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Arthur Capone
02-05-2007, 09:02 PM
Hey Everybody!

I'm 32 years old, took Aikido when I was 12, and have recently been checking out two highly respected Aikido schools in NYC, watching classes and wanting to get back in it! I've been a fan of O'Sensei's writings, films, read Terry Dobson and George Leonard books, belive in the existence of KI, and have zero interest in hurting anybody and want to take Aikido to revolutionize my life, as so many people have said happens when they take it. I'm in it for the long haul. I have also read that long thread in here regarding how Aikido is supposedly not effective in a street fight, and loved and was educated by all of your astute answers.

OK, here's my question: I notice that most martial arts schools I have been to (Hapkido, Jujitsu, Kung Fu, etc.) all say that they teach "self-defense". If someone attacks you on the street, these schools say that you can "defend yourself" and/or "stop the assailants". These schools use real-life situational offensive strategies (straight punches, roundhouses, chokes, pushes, takedowns) for the student to DEFEND with the kata/moves of the martial art, as a result of this promise to teach self-defense.

I have been, so far, to two highly respected schools and watched 3 classes at each location. All of the attacks with which you are to defend at both schools are either a chopping down (like a sword) coming down on your head, or a chopping at the waist. I know that O'Sensei came from a sword culture. But why are teachers making moves like this in order for us to learn Aikido against when, in the real world, people DON'T ATTACK LIKE THAT!? I understand it's a spiritual martial art, but I feel like this is being TOO esoteric. Is this why Tomiki was invented?

It makes me hesitant to take the course. Maybe I'm an idiot. Maybe I don't get it. But while I want to dedicate my life to an art like Aikido, I also want to be able to defend myself if some guy or guys mess with me.

You guys rock! Set my verdant ass straight!

Cheers,

Arthur :p

xuzen
02-05-2007, 09:36 PM
Hey Everybody!

I'm 32 years old, took Aikido when I was 12, and have recently been checking out two highly respected Aikido schools in NYC, watching classes and wanting to get back in it! I've been a fan of O'Sensei's writings, films, read Terry Dobson and George Leonard books, belive in the existence of KI, and have zero interest in hurting anybody and want to take Aikido to revolutionize my life, as so many people have said happens when they take it. I'm in it for the long haul. I have also read that long thread in here regarding how Aikido is supposedly not effective in a street fight, and loved and was educated by all of your astute answers.

OK, here's my question: I notice that most martial arts schools I have been to (Hapkido, Jujitsu, Kung Fu, etc.) all say that they teach "self-defense". If someone attacks you on the street, these schools say that you can "defend yourself" and/or "stop the assailants". These schools use real-life situational offensive strategies (straight punches, roundhouses, chokes, pushes, takedowns) for the student to DEFEND with the kata/moves of the martial art, as a result of this promise to teach self-defense.

I have been, so far, to two highly respected schools and watched 3 classes at each location. All of the attacks with which you are to defend at both schools are either a chopping down (like a sword) coming down on your head, or a chopping at the waist. I know that O'Sensei came from a sword culture. But why are teachers making moves like this in order for us to learn Aikido against when, in the real world, people DON'T ATTACK LIKE THAT!? I understand it's a spiritual martial art, but I feel like this is being TOO esoteric. Is this why Tomiki was invented?

It makes me hesitant to take the course. Maybe I'm an idiot. Maybe I don't get it. But while I want to dedicate my life to an art like Aikido, I also want to be able to defend myself if some guy or guys mess with me.

You guys rock! Set my verdant ass straight!

Cheers,

Arthur :p

Aikido is higly influenced by Ko-Ryu (Ancient schools) methodology and paedogology. If you want something else, take up jujutsu... it is faster to get you combat ready. Then return to aikido... you will view it being less silly by then.

Boon.

Aristeia
02-05-2007, 09:37 PM
I admit to being a little confused by your post. On the one hand you say you have zero interest in hurting people and it sounds like you are interested in aikido for personal transfromation rather than martial application. And yet you're hesitant to train because you think the attacks are unrealistic?

Think of Aikido as more an art of concepts rather than techniques. Where as some arts offer a comprehensive "if he does this you do that, if he does this variation you do that variation" type approach, Aikido offers a series of exercises to help you internalise the conept of "aiki" which may then be brought to bear in an endless variety of situtions. It's about accepting and leading energy. In most dojos that energy is provided by the traditional attacks but the theory is once you understand how to blend with and redirect energy the angle in specific nature of it is less important.

There is some debate as to how well that theory works in reality.

And for my money, no one should be advertising self defence unless they themselves ahve used the techniques in a range of actual physical confrontations.

Arthur Capone
02-05-2007, 09:45 PM
Great points, Michael! Don't be confused by the post. I really don't want to hurt anyone, not learning it to jump in a UFC ring or anything. :)

Arthur Capone
02-05-2007, 09:49 PM
"""Where as some arts offer a comprehensive "if he does this you do that, if he does this variation you do that variation" type approach, Aikido offers a series of exercises to help you internalise the conept of "aiki" which may then be brought to bear in an endless variety of situtions. It's about accepting and leading energy."""

I wonder what Aikido training would be like, and how quiet naysayers of Aikido would be, if Aikido schools changed the way they do attack variations? Lots of people say Aikido isn't effective (I don't believe that myself) and it may have to do with their "old school" approach. But whatever...

Aristeia
02-05-2007, 09:57 PM
yep, and a search through Aikiweb will find a fair bit of discussion on that topic. At the end of the day though I don't think it matters much. You can sub the attacks we do use for a straight punch, a hook etc etc. but people still won't be satisfied because we'll still be telling people to do them with 100% commitment in an isolated fashion rather than dealing with someone who wants to jab and move like a sparring sessions. Because sparring is not what Aikido was designed to deal with.

Arthur Capone
02-05-2007, 10:14 PM
""yep, and a search through Aikiweb will find a fair bit of discussion on that topic...Because sparring is not what Aikido was designed to deal with.""

So, in your opinion, if someone wants to hurt me, lifts their fists up in a boxing stance, and starts trying to hit me, Aikido is not able to deal with this?

Arthur Capone
02-05-2007, 10:17 PM
IN other words... I know that Aikido is effective if someone grabs your wrist, grabs YOU (all the Aikido I have seen first starts off with the Aikidoist grabbing the wrist or arm; it's much easier to do this when someone grabs you first, keeps their hand near your face threateningly, etc.), but what about dealing with a fast puncher, someone who hauls off and punches fast, which is what most people I have known do in a street altercation (or move their hand quickly with a bottle or knife in it)? Am I making ANY sense?

Aristeia
02-05-2007, 10:28 PM
It's not a matter of people punching hard or fast. Where I think Aikido works well is when someone is so ticked off with you they throw a punch designed to take your head off. Full commitment and emotional intent.

Where it's less good is in a sparring situation. Someone dancing around throwing uncommited strikes, taking their time, looking for an opening. Not what it's designed to cope with. Having said that, that style of fighting is predicated on two people standing in front of each other fighting by mutual consent. So simply leaving at that point may well be an option.

Or, do BJJ ;-)

Nafis Zahir
02-06-2007, 12:09 AM
I was recently at a seminar where a high ranking Shihan was grabbed with a straight hand grab attack. He then asked everyone watching, "Why do we practice techniques from this type of attack, when this is not a realistic attack (paraphrased)?" No one had an answer, it was a question we all have asked at one point or another. He then asked a second time and received no response. Then, he told us why. He said, "We practice this way in order to better understand the intention of your opponent's attack." Now I did not understand it 100%, but it made a great deal of sense to me.

Also, practicing from the attacks we receive, which are controlled, makes it easier to deal with attacks that are out of control. I have done a couple of techniques to a few of my friends who street fight, do karate or wrestle, and I must say that I could have really put it on them. But because they don't anything about Aikido and can't take ukemi, I had to let up and also let them think that whatever I was doing didn't work. Hope this helps to answer your question.

Aristeia
02-06-2007, 01:02 AM
wrist grabs are good for teaching funadmental movements without having to deal with timing the strike. I do tend to think we spend too much time on wrist grabs, they have their place but think it tends to be overdone, particularly for senior grades.

Arthur Capone
02-06-2007, 02:00 AM
I was recently at a seminar where a high ranking Shihan was grabbed with a straight hand grab attack. He then asked everyone watching, "Why do we practice techniques from this type of attack, when this is not a realistic attack (paraphrased)?"

Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying the Shihan said that a straight hand grab attack WAS or WAS NOT a realisitic attack? :blush:

Aristeia
02-06-2007, 02:12 AM
it's not a realistic attack but it's a useful exercise to teach concepts.

Michael Varin
02-06-2007, 02:55 AM
There are many principles contained within the techniques of aikido, but the notion that the various attacks are simply there to teach general principle is highly suspect. You won't learn how to deal with punches to the face by training against wrist grabs. I trained for quite some time in kick boxing and we never worked with wrist grabs, not even in the first class. You appear to have answered your own question:

All of the attacks with which you are to defend at both schools are either a chopping down (like a sword) coming down on your head, or a chopping at the waist. I know that O'Sensei came from a sword culture. But why are teachers making moves like this in order for us to learn Aikido against when, in the real world, people DON'T ATTACK LIKE THAT!?Form follows function. The techniques of aikido don't work well against common barehanded attacks, because that is not what they were designed for. In the "real world" that gave birth to these techniques, people did attack like that. They carried swords and knives, and needed techniques that worked in that environment. Even if you were to use aiki with common barehanded attacks it wouldn't look like aikido . . . it would look like Roy Jones Jr. in his prime.

You also should be clear on your motivations.
[I] have zero interest in hurting anybody and want to take Aikido to revolutionize my life
But while I want to dedicate my life to an art like Aikido, I also want to be able to defend myself if some guy or guys mess with me.I say, quit thinking about it. Join a dojo. Train at least three times per week for three months, then see how you feel.

Aristeia
02-06-2007, 03:36 AM
well I did say there was some debate about it but that was the theory. I'm not sure you should be comparing a punch to the face with a wrist grab - a tsuki or one of the uchi's would seem more appropriate. But stil it's up for debate - my own preference would be to see more realistic attacks. Having said that I know plenty of people that have "used" aikido based on the traditional attacks.
Personally I think the training method *can* impart martial skills over time. I also think the principals could be taught and functionalised much much quicker if we freed ourselves from the conventions of tradtional training. Maybe something I'll play with in my older age....

Mark Uttech
02-06-2007, 04:58 AM
katatetori, or 'wrist grab', is a place to practice from 'when you are already caught'. Sometimes it is expressed as: "basically, if you are already caught, you are already dead." Realistically then, it is a good place to start practicing from.

In gassho,

Mark

Amir Krause
02-06-2007, 05:43 AM
So, in your opinion, if someone wants to hurt me, lifts their fists up in a boxing stance, and starts trying to hit me, Aikido is not able to deal with this?

First off, I have a comment that sounds very foolish at first, but holds some greater truth if you bother and think about it in some depth:

Aikido does not deal with anything. No Aikido fighter will magically appear if you are under attack. It is you who will have to fight for yourself!

Aikido will not turn you into another person so fast. If you are a great athletic and tends toward aggressiveness while fighting, you will maintain these attributes even after you have learned Aikido. If by nature you prefer recline from violent action and feel great fear, those features of your personality will still be there even after you learn Aikido.

At higher levels, after lots of years of fighting. You might be able to notice some changes and refinements of your personality due to your Aikido practice. For example: you may find Aikido affects the strategies you tend towards. After almost 17 years of practice (about half my life), I am still very careful in considering those.

Aikido has a wide spectrum of responses for any situation, including boxing types attacks. It is your personality which will determine your own choices for reaction to such states. Exactly as your personality will determine your choice of Aikido teachers and the right Dojo for you to prosper in (I doubt a person will be able to stay and prosper in a Dojo that has a very different ethos then his own).

Punches and even kicks can be practiced as part of the Aikido curriculum. In the Dojo I practice Korindo Aikido at, we practice punches as frequently as we practice both strikes and grabs together. I doubt there is any real reason not to have the same approach in a Ueshiba Aikido dojo.

One should understand that grabs, strikes and committed attacks have quite a few advantages as training tools, as they provide easy emphasis on specific elements. As such these attacks are essential to learning Aikido, but one could utilize his knowledge of Aikido to face any attack, and it will be Aikido.
Some teachers prefer to stay with the symbolic attacks, and not to refer to self-defense situations directly. These teachers would tell you that once you "truly" understand the principles taught in the symbolic training, you should be able to apply them to any situation that arises, including boxing, combinations and anything else. They would point you to the infinity of possible attacks, and claim adding a few more examples would not change your need of generalizing the knowledge to other new attacks (Capuera style attacks for example).
Other teachers will prefer to help you in the generalization process, by giving you more examples of the common world. Good teachers would acknowledge they can never teach you response A to situation B, since the situations are infinite and as you progress you will learn that supposedly minor changes can have significant implications and require you to change your choices completely.

Hope this helps in some way.

Amir

Joe Bowen
02-06-2007, 06:02 AM
Nice response Amir! Arthur, you're over rationalizing your aikido training and you have not even begun it yet. Heed Micheal Varins advice and join a dojo. To paraphrase yourself, "you don't get it". And you won't get it, by reading the books, or posting on the aikiweb, unless you practice.

If you're in NYC, I would personally recommend you go to the New York Aikikai on 142 West 18th Street. They're good people who do great aikido.

Kevin Leavitt
02-06-2007, 01:50 PM
Great post all:

Amir, only comment, and not directed at you by any means...simply paraphrasing what a piece of your post to elaborate on.

These teachers would tell you that once you "truly" understand the principles taught in the symbolic training, you should be able to apply them to any situation that arises, including boxing, combinations and anything else.

One has to be careful treading in these waters. Most aikido teachers train in theory and principle and NOT in reality...aikido is principle and philosophically centered more so than practical. Teachers that say this, may not intentionally mean that you can transfer you skills learned in aikido directly to the street....but to the inexperienced...they may take this to mean that you can take your training directly to the street and apply it. Theory is a long stretch to reality. It may work...or it may not.

I don't think though that overall that aikido does well as a methodolgy for preparing one to deal with the stress and range of pain, emotions, and environment of a fight.

Teachers that illude to this or allow this perception to carry on freely in their dojo without proper caution, mentoring, or guidance are being irresponsbile IMO.

I think we cross our wires a great deal in aikido training, sometime unintentionally.

I will tell you that I did not learn to fight in aikido, but learned a great deal about principles and correct body posture, alignment, movement, breathing, response...and a host of other things compassion and control as well.

I am pretty much self taught for the last two years in MMA and BJJ, with the occassional instructor here or there, my background in aikido was very helpful. Last weekend I competed in the European BJJ Championship, took 4th in Open and the Gold for my Weight Category, (Blue Belt).

My skills learned in aikido were a big part of my success.

I am learning how to fight..by fighting and grappling...not by doing aikido.

Aikido is good at teaching aikido, there is much documentation out there about what it will do for you by O'sensei and his many shihans. It is a wonderful art if you focus on the goals and lessons that they are teaching you.

If however, you, really are concerned with self defense, fighting, or anything else..then there are shorter, more productive ways to spend your time.

I'd refer you to the dog brothers www.dogbrothers.com for sticks and blunt object fighting. Any number of MMA schools for grappling and fighting,.

Most people though, when you get down to it...are not really concerned with fighting...only conquering or supressing the fear with an illusion or a few hours a week of nightly training. They say they are....but if they were...then they would honestly seek out proper trainng and would not shy away from it when presented with it. (check out the Dog Brothers website to get an idea of the intensity of training that they present)

We should NOT however, transfer our desires, fears, or illusions onto arts such as aikido, because it is not fair to you, the others you train with, or the reputation of the art.

Figure out what it is that you really deeply want to do, why you want to do it, and then figure out the best path to achieve that endstate.

One good way to do this is to simply "let go" and begin to practice something instead of being concerned about what is right.

I have studied, Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Tai Chi, Aikido, some Ba Gua, BJJ, MMA, and a few other things. In all of them, I gained valuable skills and experiences. Nothing wrong with doing it for a while and then stopping and trying something else. Perspective is good, and training gives you time to think and grow.

Keith R Lee
02-06-2007, 05:27 PM
Most people though, when you get down to it...are not really concerned with fighting...only conquering or suppressing the fear with an illusion or a few hours a week of nightly training. They say they are....but if they were...then they would honestly seek out proper training and would not shy away from it when presented with it. (check out the Dog Brothers website to get an idea of the intensity of training that they present)

We should NOT however, transfer our desires, fears, or illusions onto arts such as aikido, because it is not fair to you, the others you train with, or the reputation of the art.

That about nails it on the head I think.

We're soooo close to "that" thread here lately. So close...

Also, congrats on the Gold! That's awesome.

Aristeia
02-06-2007, 11:52 PM
well done on the result Keven mah fren.....excellent effort!

heathererandolph
02-07-2007, 10:43 AM
Maybe you have not found the right school yet. If you have reservations, maybe there is a reason other than that the attacks seem unrealistic. On the other hand, maybe you should attend some sessions. Some aikido techniques can be modified for more modern attacks.

I think that you are putting the cart before the horse saying you want to dedicate your life to Aikido before you even know if you are going to keep doing Aikido long term! Even though a lot of the attacks in Aikido may not be realistic, I think you can still learn concepts that can help you if you are attacked. I don't think any martial art can teach you to defend you self against any attack.

Do you think you will be attacked anytime soon? I say, jump into it. All this intellectualizing...get going!

Choku Tsuki
02-07-2007, 03:30 PM
One of our members just retired from the NYPD; he used to handle domestic disputes. He HAS been attacked shomenuchi; the woman had a frying pan.

Anyway, what I get out of defending against shomenuchi is timing my irimi just right. The timing is not always perfect, but that's why I practice.

And Arthur, what made you stop after you started at 12?

--Chuck

P.S. There's a free class coming up in your area on the 17th;
follow this link - http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/lss/273684630.html

Joe Bowen
02-08-2007, 03:44 AM
We're soooo close to "that" thread here lately. So close...
So close, Keith that we might as well step into it....
I don't think though that overall that aikido does well as a methodolgy for preparing one to deal with the stress and range of pain, emotions, and environment of a fight.
Kevin, it actually saddens me to see you print a statement such as this. While I agree that any instructor that tells his students aikido will teach them how to fight well quickly is being irresponsible, I cannot agree with your above statement. But, rather than rehash old positions on what constitutes a fight, martial viability and self-defense, I'll just ask you to think about two things:

First in your post you mention your success in a MMA/BJJ competition (Congratulations by the way :) ) which infers success in that sporting environment is an indicator that you would be successful in a "real" fight. This pigeonholes the definition of a fight once again, excluding multiple attackers and weapons. But, I digress a bit, you also credit your aikido training as having a "big part in my success". This would seem a bit of a contradiction to the "overall" statement made above. A bit of a paradox is presented.

Secondly please review the following quote:
Can aikido be an effective method of self-defense? Yes. Aikido forms the basis of many law enforcement and correctional systems unarmed self-defense programs. The key to effective self-defense training is cultivation of the proper attitude. Physical technique alone is not sufficient to prevail in a conflict. The student of aikido learns through practice that attack and defense are really one thing.
Can we ignore the testimony and observations of our fellow aikido practitioners who employ their aikido as part of their law enforcement careers?

Just food for thought. I do respect your opinion and the wisdom that breadth of your experiences in various martial arts has brought you. I hope you find a deeper value in your aikido training.

Michael Varin
02-08-2007, 06:46 PM
One of our members just retired from the NYPD; he used to handle domestic disputes. He HAS been attacked shomenuchi; the woman had a frying pan.Once again a traditional aikido attack employed in the "real world" and with a weapon no less. Hmmm? I wonder why?

This pigeonholes the definition of a fight once again, excluding multiple attackers and weapons.Good point.

Can aikido be an effective method of self-defense? Yes. Aikido forms the basis of many law enforcement and correctional systems unarmed self-defense programs. The key to effective self-defense training is cultivation of the proper attitude.Can we ignore the testimony and observations of our fellow aikido practitioners who employ their aikido as part of their law enforcement careers?Law enforcement situations cannot be said to be self-defense, because it is their chosen profession to go to the danger, while in self-defense avoidance is primary. Also, police are almost always armed with several weapons (pepper spray, flashlight, baton, taser, knife, gun), so they seldom face truly unarmed situations. Police tend not to engage one-on-one either. Aikido techniques and strategies find much more usefulness in the way that police use them, than the guy who is trying to fit them into a one-on-one barehanded scenario.

graham
02-09-2007, 06:37 PM
Hi Arthur,

Where I live you are just as likely to have a knife thrust at you or have a broken bottle swung down on your head, as you are to be punched or kicked. So, it seems to me that the attacks of Aikido might not be as unrealistic as they initially seem.

Adam Alexander
02-09-2007, 07:42 PM
First off...Hope this helps in some way.
Amir

I was recently at a seminar where a high ranking Shihan was grabbed with a straight hand grab attack... Hope this helps to answer your question.


These are two of the most amazing posts I've ever seen on a forum.

I'm really no-one to say, but it's rare that I see so much wisdom.

Thanks.

On Aikido being used for SD. If you're looking for SD, there's courses that are specially designed for that. Aikido based courses.

Beyond that, the above posts tell all.


BTW: Welcome to the forum!

Dragon Robert G. Kovacs
02-10-2007, 01:59 AM
Hello!
Remembering that there are several styles of Aikido, Aikido is, as they say, A self defensive art... Look for a Dojo that uses sparring in it's classes, As In, Real Combat strikes & blocks... Most styles of Aikido do not actually use spy vs spy contact... Tomiki Shodokan Aikido is a combative, contact martial art... Tomiki beleived in contact, which is what street fights come to, which is why he broke away from the pack, and focused on contact sparring, at the time, it was frowned upon to engage in combative, contact Aikido, Tomiki teaches us that in the real world, contact does actually occur... Look for a Dojo, that when you walk in, you see actual contact, If you train this way, when you happen to get into a situation on the street, your "Frog Brain" will react the way you have been trained to react, full contact without thinking about it. If you have to think to react, you have already lost, train to fight, when you go into fight or flight, you won't have to think about your movements, as you will instinctively already have reacted... Find a school that when you enter, you see contact, Tomiki Shodokan Aikido is a combative, competitive style of Aikido, many styles of aikido are not, Aikido is also a defensive art, not an agressive art, Tomiki Style Aikido is also a submission style of Aikido, as in the UFC championships, Remember when the UFC began, There were alot of aggressive fighters, then there was little skinny Royce Gracie, making the big bulls of the ring drop like fly's on bull droppings, it's amazing what a little leverage and a lock on a joint can do, Tomiki Shodokan Aikido, although uncomparable to Gracie, are very much alike when it comes to submission locks, whereas say, Shotokan Karate-Do is an aggressive stand up style of strikes, 90% of all fights end up on the ground anyway, either by a straight knock out, or by grapplingh to the ground, when it goes down, styles like Tomiki Shodokan Aikido stands up, Gracie in a stand up fight, Hey, On the street, boxing is for show, on the street, there is no bell, no ref, it's you, and you alone, I suggest, cross train in an aggressive stand up style, if you have great legs, take TKD, but if you have great hands, take An Aggreesive Karate style, but when it goes down, submission locks rule, Period. My best suggestion? Find a Dojo that when you walk in, you see sparring, either on the ground or up, either way, find a Dojo that teaches combative styles, if you fight in every one of your classes, you will learn to be a fighter, by ritual training, If your in it just to wave your belt around, join the local Y, I'll bet my life that, on the street, that black belt you earned at the local, non contact Dojo, will be in it's display case on your wall at the house, I can buy a black belt on Ebay for maybe $3.99, and it will sting if I slap you in the face with it, but on the street, When your belt is at home, it won't help you at all... When you BECOME the black belt, in a combative style, then you are a black belt, and it will show, even though you are not wearing it, it will shine through you... Become a black belt, don't just buy one, study in a studio or dojo that trains in full contact combative arts, if you train that way, it will grow inside of you, and become instinct, which is what you need on the street, if you are small, a combative style of Aikido will equalize your size, finger locks, wrist locks, watch an officer handcuff a suspect, notice that wrist lock? people do not like broken bones, broken bones will end a fight faster than strength or might, everytime. As far as a chopping motion goes, obviously, you walked into the wrong studio, as I have never seen a move like that on the street or in a ring, keep searching for another Dojo, when you walk in, look for heavy bags, lots of sweat, and actual combat, Secondly, find a style that works for YOU! Train to fight, and you will when you have to, several thousand hours of combative training will eventually end up within you, which is where your belt should be. On the Inside of your GI, not on the outside... I hope this helps you, AHHH, lastley, 2 hours in a class, equalls 4 hours on your own, get a bag, preferably a big, 6' Kickboxing, Muay Thai style bag, with a big bag, you will have full body contact, from your head to your toes, It is truly amazing what happens when you kick an attacker in the knee, sending it in reverse, or drive your elbow into someones head, Or poke them in the eye, on the street, you are not there to see how long you can fight, you are there to see how long you can live, THERE ARE NO RULES IN STREET FIGHTING. Remember that too, Hair Pulling, Eye Gouging, Groin Kicks, ON THE STREET, You either live or you may die. PERIOD. End the fight and flee, If it's a neighborhood fight, TRY to avoid the groin kicks, Hair Pulling, Eye Gouging, as many will cry foul, I Break Bones, That's my style. My fights end fast, which is the point, Put me in the ring and offer me 15 million, I'll go 15 rounds, If I Can, Put me on a dark street alone, and I'll break your bones, Poke your eyes, Grab your hair and drive your head into my knee, sometimes, I'll even run away, all situations are different... I Hope I Helped, By The Way, On The Street, Carry, A 4oz. Can Of Sabre CS TEAR GAS, RED PEPPER SPRAY, WITH A MARKING DYE, Cost Is Around $8-12.00 Available at www.BudK.com, It WORKS. PERIOD,
Good Luck & Walk Towards The Light!
:-)
Dragon Kovacs

Hey Everybody!

I'm 32 years old, took Aikido when I was 12, and have recently been checking out two highly respected Aikido schools in NYC, watching classes and wanting to get back in it! I've been a fan of O'Sensei's writings, films, read Terry Dobson and George Leonard books, belive in the existence of KI, and have zero interest in hurting anybody and want to take Aikido to revolutionize my life, as so many people have said happens when they take it. I'm in it for the long haul. I have also read that long thread in here regarding how Aikido is supposedly not effective in a street fight, and loved and was educated by all of your astute answers.

OK, here's my question: I notice that most martial arts schools I have been to (Hapkido, Jujitsu, Kung Fu, etc.) all say that they teach "self-defense". If someone attacks you on the street, these schools say that you can "defend yourself" and/or "stop the assailants". These schools use real-life situational offensive strategies (straight punches, roundhouses, chokes, pushes, takedowns) for the student to DEFEND with the kata/moves of the martial art, as a result of this promise to teach self-defense.

I have been, so far, to two highly respected schools and watched 3 classes at each location. All of the attacks with which you are to defend at both schools are either a chopping down (like a sword) coming down on your head, or a chopping at the waist. I know that O'Sensei came from a sword culture. But why are teachers making moves like this in order for us to learn Aikido against when, in the real world, people DON'T ATTACK LIKE THAT!? I understand it's a spiritual martial art, but I feel like this is being TOO esoteric. Is this why Tomiki was invented?

It makes me hesitant to take the course. Maybe I'm an idiot. Maybe I don't get it. But while I want to dedicate my life to an art like Aikido, I also want to be able to defend myself if some guy or guys mess with me.

You guys rock! Set my verdant ass straight!

Cheers,

Arthur :p

Aristeia
02-10-2007, 03:13 AM
wow.

First of all I think it's a looooong stretch to go from tomiki to UFC champion - despite the much discussed simlarities between the *strategy* of BJJ and Aikido (which I agree with).

You've talked alot about the benefit of "submissions". I'm not sure I agree with this. Sure submissions are great, and a big part of both Aikido and BJJ. But at the end they are not the focus, of the arts simply the outcome. In fact the biggest mistakes I see being made in both arts is an over focus on submissions. In Aikido the focus should be on off balancing, blending and leading. In BJJ, positional dominance. Submissions are the icing that's all imo.

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2007, 04:37 AM
I agree Michael, these days, I don't even train my guys on submissions...we work on positional dominance out of which the submissions are very easy. When we focus on submissions, guys gloss over a bunch of things and get tunnel vision, they miss out on alot and typically fail and have nothing else to move on to.

jennyvanwest
02-22-2007, 07:13 AM
Going back to original post....perhaps you've got your answers already! But I was going to add, I was equally interested in Aikido for a very long time before I started training. The only thing that answered my own personal hesitations was just to do it.

hope you find what you're looking for!

Jenny

Angela Morton
02-24-2007, 06:06 PM
i have seen people hit with bottles, i know of people who have been hit with bottles, in much a similar was to attacks designed for swords and knives.

i know someone who's had her wrist grabbed, i'm sure she'd have appreciated knowing how to get out of it. Why go in and block, when you can go around the side and get out of the way?

I know aikido at my level wont work, i just don't know enough. i think at a higher level it will.

Train and see what you think.

Angela Morton
02-24-2007, 06:18 PM
IN other words... I know that Aikido is effective if someone grabs your wrist, grabs YOU (all the Aikido I have seen first starts off with the Aikidoist grabbing the wrist or arm; it's much easier to do this when someone grabs you first, keeps their hand near your face threateningly, etc.), but what about dealing with a fast puncher, someone who hauls off and punches fast, which is what most people I have known do in a street altercation (or move their hand quickly with a bottle or knife in it)? Am I making ANY sense?

If you've only seen grabbing techniques, you haven't watched enough aikido. What about the techniques designed for avoiding swords, which can be used in defense against attack with bottles? We do sometimes train with a tanto (wooden training knife), so there are specific techniques for knife attacks.

David Paul
08-20-2008, 10:58 AM
My two cents on the best form of self defense-take up Muay Thai. Simple and easy to learn and highly, highly effective. Good MT fighters are destroyers. Of everything I ever studied (aikido, tkd, kung fu) muay thai left me in the best shape and gave me the best means by which to defend myself.

David Paul
08-20-2008, 11:03 AM
First off, I have a comment that sounds very foolish at first, but holds some greater truth if you bother and think about it in some depth:

Aikido does not deal with anything. No Aikido fighter will magically appear if you are under attack. It is you who will have to fight for yourself!

That is so very true. In a real fight it isn't your martial art that will define how you handle an attack as much as it is you. Brilliant observation/statement.