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stan baker
03-18-2007, 06:50 PM
lets face it the aikido dream is over

stan

mjchip
03-18-2007, 07:33 PM
lets face it the aikido dream is over

stan

Hey Stan,

How about you be more specific. *What* dream is over? It's interesting that you pick the word "dream" as for me personally, I do see this as sort of an awakening.

BTW, I spent the day in seclusion doing iaido (Tim, I guess I should say Iai Batto Ho :) ), zazen, and the body conditioning exercises. It's amazing how the exercises tune the body awareness. I could really feel the effect when sitting.......

Mark

stan baker
03-18-2007, 10:01 PM
what dream, many of us in aikido have felt that the top aikidoist were on some high level control anybody with no effort. but in reality they would get there butts kicked by the best fighters.

st5an

kironin
03-19-2007, 12:15 AM
what dream, many of us in aikido have felt that the top aikidoist were on some high level control anybody with no effort. but in reality they would get there butts kicked by the best fighters.
st5an

Gimme a break!
Any one who has gone some distance in aikido and certainly have gone to shodan or more and still thinks like you are suggesting needs to check their maturity level.

We are all human beings and we can all get our butt kicked under some circumstance. What ever "the best fighters" you are idolizing can and have gotten their butts kicked too.

Comic book heroes are only that.

stan baker
03-19-2007, 06:36 AM
Hi Craig,

your missing the point, take the ten best shihans ,and ten best fighters in the world. dream on if you want to.

stan

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 06:59 AM
Hi Craig,

your missing the point, take the ten best shihans ,and ten best fighters in the world. dream on if you want to.

stan

Please define 'best' for the purpose of this statistical discussion.

mjchip
03-19-2007, 07:19 AM
Stan,

No offense but that's just silly. :) The ten best fighters in the world will have MMA backgrounds (formal or not) you can bet on that. They will also spend their entire careers fighting, many on a daily basis, and training to fight.

I think its highly unlikely for a master of any single traditional martial art to be able to step in the ring with someone who is a trained MMA fighter and win. In fact, the early UFCs proved this to be true.

IMO, there isn't one aikido shihan, whom I can think of, that would survive one round in a professional MMA bout with the top dogs (pick any champion from any matching weight class). The ones that I'm thinking of would certainly have the mental conditioning but their bodies are too broken up, they wouldn't have the physical conditioning, and don't have a complete skillset necessary to fight that sort of fight. To even make the comparison is IMO stupid.

To bring this back around I heard Dan say (I'm going to paraphrase because my memory sucks) "Don't mistake this internal stuff for fighting. The body training can definitely improve your martial skill but if that's all you have, you're going to be immovable/unthrowable/etc. right until you get your ass knocked out. You need more."

Since we're playing the what if game, what if you had some young man with the skills of the top aiki masters along with the conditioning and fight specific training/experience. My guess is that he'd clean up. Point being, I believe (and I may be dreaming) that the aiki skills added to just about anything will make it better including MMA fighting.

Mark

stan baker
03-19-2007, 07:25 AM
We donot have to get the best if there is such a thing to make the point, just get some of the top aikido men and top fighters ok

end of story

stan

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 07:47 AM
We donot have to get the best if there is such a thing to make the point, just get some of the top aikido men and top fighters ok

end of story

stan

Ok. Define 'top' for the purposes of this sports statistic debate. Are you referring to 'top' as in 'top scorer of points in a ring of some kind'? If so can all MAs enter such a competition? Can I bring my rather sharp sword and use aiki-ken methods to dismember an unarmed opponent? What are the rules to this method of defining 'top' and/or 'best'?

kironin
03-19-2007, 08:29 AM
Hi Craig,

your missing the point, take the ten best shihans ,and ten best fighters in the world. dream on if you want to.

stan

No, I am not. This just shows how ridiculous you are being.

While we are being ridiculous, allow me to take the skill set of the shihans out of their 60+ year old bodies and throw them into 20-something bodies with the conditioning for a UFC type match and the time to train and adapt their skillset to the situation and then it might be interesting.

Since when did shihan going from meaning "model teacher" - (someone whose movements are to be emulated) to meaning "ultimate fighter". Shihan of an art that is not supposed to be about fighting. Since when would I be so childish as to expect them to jump into the octagon and wipe out those who train for that environment and 1/3 their age and 2+ times their weight.

besides ten best fighters of what ? How about ten best knife fighters, ten best stick fighters, ten best gun fighters, tank fighters?

If anyone over 20 was thinking this way, which I find hard to believe, time to grow up. The octagon never was what you are
training in aikido for.

mjchip
03-19-2007, 08:34 AM
While we are being ridiculous, allow me to take the skill set of the shihans out of their 60+ year old bodies and throw them into 20-something bodies with the conditioning for a UFC type match and the time to train and adapt their skillset to the situation and then it might be interesting.

Hey, you stole my point and it's a good one. LOL

Seriously, this would be very interesting. In this regard I'm holding out hope for Jason Delucia. I think he's got the fight experience, the MMA skillset, and maybe enough of an aiki background to pull off some special stuff. Also, I don't think he is encumbered by current aikido politics.

Mark

M. McPherson
03-19-2007, 08:39 AM
No offense but that's just silly. :) The ten best fighters in the world will have MMA backgrounds (formal or not) you can bet on that. They will also spend their entire careers fighting, many on a daily basis, and training to fight.

Mark,

I think Stan's post was maybe too simplistic and provocative, but his point seems a legitimate one for consideration. Actually (and Stan can chime in here and correct me otherwise), he seems to have two points:
The first seemed to be that, without these baseline internal skills, can you even really consider aikido a martial art? Physical art of minor conflict resolution? Path of daily practice to integrate oneself physically? Great opportunity to get out of the house and meet nice people? Why not, to all of those. All healthy reasons to pursue any path of self-development
But (and I'm reading the spirit of his post here, rather than the letter) what happens when an aikidoka has to mix it up with someone who is trained in another fighting art. You mention MMA, but - and all protests of, "Aikido is not about fighting!" aside - what if (since we're playing that game...and really, isn't martial training of any kind just a physical game of what if? If there isn't that possibility of physical conflict, is it a martial art?) your average aikidoka of ten years training finds themselves with no other option but to defend themselves against someone with ten years training in another art. A single art, mind you. But one that trains aggressively, and with active resistance, from day one of training.
Consider a hellbent boxer, or grappler of any kind. A kyokushinkai student, or someone doing traditional Uechi or Goju Ryu. For the cherry on top, let's all shudder to think of a well-trained Muay Thai fighter. All of these are fighters who are used to getting hit, and striking and attacking while moving against their opponent - and under conditions of adrenalized stress.
Seriously consider that. No need to pit seasoned MMA'ers against aged shihan here, either.
Stan's second point (implied, I believe. Stan, you crafty, subtle devil) is actually encouraging, and supports what Dan and Mike (those crafty, unsubtle devils...all too busy pissing in pools, and ruining dreams of martial greatness) have been arguing. Add in internal bodywork for your average aikidoka, starting from day one, and then put them against students of another style. That would not only level the playing field, but for those aikidoka who train with active resistance against their partners, would possibly tip the scales against "external" stylists.
(btw, I don't think those styles I pitted our hapless and average ten year aikidoka against are necessarily "external." Nor do I believe that "aiki" is just in aikido, or that all y'all own it. It's just what you call it).
I know I'm preaching to the converted, Mark, about the need for these internal skills (no matter what the art), but I don't think Stan's provocation was as simplistic or naive as it seems to have been perceived. To me, it really just seemed to demand, "What's your idea of martial?" Again, if someone is not pursuing aikido to martial ends, I still consider it a deeply worthy path. But, personally, I think those aikidoka that do train with the idea that it is a martial art should be training to fight. Every day, just like folks in those other arts. And more like folks in those other arts...all the while keeping it aikido (*cough*baseline skills*cough,cough*)

Best,
Murray

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 08:40 AM
Seriously, this would be very interesting.

Yeah I think it would. Am I losing it or do I remember the Gracies inviting Judo Gene to take part in UFC at its beginning. Would've been fun to see him in his pink keikogi in the octagon. I think he declined saying: "You nuts, I'm an old man. I'm not stupid enough to get into a ring with you guys." I think he also said that if they put their granpa in the ring with him that'd be a fair match. They declined to do so...

At least thats the story I remember, afraid I can't remember whre I heard it from sadly, it was years ago while I still used to watch UFC stuff.

Regards

Mike

DonMagee
03-19-2007, 08:49 AM
No, I am not. This just shows how ridiculous you are being.

While we are being ridiculous, allow me to take the skill set of the shihans out of their 60+ year old bodies and throw them into 20-something bodies with the conditioning for a UFC type match and the time to train and adapt their skillset to the situation and then it might be interesting.

Since when did shihan going from meaning "model teacher" - (someone whose movements are to be emulated) to meaning "ultimate fighter". Shihan of an art that is not supposed to be about fighting. Since when would I be so childish as to expect them to jump into the octagon and wipe out those who train for that environment and 1/3 their age and 2+ times their weight.

besides ten best fighters of what ? How about ten best knife fighters, ten best stick fighters, ten best gun fighters, tank fighters?

If anyone over 20 was thinking this way, which I find hard to believe, time to grow up. The octagon never was what you are
training in aikido for.

To try to add something of value to this conversation (good luck right?) Why is it you do not see this shihan level of skill in younger people? We see many amazing artists in the MMA world with great skills in their 20's and 30's, yet it seems the great examples of non sport arts are always 50+. Is this a positive or negative trait of traditional arts like aikido?

kironin
03-19-2007, 09:00 AM
Mark,

I think Stan's post was maybe too simplistic and provocative, but his point seems a legitimate one for consideration. Actually (and Stan can chime in here and correct me otherwise), he seems to have two points:
...
Best,
Murray

I think you are giving Stan way too much credit for your own thoughts on the subject. If he had articulated anything remotely on the level you are suggesting that would be different.

I don't know what an average aikidoka is but I am not losing any sleep over meeting other martial artists with the equivalent level of experience in some other martial art in a street confrontation. First, the number with over ten years experience in one art is not enough to make it even remotely likely. Second, I have had the experience of holding my own against someone of another martial art and I have seen my teacher hand someone their lunch so to speak on a number of occasions.

That's different discussion altogether than the cartoon Stan was drawing.

mjchip
03-19-2007, 09:00 AM
To try to add something of value to this conversation (good luck right?) Why is it you do not see this shihan level of skill in younger people? We see many amazing artists in the MMA world with great skills in their 20's and 30's, yet it seems the great examples of non sport arts are always 50+. Is this a positive or negative trait of traditional arts like aikido?

That's a very good question that is worth exploring. Why does the transmission of the art take so long? I've heard that Ueshiba Sensei wouldn't accept any student into his dojo unless they were already yudansha in another art. Do you think that he expected folks to already come in with good "baseline skills", conditioning, knowledge of striking/throwing/etc. and as a result taught at a high level (sort of the graduate school analogy). I know that my teacher's teacher did judo extensively before aikido as a specific example. Could it be that aikido training on top of no other martial skills is building a nice house on an unstable foundation? Could this be one reason why it takes so long? I don't know the answer but am curious as well.....

Mark

gdandscompserv
03-19-2007, 09:02 AM
lets face it the aikido dream is over

stan
No it's not.
I have a job interview for Okinawa.
:D :D

Budd
03-19-2007, 09:04 AM
Thought it may be worth noting that Karo Parisyan, one of Gene Lebell (and Gokor C.)'s proteges is doing quite well in MMA (and doing it by being 'himself', he has more success getting pure judo throws in the MMA no-gi environment than anyone else I've seen). His only two losses that I've seen were to Georges St. Pierre (current champion) and Diego Sanchez (current phenom) and he didn't make it easy for either one.

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 09:04 AM
For the cherry on top, let's all shudder to think of a well-trained Muay Thai fighter.

I began learnign aikido while studying at the University of Plymouth. There, on my first ever Saturday night outs as a student some locals decided to start a fight with us student types. Amongst those more seriously hurt was my friend Andy Black. Some people familiar with Muay Thai in the UK from the late 1990s may remember his name. The fight I mentioned was before he began learning to kickbox. But within a few years of our unfortunate encounter with the local thugs he was just about the toughest muay thai/kickboxer you were likely to meet. A middle weight, IIRC in one match he once knocked a guy out in less than ten seconds, he only hit the guy twice in order to do so once in the ribs and once in the head.

He went to fight in Thailand and fought a professional thai boxer of the same weight class. The guy hit him with an elbow, Andy wasn't aware that elbows were allowed in the rules, but no matter, it would be fun to use them anyway. The aforementioned Thai kickboxer was dragged to the side of the ring and injected with painkillers before they sewed up the 4 inch gash in the side of his head then and there at the side of the ring.

My friend Andy also entered into Vale Tudo contests put on by the University Kung Fu Club (who were basically a MMA club using the guise of Kung Fu to practice at the University), I'm afraid i can't remember how he got on in those though. I only mention them to illustrate that in addition to being a very tough kickboxer he also cross trained a lot in MMA/UFC situations.

Why am I telling you all about my old friend Andy? Because once, while I was putting the mats out before aikido he happened to be in the gym and, we as always got chatting about the martial arts practiced at the University at the time. He commented that he wasn't particularly impressed by any of the instructors, he said he knew he could beat them in most fight situations he could think of (he had trained or sparred with just about everyone except the Tai Chi instructor and the Aikido instructor). He said that the only instructor who taught at the University who he would be wary of was Geoff. My Aikido teacher, a man who at that time was in his late 50's. I said why? He said "It's his eyes"

That's why I'm still Geoff's student to this day. I don't know too much about everyone else's aikido but I know who I want to train with and learn from.

Regards

Mike

M. McPherson
03-19-2007, 09:15 AM
I think you are giving Stan way too much credit for your own thoughts on the subject. If he had articulated anything remotely on the level you are suggesting that would be different.

Having met Stan, I would say that I am not. Stan may not write well on message boards, or may not have the time to write all that he would like. Best not to confuse writing skills with validity of perspective. As well, it's interesting to me that you label his post as cartoonish, as this seems to be one of the kinder adjectives used to describe aikido by those in other arts. It would seem to me that aikidoka, if indeed viewing their art as a path of budo, might be a bit more sensitive about denigrating a thing based upon appearance.

Regards,
Murray McPherson

Dirk Hanss
03-19-2007, 09:16 AM
Hi Craig,

your missing the point, take the ten best shihans ,and ten best fighters in the world. dream on if you want to.

stan
OK, I set the rules: None, but the only tool is a live blade (katana).
Could be interesting, but I guess all the shihan would survive.
8 because choose, not to enter as they neither want to kill or to be killed. And two might enter, but probably your 2 best mma fighters will would withdraw.

Then all 20 survived. What is your view on that result?

Cheers Dirk

mjchip
03-19-2007, 09:19 AM
Hey Murray,

I think Stan's post was maybe too simplistic and provocative

Which is why I was trying to get him to elaborate.

but his point seems a legitimate one for consideration. Actually (and Stan can chime in here and correct me otherwise), he seems to have two points:
The first seemed to be that, without these baseline internal skills, can you even really consider aikido a martial art?

I'm not sure that the inclusion or exclusion of some explicity taught baseline skillset is enough to declare aikido a martial art or not.

But (and I'm reading the spirit of his post here, rather than the letter) what happens when an aikidoka has to mix it up with someone who is trained in another fighting art.

I've done this a bit with my friends who practice a wide variety of traditional martial arts. I usually fair pretty well (meaning I don't get completely dominated) but it doesn't ever look like pretty aikiwaza. I bet the body training I'm learning is going to help this A LOT. My experience dealing with focused aggression from trained martial artists is small but telling. It has told me that *I* don't have the skillset/conditioning to stand toe-to-toe and wipe the mat with equally trained folks. I do however have enough to survive long enough to egress. Since I'm too old and broken to start fighting in a ring, that's good enough for me.

Stan's second point (implied, I believe. Stan, you crafty, subtle devil) is actually encouraging, and supports what Dan and Mike (those crafty, unsubtle devils...all too busy pissing in pools, and ruining dreams of martial greatness) have been arguing. Add in internal bodywork for your average aikidoka, starting from day one, and then put them against students of another style. That would not only level the playing field, but for those aikidoka who train with active resistance against their partners, would possibly tip the scales against "external" stylists.

The baseline skills certainly won't hurt but I'm not sure if it is enough to tip the scales.

Mark

DonMagee
03-19-2007, 09:23 AM
OK, I set the rules: None, but the only tool is a live blade (katana).
Could be interesting, but I guess all the shihan would survive.
8 because choose, not to enter as they neither want to kill or to be killed. And two might enter, but probably your 2 best mma fighters will would withdraw.

Then all 20 survived. What is your view on that result?

Cheers Dirk

Actually a true MMA fighter trains for the event, so he would know of these rules and take up sword fighting.

mjchip
03-19-2007, 09:34 AM
Can I bring my rather sharp sword and use aiki-ken methods to dismember an unarmed opponent?

More silliness.....

Mark

kironin
03-19-2007, 09:36 AM
To try to add something of value to this conversation (good luck right?) Why is it you do not see this shihan level of skill in younger people? We see many amazing artists in the MMA world with great skills in their 20's and 30's, yet it seems the great examples of non sport arts are always 50+. Is this a positive or negative trait of traditional arts like aikido?

How do you know you don't ?

I think it's quite possible to have some younger people with amazing skills in aikido that you will never hear of. There is no television spotlight on traditional arts like aikido. There is no monetary payoff in the traditional world. Quite frankly, there is also the fact that it is a numbers game like anything else. You need to have a lot of raw recruits to find those with the raw physical and mental talents to allow the technical syllabus really shine. And you need to find them early enough (in their teens).
Find those willing to train hard for a future that offers no fame, no TV exposure, and most likely no money. I had a very talented teenager as a student, great physical shape, smart, picked up technical skill quickly and rose in rank fast, what might have been possible in 10 years ? However, he also was a top performer in BMX racing - money, fame, tv, graduated HS. and he had to make a decision ...

Even so there are those that have and do exist. Take for example someone like Bruce Bookman who started training with Yamada Sensei when he was 12 or Chuck Clark's son Aaron Clark who is quite good in his late 20's high ranked and now in his 30's. There is no TV spotlight on this or local promotion machines. In you aikido, you have to age, achieve really high rank, have an organization newsletter or magazine talk about you, hold large seminars, etc. to you achieve the kind of visibility that would make you aware of them. There is no promotional venue to point you out in your 20's or audience to watch you.

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 09:36 AM
More silliness.....

Mark

Yup :D :D :D :D

Mike

Ellis Amdur
03-19-2007, 09:41 AM
I try to stay away from threads like this, but out of genuine concern for the future of Aikiweb (some of my favorite writers have considered - or decided - to quit), I'm going to participate.
It's unclear to me if Mr. Baker, feeling his power in whatever type of training he's doing, is calling out aikidoka for a fight, or if he's suggesting that his teachers(s) should fight, or professional fighters he's seen on TV. Somehow, I think it's one of the latter two. Or you would, Mr. Baker, simply post that you, with whatever skills you have, can beat up any and all aikido practitioners, put up your address, and welcome visits - much as they do on the unlovely site - Bullshido. But you are not saying that, are you? You are really taking the discussion to the next high level, "My dad can beat your dad!"
It's one thing to write - as some are - that the introduction (reintroduction) of a certain training method can truly improve one's aikido technique, and that, further, that this training method was once in aikido, and should return. It's unfortunate that the gracelessness of many posters on both sides of this question sometimes lead to rather pointless arguments and offended feelings, because that really obscures a quite interesting discussion.
This thread is something else. I do not know if you are an aikidoka.If so, you ought to quit training in an art that you hold in such disdain. If not, you should get off this site, because this is simply trolling - yet another example of an electron warrior. When I read puerile posts like "take the ten best shihans ,and ten best fighters in the world. dream on if you want to," it angers me because this type of poster can take over a site and induce people to simply stop participating.
Go back to anime, little boy (and you may be forty years old for all I know). If you are hiding behind your powerful teacher(s), imagining what they can do to unnamed aikido shihan, such sweaty fantasies should be kept to yourself in the privacy of your room. However, if you are putting out a challenge yourself, then the internet is not the place to do it - go visit dojos yourself - and take all the consequences, physical and legal.

M. McPherson
03-19-2007, 09:48 AM
I'm not sure that the inclusion or exclusion of some explicity taught baseline skillset is enough to declare aikido a martial art or not.

Hi Mark,

I agree with that, wholeheartedly. I do, however, think that to consider a pursuit to be martial, the potential for physical conflict (armed or unarmed) has to present. I think that aikido can be that, but how many aikidoka do you know that, like you and Ron, have actively trained or sparred against people in other arts? That sounds more challenging than I mean it to be - I would be curious to know. I give you huge props for doing so, because that's where the art can grow, in my own opinion. It's funny you mention it not looking pretty, because I don't think it looks especially so in the arts that do mix it up. Judo? Okinawan karate? Effective, but not often graceful looking. Again, just my opinion, but if you're holding your own, and are using aikido waza, then that's aikido working. I do think the baseline stuff is truly necessary, though, and will get you to doing more than just holding your own. I mean, seriously, look at what Dan was doing just demonstrating this stuff to us, at a low level. Some of the best aikido I've ever seen or felt. So I'll have to mildly disagree with you by saying that, effectively worked, the baseline stuff could tip the skills.

Best regards,
Murray

Cady Goldfield
03-19-2007, 09:57 AM
I like to think that aikido could stand on its own and stand proud with the return of the internal skills that Ueshiba had, and which are now becoming available. Think positive!

kironin
03-19-2007, 09:59 AM
It would seem to me that aikidoka, if indeed viewing their art as a path of budo, might be a bit more sensitive about denigrating a thing based upon appearance.


On a forum such as this, what you write is all that many can possibly know about you. You are asking me to be sensitive to a provocative post ? If he doesn't respect the forum enough to write out what he means, why are you asking me to respect a brief bit of nonsense he does post.

I respect that you took the time to write out your thoughts and I give you the credit for your own words. If he is who you are giving him credit for, then he doesn't need you defending him or explaining him.

What you are talking about could hardly be drawn out of the simple quip he made.

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 10:21 AM
I like to think that aikido could stand on its own and stand proud with the return of the internal skills that Ueshiba had, and which are now becoming available. Think positive!

I'm curious as to why, amongst all this talk is it so rarely mentioned that these internal skills have been actively taught for the last 50 years. They are not only just now becoming available. They have always been here if you looked for them.

kironin
03-19-2007, 10:25 AM
Could this be one reason why it takes so long? I don't know the answer but am curious as well.....

Mark

I don't believe it has to take so long. Who among us honestly trains with the intensity of someone getting ready for a professional MMA match ?

Frequency of practice and quality of coaching are big factors.

Where would your aikido be a year from now if you went into a fulltime intense training program with sensibility about physiological recuperation times (mixing things up so your body would maintain and strengthen in the program not get torn down)
and cross training in physical and mental activities that help your internal and external skills.

Who would like to win the lottery, drop the family and job and sign up for this fantasy program for a year ?

M. McPherson
03-19-2007, 10:27 AM
Mr. Hocker,

Like I wrote in my first post, I think what Stan wrote was too provocative and simplistic, but it raised interesting questions. I know he and I have agreed on similar things in the past, a common perspective about the things being debated here, so I apologize for not writing clearly about that (guilty of poor writing myself!). I also agree with you that this is, when it comes down to it, a written medium, so how we write is who we are perceived to be (emoticons aside). That's not always fair, but that's how it is. Apparently, Stan's taking a lot of heat for this (I wore a nomex suit just to read Mr. Amdur's post), and, unfortunately, deservedly so. I still think his essential viewpoint has merit, and that's why I wrote what I did. I'm not defending Stan, but I am defending his viewpoint. As Mark replied to me, it would have been nice if Stan could have elaborated on that viewpoint. He has elsewhere, but apparently couldn't do so here.
Also, additional grist for the mill (this isn't aimed at you, Mr. Hocker, but I'd be very happy to hear your opinion on it), but given the thread split, and the new thread title, why either/or? Can there be aikidoka who are both shihan and fighters? Or are the two irreconcilable?

Regards,
Murray McPherson

mickeygelum
03-19-2007, 10:31 AM
" Say Mr Hood, whose stronger Flash Gordon or Tarzan?"...Alfalfa Schweitzer

Dirk Hanss
03-19-2007, 10:44 AM
Actually a true MMA fighter trains for the event, so he would know of these rules and take up sword fighting.
Sorry, I was not aware of that. So they take up sword fighting for 3 to 6 months, while the others have daily sword practice for 20 to 40 years - and they enter the ring. So my guess is one of them is hurt seriously, the other one trained very hard and was very good, so he dies. Now the result is clear. Scores say 8 wins for the mma fighters, 2 for the aikidoka. 10 aikidoka healthy alive, 1 mma fighter dead, 1 hurt and can restart training after 12 month rehab, 8 mma fighters healthy and alive.

Now let's stop that joke. If you are going to tell us that a young guy with the ideal body for mma fighting and some years of full time professional training is in general a better fighter than someone, who used to teach mostly others for the last twenty years, You are absolutely right.

If we would have more full-time professional aikido students - who would pay them, what they need in these days? - and good selection criterias, to find the best aikido fighters, it could be different. Not necessarily, but could be.

In fact, if they understood a bit of what they were taught the recent years, most of them would not enter the arena nevertheless as general aikido is not about who is the best in competition. Some aikdoka did show up for fights, and we only tell each other about those who did well, O-Sensei esp. in bokken fighting, Tohei, and very few others. And even those told their students to improve their technique, but did not encourage them to participate in competition.

So however a match would end, what does it prove?

I would say in MMA you can earn more money and/or glory so they attract the better fighters - potentially. probably the explanations would be somewhat different, but nothing is sure.

So I have another interesting contest in mind.
Put 10 highly reputated mma (or comparative) fighters and 10 highly reputated aikidoka all between 50 and 60 in a 4 hours cooperative training class and find out, who of them in healthier and fitter. Could give interesting results, but I would not bet on either side.

Cheers Dirk

akiy
03-19-2007, 10:49 AM
Hi folks,

Just wanted to step in and say that I appreciate the respectful tone that people have used in the latest posts in this thread. Thank you.

-- Jun

mathewjgano
03-19-2007, 10:53 AM
To try to add something of value to this conversation (good luck right?) Why is it you do not see this shihan level of skill in younger people? We see many amazing artists in the MMA world with great skills in their 20's and 30's, yet it seems the great examples of non sport arts are always 50+. Is this a positive or negative trait of traditional arts like aikido?

I don't think it's an "either-or" thing. To some degree I imagine the hierarchy Aikido has tends to make the younger practicioners less obvious, but who knows. In my experience, there are some VERY talented 30-something yudanshya.
I think it's akin to apples and oranges to compare the goals of most MMA-ists and most aikidoka. I'm inlcined to think most people who take up MMA are more concerned with ass-kickery than those who take up Aikido. As you point out, the energy exchange, the fellowship, the fact that it's an incredibly healthy activity, all combine to form an appealing activity which also happens to teach you a thing or two about protecting yourself. I know what I've been taught is functional. How functional depends on a variety of factors, most of which (in my opinion) depends upon the individual's drive and how engaged/active their mind is. Personally, i think it's that last part, the mind, which ultimately determines how effective a person will be in defending themselves. People develop injuries which preclude certain movements...they may even put a person at a complete disadvantage physically, but the mind can still remain sharp and responsive. Like the saying goes: when applied properly, the vigor of youth will always succum to the wiles of age.

kironin
03-19-2007, 10:57 AM
? Can there be aikidoka who are both shihan and fighters? Or are the two irreconcilable?

Regards,
Murray McPherson

I think that really comes down to whether you believe the goals of being a fighter are irreconcilable with goals of someone who has been around aikido long enough to get designated as a shihan.
That's someone who has being following a long time an art whose philosophy at heart is about not fighting.

Some one who is a great fighter might be an awful teacher. And someone who is an excellent teacher might not be a fighter at all.

If it is important to you that your Shihan hold his own in a bar fight then find someone like that. They do exist.

In my book, shihan is fairly poltical, and because of that there exists shihans that aren't great teachers or people. I would rather look for a good teacher for me without worrying about titles.

A subset of Shihan might have been great fighters in their younger days, but an aikido shihan isn't picked because they are a fighter.

I don't know any senior person who believes they are training aikido to fight. That's different than saying that I don't know of senior people who have spent part of their training making sure they have skills in a self-defense situation. Self-defense and fighting are overlapping but different skill sets.

Nafis Zahir
03-19-2007, 11:15 AM
Last year, a fellow training partner, had a chance to go to the Hombu Dojo. Upon this persons return, they asked us who it was that was the talk of all of Hombu Dojo. When threw out some names and were wrong everytime. So this person informed us that it was Chiba Shihan. We were told that it was because he was the one student in his day, that accepted all challenges from all the outside martial artist and never lost. This was confirmed in a conversation I had with a Japanese Gentlemen who is a practitioner of Shotokan and knows Chiba Shihan and his reputation.

I am only guessing, but if I had to put up a few more Shihan, they would have been the Late Saito, A. Tohei, and Nishio Shihans.

DonMagee
03-19-2007, 11:15 AM
How do you know you don't ?

I think it's quite possible to have some younger people with amazing skills in aikido that you will never hear of. There is no television spotlight on traditional arts like aikido. There is no monetary payoff in the traditional world. Quite frankly, there is also the fact that it is a numbers game like anything else. You need to have a lot of raw recruits to find those with the raw physical and mental talents to allow the technical syllabus really shine. And you need to find them early enough (in their teens).
Find those willing to train hard for a future that offers no fame, no TV exposure, and most likely no money. I had a very talented teenager as a student, great physical shape, smart, picked up technical skill quickly and rose in rank fast, what might have been possible in 10 years ? However, he also was a top performer in BMX racing - money, fame, tv, graduated HS. and he had to make a decision ...

Even so there are those that have and do exist. Take for example someone like Bruce Bookman who started training with Yamada Sensei when he was 12 or Chuck Clark's son Aaron Clark who is quite good in his late 20's high ranked and now in his 30's. There is no TV spotlight on this or local promotion machines. In you aikido, you have to age, achieve really high rank, have an organization newsletter or magazine talk about you, hold large seminars, etc. to you achieve the kind of visibility that would make you aware of them. There is no promotional venue to point you out in your 20's or audience to watch you.

So why aren't they put on show more, we live in a world of instant communication. We have video on demand, message boards, etc. Lets spread the word. To further my question, why is the majority (not the elite good at everything minority) able to build skill faster in judo then aikido? For example, most brown belts in judo or blue belts in bjj only have a few years training and can destroy most anyone without training. However, it takes much longer to get a black belt in aikido, and even then we have debates on the expected level of skill. Some will say you are just now ready to learn, others will say you should be able to defend yourself. Where is the consistency that should come with a system?

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 11:18 AM
So why aren't they put on show more, we live in a world of instant communication.

Maybe cos they don't really care to be? Or maybe because people don't really care if they are?

Dunno but I certainly would like to see more of these people.

Mike

Don_Modesto
03-19-2007, 11:31 AM
What is it about this topic that we have to suffer it's outbursts with such regularity?!

Geez, won't a search of the archived gigs of rants on the topic suffice? ...folk gotta be heard on this tripe again?!

Get a punching bag already.

Geez.

kironin
03-19-2007, 11:58 AM
So why aren't they put on show more, we live in a world of instant communication.

Why do they need to ?

Why would would they want to put themselves out there. May be they are happy training while pursuing their careers and building families.

I suspect those inclined to self-promote have self-selected themselves into something like MMA which has been so good at feeding the media beasts.

I honestly can't even fathom your thinking process revealed in these responses as it is so alien to my mine. I am actually sympathetic to Dan's statements in that regard when he states the lack of desire to jump into the lime light even though his actions may not always be consistent with that stated desire. Many people don't desire that so you won't ever know of them and that IMO is a healthy thing. Forget the instant media and this need to know everyone's elses business.

Ron Tisdale
03-19-2007, 12:00 PM
I really don't have a dog in this fight, but this caught my eye...
However, it takes much longer to get a black belt in aikido, and even then we have debates on the expected level of skill. Some will say you are just now ready to learn, others will say you should be able to defend yourself. Where is the consistency that should come with a system?
Well, there is a consistancy...it just doesn't match that of other systems. BJJ is consistant within itself, pretty much where ever you train, because there is a consistent syllabus and measuring stick in use. Same same for judo. For aikido?

Different kind of system. Same same for most "traditional" arts. Ick I hate that term these days...anywho...

From dojo to dojo, teacher to teacher, aikido org to aikido org you have different standards, different requirements and for the most part, no competition. And it's usually pretty clearly stated that it's not about competition / fighting.

So... it's pretty consistent in...it's inconsistency! ;)

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2007, 12:08 PM
The real question is this, and it would end it all.

When do you guys want to have a throwdown?

That is, an event were we all get together and agree to the level of non-compliance that we can commonly agree to that would define martial effectiveness in an empty handed situation.

I think leaving weapons out of it to be a good thing, after all, we are only after demonstrating baseline skills, and empty handed non-compliance is enough to deal with to demonstrate this.

I have posed the question several times over the past several months, but no one seems to want to define the criteria of effectiveness, they will only illude to it and evade the question when asked directly.

Personally, I am okay with my own practice, and future practice as it has been tradittionally performed in aikido. I have a great amount of respect for my Shihan and instructors, and have no issues with what they try to teach.

I did go outside of the art to hone my skills in non-compliance so I could deal with it better than what I was learning in aikido.

Frankly, I am out of this fight, as no one has really demonstrated that they are willing to test their baseline skills for whatever reason, other than to come here and shoot their mouths off about it, and work on a few static exercises with people from what I can tell.

I am trying to refrain from discusssing it any longer, because like Mike Haft, I have caught too much flak over it in the past month.

All the years I have been studying Aikido, all the years I have been on aikiweb, all the years I have spent in trying to understand budo, I have never seen such a commotion over this.

When I move back to the states in July, I will gladly try and find the time to meet with anyone on a friendly event that is geared toward aliveness/noncompliance, not static demonstration, or KI test, but testing it against aliveness and non-compliance, and work through this stuff.

You want to claim that a Aikido Shihan cannot fight or beat a UFC guy...good for you. I agree with Ellis, that is a juvenile and frankly shortsighted view of the world. Get a life.

However, if you want to go there, then I will gladly meet you and have you demonstrate what that you to can walk the walk and talk the talk. It doesn't matter to me if I get beat or dominated in such an event, frankly I like when that happens as it means I have something to learn.

I am no Shihan, no not even a shodan in aikido yet! So, I should be easy to teach and to show the path away from my ignorance.

Unless you are willing to put your own chips on the table, then I don't think you have a leg to stand on, and should simply keep your mouth shut and find something else to entertain yourself with.

Sorry for the bluntness, but frankly I am really getting sick of all the crap that has been flying around here of lately.

Put up or shut up.

If you want to discuss internal skills, that is one thing. You want to go down this path of discrediting shihan and judging things by your own percieved criteria..that is another.

First, adequately define your criteria so those like myself can understand it, and not be confused by all the emotionally charged, meaningless phrases.

Second, realize that aikido does not necessarily meet it.

Third, get over it.

Fourth, if you can't...then be prepared to put up or shut up, based on that criteria.

DonMagee
03-19-2007, 12:20 PM
Why do they need to ?

Why would would they want to put themselves out there. May be they are happy training while pursuing their careers and building families.

I suspect those inclined to self-promote have self-selected themselves into something like MMA which has been so good at feeding the media beasts.

I honestly can't even fathom your thinking process revealed in these responses as it is so alien to my mine. I am actually sympathetic to Dan's statements in that regard when he states the lack of desire to jump into the lime light even though his actions may not always be consistent with that stated desire. Many people don't desire that so you won't ever know of them and that IMO is a healthy thing. Forget the instant media and this need to know everyone's elses business.

They need to because it would further the adoption of their art, therefor furthering the goals of aikido. People can't change and convert to something they do no know exists. You can't change the world if you stay hidden. Had their not been a UFC, I wouldn't know that the true way to pronounce R's is with a H sound.

By saying you do not want anyone to know about you, or you do not want to show the world, you are saying you do not wish to promote world peace, or you do not wish to further your art. You want it to be exclusive, hidden, etc. If aikido is a message of peace and love, then it should be spread, not hidden. But as martial artists, we must do everything backwards and counter productive. Otherwise we take the art out of martial arts.

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2007, 12:58 PM
Don,

I understand what you are saying. Personally I feel this is true for me and my pursuit of martial arts...be it aikido, BJJ, MMA or what not.

However, I don't think that my Shihan, Saotome needs to do anything to prove anything to me in respect to this conversation.

The guy is 70 years old, I could probably kick his ass from here to tommorrow as I am 28 years his junior., outweigh him, out reach...you name it.

I do however, have a great deal of respect for what he has done, what he represents, and what he teaches.

I am not a close student of his, and I have only engaged him sporadically over the past 12 years. However, in my dealings with him, I have been impressed with him as a person. Yes, a person, falliable, human, and experiencing life as the rest of us are.

He understands reality. Once about 12 years ago, as a new student fresh from Ranger School, I challenged him in a non-compliant scenario in which he obliged me, and flattened my nose hard against a wall.

On another occasion when in DC up from florida the dojo caretaker informed him to be careful as crackheads were using the front porch of his house to light up. Sensei said in his broken japanese/english accent..."oh should have brought shotgun up from florida", laughed and went about his business.

He has thousands of students worldwide, he as spread the word and message of O'sensei through the medium of aikido. He has never misrepresented the art, or have I ever heard him talk about martial effectiveness, or all the other garbage that we throw out.

Yes, there are many of his students that form attachments to the art of aikido that they clearly don't understand. It happens admittdly when you don't have the element of aliveness in the art.

It was something that I was personally seeking, and I found it in BJJ...so I study that.

That attachment, however, is MY attachment, not aikido's or ASUs, or Soatome Sensei's. It is mine. Important to me.

I go to study aikido because it has something that I need or want. It has a clear message, and it has a clear methodology for teaching me certain things.

I have my own criticisms of aikido as I judge it from my own needs, attachments, and goals. Those things are up to me to fix, it is not up to me to change.

This kinda reminds me of the people who find cheap land at the end of an Airport. They buy the land knowing that the airplanes land there every minute of everyday. At first they say, 'Hey it is okay, at this price, we can live with it." However, a few years go by, and they forget why they did what they did, they form a new paradigm and a sense of entitlement toward things...then they complain to city council about and lobby to have the airport moved, because how dare it make that noise with houses next to it.

So, do the shihan need to change, that which they best know and best see at their particular view point and time in place...or do we need to change and find our own way in the art.

I don't think it is necessary to beat these guys up. If you feel that the art is inadequate, or not serving your needs, and it leaves you empty...go look elsewhere, don't try and change something you don't really have any control over.

It is about changing yourself, not your environment and the things external to you.

Ron Tisdale
03-19-2007, 01:05 PM
It is about changing yourself, not your environment and the things external to you.

Gee, this could be a quote from Dan, or Mike, in that other thread...what's it called... :D

Best,
Ron

Esaemann
03-19-2007, 01:09 PM
Probably reading too much into the intial statement here, but I run through things like this in my own mind sometimes (condition yellow). Thought it might do good to actually write it too.

Am I training in Aikido to learn to defend myself? Moreso when I started than now. Strictly defensive-wise, I realize that what I have now versus 5 1/2 years ago, I'm in a better boat.

Although it is interesting/entertaining to think about top martial artists from different styles having it out (e.g. in a movie Jet Li vs. Steven Seagal vs. ?), it doesn't ever go any deeper than that for me. Why not? Lets assume that if I could find the best fighter(s) and copy their style, I would be able to defend myself in the best way. I believe that most who are going to attack me for whatever reason (ego gratification, robbing, killing), I will either be able to handle bare-handed, I'll need to shoot them, I'll be hurt (so what), or killed. My lifestyle doesn't lend itself to "getting in fights". Maybe I'm dreaming here, but it seems the chances of getting attacked by a great MAer are very low simply by virtue of someone dedicated enough to such training doesn't go about attacking people unprovoked. I just doubt that most street thugs are trained fighters, but instead pick out good victims and are just plain vicous (sp?). So I have to ask myself, why would I want to be a great fighter? If someone is intent on killing me, I will use a gun as soon as possible.

Is it important that the "top 10 in my art of choice can kick the butts of top 10 in other art"? We each have to answer that for ourselves. Most likely (never say never) I wouldn't hang around with someone who answers yes.

DonMagee
03-19-2007, 01:19 PM
I don't think it is necessary to beat these guys up. If you feel that the art is inadequate, or not serving your needs, and it leaves you empty...go look elsewhere, don't try and change something you don't really have any control over.

It is about changing yourself, not your environment and the things external to you.

Actually, its funny you should say that. The last few weeks I've contemplated quiting my aikido classes to free up more time for more serious study in other areas. I'm not seeing what I want in my life from my aikido training, and the end results also do not mesh with how I feel as a person. I probably will leave it all behind very soon.

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2007, 01:23 PM
I understand what you are saying Don. When I return to the U.S. I will be splitting my time between Lloyd Irvin's school, Alliance BJJ in Atlanta, when I can, and Aikido of Northern VA.

Obviously I won't be the best aikidoka, nor the best BJJ/MMA guy in the world, there are always trade offs!

I would love to get together with you at some point and work out, as it seems we see things in much the same way, and have had similar experiences. It'd be fun to see the similarities and differences in training!

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2007, 01:29 PM
Eric,

Agree with your thoughts. However, I think one school of thought would say this: "if self defense is a concern of yours, then don't you owe it to yourself to train in the most effective ways possible that give you real skill, in as short amount of time, as efficiently as possible?""

I think this is the crux of why we end up with this issue in aikido, we confuse what and why we study what we do.

As you say though, there are better reasons and more logical reasons to study budo and aikido than self defense, which is the most illogical reason to spend all this time and money studying something that is an absolute inefficent delivery system for learning self defense!

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2007, 01:33 PM
Ron Tisdale wrote:

Gee, this could be a quote from Dan, or Mike, in that other thread...what's it called...

There is alot of things said, by alot of people in that thread. Not sure it is all logically organized, sorted out, and clear...chock full of emotion and assumptions! or maybe it is just not clear to me.

L. Camejo
03-19-2007, 01:46 PM
Ok so I think Kevin L. has the best idea so far regarding the throwdown. If we are having one however I wanna be a referee. :D Or better yet, one of those guys who check the ring girls for concealed items.;) Should I call HBO?:)

I find these threads funny since the folks who actually throwdown using Aikido (including those I know personally who are also on Aikiweb) hardly if ever post anything in these threads. Apparently they don't have all the questions a lot of folks here seem to be having.

Maybe it's Aikidoka Magic Pill Syndrome - since there is not enough actual testing by many to find out what works and why, everyone is looking for a quick "upgrade" that will give them an edge, or alternatively a method of indicating that it was never designed to "actually work physically", removing the need for any "martial upgrades".;)

I guess the newest pill/fix is "internal skills" it used to be Atemi being 99% of everything at one time or training in Daito Ryu to get that martial edge. Of course there is nothing new about these things wrt Aikido they're just unseen, like most good things in MA I guess.

Have fun folks.

Gambatte.
LC:ai::ki:

barry.clemons
03-19-2007, 01:46 PM
what dream, many of us in aikido have felt that the top aikidoist were on some high level control anybody with no effort. but in reality they would get there butts kicked by the best fighters.

st5an

I think i understand your statement/question. My response is two-fold:

First; comparing Aikido with other martial arts in competition, to me, is false logic. To me, Aikido is in a different category than competition fighting, operating within completely different paradigms. The 'dream' as you you put it, is the world you have suggested, where the top 10 anyone fights the top 10 anyone else.

Second; it's the individual who makes the most of the their training. there is no individual style of martial art that is superior. there is no 'all things being equal' in battle. the advantage comes to those who came prepared.

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2007, 01:50 PM
Yes Larry, I agree with your insights.

Now where did I put that pill???

Oh...something shiny, ahhh....pretty...

What were we talking about??? :)

DonMagee
03-19-2007, 02:00 PM
I would like to point out that at local MMA events, I usually serve one of two jobs. The first, a judge, which I enjoy, the second, I help ring girls into and out of the ring, this I truly enjoy.

I'd be down for a throwdown. I have attended one in chicago, and I'm trying to make time to attend one again.

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2007, 02:12 PM
We have had a couple of get togethers here in Germany, more BJJ oriented, but fun none-the-less. Actually sometimes my normal classes are throwdowns being in the army, as you never know who is going to walk through the door on any given day with any given outlook or skill sets!

I simply LOVE training that way!

I am probably going to the Chicago area later this summer for an Adoption group reunion with some friends from the area. It would be great if it worked out!

paw
03-19-2007, 02:18 PM
pardon the interruption but.....

I understand what you are saying Don. When I return to the U.S. I will be splitting my time between Lloyd Irvin's school, Alliance BJJ in Atlanta, when I can, and Aikido of Northern VA!

Kevin,

I'd love to hear what it's like training at Lloyd Irvin's school. I've heard that he has a unique methodology that focuses on transitions.

If you wouldn't mind posting what it's like.

Regards,

Paul

akiy
03-19-2007, 03:08 PM
Hi follks,

Can we please bring the focus of this thread back to aikido? Thank you.

-- Jun

Esaemann
03-19-2007, 03:14 PM
Kevin,

Sorry, off topic. You mentioned that Saotome is your Shihan. I'm looking forward to meeting him for the first time this weekend, as he is coming to our dojo. He is my Sensei's teacher. I've heard this should be quite an experience, but very crowded mat also. It would be nice to have more individual instruction, but with 60 on the mat, oh well.

Eric

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2007, 04:50 PM
Paul: I won't be training with Lloyd Irvin's school until late July/August. I was referred there by Jacare Cavalcanti, 6 Dan BJJ.

Eric,

60 people is nothing on the mat! Go to Cherry Blossom seminar with a couple of 100! 60 is what they run at the DC dojo when he is in town! Consider 60 people not much and have a good time!

stan baker
03-20-2007, 06:23 AM
from looking at the response this looks like a good topic for inquiry, we can also consider how many fighters that are sixty or seventy could handle internal martial artists of the same age :) on another note I donot think we have to wait to be sixty to have great internal skills I think Dan Harden is trying very hard to make that point. and to prove that point just look at wang hai jun my taiji teacher at 35 has some of the most powerful internal power and skills I have ever seen.

stan

Erick Mead
03-20-2007, 08:06 AM
OK, I set the rules: None, but the only tool is a live blade (katana).
Could be interesting, but I guess all the shihan would survive.
8 because choose, not to enter as they neither want to kill or to be killed. And two might enter, but probably your 2 best mma fighters will would withdraw.

Then all 20 survived. What is your view on that result?

Cheers Dirk Thanks Dirk.
For Stan: This an eternally pointless debate. It is neither about budo or bujutsu. Those are about war. " "War means fighting, and fighting means killing." This discussion is about play and sport, because it is most definitely not about life and death.

Saotome is reputed to have said once, pointing to his head:

"This is your trophy. You win, you keep your head."

I began Aikido under someone who was trained to kill for a living. He came to aikido at a critical point in his life. He described aikido to me as just as deadly serious on the life or death scale, but on the side of life -- O Sensei's "true budo." That stuck with me. I entered the killing profession myself. I found that I had to wrap my brain and heart around the problem of death and killing. I came to the same conclusion, and have continued in aikido with that intent.

You want to win in real fighting, well -- here ya go:

I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting—its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers ... it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated ... that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation. There is the problem O Sensei sought to solve -- through true budo.

If you just want to win a real fight, have a shotgun handy -- its quicker and less finicky. You may find, if you dwell on this point very seriously, that you do not like even imagining victory found in real fighting. If you find that you do like it -- well, we have places to help you with that, too.

"True victory -- self-victory. Come swiftly, O Day of Victory."

Dirk Hanss
03-20-2007, 08:25 AM
Just wanted to step in and say that I appreciate the respectful tone that people have used in the latest posts in this thread. Thank you.

Jun,
I am not sure, as your post came just a few minute after mine. nevertheless I take it personally. :D

Thanks very much Jun

Best regards Dirk

Kevin Leavitt
03-20-2007, 10:54 AM
Stan wrote:

from looking at the response this looks like a good topic for inquiry, we can also consider how many fighters that are sixty or seventy could handle internal martial artists of the same age on another note I donot think we have to wait to be sixty to have great internal skills I think Dan Harden is trying very hard to make that point. and to prove that point just look at wang hai jun my taiji teacher at 35 has some of the most powerful internal power and skills I have ever seen.


Really? i hadn't noticed! :)

Stan, so how do you define fighter? by what criteria do you judge a a fighter vice non-fighter?

How do you define success as a fighter?

I'd like a shot at "handling" a self defined internal martial artist of the same age (I am 42).

How do you define "handling" ?

what would be teh endstate to have to do to be judged as successfully "handling"?

constraints? limitations?

I really, honestly want to see how I measure up to the "internal" clubs standards.

stan baker
03-20-2007, 06:47 PM
Hi Kevin,
go and check it out then you will find out how you measure up.

stan

xuzen
03-20-2007, 09:15 PM
Hi Craig,

your missing the point, take the ten best shihans ,and ten best fighters in the world. dream on if you want to.

stan

Hey FANTASY MATCH UP, my nieces and nephews love these type of game on PS2.

Hey Stan, here is a thought...

When you grow up, study genetic engineering. Then extract the DNA of 10 past shihan and MMA fighter. Clone them, then make them do battle in a scientifically controlled environement. They eat the same food, sleep in the same type of place, live in the same type of environment etc. One of them study MMA, the other study aikido purely.

Then ask them to battle it out at age 5, 10, 15 , 20 and 25. Statistically analyze the results. After that Clone another new set and do a cross over studies. Wow, the result would be irrefutable.

That, my boy is how you do a scientific experiment. I suggest you get a head start Boy, genetic engineering is a very demanding field of studies. That means no more PS2 for you.

Boon.

DonMagee
03-20-2007, 09:28 PM
If it was only that easy. The diet needed to excel in MMA training would probably be too many calories for someone who trains only in aikido. Not to mention so many other variables. But we are off to a good start, who wants to collect the DNA samples....ewwwww

akiy
03-20-2007, 09:34 PM
Hi folks,

Last request to please keep on-topic and away from personal attacks.

-- Jun

Roman Kremianski
03-20-2007, 09:58 PM
Does anyone have any interviews or something like that where a shihan commented on UFC or maybe stated his opinion of Aikido and UFC?

Well, I started young, so you shall witness my Aikido in the octagon in a few years anyway. Bwaha.

xuzen
03-20-2007, 10:00 PM
Does anyone have any interviews or something like that where a shihan commented on UFC or maybe stated his opinion of Aikido and UFC?

Well, I started young, so you shall witness my Aikido in the octagon in a few years anyway. Bwaha.

I read somewhere in an interview with Fedor E. The interviewer asked him specifically will Aikido work in the ring. Fedor E said NO.

Boon.

Aristeia
03-20-2007, 10:04 PM
What is Fedor's qualification to comment on Aikido?

Roman Kremianski
03-20-2007, 10:05 PM
Fedor is an Aikido Shihan now?

xuzen
03-20-2007, 10:24 PM
Here is the original link in Russian:
http://fedor.bel.ru/forum2/index.php?showtopic=1434&st=60

Here is a transcript by a sherdog forum member: See last question.
http://www.sherdog.net/forums/showpost.php?p=12678208&postcount=1

Boon.

P/S Hey, don't get so rilled up.... Fedor was just being Fedor.

Aristeia
03-20-2007, 10:28 PM
no doubt, and I dont' disagree with his opinion. Just seems like an odd question to ask him.

Kevin Leavitt
03-21-2007, 12:59 AM
Stan,

I don't understand why you will throw out things like this topic, judge people and the art they study by some standard that you will not define. You have no record or reputation here that we know about, and then when confronted directly on the issue, it is up to me to "come find out"!

I need a little more than a few post on the internet and a little bit better idea concernng the criteria you are talking about.

It could run the gamut from simple drills like unbendable arm, kokyu drills/exercises from a semi static position....to all out non-compliance.

Which is why I ask for a definition of the criteria in which such a venue or training event would take place. It is definiable. Any training that I do or people ask me to do, I always define the task, conditions, and the standards prior to that event taking place.

Here are two sets of rules that would be a good starting point for discussion about such a set of parameters in which to judge how an internal guy and a "guy that does not get it"./non-shihan albeit, could meet on common ground and demonstrate the fighting that you have yet to define.

Pancrase rules are decent as they allow for striking and kicking, but are restrictive enough to ensure someone does not get hurt seriously. I also wear Blauer suits or the like during such training. Of course we could modify the standards of these rules as necessary. (Personally I don't think strikes and kicks are necessary to demonstrate fighting effectiveness, but some people throw that in there as too limiting.

http://www.pancrase.co.jp/en/rules/index.html#009

NAGA graplling rules are decent. I prefer them over standard BJJ rules. No strikes, kicks, put pretty much anything else goes. I recommend leaving out knee bars etc as they are too dangerous, however things like kotegaeshi are fine I think.

http://nagafighter.com/naga_rules.asp

Let me know what you think about the rules set! Maybe the Shodukan Aikido rules are decent for this? I don't know having never seen them before.

Note in the rules that it does not say anywhere that you cannot use aikido techniques or aikido anything, so any one would be free to use anything that they have learned over the years in aikido.

I think this is a good start for discussion over the criteria upon which an event could be conducted safely, constructively, and in which those of us that really care how an internalist has to bring to the table in a non-compliant venue.

Of course we could also slow things down a little too once proficiency has been demonstrated in a particular way so as to isolate out the training objectives so everyone can see, experience what it is that is being effectively done.

I am not talking about a "my dad can beat up your dad" event or a dojo challenge. I am talking about an alive, constructive event in which the ability to apply concepts and principles can be demonstrated in a way that approximates reality as best we can safely.

It can be done, I do it all the time.

Kevin Leavitt
03-21-2007, 01:10 AM
A quick thought....

I think you guys are up in New England...Jason Delucia would be the perfect guy to facilitate such an event! I can check to see if he would be willing to do this! What do you think?

Kevin Wilbanks
03-21-2007, 02:14 AM
Kevin,

I would characterize myself as somewhere in the dabbler/hobbyist range as a martial artist and not even remotely a fighter, so count me out. However, I think what you are proposing sounds very reasonable and, judging by the number of threads of this type I've seen here over a few years, sorely needed in Aikido, at least by a vocal, perennial minority. Although you have said that you are not a high-level teacher, it sounds like you have the vision and experience to facilitate this sort of thing. Instead of staging an 'event', maybe you should work up something more along the lines of a paradigm or procedure for how to make this a safe and doable thing for others, then do it more than once. You wouldn't need more, as the participants would teach each other and themselves with direct feedback. If you could make this something that a wide array of people could quickly learn the rules of and participate in safely, I think something like the Aiki Expos sponsored by this site would probably be the perfect venue to set up your tent...

Kevin Leavitt
03-21-2007, 02:46 AM
Thanks for the feed back Kevin.

Semantics, but I would stop short of saying aikido needs this type of event. There are those in aikido that would benefit from such an event though. The ones that have questions/concerns along these lines.

the challenge, as you point out, is dealing with the various paradigms and expectations and getting them straight.

I think it would take a great deal of prior discussion here on aikiweb or in some other format to get everyone CLOSE to the same sheet of music.

Frankly, you can accomplish this by going to any decent MMA school in your area and working with them, but there is a certain amount of dissonance, paradigms, and what not that need to be mentored and addressed that a typical MMA school simply does not understand from the perspective of an aikidoka, nor do they possess the vested interest to address.

I think that maybe someone like Jason Delucia, even though I don't know much about his aikido background, would be appropriate to host such an event. He does have a broad background in CMA/TMA and is one of the "orignial" MMAs

Reverse engineering all this discussion and thoughts leads to straight MMA or the basic concepts of Jeet Kune Do so in effect, it is circular logic.

For whatever reason though, when you throw MMA or JKD on the table, people seem to either move towards it...or run away from it.
Those that are left in the middle...are confused and become easy prey for the charletons and snakeoil salesman that have various wares they wish to sell for whatever reason!

I want to be clear to those that might be reading this without knowlege of my other post here on aikiweb. I am not proposign that there is ANYTHING wrong with traditional study of aikido. In fact, I think it is a wonderful practice. Nor I am advocating that JKD or MMA is the way for everyone to study....it depends on what your goals in life and as a martial artist are.

I find value in both ways...for different reasons. I also find the methodologies to be mutually supportive and both keep you honest and your ego in check if approached properly.

DonMagee
03-21-2007, 05:43 AM
What is Fedor's qualification to comment on Aikido?

I'd say when you are virtually undefeated against the toughest men who have ever entered a ring for MMA fighting, you are qualified to say what will and will not work in your ring.

Besides he's right, it can't work in the ring if nobody ever uses it in the ring.

If I was feeling a bit teasing I'd say who are the aikido shihans to say it would work in the ring? You could even throw out the, they are not qualified to comment on what will work in the ring until they have fought fedor type comments that a lot of traditional people throw out (If you haven't trainined with X shihan you can't comment this art sucks...)

I guess I am feeling a bit like teasing today :D

Kevin Leavitt
03-21-2007, 06:34 AM
Don Wrote:

You could even throw out the, they are not qualified to comment on what will work in the ring until they have fought fedor type comments that a lot of traditional people throw out (If you haven't trainined with X shihan you can't comment this art sucks...)


I'd agree with this. I don't think I have heard any shihan comment on this issue, or even care about it.

The converse applies as well. This is what you are saying... correct?

Budd
03-21-2007, 07:24 AM
The futility of this discussion is that no serious competitor in MMA is only going to train in one "style". That's right, not even BJJ (heck even in the early Vale Tudo/UFC matches, you could see the Gracies working bag drills and sparring with strikers)! So that whole thing is kind of a moot point.

Which then gets back to the real issue of why are you training and is your training meeting your needs (and are you meeting the requirements of your training)?

If you are meeting your goals (which are rarely static, they change - just like life) with your aikido training and being honest about what you're training in aikido -- what's the problem?

DonMagee
03-21-2007, 07:26 AM
I was really just teasing the people who make comments like "Until you have trained with Shihan X you have no right to comment on X art", Or "I would like to see you tell Shihan X that...". I've started using this argument for fun by saying things like "Until you have defeated Fedor you can't comment that MMA doesn't work in the street."

But yes, the converse applys, Aikido shihan are no more qualified to comment on what works in MMA then MMA fighters are qualified to comment on what good aikido is. To comment on something they have no experience in would be silly. How could a aikido shihan know aikido works or doesn't work in the ring. There is only one way to know, get up and use it in the ring. If a shihan did comment on if aikido would or would not work in the ring without actual ring fighting experience, they would be speculating. I try to not put any stock in speculation when you have a very easy means of getting proof.

Roman Kremianski
03-21-2007, 08:19 AM
Why you so fired up Don? I merely asked if anyone has any sources to an interview were a Shihan has happened to voice his opinion on MMA, since I'm simply curious. I don't care about who can beat who.

Kevin Leavitt
03-21-2007, 08:21 AM
Yes, I agree Don, hence my comments concerning this topic as well. As usual you and I are on the same wave length.

Kevin Leavitt
03-21-2007, 08:49 AM
The futility of this discussion is that no serious competitor in MMA is only going to train in one "style". That's right, not even BJJ (heck even in the early Vale Tudo/UFC matches, you could see the Gracies working bag drills and sparring with strikers)! So that whole thing is kind of a moot point.

Which then gets back to the real issue of why are you training and is your training meeting your needs (and are you meeting the requirements of your training)?

If you are meeting your goals (which are rarely static, they change - just like life) with your aikido training and being honest about what you're training in aikido -- what's the problem?

Yes i agree Budd. I personally ask this question all the time. Why are you training and is your training meeting your goals. That is really the essence of it. It is personal in nature.

For some reason we sometimes take a victim mentality toward training and hold these Shihan to very high expectations and then suck the living life out of them, hanging on every word that they say, looking for meaning even when it is not there.

Then we feel ripped off when for whatever reason our training does not meet our expectation, when in reality, we never bothered to define our expectations...we just went along on good faith that they were going to teach us "something", yet "something" was never defined!

I know I started MA training years ago, I didn't know why I did it other than it seemed like a good thing to do and it fit my personality. I fell into the same mind set of training and doing what I was told to do with expectations of enlightment or skill based on what my Shihan or instructors were teaching.

So, yes, I think the first question we have to come to grips with in our training is "why are we training?" Second, "is it meeting our goals".

It is a personal question for each one of us, one that we must hold ourselves responsible for, not some shihan or anyone else!

On a side bar. I think in the U.S. at least is that we culturally/socially have an issue with personal responsibility. tthis is an extention of this issue.

DonMagee
03-21-2007, 09:19 AM
Why you so fired up Don?

I'm not. You don't think I'm taking this thread seriously?

Kevin, you got the two most important questions right there.

Why are we training? Does this meet our goals?

Of course I add the 3rd question. Is this the most efficient use of my time to meet my goals?

Budd
03-21-2007, 09:27 AM
Kevin, I think you touched on something important with "Personal Responsibility". A couple of other things I'll add to that are "Belief Systems" and "Belonging/Entitlement".

Personal Responsibility - A lot of people seem to think that if they pay their fees and show up, they'll get what they're looking for. Although, to be fair, aptitude, commitment and priorities are going to play a part in this one as well, but where this breaks down is that people can make "assumptions" about what they're doing without critically scrutinizing their progress. This feeds into the next thing . . .

Belief Systems - People attach worth to things that are important to them. E.G. I want to learn to defend myself without harming my attacker. Some aikido schools say they train to teach this. I train at one of these schools, therefore I am training (or expect someday) to be able to do this. Does this seem like a logical progression of thought? Does it stand up to logical scrutiny? What other criteria might be important to examine support this conclusion? Could you outline a similar set of logical fallacy progressions to apply to those espousing the "internal" and/or "mma" - only - approach? What it comes down to, in my opinion, is that "Belief Systems" are inevitable, but it's worth taking them out of the box, shining them and viewing them under a microscope from time to time to make sure your mint-condition Amazing Fantasy # 15 isn't just a reproduction that was pre-packaged in last year's Cheerios box. Though the ones that mistake the former for the latter may then find themselves with an inflated sense of . . .

Belonging/Entitlement - To some folks, since they've been able to socialize, it's been very important to them to belong to the "Cool Kids Klub". Whether it's the Aikido Dojo that has the largest collection of O-Sensei's handkerchiefs, the MMA gym that is currently most en vogue (though, I want to go visit Team Quest, Jackson's, Miletich and American Top Team before I die), the students of the guy that can whup everyone with their "ki" or the most respected posters of a particular message board -- some people find a great deal of value in "Belonging". In some social instances, this is empowering, but there's often some negatives that manifest as "Entitlement" and subsequent dismissal of the outgroup. This type of stuff can be observed in lots of clan-based environments, but boils down to individuals that think they are worth a damn because of who their teachers/buddies are, rather than their own merits.

What does this have to do with training? These things are worth keeping in mind as you put in the years training at the activities you're pursuing to meet your goals. I also think that sometimes the above things are mistakenly viewed as benchmarks/goals in training, rather than checkpoints that should be monitored. Of course, all this is simply based on my own experiences/years in training and the mistakes and missteps I've made along the way (more to come, I'm sure ;)).

Kevin Leavitt
03-21-2007, 02:13 PM
Very good comment Budd!

on Personal Responsibility. As Eugene Levy Says: "response....able". :) seriously though....I like the old saying "to thine own self be true".

On Beliefs: you mention attachment. A very key point, we form attachments or associations based on our experiences, which may or may not be reality. (Cognitive Dissonance). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

Just a few hundred years ago many believed the earth was flat and you'd sail off the edge of it. Where they necessarily wrong? No, it was a unproven hypothesis at the time. However, it also did not mean they were right either! What we experience or hypothesize may not always be reality...again. Cognitive Dissonance...a very important concept I think wrt Martial arts.

Belonging: I think it his human to want/need to belong or identify with a group. Nothing wrong with that, however I agree with your point concerning "competence by association".

Again good points. This isn't sexy stuff that people want to discuss...but I think it is baseline skill that we must come to terms with in our studies if we want to grow in our understanding of the DO.

gregg block
03-21-2007, 06:00 PM
So after 4 pages on this thread the " Shihan Vs Fighters" question has still not been answered. The reason for this is that the question cannot be answered and is really just plain rediculous. I really cant understand how these threads continually come up. All styles are effective. It is practictioners who are not effective and if one is always questioning ones own style and other styles this may be in indicator of a lack of confidence in ones own effectiveness. Rather than talking about trivial "what if's" one might be better served recommiting oneself to his/her chosen art. I've studied more than one style and met some pretty tough fighter from various styles. I would never be so bold as to claim my style(s) is better than another but I am confident I can be effective in what I have learned.

Bill Danosky
03-21-2007, 09:53 PM
It seems that the most successful fighters these days are mixed martial artists.

They're using Tae Kwon Do kicks, Kung Fu defense, Karate punches, Judo throws, Jiu Jitsu grappling tech. All strong elements from martial arts with inherent weaknesses.

Aikido brings a lot to the party- joint locks, blending, using natural forces to assist your throws. Nifty and useful stuff, and I think especially so against multiple or larger opponents. But like all MA, it has it's weaknesses, if it's all you know.

My point this time and always is that you should know and use Aikido (yes, specifically Aikido) if it's prudent but not rely on it or limit yourself to it as some kind of pretense.

Bill Danosky
03-21-2007, 10:04 PM
One side note: Yoshinkan Aikido's Hombu Dojo has a year-long, famously grueling, instructor certification course called "Senshusei". It's said to be worse than 12 months of Foreign Legion boot camp.

I wonder how ten freshly graduated Kidotai would fare against the ten mixed-martial-arts competitors?

acot
03-21-2007, 10:35 PM
Very interesting topic, and one couldn't train in anything without considering it deeply. From my point of view it seems that many of the higher ranking Aikikai (as well as a few lower ranked) are students of the Art of War or Martial Art. (I know Aikido is also known as the Art of Peace).
I would have to believe that as an experienced student of such art they would not engage themselves in a direct confrontation with someone who is physically stronger, faster, albeit less experience. The Art of War suggest one to know their enemy. Sense we are talking about war and not a fight then we are talking about life and death. In that case I'd have to put the odds in favor of an experienced warrior. One who would kill by most effect means possible. By using deception and tactics to mislead and confuse an enemy.
However I do believe that the original poster is right. One on one in a ring with rules, judges, and an audience it makes since that the experienced MMA would have a better chance. I doubt though that any 60 year old master of Aikido would have any desire to do such a thing.

Thank you for reading,
Ryan Bertram

Aristeia
03-22-2007, 02:54 AM
One side note: Yoshinkan Aikido's Hombu Dojo has a year-long, famously grueling, instructor certification course called "Senshusei". It's said to be worse than 12 months of Foreign Legion boot camp.

I wonder how ten freshly graduated Kidotai would fare against the ten mixed-martial-arts competitors?
in what? MMA? Poorly. Nage waza comparison? Very well. Ukemi? Very well. Chess? It's a wash...

Roman Kremianski
03-22-2007, 08:12 AM
Has anyone ever tried those MMA gloves they have to wear? How does it affect your grip? (If you can grip anything at all)

Budd
03-22-2007, 08:31 AM
Has anyone ever tried those MMA gloves they have to wear? How does it affect your grip? (If you can grip anything at all)

The gloves make it difficult to apply techniques requiring the finer motor skills. For some persons, this may be a big problem. For others, that practice superior positioning through atemi and movement, rather than worry too much about applying a specific "technique", this might not be a big deal.

Roman Kremianski
03-22-2007, 08:45 AM
I heard grapplers saying it has definitely become more difficult for them as they can "feel" less with their hands...if it bugged them, I wonder how hard it would be doing something like sliding your hand in for shihonage?

DonMagee
03-22-2007, 08:53 AM
I usually do not notice the MMA gloves except when they are grabbed (makes it harder to break the grip. This is also illegal in MMA, you can grab the hand, but not the padding of the glove exclusivly), I'm trying to slide my hand in for a choke (a bigger leather hand is a lot less easy to slip in), and when I'm trying to attack the hand (the glove provides wrist support which makes it harder to use the wrist as a lever to break their grip or submit them).

Other then that, I almost never notice when I'm wearing gloves. I'd like to point out that I use open palm, open thumb gloves. I can't stand gloves with a thumb, it makes it harder to grapple for some reason.

Budd
03-22-2007, 09:07 AM
I heard grapplers saying it has definitely become more difficult for them as they can "feel" less with their hands...if it bugged them, I wonder how hard it would be doing something like sliding your hand in for shihonage?

That's my point. If you define shihonage as something that requires you to manipulate the other persons hand a certain way with a certain grip, then the gloves will be a problem.

However, if you're looking at it from the perspective of entering in such a way that it fixes their arm/hand in a spot by which you can enter/move again and put them down in any direction via that connection with their arm, well then then the gloves may help maintain that connection.

For an example in MMA, watch how Karo Parisyan sets up his judo throws in a no-gi setup and you'll get an idea how this can work.

Ron Tisdale
03-22-2007, 09:48 AM
Karo Parisyan mmmmmmmm what a fighter. I really admire that guy.

Best,
Ron

Budd
03-22-2007, 09:59 AM
Yeah, watching Karo makes me want to go to LA and get choked by Judo Gene and leg locked by Gokor . . .

M. McPherson
03-22-2007, 10:03 AM
Ron,

Slight tangent, but if you're interested, there's a guy here in town that trained under Gokor...

Best,
Murray

Budd
03-22-2007, 10:08 AM
No fair, I brought up Karo and am not far away, in Harrisburg, you gotta share!!

Don't make me bust out more whine-jitsu . . . it isn't pretty.

Ron Tisdale
03-22-2007, 11:02 AM
heh, I'm too old for that stuff! ;)

B,
R

Kevin Leavitt
03-22-2007, 11:18 AM
I'd love to see someone do a shionage in an MMA match up. Never seen it done...never been in the position to do it where it would even remotely work. Not saying it won't...just have never done it or experienced it working.

Gloves, like Don, i don't have an issue with them other than chokes maybe.

Gripping is not a problem in MMA because the way you grip typically with a thumbless grip, and control, does not require fine motor skills in which gloves would get in the way.

I do like palmless, as I like to feel the contract and grip with my palm.