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maxwelljones
05-09-2007, 10:32 PM
So I had to kick myself to the dojo today, but as usual, I'm glad I showed up. We continued up with our tsuki practice, started with some ikkyo. Then came my first lesson in tantodori ikkyo.

One of the things I was taught during the demonstration was to, if necessary, CUT the pinned uke down the right side of the spine. This came as a complete shock to me, this being aikido. :eek:

How many of us are taught to use the weapons we take away?

MikeLogan
05-09-2007, 10:39 PM
Actually, my first teacher taught us to just sign our initials.

'Give them something to remember you by.' :D

mike.

Gernot Hassenpflug
05-09-2007, 10:59 PM
Considering the wealth and variety of things taught in martial arts, it is unsurprising that most people are exposed to only one or a very few training methodologies, if one can even call them that. As soon as a person has been exposed to a few more than the average aikidoka, then what they do will inevitably surprise many folks. That's OK, since most of us are struggling to understand what the essence of aikido is, let alone its forms! Enjoy the surprises.

crbateman
05-09-2007, 11:02 PM
Tantodori drills are not really street self-defence training. However, if they were, training in a more reasonable response would make more sense. Killing someone who has attacked you is a last resort. A more measured response would be to use the tanto to hamstring him and make your exit. Nobody chases you, nobody dies.

raul rodrigo
05-10-2007, 12:39 AM
I remember a nidan exam in 2005 where Sugawara shihan of Hombu dojo was presiding. The nidan candidates were doing exactly this, cutting uke after taking the knife away. Sugawara said clearly that we shouldnt do that.

Amir Krause
05-10-2007, 01:54 AM
So I had to kick myself to the dojo today, but as usual, I'm glad I showed up. We continued up with our tsuki practice, started with some ikkyo. Then came my first lesson in tantodori ikkyo.

One of the things I was taught during the demonstration was to, if necessary, CUT the pinned Uke down the right side of the spine. This came as a complete shock to me, this being aikido. :eek:

How many of us are taught to use the weapons we take away?

Why do you take control of the weapon, and do not just throw it away. The weapon is in your position for you to use.

How to use it, is a matter of your discretion based on the situation at hand: Are there additional threats? Is your attacker a risk (In some cases he might still fight you while on the ground and even win over)? etc.

A good teacher, who thinks of self defense, will break any assumptions you may have about the situation, and force you to face your inhibitions now, in the Dojo, and not in a real situation (if you ever get into one, god forbid).

After everyone is cutting the downed opponent, and becomes comfortable with it. Such a teacher might ask them what are they doing, and do they realize the law is likely to consider such acts as aggravated assault which can not be considered part of the self-defense argument (In Israel a person was sent to many year in jail after killing an assailant in similar circumstances),

Amir

philippe willaume
05-10-2007, 04:24 AM
Hello
That is a bit of a paradoxal question, I believe that there is a martial side to aikido and I think that it is good to be exposed to it on a regular basis even if you do not do aikido for the martial side.

All the technique in aikido can be applied so that something very nasty happens to our opponent. And that is what martial arts are for: To do arm to an opponent whilst none occurs to us, and that in reproducible manner.

Historically speaking in European medieval wrestling, the preferred method is to pin your opponent so that you can to according to your will with the other hand. That includes stabbing (in such occurrence as ikkio immobilisation they advocated stabbing at the base of the neck or in the armpit) or just pinning them (ransoming people worth it was the idea in war). So I suspect something similar is at the origin of that technique in Japan.

Aikido gives you even a bigger range of choice, and on a same token it is not because your car can do 150 mph that you drive at that speed all the time.

I see this type of application a little bit like a condom; it is better to have one and not need it than not have any and be in the need for one.

phil

Mark Uttech
05-10-2007, 04:33 AM
Cutting an uke after taking the tanto away polishes the murderous intent inherent in us all. I have heard it said that this 'murderous intent' we have is why birds don't come near when we go for a walk in the woods.

In gassho,

Mark

John Matsushima
05-10-2007, 05:18 AM
Cutting an uke after taking the tanto away polishes the murderous intent inherent in us all. I have heard it said that this 'murderous intent' we have is why birds don't come near when we go for a walk in the woods.

In gassho,

Mark

Really? I thought it was because I forgot to wear deodorant that the birds didn't come near along with any other living creatures, (especially women).

But seriously, I agree that an Aikidoka should be free from "murderous intent". It is the murderous intent of the uke, which leads to his near demise, anyway. To injure someone when we have the power not to is....evil.

I thought this point is interesting, because I have seen it in many dojos, not only in weapons practice but also in taijutsu practice. People teaching things like "if we were on the street, here is where you would break his arm/neck, etc.". I have never agreed with it.

On the other hand, someone brought up the point of slicing someone in a situation against multiple attackers. I'm not sure what to think about this. I can see how it might be necessary to break one guy's arm when you've got 5 more coming at you. But then this leads to another question of what is violence? Is it ok to do a little slicing and dicing and break a couple of bones as long as we don't kill anyone? I don't know.

I have read where Saotome sensei said that if we don't know how to kill, then we can't know how to save. So perhaps the part of using the tanto to carve our initials into our attacker is meant to show what we are not supposed to do.

I wonder why we have weapons training at all in Aikido (with the exception of tachi waza) Many of the kumitachi end with killing the uke with our katana, or with a whack to the back of uke's head with a jo. This doesn't seem to jive with Aikido philosophy.

Very interesting questions.

gdandscompserv
05-10-2007, 06:16 AM
If we don't cut uke, are we an "aiki-fruit?";)

Beard of Chuck Norris
05-10-2007, 06:22 AM
When our teacher showed us tantodori ikkyo from the pin came the dis-arm; he was now kneeling there pinning the attacker with one hand with the knife in the other.
He took the knife and motioned it across the attackers neck, just to show us "you have the knife now, do as you will" kind of idea. The only thing is that absolutely everyone after the pin and dis-arm followed the exact same motion with the knife; blindly following what was shown.

Whilst amusing (as we are all guilty at some stage copying teachers) it is also a bit scary to think "What if they (we) actually did that!?!?"

Peace and love

Jo

Demetrio Cereijo
05-10-2007, 06:53 AM
I wonder why we have weapons training at all in Aikido (with the exception of tachi waza) Many of the kumitachi end with killing the uke with our katana, or with a whack to the back of uke's head with a jo. This doesn't seem to jive with Aikido philosophy.


Maybe aikido philosophy is not what you think it is.

George S. Ledyard
05-10-2007, 07:19 AM
If you look at the various pins ones sees in Aikido, many are not what you would call "submission" holds. In other words, they are not pins in which the attacker must tap out in order to avoid injury. In fact, a good grappler would probably be able to escape if given some time to do so.

These pins or "immobilizations" were originally designed simply to place a person at disadvantage only long enough for you to access your backup weapon and finish him. We do not normally train that way because it imprints a mindset that is not in accordance with the overall values the art is trying to promote. However, there is a difference between "finishing him off" and making the knife part of the control. We always use the knife to complete the control, and don't really consider control to be complete until that happens. Then it is the choice of the attacker whether he gets cut or not.

SeiserL
05-10-2007, 07:43 AM
I came to Aikido from an FMA background, so of course I slice and dice on my exit. However, real compassion comes from when you can, they know you can, and you don't.

Roman Kremianski
05-10-2007, 08:07 AM
In fact, a good grappler would probably be able to escape if given some time to do so.

Good grappler? Try average Aikidoka in the same average weight class as nage. I was taught that that pins were simply assisted stretches, and that it's not surprise you can get out of them if you tried.

charyuop
05-10-2007, 08:29 AM
I would see it more this way...how can you spare your opponent's life if you don't learn first how to kill him?

I agree with Roman. In a real scenario you will never find an opponent that will say "oh ok you pinned me so I will stay here good waiting for the cops". I have learnt that doing techniques and pins on a very new Aikidoka is harder than on a trained one coz they don't have the mind set on what it is gonna happen. It can be surprising seeing them rolling out of a pin or simply getting out of a non perfectly done Shihonage.

So I think it is good teaching you how to react in the worst case scenario before teaching the aiki spirit and simply control the opponent. Doo or Jutsu it is still a Martial Art and the goal is saving your life first.

tarik
05-10-2007, 09:42 AM
But seriously, I agree that an Aikidoka should be free from "murderous intent". It is the murderous intent of the uke, which leads to his near demise, anyway.

Or demise. Being free of murderous intent does not mean that I won't kill.

To injure someone when we have the power not to is....evil.

I disagree. To injure someone when we have the power not to and it's not appropriate to injure (or kill) them is... evil. There are times when injury or death are appropriate consequences that UKE chooses.

My training is (in part) about removing any murderous intent from myself so that I can truly recognize those moments with clarity and without being colored by the desire to hurt or injure another.

Our training might hopefully assist us in minimizing such situations, particularly by assisting us to remove the murderous intent from our own actions, but to sincerely believe that such situations will never occur in today's world is living in a fantasy.

I sincerely don't believe that is what Aikido was ever meant to teach; I believe that was grafted on by 'pacifists' (sic) who saw something appealing in Aikido because it talks about being at peace. Admirable goals, but not, I believe, what the Founder ever intended or meant even in his obscure teachings.

I have never agreed with it.

You don't have to.. but forgive me if I do.

On the other hand, someone brought up the point of slicing someone in a situation against multiple attackers. I'm not sure what to think about this. I can see how it might be necessary to break one guy's arm when you've got 5 more coming at you. But then this leads to another question of what is violence? Is it ok to do a little slicing and dicing and break a couple of bones as long as we don't kill anyone? I don't know.

Our first priority is our survival and the survival of those we love and those innocents around us. If killing or even injury is not allowed because it doesn't match your philosophy; you will be the victim.

That is your choice. It is not mine.

However, if I ever have to kill someone, it will hopefully be with compassion, without murderous intent, and without guilt. It will always be their choice, made by their actions, not mine.

I have read where Saotome sensei said that if we don't know how to kill, then we can't know how to save.

All too many situations are escalated to this level without need.

Learning and knowing how to deal with the most distasteful, worst case scenario with deliberate intent and awareness is the only possible way to have an understanding and ability to recognize if such a decision is truly a necessary decision; and therefore confers the ability to make such a decision without guilt and second guessing and hesitation.

Truly, the life giving sword is about recognizing the greater good and acting without fear of the consequences because one already understands them and can instantly choose the option that leads to the greatest good.

But only if you've trained away those internal demons and that murderous intent and can participate with a clear mind and heart. Only then can you see the options and have no doubts.

This doesn't seem to jive with Aikido philosophy.

I'd suggest that it does.

Very interesting questions.

Indeed they are.

Regards,

tarik
05-10-2007, 09:50 AM
I came to Aikido from an FMA background, so of course I slice and dice on my exit. However, real compassion comes from when you can, they know you can, and you don't.

I disagree. Real compassion comes from doing whatever is necessary without hate or guilt. Hate the act, not the perpetrator; show the consequences and deliver appropriately.

The ability to choose means really that you can only offer the choice to uke. If you train to clearly understand the options, you have the power to show them to uke, but only uke has the power to choose the option that leads to life.

Maybe as we grow in skill and understanding we can learn better ways to educate uke so that they can also see the choice and choose appropriately, but ultimately the final choice is in their hands.

Raising a child is no different; it's just a matter of degree.

Gernot Hassenpflug
05-10-2007, 10:12 AM
Not having "murderous intent" means you'll be up for manslaughter rather than murder if your lawyer team isn't good enough to prove that aikido is for "defence". How comforting :-) Anyone I have ever met who has ever been in a violent confrontation (and I don't mean a fist-fight and the odd kick in the head) wishes they'd been able to avoid it somehow, not that they'd either been able to hurt their attackers more or less. It sucks bigtime no matter what cards you're dealt at the end of the day.

Aikibu
05-10-2007, 10:15 AM
I disagree. Real compassion comes from doing whatever is necessary without hate or guilt. Hate the act, not the perpetrator; show the consequences and deliver appropriately.

The ability to choose means really that you can only offer the choice to uke. If you train to clearly understand the options, you have the power to show them to uke, but only uke has the power to choose the option that leads to life.

Maybe as we grow in skill and understanding we can learn better ways to educate uke so that they can also see the choice and choose appropriately, but ultimately the final choice is in their hands.

Raising a child is no different; it's just a matter of degree.

Excellent Post and I completely agree. The death or injury of uke is always an option in Budo/Aikido. Hopefully my practice is good enough to allow Uke to choose life, and to make sure that path is open to him/her in my technique/spirit.

William Hazen

Aikibu
05-10-2007, 10:19 AM
Anyone I have ever met who has ever been in a violent confrontation (and I don't mean a fist-fight and the odd kick in the head) wishes they'd been able to avoid it somehow, not that they'd either been able to hurt their attackers more or less. It sucks bigtime no matter what cards you're dealt at the end of the day.

I knew that feeling well at one time in my life, and it's the reason I have devoted myself to Aikido practice. :)

William Hazen

tarik
05-10-2007, 10:22 AM
Not having "murderous intent" means you'll be up for manslaughter rather than murder if your lawyer team isn't good enough to prove that aikido is for "defence". How comforting :-)

If you're worried about the consequences; you're not fully present in the situation and might miss the opportunity that will allow you to avoid it.

Not having murderous intent means that you will not be making decisions out of fear, anger, or hate; but out of understanding the real choices that are before you. It also means that you've already dealt with and understand the consequences and don't fear them. They are what they are.

Anyone I have ever met who has ever been in a violent confrontation (and I don't mean a fist-fight and the odd kick in the head) wishes they'd been able to avoid it somehow, not that they'd either been able to hurt their attackers more or less. It sucks bigtime no matter what cards you're dealt at the end of the day.

I know of people who have been in similar situations who don't waste too much of their time wishing such things. Not everything is avoidable. They also didn't face manslaughter charges.

Regards,

Aikibu
05-10-2007, 10:26 AM
Good grappler? Try average Aikidoka in the same average weight class as nage. I was taught that that pins were simply assisted stretches, and that it's not surprise you can get out of them if you tried.

??? "Pins" or "Finishes" when applied properly are very hard to get out of. Of course on the Mat while training with Uke you might not want to go beyond "assisted stretching" but you should at least experiance that a proper pin/finish is very difficult for Uke to break out of. Otherwise why include them at all???

William Hazen

Roman Kremianski
05-10-2007, 10:35 AM
Sorry to seem like the anal unaiki-like guy here, but get me a 150lb guy pinning a struggling 150lb guy. I can almost guarantee you a grappling situation will arise.

And bear in mind that by pin, I meant standard Aikido pin (ikkyo/nikyo etc), not some knee-on-head or full armbar type pin that already places uke in an obvious disadvantage because he cooperated up to that point. If you can get uke there though, great.

Just falling back on what I was taught. Get uke to the ground > Pin > Stretch > Get up and repeat technique. Not an MMA submission.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
05-10-2007, 10:38 AM
It does kind of bug me to see people casually pantomime slitting uke's throat or something. If they think that's part of the kata, they should do it with approriate seriousness and focus. Half-heartedly gesturing it is wrong from any angle.

As Gozo Shioda said in "Total Aikido" regarding the blow at the end of shihonage-osae (a downward tegatana strike to the face), "One should have the same spirit as a samurai on the battlefield finishing off an enemy." (Not as though a whack in the face is likely to kill anyone. Actually, it's usually used either for the sake of having some closing move in the kata, if no pin is to be used, or alternately to set up the pin by causing uke to block and offer an arm.)

John Matsushima
05-10-2007, 10:43 AM
Well, this seems to be leading to the never-ending question of violence in Aikido. What you or anyone else would do in an actual confrontation is of course, up to you. Yes, it is a fact of life that people kill in self-defense. I am well aware of the violence in this world.

But is it that what Aikido teaches? Didn't Ueshiba himself say time and time again that we shouldn't injure our attacker? Isn't non-violence the philosophy of Aikido? I'm not asking what you or anyone would do it a certain situation, but is injuring an attacker, especially one whom you have just disarmed and is laying face down on the ground, is that the way of Aikido?

Many people base the argument for violence as stemming from Budo. True, in the old days (not too long ago) there was the saying "all is fair in love and war". Then it became an issue of "killing in self defense" By the way, in Budo, self-defense is not a number one priority for a warrior. If stopping the enemy is necessary for victory, then he would sacrifice his own life to do so.

Aikido is not a budo of old, but a very modern martial art. Ueshiba redefined Budo by making the point that if we train hard enough we can achieve the ability, the means to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our enemy from injury. If you can, then why not?

Mike Haftel
05-10-2007, 10:48 AM
Regardless of all this philosphical talk and "what is in accordance with the nature of Aikido" stuff, if you have disarmed and an attacker and then use that weapon against the attacker...even if he is still a threat to you, you have just broken the law and you DO face criminal charges.

If someone attacks me with a knife and I manage to get hold of said knife and go ahead and cut the attacker in any way...that is a crime. It sucks, I know, but that's the law.

Unless the attacker still poses a life-or-death threat to you, you are out of luck.

The same could be said of a gun. If you wrestle a gun away from somebody and then shoot them, you are going to jail.

tarik
05-10-2007, 11:04 AM
But is it that what Aikido teaches? Didn't Ueshiba himself say time and time again that we shouldn't injure our attacker?

Even if it was his goal (which I question if you study his writings), that was not his example. It is certainly an admirable goal, but reality will give you a solid kick in the ass if you sincerely believe this is always possible and attempt it at all times. Train and this will take care of itself.

Isn't non-violence the philosophy of Aikido?

No, it's the philosophy of many who practice Aikido. But the Nidai Doshu denied this was his father's teaching when asked directly.

I'm not asking what you or anyone would do it a certain situation, but is injuring an attacker, especially one whom you have just disarmed and is laying face down on the ground, is that the way of Aikido?

You just changed your example and are getting mired in specific scenarios. Don't get lost in what-if's and specific scenarios, examine what I already wrote about choices. This will answer that question easily.

By the way, in Budo, self-defense is not a number one priority for a warrior. If stopping the enemy is necessary for victory, then he would sacrifice his own life to do so.

You are just beginning to explore the consequences I already talked about.

Aikido is not a budo of old, but a very modern martial art. Ueshiba redefined Budo by making the point that if we train hard enough we can achieve the ability, the means to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our enemy from injury. If you can, then why not?

If you really study budo enough to be familiar with other forms, there isn't anything new in what you just said, no matter what Ueshiba Sensei claimed. Perhaps he offered something different in the details of his philosophy, but in any case, where in anything I wrote, did I say that isn't what is being attempted?

Regards,

Edward
05-10-2007, 11:38 AM
But is it that what Aikido teaches? Didn't Ueshiba himself say time and time again that we shouldn't injure our attacker? Isn't non-violence the philosophy of Aikido?

I might have misunderstood it all, but as far as I know, Osensei was talking about Uke not the attacker in real life. He says that we should take care of our Uke and make sure not to injure them specifically. This is at least how I understand it. This of course didn't stop him from breaking his Uke's arm at one demonstration (before the emperor).

I also fail to see how can one manage not to injure the attacker if for instance you throw him on concrete and he breaks his neck, unless you consider the floor the real culprit here.

Ron Tisdale
05-10-2007, 01:48 PM
I really like both Tarik's and Gernot's posts in response to the original question. I have felt waza from instructors where the only correct (read non-painfull) way to move was to take correct ukemi. As long as I moved correctly, no pain! That is in some ways perhaps not as high a level of technique as they can perform...but it does teach an interesting lesson. They allow you to freely choose how you will move...but there are consequences to making a bad choice. Thankfully painfull ones as opposed to dismemberment or death.

Best,
Ron

Aikibu
05-10-2007, 01:54 PM
Sorry to seem like the anal unaiki-like guy here, but get me a 150lb guy pinning a struggling 150lb guy. I can almost guarantee you a grappling situation will arise.

And bear in mind that by pin, I meant standard Aikido pin (ikkyo/nikyo etc), not some knee-on-head or full armbar type pin that already places uke in an obvious disadvantage because he cooperated up to that point. If you can get uke there though, great.

Just falling back on what I was taught. Get uke to the ground > Pin > Stretch > Get up and repeat technique. Not an MMA submission.

No Worries Roman. :) I understand where you're coming from. Just know that when a pin is properly executed it can "submit" uke otherwise what would be the point? I have had a few dozen students over the years ask me about it, and it's good to see that pins actually do work. Since you hinted at it.. a good place to see if they do work is with Judoka/BJJ/Submission Wrestlers and other non-cooperative Uke's. You're right that a tiny 110 pound woman might have tremendous difficulty pinning a guy like me 6'2' 250 but a slight modification of the pin ( hint: fingers and/or body postion) can be effective when accompanied with serious intent.

As for the hardcore pin with a cooperative Uke. Thats just plain rude. LOL :D

William Hazen

Haowen Chan
05-10-2007, 04:23 PM
Umm, I think more relevant, besides the issue of whether it's violent or not etc etc I think the OP's question was, "are we trained in tanto-jutsu?" It's like, if uke was wielding nunchuks, and you got the nunchucks off him, would you be confident using them effectively against the pinned uke?

I don't think "cutting the spine" is really going to be that easy? Bones, ribs... with a weapon that's probably unfamiliar since it belonged to uke... not an easy proposition to swallow.

Ron Tisdale
05-10-2007, 04:39 PM
It's not brain surgery...pointy end goes in uke...sharp side must touch flesh. Uh...HIS flesh, that is...

B,
R :D

mjhacker
05-10-2007, 06:34 PM
I have felt waza from instructors where the only correct (read non-painfull) way to move was to take correct ukemi.
The best Aiki (and Judo) I've ever felt didn't involve me making a conscious choice to move on any level (that I'm currently aware of). Never did I have to choose to move in order to avoid pain or injury.

The stuff I'm chasing after leaves uke with no mental or physical recollection of what happened. Anything else just isn't worth my time anymore.

mrfeldmeyer
05-11-2007, 08:04 AM
The best Aiki (and Judo) I've ever felt didn't involve me making a conscious choice to move on any level (that I'm currently aware of). Never did I have to choose to move in order to avoid pain or injury.

The stuff I'm chasing after leaves uke with no mental or physical recollection of what happened. Anything else just isn't worth my time anymore.

I was just discussing this exact feeling (that I got from Clark Sensei last October) with a student at my dojo yesterday. I'm still not quite sure how I ended up on the mat. I just know he told me to hit him and about a half second later, I was on the mat looking up at him thinking "What just happened?" Fun Stuff!

Ron Tisdale
05-11-2007, 08:21 AM
The best Aiki (and Judo) I've ever felt didn't involve me making a conscious choice to move on any level (that I'm currently aware of). Never did I have to choose to move in order to avoid pain or injury.

The stuff I'm chasing after leaves uke with no mental or physical recollection of what happened. Anything else just isn't worth my time anymore.

Sure, I agree that what I described is just one level, that is sometimes shown. And I am often left without a clue as to what just happened. But I do see a place for what I described...even now. In a physical confrontation with someone who is really trying to hurt me, I want complete and full control to whatever extent it is possible. And I don't want to rely on pain compliance.

But when that level is not needed, I like to be in a position where I can take it there...but have the choice to be kinder. But hey, that's just me. There are partners I train with that if I throw them at my top level, they are going to be hurt. They don't know enough yet to fully protect themselves. But I can learn a lot about myself and them if I can guide them through the waza...and the method I described is just one way to do that. And since I like working with beginners and juniors... ;)

Best,
Ron

tarik
05-11-2007, 09:43 AM
Sure, I agree that what I described is just one level, that is sometimes shown. And I am often left without a clue as to what just happened. But I do see a place for what I described...even now. In a physical confrontation with someone who is really trying to hurt me, I want complete and full control to whatever extent it is possible. And I don't want to rely on pain compliance.

Ron, as another person chasing the same experience that Mike Hacker describes, I would say that what I/you described is a stage of beginning to recognize how to accomplish that.

I believe that the fact that uke has choices is an indicator that I as tori am offering those choices, perhaps by going slowly enough or even pausing; something I eventually want to be able to eliminate as well from my technique. By going slowly enough to allow uke those choices, I am also educating myself as to the correct paths that will grant that level of practice. It's not that uke's choices will go away if I improve, it's that they will become choices made at the subconcious or neurological level and I will be more aware of the options than they.

I'm only speculating right now, but it's informed speculation. :)

Mike Haftel
05-11-2007, 10:02 AM
Ron, as another person chasing the same experience that Mike Hacker describes, I would say that what I/you described is a stage of beginning to recognize how to accomplish that.

I believe that the fact that uke has choices is an indicator that I as tori am offering those choices, perhaps by going slowly enough or even pausing; something I eventually want to be able to eliminate as well from my technique. By going slowly enough to allow uke those choices, I am also educating myself as to the correct paths that will grant that level of practice. It's not that uke's choices will go away if I improve, it's that they will become choices made at the subconcious or neurological level and I will be more aware of the options than they.

I'm only speculating right now, but it's informed speculation. :)

Speed is not, or should not be, a determinant for the level of Technique you are talking about. I've had highly compentent people throw me very softly and comparably slower than the average Aikidoka and I still had no choice in the matter and made no conscious decision to "take a fall" or "protect myself" by falling. And, going further, I wasn't being a compliant uke.

But, this skill is few and far between in the martial arts world.

Ron Tisdale
05-11-2007, 10:12 AM
Speed is not, or should not be, a determinant for the level of Technique you are talking about. I've had highly compentent people throw me very softly and comparably slower than the average Aikidoka and I still had no choice in the matter and made no conscious decision to "take a fall" or "protect myself" by falling. And, going further, I wasn't being a compliant uke.

But, this skill is few and far between in the martial arts world.

Absolutely! My refrain is, if you can't do it slow, you can't really do it fast. In judo, the waza work well with added muscle I think, because you are close in. If you missed some portion of the kuzushi, but you fit in well, and are strong, you can cover well. I think because of the way aikido waza are structured, it's harder (and more obvious) when strength and speed are used to cover up a lack of kuzushi, proper positioning, or kokyu. Or all of the above. And unlike judo, it is much less likely to work on someone larger.

I think Tarik would say the same thing from what I've read of his posts. Even in more or less free practice, about half the time I'm trying to slow down, move more correctly, feel more of what I'm beginning to see as "kokyu posture",,,etc. It's a long road. Just because I'm at one spot on the road, doesn't mean my interest in other spots is gone. Unifying my body mind spirit includes unifying all the spots along the road, in my mind.

Best,
Ron

tarik
05-11-2007, 10:13 AM
Speed is not, or should not be, a determinant for the level of Technique you are talking about. I've had highly compentent people throw me very softly and comparably slower than the average Aikidoka and I still had no choice in the matter and made no conscious decision to "take a fall" or "protect myself" by falling. And, going further, I wasn't being a compliant uke.

Oh, I agree that speed is not a factor. I found that just as I really need to SLOW down and pay more attention, one set of teachers wanted me to speed up to solve my problems, instead.

In fact, this study is more able to be accomplished at extremely slow speeds and the benefit is that uke and tori can both discover together how and why it works. Compliance is not required, but cooperation is, in the sense that both partners have to treat that slow speed as the same as higher speeds. That is just a difficult and challenging (and extremely rewarding and fruitful) practice, particularly for an uke who perceives non-compliance as being able to do anything, even if it would violate the laws of physics if the speed were actually full blown. I think I finally am beginning to get that inside, but it is a HARD practice to be non-compliant, yet cooperative in this mode.

IAC, I was talking about a stage I've been passing through that is hopefully on the right path. Regardless of correct path, it was certainly on my path. :)


But, this skill is few and far between in the martial arts world.

Sometimes when you look, and find good teachers, you find it in clumps. ;)

Regards,

jonreading
05-11-2007, 12:41 PM
Harmony is balance. Your uke has elevated the intensity of a conflict through the use of a weapon. Your reaction must balance his action. If his tries to cut you, you demonstrate you are capable of reciprocating that action. In aikido, we choose not to cut our opponents, but that does not mean that we lack the knowledge or skill to do so.

SeiserL
05-11-2007, 03:14 PM
I believe that the fact that uke has choices is an indicator that I as tori am offering those choices, perhaps by going slowly enough or even pausing; something I eventually want to be able to eliminate as well from my technique. By going slowly enough to allow uke those choices, I am also educating myself as to the correct paths that will grant that level of practice. It's not that uke's choices will go away if I improve, it's that they will become choices made at the subconcious or neurological level and I will be more aware of the options than they.
Agreed. At every step information is offered and choices are made by both uke and tori. Its learning to slow down, relax, pay attention, stay aware, and choose wisely that is an education, an art.

jennifer paige smith
05-11-2007, 09:50 PM
You don't cut the man. You cut the devil out of is kharma.
-Terry Dobson

xuzen
05-12-2007, 01:07 AM
It does kind of bug me to see people casually pantomime slitting uke's throat or something. If they think that's part of the kata, they should do it with approriate seriousness and focus. Half-heartedly gesturing it is wrong from any angle.
Completely agree. Although we are not harming the uke per se, but we should be in the mindset and intention of harming the uke at split second should the need arises.

These pins or "immobilizations" were originally designed simply to place a person at disadvantage only long enough for you to access your backup weapon and finish him.
Happy belated b/day George. Since we are practicing AiKiDo and not AikiJutsu: Kamae as the beginning of the waza and Osae as the end of the waza is appropriate. Just like a good music score, there is the intro and the ending. It is designed to look nice and complete.

Like George said, to be street effective, carry a wakizashi (just kidding).

Do not confuse Aikido immobilization (osae-waza) with submission grappling (osae-komi) moves. There were created for different purpose and intention.

Boon.

John Matsushima
05-12-2007, 09:20 AM
Completely agree. Although we are not harming the uke per se, but we should be in the mindset and intention of harming the uke at split second should the need arises.

When do we ever need to harm someone?
I still don't get it, WHY is it EVER necessary to harm an unarmed person with a weapon? If you are good enough to take away a weapon from someone trying to kill you and put him down on the ground, how is that person any kind of a threat that warrants you harming him?

Many people say, "Well, if you live in the real world, when people really try to hurt you and kill you, then you'll have to BLAH BLAH BLAH." Well, you're right. We live in a world of suicide bombers, nuclear weapons and ak-47s. The reason we can't stop such violence is because we're not good enough. Saying things like "I was forced to harm him; he asked for it; he didn't give me any choice" shows ignorance, a lack of ability, a lack of power, a lack of freedom. Hey, I am not claiming to be a superaikiman; to be honest, I think If I am in such situation, and I realize that I can't and don't know how to take away his weapon without harming him, then I will probably use any method I can to tear his head off. And if I can't then I will die. But that's why I train in Aikido.

Isn't that why we all train in Aikido? Aikido gives us the power to save ourselves and the attacker; it gives us the power of choice, the power to be free from having to kill. Isn't that everyone's excuse for killing? "We have to kill the infidels; we have to kill the bad guys; we have to kill them because we have no choice" Or do we just train to get better at taking people's heads off? Or, do you just train how to harm uke because you expect that you will never be good enough? Are the techniques not good enough? Is Aikido not good enough to deal with "real world" attackers? Then why the hell do you practice Aikido?

divinecedar
05-12-2007, 10:43 PM
I tend to think that with correct zanshin and proper application of Aikido techniques, a true Aikidoka would never see the need to wield a weapon against an unarmed opponent under the control of a pin. I am certainly not the authority on Aikido, but this is the spirit in which I practice the art. Where, may I ask, is the harmony in slitting a downed person's throat?

Chuck Clark
05-12-2007, 11:28 PM
Uplift all beings and do as little harm as possible... I can live with this. However, what happens if someone comes out of the dark with a knife and you luckily, successfully take it away and then, in your benevolence or ineptitude or just chance, the assailant gets away, takes the knife back from you and kills you... or the person has friends that are coming out of the dark at you while you are taking control of their buddy and you see at least one weapon amongst them? Do you let the person up in order to defend against the others while the one you had under control joins in again... Lots of similar scenarios that happen frequently in the world every day ...

One of the things I really like about aiki budo is the ability to have choice about doing as little harm as possible. We then have to be responsible for that choice/action. It's not simple and clean cut as most people would like it. It's something to think about and, in reality, we act under threat the way we train ...

mickeygelum
05-13-2007, 03:45 AM
An individual attacks me and mine with a knife...I will be able to direct EMS or the Coroner right to them.

For those of you that train earnestly and as directed by your mentors, ask them if they have ever really been attacked in the real world by an individual with a live blade that was going to use it on them. What was their response?

From multiple personal experiences, and as I have said before...You need to work on breaks and chokes. If you really believe that the pins you use in the dojo are going to work in the real world, start stocking up on bandages and hospitalization insurance.

I do not condone the reversal of roles where the victim becomes the aggressor, but I do not have a problem of leaving the individual with a little something to remember me by. Whether it is a limp, scar or extremely limited range of motion appendage.

Train well, Train real !

divinecedar
05-13-2007, 12:03 PM
The arguements as to whether or not it is "right" or not to use a knife captured from an attacker boil down to the practicioner's own moral code. I believe that it is rather futile to argue one way or another, because people will do as they believe. However, it is good to hear everyone else's opinion. If one asks, what if a down assailant reclaims the knife the responses are certain to vary from, "I'd pull my Glock 19 and empty a clip" to "The substance of Bushido is death: we mustnít look as living as a gain and death as a loss." Some chose to merit violence with a greater degree of violence. Others chose to utilize the pacifistic approach. The true spirit of Aikido, at least to me, seems to lean toward the latter.

SeiserL
05-13-2007, 02:50 PM
One of the things I really like about aiki budo is the ability to have choice about doing as little harm as possible. We then have to be responsible for that choice/action.
Osu,
Yes, we are responsible and accountable for all of our choices. Plus, we have to live with them. That is why I like to take responsibility for the choice of how and if I choose to "finish him". (Of course I am assuming we are talking about training, sparring, or fighting and not combat. I sometime get lost in these content threads that mix context. Must be old or something.)

Chuck Clark
05-13-2007, 03:09 PM
Lynn,

Of course, it is all the same, but different... One Thing! Kwatz!

xuzen
05-13-2007, 11:47 PM
When do we ever need to harm someone? I still don't get it, WHY is it EVER necessary to harm an unarmed person with a weapon? If you are good enough to take away a weapon from someone trying to kill you and put him down on the ground, how is that person any kind of a threat that warrants you harming him?

You said harm, I said mindset of harming. Two different thing altogether in my book.

Maybe I convey the message wrongly. I meant to say having the mental readiness or zanshin or awareness that is akin to make that decision without hesitation or emotional attachment. A sense of no-mind if you know what I mean.

Boon.

Brion Toss
05-16-2007, 09:30 PM
Clinton Anderson, the great horse trainer, is famously gentle with his charges, and his charges, of course, happen to weigh in the neighborhood of half a ton. They also possess sharp teeth and hooves. His training mantra is, "As gentle as possible, as firm as necessary." Owing to his profound understanding of horse psychology, plus deep experience, he rarely puts himself in a situation where he could be seriously hurt. If a horse tries to hurt him, therefore, he will be in a position where he is hard to get at, but one in which it will be easy for him to, for instance, bop the horse on the nose. If it becomes necessary to do any bopping, he seeks to do so in a manner similar in intensity and nature to how horses "correct" each other, which is to say doing no significant or lasting damage. I've worked with him a bit, and I believe that he works this way in part because it is by far the most effective way to go, but also because he genuinely respects and admires horses. But I'm sure he wouldn't hesitate to kill a horse that went crazy, and was a threat to him or others.
So here we have someone with thousands of encounters with very large animals that are utterly, easily capable of maiming or killing a human that doesn't know how to work with them. Unlike many of his predecessors (and some of his contemporaries), he sees no need to "break" a horse with brutality, or even unkindness. But he is under no illusions about whose life is more important, if it comes to that.
Humans training in fighting skills face a much more dangerous animal, which I take to mean that we must bring an even broader, more complex array of psychological, ethical, physical, and spiritual tools to any encounter, violent or otherwise. This array might have a barely perceptible nod at one end, and a knife slash at the other. Aikido, for me, is not an attempt to discard the need for a knife, but to make its use remotely unlikely.

Gernot Hassenpflug
05-16-2007, 10:13 PM
Nice post Brion, thanks for sharing.

SeiserL
05-17-2007, 07:49 AM
What does that mean, "finish him".?

Does it mean to kill him?

In training, okay, play act it out. But remember that how you train will be how you fight and that in reality you have to be able to defend it and (worse) live with it.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
05-17-2007, 08:51 AM
What does that mean, "finish him".?

While they're dazed, you quickly tap in a special button sequence to activate your FATALITY move. Mine's down for two seconds, up, right, left, a, a, b.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
05-17-2007, 08:57 AM
While we're talking Mortal Kombat, I remember seeing this on aikiweb not long ago, taken from one of the games' storylines:

"Created in the early 20th century by Morihei Uyeshiba, the Black Dragon was formed by former members of the Red Dragon, who were fed up with the honor and loyalty of that clan. The Black Dragon wouldn’t be nearly as disciplined as the Red Dragon. Instead, they would be a composed of thugs and mercenaries constantly stealing riches and murdering the innocent. Morihei Uyeshiba was the creator of the Aikido fighting style, which many of the Black Dragon members still use today. The last known leader of the Black Dragon was Kano. Kano & some other members (a fomer Lin Kuei expatriat named Tremor, No Face, Jarek, and Tasia) broke free from prison, but most were caught by Special Forces agent Major Jackson Briggs."

(By the way, "Kano" is this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kano_%28Mortal_Kombat%29 rather than http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jigoro_Kano )

Wow! I knew O-sensei got into some interesting altercations and bad crowds as a young guy, but I didn't know he started cyborg ninja clans!

maxwelljones
05-18-2007, 06:21 AM
People tend not to think about it, perhaps, but understanding the laws in your area regarding the use of force is critical, not just if you're in the martial arts, but especially so if you are.

I understand why I've been taught this. Aikido is, in fact, a martial art, and a martial mindset is of paramount importance, not just the explanation sensei gave me which amounts to "just in case," and more than the violence, improving ourselves mentally in this way is largely the reason we train in the first place.

But it's important to note that in the worst case, if you're actually attacked with a knife, cutting down a pinned, disarmed individual could amount to 2nd degree murder. It's also stupid to try to "hamstring" your attacker; any deliberate contact you make with the knife must be regarded as deadly force.

maxwelljones
05-18-2007, 06:34 AM
And, no, I was never a fan of Mortal Kombat.

jonreading
05-18-2007, 12:52 PM
We are far more dangerous to people driving to work than we will ever be as a martial artist. Yet the moment someone practices a lethal move, hell and damnation upon them.

Training with lethal moves is an exercise like the other execrises we practice. We learn the enormity of our actions through the severity of the outcome. Training to the end is a synthesis of a terrible act that teaches us the value of awareness and the severity of our actions. When I train with devastating or lethal moves, I do so to mature my understanding of the value of life and wholeness of the body.

I would never choose to understand taking a human life, and I never hope to be presented that situation. But likewise, I work each day with students whose hands and bodies are valuable tools necessary to their livelihood. How would I feel if my carelessness in training damaged a doctor's hands, or a jogger's leg? Ending a person's life is sometimes no different than ending a person's livelihood.

The way you synthesize killing me is the way you would treat me in training. If I see carelessness, boredom, animosity, I believe that is the way in which you will treat me in training; I hope to see compassion, carefulness, and precision.

Aikibu
05-18-2007, 02:39 PM
We are far more dangerous to people driving to work than we will ever be as a martial artist. Yet the moment someone practices a lethal move, hell and damnation upon them.

Training with lethal moves is an exercise like the other execrises we practice. We learn the enormity of our actions through the severity of the outcome. Training to the end is a synthesis of a terrible act that teaches us the value of awareness and the severity of our actions. When I train with devastating or lethal moves, I do so to mature my understanding of the value of life and wholeness of the body.

I would never choose to understand taking a human life, and I never hope to be presented that situation. But likewise, I work each day with students whose hands and bodies are valuable tools necessary to their livelihood. How would I feel if my carelessness in training damaged a doctor's hands, or a jogger's leg? Ending a person's life is sometimes no different than ending a person's livelihood.

The way you synthesize killing me is the way you would treat me in training. If I see carelessness, boredom, animosity, I believe that is the way in which you will treat me in training; I hope to see compassion, carefulness, and precision.

Good point and spoken like a real Budoka!

Thanks for the post. :)

William Hazen