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aiki03
07-21-2006, 01:30 PM
I have a question.

First off, I do not live under a bridge - lol
Secondly, I'm just curious and I don't mean to project a message of "Aikido is not a good Martial Art".

That being said, here are my questions:

Do you ever think (being an Aikidoka) that you might (in a self defense situation) end up fighting on the ground?
If not, Why?
If so, what do you do about this?
Does Aikido provide any tools for this situation, or do you look to other arts for the answer to this situation?
If Aikido provides those tools, please explain..

Thankyou very much.

gdandscompserv
07-21-2006, 01:42 PM
I have a question.

First off, I do not live under a bridge - lol
Secondly, I'm just curious and I don't mean to project a message of "Aikido is not a good Martial Art".

That being said, here are my questions:

Do you ever think (being an Aikidoka) that you might (in a self defense situation) end up fighting on the ground?
I think my being an Aikidoka makes me less prone to end up fighting at all.
I am hoping to never end up fighting "on the ground" or "in the air"! :D

aiki03
07-21-2006, 01:46 PM
I thought someone was going to respond with that answer.
Please, I would like to know the answer in regards to self defense in a confrontation where you are being attacked physically and you are ground fighting, not standing up fighting, but ground fighting.

gdandscompserv
07-21-2006, 01:49 PM
would this pretend assailant be armed?

Ron Tisdale
07-21-2006, 01:50 PM
If you look at the bottom of this page, you will see a section entitled Similar threads. Also, you can use the search feature. Your question is very general, so it would be hard to answer without writing a tome. But, here are a few quick thoughts:

Do you ever think (being an Aikidoka) that you might (in a self defense situation) end up fighting on the ground?

Yes, anything could happen.
If so, what do you do about this?
A) the best you can
B) Depends on the situation
C) If someone attempted a wrestling double or single leg take down, I would probably use a combination of a sprawl and a 45 degree pivot, combined with controling their head, check for multiple opponants, if none, and the ground is not too uncomfortable a surface, drop all the way to my knees and use suwari waza (kneeling techniques). Rather than risk giving them a dramatic takedown and superior position. My wrestling days are long over.

Does Aikido provide any tools for this situation, or do you look to other arts for the answer to this situation?
I know many people who do bjj as well as aikido...some dojo actually have separate classes in bjj available to their aikido students.

If Aikido provides those tools, please explain..
See above.

Best,
Ron

Adam Alexander
07-21-2006, 02:03 PM
I have a question.

First off, I do not live under a bridge - lol
Secondly, I'm just curious and I don't mean to project a message of "Aikido is not a good Martial Art".

That being said, here are my questions:

Do you ever think (being an Aikidoka) that you might (in a self defense situation) end up fighting on the ground?
If not, Why?
If so, what do you do about this?
Does Aikido provide any tools for this situation, or do you look to other arts for the answer to this situation?
If Aikido provides those tools, please explain..

Thankyou very much.

I tested myself (basically on a challenge that I was immature enough to take up;)).

1)Yoshokai seems to be implementing/exposing quite a bit of ground work in their style. I've seen some of it. I would say that it's simply demonstrating on the ground what they do on their feet.

2)During my challenge, the only time I could be taken down is when I allowed people to get hold of me. That took great effort on my part because I kept getting hold of fingers. Also, since I was so limited in the range of atemi in a "sparring" environment and limited on techniques I could use (it's not like I could grab anyone and take them on a first-control 180-- they didn't train to take that safely) I'd just let them grab me and go from there.

My Aikido made it amazingly difficult for anyone to take me down before I was totally exhausted (except for a BEAUTIFUL throw that I'll always be thankful for from a guy that weighed about fifty lbs less and half a foot shorter than me).

I CONSTANTLY had to hold back from exploiting openings.

When on the ground, it was the same. My Aikido kept me out of danger zones and it kept me in a position of control--the fundamentals were identical.

To answer your questions:

I don't know if I'll ever be on the ground or not. Maybe someone will creep into my house one night and be on me before I wake up.

Head-to-head or a couple-heads-to-me, I don't know for sure--there's no way to know--but I feel pretty good about staying on my feet.

The why: Because in the process of going to the ground, there's just too many openings that can be exploited.

I hear groundfighters laugh about the "I'll stick my finger in their eye" type responses. However, when you lean towards someone to grab them, you are dead. You've given your center. When you extend your arms, you've given away a lever.


I believe, in the way we train, there is an answer for everything. This opinion varies from others, take it or leave it. I tested it for myself. I found it to be true.


I hope that helps.


BTW: I suspect that your line of question--in consideration of another thread-- is motivated by what seems to be the natural tendency of martial artists not to trust the technique. Just my opinion, but I've found that Aikido is what you--the practitioner--make it. A fifty yr. old woman is going to find a different Aikido than the twenty yr. old bouncer. Aikido will fit what ever opening in your life you have--whether techniques for a given situation, social outlet, intellectual challenge, emotional fulfillment, etc. It's all there...but, in that respect, that's true of everything...If you wish typing on your keyboard to become those things, all you have to do is look for it.


BTW: The above "challenge" involved getting it on with between twenty to thirty guys of various levels--low kyu to third or fourth dan--all weights, all heights. It was a lot of fun and very informative.

Aristeia
07-21-2006, 04:44 PM
Yes, if you are interested in the self defence aspect of martial arts you need to address the quetion of ground fighting. It may be possible to make some use of Aikido fundamentals on the ground, but only in the sames sense that it may be possible to use some things from an aerobics class in a boxing match.

In other words there are better quicker ways to gain competency - while continuing to use Aiki principals.
six months or so of good BJJ training will be enough for you to tick this box against the average assailant (i.e. give you some skills to control position and regain your feet).
Or you could do Aikido for 10 years for a much less return in terms of ground fighting (although countless other benefits).

So if you are concerned about self defence, do BJJ (or newaza focused Judo at a pinch, or wrestling) for a while alongside your aikido. Just be prepared for the fact that it is addictive and you may not want to stop after 12 months.

Faith Hansen
07-21-2006, 09:32 PM
In my dojo our Sensei teaches us ground defense. In fact the majority of our tests require ground defense. He trains us to be able to defend ourselves against other arts if needed. Its really nice to know. After I test for my shodan in September I am going to take up some BJJ classes myself (My sensei co-teaches them) to enhance my ground technique. I know ground isn't good for multiple attackers, but in the case that I am taken down I want to be able to have a fighting chance of getting back up.

I do believe that it is good to have some working knowledge of ground defense because even if you are an excellent Aikidoka you cannot assume you will never ever be taken down.

Just my two or three cents.

:D Faeth :D

xuzen
07-21-2006, 11:36 PM
That being said, here are my questions:
Do you ever think (being an Aikidoka) that you might (in a self defense situation) end up fighting on the ground?
Probably. On the street, anything can happen. Sometimes people may even grab a dog's tail and swing it at you, you have to be prepared for all contingencies you know.

If so, what do you do about this?
Anti-Canine Defense, ACD (TM) and Judo if you have time and money.

Does Aikido provide any tools for this situation, or do you look to other arts for the answer to this situation?
I look elsewhere for things that aikido do not provide. I do not ask my dentist for tax related question.

Thank you very much.
I try my best.

Boon.

RoyK
07-22-2006, 12:39 AM
I agree that on the street "anything can happen" but ending on the ground is a really bad idea on the street, and if all you know is BJJ, that's exactly where you'll try to be.
Why is it a bad idea.. Because in the street your opponent might have a knife. and if you're in "guard", which is good for sparring, it's not good at all to avoid a stab. If he has friends around, and ur on "Mount", or doing Juje Gatami, you're still in big trouble. Running away when ur in full contact is hard.
And how're u gonna end the battle, with him tapping on the floor? Wouldn' it be nicer to send him flying towards a cement wall?

While useful in sparring, I think that in a real life situation you'd want to stay up as much as possilble.

That said, I too trained a bit in BJJ, and I too found that if that's your concern, 6 months to a year of BJJ will give you enough tools to handle almost every groundwork situation.

RoyK
07-22-2006, 12:46 AM
Oh I just realized that's not what you asked at all :/

uhmm, when training in BJJ, I found that some Aikido techniques are handy, and some aren't (like Kotegaeshi is hard to do when ur so close to a person), but u know when u start the sparring ur not on the ground right away, and that's when aikido helps you to get the upper hand, right when the battle starts.

statisticool
07-22-2006, 05:00 AM
if you don't train the ground, will you be prepared for it?

if you do train the ground, will you be prepared for weapons or multiple opponents?

Aristeia
07-22-2006, 05:03 AM
and if you're in "guard", which is good for sparring, it's not good at all to avoid a stab. firstly no one's advocating that the OP only do BJJ, but I think you figured that out.

Secondly if you're on the ground and he's got knife - how would you avoid getting stabbed?

DonMagee
07-22-2006, 04:05 PM
firstly no one's advocating that the OP only do BJJ, but I think you figured that out.

Secondly if you're on the ground and he's got knife - how would you avoid getting stabbed?

The same way you avoid getting stabbed while standing, attempt to control the knife hand.

I've found that a lot of people open themselves up to wristlocks on in ground fighting. While they wont end the fight, they give you space to move your hips and get to a better position (or escape and stand up if this is the street). I've rolled with small joint manipulation allowed and once I had a new guy attempt to eye gouge me. As long as you can maintain the superior position you are mostly safe from harm. The problem with most bjj guys is they will sit in their guard. This is good for bjj competition, but bad for mma and 'the street'. But if you can maintain a superior position then you are safe from your attacker, and most likely can stand up and escape.

The biggest thing to remember is to move off the line, learn how to sprawl just in case, and control the head of your attacker. If you can keep that in mind you and you go to the ground you have a good chance of being the one in the superior position, which will let you get where you want to be faster.

kaishaku
07-22-2006, 08:54 PM
Bridge and roll!

Aristeia
07-22-2006, 10:05 PM
Bridge and roll!from guard?

Aristeia
07-22-2006, 10:06 PM
The same way you avoid getting stabbed while standing, attempt to control the knife hand.

I've found that a lot of people open themselves up to wristlocks on in ground fighting. While they wont end the fight, they give you space to move your hips and get to a better position (or escape and stand up if this is the street). I've rolled with small joint manipulation allowed and once I had a new guy attempt to eye gouge me. As long as you can maintain the superior position you are mostly safe from harm. The problem with most bjj guys is they will sit in their guard. This is good for bjj competition, but bad for mma and 'the street'. But if you can maintain a superior position then you are safe from your attacker, and most likely can stand up and escape.

The biggest thing to remember is to move off the line, learn how to sprawl just in case, and control the head of your attacker. If you can keep that in mind you and you go to the ground you have a good chance of being the one in the superior position, which will let you get where you want to be faster.I would venture that not much about basic BJJ strategy would change *other than* more of an emphasis on top game. In otherwords, if you're ont he bottom, guard is still your first point of call, control the body, try and lockdown the hand with the weapon, try and hit a sweep. Or kick them away and disengage back to your feet.

kaishaku
07-22-2006, 11:26 PM
from guard?

Whose guard? Either way, sit up and do some suwariwaza, if Aiki is your specialty. The thing that really needs to be practiced is escapes.

Aristeia
07-23-2006, 12:29 AM
bridge and roll don't make alot of sense from anyone's guard. Hence my confusion given we were talking about guard.

Suwari waza is not a viable form of ground fighting. It's an exercise to improve tachi waza.

RoyK
07-23-2006, 05:51 AM
Michael, let me rephrase my argument, which doesn't clash with yours at all.
What I meant is that from my limited experience in BJJ and watching BJJ fights, a ground fighter will try to get his opponent to the ground. Which on the street is not always the best idea.

If you end up on the ground because your opponent threw you or you tripped or something, there's no question that BJJ skills may save your life.

ian
07-23-2006, 06:07 AM
I have been thrown in a real fight (rolled back onto my feet), but in another fight I have been tackled (trying to run-away from multiple attack - I do not recommend running away for this reason!) and ended up on the ground resulting in a very scappy situation.

I don't think aikido gives you any ground-fighting capabilities. Although 'wrist-locks' can be applied, usually the action is too fast from a prone position. Indeed I think a large amount of 'ground-work' in traditional martial arts is rubbish. Fitness , aggression and determination is a prime requist for survival in this position.

I would say aikido does help to prevent you from going onto the ground, but I assume traditionally the idea was that if you were on the ground you were as good as dead. Eye gouging is probably one of the better techniques from this position (but, obviously illegal in sport wrestling/NHB).

Jorge Garcia
07-23-2006, 07:18 AM
I don't think Aikido practitioners need to worry about knowing BJJ or Judo. They need to worry about learning to keep their centers while they do Aikido. That's the training that will save their lives.
1) If you stay safe , make wise decisions, and use your common sense, you should never be in a fight in your whole life. That's what many 70+ men have told me. I am 50 years old. I came from a neighborhood where there were fights every day, and there, I learned to stay out of fights- not get into them.
2) Per chance if I was attacked, the chances of a BJJ man attacking me are so statistically slim, that it almost has no chance of happening. I have no fear of a good Judo man or BJJ man attacking me. I am 50 years old and it hasn't happened yet. In fact, I have never been attacked by another martial artist at all.
3) I have seen plenty of fights growing up and they were all street fights and I never saw a person fighting on the ground except for the one who had been knocked out (he was down there alone) or the one that the gang was kicking ( he also was down there alone). Street fighters stay off the ground if they expect to win. The ground means you have lost your fight. The ground in the streets is not an objective you train for. Their buddies always make the ground a place where 9 people kick you - not a place where you fantasize you will win, one on one.
4) Swazi waza is a training to keep your center. In our dojo, if a person can be pushed over in swari waza, we do it. I had a big guy try to push me over yesterday and just for fun (I am the teacher) I took him down and told him to get me off of him. He struggled for 5 minutes and couldn't do it. I laid on him, pinned him in various ways, shifted my weight and he couldn't get me off or hit me. There I was, a person with no Judo or BJJ training and another normal person couldn't get me off of him. That says to me my current training is sufficient. If I am attacked by a BJJ Man, it will just have to be my tough luck. If train for that, I might as well train for a 7 ft, 500 pound man attacking me or maybe I could train for a Krav Maga spy killer attacking me.

My point is that no one can train for every conceivable situation. To try to do so is to dilute your training because of limited time to train in everything for everything.The idea of being able to train for every situation is an impossible fantasy and a self delusion (with all due respect).

5) "Ninety percent of all fights end up on the ground" Can someone give me the scientific research for that statistic. I am not talking about the MMA, UFC or any sport art or contest. I am talking about 90% of all the fights. Who was there at "all the fights"?!!
That's a statistic that can't be proven.
I think that would not mean that 90% of all Aikido practitioners of at least 10 years training could be taken down by an average Joe. If you are attacked once in your life, you have a good chance (since it will be so rare), of having significant Aikido training by then. Your chances are almost 90% that attack will occur by an average person with no martial arts training (stay out of my barrio at night!) so I say you will be able to stay up if you keep your center.
I return to my original statement.
I don't think Aikido practitioners need to worry about knowing BJJ or Judo. They need to worry about learning to keep their centers while they do Aikido. That's the training that will save their lives.

Finally, if all this fails to convince, I need all the BJJ people on this board to describe the last legitimate real fight or attack you had, unrehearsed and unplanned,( a real street attack) describe how you ended up on the ground and how you defended yourself with BJJ . With all this training for the ground, it must surely happen a lot. :)


Thanks for putting up with me. I feel better now. Back to my normal life.
With a little "tongue in cheek",

gdandscompserv
07-23-2006, 09:35 AM
I think Ryan went back under his bridge. (lol)

Aristeia
07-23-2006, 01:54 PM
Jorge - you're somewhat missing the point.
Before I get intot that though - the 90% of fights go to ground statistic probably comes from a study of altercations with police officers (and I beleive the figure has been inflated over time) - so yeah it's skewed as that's where the cops will be looking to take you.

Having said that, learning good ground defence isn 't about "what if I get attacked by a BJJer" It's not about "I want to take this street fight to the ground". It's about what do I do when it goes there against my will. Saying "i'll just stay on my feet" is the ostrich defence.

the interesting thing in hindsight about the first UFCs whas not how easily Royce won (that seems obvious in hindsight), but how even when there were two standup fighters in the cage, *both* of whom *wanted* to stay on their feet - it *still* went to the ground.

So having basic ground defence isn't about "training for every conceivable situation" it's about training for a very common one. Even if it's just enough to escape an inferior position, sweep, take top position, go to knee ride.

Much of your other arguments can be directed straight back at Aikido. How many aikidoka have been in a fight and used their techniques. Very few. Does that mean they should stop training? No because in terms of the martial aspect of what we do we train for the eventuality that we need it.

And remember that the OP was talking specifically about self defence application. No self defence program is complete without a workable ground component.

statisticool
07-23-2006, 03:29 PM
the interesting thing in hindsight about the first UFCs whas not how easily Royce won (that seems obvious in hindsight), but how even when there were two standup fighters in the cage, *both* of whom *wanted* to stay on their feet - it *still* went to the ground.


A safe environment, no possibility of weapons, of multiple attackers, a (relatively) cushy landing area to fall on, and getting paid for it, I don't blame them. :) And there have been fixes in sports/entertainment, and we never see the contracts, so putting all the above together I have a hard time seeing how UFC-ish events extrapolate to real life self defense situations.

Ketsan
07-23-2006, 07:43 PM
A safe environment, no possibility of weapons, of multiple attackers, a (relatively) cushy landing area to fall on, and getting paid for it, I don't blame them. :) And there have been fixes in sports/entertainment, and we never see the contracts, so putting all the above together I have a hard time seeing how UFC-ish events extrapolate to real life self defense situations.


I can't say I've ever been impressed by the UFC, actually I find it frustrating to watch. A lot seems to be made of the ground work but every time I watch a fight (and I watch them a lot) the sum total of the ground work seems to be a guy on his back desperately holding his attacker in place with his legs as he gets repeatedly punched and elbowed.
Occasionally the guy on the bottom decides to roll over, usually without realising that the guy on top is immediately going to wet himself with excitement as he goes for a rear naked choke. This being obvious I always wonder why the people on the bottom seldom try to defend against it. I mean I do Judo for fun and I manage not to get choked from that kind of situation and I've been training for 1 hour a week for about 6 weeks and that's without half the tools available to people in the UFC. Every time I go for a rear naked choke they tuck their chin in or get an arm in the way, at which point I cut up shomen and strangle them anyway but at least they're making an effort. :D

Then there’s the issue of how they get to the ground in the first place. The majority of the time its because one guy has thrown himself at the other. The other guy for his part usually just stands there and lets him do it. Every time I see it I'm like "f***king move". Drives me insane, honestly if you claim to be a martial artist you should at least be able to move 1.5 meters in less than a second. Fling yourself into a roll if need be. The rest of the time they get taken down its because after spending 2-3 minutes hugging, the pair of them trip over one another and come crashing to the floor. Now if I hugged my Judo instructor I'm pretty certain my ass would end up getting thrown, gi or no gi. There are ways of throwing people from this, but you only see it even attempted in the UFC only maybe once in 20 fights. The best takedowns belong in the Darwin Awards. People that break the golden rule of kicking, don't kick too high otherwise you're as likely to put your own behind on the floor as you are the other guys. They should train on an unsprung wooden floor (I'm thinking solid wood blocks) like I did in TKD, landing on your coccyx a couple of times gets you out of the habit of making big flashy kicks.

Jorge Garcia
07-23-2006, 09:08 PM
Much of your other arguments can be directed straight back at Aikido. How many aikidoka have been in a fight and used their techniques.

In 1972, I had a 10 minute fight and I never went to the ground. Neither did he but he left with a broken arm. In January of 2004, a fitness instructor from the YMCA weight room (who was later fired for insubordination) said he didn't think Aikido worked. He asked if he could test me so I said ok. He came at me hard 7 times. Three times from the front and four times from behind and I put him on the ground 7 times. He signed up and became my student.
In that first year, I didn't have anyone that knew Aikido so I had a to use a Judo practitioner as my uke to demonstrate techniques. He didn't understand what we were doing so every time he attacked me and I tried to execute a technique, he always tried to counter me or to get away from my pins. I would just henka waza or kaeshi waza and he would have to tap out every time. He also stayed on for a year.
Recently, I had one of my students who is a long time Judo practitioner ask if he could try to escape my technique. I said sure so even knowing what I was going to do, I put him on the ground twice and he was unable to escape. I had to henka twice on him but when I asked him what happened, he said, " You did the kotegaeshi too fast on me and the pain made me give up."

When my son was a teenager, he was attacked from behind by a full grown man on the streets of Houston trying to mug him in a robbery attempt. He came home from his job at the local Blockbuster Video holding his shirt that was torn right off his back. He said the man pulled him so hard that the shirt tore off of him as he was falling backwards. My son managed to catch him a sankyo and come up standing with a back roll and then applied the hold with all his might. He left the man writhing in pain on the ground. He said he could still hear him screaming blocks away. We saw the man about a week later walking near that same spot. He had a full cast on his arm and he appeared to be limping somewhat.

So far, our Ostrich defense seems to be working pretty good.I think we'll call it the "MF Ostrich defense" in your honor.

By the way, in the last two years, I have had 4 Karate instructors with their own dojos as my students, I have had Judo men and all other stripes of martial artists but none have come away saying that our Aikido needed some help from BJJ. I don't think Karate, Judo, Daito ryu or anything else needs help from BJJ. If the martial artists is competent, he'll be ok. I think we're looking at a sort of martial arts triumphalism going on when we fantasize that our art is the key or that any series and combination of arts will make us superior. I just can't buy that argument.
If you are a good BJJ man, then love your art and practice it but get off the high horse and come on back to earth. We can all still be friends. I don't need to tell anyone they need Aikido to make sure they are fully prepared for anything. That's abit too much. Around here, I don't teach Aikido for self defense anyway, we're doing Japanese budo but Aikido is still all the self defense we'll ever need if we just use the Funakoshi rule of personal self defense.

I'm on to other threads now. I've said my part in this. Thanks guys for all the private pm's and support.
Best wishes,

Aristeia
07-24-2006, 01:34 AM
So your extrapolating from 4 examples, half of which were real world to say "if you're interested in self defence ground defence is not necessary"?. What about the learning curve? No benefit in using a quick solution to shore up your defence before you reach that magical moment when your aikido will keep you on your feet?

I'm simply saying - if self defence is what the guy is looking for, he should be prepared in all ranges and for eventualities. It may well be he doesn't know he's in a fight till he hits the ground. I'm not even saying he should do BJJ for that - there's judo, wrestling etc.

But when someone asks "I'm interested in self defence should i learn something on the ground" then "no aikido will ensure you never get there" is not an honest response.

I also agree that there are many and plentiful reasons for doing aikido that are not focused on self defence. I think that's why most Aikidoka practice - few do it primarily for the ability to fight imo. I also beleive that it can be an extremely effective form of self defence when it is done well.

I just don't believe it has good answers to problems on the ground. And that is a gap that can easily be filled elsewhere.

Aristeia
07-24-2006, 01:43 AM
I can't say I've ever been impressed by the UFC, actually I find it frustrating to watch. A lot seems to be made of the ground work but every time I watch a fight (and I watch them a lot) the sum total of the ground work seems to be a guy on his back desperately holding his attacker in place with his legs as he gets repeatedly punched and elbowed.

Don't know what you're watching, but on recent events I've seen armbars, triangles, sweeps, even an omoplata attempt that came pretty close.

Occasionally the guy on the bottom decides to roll over, usually without realising that the guy on top is immediately going to wet himself with excitement as he goes for a rear naked choke.

No, guys at UFC level know that's exactly what's going to happen. But they figure they have more of a chance defending that than the elbows. Tell me are people throwing full power elbows at you in judo class? And again don't know what events you're watching because I regularly see guys defend against the rear naked choke. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't



Then there's the issue of how they get to the ground in the first place. The majority of the time its because one guy has thrown himself at the other. The other guy for his part usually just stands there and lets him do it. Every time I see it I'm like "f***king move". Drives me insane, honestly if you claim to be a martial artist you should at least be able to move 1.5 meters in less than a second. Fling yourself into a roll if need be.

Tell ya what, how bout you go fight in a few MMA events and then come back and tell us how people should just move out of the way of a takedown from Ortiz or Hughes. Have you considered that you may not be giving full appreciation to the setups they use before they start the takedown?
It's pretty easy from the couch though huh.

The rest of the time they get taken down its because after spending 2-3 minutes hugging, the pair of them trip over one another and come crashing to the floor.

yeah that's right, they just by chance trip over each other. Nope no technique going on there, no skill. Can't be because it doesn't look like what the guys in the nice white gi's do.

Now if I hugged my Judo instructor I'm pretty certain my ass would end up getting thrown, gi or no gi.. I've no doubt it would. Just as I've no doubt that if Couture or Liddell hugged your judo instructore they wouldn't be going anywhere if they didn't want to There are ways of throwing people from this, but you only see it even attempted in the UFC only maybe once in 20 fights.
And why do you think that is hmmmm?

Chuck.Gordon
07-24-2006, 05:34 AM
1) If you stay safe , make wise decisions, and use your common sense, you should never be in a fight in your whole life ... I learned to stay out of fights- not get into them.

Exactly. Therein lies the wise man's first line of defense.

5) "Ninety percent of all fights end up on the ground" Can someone give me the scientific research for that statistic.

It's McDojo McMyth. The original study was concerning police officers and arrest tactics. The study (UCLA, maybe?) was done to figure out why so many cops were getting banged up whilst apprehending perps. It found that something like 70-75 percent of all police apprehensions IN THAT STUDY went to the ground.

Somehow or other, it got blown all out of proportion and morphed all the hell over the place. Bottom line is this: There's no proof that very many (non-police related, anyway, and if you get tackled by a cop, chances are you did something to bring it on ...) assaults go to the ground. Some do, certainly. How many of those attackers are BJJ or judo newaza trained?

Best defense? Don't be there.

cg

Chuck.Gordon
07-24-2006, 05:41 AM
For most folks, the only reason to do newaza or BJJ type training is the same reason they do aikido or kendo or whatever: it's fun!

Newaza is a great tool to explore and play with (and yes, aikido principles do apply and can be used nicely, though the maai is greatly changed and movement is far more restricted). Look here for a bunch of aiki folks (and me and a judo guy) doing newaza recently at an aikido list gathering:

http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b347/cgordon/June%2006/Indiana/.

If you like it, fine. If you don't, do something else.

The number of folks in most dojo of ANY kind who ever really NEED the self defense aspects of what they're studying is really slim.

Unless the student is an LEO or in the military, chances are reduced dramatically.

statisticool
07-24-2006, 05:49 AM
Michael Fooks wrote:


How many aikidoka have been in a fight and used their techniques.


http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives/2002/sep/clmn_0902_bcorner.html

is a good read.

statisticool
07-24-2006, 05:56 AM
It's McDojo McMyth. The original study was concerning police officers and arrest tactics. The study (UCLA, maybe?) was done to figure out why so many cops were getting banged up whilst apprehending perps. It found that something like 70-75 percent of all police apprehensions IN THAT STUDY went to the ground.

Somehow or other, it got blown all out of proportion and morphed all the hell over the place. Bottom line is this: There's no proof that very many (non-police related, anyway, and if you get tackled by a cop, chances are you did something to bring it on ...) assaults go to the ground. Some do, certainly.

Loren Christensen was a policeman in Portland, OR, for many, many years. I believe I remember reading that in one of his books he says that his real life fights rarely went to the ground.

Anyone else remember that or know the book?

DonMagee
07-24-2006, 07:07 AM
Before I even took judo or bjj every single fight I've ever been in has gone to the ground. Why? Because I grew up in a small town where the biggest sport was wrestling. Everyone in my town was either 1) an outcast, 2) a wrestler, or 3) a football player and a wrestler.

I still remember my first 'fight' outside of high school. I was 17 or 18, black belt in TKD. I was at a local pool hall in town. Somehow I upset this guy. He was smaller then I was. I never found out what I did that upset him. While I was taking my shot he wrapped me up and slammed me across the table behind me. I had a moment of blackness then woke up with a guy on top of me punching me. My friends grabbed him and pulled him up and told him to fight fair. I got up and we engaged. I threw a kick to the mid-section and he darted under my leg picked me up and slammed me again. I woke up in a ambulance. My friends said they pulled him off by the slam had knocked me out and the shop owner had called the police and ambulance.

I have a multitude of these storys as a teenager and young bar hopping adult. Now that I am no longer a bar hopping college kid I have not been in a fight outside of competition. I didn't loose all of them, but in every single one of them I ended up on the ground. I was robbed in chicago once and ended up on the ground. Luckly my friends came out of the bar just in time to help me. The guy came up to me asking for money. I told him no and started to walk around him, he grabbed my arm, I pulled away which lead to a clinch type senario. I started kneeing him in the chest and he managed to throw me and him down to the ground. Then he got on top and started trying to punch me. My friends came out of the bar at that time and started kicking him.

Beyond that the ground sometimes just happens. If you clinch with me and I attempt to throw you and fail, either a) i'm now on the ground, or b) we are both now on the ground. Again, i'm on the ground. I'm not saying everyone needs to know bjj. But I am saying everyone needs to know a) how to stand up safely. And b) how to move on the ground as to allow themselves to stand up safely. You dont need to be a master and throw armbars, and omaplatas. Just so simple positioning skills to learn how to get back to your comfort zone. Otherwise you are going to be stuck playing the other persons game. Clinching is a natural response and falling down usually comes right after clinching. So the best place to start for ground defense is to learn how to deal with a clinch.

Jorge Garcia
07-24-2006, 07:27 AM
Exactly. Therein lies the wise man's first line of defense.



It's McDojo McMyth. The original study was concerning police officers and arrest tactics. The study (UCLA, maybe?) was done to figure out why so many cops were getting banged up whilst apprehending perps. It found that something like 70-75 percent of all police apprehensions IN THAT STUDY went to the ground.

Somehow or other, it got blown all out of proportion and morphed all the hell over the place. Bottom line is this: There's no proof that very many (non-police related, anyway, and if you get tackled by a cop, chances are you did something to bring it on ...) assaults go to the ground. Some do, certainly. How many of those attackers are BJJ or judo newaza trained?

Best defense? Don't be there.

cg

This is a great post Chuck. It is my real point. By the way, I have been watching a lot of Cops shows recently. They are all over the cable channels nowadays. Have you ever noticed how close those law enforcement officers stand to the suspects they pull over when they are talking to them? It always gives me the hebegeebees to see a lone officer standing at the back of a car with two guys he just pulled over and both of those guys are within a foot and a half of him!. I see that over and over. I wonder about the training they get. Is that because they want to handcuff them and they think they need to be close? Inevitably, in those cases, the suspect decides to make a break for it and attacks the cop trying to get his gun. Who wouldn't? The gun is right there. They always start wrestling because the suspect goes for the gun and the cop is off balance because he is trying to hold his gun and then they both go down. Most of those cops are out of shape, wearing heavy gear, belt, gun, boots, while the suspect is in a T shirt and tennis shoes. No wonder they go down. If that statistic came from a study of cops, that's a bogus statistic for sure.

Best wishes,

DonMagee
07-24-2006, 09:25 AM
Most of those cops are out of shape, wearing heavy gear, belt, gun, boots, while the suspect is in a T shirt and tennis shoes.


That is also a good point. There is no substitute for fitness. I wish more martial artists would realize this.

If anyone was serious about self defense, there first thing they would do is put the burger down and go lose some weight.

jonreading
07-24-2006, 11:17 AM
In a fight, the ground is where you go to die (both literally and figuratively). Animals use the ground to kill their prey. Predators chases their prey, knock them down, then kill them. Humans are a rare exception to predators because tools allow us to kill instantly and without effort. In a world of UFC and other sports, fighters are trained to ignore their human instinct which should be screaming, "get on your feet!!!" Sports helps humans built false confidence in predatory abilities. Sports also build tolerance to natural fears and instincts that have kept humans alive for thousands of years.

The last time I watched Discovery channel, when the lion knocked the wildabeast down, the wildabeast didn't flip into a guard position - it tried desperately to get to its feet and run away. Of course, other lions jumped on the wildabeast when it was on the ground and killed it, which means fleeing didn't work too well either...

Groundwork is a necessary tool in completing a predatory action. When two combatants are on the ground, the question is, "who is the predator?" If you are not capable of answering that question affirmatively, the decision to be on the ground was a poor one. If the decision was made by your opponents, then you are prey in a predatory activity.

Aikido is not designed for groundwork, it was designed for battle; multiple opponents, weapons, and mobility. None of these circumstances are favorable for ground fighting. If presented with the opportunity to fight on the ground, I would choose not to AS IF MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. Do you think gazelle argue, "well, if the lion knocked me down, I guess I could do something..."?

I try to add humor to this post, but I grow concerned when I hear talk that removes the underlying urgency and danger inherent in ground fighting. You are fighting for your life on the ground. You will either subdue your opponent or you will be subdued by your opponent.

DonMagee
07-24-2006, 11:28 AM
The questions are:

Are you trained well enough to get back up when your on the ground and a guy is on top of you raining down the blows?

Are you trained well enough to never get taken down?

Actually Jon makes a good point. If someone wants to kill you with their bare hands, they dont jump around boxing, then take you down, sit on your chest and choke/beat you until they feel safe enough to stand up and kick you in the head over and over until they are satisfied you are dead. Are you prepared to deal with someone like that? Self defense and battle defense can be the same, but they can be different too. To say, "We are for multiple attackers and weapons, we dont deal with one guy trying to sit on your chest and pound your head in", is fine, but what happens when you meet a guy who tries to sit on your chest and pound your head in?

Speaking of animals, my cats know how to pull guard. My black cat will pull guard on the black and white cat and sweep it to the mount then submit it with a bite on the neck when they fight over food.

ChrisHein
07-24-2006, 11:44 AM
It all depends on who you are fighting on the ground. If you are unfortunate enough to end up fighting someone with ground experience (Someone with a year or so of: MMA, BJJ, Western Wrestling, etc.) then you are going to lose, Aikido will not help you defeat someone trained in a ground fighting system, if you fight them on the ground, while unarmed. Now if you are fighting and untrained person, who ever is bigger, or meaner between you two will likely win, just like all other animals, the bigger and meaner ones win when all other factors are equal. How likely are you to end up in a fight with a person trained in ground fighting, well it depends on where you live, and the crowd you run with.

What I'm getting at here is; this is a loaded question. If you mean to ask does Aikido teach ground fighting methods, the answer is no, it does not. If you want ground fighting ability, you should train in a ground fighting system. If you are required to regularly engage in physical confrontation, Aikido shouldn't be your only form of training.

-Chris Hein

Kevin Leavitt
07-24-2006, 12:21 PM
Correct Chris,

Aikido is designed to teach the principles of aikido or aikibudo. So it is perfect for teaching that. Why do we constantly lose focus on it. The fact that it is associated with martial arts is really a side bar. For some reason we get so fixed on the martial skills that are really ancillary to learning budo and then we have that whole dissonance thing start happening and we start using our aikido filter to judge "real fights" "cop fights" and all that stuff.

If you have a serious and identifiable risk of being in a confrontation, then you need to develop a training methodology that correctly and appropriately mitigates that risk. Aikido methodology ain't it, sorry guys. As much as the principles of dynamic movement are correct and universal and all that good stuff, it is not the best and most efficient way to train for reality.

Some fights end up on the ground. If you are ambushed (as is the case in many real fight), and you somehow survive the initial contact, chances are you are on the ground, it helps to have a modicum of skill to survive and recover to your feet.

It also helps to have some good stand up skills as well. Closing the distance, clinching, dealing with adrenalin surge, and fighting through the pain and emotion are things you will deal with in a real situaiton. Things we don't practice in aikido, but things you must deal with in a real fight. You don't practice these things, then you ain't practicing to handle reality.

Aristeia
07-24-2006, 01:36 PM
assaults go to the ground. Some do, certainly. How many of those attackers are BJJ or judo newaza trained?

e.

cg
Again *not* the point. The question is not can you beat off a highly trained ground fighter on the ground. The answer to that is no. The question is do you have some basic skills and strategy to regain your feet against a stronger aggressive attacker.

The number of folks in most dojo of ANY kind who ever really NEED the self defense aspects of what they're studying is really slim.. I agree completely. Again though, that wasn't the question. The question was assuming that self defence IS your primary motivation.....



http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archive...02_bcorner.html

is a good read. yep read that a long time ago. Do you think I'd have trouble producing equal (and more recent) stories about groundfighters plying their trade? My point was never that Aikido can't work in self defence. In this instance my point was saying "most bjjers never get into fights" is a bit of a silly argument (particularly from an aikidoka - an art with a higher population of fight adverse practitioners).

That is also a good point. There is no substitute for fitness. I wish more martial artists would realize this.preach on brother Don, preach on :)

*puts down burger*
n a fight, the ground is where you go to die Jesus, if it's death down there, we better get some tools to get out of that situation! Thanks for the heads up! In a world of UFC and other sports, fighters are trained to ignore their human instinct which should be screaming, "get on your feet!!! No. They guy in the inferior position's instinct should be screaming "get on your feet". The insticnt of the guy in the superior position is screaming "finish him". Neither of these people is likely to be able to listen to their instinct without a decent size advantage or.....some training. Don't wanna be down there? Fine. How you gonna get up? " Sports helps humans built false confidence in predatory abilities. Sports also build tolerance to natural fears and instincts that have kept humans alive for thousands of years.
Nonsense. Watch kids fight. Always goes to the ground. Kids natrually start inventing a basic guard. they naturally look to get mount. Getting on top of someone and pounding them *is* our instinct. That's why it's what happened in the early ufcs even between standup fighters. The training went out the window and the instincts took over.

The last time I watched Discovery channel, when the lion knocked the wildabeast down, the wildabeast didn't flip into a guard position - it tried desperately to get to its feet and run away. No, instead it had the much superior strategy of getting eaten. If the wildabeast did have an efficient strategy to regain it's feet when a lion takes it down what do you think that would do for it's survival chances?.

If presented with the opportunity to fight on the ground, I would choose not to AS IF MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. Do you think gazelle argue, "well, if the lion knocked me down, I guess I could do something..."?
TTT for the "I know, I'll get eaten" strategy

I try to add humor to this post, Me too :) but I grow concerned when I hear talk that removes the underlying urgency and danger inherent in ground fighting. You are fighting for your life on the ground. You will either subdue your opponent or you will be subdued by your opponent.exactly. So best you win.

Honestly I dont' think any of us are as far apart as we think. I think the majority of the people arguing against me (and others) are arguing against the argument they *expect* to hear from BJJers, not the arguments we are actually putting forward.

- We agree the ground may not be the best place to be.
- There are a variety of circumstances which can result in you being there regardless
- Once you're there you likely want to get to your feet and in a dominant position asap (preferably with them left in an inferior position).
- Unless you're very strong and very large, your best bet is to learn some basic groundfighting strategy to accomplish this.
-That won't help against a well trained grappler, but the chances of being attacked by one of those is very small.

Aristeia
07-24-2006, 01:48 PM
. Look here for a bunch of aiki folks (and me and a judo guy) doing newaza recently at an aikido list gathering:

http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b347/cgordon/June%2006/Indiana/.

.Good to see. (BTW the guy in the first photo looks like he's about to be rolled over. He needs to hook his right arm behind uke's head, grab his own right thigh and extend his right food toward uke's head)

statisticool
07-24-2006, 04:37 PM
Luckly my friends came out of the bar just in time to help me.


Very lucky, since if his friends instead of yours were there, this


My friends came out of the bar at that time and started kicking him.


could have happened to you instead of to him.

Aristeia
07-24-2006, 04:51 PM
you raise an interesting point. The "but you'll get kicked by his friends" argument always comes up. Who are all these people going out by themselves and getting in fights with groups of people? Take some friends with you for god sakes.

And let me ask you this, If it is one vs many do you think that makes it *more* likely or *less* likely that you may endup on the ground against your will?

statisticool
07-24-2006, 05:00 PM
Someone explained it to me like the following, feel free to disagree. :)

If we were to assign a score to the ability of systems to handle single and multiple opponents, we'd get something like:

ground systems
individual opponent: 1
multiple opponents: 0

non-ground systems
individual opponent: .5
multiple opponents: .5

Scores for each system add up to 1, but non-ground systems has some minute chance of fighting off multiple attackers.

Aristeia
07-24-2006, 05:05 PM
thanks for the invitation. I disagree. I know a couple of people who have survived group attacks due to ground fighting. One because he was able to regain his feet quickly. The other was in a large scale bawl and ended up with someone in his guard, choked him out and stayed underneath. He said the couple of guys that went underneath walked out unscathed, those that stood to brawl were pretty beat up.

And again you're making the mistake of assuming we're choosing one or the other. In a multiple environent you are much more likely to get taken down so ground skills become *more important* but NO ONE IS SAYING THAT SHOULD NECESSARILY BE YOUR STRATEGY.

Ah I feel better.

Aristeia
07-24-2006, 05:10 PM
Here's what I don't get. Why the defensiveness. Someone asks if Aikido has a good ground strategy. The answer is no. Why to people feel the need to eqivocate that with "but you just don't go to the gournd, the ground is bad, Aikido is all you need."

If someone comes to my BJJ class and tells me they want to do some striking, I'd send them to a Muay Thai school. If they tell me they want to do some work with less competitiveness and dealing with energy flow, I'll send them Aikido. If they tell me they want to impress chicks I'll send them to TKD ;-)

Because I know what BJJ is for and what it isn't for. Just like when I taught Aikido I knew what Aikido was for and what it's not for.
So why do some feel like the answer always has to be "oh yes everything you want is right here in Aikido no need to do anything else whatever your goals"?

statisticool
07-24-2006, 05:17 PM
Here's what I don't get. Why the defensiveness.


Why the misreading of defensiveness? I'm just pointing out that I've never seen any videos of BJJ on multiple opponents.

DonMagee
07-24-2006, 05:27 PM
See in the bjj world multiple opponents is solved by having your own gang. Gang warfare for the win!

ChrisHein
07-24-2006, 05:42 PM
I don't think he is misreading, I think I also detected plenty of defensiveness, in this thread and many other threads dealing with similar issues.

People get defensive because they have devoted a lot of time to Aikido, and people don't want to think they have been wasting their time. People often get the idea of "the best" with out evaluating what something is "the best" at. People know that they like Aikido, and that Aikido has been good to them, and most of the people you will find in Aikido schools have not been in many fights, so they kind of think Aikido is fighting, or that Aikido has some kind of power to stop a fight from happening. So when you pose a question like this to a group that doesn't have much experience with fighting, there is going to be lots of confusion as to what we are talking about, and most think you are saying that they are stupid, or misled. I don't' think you are saying or thinking that, I think you are just trying to get people to think about Aikido and their relation to it, but you have to expect what you're getting. I know I've dealt with it many times myself.

And just for the heck of it, I'd like to throw in while Aikido "teaches" techniques for dealing with multiple attackers, have you ever seen an Aikidoka actually deal with more then one person who is actually trying to harm them? The techniques Aikido teaches for multiple attackers may work if you are armed, but against people who are near your size and ability level will not work if unarmed.

-Chris Hein

Aristeia
07-24-2006, 05:54 PM
Why the misreading of defensiveness? I'm just pointing out that I've never seen any videos of BJJ on multiple opponents. And I haven't seen any videos of Aikidoka vs multiple non compliant opponentes (except in Path Beyond Thought where nage gets owned)

Ken McGrew
07-24-2006, 11:13 PM
Time after time we see people come on to this Aikido focussed community and insist that their sport, bjj, is the superior, if not the only, valid martial art. I'm not advocating for censorship. Some of the questions raised are worth discussing. But these guys always seem to have something they need to prove. There's a website where owners of the Pontiac Solstice insist that their car is the superior, even ultimate, roadster. They're wrong too, but can't drive well enough know how a car should handle. But that is an aside. BJJ is a sport. It has rules. If you like BJJ, go practice it. Maybe post on a BJJ site about how superior you are.

Below are three quotes from this thread and my responses:

[QUOTE: To say, "We are for multiple attackers and weapons, we dont deal with one guy trying to sit on your chest and pound your head in", is fine, but what happens when you meet a guy who tries to sit on your chest and pound your head in?]

If we are ranking martial arts, then the ability to move away from danger and deal with multiple attackers, run away if possible, would make Aikido rank pretty well. But to answer this question, you do anything you can. Break one of the elbows. Hold onto the striking arm so that the attacker lifts you up with his back draw of the arm. Claw out his eyes. Strike to his throat. Strike to his nose. Break his kneck. Granted, this is a bad place to be. At this point, I'd try to kill him, anyway I could. If I had keys in my pocket, my hands would be free to go there. I might get hurt bad, but he'd die.

[QUOTE: And just for the heck of it, I'd like to throw in while Aikido "teaches" techniques for dealing with multiple attackers, have you ever seen an Aikidoka actually deal with more then one person who is actually trying to harm them? The techniques Aikido teaches for multiple attackers may work if you are armed, but against people who are near your size and ability level will not work if unarmed.]

This statement is so confused that it's hard to respond. 1) I know so many people who have used Aikido in real situations that I'm suprised that you don't. I trained with a cop in NYC who disarmed to men with guns using Aikido because he didn't want to use his gun on a subway platform (bullets hit innocent people when they bounce around). I trained with prison guards. The list goes on. 2) Aikido is designed for open hand. Ofcourse it works unarmed. 3) the focus on "technique" really misses the point of higher level Aikido. Ofcourse technique doesn't work in a real situation with multiple attackers. Saotome sensei has several videos out. 1st Doshu made a good video also. Maybe watch them. Maybe read something.

[And I haven't seen any videos of Aikidoka vs multiple non compliant opponentes (except in Path Beyond Thought where nage gets owned)]

This is related to #3 above. People who don't understand ukemi complain about "compliant" ukes as they come in slowly and grab a wrist. Real attacks have speed and momentum. Otherwise you'd never get near me. When you do, I'll use your own momentum, violent mindset, and a lot of other things against you. Or rather, I'll let you destroy yourself. To practice Aikido without killing your partner it can't be entirely "real." Therefore we practice to "simulate" a combat situation. A body in motion is a compliant body, so far as continuing that motion is concerned. If you'd ever captured someone's motion you'd understand that. If you'd ever been thrown by someone skilled at capturing motion you wouldn't fool yourself into thinking it only worked because you gave it to them.

I can't understand people who train Aikido making statements like the last one quoted. O'Sensei taught us to be "cooperative." Watch the videos of his students doing what he wanted, simulating combat BY being cooperative. And for the record, Nage gets owned on the test under Seagal sensei, in part, because even in his dojo there are rules. Nage didn't hurt the ukes so they were free to keep coming back. In the real world there are no such rules, only your own compassion, and the necessities for survival to be balanced.

I am certain that the BJJ believers in this thread will not listen to or consider any of the things I've written.

Ken McGrew

xuzen
07-24-2006, 11:48 PM
People,

Realise this, going to the ground is a high possibility due to GRAVITY (TM). If you are learning a predominantly stand-up art like karate, aikido, Muay Thai for SD, get some basic instruction of how to escape clinch, take-down, and katamae-waza (body pins). You don't have to spend ages to learn the basics. You need basic instruction and some exposure.

The argument goes visa-versa for ground predominant art (e.g, BJJ and wrestling folks).

If you are doing it to compete in MMA events, then you need to know the full spectrum of the range of fighting and more advance training.

Other than that, do what you enjoy the most, but cross train in areas your art do not cover.

Boon.

Aristeia
07-25-2006, 12:24 AM
Nice post Boon, you're on to it.

Ken I appreciate you feel strongly about this but you're railing against a straw man. NO ONE is saying "their sport, bjj, is the superior, if not the only, valid martial art." That's what you're reading into it. Again, an example of someone arguing against the argument they expect to hear rather than the one being made.

The original poster asked a question in two parts.
If self defence is important to me,
1) should I be concerned about what to do on the ground
2) does aikido offer workable ground stratagies.

If you have a look at the responses I and others have given, we have *stipulated* that Aikido is great for many things, and there are many good reasons to train. But that in terms of the specific question being asked.
1) yes the ground is important
2) no aikido doesn't have particularly good solutions FOR THIS ASPECT OF SELF DEFENCE but that's okay because a fairly brief amount of training somwhere else will give it to you.

which bit of that do you disagree with? This isn't about BJJ vs Aikido. It's about the right tool for the right job.

We are not trolling the board looking to slam Aikido. I did Aikido for 13 years and taught for many of those years. I think it's a fantastic art with much to offer. But when a specific question like this is asked it behooves us to answer honestly.

Ken McGrew
07-25-2006, 12:39 AM
Michael,

What you are saying, in regards to the nature of posts in this thread against Aikido and in favor of BJJ being superior, is a misrepresenation of what people have written. Let me quote:

"It all depends on who you are fighting on the ground. If you are unfortunate enough to end up fighting someone with ground experience (Someone with a year or so of: MMA, BJJ, Western Wrestling, etc.) then you are going to lose, Aikido will not help you defeat someone trained in a ground fighting system, if you fight them on the ground, while unarmed."

Most of the posts in this thread were sarcastic and dismissive of Aikido in favor of BJJ, and in favor of the notion that all fights go to the ground, so ground fighters win. Moreover, this thread is like many others of a similar nature.

I don't view these ultimate fighting ground styles as good training to round out my abilities. I view them as a mirage. They propose a set of tools as being useful in the real world when they are only, in my view, useful in a sporting event with strict rules. If I taught a lesson on what to do if pinned down by someone's legs while he tried to strike you with punches or elbows, after teaching the various ways to avoid this, I wouldn't be teaching the things BJJ teaches. They teach ways to turn the tables and become the person on top pounding the other person. I try to teach my students strategies for survival. I'm not a big guy. Some of my students are much smaller than me. These groundfighting arts are a loosing game for us when attacked by larger people and their friends. Not useful at all.

Ken

Aristeia
07-25-2006, 12:47 AM
Ken, I've outlined my experience in Aikido. I can throw my sandan on the table as well if you like. Care to outline your experience with BJJ beyond watching the UFC on the couch? The reason I ask is that your post indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of how BJJ works - implying it's a strength/size thing.

Are you advocating that gaining top position is a poor strategy and it's better to stay underneath?

That's as far asI"m going to bite on the details of the criticisms you've levelled at BJJ. I could go on but it's outside of the scope of this discussion.

The quote you posted
"It all depends on who you are fighting on the ground. If you are unfortunate enough to end up fighting someone with ground experience (Someone with a year or so of: MMA, BJJ, Western Wrestling, etc.) then you are going to lose, Aikido will not help you defeat someone trained in a ground fighting system, if you fight them on the ground, while unarmed."

Are you suggesting that if an aikidoka is fighting ont he ground with a ground speicialist they are not going to lose? To say that the odds are stacked against you when you are dealing with someone in their area of speciality is not dismissive or sarcastic. It is simply realistic.

Chuck.Gordon
07-25-2006, 01:12 AM
Good to see. (BTW the guy in the first photo looks like he's about to be rolled over. He needs to hook his right arm behind uke's head, grab his own right thigh and extend his right food toward uke's head)

Pretty much what happened. It was a teaching moment, the guy on the mat is Peter Boylan, judo sandan, who was teaching the newaza portion of the seminar. Big fun!

ChrisHein
07-25-2006, 01:16 AM
T

This statement is so confused that it's hard to respond. 1) I know so many people who have used Aikido in real situations that I'm suprised that you don't. I trained with a cop in NYC who disarmed to men with guns using Aikido because he didn't want to use his gun on a subway platform (bullets hit innocent people when they bounce around). I trained with prison guards. The list goes on. 2) Aikido is designed for open hand. Ofcourse it works unarmed. 3) the focus on "technique" really misses the point of higher level Aikido. Ofcourse technique doesn't work in a real situation with multiple attackers. Saotome sensei has several videos out. 1st Doshu made a good video also. Maybe watch them. Maybe read something.

Ken McGrew

1) Everyone has a story about how they or someone they know has fought 3 ninjas with machine guns using only Irimi nage, but those are just stories.

2) I've made the argument many times, I personally don't believe Aikido's technical syllabus support s unarmed fighting. I'm sure you don't feel the same, but that's just my oppinion against yours...back to stories.

3)This one is hard for me to figure out exactly what it is you are trying to say, but I'll try. Technique is the root of our system, saying that you wouldn't use Aikido technique in your fights, would be like a boxer saying he doesn't use jabs, or a Judoka saying they don't use hip throws, those are the techniques of their systems; of coarse they use them! And I don't know how the first Doshu, or Saotome sensei would do in a real fight with multiple attackers, because I've never seen them do it, I don't think anyone has. So like I said they "teach" it, but that doesn't mean they know how to do it, or that it even works.

-Chris Hein

p.s. Boon I seen you've trade marked GRAVITY, good call, I think it will pay off!!

Chuck.Gordon
07-25-2006, 01:19 AM
Why the misreading of defensiveness? I'm just pointing out that I've never seen any videos of BJJ on multiple opponents.

Mainly, IMHO, because there are a LOT of folks out there who would paint all of aikido with a broad 'un-effective' brush. Truth is, there are aikido lineages that are pretty rock-n-roll, and others that are absolutely hoopty-frooty.

However, some folks are far to fast to dismiss aikido (I don't DO aikido, BTW, but study it as an adjunct to my primary art) as completely useless, and in recent years, there have been lots of incursions into Aikiweb by folks who start out with the 'how does aikido do on the ground' question, when they've already made up their minds and simply want to troll.

You're spot on, MOST aikido doesn't have much ground strategy, but then, as Kevin said, MOST aikido really doesn't have a strong self defense strategy right there on the surface in plain sight, either.

Quite frankly, neither does BJJ.

Neither are sogo budo (to borrow an old turn of phrase), offering tools with which to deal with physical combat at a wide variety of ranges with a wide variety of weapons.

They each excel in their own areas, and have plenty to offer anyone with an eye toward the broader aspects of physical combatives.

But that's MNSHO .... YMMV, of course.

ksy
07-25-2006, 02:37 AM
thanks for the invitation. I disagree. I know a couple of people who have survived group attacks due to ground fighting.

yeah, right. everyone's heard stories about the 3 ninjas attacking this ground fighter, and he survived. it's just stories, man.

[/QUOTE]
And again you're making the mistake of assuming we're choosing one or the other. In a multiple environent you are much more likely to get taken down so ground skills become *more important* but NO ONE IS SAYING THAT SHOULD NECESSARILY BE YOUR STRATEGY.

Ah I feel better.[/QUOTE]

ground skills more important against multiples? of course the possibility of getting taken down against mulitple is increased. but how many of you think that if you get taken down with by 3 people, your ground skills are save you? be realistic, will ya? should we then say that when confronted with multiples, our running skills take precedent, therefore all of us should go for some track & field training? duhhh....

ksy
07-25-2006, 02:46 AM
Aikido is not designed for groundwork, it was designed for battle; multiple opponents, weapons, and mobility. None of these circumstances are favorable for ground fighting. ... You are fighting for your life on the ground. You will either subdue your opponent or you will be subdued by your opponent.

yeah, man. i can just imagine those people who created the daito-ryu fighting systems in a time when mistakes would cost lives doing a checklist on what their particular fighting art is good for.

1. multiple opponents- "check!"
2. single opponents-"check!"
3. against sword attack-"check!"
4. against knife attack-"check!"
5. against horseback rider-"check!"
6. again wrestler, ground fighting- "Nahhh!!! that's never gonna happen!"

xuzen
07-25-2006, 03:21 AM
And I don't know how the first Doshu, or Saotome sensei would do in a real fight with multiple attackers, because I've never seen them do it, I don't think anyone has. So like I said they "teach" it, but that doesn't mean they know how to do it, or that it even works.
-Chris Hein
By First Doshu, you meant M. Ueshiba? His encounter with multiple aggressor was documented.

Thank god, Gozo Shioda did his multiple attackers research and development in his early formative years in the street of Shinjuku.

Boon.

ksy
07-25-2006, 03:22 AM
Ken, I've outlined my experience in Aikido.

yeah, you da man- 13 years and all, throwing sandans all round. cool! reminds me of this guy i met at a motorcycle rally, told me he had 15 years biking experience. later, he was seen dragging his feet on the ground when the bike was going slow. effectively, what he had was bad 1st year technique x 15.

And just for your info, it's not about getting defensive. It's about expressing of how you feel about a certain point, so there's no need to patronise, mr aikido/bjj master.

I got one coach Jgracia, who says aikido is enough. Another coach MFooks who say it ain't. who am i gonna believe? sir, if the responses that you get from aikidokas here doesn't please you, then just look away. If they wish to say, "aikido is all i want to study because i believe it to be complete" then let them learn, their own way. Why do you feel there is a need to "educate" us so thoroughly, a need to "prove your point" or "change their views"?

Your quote "So why do some feel like the answer always has to be "oh yes everything you want is right here in Aikido no need to do anything else whatever your goals"?"

and if they feel like this at the present moment, just what exactly is wrong with that?

Do you go around "educating" forum readers of other standing martial arts (karate,tkd,wingchun)? Or do you just stick around here repeating your beliefs just because you know us akido guys like to run around in circles? :rolleyes:

And when your 13 years experience says that aikido is not usefull for ground fighting, is it the limitation of Aikido per se, or a personal limitation of your own aikido techniques?

xuzen
07-25-2006, 03:49 AM
yeah, you da man- 13 years and all, throwing sandans all round. cool! reminds me of this guy i met at a motorcycle rally, told me he had 15 years biking experience. later, he was seen dragging his feet on the ground when the bike was going slow. effectively, what he had was bad 1st year technique x 15.

And just for your info, it's not about getting defensive. It's about expressing of how you feel about a certain point, so there's no need to patronise, mr aikido/bjj master.

I got one coach Jgracia, who says aikido is enough. Another coach MFooks who say it ain't. who am i gonna believe? sir, if the responses that you get from aikidokas here doesn't please you, then just look away. If they wish to say, "aikido is all i want to study because i believe it to be complete" then let them learn, their own way. Why do you feel there is a need to "educate" us so thoroughly, a need to "prove your point" or "change their views"?

Your quote "So why do some feel like the answer always has to be "oh yes everything you want is right here in Aikido no need to do anything else whatever your goals"?"

and if they feel like this at the present moment, just what exactly is wrong with that?

Do you go around "educating" forum readers of other standing martial arts (karate,tkd,wingchun)? Or do you just stick around here repeating your beliefs just because you know us akido guys like to run around in circles? :rolleyes:

And when your 13 years experience says that aikido is not usefull for ground fighting, is it the limitation of Aikido per se, or a personal limitation of your own aikido techniques?

Ha ha ha, this is a very hilarious post. Kong, chill a little will ya. ;) You have strong spirit, but then this is just a forum, people are entitled to their opinion, whether you accept or not, is entirely up to you.

There was a time when aikiweb was a pure aiki-bliss before the invasion of BJJ/ground-fighter netizens, those good ole'days. :D

Boon.

Aristeia
07-25-2006, 04:55 AM
Pretty much what happened. It was a teaching moment, the guy on the mat is Peter Boylan, judo sandan, who was teaching the newaza portion of the seminar. Big fun!

Warms the cockles to see such things happening.

Aristeia
07-25-2006, 05:02 AM
ground skills more important against multiples? of course the possibility of getting taken down against mulitple is increased. but how many of you think that if you get taken down with by 3 people, your ground skills are save you? be realistic, will ya? should we then say that when confronted with multiples, our running skills take precedent, therefore all of us should go for some track & field training? duhhh....You're right, don't worry about it, when you hit the ground you won't need any skills down there.

Aristeia
07-25-2006, 05:11 AM
yeah, you da man- 13 years and all, throwing sandans all round. cool! reminds me of this guy i met at a motorcycle rally, told me he had 15 years biking experience. later, he was seen dragging his feet on the ground when the bike was going slow. effectively, what he had was bad 1st year technique x 15.

And just for your info, it's not about getting defensive. It's about expressing of how you feel about a certain point, so there's no need to patronise, mr aikido/bjj master. Funny sounds pretty defensive.

I'm not trying to patronise, nor show myself to be any sort of master. I beleive this thread is the first time I've ever mentioned how long I've been training or what rank I hold on aikiweb. And the reason was to try and show that i'm not just a BJJer who's come in to stir things up. I was an aikidoka long before I walked onto a BJJ mat and it is still an art dear to my heart.

I also brought it up because Ken was making statements re BJJ I viewed as naiive. I therefore question whether he has actually experienced it. Which means it made sense for me to qualify the perspective from which I'm commenting.

I got one coach Jgracia, who says aikido is enough. Another coach MFooks who say it ain't. who am i gonna believe? since when did I become your coach?
sir, if the responses that you get from aikidokas here doesn't please you, then just look away. If they wish to say, "aikido is all i want to study because i believe it to be complete" then let them learn, their own way. Why do you feel there is a need to "educate" us so thoroughly, a need to "prove your point" or "change their views"? People can beleive what they want. I answered the question of the original poster just like everyone else, the conversation went from there because there was a difference of opinion. It's kinda how these things work.
It may be that the OP was a troll, who knows. But if not it's important he gets a balanced response.

Your quote "So why do some feel like the answer always has to be "oh yes everything you want is right here in Aikido no need to do anything else whatever your goals"?"

and if they feel like this at the present moment, just what exactly is wrong with that? it's naiive. No art offers a complete solution. To pretend to a new student that it does is dishonest. So I offer my opinion just as others have

Do you go around "educating" forum readers of other standing martial arts (karate,tkd,wingchun)? Or do you just stick around here repeating your beliefs just because you know us akido guys like to run around in circles? :rolleyes: Beleive it or not over the years I've spent quite a bit of time on places like RMA and Bullshido defending Aikido to the MMA types. But don't worry about that it's much easier if you put me into the cubbyhole you've already got for me.

And when your 13 years experience says that aikido is not usefull for ground fighting, is it the limitation of Aikido per se, or a personal limitation of your own aikido techniques?it's a limitation of the art. What makes you think an art which in 99% of the dojos never trains ground grappling would or should be useful for that? It's bizarre. It's like people getting upset if you say baseball players aren't typically good at tackling. That's not a criticism of baseball it's just not what they do.

Aristeia
07-25-2006, 05:17 AM
aikiweb was a pure aiki-bliss before the invasion of BJJ/ground-fighter netizens, those good ole'days. :D

Boon.Hey Boon. I know this was likely toungue in cheek but I want to make this point. I've been posting on aikiweb for years before many of the people on this thread, and reading it for many years before that. Which doesn't lend my opinion any more weight, but the point is this. I can't speak for the other BJJers here, but became a BJJer after I got into aikiweb, not before. So I'm not an invading BJJer, I'm an Aikidoka who took up BJJ. I can't imagine why a pure BJJer would ever come to aikiweb anymore than an aikidoka would hang out on BJJ forums.

Budd
07-25-2006, 07:18 AM
I'm more interested in hearing the opinions of people that do or have done aikido and now do or also do another martial art -- far more interested -- than hearing people that have only done aikido talk about why another art isn't useful OR people that have never done aikdio talk about why aikido isn't useful . . .

Myself, I tend to fall into the "it's good to be well-rounded" side of things, and while I also have some experience in striking and grappling arts, these days my primary art is aikido. From my current perspective, I think that the art/system is only part of the equation (I actually think HOW the art is trained is far more important than what you call it). For me, the most important factors are the teacher, dojo and people with which I train.

Jorge Garcia
07-25-2006, 08:01 AM
Ken,
Thanks for saying what a lot of us are thinking. The BJJ forums must stink because their adherents are all over here. I wouldn't think of going to a BJJ board and try to tell them that they should be doing our art for any reason at all. It's like one person who wrote me said, "I didn't come to Aikido to be told I need BJJ..."
People who are good Aikidoists know what it is and what it is for. It is a Japanese budo. I only say that whatever self defense Aikido supplies is enough for a normal person. The BJJ lovers want to stay with the claim that you have to learn groundwork to be complete and that's just isn't true. They need the groundwork because that is what they believe. I am coming up on my 51st birthday and I haven't needed BJJ for any of those 51 years and that includes before I learned Aikido. Aikido has been enough for this normal person who tries to stay out of trouble.
It's a common thing to want to feel like what you have is the best and better than anyone else. I see that in religion, sports and now, the BJJ community. I am sure a BJJ guy can beat up everyone else if they can get them to the ground. That's not my point. I just don't believe a normal person needs it. That is a specialized sport. Aikido is about something else entirely. Some of the greatest martial artists in the world don't know BJJ. Some of the greatest of all time didn't know BJJ and they were really great and what they knew was enough. My Sensei is 73, he is one of the greatest martial artists I have ever met and he doesn't know BJJ. I want to pattern myself after what I have seen him do . I am not impressed by the BJJ arguments and I have no interest in it at all.

Maybe Jun could start a permanent thread for the BJJ guys so every time they want to talk about the need for BJJ, they could do it in their own place. That way some of us don't have to go scouring through threads trying to keep our lunch down by checking to see what forum hasn't been invaded by BJJ triumphalism. Either that or lets just call this BJJweb and make the URL BJJ.com :yuck:

Jorge Garcia
07-25-2006, 08:34 AM
Mainly, IMHO, because there are a LOT of folks out there who would paint all of aikido with a broad 'un-effective' brush. Truth is, there are aikido lineages that are pretty rock-n-roll, and others that are absolutely hoopty-frooty.

However, some folks are far to fast to dismiss aikido (I don't DO aikido, BTW, but study it as an adjunct to my primary art) as completely useless, and in recent years, there have been lots of incursions into Aikiweb by folks who start out with the 'how does aikido do on the ground' question, when they've already made up their minds and simply want to troll.

Chuck, here, you have said it all. I have been thinking this since the first day these guys started up with this BJJ triumphalism. I am just one of a lot of people that thought it was a sane thing to go to an Aikido forum and website to discuss and learn about Aikido. OK, once in a while, we can veer off and now and then, it's ok if a troll wanders through but this is a new phenomenon going on here. What we have is a vein of personality invade Aikiweb that has a need for some kind of "completeness". It is a psychological need of sorts. They want to believe that with Aikido, BJJ, and maybe some other stuff, they can train for some kind of martial arts completeness. O Sensei was a man who addressed that after going through a lifetime of Daito ryu and some other arts as well. He understood that even the greatest fighter will be defeated someday and all that training would be in vain.

These new "Every martial arts needs BJJ'ers" are really feeding their own egos. I don't say that because we have a difference of opinion. I say that because they feel a need to come over to an Aikido forum to tell us all that! I don't have a psychological need to go to the BJJ forum or a Judo forum and tell them why they need Aikido. This is an Aikido forum. In the end, a normal person, following the Funakoshi rule of self defense will be fine and the help you get from Aikido will be way beyond self defense if you understand where the Founder was coming from. Mike, your 13 years in Aikido didn't do you much good if you didn't get that part from Aikido. It's time for a reread of your Art of Peace.

I am a physical person by nature and I have always liked to rumble. In my Aikido, I enjoy hard strikes, good resistance and the uke countering me if he wants to. He can take me to the ground, trip me, try to hit me where the sun doesn't shine, etc. We're not teaching dance lessons around here. Having said that, Aikido is a Japanese budo and that's where Aikido makes it's greatest contribution. It's about dealing with a fighting and triumphalistic spirit. We're all on the path so I am not claiming a superiority to anyone else. I just wish the "you must have ground fighting" crowd and the BJJ group would find those forums and then have a blast saying anything you want to say. If I want to hear that, I'll tune to that channel and I promise not to start trolling your group with thread after thread about the exact same thing.
Best wishes,

Jorge Garcia
07-25-2006, 08:54 AM
Last night, I met Master Benny Ming of Wing Chun Kung Fu. ( http://www.mengsofaz.com )
We talked a while and he said to me, "You have a good system. I studied it for a while in the 1980's." I responded by saying, "I admire Wing Chun but could never study it because I can barely comprehend the art I am studying now. I can't understand how people can study more than one art and master them." Here was his opening to get me! Did he take it? He responded, " Studying one art is good, that will give you an opportunity to go deeper. In the end, we will all end up in the same place."
Now that's a master!

DonMagee
07-25-2006, 11:39 AM
Ken,
Thanks for saying what a lot of us are thinking. The BJJ forums must stink because their adherents are all over here. I wouldn't think of going to a BJJ board and try to tell them that they should be doing our art for any reason at all. It's like one person who wrote me said, "I didn't come to Aikido to be told I need BJJ..."
People who are good Aikidoists know what it is and what it is for. It is a Japanese budo. I only say that whatever self defense Aikido supplies is enough for a normal person. The BJJ lovers want to stay with the claim that you have to learn groundwork to be complete and that's just isn't true. They need the groundwork because that is what they believe. I am coming up on my 51st birthday and I haven't needed BJJ for any of those 51 years and that includes before I learned Aikido. Aikido has been enough for this normal person who tries to stay out of trouble.
:yuck:


I would argue that the moment you are in a self defense situation you are not a normal person any longer. A normal person will never get in a single fight in their life.

That said. I do not advocate people join bjj gyms. I dont advocate people do boxing, judo, aikido, etc. I simply advocate that people train and develop strategy's to deal with each range of combat. Starting with verbal, and ending with lava, broken glass, m16's, and the marines. I just want people to be honest with themselves and their training. This is something very few people seem able to do.

Ron Tisdale
07-25-2006, 11:47 AM
I just want people to be honest with themselves and their training. This is something very few people seem able to do.

Why do you want this for others? Isn't it enough that you are honest with yourself?

Best,
Ron

DonMagee
07-25-2006, 12:12 PM
It's called advocacy. I belive in a cause. This cause is improving the nature of martial arts. You have to admit, the state of martial arts in this world is going down hill. I have more soke, shihans, hanshi's, people who can kill me with a single blow, then you would believe. Everytime someone makes an outlandish claim, someone might listen and then suffer because they took bad advice. When I tell someone I train in martial arts, I do not want to have to add a ton of 'I'm not like that' responses on the end.

The worst part is, this blind 'wisdom' has grown to the point where it is no longer only limited to frauds. The people taught by these frauds are now teaching what they believe to be fact. Of course I use fraud liberally. There are big frauds (No touch knock outs) and there are little frauds (we dont spar because we are too deadly). The problem stems from the fact that people dont ask enough questions and dont challege statements they belive to be wrong.

I came to this forum as an aikidoka. I was disillusioned with my training, but I was not yet ready to let go. I thought I may find insight here that would help me make my decision. I did find the insight I was looking for. This forum helped me make my decision to discontine my aikido training. (As did other forums). However, I am a student first and a critic last. I post here not to convert everyone to bjj. I post here to ask questions and make statements. My hope as that these questions and statements will get people to think about what they are doing and why the belive what they believe. Then I hope they will answer honestly. I then take this and compare it to my life exp and I hope that in the process both partys learn something (although as long as I learn something is fine with me). So helping others helps improve my quality of life and training. If I never teach my partners, how can they ever help me grow?

However, I can not let what I feel to be a falsehood slide by without saying it is a falsehood. If you say "You can be a complete fighter without groundfighting." I have to say that is a falsehood. It is as rediculous and saying "You can be a complete fighter without learning how to punch." or "You can be a complete fighter without getting into shape.". You simple are not a complete fighter if you are not prepared to handle an attacker in all ranges of combat. However, I do not belive you NEED to be a complete fighter. For example, I am not prepared for multiple attackers with guns. This does not concern me, because if I have gotten to that point, I bet I deserve the multiple gun shot wounds.

We dont see people respond honestly in most cases. They will say things like "I would just not go to the ground." or "If I focus my ki on my one point, I can not be taken down.", and even the "If I was taken down a simple finger lock or eye gouge would suffice.". These are statements made by either a few types of people. A) Someone who has never been attacked before,and only has their teachers knowedge to go on B) Someone who does not want to admit the truth, C) Someone as powerful as O'Sensei, D) A fool who is overconfident in their ablities, or E) Someone mixed of the other choices.

An honest answer would be like, "I dont train to defend myself on the ground and I know I am vunurable there. It simply is not a priority to me", "I dont believe many fights end up on the ground as people claim, so I dont feel my time is well spent on the ground" (if you really believe that), "I focus my standup training on defending common takedowns so I have a better chance of keeping the fight in my game.", "Self defense isn't as big as a priority to me as the culture and other things in my art.", and of course "I don't know why I don't train on the ground, I should explore it."

I do not train weapon defenses. If someone tells me I should, I would tell them I simply have not seen any weapon defenses I find effective enough to bother training and my training focus is more on competition then self defense. This is a honest answer. However, I could tell them "Jiujitsu was designed as a one on one ground fighitng art, if my opponenet had a weapon, I simply wouldn't let him use it." This is essentially the arguement most aikidoka give when a judo or bjj guy askes about ground fighting. It would be the same as if you told asked me how I deal with multiple attackers. "Well, jiujitsu is a one on one ground fighting art, if there were multiple attackers I would simply deal with them one at a time."

Kevin Leavitt
07-25-2006, 12:46 PM
Good Post Don. Also Michael...hang in there!

Wanna see why ground work is important. Invite me, Dan , Michael or any number of people to your dojo, and when we stop the politeness of uke and nage and "get real" so to speak, you will see very quickly why it is important to at least have the fundamentals of ground work.

It is out of shear ignorance of "real fighting" that cause someone to dismiss ground fighting. The basic principle of combat or fighting is that your opponent must "fix" you in order to "finish" you. To fix you, he must off balance you, then take you against a wall or the floor to make something "stick". It really is that simple.

Go ahead, live in your pretend iriminage world. I really hope you have the foresight, intuition, and ability to time everything properly and irimi/tenkan correctly, deflect your opponents balance, weight, and intent. However, when that does not work, and he fixes you with a dominate position, hopefully you have a modicum of skill to do something about it.

I am only talking about one attacker where the odds are fairly even. Lets not even get into multiple opponent situations! or weapons!

Budo is a wonderful practice! Don't confuse what you practice as being able to be directly translated to reality.

I am not a BJJ nut. In fact, I have only been studying it for the last two years. That was after being dominated in Army training scenarios by realitively unskilled opponents in urban warfare training with all my years of traditional martial arts and aikido training. I am not talking sport jiujitsu, but a big dude coming at you with the intent to dominate and render you useless.

Guess what? The stuff I learned in BJJ works.

I am not saying you have to learn how to do the perfect triangle choke, or be able to do 100 different reversals. But it is important to be able to keep yourself from being hit and rendered unconscious by properly clinching. Being able to reverse and take your opponent down to the ground and dominating him and being able to escape. And being able to defend in the guard and the mout. Really basic, basic skills. You don't need to study full time BJJ to learn this stuff.

I cannot understand why anyone would want to ignore the most common things in fighting! WHY? Please explain??

If you are only here to study budo and be aikidoka or budoka, super, I have the most respect for you and your pursuits! It is 70% or so of why I study martial arrts. However, don't dismiss combative skills as being unnecessary to learn! If it is not something you feel is important...no problem.

I tend to agree with Don on Weapons. I have found little that is effective against them from an empty hand perspective, especially guns and knives. You know, if it is your time to die....well I am a firm believer that their is probably not much you can do about it...but be a good budoka and have lived a good life and be prepared to die. Ironically I think this is probably what is most important in why we need to study budo.

Timing, initiative, dominance, advantage, and element of suprise are really most of the important things in a fight. Martial skill is a factor, but to be honest, not a very big factor if someone really intends to kill or seriously hurt you.

Ron Tisdale
07-25-2006, 02:00 PM
Interesting Don. Most of the initial responses to the OP were quite balanced. Boon, Chris, several people in fact, stated quite reasonable opinions. I'd like to think that mine was one. Yet here you are chattering on about 'your mission'. Hmmm.

Somehow, it just doesn't float. Again, I ask, isn't it enough that you are honest with yourself?

Best,
Ron

DonMagee
07-25-2006, 02:05 PM
....

Below are three quotes from this thread and my responses:

[QUOTE: To say, "We are for multiple attackers and weapons, we dont deal with one guy trying to sit on your chest and pound your head in", is fine, but what happens when you meet a guy who tries to sit on your chest and pound your head in?]

If we are ranking martial arts, then the ability to move away from danger and deal with multiple attackers, run away if possible, would make Aikido rank pretty well. But to answer this question, you do anything you can. Break one of the elbows. Hold onto the striking arm so that the attacker lifts you up with his back draw of the arm. Claw out his eyes. Strike to his throat. Strike to his nose. Break his kneck. Granted, this is a bad place to be. At this point, I'd try to kill him, anyway I could. If I had keys in my pocket, my hands would be free to go there. I might get hurt bad, but he'd die.

....

Ken McGrew

I missed this the first time somehow. This is a fine statement to the falsehoods I mentioned in my previous post. In this case this is a person inexperianced with ground fighting making assumptions with no idea what happens on the ground. Rather then simply saying he is not prepared, he mentioned explict techniques. Granted he does say do whatever you can, which basically makes the assumption he will be out of control and flailing (not a good defense). The rest of his suggestions show he is unfamiliar with ground positioning, and has never tried to defend himself on the ground. Anyone who has spent time on the ground would know a few simple things.

1) If a person is sitting on your chest, you will not be able to reach your pockets.
2) The reason a person wants to sit on your chest is because this position is superior. He will be able to hit you without you being able to effectively hit him. It is almost impossible unless the person on top is an idiot for you to reach, let alone strike his eyes, face, nose, ears, throat, etc.
3) Grabbing the attackers arm in no way will lift you up. He is sitting on your chest, you just simply do not bend that way.
4) Breaking the elbow is also highly unlikely. This is because you have no efficent way to generate power. Plus you have to find a way to get a lock capable of breaking his elbow WHILE he is raining hard blows on your skull.

I'd suggest anyone who thinks they might know what to do when mounted on the ground to try this: Get a partner to put on some hand protection and sit on your chest with good posture and balance. Have him throw moderatly hard blows (they should be fast and hurt). Attempt to defend yourself from his blows. You will quickly find out the thing you need to do is learn how to effectivly use what you do have to escape. Punching from your back, eye gouges, etc, are not what you need to be wasting your time on, if anything most of these dirty techniques favor the guy sitting on your chest. You need to learn how to move your hips properly while defending your head and make the space needed to get in a better position so you can stand back up. To do anything else is just an exercise in how many times the back of your skull can bounce off pavement until you pass out.

Kevin Leavitt
07-25-2006, 02:15 PM
Don,

This also comes to mind from the above quote The ability to disengage and run away from a fight is a good thing, but requires no martial skill or training. How does this as a strategy get linked to aikido?

Personally it is a strategy that I would employ probably first and foremost with all my karate, aikido, and BJJ background! If it is one that will keep me from engaging in a fight of some sort.

Again, it is not something that requires any martial ability whatsoever. Why imply that it is linked to aikido?

I will openly challenge anyone, I mean anyone to let me mount them, have their keys in their pocket (i have nothing) and then say "go". If you can hurt me or kill me in anyway, go fot it. It ain't gonna happen, I'd kill you way, or render you incoherent from the mount way before you could dig them out past my thighs.

DonMagee
07-25-2006, 02:19 PM
Interesting Don. Most of the initial responses to the OP were quite balanced. Boon, Chris, several people in fact, stated quite reasonable opinions. I'd like to think that mine was one. Yet here you are chattering on about 'your mission'. Hmmm.

Somehow, it just doesn't float. Again, I ask, isn't it enough that you are honest with yourself?

Best,
Ron

There were a few reasonable opinions. But that doesn't mean there are not unreasonable ones. Again, it is not enough that you be honest with yourself, it should be your duty to stop wrong or improperly informed information from being taken as fact when you see it. I don't seek out forums to troll. I came here for a aikido reason. I stay here because I like the conversation. But if I see something I think is bull, I'm going to call it like I see it. If I am proved wrong I will admit it and grow from the exp.

Jorge Garcia
07-25-2006, 02:27 PM
... as an aikidoka. I was disillusioned with my training...This forum helped me make my decision to discontine my aikido training.

Don,
This is the closest to the truth we've gotten so far. Here, we have a disillusioned Aikidoist who has decided to discontinue his training coming over to give Aikido lovers advice. Maybe your sense of mission to come over and convert us to your BJJ point of view was to reinforce your decision to yourself. I appreciate the sense of mission but that's like a convinced Jehova's Witness coming to bother me at my house on Saturday morning to convice me that my religion is wrong. Thanks for the help but no thanks!

Keith R Lee
07-25-2006, 04:26 PM
Well, throw me in with Don and Michael as another Aikido student who trained for a long time before semi-retiring from Aikido to train full time in Sambo/ no-gi submission grappling. I still train Aikido a few seminars a year, but that's about it.

Sure, Don might be a bit aggressive in his points, but I don't think he's entirely off base either. There are definitely Aikidoists who completely dismiss groundwork and the clinch. And from what I can tell, neither Don nor Michael are advocating ditching Aikido if you enjoy it. Merely that maybe 6 months of bjj/sambo/wrestling would give one a much more well-rounded skill set in terms of self defense.

For many people, self-defense is not why they train in Aikido, and can justly say "I am not concerned with groundwork/clinching." More power to those people. However, it seems as though a good number of Aikidoists are concerned with self-defense. If they are, why completely ignore a part of fighting that has shown itself to come up time and again?

Me personally, I wasn't in Aikido for self-defense when I quit, I just felt like I had plateau'ed for a while and at the same time I started in Sambo. In Sambo I discovered that 98% of what I learned in Aikido didn't work against someone (the same size as me) who was resistant and had been training in Sambo for half a year. Initially I was frustrated, but once I started learning things it was really fun! Also, I was learning new moves, throws, and positions that I could use against people, even when they didn't want to go along with technique! I was hooked. Been doing it ever since. That being said, I'm still not training for self-defense, I'm training because it's fun!

I think sometimes the whole bjj/mma world can be pretty intimidating to people, especially to Aikidoists. But if you find the right gym, it will be full of cool people who want to help you learn and grow, just like a good Aikido dojo. The difference being that a bjj/mma gym is going to require a much deeper level of commitment much sooner in order to get past the "hazing" period of the first few months.

statisticool
07-25-2006, 05:21 PM
I just wish the "you must have ground fighting" crowd and the BJJ group would find those forums and then have a blast saying anything you want to say.


They have found those forums... they've also found that people there don't even believe them. :)

Mainly due to the fact that they tend to use UFC-ish events as 'evidence' of real life, and ignore multiple attackers and weapons in their ground game.

statisticool
07-25-2006, 05:24 PM
In Sambo I discovered that 98% of what I learned in Aikido didn't work against someone (the same size as me) who was resistant and had been training in Sambo for half a year.


Does that speak of aikido, or of the practicioner's ability?

Keith R Lee
07-25-2006, 05:30 PM
I don't know, I had just got my nidan (Yoshinkan) after nearly a year as uchi deshi under a 6th dan. Feel free to make your own interpretation, I know I did.

Aristeia
07-25-2006, 05:41 PM
yeah, man. i can just imagine those people who created the daito-ryu fighting systems in a time when mistakes would cost lives doing a checklist on what their particular fighting art is good for.

1. multiple opponents- "check!"
2. single opponents-"check!"
3. against sword attack-"check!"
4. against knife attack-"check!"
5. against horseback rider-"check!"
6. again wrestler, ground fighting- "Nahhh!!! that's never gonna happen!"there is some evidence there was some ground in daito ryu
http://venus.secureguards.com/~aikidog-/images/OSenseiPhotos/ChokePhoto.jpg
No idea how effective it was not having seen it trained but it looks to be something taht was addressed certainly.

DonMagee
07-25-2006, 05:54 PM
Close, except for I came here before I stopped my training. I'm not here to convert anyone. I'm here to discuss viewpoints. My personal 'mission' is simply to not let what I feel to be a falsehood stand without a rebuttle. I guess I got the wrong idea about this site. I thought the purpose of this site was to discuss aikido and how it relates to us and the world. I thought I was doing just that. I have never suggested anyone quit aikido. Not once, not ever. I have suggested people examine their training methods, spar, even look into crosstraining. But not once have I ever said aikido was a bad thing.

I have no need to reinforce my viewpoint. I am confident in it. In fact, this site helped me make it. I dont make choices without much thought and I never regret my choices, even the bad ones.

This thread was about groundfighting. If you notice my first post was on ways a NON ground figther could prepare themselves to have a chance at getting back up from the ground. After that the bull started flinging and people started talking about 90% of all fights going to the ground, and being able to choose where you fought, and deciding you dont want to fight on the ground, and I'm sure someone mentioned aikido is for multiple attackers on a battlefield with swords.

I rarely see anyone question my arguements. I only see them question my purpose. I take that to mean my arguements are sound. I'd also point out I have never once used the UFC as a reason to take bjj. If you want to face it or not, the ground is some place a fight can go, and it is an easy place to go. It doesn't matter if you have 5 on 1, 1 on 1 or 3 on 5. It doesn't matter if there is a knife or a gun. All it takes is for two people to grab on to each other, gravity and struggle take care of the rest.

Aristeia
07-25-2006, 06:18 PM
Great post Don, it's helped me pinpoint why I am finding this discussion so darn frustrating
I rarely see anyone question my arguements. I only see them question my purpose.

So let me try (again) to clear up a few things.

1) Talking about "the invasion" of the BJJers as if we came from some external place is a misrepresentation. We were here all along. Before we started BJJ. These are opinions coming from a section of people *within* the Aikido community. Some have stopped actively training Aikido, others have not. But this is were we started, this is where we grew up. Don't insult us by saying we are outsiders because we have a difference of opinion.

2) As Don says - none of us have said Aikido is bad. None of us has suggested *for a second* that anyone should stop doing it. None of us (I don't think) have said that it has no self defence application. If you think we have been attacking Aikido - you should get out more.

3) We've all said there are some very good reasons to do Aikido and that it is a great art. I personally have even stated my beleif that it can be very effective in terms of self defence.

4) None of us have said that BJJ is the best. We've only pointed out that it is better equipped to give you some basic skills and strategies in a short time *in this one particular area of discussion - groundfighting*. That's a long way from saying "we're better than everybody else at everything".

5) It's not like we've wandered into a thread on shiho nage and said "that's crap you don't know how to ground fight". This thread was started to *specifically discuss* the area of groundfighting. And what, you're surprised BJJ comes up?

A couple of final things to think about.

Someone I forget who mentioned they hang out on some sort of forum regarding cars. If you were on that forum (or any other forum you have an interest outside of Aikido) and the subject of aikido came up with people claiming it was ineffective for example - would you say to yourself "this isn't an aikido forum so I won't respond" or would you look to corret the mistaken belief?

Someone mentioned the jehovahs witnesses. One of the defining features of a cult is that they are intolerant of conflicting opinions, and particularly that they will go to lengths to ensure people don't investigate other world views outside of the cult. I'm not sure that it's the BJJers here who are coming across like that.

Aristeia
07-25-2006, 06:36 PM
double post

ksy
08-01-2006, 07:52 PM
You're right, don't worry about it, when you hit the ground you won't need any skills down there.

and you point is?

ksy
08-01-2006, 08:13 PM
mike, no one art can cover everything, agreed. 2 simple principles here - either concentrate on improving your strengths or limit your "limitation"/weakness by studying something that supposedly "completes" your art. that is if the person chooses to see it that way. choosing one over the other doesn't mean that the person is pretending that aikido is everything. aikido is supposedly evolving, never complete, isn't it?

my first msg came out sounding harsher than it should have. you seem like you still have a lot of passion for aikido. thanks for sharing your thoughts. when i reach your 13 years of enlightenment, maybe i'd feel what you feel. ..then again, maybe not. adios!


ps - and i never said you were MY "coach". just a "coach", mr bjj/aikido master :rolleyes:

Aristeia
08-01-2006, 08:25 PM
Show me where I ever claimed an art can cover everything. This discussion was never about that and I still can't fathom why people like you keep tryingto make it about that. It was about 2 very specifc questions
1. Is the ground something you should consider from a self defence standpoint
2. Does Aikido offer much in the way of groundfighting.

those with experience groundfighting have tried to answer that question. Some other posters have launched into a defence against an attack that was never made.
But if tearing down strawmen and calling me childish names helps you get through the day, go for your life.

ksy
08-01-2006, 08:51 PM
Show me where I ever claimed an art can cover everything. This discussion was never about that and I still can't fathom why people like you keep tryingto make it about that. It was about 2 very specifc questions
1. Is the ground something you should consider from a self defence standpoint
2. Does Aikido offer much in the way of groundfighting.

those with experience groundfighting have tried to answer that question. Some other posters have launched into a defence against an attack that was never made.
But if tearing down strawmen and calling me childish names helps you get through the day, go for your life.

no need to be so defensive, michael. i agreed on that issue. and, it's a childish name, with a smilie. ;) lighten up, man, it's just a discussion.

Aristeia
08-01-2006, 08:57 PM
yeah well I responded before you edited - sometimes it pays to think before you speak rather than after.

And beleive me, i'm not the defensive one on this thread.

ksy
08-01-2006, 09:13 PM
yeah well I responded before you edited - sometimes it pays to think before you speak rather than after.

And beleive me, i'm not the defensive one on this thread.

dude, not all of us have the benefit of your 13 years of enlightened training that allows highly-trained fighters like yourself to "move" a lot quicker.

nice to know your post are getting shorter, though. keep up the good work and have a nice day :hypno:

Aristeia
08-01-2006, 09:16 PM
you do realise that responding with a sarcastic ad hominem rather than actually debating the points makes you look a bit childish right?

Aristeia
08-01-2006, 09:18 PM
Kong it would be great if you could check your posts before sending rather than editing them every time and changing something. It's best for the conversation for us to be able to see what each other are actually responding to rather than a version that was written a minute after the response.

ksy
08-01-2006, 09:33 PM
Kong it would be great if you could check your posts before sending rather than editing them every time and changing something. It's best for the conversation for us to be able to see what each other are actually responding to rather than a version that was written a minute after the response.

dear michel, can you wait 15 mins before responding? appreciate it, thanks.

ksy
08-01-2006, 09:37 PM
you do realise that responding with a sarcastic ad hominem rather than actually debating the points makes you look a bit childish right?

right.... and you're the epitome of maturity. when debates go in never ending circles, sometimes it's best to just let go. like i said, lighten up mr bjj/aikido master. :rolleyes:

Aristeia
08-01-2006, 09:55 PM
I have not called anybody names or attacked the person rather than the argument. I'd be happy to start if that's your preferred method....

ksy
08-01-2006, 10:41 PM
I have not called anybody names or attacked the person rather than the argument. I'd be happy to start if that's your preferred method....

start? thought we'd ended. thanks, man. but i'll let this one go if you don't mind. cheers!

Aristeia
08-01-2006, 10:45 PM
*waits for someone more interesting to show up*

xuzen
08-01-2006, 11:26 PM
GRAVITY (TM)! People, think GRAVITY (TM)!

To be fair to the nay-sayers, Ground Grappling DOES NOT WORK in:
1) SPACE where there is an absent of gravity;
2) Uke/Opponent/Assailant is a invertebrae alien life form;
3) Uke/Opponent/Assailant is holding a scimitar, glaive or Anti-Matter Cold Fusion Laser Gun.

OK, I go to play with my Cold Fusion grenade now.

Boon.

David Orange
08-02-2006, 09:45 PM
Ken,

Your posts on the internet are almost as delightful as talking with you in person. In Post #52, you illustrate something that Minoru Mochizuki Sensei always said: "Truth can only be built on truth."

What remnds me of this is your reply to the fellow who asked: "what happens when you meet a guy who tries to sit on your chest and pound your head in?"

... you do anything you can. Break one of the elbows. Hold onto the striking arm so that the attacker lifts you up with his back draw of the arm. Claw out his eyes. Strike to his throat. Strike to his nose. Break his kneck....I'd try to kill him, anyway I could. If I had keys in my pocket, my hands would be free to go there. I might get hurt bad, but he'd die.

The "truth" that your statement illustrates is that, no matter what philosophy or moral principles we expound, humans will infallibly revert to utter savagery when the chips are really down.

You seem upset that so many people want to explore what they could do to defend themselves if taken to the ground, but your comments make it clear that you have thought a lot about it. My question is why you don't get someone to let you test out your ideas on them. That way you would know better than to try certain things in a real life-and-death struggle. For instance, if the man is on top of you, and you can get your hand into your pocket and get your keys, all you can do with them is jab him in the lower back, which may hurt, but will not "kill" him. If your hands can reach the front of his body, they can't reach your pockets, so that idea would prove useless.

And proof is what we really want, isn't it? Mochizuki Sensei was an uchi deshi to Ueshiba O Sensei but he was also a big fan of grappling on the ground. Under his supervision I did get to test out many ideas and find out what really works and what does not. I'd be glad to work with you any time to let you try out any of your above-mentioned ideas to see how well they would work in that situation. After all, that's the basis of rationality, isn't it? To weigh things and find out their relative values?

Generally, aikido is considered to be a grappling art, rather than a striking art, though it does contain several specific and thousands of potential atemi waza. So what's the difference between doing a standing sankyo by locking the opponent's elbow under your armpit and doing the same lock by straddling his arm with a leg or lying beside him on the ground? The techniques are virtually the same in many cases, but the milleu of the ground fight changes a lot of elements. To someone with no real experience doing aikido on the ground, the difference can be crucial, even fatal. I submit that if someone can get past your best aikido and get you on the ground, ad hoc flailing, eye clawing and throat striking will only make him angrier at you and increase the brutal beating you will surely receive.

You may not remember the way American martial arts were before the UFC began. I was uchi deshi in Japan at that time and everyone there was astounded at the Gracies' cajones to make the challlenge they did: $50,000 to anyone who could beat them with any art. Back then, karate men and judo men both claimed they could beat each other. Kung fu men, ninjas, jujutsuka, all thought they could beat all the others, but NO ONE really tried it out for real. The Gracies broke that barrier wide open and changed the way Americans (and the Japanese) looked at their traditions of training. In fact, what the Gracies were doing is exactly the kind of thing that was common in Japanese arts 100 years ago. By the 1990s, the arts had become to calcified in post-war tradition that no one could imagine a bloody contest to find out which art was best. But that's exactly what they used to do in Japan.

What was fascinating in the early UFC fights was seeing the shock on martial artists' faces when they felt the reality of a severe fight. Experienced black belts would toss out all their claimed moral principles, chivalry and technique after a couple of minutes of fruitless fighting. When they realized they were in real trouble, the truly savage side of human nature infallibly emerged. One thing I'll never forget was one guy desperately slamming full-force punches into another guy's open groin, several times.

The other fascinating thing about these fights was seeing how far an individual had to go before that desperate savagery was revealed. In short, the more severe a person's training has been, the further he can go without getting desperate, losing his cool and reverting to frantic efforts actually to kill the opponent. People like Royce Gracie, with both tough conditioning and ground fighting experience, remained cool, collected and strategically oriented to the very end. Talking about someone ending up dead, when Royce fought the huge, muscular Kimo, he was pummeled black and blue. It seemed that he had lost for sure, but he somehow endured until he could get Kimo face down on the mat, got on top of Kimo's back and choked him out. Royce had to be helped off the mat, black and blue. Kimo had not a mark on him, but he would have been dead if the fight had not ended. And Royce never displayed the savagery of desperation in the entire fight.

I have never trained in BJJ and don't intend to, but I have done a lot of ground fighting. Mochizuki Sensei just considered it all a unified field of techniques. If nage failed to effect a clean aikido throw in the first instant of an attack, uke would almost always take him to the ground, where they grappled until one or the other submitted to a joint lock or choke. And if you've never experienced that, you won't believe how exhausted you can become and how quickly it can happen. If we faced a series of five ukes in a round of randori, we would likely go to the ground three or four times in that round. However, because of the sharp conditioning from that kind of training, major injuries were very rare.

...people come on to this Aikido focussed community and insist that their sport, bjj, is the superior, if not the only, valid martial art.

Ken, the first poster said nothing about BJJ. He was an aikijujutsu man (Daito Ryu) and he simply said,

"Do you ever think (being an Aikidoka) that you might (in a self defense situation) end up fighting on the ground?
"If not, Why?
"If so, what do you do about this?
"Does Aikido provide any tools for this situation, or do you look to other arts for the answer to this situation?
"If Aikido provides those tools, please explain."

Many people did suggest that some experience in BJJ could only be helpful. I would say that whether it's BJJ, yoseikan budo or some traditional form of jujutsu or judo, grappling experience can only help. At the least, it can save us from finding ourselves suddenly shocked by reality and having to "claw" at someone's eyes in desperation. The fact is, as other people have pointed out, most of those responses are pure fantasy and would prove pointless in a real fight.

Besides, wearing skirts so much, we have a weak enough reputation without resorting to clawing people's eyes.

If you decide you'd like to work on some ground fighting methods in complete safety, you know where to find me. Call on me any time.

Best wishes.

David

Kevin Leavitt
08-03-2006, 12:03 AM
Great post David. Very well stated.

Aristeia
08-03-2006, 01:07 AM
Hear Hear.

xuzen
08-03-2006, 03:32 AM
http://venus.secureguards.com/~aikidog-/images/OSenseiPhotos/ChokePhoto.jpg
Speaking of love and harmony, O'sensei seems to be very loving and harmony with this uke of his. :D

The above technique seems to be kata-gamate.
http://www.judoinfo.com/images/osaekomi/kata_gatame.gif

Is this technique also part of Daito-ryu syllabus or is it something O'sensei pick up from his judo studies during his boyhood time?

Boon.

DonMagee
08-03-2006, 05:47 AM
Ken,

Your posts on the internet are almost as delightful as talking with you in person. In Post #52, you illustrate something that Minoru Mochizuki Sensei always said: "Truth can only be built on truth."

What remnds me of this is your reply to the fellow who asked: "what happens when you meet a guy who tries to sit on your chest and pound your head in?"



The "truth" that your statement illustrates is that, no matter what philosophy or moral principles we expound, humans will infallibly revert to utter savagery when the chips are really down.

You seem upset that so many people want to explore what they could do to defend themselves if taken to the ground, but your comments make it clear that you have thought a lot about it. My question is why you don't get someone to let you test out your ideas on them. That way you would know better than to try certain things in a real life-and-death struggle. For instance, if the man is on top of you, and you can get your hand into your pocket and get your keys, all you can do with them is jab him in the lower back, which may hurt, but will not "kill" him. If your hands can reach the front of his body, they can't reach your pockets, so that idea would prove useless.

And proof is what we really want, isn't it? Mochizuki Sensei was an uchi deshi to Ueshiba O Sensei but he was also a big fan of grappling on the ground. Under his supervision I did get to test out many ideas and find out what really works and what does not. I'd be glad to work with you any time to let you try out any of your above-mentioned ideas to see how well they would work in that situation. After all, that's the basis of rationality, isn't it? To weigh things and find out their relative values?

Generally, aikido is considered to be a grappling art, rather than a striking art, though it does contain several specific and thousands of potential atemi waza. So what's the difference between doing a standing sankyo by locking the opponent's elbow under your armpit and doing the same lock by straddling his arm with a leg or lying beside him on the ground? The techniques are virtually the same in many cases, but the milleu of the ground fight changes a lot of elements. To someone with no real experience doing aikido on the ground, the difference can be crucial, even fatal. I submit that if someone can get past your best aikido and get you on the ground, ad hoc flailing, eye clawing and throat striking will only make him angrier at you and increase the brutal beating you will surely receive.

You may not remember the way American martial arts were before the UFC began. I was uchi deshi in Japan at that time and everyone there was astounded at the Gracies' cajones to make the challlenge they did: $50,000 to anyone who could beat them with any art. Back then, karate men and judo men both claimed they could beat each other. Kung fu men, ninjas, jujutsuka, all thought they could beat all the others, but NO ONE really tried it out for real. The Gracies broke that barrier wide open and changed the way Americans (and the Japanese) looked at their traditions of training. In fact, what the Gracies were doing is exactly the kind of thing that was common in Japanese arts 100 years ago. By the 1990s, the arts had become to calcified in post-war tradition that no one could imagine a bloody contest to find out which art was best. But that's exactly what they used to do in Japan.

What was fascinating in the early UFC fights was seeing the shock on martial artists' faces when they felt the reality of a severe fight. Experienced black belts would toss out all their claimed moral principles, chivalry and technique after a couple of minutes of fruitless fighting. When they realized they were in real trouble, the truly savage side of human nature infallibly emerged. One thing I'll never forget was one guy desperately slamming full-force punches into another guy's open groin, several times.

The other fascinating thing about these fights was seeing how far an individual had to go before that desperate savagery was revealed. In short, the more severe a person's training has been, the further he can go without getting desperate, losing his cool and reverting to frantic efforts actually to kill the opponent. People like Royce Gracie, with both tough conditioning and ground fighting experience, remained cool, collected and strategically oriented to the very end. Talking about someone ending up dead, when Royce fought the huge, muscular Kimo, he was pummeled black and blue. It seemed that he had lost for sure, but he somehow endured until he could get Kimo face down on the mat, got on top of Kimo's back and choked him out. Royce had to be helped off the mat, black and blue. Kimo had not a mark on him, but he would have been dead if the fight had not ended. And Royce never displayed the savagery of desperation in the entire fight.

I have never trained in BJJ and don't intend to, but I have done a lot of ground fighting. Mochizuki Sensei just considered it all a unified field of techniques. If nage failed to effect a clean aikido throw in the first instant of an attack, uke would almost always take him to the ground, where they grappled until one or the other submitted to a joint lock or choke. And if you've never experienced that, you won't believe how exhausted you can become and how quickly it can happen. If we faced a series of five ukes in a round of randori, we would likely go to the ground three or four times in that round. However, because of the sharp conditioning from that kind of training, major injuries were very rare.



Ken, the first poster said nothing about BJJ. He was an aikijujutsu man (Daito Ryu) and he simply said,

"Do you ever think (being an Aikidoka) that you might (in a self defense situation) end up fighting on the ground?
"If not, Why?
"If so, what do you do about this?
"Does Aikido provide any tools for this situation, or do you look to other arts for the answer to this situation?
"If Aikido provides those tools, please explain."

Many people did suggest that some experience in BJJ could only be helpful. I would say that whether it's BJJ, yoseikan budo or some traditional form of jujutsu or judo, grappling experience can only help. At the least, it can save us from finding ourselves suddenly shocked by reality and having to "claw" at someone's eyes in desperation. The fact is, as other people have pointed out, most of those responses are pure fantasy and would prove pointless in a real fight.

Besides, wearing skirts so much, we have a weak enough reputation without resorting to clawing people's eyes.

If you decide you'd like to work on some ground fighting methods in complete safety, you know where to find me. Call on me any time.

Best wishes.

David


I only disagree with one thing. Royce did indeed use savage attacks on kimo. He struck his groin repeatedly trying to take him down and used his hair as a method of keeping kimo on the ground. He was not as savage as others, but he had no problems using any 'legal' technique to his advantage.

Ron Tisdale
08-03-2006, 06:13 AM
Hi Boon,

I have trained waza like that in Daito ryu. Even versions of hadaka jime. With 'hooks' as well. Very nice picture by the way...was that from the Noma Dojo period?

Very nice post David. I sometimes wish yoshinkan training would include the training for jiyu waza that you mentioned.

Best,
Ron

MM
08-03-2006, 07:58 AM
Usually when I see a topic of ground fighting come up, someone invariably invokes two things: BJJ and 85-95% of all fights end up on the ground. And BJJ people love to quote that statistic. I've even heard Aikido people use it.

Okay, for all those people who have some time and effort. Show me the research for those statistics. Show me where those numbers come from. I'll call anyone to support that theory. Go ahead. Try.

You'll never find it. It's the largest, hugest, single most erroneous Internet Urban Myth out there. It's propogated perpetually until everyone who doesn't have a brain thinks it's true. There is hope. If you have a brain, start using it and get out of the urban myth ring.

What you'll find if you dig hard enough is a study done by LAPD. In fact, read some about it here (I've done part of the work for you):
http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-11547.html

I really loved this part:
"6.8% Subject assumed a fighting, martial arts, or boxing stance but did not attack the officer; themost frequent second act was teh offier striking the subject with the baton (38%) and this was also the most frequent final act (41%)"

No going to the ground at all. :)

But the real facts are that this is a "STUDY" done between Law Enforcement officers and suspects. First, it's a study. Not major research. Second, it involves Law Enforcement which has different rules of procedure than all us ordinary people. (Not to mention that the study doesn't show how many officers were involved in each incident. So, if the average was 2-3, then going by all those BJJ people, we should study multiple grappling do where 2-3 people gang up on 1 person because in 95% of fights, 2-3 people take one person down on the ground. Silly sounding isn't it?)

Check out the five scenarios and their final action:

1. only 46% ground
2. 35%
3. 36.5%
4. 40% (subject running away -- can you say tackle?)
5. 0%

In only 1 of those did the ground ever come into play as a first based action by an officer. And that was tackling a suspect running away. As civilians, we won't do that. Remove that from the criteria. You have to remove #1 too because as civilians, we won't grab and try to subdue. That's called "assault" in the legal world. Again, remove #3 for same reasons. That leaves you with only 1 incident out of 5 that might, in someone's wild world of imagination, be applied to ordinary citizens. Still that's an initial 25% chance with only 36% of that going to ground. Very slim, don't you think?

As for the initial entry, try doing some research. There's a link to a nice article on Ito in the Aikido Journal. Shioda and the fight in China. Mifune and Judo (men twice his size couldn't throw him to the ground). Takeda and his gang fight. While some people's Aikido might not work or provide tools, other people's Aikido does.

The moral of this: Don't listen to hype, quite wasting energy blathering on about adding some outside "value" to your training and instead use it to train more. If you like BJJ, train in it. If you like Aikido, train in it. If you like both, do both. You won't hear me say one is better than the other. To paraphrase my sensei, the best martial art is the one you love and are good at.

Mark

DonMagee
08-03-2006, 08:29 AM
In only 1 of those did the ground ever come into play as a first based action by an officer. And that was tackling a suspect running away. As civilians, we won't do that. Remove that from the criteria. You have to remove #1 too because as civilians, we won't grab and try to subdue. That's called "assault" in the legal world. Again, remove #3 for same reasons. That leaves you with only 1 incident out of 5 that might, in someone's wild world of imagination, be applied to ordinary citizens. Still that's an initial 25% chance with only 36% of that going to ground. Very slim, don't you think?

I have to disagree with your reasoning. The whole act of starting a fight means your oppoent is not a normal civilian. He is already commiting assault, thus if you run, he might tackle you. If you stay he might grapple you, at this point grappling might not be to subdue, it might be to throw you to the ground so he can have a better vantage for him and his friends to beat you.

Jorge Garcia
08-03-2006, 08:37 AM
Usually when I see a topic of ground fighting come up, someone invariably invokes two things: BJJ and 85-95% of all fights end up on the ground. And BJJ people love to quote that statistic. I've even heard Aikido people use it.

Okay, for all those people who have some time and effort. Show me the research for those statistics. Show me where those numbers come from. I'll call anyone to support that theory. Go ahead. Try.

You'll never find it. It's the largest, hugest, single most erroneous Internet Urban Myth out there. It's propogated perpetually until everyone who doesn't have a brain thinks it's true. There is hope. If you have a brain, start using it and get out of the urban myth ring.

What you'll find if you dig hard enough is a study done by LAPD. In fact, read some about it here (I've done part of the work for you):
http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-11547.html

I really loved this part:
"6.8% Subject assumed a fighting, martial arts, or boxing stance but did not attack the officer; themost frequent second act was teh offier striking the subject with the baton (38%) and this was also the most frequent final act (41%)"

No going to the ground at all. :)

But the real facts are that this is a "STUDY" done between Law Enforcement officers and suspects. First, it's a study. Not major research. Second, it involves Law Enforcement which has different rules of procedure than all us ordinary people. (Not to mention that the study doesn't show how many officers were involved in each incident. So, if the average was 2-3, then going by all those BJJ people, we should study multiple grappling do where 2-3 people gang up on 1 person because in 95% of fights, 2-3 people take one person down on the ground. Silly sounding isn't it?)

Check out the five scenarios and their final action:

1. only 46% ground
2. 35%
3. 36.5%
4. 40% (subject running away -- can you say tackle?)
5. 0%

In only 1 of those did the ground ever come into play as a first based action by an officer. And that was tackling a suspect running away. As civilians, we won't do that. Remove that from the criteria. You have to remove #1 too because as civilians, we won't grab and try to subdue. That's called "assault" in the legal world. Again, remove #3 for same reasons. That leaves you with only 1 incident out of 5 that might, in someone's wild world of imagination, be applied to ordinary citizens. Still that's an initial 25% chance with only 36% of that going to ground. Very slim, don't you think?

As for the initial entry, try doing some research. There's a link to a nice article on Ito in the Aikido Journal. Shioda and the fight in China. Mifune and Judo (men twice his size couldn't throw him to the ground). Takeda and his gang fight. While some people's Aikido might not work or provide tools, other people's Aikido does.

The moral of this: Don't listen to hype, quite wasting energy blathering on about adding some outside "value" to your training and instead use it to train more. If you like BJJ, train in it. If you like Aikido, train in it. If you like both, do both. You won't hear me say one is better than the other. To paraphrase my sensei, the best martial art is the one you love and are good at.

Mark

Mark,
That was wonderful post. I will try to refrain from too much enthusiasm lest I come out sounding like our local BJJ backslapping and bless me club!

The best thing you said was the one intangible that these guys always leave out. It is that " While some people's Aikido might not work or provide tools, other people's Aikido does. " We've always done pins and work like that in the picture and it's a core part of our Aikido but I agree with you that regardless of that we should stop" listening to hype, ... wasting energy blathering on about adding some outside "value" to your training ".
These guys try to keep the subject up at all times and won't let it die. It doesn't matter who asks, the answer is always " take BJJ."
Thanks for the blast of sanity.

Again, to quote,"If you like BJJ, train in it. If you like Aikido, train in it. If you like both, do both. You won't hear me say one is better than the other. To paraphrase my sensei, the best martial art is the one you love and are good at.


Best wishes,

MM
08-03-2006, 08:53 AM
I have to disagree with your reasoning. The whole act of starting a fight means your oppoent is not a normal civilian. He is already commiting assault, thus if you run, he might tackle you. If you stay he might grapple you, at this point grappling might not be to subdue, it might be to throw you to the ground so he can have a better vantage for him and his friends to beat you.

Don,
Read the study. We are not talking about a suspect tackling *you*. The study dealt with a LEO tackling the *suspect*. Hence, we can't use that statistic because as normal citizens, we aren't going to do that. My logic/reasoning is still there, especially for those people that love to quote that statistic.

However, (you knew there'd be one, right?), I do agree with your example in that you might get tackled when you run away from an attacker. It's a strong possibility. No disagreements there at all. But, then, you also have to realize that you took the "game" from being a "fight" to a "flight" arena. That has both pro and con to it and wasn't part of this discussion. :)

Thanks,
Mark

DonMagee
08-03-2006, 10:14 AM
I'd like to point out that I dont belive 90% of all fights go to the ground. I do belive that when someone wants to take a fight to the ground, it will go there. And I also believe that the ground is the single most dangerous place you can be in a fight. This is why I advocate learning how to deal with being on the ground. I dont care if you learn judo, bjj, daito ryu, aikido, karate, etc. If your concern is self defense, you need to spend some time developing solid skills to at least learn how to get back to your feet. I have never told anyone they need to add bjj to their training, I've simply stated they need to make sure they are concidering, developing, or training to deal with being on the ground. This training could be as simple as learning how to shrimp crawl and get guard so you can limit the damage. It could be as complex as omaplat's, armbars, and chokes. It could just be learning how to stand up safely. But it's important to not dismiss a range of fighting.

I understand your reasoning now mark, and I'd have to say that based on what I read in that survey you can't use those statisics at all for what happens in a street fight. They are simply unrelated.

Most people claim it is not worth their time to train ground fighting because of the rarity of ground fighting. However, think of the techniques you do train that are so low percentage in their use. Most martial artists waste a lot of time learning complex techniques that take months to pull off with a compliant attacker. How would taking a month and learning some basic position on the ground and how to safely get back up be any worse? Daito ryu has ground techniques (or so someone said in this post), so I'd suggest taking those techniques learning them, testing them and modifying them to fit with your belieif system. I'd suggest learning how to defend strikes on the ground, make space to move your hips, and stand up safely. These skills wont stop a bjj attacker who has decided to break your joints or choke you, but they will stop a 'common' agressor who only wants to sit on you while he or he and his buddys attack you with strikes. This is a very common type of attack. Take the guy down, sit on his chest and punch him. And if you have buddys they can be soccer kicking him in the head to speed up the process. Its a safe attack for the attacker, even if you have friends he is sitting on you and hitt you. So if your buddys come to your aid, he can simply stand back up. On the bottom however is extreamly dangerious becuase you do not have that option of standing back up. This is why learning how to defend strikes (fight for overhooks, sweeps, whatever) is very important, this is also why learning how to make space and get out of that position is very important (especially learning how to do this without exposing the back of your skull). After that you have to worry that he gets up before you, or his buddys are there to kick you in the face as you stand up. So learning how to properly stand up is important. Learning how to submit an attacker on the ground, or take someone down with a single leg, not so important.

Another strategy for working out a solid ground defense would be to learn to defend simple take downs. You have 3 categorys of take downs to worry about.

1) football rush - guy gets angry runs at you and trys to pick you up and slam you, this should be of no problem for any aikidoka. I mean you have a guy running at you. This should be just as good as dealing with a haymaker.
2) Wrestling style takedowns - single and double leg take downs, etc - These usually happen at close quarters, aikido's first strenght is attempting to keep good maai to prevent these kind of takedowns. Failing that learning a sprawl will stop most of these takedowns except by high skilled wrestlers. Uke shoots, you sprawl, cross face/wizzer, and push uke away to regain proper maai.
3) Judo style takedowns. - These takedowns require grips and clinching hip throws, some types of single/double legs, shoulder throws, etc all fall into this category. Aikido should be able to deal with these by working with dealing with the clinch and grab. There are a lot of aikido techniques that would lend themselves well to a clinch or grab. I would suggest simply training with someone trying to clinch and throw you. Have uke attempt to clinch and throw you with a hip throw, you defend with whatever you want to defend with. Wash rinse and repeat.

Again I'm not suggesting you start learning bjj and head out to every NAGA competition that comes your way. I'm suggesting you develop strategys within your own art to deal with attackers of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels. And with the 3 ranges of combat striking, clinch, ground. You need to know what to do when that guy tries to knock your block off. You need to know what to do when his punching fails and he grabs onto you for support and tries to choke, knee, or elbow you. And you need to know what to do if he happens to drag you down to the ground.

jonreading
08-03-2006, 11:50 AM
In response to earlier posts concerning the application of Daito Ryu ground technique, I can affirm that there is significant groundwork. Many Daito Ryu instructors have been asked to share their experience in aikido forums such as demonstrations and seminars. Their techniques are impressive. Of course, that is Daito Ryu, not aikido. Aikido instructors phased out much of the ground work that was originally included in early aikido. This decision was made over many years and almost certainly was not made because instructors felt ground technique was unimportant to fighting, but rather other techniues were more important to the study of aikido.

Groundwork is a necessary education to effective combat and fighting. Just because groundwork may be excluded from contemporary aikido curriculum does not discredit its validity or importance to fighting. Hold you head high and say, "I respect groundwork. In my aikido I do not train in groundwork, but I appreciate its skill and range of opportunity." If you are one of the lucky few that trains in groundwork as part of your aikido, great.

Aikido is not any other martial art. Do not bastardize aikido by including that which is not aikido. Understand both the advantages and disadvantages of the aikido. Do not judge aikido for what it clearly does not do, nor for what is aspires to do. Advocate the art for its strenghths, but do not veil its weaknesses either.

My first real pocket knife was a swiss army multi-tool pocket knife. While fishing, my grandfather asked me to whittle a frog spear for him. My knife had all sorts of great tools including a scaler, and a corkscrew, and a can opener, but the kinfe blade was rather dull and small. After looking at me for a minute, he pulled out his pocket knife (an old texas toothpick) and gave it to me. He said, "Jon, it doesn't matter how fancy the tool is, it's worthless if it isn't useful. He was a mason and I still have some of the carpentry tools he left me that were his father's - they are almost a century old and still useful.

Kevin Leavitt
08-03-2006, 11:56 AM
100% of fights that end up on the ground are ground fights. It doesn't matter what the statistics say about the odds of ending up on the ground are if you are in the one fight that ends up on the ground. It is as simple as that.

If you are using statistics as rationale, then why bother studying martial arts at all since statistically most of us have a very small chance of ever really being in a truely violent encounter.

On that rationale we should just study budo and be happy with what we learn from the lessons of budo.

For me, I will study ground fighting because I have been in more than a few altercations, and all mine ended up with a fixed location a table, couch, wall, or the ground as the thing that stopped the momentum of the fight. it ain't all about the ground.

Aristeia
08-03-2006, 12:08 PM
Mark that was a nice debunking of a myth. But I don't think anyone was using that particular stat and in fact we'd already covered off that it was from a LEO study, that the figure had been inflated and that it wasn't particularly relevent.
This is what I mean by people debating the argment they are expecting to see rather than the one that they are. I don't think I've seen anyone seriously use the 90% stat for some time - it's been pretty well debunked for a few years.

Jorge, the answer is not always BJJ. I've already explicitly pointed that out. I year or so ago I had a pretty robust debate with some of the guys on RMA about the same issue (I wasn't pushing BJJ, they were). Sometimes it's judo, sometimes it's Muay Thai sometimes it's Aikido. It depends on the question. But when the question involves the key components of self defence and ground fighting then yeah, BJJ is likely to figure in the answer. Help me to understand why that bothers you so much, it just seems logical to many of us.

This training could be as simple as learning how to shrimp crawl and get guard so you can limit the damage

Don I would add to that a sweep or two and upa for an absolute minimum. You can teach all this in *one* long class/seminar. Sure it would then take some practice to internalise but you're right, it's not like we're reccomending someone go on a 10 year pigrimaage to get these skills.

Nice post Jon

Aristeia
08-03-2006, 12:34 PM
For me, I will study ground fighting because I have been in more than a few altercations, and all mine ended up with a fixed location a table, couch, wall, or the ground as the thing that stopped the momentum of the fight. it ain't all about the ground.Good point. My Coach John Will has been doing some stuff around adapting BJJ techniques to work with uke pressed up against a wall rather than the ground. It's an interesting area.

mriehle
08-03-2006, 01:44 PM
In fact, I have never been attacked by another martial artist at all.

This little detail is frequently forgotten in these kinds of discussions.

This kid challenged me on the street the other day.

Him - "Are you a black belt?"

(Well, I was wearing my gi and belt, carrying my hakama, walking from a demonstration back to the dojo..)

Me - "Yes."

Him - "I can beat you."

I just smiled. I knew he couldn't and had no training to speak of. I knew this because if he had had any training this conversation would never have happened.

I did keep an eye on him though. He struck me as potentially stupid enough to try to jump me from behind.

Chuck.Gordon
08-03-2006, 02:03 PM
Jorge Garcia wrote:
>In fact, I have never been attacked by another martial artist at all.

I have. Some of the results have been ... amusing. Next time I ge tto Texas, ask me about the presur point guys I've played with.

Some were educational. Actually, I've learned more about self defense from my experiences with folks who were NOT 'martial artists' but who were simply brawlers, street punks or, more trenchantly, opposing soldiers.

Budo ain't about self defense.

Seriously.

Budo can teach you THINGS relating TO self defense, but budo ain't about self defense.

I've studied and taught budo and I've studied and taught combatives. Apples and oranges.

I love the study and practice of budo. I'm not fond of the study and practice of combatives. Why? Because (first) I ain't a samurai and never will be, but studying the martial traditions of that culture amuse, confound, interest and amaze me; and (second) I've been there, done that and got the scars.

Ain't no pacifist like an old soldier.

You stop laughing Monkeyboy. I'll bring my broken up old corpus over there and kick your ass.

My budo has informed my combatives ... deeply. And my combatives practicals have informed my budo.

But they ain't the same thing,

If you're in a budo dojo (that's sort of a redundancy isn't it?) to learn practical combatives, you MIGHT be in the wrong place.

But that's IMNSHO. YMMV, as always.

Jorge Garcia
08-03-2006, 02:06 PM
If you are using statistics as rationale, then why bother studying martial arts at all since statistically most of us have a very small chance of ever really being in a truely violent encounter.
On that rationale we should just study budo and be happy with what we learn from the lessons of budo.
Great post Kevin! Wait a minute! Was that me saying that! :confused:
Anyway, I can finally say, I agree with you! That has been my point. I say - love Aikido, train hard in Aikido, stay out of trouble and forget about personal invincibility.
Same answer for Michael.
Best wishes,

Kevin Leavitt
08-03-2006, 02:33 PM
I have never really disagreed with you fundamentally Jorge!

Like my good friend Chuck states above, budo ain't necessarily combatives. There are some crossovers for sure, but the basic goals and objectives focus on different aspects.

It is kinda of ironic, to be good at combatives, I think you must be good at the principles in budo (regardless if you call it budo or not). But to practice budo, I don't believe you need to be good at combatives!

Jorge, I love aikido too! I love it for what it is, not for what many of us try to make it, or project on it.

Chuck, I think we were at each others offices the other day without knowing it. I stopped by your office to say hi, and Mindy said you were at Hohenfels. When I got back to Hohenfels, LTC Jackson said that PAO was down from Graf doing an story on our engineers! Sorry I missed you!

Jorge Garcia
08-03-2006, 03:00 PM
Thanks Kevin.
It's nice to be on the same side. :)

statisticool
08-03-2006, 03:29 PM
Great post Mark, I enjoyed reading it.

I believe the martial artist Loren Christensen was also a police officer for about 25 years in Portland, OR, and mentions that % of fights going to the ground was very rare in his experience.

I think it is sensible that many fights go on the ground, but appealing to sports/entertainment (where the ground is really a cushy pad or canvas, guaranteed 1:1 situation, no weapons, and on and on) like many do is not too convincing support.

Not to mention, 'going to the ground' can also mean you, the defender, knocking or throwing your attacker to the ground, which obviously isn't 'going to the ground' as many ground-fighting proponents mean when they say 'going to the ground' (where they generally imply that the attacker takes you to the ground).

Not to mention, going to the ground is a bad thing to do when weapons are involved, and definitely the worst thing to do when multiple attackers are involved.


Justin

Aristeia
08-03-2006, 05:10 PM
Again, no one on this thread has argued that going to ground intentionally is to be reccommended - so who are you arguing against?
So Jorge - you're saying ignore the self defence aspect and whether ground is important to it. I agree - self defence is not the reason to do aikido - there are many better reasons. So we agree on this. It didn't stop me from answer the OP's question though, so what was the problem you had with the respnse? Or are we agreeing now?

gdandscompserv
08-03-2006, 07:31 PM
I don't know about everybody else but I spend a lot of time "on the ground."

ksy
08-03-2006, 10:02 PM
The moral of this: Don't listen to hype, quite wasting energy blathering on about adding some outside "value" to your training and instead use it to train more. If you like BJJ, train in it. If you like Aikido, train in it. If you like both, do both. You won't hear me say one is better than the other. To paraphrase my sensei, the best martial art is the one you love and are good at.
Mark

couldn't have said it better. some of the replies that i've read would have had me believing that if O-sensei was alive today, he'd be rushing off to join one of those bjj/wrestling classes, just so he can "complete" his aikido. :D

xuzen
08-04-2006, 12:32 AM
I have trained waza like that in Daito ryu. Even versions of hadaka jime. With 'hooks' as well. Very nice picture by the way...was that from the Noma Dojo period?
You do that in DR? My Yoshinkan dojo does not... these are techniques I am picking up from my Judo studies. Good stuff.

As for the initial entry, try doing some research. There's a link to a nice article on Ito in the Aikido Journal. Shioda and the fight in China. Mifune and Judo (men twice his size couldn't throw him to the ground). Takeda and his gang fight. While some people's Aikido might not work or provide tools, other people's Aikido does.
Wrt Shioda's fight in Shanghai, he liberally used atemi and a broken glass bottle to finish his opponent.
As for Mifune, well, he is called Kami Judo (Judo God) for a particular reason i.e., he is Unbeatable;
When Takeda fought those construction workers , Takeda wasn't fighting empty handed, he had his trusty katana to even things up. I am such a history buff... I am ashame :blush:

couldn't have said it better. some of the replies that i've read would have had me believing that if O-sensei was alive today, he'd be rushing off to join one of those bjj/wrestling classes, just so he can "complete" his aikido
Speaking of O'sensei, if you read enough of his biography, he was a bad ass fighter, no doubt. But if you read carefully his challenges, he was always the one being challenged. This, IMO, he has the liberty to wait for the attack to come, he was not the one to need to go forth on the offensive. In the book Aikido Shugyo, G. Shioda said O'sensei was a master of deception. He would wave his hands here and there to entice you to enter and then.... WHAM! Instant victory. Masatsu Agutsu (sp??) And I think aikido technique work best in such scenarios. Again, if you want to make aikido work, you have to create the opening favourable to aikido. O'sensei's aikido was no exception.

Furthermore, wrt to serious fight, I would think that O'sensei probably only has one documented life and death struggle. I.e. when being ambushed by fire-armed bandits in Manchuko, Northern China. And how did he fight the bandits? He used his katana, not empty hand.

With respect to ground grappling, I just had a chat with a friend of mine. It is not that aikido does not work in a fight, it is just that when in a serious altercation, normal mortals like us are usually overwhelm with adrenaline and stuck with panic that most of our fine motor skills becomes useless. And if you look at most aikido controlling techs, it utilises fine motor skills, atemi-waza being the exception.

Now look at grappling skills, most of it utilises gross motor skills to accomplish control and submission. Guess what has a higher percentage success in a fight. NB, I can only based my experience in the dojo, as I do not normally participate in street fight.

Look at these photos below; see how much control one gets with these ground techniques, NB these techniques are being accomplished using gross motor function.
http://www.judoinfo.com/images/kansetsu/gyakujuji.gif http://www.judoinfo.com/images/ejc/sodegurumajime.jpg
http://www.judoinfo.com/images/shime/kata_ha_jime.gif

All the best,
Boon.

Aristeia
08-04-2006, 12:51 AM
couldn't have said it better. some of the replies that i've read would have had me believing that if O-sensei was alive today, he'd be rushing off to join one of those bjj/wrestling classes, just so he can "complete" his aikido. :DAikido is not incomplete. It is Aikido. You can practice it and get from it all the the things Aikido has to offer. If your goal is self defence you may need to add other things to it to meet your goal. But that's not a failing of aikido, it's just saying your goal doesn't entirely marry up with Aikido's goal.

If O'sensei was alive today I wouldn't mind betting that
1) if he was focused on self defence and fighting, he would be doing some groundwork
and
2) He wouldn't be focused on self defence and fighting.


Also good post Boon.

Michael Cardwell
08-04-2006, 05:07 AM
What are all of you people talking about? I take people to the ground every aikido class...when I throw them them there or lead them down to pin them. :) Seriesouly though I don't see anything wrong with being knowledgable about as many martial techniques as you can. Something everyone should remember is that old saying: "Over specialize and you breed in weekness."

Michael

DonMagee
08-04-2006, 05:54 AM
I'm sure if O'Sensei was alive today he would not need bjj. Why? Because he already learned and knew how to fight on the ground. O'Sensei was a very well rounded fighter.

gdandscompserv
08-04-2006, 06:30 AM
I'm sure if O'Sensei was alive today he would not need bjj. Why? Because he already learned and knew how to fight on the ground. O'Sensei was a very well rounded fighter.
If O-Sensei didn't need it, I don't need it! :cool:

DonMagee
08-04-2006, 12:15 PM
If O-Sensei didn't need it, I don't need it! :cool:

Are you saying I can dodge bullets?

Kevin Leavitt
08-04-2006, 01:23 PM
the problem with the Statement "if O'sensei didn't need it, I don't need it", is that most of us are not O'Sensei and did not have his background prior to evolving aikido. If we look at aikido from the aspect of fighitng, combat effectiveness, or what not, we enter into a new realm.

However, it is true at the same time that you don't necessarily need all that other stuff outside of aikido, if your goal is those of the endstate that O'sensei reached with aikibudo. I think it is important to realize that O'sensei spent years on a path that culminated to him reaching a decision that "wow, look at what we can discover through this methodology".

A parallel I think can be drawn to Buddha as well. He did lots of aesthetic practices, only to discover that the middle way was the best and that the path to enlightment did not require all that stuff!

BUT...

Some of us, like me, have to figure this out for ourselves, and the path to understanding can take many turns and so forth.

I suppose this is why I like all this stuff, it is fun, challenging, and constantly changing, and constantly discovering things every day!

Aristeia
08-04-2006, 02:51 PM
If O-Sensei didn't need it, I don't need it! :cool:yeah but the point was O'sensei didn't need it because he already had it.

The other thing to consider is O'sensei didn't need it because he was no longer overly concerned with self defence, so much as using budo to refine the spirit. If that is your goal as well, great, you're right, Aikido will be all you need. If, like the original poster, your goals are a little different to Ueshiba's "if he didn't need it I don't" needs to be more carefully examined.

akiy
08-05-2006, 12:49 AM
The personal discussion between Ken and David have been moved here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10747

-- Jun

mriehle
08-05-2006, 09:02 AM
The part of my message which I actually cared about got moved as collateral damage to Jun's thread maintenance. Not his fault, but I felt it was important to poist that bit here.

----

As for ground techniques, I believe that it's useful to know them. I don't buy the idea that 90% of fights go to the ground, but some of them do.

What I know for certain is that my father, Nidan in Judo, believes that a lot of matches are won on the ground. I suspect he's right. But I also don't expect Judoka to be my biggest problem in a self-defense situation.

Wannabe wrestlers, now, those I can see. But the "wannabe" part is important in those cases. These aren't people who actually know anything, they're people who think they know something.

Playing around with Aikido principals on the ground has turned up an interesting point: they work. Some new techniques and ideas are needed, but it's still essentially Aikido on the ground.

Would they work against an actual, trained wrestler? I doubt it. Certainly not against a BJJ guy. But the average wannabe wrestler? Oh yeah.

David Orange
08-05-2006, 09:54 AM
The personal discussion between Ken and David have been moved here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10747

-- Jun

Sorry, Jun sama. Thank you.

David

Kevin Leavitt
08-05-2006, 11:54 AM
Yeah Michael Riehele, my favorite technique against wannabe wrestlers is kote gaeshi. The fall for it every time. also, I like to say 100% of ground fights end up on the ground. That is the statistic I focus on while training.

Michael Fooks, it is scary that you and I are on the same wave length alot of the time.

gdandscompserv
08-05-2006, 12:57 PM
The other thing to consider is O'sensei didn't need it because he was no longer overly concerned with self defence, so much as using budo to refine the spirit. If that is your goal as well, great, you're right, Aikido will be all you need.
That is my goal indeed. :D

Aristeia
08-05-2006, 01:47 PM
Playing around with Aikido principals on the ground has turned up an interesting point: they work. Some new techniques and ideas are needed, but it's still essentially Aikido on the ground.
.Absolutely they work! BJJ is really nothing but the core principals of Aikido applied in a ground context.

Kevin you're not the first to call me scary :D If you ever find yourself in New Zealand we'll have to hook up for a roll.
At the moment, having spent 6 hours with John Will yesterday and about to do another 3 to day I'm a very happy man.

Aristeia
08-05-2006, 01:54 PM
That is my goal indeed. :D
cool. But you do understand it wasn't the goal of the original poser right? Hence the discussion.

David Orange
08-05-2006, 02:43 PM
Well, looky here, y'all.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/download_media.php?media=video&id=30

There are some very interesting points in this video. First is Katsuyuki Kondo, then Tokimune Takeda, son of Sokaku Takeda.

The final segment shows Tokimune allowing himself to be held on the ground by nine men. He throws them all off from the pinned position.

Odd, not exactly realistic. It's a demo. But I think there must be other aiki ground techniques that are more practically oriented.

Still, why has aikido not retained any ground techniques?

I think the clearest reason is that aikido contains a few instantly deadly techniques and the practitioner will use those in a real confrontation. Kotaro Yoshida, for instance, of daito ryu, is said to have killed a bear with one such technique. He used an iron fan, to be sure, but the same technique will work with the empty hand.

Part of the effectiveness of aiki is that when the practitioner realizes that someone is about to seriously attack him, and he decides to defend himself seriously, it communicates subconsciously to the attacker. He realizes on some level that the aiki man may actually kill him if he attacks and this weakens the his ability to attack.

Mochizuki Sensei said that when confronted suddenly, if we shrink away from the surprise it is not aiki. But if, when confronted, we go to the opponent, it is aiki. Attack the attack. The old timers never intended to allow themselves to be taken to the ground and they did NOT run. The old saying, "Under the sword is hell," means precisely that if you run, you will be cut down. The only hope, he said, is to enter and run the risk of losing your life because if you run away the attacker is almost guaranteed to kill you. In the days of real application, aiki men intended to end the confrontation instantly. Every other technique cascades down from that one technique. And if the opponent's intention is weakened by his subconscious perception that nage is about to kill him if he enters, the deflecting and joint locking techniques are a merciful alternative which nage may use at his own discretion.

Well, look at some of the complicated entagling and locking techniques Kondo Sensei demonstrates. Why didn't Ueshiba OSensei retain those?

And just as OSensei deleted parts of Sokaku Takeda's art, is modern aikido very much related to OSensei's art? As I peruse these forums more, I am convinced that what we see today is far more the product of Tohei and Kisshomaru Senseis' modifications. And each of their students also made some modifications. Undoubtedly, many of them know those methods, but if their teacher had deleted them, they would not know them. And if they teach ten or a thousand students, none of them will know, either.

And now "aikido" means many different things to the many, many people who speak the word. To some it's an art very close to Sokaku Takeda's art. To others, it's full cooperation and falling for whatever nage does. But they all want to wear the black belt and most will claim (if only in private) that aikido really is an effective art of self defense. I would say that some forms are and others definitely are not, yet they all wear the black belt.

If you want to do aikido as purely misogi, to refine your mind and spirit, that is very good. But if you seriously think it's about self defense, you must be concerned with potentially fatal weaknesses and do something about them. Wishful thinking will not help. Learning some ground fighting will.

However, once we've gone there, where does it end? What standard of opponenet must we train for? In some systems, the uke is taught to attack as if he has no sense at all and fall down at nage's gesture. People like Jason DeLucia train for the cage fights. But isn't even someone like Jason leaving himself vulnerable if he doesn't train to overcome a fully-geared Marine with body armor, a helmet, pistol, rifle, knife and night vision?

And if you learn to overcome him, then you have to learn to face two of him, then ten.

So each of us has to find the level at which aikido enhances and serves our human life, helps us to defend and care for our families and still leaves us fit to go to work the next day.

Best wishes,

David

Kevin Leavitt
08-05-2006, 04:06 PM
David Orange Wrote:

But isn't even someone like Jason leaving himself vulnerable if he doesn't train to overcome a fully-geared Marine with body armor, a helmet, pistol, rifle, knife and night vision?

No I don't think so. Could you elaborate on this more?

I don't think you can train to mitigate every possible risk you might face. In fact, I think there are very few instances. Through Budo we can prepare ourselves to live a good and satisfying life, and we can put our affairs in order to be prepared to die with honor and dignity when the time comes. That is about the only thing we can mitigate.

Soldiers and police officer that are going to knowingly enter battle of some sort certainly have a need to prepare themselves for particular kinds of risk.

The average person walking down the street cannot prepare themselves to deal physically handle violence that may come as an overwhelming suprise.

I know we'd all like to think we could, but if you happen to be at the wrong place, and the wrong time, with the wrong circumstances...well hopefully budo has prepared you adequately to make the right decisions or if that is out of your control to do the best you can.

Don't take this as a "there is nothing you can do, victim mentality". That is not what I am advocating, but, I think many of us in aikido, martial arts, and budo have an idea about what fighting, muggings, and violent encounters will be. The reality of the situation may be that thngs physically may not go our way.

To me, if we spend all our time focusing on "slaying all the dragons" in the world by seeking all the lethal techniques, learning all the fancy knife techniques, and all that, we will miss the meaning of why we need to study. This type of study is based on fear and trying to mitigate fear.

We need to accept fear, dismiss it, and live a happy and fulfilled life. IMO, if we focus on the fear of violence and spend all our time learning self defense moves etc, then we have already become victims of fear and the violence that we are trying to ultimately overcome.

Not to get too political, but I think the current world situation in the Global War on Terrorism has much to do with this type of fear. Terrorist win when they conquer our perceptions and strike fear in our hearts. The fear is what motivates us to take action and fight back I think.

I think we can best defend our families by teaching each other how to be happy, fulfilled individuals, and living balanced lives.

David Orange
08-05-2006, 10:42 PM
Kevin,

Very nice post. Very nice. Very meaningful. I didn't mean we have to prepare for all that, but if we think we can cover all the bases, there are always more bases to cover. You said it much better.

I'm listening. Thanks.

David

ksy
08-06-2006, 07:47 PM
I think we can best defend our families by teaching each other how to be happy, fulfilled individuals, and living balanced lives.

still trying to find my balance but these are good words to start the week with. yes, (lets out deep breath...)...

statisticool
08-07-2006, 08:34 AM
Speaking of DeLucia, a lot of sport/entertainment fans refer to him as the kung fu person who lost to Gracie. And since 1993 to the present day they use it to basically say 'BJJ is better than kung fu'.

However, lets look at DeLucia and Gracie;s records:

Gracie: http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=19

13 - 3 - 3, with family running the show, and some cans.

DeLucia: http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?FighterID=22
33 - 20 - 1, on his own, no cans.

DeLucia's record is much more impressive. He has more wins than Gracie has total matches.

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2006, 12:32 PM
Justin, what is your point in bring up DeLucia's and Gracie's records? How does this contribute to the discussion concerning aikido on the ground?

While BJJ does involve extensive ground work, it does not own the corner on the market on ground fighting, especially in today's world. Not sure why people automatically hear the word "ground" and automatically say BJJ?

Your supposed to be a statistician right? what is correalation are you trying to draw between Gracies record and DeLucia's record?

If there is any correalation at all, I think you will find that Gracie beat DeLucia and many others early on. Royce is now in his late 30's and MMA has evolved to where anybody involved in the sport now does ground fighting to some degree. Hence he will lose more often today because the playing field is more even, and he is older.

Jason has adapted his fighting skills since then to include extensive ground fighting from observing his fighting, talking to him here on aikiweb, and observing his training videos.

I agree his record is impressive for a MMA record. Nothing to sneeze at.

However, if you are applying logic to this, it would be that in MMA fighters have discovered that ground fighting skills matter and they have adopted them.

If you had any inkling or concept of reality concerning fighting and what really happens in real life in a empty hand violent situation, you would not even begin to be concern with the statistics or the probability of ground fighting....you would accept it as a reality, train in those skills, and move on.

Zeb Leonard
08-07-2006, 10:53 PM
so er, I don't see what prevents people who are still fit from ceasing to theorise and having a bit of a wrestle, aside from having to adopt the role of a complete beginer again.

Aristeia
08-07-2006, 11:06 PM
so er, I don't see what prevents people who are still fit from ceasing to theorise and having a bit of a wrestle, aside from having to adopt the role of a complete beginer again.
there ya have it.

Aristeia
08-07-2006, 11:30 PM
In all honesty (and no doubt I'll get attacked for this) I'm worried about the impact increasing awareness of the ground will have on Aikido. We're moving into a new age where potential students have much more information at their disposal. Increasingly they'll come in having done their research on the net and the ground question will come up more and more. To keep growing I think successful dojos will have to do one of two things:
1. add some ground to their offerings, maybe partner up with a local bjj or judo school
2. Admit that that is not what Aikido is for and that there are better places to learn ground, and have a good credible story to tell about what Aikido canoffer.

I suspect those that get defensive and claim the ground is irrelevent or that traditional aikido will work in a ground context will struggle a little in 10 years time.

Just my thoughts.

Jorge Garcia
08-08-2006, 05:31 AM
In all honesty (and no doubt I'll get attacked for this) I'm worried about the impact increasing awareness of the ground will have on Aikido. We're moving into a new age where potential students have much more information at their disposal. Increasingly they'll come in having done their research on the net and the ground question will come up more and more. To keep growing I think successful dojos will have to do one of two things:
1. add some ground to their offerings, maybe partner up with a local bjj or judo school
2. Admit that that is not what Aikido is for and that there are better places to learn ground, and have a good credible story to tell about what Aikido canoffer.

I suspect those that get defensive and claim the ground is irrelevent or that traditional aikido will work in a ground context will struggle a little in 10 years time.

Just my thoughts.


Earth calling Michael Fooks. Earth calling Michael Fooks. Please return to the planet now. One of Houston's ground stations has reported that you are now traveling at a high rate of speed and are heading for the outer edges of the universe! :eek:

DonMagee
08-08-2006, 05:43 AM
In all honesty (and no doubt I'll get attacked for this) I'm worried about the impact increasing awareness of the ground will have on Aikido. We're moving into a new age where potential students have much more information at their disposal. Increasingly they'll come in having done their research on the net and the ground question will come up more and more. To keep growing I think successful dojos will have to do one of two things:
1. add some ground to their offerings, maybe partner up with a local bjj or judo school
2. Admit that that is not what Aikido is for and that there are better places to learn ground, and have a good credible story to tell about what Aikido canoffer.

I suspect those that get defensive and claim the ground is irrelevent or that traditional aikido will work in a ground context will struggle a little in 10 years time.

Just my thoughts.

You have more faith in people then I do. 99% of people in martial arts are training worthless crap and paying super overpriced fee's for the privilege. Want proof, come down to my area and I'll give you a tour of 200.00 a month babsitting camps, bad kung fu teachers, and "4th degree TKD black belts" that can't kick at all. I have met more 'black belts' under the age of 10 then I have over the age of 10. Every single one of these people believe themselves to be invincible. These schools are the greatest threat to any real martial art. They make us look bad, and they take away from the profits of real schools. It has even impacted my family. My wife did not want me training in martial arts when we met because 'they were all scams'. Turned out she got locked into a contract with a 'hopkido' teacher in town that charged her 150.00 a month for a year. Then claimed because she stopped showing up the last few months that there was an auto renew feature on the contract (which there wasn't) so she had to go to court to get the collection agency to stop calling her. The reason why the local kiddy tkd school in town has 200 students, and the aikido dojo has 8. It's not because the TKD is so awesome or because the aikido sucks. Its marketing, brainwashing, and catering to the 'kung fu movie' image. XMA dancing and chrome weapons for everyone.

Anyways, ground fighting is a very important range of combat, but it is no more important then any other range of combat. Boxing schools will still teaching boxing, aikido schools will still teach aikido. It is up to the individual to make sure they are keeping themselves well rounded (and not by eating burgers and shakes).

David Orange
08-08-2006, 07:30 AM
Boxing schools will still teaching boxing, aikido schools will still teach aikido. It is up to the individual to make sure they are keeping themselves well rounded (and not by eating burgers and shakes).

Maybe we need can openers, but we don't have to throw out the katana because it doesn't come with a can opener and a laser level with iPod and picture phone, ne? Aikido does not solve every single problem in the world, just as boxing doesn't, but one big problem is that few people are able to discern the technical limits because of its breadth and complexity. But all you have to do is go straight down to the ground and some of those limits are instantly obvious.

Doesn't mean we have to change aikido or switch to wrestling or BJJ. It just means we have to KNOW that those limits are there and address the limits realistically.

And you nicely point out another MAJOR problem with modern aikido. I can't count the FAT sensei's I've met who get worn out after a couple of minutes of demo randori. I've seen some embarrassing things along that line.

We have to polish not only our skirt-billowing turns but the austere simplicity of an honest and frugal life close to nature.

Thanks for mentioning that.

Best to you.

David

Jorge Garcia
08-08-2006, 08:34 AM
In all honesty (and no doubt I'll get attacked for this) I'm worried about the impact increasing awareness of the ground will have on Aikido. We're moving into a new age where potential students have much more information at their disposal. Increasingly they'll come in having done their research on the net and the ground question will come up more and more. To keep growing I think successful dojos will have to do one of two things:
1. add some ground to their offerings, maybe partner up with a local bjj or judo school
2. Admit that that is not what Aikido is for and that there are better places to learn ground, and have a good credible story to tell about what Aikido canoffer.

I suspect those that get defensive and claim the ground is irrelevent or that traditional aikido will work in a ground context will struggle a little in 10 years time.

Just my thoughts.

Portions of an article,
When Is Aikido Not Aikido?
by David Lynch
Aikido Journal #120

"Arguments about the "martial effectiveness" of aikido are a popular feature of Internet bulletin boards. Unfortunately, many posts show an abysmal ignorance of the premises on which the art was founded by making comparisons with various systems of fighting.

Aikido is not a system of fighting, but a way of not fighting, intended not to protect or enhance the ego but, potentially, to eradicate it. Its value lies in promoting qualities diametrically opposed to those advocated for use "in the street."
Speaking for myself, the day I have to face a life and death situation will be soon enough to prove the effectiveness, or otherwise, of my aikido. I have never had to use the physical techniques outside the dojo in 40 years of training, so I am not going to lose any sleep over that.

Certainly one should strive for improvement, and it is always a challenge to try and perform the techniques with a bit more smoothness and elan, but what is the point of raving on about the inadequacies of aikido, versus kickboxing, college wrestling and street fighting? There is quite enough material to work with in aikido as it stands, without resorting to cross-training, or worrying about which schools have lost the plot and left us with some watered down, ineffectual version. There is only so much you can learn from others, anyway, so you can't blame the system for your own shortcomings.

Effectiveness is bought at a price and the more I see of those who claim to have achieved it in aikido, or in other areas of life, the more empathy I feel with ordinary people who have no great ambition to be superefficient or effective. At best this attitude is irrelevant, at worst downright destructive and depressing.

To be appreciated, aikido needs "space," i.e., spirituality, psychological depth, aesthetics, compassion and enjoyment. Not to mention love! (There seems to be a tacit agreement not to mention love in the martial effectiveness arguments, which is curious in view of the importance O-Sensei placed on this, and his insistence that love was the essence of aikido.)...

Meanwhile, the health benefits, mental as well as physical, amply justify serious, regular training, without the need to be fixated on martial effectiveness or intimidated by those who are. Since aikido is an individual pursuit, the school you choose is important only to the extent that it suits you and it is pointless attempting to pit one against another... Chasing after more and more technical knowledge is likely to take one further from the goal of aikido, rather than closer to it...

There is a Way to be followed if we are to approach the goal of aikido, which is no different to the goal of any of the teachings seriously concerned with man's mental and spiritual evolution. The goal is a unitive knowledge of the divine principle, a direct intuition of spiritual reality and an awareness of the relationship of man and the universe. It is to find out who we are.

Of course the more there is of individual ego, the less there will be of this deeper understanding. Which explains why, wanting to be strong and to protect our egos, we make little progress in love or compassion. Instead of recognizing our ignorance of what really counts and making some effort, however small, to correct this, we spend our time arguing over technicalities, bogged down in materialism.

We look outside for more effective ways of fighting or defending ourselves, instead of (looking) inside for a more appropriate hypothesis, in keeping with the original rationale of the "Way of Harmony.".

In the end, we tend to get what we ask for."

Best wishes,

Jorge Garcia
08-08-2006, 08:46 AM
In all honesty (and no doubt I'll get attacked for this) I'm worried about the impact increasing awareness of the ground will have on Aikido. We're moving into a new age where potential students have much more information at their disposal. Increasingly they'll come in having done their research on the net and the ground question will come up more and more. To keep growing I think successful dojos will have to do one of two things:
1. add some ground to their offerings, maybe partner up with a local bjj or judo school
2. Admit that that is not what Aikido is for and that there are better places to learn ground, and have a good credible story to tell about what Aikido canoffer.

I suspect those that get defensive and claim the ground is irrelevent or that traditional aikido will work in a ground context will struggle a little in 10 years time.

Just my thoughts.

Mke,
You seem obsessed with Aikido's lack of ground work and you feel a need to tell very Aikidoist on earth they need ground work. Why can't we just let Aikido be what the Founder intended and let folks make up their own minds when they come into the dojo and train. People aren't that stupid. If Aikido is no good for self defense, they will realize that and will go somewhere else.
It doesn't help the world for a person who became dissillusioned with Aikido (before he mastered it) to tell the world what they should be doing. Master BJJ first because as far as we know, you could be wrong on this one too.

MM
08-08-2006, 08:54 AM
In all honesty (and no doubt I'll get attacked for this) I'm worried about the impact increasing awareness of the ground will have on Aikido. We're moving into a new age where potential students have much more information at their disposal. Increasingly they'll come in having done their research on the net and the ground question will come up more and more. To keep growing I think successful dojos will have to do one of two things:
1. add some ground to their offerings, maybe partner up with a local bjj or judo school
2. Admit that that is not what Aikido is for and that there are better places to learn ground, and have a good credible story to tell about what Aikido canoffer.

I suspect those that get defensive and claim the ground is irrelevent or that traditional aikido will work in a ground context will struggle a little in 10 years time.

Just my thoughts.

Could you provide statistics, facts, research to support your statements? Specifically, "Increasingly they'll come in having done their research on the net and the ground question will come up more and more". Please show this research and the relevant ground questions.

Thanks,
Mark

MM
08-08-2006, 09:19 AM
You have more faith in people then I do. 99% of people in martial arts are training worthless crap and paying super overpriced fee's for the privilege. Want proof, come down to my area and I'll give you a tour of 200.00 a month babsitting camps, bad kung fu teachers, and "4th degree TKD black belts" that can't kick at all.


That means that if there are 10 martial arts schools in your area, all 10 are doing worthless crap. If there are 60, all 60 are doing worthless crap. If there are 100 in your area, I'd hope that your dojo is the only one not doing crap. Where is your area?


Anyways, ground fighting is a very important range of combat, but it is no more important then any other range of combat. Boxing schools will still teaching boxing, aikido schools will still teach aikido. It is up to the individual to make sure they are keeping themselves well rounded (and not by eating burgers and shakes).

Ah and the research that shows that ground fighting is a "very important" range of combat? Where are the facts?

Militarily? It isn't there. You have a weapon. Most times, you're going to use that weapon. That's combat. Weapons are a "very important" range of combat. While serving in the military, we never viewed ground fighting as a part of combat. We had an M-16 and that *was* very important. Or an M-60. Or a 203. .50 cal. LAW. Claymore. Bayonet. etc.

Even going back in history, you have weapons. You think a knight in armor or a samurai in armor thought ground fighting was a very important range of combat? Not really. That was last resort and if you were on the ground, you were either dead or nearly there. If it got that far, you were in a big heap of trouble.

Did fencing think ground fighting was "very important"? Nope.

Boxing? Nope.

Heck, even though the Greeks and Romans had wrestling, they sure didn't send their army out to conquer the world with their wrestling prowess. They sent their army out armed. Wrestling ended up in the Olympics.

Now, if you're into UFC and all that, sure, ground is a very important part of that style. But, call it what it is. It isn't ground fighting. It's ground sport.

Ground defense can be a part of martial arts, but it isn't a "very important" part at all. Unless you can find some facts to prove otherwise. It's a last resort. It means all else has failed and you're in a world of trouble. It means you've got very few options left. But hey, it's my opinion and you can disagree all you like. But until I see facts to support anything else -- it won't change my mind.

Oh, and I'm not saying that it's useless to train on the ground, just that it isn't "very important" in combat nor all that integral in martial arts. Sport, yes. Martial arts and combat, no.

Mark

Zeb Leonard
08-08-2006, 09:31 AM
Is much of this debate due to the goals and purposes of ‘aikido training' being so varied and abstract? EDIT, oh, and slipping over is real easy.

Jorge Garcia
08-08-2006, 09:53 AM
Is much of this debate due to the goals and purposes of ‘aikido training' being so varied and abstract?

I think you have an excellent point. The training from dojo to dojo is enormous in my mind. Someone in California goes into a soft style, chatty, new age dojo and comes out saying, " Aikido is soft and ineffective". Someone else goes and trains in a Seagal style dojo and might say,"That was violent! Aikido is violent."
That's why prescribing one answer can't be the answer. I think that if there is a problem, the thing will eventually self correct itself or go out of business. Everything out there is extremely fluid and no one person or group of persons can effect it. It would be like trying to stop the ocean waves from coming into shore. All we can do is to offer opinions.
I don't doubt that there is ineffective Aikido out there but it wouldn't be much different from ineffective BJJ or ineffective Judo. There is ineffective Wing Chun and ineffective everything else.
A good martial artist though, well trained in any system will do ok out there with all the proper odds of an being attacked, duly considered.

DonMagee
08-08-2006, 01:27 PM
That means that if there are 10 martial arts schools in your area, all 10 are doing worthless crap. If there are 60, all 60 are doing worthless crap. If there are 100 in your area, I'd hope that your dojo is the only one not doing crap. Where is your area?



Ah and the research that shows that ground fighting is a "very important" range of combat? Where are the facts?

Militarily? It isn't there. You have a weapon. Most times, you're going to use that weapon. That's combat. Weapons are a "very important" range of combat. While serving in the military, we never viewed ground fighting as a part of combat. We had an M-16 and that *was* very important. Or an M-60. Or a 203. .50 cal. LAW. Claymore. Bayonet. etc.

Even going back in history, you have weapons. You think a knight in armor or a samurai in armor thought ground fighting was a very important range of combat? Not really. That was last resort and if you were on the ground, you were either dead or nearly there. If it got that far, you were in a big heap of trouble.

Did fencing think ground fighting was "very important"? Nope.

Boxing? Nope.

Heck, even though the Greeks and Romans had wrestling, they sure didn't send their army out to conquer the world with their wrestling prowess. They sent their army out armed. Wrestling ended up in the Olympics.

Now, if you're into UFC and all that, sure, ground is a very important part of that style. But, call it what it is. It isn't ground fighting. It's ground sport.

Ground defense can be a part of martial arts, but it isn't a "very important" part at all. Unless you can find some facts to prove otherwise. It's a last resort. It means all else has failed and you're in a world of trouble. It means you've got very few options left. But hey, it's my opinion and you can disagree all you like. But until I see facts to support anything else -- it won't change my mind.

Oh, and I'm not saying that it's useless to train on the ground, just that it isn't "very important" in combat nor all that integral in martial arts. Sport, yes. Martial arts and combat, no.

Mark

I find this post laughable, becuase its obvious you did not even understand what I was saying. I said ground fighting was very important, but no more important than, and let me use all caps to make my point, ANY OTHER RANGE OF COMBAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Now, if you ask most historians, you will find those knights with weapons grappled in combat. In fact if you couldn't bludgen your armored foes head in, you could throw him down, sit on him and stick a dagger though the slits of his armor until he was dead. But that's not the point. I have learned something though. Apparently you will only need martial arts when your in the military. This is great, I did not know I could not be attacked outside of a war. I will give up bjj and judo right now and learn how to use a spear, walk in formation and shoot a bow. Or because these are outdated weapons, I will just join the army. I have no need to defend myself alone. It just wont happen. Do you know what combat is? Let me help you.

Combat, or fighting, is purposeful conflict between one or more persons, often involving violence and intended to establish dominance over the opposition.

Wrestling is combat. Fencing is combat, global thermal nucluar war is combat.

I do not plan to fight in a war. I do not need skills to survive a war. In fact, I think the chance I have to deal with ground fighting is greater then the chance I get attacked by a sword wielding samurai, or an army. You said it yourself you said "It's a last resort. It means all else has failed and you're in a world of trouble.". That says a lot, if your in a world of trouble and all else has failed, well I concider that VERY important. This means the ground is your LAST chance to survive. But I guess it's not nearly as common as traininng sword defenses or lunge knife attacks. Maybe I should spend more time learning how to deal with someone comming up behind me and grabbing both wrists? Or deal with the same attack from the front? Or deal with a bear hu? (Because if I want to attack you from behind I'm going to bear hug you, not hit you with a solid object.).

The simple fact is you are scared of the ground. Rather than admit you need training on the ground, you dismiss it as worthless. Why is it so hard for people to tell the truth. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to learn how to fight on the ground. There is something wrong with dismissing a entire range of combat because you dont like it.

As for crap schools in my area. I think there are maybe 3 schools in my area out of dozens that are worth attending. If you would like to visit my area I will be happy to show you a 4th degree black belt in tkd who is 12. He looses his balance when he throws side kicks, but hey, you arn't a master till 6th degree right? I'll be happy to show you schools full of dancing ninjas paying 200.00 a month for the fun. I'll show you guys who can prevent all damage to their body's using ki and kick each other in the nuts (however they wont let me kick them because I kick wrong). I'll even introduce you to a guy who can knock out his students with his mind. He wont do it on you though because its too dangerous. My point was that lack of ground fighting is not a problem in the martial arts. Its a problem for some martial artists. Namley those martial artists who worry about self defense. A sport martial artists doesn't need ground work if he is training boxing, fencing, or karate. A person training aikido for spirital growth doesn't need ground fighting. A woman who worrys that she has to walk to the train alone in chicago should learn some ground fighting.

Sorry for being harsh, but I can't believe this thread has gone on this long with the only arguements being the same falsehoods hashed up by the 'against' ground fighting side with no one willing to budge. I am a fair person with a fair middle ground. My logic is sound, I have not even suggested once that anyone needs to teach ground fighting in aikido. However all the anti ground people seem to hear is "all fights go to the ground, bjj rules, aikido sucks"

One last thing, ground fighting is not sport. I know you dont want to believe this. But I can kill people on the ground as easy as I can kill them standing up. Its fighting. A choke is a choke, a joint lock is a joint lock. But I submit my own misguided response. Aikido can't be used for fighting because it has no ground game. Its only purpose is for dancing. (Note i'm just writing this last line for dramatic effect to show how baseless your own statements are)

Aristeia
08-08-2006, 01:55 PM
Mke,
You seem obsessed with Aikido's lack of ground work and you feel a need to tell very Aikidoist on earth they need ground work. .

Jorge re read what I wrote. I am notadvocating that Aikido necessarily get ground work. The closest I came was an option of starting a relationship with a club in another style (which could be mutually beneficial). The other option I suggested was to just openly say Aikido has no ground and that's ok because it's not what Aikido is for (rather than getting defensive). The article you posted by Lynch would be a good example of that.

As for evidence, call it a hunch at this stage but I will point you to three things.
1. I experienced a growing number of people coming into our Aikido dojo wh were better educated on what was happening in MA. I suspect others have seen the same?
2. Witness the increasing amount of new posters on Aikiweb asking questions about the ground. I don't think it was like that 5 years ago. This will continue to increase. Expect plenty more of these discussions over the next 5 years.
3. Look at the research on generation Y. They want it all now and they are tech saavy. The majority of this generation will not walk into a martial arts school without having looked around on line. And they won't be looking at stats, they will be looking at opinions of their peers, on places like RMA, Bullshido, Sherdog and even Aikiweb.

If I was disillusioned and had a chip on my shoulder about Aikido, I'd shut up and not care. As it stands I'd hate to see numbers of new students significantly start to drop off in 5-10 years because people didn't see the wave coming.

MM
08-08-2006, 02:11 PM
I find this post laughable, becuase its obvious you did not even understand what I was saying. I said ground fighting was very important, but no more important than, and let me use all caps to make my point, ANY OTHER RANGE OF COMBAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Now, if you ask most historians, you will find those knights with weapons grappled in combat. In fact if you couldn't bludgen your armored foes head in, you could throw him down, sit on him and stick a dagger though the slits of his armor until he was dead. But that's not the point. I have learned something though. Apparently you will only need martial arts when your in the military. This is great, I did not know I could not be attacked outside of a war. I will give up bjj and judo right now and learn how to use a spear, walk in formation and shoot a bow. Or because these are outdated weapons, I will just join the army. I have no need to defend myself alone. It just wont happen. Do you know what combat is? Let me help you.

Combat, or fighting, is purposeful conflict between one or more persons, often involving violence and intended to establish dominance over the opposition.

Wrestling is combat. Fencing is combat, global thermal nucluar war is combat.

I do not plan to fight in a war. I do not need skills to survive a war. In fact, I think the chance I have to deal with ground fighting is greater then the chance I get attacked by a sword wielding samurai, or an army. You said it yourself you said "It's a last resort. It means all else has failed and you're in a world of trouble.". That says a lot, if your in a world of trouble and all else has failed, well I concider that VERY important. This means the ground is your LAST chance to survive. But I guess it's not nearly as common as traininng sword defenses or lunge knife attacks. Maybe I should spend more time learning how to deal with someone comming up behind me and grabbing both wrists? Or deal with the same attack from the front? Or deal with a bear hu? (Because if I want to attack you from behind I'm going to bear hug you, not hit you with a solid object.).

The simple fact is you are scared of the ground. Rather than admit you need training on the ground, you dismiss it as worthless. Why is it so hard for people to tell the truth. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to learn how to fight on the ground. There is something wrong with dismissing a entire range of combat because you dont like it.

As for crap schools in my area. I think there are maybe 3 schools in my area out of dozens that are worth attending. If you would like to visit my area I will be happy to show you a 4th degree black belt in tkd who is 12. He looses his balance when he throws side kicks, but hey, you arn't a master till 6th degree right? I'll be happy to show you schools full of dancing ninjas paying 200.00 a month for the fun. I'll show you guys who can prevent all damage to their body's using ki and kick each other in the nuts (however they wont let me kick them because I kick wrong). I'll even introduce you to a guy who can knock out his students with his mind. He wont do it on you though because its too dangerous. My point was that lack of ground fighting is not a problem in the martial arts. Its a problem for some martial artists. Namley those martial artists who worry about self defense. A sport martial artists doesn't need ground work if he is training boxing, fencing, or karate. A person training aikido for spirital growth doesn't need ground fighting. A woman who worrys that she has to walk to the train alone in chicago should learn some ground fighting.

Sorry for being harsh, but I can't believe this thread has gone on this long with the only arguements being the same falsehoods hashed up by the 'against' ground fighting side with no one willing to budge. I am a fair person with a fair middle ground. My logic is sound, I have not even suggested once that anyone needs to teach ground fighting in aikido. However all the anti ground people seem to hear is "all fights go to the ground, bjj rules, aikido sucks"

One last thing, ground fighting is not sport. I know you dont want to believe this. But I can kill people on the ground as easy as I can kill them standing up. Its fighting. A choke is a choke, a joint lock is a joint lock. But I submit my own misguided response. Aikido can't be used for fighting because it has no ground game. Its only purpose is for dancing. (Note i'm just writing this last line for dramatic effect to show how baseless your own statements are)

You dodged the issue, Don. Please post relevant research and facts to support that ground fighting is very important, even as it relates to other ranges of combat. Show me the proof, other than your post.

Combat can include fighting in its definition, but it will never include sport. BUT fighting does include sport in its definition. You can not just use combat when you mean fighting. If you do, you must relinquish all sport from the discussion. Which goes back to showing proof about your post on ground fighting. Are you talking about ground combat or ground fighting as it pertains to sport? If you're talking about combat, please provide proof. Show me where the Roman legions trained in wrestling over spear, sword, shield, and tactics. Show me where they valued wrestling as much as the rest. Show me where people who learned fencing valued wrestling just as much. Show me where knights trained just as much in wrestling as sword, armor, horsemanship, etc. show me where the samurai placed as much value on wrestling as kenjutsu. Where's all the proof?

The fact is that wrestling went the way of sports. It isn't combat anymore. Jujutsu wasn't about rolling on the ground fighting. It was about being unarmed, killing your opponent and taking his arms. Fencing was about plunging the pointy end into the opponent and not hug and roll on the ground. Knights rode horse and attacked from there. You can find lots of research and facts regarding those things. Show me where they thought wrestling was "very important".

As for schools. 80% is a far cry from 99%. You still didn't say what your area was so that we can find out for ourselves.

You seem to think that I am anti-ground combat oriented. I never said that. My posts don't show that. I never said what I trained in, so you have no idea what aspect of ground combat I'm learning, or not learning. I ask for proof while providing the opposite side to your arguments and you choose personal attacks and harshness.

You can walk that path, but I still want proof. As i said, in most of the martial arts (generic term), you placed more time and effort in learning things other than rolling around on the ground. BUT I never said that learning combat on the ground wasn't there. I just refuted your post that it was "very important", even compared to other ranges.

Mark

Ron Tisdale
08-08-2006, 02:28 PM
I'm going to be really sorry I typed this, because I basically think this arguement is kind of stupid, but here goes anyway...

What if Don said 'equally important', as in ground fighting is equally important as all the other ranges
of combat?

Best,
Ron

Demetrio Cereijo
08-08-2006, 02:51 PM
I practise Aikido and BJJ, but i'm not especially interested in "combat", "self defense", "fighting" and things like that..., these aren't the things that make me practise these arts.

I don't have skills to ellaborate my thougts about Aikido and ground oriented arts (or in another "alive" arts) and why i train in BJJ in an understandable english, or at least in an english you guys deserve.

However, take a look to this article (http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/writs/aikipers/founddiddoesnotmeanwedo.html) written by D. Valadez. Change "weapons" for "BJJ" (i hope David doesn't feel bad for using his text), and you can have an idea about my feelings about the subject and the why i feel the need to crostrain in BJJ, not the Aikido debated "effectivity" in the street, nor manipulated statistics about the number of street fights who end in the ground or the fear of being attacked by a collegiate wrestler.

Maybe others don't feel this need, but what i fear is my own stagnation as person, not the people who shares the world with me.

DonMagee
08-08-2006, 03:21 PM
Mike, do you have studys that show most attacks on 'the street' are with swords? Do you have studys that show knights did not train grappling? Maybe you didn't know most people in battle are footmen and used pikes. Do you carry a pike? If so, you do not need grappling. Do you have proof the romans did not value ground combat?

Its a pointless arguement. Either you need to know how to fight on the ground or you dont. Fine, I will concede. Ground fighting is a small very limited range of fighting. However, if you are getting raped, or end up on the ground, then knowing how to fight on the ground is very important. Now being that when people start hitting each other, then tend to clinch, and being that these clinches tend to make people fall down. I feel that this is important. I now would like to point out that unarmed attacks are also a very small limited range of combat. Very rarely do two people just throw punches at each other without grappling (clinch, throw, fall down, use weapons, etc). I suggest we all simply train to use guns and keep these guns in our possession at all times.

Wrestling may be a sport, but you seem to misunderstand what ground fighting is. Ground fighting is fighting on the ground. When I think of ground fighting I think of using my skills to make sure I'm not 'in my guard' or on the bottom of a ground fight, but rather on top of my opponent punching his skull in. This way I am ready to stand up if I notice his buddys coming at me, and I'm punching his skull in. I'm not wrestling to get an armbar. I'm not pulling guard and wanting to fight on the ground. I simply want to throw you and escape, but if I end up on the ground when I try to throw you, I'm going to make sure I'm in the best position I can be in. That is on top punching you in the face. Without ground fighting training, this might not be possible.

Now one more thought. I've learned that in any throwing art, when you screw up you are easy to take down. In fact, I've been able to take a few aikidoka and judoka with me when they throw me. Now if failing a throw means you fall with your target, then wouldn't it be a good idea to know how to get out of that mess. Or would you rather get mounted and have you face beat in?

Now we can talk about what jiujitsu was, and what you think it is. We can talk all day about 'battlefield this and that'. In the end a battlefield art is a stupid arguement. It is the most rediculous thing I've ever heard and I find the idea laughable. Battle tech changes. We do not fight with swords and spears. We do not wear armor. We fight with guns, we fight with bombs miles away. Aikido and jiujitsu are simply not battlefield arts any longer. Ancient battlefields maybe, but not modern. Can they be used on a battlefield? Yes, but they are not designed for the battlefield any longer. Compound this with the fact that I am not on a battlefield. I'm just a guy walking to my car from the cash machine. I'm just a woman walking to the train on a dark street alone. I'm just a stupid jock in a bar talking crap. I'm just a kid who doesn't know when to back down. This is what 'self defense is'. Its about safely escaping a situation. Its not about a battlefield. Are you saying women are not raped on the ground? Are you saying that you are not at risk on the ground? Are you saying that a good hit isn't going to knock you down? Maybe you are saying you will never be hit in a fight. Are you O'Sensei?

The ground is important. It is just as important as punching, kicking, throwing, and every other unarmed mode of combat. To neglect it is just as stupid as neglecting any other range of combat. I neglect weapons training. I do not do knife defenses. I guess I should start telling people stabbings never happen rather then admit I dont train knife defenses because I simply just dont like them.

I live in south bend, Indiana. If you would like to visit I would love to take you to all the good and bad schools in the area. It would take 2-3 days if you wanted to drive by them, maybe 2 weeks to visit them all. I know quite a few high ranking black belts you can meet under the age of 12. I'm sure the fighting skill of an overweight 12 year old is a good measure of what a black belt should be. How are you going to find out for yourself? The only way to find out is to physically come see it.

Kevin Leavitt
08-08-2006, 03:55 PM
Mark Murray Wrote:

Militarily? It isn't there. You have a weapon. Most times, you're going to use that weapon. That's combat. Weapons are a "very important" range of combat. While serving in the military, we never viewed ground fighting as a part of combat. We had an M-16 and that *was* very important. Or an M-60. Or a 203. .50 cal. LAW. Claymore. Bayonet. etc


Militarily speaking ground fighting is a very important part of training for the range of combat. Things of changed since the days of the M60, claymore etc. Politics are different, we have newer technologies, the enemy is engaging us in many ways in much different ways. We are also much better at civil situatons believe it or not than we were even 5 years ago.

Military spends a great deal of time, and will spend even more in the future on Non-Lethal Weapons capabilities.

I have many stories and many soldiers that have engaged it hand to hand figting and many fights (most that I have talked to) have ended up in the clinch or on the ground.

Obviously, if we have weapons, and the range to use them, and the ROE and situation supports it, then we use those weapons. It ain't so easy though today.

Even though we still train in EIB on the claymore I haven't seen one too often staked out there on the front line defensive position or used in a ambush lately! War and conflict today is very complex, it ain't as simple as pointing your weapon and firing it.

We actually have to talk to people, smile, read them, and some times wrastle with them. All these things require us to develop good warrior skills, that bred strength, confidence, and competence. All good qualities of budo!

Kevin Leavitt
08-08-2006, 04:00 PM
Mark Murray wrote:

Are you talking about ground combat or ground fighting as it pertains to sport? If you're talking about combat, please provide proof. Show me where the Roman legions trained in wrestling over spear, sword, shield, and tactics.

I will have to find the time to dig up the proof. Don't have it right now. The fact is every major military organization through out history has included sport and competition in the form of combative skills. We did move away from this culture in the modern military in the 60,70, and 80's...just now are getting back to it.

Marine Corps today has competitions based on Pancrase rules. (which btw, are based on greek model of combative sports). The U.S. Army, we have a very robust program and just held the first annual Army Combatives Tournament at Ft Benning last NOV. It ended with full contact MMA rules.

Sports and combatives have ALWAYS been a part of military culture. Boxing, Fencing, Pentatholn, Combatives, Wrestling, Judo...I am sure I can think of more Military sponsored programs that hone combative and warrior spirit and skills.

statisticool
08-08-2006, 04:25 PM
Now, if you're into UFC and all that, sure, ground is a very important part of that style. But, call it what it is. It isn't ground fighting. It's ground sport.


Great point Mark. Of course one would love to go to the ground in a guaranteed 1:1 dueling situation where the ground is a cushy mat or canvas. :)

In real life, however, in striking at least it is possible to fight off multiple attackers. On the ground it is impossible. I've seen no evidence otherwise from the 'ground is better' camp.

Aristeia
08-08-2006, 04:38 PM
wake up. There is no "ground is better' camp, only a "ground is necessary for certain goals" camp.

statisticool
08-08-2006, 04:39 PM
wake up. There is no "ground is better' camp, only a "ground is necessary for certain goals" camp.

Maybe not here, but elsewhere there certainly is.

DonMagee
08-08-2006, 04:56 PM
Maybe not here, but elsewhere there certainly is.

And they are fools. Obviously the best time to end a fight is before it starts, after that its before he can reach you, after that I'd say throwing is where I tend to focus. Of course everybody is different but I perfer to throw people to the ground who try to clinch with me.

Don't get me wrong. I love bjj and I love competition. I dont train martial arts for self defense. I do not have self defense concerns. But if someone asked me if they should take someone down in a self defense situation I would laugh at them. You never 'go to the ground'. You either get taken there, or you end up there by some outside means (a trip on enviroment, overcommited throw, etc)

Aristeia
08-08-2006, 08:08 PM
Maybe not here, but elsewhere there certainly is.I'm not necessarily convinced that is the case, but even if it is, why bring it up here? Why bring it up without specifying that it is outside of this discussion?

I ask this because there has been so much strawman argument going on in this thread.

statisticool
08-08-2006, 10:06 PM
I'm not necessarily convinced that is the case, but even if it is, why bring it up here? Why bring it up without specifying that it is outside of this discussion?


Because this is a bulletin board where people are free to bring up topics they choose, wherever they choose to. You chose to focus on the last sentence out of more that I wrote, then critique what I wrote based on that last sentence.

And that's fine.. I just see no need from my part to therefore not write what I write because of what you choose to critique.

MM
08-09-2006, 04:50 AM
However, if you are getting raped, or end up on the ground, then knowing how to fight on the ground is very important. Now being that when people start hitting each other, then tend to clinch, and being that these clinches tend to make people fall down. I feel that this is important. I now would like to point out that unarmed attacks are also a very small limited range of combat. Very rarely do two people just throw punches at each other without grappling (clinch, throw, fall down, use weapons, etc).

It's here that I want to see proof, Don. When someone says that most fights go to the ground, I want proof. I never say anything about the validity of ground fighting, just that I want proof. Can you provide it?


Wrestling may be a sport, but you seem to misunderstand what ground fighting is.


Don, you were the one that said wrestling is combat. I corrected that idea and now you agree. :)


Now one more thought. I've learned that in any throwing art, when you screw up you are easy to take down. In fact, I've been able to take a few aikidoka and judoka with me when they throw me. Now if failing a throw means you fall with your target, then wouldn't it be a good idea to know how to get out of that mess. Or would you rather get mounted and have you face beat in?


Again, you come back to validity. I never said it wasn't valid. I said I require proof that it was, as Ron said, "equally important". If you can, that's great. If not, I may find it later.


Now we can talk about what jiujitsu was, and what you think it is. We can talk all day about 'battlefield this and that'. In the end a battlefield art is a stupid arguement. It is the most rediculous thing I've ever heard and I find the idea laughable. Battle tech changes. We do not fight with swords and spears. We do not wear armor.


You stated "combat". Part of combat is battlefield. At least Kevin posted about army training and it's a start. Here, you just laugh. Ever wear SWAT armor? It limits mobility ranges. Unless you're just talking about martial arts for normal people only? But if so, we can probably drop the "combat" aspect and just go with fights. Might be that we're just using the words differently.

Are you saying women are not raped on the ground? Are you saying that you are not at risk on the ground? Are you saying that a good hit isn't going to knock you down? Maybe you are saying you will never be hit in a fight. Are you O'Sensei?


Reread my posts, Don. I never stated anything on the validity of ground fighting.


The ground is important. It is just as important as punching, kicking, throwing, and every other unarmed mode of combat.

Please provide proof of your statement. That's what I'm asking. Not whether it's valid, which you seem to want to debate or defend for some reason.

Got to run. If it makes you understand my posts better, I do think ground fighting is valid. It should be a part of training. :)

Mark

Aristeia
08-09-2006, 04:54 AM
Let me ask you this Mark. Assuming Don was correct, what sort of proof would you suppose would be availible to him?

DonMagee
08-09-2006, 06:03 AM
I dont have time to prove anything. So I offer this, do some research on rapes. See how many women were raped by single male attackers. Rapes usually happen on the ground. Thus ground fighting. Of course you could just go to areas where a lot of fights break out and watch them. I think you will find that when two people start punching at each other they almost ALWAYS clinch. Why? because it is a safe way to protect yourself from blows. Once you clinch you can only do 3 things, throw, knee/elbow, or push away and get back to striking range. Two of these three things can lead to the ground. If I throw or trip you, its a ground fighting. If we trip while struggling, its a ground fight. In fact judo throws are based on this idea. The idea of when we grab you will push back against me. Aikido uses this same idea to throw people. But I guess because I can't prove anyone fights on the ground but me and the gracies then it doesn't happen enough to matter.

I would like you to prove all fights start and end standing enough for me to continue training boxing. I need satistics and case studies please.

Wrestling is combat. It is also a sport. I simply said wrestling is not ground fighting. You can find how I define combat above in my previous posts.

Ron Tisdale
08-09-2006, 06:41 AM
one of the things I've always noticed in MMA is the ease with which they can entangle a leg and trip from the clinch. Especially when against the cage (read wall, car, etc.). Very hard to defend against if they are mixing push pull with underhooks, elbows, knees, etc.

Best,
Ron

DonMagee
08-09-2006, 07:06 AM
Very true Ron, another thing I've noticed is how hard it is to stay standing when you screw up. I've had many a times in judo randori where I was trying to throw but ended up on the ground because the throw went wrong. Especially against bigger guys.

Budd
08-09-2006, 09:32 AM
I think that a majority of folks here aren't really disagreeing. There's the camp that favors learning about groundfighting as a means of becoming well-rounded (perhaps a tad militantly ;) ). Then there's the camp that doesn't believe groundfighting is necessary to learning the art of aikido. I, personally, can't disagree, at a high level, with either perspective.

If aikido is your primary unarmed art AND you are concerned with being well-rounded (in the unarmed ranges of engagement), then I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to work out with judoka, BJJers, boxers, Muay Thai fighters, Capoieraistas, etc.

If aikido is primarily a means of personal development (apply your own interpretation, since it's personal), then I can fully see where groundfighting could be of little to no concern.

I've said this several times on this board and others, it depends on what your goals are. If you're training to be an effective unarmed fighter, then you'd better have resistance-based sparring across a number of ranges. Luckily, you have several paradigms (e.g. MMA, judo, boxing) to work within. But then again, studying aikido and learning it as an artform may not (again, it's personal and case by case) be a primary goal as I don't think one of these things necessarily leads to another.

If your primary goal is to learn/teach/train the art of aikido, then you are trying to be the best student/teacher you can be to train what you are taught, pass down your version of what you were taught or encourage others to find their own approach based on what you've taught. I don't think the art of aikido (as it's practiced in its many versions across the world) directly equates to a system of fighting (some train it as a goal, some don't) as in creating training conditions (e.g through progressive resistance randori/shiai) that will develop relaxed applications of aikido technique against a skilled, resisting partner/opponent.

I don't think these two ideologies are necessarily inclusive/exclusive. I can only speak for myself when I say that I practice/train aikido (the art) as I'm taught by my instructor. When I visit other dojo or go to seminars, I try to follow the example/paradigm of whoever's instructing and learn whatever I can (without worrying about "I'd do it like this" nonsense -- in that moment).

I train aikido as budo in that I think there are more aims (mindset, do-or-die spirit, psychological and physical adaptability) and more real-world applications than just the ability to win an unarmed fight. Having said that, I do believe that resistance-based randori (it doesn't have to be competitive, but isn't necessarily cooperative) can (and for me, should be) be done within an aikido context as an adjunct to training (it helps get rid of the "I have to make X technique work" and moves to the "I'll take the technique that I get" approach IMO).

I also like to work out with grapplers and strikers (mostly submission guys and boxers, but I've played within other paradigms) purely because it's fun and I enjoy visiting and training with good people in stuff where I'm sometimes more of a beginner (helps keep the beginner mind in multiple areas).

Enough rambling from me, but that's kind of where I sit on the whole thing.

Erick Mead
08-09-2006, 11:46 AM
Ken,

Your posts on the internet are almost as delightful as talking with you in person. In Post #52, you illustrate something that Minoru Mochizuki Sensei always said: "Truth can only be built on truth."

What remnds me of this is your reply to the fellow who asked: "what happens when you meet a guy who tries to sit on your chest and pound your head in?"
...
"Do you ever think (being an Aikidoka) that you might (in a self defense situation) end up fighting on the ground?
"If not, Why?
"If so, what do you do about this?
"Does Aikido provide any tools for this situation, or do you look to other arts for the answer to this situation?
"If Aikido provides those tools, please explain."

...
At the least, it can save us from finding ourselves suddenly shocked by reality and having to "claw" at someone's eyes in desperation. The fact is, as other people have pointed out, most of those responses are pure fantasy and would prove pointless in a real fight.

Besides, wearing skirts so much, we have a weak enough reputation without resorting to clawing people's eyes.


Hoo boy. Where to begin?

First. Everything discussed here is about tactical issues, and those associated only with closure on a target, which involves just as much "set-up" in the premise of the result as does anything else, including the "I won't let him get me on the ground" response.

Second. Aikido is about strategic body movement and the tactics we train to employ are simply to place things in that proper strategic relationship first and foremost without having to think about it while we are doing it -- that is the chief meaning and purpose of Takemusu Aiki. From the right position almost any tactic will work and from the wrong positon almost none of them will work -- which is -- in fairnness -- the strategic point being made about getting in mount.

Third. Every tactic has tactical weaknesses to exploit; every tactic has strategic options that can avoid its employment at all. For this very reason the UFC examples are not particularly helpful or illustrative of anything, precisely because they are set up to limit strategic options --- and it is fundamentally poor strategy to willing walk into a locked ring with somone eager to beat you bloody, but denying an ultimate option. Budo ain't about proving anything -- it is about ending a conflict -- instantly, or quicker if you can manage it.

Fourth. What is it, exactly, in budo or aiki terms that privileges the eyes or other soft parts from attack, anyway? Many training techniques use the flick to the eyes or the J-shot to the groin as preliminaries. Are we to assume that these are never actual strikes? That is simply poor training and not proper aikido. We train to preserve uke for further training, and because if we achieve the disruption of structure and intent without actual or prolognged contact -- strategically, we are in far greater advantage with our next tactic, and therfore have more options than we have if we follow through with the attack theatened initially. That is Takemusu Aiki.

Fifth. From a purely tactical perspective the ground issues arising from aikido are laregly in my view a failure of good ukemi training as the primary strategic element.

Sixth. Ukemi is the primary strategic weapon of aikido. Fundamentally, ukemi is about repositioning. And in repositioning you deny ground ( in the broader sense) to your opponent.


Any ukemi that is not either taking you out of range of a response going to ground or otherwise entering into sound position for a comfortable kaeshi waza throw, or to engage an irimi, atemi or sweep, is not proper ukemi practice, as it leaves many suki open, inlcuding the ground option.

Every attack is defense and every defense attack. The foundation of aikido in sword requires this. Ukemi therefore requires this also. In my triniang I have seen a few instructors who make this point well, but it is often ignored or overlooked. If the technique for the ukemi is high energy, take the momentum and get out of range. If it is low energy, irimi with the fall and depending on orientation, carry nage over, stick the foot in, up or wherever a soft spot beckons as you fall or as you are hitting the ground, or sweep the back of the forward knee with arm or leg. That is all proper ukemi exploiting the suki of the fall, and unless nage interupts technique, which is a suki in its own right, then he will have to adjust to respond to the suki he has opened by the changing position of your ukemi.

Basically, ground is not a preferred strategic choice for a bipedal animal to fight effectively, and is only marginally so in the unlikely 1:1 situation. Predators go in packs for a reason.

Going to ground may be tactically imposed by poor ukemi, but it need not be strategically accepted with proper training, nor need it be an issue for good aikido training to get up from the ground even against good offensive ground techniques. George Ledyard Sensei has demonstrated the efficacy of this to me against shooting and mount.

To the extent that ukemi is properly practiced as making for yourself an opening to kaeshi nage, ground is a place to get up from and keep moving. If you just lay downor accept a fight on the ground, you are on your own.

Jorge Garcia
08-09-2006, 12:23 PM
Hoo boy. Where to begin?

First. Everything discussed here is about tactical issues, and those associated only with closure on a target, which involves just as much "set-up" in the premise of the result as does anything else, including the "I won't let him get me on the ground" response.

Second. Aikido is about strategic body movement and the tactics we train to employ are simply to place things in that proper strategic relationship first and foremost without having to think about it while we are doing it -- that is the chief meaning and purpose of Takemusu Aiki. From the right position almost any tactic will work and from the wrong positon almost none of them will work -- which is -- in fairnness -- the strategic point being made about getting in mount.

Third. Every tactic has tactical weaknesses to exploit; every tactic has strategic options that can avoid its employment at all. For this very reason the UFC examples are not particularly helpful or illustrative of anything, precisely because they are set up to limit strategic options --- and it is fundamentally poor strategy to willing walk into a locked ring with somone eager to beat you bloody, but denying an ultimate option. Budo ain't about proving anything -- it is about ending a conflict -- instantly, or quicker if you can manage it.

Fourth. What is it, exactly, in budo or aiki terms that privileges the eyes or other soft parts from attack, anyway? Many training techniques use the flick to the eyes or the J-shot to the groin as preliminaries. Are we to assume that these are never actual strikes? That is simply poor training and not proper aikido. We train to preserve uke for further training, and because if we achieve the disruption of structure and intent without actual or prolognged contact -- strategically, we are in far greater advantage with our next tactic, and therfore have more options than we have if we follow through with the attack theatened initially. That is Takemusu Aiki.

Fifth. From a purely tactical perspective the ground issues arising from aikido are laregly in my view a failure of good ukemi training as the primary strategic element.

Sixth. Ukemi is the primary strategic weapon of aikido. Fundamentally, ukemi is about repositioning. And in repositioning you deny ground ( in the broader sense) to your opponent.


Any ukemi that is not either taking you out of range of a response going to ground or otherwise entering into sound position for a comfortable kaeshi waza throw, or to engage an irimi, atemi or sweep, is not proper ukemi practice, as it leaves many suki open, inlcuding the ground option.

Every attack is defense and every defense attack. The foundation of aikido in sword requires this. Ukemi therefore requires this also. In my triniang I have seen a few instructors who make this point well, but it is often ignored or overlooked. If the technique for the ukemi is high energy, take the momentum and get out of range. If it is low energy, irimi with the fall and depending on orientation, carry nage over, stick the foot in, up or wherever a soft spot beckons as you fall or as you are hitting the ground, or sweep the back of the forward knee with arm or leg. That is all proper ukemi exploiting the suki of the fall, and unless nage interupts technique, which is a suki in its own right, then he will have to adjust to respond to the suki he has opened by the changing position of your ukemi.

Basically, ground is not a preferred strategic choice for a bipedal animal to fight effectively, and is only marginally so in the unlikely 1:1 situation. Predators go in packs for a reason.

Going to ground may be tactically imposed by poor ukemi, but it need not be strategically accepted with proper training, nor need it be an issue for good aikido training to get up from the ground even against good offensive ground techniques. George Ledyard Sensei has demonstrated the efficacy of this to me against shooting and mount.

To the extent that ukemi is properly practiced as making for yourself an opening to kaeshi nage, ground is a place to get up from and keep moving. If you just lay down or accept a fight on the ground, you are on your own.

Excellent Erick. Your thoughts on ukemi are what we teach. Many of these concepts have been demonstrated to me by my Sensei.
I won't elaborate into my own sermon so as not to take away from this good post.
Best,

Ron Tisdale
08-09-2006, 12:24 PM
Very intelligent post Erik...not sure I agree 100%, but I'm going to read it a few times...I'll get back to you.

Thank you very much,
Ron

Budd
08-09-2006, 12:29 PM
I don't think anyone's arguing against the ground being a bad place to be. In fact, the points that could probably stand more discussion are with regards to the methods one trains to avoid going there via waza or ukemi, or as henka, in case the main thrust fails and you end up there, how do you get back up?

As it stands, I agree that ukemi, properly trained, gives you a lot more options for positioning yourself. But then it gets into the details of training methodologies against cooperative, theoretical, skilled, and/or committed attacks. Receiving an attack well, adjusting for changes in what the other person brings should be incorporated into ukemi, but sometimes it's also an eye opener to put yourself in a bad position and try to work from there, rather than assuming you won't have to.

Some address this within their own system of training, some address it by training outside their dojo and some conclude that they don't need to address it.

Depending on your goals for training, I can see any of the above working for you.

DonMagee
08-09-2006, 12:33 PM
Hoo boy. Where to begin?

First. Everything discussed here is about tactical issues, and those associated only with closure on a target, which involves just as much "set-up" in the premise of the result as does anything else, including the "I won't let him get me on the ground" response.


I agree


Second. Aikido is about strategic body movement and the tactics we train to employ are simply to place things in that proper strategic relationship first and foremost without having to think about it while we are doing it -- that is the chief meaning and purpose of Takemusu Aiki. From the right position almost any tactic will work and from the wrong positon almost none of them will work -- which is -- in fairnness -- the strategic point being made about getting in mount.


I also agree

Third. Every tactic has tactical weaknesses to exploit; every tactic has strategic options that can avoid its employment at all. For this very reason the UFC examples are not particularly helpful or illustrative of anything, precisely because they are set up to limit strategic options --- and it is fundamentally poor strategy to willing walk into a locked ring with somone eager to beat you bloody, but denying an ultimate option. Budo ain't about proving anything -- it is about ending a conflict -- instantly, or quicker if you can manage it.

I somewhat agree. I would say pride/ufc rules are loose enough that most high percentage unarmed attacks and defenses can be played out in one on one situations.


Fourth. What is it, exactly, in budo or aiki terms that privileges the eyes or other soft parts from attack, anyway? Many training techniques use the flick to the eyes or the J-shot to the groin as preliminaries. Are we to assume that these are never actual strikes? That is simply poor training and not proper aikido. We train to preserve uke for further training, and because if we achieve the disruption of structure and intent without actual or prolognged contact -- strategically, we are in far greater advantage with our next tactic, and therfore have more options than we have if we follow through with the attack theatened initially. That is Takemusu Aiki.


I would say nothing prohibits you from attacking the eyes or groin, except that as you stated above, you need to be in the proper position to do so. Ground training will allow you to do this if you end up on the ground just like aikido training helps you do this standing.


Fifth. From a purely tactical perspective the ground issues arising from aikido are laregly in my view a failure of good ukemi training as the primary strategic element.

This is interesting. I can understand how ukemi helps you escape and aikido type throw, but how can you use ukemi to escape a tackle, judo sacrifice throw, or a trip done while clinching?


Sixth. Ukemi is the primary strategic weapon of aikido. Fundamentally, ukemi is about repositioning. And in repositioning you deny ground ( in the broader sense) to your opponent.


I agree this is a good defense for throws or falls where the attacker does not go to the ground with you. However I think these kinds of attacks are rare. I would suspect most fights go to the ground with the attacker on top of or with you from a clinch. Very few people know how to throw someone effectively, but clinching is a natural response and it tends to lead to tripping and falling.


Every attack is defense and every defense attack. The foundation of aikido in sword requires this. Ukemi therefore requires this also. In my triniang I have seen a few instructors who make this point well, but it is often ignored or overlooked. If the technique for the ukemi is high energy, take the momentum and get out of range. If it is low energy, irimi with the fall and depending on orientation, carry nage over, stick the foot in, up or wherever a soft spot beckons as you fall or as you are hitting the ground, or sweep the back of the forward knee with arm or leg. That is all proper ukemi exploiting the suki of the fall, and unless nage interupts technique, which is a suki in its own right, then he will have to adjust to respond to the suki he has opened by the changing position of your ukemi.

An interesting viewpoint. I would agree within the context of aikido. But I doubt most attackers will throw you. I guess my opinion on this comment would be shaped by your responses to my previous questions in this post.

But I appreciate the viewpoint. It is nice to see someone thinking about how aikido relates to the ground.

Basically, ground is not a preferred strategic choice for a bipedal animal to fight effectively, and is only marginally so in the unlikely 1:1 situation. Predators go in packs for a reason.

Going to ground may be tactically imposed by poor ukemi, but it need not be strategically accepted with proper training, nor need it be an issue for good aikido training to get up from the ground even against good offensive ground techniques. George Ledyard Sensei has demonstrated the efficacy of this to me against shooting and mount.

To the extent that ukemi is properly practiced as making for yourself an opening to kaeshi nage, ground is a place to get up from and keep moving. If you just lay downor accept a fight on the ground, you are on your own.[/QUOTE]

Mark Freeman
08-09-2006, 12:42 PM
Nice post Erick, thanks, I particularly like your point that ukemi is the primary strategic weapon of aikido.

regards,

Mark

Budd
08-09-2006, 12:53 PM
This is interesting. I can understand how ukemi helps you escape and aikido type throw, but how can you use ukemi to escape a tackle, judo sacrifice throw, or a trip done while clinching?


I know you weren't responding to me, but here's something to chew on: Certain types of mae ukemi have pretty much the same elements as a sprawl.

One of the interesting things I found while playing judo in the last couple years was how the gi can both enable and block the belly/belly and hip/hip connections required for good grappling technique (which, I think is what the classical judoka found useful when all the wrestlers came over getting points with morote gari). Particularly if you keep the arms-length tegatana control with a gi, you can stuff/manipulate a lot of the other guy's attempts to attack.

Now in a judo match, you'll get busted for stalling (which makes sense when both parties are supposed to be attacking), so what you're then going for is to attack in such a way that you can take advantage of their counter (gotta be three moves ahead at least) or get them to over-commit in defense.

How this applies in aiki and non-gi grip grappling becomes more about using the body position in such a way that you're controlling the other person's head and hips so that the aiki-technique (or grappling, which is getting to my real point) becomes inevitable. The particulars of this have to do with where the other person's center is going based on what they're bringing and how you're receiving it (always comes back to ukemi, which to me is much more about receiving than falling), as well as your posture, relaxed power and the other stuff you're bringing (which depends on how you've trained).

Back to the notion of the ground, I think the same relaxed power, coordinated body movement and conditioning that enable good waza when standing are what will get you back to your feet to a safer position. The trick is how you're training to do that (if it's a concern).

DonMagee
08-09-2006, 01:31 PM
I know you weren't responding to me, but here's something to chew on: Certain types of mae ukemi have pretty much the same elements as a sprawl.

One of the interesting things I found while playing judo in the last couple years was how the gi can both enable and block the belly/belly and hip/hip connections required for good grappling technique (which, I think is what the classical judoka found useful when all the wrestlers came over getting points with morote gari). Particularly if you keep the arms-length tegatana control with a gi, you can stuff/manipulate a lot of the other guy's attempts to attack.

Now in a judo match, you'll get busted for stalling (which makes sense when both parties are supposed to be attacking), so what you're then going for is to attack in such a way that you can take advantage of their counter (gotta be three moves ahead at least) or get them to over-commit in defense.

How this applies in aiki and non-gi grip grappling becomes more about using the body position in such a way that you're controlling the other person's head and hips so that the aiki-technique (or grappling, which is getting to my real point) becomes inevitable. The particulars of this have to do with where the other person's center is going based on what they're bringing and how you're receiving it (always comes back to ukemi, which to me is much more about receiving than falling), as well as your posture, relaxed power and the other stuff you're bringing (which depends on how you've trained).

Back to the notion of the ground, I think the same relaxed power, coordinated body movement and conditioning that enable good waza when standing are what will get you back to your feet to a safer position. The trick is how you're training to do that (if it's a concern).

Good stuff. You are right about the principles (relaxed, coordianted movement etc). They are the same principles you will learn in judo, or bjj, etc. They wont use the same terms, but its the same thing. Movement from the hips, staying relaxed, using proper technique over muscle, etc.

Aristeia
08-09-2006, 01:44 PM
I think that a majority of folks here aren't really disagreeing. Great overall post Budd. You've got it in one.

Ron Tisdale
08-09-2006, 01:52 PM
Hey Budd, nice post. One question...the kamae shaped arms with tegatana work well for me in a lot of places, but with you, it just kept getting me arm barred. Still too stiff, huh? ;)

Best,
Ron

Budd
08-09-2006, 02:32 PM
Hey Budd, nice post. One question...the kamae shaped arms with tegatana work well for me in a lot of places, but with you, it just kept getting me arm barred. Still too stiff, huh? ;)

Best,
Ron

Hah! Actually, IIRC, when we were playing and I'd catch the arm bar (or standing rokkyu, depending how you wanted to look at it), it was after my attempt at irimi nage, you'd turn in and plant with your arms up, stopping the irimi nage, but giving the forward juice for me to open my hips away, drop my center and into rokkyu (and my hands and arms did very little but stay loose and attached).

Now, it didn't always happen, if you remember, there was a time or two, where you'd feel that hole and bring your elbows in and suddenly we were in the clinch. Or (which is what I try to do), you'd disconnect the arm from your neck/shoulder on down, and suddenly you'd still have tegatana and a connection with me, but there wouldn't be any tension/energy left for me to work with . . .

Anyhow, we're overdue to hook up again and play some more . . .

All the best,

Budd

Ron Tisdale
08-09-2006, 02:45 PM
Damn I miss training with you! We'll get together soon I hope. Struggling with a herniated disc in my neck just now.

Best,
Ron (the Aiki-nazi -- NO UKEMI FOR YOU!)

Budd
08-09-2006, 02:48 PM
OUCH!! Sincere wishes for a speedy recovery . . . (neck issues are right there with knees for suckitude).

Erick Mead
08-09-2006, 02:54 PM
Taking things little out of order:
This is interesting. I can understand how ukemi helps you escape and aikido type throw, but how can you use ukemi to escape a tackle, judo sacrifice throw, or a trip done while clinching? ...
[re: exploiting ukemi as suki] I would agree within the context of aikido. But I doubt most attackers will throw you. Last bit first: I should never be thrown. I TAKE ukemi. It is mine; it belongs to me. It is an attack as well as defense. I therefore direct it, albeit within some constraints established by the prior attack.

There is a wonderful video of Saito doing tachidori where he performs a sidestep te-giri to an intial shomen uchi, provoking the block, and as uchitachi rasied to cut shomen again steps straight through him with a no-hands koshinage pivoting slightly to place the sword over uchitachi's now prostrate head. The cut he is escaping is absolutely irrelevant at the point he moves. That's what I am talking about.

Taking your specific examples in order:

1) Tackle - some variation of kokyunage or otoshi, basically a tackler is committed to going to ground, and I am not stopping him, I am just not playing along. Basically, this is how Ledyard Sensei has taught dealing with shooting -- essentially a sumi otoshi to the advancing shoulder while turning uchi or soto as the dynamics require to be out of sweep range as he goes down. In football, in contravention, I am constrained by the need to advance downfield, which limits my options in movement by at least half, on an entirely arbitrary basis.

Why in the name of all that's holy would I be running TOWARD a three hundred pound 6'6" behemoth, pray tell? It only adds to his advantage to input more relative kinetic energy to his advance in the energy equation. The again, on the other hand, I might ... ganseki otoshi below (big rock drop, great fun that) -- very hard for a tackler to counter, since he does not imagine you would go ground just as he's about to take you, and by then he can't alter his momentum to recover. Saotome Shihan does this so fluidly it's scary.

2) Judo sacrifice throw -- This presumes I grab or he grabs me. Bad aikido on both counts. (I know, I know, - we train with grabs ot learn not to. We's soft slippery things at our best.) Assuming the grab, most sacrifice throws from yoko-ukemi can be countered by going over them in a leaping forward roll or full sutemi, and then all he has is a hadnfull of gi or arm, and thus a direct suki to kaeshi waza osae. Few judoka train for throws to set up osae-waza as preliminary to the throw, unlike aikdioka, so we are more used to it if it even if it were done that way.

I'll break the last part into two because they are really different issues.

3A) Clinching -- Assumes the clinch first which merely gives better connection to his center - plus, see the slippery bit above. Rear clinches are notoriously poor for control, fairly easy to break and almost all have to be followed up by a trip, saving only Boris the Brute and the feet-in-the-air bear hug. That is basically an anaerobic endurance contest, while you are hook-heeling him in the groin, knee or instep. Almost any rear clinch is immediately vulnerable to kokyunage or ganseki otoshi, especially once he establishes any sense of hanmi for the takedown. We routinely practice kubishime from an established static kihon choke. It is mcuh easier from a dynamic attack. Likewise, a mune-shime (choke with the lapels from the front), which has the added advantage for the attacker of exposing the ikkyo line to disruption for the take down. This can be handled with koshinage or kokyunage turning either uchi or soto, and there is a great direct irimi that they hardly ever see coming (Who expects an advance on a choke?) . Frontwise lower down, see the point above about shooting. Almost any attack which has to crouch and reach is vulnerable to the openings for a modified ikkyo, gokyo or otoshi turn.

3B) Assuming the clinch even so, a trip is merely preliminary to ukemi (as is the clinch) and thus is suki for the attacker also. Essentially, it blatantly telegraphs his intent to procure ukemi, and thus is even easier to respond to with ukemi -- if I am TAKING the trip instead of having it given to me -- it's called ganseki otoshi, or any other number of kokyunage variations and yoko-ukemi carry-over throws. Done properly, those project the attacker beyond a convenient ground clinch or sweep range.

Erick Mead
08-09-2006, 03:01 PM
(always comes back to ukemi, which to me is much more about receiving than falling) Amen and Amen.

Ron Tisdale
08-09-2006, 03:10 PM
Again a nice post Eric.

One thing though...have you ever had a wrestler clinch you from behind? They can suplex you faster than you can blink. I think I pulled one out of five waza off from that position with a district champion level wrestler. Mostly I spent a lot of time clearing my head from getting thrown on it. Only an idiot bearhugs you and lifts your feet then holds you there. Anyone not an idiot is going right for the throw...

Best,
Ron ('course, maybe I'm just slow...)

Aristeia
08-09-2006, 03:15 PM
True, there's a number of other nice takedowns you can do from there as well, quickly and without strength. I guess it comes back to - are you training to fight a trained opponent or a guy with not much clue. Thankfully where I live wrestling is all but unavailable so we it's only the rugby players we have to worry about :-)

Budd
08-09-2006, 03:24 PM
I can agree with the above RE: not having much time to deal with skilled attacks . . . . also from my perspective, when it comes to dealing with strikes and grappling, you and your training partners have to learn to at least how to give some skilled attacks in order that you and your partners can train to receive and deal with skilled attacks.

Of course I'm not implying that anyone isn't doing this . . . ;)

DonMagee
08-09-2006, 04:14 PM
Eric,

Good replys, I can see you have thought out your responses to common attacks. I'm assuming you train for them as well (which is also a good thing). This was the kind of responses I was hoping for. A person examining how they would deal with a ground attack or takedown. It is also much better then the 'I'm just not going to the ground' response. You sound very prepared for most common takedowns, which means you are already that much more prepared to deal with ground fighting.

I would be interested in working some judo style randori with someone who could employ the skills you mention. It would be a good learning experiance to see how I react to them without prior knowedge. But one can hope :)

Anyways, good post. I do have one question. Assuming you do somehow end up on the ground in a fight (worst case all else failed type senario). What are your ideas on using aikido to escape a position like the mount or side control and return to standing quickly and safely?

Erick Mead
08-09-2006, 05:14 PM
One thing though...have you ever had a wrestler clinch you from behind? They can suplex you faster than you can blink. Waist or chest/shoulders I assume. Hmmm, I need to try this out. We don't have any wrestlers currently training, but a buddy of mine was a wrestler in college so I have some rudimentary but working knowledge of suplex.

Suplex seems basically like a frontward sacrifice koshinage/yoko- ukemi (excepting the "real pro wrasslin' " vertical version and -- let's just leave that one alone, shall we?)

Suplex requires the sacrifice fall, because our hips don't bend that way, and the arch of the spine (hence "supple" as the rootword) has to compensate to drive the hips forward. Basically, suplex is a fairly straightforward sacrifice yoko-ukemi from a rear torso grab, leaving the thrower in a position to turn and mount.

But thinking it through ... The suplex seesm to rely on the "getting away" reflex in response to the clinch to open entering room for his hips to bow in underneath while your top is pinned in the clinch. If you are instead entering him as he grabs, this should disrupt the fundamental dynamic of the the throw, because the angular momentum is reversed (probably opens up a different move, though).

Wrestlers are typically taught to turn the hips out of reach and address the attacker frontally if they can -- not to enter blindly backward. We have no such compunctions. That training combined with that reflex sould make wresters more vulnerable to suplex than aikidoka, whihc may be why it is not commonly trained in aikido . I wonder what wrestlers teach as counter.

You might setup a koshinage with the entering hip turn to break the line of the suplex that he intends for the takedown to one side. This is what he is about to do anyway, just sooner than he intended. I'll bet that is what you tried. And I'll bet what stymied you most was a shift of grip toward the waist.

Assuming you are "supple" in return, aiki-otoshi would probably work. Suplex moves the bottom out from the top, aiki-otoshi does too, but in a different way. You could move with an uchi irimi turn to get your hips out of line initially, and either catch the head between your arm and shoulder for a men-nage (especially if he is around the waist) or kokyunage ( or ganseki drop) to suwari, or if you were a little later on his attack, as he plants forward, shift to the side and move back for the aiki-otoshi. That would be harder from around on the waist but easier if he was around the chest/ shoulders. Seems like a mae-ukemi 90 degrees off or a uchi turn yoko-ukemi would give him something to think about, too. Have to play with those. There are hold breaks to consider, too, a la kubishime, and other ushiro attacks.

Ooh ... something to play with.

I think I pulled one out of five waza off from that position with a district champion level wrestler. Mostly I spent a lot of time clearing my head from getting thrown on it.

[quote= Ron Tisdale] Only an idiot bearhugs you and lifts your feet then holds you there. Anyone not an idiot is going right for the throw... Depends how big he is ... But It's not nice to stereotype the big guys as both slow AND stupid ...

Erick Mead
08-09-2006, 05:56 PM
I would be interested in working some judo style randori with someone who could employ the skills you mention. It would be a good learning experiance to see how I react to them without prior knowedge. But one can hope :)

Anyways, good post. I do have one question. Assuming you do somehow end up on the ground in a fight (worst case all else failed type senario). What are your ideas on using aikido to escape a position like the mount or side control and return to standing quickly and safely?

Ledyard Sensei showed two good ones from the mount, a sankyo type release, and a fairly straightforwad irimi/ikkyo cut to the head, which I use routinely to make newbs do their osae controls properly, and I can do that from one side of my body to the other. Doing it to uke in a topmount position seems easier -- kind of a horizontal kokyu dosa with a hip shift instead of a true rotation. The latter is vulnerable to an arm bar, but the approach in this case is such it is not too clear what is happening until it really too late, and if he went to the bar from the mount, other things should open up.

I am trying get one of our judoka to work with me on side controls, which I have not played with extensively, so I am thinking out loud. Kata gatame, I have no idea how to shift on the ground (standing I'd koshi him). Cross or kesa seem typically transitional anyway, and I suspect that drawing him MORE on top by rolling under, which is hard for uke to resist going with to get to the mount, especially with my gripping hand heading directly for his nethers, and will expose some of these openings for dismounts. Especially if he goes affirmatively for the mount, I can probably carry him over the top with momentum as though I were trying to reverse to take mount, if he attempts a similar sacrifice roll to get back in mount, and I can take mae ukemi at the top toward his head to get more defintively free. I imagine a rhythm similar to some of the spiral-in irimi throws, but in reverse. Must try.

That is, unless he has pinned the arm or hooked the leg already, but that's alot to do in one complete motion, and any break in flow provides the opening. Half guard is harder, because the leg is not free, but the nethers are still exposed.

I suspect he will say that's not fair, but then that's aikido for ya -- all we give is fair warning.

MM
08-09-2006, 08:03 PM
Let me ask you this Mark. Assuming Don was correct, what sort of proof would you suppose would be availible to him?

If I knew that, I wouldn't have asked. :) I'd already know the answer. Since I don't, I asked for proof. None has yet been provided and the only thing I've received is "I don't have time" and a sort of, No, you provide proof response.

I'm not the one who put out the assumptions, but I am the one wanting proof. It's easy to sit in a chair and post whatever you want. But, if someone calls you on it, you should at least have supporting facts, not a response of "I would like you to prove all fights start and end standing". Which, by the way, I never stated.

No proof, then it's just words on a screen meaning nothing. Kevin at least provided some snippets of relevant information. Don -- nothing. Well, he keeps griping about ground fighting being valid or mattering, etc etc etc ad nauseum. It's a nice attempt to dodge the issue, but not good enough. Nowhere in any of my posts did I say it wasn't valid or that it didn't matter. In fact, I stated that it was valid, and it does matter.

But Don stated that almost all fights go to the ground (something about it's rare that a fight doesn't go to the ground). I asked for proof of that. I'm still waiting...

Mark

Erick Mead
08-09-2006, 08:57 PM
I dont have time to prove anything. ... But I guess because I can't prove anyone fights on the ground but me and the gracies then it doesn't happen enough to matter. I agree in one sense and disagree in another. You fight where you find yourself, which is simple necessity. Staying there (or anywhere else, for that matter) willingly is nuts, unless you have decisive strategic advantage. Knowing that in hot contact is exceedingly diffcult.

Much as I am intrigued by the application of aiki principles if I find myself on the ground, I see no strategic advantages on the ground, as attacker or defender; I see only only tactical contingencies and exigent circumstance. With ukemi I see many strategic exploitations. But I would not call ukemi ground fighting either. It is, however, a strategic transitional device -- like most of the side controls on the ground.

DonMagee
08-09-2006, 09:28 PM
But Don stated that almost all fights go to the ground (something about it's rare that a fight doesn't go to the ground). I asked for proof of that. I'm still waiting...

Mark

I have re-read this entire thread. Please show me where I said that.

I'll give you a hint. I never said that. I said that when you punch someone, they tend to clinch to escape punches. And that when you grapple (clinch) you tend to fall down. This does not mean all fights go to the ground, or its rare a fight doesn't go to the ground. It simply means it is easy to take a fight to the ground. I know for a fact I can take a fight to the ground any time I want to, and I dont even have to try very hard. In fact, I take fights to the ground on accident all the time due to a mistake. This does not mean either party wants to fight on the ground. It doesn't even mean both partys can't simply stand back up. It simply means falling down is the easiest thing to do. You get punched hard, you fall down, trip you fall down, clinch you fall down, throw you fall down. Once you are down, its a ground fight. Because being on the ground one of the worst places you can be (as everyone agrees), I would suggest that you should learn how to deal with basic position so you can stand back up. I've fallen down in sparing with strikes only. Do you think if I was on the street and got hit and fell down my attacker wouldn't follow me down, sit on my head and punch me, or at least soccer kick me?? Is this really an unreasonable assumption? I think an attacker would finish the fight, rather then wait for you to recover and stand back up. That is providing he really wants to hurt you.

That is all I have said. You however have put words in my mouth to make some kind of silly worthless straw man game.

However, if you would like proof of my statements, please tell me what you would accept as proof. Perhaps I will find time to dig some up. Of course I will only provide proof to my exact statements. So that means I will have to prove that clinching makes you vunerable to falling down and that when being agressivly attacked, people tend to clinch.

DonMagee
08-09-2006, 09:38 PM
I agree in one sense and disagree in another. You fight where you find yourself, which is simple necessity. Staying there (or anywhere else, for that matter) willingly is nuts, unless you have decisive strategic advantage. Knowing that in hot contact is exceedingly diffcult.

Much as I am intrigued by the application of aiki principles if I find myself on the ground, I see no strategic advantages on the ground, as attacker or defender; I see only only tactical contingencies and exigent circumstance. With ukemi I see many strategic exploitations. But I would not call ukemi ground fighting either. It is, however, a strategic transitional device -- like most of the side controls on the ground.

There is one strategic advantage on the ground. Being in the mount. From the mount you can dominate your target with little risk to self. You can escape quickly (stand up), and you have neturalized most of his attacks and defenses. I would not recomend a person take a fight to the ground, but if you end up on the ground, your goal should be to stand up or get the mount as quickly as possible. If you are striking an attacker and he falls, you should follow him down and continue your blows until he is no longer a threat. Or at very least, soccer kick him in the skull.

Aristeia
08-09-2006, 10:00 PM
as I mentioned earlier there is also some anecdotal evidence to suggest that when overwhelmed by numbers going underneath guard can provide some protection.

Also for evidence - look at early UFC's where two people from fighting arts face of against each other - still goes to the ground despite neither one trying to get there.

Erick Mead
08-09-2006, 11:00 PM
There is one strategic advantage on the ground. Being in the mount. From the mount you can dominate your target with little risk to self. ... You can escape quickly (stand up), and you have neturalized most of his attacks and defenses. I would not recomend a person take a fight to the ground, but if you end up on the ground, your goal should be to stand up or get the mount as quickly as possible. If you are striking an attacker and he falls, you should follow him down and continue your blows until he is no longer a threat. Or at very least, soccer kick him in the skull.
You and I agree on the inadvisability of going to ground. I do note, though, that we disagree on the "bigger picture" of the strategic continuum. Aikido's metastrategy is not "dominate the target." It is katsu hayabi -- "instananeous victory." It is achieved through establishing musubi and allowing a flow of aiki to dissipate energy, which may not involve blows at all. While I am completely generous in my application of atemi and selection of targets - "Kick 'im in the haid" is not really aiki either.

xuzen
08-09-2006, 11:41 PM
Ground or not... once you had a try, you'll be hooked just like me; a poor soul addicted to it. Resistant is futile... sigh!

Is there a Grappling Anonymous, GA (TM) forum somewhere?

Boon

gdandscompserv
08-10-2006, 05:35 AM
It simply means it is easy to take a fight to the ground. I know for a fact I can take a fight to the ground any time I want to, and I dont even have to try very hard. In fact, I take fights to the ground on accident all the time due to a mistake.
Are you talking about "real" fights here, or are you talking about pre-arranged sporting/sparring events?
If they are "real" fights might I suggest some anger management? :D

DonMagee
08-10-2006, 05:54 AM
Are you talking about "real" fights here, or are you talking about pre-arranged sporting/sparring events?
If they are "real" fights might I suggest some anger management? :D

In this context I'm talking about sparing of course. But in a real fight the dynamic is still no different. I would point out there is nothing pre-arranged about my sparing/competition matches. I have never known in advance who I was going to be up against in competition.

MM
08-10-2006, 05:57 AM
I have re-read this entire thread. Please show me where I said that.

I'll give you a hint. I never said that. I said that when you punch someone, they tend to clinch to escape punches. And that when you grapple (clinch) you tend to fall down. This does not mean all fights go to the ground, or its rare a fight doesn't go to the ground. It simply means it is easy to take a fight to the ground. I know for a fact I can take a fight to the ground any time I want to, and I dont even have to try very hard. In fact, I take fights to the ground on accident all the time due to a mistake. This does not mean either party wants to fight on the ground. It doesn't even mean both partys can't simply stand back up. It simply means falling down is the easiest thing to do. You get punched hard, you fall down, trip you fall down, clinch you fall down, throw you fall down. Once you are down, its a ground fight. Because being on the ground one of the worst places you can be (as everyone agrees), I would suggest that you should learn how to deal with basic position so you can stand back up. I've fallen down in sparing with strikes only. Do you think if I was on the street and got hit and fell down my attacker wouldn't follow me down, sit on my head and punch me, or at least soccer kick me?? Is this really an unreasonable assumption? I think an attacker would finish the fight, rather then wait for you to recover and stand back up. That is providing he really wants to hurt you.

That is all I have said. You however have put words in my mouth to make some kind of silly worthless straw man game.

However, if you would like proof of my statements, please tell me what you would accept as proof. Perhaps I will find time to dig some up. Of course I will only provide proof to my exact statements. So that means I will have to prove that clinching makes you vunerable to falling down and that when being agressivly attacked, people tend to clinch.

Post # 166:
"Very rarely do two people just throw punches at each other without grappling"

Now, did you mean something else? So, now you're saying that most fights don't go to the ground? Or that you didn't mean the two people were fighting when they were throwing punches at each other? Or that very rarely doesn't translate to most fights? But, no matter, you said you would provide proof. So, Don, provide facts/research/proof of the above statement that you made.

Also, could you provide facts/research/proof of the other statement you made, "ground fighting is a very important range of combat, but it is no more important then any other range of combat"?

Proof/research/facts are all I've been asking about. Instead, you keep throwing in stuff that I haven't asked about. Heck, I even posted I agreed with you that ground fighting is valid and worth learning. I even agree with you that it can be easy to get to a point where you do find yourself fighting on the ground.

Mark

DonMagee
08-10-2006, 06:04 AM
You and I agree on the inadvisability of going to ground. I do note, though, that we disagree on the "bigger picture" of the strategic continuum. Aikido's metastrategy is not "dominate the target." It is katsu hayabi -- "instananeous victory." It is achieved through establishing musubi and allowing a flow of aiki to dissipate energy, which may not involve blows at all. While I am completely generous in my application of atemi and selection of targets - "Kick 'im in the haid" is not really aiki either.

Yes, you and I do disagree there. I am not a beleive in the one shot one kill" mentality that accompanys japanese arts and philosophy. I understand it comes from a sword culture where a single mistake means death. I just do not believe in giving my attacker the chance to recover and attack again.

DonMagee
08-10-2006, 06:20 AM
Post # 166:
"Very rarely do two people just throw punches at each other without grappling"

Now, did you mean something else? So, now you're saying that most fights don't go to the ground? Or that you didn't mean the two people were fighting when they were throwing punches at each other? Or that very rarely doesn't translate to most fights? But, no matter, you said you would provide proof. So, Don, provide facts/research/proof of the above statement that you made.

Also, could you provide facts/research/proof of the other statement you made, "ground fighting is a very important range of combat, but it is no more important then any other range of combat"?

Proof/research/facts are all I've been asking about. Instead, you keep throwing in stuff that I haven't asked about. Heck, I even posted I agreed with you that ground fighting is valid and worth learning. I even agree with you that it can be easy to get to a point where you do find yourself fighting on the ground.

Mark

"Very rarely do two people just throw punches at each other without grappling" - this is easy to prove. Watch ANY fight you can find on the internet or otherwise. Get in a sparing match, get in a street fight. You will almost NEVER get in a fight where you do not grab another person or clinch. This is grappling. You see to think grappling and ground fighting are the same thing. You dont have to be on the ground to grapple. Being that you mentioned japanese juijitsu in a post above somewhere I would of expected you to know this. I guess you see what you want to see because you read something I simply did not write. Are you really asking me to provide proof that when two people attack each other they dont simply stand and thrrow punches at each other? Fine, I submit all murders, rapes, gang beatings, high school fights I've personally been in, MMA competitions, boxing competitions and kick boxing competitions (all boxers and kickboxeers clinch), and all sparing I've ever had in my entire life and everyone I've spared in my entire life as proof. If you would require futher proof. I would suggest sparing with people trained and untrained. You will find people will grab you more then they don't grab you. Further proof than that, I suggest picking fights.

"ground fighting is a very important range of combat, but it is no more important then any other range of combat"

Another easy proof. You can die while fighting on the ground. When you 'lose' to striking you end up on the ground where you are then killed. Thus the ground is an important range of combat because it decides if you live or die. This makes it just as important as standing up and striking or grappling. The conclusion of striking leads to at LEAST one person on the ground. Once he is down there the attacker has the choice of continuing the attack. If this is a 'real' fight, we have to assume the attacker means to main or kill you, thus he will persuse the attack. Thus ground fighting. I have taken punches I did not see which took my balance and brought me to the ground. I have seen this happen in MMA competitions and fights in high school, bars, boxing rings etc. Unless attackers always backoff when they knock someone down, there will be some form of ground fighting. (Now is a good time to point out ground fighting is not always a guy trying to submit you with an armbar, Its a guy soccer kicking you in the face while your on the ground, its a guy sitting or kneeling on your chest hitting you, and yes it could be a guy choking/armbaring you, but I find that very unlikely).

Again, what kind of facts do you want. How can I prove importance (which is by nature an opinion). Even if I showed every single fight ever ended on the ground, that does not prove the importance of ground fighting. I'll prove it when you prove all beef hotdogs taste better than turkey hotdogs. Can you prove love is just ans important as money? How about you prove that diet doctor pepper tastes the same as regular doctor pepper?

'The proof' you are after is really better served by getting your butt out there and trying it. Get an untrained person to spar with you, rain a few hard blows on him up close and personal and see if he doesn't start grabbing you. See if that grabbing doesn't make it hard to stay standing. Watch some of the first UFC's. I hate using them for an example, but why do two strikers with no ground skills end up with one guy on top of another punching him in the face? I'm sure they didn't plan that or think it was a good idea. They got too into the moment, something happend to make one guy fall and the other guy was either taken with him, or persued him to finish the fight. Had the faller been trained in some basic ground fighting skills he might of been able to reverse the situation or at the very least stand back up.

I even agree with you that it can be easy to get to a point where you do find yourself fighting on the ground. really, can you prove it?

Ron Tisdale
08-10-2006, 07:46 AM
Hi Eric,

This is becomming a very good thread, please continue. I like the way you approach ukemi; time for me to up that portion of my practice again.

As to the suplex, a few quick points....

a) don't dismiss the straight over the top and turn at the last minute version as "pro-rastlin"...I've seen it used many times at collegiate, free-style, and olympic events. It can be a devastating throw, especially on hard landing surfaces. I've used it myself, a time or two.

b) The particular throws I was concentrating on were Daito ryu throws...some involved using sokumen step away while attacking the hands, then turning for a variety of waza, some involved entering with your hips directly into uke's waist and groin areas, and I tried a few of the Aikido breath throws as well. As my partner was better at aikido as well as wrestling than I, he could utilize little tricks of timing etc. to throw me off and thwart the waza...so it wasn't exactly a completely 'fair' exercise. But....that was the point. It's already not "fair" once someone get's behind you. ;)

c) If I get an opportunity, I'll print out some of your suggestions and try them with Budd sometime...I have a feeling I know what;s going to happen...but I'd like to try anyway!

Best,
Ron (big guys are rarely dumb and slow, even fat ones. My first wake up call in grade school...just cause he's fat doesn't mean he won't kick your @$$. And he did...)

Erick Mead
08-10-2006, 08:04 AM
Yes, you and I do disagree there. I am not a beleive in the one shot one kill" mentality that accompanys japanese arts and philosophy. I understand it comes from a sword culture where a single mistake means death. I just do not believe in giving my attacker the chance to recover and attack again. "One-shot-one-kill" is not katsu hayabi. Rather, each attack is defeated as it is commenced by immediate connection to and acceptance of it -- as opposed to resisting the attack as a means of defending against it. I cannot be defeated by something I am willing to occur, and by willing it I gain a measure of direction over how it transpires. Aikido training is meant to broaden the imaginative capacity of my will to accept these attacks more and more creatively. The more a I get along in training, the more it seems like play, the less fear I feel in responding to attacks, and the better I am able to enlarge my sense of the space of possibilities.

An attack is typically a very narrow thing, precisely in order to concentrate kinetic energy. If I devote attention and energy to stopping that attack, I must necessarily narrow my focus, physically and mentally to match and overcome its power. My strategic options narrow accordingly. In aikido my time and attention is devoted to embracing the attack more fully, which enlarges my strategic possibilities rather than narrowing them.

You touch on the the critical difference where 1:1 staged attacks and randori diverge. The more people trying to attack me, the more they actually get in each other's way, and can be played off one another by use of musubi. The kind of disciplined mass attack that would overcome this advantage is exceedingly rare, more rare indeed that the one-on-one setting, and even that typically devolves into melee after the initial shock anyway. Multiple attackers are a richer strategic space in which to operate. Even if there are mere bystanders, they are dynamic elements that musubi allows one to utilize, even if only passively.

But even one-on-one, the more committed the attacker, the greater his expense of energy relative to your own. With proper breathing in randori (inhale to accept the attack, exhale to send it on its way) nage will not become nearly as exhausted as the uke attacking him. continually. Uke expends vast physical energies on focus and power and every attack is an proportional expense of breath, while every attack on nage is adding to his breath if he maintains connection to their attack. That is really what ki and aiki are about from a physiological standpoint. Harmony does not mean an even balance.

Going to immediately to ground, as I think you recognize, only puts you cheek to cheek with the smartest, most vicious animal on the planet, who is still fresh and eager -- and who wants that ? Better to wear the nasty beasties down before I get too close.

Erick Mead
08-10-2006, 09:07 AM
This is becomming a very good thread, please continue. I like the way you approach ukemi; time for me to up that portion of my practice again.

As to the suplex, a few quick points....

a) don't dismiss the straight over the top and turn at the last minute version as "pro-rastlin"...I've seen it used many times at collegiate, free-style, and olympic events. It can be a devastating throw, especially on hard landing surfaces. I've used it myself, a time or two. Obviously a failure of imagination on my part. So many things to try .. .
If the entry is as deeply bowed in as I think it must be to achieve the momentum to go over the top, a rotation of the hips and leg to one side should force the throw earlier, at the very least. Essentially, it seems he would have to lock the top, bending it backwards over his own center at the same time he is thrusting his hips forward to shift your center and begin your rotation in the vertical plane backwards.

If I let my hips and legs go slightly back and to one side, with weight over the now inside foot, while my torso tends to go slightly forward and to the other side, it balances his angular momentum, stalling his throw. I can even further aggravate the stall by extending the outside leg slightly. This is the set up for aiki-otoshi with a following step behind him to the side in the event this inital motion achieves some measure of kuzushi. It iwill definitely alter his sense of momentum, whihc may provoke a surrender of the throw attempt.

Assuming he carries on, at that point he will have to turn one way or the other. His turn for the drop will be less effective, because now the horizontal moment arm of my body, (slightly athwart him) is greater, thus the turn will have less energy.

If he turns to the side where my head is I am better positioned for a sutemi on that side of my body, , rather than on my head and neck. I am already bascially in position for a koshinage except for his bow backward. His turn toward the side closes that gap, and if the musubi is right, he rotates with me as I turn with him . Depending on kuzushi I may even be able to pivot on my weighted inside leg in the same direction as his turn, bring the outside hip and leg across for a yoko-ukemi on that side, leaving him him to fall around me taking an accelerated outside sutemi with his arms now pinned agasint me.

If he turns to the side where my legs are he may even shift weight to my outside foot as he falls back, and allow me an uchi turn kokyunage reversal or an even deeper aiki-otoshi. Maybe he will even expose the head for a pivoting iriminage.
b) The particular throws I was concentrating on were Daito ryu throws...some involved using sokumen step away while attacking the hands, then turning for a variety of waza, some involved entering with your hips directly into uke's waist and groin areas, and I tried a few of the Aikido breath throws as well. As my partner was better at aikido as well as wrestling than I, he could utilize little tricks of timing etc. to throw me off and thwart the waza...so it wasn't exactly a completely 'fair' exercise. But....that was the point. It's already not "fair" once someone get's behind you. ;)
Sokumen iriminage is actually very close to aiki-otoshi, but directed at the upper torso rather than the hips directly , and the step is more definitive to the side and then back in. Aiki-otoshi from the reare attack is more a pivot-in, pivot-out while entering in and then step in and back. The close control of the torso grip makes true sokumen almost impossible. The set up for the aiki-otoshi I describe is however, actually very much a short sokumen step or hip turn, just with far less liberty of movement due to the close control of uke's attack. The feeling ( if not the movement) is very much like the tiny little pirouette tenkan done right as you turn the hips into omote koshinage. They both take your hips slightly out of uke's line of attack and place yours slightly in line of attack to him. It is just this litlle tiny hip kink that changes everything -- in much the same way that the little katatedori kokyu movement dissipates all attacking power.

I cannot emphasize enough how even a little juji (crossing) orientation of the body with the shift complicates the problem for the rear attacker, or any take-down attack for that matter. We do this in ushiro kubishime all the time. Basically, if I could get my hips substantially out of the way of his as he does his thurst forward he would perform the kokyunage/aiki-otoshi on himself..

If you were just going directly back with the hips to counter his rotation of his hips forward, that is perilously close to resistance, and thus not aiki. If I create progressively perpendicular orientation of movement and position it begins to eliminate any initial force or timing contest, while still fundamentally altering his required rotation dynamic. If he had you in a two-armed kata-gatame ( or a simple kubishime to start with, this would only tighten the pressure on your neck. Those attacks would probably not go to suplex as they are a bit too high, and would favor koshinage because of the inital assymetry.

c) If I get an opportunity, I'll print out some of your suggestions and try them with Budd sometime...I have a feeling I know what;s going to happen...but I'd like to try anyway!

Ron Tisdale
08-10-2006, 10:08 AM
Excellent stuff...will definately look to encouraging these methods of ukemi/sutemi/entry to waza in my practice.

If you were just going directly back with the hips to counter his rotation of his hips forward, that is perilously close to resistance, and thus not aiki.

Well, one man's aiki is another man's jutsu...the movement in Daito ryu (from my limited experience) is quite powerfull...hips go back into uke, shoulders round and come forward, achieves excellent kuzushi, and there are many ways to finish from there. One problem I've found though is that it can become a timing game when dealing with larger, stronger, and or faster uke. For it to be aiki in my definition requires exquisite timing at that point.

Don, what do you think of these methods when employed with the attack described? Budd, you are familiar with the attack...what do you think?

Best,
Ron

B

Budd
08-10-2006, 11:27 AM
Don, what do you think of these methods when employed with the attack described? Budd, you are familiar with the attack...what do you think?
Best,
Ron
B

The easy answer is don't let anyone take your back :D

If you're taken by surprise by someone skilled, IMO, 9/10 times you're going get dropped (I made up that statistic, don't ask me for references).

But as far as aiki or grappling responses, I'd say keep your hips low, widen your base and try to create space to turn into them to counter, escape or have the best position should you both go down to the ground.

gdandscompserv
08-10-2006, 12:20 PM
I would point out there is nothing pre-arranged about my sparing/competition matches.
Except for the rules, of course. ;)

gdandscompserv
08-10-2006, 12:24 PM
Further proof than that, I suggest picking fights.
OK kids...If you are reading this,
DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!
Don is a trained professional.
:D

Ron Tisdale
08-10-2006, 12:25 PM
I don't know...people often make the statement that in aikido, there are no rules...but in actual practice, there are plenty of rules. I have trained in a large number of different dojo in different associations and sometimes on different continents...

But there were always rules...

Best,
Ron

Erick Mead
08-10-2006, 01:01 PM
Excellent stuff...will definately look to encouraging these methods of ukemi/sutemi/entry to waza in my practice.
...
Well, one man's aiki is another man's jutsu...the movement in Daito ryu (from my limited experience) is quite powerfull...hips go back into uke, shoulders round and come forward, achieves excellent kuzushi, and there are many ways to finish from there. One problem I've found though is that it can become a timing game when dealing with larger, stronger, and or faster uke. For it to be aiki in my definition requires exquisite timing at that point.

I'm all cool with the depth and strength of irimi driving back -- but the little bit of eccentricity imparted by the hip turn in conjunction with the entry:

1) does not stop the desired forward movement of uke's opposite hip (and thus is more aiki), and

2) imparts torsional rotation by connecting with uke's near hip that exacerbates any kuzushi commenced by the rearward irimi (promoting (if not requiring) his eventual turn to that side, and thus giving me more time/space to work the kaeshi waza.

3) creates the juji problem for his intended throw -- literally a kind of standing cross control

4) should help the timing problem since by making an offset nage is no longer racing uke for the initial common center, he can have it if he wants because the center has moved elsewhere by virtue of the turn, uke's bowed in position is not ideal to sense the change in musubi.

Erick Mead
08-10-2006, 01:19 PM
I don't know...people often make the statement that in aikido, there are no rules...but in actual practice, there are plenty of rules. I have trained in a large number of different dojo in different associations and sometimes on different continents...

But there were always rules...


Rules for training -- no rules on what we train for.

DonMagee
08-10-2006, 01:37 PM
Rules for training -- no rules on what we train for.

But you will fight like you train. Under stress most people will fall back on what was is drilled into their core. A good example of this is a friend of mine who was in karate. They did light/ no contact point sparing. The hardest thing for him to do when we spar is connect a good shot. It is ingrained into him to pull his punches. If you never actually do the 'illegal' techniques, you have much less chance of using them under a high stress load.

Btw, my suggesting you pick fights for proof was sarcasm :-)

Aristeia
08-10-2006, 01:37 PM
Are you suggesting that in an actual altercation you'll suddenly start doing all sorts of things that you haven't done in training?

Erick Mead
08-10-2006, 03:23 PM
But you will fight like you train. Under stress most people will fall back on what was is drilled into their core. A good example of this is a friend of mine who was in karate. They did light/ no contact point sparing. The hardest thing for him to do when we spar is connect a good shot. It is ingrained into him to pull his punches. If you never actually do the 'illegal' techniques, you have much less chance of using them under a high stress load. This is an excellent opportunity make the point about the aspect of realism in training that is inherent to aikido and that is not necessarily so in "full contact" practice of other striking arts. They make fun of our "slow dancing" but there is a deadly point of physics embodied in this mode of training. Bottom line, we do not pull our punches, period -- they are all real, and for best training, if the hand misses, the elbow follows, if the elbow misses, the hip hits, and the irimi just never really quits at all until you have kuzushi.

All atemi in aikido are supposed to be delivered with correct distance and full extension and penetration of the intended target with the entire body behind the strike. It is simply done slowly enough (for the intended target that is) to do no real damage in case he or she flubs the technique.

By example, I show newbs how to strike by placing my fist at their solar plexus level, three inches away with a slightly bent elbow, and then perform a steady flowing punch to the midsection at about one eighth speed, knocking them back with full body momentum. At eight times that training speed, 1/2mv ^2 works out to be 64 times the kinetic energy of impact as compared to training impact at one eighth speed. Repectable enough for me to sit up and pay attention. Distance and penetration are the same.

Laugh at the Tai Chi guys at your own peril. That "hold the basketball" turn they do -- is somebody's head in there, a most awesome hip-snap men-nage neck-breaker. (three hyphenations in a row --- haven't done that before.)

What can be done slowly in proper form repeatedly in training can be done wicked quick at speed on adrenaline. The converse is not true, becuase training for fast light strikes at incorrect distance or penetration does not deliver the entire energy of the blow to the target at either speed. Going slow at correct distance and penetration does not create these training model problems in true conflict situations.

Aristeia
08-10-2006, 04:20 PM
Hi Eric
There's (at least) one problem with your thesis above in my opinion. In Aikido timing is, as you know crucial. If I understand you correctly you are suggesting that strikes are delivered with full penetration but at reduced speed for training purposes? If so this does not train timing. If I'm going at 50% speed as uke who's to know whether nage is going at 50%, 60%,or 70%. They will likely go as fast as they need to do the technique - sometimes hiding technical errors or timing issues because they will always have the ability to create a speed advantage. Only by training vs attacks at 100% speed can you really work on your timing. Which will often mean responding to the precursors to attack rather than the attack itself.

DonMagee
08-10-2006, 07:06 PM
What can be done slowly in proper form repeatedly in training can be done wicked quick at speed on adrenaline. The converse is not true, becuase training for fast light strikes at incorrect distance or penetration does not deliver the entire energy of the blow to the target at either speed. Going slow at correct distance and penetration does not create these training model problems in true conflict situations.

I find issue with this statement. When your adrenaline spikes your fine muscle controls suffer. Things become 'more complicated'. Training slowly with proper form is a good idea to learn the motion, but without training full speed under as close to real stress situtaiton you can get is required to truely have a good chance at using these techniques 'for real'.

I do however agree that training striking at incorrect distance, or softening blows is a bad idea. I am not a fan of point sparing. I much rather enjoy full contact sparing as often as my body allows it. Modern protective gear has allowed me to recgonize a hit and not cause my partner to suffer bad form and create bad habbits. A good hit to the head with a decent glove and headgear on won't be as bad as it would be on the street, but it will still knock me off my block for a minute or two.

This is not to say you can not develop skills from training slow in the manner you describe. I know full well there are must be good fighters out there that trained that way. However, I belive it is not the most efficent way to develop actually combat skill. I still believe Matt Thorton's training methods (and the modifications others have made) are better for developing solid technique that is usable in an altercation.

How does this relate to ground fighting? Well obviously to get good at a skill you need to practice it. The best way to get good at something is to have someone more skilled then you work with you. I think a slow moving kata like takedown defense will not develop good takedown skills in a reasonable lenght of time with most people. However a more 'sport' like drill where the each training partner has a goal, but no pre-directed kata (uke's goal is to take down nage, nage's goal is to remain standing, blend, throw, whatever with uke) will develop skill at a reasonable pace and lend itself to the stress that you will experiance in an actual altercation. This is the reason so many people point at bjj when they talk about ground work. In truth the there is nothing special technique wise about bjj that doens't exist in other martial arts that do grappling. The difference is in the training methods. It does not matter what delivery system you choose for your ground fighting (judo, bjj, sambo, aikido, aikijitsu, etc), but the training methods will dictate how long it takes for you to use the skills you are developing.

Keith R Lee
08-10-2006, 09:14 PM
I think it's also important to note the differences in rolling gi and no-gi. Rolling with a gi is a nice, timely affair, while rolling no-gi and is like greased lightening. Not to mention there are alot of moves and positions that are much higher percentage no-gi and are used more often. Rubber guard, goro guard, chinstrap, brambo chokes, a complete lack of collar chokes and scarf hold-downs, etc.

Take someone who is comfortable in a gi (even rolling) and put them up against someone who is an exclusive no-gi player and, in my expereince, the no-gi person will usually win rather handily. I think this is a rather significant point to be addressed by arts that focus exclusivley on gi related training such as Aikido and Judo.

There's on the ground, and on the ground with a gi. The two are very different.

DonMagee
08-10-2006, 09:27 PM
True, no gi changes the game a lot. However, I dont think most self defense situations involve a half nakid man. Personally, I perfer wearing my gi pants while rolling no gi. It gives me traction I've been used to with very little 'bad' side effects (sure they can use my pants against me, but normally that is not an issue). A t-shirt can be used to collar choke some one as fast as a gi can. Although in a street fight, I'm not sure I would be going for collar chokes. I'd be trying to get position, rain blows and stand back up. If a submission presented itself I probably would go for it out of habbit though.

Aristeia
08-10-2006, 10:16 PM
Yeah true no gi isn't a typical self defence scenario - they are still clothed. but pays to address grips without sleeves etc just the same. In terms of subs vs escapes it depends. Go for the reversal if that don't work often they'll offer a sub. There are times where your are being or are likely to be dominated on your feet there will be times where it makes sense to go down and look for a quick sub. And on most it would be pretty quick.

Erick Mead
08-10-2006, 10:21 PM
Hi Eric
There's (at least) one problem with your thesis above in my opinion. In Aikido timing is, as you know crucial. If I understand you correctly you are suggesting that strikes are delivered with full penetration but at reduced speed for training purposes? If so this does not train timing. If I'm going at 50% speed as uke who's to know whether nage is going at 50%, 60%,or 70%. They will likely go as fast as they need to do the technique - sometimes hiding technical errors or timing issues because they will always have the ability to create a speed advantage. Only by training vs attacks at 100% speed can you really work on your timing. Which will often mean responding to the precursors to attack rather than the attack itself. Aikido is not about timing at all -- it is about musubi. The variations of technique available (16 typically, covering the omote/ura irimi and soto/uchi tenkan permutations), cover almost all relative timing and position issues. Musubi is the key to feeling which variation uke is directing you to perfrom. The slow knife cuts as well as the fast one. Go no sen is widely understood. But aikido is not about sente, go no sen or any other form of one-up initiative, either. I didn't say that -- O-Sensei did. Took me a long time to glimpse what he meant by this.

Musubi exists or not regardless of speed. By training for intuitive maai and full embrace of the attack, I control space and time(ing) of the encounter simultaneously with musubi. Since I am seeking musubi and not to "beat" the attack timing, I have no concern with timing. If nage does not blend with the attack, he has already lost, regardless how fast he moves.

Aristeia
08-10-2006, 10:31 PM
Ok let's take it out of arcance Japanese terminology and get to some real examples. Let's take shomen uchi irimi nage as a basis - understanding you're going to say that the irimi nage component will be dependent on alot of things. But we can agree that you need to get off the line and take balance right? If you move too early you get tracked and hit. If you move too late, you get hit. how is this not about timing?

Erick Mead
08-10-2006, 10:35 PM
I find issue with this statement. When your adrenaline spikes your fine muscle controls suffer. Things become 'more complicated'. Training slowly with proper form is a good idea to learn the motion, but without training full speed under as close to real stress situtaiton you can get is required to truely have a good chance at using these techniques 'for real'. Fine motor control will be lost, thus a premium on training that emphasizes proper tai sabaki as the strategic imperative. Most aikido techniques do not require or are even impeded by nage's grabs that are often seen by new learners. Thus gi/no-gi distinctions are of little weight in aikido, since grabs are largely intended to be superseded when the training function in learning connection (musubi) is overcome.
In truth the there is nothing special technique wise about bjj that doens't exist in other martial arts that do grappling. The difference is in the training methods. It does not matter what delivery system you choose for your ground fighting (judo, bjj, sambo, aikido, aikijitsu, etc), but the training methods will dictate how long it takes for you to use the skills you are developing.
A developed sense of musubi allows broader improvisation in unfamiliar situations, such as going to ground, because in essence you are simply following along with the attack, just with special emphasis ... :D

Erick Mead
08-10-2006, 10:56 PM
Ok let's take it out of arcance Japanese terminology and get to some real examples. Let's take shomen uchi irimi nage as a basis - understanding you're going to say that the irimi nage component will be dependent on alot of things. But we can agree that you need to get off the line and take balance right? If you move too early you get tracked and hit. If you move too late, you get hit. how is this not about timing? OK. Balance we agree about, past that, however ... Shomen uchi iriminage can be taken early, middle or late, omote or ura, turning in or out. Timing is irrelevant. If I am performing it with an initial tenkan turn (soto or uchi / in or out), moving off-line is irrelevant since I will sweep the attack slightly in turning before the concluding irimi. Moving offline early and uke tracking just means I have attained musubi even sooner since uke is responding to my movement naturally with his attack. The sokumen movement results in tracking, and allows the inside approach to the shomenuchi sweeping down and back up again into the kata gatame uchi mawari iriminage variation. (sorry, less arcanely -- the shoulder-wrap, inside- turn entering throw). The most devastating shomenuchi iriminage I have ever seen was late to the point that uke's elbow was scraping his ear as he drove in to the direct omote iriminage under the descending attacking arm.

I do not see the point you are making.

Aristeia
08-10-2006, 11:21 PM
OK allow me to put it a different way. You are now asking nage to make a lot of adjustments based on how late or early they enter, what uke's doing etc. I suspect there is more congitive stuff going on than you may suspect at first glance (OODA loop type stuff for those across that). These adjustments are easy and may even seem effortless and without thought at slower speeds. But at full speed....?

Erick Mead
08-11-2006, 08:48 AM
OK allow me to put it a different way. You are now asking nage to make a lot of adjustments based on how late or early they enter, what uke's doing etc. I suspect there is more congitive stuff going on than you may suspect at first glance (OODA loop type stuff for those across that). These adjustments are easy and may even seem effortless and without thought at slower speeds. But at full speed....? If I train to do things without effort and without thinking at slow speed -- I have no troubling effort or disturbing thought at faster speeds. Musubi takes the place of thought, speed and effort. The cognitive stuff happens in training with the purpose being to train the feel of gaining and following the connected interaction -- musubi -- so that the conscious cognitive component falls away as unnecessary. I am not training for habitual reactionsor conscious "adjustments" however. It is more like learning surfing -- training the cerebellar mind -- not the cerebrum.

Musubi is not some mystical mumbo jumbo. Your question indicates training in terms of selecting tactical options, apply a particular technique that is deemed typically most effective in a given circumstance. I really do not have time or inclination in a fight to think in those terms, nor does most anyone else.

Aikido is about structuring strategic action in an intuitive mode, where I do not select the tactic, uke does, like the wave dictates the break in surfing. After that point I have far more liberty of action, but not until I have joined the wave at the narrow gate of the break.

Whether I have three or hundred or a thousand tactical techniques at my disposal, I am simply waiting for uke to direct me to where some technique, or no technique should be given to dissipate his attack. Some breaks I cannot catch -- some waves will no break. I lose my dynamically stable connection to the wave at any point I will wipe out regardless of technique. (You might imagine I like surfing.)

It is really that simple. He may direct me so that the attack ends with a simple taisabaki or ukemi. Cool, too. Your objection seems to be that I did not "defeat" him. That was not my objective -- any mor than I hope to defeat the wave -- the wave doesn't care. In war the only prize for the warrior is survival, and budo (among many other principles) teaches that death is by far not the only, nor even the worst, defeat.

I had to unlearn what I thought were some fairly basic natural responses (the ugly ball of claws approach), and to restore some even more primitive, dare I say, even infantile responses.
All infants instinctively understand musubi, just like they quickly learn to understand ukemi. Anyone who has tried to get an insistent toddler off your leg or arm knows what I mean. (Anybody who believes taking candy from a baby is easy -- has never tried to take candy from a baby.) They know how to connect and shift connection instinctively when they want to. By the time a baby learns to walk well he has mastered simple ukemi, because that is all he has done for two years.

Infants unlearn musubi in most cultures as part of individuating. They unlearn ukemi as their tenderly sprouted egos come to believe that falling is failing. Adults have power, coordination and the ability to structure action and new learning -- add the musubi back in and a realization that falling does not mean failure and the package is once again complete -- and enhanced.

I don't mean to intimate that musubi is gained by some satori moment of enlightenment -- it is very much the result of hard training, and a lot of wipeouts along the way. We structure the attacks in aikido so carefully for training in order to provide a more comfortable "break" in which a student begins to feel the musubi in the interaction at a much higher threshold of kinesthetic awareness than he or she will have after a year or so of training. After that things can be come rapidly more diverse and variational. The real test of this developing ability to feel musubi is demonstrated in kokyu-tanden ho (kokyudosa for some).

Budd
08-11-2006, 09:09 AM
My feeling is that slow practice is to build up the form so that you can safely practice with increasing speed and power. You can't really replace (or substitute) one with the other -- each have their place and are necessary components for practicing form and application. Again, I think this applies equally to both aikido and competitive grappling contexts.

Just like I tell the one person that ONLY wants to go slow and easy -- you need to eventually increase the resistance, speed and intensity in order to be able to deal with stuff on that level, I also tell the other person that ONLY wants to spar/randori that you have to work through this stuff slowly and with proper form in order to initially build (and improve/broaden) the relaxed technique and posture that you'll need to perform 'aiki'.

Erick Mead
08-11-2006, 09:22 AM
My feeling is that slow practice is to build up the form so that you can practice with increasing speed and power. You can't really replace (or substitute) one with the other -- each have their place and are necessary components for practicing form and application. Again, I think this applies equally to both aikido and competitive grappling contexts. I tend to agree with this, actually. Musubi in some techniques is very natural above a certain -- I hesitate to say speed, because with musubi to begin with it can be maintained and slowed down and still preserve the form and kuzushi -- kind of like a musical retard in rhythm. However, it usually feels very artificial if you start those below that, say allegro rhythm -- but you cannot learn the feel of it at spiffier rhythm until you first grasp the dynamic architecture of the form that you are moving through. Kaitennage is a good example of this.

Aristeia
08-11-2006, 03:28 PM
I but you cannot learn the feel of it at spiffier rhythm until you first grasp the dynamic architecture of the form that you are moving through. Kaitennage is a good example of this.Eric you said you thought my concern was that you have not "defeated" your opponent. That's not my concern. My concern is that without practicing at full speed you not be able to maintain musubi when attaceked at full speed. The above is starting to indicate that you actually advocate starting slow and building up to full speed? If so we're in agreement.

Erick Mead
08-11-2006, 04:14 PM
Eric you said you thought my concern was that you have not "defeated" your opponent. That's not my concern. My concern is that without practicing at full speed you not be able to maintain musubi when attaceked at full speed. The above is starting to indicate that you actually advocate starting slow and building up to full speed? If so we're in agreement. I do recommend understanding how things change at different speed once people are comfortable, but not in the way it seems that you mean.

For most techniques at full speed, a little touch of true musubi (even just with atemi) is all that is required to effect a throw, drop or transition the attack into osae waza. It really becomes more ukemi-limited for uke's safety than for nage's technique. Someone said that the mistakes in aikido are more dangerous than the techniques. This is one illustration of that. It takes time also for uke to be comfortable in adapting his musubi in the ukemi as well, which can be progressively unpredictable the faster that one goes, and not just harder and faster. There is a fundamental physical reason for this.

Going fast does not necessarily have the effect intended -- if what you are driving at is acheiving close and predictable correspondence between rhythm of attack and rhythm of selected technique at progressively higher speed, just harder and faster. Going fast inherently breaks into different rhythm from going slow (one of the reasons why kaitennage feels different slower, and why "speed" is not exactly meant the same way by different people).

That is why people walk at differnt rhythm than they jog, and jog and different rhythm than they run. It is no just faster, Notice that we have only three normal gaits for getting around at different speeds. There are a couple of others but they are more specialized and are not about moving over large distances efficently.

Chaotic systems theory illustrates this rhythm altering by increasing flow rate in a dripping faucet -- first you get one stable rhythm, then two different stable rhythms, then three, and if you dial up the faucet one more time --- at that point the systems becomes chaotic and indeterminate and any rhythm or no rhythm exists in the system.

By increasing speed of attack in the same way, tactical sequences very shortly go out the window, and only musubi will keep up. Speed also has less advantage when seen from the standpoint of inherently altering rhythm. This creates suki that uke did not intend when he went in full tilt, and which do not even exist if he were moving with somewhat greater deliberation. He will fail to recognize it unless it is shown to him at a training pace (which will seem artificial at that pace, even though it is not.)

Another reason to focus on following the musubi rather attempting to trina for tactical sequences in advance and then faster (other than for training to abandon them). Going faster changes more than just energy.

Ground fighting must have some similar thresholds, but I have no idea what they may be. The inherent compression of the fighting space has the impact of making any added energy ramp the rhythm changes up even quicker -- meaning that ground fighting is even more susceptible to chaotic rhythm than other types of combat.

Not a strategic preference in my book.

I find this speed-timing-rhythm discussion interesting enough in its own right that I will move it to a different thread.

DonMagee
08-11-2006, 07:02 PM
I do recommend understanding how things change at different speed once people are comfortable, but not in the way it seems that you mean.

For most techniques at full speed, a little touch of true musubi (even just with atemi) is all that is required to effect a throw, drop or transition the attack into osae waza. It really becomes more ukemi-limited for uke's safety than for nage's technique. Someone said that the mistakes in aikido are more dangerous than the techniques. This is one illustration of that. It takes time also for uke to be comfortable in adapting his musubi in the ukemi as well, which can be progressively unpredictable the faster that one goes, and not just harder and faster. There is a fundamental physical reason for this.

Going fast does not necessarily have the effect intended -- if what you are driving at is acheiving close and predictable correspondence between rhythm of attack and rhythm of selected technique at progressively higher speed, just harder and faster. Going fast inherently breaks into different rhythm from going slow (one of the reasons why kaitennage feels different slower, and why "speed" is not exactly meant the same way by different people).

That is why people walk at differnt rhythm than they jog, and jog and different rhythm than they run. It is no just faster, Notice that we have only three normal gaits for getting around at different speeds. There are a couple of others but they are more specialized and are not about moving over large distances efficently.

Chaotic systems theory illustrates this rhythm altering by increasing flow rate in a dripping faucet -- first you get one stable rhythm, then two different stable rhythms, then three, and if you dial up the faucet one more time --- at that point the systems becomes chaotic and indeterminate and any rhythm or no rhythm exists in the system.

By increasing speed of attack in the same way, tactical sequences very shortly go out the window, and only musubi will keep up. Speed also has less advantage when seen from the standpoint of inherently altering rhythm. This creates suki that uke did not intend when he went in full tilt, and which do not even exist if he were moving with somewhat greater deliberation. He will fail to recognize it unless it is shown to him at a training pace (which will seem artificial at that pace, even though it is not.)

Another reason to focus on following the musubi rather attempting to trina for tactical sequences in advance and then faster (other than for training to abandon them). Going faster changes more than just energy.

Ground fighting must have some similar thresholds, but I have no idea what they may be. The inherent compression of the fighting space has the impact of making any added energy ramp the rhythm changes up even quicker -- meaning that ground fighting is even more susceptible to chaotic rhythm than other types of combat.

Not a strategic preference in my book.

I find this speed-timing-rhythm discussion interesting enough in its own right that I will move it to a different thread.

A person who only jogs will not make a good sprinter. He just wont have the physical skills needed. He can sprint, but he would be a better sprinter if he ran sprints.

When I was training in aikido, I noticed I had a lot of time to think. This thinking lead me to overthink what I was doing and mess stuff up. I would compensate for my lack of skill with muscle and speed and other no no's. In judo however, things changed. I was either practicing the technique, or I was sparing. There was a fine line between the two. No variation, just rythem and repitition, and then nothing planed, havn't to try to set the rythem, and constant changes in partners, sizes, attacks, and skill levels. I spent a lot of time with my feet over my head against my own will. However, this training I found way more useful then I did my aikido training. This is becuase I was getting 'real' feedback from my partners. They were not about to let me have my way. I had to 'blend' with them. I had to lead their mind. I had to use speed, and sometimes strenght. And most times, regardless of my intentions or mindset, I ended up eating the mat. However, I started to 'feel' things I wasn't feeling in my past aikido training. I was able to 'read' my partner. I could feel though his body his intention, I could read his eyes and movements. I knew his intention by the way he reached for me. I might not of been able to do anything about it, but I could feel it.

This feeling has grown a lot in the last year and a half. I noticed I can feel slight movements standing or on the ground. I've had partners comment that they thought about attempting a submisson and I was already starting a defense. I attribute this to isolation drills and sparing. With isolation drills. I am working on how my movements and goals intersect with my partners movements and goals. Perhaps my goal is to simply escape side control. And my partner's goal is to submit me or take the mount. We have no pattern, no uke or nage, what we have are goals, motion, timing, and technique. I usually like to do these drills after I am exusted from training. I perfer a partner who is not all that tired. This way I am forced to work technique. Improper form or technique will simply not work against someone who can still use strenght and speed. Perhaps your aikido training is different then mine (in fact I bet it is). I felt I had good quality aikido instruction. However, that training method held no gains for me. At least in the time that I put into it. However the gains I have seen in judo, bjj, and recently boxing have been fast, and substantial. I can not remark on the long term gains though this method as I have only put almost 2 years into it. But I have gained more skill in 2 years then in my previous 10 (well offically 14, but I dont count my low teens as serious training).

Everything you have said sounds well thought out. I can tell you have a good insight into your training and a good feeling about what you do. This is great. However, I have found, at least for me that the ideas you have put forth do not hold true. I simply can not drill a kata and translate it to fighting without sparing full contact. It took me 10 years to figure that out. I spent 10 years of my life memorizing kata's, learning complex patterns of movements and theories. But none of it really stuck until I stepped onto that judo mat. I feel like I've just started my martial arts training in the last 2 years.

So to bring it back on topic. How does all this relate to ground fighting? Well quite simply, I believe to gain some creditable skill you need creditable attacks. You need to have someone qualified to attempt to take you down. You need those sports drills to develop the sense of motion you will be subjected to in a full speed situation. A slow shoot will never be the same as a full speed shoot. Sometimes the principles involved simply do not work at half speed. I belive the same is true for striking as well. A slow punch is nothing like a real punch. Its just impossible to represent the motion and energy in a manner that is close to a real punch.

David Orange
08-11-2006, 08:05 PM
Hoo boy. Where to begin?

Erick,

I read that, but I wasn't entirely clear on what it all meant.

The prime question is: is it impossible for ANYONE to get you on the ground in the mount position?

In my experience, there are very few people who can claim that NO ONE can ever get them on the ground.

There has been a lot of discussion here about what percentage of fights go to the ground. And I say with Kevin Leavitt that the percentage does not matter if you find yourself in a fight that does go to the ground--especially when it involves YOU on your back and the attacker sitting on your chest pounding you on the head.

My post was in answer to Ken's post (#52, I think) in which he said that IF someone DID get him on the ground in a mount position, he would...(follows a string of ad hoc techniques without training or experience of testing those techniques against even an inexperienced ground fighter). Many people responded to Ken that "clawing" the eyes is not likely to work in that position. Nor is grabbing the man's arm so that he "lifts" you when he pulls back for a strike. And I said that, if you have thought a lot about these things, enough to have worked up these imaginary responses, why be satisfied with THINKING that you have something that will work? Why not test it? That's all that ground work really is: testing to see if certain techniques will work.

Ken had also made a big distinction (elsewhere) between modern virtuous aikido and ancient, outmoded, spiritually inferior pre-war aikido. But if your morally superior training leaves you thinking that you can "claw his eyes" and willing to "kill him in any way" you can, what's superior about that training? It has no particular moral superiority and it lacks the technical training to succeed in those things which old-style pre-war aikido actually provides.

Minoru Mochizuk was the first to teach aikido outside Japan, according to Kisshomaru Ueshiba. In France, after World War Two, he encountered western boxers, savate artists, knife fighters, western fencers, and western wrestlers. These people all attacked very differently than the people in aikido dojos. When he returned to Japan, Mochizuki Sensei suggested to Ueshiba O-Sensei that aikido's curriculum be expanded to respond to a wider range of attacks such as one would be likely to meet from any foreigner. Ueshiba Sesnsei disagreed vehemently and mainstream aikido continued with a small range of attacks. But Mochizuki Sensei incorporated a much wider range of attacking methods--not to attack people with, but for his aikido students to sharpen their aikido against. And that included ground work.

I understand that even Saotome Sensei now does (and perhaps teaches) some sutemi waza, with which you throw the attacker by falling to the ground. I have not seen them, but in Mochizuki Sensei's sutemi, nage frequently ends the technique on top of uke, in pinning or choking position. But if Saotome Sensei is teaching or demonstrating throwing by falling down, it seems that some ne waza (ground fighting) follow up is not only a natural extension, but a vital technical follow up.

Of course, strikes of all kinds can be used, but only to the extent to which nage has really seriously trained in them. And this gets back to technique. And that gets back to the point of training to know they will work (as in pre-war aikido) or training to think or "believe" they will work, which is not real budo.

Please correct me if I have misunderstood your points.

Best wishes,

David

David Orange
08-11-2006, 08:09 PM
in case the main thrust fails and you end up there, how do you get back up?... sometimes it's also an eye opener to put yourself in a bad position and try to work from there, rather than assuming you won't have to.

Budo is a type of emergency planning and preparation. Saying we can't be taken to the ground is like saying the levees in New Orleans won't fail. Now we know what happens when emergency "planning and preparation" is built on sheer wishful thinking.

I appreciate your comments.

David

xuzen
08-11-2006, 08:38 PM
Don,

Wrt to your post #242, I can't help but to agree with you. I can't put into words as good as you... you are a better writer than me. But what you wrote is almost the exact sentiments I have now.

Boon.

Erick Mead
08-11-2006, 09:38 PM
When I was training in aikido, I noticed I had a lot of time to think. This thinking lead me to overthink what I was doing and mess stuff up. This is a problem for everyone. I do not neceessarily think that making action too fast for conscious adjustment solves the basic issue here though. It require training that adjusts unconscious cues, which is far more difficult.
If one works at the intuitive limit, which is necessary at full speed, one provokes intuitive responses. If the product of other training or of no training is all that lies beyond that intuitive limit, then working so fast just practices bad technique fast, and any good results are largely the product of trial and error. What then is the point of accumulated wisdom passed on in training?This feeling has grown a lot in the last year and a half. I noticed I can feel slight movements standing or on the ground. I've had partners comment that they thought about attempting a submisson and I was already starting a defense. Sounds like musubi, actually.

I attribute this to isolation drills and sparing. With isolation drills. I am working on how my movements and goals intersect with my partners movements and goals. Perhaps my goal is to simply escape side control. And my partner's goal is to submit me or take the mount. We have no pattern, no uke or nage, what we have are goals, motion, timing, and technique. ...
Cannot argue.

I simply can not drill a kata and translate it to fighting without sparing full contact. I had the advantage of two six-month deployments and a lot of careful thought-through free form shadow boxing through a standard technique curriculum. I ended up shifting my persective from uke to nage and back again just to move correctly. At the time I just wanted to pracice and had no training partner, so I had to imagine him. I realize now this was a unique gift; it made me internalize uke as I was performing as nage.

So to bring it back on topic. How does all this relate to ground fighting? Well quite simply, I believe to gain some creditable skill you need creditable attacks. I do not diminish the fact that musubi exists on the ground, as you seem now to describe your training does indeed accomplish in that sphere. What the training regimen you describe seems to lack is the expansion of space and interval that is so integral to aikido. Working so close, so intensively changes focus to a more contracted sphere of conflict.

I enjoy working through ground elements of my techniques, in both osae reversals, sweep opportunities and ukemi kaeshi waza. For me however, the goal is not dominance on the ground or from the ground. Ground -- like any other space -- is not a point to occupy and defend, but merely another space to move through on the way to somewhere else. Ukemi is strategy -- and preemptive ukemi will avoid most (not all) attempts to go to ground.

Sometimes the principles involved simply do not work at half speed. I belive the same is true for striking as well. A slow punch is nothing like a real punch. Its just impossible to represent the motion and energy in a manner that is close to a real punch. It is true, they do not, that is why training for other speeds at half speed or slower requires more attention and guidance to form and maai, because the innate rhythm at that speed is not the innate rhythm at other speeds.

Erick Mead
08-11-2006, 10:41 PM
The prime question is: is it impossible for ANYONE to get you on the ground in the mount position?

In my experience, there are very few people who can claim that NO ONE can ever get them on the ground.
And I am not one of them. I just do not choose to be so if at all possible, and to depart as soon as procurable.
And I said that, if you have thought a lot about these things, enough to have worked up these imaginary responses, why be satisfied with THINKING that you have something that will work? Why not test it? That's all that ground work really is: testing to see if certain techniques will work. I work on ground pins, kaeshiwaza and transitions all the time. I just focus on techniques with a more extended space of action, which allows uke more (apparent) degrees of freedom, which gives greater room to turn him back on himself. The extension of such aiki techniques allows me greater range of responses in the event of reversal or intervention.
I understand that even Saotome Sensei now does (and perhaps teaches) some sutemi waza, with which you throw the attacker by falling to the ground. I have not seen them, but in Mochizuki Sensei's sutemi, nage frequently ends the technique on top of uke, in pinning or choking position. But if Saotome Sensei is teaching or demonstrating throwing by falling down, it seems that some ne waza (ground fighting) follow up is not only a natural extension, but a vital technical follow up. Ukemi kaeshi waza are very much part of what I have learned, having started in and after much wandering about, returned to Saotome's lineage. Osae in aikido are intended for a different purpose than in the proper grappling arts. Most are intended to do three things -- 1) hold the opponenet with minimal energy expenditure on my part, (ideally bracing his own strength against itself) and 2) remain perilosuly close to a joint-disabling torque in an axis the joint at issue is not structured to resist. 3) enable me to abandon my connection in the pin at a moment's notice to deal with another threat.
There has been a lot of discussion here about what percentage of fights go to the ground. And I say with Kevin Leavitt that the percentage does not matter if you find yourself in a fight that does go to the ground--especially when it involves YOU on your back and the attacker sitting on your chest pounding you on the head.
I have learned a few effective releases from mount shown by George Ledyard. I don't pretend to have any great body of knowledge in that area, but I have described what I have seen and done, and my inferences from both. My point is that aiki and its use and relationship to the ground is different from typical grappling are different things, not necessarily better or worse and not exclusive, but quite different.

David Orange
08-12-2006, 10:34 AM
And I am not one of them. I just do not choose to be so if at all possible, and to depart as soon as procurable.

Cannot argue with that and I think any sane person would be the same. I was just replying to an original statement along the lines of "I just wouldn't let him get me on the ground."

Aikido is purely aikido and, like I said earlier, it has its limitations. I don't criticize it for having limitations just as I don't criticize a katana for not being a good can opener, or having one attached.

Still, if we have seen a limitation in our art and have thought about it, the most important thing is to make our thoughts realistic and not mere fantasy. Having read several of your posts, I don't think you rely on fantasy, but some, apparently, do.

Best wishes,

David