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Erik
04-03-2002, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by akiy
Actually, I think the original quote goes something like, "Aikido works. Your aikido doesn't work. Please don't confuse the two."

This quote has been bothering my overly analytical mind for far too long.

When Aikido doesn't work, was it Aikido, your aikido, or the aikido that you were taught which didn't work? Realistically, what are the differences between the three?

How would you define it from a working perspective? My assumption, and I may be wrong, is that this quote implies working from a martial perspective. How would we define working in a martial realm? Or, is that an incorrect assumption and the quote means something else?

Lyle Bogin
04-03-2002, 02:22 PM
It seems that in order to prove that aikido "works", one might have to engage in the very activity aikido seeks to prevent.

Andy
04-03-2002, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by Lyle Bogin
It seems that in order to prove that aikido "works", one might have to engage in the very activity aikido seeks to prevent.
It's called "training".

AikiAlf
04-03-2002, 02:58 PM
This is quoted often when someone (usually a beginner) complains that they tried an Aikido technique on someone else and it didn't work; so Aikido doesn't work.

then the quote falls into the silence and restates.. "Aikido works, your Aikido may not work"

there's not much more to this one.

The point is Aikido is not an instant art; it takes a while to get to the meat of it; the first years are a path to getting there, but some people want to go kick ass with their new toolkit as soon as they think they've figured kotegaeshi or shihonage without realizing how far they are from performing technique effectively.


and then , if and when you get the skill you're not inclined to go around kicking ass... which leaves the typical question of "does this really work" to come and haunt us on the web..

akiy
04-03-2002, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by Erik
When Aikido doesn't work, was it Aikido, your aikido, or the aikido that you were taught which didn't work? Realistically, what are the differences between the three?
The way I see it, it would be that your aikido doesn't work. The premise and principles behind the martial art of aikido (or "Aikido" with a capital "A"), however, works.

Yes, of course the aikido that you're taught may not work, either. But, hopefully, you're studying with someone whose aikido you can "test" every time you grab their arm.

How would you define it from a working perspective? My assumption, and I may be wrong, is that this quote implies working from a martial perspective. How would we define working in a martial realm? Or, is that an incorrect assumption and the quote means something else?
My thought is that this quote is applied in the martial/physical sense. I hear it most of the time when people complain that a technique that they're working on or a principle of aikido that they're practicing is not "working."

What does "working" mean, then? I would personally define it (today) in this case as being able to control your partner...

-- Jun

Erik
04-03-2002, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by akiy
The way I see it, it would be that your aikido doesn't work. The premise and principles behind the martial art of aikido (or "Aikido" with a capital "A"), however, works.

Yes, of course the aikido that you're taught may not work, either. But, hopefully, you're studying with someone whose aikido you can "test" every time you grab their arm.

Sort of, but I'm not sure that's really valid. Just because someone can knock you down doesn't mean that they are teaching you what they learned to knock you down. I would hope that most full-time instructors who have been at it awhile could knock me down, most of the time, but that may or may not be from the principles of Aikido.

And the next natural question is are we learning things in an optimal or effective way so that they work.

My thought is that this quote is applied in the martial/physical sense. I hear it most of the time when people complain that a technique that they're working on or a principle of aikido that they're practicing is not "working."

Yes, and more or less, I'd consider it fair game in a way in that context.


What does "working" mean, then? I would personally define it (today) in this case as being able to control your partner...


All partners? All at a comparative rank? All that walk through the door? If you are a shodan should you then be able to hold your own with shodan's at Bob's Karate dojo? Ugly questions and very difficult to quantify in many ways.

I recognize there are no easy answers here but the more I think about it the only answer I think most of us can give is that we think, and hope, it works.

shihonage
04-03-2002, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by Erik

When Aikido doesn't work, was it Aikido, your aikido, or the aikido that you were taught which didn't work? Realistically, what are the differences between the three?


Aikido is a bunch of Lego blocks type 1.
Karate is a bunch of Lego blocks type 2.

Conclusion: Your efficiency in a martial art depends on how good you're at Lego.

MaylandL
04-03-2002, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by Erik


This quote has been bothering my overly analytical mind for far too long.

When Aikido doesn't work, was it Aikido, your aikido, or the aikido that you were taught which didn't work? Realistically, what are the differences between the three?

How would you define it from a working perspective? My assumption, and I may be wrong, is that this quote implies working from a martial perspective. How would we define working in a martial realm? Or, is that an incorrect assumption and the quote means something else?

I guess it depends on what you want to get out of aikido.

From a personal and self development perspective, it works for me. It's given me a sense of focus, clarity of purpose, sense of identity and an insight into my character. A glimpse of who I am and who I want to be.

For me its the training and practice for its its own sake. Its very satisfying to have sensei's and my training partner's honest opinion that the technique and exercises were correctly done and that I was able to disrupt their centre and posture. I train to improve, learn and understand. From this perspective, aikido works.

From a self defence perspective, aikido also works. Its given me a better perception and awareness, just knowing not to get into situation where I have to fight - avoiding/manging conflict. Yeah I have been in a situation where someone jumped me at midnight while taking the garbage out. It was dark and I didnt see the person till the very last instance. I managed to get out of the way and avoid getting beaten to a messy pulp. I also think I was lucky. I've seen way too many news stories where people (some of which had martal arts training) have been jumped in their own driveways and got seriously hurt or killed.

Could I hold my own against a student of another martial arts discipline? Dont know, dont want to know and I hope that I never am in a situation where I have to find out. That's not what I do aikido for.

I am sure that some aikidoka would like to know that and power to them if that is what they want to acheive from aikido.

Aikido does work. To make aikido work for an aikidoka requires training and understanding.

Sascha Witt
04-03-2002, 10:27 PM
When Aikido doesn't work, was it Aikido, your aikido, or the aikido that you were taught which didn't work? Realistically, what are the differences between the three?

This ties in very nicely with one of the points I made in the thread about the magic pill (from this week's poll).

When Aikido doesn't work, it means you did not do Aikido. You tried to perform one of the techniques but had had no clue of the Aikido principle behind it... and your technique did not work (common reasons: because you did not have your partner's balance or do not yet understand body rhythm and you went too fast or too slow trying to perform the technique. You are missing the :ai: the "harmony" that you need to achieve for the technique to work)

So the original quote

Aikido works. Your aikido doesn't work.

means just that. If you do "real" Aikido, if you use :ki: "energy" (yours and your partner's) with :ai: "harmony" you can overcome any opponent. If on the other hand you think Aikido is no more than a bunch of techniques (i.e. YOUR Aikido) and you fail to establish this harmony there is a good chance that you end up getting your butt kicked out on the street. But that's not because Aikido does not work, but because you don't yet understand what Aikido is.

YOUR Aikido (the one that doesn't work) are just a bunch of movements strung together, whereas Aikido (the one that does work) is harmonizing with your opponents energy and using it against him/her and the actual techniques used to acomplish this are secondary.

As I mentioned in the other thread I have heard it said that "You can do all of the techniques perfectly and still not do Aikido". The techniques are just tools we use to perform Aikido, but they are not Aikido. Just like we use our arms as tools to perform the teqhniques.

I have seen demonstrations where the Sensei used just one arm or even did not use his arms and hands at all... but he did use Aikido and it worked (better than when I use both arms).

So to sum up my response I think the original quote means: Aikido works. Your (perception of) aikido doesn't work.

I hope at least some of that made some sense to anyone other than myself :(

Take care everyone.

Creature_of_the_id
04-04-2002, 04:58 AM
Originally posted by shihonage


Aikido is a bunch of Lego blocks type 1.
Karate is a bunch of Lego blocks type 2.

Conclusion: Your efficiency in a martial art depends on how good you're at Lego.

I completely agree...

Lego works!

Jappzz
04-04-2002, 06:49 AM
Hi!

Just a reflection. I did Shotokan Karate for a year and a half. I see a lot of of those punches in "Aikido attacks". The only difference is that in Karate we never stepped through a straight punch if we saw the opponent moving away. Sounds basic. But i feel that when applying the same techniques as a uke in Aikido i'm supposed to attack committed enough to pose a real threat but once i've executed that ONE technique thats it... No tai sabaki or counterpunching. No nothing.

Depending on what you want to get out of your Aikido you might not see this as a problem.

I don't actually. I'm content with my training still.

I'm just saying that that even if aikido is the most dynamic and adaptive set of martial principles i've encountered they were still created in a culture very different from the western one with it's own predefined "do's and dont's" in fighting.
This might be a issue when you get the subject that everyone loaths but still discusses: "combat effectiveness" in WESTERN society.

But im convinced that you could transcend this problem when you get to a certain point in your personal development... when your hair turns white... your eye's grow dim....

well you catch my drift. ;-)


I guess it all boils down to the fact that aikido never gives you any "quick fixes" and that the magic piller never will exist.

Peace

Jesper Arenskog

Bruce Baker
04-04-2002, 07:01 AM
Well, Sascha took all my good points, except one ... why.

If you have ever tried to answer a three or four year old who asks, "WHY?", you will have a clue to insight.

Sometimes in our attempt to gain skill, we rush past the 'why' to gain Aikido proficiency. 'Them skills' is the basic karate/jujitsu that almost all of O'Sensei's students studied before, during, or after studying with O'Sensei or later students did in Aikido studies?

You need to learn not only the mechanic's of the throw or the pin, but how/why it works. Getting there is half the fun, but knowing how to adapt and overcome when it doesn't, because you or your opponent changes the conditions of success, happens with knowledge/open mind.

Reminds me of the time my father and uncle were getting the rattlesnakes out from under a cabin. When they busted the rock foundation and hundreds of snakes and smoke came rolling out, they did a jumping dancing run to avoid getting bit. There weren't no time for technique, just go with it and get the hell out of the way.

Sometimes that is the motivation for adapting and changing when my technique is neutralized, adapt/change and do whatever will work in that situation.

Those snakes were about 1955 when I was two, which is probably why I had dreams of snakes under the house, until I heard that story. Hatred and fear then becomes softened with knowledge, adapted to/ overcome.

Your Aikido works, mine doesn't ...

I think to myself,"This guy is just beggin' for the Three Stooges distracton technique, yuk-yuk yuk!"

bcole23
04-04-2002, 11:15 AM
I see a lot of of those punches in "Aikido attacks". The only difference is that in Karate we never stepped through a straight punch if we saw the opponent moving away. Sounds basic. But i feel that when applying the same techniques as a uke in Aikido i'm supposed to attack committed enough to pose a real threat but once i've executed that ONE technique thats it... No tai sabaki or counterpunching. No nothing.

It seems that you are still beginning aikido from this post. Many people often wonder about the reality of attacks in aikido. When we first start learning Aikido, we need real true attacks, but to learn, we need to start basic, then get into higher levels. Nages that move too soon to a controlled attack are very common in normal practice. You're giving nage an attack so they can learn. It'd be easy to track a 4th kyu as they try to do a technique, but a 1st kyu should have the timing and skills to blend properly with your real attacks without giving you a chance to track them. If you still can track them, then either nage messed up or you're not being commited to the attack and can expect to not connect with your attack and possibly to get put on your butt because they will be commited. So yeah, in the first maybe 3-5 years, you wont see very dynamic attacks. But once you learn how to be centered, how to connect to ukes energy, how to establish proper mai-ai, have correct posture, etc. when you start doing randori and jiyuwaza, you'll have the ability to understand what's going on and start learning to deal with that new level.

I think Aikido is not suited to the "average American" because we're so interested in results NOW. If you think Aikido doesn't handle counter punches and kicks and actual dynamic, true combat, please go see some real randori. A good example is Steven Segal's "The true path of light and pony tails" or something like that. In his dojo in Japan, many of the people going for shodan, who I'm sure all have pretty darn good technique, totally lose it in randori. I mean they pretty much get their butts kicked. I think it's because they never calmed down enough to learn the Aiki part of Aikido. We tend to focus on technique to much. I think true Aikido doesn't have technique.


*So the whole point of my post was to point out that Aikido takes a while. Be patient. Just because you've been in it for 5 years, doesn't mean you've learned all there is to know and it's just a matter of perfecting what you already know.*

Sascha Witt
04-04-2002, 12:15 PM
Jappzz wrote:
The only difference is that in Karate we never stepped through a straight punch if we saw the opponent moving away.

bcole22 already made good points resonding to Jappzz so I'll try not to restate too many of these points.

The operative concept in the above quote is "IF we saw"

Sensei Bindner often stresses timing during our practices. Shite (or nage) has to move soon enough to avoid getting hit, but has to move late enough to make sure uke can no longer react to the movement. Timing is everything!

but once i've executed that ONE technique thats it...

As bcole22 pointed out already this is how we learn at the low kyu levels. It's only the first step. Or in Sensei Bindner's words:

You need to learn how to crawl, then walk, then run... right now you are learning how to crawl

Also the "ideal" Aikido is that it's a one move art. Your opponent attacks, you use this energy to take him down and pin him... game over. So "ONE technique" quite literally "is it". To once again quote my Sensei

I'm not teaching you how to fight. I'm teaching you how to end a fight.

I used to do a striking art (Tae kwon do) prior to Aikido as well. And at first I raised the same points Jappzz made. I'm also one of Sensei Bindner's first student and as such tend to be his uke a lot... and trust me ONE technique IS it against him (he lets me try whenever one of the new students raises this question - even knowing what to expect now I've never managed to throw a second punch before he incapacitates me).

Jappzz
04-04-2002, 01:07 PM
Hi again!

I just want to follow up my last question and see if i could get as informative answers to this one as i got to the last one.
There's one thing i dont understand after reading the answers: Even if your a master in blending and adapting how could you possibly blend with a "hit and run" technique that doesn't stay in your grappling range. If someone doesn't penetrate but just goes in and hits decisively on some vital part and retracts imediately there's no limb to manipulate and no opposing force to guide. I don't see how you could possibly connect to a uke that does this without being the initiator yourself in wich case it seems to me that your doing exactly the same as any other "harder" budo.

Answers?

Peace

Jesper Arenskogh

Jorx
04-04-2002, 02:03 PM
Two words:
atemi and nagewaza
You can hit and you can throw quite without trying to grab someones arm...
In the ideal you are always aware of your surroundings - so there can be no "hit'n'run" attacks... In the real life - if you are really unprepared (you don't get a glimpse on the attack before it hits you) nothing (no MA no nothing) can save you exept luck... :(

Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai

P.S. Anyway what we learn in Aikido is attaining certain mindsets which will probably keep us out of any conflicts/attacks.

P.P.S. Ever thought on if correct and continous practise of Aikido (or maybe other MA) would change your biowaves/aura/ki in that way that the "bad guys" will feel a certain "potential threat" or "inner peace" or just something that the desire to attack will vanishe? Coukd be a new topic huh;)?

Erik
04-04-2002, 02:08 PM
Sigh, this sort of went the usual way didn't it. You all have left me no recourse and I must do something I would never have expected to do. I must paraphrase something I heard Steven Seagal say at a seminar.

Basically he said something like, "you should be able to walk into a bar and deal with what you find or be able to deal with a guy swinging a baseball bat at you. That was his definition of "Aikido works" or at least what he provided at that seminar.

I recognize that most people don't care to practice to that level but I also think most people do think they are learning a martial art. In order to say Aikido works, or does not work, it does need a criteria of sorts to measure against, even one like Seagal's.

akiy
04-04-2002, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by Erik
In order to say Aikido works, or does not work, it does need a criteria of sorts to measure against, even one like Seagal's.
How about, "Able to control everyone regardless of rank or experience"?

I know that my current teacher's teacher used to use people who were high-level karate practitioners as "uke" in his demonstrations and asked them, basically, to try to kill him.

-- Jun

Lyle Bogin
04-04-2002, 02:48 PM
Absorb the hit. Assist the run.

Erik
04-04-2002, 03:13 PM
Originally posted by akiy
How about, "Able to control everyone regardless of rank or experience"?

I know that my current teacher's teacher used to use people who were high-level karate practitioners as "uke" in his demonstrations and asked them, basically, to try to kill him.


I like those answers, although, I think the first one will be impossible to achieve. Everyone is a lot of people.

I've heard stories about that gentleman and some fine establishments as well.

Sascha Witt
04-04-2002, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by Jappzz
Hi again!


There's one thing i dont understand after reading the answers: Even if your a master in blending and adapting how could you possibly blend with a "hit and run" technique that doesn't stay in your grappling range. If someone doesn't penetrate but just goes in and hits decisively on some vital part and retracts imediately there's no limb to manipulate and no opposing force to guide. I don't see how you could possibly connect to a uke that does this without being the initiator yourself in wich case it seems to me that your doing exactly the same as any other "harder" budo.


Jesper Arenskogh

I'll see what I can do. I'm not sure if I completely understood what you mean with "hit and run technique", so if I'm not making sense that may be why.
First of all it comes down to timing once again. For even at a very fast attck there is a split second where uke's force is at maximum. If you catch that you can accelerate or reverse it. The problem in this case of course is catching it.
If you took say a 4th degree from some style of Karate and faced him with a 4th degree from Aikido I would not want to bet on the outcome either. They both know what they are doing, they both know there is no gurantee but both of them can adapt to any given situation. Luckily if you do get attacked it's usually by someone without or with only a little formal training.

Also as Jorx pointed out you don't necessarily have to grab. Many striking attacks can be countered quite effectively by simply stepping into the attack (and perform sokumen irimi nage - side step-in throw or something). The question now is: Are you trained well enough to be able to perform such an action without thinking?

As for becoming the initiator yourself. Of course! Let's not forget that classroom Aikido and an actual street fight are two entirely different things. In the classroom you try and perfect the art that is Aikido - it's an "ideal". In the real world ideals are rarely achieved and it comes down to "him or me!"

Some styles of Aikido like Yoshinkan teach a lot of atemis - strikes that are designed to distract and/or elicit a response from your opponent which you can then manipulate. And in Yoshinkan at least we also learn a number of techniques which technically do or at least could initiate the fight (like using a front strike to force uke to throw up his arm(s) in defense so that we can then use this arm to control uke).

Jorx: If you get a thread going on the mystical aura/ki side of martial arts let me know.

Erik: Sometimes even people like Seagal make valid points. :rolleyes: And true enough parameters would need to be defined: Works where? In what situation? If you apply nikajo (nikyo) on someone who has never been exposed to it he is likely to start complaining as soon as you grab his hand... someone studying aikido or jujutsu or similar art on the other hand may not be effected at all.

bcole23
04-04-2002, 04:23 PM
One small thing..

Against an attacker whose kung foo resembles the great Wong Fei Hong, an atemi to make uke throw up his hands will rarely if ever work. In Aikido there is no attack or defense, but in other MA, attack and defense are the same thing. So when you throw that atemi out there to make uke throw up his hands to block or what have you, expect a counter attack rather than a block. It's not normally 'block strike block strike' but more like block/blend/strike (all at the same time) 5 times in the space of 2 seconds.

Knowing how to attack well is very important if you want to know how not to attack. Luckily most people of the caliber of Wong Fei Hong are not gonna go around just attacking people. But if you find yourself in China between 3000bc and 1920, you might want some special kung foo powers.

Go watch Iron Monkey and think about how Aikido would handle those guys. It's all relative.

*boy this post went way off what I was intending to say, oh well.*:freaky:

akiy
04-04-2002, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by bcole23
In Aikido there is no attack or defense, but in other MA, attack and defense are the same thing.
Hmm... Interesting. The term "kobu ichi" (offense and defense are one) is a concept that we very much use in our dojo. Saotome sensei often says, "Offense, defense; defense, offense. Same same."
So when you throw that atemi out there to make uke throw up his hands to block or what have you, expect a counter attack rather than a block. It's not normally 'block strike block strike' but more like block/blend/strike (all at the same time) 5 times in the space of 2 seconds.
If atemi is done well, it's an integrated part of a technique, not something done on its own. Just as a technique if done just "on its own" without accompanying principles like kuzushi and timing, I don't think atemi is done in isolation but in cooperation and integration with such principles. Just as was covered in another thread about uke being unable to let go of his grab, an atemi when done well will result in uke only being able to defend.

I'm not there, yet, of course. Maybe next week, though.

Originally posted by Erik
I like those answers, although, I think the first one will be impossible to achieve. Everyone is a lot of people.
Yup -- that's why my aikido doesn't work, but I fully believe that the principles of aikido that I'm trying to develop (despite the fact that it may look like random flailing) does, indeed, work...

-- Jun

bcole23
04-04-2002, 04:50 PM
btw, I absolutely know your point about "hit and run" tactics. I think it's better explained this way.

In many MA, it's 'every strike is meant to kill' because they are taken from life and death times. However, in your average confrontation today you'll see more of the 'let's knock this guy/girl around the head a few times to gain an advantage so I can proceed to whomp them at my leisure without getting hurt myself'. So it's not the same ultra commited attacks that we see in Aikido and MA sparring. What do y'all do about someone that just doesn't come flying in, but uses feints, jabs, combinations, drunken boxing? If you say, "Use mai-ai and whatnot to get them to commit", nah, I'll just use the standard knife fighting technique of not trying to kill you but cutting you to pieces and breaking you down.

I know that all this has been debated to death on this board and I don't want to start that over here. This is more of a rhetoric meant to spark your own thinking, not to debate.

Have someone try to use more of a stalking technique on you (like boxing) in the dojo rather than standard karate attacks.

This isn't to prove that "your Aikido doesn't work" (lol) but Aikido has to deal with every dynamic, so try to practice against those dynamics.

Bruce Baker
04-04-2002, 05:00 PM
Guys ....

What am them Chinese fighters striking, kicking at, and why?

You want to fight that fast, then start with batting tennis balls away with two people throwing them easy, then faster and faster ... that should satisfy your training for batting away kicks and punches.

How about some indian wrestling? Grab your partners forearms and attempt to offset their balance ... not throw them, but simply take the balance away. If you or your partner loose balance, or fall, you do not disconnect but maintain the connection. If you root, you can practically hold their entire weight off the ground. If you fall go with it, but look for the openings as you fall.

For those who are strong, you might want to play nice to get this feeling of taking balance and rooting. It is no different in Aikido. You merely need to practice and become attuned to movement. This practice is found in many wrestling forms around the world, it just so happens I started it very young with local Natives Americans who taught it to their children, so I attribute it to that culture.

Speed does not mean openings or opportunity. When the fastest moves become slowed and clearly visible, then you will understand.

Until then, be very polite, and very humble. Sometimes being invisible, a non threat is your greatest weapon. Believe it or not, some of the best fighters are totally invisible in a crowd.

But Aikido is not about fighting, is it?
Sometimes being a better you ... is Aikido.
:ai: :ki: :do:

bcole23
04-04-2002, 05:04 PM
If atemi is done well, it's an integrated part of a technique, not something done on its own. Just as a technique if done just "on its own" without accompanying principles like kuzushi and timing......

Ah, all very true, however, my point of reference was the following..

And in Yoshinkan at least we also learn a number of techniques which technically do or at least could initiate the fight (like using a front strike to force uke to throw up his arm(s) in defense so that we can then use this arm to control uke).

I'm saying that if you were to initiate the "fight" in this context, don't expect uke to just throw up his hands to block, as in this case, it's not a part of a technique but more of an initiation of the impending conflict.

When uke attacks, he's putting himself at a disadvantage by the mere act of attacking. It's unnatural. So by initiating the "fight", you're putting yourself in that situation. I'm not saying that atemi's aren't integral to Aikido, but applied in a manner such as to initiate the "fight", be careful what you ask for.

(I completely believe in taking the initiative, as seen in the taking the initiative topic, so don't get me wrong, but in getting someone to throw a punch at me, I have won the initiative. Initiative isn't always just the act of acting first.)

Erik
04-04-2002, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by Sascha Witt
First of all it comes down to timing once again. For even at a very fast attck there is a split second where uke's force is at maximum. If you catch that you can accelerate or reverse it. The problem in this case of course is catching it.

Actually, this is the last place you want to catch (don't like that word) in the context of a strike. Operating at this point will be far, far too late in my experience. You need to catch the "intent to strike" or "before the beginning", otherwise, good luck when operating at speed. At least I can't do it, or even come close at that point. Maybe I mistook your comment?

Originally posted by Brandon Cole
In many MA, it's 'every strike is meant to kill' because they are taken from life and death times. However, in your average confrontation today you'll see more of the 'let's knock this guy/girl around the head a few times to gain an advantage so I can proceed to whomp them at my leisure without getting hurt myself'. So it's not the same ultra commited attacks that we see in Aikido and MA sparring. What do y'all do about someone that just doesn't come flying in, but uses feints, jabs, combinations, drunken boxing? If you say, "Use mai-ai and whatnot to get them to commit", nah, I'll just use the standard knife fighting technique of not trying to kill you but cutting you to pieces and breaking you down.

Brandon, you raise an excellent point from a certain perspective. I think in the context of pure street fighting there isn't so much of this. My belief is that in that environment it's determined fairly quickly often with a sucker punch, one person is overwhelmed or two people just flail. Personally, I don't see any reason to fight fair and I'm not particularly nasty.

However, in the context of trained fighters (again we have to define context) you will see this sort of thing and conventional Aikido training is poorly suited for this in my opinion (maybe rightly so). I see very little overt practice on spacing against a moving attacker (jiyu waza but not an everyday practice), feints, jabs, punch combinations, kicks, punch kick combinations or serious attempts to close for grappling/tackling purposes in most of the places I've practiced at or visited. It happens, but it's rare.

Sascha Witt
04-04-2002, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by bcole23
One small thing..

Against an attacker whose kung foo resembles the great Wong Fei Hong, an atemi to make uke throw up his hands will rarely if ever work. In Aikido there is no attack or defense, but in other MA, attack and defense are the same thing. So when you throw that atemi out there to make uke throw up his hands to block or what have you, expect a counter attack rather than a block.



:) Luckily, as you pointed out yourself fighters of Wong Fei Hong's calibre are not likely to go around beating up on people in everyday life.

The best thing to do is not to "expect" anything but act on what you get. Which you (will) learn in jiyu waza training.
Now how well this would work against a kung fu grandmaster (or any other high up martial artist) I really don't know.

The biggest mistake you can ever make is to believe yourself invincible because you study a martial art... and that is as true for aikido as it is for any other style.

Eric: I think you did understand me. From my (limited) understanding of aikido if you try and counter intend rather than action you would no longer use "real" aikido. From what I've been taught (or at least from my understanding of what I have been taught) uke or any opponent must be lured in and be fully comitted before you make your move. If you move too early your opponent (especially one trained in another art) can pull or redirect his attack or use it as a feint for a followup strike or whatever and you have nothing (except possibly a bloody nose).

So I think (and I'm hardly an authority here) you have to wait until the attacker goes beyond the point of no return, which generally is just a split second before he hits.

At this point in time I cannot do it either (but I can BS about it :p ) except sometimes in a very controlled environment when I know exactly what is coming. But I hope someday I will be able to do so "instinctively".

Creature_of_the_id
04-05-2002, 04:25 AM
aikido works:
aikido is a set of principles, the principle of none resistance. If there is force you go around it, if you are not resisting anything then there is no fight and therefore no one looses.
aikido works

yours may not:
we each have our own limited experience of life and aikido, those experiences define how we move through life what choices we make.
we filter each experience through our own understanding and only see that which we have been trained to understand.
I have only learned limited techniques and movement. there are infinite numbers of ways of performing techniques, I can only do a limited number of those bcause I have only experienced and trained in them.
if i limit my options then I can only take a limited number of paths and dont always find the road of non resistance.
my aikido may not work in any given situation... the more I train, the more options I have and the less I need to resist

if I have faith in my movement and my technique and just move and adapt, then I can experience the lack of limitations within the moment and blend with anything that comes my way. as I have no longer restricted myself to set techniques of a martial art.. but instead a concept and a moment.

anyway, it makes sense in my head :p
"learn and forget"

"the net serves to catch the fish, forget the net.. take the fish
the trap serves to catch the rabbit, forget the trap... take the rabbit
Technique serves to catch the spirit, forget technique... take the spirit" - Andre Noquet 8th dan

akiy
04-05-2002, 10:18 AM
I think it's odd that a lot of people say that "unless uke attacks, aikido won't work." Whenever I hear this statement, I usually bring up the following two hypothetical situations.

1) What would you do if someone tried to attack your toddler child and not you?

2) What would you do if a person were blocking your way from someone abducting your child? Or blocked your only way out of a burning building?

I believe the concept of sen-no-sen and sen-sen-no-sen very much apply in the case of aikido.

-- Jun

Erik
04-05-2002, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by Sascha Witt
Eric: I think you did understand me. From my (limited) understanding of aikido if you try and counter intend rather than action you would no longer use "real" aikido. From what I've been taught (or at least from my understanding of what I have been taught) uke or any opponent must be lured in and be fully comitted before you make your move. If you move too early your opponent (especially one trained in another art) can pull or redirect his attack or use it as a feint for a followup strike or whatever and you have nothing (except possibly a bloody nose).

So I think (and I'm hardly an authority here) you have to wait until the attacker goes beyond the point of no return, which generally is just a split second before he hits.

At this point in time I cannot do it either (but I can BS about it :p ) except sometimes in a very controlled environment when I know exactly what is coming. But I hope someday I will be able to do so "instinctively".

Sascha, this is how I was taught but I find myself questioning this particular practice for a lot of reasons these days. If you can control the distance, if you can control the timing adjusting for speed, if you can control the circumstances, if you can control your bodies reaction to stress or if you have a significant skill differentiation this sort of thing becomes more possible. So, while I might not agree with your terminology/explanation I can accept the concept in principle I'm just not certain about execution outside of controlled circumstances. Personally, in a non-structured enviroment with dynamically changing distances (or if I can't control the distance--back against a wall or between parked cars) and angles I find controlling center, closing, atemi (as distraction) and the like much more Erik friendly.

Plus, if it takes decades (and at least in my case that's going to be required) I'm not sure it should qualify as working in a MA context. On the other hand, there may be some personal failing or teaching I've not seen, and so I've failed to grasp an essential part of aiki. In other words, my Aikido is incomplete and doesn't work.

I guess I would say that while I think the concept isn't meritless as such, by itself, I'm not convinced it's anywhere near enough, or, even close to enough.

samurai_kenshin
02-13-2005, 01:16 AM
It's called "training".
you may have heard that randori is a misproununciation of "runned-away"? You should hope never to need your aikido to "work" or "not work", but if you do...think of it as a randori

rob_liberti
02-14-2005, 02:33 PM
I've heard "No attack, no aikido" and I kind of believe it to a point. If someone is attacking your toddler, I think you have an animal right to hurt them to protect your young - so I don't think I'd be doing much aikido then anyway. But, I suppose if I body bump them away from my child, then I'd imagine I could do aikido with them as long as they continued to try to get through me to get to my child. I was thinking it would be funny (I won't do this of course) to go to the Aiki Expo and actually get up in the middle of the classes and get in the way of the person who was called up to take ukemi - to "protect the sensei". I'm not sure I would really be able to do it (even if I weren't escorted out by security or police or worse) - but I think it would be a similar situation to trying to do aikido when the attacker is after someone else.

If someone were trying to block my way to get to something I need (I'd hope they were not professional defensive ends in american football) and I suppose I'd attack, and hope I could do aikido or something effective against their response..

I think what we do typically drops down to a level of jui-jitsu if we initiate the attack. There are some folks out there, like Gleason sensei who seem to be able to advance on me in such a way that he makes me attack him on his timing. I don't really understand how it works very well, but I have been on the receiving end of that so I know it is true (at least to my level of dealing with him) eventhough I can't explain it very well.

Rob

John Matsushima
02-18-2005, 08:33 AM
When you love someone, does it work?
When you smile, does it work?
When you go to sleep at night, does it work?
Do the laws of nature work?

Aikido doesn't work, it just is. :)

Lyle Laizure
02-26-2005, 07:16 PM
Friends of mine not too long ago attended a seminar where the guest instructor said something like; My aikido works, maybe your aikido doesn't work. Or something to the same effect.

I took it to mean that in an actual confrontation that some folks felt that aikido would not work and that this sensei was telling them that they were not performing aikido to its fullest potential. I could be wrong, it's just my interpretation.

aikiwolf
02-26-2005, 09:28 PM
From a philosophical and somewhat theoretical standpoint, I agree with John Matsushima when he says "Aikido doesn't work it just is."
Work implies force of some kind F=ma, from basic physics principles. The heart of Aikido lies in being "the center of the universe" and needs no Force in which to work.
Is this true from a practical application standpoint? I would say "yes". Regardless of the attack, if you harmonize with the existent energy you can easily control said attacker completely. As was mentioned previously, if you harmonize to "perfection", no technique is needed, THAT would be the technique.
As far as the "hit and run" techniques, jabs and the like-- the attack is not in the jab, the attack is in the step they must take to reach you with their jab, punch, etc. Don't react to the arm flailing about in the air, react to the body it is attached to and you will be much more successful.

Charles Hill
02-27-2005, 01:39 AM
In the book, Budo, the Founder states that ikkyo omote starts with a strike to uke`s face, and ura starts with uke attacking first. According to Saito Sensei, after the was the Founder changed it so that both omote and ura start with a strike to uke`s face. This is probably what Saito Sensei refered to as the first level "go no keiko" with higher levels being where one draws out the attack.
Charles Hill

mathewjgano
02-27-2005, 08:21 PM
My thinking is that it's misleading to say "your aikido doesn't work." Aikido, by definition, works. If it didn't work, it's not Aikido, but something which looks similar. One person can train in a technique and be able to perform it upon someone else, but may not be able to perform it on yet another person who is perhaps more in touch with the principle of aiki. When does the technique cease to be Aikido? When conflict is not able to be resolved. We study aikido, but we only practice it when we successfully negate confliction.
This is somewhat pedantic perhaps, but it's the best answer I can think of. Having trained in a couple different dojos, my critical eye says some places are better than others at different things. True training comes from within, with a keen eye and an open mind, regardless of where you train, and "which aikido" you train in.

AaronFrancher
02-27-2005, 09:39 PM
I have found that many times perspective can get in the way of proper teaching. If a student sees the technique a different way from what you're teaching, then it wasn't taught incorrectly. It was just misunderstood. However, training may also become a factor in why the technique failed. If a technique is only practiced at half speed, then the student might not learn how to use its full potential.