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erogers
02-10-2008, 02:07 AM
i'm a little curious to know if there are any military personal in here that are familiar with the us army's combatives program. i recently enlisted, and as someone who's studied both aikido and hapkido, i'm curious if anyone knows why the army's program focuses a lot on brazilian jiu jitsu? i've been told by a close quarter combat instructor that is here locally that, " bjj is a great sport, but anyone who's ever been in combat will tell you that if you end up on your back you're dead." i have yet to ship to bct, so i could find out exactly why when i do, but i'm just curious if there's anyone who could shed some light.

Michael Varin
02-10-2008, 03:39 AM
Because the Gracies were great marketers.

If approached properly aikido has much more to offer as far as combat situations go. Of course most people's training methods are severely lacking, and in any case it will have to be tailored to the specific weapons you will be using.

There are a lot of good things about bjj, but going to the ground is the last option in any situation other than one-on-one-unarmed.

If nothing else, ground grappling typically builds a strong will.

Avery Jenkins
02-10-2008, 05:54 AM
i'm just curious if there's anyone who could shed some light.

Anybody seen Kevin around?

Seriously, Evan, search the board for Kevin Leavitt. He can, and already has, answered your question, and can probably answer the questions you haven't even thought of yet.

Avery

Aikibu
02-10-2008, 10:12 AM
http://www.wabujitsu.com/combatives.htm

You can download both the Army and Marine Corps Manuals.

Matt Larsen one of the founders of Modern Army Combatives also posts on occasion at this link here

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10166

John Lindsey the owner of E-Budo and I both served at the same time in the 2nd Ranger Batt. Allot of good Military Folks on the site with allot of real world feedback for you youngins....Just remember to be very respectful.

Good Luck Young Man.

And no Aikido does not fit well with Modern Army Martial Arts. Hapkido may have some uses however.

I HIGHLY SUGGEST you leaved your preconceived ideas at HOME when you ship out to basic and focus on the training.

William Hazen

Aristeia
02-10-2008, 12:44 PM
not so much to do with the marketing I think.
I heard once that in combat the winner of the fight is the guy who's friend shows up first with a gun.

I believe a big part of the purpose of bjj in the army is that it is one of the few arts that allows you to spar full on, full resistance with minimal injury. For that reason it's great for building tenacity and fighting will without sending people to the hospital regularly.

Also if being on your back is death, the people most qualified to stay off their back and stay off the ground are grapplers.

HTH

TTT for Kevin.

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2008, 04:41 PM
Thanks Michael.

I was really suprised to see this post here! For MAC-P!

I can pretty much write a discertation on the subject of MAC-P, how it works or doesn't work well with aikido and why the Army (Matt Larsen) designed it the way they did, and my experiences as an aikido purist that got involved with this program as a Soldier.

I am a currently a level II instructor, a Major in the Army, and BJJ purple belt as well. I ran a successful MAC-P program as well as integrated it into combat training in Germany.

If you have specific questions about the program I'd be happy to answer them. I am not going to get into trying to explain all the complexities of this topic and the age old "ground fighting" argument.

Mr Hazen gives some good advice. Go to BCT, do what you are told, keep an open mind, and everything will work out well!

The bottom line is that MAC-P is a good program. It and the USMC's MCMAP are two unique programs that were designed with the military in mind. Not based on the latest rage in martial arts, not designed for commercial purposes, or based on ancient traditions of a koyru art, or the philosophical underpinnings of the Gendai arts.

It was designed by soldiers with soldiers in mind. It is designed to produces soldiers with the skills the need in combat and to promote and instill warrior ethos.

The naysayers out there you will find do not have a complete understanding of the program, the Modern Army, or modern martial training methodologies.

I will admit that BJJ is somewhat a part of the program, but Matt will be the first to tell you that the program is NOT BJJ. If you attended the course I just conducted last weekend, you would have an appreciation of where BJJ begins and ends in the program, and that our top instructors can competently discuss that with you.

The program does start off with groundfighting skills, much akin to BJJ. A good BJJer will have no issue with what we are teaching as it is BJJ 101. it is a fallacy, spread by those that do not really understand the modern battlefield and groundfighting that they are not good skills to have in combat. (We also don't go around jumping guard in combat contrary to what you may have heard).

If you have a strong aikido background, it won't do you much good to start out with. That does not mean that your training is for not and a waste of time. However, be prepared to have your paradigms and comfort zone destroyed in MAC-P as your Aikido skills will be of very little use until you master the basics of groundfighting, the clinch, takedowns, etc. It took me about 4 years of solid training, but now I am able to start seeing the benefits of my aikido training. Not in the literal sense of what you might consider aikido, but in the principles and subtleness.

you might also want to check out the soldierground forum on MMA.TV. Matt Larsen, myself, and most of the senior instructors and MAC-P guys hang out there. It is the most appropriate place to discuss MAC-P

http://www.mma.tv/tuf/index.cfm?FID=104&a=110&TID=0

Again, I'd be happy to answer specifically any questions you may have about the program. My best advice is to go into it with no preconcieved notions, have an open mind, and embrace it. It is a good program, it produces very competent martial artist, and we have some of the best Martial artist in the world associated with the program. Many would die to have the level of instruction and sophistication of the training you are about to recieve...for free, AND get paid to do! Hooah and good luck.

DonMagee
02-10-2008, 06:01 PM
I personally find it funny how many people thing hand to hand combat matters in the scheme of things. I've had a few of my friends come back from iraq. Not a single one was ever engaged in hand to hand combat. They had buddies, rifles, and in some instances hummers and tanks. None of them, both marines and army personally knew anyone who was engaged in hand to hand combat. They told me the most important part of your training do exactly what you are told to do at all times. That's what keeps you alive, nothing more

Aikibu
02-10-2008, 06:48 PM
I personally find it funny how many people thing hand to hand combat matters in the scheme of things. I've had a few of my friends come back from iraq. Not a single one was ever engaged in hand to hand combat. They had buddies, rifles, and in some instances hummers and tanks. None of them, both marines and army personally knew anyone who was engaged in hand to hand combat. They told me the most important part of your training do exactly what you are told to do at all times. That's what keeps you alive, nothing more

Whew Don sometimes you amaze me....

You honestly have no idea what you're talking about...

Go over to E-Budo and post the same comments on the Combatives Forum...

There are quite a few soldiers who are alive today because of this training. Just because you personally don't know any one them does not mean s**t.

I suggest you start with Google and YouTube...Text Army Combatives and Matt Larsen and take it from there....

There are HUNDREDS of documented instances of hand to hand combat in Iraq and Afganistan

Thats right HUNDREDS...

I know of one Silver Star (The Army Second highest award for valor) being awarded to a Special Forces Master Sgt who subdued and 'rendered combat ineffective" a few Taliban using hand to hand combat to save other members of his Team even though he was seriously injured.

With all due respect Don

I'll put my money all in He's not the only one.

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2008, 07:32 PM
Don,

No disrespect, and I am glad your buddies did not have such encounters, But they do not represent the experiences and nor are they the subject matter experts on all things that are happening on the battlefield.

Mr Hazen is referring to MSG Pryor:

http://www.t-g.com/story/1094918.html

another article which "refers to hand to hand fighting"

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E1D7103CF93BA3575BC0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1

There are more accounts if you dig around.

I have personally trained soldiers that have used the training and have come back to thank me.

Matt Larsen collects "after action reports" and feedback to make sure we are on track with our training.

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2008, 07:40 PM
Don wrote:

They told me the most important part of your training do exactly what you are told to do at all times.

This is also incorrect. The most important thing we teach is to do what you are TRAINED to do, not what you are TOLD to do.

To the uninitiated the distinction may not be clear.

We try not to train mindless robots that do what they are told to do, but quick thinking, responsive warriors that can make their own decisions given the orders, parameters, and constraints that are imposed.

There's a huge difference.

Sua Sponte!

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2008, 07:53 PM
Here are a couple of videos to check out:

A few of my soldiers at JMRC produced this one off a a script that we use in one of our discussions during our level I course:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-lxbU47pho

The next one is an Interview with SSG Mike Czarnecki, one of our Combatives Instructors when I was at JMRC:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCUfmRV89Uo

This one is the intro to MAC-P by Matt Larsen. It is a good one to give you an overview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEDkzD0ULKo

Listen carefully to what he is saying, not so much about what is going on as far as technique. The techniques are the very first ones you learn and is not indicative of the complete program.

Don
02-10-2008, 08:21 PM
I have really enjoyed this discussion thus far, and I have a question specifically for Mr. Leavitt. It sure seems to me that there probably is a fair fraction of people who start aikido and any martial art for that matter, because deep down, they want to be able to fend off attackers and/or fight them successfully. I base this comment both on the preponderence of discussion on this and other websites as to the real or perceived effectiveness of aikido vs other martial arts or the effectiveness of aikido in "real" situations, and on the numerous discussions with new or potential students who wander in and out of our dojo. Having been in aikido now 16 years in all, I have figured out some transference of skills from the kata we teach to (hopefully) real situations. But the way aikido is generally taught it takes a person who is willing to actively think about, experiment, and sometimes perturb their sensei.

Anyway, I digress from my question. It seems to me that given the desire of so many who want to know a real "combat" fighting art, some enterprising ex-military combatives instructor could take the military combative couse, modify it so that you are not producing killers and have a really nice "martial art" to teach and satisfy an apparently huge demand. Has this been done to your knowledge? I'd hate to think that I was the first one to ever think of this and I would not want to bet that I was! Seems like a solution to a continuing demand.

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2008, 08:48 PM
One that comes to mind in Systema. I don't know much about it other than what I have heard on the web, or seen you youtube, but it seems that they have been successful with it.

Krav Maga is another one. Sambo is another. Tae Kwon do.

There are also quite a few good what I would call "direct" combat schools out there. Tony Blauer comes to mind.

The reason I would personally hesitate to do that on my own for a couple of reasons. first, there are some good ones out there that have much more experience than I. Tony Blauer for example. If I really care about doing things right, then why would I not just do what Tony is doing?

Second, what do you mean by "combat fighting art". So, called Combat fighting is specific in nature. ie you are concerned with particular ranges and types of fighting. When you train for combat, you have to isolate out various types of training for safety and to maximize efficiency of training.

Civilianizing this type of training escapes me as to why any one would want to train this way? There are plenty of "survivalist" schools out there already. You can pay your money and go to "adult summer camp" and get "trained" in all the latest "combat tactics".

So now that leaves "combat empty hand arts". What is left?

BJJ is a decent mechanism for training ground skills. These guys do it pretty darn good. Lots of MMA schools all around the country already. Many of these guys are training MAC-P stuff already and we contract with them.

To me when you get down to empty hand you are talking about closing distance, grappling, punching, and kicking. How complicated or how much marketing do you want to add to it? Each school or group can color it however they want to so they can appeal to their market!

Outside of that, you have what else????

Internal martial arts? Lets not even open up that can of worms!

So, there are plenty of training mechanisms out there already. Lots and lots of great schools and programs. You simply have to find the ones that target in most efficiently on the things you want to improve upon and train.

To be honest, I think most of the good MMA schools that are out there are teaching about as good as you can on the things you need most in a fight. Closing distance, grappling, hitting, kicking, and blunt objects (AKA dog brothers).

I think in the future though, you will see more of this type of model pop up in a town near you!

That is, until all these guys get old, then they will start teaching the "internal secrets" of what they used to teach and calll it something else....like aikido! :)

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2008, 09:05 PM
Don,

I was just reading through your post again and you do bring up an interesting point concerning 16 years of training, aikido vs other arts, real situations, and transference of skills.

This is the crux of the dilemma we face in training. i.e transference of skills.

We all tend to have a particular idea in our head on what "skills" are. What it means to transfer them. What the end state of that transfer looks like, and how we define success and measure quality.

This is where things get tricky.

It is hard for me to really talk about this in a way that I can explain it coherently.

There certainly are many, many benefits to be gained in aikido that are helpful to me, especially when I place a rifle back into my hands. That said, our objectives for training in aikido are not the same as the objectives for training a soldier. It just means that aikido is not an efficient delivery system for maximizing quickly the range of skills you need for close quarters fighting.

Again, it is hard to describe this, but because it may not be efficient, does not mean that it is wrong in the bigger scheme of things! There are some good lessons to be learn the long slow way as well.

KIT
02-10-2008, 09:29 PM
Kevin and William

Your patience truly is amazing.

It is absolutely astonishing to me that so many years hence, with the exact same debate still continuing, and yet with so much stuff proven effective and even life saving in actual combat, by both soldiers and to a greater extent policedue to the nature of the encounters faced, that the ignorant and the fearful still impose their projections on what they think "combat" or a combative encounter (self defense/police) should be like based on adherence to an idealistic "martial arts" world view and not an experiential one.

A phrase I have settled on lately is that so many people, especially in the martial arts, simply don't know what they don't know.

Indeed, the experience of actual people is often downplayed or dismissed if it does not fit another's preconceived notion of what such an encounter is for any one of the reasons Kevin explained.

I applaud your continuing efforts at sanity and hope, I just hope, that of the many people reading this who embrace the idealistic approach, as many, if not more will go "y'know, these guys have a lot experience, they talk to and train guys who have a lot of experience, and they hear back from the same guys about what works and what didn't." I fear its too much to ask.

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2008, 09:35 PM
Thanks Kit! Good to see you back here! I trust that you have recovered well!

It is hard to conceive and it is even harder to swallow, especially when you have invested yourself physically and emotionally to a particular set of beliefs, habits, or practices. Ask me how I know!

KIT
02-10-2008, 09:38 PM
Don (McConnell):

If you are looking for systems with a similarity in approach to Modern Army Combatives (I haven't ever trained it, but I have followed Matt Larsen's writings, I've read his comments in Greg Thompson's book, and followed Kevin's postings here...), you can check out a few systems that are gaining traction in the law enforcement community. These probably have a more direct crossover to the "civilian" self defense model outside of cuffing tactics, and direct relation in terms of lethal threats.

ISR Matrix:

http://www.isrmatrix.org/

(There are civilian and LE iterations, "Physical Management" is the civilian system)

Arrestling International Mixed Marshal Arts:

http://www.arrestling.com/

Based mainly in the Pacific Northwest, but growing in influence.

Extreme Close Quarters Combatives:

http://www.shivworks.com/

Actually civilian concealed carry, worst case scenario armed combatives though a number of LE attend the classes.

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2008, 09:46 PM
Actually Greg's book I think is a really good book. He cover's the complete range of techniques to include weapon rentention. Greg is one of our civilian SMEs on combatives.

KIT
02-10-2008, 09:48 PM
Thanks Kit! Good to see you back here! I trust that you have recovered well!

It is hard to conceive and it is even harder to swallow, especially when you have invested yourself physically and emotionally to a particular set of beliefs, habits, or practices. Ask me how I know!

I mainly lurk for your posts! Plus some folks here have said some very nice things that really helped me along.

Funny, when I got Greg's book I was struck by how similar it was to what Arrestling has been doing. I think with anything there is stuff I would do differently, but the fact that people dealing with real violence at close quarters, coming to the same or very nearly the same conclusions is what in law enforcement we call "a clue."

Kevin Leavitt
02-10-2008, 09:57 PM
Yes, in most martial arts training we assume parity, a priori, or same knowledge, and a mutual understanding/agreement of the situation.

This tends to cause us to form an idea about what fights are, how you fight them, what the rules are, and from what distance they start and end. If you training from equal ma'ai and knowledge of the situation, then you will form opinions and responses that may or may not occur on the street!

KIT
02-10-2008, 10:07 PM
Which is fascinating.

To draw a classical combative parallel, I don't know about Daito-ryu as the progenitor of aikido, but I know some other early combat grappling koryu, swords and armor clinch stuff, have numerous kata where tori starts on the losing end of an encounter in terms of initiative, positional dominance, armament or what have you.

I think they knew that in the wide open contexts of armed men really trying to kill each other, all sorts of bad things can and did happen, and regardless of skill you might find yourself laying on your back, in the mud, having had your primary weapon break or otherwise be inoperable, and that someone on the opposing side may have taken just that gap he needed to gain an advantage, be straddling you or crushing down on your back, as you both fight over your own or each other's weapon to get some telling damage on the other guy before he gets some on you.

Things that make you go hmmm...

Aikibu
02-11-2008, 01:01 AM
Kevin and William

Your patience truly is amazing.

It is absolutely astonishing to me that so many years hence, with the exact same debate still continuing, and yet with so much stuff proven effective and even life saving in actual combat, by both soldiers and to a greater extent policedue to the nature of the encounters faced, that the ignorant and the fearful still impose their projections on what they think "combat" or a combative encounter (self defense/police) should be like based on adherence to an idealistic "martial arts" world view and not an experiential one.

A phrase I have settled on lately is that so many people, especially in the martial arts, simply don't know what they don't know.

Indeed, the experience of actual people is often downplayed or dismissed if it does not fit another's preconceived notion of what such an encounter is for any one of the reasons Kevin explained.

I applaud your continuing efforts at sanity and hope, I just hope, that of the many people reading this who embrace the idealistic approach, as many, if not more will go "y'know, these guys have a lot experience, they talk to and train guys who have a lot of experience, and they hear back from the same guys about what works and what didn't." I fear its too much to ask.

No truer words were spoken than these..."A phrase I have settled on lately is that so many people, especially in the martial arts, simply don't know what they don't know."

Preaching to the Choir Brother Kit! Thanks for the kind words.

Damn good to know you're healing up just fine. :)

William Hazen

Aikibu
02-11-2008, 01:04 AM
Thanks Kit! Good to see you back here! I trust that you have recovered well!

It is hard to conceive and it is even harder to swallow, especially when you have invested yourself physically and emotionally to a particular set of beliefs, habits, or practices. Ask me how I know!

Those that already know have no need to ask. :D

My fave definition of insanity... Making the exact same mistake thiinking it's going to work this time LOL :D

William Hazen

Aikibu
02-11-2008, 01:09 AM
Yes, in most martial arts training we assume parity, a priori, or same knowledge, and a mutual understanding/agreement of the situation.

This tends to cause us to form an idea about what fights are, how you fight them, what the rules are, and from what distance they start and end. If you training from equal ma'ai and knowledge of the situation, then you will form opinions and responses that may or may not occur on the street!

Concur 100% I have seen more than a few Dojo Superheros get thier butts handed to them in the real world. The same can be said of almost any athletic pursuit.

"Son I just don't understand how bad you suck in a game. You sure practice well.":confused:

William Hazen

Aikibu
02-11-2008, 01:17 AM
Don,

No disrespect, and I am glad your buddies did not have such encounters, But they do not represent the experiences and nor are they the subject matter experts on all things that are happening on the battlefield.

Mr Hazen is referring to MSG Pryor:

http://www.t-g.com/story/1094918.html

another article which "refers to hand to hand fighting"

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E1D7103CF93BA3575BC0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1

There are more accounts if you dig around.

I have personally trained soldiers that have used the training and have come back to thank me.

Matt Larsen collects "after action reports" and feedback to make sure we are on track with our training.

Actually Sir you put up the wrong link for Tony Pryor

Here is a better one to read for you folks here...http://www.qando.net/Details.aspx?Entry=3653

Although the link you put up Sir was a about a fine young Marine who won the Silver Star too.PFC Randy McClenny

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
02-11-2008, 06:06 AM
Oops, you are correct. I meant to post the Army News link and grabbed the wrong link! Thanks for correcting that one!

http://www.army.mil/-news/2003/10/22/1662-sf-soldier-gets-silver-star-for-heroism-in-afghanistan/

Oh don't call me sir! I guarantee you are much older than I Ranger!

Don
02-11-2008, 10:25 AM
Kevin: I guess the thing that the Military Combatives would bring to a curriculum is the ability and knowledge of how to transfer effective skills in a reasonably short amount of time. What I see is that unless there is some other reason for staying with the art, people tend to drift away from aikido because they don't see the transferance to everyday life in a fast enough way. Few people stay around "to preserve the art" and most have other agendas driving them, imo. The unique thing that the military knows how to do is to transfer skills competently, quickly and effectively to many people. Most aikido (and other martial arts instructors) teach it the way they learned it. (and truth be told for those who are trying to actually make a living, have a motive for people staying around as long as possible). There is not a vetting mechanism for figuring out what is the best way to teach in the quickest and best way. Perhaps Krav Maga and systema approach that since they came from other military training systems.

DonMagee
02-11-2008, 10:43 AM
I fear I was taken out of context, or perhaps did not make my point clear. I read the articles linked. I did not see anything showing hand to hand happens anywhere near the scale of combat with firearms.

My point was simply, so many people think hand to hand is the end all be all of military training. The talk about how by not training X our troops are all going to die. The truth is hand to hand combat is easy. As was posted above, you can walk into any mma gym in the world and getting good hand to hand training. I've spared with all my friends. Their skill in unarmed combat is minimal at best. I'd put them on par with students who have trained 3-6 months at our club. I do not see this as a flaw in the military training, but rather just another example that unarmed combat is not nearly as important as martial artists like to think it is.

We need to get over ourselves. That was my point. It doesn't matter if you are training in aikido, boxing, TKD, bjj, MMA, krav maga, jump rope, etc. If the training method is good, then you will learn the level of skill my friends have. It seemed good enough to get them though their combat, and as they pointed out, I might of beat them in a sparing match, but if they had their rifle, things would be different.

Chuck.Gordon
02-11-2008, 11:39 AM
Kevin can speak far more intelligently about the MACP than I, but as an old soldier and 30+ year budoka, the best thing I see about MACP is that the troops are actually TRAINING it, and it's not just a little-used manual taking up space in the bookshelf.

Me, I liked the old H2H manual (based mostly on Danzan Ryu jujutsu, by the way). But it wasn't being trained, it wasn't being used and, frankly, in the mindset of the Cold War (and earlier wars) military, it wasn't particularly useful outside SpecOps circles and their ilk who might have to be sneaky and field expedient.

Larsen and others have done a very good job of interpreting physical combatives in a way that will be useful on today's battlefield, and more importantly, in a way that will actually get units and troops DOING it.

Today, a HUGE part of military ops in Iraq and Afghanistan involve breaking down doors and apprehending, rather than massed battles of firepower vs firepower (though there have been exceptions and some very intense running battles have occurred certainly).

In the environment these guys are facing, what they're training works very well.

Chuck.Gordon
02-11-2008, 11:43 AM
PS: Kevin, things are looking like I may end up at Fort Detrick. Waiting to hear something this week hopefully. If so, we'll be just up the road from ya. I'll keep you posted.

Kevin Leavitt
02-11-2008, 12:58 PM
Wow. Fort Detrick! That is a huge shift! that would be great for all of us here in the DC area for sure! Let me know.

Chuck you bring up some points I did not discuss concerning MAC-P.

Matt points out exactly what you were saying...we have soldiers training. This is a big part of the design of the program that is based on the MMA competitive model. Soldiers do it because it is 1. rapidily learnable. 2. Does not require lots of equipment. 3. It can be done safely 4. Sucess and accountability is measureable.

As Don points out above. It is pretty easy when you think about it. Closing distance, grappling, kicking and striking. How much more complex do we need to make things???

I always go back to Musashi's philosophy at some point. Producing warriors is a multifaceted thing.

I get beat all the time in the dojo. That is not the point. the point is the same one I learned as a Boy Scout so many years ago. "Do your Best". and "Be Prepared".

Kevin Leavitt
02-11-2008, 01:14 PM
Don McConnell wrote:

Kevin: I guess the thing that the Military Combatives would bring to a curriculum is the ability and knowledge of how to transfer effective skills in a reasonably short amount of time. What I see is that unless there is some other reason for staying with the art, people tend to drift away from aikido because they don't see the transferance to everyday life in a fast enough way.

Yes the military in general does a pretty good job of transferrence of skill.

You know I was just discussing this very topic with another aikidoka yesterday. That is...the topic of students coming to aikido, staying with aikido, leaving aikido, what we are trying to teach them, and how their own agendas line up with the goals and expectations of aikido.

It is not for me to say what aikido should and should not be. It is what it is in each dojo. Since I don't control or run an aikido dojo, it would be out of place for me to comment on.

I think we all come into the arts with expectations of what they will do for us. I think most of us would agree that our reasons today are probably not what they were 10 years ago!

I think if you stick with this stuff for longer than a year or two, you probably have figured this out! If not, you probably lost interest once you accomplished the basic goals of "self defense". Either that or you are really deluded and think that what we do in most dojo's is a great and efficient delivery mechanism after 10 years of study!

It is tricky ground. I can teach in about 40 hours most of what someone needs to get by in a hand to hand altercation.

On that same note. Mike Sigman taught me in a weekend everything that I probably need to do in order to develop Jin and Kokyo power in my aikido!

The catch is, how much training and time am I willing to put in to improve and to what level! That is....How do you define success and quality, and what is the realitive value of the time spent doing these things!

I think Don Magee is correct in his last post concern realitivity.

So when you talk about training "efficient Self Defense skills". Think about this: Why not spend a couple of hours learning how to fire a hand gun correctly. Or why not take a class in learning how to use a taser, pepper spray, or other non-lethal types of weapons.

I had an FBI security expert once talk to me about guns in a house and how illogical it was as a form of self defense.

Look at it this way. Take the money, build a "safe room" with a iron door with a secure method for locking. Put a cell phone in that room with a back up commo sources, call for help, and stay in that room.

Certainly beats calling the cops, then walking around the house with a loaded gun trying to "shoot" a perp then having the cops have to deal with both the perp and you and distingush the difference.

Which way makes you safer?

The issue is we get emotionally involved in our notions about what is best, what is efficient, then we confuse the parameters of the situation with the desired endstate, and muddy the waters with stuff like guns, and martial arts!

Kevin Leavitt
02-11-2008, 01:26 PM
I kinda got off track a little on that last post. It would also make a interesting disussion I think to discuss why people lose interest in aikido.

Again, I think people come to the art with expectations. Aikido does not fill those expectations sometimes so they leave.

I see two types that come to the art and leave. Those that are chasing the dream of enlightment and look towards aikido as an endstate to that, and those that come to it with self defense as an endstate.

there may be other reasons to, like those that look at it with Physical fitness as a endstate.

When you look at these extremes, Aikido really is inefficient.

Think about it. Zen practices certainly deal with the concept of enlightment more directly right? There are plenty of ways to be better at self defense that are more efficient deliver mechanisms. Physical fitness, going to aerobics, the latest kick boxing craze, or the gym of the month all do better than aikido.

So, why do aikido at all?

Why not take the MMA approach and "Cross train your way".

Go to Zen study group to get better at enlightment.

Go to your local RBSD school to get the "down and dirty".

Go to a good "Cross Fit" gym, or whatever to gain physical fitness.

Wouldn't "Cross Training" this stuff produce a better holisitc better approach than aikido?

So Why would we want to study aikido at all. What makes it so special that we "Should" spend our time studying it? What is the compelling reason to continue?

Chuck.Gordon
02-11-2008, 02:23 PM
Wow. Fort Detrick! That is a huge shift! that would be great for all of us here in the DC area for sure! Let me know.

Will do. Although, we spent several years here only about an hour apart and got together, what, ONCE!?!?! Heh!

How much more complex do we need to make things???

This is something you note in many of the koryu ryuha ... things are very simple. The more complex they get, the hard they are to learn and to pass on.

I always go back to Musashi's philosophy at some point. Producing warriors is a multifaceted thing.

And old Musashi was fond of just wading in with a big stick and just whacking people. Simple, elegant, efficient.

cg

erogers
02-13-2008, 02:07 PM
Mr. Leavitt, your insight has proved quite valuable. i ship for bct on march 25th in fort jackson, sc. then i'll have my ait in fort lee, va. i'm a little curious if you happen to know what my course of action would be if i decided to continue my combatives training after basic? will there be places to train during ait, or even once i get back home to southwest mo, or would i have to go to the combatives school in georgia? just thought i'd ask in case you knew. thanks.

Kevin Leavitt
02-13-2008, 04:20 PM
Your not one of those National Guard Guys are you??? :)

Anyway...it depends is the answer.

The program is proliferating all over the place, and you can get good training at most MMA schools around the country. It may not be exactly MACP, but close enough to work on the basics.

My advice would be to find a good BJJ school and work on ground skills for a while mastering the basics of ground fighting, and go from there. You will never go wrong with a base in BJJ for sure.

I am working with some guys here in the DC area to set up a Nationwide program that would enable soldiers (AC and RC) to get training where ever they may find themselves.

Good luck and stay in touch.

erogers
02-13-2008, 04:41 PM
No i'm not national guard, lol. army reserve rather, 414th MP company. are you in the dc area? do you have a school? i might look you up then when i'm in va for ait if you do. thanks

Kevin Leavitt
02-13-2008, 04:50 PM
I am a Full Time National Guard Officer that is why I asked! :)

Anyway, yes, we do have a "school" in the area.

www.pentagoncombatives.com

There is some guys down at the Fort Lee area as well I believe, ask on the MMA.TV message board under the soldier ground forum. Fort Lee is a AIT location so combatives will be taught there for sure.

Stephen Kotev
02-14-2008, 11:38 AM
A phrase I have settled on lately is that so many people, especially in the martial arts, simply don't know what they don't know.



Kit,

Care to elaborate?

Best,

Stephen

Kevin Leavitt
02-14-2008, 08:06 PM
Damit, just wrote a reply and it got destroyed by the web gods.

Anyway, I am sure it was for the best!

So I will keep it short.

Read a little about Cognitive Dissonance Theory to get an idea of what Kit is talking about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

In Martial Arts we are training in things that hurt or kill people. In order to make the environment safe and to train, we have to have constraints, conditions, and assumptions to make this happen.

When we don't understand those things for what they are, and if we are new coming into an established practice or system, it is easy to not know these things.

When we train week after week with our training partners we begin to believe that what we are doing in the dojo is indeed appropriate and our partners are presenting the same conditions that we will encounter in reality. Many times these are not.

Cognitive dissonance sets in when we are presented with new things. You don't want to have this happen for the first time in a fight or you may not respond or recognize it for what it is.

Read also about the OODA loop. The military uses this to try and break such cycles and get ahead of the ball game.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_Loop

If you watch my cheesy little video about the history of the martial arts...that is why we made that video, not to be a concise history, but to try and help our students understand the process of martial training and what it does for you (or doesn't).

We spend a great deal of time trying to get this across to our students in MACP.

So I agree with Kit..."we don't know what we don't know"!

KIT
02-14-2008, 10:49 PM
Kit,

Care to elaborate?

Best,

Stephen

Certainly. Kevin addressed aspects of it, but it goes deeper.

Martial arts is one of the few subjects at which one can be an expert in something one has literally never done. Martial artists are considered experts at "self defense," "combat" and "real fighting" though they may have never done anything of the sort outside of practice. Being good at martial arts has little to do with real fighting, even less with self defense in most training halls.

No surgeon in the world would be considered an expert surgeon by anyone with any credibility if that surgeon stated that they had in fact never performed an actual surgery. If all they had done was perform in controlled conditions, on cadavers.

Now the latter surgeon may know and understand actual surgery techniques, might in fact due to natural dexterity or some other individual attribute have scalpel skills that rival the best in the world; might even be able to teach a veteran "real life" surgeon a new thing about a very specific aspect of handling a scalpel or making a certain incision, but his frame of reference will always be lacking in a total sense.

First, he's never been tested. Certainly he may have felt stressed under certain circumstances, but he can never even remotely feel what it is like to be in fear of losing an actual patient. Let alone what it is like to actually lose one and continue on with his career, still performing surgery.

He's also not developed the situational awareness that is dependant on a real situation. Of course, under mock conditions, and with cadavers that have died from one thing or another he might be able to identify certain characteristics of this or that malady, even that may inform his decisions on how he would perform surgery, based on the condition of the body.

But he cannot ever know the experience of the subtle things; the conscious and subconscious cues that long experience with actual patients give him and that he has learned to trust or dismiss based on that experience. He cannot know whether one of those subtle signs is important or is not, he will be severely limited under uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances (say a patient crashing and having to identify why, and to fix in, while performing the operation).

Sure, he can read about the experience of other, real surgeons and glean something from what they have written. He can train with them and get an even greater understanding, perhaps even undergo training that is more relevant and more realistic based on the knowledge that the real surgeon can impart and graft that onto his understanding of cadaver surgery, but he will not have the most important insight, what he would do when operating on a real patient, or more importantly, what he would do and where his understanding would be after years of doing so, learning from mistakes and successes and dealing with the adrenalin of life and death.

I hope that makes sense.

Michael Varin
02-15-2008, 01:52 AM
Great analogy, Kit.

Of course, on any given day a surgeon with 25 years of experience can lose a patient, and a med school student could be successful.

Any martial artist after their first off the mat altercation (even a minor one) will quickly learn that there are many more variables outside the dojo.

You can never plan for every eventuality.

This is why I believe a calm and composed mind is a most important aspect of martial training.

KIT
02-15-2008, 04:35 AM
Great analogy, Kit.

Of course, on any given day a surgeon with 25 years of experience can lose a patient, and a med school student could be successful.

Any martial artist after their first off the mat altercation (even a minor one) will quickly learn that there are many more variables outside the dojo.

You can never plan for every eventuality.

This is why I believe a calm and composed mind is a most important aspect of martial training.

Absolutely.

And how much more will the lessons of that "off the mat" experience be integrated when having many such encounters, across the spectrum from minor to very serious ones?

How much more will that martial artist know after the first? The tenth? The thirtieth?

How much will he realize he thought he knew after the first when he reaches the tenth? And so on....

The composed mind under duress is the most important aspect of martial performance. I would point out that whether that is really being developed depends on the training.

The best way to truly understand it is to train under similar duress and similar dynamics to a real encounter, then have that understanding tested, repeatedly, producing similar results under a variety of circumstances in real encounters. That is what the experienced surgeon has that the med student doesn't. I guess we could call it "depth."

Good point re: the compare and contrast of the med student and 25 year surgeon. Chance always plays a role, only the most arrogant believe that they can circumvent it totally based on training and experience.

Experience as well can be parsed: does the guy have 25 years experience, or one year of experience 25 times over? Did he have that one encounter and learn nothing from it, and has he repeated the same damn mistakes over and over in each successive one?

Its common sensical in many ways, but martial arts and common sense often don't go together.

Stephen Kotev
02-19-2008, 11:35 AM
Certainly. Kevin addressed aspects of it, but it goes deeper.

Martial arts is one of the few subjects at which one can be an expert in something one has literally never done. Martial artists are considered experts at "self defense," "combat" and "real fighting" though they may have never done anything of the sort outside of practice. Being good at martial arts has little to do with real fighting, even less with self defense in most training halls.

No surgeon in the world would be considered an expert surgeon by anyone with any credibility if that surgeon stated that they had in fact never performed an actual surgery. If all they had done was perform in controlled conditions, on cadavers.

Now the latter surgeon may know and understand actual surgery techniques, might in fact due to natural dexterity or some other individual attribute have scalpel skills that rival the best in the world; might even be able to teach a veteran "real life" surgeon a new thing about a very specific aspect of handling a scalpel or making a certain incision, but his frame of reference will always be lacking in a total sense.

First, he's never been tested. Certainly he may have felt stressed under certain circumstances, but he can never even remotely feel what it is like to be in fear of losing an actual patient. Let alone what it is like to actually lose one and continue on with his career, still performing surgery.

He's also not developed the situational awareness that is dependant on a real situation. Of course, under mock conditions, and with cadavers that have died from one thing or another he might be able to identify certain characteristics of this or that malady, even that may inform his decisions on how he would perform surgery, based on the condition of the body.

But he cannot ever know the experience of the subtle things; the conscious and subconscious cues that long experience with actual patients give him and that he has learned to trust or dismiss based on that experience. He cannot know whether one of those subtle signs is important or is not, he will be severely limited under uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances (say a patient crashing and having to identify why, and to fix in, while performing the operation).

Sure, he can read about the experience of other, real surgeons and glean something from what they have written. He can train with them and get an even greater understanding, perhaps even undergo training that is more relevant and more realistic based on the knowledge that the real surgeon can impart and graft that onto his understanding of cadaver surgery, but he will not have the most important insight, what he would do when operating on a real patient, or more importantly, what he would do and where his understanding would be after years of doing so, learning from mistakes and successes and dealing with the adrenalin of life and death.

I hope that makes sense.

Kit,

Thanks for your reply.

In your view is the only way for a martial artist to know is to be in a fight? It appears that the crux of your argument focuses on actual experience and not simulations. Is this correct?

Regards,
Stephen

KIT
02-19-2008, 12:42 PM
Stephen

Correct.

Simulations are excellent training (depending on the quality of the simulation, which is another can of worms, just as what we mean by "a fight.").

I know for a fact that solid foundational training, coupled with realistic and intensive simulations that mirror real world dynamics, will allow one to perform as trained...

...if the individual are able to realize that training.

Just because you've had good training doesn't mean you will perform as trained. And, some people with no training perform better than those with training. There is an element, especially when facing the potential for injury or death, that is highly dependant on the individual.

Once you have performed as trained, and repeatedly, you come to "know," to have a confidence that you can never get absent actual experience. Again, not everyone really learns from experience either, but having good training, experience, and the ability to analyze, merge, and learn from both is really the best way to come to "know."

Stephen Kotev
02-19-2008, 12:59 PM
Stephen

Correct.

Simulations are excellent training (depending on the quality of the simulation, which is another can of worms, just as what we mean by "a fight.").

I know for a fact that solid foundational training, coupled with realistic and intensive simulations that mirror real world dynamics, will allow one to perform as trained...

...if the individual are able to realize that training.

Just because you've had good training doesn't mean you will perform as trained. And, some people with no training perform better than those with training. There is an element, especially when facing the potential for injury or death, that is highly dependant on the individual.

Once you have performed as trained, and repeatedly, you come to "know," to have a confidence that you can never get absent actual experience. Again, not everyone really learns from experience either, but having good training, experience, and the ability to analyze, merge, and learn from both is really the best way to come to "know."

Kit,

I follow you. I believe that this is a kin to "aliveness" and other similar arguments presented before expressing the value of resistive training in addition to many other relevant components.

My quandary is that most of us are not regularly in situations that put us in harms way nor are we in fights. LEO like yourself and soldiers are the exception. The majority of Aikidoka are not typically in 'real' fights; I think you could make this same statement for martial artists in general. For most of us this is a hobby and not a profession.

How are we supposed to gain this experience? Should we start a fight? I am not being facetious. To fully gain this 'knowledge' as you have referenced actual 'field' experience is required. How do we reconcile this? Would you point to competition? Or some other solution?

Regards,
Stephen

Kevin Leavitt
02-19-2008, 09:14 PM
Steve,

check out my post under the split post yestereday concerning Dyiato Ryu. I talk about training models, the difference between, information, knowledge, wisdom...and how you can approximate a good training environment provided that you have decent institutional wisdom that is based on actual and live experiences.

It is possible to train in simulation. the key is to understand fully as possible that environment, and have leadership in the organization that has "been there done that". to make sure you are training correctly.

Aliveness is definitely key. I'd say a majority of the traditional schools out there are dead based on the aliveness model...but there are many reasons for studying budo than simply the physical skills that the art gives you. (I also touch upon this as well in that thread.)

Certainly nothing replaces actual experience gained first hand in combat, or on the street...but those events are too far and few in between to help you develop any real skill.

Again, the key I think is collective institutional widsom that evolves and changes based on the needs and dynamics of the group, and the situations that are presented that impact the reasons why you train.

KIT
02-19-2008, 11:12 PM
How are we supposed to gain this experience? Should we start a fight? I am not being facetious. To fully gain this 'knowledge' as you have referenced actual 'field' experience is required. How do we reconcile this? Would you point to competition? Or some other solution?

The first question would be do you really want or need that experience? If it is not a major part of your perception of budo, or your purpose and intent in studying budo as opposed to the greater lessons, then I don't think it really matters, so long as you understand what it is you are actually doing.

I don't think it can be reconciled fully. You can come to some of it in the way that Kevin as laid out, but never all the way. There really is no solution other than to get out there and do what you have to do, so to speak.

It is the same lesson included in statements like "You want koryu? Come to Japan!" No one seems to question the common sense in that. You want to learn aikido? Join an aikido dojo and immerse yourself in practice. You want internal martial arts power? Go and feel someone who has it, listen to what they say, and spend a lot of time doing the exercises they do to develop it.

Same thing.

Kevin Leavitt
02-20-2008, 05:59 AM
Kit wrote:

The first question would be do you really want or need that experience?

I think this is most key. Beginning with an end in mind, or understanding why you want to do what it is that you want to do!

Most of us, me included, began my martial training for what I would consider to be very irrational reasons. Many days I find myself wondering why I am make the choices that I make or made!

I thought about this a little last night, and you know, when you start talking about this stuff in terms of soldiers and police officers, it starts to get a little more focused and narrow. You start looking at what we in the Army call "TTPs", or techniques, tatics, and proceedures. i.e. "how to do your job".

Again, we try and focus our guys on making sure they understand why they are training and what it is that they are getting out of the things they are doing. That way, they can make good decisions as they evalutate TTPs and implement them.

Budo is a little more broad and focused on development in other areas, that I would say are more strategic in nature, that is, a little more esoteric. Maybe not any less important, but it means different things to different people.

Martial training is good to do for many different reasons. We as individuals though must try and understand ourselves and our objectives as we train to realize the value of our training!

d2l
03-05-2008, 10:46 AM
I have to throw my 2 cents in this mix. As a former Soldier, and now Correctional Officer in a maximum security prison, I have fought more "hand to hand" in the prison than I ever did in the Army, and I was in Bosnia and Kosovo. Meaning I was in a real life combat arena. However, I can softly say, that working in a prison is by far more violent. I have walked in to a battle field everyday for the past 7 years. One of the things that really burns my ass about the questioned effectiveness of Aikido/Jutsu is the "what if ?" scenarios. Often times I read from experts that certain techniques do not, or won't work in a given situation. That they only work if your partner is willing to let you do them. Maybe this is ignorance on the so called experts part by not checking out more than one school? I have found Aikido to be immensely helpful when dealing with violent inmates. When I first started the prison, I was too stupid to be scared, and the name of the game was ground and pound. Now, things have changed. In Aikido, I have found better arresting techniques, take downs , and pain compliance. This is needed because unlike the military where it's kill or be killed, prisoners are starting to have more rights. Even when they have weapons, you are still under VERY close scrutiny as to how and why you did what you did to subdue said prisoner. To me, this is a very important facet to Aikido/Jutsu. One can go from a simple lock, to a pin, to a break, or even a choke if need be. I'm very well aware a lot of it depends on the individual. But if the individual is dedicated, the techniques will work. It also must be said, that in time, you will NOT stand there and rack your brain for the "proper" technique to use in a given situation. It will just happen. Many experts who proclaim that Aikido is worthless in the real world, tend to ignore the fact that the Aikidoka has more in his/her arsenal than just a fancy wrist lock that leads to a throw. Sorry all, just had to vent a little. :)

Aikibu
03-05-2008, 10:56 AM
Thanks Anthony. A very valuble two cents if you ask me.:)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2008, 06:03 PM
Anthony...

The intent of this thread was not to debate if aikido works or doesn't work in a real fight....we have plenty of that conversation on other such threads. It is one of my favorite ones.

The only reason I bring this up as it tends to be a huge emotional issue for many and I hate it when that argument clouds the conversation when people are trying to get information on other training methodologies outside of aikido such as Modern Army Combatives.

I think though, that it is good to discuss training methodolgy as it applies to jobs such as yours here and how you go develop and execute integrated training strategies.

Kit, for example, talks at length about this.

Anyway, I am curious how you integrate the training into your situation.

I do a myriad of things for my own personal training, but change it up quite a bit when conducting training for soldiers. Integrating training under duress and using a stress induction model is key I think...something that we don't do much in a traditional dojo.

Anyway, I don't want people to lose sight of the discussion of this thread and start debating aikido and it's relevancy.

Good discussion though on how you use it in your daily life!

KIT
03-06-2008, 09:30 AM
Kit, for example, talks at length about this...



Thanks for the nod....er, I think? :D

Anthony makes some good points. LE will go hand to hand far more than a battlefield soldier will...

Yet when he most needs it, as a number of AARs have shown, that soldier at close quarters on a battlefield will be thanking his lucky stars that he has been drilled in effective, pressure tested combatives.

Same with LE - they will rarely pull a trigger - but when they do, they are better off with combat proven mindset and initiative that is more akin to the soldier than the defensive mindset of the citizen armed for self defense.

How we train should be answered first and foremost by asking what we are training for.

From the LE, military, or self defense standpoint, traditional martial arts or combat sports cannot fully provide the answers. There is a strong tendency for us to have a "favorite" martial art, and make arguments that define "self defense" or "combat" that fit the parameters of our particular art (or what we are particularly good at)but when we get to specifics is when the argument falls apart.

Combatives is malleable, so specific problems and elements can be addressed directly, trends can be observed and addressed, all isolating the fundamental engagement factors that the end users need rather than having to go through a "system," much less a "tradition" that may or may not address them, and may do so in a roundabout or theoretical way versus direct application. Soldiers, cops, and citizens need direct application.

I've got more, but no time now...

Kevin Leavitt
03-07-2008, 01:41 AM
Escalation of Force criteria has become very important to the military in the last few years. We have proven our ability to dominate. You don't win the hearts and minds of people with a poor, unskilled, or undeveloped EoF policy or training.

This is something that we are learning.

Combatives is a integral part of training that spectrum.

SeiserL
03-07-2008, 07:04 AM
Escalation of Force criteria has become very important to the military in the last few years. We have proven our ability to dominate. You don't win the hearts and minds of people with a poor, unskilled, or undeveloped EoF policy or training. This is something that we are learning. Combatives is a integral part of training that spectrum.
Yep, I have noticed that now there is so much police, other-than-combat, and politically-correct-humanitarian duties, the levels of escalation needs to better define the appropriate response to the appropriate stimulus.

And while our people are figuring it out, I hope they don't get shot down. With less training, they are being required to make more discernment under greater media coverage and public criticism.

Glad I was in during simpler days.

KIT
03-07-2008, 11:24 AM
Guys

I think it’s the wave of the future.

While strictly LE myself, I work alongside and train with soldiers and Feds and in the tactical realm we are seeing a convergence – not only of personnel (soldiers whose “real job” is police work) – but the military is being held to a “higher” standard in terms of use of force due to the changing nature of their operations.

That it is problematic for reasons Lynn alludes to is without question, as it still is with "Force Continuums" in LE.

Its not just the battlefield and rules of engagement being redefined, but with 4GW and now 5GW being discussed, there are more equivalents with “high risk” LE operations than with traditional "beat cop" police work.

I’ve watched some documentary footage of house clearing in Iraq and except for basically the color of the gear and uniforms, what was happening was almost identical to a police SWAT operation – and I recently read a piece discussing the active shooter phenomenon as a potential application of 5GW – then we read about yesterday's shootings in Israel and the point is driven home. I discussed a recent shooting in our area with an Israeli counter terrorist operator and trainer and he specifically equated the active shooter/hostage taker mindset with the terrorist mindset.

To my way of thinking, this convergence increasingly brings budo/bujutsu teachings foreward. Let alone in terms of physical technique, but the deeper lessons involving fighting spirit, initiative, maai, and combative psychology, especially mushin and fudoshin.I think this is a positive thing.

While not a proponent of teaching traditional MA to LE or military as a primary combative preparation, other than in specifically adapted parts, I do see a role for them in terms of “graduate” level work.

That a man is a highly trained traditional martial artist has next to no bearing on his performance under duress in force on force training, let alone real world performance, despite any alleged battlefield lineage his system may have.

But take that same man and season him through both realistic training and repeated, successful real world application and you have not only the makings of a formidable fighting man, you have one who is hopefully deeply ingraining important teachings at a visceral level that allow him to not only transcend life and death when in action, but increasingly divorce negative emotion from that action.

Several discussions on the forums recently have been very instructive. Whether the topic is the practical use of budo in modern times being denied by senior practitioners, or that teaching classical concepts to modern military and LE is evidence of “loving violence” and glorifying killing.

Then there are the frequently revisited threads about “what is a warrior?” (if you gotta ask, trust me, you ain’t one), or those who do budo as a wholesome physical or spiritual discipline seeming to want to define it that way and answer the question for everyone else, and if that’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for everyone else.

Certainly the track record of Japanese budoka alone proves that budo has been and still can be just as perversely, and intentionally senselessly violent as our extremist Islamic friends are today. Hopefully those legitimate budoka who actually are teaching our modern armed professionals aren’t of that ilk. Though I am sure some of them are, that is not what practically applied budo can and should be.

Hopefully, especially if you are a professional, i.e. a soldier or LE that does have to go into harm’s way and make life and death decisions, or much more commonly make simple decisions about using force that are either justified, or are overstepping the bounds because of “fear biting,” or worse, are abuse, “just because you can,” you are able to apply budo in a way that ensures that only those who need killing get killed, only those who need beating get beat, and that you are doing so with a clear mind not clouded by emotion or overwhelming and blinding fear. That, to me, is where budo has its modern application. I think the earliest founders of classical martial arts, those who weren’t lovers of violence for its own sake, had this in mind.

Great thread.

ChrisMoses
03-07-2008, 11:41 AM
Well said Kit. Great post.

Aikibu
03-07-2008, 12:35 PM
This may be a bit of a reach but to further reinforce Kit's post (in a sense anyway). DARPA and DOD have developed a number a of highly effective Non Lethal Weapons Systems including a Non Lethal Laser that was profiled on last Sunday's 60 Minutes...The only resistance to thier immediate deployment is that D.O.D. does not like weapons systems that don't actually KILL the enemy...

Again I know I am reaching here but it's seems the spirit of Budo/Aikido may be reaching into the hearts and minds of more than just Budo/Aikidoka. :)

One can only hope.

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
03-07-2008, 01:12 PM
The Dazzler didn't go over well either from what I understand. I am not an expert nor do I know much about employment of NLWs, so I won't comment.

Anyway, awesome post Kit! I have nothing to add.

d2l
03-07-2008, 02:31 PM
Damn I wish I didn't have to go to the "zoo" tonight! Anyway, when I get home tonight, I will elaborate a bit more in my experiences when dealing with violent individuals. Keep in mind, we are NOT armed with anything, so I think it might be an interesting read. Y'all have a great day! :)

KIT
03-07-2008, 02:36 PM
This may be a bit of a reach but to further reinforce Kit's post (in a sense anyway). DARPA and DOD have developed a number a of highly effective Non Lethal Weapons Systems including a Non Lethal Laser that was profiled on last Sunday's 60 Minutes...The only resistance to thier immediate deployment is that D.O.D. does not like weapons systems that don't actually KILL the enemy...

Again I know I am reaching here but it's seems the spirit of Budo/Aikido may be reaching into the hearts and minds of more than just Budo/Aikidoka. :)

One can only hope.

William Hazen

I think it goes even deeper - to how we do business even when killing is the business. "Collateral Damage" is increasingly unacceptable, and does not win friends.

That is going to require not only the Less Lethal options you both have noted, but a more surgical approach when lethal options are warranted and necessary - and, a combination of approaches when circumstances may involve both. Counter terrorism, hostage rescue, and OOTW demand such flexibility. With the convergence of LE and military that I noted above, LE is having to ramp up in facing up to the reality of certain situations, seeing it legitimately as a "combat" situation, and the military is having to ramp down and not treat everything as if it is "combat." The contractor community has been a perfect example of what that means, the infamous Blackwater incident demonstrating it.

Still, the reality is some people need to get dead sooner rather than later, and anything other than absolute and unquestionable surrender - and in counter terrorism terms even then its not a guarantee - should mean a bullet to the head. We have to be able to reasonably assess when to throw Less Lethal out the window and simply go for the throat, and not penalize those that do so, provided it was reasonable.

This does occur even in an LE setting, and though it is quite rare officers, especially tactical officers, need to prepare for it. Counter terrorism is one realm that American LE is really starting to address for that very reason - it will require a different mindset and approach than LE is normally trained or even selected for, or that the public may be willing to accept in their law enforcers (until enough people get killed by active shooters (seems to be a weekly occurrance now), we start having terrorist bombings, or what have you.)

I think serious study of martial disciplines, with an emphasis on mindset aspects, can serve as a bridging mechanism in terms of training that conventional combatives, which tends to focus on hands-on applications, does not typically offer. Mindset training is often a perfunctory lecture before a combatives class, or is addressed in debriefs of Officer Involved Shooting incidents, but it needs to take a more central role if the officers of the next generation are going to be able to protect, as well as serve.

I think it would improve use of force decision making, lessen the "fear biting" that a lot of conventional LE training instills unintentionally, and improve officer safety.

d2l
03-11-2008, 04:12 PM
Sorry it took so long for me to respond. Work has been brutal. Anyway, I was going to discuss how Aikido/Jutsu has helped in an environment such as mine.

Imagine if you will, that you are in a 100 percent criminal environment. The gate behind you slams shut, you have to walk to your post with no weapons with 2000 inmates around you in some fashion. You are locked in there with them. If something happens, theres no where to go. If you're lucky, you might be issued a can of O.C. spray as a defense measure. But this has it's draw backs. You have to pop a little seal that is used to determine if you used the gas in an indiscriminate manner. Then you have to fight to get the can out of the pouch. Aim it at said target. Flip up the little safety, and push the button to release the gas. If you do gas an inmate, the paper work is aggravating at best.

So, you're on your way to your post. You arrive untouched. You are having a pretty good night, when all of a sudden you get the call to report to the dress out room. You are on the cell extraction team, and you are the #2 man on the team, which includes 4 more individuals. As the #2 man, it is your job to control the arms so handcuffs can be applied. So, you are briefed about the situation. There is an inmate in a confinement cell that has broken a sprinkler head and has a shank (prison term for homemade knife) stating he will kill anyone that enters the cell, and if he gets past all of us, his word is bond.

While we dress in riot gear, some of it impedes our mobility in tight spaces. So, we are forced to dispose some of it in order to accomplish our assigned tasks.

The door rolls open upon the command of the Capt. and we enter..

Earlier in the year, you had to attend Inservice Training. A 40 hour class of B.S. Most of it had to do with so called "rights" of those who would aim to kill you. You also have to qualify with rifles, pistols, and shotguns (I highly enjoy this. Almost to the point of being arrogant :D ). Finally you reach the day everyone hates, including the instructors. DEFENSIVE TACTICS.

Why is it hated so much? Several reason exist. Most of it is due to individuals that are "afraid it's going to hurt". Well duh! It's supposed to. Anyway, There are some of us who attend the class that would rather just sit out, but are forced to participate to cover the state's butt. Some of us are Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jitsu, and Krav Maga practitioners. We sit there and laugh at some of the techniques being taught, because they either depend on the inmates cooperation, or are too complicated for someone to learn in just an 8 hour session. Some of us have been in the service as well and tend to pffft at it.

We are "taught" this crap in order for the state to say that we were taught the accepted way of dealing with a violent individuals and to place the blame of an inmate being hurt squarely on our shoulders if any of the techniques are deviated from. You know, the whole liability thing. If anyone thinks Aikido is a watered down version of Daito Ryu, than our defensive tactics are a watered down version of Aikido. Joint manipulation is a no no unless the inmate is fighting. And then if you do break something, you will be talking to prison inspectors, the F.B.I., and possibly be taken to court. Never mind the inmate has a weapon (in prison, unlike the street, any and everything can be used as a weapon).

We enter the cell. I am the #2 man, and the inmate has a shank. I am in the mindset were I am not thinking of anything. My mind is clear. I notice were the inmate is standing. I notice what hand he has the shank in. I notice how he is holding it. I also notice were my team members are in relation to myself and the inmate. As the #2 man, I will be the first to engage the inmate. The inmate is standing there with his shank in a downward stabbing stance. I throw all the state crap out the window, because now we have entered the gray area. Life and death. His shank is capable of penetrating our body armor. Or at the very least, the neck and groin area. I use a punch to the jaw as a means to distract. I then go for a Sankyo. Once I have total control of the arm that has the weapon, I proceed to take a slight step behind him and bring him to the ground. I then transition the Sankyo into a Shihonage in a split second as he is face down and I am on my knees. However I don't pin his hand to his back, I keep his arm straight up, elbow away from me ( his right arm) and cross my left arm through the back of his arm gripping my right forearm and with my right hand, force his wrist forward while keeping his shoulder locked as I am slightly leaning forward. Making sure the knife point is away from me. Once he has let go of the weapon, I can then go back to the typical Shihonage so he can be cuffed.

Now, none of this is taught in D.T. I don't know why, as they are relatively easy techniques compared to what is taught. And a whole lot nastier to the individual they are being applied to. However, I can hide some Aikido techniques with in the use of force matrix taught to use. This is how Aikido has helped me. I can hurt without hurting. Hope that makes sense. :)

Kaze0180
03-11-2008, 04:55 PM
I agree with Anthony, I've learned "advanced fighting skills" in other arts like BJJ, JKD, Kickboxing, Krav Maga, etc. and I always fall back on Aikido when it comes to "real situations". It's simple, fast, controlling, and non-lethal in it's movement. I've been able to avoid damaging people who've attacked me and I thank the fact that I left no trail for lawsuit or going overboard with my reaction. Aikido keeps me calm, controlled, and effective.

Imagine if it was your friend attacking you or a close relative, you can't exactly beat them to a pulp, you have to control them without hurting them. That's how I imagine it when I've been in situations to defend myself or others.

-Alexander
:triangle:

KIT
03-11-2008, 07:24 PM
Anthony

I am assuming that you do not choose to engage armed subjects unarmed. Do they not provide you with less lethal options to address such circumstances? Shields along with your body armor? Pepper ball guns? Batons? Tasers? Gas foggers that you can deploy into the cell from outside?

I am amazed that in this day and age a prison can get away with that.

d2l
03-11-2008, 08:59 PM
Kit,

It has to be understood that we are expendable. Where as precious inmates are not. Most run ins with violent individuals happen in the so called "pysch. buildings". They can not be gassed. The prison system only uses batons in case of riots (you have to be on a special team for that). We used to have a chemical munitions squad, but that was cut a few years back for budget reasons. We enter as a 5 man team. The first man uses a shield to hopefully "pin" the inmate. But more often than not, the inmate slips past the shield man, or has a rolled up mattress on the ground to compromise the shield mans effectiveness upon entering the cell. So, in a nutshell we are forced to cell extract them and then give them a shot, instead of gassing them because they suckered some Dr. into thinking they are mentally ill. If we gas them under mental health status, we can be sued because it is ASSUMED that gassing is a form of retaliation for them beating the system by becoming all but untouchable. Know what I mean? :)

Chris Parkerson
04-28-2008, 04:47 PM
Just for fun,

Professor Leonard Holifield's Army Combatives: The third video asks the one question leonard hates to discuss:

Who would win, him or his cousin Evander??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etNg1biVKSQ&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7pmpmDi0YQ&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONs5oBY3NxA&feature=related