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03-10-2002, 12:01 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of March 10, 2002:

Do you think taking the initiative to elicit a response from your attacker fits within the philosophy of aikido?

I don't do aikido
Yes
No


Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=103).

shihonage
03-10-2002, 04:18 AM
When attacked, which one do you care about, philosophy, or survival ?

Getting in first strike is very important and is a must when you are positive that a physical confrontation is unavoidable.

Brian H
03-10-2002, 08:54 AM
Action always beats reaction. Stepping in a smashing an unsuspecting/nonaggressive person in the face would not only not be Aikido, its also a crime. However, lets say a "Drunken Yahoo" confronts you and takes a karate stance and announces that he is going to beat the hell out of you. Why wait, pretend to attack with a shomen to the head and when he responds with a high block he sets himself up to be taken down quickly and quietly with ikkyo. The alternative is to wait and see if you can execute effective technique from whatever attack pops into his head. Initiative is survival and taking it does not mean leaving the "moral high ground."

Johan Tibell
03-10-2002, 09:09 AM
As Brian stated taking the initiative isn't always the same thing as striking down your opponent before he/she strikes you. In my mind you should always have the initiative, doesn't mean you have to be the first one to strike or close the distance.

- Johan

guest1234
03-10-2002, 01:01 PM
I prefer to think of the few techniques we practice that start with a move from nagerather than ukeas really being isolated out of a longer exchange of movements, in which uke had originally attacked, and then an interplay of moves and responses eventually leads to a situation in which nage is now striking and uke responds then nage does the technique. Why? For some philosophical and some very practical reasons.

First, for everyone saying 'well, nage just does shomenuchi and then uke blocks and nage does ikkyo' think about this: nage does shomenuchi, and then uke just does shomenchi ikkyo as we are all taught. The only reason uke blocks vs doing a technique is because he has to in order for the partners to do what was just shown. So I would prefer not to actually be attacking before I get attacked, as that gives the opening to my partner.

Another example is the way my current place teaches kata tori ikkyo (nikyo, etc). After uke grabs nage's forward shoulder, nage moves forward into uke's free hand. Being a smaller nage, I think it is dangerous to get my face within uke's striking distance before his is within mine, and would prefer to either move beofre he can grab my shoulder, or move to the outside to unbalance him (and keep his free hand out of reach of my face). I was told by one of our senior instructors that nage had to move straight forward in towards uke's free hand, and what protected nage was nage hits uke before uke can hit nage. This I find unacceptable for two reasons: first, practically speaking if I am going to trade punches with an uke twice my size, I don't think I will be likely to get the best of the deal. Second, if I was interested in trading punches I be in boxing.

So, I think in practice there are techniques to be learned that are started by nage, but I don't think they are meant as nage initiating the physical contact but are meant to show what would be the middle or end of several moves on both people's parts. Or at least, that is how I look at it; I don't see the point in attacking someone who has not attacked me yet. And I don't think you can ever be 100% sure 'he is going to attack'. I have talked a lot of very belligerant drunks and not too drunk folks out of attacking in my ER, when others were certain they could not be pacified.

Jim ashby
03-10-2002, 01:27 PM
I'm a great believer in the principle stated in LLap Goch (Monty Python's welsh MA)........pre-emptive retaliation.

shihonage
03-10-2002, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by ca
And I don't think you can ever be 100% sure 'he is going to attack'. I have talked a lot of very belligerant drunks and not too drunk folks out of attacking in my ER, when others were certain they could not be pacified.

Uhm... I recall a vivid incident in 12th grade where a guy decided to be a tough guy and started talking the usual smack that guys do before they are about to pummel you.

He took me by the elbow and dragged me out of class. Then we stood across from one another, already surrounded by a crowd of eager onlookers.

Maybe I shouldn't have rushed him like an ape on cocaine, maybe he was just dragging me out to give me a cookie - but we'll never know now, will we.

shadow
03-10-2002, 04:55 PM
I see taking the initiave as just doing something first. Offer him your hand, flicker your fingers in his face, blow him/her a kiss......something to unsettle and give that moments distraction that allows you to do whatever it is you need. If someone is pumped up and ready to attack you, and your hand somehow seems to be very close to him.....would a natural instinct be to grab it? Little does whoever it is know that that's exactly what you need to do katate tori kokyunage/ikkyo/nikkyo/iriminage/.....etc.


???

gi_grrl
03-10-2002, 07:18 PM
I can't remember which film it was in...

Steven Seagal is being face off by a big dude - he proceeds to taunt his opponent verbally until said opponent attacks, at which stage the aikido technique is executed.

That too, is a means of taking the initiative.

Edward
03-10-2002, 09:33 PM
Hello Guys,

I have practiced often at Iwama-Ryu dojos and they teach Ikkyo started with a Shomen-Uchi by Nage not Uke. Of course Iwama claim that they teach the original style of Osensei. Whether it is true or not is not for me to decide, but if it is true, then Osensei taught attacking the opponent first. If I remember well, I've read somewhere a quote from Osensei saying that you will feel with your Ki the imminent attack of your adversary and then you should provoke and lead the attack by striking/entering first. Thus you control the situation not the opposite.

On the practical side, I've noticed that for a not so proficient Aikidoka such as myself, waiting for the attack to come might be too late for me to react. In my pre-class bullying of my Aikido pals, I noticed that fainting an uncommitted Shomen-Uchi to my partner will automatically cause an instinctive protective response which is an excellent opportunity for an Ikkyo. It has never failed me sofar, even when my partner knows what I'm doing.

Cheers,
Edward

PeterR
03-11-2002, 01:25 AM
The first technique of Tomiki's Koryu Goshin no Kata requires tori to initiate. The technique is right out of Budo Renshu by Ueshiba M.

deepsoup
03-11-2002, 03:45 AM
Originally posted by PeterR
The first technique of Tomiki's Koryu Goshin no Kata requires tori to initiate. The technique is right out of Budo Renshu by Ueshiba M.

To elaborate on that slightly, its a little like what Edward was describing, but in suwari-waza. Tori attacks with a back-fist strike to uke's face (essentially shomen-uchi), uke blocks the strike and tori takes ukes blocking arm through into an ikkyo pin. (Which we Shodokan types call 'oshi-taoshi', rather than 'ikkyo' btw.)

Sean
x

Ghost Fox
03-11-2002, 07:11 AM
Taunts faints and interception.

I was having this debate with one of my friends just last month. I just couldn't agree with his point of view that it's okay for a nage to perform a preemptive strike against an aggressor. Although, there are ways to get an aggressor to attack you therefore providing you the moral, and legal, justification for counterattacking.

If I'm in a situation where I cannot reach a resolution through peaceful means, and I feel an attack is immanent, I usually try to provoke the aggressor to commit himself on my time. I don't want to continue arguing until an opportunity presents itself so that the other person can sucker punch me. We've all seen it happen, two people are arguing in a club, one of the guys diverts his attention for a moment to talk with a friend and the other person uses that as a opportunity to sucker punch the guy.

I want to aggressor to attack me on when I'm ready. I'll subtle switch into a stance, this limits the aggressors attack options, and I keep my hands up by pretending to gesture with my hands as I'm talking (A good thing to do in any confrontation). I then begin to taunt the guy, by talking about his lack of manhood or his mother. This usually works because most people are very sensitive and hyper-emotional about these topics. This usually also causes the guy to over extend himself.

During the fight, I usually use faints to draw out a response from the uke or better yet I motor-step the guy. I get him locked into a rhythm of easy to defend strikes and then break the pattern in the middle by doing a technique.

Bruce Lee in the Tao of Jeet Kune Do (The art of intercepting the fist) talks about a level of mastery in which you can sense the enemy's attack before he launches a strike. He proceeds to talk about intercepting the aggressor's attack and launching preemptive strikes. The difference between this and just attacking the guy because you feel threaten is subtle but important. In the first you sense the strike a fraction of a second before it is launched. It is almost synchronistic, acasual. The latter your fears get the better of you and you attack the guy because you feel threaten.

In all these instances you have not attacked but you have taken the initiative to elicit a response. I don't knwo whether it's aikido, but it's better than just attacking someone.

On a similar note, when has the fight begun? When the guy has stated his intention to strike you, when he proceeds to violate your space or when he actually strikes you?


:triangle: :circle: :square:

bcole23
03-11-2002, 09:48 AM
Read the poll again. Take the initiative to illicit a response.

I believe that almost 100% of the people that answered no this this poll thought it meant striking the attacker.

If you're in a confrontation, and you just let the bad guy/girl/dog, (he is a bad guy/girl/dog), control the situation, then I'm sorry, but you have some serious doubt about your own place in this universe. Assert yourself as a human being and as a part of the greater scheme of things.

[I will not expouse how to illicit a response from your attacker, this you need to learn on your own, and others in this post have already done some explaining.]

Lyle Bogin
03-11-2002, 10:05 AM
I am trying to answer this question...but cannot resolve another question that it sems to beg....What exactly is an "attacker"?

Also, what kind of response to you want to illicit?

Dean H.
03-11-2002, 09:53 PM
If you have an attacker, or attackers,
it seems strange to me to ask if you,
as an aikidoka, should try to take the initiative.

Depending on the situation, I feel
you have four choices:

1) Do nothing and get attacked;
2) attack first (Ken No Sen);
3) let the enemy / enemies attack first
and then target the opening(s) /
weaknesses (Tai No Sen); or
4) Attack at the same instant your
aggressor / aggressors attack
(Tai Tai No Sen).

#1 does not seem to fit into Aikido
philosophy at all.

#2 seems okay if you are faced with
a very intimidating attacker or
with multiple attackers. However,
Aikido is not about destroying someone,
is it? Is it about using minimal force
to neutralize aggression?

# 3 appears to be, in my humble opinion,
the most desirable outcome, if you are
comfortable in the situation. Again,
at least as I understand Aikido, destroying
the opponent is not a primary objective.

# 4 is not as strong (again - in my humble
opinion) as either # 2 or # 4.

By the way, taunting a person into a fight
does not seem acceptable to me, certainly
not if you think you are better trained.
I don't think Aikido is about suckering
someone. But, of course, conflict is
inevitable in this world...or is it?

Dean
:triangle: :circle: :square:

"A premise of Aikido is the avoidance of
rivalry or any form of opposition."
- Soke Gozo Shioda

Niadh
03-11-2002, 11:18 PM
Can one not take the initiative to elicit a peaceful response? I know this is not always succesful, but....
Just something to chew on.
And yes, I have been there
Niadh

Edward
03-12-2002, 12:32 AM
I guess we are talking here about a matter of fractions of a second when you "know" that tension is so high that the attack is imminent.

You have to decide whether you want to wait for the attack, not knowing from where it will come, a punch, a kick, or maybe withdrawing a hidden knife or weapon that you're not aware of, or taking the initiative before something really bad happens.

In both cases you don't know the outcome, but I myself prefer to have a little more control over the situation.

As for the training part, I think it is very important to practice provoking Uke's reactions whether you decide to do it in a real situation or not.

Cheers,
Edward

bcole23
03-12-2002, 08:32 AM
WHY OH WHY do people think that taking the initiative is DESTROYING people!!! Taking the initiative can be done at any time, before a confrontation, during a confrontation, or even with no confrontation at ALL!! (by living a good life, being a good person, and constantly training) If you just always sit back and wait for openings, and you're not at a very high level in Aikido, prepare to be pummeled in a harmonious way. But at least you practiced Aikido, your attacker didn't get hurt right?

If someone is trying to kill me or beat the holy living **** outta of me or robbing me, do I care if I make them cry?? Nope, not one bit. Have I done any permanent damage?? Nope.

You're illiciting a response so you can control the situation. This lets you resolve the confrontation in your way. Whether the response that you illicit is an apology, they walk away, they react to an atemi which gives you an opening to peacefully take them to the ground in a harmoniously painful way, or even they are throwing a flurry of punches and kicks and you DO something, it's still taking the initiative.

Initiative != destroying someone. I thought Aikidoka had more control than that..

bcole23
03-12-2002, 08:47 AM
Here's a scenario to think about. It is most often the way it happens in real life.

Someone for some reason want to hurt you. Let's use the bar scene, it's a good one.

You want to keep maiai right, so you can intercept and blend and do aikido if someone is being aggresive with you. Well guess what the first thing they're going to do is? They're gonna get right in your face, and I mean up close and personnal. So what do you do?

As an Aikidoka, do you establish maiai? Well, they're gonna just get right back in your face. So do you just stand there and calmly blend your face with their fist when they decide to punch you? Then try to reestablish maiai so you can wait for an opening?

In my opinion, some Aikidoka get this vision of what it's like to be in a conflict that is nowhere near the truth.

I've pummeled people before (never by starting it) and before the confrontation/altercation you should take the initiative to gain as many advantages as you can. Your attacker will if he's any good. They'll try to back you into a wall, a corner, get you riled up, get you alone, catch you with your back turned, anything.

You should always have the initiative, even if you do nothing.

AikiAlf
03-12-2002, 11:18 AM
I'm surprised Sensei has hammered this one for years @ our dojo. "Aikido is proactive" is a favorite saying for him. As a matter of fact this is also quite often demostrated at Ikeda Sensei's seminars.

Keeping the dicussion at the level of principles, so without getting into the what if fighting scenarios, If you wait to apply technique you'll be setting yourself up for a struggle against the attacker when he/she's at his most powerful, that is centered. By meeting the attack , by taking the initiative you have a better chance of taking Nage's mind off the attack; to deliver atemi; to disrupt the attack's energy and then to take over Nage's energy and lead it where its safe for both.

This is not attacking someone , this is being 'there' so that the conflict is not a 50/50 chance.

In Randori we're taught never to stand still waiting for the attacker; we're taught to go out and offer a target to close in and force the attacker to go after you instead of you reacting to the attack; you can be overwhelemed very quickly if you let yourself get into reactive mode. Instead by being proactive you are always on the move and the attackers are pursuing you if at all. So you draw them into your technique and not the other way around.

Being proactive means not letting yourself be cornered into a wall, it means being ready always , it's having the initiative. It doesn't mean attacking first, it means having the intiative on the point of collision.

You are attacked perhaps first, but you are off the line of attack where it lands, BEFORE the attack hits you.

To me that's what Aikido is all about

AikiAlf
03-12-2002, 11:24 AM
another comment; Seagal movies are not a source of Aikido. Certainly Mr. Seagal uses Aikido for his martial scenes in many movies; but the movies are not about Seagal Sensei, they're about "above the law" Nico or some other cheesy Hollywood character. Taunting people into attacking you is just another way of picking a fight. Go around picking fights and inevitably someone somehwere is going to beat the sh*t out of you.

Erik
03-12-2002, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by Jim ashby
I'm a great believer in the principle stated in LLap Goch (Monty Python's welsh MA)........pre-emptive retaliation.

Love it!

Offering a target is a form of initiative.

Bruce Baker
03-12-2002, 04:00 PM
First .... the question is ambiguous.

It is open to interpretation of the reader, whether it be action that can not be avoided, or one who is simply taunting a precarious situation to get worse.

Feint, and cause a response? Or use the power of your very presence, bearing, and voice to avoid a confrontation.

If I take the question at the exact meaning of the words, we are causing the action to happen simply because we are wanting it to be a confrontation. But, if we look into the heart of Aikido, then we capable of determining the difference between confrontation, diffusing confrontation, or walking away?

I think the clarification of "having to decide the least harmful action for the situation that cannot be avoided" should precede the question to clarify this point.

For those of you still trying to evoke a response, or proving how effective your skills are by easily accepting combat, you need to leave Aikido for a while an re-examine what you are trying to learn.

I had to review the basic thesis for O'Sensei changing the focus of Aikido after WWII. There is an interview with him and his son where he mentions how he taught soldiers how to kill in WWI, and by WWII he wanted to give us an art that did not kill. It can be found in Aikido Online if you want to read it.

Anyway, how many sensei's have instructed a lesson and told you how to kill or injure with Aikido? None ... as least not in my experience. WHY?

Many of them have studied, Karate, Judo, Jujitsu, and some have studied other arts, but they all find the least harmful way to deal with a situation, don't they?

Those of us who have had to deal with violence and been on either the recieving end or dealing end, find it distasteful perpetuate violence. Hence, we reach into the heart of Aikido, turning violence into least harmful solution.

Isn't that what we were looking for anyway?

bcole23
03-12-2002, 04:50 PM
Do you think taking the initiative to elicit a response from your attacker fits within the philosophy of aikido?

attacker, eg someone who is attacking.

(I'm very short today for some reason and I apologize)

I think a clarification of "having to decide the least harmful action for the situation that cannot be avoided" should precede the question to clarify this point.

Least harmful to your attacker? Lay down and die. Your statement has nothing to do with initiative. How is initiative a debate on the philosophy of aikido?

And how the H*LL is initiative outside the realm of the philosophy of Aikido?

Just because you take the initiative w/your attacker doesn't mean you're killing them or kicking the sh*t out of them. You're taking the initiative to control the situation so YOU can apply the tenets of Aikido to peacefully resolve the situation, rather than let the attacker apply the tenets of CobraKai Karate.

For those of you still trying to evoke a response, or proving how effective your skills are by easily accepting combat, you need to leave Aikido for a while an re-examine what you are trying to learn.

Hmm, someone is attacking me.. I take the initiative so that there is no "combat". I've never combated anyone because I didn't accept combat, I've initiated harmony.

INIATIVE is not the same as picking a fight or beating someone up or killing someone.

The post by AikiAlf was very good. (mine is not, again I apologize)

Aikido needs to be applied to the REAL world, and practiced in the REAL world, not just the dojo. If you think that you've got it all figured out (I sure don't) get out there and try applying the tenets of aikido and love. Open your eyes to the problems of the world and see how easy it is to fix them. I'm sure you're great in your own little world of harmony, but we need love in the world. If we are not proactive and take the initiative in all aspects of our lives, we just ask evil in.

bcole23
03-12-2002, 05:01 PM
BTW, sorry to anyone out there that might just happen to practice at a karate dojo named CobraKai. It was a reference to Miyagisan's wonderful movies.

Andy
03-12-2002, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Anyway, how many sensei's have instructed a lesson and told you how to kill or injure with Aikido? None ... as least not in my experience.
Sounds like you need to get out more, child.

Dean H.
03-12-2002, 07:27 PM
WHY OH WHY do people think that taking the initiative is DESTROYING people

You're illiciting a response so you can control the situation. This lets you resolve the confrontation in your way. Whether the response that you illicit is an apology, they walk away, they react to an atemi which gives you an opening to peacefully take them to the ground in a harmoniously painful way, or even they are throwing a flurry of punches and kicks and you DO something, it's still taking the initiative.

Initiative != destroying someone. I thought Aikidoka had more control than that..
________________________________________
Thank you Brandon for answering the rhetorical question: no, Aikido is not about destroying or pummelling people; it is, at least, about harmony, respect, control, and initiative, among other things, as far as I can tell.

One thing more to possibly consider: non-violence is proven to be viable. Gandhi helped his nation gain independence with non-violence and Martin Luther King, Jr. practically demanded civil rights through non-violence. Both of these men, in my opinion, positively thrived on initiative, took more than their shares of abuse, and made tremendous, positive differences in the lives of millions.

Aikido, I think, gives us a great insight to the nature of attacks and our possible responses to those attacks. As you said, living the good life can be a great initiative. In an unavoidable confrontation, however, most of us will try to survive, and it is in these trying times that our characters will be revealed.

Thank you,
Dean

Arianah
03-12-2002, 08:02 PM
From The Shambhala Guide to Aikido by John Stevens; page 28:
"There is an interesting story regarding the noncompetitive, defensive nature of Aikido. After the war, Morihei refused to let any matches to be held in the Hombu Dojo, but once, for some reason, he relented and let Koichi Tohei, one of his top disciples, square off against a professional wrestler from South America. Usually such challengers rush right in and attack, but the wrestler held back. After some minutes of stalemate, the impatient Tohei moved in and forced the issue, managing to get the wrestler down and pin him. Morihei, however, was quite displeased: ‘There is no need to throw someone who is not attacking you!’ It seems that the wrestler had first visited the Kodokan Judo headquarters. There he was advised by the Judo people, ‘Don’t attack an Aikido man first; if you do, he will be sure to throw you.’”

Sarah

Bruce Baker
03-13-2002, 07:14 AM
I see there are those of you who are having hard time taking the lesser path of gentleness verses the manly kick ass path of the hormonally driven young adult?

Remember, the more notch's you have on your six gun, or the greater your notoriety as a bad ass, the greater the chance your life will be filled with combat and trial, or even chances of you being murdered? That is the fact of perpetuating undue violence.

I know. Many of the Bad ASS bully's I had to put up with in teen age years are dead or in jail. Others, later in life, backed down when they actually realized it was easier to have a friend, or leave me alone. Then others, such as muggers, theives, and other assorted swelled heads were dealt with according to the particular situation. This is before I knew what Aikido was.

Maybe, Aikido's strength is the ability to take stock of the offender, and be able to apply the correct cure that you have within your heart, be it darkness or light? In any case, if you survive the situation that makes you say that you must give the first strike, with out other options, then you had better not be emotionally attached to the solution.

Isn't that what we continually try to teach when we do Aikido? To react without thinking, without emotion, for betterment of humankind?

I understand that there will situations that put you in a bad light for backing down to loud mouthed, overinflated, foul smelling and foul talking bullies? But if you are alive, and they are not because they cannot learn to live within the system of American society in ten or twenty years, who is the victor then?

I know the world is a myriad of laws made with good intentions that does not always work, but if you are going to learn to live within this world, then you must learn to survive within the context of your own terms that allow you continue existence ... hopefully Aikido will help.

Besides, if you have the instinctual training, then you won't have to illicit a response from an attacker, because they wouldn't be an attacker if the response wasn't already in motion, would it? Which, again, makes it an ambiguous question and without thinking you would respond. :circle:

Bruce Baker
03-13-2002, 07:40 AM
Final thoughts.

Get out more child? Thanks!!

I do try to be a child as I click half a century!

You will never hear a good, that is GOOD sensei advocate violence. What you will get is a warning of just what certain techniques are capable of causing injury. Does that clarify it? If not, then you had better get to a law library because in advocating the violence, the instructor is liable to share the penalties for student, although morally, each teacher does share a portion of this morality.

Maybe after your have been to instruction, or seminars of fifty to one hundred different teachers, you too will be a child at heart with a little more knowledge than you have now.

You should be very happy ... you have illicited a response, now what are you going to do? Whine and respond, or find out what I am talking about by getting out in the big wide world and doing it?

Greg Jennings
03-13-2002, 07:53 AM
In short, there is a vast difference between initiating violence and initiating a technique.

In daily life, is it not rather obvious that it's better to be pro-active rather than reactive? Would you not rather head off disharmony rather let it happen?

Anyone here that believes that the Founder didn't initiate techniques has never seen films of him.

Best,

bcole23
03-13-2002, 08:27 AM
How many times are we going to hear this..

"Since you are taking the initiative, you're not doing Aikido cuz you're hitting/killing someone."

Really "listen" to what we're saying. Trust me, I've listened to what you are saying and agree with you, but you're misinterpreting what initiative is all about if you believe the above paraphrased quote.

Stop your mind and open it to new interpretations and meanings. You may find a truth or two.

Bruce Baker
03-13-2002, 05:41 PM
Just a note for those who are smaller, and less physical in presence than myself.

Although I am no longer 5foot 10 inches tall, like I was until my twenties, I still maintained a presence that got me out of dozens of muggings, holdups, fights, and other real world situations. Why? Did I take the innitiative, or was it something else? You got me, but out of dozens of episodes of being almost mugged and robbed, before I was twenty, I only gave up money once.

Somehow, someway, around thirtyfive, the world started to change. Less forcefull, less violence aimed at me, only now an then were there occasions of verbal abuse or violence overcome by my wife's voice in my head,"... remember you promised ... people don't bounce anymore!" Maybe being a hundred pounds heavier, and mistaken for a professional wrestler by the Vince McMahon deters the lesser determined criminals?

The real world? Maybe the insults and disbelief I see in many scripts is from those of you who do not practice awareness.

I don't mean looking around for the landmarks of the day, but being able to spot the wolf pack, or the hunters who are seeking the mark, the patsy, the easy target for a little fun?

Once you can spot these people without looking, and they see you, it is like two animals of equal abilities who know a confrontation will kill one of them, so they back away from it.

If I talk about the love of the Universe, it is because I have known the darkness of it too! Although I did not become anyone famous, or get drawn into it, I understand it, non the less.

Be carefull not to become the black hearted preditor. You will not appreciate the other path of life until many of your friends, relatives, and even enemys are dead from the pursueing the black hearted preditor path. Most of the Bad Asses of my day are dead, or in jail, or just getting out of jail.

If you laugh at what I know about the real world, go ahead ... I rather like the sound of children laughing, better than the silence of dead.

But that is life in the real world, isn't it.

bcole23
03-13-2002, 06:06 PM
So you've taken the initiative.

Now the original poll had an attacker. That means someone attacking you. Again, I reiterate that initiative is not violence.

*goes to webster*

Main Entry: 2initiative
Function: noun
Date: 1793
1 : an introductory step <took the initiative in attempting to settle the issue>
2 : energy or aptitude displayed in initiation of action : ENTERPRISE <showed great initiative>
3 a : the right to initiate legislative action b : a procedure enabling a specified number of voters by petition to propose a law and secure its submission to the electorate or to the legislature for approval -- compare REFERENDUM 1
- on one's own initiative : at one's own discretion : independently of outside influence or control

Talking of all the deep ways that initiative affects our lives is outside the scope of the poll.

Do you think taking the initiative to elicit a response from your attacker fits within the philosophy of aikido?

This assumes that there is an attacker. So the meaning of the poll is in the context that a person is in a confrontation.

SO> In a confrontation, is it ok to take the initiative? My answer is yes.

Robert E
03-14-2002, 03:30 AM
Is it against the philosophy of Aikido to have an attacker?

Ghost Fox
03-14-2002, 06:29 AM
Originally posted by Robert E
Is it against the philosophy of Aikido to have an attacker?

How about the person who is in disharmony with the universe.

or

The person provinding yang ki/energy.

or

The person who the universe provided to test my Aikido.

or

The person who didn't get enough love as a child.

or

The person who doesn't subscribe to the philosophy or Aikido.

:triangle: :circle: :square:

Ghost Fox
03-14-2002, 06:52 AM
Originally posted by Robert E
Is it against the philosophy of Aikido to have an attacker?

Don't get me wrong about the above post. I'm one of those blind idealist who wants to belive in the Aikido philosphy. Sometimes I even succeed and treat the guy yelling at me with all the compassion and sympathy I can muster. These a usually low risk situations. I really want to belive in the whole harmony with the universe, living shrine for the divine, and I work towards it every day.

But walking down Brooklyn streets late at night and seeing a "wolf pack" in front of me is a different story (for now). Either I cross the street in a nonchalant way (if possible) or I try to flank to their outside. All the while at the ready and visualizing possible scenarios, and to be honest most of them are quite bloody (mines as well as theirs). Maybe one day I will be good enough in aikido to visulaize a more peaceful solution and not see the "wolf pack" as possible attackers.

:triangle: :circle: :square:

jimvance
03-14-2002, 09:26 AM
Originally posted by Ghost Fox
How about the person who is in disharmony with the universe.
That person is the universe. Chaos theorists would have a good discussion whether or not the universe exists within any sort of harmony. I for one think it is mandatory to have an attacker for Aikido even to exist. That's like saying you would like to practice conflict resolution without setting up a conflict.

Jim Vance

Ghost Fox
03-15-2002, 07:01 AM
Originally posted by jimvance

That person is the universe. Chaos theorists would have a good discussion whether or not the universe exists within any sort of harmony. I for one think it is mandatory to have an attacker for Aikido even to exist. That's like saying you would like to practice conflict resolution without setting up a conflict.

Jim Vance

With regard to the chaos theorist, I personally subscribe to the camp that theorizes that the universe is always in harmony. Even the most chaotic event can be described through equations and statistical probabilities. We just currently don't have the computer power or insight to discern all the patterns.

Maybe Robert is trying to say that by seeing the other person as the attacker we set up a dichotomy of attacker vs. defender as oppose to seeing it as a synchronistic event. I know that I tell other Aikidokas not to see the uke as an attacker. When you see the uke as an attacker emotions start to get involved (like anger at being attacked) and we begin to set up an us vs. them mentality. I see uke as an event in which they try to place their energy/matter in a space where my energy/matter currently occupies. And as only one thing can occupy a space at any given time and I need a vessel to exist in this plane of existence I need to move in "harmony" with the approaching energy mass. In a perfect closed system my movement would be intrinsic to the event, like the instances effects of gravity on a ball that has been dropped from a building. The higher the building (How committed is uke.) the greater the energy generated by ball when it hits the ground (Nage's response.), the system is returned to a state of equilibrium.

:triangle: :circle: :square:

Mr. P
03-15-2002, 09:05 AM
First, I'd like to say I don't like to see Aïkido as a way to re-establish harmony. I prefer to see it as a way to maintain balance.

Rather than blocking uke's strikes in order to control him (you're kinky sex addicted, aren't you ?), why not guiding his fists in a way you prefer, to feel his Ki, to "swallow" his strength, etc. ?!
I think that, if you begin to block, you do play his game. When two torrents meet, what does happen, then ? It makes a more powerful torrent :eek: (with also many splashes :confused:, but it's another part of the story :D) !!
Instead, what does happen when a torrent meet a peaceful lake ? It's simply absorbed by the lake and nothing happens. The torrent keeps flowing out, the lake is still peaceful and life goes on !!

Moreover, why imagining someone hits you ? Are you paranoïd, or what :freaky: ? I think we must be prepared (I should say awared). If you're afraid of being hurt, you'll act in order not to be hurt. I don't think I would be happy if you immobilize me because I begin scratching my head too quickly for you :( !!
If you are so nervous, you ought to get an eye on one of that site's articles (especially those speaking about calmness)...

Chuck Clark
03-15-2002, 06:45 PM
Interesting discussion with lots of semantic "hair-splitting', etc.

Here's my take on it...

As the question was about "taking" the initiative (other common words are lead or sente) it seems simple to me.

How can you "take" something unless the other person has it? (if they don't have it, there's no need for aikido) As soon as there is an intention to make an aggressive movement, etc. in the other person there is energy that can be felt by those that are trained well and sensitive to it. Joining or blending with that energy is aikido. Taking that person's structural integrity away from them (kuzushi) and keeping it by continuing connection and fitting (tsukuri) the technique defines itself through the dynamic subconscious attempts of uke to regain posture, balance, and control.

During any encounter the classic roles of uke and tori may switch back and forth more than a few times. One of the most important principles of aikido is "instant victory".

You may not like that word, victory, but it is paradoxical. We do not train to be the loser. At some point by understanding this paradox we transcend ideas of winning and losing and both parties may be winners if the right decisions are made.

Thanks for the good discussion. I'm really interested in how others feel about this subject.

Regards,

Robert E
03-18-2002, 05:04 AM
I realize I'm far out on deap philosophical water here...

My line of reasoning is something like this:
At a certain point in time the person (or persons) in front (or back) of you stops being just a pearson and becomes an attacker (in your mind that is). I don't think this is a question of just semantics.

Should we try, through practice, to push this transition forward in time and eventually stop it from happening at all?

Further more I don't like the concept that at a certain time a conflict is inevitable. I believe that you always have a choice. A choice to attack, a choice to defend your self etc. By practicing we simply get more posible choices.

/Robert

Chuck Clark
03-18-2002, 07:44 AM
Consider this element of Ueshiba's aikido principles...

Kobo itchi or "Attack and defense are the same thing"

Regards,

Mr. P
03-19-2002, 07:39 AM
Good remarks ;) !! I've never seen the things in that way !

Indeed, Uke and Tori symbolize two faces of a same token. They can't be separated : neither Uke nor Tori can't pratice alone ; it's useless and ridiculous ! What happens in a dojo is the symbol of real life. So, it may be logical to assume that, in a fight (but also in real life), Uke and Tori switch each other all the time, Uke becoming Tori, Tori becoming Uke...

So, if the attacker seems not to be wise enough, and stop the fight before being badly hurt (or humiliated :blush: ), we could try a strike to make him notice, his way he does is a bad way :mad:. But this is like holding a two-edged sword :eek:. It's a game we can lose.

You disturbed my way of looking at the things and I don't know how to think any more :(...

Bruce Baker
03-25-2002, 06:16 AM
It bothered me that O'Sensei had said something on this subject in an interview so I found the exact quote:

"In aikido, there is absolutely no attack. To attack means that the spirit has already lost. We adhere to the priniciple of absolute non-resistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker, Thue, there is no opponent in aikido. The victory in aikido is "masakatsu agatsu" (correct victory, self victory) since you win over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven, you possess absolute strength."

I would take that to mean, if the rock is falling, you get out of the way or get crushed in accordance to what is happening. No emotion, no attachedment. You do what is to be done to resolve the situation, balancing violence with harmony that allows violence to destroy itself? From that, there is continuous victory with the self, and with the nature of what is?

That's enough, my head hurts from this deep stuff ...

erikmenzel
03-25-2002, 09:22 AM
Sometimes there is a real difference between what we think to see and what really happened.

At a lesson at our club, sensei applied ikkyo on me. I know and sensei knows that I (uke) started the chain of events. Yet everybody who saw it argued that sensei started.

Just an observation.