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Joe Bowen
01-04-2007, 09:12 AM
I saw the following posted on in another thread and I feel the need to comment on it. I know some people might interpret this as an attack on the poster but what I'm trying to do is use the ideas presented here to elucidate some things.

I am an aikidoka and a BJJ dude. I could do a video, lets say Michael and I both got together to do one. I could be his fully resistive Uke and we could agree that he would strickly use aikido principles. Lets say I am free to hit him and feint and all that stuff, grapple and take him down. What would it look like? I know most of you want to see Michael continue to maintain the same stylized Aikido that we all say "hey that's aikido". Fact is, I believe, that what you would see would be clinch, takedown, dominate, submit.
Michael would say, cool, my aikido works, I'd say cool good aikido Michael. All you watching would say "hey that is MMA, I thought they were going to show aikido!"

Joe Bowen
01-04-2007, 09:38 AM
Let me expound on the post as it ended up getting posted before I was finished (damn the international computer conspiracy ;) )

The crux for the previous post is that "Fights are simple really...just go watch a bunch on Youtube. close distance, clinch, takedown, submit. Say it again five times. (this is my mantra these days!)" This is incorrect, in my opinion. The original post's intent is to get people to break their attachment to how Aikido should look and realize that real fights look like MMA, but what the poster is doing is falling into his own attachment to MMA. Fights can manifest in a multitude of ways. Many do not involve any type of grappling whatsoever. Heck, even most UFC fights end in a "ground and pound" or a Knock out. So, free your mind and your ___ will follow. On most boards people associate MMA with real fighting because we're not really all that violent, but go behind the prison wall and see how many tap outs you'll find. No rules in a fight, but we don't make that association because we really don't fight. We compete, we practice, we play, but not fight. All the rest is just semantics.

paw
01-04-2007, 09:54 AM
Let me expound on the post as it ended up getting posted before I was finished (damn the international computer conspiracy ;) )

The crux for the previous post is that "Fights are simple really...just go watch a bunch on Youtube. close distance, clinch, takedown, submit. Say it again five times. (this is my mantra these days!)"


I strongly disagree.

If I understood it correctly, the poster you quoted was saying "if I'm allowed to have a wide range of attacks and choose when and where to apply those attacks against someone who is using aikido. The result will not look like the aikido that practiced in a dojo. But it would still be aikido.

Regards,

Paul

MM
01-04-2007, 10:05 AM
Hi,
I'll post the full quote for reference. It's from here:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=163522&postcount=24

I am an aikidoka and a BJJ dude. I could do a video, lets say Michael and I both got together to do one. I could be his fully resistive Uke and we could agree that he would strickly use aikido principles.

Lets say I am free to hit him and feint and all that stuff, grapple and take him down.

What would it look like? I know most of you want to see Michael continue to maintain the same stylized Aikido that we all say "hey that's aikido".

Fact is, I believe, that what you would see would be clinch, takedown, dominate, submit.

Michael would say, cool, my aikido works, I'd say cool good aikido Michael. All you watching would say "hey that is MMA, I thought they were going to show aikido!"

that is the trouble with this paradox I think.

Aikido is a methodology to teach principles. These principles are universal and apply to MMA, BJJ, and any other thing you do, even picking up a heavy box.

I think we have to be very careful not to get tunnel vision and start thinking of aikido as a style of fighting or a method of actual combat.

One of the big problems with the methodology of aikido is that we form attachments to it, and start thinking of it in ways it was not meant to be thought of. We fixate on this and project our fears, personalities, and energy on this concept that really does not exsist (aikido concept that is). We try and make it something it is not.

This causes a two fold issue. one, some erode it into a dance. two, others fixate on it and try and develop it into a fighting style.

Fights are simple really...just go watch a bunch on Youtube. close distance, clinch, takedown, submit. Say it again five times. (this is my mantra these days!).

I think we have to be careful when we look at things and really think hard about what is going on, what is trying to be taught. It may be warranted that uke jump through the air at times seemingly out of context. Remember one of the things aikido is teaching is ma 'ai. If uke is too slow he may need to catch up, maybe that is what is being worked on...I don't know?


I think that there are really two main catagories of fights.

1. Those that are not intent on death

2. Those that are intent on death.

For #1. While I gave Don a hard time awhile ago about going to ground, I think that he and Kevin are probably right. As Kevin noted above, "close distance, clinch, takedown, submit". At a guess, yeah, probably, most fights not intent on death but are semi-serious to serious end up at some point on the ground.

An exception to this fact is the fights that aren't really serious where two people push and shove and slap and maybe a punch or two is thrown but nothing really occurs. I actually think this kind of thing occurs more often than the more serious fights but it's something that would be extremely hard to prove.

Another exception to this is when two women fight. For some reason, I have yet to see a fight between women where it did *not* end up on the ground.

A point in favor would be children fighting. Quite a lot, kids end up rolling around on the ground when fighting. Although, again, this is semi-serious fights where injuries are rarely severe. Most end up with bruises and scrapes.


#2. And this is all my opinion. I think that fights ending up on the ground in this category are rare. I think that only one person ends up on the ground and typically that person is the loser. So, in my view, it isn't close distance, clinch, takedown, submit but rather close distance, one person goes down, death.

To tie this into Aikido, I think Kevin is right. It won't look like Aikido as practiced in the dojo. The aikido part is to neutralize the attacker's force to take away the means of attack. What is practiced in the dojo are techniques. Techniques are *not* Aikido. They are the building blocks for understanding the principle that is Aikido. IMO, anyway.


Mark

Min Kang
01-04-2007, 10:39 AM
I might suggest breaking down fights into two other categories and see if Aikido makes sense:

1. fights where a solid strike connects; and
2. others.

I used to know a former military police officer stationed overseas and he used to get in a lot of scrapes even when he was off duty :) and he told me that most fights end when the first solid strike is taken. I think Aikido makes sense in this scenario - the atemi implied in all Aikido techniques - however expressed - ends the fight if fully realized. In an Aikido setting, uke reacts to nage, nage takes balance and pins.

In "real life" setting, nage puts hand in uke's face, uke doesn't react or block or evade, nage puts hand through uke's face, fight over. Or, uke blocks, evades, counters, nage, continually moving, puts hand in uke's face, etc.

Okay, it's very simplistic, but...

Oh, and scenario two? grab a pen, keys, stick and start poking and biting and chewing. :drool:

DH
01-04-2007, 10:40 AM
"Real fights are fights that occur in reality.
I defy anyone to categorize them successfully.
Gand members fight
Soldiers fight
Housewives kill every day with kitchen cutlery.
Kids kill.
Killing really isn't that difficult.
How about the 5th dan Judoka in a bar on Hawaii who grabbed his opponents Hawaiian shirt? It ripped off him. The guy then stabbed the Judoka in the aorta. Dead. Real fight.

Fighting an experienced fighter is actually safer!!! Its also far more diffucult, but its rather artificial.
Who fights experienced fghters? They avoid it unless is it agreed to with rules.

And MMA? It intense but only another version of "real"
I do jujutsu, so I object to their version of "real."
They took away part of my power from the get go in this version of reality. I throw and body slam. They fight on a spring loaded floor ;)
How about they throw on concrete and blody slam. Try a single leg on your knees on asphalt. Lift from a triangle choke attempt ala Jackson and drop the ground-game guy on his head on asphalt?

So much comes from what men "see."
For the smart ones men see what THEY want them to see. -works great for budo and for T.V.

The ground game that most men see today came from a little guy doing judo and having to learn o relax and fight smarter. He created BJJ.
The idea of the original MMA the young crowd see on television was experienced groundgame fighters taking experienced stand-up fighters into the ground game guys advantage. Nothing more than making themfight YOUR fight.
Over time the smart guys learned to "stay standng up" and make the groudn guys have to continually re-engage and thus beat the crap out of the ground game guys.
Then we had the ground and pound-my favorite.
It was why you saw a differecne between BJJ and Vale tudu.

The lesson is to learn to do it all. Stop this Three card monty game of "you do this -I do that."
Fighting is about principes in use ? Well sure.....ok.
I say fighting is a mind game
Then conditioning and training
The only way to learn to fight is to train to fight, then...... to fight.
Thousands of guys are doing it, in gyms all over the world. No one is dying and they are learning a skill set, based on principles that will, in the end make able-bodied men with skills over the heads of most in the Martial arts world.
Women cannot compete equally with men either.
It is not the great equalizer. It simply is what it is.
Internal stength is slowly becoming known in this venue as well. Together the combined skills will make the greatest fighters in the world.
There's no stopping the ever increasing interest.

The greatest equalizer to "principles" is the experienced classical budo-guy now doing MMA. He'll hand you your "principles" back to you... in spades.
Again, just go do it all. Roll and have fun.
Cheers
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 10:40 AM
Mark,

You conveyed my intent pretty well. The example was used to demonstrate just what you said, that aikido in a fight would not look like aikido. That is all this meant.

I hope no one took what I said as all fights end up on the ground. All fights can end up on the ground, gravity pretty much assures us of that!

Back to my comments on close distance, clinch, takedown submit.

This is pretty much the universal fight plan. All fights pretty much follow this pattern for the most part. The issue is we all end up with a fixation of what this means to us and our imaginations.

Let me explain what I meant further.

Close distance. In order for a fight to occur distance must be closed. Distance is defined by a number of things. Weapons, perception of weapons, no weapons, desire of the fighters, emotions etc. However in an engagement of any type, the fighters must close distance and physically connect somehow. The fighter that can effectively close the distance and seize the upperhand will usually win the fight, unless something else enters the fight like a buddy or another weapon say like a gun....but lets throw those variable out for now.

we have various scenarios, no weapons, one guy with a weapon, both guys with a weapon. Lets stick to sticks and knifes as guns definitely win the battle since physical contact can be made with little or no martial ability.

Now go watch some fights on you tube, or watch the dog brothers on www.dogbrothers.com. See what happens with the plan. Fighter meet, they close distance and they hit, kick, or punch until one of the fighters is taken out, or overwhelmed. You might win at this range and the fight stops...most certainly! Common sense would dictate why go further. If not, you continue to try and overwhelm your opponent, if that does not work you must proceed to the clinch in an attempt to improve your position or disengage.

Disengagement has it's own issues as you can take some serious hits trying to back out of the situation. You might lose the upper hand. Fear and emotions, and the fact that the fighters are tired will typically drive them to the clinch.

THE CLINCH:

Again, watch the videos, people naturally clinch. Some simply know how to do it better. Those that practice it and learn it, will typically gain dominance. Yes you can clinch with knives. What choice do you really have anyway?? Might as well learn how to do it correctly. Separating from the clinch can be very dangerous if you simply try and push away, therefore you should develop skills....hence the takedown.

THE TAKEDOWN:

This is where we start having issues in our minds. When you hear takedown it means different things to different people. BJJ guys in sport may mean ride him to the ground. However, takedown simply means you break his balance and put him in a position that is off balance and inferior to your own. You could go from clinch to the back in classic iriminage. You could do a kotegaeshi, you could do o'sotogari or any number of hip throws or what not. This is no different than any aikido you study, just a different place to start.

THE SUBMISSION:

Again, take your pick of submissions. where ever you are if you are standing do a standing submission, if you are on the ground do a ground submission. It is all situational dependent.


A lot of what we talk about is scenario driven. I train for BJJ matches different than I train for Building Clearing. For example, if I am in a five minute match and I am mounted I may take my time depending on my points to escape. Whereas if I am mounted in combat, I may try like hell to get out from under the guy as fast as possible, not concerned about anything else.

If I have the Rear Mount in a match, I may try for a RNC, in combat I may simply hold him there for my buddy to butt stroke.

The point is, not what you do, it is what you train to do...in both examples the skill sets are the same, the applications much different based on the situation.

So yes, I believe basic fighting strategies all follow the same basic continium. Close Distance, Clinch, Takedown, Submit. Thousands of hours of training, and hundreds of videos I have watched have never proven otherwise.

The problem many of us have when looking from an aikido context is we want to apply what we learn at the same timing, distance, and ma'ai as we learn in the dojo. I could demonstrate to you that closing the distance for the clinch is no different than shomenuchi ikkyo, or munetsuki ikkyo, you simply aren't extending quite as much and things get much smaller and quicker.

Clinching properly is not much different than say some of the dynamics of kaitenage or iriminage...but again it is closer, and the affects are slightly different.

The point is, I believe that we must all be very careful about what is is we are training to do. If you are trainng for UFC you train a certain way, if you are trainng to learn principles of aikido you train a certain way, if you are a police officer doing DT you train a certain way, if you are training for the street or combat you train a certain way.

There is a common thread in all of them at the core though, and when you enter the realm of non-compliance, a new dynamic is in play and there are only so many ways to defeat that game. Close Distance, Clinch, Takedown, Submit.

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 10:48 AM
Good points Dan. I agree.

We cannot account for or train for every scenario. You may be the best fighter in the world and die. It just simply be your day. Which is why I think it is more important with Budo to prepare yourself to live rather than worrying about all this dying stuff.

Anyway,

There are certain things we can do to increase the odds in our favor in some real fights, however you imagine or define them. This is why we isolate the methodolgy I outline of CD, C, TD, S.

We can learn skills that are simple, that are easy to learn, that go quickly into muscle memory. It is why we can make a decent fighter in less than a year...not decades.

You also bring up good points on conditioning, both mentally and physically, these things must not be discounted either. I think we do this alot as an excuse. Somehow we all want to believe that we can learn some internal things than will down play the physcial side. Well guess what...in order to have the alignment and posture to do the internal stuff you have to have developed some physical attributes!

mriehle
01-04-2007, 10:51 AM
A long time ago, one of my Aikido teachers said to me, "No technique goes as planned".

Would this be the kind of thing you guys are getting at?

FWIW, IME using Aikido a few times against people who were at least semi-serious about beating me into submission (at least) it did, indeed, look like Aikido. Okay, yes, I wasn't actually watching because I was busy dealing at the time, but when I reviewed the events in my mind later I was confident that someone watching would have recognized it as Aikido.

But it wasn't pretty Aikido. It was sloppy and improvised. No pretty kokyu nage throws (though, there were kokyu nage throws, just not pretty ones). The one sankyo was decidedly less friendly than I'm used to in the dojo (and needed to be!).

Now, okay, these kids had no training to speak of, but they were used to fighting for high stakes. People who lost fights in their neighborhoods sometimes died. So when they decided it was time to prove they could "beat up the black belt" they weren't kidding (actually, sometimes they were and then it was just cheap entertainment; it's amazing how well some of these techniques work against someone who knows how to attack, does so sincerely, but on some level is actually motivated to have you throw them). They meant to "win", which meant pinning me to the mat and beating on my face. Not your typical compliant uke scenario. I don't believe any of them actually meant to kill or injure me, but in the situation I wouldn't have assumed that.

So, it definitely looked like Aikido, but it wasn't pretty.

I rather think most confrontations would either be like that or the Aikidoist would get beat up.

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 10:53 AM
Min,

What gets interesting is when you make the best, most solid punch in the world, and the guys eyes get big and he pretty much ignore it and you just pissed him off even more! I have had this happen a number of times with my soldiers. also hurts like hell on your now broken hand.

I tend to prefer hitting people with other objects if I can. From there, palms elbows etc. Hits for me really serve to disrupt the tempo so I can either escape or move to a more dominate, tactical position. For me, the atemi, or intent of atemi is no different in a real fight than it is in aikido the dynamic is exactly the same. It is when you get into grappling range that things get interesting and you cannot escape back out.

Cady Goldfield
01-04-2007, 10:58 AM
It is not the great equalizer. It simply is what it is.

Maybe not, but it does confer a skill set that can buy an edge, especially when combined with strategic and tactical intelligence the opponent/enemy lacks.

If you're talking about similar skill set vs. similar skill set between two people of grossly different size and weight, that's one thing. In a "game" fight with rules, I'd put my cash on the larger, stronger one. But outside the rarified environment, skills, smarts, bio-psychology, circumstance and even luck play a big part in who "wins," and size and strength aren't always part of a winning hand. In those circumstances, these skills, though not "equalizers" in the sense of gaining size and strength, do give the person with the lesser physical strength a weapon of huge value.

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 11:01 AM
Yea sure Michael...nothing ever goes as planned.

I like the quote you use in the Army..."No plan ever survives the first hour of battle."

This thread is not really going in the direction I want to go in as these threads always get sticky and emotional and I or someone else usually says something that we later regret.

But, let me pose this:

If your main concern was learning how to be effective for real in various scenarios on the street, why on earth would you waste your time studying aikido when there are more efficient methodologies for training these things?

I think that we study aikido for lots of reasons, I do, and okay we can go down the path about all the mind development, and how that has third order effects on whether we can avoid a fight, or we can get into all they other things we always talk about...

but my question is more direct in nature to actual physical violence. If that is our concern, wouldn't you want to train in someway that best taught you to win?

hkronin
01-04-2007, 11:29 AM
Fights come in all shapes and sizes, "real fights" can sometimes have rules themselves, just ask a police officer. So many arguments are started because people think that a "fight" has a particular definition. Here are some examples of "fights" that would have completely different characteristics.

1) A drunken uncle trying to knock you out at a holiday party
2) A police officer trying to subdue an unarmed teenage shoplifter
3) A woman being mugged by two larger men while walking home from work
4) Someone picks a fight with you during your hockey game
5) You're a bouncer trying to "escort" someone out of the bar
6) The cashier at a mini mart being robbed at gun point
7) A soldier with an M16 fighting insurgents in Iraq

In some of the above situations, you're goal is simply to survive. In some others, you have a more specific goal, and simply running away would not be an option. In some of these situations, you also have rules; IE the police officer would not be allowed to strike the opponent in the eyes, or break a limb, or kill his opponent. There are endless scenarios we could all think of that require different skills and abilities. The nice thing about Aikido, is that the principles learned can be applied in all scenarios; but we should be careful to define what a "real fight" is, or what style is effective or not from our own experiences. Everyone has their reasons for training, and even though some of us may train in the same art, we are not all training for the same reasons, or with the same goals.

Min Kang
01-04-2007, 11:47 AM
Min,

What gets interesting is when you make the best, most solid punch in the world, and the guys eyes get big and he pretty much ignore it and you just pissed him off even more! I have had this happen a number of times with my soldiers. also hurts like hell on your now broken hand.

I tend to prefer hitting people with other objects if I can. From there, palms elbows etc. Hits for me really serve to disrupt the tempo so I can either escape or move to a more dominate, tactical position. For me, the atemi, or intent of atemi is no different in a real fight than it is in aikido the dynamic is exactly the same. It is when you get into grappling range that things get interesting and you cannot escape back out.

Ah, but that's precisely my point, Kevin. Maybe I didn't articulate it very well but... landing a solid strike to me means a strike sufficient to effect the other: anything from a momentary disruption of their attack rhythm to incapacity.

So, if you can't do that, you end up, as you said, in a clinch or on the ground - unpleasant business, that. Not very gentlemanly at all, rolling around in the dirt - much prefer sharp pointy things in that context.

mriehle
01-04-2007, 11:48 AM
If your main concern was learning how to be effective for real in various scenarios on the street, why on earth would you waste your time studying aikido when there are more efficient methodologies for training these things?

Well, for me, Aikido has actually proven effective. I personally know other people who've also found it actually effective. Having said that, I would not try to use Aikido in a competition.

Because "effective Aikido" is as much about the mind set as it is about techniques and I, at least, lose that mind set immediately where competition is involved. As soon as I let go of competition and just get on with what needs to be done things go much better.


I think that we study aikido for lots of reasons, I do, and okay we can go down the path about all the mind development, and how that has third order effects on whether we can avoid a fight, or we can get into all they other things we always talk about...

I think you may underestimate the value of the mind development. The biggest issue I've seen with my students is the number of them that are simply unwilling to defend themselves. It isn't that they don't want to, it's that they freeze or panic in the face of even the gentlest of "attacks". Imagine what happens when someone really attacks them, then.

The mental training, learning to act in such a situation may actually be the most important benefit in any martial arts training.


but my question is more direct in nature to actual physical violence. If that is our concern, wouldn't you want to train in someway that best taught you to win?

I don't want to win, I want to survive. I have no need to dominate, I just want to resolve the situation in a way which leaves me safe, my attacker safe and I prefer it if I've given an attacker no particular reason for retaliation. Or his friends.

Growing up I lived in some tough neighborhoods. Fighting was part of daily life. Here's how it usually went:


Kid A would irritate me in some way or would pick a fight.
I'd beat Kid A bloody. Now I'm feeling pretty good about myself.
Kid A would tell his big brother, Kid B and six other friends.
Kid B and friends would look at Kid A and see the evidence of the damage done, deciding that retaliation was in order.
Kid B and friends would find me and beat me bloody. If Kid B wasn't big enough to do it by himself, they'd gang up on me.
Kid B and friends would now be looking for excuses to beat me up and would encourage all other bullies at the school to consider me a target.


In every situation where Aikido has been a factor, the person attacking me would get up feeling silly and that was the end of it. I remember one kid, a big guy with a little bit of MA training who decided to "test" me seriously. He tried to take me to the mat and I didn't go (he did, though). He got up and complained to his friends who responded, "Well, it was stupid to attack him, wasn't it?" or something to that effect. I didn't actually hurt him, so he got no sympathy from his friends.

But, of course, most confrontations I've been in since I started training have never gotten physical. I love the fact that they pretty much end with the other person walking away feeling like it would be a waste of time to fight. Especially when they have no knowledge of my training.

Honestly, I doubt I'd have had many physical encounters if I hadn't been teaching the kids who wanted to attack me all the time.

And that's reality for most of us. I notice you train military people. That's a whole other ball o' wax. But, even there, I'd bet the mind set, the willingness to "fight" is at least as important - and often more so - as any techniques learned.

Avery Jenkins
01-04-2007, 11:51 AM
but my question is more direct in nature to actual physical violence. If that is our concern, wouldn't you want to train in someway that best taught you to win?

Which is why I train in aikido, because as you aptly point out, aikido teaches principles, not technique. Let me make an analogy...

In my practice, I do a lot of acupuncture. You can basically approach acupuncture two ways: You can get a cookbook, and when a patient comes in and you diagnose disorder X, you look up disorder X in the cookbook and stick the needles in where it tells you. That's technique. That'll give you joy about 75% of the time.

Or, you can go beyond simply diagnosing disorder X, and try to understand where/how things have gone awry. You apply the principles of traditional Chinese medicine to understand what's happening to that patient, and develop your treatment plan based on those principles. That'll get you a better percentage, maybe 85-90% (nobody's 100%, and if they say so, they lie).

Yeah, the principles approach takes more study, more thought, more experience. But it gives you that extra 10-15%. And the guys who truly *master* the principles of TCM, like Osensei, they are awe -inspiring in what they can do.

Same with MAs. BJJ could give me that 75% quick, and given the narrow odds that I'm going to actually end up H2H with someone ugly, that would be enough in most cases. But if I know the principles as well, I'm even further ahead.

I can see where you're coming from, Kevin -- you have to ramp up your students as fast as possible, with limited attention because of the many other skills that a soldier must master and maintain. So a focus on technique, with what principles you can manage to embed in your teaching is the best way to go.

I've got a lifetime (ok, half a lifetime) to master this stuff. So for the first 15 years, I keep my mouth shut and stay away from biker bars...

Avery

Min Kang
01-04-2007, 12:02 PM
If your main concern was learning how to be effective for real in various scenarios on the street, why on earth would you waste your time studying aikido when there are more efficient methodologies for training these things?...

but my question is more direct in nature to actual physical violence. If that is our concern, wouldn't you want to train in someway that best taught you to win?

I agree with you Kevin. Insofar as If your ONLY reason for training was for "real fights" then no, while Aikido may not be a WASTE of your time, there are waaay better and faster ways to achieve your stated goal.

On the otherhand, as we all recognize, Aikido offers something that is harder to glean from other MA's.

At my current level of training, I suffer no delusions: There are many people that I can dominate "on the mat" that could easily kick my ass "on the street." (shhhh, don't tell them :D )

I'm okay with that.

DonMagee
01-04-2007, 12:13 PM
"
I do jujutsu, so I object to their version of "real."
They took away part of my power from the get go in this version of reality. I throw and body slam. They fight on a spring loaded floor ;)
How about they throw on concrete and blody slam. Try a single leg on your knees on asphalt. Lift from a triangle choke attempt ala Jackson and drop the ground-game guy on his head on asphalt?

I'm too sick to really put my thoughts together. But I thought I'd take this moment to point out some quick facts.

1) The ring is a metal box with wood planks and 1/4 inch foam padding. It is not spring loaded, and as I found out, hurts to land on.
2) Single legs can be done safely on concrete. You dont have to slam your leg into the ground. I however am not a fan of single leg or double leg takedowns. I'm a judo guy at heart for throws.
3) If a guy can lift you up in a triangle, its your own fault for letting him. Hook a leg, transition, sit up and grab his skull, break his posture, eye gouge, etc. There is no excuse. He has a fully exposed head and no hands to defend with.

MM
01-04-2007, 12:55 PM
"Real fights are fights that occur in reality.
I defy anyone to categorize them successfully.

Cheers
Dan

Just slightly off topic here. I just read something by Tomiki. He wasn't talking about fights, but his catagories could be used. He was talking about martial arts and violence and used these three catagories:

1. Control by killing.
2. Control by wounding.
3. Rejecting killing and wounding, moreover, simply controlling violence.

Mark

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 01:13 PM
Great post guys.

Michael: It is not that aikido is NOT effective or useful, I never meant to imply that, only that if your sole focus in concentration was fighting skill, there are better ways to spend your time, hence this is why I kinda hate to get into these discussions because it ends up being a perspective thing, kinda oil and water.

Avery: I completely agree with you too a point. I think you have articulated well why to study aikido, I have no issues and frankly study for the same reasons. I am simply dragging it down to the core level of fighting and isolating the thing that alot of people seem to fixate on and then proceed to get confused about why they are studying.

Avery wrote:

Same with MAs. BJJ could give me that 75% quick, and given the narrow odds that I'm going to actually end up H2H with someone ugly, that would be enough in most cases. But if I know the principles as well, I'm even further ahead.


You MIGHT be further ahead, you MIGHT not. That is sort of my point, once you get down into territory of shudothug.

Avery wrote:

I've got a lifetime (ok, half a lifetime) to master this stuff. So for the first 15 years, I keep my mouth shut and stay away from biker bars

You MIGHT have a lifetime....actually you may have the rest of your life. Reminds me of one of our airborne riddles, "how long do you have to pull your reserve...answer: the rest of your life."

Let me pose this:

IF you could invest say a small amount of your martial career learning to handle yourself somewhat proficiently in an altercation... (assuming that this is an important thing to you)....then why would you NOT establish this proficiency upfront and THEN move on to better understand the principles? Or concurrently?

To continue on the Doctor analogy: Before Surgeons do open heart surgery they have to master some degree of proficiency at some very basic skills, many which are NOT sexy.

Same with Lawyers (right Min), if you are going to be a court room lawyer, you probably should master some public speaking skills and debate skills prior to actually going in the court room.

Those skills may not be important if you are going into research or patent law..it depends I think on your focus.

I am NOT advocating abandoning the practice of principle oriented arts as being useless or unimportant, actually I do as well as I do BECAUSE of them. I am simply posing some thoughts on the subject about looking at things slightly different, some of which may be outside of your paradigm or comfort zone...that is all.

I think it depends on your focus and goals. I am not one to judge or criticize why anyone does what they do as there are many ways.

Good discussion!

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 01:19 PM
Min wrote:

agree with you Kevin. Insofar as If your ONLY reason for training was for "real fights" then no, while Aikido may not be a WASTE of your time, there are waaay better and faster ways to achieve your stated goal.

On the otherhand, as we all recognize, Aikido offers something that is harder to glean from other MA's.

At my current level of training, I suffer no delusions: There are many people that I can dominate "on the mat" that could easily kick my ass "on the street." (shhhh, don't tell them )

I'm okay with that.

As you know, I am cool with that. (As if it really matters if I am or not right :)) You hit the nail on the head which is why I presented the question anyway. It is a direct way to get people back on track as to what we need to focus on.

All I can tell you is it was a humiliating experience the day I had to fight a couple of guys in our MA program that had very little experience and I could not handle them adequately with my YEARS of training...then again, it is ME and my training so should not be a real suprise.

It made me stop and think hard about how I spent my time and reassess things from a different angle.

Again, not right or wrong, as it is personal to my personal practice and mastery.

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 01:32 PM
Response to Dan and Don's post above:

Yea concrete, glass, clothing and all that changes things for sure.

I think BJJ guys sometimes get the reputation that they deserve as many of them have tunnel vision as well about fights. Just like Aikido guys too. Infact it is usually the Noobs that screw up things for everyone!

Anyway, I agree with both of you.

What I am proposing is not learning a great deal about the technical game of BJJ, but very basic, basic skills. Yes, many of them are covered in BJJ 101, but we don't need to learn the triangle choke, or 100 guard passes, omaplata or that stuff, simple things really.

I am sure both you guys have run into the situation where you are discussing fighting paradiqms with the BJJ guy and he ask from an aiki paradigm how would you fight.

I usually say, I wouldn't... I'd establish Ma'ai, shutdown his intial approach and I'd run for the door or find a big stick if I could.

"How is THAT Aikido"

...Well it is...but it is also common sense"!

Then they say..."okay, how about if he tackles you and you are on the ground and he has you mounted". I then say, I'd escape the mount and establish dominance again.

"ah, you'd do BJJ"!

Well Duh!! if you want to label things!""

It just ain't worth going to this stylistic argument!

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 01:41 PM
Man Ain't I the thread warrior today!


Mark Murray Wrote:

Just slightly off topic here. I just read something by Tomiki. He wasn't talking about fights, but his catagories could be used. He was talking about martial arts and violence and used these three catagories:

1. Control by killing.
2. Control by wounding.
3. Rejecting killing and wounding, moreover, simply controlling violence.

Geesh, I know it sounds like I am aikido bashing here...but I really, really hope it isn't taken that way.....

To be quite honest, I felt like I can better control my ability to span the gap from killing and wounding from my BJJ skill set, than I have learned in aikido.

Which is interesting as we spend more time talking about it and directly practicing it (so it seems) in aikido.

Ellis Amdur's post about two weeks ago really got me thinking about this as I always kinda felt that aikido was somehow MORE ethical and compassionate in it's approach to things from a technical standpoint.

I have no issue with it on a philosophical or principle standpoint as I think aikido has a very unique methodology of training which refines and cultivates the mind. I also think aikido is a wonderful methodology to teach posture, breathing, propriception, the whole ma'ai thing is wonderful too! I cannot describe in words what Aikido brings to the table as it has really defined me as who I am today in many ways.

MM
01-04-2007, 01:54 PM
Man Ain't I the thread warrior today!


Geesh, I know it sounds like I am aikido bashing here...but I really, really hope it isn't taken that way.....



Nah, didn't take anything as aikido bashing. Just good reading. :)

I just posted those three items as a variation on how to "define" fighting. If one can "define" it at all.

Mark

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 02:04 PM
Thanks Mark, I agree you get into a terrible bind when you attempt to define fights as there are soooo, sooo many variables and we all have to agree on what aspects we are going to evaluate and isolate so we can measure and critique appropriately.

Mike Galante
01-04-2007, 02:26 PM
Check out the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2TJoq0lPHM with Koichi Tohei vs a 190 lb wrestler.

Mike Galante
01-04-2007, 02:36 PM
Check out the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2TJoq0lPHM with Koichi Tohei vs a 190 lb wrestler.

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 02:42 PM
Nice Video Mike!

Not sure what your intent was on the post. I'd love it if you'd share your comments and impressions.

Anyway here are my thoughts:

I love it for one. Why, because I think it demonstrates a number of things.

1. Close distance, Clinch, take down, submit :)
2. A decent example of how a senior teacher in aikido can adequately handle an seemingly unskilled, non-compliant opponent. He does so with good, effiicient posture and technique.

Here are some other things:

1. What other arts did Tohei sensei study?

Also, there was much that was assumed away in this "fight" as there was no punches or kicks. So, as in all video cases, we can arm chair quarterback this into "what if land"....

Actually I think that poor fellow would have had an even rougher time with atemi than he had!

I think though that the dynamic would have been much more atune to aikido with the threat of atemi.

Also, I think that things would be much different if Tohei were facing a much more skilled opponent....but who is to say! And what would the point of this be anyway?

Ron Tisdale
01-04-2007, 02:51 PM
Well, from what I understand, Tohei was under strict instructions from Ueshiba Sensei not to hurt the fellow. I should be so lucky to do so well under the same circumstances...

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 03:17 PM
It was very obvious I think that he was toying with this guy! Ron, do you know what else Tohei studied?

mriehle
01-04-2007, 03:18 PM
My understanding of this incident was that the wrestler was far from unskilled. It looks to me like he uses much the same wrestling attacks I was taught in high school (I didn't think much of them then and this video does nothing to change my mind).

This style of wrestling is mostly about imposing your weight on the other guy as I recall (though, in all fairness, my wrestling coach was not, um, world class). Tailor made for someone like Tohei to use against you.

Cady Goldfield
01-04-2007, 03:31 PM
Oh sure, beat up on the old guy... Yeah, that would make Tohei look real good. ;)
I hope no one here thinks that was anything anywhere near approaching a "fight." :p

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 03:34 PM
I regularly have collegiate and high school wrestlers show up and want to learn jiujitsu from time to time. Most of them seem to really come unglued when they realize that it is a totally different game.

Greco-Roman, well that is a different story all together!

I tell the wrestlers to not get discouraged that they only need to unlearn a few things and learn a few other things and the base that they developed is good!

If this guy was a decent wrestler, it wasn't noticable to me as he never onced seem to go low, and always seemed to try and dominate with his Ki way up high which is somewhat contrary to my experience with wrestlers. Again, though, it is a video, I wasn't there, and what do I really know about the situation from a less then 2 minute clip!

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 03:37 PM
Nah it wasn't a fight. It actually reminded me of the Gracie's in action videos where the Gracies beat up on poor guys the suckered into their den and then proceed to propagandize how wonderful they are and how GJJ is unbeatable.

Cady Goldfield
01-04-2007, 03:41 PM
If you read Spanish, it looks like the first YouTube comment under the video expresses disappointment at the "bad aikido without in atemi," and that it looked like Tohei was having problems controlling/dominating the wrestler.

It's pretty obvious that this was just playing. Note the cutaways to the same headshot of Tohei smiling... :)

Michael Hackett
01-04-2007, 06:48 PM
I've seen this film clip before. As I recall, it came from a 1952 television series dealing with adventures all over the world. This particular program was a visit to O Sensei to look at Aikido. I'm not sure Herman was a wrestler or just a big, rough and tumble guy. Watching the entire program, it was apparent that Tohei Sensei was doing his best not to hurt him. Both Herman and the host seemed to be pretty impressed with what they saw and experienced at the dojo.

Joe Bowen
01-05-2007, 06:59 AM
Little do we know what mischief our own musings will bring…I was having a bad day when I started this thread but actually think it's given birth to some really nice posts. I believe we are mostly in agreement that a "real" fight is extremely difficult to define or pigeonhole. I believe we are all mostly in agreement that there is not one set formula for "fighting" which is all-encompassing in dealing with the broad range of potentialities which may arise in a "real" fight. I agree that most people who practice any martial art tend to fixate and transform their own idea of a "real" fight to conform to the techniques of their martial art.

I disagree with broad stereotypical statements utilizing the vernacular of any given martial art. Again to use Kevin's example of the idea that the clinch, takedown and submit is "….pretty much the universal fight plan. All fights pretty much follow this pattern for the most part." Please don't get the idea that this is an attack on Kevin as I agree with most of his posts in general, especially, that "the issue is we all end up with a fixation of what this means to us and our imaginations". I just don't think that in this particular case the latter idea has truly been applied to the former statement.

My disagreement here is largely semantically and vernacularly based. "Clinch, Takedown and Submission", for the most part are MMA jargon. If I was a pugilist, and I was currently winning my fight, one of the last things I would want to do would be to clinch. If I had a stick or baseball bat, and was fighting someone else a clinch would negate my advantage. On the other hand, I would readily embrace my opponents attempt to clinch with me if I had a knife, as the "dog brothers" aptly demonstrate the advantage a knife welder holds when someone tries to clinch with them in their videos. But, on the other hand, should I look to clinch if I hold the knife? Probably not. If I'm faced with more than one opponent, do I want to clinch, and tie up both of my hands on one person? Maybe, I could use the clinch to use that person's body as a shield, but it's a risky endeavor.
And do we call it a "takedown" when my aluminum baseball bat makes contact with the side of my opponents head and knocks him out? Or do we call it a "Knockout" or "homerun"? If I kill my opponent, does that mean he's submitted?

I agree that in a one-on-one situation without any weapons in which I'm not trying to kill my opponent, I might actually follow that plan, but that is a very specific limitation on the situation, and I also agree that my technique would most probably not look as pretty as it does in class.

My point being that broad brush statements using the vernacular of a particular marital art about "real" fights just don't work, so we should refrain from making them, because when we make them we pigeonhole ourselves.

DonMagee
01-05-2007, 07:46 AM
Its not a plan Kevin is talking about. It is a natural course of events. Sure you are a great striker, you do not want to clinch. But I go into survival mode while taking hits from you so I start to fail rush in and clinch. You struggle to break the clinch, but you are not experienced there, because you are a striker and we fall down. Its a natural course that a fight takes when one person loses his head.

See the thing 99.99999% of martial artists don't realize is that a fight is not planned. Even in the ring you don't have control over anything. Sure you can try to keep the fight standing, or try to clinch, or try for that takedown. But the world is not going to work the way you want it to all the time. If you are not used to the adrenaline dump, your motor skills are going to suffer. You are not going to think as clear as you do in practice. You are breathing faster. You are tired. And the whole time this other guy is trying to hurt you.

The first time I did stand up sparing I had a great guard. Until I started taking shots. My hands started to move away from my body as swat at the blows. I knew this was wrong, but I didn't realize it because I was in survival mode. It took lots of having people try to punch me in the face to learn to keep my hands in the right place under stress.

People do dumb stuff in sparing all the time, In a real fight they are going to do even dumber stuff. Guys turn their heads away from blows, turn their backs to flee, stand up by leaning over on their hands and knees, they swat at blows, grab for wrists, etc.

The question is not about where you want to fight, that is obvious (or it should be). You want to fight in the best range of fighting for your training. The question is, can you keep the fight there. I have found most people have a hard time keeping a fight in the range they want. There are a few reasons.

1) They stress or gas out and let the opponent take them into their game.
2) Their opponent stresses or gases out and changes the range (fight or flight syndrome)
3) They have never trained in other ranges of fighting and are not competent enough to deal with these changes in ranges.
4) They are not used to being hit, and buckle.

Situations dictate tactics, so maybe you do want the clinch and takedown, maybe you want to throw chairs and run like a girl (my multiple attacker defense). However when people crack, when people fight in survival mode, they will do things against better judgment and advice. I've seen great strikers get nervous and clinch and get taken down. I've seen great grapplers get stressed and start thinking they are boxers. One common theme though is that in survival mode most people try to clinch (by grabbing at strikes to protect themselves), once a clinch happens a takedown almost always happens. Even boxers clinch, if it wasn't for the ref, one person would be falling down.

Ben Joiner
01-05-2007, 08:10 AM
I can't resist. I know it's a cliched question, but what happens when you go to ground and your opponent has a buddy, for example in a mugging type scenario? Answer it doesn't go well for you. At least with aikido your instincts will be screaming at you to stay on your feet! not take him to the ground and submit... to a beating. But hey it's just another scenario and you can't train for them all unless you have no day job, significant other, family, Friends etc... I enjoy the time I can manage to spend training aikido, that's why I do it.

Interesting thread, I have the same questions too, I keep having to put them to one side as I find that all they really do is get in the way of training, for now anyway.

Respectfully

Ben

Cyrijl
01-05-2007, 09:15 AM
I hate the idiocy of these arguments. You learn to fight on the ground so that you can get up when you want to and not when your opponent wants to. Learning how to remain standing should be part of every martial arts training...just check the liddel v ortiz fight. Liddel obviously trained how NOT to be taken down. He may know how to fight there, but he trains hard not to have to.

In the video the 'wrestler' seems to keep mindlessly attacking. I could probably defeat him with my low level knowledge of aikido. I have submitted black belt judo guys with my limited bjj skills. It is not that I am tough, i just had different skills in my repertoire.

Real fights do end up grappling if they go beyond some punches. If you ever tried boxing, especially with gloives on, you realize how tired your arms get and how quickly this begins to happen. People get tired and then turn to baser instincts like grabbing and pulling. Being a good fighter means that you control the fight. This is especially true in areas such as distancing. Don is right....it would be nice to think that you chould just throw everyone who comes at you. But not everyone runs full speed telegraphing an overhead knife hand....it just doesn't happen in the same frequency in which most dojos practice.

DonMagee
01-05-2007, 09:21 AM
I can't resist. I know it's a cliched question, but what happens when you go to ground and your opponent has a buddy, for example in a mugging type scenario? Answer it doesn't go well for you. At least with aikido your instincts will be screaming at you to stay on your feet! not take him to the ground and submit... to a beating. But hey it's just another scenario and you can't train for them all unless you have no day job, significant other, family, Friends etc... I enjoy the time I can manage to spend training aikido, that's why I do it.

Interesting thread, I have the same questions too, I keep having to put them to one side as I find that all they really do is get in the way of training, for now anyway.

Respectfully

Ben

The answer is it depends. I can mount and ground and pound someone and escape just as quickly as I can if I was standing. If I get taken down against my will however, I stand a much better chance of escaping and standing back up then a non grappler. I also stand a good chance of using the guy on top as a human shield to save me from his friends.

In a multiple attacker situation though things have already gone horribly wrong for you. You either failed to leave a situation where you were outnumbered or you were picked as a target. In the first situation, it would be like picking a fight with a group of jocks in a bar. These situations are avoidable. I do not need to train for them. If I am picked for a mob linching, such as a mugging. They already have the upper hand for many reasons.

1) I have no idea I am about to get attacked because there is no posturing.
2) They are probably also armed.

I submit that in that situation you will fair no better with bjj then with aikido, kungfu, or cardio kickboxing.

Multiple attackers is my opinion is really only a concern for police and people in similar high risk jobs. For other people this risk can be mitigated to almost nil. If it was me and I was in one of these professions, I would aim to control and keep safe distance with a drawn weapon rather then engage while I wait for backup to secure my prisoners.

Of course this has lead me to realize the whole idea of training for self defense is silly in itself. There are three types of fights, one's you see coming and can avoid (and it is really obvious.), One's you start (again obvious), and ones you don't see coming. In the first two situations it's your own fault and if you get multiple attackers, well you should of brought your own friends. In the last, by the time you know you are attacked, you are already in trouble. Very few people take a stabbing, sucker punch, gun shot etc and fair well. If there are multiples in this situation, I high doubt any hand to hand training is going to save your life. In fact, I bet you are going to revert to survival instincts and flail.

Geared4Life
01-05-2007, 11:35 AM
Hi guys My 0.2 cents on how I look at this situation of fighting outside:
In today's world its hard to predict what is going to happen or how the fight will turn out or what style is better. Many factors depend on the opponents, environment and you or me for that matter.
Putting the gun aside for a moment: a whole lot depends on how you keep your cool during an escalation and how you control your thoughts. If you know aikido, keep yourself in control and have imagination of when to throw in a punch or a kick or a nice liver shot in addition to a throw or an arm twist then your odds of winning are just as good as the guy who practices muay thai or bjj or kung-foo and have a good imagination. Just because you mainly practice one art doesnt mean that you cant practice knee kicks or elbow kicks or takedowns and locks in your spare time. I know that becomes MMA in a steet fight because now you are mixing stuff up. But lets face the reality, you will not see a street fight limited to few fellows doing katas on each other. That would be funny to watch. The point that I am trying to make though is that one's ability to handle a fight is only limited by ones ability to handle fear, adrenaline rush, clear mind and imagination and knowledge of body mechanics.

Adman
01-05-2007, 12:01 PM
Of course this has lead me to realize the whole idea of training for self defense is silly in itself. There are three types of fights, one's you see coming and can avoid (and it is really obvious.), One's you start (again obvious), and ones you don't see coming. In the first two situations it's your own fault and if you get multiple attackers, well you should of brought your own friends. In the last, by the time you know you are attacked, you are already in trouble. Very few people take a stabbing, sucker punch, gun shot etc and fair well. If there are multiples in this situation, I high doubt any hand to hand training is going to save your life. In fact, I bet you are going to revert to survival instincts and flail.Thanks, Don.

I'm 42. The last "fight" I was in was with a neighbor kid when I was about 11 (and it wasn't much to speak of). I have been in more "self-defense" (survival) situations, though. Probably more than I realize. ;)

thanks,
Adam

Aristeia
01-05-2007, 12:04 PM
If I was a pugilist, and I was currently winning my fight, one of the last things I would want to do would be to clinch. If I had a stick or baseball bat, and was fighting someone else a clinch would negate my advantage. On the other hand, I would readily embrace my opponents attempt to clinch with me if I had a knife, as the "dog brothers" aptly demonstrate the advantage a knife welder holds when someone tries to clinch with them in their videos. But, on the other hand, should I look to clinch if I hold the knife? Probably not. If I'm faced with more than one opponent, do I want to clinch, and tie up both of my hands on one person? Maybe, I could use the clinch to use that person's body as a shield, but it's a risky endeavor.
notice how this whole section is talking about what *you* want to do? Well if everything went the way you wanted, it wouldn't really be a fight now would it (to get back to the original question)

Aristeia
01-05-2007, 12:07 PM
I hate the idiocy of these arguments. You learn to fight on the ground so that you can get up when you want to and not when your opponent wants to. Learning how to remain standing should be part of every martial arts training...just check the liddel v ortiz fight. Liddel obviously trained how NOT to be taken down. He may know how to fight there, but he trains hard not to have to.the point being it's not Chuck's striking that keeps him on his feet, it's his grappling.

Cyrijl
01-05-2007, 12:41 PM
Micheal...yes that was my point. Sorry if it was not clear. The overall point is to train to be in control of situations in which you do not have the upper hand. In a pre-fight interview, Liddel said he had been training alot of grappling...but almost all of it was just trying to get free and to his feet

Mike Galante
01-05-2007, 01:40 PM
Not sure what your intent was on the post. I'd love it if you'd share your comments and impressions.

Hi Kevin,
Just wanted to bring this "fight" to the discussion. If there are any other similar videos out there I would love to see them. My feeling is after watching it again, is that, you see the calmness, balance, centering of Tohei. He really is beautiful. It also demonstrates the great power of softness, becoming one with. He thinks, but from a deeper place, he absorbs and blends with the totality of the situation.
He was 120 something pounds there, a 70 lb disadvantage, but you can't see it at all. He starts out cautious, but learns his opponents weakness, very quickly, then performs much more efficiently as the tape rolls. This is a testament to his superior state of being. He is also very smart.

To me a potential fight is that the other guy wants something from you, energy, love. So, you breathe in his attack, anger/hate, whatever, and breathe out love and compassion, while subduing him, you give him what he wants, some energy, some love, without pride, anger or any ego whatsoever.
He will feel foolish for having done so.
He then feels no need to attack you again, because he is now so happy that even though he was trying to hurt you, you have not hurt him. You show no pride in doing do. You have taught him. He senses the superiority of your position without resentment or envy. He would not have attacked if he had peace in his heart. He wants you to be his teacher. He feels grateful and takes you to lunch.

Ideally you sense the disharmony and avoid it altogether.

You know there was this other guy about 2000 years ago who taught to love thine enemy, hmmmm?

It's all God and like Ueshiba we should pray.

God Bless you and all in the new year. :cool:
.

charyuop
01-05-2007, 01:53 PM
I kinda got lost in all those answers. By what I understood from the question is if Aikido in a real fight will still look like Aikido or if it becomes more a MMA look.
What does Aikido look like?
If you mean Aikido as that nice soft dancing Art, then no it will not look like Aikido.
If you mean Aikido as that blanding Art that uses the opponent's energy against the opponent him/herself then yes it can.
A little example which can go to the extreem.

You in a fight and the opponent gets you down on your back, straddle your abdomen and throw a nice streight punch to your nose face. You can just cover your face, try to grab him and throw him over...or other things. But for istance you could (remember it is an example, kinda hard to do in real fight) blend with your arms to the punch and leading it to the side trying an ikkyo. It would surely look awful, but still would be Aikido.

Thus, the fact is putting in practice the principle of the Art, not having it look as pretty as it is on the mat against a uke.

Just my 2 cents.

Kevin Leavitt
01-05-2007, 02:50 PM
I will try and respond briefly here and address several things that came up in today's post.

Don: Thanks for the comments, you hit the nail right on the head as far as where I was coming from.

Ben: the buddy thing. Here is the answer: In our Combatives training in the first five minutes of the course, and I have a huge banner on the wall that says this too. "The winner of a hand to hand fight is the guy whose buddy shows up first with a gun."" I think this puts it in perspective. You are not going to win them all. Your also making an assumption that other arts (BJJ) would want to go to the ground. the don't...they simple know how to fight on the ground better than most. They also, at least we practice dominating the fight from the standing position as well.

Joseph: I believe we are really talking semantics indeed. If you would go back and look at my definition at the clinch. Don't try to get caught up in what it is from an aikido or bjj perspective. Don covered it really well. Clinch is simple a term to describe a serious of events that occur in fights...it is universal. We tend to associate this, as you state with MMA, but it is simply a term to describe a situation that occurs and not anyone technique. By all means, you can use, and should use what you learn in aikido....if you can. Tohei is clinching in the video, or at least controllng the clinch. It is semantics only.

Michael Fooks: As always spot on. Yes, I think this is the most, most important thing. We always talk about what we would do in a fight, not what is being done to us and keeping us from doing what we want to do.

I think one of the negative affects from our training in aikido can be that we train in the cooperative spirit. We must be very careful to not assume that mindset when we are talking about a serious violent encounter where someone wants to cause us harm. They may not cooperate or play fair. Okay...yea I know....we all know that right, I''ll stop preaching!

Kevin Leavitt
01-05-2007, 02:55 PM
Michele:

I think we will end up discussing this in another thread for sure! I completely understand...i think...what you are saying. From a philosophical point that is.

What is difficult for me and I think anyone in a violent encounter with someone trying to incapacitate or kill you is to concern yourself with the motivation behind what they want from you.

I would hope that I would be good enough in a situation to totally dominate and control the situation and handle it as compassionately as possible. I always believe in the use of minimal force.

I will have to dust off some of my Mushashi books and discuss this a little I think.

In many attacks, I think we don't concern ourselves much with the motivation or the reason for the attack. Giving the situation it may require that we use deadly force, or extreme violence rapidily in a point of mushin and NOT regard our opponent in that moment.

I think this is very, very Key to why we study aikido and budo in general. This is why I am a HUGE proponent of studying this with soldiers. It develops you somewhat mentally and helps you integrate mind, body, and spirit so that we can take such actions with as little mental thought as possible, we do it with limited stimulus, and really do it based on instinct or our second mind.

My guys train our soldiers on this in shoot don't shoot exercises in CQB training. We must develop this skills in order to make 2nd mind decisions.

Sometimes compassion happens after the fact. There are always at least two injured parties, the one that was killed and the one that did the killing.

All I can say is Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

I will also have to dust off some of my Dali Lama books.

Even he admits that there are situations and people that cannot be reached with compassion that want to do us great harm. We can show them all the love and peace we want to, and they will still want to harm us.

That said, it is still important to always do "right action" and be as compassionate as possible. Not necessarily for your assailants healing and peace....but for your own. Again, PSTD.

I'd love to hear some comments from Lynn Seiser as he is always so wise in this area!

Kevin Leavitt
01-05-2007, 03:00 PM
Oh BTW, when I was training this morning in passing the guard, I moved out and around trying to establish side control. My partner sat up on me and we went to our knees. I continued to move around to finish out the side control...and guess what happens, the best darn iriminage that you'd ever want to see! Flattened him back out, and THEN moved into side control, knee on stomach to standing :)

Principles, principles, and practical!

MM
01-05-2007, 03:09 PM
Oh BTW, when I was training this morning in passing the guard, I moved out and around trying to establish side control. My partner sat up on me and we went to our knees. I continued to move around to finish out the side control...and guess what happens, the best darn iriminage that you'd ever want to see! Flattened him back out, and THEN moved into side control, knee on stomach to standing :)

Principles, principles, and practical!

Okay, Kevin, that sounded cool. Except you'll have to break it down more for those of us not used to MMA/BJJ terms. Passing the guard? What kind of side control?

Thanks,
Mark

Kevin Leavitt
01-05-2007, 03:57 PM
You know I wish I had time to do some video to show some of the dynamics in BJJ and how they are similar in BJJ.

Just grabbed this video link to show the guard position. The one chosen was for no particular reason.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbbCLda-3sk

I thought about posting some examples from youtube on street fights that demonstrated the guard, but I think that many of these fights (most) are really obscene and inappropriate to post here on aikiweb.

anyway. I was referring to a side control position of not in the traditional BJJ sense, but simply on the side of the partner in which my hips were essentially prependicular as when we enter in tenkan prior to doing iriminage. Same principal. Typically when you pass the guard you end up in a side control position of some sort.

In my case, I got there on his side, he sat up, I brought my arm across, twist of hips and down he goes.

Hard to explain in words.

Mike Galante
01-05-2007, 04:17 PM
What is difficult for me and I think anyone in a violent encounter with someone trying to incapacitate or kill you is to concern yourself with the motivation behind what they want from you
Agreed, didn't mean to have that mindset. Just submit a scenario.

But, that is how I see it. Warfare aside. Why does this person want to harm you? If you can give him what he wants, then he will not want to do it. My experience, meager as it is, is that people are either jealous or some other frailty and that they want what you have in some primitive sense. If you give them what they want in the spiritual sense without belittling them, you will subdue their desire to fight. In other words, your spirit/soul is so strong as to effect a change in the other person.

In warfare, these poor bastards have been ordered to attack. So the personal aspect is missing. Spiritual bullet talk aside, how much
Aikido can you do when in a foxhole or a tank, etc.


In many attacks, I think we don't concern ourselves much with the motivation or the reason for the attack. Giving the situation it may require that we use deadly force, or extreme violence rapidily in a point of mushin and NOT regard our opponent in that moment.
Agreed.

I think this is very, very Key to why we study aikido and budo in general. This is why I am a HUGE proponent of studying this with soldiers. It develops you somewhat mentally and helps you integrate mind, body, and spirit so that we can take such actions with as little mental thought as possible, we do it with limited stimulus, and really do it based on instinct or our second mind.

Must be something for the soldier if he really doesn't believe in the reasons for a particular war. What an internal fight!

Sometimes compassion happens after the fact. There are always at least two injured parties, the one that was killed and the one that did the killing.

Amen.

That said, it is still important to always do "right action" and be as compassionate as possible. Not necessarily for your assailants healing and peace....but for your own. Again, PSTD.
Right on.

Well said.

Avery Jenkins
01-05-2007, 08:21 PM
OK, so everyone here is sick of hearing Kevin repeat CD, C, TD, S?

He's keeping good company. I happened to come across this today, in "Martial Arts: The Book of Family Traditions," by Yagyu Munenori (trans. Thomas Cleary). It pertains directly to the the first part, close distance:
-----------------
THE MOON IN THE WATER AND ITS REFLECTION

There is a certain distance between an opponent and yourself at which you will not get hit by the opponent's sword. Martial arts are applied from outside this space.

To get close to an opponent by striding into this space, or slipping into it, is called "the moon in the water," likened to the moon sending its reflection into a body of water.

One should engage an opponent only after having figured out the standpoint of "the moon in the water" before facing off.
-------------

Here's what I get out of it: The best damn swordfighter in history, outside of Musashi, is telling you that *before* closing distance is when you apply your martial arts skill, and successful entering can only be accomplished with an empty mind. In other words, principle, principle, principle.

Avery

DonMagee
01-05-2007, 09:09 PM
I still can't buy the whole sword fighting and fist fighting being similar thing though. There are a lot of very effective things you can do unarmed that you can't do with a sword, and vice versa. What he says makes sense when a single blow can kill. I don't buy that line either when it comes to unarmed conflict.

Kevin Leavitt
01-06-2007, 12:29 AM
I understand where you are coming from Michele and will have to think about it today. I do think though that there are people that you cannot reach with your spirit to give them what they desire. Sometimes there are those I think that want something that we cannot give and even if we did they do not want it.

I will ponder this.

Don, I think much of this is a romantic and ideal notion. Certainly something worth striving for on a personal level. However, I like you don't think it is pragmatic to walk around using this as a modality for physical encounters.

We can go to the craps table with a clear mind, and our KI aligned, and attempt to will those little dice to come up with the correct number we want it to have and it will still come up wrong.

I do agree on the whole spiritual side of the house with MIchele and others on the whole elimination of duality, and the establishment of mushin etc., these are things that we must do if we are going to achieve true peace and harmony in the world.

I think though that in many cases these are macroscopic in nature and the karma and all that comes out of it is very, very complicated.

Again, on a macroscopic level, I don't think we should be so concerned with trying to influence things as much. In fact the very fact that we want to change someone, or influence them directly becomes a desire or an attachment, which once again forms that duality.

I think it is very, very complex and hard to define this. Both sides are right in a way.

Teddy Roosevelet, the original American Jiujitsuist comes to mind.

Walk softly and carry a big stick.

Joe Bowen
01-06-2007, 07:02 AM
Clinch is simple a term to describe a serious of events that occur in fights...it is universal. We tend to associate this, as you state with MMA, but it is simply a term to describe a situation that occurs and not anyone technique.

Kevin, both you and Don are making "universal" statements with "non-universal" terms and ideas. You have locked yourselves into the semantics and vernacular of the "MMA" (for lack of a better term) and are trying to hoist it upon the rest of the world by telling us not to be locked into "traditional" definitions. This type of practice is quite arrogant.

Taking a word and modifying the definition to include things that are not normally associated with it to broaden its appeal, reduces the word itself to nothing. By your definition above, we start most aikido practices with a "clinch". Ryokatadori is a clinch, katatedori, is a clinch, ushiro ryotetori is a clinch, ushiro kubishime is a clinch. Also by the definition above, anytime we throw in aikido we are "clinching" so we can "takedown" and "submit". I could go on, but I hope you see the point. And, please don't say, "now your getting it", because the point is I'm rejecting it.

The terms clinch, takedown and submit do not apply universally to fights. And, from my own experience, in the 20 some odd fights I had when I was younger, these statements do not hold water. And changing the definitions of the terms to include hitting someone with a barstool as a "takedown", does nothing to persuade the argument.

We know that fights are unpredictable, we know that our training is not the only factor in the outcome of a fight. We also know that aikido in a real fight will probably not look like the aikido in the dojo, but we don't know that it will look like MMA. The point is that range of variables is too great to fit simply into any one formula.

Reexamine your own position, you enjoy MMA so when you hear fight, you automatically think, one on one, no weapons, almost anything is allowed...Ok, close distance, clinch, takedown, submit. This is quite natural for you, no argument there, but don't hoist it upon us all.

And Avery, Yagyu Munenori was talking about ma-ai, which is actually a concept you can universally apply to any fight.....

And, Don, this idea:

There are three types of fights, one's you see coming and can avoid (and it is really obvious.), One's you start (again obvious), and ones you don't see coming..

As far as universally applicable statements about fights go, I find much more agreeable....

Thanks for the input, it is quite interesting, and Kevin, I found your story about the transition from a grappling guard into suwari waza iriminage quite enjoyable, if you can find a way to recreate it, I'm sure it would be an excellent addition to your own practice..... :D

Kevin Leavitt
01-06-2007, 10:29 AM
Joseph,

I understand a little what you are saying and can certainly see from you perspective why you would see this as some what arrogant.

Most certainly any time you try to generalize or reduce things to a common set of circumstances (reductionist theory), you are going to fall into a trap of this sort I suppose!

My intent was not to box aikido into BJJ terms, but to reduce fights down to a set of common stages that are typically experienced. It doesn't matter what art you study or what perceptions you have these things happen.

My language is english so I use english terms to describe concepts. If I were discussing aikido, I would use japanese terms because it conveys a concept within that paradigm that is universally accepted within that community of practice.

What other words should I use to describe these stages?

We could compare how the aikido vernacular fits into these concepts I suppose.

Closing the distance, the clinch, takedown, and submit are not techniques, they are concepts that define the basic stages of a fight. within each of those stages there is a transition that occurs that would incorporate any number of techniques and principles.

They are also some what linear. That is, we cannot do the other without completion of the previous transition. For example distance must be closed before I can do any of the other things. I must gain control of the fight (clinch phase), prior to doing a takedown, and/or submission.

For example; we can do irimi/tenkan, kotegaeshi, takedown, and immobilize.

The problem for me is this: if I speak in specific terms of aikido...we have certain perceptions and emotional energy built into what we should do every time, as aikido tends to speak in terms of specific techniques versus conceptual stages.

Joseph wrote:

By your definition above, we start most aikido practices with a "clinch". Ryokatadori is a clinch, katatedori, is a clinch, ushiro ryotetori is a clinch, ushiro kubishime is a clinch. Also by the definition above, anytime we throw in aikido we are "clinching" so we can "takedown" and "submit". I could go on, but I hope you see the point. And, please don't say, "now your getting it", because the point is I'm rejecting it.


I reject this perception as well.

Irimi tenkan is how you close distance. In fact doesn't matter if you are MMA or aikido it is the one and only way to close distance, move on the 45 and redirect.

Kaitenage and all those other things you do once you are in range would be have elements of clinching since you are standing and attempting to gain center and control.

However, once you take balance and start to complete the technique with the "throw" then you are throwing.

and submission is just what it is....immobilization or submission.

You are correct, in aikido we speak of complete techniques that are all encompassing of these stages, whereas the CD, C, TD, S breaks things down further into stages. So it can be confusing and apples and oranges.

I think when you start dealing with full speed, non-compliant training it is important to break things down into these stages. Things happen too fast, and this methodology of thought allows us to address the critical events that happen in each of the stages.

I think of it simply as a different methodology to address sets of common events along a spectrum of fighting.

You bring up the point that Don and I are making assumptions about what a fight is and take a MMA paradigm. Not so.

I certainly understand weapons!

For example weapons would definitely impact how distance is closed. With a 50 Cal Barrett Rifle, I can close distance at 2000M! Knifes, sticks, and the like affect the fight as well.

If a big stick is involved distance could be closed, and someone hit in the head, fall down and the fight would end there! No need to continue on to the other phases right? Same with a knife right? Stab to the kidneys might change things to.

That said, does it not make sense to practice in all ranges of possible combat? Why would I stop at the best case scenario?

Not sure what your concept of MMA is....sounds like it is probably UFC fighting or BJJ. Certainly a part of it, but the MMA concept is not definable from any particular set of parameters.

For me MMA is Close Quarters Marksmanship, knifes, blunt objects, and empty hand and spans the range of combat. It might be different for someone else. It is also about breaking down your paradigms and constantly reassessing things...getting out of your comfort zone.

I don't care about what a fight looks like, what I do care about is that I have every advantage possible to come out of it on top if possible..so that is what I train to do.

Thanks for taking the time to contribute!

Joe Bowen
01-06-2007, 02:50 PM
My language is english so I use english terms to describe concepts. If I were discussing aikido, I would use japanese terms because it conveys a concept within that paradigm that is universally accepted within that community of practice.

Kevin, I'm not sure you getting the idea I'm trying to communicate. You're using the English language, yes, but you also using specific MMA/Grappling terms, and asking folks to suspend their normal definition of these terms and embrace your new definitions such that your idea gains a universal applicability.

My intent was not to box aikido into BJJ terms, but to reduce fights down to a set of common stages that are typically experienced. It doesn't matter what art you study or what perceptions you have these things happen.

You aren't "boxing" aikido into BJJ terms, but you are "boxing" fights by using these typically MMA/Grappling terms and asserting the MMA/grappling "paradigm" as predominate.

If your truly talking about "concepts that define the basic stages of a fight" why are you using terms that specifically evoke the MMA/Grappling ideas and then asking the rest of us to apply them universally? Why not use more truly universal terms, like close distance (I really don't have a problem with the universal application of this term), control, unbalance and finish. Is that not what you are doing in the clinch-takedown-submit?

within each of those stages there is a transition that occurs that would incorporate any number of techniques and principles....I think when you start dealing with full speed, non-compliant training it is important to break things down into these stages. Things happen too fast, and this methodology of thought allows us to address the critical events that happen in each of the stages....I think of it simply as a different methodology to address sets of common events along a spectrum of fighting.

I agree with you a 100% on this idea. Fights happen within a continuum of action, and it helps to break this continuum down into stages so we can analyze bits a pieces of the action in our training. And within your training paradigm, I'm quite sure the manner in which you have broken down the stages makes sense; however, you cannot present the terms you utilize within your training paradigm to break down the stages of a fight as universal. Because if you do you will find yourself within the linear paradox that you present below.

They are also some what linear. That is, we cannot do the other without completion of the previous transition. For example distance must be closed before I can do any of the other things. I must gain control of the fight (clinch phase), prior to doing a takedown, and/or submission.

Here's a scenario where the linear clinch-takedown-submit stages fail to meet the burden of truth. A fights B, both have bats, A brains B with bat, B falls down unconscious, A walks away.
Now we can say A closed distance with B, he has to be close enough to hit him with the bat, no problem, but we can't say A clinched B with his bat, can we? Does that make sense? no. When B falls down after loosing his balance from the pain the the force of said bat, do we count that as a "takedown"? Has B been submitted as he lays on the floor? Ok, I'll give you that, but we went from Close to Submission without a clinch or takedown.
You bring up the point that Don and I are making assumptions about what a fight is and take a MMA paradigm.
My point is that you're defining a fight within the MMA/Grappler paradigm, and asking for universal acceptance. Your not suspending your own preconceived definitions when choosing the terms, just modifying the definitions after the fact.

Weapons factor into a fight, anything from keys to machetes can be used as a weapon in a fight. I can go from close distance to fight over without a clinch or takedown; therefore the linear progression of the stages you describe do not apply. Now, go back and set parameters on the fight, and your stages apply.

I'm not saying your wrong, the stages you're describing apply but your terminology is not universal, nor can it be without accepting the specific paradigm.

Kevin Leavitt
01-06-2007, 04:01 PM
Okay, I have no issue with close distance, control, unbalance and finish. I see your point. It conveys the same thing.

I see that much like aikido, the terms like clinch, takedown, submit do have certain concepts attached to them. I will use this from now on in a general setting. Thanks.

Also I did acknowledge that weapons and such influence that continum did I not? Your post seems to convey that I do not recognize that.

However, weapons still complete the continum. for example you still must close distance, gain control, unbalance and finish. Albeit, the unbalance thing might also be absorbed pretty quickly with the whole finish thing. Weapons certainly change the timing, distance, space, and responses along that process.

Thanks again!

DonMagee
01-06-2007, 04:31 PM
I find it much more involving if we argue the argument rather then the terms. I still don't see these as grappling, bjj, or MMA terms. A clinch to me is just a clinch, it is a point where people are in grabbing range and begin to do so. I can't think of a better term to describe that situation. It is not a control, because that assumes something, mainly that you have control. The thought you will have control is laughable at best. Once you are in the clinch, you must strive to gain or maintain control, then you can unbalance.

A takedown is just a takedown, it could be a throw, a trip, a punch, a mistake, a poorly placed chair, a bouncer. Very rarely is a takedown a throw outside of MMA, nobody wants to go to the ground, it just kinda happens. A submission is simply that, forcing another person to quit. A knockout is another alternative. You can do 4 things when you are on the ground and only 4 things.
1) get back up
2) submit the person
3) knock the person out
4) Kill the person

Nothing else is possible, you could immobilize the person, but if they do not submit, you still have to choose one of the other 3 choices.

Regardless, it does not matter what words you use. You could call them kick, punch, grap, throw, ground and pound. You could call them huey, lewy, dick, and jane. But they are valid stages that will happen. Will each stage happen every time? Obviously not. You can get knocked out before a clinch happens. You can trip and fall down, run away, thrown and back off without the submission, etc.

To say that I have preconceived definitions I'm changing to fit my situation is silly at best. I'm using the same definitions taught to me by my teachers which are exactly as I described them. A boxers clinch, a bjj clinch, a judo clinch is still a clinch. When I grab your wrists in aikido, we are clinching. Once one of us has control, a takedown, knockout, or break will happen depending on the desire of the person in control. If I am in control, it will probably be a takedown, hopefully with me still standing. If a MT boxer gets control, its going to be a knock out with knees.

Anyways, i'm straying again. My point was I am not seeing a counter argument to the fact that it would be smart to train for these ranges. Rather, I see an argument that we should use the words we are using. I submit we call them dick, jane, bob, and mindi. This way we are not submitting ourselves to anyones definitions.

Kevin Leavitt
01-07-2007, 01:19 PM
Good point about the perspective on the Clinch Don. I thought control sounded good, but as you point out it conveys a state that would happen after the struggle that takes place during the clinch phase.

It is possible that you do not gain control and are taken to the ground, or that you separate and have to re-establish distance again...or run...or grab a now available weapon.

I also point out to my students that the clinch may not end when you do go to the ground. in positions like side control you are still really clinching, you are just on the ground.

Good point, the argument does seem to be centering around the terminology or phraseology.

Joe Bowen
01-07-2007, 04:06 PM
Don, the terms are the argument. You cannot phrase an argument without them, they are the bread and butter of the conversation. How you phrase your statements presuppose a one-on-one unarmed fight, and then you say these are all fights, so these "stages" are evident in all fights. I'm just saying that's incorrect. Take the below example:
A takedown is just a takedown, it could be a throw, a trip, a punch, a mistake, a poorly placed chair, a bouncer. Very rarely is a takedown a throw outside of MMA, nobody wants to go to the ground, it just kinda happens. A submission is simply that, forcing another person to quit. A knockout is another alternative. You can do 4 things when you are on the ground and only 4 things.
1) get back up
2) submit the person
3) knock the person out
4) Kill the person
Nothing else is possible, you could immobilize the person, but if they do not submit, you still have to choose one of the other 3 choices.
The only 4 options you have suggested here, presuppose that there are only two combatants. If there is a third person then, you could get knocked off the person which would give you a number 5, unless you would count that as "getting back up" ;) . So, something else is possible, unless we go back to the one-on-one scenario.
You're not going to find a counter argument to folks should train at various ranges. The thread from the start wasn't about that, it was about the vernacular that was applied universally to all fights, that inherently presuppose the fights are unarmed and one-on-one.

Kevin Leavitt
01-07-2007, 05:21 PM
Hence why I have a huge banner in my training room that says this:

"The winner of the hand to hand battle is the guy whose buddy shows up with a gun first"

Granted, I am focusing on a particular set of situations dealing with soldiers in combat, but I think it is important to keep things in proper perspective.

Multiple opponents are a situational factor, and not a universal principal in all fights. A parameter.

Joe, I am not following your 5th option.

I believe you are mixing the stages with situational factors. How Don defines it, does not assume one opponent.

Don is limiting/isolating the parameters to the stages of a fight. In which I believe, he is correct.

1.You can get up,
2. make the person give up (immobilize/incapacitate/or they quit),
3. render them unconscious, or
4. kill them.

(I would put unconscious/kill into the same category technically as they are unconscious in both states, however I think it appropriate to separate them for ethical/escalation of force issues).

Situational factors would include weapons, objects, other people, clothing, light, weather, terrain...etc.

Once we have established and agreed upon the stages of a fight, then you can inject how each of the situational factors might play a role in the decisions you might make in each of those stages.

How I might react would depend which situational factors were present and that I knew about, or assumed might be present.

If I had two people I would react much differently than with one, however what I could do during those stages does not change.

I still must deal with each person as a separate entity and the same things apply to each of them. I might multitask at some points, however, the same stages/choices would apply to each of them.

Joe Bowen
01-08-2007, 11:54 AM
Hence why I have a huge banner in my training room that says this: "The winner of the hand to hand battle is the guy whose buddy shows up with a gun first"

Great slogan, leave it up.
Multiple opponents are a situational factor, and not a universal principal in all fights. A parameter.
I'm not claiming that multiple opponents are universal, but as we define our "universal principles" we must ensure we encompass all situations to be truly universal in application.

I believe you are mixing the stages with situational factors. ...Situational factors would include weapons, objects, other people, clothing, light, weather, terrain...etc..... Once we have established and agreed upon the stages of a fight, then you can inject how each of the situational factors might play a role in the decisions you might make in each of those stages...

I think you're putting the cart before the horse. If you define the parameters of a situation, then you can readily identify stages that may or may not occur. For example, if we say "generally in most unarmed one-on-one fights 4 stages occur resulting in a clinch, takedown and submission", we might get more folks to agree, then if we said, "all fights have a clinch, takedown and submission stage". If we use the latter statement then we have to define these stages to include all of the situational exigencies to include things like a third party intervention.

I understand where you are coming from and within a context agree with what you say, but I just think you're trying to encompass too much within the stages you describe. However, while I'm sure you understand generally what I'm saying I'm not sure I'm convincing you to enough of an extent that it would be profitable for the thread to continue. Hopefully the next time I'm in Germany I'll be able to make it up your way, and we can get a work out in and then wax philosophic over a beer. Last word to you, if you care to take it....

joe

DonMagee
01-08-2007, 12:57 PM
Actually, I am still right, while 2 or more people are on the ground my 4 things are the only 4 things they can do. If another person is standing up and comes over and interjects himself into the conflict, it is not a ground fight. However, he can still only do a 1 of the 4 things. Get back up (or in this case disengage), knockout, sub, or kill. I fail to see how the new person could do anything else.

Lets use a scenario.

I get into a fight, I throw punches, and the guy clinches to avoid heavy blows to his skull. He pulls a small knife and while we fight over the knife we trip on a chair and fall to the ground.

At this point we just had a striking fight, where the distance was closed, a clinch happened, and a takedown occurred. The clinch was an escape due to strikes, the takedown was something neither of us wanted. Now, when we fell down the knife flew from his grasp and landed out of reach. I use my ground fighting to secure the mounted position.

I know have 4 choices.
1) submit my target
2) stand back up
3) knock out my target
4) kill him.

While i'm making up my mind my opponent has 2 choices.
1) attempt to reverse his situation
2) quit fighting.

If he reverses the situation, well then he has my 4 choices, I have his two choices.

To make this interesting, my friend see's what i'm doing and comes to stomp him. Same 4 choices. Now his two friends see what's happpening, and come to help him. one takes my friend out, and the other has 4 choices with me.
1) choose not to attack.
2) knock me out
3) submit me
4) kill me.

I still have my 4 choices
1) stand up
2) submit the guy i'm on
3) knock him out
4) kill him

I submit that standing back up and choosing to disengage or not to engage technically might not be the same thing, but in spirit they are. it doesn't' matter how many people, how many weapons, or how many anythings. You can choose to escape, kill, knockout, or submit. You may have other options before a fight happens, but once you are in a fight, these are your only options.

How do we make these options happen? By closing the distance. If needed clinch for a throw/takedown. Then if we end up on the ground, we submit our attacker with strikes/chokes/joint locks. Do we have to clinch/takedown/submit? No. But they are valid stages that happen, sometimes when we don't want them too.

But we still have not addressed what situations why you think that Kevin's stages of a fight are not universal. Your reasoning is they are not universal simply because MMA, judo and BJJ guys use these words?

Or is it deeper then that? If it's not aikido it's crap right?

What happens in a multiple person fight if not closing the distance, clinching, takedown, and a massive group beat down into submission/death? Multiple attackers really have no bearing on these terms because multiple attackers still have to close the distance, clinch, and takedown their target. Unless of course you are going to say these terms are not valid because aikido is ment to deal with a sword wielding attacker? That is usually the next argument. Well, that is why we train wrist grabs, because people did indeed clinch with sword wielding attackers. They grabbed them to prevent them from pulling their sword.

One last thing. Just because these area's are stages of a fight, does not mean you have to do them. it just means these are stages that happen in a fight. If I was fighting 4 guys. I would be trying to stop them from closing the distance and clinching, not clinching myself. Needless to say the clinch would play a major part of their strategy (unless they were wielding pipes or guns).

Kevin Leavitt
01-08-2007, 02:31 PM
Joseph wrote:

I'm not claiming that multiple opponents are universal, but as we define our "universal principles" we must ensure we encompass all situations to be truly universal in application.

I think it to be the inverse of this actually. We universally define the stages of the fight, then we can apply the situational parameters as necessary.

Not to insult anyone, but I think we all pretty much recognize that we cannot account for every single parameter in a fight.

That is the problem I think with many RBSD type training. They typically will develop techniques for particular situations. Most of the guys that develop these types of systems have a very limited understanding of fights and believe that by codifying situations or what they consider to be the most probable that they are getting to the core of effectiveness. Also, by systemizing it, they can develop a course of study that is measurable and repeatable, hence marketable.

Makes sense to most of the general public where you can simply do step 1, 2, and 3 and master something that is definable and check that block!

So how do you train differently from this model? You isolate out as many of the situational parameters as you can until you get at the things that are most common to a fight. Then, you have a principle based system upon which you can develop a sound foundation of responses.

With a sound base, you can then expand outward and start incorporating the various situational parameters that you may encounter. The key, however is to develop this base.

Aikido recognizes this. So does BJJ, so does many MMAs.

There are only so many ways to fall, hit, kick, or grab. If we develop a sound base to deal with these things, then we can adapt and develop.

So, therefore, I believe that things like multiple opponents should NOT be considered when we define universal fight principles. They should only be considered as a situational parameter AFTER we consider the basics of how to appropriately respond to a single attacker in most common situations.

I don't believe this to be contrary to how I have been taught in my aikido dojo. It is the same methodology.

I admit, somewhere along the way, though, we get the idea (usually through randori I suppose) that this is what makes aikido somewhat special, the ability to deal with multiple opponents.

However, keep in mind we are NOT talking about aikido training, but fighting.

While certainly we must train for this awareness (multiple opponent and all other situational parameters) .....

UNTIL, we can learn to appropriately deal with a single opponent (uke), then we cannot deal with multiple opponents or weapons.

We should not confuse proper and effective training, with one of the greatest fears we might have, which is proficiently dealing with more than one opponent and/or weapons.

Kinda reminds me of the old saying...."how to you eat a whole elephant?" one piece at a time!

Regardless of what we think, we must deal with each opponent separately and distinctly. We may multitask. For example, we may irimi/tenkan behind one guy closing the distance...then take his center, then close distance with the next one, kick him, then go back to the first one and render him unconscious, then turn and clinch with the second one, and complete the fight.

If you video taped the fight and then had special equipment, and could isolate each opponent...you can imagine and see that you are completing each of the stages of the fight with each individual person.

Therefore, if we correctly train against one oppponent...that is, learning to deal with them in a controlled, non-compliant way, and once we can proficiently do this...we can then move on to including a second one, and then a third in theory.

Therefore, I submit, that IF you train with a sound base that focuses on the universal principles of a fight, that gives you a flexible skill set, that you can adapt. You do not need to specifically account for all the parameters such as multiple persons, knives, guns, sticks to develop this base. In fact it will slow your development as you will become too narrow focused on particular parameters.

That is not to say that you should not train these things at all....you should...simply that it is not imperitive to train these things to develop your core skills. I think 80% of your time should be spent on the basics, and 20% on the other.

Remember, we are talking NOT about Aikido, but fighting and developing effective fighting skills.

More to follow, I will break it up in a separate post for readibility.

DonMagee
01-08-2007, 02:44 PM
Every now and then my bjj club will put one guy in the middle and have us walk in a circle around him, the instructor will tap a few people without the guy in the middle knowing which ones. Anytime before they get around the circle they can attack the guy in the middle. Usually with slaps, throws, grappling, etc.

It's a good eye opener for anyone who thinks bjj owns all other martial arts. The guys who survive the longest are the ones who keep moving, and keep their opponents off balance. Just like in aikido. Eventually though, the numbers grow, and you get overwhelmed :-)

The funniest thing I ever seen though was a blue belt submitting two white belts at the same time with this situation. He got one in a reverse triangle, and used him to shield himself from the other who got tripped up and submitted (I don't remember exactly how).

Kevin Leavitt
01-08-2007, 02:57 PM
Joseph wrote:

I understand where you are coming from and within a context agree with what you say, but I just think you're trying to encompass too much within the stages you describe. However, while I'm sure you understand generally what I'm saying I'm not sure I'm convincing you to enough of an extent that it would be profitable for the thread to continue. Hopefully the next time I'm in Germany I'll be able to make it up your way, and we can get a work out in and then wax philosophic over a beer. Last word to you, if you care to take it

I think I do understand. I also think that the differences behind what we might be saying are probably minor. It is difficult at best to conceptual and "DO" training over the internet. It has however served to have what I consider to be a very good discussion over this topic. You have challenged me to think hard about things and have to explain things, which is a true learning experience for me.

I agree, we are probably getting circular in our discussion at this point, but I think lots of good stuff has come out of it. Thanks!

I try not to be a last word kinda guy as that is not what is important. It would love to get together if possible and talk over a beer, because in the end, that is what is most important on the common path that we are on! Cheers.

Kevin Leavitt
01-08-2007, 03:10 PM
Mike Gallante wrote:

In warfare, these poor bastards have been ordered to attack. So the personal aspect is missing. Spiritual bullet talk aside, how much
Aikido can you do when in a foxhole or a tank, etc.


I know this is a few days ago, but I was reading it just now and had a comment....

This is the huge misconception we face today concerning warfare. David Grossman addresses it pretty well in his book "On Killing"

Tanks and foxholes and long distance weapons have a way of reducing our enemy to mere targets or objectives. It is difficult to kill someone that you develop compassion or have developed a relationship with.

Killing though still affects us in a very personal way though.

Today the military is facing a different problem than we did in the cold war. We must win the hearts and minds and confidence of those we have conquered.

The fight begins way before the bullet leave the barrel and ends a long time after it has struck it's target.

It is a limited view to simply view the small parameters of the guy in the tank or foxhole that pulls the trigger. There is a certain amount of karma that follows that bullet, and that soldier must directly or indirectly deal with that after the fact.

This is why we have PSTD, and why wars last long after the battles are done and the last offensive campaign has been completed.

Lots of need and room for the lessons of aikido.