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David McCormack
12-30-2007, 02:56 PM
thankfully ive never been in a situation where ive had to use any aikido outside of my dojo, but i was wondering how effective people think aikido is/would be in the real world.

David

Bronson
12-30-2007, 04:12 PM
Results from a thread title search for "real world".

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/search.php?searchid=343351

Mind you, this is just searching the titles. If you search the entire thread you get 20 pages of results.

Bronson

Dewey
12-31-2007, 05:19 PM
thankfully ive never been in a situation where ive had to use any aikido outside of my dojo, but i was wondering how effective people think aikido is/would be in the real world.

David

Results from a thread title search for "real world".

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/search.php?searchid=343351

Mind you, this is just searching the titles. If you search the entire thread you get 20 pages of results.

Bronson

Blah, blah, blah.

Yes, Aikido "can" be effective "in the real world"...just depends upon how you train and how your dojo conducts training.

mickeygelum
01-01-2008, 12:24 AM
In a very solemn tone....

"Why does this question keep appearing? "

Mr Dewey is absolutely correct, it depends on how you train and how your Sensei conducts training in the dojo.

I started to write a reply to the thread entitled " I am leaving Aikido", but refrained, now this thread appears. Again, in a very solemn concerned tone...Go talk to people who train diligently, for the purpose of finishing their shift and walk without fear into situations that require them to initiate action in the service of the public.

I started Aikido many years ago, to enhance my karate, in order to avoid criminal and civil liability for excessive force. I was 5'9'' and weighed 160 -165. I was a narcotics officer and did not wear a uniform or worked on a squad/team...it was my ass, and my ass alone. For all those require an answer to this question...

"Aikido is a viable, street applicable martial art...cross-training made it even more formidable."

In my schools, we train for the street...I train ERT/SRT, State Troopers, military and EMS...we all have the same attitude and similar experiences.

What experiences do your sempai, kohai and Sensei have to share...ask them. If they do not have any real life experience of street encounters, ask them who they know that does....and go talk to them. Express your concerns about your training.

Do not accept, " Twenty year technique" or " There is no resistance in training'' crap. You only get out of your training what you put into it. Ask questions, require answers.

I train Shodokan, knife techniques are part of our fundamentals. I have been in situations against a knife, I have been cut once and it was not serious. Remember, if you are going to take on a knife be prepared to get cut, it is a simple fact.

Sorry for being long-winded...I hope someone got something out of this.

Train well, train to standard...train to survive.

Mickey

David McCormack
01-01-2008, 06:13 AM
What experiences do your sempai, kohai and Sensei have to share...ask them. If they do not have any real life experience of street encounters, ask them who they know that does....and go talk to them. Express your concerns about your training.

Do not accept, " Twenty year technique" or " There is no resistance in training'' crap. You only get out of your training what you put into it. Ask questions, require answers.

thank you for the advise (especially the Ask questions, require answers)

ive not heared the saying "There is no resistance in training'' before, somebody care to explain this one please?

David

darin
01-01-2008, 07:19 AM
thankfully ive never been in a situation where ive had to use any aikido outside of my dojo, but i was wondering how effective people think aikido is/would be in the real world.

David

Depends on the situation but I think you've done pretty well not having to use your aikido outside of the dojo. My brother used nikkyo to disarm a guy who attacked him with a pool cue and a friend put kotegaeshi on a guy who tried to steal his wallet. I used it once to throw a guy into a couch who was fighting with a girl.

David McCormack
01-01-2008, 10:25 AM
ive only been doing aikido for about 14 months, but yes, im lucky to have never had to use it in a threatening situation (i use it on my friends who also do various martial arts)

Chris Parkerson
01-13-2008, 05:42 PM
Aiki is a set of principles of movement. Aikido is a way of using those principles towards love and harmony. Aikijujitsu, on the other hand is large study that evolves from traditional jujitsu. It employs three methods of technique. Gross manipulation - Jujitsu, the control of uke's center with light joint manipulations - Aikijujitsu, and finally, the taking of uke's center with suggestion, light physical movements and light or no touch - aiki no jitsu.

Few martial artists who engage in street combat would enter the fray without all three tools under their belt. The great Aikidoka of the last generation were originally trained in forms of Jujitsu and daito-style arts.

Today, we have the wonderful option of cross training in a variety of worldwide martial experiences. As Danny Inosanto would say, "absorb what is useful"... Whether you are a purist or a person who would prefer Do arts, I suggest that you "follow your bliss". But when it comes to self defense, cross training is a must.

Ketsan
01-13-2008, 06:34 PM
In a very solemn tone....

"Why does this question keep appearing? "

Not enough experience of actual fighting leading to a mistaken belief that MMA competition represents a real fight combined with the fact that pure Aikidoka can't beat MMA trained fighters in MMA style fights.

Roman Kremianski
01-13-2008, 06:40 PM
Yes, Eye-gouge fighting is real fighting. If you've never been in an eye-gouge fight, then you have no real experienze!!

Chris Parkerson
01-13-2008, 07:01 PM
MMA is a sport. Aikido is a way of higher consciousness.

Real fighting should not adopt either of these strategies.

I train one way and apply aiki to it. I assume in my doctrine of battle that it will be a dark, cold, wet night where more than one person will attack me. They will likely have edged, blunt or percussive weapons in their hands.

All strategy must follow these assumptions. Tactics and techniques follow strategy. it cannot be the other way around or you will assume poorly about the hidden knife or gun. And In the U.S., this Gracie mano a mano stuff just doesn't cut it. In the U.S., you get ganged up on. There is no promise of a one-on-one fight.

Roman Kremianski
01-14-2008, 12:54 AM
You know Chris, not all people in martial arts to defend themselves on the street. I don't see why that theory needs to be forced. Aikido is not a higher way of anything. It's Aikido, and MMA is MMA.

I don't train against knives or multiple opponents. I guess I don't do real martial arts. Oops.

Chris Parkerson
01-14-2008, 08:14 AM
You know Chris, not all people in martial arts to defend themselves on the street. I don't see why that theory needs to be forced. Aikido is not a higher way of anything. It's Aikido, and MMA is MMA.

I don't train against knives or multiple opponents. I guess I don't do real martial arts. Oops.

Forgive me if my words got in the way and were perceived as offensive. The term "real" is quite relative.

U.S. Marine Corp martial arts training (for instance) is quite real and is designed around traditional priorities. Modern Bujitsu would include drone bomber aircraft as well as the M-16, not to mention poisons, and homemade explosives. Their hand-to-hand combat is designed around their doctrine of battle. They intend to close with and destroy the enemy. They do this as a working unit of men/women. In their hand-to-hand combat, they include fighting as a group, fighting in water, and mass attack with blunt and edged weapons.

People who like duelling (one-on-one) have a specific doctrine of battle and strategy that evolves from it. It may include "first knife cut wins" or "knock-out or tap-out wins:.

All martial formats have value. You cannot play full contact Jujitsu without applying rules to the game and making it a sport. That is what Judo is about. By the way, the best fighter I have ever met was a 3 time National Champion Judoman. But on the street, or in the field (he worked for a 3 letter federal agency) he had no rules. What am I saying,? His Judo venue taught better that others how to have continuity in a fight when you are tethered to a wild dog at the end of a chain.

Aikido teaches me how to improve martial movement. Thus it is also real martial art. But I would not take aikido techniques into a fight without having other back-ups in my quiver. Too many assumptions in the doctrine of battle and the resulting strategy for my confort. Give me the hand grenade, the M-16, the pistol, the knife, my empty hands and a good mind. A poor man's Bujitsu. Perhaps I can afford an Abrams tank someday if I feel the threat assessment warrants it.

Chris Parkerson
01-14-2008, 08:38 AM
Eye-gouge fighting is real fighting. If you've never been in an eye-gouge fight, then you have no real experienze!!

Funny you mentioned eye gouging. The Spartans called the Atenians wooses because they did not want to allow eye gouging and biting into the pankration games.

Look closely at the MMA. There are a lot of written as well as unspoken rules. The essence of these rules comes down to this, “let’s go hard but let’s keep it safe enough that we do not lose our careers through foolishness.”

For several years, at least in my lifetime, these rules applied to street fights. Indeed, until recently, military men simply did not want to do to someone else that which they did not want done to them. The Apache of the 19th century had no such unwrittenrule. Neither did the Viet Cong. Today’s radical terrorists as well as Mara Salvatrucha (MS 13 street gang) have few rules except to win.

So you are at that bus stop mentioned in another discussion. The girl comes out and screams at you. You lightly tap her on the cheek in an automatic reaction wondering if you did wrong in hitting a girl. Her friend then pulls a gun at 8 feet away and shoots you. They were MS 13.

Roman Kremianski
01-14-2008, 08:49 AM
Again, many people who practice "martial arts" are not interested in self-defense or waging war.Martial arts evolve with time...and it todays time, we don't need to pilot bombers to call ourselves "real martial artists".

The argument is silly. From personal observation, people who train full-contact martial arts have higher chances of survival. They're strong, conditioned, and have an increased tolerance to pain. You can easily kill them with a knife or gun or a tank shell. That's not really the point of martial arts for them.

Will Prusner
01-14-2008, 08:57 AM
thankfully ive never been in a situation where ive had to use any aikido outside of my dojo

What about when opening a door?

i was wondering how effective people think aikido is/would be in the real world.

One ticket for the "real" world, please.;)

but really, I think this question can only be answered by the person asking it, for themselves. I know if I wanted to test the effectiveness of my aikido, or the ability for me to apply aikido, I'd invite some of my acquaintances to randomly attack me (i can think of a few folks I know who would welcome such an invitation:D). For the time being, I'm happy without people taking swings at my head. I've survived enough fights without any formal fighting education, that I figure adding some aikido can't possibly hurt.

jonreading
01-14-2008, 11:28 AM
To me, I need to first define martial arts before I offer my opinion on this thread. In this context, "martial" is a reference to war; "martial arts" would be the practices pertaining to war. By my definition, I consider aikido to be a martial art because my training involves elements of military tactics. Second, I need to qualify my response by saying that most of us are "martial artists" in only the most loose sense. Excepting those rare (and lucky) individuals who may claim training aikido as their profession (as in full-time job), our time commitments preclude us from claiming fighting as our profession. In other words, most of us our hobbyists at aikido; some of us may even be amateurs.

So:
1. Aikido is an effective military tool for combat. Good aikido training better prepares you for situations in "the real world."
2. If you do not train in martial tactics, then you are not training in martial arts.

I do not make these statements in jest or to offend. I make them because sometimes I speak with people who do not know the difference, so it places my conversation on level ground with others.

Many of us practice budo, only a few of us are bushi. If I cannot do something, that does not mean it can't be done.

My grandpa used to fish with us granchildren. My sister didn't like taking the fish off the hook after she caught it and she would ask someone to take off the fish for her. My grandpa would say, "it isn't fishing unless you bait your own hook, catch the fish, and take it off the hook." My sister learned to fish...acccording to my grandpa.

George S. Ledyard
01-14-2008, 01:29 PM
thankfully ive never been in a situation where ive had to use any aikido outside of my dojo, but i was wondering how effective people think aikido is/would be in the real world.

David

I would like to have someone explain to me what this so-called "real world" is... It always seems to be thrown out in some context that infers that the world of conflict, violence and confrontation is somehow more "real" than the other world we train in.

What is it that we are training for? It is a fact that the vast majority of folks practicing this art will NEVER in their lives use an Aikido technique for self defense. People seem to completely fail to understand that O-Sensei had a fundamentally different outlook about what he meant this art to be. If it had been about defeating bad guys, he never would have made the changes to the art he did.

This obsession with "fighting" and "winning" on the part of Aikido folks distorts the art. It was precisely the opposite of what the Founder intended. When Mochizuki Sensei went to France, he had to deal with a number of challenges. When he returned to Japan, he expressed his reservations about what he had been doing by informing O-Sensei that he had prevailed in these challenges but by resorting to "tricks" he had learned in his karate and judo training. O-Sensei chided him by asking whether had he not understood the point of the training.

Aikido is not about fighting... period. To make it so you will have to devolve it into its combat roots. While there is nothing at all wrong with the antecedent combat arts, they are quite valuable in and of themselves, and I in no way want to imply some moral high ground on the part of Aikido that other arts do not have, I do maintain that the fundamental purpose of the art is about not fighting, rather than fighting.

Can someone explain to me how not fighting is less "real world" than fighting? Martial arts folks so often get into the arts because of fear based insecurities. Rather than deal with the essential causes of these fears, they attempt to become more and more powerful, as if they can paper over their fears by being able to defeat any enemy.

Power attained because of fear does not result in a loss of that fear. It results in aggression. The founder created this art as a way to lose that fear, not just paper it over. The art is about systematically reprogramming ourselves to lose the fears that cause conflicts in the first place.

Say you actually managed to develop your art into an undefeatable system in which you could defeat any attacker? So what? How is that something that relates to your so-called "real world"? In my "real world" I have had to deal with divorces, raising my children, my career, running a dojo, teaching in a way that inspires people, etc. I cannot see how a focus on "real world" application of technique would have helped me with any of these things. When my ex told me she wanted my out of my own home, would an extraordinary fighting ability have helped me one iota? When my son was going through issues and was hanging with a bad crowd and getting in trouble, would an ability to punch him out and render him unconscious have helped at all? These are the kinds of things that I run into in my "real world". My ability to handle them had to do with changes I have made inside myself, not with some extraordinary martial prowess acquired through focus on fighting, self defense, etc.

Aikido has this on-going inferiority complex that results in a sort of schizophrenic identity crisis. The founder left us with quite a bit of information about what he saw as the purpose of his creation. His son, Kisshomaru wrote even more on the subject.

The focus on proper technique is important, not because we rely on those techniques to defeat some imagined attack in the future but rather because it is in the mastering of proper aiki principle that the transformative aspect of the art exists. The elsewhere commented on lack of understanding of what real aiki principles actually are results in a problem with the art's transformative purpose. Focus on fighting is not the way to fix that problem. Devolving the form of Aikido into its antecedent forms is not the way to fix the problem.

Preserving the form, understanding what O-Sensei intended as the purpose of his art coupled with acquiring a broad experience of related arts, taking advantage of the deep knowledge which other arts contain, and then bringing that technical knowledge back into our Aikido is the proper direction. Understand the form Aikido contains, don't change something you never understood in the first place simply to make it apply in an essentially unreal vision of a so-called "real world".

I'm not saying that there isn't a lot of bad Aikido out there... I'm saying that worrying about applied technique and its effectiveness in fighting isn't the point and it distorts the art. I'd love to see people make connection between effective aiki and the process of personal transformation... the doing of the art using a proper understanding of principle is transformative in itself. That transformation directly relates to the "real world" in which most people exist. Let's put some focus on how the art can make our every day lives better rather than how it might save us our lives from some unlikely future threat. Aikido is not about fighting, it's about not fighting. I just fail to see how not fighting is somehow less real world than fighting.

Chris Parkerson
01-14-2008, 02:59 PM
Superb

dps
01-14-2008, 04:48 PM
I do maintain that the fundamental purpose of the art is about not fighting, rather than fighting.

With respect and seriously,

Fighting is what O'Sensei did on his path to developing Aikido. He trained for strength, power and martial effectiveness and tested himself to see if his martial abilities worked. It is the foundation of what O'Sensei developed. Why shouldn't we travel a similar path that O'Sense did? Did O'Sensei abandon his martial abilities for the path of peace and harmony?

David

George S. Ledyard
01-14-2008, 05:27 PM
With respect and seriously,

Fighting is what O'Sensei did on his path to developing Aikido. He trained for strength, power and martial effectiveness and tested himself to see if his martial abilities worked. It is the foundation of what O'Sensei developed. Why shouldn't we travel a similar path that O'Sense did? Did O'Sensei abandon his martial abilities for the path of peace and harmony?

David

If you feel the need to reinvent the wheel, go ahead. No one said anything about abandoning anyone's martial abilities. It's just that people who attempt to apply the kihon waza they learned in Aikido on the street generally find they need to make some adjustments. (See the discussion about and law enforcement). Often, in working out what works and doesn't work in a true fighting situation, they begin to devolve Aikido into what it had been. You want to do that ok, but Daito Ryu was a better version of that than Aikido is.

I have no problem with Aikido as a martial art. But I absolutely believe that most people miss the whole intention of what O-Sensei wanted the art to be and why he changed what he did. Aikido is a practice of personal transformation, it is misogi. Some level of martial capability is the by product of proper training but it is not the point. The point is the transformative aspect of the art. O-Sensei clearly stated this in his writings, his son Kisshomaru quite clearly proceeded on that assumption. The fact that people are generally insecure and tend to focus on whether Aikido works to protect themselves, that they were attracted to the art by the seemingly magical level of skill attained by the Founder, doesn't change the fact that O-Sensei specifically created the art for an entirely different purpose and that he changed the outer form of the art to fit his vision of this purpose, which he flat out says in a number of places isn't about fighting with other people. The true battle is with oneself... masakatsu agatsu, true victory is self victory.

There are combat forms of aiki around... if that's your focus. Yanagi Ryu is a far better vehicle for defeating opponents than Aikido and it is unencumbered by a lot of the wishful thinking conflict resolution baggage that often goes with Aikido. It has every bit of sophistication in terms of Aiki, far more than most of what you see in Aikido in fact...

Spending all ones efforts trying to duplicate O-Sensei's experience training in the 20's and 30's means that you are missing what he did with the art in the 50's and 60's. He kept growing but folks get trapped by the power aspect and don't see the value of what went later. That's why they disrespect the Nidai Doshu and his efforts to take Aikido further towards his father's vision of what it was meant to be. I am not 100% in agreement with all of the changes that were made to the art on his watch but I totally believe that he understood his father's vision for the art and pursued it to the best of his ability.

The folks who criticize his Aikido for not being "effective", whatever they mean by that, are wrong. His Aikido was very effective in that it manifested beautifully the kind of Aikido he was trying to put forth. His Aikido was the manifestation of a kind and generous spirit, the Aikido of a gentleman. It wasn't about fighting and it wasn't meant to be. It isn't his Aikido that was the problem, it was people's inability to let go of their fear based need to reassure themselves by focusing on fighting prowess that was the problem. The world didn't need another fighting art, it already had plenty. Aikido is meant to be so much more than that but it will find itself failing the vision, limited by the the folks who practice the art and their inability to let go of their concerns about effectiveness and power in favor of a practice that goes deeper than that.

Carl Thompson
01-14-2008, 06:23 PM
Excellent posts Ledyard Sensei

One of the main things that moved me to the core when I first found out about aikido was the amazing concept that this is beyond fighting. If someone wants to hurt you, if you can do aikido correctly, there is no “fight”, no conflict at all, either physically or mentally. You don’t have to care about winning or losing because there is no fight to win or lose. In that sense, it is an art of “not fighting”. How effectively one can do this is another issue. How hard are we trying?

Fighting is what O'Sensei did on his path to developing Aikido. He trained for strength, power and martial effectiveness and tested himself to see if his martial abilities worked. It is the foundation of what O'Sensei developed. Why shouldn't we travel a similar path that O'Sense did?

Of course there is much to learn from exploring Aikido’s parent arts and other arts too in order to inform our training. I like to think the best things the founder learned on his journey are embodied in his martial art. One of them is the above mentioned principle of transcending mere fighting.

Did O'Sensei abandon his martial abilities for the path of peace and harmony?

From what I can tell, I think they are one and the same thing.

Chris Parkerson
01-14-2008, 07:38 PM
Perhaps the "wanderings along the way" are the way. No one can really get ahead of themselves. Their way is simply to follow their bliss.

Chuang Tzu

To try and impose the goals of the latter period of O Sensei's life philosophy onto new students is more of a Confucian or perhaps "legalist" precept that does not allow a student to follow their way.

Indeed, judgement is such a Puritan (Western) plague.

Ketsan
01-14-2008, 08:15 PM
Yes, Eye-gouge fighting is real fighting. If you've never been in an eye-gouge fight, then you have no real experienze!!

Not quite true but not wrong either. If you've never been in a situation that required eye gouging you haven't seen the full range of "real fighting".
In a way it kinda backs up my point. The numbers of people in society who can talk about real fighting from an experience stand point are tiny and of those people only a tiny proportion are Aikidoka.

So the number of people qualified to talk about Aikido's effectiveness are miniscule, as in there might only be a handful on the planet.

Kevin Leavitt
01-14-2008, 08:40 PM
Good post.

I like what Jon said concerning the fishing analogy.

Ledyard Sensei is dead on, of course, IMO.

I have spent my whole adult life in the military, first picking up the pieces after the fight as a medic, now as an infantry officer. I have employed, used, or trained on just about every weapon system from guided missles to empty hand.

It really does not take much skill or too many years to learn how to master the tools to hurt or to kill. I teach Army Combatives, and in a few weeks, I can get across the basic skills necessary to teach soldiers how to close distance and fight.

Shooting, kicking, hitting, biting, stabbing etc are low skill things really when you think about it! Sure some are better than others at it, but it does not take years to train, and you know what...at some point there is always someone waiting around the corner that is better at it than you, based on age, speed, strength, luck, alertness...whatever.

Harder is mastering the skills of strategy. that is, being able understand the enemy, posturing and positioning yourself, minimizing exposures, the art of negotiation, leading, motivating etc.

These things take much greater skill and time to master. In the military we have field grade and general officers to do this. These people have many years of training and hopefully wisdom to make the decisions that put us in an advantageous position.

Even more challenging, I think, in the art of peace. That is, something that we as a world struggle with. How do we develop the skills necessary to "do no harm, yet stop harm"?

How do we make ourselves strong enough to not be a victim, yet compassionate enough to understand the other side, and influence things in such a way that we do not have to result a win/lose mentality?

I am not sure that aikido will always produce this as an outcome. Most certainly it is an active form of practice in which we can remind ourselves as we face conflict daily, that we indeed have other options. that it is possible to deal with conflict in ways that are more skillfull than meeting force and might with force and might!

Does aikido produce effective fighters? IMO and personal experiences no it does not. As Ledyard Sensei most succinctly put it, that is not the goal of aikido. At least not the goal that has been communicated to me by my teachers.

As Jon Reading states, while it is a part of the martial spectrum, it does not address all aspects of fighting. If this is your goal, then you must bait the hook, put the pole in the water, and then unhook the fish!

Using that analogy, most people that view martial arts as a part of their job are concerned with the baiting the hook...and fishing up until the pull the fish out of the water....that is when the physical fight ends.

Aikido, in this analogy, is concerned at the point the fish is in the boat, how you get it off the hook, and how you deal with it at that point on. It considers the spectrum that happens after the physical, that is the after effects of physical conflict.

It is interesting to me that the philosophies and teaching of Jesus, Buddha, and O Sensei have on thing in common. They all provide a way to transformation that says that you don't have to go through the same things we went through to get there. They all share a message of transformation, yet for whatever reason, most of us find it difficult to accept and follow, even though we might consciously feel that we believe them.

So we flounder along on the same path, making the same mistakes, dealing with the same failures, frustrations, and all that! Then maybe, years later, we go "you know, i could have been here years ago if I'd just did what i was told to do from the start!"

I do agree that for many, (myself included) that we must discover the lessons for ourselves. Each person has their own path and their own experiences and needs along the way. Some can practice only aikido and achieve the desired results. Others might take on more ascetic practices such as say..the Dog Brothers, yet others may find it in meditation, zen, Christianity, vegetarianism...or a combination of all that.

Even if it is the case, that does not mean that the intent of O sensei and his message is any less effective or relevant in pursuit of peace or happiness.

dps
01-14-2008, 09:13 PM
I have no problem with Aikido as a martial art. But I absolutely believe that most people miss the whole intention of what O-Sensei wanted the art to be and why he changed what he did. Aikido is a practice of personal transformation, it is misogi. Some level of martial capability is the by product of proper training but it is not the point. The point is the transformative aspect of the art.

I respectfully disagree that martial capability is a by product. Martial capability is the first step toward the transformative aspect of Aikido. It shows you yourself, your strengths, your flaws, it is self discovery and you need to test yourself to see if it is real, it is the misogi of Aikido.

David

Kevin Leavitt
01-14-2008, 09:24 PM
Sure it shows some of your strengths, flaws, and it is a method of self discover.

I would tend to agree with Ledyard Sensei though....it is a by product and not the main emphasis.

if it were the main emphasis (martial capability) the first couple of years of study would look a whole lot different then how we study it.

dps
01-14-2008, 09:34 PM
if it were the main emphasis (martial capability) the first couple of years of study would look a whole lot different then how we study it.

How would it be different?

David

Kevin Leavitt
01-14-2008, 09:55 PM
If "I" were concerned with making students "martially capable"?

To be honest it'd look alot like what we see going on in the MMA trend to today, but slightly different as most are concerned with sport fighting primarily.

As I am somewhat partial to what we are teaching in the Army, i'd pretty much teach this core curriculum first. Teaching them about fight paradigms, getting them to understand the psychology of fighting, developing the emotional context and mental toughness and develop the willingness required to fight, teaching them how to close distance, seize the initiative, achieve dominance, finally teach them many different methods to finish fights with hands, feet, chokes, blunt objects, knives, guns. I'd put them into various "pressure" scenarios with multiple partners, and alone with multiple enemies. They would also learn the importance of physical conditioning and realize that if they do not have strength and stamina, that they probably will lose. they would mount up in protective gear, such as Blauer suits, and go full force on force.

After a year or so of training like this...i'd say that they have some basic martial capability.

again, this is assuming that well rounded martial capability is of a primary concern.

dps
01-14-2008, 10:11 PM
If "I" were concerned with making students "martially capable"?

To be honest it'd look alot like what we see going on in the MMA trend to today, but slightly different as most are concerned with sport fighting primarily.

As I am somewhat partial to what we are teaching in the Army, i'd pretty much teach this core curriculum first. Teaching them about fight paradigms, getting them to understand the psychology of fighting, developing the emotional context and mental toughness and develop the willingness required to fight, teaching them how to close distance, seize the initiative, achieve dominance, finally teach them many different methods to finish fights with hands, feet, chokes, blunt objects, knives, guns. I'd put them into various "pressure" scenarios with multiple partners, and alone with multiple enemies. They would also learn the importance of physical conditioning and realize that if they do not have strength and stamina, that they probably will lose. they would mount up in protective gear, such as Blauer suits, and go full force on force.

After a year or so of training like this...i'd say that they have some basic martial capability.

again, this is assuming that well rounded martial capability is of a primary concern.

Would you teach morales or ethics of the use of what they are learning ?

David

David McCormack
01-15-2008, 09:39 AM
@ - George S. Ledyard and Kevin Leavitt, what you are saying is very thought prevoking, and from what u have said i have used aikido in situations outside of my dojo because i have avoided conflicts. thank you for giving me another way of viewing my aikido.

im only 16 and clearly have a lot to learn about life in general (as well as aikido) and its comments like yours that are going to help

many thanx
David

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 11:00 AM
As Jon Reading states, while it is a part of the martial spectrum, it does not address all aspects of fighting. If this is your goal, then you must bait the hook, put the pole in the water, and then unhook the fish!

Using that analogy, most people that view martial arts as a part of their job are concerned with the baiting the hook...and fishing up until the pull the fish out of the water....that is when the physical fight ends.

Aikido, in this analogy, is concerned at the point the fish is in the boat, how you get it off the hook, and how you deal with it at that point on. It considers the spectrum that happens after the physical, that is the after effects of physical conflict.

Well said.

This was and remains a BIG issue in law enforcement. The reality I encountered catching drugs and aliens in towns where there were many generations of smugglers (perhaps beginning with cattle and horses, guns for Pancho Villa, booze during prohibition and today's contraband), you had to have a strategy for closure.

Sun Tzu said, "always allow an advesary a means of escape".

As the Confucian strategist said, "Never strike a man on an old wound or insult him about a disgrace". At least half of the resistings I encountered after busting someone for contraband, was escalated because they felt their honor was insulted.

I decided to treat the whole thing like a game rather than a moral mission. The smuggler is in business to put food on his table. I was there to stop loads of contraband from entering the country. He was willing to take his chances as long as I did not take his capture or his profession personally. There were agents who did not follow this "way". Their homes were burned to the ground. In one case, an agent turned up dead while off duty.

Ron Tisdale
01-15-2008, 11:32 AM
Lots of good stuff here, Kevin, George and Chris.

One question...how do you rise above fighting if you don't know what it is?

Best,
Ron (speaks to Kevin's point, I believe)

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 12:36 PM
Great Question Ron,

I would certainly like to here your "truth" regarding the question.

For now, here is my "truth".

Burt Reynolds starred in a movie about a bodyguard in Las Vegas. A rich kid hired him, no so much for protection as to learn how to be tough.

Burt Reynolds punched him in the nose and asked how if felt. The kid was enlightened. He survived and could still laugh.

Bruce Lee said, "fighting is insanity". When you walk through the doors of insanity, the only thing that can bring you back is your moral strength."

I suspect allot of folks do not want to walk through the doors with both feet. I suggest that they are stuck only with theoretical morality. Let's go fishing, bait it, hook it and clean it.

Ron Tisdale
01-15-2008, 12:50 PM
I don't have a truth, but my opinion is you probably have to get that experience somewhere, somehow, unless you are a very rare kind of person.

Best,
Ron

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 01:28 PM
In my favorite Zen movie “Circle of Iron”, the emerging hero “Korb” is infuriated at his teachers seemingly insane activity. He has struck a beautiful child, scarring him for life. He has poked a hole in a boat whose kind owner had just given them passage across a river. He has stopped to rebuild a stone wall while being chased by belligerent horsemen.

Korb receives a small enlightenment when it dawns on him that his teacher knew what he was doing because quote, “you have been here before.” He realizes that each seemingly insane act was done to benefit a higher purpose.

The teacher then slaps Korb and says, “How many times?”

In my dojo, I like to take student (seeker) to the edge of the abyss. While it is not all-out fighting, neither was Burt Reynold’s poking his charge in the nose.

If they wish to go further, I enjoy using largo Mano with rattan sticks (single or double) and no protective gear. I normally settle on bruising a hand or an arm. I force them to continue to fight and help them past the fear of getting hit again. Another small enlightenment.

Most folks do not need to go criminal satisfy their desire to step through the door of insanity.

There is truth to be found in certain Sport fighting venues. Judo. Sport Jujitsu, Boxing. MMA. Sombo. If a student want to do these things, I like to be there as a coach.

You can take a walk on the wilder side by challenging someone at Dog Brothers. They call it higher consciousness through harder contact. I insist on being there on these occassions. Theorietically, there is control of emotion and retaliation that keeps it safe. But I like to be there just in case the situation goes out of control. Another small enlightenment.

Aikibu
01-15-2008, 01:31 PM
As Jon Reading states, while it is a part of the martial spectrum, it does not address all aspects of fighting. If this is your goal, then you must bait the hook, put the pole in the water, and then unhook the fish!

Using that analogy, most people that view martial arts as a part of their job are concerned with the baiting the hook...and fishing up until the pull the fish out of the water....that is when the physical fight ends.

Aikido, in this analogy, is concerned at the point the fish is in the boat, how you get it off the hook, and how you deal with it at that point on. It considers the spectrum that happens after the physical, that is the after effects of physical conflict.

Well said.

This was and remains a BIG issue in law enforcement. The reality I encountered catching drugs and aliens in towns where there were many generations of smugglers (perhaps beginning with cattle and horses, guns for Pancho Villa, booze during prohibition and today's contraband), you had to have a strategy for closure.

Sun Tzu said, "always allow an advesary a means of escape".

As the Confucian strategist said, "Never strike a man on an old wound or insult him about a disgrace". At least half of the resistings I encountered after busting someone for contraband, was escalated because they felt their honor was insulted.

I decided to treat the whole thing like a game rather than a moral mission. The smuggler is in business to put food on his table. I was there to stop loads of contraband from entering the country. He was willing to take his chances as long as I did not take his capture or his profession personally. There were agents who did not follow this "way". Their homes were burned to the ground. In one case, an agent turned up dead while off duty.

Well said...And thus the endless cycle of death and rebirth goes on.

I often ask myself if the purpose of my Aikido practice is to somehow evolve out of this vicious cycle through physical practice. :)

William Hazen

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 01:58 PM
Well said...

My study of Aiki is something I do to aid in the constructive confrontation with karma.

As such, my Bujitsu is more about "turning the spear" than it is about machismo or a neurotic reaction to compensation for past trauma. but I am sure that neither of the latter two are completely absent.

George S. Ledyard
01-15-2008, 05:23 PM
Lots of good stuff here, Kevin, George and Chris.

One question...how do you rise above fighting if you don't know what it is?

Best,
Ron (speaks to Kevin's point, I believe)

I think the answer is in the training, IF, and this is a big if, one is training with the right intention. I decided quite a while ago that the Aikido I wanted to do was the absolutely effortless kind of technique which my teacher can do and I've encountered from Angier Sensei, Kuroda Sensei, Endo Sensei, and Ikeda Sensei. As I have begun to understand what is required I have come to the realization that Aikido is essentially about communication with ones partner. It is a dialog on a mental and physical level.

Technique done with "aiki" is virtually effortless. But it requires complete relaxation. If your mind and your body have tension, you are feeling you , not the partner. So the practice requires layer after layer of letting go of ones tension. As one relaxes one starts to become increasingly sensitive. Over time one also convinces the body that it is actually safe to relax, even when there is a conflict. Ultimately, as you really start to stay calm and physically relaxed, you realize that in this state there is no conflict. As you stop trying to force things to happen the way you want them to, you discover that you start to really feel the partner, on both an energetic and physical level. Ultimately it becomes impossible for him to break this connection and consequently, it becomes impossible for him to move separately from you.

Training to do this requires that you stop trying to force things into the shape which you want, to accept what your partner gives you and let that create the technique. It is impossible to do this and and have a "fighting" mind. Aggression, anger, fear, etc all interfere with ones ability to execute technique using "aiki". So as one trains, as one slowly starts to reprogram ones naturals reactions in order to do technique properly, one starts to transform oneself. Slowly you get to the point at which it takes more and more to get you to react with tension. Good training should help you get to this point, the point at which your mind and body start to realize that fighting against what is coming at you is not the best response.

I think is exactly where the lessons that are most valuable for ones daily life derive from. Slowly you get to the point at which nothing causes you to contract, not aggression, not criticism, not pain... You start to be able to act simply based on what you wish to accomplish and not based on a set of condition reflex reactions coming out of all your unresolved issues.

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 05:37 PM
Relaxing is certainly a lifelong study. Yanagi- Drooping Willow.

I have been studying how sequenced joint relaxation causes different leverages to accomplish different effects.

What a wonderful study.

For the last few years, I have also moved away from traditional technique so that my mind is not centered upon any one thing.
(Munenori). What comes out is pretty good Aiki. But some traditionalsits might just call it schlock. Nevertheless, all the good principles remain and the uke falls.

L. Camejo
01-15-2008, 07:01 PM
Interesting thread.One question...how do you rise above fighting if you don't know what it is?I like this comment the most. :) Imho too many Aikidoka want to rise above fighting, fear and the baser self without any inkling of what those things are. The result is often a very long time of self delusion where the air of "transcendence" quickly evaporates whenever the ego is challenged and easily gives way to the same baser self that was supposed to have been left behind a long time ago.

Martial capability is the first step toward the transformative aspect of Aikido. It shows you yourself, your strengths, your flaws, it is self discovery and you need to test yourself to see if it is real, it is the misogi of Aikido.I agree with this also. There can be no transformation of the ego self into the egoless self without first finding, facing and truly understanding the ego. To do this one must be honest in ones training. It is critical to maintain that honesty throughout as we attempt to progress on a path of self discovery and evolution.

To use Sensei Ledyard's example - I can practice to understand "effortless" technique as part of my approach to training. One mark of my evolution would be the ability to truly and honestly execute effortless technique. However, if I can only execute effortless technique when my partner is assisting me by cooperating (i.e. not using his free will) then have I actually learnt much about truly effortless technique and its governing principles? Am I actually evolving in my understanding of effortless technique or is there some self-delusion happening?

For myself I have found that this situation happens quite easily when there is no objective method of testing one's evolution and understanding so I prefer test whatever little knowledge I think I may have and learn from my experiences so that I can evolve. The result may be that my development, if any may be excruciatingly slow, or almost nonexistent. But it would be true and as a result would not collapse upon the first challenge.

So to me, execution of effective waza (i.e. waza that truly does what it is supposed to physically) is intrinsically linked to my self-evaluation of how well I am evolving in Aikido. Imho the principles that are embodied when one reaches higher levels of understanding to the point where "fighting" is transcended are the same principles that are embodied in the midst of "fighting" and executing waza that works effectively to defend my life or that of another. The only difference is the depth of my understanding of those principles at the start and then later down the road.

Yours
LC:ai::ki:

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 08:27 PM
Metaphores are powerful things. They give us orientation by which we enspace ourselves within the world of relationships.

The great philosopher, Hans Georg Gadamer, has defined a new way of enspacing ourselves. He says in his book "Thruth and Method" that both subject and object are in a relationship -- a dance. Both enteract upon eachother and are transformed and changed by one another.

In past thinking, especially Cartesian (Rene Descartes) thinking, the subject merely acted upon the object.

In the cartesian way of thinking, God gave Adam "dominion" over the earth. Contention naturally occurs and the subject often acts in ways that destroys the earth.

In Gadamer's mind, God made Adam caretaker of the earth in a to and fro relationship (care for it and it feeds you).

This is the Aiki spirit and leads towards peaceful relationships. In time, I think the "I" takes a back seat to the wholistic understanding of all energy.

Gadamer sees the dance as a dance of energy. In this manner, two bodies come together (like in Jogoro Kano's sixth Judo kata) to demonstrate principles of how centrifugal force works, how friction works, how gravity works, how momentum works.

Kevin Leavitt
01-15-2008, 09:57 PM
David Skaggs wrote:

Would you teach morales or ethics of the use of what they are learning ?


Good question. My answer is no.

I limited my response to address only physical martial capacity.

Ethics and morals create some interesting issues surrounding martial capacity.

Ethics and morality create a framework upon which we make decisions about when it is appropriate to use martial capacity.

It frames things in terms of a spectrum of appropriateness. That is, when it is appropriate to use what force, tools, etc.

Within the context of aikido, we can take it even further and refine the spectrum to say that all force is bad and disruptive to harmony and peace, and develop a frame work that attempts to teach us in a very skillfull way to use the least possible force to resolve conflict.

From my experiences, it gets very tricky when you start teaching morals and ethics, and when it is appropriate to apply what and when. If you start teaching it as a doctrine or dogma then, IMO, you are doing your students a very dangerous thing that may get them hurt or killed in a physical confrontation.

I think many times we walk that walk in aikido and it is why we have issues many times.

I think what we have to do is show options along the spectrum of conflict. Set examples personally through our own actions. Maybe discuss moral and ethical frameworks from time to time, rules of engagement etc. That is, when we are talking martial capacity.

I think our responsibility lay in teaching sound martial arts principles that give effeciently and effectively give martial capacity if that is the goal.

We can discuss descision making skills, escalation of force, rules of engagement, law, and the things that may impact a decision they make to employ martial capacity. However, it needs to be done in a constructive, factual way, that also brings up moral and ethical dilemmas that may be posed with when making these tough , quick decisions.

If our goal is to teach an art, such as aikido that is aligned to a certain philosophy, ethical alignment, value system....a DO. Then we teach that and make sure those that are studying it understand that this is the primary intent of the teaching...that is to help them understand that philosophy and maybe integrate it into their lives.

I think we are dealing with two separate and distinct things. One considers a WAY OF LIFE, a philosophy and path (DO). The other considers a WAY TO LIVE, employing martial capacity (SU) in order to effectively and efficiently dispatch an adversary.

They do have parallels and overlaps. However the endstates are different enough to affect the way you would train, IMO.

I hope this makes sense...I am thinking about it as I write it out!

Rupert Atkinson
01-16-2008, 03:06 AM
...His Aikido was very effective in that it manifested beautifully the kind of Aikido he was trying to put forth.

But the paradox is, what he 'put forth' was based on something that was effective (for him). If we concentrate on the 'what he put forth' (Aikido) and forget where it came from (Jujutsu etc.) then we will never really understand it. The basis of all this (real worldliness) is, we want our Aikido to be effective too, but we have been sold short by excuse-ridden aiki-fluffy philosophy.

Here in NZ, Sir Hillary died. He did lots of good things in his life but no one would have noticed had he not climbed Everest. Indeed, had he not climbed Everest, he may not have even done all those good deeds, instead concentrating on climbing, etc. Whatever he became was based on his achievement, which in turn was based on incredible training and fortitude.

And the last time I looked out of the window, the world seemed real enough to me ...

Rupert Atkinson
01-16-2008, 03:13 AM
In my favorite Zen movie "Circle of Iron", the emerging hero "Korb" is infuriated at his teachers seemingly insane activity. He has struck a beautiful child, scarring him for life. He has poked a hole in a boat whose kind owner had just given them passage across a river. He has stopped to rebuild a stone wall while being chased by belligerent horsemen.

I have never really been into martial arts movies. The only one I ever liked was Silent Flute, and it sounds very similar to what you have described. Would yours be a remake, I wonder?

MM
01-16-2008, 06:21 AM
I have never really been into martial arts movies. The only one I ever liked was Silent Flute, and it sounds very similar to what you have described. Would yours be a remake, I wonder?

Silent Flute is just another name for Circle of Iron. Same movie, no remake.

Chris Parkerson
01-16-2008, 07:08 AM
Would you teach morales or ethics of the use of what they are learning ?

Good question. My answer is no.

I limited my response to address only physical martial capacity.

Ethics and morals create some interesting issues surrounding martial capacity.

Ethics and morality create a framework upon which we make decisions about when it is appropriate to use martial capacity.

It frames things in terms of a spectrum of appropriateness. That is, when it is appropriate to use what force, tools, etc.

Within the context of aikido, we can take it even further and refine the spectrum to say that all force is bad and disruptive to harmony and peace, and develop a frame work that attempts to teach us in a very skillfull way to use the least possible force to resolve conflict.

From my experiences, it gets very tricky when you start teaching morals and ethics, and when it is appropriate to apply what and when. If you start teaching it as a doctrine or dogma then, IMO, you are doing your students a very dangerous thing that may get them hurt or killed in a physical confrontation.

I think many times we walk that walk in aikido and it is why we have issues many times.

I think what we have to do is show options along the spectrum of conflict.

I was never in the military. In the Spring of 2004, I (at age 51) found myself manning the tail gun of the last vehicle of a personal security detail (PSD) team about 1/4 before we entered the Green Zone in Baghdad.

A Mercedes Benz began to get rather close. He did not respond to my hand signs or the empty bottles I threw out of the rear window to get his attention. Still, I did not shoot. It just did not feel right. His body language seemed more like someone who was offended at how intrusive we had been rather than someone who was going to kill himself and us with a car bomb.

A young fellow (about 24) inside my vehicle who had just left the Marine Corps tried to ostracize me from the detail during the debrief. Therein lies the rub. Experience versus exuberance. I sensed that this Iraqi probably had business in the Green Zone. For all I knew, he was going to meet with the Corp of Engineers. Per5haps, looking at the car he was driving, he was an important Sheik.

He is lucky to be alive today. I kept my Karma intact. Perhaps the State Department benefited in the long run a little bit.

Last week, I saw the movie, "No Country for Old Men". Old men spend allot of time engaging in philosophy to find closure (clean the fish) to things they did in their youth.

Aikibu
01-16-2008, 10:57 AM
Ahhh yes. The exuberance of youth combined with ignorance reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Philip Caputo's Book "A Rumor of War." My memory's fuzzy but he was the Platoon Leader on an OP when he saw his privates do some very nasty things and after he expressed his shock to his Gunny.. the Gunny said something to the effect of "Sir, One of the most dangerous and horrible things in this world is your average 19 year American Boy." (Those who are better read than I can feel free to correct me :) )

I am glad I survived my "life experiance" and I pray those in harms way survive thier "life experiances"

Please don't take this the wrong way folks as don't mean this to be snobbish or rude but Aikido is one of the few Modern Martial Ways I can keep from being turned into a Monster.

It was this mindset that kept me from jaunting off to War as a PSD dispite many opportunities from old Ranger Buddies to do so.

Sadly over the course of the last few years I have lost many old Ranger Buddies because of my Aikido inspired point of view.

WIlliam Hazen

Chris Parkerson
01-16-2008, 02:48 PM
Sadly over the course of the last few years I have lost many old Ranger Buddies because of my Aikido inspired point of view.

I feel you pain. Little room for warrior monks on the battlefield.

Kevin Leavitt
01-16-2008, 04:16 PM
Rupert wrote:

But the paradox is, what he 'put forth' was based on something that was effective (for him). If we concentrate on the 'what he put forth' (Aikido) and forget where it came from (Jujutsu etc.) then we will never really understand it. The basis of all this (real worldliness) is, we want our Aikido to be effective too, but we have been sold short by excuse-ridden aiki-fluffy philosophy.

The real challenge here is to define "effective". The more I learn, read, and experience, the more my definition changes.

effective is an interesting word and concept. We all have a vision in our minds of what effective is and isn't. We all believe that whatever that vision is, it is the right one, the same one as everyone elses. All also believe that a some level they understand what O'sensei meant by it as well.

The more I study the psychology of non-violence/violence and peace...the more I begin to see how complex the issue and problem is...yet how simple the solutions really are! Yet, how hard they are to implement!

I am now just starting to understand a little bit, just a little bit about that there is much more in this area than I know. I have learned enough to know now, that what I thought I knew 10 years ago, was rudimentary, compared to the possibiliites, potentials and options that are out there!

I have learned enough, I think to realize that what can be considered effective, can be very different in many different ways!

Chris Parkerson
01-16-2008, 05:23 PM
I thought I new something about how to create peace as a teenager in the 60's. Then came Altamont.

My Idealism turned to existential otherworldliness. Mystic religions are great recepticles for people who would rather escape the world by finding simple answers to complex problems. Then two groups go to war because their answers are different.

I turned toward political/christian realism. Muddling through complext issues hoping the blowback was less troublesome than the good we attempted to implement.

At least I was engagimg in the real world rather than hiding from it while pronouncing I had simple answers that could ensure the peace.

Nowdays, I watch alot. We are at a crossroads. A major cycle in history. I doubt that this generation has the answer for how to fix things over the next ten years. Yet, we are headed for some very big adjustments.

I like to spend time empowering the new millennial kids to search for the tools they will need. I suspect they are hard wired from birth with the inate ability to find the answers.

This is my current engagement with the world.

Chris Parkerson
01-16-2008, 06:10 PM
In 2004, there was a project manager working in Baghdad with Bremer's team. Daily, he braved the city streets under our protection. At night, he would teach Aikido to servicemen and contractors.

His remedies for fixing the world's problems may have been diametrically opposed to my ideas. That did not matter. That he was engaged with the world in real time was what made his Aikido great, and his aiki spirit indominable.

phitruong
01-17-2008, 08:49 AM
In the movie circle of iron/silent flute, the blind dude said that a fish saved him once; he ate it. In one of my previous real world, where we honored the dead with the long wall in Washington D.C., a grenade and a bunch of fishes saved my family for a few days. Admittedly, that fishing with grenade wasn't very sport like, but then survival wasn't sport. using a weapon designed to kill in order to save lives, interesting concept don't you think?

Chris Parkerson
01-17-2008, 05:53 PM
My respects to your personal history.
I just missed visiting your country in 1971.

I am sure you have much to teach us about the real world. Perhaps they are lessons we can discuss now. It think they may be timely.

I sense we are headed for some hard times domestically.

Dathan Camacho
01-19-2008, 09:09 AM
I'm late to this thread but I'd like to throw out a line of thought regarding "real world"

By modern standards, is Iaido a martial art? I ask this not to attack Iaido or go off on a tangent, but to put the term "real world" in context. Compare the practicality of Iaido today vs 200 years ago in Japan? How often do you have a katana with you?

I kind of think of Aikido along the same lines. Hand-to-hand combat is an outmoded method of dealing with conflict when put in the context of modern technology. Modern science has brought us a whole new range of martial tools (previously mentioned in this thread) for which there is not an applicable Aikido (or TKD or MMA) technique. You're not going to put an F-16 in Nikkyo or apply an arm bar in a drive by shooting.

You might, however, apply an Aikido principle like "get off the line of attack."

For me, Aikido teaches principles of conflict resolution that may, or may not, have indirect application to a very broad range of situations, and direct application to a more limited range of hand-to-hand combative applications, just like any other martial art.

Cross training always makes sense, but you're still only cross training for a narrow subset of "real world" situations - close range, non mechanized combat.

Kevin Leavitt
01-19-2008, 10:08 AM
Hand to Hand combat actually is NOT an outmoded technology. This rational is what got us in trouble since World War II, IMO.

We really honestly started to believe that we could effect the desired outcome strictly with technology, long range missles, F-16s and the like.

Absolutely, the right tool for the right job. The application of strategy, tatics etc, is affected by technology, however, when it gets down to business and you boil it down to the base elements....it is about people.

This is why you see a return to jiujitsu in the Marine Corps and the Army today. We learned that empty handed and close quarters combat are a key and essential element to influencing the fight.

The next step, IMO, is to take it one step further and to make our soldiers even MORE skillful by instilling within them many of lessons that we learn through arts such as aikido...that is to deal with conflict on an interpersonal level and to gain more skill along the spectrum of force.

We have come a long way, and you are playing in a dangerous area when you go down this path with people whose job is to employ lethal force.

It is a necessary step on the path to evolution of ending violence though.

Same in society.

Empty handing arts, DO or SU, are as relevant today as they were 300 years ago!

Aikibu
01-19-2008, 10:26 AM
I'm late to this thread but I'd like to throw out a line of thought regarding "real world"

By modern standards, is Iaido a martial art? I ask this not to attack Iaido or go off on a tangent, but to put the term "real world" in context. Compare the practicality of Iaido today vs 200 years ago in Japan? How often do you have a katana with you?

I kind of think of Aikido along the same lines. Hand-to-hand combat is an outmoded method of dealing with conflict when put in the context of modern technology. Modern science has brought us a whole new range of martial tools (previously mentioned in this thread) for which there is not an applicable Aikido (or TKD or MMA) technique. You're not going to put an F-16 in Nikkyo or apply an arm bar in a drive by shooting.

You might, however, apply an Aikido principle like "get off the line of attack."

For me, Aikido teaches principles of conflict resolution that may, or may not, have indirect application to a very broad range of situations, and direct application to a more limited range of hand-to-hand combative applications, just like any other martial art.

Cross training always makes sense, but you're still only cross training for a narrow subset of "real world" situations - close range, non mechanized combat.

Since I no longer have Access to Indirect Fire Support, CAS, or heavy weapons, I think I'll stick with Aikido...

Besides why should I call for fire in a despute over a parking space...:)

That peskey reality messes with the best of posts...LOL

Sir Kevin handle the essential need for "hand to hand combat training" in the Service and I know of one Action Guy (An Army Special Forces NCO) Who won a Silver Star in Afganistan for his heroism fighting the Taliban in hand to hand combat encounter where he saved the lives of some of his Team Brothers while seriously injured himself.

I sure other Real Deals and Grunts could cite a few more experiances...

In fact there are hundreds...

So my friend it may be time to re-examine your "theories" in the light of "reality"

And I mean that with all due respect.

William Hazen

PS. There is an excellent thread on Army Combatives over on ebudo.com. take a gander and I am sure you will find it very enlighting. :)

Dathan Camacho
01-19-2008, 11:10 AM
My dojo has been conducting combatives training for the local reserve unit here, so my thought process took that interaction into account. The ratio of hand-to-hand training that the military has provided these folks, relative to the volume of training they've received in other areas, proves my point. The hand-to-hand training is a valuable tool, and is particularly essential for policing actions, but it is not the primary focus of their overall preparation because it isn't a real world defense against mechanized warfare... except in movies like the Matrix.

Dathan Camacho
01-19-2008, 11:29 AM
Also, I should add that I was classifying small arms as a subcomponent of "mechanized" in that it isn't a sword or a knife that requires close range attacks for which Aikido is so effective.

And why would anyone fight over a parking space?

If someone is that upset over a parking space, blend with their mindset and move your car.

Aikibu
01-19-2008, 12:14 PM
My dojo has been conducting combatives training for the local reserve unit here, so my thought process took that interaction into account. The ratio of hand-to-hand training that the military has provided these folks, relative to the volume of training they've received in other areas, proves my point. The hand-to-hand training is a valuable tool, and is particularly essential for policing actions, but it is not the primary focus of their overall preparation because it isn't a real world defense against mechanized warfare... except in movies like the Matrix.

Again on the surface this post makes allot of sense but to bring it back to your cited reality.

How Many Mechanized Tank Brigades do Al Qwacky and the Insurgents have...

In fact among (now finally) most Military Thinkers concur that any enemy of the United States would be a suicidal fool to try and engage the United States with the latter on that "leval of warefare" (Perhaps the reason The NKPLA does not cross the border?) and that is the reason the D.O.D. is placing huge emphasis on Asymetric Warefare (A lesson I admit they have been rather SLOW to learn and somewhat easily forgotten between "Guerilla Wars.")

On the contrary the New Army Combatives Approach has is one of the most important war fighting tools in our high tech arsenal.

The Martial Way is just a relevent as it was hundreds of years ago.

Respectfully,

William Hazen

Chris Parkerson
01-19-2008, 12:24 PM
Compare the practicality of Iaido today vs 200 years ago in Japan? How often do you have a katana with you?

I kind of think of Aikido along the same lines. Hand-to-hand combat is an outmoded method of dealing with conflict when put in the context of modern technology. Modern science has brought us a whole new range of martial tools (previously mentioned in this thread) for which there is not an applicable Aikido (or TKD or MMA) technique.

Today's military is similar to tactical policing. I have done allot of work on that. So has John Clodig, my aiki teacher. Interestingly, military folks including Marine Corp DT instructors often join our classes when in town over at Parker Linekin's Academy of the Martial Arts or directly with Renshi Clodig.

Here is a real-world example. Suppose you are tethered to your M-4 and you turn a corner. As soon as you do, the back guy is pointed in and has the drop on you. You are in arm's reach.

Bad idea to trade bullets. You will be a few behind. Best to go hands free and grapple his weapon out of his hands. There are many techniques based of the Jo and "No Sword" systems that make this work with efficient leverage.

Aikibu
01-19-2008, 12:52 PM
Sorry aobut the spellwings and graamerz in postz folks...

Burning both sides of the candle with a blow torch lately...:)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
01-19-2008, 03:12 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjS7m3gzEaE

This should give you a good perspective of the realities of fighting in today's environment and how we are preparing soldiers and marines today.

Dathan Camacho
01-19-2008, 04:04 PM
That is interesting perhaps I'm completely misinformed. Any thoughts on why the unit that our dojo is working with is about to get deployed but hasn't had any hand-to-hand combatives training in 8 years? I should point out that I don't know what this unit does, they could be an IT unit for all I know. I'm wondering if they exaggerated a bit to make us feel better about the value of the training we provided. Oh well.

Chris Parkerson
01-19-2008, 04:44 PM
This should give you a good perspective of the realities of fighting in today's environment and how we are preparing soldiers and marines today.

Kevin,

Great set of videos. Thanks for the resource.

Kevin Leavitt
01-19-2008, 06:22 PM
Dathan,

No your experiences were "normal". Combatives training is realitively new (last 5 years), In the last two years Army Reg 350-1 (Training) was changed to put an emphasis on Combatives as well as a few other things.

If you asked how many soldiers you were training have been exposed to combatives, you would have found that the ones that have been to basic training, basic NCO training or basic officer training (BOLC) have been exposed with about 1 weeks worth of the training. Sr NCOs and Officers (Leadership) has not. Who plans the training schedules???

Anyway, it is slowly becoming more pervasive as we get soldiers more comfortable with the training, and get them to adopt the paradigm.

My last class, I had about 50% of the soldiers I trained had at least 40 hours of it under their belt, that is a huge improvement.

Sr Officers like myself and SR NCOs that are training in the system, and are believers are trying to do our best to expose soldiers and to get leaders to integrate it into their training.

Yes, you will find it more in infantry units, vice rear echelon units....but that is not always the case. My combat camera team in Germany was better trained than my infantry Battalion. (they had more time to devote to it).

Anyway, you are also correct, it is not always the first and highest priority for training with all the stuff we have to do to prepare for war.

One of the paradiqms we are trying to adopt is to approach it from a integrated training strategy...that is, it is supportive in nature to other training, and integrated...not trained separately.

The problem with this is that we must have all soldiers (at least a majority) with a common base and understanding, hence the huge upfront investment in basic combatives training that we are going through in the last several years.

Chris Parkerson
01-19-2008, 06:58 PM
Kevin,

Has the Army put together a completed system with evolutions and ranking like the Marine Corps has?

Kevin Leavitt
01-19-2008, 07:16 PM
Yes and no. We have a formalized curriculum and POIs for "instructors", level I through IV. It is a pretty comprehensive program. However, no ranking etc like the Marine Corps.

There are several advocates out there that would like to adopt a similar system, with some differences from the Marine Corps, however, I think that is a way off.

There is also a push outside the army to set up an association/system that would provide structure and formalization for soldiers. The intent is to provide organization to enable soldiers to find competent and qualified instruction, avoiding those "one night wonders" that have trained "100's of soldiers, and invented the system that the Navy Seals are using today".

It would also provide structure, keep the cost low, avoid organizational politics, and improve the quality of training.

This is kind of what the Air Force did when they set up the Judo association years ago.