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AskanisoN
11-21-2001, 11:59 AM
Hi all,

I came accross this article and was curious if anyone has any experience with or knows of what Aikido techniques if any are taught to Marines or other service branches in the U.S. or other countries.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001-03-08-marines.htm

Also, I was a little miffed by this statement. I certainly don't feel that way about my training. Please tell me what you think.

"Most people who train in a dojo are not equipped for self-defense," says Richard Heckler, a psychologist and black belt in Japanese aikido who worked as a consultant on the Marine program.

Thx,

Scott

shihonage
11-21-2001, 01:47 PM
Also, I was a little miffed by this statement. I certainly don't feel that way about my training. Please tell me what you think.


I think that we don't study eye-gouging, throat-hitting, wrist-biting, face-knawing, as well as we don't study the psychological/physiological aspects that are present in a real fight and which play a much larger role in determine its outcome than your ability to do iriminage.

Taken literally, Aikido training is not self-defense. However if you've been attacked before, you kind of have an understanding of the chaos/intensity/fear that ensues and have a more realistic view of how Aikido can help you in such a situation in the future.

I've noticed that people who's never been attacked actually never, ever have the urge to try and practice being an aggressive/fast/extremely dedicated uke, or to have someone come at them fast, and see how their timing holds up.

AskanisoN
11-21-2001, 05:03 PM
Hi Shihonage,

Thanks for your reply.:D

I took his quote to be more of a generalization about martial arts in the civilian world and not neccisarily just Aikido, but it would'nt be the first time I was wrong about something. The fact that he happens to be a black belt in Aikido just confuses me further as to why he would say that. It kinda makes me wonder why he is advising the Marine Corps. Maybe he should have said, "Most people who train in a dojo are not equipped for war", because thats what millitary training is for.

Ask someone from a martial art like Jeet Kune Do that does teach eye gouging, throat hitting, and etc. if they think that training in a dojo doesn't equip them for self-defense. The answer would probably be a kick in the groin!

Anyway, I've only been in a few fights in my short 27 yrs (before I'd even heard of Aikido), but I do feel very confident that my Aikido training would hold up to a serious attack.

Thx,

Scott

shihonage
11-21-2001, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by AskanisoN
Anyway, I've only been in a few fights in my short 27 yrs (before I'd even heard of Aikido), but I do feel very confident that my Aikido training would hold up to a serious attack.


Mine too - as long as I don't get hit :mad: :eek: .

AskanisoN
11-21-2001, 05:48 PM
Yeah, gettin eye gouged ;)or kicked in the groin:eek: doesn't help either!

L. Camejo
11-21-2001, 08:01 PM
----------------------------------------------
"Most people who train in a dojo are not equipped for self-defense," says Richard Heckler, a psychologist and black belt in Japanese aikido who worked as a consultant on the Marine program

This is a statement typical of those who do not have a very broad sense of Aikido and the range of different styles that exist.

As some of us may know, Aikido dojo can range from the "touchy feely" to the "sheer hell" type of training depending on where you go, so generalising, as in the case of this quote, doesn't actually say much. Not to mention the fact that self defence and war, though fundamentally similar, are two totally different areas of mind/body conditioning.

As far as it's military application goes I am not sure, but I do know that Yoshinkan Aikido is taught to the Tokyo police force and Shodokan Aikido is taught to the Osaka police force. I've also heard that the Korean (not sure if it's north or south) riot police use Tae Kwon Do to take down mobs by walking in lines into them with shields and kicking the legs out from those in the front line (of course those of you who may know better, please feel free to comment).

In my country, many students are from the local military and protective services and all have come to do Aikido from experience in unarmed combat and other MA backgrounds, most in an effort to "complete" their martial arts knowledge/training. I guess there's some reason why they think doing Aikido will add to their hand to hand combat skills.

So I guess there is some case for Aikido's effectiveness in military application, but it depends on a number of factors which include the motive behind the military's training and the particular style of Aikido used to achieve the aims of those motives.

My $0.02
Domo
L.C.:ai::ki:

Speireag
11-29-2001, 07:29 PM
A quote from Heckler Sensei: "Most people who train in a dojo are not equipped for self-defense," says Richard Heckler, a psychologist and black belt in Japanese aikido who worked as a consultant on the Marine program.

Comment by L. Camejo

This is a statement typical of those who do not have a very broad sense of Aikido and the range of different styles that exist.

Perhaps. Note that qualifies his statement: "most people". He does not say that you cannot equip yourself for self-defense in a dojo. He simply says that most of the people who train there aren't so equipped.

I have taught self-defense in the past, from basic tactical precautions through the use of lethal force. I work in law enforcement and it's a topic near and dear to my heart. In my experience, Heckler Sensei's comment is correct.

However, I do not think that this would be an accurate characterization of Heckler Sensei. I studied briefly at Aikido of Tamalpais, years ago before he moved on, and attended some of his classes. He struck me very favorably, though at age 16 I was probably not in a good position to judge anyone.

More importantly, Heckler Sensei has significant experience teaching Aikido to the American military, as military training per se, for direct application in military situations. He was one of the teachers in an experimental Green Beret training program in 1985. You can read about it in the book he wrote afterward: _In Search of the Warrior Spirit_. I found it a very interesting read. I don't know if he continued to consult and teach in the military, but it would not surprise me.

As some of us may know, Aikido dojo can range from the "touchy feely" to the "sheer hell" type of training depending on where you go, so generalising, as in the case of this quote, doesn't actually say much.

Well, it does say that just training in Aikido won't necessarily develop self-defense skills. But we should already know that. In developing anything, you must study intently, with purpose and discretion, or you depend completely on fortune to get what you want. In this context, that means that you must look for a good teacher, study hard, and occasionally validate your studies (to the extent that you can do that safely and ethically). I think you would agree that there are many people who don't do those things.

In my country, many students are from the local military and protective services and all have come to do Aikido from experience in unarmed combat and other MA backgrounds, most in an effort to "complete" their martial arts knowledge/training. I guess there's some reason why they think doing Aikido will add to their hand to hand combat skills.

It sounds as though you are exceptionally lucky to have people to train with who are martially competent. Good training!

-Speireag.

nikonl
11-29-2001, 11:53 PM
It's quite sad to see someone who has a 'black belt?' in Aikido bringing down the image of dojos and the art in general. :(

Speireag
11-30-2001, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by nikon
It's quite sad to see someone who has a 'black belt?' in Aikido bringing down the image of dojos and the art in general. :(

Well, bear in mind that it's an article in the popular press. It's not aimed at martial artists, and so the editor will choose terms which the general population can follow. The general population can't follow much beyond "black belt". Heckler Sensei is fifth dan. He co-founded Aikido of Tamalpais, which is a well-regarded dojo now affiliated with ASU. He is head instructor at Two Rock Aikido in Petaluma, California.

He certainly did not intend to bring down the image of Aikido. I don't believe that his comment will have that result, either, if it's taken in the context of the article where it appeared.

-Speireag.

nikonl
12-02-2001, 03:12 AM
But how could he say that people(he didn't say some) who trained in dojos aren't equipped for self-defense. If i were someone who hadn't even heard of aikido, i would surely have a wrong impression about it after reading that article. He shouldn't have said it in a manner of 'Aikido in general'.

And he shouldn't have said our training is choreographed ,as it is untrue.

I wonder where is the "Ai' in his interview and the job he is doing. He certainly didn't show the spiritual side of Aikido, which is a very important part of Aikido and is lacking these days.

Speireag
12-02-2001, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by nikon
But how could he say that people(he didn't say some) who trained in dojos aren't equipped for self-defense.

He didn't say "all", either. See:

"Most people who train in a dojo are not equipped for self-defense," says Richard Heckler, a psychologist and black belt in Japanese aikido who worked as a consultant on the Marine program.

In my experience, he's right. Like most people you pass on the street, most people who train in a dojo have never had the experience of being in a lethal combat. There is a martial mindset. The people who don't have it can learn to have it through the right experiences -- it can be trained -- but Aikido practice by itself is not generally sufficient.

One program I have heard of which can help uncork that mindset is Model Mugging. A lot of their training is psychological, and directly oriented toward breaking down the unconscious barriers which are socialized into us from birth. These barriers often keep us from hurting each other, which is good, but they can also short-circuit full participation in a martial situation, which will prevent correct action.

Make no mistake; in my view, Aikido practice is essential and fundamental if you want to learn to resolve conflict ethically. But by itself, it does not prepare you for understanding and dealing with the reality of someone trying to kill you.

If i were someone who hadn't even heard of aikido, i would surely have a wrong impression about it after reading that article. He shouldn't have said it in a manner of 'Aikido in general'.

The reporter did not call him up and ask for a single sentence. What you have is the reporter's quotation of a single sentence from a longer interview. The reporter was clearly using hyperbole to make her point, drawing an exaggerated contrast between battlefield combat practice and dojo practice. To illustrate her point, she quoted Heckler Sensei, necessarily without the full context. You should be cautious in judging anyone who is quoted in that way; the reporter can easily make it sound other than it was intended, whether intentionally or honorably.

And he shouldn't have said our training is choreographed ,as it is untrue.

He didn't. Going back to the article again, I believe that you're thinking of a quote from someone else:

"On the battlefield, there is no dirty fighting," Urso says. Real martial arts are "not pretty, not choreographed. But it's what a Marine needs to survive."

I wonder where is the "Ai' in his interview and the job he is doing. He certainly didn't show the spiritual side of Aikido, which is a very important part of Aikido and is lacking these days.

He didn't have the opportunity to "show the spiritual side of Aikido". He didn't write the article. I don't know if you have any experience being excerpted by the media. I have, and I can tell you that your message never comes through the way you wanted it to. Any time someone quotes what you say, some of the context is necessarily lost, and with it some of the meaning.

If you want to see him talk about teaching Aikido and thinking deeply about its spiritual aspects, I suggest that you read one of his books. For this particular topic, I'll recommend again _In Search of the Warrior Spirit_. Otherwise, you're judging him on a single out-of-context quote by a reporter who was trying to make a point about a program which she understood imperfectly.

Best wishes and good training,

-Speireag.

AskanisoN
12-03-2001, 01:31 AM
Hi Speireag,

Please understand that I was not trying to belittle Heckler Sensei through my comments. I've never met the man, and would not attempt to judge his teaching ability nor his character based upon a small quote in an article. I hope that this is not the impression I gave you. To me, the quote itself just seems contradictory to my experience with Aikido.

Thankyou for the insite.

Scott

nikonl
12-03-2001, 09:54 AM
ok, so it's the reporter's fault. :)

Another case of miscommunication...

JW
12-03-2001, 07:48 PM
It looks like the results of the current poll will
show that most of us roughly agree with Heckler
Sensei's quote. Well, that is, provided he meant
"Aikido dojo" when he said "dojo" as the reporter
might lead us to believe. Personally I am surprised
to see the 100% votes--though I suppose that
maybe the question could have had alternative
interpretations.
Here's how I know that I am not (yet) prepared
for self defense form my Aikido training:
- How often do I have to think "oops, wasn't
ready.." (hopefully this isn't often at all. But:..)
- How often do my techniques work REALLY
REALLY well in class (if they don't work *REALLY*
well in class, how could I think that they are
self-defense-effective)?
- How often can I get a feel for how a technique
would go if my uke actually had no desire *at all*
for the technique to work?
- Do I ever work with attacks that I might see
outside the dojo?

In short: you gotta be really good to be able to say
that in general you are ready to defend yourself.
That's how I feel at least, from the amount of times
I feel that dojo training isn't a piece of cake at all..
If I can't get it quite right in the dojo (which is
always the case), then I am not yet ready to defend
myself with Aikido.

Then again there are plenty of inspiring Aikido
stories out there..
--Jonathan Wong

Abasan
12-03-2001, 10:31 PM
Interesting that this post has 'degenerated ' into one that questions the self defence applicability of the martial art aikido.

We were trying it out yesterday and our amateur research concluded that:
1. in the absence of good technique, strength prevails.
2. gentle pins practice by the aikikai style can be broken by a determined and strong uke
3. but that said uke would have hard time, were we to use painful alternative pins practiced by OSensei; this holds true with the techniques as well
4. most of us practice by rote and forget that in real life, the attacker is not programmed to respond in a predetermined fashion. He may be off balance in another direction, he may release his hands, he maybe able to block your 'single' atemi to the face and all sorts of things.

The problem here is not that we don't practice all of this variations. We just can't since there's an infinitum of them. The problem here is that some of us practice by rote instead of training the underlying principles of what makes aikido work.

I also noticed that most us when stuck midway in a technique, stand there resolutely to make it go all the way. Of course this is good if you're trying to learn the mechanics of it and correct your mistakes. Its not good if this is the way you'll defend yourself in a real situation. To keep moving and allowing yourself to freedom and choice of any technique would be better.

Btw I totally agree on how the media can totally distort things depending on how they want their points to come across to the audience. For instance, we all know that inflections can change the meaning of certain sentences, and inflections don't come across naturally in written form.

Speireag
12-07-2001, 03:13 AM
Originally posted by AskanisoN
Hi Speireag,

Please understand that I was not trying to belittle Heckler Sensei through my comments.

Not to worry; I've mainly been replying to others. I've learned over years of being online not to judge people too quickly on the basis of text-based correspondence, which is necessarily very limited.

Good training,

-Speireag.

Tim Griffiths
01-02-2002, 04:53 AM
Originally posted by nikon

And he shouldn't have said our training is choreographed ,as it is untrue.


I'll pick up on this sentence, as others have picked up on
the other things.

Our training is choreographed. Almost all of it. We know
what the attack is, what should happen in the middle,
and how it should end. Sometimes it goes wrong, but
your sensei is happiest when he sees you doing it
'correctly' (i.e. with the planned movements and results).
Especially for beginners, but for everyone else too.
Even randori is a random collection of choreographed
set-pieces or "techniques".

I don't know of any dojo that spend more than 20% of
their time on unchoreographed practice.

Please note I'm NOT suggesting that a) Choreographed
practice is a bad thing or b) its unrealistic. We have
lots of real life anecdotes that say something like
"he attacked me like ...[ ]..., exactly like in the dojo, and
I ....[ ]...., exactly like in the dojo.


Tim

Krzysiek
02-27-2002, 05:22 PM
So I have to admit in posting this that I'm a college student who is familiar with the long ugly history of US (and other) armed forces.

:triangle:

My question to the forum is this: Do we WANT Aikido to be taught in the military?

:square:

The military is very unlikely to ever become any more Aiki than it has ever been. They are stuck in a structure which answers only to our Commander in Chief (Currently Bush) and our foreign policy (Which currently centers around less than laudable goals.)

:circle:

I'm going to leave this short for now. Once again I express my opinion:

:freaky:

Sincerely,
Krzysiek

guest1234
02-27-2002, 06:31 PM
I would like to see Aikido taught to our military, and have spent the last year and a half trying to find a way to get clearance for an instructor to at least come out to demo. I think the services are made up of the same kind of people you find all around you, with the same fears and needs and aspirations. They work longer hours for less pay than most, and voluntarily give up many personal rights and freedoms so that civilians can enjoy them.

And despite very pretty recruiting campaigns, the profession of the military is war. We do different tasks in accomplishing that, but first, formost, and always, our purpose is to go to war and fight in the service of our country, following the orders of our commanders, including the Commander in Chief, and giving up our lives if called upon to do so in that service. For many, at wages that qualify their families for food stamps. Pilots and doctors make around half to one quarter of the pay 'on the outside', while often spending 230 plus days separated from their families.

Am I personally happy with all of the decisions made in which wars to fight? No, but I blame the people of the United States who elected those who set our foreign policy (and last time I looked, most college students could vote, they just didn't . In the early days of Desert Shield, we tried to catch CNN whenever we were near a TV in Riyadh, to try to find out what was going to happen to us. And I saw a lot of man-in-the-street interviews from back home, some guy pumping gas into his big gas guzzling vehicle talking about 'kicking butt' and all excited that 'we' (as in me, not him) were going to war. War is not pretty or glamourous or fun, and I think the military is well aware of that. It is perhaps some of the civilians who lack the understanding of war, or we wouldn't enter into them as quickly as we have.

shihonage
02-27-2002, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by ca
some guy pumping gas into his big gas guzzling vehicle talking about 'kicking butt' and all excited that 'we' (as in me, not him) were going to war.

I so much hate those people. I can't help it.

lt-rentaroo
02-27-2002, 10:22 PM
Colleen,

I raise my glass to thee, if we ever get the chance to train together (whether on or off duty), your first drink is on me.

Krzysiek
02-27-2002, 10:34 PM
Colleen,
I should mention that I've been reading posts on this board for quite a while before registering and deciding to take part in some of the discussion. I've seen a lot of the posts you've written and I'm always impressed by how complete and relevant they are. So lots of respect in your direction. The fact that you were in the military made me realize I was likely to get a strong answer to my naively worded question.

I know soldiers are treated poorly. That is they don't get paid well enough, they're exposed to unnecessary dangers environmentally (I'm studying environmental chemistry, it's frightening.), they're sent into wars for the sake of gas-guzzling cars. I think it's horrible; I think it's a misuse of their trust.

So I'm going to make a distinction for this question. I think there's nothing wrong with having a Sensei teach Aikido to people in the military in the same way it's taught everywhere else. I realize that soldiers are people and that it would be beneficial for those who want to be involved in Aikido. Read: I agree with you here.

The problem I have is with the attitude that it would be good if the military decided that Aikido is effective for the battlefield and proceeded to gut the art for its combat-effective elements and forget the rest.

I think that would be bad for the art (since it would be misused on a massive scale) and not much help to the soliders (since soldiers are hurt or killed when bad political decisions are made regardless of their skill.) If some US leaders decided to read Mark Binder's essay

Mark Binder's essay on Sept 11th (http://www.markbinder.com/aikido/peace-question.htm)

and somehow realized how their foolishness puts soldiers and civilians at risk, that would be a positive effect of Aikido on 'the military' (as a thing) and on soldiers, civilians, and the world. Somehow I get the feeling that unless Aikidoka and others decide to convey that to our government (through voting and other means) on a mass scale, it's not going to happen by itself.

:grr:

Three points:
1) I appreciate gas-guzzling, money-oriented selfishness as little as you do.

2) I can't vote (yet) courtesey of the confused nature of the INS (they loose things and make dumb rules like no one else.) but I promise I will for the next presidential election. :)

3) :circle:

Sincerely,
Krzysiek

guest1234
02-27-2002, 10:58 PM
Hey Louis, we'll drink together to our fallen and missing...

And I'll buy you a drink, too, Krzysiek---for promising to vote, and dinner for looking after our environment (somebody has to start)...

I agree Aikido doesn't have a place in terms of warfighting, not so much because use by soldiers corrupts the way, but it really is not much against other options. It takes a long time and a lot of practice (don't we all know it) to gain ground in Aikido. Most soldiers/airmen/sailors don't need this for their fighting skills---we still can afford ammo--- and the hand-to-hand taught to certain groups is not designed to protect one's opponent. The harsh reality is destruction of one's opponent is the desired result in most battles. Where Aikido comes in, I think, it dealing with what that destruction does to the soldier causing it.

daedalus
02-27-2002, 11:28 PM
Want aikido taught in the military? Yeah, sure. The worst that could happen is that soldiers would be able to kill people another way, and this particular way would resemble aikido. Nothing really new here. They ARE given guns anyway. Splitting hairs about empty-handed combat isn't going to help the real problem.

The best would be that it is taught well, and everyone becomes a better person.

The intermediate idea would be that it wasn't taught at all, considering that aikido is a lot of time and effort to attain something that isn't top on the average soldier's list (protecting the opponent as opposed to surviving and making sure your friends survive).

Although, I'm still very uncomfortable even considering that soldiers should be treated differently from the rest of society. The us vs. them mentality is one of the biggest problems in existence. The world can't be "one family" (to quote Osensei) if the part of the family in the military isn't included. Us vs. them mentality is one of the reasons that we need a military in the first place.

And, while I am not a college student yet, I *am* one of those crazy radicals. Not quite the person you'd expect to defend the tools of the military-industrial complex ;^)

Bronson
02-28-2002, 12:52 AM
- Do I ever work with attacks that I might see outside the dojo?

A couple of years ago I was watching a nidan test. The person testing was a police officer who was known for his gentle flowing technique in the dojo. During the test he stayed true to form with beautiful flowing throws and controls. Until the instructor running the test asked him to put one of the rubber training guns in his belt and told his uke to come from behind and try to take it. I don't even remember what he did but it happend RIGHT NOW. No big sweeping movements he turned, gained control and dumped uke on his face. Everybody watching was quite surprised. The weird thing was that when I asked the nage about it later he said that the technique hadn't felt any different than any of the others. He didn't even realize what had happened. Just a story that your question reminded me of so I thought I'd share:p

And despite very pretty recruiting campaigns, the profession of the military is war.

Hey Colleen, I don't remember who said it or where I heard it but I once heard someone important say that "the job of the military was to kill people and break things." If you don't directly kill the people or break the things you provide support for the people who do. Again not really relevant but I thought I'd share.

Bronson

guest1234
02-28-2002, 06:01 AM
Well, we do other things as well, Bronson, we've built schools and clinics all over the world, and provided US quality medical care in Third World nations, and relief efforts after natural disasters, etc. But anyone who thinks that war can be fought without the loss of life, often in great numbers, and invariably including civilians, is delusional.

The role of the military is to go to war, risking at that same time the lives of our fighting men and women, at the order of civilians (ultimately), freely elected by us all. But in a simplified version, yes, we kill people and break things, and we train hard to do it well. We practice daily to destroy what we are told to destroy, and it is difficult to destroy by degree. Civilians should keep this in mind, when their blood lust is urging politicians to enter into war.

Tim Griffiths
02-28-2002, 08:21 AM
...and just in addition to what Colleen writes above: The British in particular, but
also the other NATO members, are spending way more time stopping people from killing and destroying each other, than doing it themselves. (The UK is on what, 8 peacekeeping deployments around the world at the moment?).

Krzysiek asked:
Do we WANT Aikido to be taught in the military?

Sure - we want aikido to be taught to everybody. I don't think you'll suddenly see marines in the park biting the heads of squirrels and saying "Its OK, I was relaxed and responding to his negative ki".

Tim

shihonage
02-28-2002, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by Tim Griffiths

I don't think you'll suddenly see marines in the park biting the heads of squirrels and saying "Its OK, I was relaxed and responding to his negative ki".


Tim... maybe you were trying to make a point in there somewhere, but I was too busy being disturbed by the above statement, to notice.

guest1234
02-28-2002, 12:04 PM
Back in the good old days, when the war on drugs was the only war we had going, I was deployed down south and operating a little clinic in a hanger, where there also sprung up a very popular snack bar/grill. Rats were the first occupants, and were not leaving gracefully. I had glue traps set (cardboard covered with strong glue). One morning my presence was demanded in that snack bar by the DETCO, and on the fridge behind the grill, lay two trapped rats, both still alive, one gnawing on the leg of the other, while the cook busied himself with breakfast orders.

In my best though limited Spanish, I tried to tell the cook he had to stop, and remove the traps. Finally, with a line of about 20 folks watching, I gently pulled him aside, grabbed a stool, and tossed the rats into a trash bag. A Marine, third from the front, muttered 'oh, man, I was going to order that' :eek:

Reuben
03-03-2002, 06:01 AM
Askanison:
My sensei actually teaches the police but i haven't had the opportunity to see it in action. But i guess if the malaysian police think it's good, there must a certain usefulness to it in the military aspect. Although yes, military men would be involved in more expert fights, I believe there would be a use for Aikido somewhere.

I've seen some books on police aikido and it seems to be quite established and even incorporates the use of guns.

Quite interesting stuff. just a thought!

Oh and i have a friend who is a policeman and according to his account this guy attacked him with a stick, and he did some sort of irimi or was it kaiten entering and the guy was so shocked to see him behind that he didn't bother fighting anymore. I think the founder would have been happy:).

As to my current training, my sensei's son(4th dan) has also begun teaching me. He's a lot more youthful and aggressive and teaches a slightly harder form of aikido. He really atemis you and u just feel your hand go numb though no real damage is done. I believe i've seen something similiar in jujitsu where u put a strike in the nerve points though this one was more of a cut down as a tool to unbalance the opponent.

I can say that it was very effective and the attack i threw very real. Let's just say when i punch you can hear a whoosh even if i'm not wearing a gi. Some of the black belts in my old dojo in Kuching would ask me to hook them to test their technique and very often they would just end up blocking and being pushed to an open position. No such thing happened with my sensei's son.

So i can safely say that Aikido at the lower levels(as in the beginning black belts as compared to the shihans) can still be an effective martial art in the military if the atemis are placed harder to make up for a deficiency in other aspects of Aikido such as timing(though of course a certain proficiency is required). I believe most good aikidokas start off this tougher path and then as they grow older refine their technique and intuition making the harder aspects of Aikido less prominent. I think a good example is Shirata Sensei and maybe even O sensei himself.

Bruce Baker
03-03-2002, 09:35 AM
If you have read any of O'Sensei's biography, then you know he taught hand to hand instruction to many police, soldiers, and military academy students. What is not clear, is did he teach to kill, or to disarm opening opportunity for the kill.

One of the early students, in this neck of the woods, was inducted into the army in the 1970s. During hand to hand training he use the Aikido techniques in the manner he had been taught against a black belt in karate teaching hand to hand. For about five minutes, he evaded, threw, and generally disoriented the teacher. But as all good things come to an end, an opening appeared and the instructor side kicked him from the ground so hard, he incurred internal organ damage ... and almost died. To this day, he will not do Aikido because his injuries were that severe.

The Aikido we learn, after WWII was not aimed at killing, or severe injury to an opponent. Although, with the right training it could revive the old Budo within the art, it would no longer be Aikido?

Did you know that all techniques were originally designed to kill with in three moves? Three pressure points on the same meridian, knockout, four pressure points on the same meridian, kill. Every year, I see more and more people writing books on this subject, but is that were we want beginners to go ... or children?

You have a valid question, but unless you want to learn to kill, or be killed, never trusting or expecting to live another day, I would leave it alone.

My father, a veteran of WWII and Korea, taught hand to hand, but never wanted to teach me what he knew, telling me he didn't want his children to live with the horrors of war the way he had to. Until I began to understand the hidden secrets in martial arts, along with the mentality it would take to use them, I didn't understand the logic of learning Aikido the way we do. Now ... I mind my own business, learn what I can, and try to develope safe methods of practice that do not delve into these killing arenas.

Yeah, the military could incorporate Aikido into their program, but the result would take this non lethal art and change it into something none of us wants to see ... or be.

Reuben
03-03-2002, 09:23 PM
Bruce: A very good point.

I guess it was O Sensei's ideal that they weren't any wars at all and there was no intent to kill but I can't imagine having a war with ppl performing aikido and they'll just be throwing each other for hours and hours until one gets tired.

War is killing, Aikido is not and although it can be adapted to kill, then it would not be Aikido would it? So although the technical aspects could be incorporated into the military, when it's adapted it no longer can be called Aikido anymore.

I made the mistaken assumption that police training would be similiar to military but then police do not have the intent to kill as in the military.

A very good point Bruce:)

guest1234
03-03-2002, 11:43 PM
Unfortunately, the military is more and more called to perform police work (from calling up the Guard for riots and disasters to all the recent military peacekeeping functions), and we are not really trained to do it. And just teaching Aikido won't turn us into policemen. It is an entirely different function, to police vs to wage war.

That's why I say, only a small number of military need hand-to-hand training, and those who need that generally do not plan on letting 'uke' scream, get back up, etc...if it has come down to hand-to-hand, well, in the line from some well-known movies 'there can be only one'. The rest plan on causing destruction from a bit more distance with a bit more power. What I do think Aikido would do for the military is emphasize focus, timing, etc that can be used in broader applications by the troops, as well as hopefully add an additional facet to personal development.

Bob Heffner
03-20-2002, 04:37 PM
OK, this is my first time posting on this forum, so forgive me if I step on any toes.

I have been in the military (Coast Guard) for 19 years. I have trained in 4 different martial arts and I'm just starting Aikido.

As for being choreographed, all martial arts have some form or another of choreographed routine. They are the traditional forms, which are nothing but dances with an attitude. Don't get me wrong I feel that they are important in teaching technique. I'm just calling them like I see them. It's all in how you practice. All of the arts I studied also had staged attacks with responses. Although we did try and incorporate other attacks into the mix. Most MA places have sparing, but allot of this has been reduced to point type sparing. So Aikido is not that much different in this respect. Everything you do helps, it is how you practice. You must react like you would on the street and that is the hard part.

As Colleen stated, the military has taken over a larger portion of law enforcement type roles. In most cases any physical conflict should be handled with the least amount of force. When not in actual combat. The Coast Guard (CG), has a use of force policy that dictates our responses and what level of force we can respond with. So yes at least in my case I think that Aikido would be very useful, but the CG is also very different from the other Armed Services.

As for the over weight gentleman pumping gas, he is part of what makes the U. S. what it is today. He and everyone else is the reason that I serve. I may not agree with what he says, but I'll give my last drop of blood to defend his right to say it!

Bruce Baker
04-05-2002, 07:50 AM
Although my experience with them military violence in a bar fight, living on a ship, and shooting a five in gun, Military people are just like most of the people you know in your life ... so capable of fighting, some are not?

As for Aikido for military means ... it is a piece of the martial arts puzzle, yes it is capable of killing, but only in knowledgable cross-art trained teachers who can use its opportunities to use its strikes/pressure points on the human body. Learning to change it's large circles into small circles when needed for military application couldn't hurt either.

Hopefully were are talking theory and not practicallity, because once in practice these techniques become Jutso/jujitsu again.

The entire basis of Aikido is to not acquire the killer mind to harm the world, but to still be able to disarm/neutralize the most vicious of opponents with compassion for life.

If we revert to original killing of the jujitsu, then it is no longer Aikido.

I have been getting a lot of razzing for bringing up pressure points, or small circle jujitsu, but when you begin to understand the pillars of Aikido you will find small circles, and pressure points a part of Aikido that is preserved in classic style moves of Ueshiba, Morehei ... O'Sensei.

Now here we are talking about military applications, causing pain (which is a result of striking nerve points) and how effective Aikido could be for the military?

Are we regressing to killing to relearn the lesson of our World Wars?

Aikido is about finding another way to resolve violence, make the world better. Using it for something else ... that is not Aikido.

FYI : I came to Aikido to learn to control my violent tendancys. Every day is another chance to do better than yesterday, and all I can do is try to do better. Try to do Aikido.

Steve
04-05-2002, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by AskanisoN
Hi all,

I came accross this article and was curious if anyone has any experience with or knows of what Aikido techniques if any are taught to Marines or other service branches in the U.S. or other countries.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001-03-08-marines.htm

Also, I was a little miffed by this statement. I certainly don't feel that way about my training. Please tell me what you think.



Thx,

Scott

The problem with teaching aikido for military applications is that aikido is so subtle. After a year of regular training, would you have confidence in your ability to defind against an attacker bent on killing you with a knife? How about after six months of training? How about after two months? Military basic training doesn't allow much time to learn a 20-year throw, know what I mean? Striking arts like TKD are much easier to learn in the short time the average foot soldier is allotted for training. Punching and kicking come natural to us, even if we don't do them well. Shihonage doesn't come naturally to anyone.

guest1234
04-05-2002, 05:53 PM
I would disagree in calling pressure points useful in a military application:

first, they are unreliable; several senior yudansha have tried to find a painful point on me, trying different techniques and locations. And failed, due a combination of high pain threshold and (probably) aberrant anatomy. ONE did, on ONE of the six things he tried, find a nerve, but I was willing to suck up the pain to make him think he failed. Most soldiers would be willing to suck up pain to achieve an objective. Unlike joint locks, the only thing pressure points do is cause pain, and pain can be ignored. Torn joints are more difficult to ignore.

second, if hand to hand is being used in a war situation, the objective is not to let the enemy get up later and talk. Pressure points are not the teachnique of choice, something a bit more---final---is.

Erik
04-05-2002, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by ca
Pressure points are not the teachnique of choice, something a bit more---final---is.

Clearly, no one ever taught you the secret death touch.

:p
:grr:
:eek:
:dead:
:grr:

Bruce Baker
04-06-2002, 07:42 AM
About Pressure points.

Ikkyo

Nikkyo

Sankyo

Yankyo

etc, etc

ALL Activate pressure points.

"pressure points" is the short way of saying pain from nerve endings that have been struck, rubbed, pressed, or manipulated to cause pain.

Take any manipulation in Aikido too far ...

It is not about pain, but about shutting down a meridian to internal body function ... TWO pressure points or nerves that cross whould not damage internal organs, although some pressure points do cause grievious pain when activated. This is one of the reasons there are only pain applications found in Aikido techniques, whether you, your teacher, or even their shihans know it or not? (There are some other health concerns I am looking into, but that will come later.)

Never interpret a scratch on your arm to be the same an assasin using an ice pick to an internal organ. Pain is one thing, activating a knockout from three pressure points on a meridian is quite another.

The ice pick may be a bit much to put forth my point, but both the scratch and ice pick leave small bleeding holes with quite different effects, don't they?

These threads have been leaning toward violence lately? Is this the dark side of humanity, or have we forgotten the goal of Aikido? Harmony.

I need to get more coffee ... My tummy needs more harmony.

guest1234
04-06-2002, 10:23 AM
Well, I really hate to dispel this MA version of an urban legend, but stimulation of pressure points and/or meridians, or any other name you want to give, will not result in damage to internal organs, or even--as often hinted at--death. Nor excruciating pain, nor total helplessness, nor control of the victim's body or mind. How do I know? Well, our knowledge of this UL is supposed to come from ancient Oriental hidden knowledge. If the Japanese had this capability, it would have been used in WWII; more conventional torture was applied to POWs. Same for the Chinese. Same for the Koreans. Same for the Vietnamese. None of our POWs reported this particular type of torture or mind/body control, and if they had it, they would have used it. They beat them. They starved them. They dislocated joints and broke bones. They did not stimulate anyone's meridians, in any combination.

As for the joint locks, they are not pressure points. Some people feel pain with the lock from tendon stretch. I don't, but do feel the tendons tighten and tap when I know the slack is gone, to preserve the joint. Pressure point pain is the result of direct pressure being placed on an accesible nerve, usually overlying bone so compression is facilitated.

Abasan
04-08-2002, 03:08 AM
Colleen,

just because they didn't use it at the POW camp, doesn't mean the knowledge is not there. It could be because of many reasons...

1. the expert didn't like torturing prisoners
2. too difficult a subject for every oriental to learn (just because he's japanese doesn't mean he knows karate)-reminds me of a joke i'll narrate later
3. they did use it, unfortunately the POW didn't survive. (who knows rite? from what I heard was done to my predecessors, Malaysians being occupied by japanese during ww2, the torture was more sadistic involving soap water, lots of bamboos, gang rapes and other stuff. certainly a lot less precise then pressure points)

I think, pressure points as a techniques exists. Its not the only one unexplainable by science. Science, is human knowledge. Humans are constantly learning new things and correcting old things (Remember the Dawn man fiasco that dispelled the evolution theory put forward by Darwin? It was a theory accepted for 50 years before being disproved as a hoax. Some 40 books were written by experts about that subject during that time though). So maybe we should accept that pressure points are something we have as yet been able to fully understand. The hype that surrounds it though, maybe can be scaled down a bit. Instantaneous death like those scenes in Kiss of the Dragon (2nd latest by Jet Li) are a bit disjointed from reality IMHO.

and the joke:
spielberg was walking down a street and saw this chinese guy coming from the opposite direction. he proceeded to give the guy a tight slap. the chinese guy then asked why did he do that. spielberg said, "cause you attacked the pearl harbour". The chinese guy said, "that wasn't us, that was the japanese. I'm chinese". Spielberg said, "chinese, vietnamese, japanese... its all the same to me".
suddenly the chinese guy slapped spielberg. spielberg asked angrily, "hey, what did you do that for?". "because you sanked the titanic," said the chinese guy. "No, I didn't!," said spielberg. "Iceberg, carlsberg, spielberg... its all the same to me," responded the chinese dude.
:D

Bruce Baker
04-08-2002, 07:35 AM
Muscles, tendons, bones do not transfer signals of pain to brain, nerves do.

Wires do not send signals, electricity does.

Muscles and tendons and bones press on nerves to causes nerves to send electrical signals to the brain ... pain ... sometimes a knockout is aused from an overload of pain.

Now that this lesson is over .... let the dispelling of the dispelling begin.

Every time you feel pain from a technique it is the pressing of a pressure point, the striking of a pressure point, or the rubbing of a (let's change pressure point to nerve ending, how about that?) NERVE ENDING sending a signal to the brain. Poke your muscle, no pain. Poke the bone, no pain. Poke the tendon, no pain. Poke the nerve ending, crossing, or press it to the bone ... OUCH!!

You can resist pain to a certain point .. Then the body shuts down, accident or injury is the crude form but still a valid everyday visual confirmation if you haven't experienced it.

I am not going to go into how to knock people out because you must learn revival technique and understand what you are doing before you injure someone. Once you find a teacher who will help you understand how to use these nerve endings to activate pain, you will learn how to overload the human nervious system for knockout.

Hey, if there is no such thing as knockout, why do most fighters striking muscle and bone have so much trouble getting a knockout, while some boxers strike people with one punch and accomplish a knockout?

Correct angle and direction of a nerve crossing the bone, crossing another nerve, or branching off in a 'Y'.

There is your first lesson. Go learn more so you can bring

:ai: :ki: :do:

and its harmony with a little less violence.

Think of learning as unlocking a door with a key card instead of a key, rather than hitting it with a sledge hammer until it unlocks?

Hey, if you have used the sledge hammer your whole life, I wouldn't believe me either? Them doctors with them medicines, shots, and weird tests ... they are too weird, too violent for me.

guest1234
04-08-2002, 11:25 AM
Abasan,

You mentioned it yourself, there was plenty of inventive torture going on. And not just the Japanese, there are Western and Middle East examples as well, but we are talking about Eastern techniques of causing pain and destruction via pressure points. But the inventive Eastern torture did not involve pressure points. If you have a way of causing sudden, dramatic, easy to apply pain/death, you do it to one prisoner in the view of others (employed by officers of several different armies with a handgun to the head, occasionally caught on film). This is to encourage cooperation with the remaining few. If you had the capability to kill with ease via a touch, this is much more psychologically destructive to the captives, and you do it to assert your complete control and superiority. They did not. Because they could not.

Since there were some very highly ranked practioners in the military, who had learned before joining the military, if there were 'secret' deadly techniques they'd have known them. Their senseis wouldn't have held back for fear of military use, if they weren't in the military yet.

We are talking about a military that killed and raped its way across a good part of the pacific, and as you pointed out, had some particularly vicious torture techniques. And whose country had two atomic bombs dropped on major cities. Why wouldn't they use pressure points if they were effective?

I don't know why some folks cling to the thought that there is a magical pressure point of death out there--- other than Bart Simpson, who used the thought to terrify Lisa. I am not knocking accupressure/accupuncture, I think it helps in certain pain conditions, probably through endorphin release and/or the power of suggestion.

Pressure point techniques (as a method of control via pain, NOT through organ damage or death) do exist, but are too unreliable to put a lot of stock in. Anatomy is too variable (we are not machines), and many can and will suck up enormous amounts of pain to achieve an objective. Or may be on drugs that deaden pain.

In another thread I explained how carotid sinus massage works, and that it does not 'always' cause loss of consciousness. There are things you can do to some/many bodies by stimulating nerves. But not to all bodies, nor even to the same body every time.

Bruce: sometimes people faint at the sight of blood, or the mention of dental work. It is not the technique, it is the vasovagal reaction of the individual to pain or the suggestion of it. Luckily, those individuals are the minority.