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mwible
04-22-2008, 09:08 PM
I have been wondering lately, because i have seen everywhere (as I am sure many of you have too) people disclaiming Aikido and its effectiveness in combat, how many of you believe that you could use Aikido effectively in a real combat (life or death/ walk away or eat the pavement) situation?
Also, while I am asking this question, I would like to input that I whole heartedly believe that I could use what I have been taught in just such a situation.
And I don’t care how long you have been studying, where you study, how you study, your rank… etc, I’m just looking for a straight up answer.
So.
Do you believe you could defend yourself using Aikido?

Domo,
Morgan

dps
04-22-2008, 09:14 PM
I have been wondering lately, because i have seen everywhere (as I am sure many of you have too) people disclaiming Aikido and its effectiveness in combat, how many of you believe that you could use Aikido effectively in a real combat (life or death/ walk away or eat the pavement) situation?
Also, while I am asking this question, I would like to input that I whole heartedly believe that I could use what I have been taught in just such a situation.
And I don't care how long you have been studying, where you study, how you study, your rank… etc, I'm just looking for a straight up answer.
So.
Do you believe you could defend yourself using Aikido?

Domo,
Morgan

Yes. I have done it once before.

David

mickeygelum
04-22-2008, 10:03 PM
Nicely phrased, yet you left out one criteria that would be crucial....in a physical or non-physical response. Without becoming more descriptive, I think that would round-out your query.

Forgive me, if this is incorrect.

Train well,

Mickey

mickeygelum
04-22-2008, 10:17 PM
Me again...:)

Yes, many times...professionally.

Twice the citizen, without a doubt to the benefit of the aggressor...not saying that they would not remember me, if they laid eyes on me again. They would not attempt an endeavor as they had previously. The select few that attained infamy by pushing the envelope...those folks , I would like to thank for the opportunity to further my ability to pass on knowledge of real-life experience to others.

Train well,

Mickey

MikeE
04-22-2008, 10:40 PM
Used it many times as a bar manager and for event security.

I do DT for LEOs and they love the application of aikido for their needs.

There are Tai Chi folks that can whoop some serious butt, and their are "mixed martial artists" that can't punch their way out of a wet paper bag.

IMHO, I think many times it comes down to the artist and not the art in question.

rob_liberti
04-22-2008, 11:01 PM
I recommend you read this thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=204007#post204007

Carl Thompson
04-23-2008, 12:47 AM
Hi Morgan,

I think you touched upon this in your 'Aikido the Martial Art (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14310)' thread but "effectiveness" (however defined) is worth questioning again and again. I'd say you may well be able to use aikido effectively in the situation you described, or you could completely stuff it up and "eat the pavement". The likelihood of the former rather than the latter is subject to all kinds of factors, frequently discussed on this forum.

Do you believe you could defend yourself using Aikido?

Yes I could defend myself very effectively using aikido. I could also dramatically fail to defend myself using aikido.

Are there any arts in which this is not the case?

There are no easy answers, but I'd say that if you train to do something, the chances of actually being able to do it should increase if you're doing it right.

Carl

Kevin Leavitt
04-23-2008, 01:12 AM
As a soldier I have been trained using many different methodologies for combat and defense. Aikido being one of the methodologies that I still train in.

However, when asked the question concerning what I 'use', I use myself, body, mind, and whatever other tools are available, and/or appropriate for the job. I have never used a methodology such as aikido for anything else other than training myself.

Perspective, but I think we tend to attach ourselves too much to concepts and then identiffy with them. What it tends to do is constrain us, box us in, and cause questions such as "Does aikido really work?"

let go!

ChrisHein
04-23-2008, 01:13 AM
If trained correctly, you can't "use" Aikido, you become Aikido.

Stefan Stenudd
04-23-2008, 04:13 AM
Do you believe you could defend yourself using Aikido?
Yes.
I also believe that many times, using aikido, I avoid being attacked at all.

SeiserL
04-23-2008, 06:19 AM
Do you believe you could defend yourself using Aikido?
Straight up? Yes.
Train with the intent and intensity so you can know the same about yourself.
IMHO, effectiveness is more about the person than the style.

DonMagee
04-23-2008, 07:12 AM
Most of the time I can't use aikido on a compliant uke. Maybe if I had 10 years of free time. But the training methods are slow in developing any aiki skills in me. This of course is compounded by the fact I no longer train aikido on any regular schedule.

Nah, I stick to my XD for self defense and leave the martial arts to the hobbys.

Stefan Stenudd
04-23-2008, 09:01 AM
Most of the time I can't use aikido on a compliant uke.
It is more difficult to do aikido techniques on aikido students at keiko, even if they are somewhat compliant - because they know what to expect, so they can easily block it, even unintentionally.

When an aikido student really resists a technique, it can be very difficult to do it. That is no mystery, and it is the same for any martial art.
The ingredient of surprise is a necessary part of any technique, so a compliant uke sort of has to pretend to be surprised :)

Dewey
04-23-2008, 09:12 AM
Nah, I stick to my XD for self defense and leave the martial arts to the hobbys.

I agree with Don on this one. If this is just a "what if" sort of scenario, then the debate can be endless. Innumerable threads have been posted on this very same subject. The short of it is, nothing trumps a gun in regards to self-defense, provided you know how to use it and are aware of the legal & ethical ramifications of use-of-force.

There's a world of difference between "self-defense" and "combat"...and I'm presuming you mean self-defense. First, I think you need to properly assess what sort of situation/scenario you typically find yourself in when the concern about "self-defense" arises and then examine your motives and what the proper course of action should be (i.e. legal & ethical concerns).

If you are overly concerned about self-defense and fear for your life, then it would behoove you to legally acquire a concealable handgun (with the proper training & permits, of course). Even in feudal Japan, hand-to-hand was the "last resort" for the samurai when he found himself engaged in combat.

The real issue is having a self-defense mindset, being alert and aware of your surroundings at all times...keeping your guard up. Simply being observant of all that is going on around you and not intentionally placing yourself in dangerous/threatening situations (e.g. going to the "wrong side of town" and the like) are the single most effective means of self-defense.

The other issue is if you have a killer instinct or not. This not in the sense of actually killing, but rather in regards to if you are willing to fight. It doesn't matter what style/type martial art you study...what matters is if you have the ability to "flip the switch" and fight for your life when need be. Some folks just don't have it in them.

For what it's worth...

gregstec
04-23-2008, 09:40 AM
As long as you focus your Aikido training on learning the principles of Aikido, eventually you will be conditioned to use those principles when confronted with situations similar to those your learned the principles in.

In a combative situation you do not have time to think, you react. If conditioned with Aikido principles, your reactions will be Aikido movements.

Been in that situation a handful of times and that is exactly how it works, you just subconsciously react to the attack - when it is over, you are often amazed at what you did because there was no thought involved and things just happened.

Greg

charyuop
04-23-2008, 09:44 AM
Can I defend myself with Aikido??? huhhhh, don't know. Maybe if I am lucky and find the right person I might, or I might get my butt kicked from he to the North Pole. One thing is sure, Aikido is something I didn't have before, so I have a few more chances to get out with the least damage.

You asked about me and I answered about me, not being one of the best (actually light years away from it) Aikidoka. But yes I think someone proficient in this art can very well protect himself.

dps
04-23-2008, 10:04 AM
Maybe the answers to questions like this one should be divide into two categories.

1.) You can see the attack coming and have some time to prepare.

2.) You did not see the attack coming and you reacted from your training.

David

DonMagee
04-23-2008, 10:20 AM
I know what is going to happen when I'm surprised. Because I've had it happen.

I clinch, knee/elbow and throw. It's built into me at this point to automatically do this to break the guys balance so he can't hurt me. The funny part is I don't really train knees and elbows much, so I'm not sure where that part comes from, but basically I do dirty judo. The very few times this has happened it has ended up with me placing my 'attacker' in the knee on belly position before I even realize what's going on.

If I have time to prepare, I have time to leave or get help.

aikidoc
04-23-2008, 01:13 PM
I sure hope so. It's the only art I have any competence in. I hope I never need to find out.

mwible
04-23-2008, 01:24 PM
Hi Morgan,

I think you touched upon this in your 'Aikido the Martial Art (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14310)' thread but "effectiveness" (however defined) is worth questioning again and again. I'd say you may well be able to use aikido effectively in the situation you described, or you could completely stuff it up and "eat the pavement". The likelihood of the former rather than the latter is subject to all kinds of factors, frequently discussed on this forum.

Yes I could defend myself very effectively using aikido. I could also dramatically fail to defend myself using aikido.

Are there any arts in which this is not the case?

There are no easy answers, but I'd say that if you train to do something, the chances of actually being able to do it should increase if you're doing it right.

Carl

I see what you are saying, good point. And i really liked the last paragraph of your reply :)

mwible
04-23-2008, 01:25 PM
Yes.
I also believe that many times, using aikido, I avoid being attacked at all.

I very much agree with this, and i feel the same way as well.

Aikibu
04-23-2008, 01:26 PM
I use Aikido everyday... That's how effective it is....

On a side note who wants to bet this thread grows to 15 pages? LOL.

WIlliam Hazen

mwible
04-23-2008, 01:27 PM
It is more difficult to do aikido techniques on aikido students at keiko, even if they are somewhat compliant - because they know what to expect, so they can easily block it, even unintentionally.

When an aikido student really resists a technique, it can be very difficult to do it. That is no mystery, and it is the same for any martial art.
The ingredient of surprise is a necessary part of any technique, so a compliant uke sort of has to pretend to be surprised :)

I also find it fun when i am uke and i REALLY AM surprised. haha. i love that feeling, and it lets you develop a better trust of your ukemi skills at the same time :P

Kevin Leavitt
04-23-2008, 02:40 PM
No William, I'd rather see the "other" thread rise from the grave! :)

Robert Cowham
04-23-2008, 04:12 PM
I have had a positive experience of it being effective for me (unexpected and indeed I was a little drunk at the time).

However I also remember as a youngster shooting birds (pigeon/pheasant) with a shotgun - I was a better shot when "surprised" and put gun to shoulder and shot immediately than when I saw the bird coming from a long way away and had time to line up (and anticipate it).

Erick Mead
04-23-2008, 04:49 PM
I have had a positive experience of it being effective for me (unexpected and indeed I was a little drunk at the time). ... as a youngster shooting birds (pigeon/pheasant) with a shotgun - I was a better shot when "surprised" and put gun to shoulder and shot immediately than when I saw the bird coming from a long way away and had time to line up (and anticipate it).Did you really think all that earlier lining up and anticipating was for anything else than to make "surprised" better ??? From personal experience, this is why aikido is dangerous to do in "realistic" training or as a competitive art. If your training has been worth a damn at all, the proverbial "trigger" is pulled before you have a chance to think much about it. I once found myself surprised by a partner with whom I had been demonstrating some "full speed" techniques. I had thought we were done, and was turning away. The first thought I had was about trying to pull my irimi back before my extended hand caused his face and scalp to swap places and succeeded in merely bruising his nose.

That day I found out that "full speed" aikido really means "faster that thought." Not to be toyed with. Most of the training in aikido is not about pulling the "trigger," but about testing the pounds on the pull in an unloaded weapon just up to the point of dry-firing - simply because if you can consistently do THAT, and do it fairly precisely in a dry-fire environment, you can follow through with the rest when the need presents itself in a live-fire situation.

Ketsan
04-23-2008, 07:54 PM
Do you believe you could defend yourself using Aikido?

I don't know that people would call it Aikido, but I learned it from an Aikido instructor in an Aikido dojo.

Carl Thompson
04-23-2008, 08:58 PM
If trained correctly, you can't "use" Aikido, you become Aikido.

Good one… reminded me of an excellent post from another thread:

The "strategy" of Aikido seems to be "Be Kharma". Otherwise we'd call it some other martial art.

We can list our successes and say "aikido is effective" but who doesn't need to improve? And what constitutes effective? If someone else proves it worked for them in one particular incident, it shows their aikido can work. Your aikido is different. Just gotta keep training.

That day I found out that "full speed" aikido really means "faster that thought."

Aikido is faster than light. ;)

xuzen
04-24-2008, 01:36 AM
I have been wondering lately, because i have seen everywhere (as I am sure many of you have too) people disclaiming Aikido and its effectiveness in combat, how many of you believe that you could use Aikido effectively in a real combat (life or death/ walk away or eat the pavement) situation?
Also, while I am asking this question, I would like to input that I whole heartedly believe that I could use what I have been taught in just such a situation.
And I don't care how long you have been studying, where you study, how you study, your rank… etc, I'm just looking for a straight up answer.
So.
Do you believe you could defend yourself using Aikido?

Domo,
Morgan

Everywhere? Could it be..... Bullshido.net or Sherdog? You should know better than to be strolling onto the DARK-SIDE...

Boon.

mwible
04-24-2008, 05:16 AM
Everywhere? Could it be..... Bullshido.net or Sherdog? You should know better than to be strolling onto the DARK-SIDE...

Boon.

I wasn't particularly referring to the internet.

Kevin Leavitt
04-24-2008, 01:46 PM
Heck I am lucky if I find someone that really knows anything about aikido outside of the practicioners that I study with...and I live in a big metropolitan area these days!

I get my fix from my buds on Bullshido!

Bill Danosky
04-24-2008, 03:39 PM
I think part of any backbrain decision to "use Aikido" (meaning only Aikido techniques) on an attacker depends on how much you want to avoid damaging them.

In a real combat situation, you might employ some Aikido techniques (Hiji Shime, Irimi Nage, etc.) and you might even employ them vigorously.

Conversely, I remember someone posting once that she had to use some Aikido on her physically abusive teenage stepson. That self defense situation warranted a light takedown and pin, and didn't hurt him or her marriage. But it worked.

If you have any doubts about Aikido's effectiveness, you should consider attending the next Amos Parker Shihan workshop you can get to.

G DiPierro
04-24-2008, 10:12 PM
I find these constant "is aikido effective" threads to be quite revealing of a fundamental problem in aikido, and it's not that aikido is "not effective." I think it's obvious to most serious martial artists that the question of effectiveness depends entirely on who's aikido you are talking about, what specific parts of it you are talking about, and what you mean by "effective."

The problem that these threads make clear is that the effectiveness of aikido training, in general, is questionable (see the title of this thread, for example), and that many people within aikido are very much concerned about this question. From what I have seen, aikido is one of few martial arts where this issue is such a common and apparantly intractable dilemma. If there were not serious problems with the expectations and desires for effectiveness of the general student base not being met by the art as a whole then I suspect it would not be such an issue in aikido either.

Given that situation, to me the response that would make the most sense is not to try to more precisely evaluate the effectiveness of aikido as a whole, which I would consider to be a proposition of dubious value anyway, but to look to make changes that would make the art better meet the expectations of effectiveness held by many students. Two possible changes that could be made would be to alter students' expectations of effectiveness and to modify training methods in order to make the average student more effective. I personally would recommend both of these actions. However, simply continuing to debate the issue over and over again without making any substantive changes in training to address the problem seems very unlikely to resolve it.

Kevin Leavitt
04-25-2008, 04:13 AM
I think the question arises more in aikido than say maybe tai chi is that aikido is more of a middle ground or bridge between external and internal arts than most other internal arts.

I think it tends to attract people that might not otherwise choose to go to "softer" styles or more pure internal styles.

therefore, practitioners seem to have more questions in this area.

Asiatic Budoka
04-25-2008, 08:18 AM
The longer I train, the more I see the effectiveness of Aikido, and other martial arts. It seems that this discussion can lead to an endless list of "what ifs." I have been asked several "what would you do if I (punched, kicked, grabbed)?" type of questions, my response would always be, "I don't know, (puch, kick, grab) me and see?" :rolleyes:

I read a quote from a sensei that was asked a similar question, his response was, "Aikido works...yours does not, there is a difference."

Just my 2 cents

lbb
04-25-2008, 08:45 AM
The problem that these threads make clear is that the effectiveness of aikido training, in general, is questionable (see the title of this thread, for example), and that many people within aikido are very much concerned about this question. From what I have seen, aikido is one of few martial arts where this issue is such a common and apparantly intractable dilemma. If there were not serious problems with the expectations and desires for effectiveness of the general student base not being met by the art as a whole then I suspect it would not be such an issue in aikido either.

Given that situation, to me the response that would make the most sense is not to try to more precisely evaluate the effectiveness of aikido as a whole, which I would consider to be a proposition of dubious value anyway, but to look to make changes that would make the art better meet the expectations of effectiveness held by many students.

I'd step even further back than that, and say that the expectations need a good hard look too. Whenever there's a gap between expectations and reality (or perceived reality), it's worth asking the question, "Are these expectations well-defined and reasonable?" before tacking the "problem" of how to bring reality up to snuff. That may not be the problem that you need to solve, after all.

G DiPierro
04-25-2008, 11:03 AM
I think the question arises more in aikido than say maybe tai chi is that aikido is more of a middle ground or bridge between external and internal arts than most other internal arts.

I think it tends to attract people that might not otherwise choose to go to "softer" styles or more pure internal styles.

therefore, practitioners seem to have more questions in this area.

Fair point. Another way we could put it is that people who choose aikido want to maintain the fantasy of effectiveness without doing the training necessary to get this in more effective arts like judo or BJJ. That said, the taiji I have been exposed to is, at the highest levels, at least as effective as any aikido I have seen, if not more so. However, the level of self-deception (and self-doubt) that I see in aikido is not nearly as prevalent in taiji. In taiji, someone like me who is primarily interested in the martial applications can train right along side someone who is clearly only interested in training for health reasons, each of us knowing why we are training and how we need to practice to get there.

I'd step even further back than that, and say that the expectations need a good hard look too. Whenever there's a gap between expectations and reality (or perceived reality), it's worth asking the question, "Are these expectations well-defined and reasonable?" before tacking the "problem" of how to bring reality up to snuff. That may not be the problem that you need to solve, after all.

I mentioned this in my post as well. As I see it, if someone's main goal is effectiveness they should practice one of the arts that is known to be effective. To choose to do an art that has not proven itself in that arena that I think you need to have some other goal for which you are willing to sacrifice effectiveness. In my opinion, aikido does not do a good enough job of identifying this goal and thereby differentiating itself from arts that are primarily interested in effectiveness. Taiji does, but it still does not abandon effectiveness entirely. It simply allows effectiveness to be relegated to a secondary priority that comes into play at a different point and in a different way than in art like BJJ.

The people who I have seen who do clearly differentiate their aikido from other arts often totally disconnect themselves from the reality of effectiveness to do so, and end up taking advantage of the cooperative training in aikido to maintain a fantasy of effectiveness that is even more far-flung than that of the average practitioner. Effectiveness for them has not become a valid but secondary priority but instead something that is not properly understood or addressed at all, and that can be a very dangerous situation. If you want to set aside effectiveness in order to train for something else I think you still need to understand how effectiveness factors into your art so that you remain connected to martial reality and incorporate it into the training where and when it is necessary.

Aikibu
04-25-2008, 01:24 PM
It's not a matter of if Aikido is technically effective...

It is...

All this talk about "newcomer's perceptions" in regard to effectiveness can be solved by simply walking up to the Sensei and having him/her demonstrate to you Aikido's effectiveness by executing a "unscripted" attack...You can have the "new guy" do this with out being a jerk or a butthead in fact We invite such "queries" from time to time and it keeps everybody from Sensei to Sempai honest about thier ability.

We were invited to share a Dojo with a Goju Ryu Karate Sensei and his students.One is now a student of ours and the others attend class frequently. Some of our students are Sandans and Godans in Karate so they did not fall off the turnip truck last week. All of these Kyu Students are kind enough from time to time to point out weakness in the execution of techniques during practice.

A newcomer has every right to ask if Aikido's effective and to see if that Aikidoka can walk the walk along with talking the talk. If the Aikidoka is honest about thier practice he/she will invite such queries on occasion...

A newcomer on this forum however may find such a query frustrating because there is no way to actually prove Aikido's "effectiveness" without stepping on the tatami.

William Hazen

nslade
04-25-2008, 01:44 PM
I think part of the reason this question keeps coming up is because its easier to forget getting up from a really good pin in aikido, then it is to heal from a really big bruise you would get in testing the effectiveness in some other martial arts. I would think this especial true to newcomers.

G DiPierro
04-25-2008, 02:10 PM
All this talk about "newcomer's perceptions" in regard to effectiveness can be solved by simply walking up to the Sensei and having him/her demonstrate to you Aikido's effectiveness by executing a "unscripted" attack...You can have the "new guy" do this with out being a jerk or a butthead in fact We invite such "queries" from time to time and it keeps everybody from Sensei to Sempai honest about thier ability.

Whether the chief instructor of a dojo can defeat a brand-new student is only one possible measure of effectiveness, and it's not necessarily the most useful. It really shouldn't be that hard or impressive for a decent martial arts instructor to be able to handle in an unscripted situation a student of similar body type with no previous martial arts training or experience. Much more impressive would be to do the same thing with students with previous training in martial arts.

Personally, I would have at least a certain amount of respect for any dojo that was willing to accommodate a physical challenge, even if I did not otherwise share their vision of martial arts. However, I have only been a member of one aikido dojo where it seemed that such a challenge would have been acceptable. I suspect that in the vast majority of aikido dojos what you suggest would not be tolerated and anyone seeming to challenge the effectiveness of the instructor or art taught at the dojo might even be asked not to train at the dojo at all.

mwible
04-25-2008, 02:16 PM
I find these constant "is aikido effective" threads to be quite revealing of a fundamental problem in aikido, and it's not that aikido is "not effective." I think it's obvious to most serious martial artists that the question of effectiveness depends entirely on who's aikido you are talking about, what specific parts of it you are talking about, and what you mean by "effective."

The problem that these threads make clear is that the effectiveness of aikido training, in general, is questionable (see the title of this thread, for example), and that many people within aikido are very much concerned about this question. From what I have seen, aikido is one of few martial arts where this issue is such a common and apparantly intractable dilemma. If there were not serious problems with the expectations and desires for effectiveness of the general student base not being met by the art as a whole then I suspect it would not be such an issue in aikido either.

Given that situation, to me the response that would make the most sense is not to try to more precisely evaluate the effectiveness of aikido as a whole, which I would consider to be a proposition of dubious value anyway, but to look to make changes that would make the art better meet the expectations of effectiveness held by many students. Two possible changes that could be made would be to alter students' expectations of effectiveness and to modify training methods in order to make the average student more effective. I personally would recommend both of these actions. However, simply continuing to debate the issue over and over again without making any substantive changes in training to address the problem seems very unlikely to resolve it.

No disrespect, but i didn't mean or post this as a "is Aikido effective" question/ debate. I was asking those out there if they believed that THEY could use Aikido effectively. Just to get a general idea of some Aikidoka's opinions, because i posted this from the perspective that i whole-heartedly believe i could use the Aikido that i have been taught for self defence when i need to.

rei,
morgan

Ron Tisdale
04-25-2008, 02:59 PM
One of the 3rd dans at my home dojo started his practice there this way. While he is quite well respected and a valuable member of the dojo, I don't believe that he or the head of the dojo would recommend starting the way he did. And I don't find that strange at all.

Best,
Ron

Tony Sova
04-25-2008, 03:36 PM
All Martial Arts have are effective in various degrees I believe. I do feel, however, that until Aikidoka put Aikido into the ring against combatants of other styles,much like the Gracie's have done with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido's effectiveness will continue to remain nothing more than a mysterious combination of verbal hype & bravado.

I have submitted a fifth Dan in Aikido numerous times within a two minute time frame in grappling, however, in his defense I do not believe he was using Aikido techniques in our match. .

- Tony

Bill Danosky
04-25-2008, 04:13 PM
I have submitted a fifth Dan in Aikido numerous times within a two minute time frame in grappling, however, in his defense I do not believe he was using Aikido techniques in our match. .


I'd expect not! I don't know about the other styles, but we don't have many Aikido grappling techniques in Yoshinkan dojos.

Tony Sova
04-25-2008, 04:22 PM
Bill,

I think you misunderstaood me. I did not submit him in Aikido or while practicing Aikido techniques. He was participating in our submission wrestling class where we free-sparred in intervals of two minute periods to apply the various techniques learned that day.

- Tony

G DiPierro
04-25-2008, 06:45 PM
No disrespect, but i didn't mean or post this as a "is Aikido effective" question/ debate. I was asking those out there if they believed that THEY could use Aikido effectively. Just to get a general idea of some Aikidoka's opinions, because i posted this from the perspective that i whole-heartedly believe i could use the Aikido that i have been taught for self defence when i need to.If you "whole-heartedly believe" that you could use aikido to defend yourself then why do you need anyone else's opinion about what they can do? Could you imagine the same thread on an MMA forum about an art like BJJ? Why would people who have actually tested the effectiveness of their art for themselves need to start a thread announcing that to everyone? Why would they care about anyone else's opinion on the matter, other than that of their teachers and hands-on training partners?

One of the 3rd dans at my home dojo started his practice there this way. While he is quite well respected and a valuable member of the dojo, I don't believe that he or the head of the dojo would recommend starting the way he did. And I don't find that strange at all.I wouldn't recommend the type of challenge suggested either, but I do respect a dojo that is willing to accommodate it. That said, I think there has to be some room to question the effectiveness of any art or teacher in the context of learning that art, and I have had no problem finding this space in the other arts I have studied. It is only in aikido where this natural and essential exploratory process seems to be so problematic, and in a nutshell I think that encapsulates everything that is wrong with the art.

mwible
04-25-2008, 11:41 PM
If you "whole-heartedly believe" that you could use aikido to defend yourself then why do you need anyone else's opinion about what they can do? Could you imagine the same thread on an MMA forum about an art like BJJ? Why would people who have actually tested the effectiveness of their art for themselves need to start a thread announcing that to everyone? Why would they care about anyone else's opinion on the matter, other than that of their teachers and hands-on training partners?

I wouldn't recommend the type of challenge suggested either, but I do respect a dojo that is willing to accommodate it. That said, I think there has to be some room to question the effectiveness of any art or teacher in the context of learning that art, and I have had no problem finding this space in the other arts I have studied. It is only in aikido where this natural and essential exploratory process seems to be so problematic, and in a nutshell I think that encapsulates everything that is wrong with the art.

Why not ask the question? Why is it important for you to know my reasons for asking? Why do you question that i even ask?
What's so wrong in wondering about other fellow-Aikidoka's opinions? I'd like to think nothing is wrong with that.

Kevin Leavitt
04-26-2008, 12:54 PM
Tony Sova wrote:

All Martial Arts have are effective in various degrees I believe. I do feel, however, that until Aikidoka put Aikido into the ring against combatants of other styles,much like the Gracie's have done with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido's effectiveness will continue to remain nothing more than a mysterious combination of verbal hype & bravado.

I have submitted a fifth Dan in Aikido numerous times within a two minute time frame in grappling, however, in his defense I do not believe he was using Aikido techniques in our match. .

How many more BJJ tournaments do I need to compete in before this happens? How 'bout Don Magee, or Roy Dean?

Not to put words in their mouths, but I believe all three of us will tell you that we use the principles that aikido teaches all the time.

How do you define effective? What parameters to you want to restrict the fight or competition to?

G DiPierro
04-26-2008, 01:34 PM
Why not ask the question? Why is it important for you to know my reasons for asking? Why do you question that i even ask?
What's so wrong in wondering about other fellow-Aikidoka's opinions? I'd like to think nothing is wrong with that.

Actually, the questions were rhetorical. I don't really care to discuss your reasons for starting this thread, although I certainly have my own opinions based on having read your posts. The point I was trying to make is that the existence this thread and many others like it demonstrates that the effectiveness of aikido is questionable, regardless of how strongly you happen to believe in the effectiveness of your own aikido.

There is a difference between belief and evidence, and in arts where people have extensive, precise, first-hand evidence of their effectiveness you don't see these same kinds of discussions about whether the art is effective. People in those arts know far more about ways in which their art is and is not effective because these things are routinely taught and tested in the course of everyday training. In aikido, to the extent that these things are explicitly taught, the instruction is often more a reflection of unrealistic theories and fantasy passed from teacher to student than of tested martial realities.

Many aikido students have little or even no useful information about their own effectiveness, and hence they have to resort to belief, speculation, theory, and internet guesswork to try to figure out whether they and their art are effective. To me, this makes no sense. If you don't have a good idea of how effective you are as a martial artist then I would suggest changing how and with whom you train rather than looking for answers and affirmations on the internet.

Aikibu
04-26-2008, 01:40 PM
Ron and G P,

There is a BIG difference between accomodating a newcomers (to Aikido experianced in other Martial Arts or otherwise) query about Aikido's effectiveness and challenging Sensei/Sempai to a fight....

I thought I made that obvious in my post but perhaps I should have clarified it better.

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
04-26-2008, 02:24 PM
talking about evidence, proof, and accepting things based on faith...I am listening to a Podcast/interview with Sharon Salzburg (Interviewed by Krista Tippet) on the issue of faith as it relates to western belief structures and faith as it relates to buddhsim. Interesting stuff. I am not done with it, so I cannot comment on it yet, but it follows the theme of this conversation.

Bottomline, we tend to view faith sometimes differently as people. Faith is almost a dirty word to some buddhism followers, yet we have faith anyway...faith the sun will rise...faith in our family....etc.

It is difficult for us to approach many things such as martial arts training with faith....that is, blind faith. We want some sort of sign or proof that we are not wasting our time in some way.

At what point to you give in...let go?

How much proof is necessary?

Alexander Vanyurikhin
04-26-2008, 02:44 PM
I use aikido in fight, but I use only aikido's shift.

Aikibu
04-26-2008, 04:23 PM
At what point to you give in...let go?

How much proof is necessary?

In my experiance it usually takes one Iriminage/Kiminage to help someone understand Aikido's "effectiveness." :)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
04-26-2008, 04:56 PM
Yes, but when I do it with a totally non-compliant Uke,it looks like the clinch, followed by a whizzer along with a cross or hook. Shhhh, don't tell anyone in the MMA world that it is iriminage, we will let it be our little secret!

dps
04-26-2008, 06:55 PM
Just as spirituality lies within a individual so does the effectiveness of a martial art lies within an individual ,regardless of the style of martial art.

David

Aikibu
04-26-2008, 07:54 PM
Just as spirituality lies within a individual so does the effectiveness of a martial art lies within an individual ,regardless of the style of martial art.

David

Woooo Man! That was deeeep! :D

William Hazen

dps
04-27-2008, 05:05 AM
Woooo Man! That was deeeep! :D

William Hazen

Deep enough for waders?

Seriously, if you want to really know if your Aikido is effective, go out and pick a fight with someone and try it out.

David

Kevin Leavitt
04-27-2008, 12:21 PM
To me, that method shows just how little you know about aikido! ...picking fights that is!

I prefer dodging bullets using irimi. Bullets don't care if you tenkan...usually!

Aikibu
04-27-2008, 02:59 PM
Deep enough for waders?

Seriously, if you want to really know if your Aikido is effective, go out and pick a fight with someone and try it out.

David

Seriously David just so you know I was just ribbing you a bit and meant no disrespect...

That being said....

Would you explain to me (please :) ) the paradox of how picking a fight with someone resolves Aikido's effectiveness for you?

George S. Ledyard
04-27-2008, 04:08 PM
Seriously David just so you know I was just ribbing you a bit and meant no disrespect...

That being said....

Would you explain to me (please :) ) the paradox of how picking a fight with someone resolves Aikido's effectiveness for you?

Actually, a number of the young deshi, before and after the war, would sneak out and go drinking and get into it as a way to see if they could really do what they were training. Shirata Sensei in one of John Steven's books talked about that.

After the war O-Sensei once caught a group of deshi trying to sneak back into the dorm. They had clearly been fighting and O-Sensei reamed them out saying "Aikido is not for fighting!!! You are destroying the spirit of Aikido by fighting! And so forth... He ended by asking "Did you win?" Spirit or no spirit, he expected that his students could handle themselves.

Kevin Leavitt
04-27-2008, 04:42 PM
Different times and different culture maybe?

For me, it is important martially that I "win". I think it is why I have chosen to get involved in the whole MMA thing.

It is a safe and acceptable way to "fight" and figure out what you are doing.

Aikibu
04-27-2008, 05:36 PM
Actually, a number of the young deshi, before and after the war, would sneak out and go drinking and get into it as a way to see if they could really do what they were training. Shirata Sensei in one of John Steven's books talked about that.

After the war O-Sensei once caught a group of deshi trying to sneak back into the dorm. They had clearly been fighting and O-Sensei reamed them out saying "Aikido is not for fighting!!! You are destroying the spirit of Aikido by fighting! And so forth... He ended by asking "Did you win?" Spirit or no spirit, he expected that his students could handle themselves.

Thanks George...I am very familiar with these stories...and my point is it's not unreasonable for folks to expect Aikido to "work" and for Aikidoka to demonstrate this...

How to demonstrate this in a safe and "effective" manner is the rub for most...

I feel I have come with an effective solution which is the reason I posted it.

I wonder who it was at the Aiki-Expo who "tested" a certain wannabe revolutionary reformer of ineffective Aikido named MT only to see same leave with a bit of the Ol Aiki School Yard Edju Ma Cations :D

So I guess you've kind of experianced what I am sharing first hand. LOL :)

William Hazen

Buck
04-27-2008, 07:05 PM
No disrespect, but i didn't mean or post this as a "is Aikido effective" question/ debate. I was asking those out there if they believed that THEY could use Aikido effectively. Just to get a general idea of some Aikidoka's opinions, because i posted this from the perspective that i whole-heartedly believe i could use the Aikido that i have been taught for self defence when i need to.

rei,
morgan

Am sure I of it. I believe Aikido is effective. The uncommon answer I have doesn't include Aikido as most might think. That is because of my limited skill level. BTW, we are talking about on the street, right?

Aikido is effective because:

1. You are prepared. The attacker has no clue you have learned Aikido as a counter defense to their attack. The boob doesn't know what is coming, or what will hit him. He will not know how to deal with Aikido wazas.

2. Training for it. 1. is only as good as the hours spent on practice for attacks. Including mental and physical preparedness. Not everyone does practice Aikido in this manner. I think it is a personal choice to do so.

3. Knowing your space. Aikido partly isn't going to work well when your in the car and the attacker has a gun pointed at your ribs in the passengers side. You can't do Tachi wazas to someone from that position. You are pretty limited in what you can do. But what you can use is other Aikido principles applied to that situation.
You are dictate by your environment on what you can and can't do.

Aikido needs to be updated if we are talking about complete effectiveness in situations we might face today in our daily life. Take Surwari-wazas as an example, who sits in seiza around the house outside Japan. Surwari-wazas need to be updated for situations most of us find ourselves in like being in a car. Or Tachi wazas done in tight cramped spaces where there isn't much space, say Katame waza. Gosh, I know these aren't the best waza examples and shows my level of skill not being the highest. But, I think this is something someone of my experience level feels is a concern.

All the examples of being attacked I can think of that I experience in my daily world are places like stair wells, elevators. These are small spaces that really limit what you can do. Places that limit the ability to complete the waza properly. Like me, and everyone else learns Nikyo in class in an open space on the mat. One day outside of the dojo you find yourself in a small narrow stair well. You are attacked, you can't apply the waza completely because the lack of space and the stairs your on. Your out of your element. There is no wazas for being on the stairs. Not the world's greatest example, but I hope the idea gets across.

I am not good enough to counter with another waza on those stairs. Goodness gracious, I don't have the experience to improvise it. I am dependent on a waza/situation set up like I was taught for all techniques.

The matter of Aikido being effective isn't for me the issue because Aikido is effective in my 3 points I laid out. The issue really should be in the changes created by today's daily life that can make it difficult for an Aikidoka to be effective.

What about considering the things that could make Aikido ineffective? Try for example, poor instruction maybe. A good instructor is really important. Not my strongest point, but another would be bring 100% to class and putting it behind your training. Effectiveness isn't the question about Aikido, but what elements would make or hinder someone from using Aikido effectively.

George S. Ledyard
04-27-2008, 07:39 PM
I wonder who it was at the Aiki-Expo who "tested" a certain wannabe revolutionary reformer of ineffective Aikido named MT only to see same leave with a bit of the Ol Aiki School Yard Edju Ma Cations :D

So I guess you've kind of experianced what I am sharing first hand. LOL :)

William Hazen

Hi William,
Actually, that wasn't even testing... It was an example of someone who couldn't even do the simple controlled exercise as demonstrated by the teacher. The disconnect between self perception and actuality was indicative of a certain level of dysfunction. Once I realized that I simply tried to take care of him... unsuccessfully, in the end. But what was done was ENTIRELY self inflicted, I can assure you. I mean, a double leg take down isn't really the technique of choice when you are 130 lbs soaking wet and your opponent is over 300 lbs. especially if you don't know how to do it properly and try to lift him...

"Testing" would involve getting into it with someone who could actually handle himself. I am too old and beat up to find that idea interesting at all. If I ever have to fall back on technique, it needs to be over very quickly. I am too out of shape to have anything go on for any length of time. One or the other of us is going down fast...

My interest is in developing my understanding of the art. Fighting just isn't interesting at this point. Somebody just gets hurt and that's no fun for me or the other guy...

Carl Thompson
04-27-2008, 08:23 PM
How to demonstrate this in a safe and "effective" manner is the rub for most...

Introduce one rule (for example "no weapons" or "no kidnapping family members of opponent" or even "no flying planes into buildings of opponent's country") then I would say it would not reflect the reality of conflict.

Going back to something I said earlier in the thread: if you intend to do something and you plan it and practise it, getting as close to actually doing it as you can, your chances of actually being able to do it when the moment comes should improve. If you really practiced breaking people's wrists with intent, or intentionally killing people, you'd get quite good at it. However, it isn't easy to do this legally in most of our countries.

So in competition, we create rules and change our intention. We might remove moves that could kill or break a wrist altogether or we'll keep them but modify them and only use them to gain a submission through pain. Loss is no big deal. Our intention is not to break a wrist or kill. If it were, then there would surely be a much higher success rate. Does anyone seriously compete, using killing-orientated techniques, with the intention of killing their opponent? Compliance to rules is just another form of compliant training. The physical skills gained in training your mind to win and score points are certainly transferable to reality. But there is still artificiality in the training methodology:

One person catches a dō attack with his elbow (on the flesh of his arm) and insists that the other person did not score a point. The other person, however, says, "No, I scored a point!" Then the first person shows the spot on his arm where a bruise is starting to appear and says: "Isn't this bruise on my arm direct evidence that you missed?"!
Kunii Zenya

When entities (people, countries, corporations... whatever) conflict with each other, they use strategy to end that conflict. Ideally, strategy should create harmony as well as peace since one version of peace can be a battered wife learning to shut the hell up or a military dictator successfully (and disharmoniously) oppressing a nation. Even Sun Tzu said that finding a way to win without fighting was better.

Carl

Aikibu
04-27-2008, 08:57 PM
Hi William,
Actually, that wasn't even testing... It was an example of someone who couldn't even do the simple controlled exercise as demonstrated by the teacher. The disconnect between self perception and actuality was indicative of a certain level of dysfunction. Once I realized that I simply tried to take care of him... unsuccessfully, in the end. But what was done was ENTIRELY self inflicted, I can assure you. I mean, a double leg take down isn't really the technique of choice when you are 130 lbs soaking wet and your opponent is over 300 lbs. especially if you don't know how to do it properly and try to lift him...

"Testing" would involve getting into it with someone who could actually handle himself. I am too old and beat up to find that idea interesting at all. If I ever have to fall back on technique, it needs to be over very quickly. I am too out of shape to have anything go on for any length of time. One or the other of us is going down fast...

My interest is in developing my understanding of the art. Fighting just isn't interesting at this point. Somebody just gets hurt and that's no fun for me or the other guy...

No worries George I understand where you're coming from. :) I sure hope you find a way to get back in some kind of good shape to continue practicing though after reading your post you have me a bit worried about your health.

Again...One More Time for anyone else who may be confused by my poor explaination...The method I have used for addressing Aikido's "effectiveness" is just to let the doubter attack and let that flow into Aikido. It does NOT mean we're going to fight or hurt each other intentionally or anything like that. It's just a simple illustrative Randori if you will...Now bear in mind that in my experiance My Aikido does not always work LOL.. but I am greatful when someone shows me the weakness in my personal technique. I believe what I have been taught... That is... Aikido is a Martial Art FIRST... and generally must work against other Martial Arts in order to be a Budo...

When newbs come to class of course they naturally question the validity of what they're doing WE still question the validity of what we're doing too and are always trying to improve it...

Look at it this way if you cannot "handle" an attack then how can you express Aikido??? You are destroying any chance of achieving harmony.

It's a simple question with a simple answer...Practice Practice Practice. :)

William Hazen

Buck
04-27-2008, 10:19 PM
Look at it this way if you cannot "handle" an attack then how can you express Aikido??? You are destroying any chance of achieving harmony.

It's a simple question with a simple answer...Practice Practice Practice. :)

William Hazen

Truly, wise words from someone with years of experience and taught by one of the finest Sensei. I take what you say seriously and in earnest. You are much better trained and knowledgable than my Sensei.

As an experiences and well trained Aikidoka, should I be concerned. Becaue what you said doesn't make me feel very optimistic or confident now if that is the case. I am not there yet, like so many other Aikidokas to be able to handle any attack anywhere thrown at me, no matter how much I practice at this point. I honestly don't yet have 20 years of Practice, Practice, Practice, under my obi. Aikido is a long road of working hard, dedication, sacrifice, struggling, learning, developing to handle attacks even with a good sensei. What then are mine and others like me chances of achieving harmony, are we really doomed until mastery?

Aikibu
04-28-2008, 12:35 AM
Truly, wise words from someone with years of experience and taught by one of the finest Sensei. I take what you say seriously and in earnest. You are much better trained and knowledgable than my Sensei.

As an experiences and well trained Aikidoka, should I be concerned. Becaue what you said doesn't make me feel very optimistic or confident now if that is the case. I am not there yet, like so many other Aikidokas to be able to handle any attack anywhere thrown at me, no matter how much I practice at this point. I honestly don't yet have 20 years of Practice, Practice, Practice, under my obi. Aikido is a long road of working hard, dedication, sacrifice, struggling, learning, developing to handle attacks even with a good sensei. What then are mine and others like me chances of achieving harmony, are we really doomed until mastery?

Ah yes... Doubt

My sense of doubt can be a liability or an asset depending on how I express it in my practice...

My experiance does not translate into mastery... indeed I learn allot more from failure. For me doubt translates into awareness that I can always be better...gives me the next path up the mountain...and moves me to keep practicing...Doubt gives me (as Suzuki Roshi once emphasized in his practice) "Beginners Mind" The realization that Aikido can only be expressed in the moment I am in and that up until that moment of contact I do not know if the outcome of my practice will be harmony or me lying flat on my back having failed my Uke...

Doubt is only a liability if one uses it as a reason not to enter if one gives up before they are satisfied that they have not givin that technique or practice everything they can...

As Shoji Nishio once said "Sincere Heart through Austere Practice"

Mastery??? LOL I still have to make that choice everytime Uke attacks. :)

William Hazen

charyuop
04-28-2008, 07:51 AM
The reality is that if you ask to 100 Aikidoka what Aikido is you will get 200 different answers. How can a newcomer have a clear opinion of effectiveness when he doesn't know what Aikido is?
I myself I found out another aspect of Aikido not too long ago. When Sensei demostrated how I was wrong some of theories about Randori. After that he pointed out that was training, while in reality he wouldn't have those pauses that happens in training. Seeing Sensei demostrating what he meant and actually him attacking the second person instead of waiting for the attack opened another way of seeing Aikido for me.
Unfortunately people not only go to a dojo to learn, but spend too much time on youtube and read too many forums. So after few weeks of practicing, watching demos and reading other people words, they think they got too know all about Aikido...thus get filled with doubts.
After almost 2 years I am the first one to say that I know very little or almost nothing of Aikido, not because I can't do this or that technique, but because I discover every day new aspect of this Budo and I am sure there are many more to discover.

Daniel Blanco
04-28-2008, 02:19 PM
Yes, Morgan Aikido does work in the street,quick off balancing atemi and tech or throw, I am a Police officer and Aikido has HELPED me in many situations,to get the perp to cooperate.Train hard and trust in the art you study and it will help you.

DonMagee
04-28-2008, 02:28 PM
Introduce one rule (for example "no weapons" or "no kidnapping family members of opponent" or even "no flying planes into buildings of opponent's country") then I would say it would not reflect the reality of conflict.

war has tons of rules, its just that rules are made to be broken. Just like competition has rules, but many will push their limits. I've gotten kneed, kicked, slammed and crossfaced in a judo match. All of that is illegal in judo. I had one opponent try many times to knee me in the balls during the match. War has rules to, and governments do their best to work around or ignore them, just like in sport.

Going back to something I said earlier in the thread: if you intend to do something and you plan it and practise it, getting as close to actually doing it as you can, your chances of actually being able to do it when the moment comes should improve. If you really practiced breaking people's wrists with intent, or intentionally killing people, you'd get quite good at it. However, it isn't easy to do this legally in most of our countries.

So in competition, we create rules and change our intention. We might remove moves that could kill or break a wrist altogether or we'll keep them but modify them and only use them to gain a submission through pain. Loss is no big deal. Our intention is not to break a wrist or kill. If it were, then there would surely be a much higher success rate. Does anyone seriously compete, using killing-orientated techniques, with the intention of killing their opponent? Compliance to rules is just another form of compliant training. The physical skills gained in training your mind to win and score points are certainly transferable to reality. But there is still artificiality in the training methodology:


In competition, I do not try to submit via pain. I try to break their arm/wrist/ankle/whatever. I suspect my opponents are trying to do the same. It is the duty of the ref to insure safety of us both and it is the duty of each of us to protect ourselves. When you secure a submission in competition, you do not do it enough to get a tap, you have no idea what the pain threshold of your opponent is. No you do it completely until the ref stops you. Just like a boxer doesn't just try for a 'little' knock out, you do not try for a 'little' submission. This is the risk you take to step on the mat in competition. When I throw in judo competition, I do not try to do the minimum needed to score an ippon, I try to throw my opponent so hard on the ground that he never wants to stand up with me again.

You can see this even more in MMA, fighters do not stop striking after their opponent is visibly unable to defend themselves. They stop striking when the ref stops them.

Training however is a huge difference. In training I would rather 'lose' and protect my partner then hurt him.

Bill Danosky
04-28-2008, 05:55 PM
My view of what Aikido actually "is" has changed over the last few years. They say Leonardo Da Vinci drew and painted 1000 hands, then became an artist. I think a person theoretically masters the techniques and they can then find Aiki.

I think now that Aikido (in the sense that O Sensei meant) is something you eventually express with all the techniques you learn in your Kyu levels. So if you're good enough, you can effectively drop your opponent in a very :ai: :ki: :do: OR you can go budo on them.

MHO

mwible
04-28-2008, 07:29 PM
Am sure I of it. I believe Aikido is effective. The uncommon answer I have doesn't include Aikido as most might think. That is because of my limited skill level. BTW, we are talking about on the street, right?

Aikido is effective because:

1. You are prepared. The attacker has no clue you have learned Aikido as a counter defense to their attack. The boob doesn't know what is coming, or what will hit him. He will not know how to deal with Aikido wazas.

2. Training for it. 1. is only as good as the hours spent on practice for attacks. Including mental and physical preparedness. Not everyone does practice Aikido in this manner. I think it is a personal choice to do so.

3. Knowing your space. Aikido partly isn't going to work well when your in the car and the attacker has a gun pointed at your ribs in the passengers side. You can't do Tachi wazas to someone from that position. You are pretty limited in what you can do. But what you can use is other Aikido principles applied to that situation.
You are dictate by your environment on what you can and can't do.

Aikido needs to be updated if we are talking about complete effectiveness in situations we might face today in our daily life. Take Surwari-wazas as an example, who sits in seiza around the house outside Japan. Surwari-wazas need to be updated for situations most of us find ourselves in like being in a car. Or Tachi wazas done in tight cramped spaces where there isn't much space, say Katame waza. Gosh, I know these aren't the best waza examples and shows my level of skill not being the highest. But, I think this is something someone of my experience level feels is a concern.

All the examples of being attacked I can think of that I experience in my daily world are places like stair wells, elevators. These are small spaces that really limit what you can do. Places that limit the ability to complete the waza properly. Like me, and everyone else learns Nikyo in class in an open space on the mat. One day outside of the dojo you find yourself in a small narrow stair well. You are attacked, you can't apply the waza completely because the lack of space and the stairs your on. Your out of your element. There is no wazas for being on the stairs. Not the world's greatest example, but I hope the idea gets across.

I am not good enough to counter with another waza on those stairs. Goodness gracious, I don't have the experience to improvise it. I am dependent on a waza/situation set up like I was taught for all techniques.

The matter of Aikido being effective isn't for me the issue because Aikido is effective in my 3 points I laid out. The issue really should be in the changes created by today's daily life that can make it difficult for an Aikidoka to be effective.

What about considering the things that could make Aikido ineffective? Try for example, poor instruction maybe. A good instructor is really important. Not my strongest point, but another would be bring 100% to class and putting it behind your training. Effectiveness isn't the question about Aikido, but what elements would make or hinder someone from using Aikido effectively.

Thank you very much for your reply Philip! I agree with almost everything you are saying actually, and i enjoyed your reply most out of any of the others so far.

And may i offer some advice? In my also very limited experience in the form of Aikido i study, we are taught to start out with big circles in all of our movements and as we progress to start making them smaller and smaller until they are almost unintelligible(at a very high level of course :p ). But with me, i tend to see what others are doing (such as my Sensei) and mimic their movements. So my circles have already shrunk ALOT, haha. But, maybe you could try doing that? Practice your techniques in class as usual, but try and get your body to use up less space as you execute the technique, such as foot movement, hand movement, hip movement, just use smaller circles and smaller steps to achieve the same goal.
Just a suggestion, but I hope it is helpful!
And, may I ask how long you have been studying? Because you sound almost as bad as I do in broadcasting your lack of experience, haha.

domo,
morgan

dps
04-29-2008, 08:47 AM
Seriously David just so you know I was just ribbing you a bit and meant no disrespect...

That being said....

Would you explain to me (please :) ) the paradox of how picking a fight with someone resolves Aikido's effectiveness for you?

I understood the ribbing, no problem.

I see no conflict in my statement. If a person really wants to see if their martial art works, get in to a fight and try it. What you do in the dojo or organized fight with rules will not show you if you can use your martial art skills in a "on the street fight" with no rules. I personally do not do this ( although I have been in one fight and my Aikido worked) , but have known a few people that have sought out fights.

David

Kevin Leavitt
04-29-2008, 09:04 AM
David, so the presumption is that in an organized dojo with rules, that it won't work...(or might not work)....but on the street it will (with no rules)?

I disagree with that logic. If there are truly "no rules" then there are more parameters being introduced into the equation than in a situation with rules.

The only way this works in my mind is if you assume that some how aikido has a leg up on the "other" parameters in the no rules fight!

If you cannot adequately demonstrate some basic things that are common to all fights (rules or no rules) then you simply will not be a good, effective fighter.

These things, in my experiences, and those in my organization (U.S. Army) that have been involved in "real no rules fights", are that organized, controlled situations can demonstrate basic fighting ability.

If you cannot demonstrate a modicum of skill in a controlled situations, introducing "more" to the situation does not make it better for you...it makes it worse.

Again, that is, unless you assume that aikido has some leg up on those "no rules" parameters.

Also, it depends on other factors that lie outside of physical martial skill such as suprise, stealth, initiative an things like that...which are martial skills actually, but are usually weeded out of the training environment to be able to compare physical martial skill.

dps
04-29-2008, 09:17 AM
David, so the presumption is that in an organized dojo with rules, that it won't work...(or might not work)....but on the street it will (with no rules)?

No, wrong presumption, on the street if it will.
In an organized dojo you train to make it work in the dojo. . I am not advocating fighting on the street as part of your training.

David

CSFurious
04-29-2008, 10:18 AM
i think that a person trained in Aikido could defend themself, but it would not look much like the Aikido that you practice on a daily or weekly basis

Kevin Leavitt
04-29-2008, 10:36 AM
David, went back and read your previous post...I maybe a little confused.

You train in the dojo, to make it work in the dojo?

There for it "might" work on the street?

I train in my dojo to gain skill, timing, and habits that directly translate to habits that carry forward to the street.

the "IF" is the situation on the street...not the skills I learn.

the "IF" in the situation will always be unknown and will differ each time and for each person.

I am not really tracking your logic....probably because I am tired and not seeing it correctly I am sure.

dps
04-29-2008, 11:17 AM
David, went back and read your previous post...I maybe a little confused.

You train in the dojo, to make it work in the dojo?

There for it "might" work on the street?

I train in my dojo to gain skill, timing, and habits that directly translate to habits that carry forward to the street.

the "IF" is the situation on the street...not the skills I learn.

the "IF" in the situation will always be unknown and will differ each time and for each person.

I am not really tracking your logic....probably because I am tired and not seeing it correctly I am sure.

Okay, put another way, you train in a dojo, it works in the dojo, will it work outside the dojo in a real life situation? You will only know for sure when the outside the dojo real life situation happens.

David

Aikibu
04-29-2008, 11:34 AM
Okay, put another way, you train in a dojo, it works in the dojo, will it work outside the dojo in a real life situation? You will only know for sure when the outside the dojo real life situation happens.

David

This almost explains that pesky paradox I asked about.LOL

Here's another paradox. I use Aikido everyday "on the street" and it works 99% of the time and yet I very rarely have to resort to violence...

So in essence I have already proven both points... Aikido works in a fight and on the street.

Don Magee's post about violence and rules was one of the best I have ever read on the subject... Which in a sense just add more fuel to the (fire) paradox...If I already use Aikido everyday on the street to resolve conflicts...See what I mean...:)

For me the Practice of Aikido after years of other Martial Arts and lots of "conflict" was the first experiance I had that Martial Practice actually can resolve conflict as opposed to just another fancy form of violence... not only that.... but Aikido taught me BOTH conflict and violence can lead to harmony with your "enemy" as opposed to just simply destroying him....I just knew at the time I was sick and tired of trying to "win" everyday "against" all the people I had a conflict with...and since conflict occurs thousands of times more often than violence in my everyday life... I have found Aikido very practical to use for both "on the street." :D

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
04-29-2008, 03:12 PM
David wrote:

Okay, put another way, you train in a dojo, it works in the dojo, will it work outside the dojo in a real life situation? You will only know for sure when the outside the dojo real life situation happens.


I understand now! No issue, I agree with that. Thanks for clarifying!

Steve Peters
04-30-2008, 01:37 PM
Do you believe you could defend yourself using Aikido?

Yes, I have used it to defend myself. My wife and I went out one evening last fall with her sisters. During the evening a guy bumped into me very hard. I quickly apologized and didn't think anything else of it. A few minutes later, the guy comes back, pounding his fist into his hand to threaten me. I calmly removed my glasses, handed them to my wife, and got into hamni without taking my eyes off of him. About ten seconds later, he melted away into the crowd. I'm certain that without my minimal amount of Aikido training at the time, he would have come at me. By having the awareness and demeanor I got from Aikido, I defended myself.

philippe willaume
05-01-2008, 05:40 AM
Yes, I have used it to defend myself. My wife and I went out one evening last fall with her sisters. During the evening a guy bumped into me very hard. I quickly apologized and didn't think anything else of it. A few minutes later, the guy comes back, pounding his fist into his hand to threaten me. I calmly removed my glasses, handed them to my wife, and got into hamni without taking my eyes off of him. About ten seconds later, he melted away into the crowd. I'm certain that without my minimal amount of Aikido training at the time, he would have come at me. By having the awareness and demeanor I got from Aikido, I defended myself.
Hello Pete
The same can be said from any martial arts, so it is not specific to aikido.
Whether you call it body language, ki projection, aura, a trained martial artist will display that.
Basically by calmly taking your stance, you display to him was that you were ready able, able willing for a scrap, and not that bothered about it either.
And it a very relevant example however the usage of violence, unlike sex or tango, can be a unilateral affair.

I understand Morgan question as is will aikido cut the mustard should we be in those unilateral case. As david as pointed out you will only know if it works when it happens, none the less training is there to give you the tools to help you when it happens.

The technical content of aikido, by that I mean the techniques themselves, does definitely cut it. To convince ourselves if we look, we will find them in on form or another in several martial arts, usually more often in arts where the predicate is that the fight will be asymmetrical.

I think the weakest side of aikido training is the tactical and strategical aspect, which for example MMa/BJJ and to a certain degree weapon practice are quite good at exploring and make it more obvious.
I am not saying that it is not there, it is just that it is not made as obvious as in medieval fencing /wrestling, 16-17th century fencing or BJJ/mma training.

Does not really matter how call it , “access, isolation, control, technique” or “true time and true place” or “striking your oppoenet in the Nach, Vor or Indess”, or has you have already heard on the mat, you need to get to the right place before trying to put the technique on, you need to control uke from the start to the beginning.
It all relates to the same thing, but I think I aikido you do need to make the effort to ask your self if it you got where you end up with whatever bit of uke safely? Do we attack the said bit in such way that it is weak and we can use overwhelming power (ki or bio mechanics according to your taste) so that he can not get away (or before he can get away) so that I can achieve my goal (throw, pin, break).
In BJJ or fencing, because the consequences are not too dire, those questions can be asked by your opponent so you can not really escape having to answer them.

phil

Amir Krause
05-01-2008, 06:31 AM
Hello Pete
The same can be said from any martial arts, so it is not specific to aikido.
Whether you call it body language, ki projection, aura, a trained martial artist will display that.
Basically by calmly taking your stance, you display to him was that you were ready able, able willing for a scrap, and not that bothered about it either.
And it a very relevant example however the usage of violence, unlike sex or tango, can be a unilateral affair.

I understand Morgan question as is will aikido cut the mustard should we be in those unilateral case. As david as pointed out you will only know if it works when it happens, none the less training is there to give you the tools to help you when it happens.

The technical content of aikido, by that I mean the techniques themselves, does definitely cut it. To convince ourselves if we look, we will find them in on form or another in several martial arts, usually more often in arts where the predicate is that the fight will be asymmetrical.

I think the weakest side of aikido training is the tactical and strategical aspect, which for example MMa/BJJ and to a certain degree weapon practice are quite good at exploring and make it more obvious.
I am not saying that it is not there, it is just that it is not made as obvious as in medieval fencing /wrestling, 16-17th century fencing or BJJ/mma training.

Does not really matter how call it , "access, isolation, control, technique" or "true time and true place" or "striking your oppoenet in the Nach, Vor or Indess", or has you have already heard on the mat, you need to get to the right place before trying to put the technique on, you need to control uke from the start to the beginning.
It all relates to the same thing, but I think I aikido you do need to make the effort to ask your self if it you got where you end up with whatever bit of uke safely? Do we attack the said bit in such way that it is weak and we can use overwhelming power (ki or bio mechanics according to your taste) so that he can not get away (or before he can get away) so that I can achieve my goal (throw, pin, break).
In BJJ or fencing, because the consequences are not too dire, those questions can be asked by your opponent so you can not really escape having to answer them.

phil

When you talk of things that exist in Aikido and things which do not. How many Dojos and Senseis are your base fo reference?

One of the things you can learn from AikWeb is the huge variety in the world of Aikido. Any generalization is moot.

Amir

philippe willaume
05-01-2008, 07:35 AM
When you talk of things that exist in Aikido and things which do not. How many Dojos and Senseis are your base fo reference?

One of the things you can learn from AikWeb is the huge variety in the world of Aikido. Any generalization is moot.

Amir
hello

Well a reasonable bit in the UK and very moderate world wide plus meeting other martial artists at different medieval martial art seminars, but really Amir, All the threads on such topic can only be about generic tendencies and how people see things.
Otherwise we can have an automatic magic answer to any post, something along the line of “In some clubs it happens, in some other it does not.” And leave it there.

I know English is not my first language, but could it possibly be lost on you that I was talking about the level of conceptualisation compared to some other martial arts and not really about being there or not?
I mean I am pretty sure that Ma Ai is talked about and practiced in every aikido club, and like any other martial arts, aikido is ultimately about being at the right place at the right time and I am sure talk about, demonstrated an even worked upon.
However there is a pretty stiff difference between that and systematic rationalisation, and practical application via sparing/active resistance in form work/having your opponent attack you from a proper distance and not using only a passing step as they strike.

Yes some clubs do that second part, some cover part of it but in all honesty we can not say that the vast majority of aikido club actively and consistently do so.
(And whether we think it is a good idea or not, people that are in aikido for the spiritual aspect can definitely live without it)

Phil

Esaemann
05-01-2008, 08:00 AM
Steve,
Thanks for sharing your story. See you at morning class.

Eric

Kevin Leavitt
05-01-2008, 08:13 AM
Phil wrote:

(And whether we think it is a good idea or not, people that are in aikido for the spiritual aspect can definitely live without it)

But can they really?

That is, ignore the "reality" aspects of the art and only practice it conceptuallly?

isn't this the crux of most of the debate? The paradox that spurs the whole "is aikido effective???" question?

At what point do you draw the line in the sand and at what point does it simply become something other than martial?

I don't have the answers to these questions, as that answer I think can be somewhat personal in nature.

I do think that there is a middle road in the spectrum though. On one extreme we can do "mental" aikido, that is reading about it, thinking about it, discussing it.....the other extreme would be performing it in a very dangerous and very martial situation.

My own opinion though is that if you are using aikido as a spiritual practice you cannot ignore the martial aspects of it and simply "do the dance".

It makes you no more "spiritual" by simply attending church and putting money in the offering plate and saying "I checked that block".

Spirituality, I think, requires a little bit more involvement than simply "doing the dance". It requires an sincere investment of yourself at some level that requires you to explore things outside of your comfort zone so you can take in that new experience and grow.

If you are practicing a martial art to obtain grow...then it requires you to...well....be martial.

That said, what "martial" might be, I cannot define exactly, but I know it when I see it! :)

CSFurious
05-01-2008, 08:44 AM
i would call this an example of self-confidence vs. an example of self-defense

i believe that your training helped you think you could defend yourself which actually may have prevented the attack

they call that a paradox

however, as to whether your minimal aikido training would have actually permitted you to defend yourself had fisticuffs ensued is dubious at best

Yes, I have used it to defend myself. My wife and I went out one evening last fall with her sisters. During the evening a guy bumped into me very hard. I quickly apologized and didn't think anything else of it. A few minutes later, the guy comes back, pounding his fist into his hand to threaten me. I calmly removed my glasses, handed them to my wife, and got into hamni without taking my eyes off of him. About ten seconds later, he melted away into the crowd. I'm certain that without my minimal amount of Aikido training at the time, he would have come at me. By having the awareness and demeanor I got from Aikido, I defended myself.

CSFurious
05-01-2008, 08:48 AM
most students of Aikido are only going to train with one or a handful of instructors on a daily basis for years

therefore, you actually just disproved your point

i agree that there is incredible variety amongst Aikido instructors

unfortunately, most people will train consistently with very few Aikido instructors

When you talk of things that exist in Aikido and things which do not. How many Dojos and Senseis are your base fo reference?

One of the things you can learn from AikWeb is the huge variety in the world of Aikido. Any generalization is moot.

Amir

Amir Krause
05-01-2008, 08:48 AM
hello

Well a reasonable bit in the UK and very moderate world wide plus meeting other martial artists at different medieval martial art seminars, but really Amir, All the threads on such topic can only be about generic tendencies and how people see things.
Otherwise we can have an automatic magic answer to any post, something along the line of "In some clubs it happens, in some other it does not." And leave it there.

I know English is not my first language, but could it possibly be lost on you that I was talking about the level of conceptualisation compared to some other martial arts and not really about being there or not?
I mean I am pretty sure that Ma Ai is talked about and practiced in every aikido club, and like any other martial arts, aikido is ultimately about being at the right place at the right time and I am sure talk about, demonstrated an even worked upon.
However there is a pretty stiff difference between that and systematic rationalisation, and practical application via sparing/active resistance in form work/having your opponent attack you from a proper distance and not using only a passing step as they strike.

Yes some clubs do that second part, some cover part of it but in all honesty we can not say that the vast majority of aikido club actively and consistently do so.
(And whether we think it is a good idea or not, people that are in aikido for the spiritual aspect can definitely live without it)

Phil

Phil

I come from a small and different Aikido system: Koridno. This system is more geared towards minimal movements and maximal effect by utilizing very sophisticated hip movement (which takes years on years to internalize).

My Teacher is highly experienced in Judo and Karate, aside from Korindo Aikido. My Sensei believed our locks should stand as well as any JuJutsu style, while we learn to make the Aiki work. Further, he researches the techniques and why should they work, looking at the principles, physics, biomechanics and psychology, and keeps thinking and looking for answers on his own (among other things, by comparing the solution of the different M.A. he teaches), and encourage his students to do the same. My Sensei firmly believes that he teaches both M.A. and S.D. (for some aspects of the latter, the student is invited to stay listen and discuss issues such as safety rules when driving etc.) If we look at your example of the principal of correct location, I recall practicing it for months, each time in a slightly different perspective, and with a different technique, same goes for timing, etc. Trying to improve is a never ending cycle.

I learn in Israel, with western skeptical Israelis who consistently insist on feeling pain and danger to their joints before accepting the inevitable and falling, wishing to be sure this really work. As most felt they wanted to learn S.D. and so had to examine everything from the first day. (In retrospect, this was a mistake, I should have listened to my sensei when he explained correct Ukemi, but non did until BB).

Part of the Korindo Aikido methodological approach is Kyoshu (http://www.freewebz.com/aikido/lecture/unit6.htm). We call the typical way we practice it in Israel Randori, but it is not like the common Randori in Aikikai, it is much more similar to light sparring. Depending on level, everything is allowed, as both players attack, evade, counter with technique, and counter the technique. The only behavior discouraged is resisting with pure strength instead of being soft and flowing into a counter.

As such, when I first encountered some Aikikai Aikido Sensei and dojo (almost before getting my Shodan and almost a decade ago), my feeling was one of dismissal. I could see all the "errors" of their way and their techniques. I was certain of our superiority.
Since then, I grew up. By now, I can also appreciate the good things I see in another’s practice, and accept the possibility of other methodologies and ways working. Even if I can see lots of holes in almost everything they do, when looking from my perspective. I try to think out of my box, and find the good stuff hiding behind, and the reasons for doing things (at times I think I understand the reasons of the methodology better then the teacher I see explaining a useless technique in practice, but important for realizing some principle).
This new appreciation came as I saw more of the world, I found out there are lots of different schools under the same name all over the world. Some with teachers who do know what they do, and have much experience in other M.A. too. Who knows, some might even be better at teaching S.D. then the one I learn at.

Amir

philippe willaume
05-01-2008, 09:29 AM
Phil wrote:

But can they really?

That is, ignore the "reality" aspects of the art and only practice it conceptuallly?

isn't this the crux of most of the debate? The paradox that spurs the whole "is aikido effective???" question?

At what point do you draw the line in the sand and at what point does it simply become something other than martial?

I don't have the answers to these questions, as that answer I think can be somewhat personal in nature.

I do think that there is a middle road in the spectrum though. On one extreme we can do "mental" aikido, that is reading about it, thinking about it, discussing it.....the other extreme would be performing it in a very dangerous and very martial situation.

My own opinion though is that if you are using aikido as a spiritual practice you cannot ignore the martial aspects of it and simply "do the dance".

It makes you no more "spiritual" by simply attending church and putting money in the offering plate and saying "I checked that block".

Spirituality, I think, requires a little bit more involvement than simply "doing the dance". It requires an sincere investment of yourself at some level that requires you to explore things outside of your comfort zone so you can take in that new experience and grow.

If you are practicing a martial art to obtain grow...then it requires you to...well....be martial.

That said, what "martial" might be, I cannot define exactly, but I know it when I see it! :)

Hello
Well those are good questions?

Personally I would say that practicing aikido for spiritual side without the martial aspect is like saying you are playing piano for the spiritual side then you really only using the black notes or using a rocking horse and say you know how to ride.
So It seems that I am on your length wave, on that one but as you said it is probably personal.
That being said I have met some people that seem perfectly happy like that. The thing is that even when I think that would not work on me, even if I was blindfolded, one hand tied in the back and heated sand in my underpants, there always seems to be something to pick up from what they do….

As far as what is martial well I have seen small sword practice that would put to shame a fair few of longsword exponents.;)
And by far a small sword is not the martial weapon par excellence

phil

Carl Thompson
05-07-2008, 01:11 AM
war has tons of rules, its just that rules are made to be broken. Just like competition has rules, but many will push their limits. I've gotten kneed, kicked, slammed and crossfaced in a judo match. All of that is illegal in judo. I had one opponent try many times to knee me in the balls during the match. War has rules to, and governments do their best to work around or ignore them, just like in sport.


Hello Don,

Thanks for your opinions and sorry for responding so late (been on holiday). Also apologies for bringing this thread back up to the top. :)

Of all the possible things that can happen in conflict, the only absolute laws are the natural laws of the universe (physics, dynamics etc). Although people may bend or break various rules ordinances and agreements in life, war etc, in competition, if the goal is to win and there are certain conditions defining what winning is, that will be what most people aim for. If someone has a different objective and produces a knife during a Judo competition, would it be considered a win if they successfully stabbed their opponent in the heart? In MMA, if you got a good opening to permanently blind your opponent, that would probably finish the confrontation right? But I doubt you would be considered the winner within the competition context if there is a rule prohibiting the technique you used. However, in the real world, I doubt that that guy would be giving you anymore trouble. That was the point of the Zenya quote.

Training however is a huge difference. In training I would rather 'lose' and protect my partner then hurt him.

In competition, I do not try to submit via pain. I try to break their arm/wrist/ankle/whatever.

So do you break people's wrists/etc or not? You said you stop short in training then in competition you go all out to do it? If you have to ‘protect your partner', you must be capable of doing them damage. If you can do it, when you intend to do it, you should be doing it.

When I throw in judo competition, I do not try to do the minimum needed to score an ippon, I try to throw my opponent so hard on the ground that he never wants to stand up with me again.

Seriously, blinding him would do the trick, or you could kill him (weapons often make this easier). If you really intend for him never to want to stand up with you again, there are myriad options at your disposal. In the real world, people might follow all kinds of rules but you can't rely on it. Any rule (e.g.: "I will not hit women") in life or competition, distances one from the full, complex reality of conflict. The only rules people are truly bound to obey are the natural laws of the universe.

Regards

Carl

DonMagee
05-07-2008, 07:29 AM
Hello Don,

Thanks for your opinions and sorry for responding so late (been on holiday). Also apologies for bringing this thread back up to the top. :)

Of all the possible things that can happen in conflict, the only absolute laws are the natural laws of the universe (physics, dynamics etc). Although people may bend or break various rules ordinances and agreements in life, war etc, in competition, if the goal is to win and there are certain conditions defining what winning is, that will be what most people aim for. If someone has a different objective and produces a knife during a Judo competition, would it be considered a win if they successfully stabbed their opponent in the heart? In MMA, if you got a good opening to permanently blind your opponent, that would probably finish the confrontation right? But I doubt you would be considered the winner within the competition context if there is a rule prohibiting the technique you used. However, in the real world, I doubt that that guy would be giving you anymore trouble. That was the point of the Zenya quote.


There are more rules in in life then you would recognize. I've seen bar fights were people jumped in because one of the guys 'was not fighting fair'. Simply put their are moral, legal, and ethical limits that people will go to when put to the test. For example, if a drunk took a swing at me in a bar, I'm not going to blind him, break both his legs and rip off his testicles. If I did, I'd be serving jail time. If I restrained him or kept the distance until the bouncers came, I would most likely be let free. While it is possible to ignore these 'rules', doing so usually ends badly for all parties involved. So I agree you need to be aware that anything can happen (which I said in my previous post), but the concept of rules not reflecting reality is flawed. Mostly competition employs rules to focus on a subset of what is possible in unarmed combat. Judo for example focuses it's rules on throwing. BJJ on ground positional control/dominance, Kickboxing on effective punching and kicking, etc. MMA's goal was to unify these different arts into a platform that can reflect unarmed combat as closely as possible. Rules were few and in some case did not stretch beyond no weapons. I'll get more into this in a bit.

So do you break people's wrists/etc or not? You said you stop short in training then in competition you go all out to do it? If you have to ‘protect your partner', you must be capable of doing them damage. If you can do it, when you intend to do it, you should be doing it.

I do my best to attempt to break their wrists/arms/legs/ankles/tear ligaments etc. I have to ask if you have competition experience in submission grappling? Being able to do something, and having that actually happen are really two different things. If there was no ref, then yes, they would have broken bones, torn ligaments, etc. There is really no question here. In competition it is not my job to worry about, care for, or have any regard for my opponent. That is a job for my opponent and the ref. My job is to do everything I can get away with inside the construct of the match. Those of us who are honorable will not break the rules, those who are not will try their best to get away with breaking the rules. I do feel you should be ready for someone to try to eye gouge you in a judo match. It could happen. But the rules say not to do it, so you should respect that.

Going back to the point of breaking bones. I will try to point out the duality of training and competition. If you compete in submission grappling, this should be obvious. In training, while sparing, if I secured an armbar, I would slowly increase the pressure with my hips until my partner taps out or I feel he is in danger of the capsule in his arm breaking, at which point I will release the lock and act like it never happened, transitioning to another position. This is a slow process where I give my partner time to tap out. I might not even hip in right away, choosing to give him time to realize the danger and attempt a defense.

This is stark contrast to competition. In competition, If I secured that same armbar, I would drive my hips up and pull down on his arm as fast and as hard as I possibly can. It is not my job to protect him, it is his job to tap and the refs job to make sure I don't break his arm in the time between when he starts tapping and when the ref tells me to stop. Even more so, it is the job of that ref to stop the guy who can tough it out and is on the verge of a broken arm. This gets even more serious with leg attacks which can actually cause little or no pain until your knee is already ruined. If I armbar you and you grunt out the pain for a few seconds, you will probably be fine (even if I am really trying to break it). If I heel hook you and you wait a second or two while feeling pain, you are probably looking at a huge recover time, rehab, and maybe knee surgery.

Finally, the human body is much more resilient then martial artists believe. I've seen a kid with his arm bent back so far it was buldging, purple, and I was 100% sure he had it snapped in two. He was back next month fighting again. The guy armbaring him had a personal issue with him and really wanted to break his arm. I'd go as far as to say he hated him.

So being able to do something and even intending to do it will not always make it so. I have used a wrist lock in one bjj match where I drove the full force of my body weight down on the wrist bending it backwards. The guy tapped, the ref stopped it and he was fine. Another few seconds and who knows what would happen. I would never dream of dumping my weight on a training partners wrist like that, I would do it in a slow controlled manner or not at all.

The same is true in judo. When I throw a training partner, I try to reduce his fall by pulling up on his arm, in randori I try my best not to land on him and to stay away from slamming him if possible. In competition, I try to slam, I try to land on them (in case it's not ippon I can go right to pins/submissions) and I would never try to reduce the impact, in fact I try to increase it. I want to throw him as hard as possible AND land with the full force of my body weight on his ribcage. This way I am in position to win by pin if I did not score the win.


Seriously, blinding him would do the trick, or you could kill him (weapons often make this easier). If you really intend for him never to want to stand up with you again, there are myriad options at your disposal. In the real world, people might follow all kinds of rules but you can't rely on it. Any rule (e.g.: "I will not hit women") in life or competition, distances one from the full, complex reality of conflict. The only rules people are truly bound to obey are the natural laws of the universe.

Regards

Carl

I feel well have to disagree on rules. However, I would like to touch on the blinding. These techniques fall into the 'deadly' category. Most if not all of these techniques were allowed in MMA at one time. Guys were known for huge amounts of groin punches, fish hooking, etc. Some were even eye gouged (like Yuki Nakai). What was found was while these techniques have some merit. They were best employed by fighters who were already going to win without them due to better positional dominance and technique. AKA, all the eye gouging in the world is not going to help you beat Fedor, unless your grappling and striking are already on par with Fedor. So they were removed so that the fights could focus on the part that matters and effects the outcome.

The main goal of MMA being a system of competition that reflects unarmed one on one combat as closely as possible. And in that history, injuries have been few. Think about how many people get armbared in MMA from the beginning. Now know that the purpose of an armbar is to break your arm. Now think of all the black belt BJJ fighters that have gracied the sport of MMA. These guys are experts in armbars. How many broken arms have their been in the sport. I can only think of two or three that I have seen. I have seen well over 500 fights, probably over 1000, maybe higher. When these breaks do happen (Mir and Silvia for example) the fight is stopped and the person who broke the arm is the winner. So knowing that the break will win you the fight (and thousands of dallors) that would make it your goal. Yet it is so hard to do that most submissions attempts are exactly that, attempts.

Why do I go back to the armbar? Well because it supports my position so well. It's goal is to break your arm. It is not pain compliance. Yet breaking the human body is such a task that it rarely succeeds in competition. Knowing that, you opponent will be willing to tough out the pain that non-competitors would be so sure is their arm breaking. So if you applied the armbar without the intent of breaking the arm, your opponent would surely escape.

I got a meeting now, so I have to run, I'll leave you with my long winded babbling.:D

Carl Thompson
05-08-2008, 01:47 AM
I'll leave you with my long winded babbling.:D

That was a good post and you have my thanks for taking the time to write it.

I'm not claiming any expertise in MMA or anything, so if I incorrectly interpreted what you are doing, I would be grateful if you put me right. My curiosity is from an intellectual standpoint. I realise rules and agreements are "part of the real world", but that is just it -- they are only "part" of it -- not the whole. So I'll even agree that the situation described in the Kunii Zenya quote is a very real "part" of real conflict (in which one is limited to striking certain areas -- it could happen). As you said, Kickboxing develops good kicking and punching skills, but that is not all you can do (or have done to you) in conflict. If you practiced a competitive art in which wrist slaps were the only permitted form of attack, you would still be practicing a facet of real combat that might develop skills and reflexes that transfer into other, less limited combat arenas. However, it would not represent all options. Basically, what I'm saying is that the competition element is still only part of training -- you might take the competition element damned close to all out gladiatorial combat, but all these factors you are describing -- refs stopping things, not wanting to go to jail, are not guaranteed in the real world.


Finally, the human body is much more resilient then martial artists believe. I've seen a kid with his arm bent back so far it was buldging, purple, and I was 100% sure he had it snapped in two. He was back next month fighting again. The guy armbaring him had a personal issue with him and really wanted to break his arm. I'd go as far as to say he hated him.

Which human bodies are we talking about? There's an old lady sitting not too far from my desk. Is she included? Because if I intended to snap her wrist I'm pretty sure it would go like a dry twig, even without training. If I had the connections, I could maybe even get a few mates to help soften her up first and heck, if the intention is focused on the task of breaking the bone, the simplest way for some might be just to take the whole hand off with a machete. This is the real world and thankfully, in my case I am not inclined to do any of this, but that is just me and the average Joe. If we only train for people who are constrained by rules (moral, legal, permitted technique or otherwise), how does that represent the full reality of conflict?


So being able to do something and even intending to do it will not always make it so.

Of course, but if your training is intended to get as close to that something as possible, your success rate should improve. Competition is part of training. It is a way of developing and testing certain skills that may apply to the infinite scope of the real world, just like other forms of conflict management training which by necessity, preclude competition.

Regards

Carl

Kevin Leavitt
05-08-2008, 05:34 AM
I agree. Good Post Don and Carl.

Competitive Training is very good for developing certain physical skills that are useful in reality. The level of non-compliance and the rules make for a fairly safe environment where one can apply what they know against someone that is equally (or close) skilled. It allows us to develop or keep an edge physcially.

More importantly, I think, competition breeds and conditions a mental skill. There is a certain toughness that is required of warriors that can really only be developed through a stress model. The willlingess to fight is important to warriors. Competitive models help develop and sustain this.

Competitive models are not complete as Carl points out. and Yes, you do need to spend time in other areas of conflict resolution and develop skill sets that address the more complete range of fighting and conflict if you want a more complete devleopment for reality....

...whatever your particular "Reality" may be.