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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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In General Real Life vs. Dojo Life Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #1 New 05-31-2007 05:39 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.

The real fight is within the Aikido world. Did you learn to defend yourself and learn a lifestyle? Or, did you learn a lifestyle to defend yourself?


Generally speaking, street fighting can be static and dynamic during the same incident. People can be very large & slow, as well as, be very large & fast. They can have no experience, or, they can have equal or better experience than yourself.

Bad guys generally fight in multiples. There is no such thing as a fair street fight, a fair jail fight, or a fair prison fight. An old prison phrase says, "we are not fighting by Marquese of Queensbury's rules, we are fighting by Marquese from Queens rules!"

Law enforcement officers, at a minimum, can use a gang tackle technique, whereby a dozen officers hit you from a 360 degree tackle. It is not pretty or clean, however, it does bring people down to the cement.

Despite all of this, Aikido can still work within a street, jail, or prison environment. The old man was still a good street fighter.


Irimi nage is a good street fighting technique against boxers and strikers. Deflecting the punch or strike to his center, slipping your other hand under his striking arm, hooking his neck, and not stopping until he is stretched out like a flag in the wind, works quite well.

When deflecting a right punch with your left hand, you must start turning to your left, in a semi-circular pattern. His right arm must be lifted near his arm pit with your left ridge palm. A nastier impact technique is to use a right ridge palm on his throat.

The UFC has banned fish hooking. Irimi nage is fish hooking. Landing on concrete helps, and, landing on a fire hydrant works even better. Most street people don't know how to fall correctly.


Training for the dojo, ring, street, jail or prison, or a war, involves different states of mind.

The dojo involves instructions. Everyone goes home alive. In the ring, you test your instructions, to see if they work on a person from another dojo. Every so often, someone is serious hurt with a career ending injury.

In the street, you will fight to defend yourself. During your defense, you will either not be injured, or, you will suffer a minor injury, a major injury, become disabled, or die.

In jail or prison, you fight to survive, especially in a state without a death sentence. The worst thing that can happen to a criminal, in that state, is a concurrent life without parole sentence.

In a war, you only want to live, and may be wounded or die, if you do not seriously wound or kill your enemy.


It is impossible, to not strike at least one of many assailants, in a fight for your life. Striking does not mean, only punching.

Impaling strikes are superior for hit and run fighting. This includes multiple assailants. Impaling strikes are rarely discussed or taught, and, blend effectively with Aikido techniques. An elbow becomes the equivalent of a car bumper and the speed of your legs gives your bumper collision force.

Short blows, are more effective than long blows, when in-fighting. Crowding a boxer or striker, and then utilizing Aikido techniques, is the safer strategy. Two hand and one hand palming (a/k/a popping) can still uproot people.


The only way to test your Aikido, is to work out with other non-Aikido practitioners, within your dojo. I wouldn't recommend going to another dojo. Learn to spar with them.

Don't even attempt to kick them. Use your feet to manuver. Muhammed Ali used great foot work with his boxing. Don't even attempt to punch them. Use your hands to deflect, block, impale his kicks, punches, and strikes. You have palming, forearming, and elbowing.

Don't forget to use your Aikido techniques.


After years of watching and training, with many champions of different disciplines, I have grown to strongly believe that less is better.

Great Karate champions, only had 3 to 5 techniques that they used constantly, and practiced daily. Great Judo champions, only had 3 to 5 techniques that they used constantly, and practiced daily.

Boxers use jabs, crosses, hooks, & uppercuts as offensive weapons. Thai Boxers (Muay Thai) use punching, elbowing, kneeing, and kicking (shin & push-kick) as offensive weapons.

The list goes on. It is not the great number of techniques that improves your street survival, but, the several strong techniques that can be applied to many different situations and circumstances.


I have observed in my past training & experience, that when a person negotiates a peaceful resolution, to a dangerous situation, that person's past comes into the equation.

Those people who were acknowledged warriors, could resolve many dangerous conflicts, because it was generally understood, that fighting was always on the table, and everyone knew that that warrior was capable of fighting as a last option.

Example: Genghis Khan & Attilla the Hun would come into a territory of conquest, and those under potential siege, would exercise a non-warfare diplomatic solution, or fight and die, along with the rest of their kingdom.


Grabbing someone, is not the only method of fighting, in the street. Punching & kicking, are more likely to happen, when grabbing doesn't work.

Does your Aikido techniques work on boxers, kickboxers, shoot fighters, mixed martial arts fighters, street fighters, jail or prison fighters, third world mercenaries, etc.?

Fighting people who attack you with weapons is a strong feature with Aikido. Ever practice with a straight edged razor, real bayonnet, military sword, etc.?


The more I study about the history of Aikido, the more I realize that there are significant fragments of its history & techniques, taught exponentially different, by many of its practitioners.

The history of Aikido's origin & evolution around the world, has been a single tree that grew many different branches. I don't think that the founder of Aikido wanted his art to deviate into many different branches. I believe he wanted a stronger tree trunk.

There are many techniques that are characteristically Aikido. There are also many techniques that deviated from his original vision.


The problem with losing a street fight in law enforcement, is that it follows your career, and develops an unwanted reputation for yourself.

Your law enforcement peers and the criminal element know who is a good fighter or a bad fighter. You only have to lose one street fight and the criminal element will never let you forget it.

You will have more challenges as a loser, than as a winner. It is the law of the street, jail, or prison.

Winning does make a difference in law enforcement.


The usage of a open hand ridge palm, instead of the heel palm, is a better weapon when striking the neck area. It is a better tool when used behind the elbow, instead of placing the heel palm, on or near the elbow.


The criminal element always has the time to learn how to defeat law enforcement techniques. As a law enforcement technique fails, it has to be retooled, to adjust for its short comings. When a law enforcement technique fails, and you survive, that experience can some times make you a disbeliever with martial arts. Aikido techniques, as a percentage, have actually survived the street usage, over Karate techniques.


The Aikido community-at-large has not taken too well with the Tomiki Aikido faction. The linear Aikido faction vs. the circular Aikido faction have formed lines. There was a time when Aikido had both linear & circular techniques built into the big picture. Gozo Shioda practiced both linear & circular Aikido. Review his exhibition tapes and you will notice that he blended both within his Aikido style.


There was a time in ancient martial arts history, whereby all striking, grappling, throwing techniques, etc... were practiced under one banner. Now, each category has subsets. Ju Jutsu became Ju Jitsu, Aiki Ju Jitsu became Aiki Budo, and Aiki Budo became Aikido.

I have noticed that people use their dojo practice, as a way to cheap shot each other, under the ruse, that they are adding realism to their training. The nage and uke system has value, if you do not abuse it, and strive to improve your techniques.

Breaking a person's wrist, to show that a technique works, is not quite real life. The trick is to see if you can use that technique, in the same manner, on someone who is not an aikido test dummy.


In days gone by, during an old prison fight, there were so many prisoners fighting, that their tunnel vision stopped them from seeing 360 degrees around them. Aikido techniques worked exceptionally well, because the prisoners were not prepared to be approached, from their blind side.

Using techniques, from their rear or side, works wonders.


I had the pleasure of working out with a 6 ' 5 " & 380 lb. male, in Hawaii, who had no martial arts experience. He played college football and only had street fighting as his martial art. I used a modified ikkyo that did uproot him. I pushed his elbow, almost touching his ear, and was able to get his foot off the ground. I then ran him into the ground. He was not a classical Uke and instinctively fought me throughout the whole process. I still downed him.


I have seen many exhibitions (videos) of Gozo Shioda and have seen him perform a rainbow of techniques. He has foot sweeped people (resembling Judo), performed linear Aikido, classical circular Aikido, preemptive Aikido, Aiki-Ju Jitsu, Ju Jitsu, Atemi-Aikido, etc...

His Aikido represented the pre-WW 2 and post-WW 2 styles of Aikido. Very few people have resembled his style after he died.

What is the direction of his school since his death?


American football possesses several techniques, that have a strong similarity to Aikido.

Ball carriers avoid defensive tacklers, by using an Aikido turn.

While evading being tackled, ball carriers palm defensive tacklers, on their faces.

Ducking under a defensive tackler, just as he is about to tackle the ball carrier, is a favorite technique to avoid being constantly hammered. The defensive tackler flies over the back of the ball carrier. Quarterbacks use this technique frequently.

When in close quarters with a defensive tackler, a ball carrier might use a little elbow control resembling ikkyo. The elbow is raised, almost touching his ear, and then shouldered to the ground. This is usually done with one hand since the other hand has the football. Your shoulder helps to substitute for the other hand.

The famous American football clothesline technique, which has broken more football players' necks, is irimi nage.


The famous Gracie, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu family, has been having great difficulty winning all of their UFC, Pride, and MMA fights.

Since 1993, people began studying the flaws of BJJ. A wrestlers sprawl has defeated leg take-downs. Strikers are hitting harder with more knock outs. Boxers are no longer in their element.

The once undefeated BJJ family is now fighting to maintain a majority of wins, instead of unanimous wins.

Aikido should be left with the self defense arena. It is better to have street wins than MMA wins. You can only win for so many years (if lucky) before someone finds the flaws.

Aikido already has Tomiki Aikido and this faction has not been fondly accepted by the Aikido community as a whole. Let us not go into MMA Aikido. Keep it within the self defense domain.


I recently read some disturbing blogs that Aikido Greats could not fight on the street. Given the many aspects of fighting, the Aikido Greats could handle themselves quite well, in my opinion.

Law enforcement officers who have adequate training, happen to prefer Aikido techniques for street use. Aikido techniques give you better control over prisoners.

Society doesn't like to see people punched or struck. They accept grappling or Aikido techniques.


A properly executed boxer's jab and a properly executed martial artist's back fist has caused problems for most street fighters.

Both of these techniques are usually done with the lead hand, without any telegraphing, and the power usually comes from your fast moving body weight that does not stop at the point of impact.

The secret is to only use your knuckles (not your metacarpals), have a bent arm on impact, and continue walking passed your street fighter. He has to be mowed down like a non-stopping lawn mower.


Today I witnessed an Aikido technique, performed by a non-practitioner. A mastadon of a man took a swing at his intended victim.

His intended victim, ducked out of extreme fear, resembling a quasi standing fetal position. This elephant of a man flew over his intended victim's back and down a flight of stairs.

I believe that he hit every other step, with some part of his body, on the way down. It hurt me, just watching him have a protracted crash landing.


I read a recent article about BJJ and all fights end up on the ground. This makes fighting appear to be strictly on the ground.

I have seen thousands of fights through out my 57 years of life. Weapons or multiple people were the norm, rather than the exception. Aikido had value for mutiples and weapons, rather than many other arts.

The only exception has been extremely strong and super heavyweight fighters who could knock people out with one punch.

Of that category, I have witnessed 5 fights. In the 1970s, I once witnessed a powerful man take on about 2 dozen police officers and knock out half of them. Night sticks broke on his tremendously large and strong body. His muscles looked more like sinew. All of his knuckles looked like they were stubby fingers. He dented a car door when he missed punching a cop.

Another man was an accomplished 195 lb. prison boxer who destroyed all of the bouncers in a nightclub, along with everyone who wanted to help, and others who thought he was just lucky. When everyone woke up, they all stated that they felt like they were hit by a truck.


The question is; is it the person, or, is it the style? What if techniques done correctly, actually work!


Young criminals and juvenile delinquents of today, love to Thrill Kill, just to see what happens, when a person dies.

Law enforcement officers are aware of the juvenile mob mentality, and once turned on, is very deadly.

They tend to pick safe targets. Old people, people who don't look like they can defend themselves, or their unacceptable peers.

These days young criminals and juvenile delinquents use the mob beating for gang initiation purposes.


I once interviewed an inmate at the county jail and asked him why he fought so much. His rapsheet indicated that he was a cop fighter. After reading his rapsheet, I asked him if he ever beat up the dog catcher. It seemed that that was the only category (police officers, parole officers, probation officers, conservation officers, water shed officers, parking enforcement officers, etc...), in law enforcement, that he did not beat up.

He hated everyone in law enforcement, never really thought about who he beat up, and was surprised when I displayed his rapsheet to him. We talked about his fighting technique that got him arrested and incarcerated frequently.

He was the master of the sucker punch, false crack, cold cock, etc... He would wait until his victim blinked, turned their head, or became slightly distracted. It didn't make a difference whether it was a man or a woman.

He only had one technique in his tool box and it was a devastating bomb.


I was watching another law enforcement video tape on gang initiations. A group of young thugs were beating the crap out of a prospective member for 13 seconds. It seems that everyone's fighting techniques were going out the window. The kid getting pounded couldn't punch very well. He moved better. He did not stand still. Everyone was having a tough time with him until he hit the ground. It was a rare moment that Aikido techniques would have been ideal.


Last night, I thought about the different environments that I have fought under, and never gave them very much thought until now.

I fought inside an old phone booth (me inside), on an open asphalt parking lot, narrow corridors in a brown stone apartment, in an attic full of stored furniture, in a swimming pool, in a crowded basement full of garbage, in an apartment filled with slippery magazines on the floor, on tiled floors soaked with baby oil, inside a dog kennel, inside a supermarket, on a street with snow up to my crotch, in triple canopy jungle, in a ground recessed chicken pit, in a boxing ring, on dojo tatami (hard straw), in a wrestlers ring (the spring of a mini-trampoline), and my thoughts still continue.

Falling down was inevitable. What I landed on was somenthing else! Knowing how to fall properly minimized my injuries.

Realizing that striking techniques by themselves were out of the question, and grappling, along with restraining techniques were absolutely necessary.


I read an article on maai and finally figured out why people can't make their techniques (any art) work. From my experience, understanding, and reading, they don't practice from a realistic distance.

Combat and street distance is an uncomfortable zone whereby someone has fully invaded "your space". It is a natural feeling that most people have. If I get too close to you (kissing range), you move backward.

People tend to practice at an arm length of each other. Get closer.


I read an article on Thai Boxing and came to the conclusion that the author missed an important part of Muay Thai training. In 1972, during the Vietnam War, I trained at the Rerck Chai Muay Thai club, off of Soi 71, in Bangkok, Thailand when I wasn't working as a soldier for JUSMAG/MACTHAI.

Thai boxers started training when they were very young, striking very long leather bags, that were filled with fine beach sand, to condition their body parts (shins, knees, elbows, hands, shoulders, etc...). As a result, their bones and joints grew larger and denser from all of this body part conditioning. The leather bags were more forgiving on your skin. Canvas bags acted like sand paper on your skin.

When you examine a Thai boxer, he is much heavier than he appears. His joints are larger and his bones are larger (the parts he conditioned). Not all Thai boxers are well rounded strikers. Many tend to prefer their own specialty techniques.


The classical issue of standing vs. ground work still haunts many people. Fighting can be either or both during the same fight. Preparing for a standing and ground fight is necessary.

Practicing Aikido while standing or on the ground is necessary for street applications. Kneeling while practicing Aikido is one way of practicing ground work. Aikido techniques require a little thinking outside of the box when it comes to ground work.

A major consideration while preforming ground work is to get back on your feet as soon as possible. Multiple assailants can beat the best BJJ practitioner who is on the ground and doesn't have a back-up. Transition techniques to get back on your feet are necessary.


After reading an article about martial arts in Burma and Vietnam, it brought back old memories. Bando was an inferior Muay Thai. Bando fighters had a low percentage of wins over Thai boxers. That does not mean that Bando wasn't dangerous.

Vovinam was a Vietnamese martial art that had your classical striking and a little grappling. I once saw an ARVN side kick a male western news reporter on his ribs and broke several of them. He took a running start, a little jump, and nailed the reporter under his camera position.

High kicking was out of the question when fighting westerners. Vovinam kicks were mid to low range. When fighting in the bush, you can't kick high. Too much vegetation to navigate around. Vietnamese during those days weighed in from 95 lbs. to 130 lbs. (well fed) and they were any where between 4' 11" to 5' 5' (average).

The indigenious people of Southeast Asia prefered to use an edged weapon or a blunt force object when fighting larger westerners. Their edged weapons were made from the leaf springs of automobiles. They had their own version of escrima.

People from Burma and Thailand were physically bigger than the Vietnamese. The physical differences in those days was quite evident to any observer.


I spoke with Iraq & Afghanistan War Veterans (MP, Infantry, SF, & SOC) about their hand-to-hand combat experiences. It seems that more Americans had grappling combat experience. This was due to most of them learning grappling arts, later in their lives, and while in the U.S. Military. Most of them never studied any fighting arts prior to military service.

Those who were strikers prior to entering the military service, made their own mixed martial arts of striking, combined with the grappling they learned from the U.S. Military. The strikers hit their Iraqi fighters with more frequency, because they also, had a grappling background.

Edged weapons were more the norm with their hand-to-hand combat.


I recently spoke to a Special Operations warrior about hand-to-hand combat in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Its seems that Special Operations warriors have had to fight multiple warriors with or without weapons. Ground grappling arts could not be utilized because of attacking multiples.

One operator fought 5 men and another fought 4 men in close quarter combat. Weapons were fired until they were empty. Knives were used until they were unable to be extracted. Hand-to hand combat involved striking, fish hooking, and throwing people into unforgiving objects.


A U.S. Navy SEAL is currently recovering from being gunshot 16 times from one encounter. He also killed 4 hostiles.

What made him fight and live was a fighting spirit that many people talk about, however, not too many people truly attain.

This Budo spirit demonstrates a strong will and a love of life. People in the Special Operations Community do not have a suicidal outlook towards life. They wish to perform great deeds and live to do another one.


While at the V.A. Hospital, there were a lot of veterans being examined for various wounds, injuries, and diseases.

Their were several who had hand-to-hand combat injuries and saw their enemy coming at them. One was fighting with his Haj when another Haj put a knife under his neck. His intent was to take him alive.

He still had a visible scar under his neck. He was lucky to have trapped the hand of the second Haj with the knife, twist & turn out, and reverse his situation. By then, everyone came to his assistance and shot both Haj.


Aikido has value in a world of combat. Edged weapons, blunt force weapons, grabbing & holding, multiple attackers, people charging you, are examples of what Aikido trains to defend against.


Law enforcement instructors recently discussed the subject of being gang tackled by the criminal element. The initial response was that most criminals do not practice gang tackling cops.

There were a couple of departments who decided to address this issue on their own. It seems that, a little insight from Aikido, did provide a starting point. To be honest, it was the only starting point that could be found, at this point in time.

Everyone recognized, that the purpose of gang tackling a cop, is to get control over his utility belt. The officer has a gun, possible pepper spray, a nightstick, possible stun gun, keys to the cruiser, etc... The officer is a treasure trove of an arsenal.

The subject is now on the back burner of thoughts.


A cop recently had the unfortunate luck of trying to arrest a person who did not want to pay a subway fare.

This person resisted his arrest by reaching for the officer's handgun. The officer instinctively reacted by protecting his handgun via a police handgun retention technique.

This criminal now had his two hands free to effect an escape because the officer had one hand on his handgun.

This is a very effective criminal technique.


A cop was detaining a person who was walking in between a moving subway car. A struggle took place, the criminal was able to remove the officer's handgun from her double retention holster, and place it on her head.

The officer was able to move the handgun off of her head and the handgun discharged. She was shot in the foot. Other officers fired their handguns and she was shot by another officer via friendly fire.

The criminal was also shot numerous times. She lived because she was able to move the handgun off of her head just before it discharged. She was able to see this criminal start to squeeze the trigger of her handgun.

A little bit of technique, a will to survive, and a little bit of luck.


A cop got into a fight with a capoeira fighter in New York City. The capoeira fighter might have been good, however, there is no true way to know.

While he was doing one of his several cart wheel manuvers, he hit a small dog pile, slipped, hit his head, and partially knocked himself out.

He might have been a great fighter!


A garden variety criminal with godly running speed screwed up. He wanted to humiliate his pursuing cops by running backwards.

He tripped and fell to the wrath of a dozen officers.

He should have just kept on running. His high speed running would have been an excellent self defense.

There was no cop in the world who could have caught him. He had only running attire on and was not weighed down with a utility belt containing 20 lbs. to 40 lbs. of equipment.


Many years ago, I met a man who developed biting into a martial art. His technique was to clinch you, make believe he was doing either a one or two leg take-down, and then bite your genitals.

I saw his handy work one day. His unlucky adversary tried to punch him on his head. He ducked, clinched him, made believe he was doing a leg take-down, and bit his cubes.

This guy tried to punch him in the face from this position. All of us who were watching this lopsided fight flinched when we saw his scrotum stretch, with every punch, until he passed out.

It was the first time I ever saw a puncher knock himself out from having his nuts stretched out.


People can sometimes be very creative when defending themselves. An intended victim decided to defend himself against a mugger.

His mugger had a large knife. The intended victim picked up a large CO2 fire extinguisher, discharged it at the mugger, and froze the face of his mugger. When his CO2 fire extinguisher was empty, the intended victim slugged his mugger with the fire extinguisher, and rendered him unconscious.

The mugger required serious hospitalization and the intended victim was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.


An accomplished martial artist successfully defended himself against a mugger.

Unfortunately, the martial artist's interpretation of self defense, was vastly different from the legal version of self defense.

After succesfully disarming his mugger, he beat his mugger into intensive care.


I met an old man whom I knew as a teenager. He had been a fanatical karateka in my teenage years. Those days, everyone was scared of him, because of his abnormally developed hard hands and feet.

His knuckles were black and looked like stubby fingers. He feet were black and deformed. Years of punching & kicking concrete and steel walls finally caught up with him.

I saw a man who could hardly walk or grab anything with his hands. Age caught up with him. His strength and speed was radically reduced.

His martial art served him well until he aged.


I decided to work out with a friend in a narrow hall way. He is a 250lb. person and I am a 179 lb. person. There was no room to move except front or back.

He did the classical sumo charge and knocked me back about 5 feet. It seemed that my only course of action was to charge him, grab his hand, and manuver backwards. A hybrid finger lock saved my soul.

It was obvious that my fighting strategy had to go back to the drawing board.


Returned from medical care today. Old age sucks. Injuries have piled up, and will not go away, no matter how much positive thinking I give it.

Doctors and friends have recommended retiring while I am still alive. Many have wondered how I lasted so long. I believe it was my years of martial arts training, combined with my warrior spirit, that must be in my DNA.


While preparing an ILEETA lesson plan, for LEOs attending my class, I know that they expect to walk out of my class, with something that they have learned directly from my instructions.

I guess a martial arts seminar would be the closest analogy. The difference is that LEOs might not have had any prior instructions. They are only certified instructors.

A miracle will take place between LEO instructions and martial arts instructions. Not necessarily the same road. I have done it many times in the past. It is always 2 different roads. Why?


My LEO friends and I were exchanging street fighting techniques. It is amazing, that many things that work on the street, are not generally taught to people.

I began to wonder how long this type of secrecy has gone on throughout history. Do secrets die with the masters because they don't want to share? Were we doing the same thing by not sharing our knowledge outside our little community?


Martial arts techniques have been altered substantially to fit the needs of LEOs fighting NY streetfighters. NY streetfighters have become street MMA fighters and pushed the bar a little higher for LEOs once again.

There is currently a ninja burglar in full garb running around NYC terrorizing people's peace of mind. The martial arts has been good for at least one of its martial arts practitioner. Stealthy theft!

Street fighting has pushed the definition of physical force and deadly physical force.


A martial artist in NYC was mugged by 3 people. A fourth person intervened and was stabbed to death. No one knows who stabbed who. Multiple knives were involved.

The martial artist used a fixed knife to defend himself, killed one mugger, and was stabbed by one of his mugger's knife.

Two dead, two wounded, and one mugger escaped.


There are people who say that a fighting style makes a good fighter and others say a person makes a good fighter.

When others mentioned that a good technique and a good fighter, makes a good fighting style, there is still another line of thought.

Why is it, that criminals don't have a problem giving well trained martial artists the fight of their lives?


A cop wake took place today. He died because he lost control over his handgun. It discharged during the course of his struggle to regain control of it.

After he regained control, other cops coming on to the scene thought he was a criminal who discharged his handgun, and shot him because he did not comply with their commands. He was in plain clothes and off-duty.

His hand-to-hand or combative skills were not good enough to handle a homeless man with mental health issues.

A good cop with a heart of gold died. Tomorrow we bury him.


An interview with a criminal, who had a broken foot, produced a simple discovery. He broke his ankle from BJJ practice. It was amazing that he was learning novel ways of countering police arrest techniques.

He readily acknowledged that his BJJ techniques only worked on a one-to-one basis and multiples would cause problems for him because of his almost exclusive ground work.

An Aikido technique seemed to catch him off guard. I am sure that he would not be caught like that again.


In a street confrontation, an excited naked martial arts male absorbed 2 Tazerings, broke the Tazer gun, fought with the police officer, disarmed the officer's police baton from his control, tried to strike the officer with this baton, and was almost gun shot.

Three other officers arrived, he was gang tackled on to the ground, and his arms, along with his legs were handcuffed.

Whether he was on drugs, or, was mentally ill, will have to be determined.


It is ironic that the martial arts techniques, that have worked successfully in the street & in combat, have been banned in varying degrees, with police departments.

Choke holds (a/k/a sleeper holds, rear strangle take-downs, sentry take outs, etc...) have killed more people than many other martial arts techniques. The type of choke holds currently being used by the U.S. Military, has deviated from the Vietnam War era technique.

Many Police Departments have basically removed choke holds from their Use of Force policies. It is too dangerous to use because it is readily capable of producing death. It also produces a large number of wrongful death suits.

Another technique that worked successfully in the street & in combat, was irimi nage (a/k/a fish hook, clothesline, etc...). The problem with this technique was that people were having their necks broken and/or developing brain damage from hitting their heads on the ground.


Slapping has almost disappeared from the fighting tool box. I once watched a very dangerous criminal slap cinder block into pieces.

On a drunken spree he slapped a horse and this horse's eye popped out of its socket.

He would slap people on the side of their necks, their faces, the back of their necks, and render them unconscious.


I once watched a group of Asians get into a street fight in Saigon. They started soccer kicking each other on their ankles. A couple of the guys developed broken ankles from this type of kicking.

What made the difference was their shoes. Steel tips, steel heels, and steel insteps built into their dress leather shoes. Where the eyelets for shoes & boots go, were little animal heads laced to their shoes & boots. Their version of a roundhouse kick could leave you with 3 or 4 lion head black & blues for shoes and about a dozen panther heads for boots.

I watched a Frenchman get into a fight on Tu Do Street. He was once a French Foreign Legion Paratrooper who survived Dien Ben Phu and became a Vietnamese National. At that time, I did not realize that he was a spy against the U.S. Military.

He did a unique kick that I forever labeled a French kick. It started looking like a front kick, turned into a roundhouse kick, and ended up a side kick. His shoes also were made of the same stuff as his Asian counter part. What was also unique was his Aikido & Ju Jitsu skills. He was restraining a "Saigon cowboy" who had just taken part in stealing his wallet.


The criminals I have encountered, who really knew how to fight with a knife, usually carried their knives horizontally on their belts.

If grabbed from behind, a vertical scabbard would be very difficult to draw a knife. They also carried more than one knife.

One person, that I remember, had a straight edged razor, a stilletto blade, and a bevel knife. All small, all very dangerous, and all very sharp.

The straight edged razor cut people like a scalpel. The stilletto stabbed through flesh like butter. The bevel knife penetrated the skull.


Fighting extremely large people, and using a martial art that only utilizes striking, would be a martial art doomed for disaster.

If your striking technique, is strong enough to fell an elephant, then I will apologize to you. Otherwise, the elephant will win.

I have seen an elephant trip and fall. He looked just like a human being falling down and tumbling all over the ground.

Aikido is an art that comes closest to felling an elephant. It also works on elephant sized people.


A criminal MMA/UFC wannabe attempted to ground and pound a cop. Little did he know that the cop was good at street fighting 101. When the cop hit the ground, he committed a UFC foul, and applied a finger manipulation against his assailant.

Because of the pain, the criminal hastily decided, to get back on his feet. The cop then did a lightning left jab to his face, followed by a pepper spray, and a subsequent baton strike to his thigh.

Since it appeared to the cop that this criminal was no longer combative, he put away his pepper spray and baton. While attempting to effect an arrest, a new struggle took place.

Lo and behold, the cop used an irimi nage on this guy. The criminal fell down, banged the back of his head, and went to sleep. Obviously, the new generation of fighters, are not learning to fall down correctly.


Street fighting has gone through a radical change. Lately, everyone seems to be going low, and for the one or two leg take down. MMA/UFC has started a new trend with street fighting. Fake to the head, or, try to hit the head, then shoot for the legs.

Fortunately, when they start charging me, when I can no longer see their feet, I start to pivot, and move. This buys me a fraction of a second to reverse packman them.

MMA/UFC still fights by rules. At last count, it is up to 32. Aikido techniques are included, however, they are classified under different names. Aiki Budo (pre-WW II) stuff is in order.


An encounter with a criminal who had a little MMA experience has opened my eyes to a dark side. A significant number of today's criminals, who are bodyguards, have become MMA trained. The true count will never truly be known for some time to come. These criminals either guard people or goods. These goods have been drugs and human trafficking.

Fortunately, Aikido has been taken lightly, and that has been a good thing for myself. The moves and techniques are still foreign to these fighters. It is still a domain that has not been touched by criminals. Too much time and practice involved for people who want instant gratification.


There are many people who study MMA and have very little self discipline. They can't seem to appreciate techniques that require a lengthy period of time to master. Instant gratification and techniques that work right out-of-the-box is all these new breed fighters want to learn.

The mastery of anything requiring years, bows to techniques that requires minutes or hours to master. These techniques place everyone equally on the same playing field. Those who master techniques with a slightly higher degree of mastery will prevail over those people who want instant gratification because these techniques will fall outside of their main stream knowledge.


I had a friendly encounter with a criminal who was an MMA/UFC fighter. He was very strong and did not appear as strong as his physical appearance. As MMA/UFC continues to improve, it will steal all of the best, from all martial arts.

It will be only a question of time, when someone decides to cross-train in Aikido, to carry it over to the ring. Fish hooking or Irimi Nage is out. However, there are other techniques ripe for the taking, if they decide to study Aikido.

Fighters are looking for whatever edge they can have, within the ring. Judo has returned to MMA/UFC in its Sumo form.


The criminal element has shifted his strategy once again. The number of LEOs, have also shifted away from physically restraining this MMA/UFC element, and resorted to Tazers.

The near future appears to be shifting away from martial arts skills to Tazer skills. It requires less training time and skills.

There are even a few cases of people who have survived the first Tazing and succumbed to the second tazing. The bar has been raised.

I have personally witnessed people holding live wires with their hands. One particular avante garde, new wave, MMA/UFC fighter tested himself on a 110 voltage socket and a 220 voltage socket. The 440 voltage socket knocked him into the next century.

This new breed of fighters might be pushing the envelope in a direction that most people never thought about before.


I had a recent friendly technique exchange with a friend who is still in the military. His stand up game is superior to many people. His ground game has improved enough that he only learns whatever it takes to get back on his feet.

While he was telling me about his fool proof methods, while he was on top of me (guard position), I reversed my position, and was on top of him.

Finger manipulations or finger locks still work on people who do not train, using these techniques.


I saw myself on a video tape and finally realized what I looked like utilizing Aikido techniques in a street fight.

It appears that the gracefulness of my techniques only comes into play when I have made contact with my perp. Prior to that moment, I look like an MMA/UFC fighter who is about to pounce.

I guess it will take many years to look graceful while utilizing Aikido during a street fighting.


At 58 years old, Aikido is my choice of a martial art to practice. The days of the traditional striking arts are very near an end. Making people fall down when they attempt to strike you is more appealing these days.

The arthritis in many parts of my body is taking its toll. My numerous war, law enforcement, street fighting, ring fighting, and dojo injuries make Aikido the only safe martial art to practice.

My recent attempt at boxing (my former love) clearly demonstrated that it was an art for those young at heart and in body. The pain lasted weeks, rather than the usual couple of days. It wasn't that I was being beaten, because I wasn't. There is no way to box without getting hit.


While sparring with a young warrior, he forgot the rules of aikido randori, and kicked me with a Thai kick to my leg. It dropped me like a California red wood tree felled by a Pacific coast lumberjack.

He was sorry, however, I should have known better. Frustration makes young warriors cheat by using techniques outside of the accepted rules.

I should have been more aware, of all techniques being used during randori, instead of aikido only techniques.


I am going to say a bit of Aikido Blasphemy. I find that there is no way to use pure Aikido in a street confrontation because of the great unpredictability of any street fighting encounter.

Atemi with Aikido is an essential bonding of street usable Aikido.

I had another uncooperative LEO student who wished to prove that I could not restrain him with an Aikido technique. A backfist to his nose-groin-nose loosened him up for a nice Oshi Taoshi.

Nothing too fancy. Maybe a little crude. However, effective.


There will always be old school martial arts (Traditional) that will survive new school martial arts (MMA/UFC). New school martial arts involve instant gratification right out of the box. Old school martial arts requires long term gratification. New school martial arts is still stealing from old school martial arts. Judo recently made an in-road with new school martial arts.

There are many old school martial arts techniques that will require time to master. Body part conditioning requires time to develop. Muscle memory requires time to remember old school martial arts techniques.


The Aikido that many people aspire to achieve is something like the U.S. Constitution. You strive to achieve excellance, however, you come up short of the expectations.

It would be great to have a pure Aikido street encounter, however, I don't think that the street criminals want to harmonize with me.

I still find that Aikido techniques work quite well in the street. It is just a question of modifying techniques so that my uncooperating Uke will receive the full benefit from my techniques.

They do not fall high. They tend to fall low. Their landings are closely related to skid landings. They don't really know how to fall.


Falling backwards disorients most people. That is why landings vary in regards to safe landings versus crash landings. This is the reason why people have head injuries.

People falling forwards can see the ground and react much better. Mostly hands or arms are broken. This is where skid landings are more frequent.

Practicing with psychos should only be a rare encounter. Practicing with a psycho can only produce serious injuries because that is what the psycho wants to accomplish. There is no blending or harmonizing involved.

When you wish to practice with the psycho, maintaining calmness throughout the alternating Aikido Crash Testing Dummy Method, may be the only thing that gives you an edge. Your skills have to be instinctive.

Losing focus in the midst of psycho training will get you hospitalized. Next month, I will be going to the hospital for a little knee surgery. I lost my focus with my very young and way stronger psycho partner.


I have witnessed 3 separate Tazings, that had bad results, and have come to an unscientific conclusion.

These 3 Tazings clearly demonstrated that if you had a sinewy body, you were extremely stronger than average, you were emotionally disturbed, and on some kind of illegal drug, then Tazings would have little or no effect on you.

Tazing #1 - The first line shot into him had no effect, however, the second line shot into him (tandem) did work.

Tazing #2 - The one and only line shot into him, after being gang tackled by 11 police officers, only produced collaterally shocked officers who were in contact with his sweaty body, and a derogatory comment. He stated, "it only made his ---- harder!"

Tazing #3 - Six separate Tazer lines were shot into him, as he picked up a medium sized motorcycle, in an attempt to throw it at the officers.

Unscientific Conclusion: When fighting a Tiger, have a plan for his teeth!

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