Have you seen the “Aikido vs MMA” video that went viral within the martial arts community?
In 2017 Aikido black belt Rokas Leonavicius called up a local MMA gym and explained that he wanted to test out his Aikido against a trained mixed martial arts fighter.
The results of the resulting sparring session were predictable; despite 13 years of serious Aikido training he was unable to get his techniques to work against a skilled and resisting opponent.
What wasn’t predictable is that Rokas then shared the video of that sparring session with the world. And that video was followed by many others detailing his attempts to make Aikido functional against resisting opponents.
We went into the background of that first match and the rest of his journey through Aikido, BJJ, Aikido and Boxing. It’s a fascinating episode.
This podcast episode, along with all my others, are available on my Strenuous Life Podcast, which you can subscribe to with a few easy clicks! Choose your audio player below and click on it to open up The Strenuous Life Podcast and from there, you can click to subscribe, or simply search for this episode which is episode # 144.
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Alternately, you can click on the embedded audio player below to listen (however, you run the risk of missing future episodes by not subscribing – but if you’re a gambler then here you go!)
Here’s some of what we covered in today’s podcast…
02:05 – Rokas’s background in Aikido
04:21 – Wrestling in Eastern Europe
05:43 – What attracted him to Aikido?
14:20 – How long should you train before Aikido is applicable?
20:20 – Testing Aikido on Youtube
23:55 – The Aikido vs MMA video
26:23 – Functionalizing Aikido
38:18 – How did Aikido take off?
40:59 – Real life consequences of the Aikido vs MMA video
48:43 – Elements of Aikido that carry over into other arts
61:53 – Where can we find Rokas?
Here is the video of that first sparring session in May of 2017…
And here is the video of their next sparring session, 1 year later, after Rokas had spent some time boxing, wrestling and grappling on the ground!
Check out Rokas’s Youtube channel by clicking here and his website at Rokasleo.com