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kmiklas
01-05-2009, 01:23 PM
A friend of mine boxed for the army. I've been studying Aikido for about a month and so I asked him to friendly-spar for a couple of minutes to show him what I'd learned.

Basically, I got owned. I never came close to blending with his jabs. I finally had to tell him to slow his attacks down, so that I could demonstrate Ikkyo and Sankyo.

His comments:
1. It's not possible to catch/blend with his punches.
2. He's going to throw a combination, so even if I try I'm probably going to get hit (this, too, he demonstrated with a gentle right to my floating rib when I tried for a sankyo).
3. He would never over-extend himself with a "clean attack" like we use in class.
4. All this has been settled with the Gracies in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Back in the '70's they invited people from all different schools to come down and fight it out. What "came out in the wash" was these three positions, and most effective related styles:
a. STANDING SEPARATE: boxing; kick-boxing
b. GRAPPLING: Muy-Thai; Wrestling
c. GROUND: Wrestling; Ju Jitsu

In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.

Ron Tisdale
01-05-2009, 01:27 PM
He boxed in the army, for an extended period of time...and you've spent 1 month doing cooperative training in a japanese martial art...and you are surprised at the outcome?

hmmmm....

Best,
Ron

ChrisHein
01-05-2009, 01:44 PM
Well we all know what the outcome would be even if he spent 20 years doing Aikido. The boxer would have owned him!

Boxers are better at boxing then Aikidoka. That's because they spend their time boxing, and we don't.

Get that same buddie, and get yourself a padded club. Focus on striking his jabbing hand. Keep your distance, he will get frustrated that you have a reach advantage, and rush you, thus over extending.

If he didn't have gloves on, I'll bet he'd grab your weapon hand, to stop you from hitting him, guess what happens when he grabs your wrist...

Go at it again, and see how much more even you are.

All the things he told you are correct.
Aikido is a poor unarmed system, change the paradigm and the outcome will change.

Takuan
01-05-2009, 01:54 PM
Had a great laugh with you post, thanks! Aikido for a month!!!!! Hahahaha! Is this really a serious post??

Ron Tisdale
01-05-2009, 01:57 PM
Well we all know what the outcome would be even if he spent 20 years doing Aikido. The boxer would have owned him!
Not necessarily so, but in many, if not most cases, absolutely.

One example (if you believe the story) is Gozo Shioda taking on a boxer who had defeated one of his students. Shioda Sensei, on the other hand, seemed to have little trouble. The details give some idea of one way to handle such a situation.

Best,
Ron

Aikibu
01-05-2009, 02:19 PM
The stratagy of conflict in Budo requires thought. Why would I try to out box a boxer or submit a wrestler? You're just learning so it's good you're finding out this lesson early. The Folks here are correct about learning to play to your strengths not your opponents.Aikido requires an entirely different approach to "fighting" and if you were one of my students with no prior Martial Arts experiance I might suggest you get a "black belt" in something else first if you want to learn "how to fight". Then come to Aikido. :)

Just relax and don't get frustrated and you'll experiance what I mean in due time. :)

William Hazen

NagaBaba
01-05-2009, 02:41 PM
In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.

That is very good feeling. Now you understand deeply, that O sensei didn't create aikido for self defence.

lbb
01-05-2009, 03:20 PM
In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.

You should have. You're a rookie and he's experienced. The "never box a boxer, never wrestle a wrestler" truth that others have pointed out is something to always remember, if for no other reasons than it puts an end to the endless "Could Superman beat up Batman?" type arguments.

His comments:
1. It's not possible to catch/blend with his punches.

Not absolutely true, but a lot closer to the truth than a lot of students of grappling styles would like to believe. It's a common belief among grappling stylists that you "just catch the leg" if someone kicks, or "just catch the punch" if someone punches. Someone who trains in a striking style can strike much faster, much harder and with much less telegraphing than what you're likely to experience from your partners in an aikido dojo.

2. He's going to throw a combination, so even if I try I'm probably going to get hit (this, too, he demonstrated with a gentle right to my floating rib when I tried for a sankyo).
3. He would never over-extend himself with a "clean attack" like we use in class.

Again, in aikido dojos we train against a simple, obvious, straightforward attack. There are good reasons for this, but it does mean that there are certain styles of attack that you just don't get much practice against. Again, doesn't mean that aikido can't defend against these attacks, but if I were dealing with a combination striking attack, I'm sure I'd at least partly use skills I learned from karate.

By the way, there are a lot of valuable lessons to take away from your experience, but none of them is, "boxing beats aikido".

GeneC
01-05-2009, 05:01 PM
A friend of mine boxed for the army. I've been studying Aikido for about a month and so I asked him to friendly-spar for a couple of minutes to show him what I'd learned.

Basically, I got owned. I never came close to blending with his jabs. I finally had to tell him to slow his attacks down, so that I could demonstrate Ikkyo and Sankyo.

His comments:
1. It's not possible to catch/blend with his punches.
2. He's going to throw a combination, so even if I try I'm probably going to get hit (this, too, he demonstrated with a gentle right to my floating rib when I tried for a sankyo).
3. He would never over-extend himself with a "clean attack" like we use in class.
4. All this has been settled with the Gracies in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Back in the '70's they invited people from all different schools to come down and fight it out. What "came out in the wash" was these three positions, and most effective related styles:
a. STANDING SEPARATE: boxing; kick-boxing
b. GRAPPLING: Muy-Thai; Wrestling
c. GROUND: Wrestling; Ju Jitsu

In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.

Exactly what I've been saying since I joined(Aikiweb). I'd add, Muay-Thai is not grappling, it's strictly a stand up, kick-boxing MA. Also, grappling IS ground. Sorry, so noone gets the wrong idea, I'm not trying to correct as much as 'enlighten'.

Chris Covington
01-05-2009, 05:14 PM
Hello all,

It's been a while, but there is a video somewhere on youtube (or there was) of a Russian aikidoka and a Russian Thai boxer sparring. The aikidoka was able to pull off a kotegaeshi from the boxer's jab.

They were very well matched, but the aikidoka certainly held his own. It wasn't prearranged and they were certainly going all out with each other. It looked like a good match up honestly. Can most aikidoka do that? I doubt it. But to be fair the Thai boxer if memory serves was a champion in his weight so maybe a less skilled Thai boxer wouldn't have done as well?

This weekend we were practicing Daito-ryu against jabs instead of lunges and shomenuchis and found if you do the kata correctly they work juast as well or even better if someone pulls back their hand.

Good luck, keep training and don't be to eager to show off your skills because you don't have any yet. Part of budo training is to supress the ego, this should be a good lesson in that. ;)

grondahl
01-05-2009, 05:17 PM
You are actually totally wrong, Muay Thai includes a lot of standing clinchwork including throws from the clinch.

Exactly what I've been saying since I joined(Aikiweb). I'd add, Muay-Thai is not grappling, it's strictly a stand up, kick-boxing MA. Also, grappling IS ground. Sorry, so noone gets the wrong idea, I'm not trying to correct as much as 'enlighten'.

Aikibu
01-05-2009, 05:25 PM
You are actually totally wrong, Muay Thai includes a lot of standing clinchwork including throws from the clinch.

LOL I sparred with an MT Guy just a few months back and he did everything from the clinch or so it seemed. His technique was very Aikido like Jab Jab Kick Kick and Enter...Clinch and Dirty Box...

And those knees :eek:

Nope Aikido does not work very well in the clinch...:)

William Hazen

GeneC
01-05-2009, 05:28 PM
That is very good feeling. Now you understand deeply, that O sensei didn't create aikido for self defence.

Then it shouldn't be labeled a martial art.

George S. Ledyard
01-05-2009, 05:46 PM
In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.

With a whole month under your belt, you are "helpless and defenseless" against everyone's skills. This has nothing to do with Boxing vs Aikido; it has to do with a total beginner in one art meeting a very experienced practitioner of another art. What, pray tell, did you expect? Why don't you train a while seriously before you start messing about with cross training? With just a month on the mat you don't even know enough to know what questions to ask... you can only come up with erroneous notions at this point.

C. David Henderson
01-05-2009, 05:49 PM
Then it shouldn't be labeled a martial art.

Does this affect your commitment to train in that "non-martial art?" Seems like it should, if that's your priority and your considered view of the situation.

gdandscompserv
01-05-2009, 05:51 PM
Then it shouldn't be labeled a martial art.
ok
:D

Tony Wagstaffe
01-05-2009, 06:06 PM
A friend of mine boxed for the army. I've been studying Aikido for about a month and so I asked him to friendly-spar for a couple of minutes to show him what I'd learned.

Basically, I got owned. I never came close to blending with his jabs. I finally had to tell him to slow his attacks down, so that I could demonstrate Ikkyo and Sankyo.

His comments:
1. It's not possible to catch/blend with his punches.
2. He's going to throw a combination, so even if I try I'm probably going to get hit (this, too, he demonstrated with a gentle right to my floating rib when I tried for a sankyo).
3. He would never over-extend himself with a "clean attack" like we use in class.
4. All this has been settled with the Gracies in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Back in the '70's they invited people from all different schools to come down and fight it out. What "came out in the wash" was these three positions, and most effective related styles:
a. STANDING SEPARATE: boxing; kick-boxing
b. GRAPPLING: Muy-Thai; Wrestling
c. GROUND: Wrestling; Ju Jitsu

In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.

:rolleyes: titter!

Back to the drawing board...... titter......

Kevin Leavitt
01-05-2009, 09:29 PM
AIkido principles works just well in the clinch. I would argue that the clinch is within the context of aikido. In fact done properly it demonstrates the concept of ikkyo quite well. Ikkyo in principle, not in form.

In principle ikkyo is about controlling the spine accessing it from the shoulder area. Clinching right and it is about irimi as well.

Watch a good MMA guy in the ring closely. Especially when the are against the cage. They will pummel, underhook, control the shoulder to the spine, irimi and spin the opponent against the cage.

Glad you mentioned the Clinch William. IT is the first thing I'd recommend that someone learn if they are serious about fighting.

You can catch punches just fine....it may just not be with your hand! :)

Clinching puts you in a range that negates his ability to punch and improves your ability to effectively use aiki principles.

We have to be careful not to confuse the kata that we train with to teach princples with practical application. However just because many don't train the clinch does not mean that it cannot contain aiki principles.

Don
01-05-2009, 09:52 PM
I constantly enjoy watching the evolution of (and diversity of) opinion on this forum on this topic. "I got owned"------->you need to train a little more than a month ( I think that is pretty unanimous)--------->aikido doesn't work -----or----->aikido does work-----or------>aikido is a martial art-------or------>aikdio isn't a martial art. Seems that for every person who doesn't think it works or isn't a martial art (and why are you here if that's your opinion) there is someone who asserts it does and is. Seems to me if you take the principles (as Kevin pointed out) and train to see the martial context and you practice to the right attitude, then it will be effective. If you just want to "feel the blend" then it may not be effective. But at any rate, none of this comes after a month. May you have many years of happy training.

Nathan Pereira
01-06-2009, 02:45 AM
Amen Kevin,

I love working from the clinch. For a short arse like me it is a great neautralizer if you can clinch well. As for aikido from the clinch, well I regularly use kote geishi, sokumen irimi nage, shomen irimi nage, ushiro nage and various hip throws. The application may look different from what most consider "aikido" but the principals are very aiki.

xuzen
01-06-2009, 03:40 AM
Well we all know what the outcome would be even if he spent 20 years doing Aikido. The boxer would have owned him!

Boxers are better at boxing then Aikidoka. That's because they spend their time boxing, and we don't.

Get that same buddie, and get yourself a padded club. Focus on striking his jabbing hand. Keep your distance, he will get frustrated that you have a reach advantage, and rush you, thus over extending.

If he didn't have gloves on, I'll bet he'd grab your weapon hand, to stop you from hitting him, guess what happens when he grabs your wrist...

Go at it again, and see how much more even you are.

All the things he told you are correct.
Aikido is a poor unarmed system, change the paradigm and the outcome will change.

This is so true, so true. I guess the most pragmatic post in this thread.

Boon

Stefan Hultberg
01-06-2009, 04:39 AM
Then it shouldn't be labeled a martial art.

Hi

What does the word "martial" mean to you? It seems to me that O-sensei had a much broader (or at least different) view of the word than you do. I have read a quote by O-sensei saying "aikido is the study of the spirit". He continues "aikido provides the means to penetrate the reality of existence".

It seems O-senseis definition of a "martial" art is somewhat broader than the idea that "martial" designates an art for fighting, for war. It seems O-sensei was of the opinion that the fighting to be done is with oneself and that self-victory is the ultimate goal of the fight.

I maintain - if someone wants to practice an art that is 100% focussed on fighting, self-defense, dealing with a boxer etc. I do wonder if aikido is the right choice.

Many regards

Stefan Hultberg

Tony Wagstaffe
01-06-2009, 05:07 AM
AIkido principles works just well in the clinch. I would argue that the clinch is within the context of aikido. In fact done properly it demonstrates the concept of ikkyo quite well. Ikkyo in principle, not in form.

In principle ikkyo is about controlling the spine accessing it from the shoulder area. Clinching right and it is about irimi as well.

Watch a good MMA guy in the ring closely. Especially when the are against the cage. They will pummel, underhook, control the shoulder to the spine, irimi and spin the opponent against the cage.

Glad you mentioned the Clinch William. IT is the first thing I'd recommend that someone learn if they are serious about fighting.

You can catch punches just fine....it may just not be with your hand! :)

Clinching puts you in a range that negates his ability to punch and improves your ability to effectively use aiki principles.

We have to be careful not to confuse the kata that we train with to teach princples with practical application. However just because many don't train the clinch does not mean that it cannot contain aiki principles.

Sometimes ya have to take a bit of damage to get what ya want eh!?.... or try to get inside the retract to get inside striking range and close 'em up!!? Its always difficult to catch fast jabs, rather let them come, avoid off centre and when the wind blows itself out to regenerate more punching power move in rapidly with oshitaoshi/ikkyo to turn 'em round or take 'em down or ushiro ate rear attack (irimi?)..... sometimes you can get kote gaishe that's my turn on it..... its difficult but with practice you can take them from below the arm with ikkyo..... and having the the ability to combinate .......its all about timing, combinating, and kuzushi really ain't it..... ;) :)

Tony

JRY
01-06-2009, 07:44 AM
Hi Keith
your friend sounds like he's been boxing for awhile, so its no surprise with the difference in experience. As mentioned above, don't bring a punching match to a boxer.

The subtleties of Aikido can be modified to be quite destructive. eg. direct Iriminage or arm break from shihonage. At the moment, you are learning where to put your hands and where to put your feet. In the dojo we accomodate each other to learn the correct movement.
I understand that you would like to try out the techniques but for now you have to learn the basics.

don't get me wrong, I am not condoning (not sure if this word is in the right context?) sparring Aikido vs MMA or boxing etc. I always believe its the martial artist and not the martial arts thats a factor. If if you want a quick martial art for grapelling or combat, then maybe you should look for another martial art :)

don't have to feel helpless/defenseless with him... he's your friend right? :) just look at it as part of training.

hope this helps
all the best

kmiklas
01-06-2009, 08:10 AM
The stratagy of conflict in Budo requires thought. Why would I try to out box a boxer or submit a wrestler? You're just learning so it's good you're finding out this lesson early. The Folks here are correct about learning to play to your strengths not your opponents.Aikido requires an entirely different approach to "fighting" and if you were one of my students with no prior Martial Arts experiance I might suggest you get a "black belt" in something else first if you want to learn "how to fight". Then come to Aikido. :)

This paragraph sums up my mistake well. I tried to force Aikido techniques on a jabbing boxer; and they don't work well against jabs. Aikido seems to require a committed attack to throw an opponent off balance.

I wonder if my mistake was at a conceptual level; in the "approach" as you say. Boxing is the art/sport of landing effective punches on an opponent. Aikido is not designed for sport-fighting.

Ron Tisdale
01-06-2009, 08:25 AM
Just a suggestion, when facing someone who wants to land a punch, make them try to land a punch desperately. Evade and enter...once, twice, three times maybe, then as they turn to face you and strike, throw. Best percentage is not with throws that depend on grasping...best percentage is with throws that enter and cut down.

Be aware that evasions only work so long...in most cases unless you are extremely good at managing distance, the distance will narrow with each evasion. As the distance narrows, the timing required by you speeds up.

Best,
Ron

mwible
01-06-2009, 09:40 AM
You've only been studying for a month man, don't let an experienced boxer get you down. Of course you would loose; it sounds like he has YEARS of experience on you. I have been studying Aikido for 2 1/2 years, which still makes me a noob :p , and im still not sure how id stand up against a boxer. But it would probably look more like a sparring session with strikes, blocks, and blending until i found an oppening (which might take a while depending on his skill level).
Im just saying, 1 month is hardly enough to even remember what couple techniques you've been over in class, much less to try and execute them in a sparring match against a trained boxer.
Give it time.

in aiki,
-morgan

Keith Larman
01-06-2009, 10:04 AM
Hey, I can relate. I've been taking tennis lessons for a month now with a really experienced coach. I got out on the court with a tennis professional and he kicked my butt! Obviously my training is no good and I need to change coaches. Why? Because after a month I should be able to hold my own against that other guy who's been playing for decades.

Obviously.

Or maybe I need a better racket.

:rolleyes:

Dieter Haffner
01-06-2009, 10:49 AM
Or maybe I need a better racket.It were the balls.
They were fixed by your opponent.

Dieter Haffner
01-06-2009, 10:55 AM
I just wanted to give a positive reply to the OP.
... so that I could demonstrate Ikkyo and Sankyo.If you asked me to show an ikkyo or sankyo after a month of training, my respond might have been something like :freaky: ...
Well, I did not look that yellow, but you get the idea.

James Edwards
01-06-2009, 11:40 AM
I wonder if my mistake was at a conceptual level; in the "approach" as you say. Boxing is the art/sport of landing effective punches on an opponent. Aikido is not designed for sport-fighting.

You seem to be making lots of assumptions early in your training. You should get rid of them and try to see the purpose of aikido through your training, not what you assume. Or as a zen story says, you should "empty your cup"

Also keep in mind that Aikido (and many other arts) takes a lifetime to learn and understand.

kmiklas
01-06-2009, 12:31 PM
...try to see the purpose of aikido...
Perhaps I'm off base here, but Aikido is a martial art, correct? I must assume that the purpose is, well, martial? To fight? If not, then it's really more like yoga, or dancing, or a combination thereof.

Neal Earhart
01-06-2009, 12:33 PM
Every shred of my common sense tells me not to reply to this post...

...so much for common sense...

What you did is just so wrong, on so many levels...

One (1) month of Aikido practice ? I am not even confident that you know how to wear your gi properly and/or tie your belt correctly after one (1) month of practice...how many hours of training have you had, exactly ?

so that I could demonstrate Ikkyo and Sankyo Really ? Explain to me after one (1) month of practice, how you were going to demonstrate either Ikkyo or Sankyo with any resemblance of a well executed...dare I say...'proper'...technique.

I apologize if this comes of as a personal attack, it is not intended as such. But, rather than feed your ego, maybe you should postponed the "sparring" session with your obviously skilled boxer friend for let's say...five (5) to 10 plus years...

What I think you accomplished was to put into the mind of another person, with martial art skills, that Aikido does not work...even if you told him you were only practicing for one (1) month...he will remember the time he sparred with an "Aikido" guy...:grr:

gdandscompserv
01-06-2009, 12:36 PM
What I think you accomplished was to put into the mind of another person, with martial art skills, that Aikido does not work...even if you told him you were only practicing for one (1) month...he will remember the time he sparred with an "Aikido" guy...:grr:
That's OK. Now the boxer might under-estimate aikidoka so we may have a tactical advantage.:D

lbb
01-06-2009, 12:45 PM
Perhaps I'm off base here, but Aikido is a martial art, correct? I must assume that the purpose is, well, martial? To fight? If not, then it's really more like yoga, or dancing, or a combination thereof.

Oh god, here we go again...

Keith, let me turn the question around on you: why did you start training Aikido? What did you think it was? What were your expectations of what you would learn, and when you would learn it? And -- here's the really loaded question -- do you think that because one month of Aikido training didn't enable you to go nose-to-nose with a boxer who has many more years of training and more ring smarts than you'll probably ever have, that it's "really more like yoga, or dancing"?

GeneC
01-06-2009, 12:53 PM
Exactly what I've been saying since I joined(Aikiweb). I'd add, Muay-Thai is not grappling, it's strictly a stand up, kick-boxing MA. Also, grappling IS ground. Sorry, so noone gets the wrong idea, I'm not trying to correct as much as 'enlighten'.

You are actually totally wrong, Muay Thai includes a lot of standing clinchwork including throws from the clinch.

Well Peter, not only am I not "totally wrong" , but not even a "little bit" wrong.Grappling is on the mat, as in both folks in the supine ( horizontal, laying down) position, something not done in Muay Tai, at all and the "clinch" (as you call it), is standing up...two totally different things. That's like saying when boxers get "tied up" (and the ref says, i.e., "OK, break it up, guys), they're grappling.

kmiklas
01-06-2009, 01:07 PM
Thanks for your response Mary. Before I answer your questions, let me state that I signed up for a $150 one-month trial to see what aikido was all about, and have no other martial arts experience other than two years of wrestling.

Keith, let me turn the question around on you: why did you start training Aikido?
Because I wanted to learn some self-defense.

What did you think it was?
I thought it was a martial art. I liked it because it was a gentle/civil form of self-defense, and could be used to control a situation without causing real damage to people, and learning how to handing conflict in a controlled manner.

What were your expectations of what you would learn, and when you would learn it?
My expectations were that I would learn some basic self-defense techniques. I did expect to learn a couple of basics in the first month. (which I did--ikkyo and sankyo :)

And -- here's the really loaded question -- do you think that because one month of Aikido training didn't enable you to go nose-to-nose with a boxer who has many more years of training and more ring smarts than you'll probably ever have, that it's "really more like yoga, or dancing"?
I fully agree that it is unreasonable to expect to be able to apply aikido techniques against a trained boxer.

I think what upset me--and drove me to post this topic--is the helplessness and defenselessness that I felt against his punches. Not just when he was using his skills.. even when he toned it down. I just had no defense! And a punch is not an uncommon attack. I tried the same thing on an athletic non-boxer, and i still could not defend against a simple straight punch.

I did take a couple of boxing lessons at one point, and it seemed much more practical. Keep your guard up; your chin down. Keep moving. After two 1-hour sessions with a boxing instructor I felt more confident than after a month of aikido.

I'm certain that Aikido is effective, but it seemingly takes a decade of training before one has the required skills to make it so. This of course leads into the question of why one trains Aikido, boxing, any martial art, or any activity for that matter..

Eric Joyce
01-06-2009, 01:25 PM
I'm certain that Aikido is effective, but it seemingly takes a decade of training before one has the required skills to make it so. This of course leads into the question of why one trains Aikido, boxing, any martial art, or any activity for that matter..

People take up Aikido for many reasons Keith. Some for exercise and some for self defense. I understand your discouragement, but I wouldn't count Aikido out. There are people out there that can really use their Aikido, even with boxers. You only did it for a month so what did you expect? Even if you took some self defense classes, Krav Maga for example, you are still just beginning to learn. It takes awhile.

Every time I read posts like this, all I can think about is this damn "fast food" culture we live in where everybody wants it now, now, now and expect to be experts or be able to handle themselves in about the length of a TV sitcom. Sorry Keith, this isn't personally against you, just the mentality of people out there.

Either stick with it or find something else that suits you. Aikido isn't for everyone.

CitoMaramba
01-06-2009, 01:28 PM
http://www.budovideos.com/shioda/shioda4.jpg

Things that make you go, "Hmmmmm..."

Ron Tisdale
01-06-2009, 01:42 PM
:D But, let's be clear, Tyson didn't let Shioda S. do nikajo on him because IF Shioda S. was able to apply it, Tyson COULD be out a lot of money.

But yeah, it was pretty funny...you've got Mike Tyson (HUGE) and Gozo Shioda (tiny) and NO WAY was Tyson giving him nikajo... :D

Best,
Ron

AsimHanif
01-06-2009, 01:59 PM
This paragraph sums up my mistake well. I tried to force Aikido techniques on a jabbing boxer; and they don't work well against jabs. Aikido seems to require a committed attack to throw an opponent off balance.

I wonder if my mistake was at a conceptual level; in the "approach" as you say. Boxing is the art/sport of landing effective punches on an opponent. Aikido is not designed for sport-fighting.


(sigh :( no.

GeneC
01-06-2009, 02:04 PM
Just a suggestion, when facing someone who wants to land a punch, make them try to land a punch desperately. Evade and enter...once, twice, three times maybe, then as they turn to face you and strike, throw. Best percentage is not with throws that depend on grasping...best percentage is with throws that enter and cut down.Best,
Ron

I have to respectfully disagree with this strategy, as you definitely don't want to give a boxer a second chance to punch you. Any one could the "the one" that takes you out.

phitruong
01-06-2009, 02:35 PM
That's OK. Now the boxer might under-estimate aikidoka so we may have a tactical advantage.:D

i am with ricky. we definitely have tactical advantage. talked to a guy who did combat hapkido (isn't that redundant?), he said aikido doesn't work, after i told him i did aikido. he asked why would i want to do aikido. i said i liked to wear big skirt and get in touch with my masculine side.

i remembered reading somewhere about a story of either shioda or o sensei did a demo at the american base. an army guy with boxing experience challenged. he then proceeded to knock out an experienced aikido guy. then either shioda or o sensei took on the dude, go after the other arm instead of the jabbing arm, and messed the guy elbow up.

the best way to deal with boxer is to approach him/her with a mug of beer in each hand. :D

Demetrio Cereijo
01-06-2009, 03:01 PM
Hello all,

It's been a while, but there is a video somewhere on youtube (or there was) of a Russian aikidoka and a Russian Thai boxer sparring. The aikidoka was able to pull off a kotegaeshi from the boxer's jab.

They were very well matched, but the aikidoka certainly held his own. It wasn't prearranged and they were certainly going all out with each other. ...

Chris, is this the video you're talking about?
http://video.google.es/videoplay?docid=-5412979688232976890

If so, then.... I don't see the match in the same light.

@Keith

I fully agree that it is unreasonable to expect to be able to apply aikido techniques against a trained boxer.

Unreasonable until you have something more than 1 month of aikido. It's not about the techniques: they are very common japanese jujutsu/ western medieval wrestling/filipino wrestling techniques. They mostly work in a specific context (mostly what Chris Hein posted) for different situations aikido techniques need some adjustement or, like Leavitt said, follow the principles and technique will arise naturally.

I think what upset me--and drove me to post this topic--is the helplessness and defenselessness that I felt against his punches. Not just when he was using his skills.. even when he toned it down. I just had no defense! And a punch is not an uncommon attack. I tried the same thing on an athletic non-boxer, and i still could not defend against a simple straight punch.

Dont' be upset. Be happy. You learned a valuable lesson in a safe environment. Others learned the same lesson in the street. Others will never learn this lesson and will remain in the darkness.

This of course leads into the question of why one trains Aikido, boxing, any martial art, or any activity for that matter..

You are the only who can answer the question. Everybody has different motivations. Look inside yourself; the answer is there.

Ron Tisdale
01-06-2009, 03:05 PM
I have to respectfully disagree with this strategy, as you definitely don't want to give a boxer a second chance to punch you. Any one could the "the one" that takes you out.

Disagree all you want. It works for me.

Best,
Ron

lbb
01-06-2009, 03:08 PM
Thanks for your response Mary. Before I answer your questions, let me state that I signed up for a $150 one-month trial to see what aikido was all about, and have no other martial arts experience other than two years of wrestling.

Gotcha. Thanks for the background.

Because I wanted to learn some self-defense.

That's a very common reason for people to start training martial arts. Unfortunately, a lot of people who come to the martial arts this way end up disappointed. Some of them start off with a very vague notion about "self-defense" and their needs for it. They haven't stopped to ask themselves just what it is they're defending against, and what would be the most effective way to deal with that. Most of us don't deal with physical threats on a daily or even yearly basis. "But just in case!" says the new student who's interested in "self-defense". Okay...just in case...but does it really make sense to address a threat that you may have to deal with once in a lifetime by spending hours every week working at a skill that will take a long time to become proficient in? If I had some specific threat, like a stalker after me, I'd be calling the cops, getting a restraining order, handing out the nutjob's description to my neighbors and co-workers, increasing my situational awareness, possibly acquiring and becoming proficient in the use of a firearm -- I wouldn't be putting my eggs in the empty-hand martial arts basket. And if I didn't have a specific threat but some general idea about dark alleys and seedy bars...well, then I'd be wising up about where I walked, rather than try to acquire a set of skills to hopefully bail me out of trouble that I couldn't be bothered not to walk into. I'm not saying you had any of these expectations, just that when you really think through the perceived need for self-defense, these are some of the conclusions you're likely to come to.

I thought it was a martial art. I liked it because it was a gentle/civil form of self-defense, and could be used to control a situation without causing real damage to people, and learning how to handing conflict in a controlled manner.

Well, I'd say it's a martial art (although there's a huge debate about just what that term means, but I won't go there now). I think that while it's true that it can "be used to control a situation without causing real damage to people", I disagree that every situation can be controlled this way: some situations can, but some can't (imagine dealing with an attacker who's pretty much out of his/her head and not capable of acting in his/her best interests -- that person doesn't respond to standard deterrents). I also strongly disagree that every person who trains aikido can control a situation in such a way -- in fact, I would argue that the large majority of people who train aikido would be lucky to control any attack without injuring their attacker. Aikido techniques work against joints and connective tissue, the stuff that don't heal well, if at all -- and in a real fight, things happen fast; you don't get time to cautiously increase pressure. If everything works right, if you and the attacker aren't moving with such combined speed that the damage is done in the first instant, if you didn't make any mistakes, if the attacker is rational enough to understand that the fight is over and he/she has no choice but to submit...then, yes, you may get out of the encounter with no real damage done. But as I've said before on this forum, I've had a boot to the head and I've had a disolocated shoulder, and I know which one I'd rather recover from.

My expectations were that I would learn some basic self-defense techniques. I did expect to learn a couple of basics in the first month. (which I did--ikkyo and sankyo :)

Those are a couple of basics from the body of techniques that make up aikido. While they do have self-defense applications, neither is a self-defense technique. See...you signed up to learn aikido, not to learn self-defense. If you'd signed up to learn self-defense, I'd have expected on day one that you'd be dealing with specific scenarios of fairly realistic attacks (slow at first but not for long). The techniques you would learn would be simple, simple, simple -- much simpler than ikkyo and sankyo, believe it or not -- and you'd drill them over and over and over again, until you could do them in your sleep. At the end of a month of that, you might be able to execute a fairly competent defense against an attack like the ones you'd trained against -- and you'd maintain that competence, as long as you kept training.

Aikido training is different, and a lot of that has to do with elements of Japanese culture that I won't get into too deeply lest I totally embarrass myself. In short, though, things are taught and learned differently in Japan than they were in the west. Our ways of teaching and learning have their merits, and so do theirs, but they're different. When learning a Japanese art (martial or otherwise), the student is expected to be a sponge of sorts: to absorb information, and to do so in a sense without questioning -- or rather, without wasting time asking questions and demanding explanations that, as a beginner, you just wouldn't understand. Instead you practice, practice, practice. You do ikkyo without trying to understand ikkyo, without needing to see how ikkyo is going to save you if you ever end up starring in the shower scene from Psycho...without your instructor having to prove to you that it's worth your while to do ikkyo over and over and over. You just do it...and after a while (and it's probably months at least) it starts to make sense. "Aha!" you say, "I wish I'd known that months ago!" But months ago you couldn't have known that...because months ago, you hadn't done all those ikkyos.

I think what upset me--and drove me to post this topic--is the helplessness and defenselessness that I felt against his punches. Not just when he was using his skills.. even when he toned it down. I just had no defense! And a punch is not an uncommon attack. I tried the same thing on an athletic non-boxer, and i still could not defend against a simple straight punch.

Right, because they weren't playing your game. In the dojo, when your partners punch at you, they're not trying to hit you -- not at this stage of the game. They're not trying to mess you up. Does that mean that as long as you train aikido, you'll never attain proficiency against someone who is trying to mess you up? Heck, no -- but you can't master all skills at once. If you want to learn to deal with punches, and you want quick results, go learn a striking art -- you'll be introduced to a series of very simple blocks and evasions that you can probably learn to use effectively (at least against someone with a similar level of training) very quickly. Ikkyo's just more complicated and more difficult to execute than a simple block or slip.

So why would anyone ever bother to learn ikkyo if there are these other ways? Answer: because if you can pull off ikkyo, it puts you in a better position than if you'd just slipped or blocked a punch. If you slip or block a punch, you could end up open to a followup, but let's assume that everything went well -- that you are, at the least, still ready to deal with a followup attack, and that you are possibly well-positioned to execute a counter. That's your best outcome. If, on the other hand, you can successfully execute ikkyo, if you can pull it off, you've got your opponent where he/she can't continue to attack you. That's a lot more control over the situation than if you simply block and counter a punch.

(btw, I speak as someone whose background in striking styles is much more extensive than my background in aikido...so I'm not just reciting the party line here. Also, I didn't quit my former style because I drank the aikido koolade -- I moved, and all we had here for real martial arts was aikido, so I did the starting-over thing. I don't see superiority in one style over the other -- they're different, and I'm glad to have trained in both)

I'm certain that Aikido is effective, but it seemingly takes a decade of training before one has the required skills to make it so. This of course leads into the question of why one trains Aikido, boxing, any martial art, or any activity for that matter..

Yeah, there is that. Well, I don't think it's really possible of how long you have to train in aikido to make it effective, unless you answer the question, "Effective against what?" or maybe "Effective for what?" If being able to whale on people, whether or not they want to whale on you, is the goal, I think being sneaky and underhanded and unscrupulous will get you farther than any amount of training in a martial art: just sneak up behind someone and bash them over the head with a chair, and voila, problem solved! :crazy:

So, you've stumbled upon the deadly secret: outside of the sport forms, most people who continue training martial arts for any length of time are doing it for reasons other than self-defense. Me, for example, I train for all kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with muggers in dark alleys. I train because training shuts up the noise in my head, forces me to "be here now", and that brings clarity to my life in other areas. I train because I've learned to love the striving. First martial arts taught me to have patience with things that I couldn't just do the first time I tried them; it taught me that if I kept trying, I'd get it, and I loved that. Then I learned to love the trying even when I wasn't getting it. I love training because it puts things in perspective, itself not least. I love training because I love being around people who understand these things. I don't know how universal the appeal of those things is -- I just know that this thing called aikido -- which, yes, is a martial art; which, yes, can be used to defend oneself -- is worth doing all for its own sake, and not for any result it might get me.

Sorry for the ramble, Keith, ya got me going there...

akiy
01-06-2009, 03:29 PM
Nice post, Mary. Thanks for posting it.

-- Jun

lifeafter2am
01-06-2009, 03:31 PM
Mary,

I don't know about Keith, but I truly enjoyed reading your post! It echoed a lot of the things that ring true with me as well. Very, very, very well written!

Ketsan
01-06-2009, 03:37 PM
A friend of mine boxed for the army. I've been studying Aikido for about a month and so I asked him to friendly-spar for a couple of minutes to show him what I'd learned.

Basically, I got owned. I never came close to blending with his jabs. I finally had to tell him to slow his attacks down, so that I could demonstrate Ikkyo and Sankyo.

His comments:
1. It's not possible to catch/blend with his punches.
2. He's going to throw a combination, so even if I try I'm probably going to get hit (this, too, he demonstrated with a gentle right to my floating rib when I tried for a sankyo).
3. He would never over-extend himself with a "clean attack" like we use in class.
4. All this has been settled with the Gracies in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Back in the '70's they invited people from all different schools to come down and fight it out. What "came out in the wash" was these three positions, and most effective related styles:
a. STANDING SEPARATE: boxing; kick-boxing
b. GRAPPLING: Muy-Thai; Wrestling
c. GROUND: Wrestling; Ju Jitsu

In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.

Not surprising after a months training. You made all the classic Aikidoka mistakes when dealing with a boxer. You cannot do techniques on boxing punches. You can do techniques on boxers though.
Don't even try to take hold of boxers punches, just use your guard to deflect them as best as you can until you can get a hand onto his body during the irimi movement.
An explosive entry from the instant the fight starts is the only way of dealing with a boxer. You don't need to do anything fancy, you just need to knock them off balance, then you pretty much own them.
BJJ demonstrates this.

David Maidment
01-06-2009, 05:21 PM
I'm certain that Aikido is effective, but it seemingly takes a decade of training before one has the required skills to make it so.

Not always; I know some Shodans who have only been training for a few years or so who could hold their own against anyone (although I do admit they're very much the exception, not the rule). You just need to accept that fact. You've stated your reasons for starting Aikido, and they're good ones, so if you're prepared to wait it out, you can get everything from the art that you hoped. Just be realistic about it.

On a sidenote, I had a similar experience. My brother (big, muscly guy) asked me to "show [him] something" when he heard that I'd picked Aikido up again. I think I just tried basic nikyo, and it failed. Then I think I tried something else. Again, it failed.

I knew I'd struggle against someone of his strength, but it still gave me a nice little tap back into reality. And it helped. You don't often get the chance to train with someone who's really trying, so it shown me what to concentrate on to improve.

If you're going to spar with anyone who has skill or strength, etc., then first be careful and second don't expect to come out on top. And most importantly, be prepared to take notes. You'll likely 'lose', but you'll also learn.

Keith Larman
01-06-2009, 05:49 PM
(SNIP) ...ya got me going there...

Just have to say... http://summerchild.com/handclap.gif

Agreed.

carlo pagal
01-06-2009, 06:39 PM
patience, timing and atemi before or upon entering would help.:)

ChrisHein
01-06-2009, 07:05 PM
This is some video of Michael Varin and I playing with boxing Vs stick.

http://www.revver.com/video/1421702/stick-vs-boxing/

We did this about 2 years ago. Quickly discovering that the reach of a weapon is far superior to boxing technique.

Michael has been kick boxing for a little over a year at this point, by no means is he exibiting great boxing skill here, but he has far more ability then your average untrained person trying to strike.

Every Jab is either struck before it lands, or is out reached by the weapon. For every glancing blow he got, he received a full power shot. This forced him to use his lead hand to cover the majority of the time.

He was forced to attempt to rush me in order to minimize the damage he received.

The gloves eliminated his ability to grab the weapon hand, so in a clench situation he was unable to effetivly stop the weapon hand from doing damage. This is also what would happen if someone didn't grab your wrist in this situation.

I Wasn't trying any Aikido technique here, aside from a koshi that was too perfect to pass up. We were trying to stick to straight boxing vs short stick. However you can see the openings for many Aikido techniques in this scenario.

As you can see the weapon force's the striker to rush it, committing much more then he'd like to. Also if he is not able to control the wrist, he cannot effectively stop the weapon hand from doing damage to him when he is in close.

This scenario presents two of the requirements necessary for Aikido techniques to be applied to the attacker.

1. Attacker rushing in.
2. Desire to control the wrist.

Further, if this was not a padded stick, but instead a wakazashi, you can see there would be little need to apply any technique, unless they successfully rushed you, and controlled your weapon hand.

Samurai didn't need to worry about boxers...

lifeafter2am
01-06-2009, 07:18 PM
Samurai didn't need to worry about boxers...

LOL! Boxer vs extremely sharp cutting sword that can cut off the arms.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-06-2009, 07:31 PM
Chris,

Then what is needed is an empty hand yokomen uchi that hurts like a stick ... the old "aikido is 90% atemi" quote.
;)

ChrisHein
01-06-2009, 07:36 PM
Well you wouldn't get the reach advantage, which is what I think force's the attacker to rush in...

But I get where you're coming from. You could just carry an ASP.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-06-2009, 07:44 PM
But I get where you're coming from. You could just carry an ASP.

I'm coming from here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=173868&postcount=3

Who would need an ASP with this kind of striking power?

ChrisHein
01-06-2009, 08:19 PM
I'm coming from here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=173868&postcount=3


There goes the whole, "control the attacker with out hurting them" theory...

Keith Larman
01-06-2009, 09:29 PM
There goes the whole, "control the attacker with out hurting them" theory...

Interesting you should say that. Just recently I was explaining to a class that "an attitude of Loving Protection" is *not* the same as saying the attacker isn't going to get hurt.

My goal is not to hurt the attacker but to try to control him. Unfortunately in some situations the other fella may in fact be hurt. But that is not my priority -- my priority is control of the situation. And yes, I'd be the one hurting him if necessary in order to do that. So my goal is not his injury but controlling.

Contrast that with going in with the intention to do damage as the goal. This is aggressively trying to hurt them as a primary goal.

The goals are different. However, you may end up doing exactly the same thing. It is more about attitude and mindset as you do whatever it is you do than it is about the details of what is in fact done.

The point is the attitude. The point is the ability to let go of the intent and do what is necessary to blend and control. My favorite image is always Fudo Myoo with his sword and rope. Powerful image.

If that makes any sense...

Ketsan
01-06-2009, 10:37 PM
[QUOTE=Keith Miklas;222979]This paragraph sums up my mistake well. I tried to force Aikido techniques on a jabbing boxer; and they don't work well against jabs. Aikido seems to require a committed attack to throw an opponent off balance.
[QUOTE]

A committed attack or a commited entry. Who cares who's going what way as long as he ends up on the floor.

DonMagee
01-06-2009, 10:44 PM
.

Watch a good MMA guy in the ring closely. Especially when the are against the cage. They will pummel, underhook, control the shoulder to the spine, irimi and spin the opponent against the cage.


Normally, I would go into some long post about aliveness and crap all over the place. But this time I'm going to make one short statement about this. One I know you already know. The difference here is that the mma fighter is used to doing this against someone who doesn't want him to do it. The average aikidoka, even after a decade probably has not.

That out of the way, I would like to add this.

Most people are commenting on how little training the student has and how he is not even qualified to demonstrate a move. I find this as a huge flaw in the training method. In boxing, judo, bjj, tkd, karate, etc I could think of dozens of moves I would expect a 1 month student to be qualified to demonstrate. Let me elaborate.

If I was teaching a student judo for 1 month and a new student came in, I would fully trust that student to help the brand new student work on basic throws like O'Soto gari. Granted, his osoto is not going to be refined as mine, the same as my osoto is no where in the same realm as say my 6th degree instructor, but he should be able to demonstrate the basics and perform this technique against other students in randori. Another example is I would expect a beginning bjj student to be able to demonstrate basic positional transitions and submissions after one month. The should be able to do an armbar, rnc, maybe a few collar chokes. They should be able to transition, know at least one good guard pass, and at least explain the proper way to maintain position. Should they be able to beat me? No way, but they should be able to show a advantage against a first week student.

It is interesting to me that we do not expect this from aikidoka. At what point would we expect to see this? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? A black belt? A 5th degree black belt? I honestly don't think he was trying to outbox a boxer. I think he was trying to out aikido a boxer without the proper aikido skill. He didn't say he was standing toe to toe trying to fake and jab. He said he was trying to blend, grab the wrist, perform ikkyo, cause his opponent to over extend, etc. While I don't think this is a good tactic for fighting a good striker, he still was not trying to box him. At what level would anyone expect a different result?

Anyways, back to my cave now...

Ketsan
01-06-2009, 10:47 PM
This scenario presents two of the requirements necessary for Aikido techniques to be applied to the attacker.

1. Attacker rushing in.
2. Desire to control the wrist.



:confused:

Ketsan
01-06-2009, 11:15 PM
Normally, I would go into some long post about aliveness and crap all over the place. But this time I'm going to make one short statement about this. One I know you already know. The difference here is that the mma fighter is used to doing this against someone who doesn't want him to do it. The average aikidoka, even after a decade probably has not.

That out of the way, I would like to add this.

Most people are commenting on how little training the student has and how he is not even qualified to demonstrate a move. I find this as a huge flaw in the training method. In boxing, judo, bjj, tkd, karate, etc I could think of dozens of moves I would expect a 1 month student to be qualified to demonstrate. Let me elaborate.

If I was teaching a student judo for 1 month and a new student came in, I would fully trust that student to help the brand new student work on basic throws like O'Soto gari. Granted, his osoto is not going to be refined as mine, the same as my osoto is no where in the same realm as say my 6th degree instructor, but he should be able to demonstrate the basics and perform this technique against other students in randori. Another example is I would expect a beginning bjj student to be able to demonstrate basic positional transitions and submissions after one month. The should be able to do an armbar, rnc, maybe a few collar chokes. They should be able to transition, know at least one good guard pass, and at least explain the proper way to maintain position. Should they be able to beat me? No way, but they should be able to show a advantage against a first week student.

It is interesting to me that we do not expect this from aikidoka. At what point would we expect to see this? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? A black belt? A 5th degree black belt? I honestly don't think he was trying to outbox a boxer. I think he was trying to out aikido a boxer without the proper aikido skill. He didn't say he was standing toe to toe trying to fake and jab. He said he was trying to blend, grab the wrist, perform ikkyo, cause his opponent to over extend, etc. While I don't think this is a good tactic for fighting a good striker, he still was not trying to box him. At what level would anyone expect a different result?

Anyways, back to my cave now...

It's adaption of knowledge rather than training that's lacking. Lots of Aikidoka know how to do kata, very few of them, it seems, bother studying the kata and seeing what lessons can be learned from it, so when it comes to a real situation they try doing kata.

I reckon it would be possible to teach someone of fairly modest Aikido ability (6 months-2 years depending on dojo) how to deal with a boxer very quickly. I'm talking hours here. They already have the skills, just not the realisation of how to use them.

If you wanted an "aikido based" solution, kinda like a mini "anti boxing" martial art and you weren't interested in teaching Aikido, I reckon it would be possible to teach it in about a month or two.

Kevin Leavitt
01-06-2009, 11:31 PM
Normally, I would go into some long post about aliveness and crap all over the place. But this time I'm going to make one short statement about this. One I know you already know. The difference here is that the mma fighter is used to doing this against someone who doesn't want him to do it. The average aikidoka, even after a decade probably has not.

That out of the way, I would like to add this.

Most people are commenting on how little training the student has and how he is not even qualified to demonstrate a move. I find this as a huge flaw in the training method. In boxing, judo, bjj, tkd, karate, etc I could think of dozens of moves I would expect a 1 month student to be qualified to demonstrate. Let me elaborate.

If I was teaching a student judo for 1 month and a new student came in, I would fully trust that student to help the brand new student work on basic throws like O'Soto gari. Granted, his osoto is not going to be refined as mine, the same as my osoto is no where in the same realm as say my 6th degree instructor, but he should be able to demonstrate the basics and perform this technique against other students in randori. Another example is I would expect a beginning bjj student to be able to demonstrate basic positional transitions and submissions after one month. The should be able to do an armbar, rnc, maybe a few collar chokes. They should be able to transition, know at least one good guard pass, and at least explain the proper way to maintain position. Should they be able to beat me? No way, but they should be able to show a advantage against a first week student.

It is interesting to me that we do not expect this from aikidoka. At what point would we expect to see this? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? A black belt? A 5th degree black belt? I honestly don't think he was trying to outbox a boxer. I think he was trying to out aikido a boxer without the proper aikido skill. He didn't say he was standing toe to toe trying to fake and jab. He said he was trying to blend, grab the wrist, perform ikkyo, cause his opponent to over extend, etc. While I don't think this is a good tactic for fighting a good striker, he still was not trying to box him. At what level would anyone expect a different result?

Anyways, back to my cave now...

Good Post Don.

I think because we concentrate more on teaching principles in Aikido we may not be so concerned with "hard" "definitive" skills.

My own personal opinion when training "martial students" is that they all should know a few basic things in the first 9o days. The things you describe.

How to Clinch, how to do some basic takedowns, what the ground positions are top and bottom.

From there we can then start developing martial skills including aiki.

I think the real issue is that once you go down that road, it becomes real hard to climb back up out of it and go back to teaching the basic aiki concepts sometimes.

Hence, why I like to keep my Jiu Jitsu practice somewhat separate from my Aiki practice.

I think in a perfect world, students would study JJ first, then study AIkido later on.

But that is just my opinion.

Kevin Leavitt
01-06-2009, 11:41 PM
It's adaption of knowledge rather than training that's lacking. Lots of Aikidoka know how to do kata, very few of them, it seems, bother studying the kata and seeing what lessons can be learned from it, so when it comes to a real situation they try doing kata.

I reckon it would be possible to teach someone of fairly modest Aikido ability (6 months-2 years depending on dojo) how to deal with a boxer very quickly. I'm talking hours here. They already have the skills, just not the realisation of how to use them.

If you wanted an "aikido based" solution, kinda like a mini "anti boxing" martial art and you weren't interested in teaching Aikido, I reckon it would be possible to teach it in about a month or two.

Agreed.

We teach this pretty quickly, at least the concept in Army Combatives.

That said, YMMV.

Here is a video show our basic "Close the distance, Clinch Drill" that you recieve in the first week of training (Day 4).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIKCwK7MES8

Note the guy coming in for the clinch. He is getting killed because he hesitates and bends over and leads with his head. We teach them to NOT do this, but again YMMV depending on the student and their skill level, personality, and all that.

Here is a video showing step by step how we teach in from my friend Matt Larsen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMQKGTGFl5c

Here is a soldier doing a little bit better job at it. Probably a wrestler looking the way he moves. The key point is, he does not hesitate and keeps driving into the fight and he takes less of a beating by keeping the boxer off his base.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxQKdfh0XYY

Please spare the knife fighting comments. We got it. This is contextual and situational and there is more to this than what this simple exercise is designed to show.

The key is this. It is dynamic, alive, and can be trained quickly. From there you can develop a martial base that is more posture oriented and correct, efficient, and uses economy.

Aikibu
01-07-2009, 01:28 AM
At what level would anyone expect a different result?


Basic Aikido I'd say about 3rd or 2nd Kyu so perhaps six months to a year and a half of hard practice.It would depend on how well the student understood and practiced outside of the dojo.

I don't care how good a teacher you are in my experiance. Nobody really knows too much of anything in only one month of training at the your average dojo in any Martial Art against (and this is the key point you missed) a seasoned experianced boxer. To break it down even further If you go to the Dojo 3 times a week that is only 12 training sessions of appoximately 1 1/2 hours thats 18 hours of practice time on the mat.

Be it Kumite Sparring Randori or whatever aliveness training you do conceptually speaking you're talking pitting a very basic white belt vs a seasoned black belt.

At one month in my Dojo you would not get beyond basic cutting punching kicking elbow katas and Ukemi Ukemi Ukemi with perhaps a very basic technique like Shionage, Ikkyo, and Nikkyo.

William Hazen

Amadeus
01-07-2009, 12:09 PM
Doesn't matter what you train, but how you train. I'm pretty sure most boxers train to fight and most aikidoka don't.

Train however you like and have fun.

Dash is good self defence btw

dalen7
01-07-2009, 01:42 PM
This paragraph sums up my mistake well. I tried to force Aikido techniques on a jabbing boxer; and they don't work well against jabs. Aikido seems to require a committed attack to throw an opponent off balance.

Hmmm....
Cant believe I will soon be coming up on 2 years of Aikido - seems like yesterday I first joined this board.

In saying that, I still feel like a beginner. But...I have to remember how much of a beginner I was when I first stepped in.

Aikido, from how I see it, is not something you just walk into and then you expect to get something that will give you some championship title.

Yes, I believe it has some good techniques which can be executed effectively, outside a ring, within a few months of practice. (Bouncer at the bar, etc.)

But, a lot of people tend to not think of atemi, or striking parts, as part of Aikido. If someone is coming at me, at this point anyway - I would:
a: run
b: nail them in the face and then pin them down. (so Aikido would come in.

It really depends on what you want.
In truth, Im not looking to get in a fight, yet I do have an interest in sport fighting. While Aikido may not best fit a sport fight, I can see where it can blend nicely if you know another art as well.

Ill tell you a good situation for aikido.

Do you know the video, "Dont Tase me Bro" on You Tube?
How many security guards were there, and for how long did they try to get the dude to cooperate, just to end up having to tase him.

Dont know about the rest of you, but I saw plenty of time, and opportunity to put sankyo on him and walk him out without second thought...

People tend to forget that most people are not looking to get into a scrap and fight you. The world is not a fight club, and they are afraid of getting arrested, etc. If an argument breaks out in a fight - the guy who knows aikdio will probably have the upper hand, as people will still be reluctant to make a blow...if for nothing out of fear of trouble with the law.

Now, also consider, that the thing that caused the fight to begin with, and know that many in Aikido seek to eliminate the element that caused the issue to begin with. (i.e, in the case above, it was the argument.)

I was actually in a case like that.
A dude I knew was in a heated talk with me, he pulled off some judo move out of no where, went to the ground and I kicked him in the face to get him off me, and then punched him in the nose to make sure he wouldnt try anything stupid.

Got out of hand? Amazing how one defending who is right and wrong can lead to violence heh? Had I known Aikido back then, i could have had an opportunity to pin him down, with my knee in his neck till he lightened up.

But even more, had I watched what was inside, and not gotten involved in someone elses turmoil, I could have avoided it all together.

So, anyway.
You want to fight a boxer...then kick him in the, you know where. ;)
Seriously though - the whole point is that life is fluid and its never been about one art being more superior than another. Each is a tool for the purpose it was intended for. That purpose is created by you. ;)

Peace

dAlen

Kevin Leavitt
01-07-2009, 03:09 PM
Basic Aikido I'd say about 3rd or 2nd Kyu so perhaps six months to a year and a half of hard practice.It would depend on how well the student understood and practiced outside of the dojo.

I don't care how good a teacher you are in my experiance. Nobody really knows too much of anything in only one month of training at the your average dojo in any Martial Art against (and this is the key point you missed) a seasoned experianced boxer. To break it down even further If you go to the Dojo 3 times a week that is only 12 training sessions of appoximately 1 1/2 hours thats 18 hours of practice time on the mat.

Be it Kumite Sparring Randori or whatever aliveness training you do conceptually speaking you're talking pitting a very basic white belt vs a seasoned black belt.

At one month in my Dojo you would not get beyond basic cutting punching kicking elbow katas and Ukemi Ukemi Ukemi with perhaps a very basic technique like Shionage, Ikkyo, and Nikkyo.

William Hazen

I think Don's and my point is that "martially" speaking, there are some very, very basic things/skills that can be learned, communicated to a decent level of tactical proficiency in a very short period of time. One month is not unreasonable, for example to learn how to basic clinch and to eliminate the Conditoned Response that I showed in the first video in my post above. Of course, that all depends on the person, it may take more time depending on the individual. I have seen guys come in and get it within an hour too.

Again, I am speaking basic martial skill. IMO, it is better to indentify that this is an issue and then work on reconditioning it, reprogramming it upfront before we move on to more complex things that we do in aikido. It is gross motor skills and a Conditioned (or Unconditioned, depending on how you look at it) Response and it needs to be fixed if you are ever going to be "Martial".

The full speed video is not HOW you fix it, that is just to present the conditions at a "safe" level that allow you to indentify it and to provide feedback to the student.

I am not sure why you would continue to train for months and years doing "martial arts" only to find out later on you have this "problem" when presented with a "fight". When clinching is a basic martial skill.

I understand it is a different way of thinking for many of us that have learned from other "traditional" methodologies that call for a very slow, methodical, coaching along process of learning how to properly punch and kick and do ashi taiso etc., etc...

AND I understand that this method is not for everyone. Not everyone has the desire to be punched at with this level of intensity in their frist month of training. Many folks may not be mentally, physically, or emotionally ready to train this way, and many may not really ever care to train this way.

I understand that, and traditional methods that we do are certainly valid ways to continue to train people that want to go that way.

However, the point is, that for those that can and want to, there are ways/methods that allow people to gain a good base of skill of some very basic martial things in a short period of time that provide them a good base to expand upon with more micro level training over years.

I have certainly changed my way of thinking in the last five years concerning training. I think that you train some very "macro" level "gross motor" movements first, then you whittle down to "micro" fine level for the details.

I agree William, it does not mean that we can have a white belt come in and beat a black belt....but then again, I had done about 10 years of martial training including Aikido, and had a kid that had only trained 4 months in MACP totally own me "martially".

It was an eye openning experience for me and showed me that I'd had better re-evaluate my own personal methodology.

Does it mean I am any better at Aikido than I was 5 years ago. No, not really. While I feel I have a much, much stronger martial base and it has helped my aikido training immensely...the process/methodologies are not necessarily linear...it is a much more complicated issue than that, as Aikido is about much more than simply being "combat effective", so you have to be careful to understand what you are evaluating and how.

gregg block
01-07-2009, 05:12 PM
"Got pwned by boxer ". Not surprised . A good boxer is dangerous. They know how to strike. Period end of story. And to quite Mike Tyson. "everyones got a plan till you hit them in the mouth" . Something to keep in mind when trying to figure out how to take on a good boxer.

Aikibu
01-07-2009, 05:52 PM
I think Don's and my point is that "martially" speaking, there are some very, very basic things/skills that can be learned, communicated to a decent level of tactical proficiency in a very short period of time. One month is not unreasonable, for example to learn how to basic clinch and to eliminate the Conditoned Response that I showed in the first video in my post above. Of course, that all depends on the person, it may take more time depending on the individual. I have seen guys come in and get it within an hour too.

No disagreement there really Notice how I have newbies focus on punching and kicking and our elbow kata. learning to strike is the most important thing in any Martial System. Putting it all together in a way you can show what you know, transmit it, and be effective against other experianced Martial Artists takes allot more time than a month. Every Newbie I know including me got so excited by what they were learning they suffered the reality of thier folly. I have made this mistake many times and it looks like so have you. :) LOL

Again, I am speaking basic martial skill. IMO, it is better to indentify that this is an issue and then work on reconditioning it, reprogramming it upfront before we move on to more complex things that we do in aikido. It is gross motor skills and a Conditioned (or Unconditioned, depending on how you look at it) Response and it needs to be fixed if you are ever going to be "Martial". Again I feel we're walking the same walk. :)

I am not sure why you would continue to train for months and years doing "martial arts" only to find out later on you have this "problem" when presented with a "fight". When clinching is a basic martial skill. Agree

I understand it is a different way of thinking for many of us that have learned from other "traditional" methodologies that call for a very slow, methodical, coaching along process of learning how to properly punch and kick and do ashi taiso etc., etc...

AND I understand that this method is not for everyone. Not everyone has the desire to be punched at with this level of intensity in their frist month of training. Many folks may not be mentally, physically, or emotionally ready to train this way, and many may not really ever care to train this way.

I understand that, and traditional methods that we do are certainly valid ways to continue to train people that want to go that way.

However, the point is, that for those that can and want to, there are ways/methods that allow people to gain a good base of skill of some very basic martial things in a short period of time that provide them a good base to expand upon with more micro level training over years.

I have certainly changed my way of thinking in the last five years concerning training. I think that you train some very "macro" level "gross motor" movements first, then you whittle down to "micro" fine level for the details.

Well to put this in context...You have to train to the lowest common denominator in the Army. You must assume no one has had any prior experiance in the Martial Arts. The same challenge confronts most Aikido Dojos An experianced Martial Artist from another discipline already has this knowledge. That may be why Aikido is losing it's attractiveness in some levels. The concepts of Irimi, Tenken, and Aiki are not something your're going to become an expert in ever unless you devote yourself to focused hard practice. How can I do that if I am busy teaching more than half my class how to punch? I don't think O'Sensei had this "problem" (but I could be wrong) At least Shoji Nishio understood this along with a few other different "hard" styles of Aikido... Which is why he incorporated the Sword, Karate, and Judo among other things to make our Aikido more "Martial" However it is still Aikido

I agree William, it does not mean that we can have a white belt come in and beat a black belt....but then again, I had done about 10 years of martial training including Aikido, and had a kid that had only trained 4 months in MACP totally own me "martially".

It was an eye openning experience for me and showed me that I'd had better re-evaluate my own personal methodology.

Does it mean I am any better at Aikido than I was 5 years ago. No, not really. While I feel I have a much, much stronger martial base and it has helped my aikido training immensely...the process/methodologies are not necessarily linear...it is a much more complicated issue than that, as Aikido is about much more than simply being "combat effective", so you have to be careful to understand what you are evaluating and how.

Very True Sir....Very True. :)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
01-07-2009, 07:41 PM
William wrote:

No disagreement there really Notice how I have newbies focus on punching and kicking and our elbow kata. learning to strike is the most important thing in any Martial System. Putting it all together in a way you can show what you know, transmit it, and be effective against other experianced Martial Artists takes allot more time than a month. Every Newbie I know including me got so excited by what they were learning they suffered the reality of thier folly. I have made this mistake many times and it looks like so have you

Yes, kicking and punching is important, it really forms the basis of what we are mostly about. I have no argument really with you at all!

I started to write a long post about this, but it has inspired me to develop a more detailed on on my blog so I think I will post it there when I am done with it.

I tend to look at punching and kicking a little differently than many.

My feeling is that by the time we are 8 or 9 years old we have those basic skills figured out. Most kids have developed at least the ability to extend there hand out in a fist and make contact with another kid in an effective manner. It may not be perfect, but technically we have that block checked when they show up.

What they lack is putting those skills to use in a meaningful way with movement. In MACP, we will approach this almost exact opposite of most methods.

I will give them a 30 second class on punching which is essentially make a fist and extend it out and ask if everyone feels comfortable with their ability to do that! (never had anyone ask for remedial training!)

We will then move on to start teaching them how to receive punches re the clinch drill in the video. They very quickly start learning and forming a new conditioned response to getting hit and how to deal with punches. Teaching them to form frames, keep posture, create distance to guard against kicks, and so forth.

They learn suprisingly fast how to move and develop some decent conditioning and programming in gross motor movements defensively, which as you know, begins to slow down the fight for them.

What else is happening that they may not know is they are developing a feel for pressure and connectedness and ma ai.

then they will be able to start connecting this with kicking and punching and then move on to increasingly more technical work such as keeping eblows in, trajectory, moving from the core not extending/overextending.

This is pretty much the exact opposite of how I learned to punch and kick! I started ala karate style learning kata, one steps, and light, technicall "sparring" that gradually increased in speed and pressure, but never really got into a clinch fight, because the clinch fight was very irrational to us and our conditioned responses we had formed! it just never came up...Why would you ever fight this way??? (The whole cognitive dissonance thing!).

Kevin Leavitt
01-07-2009, 08:14 PM
Sorry William, I didn't get to finish my post.....

The concepts of Irimi, Tenken, and Aiki are not something your're going to become an expert in ever unless you devote yourself to focused hard practice. How can I do that if I am busy teaching more than half my class how to punch?

No they are not something you are going to master easily. I know I am not even close!

This brings up a good point though. What I and Don are talking about is not "becoming and expert" or "mastery". I want to make that clear to folks. What we are talking about is simply basic framework.

In aikido, we have a "mastery" focus endstate. We put the highest priority on mastering the tenants of budo and the development of character...through the study of martial arts, not martial mastery.

This is an important distinction to make I think.

The difference in what I am looking at is simply a martial endstate where we have someone with a very basic understanding of fighting. Very basic. But I think it does provide a good foundation to build upon, IMO.

Not necessary as it is simply another method among many methods for sure.

locke_03
01-07-2009, 08:31 PM
im confused by all this here your taking aikido and sparing that right doesnt sound right at all.

when i picture an aikido fight i see two man with amazing ability staring down each other waiting for the other one to attack therefore there is no fight. you see aikido is not about fighting maybe you should look into another martial art such BJJ i think then even after a month of training your boxer friend might be in trouble.:D

DonMagee
01-07-2009, 10:16 PM
Sorry William, I didn't get to finish my post.....

No they are not something you are going to master easily. I know I am not even close!

This brings up a good point though. What I and Don are talking about is not "becoming and expert" or "mastery". I want to make that clear to folks. What we are talking about is simply basic framework.

In aikido, we have a "mastery" focus endstate. We put the highest priority on mastering the tenants of budo and the development of character...through the study of martial arts, not martial mastery.

This is an important distinction to make I think.

The difference in what I am looking at is simply a martial endstate where we have someone with a very basic understanding of fighting. Very basic. But I think it does provide a good foundation to build upon, IMO.

Not necessary as it is simply another method among many methods for sure.

I agree with this 100% and it was exactly the point I was getting at. There are quicker ways to good self defense then martial arts ( a few months of training, a carry permit, and a XD sub compact 40 solve most problems anyone here might face), but that does not mean a good foundation needs to be avoided in the name of perfection.

I teach a beginners judo class on thursdays. My goal is to first get them to fight. I want them to struggle, push, pull, strain, stiff arm, get frustrated. I want them to learn what aggression is and develop a good fighting spirit. At the same time I also want them to learn gross motor skills that make up the essence of judo. We focus on good footwork, grip fighting, and basic high percentage throws, pins and submissions. Later as they get better they get to go to finishing school (my instructors) and learn that judo is not a fight. But those fighting days leave an impression and give them a will to succeed.

Beginners are not going to relax anyways, they are going to struggle, and all the telling them to stand upright and not stiff arm are going to do jack squat. So I encourage them. I show the proper form and technique, but I encourage their enthusiasm and as they gain skill it just melts away.

Humans can learn more from struggle and conflict then they realize. They are stronger then they realize and more resilient then they realize. A little empirical testing can go a long way to develop skill and really takes nothing away from any other training you might do.

And with some luck, I will one day not have to explain to poorly informed martial artists why their elbow to the spin won't cripple me when I do a takedown, or how their number 2 front kick won't shatter my knee, or how hitting nerve cluster three is not going to force the left side of my body to go limp.

I think of my aikido training as a finishing school. It has principles that seem to work great when I already outclass my opponent or partner. I could beat them without aikido already, but using aikido adds a level of simplicity to it. However, I don't think any of the aikido that I've learned (the very small amount I have ) would ever work without the direct fighting skill I've developed outside aikido in combat sports.

Kevin Leavitt
01-07-2009, 11:16 PM
Don wrote:

I think of my aikido training as a finishing school. It has principles that seem to work great when I already outclass my opponent or partner. I could beat them without aikido already, but using aikido adds a level of simplicity to it. However, I don't think any of the aikido that I've learned (the very small amount I have ) would ever work without the direct fighting skill I've developed outside aikido in combat sport

I agree Don. BJJ and Judo are providing a good martial frame, and my aikido is beginning to give me an edge somewhat in some cases.

Aikibu
01-07-2009, 11:40 PM
I think of my aikido training as a finishing school. It has principles that seem to work great when I already outclass my opponent or partner. I could beat them without aikido already, but using aikido adds a level of simplicity to it. However, I don't think any of the aikido that I've learned (the very small amount I have ) would ever work without the direct fighting skill I've developed outside aikido in combat sports.

I agree with Kevin Don this is a very good point and something I was trying to say (just not as good as you at saying it :) ). Most seasoned Martial Artists who come to Aikido are looking for that "something extra" which for me was learning "how not to fight." In that light describing it as a 'finishing school" makes perfect sense. I really think it's important for teachers to describe what Aikido is and what it is not (forums like Aikiweb sure help allot in this regard)

I have always been taught that Aikido is something "extra" and most of the Senior Yudansha I have had the blessing to meet feel that way too. I just have to be careful not to let that go to my head. :) LOL

William Hazen

kmiklas
01-08-2009, 01:22 AM
Previous to this post, i thought that the purpose of any martial art was to learn how to fight. I see now that all martial arts are not created equal, and their objectives vary greatly; learning how to fight doesn't appear to make the short list of Aikido goals.

Boxing is perhaps the closest to "fighting." There is competition. A boxing match is WIN-LOSE. The goal is to knock the other person out with gloved fist. It thus makes sense for a boxer to focus their time on punching. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Aikido: no competition, no winners, and no losers. The uke and nage work together to achieve a common goal. The conflict in Aikido is a harmonious pathway to other ends.

In sum, both Aikido and boxing are "martial arts;" however, boxing is more "martial," and Aikido is more "art."

Shane Mokry
01-08-2009, 02:24 AM
I think your problem originates in the fact that you are defensive. Any time you wiat for an attack, you are a step behind...unless you control distance. (Think about that for a long time) At one month of training you cannot possibly attempt to apply action versus reaction...much less understand it. And you absolutely have no idea how to control distance. Just train.

Regards,
Shane

kironin
01-08-2009, 02:53 AM
Previous to this post, i thought that the purpose of any martial art was to learn how to fight. I see now that all martial arts are not created equal, and their objectives vary greatly; learning how to fight doesn't appear to make the short list of Aikido goals.

Boxing is perhaps the closest to "fighting." There is competition. A boxing match is WIN-LOSE. The goal is to knock the other person out with gloved fist. It thus makes sense for a boxer to focus their time on punching. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Aikido: no competition, no winners, and no losers. The uke and nage work together to achieve a common goal. The conflict in Aikido is a harmonious pathway to other ends.

In sum, both Aikido and boxing are "martial arts;" however, boxing is more "martial," and Aikido is more "art."

Didn't you say your original intention was to learn self-defense ?

that's not the same as learning "to fight".

from this post, I think after all this discussion you still don't have a clue. Most of what you just said makes no sense whatsoever.

Ketsan
01-08-2009, 05:21 AM
Previous to this post, i thought that the purpose of any martial art was to learn how to fight. I see now that all martial arts are not created equal, and their objectives vary greatly; learning how to fight doesn't appear to make the short list of Aikido goals.

Boxing is perhaps the closest to "fighting." There is competition. A boxing match is WIN-LOSE. The goal is to knock the other person out with gloved fist. It thus makes sense for a boxer to focus their time on punching. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Aikido: no competition, no winners, and no losers. The uke and nage work together to achieve a common goal. The conflict in Aikido is a harmonious pathway to other ends.

In sum, both Aikido and boxing are "martial arts;" however, boxing is more "martial," and Aikido is more "art."

Uhhh. Depends where you train. There are some dojo that are very big on co-operation and aesthetic concerns and then there are dojo that just teach how to beat people up and there are dojo that sit somewhere in between.

DonMagee
01-08-2009, 07:14 AM
If someone is just looking for quick unarmed self defense. I'd recommend any sport in the short term. Like if you were looking for effective unarmed self defense in say a year. Any judo, boxing, mauy thai, bjj, MMA, etc type place is going to build effective fighting skill in no time at all. If you are looking for weapon self defense, I recommend finding a good firearms instructor and getting a permit and pistol.

Any goals beyond that, I recommend picking the training to meet those goals.

Keith Larman
01-08-2009, 09:11 AM
If someone is just looking for quick unarmed self defense. I'd recommend any sport in the short term. Like if you were looking for effective unarmed self defense in say a year. Any judo, boxing, mauy thai, bjj, MMA, etc type place is going to build effective fighting skill in no time at all. If you are looking for weapon self defense, I recommend finding a good firearms instructor and getting a permit and pistol.

Any goals beyond that, I recommend picking the training to meet those goals.

Yeah, what Don said.

I've had people ask me about training with us because they were interested in becoming incredible fighting machines. I usually smile and suggest pretty much what Don said up above. I'll add in Krav Maga because I've had some experiences working with those guys as well and they can be really quite interesting.

My second comment is that I think others have a very good point in this thread as well. The notion of "finishing school". I came into aikido after spending time in a variety of other things. My goals once I arrived in Aikido I realize now in retrospect had changed. With some age and experience I wasn't so interested in tearing someone's arm off and beating them to death with it. Oddly enough along the lines of what Don already posted it is in a sense easy enough to learn "self-defense" in a rather short amount of time (BJJ, Krav Maga, etc.). What I realized is that I already had some of those skills but what I was interested in was a different mindset, a different approach, and frankly I was tired of being so bruised and injured (still do have a laundry list of injuries but they're not nearly as bad as before ;) ). I want to train until I'm an old geezer!

So ironically I find this very challenge of Aikido that the OP ran into to be the biggest draw for me. The thing that finally made me stay was that it was so bloody difficult to do well. The very fact that it would take years, decades, or even more than my lifetime to master. Interesting.

Finally to the original poster... There is also the mistake of lumping everything under a single definition. It doesn't work that way especially with Aikido. To be blunt I know sensei that say all the right things and are very soft, flowing, gentle, and probably would have difficulties in a real confrontation. And one sensei of mine is extremely soft, flowing but has spent a career working with troubled young adults and has use that soft aikido many times to successfully defend himself against larger, younger attackers. The difference in effectiveness is a complicated mix of your external training (the particular training you chose) and your mental state (something a lot harder to fix). And I know highly trained LEO and Military guys who have fallen apart under stress. Deer in the headlights after finding out what a stressful situation and a committed "real" attacker will do to that training. But I also know a couple people with very little or no training at all who rose to the occasion under horrible situations and did amazing things. When there are a lot of variables it becomes questionable at best to make sweeping generalizations.

This ain't magic. It ain't the movies. And it certainly isn't a simple question.

But given the original posters comments and subsequent posts I'd probably give the answer I gave the guy I originally talked about. Clearly you'd be best off training in something like BJJ, Krav Maga, etc. because you simply aren't getting what some very experienced people with varied backgrounds have been telling you and you certainly aren't going to "get" aikido right now. And there's nothing wrong with that.

kmiklas
01-08-2009, 09:11 AM
from this post, I think after all this discussion you still don't have a clue. Most of what you just said makes no sense whatsoever.
Well then, can you put Aikido in context for me? What is it? How is it beneficial? Why do you train? What about Aikido appeals to you?

Ron Tisdale
01-08-2009, 09:52 AM
Clearly you'd be best off training in something like BJJ, Krav Maga, etc. because you simply aren't getting what some very experienced people with varied backgrounds have been telling you and you certainly aren't going to "get" aikido right now. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Sorry, thought that needed to be repeated. Nice post Keith. One day I hope to enjoy keiko with you.
Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
01-08-2009, 09:54 AM
Well then, can you put Aikido in context for me? What is it? How is it beneficial? Why do you train? What about Aikido appeals to you?

Why do you look to others for *your* context? Read the threads here, spend some time on the aikido journal web site reading articles, hit the library. Put it in your own context, and make a good decision for you.

Best,
Ron

Demetrio Cereijo
01-08-2009, 10:18 AM
In sum, both Aikido and boxing are "martial arts;" however, boxing is more "martial," and Aikido is more "art."

"The Knowledge that we study of another time and place must serve this time and place. There is the martial and there is the art. As Wild Dog's daughter Keelin once said to me "Art is the repository of the human wisdom which cannot be expressed in words." Both the martial and the art are necessary, just as the yin and the yang are necessary to the Tao. The further one can go into each simultaneously, the greater the dichotomy, and the deeper the transformation. Higher Consciousness through Harder Contact."

Guro Crafty, The Tao of the Dog (http://www.dogbrothers.com/pages/articles_taoofthedog.html).

Do you want to learn how to use aikido in a fight? The only way is training and fighting. Just do it. What other people does or say doesn't really matter. You have to walk your own path and discover things by yourself. Time (and blood, sweat an tears) will tell.

lbb
01-08-2009, 10:20 AM
But given the original posters comments and subsequent posts I'd probably give the answer I gave the guy I originally talked about. Clearly you'd be best off training in something like BJJ, Krav Maga, etc. because you simply aren't getting what some very experienced people with varied backgrounds have been telling you and you certainly aren't going to "get" aikido right now. And there's nothing wrong with that.

I think that's maybe a little premature. A lot of people come to martial arts because of this vague "self-defense" idea, without really taking a hard look at what their actual self-defense needs are, and I think OP would be the first to say he was in that category. That doesn't mean that aikido isn't a worthwhile pursuit for him at this time -- plenty of people get into martial arts, quickly find that a)it's not a "self-defense" instant magic pill but b)guess what, they really don't need that magic pill anyway, and meanwhile start to discover all these other things about martial arts training that make it highly worthwhile. They come for one reason, they stay for others.

To OP Keith M, I would just say this: try to make your decision about whether to continue training or not based on the training itself, what actually happens on the mat and anything that you can feel happening off the mat, and not on something that you think it will get for you. Eh...I'm having such a hard time finding the words for this. The kind of things I'm talking about are the sort of thing that you never catch if you chase them directly. It's like something that you can't see if you stare at it straight on; you have to catch it out of the corner of your eye. It's like one of those things that you can't do by trying to do it, and the harder you try to force it, the farther away from them you get. It's like the growth of a seedling: you till the soil and you plant the seed and you water it, and then you have to step back and let it grow. The things that aikido training will get you aren't things you can just put down on a checklist and go to work on, like "do laundry" or "learn CPR". They happen within you, in their own time. If you're not feeling anything happen, and you think you've already put in as much time as you feel like putting in, then stop training. Or, if you really do feel the need to develop self-defense skills, then go elsewhere (although I'd strongly advise you to first figure out exactly what you're trying to defend against -- if you don't know where you're going, how do you choose a road to take you there?). Or, if you've still got some patience for it, and you're enjoying your training otherwise, and you can set aside the need to become a Street-Lethal Killing Machine, then keep training, try to set your expectations aside, and see what happens.

Mark Peckett
01-08-2009, 10:46 AM
I suspect most modern day professional boxers wouldn't last too long against James Figgs, the first English bare-knuckle boxing champion - and that was before the introduction of rules like "no biting, head-butting or hitting below the belt." I also suspect that the boxing friend of Keith Miklas who started all this wouldn't have lasted too long against Shioda.
If I saw a boxer beaten by an aikidoka, or a judoka beaten by a karateka, would I think less of those arts. No.
Any art is about what you bring to it and what you want to get from it. I think this is why there is a fairly high drop out rate in any of the martial arts: people want to be Bruce Lee and when it doesn't happen in six weeks they give up and try something else.
My experience of being with and talking to people who've engaged in martial arts practice for a number of years is that they're generally the nicest people you could want to pass time with - and if that's the outcome then practice in any of the martial arts is a good thing.

locke_03
01-08-2009, 10:58 AM
i wont pretend that im some expert in aikido or that i even have the understanding of it as most people here. why do i train??? well even after my first class when i stepped off the mat i was changed i wasnt some killing machine who could take on all comers, but inside i was different i was calm and peaceful but most of all i was happy really happy i counldnt stop smiling inside and out :D. i train because it makes me happy i know it may sound silly but i find calmness from being thrown to the mat over and over again even right now my whole body aches and i cant wait to get to class tonight :D. so simply i train because it makes me happy and if you find something in your life that makes you happy youll never have to ask yourself why you do something. so the next time you walk into the dojo ask yourself before you step onto the mat am i glad am here is this really what i want if its not than dont fool yourself aikido just isnt for you plain and simple. do what you love and its never a chore.

Kevin Leavitt
01-08-2009, 11:45 AM
I think your problem originates in the fact that you are defensive. Any time you wiat for an attack, you are a step behind...unless you control distance. (Think about that for a long time) At one month of training you cannot possibly attempt to apply action versus reaction...much less understand it. And you absolutely have no idea how to control distance. Just train.

Regards,
Shane

Good point. more of a coincidence than anything else, but I wrote a post up on my Blog that was inspired by this thread. If you watch all three videos (really just the first two, 3rd one is entertainment value), you will see that the fighter that wins the fight is the one who closes distance the best. that is, he is on the offense.

Sun Tzu has never failed me. The only time you are going on the defense is to regroup and go on the offense, you never fight from the defensive postion you survive, then move on the offense.

http://www.budo-warrior.com/?p=157

Kevin Leavitt
01-08-2009, 12:26 PM
Previous to this post, i thought that the purpose of any martial art was to learn how to fight. I see now that all martial arts are not created equal, and their objectives vary greatly; learning how to fight doesn't appear to make the short list of Aikido goals.

Boxing is perhaps the closest to "fighting." There is competition. A boxing match is WIN-LOSE. The goal is to knock the other person out with gloved fist. It thus makes sense for a boxer to focus their time on punching. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Aikido: no competition, no winners, and no losers. The uke and nage work together to achieve a common goal. The conflict in Aikido is a harmonious pathway to other ends.

In sum, both Aikido and boxing are "martial arts;" however, boxing is more "martial," and Aikido is more "art."

I'd certainly echo alot of thing others are saying as well.

Well most of us already know how to fight! (Semantics I know). Fighting, IMO, is not the issue. It is the desired outcome or endstate you want to acheive with the fight. It may be to provide the most ethical endstate as possible. It may be to neutralize and destroy the enemy for a particular purpose, it could be to arrest a suspect, or it could be to defend youself successfully from a violent encounter...OR it could be to win a tournament.

I believe once you have a focus on your endstate, the issue is to develop skills that allow you to reach that endstate. So when you look at fighting in that way, it expands significantly the spectrum of what fighting is all about.

So when you say that "learning how to fight doesn't appear to make the short list of Aikido goals" I don't believe that is a sound logic statement as "fighting" means many different things depending on your endstate.

You do cover it in your second paragraph pretty well I think about goals and endstates actually.

I think in order to understand the philosophy that wraps aikido methodology, you need to explore many, many ways that can be "fighting". Really to me aikido should encompass understanding the complete spectrum of fighting and violence.

In order to do that, we must put ourselves in some situations in training that may not be comfortable or familiar to us, but if we look at the endstate and why we are placing ourselves in those positions..it makes it easier to do even though it may be a little scary for us.

I think we all have a tendency to gravitate towards what we know and what we feel safe with. To exclude "fighting" from the parameters of aikido is not necessarily the right thing to do I believe. BUT it is also not the sole focus of what we should be about.

Keith Larman
01-08-2009, 12:39 PM
Sorry, thought that needed to be repeated. Nice post Keith. One day I hope to enjoy keiko with you.
Best,
Ron

The feeling is mutual. I'm hoping to make it up to Seattle in a couple months for Jun's gig. It will all depend on how many swords I can get done without destroying my temperamental back in the process. I'd hate to make the time to come up only to be sidelined.

Keith Larman
01-08-2009, 12:55 PM
I think that's maybe a little premature. A lot of people come to martial arts because of this vague "self-defense" idea, without really taking a hard look at what their actual self-defense needs are, and I think OP would be the first to say he was in that category. That doesn't mean that aikido isn't a worthwhile pursuit for him at this time -- plenty of people get into martial arts, quickly find that a)it's not a "self-defense" instant magic pill but b)guess what, they really don't need that magic pill anyway, and meanwhile start to discover all these other things about martial arts training that make it highly worthwhile. They come for one reason, they stay for others.

Mary,

I don't really disagree with you at all. It all depends on the OP's goals. If his goal is to learn to defend himself as well as possible against experienced fighters quickly and efficiently then he really needs to look into the MMA styles or go with arts that are explicitely designed for that sort of thing.

And don't get me wrong -- I love Aikido. We had a student a while back who was young, strong, and had an amazing aptitude for Aikido. He was *really* good and I think could have gone a really long way. He went with some friends to a BJJ class, got out on the mat, broke a body part, then once he healed he went back... To the BJJ. And honestly I wished him the best -- I think it was a good choice for him. And maybe we'll see him again in 10-15 years when his back, knees, shoulders, elbows, etc. are as sore as mine. ;)

And I also agree that many start for reasons that are nebulous at best. Eventually a few find that jewel at the center and decide to stay. Others do not. But I must say that this particular fellow doesn't seem all that likely a candidate to me for finding that jewel relevant to his life. I could be wrong, but I always try to deal with people on this issue remembering what I was going through at a similar time. Aikido wasn't a good option for me at the age of 17 -- I was looking for something *very* different. And I probably sounded much like the OP. But in my 30's I was a very different person. And my opinions and perceptions themselves had "aged" a bit and things weren't quite so black and white anymore. And then I was a heck of a lot more receptive.

At 17 I saw techniques that didn't work because when I tried them they didn't work. When I was 35 they were techniques that were subtle and I realized that just because I couldn't make them work it didn't mean that they didn't work. And at that point I was able to give a good, solid attack to see that some of my seniors could certainly get it to work on me... So the perception changed -- I wanted what they had. And so it goes.

I'm just not so sure we should be cheerleaders for Aikido at all times. I love the art but as a self-defense art it certainly pales in comparison to most others especially if you consider the very short term. We should be honest about that even if it means some who may have figured it out had they otherwise stayed choose to go elsewhere instead.

Just my personal $.02.

Ron Tisdale
01-08-2009, 12:55 PM
Please tell me you are bringing some of your wares with you?!? ;)

I may not have the money to buy anything, but I've heard so much about your work I could never resist a peek! :D

Hope to make that myself...we'll see!
Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
01-08-2009, 12:57 PM
Honesty is in fact the best policy...

B,
R

lifeafter2am
01-08-2009, 01:33 PM
Mary,

I'm just not so sure we should be cheerleaders for Aikido at all times. I love the art but as a self-defense art it certainly pales in comparison to most others especially if you consider the very short term. We should be honest about that even if it means some who may have figured it out had they otherwise stayed choose to go elsewhere instead.


I think this bared repeating with emphasis, well stated.

lbb
01-08-2009, 02:35 PM
I'm just not so sure we should be cheerleaders for Aikido at all times. I love the art but as a self-defense art it certainly pales in comparison to most others especially if you consider the very short term. We should be honest about that even if it means some who may have figured it out had they otherwise stayed choose to go elsewhere instead.

I'm not being a cheerleader for aikido, and I'm not saying it's a great short-term self-defense solution -- rather the opposite, if you read what I wrote. I'm saying that I think the "aikido ain't for you" judgment is premature.

DonMagee
01-08-2009, 02:44 PM
For the record. I'm not saying aikido is not for him. I strictly believe you need to have your goals in mind and take frequent stock to make sure you are reaching those goals. If his goals are truly combative, then aikido is not a good choice. Just like I wouldn't recommend boxing to someone who is worried about ground fighting.

kironin
01-08-2009, 03:16 PM
Why do you look to others for *your* context? Read the threads here, spend some time on the aikido journal web site reading articles, hit the library. Put it in your own context, and make a good decision for you.

Best,
Ron

Ron, well put. Exactly.

I practice what some would consider the very soft wussy Aikido,
but I also love a lot much of what Kevin Leavitt, Keith Larman, etc. is posting here.

go figure, you practice long enough you become a bagful of contradictions and reasons change. I am not adverse to mixing in a little Systema, examining the mental game and conditioning, or whatever else works as long as it's congruent with what I feel is Aikido's core and what I consider aikido is inseparable from my experience of it. Build your own. Just don't try summing it up at the beginning of your training.

Ron Tisdale
01-08-2009, 03:28 PM
Thanks Craig, missed your posting here! Welcome Home!

Best,
Ron

sorokod
01-08-2009, 03:41 PM
Boxing is perhaps the closest to "fighting." There is competition. A boxing match is WIN-LOSE.

Not sure what metric you are thinking about when you say "closest" and as Kevin remarked there are all sorts of "fighting", putting this aside,
there is competition and then there is life: Category:Murdered Boxers (http://www.boxrec.com/media/index.php/Category:Murdered_Boxers)

Keith Larman
01-08-2009, 03:49 PM
I'm not being a cheerleader for aikido, and I'm not saying it's a great short-term self-defense solution -- rather the opposite, if you read what I wrote. I'm saying that I think the "aikido ain't for you" judgment is premature.

Mary, I don't think you were being a cheerleader and I'm sorry if you took it that way, it really wasn't my intent although I can see how it can be read that way. Heck, if the guy was talking to me face to face we'd have a conversation and many of the things said, including what you so well wrote earlier would be topics I'd try to touch on. But with his responses to to those posts here I wouldn't "write him off" so much as suggest he consider aikido and give it a try. I would also tell him that it takes a lot longer to get to the point where you can be martially "effective" in the sense he's talking about.

And if he insisted on discussion things like taking on boxers within a month of training the conversation would most certainly shift to asking what he really wanted to learn. Aikido won't get anyone ready for the "Octogon of Death Cage match" in a month. Or a year. Or maybe ever. Different mindset and operating principles. I sincerely try to understand where someone is coming from and I try to point them to the art that *will* in fact best suit their needs and mindset even if it isn't Aikido. I've been around enough to have some familiarity with a handful of them. No, of course I wouldn't write him off -- far from it. But I think Don hit it on the head in his last post -- if his goals are purely combative in a short amount of time there are much shorter paths one could take. I think there are great benefits to the path we're all on, but that ain't for everyone and while I'd try to explain the differences, well, there's only so much you can do.

So I would hope honest and expansive answers like he's gotten here would give him some things to think about and hopefully expand his perspective. But frankly I think arts like Krav Maga, BJJ, Muay Thai, or even Judo would be more to his liking given what I'm reading in his posts. It's not that I'm discounting Aikido's worthiness -- it is just an honest attempt to point the guy in the direction that might best suit his needs at this time without judgement. I can relate. It's been a long, winding road for me as well.

And fwiw I have actually sparred (gently, thank you) with someone who boxes a couple times. I found that irimi as quickly as possible was about my only option once he got confortable with my gameplan. Once inside in the clinch I had a lot more options. His flailing arms trying to hit gave me some options, but they were fleeting and I'm sure if videotaped no one would say it was pretty. The good striker didn't have a ground game. So that's where we went. Get inside his range and dump him. I had a few times where I was able to essentially overpower him and then get into things like hijigatame, but it was probably more JJ-like than aiki-like up to that point. One time I surprised him and was able to slide right past him into a kataotoshi from behind. That was fun. But it wasn't easy and I took a few shots myself in the practice. One was a shot to the ribs that took a *long* time to stop aching. I'm sure he pulled that a lot too so I'm thankful I still have intact ribs. Boxers can get that thing in there quickly and even if you catch it the arm is like a bar of steel. If you try to "force" a technique you are in deep trouble (which is true no matter who you're facing). I found it to be great practice. But then again, I don't mind getting hit really hard to learn lessons. I'm a bit of an adrenalin junkie when it comes to some of this stuff...

Keith Larman
01-08-2009, 03:53 PM
Please tell me you are bringing some of your wares with you?!? ;)

I may not have the money to buy anything, but I've heard so much about your work I could never resist a peek! :D

Hope to make that myself...we'll see!
Best,
Ron

Yeah, there's someone up there that I promised to visit if I make it up and bring along some things for him to see. It'll all depend on how much hassle I want to go through with carrying expensive swords through TSA. They get odd looks on their faces when i try to explain what's in the big locked case...

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2009, 07:19 AM
Slighty on topic ...

Aiki-boxing 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QreuuPm24UI)
Aiki-boxing 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1w-8XhXutI)
Aiki-boxing 3 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Q8ShKpM1Q)

And the 15 pgs thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12471).

Kevin Leavitt
01-09-2009, 01:59 PM
Thanks Demetrio for those videos.

Interesting. Looks like they had fun and definitely they are figuring things out. As a fine point of detail I'd offer this.

They should work at improving there clinch. You can tell that they don't really understand it and they are not comfortable working from the inside. A little clinch work and they would be taking alot less shots.

They also move to the inside, then open up creating space to do an "aikido" technique. Unnecessary and that is why they are taking alot of shots. Throw a knife in there and it would not be pretty.

Again, I think this is good, and if they learned how to be more comfortable on the inside and upclose then they would be good to go. A basic rule of thumb I use is once I take space away, I am not giving it back.

hard to find a real good example, but watch this fight....once these guys clinch up, they stay pretty tight until there is a takedown.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDf0NF32Vs8&feature=related

It minimizes risk of getting hit.

gregg block
01-09-2009, 06:10 PM
Aikido this ...blah ..blah... boxing that blah.. blah... Bjj this blah blah... Judo this..blah blah.

ITS THE ARTIST NOT THE ART. All arts have there upside and downside, but all are effective in their own way. Learn one well (which by the way will likely require more than a few months!!!)
Then if you want to expand to another you can still take what you learned with you. Kind of a beautiful thing isn't it !!:) :D :D ;)

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2009, 10:15 PM
Teaching/training methods are important too.

DonMagee
01-09-2009, 10:38 PM
Aikido this ...blah ..blah... boxing that blah.. blah... Bjj this blah blah... Judo this..blah blah.

ITS THE ARTIST NOT THE ART. All arts have there upside and downside, but all are effective in their own way. Learn one well (which by the way will likely require more than a few months!!!)
Then if you want to expand to another you can still take what you learned with you. Kind of a beautiful thing isn't it !!:) :D :D ;)

I understand your point, and yes you have to have heart and desire to get any skill in martial arts, but the training method is the MOST important part of learning any skill. If it was the artist then it would take no time at all and training would really be pointless.

Otherwise you are claiming that if we took two identically clones, trained them different ways as follows:

One using a modern boxing training routine of bag work, shadow boxing, pad work, sparing and conditioning

And Two trained him by just walking him though the techniques of boxing similar to some kind of boxing kata.

That we would get the exact same fighter. I think logic and scientific evidence shows us this is not the case. One only needs look at professional athletes for proof. How many athletes change coaches and suddenly jump in performance.

Simply put, better ways of training make better fighters.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
01-10-2009, 08:34 AM
This issue of aikidoka just falling apart in sparring situations, leading to questions of aikido's intended context and its training methods, just keeps coming up. This must be the thousandth thread on the subject.

I'm not saying it's overdone. Actually, the opposite. It's the elephant in the room and it should remain so for a while to come. Far more important than obscure digressions about varieties of sankyo and stories about so-and-so Shihan defeating three tigers with shards of glass taped to their collars long ago.

Mary Eastland
01-10-2009, 08:58 AM
Another title for this thread could be I got owned by my self.
Mary

gregg block
01-10-2009, 09:08 AM
I understand your point, and yes you have to have heart and desire to get any skill in martial arts, but the training method is the MOST important part of learning any skill. If it was the artist then it would take no time at all and training would really be pointless.

Otherwise you are claiming that if we took two identically clones, trained them different ways as follows:

One using a modern boxing training routine of bag work, shadow boxing, pad work, sparing and conditioning

And Two trained him by just walking him though the techniques of boxing similar to some kind of boxing kata.

That we would get the exact same fighter. I think logic and scientific evidence shows us this is not the case. One only needs look at professional athletes for proof. How many athletes change coaches and suddenly jump in performance.

Simply put, better ways of training make better fighters.

I think we are on the same page, you may have misunderstood my post.
I say it is the artist not the art in the sense that it is related to how the artist trains in his/her given art that determines his/her skill. Hence my "by the way" statement about not being able to get there in a month or two . It is the artist his/her self that determines what they get out of the art.
The art is the "brush" the artist is the "painter". I do concede that if your teacher can only paint stick figures than the artist will likely not be able to paint master pieces. In that case it is within the artist's control to recognize this and find someone else who knows how to paint to study under.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
01-10-2009, 09:41 AM
Another title for this thread could be I got owned by my self.
Mary

To paraphrase the Simpsons:

Indeed, in a sense, he was owned by his own self.

In another, more accurate sense, he was owned by the guy punching him in the face.

Aikibu
01-10-2009, 09:56 AM
This issue of aikidoka just falling apart in sparring situations, leading to questions of aikido's intended context and its training methods, just keeps coming up. This must be the thousandth thread on the subject.

I'm not saying it's overdone. Actually, the opposite. It's the elephant in the room and it should remain so for a while to come.

Interesting Grand Generalization that I 've heard a hundred times. It's not over done noooooooo... but indeed it's the boring Uncle at the Holiday meal who forgets your name and still thinks you're in grade school 20 years ago.

The "issues" of "intended context" (Now there's a loaded phrase) and "training methods" are addressed everyday in the Dojo. To think that Aikido is static and unchanging is silly at best.

William Hazen

Ketsan
01-10-2009, 09:57 AM
Another title for this thread could be I got owned by my self.
Mary

The closest you could get to "I got pwned by myself" is "I allowed my self to get pwned because I did not know how to apply what I'd learned"

Ketsan
01-10-2009, 10:01 AM
To think that Aikido is static and unchanging is silly at best.

William Hazen

To say that all Aikidoka are practicing the same art is stretching it a bit too.

Dan O'Day
01-10-2009, 11:03 AM
I've been fortunate to train with some fabulous aikidoists over the last five years. The constant, amidst the various waza, which I have observed is the creation of a dynamic which absolutely denies uke ( maybe the boxer? in this case ) an effective opening.

Certainly an opening is granted but it is only granted as a way to direct uke to a resolution which does not include that any effective strike, jab, kick, what have you, be made.

It's a tough nut to crack...figuring out the whole aikido thing. I think the "figuring" works best for me when I'm not doing it. The figuring, that is.

And maybe in retrospect are most of my lessons or understandings of the art achieved. While training...empty mind, muscle memory, awareness of whole body connection. That's tough enough but to try to analyze and figure out the whole deal at the same time...not something I can do.

One step at a time. Like the father character in the great film Contact said to his daughter played by Jodie Foster, small steps, small steps.

The cool thing about small steps is that after awhile one realizes they have gone down the road a piece. Yep. Can even look back over the shoulder and see where one was back yonder beyond the curve, near the copse of trees obscured in the mist of a light fog rising and soon to be burnt off under the bright sun of the path ahead.

You know...how the heck do you describe aikido, or any art form, without using an art form to do it? I think it's difficult. That's why art exists. To describe the indescribable.

I have a friend who is a painter. She does abstract stuff. Asking her to describe one of her paintings is like asking Ginsberg to describe Howl, or McClure to decribe Beginning with a line by DiPrima.

The description of the art is the art.

DonMagee
01-10-2009, 12:08 PM
I think we are on the same page, you may have misunderstood my post.
I say it is the artist not the art in the sense that it is related to how the artist trains in his/her given art that determines his/her skill. Hence my "by the way" statement about not being able to get there in a month or two . It is the artist his/her self that determines what they get out of the art.
The art is the "brush" the artist is the "painter". I do concede that if your teacher can only paint stick figures than the artist will likely not be able to paint master pieces. In that case it is within the artist's control to recognize this and find someone else who knows how to paint to study under.

But how does one know if their teacher can only paint stick figures? I was in TKD for most of my childhood and teenage years. I never once saw my instructor use TKD. He only demonstrated it against compliant partners. This is the case in many martial arts. And these arts tell the student that you never need to see it in action to know it works. They tell the student that the founders and their students were masters and won all sorts of conflicts and thus, by proxy, their teacher is also a bad ass.

This is why aliveness is so important in training. Rather then trying to guess if what you are learning is real you can gauge if what you are learning works or not. And if your teacher is good, he will jump right in and do it with you and not be afraid of failing in front of his students.

Doh! I said I wasn't going to go on about aliveness in this thread...sorry!

Back to the artists and not the art comment. I think the artist only matters in two situations.
1) They have to have the desire to do the training method. - If you are training, but don't have the desire to show up multiple times a week and don't do every drill, don't have the desire to increase your level of physical fitness, then simply put you will NEVER be good at anything physical.
2) On the highest levels of performance. - There are people who are built to succeed in athletic performance. Given the same amount of training they will simply be better then the rest of us. We call these people professional athletes. I don't think this matters in this debate as 95% of us are not and will never be pros. Most of our instructors are not and will never be pros.

Up to a very high level of skill you are only limited by your desire to show up and training and the quality of your training method. Most people who stay in martial arts more then a year or two have the heart to show up and train, but their training method frankly sucks.

I think I would say its 65% the desire to show up and train, 40% the training method, and 5% the persons natural ability. Then once you get above that 'normal' level and into the professional level (like a anderson silva type person) it switches to 75% mental ability and desire of the person, 20% training methods, and 5% physical ability of the person.

gregg block
01-10-2009, 02:49 PM
But how does one know if their teacher can only paint stick figures? I was in TKD for most of my childhood and teenage years. I never once saw my instructor use TKD. He only demonstrated it against compliant partners. This is the case in many martial arts. And these arts tell the student that you never need to see it in action to know it works. They tell the student that the founders and their students were masters and won all sorts of conflicts and thus, by proxy, their teacher is also a bad ass.

This is why aliveness is so important in training. Rather then trying to guess if what you are learning is real you can gauge if what you are learning works or not. And if your teacher is good, he will jump right in and do it with you and not be afraid of failing in front of his students.

Doh! I said I wasn't going to go on about aliveness in this thread...sorry!

Back to the artists and not the art comment. I think the artist only matters in two situations.
1) They have to have the desire to do the training method. - If you are training, but don't have the desire to show up multiple times a week and don't do every drill, don't have the desire to increase your level of physical fitness, then simply put you will NEVER be good at anything physical.
2) On the highest levels of performance. - There are people who are built to succeed in athletic performance. Given the same amount of training they will simply be better then the rest of us. We call these people professional athletes. I don't think this matters in this debate as 95% of us are not and will never be pros. Most of our instructors are not and will never be pros.

Up to a very high level of skill you are only limited by your desire to show up and training and the quality of your training method. Most people who stay in martial arts more then a year or two have the heart to show up and train, but their training method frankly sucks.

I think I would say its 65% the desire to show up and train, 40% the training method, and 5% the persons natural ability. Then once you get above that 'normal' level and into the professional level (like a anderson silva type person) it switches to 75% mental ability and desire of the person, 20% training methods, and 5% physical ability of the person.

A teacher that sucks may be able to lead new students a stray for a while, but not forever. Eventually the true student of the martial arts will test thier training in some way and either it will pan out or it will crash and burn. If it crashes and burns then a true student of the martial arts will seek knowledge elsewhere. The alternative is to live in denial. Some may choose to live in this capacity, but that is their choice.

It really doesnt take a genius to discover if what one has been taught is not effective. It does however require courage to admit it, get past it and more on.

DonMagee
01-10-2009, 05:25 PM
A teacher that sucks may be able to lead new students a stray for a while, but not forever. Eventually the true student of the martial arts will test thier training in some way and either it will pan out or it will crash and burn. If it crashes and burns then a true student of the martial arts will seek knowledge elsewhere. The alternative is to live in denial. Some may choose to live in this capacity, but that is their choice.

It really doesnt take a genius to discover if what one has been taught is not effective. It does however require courage to admit it, get past it and more on.

Most people who do not have a training method that involves sparing will just convince themselves they are the problem and not the training. Their teachers will reinforce this by giving some sudo-babble about how they don't understand the true teachings, or their ki is not yet developed, or that they haven't trained long enough and that in 10 more years they will be ready. If empirical testing was the norm you wouldn't see effective combat skills being the minority in martial arts. Instead they would be the rule.

lbb
01-10-2009, 06:34 PM
This issue of aikidoka just falling apart in sparring situations, leading to questions of aikido's intended context and its training methods, just keeps coming up. This must be the thousandth thread on the subject.

I'm not saying it's overdone. Actually, the opposite. It's the elephant in the room and it should remain so for a while to come. Far more important than obscure digressions about varieties of sankyo and stories about so-and-so Shihan defeating three tigers with shards of glass taped to their collars long ago.

Meh. I've done sparring, enough that I think I understand its value. I'm glad I've had that training and would welcome more of it. But sparring ain't the be-all and end-all either.

I'll tell you what's done to death -- the endless, interminable, going-absolutely-nowhere, relentlessly circular "discussion" about what's a complete martial art. Such a thing exists only in marketing copy and the overheated imaginations that it inspires. You know the old saying about many paths up the mountain? Well, there ya go. In the context of martial arts, it simply means that you can't learn it all at once. I've studied in a style and school where we did a lot of hard-contact sparring -- that taught me some things, but other things were missing. I'm glad I had the experience, I wouldn't mind doing more of it, but you can't do it all. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I trained in shindo muso ryu jodo, which is nearly as geeky as it gets (kyudo has it beat by a mile, but kyudo has everything beat by a mile). There was a ton of stuff I learned studying jodo that I just didn't get in sparring -- and yet there was a connection. They were very different paths up the same mountain.

I don't recommend being a martial arts dilettante. I don't think it's the way to go. I've trained in four different styles as a result of circumstance rather than choice. I value what the diversity of experience has given me, but...it was a happy accident, you know? I got lucky. I don't think you can plan for that kind of serendipitous outcome.

dps
01-10-2009, 09:35 PM
A friend of mine boxed for the army. I've been studying Aikido for about a month and so I asked him to friendly-spar for a couple of minutes to show him what I'd learned.

....Basically, I got owned. I never came close to blending with his jabs. I finally had to tell him to slow his attacks down, so that I could demonstrate Ikkyo and Sankyo.

...In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.

With only a month's worth of training you do not know ikkyo and sankyo well enough. What you should have been practicing with only a month's practice is your stance and maintaining distance from your opponent.
David

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
01-11-2009, 01:19 AM
Most people who do not have a training method that involves sparing will just convince themselves they are the problem and not the training. Their teachers will reinforce this by giving some sudo-babble about how they don't understand the true teachings, or their ki is not yet developed, or that they haven't trained long enough and that in 10 more years they will be ready. If empirical testing was the norm you wouldn't see effective combat skills being the minority in martial arts. Instead they would be the rule.

That seems to be the trend. You say, "Okay, you claim that aikido is a sophisticated and effective martial art, but we're not seeing any demonstrations of this." And then they say, "Ah, well, the great masters would never stoop to 'proving' their skills, but you know, I heard that once, So-and-So Shihan was going down a back alley, and ... " Or, "I was doing a compliant exercise with someone, and I really FELT his power! I bet if it were for real, I'd have been down for the count just as fast."

The fallacy here is that enough implication, "gut feeling", and other circumstantial evidence adds up to substantive evidence. It doesn't. I'm not saying an art has to be useful to UFC fighters. But solid martial arts generally can say, "in situation X or live exercise Y, someone with some experience in this art is going to be measurably better than someone without, ceteris paribus."

I'm not an "aikido hater". I love aikido. But something is really wrong with the (as it were) state of the art. Unfortunately, whenever people point this out, they're often responded to with vague Yoda-ish platitudes and remarks that "Well, it takes 15 years, but then it really works!" or "Well, I could show you me doing what you're trying to do, but ... that would distract from my quest for enlightenment."

With only a month's worth of training you do not know ikkyo and sankyo well enough. What you should have been practicing with only a month's practice is your stance and maintaining distance from your opponent.
David

Exhibit A.

People who are telling the OP that "it's just a matter of distance" or "you need to do X Y Z" should show themselves doing just that in a live setting. Otherwise, they need to say either, "I have no clue about this" or "Aikido is as far as I can tell no good for this." I'm not making any claims to be badass myself. I'm right where the OP is. Except they're ahead of me, because I've been doing aikido for 4-5 years, while they've been doing it for one month, and we're both on square one.

Enrique Antonio Reyes
01-11-2009, 07:10 AM
That is very good feeling. Now you understand deeply, that O sensei didn't create aikido for self defence.

Right on the button :D

Just don't spar and not fight...you're not gonna have problems when you do that.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
01-11-2009, 07:26 AM
Right on the button :D

Just don't spar and not fight...you're not gonna have problems when you do that.

A logically-consistent reply, but a fairly radical one.

Kevin Leavitt
01-11-2009, 09:40 AM
Most people who do not have a training method that involves sparing will just convince themselves they are the problem and not the training. Their teachers will reinforce this by giving some sudo-babble about how they don't understand the true teachings, or their ki is not yet developed, or that they haven't trained long enough and that in 10 more years they will be ready. If empirical testing was the norm you wouldn't see effective combat skills being the minority in martial arts. Instead they would be the rule.

Yes, I agree Don.

Kevin Leavitt
01-11-2009, 09:43 AM
Meh. I've done sparring, enough that I think I understand its value. I'm glad I've had that training and would welcome more of it. But sparring ain't the be-all and end-all either.

I'll tell you what's done to death -- the endless, interminable, going-absolutely-nowhere, relentlessly circular "discussion" about what's a complete martial art. Such a thing exists only in marketing copy and the overheated imaginations that it inspires. You know the old saying about many paths up the mountain? Well, there ya go. In the context of martial arts, it simply means that you can't learn it all at once. I've studied in a style and school where we did a lot of hard-contact sparring -- that taught me some things, but other things were missing. I'm glad I had the experience, I wouldn't mind doing more of it, but you can't do it all. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I trained in shindo muso ryu jodo, which is nearly as geeky as it gets (kyudo has it beat by a mile, but kyudo has everything beat by a mile). There was a ton of stuff I learned studying jodo that I just didn't get in sparring -- and yet there was a connection. They were very different paths up the same mountain.

I don't recommend being a martial arts dilettante. I don't think it's the way to go. I've trained in four different styles as a result of circumstance rather than choice. I value what the diversity of experience has given me, but...it was a happy accident, you know? I got lucky. I don't think you can plan for that kind of serendipitous outcome.

Good points. My whole martial career has been a series of "happy accidents". Karma kind of works that way if you are doing the little things that matter everyday and have an open mind.

AsimHanif
01-11-2009, 04:31 PM
from the USAF website:
Aikido Training
The final aim of budo is personal transformation, the creation of an integrated human being. Yet philosophical discussion is rare in the dojo, or training hall. The focus is highly practical: constant repetition to master the fundamentals of movement, timing and breathing.
Students train themselves to capture the opponent's action and redirect it with techniques of martial efficiency and power. At the same time, they become aware of the tendency to overreact to opposition, and learn to remain centered under all conditions.

For me this is the point. All the theoretical 'how to's', 'this style/that style', discussions are really futile if you don't keep these things (above) in mind.
Again, this is just my belief. Experience is the best teacher when its all said and done.

Asim

Kevin Leavitt
01-11-2009, 06:33 PM
Thanks Asim,

The only issue I have with the quote above is that is actually says nothing at all that would be definable as a end state.

Lots of words that sound good. You find yourself saying, "wow...I really could stand to learn to be centered under all conditions!"

or

"Wow if I learned to capture my opponent's actions and redirect it with techniques of martial efficiency and power....that would be awesome!"

"Sign me up!"

What the does all that rhetoric actually mean though???

I think it creates a vision in our minds, it stirs an emotion inside use, gets us fired up...yet it actually says nothing that is even remotely quantifable...martially or otherwise.

Ask two people what they see, it will mean two different things to them.

If you are running an organization, it is good to have such an open ended vision as you never have to admit that you failed to meet your goals since they are not really quantifiable in anyway.

What is an "integrated human being?"
How do I know if I am "Remaining Centered"
Under what conditions would we define success or failure wrt to "Remaining Centered?"
What are the fundamentals of movement, timing, and breathing?
How does "highly practical" play into this?

Highly practical should not take 10 to 20 years! as is generally talked about.

How do we measure all this???

No wonder it takes 20 years! it will take 10 just to figure out what all this means!

hence why we have aikiweb and discuss all this!

lbb
01-11-2009, 07:53 PM
The only issue I have with the quote above is that is actually says nothing at all that would be definable as a end state.

End state. Ugh. I dislike the very phrase. It seems to imply that it's this goal, and you get there, and then you're done. No thanks.

Kevin Leavitt
01-11-2009, 09:03 PM
I here ya Mary, and I agree that "Do's" by their very nature need to be open ended and allow for exploratory learning. At some level though, there needs to be some degree of definitive measures though.

Aikibu
01-12-2009, 12:28 AM
End state. Ugh. I dislike the very phrase. It seems to imply that it's this goal, and you get there, and then you're done. No thanks.

I totally Agree. "End State" is one of those wiz bang MacNamara type phrases the Army Brass just loves.

There is not end state in the Martial Arts with the exception of death...

No Offense meant Kevin.

William Hazen

Chicko Xerri
01-12-2009, 04:35 AM
Pair of Bloody Idiots

lbb
01-12-2009, 07:26 AM
I here ya Mary, and I agree that "Do's" by their very nature need to be open ended and allow for exploratory learning. At some level though, there needs to be some degree of definitive measures though.

That's what I'd call a standard. It can be an absolute (i.e, that which a living breathing human being is unlikely to ever execute perfectly in this life), or it can be something other than absolute. Either way, its usefulness is diminished if you don't understand which kind of standard it is and use it appropriately.

AsimHanif
01-12-2009, 09:53 AM
Yeah, the ‘integrated human being’ stuff can throw you off. That’s because it’s a philosophical statement.
The part of the statement that rings to me is the focus on practical principals: timing, movement, and breathing. Capturing “an opponents actions” is quite rational to me as well and can certainly be quantified. If you don’t ‘capture’, you get hit. That’s pretty straight forward. Being centered? Don’t lose your composure or…you’ll get hit. Simple.
Again, the ways these things are taught vary. Slipping a jab, doing a double leg take down, etc are no big deal…provided you have good instruction.
I once had a high ranking instructor tell me I should not lead uke down to the point where I take a knee (in kaitenage). The instructor felt I was not in a good position. Of course I’m thinking I’m in excellent position. Should uke disconnect, I’m in good position for ground work. If the instructor has no background in practical aikido, these misunderstandings may happen.

Asim

Ron Tisdale
01-12-2009, 10:09 AM
Hey Asim,

Of course, he may have been thinking multiple attackers, where taking the knee is the last thing you'd be likely to do.

People often say things thinking of one context, where in another context you'd say the opposite.

Best,
Ron (context is everything)

AsimHanif
01-12-2009, 11:30 AM
Hi Ron...hope all is well.
no that wasn't the case...the context was made clear. This is someone who I know pretty good and we are able to have honest discussions. The instructor's thought was that I'd be vulnerable because I was lower. I don't find this thinking to be unusual amongst quite a few practitioners who see aikido as tachi waza and suwari waza and have not been exposed to ground work.
And for me it doesn't matter. This particular instructor has beautiful movement which I find great value in.

Asim

Ron Tisdale
01-12-2009, 11:58 AM
Sounds good to me!

Happy New Year,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
01-12-2009, 06:00 PM
I totally Agree. "End State" is one of those wiz bang MacNamara type phrases the Army Brass just loves.

There is not end state in the Martial Arts with the exception of death...

No Offense meant Kevin.

William Hazen

None taken!

I live in a world where people constantly have become very adept at avoiding comitting anything of any real value or making a quantifiable or measureable result.

The "endstate" is that no one ever has to admit that they failed!

I understand where you are coming from in budo philosophically. I just think that we could do alot better job at providing folks "standards" (as Mary pointed out) and "feedback" that is alot better.

Sure, the actual endstate maybe never ending, but measuring success day, to day, week to week, month to month need to be so vague I think!

Aikibu
01-12-2009, 09:32 PM
None taken!

I live in a world where people constantly have become very adept at avoiding comitting anything of any real value or making a quantifiable or measureable result.

The "endstate" is that no one ever has to admit that they failed!



LOL Cool Kevin. I don't miss the "Zero Defect" part of the Big green Machine one bit. :)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
01-12-2009, 10:16 PM
It ain't as bad as it used to be. They actually try and discourage it these days, but well, when your dealing with some of the stuff we deal with in the infantry, well there just is no room for error unfortunately.

It is good for people to make mistakes of certain kinds though! It is how we learn best.

Joe Bowen
01-13-2009, 02:59 AM
I here ya Mary, and I agree that "Do's" by their very nature need to be open ended and allow for exploratory learning. At some level though, there needs to be some degree of definitive measures though.

Would not the grading syllabus in a given organization fulfill this need? In theory it charts several end states through the progression of the individual's tenure within the organization. Granted, the syllabus is not universal nor completely objective in its measures, but if you ascribe to the given philosophical open ended statement for the organization, then it should provide you the technical road map....

Aikibu
01-13-2009, 03:40 AM
Would not the grading syllabus in a given organization fulfill this need? In theory it charts several end states through the progression of the individual's tenure within the organization. Granted, the syllabus is not universal nor completely objective in its measures, but if you ascribe to the given philosophical open ended statement for the organization, then it should provide you the technical road map....

Looks really good on paper though Nassim Nicholas Taleb might suggest otherwise. :)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
01-13-2009, 09:00 PM
Would not the grading syllabus in a given organization fulfill this need? In theory it charts several end states through the progression of the individual's tenure within the organization. Granted, the syllabus is not universal nor completely objective in its measures, but if you ascribe to the given philosophical open ended statement for the organization, then it should provide you the technical road map....

yes I would think so. I just want to be clear, I don't have any answers on this. More questions than answers really.

Most of us say that aikido is a principle driven art. That is it is designed to teach principles of martial movement, not techniques.

So, i think part of the problem is once we become focused on a syllabus do we become technique focused. That is, focused on executing a set of prescribed techniques. Such as irimi nage or kotegaeshi.

Then you run into the big question "under what conditions" do you have to do them in order to demonstrate proficiency or competence.

Then come the rules or parameters for safety.

So, then where do the principles come into play? Are they the means to the end or the endstate (Sorry Mary)?

It kinda creates a paradox doesn't it?

So, now you have a martial art, that isn't really about the "martial" but must maintain it's "martial-ness" yet is really designed to refine the person, yet how do you measure that improvement?

I know the ultimate answer to be honest....it is "internal"

Internal in the sense that it is up to the each individual to define his or her success and well being and in the end must determine if it is of any value.

However, we are also our own worse enemies in the process of development. We really need others to help us along the way to provide appropriate and adequate feedback to allow us to adjust our perspective.

The issue is, IMM, this requires a great deal of faith really on our part as the other big question is this:

"How do you determine Quality?"

HOW do we know the people that are providing the feedback from a "martial art, whose "martial-ness" is secondary to the ultimate goal of personal growth?

How do you hold them accountable? How do we measure? How do we look outside of ourselves and get appropriate feedback.

Again, I have more questions than answers...

I just see something inherently wrong with vague "mission statements"...that is all.

RonRagusa
01-13-2009, 09:10 PM
I just see something inherently wrong with vague "mission statements"...that is all.

Hi Kevin -

The statement you are discussing is meant to pique the interest of prospective students and encourage them to look into the art further. As such it's probably intentionally vague in order to raise questions as opposed to answering them. I suspect it's more intended as an advertising tool than a statement designed to provide any meaningful in-depth information.

Ron

Kevin Leavitt
01-13-2009, 11:30 PM
What I meant was that I understand the issue that many folks have with definitive endstate driven vision/mission statements as William and Mary pointed countered to my remarks.

I also think there is a problem with being too vague and not really defining what the endstates or expectations are in what we study.

I think the art is purposely constructed this way to allow people to explore or find their own way.

I do think though that there are some risk involved in doing this and that we end up with a wide range of interpretations, levels of ability/martial-ness, and all that.

I am just simply saying that my comments about Asim's post were only meant as a comment in passing that I have an "issue" with this, not that I believe it is necessarily wrong.

Actually I am actively thinking about the balance between definitive training objectives and the warm and fuzzy language of personal growth.

Hence the questions. I am pointing out my thoughts as I have them today!

Kevin Leavitt
01-14-2009, 06:30 AM
Ron,

Yea, I agree with your assessment for sure about piquing interest, gettting them to look deeper, advertising etc.

I guess it really boils down to the student/instructor relationship and how well the instructor mentors each student through the process, and it might be different for each student.

I suppose that is the nature of budo.

lbb
01-14-2009, 09:52 AM
So, then where do the principles come into play? Are they the means to the end or the endstate (Sorry Mary)?

Hey, I don't really have a problem with the term, as long as it's understand that you never actually get there.

It kinda creates a paradox doesn't it?

So, now you have a martial art, that isn't really about the "martial" but must maintain it's "martial-ness" yet is really designed to refine the person, yet how do you measure that improvement?

I think you're onto something, that the martial art/not about "martial" relationship is the relationship of a goal (endstate) and the means, or rather the way (do) that you get there. Think of all the other non-martial "dos" in Japanese culture, such as chado. I think that most people understand that the study of chado isn't about brewing the best possible bowl of tea...and yet, a great deal of care is given to the execution of the steps, and the quality of the "product" isn't irrelevant.

I know the ultimate answer to be honest....it is "internal"

Internal in the sense that it is up to the each individual to define his or her success and well being and in the end must determine if it is of any value.

However, we are also our own worse enemies in the process of development. We really need others to help us along the way to provide appropriate and adequate feedback to allow us to adjust our perspective.

We also start off from a position of ignorance, and thus are in no position to judge. That's the weakness of the Western mode of learning: its tendency to favor inquiry can lead to a tendency to question, automatically and blindly, even in situations where we lack the experience to understand the answers.

Aikibu
01-14-2009, 10:52 AM
We also start off from a position of ignorance, and thus are in no position to judge. That's the weakness of the Western mode of learning: its tendency to favor inquiry can lead to a tendency to question, automatically and blindly, even in situations where we lack the experience to understand the answers.

LOL..Sounds very familiar to my experiance "the learning curve" and an excellent point!

William Hazen

DonMagee
01-14-2009, 02:32 PM
We also start off from a position of ignorance, and thus are in no position to judge. That's the weakness of the Western mode of learning: its tendency to favor inquiry can lead to a tendency to question, automatically and blindly, even in situations where we lack the experience to understand the answers.

While this is somewhat true, it is not most often used as a way out for instructors who themselves do not know (or do not like) the answer to new students questions. Yes, there are questions that are possible for a new student to ask that will have answers that may be 'above their head'. I feel that that questions of a physical nature are always explainable in terms anyone can test and understand.

On top of this, you do not have to be a dancer to know good dancing. People with good critical thinking and logic skills are going to be able to come up with good questions that deserve answers. If you can not or will not answer them, then you are a poor teacher.

Example, lets say you are training in a martial art and your instructor tells you that deep breathing combined with looking at the ceiling is the best way to stand in a confrontation. Now you know from watching boxing contests that boxers do not stair at the ceiling while fighting, so you ask why you would not want to keep your chin down. You are told this aligns your chi to accurately channel the force of the blow directly though your body into the ground rendering it ineffective (yes I'm making this up). If you pressed this for an answer are you an ignorant noobie who does not know enough to question? Or are you merely a person of logic and reasoning with a basic understanding of anatomy who needs proof of something this silly?

As much as we would like to not believe it, we are all bound by the same rules of physics and anatomy. It should be possible to explain any movement with solid testable reasoning. When a student of mine (or a training partner) asks why I do something, or suggests a better means of doing something, we test it. Not with a static built for the questioner to fail method like I've had done to me time and time again (Ok now I want you to move in slowly for that take down, notice class how easy it is to gouge his eyeballs and elbow the spine). But with a real experimentation.

This has caused me to improve my techniques and teaching methods. Even the freshest white belt can have something to teach us. This is why I teach college classes. I get asked questions by students where I take the answer for granted. However, I can not simply respond that they are too new to understand. I have to examine why I know and take these answers for granted, then I have to convince these students and supply evidence. In doing this I learn about the subject I teach. I am never afraid to say I do not know. I am never afraid to find out I am wrong.

Now if you are speaking of the metaphysical side, then I fully agree. Abstract concepts are not explainable without sufficient background. Quantum physics is a bit hard to explain to someone who has a 4th grade math level.

CNYMike
01-18-2009, 09:29 PM
A friend of mine boxed for the army. I've been studying Aikido for about a month and so I asked him to friendly-spar for a couple of minutes to show him what I'd learned.

Basically, I got owned. I never came close to blending with his jabs. I finally had to tell him to slow his attacks down, so that I could demonstrate Ikkyo and Sankyo.

His comments:
1. It's not possible to catch/blend with his punches.
2. He's going to throw a combination, so even if I try I'm probably going to get hit (this, too, he demonstrated with a gentle right to my floating rib when I tried for a sankyo).
3. He would never over-extend himself with a "clean attack" like we use in class.
4. All this has been settled with the Gracies in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Back in the '70's they invited people from all different schools to come down and fight it out. What "came out in the wash" was these three positions, and most effective related styles:
a. STANDING SEPARATE: boxing; kick-boxing
b. GRAPPLING: Muy-Thai; Wrestling
c. GROUND: Wrestling; Ju Jitsu

In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.

When I started training in karate in 1985, I sparred with my best friend and some of his buddies, all of whom had some training and a lot of street experience. They screwed me up with high fakes and then firing kicks -- mostly side kicks to the knees. The fakes worked and I had never trained against low kicks, and over the following years, no one I trained under in Aikido or Karate had an aswer other than "move the knee." But I remembered what they did and learned to watch for them. When I sparred with another of Steve's buddies in 1986, I responded to his low kicks by blocking with my lead leg. (I had also dropped into cat stance, but I didn't know it at the time -- I'd just thought of bending my knees.)

My points are:

1. As knowlegeable as your instructors are -- give credit where it's due! -- they won't know everything. Some things you will have to dope out on your own, but that is ok, and your ability to do that will show your progress.

2. When such experiences happened, try not to get upset or discouraged (difficult, I know!) but instead file away the things that confounded you. Down the road in a similar situation, you'll know what to expect and if you don't have a list of what to try, you may come up with a response that works. The leg blocks I mentioned were pure reflex at the time, but that's because I knew those low kicks might be coming. With a boxer, you already know the jab's hard to snag and the other hand is coming, so you will know to expect that from now on.

Keep at it and don't let it get to you. Winners never quit and quitters never win.

lbb
01-19-2009, 08:31 AM
While this is somewhat true, it is not most often used as a way out for instructors who themselves do not know (or do not like) the answer to new students questions.

Meh. "Most often"? You mean "in my experience, most often.

Yes, there are questions that are possible for a new student to ask that will have answers that may be 'above their head'. I feel that that questions of a physical nature are always explainable in terms anyone can test and understand.

Sorry to disagree, Don, but that's not even close to true. I just spent the weekend teaching a whole pile of 4- to 6-year-olds how to ski. The mechanics of skiing can be explained in a variety of ways, ranging from complex explanations that require an understanding of physics and materials science, to very simple explanations of body movement; however, very few of those explanations can be understood by a 4- to 6-year-old. Yet there I was, teaching a group of kids how to do some fairly advanced skiing. I did not do so by explaining anything. Had I been teaching adults, I would have done a little more explaining...but really not that much. And guess what? It would have worked out fine.

On top of this, you do not have to be a dancer to know good dancing. People with good critical thinking and logic skills are going to be able to come up with good questions that deserve answers. If you can not or will not answer them, then you are a poor teacher.

Even though most people don't have "good critical thinking and logic skills"? Maybe you do, but what about the rest? Is aikido only for the intellectual elite? Can you teach someone who doesn't know what the words "left" and "right" mean? I can -- I do it all the time. But I can't do it with verbage that my students won't understand.

DonMagee
01-19-2009, 12:55 PM
Meh. "Most often"? You mean "in my experience, most often.
No, I mean in the experience of the very large sampling of people I have spoken to around the world, and myself. I only generalize when I feel I have enough of a sampling to generalize. Most instructors do not have any experience with any actual conflict with people. If you think about it, it makes sense. The majority of martial arts on the planet do not spar, and preach non-violence. So how could their instructors have any practice experience fighting? Are you going to trust a man who has fought a boxer or a man who's teachers teachers teachers teacher may have fought a boxer? Ever play Chinese telephone with a room of adults?


Sorry to disagree, Don, but that's not even close to true. I just spent the weekend teaching a whole pile of 4- to 6-year-olds how to ski. The mechanics of skiing can be explained in a variety of ways, ranging from complex explanations that require an understanding of physics and materials science, to very simple explanations of body movement; however, very few of those explanations can be understood by a 4- to 6-year-old. Yet there I was, teaching a group of kids how to do some fairly advanced skiing. I did not do so by explaining anything. Had I been teaching adults, I would have done a little more explaining...but really not that much. And guess what? It would have worked out fine.


Did you teach them how to stop? Or did you just go down a hill and stop and then expect them to know how to stop? I bet you said something like "To stop you need to move your ski's like this". That is an explanation. If a kid would of asked "Why does moving your ski's like that slow you down?" Would you of responded with "You are too new to comprehend why this works, ski for 10 years then ask me."? Or would you explain it to him? Do you really feel the child would never understand? Explaining how something works in a way someone can understand is easy, even in martial arts. Using tests to demonstrate is even easier.


Even though most people don't have "good critical thinking and logic skills"? Maybe you do, but what about the rest? Is aikido only for the intellectual elite? Can you teach someone who doesn't know what the words "left" and "right" mean? I can -- I do it all the time. But I can't do it with verbage that my students won't understand.
Is it easier to teach someone who doesn't understand right and left then it is to explain right and left? Martial arts are not rocket science! You can only move your body in so many ways and all of it has real physical easy to explain or demonstrate reasons why. Can anyone give me one aikido movement that would be complicated to explain why you do it to a person of reasonable intelligence?

You don't see this in judo, boxing, bjj, tkd, mauy thai, wrestling or any other art that has a sports background. If a student asks why you grip this way, or put your hands this way, etc we have clear concise ways of explaining this and even clearer ways of demonstrating why.

lbb
01-19-2009, 02:56 PM
No, I mean in the experience of the very large sampling of people I have spoken to around the world, and myself. I only generalize when I feel I have enough of a sampling to generalize.

Whatever. If you won't admit to the limits of your subjective experience, I'm not going to belabor the point.

Did you teach them how to stop? Or did you just go down a hill and stop and then expect them to know how to stop? I bet you said something like "To stop you need to move your ski's like this". That is an explanation.

What you're doing now is called "moving the goalposts". Let's look at your prior statement:

Yes, there are questions that are possible for a new student to ask that will have answers that may be 'above their head'. I feel that that questions of a physical nature are always explainable in terms anyone can test and understand.

Like how does a shaped ski turn? I doubt there's a six-year-old out there who would understand the explanation. For that matter, a lot of adults wouldn't either. And it's a cheap copout to say, "Oh, well, that's because you're incompetent! If you were any good as an instructor, you could find a way to explain it!"

If a kid would of asked "Why does moving your ski's like that slow you down?" Would you of responded with "You are too new to comprehend why this works, ski for 10 years then ask me."? Or would you explain it to him? Do you really feel the child would never understand?

Very poor choice of example. The mechanics of stopping on skis are pretty simple, and though you'd have to oversimplify them some, you could explain them to a kid in a way that the kid can understand -- not, mind you, that any of the hundreds of kids I've taught has ever asked. There isn't much else in skiing that's that simple, however, and there are plenty of explanations a 4- to 6-year-old wouldn't understand, yes. Why is that hard to accept?

Explaining how something works in a way someone can understand is easy, even in martial arts.

That is both untrue and, frankly, insulting.

Is it easier to teach someone who doesn't understand right and left then it is to explain right and left?

Irrelevant. Why the digression?

DonMagee
01-20-2009, 10:26 AM
I typed out a long post and accidentally pressed a button and lost it.

So rather then go back into to all that, here was the meat.

Why is my question irrelevant? Because it proves my point? People are easier to teach if you can explain concepts to them. Which brings me to the last point which you skipped in my post.

Martial arts are not rocket science! You can only move your body in so many ways and all of it has real physical easy to explain or demonstrate reasons why. Can anyone give me one aikido movement that would be complicated to explain why you do it to a person of reasonable intelligence?

You don't see this in judo, boxing, bjj, tkd, mauy thai, wrestling or any other art that has a sports background. If a student asks why you grip this way, or put your hands this way, etc we have clear concise ways of explaining this and even clearer ways of demonstrating why.

Is aikido so complicated and refined that it requires a phd to understand and sport arts so simplistic anyone with half a brain can get it? Or is it that aikido instructors either don't truly know the answer themselves, or more likely, know the answer is not what the student wants to hear?

Kevin Leavitt
01-20-2009, 01:31 PM
Hey Don,

As you know, I definitely agree with you on teaching the basics. There are only so many ways to move and I believe that in many respects aikido methodology way over complicates the basics to the point of confusion to beginners.

Don Wrote:

"Can anyone give me one aikido movement that would be complicated to explain why you do it to a person of reasonable intelligence?:"

Actually I think at the actual "advance" level of aikido, which ironically what I think Aikido is all about it is somewhat complicated to "explain".

When you start applying force balanced in several different planes or vectors...a loading force with a moving forward force, with a downward force, and a retreating force...it can become like patting our stomach and rubbing your head.

And that is hard for me to understand, explain, and to do.

I do agree though that what we most often practice in aikido, which I would call basic Jiu-Jitsu/Judo gets passed off as being something "special" and there are alot of folks out there that are teaching it that simply do not have the teaching skills to communicate the basic, macro martial movements that are really common to all good martial systems.

However, I don't throw that in the same category as "aiki".

Then there is the whole timing thing...

you know as a student of judo and BJJ that timing is almost everything!

You cannot really teach timing very well, it just requires lots and lots of really robust and tactically sound randori.

lbb
01-20-2009, 02:35 PM
Why is my question irrelevant? Because it proves my point? People are easier to teach if you can explain concepts to them.

You typed, "Is it easier to teach someone who doesn't understand right and left then it is to explain right and left?", which struck me as a bizarre rhetorical question. I still don't understand the point of it.

Which brings me to the last point which you skipped in my post.

Martial arts are not rocket science! You can only move your body in so many ways and all of it has real physical easy to explain or demonstrate reasons why. Can anyone give me one aikido movement that would be complicated to explain why you do it to a person of reasonable intelligence?[

Don, you're just making sweeping assertions, whereas I have real-life experience in the limitations of children's ability to absorb explanations about why something works. Do you have comparable experience in teaching children aikido? If so, can you provide an example of such a conceptual explanation that you have used and found to consistently work with children (and of what age range)?

Is aikido so complicated and refined that it requires a phd to understand and sport arts so simplistic anyone with half a brain can get it? Or is it that aikido instructors either don't truly know the answer themselves, or more likely, know the answer is not what the student wants to hear?

Or is it that analytical learning styles are in the minority when it comes to learning physical skills, and that more people use the strategies of doing, feeling and watching to a much greater extent?

Aikibu
01-20-2009, 08:33 PM
Or is it that analytical learning styles are in the minority when it comes to learning physical skills, and that more people use the strategies of doing, feeling and watching to a much greater extent?

Agreed...You would "think" this question is moot. :)

William Hazen

Justin Azevedo
01-21-2009, 04:45 PM
I haven't read the entire thread.

But you know, I don't think I'd tell someone to throw a full speed punch at me and then try to show them ikkyo or sankyo (come to think of it, after almost 3 years of Aikido training, I'm still not sure enough of my sankyo to try and demonstrate it with full resistance). When I show waza to friends and family that don't train Aikido, I ask them for a slow, stylized attack in order to show them the mechanics. Otherwise, I'd either fail at what I was trying to do, break the living room lamp, or end up hurting someone. And it's important to note that what I'm trying to do is show them how the waza works. Not prove how awesome my Aikido is. If someone feels that my Aikido isn't "real" because I'm not letting them throw jabs at me for no reason... well, that's their opinion, I suppose.

In all the sparring situations I've been in, Aikido has helped me demonstrate how to get out of the way. As in, forcing people to overextend, figuring out how to circle around/get off the main line of attack, and using the least amount of energy possible to shift the attacker from a place of strength to a place of vulnerability. A place where an experienced Aikidoist could perform a flawless, awe-inspiring iriminage, for example. Or where someone with a month of krav maga training could counter a punch with an elbow to the nose. Or where I could more easily leave the living room/bar/dark alley without getting hurt.

Just food for thought.

Guilty Spark
01-22-2009, 02:00 AM
I read this much of your post and stopped.

A friend of mine boxed for the army. I've been studying Aikido for about a month

Guess why? I'm sure someone else has already pointed it out.

This reminds me of police officers and corrections officers/jail guards who take 3 days of Aikido and then go show off their skills at the bar.

Here grab my wrist, no not like that like this.
:rolleyes:

lbb
01-22-2009, 07:32 AM
Here grab my wrist, no not like that like this.
:rolleyes:

This is the line I use whenever someone presses me to "show them something". I jokingly say that I can't do anything as long as they don't grab my wrist, they laugh, situation over.

Aikibu
01-22-2009, 09:21 AM
This is the line I use whenever someone presses me to "show them something". I jokingly say that I can't do anything as long as they don't grab my wrist, they laugh, situation over.

I've used that one too for many years. :) If they press the matter I invite them to class. When on the mat I ask them to punch me or a junior student...Most do with curious intent...A little atemi and irimi and taaa daa! I just may have a new student. Most folks are intrigued enough to try a class or two. I know I was. :)

William Hazen

DonMagee
01-22-2009, 01:54 PM
You typed, "Is it easier to teach someone who doesn't understand right and left then it is to explain right and left?", which struck me as a bizarre rhetorical question. I still don't understand the point of it.

Don, you're just making sweeping assertions, whereas I have real-life experience in the limitations of children's ability to absorb explanations about why something works. Do you have comparable experience in teaching children aikido? If so, can you provide an example of such a conceptual explanation that you have used and found to consistently work with children (and of what age range)?

Or is it that analytical learning styles are in the minority when it comes to learning physical skills, and that more people use the strategies of doing, feeling and watching to a much greater extent?

So you are saying you are comfortable with asking a question and being told you are too stupid to understand the answer?

I have not taught children aikido. I have taught children and adults judo and bjj. Yes, I show them how to do movements, and I tell them what I am doing and WHY I am doing it. I also give examples as to how this comes into play. This is called good instruction. If the student understands why they are doing something then they can start to put things together besides just doing the movements I show them.

Then after teaching them these movements I can ask them questions such as "Make up your own guard pass", "Create a new throw", or "Invent your own choke". Sure they are not going to really invent a new move, but because they understand why we do movements they are able to come up with ideas no one has shown or taught them.

However, that is not the point of this conversation. The argument is that you should not ask questions. If you are smart enough to have doubts about a movement, then your questions should get REAL answers. Instead you are advocating either that they are too stupid to ask in the first place, or that the instructor is too far above to be bothered with answering.

Example: Instructor shows you doing a movement will stop a boxers punch. I, having some experience in striking do not see how this movement can possibly work. I ask him to explain how this movement is working. The instructor could explain and demonstrate how the movement works, or he could tell me to shut up and ask again 10 years from now when I 'understand'. Which one is going to teach me and which one is just avoiding the question?

Example Two,

A new judo student is unable to get past a stiff arm. I show him how to break the stiff arm but he tells me it will not work. Do I

A) Tell him to shutup because he doesn't understand and that in 10 years all will be clear.

B) Demonstrate how it works and explain why it works.

lbb
01-22-2009, 03:27 PM
So you are saying you are comfortable with asking a question and being told you are too stupid to understand the answer?

Don, you keep putting words in my mouth. Could you maybe stop doing that?

I have not taught children aikido. I have taught children and adults judo and bjj. Yes, I show them how to do movements, and I tell them what I am doing and WHY I am doing it. I also give examples as to how this comes into play. This is called good instruction. If the student understands why they are doing something then they can start to put things together besides just doing the movements I show them.

Right, well, I guess anyone who teaches any other way is doing what's called "bad instruction". Whatever.

However, that is not the point of this conversation. The argument is that you should not ask questions.

No, it isn't, and it would help if you would stop insisting that that's what I'm saying.

If you are smart enough to have doubts about a movement, then your questions should get REAL answers. Instead you are advocating either that they are too stupid to ask in the first place, or that the instructor is too far above to be bothered with answering.

No. You're the one who insists on framing things in terms of "smart" and "stupid". That's not what this is about. It's about your insistence that a student develop an abstract conceptual understanding of what you are teaching. That, according to you, is "good instruction". By your own description of your "good instruction" above, you are not answering questions; instead, you are providing explanations whether the questions have been asked or not. Guess what? Young children almost never ask questions like that! They almost never ask, "Gee, why does the ski turn that way?"! I've taught hundreds of kids in that age range, and never once has a kid asked me that question or one like that. Furthermore, in my experience, young kids whose instructor insists on giving them conceptual explanations are confused, frustrated and/or bored to tears as they are forced to stand by the side of the trail, listening to the instructor go on in a display of what he knows. They just don't have the conceptual framework -- and frankly, most adults, who do have the conceptual framework, don't use analytical learning as their dominant learning mode when learning a physical skill. You need to find other ways to get the understanding across, because analytical learning is not going to go the distance for most people -- of any age.

Walter Martindale
01-22-2009, 07:32 PM
Example Two,

A new judo student is unable to get past a stiff arm. I show him how to break the stiff arm but he tells me it will not work. Do I

A) Tell him to shutup because he doesn't understand and that in 10 years all will be clear.

B) Demonstrate how it works and explain why it works.

Or - how about
C) suggest that you've worked out what you have to do to get past a stiff arm, and offer to provide a stiff arm for the person to learn to get past. Ask if the person can say why this attempt was blocked - then that attempt, then when the person figures it out with YOUR stiff arm, ask if they can identify what they did differently that made it work. Ask them to do it again. Make it harder for them. After a few successful times past your stiff arm, ask them to try this with another opponent - what worked against you may not work against the other person and they have to work out another solution - his or her solution - not yours. (I can't remember what I used to do to get past such a block, but I used to be able to do it.)
That, rather than instructing - is coaching by problem solving. It may take a little longer than simple instructing, but it sticks better, and the person learns more from it.
Cheers,
Walter

Cyrijl
01-23-2009, 08:30 AM
Walter,
I think that is what Don was implying with option B

DonMagee
01-23-2009, 10:21 AM
"We also start off from a position of ignorance, and thus are in no position to judge. That's the weakness of the Western mode of learning: its tendency to favor inquiry can lead to a tendency to question, automatically and blindly, even in situations where we lack the experience to understand the answers."

That was what my comment was originally based on. I didn't know only children practice aikido. I still submit that there is nothing wrong with questioning everything. That anyone who asks a question deserves a real answer and that by answering the student, rather then telling him he is too ignorant or inexperienced to understand the answer, you actually are teaching the student.

Further more in regards to this conversation about beating a boxer, I submit that very few aikido instructors have ever been in a fight, let alone know what it takes to deal with someone who is attacking you.

gdandscompserv
01-23-2009, 10:46 AM
Further more in regards to this conversation about beating a boxer, I submit that very few aikido instructors have ever been in a fight, let alone know what it takes to deal with someone who is attacking you.
When you say 'fight' Don, do you mean street brawl, domestic abuse, or perhaps a sports sanctioned 'fight?'

Ketsan
01-23-2009, 11:23 AM
"We also start off from a position of ignorance, and thus are in no position to judge. That's the weakness of the Western mode of learning: its tendency to favor inquiry can lead to a tendency to question, automatically and blindly, even in situations where we lack the experience to understand the answers."

That was what my comment was originally based on. I didn't know only children practice aikido. I still submit that there is nothing wrong with questioning everything. That anyone who asks a question deserves a real answer and that by answering the student, rather then telling him he is too ignorant or inexperienced to understand the answer, you actually are teaching the student.


I'd like to see you teach theorectical physics to anyone without a physics back ground. I'd put money on most of the people in the class saying "I don't understand any of this, this guy is an idiot."

The typical response to lack of understanding is "I don't understand because you're not making sense, you are an idiot."

I mean to my way of thinking Aikido is often taught backwards. The reason it's taught backwards is so that n00bs get the impression that they're learning something whereas if you approached teaching Aikido from a logical stand point you'd have people spending six months doing exercises they'd never understand and they'd leave.

The end product is that something fairly simple takes ages to learn because it has to be taught in a way which apeals to the students ego and not in a way that's actually conducive to learning Aikido.

Ron Tisdale
01-23-2009, 12:02 PM
The reason it's taught backwards is so that n00bs get the impression that they're learning something whereas if you approached teaching Aikido from a logical stand point you'd have people spending six months doing exercises they'd never understand and they'd leave.

I don't know, there are a couple 'styles' of aikido that start with group exercises...and continue it throughout the training. Yoshinkan for one. And quite a few people seem to stick.

Of course, we also use those same exercises to tie directly into waza...there are even kata that are named kihon dosa to kanren waza...

Basic exercises and related technique.

What is trickier in my mind is teaching the things that Mike and Dan Harden and others speak of in the same fashion. I think for those things, the exercises are almost a goal themselves...and while the skills and conditioning built directly tie in to *how* you probably should do the basic movements and technique, it seems to take some time to get 'there'.

Best,
Ron

jennifer paige smith
01-23-2009, 12:40 PM
[QUOTE=Ron Tisdale;223934

What is trickier in my mind is teaching the things that Mike and Dan Harden and others speak of in the same fashion. I think for those things, the exercises are almost a goal themselves...and while the skills and conditioning built directly tie in to *how* you probably should do the basic movements and technique, it seems to take some time to get 'there'.

Best,
Ron[/QUOTE]

If I hear you correctly, I believe this is how I've approached my aiki training from the beginning. My goal was 'doing it', whatever that 'it' was. And through doing exercises until they felt strong and seamless I was able to completely move through several training principles without obscuring them with mythological fantasies about peace or war.

Paradoxically that lead to a relatively good comprehension of the relationship between kihon and waza. And it lead to an ability to act with physical effectiveness in moments when lives depended on it. So, as they say, the proof was in the pudding after the correct ingredients were put in the bowl and allowed to set in the fridge(me:) ).

Just to add a name to the list of people who work well in principles and exercises, George Ledyard immediately comes to mind. He's a guy who also knows to keep it you gotta give it away. But that's another story for another day. Maybe the day's of the aikiweb workshop.....

Keith Larman
01-23-2009, 01:46 PM
If I hear you correctly, I believe this is how I've approached my aiki training from the beginning.

Ya, sure, me too...

Every class starts with 20 minutes of the "aiki taiso". I remember watching an advanced class when I was deciding whether to start up at this particular school. I watched the instructor teach one of those particular solo exercises, then test out the exercise, then apply that exercise to techniques. Emphasis on not using muscle, but blending, using ki, and staying deeply grounded. He came over after class and asked if I had any questions. I simply asked if I could feel what he was doing. Keep in mind I'm 6 feet, over 200 pounds, and at the time I was heavily into weight training. This guy whom I had at least 40 pounds on and about 4 inches moved me effortlessly. I asked how he did it and he just smiled and pointed out that I had watched the class. No magic. Just blending. Just being grounded. Just letting energy do what it does without muscling.

So part of my brain went "huh?" but the rest of me was sold.

A whole bunch of years later and I'm still trying to figure it all out. The basic waza are easy to describe. It's the really cool stuff that is hard to explain...

Maybe we're all deluded, but hey, I'm having a great time!

Of course your mileage may vary. And I've trained with guys doing stuff that looks completely foreign to me that they call Aikido. So who knows... I'm looking forward to the Aikiweb workshop.

And for those of you going -- if you've ever seen Toby Threadgill move, you'll see what I think really good aiki looks like. Smooth as silk. I for one am looking forward to time on the mat as long as I can keep my back healthy.

And on another tangent, I'm surprised you guys are still discussing all this stuff. Which of course begs the question why I felt the need to post myself... For what its worth I think it is time to shrug and the next round of beers is on me. :)

Ron Tisdale
01-23-2009, 02:13 PM
If I hear you correctly, I believe this is how I've approached my aiki training from the beginning. My goal was 'doing it', whatever that 'it' was. And through doing exercises until they felt strong and seamless I was able to completely move through several training principles without obscuring them with mythological fantasies about peace or war.

Hmm, well, I hear that alot. Used to say it alot too...

I'm sure someday we'll get to train together and then we'll know if we are talking about the same thing or not. Especially because the people who are good at what I'm talking about have all pretty much blown any idea of me being good out of the water... ;)

Best,
Ron

Budd
01-23-2009, 02:40 PM
I dunno - it seems that it depends to what degree you have:

1) Goals with regard to your training
2) The ability to take ownership for meeting these goals

If one and two are yes, then you should likely be assessing if you're on track for meeting your goals (presuming they're within a realistic scope) and go from there.

aikilouis
01-23-2009, 02:47 PM
Or as someone says : "It has to be felt".

DonMagee
01-28-2009, 12:19 PM
When you say 'fight' Don, do you mean street brawl, domestic abuse, or perhaps a sports sanctioned 'fight?'

All of the above.

Someone mentioned physics. If you were to teach a person physics you would start at the beginning, not jump into quantum tunneling. The difference here is that all the stuff you learn that lets you learn physics are useful immediately and testable. You wouldn't teach quantum physics at the start and say "Don't worry if you don't understand, in 10 years or so this will all make sense".

Kevin Leavitt
01-28-2009, 02:12 PM
...or you skip the whole physics lesson and simply pick up a rock and drop it and say..."that is gravity at work...what are your questions?"

I think sometimes we get too wrapped up in trying to intellectualize things because we like the whole "mental exercise" of it when we simply just need the experience of "applied theory in action".

Martial arts training can be alot like that. Us Aiki types tend to want to empirically understand things, rationalize, and intellecutalize our practices when really we are simply talking about kicking, punching, off balancing, and taking down...and we simply just need to experience these things for what they are.

Williamross77
01-28-2009, 06:32 PM
Dear Keith, and everyone that thinks there is no use in studing aikido as a martial art... I have used it in reality and IT WORKS, you just have to realise the strangness with which you test youself?
would you have run a marithon with one month of speed walking???? maybe you should take up boxing too, the guy would still beatO you... Aikido as O'Sensei often is quoted as stating is a Deadly art, that eventually can lead to conversion of the self, he also said to his students "never let anyone beat you". Yes trying to blend a boxer in sparing with practice exercises you would learn in one month is RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!, the techniques are example of "ways" not absolutes, you also need to apply the correct setting to the correct attack, never tenkan a quick jabber, I also read somwhere that O'Sensei stated that Aikido in real defense is %90 Atemi and that the hardest %10 of blending is the what is practised in class. do not quit everything that can be countered youll never do anything...:)

Keith R Lee
01-28-2009, 10:36 PM
...or you skip the whole physics lesson and simply pick up a rock and drop it and say..."that is gravity at work...what are your questions?"

I think sometimes we get too wrapped up in trying to intellectualize things because we like the whole "mental exercise" of it when we simply just need the experience of "applied theory in action".

Martial arts training can be alot like that. Us Aiki types tend to want to empirically understand things, rationalize, and intellecutalize our practices when really we are simply talking about kicking, punching, off balancing, and taking down...and we simply just need to experience these things for what they are.

Isn't that what Don has been trying to push through this entire thread though? Stop trying to intellectuallize the process and just utilize techniques that plainly work without explanation? Step away from "dead," paired kata/forms and move to "alive" processes? There is no need to think or question about them; they either work or they don't. In a fully resistant environment, either a double leg works or it doesn't...

The great Mark Schultz:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYKMJjzkQ14&e

George S. Ledyard
01-31-2009, 02:00 PM
I know that folks don't want to hear this but I am going to say it anyway...

1) the teaching methodology or lack thereof in Aikido is a huge problem. The way most folks learn Aikido, they will never figure out much if anything about "aiki".

2) there are people around, within and without the Aikido community who do teach in a fashion which will lead the serious practitioner towards an ability to actually use "aiki" rather than simple muscle power in their practice.

3) None of the ones I know advocate training in a "fully resistive" training environment. The folks who believe that kata training is dead and lifeless don't understand kata training. If it is dead, lifeless, done by rote it isn't proper kata training. Traditionally, the senior person always took the losing role in paired forms. Why? Because it was his job to ASSIST his junior partner in developing his understanding of the movements and principles at work in the kata. It was his job to control the interaction in a way that his partner was forced to access the proper skills. It was not his job to shut him down or to fight with him. Kata training is cooperative for a reason. Generations of warriors learned to fight just this way. The great martial artists of history learned just this way. It is our job in Aikido to make sure our practice is doing just this. Since we have not inherited the tradition of the senior person taking the ukemi and thereby leading his junior towards understanding, there has been a tendency to misunderstand the kata training in our own art. We need to do a better job teaching this.

4) Toby Threadgill Sensei recently said, on one of these threads, that one should train for 6 years or so before one tries to work technique against folks trying actively to counter you or resist. I know people who think they should train in their Aikido in a "fully resistive" fashion and after 25 years they are only good at resisting. They can't actually do anything because they have spent all their time stopping their partners and visa versa. These folks are VERY strong and have absolutely no understanding of "aiki".

Ushiro Kenji Sensei goes on at length in his book about the fact that the emphasis on sport competition has lead martial artists to focus on technique which will allow them to win in the short run. They ignore the deeper truths revealed only through kata practice.

I think it is incredibly arrogant for our current generation to assume that knowledge that has been handed down in various arts for hundreds of years is now suddenly outdated and irrelevant and that we know better.

6) Aikido is the study of connection. The term "aiki" is best thought of as "joining". It is the combination of the physical and mental in a way that allows on to move an opponent's mind so that he moves himself. This requires complete relaxation both physical and mental. It requires letting go of our attachments so that we can step right into the path of a sword cut without fear.

If you wish to reprogram the body and the mind to fundamentally trust that relaxing and accepting an attack is the response that can make one safe you must provide a safe environment in which to do so. Traditional paired kata training provided a structure within which the practitioners could take things right to the edge in relative safety. Additionally, each kata, whether solo or paired, was designed to develop an understanding of specific principles. These might be physical, energetic, breathing, whatever in solo practice. They might involve application of "aiki" principles, control of ma-ai, controlling the partner's perception, etc in partner practice.

But one thing is certain, as far as I am concerned... you will not learn these very sophisticated skills training in a competitive manner. Aiki is about developing physical and mental sensitivity. It requires that you shut up the internal dialogue so you can listen to the partner / opponent. If you are tense you are feeling you not the other. That's true both in the body and in the mind.

Our fearful natures cause us to focus on issues of victory and defeat. What if I am attacked in my home, in my car, at work? What if my attacker knows CMA, MMA, BBJ, my God, he could potentially know almost anything? What do I do? I better study all those arts too so I know how to beat them... If this is what your training is based on, you won't ever get to a decent level of skill in your Aikido.

Folks keep saying that Aikido works because they have used a technique to defend themselves successfully. Others keep saying it doesn't work because their technique failed. Neither one of these camps addresses the fundamental "reson detre" for Aikido. Aikido can be said to "work" if the practice develops your deeper understanding of connection. It fails if it doesn't do so.

If your practice develops your understanding of how the Mind and Body are unified and that on a fundamental level your are simply not separate from those around you, regardless of whether they see themselves as your friend or enemy, then the art "works".

If your training merely results in your ability to throw or lock an opponent who doesn't wish you to do so, then the art hasn't "worked", not in the way that the Founder intended anyway.

An ability to defend oneself on some level is a by-product of proper training; it is not the point of the training. When you have developed some understanding of the principles of aiki on a deeper level, if you want to test your skills with other martial artists, go ahead. But if you have a confrontational, competitive, aggressive attitude in your training at the start you won't get past a mere physical, strength oriented level. You will never get to the "goodies" so to speak.

If you want to use a boxer for your training, ok. "Sparring" is completely wrong thinking. We don't "spar" in Aikido. Dealing with a boxer is essentially a test of your understanding of irimi. But treat it that way. Have your boxer friend come at you with a jab. Then a jab cross. Then any other combination he wishes. At the point at which he can only throw one blow before you have neutralized his next strike you have started to understand irimi. I wouldn't even think about attempting a technique until I could consistently do the "entry". When you get to the point at which he can't even throw the first strike, you REALLY understand irimi. As an exercise that would enhance your practice, that makes sense. But it would still be a mistake until you have practiced long enough that you can do it with the right mind set. You can't be fearful or tense. You can't be worried about being hit. You can't be defensive in your mindset. If you are. The exercise will merely imprint the wrong things in your body and in your mind, over and over. 20,000 repetitions of something wrong will never result in sudden comprehension of what is right. It just imprints the wrong thing on a really deep level.

When the Gracies first hit the big-time with the UFC, it was a positive thing for the martial arts. It woke people up to the fact that grappling skills had dropped out of many arts entirely and helped people see how their training was missing certain elements. But the BJJ of the Gracies and the Machados were still arts geared towards personal development and health. I would consider them to be "DO" arts. But look at what that has unleashed. The very folks who shook up the traditional world have now been discarded and are seen as old-fashioned themselves. Now we have a bunch of folks who the investigative reports tell us take steroids, are addicted to pain killers, whose careers are over and done with in just a few years because they have destroyed their bodies. They are modern day gladiators sacrificing themselves for our entertainment in return for money. And our young men's fascination with this spectacle has lead to a decline in participation in the traditional martial arts. Folks who might have spent their youths pursuing arts which would have eventually taught them some thing of great depth, which might have made their lives better in countless ways off the mat are now simply getting good at fighting. Aikido is absolutely not about fighting. If you want to fight, go do an art that is about fighting. Don't try to make Aikido into something it never was and shouldn't be.

aikilouis
01-31-2009, 04:00 PM
Excellent as usual, Mr Ledyard.

Aikibu
01-31-2009, 07:43 PM
Thanks Sensei. :)

Part 6 Rocks and I could not have said it better.

William Hazen

CNYMike
01-31-2009, 08:27 PM
..... you will not learn these very sophisticated skills training in a competitive manner .....

And this reminds me of the number in times when I've sparred that I've had to be corrected about something I was missing. I tend to think of sparring that is more right-brain than left brain. You are focusing on the situation and not necessarily on the details of what you're doing. But the sophisiticated part of Aikido is all in the details.


..... Don't try to make Aikido into something it never was and shouldn't be.

Absolutely! Every art as something to offer; the tricky part is figuring out what it is.

Aikibu
02-02-2009, 04:19 PM
Hey Jun,

Unless Sensei Ledyard objects Is there anyway we can pin his post under the heading What Aikido is and what it is not (or something like that.) I think his post is a good basic primer for new folks to Aikiweb.:)

William Hazen

George S. Ledyard
02-02-2009, 08:19 PM
Hey Jun,

Unless Sensei Ledyard objects Is there anyway we can pin his post under the heading What Aikido is and what it is not (or something like that.) I think his post is a good basic primer for new folks to Aikiweb.:)

William Hazen
If you look at the archives I think I already wrote that piece on "what it is and what it isn't"... I think I recall writing something to that effect... That's why I sometimes stop posting because most of what I am writing is a restatement of what I have already stated someplace else.
- George

CNYMike
02-03-2009, 12:12 PM
My favorite answer on that subject goes to something Tamura Sensei said on the New York Aikikai summer camp 40th anniversary DVD:

"What is Aikido? I still don't know. But I like it."

Amen. :)

Erick Mead
02-03-2009, 01:42 PM
If you look at the archives I think I already wrote that piece on "what it is and what it isn't"... I think I recall writing something to that effect... That's why I sometimes stop posting because most of what I am writing is a restatement of what I have already stated someplace else.
- GeorgeSo ---- what, you should stop breathing now because you've already done it five hundred million times before??? :p

DonMagee
02-04-2009, 01:49 PM
Kata training is cooperative for a reason. Generations of warriors learned to fight just this way. The great martial artists of history learned just this way.

Where did Kano come up with the idea of free sparing? It's obvious to me he didn't invent it, but rather decided to put more focus on it. This means that the traditional styles he trained in with generations of history had sparring. It seems to me that the idea of sparing over kata has been around and created just as many great martial artists of history as kata. It is only a modern idea that one or the other HAS to be removed in order to train effectively. It is insane to me to believe that when practicing hand to hand combat soldiers would never actually use it on each other and instead simply trust it will work. Ever great culture on the planet has invented war games to help improve their troops, from wrestling to boxing. Even kendo evolved for the simple reason that far too many students were being harmed while learning kenjutsu? How would this be possible if they were not sparring?

I personally feel that most martial arts suffer from revisionist history. We love to forget little things that counteract our world view. We do it in all aspects of our life, but it is very prevalent in religion and martial arts. We quietly forget which guys had sumo or judo backgrounds or dismiss it and choose to believe that training had no bearing on their success in aikido.

It is easy to point at kids on the internet and say they are the ones that are pushing sparring and aliveness in martial arts and easily forget about Kano, Tomiki, Oyama or even Helio/Carlos/Carlson Gracie. This is a debate as old as kata itself.

Everyone knows where I stand on this, and I do not want to appear as if I am saying you are wrong. I simply do not agree that kata training by itself is what made martial arts what they are. I feel that without aliveness and without sparing you are retarding your growth as a fighter. And just like the anti sparing people choose to call what I do martial sport..I choose not to use the world martial in regards to arts that do not train with aliveness. :D

Kevin Leavitt
02-04-2009, 04:50 PM
We have kata too in BJJ and Judo....not that I disagree with Don in the least.

Kata is important. Kata is how we learn to do things the right way.

It is an integral part of the training process. I agree with George on this one as well.

At some point though, you gotta spend a lot of time pushing the limits and exploring the boundaries and figuring out the application of the lessons you learn in kata if you expect to be able to actually use the lessons learn in kata. Hence the whole "aliveness" issue.

I think Kano, Tomiki, Oyama, and the Gracies certainly understood this very well.

I think that there is a disconnect between TMA guys and MMA guys semantically in the use of the word "Kata". MMA guys will sometimes view "Kata" as a dirty word that stifles aliveness and state that they don't do or believe in kata. In fact, you will find that most of them actually do some form of kata in their training, but they dont call it that.

TMA guys sometimes view aliveness as a dirty word that stifles correct development in favor of short term gains and "high percentage" moves in order to win in competition.

I think in reality there is a balance that needs to be done in both these areas. The really good programs and schools do this..that is both kata and aliveness/randori practice.

George S. Ledyard
02-04-2009, 07:29 PM
Where did Kano come up with the idea of free sparing? It's obvious to me he didn't invent it, but rather decided to put more focus on it. This means that the traditional styles he trained in with generations of history had sparring.

Judo, as Kano taught it and as it was done by the greats, like Mifune Sensei, was a kata based system that had shiai. I have yet to hear from any of the old Judo men I know that they think the over emphasis on competition has improved the art, in fact quite the opposite. If you look at the Judo of Mochizuki Sensei, and there is a lot of Judo in Yoseikan Budo it is old style classic style kata based Judo. All of the old guys who had the Judo backgrounds and then became the great Aikido Senseis later had classical kata based Judo backgrounds. I'm not saying that they didn't do shiai nor am I saying that shiai is bad. It has some distinct advantages and its absence in most Aikido systems allows a lot of bad Aikido to exist.

Even Tomiki style Aikido, which is the only style which actually has competition built into its training methodology is still a kata based system which has shiai. It does not overemphasize the competition aspect or at least it didn't when Tomiki Sensei was alive. I gather there has been a shift, just as in Judo, by some teachers after the death of the Founder. Chuck Clark Sensei might be able to provide his take on this as he was an old Tomiki style practitioner before he started his own organization.

Anyway, in the Aiki arts particularly, the folks who dispense with kata in favor of sparring will not figure out the deeper aspects of aiki. I believe that and so far I have not encountered anyone who would make me change my mind on the subject.

Chris Farnham
02-04-2009, 09:58 PM
Perhaps I'm wrong but I thought that sparring as seen in Judo was created by Kano.

My understanding is that there was "sparring" or at least dueling in traditional Japanese arts but more often than not the matches ended in death. Kano sensei's way of rectifying this problem, as I've heard, was to remove some of the nastier waza and create rules for safe competition.

George S. Ledyard
02-04-2009, 10:13 PM
Perhaps I'm wrong but I thought that sparring as seen in Judo was created by Kano.

My understanding is that there was "sparring" or at least dueling in traditional Japanese arts but more often than not the matches ended in death. Kano sensei's way of rectifying this problem, as I've heard, was to remove some of the nastier waza and create rules for safe competition.
There was sparring in kenjutsu, usually with fukuro shinai, long before Judo. The debate about sparring vs kata training has been going on for many generations. Both sides have valid points. Kano Sensei did create an art that was meant for personal development rather than combat which did require that certain techniques not be used in shiai. Often these were taught in the katas but not legal for use in competition.

However, starting too soon to do technique in a competitive fashion in an aiki art will screw up the training and will not just not be beneficial but rather it will be detrimental.

Once various mental and physical principles have been imprinted so that they have basically become your default setting, then by all means, go play. See if you can do your stuff. But you will not learn it that way, not correctly and not with any sense of the deeper principles at work in high level practice.

DonMagee
02-04-2009, 10:40 PM
What bothers me more than anything is the fact that traditional martial artists seem to think that sparing = competition.

Kano's judo had randori. It was a core principle of his training method. Judo randori is resistive, not competitive. It is alive. While judo has competition, that competition is not randori. While modern judo may focus only on competition, the actual training method is not much different (conditioning, uchi komi, randori, then traditional kata). This is obvious in the grading standards of the kodokan. To quote the judoinfo website

"Jigoro Kano had actually started his training in jujitsu at the age of 17, but his instructor, Ryuji Katagiri, felt he was too young for serious training. As a result, Katagiri gave him only a few formal exercises for study and let it go at that. The determined young man was not about to be put off so easily, however, and finally wound up at the dojo of Hachinosuke Fukuda, a master in the Tenjin-Shinyo School of Jujitsu who had been recommended by Dr. Yagi.

Fukuda stressed technique over formal exercises, or kata. His method was to give an explanation of the exercises, but to concentrate on free-style fighting in practice sessions. Jigoro Kano's emphasis on "randori" in Judo undoubtedly found its beginnings here under Fukuda's influence. The Kodokan's procedure of teaching beginners the basis of Judo, then having them engage in randori and only after they had attained a certain level of proficiency, teaching them the formal kata, came from Fukuda and a later sensei named Iikubo."

Both Kano and tomiki saw the holes in a kata only approach to training. Tomiki writing "From a practical point of view, however, it is impossible for the student of jujutsu to receive sufficient training in the practical applications of the myriad techniques that he studies through just one form of shiai. (For him, doing Judo shiai is a very good way to improve his throwing and his ground work, but gives him no chance to practice defense against a lunging, or kicking, or stabbing opponent.) At the very least it is necessary to have two kinds of practice for the two kinds of attacks described in points 1 and 2 above.". This appears to me to be his reasoning behind the competition element of his style of aikido, trying to further kano's vision.

Kano was also quoted as saying "I think that there must be a method of randori and shiai that includes the atemi-waza, provided that we devise it gradually and only after thorough investigation. That system, however, will not be as easy to formalize as ones in which the relative abilities of the competitors are decided by throwing (nage) or restraining (osae) an opponent."

Notice he mentioned randori and shiai. Stressing further that sparing is not competition, but rather the practical application of technique. I think that if kano was alive today, he would favor MMA as a system of randori and shiai (probably a bit more refined) that he was looking for.

I will also agree that two person kata (aka non-resistant drilling) is important to grasp the physical movement required to perform a technique. Everyone has to do this, you can't just fight and expect to learn skill. I simply disagree on the focus and the complete lack of randori. Further more I feel that shiai very beneficial, but I would not put it in the necessary area that I would put kano's randori (sparring).

This is all I was trying to bring up, that adding varying levels of resistance to training is nothing new and in my opinion necessary if your goal is actually learning to functionally use martial techniques in martial settings. You don't even have to be competitive to do it.

I can't say I've tried to win a sparing match sense I was a white belt. Instead I have personal goals I'm trying to achieve. Be it help the new student work on escapes, try some new idea I've been working on, or practicing a technique. It is personal time where I am allowed to be creative, allowed to think, and allowed to internalize everything I was given and make it my own.

George S. Ledyard
02-09-2009, 12:27 PM
I think that if kano was alive today, he would favor MMA as a system of randori and shiai (probably a bit more refined) that he was looking for.
I am sorry but I think that Kano would absolutely detest what MMA has become.

DonMagee
02-09-2009, 01:50 PM
I am sorry but I think that Kano would absolutely detest what MMA has become.

I have to ask why.

Besides the drama seen on tv, mma has all the same traits of any other martial art. It teaches hard work, creative reasoning, tactics, honor, valor, integrity, etc.

I've been treated with more respect in MMA gyms then in most 'martial art' schools.

Case in point. If I go to a gym to learn how to strike, I don't get a lecture on how my judo/bjj training is going to get me killed in the street and is worthless. But if I go to a TKD or kung fu school I am likely to hear just that.

Aikibu
02-10-2009, 04:33 PM
With all due respect Don,

You've kicked that dead horse for years

Kano and the old greats knew differently.

My own experiance when visiting other Arts has never mirrored yours except among certain folks who are passing through the "technique as a bright shiny thing" stage aka Black Belt Disease.

I personally love MMA and IMHO the jury is still out on if it becomes a true Martial "Art"...With folks like Lyoto Michida, Fedyor and GSP though there is hope it will move beyond a system of techniques into a vehicle for personal and spiritual growth. Your experiance seems to indicate that it is evolving in that direction. :)

William Hazen

earnest aikidoka
02-10-2009, 11:24 PM
in my opinion, you just have to be more flexible, if ikkyo and sankyo does not work, use other techniques, shiho nage( just saying) perhaps.

all in all, aikido isn't bout locking or throwing your opponent, i mean, if at the instant he launches his attack and you do an irimi and shove him off balance, isn't that aikido? cos, you are using the strength of his attack against him. right?

ChrisMoses
02-13-2009, 02:55 PM
Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I just found this video (http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1900450/) today. (warning, awesome and loud Monster Magnet soundtrack).

This is just a phenomenal irimi-nage throw by the *REF*. Just freaking brilliant. Notice how he completely controls the boxer/fighter's head and just lofts the dude. And check that posture at the end of the throw. You don't see something this textbook happening out of a spontaneous situation very often. I also like that while the ref is obviously versed in striking (note the stance he takes as the guy goes back to his corner) he chose to deal with this guy by throwing him. Love it.

Had to share and this seemed as good a place as any. :) Enjoy.

Lionel Mendez
02-23-2009, 02:34 PM
Sorry for posting in this seemingly old thread, but I wanted to add my opinion.

1. The OP aikido's got owned...that doesn't mean that Aikido gets owned by box, or the other way around.

2. The old "Is aikido effective vs. you name it" or "Is aikido effective in a real life situation?" should be replaced by "Is YOUR aikido effective in real life or against any odds?".

3. Aikido is not necessarily NOT EFFECTIVE without the use of a weapon of any kind. You don't need a stick or any weapon to equalize a confrontation vs. a boxer.

4. In our Aikido family we like to improve and keep developing our Aikido so we do crosstraining. We have found ways to manage ourselves against for example a boxer's jabs, hooks and uppercuts. You need to observe, analyze, study and practice...Aikido is a martial art and for me is also a science. And there's always a way to improve your technique.

5. There is a lot of philosophy to Aikido...it is the sword that gives life...but nonetheless a sword. To me the path is to harmonize with the universe and sometimes that includes to end conflicts even before they start and that the true challenge to overcome is within oneself...but as part of that path there is our connection with the world, with the outside nature of things and we must be prepared for that in our quest.

6. The sword had the purpose to end conflicts, by sometimes ending lives. The beauty of Aikido is that being a sharpened sword capable of ending lives...it chooses not to...being as it is...a means to end lives and contrary to its purpose...freely decides to do exactly the opposite...to honor and respect life. But that doesn't negates the fact that it is still a sword and that it is still sharp. What beauty, what honor, what respect could one have for the sword respecting life, if it wasn't sharpened and fully capable of ending it?

7. With all due respect to the people that believe that there is no conflict, no combat, no struggle in Aikido...please don't rob the sword from its sharpened edge, don't take the soul from the sword. Aikido is a martial art...there is the "art" part of it...art means expression...mentally and spiritually...but there's also the "martial" part to it...mentally and spiritually too. It is expression of oneself through the martial way.

8. Some people think that because Aikido is "spiritual" and "philosophically enlightening" one should not think of conflict, and avoid confrontation, and stay out of the "street" since it is not Aikido purpose, Aikido is "different", is not as "effective" as other "combat oriented" martial arts so we should focus in the spiritual side.

But I believe the contrary. I believe that because THEIR Aikido is different and not as effective, they prefer to think that it is only philosophical and spiritual. That takes less commitment and less effort.

9. Relating to the original post, some people like to buy the magic box...the Aikido that will bring you superpower over every other martial art. And people also want to find in Aikido only the answer to their martial questions. The journey never ends and Aikido is just one path to it.

My humble opinion.

Disillusioned
02-24-2009, 10:06 AM
The deadest horse you can beat is discussing aikido vs. any other martial art.

If you train aikido for fighting, self-defense or any other kind of "martial" purpose, you are basically admitting you've never been in a combat situation with someone over 13, male or above 50 kilos.

Its obvious to anyone who has stepped outside of their little fantasy that Boxing, BJJ, SAMBO, MT, etc will dominate a pure aikidoka. Its due to them being systems that require you to step in the fire and impose your will on another resisting human being. Aikido is more about the opposite. Which to be honest, the world needs a little more of.

That being said, any combat training is better than none.

lbb
02-24-2009, 10:50 AM
If you train aikido for fighting, self-defense or any other kind of "martial" purpose, you are basically admitting you've never been in a combat situation with someone over 13, male or above 50 kilos.

Because, of course, we all know that having a Y chromosome makes one a good fighter, and not having a Y chromosome means that you'll never be able to fight your way out of a paper bag.

mathewjgano
02-24-2009, 11:34 AM
Because, of course, we all know that having a Y chromosome makes one a good fighter, and not having a Y chromosome means that you'll never be able to fight your way out of a paper bag.

I don't care if someone can fight their way out of a paper bag...I want to know how they were able to fit inside it in the first place! That seems like the real trick to me! :D
...Thank you I'll be here all week. Please tip your servers.

Aikibu
02-24-2009, 02:19 PM
The deadest horse you can beat is discussing aikido vs. any other martial art.

If you train aikido for fighting, self-defense or any other kind of "martial" purpose, you are basically admitting you've never been in a combat situation with someone over 13, male or above 50 kilos.

Its obvious to anyone who has stepped outside of their little fantasy that Boxing, BJJ, SAMBO, MT, etc will dominate a pure aikidoka. Its due to them being systems that require you to step in the fire and impose your will on another resisting human being. Aikido is more about the opposite. Which to be honest, the world needs a little more of.

That being said, any combat training is better than none.

It might be interesting to know the why and how of this post (your user name gives me a hint) but this has not been my experiance at all. It's not Aikido if at some point you don't "step into the line of fire" and act...
How you got the idea that Aikido is the opposite might be good to hear too as a cautionary tale of the difference between good and bad Aikido. :)

Aikido is not and never will be "combat training" but good Aikido should be "martially effective" against all comers.

William Hazen

Guilty Spark
02-24-2009, 05:03 PM
If you train aikido for fighting, self-defense or any other kind of "martial" purpose, you are basically admitting you've never been in a combat situation with someone over 13, male or above 50 kilos.

Hi Jerry

I'm an infantry soldier who has used aikido to

1. stop someone from grabbing my loaded pistol (and likely using it on me) while deployed overseas to a combat zone. Broke his arm unfortinuately in the application of the technique. (kote-gashi)

2. Not only defend myself against 4 attackers but take the fight to them (while at home) &

3. Again while deployed in a combat zone used aikido to break someones hold on me and throw them into razor wire. It was myself, my fire team partner and about 500 agitated locals. After my 'demo' they stopped pushing forward got into neat little lines and behaved themselves. My partner was a few seconds away from lighting him up but having used Aikido we didn't kill anyone and I didn't get subjected to fun headlines like "soldier shoots and kills unarmed civilian, story at 11".

Maybe that's not considered combat to you so out of curiosity Jerry what kind of "combat" experience do you bring into this discussion?

mwible
03-01-2009, 08:48 PM
A friend of mine boxed for the army. I've been studying Aikido for about a month and so I asked him to friendly-spar for a couple of minutes to show him what I'd learned.

Basically, I got owned. I never came close to blending with his jabs. I finally had to tell him to slow his attacks down, so that I could demonstrate Ikkyo and Sankyo.

His comments:
1. It's not possible to catch/blend with his punches.
2. He's going to throw a combination, so even if I try I'm probably going to get hit (this, too, he demonstrated with a gentle right to my floating rib when I tried for a sankyo).
3. He would never over-extend himself with a "clean attack" like we use in class.
4. All this has been settled with the Gracies in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Back in the '70's they invited people from all different schools to come down and fight it out. What "came out in the wash" was these three positions, and most effective related styles:
a. STANDING SEPARATE: boxing; kick-boxing
b. GRAPPLING: Muy-Thai; Wrestling
c. GROUND: Wrestling; Ju Jitsu

In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.

I agree with Ron. Dont test your new found "skills" until you atleast have some color on your belt. Certainly not after a month against a traned fighter.

And to the "Its not possible to blend with his punches" part; why not just kick him on the inside of his thigh, realllyyyy close to the groin? Thats a shocker. And that solves the over-extending and the getting inside of his striking range parts, my legs are longer than his arms, i can assure you. Also, kicks and leg strikes (AS ATEMI) make it so that you can distract him for just that second you need to gain control....... after you've been studying for a few years and no more about what your doing.

Dont size up anything when you trully dont know very much about it.

-morgan

mwible
03-01-2009, 08:50 PM
Hi Jerry

I'm an infantry soldier who has used aikido to

1. stop someone from grabbing my loaded pistol (and likely using it on me) while deployed overseas to a combat zone. Broke his arm unfortinuately in the application of the technique. (kote-gashi)

2. Not only defend myself against 4 attackers but take the fight to them (while at home) &

3. Again while deployed in a combat zone used aikido to break someones hold on me and throw them into razor wire. It was myself, my fire team partner and about 500 agitated locals. After my 'demo' they stopped pushing forward got into neat little lines and behaved themselves. My partner was a few seconds away from lighting him up but having used Aikido we didn't kill anyone and I didn't get subjected to fun headlines like "soldier shoots and kills unarmed civilian, story at 11".

Maybe that's not considered combat to you so out of curiosity Jerry what kind of "combat" experience do you bring into this discussion?

Very good points. I love Soldiers who study Aikido, you all have the best perspectives on combat. Probably because you've actually been IN combat ;)
Good stuff.

Rei,
morgan

Disillusioned
03-03-2009, 09:32 PM
Maybe that's not considered combat to you so out of curiosity Jerry what kind of "combat" experience do you bring into this discussion?

Hi Grant,

To answer your question, undoubtedly more than you. Lets just say it was my experiences in the US military which led me astray from bullshido arts.

Nice stories though. People win fights everyday by just "windmilling" their arms. I'm sure you being a tough guy probably had more to do with your success than aikido. Now just imagine if you dedicated yourself to something that is actually combat effective. It may save your life.

Kevin Leavitt
03-03-2009, 10:32 PM
I'm in the US Army. I studied Aikido for about 10 years. Then got my ass handed to me in Army Combatives training in combat scenarios. I saw the light on training methodologies through my friend Matt Larsen.

Today I study Judo, BJJ, Modern Army Combatives and Aikido.

I study them all for different reasons a all of them have benefits in the way the methodologies are trained.

Aikido is an integral part of my training and much of my training has been relevant to fighting depending on the situation. I would not necessarily call it a bullshido art.

For what it is worth, I have not found a "holistic" system out there. The closest thing that I have trained in that is would be MAC-P, and even that is challenging a there are only so many hours in the day!

Guilty Spark
03-03-2009, 10:37 PM
Hi Grant,

To answer your question, undoubtedly more than you. Lets just say it was my experiences in the US military which led me astray from bullshido arts.

Nice stories though. People win fights everyday by just "windmilling" their arms. I'm sure you being a tough guy probably had more to do with your success than aikido. Now just imagine if you dedicated yourself to something that is actually combat effective. It may save your life.

Hey Jerry, thank for replying.

Kevin Leavitt actually started me on the road of BJJ and MMA which I currently take (and owe him a great deal of thanks for).

We don't need to debate the effectiveness of BJJ and MMA as I am sure you will agree but the point of my post was that thrice in what I consider life or death situations Aikido techniques were used successfully.
In all of those they were in fact male, older than 13 and above 50 kg, I just felt you were painting with a VERY wide brush.

Don't be shy though Jerry, lets hear some of your combat experiences.
"undoubtedly more than you" Okay I'll buy that.
Iraq, Afghanistan, South America?
It might help some of us see the light. What experiences are you talking about can you give us some examples?

Kevin Leavitt
03-04-2009, 11:35 AM
Ironically when we start doing weapons retention work, I find that I am alot more qualified than alot of my MMA BJJ contemporaries. My aikido background becomes very relevant. There are somethings that you learn in DR and Aikido that simply are not practiced in other arts.

Aikibu
03-04-2009, 11:38 AM
Hi Grant,

To answer your question, undoubtedly more than you. Lets just say it was my experiences in the US military which led me astray from bullshido arts.

Nice stories though. People win fights everyday by just "windmilling" their arms. I'm sure you being a tough guy probably had more to do with your success than aikido. Now just imagine if you dedicated yourself to something that is actually combat effective. It may save your life.

Aheeem It DID save his life so your point seems "pointless"

Now either get real and share your experiance with Budo or go back to Bullshido...

William Hazen

Cyrijl
03-04-2009, 01:01 PM
Aheeem It DID save his life so your point seems "pointless"

Now either get real and share your experiance with Budo or go back to Bullshido...

William Hazen

William, we don't want him.

Ron Tisdale
03-04-2009, 03:24 PM
Aheeem It DID save his life so your point seems "pointless"


Not only pointless, but soooo cliche. "My **** is bigger! No! MIne is! No! ..."

You get the idea. Heck, if you said that to me relevent to this topic, I'd just say hey, you're right. I'm not much of a fighter, and thank god, I don't have to be.

Best,
Ron ;)

gdandscompserv
03-04-2009, 04:58 PM
Since this thread is still alive...what's a "boxer?":D

apollosperson
03-04-2009, 05:46 PM
You know, don't be discouraged with the outcome. Many schools have taken the rock and roll out of training. It is difficult to apply an entire technique to an expierenced attack. There are methods of blending with direct attacks, and should be practiced by all of us. They do work against multiple attacks, combos, etc. The key is doing this long enough to make an experienced attacker get frustrated and overextend. Don't get me wrong, this is training that must be studied and practiced alot. Don't give up!

Guilty Spark
03-04-2009, 11:00 PM
Not only pointless, but soooo cliche. "My **** is bigger! No! MIne is! No! ..."

You get the idea. Heck, if you said that to me relevent to this topic, I'd just say hey, you're right. I'm not much of a fighter, and thank god, I don't have to be.

Best,
Ron ;)

Hey Ron,

I don't think it's a matter of who's is bigger. It's about someone making a statement and being asked to back up their claims.

In this case someone is talking about being in combat situations and I'm curious what constitutes as combat in their opinion.

Michael Douglas
03-05-2009, 04:13 AM
I'm curious too, going to watch for the reply ...

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2009, 05:55 AM
You know, don't be discouraged with the outcome. Many schools have taken the rock and roll out of training. It is difficult to apply an entire technique to an expierenced attack. There are methods of blending with direct attacks, and should be practiced by all of us. They do work against multiple attacks, combos, etc. The key is doing this long enough to make an experienced attacker get frustrated and overextend. Don't get me wrong, this is training that must be studied and practiced alot. Don't give up!

What do you do if he does not play your game? What if you don't have the time to "do it long enough". What if he doesn't get frustrated and over extend?

What happens when he simply overwhelms you so quickly that it is impossible for you to blend with direct attacks?

What do you do to protect yourself, minimize damage, and extract yourself or regain control?

Is it really a matter of waiting or doing it long enough, or is there more to it than that?

I only ask the question because I see alot of this in martial arts when you start applying it to non-compliant situaitons.

IMO, this is what gets us in trouble, that is, trying to fight with a particular paradigm that says "I only have to WAIT until he makes a mistake."

Sorry, not trying to pick on you, but I find it to be an over simplification of the situation.

Guilty Spark
03-05-2009, 12:46 PM
Kevin I've heard comments like that in Aikido very often and I wonder about it.

"I'll just wait until my attacker gets tired"
Like saying I'll just wait until the guy with the gun runs out of ammo.

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2009, 10:28 PM
Hey Grant, good analogy!

Yes, I don't think it is a great default strategy.

As you know though it is a big part of strategy in BJJ. That is, you get your opponent to expend more energy than you until they make a mistake.

So, I don't think there is anything wrong with this as part of an overall fight plan.

The difference being in order for you to do this, you have to be able to control the fight.

A good example is Royce vs Akebono.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POJ2T023M4I

again, I think it CAN be a part of your strategy, but that is predicated on control of the fight.

Keith Larman
03-05-2009, 10:32 PM
again, I think it CAN be a part of your strategy, but that is predicated on control of the fight.

But more predicated on being in a controlled and otherwise safe environment in the first place. Which is not something I'd want to count on outside a ring or dojo...

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2009, 11:22 PM
I agree Keith!

Guilty Spark
03-06-2009, 12:22 AM
Thanks Kevin.

I think one problem may be that it's easy to not realize just how tiring a fight can sometimes be. (I didn't, I've been quite lucky in my altercations not trying to sound condescending)

I'm in fair shape. I can run 6 to 10 miles and be a winded but alright. I won't even try to spell what it's called but I've stood in the middle of my dojo and had one, two and three people come at me at once and play that game for a little while. Tired but did pretty good.
Those factors considering, my first time rolling around on the ground in a BJJ/MMA environment (which I consider somewhat close to a street fight) I was out of breath fighting for air. Honestly ready to barf after 2 or 3 minutes of it. It was a real eye opener, I thought I would do SO much better.

I always assume the person I'm faced off with (in training and otherwise) hits harder, runs faster and has more energy and training. That's why I think acting first is key.

I'm not sure if it's relative or not but in Aikido I hear a lot about blending with an attackers energy and such. You react to them more or less right?

The very first technique I learned in Aikido had me standing a few feet away from someone else and I was the one who acted first. I raised my arm to strike them (ideally) forcing them to rise their arm to block which I then used the momentum of to perform a technique. Shionage Iikajo?

Kevin Leavitt
03-06-2009, 05:05 AM
Good points Grant. I think alot of this goes back to the OODA loop process. One issue I have with the "blending" paradigm is that it pretty much assumes we are going to react to what uke does, that is we are defensive in nature, not offensive.

This works well in theory when we are doing a cooperative practice. I do think it is good and proper to train from the standpoint that uke strikes first or acheives dominance first and we must recover or react to that attack.

However, we must enter in most cases and "get ahead" in the OODA loop. To do that we must disrupt his process, put him behind us which requires us to move the fight forward and be dominant (attack).

We do practice this in aikido kata for sure. Irimi nage comes to mind.

In reality though, when things are fast, as you know, it can be inherently difficult to "get ahead" when uke is constantly adjusting and changing up on us in attempt to stay on the offensive.

I personally did not really understand this until I got a fair amount of experience in BJJ, and I am still trying to "unlearn" my "zen blend and react" mentality that I developed over the years.

My old aikido instructor used to have a saying "always attack, always win'. I never really understood it, but I get it now as of this year!

This also goes back to the thread we discuss on the value of atemi in aikido and is it always present.

There is nothing wrong with harmonizing and blending in theory, however, in reality I think it can get us into trouble if we don't recognize what it is that we are really doing which is assuming dominance and then choosing to minimize our use of force. We are causing uke to react to our attack or ability to attack.

To me, the blending paradiqm or school of thought can be a defensive posture, which does not achieve dominance, will place you behind the OODA loop, and you will never acheive dominance in a real fight.

The only way to really practice this though "for the street" is to replicate fighting conditions (strength, speed, and realitive non-compliance) as is typically done in BJJ.

Does BJJ approximate the All the conditions of a real fight? No certainly not, the timing is different when you add weapons and strikes.

However, it is a decent model to train safely and up the pressure and force you to improve your response and experience of gaining control of movement in a fight.

BTW, you should train with striking and weapons as well somewhat non-complliant from time to time too. That way you will know what variables they bring to the equation.

FightFireWithPeace
03-06-2009, 11:45 AM
Not surprising after a months training. You made all the classic Aikidoka mistakes when dealing with a boxer. You cannot do techniques on boxing punches. You can do techniques on boxers though.
Don't even try to take hold of boxers punches, just use your guard to deflect them as best as you can until you can get a hand onto his body during the irimi movement.
An explosive entry from the instant the fight starts is the only way of dealing with a boxer. You don't need to do anything fancy, you just need to knock them off balance, then you pretty much own them.
BJJ demonstrates this.

I agree with this. No matter what striking art, the attacks originate from one place: the body.
I used to take muay thai. The better guys were not better because they were faster or stronger, they were better because they were more tactical. They were better because they knew how to out position you.
Think of it this way. If someone were shooting at you, even if you could dodge the bullet you'd only be safe until the next one comes flying at you. What if you could out position the shooter? What if you could get behind him, how much safer would you be from his attack?
So to try and catch a boxer's punch is like trying to catch a bullet, why do that when you can catch his body much easier.
Jabs are dealt with easily enough. If you stay out of his striking range he will throw a jab to cover distance, even if he's too far to hit you. You'll be able to see that coming a mile away, even if he is fast. No matter who you are, you can't punch me if you're to far away to punch me. Get out of his range, wait for the distance covering jab, and blend with the body.

Kevin Leavitt
03-06-2009, 12:19 PM
Or you can use the clinch to negate his skills and off balance him and take him down and walk away...or submit him as you see fit.

lbb
03-06-2009, 01:51 PM
Or you can use the clinch to negate his skills and off balance him and take him down and walk away...or submit him as you see fit.

Sorry, MMA d00d, but the verb "to submit" does not take a direct object. :yuck:

Cyrijl
03-06-2009, 02:05 PM
Actually it does. It is idiomatic. And this is the type of passive aggressiveness that I often refer to.

Guilty Spark
03-06-2009, 02:31 PM
Actually it does. It is idiomatic. And this is the type of passive aggressiveness that I often refer to.

Not really relevant to the thread but I used to get a kick out of martial artists describing themselves as passive-aggressive.
I found it funny because they would assume that it's a positive thing in so much that they considered it being a peaceful passive relaxed and calm type of person but ready to 'turn it on' and fight when they need to. Quiet warripr type stuff.
IMO an actual "passive-aggressive" personality is anything but desirable.

lbb
03-06-2009, 03:11 PM
Actually it does. It is idiomatic. And this is the type of passive aggressiveness that I often refer to.

If so, you don't know the definition of the term. And sheesh almighty on people unilaterally declaring their own idioms.

Cyrijl
03-06-2009, 03:39 PM
It would hardly be by myself by declaring it idiomatic when we regularly use the term "He won by submission." The phrase is means he submitted his opponent, not he submitted to his opponent, nor does it mean he won by his opponents submission. The phrase is meant to indicate that he in some way forced the concession, there is emphasis on the action as opposed to the passivity usually applied to submission. As such you "submit your opponent" with an arm bar. This is different than he won by his opponent submitting. The attack itself, whether a joint lock or choke is referred to as a submission. When you apply a submission technique, you are not giving concession to your opponent.

Sheesh right back at ya.

Oh yeah and I geuss my advanced degrees in philosophy and linguistics don't count for anything since I train (in) MMA.

Kevin Leavitt
03-06-2009, 03:53 PM
Thanks, I learn something new everyday.

but I'm just a dumb infantryman in the Army if that counts for anything.

Cyrijl
03-06-2009, 04:07 PM
I don't want to derail any further. So Kevin, PM incoming.

lbb
03-07-2009, 05:10 PM
Oh yeah and I geuss my advanced degrees in philosophy and linguistics don't count for anything since I train (in) MMA.

I'm not disparaging your advanced degrees in the least (and my comment was tongue in cheek if the emoticon didn't make it blatantly obvious). But ya know...I knew an English major in college who claimed her field of study as authority when she declared that "He gave the book to John and I" was grammatically correct. "'...to John and me'," I said, "Object of a preposition." "What do you know," she sniffed, "You're majoring in computer science!" Heh. Some of us great unwashed got sentence diagramming knocked into our heads, in public school no less.

Cyrijl
03-07-2009, 08:32 PM
As odd as it may seem, english majors are generally the worst grammarians.

Guilty Spark
03-07-2009, 09:27 PM
but I'm just a dumb infantryman in the Army if that counts for anything.

Is all the talk of idiomatic's, advanced degrees & diagramming making you nervous too? :D

DonMagee
03-07-2009, 10:18 PM
My wife received an email from her english prof. He has a PHD and wrote "Don't nobody worry, the test will be postponed until next week."

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2009, 08:09 AM
Is all the talk of idiomatic's, advanced degrees & diagramming making you nervous too? :D

Makes me feel like adding iridium paint on the front site post of my M4, just to be different and for something to do.

Or maybe I'll just go read FM 7-8 cause it's been a while and I am getting rusty.

Disillusioned
03-08-2009, 02:19 PM
Don't be shy though Jerry, lets hear some of your combat experiences.
"undoubtedly more than you" Okay I'll buy that.
Iraq, Afghanistan, South America?
It might help some of us see the light. What experiences are you talking about can you give us some examples?

I'm currently serving my final years as a Provost Marshal (MP) in Japan. I've served in Iraq and GTMO doing a similar jobs. Soon I'll be working as a prison guard in Fresno, CA. Outside of that you'll have to buy me some beers after some hard work at the dojo to hear some specifics.

I suppose I was a bit harsh. Its not that aikido is completely ineffective, its just that its by far the least effective MA ever developed imo. It actually makes naturally tough people worse fighters. I and many others would have been far better off never thinking they could catch punches/shanks/etc. into wristlocks or fancy throws. (as I did after 6 years of study).

If it works for you, I think it has to do with your natural attributes. For me and MOST others, i'll just inflate your ego into thinking you can do things you can not.

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2009, 04:01 PM
I suppose I was a bit harsh. Its not that aikido is completely ineffective, its just that its by far the least effective MA ever developed imo. It actually makes naturally tough people worse fighters. I and many others would have been far better off never thinking they could catch punches/shanks/etc. into wristlocks or fancy throws. (as I did after 6 years of study).

Okay, so if it is not completely ineffective, what is it that you feel it is that it does that is effective, or "partially effective"?

It makes naturally tough people worse fighters? Can you qualify exactly what you mean by that? I couldn't even begin to form such a conclusion at all. Not even sure how you'd go and test such a hypothesis.

Okay, all that aside, I don't think you'd find that the endstate or the purpose of Aikido was really do develop "effective fighters". Although I'd argue that aikido should be practiced in such a way that we don't forget the roots of what it is that we are doing, that is, an art based on a form of jiu jitsu.

So, you could also draw the conclusion that aikido makes natuarlly tough people worse yogini, plummers, weight lifters or whatever else you wanted to insert. It may or may not be true though as for every plummer that you pointed to that was a bad plummer it may be that he is bad because he didn't pay attention well in plumming school or maybe aikido actually made him better at his job because the physical practice made it easy for him to move underneath tight sink areas!

For me, aikido definitely made me a better fighter. It was apparent to me when I got involved with the Army Combatives Program and finally BJJ and had a background of about 8 or 9 years in Aikido at the time. I naturally picked up on things faster than many and actually understood space, distance, timing, posture and all the other things we learn in aikido as well.

LOL, I did have to learn that you could not fight with the paradigm of aikido as the timing of non-resistance was much different than what I had been used to. It only took catching a few punches in the head to lean I was going to have to stop trying to do nikkyo before I dealt with contolling the mass of my opponent!

However, I feel that lesson was applicable to aikido as well, and going back to aikido I have a better appreciation for how to do aikido "more correctly" than before.

Sure, I believe that many out there would do much better in developing a sound foundation in arts such as say Judo or BJJ before coming to aikido as it really provides a wonderful base in many things that we don't really touch upon in aikido.

And sure, there are many out there that are deluded into thinking that what they are doing in is making them lethal (tm). However, there are many, many more that simply do not care and understand their limits. (they don't need a savior).

The first time I went into my Aikido dojo it was very clear to me that Aikido was not about developing me into a lethal killing machine. The rules and ettiquette posted by Saotome Sensei was very clear about why we were there. So, anyone that developed that inflated ego in our dojo did it entirely of their own doing.

It was a huge mind screw for me when I got exposed to the Army Combatives Program though as I DID develop my own self preception of myself being a much better fighter than I actually was (ego). Sounds like you may have had similar experience.

It took me a while to evaluate my training and figure out where Aikido helped me and where it did not. I have come to peace with that and happily practice aikido today in my own way, which btw, is perfectly accepted within my dojo. Ironically my way, is also the way that it is and always has been expected to be performed! It just took me a while and some different experiences to work through it! I think I am a better aikidoka now than I was 5 years ago, and I think I have a better grasp of what the founder wanted us to learn, and I am excited to practice and share it with others.

Each of us has different goals and objectives martially. I personally go to four different dojos and groups that do not interact with each other as they are all over town (Wash DC), and range from BJJ, Judo, and AIkido. Each dojo has a personality and attracts different types of people to the various arts.

My BJJ dojo would not be something that many of our aikidoka would feel comfortable with and vice versa. Nothing wrong with that. Each person is comfortable with different things and must be brought along in different ways through martial methodologies. Each of us is wired differently.

I have seen Soldiers and Marines walk into our Aikido dojo, the majority of them don't last cause it don't feel comfortable to them they way they have to let go of things to do it. These same guys will go to a BJJ dojo and feel at home cause they like the feel and the fight.

Guess what, I am trying to teach them the exact same things in both dojos! relax, move, timing, position, breathing.

There is no difference in what we are trying to get them to do at the base level.

They will learn to fight faster in BJJ certainly as the methodology imparts some good basic skills. However, it has been my experiences that they will not master the subtle lessons of aikido that are necessary to be a black belt in BJJ and move past that first stripe into their 30s and 40s and 50s until they pick up on the "aiki" stuff that is intrinsic in BJJ.

Guys like Roy Dean out there are doing both and that is what I plan to do as well.

I think you are looking at things to simplistic to be honest.

Mark Freeman
03-09-2009, 10:43 AM
I suppose I was a bit harsh. Its not that aikido is completely ineffective, its just that its by far the least effective MA ever developed imo. It actually makes naturally tough people worse fighters. I and many others would have been far better off never thinking they could catch punches/shanks/etc. into wristlocks or fancy throws. (as I did after 6 years of study).

If it works for you, I think it has to do with your natural attributes. For me and MOST others, i'll just inflate your ego into thinking you can do things you can not.

You make some very sweeping statements there Jerry, however, if you see aikido only as a route to becoming a better fighter then perhaps I can see where you are coming from.

6 years is not a massive amount of time given to any art. Personally after 6 years of aikido study I was only just starting to have confidence in the method have any effective use if I needed it outside of the dojo. That may have been due to the fact that my training was in one of the 'softer' schools of aikido. A further 10 years of practice has given me much more confidence that should the need arise I would be better equipped to deal with the situation. On the 2 occasions that it might have been neccessary I managed to use words and intent to avoid having to test the physical. If I am furtunate I wont ever have to find out.

Also the skill of ones teacher has some part to play in all of this. 6 years with a mediocre teacher may well give you very little in the way of anything, including how to perform good aikido. If an aikidoka can't move and apply with a unified mind/body he/she certainly can't teach that skill to a student.

If you want a quick route to being an effective fighter then aikido is almost certainly not the right way to go. But that doesn't make aikido ineffective, only your use of it.

Aikibu
03-09-2009, 02:26 PM
I'm currently serving my final years as a Provost Marshal (MP) in Japan. I've served in Iraq and GTMO doing a similar jobs. Soon I'll be working as a prison guard in Fresno, CA. Outside of that you'll have to buy me some beers after some hard work at the dojo to hear some specifics.

I suppose I was a bit harsh. Its not that aikido is completely ineffective, its just that its by far the least effective MA ever developed imo. It actually makes naturally tough people worse fighters. I and many others would have been far better off never thinking they could catch punches/shanks/etc. into wristlocks or fancy throws. (as I did after 6 years of study).

If it works for you, I think it has to do with your natural attributes. For me and MOST others, i'll just inflate your ego into thinking you can do things you can not.

6 years....Nuff said.... There are a number of LEO's on this board who use Aikido OTJ...

never heard of any Aikido that practices catching punches or knives as (as Kevin loves to say) an "endpoint"...In fact I have never heard of any Martial Art that emphasizes such....However I only have 40+ years in the Martial Arts and I am still learning. :)

As for the rest of your post....Well...It stands on it's own. :)

William Hazen

George S. Ledyard
03-09-2009, 02:42 PM
6 years....Nuff said.... There are a number of LEO's on this board who use Aikido OTJ...

never heard of any Aikido that practices catching punches or knives as (as Kevin loves to say) an "endpoint"...In fact I have never heard of any Martial Art that emphasizes such....However I only have 40+ years in the Martial Arts and I am still learning. :)

As for the rest of your post....Well...It stands on it's own. :)

William Hazen

I find that, most often when people are telling you at length about how Aikido is weak and doesn't work, it is quite clear from their description of the art that they had only the most rudimentary exposure to it.

As Ikeda Sensei always said, "It isn't Aikido that doesn't work... it's YOUR Aikido that doesn't work."

budo-dude
03-09-2009, 03:49 PM
Aikido does not lend itself towards "friendly sparring" against other arts. The attackers needs to commit to his attack for Aikido to be effective. A boxer does not over commit, they are always balanced and looking to strike even after a missed attack.

Aikido matches up well against a "killing blow" type of attacks. A knife stab, a hay maker or someone swinging a baseball bat. Not a fight with all sorts of rules. Boxing is a sport with rules, much like sparring. No doubt your friend beat you in that venue.

I bet that if you gave him a quick kick to the junk he would go down and you would win. The problem is that you were not in a real fight.

Ketsan
03-09-2009, 05:06 PM
I and many others would have been far better off never thinking they could catch punches/shanks/etc. into wristlocks or fancy throws. (as I did after 6 years of study).



Six years? I'd have shaken you out of trying to catch punches in as many minutes, as would any remotely competant Aikidoka.
Any more Aikido cliches? Perhaps you'd like to remind us that no-one attacks by running at you with their hands out? :D

Kevin Leavitt
03-09-2009, 05:36 PM
Aikido does not lend itself towards "friendly sparring" against other arts. The attackers needs to commit to his attack for Aikido to be effective. A boxer does not over commit, they are always balanced and looking to strike even after a missed attack.

Aikido matches up well against a "killing blow" type of attacks. A knife stab, a hay maker or someone swinging a baseball bat. Not a fight with all sorts of rules. Boxing is a sport with rules, much like sparring. No doubt your friend beat you in that venue.

I bet that if you gave him a quick kick to the junk he would go down and you would win. The problem is that you were not in a real fight.

Hey Kristan!

I completely understand what you are saying about committed attacks.

However, I think it is all a matter of definition and perspective and maybe a little semantics.

"Aikido" will work with whatever attack is presented. (I actually hate to say "aikido will work" as it really doesn't DO anything as people do and aikido is only a methodology)

Anyway, it does "work" in the sense that if we are skilled at what we do we learn to recognize effective attacks and ineffective ones.

A big part of the study of aikido is learning the concept of Mushin and Ma'ai.

Ma'ai is the timing/space/distance in the situation. WIth the right amount of experience it is hoped that we can appropriately move and respond to attacks that are presented.

What I see alot, (and did, and still do!) is that we want so bad to "do aikido" that we reach out, grab, pull, push, and any number of things. Everything but affect the core, center of the person while most likely upsetting our own. You see this alot in beginners for sure!

The instructor showed them how to do a technique, now they will do it...it becomes something that our perceptions tells us we must DO, vice walking the fine line between doing, guiding, suggestion, leading or whatever languaging you want to call it.

Yes, in a sense it requires a committed attack. It does not have to be over comitted, which I think is the perception alot in aikido.

UFC style punches are VERY comitted. It is just that the guy throwing it has enough skill to comitt just enough resources necessary to do what he wants to do. Sucks to be you if you don't have an appropriate response!

Same concepts apply, it is just that your window is very narrow for being able to do much. Hence why we slow down greatly in aikido to allow for practice to happen.

Unfortunately it gets all screwed up when someone studying at that speed for months (or even years) suddenly decides to take the training paradigm he/she adopted and go full on with someone that has never studied aikido and/or does not really care that you have!

The speed/timing/distance is all messed up and you simply probably have not developed ways to appropriately deal with it.

Clinching is about as aiki as anything you do. It is irimi nage just applied at a different range. Clinching can be strong or it can be leading, guiding, blending as well.

Clinching is necessary, as you now, cause space is taking away from you and it is a protective position/posture.

Anyway, for some reason, we ignore this concept in aikido, not sure why it seems to be a bad word...probably because people equate it with fighting or MMA.

Anyway, I am saying this not to promote clinching, but only to point out that it is a response that simply accounts for the level of speed, timing, distance, and comittment of uke. Once you achieve it, you can off balance (irimi) and then throw, takedown, or strike uke as the case may be.

It does not requrie your opponent to be OVER Committed. He can stay on his center while you take his center.

It is also within the parameters of aikido to disengage and simply avoid or back up as well hoping that your opponent will indeed over committ. I do this especially with inexperienced fighters...it is a better strategy alot of times other than clinching.

Anyway, there are two extremes...close in (engaging) and far way (disengaging). Both are good and within our parameters and abilities. Both do not require us to respond in a disconnected way and "catch" punches, nikkyos, or sankyos.

I have converted a few boxers over to BJJ. I do it by clinching they hate it, they stay there waiting for the ref to break up, so they don't know how to get out of it. AND they can't hit you well that close. I ride them down, knee on them and strike and disengage....rinse, wash, repeat!

Hopefully I never get caught cold with a punch! :)

philippe willaume
03-10-2009, 07:28 AM
Aikido does not lend itself towards "friendly sparring" against other arts. The attackers needs to commit to his attack for Aikido to be effective. A boxer does not over commit, they are always balanced and looking to strike even after a missed attack.

Aikido matches up well against a "killing blow" type of attacks. A knife stab, a hay maker or someone swinging a baseball bat. Not a fight with all sorts of rules. Boxing is a sport with rules, much like sparring. No doubt your friend beat you in that venue.

I bet that if you gave him a quick kick to the junk he would go down and you would win. The problem is that you were not in a real fight.

Hello kristian

Don’t you thing you can use kokyu as “friendly sparing”. There is a fair amount of kokuy technique that either is or could be used as tuned down version of technique.
Uke can attack properly; yes he will have to go with flow once the technique is started but equally, you can judge if you had created the opportunity to develop you technique safely.
not really geared up for competition but enough for friendly pratice)

I would not describe it as a matter of commitment, in 15th century german wrestling they have zu lauffen ringen (running wrestling) and it is very close to “fluffy” aikido.
Basically they made the difference between staring close or within the range and stepping into the range. Zu laufen ringen is really wrestling in movement.

Anybody that practice as striking art will not over-commit, because you not only expose yourself to a one-time void-counter but as well your own body get in the way if you try to parry, deflect or move. I mean, we even do that with out weapon; you do not over extend yourself when you cut with the bokken.
But there is a difference between someone waiting to snipe at you and someone coming at you.
If you opponent is moving a deflection, redirection will upset his stability, even if he is not over committed (I am not good enough to use that reliably).
If he is waiting to snipe his base is very solid and deflection/redirection are not going to be enough.

Usually people who practice, symmetrical engagement (flat ground, 1v1 same weapon) tend to favour the use of the stable base. Hence they will usually creep or start at a given distance. (Usually just outside the range of the safe utilisation of longest weapon)

If I told you that I was going to use a tashi/longsword, using only thrust and moving only in a linear fashion when fencing against a foil or epee modern fencer. You would say that I am totally bonkers. Accepting to fight a boxer according to his paradigm is exactly as bonkers.
Amazingly enough, boxers have developed the best practice for they do.

Basically starting at a boxing distance, (I still do it sometimes) and hoping that you will be able to move faster than he can punch is a tad optimistic, unless you are a vampire, or than much quicker that it does not make a difference what you do.

Since 17 century we know that the time of the hand is the fastest of the True Time.
As well we know that moving you foot//feet and or body before you hands are in front is a false time and you will always loses to someone using a true time.

If you start from a boxing distance, a boxer is very likely to get you if you try to grab his jab or counter you when try to move on the side. To make it worse boxer uses jab as a set up/ranging and to prevent you to spill on their ura side.

Kevin used the clinch as an example, but French boxing/MT slip-kick even 17th-18th English pugilism (at that time you still could parry) will throw a boxer off. A wedge block and a cross block from MT can be a good option as well.
Or instead of trying to creep up or starting at boxing range, start further back and step in with yokomen strike or punch from your inside (or swap foot and use the yokomen to change “guard” and lead with the left). To either force him to engage or creating a line you can enter on (by you moving and/or using his defensive movement).

phil

DonMagee
03-10-2009, 08:53 AM
Aikido does not lend itself towards "friendly sparring" against other arts. The attackers needs to commit to his attack for Aikido to be effective. A boxer does not over commit, they are always balanced and looking to strike even after a missed attack.

Aikido matches up well against a "killing blow" type of attacks. A knife stab, a hay maker or someone swinging a baseball bat. Not a fight with all sorts of rules. Boxing is a sport with rules, much like sparring. No doubt your friend beat you in that venue.

I bet that if you gave him a quick kick to the junk he would go down and you would win. The problem is that you were not in a real fight.

I kind of equate this to saying "Aikido doesn't work against guys trained properly in how to fight unarmed".

Being as I know this to not be true I can not agree. Just last night I used aikido in a bjj match to take down and subdue my attacker. I highly doubt anyone watching me even knew it was aikido, however the setup, idea, and method was never taught to me by my bjj instructor and based off somethings I saw a senior student at my old aikido school do once.

To me good aikido means you have to make the openings, your attacker (if he is any good) is not going to make them for you. Honestly I was pleasantly surprised what I did actually worked with any reliability. Sure it required heavy modification and a lot of trial and error of getting my face smashed in. But it did eventually work. And of course there were a lot easier and safer methods of doing the same task...but I digress from my point.

Ketsan
03-10-2009, 02:04 PM
Oh yeah and I guss my advanced degrees in philosophy and linguistics don't count for anything since I train (in) MMA.

:D One of my pet hates about American English is "I train (insert art)" :D

Guilty Spark
03-10-2009, 02:33 PM
:D One of my pet hates about American English is "I train (insert art)" :D

There's no hate in Aikido baby! Aikido is loooooove.

Learn to train looooove man.