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gdandscompserv
02-05-2007, 03:43 PM
My son and I were playing aikido at my dojo the other day. Because he is a big young man I really enjoy practicing technique that he is fully resisting. Well, things got a little rough and he decided to go "UFC" on me. He only forgot one thing; the UFC has rules, aikido doesn't. I felt him going for a choke hold of some type, so I reached out and let him know that his groin was in a very vulnerable position. He quickly released me. :D I did take a moment after this and explain that aikido is budo. It aint UFC. As I see it, aikido doesn't have rules, it has principles, which may be employed in an infinite variety of ways. Principles are of a higher order than rules are. Rules are put in place and governed by humans whereas the principles of aikido are governed by universal laws. If I can attune myself to those laws, my aikido will be better. Not because I am higher ranked, tougher, or more gifted, but because I have succsesfully aligned myself with universal principles of a higher order. That being said, reading this article (http://www.uk-jj.com/news/e_06_colorado.html) also reminded me that aikdio doesn't have the corner on the universal principles market.

Chris Birke
02-05-2007, 03:54 PM
Damn straight - thank you for not perpetuating the myth that choke holds work in reality...

gdandscompserv
02-05-2007, 04:01 PM
Damn straight - thank you for not perpetuating the myth that choke holds work in reality...
I don't know about that as I have never been put in one "in reality."

Chris Birke
02-05-2007, 04:14 PM
Are you saying the universal principles of higher order Aikido only apply in non reality?! I don't understand your example then.

gdandscompserv
02-05-2007, 04:25 PM
Are you saying the universal principles of higher order Aikido only apply in non reality?! I don't understand your example then.
I'm not sure my "example" had anything to do with universal principles other than reminding me of them.

Chris Birke
02-05-2007, 04:35 PM
Yeah, but I think it means "it's not the UFC" because rules prevent universal principles from applying there, right?

charyuop
02-05-2007, 04:49 PM
I don't think in a real fight there is a rule where it says do not hit the groin, either universal or as a principle.
I see in Aikido the use of temporary pain to gain control of the opponent as the "universal" rule. Creating a injury or killing is against Aikido purposes, but using temporary pain, wherever inflicet doesn't metter, it is the purpose of Aikido.

gdandscompserv
02-05-2007, 05:01 PM
Yeah, but I think it means "it's not the UFC" because rules prevent universal principles from applying there, right?
some of them.

gdandscompserv
02-05-2007, 05:09 PM
I don't think in a real fight there is a rule where it says do not hit the groin, either universal or as a principle.
I see in Aikido the use of temporary pain to gain control of the opponent as the "universal" rule. Creating a injury or killing is against Aikido purposes, but using temporary pain, wherever inflicet doesn't metter, it is the purpose of Aikido.

I think that injuring or killing in order to save my own or another innocent persons life would be in line with aikido purposes.

Aristeia
02-05-2007, 06:46 PM
sounds like it was a pretty poor choke to me...

James Finley
02-05-2007, 06:47 PM
In the "real world," either side could have drawn a firearm and shot the other repeatedly until he was dead. Either side could have drawn a knife and stabbed the other repeatedly until he was lying there dying in a pool of blood. Are we really still arguing over what works in the "real world," a world that at least in my experience, is dominated by weapons?

In the "real world," either side can gouge eyes, grab someone by the balls, smash the edge of his hand into the others throat (repeating as necessary), bite, try to tear his opponent's ears off, smash him in the head with a chunk of rock or piece of brick, pick up a 2x4 and beat the other to death with it, etc.. In ANY MA, there are rules. If people aren't getting carted off to the morgue after each training session, you are training with rules.

All martial arts have something to offer in the way of self defense: improved balance, agility, faster reflexes, explosiveness, the ability to concentrate (so your mind doesn't float), improved fitness, and maybe a bit of toughening up, but in my opinion, none are really fully up to the task of dealing with the "real world."

Real self-defense is about awareness, avoidance, and escape. Attack the eyes, throat, whatever and get away as quickly as possible. That is what real self-defense is about. Survival. It may not be "macho" but it will keep you alive in the "real world" which is dominated by weapons. (Of course, military and police have different functions and responsibilities.) James.

DonMagee
02-06-2007, 06:13 AM
Ahh the whole street vs sport debate. I love the idea's on both sides. I'd suggest training him to perform a proper choke or train with properly trained sport fighters, that way you can experience the other side of the debate.

I train for the the fight. People attempt to attack my eyes, ears, fingers, pressure points, and boys all the time. When performed properly they are no more at risk then your street training.

DaveS
02-06-2007, 06:21 AM
My son and I were playing aikido at my dojo the other day. Because he is a big young man I really enjoy practicing technique that he is fully resisting. Well, things got a little rough and he decided to go "UFC" on me. He only forgot one thing; the UFC has rules, aikido doesn't. I felt him going for a choke hold of some type, so I reached out and let him know that his groin was in a very vulnerable position. He quickly released me. :D I did take a moment after this and explain that aikido is budo. It aint UFC. As I see it, aikido doesn't have rules, it has principles, which may be employed in an infinite variety of ways. Principles are of a higher order than rules are. Rules are put in place and governed by humans whereas the principles of aikido are governed by universal laws. If I can attune myself to those laws, my aikido will be better. Not because I am higher ranked, tougher, or more gifted, but because I have succsesfully aligned myself with universal principles of a higher order. That being said, reading this article (http://www.uk-jj.com/news/e_06_colorado.html) also reminded me that aikdio doesn't have the corner on the universal principles market.
There seems to be a bit of a category error here - UFC is (in a broad sense) a training method not a martial art. It has rules rather than principles, but so do all training exercises in aikido - even if in the case of most aikido exercises they're unwritten and self-enforced. But if you want to use MMA competition for testing and developing your understanding and application of universal principles then you can. This is kind of how I understand shiai, although in my case the result of the testing tends to be 'some way to go yet'...

As an aside, the one rule in (most) MMA competition that really seems to lose a lot of reality is the 'no strikes to the back of the head or neck.' Obviously I can see why the rule's there, but to my very limited understanding of groundfighting, it seems to mean that if someone is kneeling over you and hitting you in the face, you can get yourself comparatively safe by rolling over and presenting them with the back of your head. Which seems like a dangerous habit to develop.

edit: that last bit is looking for someone to explain why I'm wrong or why it isn't that important, btw, not just as a criticism.

Amir Krause
02-06-2007, 06:54 AM
Just one tiny thing to think about:
Had he played by similar rules to yours, he could have killed you by crashing your throat rather then slowly choking you in a way that gives you time to respond.

You were not better then him, you just changed the rules mid-game (he may have changed them first, but it does not really matter).

I would also note that a choke is at leas as dangerous as grabbing the balls. It is bad Aikido to let someone choke you, you should have avoided before hand.

And most M.A. utilize almost the exact same principles. I have only seen very little BJJ, yet I saw a BJJ lesson about standup in S.D. purview, but I must point it seemed almost exactly like Aikido, same ideas, same general concepts.

I do not believe in better or worse Martial ARTS, I do believe in better or Worse Martial ARTISTS.

Amir

DonMagee
02-06-2007, 06:56 AM
Actually, rolling over in a MMA match and exposing your back is usually a very bad idea. For one, as shown in the last UFC, rolling over and laying flat is not defending yourself, and will cause you to quickly loose the match, and two, you can be back mounted, beaten, and choked from the back with much less chance of defense then from the front.

Amir Krause
02-06-2007, 06:56 AM
As an aside, the one rule in (most) MMA competition that really seems to lose a lot of reality is the 'no strikes to the back of the head or neck.' Obviously I can see why the rule's there, but to my very limited understanding of groundfighting, it seems to mean that if someone is kneeling over you and hitting you in the face, you can get yourself comparatively safe by rolling over and presenting them with the back of your head. Which seems like a dangerous habit to develop.

edit: that last bit is looking for someone to explain why I'm wrong or why it isn't that important, btw, not just as a criticism.

If you do that - they will choke you.

Amir

gdandscompserv
02-06-2007, 07:07 AM
Ahh the whole street vs sport debate. I love the idea's on both sides. I'd suggest training him to perform a proper choke or train with properly trained sport fighters, that way you can experience the other side of the debate.

I train for the the fight. People attempt to attack my eyes, ears, fingers, pressure points, and boys all the time. When performed properly they are no more at risk then your street training.
No debate from me Don. I do not recommend training in aikido for sport fighting purposes just as I do not recommend iaido for those purposes. You like what you like and I like what I like. However, let us not also fool ourselves into believing that a "proper" choke cannot be countered in some way. Again though, I will stress; I make no claims as to the "street" effectiveness of my aikido. As Americans we should know that the "street" is full of much weaponry where our hand-to-hand skills are no match. What is very helpful is the mindset that comes from practicing aikido.
Perhaps a little of my background will help you understand my perspective. I learned aikido from Iwao Yamaguchi sensei of Okinawa Aikikai. Okinawa is a VERY safe place to live. The training was very intense, however the "street" effectiveness of the art was not emphasized. That is still my way of thinking.

DonMagee
02-06-2007, 07:17 AM
Yes a proper choke can be countered, with a proper choke defense. Clutching for a handful of testicle is not going to save you when a guy knows what he is doing. Its just going to make sure he kills you after you are unconscious.

Roman Kremianski
02-06-2007, 07:24 AM
If people aren't getting carted off to the morgue after each training session, you are training with rules.

Thehehe... ;)

gdandscompserv
02-06-2007, 07:26 AM
Just one tiny thing to think about:
Had he played by similar rules to yours, he could have killed you by crashing your throat rather then slowly choking you in a way that gives you time to respond.
I agree Amir. And that's not a "tiny thing."

You were not better then him, you just changed the rules mid-game (he may have changed them first, but it does not really matter).
Good point. And no it doesn't matter.


I would also note that a choke is at leas as dangerous as grabbing the balls. It is bad Aikido to let someone choke you, you should have avoided before hand.
In agree with that as well. If you read my original statement I said "I felt him going for a choke hold." I countered before he completed it is all. But does it really matter? Not to me. The incident, for some odd reason, caused me to think about principles and rules, and their differences. Perhaps I should not have titled the thread what I did. I do like to rib the MMAers a bit though. :p This is an aikido after all. :D

I do not believe in better or worse Martial ARTS, I do believe in better or Worse Martial ARTISTS.
That is most wise.

Keith R Lee
02-06-2007, 07:29 AM
Yes a proper choke can be countered, with a proper choke defense. Clutching for a handful of testicle is not going to save you when a guy knows what he is doing. Its just going to make sure he kills you after you are unconscious.

Yeah, if someone who knows how to choke: takes my back, gets their hooks in, and sinks the choke in tight I have a good defense: tapout.

Ricky:

If you're really concerned about chokes, why not go to a BJJ/MMA gym and give it a try? They'll even let you try the nuts grabbing thing as long as you tell them first. You might learn something, they might learn something. Win/win.

gdandscompserv
02-06-2007, 07:57 AM
Ricky:

If you're really concerned about chokes, why not go to a BJJ/MMA gym and give it a try? They'll even let you try the nuts grabbing thing as long as you tell them first. You might learn something, they might learn something. Win/win.
If I was "really concerned" about chokes I would do just as you suggest. I am not. I did drop by a gym in town and wasn't impressed, but I think that is more due to the artist than the art, as Amir says. We don't often grapple as a part of aikido training. My aikido is very basic and I am quite busy improving my basics. The "choke" experience somehow reminded me of the principles rule thing that many seem to not have read. :D

DonMagee
02-06-2007, 08:23 AM
I actually had the opposite experience last saturday. I was in aikido class and it was small, just 4 of us (two students and the instructor). Two of us have been training judo together, so the instructor was having us demonstrate some judo and show how we could blend aikido into it (which was interesting). After playing for a while, we got on the subject of armbar escapes. Our instructor was talking about attacking the feet to stop the armbar (after it was set). He was relating a story about how he foot locked a guy he knew when he went for an armbar. He wanted to test and see how to recreate the escape. I offered up my foot. I placed the instructor in an armbar from the mount. I did not finish the armbar I just layed there and kept proper technique (controling the head with my knee, control the body with my other leg, elbow locked up tight, thumb under control). After a few seconds of being unable to attack my foot he asked me if I was going to attempt to finish the armbar. I complied and he tapped within a second. Another student who had studied pressure points wanted to test his idea on escaping. We had similar results.

I could relate that this means bjj is greater then aikido, but that would be false. The real truth is that I used good proper technique and thus the attempts to stop the technique at that point (arm already outstretched) was futile. Had they attempted to stop the attack before the armbar, or at the point of attack, they may of faired better. The truth is that on a person not properly trained, I'm fairly sure the annoying pain would of stopped the attempt. But what untrained person would try an armbar from the mount?

I guess that's my point, the rules protect the athlete, but in a one on one unarmed conflict, I'd pick a properly trained MMA guy over most other martial artists, rules or no.

bratzo_barrena
02-06-2007, 08:25 AM
Just a thought,
ANY technique in ANY martial art can be counter while IN THE PROCESS of being applied.
ANY technique in ANY martial art cannot be counter when it's ALREADY PROPERLY applied.
doesn't matter if its a choke, a lock, a throw, or whatever, while the technique is developing it can be counter if the defender has the necessary ability, training, awareness, etc. BUT, once the choke, lock, throw, or whatever is properly achieved, can't be counter.
Applying a technique properly is not only a matter of strength or speed, it's also important to use proper mechanics.

gdandscompserv
02-06-2007, 08:28 AM
I actually had the opposite experience last saturday. I was in aikido class and it was small, just 4 of us (two students and the instructor). Two of us have been training judo together, so the instructor was having us demonstrate some judo and show how we could blend aikido into it (which was interesting). After playing for a while, we got on the subject of armbar escapes. Our instructor was talking about attacking the feet to stop the armbar (after it was set). He was relating a story about how he foot locked a guy he knew when he went for an armbar. He wanted to test and see how to recreate the escape. I offered up my foot. I placed the instructor in an armbar from the mount. I did not finish the armbar I just layed there and kept proper technique (controling the head with my knee, control the body with my other leg, elbow locked up tight, thumb under control). After a few seconds of being unable to attack my foot he asked me if I was going to attempt to finish the armbar. I complied and he tapped within a second. Another student who had studied pressure points wanted to test his idea on escaping. We had similar results.

I could relate that this means bjj is greater then aikido, but that would be false. The real truth is that I used good proper technique and thus the attempts to stop the technique at that point (arm already outstretched) was futile. Had they attempted to stop the attack before the armbar, or at the point of attack, they may of faired better. The truth is that on a person not properly trained, I'm fairly sure the annoying pain would of stopped the attempt. But what untrained person would try an armbar from the mount?

I guess that's my point, the rules protect the athlete, but in a one on one unarmed conflict, I'd pick a properly trained MMA guy over most other martial artists, rules or no.
That was an "opposite" experience?
Sorry, we are on totally different wavelengths. My experience was more related to the differences in principles and rules. Then again, maybe yours is opposite of mine.

DonMagee
02-06-2007, 09:22 AM
My point is I was working within the rules and allowing them to work outside of the rules.

Cyrijl
02-06-2007, 10:14 AM
I didn't know how to respond as to not offend anyone. But the OP is ridiculous.
#1 - You can't 'Go UFC'.
#2 - Typically a groin grab requires you to lower your hand(s) which would leave you open to a pretty gnarly hit to the head. At any rate, any kickboxer worth anything defends his groin. Muay Thai has straight kicks to the groin. That is why in training you wear protective gear. You train not to get hit, but you eventually do. And it is not usually a fight ender.
#3 - I have not yet in my encounters found an aikido dojo where anyone has enough aikido skills to fend off a decent attack. The dojo near me are too traditional to let me come and test them. They may be fine schools but their aikido was too formal.
#4 - All of this has been said before and is quite silly. If you like aikido and think it develops what you are looking for, you do not need to try to justify it.

gdandscompserv
02-06-2007, 10:38 AM
#3 - I have not yet in my encounters found an aikido dojo where anyone has enough aikido skills to fend off a decent attack.
I'm assuming you didn't let them use a jo or bokken. ;)

Cyrijl
02-06-2007, 10:47 AM
actually...if i got to bring a weapon i would. I would go jo for jo bokken for bokken. If anything I think it would work against them.

It is not that I think aikido would not work. I think it does. But I have not seen a dojo here that trains in such a way as to make their aikido combat effective...(I don't want hippie answers about love and aikido empowering their lives please) What i find is schools charging $90-100 to stroke my ego and make me think I am uber-deadly.

gdandscompserv
02-06-2007, 11:10 AM
actually...if i got to bring a weapon i would. I would go jo for jo bokken for bokken. If anything I think it would work against them.

It is not that I think aikido would not work. I think it does. But I have not seen a dojo here that trains in such a way as to make their aikido combat effective...(I don't want hippie answers about love and aikido empowering their lives please) What i find is schools charging $90-100 to stroke my ego and make me think I am uber-deadly.
As a "hippie" I resemble that statement! :p
I know what you mean though. If I visited a dojo that offered to make me "uber-deadly" at any price, I would continue looking. :D

Cyrijl
02-06-2007, 11:14 AM
Oh, the stories i could tell you in my brief aikido training

Avery Jenkins
02-06-2007, 11:23 AM
Oh, the stories i could tell you in my brief aikido training

So what is your current art?

Cyrijl
02-06-2007, 11:25 AM
I mainly do just judo right now. I am recovering from some injuries. Next month I am probably going to go back to bjj/muay thai a little bit.

Kevin Leavitt
02-06-2007, 12:18 PM
Ahhh this is getting close to openning up that thread we all love.....you know the one....aikido doesn't work in a real fight! Come on...you know you want it!

Seriously...good comments from all. I usually have something to add to this thread, but not much as it is well covered I think.

Except for this....we have rules in aikido, if we did not, then it would be a disorganized chaos that would not work. Our rules limit us to isolating parameters and controlling the conditions that allow us to train the principles of aikido. Even in randori, we typically have some sort of rules that we agree to.

DonMagee
02-06-2007, 12:42 PM
LOL, the next time I'm in a martial arts class and I'm told the best part about their art is that there are no rules, i'm going to poke them in the eye!

Kevin Leavitt
02-06-2007, 01:03 PM
A couple of my guys last week asked me about eye pokes, groin grabs etc....questioining how BJJ or grappling dealt with them.

I said, okay...but I get to do them too and I get to do other things. Once the stakes went up and the rules changed...they had a different opinion concerning what grappling skills bring to the table.

Remember, when all else is equal....you need something to turn the tables in your favor. Practicing grappling gives you the advantage when there are "dirty rules".

gdandscompserv
02-06-2007, 01:28 PM
Of course you are right. We all train under various sets of self imposed rules. Those are rules of the dojo or gym that we train in and are certainly necessary, but I don't see them as rules of aikido. The principles of aikido are of a higher order of nature than the human made "rules" of the dojo. This is my belief and I am sorry that this thread has focused on the dead horse issue that it has. Like I said before, I blame the response on the title. My fault.
I do not enjoy debating the "street effectiveness" of any martial art. I have played in several throughout the years and have enjoyed all of them. I just happen to have most enjoyed aikido. I really think most of that has to do with my sensei. After experiencing his aikido I simply was uninterested in anything else.

Kevin Leavitt
02-06-2007, 02:06 PM
I understand your not wanting to debate the whole street fighting issue. I don't like it too much either to be honest.

however, can you explain this a little more:

The principles of aikido are of a higher order of nature than the human made "rules" of the dojo.

I am not sure I follow you on this one. Principles of aikido are principles defined or labeled by humans, the rules we put in the dojo are there to encourage or enhance the training of these principles, so I see them as mutually dependent and coordinated.

I am currently reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence. A passage in this book has peaked my interest in such definitions.

The author discusses and debates whether gravity actually exsisted before Newton defined it. It is hard to explain, you kinda have to read the book to get into the whole "zen of thë issue".

I suppose you could equate this to was the world round when everyone thought it was flat. I'd say it was flat to those who defined it that way.

Our perspective of aikido is much the same way. We limit it by our perception, definition, or experience of the art. So therefore the principles are defined by the human made rules and simply cannot be of a higher order outside of that experience.

O'sensei may have experienced it on a higher level that you or I, but we are limited by our own experiences.

This is not to say that the potential is not there to expand our understanding.

However, I think it to not be a trival thing to point out that we are prisoners of our own paradigms and experiences.

rules are rules to me, it is important to recognize them, recognize that all of them are self imposed....by humans and the limit of our experience.

The void imposes nothing to include principles, or order at a higher level. It simply just "IS".

Dieter Haffner
02-06-2007, 02:08 PM
Something I thought of reading the original post.

I was having a barbeque with some of my dojo friends. Near the end, and after quiet a few drinks, the hands got a bit loose and some started to test their skills. I remained seated, enjoying the goofiness.
Until suddenly one of them grabbed me from behind in what you might call a choke hold. He asked me what I would do in such a situation. Instead of going for the groin, which was not an option because he was standing behind the chair, I simply drooled on his arm. He immediately let go of the choke hold.

Moral of the story: always make sure you have had enough to drink. So that you can produce enough saliva when you are on "the street".

BTW: Isn't there someone on the forums that says that aikido was developed from observing children? I am starting to think he is right. Since babies are the champions in drooling.

PS: I am still trying to figure out a way to apply this fine technique on people with long sleeves. So any help is welcome.

Ron Tisdale
02-06-2007, 02:13 PM
:) Thanks, Dieter, you just made my day a little brighter...or wetter...oh..that didn't sound right...or something...

Best,
Ron

Ellis Amdur
02-06-2007, 03:38 PM
One point worth considering. Regarding groin attacks and other such moves. A friend of mine - maybe 170 lbs., doing bjj with a rather well-known figure of "catch wrestling" who goes about 260+. My friend, very skilled, started to get the wrestler in a choke hold (can't remember the configuration), and the latter began kneeling on the shin of my friend, while pulling up on his ankle, as if to break the leg like a green stick. My friend, aware of how strong a healthy bone is, continued working for the choke as the wrestler hauled on his leg with all his power, began glancing at him with astonishment as his go-to move wasn't going anywhere. Finally, the choke on, he tapped out. My friend had a crescent shaped divot in his shin that didn't go away for days, and he said that the pain of the blood rushing into the compressed area was possibly the worst of his life. When asked why he continued the choke, he replied, "It's only pain."

Keith R Lee
02-06-2007, 04:13 PM
When asked why he continued the choke, he replied, "It's only pain."

Oh man that made me laugh. At my Sambo club (where, surprisingly, we do a lot of leglocks) we always say this exact same thing except we are quoting Bas Rutten from his DVD's/fight commentary. Whenever someone gets a straight ankle lock Bas always says, "It just pain, there is no danger. You should just explode, there is nothing they can do." It looses a lot in text, you really need to hear Bas say it live.

I think many people who have only done non-competitive TMAs tend to vastly underestimate the tenacity of a motivated individual in a physical altercation. People can really absorb some punishment if their desire to overcome is strong. I think that's one advantage combat sports have, they place people in an environment that most closely models a "live" physical altercation. Which in turn allows each person to discover their own personal threshold. A person in combat sports can discover how much punishment they can take, and then progressively increase the amount they can take as they learn. In the same way, they soon discover what the average amount of punishment their partners can take. Which brings me back to my first point; when people compete, they get really motivated and are able to take a lot of abuse.

Kevin Leavitt
02-06-2007, 04:32 PM
However, a properly executed blood choke, works every time. I don't care who you are, or how much pain you can withstand, your brain needs blood to function.

Did anyone catch the last fight of UFC 67. I was amazed at the leg bar the guy withstood to win the match. Had only like 20 sec to go and the guy had a dead on knee bar on him. Never tapped, but I cringed in pain at watching it. I wonder how messed up his knee is.

Keith R Lee
02-06-2007, 05:05 PM
However, a properly executed blood choke, works every time. I don't care who you are, or how much pain you can withstand, your brain needs blood to function.

Did anyone catch the last fight of UFC 67. I was amazed at the leg bar the guy withstood to win the match. Had only like 20 sec to go and the guy had a dead on knee bar on him. Never tapped, but I cringed in pain at watching it. I wonder how messed up his knee is.

Oh yeah, that was rough. I was with Rogan on that one, I found it hard to watch. I was sure that Edgar's knee was going to pop, especially when Griffin sled it behind his shoulder. But, it was too low and Edgar had that tenacity I was talking about earlier.

It was the fight of the night for sure. Very exciting. Back and forth from stand-up to ground work, good movement and positioning, good sub attempts and smooth transitions...

gdandscompserv
02-06-2007, 05:51 PM
I like Yamada sensei's point of view on competition in aikido. (http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives/2001/oct/feat_1001_YY.html)

DonMagee
02-06-2007, 06:57 PM
Oh man that made me laugh. At my Sambo club (where, surprisingly, we do a lot of leglocks) we always say this exact same thing except we are quoting Bas Rutten from his DVD's/fight commentary. Whenever someone gets a straight ankle lock Bas always says, "It just pain, there is no danger. You should just explode, there is nothing they can do." It looses a lot in text, you really need to hear Bas say it live.

I think many people who have only done non-competitive TMAs tend to vastly underestimate the tenacity of a motivated individual in a physical altercation. People can really absorb some punishment if their desire to overcome is strong. I think that's one advantage combat sports have, they place people in an environment that most closely models a "live" physical altercation. Which in turn allows each person to discover their own personal threshold. A person in combat sports can discover how much punishment they can take, and then progressively increase the amount they can take as they learn. In the same way, they soon discover what the average amount of punishment their partners can take. Which brings me back to my first point; when people compete, they get really motivated and are able to take a lot of abuse.

I've actually made the decision that getting my nose broke was acceptable if it ment I was going to be able to keep my position and work the sweep. Once you get past the idea of it hurting, its not so bad.

xuzen
02-06-2007, 08:48 PM
Chokes done properly should not expose the groin or soft target to the the chokee. Crappling is not Grappling and vice-versa.

Boon.

Cyrijl
02-07-2007, 06:41 AM
I think yamada needs a RNC. I am sure he is like a god to some people, but that article is just ridiculous (seems my word of the day). Budo is not 'life or death'. This kind of argument is what we philosophers like to call a 'straw man'. Instead of confronting the issue, you set up a false argument that you can easily knock down.

I can fight reasonably well. Probably put a whoppin' on an average guy. If I was ever in a physical confrontation from which I could not escape, my response to receiving a punch in the face would not be to kill my aggressor. If combat sports has taught me anything it is how to use reasonable force in response to an attack.

For Example:

#1 - Kickboxing: I had an opponent and we agreed to go lightly to start. We practiced techniques. He hit me a few good times, I hit him a few good times. Then I got paired up with another guy, we agreed to go lightly to work on new technique. Then he blasts me in the face. (Not very nice). So I used reasonable and controlled force to stop him and end the session. I did not have to kill him

#2 - Judo: I am 205lbs...should be 190 or so. I am a white belt in judo with about a yr and a half of BJJ and submssion grappling going against a 360lbs+ black belt in judo in newaza (ground fighting) randoori. He gets me to tap a couple of times by basically sitting on me. Was my response to kill him? Of course not. I just dug deep into my bjj bag, took his back and got him in a poor man's sankaku (triangle choke).

The notion that budo is life or death is laughable. And that aikido is t3h d3adly is even more so.

I agree that ranks should be taken away. Rank should be used to set up pairings in class and competition, and even there, there is no 1 to 1 correlation.

Yamada:
If not, it's the end of the spirit of Budo that the founder of Aikido had in mind.
Is this before or after he got a medal for killing russians with a bayonet?

Ian Starr
02-07-2007, 09:12 AM
I think yamada needs a RNC. I am sure he is like a god to some people, but that article is just ridiculous (seems my word of the day). Budo is not 'life or death'. This kind of argument is what we philosophers like to call a 'straw man'. Instead of confronting the issue, you set up a false argument that you can easily knock down.

I can fight reasonably well. Probably put a whoppin' on an average guy. If I was ever in a physical confrontation from which I could not escape, my response to receiving a punch in the face would not be to kill my aggressor. If combat sports has taught me anything it is how to use reasonable force in response to an attack.

For Example:

#1 - Kickboxing: I had an opponent and we agreed to go lightly to start. We practiced techniques. He hit me a few good times, I hit him a few good times. Then I got paired up with another guy, we agreed to go lightly to work on new technique. Then he blasts me in the face. (Not very nice). So I used reasonable and controlled force to stop him and end the session. I did not have to kill him

#2 - Judo: I am 205lbs...should be 190 or so. I am a white belt in judo with about a yr and a half of BJJ and submssion grappling going against a 360lbs+ black belt in judo in newaza (ground fighting) randoori. He gets me to tap a couple of times by basically sitting on me. Was my response to kill him? Of course not. I just dug deep into my bjj bag, took his back and got him in a poor man's sankaku (triangle choke).

The notion that budo is life or death is laughable. And that aikido is t3h d3adly is even more so.

I agree that ranks should be taken away. Rank should be used to set up pairings in class and competition, and even there, there is no 1 to 1 correlation.

Yamada:

Is this before or after he got a medal for killing russians with a bayonet?

To say Budo is not life or death and that the notion is absurd seems ignorant to me at best. Frankly I often don't feel comfortable commenting on the subject as I lack a comprehensive understanding of its' origins and meaning. Though I do feel like I have a basic idea of the concept(s). Maybe you are a history buff or martial arts scholar and know a lot more than I do. There are certainly a few of those folks on this forum.

Even with my limited understanding, for you to liken sparring a few rounds with people to Budo is silly. Of course what you were doing is not life and death. I agree completely. In fact it was not even close to anything resembling life and death. So really Budo, as it is commonly understood and referenced, is a friendly sportive engagement?

Thanks,

Ian

DaveS
02-07-2007, 09:44 AM
My issue with the Yamada article was that he says that budo is life and death and that therefore budo cannot be sport, but from that gets to the conclusion that there's no room for competition in budo training. But since budo is life and death, it also cannot be safe or predictable, and noone would deny that safety and predictability have a part to play in an aikido dojo. I don't see from Yamada's article why competition can't also have a place in aikido-as-budo training, as long as aikido doesn't become identified with the competition.

Cyrijl
02-07-2007, 09:49 AM
So everytime you might get into a fight...you feel that you must kill the other person? You answer is typical of the people I found in the aikido dojo.

Yamada's claim that any test of aikido defeats the 'budo-ness' of it seems strange. Soldiers were professionals. They trained hard. Some died in training and some trained in fighting. To equate this budo with what goes on in modern aikido dojos is just some crazed sense of delusional grandeur.

Budo != sparring. This is corrent. But,
Aikido Dojo != Budo is also true.

It is yamada who tries to make this second claim. I would argue that traditional martial arts training was augmented or complemented with actual fighting experience and that the closest thing we can get to this today is combat sports. Noticed I said the closest.

If budo is indeed a matter of life and death, then I see no connection with aikido. For in matters of life or death, it would seem to me, that I would like knowledge that my technique would withstand an attack not a belief.

I think alot of people forget that these original students had seen real combat and were alot more familiar with martial reality than most of today's practitioners. If training to fight is not your slice of pie, then that is fine. But please refrain from then referring to life and death matters and budo. Seems like people want it both way.

If you look at my post, I was not equating sparring with budo. I was equating sparring with developing control. Perhaps it is this connection to budo which makes people feel as though in a confrontation the only way out is death. I am not sure.

DaveS
02-07-2007, 10:08 AM
An alternate viewpoint:
http://www.judoinfo.com/tomiki2.htm

Ian Starr
02-07-2007, 10:17 AM
"Budo is not 'life or death'."

"The notion that budo is life or death is laughable."


Hi Joseph,

I was mainly objecting to the above statements and what I thought was you relating some sparring experiences to support those statements. I apologize if I misinterpreted you.

There are many other subjects/issues that you have brought up but I don't care to discuss them. Nothing against you, they are just played out around here is all.

Personally I found value in the article - particularly about how our lives are filled with competition on many levels and that, in Aikido, that is not our practice. Our practice is something different.

Good training to you,

Ian

Esaemann
02-07-2007, 10:18 AM
Quote:
I am not sure I follow you on this one. Principles of aikido are principles defined or labeled by humans, the rules we put in the dojo are there to encourage or enhance the training of these principles, so I see them as mutually dependent and coordinated.

I am currently reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence. A passage in this book has peaked my interest in such definitions.

The author discusses and debates whether gravity actually exsisted before Newton defined it. It is hard to explain, you kinda have to read the book to get into the whole "zen of thë issue".

I suppose you could equate this to was the world round when everyone thought it was flat. I'd say it was flat to those who defined it that way.

Our perspective of aikido is much the same way. We limit it by our perception, definition, or experience of the art. So therefore the principles are defined by the human made rules and simply cannot be of a higher order outside of that experience.

O'sensei may have experienced it on a higher level that you or I, but we are limited by our own experiences.

This is not to say that the potential is not there to expand our understanding.

However, I think it to not be a trival thing to point out that we are prisoners of our own paradigms and experiences.

rules are rules to me, it is important to recognize them, recognize that all of them are self imposed....by humans and the limit of our experience.

The void imposes nothing to include principles, or order at a higher level. It simply just "IS".

Kevin, your post brought to mind what I read in the Tao of Meditation. Basically, it was explaining how a two dimensional object "sees" a three dimensional object. For instance, a piece of paper can only see a 2-D slice of a ball. There are an infinite number of 2-D slices that make up the 3-D ball. Took a couple readings to understand, but opens up a lot in the mind.

For us humans living in a 3-D world, we cannot see (if there is) a 4th dimension. Say time ... anything that lives in 4 dimensions wouldn't recognize the difference between past/present/future and could travel in time at will.

Of course, if something exists, "it" doesn't care if we know of it.

gdandscompserv
02-07-2007, 10:28 AM
Creating a situation that by it's very nature REQUIRES a winner and a loser just doesn't suit me. I played high school football and wrestled, and fail to see the value in creating contests in which somebody must win and somebody must lose. I much prefer the aikido viewpoint. Some people however thrive on the "competitive" culture, and for them there is mma, boxing, WWF :p , etc. For those of us who don't care for the "competitive" culture there is aikido. :D

Cyrijl
02-07-2007, 10:34 AM
Ricky,
That may be your interpretation of aikido. Just because you may not compete, does not mean there are not winners and losers in your dojo. Life requires winners and losers. I hate to break it to you, but we can't all be winners. Competition should aim to look beyond the individual match and recognize that competing in and of itself creates winners (did i just write that?). It is not in the nature of competition itself which forces the loser to feel inferior, it is ourselves and other which pressure us to compete. I lost both my just matches quite horribly. But it doesn't bother me.

If your focus is on getting approvals from others I can see how competition can be hurtful. In fact I question alot of the junior judo matches I see with parents screaming and throwing fits and the poor children crying. But that is not the competition, that is the people.

Competitions don't make people cry, people do. (a take on the whole gun thing)

Aristeia
02-07-2007, 11:29 AM
There are things I like about the Yamada article. The doing away with multiple Dan grades is a great idea imo.
But he misses the point about competition. He argues against competition as being about glory and ego and "winning". He sees it as a symptom of a younger generation wanting to prove themselves individually and who are ego centric.

But he's missed the point as to why there is increasing call for competition in Aikido. It is not for any of those reasons he implies. It's to test and therefore improve the technique and the art. People just want to know what works and develop themselves in that environment. His article doesn't speak to that at all, which is a shame.

jonreading
02-07-2007, 11:40 AM
To me, budo is the pursuit of a better life through [militaristic] structure. Aikido is budo, the pursuit of self-improvement through the structure of a martial art. The drive for self-improvement is a competitive one, and to me therefore budo is competitive against the self, "I want to be a better person today than I was yesterday."

Competition is healthy and natural, and a dominant component of Darwinism. We are competitive animals by nature. There's an old joke about two campers that stumble on a bear. The bear begins chasing the two campers and one camper says to the other, "I've read books that says humans can't outrun bears, we can't possibly outrun this bear." The other camper says, "I don't need to outrun the bear, I just need to outrun you."

Sometimes we get caught up in this attitude of non-confrontation, non-competition, "everybody is a winner." Sometimes we hide behind mantras, "if we fought I'd have to kill you," or, "Aikido is not about competition," or, "there are rules in other martial arts so we can't spare." Well, sometimes we need to get our ass kicked.

There are winners and losers, whether we choose to call them that or not will not change the fact some people are better than others. Whether you choose to test yourself as a fighter or not is your decision but do not veil that decision behind excuses, just say that you choose not to participate in competition.

Budd
02-07-2007, 11:41 AM
Training your art and/or skills in a variety of settings against increasing (and intelligent) resistance does not necessarily have to be about sports and competition. I agree with others regarding the value of competition for its own sake, but I don't think that aikido is necessarily deficient without it (beyond the idea of competing with yourself and striving to be better than you were the day before).

However, this does not mean that honest testing against skilled attacks and counters ain't a good thing. Where I do take issue is the notion in aikido of one-upmanship based on someone's changing the "conventions" of practice enough to make it look like you've got the upper hand (hey, suddenly I'm throwing atemi where before we weren't using any! Oh, look, I've suddenly taken you down and now will lock/choke you out! I'll just grab your nuts, gouge your eyes, bite and/or squeeze your windpipe and suddenly your positional dominance will evaporate!).

Most of these things will work just fine against people that are clueless (and despite best efforts, some people are "clueless" even at high rank), but a lot of people that train with honest randori/resistance (notice I'm not saying "competition") have probably experienced these things already ( within their own paradigm or by getting out and "experimenting" with "skilled" and "experienced" folks from other schools/arts/sports ). The illusion of "invincibility" never lasts and its typically the insecure that go to extremes to maintain it.

What's nice about MMA type training (notice, I'm still not saying competition) is that the conventions allow you to go as close to "all out" as you can get and practice relatively safely in an unarmed setting. Where I take issues with it (and I think this can be true of many combat sports, at least from my experience) is when the emphasis is focusing/training what will "win" a given match and not on the bodyskills and ability to be loose/flexible/adaptable under pressure that will result in the desired outcome.

However, I'd still take the above over the aikido school that claims to be about peace, love and principles, yet never teaches its students to give a good, honest attack, doesn't develop the body skills that power the techniques and doesn't prepare the student for a skilled attacker that wants to do them harm.

EDIT: Others bring up good points regarding the inherent competition that's already there. I like to approach at it from the perspective of it being "honest" competition with the main goal towards self-improvement.

Kevin Leavitt
02-07-2007, 11:57 AM
Most of you know that I am in the U.S. Army and my profession is training soldiers for combat at one of the three major Army Training Centers.

I feel somewhat qualified to comment on what it takes to train and prepare people for martial conflict...that is life or death.

I will say that competition has a very crucial part in preparing soldiers and people to develop the attitude, fortitude, and skills to be successful in life or death situations. We use competitive models all the time to train soldiers.

I will also say that the essence of budo is very, very key to developing a warrior soldier.

However, I respectfully do not agree with Yamada sensei. I believe he is perpetuating a romantic myth and waxing philosophically about what budo is and what aikido is about.

I agree that you should practice aikido and train as if your very life depends on it. It is good to take a life or death mentality toward your practice...much good can come out of it. The nature of budo requires that you practice this way to benefit from the lessons of budo.

This however, should not be confused with developing true warrior skills. This is pretty much the very thing I was discussing earlier in another thread. That is, aikido instructors should not confuse students into believing that budo practice (aikido) actually prepares them to deal with life or death. I find this illusion that is created dangerous and irresponsible. (that is Budo IS about life or death).

Budo is an important off shoot that developed out of the benefits of warrior training, however it is NOT complete, while it should be practiced as if your life depended on it, it does not represent a complete system to prepare you for life or death necessarily.

Training for life or death, as most police officers and military members will atest to, is a very comprehensive process that requires multifaceted and diverse skill sets in order to develop yourself completely.

To say illude, that budo, is complete, or that compettive models cannot possibly measure up, is absurb. Please give many of us that do train in competitive arts some credit to understand the difference between reality and rules, and can apply the skills we learn in these models in life or death situations.

Also, you will find that in many competitive schools that the same benefits of budo can be had.

I am sorry, but I don't believe that Yamada sensei in the article speaks correctly for the whole of the martial arts community.

Also, what is up with the negative comments toward the future of aikido??? Was he having a bad day when he wrote this?

Kevin Leavitt
02-07-2007, 12:00 PM
Jon Reading: Crossed post with you, Good comments!

senshincenter
02-07-2007, 12:02 PM
My two cents:

I'm agreeing with the folks that suggest "I'd just operate outside of the rules to defeat the guy that has rules or that is used to rules" AIN'T going to cut it. Threatening injury and/or causing pain, of any kind, isn't going to make an unskilled person skilled and a skilled person unskilled. To the point: "I'd just" solutions are extremely low-percentage moves concerning victory or self-defense. If they work, they work not because they possess any real value, but only because the person they were being used on had even less value in terms of his/her skill. They are entirely dependent upon the ineptness of their victim. And that's not too smart, to develop a self-defense strategy based on only defeating folks that are more inept than you. Geesh, how would one even market that? I can see the yellow page ad: "Come gain confidence by learning how to beat up on stupid people! Free gi and bokken included in our New Year Introductory Offer!"

That said, however, I'm not entirely agreeing with Yamada's position either. I can see how or why one might say the phrase, "Budo is life and death," but to use that to explain how we shouldn't compete because we could end up in jail misses the point of not only competition but also of that phrase.

For me, the phrase, "Budo is Life and Death" has to be understood more deeply. Life and Death here are not perfectly equatable with having a pulse and not having a pulse. They have to be understood more ontologically to make sense. In other words, the phrase pertains more to the big questions of existence, more than it does to relatively smaller things such as, "How can I become the Heavy Weight Champion of the world?"

As an attempt to shed some light on how this might work, let me provide the following:

In the Modern world, it is posited that participation in sports leads to the virtue of confidence. There is a whole history regarding how and why we have come to understand and believe sports participation to accomplish this. When it was first posited, not everyone bought into it -- just like not everyone in sports today buys into it (with many more feeling this same doubt). Osensei was a person that did not buy into it.

Budo, from the position of Life and Death, understanding those terms at their deepest levels, posits that any confidence that can only come from the defeat of another is no confidence at all. Any confidence that can only be measured via the defeat of another is no confidence at all. Any confidence that requires to be measured before it is said to exist -- especially via the defeat of another -- is no confidence at all. This "confidence" is no confidence at all, not a real virtue, because it is entirely relative to its circumstances. Budo, by dealing with the big questions of existence and by seeking universals (i.e. things not of a relative existence), in my opinion, is looking for a confidence that it considers to be real and completely other to the one said to be gained in sports. How do you attain this confidence? By losing the relativity and dependency of one's self. Competition, at every level, is antithetical to this process. Hence, for me, Budo is antithetical to competition.

Now, please don't start talking about all the little forms of competition that are present in any dojo. Yes, they are there, but they are not supposed to be there, or rather they are means to an end, not the end themselves. Their presence, in light of their purification, is the opportunity to move beyond such things. So, yes, they are needed, in that sense, but the ultimate goal is to come to know one's self outside of these things, without these things, via the more profound and singular nature of Life and Death.


dmv

gdandscompserv
02-07-2007, 12:09 PM
Ricky,
That may be your interpretation of aikido. Just because you may not compete, does not mean there are not winners and losers in your dojo.
Aack! I have "losers" in my dojo. How do I identify them? Do they have dots on their foreheads? Are they the tall ones or the short ones? The rich ones or the poor ones? How will I ever know? Oh, I have an idea; I'll make up some stupid competitive game with arbitrary rules. Then we can label the winners and losers.
Or perhaps you would be willing to identify the winners and losers for me?
Nah, I think I'll just continue without those nasty winner/loser labels.

Ron Tisdale
02-07-2007, 12:12 PM
Ricky, the people taking the opposite viewpoint from yours aren't doing what you suggest. Your way is fine...you don't have to put down others for choosing a different way.

Best,
Ron

Budd
02-07-2007, 12:14 PM
Ricky, the people taking the opposite viewpoint from yours aren't doing what you suggest. Your way is fine...you don't have to put down others for choosing a different way.

Best,
Ron

Yeah, what Ron said, this isn't a competition . . . ;)

gdandscompserv
02-07-2007, 12:17 PM
There are winners and losers, whether we choose to call them that or not will not change the fact some people are better than others.
Just plain "better" than others you say? By whose yardstick do you measure? Are they better at math? Singing? Dancing? Aikido? Kung Fu? Karate?


Whether you choose to test yourself as a fighter or not is your decision but do not veil that decision behind excuses, just say that you choose not to participate in competition.
No excuses here. I'm a lover, not a fighter! :D

gdandscompserv
02-07-2007, 12:25 PM
Ricky, the people taking the opposite viewpoint from yours aren't doing what you suggest.
Ron,
What am I "suggesting?"

Your way is fine...you don't have to put down others for choosing a different way.

Best,
Ron
I don't recall putting anyone down but if that's how it was perceived; I apologise. But I am glad you feel my way is fine.

Kevin Leavitt
02-07-2007, 12:28 PM
I think Jon mean's literally empty hand fighting skills, yes there are simply some people that are better at it than others. Sometimes luck or suprise does come into play, but overall you can measure those skills and determine who possesses more skill than others. It is fairly simple and not much hidden meaning.

What is the overall value of determining who is better? None really, other than for you to measure yourself, or determine what you need to work on to improve you.

Competition serves to encourage excellence and to break paradigms and comfort zones that can develop through, non-committal, compliant, and polite training.

Chris Birke
02-07-2007, 01:01 PM
Balance is maintained by opposition. Competition helps us to maintain our balance in many of ways by providing that opposition. I do not think you are a good competitor, only seeing winners and losers. When I look at competition I understand the dynamic balance.

Also, universal principles must apply universally (across all places and times) - this is the meaning of universal. I was hoping to point that out through sarcasm by leading you to logically negate your own statement, but I guess the point was not made.

That said, you have only two options: you can either believe the principles also apply in a "cage", or you can believe principles that are not universal. I feel strongly it's the first option.

Cyrijl
02-07-2007, 01:23 PM
I realize some of my posts were not too clear:

In the traditional send of budo. Yes, life and death are key.
In Yamada's equatin aikido with Budo....maybe not so much..

Ricky. Sorry there are just losers. Like hitler, manson, jim jones, a random rapist....eventually you work down to people who steal not out of necessity...people with bad attitued, then people eventually in your dojo.

Losing in a competition does not make you a 'loser' in life. Acting like a loser makes you one. I guarantee there is at least on in your dojo.

Aikido can be done against fully resisting opponents without competition.

gdandscompserv
02-07-2007, 01:30 PM
Losing in a competition does not make you a 'loser' in life. Acting like a loser makes you one. I guarantee there is at least on in your dojo.
Ok I'll ask them, but if no one raises their hand I'm going to say your gaurantee isn't worth the paper it's printed on. ;)

Aikido can be done against fully resisting opponents without competition.
Now we're getting somewhere. :D

Cyrijl
02-07-2007, 01:35 PM
Just because no one will admit to being a loser, doesn't mean no one is.


(aside). I just realized I have been here 4.5 yrs and only posted 94 times. So I do read more than I write

gdandscompserv
02-07-2007, 01:52 PM
Valadez sensei,
Well said. If I'm ever near your dojo I will definitely stop by.

Budd
02-07-2007, 01:57 PM
(aside) Joseph, as of this post, I have one year less and one post more than you!

(on subject)

Is it worth looking at the differences between competition, sports and training against non-compliance? Even though I'm guilty of doing so, I don't like to use the term "resistance", because I've seen too many instances of somebody being "resistant" and stupid at the same time.

Plus, I've also seen too many instances of somebody talking about how good/tough/competent they are because they train with or against "resistance" and then met them and thought, "Hmm, I think their resistance was futile".

senshincenter
02-07-2007, 07:05 PM
Ricky, please call me Dave. :-) You are most welcome anytime at our dojo. Hope you can make it some time.

thanks,
dmv

DonMagee
02-07-2007, 07:31 PM
Plus, I've also seen too many instances of somebody talking about how good/tough/competent they are because they train with or against "resistance" and then met them and thought, "Hmm, I think their resistance was futile".

Just remember if he resists and you still defeat him, then you know your idea worked and he knows his idea did not. You both learned something you did not previously know. You can take this and become better. If you never tried, never of you learned anything.

xuzen
02-07-2007, 10:38 PM
Sometimes, we need to take a little lesson from Kyudo. As I understand it, in Kyudo, the final outcome is not so important. The journey / ritual from drawing of the bow to the final release of the arrow is more important than whether the arrowhead hits the bulls-eye or not.

Letting go of the arrow without caring whether it hits the bullseyes or not releases one of desire. Without desire, ones mind is not cluttered. When one's mind is not cluttered, it is un-impeded. When it is un-impeded, ones' action is natural. When one's action is natural, it will move through the path of least resistant.

I think Yamada's negative meaning with regards to competition is that he sees competition as clash of two opposing entity. Whereas many "aliveness" trained MArtist see it as another form of training (shugyo). As long as an MArtist see competition as another form shogyo (austere training), he is still considered a BUDOKA, IMO.

Boon.

Kevin Leavitt
02-08-2007, 01:59 AM
Boon,

I think Mushasi had the right idea. Winning IS important if you are truly concerned with life and death. Death is something that you may want to conquer. However, you cannot concern yourself with life or death at the moment of action. I think you do need to care if the arrow hits the bulleye...you simply cannot be fearful of releasing, or fear of not realeasing it because it might not hit it.

Winning can be defined in many different ways. It is possible to win and die. Look at the movie Last Samurai for a good example. Look at the life and death of Jesus.

We DO need to be concerned with winning in a sense.

A good example is my BJJ students. I recently went to the European Championships. Only one of my students had the courage to attend and fight in front of about 1000 people as a white belt. He admitted to me that he was nervous and scared because of all the hype and unknown between facing a unknown, anonymous competitor and about not looking bad.

I asked him if he felt the same way in the dojo when we trained. he said no. I asked why? He said that he knew everyone, and that it was just practice and he was comfortable and not concerned with the outcome, but learning.

I asked him what should be different in the competition? He said that he did not care so much about winning, but he really did not want to lose, or to lose badly.

Winning and losing is a interesting concept isn't it.

I told him to relax, fight, do his best, and learn from the experience. He was a winner simply by having the courage to meet the unknown, go to this tournament, and to step on to the mat and fight.

THIS is the essense of BUDO, it is NOT about waxing philosophically about what budo is, or isn't...it is about getting up every day and having the courage to expand and challenge yourself. Has nothing to do with competition or no competition.

Budd
02-08-2007, 08:20 AM
Just remember if he resists and you still defeat him, then you know your idea worked and he knows his idea did not. You both learned something you did not previously know. You can take this and become better. If you never tried, never of you learned anything.

Okay, perhaps I needed to be more clear. I'm not necessarily talking about sparring, randori or non-compliant drills, per se, because those things already have built-in conventions for "resisting" . . .

(I'm liking this word less and less -- here's why)

I've encountered a number of folks that are 1) fairly new to training 2) don't train very often 3) not very good -- that have difficulty practicing drills with good form and therefore don't yet have or aren't building the strength, agility and sensitivity to feel out someone else and impose their will (even if it's just letting someone else impose their own -- to their detriment) within any given training paradigm.

What happens is that in the drills that are meant to build form, they "resist" because they know what's coming and believe they can defeat it. Against someone else that is new or hasn't built the skills to adapt to their "resistance", they can then offer pointers and make themselves feel knowledgeable and competent. Against someone that can adapt to their BS and get something (which may or may not be a technique in the "drill", but "alive" -- to borrow an SBG term -- training should give you the ability to deal with what the other person brings) regardless, they're more likely to get hurt or "banged up" in the result (oh, how some can whine).

The thing is, these types of people tend to do worse, not better, in more of a sparring setting because they don't have the base skills that one should get from thousands of reps ( to use grappling terms -- e.g. lots of uchikomi, lots of leg shoots, armbar transitions, sweeps, then work them into non-compliant drills and randori) that develop your form, conditioning and sensitivity.

Even when these guys are able to "resist" something in a drill or randori, all it typically does is reinforce their idea of being "right" (the same type of passive-aggressive BS I hate when I encounter it in any form of combatives) rather than give them an opportunity to learn to work within parameters and/or take their base skills and apply them in less restrictive situations.

I've kind of gotten away from the sports side of things, because, while I understand the need for "rules" in a contest, I've seen too many instances of "rules" in boxing, judo or wrestling being exploited or trained for (e.g. judo turtles, wrestlers offering their back) to win a match which develops poor habits in a less controlled environment. The upside is that these athletes are ferocious within their paradigms. For a time, I thought a "best of all worlds" approach was the right way to go and I cross-trained a lot. After a while, I started to experience too much "collision" and I wasn't really getting better at anything after a point.

I eventually decided to narrow the focus on what I believe will be the most beneficial long-term training-wise, with the group I most enjoy training with. YMMV. However, rules-based competitions aren't as much fun for me any more. I still like to get together with buddies from different things and spar, but I'm not looking as much to compete (that could always change, though). Having said that, those that don't have a solid background in combat sports who denigrate the combative skills they can teach -- aren't speaking from a very strong position IMO. It becomes more of the same passive-aggressive straw-man BS (though funny how the reverse can be true as well).

In other words, sometimes "resistance can be futile".

DaveS
02-08-2007, 09:12 AM
(on subject)

Is it worth looking at the differences between competition, sports and training against non-compliance? Even though I'm guilty of doing so, I don't like to use the term "resistance", because I've seen too many instances of somebody being "resistant" and stupid at the same time.
That's an interesting question, actually. I'm not sure what you'd get if you took (say) shiai tanto randori, and kept the "try to stay standing at all costs within these parameters, and try to hit the other person with the tanto as often as possible" idea but removed the points system so there's no clearly defined winner. Would this be acceptable to people who don't like competition in their aikido? Would it lose anything compared to doing it with referees and a scoreboard?

Budd
02-08-2007, 09:19 AM
Or another example is grappling without points, where the engagement is ended by tapout, escape or stalling (both are separated and restarted -- if on the ground, stood back up). I've been to traditional and sports-based places that do this.

What does this have to do with aikido, well you can do the same thing with aiki waza (it helps if your ukemi is based receiving rather than falling) and even *gasp* incorporate elements of grappling. All without keeping score. If you get in a spot where you have to tap, acknowledge it and start again . . .

Kevin Leavitt
02-08-2007, 12:25 PM
Budd wrote:

I've encountered a number of folks that are 1) fairly new to training 2) don't train very often 3) not very good -- that have difficulty practicing drills with good form and therefore don't yet have or aren't building the strength, agility and sensitivity to feel out someone else and impose their will (even if it's just letting someone else impose their own -- to their detriment) within any given training paradigm.


I encounter them every day! I routinely train new soldiers in our Army Combatives program. In about 40 hours (one week) of training, I can get them working fairly well within a non-compliant training environment. They methodlogy we use to train them allows for good technique and applications of principles, and gives them immediate feedback when they do it wrong.

It does not require years of training or learning very subtle things or a explicit knowledge of things like kokyu to train someone to learn how to be proficient martially.

I think many sensei and instructors who have spent many years training would like to believe that, and would like you to believe it too....but it ain't so. (how else would they stay in business and ego)

I always tell my new students what separates me from them is about 8 to 12 months of solid training...and I have been practicing for about 15 years!

Budd
02-08-2007, 02:13 PM
I encounter them every day! I routinely train new soldiers in our Army Combatives program. In about 40 hours (one week) of training, I can get them working fairly well within a non-compliant training environment. They methodlogy we use to train them allows for good technique and applications of principles, and gives them immediate feedback when they do it wrong.

Yep, I've worked on similar things and there are lots of good drills and sparring elements from competitive grappling arts that I look at through the framework of aikido and vice versa. Just out of curiosity, do you get these guys & girls for a straight week? For a couple of hours a day or a couple of times a week, some combo? I'd love to work on stuff for a week at a time.



It does not require years of training or learning very subtle things or a explicit knowledge of things like kokyu to train someone to learn how to be proficient martially.

Agreed. I don't think I made a case for that at all, rather I argued against showing stupid "resistance" versus training appropriately with "non-compliance".

Where we may differ is that I believe (when you have more than a week to train) that a combination of training to build form (waza, kata) and function (sparring, randori) is ideal, along with appropriate drills to bridge the two.


I think many sensei and instructors who have spent many years training would like to believe that, and would like you to believe it too....but it ain't so. (how else would they stay in business and ego)


Maybe they don't know any better . . . (which isn't exactly forgiveable, especially when you're giving them money). Typically, people like this subscribe to that passive-aggressive, one-upmanship BS I mentioned two posts ago.

I always tell my new students what separates me from them is about 8 to 12 months of solid training...and I have been practicing for about 15 years!

Depending on the skills you're trying to build, I may agree. I also think it (like everything else) depends on what your goals are and the criteria you're using to measure.

Kevin Leavitt
02-08-2007, 02:33 PM
Bud,

Sometimes we get them for a straight dedicated week, sometimes for an hour or two a few days a week. I like the week long immersion as it quickly indoctrinates and creates fast muscle memory.

However, a few hours a day over time, supplemented with their own application and practice works just as well given the same amount of time put in...so it doesn't really matter wheter it is 40 hours in one week, or 40 hours in 4 weeks....it is about the quality of time spent training i have found.

Not to sound pompous, or at least not trying too, I do think that many sensei/instructors may NOT know any difference. They learned from someone who practiced this way, who learned from someone, who learned....etc...so the perpetuate the story.

I think the paradigm of aliveness goes a long way to breaking this down. the UFC coming along 10 years ago, coupled with the internet is causing a huge explosion in transferrence of knowledge and breaking down of paradigms concerning training.

Yes I agree that it depends on the skills you are trying to build. I am focusing on basic martial effectiveness, or building a sound martial base, which I really think is key to do, and which many or most people lack.

I studied for 15 years and STILL lacked a strong martially effective base, I have only recently established what I consider to be a decent one.

I just posted this in another thread....

I think you can understand and demonstrate Kokyu proficiently and STILL be martiall ineffective. It is also possible to be martially effective and NOT understand or be able to demonstrate Kokyu. While the understanding of martial effectiveness and Kokyu can support each other with wonderful results, the two concepts are NOT necessarily connected unless you connect them yourself.

Martial effectiveness and understanding of Kokyu can be trained in isolation of each other.

I think in many cases this is true in martial arts...and now we get into the concept of Aliveness or lack there of.

good conversation..thanks!

gdandscompserv
02-08-2007, 03:05 PM
And might it be possible to "have" kokyu and not be able to explain it?

Kevin Leavitt
02-08-2007, 03:08 PM
Absolutely RIcky!

Budd
02-08-2007, 03:33 PM
Bud,

Sometimes we get them for a straight dedicated week, sometimes for an hour or two a few days a week. I like the week long immersion as it quickly indoctrinates and creates fast muscle memory.

Again, I'm jealous, I love getting in that kind of time -- work rarely allows these days.



However, a few hours a day over time, supplemented with their own application and practice works just as well given the same amount of time put in...so it doesn't really matter wheter it is 40 hours in one week, or 40 hours in 4 weeks....it is about the quality of time spent training i have found.

I think that breaks down when it gets to be 40 hours over 4 weeks or more, but again, depends what you're trying to train.


Not to sound pompous, or at least not trying too, I do think that many sensei/instructors may NOT know any difference. They learned from someone who practiced this way, who learned from someone, who learned....etc...so the perpetuate the story.

I used to think along those lines, but the more people I meet, the more it seems to be a case-by-case kind of thing, with some generalities, the above being one of them, applying to larger groups.



I think the paradigm of aliveness goes a long way to breaking this down. the UFC coming along 10 years ago, coupled with the internet is causing a huge explosion in transferrence of knowledge and breaking down of paradigms concerning training.

Well, my base was in judo and wrestling before I came to aikido, I don't think "aliveness" is all that new other than as a clever term to group some common sense ideas around. I've been a fan of the UFCs since they began and I generally think more knowledge is being shared, but it also requires a better filter to weed through lots of stuff for the gems.


Yes I agree that it depends on the skills you are trying to build. I am focusing on basic martial effectiveness, or building a sound martial base, which I really think is key to do, and which many or most people lack.

I tend not to paint with such a broad brush. Martial effectiveness is important to me as well, but I felt like I'd started on that road already before I came to aikido and still isn't the primary reason why I train.


I studied for 15 years and STILL lacked a strong martially effective base, I have only recently established what I consider to be a decent one.

That's good, but I think there's potentially a danger in going from one extreme to another (in some cases trading one "true belief" for another). I've walked that path as well and I'm just sorta starting to see that it's all related anyway . . . just depends which flavor of kool-aid you prefer. People that honestly care about being martially effective (rather than assuming they are) tend to find ways to try things out . . .



I just posted this in another thread....

I think you can understand and demonstrate Kokyu proficiently and STILL be martiall ineffective. It is also possible to be martially effective and NOT understand or be able to demonstrate Kokyu. While the understanding of martial effectiveness and Kokyu can support each other with wonderful results, the two concepts are NOT necessarily connected unless you connect them yourself.

Martial effectiveness and understanding of Kokyu can be trained in isolation of each other.

I think in many cases this is true in martial arts...and now we get into the concept of Aliveness or lack there of.

Based on my *very* limited understanding, I agree with you philosophically, but from a practical standpoint, why would you want to settle for half the pie, if there's a chance you have the whole thing (and eat it, too!) . . . I think part of the key from both ends of that debate is to keep trying to get better at what you're doing, ask lots of questions, try and learn as much as you can from those that will share information/train with you, *rinse*repeat*.

As much as I'd like to go train with Team Quest in WA or at the Aikikai Hombu in Japan, or in China for Taiji, neither is likely to happen in the near future, but I do have some exercises I can work on individually and I have a great group of folks to train with at my dojo. I can get together with friends that practice other things and we can play and learn from each other.

In short, I can try to be honest with myself, keep improving in my training and maybe help others do the same.

good conversation..thanks!

Ditto!

statisticool
02-08-2007, 06:46 PM
Definitely stellar atheletes, but I question (http://www.statisticool.com/fights.htm) the logic of people who use sport/entertainment to make determinations of what can/can't occur in real life events that are rule-less and random by their nature.

Of course, the whole idea of UFC-ish events was to see what MA is best in a street fight, so the premise is flawed from the start.

Chris Birke
02-08-2007, 07:44 PM
The actual idea of the UFC was to promote gracie jiujitsu and make money; the premise was clear and accurate from the start.

The street fighting paradigm was that of Brazil, and fairly accurate as the rules of that culture dictate two people be allowed to fight without interruption. It would not have flown so well where knives considered more of an acceptable weapon. (It does work well against non blade weapons, however, as the dog brothers learned.)

Also, (and this speaks to the origional post) your assumptions on what the "sports/entertainment" fighter trains are off base. Sport fighters train a wider variety of traditional techniques than "traditional" dojo students - its just of a more diverse lineage. They train these techniques longer and with more intensity than most hobbists in "dojos" would imagine, and partially for this reason it's labled "non traditional".

I think it is silly to conclude that someone who is stronger, better trained, and more technically trained will be more likely a victim on "the street." Many "Reality Based Self Defense" places recognise this, and are training their students more like "sport" fighters, albeit with the addition of weapons and tactics.

If you ask a "RBSD" trainer (like, oh, Kevin) whether a successful cage fighter would fair well in a street fight, what do you think they'd say?

It's unfortionate, but by putting the elements into a graph in the way you do, you mislead people into believing your conclusions about the dojo are correct. On closer examination, it becomes clear that the points and distances on the graph are nonsense; for example: one can be a fighter, yet also run away from a street fight (without ever setting foot in a traiditional dojo no less). No where in training fighting technique for sport are you told "NEVER RUN AWAY FROM SOMEONE WITH A KNIFE!" - although to believe your graph you'd think they must.

However, in dojos across America, people frequently train knife disarms on a casual basis.

These claims clearly dispute the arrangement of your elements, and thus dispute any conclusions based upon the graph.

It seems as though you started with a set of conclusions (people concerned about safety should train in a dojo, not for sport) built a graph to represent them, and then wrote an explination as though the graph was what origionally lead you to your conclusion.

Creating a graph but being incorrect about the data the graph means to represent is a dangerous fallacy many people will not be able to spot (even if they intuitivly sense something is wrong.) It implies you have more data supporting your conclusion than your origional opinions, when in fact you do not.

Cyrijl
02-09-2007, 07:59 AM
I like how justin just makes something up and then quotes it as truth. I 'll have to use that technique in the future. I wish I could have finished my philosophy degree like that.

Me: "See profession Kant really thought X...it is right here in my paper"
Professor: "Did you use a graph?:
Me: "Yes"
Professor: "Then it must be true"

--edited:
I forgot to add something meaningful

http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=2068450760833041053&q=aliveness

If you have never been hit in your life, then you do not know how you will react to a phyisical confrontation that you cannot escape. It is pretty simple to understand. I have fought a few black belts in generic karate styles who decided to come to the school I was training at. As soon as we go into randoori, they are all done. They have no idea how to deal with the stress of a real attack nor the pain of getting hit

Guilty Spark
02-09-2007, 08:36 AM
If you have never been hit in your life, then you do not know how you will react to a physical confrontation that you cannot escape. It is pretty simple to understand. I have fought a few black belts in generic karate styles who decided to come to the school I was training at. As soon as we go into randori, they are all done. They have no idea how to deal with the stress of a real attack nor the pain of getting hit

I couldn't agree with you more, it's not just contained to martial arts either.

I remember going down to train in the United States at a base and going to something called the poor mans range.
Basically you crawl on your stomach while a machine gun with live rounds is fired over your head. It's done at night so you can see tracers zipping past. There's also big pits where explosives are set off. Really messes you up.
I've seen people who I thought were tough as nails crack while going through it. One very good friend of mine (whom I still respect) started screaming and crying.
Moral of the example is, you never know how you're going to react when it's done for real.

In MA I'm a firm believer that, if you expect to defend yourself, at some point you will need to stop doing planned attacks and the person needs to try and hurt you.

DaveS
02-09-2007, 08:36 AM
Regarding Justin's discussion, if 'the dojo' denotes 'any place of training', then I don't think any MMA competitor would deny the use of what they learn in a dojo. They don't just keep stepping into the ring until they get the hang of it by trial and error, y'know...

I think the two axes of 'reality' (or perhaps 'freedom from rules') and 'contact level' are a fairly sensible way of thinking about it - although I'm not sure it's possible to produce a scale for them and so draw any particularly interesting conclusions from plotting things on graphs. But I'd assumed that most MMA competitors - and certainly the ones around here - are well aware of the gap in reality between the ring and the street, and cover that in other aspects of their training if 'street self defence' is a big issue for them. If anything there seem to be more people who ignore the gap in resistance between the dojo and the street.

For my part, from a technical point of view I mainly find shiai interesting as a laboratory for testing my understanding of aikido principles, not because it's particularly good training for self defence.

gdandscompserv
02-09-2007, 09:24 AM
They have no idea how to deal with the stress of a real attack nor the pain of getting hit
You think the pain of getting hit is bad. Just ask Ark about the pain of getting old.
I feel your pain Ark.
I really do.
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/peace.gif

garry cantrell
02-09-2007, 09:51 AM
Hey Y'all! It's been a few years since I've posted. Got too busy, lost my password, etc.

This has been an excellent post to read. I have a couple of thoughts on same. One is that there are almost always rules of some sort. Whether it's a formal dinner, a jazz improv session or various levels of altercations, there are rules. In a fight, it seems the rules most often stem from an acknowledgement of how committed each participant is willing to be. Attempting to bite off the nose of an adversary acknowledges that you, in turn, accept that your nose could be bitten off and, now, the bitee understands the threshold of acceptable responses. A junior high scuffle has its own rules, a "trading punches and then roll around on the floor until your buddies separate you" type barroom brawl has a different feel, a different set off rules, than an altercation with a drunken frat boy, which is also very different from a "I'm going to kill you with this knife" flat out attack. O.K., the latter may be a bit different because the guy with a knife probably doesn't think you have a knife as well - but, wait, maybe not. The guy with the knife unilaterally sets the standard of acceptable violence - and, while he may not have expected a similar response, he has still mandated the level of acceptable response. We even try to mandate proper, acceptable, ways to wage war. I think we are societal beasts and require boundaries, we require rules. It's when we change them in the middle of the game (or we can't agree on what game we're playing) that we get testy.

I'm sure there's a point hidden somewhere in the above. Maybe not. Ah well, it's good to be back!

Cheers,

Garry

Kevin Leavitt
02-09-2007, 02:32 PM
Yes there are always rules of some sort, you simply may not know exactly what they are.

You can be a well trained fighter and simply lose because you brought a knife or stick to a gun fight.

You may get ambushed, which is the real threat of a fight. Assailants are not stupid, they know how to exploit the principles of suprise, steath, audacity, and speed.

About the best you can hope for is to train and hopefully you have trained in the right areas, and hopefully you have luck on your side.

Thoses that talk about sport martial arts versus budo really do not understand the dynamics of conflict. There are some sport arts that do not prepare students for reality, there are some budo schools that pride themselves on not worrying about sport that do not prepare their students for reality.

It ain't about all that...it is about aliveness in your training. BJJ is a competitve art that does well in this area, Judo is another one. Thai Kickboxing is another one. Even competitive shooting schools do well when it comes to firearms.

Most of your UFC/MMA competitor types are bright enough to know the difference in reality and sport and frankly I think they'd do as well or better than most of us given the same situation. They though are not invincible and could still be beat by an untrained thug given the right set of conditions.

Chris Birke:

I don't really consider myself a RBSD guy. Actually I don't care for the term as it implies someone that trains primarily in self defense and situational training. I do some of this i suppose in teaching soldiers how to deal with "to close to shoot" scenarios, however our approach to this is generic in nature...that is clinching, takedown, dominate kinda thing...that is....principle based training....not typically what I associate with RBSD which is particular techniques to use in a particular set of conditions. For example "Technique 5 against knife attack 3".

However, this is my definition of RBSD.

What we work on is much along the lines of aikido, build a good base in principles. I don't spend much time or energy on RBSD stuff, only to communicate the environment or conditions in which you might find yourself in from time to time.

Ron Tisdale
02-09-2007, 02:54 PM
This is turning into a good thread...thanks for the reading!

Best,
Ron

Chris Birke
02-09-2007, 03:55 PM
I'm with you Kevin - I actually think the entire "self defense" paradigm is pretty flawed. (And most examples I've seen on the internet on RBSD somewhat suspect.) Are we all walking potential victims who will ultimately be preyed upon unless we have some skill set to defend ourselves with? I think some schools calling themselves RBSD work with that idea...

But, I think Justin was using RBSD in terms of a place that takes real situations as a priority, and you fit the bill for that (sorry to put you on the spot.)

As far as "Self Defense" goes, I think the very concept itself is poor in it's meaning, and very political in its definition (not unlike the Department of Defense for a nation) - with defense being defined as "acts necessary for preservation" and therefore assumed therefore morally acceptable.

But self defense is another thread ;)

statisticool
02-09-2007, 05:54 PM
I like how justin just makes something up and then quotes it as truth.

I'm not sure where I quoted anything as "truth" as you claim.


If you have never been hit in your life, then you do not know how you will react to a phyisical confrontation that you cannot escape.


True. I wonder how getting hit in a sport/entertainment event is "real life"?


As soon as we go into randoori, they are all done. They have no idea how to deal with the stress of a real attack nor the pain of getting hit

Randori is not a "real attack" either.

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2007, 01:49 AM
I agree with your perspective on RBSD 100% Chris.

Justin:

If UFC/MMA offers a poor model for training for reality.

and Aikido does not offer a decent solution either....


what do you propose as a good training methodology?


I am interested to hear as you seem to have some opinions about what does not work, which must have an opinion about what does work.

Cyrijl
02-12-2007, 07:33 AM
Justin:
In the very least, in an MMA event you are getting hit from someone who has the intention of defeating you through physical means using punching, kicking, twisting bending, breaking, etc. And if you were not so obtuse you would just realize that no one here is equating MMA = 't3h str33ts'. What me and Kevin and others are saying is that this type of training is a closer approximation of a real confrontation than many aikido schools.

Also randoori != 'street fight', but if you cannot deal with randoori, how can you then claim to be able to deal with a real fight in which there maybe no one to help you, to end the fight.

I agree with Kevin in that you like to nay say alot but offer no other solution.

As far as RBSD--
I found many schools create 'paranoia' in order to make their students believe that they need the training in order to 'save their lives'. Most people never have a dangerous physical altercation in their adult life which was unprovoked and unescapeable. I did krav maga for a year at a very good school. Krav is very much centered on RBSD, but our instructors always told us that is running away is a viable option, then it is the best option. We also did full contact sparring to be ready for those cases in which running was not an option. I found the best self-defense is knowing then to keep your mouth closed and being in good shape.

DonMagee
02-12-2007, 07:52 AM
Do people punch harder on the street then they do in the ring? Do they kick harder? Choke harder? Take longer to gas? Have stronger chins?

The only differences between street and ring are this.

1) Obstacles in the environment.
2) Possibility of multiple combatants.
3) Possibility of weapons.
4) Ability to break the 'rules'
5) No one to save you if you screw up.

All of these can work for you and against you. Only 2 and 3 are of any real concern to me in a self defense situation. And I hope my friends would come to my aid. So I'd say training for the ring is a very close approximation of a real fight.

Basia Halliop
02-12-2007, 09:58 AM
I would add #6)
No guarantee of any warning or second of preparation. If someone wants to mug you or kill you I think they would probably sneak up on you and ambush you.

(Or if you're just defining 'on the streets' differently, as 'a fight', then never mind. But IMO a 'fight' implies two participants who make some choice to engage -ie choose not to leave vs. physically prevented from leaving-, and a 'fight' in that sense doesn't really strike me as 'self defense' in quite the same way.)

I get your point that some kinds of 'pretend' may be closer to reality than others, though.

Cyrijl
02-12-2007, 10:20 AM
I get your point that some kinds of 'pretend' may be closer to reality than others, though.


Not really. I do not 'pretend' to fight when I train. I actually fight. Just because it is not a fight to the death, does not mean it is not a fight. To me, such thinking reminds me of RBSD classes or yamada's article where everything is a matter of life or death. In class, it is a fight. You want to keep going until someone stops--either by KO or submission. I train to become a better fighter and I believe as a result of my training I am better equipped in a fight against an unknown agressor.

Aristeia
02-12-2007, 10:31 AM
Definitely stellar atheletes, but I question (http://www.statisticool.com/fights.htm) the logic of people who use sport/entertainment to make determinations of what can/can't occur in real life events that are rule-less and random by their nature.
.If it's the rules that bother you there have been plenty of literally no rules vale tudo events that have been run in places like Brazil and Russia. They are still happening as far as I'm aware. The interesting thing is despite the allowance of headbutts, eye gouges, groin strikes etc etc the winning strategy is pretty much the same as it is in the more sanitised version and the fights look very similar....

Basia Halliop
02-12-2007, 10:37 AM
Just because it is not a fight to the death, does not mean it is not a fight.

OK, sorry. I was sort of thinking along the lines of unprovoked sudden ambush attacks (since I think someone mentioned self defense, and for me that's what comes immediately to mind), so to me any kind of fight is slightly different than that, even if it's still got a lot in common. That's all I meant by 'pretend', perhaps not really the best word.

Budd
02-12-2007, 10:46 AM
I'm curious as what you think is the best way to prepare for "unprovoked sudden ambush attacks "?

DonMagee
02-12-2007, 10:56 AM
What I did was give my wife a stun gun. Told her at anytime she wants to, she can stun me. After getting woken up a few times, I've learned to never sleep.

Basia Halliop
02-12-2007, 11:22 AM
My original line which included the unfortunate word 'pretend' was actually an attempt to agree (I say attempting, because apparently agreeing is more difficult than I thought!). I don't think there is any perfect preparation, and personally I'm not really trying to find one.

Kevin Leavitt
02-12-2007, 12:19 PM
Joseph wrote:

As far as RBSD--
I found many schools create 'paranoia' in order to make their students believe that they need the training in order to 'save their lives'.

You hit the nail on the head of what makes me run far away from RBSD...paranoia.

Kinda along the lines of all those Soldier of Fortune wanna be mags too. I am in the military, yet I cannot stand all those merc rags, I put them in the same category as RBSD...to eaches own I guess.

DonMagee
02-12-2007, 12:51 PM
Speaking of UFC, here's some vids of one of the fighters affiliated with our club. He fought a good fight last saturday. (The guy in the shorts)

round 1 http://youtube.com/watch?v=5rnEakWrCNo
round 2 http://youtube.com/watch?v=L_ah896AyVY
round 3 http://youtube.com/watch?v=T6G8gEYNPBY

Kevin Leavitt
02-12-2007, 01:12 PM
Good fights Don!

Budd
02-12-2007, 01:13 PM
I think that the notion of 'paranoia' and even 'pretending' tend to be symptoms of the degree that someone subscribes to a belief system rather than a true indicator of their training approach. I know people that train in RBSD that are very scary people and I've worked out with people in MMA settings that are probably always going to be "wannabes".

In fact, you can substitute pretty much any two martial arts (approaches) and I think it will fit. Point is, I think we're moving away from "methodology" and veering back into "style" discussions. One of my own pet peeves are people that clearly subscribe to the "cool kids club" belief system (i.e. "Look at me, look at me!! I'm in the cool kids club!") as a way of validating themselves.

Which brings up an interesting (possibly) topic for discussion:

To what degree do you identify yourself as training in "x" style versus training with "x" goals in mind?

I'll start by admitting that I subscribe to the latter camp. I train in martial arts as a hobby because I greatly enjoy the physical activity. I train in aikido particularly because I greatly enjoy the dojo, people and training methodologies that we employ there (I also like the stated philosophy/approach of "minimum necessary" and de-escalation). I also still sometimes get out and box and grapple with other friends that train in order to try things out and work inside a different paradigm and because I like the "friendly fight" aspects of the contact.

I enjoy watching mixed martial arts as a sport and working out with folks (very occaisionally these days) that play that game. While I agree with some that aikido ain't the UFC and that sports competition isn't necessary for aikido, I think that the "aliveness" (I still think it's a marketing term, but an effective and efficient one, and I mostly like what MT and LG are doing with SBG) approach has merit and is a fairly good model to evaluate within one's training, even if I don't agree with all of their conclusions.

My personal goals are to continue to support my dojo, continue to test myself within our training paradigm and by experiencing, whenever possible, those of other people. I'm also quite interested in this notion of building the body structure through solo exercises and trying to incorporate that with my practice, one of those little lifetime-side-projects that I seem to accumulate, and have greatly enjoyed the discourse that's taken place here and elsewhere on this topic.

Kevin Leavitt
02-12-2007, 01:23 PM
Budd, agree with your post on every point!

I don't look at RBSD as a style per se, but as a methdology that I think focuses too much on narrow focused, specialization for situations, vice training in breadth based on principles of fairly predictable patterns that have been consistently shown to occur in most altercations.

I think if you are a bouncer you would benefit from specialization. I think if you are a police officer specialization also is important. There are processes that you follow on learning to cuff someone. RBSD plays a big part in that process.

Howerver, RBSD applied generically to the general public...not necessarily such a good thing, where most would benefit from studying a broader focused, principle based system.

Like you, aliveness may be a marketing term, but it accuratel describes the key element that I believe is important in martial training. the challenge is how do you implement it correctly and at what intensity?

Budd
02-12-2007, 01:49 PM
Good points, Kevin. I actually think, too, that even someone that needs to specialize (like a bouncer or a police officer) will benefit from training and reinforcing some basic principles/generalities (distancing, timing, posture, relaxed/coordinated movement, randori, drills) which then are built on for more specialized training (taking suspects into custody, escorting people off premises, appropriate distance for hands-off-lower-level interventions vs. closing in for hands-on).

With that in mind, I've been reading with interest your experiences with training soldiers, who no doubt are able to apply that "flexible combat" approach/mindset back into their field duties.

Michael Douglas
02-12-2007, 01:55 PM
The only differences between street and ring are this.

1) Obstacles in the environment.
2) Possibility of multiple combatants.
3) Possibility of weapons.
4) Ability to break the 'rules'
5) No one to save you if you screw up.

All of these can work for you and against you. Only 2 and 3 are of any real concern to me in a self defense situation. And I hope my friends would come to my aid. So I'd say training for the ring is a very close approximation of a real fight.

But Don surely points 2 and 3 might nullify your last sentence?
I agree that IF there is one opponent (likely)
and IF he is completely unarmed (in my opinion unlikely)
then sure, training for the ring approximates training for a real 'street' fight.
Infact I'd go so far as to say under those ideal circumstances training for the ring is more than you'd likely need for a real fight.

Kevin Leavitt
02-12-2007, 01:57 PM
Budd, yes I forgot to add that even bouncers and Police Officers should develop a base on principles, topped off by specialization.

if we teach soldiers nothing else, we try and get across to them to always go into the fight, close with the enemy. Hesitation, backing up, and/or retreating will get you into more trouble in combat than anything else. Of course there are exceptions, but overall, it is better to close distance and engage once you are in the fight.

Michael Douglas
02-12-2007, 01:59 PM
You hit the nail on the head of what makes me run far away from RBSD...paranoia.

Kinda along the lines of all those Soldier of Fortune wanna be mags too. I am in the military, yet I cannot stand all those merc rags, I put them in the same category as RBSD...to eaches own I guess.

So much awful marketing crud has been heaped on the good ideas of the original RBSD'ers during the last few years it's given 'RBSD' a bad name (a bad acronym?)
Notice some 'original' thinkers aren't now using the term.

DonMagee
02-12-2007, 02:17 PM
But Don surely points 2 and 3 might nullify your last sentence?
I agree that IF there is one opponent (likely)
and IF he is completely unarmed (in my opinion unlikely)
then sure, training for the ring approximates training for a real 'street' fight.
Infact I'd go so far as to say under those ideal circumstances training for the ring is more than you'd likely need for a real fight.

I'd say the majority of people I encounter on a daily basis are unarmed. (well they have arms, but not weapons) In a real fight, the chance they have to acquire a weapon and use it against me is the same chance I have to do the same. However, I am used to the stress of the situation, in good physical shape, and training to control people. So I think that gives me an advantage. If they have a knife or a gun, well then I'm either stabbed or shot before I know there is a fight, or I have time to try to de-escalate and escape. So I think points two and three are of no advantage to either side. (I'm not out in sticky situation's without friends, and I'm smart enough to pick up a chair) Besides the chance I'll actually get into a fight is probably less then the chance I'll crash on my next plane flight for vacation. If you are alone and pick a fight with a gang of thugs, you deserve what you get.

I believe the real solution to people worried about armed attackers is to simply arm yourself and train to use and retain that weapon. Otherwise you are not being efficient at all. And martial arts are all about being efficient.

Kevin Leavitt
02-12-2007, 02:47 PM
yes martial arts are about efficiency, or should be. Minimal effort for maximum return, a appropriate return.

All of us train for different reasons. Primarily I train soldiers to use weapons, however, when they jam and fail, or run out of ammo, you fall down, or are ambushed, they need to have other tools available. So while they will primarily train to use various weapons, they must be able to fight over the full spectrum of possible conflict.

Same for everyone. There is a conflict continum, or a escalation of force criteria that gets applied in conflict. Martial arts should really be about teaching us how to skillfully apply force over this continum.

Michael Douglas
02-13-2007, 12:52 PM
... And martial arts are all about being efficient.

yes martial arts are about efficiency, or should be.

I disagree.
I don't want an argument since I basically agree with most of what you are saying in this discussion, and it's a good thread.
But efficiency isn't what I see when I see most martial arts, and even less so for aikido!

Kevin Leavitt
02-13-2007, 02:09 PM
Can you explain?

One of the basic principles of fighitng or warfare is economy of force.

One of the principles of resolving conflict in an aikido perspective is minimal force.

Efficiency dictates that you preserve energy or resolve conflict with as little input as possible.

The more energy, effort, motion you put into something, the more chance that something goes wrrong, or you make a mistake. Why would you do this?

DonMagee
02-13-2007, 04:25 PM
I for one would never study the most complicated, inefficient way to defend myself. That seems like a stupid thing to do.

Aristeia
02-13-2007, 04:31 PM
I'm guessing Michael's point is that that may be the goal in theory but in practice it's not what he observes...

statisticool
02-13-2007, 07:39 PM
The only differences between street and ring are this.

1) Obstacles in the environment.
2) Possibility of multiple combatants.
3) Possibility of weapons.
4) Ability to break the 'rules'
5) No one to save you if you screw up.


I wouldn't say only.

In a ring you often know who your opponent will be in advance, you know they will basically be in your weight class, you know you're fighting on a (relatively) cushy canvas or mat, you always have gloves, and you have people coaching, to name a few.


And I hope my friends would come to my aid.


We all hope that. Relying on hope is not wise, however.

Also, if you rely on friends, who is to say your attacker won't do the same? In fact, it is more likely for attackers to rely on friends than defenders, since attackers are the ones initiating the fight.

DonMagee
02-13-2007, 08:20 PM
I wouldn't say only.
Also, if you rely on friends, who is to say your attacker won't do the same? In fact, it is more likely for attackers to rely on friends than defenders, since attackers are the ones initiating the fight.

My point was it goes both ways. Multiple attackers are zero concern to me.

Kevin Leavitt
02-13-2007, 10:34 PM
Michael F wrote:

Re: This aint UFC!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm guessing Michael's point is that that may be the goal in theory but in practice it's not what he observes...


Oh...no questions in practice we do lots of different things. the goal of practice is to study options and the full spectrum of dynamic movement...especially in aikido.

Just like in BJJ right. when you first start you a little cause you don't know what to do. then you get to be a blue belt and you move alot because you have lots of new toys to play with. Then you get to be a purple belt, and you move less because you start figuring out what really works for you.

We do need to be careful I think about not transferring what we practice for learning to reality sometimes.

From that standpoint I'd agree with Michael...that aikido is not about efficiency. If it were only concerned with this aspect then we would be limiting ourselves and probably practicing RBSD crap that was narrowed focused.

So circularly...maybe I do agree with him in theory.

Aristeia
02-14-2007, 02:00 AM
Ah yes the age old question. What is the best martial art for loners who like to go out by them selves to biker bars populated by huge men armed with pool cues, and where the floor is equal parts broken glass and molten lava, and then look to make trouble.....

Cyrijl
02-14-2007, 07:15 AM
Justin,
If you offer no alternatives, please stop criticizing. It is easy to criticize anything and everything. Have you ever been in a fight? Have you ever sparred full contact? If you look at the early UFC most people did not know who they were going to fight, there were no weight classes, canvas is not cushy (it has springs).


Relying on hope is not wise, however


Then what are you relying on. At lease kevin, don and I have an idea of what works and what does not work. What are you basing your opinion on if not hope? Jun might have to step in soon because I can only use logic and reasoning so much.

You attitude reminds me of the dim mak guys. And, if you search the web you can see how well they fare in a physical confrontation. If you are over 18 (which I doubt) and live within driving distance to me in MA, I would be happy to invite you to my judo or bjj club to do some sparring. You can even bring friends.

Your arguments sounds like this to me:
"Yeah but what if they shoot your with a sniper rifle from 1000yds away, or what if they drop a bomb on you"
You can only have better or worse defense. No defense is perfect.

DH
02-14-2007, 04:54 PM
What is an efficient use of force in a minimal effort?
To do what?
Stay in a stressed environment for a prolonged period of time trying to use less force to control the situation. All while risking mistakes?
Or is the best use of force actually MORE effort to end it quickly.
Define efficient?
Define environment?

While the environment and use of force may change, if you have the ability to use maximum force, you just may have edge on any lower level requirements.
When is hyper aggressive, well balanced tactical mayhem a more efficient use of force? Most people have never felt or experienced a trained man going-off on them. Well-trained, sustained, aggression is pretty efficient combatively. Both due to the psychological benefit of overwhelming an even trained people, and the physical elements of shortening their timing and defensive responses. There is serious tactical advantages to hyper-aggression in order to increase the odds of totally dominating them physically and mentally. And if you can do so while YOU remain calm the feedback is sometimes fascinating.
So, if your actually fighting, I think you may just find that you have to extend an effort. This “use his force against him” is fine in any grappling sense, but if someone with training is standing on the outside and playing you and picking you apart-minimum effort ideas just may not be the way to go.
And the presumption, as usually expressed here, is one of defense. What if we want to bring it? For the mild viewers let say what if you want to defend someone else from being attacked. I say “want” because the milder peaceniks may "want" to let the girl be raped while they try to talk the guy into a peaceful resolution :D
For the rest of us normal folk-if we need to attack, you may find the best use of efficient force is not minimal. Full power strikes and kicks (we can leave internal, whole body, power out of this) and body throws may be just the ticket for “best use of minimal effort”
Why?
You may it end quickly.
Dan

DH
02-14-2007, 05:54 PM
Aikiweb has been acting up and I lost my chance to edit.
The caveate to that post should have been I was discussing external means for external fighting in response to those who were debating use of force. Nothing more.
I've left out any discussion of the most efficient ways to generate power or engage power. I wanted to simply dicuss the tactical advantages to use-of-force without being side tracked.
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
02-15-2007, 12:20 PM
Interesting Dan.

We actually teach our guys in the Army to close the distance and fight through and to fight hard, once you seize the iniative or are attack you go forward into the fight and try to gain dominance.

I learned along time ago...the hard way, you are either in the fight, or not. If you are not....make sure the other guy understands that you are not in the fight....otherwise you are getting your ass kicked.

My experiences have been that it is more dangerous typically to disengage and reduce force if you do not have control of the situation, this includes knife fights as well...at least as much as you can avoid being cut...which is admittedly difficult.

Statistically though, even in a knife fight, i have found it still better to close the distance once inside of effective range and take the fight to the person until you acheive dominance of the situation.

use of force, escalation of force, or minimal force have their place...but once you have crossed the line into the fight, you must fight hard until you have achieved dominance, THEN you can start discussing next actoins IRT minimal force etc.

This has nothing to do with internal or external training...those are different subjects..I agree.

Zeb Leonard
02-15-2007, 11:10 PM
from the website of SBGi, the section on 'street vs sport' :
"Just to add on to James point. This past weekend I arrested one half of a domestic battery. As I am taking him into the booking area to turn him over to the jailers he doubles over, falls to his knees and starts bellowing and puking. I asked him what his problem is and he says his stomach hurts. The jailer calls for a rescue and he is taken to the emergency room. The doc asks what happened, I tell him I have no idea, he was choking the life out of his brother when I showed up, all I did was spray him. Doc checks his stomach, looks around and than says his testicles have ascended..., Later his cousin said that during the fight he had hit him in the nads approximately 30-40 times as hard as he could while he was choking him. Didn't stop him from choking him unconscious."

http://www.straightblastgym.com/street01.htm

Thalib
02-16-2007, 02:31 AM
Well...

I can't argue with those Straight Blast Gym guys... they have a good point

Zeb Leonard
02-16-2007, 03:14 AM
of course some other (perhaps less 'motivated') guy might let go of the choke as soon as he gets hit but I guess thats the whole point

Kevin Leavitt
02-16-2007, 06:42 AM
Yup, you are correct! Good post Zeb.

statisticool
02-16-2007, 04:23 PM
If you offer no alternatives, please stop criticizing.


The alternative is to not commit that particular logical fallacy I referred to.


Have you ever been in a fight? Have you ever sparred full contact?


Yes and yes. But, I'm wondering, do you ask if Ebert has ever directed a movie because he is a movie critic, and if so, does that add or subtract to your disagreement with Ebert's criticism?


If you look at the early UFC most people did not know who they were going to fight, there were no weight classes, canvas is not cushy (it has springs).


How did the fighters get invited to the event if they weren't known. And yes, canvas is relatively cushy when compared to concrete.

But if you're going to look at what, 3 or so UFCs, what, like 30 fights, many by the same people, a business, and extrapolate that to all fighting in general, to what can and can't happen in real life, that isn't too convincing.


If you are over 18 (which I doubt) and live within driving distance to me in MA, I would be happy to invite you to my judo or bjj club to do some sparring. You can even bring friends.


Your judo or bjj skills don't concern me.

Additionally, I already know martial arts are effective, so I'm not sure what you're attempting to show. Perhaps you could run your logic by me on what you hoped to accomplish with your 'challenge', and how it had anything at all to do with my article.

DH
02-16-2007, 07:15 PM
Hi Kevin
Actually I knew you would agree anyway- due to your previous posts and due to what you do. I wrote it for the less experienced Martial "artists" who may never have had their asses in serious trouble. Some of us need no reminding of where minumal force can or cannot be entertained. Others may need a clearer picture.

I dissagree with Justin point about "Already knowing the martial arts are effective."
No they're not. Not by long shot. They are tools.
Men are effective.
It takes skill and understanding to avoid the martial arts propensities for getting -in the way- of our ability to fight. ;)
If we really pay attention, instead of a hinderence- they can even be used to help.
Everybody else just ends up looking like...well....martial "artists."
Cheers
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
02-17-2007, 02:44 AM
Yes, Martial Arts can be a tool or methodology to make you effective. It depends on how you want to be effective and what elements. I have found no one art that in all inclusive for sure.

Justin offers the old UFC ain't real argument that has been debated since the UFC came out. Actually I bought it for the longest time and paid the price of years of lost training.

If you look closely at the dynamics of fighting, general patterns..etc. you see elements that are common in just about all fights. UFC, Pride, and other sport fighting venues do offer us a great deal of reality to be learned, and have spawned some pretty darn good schools from which to learn from as well.

The Early UFCs especially were of value because of there realitive lack of rules and varying degrees, paradigms of fighting. Any one remember Fred Ettish VS Johnny Rhodes, UFC 2? Not to beat up on Ettish, he was a brave man and did well mentally as a warrior in that fight, he simply did not have the tools to respond appropriately. Check out Google for details concerning what many have to say, interesting read.

Basically Ettish fought from the fetal position once his kamae was broken.


Essentially Dan is correct..men are effective. When we debate effectiveness holistically from a style or an artistic standpoint...say like aikido or UFC, inevitiably we will have areas of weakness and areas up for discussion about the strengths, weaknesses in various situations in which we are viewiing or judging.


Justin offers no alternatives I beleive because of one of two reasons. one, he has no real experience or training to draw from two, he simply loves to argue and debate, and if he did have a view point, he might not have much left to discuss.

He is right though about most of his logic though. One or two fights does not necessarily qualify you to be an expert, and it is possible to be a critic without experience, that does not mean that the critic is correct in his assumptions nor is he correct about everyone. He simply has an audience of people thatt value his opinions, and find that his "shot group" is correct more often than not.

With martial arts, we simply do not have the same mechanism of feedback as a movie critic has. That is, lots of movies to criticize and lots of people to particpate in the process to provide him the feedback.

Most fights and violent situations, happen spontaneously, most of them are illegal and the participants unwilling to participate, it is therefore difficult to analyze them and determine what works.

Martial training can only approximate and simulate real fights or violent situtations, they cannot replicate them and all the variables.

Therefore, we turn to using models such as the UFC to draw from.

The evolution of the UFC and Pride and such events has definitely seen it evolve from raw fighting to a more sophisticated art and sport of fighting. I cringe and close my eyes when I see the early UFCs, lots of barbaric force and violence that I frankly consider unecessary and dangerous to the fighters.

You don't see that today for several reasons. 1. the rules have eliminated some dangerous things. 2. there is greater parity and skill between the fighters...you don't see Fred Ettish crawling in the ring with Tito Ortiz these days.

UFC offers us some good lessons to learn from and as the skill levels of the participants grow and widen, we can see some very interesting patterns develop that are of benefit to us as martial artist.

IMO it is a very sophmoric view to say the UFC doesn't approximate reality as there are many aspects that do.

Same with aikido, very sophmoric to say that aikido doesn't approximate reality, or converse that it approximates it better than UFC.

There are aspects in both genres that are of benefit for us to study. The trick is to figure out which elements are worthwile for us to study...making us more effective as people.

gdandscompserv
02-17-2007, 07:45 AM
The trick is to figure out which elements are worthwile for us to study...making us more effective as people.
therein lies the rub.
what or who is a more effective person?
in what respects are they more effective?

Kevin Leavitt
02-17-2007, 09:35 AM
Exactly Ricky. know thyself, unto thyself be true.

Michael Douglas
02-18-2007, 04:47 AM
Can you explain? ...

Efficiency dictates that you preserve energy or resolve conflict with as little input as possible.

The more energy, effort, motion you put into something, the more chance that something goes wrrong, or you make a mistake. Why would you do this?
Well, I disagree with both of these statements, but in a nice way.

Sorry I'm late and the discussion has moved along nicely.
Many posts here about what is efficient and what part of an encounter needs to be efficient. My opinion is still that most matial arts teach inefficient methods as their core curriculum, including aikido.
Aikido can be efficient, so can boxing, so can RBSD etc. I just think that Aikido students are guided away from efficiency too often.

As an example: Drunken thug swings with beer bottle at Man. (maybe untypical, just an example). Swing looks like yokomenuchi.
1.Boxer ducks, clock him on the jaw, lights out. Efficiency score = 9, yeah!
2.Aikidoka takes strike down and round, shihonage, drunk on ground in a kind of pin. Fight not over, possible complications. Efficiency 5?
3.Boxer ducks or clinches, lots of punches, drunk staggers about a bit. Nobody hurt much, fight might continue. Efficiency 5?
4.Aikidoka strikes the throat from inside the swing, some technique drives the drunk's head into the ground. Lights out, maybe dead. Efficiency 9. Yeay! Bit cruel, hope it's not on CCTV!
5.Victim dodges/steps away, pulls a weapon."Go home you cad!".
Drunk flees. Efficiency 10. Not even a martial art, go figure.

OK, so the scores may vary but I don't see many Aikido dojos actually training for number 4. Not really training for that level of chosen nastiness most of the time. It IS aikido, but so is the rest.
I imagine (yeah of course I don't know, I imagine) Ueshiba doing a variation of number 4, I cannot imagine him doing number 2 based on reported results of challenges made upon him.

Guilty Spark
02-18-2007, 09:21 AM
The throat punch is the universial sign that you've had too much to drink and you're annoying someone :)

Kevin Leavitt
02-18-2007, 10:04 AM
Actually when working with my instructors, in particular Saotome sensei, he emphasizes martial intent throughout the range of the technique. With the yokomen type punch, haymaker, you step in and do the same thing the boxer does, take center and acheive martial awareness with...say...a punch, or atemi of your own. that intially off balances or lands, which ever....then you can move on to the next thing.

At least in my dojo, we never moved on to the shionage until you established irimi and dominance with martial intent of taking the center line.

I have never gotten shionage in a non-compliant situation. Hovwever, the lessons learned from studying it, and the range of options has been most helpful.

Even with the clinch.

I think with Ueshiba on #2. Having the option and being able to do it, is important. having the control and skill to not have to and have other choices is quite another level.

I think first we must be able to do #2. Can most aikidoka do this in a non-compliant situation? I don't know.

I think though what is important is that we in aikido study the full range of dynamic movements.

I don't think they are guided away from efficiency...it is built into the range of movement, however, how many train from a position of aliveness or with an awareness of the points of failure, and maintaining martial intent throughout the spectrum of movement?

I don't know....but I did not find this to be problematic my dojo. Maybe with certain students in the dojo, but not with the instructors that teach.

Brion Toss
02-18-2007, 10:32 AM
Regarding "efficiency", it might be worth thinking strategically as well as tactically. If you rate a quick, fight-ending move as 9, but receive follow-up grief from the attacker, their buddies, the police, bouncers, your own conscience, etc., you might well end up being far less efficient in the long run than the person who establishes dominance without damage, then proceeds to a more involved/gentle technique that allows for de-escalation.
Of course, this is only an option if circumstances and relative skill levels allow it, but the basic idea seems to me as essential to Aikido as the techniques. No guarantee that the attacker will calm down, or that their buddies won't jump in anyway, but you now have the possibility, at least, of a long-term peaceful outcome.
And no, people are not effective. Nor are martial arts. People who express themselves effectively with martial arts are effective. Substitute "music", "guns", or "English composition" for "martial arts" to see the proof of this. Every art, it seems, must be a more or less natural expression of human potential. But only through rigorous, consistent training can we hope to reach that potential.

DH
02-20-2007, 08:40 AM
I didn't read this whole thing, so if its been said...sorry.

Every one of your founding greats, whom you look up to, tell stories about, and venerate were.....MMA'ers
Further still if you read these various "founders" words. There is a common theme.
"This or that art was weak here."
"That art weak, there."
"So I......"

And in their day they were frequently looked at as brash, arrogant even at times foolish, etc etc.
Now generations follow the shadow of their visions.

I bet on grappling and P/K as a combo 35 years ago. From then, till now I've seen nothing in Martial Arts or artists to change my mind. As a method- MMA works. It always has. Most intelligent men don't argue with success. But fools rush in where.....
I'd even bet were your own founders alive today-they would be looking back at you as they themselves stepped outside the remainders of their own arts -you- now practice.... to join MMA'ers.
You, just may be who they were talking about when they said
"l looked at the weakness in this art or that,"
"So I......" ;-)

Cheers
Dan