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Keoni May's Blog Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 05-20-2007 08:47 PM
I have heard from people, who have not had any real life fighting experience, argue about pure Aikido vs. Atemi Aikido.

They equate pure dojo training, as real fighting experience. There also seems to be intellectuals who have not fought in the real world, who have convinced many others, that you don't need to train for the real world.

Those with real life experience, are portrayed as not knowing Aikido, as well as not knowing real life fighting.
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Status: Public
Entries: 8
Comments: 2
Views: 59,049

In General Life Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #4 New 01-09-2009 10:03 AM
In January of 1959, I started my martial arts training, after I was beaten up, for standing up against a bully. At that time, people counseled me, to stand up to a bully. It seems that they left out the part whereby the bully beats you up.

It is now January of 2009, and I am within a few years, from retiring from law enforcement. At almost 59 years old, I am still fighting with young people, who can not hear or reason.

By default, Aikido has survived the test of time. The other martial arts had a shelf life. You don't see 90 year old boxers or wrestlers. In Judo, in your 90s, everyone takes it easy on the old man. Aikido however, doesn't have that competitive issue. You can practice with an element of contained realism.

My fighting career has given me the insight, on what works, or doesn't work. I have lost many friends and comrades, to vicious people, with an evil intent to harm anyone.

People have taken niceness as a weakness and politeness as a flaw. I have still survived, for another day.


Last Wednesday, I fell on a sheet of ice, and broke my ankle. As much as I tried to make a controlled fall, it did not work this time. The ice made my controlled fall, go out of control. I was moving far faster than I had anticipated. It will take a couple of months, before I can walk, nornal again.

I now have a plates, pins, and screws holding me together.


My medical condition has forced me to no longer use my legs for kicking or striking.


For Aikido techniques to work effectively on the street, you need a lot of effective foot movement. Whether my legs will withstand the constant turning and pivoting, is another question.

You do not stop a charging bull head on. You must get out of its way. The trick is to make the bull fall hard and heavy with a little help.


In a Dojo, training is controlled by legislation, court case law, litigation, insurance policy, and the expectations of the students.

There is always a push towards the street scenario under controlled conditions.

Why has BJJ done so well in the international arena? Brazil is a country with a legal doctrine called "Assumption of Risk!"

If you get hurt, you can't sue, because you knew it was a dangerous martial art!


When people write about street fighting and theorize about it, that makes me feel, that they have not had many street confrontations.

It is understood that talking your way out of a confrontation is the first course of action, however, when a person wants your personal property, nothing is going to stop him. I have seen people naked from being mugged of everything.

Criminals sense when a person is confident, however, they are in the business of getting what they want. They want your valuables.

You must either be proactive or reactive. The reality is, action is much faster than reaction. Evil intent will prevail if it strikes first. Anyone can make you do anything, that you don't want to do, if they have a weapon, and your companion is under a knife or gun.


When a person plants his feet into the ground, there is no way you can easily throw him.

However, with 2 feet planted into the ground, you can easily strike him.

If a person is moving, that person can be easily thrown.

It is all about balance. A moving person versus a person firmly planted into the ground.


What makes a soldier's martial arts training, or, a law enforcement officer's martial arts training, so different from a classical dojo instructional format?

When compared to classical martial arts training, they will only spend a minute fraction of time, training. They will now go into the world and apply their newly learned skills.

The foundation of their basic training is strongly based in practicality. All techniques are basic, as basic can get.

They are usually highly motivated, because of the pain compliance factor. If they do it wrong, and their opponent takes the high ground, their botched technique is going to hurt them immensely.


If Aikido is not considered a functional martial art, to apply in the street or real life, why train with it? Would not a yoga class be better suited for those who do not see the application?


There was a time in old Japan, when the carryimg of swords were legal, and fighting was not just martial arts theory.

When swords were banned, fighting became almost illegal, and old warriors were reduced to martial arts theory.

Old warriors had to make a living. People wanted to fantasize about being a warrior, however, without the chance of being killed or maimed for life.

Watered down martial arts flourished. Old warriors, without masters, could make a living. The trick was to keep students from leaving your school.

Teach them everything under the stars, tell them it would take an eternity to master, and only the best warriors followed the path.


There was an interesting blog that stated, fake instructors were making a good living with teaching Aikido, and couldn't even use the correct terms.

I would like to give that blog another side of the coin. There are many people, in this world, who have a difficult time with martial arts' principles and concepts. Once you complicate that with a language barrier, things can get lost in intellectual mystical land.

Although there are many people who have the term of art down to a science, not everyone understands them on the same level.

Sometimes, simple plain language usage (within reason) works better for a broader audience. The more educated the audience, the more that would be expected of a blog.

I tend to prefer, when possible, to keep everything basically simple. People who are not educated on the same level, will have a less difficult time understanding.

Everyone must remember, many years ago, many instructors could not speak English, and taught their language to students, via martial arts instruction.


I am going to commit a little martial arts blasphemy. Real martial arts does not pay the bills. Many years ago, it might have.

Currently, many people like the aerobics method of martial arts. It is a great cardio workout.

It can not even pass the test of a ghetto fight, it will never pass a prison fight, and it will be a joke during combat.

But, it will make money.


In my earlier years, I pounded my knuckles into deformity with Karate, and did a lot of professional boxing. As time went on, I saw more openings for grappling techniques. As I got older, I saw opportunities for grabbing.

During my career (nightclub & law enforcement), when fighting for my life, I used any technique in my tool box, that happened to be the better technique at that moment. That included a fist, an open hand, a kick, a choke, a throw, a restraint, etc.

I believe it is up to the individual to have a good tool box.

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