PDA

View Full Version : What do you consider NOT injuring your attacker?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Talon
03-16-2007, 03:46 PM
In another thread someone brought up the issue of Aikido being a gentle art that when used properly should not injure the attacker.

This brought me to ask what does not injuring the attacker mean?

In my understanding in the past during the Samurai days, killing someone or maiming them was an acceptable consequence of a fight or battle. This type of injury severity such as broken limbs, injury for life or death was also the aim of a lot of martial arts and harder Jujitsu styles.

in my humble opinion, Aikido techniques are not necessarily meant to not subject the attacker with some discomfort or temporary pain. just not permanent damage. I believe that joint locks and pins are supposed to inflict some pain or discomfort and I tend to practice this way. Practicing this way gives us some feedback that the pin or lock has been done properly and if the pain or discomfort gets past the point of uke's liking or pain threshold, he can tap and of course the tori will release the pressure.

Has the idea of no pain to the attacker been misinterpreted by some Aikido folks? Had O'sensei really meant that Aikido's gentleness was literally to mean no pain/discomfort to the attacker at any time? Or has this idea been brought by future Aikido practitioners misunderstanding the meaning of the meaning of gentleness in the years back when O'sensei created Aikido?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the subject.

SeiserL
03-16-2007, 03:58 PM
This brought me to ask what does not injuring the attacker mean?
Turning them into a friend.

Talon
03-16-2007, 04:06 PM
Lynn thanks for the comment. That is always the ultimate goal, however, what if the attacker does not want to be your friend?

Also how do you train in your dojo? Do you train so that no one ever needs to tap because no discomfort/pain is ever inflicted?

Janet Rosen
03-16-2007, 05:50 PM
Optimally I tap to signal that there is nothing else I can do; I've been immobilized. I consider being immobilized by pain compliance to be NOT the optimal and would often tell people ' yknow I'm tapping because it hurts and I don't want a broken joint, but you haven't actually taken by balance. You might want to back off and try again.'

aikidoc
03-16-2007, 06:11 PM
One of my former students used a term I liked: least harm possible.

Roman Kremianski
03-16-2007, 06:50 PM
What John said.

Cady Goldfield
03-16-2007, 07:03 PM
Janet, (Hi! :) )
Do you consider pain compliance to be the same thing as injury? What if the pain ceases and there is no damage as soon as the lock, etc. is released?

Gwion
03-16-2007, 07:36 PM
Actually, pain is a very weak motivator for compliance. (my test is, would it work on someone on PCP? Pain will NOT work, but loss of balance and 'getting out of the way of their force" will)

Pain also usually ignites more anger and resentment. Even if you subdue the attacker this way, their mind is still wild and turbulent with the idea of 'getting revenge' for the pain infilicted on them.

A successful execution of techinque would lead the 'attacker's' ki in such a way that the attacker ended up with a calm mind, (like a bull in a yoke, or when someone holds an violently reacting autistic child so that they can't hurt themselves or others, but with a feeling of love at the same time),

Or perhaps they end up with an empty and completely bewildered mind, as those thrown by Osensei would often feel.

As one of my teachers once said, "if someone is attacking you, they have lost their connection to God, and are lashing out desperately in a very primitive way. If you give them a feeling of connection, and at the same time get out of the way of the violent aspects of that energy, continuing to connect, the attacker will come to a state of calm on their own"

I would say this is a bit hippyish, but this teacher dealt with an enraged drunken attacker at a bar in this way. Gently redirecting his punches, bravely, unwaveringly, and even lovingly, until the drunken man was out of breath and walked away bewildered and murmuring.

If someone thinks pain is the only way to stop someone, they are far from the deepest meaning of Aikido. They are still using the ego-mind way of looking at things. But the ego is a coward, and ultimately useless. I would throw out all fantasies of subduing anyone or achieving victory over someone through pain, as it will create a wall of resentment in other students, and in a street situation, could be deadly.

Talon
03-16-2007, 10:42 PM
Interesting discussion.

Personally I think its more of fantasy thinking that you can subdue a commited attacker without causing some kind of discomfort to them during the technique or during the pin. What exactly motivates them to stay in the pin? I say if you got the pin right you just put some pressure on the joints and the attacker at that point inflicts pain on themselves when they try to squigle out of the pin.

Also just by making someone loose their balance and fall on the street you would be inflicting injury or pain since most people are not skiled in ukeme.

George S. Ledyard
03-17-2007, 01:56 AM
Interesting discussion.

Personally I think its more of fantasy thinking that you can subdue a commited attacker without causing some kind of discomfort to them during the technique or during the pin. What exactly motivates them to stay in the pin? I say if you got the pin right you just put some pressure on the joints and the attacker at that point inflicts pain on themselves when they try to squigle out of the pin.

Also just by making someone loose their balance and fall on the street you would be inflicting injury or pain since most people are not skiled in ukeme.

This whole idea of little or no injury to the attacker is based on having far superior skill against a basically untrained attacker. There is no way that in real fight between two trained opponents, that one will prevail over the other without injury once the fight actually takes place.

There were a number of instances in which O-Sensei simply dominated the opponent before an attack could materialize and the would be attacker found himself unable to attack. But if he had done so, there would have been injury. The story about the guy who attacked O-Sensei with a bokken is illustrative... rather than attack with just enough strength to get a good idea of what the Founder's skill was like, he came in with what would have been a killing blow. O-Sensei merely did an irimi, not even any real waza but the impact of the attacker bouncing off the Founder was so great that the guy hit the wall and was crippled. That was when O-Sensei stopped accepting challenge matches as there was no way to do so safely.

The other illustration was the occasion on which O-Sensei was invited to demo before the Imperial family. O-Sensei stated that real Aikido was about how to kill in the blink of an eye and he didn't want to present something false before the Imperial family. He was persuaded to accept when they assured him that it was alright to show something less than the full reality of the art in his demo.

O-Sensei did not wish to have competition in the art. My understanding of the reason for this was that there was no way to have competition safely without rules and regulations. If one can't have even competition without injury (without restricting the practice drastically) ho much less likely is it that you could have a real fight between trained opponents without any?

Of course, in the real world most self defense situations do not involve trained attackers which is why there are all sorts of stories about people who successfully have used Aikido to defend themselves. But not between two skilled opponents...

barry.clemons
03-17-2007, 03:19 AM
My answers to your questions:

This brought me to ask what does not injuring the attacker mean?

IMHO, injuring the attacker means the physical application of technique past his/her threshold of pain, and into the realm of immediate but hopefully repairable damage. One could take that to an emotional level, but i'll stick with just physical.

Has the idea of no pain to the attacker been misinterpreted by some Aikido folks?

I would agree with you, yes to some.

Had O'sensei really meant that Aikido's gentleness was literally to mean no pain/discomfort to the attacker at any time? Or has this idea been brought by future Aikido practitioners misunderstanding the meaning of the meaning of gentleness in the years back when O'sensei created Aikido?

I apologize if this hasty reference is not an exact match for this subject; i'm deployed and my library is at home, but this particular book is a personal favorite:
"In 1936 the Founder decided the time had come to make the distinction between the old martial arts and his own clear, because of the philosophical and spiritual emphasis he had incorporated in his own art. Feeling that the essence of his new art was different from the old tradition of martial arts, he abandoned the term bujutsu and renamed his art aiki-budo. This necessary and inevitable step laid the foundation for the future of his school." (pg99) The Spirit of Aikido. Kisshomaru Ueshiba. 1984.

It goes on to speak about O'Sensei's perceived misuse of his new style of martial art by the then-at-war Japanese government, and his decision to rename his art Aikido "to identify his art as a unique and distinctive form of budo"(pg100).

Misunderstandings? perhaps. But I believe the idea was all O'Sensei. I personally O'Sensei knew exactly what he was doing and saying when referencing gentleness, and that he absolutely believed in being able to subdue an attack and attacker without injury.

Tinyboy344
03-17-2007, 03:36 AM
I think I brought up the topic about "inflicting pain and injure the attacker" in the other thread. I was just trying to make a point that having control over is far more important than causing pain to the "attacker" whom most likely to be our training partner.
I also said luckily I had a chance to experience that by taking ukemi for sensei Phong as he brought me down to the mat and held me there without causing any pain to me yet I felt like there's nothing else I could do and I tapped out.

How I train in my dojo, we tap before we feel pain bcuz we know it will hurt, really dont wanna abuse our bodies too much. Aikido training journey is endless and I'd like to enjoy mine as long as I can =)

Talon
03-17-2007, 10:39 AM
Well of course at my dojo we do not hurt eachother and we tap out at what we feel our individual pain threshold is. Ie. if you don't want to feel pain, tap out faster. however I personally want to feel some discomfort, most of the time, before I tap. This for me keeps the techiques real such that I know that they are working properly This view is shared by most of of the people at our dojo (not all).

I wanted to get some feedback how other people train.

Marc Abrams
03-17-2007, 11:21 AM
If you stop and analyze the joint positions/locks that we place people in, you can easily see how a slight variation of that position will result in serious injury (typically joint break with damage to connecting tissue). Many of the throws place us in a position to cause significant damage to the throat (via strike or choke), or in a position to break someone's spine.

I like to think that Aikido has offered me more possibilities and options when confronting an attacker, than I had learned from previous arts.

Someone brought up the issue of pain. Kenji Ushiro Sensei raised a good point at the last summer Boulder camp when he distinguished between pain that makes the attacker stronger and pain that makes the attacker weaker. When somebody is on PCP, serious injury typically occurs because that person is "beyond" listening to the body signals that tell most people to stop. In that case, I would much rather have them destroy their own joint(s) by their violent movements, than not. It has been my experience that an attackers effective ability to harm is significantly lessened when a major joint has been seriously damaged.

marc abrams

Guilty Spark
03-17-2007, 11:32 AM
I'm all for not hurting someone and turning an enemy into the proverbial friend but I think chances are if your in a real fight and you use aikido someones going to get hurt. You if you don't use your technique right, them if you do.

I know we're told that if you execute your technique the right way then the attackers energy will be redirected and he'll just get tired and go away etc..
Reality wise I think if you perform many aikido moves on someone not trained to received them, mixed with your adrenaline, you WILL hurt them. Maybe not so much for a 4th dan type but I think for the rest of us.

Janet Rosen
03-17-2007, 02:58 PM
Hi Cady - yes, there is totally a difference between the benign, transitory pain of nikkyo and the pain that signals that a tendon is about to snap! The former can be breathed and relaxed into and may not even require a tapout!
I was doing a (too)quick reply, I guess :-) and trying to differentiate between pain compliance and immobilization.

Just Jamey
03-17-2007, 04:48 PM
This is a question that comes to mind almost every time I train, and I add atemi to this quandary. I think for where my Aikido is at presently, in a true confrontation, my aim would be not to seriously, or permanently injure an aggressor. However, I am going to worry about my safety first, and the aggressor's second.

If I needed to use atemi, or a joint-lock I would like to think I will use them in a committed fashion. A 'committed fashion' to me means it isn't my intent to seriously injure anyone, but if that person moves into my atemi, or joint-lock in a way that results in some temporary pain/injury, so be it. Heck, I walk/move into some pain during ukemi all the time (Which, just proves I really need to work on my ukemi...). In a serious confrontation this is a martial art, it is a strenuous physical activity, and injuries, intentional or not, occur.

Maybe when I is all growed up, I'll be a able to apply my Aikido all proper like with perfection... Until, then I'll juss keep on keepin' on with my trainin'.

Basia Halliop
03-19-2007, 08:45 AM
I agree about least harm... that may sometimes mean more than 'no' harm, OTOH, if you're capable of no harm, then that's what you do..

But Paul, there's a distinction I think it might be useful to make in a discussion about pain in joint locks... I would consider whether they're 'choosing to submit because they are afraid of the pain or injury' vs 'being forced down against their choice by losing their balance or something similar' -- which may actually still hurt sometimes, but it's the difference between pain as a sometimes unpreventable byproduct and using pain as your actual 'weapon' for lack of a better word.

I don't know, maybe sometimes that does work as a tool, too, but I think it's a distinction to think about, anyway.

DonMagee
03-19-2007, 09:40 AM
I believe there will always be pain in a fight. However your goal should not be to cause pain, but to subdue your attacker. Causing pain is a consequence of the subduing, but not a goal onto itself.

For example, you do not armbar a guy because it hurts, you armbar him to remove his ability to effectively use that arm. The fact that it hurts is an afterthought. I believe true skills is being able to dominate your opponent in such as way that you prevent death or dismemberment while subduing him. Rickson Graice shows great skill in his ability to choke out his attackers while causing little or no injury to them and receiving little or no injury himself. I think this spirit is what many teachers speak of when they talk about not harming your attacker.

The reason pain should not be a goal is because its effectiveness is variable. A broken bone will limit the use of a body part, a blocked airway will limit the ability to stay alive. Reduce the blood flow to the brain and the attacker passes out. All these things are fairly constant among all of us. However, I know people who are not phased by pain and people who are over sensitive. For example, pinching my skin, crossfacing me, shin to shin contact, finger locks, etc are all annoying to me, but will not stop me. I have accepted that I may have to break a finger or nose to beat you. I've broken toes while sparing and not even missed a beat. By contrast I have a friend who can be tapped out by pinching his big toe nail between your thumb and first finger. He taps to weight on his chest like the knee on belly position. If I were to rely on these techniques to defeat my attacker instead of provide a means to taking their posture and balance, I would no doubt be beaten. Relying on a technique that might work vs a technique that mostly works is silly. This is why I do not understand the idea of dillmans no touch knock outs. If they don't work on 90+% of there, its not very useful.

So I guess i'm saying, do even worry about causing pain, worry about what will cause injury. Then decide if the situation dictates causing that injury. Pain is not a constant you can count on.

Talon
03-19-2007, 10:03 AM
I never said that we count on pain to subdue the attacker. What I ment is for instance when we do kotegashi or shihonage unless the Uke moves with the technique quickly he/she will likely feel some discomfort. This also goes for pins. The pin is done to the degree that the uke taps because it locks them to the point that they start to feel some discomfort. This does not mean that pain is the only aim or source of the pin or technique. Obviously, you want the uke to be in a position where they really have no choise but to fall, and submit.

Pete Rihaczek
03-19-2007, 09:04 PM
I believe there will always be pain in a fight. However your goal should not be to cause pain, but to subdue your attacker.

I disagree, that is a potentially fatal mindset. If it's a real self-defense scenario, e.g. an attack by a recidivist criminal, and not the street ego thing many martial artists refer to, the best strategy is to get away. I'd have to look at my copy of Strong on Defense (written by a police officer and forensic investigator about real violence, not the imaginings you see on martial arts forums), but I think the figure was something along the lines of technique being a factor in only 10% of violent crime. And martial artists who could have gotten away from an attacker end up doing stupid macho "I'm a modern day warrior" things like trying to subdue the attacker for the police, and then end up getting killed.

For unnecessary fighting, Aikido's philosophy should have you avoiding it completely, even if it means backing down from some jerk who says you took his parking spot when you didn't. For *real* self-defense where your life is potentially at risk, the value of martial arts training is questionable to begin with, and then Aikido specifically in terms of technique is even more questionable, particularly when you consider how long it takes to get any level of skill. If "self-defense" is really your goal, you're probably barking up the wrong tree entirely by even talking about Aikido for self-defense. And the title of this thread is a complete joke, anyone who thinks they have the skill to benevolently take it easy on an attacker while lovingly reconciling the bad guy with the Ki of the universe is smoking crack, and just lowering his odds of survival.

Kevin Leavitt
03-20-2007, 01:30 AM
Pete, I don't really think that Don said anything that was contrary to your disagreement that I can see. Infact, I think both of you bring up some very good issues.

Don is not talking about the ma'ai, and the ability to walk away from a fight. He is talking about the actions during a fight and the fact that relying on pain to subdue is not a good thing.

In the past, much like myself, Don has held to the school of thought of dominance through superior position and using blood chokes as means for control, that is..cutting oxygen supply from the brain

Dominance through superior position would include the things that you mention such as the ability to run, or remove yourself from the situation.

I wholeheartedly agree concerning "Self Defense" and aikido. Much more efficient delivery systems for this out there in the world today.

Much of what you do is predicated on choice. One thing I think aikido SHOULD be good at doing, not sure how well it does in this area for others...is to show you choice. The fact that you have many choices that you can make in a situation, (or maybe ones you don't have).

Yes, if you have the choice to disengage and remove yourself from the situation you should do so.

If you don't have choice that is an entirely different scenario.

I did not fully appreciate grappling and groundfighitng skills until I understood the concept of choice, or lack thereof.

It is nice to practice from a even kamae. However, that kamae sends a clear message of choice.

If we practiced aikido from this position for reality, then in most cases it would be to not enter and not engage...but to back up, and run.

Again, choice.

As you point out, I think we have to clearly discern from practice and philosophy and the reality of violence.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-20-2007, 05:34 AM
Of course, in the real world most self defense situations do not involve trained attackers which is why there are all sorts of stories about people who successfully have used Aikido to defend themselves. But not between two skilled opponents...[/QUOTE]

I would concur with that..... I am of Shodokan bias and when facing somebody in sport shiai who is your level or better it can get quite heated but controlled.... so less risk of injury.... but very fast when successful waza is applied..... I have had many unfortunate opportunities to to have my skill level tested in my occupation and have found it to be successful but not so pretty 99% of the time.
Tony

DonMagee
03-20-2007, 06:40 AM
Pete, I don't really think that Don said anything that was contrary to your disagreement that I can see. Infact, I think both of you bring up some very good issues.

Don is not talking about the ma'ai, and the ability to walk away from a fight. He is talking about the actions during a fight and the fact that relying on pain to subdue is not a good thing.

In the past, much like myself, Don has held to the school of thought of dominance through superior position and using blood chokes as means for control, that is..cutting oxygen supply from the brain

Dominance through superior position would include the things that you mention such as the ability to run, or remove yourself from the situation.

I wholeheartedly agree concerning "Self Defense" and aikido. Much more efficient delivery systems for this out there in the world today.

Much of what you do is predicated on choice. One thing I think aikido SHOULD be good at doing, not sure how well it does in this area for others...is to show you choice. The fact that you have many choices that you can make in a situation, (or maybe ones you don't have).

Yes, if you have the choice to disengage and remove yourself from the situation you should do so.

If you don't have choice that is an entirely different scenario.

I did not fully appreciate grappling and groundfighitng skills until I understood the concept of choice, or lack thereof.

It is nice to practice from a even kamae. However, that kamae sends a clear message of choice.

If we practiced aikido from this position for reality, then in most cases it would be to not enter and not engage...but to back up, and run.

Again, choice.

As you point out, I think we have to clearly discern from practice and philosophy and the reality of violence.

Yes, I would say if you have the chance to flee a conflict, then you should do so. But I would also say that if you have that chance you are not in a fight. I do not consider a posturing male in a bar to be a fight. He might be a threat, but he is not in a fight with me, I can walk away. Now if I go to the bathroom and he corners me and blocks the door and attacks, now we are in a fight. A fight is what happens when everything else you learned about conflict resolution fails.

But even if you do flee and come out unharmed there is still pain, pain of ego.

George S. Ledyard
03-20-2007, 09:00 AM
I believe there will always be pain in a fight. However your goal should not be to cause pain, but to subdue your attacker. Causing pain is a consequence of the subduing, but not a goal onto itself.


This is not legally required and the mindset entailed could be a fatal under application of force in a dangerous situation. If things get to the point at which there is a fight, you should be thinking "knock the guy out" and have the intention to do it. When you go to the center and the first atemi hits, if you don't need to continue, if the life goes out of the attack, then fine, choose to do something less. But initially, you should have the mindset that your are going to the center and rendering this guy unconscious. If you have a less committed mindset, you are at grave risk.

DonMagee
03-20-2007, 09:37 AM
This is not legally required and the mindset entailed could be a fatal under application of force in a dangerous situation. If things get to the point at which there is a fight, you should be thinking "knock the guy out" and have the intention to do it. When you go to the center and the first atemi hits, if you don't need to continue, if the life goes out of the attack, then fine, choose to do something less. But initially, you should have the mindset that your are going to the center and rendering this guy unconscious. If you have a less committed mindset, you are at grave risk.

I totally agree. I use subdue very loosely. When I leg kick, I do so with the intention the leg will buckle. When I throw my punch combos I do so with the intent they will knock you out. However I am trained to not stop at the punch, but to throw combos and keep pressing the offense. Once I see that opening it is not going to be a punch, attacker falls down, I back off. Its punch punch, close the distance, grab throw, follow down, punch punch, if he flips over choke. Of course this changes depending on what actually happens in the fight, you may be forced to abandon your position due to another attacker, etc. If you are in a fight I believe you do not stop fighting until the attackers are subdued or you are presented with a high percentage means of escape. Many things can accomplish this, gassing your attacker, knocking him out, breaking limbs needed to attack you, even death.

Where we might disagree is how to take a center. I will rarely give my balance to take another person center. I also believe in feints and draws to force an attacker to fight my fight. However I must agree that when you do decide to act, act completely. If you hesitate in your attack, you run a very real risk of getting hurt. Judo is an effective tool at teaching this. If there is any hesitation or lack of commitment in your throw, you will quickly find yourself countered and laying on the ground.

Talon
03-20-2007, 10:45 AM
This discussion is getting interesting.

The reason I started this thread is because I got the feeling that our way of training where often there is some pain/discomfort to the uke during the practice of the techniques and pins is looked upon as bad or incorrect in the Aikido community.

To me this type of work is more true in a sense that we can feel that techniques, pins are working properly and by doing the techniques/pins this way everytime we can feel where the limit is before there is pain/discomfort and later on permanent damage. If uke taps we stop, but most of us don't mind to feel a bit of discomfort/pain temporarily before we tap.

I see that most agree that in the real world winning a fight without at least causing temporary discomfort to the attacker is very unrealistic. By the way I agree completely that avoiding the fight is the number 1 option that sould be taken everytime its possible.

Paul

CarlRylander
03-20-2007, 10:50 AM
I have a TKWD black belt friend, who told me that if you give a little bit of pain, it enrages your opponent, but if you give a lot of pain, they tend to give up rather quickly!!!

garry cantrell
03-20-2007, 12:00 PM
This is not legally required ...

Just as an FYI - the Texas legislature just passed a law (yesterday) expanding self-defense rights (the governor is expected to sign same once it reaches his desk). Previously there was no duty to retreat in your own home (the so-called "castle doctrine") before using deadly force. The new law purportedly extends that doctrine to vehicles and offices and provides protection against lawsuits seeking civil damages in self defense situations (the tort reform passed several years ago already provides civil liability protection of that sort - so that part is redundant). Actually, under prior law, you only had to retreat if you could safely do so, and I think that's probably the case in all states. I haven't seen the language yet - the above is just from the newpapers.

Kevin Leavitt
03-20-2007, 12:14 PM
This discussion is getting interesting.

The reason I started this thread is because I got the feeling that our way of training where often there is some pain/discomfort to the uke during the practice of the techniques and pins is looked upon as bad or incorrect in the Aikido community.

To me this type of work is more true in a sense that we can feel that techniques, pins are working properly and by doing the techniques/pins this way everytime we can feel where the limit is before there is pain/discomfort and later on permanent damage. If uke taps we stop, but most of us don't mind to feel a bit of discomfort/pain temporarily before we tap.

I see that most agree that in the real world winning a fight without at least causing temporary discomfort to the attacker is very unrealistic. By the way I agree completely that avoiding the fight is the number 1 option that sould be taken everytime its possible.

Paul

Now I am going to go contradictory on you a little. :)

The thing I think you have to do is separate aikido practice from reality and realize that the two really have very little in common other than the fact that you are interacting with another human being on a physical, interpersonal level.

I think in the aikido dojo it is appropriate to practice without pain or minimizing pain. It is appropriate for best learning the principles of aikido I think. My goal in the dojo is to be able to control properly without the need of pain.

I train for CHOICE. Or that is, expanding my options or choices in any giving situations. (Skill or skillfullness). If I have it or not in reality is quite another matter predicated on the situational factors present.

It is also appropriate to understand the thresholds of pain and damage, of what the body can and cannot handle. For instance twisting knee locks and achilles locks are very bad and have low threshold. Kote gaeshi, shionage, etc..all have mechanics that we must learn to understand pain, damage and control.

In a real situation, you do what you need to do for self defense or preservation. The actions you choose is based upon many factors, skill, size, availability of weapons, risk, danger, what not.

In a court of law, your actions in the United States will be judged upon the criteria of reasonableness and appropriateness. The level or the amount of pain is not really a factor if it was reasonable or appropriate for the situation.

I think it is important to not think WAZA or DO when we have to defend ourself.

While there is transferrence of skill from the dojo, it is not direct, nor 100%.

Luc X Saroufim
03-20-2007, 03:52 PM
Had O'sensei really meant that Aikido's gentleness was literally to mean no pain/discomfort to the attacker at any time?

i'd like to meet the person who understood what O'Sensei said.


Or has this idea been brought by future Aikido practitioners misunderstanding the meaning of the meaning of gentleness in the years back when O'sensei created Aikido?

future, and current, Aikido practitioners are changing Aikido all the time. everyone can understand the technique, but no one really understands the intent, so you have a good question. i think it's a valid martial art, while other Aikidoka, who are just as passionate, don't think that's its intended purpose at all

my $0.02; the techniques are worthless if you are trying to imagine using them at face value. the techniques (at face value) teach you how to be gentle, love one another, and be a better person. and in my opinion this is completely unrealistic if a crack dealer is trying to kill you with this dagger. even if your technique happens to work, i don't think you're going to hug when he's down on the ground, not feeling any pain.

if you want to use them in the real world, you have to modify them, and it can be done. Irimi Nage can easily break someone's neck if you modify your movement just a tiny bit.

this was O'Sensei's strategy: take modern techniques that are designed to maim/kill, and modify them to suit a different purpose. add some internal strength, and you have Aikido.

so if you're looking for some real action, you have to start with Aikido, and work backwards. if you're looking to defeat yourself and no one else, Aikido is fine just the way it is.

again this is my $0.02 and i expect many different opinions on this broad issue.

Just Jamey
03-20-2007, 06:38 PM
Sleep deprived, and feeling a little silly. :D Note - the following should be read out loud in: a big silly cartoon annoucer voice, the voice of a hyper active computer programmer on a 3 day bender, or the Saturday Night Live "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy" voice over because that's how I'm writing it in my head. :D

and now for...

Deep Thoughts with Just Jamey

Hypothetically speaking, an Aikidoka gets into a physical altercation, after they tried to peacefully resolve a confrontation. After attempting to blend with the attack(s) and desperately trying to extract themselves from the altercation, they successfully execute a throw (note- not saying it has to be pretty... just successful). That attacker hits the ground, presumably concrete in today's world, and they do not [know how/weren't in position] to fall.

Is it the Aikidoka who injured the attacker by throwing them, or is it the attacker who injured themselves by initiating a confrontation without knowing how to fall?

Another Deep Thoughts moment brought to you be the makers of Whammo...

Hypothetically speaking, an Aikidoka gets into a physical altercation, after they tried to peacefully resolve a confrontation. After attempting to blend with the attack(s) and desperately trying to extract themselves from the altercation, they successfully execute a joint-lock (note- again, not saying it has to be pretty... just successful). That attacker moves against the joint-lock because they were already in motion to continue their attack, and they break their [insert joint being locked].

Is it the Aikidoka who injured the attacker by applying the joint-lock, or is it the attacker who injured themselves by initiating an attack and moving into the joint-lock?

Yet another Deep Thoughts moment brought to you be the Acme Cartel... bringing a better tomorrow through the development or rocket powered ice skates.

Hypothetically speaking, an Aikidoka gets into a physical altercation, after they tried to peacefully resolve a confrontation. After attempting to blend with the attack(s) and desperately trying to extract themselves from the altercation, they throw a committed atemi to the face with only the intention of redirecting the attacker so that a full technique could be applied. That attacker was already in motion to continue their attack, running smack into the atemi, and they break their [insert facial feature].

Is it the Aikidoka who injured the attacker by throwing a committed atemi, or is it the attacker who injured themselves by initiating an attack and moving into the atemi?

:hypno: It boggles the mind?!?!? :hypno:

We now return you to your regularly schedule Aikido Thread.

Aikibu
03-21-2007, 03:18 PM
This is not legally required and the mindset entailed could be a fatal under application of force in a dangerous situation. If things get to the point at which there is a fight, you should be thinking "knock the guy out" and have the intention to do it. When you go to the center and the first atemi hits, if you don't need to continue, if the life goes out of the attack, then fine, choose to do something less. But initially, you should have the mindset that your are going to the center and rendering this guy unconscious. If you have a less committed mindset, you are at grave risk.

Amen Sensei Ledyard as Shoji Nishio Shihan used to say A basic tenet of Aikido is The fight should be over at the moment of first contact anything else is a form of dancing. :)

William Hazen

DonMagee
03-21-2007, 08:45 PM
I tell me kids in the unix class I teach this bit of wisdom.

"There is what should be done, and then there is what happens in a production environment.

In the lab, everything is done by the book, we have test machines, infinite time to debug, no pressure to perform, ability to have down time and research, and the ability to really write well written code. In production we have managers, middle mangers, upper management, an idiot college intern, under paid overtime, your lucky if you have a test box, restrictions on your choices of tools, and bosses who think that business degree makes them a master of IT. What gets done in the real world NEVER looks like what happens in this college lab."

I will give the same advice when I open my own marital art school someday.

Edwin Neal
03-24-2007, 10:32 PM
i think the "no pain at all" view is completely wrong headed... reports are that Osensei's nikkyos were excruciating... and pain should be just one additional facet of a technique that includes position and balance... in any "fight" when there is no way to avoid it, ones intent must me complete... no wavering or hesitancy... you should be ready and able to kill your attacker if necessary... aikido IS a martial art and should be practiced as such... in class be gentle with your uke based upon their level... practice SINCERELY...

Carlos Rivera
03-28-2007, 05:08 PM
Here are three rules I have used:

First, avoid the fight.

Second, if you must engage the opponent, then use only the amount of force necessary to stop the attack.

Third, walk away.

Of course, in a perfect world we would not have to use any physical techniques. But having worked around violent offenders and mentally unstable people for 15 yrs. of my adult life, I have used these rules consistently. I learned them when I practiced Okinawa Goju-ryu and when I started in Aikido kept them. I have found that Aikido is not about who's stronger, faster or tougher. It is more an understanding of who you are, and what you can do in a situation where there could be a physical outcome. Have I used Aikido in the real life? Yes, and to tell you the truth I never caused an injury which could not be defended in court, nor caused loss of utility to anyone's limbs. Did the interaction change me or those I intervened with? You bet. I, for one do not relish getting into a scrape, if the whole thing can be talked out. On the other hand, those who were considered opponents or attackers came to either a) respect me or b) appreciate the error of their ways and the fact that I did not cause further injury. One of such individuals, doing life for a very heinous crime, said to me that "a true man can make its mark on another either physically or mentally, if they maim you then there will be resentment and vindictiveness, but if they show you compassion they will gain your respect forever." Wise words from a convicted felon who had nothing to lose.

Thus, a non-injury would be equal to using only the force necessary to stop or neutralize a violent attack or situation. In other words, you walk away from the whole thing with your life and not your "pumped up" ego. So, we can theorize all we want but if you are able to discern what your priorities are when life comes at you at 100 mph or in the shape of a nasty shank, then perhaps you will be able to live another day.:circle: :square: :triangle:

Largo
03-30-2007, 12:49 PM
I would say doing the minimum amount of damage necessary to accomplish my goal (being safe/ left alone).