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Mary Eastland
06-02-2008, 06:29 AM
It seems like some folks have decided that since I find joy in seeing someone do freestyle knowing that every single technique they are doing may not be effective if they did not have an aikido uke, that some how we don't teach real Aikido. :cool:

So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Earnestly,
Mary

DonMagee
06-02-2008, 06:53 AM
I wrote a long post where I tried to explain, but then I decided it doesn't matter what I say.

Those who get it, get it. Those that don't, well they don't.

lbb
06-02-2008, 07:54 AM
So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Earnestly,
Mary
If you're "earnestly" asking that question, I'll smile and kiss a pig.

SeiserL
06-02-2008, 08:27 AM
I tend to think of waza in two categories: practical and principle. Some are very practical. Some are designed to teach the principles that often make the other techniques practical.

Mary Eastland
06-02-2008, 08:34 AM
If you're "earnestly" asking that question, I'll smile and kiss a pig.

lol
better pick your pig..
:)
Mary

Mary Eastland
06-02-2008, 08:35 AM
I tend to think of waza in two categories: practical and principle. Some are very practical. Some are designed to teach the principles that often make the other techniques practical.
What a great way to sum it all up in a few words :)
Mary

RonRagusa
06-02-2008, 08:44 AM
Mary Eastland wrote: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=207743#post207743)
So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Earnestly,
Mary

If you're "earnestly" asking that question, I'll smile and kiss a pig.

I guess you're saying that the answer is so obviously 'no' that the question can't be asked earnestly. If then the answer to Mary's question is indeed no, it must be that some techniques you learn are martially effective and some aren't. So why bother with the ineffective techniques at all? Why not just concentrate on the techniques you know to be martially effective? After all, isn't the consensus on these boards that 'real' Aikido must work in 'real life' situations all the time or it just isn't real Aikido? Aren't you being cheated by your instructor if you're learning stuff that you can't take out on the street and defend yourself with? And what about those students who, no matter how long they train and how much dedication they exhibit, will never grasp the martial applicability of what they are learning? Is their Aikido any less real than yours? Must Aikido learning be fear based for it to be considered real?

Fact is that Aikido isn't like every other martial art. The whole foundation of the art is based on a contradiction.

From the Aikido Teachings article right here on Aikiweb in the words of the Founder:

'Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them. It is a way to lead all human beings to live in harmony with each other as though everyone were one family. The secret of aikido is to make yourself become one with the universe and to go along with its natural movements. One who has attained this secret holds the universe in him/herself and can say, "I am the universe."'

You can spin your interpretation of the above quote any way you like, but the simplest reading remains the literal meaning of the words and therein lies the paradox - what is a martial art that is 'not an art to fight enemies with'? How each of us, as students of Aikido, through our training and study attempts to resolve the paradox determines the form our Aikido takes.

Best,

Ron

rob_liberti
06-02-2008, 08:57 AM
It seems like some folks have decided that since I find joy in seeing someone do freestyle knowing that every single technique they are doing may not be effective if they did not have an aikido uke, that some how we don't teach real Aikido. :cool:

I read a thread about how sport fighting doesn't work in aikido.
I assume your prespective was that you intented to "defend" the validity of your approach. Unfortunately, it came off - to me - a bit more like "attacking" other's people's approaches - specifically the shotokan/tomiki aikido people's approach, and anyone who wanted to up progressive resistance to 100% full MMA as invalid.

If that thread had been something more to the effect of - what you are doing is interesting and joyful and has enough depth in its specific focus to last for lifetimes - the thread would have been about 10 posts long with the 9 replies saying "good for you!" (and one of them would have been from me)


So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Earnestly,
Mary


I think the most respectful thing to do is to challenge the quesiton. Is this "question" an arguing technique to wrong foot opposition away from reality into absurdity land? Why ask such an absurd rhetorical question?

Obviously, NO. Not every single technique that every single student does in anyone's dojo is guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw.

First, because if it were, where would the learning be?!

Second, techniques - as manifestations of the all the principles - will work to some degree on some percent of all attackers in some percent of all situations. If your goal is to manfiest the principles completely you may consider TESTING them more completely so that those percentages get more favorable for nage.

If your goal is not to completely test your manifestation of the principles then it is doubtful that the percentages will increase beyond a certain point. If you intentionally set that limit, then fine - continue to enjoy your training. If you tell others that they are wrong for intenting to surpass that limit how do you expect to convince them to limit themselves?

Rob

Ron Tisdale
06-02-2008, 09:34 AM
It seems like some folks have decided that since I find joy in seeing someone do freestyle knowing that every single technique they are doing may not be effective if they did not have an aikido uke, that some how we don't teach real Aikido. :cool:

This is where I usually ask for a quote that supports your conclusion, but I need to remember that even if no one said such a thing, your interpretation may still be valid from your point of view.

I can say for myself, I am often keenly aware that not every waza in my own freestyle would work on even a majority of aikido uke providing good strong resistance without also supplying connection. My own level is still so low that for probably 60% of my waza, without uke providing the appropriate connection, I would not be able to throw in anything like the manner I desire. I think my percentage in shite uke keiko is better...maybe I would be sucsessful 60% of the time without uke providing the needed connection (but I would still need some semblence of the proscribed attack).

So, a lot of my focus now is on understanding how to create that connection I need to throw sucsessfully, in myself. So that any uke who comes in contact with me automatically feels that connection if I desire them to feel it. Or doesn't feel it, but is "caught" by it anyway.

This seems a very high bar to me...but one which I feel is necessary to realize the potential of the art.

So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Like Rob, I am kind of flumaxed by the question...what would be the point of training if this were so? I cannot even imagine a mixed martial art gym where this would be so. Every art/science/way has beginners, intermediate, adepts. So there is no way to meet the bar that your question sets.

Therefore, there must be stages, and each stage has it's goals. How you define those stages and goals is up to you, your teacher, and your fellow training partners. These things may even vary from keiko to keiko, even in the same night.

My goal is to reach the highest percentages in these situations that I am capable of using the methodology provided to me by my teachers and fellow students. While I myself am not interested in true competitive training models long term, I see no reason to limit them from my experience simply because I train in aikido. I would want to be carefull how I apply that type of training, and carefull about my mindset during such training.

Best,
Ron

Bill Danosky
06-02-2008, 09:51 AM
...is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?


Use the force, Mary...:hypno:

Seriously? NO.

Demetrio Cereijo
06-02-2008, 09:54 AM
From the Aikido Teachings article right here on Aikiweb in the words of the Founder:

'Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them. It is a way to lead all human beings to live in harmony with each other as though everyone were one family. The secret of aikido is to make yourself become one with the universe and to go along with its natural movements. One who has attained this secret holds the universe in him/herself and can say, "I am the universe."'

You can spin your interpretation of the above quote any way you like, but the simplest reading remains the literal meaning of the words and therein lies the paradox - what is a martial art that is 'not an art to fight enemies with'? How each of us, as students of Aikido, through our training and study attempts to resolve the paradox determines the form our Aikido takes.

Best,

Ron

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7322

Well, maybe you can't take the Founder's words "literal meaning" without context.

mathewjgano
06-02-2008, 09:59 AM
So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?
Earnestly,
Mary
As usual, I really like Lynn's remarks. I'd like to add that different people have different proclivities: different people will internalize different techniques at different rates. That said, I think the answer is, "of course not."
"Every" is a big concept. I don't think any school of martial arts has 100% effectiveness. If effectiveness is the central issue then i suppose it's a matter of how likely those different students on average will be able to perform technique in some random situation...and that has a lot of variables.
Regarding the idea of freestyle movement exercises (assuming I'm picturing the idea correctly), i think Don said it best: some will get it, some won't. Some folks see these movements and think "that's not sparring!" and are incredulous or indignant; others simply recognize them as an exercise to be included as part of a whole system of training methods. Feeling how a connection changes has been pretty valuable to me. You don't get much time to feel through your partner when they're tense and fighting against you. Of course a danger with training this way is that potentially a student will get too used to all the slack in the system. I think that if there is a problem with the Aikido world in general, as so many folks have so diligently asserted, I think it must have to do with the slack we allow our partners to play with.
...my two bits anyway:D
Cheers folks.

Ron Tisdale
06-02-2008, 10:03 AM
I guess you're saying that the answer is so obviously 'no' that the question can't be asked earnestly. If then the answer to Mary's question is indeed no, it must be that some techniques you learn are martially effective and some aren't. So why bother with the ineffective techniques at all?

I think I bother with waza that I would not use in a "live" situation because they allow me to work on principles of movement and interaction that are isolated and distilled. Kind of like certain physical exercises isolate certain muscles so that those particular muscles get a specific workout to prepare them for use in a larger context. Doshinkan aikido has many sets of waza/dosa (technique/movements) that are used in this way, in my opinion. Everything from the basic movements to basic movements with partner, to 10 pivots with partner and related technique.

Why not just concentrate on the techniques you know to be martially effective?

I think I answered this above, but if it's not clear, please question me on it some more. In my mind, the goal of working the things I mentioned above is to isolate certain aspects of martial interaction...by strengthening those, I hope to strengthen my overall ability. Personally, I see no inconsistancy in that, with setting a high bar in terms of my ability to handle non-cooperative partners to varying extents.

After all, isn't the consensus on these boards that 'real' Aikido must work in 'real life' situations all the time or it just isn't real Aikido?

I'm sorry to say it, but I feel that you are asking a question that contains some foregone conclusions that I cannot accept.

A) I am not sure there is a consensus on this board regarding much of anything, except that most of us enjoy training in various forms of aikido.

B) I have not much clue how to define "Real" Aikido. I enjoy the style of training in my home school...and I enjoy the style of training in at least two other distinct schools on a regular basis in my area as well. All are very different, and very satisfying for different reasons.

C) The kind of "real" situations you mention can vary widely. So again, it's a hard nut to crack. Self defense can be very slippery...maybe in a given situation I can get my odds to 52% sucsess against 48% failure. The balance can literally be that small. And if I slip on a banana peel on the sidewalk, even smaller. :D Personally, I find a more realistic goal is that in training, I want to work on specific things. And on upping the odds of sucsess with those things against increasing difficult odds.

So that if I must put the entire package together sometime, in a non-cooperative situation, there is a realistic opportunity to tip the scales by that one or two percent in my favor. In my experience so far, that's all you get in those situations. You zig instead of zag...you die. Or get hurt. Or someone you love get's killed...

But that is hopefully a by product of good training...I don't find it to be one of my primary goals at this time.

Aren't you being cheated by your instructor if you're learning stuff that you can't take out on the street and defend yourself with?

As long as my instructor is clear about what is being taught, no, I'm not being cheated.

And what about those students who, no matter how long they train and how much dedication they exhibit, will never grasp the martial applicability of what they are learning? Is their Aikido any less real than yours?

There are some of those in every school/gym. I think they do the best they can, and for themthat is enough.

Must Aikido learning be fear based for it to be considered real?

Again, I see a premise here that I cannot agree with. You presuppose that a wish for a higher percentage of sucsess is fear based. There are many reasons that have nothing to do with fear for a person to push the percentages higher in their favor. To label this desire as fear based seems to be a negative way of viewing someone else's choices. Which is perhaps what is inspiring Mary's threads of late...others have done the same.

Best,
Ron

mathewjgano
06-02-2008, 10:11 AM
The whole foundation of the art is based on a contradiction...what is a martial art that is 'not an art to fight enemies with'?
Personally, I use the phrase "martial art" pretty loosely. Technically speaking, i'd describe Aikido as a "pax art." There is a huge overlap between the two concepts, but to me the difference seems to fix the paradox you describe. It's not an art to fight enemies with: it's an art of reconciliation with people.

philippe willaume
06-02-2008, 10:16 AM
It seems like some folks have decided that since I find joy in seeing someone do freestyle knowing that every single technique they are doing may not be effective if they did not have an aikido uke, that some how we don't teach real Aikido. :cool:

So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Earnestly,
Mary
Well chacun à son gout as we say in France.
That being said, there is difference with pedagogic tools and martial effectiveness.

The idea being the martial side is to make it as hard as it is humanly possible for your opponent to get away from the technique.
No matter how good and how careful, you are cock ups are going to happens.
Since we are all have to go to work the morning after….

As well I think that the “soft stuff” is usually very good to decompose and made apparent bits of the technique. So there is martial value there, even if only in pure pedagogic form and not practical form.

For example to put ki/good bio-mechanics in evidence, you need to get rid of every thing else so by definition that will not be martial any more.
Is that still aikido, yes it is but the parallels can be drawn to almost anything from medieval fencing to horse riding.

I see aikido more along the line of make it work then make it flow (To paraphrase one Sensei)

Phil

mathewjgano
06-02-2008, 10:18 AM
Well said Mr. Tisdale!

Ron Tisdale
06-02-2008, 10:53 AM
I apologize for coming back once more, but I also feel something else might help to clarify my opinions on the overall topic.

I have had the opportunity to train with three of the main proponents of "internal training" so far; Dan, Akuzawa, and Mike. In none of those settings was uncooperative training stressed. What was stressed was:

A) various solo positions and exercises to build internal connections within the body

B) various breathing exercises (some focus more on breath than others)

C) various cooperative partner exercises for testing and building the internal strength componants.

None of these experiences highlighted non-cooperative training. Dan Hardin did use some non-cooperative situations to highlight the efficacy of his methods. He was able to do the things he did in cooperative sessions in non-cooperative environments. His own personal bent seems to be non-cooperative training along with the things a listed above. But he did not force that bent on me, or any of the people there.

My overall feeling is that these skills are in fact foundational skills if I want my Aikido to reach the highest levels *I* can reach. And my experience is that we as aikidoka for the most part do not spend enough focused, intelligent time on these skills, because they are so poorly understood. I think the response to the posts about this show that lack of understanding.

One way of testing these skills is to use varying non-cooperative settings. My own personal experience has been that aikido partners (myself included) have a trained, almost pavlovian, conditioned response to cooperate or even resist in inappropriate ways for this type of training. Now that I am realizing this, I find it necessary to watch my own responses in training both as shite and uke VERY carefully. I also must be carefull in how I assess my progress in this area.

I don't have it all figured out, and probably never will...but I'm happy at least working on it, and in finding others who also want to honestly strive to improve.

Best,
Ron

lbb
06-02-2008, 11:40 AM
Mary Eastland wrote: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=207743#post207743)
So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Earnestly,
Mary

I guess you're saying that the answer is so obviously 'no' that the question can't be asked earnestly. If then the answer to Mary's question is indeed no, it must be that some techniques you learn are martially effective and some aren't.

Well, no, that doesn't follow at all. The question was stated in terms of absolutes: 'every single technique, "every single student...in your dojo", "guaranteed to be martially effective", "every time". There is no technique, in any style, that meets that standard.

Demetrio Cereijo
06-02-2008, 11:51 AM
So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?


And here is my question:

If every single technique that every single student does in your dojo is guaranteed to be martially ineffective every time they throw, then you're teaching the real Aikido, isn't it?

rob_liberti
06-02-2008, 03:46 PM
And here is my question:

If every single technique that every single student does in your dojo is guaranteed to be martially ineffective every time they throw, then you're teaching the real Aikido, isn't it?

I see where you were going but I disagree with it. How about:

If the resistance never progresses past a certain point then HOW DO YOU KNOW if what you are doing in aikido is REAL?

I trust experience. I choose to learn how to NOT FIGHT while remaining safe and effective while someone is trying to FIGHT ME. In that way there can be no fighting in aikido (the attacker is trying to fight, but I'm not fighting back). I have to say just having the ability to be like that in general STILL wouldn't be my definition of "real aikido". I want to manifest such principles so that I can really learn the spiritual aspects of aikido - and approach them from real (and well tested) understanding.

Rob

P.S. In one thread, someone told me I was delusional for wanting comic book hero like powers! (Oh that made me laugh. I would be delusion to NOT want comic book hero like powers.)

RonRagusa
06-02-2008, 06:28 PM
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7322

Well, maybe you can't take the Founder's words "literal meaning" without context.

Then again, maybe you can.

Best,

Ron

rob_liberti
06-02-2008, 09:08 PM
This is reminding me of getting into literalist tradition of our aiki religion.

As I understand it, the word aiki was borrowed from the okuden level of a sword system (where okugy means DEPTH). I would imagine surface level explanations of anything about aikido are GENERALLY not going to cut it.

I have to wonder in what universe was Osensei EVER known as a straight talker? My gosh, is there some reputation of Osensei I missed where everything - for that matter ANYTHING - he explained was well known for being crystal clear?! :)

The fact of the matter is that Osensei did have other martial artists attack him and he defeated them without hurting them (in general!). If you can't do that (I can't yet) fine but you're probably not doing Osensei's aikido (yet). If you have no interest in developing such skill then you probably will never be able to do Osensei's aikido. Is the aikido you are doing "real aikido"? I don't know. I just know that wouldn't be my cup of tea for my own path. If you are feeling invalidated by the opinions of others in aikido - you can (1) try to change the majority of their minds, (2) change your own path, or (3) simply not worry about what anyone else thinks. These threads keep coming up looking for option 1. I think that's a tall order. These "please validate my training methods/belief system" threads are ALWAYS going to be met with the same responses.

Rob

Ketsan
06-02-2008, 09:37 PM
It seems like some folks have decided that since I find joy in seeing someone do freestyle knowing that every single technique they are doing may not be effective if they did not have an aikido uke, that some how we don't teach real Aikido. :cool:

So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Earnestly,
Mary

Everytime they've thrown for real it's been martially effective.

MM
06-03-2008, 06:39 AM
The fact of the matter is that Osensei did have other martial artists attack him and he defeated them without hurting them (in general!). If you can't do that (I can't yet) fine but you're probably not doing Osensei's aikido (yet). If you have no interest in developing such skill then you probably will never be able to do Osensei's aikido.


Don't forget that Shioda did the same. Tomiki did the same. Tohei. Mochizuki. So, that covers four of the big names in Aikido. If you aren't working towards developing that kind of skill, just *what* kind of aikido are you doing? This is a serious question.

RonRagusa
06-03-2008, 08:58 AM
II have to say just having the ability to be like that in general STILL wouldn't be my definition of "real aikido".

Hi Rob -

Just curious, how would you define "real aikido"?

P.S. In one thread, someone told me I was delusional for wanting comic book hero like powers! (Oh that made me laugh. I would be delusion to NOT want comic book hero like powers.)

Do you also want the comic book hero responsibilities that go along with those powers? ;)

Best,

Ron

rob_liberti
06-03-2008, 10:51 AM
Hi Rob -

Just curious, how would you define "real aikido"?

Do you also want the comic book hero responsibilities that go along with those powers? ;)

Best,

Ron

Well I alluded to it in the next sentence but I'll be happy to further elaborate. My opinion is that the spiritual study of aikido is vitally important. Otherwise, aikido would simply be "Ueshiba-ha Daite Ryu" _at best_ where the throws have been mainly converted to "out and away" from "in and down". It is also my opinion that to understand the spiritual principles Osensei found so valuable, it would be best to manifest the principles physically so there would be a better basis of understanding. To do that, I believe internal training combined with level appropriate progressive resistance is also very important.

And you, what do you believe is "real aikido"? Do you believe that the spiritual aspects are important? What is your approach towards "getting there"?

As far as what I want - I suppose in terms of my ego, I would prefer power without responsibility for myself, and for everyone else with power to have responsibility! From a place of spiritual generousity, I suppose I would want commensurate responsbility for myself.

Rob

RonRagusa
06-03-2008, 12:08 PM
Well I alluded to it in the next sentence but I'll be happy to further elaborate. My opinion is that the spiritual study of aikido is vitally important. Otherwise, aikido would simply be "Ueshiba-ha Daite Ryu" _at best_ where the throws have been mainly converted to "out and away" from "in and down". It is also my opinion that to understand the spiritual principles Osensei found so valuable, it would be best to manifest the principles physically so there would be a better basis of understanding. To do that, I believe internal training combined with level appropriate progressive resistance is also very important.

And you, what do you believe is "real aikido"? Do you believe that the spiritual aspects are important? What is your approach towards "getting there"?

As far as what I want - I suppose in terms of my ego, I would prefer power without responsibility for myself, and for everyone else with power to have responsibility! From a place of spiritual generousity, I suppose I would want commensurate responsbility for myself.

Rob

Hi Rob -

I don't have a formal definition but here's one way I view Aikido (from Being, Essence & Motion: Aikido as a Way of Understanding, a blog I have been working on for some time):

"We are all composed of the same stuff. Yet we're all so different. We come in all manner of shapes, sizes and colors. Our temperaments are as varied as we are many. Humans are so complex. So individual but capable of coming together to perform works of building and manufacturing that any of us alone would be incapable of. We create and grow large bodies of knowledge in myriad subject areas; again working in collaborative groups.

Aikido is just another body of knowledge. Aikido didn't spring from nowhere. It began as the inspiration of one man, O-Sensei, who built his system on the edifice of prior learning, molding his knowledge into something new and beautiful. He began to teach his system to others who, in turn, added to the body of knowledge called Aikido as they passed beyond being taught into learning. Aikido has grown beyond the original art conceived by O-Sensei. One need only observe practitioners from a variety of schools to see that Aikido is anything but linear in its form and execution. Indeed, within the same school there will be noticeable variations of technique. To expect otherwise is not realistic.

Aikido is, perhaps, the most mutable of all the martial arts. Because the techniques of Aikido are based on serendipitous interaction of uke and nage and, as has been stated above, we are all so different, the possibilities of variation of technique are manifold."

You and I quite agree on the importance of internal training (Ki development) and the role of progressive resistance as a tool facilitating the growth of internal strength. At our dojo we practice one while employing the other although mostly within the carefully defined structure of our Ki development syllabus.

Regarding your question as to whether I consider the spiritual aspects of Aikido important, I'll say yes and that the study of Aikido has helped me discover the spiritual side of myself that remained repressed for many years. And since I view spiritual development as a private personal matter I'll leave it at that.

Best,

Ron

Mark Jakabcsin
06-03-2008, 10:09 PM
So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Earnestly,
Mary

The truth is techniques are neither effective or ineffective. People....individual people are effective or ineffective. IMO, a far more insightful question is how does your are teach/train/prepare individuals to be effective?

Some related and interesting follow up questions:

- Does your art help a student identify fear and stress in him/herself?

- How does your art teach/train/prepare the student to deal with fear and stress?

- What is the mechanism in your training method that allows and encourages each student to self examine and find his/her Aikido (or other idealism)? Is it simply; do it this way because this was someone's path and it must lead somewhere?

- Does your training method encourage self exploration or teacher worship and emulation?

At the end of the day you can have all of the technique you want, if one cannot identify, understand and deal with the fear the technique is worthless. Getting a true understanding of ourselves is often the scariest action of all, how does your training help with that?

MJ

L. Camejo
06-03-2008, 10:13 PM
So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?So we go from "there is no fight in Aikido" to the above quoted question. It seems that the questions of "fighting", "martial effectiveness" or "self defence value" are causing some stirring in your spirit of late.

I think the following videos will lend some context to your position in this discussion, at least lending some visual assistance to what you are trying to impart in your training method and how it fits within the whole "effectiveness" debate - http://www.miron-enterprises.com/berkshirehillsaikido/videos.html.

Best.
LC

senshincenter
06-03-2008, 10:44 PM
I too see a difference between elements of training like technique, drill, live-training environments, etc., and even things like prayer, meditation, ritual, etc. Is any one of these things everything? That is a weird question in my mind. However, the question of "real" or "effective" remains relevant for me. I understand it to be a bit different, however. For me, what is real and what is effective is marked by consistency of thought and application. This is how I judge what I'm doing and what I'm not doing and also what I deem to be authentic and effective.

rob_liberti
06-04-2008, 11:33 AM
The truth is techniques are neither effective or ineffective. People....individual people are effective or ineffective.

I disagree. There are definately MANY poor techniques.

Aikibu
06-04-2008, 01:38 PM
I disagree. There are definately MANY poor techniques.

There are no absolutes about anything...I once saw a Grandma defeat a Gangster who was trying to rob her and she used a fly swatter to do it LOL

All I care about is if it's effective for me and I have been there done that and gone through my own loooooong learning curve of experiance with "effective vs ineffective."

William Hazen

Ron Tisdale
06-04-2008, 01:38 PM
A gangster was using a fly swatter to rob a grandma??? :D

B,
R

Aikibu
06-04-2008, 04:10 PM
A gangster was using a fly swatter to rob a grandma??? :D

B,
R

LOL thank god for edit buttons..

"WHAT!!! WHAT AINT NO COUNTRY I EVER HEARD OF!!! DO THEY SPEAK ENGLISH IN WHAT?!?!!" Pulp Fiction

William Hazen

Ron Tisdale
06-04-2008, 05:49 PM
I love that movie... ;)

Best,
Ron

Oh, and I also think that it is the person, not the technique, in general. Which is not to say that there aren't bad techniques. My own personal struggle is to make aikido techniques work against a larger person who is resisting and trying to really throw you...which, if you don't have the internals together, seems like a chore...

rob_liberti
06-05-2008, 12:38 AM
Oh, and I also think that it is the person, not the technique, in general.

I disagree with this too. What about the person is working?
Isn't all of the internal training that Dan and Mike and Aukuzawa are teaching structual technique and intention techniques? I would imagine that these are the exact things Tohei sensei and Moriyama sensei were also trying to teach in the best ways they could.

The only difference is to what degree we feel it is valuable to test the abilities we are developing. The idea that testing such skills to the MMA level is "fear-based" is frustratingly inconsistent.
I'm not afraid of MMA popping out randomly in my dojo or my daily life. I've argued this successfully here AND on bullshido.com. It's a stupid idea to think that I'll be standing in line at the bank and someone will go for a double leg take down. I keep thinking I'll make you tube video where I do such things as a joke and call is "MMA in daily life fantasy day". I want to learn these skills and test them as thoroughly as I can because:
1) they are fun
2) they are intersting
3) I have an integrated mind and more ways of looking at things help
4) I want to study the spiritual principles of aikido deeply and having the best basis of comparison in a physical sense will help tremendously - much like it helped Osensei.
5) aikido as it stands typically sucks in terms of protecting loved ones from attackers. I have a 4 year old. I would like to improve my odds of stopping someone from grabbing him in a mall or striking my wife in a parking lot, or whatever.
6) I teach aikido. As a martial art where one expects to learn about self-defence; I have a responsibility to offer the highest level of instruction.

When I read that such endeavors are "fear based" methinks "aiki projection" has multiple meanings.

Rob

Ron Tisdale
06-05-2008, 07:00 AM
Hi Rob, nice post, the second half anyway. ;)

I say the person, because the skills Mike - Dan - Ark build are specific to one person and one person's body. They are not techniques...they are the engine that should drive techniques. With that particular engine driving, many things are possible.

I tend to agree with Dan here...waza collecting bunnies are going 100 miles an hour...in the wrong direction!

Best,
Ron

rob_liberti
06-05-2008, 08:30 AM
Hi Rob, nice post, the second half anyway. ;)

I say the person, because the skills Mike - Dan - Ark build are specific to one person and one person's body. They are not techniques...they are the engine that should drive techniques. With that particular engine driving, many things are possible.

I tend to agree with Dan here...waza collecting bunnies are going 100 miles an hour...in the wrong direction!

Best,
Ron

To me, learning the principles more deeply from Dan, I still see myself manifesting those principles while I am learning and to me that is a skill set of body-techniques and intention-techniques. But we are down to semantics and if you are not swayed by my stunning display of logic here, then at least we have an agreement in principle (and that's just a bit ironic :) ).

Rob

Mark Jakabcsin
06-05-2008, 08:50 AM
I disagree with this too. What about the person is working?
Rob

Rob,

This is a big topic in itself and could be a thread. There are many facit of the person that are working. Two of the biggest are the mind and the emotions. If an individual does not/cannot work these two properly any technique he/she chooses will not work and that is not the fault of the technique.

The mind collects information from our senses and makes decisions based on this data. In a perfect situation this collection gathers 100% of all available information and the mind understands exactly what is occurring. In actuality this NEVER happens. Our past experiences and understanding of the world create a giant filter to help us interpret the world more quickly (not more accurately, more quickly). Likewise our emotions in the form of desires, fears, ego, etc., are an even bigger filter that further distorts our perception of the world and alters our decision making process. Training the mind and emotions for the least amount of distortion and the quickest decisions is what the person is working....or trying to work, whether they know it or not.

To get a better understanding of what I am talking about I suggest a book called "Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why" by Laurence Gonzales. It is not the quintessential work on the topic but is an interesting and easy read with loads of good information.

A quick example to further explain:
(Clarification: When I say 'you' in the following section it is the universal 'you' not a specific 'you.')

An attacker grabs forward with his right very quickly and it startles you for a fraction. However you have seen similar situations in your training and you know from experience your favorite technique is X. You are most comfortable doing technique X because you have the most success with this technique. You have a good understanding of technique X and an excellent mental picture of how to apply technique X and a good picture of the end result. Hence you are going to save yourself with technique X and begin to apply it. Now the attackers grab did not exactly match the training grab normally done for technique X but this is your best technique so adapt a little and go for it.

Unfortunately technique X works best off of a rear posture disturbance and the attacker is committed slightly forward. As you attempt to apply technique X you feel things are not right but hey this is your best one and hence your best choice, perhaps a little bit of strength applied just so will help or maybe a slight change in angle will do the trick. Now you feel the attacker resisting and actively moving. You still have this picture in your mind about how technique X looks when it is completed and you are attempting to make reality match that picture, after all this is your best technique. We can go on but you get the picture, I hope.

Our filters of past experience and our desire for a specific result can hinder us and distort our ability to make proper decisions. Clearly technique Y would have been better to start and once the situation changed slightly technique R was better or even technique E would have been good. You were stuck on X because of past experiences and an inability to truly see the situation for what it was instead of what you wanted it to be. I.E. People are effective or ineffective, not techniques. Change the attack a little and X is the way to go.

A technique is neither good nor bad, a person either understands how and WHEN to apply it or not. A person is the one that has the ability to perceive a situation correctly or not and continually adjust or not. The more stressful the situation the more difficult it is to perceive accurately and make proper decisions that match reality. In a very real sense this is can be a limitations of a technique based training system.

What is the mechanism in your training that challenges and develops the student's ability to properly perceive situations? What is the method of training you use to help students identify the emotions that distort perception and lead to poor decisions? Fear and ego have a huge distortion effect, how does your training method explore these effects and prepare the student?

Just some thoughts to chew on.

MJ

DH
06-05-2008, 09:41 AM
Well all of that is summed up in the old boxing refrain; "Everyone has a plan- until they've been hit."
Since my teenage years- when I would pick on martial artists to show they were full of crap- I have said much the same thing. "If you haven't fought you don't know how to fight." And even then there are skills to learn in fighting. On the whole being booted in the head, stabbed, beaten with furniture, and coming out on top of a room full of bikers will change a persons mindstate, readiness and ability to deliver. Most assuredly the way you respond to threat and where your mental state is when someone decides to screw with you. Being able to "deliver" is best judged after having been pummelled-on and you keep coming.
Also expressed in the phrase "It isn't the size of the dog in the fight-it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Anyway sorry to be contrary but I see it as a far more simple puzzle, best expressed in Chuck Yeagers terms on how best to make an ace pilot. "Experience, experience, experience."
And he didn't mean in a flight " simulator"
For some people this is BTDT. Men who have been in the real shit with their lives in their own hands. For others getting closer to all out doesn't have to be life endangering- you can up the pressure in a safe but full-on and edgier setting, were most waza falls apart, but life-endangering does have lessons all its own.
Another good bet is to at least train with someone who has. Folks may see a different outlook from them VS a more typical teacher or fellow students as to what actually works; and the where and when.
Another Old dog Budo guy once said "The best thing that could ever happen to the present Doshu is to have him dropped penniless in some backwater rough-and-tumble place that hates foreigners. If he makes it back-he'll be a different man."

As for waza? There most certanly techniques that are stupid in any real applicable way. And those will always be hotly debated from the suburban dojo guy who has never been in a fight in his life, to those who love taking people efforts apart. They? Will never agree on what "useless" really means.

MM
06-05-2008, 09:41 AM
You still have this picture in your mind about how technique X looks when it is completed and you are attempting to make reality match that picture, after all this is your best technique. We can go on but you get the picture, I hope.


Actually, in that scenario, I'd say the person is a technique junkie and hasn't learned anything in a martial art so no matter what he/she tries, it'll fail. Technique X,Y,Z are not done for applicational usage but to instill principles in the student. If the principles are understood, it won't be a matter of applying a technique at all. It'll be a matter of applying principles.


A technique is neither good nor bad, a person either understands how and WHEN to apply it or not.


Guess I disagree with both. First, I do believe there are good and bad techniques. I see quite a lot of people do a kotegaeshi where they tenkan to uke's side and in the process their arm is nearly 180 degrees out from their body.

Here's a vid from David Valadez on YouTube. Ignore the content, and watch from about 1:29-1:31 and 1:50-1:53. The arm is completely outside his center. *IF* that's a "standard" technique or way of doing things, IMO, it's a bad technique. You lose power, control, and focus on uke in that instance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9bG-GZaVmY

(Please NOTE that I am not invalidating David's way of training or any such idea. I agree with quite a bit of what David has said. And I disagree with some things. This is just one small part where we might disagree. I used this as an example because it's the one I remember specifically. I've seen examples of this in other systems/schools.)

As for when a person understands how and when to apply a technique, I disagree with that, too. Per Ueshiba, takemusu aiki is the ideal. Knowledge of aiki leads to creating infinite options spontaneously. IMO, that means one shouldn't understand when or how to apply a technique, but understand principle fully and forget technique altogether. :)

Mark

Mark Jakabcsin
06-05-2008, 10:06 AM
Dan,
I agree with your post and do not think mine is at odds. Experience is essential and attitude even more so.

Mark,
Please try to understand my response in the context of the entire thread and specifically the question I responded too. For the record I have not trained 'technique' in many years and do not forsee ever going back to that method of training. Discussing whether a specific technique is good/bad/valid/etc. just seems silly to me. Focusing the training on the individual to make him/her more prepared in their ability to properly collect information and make proper decisioncs that accurately reflect reality makes more sense to me.

Personally I do not buy into the thought of learning technique, polishing technique, becoming extremely proficient at technique and then graduating to no technique. I estimate the number of people that can actually follow this path and reach the desired results is probably under 1%. If one wants to be free it is best to learn to be free from day one, imo.

MJ

DH
06-05-2008, 10:18 AM
To Mark Murray
What was that? I keep reading here where so many keep saying aikido is changing and more and more are becoming more practical. Yet the recent vids of knife fighting (here and by Chris H.) express such a low level of understanding-both in applicable martial waza and in structure that I wouldn't know where to begin. And having someone "follow" your hand as you turn round and round, or attacking and loping around on one foot with your structure a mess and you not attempting to recover? Do Aikidoka still commonly move all over place to move someone else? Or is this unusual? That was not a display of anything I would relate to structure, aiki, or effectiveness. I was thinking of issues entirely beyond this when discussing the term effective. I wouldn't know where to begin to discuss effective in the sense of that type of movement. I'd have allot more to say than "His arm was out 90 deg from his body in the Kotegeishi." With the type of structure displayed; would it really matter at all where THAT body was?
Sooo, much more is available in doing Aiki...do- than this stuff. I hope folks are pursuing it.
I think I am out of my element here, and I'll withdraw from the discussion. Sorry to have intruded.

MM
06-05-2008, 10:33 AM
To Mark Murray
What was that?


Just an example of where I disagree that there are no bad techniques. :) I think besides people not having good or bad principles, there are also techniques that are bad.


Do Aikidoka still commonly move all over place to move someone else? Or is this unusual?


That's a good question. And I don't know.


That was not a display of anything I would relate to structure, aiki, or effectiveness. I was thinking of issues entirely beyond this when discussing the term effective.


I think I missed that, then.


I wouldn't know where to begin to discuss effective in the sense of that type of movement. I'd have allot more to say than "His arm was out 90 deg from his body in the Kotegeishi." With the type of structure displayed; would it really matter at all where THAT body was?


You might not know where to begin. :eek: But, for others, they can understand that having the hand out there like that is not a good thing. Body structure not withstanding, the technique itself has flaws. It was just an example of my belief that techniques can be flawed, bad, ineffective, etc with or without having body skills.


I think I am out of my element here, and I'll withdraw from the discussion. Sorry to have intruded.

Dunno. You're an element unto yourself? :D

Seriously, given the question, can techniques be bad, ineffective, or flawed, what would you answer? Coming from a perspective of having good structure.

Mark

DH
06-05-2008, 10:49 AM
Seriously, given the question, can techniques be bad, ineffective, or flawed, what would you answer? Coming from a perspective of having good structure.

Mark

Mark
What I mean was from either end of the discussion-which most certainly overlap-it would be difficult to discuss. There are so many things wrong with their martial approach that "effective" wouldn't enter into my dialogue with anyone doing that type of work. I'd just say. "Stop it." Then probably start working on realistic approaches with a knife and show where to go from there.
Structurally, it would be a whole different approach as well.
I didn't realize where you guys were approaching it from. Those are exactly the types of movements that Ron quoted me on when I say. "Full speed...in the wrong direction." I keep hoping to see some revamped and changed approaches to the art in both waza and structure. Truly, there is just so, so, much people could have, by way of power and practical use. It's sad watcing stuff like the recent videos.

rob_liberti
06-05-2008, 11:02 AM
Hmm, what if you wanted to be effective but didn't have access to the training methodologies kept intentionally secret from most? What would your approach be?

Rob

DH
06-05-2008, 11:13 AM
Hmm, what if you wanted to be effective but didn't have access to the training methodologies kept intentionally secret from most? What would your approach be?

Rob
In a word MMA. Which was what I always did while doing other things.

I have to work....later

MM
06-05-2008, 12:43 PM
Mark
What I mean was from either end of the discussion-which most certainly overlap-it would be difficult to discuss. There are so many things wrong with their martial approach that "effective" wouldn't enter into my dialogue with anyone doing that type of work. I'd just say. "Stop it." Then probably start working on realistic approaches with a knife and show where to go from there.
Structurally, it would be a whole different approach as well.


I think that ties in with my posts over on the Ellis thread. In regards to structure, I've found the best approach is to, as you said, "Stop it." It's interfering with the internal work. So, I can understand that approach. In fact, I think I'm beginning to understand another little gem that someone once told me. That a person who has structure/internals/aiki will manifest waza differently. Oh, and yeah, I'm starting to also grasp the "Full speed...in the wrong direction" saying.

My current theory:

I had originally thought that I could work both internal training and aikido at the same time. Aikido after all, as Peter Goldsbury noted, was from Ueshiba who had "the goods" and the training (to him and from him in the early days) included the goods. But, today's aikido is a far cry from Ueshiba's early days.

When the body structure/internals/aiki isn't there or being trained, then the techniques are actually done in a different manner. Something fundamental is missing, so, naturally, there's a void that must be replaced. Nage moving around uke is one aspect that filled the void. There are others -- adding timing for example.

So, what we work on in "normal" aikido for techniques utilizes some different (at times, very different) body skills. Without the aiki that Ueshiba (Shioda, Tomiki, Tohei, etc) had, one must learn different skills to compensate for the missing structure.

What I hadn't fully realized was the disparate body skills. Adding structure/aiki can vastly change techniques and waza. It doesn't alter aikido as a whole, but it definitely alters the manner in which a person accomplishes, or lives, aikido. Kotegaeshi is still kotegaeshi, etc. However, the approach one takes to waza becomes an either-or choice. It is either structure/aiki kotegaeshi or it is non-structure/non-aiki kotegaeshi. There doesn't seem to be an "and" approach. One or the other.

Erg .. gotta run. Will post this now, though it isn't complete.

Mark

rob_liberti
06-05-2008, 01:16 PM
In a word MMA. Which was what I always did while doing other things.

Okay fair answer to a poorly expressed question. I _meant_ a different question:

Assuming you are fundimentally convinced that Osensei's and Takeda sensei's martial arts were martially effective against other martial arts - that they were then and they must still be now. And you want that but don't have a very direct way of approaching those skills yourself. What do you do?

Some, have tried to up the progressive resistance looking for inspiration. I believe that is what David's video represents and also what I have seen from Chris H. I respect the attempts.

Some look at the approach and recognize that getting there without different help is unrealistic so they decide it is pointless and give up on that aspect. I can understand such an attitude but I'm just not wired that way.

I'm sure that there are other flavors too. I just dislike the transcend devoid of transform approach. I think it is delusional at best and snake oil at worst.

Rob

Aikibu
06-05-2008, 01:41 PM
Gee where I have read this stuff before...

It's easy to parse those with experiance from those who don't so let me make this simple...

Effectiveness is relative in the sense of how and when a person has to use it. I have been successful using executing Waza with bad techniques and had my ass handed to me in my technical prime.

I don't personally knock any Aikido practice anymore but if you have to bunny hop all over the place while your practicing your "form" you have to ask yourself are you really doing Aikido?

The Doshu Analogy is silly at best...I have a Judo Friend from Brooklyn who declared Islam and went on The Haj to Mecca. He has the USMC Icon tatted on his right arm. Not one fight...

So?

Again it's the man/woman....I have seen muscle bound studs cry like babies, and skinny bespeckled wearing geeks sucking it up and driving on...

Im my experiance the purpose of Martial Training is to discover the Martial Spirit in ones self. This Martial Spirit allows you to tap into "Martial" Power and builds charactor, courage, and fortitude in the person...

The extent of ones Martial Spirit is determined by only ONE FACTOR and in this sense folks would do will to emulate the Sig Line Dan Hardin uses from his Sensei....

Practice....

If you go to the Dojo twice a week then your Martial Spirit develops accordingly and vice versa if you devote yourself to Martial Practice then you will also grow accordingly...Hence for every Dan Hardin there are a Hundred Thousand Aiki-Bunnies including at certain times in my life... me. I have been givin the secret to Martial Power many times from several Shihan...It means nothing unless I continue to practice and nuture it on my own outside of the Dojo.

Make no mistake Practice is not just the learning of a Technical Syllabus.Practice is a Mind Body Spirit Connection that can be fostered anytime anywhere. Practice is as we say... Living Aikido or whatever Martial Art.... not just showing up and throwing people around for an hour or two...However that being said both paths lead up the same mountain... Aiki Bunny or Martial Artist. I just wish to get there this life time or the next... if only to share and enjoy the view. :)

"Sincere Heart through Austere Training" Shoji Nishio Shihan

William Hazen

Aikibu
06-05-2008, 01:43 PM
Okay fair answer to a poorly expressed question. I _meant_ a different question:

Assuming you are fundimentally convinced that Osensei's and Takeda sensei's martial arts were martially effective against other martial arts - that they were then and they must still be now. And you want that but don't have a very direct way of approaching those skills yourself. What do you do?

Some, have tried to up the progressive resistance looking for inspiration. I believe that is what David's video represents and also what I have seen from Chris H. I respect the attempts.

Some look at the approach and recognize that getting there without different help is unrealistic so they decide it is pointless and give up on that aspect. I can understand such an attitude but I'm just not wired that way.

I'm sure that there are other flavors too. I just dislike the transcend devoid of transform approach. I think it is delusional at best and snake oil at worst.

Rob

Have you found someone who teachs Shoji Nishio's Akido yet? :)

Ron Tisdale
06-05-2008, 01:43 PM
Huh, right there with you, Rob. If you mean what I think you mean, I mean, oh never mind.... :D

Best,
Ron

rob_liberti
06-05-2008, 01:46 PM
William, I got some names to check into when I next get a chance.

Ron, I think so too..

senshincenter
06-05-2008, 02:05 PM
Here's a vid from David Valadez on YouTube. Ignore the content, and watch from about 1:29-1:31 and 1:50-1:53. The arm is completely outside his center. *IF* that's a "standard" technique or way of doing things, IMO, it's a bad technique. You lose power, control, and focus on uke in that instance.

Mark, you are right. That way sucks. You really have no power and you end up using a lot of arm to regain the centerline, which usually doesn't work in a fight.

Bill Danosky
06-05-2008, 02:45 PM
Re: effective people vs. techniques.

True enough. There are major differences between Aikido practices. In some dojos, it's more like Daito Ryu. In some it's more like... I dunno. Yoga? Ballet?

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-05-2008, 04:26 PM
It seems like some folks have decided that since I find joy in seeing someone do freestyle knowing that every single technique they are doing may not be effective if they did not have an aikido uke, that some how we don't teach real Aikido. :cool:

So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Earnestly,
Mary

Its definitely hard to answer especially in the advent of mixed martial arts. martial artists before strikes with real intent increasing the chances of an Aiki practitioner to apply his art. however a lot of the new breed of martial artists these days use strikes as a set-up...

We probably need to adjust our training to the realities of today if we really want to be effective...free style or not...

Bill Danosky
06-05-2008, 05:27 PM
We probably need to adjust our training to the realities of today if we really want to be effective...free style or not...

Yeah. What he said. In fact, that goes double for me.

Kevin Leavitt
06-05-2008, 05:45 PM
Well if that is your goal, to adjust your training to the realities of today, (whatever that may be for you), then that is how you should train. Setting your conditions and environment up in that manner and then focusing your training based on that.

Why limit yourself by training paradigms and methodology that is clearly not designed to support that goal?

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-06-2008, 02:12 AM
Why limit yourself by training paradigms and methodology that is clearly not designed to support that goal?

Good point. This seems to be the basic question. I keep Aikido as my core because I want it to be my philosophy in life. There are techniques which I feel effective and there are some that makes me chuckle...i try my best to identify the "realities" of the need to defend myself and supplement my aikido with other things that I am more comfortable with...no specific prescription...again it really depends on your own goal as quoted above.

Bill Danosky
06-06-2008, 11:04 AM
Philosophically speaking, I consider myself to be at an Aikido stage in my overall martial arts development. After the Korean dojang I'd been training at moved upstate, I assessed my abilities and decided I needed some throws to round myself out.

I've studied Aikido exclusively for over four years, so I consider myself to be a serious student. And I really like my dojo, but after I make Shodan next year I'll likely split and head for a tactical school. I have also trained extensively in Yoshukai & Goju Ryu Karate, Shao Lama Kung Fu, Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do.

Having said all that, my version of "realistic and effective" is to apply Aikido skills to ones I already use. Not to limit myself to just Aikido because that's what I'm studying currently.

Counsel
06-30-2008, 11:02 AM
Mary Eastland wrote: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=207743#post207743)
So here is my question....is every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?

Earnestly,
Mary

Fact is that Aikido isn't like every other martial art. The whole foundation of the art is based on a contradiction.

From the Aikido Teachings article right here on Aikiweb in the words of the Founder:

'Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them. It is a way to lead all human beings to live in harmony with each other as though everyone were one family. The secret of aikido is to make yourself become one with the universe and to go along with its natural movements. One who has attained this secret holds the universe in him/herself and can say, "I am the universe."'

You can spin your interpretation of the above quote any way you like, but the simplest reading remains the literal meaning of the words and therein lies the paradox - what is a martial art that is 'not an art to fight enemies with'? How each of us, as students of Aikido, through our training and study attempts to resolve the paradox determines the form our Aikido takes.

Best,

Ron

For me, Aikido is right for me. I doubt there is only ONE right way, and I wonder why people seem to have a need to feel that there is... O-Sensei's religion appeals to me in the way it unifies peoples regardless of the religions differences. I look at it as "God asks me to worship him thus, although I see that he asks you to worship him in a different way. Why should I think my "way" is any "righter?"

I am just beginning my journey in Aikido--having studied in ju-jitsu for some years.

Aikido can be Aikido and be effective in any "real" world situation. I don't think O-Sensei was saying that Aikido is not effective in a fight. Like ju-jitsu, aikido teaches methods (what I call ways to affect the opponent). Whether it be a wrist lock or a throw. There are only so many methods.

I read the passage as saying his vision was to provide a way to control yourself and "center" yourself so that others, whomever they might be, can not "Un-center" you. That way, you are in control. People can react as they will, and you stay "centered" within yourself.

The validity of the technique is not the issue. Just because "Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them," does not mean the techniques can not be so used. Rather, the aikidoka should realize that while the techniques, or their derivatives, may be quite effective, the "Art" was not created to teach you to fight (to beat opponents) but to teach you to improve yourself.

In other words, your ability to "beat" an opponent has little to do with whether or not the aikidoka has to resort to such things to get an acceptable outcome for all involved--my guess is that O-Sensei would have talked himself out of the issue long ago or simply disagreed with the person and moved along...

If I disagree with the question, I would respond

"For me, Aikido is .... Thus, I do not think doing X is appropriate (for me)." That is not saying "you are wrong" but "it is not right for me." I do not think the Way, for me, would let me say anything else.

I seem to recall, somewhere :D , that Aikido is the Way of Harmony. For me, Aikido is allowing others to have opinions that differ from mine (e.g., all those different religions) and me accepting that others may live differently than me--such differences do not make me, in any way, less "right" for me.:)

In that spirit, you are welcome to your opinion, as is everyone else. However, any one person's opinion (or many together) do not make that "way" right for me any more than my way is "right" for you.

Only by me accepting this and acting as I do can I be harmonious with those around me--since, of course, we,even in the Aikido community, are all different..

James Taylor

Mato-san
07-07-2008, 10:33 AM
I tend to think of waza in two categories: practical and principle. Some are very practical. Some are designed to teach the principles that often make the other techniques practical.
Lynn that is the best quote ever. Should be written in stone, on the Aikido wall of reality, and everywhere else I consider an Aikido landmark. More and more people should come to understand this, instructors should teach this.