“Empty Gi” is pronounced with the “i” in “Gi” having a hard E sound, spoken: “Empty Gee”.
This is a Judo/Jujitsu Fighting Style based on principles of redirecting energy (not true non-resistance, but compared to other martial arts styles, more “relaxed” as well as, more reactive.
The concept of Empty-Gi-Aiki-Judo as discussed here, in the style of Judo, is comparable to the term Aiki used in martial arts such as Aikido, Hapkido and Aiki Jujitsu.
Therefore, we could also call it, Aiki Judo.
“Ai” (pronounced “eye”) can be interpreted as blending or merging. ”Ki” (pronounced “key”) can be translated as energy. ”Ju” can be translated as gentle. ”Do” (pronounced “doh”) can be translated as the way. This is the way of joining or combining with your practice partner or your opponent’s energy. Different martial arts do this by joining and then using a subsequent action of overtaking the opponent such as throwing, forcing submission, striking, etc., with the overall spirit of neutralizing the attack.
As it is presented here, the concept is utilized in a Judo based approach of omitting strikes and kicks. Judo is the martial art founded by Jigaro Kano in 1882. He had originally sought out instruction in Jujitsu because of bullying at his school. He had taken techniques of Jujitsu and modified them (omitting punches and kicks) and emphasized effective throws and submissions in order for a smaller person to be able to neutralize an attack from a larger person. Kano founded the Kodokan school in Japan, which became very reputable – so much so, that police began training in the art after a fight demonstration between students of the Kodokan against top Jujitsu athletes of Kano’s time.
Kano summarized the spirit of Judo with two guiding principles: 1) maximum efficiency with minimal effort, and 2) mutual welfare and benefit for all. Although Judo is “the gentle way” translated, it can be an aggressive sport. Some from other fighting backgrounds (wrestlers, those into mixed martial arts, and fighters whose training had emphasized power and strength), have entered Judo tournaments and have found success in Judo.
This particular approach of Aiki-Judo allows for those who are older, those who may not be in the best physical shape, and for those who may be seeking a more relaxed approach. This Empty-Gi-Aiki-Judo style is a fighting style that is very effective and equally as worthy of respect as “muscle power force” styles of martial arts.
Welcome to the style of “empty gi”! Aiki Judo!
Aiki Empty Gi Style can extend outside the dojo as a way of life!
This style can be utilized for self defense, by the addition of strikes and other disabling means.
Empty Gi Aiki Judo style is not to be confused with retreating!
In order to use this style effectively, you have to be in close proximity, and I mean very close. Often people will confuse the Aiki Judo style with one of either passive resistance, or of behaving as though defenseless with overly defensive posturing, and/or confuse this style with being a style of retreating.
Aiki Judo is an active style of monitoring and using an opponent’s movement and balance to your advantage. In order to pull off a block, throw, and to provide redirection of the opponent’s energy and doing a counter, one must be extremely close in proximity to the opponent and additionally not moving away. Practically, the only time moving away would be an effective strategy is in the event that the opponent is pushing you away, where instead of using a stopping resistance, you go with the push (even adding to it by pulling) and then either redirect the energy by dropping into what is known as a sacrifice throw, or by using re-directive hand, hip, and leg movements to produce either a throw or submissive technique.
Is the Empty Gi Aiki Judo style the right style for you?
Find a martial arts style that fits with who you “are” and what your goals are. If you are wanting the martial arts style that will make everyone fear you, or make you practically invincible or one that allows you to “kick anyone’s ass”, then this might not be the place for you. Not that the style is ineffective or that it can’t be used in self-defense applications.
The intent and the spirit of this style is not to destroy someone, nor to kill someone. If you conduct yourself in a manner that doesn’t provoke others, you may find that there may not be a need to use martial arts in a self-defensive way. However, there are those out there that do wrong to innocent people and having the ability to protect yourself can be life-saving. Defensive moves can subdue an attacker. You can break bones and it is even possible to severely injure someone with this style. In other words, this style, just as many others can be used to cause severe harm, up to death. However, going back to the spirit of this martial art style, it is not an “attacking, kick butt, and show everyone in the room that you believe yourself to be “the toughest person on the planet” type style. That being said, this style is also not a cowardice style, as it takes bravery and calm focus to be able to blend and counter in close proximity.
There are those who can’t wait to become proficient in a martial arts style with the intent of seeking opportunities where he or she can injure others. Even if you successfully knock out the drunk that was screaming at you, be prepared to face some potential lawsuit. Those who seek out trouble always find it. Additionally, keep in mind that no fighter can win against everyone, nor win a fight in every possible situation – there is always someone out there who can beat you down.
Ask yourself: Do you really want to intentionally do harm to others? (Not talking here about competition or sports events, but are you wanting to show off, initiate conflict, or those types of things?)
If the answer to that question is “yes”, then you may want to consider another style of martial art.
The best martial art – is the one that works best for you, giving you what you need to succeed, and one that matches up the best with your values.
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