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erogers
01-11-2008, 12:43 PM
found an interesting article by a former cop. just thought it might stir up some conversation.

http://www.blackbeltmag.com/archives/544

George S. Ledyard
01-14-2008, 01:26 AM
found an interesting article by a former cop. just thought it might stir up some conversation.

http://www.blackbeltmag.com/archives/544

Bernie is an old, old friend of mine. I've known him since I moved to Seattle in 1981. Bernie was a student of Yoshioka Sensei in Hawaii originally. His shift to a different way of running his techniques didn't come about simply due to techniques that didn't work... if I remember what he told me there were techniques that worked too well i.e. the subject was injured because he had no ukemi training.

Bernie's technique was adjusted to increase the pain factor without increasing the impact on the subject. I had the fortune to take ukemi for him a few times at demos and I have to say, it was entirely unpleasant. He'd pinch, torque, and otherwise "persuade" you into compliance. You'd have to be on meth not to react to his various tricks.

Despite Bernie's change of name to Aikijutsu, I never found anything he did to be the least incompatible with what I had been taught by Saotome Sensei. It was just a very "applied" form of Aikido. I think that Bernie was largely reacting against what he saw as the move towards a less than martial Aikido, especially on the West Coast.
I think you can still get his videos here: Bernie Lau Videos (http://ejmas.com/ejmasbookstore.htm)

Interestingly, it was Robert Koga who first taught Aikido based defensive tactics to the LAPD back in the sixties. He founded the Koga Institute and continues to teach to this day I believe. He is by far the most influential of the Aikido teachers who have put their stuff out for the law enforcement and security community. The US Secret Service incorporated much of his material into their training with great success. I recently had a conversation with a retired agent in which he commented on the similarity between what I taught on my Defensive tactics video and what they had been taught. When he told me that they had done some training with Robert Koga, I said that explained it...
Website: Koga Institute (http://www.kogainst.com/)
He has a very fine set of videos available for anyone interested in the practical application of technique.

The other Aikido teacher who had a fully developed defensive tactics system was David Dye. He appeared at the second Aiki Expo where he taught a class. He started as a Yoshinkan practitioner although he has now founded his own style. He was a Costa Mesa police officer for years. He also has a collection of videos, available from Budovideos.com, I believe, which outline his DT system. Once again, it's straight Aikido with a practical application bent.
Website: David Dye (http://www.shuyokan.com/about/instructor.html)

The perpetual discussion of Aikido application in the so-called "real world" would tone down a bit if folks were familiar with the work these men have done. All their stuff has been done on the street with real bad guys. It's practically oriented but it is straight Aikido.

Josh Reyer
01-14-2008, 01:56 AM
Mr. Lau doesn't know me from Adam, but when I was on AIKIDO-L back in the early 90s, I always looked forward to and enjoy his posts.

That said, I find it somewhat ridiculous to suggest that "aikido failed him." In a very specific sense one might say that his teachers failed him, or rather, failed to prepare him. In a larger sense Mr. Lau may have failed himself by not training with the necessary mindset. But the idea that "aikido" is not "real-world" effective, but "aikijutsu" is, strikes me as the same one-dimensional thinking we see here time and again.

For starters, there is nothing in the "aikijutsu" examples of sankyo and munadori ikkyo that aren't part of basic Iwama style aikido. (Although of course, cuffing uke at the end of the technique is not a typical Iwama practice. :)) As I mentioned in a thread just last week, the Tokyo riot police practice Yoshinkan, and have made it work for years.

People need to understand that "aikido" is layered. It's adaptable to the needs of those who practice it. Aikido can be a marginally combat effective art that provides health and "ki training". It can be physical and spiritual exercise that provides the average person with as much self-defense knowledge as they're likely to need. And it can be a very effective art useful to those whose jobs put them into conflict, and who need to resolve those conflicts with firm but measured responses. But it's important, and incumbent on the student, that they find the aikido that is right for them. The Average Joe or Jane seeking to improve their health and ki may not find what they're looking for in the Yoshinkan senshusei course. The police officer or bouncer may not find what they need in "middle-of-the-road" dojo. The solution is not to write off "aikido", but to find a dojo (aikido or otherwise) that offers what you need.

erogers
01-14-2008, 08:39 AM
Mr. Ledyard, thanks for the links. i founds them informative. i was by no means trying to imply that aikido has no "street worthiness", but i just happened upon that article. i think it's from 1981 or close to that. thanks.

George S. Ledyard
01-14-2008, 10:44 AM
Mr. Ledyard, thanks for the links. i founds them informative. i was by no means trying to imply that aikido has no "street worthiness", but i just happened upon that article. i think it's from 1981 or close to that. thanks.

I didn't take it that you, personally, were calling it into question... I had just been reading the other thread which is dealing with the perennial question.

L. Camejo
01-14-2008, 10:51 AM
Alongside Koga Sensei's method is also the Aikido Control Tactics System, co-founded by Rocky Izumi Sensei (he tends to be lurking around aikiweb these days). A link on Aikiweb where this sort of stuff was discussed appears here - http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7210.

Regards.

Amir Krause
01-14-2008, 11:02 AM
Mr. Lau doesn't know me from Adam, but when I was on AIKIDO-L back in the early 90s, I always looked forward to and enjoy his posts.

That said, I find it somewhat ridiculous to suggest that "aikido failed him." In a very specific sense one might say that his teachers failed him, or rather, failed to prepare him. In a larger sense Mr. Lau may have failed himself by not training with the necessary mindset. But the idea that "aikido" is not "real-world" effective, but "aikijutsu" is, strikes me as the same one-dimensional thinking we see here time and again.

For starters, there is nothing in the "aikijutsu" examples of sankyo and munadori ikkyo that aren't part of basic Iwama style aikido. (Although of course, cuffing uke at the end of the technique is not a typical Iwama practice. :)) As I mentioned in a thread just last week, the Tokyo riot police practice Yoshinkan, and have made it work for years.

People need to understand that "aikido" is layered. It's adaptable to the needs of those who practice it. Aikido can be a marginally combat effective art that provides health and "ki training". It can be physical and spiritual exercise that provides the average person with as much self-defense knowledge as they're likely to need. And it can be a very effective art useful to those whose jobs put them into conflict, and who need to resolve those conflicts with firm but measured responses. But it's important, and incumbent on the student, that they find the aikido that is right for them. The Average Joe or Jane seeking to improve their health and ki may not find what they're looking for in the Yoshinkan senshusei course. The police officer or bouncer may not find what they need in "middle-of-the-road" dojo. The solution is not to write off "aikido", but to find a dojo (aikido or otherwise) that offers what you need.

The right teacher and the student mind set, are most important in learning any M.A. find a match, and you can get very far, in any direction.

Amir

ChrisMoses
01-14-2008, 11:43 AM
That said, I find it somewhat ridiculous to suggest that "aikido failed him." In a very specific sense one might say that his teachers failed him, or rather, failed to prepare him. In a larger sense Mr. Lau may have failed himself by not training with the necessary mindset. But the idea that "aikido" is not "real-world" effective, but "aikijutsu" is, strikes me as the same one-dimensional thinking we see here time and again.

For starters, there is nothing in the "aikijutsu" examples of sankyo and munadori ikkyo that aren't part of basic Iwama style aikido. (Although of course, cuffing uke at the end of the technique is not a typical Iwama practice. :)) As I mentioned in a thread just last week, the Tokyo riot police practice Yoshinkan, and have made it work for years.

[snip]

The solution is not to write off "aikido", but to find a dojo (aikido or otherwise) that offers what you need.

I think there's a few things that need to be taken into account when reading this article. First, this is from 1986. The amount of information available to us about Aikido and its history is hugely different today than it was then. Draeger's assertion that 'do' was purely for personal development and 'jutsu' was practical applied martial art was still king (at least in the west) and this is from BB mag.

Expanding on that a bit, when Bernie broke away from Aikido and started using the term "Aikijujutsu" it was in large part a way to emphasize that what he was focusing on was different from what you were seeing (particularly in NW) Aikido. Bernie was getting a huge amount of, "That's not AIKIDO!!!" from the aikido community. It was also a time when there were lots of politics and crap going on in the US Aikikai. Bernie got tied of it, and decided to step out of that and do his own thing. The name change therefore reflected a different focus in the training, a broadening of the curriculum and a stepping outside of the hierarchy of the various 'mainline' factions of US Aikido.

As for Aikido failing him. I understand your argument, but you do need to realize that Aikido was being sold as a nearly invincible way to neutralize attacks. Further, in this region, Bernie was one of (if not the) senior dude in Aikido. He had trained very hard for quite a few years and been recognized for that by Hombu. The fact that he couldn't make what he had been taught work for him in the very real situations he found himself in, must have been very difficult to take. His focus (for better or worse) shifted to finding the tools he needed to make him and his partners safe. In the same way that George doesn't require LEOs who come to his Defensive Tactics classes wade through 10 years of Aikido basics before they find something they can apply on the job, Bernie started looking for what he could get to work quickly and what he could teach effectively. So while a lot of it was still recognizable as Aikido, it was in fact different.

With the stronger association of the term "aikijujutsu" with Daito Ryu (and to a lesser extent Yanagi ryu) we've kind of dropped it in favor of "aikibudo" which feels like a better fit for how the art has progressed and the current focus.

Oh, and Bernie's finger locks still hurt like hell...
http://images.kodakgallery.com/photos4287/5/35/11/38/86/6/686381135503_0_ALB.jpg

Edit note: I don't want to imply that I'm a long time student of Bernie's. I have only trained with him a few times. I do train under Neil Yamamoto who Bernie left in charge of Icho ryu when he retired from teaching regularly. I'm sure anything I got wrong in the above will be brought to my attention ASAP. ;)

Ron Tisdale
01-14-2008, 12:00 PM
I'm sure anything I got wrong in the above will be brought to my attention ASAP.
:D Yeah, think any finger locks will be involved in that?? :D

Tell all the guys I said hey!

Best,
Ron

Chris Parkerson
01-14-2008, 01:04 PM
To be sure it is the artist as well as the art.

Here is my personal law enforcement history.

In 1987 I joined the Border Patrol and worked in South Texas. Patrol agents often work in remote areas, alone or with one partner and little back up. I had 13 years of Kenpo and Tai Chi along with two years of Pakua and Hsing-I under my belt. I knew a bit of Aikido as Fred Levre, back in the (1970’s) used our dojo to ply his trade in Ocean beach, CA before he moved to what is now a dojo run by Bernice Lam. I took a few months of training from him but was not ready for it. They were just techniques I could not use against Kenpo guys when I was sparring.

Upon being confronted with the reality of my work in the Patrol, I quickly decided that I needed something that would not get me in trouble. Kenpo is all about blood, broken bones and bruises.

Luckily, I met three people who assisted me. One was Mark A. Miles of Ingleside, TX (Lt. Colonel, U. S. Army- retired). He was belted by Masato Tamura in the early 1940’s. In 1941, he was the defensive tactics instructor for the Para-Marines in WWII at Gillespie Field in So. Calif. He took his jujitsu to the trenches at Sugarloaf hill and survived. His Jujitsu/Judo was soft like Mifune’s. Not driver leg Judo. There was Aiki elements in it naturally. It was all military. We studied lethal force first so that there would be no doubt and then toned the same techniques down for compassion’s sake.

Close to 90 years old, he is still my jujitsu teacher. He is all business. No sport in him.

I also met Russell Waddell (Kingsville, TX). Russell was a black belt under Reynard Jackson in the Tomiki System led by Karl Geiss of Olympic Judo fame.. Russell was a good Judo player and karate man as well. He had a great impact upon my developing police strategy for come-alongs and restraints. But when a fight went stagnant, as it often does (force on force with little movement) my training in Tomiki Aikido did not help. The jujitsu did.

Through Reynard, I met Hal von Luebbert, an Olympic Judo coach who was the toughest man I have ever met. Also the slyest. He just loves to fight. He is 73 years old and can still take on multiple opponents half his age. He trained with Judo rules but knew how to transcend the rules without hesitation. He is still my Judo teacher.

During my time in law enforcement, I attained a pretty cool goal that I had set for myself. I did not want the karma of hurting people unless it was absolutely necessary. I still hold to that ideal today.

Perhaps I was lucky, but I had over 40 “resisting” while in law enforcement. Some of these resisting included multiple opponents going for my gun while wielding sticks at me. I slapped some temporary pain on folks but I NEVER had to draw blood, break a bone or even bruise someone.

The stuff that helped the most was Colonel Miles’ Jujitsu and Hal von Luebbert’s 21 Grip Kata. In fact I still teach that Kata to those who do not want to take the time to learn a full martial art. It is pure genius.

Upon leaving Law Enforcement in 1991, I revisited the Aiki arts. I studied with Ray Goldberg (Daito Ryu in New York) for about two years and John Clodig (Yanagi Hara Ryu in Fallbrook, CA) for about 6 years and counting. John Clodig is the most impressive Aiki technician I have ever met. He made my Tai Chi, Hsing-I and Pakua make sense.

I have been a bodyguard for about 15 years now. I have worked in some real cesspools of the world. Who knows what style has kept me alive. As Bruce Lee might say, "it is my style". My aiki art training has made all my other skills better. But more seriously, Aiki strategy has kept me alive. This, to me, is the real win in studying Aiki-- STRATEGY.

crbateman
01-14-2008, 01:43 PM
:D Yeah, think any finger locks will be involved in that?? :DYou beat me to it, Ron... I was going to suggest that he sit on his hands for a while... :D

Chris Parkerson
01-14-2008, 02:48 PM
Despite Bernie's change of name to Aikijutsu, I never found anything he did to be the least incompatible with what I had been taught by Saotome Sensei. It was just a very "applied" form of Aikido. I think that Bernie was largely reacting against what he saw as the move towards a less than martial Aikido, especially on the West Coast.

Point well taken.

Looking at "Explosive AikiJujitsu" a tape Bernie Lau made with Ray Ibarra and Roy Goldberg in the 1990's tells it all. His techniques are very different that those of Ibarra and Goldberg. They look more like traditional Aikido to me.

erogers
01-14-2008, 10:13 PM
this thread has produced some good conversation. i'm a little curious if anyone knows why o-sensei chose to omit some of the pain compliance aspects of aikijujutsu like finger locks and the such? the article made a few points about that being one of their differences. locally there is an aikijujutsu guy who has mentioned a lot of that art is meant to maim and even kill, but there are techniques that people in law enforcement use for pain compliance only. i'm interested in knowing what specifically he used as his basis for techniques to keep, discard, and change if one of you wise fellers' know anything.

Kevin Leavitt
01-14-2008, 10:30 PM
Not that I am even remotely qualified to state what O Sensei thought...

I tend to believe that he saw aikido as a transformative process, a base formed around the principles of aiki to achieve personal growth and fulfillment...peace, harmony, happiness.

He kept the principles that allowed us to walk the fine line, showing us alternatives to conflict...showing us that we have other choices and options other than to cause pain, damage and suffering.

I think we have enough problems with people understanding the purpose of aikido without those things thrown in there! If they were emphasized...it would only serve to further confuse!

What would be the point of teaching them. That said, just from studying the basic principles of aikido, I think i have pretty much figured out where to use those things in the places where they would belong!

Josh Reyer
01-14-2008, 10:30 PM
I think there's a few things that need to be taken into account when reading this article. First, this is from 1986. The amount of information available to us about Aikido and its history is hugely different today than it was then. Draeger's assertion that 'do' was purely for personal development and 'jutsu' was practical applied martial art was still king (at least in the west) and this is from BB mag.

Ah, of course! I should have realized it from the bad hairstyles and pornstaches. :D In which case, I stand by the general point of my remarks, but obviously it doesn't apply to Mr. Lau. As I said, I enjoyed his posts on AIKIDO-L, long after he'd made "the switch."

Nafis Zahir
01-14-2008, 11:39 PM
It is a shame that the article mentioned the lack of atemi in Aikido. For the most part, that statement is true. I do practice atemi, and I do it in most of my techniques. Atemi is very necessary when it comes to doing Aikido. Also, I think that everyone practicing Aikido, needs to do research on what I call practical application of Aikido techniques. Some of these I have been taught, and some I have figured out on my own. You need to learn how to apply the techniques on the street as oppose to the way you do in the dojo. The variation is only slightly different, but it will make a big difference. You have to try and remember, that when applying Aikido techniques to someone on the street, they are not going to take ukemi or respond the same way someone in the dojo will.

CarlRylander
01-15-2008, 04:06 AM
For what it's worth, my two pen'orth is:

My TKWD friend did an Aikido hold on me once. He went so far as to bruise the bone. My arm hurt afterwards. I'd go that far if I had to use Aikido in a real fight. I think you'd have to.

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 08:02 AM
When I interviewed to join the border patrol, I sought out some coaching first. One wise retired cop told me to look at arresting someone like this,

You are just the conductor on the train. The perpetrator can choose to go home, go to jail, or go to God. You are just punching his ticket.

Sounds very Aiki to me.

ChrisMoses
01-15-2008, 09:47 AM
i'm a little curious if anyone knows why o-sensei chose to omit some of the pain compliance aspects of aikijujutsu like finger locks and the such?

I'm no expert on Daito Ryu, but I don't believe that finger locks are a large part of that art, so they wouldn't really have been in his bag of tricks in the first place. In Bernie's case, these mostly came in from the Wally Jay small circle stuff.

This is a bit of thread drift, but since it applies to your question, OSensei was not the one who actually truncated down the techniques of Aikido from Daito Ryu. That mostly happened under the direction of the nidai doshu after the war (or under other influential Shihan like Saito Sensei, depending on your lineage). I think it's safest to say that OSensei changed the way he thought about and executed the techniques of Daito Ryu, then later his students attempted to codify those techniques into a cohesive syllabus. I don't expect that to be a universally accepted view of the progression of Aikido, but it's how I now see it. I know that I've been taught things by at least one uchideshi who was only exposed to OSensei very late in his life that are decidedly not part of the basic syllabus of the Aikikai but that he insisted were taught to him by OSensei (knuckle strikes to the backs of the hands, pinches, shimewaza). These are all things that most people would consider to be the kinds of things that were truncated in the formation of Aikido, that I feel there is evidence of him doing and teaching very very late in his lifetime.

ChrisMoses
01-15-2008, 09:48 AM
Also, here's the image from my earlier post re-hosted.

http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/1099/fingerlockinlz2.jpg

Thanks ImageShack!

Ron Tisdale
01-15-2008, 10:12 AM
I'd have to agree with your last assessment Chris. And I think aikido is the worst for it...the loss of striking skills and chokes is a really big problem, in my opinion...

Best,
Ron

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 03:35 PM
I always enjoyed watching Steve Segall's punch...

The one he did in "Above the Law" where he walked up to a guy and blasted him in the solar plexus. His weight shift, timing, breath, were in perfect form.

As for finger locks, "what happens if "Uhhh Mondo don't care".

Chokes are decent. Trained fighters can survive blood chokes for quite a while.

Juji gatame (straight arm bar) Now that is a great technique. Upward bent arm (ude garami) is sensational. It works against the infraspinatus and Teres group. Those small muscles behind your shoulder joint that you just cannot train very well.

senshincenter
01-15-2008, 09:37 PM
Is Aikido effective for police?

Yes.

Moreover, Aikido training, which is not necessarily the same thing as "Aikido," is even more effective for police. What do I mean?

Well, in a conversation like this, the idea that all one needs is the "perfectly adapted" art is hogwash. I realize folks are not saying this, but it is nevertheless implied in the question.

In other words, if you want to be an effective law enforcement officer, train to be one. I mean, to be effective, folks have to put in the time - they have to dedicate themselves to mastering the craft. The notion of learning something fast and easily is such crap, and this, besides the painfully embarrassing fact that most cops do not train regularly in any of the perishable skills, is what ails law enforcement to no end. This is my opinion as a California Certified Arrest and Control Instructor.

I don't care what you call it but as far as arrest and control/defensive tactis is concerned a person only need two things:

1. An art form/practice that includes all of the basic tactics (joint locking, striking, ground-fighting, weapon usage, etc.) but that has them operate under a strategy capable of addressing agency use of force policies (e.g. Head-butting someone in the face, or repeatedly kneeing someone in the groin, or repeatedly elbowing someone in the spine, etc., when they pull their hand out of your grip during cuffing, OR taking someone to the ground so you can put them in a closed guard while on a city street during business hours, etc., is not in line with this kind of thinking.).

2. An art form/practice that expects and demands prolonged and continuous exposure and exploration, such that such exposure and exploration hones the overall law enforcement officer according to traditional warrior virtues (e.g. integrity, courage, honesty, etc.).

Again, I don't care what you call it after you are able to fulfill the first element - just fulfill it. And then, after you fulfill the first element, make sure one's butt is capable of fulfilling the second element. Because if one cannot, again, it doesn't matter what you call the first element, since everyone else, including the criminal, is going to call it crap. (Note: the second element is the hard one to fulfill, which is why I think someone should be asking first, "How can I get my ass to train continuously and consistently over the length of my career?" before they ask, "What art is best for police work?")

This reminds me of an event that happened in one of my ARCON classes. I don't know, I guess I was not in the mood for the dabblers. So, I'm teaching, and this one officer asks me a what-if question, even before he learned the embryonic technique he needed to learn so that he could qualify, and my answer was this: "What if? Well, if a guy does that on you, you are going to get your ass kick, because you never train. Me? I'd do this (did it), and the guy would placed in cuffs without incident." Just another version of Ikeda's "my Aikido works" statement - sure comes in handy. :-)

d

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 10:08 PM
I became convinced early on the the salesmen who developed PPCT (Pressure Point Control Tactics) and all of the other three day wonder courses that are out there understood their client quite well.

Police Departments were begging for someone who could be an expert witness with a program (whether it worked or not) that (1) fell within the annual budget and (2) could absolve them from liability. There was little real concern over whether the stuff really worked.

One guy I hired at Frontsight was the former DT instrucxtor for LAPD and later San Bernadino SO. He came from a 3 generation Jujitsu family. And he had added Krav Maga to his teaching curriculum. His experience was similar to yours. Cops do not want to train.

In the early 1990's Hal von Luebbert developed the 21 Grip system for suppressing attacks. The system is pure Genius. Hal was a military tactics expert and applied "suppression" rather than "attrition" to police Defensive Tactics simply because suppression has a better combat efficiency value.. He was also interested in helping police find humanitarian ways of dealing with resistance. Hal was also an aau state wrestling and Judo champion, an Olympic judo coach with 3 national championships under his belt. He was also belted in Jodo and Aikido.

The system did not go far as it took about 3-5 weeks to train in for proficiency. I was given permission to post portions of Hal's system on U-tube. I hope to do it this week.

mriehle
01-16-2008, 10:23 AM
Okay, so I've been reading this thread with considerable interest.

First of all, I personally know someone who is a cop who has used his Aikido repeatedly and effectively in his job. His words were something to the effect that Aikido got him home to his family more than once over the years.

What prompted me to respond to the thread were the comments about cops not wanting to train and this acquaintance of mine.

What sets him apart is that he does train. So does his son. In fact, they often train together. Bottom line, he trains. So when he's faced with a problem, his Aikido works.

So, I guess I'm chiming in with agreement that the key to any art being effective is constant training.

Chris Parkerson
01-16-2008, 10:56 AM
I really cannot understand why so many police and Feds do not want to train in martial arts.

Feds get so many paid hours a week to exercise. I know so many of them that want to golf, play tennis or try to convince the training coordinator that Chess is an aerobic activity.

jennifer paige smith
01-16-2008, 11:06 AM
Not that I am even remotely qualified to state what O Sensei thought...

I tend to believe that he saw aikido as a transformative process, a base formed around the principles of aiki to achieve personal growth and fulfillment...peace, harmony, happiness.

He kept the principles that allowed us to walk the fine line, showing us alternatives to conflict...showing us that we have other choices and options other than to cause pain, damage and suffering.

I think we have enough problems with people understanding the purpose of aikido without those things thrown in there! If they were emphasized...it would only serve to further confuse!

What would be the point of teaching them. That said, just from studying the basic principles of aikido, I think i have pretty much figured out where to use those things in the places where they would belong!

Well Said.
Thanks

kironin
01-16-2008, 01:34 PM
In the early 1990's Hal von Luebbert developed the 21 Grip system for suppressing attacks. The system is pure Genius. Hal was a military tactics expert and applied "suppression" rather than "attrition" to police Defensive Tactics simply because suppression has a better combat efficiency value.. He was also interested in helping police find humanitarian ways of dealing with resistance. Hal was also an aau state wrestling and Judo champion, an Olympic judo coach with 3 national championships under his belt. He was also belted in Jodo and Aikido.

The system did not go far as it took about 3-5 weeks to train in for proficiency. I was given permission to post portions of Hal's system on U-tube. I hope to do it this week.

That would be interesting. I can't find any references to it other than this on the web. There are police that do train. Some have been in my classes and trained for months or years. Clearly, those that do have the inclination to train, something that takes only 3-5 weeks to train proficiency in is nothing in terms of time commitment.

Will Prusner
01-16-2008, 02:52 PM
This blurb can be found on the homepages of a couple of different aikido information websites. Usually listed under "Cool Facts".

"In a recent Florida court case, a man resisting arrest charged the officer involved for using excessive force when his wrist was broken during the application of an Aikido technique. The case reached the Florida State Supreme Court which ruled that the offender broke his own wrist by resisting the technique."

Although I'm having trouble finding any more precise documentation of this, it doesn't really seem to be "urban legend" territory.

Assuming that the events occurred as described, it seems to me that had the officer had an advanced level of aikido training, he would potentially have been capable of not only subduing the perpetrator but also of changing the technique so as not to allow the perpetrator to "break his own wrist". To me, this speaks of the possible dangers of having a working, yet limited knowledge of the art. In the case of LEO's, it seems safer for both parties, physically for the perp, and legally for the officer, to either train diligently and refine the techniques to as high possible level, or not to use them at all.

Chris Parkerson
01-16-2008, 03:28 PM
That would be interesting. I can't find any references to it other than this on the web

The marketing of Hal's system never really took off because it was too many hours and Hal was uncompromising.

There was a magazine put out by the American Deputy Sherrif's Association that featured his first seminar. I can upload photos of it. But I do not know how to do so on this site.

Reynard Jackson and Ashley Isaacs assisted at the seminar. Most of the R&D was done at Ashley's dojo in Corpus Christi.

One thing that makes Hal's system unique is that he decided to just use it in his competitions in Judo. (nothing else...no traditional Judo). he tested his kata with discipline and took it all the way to a national Championship. Now that is integrity testing. I know of no other person who has developed a DT system who can make such a claim.

Chris Parkerson
01-16-2008, 04:07 PM
Hey David,

My Police DT certifications expired back in the 1990's. Do they still teach the "Three Minute Rule"?

I.E. if a student (cop) cannot learn a technique within three minutes, throw it out... I read this rule in the introduction to the PPCT Instructor's Manual.

senshincenter
01-16-2008, 08:33 PM
Hey David,

My Police DT certifications expired back in the 1990's. Do they still teach the "Three Minute Rule"?

I.E. if a student (cop) cannot learn a technique within three minutes, throw it out... I read this rule in the introduction to the PPCT Instructor's Manual.

Hi Chris,

Nope - thank goodness. However, that mindset is still there - the idea that "natural" "easy" "quick to learn" movements are not only objectively possible but best.

The thing that always gets me is when you look at this kind of understanding from the reverse - such that moves that are natural, easy, and quick to learn are moves made for folks that are uncoordinated, prone to quitting anything that requires effort, and slow of mind and body. You know what I mean - how many of the folks that love "natural" "easy" "quick to learn moves" really think of themselves as physically, spiritually, and mentally challenged?

d

Chris Parkerson
01-16-2008, 09:34 PM
One of the finest Aikido men I have ever met was Mits Yamashita of Yoshinkan fame. His courage in calling helio Gracie's grappling, "Aikido on the ground". is obviously famous.

In law enforcement, I know allot of focus has been on training police to understand groundwork.

1) Are police getting into it?
2) Is there any work being done to include the hidden knife once the fight goes to the ground?
3) How is ground grappling and gun retention being delt with?

Kevin Leavitt
01-16-2008, 10:15 PM
Craig Hocker wrote:

That would be interesting. I can't find any references to it other than this on the web. There are police that do train. Some have been in my classes and trained for months or years. Clearly, those that do have the inclination to train, something that takes only 3-5 weeks to train proficiency in is nothing in terms of time commitment.

Mr Von Luebbert has a link on his page concerning judo (item #7), in which he discusses his "21 System".

Here is the link you will need to scroll down to item #7 to view it.

http://www.judoknighterrant.com/

senshincenter
01-17-2008, 02:08 AM
One of the finest Aikido men I have ever met was Mits Yamashita of Yoshinkan fame. His courage in calling helio Gracie's grappling, "Aikido on the ground". is obviously famous.

In law enforcement, I know allot of focus has been on training police to understand groundwork.

1) Are police getting into it?
2) Is there any work being done to include the hidden knife once the fight goes to the ground?
3) How is ground grappling and gun retention being delt with?

There is a venture now into groundwork, however, in my opinion, it's still very much in its beginning phases. Therefore, things like utilizing one's other weapons (e.g. knives) is not yet all it can be. Additionally, things like having knives or not is not yet universal - not everyone wears them, so it's hard to make a system around them. Moreover, those that wear knives wear them in their own personal places - often with little thought of how said place affects deployment. As for gun retention, I think things are even worse. The stuff I've seen is too akin to sport ground-fighting techniques - which doesn't really work all that well when one is wearing a waist full of weapons. For example, one technique asks to do a kimura against a gun take-away attempt. The technique probably works well in unarmed fighting, but on the job...? There's a lot of shortcomings to it. Personally, I'm working on developing some other ground-fighting options, options that are all geared toward getting back up and having full access to one's arsenal again. The efforts seem promising. I will try to post you two videos of this - try to film it this weekend and get up on the net as well, so you can see what I'm trying to talk about.

From the videos, we can talk more. You are asking some very good questions - thanks for raising them in the thread.

take care,
d

Chris Parkerson
01-17-2008, 07:24 AM
utilizing one's other weapons (e.g. knives) is not yet all it can be.

I always felt that the easiest response to a grab at my sidearm would be to draw my tactical folder and cut the aggressor's knuckles or forearm. Efficient, meets lethal force with less than lethal force, and has a high combat efficiency value. Would LE DT policy allow for that. I agree, most police love carrying the folders but have never really thought through policy and tactics.

As for gun retention, I think things are even worse. The stuff I've seen is too akin to sport ground-fighting techniques - which doesn't really work all that well when one is wearing a waist full of weapons.

Much has been said about how sport fighting ain't the street. Now we are learning that sport fighting definitely ain't the same as making an arrest under color of law and while toting a bag of intermediate weapons and communications equipment.

Personally, I'm working on developing some other ground-fighting options, options that are all geared toward getting back up and having full access to one's arsenal again.

That sounds smart. A tactical retreat from the grapple so that your real weapons, (1) authority that can bring extra officers and even a helicopter on the scene, (2) distance so that your sidearm can do the negotiating,
(3) your primary mission which is to command the overall incident until backup arrives.

That sounds like Aikido.

The efforts seem promising. I will try to post you two videos of this - try to film it this weekend and get up on the net as well, so you can see what I'm trying to talk about.

Michael Hackett
01-17-2008, 09:41 AM
The Gracies developed a law enforcement program called GRAPLE, Gracie Resisting Assault Procedures for Law Enforcement. Not a bad course of eight hours and concentrates a lot on weapons retention, gun and knife take-aways, and positioning suspects for cuffing. They also have a pretty slick practice to counter the "21 Foot Rule" type of attack. I personally don't enjoy the grappling much (although my son is a Gracie instructor and a cop as well), but I attended the course and thought it was pretty good. A couple of the weapons retention techniques looked pretty similar to katate kosa dori ikkyo and felt right at home for me. Worth looking at for LE instructors.

senshincenter
01-17-2008, 10:01 AM
Can you explain what they do for the 21 foot scenario. I'd really appreciate it.

please/thanks,
d

senshincenter
01-17-2008, 10:38 AM
In fact, my agency at least, has no policy whatsoever concerning knives. Many are like this though. However, I'm one of the lucky ones that has an agency that allows for a great deal of officer discretion when it comes to situations that might involve a weapon (any weapon) retention. If you are about to lose your firearm, and you pull your knife and use it, you are going to be within policy.

"A tactical retreat from the grapple so that your real weapons, (1) authority that can bring extra officers and even a helicopter on the scene, (2) distance so that your sidearm can do the negotiating,
(3) your primary mission which is to command the overall incident until backup arrives.

That sounds like Aikido."

Yes, that's what I'm thinking. :-) Again, I'll try and get this on video soon.

We have done a lot of stuff with angle of deviation, which allows us to interrupt the OODA loop of the attacker/suspect right from the beginning, within some basic attack/ambush scenarios (armed and unarmed). We have had positive results regarding the things you listed above (whether we are on the ground or standing) this way. Right now, we are looking to figure out how to bring this element and all its advantages to something like a knife deployment. We have managed to do this with other equipment on the duty belt - using one weapon to defend against the attempted taking of another. However, all of these weapons are better able to be drawn from the front or side of the body (which means we do not have to put our arms/hands behind us) without losing their level of retention (due to holster retention devices and designs). This is often not the case for knives. In fact, most folks I know wear their knives in a back pocket. This has one having to put his hands/arms behind him/her to get it - which is not a good thing, or even a possible thing, in fight/retention situation. Additionally, the weapon is only secured by a clip - which means it in itself has zero retention technology built in. We are looking to see what's possible and not possible from within our live training environments. My feeling, however, from the beginning, is that technology is going to have to step in (i.e. allowing for a quick deployment from a secured location). I know Emerson knives has worked on the quick deployment issue, but I've yet to see someone addressing the retention side of things. Right now, the way things stand, I am pretty sure I'm going make a lot of officers sorry they are wearing that knife in a pocket with just a clip to keep it on their person when we go to our live training environments. Additionally, I'm wondering if can really deploy that weapon under a barrage of energy and progress - such as one would experience in a gun retention situation. My feeling is no, or if I could, I'd rather deploy another weapon (e.g. taser to protect firearm, firearm to protect taser).

Below I've posted some stuff I've found on Youtube. One of them has a guy using the knife in a gun deployment situation. For me, in that video, and in the others, not enough movement. I just don't like the idea of standing still and expecting leverage or striking to work like when one is taking pictures for a manual. My experience is that that stuff never works and if there is something less than "never," I'd like to say that that stuff works even less when one is wearing a duty belt, trying to have authority that can bring extra officers and even a helicopter on the scene, allow for distance so that your sidearm can do the negotiating, and have it remain possible to complete your primary mission, which is to command the overall incident until backup arrives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw8lTV7laUk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcjJUz3DSZc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKMo537wFhw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsLStyynEVs

d

Michael Hackett
01-17-2008, 12:02 PM
Hi David,

First, I'll recap the "21 Foot Rule".....

If an individual is within 21 feet from the officer, even if the officer has his gun pointed at the suspect, the suspect can close the distance and stab or otherwise injure the officer before he can shoot and stop the attacker. This doctrine is taught much like a religion in basic police academies and is the basis for the concept of shooting center mass. The belief is that unless the officer manages a fatal, man-stopping shot, the suspect inside of 21 feet will still get him.

What the GRAPLE Course teaches is for the officer to fall backwards and extend his legs towards the suspect while firing his weapon. We've all seen a Gracie in the ring holding off an opponent with just this movement. Frankly I was sceptical until we practiced it a number of times. We were attacked by a couple of different assistant instructors who were real jocks, incredibly fit and very, very fast. They were armed with training knives and the students were armed with red guns. Using a modified Weaver stance, I was able to get off one shot before I was blitzed and repeatedly stabbed. A few folks didn't get off the first shot!

By using the GRAPLE technique, I received cuts or slashes to my legs most of the time, but was able to keep my attacker far enough away to prevent any attack to my groin, torso or head and I was able to "fire" multiple rounds into his torso at close range. Not an absolute prescription for self-defense, but a pretty good tool for officer survival.

As I said earlier, I don't like grappling and ground fighting as a sport or martial art, but this GRAPLE stuff is worth looking into. The weapons take-aways are very similar to what you'd see in Krav Maga and there is a strong Aikido flavor as well.

Hope this helps explain what they are teaching. Oh yeah, since you're in California, this is POST Certified too.

Chris Parkerson
01-17-2008, 03:00 PM
Dave,

I think I liked the second video the best.

A left side tactical folder (preferably an Emerson) trumps the grapple over the sidearm.

Regarding knife retention, a left side folder is probably "hiding in plain sight" as the perp is likely focussed on the known weapons like the sidearm, baton and mace.

The other videos were not that impressive. Run of the mill stuff.

I have seen some of GRAPPLE. I would rather not make the ground fight my primary defense to the 21 foot rule. It seems a good thing to train for when there is no other choice. I always felt falling to the weak side was best. I.E., it is harder for a gunman who is right handed to scan to his left. If you fall to his left, you get a 1/4 second advantage.

I liked to disturb police who had the traditional answer to the 21 foot rule knife attack by using an old Filipino tactic called "two to throw and one to go" As I closed the gap, I would draw and throw my right side blade, then my left side blade and finally close the gap with my right side alternate blade. The attack was so overwhelming that most guys froze.

But if we approach the principle of mai-i and apply it to this problem an answer emerges, Whatever comes at you has to pass this point. Just outside of that point is the time to move off line and continue shooting into center mass.

I doesnt matter if the thing coming at you is a flying knife or an arm with a knife in it. In the old videos on "surviving bladed weapons" the drill had the officers back peddling and moving off line so soon that the bad guy could track their movement and continue the attack. They did not train on an exact point in which to move off line. They had no idea how to set up a stance that was efficient in moving off line efficiently.

What do you think?

senshincenter
01-17-2008, 04:11 PM
First, I'll recap the "21 Foot Rule".....

If an individual is within 21 feet from the officer, even if the officer has his gun pointed at the suspect, the suspect can close the distance and stab or otherwise injure the officer before he can shoot and stop the attacker. This doctrine is taught much like a religion in basic police academies and is the basis for the concept of shooting center mass. The belief is that unless the officer manages a fatal, man-stopping shot, the suspect inside of 21 feet will still get him.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for sharing.

I'm sure you know this stuff, but I'm going to explain it so folks that don't know can chime in on the conversation/thread.

First, the 21 foot rule is a little different from what you described - this quote is from an article on the 21 foot rule:

"Originating from research by Salt Lake City trainer Dennis Tueller and popularized by the Street Survival Seminar and the seminal instructional video "Surviving Edged Weapons," the "rule" states that in the time it takes the average officer to recognize a threat, draw his sidearm and fire 2 rounds at center mass, an average subject charging at the officer with a knife or other cutting or stabbing weapon can cover a distance of 21 feet."

So, a little different... It's not about the officer already having his weapon out, nor about taking a single shot. The officer has to draw his weapons from the holster and take two shots aimed at center mass. This takes much longer - when things are moving at the speed of life - than having the weapon already out and taking one shot. The draw itself takes the most time - and nowadays takes longer (for the average cop) because of level III and IV retention holsters. I myself wear a level IV retention holster - a choice I made to carry since most officers, when shot, are shot with their own weapon. My draw is on average between 1 second and 1.5 seconds from the standstill. That's ample time for athletic folks to bridge a 21 foot gap - and my draw is fast for my hoster's retention level, according to national averages.

From your brief description of the GRAPLE option and strategy, I'm under the impression that they changed the scenario to account for the difficulty in drawing a duty sidearm from a retention holster when falling down to assume an open guard. With the weapon already out, you can kind of gloss over how difficult it actually is to draw while falling, or how long it is to wait to draw until you have fallen all the way to the ground, while you can at the same time appear to present an option to the 21 foot rule findings. Does that make sense? Let me try again: I think they tweaked the rule to make their tactic appear more viable than it is.

On the number of shots: The original two shots to center mass are part of the traditional understanding of how ineffective a pistol round truly is toward actually stopping a willful attacker. The idea is that these two FIRST shots are part of trio (potentially at least) - such that one is putting two shots in a place they are most likely to hit (the largest part of the body) so that a third shot can be placed on the head (i.e. medulla oblongata) - the kill shot.

Personally, I don't think cops should train to shoot a given number of times, or train to aim for different targets after a given number of shots. I think that tips the odds too much away from us when the crap is hitting the fan. My idea is this: Shoot the target as many times as it takes to neutralize your reason for shooting him/her, and put these shots in their most likely place of hitting the target. So, for example, in the 21 foot rule scenario, I would put as much steel on target - at the largest cross section that is shown to me - to have the knife wielder stop advancing toward me. If that means a whole magazine (14 rounds of .40 SW) in his/her torso - that's what it means. I'm not going to aim for a smaller target in that situation just because I shot twice. Moreover, shooting twice and hitting the center of mass twice is not the same thing, and it is very difficult to tell this difference in the middle of a gunfight. That said, training for two shots doesn't cut it for me - even more so for one. For that reason, I don't like the idea of standing still or of falling down (which doesn't really allow for a multitude of shots before you start getting cut - as I would expect the ineffectiveness of the handgun round in real-life and look to be able to shoot as many times as necessary (e.g. a lot). Additionally, if I am wanting to shoot a lot, I would not want to shoot multiple shots with my legs on the other side of the muzzle, with my legs moving frantically, and getting cut (legs have arteries too - right?), while I was quite immobile on the ground. I would imagine one is quite prone to shooting his/her own legs in that that kind of situation. And, let's not talk about multiple attackers and being on the ground in a lethal force situation...

Again, my opinion is that GRAPLE tweaked the 21 foot rule to make its options look more effective than they actually are. For me, knowing we cannot address all situations, even that we don't need to when we train consistently, I still want to address as many "Oh crap!" elements as possible (e.g. multiple attackers, my pistol rounds not acting like in the movies, etc.). So, no open guard for me. One thing, and I guess I'm being critical here - mostly because this is for real, with folks lives on the line, folks just trying to help society/culture/others - why would one opt to utilize a tactic (i.e. the open guard) when your own system has tons of moves for getting past said tactic (i.e. passing a guard)????! I don't get that, but I don't get why one charges $1000 per officer for the training. I train folks for free: three times a week at our dojo, at the Academy for instructors for 8 weeks, etc. - no cost. It's a public service, not a money making opportunity. Okay - enough bitching from me. Apologies.

Here's other stuff on the 21 foot rule - from the article:

Here's some relevant findings done by the Force Science Research Center out of U of Minn.:

Once he perceives a signal to do so, the AVERAGE officer requires 1.5 seconds to draw from a snapped Level II holster and fire one unsighted round at center mass. Add 1/4 of a second for firing a second round, and another 1/10 of a second for obtaining a flash sight picture for the average officer.

The fastest officer tested required 1.31 seconds to draw from a Level II holster and get off his first unsighted round.The slowest officer tested required 2.25 seconds.
For the average officer to draw and fire an unsighted round from a snapped Level III holster, which is becoming increasingly popular in LE because of its extra security features, takes 1.7 seconds.

Meanwhile, the AVERAGE suspect with an edged weapon raised in the traditional "ice-pick" position can go from a dead stop to level, unobstructed surface offering good traction in 1.5-1.7 seconds.

The "fastest, most skillful, most powerful" subject FSRC tested "easily" covered that distance in 1.27 seconds. Intense rage, high agitation and/or the influence of stimulants may even shorten that time, Lewinski observes.

Even the slowest subject "lumbered" through this distance in just 2.5 seconds.

Bottom line: Within a 21-foot perimeter, most officers dealing with most edged-weapon suspects are at a decided - perhaps fatal - disadvantage if the suspect launches a sudden charge intent on harming them."

Here's another relevant quote:

"Among other police instructors, John Delgado, retired training officer for the Miami-Dade (FL) PD, has extended the 21-Foot Rule to 30 feet. "Twenty-one feet doesn't really give many officers time to get their gun out and fire accurately," he says. "Higher-security holsters complicate the situation, for one thing. Some manufacturers recommend 3,000 pulls to develop proficiency with a holster. Most cops don't do that, so it takes them longer to get their gun out than what's ideal. Also shooting proficiency tends to deteriorate under stress. Their initial rounds may not even hit."

Another one:

""Experience informs us that people who are shot with a handgun do not fall down instantly nor does the energy of a handgun round stop their forward movement," states Chris Lawrence, team leader of DT training at the Ontario (Canada) Police College and an FSRC Technical Advisory Board member. Says Lewinski: "Certain arterial or spinal hits may drop an attacker instantly. But otherwise a wounded but committed suspect may have the capacity to continue on to the officer's location and complete his deadly intentions."

Another one:

"Relying on OC or a Taser for defeating a charging suspect is probably a serious mistake. Gary Klugiewicz, a leading edged-weapon instructor and a member of FSRC's National Advisory Board, points out that firing out Taser barbs may be an effective option in dealing with a threatening but STATIONARY subject. But depending on this force choice to stop a charging suspect could be disastrous.

With fast, on-rushing movement, "there's a real chance of not hitting the subject effectively and of not having sufficient time" for the electrical charge--or for a blast of OC--to take effect before he is on you, Klugiewicz says.

Lewinski agrees, adding: "A rapid charge at an officer is a common characteristic of someone high on chemicals or severely emotionally disturbed. More research is needed, but it appears that when a Taser isn't effective it is most often with these types of suspects."

Another one:

"The truth is that where edged-weapon attacks are concerned, "close-up confrontations are actually the norm," points out Sgt. Craig Stapp, a firearms trainer with the Tempe (AZ) P.D. and a member of FSRC's Technical Advisory Board. "A suspect who knows how to effectively deploy a knife can be extremely dangerous in these circumstances. Even those who are not highly trained can be deadly, given the close proximity of the contact, the injury knives are capable of, and the time it takes officers to process and react to an assault.

"At close distances, standing still and drawing are usually not the best tactics to employ and may not even be possible." At a distance of 10 feet, a subject is less than half a second away from making the first cut on an officer, Lewinski's research shows. Therefore, rather than relying on a holstered gun, officers must be trained in hands-on techniques to deflect or delay the use of the knife."

On these last two quotes: The 21 foot rule was more a kind of research investigation than it was an actual real-life analysis. In other words, statistically, way more physical confrontations, armed and unarmed, happen well within 21 feet. 21 feet is luxury most on the job encounters do not have. So, speaking of 30 feet, or more (as I have seen in other articles), is just not the way to go. For me, a tactic should be able to work from normal interviewing distances (three to five feet) for it to be considered viable. I'm not saying we should do the same exact thing from 21 feet and from 5 feet, but in principle they should be the same. Thus, if I need 30 feet to draw my weapon and put a charging suspect down (even assuming that can happen in two shots), then the principle is invalid because there's no way I can do that at 3-5 feet.

I got some stuff on tape today - I hope I can get it posted by Saturday. This should be enough for all folks to chime in on what is presented on the videos.

talk again later,
d

senshincenter
01-17-2008, 04:33 PM
C,

Yes, that's my experience too - too overwhelming for the average officer/person (i.e. the knife throwing, etc.).

My answer is the same: move first, draw on the move, keep moving, shoot at the largest cross section till the target ceases your reason for shooting him/her, perform a combat reload, regain any environmental awareness you may have lost from the battle, find your breath/center yourself, radio in your situation as is called for.

To answer your other questions, at further distances, we move early, because of the throwing knife, and/or any possible gunshots. We are going to be tracked if the attacker is coming in to striking/cutting range, but we want to move first in case we are dealing with ranged projectiles (e.g. moving targets are harder to hit) - with us assuming we will not know what all the attack entails. Moreover, if they attacker has no ranged projectiles and has tracked us as they approach, we just cut the different angle on the move (which is actually easier than cutting an angle from the standstill (think boxing).

When we use these principles from the interview stance, sure, we are cutting angles from a more stationary position, which in turns allows for less tracking from the attacker. Still the principle is the same: DO NOT DRAW FIRST. MOVE FIRST. Then one is able to pull out his/her weapons, take the shotS if necessary, and not be so open to out-of-the-holster-retention problems.

that's what i'm thinking, :-)
d

Michael Hackett
01-17-2008, 05:45 PM
David,

I don't disagree with you at all. My original training was what you described, and that was with the standard Border Patrol inside thumb break holster. I started carrying a Bianchi breakfront holster before they came on the market on a beta test for the original designer and it was slower yet, but much more secure. At that point we were taught that you couldn't draw and fire before the suspect could close the distance.

Subsequently the view started to change and testing back at the FBI National Academy found that even with the weapon drawn, most couldn't fire quickly enough to get a round to center mass, hence my description.

As you mentioned, only in the movies does the suspect fly backwards, regardless of the weapon. Shotgun and rifle rounds may drop the individual vertically, but most likely he will continue moving forward. Obviously a round that interrupts the CNS may stop an individual instantly. The Miami FBI shoot-out is a great case in point. I don't remember the number of rounds fired at this point, but both of the suspects had sustained multiple mortal wounds in the first few seconds and still managed to kill two agents while walking around the cars at the scene. Even as badly wounded as they were, they also wounded several other agents as well. They didn't succumb to their wounds until a wounded agent shot them in the head at almost point blank range.

The "one to the head, two the heart" technique is largely a military practice for room clearing with sub-machine guns or rifles and has very little application in civil police work. As you suggest, it is better to keep shooting until the bad guy stops doing what caused you to shoot him in the first place. Unfortunately, the general public often has problems with the number of rounds fired, at least in the media. Roy Rogers could always shoot the bad guy's gun out of his hand, couldn't he?

Back on track with GRAPLE.....not a bad addition to the tool box, but it isn't the solution either - nothing is a complete answer. Chemical agents, electrical discharge systems, batons, and firearms all have their purpose. No form of MA related skills work all of the time either. Thankfully all of these things work most of the time and common sense, a survivor's mindset, and reasonable physical condition are the best tools available.

Just keep trainin' e'm David. Its a tough job sometimes.

Chris Parkerson
01-17-2008, 06:33 PM
It is great listening to you guys talk. I guess even Sykes and fairbairn would say at this point that that there really is nothing new under the sun for those who developed themselves beyond the basic training.... only more data to prove what the real pro's discovered by necessity..

At a distance of 10 feet, a subject is less than half a second away from making the first cut on an officer, Lewinski's research shows. Therefore, rather than relying on a holstered gun, officers must be trained in hands-on techniques to deflect or delay the use of the knife."

In the video "Surviving Edged Weapons", Danny Inosanto charges the unwitting officer and knocks him on his ass in a linear assault, cutting him in the process.

In Explosive Aikijujitsu, Bernie Lau shows a similar scenario where he takes a circular retreat while presenting his weapon from the holster. To be sure, it is an unsecure snap-type holster. Not a system 3 or 4. And, if I remember correctly, he moves at an arch, telegraphing to his opponent so that he is easily tracked.

If you did not view this clip of my 10 year old training partner moving at angles from mai i, check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0wjWE74c38

He learned this within three weeks. I know that is more than what you are given to teach a skill set. I also understand that you have to teach to the lowest common denominator when training groups of police. But this kid can handle knife attack, keep his center, stay off line and present a weapon... not to mention locate and use barriers in the process.

Kevin Leavitt
01-17-2008, 07:07 PM
I have never been taught "one to the head two to the heart" in the military, nor have I ever taught that myself. It is "center of mass". Maybe that is a particular school of thought, or an individual opinion, but not anything I have ever experienced. Head shots are hard to index on the move and not very good targets.

Machine guns are area based weapons, designed to mass firepower. Not that you do not take aimed shots, but they are wider area effects weapons.

In many instances today, Military is dealing with the similiar ROE as civilian police when clearing buildings and rooms. Not that I am an expert by any stretch of the imagination of civilian police tactics or ROE, but we do have to consider "friend and foe" and target discrimination is important.

Michael Hackett
01-17-2008, 07:23 PM
Kevin,

I bow to your current training. Mine in the military is dated to be sure. My 782 gear was leather and my rifle was a muzzle loader! What the troops are dealing with today in terms of rules of engagement are far more similar to civil law enforcement today than what used to be the military years ago.

Kevin Leavitt
01-17-2008, 07:32 PM
lol....yes there has been a HUGE amount of changes in the past several years especially.

I shudder to think what we were teaching back in 1999, it was rudimentary compared to today!

I had the privilege last year to be the S3, Chief of Training for the Joint Mulitnational Readiness Center in Germany

http://www.jmrc.hqjmtc.army.mil/JMRC/index.htm

We were (are) adapting and changing on the fly as we learned lessons and were able to deal with a complex battlefield!

Back in the 1990s we would clear buildings with a frag grenade, HC Smoke, and a SAW going into the room! ...yeah....not so much these days!

When I left, I was trying to get Blauer suits intergrated with our simunitions to allow our OPFOR to do the 21 Feet Scenarios under live conditions.

Today, ordinary soldiers are doing what was in the prevue of Ranger Battalions and SF. Lots has changed!

Chris Parkerson
01-17-2008, 08:51 PM
I am not military trained though allot of the guys I work with are from the specops community.

As a bodyguard, I train two methods of shooting. Single shots at multiple targets with a .270 degree range.

and the old "Mozambique Technique". Two to the chest and one to the head - (as a coup de grace in case the guy has a vest on).

All my shooting is performed at close range. Fifteen feet or less. Often in formation with a cover and evacuate drill.

I tend to triangulate on the two center mass shots and forego the front sight. I get them off quite fast. Then I take about 1/2 second to aim for the ocular cavity.

I think my study of Aiki assists in this drill as I am not worried about getting the shots out. I simply "will" them into the right spots on the target, with posture, bone alignment, and intent.

Kevin Leavitt
01-17-2008, 09:44 PM
yea, the Mozambique Drill, I think it applies more as a pistol technique than it does for a rifle. Hence the difference in TTPs.

senshincenter
01-17-2008, 10:03 PM
Yes, I agree - as much as you can have in your bag, the better. One doesn't have to use everything. When I'm critical, I'm critical from a theoretical point of view. I'm appreciative of anyone training on a regular basis - no matter what it is.

So, back to theoretical issues...

Here's the video - got it filmed and up today.

It's all on one tape - sorry for the long load times. This was easier for me. Apologies.

Before I say anything, let me say we go through many repetitive and redundant safety procedures that guarantee that there is not only no ammo in our weapons but no ammo in the entire building. I do not advocate this type of training but under some very set-in-stone protocols regarding the danger of training with actual firearms. We, our group, rather be bothered to hell by long safety procedures that we have to repeat over and over through the training , as long as we get to point our duty weapon at a human target and practice pulling the trigger under conditions that call for such responses. That's the choice we make. It's not for everyone - but it is for us.

Additionally, let me say that this type of training is principle-based - not scenario based. That is to say, we are purposefully ambiguous regarding the descriptions under which we are performing a given tactic. If we end up discussing such things as scenario, we do it off the mat, in a group of our peers, while sharing incidents and using multimedia to setup our contexts. When we do that, we still look not to say what is impossible or possible regarding scenarios but rather to develop familiarity and consistency regarding our actions and our reasons for them.

Now the video: In the first section, I have us demonstrating the the 21 foot rule experiment. Again, my take is that pistol rounds do not stop an attacker from moving forward. Additionally, my position holds that it is more likely that you will NOT see your shots hit than you will. That said, in my mind, I'm looking at a situation where it is likely my shots will not stop the forward progress of an attacker. This in turn means, because I cannot see the shots hit their mark, my attacker will respond the same way whether they are hit or not by my rounds. This means I won't know what's what and therefore should train for not knowing what's what.

Note: For some reference... It should be said that Michael is using a level III holster and mine is a level IV.

In the next section, you see part of what we are thinking. We use angles and movement - basic Aikido stuff: using spirals and circles against more linear shapes. We look to move off the line first before we draw, as this forces the attacker to lose his/her initiative, as they now have to react to our movement, vs. us just waiting there for them. When we move, we are looking to put the attacker to our rear on a spiral. This has them appearing close to us from a third point of view - the way roller coasters might appear close to each other when the go by side-by-side. But like that, the cars are actually quite far from each other because they are one behind the other, not one side by side with the other. I've done some slow motions captures of this moment in the video. This is what allows very small movements to make for big misses on the part of the knife-wielder. Additionally, by putting them to the rear, we create distance for us to use our weapons without raising retention issues, and without us being open to other weapons (from man-made to god-man) the attacker might have (each type being diminished according to their advantages - to differing degrees). We are always going to assume an attacking suspect is armed, and armed with more than we see - so this is important to us. The obvious point of this drill is to show that with this tactic, 21 feet is plenty of space to draw down on a knife wielding suspect.

In the third section, we try and put our money where our mouth is: If we don't need so much distance with this tactic, can we do it from normal interviewing distances? Our answer is yes. We get our "yes" by combining Aikido angle of deviations with it's angles of deflections. When we do this, again, we are looking to bring our superior weapon to bear without raising retention issues or exposing us to other weapons the suspect has (e.g. fists, kicks, guns, knives, takedowns). Additionally, we look to combine angle of deflection and angle of deviation to generate an angle of disturbance in the suspect. This in turn makes them reactionary (i.e. lose the initiative).

Note: We do not know what attack the suspect is coming with when they attack with the knife.

In next section, I'm demonstrating two of our gun retention techniques. Here, we are again looking to generate the same things: use movement first to put the attacker behind you on a spiral, combine angle of deviation and angle of deflection to generate an angle of disturbance in the attacker, create distance to bring your superior weapon to bear without raising retention issues and without opening you up to more attacks from more weapons. We are doing these two techniques from a homolateral attack and a cross-lateral attack.

In the next section, you see the gun retention technique I mentioned earlier - the one from the ground. I'm sorry, but we forgot to film the Kimura (standard) version that I rejected as impractical. You only get our version. Here, again, same principle: use movement first, etc., etc...

In the last section, we have the same principles but we are opting to use the yang versions. Same thing: move first, angle of deviation/deflection, create distance, draw weapon, etc....

A final note: In our opinion, one only has to resort to these tactics because one screwed up big-time some place else - such as in talking with the suspect, control the space of the engagement, deploying one's partners, etc. A whole lot of stuff has to go wrong for these kinds of things to come to fruition. But, we still feel it's important to train in them - because of the irreversibility of things when these types of mistakes might happen.

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/arcondemo1.html

Chris Parkerson
01-18-2008, 10:07 AM
Dave,

I could not view this on my computer.

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/arcondemo1.html

reason; unknown.

kironin
01-18-2008, 10:42 AM
I just watched it on my computer. It's quicktime video.

Interesting, the first part looked exactly like the practice we do for the cross grab shihonage we do when uke is charging at you full speed from a distance, and watching it had the same feeling of the timing.

great stuff.

senshincenter
01-18-2008, 10:47 AM
Dave,

I could not view this on my computer.

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/arcondemo1.html

reason; unknown.

Chris,

I just pretend I know what I'm doing with computers. I'm afraid I have no idea why it's not viewable. Let me ask though: Are the other videos on our site viewable to you? I'm asking because I put this last one up exactly like those. If those work, then this last one should work (I'm guessing). The only difference might be the size of the file - which might make it hard to view under certain conditions. Or, I might ask: Do you have Quicktime on your computer? If not, you can download it for free from the Quicktime site. You might want to try that.

talk soon,
d

Michael Hackett
01-18-2008, 12:07 PM
David,

Great website! I couldn't view the clip either, but will try the download of Quicktime and see what happens.

If you ever run into Sergeant Win Smith of UCSB PD, give him my regards. Win used to work for me when I was the contract Chief at Calipatria.

senshincenter
01-18-2008, 04:33 PM
hi Mike,

Were you able to view the other videos on the site? Wondering if it's just the ARCON video that is not working...?

I think Win Smith is a deputy now with our agency - SBSO. I'll be sure to pass him the well wishes if I run in to him. :-)

take care,
d

TeleRock
01-18-2008, 11:53 PM
The video is definitely viewable in both Firefox and Internet Explorer, but will require Quicktime to be installed.

The video is excellent and the discourse in this thread is fantastic. Keep it up guys.

Ps. Were the babies there to add a sense of realism to your training? hehe. It actually kinda freaked me out when the little one is so close to you guys while you are twirling around . . . glad nobody got hurt.

senshincenter
01-19-2008, 12:42 AM
Yeah, I realize that is a bit odd from what most folks do. I had second thoughts about showing that to the world, actually. But, we all are family folks, and we don't use the dojo as a man-cave, a place to escape from the world. Does that make sense? This is a very important aspect of our dojo. Our children, our parenthood, is a part of our warrior code - something we want to share with them, something we want for them. They are all in the dojo - it's crowded with them, every time we train. It's always been like that - always will be. Additionally, we take advantage of the awareness issues they raise, such that we can work hard with them on the mat, etc. These are the things we are trying to have and to gain. It's different, but it works for us.

d

Marc Abrams
01-19-2008, 08:42 AM
David:

I love what you said about having children in the dojo! When I ran a school in Connecticut, my youngest child was just an infant. My wife and I brought him to class and he would watch from his car seat. If he would cry, my wife would feed him, or I would even hold him while helping students practice technique.

13 years later, he is preparing for his nidan in Shodokan Karate under Takahashi Sensei, 8th dan, and has been an Aikido student under me since I have opened my school one year ago.

Budo is about protecting our family and our community. Having them in that environment is a powerful reminder of why we do what we do. It also provided continuity into the next generation.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

senshincenter
01-19-2008, 09:46 PM
Okay - I ventured way out of my comfort zone concerning computers and actually got the video posted on Youtube. The quality is much less than that on my site, so some of the detail is not visible, but the points, I think, can still be viewed enough for continuing this discussion.

Go Here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeqjlN24Hns

d

Michael Hackett
01-20-2008, 01:28 AM
David,

Query, did you feel more comfortable when you circled to your right? It seemed as if you had considerable more time when you did, as opposed to moving left or reversing direction from right to left.

The irimi movement at the end of the demo looked pretty effective too.

Good stuff, thanks for sharing.

Peter Ralls
01-20-2008, 04:32 AM
David

That's some very good training demonstrated there. I think what you are presenting is a good example of how you can take aikido principles and by training them in realistic scenario based exercises with committed high energy attacks, you end up developing skills that are very effective in real world self defense. Nice stuff!

Chris Parkerson
01-20-2008, 01:44 PM
David,

Excellent training runs. That's the way it should be done.

If I may make a couple of observations...

There was some concern earlier regarding my comment about breaking right (or left) at mai i. Tori is breaking at Mai i in some of the instances. In others, Tori broke at mai i times 2. The way tori did this was to break right as soon as uke posts his left foot during the run. Break left when Uke posts his right foot during the run.

The times Tori got in trouble were when the above timing was off. thus, he was able to be tracked and had to go into a run while shooting backwards.

Regarding the ground fight, as you said, that is a cutting edge workshop. I ran into several LE trainers who attended Frontsight seminars. We had many discussions regarding the subject.

The man I hired to do the majority of the edged weapons stuff (including groundwork) was Felix Valencia. He was danny Inosanto's bulldog in the 1980's. He is a Filipino artist who learned Hawaiian Lua, Silat, and was on the Thai boxing curcuit in Asia. His understanding of ground fighting with a knife was exquisite.

He was given sokeship of the Lameco system a few years ago. His website is: http://www.valencialameco.com/index.html
He teaches police and military seminars worldwide. You may enjoy his perspective. I may have a chance to upload some of his system on u-tube.

Finally, I think few folks are studying Traditional Daito finishes (rather than Aikido finishes) and modifying them for cuffing procedures. The Turkish website below eloquently displays some of what I am talking about. Food for thought...
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=sobukaidojo

Perhaps sometime I can come by and watch a session first hand. I suspect I will learn allot.

Chris Parkerson
01-20-2008, 02:03 PM
Dave,

A final observation if you will suffer me a while longer...

In the section where attacks are made "at arm's length", I think you and I both agree that the "Ractionary Gap" is just not great enough for a truly efficient "circular retreat", "present weapon from system 3/4 holster" and point" in tactic.

This scenario is what bodyguards train the most. Up close and at arm's reach. we are not protected under "color of law" but the system works well for us.... even better for you.

You enter at the first sense of aggression rather than wait to see what the citizen has taken out of his pocket.

The "lead hand" (support hand) is placed in the crook of the citizen's shoulder (between the deltoid and pectoral - Lung point 1 in acupuncture). We used to call this a "stop hit". I would use this immediately once I even felt an aggressive raising of the arm during a field interview situation. I do not care if he was just presenting his driver's license to me. If it is aggressive, I stop the action.

If I sense that there is more aggression while executing this countermeasure, I would place my weapon hand on his opposite shoulder and my weapon side foot behind the back of this knee. By turning him in a clockwise direction, he is literally screwed into the ground ending up with a spinal lock and his dangerous hand trapped by your weapon hand and in view for your inspection.

If it is a driver's license he was presenting... no injury - no fowl.
If it is a weapon, he gets dumped hard on his tailbone, his arm ends up in an upward ude garami. The weapon is either stripped or his shoulder is displaced. Chokes are great from this position as well. And your partner can flank him in a manner that you are not in the line of fire.

senshincenter
01-21-2008, 12:30 AM
David,

Query, did you feel more comfortable when you circled to your right? It seemed as if you had considerable more time when you did, as opposed to moving left or reversing direction from right to left.

The irimi movement at the end of the demo looked pretty effective too.

Good stuff, thanks for sharing.

M,

I don't think I have a side I tend to go with. It is more a matter of what the attacker is providing, plus some environmental conditions that existed at the time - not to mentioned how smooth my draw may have been (for whatever reason - it's almost never the same). So, sometimes the attacker, let's say, looks to head me off, and should I continue, he won't be on the spiral. That might be one reason why I change direction. Or, let's say some of the kids are on the mat - noting there were two more on the mat than visible on camera. Hence, another change in direction. So, I have to adapt - not picking a favorite thing to do, etc. I can't say that's always the case for my attackers. They often have a strategy they go with and they attempt to play that over and over again - hence, why some of the things I end up doing look similar time and time again.

That said, the only other constant principle I have, other than the ones already mentioned, is that I want to be just out of the range of the attacker - or, I want to be as close as I can get to make my shots more sure of hitting their target, at the same time that I'm not exposing myself to all the other issues that come with having my weapon out and being close. This is more important when I'm having to shoot one-handed and while on the move. Shot percentages go way down when you have to do that - as you know. But, if I'm making a shot from about one or two feet away, aiming at the broadside of my attacker, I'm going to do pretty okay. :-) (A good thing when having to shoot a weapon in public - too.)

Additionally, another thing I do as a constant - but is more technical - is that if I go to my support side I shoot one-handed. If I go to my primary side, I shoot two-handed (at least a bit sooner). Another technical thing I try and maintain is that I don't move to the rear - only facing forward. This is to prevent tripping and to increase my ability to adjust my speed, to keep me in the proper range for this kind of high-stress shooting.

In terms of strategy, I never want to get too far away from the idea that a cop is a weapons-man - a gunfighter. I am not against empty-handed fighting, but I think cops should be gunfighters first and last. If I use my hands, it's only because I had too, and I only had to in order to get to my firearm: a gunfighter. So I don't like to stand there toe-to-toe and try some hand-to-hand technique in order to settle the situation, at least not in these life-or-death environments. Getting an arrest may be a different story - at least tactically (not strategically) - but this situation of experimenting with the 21 foot rule is not about affecting an arrest, they are about surviving and going home. They are self-defense, when weapons are involved. In these kinds of situations, my experience suggests that folks that stay and fight with empty hands - used differently than was demonstrated - folks that try techniques like you see time and time again in the video links I posted, well, these are folks that get ran over, overwhelmed, tied up, caught in retention issues, taken to ground (where their belt and vest - the gunfighter's tools - become more obstacle than benefit) BUT FOR WHEN they are not really in a life-or-death situation. Once you stick in more adversaries and more weapons - the point becomes obvious, for me at least. But, I feel it should be obvious already. okay - I'm rambling - and I got my next shift to get too. Talk more on Wednesday - will reply to all the comments then.

good night,
d

Kevin Leavitt
01-21-2008, 07:05 AM
David Valadez wrote:

In terms of strategy, I never want to get too far away from the idea that a cop is a weapons-man - a gunfighter. I am not against empty-handed fighting, but I think cops should be gunfighters first and last. If I use my hands, it's only because I had too, and I only had to in order to get to my firearm: a gunfighter. So I don't like to stand there toe-to-toe and try some hand-to-hand technique in order to settle the situation, at least not in these life-or-death environments. Getting an arrest may be a different story

I think this is a very important thing to point out. The SITUATION, CONTEXT, and TOOLS, dictate the response. Thanks for all your info, knowledge, and wisdom.

senshincenter
01-21-2008, 08:54 PM
David

That's some very good training demonstrated there. I think what you are presenting is a good example of how you can take aikido principles and by training them in realistic scenario based exercises with committed high energy attacks, you end up developing skills that are very effective in real world self defense. Nice stuff!

Peter,

This is pretty much in line with my own thinking: "you can take aikido principles and by training them in realistic scenario based exercises with committed high energy attacks, you end up developing skills that are very effective in real world self defense." For me, it just makes no sense to see Aikido training in any other way. I'm not saying this because I am looking for an "evolution" of the art. Nor am I looking for a "modern" application of the art. For me, the art is principle-based in terms of its training. It is therefore principle-based in terms of its application. AND, if those principles are universal - as Osensei says they are (and I agree) - then one is supposed to be able to apply Aikido principle in everything, all the time, for forever.

The point of training then is to apply principle, not ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, irimi nage, etc. Sure, you might apply these technique, but that is simply the tactical coincidence of a multitude of situational elements that can occur because these techniques can be used to carry principles (like a vessel carries a liquid) to the student of the art. In other words, it's not really a matter of Aikido technique being effective, for this or that, for police work, it's if one's understanding of the art allows for one to move beyond it's pedagogical idealizations (techniques, its prescribed attacks, etc.) or not. This is a vital point to understand, BECAUSE idealizations are only idealizations because they are NOT universals. That means, at a profound philosophical level, techniques like shomenuchi irimi nage CANNOT possibly be Aikido.

For me, every time I hear someone ask or state something on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of Aikido, they are always talking about technique or training methods. This is a very limited understanding of the art - in my opinion. It's similar to mistaking the map for the territory. Now, of course, most dojo, at least all the ones I have ever been to, go ahead and tell their practitioners, either directly or indirectly ("Do this and only this if you want to get good at Aikido" or "Don't do that if you want to be good at Aikido"), or by way of negative or positive statements (e.g. "Aikido is not about fighting," "Aikido techniques do to work in a fight."), that technique and training method is all there is, all that counts, etc. - that they should all be very satisfied with the map. So what is someone to do? Because that is one uphill battle - one a person wages with him/herself, or not at all.

I'll get to the other replies as soon as I can - please forgive.
d

Chris Parkerson
01-22-2008, 12:51 PM
Great post Dave on principles versus techniques.

Kata embodies techniques. Techniques embodies principles.

Principles are the core of the art, techniqes are its shell.

To be aikidoka is not only in how well you demonstrate technique but in how throroughly you have embodied the principles in every aspect of your life. As the nacrocosm evolves, so you can see iit n each microcosm.

George S. Ledyard
01-22-2008, 08:21 PM
Great post Dave on principles versus techniques.

Kata embodies techniques. Techniques embodies principles.

Principles are the core of the art, techniqes are its shell.



Hi Chris,
I would be inclined to phrase this differently...

Kata embodies principle. People who don't understand Kata training, the folks who advocate sparring as the only way to develop proper skills for instance, are apt to look at Kata as sterile forms. But if you look at classical kata, they are specifically designed to embody certain principles. Once the practitioner has mastered the principle in that kata, he moves on to other kata which embody other principles or perhaps expand upon the ones done earlier.

At a certain point the practitioner has internalized the principles and the Kata begin to shift. In other words, the kata are not memorized sequences of movements but rather a series of movements embodying various principles. When the principles have been mastered, the practitioner is able to apply the principles generally, allowing his technique to develop out of principle.

Technique, if it is more than just a simple motor skill, is a spontaneous expression of principle. It is created in the instant when principle manifests in an actual encounter.

So principle exists, we use Kata (Forms) to align ourselves with principle, then as we move through the world, this internalized principle manifests as technique.

Now many people do kata, for instance Saotome Sensei has 12 Kumitachi (paired sword forms) which the folks at Nidan need to demonstrate. My experience has been that most folks merely memorize the moves and go through them with a partner without any understanding of the underlying principles.

The result is movements which mimic technique but are not because they are devoid of principle. No one teaches what the underlying principles are and people are generally too unmotivated to discover them for themselves. So in the end there really is no Kata in the true sense because the forms are devoid of principle. Endless repetition of these forms will never yield "technique" merely hollow movement which cannot actually be applied. No amount of mere repetition will yield understanding of the principles at work. One must take each movement of each form and analyze it, look at its variations within the structure of he form to discover the principles governing the movement. Then put the movements into the whole again and look at their relationship, once again investigating the possible variations.

In the koryu with their forms that have been handed down over centuries the forms themselves embody these principles. If one does the forms with an experienced senior partner or teacher, he or she takes the "losing" role and guides the practitioner through the form in such a way that eventually the principles embodied in the form become internalized, often without overt discussion of those principles. They are simply in the form.

But Aikido has no Kata of this type. All of our Kata were made up by our teachers. These are not 500 year old Kata but rather forms created in our lifetimes. Oft times these forms were created to give some structure to what otherwise had none, namely the Founder's sword technique which he never taught systematically. So you have a sort of backwards process taking place whereby certain teachers looked at the techniques O-Sensei did and then tried to construct forms which contained them. Some, like Nishio Sensei, specifically created weapons forms that directly related to empty hand movement. Others, like Saito Sensei adapted whole forms he had done with the Founder that derived from O-Sensei's exposure to classical ryu ha. However, these forms cannot be seen as identical to the classical forms because they are taken out of context and the underlying principles operating are different even though the outer forms are similar.

My point is, that with the sword forms of Aikido, regardless of which teacher's, there is no essential benefit to merely repeating the forms over and over, which is what most people do. The Kata are merely a tool for giving some structure to your training, they have no inherent value in and of themselves. People need to use them to discover principle for themselves. The forms can be changed based on your understanding; in fact I don't think you should be doing them the same at 6th Dan as you were at Shodan. Use the Kata to discover Principle; Principle will then yield technique.

The same thing applies to empty hand but it's harder to see because the practice in Aikido empty hand is less structured than it is with the weapons work. I have actually heard people say that Aikido has no Kata, revealing that they don't understand that our basic training format is all about Kata. However, most folks have trouble with the flexible Form Aikido empty hand takes and attempt to focus on technique rather than principle.

This is one of the main problems with how we train. We are supposed to be discovering the principles of aiki by way of our training. Yet the structure of most classes is anything but aiki. The teacher demonstrates a technique, usually a specific variation of that technique. While the teacher might have been skilled enough for this technique to be executed according to aiki principles, the students are expected to reproduce that technique exactly as the teacher just did it. So they immediately begin to manhandle their partners to look like the outer form of the technique regardless of whether their partner had given them the type of attack, with the proper energy to make that technique the one that flows naturally from the attack. In other words, quite often the uke is giving his partner quite a different energy from what the teacher's partner had given him, but if the student responds by making the adjustment that would naturally flow, he is corrected.

If we are to develop any real skill in aiki we need to be allowed to let the technique become what it needs to, not what we "want" it to. If the teacher wants to teach a very specific principle, then an exercise should be designed which would very narrowly focus on that principle. Often, when I see a student do something different from the way I showed the technique. before I correct them, i do the technique on their partner. Often I discover that the partner is doing something which makes a variation the proper version. Aiki is about connection and letting the energy go where it needs to go based on how you have come together. Either you structure the Form in a way that is very specifically designed to teach a particular principle, such as the forms used in Daito Ryu, or you encourage the students to develop an understanding of principle through "feeling" what the technique needs to be. Years of grabbing and manipulating your partner to make his form conform to the form of the teacher's partner will not yield an understanding of aiki. I know this because that's the way I trained and it didn't yield any understanding of what my teacher was doing. Actually, quite the opposite. I could have kept training for decades the way I was training and I wouldn't have figured it out.

In a given Aikido technique there are many principles functioning simultaneously. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to discover them merely through endless repetitions of waza. When the class is doing waza, there should be the flexibility to allow variation of the technique to occur as the uke changes how he attacks. If the teacher wishes to teach a particular technique in a particular manner, he or she must instruct the ukes how to deliver the type of attack which naturally leads to that technique. Otherwise you have a mat full of people getting all sorts of different variations of an attack and trying to come up with exactly the same result. That is fundamentally not the way to develop aiki skills.

I think we put way too much attention on technique with no understanding of principle. It should be the opposite. We should focus on developing an understanding of principle and then and only then start layering in technical manifestations of those techniques. I think this approach could shorten the learning curve by decades, literally.

Chris Parkerson
01-22-2008, 09:32 PM
I believe I fully understand your position.
my use of the words kata and technique came more from pugilism, I.e. Traditions that focus less on the connection between two centers. Kata being a string of techniques.

Renshi Clodig teaches few techniques and teaches them quite slowly so that you fully understand the principles involved. When tested, you must be able to perform under any conditions( no matter what form of energy is given to you).

It doesn't take studying many techniques before you evolve beyond technique. In the videos where I irimi while I take a punch to the jaw and where I smother a boxer's flurry, I envisioned no specific ending or technique. In the third video, my uke moved faster than I was talking and I had to move quite instinctively. In one instance I threw him with my chin. The principles make the technique happen. Often you can barely name the waza according by a traditional name, only by the principles you applied to topple uke.

George S. Ledyard
01-22-2008, 09:59 PM
I believe I fully understand your position.
my use of the words kata and technique came more from pugilism, I.e. Traditions that focus less on the connection between two centers. Kata being a string of techniques.

Renshi Clodig teaches few techniques and teaches them quite slowly so that you fully understand the principles involved. When tested, you must be able to perform under any conditions( no matter what form of energy is given to you).

It doesn't take studying many techniques before you evolve beyond technique. In the videos where I irimi while I take a punch to the jaw and where I smother a boxer's flurry, I envisioned no specific ending or technique. In the third video, my uke moved faster than I was talking and I had to move quite instinctively. In one instance I threw him with my chin. The principles make the technique happen. Often you can barely name the waza according by a traditional name, only by the principles you applied to topple uke.

Actually, Angier Sensei was one of the people I credit with changing my perception of proper training. He would take a very simple movement, not a whole technique, but just the crucial element and do that slowly until you felt it in your body. The level of relaxation he exhibits is phenomenal. We once spent one day and a half at a seminar in which we did one simple movement. At the end of that time, the only ones who were still with him, not sitting around talking or messing about with other stuff, were the three Aikido guys, which I thought was funny... where else are you going to find folks who think that how you turn your wrist over when grabbed is interesting enough to spend almost two days doing it?

Anyway, it really struck me how he wouldn't go on to something more complex until you had the component piece correct. There's simply no point. I think we could learn a lot from that. If we spent quite a bit more time at the beginning of our training developing a sense of how correct technique should actually feel, precisely what your body is doing when executing technique, practice of waza would be far more productive. We spend years repeating technique wrong and then have to re-program ourselves when we finally figure it out.

Anyway, I have never met Clodig Sensei but Don Angier is one of the very finest martial artists I have ever seen. The first time I trained with him back in the 80's was when I first realized that an American Caucasian could actually be every bit as good as the best of the Japanese teachers. I had never seen anyone functioning at that level and it inspired me. I wish more people could have the chance to feel what that level of skill is like... and then realize that it can be explained and taught in a systematic fashion.

senshincenter
01-22-2008, 10:08 PM
I think I understand what you are saying regarding a reaction gap. From that point of view, I would say you are absolutely right. That kind of distance, when combined with that type of exact tactic, is probably going to be pretty problematic. However, here is the totality of my thinking on the topic.

First, let me say again that we are training in terms of principle. By that I mean that we are not looking to do or wanting to say, “When this, then that.” I.E. This is not scenario training. Additionally, I’d like to again point out that an officer that got him/herself in this kind of situation already made a heck of a lot of other mistakes. For example, the lack of a use of backup, not placing the subject in a position of disadvantage when interviewing, not doing a visual search on a person that his primary hand down and back behind him, etc. So, this, for me, makes it clear we are not training in a scenario aimed at developing a specific technique (When A, do B), because no one should want to even be in such a situation (ie. everyone should be training to not get in this kind of situation in the first place.). Additionally, it is much easier to not get in this kind of situation (in terms of action and in terms of learning how not to get in this kind of situation) than it is to get out of this situation (in terms of action and in terms of learning how to get out of this kind of situation.

What are we doing then? In essence, we are working on several strategies and principles that are relevant to a person that is under state an agency policies, and that carries the weapons generally used in law enforcement, and that is expected to perform a duty of law enforcement, AND THAT DOES NOT WANT TO DIE/lose while carrying out this duty. What are these strategies and principles? They are the things I’ve mentioned throughout the thread, but taking one in order to make this point would be: Learning how to use your firearm without raising retention while reducing the number of additional attacks that can be raised by your opponent. In essence, the strategies that work toward this principle involve those things that were listed above – those things that tie what is being demonstrated here to Aikido training. The tactics involved with this principle, and these strategies, involves knowing how to establish distance when you don’t have it.

This is what the 21 foot rule is saying, “You don’t have the distance.” When this was learned, a lot of folks early on just tried to have things happen further out. That is when folks started asking for distances greater than 21 feet and when folks started thinking they can shoot suspects when they are closer than 21 feet. We reject this type of thinking. We say, a person does have room, AS LONG AS A PERSON KNOWS HOW TO CREATE ROOM. So, in the video, we move do the 21 foot rule experiment to show how easy it is to shoot someone running at you from that great a distance. Then, we show that using the same strategies and principles, one can do the same thing from interviewing distance. Then, I go on to show how these things can be carried out from a ground-fighting situation – which is even closer than an interviewing distance. Then I show how this principle can also be applied inversely – as when the person is coming at you but without yang manifested (i.e. the palm heel to the chest technique).

So, as you can see, in the last example, I think I’m thinking what you are thinking – initiate action at the slightest hint of intention from the suspect.

But, here’s the thing, for that last tactic to work, one has to be sensitive enough to sense the time to initiate. And, if a person is that sensitive, one is also able to employ the other tactic (e.g. the one done from the interviewing distance) without it necessarily falling into the category of “reaction.” In other words, if one is sensitive (as one should be), one can initiate a circular/spiral yin pattern, pulling them into the next shot, and the next one and the next one and the next one.

Now that might seem like a very small difference, and from one perspective it is. BUT here’s my thing, what I’m totally against:

(these videos were just picked at random – as almost everything demonstrates what I don’t like any videos would have done: a lack of sensitivity (no capacity for initiative – all reaction), the delusion that folks respond to strikes in the middle of fight immediately and with high probability, the lack of awareness concerning follow up attacks and the presence of additional weapons, etc.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIajRXvhJis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-zvz71WnXQ

Well, I’ll stop here – see if we can all chime in on the videos and these points. The short reply to your fine post is this: Yes, reaction – not good, not good at any distance. Initiation always best. But, initiation requires sensitivity, and if one is sensitive, one can initiate even when performing yin tactics.

Chris Parkerson
01-22-2008, 11:23 PM
Sensei Ledyard,

It is bvious that the fruit did not fall far from the tree in John Clodig's case. The method is quite the same and thus there are, by attrition and by design, few students.

Ths momsnt I saw you move last weekend, i could see the similsrity in depth. Each movement of your body has a direct effect on uke.

Dave's last post suggests that one should not think, if this...then that. I bet you think very little, whether you move yin or yang. In minimizing thought, by focussing on a few basic things, I believe the mind is indeed unfettered.

Where is his center?
where does it wantto go?
here is his falling point.

All the rest is by feel. Even the three questions are simply felt.

Mato-san
01-23-2008, 08:31 AM
It is simple... Aikido does not always work.
I seen that article long ago... it inspired me to take other arts.
Aikido teaches you to move with what you are given. Also if you are are given nothing you can use Aikido, but as a law enforcer Aikido alone will not complete your arsenal... I don`t care what anyone thinks on this.You need ground and strike skills. Period. Full stop.

Mato-san
01-23-2008, 08:34 AM
yeah I will put in a sankyo for the police force....sankyo...sankyo...sankyo ...not gonna work everytime

Chris Parkerson
01-23-2008, 08:55 AM
The principles of efficient movement are in all arts. There is little magig. Just physics, geometry and a smidgen of sports psysiology. Thus, Aiki principle or Tai Chi principle is in all arts at their pinnacle.

Aiki throwing can be experienced through a touch, a push or a punch. Destructon of vital organs and the breaking of bones with Aiki can be experienced the same way.

The rub is that this level goes way beyond what a police curriculum can provide. In fact it is very much a road less travelled among martial artists in general.

It often appears to me that what we are left with is a variety of stylized techniques and the common feeling that we have to play the strategy of, "if this happens, then I will do that."

dbotari
01-23-2008, 09:19 AM
This is one of the main problems with how we train. We are supposed to be discovering the principles of aiki by way of our training. Yet the structure of most classes is anything but aiki. The teacher demonstrates a technique, usually a specific variation of that technique. While the teacher might have been skilled enough for this technique to be executed according to aiki principles, the students are expected to reproduce that technique exactly as the teacher just did it.

Snip...

In a given Aikido technique there are many principles functioning simultaneously. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to discover them merely through endless repetitions of waza. When the class is doing waza, there should be the flexibility to allow variation of the technique to occur as the uke changes how he attacks. If the teacher wishes to teach a particular technique in a particular manner, he or she must instruct the ukes how to deliver the type of attack which naturally leads to that technique. Otherwise you have a mat full of people getting all sorts of different variations of an attack and trying to come up with exactly the same result. That is fundamentally not the way to develop aiki skills.

I think we put way too much attention on technique with no understanding of principle. It should be the opposite. We should focus on developing an understanding of principle and then and only then start layering in technical manifestations of those techniques. I think this approach could shorten the learning curve by decades, literally.

Ledyard Sensei,

I concur with your analysis above. The problem I run into as a student of aikido is in trying to identify the relevant principles used in any technique. I find it especially frustrating when the seniors I'm working with, or even sometimes the person instructing, either don't know or can't articulate the underlying principle being employed and therefore fall back to teaching a "technique" or a series of moves devoid of any real understanding.

What do you consider the basic principles underlying aikido? How would you teach them to new students while also trying to keep their interest in aikido fresh? How do you rehabilitate a more seasoned practitioner to look for the principle rather than focus on the wasa?

Thanks for you input,

Dan

senshincenter
01-23-2008, 10:11 AM
How would you teach them to new students while also trying to keep their interest in aikido fresh? How do you rehabilitate a more seasoned practitioner to look for the principle rather than focus on the wasa?


I know George can speak for himself, and I'm looking forward to reading that, but I'm going to take a liberty here and speak on what we do...

For the beginner, in essence, we make boredom, or more precisely the reconciliation of boredom part of the training. As such, we have things set so that one learns to become very suspicious of a training that survives in terms of commitment only because it is in line with one's immediate or superficial desires (e.g. it's interesting, it's entertaining, it's fun, there's always something new to learn, etc.). We make it clear that Aikido involves a spiritual transformation of the person, and, as such, Aikido training therefore will require a reconciliation regarding a person's attachment to his/her desires - the one's that work to keep the objective/subjective world egocentrically oriented. For me, this is a much more fruitful approach when it comes to re-orienting training away from the more commercially viable model of scenario-based training than the usual (so-called "traditional") one of not concerning oneself with the beginner's interest levels.

For the more experienced practitioner, we use live training environments - as only principles survive there. We combine this with a very strong support system. How and why does this work? Well, the more experienced practitioner feels he/she already understands all there is to understand regarding the art, or, more accurately put, they are not at all ready to invalidate their understanding of the art as superficial (i.e. non-principle based). However, when you enter a live training environment, if your training is not principle-based, you gain a strong sense, regardless of how skilled one might be at self-delusion, that you don't know anything. One gains this sense because one feels that nothing one tried in the training environment worked. Of course this is not true, one does know something and many things of what they tried even worked, but that is the feeling. This feeling is necessary however for self-reflection to take place. Self-reflection is necessary for re-orienting one's training to take place. Of course, self-reflection takes place when an instructor shows one a cool little detail that is being left out, or when one does a simple drill that the person already feels they should be able to do but can't, etc., but this kind of stuff still makes one stay in line with "technique" training. So, there is no real re-orientation of their training, there is only a further refinement of it as it already is.

Now, when you use a practice like the introduction of live training environments, and you use that to re-orient their training, because you are looking to penetrate through the surface of the individual so that you can penetrate through the surface of the art, they will require a lot of mentoring (as understood by the ancient traditional/spiritual traditions).

d

George S. Ledyard
01-23-2008, 10:24 AM
Ledyard Sensei,

I concur with your analysis above. The problem I run into as a student of aikido is in trying to identify the relevant principles used in any technique. I find it especially frustrating when the seniors I'm working with, or even sometimes the person instructing, either don't know or can't articulate the underlying principle being employed and therefore fall back to teaching a "technique" or a series of moves devoid of any real understanding.

What do you consider the basic principles underlying aikido? How would you teach them to new students while also trying to keep their interest in aikido fresh? How do you rehabilitate a more seasoned practitioner to look for the principle rather than focus on the wasa?

Thanks for you input,

Dan

Here's an outline of the Principles of Aiki that I use teaching... It's floating around else where on the forum but I might as well post it again since there are always so many new members. In addition to these principles there are certain mechanical / body oriented elements that I simply can't explain in an article; they have to be felt. Also, if one really wishes to be good, there are solo conditioning exercise as cited by Dan H, Mike Sigman, and Rob John which are designed to give your body the correct structure to be able to relax properly and have real power when doing so.

Anyway here's the outline where it currently stands. I am still adding to it. It is not complete. For instance I mention the kototama but do not go into it. It's not something I've studied so I would have to have someone else write that part if I ever want to really fill this out properly. And (Shameless commercial plug) this is all on the DVD's I have out so if you want to actually see how I teach the principles I have three titles which I call the Principles of Aiki series which were filmed at a seminar I did in San Antonio each year over three years between 2005 and 2007.

The Principles of Aiki

I. Attention
A. Ki Musubi
II. Intention
A. Fudo Shin
B. Makoto
C. Shin Ken Shobu
III. Irimi
A. Mental Irimi – Ki Musubi
B. Physical Irimi
i. Rotation
IV. Spiral Rotation
A. Axis of rotation
B. Pivot Points
C. Tai Atari
V. Ittai Ka
VI. Suberu
A. The “seam”
VII. The Ikkyo Curve
VIII. The Wave
A. Kototama
IX. Take Musu Aiki

What is Aiki?
Strictly from the standpoint of waza and not some larger “cosmic” consideration, the Mind must move before the body begins to move. Intention precedes action. Aiki is the use of the partner’s various sensory inputs (touch, sight, sound, and the intuition) to create movement in his Mind. His Mind, in turn, moves his body. The direction the movement takes must work in accord with the basic physical geometry of the partner’s body – weak balance lines, locking direction of the joints etc. But the partner moves himself along these lines because his Mind is led long those same pathways. So in essence, you do not throw your partner, the partner throws himself. Said another way, “Aiki” is the method we use to direct the partner’s attention.

Key Elements of Aiki

Attention and Intention

The “attention” is the word used to describe the direction or point of focus for your Mind (via the senses and the intuition). When you put your “attention” on something or someone you are directing the various sensory organs to prioritize information coming from that source. The Mind takes the information from the various sensory inputs and tries to create an organized picture for itself. Quite a bit about the use of Aiki in the martial interaction has to do with confusing the Mind by creating conflicting messages for the opponent’s Mind via the different sensory inputs. Placement of ones “attention” is critical for directing ones energy properly.

“Intention” has two aspects “strength” and “quality”:
First, “Intention” refers to the strength of the “attention”. For instance, the act of Reading a book normally requires a relaxed placement of the “attention”. However, if the material in the book is highly technical or is less interesting to the reader, he will have to put effort into keeping his “attention” on the material; this is “intention”. In the martial interaction the “intention” required is very high. It is necessary to keep ones “attention” on the opponent’s center and stay non-reactive to his kiai, feints, strike, grab, or sword cut. (This is fudo shin in Japanese; it means “immoveable Mind”). It requires strength of “intention” to deliver a committed strike and not be distracted by the opponent’s attempts to defend or counter attack. In others words, this aspect of the “intention” is about what we would call the “will”.
Second, “intention” is the action of the Mind that determines the “quality” of the interaction. In this aspect its function has to do with directing the movements of the body towards a desired outcome. What is the “intended” outcome of the interaction? If it’s a training interaction the intended outcome is mutual growth, if it’s a low level conflict with another person some sort of non-violent conflict resolution might be intended. But if the encounter is a real life and death martial encounter, then the intention will create actions which will probably result in the destruction of the opponent. In other words, this aspect of “intention” matches ones actions to the quality of the interaction.

The Japanese concept which regulates the interplay between “strength of intention” and “quality of intention” is “Makoto”, or “sincerity”. “Makoto” works to ensure that the energy of an interaction is honest, that it is completely consistent with the type of interaction that is talking place.
This aspect of Aikido training is very important to understand. Because training is about working with friends and acquaintances in a simulation of conflict, many people train with weak or no intention. When they strike, they take the energy out of the strike or strike at an unrealistic distance. When they take ukemi they are anticipatory or over reactive. Weak intention is a lack of sincerity. The cause is almost always fear. Fear keeps ones intention from being clear. One can be afraid for oneself or even afraid to hurt another, it doesn’t matter. Unclear intention is insincere, lacking in the crucial quality of “Makoto”. In the movie The Last Samurai this was nicely described when Tom Cruise’s character was described as having “too many Minds”.
What separates the training interaction from the true martial encounter is not a difference in the “strength of intention” but rather having a different “quality of intention”. The Founder created techniques which allow the whole hearted practice of the art with strong, clear, “intention” without injury to the partner. Because of this change in the physical techniques of the art, we can train in the spirit of “shin ken shobu” or the “live blade encounter” in which each instant, ones life is on the line. Training with this attitude is training with “Makoto”. If the character of the interaction were to be different, as in a true life and death encounter, the “quality of the intention” would change and the direction given the action of the body, i.e. the techniques would change accordingly and the result would most likely be the destruction of the opponent.

Ki Musubi
Ki musubi is the term which describes the joining of ones intention with that of his partner / opponent. Obviously an attacker must reach out with his intention to the defender. His mind must form the intention to attack before his body starts to move. In the martial interaction this intention must be very strong. It is essentially a flow of Yang energy proceeding outward from the attacker to the defender. Energy is a form of vibration. Ki Musubi involves reaching out with ones own attention and touching the opponent’s center. This does not mean that you push back against his intention with your own but rather your intentions merge… his to your center and yours to his. A tuning fork will vibrate sympathetically if another vibrating fork is placed nearby. If one’s Mind is relaxed and he extends his attention, he starts to feel the formation of the intention to attack rather than merely reacting to the visual cues that may be there as the attacker translates the intention to attack into movement with his body.
The ability to do this completely changes how one experiences temporal issues such as “timing” and “speed”. In the paired interaction, ones Mind is already at the attacker’s center before he initiates the attack. His body simply hasn’t actualized what the Mind has already done. This is the key concept to be investigated. What do conventional concepts regarding timing and spacing (sen no sen, go no sen, sen sen no sen, etc.) mean when one starts to operate with the feeling of “already”? The reactive aspect of the interaction with the partner simply disappears and ones perception of time completely changes. Everything slows down and one feels as if there is plenty of time for whatever movement is required.
Ki musubi is essential in allowing the complete relaxation that can then result in the physical musubi at the time of physical contact. If one is in the reactive mode of trying to respond to external cues from the attacker, one is always just a bit behind, just a bit late. “irimi” or “entering” is almost impossible in this situation. The experience of being late, feeling as if there isn’t enough time to complete the desired action creates tension in the Mind and Body which makes “aiki” impossible.

“Irimi” or Entering
Joining the Minds or joining the “intentions” is the aspect of “ki musubi” we just described. It is really essential to have ki musubi if one is to establish “physical musubi” at the instant of physical contact. The term which describes this concept is “ittai ka” or “single body”. It refers to the establishment of a state in which it is impossible for the attacker to move separately from the defender. Yamaguchi Seigo Sensei maintained that no technique should take more effort than allowing the arms to drop their weight on top of the partner’s structure. This is the essence of Ikkyo, the core technique of Aikido. Ikkyo is about running a spiral which disrupts the partner’s alignment and allows you to rest your weight on his structure.
In order to accomplish this it is necessary to have several factors operating. Once again, we have to re-emphasize the need to complete relaxation. Physical tension prevents the establishment of “ittai ka” of which “Ikkyo” is the ultimate expression. On an emotional level this relaxation can only occur if one completely accepts the attack. If one tries to escape (due to fear) or to, in a sense, attack the attack (which also comes from fear) one cannot establish “ittai ka”. The partner can then proceed to resist or counter the technique.
The placement of ones “attention” is vitally important here. Ones “attention” must be “inside the attack”, not “outside the attack”. Regardless of the type of attack, whether armed or unarmed, whether the attacker’s weapon is his body, a 3 ½ foot katana, or a 10 foot spear, one must place ones “attention” on the attacker’s center, inside the reach of the weapon, inside the point of focus of the attack. The placement of ones “attention” in this manner is part of the “ki musubi” which we have described. Since the Mind precedes the movement of the Body, placing the “attention” inside the attack is essential to execute the primary factor in establishing the “physical musubi”, namely “Irimi”, or entering.
If one is to actualize the “Ikkyo” principle and establish “ittai ka” by physically resting ones weight on the partner’s structure, one must absolutely be “inside” the attack. One cannot rest ones weight on the attacker if one is outside the attack (aside from the point that all of the attacker’s power is on the outside of his attack). So at the very heart of establishing the physical connection or “musubi” of the interaction is the Principle of “Irimi”.
Many Aikido practitioners believe that “irimi” means moving the body physically inside the opponent’s ma-ai (this would be a way of describing moving the body inside the attack). But if the attacker’s intention is strong, it is difficult if not impossible to accomplish this if one is reactive. What allows the “physical irimi” to take place is the “mental irimi” of placing ones “attention” inside the attacker’s ma-ai on his center. There are various reasons why this is true that have to do with how the attacker’s perception works but that is outside the scope of this discussion.
So what we now have is that “ki musubi” is required for effective “irimi”. Now one might, as a practitioner, have the experience of being able to physically do an “irimi” without having an understanding of “ki musubi”. I would maintain that this is the result of unskilled attacks rather than the utilization of the proper principles which govern “irimi”.
So “ki musubi” precedes the physical irimi. Since that attacker has a strong “intention” to get to the defender’s center, what prevents conflict when the defender performs his “irimi” to inside the attacker’s ma-ai? The answer is another key component to aiki, “spiral rotation”.
Many people when asked to describe Aikido would say that it as an art in which the defender “gets off the line of attack, leads the attacker’s energy in an arc and then redirects it back into the attacker’s balance point.” I would say that this is an incorrect understanding of what is really going on in Aikido.
There is a picture in Mitsugi Saotome Sensei’s book Aikido and the Harmony of Nature in which two opponent’s face each other while on a log bridge over a chasm. I believe this much better describes the fundamental requirement of Aikido as a martial art, namely, that the defender must “own his own space”. This is actually the essence of “irimi”. In the picture mentioned above one can clearly see that any movement “off the line” by the defender would put him off the log and into the chasm. But we “know” that Aikido is about blending right? If the defender holds the line and owns his own space when the attacker enters with his attack, how can he avoid a clash? How can he “resolve the conflict” so to speak?

“Rotation” Resolves Conflict
The answer to the above question is “rotation” and “irimi”. The Founder had a quite complex explanation of why the coming together of the defender and the attacker would naturally result in “spiral rotation”. For a good exposition of why this is so, read William Gleason Sensei’s book, The Spiritual Principles of Aikido.
“Rotation” inherently contains “irimi”. If one has a spherical object and it is rotating on some axis (it doesn’t matter what axis), at any particular instant in time half of the sphere is Yin and half is Yang. Half of that sphere is moving “axis towards you and half is moving away from you. So at the instant of physical contact between attacker and defender, if there is “rotation” on the part of the defender, the energy of the attack begins to be deflected away from the defender’s center in the direction of the rotation. At the same time, half of the “rotation” is moving towards the attacker, this begins to create the “irimi”.
However, “rotation” by itself doesn’t resolve the conflict nor does it automatically result in “irimi”. One more factor must be considered to understand how rotation removes the conflict and results in “irimi”. The location of the “axis of rotation” is crucial to the act of “blending” with an attack.
Human beings are not symmetrical. One can, however, think of our bodies as roughly cylindrical (for practical purposes). So the above statements about rotation apply if we have rotation of the body. But we have two supports for our structure, the legs. What makes this important is that our legs are not on the line of attack. It is the shift of weight from one foot to the other which serves to move the “axis of rotation”.
Most Aikido students of any experience at all realize that they should be using their hips to produce whatever power they wish to utilize (actually it is more complex than that but let’s stick with that for the time being). They also realize that hip rotation is required for all entries whether omote or ura.
Where most Aikido students go wrong is that they do not understand that the “axis of rotation” in a technique is seldom ones center axis. Rotation on the center axis does not produce “irimi” and therefore will not result in a joining of the two energies of the attacker and defender. For example, try going a static exercise with a partner: stand with your legs evenly apart (not in hanmi) about shoulder width; your partner will do ryo kata dori (grabbing both shoulders). If one attempts to rotate the hips while having ones weight evenly placed on both feet, the result will be that one side of the body is attempting to pull the partner (the Yin side of the rotation) and the other side of the body is attempting to push the partner (the Yang side of the rotation).
I will make a statement here that the student of Aikido will have to verify for himself through his own training. THERE ARE NO PULLING OR PUSHING MOVEMENTS IN AIKIDO. All attempts at pulling or pushing result in conflict with the partner’s strength and essentially empower him. This should be readily evident in this exercise if the partner doing the grabbing is at all centered. He should be able to easily defeat any attempts at rotation on the center axis. But if the defender shifts his weight to one foot or the other, that foot, leg, hip, shoulder structures becomes the “axis of rotation”.
By making one side or the other the “axis of rotation” the defender has put one of the two points of contact (the shoulder grabs) on the axis. Now, without introducing any tension in the arms or shoulders at all, step back with the un-weighted foot until it is on the same side of the original “line of attack” (defined as the line which runs from the attacker’s center to the defender’s center). Now, the side of the body that carries the Yang energy (the side that rotates towards the partner) actually produces “irimi”. In other words it can enter in around the attack to be “inside” the attack itself. With the “irimi” comes the possibility of the “draw” whereby the hip / shoulder that carries the Yin energy will draw the attacker into the movement thereby achieving the rotation of the hip and shoulder line which is the essence of the “Ikkyo curve”.

“Suberu” or Sliding
So if there is no pulling or pushing in Aikido, what is happening when movement takes place? One might visualize it this way… Take the Yin / Yang symbol as representative, the line or curve where the White Yang and the Black Yin touch is always in balance. I call this the “seam”. In Aikido all movement of the attacker must be along the “seam” or an imbalance results which instantly empowers the attacker. So, one can look at movement along the “seam” as a form of sliding the attacker along the “seam” rather than pulling or pushing. This is “suberu”.
This is especially important to understand when investigating the locking techniques of Aikido. Many Aikido practitioners look at joint locks as a form of attack to one of the body’s weak points. The attacker submits due to pain and to avoid injury. But this is a misunderstanding. It is quite possible to get strong enough to make it impossible to injure some of the joints. Many people have an extreme pain tolerance and techniques that depend on success do not work on them. Finally, even if one can succeed in injuring a joint or causing substantial pain, in a real martial confrontation a committed attacker may choose to sacrifice that joint in order to complete his attack with another weapon or part of his body. Joint locks must catch the whole body, not just attack a joint. So, one can look at proper joint locking as a method of sliding the attacker along the “seam”. Pain and physical dysfunction may be a by product of the technique but it is not the basis on which the technique works.

The Ikkyo Curve
So the question now becomes, what is the “seam” in practical terms? Although much of what constitutes “aiki” has to do with what I would call the “energetics” of the interaction between the attacker and the defender, no technique can ignore the basic physics or geometry of the relationship. One of the reasons that “Ikkyo” represents the fundamental technique of Aikido is that embodies virtually all of the principles of the art.
In this case we have come to a discussion of the “ikkyo curve”. Look at the line that runs between the partner’s shoulders (two points always have a line in geometry). Now visualize a curve that would run through both of those points and would pass just behind the partner’s head. That is the “ikkyo curve”. Almost every technique in Aikido has to do with sliding the attacker’s energy along that curve (“suberu”). One might use an extremity, as in the various wrist and arm locking techniques, or move the whole body itself along the curve as in various throwing techniques. But if one seriously investigates technique, one can usually find the “ikkyo curve”.

Recapitulation
• As soon as the partner as an awareness of the partner forms one extends his “attention” out to his center to establish “ki musubi”; essentially, this is the “irimi” of the Mind. It places the “attention” inside the attack.
• As the defender meets the attack, and this requires a relaxed clarity or Makoto, he sets up the desired “axis of rotation” by moving appropriately according to the circumstance. At the instant of physical contact he is already rotating on this axis. This produces the physical “irimi” which simultaneously allows the sliding movement along the “seam” which is “suberu”.
• The “rotation” must have an element of verticality to establish “ittai ka”, or single body. The defender’s weight must rest on the partner.
• Additionally, the direction of rotation will usually accomplish the “suberu” along the “Ikkyo curve”. In this manner, the vertical alignment of the attacker is disturbed and the weight that rests on him makes it impossible for him to move separately from the defender, “ittai ka”.
The Wave
The various parts of the body are responsible for creating movement on the different directions. Movement in the vertical dimension is created by the legs and by changes in the angle of extension in the arms. Movement in the horizontal dimension is created by relative movement of the feet and the movement of the hips. If you look at the movements that result from putting correct spiral movement of the vertical plane together with correct spiral movement of the horizontal plane you will see three dimensional spirals in the form of waves.
Saotome Sensei’s Aikido and the Harmony of Nature offers copious examples of how the wave is one of the fundamental shapes in Nature. If one takes the “irimi” of proper rotation, combines it with the physical meeting of the two bodies (attacker and defender) which will result in “tai atari” or “full body contact” (tai atari is a physical expression of makoto), adds the element of “suberu” one can run the “ikkyo curve” which achieves “ittai ka”.
Once this “physical musubi” is achieved one has achieved a unity between of the attacker and defender, or more correctly, one has allowed the essential unity to express itself. This becomes like the two sides of a scale in which any change on one side is instantly reflected by an equal change on the other side of the scale. So any movement or energy put out by the attacker is instantly reflected by the defender in his own body. This creates the path ways along which the energy of the movement will run. If the defender is relaxed in mind and body, he will be able to feel what is happening and allow the energy to manifest in the way that it naturally wants to as opposed to attempting to force the technique. This results in the ultimate expression of Aikido, “Take Musu Aiki” which means that the techniques of the martial interaction arise spontaneously from the state of aiki. In other words the techniques create themselves. Often the Founder would say that the techniques were not his but rather they were “given to him by the Kami”. When understanding of this principle starts to develop, a sort of Aiki Koan is revealed.

If the defender is “blending” with the energy of the attacker, and the attacker is blending with the energy of the defender, who controls the interaction?

If one gets to the point in ones training in which this question starts to make some sense, then one is at the starting point for understanding how O-Sensei may have thought about what he did.

This is just a basic description of the aspects of Aiki that govern the successful performance of Aikido technique. The other ways that aiki expresses itself and the implications for the practitioner of training to understand these principles both in the Mind and in the Body is beyond the scope of this discussion. This exposition is meant to be of practical help in taking ones Aikido to another level. All good Aikido technique has these elements. Training is about developing an understanding of the various ways these elements can combine and the different qualities or aspects these elements can have. I believe that almost inevitably, this study leads one to want a deeper understanding of the Kototama which offers a description of these various aspects in the way that the Founder, himself understood them.

dbotari
01-23-2008, 01:17 PM
Ledyard Sensei,

All I can say is WOW! That was a far more detailed and intricate response than I expected - Thank you very much for taking the time to outline and explain it all.

I will need to read your entry a couple of times to fully absorb all that you say. I also will be visiting your website to purchase your DVDs as well.

You are a great source of Aikido knowledge and experience. thank you for sharing it with a relative beginner like me.

Sincerely,
Dan.

senshincenter
01-23-2008, 02:36 PM
For those that have not seen Don Angier's skill - might find this interesting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvWiYcxTm2A

Truly, an incredible level of attainment.

Chris Parkerson
01-23-2008, 05:26 PM
Actually, Angier Sensei was one of the people I credit with changing my perception of proper training. He would take a very simple movement, not a whole technique, but just the crucial element and do that slowly until you felt it in your body.
---Snip---
Anyway, it really struck me how he wouldn't go on to something more complex until you had the component piece correct.

I trained in this curriculum Ikkajo nd Te Kube Skuii for the first year. Nikajo and Osoto gari if you were lucky and consistent in attendance.

The curriculum is genius in that the initial principles taught were inherent in the chosen techniques. You could experience rudimentary success with these beginning techniques using just the "baseline on the building blocks" principles.

I had come to Clodig study sword. I did not pick up even a Bokken for the first two years. In fact, I did not receive a forward throw for the first 3 years. I did not study a technique that required me to throw forward for the first 3 years. In the first few weeks I wondered how a man who had studied other arts for 35 years could find this kind of patience. Then I began to see what I had missed for those long previous years in other arts.

With the completion of each list, you would review all former lists and revisit all techniques with the newly acquired principles. Overall he has about 80 specific principles.

This approach shook my world. What I thought was slow and turgid actually was ( in the course of 3 years) quite sophisticated. In the course of 7 years, it is phenomenal.

Surely this is a road for the patient. Certainly not for the confines of Law Enforcement. But it is what they really need.

xuzen
01-24-2008, 12:03 AM
For those that have not seen Don Angier's skill - might find this interesting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvWiYcxTm2A

Truly, an incredible level of attainment.

Don't care what Don Angier call his art, that was very good display of aiki skills. I am familiar with a lot of his techniques, coz I recall that is also how we do the techniques (the empty hand part, especially the hugs from behind, grab my wrist stuff).

Boon.

xuzen
01-24-2008, 12:21 AM
Sorry guys if I come in late, just to answer the OP question....

" Is aikido effective for police ?"

Absolutely! On-duty officer are licensed to carry deadly weapon (firearm) and they are legally allowed to use deadly force when circumstances dictate. So if they are face with deadly hostile target, they already have the tools to respond appropriately.

However, in Aikido's technical repertoire, it contain an extensive catalogue of restraint / compliance techniques for low level engagement. I believe in a police work, many a times, you want to control a suspect but do not want to damage him (to prevent accusation of police brutality) and aikido techniques present opportunity to do just that.

So, yeah, aikido is effective for police from that stand point.

Boon.

senshincenter
01-24-2008, 01:42 AM
Something we were talking about tonight - sort of relative here...

In law enforcement training, there is a lot of talk about the "lowest common denominator." The other, more common, understanding for this is "Idiot" or "Lazy-ass-guy-that-never-trains." I'm sorry, but for me, in the training I do, I'm not interested in addressing the lowest common denominator. I already know the lowest common denominator cannot do what we are doing. However, this is not because the moves we are doing are too difficult or too complex. This is because those folks do not train. Training, by definition is about making the unnatural natural and the complex simple. That's a given when it comes to anything worth training in or worth learning. I don't want to know or do moves that are natural or simple for the idiot. Thus, I do not ever think that law enforcement officers should dismiss a move because they cannot readily do it. Moreover, simply because a move is difficult for the "Lazy-ass-guy-that-never-trains," well, this doesn't mean that moves that are idiot-friendly are all of a sudden tactically viable. It just means he/she, and he/she alone, because he/she doesn't train, is going to get his/her ass handed too him/her when the crap hits the fan, regardless of whatever they do.

Chris Parkerson
01-24-2008, 07:09 AM
there are always a few serious officers in every department who go above and beyond the basic curriculum. Cudos to them. I bet it also shows in their ability to have some level of compassion and restraint.

From 1987 to 1991 i was used to teach at the police academy in San Diego County(Texas), the tri- county narcotics task force in S Texas, Nueves County Constables and National Park Service Rangers from Padre Island. The Rangers also sent me to teach their regional response team at FLETC in Artesia.

Of the many and various officers and agents I taught, about 3/4 put great effort into the seminar. I doubt less than 5% followed up with regular dojo training. Due to cencerns about injury, much of the training could not by as dynamic as I had wanted it to be.

Mato-san
01-24-2008, 09:28 AM
kudos to you Chris for keeping it real and dynamic... some after reaching master level believe they have nothing more to learn.... but you have a great mind set

ChrisMoses
01-24-2008, 10:08 AM
Don't care what Don Angier call his art, that was very good display of aiki skills. I am familiar with a lot of his techniques, coz I recall that is also how we do the techniques (the empty hand part, especially the hugs from behind, grab my wrist stuff).

Boon.

Keep in mind that's some really old footage. He's changed some over the years.

I think the hardest thing for people coming at Don's stuff from an Aikido background is that in order to really start to approach what he's doing, they have to realize that it IS different from what they were taught, no matter how similar it looks. Being able to accept that and let go of what they think they know is very difficult. Too often you hear, "Yeah, we do that too..." No, no you don't. (I don't mean that as a dig at you Boon, just a general comment.)

George S. Ledyard
01-24-2008, 11:06 AM
Keep in mind that's some really old footage. He's changed some over the years.

I think the hardest thing for people coming at Don's stuff from an Aikido background is that in order to really start to approach what he's doing, they have to realize that it IS different from what they were taught, no matter how similar it looks. Being able to accept that and let go of what they think they know is very difficult. Too often you hear, "Yeah, we do that too..." No, no you don't. (I don't mean that as a dig at you Boon, just a general comment.)

When we were at the first Aiki Expo I happened upon an old Aikido friend walking down the hallway. He said that he had just walked out of Angier Sensei's class because it was all BS and he couldn't take it any more.

I literally told him to get his a** back to the class, get up to the front row and not even think about leaving until he had personally put his hands on Don. Than if he still thought it was fake, well ok.

I met him in the hallway again two hours later and he thanked me profusely for saving him from making a fool of himself.

Yes, what Angier Sensei does is different from what Aikido people are doing. Absolutely. The question really is, should it be? In terms of outer form, size of movement etc there are reasons that Aikido is the way it is. But what the body is doing shouldn't really be different. When you look at a teacher like Yamaguchi Sensei and you see the level of relaxation he had at all times, the complete lack of forcing anything, I think you are seeing on an internal level the same thing you see with Angier Sensei (and Toby Threadgill, and Kuroda Sensei, and Howard Popkin, etc)

There is a line of teachers in Aikido who seem to have been interested in this. Saotome Sensei, Endo Sensei, Takeda Sensei are all from the Yamaguchi line and all have developed this relaxed, seemingly soft style.This is the only Aikido that I have seen that has much in common with what Don Angier does. The biggest difference is that Don's teaching methodology is superior.

As mentioned before, with the Yanagi Ryu, you start with exercises that are designed to imprint proper body mechanics. You can work for months on the smallest movement until you get it right. You don't go to the next step until you have completed the previous. It may take quite some time until you get to anything that even looks like a technique but when you do, your body knows exactly what it should be doing.

All Aikido people start by doing their techniques in a way that simply will not work. Then there is some expectation that after many many repetitions, it will change to something that will work. That is one of the popular definitions of insanity... doing the same thing over and over with the expectation that the result will at some point be different. To the extent that I started to figure any of this out, I had to stop doing what I had been doing and start doing things differently. The input I needed to do this came from the folks I trained with at the Expos, not my Aikido teachers. I redid my Aikido 100% after the first Expo and the process is continuing.

I can only wonder, how good could I have been if we had had a systematic teaching method which imprinted a proper understanding of aiki principle and body mechanics when I first started 32 years ago?

Chris Parkerson
01-24-2008, 01:39 PM
Sensei L.

Re your last sentence--You and me both. I brought 5 training partners to the classes in Fallbrook. All were yodansha with 20 to 40 years in the arts.. Some bore titles like Great Grand Master, Guro and Sifu. We all started with a long intro to Ikkajo beginning with what each joint is doing in our posture. We are all still there.

xuzen
01-24-2008, 10:01 PM
Keep in mind that's some really old footage. He's changed some over the years.

I think the hardest thing for people coming at Don's stuff from an Aikido background is that in order to really start to approach what he's doing, they have to realize that it IS different from what they were taught, no matter how similar it looks. Being able to accept that and let go of what they think they know is very difficult. Too often you hear, "Yeah, we do that too..." No, no you don't. (I don't mean that as a dig at you Boon, just a general comment.)

Chris-M,

No problem, I do realize that aiki type of arts are feeling art. You have to be there, to feel it to know. It may look similar but may not be the same.

Boon

Daniel Blanco
01-25-2008, 08:39 AM
Yes, Aikido is very affective for Police and i speak from actual arrest background experience as an NYPD Anti Crime Officer, of 15 Yrs. Aikido when applied direct firm grips on locks focusing on basics will work, and you will depend on Aikido when you have no nightstick,just open hands,you will learn how to off balance and lock/throw correctly.Aikido has and still does help me escape with little or no injuries when in conflict with criminals.Credit goes to my Sensei for always focusing on proper basics,the fancy stuff is for show.

Peter Ralls
01-27-2008, 03:41 AM
David

I couldn't agree more with you that we should train principles, and that techniques are not the art, but only a method with which to train ourselves. This is not only true for self defense in the real world, but also for everything else the martial arts offer us as well. I find it interesting that this thread has gone from discussing self defense to now talking about training principles. I think these two subjects are inseperable.

My experience has been that aikido is not the only martial art in which training methods don't duplicate reality. No martial art does. And that includes Judo and BJJ, which I have both trained in. In any martial art you have to take your training methods and play around with them to get the results you want for whatever reality you might have to deal with in your life. In your and my case it's law enforcement, so we take what we learn from our martial arts training and play around with it in contexts that we deal with in our jobs, and learn from training and experience what works for us and what doesn't.

Anyway, if we limit ourselves to training techniques along the lines of, "If my opponent does A, I will respond with B." we will probably not get too far. This is what I think of as falling into the trap of technique. The problem is, how do we learn martial arts without learning technique. The only teacher I have experienced who actually started people from the beginning with methods to produce principles of movement and connectivity without teaching martial arts techniques is Akuzawa Sensei of Aunkai, and everyone at the seminar had a background of other martial arts. When I was a relatively new martial arts student, I wanted to learn technique, I didn't understand anything else, and would have quit if I wasn't taught something I could understand at that time. So I think in general, for most people wanting to learn martial arts, we probably have to start them off for some time with technique. Hah, I couldn't imagine trying to teach any kind of internal stuff or principles to the cops I work with, they would think I am getting even crazier than they think me already. So for them, our DT training has to stay at, "if your opponent does A, respond with B."

But of course, after I did aikido (and other martial arts) for a long time, doing the techniques over and over again, I realized that I was not getting what my aikido teachers had, the ability to throw larger stronger people fairly effortlessly. So like some other people that post here, that sent me in the direction of trying to understand the internal principles of what they were doing. And going in that direction is improving my ability to successfully apply stuff in real life, though I am not in a position where I have to use stuff much anymore, being a supervisor and not very popular with my current administration. But I have come to the same opinion that you have, shiho nage or irimi nage is not what aikido is, rather it is a set of principles and a practice. I really like what you wrote about training, I think it's totally correct.

So for police work, for me, being able to put sankyo on a belligerent drunk and get him to comply without using any force that is going to injure him has been very useful in my job, but just the enjoyment of the practise and the challenge of trying to apply the principles in my daily interactions have been what is really beneficial to me in my job.

Chris Parkerson
01-27-2008, 10:34 PM
for several years I have been studying ways to shorten the learning curve from the traditional Asian methods that take a good 5-10 years to achieve continuity and technical flow. My focus lately, however, has not beenlaw enforcement.

Back in my law enforcement trainer days, I saw some successes in Police training with Jukido (Houston Police Department) and some Tomiki trainers that used flow patterns with 5-6 techniques as points of reference. The flow pattern looks allot like Tai Chi push hands practice from an escort position.

Is anyone experimenting with this kind of thing in law enforcement training curiculums currently?

Dan Rubin
01-29-2008, 02:08 PM
David

For the past week I have found myself coming back again and again to your post in this thread about police officers who don't train. Having read many of your other posts on AikiWeb, I am surprised and disappointed by that one.

You call those officers "idiots" and "lazy-ass guys," apparently because they do not share your priorities. I understand your frustration, and I understand why instructors can fall into the trap of thinking that the subject they teach is all-important. But I hope you realize that that lazy-ass-guy-that-never-trains may spend every day off crawling around in his garage re-building an old Chevy, or working several off-duty jobs, or doing a myriad of things that a lazy person couldn't do.

The district attorney can't understand why that officer doesn't spend more time studying the criminal code, or studying grammar to improve his reports and statements. The immigration lawyer can't understand why that officer doesn't spend her free time learning to speak Spanish. The commander in internal affairs wishes that the officer spent more time studying the department's procedure manual. The commander at the pistol range doesn't understand why officers don't spend their off-duty time polishing their shooting skills. The commander of the fugitive unit thinks that officers should spend their spare time studying mug shots and wanted posters. At the same time, the officer is attending college to improve his or her opportunities for advancement.

Meanwhile, the police academy is a battleground for groups and individuals competing for time in the curriculum to convince recruits that this or that subject is more important than any other. A look at in-service courses reveals an incredible variety of subjects that are important for police officers to know.

If you look at stories about officers hailed as heroes, you'll find that they rushed into a burning building to save someone, or solved a horrendous crime through smart investigation, or helped a teenager improve his grades. You won't find many officers hailed for their arrest and control skills.

Sure, there are lazy cops, and, of course, arrest and control skills are vitally important. But I suspect that the officers who train regularly with you do so because they enjoy the training, not because they fear getting hurt in an altercation. In other words, your frustration is not with idiocy or laziness, it's with lack of motivation. Who must motivate officers to train? It's the chief of police, that's who. The same chief who, as a young patrol officer, might have agreed with you. The same chief who now, after spending all day listening to demands from the public and city council and the mayor and the union, has not heard any of them demand more time for defensive tactics training. Yes, the chief hears complaints of excessive force, but those complaints are not about lack of skill; every day arrests are made by unskilled officers, without excessive force.

Your frustration is borne by defensive tactics trainers everywhere, many of whom do not share your ability to train only the motivated. You should make your arguments to whomever will listen. Whenever there's a local issue about excessive force or an officer injured during an arrest, you should make a case for an increase in mandatory arrest and control training, showing how the excessive force or injury -- and the resultant lawsuit or sick time -- could have been avoided by a skilled officer. Do you feel frustrated now? Wait until you've gone hoarse trying to get anyone to listen to that! Of course, your current motivated students will agree with you, but you'll be amazed at how their perspective changes as they rise through the ranks.

I admire you for what you're doing for officers who want to train. But I wish you wouldn't vent your frustration with disparaging remarks about officers who are motivated to improve their lives and careers in other ways.

Dan

Kevin Leavitt
01-29-2008, 06:51 PM
Not a police officer, but a career infantry officer in the army.

I personally had no issue with David's post looking at it again. The bell curve applies throughout all of society. you have a low side, a high mid point, and a another low side. On either end you have one, people that need to reconsider why they chose this profession. They endanger themselves, there fellow soldiers, and those they are suppose to protect.

On the high end, you have the best of the best. Those are the soldiers that have accepted what they do as a way of life, and strive to be the best they can be at whatever they do, and seek to capture a well rounded career that prepares them to do their ultimate jobs.

I the middle, you have the majority. They will take some iniative. Usually enough to get the job done. You have to hold them accountable, and stay on top of them. Not bad guys, but certainly not the guys you want to put on your "A" team.

You have to train to the mid point, unfortunately because that is where 80% of your troops lay and you have to do that.

However, I don't understand why someone would choose this profession and NOT do the basic things to a high degree of excellence?

certainly I am not at my best on a daily basis, but I try when I can!

However, I am also not "up" in a combat unit either. Or a cop on the street. If I where back there, and when I was there....I focused all my attention on doing whatever I could to be the best that I could! It was hard for me to understand those that did not!

I am with David...either you bring your "A" game, or don't bother coming. I tried to instill this in my unit when I was a combat leader, and it was my responsibility.

If I was a choosing a surgeon, I want to get the best (I can afford).

If I am facing the death penality I want the best lawyer. I expect him to be effective at his job.

Some jobs we may not care so much as long as the job is done satisfactory.

However, when your life is on the line. I am sorry, there is no room to accept mediocrity.

That is great if you choose to work on a Chevy in your spare time. I too used to love cars and spent much time doing that. Musashi also talks about balance being important. It is key to have that as well...you can't be "Major Payne". It is not healthy.

I don't think David was passing judgement on anyone...simply making a statement about excellence, and the unaccepatbility of mediocrity in professions where you are responsible for people's lives.

Anyway, enough about that!

Chris Parkerson
01-29-2008, 07:38 PM
Dave,

Written words are so limited and so easily taken out of context.
I do not judge those who do not train every day as much as I am challenging myself and others who desire to be better trainers.

Kevin states the objective reality. Most professionals are challenged with many requirements and too little time. Few except the pure enthusiasts will leave family in the evenings for the dojo on a regular basis.

What I suggest is that there are ways (some discovered and some yet undiscovered) that can shorten the learning curve and still improve technique and flow rather than just improving strength, speed and endurance.

For instance, at the ASLET 2002 convention, San Bernadino SO worked out a lecture on "seamless training", the idea of which integrated all elements of an encounter and taught to the gestalt.

They early-on evaluated their body of techniques, determined which ones were fine motor skill and which were gross motor skill. They determined which were similar in form and application in order to avoid clustered training. They determined which ones best interacted with their other tactical options to avoid fragmented training. They originally had from the 1990's evolved to 36 basic techniques. After the process, they had 7. The seven techniques could be used from standing (advantage or disadvantage) or ground (top or bottom).

They also included an "instinctive" strategy call the "in basket" theory. It's thesis is that, under pressure of stress, confusion, and hyper-stimulation, the brain will seek out the "first", not necessarily the "best", solution to the problem. They hoped to blend the "in- basket" to their ideal goal of an outcome by attaching emotional connection to the seven techniques.

These ideas are good ones, yet they still need proving through time. But each of us can continue to grow ideas and test them so that the average cop can have a home life and still produce excellent defensive skills when needed.

senshincenter
01-30-2008, 09:37 PM
Hi Dan,

I'm sorry it has taken me this long to reply to your post. Please forgive.

In the time that has passed, I've been thinking about what you have written. My first impulse was just to correct the misunderstanding - which I will do now...

I wasn't referring to a particular person (i.e. a guy who is fixing his house instead of training) when I was using the phrases, "idiot" or "lazy-ass-guys," etc. Or, if I was, I was not referring to those folks that do not train. These phrases were being critical of folks, especially folks in law enforcement, that want the short-cut, the quick-fix, etc., to becoming skilled at Arrest and Control and/or Defensive Tactics.

Again, I was referring to folks that train but that train under the delusion that less is more, easy is good, and quickly is better. My experience lends itself not just to the fact that there are cops that don't train, but, rather that the more dangerous aspect of this all is that cops that do train are ignorant to the fact that less is not more, that no real skill comes easy, and that anything that is obtained quickly is more than likely not worth having.

That said, and reading Kevin's post, the other thing I wanted to say is that I do believe what he (Kevin) was saying. For me, in this day, of post-Columbine active shooter policies, assault rifles, gang-warfare, bipolar disorder, and methamphetamine, the average cop can no longer afford to be an average cop. Too much is at stake to operate at the level of mediocrity, whether it is by choice or forced upon us because the house has to be repaired, the kids need to be picked up from school, and the spouse needs some quality time, etc. In my experience, we can always do more than we are doing. When you combine that with "we should be doing more than we are doing," a level of self-responsibility comes into play when we are less than the profession requires of us.

Either way, I'm sorry if I offended you.

d

senshincenter
01-31-2008, 02:29 AM
Did I forget terrorism. That should have been in there too in that list I made.

Dan Rubin
01-31-2008, 12:21 PM
David

Thank you for your response. I wasn’t personally offended by your earlier post. I think that the tone of that post seemed so different from your usual ones that I was startled by it.

I agree with you about officers who believe in the easy fix. The most blame is on police administrators, who buy that line and adopt such strategies for their departments. The administrators believe what they want to believe, and they provide their officers with an excuse to do the same.

The PR-24 side-handle baton was first marketed as a baton that could not be swung against a suspect’s head, and police administrators everywhere cried, “Sign me up!” They and Rodney King were shocked to learn the truth.

There are still defensive tactics systems that claim to teach effective techniques using only the officer’s natural instinctive movements. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Almost no training necessary. You’d be out of business!

You’re right, these are delusions.

And I agree with you and Kevin about the importance of high-level training, but the fact is that when lists are made of A+ police officers, arrest and control skills are not given much importance. This is true whether the lists are made by the public or by police administrators or by other officers.

Keep up the good work. You and Chris and George Ledyard and others (when I was an officer, I was a long-time student of Bob Koga) are trying to improve the world of arrest and control skills, and few endeavors can be more frustrating. I salute you all for that.

Dan

Kevin Leavitt
01-31-2008, 05:26 PM
Dan wrote:

There are still defensive tactics systems that claim to teach effective techniques using only the officer’s natural instinctive movements. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Almost no training necessary. You’d be out of business

I think you can distill stuff down and simplify things quite a bit. You can narrow the scope of the training to fit the situations that are most common.

For our soldiers, we stopped teaching joint locks, strikes, kicks, garotte chokes and all that stuff that traditionally was called "Combatives" or Jiujitsu from the 1940s - mid 1990s to 2000. not that it does not work, but that it is too specific and assumes away much that needs to take place prior to these things working. Translated: It requires you to spend alot of time learning things in order to make these seemingly simple, yet really complex in some aspects.

So, we re-looked at it, and found that basically you must work on the "macro" first. that is, "taking center", kusushi, establishing dominance...or what ever you like to call it.

So then you teach macro muscle memory, that is developing a spontaneous and instinctual response or flinch that falls in line with normal movements.

you then spend your precious practice time committing this to muscle memory until in becomes normal and instinctual.

High payoff, less time, natural movement or spontaneous flinch response.

On another note. I always talk to the guys that like to carry big knifes on the kit. I ask them why. Naturally they say so they have a backup if they need it. most do not actually practice using it.

So, when the fight goes bad...statistics show that they never think about using it because they had not ever committed to muscle memory drawing the knife over and over until in become instinctual.

Those same individuals might even have practiced some sophisticated techniques of slashing stabbing what not like kali or something.

However, not practicing reaching for it in their web gear. Feeling the pressure of it on their hip, the cordura of the sheath, the snap that you have to unfasten...the emotions that run wild in a fight...well I think you see the point!

Training properly can be done in the same amount of time that you commit to empty hand or close range combatives....IF you focus on teaching the right things. This translates into what many call ALIVENESS.

Teaching kotegaeshi, nikkyo, sankyo type techniques from a static position of training before you have learned the macro skills of body movement are a waste of time when you consider practical application for professional purposes, IMO.

senshincenter
01-31-2008, 05:27 PM
David

Thank you for your response. I wasn’t personally offended by your earlier post. I think that the tone of that post seemed so different from your usual ones that I was startled by it.


In all honesty, the post came soon after I was on a building search, with me as the point, the building dark, and the second man in just deciding to separate from me, go to the other side of the room we were in and started looking all around - putting us in a cross-fire position. kind of got me a little more involved in the thread than usual - I'm thinking.

d

senshincenter
01-31-2008, 05:50 PM
Just read this right now - in Grossman's "On Combat" - felt it relevant:

"Consider a shooting exercise introduced by the FBI and taught in police agencies for years. Officers were drilled on the firing range to draw, fire two shots, and then reholster. While it was considered good training, it was subsequently discovered in real shootings that officers were firing two shots and reholstering - even when the bad guy was still standing and presenting a deadly threat! Not surprisingly, this caused not just a few officers to panic and, in at least one case, it is believed to have resulted in an officer's death. Today, in most police agencies, officers are taught to draw, fire, scan and assess. Ideally,(however), the warrior should train to shoot until the deadly threat goes away, so it is best to fire at targets that fall after they have been hit with a variable number of shots...You do not rise to the occasion in combat, you sink to the level of your training. Do not expect the combat fairy to come bonk you with the combat wand and suddenly make you capable of doing things that you never rehearsed before. It will not happen. There must be a continual effort to develop realistic simulations training so the warrior develops a set of skills that will transfer to reality. One two-tour Vietnam veteran put it this way:

'In Vietnam, I was always surprised to find I had done the right thing in tight situations. I sort of went into automatic and didn't think about what I was doing, or even remember it later. I'm a firm believer in training, that dull, boring 'If I have to do this one more time I'll scream' training that every GI hates. It lets people like me perform in combat when common sense was telling me to run like hell.'"

Chris Parkerson
01-31-2008, 08:45 PM
I think you can distill stuff down and simplify things quite a bit. You can narrow the scope of the training to fit the situations that are most common.

snip...

So, we re-looked at it, and found that basically you must work on the "macro" first. that is, "taking center", kusushi, establishing dominance...or what ever you like to call it.

So then you teach macro muscle memory, that is developing a spontaneous and instinctual response or flinch that falls in line with normal movements.

you then spend your precious practice time committing this to muscle memory until in becomes normal and instinctual.

High payoff, less time, natural movement or spontaneous flinch response.



Kevin,

We are totally in sinc even though we work with different groups. Fine tuned muscle memory simply does not exist when the heart beats fast. If folks cannot train regularly, they need "instinctive" movements that they place in their "in basket file" rather than somewhere in their archived storage files. The simple approach to a 3 day seminar for private citizens should focus on "Position before submission/technique". We often call this Tai Sabaki or Tai Jitsu. It should come before Te Jitsu.

IF YOU CANNOT GET OUT OF IT, GET INTO IT.
DANGER...GO FORWARD!
TAKE CENTER
DO NOT BACK OFF
TRUST YOUR WEAPONS (hands, feet, head, shoulder hips)

Traditional Aikido is a whole different training philosophy based on long range goals, sophisticated movement, and training the body to keep a regulated pulse.

Aikido could also improve in how it teaches by making things more instinctive. But this is a very different conversation..... One well worth discussing, however.

Kevin Leavitt
02-01-2008, 07:02 PM
Yes, I agree Chris.

don't think I have posted these already, but if I have, I appologize.

Rules for a Gunfight
Anonymous
1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.
2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap - life is expensive.
3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.
5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.)
6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.
7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running.
9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. "All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket."
10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.
11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. Have a plan.
13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.
14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
16. Don't drop your guard.
17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees.
18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. (In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them.)
19. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.
21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
22. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.
24. Do not attend a gun fight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than "4".
25. You can't miss fast enough to win.

Chris Parkerson
02-02-2008, 01:51 PM
Greetings folks,

I had some fun after our workout this Saturday morning at the Mojo.
Some of the Yudansha hung around to uke for me. Everything is a first take so be kind....

Aiki Gunman - Handgun
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96JQhiXRkw4

Aiki Gunman - Rifle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmbbYseOpXo

Aiki No Jitsu Gunman - Rifle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4RxEedbeFU

Aiki Perp Dupes 3 Agents
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTANO8cud3s

Kevin Leavitt
02-02-2008, 03:57 PM
Looks like you guys are having fun.

I was training MOUT today and teaching weapons retention on room clearing. No time to do video.

If you have time, it would be good to see your take on weapons retention.

I concentrate on proper "combat crouch" and posture, always driving forward into the room, once the weapon is grabbed continue driving forward, extending out through the end of the barrel, resist pulling back, but going forward. Then doing small circles, much like the jo. You end up with a variety of things that look familiar to us. nikkyo, being the predominate one.

Anyway, I'd love to see your take on this from the other perspective, that is "good guy" weapons retention.

Fun stuff!

Chris Parkerson
02-02-2008, 07:34 PM
Kevin,

The rifle and pistol techniqurs are the same whether you are the man holding the weapon or not. It is a matter of who claims the other's center with irimi. This stuff is the essence of my no-sword style. Obviously, at arm's reach, no-sword style is safer against an M-4 than it is a 4 foot razor blade. Only one real place the weapon can kill you and there are more ways to grab hold of it.

The Aiki Perp taking out 3 agents will be taken off Youtube in 3 days. I just do not want the general public seeing it. It is real rudimentary jujitsu movement and can be easily duplicated by non aikidoka.

usn322
06-21-2008, 11:47 AM
used our dojo to ply his trade in Ocean beach, CA before he moved to what is now a dojo run by Bernice Lam.

usn322
06-21-2008, 11:50 AM
if i could make corrections on that previous info. the dojo in ocean beach is currently ran by Bernice Tom Sensei 6 dan iwama style aikido and not Bernice Lam. just future reference

jennifer paige smith
07-02-2008, 11:10 AM
Listen, I know others have said this somewhere. At least I remember reading it......But I'd like to go there for a second.

Police have some of the highest rates of divorce, drug addictions, domestic abuse,anger management problems, and other demon-like forces than any of our public servants/warriors. So the idea of what is 'effective' for them immdiately turns to what is 'effective in assisting them maintain balance' in such an unbalanced occupation. When aikido is offered there are suddenly middle choices, humane choices, and emotionally sustainable choices offered. There are then relatable skills to an effective life offered, which supports our officers in the field and at home and in the heart. This is very great when combined with all the other defense skills officers are trained in; which I also advocate for.
I'd like to keep this general at the moment but I would be willing to go into details of what I've seen in officer training in another post.
I simply want to put out that there are many dimensions to being 'effective' and self-defending.
And if any of you know if George Sensei is out there watching threads, maybe we can get him to comment here. I'd love to be further educated and to hear what he has to say.
Thanks,
Jen

Michael Hackett
07-02-2008, 03:33 PM
If an officer wishes to make his life better in general, to become a better person who is more centered, then Aikido is probably a good path. In order to do that though, he must first survive some of the terrible things which will confront him. Aikido can certainly help in that regard. Aikido is an effective art for police service in most respects and is far better than anything we teach in the academies. It simply isn't enough for most of us and we need at least some exposure to other arts as well. Ground fighting (Gracie BJJ) and some striking art are valuable additions. I think that in the hands of a superb practitioner, a Ledyard, an Ikeda, a Koga, Aikido is enough. For most of us Officer Lunchboxes, we need a little more. Assuming a thirty year career, about the time we get really, really good at Aikido, we leave for the proverbial rocking chair.

All that being said, Aikido is a terrific skill for police agents here in the West and I wish more officers could train regularly in the art. I know for sure that I would have been a far better deputy sheriff had I been able to train in Aikido during my career for many reasons.

Kevin Leavitt
07-02-2008, 05:22 PM
Aikido is certainly an option for people to see a middle way or work as somewhat of a healing process. It seems to work for me.

It isn't the pancea for all people. They have to connect to it in that regard.

Some people will use BJJ, some will use Racquetball, Boxing, Soccer, meditation...counseling, bike riding...whatever it may be that works for them.

It may not necessarily be aikido.

jennifer paige smith
07-03-2008, 11:43 AM
Aikido is certainly an option for people to see a middle way or work as somewhat of a healing process. It seems to work for me.

It isn't the pancea for all people. They have to connect to it in that regard.

Some people will use BJJ, some will use Racquetball, Boxing, Soccer, meditation...counseling, bike riding...whatever it may be that works for them.

It may not necessarily be aikido.

Indeed. But since we're here talking about Aikido I thought I'd mention it.

Thanks,
Jen

jennifer paige smith
07-03-2008, 11:53 AM
If an officer wishes to make his life better in general, to become a better person who is more centered, then Aikido is probably a good path. In order to do that though, he must first survive some of the terrible things which will confront him. Aikido can certainly help in that regard. Aikido is an effective art for police service in most respects and is far better than anything we teach in the academies. It simply isn't enough for most of us and we need at least some exposure to other arts as well. Ground fighting (Gracie BJJ) and some striking art are valuable additions. I think that in the hands of a superb practitioner, a Ledyard, an Ikeda, a Koga, Aikido is enough. For most of us Officer Lunchboxes, we need a little more. Assuming a thirty year career, about the time we get really, really good at Aikido, we leave for the proverbial rocking chair.

All that being said, Aikido is a terrific skill for police agents here in the West and I wish more officers could train regularly in the art. I know for sure that I would have been a far better deputy sheriff had I been able to train in Aikido during my career for many reasons.

I also agree that the kind of balance in training that you are suggesting is probably best.

Thanks,
jen

senshincenter
07-04-2008, 01:15 PM
I, myself, do not define Aikido by what has become "customary" practice and/or by what has customarily have become "kihon waza." Thus, I cannot really adopt the notion that we need to go "outside," etc., because my "inside" is not limited to what in essence is nothing more than the whims of time and history. For me, when I hear folks talking about mixing, inside, outside, etc., well, it hardly makes sense. Aikido cannot separate mind and body, as it cannot free ourselves from our spirit, as it cannot separate striking from throwing, throwing from pinning, entering from tenkan, standing from lying on the ground, etc. This, for me, is what it means to be before a universal. Being a universal is being in truth (at least from a mystical point of view). Inversely, when things can be so artificially separated, one cannot be before a universal, one cannot be of Truth.

On the other note, I agree strongly with Jen's position - Aikido's capacity to cultivate further and further, higher and higher, states of spiritual maturity. As this is vital for every human being, people that by occupation are more prone to face higher and higher degrees of suffering are by necessity open to receiving Aikido's practical benefits.

Michael Hackett
07-04-2008, 03:55 PM
OK David, for us "least common denominators" out here, what did you say in your first paragraph? I've read it five or six times now and still don't understand what you are trying to convey. Maybe I need it in crayon, but I simply don't follow you. Normally your writing has a strong and cogent message worth considering, but this one whizzed over my head.

senshincenter
07-05-2008, 10:29 AM
I am sure it's my fault entirely - sorry, very exhausted as we are battling the #1 forest fire in the state right now. Never ending shifts, as you can imagine. I'll try again after we get a breather. Please forgive. I'm sure it does not make sense - hoping I can do better later.

d

Michael Hackett
07-05-2008, 11:59 AM
I know what you're going through. We did that last year in this area and in 2003 just for practice. Hope you get through everything OK and no one gets hurt. We'll keep you in our thoughts.

senshincenter
07-11-2008, 01:08 PM
Second try...

Up to this point, there is a lot of talk about mixing and matching Aikido, about going outside of Aikido, etc., to make it effective for police work, etc. I was trying to comment on this position. In my experience, when folks talk like this, they usually have come to define Aikido or understand Aikido by little more than kihon waza training and/or by what has become the almost universally custom for training in kihon waza. For me, this is understanding is really a misunderstanding of, first, the kihon waza training process, and, in the end, Aikido.

I do not define Aikido by what has become "customary" practice and/or by what has customarily have become "kihon waza." That training, and that process of training, is about building a base. If it's a base, then something is supposed to go on top of it. The problem is not that Aikido has no top to it, but that folks, by nothing more than a lack of pursuit, have come to mistake the base for the whole of the art.

Thus, I cannot really adopt the notion that we need to go "outside," etc., because my "inside" is not limited to what in essence is nothing more than the whims of time and history (i.e. the mistake of folks over time coming to see the base for the whole). For me, when I hear folks talking about mixing, inside, outside, etc., well, it hardly makes sense - because there's not supposed to be an outside to Aikido.

Aikido cannot be only of the mind or only of the body, only of the spirit. It is all these things simultaneously, interdependently, etc. In the same way, Aikido cannot separate striking from throwing, throwing from pinning, entering from tenkan, standing from lying on the ground, etc. Kihon Waza can, but not Aikido. This, for me, is what it means to be before a universal (no outside, no inside).

Being a universal is being in Truth (at least from a mystical point of view). Inversely, when things can be so artificially separated, one cannot be before a universal, one cannot be of Truth. Like Kihon Waza then, like the base that is so often mistaken for the whole, when one's Aikido is so separate-able, one is looking at an Aikido that is artificial, as artificial as the abstract learning environments that mark basic training.

(Fire 75% contained) :-)
d

jennifer paige smith
07-11-2008, 01:16 PM
Second try...

Up to this point, there is a lot of talk about mixing and matching Aikido, about going outside of Aikido, etc., to make it effective for police work, etc. I was trying to comment on this position. In my experience, when folks talk like this, they usually have come to define Aikido or understand Aikido by little more than kihon waza training and/or by what has become the almost universally custom for training in kihon waza. For me, this is understanding is really a misunderstanding of, first, the kihon waza training process, and, in the end, Aikido.

I do not define Aikido by what has become "customary" practice and/or by what has customarily have become "kihon waza." That training, and that process of training, is about building a base. If it's a base, then something is supposed to go on top of it. The problem is not that Aikido has no top to it, but that folks, by nothing more than a lack of pursuit, have come to mistake the base for the whole of the art.

Thus, I cannot really adopt the notion that we need to go "outside," etc., because my "inside" is not limited to what in essence is nothing more than the whims of time and history (i.e. the mistake of folks over time coming to see the base for the whole). For me, when I hear folks talking about mixing, inside, outside, etc., well, it hardly makes sense - because there's not supposed to be an outside to Aikido.

Aikido cannot be only of the mind or only of the body, only of the spirit. It is all these things simultaneously, interdependently, etc. In the same way, Aikido cannot separate striking from throwing, throwing from pinning, entering from tenkan, standing from lying on the ground, etc. Kihon Waza can, but not Aikido. This, for me, is what it means to be before a universal (no outside, no inside).

Being a universal is being in Truth (at least from a mystical point of view). Inversely, when things can be so artificially separated, one cannot be before a universal, one cannot be of Truth. Like Kihon Waza then, like the base that is so often mistaken for the whole, when one's Aikido is so separate-able, one is looking at an Aikido that is artificial, as artificial as the abstract learning environments that mark basic training.

(Fire 75% contained) :-)
d

Good Stuff!

Michael Hackett
07-11-2008, 05:00 PM
David,

First of all, good news on your fire situation!

Thanks for clearing up your earlier post. I understand now what you are saying and even agree - imagine that.

My earlier point was that most cops simply won't train in Aikido to the level needed to be effective on more than a rudimentary level. They will get pretty good at an ikkyo (as long as we call it an arm bar take down) at a kihon level and not much further. Hence I think it valuable for most cops to train/cross train/experience both the striking and groundfighting schools as well. They won't be very good at any of them, but they will have a few tools in the toolbox to perhaps get them home at end of watch. Aikido could certainly be enough if the individual is will to put in the time, sweat and effort to get beyond a brief exposure to kihon waza.

Good luck with the rest of what looks to be a terrible fire season in your area!

eric_lecaptain
07-11-2008, 06:39 PM
we had a cop show up to our dojo once. he never came back.
in any case, i was under the impression that most cops learn krav maga instead of aikido... :crazy:

Kevin Leavitt
07-11-2008, 06:52 PM
I don't know about Police, but for the military, aikido simply is not the most efficient or effective use of our time we have to train on the things that are most important to us. That does not mean that there is no value or benefit in aiki training, only that there are only so many hours in the days and you have competing priorities.

When we do have time to spend on empty hand stuff, we are going to spend it in a manner that most effectively makes the best use of that time. I don't believe Aikido to be the methodology that delivers this.

btw, Good post David I like your perspective on Aikido.

Kevin Leavitt
07-11-2008, 06:54 PM
btw, in our dojo we have an FBI agents, military members, and police.

senshincenter
07-11-2008, 07:34 PM
I agree, there is a time issue here. That is a problem, indeed. Howe we choose to deal with it, well, that's a choice we make. That said, I can see where Mike and Kevin are coming from, and I can very much appreciate their view. It's just not mine, and I would never presume to have folks do what we do. I have my reasons for why we do what we do, at the same time that I know it's not for everyone (nor can it be).

I've recently come to the conclusion that while we'd like to believe otherwise, there simply are no shortcuts to being effective (i.e. putting as much chance of surviving and mission success - whatever that may be - on your side as is possible per a given situation). That said, when it comes to luck, or when it comes to playing the long odds, yes, there are shortcuts - including doing and/or training in nothing. I choose to see training as an attempt to not rely so heavily upon luck.

I know this is not a very popular view, this being the age of shortcuts, and many industries (self-defense, law enforcement, military, etc.) spending a lot of time and money on getting all of us to believe in and even admire shortcuts.

I used to teach law enforcement personnel with shortcuts in mind as well. No more. I refuse to train to the lowest common denominator, because, in truth, the lowest common denominator doesn't train. Do you see the contradiction there? Training folks who do not train? What a losing battle, what an impossible task! Contradiction lies at the very foundation of said process and the need to provide training doesn't take that away - it simply adds to it.

I had one guy at my last "open" session keep asking "what if" question after "what if" question - which is perfectly fine. However, when you can't do the move at all, and your talking is just keeping you from training (and others), and you have no chance of showing up on a regular basis because of character flaws... Well, the truth just popped out of my mouth: "What if the guy is stronger than you and pulls out a knife right when you put your hands on him?" Answer I gave: "You'll probably get killed, because you don't train regularly."

Nowadays, when folks tell me, "this is too hard" or "too complicated," etc., even my own law enforcement students - the answer is the same: "That's why we train. You want to be elite at our craft - train. You want to be a common denominator - don't train - nothing is easier than that, no shortcut is shorter than that."

I should also say, a lot of this has come from my own training in live environments. That is to say, in those kind of environments, you see who would likely die and who wouldn't, and the correlation is pretty consistent regarding those that train and their likely survivability. In my own experience, the truth of these type of training environments is being reduced to some sort of hazing ritual and/or some sort of imagined process that breads a combat mindset. This has gained a lot of fuel with the new, "never give up the fight" slogans that have spread with the popularity of this type of training.

Personally, what we do is quite at odds with this. Again, not at all a popular view, but if someone starts "superhuman-ing" things in our live environments, we hit you harder and shoot your more, etc., till you figure out like everyone else present that you are not being tough - you are dreaming, and its time to wake up, before your nightmares turn real.

Why bring up live-training environments... Well, for me, the point of such training is not to make you tough or teach you to never quite, the point is to reflect upon one's skills and one's training. When you do that, when you see folks fall apart in said environments, where all they can do is "tough it out," and you are coming from this latter perspective, you quickly realize, there are no shortcuts, just the delusion of shortcuts.

So yeah things take time, lots of dedication, etc., but that need, as great as it may be, does not make the opposite true - that one can achieve something, even anything, with minimum to no commitment. Again, this is not a popular view, getting less popular every year, but this is the view I feel I need to adopt to remain a responsible instructor in this profession.

Kevin Leavitt
07-11-2008, 08:00 PM
David wrote:

I used to teach law enforcement personnel with shortcuts in mind as well. No more. I refuse to train to the lowest common denominator, because, in truth, the lowest common denominator doesn't train. Do you see the contradiction there? Training folks who do not train? What a losing battle, what an impossible task! Contradiction lies at the very foundation of said process and the need to provide training doesn't take that away - it simply adds to it.


indeed. I agree with you on that, and also refuse to teach "shortcuts" or "one day SD courses". It is a process. However, you have to make sure that process is "battlefocused" and their are certain "mission essential task" that should be focused on to ensure the method you use is as relevant as it can be without becoming technique based.

It is a big reason we drastically altered the Army Combatives Program away from technique based training.

David wrote:

Why bring up live-training environments... Well, for me, the point of such training is not to make you tough or teach you to never quite, the point is to reflect upon one's skills and one's training. When you do that, when you see folks fall apart in said environments, where all they can do is "tough it out," and you are coming from this latter perspective, you quickly realize, there are no shortcuts, just the delusion of shortcuts.

Yes, this is key. To measure and hold accountable your skills and abilities, and to provide you a model of where you are at in your training. It also follows the "train as you fight" paradigm and the "default to the level of your training" paradigm which says you will do in reality what you do in training.

David wrote:

So yeah things take time, lots of dedication, etc., but that need, as great as it may be, does not make the opposite true - that one can achieve something, even anything, with minimum to no commitment. Again, this is not a popular view, getting less popular every year, but this is the view I feel I need to adopt to remain a responsible instructor in this profession.

yes lots of time and dedication. It is about being a warrior and being mastery. A colleague and I were talking the other day about the concept of mastery and it's low social value in our society.

In the military we have seen an increase in "warriorship". I can get guys out to train on a regular basis at my office that would have never considered it before in years past. The war has something to do with it. Our culture has shifted in the Army some.

senshincenter
07-11-2008, 11:08 PM
Like I said before Kevin, I'm sure you are right on the money, and I would never outright disagree with you, never dismiss it this way or that. It's really my thing, if you will allow me that. I'm allowed many "luxuries" - things that come with offering no one anything but a chance to train, no certifications, no rank, no nothing but to share in a journey that is completely individual.

Along those lines, I can see how it makes sense to "train as you fight," etc., but from another point of view, the one my position allows me to adopt, I can reject it fully. For example, I've seen folks that can face the "sh-t" in the midst of chaos, remaining trained and disciplined, etc., but then see these same folks fall apart when asked to sit on a cushion and not move, not sleep, not make a noise. Inversely, I've seen folks that can sit for hours, but freak out when they get less than six hour of sleep and their kids are wanting them to build all their lego star wars toys NOW.

What I'm trying to say is that I've taken the position that there is always going to be a gap between training and application - that one implies the absence of the other. This is compounded more for me when I realize that it is impossible, numerically impossible, to cover every situation I may ever have to face in life in training. In fact, my experience has determined that what marks application, what marks the non-training environment, what marks reality, more than anything else, is infinity, the unending possibility of it all. In the face of Infinity, for me, it is silly to look for whatever is thought to be the most common, the more likely, etc., let alone mission specific. Reality is what it is, and what it is can never be captured. This is the exact opposite, as I hinted at earlier, of training. Training is concrete, has to be, marked both in terms of time and space, with beginnings, middles, and ends, boundaries, rights and lefts, inside and outside, etc. - so artificial, so not reality.

Rather, I use the artificial of training to work on specific things, concepts, philosophies, etc., and ultimately to provide me with the paradox of finding the Infinite in the finite, which for me is the highest martial skill, the true key to fighting as you train and training as you fight - the only key to that.

So, at our dojo, sometimes we make the naturally aggressive sit on a cushion and demonstrate and cultivate their discipline that way. Sometimes, we make the one's that can find peace and center in the quiet and stillness of meditation build lego sets for their kids after they've worked all night and have to do so again this night.

Again, it's not for everyone, this training, not by a long shot. But, in my experience, it works. And, more importantly, for me, it's much more consistent in thought, which I have found to be the first step to being consistent in practice - which shows a depth of training and achievement, a good use of time.

Again, I know this is very individual, very personal, and I only mention it here in case others my be thinking along these lines and wondering on it all. More food for thought - that kind of thing.

Kevin Leavitt
07-12-2008, 05:09 AM
Oh I agree with your thoughts 100% for myself. On a personal and individual basis your approach is one that I would follow for myself personally and encourage others to do so as well. It is sound and it is holistic. Holistic is what is key.

You are correct, the boundaries are artificially subscribed. they allow us to put things into neat little boxes that perceptionally allow us to control and manage our lives.

Family, Work, Weapons, empty hand training, golf, playing with the kids....

all go into neat little boxes that we open, focus on things in what we percieve to be the most efficient manner and we close it up and move on to the next one.

"Combatives" training for military can be approached this way as well. One thing I do like about the Marine Corps program is that they at least formally recognize that the sum of the parts equal the whole.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Synergy.png

They also have a motto "One Mind, One Weapon".

Unfortunately, most out there will use the "box" method of management of their lives and have "gaps" where the stuff that does not fit definitionally into a particular box gets lost.

These gaps prevent us from synergy and seeing a bigger picture sometimes, and can affect our development/evolvement.

Yes I do think you are correct in your approach.

Kevin Leavitt
07-12-2008, 05:10 AM
I will have to explain more later...have to go to aikido right now.

Michael Hackett
07-12-2008, 01:08 PM
David,

You and I view this issue from two different perspectives, from two different roles. As a result we disagree in part. I think we totally agree as individuals however.

My basic premise is that Aikido is effective for American police IF they are willing to train. If they are not willing to train, then some Aikido techniques will prove effective particularly if they are supplemented with some other skills.

What I think you've been saying all along is that you are a purist and insist in drilling down to the core principles of the art and aren't willing to give of your time and effort to provide anything less to students. I applaud that and am trying to emulate it as well.

I view the issue from the perspective of a police administrator who is (or more accurately was) responsible for fielding well trained police agents in a world of conflicting priorities and limited resources. At least here in California traditional police agencies are expected to be all things to all people at all times. Obviously that is an impossible task and police leaders have to set priorities in all aspects of the agency; calls for service, training, recruitment, equipment, organization, and even personal conduct of employees.

It was my job and responsibility to provide the most efficient self-defense training possible to my subordinates in that world. As a consequence, it became apparent that it would be impossible to train every officer to the level that you attempt to achieve in your own training and in your own school. There simply isn't the money available or the buy-in from governing bodies, the public or from the officers themselves. And we have to also provide training to the least common denominator in our staff. Most of us have chosen to provide an amalgum of various "arts" in an effort to give our troops a few successful tools to work with. I think that's why Krav Maga has become so popular with some police agencies. Its like the AK-47 in that it is crude and always seems to work no matter how rusty it is or how neglected it becomes.

As I recall, you teach POST defensive tactics courses as well. POST curriculum teaches the "bar arm takedown" technique which is little more than ikkyo omote. I've seen it done hundreds of times in training and in the field and have yet to see done correctly by Aikido standards. It was effective though and looked just like what the DT instructors taught.

In my perfect world, I would provide an hour each working day for DT training and it would be based almost entirely on Aikido. I would want some of the time spent on handcuffing and other techniques and processes as well, but the bulk of the training would be Aikido. Unfortunately, I had to spend a great deal of my time defending my already inadequate training budget and never got to see my perfect world.

In addressing this to you, I realize that I am preaching to the choir and so will step down from the pulpit now.

senshincenter
07-12-2008, 05:57 PM
Like I said, there's no way I can disagree with anything you guys are saying, as these are just choices and sacrifices we choose to make in light of the agendas we allow ourselves to adopt. There's give and take in everything going on here.

In the future, in fact, my position may change - as that is the great unknown. Up to now, the largest group of folks I've been officially responsible for is an Academy class of recruits. By choice, because of the pressure to become other than I have chosen to be, I've limited myself to "advanced" training, "outside" training, "extra" training, etc., regarding law enforcement personnel.

Right now, even though all folks are welcome, and the training is offered free, four times per week, people still have to seek me out and come to me, on my ground. As I said before, I offer them nothing (e.g. certification) but the chance to continue working on their craft. I try to stay as unofficial as I can be.

We'll see how that fairs next year, since I've already been slotted by my department to assist with the arrest and control training for the entire agency on an "official" basis.

When I taught the Academy class, and I was forced to play off my court, forced to place my convictions next to the agendas at hand. I chose to deal with things this way: I told folks what they were learning was the bare basics, meant to address folks that were at most passive resistant during arrest. I explained that the ARCON program they were being certified in was meant to operate as a base, for them to build upon. Building upon it was left up to them, in the very same way that learning to operate a firearm in the Academy was. As no one expected them in the field to only be able to shoot from a static position against stationary paper targets with safe backdrops, etc., no one expects them to only face passive resistant suspects.

I felt fine telling them this, being very clear about it, because I also offered to them the training that goes on top of the base they were learning - for free, four times a week.

We'll see if this holds up against an entire agency. If it doesn't, for better or for worse, I usually am "self-destructive" enough to side with my convictions and return to my unofficial status.

thanks for the great replies.
dmv

Kevin Leavitt
07-12-2008, 06:21 PM
David,

In many respects our Army Combatives Program works much the same way. We have a certification process that is the "basics".

We also conduct formalized unit training as well from time to time.

We also encourage "extracurricular" activity outside of the workplace. We kinda unofficially have "clubs" that offer training that is a little more holistic and focused on the art and game.

For instance in the Wash DC area, we have a bunch of senior Martial Artist that have formed the Pentagon Combatives Association. We offer free training to military members in BJJ and "Contemporary Combatives". We have locations at major buildings and post around the area. You can pretty much recieve high quality training for free everyday of the week...about 12 hours of training if you like.

It seems to work well for those that want to take the time to learn more.

Yeah, I agree Michael, when you are doing "formal" training, you have to distill it down to the basics, cause that is all the time you have to spend. I think our basic program does a decent job of baseline stuff, but of course, it is not enough, only a beginning.

senshincenter
07-12-2008, 06:54 PM
Sounds good to me. :-)

Michael Hackett
07-13-2008, 01:06 AM
David,

When I read your account of the academy training, I had a flashback to my own boot camp days at MCRD, San Diego. We went through a lot of hours in "hand-to-hand combat" instruction from some pretty talented people (guys who followed on after Frank Duran Sensei) and I remember that we thought we were pretty hot stuff. At the conclusion of the last class the instructor told us what skilled warriors we were and then finished by telling us that we would probably get the snot beat out of us on boot camp leave by an angry Girl Scout. That didn't happen to me and I still am cautious around Girl Scouts.

I hope some of them listened to you and will take advantage. My bet is that if you had a class of thirty, you will get one to follow through. Man, would I like to be wrong here. How about following up in a few months and let us know if anyone was awake that day?

senshincenter
07-13-2008, 03:08 AM
Yes, that is exactly what happened: out of forty, one took me up on my offer and trains with us regularly. For me, this is one of the reason why I've chosen what I've chosen.

d

Kevin Leavitt
07-13-2008, 08:00 AM
Yup, that is about the same ratio that we run into. This summer I bought a portable flexiroll mat and started training outside while the weather is nice at our office. I have picked up about 4 guys so far that will come on a regular basis now.

Picked up a couple out of our most recent combatives class. We will see. However, Only a couple ever seem to keep with it over a year.