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Kat.C
04-06-2002, 09:15 AM
Hi everyone. I've been reading the forums and am finding all the posts really interesting and informative but I am puzzled about a few things. I was going to wait and not ask anymore questions until I had started aikido (first class should be next week!) but I'm not real good at waiting.
Anyways what I wanted to know is ; Why are people, especially aikidoka, questioning the effectiveness of aikido against other fighting styles,or as self defense against an attack on the street?
Aikido is a martial art so you are learning how to fight(defend yourself). I know I have only a small amount of experience in the martial arts but I never thought that my karate would teach me how to defend myself only against karate attacks or the average bully who doesn't know how to fight but relies on brute force. I assumed that my training would provide me with not only workable techniques, but would also teach me timing, distance & control, and hone all these skills over time, and that the more I trained the faster my reactions would be. I assume the same is true with aikido. So why would it matter what style an attacker is using against me? Would it not just come down to who is more skilled regardless of the art? Wouldn't my martial art be just as effective against a martial artist of a different style,or a boxer,or wrestler or street fighter provided that I was more skilled? Isn't it the skill of the fighter not the style that matters? (Plus luck!)
Well , thats it. Please inundate me with your replies I love learning from your posts!
Kat.

guest1234
04-06-2002, 10:08 AM
Kat,

When those kinds of questions are asked, it is usually assumed equal skill in the different martial arts, and it is usually asked by either (a) a beginner who doesn't know any better or (b) someone new to Aikido but with other MA experience and he is trying to deal with not knowing as much as he thought he did or (c) someone who does the other MA but not Aikido and is looking for a fight (often obliged).

As has been repeated ad nauseum, 'Aikido works, your Aikido does not work' eventually finds it way into the post and things quiet down again.

Kat.C
04-06-2002, 10:26 AM
Colleen, If both fighters are equally skilled would it not come down then, to strength, stamina and luck, not one style verses another?
The other thing that I'm wondering about is if people expect to use only aikido in dealing with attacks? Or should I say aikido techniques? For example; if someone attacked me, I would assume they wish to seriously hurt if not kill me so I would do whatever it took to defend myself. As I usually have my keys handy I would probably try to stab said attacker with them. Preferably in the eyes or throat as that would be most effective but I would also aim for other areas of their body as well as poking a hole anywhere in them would probably benefit me. These are not karate techniques nor do I suppose are they aikido techniques but I would still use them. I am not bloodthirsty but my small level of experience in karate precludes me from worrying about how much harm I inflict on an attacker. And yes our philosophy was to do as little damage as possible too but we were told that until you had reached shodan level worry about survival first. More important of course avoid fighting.
Anyways I don't think that I would use just karate, or once I'm training in it, just aikido in dealing with an attack but would use whatever methods that are handy at the time and thta I think would be effective. I know I wouldn't have time to think really but I couldn't come up with a better word.
Sorry this turned into an unnecessarily long post. Basically what I wanted to know is if people expect to use only aikido techniques if attacked.

guest1234
04-06-2002, 11:58 AM
Kat,
those are some good self defense ideas, you seem well prepared. Remember, though, in theory-- I've not seen it proved-- a smaller, weaker person could still overcome a larger, stronger one with Aikido--- that is the beauty of this particular MA. Aikido's overall effectiveness? I guess it depends on what you consider 'using Aikido' to be, and why you are doing Aikido.

A very capable sandan (third degree black belt-but you probably know that) in Aikido here, who I think also is a highly ranked ju jitsu black belt (taught it elsewhere), would ask me to go with him after class if he had to use the nearby ATM. I was laughing about this with another student (I am somewhat size challenged and not much for a fight) and said perhaps it was him using Aikido in that he thought I'd see a potential attacker and my scream would warn him. The other student went one better: perhaps by having me around, it discouraged an attack altogether (unique Aiki approach). This is more the way I see myself using Aikido 'in the street': it helps me avoid a situation where violence is the only resolution to conflict.

Besides, many of us don't think about Aikido as a self-defense issue at all. Plenty of long posts elsewhere on this topic, but some of us do Aikido for reasons that have nothing to do with 'in the street' and more to do with 'in ourselves' . Have fun in your first class.

Kat.C
04-06-2002, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by ca

A very capable sandan (third degree black belt-but you probably know that) in Aikido here, who I think also is a highly ranked ju jitsu black belt (taught it elsewhere), would ask me to go with him after class if he had to use the nearby ATM. I was laughing about this with another student (I am somewhat size challenged and not much for a fight) and said perhaps it was him using Aikido in that he thought I'd see a potential attacker and my scream would warn him. The other student went one better: perhaps by having me around, it discouraged an attack altogether (unique Aiki approach). This is more the way I see myself using Aikido 'in the street': it helps me avoid a situation where violence is the only resolution to conflict.
Smart man. The only time I was attacked on the street was when I had been dumb enough to leave a bar alone & dumb enough to take a short cut through an alley to catch the bus. Some guy decided he wanted my purse. I had been drinking and was in dumb mode. I did not give it to him. I was very lucky that two police officers saw our struggle. They yelled, he ran. I was not hurt and, still dumb, not scared. Until the police got through with me. They severley berated me for all the dumb things I had done. By the time they were through with me I was sober, scared, and thankfully smarter. I avoid dangerous places and avoid being out alone. Alleys and ATM's are dangerous places. By the way it was these two officers who explained about using my keys as weapons. Thankfully I have not needed to use them on anything other than locks.
Originally posted by ca


Besides, many of us don't think about Aikido as a self-defense issue at all. Plenty of long posts elsewhere on this topic, but some of us do Aikido for reasons that have nothing to do with 'in the street' and more to do with 'in ourselves' . Have fun in your first class.
Yeah,I first started karate for self-defense reasons but I kept training and now want to train (in aikido) for self-improvement.And of course for the fun!

paw
04-06-2002, 05:49 PM
Colleen, If both fighters are equally skilled would it not come down then, to strength, stamina and luck, not one style verses another?

Not necessarily. A karate trained fighter has little or no groundwork skill (ne waza). If they are taken to the ground, they will be at a horrendious disadvantage --- so much so that it is safe to say they will loose the fight. Size, stamina and skill will not save the karate fighter, as they simply do not have groundwork in their skill set.

Who do you suspect would win between a karate fighter and a boxer? Clearly, karate is a more complete striking art. Yet my money will be on the boxer (assuming comparable skill levels). The training method of boxing has morely likely produced a superior athlete who will have hundreds of hours more experience (sparring).

Regards,

Paul

Kat.C
04-06-2002, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by paw


Not necessarily. A karate trained fighter has little or no groundwork skill (ne waza). If they are taken to the ground, they will be at a horrendious disadvantage --- so much so that it is safe to say they will loose the fight. Size, stamina and skill will not save the karate fighter, as they simply do not have groundwork in their skill set.

Why would a karateka be seriously disadvantaged? You can still punch strike and kick while on the ground. Well my senseis could. Quite effectively too. So shouldn't a karateka still be able to fight? And win?


Who do you suspect would win between a karate fighter and a boxer? Clearly, karate is a more complete striking art. Yet my money will be on the boxer (assuming comparable skill levels). The training method of boxing has morely likely produced a superior athlete who will have hundreds of hours more experience (sparring).

Regards,

Paul

I'm not sure about this, but boxers don't train to kill do they? Not that karateka do either but our strikes and punches are designed to do this. So wouldn't a karateka or other similiar martial artist have the adavntage? And isn't sparring part of your skill. I mean it teaches you timing and distances and develops quick reflexes, so if one opponent had a lot more sparring practise in they wouldn't be equally matched skill wise would they? I'm not being nitpicky here this is just how it seems to me.
I'm probably wrong,:( usually am hence the reason for me asking all these questions.
Kat.

Erik
04-06-2002, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C
Why would a karateka be seriously disadvantaged? You can still punch strike and kick while on the ground. Well my senseis could. Quite effectively too. So shouldn't a karateka still be able to fight? And win?

Kat, I think it depends greatly on who took them to the ground. I would bet on the trained wrestler/grappler given the choice. I think the Gracies, if they've done anything, have driven this one home pretty well.

I'm not sure about this, but boxers don't train to kill do they? Not that karateka do either but our strikes and punches are designed to do this.

Oh boy, we could go a long way on this. I would just say that from what I've seen it's not quite so easy to put someone down with one strike, even when it connects (and you don't break your hand), plus connecting is a whole nother issue.

As to your comments on criticizing Aikido. Personally, I think we should welcome criticism because if we looked at it, and analyzed it, we just might find that some folks have valid points or experiences and it's in those places that we'll find the things that make the art stronger and more vital. Personally, I'm always adapting my thought process based on new input.

guest1234
04-06-2002, 08:40 PM
Kat,

You by now should see that this is why the question is silly, and never resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Just another way of measuring each other's --- :o --- uhmmm --- stamina. :rolleyes:

Kat.C
04-06-2002, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by Erik
[B]

Kat, I think it depends greatly on who took them to the ground. I would bet on the trained wrestler/grappler given the choice. I think the Gracies, if they've done anything, have driven this one home pretty well.

Umm, who are the Gracies?




As to your comments on criticizing Aikido. Personally, I think we should welcome criticism because if we looked at it, and analyzed it, we just might find that some folks have valid points or experiences and it's in those places that we'll find the things that make the art stronger and more vital. Personally, I'm always adapting my thought process based on new input.

The questions people asked about the effectiveness of aikido verses this or that stlye of fighting just made me wonder if that was what it would come down to in a fight. Like, would the outcome be decided on the styles of fighting the combatants were trained in or would it depend (where skill levels are equal) on the individuals strength and stamina? I didn't mean to imply that I thought no one should critissize aikido.
Though why would you;) .
Kat.

paw
04-06-2002, 09:20 PM
Kat,

Why would a karateka be seriously disadvantaged? You can still punch strike and kick while on the ground. Well my senseis could. Quite effectively too. So shouldn't a karateka still be able to fight? And win?

The caveat we both mentioned was equal skill. Find someone with equal skill, glove up and see what happens. Some of the Gracie Academies still honor the "Gracie Challenge" if your senseis want to try this out as well.

And isn't sparring part of your skill. I mean it teaches you timing and distances and develops quick reflexes, so if one opponent had a lot more sparring practise in they wouldn't be equally matched skill wise would they? I'm not being nitpicky here this is just how it seems to me.

I wouldn't say sparring is skill. I would say that sparring is part of the training method. The skill is being able to strike an opponent. The training method is how that skill is developed. At least, that's how I see things. Does that like a fair definition to you?


Colleen,

You by now should see that this is why the question is silly, and never resolved to everyone's satisfaction

It's not a silly question and the resolution is very simple. Glove up and try it yourself. See what happens.

Regards,

Paul

Kat.C
04-06-2002, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by ca
Kat,

You by now should see that this is why the question is silly, and never resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Just another way of measuring each other's --- :o --- uhmmm --- stamina. :rolleyes:
Colleen,I was kind of puzzled by the comparison of one art verses another. When I was in karate I just assumed I was learning how to defend myself, it never occured to me that it might be ineffective against someone of a different style of fighting, I just assumed skill would decide the outcome of struggles. Now that I want to start aikido I feel the same about it but all the questions of comparisons got me wondering if my reasoning was flawed. Wouldn't be the first time:(
Kat

guest1234
04-06-2002, 09:38 PM
Thanks, Paul, but sparring doesn't appeal to me in the least. My testosterone has alternate outlets.:confused:

It will be interesting to see how all of you who do spar resolve this: I predict several 'oh yeah, well BJJ can kick Tae Bo's butt anyday' exchanges, to be followed by "Aikido works, your Aikido does not", then a disjointed reference or two to an obscure MA, with a final pronouncement that boxing rules.:rolleyes:

guest1234
04-06-2002, 09:42 PM
Kat,

I think you are on the right track... but you'll see for yourself soon enough.

For me, Aikido is not about comparing myself to others, so I don't know what is to be gained by comparing my art to others. Each is a different way for different folks, as long as I enjoy what I am doing, I don't see the point in worrying about someone else's choice.

Let us know how your class went.:D

Erik
04-06-2002, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C
Colleen,I was kind of puzzled by the comparison of one art verses another. When I was in karate I just assumed I was learning how to defend myself, it never occured to me that it might be ineffective against someone of a different style of fighting, I just assumed skill would decide the outcome of struggles. Now that I want to start aikido I feel the same about it but all the questions of comparisons got me wondering if my reasoning was flawed. Wouldn't be the first time:(
Kat

Think of it this way.

You've mastered the art of throwing flaming pumpkins.

:cool:

One day, it happens, you are attacked!

:eek:

You hurl flaming pumpkins by the dozens....

:grr:

Your opponent blocks all of them with his shield.

evileyes

It turns into a really bad day.

Since the "flaming pumpkins" art has nothing about shields in it's curriculum what failed?

ERIK WANTS TO BE ABLE TO EMBED MORE SMILIES.

Erik
04-06-2002, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by ca
It will be interesting to see how all of you who do spar resolve this: I predict several 'oh yeah, well BJJ can kick Tae Bo's butt anyday' exchanges, to be followed by "Aikido works, your Aikido does not", then a disjointed reference or two to an obscure MA, with a final pronouncement that boxing rules.:rolleyes:

Yea, we've been there before.

Thing is, there are things those arts, even Tae Bo (ever notice how many women show up for that sort of thing) can bring to us and make our art stronger. The problem with the above dialogue, and it's what always happens, is that it doesn't help anyone find out what needs to be improved.

guest1234
04-06-2002, 09:54 PM
Oh, and I wouldn't worry about any MA being ineffective for self defense if it isn't great against another skilled martial artist... most attackers are not yudansha.

An Aikido joke I heard once defined ukemi as the skilled art of falling/receiving technique, and Aikido as a gentle MA that does not harm your attacker, unless he does not know ukemi, in which case it breaks his arm in three places. :D

Aikido is not the best thing to go for if you are looking for fast self defense... but I don't think that is what you are after.

Kat.C
04-06-2002, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by Erik


Think of it this way.

You've mastered the art of throwing flaming pumpkins.

:cool:

One day, it happens, you are attacked!

:eek:

You hurl flaming pumpkins by the dozens....

:grr:

Your opponent blocks all of them with his shield.

evileyes

It turns into a really bad day.

Since the "flaming pumpkins" art has nothing about shields in it's curriculum what failed?

ERIK WANTS TO BE ABLE TO EMBED MORE SMILIES.
I'm not really sure I should reply to this as I'm not really sure what you meant, but why on earth wouldn't you just take away your opponents shield and hit him?!:D
Kat

Kat.C
04-06-2002, 10:05 PM
You're right Colleen, self-defense isn't the reason I want to do aikido, but it will be an awfully good side effect:)
Kat

Erik
04-06-2002, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C
I'm not really sure I should reply to this as I'm not really sure what you meant, but why on earth wouldn't you just take away your opponents shield and hit him?!:D


If I were to tell you the truth, I'd have to just say that I wanted to see if I could tell a story with the smiley's but I'd also have to admit that was a good response.

Bruce Baker
04-07-2002, 08:26 AM
Gracie Jujitsu .... a form of Brazilian jujitsu adapted to streetfighting/close infighting/ grappling with armbars, leglocks, and submissions including punches/chokeouts.

I can honestly say, after my first class in Red Band, NJ ... a new set of grappling rules went into effect about slamming, throwing, and injuring your training partner when I picked up the black belt, senior student, who had wrapped his legs around my arm in an armbar ... I picked him up and bounced him with Kiai to loosen his grip without killing him/major injury. (Long sentence, but dats what happened, 1997. He was 200 pounds and yes I can be a bad gorilla.)

Gracie Jujitsu is a great training forum for those that like to grapple one on one to the mat, but with two or more ... you could take a whooping if you ain't quick to get in and out.
If you get a good teacher who likes judo and jujitsu then grappling will be part of your training. In fact, the Gracies started working closely with Professor Wally Jay in 1996 and they actually corrected/improved many of their moves.

Aikido, will give you many missing items of applying the entering theorized in karate, not always achieved, with many interesting applications of energy, harmony, manipulations, throws, recovery from throws, and a whole bunch of openings for applying things you have learned or will learn as time goes by.

Let me put it this way, it is the difference in playing football and feeling all banged up at the end of the game, or playing a game of tag where you laugh, roll on the ground, and enjoy the day ... physically in those terms, it is for me.

Make no mistake about its effective throws, joint locks, and opportunity for countermeasures, but once you become accustomed to feeling muscle tension to pain inflicted ... there is less tapping in pain and a lot more laughing with riding the wave of energy in each technique. When that smooth transition happens, that is when I start to laugh with joy how much fun Aikido is?

Many of our questions on these threads has to do with the victims we see, or sometimes are from different types of fighting in everyday life, but having experienced other arts merely makes you want to do Aikido all the more.

I look at the puzzle of martial arts as being the broken puzzle from conquering armys, hidden in the shadows, pieces scattered around the world. Some people say they were never hidden, but then why does no one Martial art have all the training answers we seek?

I see many, many good things in Aikido. They are too good to pass up. They will make you a better fighter, but then Aikido also has goals that encourage you to be a better person who strives for a better world.

Try a couple of Aikido classes, and tell me it doesn't look like more fun than getting all huffy at being a certain belt color in Karate who can beat the tar out of a lower belt color? Once you learn to fall down, get up easily (Ukemi) then riding a technique, looking for openings, it is really fascinating.

Look, Listen, Learn ... and have fun, I think you will like Aikido.

paw
04-07-2002, 12:18 PM
Well this thread has certainly strayed now.

Gracie Jujitsu .... a form of Brazilian jujitsu adapted to streetfighting/close infighting/ grappling with armbars, leglocks, and submissions including punches/chokeouts.

Maeda taught kodokan judo to the Gracies. If you have evidence that Maeda had any licenses in jujitsu kindly provide it. Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a Brazilian system of martial art with a teaching method licensed by the Torrence Academy. When refering to Gracie Jiu Jitsu it is implied you are refering to the Torrence Academy or it's affiliates. Otherwise the generic term Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (bjj) is preferred.

I can honestly say, after my first class in Red Band, NJ ... a new set of grappling rules went into effect about slamming, throwing, and injuring your training partner when I picked up the black belt, senior student, who had wrapped his legs around my arm in an armbar ... I picked him up and bounced him with Kiai to loosen his grip without killing him/major injury. (Long sentence, but dats what happened, 1997. He was 200 pounds and yes I can be a bad gorilla.)

Slamming one's partner to escape a lock is prohibited in sport bjj competition and considered inappropriate in training. It is inappropriate for the black belt bjj'er to break your arm without giving you a chance to submit. It is also inappropriate for me to hit Sensei in the back of the head while the aikido class is bowing in. These things should have been explained to you, and I am sorry they were not. Who exactly were you training with in 1997 who was a black belt in bjj? (The Torrence Academy has not, to my knowledge, promoted anyone to shodan. Renzo is in New York. Greg Kukuk was with Renzo at the time, if memory serves. Lowell Anderson was probably still at the Torrance Academy, but even if he wasn't he's a good 20 kg short of 200 pounds). ---- to be very blunt, I suspect you were training with David Lentz, who was probably a blue belt when you trained with him. ----

If you get a good teacher who likes judo and jujitsu then grappling will be part of your training. In fact, the Gracies started working closely with Professor Wally Jay in 1996 and they actually corrected/improved many of their moves.

The Gracies are constantly re-evalulating their art and have attended seminars with many individuals in order to get different perspectives (Neal Adams and John Saylor come to mind). Given the geographic distances and time commitments of running the Torrence Academy, I'm skeptical that Helio, Rorion and Royce, et al would have had time to "work closely" with Wally Jay. Are you certain about this?

Curious,

Paul

guest1234
04-07-2002, 04:21 PM
Torrence or Torrance?

Why is slamming prohibited?

If we took out all of the things prohibited by all of the different arts, in order not to hurt someone, then how do we really know which one is 'king of the hill'? Or do we just accept that each art has strong and weak points, and be happy for what our chosen one teaches us?

Since other than in the movies (which, incidentally, is NOT real life, in case anyone wonders)and war (which does not, to my knowledge, use boxing, BJJ, or TKD), folks usually do not fight to the death, and generally have some sort of rules to the competition, isn't trying to compare boxing to karate to BJJ to Aikido, etc like asking who would win between the Ravens and the Orioles? Each practitioner of course chooses a setting that favors his chosen art (with the ensuing maii vs groundwork vs kick vs jab arguments) and we really just go in circles.

deepsoup
04-07-2002, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Try a couple of Aikido classes, and tell me it doesn't look like more fun than getting all huffy at being a certain belt color in Karate who can beat the tar out of a lower belt color?

Karate isn't my cup of tea exactly, but I really have to object to the assumptions underlying this paragraph. For what its worth I have seen outbreaks of 'huffiness' in Aikido dojos often enough, and I've seen Karate dojos with an excellent supportive environment in which to train.

You really do Aikido no favours by implying it has some kind of monopoly on a good budo 'spirit'.

Sean
x

paw
04-07-2002, 06:09 PM
Colleen,

Torrence or Torrance?

Torrance. Specifically, Torrance, CA. Sorry for confusion.

Why is slamming prohibited?

In competition it is considered poor technique, a diliberate attempt to injure one's opponent, and poor conduct. You can slam to your heart's content. You will be disqualified and your instructor (if they are worth their salt) will be very upset with you (read between the lines).

If we took out all of the things prohibited by all of the different arts, in order not to hurt someone, then how do we really know which one is 'king of the hill'?

Was there a conversation that I missed ;)
I was under the impression that the last post by Bruce was addressing training or competition. It should come as no surprise that both environments have "rules" in place so as to minimize injury. In aikido we release pins when uke taps, we do not break uke's arm nor diliberately throw uke so as to cause injury in training. Bjj is the same.

Just because these things are not allowed in competition or in regular practice does not mean that you cannot still try them or that training should not deal with them. Again, most bjj schools that accept challenges will allow for "anything goes" but you must specify that before hand. (I'd advise against doing that though. If you try to bite, eye gouge, pinch, etc... I can guarantee whoever you face will do likewise) Again, if you're curious, try it out.

Since other than in the movies (which, incidentally, is NOT real life, in case anyone wonders)and war (which does not, to my knowledge, use boxing, BJJ, or TKD), folks usually do not fight to the death, and generally have some sort of rules to the competition, isn't trying to compare boxing to karate to BJJ to Aikido, etc like asking who would win between the Ravens and the Orioles?

I don't believe so. I realize some may disagree, but I believe it is possible to have a set of rules that do not favor one style. Boxing and karate are both striking arts. (There's a great deal of money to be made in boxing, not just as a fighter, but as a trainer, coach or sparring partner. So, if anyone believes their art is better at striking someone, there's a fair number of folks who will pay a lot of $$$$ if it's true.) Bjj and Aikido primarily grappling arts. There are some similarities, IMO. Again, glove up and try it out. See what happens based on experience.

Or do we just accept that each art has strong and weak points, and be happy for what our chosen one teaches us?

This is similar to the original question. If you believe this to be true, then it's not "just the fighter", but it's also the art.

Regards,

Paul

REK
04-07-2002, 06:54 PM
Hey Kat!

I have been watching this thread with interest, eager to read a philosophical discourse on the practice vs the practitioner. Unfortunately, only you and Colleen seem to approach it at that level. In answering the original question, it is definitely the fighter. There is no "ultimate" martial art that can beat all takers (with the possible exception of some nasty things NORAD controls :D)

So that leaves us with this: any one at our level can pretend to identify the "shortcomings" of this or that martial art. Instead we should be trying to master one, in order that we may learn its deepest meanings and greatest value. We should stop pointing fingers at what we naively think any one art "lacks" and study it first to see if our opinions have merit or are born of misguided enthusiasm for the popular media's portrayal of martial arts.

Barring that, you can just fight a lot. If you survive, you will be very good.

Rob

Kat.C
04-07-2002, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
.



I see many, many good things in Aikido. They are too good to pass up. They will make you a better fighter, but then Aikido also has goals that encourage you to be a better person who strives for a better world.

Try a couple of Aikido classes, and tell me it doesn't look like more fun than getting all huffy at being a certain belt color in Karate who can beat the tar out of a lower belt color? Once you learn to fall down, get up easily (Ukemi) then riding a technique, looking for openings, it is really fascinating.


This is not the first time I have seen poor things written concerning karateka and I'm wondering if perhaps there is a huge difference between dojos in the U.S. and here in Canada? I never noticed any karateka that I trained with putting alot of emphasis on belt level.Yes it was an hierarchical system
and lower ranks called higher ranks sempai and bowed lower to them and all that stuff, but I never noticed anyone getting all puffed up over it. Respect was mutual. I encountered only two higher ranks who were jerks but that was their personality in life not just the dojo. Belt colour just was not a big thing. So are dojos in the States different? I am genuinely curious here, as I've never been to a dojo there and I have read quite a few comments on dojos being belt factories, and higher ranks lording it over lower ranked karateka,etc. Yes I know there are probably dojos like that here, perhaps that is the norm and I was just very lucky.
Just a point, our karate style's philosophy was self-improvement too. It isn't exclusive to aikido. It was also stressed to avoid fighting & to treat everyone with respect in and out of the dojo. Our sensei told us that our behaviour reflected on the dojo and we were expected to behave well always, and in our small village he would have heard quite quickly if one did not.
Kat

Kat.C
04-07-2002, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by REK
Hey Kat!

I have been watching this thread with interest, eager to read a philosophical discourse on the practice vs the practitioner. Unfortunately, only you and Colleen seem to approach it at that level. In answering the original question, it is definitely the fighter. There is no "ultimate" martial art that can beat all takers (with the possible exception of some nasty things NORAD controls :D)

So that leaves us with this: any one at our level can pretend to identify the "shortcomings" of this or that martial art. Instead we should be trying to master one, in order that we may learn its deepest meanings and greatest value. We should stop pointing fingers at what we naively think any one art "lacks" and study it first to see if our opinions have merit or are born of misguided enthusiasm for the popular media's portrayal of martial arts.

Barring that, you can just fight a lot. If you survive, you will be very good.

Rob
Hi Rob! I was hoping for a philosophical discussion too or at least alot of opinions on this subject. Especially from the people who regularily post here as they are very insightful. I suppose the digression to the Gracies was my fault:( I did have to ask who they are.
Anyways I'm glad you replied. You know the fight a lot method would probably be very good training; it worked for Musashi:D Too bad is doesn't fit in with my philosophy or I might have become really great too:rolleyes:
Kat

guest1234
04-07-2002, 10:27 PM
Paul,

Thanks. Just had to ask about Torrance, since I haven't thought much about it since I graduated HS there and left at age 17 (wow, could it be 28 years already???)... a name from a distant past...

I take it you do (did?) BJJ and enjoyed it... do you also do Aikido, and why the change?

paw
04-08-2002, 06:43 AM
Colleen,

I trained aikido for 5 1/2 years. I stopped about 2 years ago. I began bjj in 1997 and continue to train bjj as often as I can.

Regards,

Paul

Bruce Baker
04-10-2002, 08:34 AM
You are right about the torrence thing... being a lesson by lesson drop money in the hat thing, I didn't ask questions, just came to train, not make friends or get into spitting contests. Besides, I referenced training to the video tape series I had for refererence and still have. Although Wally Jay is more effiecient, there aren't any schools who spend the entire class grappling, so going to Red Bank became cost inefficient even if it was gratifying.

You can almost always add to your arsenal the outlawed techniques of a dojo, but assess the injury and destructive factors in relation to your local laws also?

To end proof of what works ... UFC ... Ultimate Fighting Championship. Hexagon.

The progression of UFC grappling, adapting to grappling with striking, and actual combat effectiveness of blowhards being deflated in actual matches? Yeah, that is the place to look.

Of course, you see more and more cross-training from UFC infancy to date, so what does that tell you?

Yeah, there are actually pictures and personal accounts of Gracies visiting Wally Jay in California. Check with his guys at his website for details.

paw
04-10-2002, 10:20 AM
Bruce,

I'm sorry, but I haven't the slightest idea what you are trying to say or what point you are trying to make.

You are right about the torrence thing... being a lesson by lesson drop money in the hat thing, I didn't ask questions, just came to train, not make friends or get into spitting contests. Besides, I referenced training to the video tape series I had for refererence and still have. Although Wally Jay is more effiecient, there aren't any schools who spend the entire class grappling, so going to Red Bank became cost inefficient even if it was gratifying.

You didn't want to get "into spitting contests" then post how you picked up a bjj black belt (most likely David Lentz who was probably a blue belt -- 2 years of experience, as he is only now a purple belt) and slammed him, prompting "new" rules. Sure looks like a spitting contest to me.

You can almost always add to your arsenal the outlawed techniques of a dojo, but assess the injury and destructive factors in relation to your local laws also?

You lost me. Could you try explaining your point again?

To end proof of what works ... UFC ... Ultimate Fighting Championship. Hexagon.

Um, it's Octagon, Bruce. If the question is "does the style matter" then the UFC clearly indicates the answer is "yes".

Yeah, there are actually pictures and personal accounts of Gracies visiting Wally Jay in California. Check with his guys at his website for details.

I think I will ask Royce about this.

Regards,

Paul

Erik
04-10-2002, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by REK
In answering the original question, it is definitely the fighter. There is no "ultimate" martial art that can beat all takers (with the possible exception of some nasty things NORAD controls :D)

Rob, I would agree with your point here but want to add something to it. When we study Aikido, I think that at least for most of us on some small level, we hope to get closer in some way (spiritual or martial) to Ueshiba. We see an old man bouncing around guys in their 20's and we hope to extend that to ourselves on some level. The same thing applies to our teacher who probably throws us around like rag dolls most of the time.

I wonder what we would think if we had films of some guy knocking Ueshiba on his ass? Would Aikido still be as popular? Personally I don't think so.

When you talk and hear about Aikido there is a presumption in it that it always works (and I would say that for many that applies as an absolute). You get into a fight and you get choked out in 15 seconds. You question what you have learned (grappling in most aikido dojos?) and you hear, "Aikido works, your aikido doesn't work". Train harder. Train 5 more years however long you have been training. Train differently. You wouldn't have gotten into a fight if you'd really been doing Aikido. Whatever the problem or issue, it's never a failing of the art but a failing of the student. Truthfully, it may not be Aikido's (whatever it really is) fault but by virtue of that statement we are saying that Aikido is a perfect art and refusing to admit that there may be weaknesses within the training methods or the structure of the art itself.

Perhaps that statement should read, "Aikido is perfect, you ain't." Of course, that doesn't make any sense because Aikido was created by an imperfect person.

Lyle Bogin
04-10-2002, 01:57 PM
The octagon has many rules and is mixed matial arts fighting is a sport. A tough, fascinating sport where the fighters use techniques that are applicable in abstract combat, but still a sport.

I see nothing wrong with the idea that if you are looking for straight combat you should begin somewhere besides aikido. At the same time, fighters should recognize that the elements from which they forge their specific techniques are address very directly in aikido.

paw
04-10-2002, 02:24 PM
Lyle,

I don't think anyone is saying style X is the best. Personally, I think only one person on this thread is disparaging an art, but I may have misunderstood their comments. My impression was we were asking if the style an individual trains in does make a difference or if success is determined solely by the fighter.

Therefore, I'm afraid I don't understand when you say:

I see nothing wrong with the idea that if you are looking for straight combat you should begin somewhere besides aikido. At the same time, fighters should recognize that the elements from which they forge their specific techniques are address very directly in aikido.

Are you claiming all martial techniques are really aikido? Are you claiming that aikido addresses or has responses to all martial techniques? Do either of those points help answer the original question?

Confused,

Paul

Kat.C
04-10-2002, 02:27 PM
Well inspite of the glowing reports on the Gracies I'm still of the mind that the outcome of a fight would depend on the combantants rather thatn their respective styles. This is taking into account intent as well as skill. I think that how you fare in a fight could be effected by your mindset. Like, are you willing to maim & kill or are you trying not too hurt the oppponent too much. If he wants to kill you and you are trying not to do too much damage... well it might not end well for you. I think your attitude during training would affect the outcome as well. Training to learn to fight, training to learn self-defense, or training for enjoyment would give you different results in a fight, I think. Any thoughts on this? Anyone?

Lyle Bogin
04-10-2002, 03:22 PM
The question of "is it the fighter or the style" that matters is unanswerable.

Therefore, I chose to focus on another more direct point, which is where aikido fits into the scheme of combat oriented arts.

"Are you claiming all martial techniques are really aikido?"

No.

"Are you claiming that aikido addresses or has responses to all martial techniques?"

I claim elements from which great fighters forge their specific techniques are addressed very directly in aikido.

"Do either of those points help answer the original question?"

Ther can be no help in answering a question to which there is no answer. Except, perhaps, to realise that there being no answer is actually the answer.

To replay to Kat's last question: you fight like you train.

ronmar
04-10-2002, 03:43 PM
Its certainly true that you fight how you train, and this can often be a big disadvantage, prompting unrealistic responses from people in certain situations.
Although I am new to aikido I feel that it compares quite well to other arts in this specific area, concentrating more on a feel or attitude when in a confrontation than relying on specific techniques (at least it seems this way when I watch a good aikidoka). I guess that most martial artists achieve this sort of state when they reach a high level, but I think it is good that this is actively encouraged in aikido.
I personally come from a judo background and freely admit that I haven't had the revelation yet. My mind is not "as smooth as a polished mirror" or whatever its supposed to be...I know it would be hard for me to resist turning any fight I was in into a grappling match, even though this is rarely a good response.

Bruce Baker
04-10-2002, 03:50 PM
MY, my, my ... awefully testy aren't we, Paul?

Read the words, don't try to put meaning behind them.

Hexagon, octagon, dodecagon, put 'em in there and let 'em smack each other around.

The lines blur, means just that.

Dave / what ever who ran that circus of rent mat did have some kind of a black belt, I hear he is still teaching? I brought up my experience with one particular moment in "Brazilian" jujitsu as to note that sometimes the answer to breaking a technique can lie elsewhere than groin or eyes? It was my understanding that Dave was the senior student at that time, when Craig Kukuk came over and asked us both to be gentle, while he stopped the class to explain about slamming, thowing, and other bug smashing techniques that release someone locked on an arm or leg? I probably remember Dave changing from a black belt from teaching another class in that traveling circus?

Hey, I gave up all my good throat poking, eye gouging, groin kicking stuff to play nice ... and I didn't break any body either. Is that what it takes to get respect for BJJ, broken bones?

You wanna trade health with me for my swiss cheese memory, anytime. Let's see if you have any memory with constant whistling and pain in your head ... I think the rubber room be your friend, mon ami?

And the classes I went to were "pay by the class", even though I couldn't afford them.

Now, Aikido is the gentler way to move, throw, redirect without harm.

(If you don't drop the tough guy attitude, some P.O.'d person you thought you thumped righteously is gonna shoot you or catch the back of your head with a two by four. I have seen it happen too many times. Better they think you can't fight and leave you alone. Invisable.)

Best fighters I know are invisable. When you meet them on the street ... average nobodys. Some even practice Aikido.

You sure you don't remember me lifting him up and dropping him with a Kiai? Oh, well.

I thought it was quite gentle? Controled.

Hey, there are demo clips of Pressure points on the Dillman Karate site if you want to look. I see he is using police techniques that look like Ikkyo, but he uses Wally Jay's tricep tendon rub to straighten the arm?

(Just trying to expand Aikido ... make you aware of what we have available in Aikido but don't use. Like that old spagetti sauce commercial,"It's in There!")

paw
04-10-2002, 03:52 PM
Lyle,

If
To replay to Kat's last question: you fight like you train.

Then why is the question unanswerable?

There is no groundwork in boxing, no striking in wrestling.... If a boxer is taken to the ground...? If a wrestler cannot force the fight to the ground...?

I submit that in both situations, each fighter lacks the skill set to succeed, therefore the fight is no longer theirs to win. I submit that there is evidence that supports this position, and my personal experience certainly supports this position.

If you disagree, that's fine. We can agree to disagree. I just don't understand how you are reaching your conclusion.

Regards,

Paul

paw
04-10-2002, 04:06 PM
Bruce,

I don't train with Dave, I've never met him. If you think the aikido world is small, well, bjj is A LOT smaller, especially when we are talking about purple belts and above.

Let's be honest Bruce. If I said that I trained with some aikido folks and the head instructor was wearing a hakama and I poked him in the eye and then there was a lecture about how people need to settle down.... If I then said, well, those aikido shihan when over to train with Oscar De La Hoya so that Oscar could correct how they punch.... then ended with, but you know it's all good and I'm not trying to start a spitting war....

Would you believe me?

I said your comments were degrading to another individual and another martial art. If you honestly don't think they were, then we are done with the topic.

I don't know where you got the idea that I have a "tough guy" attitude, or the idea that my aikido instructors didn't show me the stuff that "in there".

You're entitled to your opinions. Your experiences are your experiences. If you honestly feel bjj isn't for you that's fine. But don't get on your high horse to throw mud at me...this ain't the first thread someone called you on something that wasn't exactly 100% true. Let's just stick to the topic, bro.

Regards,

Paul

Lyle Bogin
04-11-2002, 08:42 AM
Wrestlers are humans. Humans can fight standing up. Boxers are humans. Humans can fight on the ground. Skills do not guarantee success, or even clear advantage.

Fighting like you train does not only refer to physical skill.

In the ring these things matter more. In life, not as much.

Therefore, bearing in mind the infinite number of spontaneous factors involved in combat, I submit the question remains unanswerable.

paw
04-11-2002, 09:33 AM
Lyle,

Wrestlers are humans. Humans can fight standing up. Boxers are humans. Humans can fight on the ground. Skills do not guarantee success, or even clear advantage.

In theory, I'd agree. In practice, however, I cannot. To keep with boxers and wrestlers....

I've never seen a boxer instictively or intuitively perform anything that resembles a correct escape from the ground to return to their feet without being trained to so. Could it happen? Maybe. But I'd say the odds are pretty much the same as an untrained person performing a technically correct sankyo on an uncooperative nidan.

Certainly a wrestler can punch (or kick, or elbow or headbutt) without being trained to do so. But such strikes are hardly threatening to a skilled striker. The form, technique, timing, accuracy, placement and setups are terrible. This is why boxers train so very hard to get good at punching, it's not an easy thing to hit an uncooperative opponent effectively.

Simply put, we will never see an NCAA Div. 1 wrestler just walk into the ring and win the Golden Gloves without training in boxing. Nor will we see a boxer set onto the mat and equal Cael Sanderson's feat of an undefeated collegiate wrestling career without thousands of hours wrestling. Both groups lack the skill set of the other, and cannot compete in different environment.

A world class marathon runner isn't going to win a swimming event at even the collegiate level...running is not swimming and the skill set simply isn't there. I don't think anyone would expect the runner to fare well in a swim meet...why would martial skill sets be different?

Regards,

Paul

Lyle Bogin
04-11-2002, 10:43 AM
You give examples of specific sports mixing with other specific sports. I am talking about combat. Perhaps that is why we seem to disagree.

As I have already said, you are generally correct if we are talking about competition. But in combat, where the goal is to survive (or from the other perspective, to kill, maim, or capture), no rules apply.

I am fondly reminded of an old kung fu proverb (oh yes, fortune cookie time):

Old Master: "Here is a fox chasing a rabit. Will the fox our run the hare, or will the hare out run the fox?"

Young Student: "Experience tells me that the fox will win. He is fast, he is hungry, and he is strong."

Old Master: "Can you be so certain? I think not."

Young Student: "Why is that?"

Old Master: "Becuase the fox runs for his dinner, but the rabit runs for his life."

This nice little story works fine, unless the fox is dying from starvation and this is the only rabit in town ;).

paw
04-11-2002, 12:08 PM
Lyle,

Thanks for your response. I greatly disagree. Ironically, I think your proverb proves my point. The rabbit runs because it does not have the physical attributes or the skill set to stand and drive the fox off. If caught, the rabbit will die. Is this not true for all foxes and all rabbits?

That's my point and why I believe the style matters. The rabbit must run, it is the only skill set it has (life on the line, bunnies at home, it doesn't matter).

If you still disagree, and I suspect that's the case, then I suppose it best we agree to disagree. I don't want this thread to become yet another "sport v combat" diatribe.

Warm Regards,

Paul

Kat.C
04-11-2002, 12:18 PM
Originally posted by paw
Lyle,

Thanks for your response. I greatly disagree. Ironically, I think your proverb proves my point. The rabbit runs because it does not have the physical attributes or the skill set to stand and drive the fox off. If caught, the rabbit will die. Is this not true for all foxes and all rabbits?

That's my point and why I believe the style matters. The rabbit must run, it is the only skill set it has (life on the line, bunnies at home, it doesn't matter).

If you still disagree, and I suspect that's the case, then I suppose it best we agree to disagree. I don't want this thread to become yet another "sport v combat" diatribe.

Warm Regards,

Paul
Bunnies aren't trained in martial arts.;) (Or any fighting style.) That is why it didn't have the necessary skills to fight the fox.

Lyle Bogin
04-11-2002, 04:14 PM
Paul -

I see the strength of your argument.

Thank you for this discussion.

-L