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graham
03-02-2009, 06:47 PM
PLEASE don't see this thread as an attempt to revive any kind of "does aikido really work?" discussion. Nothing interests me less. Instead, I thought it would be useful to share what I personally love about Aikido...

My brother has trained in kick-boxing for quite a few years and loves UFC, etc. I, on the other hand, have studied aikido for about 3 years and despise UFC. He is particularly interested in the 'practicality' of martial arts and that got me thinking what one would want out of a contemporary martial art.

It seems to me that it might have to have 3 elements:

1) It teaches you how (not) to fight

Does the martial art actually develop us as moral beings, teaching us how to promote peace, as much as how to fight?

2) It makes you feel more relaxed, not more violent

Following on from point 1 above, does the martial art help you dispose of the stress and tension of the day, removing those unwanted knee-jerk resorts to violence?

3) It enables a gentle application of the martial art

Given that many contemporary scenes of violence involve friends and family, we may not want to always go all out. Does the martial art then allow the possibility of using the least possible resistance?

4) It is an effective form of self-defence

Much of 'self-defence' is covered in the earlier items, although some might still use the term in its more tradtioinal sense of physical defensive techniques to defend against physical attacks. Given that limited definition, does the martial art provide tools and techniques to defend against attack?

5) It is effective against multiple attackers

Does the martial art provide techniques for defending oneself against a group of attackers?

If these questions are relevant, it suggests to me that much of what we see in things like UFC is as far as one could get from likely contemporary scenes of violence. Conversely, aikido actually scores quite highly in terms of a practical contemporary martial art.

Any thoughts?

grondahl
03-03-2009, 03:39 AM
I think that your points to a large degree are things that you as a person value and seek rather than being descriptive of Aikido as a whole.

As for instance Demian Maia shows us, you can compete in the UFC and still value much of the same things that you do.

Hear Maias statements after his great performance against Chael Sonnen in the last UFC.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc49loAFRxE

Buck
03-03-2009, 07:56 AM
PLEASE don't see this thread as an attempt to revive any kind of "does aikido really work?" discussion. Nothing interests me less. Instead, I thought it would be useful to share what I personally love about Aikido...

My brother has trained in kick-boxing for quite a few years and loves UFC, etc. I, on the other hand, have studied aikido for about 3 years and despise UFC. He is particularly interested in the 'practicality' of martial arts and that got me thinking what one would want out of a contemporary martial art.

It seems to me that it might have to have 3 elements:

1) It teaches you how (not) to fight

Does the martial art actually develop us as moral beings, teaching us how to promote peace, as much as how to fight?


No, that is a myth. See UFC. Morals are not part of the UFC- past the point of rules and a ref. They are not substancial enough to be considered taught. What they have is sportsmenship, rules, and a ref. Any morality within the fighter is learned from some place else.

Yes, if, morals are to be added to martial arts. They must be properly enforced, practiced, and modeled by the instructor. Then they must be supported and practiced by the dojo.

2) It makes you feel more relaxed, not more violent

Following on from point 1 above, does the martial art help you dispose of the stress and tension of the day, removing those unwanted knee-jerk resorts to violence?


Myth, that is not the case. Such things are brought in from other sourses and studies such as Zen etc.

3) It enables a gentle application of the martial art

Given that many contemporary scenes of violence involve friends and family, we may not want to always go all out. Does the martial art then allow the possibility of using the least possible resistance?


Myth. We might think so coming from morals and Zen etc. You don't known that stuff until you are threatened how you are going to act or react. It is true mental training for such situations helps, i.e. like what cops, etc. Those people get trained to react and handle the stress and the adrealine dump etc. because that will be face on the job. Something they deal with on daily basis, or expect to face-even that is dealt with on a daily basis. Most martial arts places pay lip service to it.


4) It is an effective form of self-defence

Much of 'self-defence' is covered in the earlier items, although some might still use the term in its more tradtioinal sense of physical defensive techniques to defend against physical attacks. Given that limited definition, does the martial art provide tools and techniques to defend against attack?

That is up to the individual.


5) It is effective against multiple attackers

Does the martial art provide techniques for defending oneself against a group of attackers?

If these questions are relevant, it suggests to me that much of what we see in things like UFC is as far as one could get from likely contemporary scenes of violence. Conversely, aikido actually scores quite highly in terms of a practical contemporary martial art.

Any thoughts?

Most martial arts are out-dated or like the UFC not designed from multi-attacks. That doesn't mean they can't be effective in some situation against some type of attackers. It means, if you are attacked by a street gang (who will be armed) who intends to kidnap you from money. The whole discussion of a group attack is mute. Unless your martial art teaches you how to use a high powered automatic weapon that teaches you how to handle the stress, the adrenaline dump, and all the other tactics, and strategies associated with that. You might have a chance if you are not taken by surprise and you just have to defend yourself. Meaning your not at home in bed in the middle of the night with your family.

UFC is an entertainment sport and has the same relevant stuff as Pro boxing, Pro wrestling, Pro Football, Pro Hockey. Btw, Hockey players are under rated fighters. Hockey is a martial art! :)


The real problem is people live in hypotheticals and fantasy worlds, be it UFC, Aikido, etc. That really is imo the issue. :)

mathewjgano
03-03-2009, 10:35 AM
PLEASE don't see this thread as an attempt to revive any kind of "does aikido really work?" discussion. Nothing interests me less. Instead, I thought it would be useful to share what I personally love about Aikido...

Of course what you seem to love about Aikido is it's effectiveness in these areas, so I'm not sure how this thread will avoid the "does it really work" discussion...if for no other reason than someone will want to inject a caveat and then probably want to discuss it. I think the examples you gave are good ones for how Aikido can be helpful, but I also think there are valid counterpoints that have to be included in a discussion about the virtues of these things too.

If these questions are relevant, it suggests to me that much of what we see in things like UFC is as far as one could get from likely contemporary scenes of violence. Conversely, aikido actually scores quite highly in terms of a practical contemporary martial art.

Any thoughts?
Well, first off, I think many people would say Aikido is non-contemporary because it doesn't include firearms. Granted, firearms are less present in some places than others, but that's a part of my point: "contemporary" is a somewhat relative issue. Also, I agree UFC trains for a very specific scenario, but in many ways, it's not unlike the very specific scenarios we in Aikido practice. The question of how practical our training is comes in how the individual can translate those scenarios into organic/spontaneous interactions...and I think that is a case by case thing based more on individual people and schools than on whole arts.
Maybe another way to look at it is this: in the grand scheme of practical self-defense there is a lot of ground to cover. Some of us need to focus more on the list of skills you provided while some of us need to focus on something more like "ground and pound" (a gross simplification of MMA).
By two-bits at least.:)

graham
03-03-2009, 12:42 PM
I think that your points to a large degree are things that you as a person value and seek rather than being descriptive of Aikido as a whole.

Absolutely, Peter. That's mostly the point I was trying to make.

However, I'd say that they are more than descriptive of what I seek from Aikido and actually match what I personally have experienced.

graham
03-03-2009, 12:48 PM
No, that is a myth. See UFC. Morals are not part of the UFC- past the point of rules and a ref. They are not substancial enough to be considered taught. What they have is sportsmenship, rules, and a ref. Any morality within the fighter is learned from some place else.

Hi Philip,

I'm afraid that I'm at a real loss to see what you're actually responding to. What are you actually saying is a myth?

As I tried to make abundantly clear, I'm not interested in an Aikido vs. UFC discussion. That was simply the context for my post.

Myth, that is not the case. Such things are brought in from other sourses and studies such as Zen etc.

No, it's not a myth. I'm explaining what it is that I appreciate about aikido and how it matches what I personally would be looking for in a contemporary martial art. Your list may not be the same as mine, and your experience of aikido may not be the same as mine, but I fail to see how that make this a myth.

Most martial arts are out-dated or like the UFC not designed from multi-attacks.

That may well be true - though it begs the question 'outdated for what?' - but I'm not interested in most martial arts. This was simply a personal post about aikido and why I personally value it as a contemporary martial art.

graham
03-03-2009, 12:55 PM
Of course what you seem to love about Aikido is it's effectiveness in these areas, so I'm not sure how this thread will avoid the "does it really work" discussion...if for no other reason than someone will want to inject a caveat and then probably want to discuss it. I think the examples you gave are good ones for how Aikido can be helpful, but I also think there are valid counterpoints that have to be included in a discussion about the virtues of these things too.

Yes, I think you might be right. In that case, I would be the first to put my hands up and apologise, because I'd guess that I'm not the only one to be thoroughly bored by that discussion.

Reading it again, my post was really badly written. What I was trying to do was a) compile a list of the kinds of things I personally would look for in a contemporary martial art and b) compile a list of the things I love about aikido. I was then gonna be all smug and clever and show how the two lists were - from my perspective, at least - virtually identical.

Maybe another way to look at it is this: in the grand scheme of practical self-defense there is a lot of ground to cover. Some of us need to focus more on the list of skills you provided while some of us need to focus on something more like "ground and pound" (a gross simplification of MMA).

Well said. Thanks.

Ketsan
03-03-2009, 01:11 PM
Any thoughts?

The UFC is full contact, they train with full contact. They go at each other full pelt. They also have an excellent safety record.

There's only one excuse for having an excellent saftey record in martial arts: you're training co-operatively.

Guilty Spark
03-03-2009, 01:22 PM
Most martial arts are out-dated or like the UFC not designed from multi-attacks.

I would bet on a UFC fighter with 6 years of fighting, against multiple attackers over, an aikidoa with 6 years of training any day.

lbb
03-03-2009, 04:21 PM
The UFC is full contact, they train with full contact. They go at each other full pelt.

"Full contact", to me, means that no technique and no target is off limits. By that definition, UFC is not "full contact".

Kevin Leavitt
03-03-2009, 05:01 PM
How do you actually use a martial art to teach someone how NOT to fight?

What I am getting at is how do you take a methodology that is designed to impart many ways to teach someone to fight, and then say the endstate is to teach them how NOT to fight?

It seems to me that your endstate is to teach them how to fight. It might be a by product that the learn to judiciously apply that skill as might be required.

I am alway curious when I hear folks say "our goal is to teach people how not to fight." I mean at face value, that is what they probably come to you with already, the inabiity to fight!"

It may seem trival, but I see alot of stuff out there being passed off as "martial" that simply is not, and the phrase "we are teaching people how not to fight". is the caveat that seems to get used to excuse any real ability and gives permission to reduce it to an "allegory" or an "exercise".

Where do you think that line should be drawn?

Ketsan
03-03-2009, 05:12 PM
"Full contact", to me, means that no technique and no target is off limits. By that definition, UFC is not "full contact".

Within their techniques they're full contact, they go as hard as they can.

jennifer paige smith
03-03-2009, 05:17 PM
I am wont to call my aikido classes, "full contact origami".

Ketsan
03-03-2009, 05:43 PM
I would bet on a UFC fighter with 6 years of fighting, against multiple attackers over, an aikidoa with 6 years of training any day.

I'd favour the Aikidoka, if I can pick the Aikidoka. :D

lbb
03-03-2009, 06:28 PM
Within their techniques they're full contact

And if your mother had two wheels she'd be a bicycle.

Buck
03-03-2009, 07:29 PM
I would bet on a UFC fighter with 6 years of fighting, against multiple attackers over, an aikidoa with 6 years of training any day.

LOL......

graham
03-03-2009, 07:55 PM
Hi Kevin,

How do you actually use a martial art to teach someone how NOT to fight?

I must be being a bit slow today. I don't really see what you're questionning? Are you arguing that Aikido doesn't teach one how not to fight? Or questioning my personal experience that it has done that? Or, perhaps, suggesting that when it does that it's no longer aikido?

All I know is that I work in enough inter-personal conflict situations (domestic violence, child welfare, etc.) and have studies martial arts long enough that I'm convinced that a decent contemporary martial art should contain elements of conflict resolution. (If it doesn't, it's just fighting.) It can do this explicitly or implicitly. If the latter, perhaps it's just in the way that the art transforms us as people when we study it.

Personally, my experience with aikido (and I'm an 'aiki-fairy' who is honoured to study ki aikido in the tradition of Sensei Ken Williams) says that it is both explicit and implicit.

Some words from Terry Dobson, which I hope I'm not misquoting, spring to mind:

'It is your responsibility to protect the person who is attacking you. This is extremely sophisticated, because it is difficult for your enemy to attack you when you are in a compassionate mode.'

Also:

'Fighting my brother is fighting myself; I am not going to punch myself. So, make a brother of your enemy.'

And, one of my favourites:

'Just because someone wants to have a conflict doesn't mean you have to agree to enter into it. Put the phone down and walk away. Get your centre. Come back and say, "Sorry to have kept you waiting." This drives people nuts, but it's legal.'

From what I can tell Dobson Sensei would not have considered such things to be simply a side-effect of studying Aikido. I believe he would have considered it aikido in practice.

As O Sensei put it:

''Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat the enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family."

Buck
03-03-2009, 08:23 PM
Hi Philip,

I'm afraid that I'm at a real loss to see what you're actually responding to. What are you actually saying is a myth?

As I tried to make abundantly clear, I'm not interested in an Aikido vs. UFC discussion. That was simply the context for my post.

No, it's not a myth. I'm explaining what it is that I appreciate about aikido and how it matches what I personally would be looking for in a contemporary martial art. Your list may not be the same as mine, and your experience of aikido may not be the same as mine, but I fail to see how that make this a myth.

That may well be true - though it begs the question 'outdated for what?' - but I'm not interested in most martial arts. This was simply a personal post about aikido and why I personally value it as a contemporary martial art.

Have you ever counted the number of times Aikido is compared to UFC in threads?

Outdated is the right word. An example of a truly contemporary system, is combatives systems. Systems that deal with what and how criminals assault others. Criminals and their attacks get upgraded like other stuff. They work their stuff. They think about what they do and how to do it better, they improve upon it all the time. Their goal is to be successful and win too.

Many martial arts are just that arts. They are not about change, I mean, do you do Aikido in a living room, or a bar setting, or something like that. Do you practice in a parking lot after it rains or during the rain, etc. Do you practice in your street clothes. When you do perform a technique your not surprised, you know what to expect. No, you practice in a place that is the most least likely place you will ever be attacked barefoot. That place has a soft even dry floor. Your not ever surprised, in a white Japanese pajamas, if someone attacks you. Overall, yea, out dated.

To be fair when I say out dated, it doesn't mean MMA is any better with that stuff.

Ketsan
03-03-2009, 08:39 PM
And if your mother had two wheels she'd be a bicycle.

Full contact just describes the degree to which you apply your striking techniques. No contact: you make no contact. Light/semi contact: you tap them. Full contact: You hit them as hard as possible.
It's a measure of power used in technique rather than what kind of techniques are used.

Buck
03-03-2009, 08:40 PM
Contemporary art...what do you want from a contemporary? How do you identify what is a contemporary art and what it is to be?

Guilty Spark
03-03-2009, 08:43 PM
How do you actually use a martial art to teach someone how NOT to fight?

I was about to ask the same thing.

Using martial arts to teach someone not to fight?
This sounds like some romantasized thing smeone came up with.
Like someone claiming to be a pacifist warrior.

LOL......
Are you agreeing or disagreeing Phil?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not tryng to bash Aikido it's my favorite martial art. I can't stand the UFC. I won't watch the fights and I can't stand all the T shirts hats stickers and UFC groupies. Guys talk about it and I go off and pick my nose somewhere.

Taking an average Aikido student who attends 2 to 3 classes a week and comparing them to a UFC fighter who trains 6 days a week and is probably in the 1% of their class (assuming they beat out a lot of compitition to get where they are) is to me like comparing your average soldier with a Navy Seal.

It's apples and oranges

One comment I see surface often is that one of Aikido's great things is that it trains you against multiple opponents.
I won't disagree, I'm certain saved my ass in a fight but the thing is if we turn around and assume another martial art is weaker because if it IE "They don't train UFC fighters against multiple opponents!" we, the Aikido community, end up looking like we're grasping at straws.

'Just because someone wants to have a conflict doesn't mean you have to agree to enter into it. Put the phone down and walk away. Get your centre. Come back and say, "Sorry to have kept you waiting." This drives people nuts, but it's legal.'
This sounds like it might work very very well over the phone. Less so in a back ally somewhere.

Buck
03-03-2009, 08:52 PM
Your not ever surprised, in a white Japanese .

How could I forget the Hakama? Opps.

John Furgerson III
03-03-2009, 09:30 PM
I am alway curious when I hear folks say "our goal is to teach people how not to fight."

Perhaps what is meant by this is teaching one to make sure a situation can be brought under control in a very fast, efficient way. If one has some type of training, a situation may not get out of hand. Control and harmony can be quickly restored.

If someone is good at Aikido for example, they may be able to end the fight before it really begins.

:)

Ketsan
03-03-2009, 09:37 PM
Have you ever counted the number of times Aikido is compared to UFC in threads?

Outdated is the right word. An example of a truly contemporary system, is combatives systems. Systems that deal with what and how criminals assault others. Criminals and their attacks get upgraded like other stuff. They work their stuff. They think about what they do and how to do it better, they improve upon it all the time. Their goal is to be successful and win too.

Many martial arts are just that arts. They are not about change, I mean, do you do Aikido in a living room, or a bar setting, or something like that. Do you practice in a parking lot after it rains or during the rain, etc. Do you practice in your street clothes. When you do perform a technique your not surprised, you know what to expect. No, you practice in a place that is the most least likely place you will ever be attacked barefoot. That place has a soft even dry floor. Your not ever surprised, in a white Japanese pajamas, if someone attacks you. Overall, yea, out dated.

To be fair when I say out dated, it doesn't mean MMA is any better with that stuff.

Sounds like an argument in favour of creating a kata for applying ikkyo against ten looters while sitting on the toilet with your trousers around your ankles after the roofs been blown off by a hurricane and the house is burning down around you. It could happen, are you ready for it? :D

Modern systems like you describe are not about change either, they are just new, like Takenouchi Ryu was new 500 years ago.
The point of older systems is not to create a system which is "If this happens, then do this" that's an impossibility.

The point is to create someone that doesn't have an adrenalin rush and doesn't get suprised. An adrenalin rush is a sign of an untrained mind, you've not trained to associate being attacked or being surprised with relaxation.

John Furgerson III
03-03-2009, 09:42 PM
Taking an average Aikido student who attends 2 to 3 classes a week and comparing them to a UFC fighter who trains 6 days a week and is probably in the 1% of their class (assuming they beat out a lot of compitition to get where they are) is to me like comparing your average soldier with a Navy Seal.


I'm not too familiar with the UFC but I have watched them in the past, but I think they, like many martial arts focus on technique and physical strength. There's a componant to Aikido that you may be forgetting....Ki.

I just read where an Aikido Sensei in Canada who weighs about 160 lbs, let a student try to pick him up while he was just standing. The student was I believe over 200 lbs and worked out, yet he was unable to life the 160 pound person.

Or the three students pushing against the Jo O Sensi was holding while at the same time another student behind him trying to pull him back. All four of these students were unable to move O Sensei. There's more to Aikido than technique and physical strength.

Energy and training to keep ones ego in control. From what I've seen of the UFC, ego isn't controlled...it's fed.

Buck
03-03-2009, 09:45 PM
Are you agreeing or disagreeing Phil?

One comment I see surface often is that one of Aikido's great things is that it trains you against multiple opponents.
I won't disagree, I'm certain saved my ass in a fight but the thing is if we turn around and assume another martial art is weaker because if it IE "They don't train UFC fighters against multiple opponents!" we, the Aikido community, end up looking like we're grasping at straws.


The LOL is because it struck my funny bone of what was said. I just LOL.


Fighting multiples. When we speak of a multiple attacker situation there is this over-romanticized thing put on it. I understand why there is this stress on Aikido being able to take on many attackers thing. It was to counter the UFC stuff against Aikido.

Aikido does teach to a multiple attack that is all about being attacked by sword wheeling Samurais.

I am waiting for that UFC fight where there is one fighter fighting against 2,3,...12 other UFC fighters at once! It may happen.

I don't think it is a bad thing for Aikido people to say that we train to fight against more than one attacker. It is a fact. It is a fact UFC doesn't and it is about the one on one, and that makes it worth watching. One fighter pitted against another. And age old thing to watch two men pitted against each other where only one man wins. It spans all cultures and countries and goes back to early man.

To be fair and more accurate UFC should be compared to Sumo, and not Aikido. I don't think there is any harm done to Aikido by saying Aikido trains for multiple attackers and UFC doesn't , at least for me, it is a fact.

Kevin Leavitt
03-03-2009, 10:16 PM
Graham,

Thanks for the response. I am not questioning your personal experience. It sounds like you have found good value and insights from your training. If it is working for you fine.

Certainly, each of us has our own experiences and we draw from them and find meaning in many ways and I am sure Aikido has served that purpose for you and for many.

Maybe it is semantics, but I do tend to be a little be very precise in my definition of martial art and like to make people think hard about and answer the question when the say "well, our martial art actually teaches people how not to fight."

Does it really do this, or and should it, or should we simply not reframe it into a politically correct phrase and say what it really is?

I prefer to call it what it really is, and let folks figure out how it might help them and what insights they might get out of it. It may be that it does help them not fight...but that is not what I am teaching them.

I think words must be chosen very carefully, especially when we are talking about something as serious as a martial art. We are teaching people how to do very bad things to other people. With that comes a tremendous responsibility that you accept. I think it is important that we are clear about it to ourselves and our students.

If we are doing anything other than that, then I really believe we are either not qualified to be teaching what we are teaching, (because we don't know better), or we are intentionally reframing it for some philosophical reason to get an agenda or dogma across that we are trying to carry on.

I think aikido in particular has suffered from this in many ways.

Budo is serious business and needs to be approached that way.

That is not to say that we cannot also teach ethics and moral responsibility and help people grow and discover the lessons that surround the marital art or budo, it is just that I think we need to be very honest about what it is that we are doing.

We are teaching people how to fight. It is that simple at the base level.

We are not teaching them how to avoid fights. We are not teaching them how to passively resolve conflict by moving off the line we are teaching them how to skillfully engage other people and render them unable to cause us harm through various applications and levels of force.

It is secondary that we actually probably end up avoiding fights because we develop these skills. Certainly a worthwile goal in my opinion.

We should not pretend that the various ki test and exercises like kokyu tanden ho are doing anything to help us avoid fights, they are exercises to help us learn how to use our selves in more skillful ways.

As far as conflict resolution goes...sure, all martial arts by their nature contain elements of how to resolve conflict. However, I think we do it in some very generic ways that deal with physical force or the application (or not thereof).

Conflict Resolution is something I am very, very interested in for both professional and philosophical reasons. (I am comtemplating gong to George Mason University to obtain my PhD in CR right now actually).

However, CR is a very broad subject area and much of it must be approach situationally. For example, a police officer, a social worker, and a soldier may all have different "rules of engagement" and a spectrum of escalation of force criteria that they must deal with.

I think martial arts can be very helpful in this area as it develops good skills (mental, physically, and spiritually) that can assist us with being properly prepared to deal with stressful situations that may potentially involve physical action. I think MA also provide us a wonderful framework mentally and emotionally to deal with stress at the work place whatever that may be too.

However, I don't believe it is our responsibility in martial arts to define for people what conflict resolution should be and how we should react. We don't need to be establishing dogma for folks in this area...it will get them killed possibly (Cognitive Dissonance, another discussion).

We simply need to present martial methodologies for what they are and allow them to discover their own meaning.

We are teaching them how to hurt and kill people. Okay, I will also be a little more "PC" and say "we are teaching them how to resolve conflict". I'd buy that too I suppose as long as we don't define or constrain it to a particular paradigm of application. (I hope this makes sense???)

If we give them enough skill, then they/we should develop more and more choices about how much force and when we use it (hopefully), but we should not define or limit what we teach to them out of deference to some philosophical/dogmatic belief!

On one end of the spectrum you have the "combat effective" model that says, "break the wrist and walk away". On the other end of the spectrum you have "move off the line, harmonize and lay them down gently".

Which one is right? I think it depends on the situation. I think we have a responsibility to learn and teach both extremes and everything in between.

That is why I have issue with the statement "We teach people how not to fight".

It assumes a dogma and at least in my mind, psychologically limits us to what we practice or consider appropriate. It is a dangerous mindset IMO.

I understand what Terry Dobson is saying, and I think that is a noble goal. It is mine at least!

However, I have also heard people that have studied with Terry say he also said alot of other colorful things!

O Sensei as well, also said things that would appear to contradict that. You have to be careful with the context in which these things were said.

Budo presents us an interesting paradox, and I really think it is important that we choose our words and thoughts carefully.

I hope this explains why I posed the question to generate discussion.

I have no issue with your goals, as they are mine as well!

Kevin Leavitt
03-03-2009, 10:25 PM
Perhaps what is meant by this is teaching one to make sure a situation can be brought under control in a very fast, efficient way. If one has some type of training, a situation may not get out of hand. Control and harmony can be quickly restored.

If someone is good at Aikido for example, they may be able to end the fight before it really begins.

:)

Hey John thanks.

Good response, but think about this....is there more to it than this? I mean if "fast and efficient" is all we are concerned about then we would just need to train the "just break the wrist and walk away" model. Fast and efficient does not address the issue entirely I think either as it is not concerned with Escalation or Levels of Force.

You'd also have to define the parameters of what is meant by "harmony" and "control".

I think harmony is when two parties walk away from the situation equally happy with the outcome. When I think of control...I am, for example only concerned with myself being happy with the outcome.

I think the situation dictates that outcome. I mean if I am a corrections officer, I am probably not too concerned with the inmate being "happy". But then again, I may be if in the long run it makes everyones life easier having a happy inmate!

Thanks again...this is a complicated topic to discuss for sure!

RonRagusa
03-04-2009, 06:11 AM
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=225910#post225910)
How do you actually use a martial art to teach someone how NOT to fight?

I was about to ask the same thing.

Using martial arts to teach someone not to fight?
This sounds like some romantasized thing smeone came up with.
Like someone claiming to be a pacifist warrior.

The goal of my training is to not fight --- with myself. Over the years Aikido training has led me to realize that I carry more enemies around with me in the form of old baggage than I'm ever likely to meet on the street. First and foremost Aikido provides me with a vehicle that enables me to be at peace with myself. If I'm at peace with myself I'm more likely to successfully integrate myself with my environment in a harmonious manner.

The assertion that Aikido is a martial art that teaches you how not to fight is incomplete... it omits the simple fact that the enemies we are learning how not to fight with are ourselves.

Ron

DonMagee
03-04-2009, 06:47 AM
Sigh....

Why does everyone talk like the UFC is a martial art? Do you go out and take UFC classes? Who was the founder of UFC style? How many years does it take to get a black belt in UFC?

The UFC is a proving ground for fighters who themselves are trained in systems of combat. Some are boxers, some are jiujitsu experts, some are even TKD guys. These guys train in systems that they feel will win fights, then they go out and well...how can I put this....try to win fights.

Personally, I do not want morality preached at my in martial art class. I had parents and priests for that. I want them to spend their time teaching me how to fight. If you haven't learned to be moral by now your probably going to be an asshole for life.

Buck
03-04-2009, 07:20 AM
I was asked about my myth comment in my first post.

Aikido doesn't heal the sick or raise the dead. I think there is a big mistake when people put things on Aikido that they shouldn't. Aikido isn't something we can turn it into anything we want it to be. That is where the myths come from. :)

Buck
03-04-2009, 08:34 AM
Sigh....
Personally, I do not want morality preached at my in martial art class. I had parents and priests for that. I want them to spend their time teaching me how to fight. If you haven't learned to be moral by now your probably going to be an asshole for life.

I agree though I do think that Aikido like many other martial arts of its time had a purpose to turn martial combat into martial art. That there is a morality, on an individual morality, but a social morality. In the 1900's in New York street fighting and street violence was a common part of society. It wasn't very civil times then in that city. Aikido and other martial arts of that time, like Judo etc. basically is geared to change that ruffian Japanese mentality that was affecting Japanese society from moving forward. All that is similar to the 1900s in New York and how a change there too had to be made for the sake of social progress. Aikido is also similar to the purpose for the birth of sports in the 1700's in this country; culturing young men in things that now have become good sportsmanship, fair play, etc. The west unlike Japan, we had many institutions and stuff to teach morality. We were long out of our feudal periods and already made that shift to a modern society. Japan was a johnny-come-latey in these area of things.

Aikido as a martial art deals with the Japanese individual in relation to their society. It really doesn't teach individual personal morals or is the mental therapy stuff across cultures. Here is the other thing, to teach any of that kind of stuff really is dependent on the moral character and personality of the Sensei. Honestly, Aikido doesn't prepare any Sensei to be in the role of therapists, moral teachers, spiritual leaders, etc. and that responsibility. It is just expected?!? Basically it is gained through the journey of training. That is one big assumption for those who are not Japanese.

Because of that stuff, Aikido is wide open to personal and individual interpretations like being discussed now. What is over looked is Aikido's societal mission to better society by to turning the ruffian into a gentlemen, and not into anything else- the general idea. Taking parts of the old moral Japanese codes and revising it to fit the purpose of Japan's new direction into (or fit into) the modern world. Really, I think any of that cant apply so much in today's western society.

If you take a cross section of those people who start Aikido, you will find that they are already gentle people. That the goal of Aikido is already achieved before they walk through the dojo doors, one in most cases. People who seek out Aikido in general well educated, intelligent, successful and contributing members of society. Who have already a general morality in place from other sources. The problem here is the goal of Aikido being already met before we actually start crates a void of sorts. Because of the strong obscure message of Aikido. So then because of that message not being understood clearly people feel that message needs to be fulfilled( even though it has been already). In that case, we find other ways of fulfilling that message resulting in the mix of other things which we then attribute to Aikido. The result of that is the personal experience stuff.

Guilty Spark
03-04-2009, 10:01 AM
Sigh....

Why does everyone talk like the UFC is a martial art? Do you go out and take UFC classes? Who was the founder of UFC style? How many years does it take to get a black belt in UFC?

The UFC is a proving ground for fighters who themselves are trained in systems of combat. Some are boxers, some are jiujitsu experts, some are even TKD guys. These guys train in systems that they feel will win fights, then they go out and well...how can I put this....try to win fights.

Personally, I do not want morality preached at my in martial art class. I had parents and priests for that. I want them to spend their time teaching me how to fight. If you haven't learned to be moral by now your probably going to be an asshole for life.

Great post Don.
UFC breeds two negitive aspects I find.
1. People who brag ad nauseum about how great all things UFC are. Often these people seem like in order for themselves to feel better about their own martial arts they need to cling onto X fighter who uses their style in UFC as a sort of validation all the while putting other people down.

2. Other people who's martial art isn't in UFC who feel the need to prove or point out ways that their martial art still works. Pointing this out isn't always a bad thing but I think it's unhealthy when someone feels the *need* to as a sort of justification or validation.

It all just seems like posturing to me.

With regard to your comment;

"Personally, I do not want morality preached at my in martial art class. I had parents and priests for that. "

I see where you're coming from but I also see some reasons *to* teach it in class.

Kids today lack a lot of social interaction and empathy for other people. Kids (and teenagers) interact more with halo_player56 while playing Ghost recon on XBox more than they do with their parents and kids up the road.
You said you had parents and teachers to teach you morality, that's awesome but how many other kids DON'T have that?

How many kids get shoved into a martial arts class 3 times a week so their parents can have a break from them? They get home, back on the computer.

I have a lot more respect for people in general because of Aikido. I know it's easy for people to get all weird about Budo and the way of the warrior but how I see it in the military they don't just teach you how to shoot, they teach you when to shoot and when not too.
Personally I see martial arts the same way. They teach you how to fight but they should also touch on force escalation. When to pull your sword out and when to put it away.
I just don't think kids today learn enough of that from their parents and schoolteachers. know what I mean?

Cyrijl
03-04-2009, 10:21 AM
I usually don't post here because Jun always has to warn me after I do ;), but I just can't help comment on the stereotypes of the orginal poster.

#1 I have met several UFC fighters. Kenny Florian, Ninja Rua, Joe Lauzon, Dan Henderson. They were all very nice and polite and for the most part soft spoken. If you ever have seen Ninja fight, he usually has a smile on his face, the same smile he has while he trained at my school. Dan was in the olympics. Joe has a college degree in computer science. Kennny grew up in one of the most affluent towns in massachusetts. I didn't grasp a bit of ego from any of them. When I took Aikido, that is all I got was ego. But I don't assume it is caused by Aikido, it is just the way those people are.

#2 I love the UFC. I love mixed martial arts. I have advanced degrees in philosophy from a top notch school and I don't wear TapOut or Affliction T-shirts. I just don't enjoy team sports. I don't drink beer or yell out in public, I avoid fights.

#3 I hate to compete. I entered my first tournament two weeks ago and came in first place. Nonetheless, it is not my thing. I did it to see if I could use my technique against a fully resisting opponent. I didn't even plan on competing until the day of. I didn't cut weight. I didn't train for the event. My first opponent outweighted me by about 15lbs, was pure muscle and tried very hard to stare me down. When I won, we shook hands, I bowed and I walked off the mat. Later on that day the guy and I talked quite a bit. No ego

#4 I don't do Muay Thai as much as I used to because I have never liked hitting people. Even with mouthguards and 12 oz gloves, I can't bring myself to really hit anyone. However, getting hit on a regular basis has gelped me stay out of fights. Much like the competition, knowing that I can take a punch and beat someone bigger means I don't have to worry about a bruised ego "out on the street". What I ran into in aikido (not from the instructors) seemed like a bunch of students whose confidence is largely inflated by the little stripes on their belt and not much more.

Again, I don't think it is an aikido thing or a ufc thing. It is about having good parents and common sense. It is easy to avoid fights. If you need aikido to help you avoid fights, you might need a psychologist not a martial art.

Guilty Spark
03-04-2009, 11:13 AM
When I took Aikido, that is all I got was ego. But I don't assume it is caused by Aikido, it is just the way those people are.

Do you mind giving some examples?

jennifer paige smith
03-04-2009, 11:30 AM
the enemies we are learning how not to fight with are ourselves.

Ron

Masaka Agatsu Katsu Hayahi:) .

Kevin Leavitt
03-04-2009, 11:31 AM
I think if we stick to teaching folks the very core elements of martial arts, and as instructors we make sure that we set a good example as a human being, and we look hard at the character of those we choose to teach...

Then, the whole morality/philosophical thing tends to take care of itself.

I think it is simply enough to focus on the core and the rest falls in place. An occasional discussion about personal responsibility or personal goals and happiness are all okay, but if we get dogmatic about what we are teaching...we are not doing the right things.

We should simply present our teachings without pretext of what we personally believe...that is "We don't teach THAT technique because it is not aikido or not ethical". Simply teach it, and let people make up their own mind and learn their own lessons.

I agree with Grant's assessment above.

Aikibu
03-04-2009, 11:52 AM
I finally met Gokor Chevichyan last Sunday and got a chance to shake his hand...Some of my friends jokingly egged me on to challenge him...and I did...I bet him I could last 30 seconds in the ring with him...LOL

I don't have a point with that little story other than I think Aikido and NHB/MMA can co-exist and learn from each other.

I guess part of this boards job is for some folks to dicuss over and over again thier "issues" with whatever Martial Art they practice...It used to bother me but I don't mind now....

The thread topic is a rhetorical question predicated on if you believe what you practice WORKS FOR YOU...If it does not then go find something else that does...

I know my Aikido works both as a Martial System and as a way to live my life. :)

William Hazen

Demetrio Cereijo
03-04-2009, 12:12 PM
Masaka Agatsu Katsu Hayahi:) .

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=205619&postcount=78 :D

mathewjgano
03-04-2009, 12:26 PM
Sigh....

Why does everyone talk like the UFC is a martial art?
Because everyone uses short-hand descriptions all the time.

If you haven't learned to be moral by now your probably going to be an asshole for life.
LOL! Oh THAT's why we shouldn't have some sense of morality in Aikido training! Fortunately about two minutes before you typed that I hit my head and saw the light, so there's hope for me yet. My buddy on the other hand is hopeless so don't bother trying to reach him, poor bastard.:D

Cyrijl
03-04-2009, 12:51 PM
Do you mind giving some examples?

Sure. I posted one along time ago. But I have two very clear examples.

#1 I used to practice Krav Maga and was looking for something to complement it. I had watched a few aikido classes and decided to join. I spoke with one of the instructors who said it was not ideal of self defense because of the time it takes to learn. I said ok since that was not why I was taking aikido. I thought it was very good to be upfront with potential students. Anyways, I get paired up with this guy who keeps trying to correct my Kamae. (stance<?>) I asked in all earnestly why we stand that way. I had rather tight hips at the time so I kept squaring up more and more. He told me he would just kick me in the groin. So we talked a little bit and he said he did TKD for 3 years and he had to unlearn all of his bad habits and I would have to unlearn all the krav I had done. His tone was very arrogant, not seomthng I can really convey here. At any rate, I tell him to feel free to kick me if I open my stance so we can see what happens. He tried, I checked the kick and he lost balance. I was trying in earnest to learn and to understand the technique and stance. He just thought he was so superior.

#2 This one is even funnier/worse. I get paired up with a smaller woman (prob about 5ft, i am 5'10") who was a black belt or at least wore hakama (i think the rule was only higher levels could wear hakama since not all women wore them). As we are working technique, everytime I try to grab her wrist, she pulls it away before I make contact. I ask her if I am supposed to follow her and she gets quite annoyed and says to me "Well, what else would you do?". I told her if I tried for a wrist and could not grab it I would not just throw my arms out there and lean over. I told her I would probably not do anything. She said I would not be able to help it. Then she said she would elbow me and hit me. This kind of annoyed me becasue she was implying that she was so superior I wouldn't be able to hlpe getting hit. So we tried it. She put her arm out, I tried for the wrist, She pulled it back, I put my hands up, she bent over, I pushed down on the back of her head like I had been trained (to bend the person at 90 degrees to maintain control and distance). I let her up after 1 maybe 1.5 seconds. She was then very angry and told me I wasn't supposed to be talking.

I realize aikido schools probably get alot of jerks coming in trying to pratice their Martial Art in their school.All I can say is that my concerns were in earnest and were always met with hostility by other students. I always try to be as humble as possible. I have gone to other BJJ schools far away from home. And while there have been jerks at those schools looking to beat up on visitors, their frequency was alot less than from the aikidoka I have met.

Also, at the school I attended there wasn't much chance to train with the head sensei (which is another problem all together). I just got back from yoga so I may need to fix some misspellings. And my writing style is a bit lazy. I just didn't want to drone on and on.

mathewjgano
03-04-2009, 01:08 PM
...It is easy to avoid fights. If you need aikido to help you avoid fights, you might need a psychologist not a martial art.

Nice post, Joseph! I do think avoiding fights, while physically easy, is not easy for everyone, which is why I personally like that Aikido generally includes some sense of basic non-violent intent. I think it's too easy to take such notions for granted (and that we all do it from time to time).

Kevin Leavitt
03-04-2009, 03:00 PM
Good post Joseph. Are vignettes describe the situations exactly that we end up in when we develop a dogma, preconceptions, or reframing around what we are practicing.

graham
03-04-2009, 06:26 PM
Again, I don't think it is an aikido thing or a ufc thing. It is about having good parents and common sense. It is easy to avoid fights. If you need aikido to help you avoid fights, you might need a psychologist not a martial art.

My work would throw up a dozen scenarios a week where it's not so 'easy' to avoid a fight. If that's been your experience, you have cause for much joy.

Incidentally, where I live Aikido is quite a bit cheaper than a psychologist! :p

graham
03-04-2009, 06:28 PM
Kevin,

Thanks for such a thoughtful response. I'm afraid that time-restraints may limit my reply, but here goes.

Certainly, each of us has our own experiences and we draw from them and find meaning in many ways and I am sure Aikido has served that purpose for you and for many.

Absolutely. I'm glad you saw that, because the rest of what I said was basically just filler! ;)

Maybe it is semantics, but I do tend to be a little be very precise in my definition of martial art and like to make people think hard about and answer the question when the say "well, our martial art actually teaches people how not to fight."

That's fine, but I can't really think of a definition of martial art that would forbid psychological elements, including training in things like relaxation and anticipation, that ultimately lead to less actual physical confrontations.

If we are doing anything other than that, then I really believe we are either not qualified to be teaching what we are teaching, (because we don't know better), or we are intentionally reframing it for some philosophical reason to get an agenda or dogma across that we are trying to carry on.

I'm not sure that's accurate. In fact, I thought so much about your reply, that I ran past my Sensei the phrase 'Aikido teaches me how not to fight'. FWIW, my Sensei is a 30+ years student of Ken Williams Sensei, who is the most experienced Aikidoka in Great Britain. He completely agreed that Aikido teaches us how not to fight.

We are teaching people how to fight. It is that simple at the base level.

I'm not sure it is. I think we are teaching people how to use the minimal amount of force to resolve conflicts. And if there is a way to use no force whatsoever, excellent!

We are not teaching them how to avoid fights. We are not teaching them how to passively resolve conflict by moving off the line we are teaching them how to skillfully engage other people and render them unable to cause us harm through various applications and levels of force.

I couldn't agree more; apart from your first sentance. I guess I'd question your logic here. What if the level of force is none? What if part of what Aikido teaches us - at the very least, at the subconscious level and implicitly - is how to so skillfully engage other people that we can resolve the conflict with resorts to physical violence.

Conflict Resolution is something I am very, very interested in for both professional and philosophical reasons. (I am comtemplating gong to George Mason University to obtain my PhD in CR right now actually).

If you've written more about that anywhere, I'd genuinely love to hear it.

I understand what Terry Dobson is saying, and I think that is a noble goal. It is mine at least!

However, I have also heard people that have studied with Terry say he also said alot of other colorful things!

O Sensei as well, also said things that would appear to contradict that. You have to be careful with the context in which these things were said.

I don't doubt for a second that I have played fast and loose with my quotes! :D However, Dobson's 'Aikido in Everyday Life' leads me to think that he would agree with much of what I've written here.

Additionally, even given O Sensei's enigmatic speech, the quotes I have found would imply that it is possible to approach - and teach - Aikido in the way that I have framed it. It may not be necessary to do so, but I think it is possible. And that has been my experience.

Thanks for the dialogue.

graham
03-04-2009, 06:37 PM
Have you ever counted the number of times Aikido is compared to UFC in threads?

More importantly, did you read this:

PLEASE don't see this thread as an attempt to revive any kind of "does aikido really work?" discussion. Nothing interests me less. Instead, I thought it would be useful to share what I personally love about Aikido...

This is not about comparing Aikido to UFC or MMA, at all. That was merely the context for my thoughts. In fact, to be exact the context was my boredom with such discussions, which lead me to consider that Aikido actually precisely matched what it is that I looked for in a contemporary martial art.

Perhaps I was naive for thinking that would be an uncontroversial point!

George S. Ledyard
03-04-2009, 07:31 PM
When I took Aikido, that is all I got was ego. But I don't assume it is caused by Aikido, it is just the way those people are.

My teacher, Saotome Sensei once said "Aikido people are most angry people in martial arts..." While I am not a fan of the way mixed martial arts has gone, we need to be realistic about our Aikido. Aikido really has a hugely passive - aggressive culture. We have an art that is fundamentally about the study of connection but the art attracts folks who do not want to really connect.

So many people have no idea how they might go about applying their technique in a martial situation. If you point that out to them, they respond that Aikido isn't about fighting. Well, it isn't but that shouldn't be an excuse for not understanding your technique.

The fact is that most folks cannot actually do their waza within the Aikido context if they get real committed attacks from ukes who aren't colluding. Forget about applying the techniques against other martial artists... they can't do their techniques against a proper katatetori, they can't actually do an irimi with a partner who is REALLY trying to hit them. This applies to many of the folks teaching as well as the average practitioner. This is particularly prevalent on the West Coast where people are trying so hard to do "spiritual Aikido".

This causes Aikido to have a bad reputation. Ikeda Sensei has said many times, "It's not Aikido that doesn't work, it's YOUR Aikido that doesn't work". Aikido people need to let go of the whole moral superiority thing they have about their art. I love this art. It is my Path. But people who don't know what they are talking about get so superior.

Again, I don't think it is an aikido thing or a ufc thing. It is about having good parents and common sense. It is easy to avoid fights. If you need aikido to help you avoid fights, you might need a psychologist not a martial art.

Here I disagree... if not fighting were so easy there wouldn't be so much violence around. Most of the violence in the world is done by people who actually think they are doing the right thing had regular parents and were members in good standing of their communities.

Most folks are not particularly emotionally integrated. Budo is about working some of that out. Aikido is definitely about not fighting but I don't mean that the way most folks mean it. Even when it is used for self defense, it is still about not fighting. The UFC is totally about fighting. I am not saying that is bad, but that's what it is about. That doesn't mean that the folks who do the art are more aggressive than folks who don't, or that they are morally not as advanced somehow. I am sure that the best of those guys are quite stellar human beings, just as the worst Aikido people are wretches.

But it simply is a fact that human beings don't do well at not fighting. They fight within themselves, they fight with those around them, they fight with those they love... We are VERY fearful animals and that causes violence against the self and against others, much of which never gets to the physical stage.

Mankind is always in need of practices that help them transform themselves into what they can be from what they are. Aikido is one of them. It isn't the only one, or the best one, but is the one that many of us have connected with. It is our job to make the art as strong as possible but it definitely is about not fighting, on all sorts of levels.

Buck
03-04-2009, 07:53 PM
It is our job to make the art as strong as possible but it definitely is about not fighting, on all sorts of levels.

That can't be stressed enough!

Erick Mead
03-04-2009, 08:10 PM
My teacher, Saotome Sensei once said "Aikido people are most angry people in martial arts..." While I am not a fan of the way mixed martial arts has gone, we need to be realistic about our Aikido. Aikido really has a hugely passive - aggressive culture. We have an art that is fundamentally about the study of connection but the art attracts folks who do not want to really connect. But the reason for that disconnect (pun intended) is the key, I think -- I may not be representative, but a huge part of the motivation to seek the art was simply not liking the violence I suddenly discovered lurking in me at a very young age, and explosively expressed one unexpected day and which appealed to me deeply in a troubling and darkly seductive way. That coupled with a slowly dawning realization that I could never possibly in any way actually extinguish it. So I had to harness it.

The type you describe, I think, imagined that they COULD extinguish it -- and so it snuck up and bit them from behind while they were not paying attention.

Cyrijl
03-04-2009, 09:02 PM
The types of fights most people take martial arts for are pretty easy to avoid. In my years of practice the overwhelming majority of people who train for self defense are afraid of random attacks or bar fights, they are not LEOs, bouncers or in any job which would require them to use force to restrain someone (like a psych ward).

The average person has no need to fight and can easily de-escalate...if not the world would be in constant conflict and we wouldn't be having this conversation right now.

Buck
03-04-2009, 10:06 PM
The types of fights most people take martial arts for are pretty easy to avoid. In my years of practice the overwhelming majority of people who train for self defense are afraid of random attacks or bar fights, they are not LEOs, bouncers or in any job which would require them to use force to restrain someone (like a psych ward).

The average person has no need to fight and can easily de-escalate...if not the world would be in constant conflict and we wouldn't be having this conversation right now.

Isn't that what Aikido is about?

Michael Douglas
03-05-2009, 04:34 AM
... Some of us need to focus more on the list of skills you provided while some of us need to focus on something more like "ground and pound" (a gross simplification of MMA).
By two-bits at least.:)
And here's me thinking aikido WAS ground-and-pound ... just the 'pound' bit being ridiculously under-trained.

Mark Freeman
03-05-2009, 06:06 AM
.The fact is that most folks cannot actually do their waza within the Aikido context if they get real committed attacks from ukes who aren't colluding. Forget about applying the techniques against other martial artists... they can't do their techniques against a proper katatetori, they can't actually do an irimi with a partner who is REALLY trying to hit them. This applies to many of the folks teaching as well as the average practitioner. This is particularly prevalent on the West Coast where people are trying so hard to do "spiritual Aikido".
That is a pretty damning (but probably true) statement about the state of Aikido and aikidoka in general, George. I for one hope that I am not one of those perpetuating the problem.

This causes Aikido to have a bad reputation. Ikeda Sensei has said many times, "It's not Aikido that doesn't work, it's YOUR Aikido that doesn't work". Aikido people need to let go of the whole moral superiority thing they have about their art. I love this art. It is my Path. But people who don't know what they are talking about get so superior.
My own teacher has never experienced Ikeda Sensei, however he has used the same words. The truth is the truth, eh?
The quote I have 'bolded' - wasn't the internet created just for them/us?:D

But it simply is a fact that human beings don't do well at not fighting. They fight within themselves, they fight with those around them, they fight with those they love... We are VERY fearful animals and that causes violence against the self and against others, much of which never gets to the physical stage.
Well put, and again very true. Isn't this why so many of us are drawn to aikido in the first place. We on some level recognise our own inate fear and look to a martial art / aikido to help overcome that fear. If we practice the principles of aikido diligently both on the mat and off, we may after many years, learn to be non contentious, to accept and blend with life and act with more confidence and courage to do the right thing at the right time, thereby living life with less fear?

Mankind is always in need of practices that help them transform themselves into what they can be from what they are. Aikido is one of them. It isn't the only one, or the best one, but is the one that many of us have connected with. It is our job to make the art as strong as possible but it definitely is about not fighting, on all sorts of levels.

I agree that Aikido is not the only one, I am curious to know what you consider the 'best' one to be? Personally I am happy to continue on my chosen path of aikido, it is working for me. I am always keen to supplement my practice with study and appreciation of other 'ways'

regards,

Mark

Erick Mead
03-05-2009, 09:03 AM
Isn't this why so many of us are drawn to aikido in the first place. We on some level recognise our own inate fear and look to a martial art / aikido to help overcome that fear. If we practice the principles of aikido diligently both on the mat and off, we may after many years, learn to be non contentious, to accept and blend with life and act with more confidence and courage to do the right thing at the right time, thereby living life with less fear?You don't need a martial art to overcome fear -- uninhibited anger works just fine -- ask any belligerent drunk. For most people the balance on the pole from anger to fear tips decidedly one way or the other. For the great majority it is weighted wholly toward fear, and they have difficulty responding to attack, apart from flight. For a select few it is weighted strongly toward anger, and they will attack with little or no obvious provocation. For most people, peace means the peace of the valleys. The peace of the valley of fear is still fear, but near zero. The peace of the valley of anger is still anger, but anger near zero. The peace of the martial Way is a very different affair. For a very, very few there is a precarious ridge lying between the slopes toward the valleys of anger or fear.

There aikido (and any humane martial art) strives to find its balance -- where martial love lives -- fear for another combined with anger toward an unjust danger, creates a very active form of personal peace. It is immensely more powerful in commitment than either self-directed anger or fear alone, and yet it is supported by both. It is very delicately poised on edge and difficult to find a place to stand firmly on without sliding back down, one way or the other.

The secret is not to try to find any place to stand but to keep moving. The ridge between them, though exceedingly narrow, is very, very long. The ridge can also climb or drop -- so some aspects of fear and anger are not lost, but they are quite differently oriented. The shape of those emotions on the ridge is more varied and not dictated by the inexorable downward pull of the fear or anger to either side. From either perspective, of fear or of anger, its shape can barely be seen. It is hard to see until you reach the point that you see it along the length, when its shape becomes much clearer. And there lies the narrow way. It is lonely and misunderstood for few will make the climb into the higher reaches of fear -- or anger.

Mark Freeman
03-05-2009, 09:27 AM
Hi Erick,
I agree that you don't need a martial art to overcome fear, there are plenty of fearless people who have never set foot in a dojo.

I like your ridge of fear and anger metaphor, it makes a great deal of sense to me. I have through practice glimpsed at the sharpness and length of this ridge, my own has the added danger of being manned(?) along it's stretch by sword weilding pixies (my own mental gremlins - full of mischief and dodgy humour).
On a good day when balance is with me I can stand and admire the veiw. On a bad day I find myself clutching at tufts trying not to slip too far down one side.

regards

Mark

Erick Mead
03-05-2009, 09:31 AM
... my own has the added danger of being manned(?) along it's stretch by sword weilding pixies (my own mental gremlins - full of mischief and dodgy humour). Damnable pixies! You see them, too?? :eek: {not "manned" -- "pixelated" :) )

mathewjgano
03-05-2009, 12:21 PM
I for one hope that I am not one of those perpetuating the problem.
Amen to that! That is to say, "me too"...particularly since I've described my preference for an ethical componant to martial training. I hope folks didn't take that as an implied superior state of being.

mathewjgano
03-05-2009, 01:45 PM
And here's me thinking aikido WAS ground-and-pound ... just the 'pound' bit being ridiculously under-trained.
I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying Aikido as a comprehensive system should include the ability to be brutal (to train to be as technically or physicaly powerful as possible)? I would completely agree. My point was simply that some folks already have a pronounced amount of training in some things while not in others. I know plenty of people who frankly need more "not-fight" training than fight training.
And since I'm laid up from my wisdom teeth extraction...:uch:
I think I understand why folks get uncomfortable when ethics comes up. It's a "little" subjective, and often the topic of religion starts to weave its way into the discussion...'nuff said there. I also think I understand why a lot of folks don't want to include these things in their training. They want to isolate and focus on the specific things they're developing. If they're already getting the intangibles from home or church, it's redundant to talk about them when you could be learning stuff that pertains more to the mat itself...I mean, stepping on the mat to talk is kind of like getting into a car for a nap, isn't it? You might have good reasons to do it, but the mat is mostly there to land on and throw people on. That said, I still think it's important to have the difficult discussions...ethical discussions about what people maybe should or shouldn't do in certain circumstances. In all things balance, but it seems to me that O Sensei hoped people would consider the ethical questions surrounding conflict. This necessitates some inclusion of morals and ethics doesn't it? Obviously the degree with which different individuals "need" to apply themselves in this regard would vary...just as a person with gymnastics training will probably do basic rolls a little quicker than someone with no previous training of any kind.

Buck
03-05-2009, 08:59 PM
I think Aikido isn't a contemporary martial art, and MMA has nothing to do with that.

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2009, 10:02 PM
http://www.newsweek.com/id/184156/page/2

This is worth a read. I understand that most of us are not Special Forces or have a need for this type of training....

but I think what this shows us, IMO, that it is the process of inducing physical and mental stress in various scenarios and situations that conditions us to be able to better deal with it in everyday life.

Is not the process of budo or aikido the same?

Through the training that we do, which is progressive and methodical a way of working us through this process?

If so, is the process really designed to teach folks morals or ethics....

or, is a big part of the process simply designed to condition us in this manner, so when we are "engaged" in situations that we have the ability to "deal" with the situation?

If so, this would infer that the harder and more stressful we practice the better we would be able to deal with "stress" in our day to day lives or when we get involved in a "situation" that is stressful.

Interesting topic.

RonRagusa
03-05-2009, 10:35 PM
If so, is the process really designed to teach folks morals or ethics....

I don't see the process of Aikido study as a delivery vehicle for any moral or ethical lessons. Rather the physical practice of Aikido provides me with a way of looking inward to discover who I am and how I interact with the world around me. This process of discovery has enabled me to witness the emergence and maturation of a moral and ethical base of personal behavior that is substantially different from when I started my study.

My study of Aikido has been decidely inwardly directed, resulting in outward behavior that has been moving toward a more ethical and moral form than would othwerwise have been had I never taken up Aikido.

Ron

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2009, 11:20 PM
yes, I agree Ron. Aikido provides the conditions and environment or experiences that allow us to mature and emerge! Agreed.

I don't think it explicitly teaches us anything or should enforce a particular set of ethics, values, or morales.

I think we have the endstate, or common goal of Peace and Harmony.

I think it should stop and end there. It should not define "how" we get there or limit us in our methodology or experiences by excluding things based on our judgement of what is or is not appropriate to teach.

If we do that, then we are screwing with the process of learning to affect the outcome.

mathewjgano
03-06-2009, 12:18 PM
I think Aikido isn't a contemporary martial art...

evileyes
Does it exist in the present?
:D

mathewjgano
03-06-2009, 12:27 PM
I don't think it explicitly teaches us anything or should enforce a particular set of ethics, values, or morales.

I think we have the endstate, or common goal of Peace and Harmony.

I think it should stop and end there. It should not define "how" we get there or limit us in our methodology or experiences by excluding things based on our judgement of what is or is not appropriate to teach.

If we do that, then we are screwing with the process of learning to affect the outcome.

It's the same as your idea of allowing space for learning when i describe the need for ethics in Aikido. In Shinto, messing with another person's destiny is seriously bad juju...I think this might mean O Sensei felt it's up to people to lead by example; not to coerce the change itself. I just think it's important to promote the growth of peace through occasional discourse, when the situation naturally brings it up. When we make ethics a mantra instead of a practice, it's not ethics...if I'm making any sense. My eyes are fried.
Take care folks,
Matt

Cyrijl
03-06-2009, 02:09 PM
You can learn morality and ethics doing anything you want if that is what you get out of it.

Kevin Leavitt
03-06-2009, 04:06 PM
It's the same as your idea of allowing space for learning when i describe the need for ethics in Aikido. In Shinto, messing with another person's destiny is seriously bad juju...I think this might mean O Sensei felt it's up to people to lead by example; not to coerce the change itself. I just think it's important to promote the growth of peace through occasional discourse, when the situation naturally brings it up. When we make ethics a mantra instead of a practice, it's not ethics...if I'm making any sense. My eyes are fried.
Take care folks,
Matt

No it makes sense.

I think it can be summed up in one sentence by Ghandi

"Be the change you want to see in the world".

DonMagee
03-06-2009, 11:40 PM
You can learn morality and ethics doing anything you want if that is what you get out of it.

I was talking to some guys who train in jiujitsu with me today about this. They don't feel they have learned ethics in any martial art training. What they did learn was humility and confidence (in that order).

I agree. When I first started I had false confidence from my previous martial art training. I was humbled and force to deal with my delusions. Later, and I got better I gained real confidence. I know where I stand in terms I can quantify. This has lead to a reduction in aggression, a desire to help others succeed, and inward and outward happiness. I'm less introverted and able to assert myself more directly in public. It has helped my job, my teaching, and my personal life. The best part, my teacher just taught me how to choke, pin, and armbar people. The rest just came from that.

Now as a part time teacher I also do not try to push my values on my students or even mention them. Instead I focus on building their abilities, confident that they non-physical things they gain will be their own.

JO
03-07-2009, 11:20 AM
Learning humility is learning ethics. Humility is an ethical virtue found in many, but not all, ethical belief systems. Confidence is somewhat ethically neutral as it has no real impact on what kind of behavior it will allow you to do that you would otherwise have coward away from. But it is usefull to ethical behavior, irrespective of the specific ethic followed.

Personnally I think you jiujitsu friends may be developing more ethics in their training than they think.

Kevin Leavitt
03-07-2009, 11:32 AM
I was talking to some guys who train in jiujitsu with me today about this. They don't feel they have learned ethics in any martial art training. What they did learn was humility and confidence (in that order).

I agree. When I first started I had false confidence from my previous martial art training. I was humbled and force to deal with my delusions. Later, and I got better I gained real confidence. I know where I stand in terms I can quantify. This has lead to a reduction in aggression, a desire to help others succeed, and inward and outward happiness. I'm less introverted and able to assert myself more directly in public. It has helped my job, my teaching, and my personal life. The best part, my teacher just taught me how to choke, pin, and armbar people. The rest just came from that.

Now as a part time teacher I also do not try to push my values on my students or even mention them. Instead I focus on building their abilities, confident that they non-physical things they gain will be their own.

Yes...this is what I have been trying to convey! Thanks Don.

mathewjgano
03-08-2009, 12:27 PM
It has helped my job, my teaching, and my personal life. The best part, my teacher just taught me how to choke, pin, and armbar people. The rest just came from that.

Now as a part time teacher I also do not try to push my values on my students or even mention them. Instead I focus on building their abilities, confident that they non-physical things they gain will be their own.

I would argue against the idea that your teacher "only" taught chokes, pins, etc. But I completely agree with your point that these kinds of things you describe are usually learned best in an indirect way.
Below is a good description of this issue in terms of public education, where we simply must teach ethics (directly or indirectly) as a part of classroom management. I think it provides a good basic framework for how to approach this idea.

"Instructors are competent in their subject area. One question being discussed in the media, at teaching conferences, and by society in general centers around teaching values in the classroom. Should we teach values? How should we teach them? Are we being judgmental if we teach our values? How do we assure that we present material in such a way as to remain open to new ideas? According to John Dewey in Experience and Education, "Perhaps the greatest of all pedagogical fallacies is the notion that a person learns only the particular things he is studying at the time. Collateral learning in the way of formation of enduring attitudes, of likes and dislikes, may be and often is much more important than the spelling lesson or lesson in geography, or history that is learned. For these attitudes are fundamentally what count in the future." Collateral learning is the invisible curriculum."(http://college.hmco.com/instructors/ins_teachtech_foundations_module_invcurriculum.html)

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2009, 04:27 PM
We should be teaching things that are value based most definitely. There are societal values that we all adhere to if we want to get along with others and not end up in prison or something.

Just about every institution has a set of values. Most of them are common. Respect Others, Loyalty, Honesty, Courage..those type of things.

I think were we go wrong (or can go wrong) is when we start defining for others "how" you live these values. Puritans had there own ideas, Al Qaeda have some ideas as well.

How this translate to Aikido to me is when we adopt certain martial affects or practices, techniques and begin to believe that these things are somehow more ethical or morally superior in application than other practices.

That mindset is dogmatic, limiting, and narrow...hence ignorant.

I think the same applies to our schools. We can say it is okay to support and encourage prayer, meditation, or reflect, to think about others or things that are "bigger than us", god or (insert here). To me, it is value based to encourage compassion and contemplation in some way.

Where we go wrong is when we define for others HOW that practice is done, WHEN it is done, and WHAT that practice should encompass.

As a Unitarian and Practicing buddhist in the Military, I can't tell you the number of group things I go to in the military that a prayer is offered, which in and of itself is okay...and then the Chaplain will end it with "In Jesus' Name" or something of that nature.

I personally don't find it offensive. One Jesus was certainly a righteous dude! Two, I don't feel it hurts me personally in any way.

I do though find it interesting that people make assumptions about what the collective of a group represents and seem to gloss over the fact that they may not care so much about the sensitivity to others. To me, it points out that we have along way to go if we expect to ultimately resolve conflict in the world.

To me, my time spent in Budo is meant to fix myself and to be a reflection of what I think we need to become as a society (transcendental) in nature. It is meant to increase our awareness of both things internal and external to us and help us respond and react to them in a more honest way stripped of emotion, paradigms and ego. It is an ideal for sure.

So, I think it is okay to be value based in our approach to training, infact, I don't see how you train without values.

I think it is not okay to define what or how or what that practice should include or not include outside of the basic structure of the methodology.

Toby Threadgill
03-08-2009, 05:09 PM
Kevin,

Very nice response.

The "what" of ethics is frequently not the problem, its the "how" that gets us in trouble.

The frequency with which otherwise good people lose sight of their good intentions by becoming dogmatic in their approach of promoting ethics, marginalizes their motivations. When one source of the same ethical principle is promoted as superior to another its fair to ask if its underlying intent is the benevolent promotion of ethics.

Proper ethical behavior is not a mystery. That's why the golden rule is a very old concept.

Toby Threadgill

Dan O'Day
03-08-2009, 05:11 PM
Warning!!! Warning!!! Warning!!!

Posting Alert!!!

The following post contains thoughts and ideas of a fellow human being which may be perceived as...thoughts and ideas of a fellow human being.

Proceed at your own risk!

Aikido? I think it's a very contemporary art. It was developed only what...70 years ago? That's about as contemporary as you can get in comparison to the many other martial arts of which a fair number have been around for millenia.

What's up with the MMA and UFP or UPF or whatever it is?

If those guys are for real why don't they ever tear each others' shoulders loose with a shihonage or a sankyu hold or their equivalent in jui jitsu? How come they don't do slamming kokyu throws which can kill people by breaking their necks?

Seriously...What is the point of any discussion concerning aikido in which it is compared to competitve sports/endeavors?

I mean, what is up with that?

What is up with me writing on this forum?

What is up with anything?

Aikido. Train to better oneself and to develop an ego as a "martial artist" that can be fed by other people with "martial artist" egos who are all part of the "martial artist ego club" and who absoultely know everything there is to know about aikido which explains why they keep telling each other what it is...?

Uh...does that make sense?

Fight. Real aikido. MMA. Phony aikido. Only established sensei knows anything about anything, ugh, ugh, reminds me of McClure poem, ugh, ugh and Ginsberg poem all wrapped up in one, Aikido I've given you everything, March 7, 2009 five dollars and forty three cents. Why can't I go into the store and buy my groceries with my ranking? Ugh, ugh.

And other Ginsberg poem, aikido I see the best minds of my generation starving naked hysterical craving spiritual delight atop the ki-filled dynamo of tatami and then losing all in talkfest forum. And O'Day poem, aikido you are real you are nothing you are terrifically tattooed traveling troops traipsing towards tinsletown under virgin wrappings extrapolating yonder zues.

You are not trees. Trees are constant. And they get cut down. No, you are like elegant water fed cut stone on the shore of a high mountain river bank. Getting polished by wind and rain, stream and sun.

There you go. All wrapped up into a big ball of love and wonder.

Until...

UFC, MMA, Aikido not real, Aikido real, no one knows anything except me, me, me, me and the other people in the meme club.

What's it all about?

Competition. It is absolutely rampant on these threads. It's a cryin' shame, if you ask me.

And frankly...it's boring as hell.

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2009, 05:40 PM
Dan O'Day wrote:

If those guys are for real why don't they ever tear each others' shoulders loose with a shihonage or a sankyu hold or their equivalent in jui jitsu?

Cause they can't, cause it don't work that way in those situations. In fact, I have never actually been able to even get myself in a situation when shihonage would actually work. Sankyu on the other hand, well...it don't work so well either as a technique, although I have used it before in some instances in competition. ( I posted video of it on my blog.)

How come they don't do slamming kokyu throws which can kill people by breaking their necks?

cause in reality it don't work either. Why, cause the other guy stops you from doing this in most cases. Noble ideal, but rarely does it work the way we want it to.

Love to see someone like yourself go to the UFC and show them. Funny how we have had no aikido guys actually demonstrate their superior skills.

Aikido. Train to better oneself and to develop an ego as a "martial artist" that can be fed by other people with "martial artist" egos who are all part of the "martial artist ego club" and who absoultely know everything there is to know about aikido which explains why they keep telling each other what it is...?

Uh...does that make sense?

Maybe in some dojos, but not in the ones I have chosen to study in. I have never met anyone that says they know it all, or I tend to avoid those guys I guess.

I have seen alot of folks though in aikido that don't want to take responsibility for their own training, or they want to, and don't really know how to go about doing it. I see alot of martial artist that want to take short cuts, or don't but simply don't want to admit they need to get in shape, eat right, lose weight...(insert whatever you want to here).

I also see alot of foks in aikido that are perfectly happy with what they are doing and don't need me to tell them what to do, or how to improve. They just simply want to come train.

Life is like that, however, different folks with different goals and stuff.

I like Erick Mead's statement "I do hear hospitals have sick people in them!" That is the single best thing I have heard in a while!

You are not trees. Trees are constant. And they get cut down. No, you are like elegant water fed cut stone on the shore of a high mountain river bank. Getting polished by wind and rain, stream and sun.

I could argue that trees are not constant, only our preception of them is constant since they appear to be standing still and not moving and changing. I'd also argue that getting cut down equates to the water changing and moving, it is evolution. Humans make up these nice little analogies to make sense of a big world we cannot fully understand, and it sounds so good to say things that sound so wise and profound!


UFC, MMA, Aikido not real, Aikido real, no one knows anything except me, me, me, me and the other people in the meme club.

What's it all about?


Who here sounds like that? Most of these guys only last here a few weeks before they get bored, stop posting and go elsewhere for there entertainment.

Competition. It is absolutely rampant on these threads. It's a cryin' shame, if you ask me.

Maybe we should develop a point system and charge money and give out awards to the winners?

And frankly...it's boring as hell.

...and therefore?????

Dan Richards
03-09-2009, 12:57 AM
I mean, do you do Aikido in a living room, or a bar setting, or something like that. Do you practice in a parking lot after it rains or during the rain, etc. Do you practice in your street clothes. When you do perform a technique your not surprised, you know what to expect.

Actually, we just trained in someone's living room today. He had to watch his baby, so rather than cancel practice, I just said let's have training at his house. As I was coming from church, I just kept my dress clothes on.

Although we are a traditional aikido club, we do regularly train in other settings besides the dojo and a traditional class setting. We also often train "scenarios" such as in cars, office settings, bathrooms, etc. Full-on randori is a part of nearly every class. Advanced students train rolling and breakfalls out on the concrete sidewalk.

We also strike and cut with full force and full speed - with full intention as uke on taking nage out. If someone doesn't move, they get hit. : )

Dan O'Day
03-09-2009, 09:36 AM
Good points, Kevin.

I appreciate your response.

My point with all my posts is simple. Why is the practice of aikido so "compared"?

What's the difference between a "softer" version and a "harder" version?

I don't see any. It is what it is. What's the difference between a "serious" akidoist and a "hobbyist" aikidoist? Nothing. Who is the arbiter of which is which for anyone other than themself? Nobody.

Who is one's training about? Oneself.

Who is there to compete against? Oneself and only oneself.

Is the art contemporary? Yes. Otherwise it would be only discussed in historical terms.

Has aikido changed since its inception? Most certainly. What doesn't? I would hope most see the changes as those of evolution versus devolution.

What is my training about? It's about me. It's about how I relate to myself and everyone around me. On and off the mat. On the mat, there are more than enough challenges to last a lifetime. My own attempts to better my ukemi and become more and more sincere, and compassionate, with my reponse to attack. In the process of this work, forever trying to balance the incredible and perpetual Catch-22, in training, of what an attack and its response is, or ought to be.

Hmmm...maybe it's just the lack of first person expression which bothers me sometimes. When one trys to lump others into some category of real or non-real.

Yep. I think that's it. If I say something in first person, speaking of my own experiences and my own observations and how they relate to me, then it may be perceived differently than me talking about you, you, you and what you do or don't do.

I guess I feel I read alot of the "you, you" stuff here and that bothers me. Maybe if I had my aikido act more together it wouldn't, and I simply wouldn't bother ever visiting this site.

But hey, I'm still in training. I'm not perfect and don't really expect to become so anytime soon, haha.

So I once in awhile just feel a need to say, Hey man...what's up with that? Who are you talking about? Who are you to define who I am or what my aikido training is?

I may have only been in training for a few years but I have been on this Earth as a human for 47 years. I have lived in many places and met many people and have had many experiences and many wonders. And one thing I know for sure. That is everybody on this planet has a perspective worthy of respect, for we are all the same; born into this life of great mystery.

And so have you, you, and you had your experiences. So let's share them among each other versus telling each other how ours are somehow more profound or more "accurate" than the next persons.

Aikido is a great thing. In my life. I'm a West Coaster. I began my training in Santa Cruz and it now continues in Seattle. My teachers have all been phenomenal. All of my fellow students, sempai and kempai, have been and continue to be wonderful and incredible people and each and every one, I'm certain, has a slightly different take on what aikido is...to them. I guarantee that if I had begun on the East Coast and still lived there I'd be saying the same thing.

I welcome that. But as soon as someone starts telling me what aikido, or anything else in life, is to me; when they start defining what my experiences are from their perspective...well...that's when I call horseshit.

And I wonder what kind of training would lead a person to develop such thoughts? Is that real aikido?

Who can say? Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. I know what's real for me, however. I know what's real for me.

Guilty Spark
03-09-2009, 10:34 AM
What's the difference between a "softer" version and a "harder" version?

In my opinion this video demonstrates the difference between a soft and hard version of martial arts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8UKDzVmzt8

Now you won't find the bullshit at 0:25 in ALL soft styles of martial arts I'm sure but I don't think you'll find that in ANY hard style and there's a reason that.

. What's the difference between a "serious" akidoist and a "hobbyist" aikidoist?

Both may love the martial art but I think the serious aikidoist will have a MUCH better chance of surviving an attack by someone intending to hurt them.
The serious student would question technique's more. Why does this work, more importantly why doesn't this work. How does it work against someone resisting fully..

Dan O'Day
03-09-2009, 10:53 AM
I watched the video, Grant.

The redbelt guy didn't look like he was using aikido so I'm not sure what the deal is.

The victor in the match grabbed redbelt guy katate right before he pummeled him with head shots.

If you look at when redbelt is grabbed katate you can see he shirks rather than responds the way we are trained to in aikido from that grab so I'm not sure, again, about your reference tool.

In other words, none of it looked like aikido to me. The weird ukemi at the beginning of the video nor the actual match.

Of course the fact the redbelt guy accepted a challenege and therefore competed immediately negates any idea of what I've been taught aikido is.

So maybe much of the confusion I experience on this site simply has to do with reading what are vastly diferent views of what aikido is.

Regarding the "hobbyist" question your answer is interesting.

Interesting in that it is resolved in asserting "which" aikidoist would fare better in a real fight on the street, etc.

A senior instructor in Santa Cruz once told us a quick story during class. The story goes like this:

Two elder aikidoists, highly ranked and 70 years old or so, are sitting together. One asks the other, "Have you been successful with your aikido over the course of your life?" The other answers, "No. I have failed. I once used it on the street."

That little story tells it all for me. It explains the "not to fight" idea.

budo-dude
03-09-2009, 12:24 PM
I am no expert but I have trained in a few different martial arts, none to a very high level at that. Mostly striking arts until last year when I started to train in Aikido. I've found my journey in Aikido is much slower going than when I was taking striking arts. Aikido is hard! It's even harder to use effectively. People say that it looks like uke is "letting" nage throw them. That is only partially correct. In fact, the whole reason that Aikido would not be an affective art in the UFC is that Aikido requires a full commitment by the attacker. A good sport fighter never commits 100% into their attacks. They stay balanced and attack in a fashion that would let them recover their balance if they happen to miss their target. This is the reason that you see Aikido techniques in many self defense systems like Krav Maga, Police or Military training. In the situations that those arts train for, the attacker is committing them selves to do you harm, maybe even kill you with an attack. They are giving 100% force and the Aikidoka uses 0% force to redirect them They aren't squaring off for a sporting match.

Sensei Roy Dean in Bend Oregon has some very logical and realistic ideas on the links between Aikido, BJJ and Judo. They are all rooted in Japanese Jujitsu. They are sister arts. It's all about ranges of combat. In the moment right before an attack, Aikido can be used to stop the attacker by blending with the attack and containing the opponent. If that fails and you get in a clinch situation, Judo take downs now come into play. If this does not work and you end up on the ground, BJJ will now help you out.

One last point I'd like to make is the context of any comparisons that people like to make between which art is the "best" art. What is the context? Are we talking about which art will help you in the UFC? If so the answer is definately BJJ. Your state of mind is an important part of your training. If you train in Aikido and you visualize every attack as a threat against you, you will get more out of your training. The thing is, in Aikido it is up to you to do this. Other arts that use sparring or rolling such as in BJJ, someone is physically coming after you and you are trying to stop it. This seems more "real" for some people and maybe it is but it is not real fighting. There are always rules.

People forget that true fighting, truely defending yourself against someone, in a life of death situation HAS NO RULES! If you are trying to kill me or a family member, I will do anything to stop you. You try to put me in your guard to set up a submission, I will reach down and squish your testicles, I will put my thumbs in your eye, I will strike you in the throat. Aikido has no rules. BJJ does. This sounds violent and I am not a violent person. Just a realistic one.

Any system with rules has weaknesses. There is not one perfect martial art. So to answer the initial question finally:

Aikido is a practical contemporary martial art...
BJJ is is a practical contemporary martial art...
Kali is is a practical contemporary martial art...
Tai Chi is is a practical contemporary martial art...
All arts are a practical contemporary martial art.

Any art that let's you express your physicality is practical and prepares you more than someone who does not train. It comes down to intent. What do you want out of your training? From my personal experience, the type of person that Aikido attracts is not usually the same type of person that BJJ attracts. If your intent is to train for self defense, do so. If you want to fight in the UFC, by all means train to do so. If it is to spiritually enlighten yourself then do so and don't worry about what people say about your art, whatever it may be.

Everyone has their own path to follow. For me, I have decided to supplement my Aikido with BJJ and Judo to be as prepared as possible for anything situation. I like the philosophy and intricacies behind Aikido. I like feeling like I could defend myself if I were ever required to. I like watching the UFC as the sport it is. I like sparring. I don't like REAL fighting but I want to be prepared for it.

Guilty Spark
03-09-2009, 01:56 PM
Hey Dan

I was making a reference in a more broad sense. Hard martial arts vs soft.
Using one's Ki to 'flip' an opponent from 15 feet away vice training against someone who isn't being polite.

As far as this applies to Aikido, I believe the harder styles are more (or can me more) in touch with reality as far as effectiveness goes in a self defense environment.

There's no requirement for an aikido style vs style debate but if you take some time and surf youtube you will come across Aikido videos that are very goofy and fake. I consider the fake videos a result of a softer-style training mindset.

A senior instructor in Santa Cruz once told us a quick story during class. The story goes like this:

Two elder aikidoists, highly ranked and 70 years old or so, are sitting together. One asks the other, "Have you been successful with your aikido over the course of your life?" The other answers, "No. I have failed. I once used it on the street."

That little story tells it all for me. It explains the "not to fight" idea.

heh
I'm still wrapping my head around the whole idea of taking a martial art and considering it a failure when you use it.

If I were asked I would respond that I was successful with my Aikido since I've used it to save my ass and inflict a minimum amount of pain and injury on my attacker/s.

Regarding my answer about the hobbyist do you disagree that someone who views their martial training as just a hobby would likely fair less then a devoted martial artist?

Maybe we disagree because we have different views on what a hobbyist is and what a serious martial artist is?

aikilouis
03-09-2009, 03:53 PM
I think you've missed completely what Dan was trying to tell, Grant.

Dan, happy to read your writing. We don't know each other, but I feel an air of familiarity with stuff that crossed my mind.

Ketsan
03-09-2009, 05:00 PM
In fact, the whole reason that Aikido would not be an affective art in the UFC is that Aikido requires a full commitment by the attacker. A good sport fighter never commits 100% into their attacks. They stay balanced and attack in a fashion that would let them recover their balance if they happen to miss their target.


The bulk of my training is working with uke when they are perfectly on balance and totally stationary. A large part of my training is moving uke when they don't want to be moved using hips, movement and body mechanics.
In fact where I train if uke attacks and you screw up they usually tap you with a couple of punches, unless you've managed to unbalance them or react to your mistake before they can, which should be the case the majority of the time. They're always on balance unless I've unbalanced them.

Min Kang
03-11-2009, 07:51 AM
Cause they can't, cause it don't work that way in those situations. In fact, I have never actually been able to even get myself in a situation when shihonage would actually work. Sankyu on the other hand, well...it don't work so well either as a technique, although I have used it before in some instances in competition. ( I posted video of it on my blog.)

cause in reality it don't work either. Why, cause the other guy stops you from doing this in most cases. Noble ideal, but rarely does it work the way we want it to.

Love to see someone like yourself go to the UFC and show them. Funny how we have had no aikido guys actually demonstrate their superior skills.

Hey Kevin, thanks for sharing your thoughts... . As you know, my "take" on Aikido has changed over the years. I never doubted its effectiveness but then again, that might have been due to Bob Galeone being my first Aikido teacher.

Right now, I think Aikido as a "martial art" is explicitly illustrated in the concept of irimi: you atemi into the attack and take their balance, using the principles of time and distance (which means your "entrance" may actually be offline at an angle or even fading back depending on your relative speed/distance).

Taking the balance can be done with the subtlety of a perfectly timed movement but it can also be with the bluntness of a swordhand to the throat. And that strike is always implied - if you're not in a position to strike effectively, you can't do a technique.

"Technique" develops when: 1) you choose not to deliver that strike to vital point to kill or incapacitate; or 2) your strike is blocked or slipped or otherwise ineffective - in both instances, you use the uke's reaction to your implied or explicit atemi to "do" the technique. Which technique depends on your relative position and distance from uke.

The "problem" with discussing Aikido as a martial art is that from what I've seen, most Aikido folks can't hit worth a damn (and that includes me) and don't have the time or inclination to train to strike with power and focus. But without that ability, training becomes toothless. OTOH, Aikido stresses movement, distance and timing training, without which the best striker in the world is helpless.

So, my current understanding of Aikido as a martial art in the real world is: move off line to the attack, pick up a rock and hit him in the head, pin him and make sure he's not dead, and run away before the cops come. :) Multiple attackers, I would skip the pinning.

Peace,

Min.

Min Kang
03-11-2009, 08:15 AM
Just to be clear, my somewhat tongue in cheek comment above notwithstanding, to me, Aikido is about choosing not to strike, not to injure, not to kill in response to aggression. But in order for you to have that choice, you must be able to put yourself in a position and have the ability to strike, injure, kill.

Kevin Leavitt
03-11-2009, 10:55 PM
Hey Min, it was good spending time with you a couple of weeks ago discussing all this stuff!

Well since we both had the same teacher for many years, I suppose we certainly have the same outlook!

Bob, of course, is right and my studies in the last few years have only confirmed it.

I am trying to remember the things he used to tell us over and over. Move your feet (irimi), always attack, always win. Ukemi is for the other guy, and of course don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

you simply have to control the fight. You cannot control it unless you disrupt uke's attack and put him at a disadvantage. That is only possible by moving and changing your posture realitive to his (irimi) Irimi is prmary iMO. Even if you are attacking, you have to move to attack effectively. Of course sometimes we attack first to disrupt, but that is only so we can move (irimi). (Kuzushi)

Technique IMO is born out of position and response...it is secondary. It could be a choke, strike, or joint lock, or throw/takedown.

I think the problem many times when these things don't work is that we fixate on the techique and STOP moving or ignore the movement.

Bob used to get on us big time about stopping. I was a big problem for me for sure (and still is sometimes). Once you recieve proprioception from say a shomen, you plant your feet and stop. This is why most people say aikido fails. They never establish correct tactical realationship/connection prior to executing technique.

Technique becomes primary and is born out of the mind with intent and desire to do technique. It is not born out of the connection.

I hope that make sense!

I do hope we get on the mat together soon Min, it has been too many years and I need you to kick my ass around like you use to to keep me good and honest!

observer
03-12-2009, 12:32 AM
Just to be clear, my somewhat tongue in cheek comment above notwithstanding, to me, Aikido is about choosing not to strike, not to injure, not to kill in response to aggression. But in order for you to have that choice, you must be able to put yourself in a position and have the ability to strike, injure, kill.
Just to be clear, I am curious how your Aikido let you choose not to strike, not to injure, not to kill in response to aggression, if you already have a skill to do it.

Min Kang
03-12-2009, 05:52 AM
Just to be clear, I am curious how your Aikido let you choose not to strike, not to injure, not to kill in response to aggression, if you already have a skill to do it.

Umm... on one level, just because I *can* do something doesn't mean I must do it.

In order to do an Aikido technique, you have to be in a place where you can connect, and affect the partner's center. Which means that either you are in a position to strike effectively or passed through that position. So... you have an opportunity to strike but you choose not to.

And on a separate level, training in Aikido will hopefully give me the confidence, awareness, skill and faith that will lead to becoming a person who chooses not to meet aggression with aggression.

Min Kang
03-12-2009, 06:07 AM
you simply have to control the fight. You cannot control it unless you disrupt uke's attack and put him at a disadvantage. That is only possible by moving and changing your posture realitive to his (irimi) Irimi is prmary iMO. Even if you are attacking, you have to move to attack effectively. Of course sometimes we attack first to disrupt, but that is only so we can move (irimi). (Kuzushi)

Technique IMO is born out of position and response...it is secondary. It could be a choke, strike, or joint lock, or throw/takedown.

I think the problem many times when these things don't work is that we fixate on the techique and STOP moving or ignore the movement.

Bob used to get on us big time about stopping. I was a big problem for me for sure (and still is sometimes). Once you recieve proprioception from say a shomen, you plant your feet and stop. This is why most people say aikido fails. They never establish correct tactical realationship/connection prior to executing technique.

Technique becomes primary and is born out of the mind with intent and desire to do technique. It is not born out of the connection.
!

Kevin, I agree with most of what you said, but have a slightly different take on a couple of things.

I think how we "practice" an Aikido technique is different from how we should be training in Aikido. In you shomenuchi example, I believe that the nage simply doesn't have enough time to process at ANY level, 1) the attack; 2) the nature of the attack; 3) appropriate technique/response; and 4) realize that response.

Rather, you perceive a threat, be it a strike, grab or usually, just the fact that someone is too close and triggered that tripwire - and you move offline and atemi/guard, when uke reacts, connection forms - and the your body does the technique appropriate to that spatial/timing relationship between you and uke.

But, man, I know what you mean about moving your freaking feet! It's all mental... there are some people (okay, Robert) when they attack, I root and block and don't move. And that's b/c I don't *believe* I can and I tense and fight. sigh...

I just have to get smacked around a little and hope I don't get injured in the process. Which is why it's a blessing to have folks around who are good enough to go full speed and not injure you.

It's unnerving but fun to skirt that edge :)

philippe willaume
03-12-2009, 07:47 AM
Hey Min, it was good spending time with you a couple of weeks ago discussing all this stuff!

Well since we both had the same teacher for many years, I suppose we certainly have the same outlook!

Bob, of course, is right and my studies in the last few years have only confirmed it.

I am trying to remember the things he used to tell us over and over. Move your feet (irimi), always attack, always win. Ukemi is for the other guy, and of course don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

you simply have to control the fight. You cannot control it unless you disrupt uke's attack and put him at a disadvantage. That is only possible by moving and changing your posture realitive to his (irimi) Irimi is prmary iMO. Even if you are attacking, you have to move to attack effectively. Of course sometimes we attack first to disrupt, but that is only so we can move (irimi). (Kuzushi)

Technique IMO is born out of position and response...it is secondary. It could be a choke, strike, or joint lock, or throw/takedown.

I think the problem many times when these things don't work is that we fixate on the techique and STOP moving or ignore the movement.

Bob used to get on us big time about stopping. I was a big problem for me for sure (and still is sometimes). Once you recieve proprioception from say a shomen, you plant your feet and stop. This is why most people say aikido fails. They never establish correct tactical realationship/connection prior to executing technique.

Technique becomes primary and is born out of the mind with intent and desire to do technique. It is not born out of the connection.

I hope that make sense!

I do hope we get on the mat together soon Min, it has been too many years and I need you to kick my ass around like you use to to keep me good and honest!

For what it is worth Kevin, I do totally agree with you on the technique being second to position. If you practice kenjutsu/medieval fencing it is glaringly obvious.
I believe it remains true on regardless the weapon, on foot on horse with and without armour.
We could say that regardless of the weapon, period and location most of the manuals try tor present that in one way or another.
The nach & Vor for medieval-16th century German tradition
The true times and true place for 17th century basket hilt of John Silver (sorry no parrot involved).

About being a practical martial art
In a discussion on bullshido, one guy made a remark that all, the guy that pretend aikido works had done (or were doing) either a punching art and or a judo/jj.
I think that was very pertinent comment.

In many ways our open hand is like our weapon system.
The aikido weapon systems are not really practical.
Well for any single technique that we do in aikido-ken and there is the same technique in medieval longsword. For each aiki-jo technique there is the same technique in half-swording or spear in medieval.

The not practical does not really comes from technique not being valid it comes from aikiken and aiki-jo do not have any tactical component as to how to get in what ken call the position and what to do from there.
Basically we can deal with someone striking us but what how the hell are we going to deal with someone standing in hasso no kamae (von tag if you do medieval German, posta di falcone is you do late 15th Italian)? It is the same with our open hands.

We can broadly divide our opponents in 3 categories, people that will attack/rush, people that will rely on one time counters (be it in direct opposition, indirect opposition or with a void-strike), and people that will get into the proper distance by deception (verbal or hiding).

Rushers will engage you out of distance in order to prevent you to get organised. For example prevent to get access to a weapon, the cunning surprise attack of a drunken man or someone coming to help his mate.

People that rely on one tine counter will fight from a well organised position and with move forward, back or laterally.
The idea it to either use the attempt on the opponent to gain the “proper position “or to deploy a guard/entering attack that will prevent the opposition to gain that proper position whilst gaining it ourselves.
For example two people squaring off or a 1 v 1 match MMA. Judo, BJJ, boxing (English, French or thai) competition.

People using deception are really the self-defence, street based or not, bread and butter

For me to be called a martial art you need to be able to deal with those three situations.
So do aikido at large does it, no not really
But nor is MMA, BJJ, boxing however in all those arts you will find teachers/sensei that actually do.
In aikido though the exposure to that is much more likely in some style that other, it really depends on the individual sensei as well.

phil

Kevin Leavitt
03-12-2009, 10:54 AM
Min wrote:

But, man, I know what you mean about moving your freaking feet! It's all mental... there are some people (okay, Robert) when they attack, I root and block and don't move. And that's b/c I don't *believe* I can and I tense and fight. sigh...


Yes, I have the problem with Jim Mockus. I am betting I will have the same issue with you as well based on my past experiences that I remember.

It dawned on me a few months back that my whole issue is the fact that I am convinced that I cannot move Jim.

Toby Threadgill made me feel a little better about it when i saw him working with Jim. Jim is just got a good understanding of center! So I stopped beating myself up so much and when I can train with Mockus I do! One day!

Kevin Leavitt
03-12-2009, 10:55 AM
Min, actually I agree with what you are saying above. your right it is walking that fine wire.

Kevin Leavitt
03-12-2009, 10:59 AM
Phil all very, very good points and perspective! I like the idea of looking at the hands as a weapon system. your right, it is not effective unless you can move what it is attached to in a way that is appropriate to uke.

observer
03-12-2009, 12:24 PM
Umm... on one level, just because I *can* do something doesn't mean I must do it.
Please do understand my good intention asking the question. The problem is, that in a real life situation, you do not have time to make any decision. You have to react, and what you do, depends on your training. The confidence and .... is not enough.

philippe willaume
03-12-2009, 06:53 PM
Phil all very, very good points and perspective! I like the idea of looking at the hands as a weapon system. your right, it is not effective unless you can move what it is attached to in a way that is appropriate to uke.

Hello
thank kev. I would love to get the credit, but it is really a mix of aikido seinsei and medieval authors that lay it out for me….

phil

Min Kang
03-13-2009, 03:30 AM
Min, actually I agree with what you are saying above. your right it is walking that fine wire.

Actually, Kevin, I realized after I posted that we *were* saying the same thing but I couldn't figure out how to edit my post :D

Min Kang
03-13-2009, 03:55 AM
Please do understand my good intention asking the question. The problem is, that in a real life situation, you do not have time to make any decision. You have to react, and what you do, depends on your training. The confidence and .... is not enough.

Maciej, I don't doubt that your question was asked with good intentions. However, when you start talking about "real life" situations, and Aikido as a "martial art" ... well, we're dealing with hypotheticals.

No amount of training in any kind of martial art is enough to deal with all real life situations. And frankly, I don't think many people would be able or willing to live your regular life on perpetual edge, on alert, 24/7, as if you are in a war zone, to give yourself a chance at sudden violence. The tradeoff just doesn't make sense.

My point was that Aikido gives you the tools to effectively handle some physical conflicts. And with sufficient training, you can moderate your response in some instances. "Real life situations" can run the gamut from a drunk bum on the street who couldn't life a telephone book; to an unknown sniper picking people off at store parking lots. (Both situations happened in DC where I live).

When the ideal meets real life, real life usually wins :) But that doesn't discredit the ideal in any way shape or form. There are just too many variables in real life.

Min Kang
03-13-2009, 04:04 AM
Yes, I have the problem with Jim Mockus. I am betting I will have the same issue with you as well based on my past experiences that I remember.

It dawned on me a few months back that my whole issue is the fact that I am convinced that I cannot move Jim.

Toby Threadgill made me feel a little better about it when i saw him working with Jim. Jim is just got a good understanding of center! So I stopped beating myself up so much and when I can train with Mockus I do! One day!

Actually, I doubt that you'll have much problem moving me now. I give a more honest attack now than I used to. OTOH, you might get hit a bit more :)

Grabs from strong, set people are hard to counter if the uke sees as his "goal" simply to grab and hold you in place. It's fun to explore the connection and moving the center, etc. in that exercise but as a technique? Not so fun. And not so realistic.

OTOH, if the grab is part of an attack, like a grab and tug, or strike, well, then you have something to work with, even with the biggest, strongest guys.

BTW, I met up w/ Mark Mueller last night - he's got a bum knee so we couldn't train but it was good to catch up. I'll look forward to catching up with you soon and we can play around some on the mat, if you promise not to hurt me too badly :)

Russell Davis
03-21-2009, 02:59 AM
Some very interesting comments, most went over my head but interesting non the less.
I'm not as eloquent as the rest of you so I will stick to a more simple and direct approach.

I agree with the idea that Aikido is a useful Martial Art, Not only for the skill element, but in helping you develop the "State of Mind" that is required for life and death situations. Unfortunately I neglected the spiritual element of my own development, which is why I feel that my own concept of CQFS, is incomplete.

The samurai were fealess warriors who did not fear death in battle because they already saw themselves as dead.

So what is the WORST thing that can happen to you in the Dojo with or without wooden weapons?

On a trip to london, some guy on the tourist bus put his arm around my throat, armed with a knife he said; Give me your F, money and your watch!

In another incident a buddy of mine was being threatend by two guys one had a pistol the other a shotgun

Suffice to say I am still here; "State of Mind".

Does this shed any light?

Guilty Spark
03-21-2009, 03:17 AM
On a trip to london, some guy on the tourist bus put his arm around my throat, armed with a knife he said; Give me your F, money and your watch!

In another incident a buddy of mine was being threatend by two guys one had a pistol the other a shotgun

Suffice to say I am still here; "State of Mind".

Does this shed any light?

Did you give them your watch and wallet or did you disarm him?
What happened to your friend?

Churchill92
03-21-2009, 09:42 PM
Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, newfish and all.

The reason I picked up Aikido was because it gave me Options if a situation were to arise.

Options and choices are all about what make us human and better, smarter, and more adaptable people. Because we condition our body, mind, and spirit to focus energy and move or react a certain way we can reflexively act in a myriad of ways.

I.E: If a person is charging at us with a knife we can:
*disarm them
*roll out of the way
*lock arm and pin
*throw the person
*sidestep
*Ask them to stop
etc

Learing Aikido, or any other martial arts style, gives us these type of Options which allow us chose which one is best for each situation.

It's not just about Action-> Reaction it's about Action->{List of Multiple Options}. Like a computer program with a list of parameters that are acceptable based on certain conditions (I'm a technogeek, sue me :D )

I'm one of those type of people that is has 3 left feet in practice, but when it comes testing time the body knows and performs like a well oiled machine I can do now wrong.

Just like any other knowledge base the more you know the better prepared you are for any situation. Because just like ole Duke said "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!"

lbb
03-22-2009, 10:07 AM
Options and choices are all about what make us human and better, smarter, and more adaptable people. Because we condition our body, mind, and spirit to focus energy and move or react a certain way we can reflexively act in a myriad of ways.

I.E: If a person is charging at us with a knife we can:
*disarm them
*roll out of the way
*lock arm and pin
*throw the person
*sidestep
*Ask them to stop
etc

I think there's an important distinction to be made, though, between a)the options for response to a situation, b)the subset of those options that is within the curriculum of aikido, c)the subset of those options that you, as an individual practitioner, are capable to executing, and d)the subset of those options that you, as an individual practitioner, are capable of executing in a specific, non-theoretical encounter. Using your situation as a person charging at you with a knife as an example, aikido doesn't teach non-physical de-escalation: you can quote from "The Art of Peace" until you're blue in the face, but the truth is, you will not learn or practice these techniques as part of your aikido training. Aikido does teach a variety of physical responses, some of which you outline above, but it's not like buying a car with an option package: you buy the car, you get the power steering and built-in DVD player, but signing up for aikido (and even showing up at the dojo and training for yea many years) doesn't automatically give you the ability to roll or lock the arm or whatever. Even if you do have one of these abilities, you may not be able to execute it in a given situation, with a violent, noncompliant attacker. If the attacker is much bigger than you, your options narrow; if he/she is much faster than you, your options narrow.

This is why I find discussions about whether aikido is "practical" to be, frankly, unutterably silly. "Practical" for what, for whom, in what situation? I've never been confronted by someone charging at me with a knive, or anything remotely like that. Given that, does it make sense to judge the "practicality" of what I'm doing by how well it would work in that situation -- and who ever said that I was doing this in order to be "practical" anyway?

I think this is a guy thing, I really do. Women who train in martial arts don't so often seem to feel the need to constantly grasp for a justification for what they're doing.

Guilty Spark
03-22-2009, 02:21 PM
This is why I find discussions about whether aikido is "practical" to be, frankly, unutterably silly. "Practical" for what, for whom, in what situation? I've never been confronted by someone charging at me with a knive, or anything remotely like that. Given that, does it make sense to judge the "practicality" of what I'm doing by how well it would work in that situation -- and who ever said that I was doing this in order to be "practical" anyway?


Good question. What's practical to me might be silly to you.
I think when people use the term practical it implies the martial effectiveness of Aikido in a life or death situation.

Stage aikdo might be practical for a school play but not in a fist fight. So it boils down to how you are using the word.

When I hear practical I think does it work when someone is trying to physically hurt you. The martial part of martial arts.
If someone else does aikido to get some exercise in or time away from stress then it's practical to them I guess.

Aikibu
03-22-2009, 04:25 PM
I think this is a guy thing, I really do. Women who train in martial arts don't so often seem to feel the need to constantly grasp for a justification for what they're doing.

HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! You hit the nail on the head Mary!!! Most "guys" don't even know that this "self justfication" is a part of thier subconcious biology...If you're not the biggest chest thumping plumage wearing peacock on the block or the last ram standing after locking horns all day you're not getting noticed by the girls...:D

One of the many themes of Aikido I love is to channel this pontentially destructive male energy into something postive and productive in "nature" and not to suffer the trap of agression, escalation, and violence.

On a side note it seems that most every male student (including me) goes through a period of black belt-itis where thier technical acumen blinds them to Aikido's "spritual" purpose...Don't get me wrong but most of the Gendai Arts seem to have this "phase of development"

William Hazen

lbb
03-22-2009, 04:50 PM
HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! You hit the nail on the head Mary!!! Most "guys" don't even know that this "self justfication" is a part of thier subconcious biology...If you're not the biggest chest thumping plumage wearing peacock on the block or the last ram standing after locking horns all day you're not getting noticed by the girls...:D

Heh, well...I should clarify what I said, because I didn't mean it the way it sounds. Saying "it's a guy thing" would imply that it's something all guys have, and I don't believe that's true. It's just that as I was writing my comment, the thought floated through my mind that I can't remember ever seeing a woman go through the exercise of proving (or disproving) that a given martial art is "practical". I've seen women get caught up in justifying their practice (or lack thereof) based on other issues, but not practicality. I wonder if my impression has any basis in fact.