Aikido Concepts – Some Similarity to Practical Method

by Gary Readore on 2016/03/18

I came across this video while surfing YouTube and was surprised to see that a lot of the concepts talked about are very similar to what I have heard Master Chen discuss, such as:

Don’t push at the contact point but don’t pull away either, use the elbow to pull/rotate around the contact point, use the center to move the body, apply power to the hand but not the arm, don’t engage or push into the opponent’s strength, …

Interested to hear other’s thoughts.




{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

pingwei March 19, 2016 at 11:09 pm

My advice is: Don’t try to look for similarities between Practical Method and other martial arts. Don’t try to watch videos other than Practical Method, either.


Nicholas Fung馮嘉傑(香港) March 24, 2016 at 10:48 pm

Yes, Master warned us about that. It is already difficult enough to get rid of instincts and/or previous martial arts that might not have worked so well.


Wilkin Ng March 25, 2016 at 11:51 am

I will add to what Ping said, it is a matter of following teacher instruction or coming up with own interpretation. Master Chen often said during workshop to record his word as he said it.

Looking at other martial arts to come up with own understanding is not helpful to correct physical training. And Master Chen has been open with his teaching, so there are lots of Practical Method material out there.

So if student is seriously pursuing the training goal, then like Chen Xu had done, it is certainly achievable in a relatively short time


Gary Readore March 19, 2016 at 11:19 pm

Thanks for the comment. Actually, I wasn’t actively trying to look for similarities, it just struck me as I was watching this video. Why do you think one shouldn’t watch videos other than Practical Method? In reading Hong’ s book that was translated by Master Chen I seem to recall that it said Hong studied other martial arts and seemed to incorporate other things into his taichi. I’m not advocating this, but it seems many of the old masters studied other martial art forms as well.


Hugo Ramiro March 20, 2016 at 5:35 pm

GM Hong did not study any other martial art once he started with Chen Fa Ke. Once he started with CFK, he did what he was taught by CFK, exclusively.


Hugo Ramiro March 20, 2016 at 5:38 pm

I did watch the video… unfortunately, to my eyes, it looks nothing like practical method.


tommy2047 March 20, 2016 at 10:11 pm

The aikido master is adding his body weight to his student via his hand contact. This method is very like zhao Bao tai chi and Wang style tai chi of using body weight in tai chi movements. As far as my limited knowledge from reading the recent Practical Method book in chinese, Practical Method appears to be not using “adding body weight” method.


james tam March 21, 2016 at 10:54 am

Good analysis!


vinchent March 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm

I did aikido, judo and jiujitsu … it is completely different to Practical Method. In my opinion PM is the best; it allways works. I purely study practical method and stopped also doing capoeira for cardio. I do PM now for cardio too.


Richard van Berkum March 27, 2016 at 4:35 pm

I still do Aikido only not as much PM as I want. I missed master Chen in Holland this year. I guess he wasn’t invited :(.

Most Aikido masters/instructors are to soft to transfer anything to their partner. They are not full. In my opinion most masters/instructors misinterpret relaxed for being limp instead of full. When engaged fully they start to tense up because they never worked with real force of an opponent.

Master Chen reminds me of Saito Sensei. It’s the basics that count and you work with forces angles and positions from the basics. Further his clear explanation of alignment and the basics exercises as fetching water etc. I practice these exercises 95% of the time and I like how they influence my Aikido very well. This is the main reason I have an interest in master Chen. He also shows his skill under full power. This is something Saito sensei also did.


Richard van Berkum March 27, 2016 at 4:48 pm
Ymarsakar April 6, 2016 at 5:52 pm

Some older aikido instructors, like the famous one, went to China and did pick up something, probably Tai Chi. When they came back to Japan, though, it would have been difficult to transmit the knowledge though except in terms of the Japanese language. After going through AIkido for some time, it would naturally be changed. Some of the principles seem the same, much like the same case with wrestling and Tai Chi.

A principle is true when it applies to all martial arts, meaning all physical movements. Whether one way is more efficient than another, whether it provides more leverage and mechanical advantage, is usually what is in contention. Well, apart from the personal skills of what people can or cannot do.

What seems to be missing in the video is the “Heavy Elbow” specifically. The effect may be there, but the explanation is “relax the arm”. Technically, only the shoulder is relaxed, the elbow is not, and the arm connected to the elbow via extensor muscles, isn’t relaxed either. The spiral is going on in the opponent’s body, and less so in the arm of the user itself. In the PM methods, the spiral of the arm and elbow is already locked in and beginning to drill in several directions (dimensions). It doesn’t rely upon the opponent having a set structure to manipulate, as in the aiki video.


Leave a Comment
Leave a comment on the content only. For admin issues, please click the "contact" button on the top left.

Previous post:

Next post: