why is aikido banned in mma

why is aikido banned in mma

Why is Aikido Banned in MMA?

Aikido, a traditional Japanese martial art, is known for its emphasis on redirecting an opponent’s energy rather than relying on brute force. However, despite its popularity and effectiveness in self-defense situations, Aikido is not allowed in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions. There are several reasons why Aikido is banned in MMA, which we will explore in this article.

Lack of Practicality in a Competitive Setting

One of the main reasons why Aikido is banned in MMA is its lack of practicality in a competitive setting. Aikido techniques often involve joint locks, throws, and immobilization, which may not be effective against highly trained MMA fighters who have a wide range of skills and techniques at their disposal. MMA is a sport that demands a combination of striking, grappling, and ground fighting, and Aikido’s focus on redirecting energy may not be effective in this context.

Furthermore, Aikido techniques are often performed in a cooperative manner, with the attacker actively assisting the defender. In MMA, fighters are not cooperative, and opponents will actively resist and counter any techniques attempted. Aikido’s reliance on cooperation makes it less suitable for the competitive nature of MMA.

why is aikido banned in mma

Limited Offensive Techniques

Aikido primarily focuses on defensive techniques, such as evading and redirecting attacks. This limited emphasis on offensive techniques is another reason why Aikido is banned in MMA. In MMA, fighters need to be able to both defend themselves and effectively attack their opponents. Aikido’s lack of offensive techniques, such as punches and kicks, puts practitioners at a disadvantage in an MMA fight.

Additionally, Aikido techniques often require a certain level of compliance from the attacker. In MMA, opponents are unlikely to comply with these techniques, making them less effective. The absence of effective offensive techniques and the reliance on compliance make Aikido less suitable for the dynamic and aggressive nature of MMA.

Insufficient Ground Fighting Training

Aikido places little emphasis on ground fighting techniques, which is a crucial aspect of MMA. Ground fighting involves grappling and submissions, where fighters aim to control and submit their opponents on the ground. Aikido’s lack of training in ground fighting puts practitioners at a significant disadvantage in MMA, where fights often end up on the ground.

In MMA, fighters with strong ground fighting skills can dominate their opponents and secure victories through submissions or ground-and-pound techniques. Aikido’s limited ground fighting training makes it unsuitable for the comprehensive skill set required in MMA.

Rules and Safety Concerns

MMA has specific rules and safety regulations in place to protect fighters from excessive harm. Aikido techniques, which often involve joint locks and throws, can be dangerous when applied with full force and without control. These techniques have the potential to cause severe injuries in an MMA fight, leading to the banning of Aikido in the sport.

Moreover, Aikido techniques may not be easily adaptable to the rules of MMA. For example, Aikido’s emphasis on wrist locks and small joint manipulation is typically prohibited in MMA competitions due to the risk of injury. The rules and safety concerns associated with Aikido techniques make it incompatible with the regulations of MMA.

Lack of Competitive Exposure

Aikido has traditionally been taught in a controlled and non-competitive environment, with a focus on personal development and self-defense. As a result, there is a lack of competitive exposure for Aikido practitioners, making it difficult to gauge the effectiveness of Aikido techniques in a real fighting scenario.

While Aikido practitioners may have excellent technical skills and the ability to defend themselves, the absence of competitive experience makes it challenging to assess their performance against skilled MMA fighters. MMA organizations prioritize fighters with a proven track record in competitive combat sports, further discouraging the inclusion of Aikido in MMA.


In conclusion, Aikido is banned in MMA due to its lack of practicality, limited offensive techniques, insufficient ground fighting training, safety concerns, and the absence of competitive exposure. While Aikido remains a valuable martial art for self-defense and personal development, its specific characteristics make it incompatible with the dynamic and competitive nature of MMA.

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