of their computers.

Steven Seagal

I admire the Aikido of Steven Seagal from his early videos of a postive traditional Aikido, a man who shows Aikido to be a martial art, there are many in the Aikido community that dislike Seagal Sensei saying that he portrays Aikido in a violent light and would like to see the bad guys beat him up to show that his Aiki is love.
Allow me to explain my thinking on this issue.

Kicking & Punching in Aikido

I have studied Traditional Aikido with my father Henry Ellis 6th dan Aikido – AikiKai Hombu International Birankai - I began at the age of 5 years. My father taught me the art of 'Traditional Aikido' as taught to him by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in the 1950s and 60s. The modern misguided Aikidoka say "there is no kicking or punching in Aikido!" Believe me, there is in my fathers Aikido! (See my photos and fight films). These same sad people bleat on my video comments, " I don't see Aikido." The reason they don't see Aikido is because they are looking for their stylized choreography dojo Aikido where two people are harmonizing with each other.
Anyone who has had to use Aikido in a truly hostile situation will tell you that it looked nothing like the training in the dojo, one needs to be able to adapt him/herself and their technique to any situation. For me, my Aikido is in my mind and my body.

The need to Adapt

I make no pretence of offering myself on a plate to my opponent / assailant with a stylized Aikido posture, the biggest mistake in the cage or street is to offer your opponent your leading leg or arm, you will be down before you know what has happened and all your Aiki love will be pounded out of you.( welcome to the real world ).
Most students of Aikido have their favourite uke to practice with and that goes a big step further with senior teachers who travel across country or even abroad will take their personal uke with them WHY ? My father told me that when Kisshomura Ueshiba came to Britain many years ago , he insisted that he have his assistant with him, this was at some additional great expense, yet there were many high grade teachers on the seminar to make use of.

Aikido - Ego and the Birth of the Plastic Samurai

Make no mistake, I respect Aikido and its principals. I do not respect the people who over the years with their inflated grades and ego's have tried to change what was once a martial art into some quasi religion to suit their own needs and purposes. These people use this BS to avoid a real situation or a conflict where they may one day need to apply some of the vaporized BS they have been harmonizing and teaching for years. If a student has a strong spirit they are often condemned as having ` a fighting mind ` . I believe it was Confucius that said “ You build your house or dojo with bullshit it will eventually all fall in on you “

As real as it gets.

Your opponent in the cage is for real, he is as real as your street assailant, the difference being the MMA guy is a professional fighter who has no intention of trying to harmonize with you. You will not see me turn my back on my opponent, I will, and do, apply wrist locks and arm bars, but you will not see any large circular movements, if you open your closed Aikido mind to some reality, you may just see a fighter who is "very" relaxed before and during each fight. Look a little closer, you may just see some very condensed body contact techniques - irmi nage or an irimi tenkan and other techniques which turn my opponent either into or off of the cage wall.

Effective transferable technique

In ground work training I have often submitted my opponents with Kotegaesh ~ Nikkyo and Sankyo very effectively. My father, who came from Judo to Aikido, says that the best of the early Aikido masters came from Judo such as K. Abbe, T. Abe, M. Nakazono, TK Chiba, the first British student of Aikido was Ken Williams Sensei who was a 3rd dan Judoka! These teachers know how to apply their bodies to maximum effect in tight techniques. Judo is one of the basic foundations for MMA.

Ring a Ring a Rosies

If you think that your pure mind and body will help you in a real `street situation' you are going to be sadly disappointed. You don't have to believe me, just wait, whether you want it or not, trouble is never too far away in this day and age, just ask my father who has been teaching `"Traditional Aikido" since 1957. If you are a student of Ki Aikido don't wait around for your assailants to all fall down before you touch them, they don’t know they are supposed to do that ! and please don't tell your street opponent that Aiki is love, when you wake up you will realize what a really stupid mistake you made.

AiKiKiDo - Hug a Tree Today

Why is it that Aikido now attracts so many of the tree hugging types, Aikido to music and the bizarre example of Aikido movement demonstrated with multi coloured ribbons and strobe tubes complete with music. Ki Aikido students being taught to breath through their toes.Ki students trying to knock apples off each others heads with the power of their Ki. They believe their fantasy technique is real and claim " The first duty of an Aikidoka is to protect their attacker " your first duty is to make sure your opponent does not get up and attack you again, are these people so deluded to believe they can totally control any hostile situation ?.. What I find so odd about the Ki fanatics is their techniques will only work on their own students.

It is strange that in the early days there was Aikido, Ki being an inclusive part - Now we have AikiKido - just doesn't make sense.

My father has said many times that he would never have studied the Aikido that he sees offered today. Aikido is a "martial" art and should be protected from the Plastic Samurai.

My father would say “ Don’t come to me for spirituality – get that from your local church. Don’t come here expecting me to make you a better person – that was the chore of your parents and school teachers. If it’s the mystical your after, see Houdini. I am here to teach you the martial art of Aikido.

The Samurai spirit is all but gone.

Added with my fathers permission, a recent email extract from Jiro Nakazono Sensei the son of Masahilo Nakazono Sensei sent to my father.

I am 60; though I was too young to be a part of the "Pioneer Generation" of European Aikido, I lived right next to the warriors who at each demonstration they gave invited any challenger on the mat from the public.
When my father was invited to the Foreign Legion in Marseilles with Tadashi Abe sensei, they were met with two big soldiers hiding behind both side of the door with Baseball Bats... They were true Martial Artists, and their
students were aspiring to follow their footsteps. Some did, and some chose a more civilized way, which is today's Aikido.
I met Henry Ellis sensei on the mat for the first time in 2007, I believe he was over 70, and he gave me a Nikyo I felt for 4 months afterwards. It was a completely different generation. Jiro Nakazono ( 45 years in Aikido).

Rik Ellis

Click here Rik Ellis Aikido MMA
Click here British Aikido
Item 18:

Aikido vs Tango video

Click here

What is wrong with Ki Aikido ??

The simple answer is ``nothing `` There is some very good Ki Aikido, sadly there is also a lot of really dopey Ki Aikido...Ki is an essential part of Aikido. So what is wrong?. It has to be those plastic wannabe Samurai,the ones that attempt to turn Aikido into what `they` want it to represent,~ quasi religion ~ soppy non resistant martial arts where they never have to prove themselves ~ an opportunity to wear an hakama and fantasize that they are Samurai ~ a chance to wear a black belt to hold in a gutless stomach..

Uke on an invisable elastic band. nonsense no touch throws

Dancing to Aikido moves with music ( I need to puke, back in a moment )

Aiki Dancing >

Click here for `Lets Dance`

The Ribbon Dance complete with Music. Dancing with ribbons in a hakama in the name of Aikido ..Aikido taught to the theory of `` Ring a Ring a Roses all fall down ``...

C'mon now!! Let's be honest.

You know full well if you are teaching good Aikido, and despite your pretence you also know full well if you are teaching a pile of crap....I read a forum post recently where someone said " In a street situation our first consideration must be the protection of our assailant " what is that crap all about.
Do you really think that your Aikido is that superior that you will `` totally `` take control of such a situation and its final outcome :-) ???. I doubt that people who make such stupid comments have ever been in a `real` life confrontation.....
Best to keep turning the other cheek and get punched on both sides or join the Salvation Army.

Rik Ellis

" No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more " Kenshiro Abbe Sensei 1915 ~ 1985.


  1. Interesting blog Rik, have you trained in any other arts prior to or during your transition into the World of MMA?

  2. Hi Neil

    I began Aikido with my father at the age of 5 yrs. I have done done other m/a, I would have liked to try Judo.



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Full Contact Fight Night

Full Contact Fight Night
Click photo for YouTube Fight Video ~ ~ ~ L to R = Alex Reid of Frimley Budokan ~ Rik Ellis - Suleman Raja of PrizeFighters......Article below......... " Aikido in MMA " just my personal thoughts on this often discussed subject...Rik Ellis.... Visit the Ellis Aikido articles blog at Click here Articles site ..Scroll down for the article " Aikido in MMA "......... Rik Ellis Fight Video

2 - Rik ( Hammer ) Ellis Aikido / MMA

2 - Rik ( Hammer ) Ellis Aikido / MMA
Rik Ellis getting his point across !!..... ...Listen !! no-touch throws do not work !!.......Click Photo for YouTube Video.

3- Rik ( Hammer ) Ellis Aikido-MMA high traditional aikido kick

3- Rik ( Hammer ) Ellis Aikido-MMA high traditional aikido kick
Yes there is kicking and punching in Aikido.....In the 1950s/60s all Kenshiro Abbe Sensei's Aikido classes began with 30mins hard kicking and punching exercises. and 200 pushups on the back of the wrists. - Click ~ Push-ups on back of wrists

4 - Rik ( Hammer ) Ellis Aikido -MMA ground & pound .

4 - Rik ( Hammer )  Ellis Aikido -MMA ground & pound .
Rik Ellis takes his opponent to the ground after turning his opponent off the cage wall with a tight body controlled irmi tenkan.