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Eric Winters
11-25-2009, 12:18 PM
Hello everyone,

This topic has probably come up before but I am just to lazy to look it up and it is also good to get new insights.

What are some ways of training in the dojo that would help better prepare a person for a physical confrontation with another person? I understand there are all kinds of variables but lets just look at the basic, two people getting into a fight. I also understand that Aikido is much more than just the physical techniques and there are many other great benefits for practicing aikido. That is why I have trained in aikido as long as I have.

I have been training in Aikido for almost 20 years and have about a year of training in each of these systems. Krav Maga, BJJ, Tae Kwon Do and Chinese Kenpo. I have taken some of their training methods and incorporated them when I teach but I would also like to here the opinions of others that are more experienced than me or others that are just really good at this stuff.

Thanks,

Eric

lbb
11-25-2009, 01:09 PM
What are some ways of training in the dojo that would help better prepare a person for a physical confrontation with another person? I understand there are all kinds of variables but lets just look at the basic, two people getting into a fight.
There is no such thing as "the basic, two people getting into a fight."


Why are they fighting?
Did one attack the other?
Why did the one attack the other?
Are they drunk?
Are they arguing over a football game?
What is their intention: to steal a wallet, to maim, to kill, or some vague dufus notion of "teaching a lesson"?
Does either of them have any level of training or experience in physical confrontations?
Where is the "fight" taking place?
Is either of them armed? If so, with what weapon, and what's their skill level?

I had a boss once who would always put the brakes on his engineers by asking, "What is the problem you are trying to solve?" If we tried to insist that nevermind all that, just listen to my really cool solution, he'd laugh and laugh and laugh, and say, "How do you think you're going to accomplish anything if you don't know what you're hoping to accomplish?" It annoyed the hell out of me at the time, but it's saved me innumerable trouble in the years since.

IMO, preparing for some generic "physical confrontation" is a waste of time, exceeded perhaps only by preparing for a confrontation that comes straight out of a comic book or a bad martial arts movie and that will never happen to you in real life.

Victoria Pitt
11-25-2009, 01:23 PM
IMO, preparing for some generic "physical confrontation" is a waste of time, exceeded perhaps only by preparing for a confrontation that comes straight out of a comic book or a bad martial arts movie and that will never happen to you in real life.

I disagree. It will happen if you go looking for it which begs to ask, why look for it?

If you have to "prepare" for a fight, you don't stand a chance. You learn things for yourself. You are in tune with your body. Know your limitations. When a true fight breaks out, they never go according to the plans you lay in your head. I know very little when it comes to Aikido but maybe I will use an example anyway- Think of doing roundori. You can't plan exactly what move your going to use when and what direction you're going to go in. You go with the flow.

Prepping for a fight is the wrong attitude to have. Prepping yourself and being the best you can be is the right one to have. Then there is no think if the time should come, there is just do.

Kevin Leavitt
11-25-2009, 01:43 PM
I'm with Mary and her list of questions really.

Context is very important.

Taking all that away.

At what range are you practicing?
What Weapons are available?
What is the environmental considerations?
Access to friends?
What is your "point of failure", and is that the place you are going to train from?

Setting up scenario based training after figuring out these questions is probably the best way to train.

Actually I think you approach it just like an engineering problem as Mary states.

"What problem are you trying to solve?"

What are your inputs, situational factors, and desired outcomes?

From there you can then develop assessment critieria in order to gather feedback from the situation, make an assessment and adjust accordingly.

I think training like this, that is, dynamic, is something that simply cannot be boiled down to steps 1,2, and 3. Each person needs to experience it for themselves, have decent observers to critique and then develop your own "game" so to speak.

Eric Winters
11-25-2009, 02:07 PM
Hello,

Maybe I should be more specific. I did not want this to be a debate as to what is a fight or what kind of fight you are getting into and why etc. It also is not a aikido does not work in a "real" fight debate.

How about how best to train for a fully resistant opponent.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-25-2009, 02:09 PM
With a fully resistant opponent.

chillzATL
11-25-2009, 02:33 PM
Hello,

Maybe I should be more specific. I did not want this to be a debate as to what is a fight or what kind of fight you are getting into and why etc. It also is not a aikido does not work in a "real" fight debate.

How about how best to train for a fully resistant opponent.

Questions and comments tend to get over-analyzed and over-philosophized around here, but it's pretty simple. Realistic attacks from someone who is going to resist you as much as possible.

Trade out our traditional attacks for the kind of attacks you're going to see on the street and make sure they follow through. This means you might get hit and it means that if they resist you the entire way, they may fall like someone on the street and that's not going to feel good. As uke, work on the bag a bit throwing those attacks (if they're not natural to you) and change it up. Let uke be completely random in what they do so that you have to react naturally.

Keep in mind, there is middle ground there. You can give a 80-90% speed attack and resist 80-90% of the way and still feel good about what you're doing working for you in a real situation while still maintaining some level of safety for you and uke. It doesn't have to be all out, 100%, for you to know that what what you're doing is effective. Uke simply needs to attack with intent and you need to be decisive and quick in your actions with both of you being prepared for what comes next.

Above all, ease into it, take your time and build up to the level that you want to be at.

lbb
11-25-2009, 02:41 PM
Hello,

Maybe I should be more specific. I did not want this to be a debate as to what is a fight or what kind of fight you are getting into and why etc. It also is not a aikido does not work in a "real" fight debate.

How about how best to train for a fully resistant opponent.

Nobody's debating anything so far; I'm just saying that you need to set some parameters before you can answer your question. Even "a fully resistant[sic] opponent" isn't quite enough: is this a life-or-death situation, or just a really drunk Uncle Joe who wants to prove to you that all that dancing around in a skirt can't match what he learned in the Army thirty years ago? In one situation, the response is lethal force; in the other, it's not. I think that's an important consideration in self-defense strategies but YMMV.

Ron Tisdale
11-25-2009, 02:59 PM
Aw Mary, you didn't mention the Circus Ponies.... :D

Nobody's debating anything so far; I'm just saying that you need to set some parameters before you can answer your question. Even "a fully resistant[sic] opponent" isn't quite enough: is this a life-or-death situation, or just a really drunk Uncle Joe who wants to prove to you that all that dancing around in a skirt can't match what he learned in the Army thirty years ago? In one situation, the response is lethal force; in the other, it's not. I think that's an important consideration in self-defense strategies but YMMV.

Rob Watson
11-25-2009, 02:59 PM
How about how best to train for a fully resistant opponent.

Don't train but instead do. I used to offer hoodlums cash if they could knock me out to get some real 'flavor'.

Charles Hill
11-25-2009, 03:04 PM
Hi Eric,

I have been training in Systema for about 4 years and it is chock full of great ideas for what you are looking for. One thing off the top of my head is: before simple one guy attacks, another defends type practice, have the defender do 10 to 20 pushups. This will tire him/her out and simulate the stress he/she will feel in a real situation.

Kevin Leavitt
11-25-2009, 06:09 PM
Hello,

Maybe I should be more specific. I did not want this to be a debate as to what is a fight or what kind of fight you are getting into and why etc. It also is not a aikido does not work in a "real" fight debate.

How about how best to train for a fully resistant opponent.

Okay. Come visit me and we will go into a room and I will attack you fully resistive wiith no holds barred and then we can talk after that.

Eric Winters
11-25-2009, 06:46 PM
Really? It is hard to get the meaning of your response when not discussing in person. But I read your response as some sort of challenge. If so, I am not sure how my question came off as aggressive: I really was just asking for some extra help and training methods for teaching those who would benefit from this sort of training.

Thanks to those who have given me helpful suggestions. Please keep them coming.

Eric Winters
11-25-2009, 06:55 PM
Don't train but instead do. I used to offer hoodlums cash if they could knock me out to get some real 'flavor'.
Thanks for the great advice Rob. One of my favorite training methods is walking down the street in West Oakland carrying a sign saying " Please rob me I have a Rolex and three hundred dollars in my pocket!":D :blush:

PS: I hope to see you at the dojo soon but I hurt my shoulder so it could be awhile.

Rob Watson
11-25-2009, 07:12 PM
PS: I hope to see you at the dojo soon but I hurt my shoulder so it could be awhile.

Sorry to hear about the shoulder ...

Maybe we can 'play' during jiyukeiko some time and I'll let my hair down.

Eric Winters
11-25-2009, 07:24 PM
Sorry to hear about the shoulder ...

Maybe we can 'play' during jiyukeiko some time and I'll let my hair down.

Sweet.:)

Rob Watson
11-25-2009, 07:42 PM
What are some ways of training in the dojo that would help better prepare a person for a physical confrontation with another person?

Adrenaline is the biggest differentiation in my book. Toby Threadgill talks about this and it would be interesting to see if we can't get so clues from that area.

http://www.shinyokai.com/Essays_PCSConditioning.htm

There are others as well ("real fighting" by Quinn) which I can loan you but I don't think it goes into much depth besides pumping their service/program.

eyrie
11-25-2009, 08:23 PM
With a fully resistant opponent. But not as much fun as tauromachy.

lbb
11-25-2009, 09:03 PM
Aw Mary, you didn't mention the Circus Ponies.... :D

Circus Ponies are an advanced topic, only for people who really want to get all hardcore realistic street-lethal and stuff. It's not clear to me that OP is in that category.

Kevin Leavitt
11-25-2009, 09:31 PM
Really? It is hard to get the meaning of your response when not discussing in person. But I read your response as some sort of challenge. If so, I am not sure how my question came off as aggressive: I really was just asking for some extra help and training methods for teaching those who would benefit from this sort of training.

Thanks to those who have given me helpful suggestions. Please keep them coming.

Understand, no I don't mean it as some sort of challenge other than to answer your question since you are looking for an answer to how to train against a fully resistant opponent.

The only way you can do this is against a fully resistant opponent.

The questions that Mary and I posed were not meant to discuss the value of aikido in a fight, or if it works...only to define the parameters of the situation.

Your response back to this was, "no, I don't want to debate this, I want to know methods for training against a fully resistant opponent."

Hence my answer. It is about the only way I could answer that question since you don't seem to want to discuss parameters.

There really is no other way to do this. My best advice is to attend a school like those offered by Tony Blauer that do this type of stuff on a fairly fully resistive manner with the right gear and the right supervision.

What you will find when you take this course is that Tony's folks will spend a fair amount of time upfront in the classroom talking about fighting, fighitng paradigms, applications, strategies, assumptions, mindset etc...same type of questions we posed above.

From there, they will put you through various drills, forming a frame, thai clinching, clinching, takedowns, dominate body position recover. It really is that simple no big secrets to be had really...other than practice, practice, practice.

So, when I say "come meet with me and I will attack you fully resistant."

I say it i the most sincere way.

But, also please understand, that you basically kinda cut us off at the knees by dismissing the things we were talking about concerning establishing criteria/parameters...so if you can't discuss those.....then all that is left is to say "okay, well lets fight and then we will discuss it."

See my point?

Kevin Leavitt
11-25-2009, 09:39 PM
Here are some scenarios:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynxau0vG8lw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RROfS6tznw&feature=related

Caveat: I don't necessarily agree with everything Tony does with Spear, but I think it is a good system, better than most for sure.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-26-2009, 05:15 AM
But not as much fun as tauromachy.

Of course, there's nothing like hanmi handachi waza (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU0b6jCcR5M) with a 500 kg uke.
:D

Eric Winters
11-26-2009, 10:10 AM
Understand, no I don't mean it as some sort of challenge other than to answer your question since you are looking for an answer to how to train against a fully resistant opponent.

The only way you can do this is against a fully resistant opponent.

The questions that Mary and I posed were not meant to discuss the value of aikido in a fight, or if it works...only to define the parameters of the situation.

Your response back to this was, "no, I don't want to debate this, I want to know methods for training against a fully resistant opponent."

Hence my answer. It is about the only way I could answer that question since you don't seem to want to discuss parameters.

There really is no other way to do this. My best advice is to attend a school like those offered by Tony Blauer that do this type of stuff on a fairly fully resistive manner with the right gear and the right supervision.

What you will find when you take this course is that Tony's folks will spend a fair amount of time upfront in the classroom talking about fighting, fighitng paradigms, applications, strategies, assumptions, mindset etc...same type of questions we posed above.

From there, they will put you through various drills, forming a frame, thai clinching, clinching, takedowns, dominate body position recover. It really is that simple no big secrets to be had really...other than practice, practice, practice.

So, when I say "come meet with me and I will attack you fully resistant."

I say it i the most sincere way.

But, also please understand, that you basically kinda cut us off at the knees by dismissing the things we were talking about concerning establishing criteria/parameters...so if you can't discuss those.....then all that is left is to say "okay, well lets fight and then we will discuss it."

See my point?

Hello Kevin,

Thanks for the clarification. I had wanted to avoid the thread the drifting towards the "Aikido does not work in a fight" or other related subject because people would dismiss this thread without really paying attention. I was thinking more towards drills to ease people into the fully resistant partner while minimizing injuries as much as possible. Also, because there are so many variables and it is impossible to train for all of them, I thought that getting someone to the point of being able to apply technique to a resisting partner would be a good starting point.

Thanks for suggesting a Tony Blauer seminar. I have thought about trying to get to that type of seminar before.

Sorry for the misunderstanding Kevin and Mary.

Best,

Eric

Rob Watson
11-26-2009, 10:37 AM
Of course, there's nothing like hanmi handachi waza (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU0b6jCcR5M) with a 500 kg uke.
:D

Nice to touch throw at 1:55 ...

Looks easy ... once one knows how the bull will react. Of course, one horn to the guts will make it look much less easy.

How do they keep their pants so nice and white? Really, the key to any physical confrontation is to come out with ones pants intact and clean is for bonus points.

mathewjgano
11-26-2009, 11:05 AM
What are some ways of training in the dojo that would help better prepare a person for a physical confrontation with another person? I understand there are all kinds of variables but lets just look at the basic, two people getting into a fight. I also understand that Aikido is much more than just the physical techniques and there are many other great benefits for practicing aikido. That is why I have trained in aikido as long as I have.
To my mind the "whys" which lead to a physical confrontation are good for prevention, but for dealing with one it's best to look at the underlying principles of force and timing and then tweak them by applying different constraints.
For dealing with resistance levels, I like the method of graduating the intensity: starting out with no resistance and then applying very little, then a bit more and so on. How far to go with it depends on the abilities of the parties involved, but that's one good way to see how resistance levels affect waza.
I also really like kaeshiwaza because it teaches possibilities for regaining the initiative and shows some important factors for how that can be done in the first place. I feel like I've learned a lot about proper posture and engagement/relaxation from kaeshi waza...relatively speaking anyway.
One of the most important aspects of training for me has to do with dealing with different body types because they have different structural qualities. Different people generate power from different parts of the body, sometimes dramatically so. So with that in mind I guess I'd suggest trying to think of variables like that and then playing with them individually. For example, trying the same technique at different ranges (arms almost fully extended; almost fully "contracted;" one arm constrained; etc.).
Graduated speed is another training method I personally like. Training slow I like that it allows me to explore the moment a bit more, while training somewhat fast I have to learn how to move without thinking.
...Stuff like that.
Gambatte!
Matt

mathewjgano
11-26-2009, 11:15 AM
Of course, there's nothing like hanmi handachi waza (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU0b6jCcR5M) with a 500 kg uke.
:D

Oh! That reminds me of perhaps the most important aspect to dealing with a physical confrontation!
Always have a wall you can jump over when you get tired! And bring several friends to help you distract and tire out your 1100lbs. attacker! :D

Rob Watson
11-26-2009, 11:27 AM
And bring several friends to help you distract and tire out your 1100lbs. attacker! :D

Hey! That's cheating .. real men don't need friends.

Kevin Leavitt
11-26-2009, 11:59 AM
Hello Kevin,

Thanks for the clarification. I had wanted to avoid the thread the drifting towards the "Aikido does not work in a fight" or other related subject because people would dismiss this thread without really paying attention. I was thinking more towards drills to ease people into the fully resistant partner while minimizing injuries as much as possible. Also, because there are so many variables and it is impossible to train for all of them, I thought that getting someone to the point of being able to apply technique to a resisting partner would be a good starting point.

Thanks for suggesting a Tony Blauer seminar. I have thought about trying to get to that type of seminar before.

Sorry for the misunderstanding Kevin and Mary.

Best,

Eric

I think you are on the right track as far as first being concerned with easing them into fully resistance while minimizing injuries. To be honest the first thing you have to do is assess their physical conditioning to deal with this type of training. Alot of folks simply are not in shape enough to train this way without serious risk of injury, so I think whatever program you develop/implement it needs to take this into consideration. I think this is one of the best ways to reduce not only risk of injury, but to increase student's ability to deal with "combative stress".

Second thing, you can kinda do concurrently while getting them in shape, is to practice "positions of failure" (point of failure), that they will find themselves in during fights. that is, positions in which they cannot create distance necessary to fight. Once they learn the basics of the positions, they will find that a great deal of fear is reduced simply because they are able to recoginize the positions and begin to create the conditions necessary for them to escape from them.

What I like about these positions is that they can be practiced slowly, methodically, and safely, while teaching them how to deal with the realities of fighting.

I believe in literally working from the "ground up". That is, starting with the mount, rear mount, side control, guard etc....then working them to standing clinch work, both free (in the open) and against the wall/objects.

Again, these things can be done slowly, along with other drills/kata with folks and are great conditioning exercises to help them develop the kinesthetic awareness and feel while they are also getting in shape and learning to relax.

From there, you can then begin to create more distance and separation in the situation to more familiar drills/kata/exercises that we are used to seeing in Aikido.

I have found this to be about the best way in a dojo environment to condition folks for physical confrontation and to deal with the ensuing stress that comes from having someone else impose their will on you.

My criticism of aikido is that we start from the "outside/in". that is, we throw way too much of what I personally consider to be advanced material and expect students to "learn/keep up".

Once they are forced to deal with a non-compliant opponent hell bent on imposing their will and taking way that space from them, they tend to freak out if they have never dealt with having that space/position taken away from them.

Once you have spent a fair amount of time building the physical conditioning, kinesthetic awareness, and drills that they have committed to muscle memory...you can then begin to add the stress of aliveness on them in order to "pressure test".

Of course, there are various philosophies and concerns that arise from this type of training to include the whole "creates bad habits" argument when you look at it from a budo perspective...some of which I agree with from my own experiences and "bad habits'.

However, I think it all depends on what you consider your path to be and what your priorities are in training.

Yes, Toby Threadgill, has written some very good material on this too! I recommend reading it as someone has already suggested.

My advice if you are concerned with this type of training is to find a decent BJJ school, make friends with them and either cross train, or invite them to your dojo to train.

As of course, everything I have mentioned above, is the basis of BJJ and is why I think BJJ is a great art to complement your aikido practice as the range of combat and skills you will practice are almost the opposite approach in methodology from aikido so to speak.

However, there are only so many hours in the day and this does take time to train and cannot be trained in a weekend seminar...it would require a concerted effort over time if you really want to train this way.

Michael Hackett
11-26-2009, 08:36 PM
Bulls are generally pretty consistent animals, at least rodeo bulls are. Bullriders and bullfighters get to know the bulls and generally the animals will act in a particular way, such as spinning left out of the chute for two spins and then a hard turn to the right. Sometimes everyone gets fooled, but not too often. With these fighting bulls shown, note that once they get moving in a line, they aren't able to turn quickly from their original direction of travel. At close distance and slow speeds they can turn on a dime. Secondly note these bullfighters are only doing a specific technique four or less times with the same animal. Bulls are pretty smart and athletic, so if you try to pull the same turn more than four times, they'll remember and anticipate your movement. Your trousers won't be white after that! These guys aren't counting on the bulls' specific movements, but their general physical characteristics such as the inability to turn quickly at a full sprint.

eyrie
11-26-2009, 11:13 PM
Of course, there's nothing like hanmi handachi waza (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU0b6jCcR5M) with a 500 kg uke.
:D Now THAT's what I'm talking about! How you say in Espanol? Pelotas grande? :D

Eric Winters
11-30-2009, 11:16 AM
I think you are on the right track as far as first being concerned with easing them into fully resistance while minimizing injuries. To be honest the first thing you have to do is assess their physical conditioning to deal with this type of training. Alot of folks simply are not in shape enough to train this way without serious risk of injury, so I think whatever program you develop/implement it needs to take this into consideration. I think this is one of the best ways to reduce not only risk of injury, but to increase student's ability to deal with "combative stress".

Second thing, you can kinda do concurrently while getting them in shape, is to practice "positions of failure" (point of failure), that they will find themselves in during fights. that is, positions in which they cannot create distance necessary to fight. Once they learn the basics of the positions, they will find that a great deal of fear is reduced simply because they are able to recoginize the positions and begin to create the conditions necessary for them to escape from them.

What I like about these positions is that they can be practiced slowly, methodically, and safely, while teaching them how to deal with the realities of fighting.

I believe in literally working from the "ground up". That is, starting with the mount, rear mount, side control, guard etc....then working them to standing clinch work, both free (in the open) and against the wall/objects.

Again, these things can be done slowly, along with other drills/kata with folks and are great conditioning exercises to help them develop the kinesthetic awareness and feel while they are also getting in shape and learning to relax.

From there, you can then begin to create more distance and separation in the situation to more familiar drills/kata/exercises that we are used to seeing in Aikido.

I have found this to be about the best way in a dojo environment to condition folks for physical confrontation and to deal with the ensuing stress that comes from having someone else impose their will on you.

My criticism of aikido is that we start from the "outside/in". that is, we throw way too much of what I personally consider to be advanced material and expect students to "learn/keep up".

Once they are forced to deal with a non-compliant opponent hell bent on imposing their will and taking way that space from them, they tend to freak out if they have never dealt with having that space/position taken away from them.

Once you have spent a fair amount of time building the physical conditioning, kinesthetic awareness, and drills that they have committed to muscle memory...you can then begin to add the stress of aliveness on them in order to "pressure test".

Of course, there are various philosophies and concerns that arise from this type of training to include the whole "creates bad habits" argument when you look at it from a budo perspective...some of which I agree with from my own experiences and "bad habits'.

However, I think it all depends on what you consider your path to be and what your priorities are in training.

Yes, Toby Threadgill, has written some very good material on this too! I recommend reading it as someone has already suggested.

My advice if you are concerned with this type of training is to find a decent BJJ school, make friends with them and either cross train, or invite them to your dojo to train.

As of course, everything I have mentioned above, is the basis of BJJ and is why I think BJJ is a great art to complement your aikido practice as the range of combat and skills you will practice are almost the opposite approach in methodology from aikido so to speak.

However, there are only so many hours in the day and this does take time to train and cannot be trained in a weekend seminar...it would require a concerted effort over time if you really want to train this way.

Hi Kevin,

I think ideally I would start everybody out with Judo and BJJ but I am not qualified to teach that. I'm thinking what can I do to make their physical Aikido work best within the range that aikido deals with. I would then suggest to them that they start training in BJJ after black belt in Aikido.

For my path in martial arts I would totally agree with your opinion in training in BJJ. I did that for a year and screwed up my neck, so I have to take a long brake from BJJ.

I think you are right in that I will have to assess my students physical fitness level to see if they are capable of the full resistance training.

One of the things I need to teach is how best to keep a person at the optimal distance for Aikido as best as possible. You are starting to see this more in MMA fights where you get some good strikers who know enough to be able to keep the good ground fighters away so the striker can fight their fight.

Thank you to everybody else who is helping with this discussion.

Best,

Eric

Kevin Leavitt
11-30-2009, 12:37 PM
One of the things I need to teach is how best to keep a person at the optimal distance for Aikido as best as possible. You are starting to see this more in MMA fights where you get some good strikers who know enough to be able to keep the good ground fighters away so the striker can fight their fight.

I was just watching UFC 100 yesterday...so that is my perspective for the moment.

Based on what I saw yesterday on the DVD a couple of thoughts on Optimal distance come to mind.

Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir...interesting fight and both these guys are heavy hitters so optimal distance in their strategy placed a high value on being able to land big punches.

Watching GSP and Thiago Alves...not heavy hitters, but GSP definitely fights a different strategy...he keeps distance and then would move in for a takedown....controlling in a much different way than say Lesnar.

Anyway, I think optimal distance is something each individual needs to figure out for themselves based on the conditions also provided by the situation, rules etc. Optimal distance for Knives is obviously different than for fist fights, which is different from sticks when both guys have them, which is different than when one guy has them.

In all cases of study when you are talking about standup grappling or physical confrontation, there are some basic elements that you can key in on.

Distance and Ma ai. As I stated, conditions and weapons will dictate alot of this as will the size and skills of the opponent. You simply need to discuss this and then limit or control the variables and then get students to focus on how these things affect the situation.

They will learn to either be in the fight or out of the fight, but staying in the "zone of danger" is not a good option. Aikido folk tend to like to stay there in my experiences due to the way we typically train in this zone, which is not improper in kata/waza...but most folks don't learn to transition this zone properly in a non-compliant situation and translate waza/kata practice to reality, which usually leads to a bloody nose or something.

Clinch. you simply have to train the clinch. I don't care who you are, what you study, or what your system or philosophy might be on fighitng. Clinching is universal and it must be studied and perfected. I am always amazed that systems will outright simply disregard clinching.

Use of walls and objects. Once clinch skills are understood, driving your opponent into obstacles and also the hazard the pose to you must be factored in.

WRT to "aikido distance", I assume you mean how to you keep someone away or at bay until you can either enter or dis-engage.

Well I go back to the clinch. Once you understand and can work the clinch, I think then combining that with punch, strikes and weapons...using those things as ways to keep your opponent away can be practiced in a competent matter.

Once they hit point of failure here and get overwhelmed, they can move back to the clinch to re-establish dominance/control.

The interesting thing about the clinch is that once you master the basics of it through pummelling drills, you begin to see that it really is about the basic of aikido. Irimi, tenkan and ikkyo as clinching is all about body positioning, uprooting your opponent and controlling th upper cross or spine. Correctly done, the clinch is a very close irimingae.

If you can't tell, I love the clinch.

It is a great training tool which is ONE, very useful in reality. TWO, it provides wonderful feedback in developing body/feel skills that we want in aikido. THREE, it does wonders in teaching people that they are okay being that close to someone and that they can manage a fight and slow things down. In short, it gives them a default coping skill when they go to point of failure. FOUR, it can be trained relatively safely with a low risk for knee or back injury as long as you work it properly and don't allow takedowns before they are ready to do them properly.

From there, you can build back out from the clinch creating the distance we have learned to love in aikido.

Of course there are other ways, but from my experiences this is the fastest way to convey good skills that are not at all at odds with how we train in aikido.

On another note, you don't need to get all that technical either about hand placement etc...save all that for kata/waza practice...this type of practice is "Macro focused" on creating big scale movements. This I think is also important in training in this manner.

Rob Watson
12-03-2009, 12:54 PM
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13467

Not a bad thread on this topic.

Sam Turnage
12-07-2009, 03:44 PM
These are all great modalities but, I would like to make clear that the most important thing to do, is to be ready to fight; from a physical stand point.
All this training in Marshal Arts is great, especially Aikido or a jujitsu art of some kind. It will give you some advantage over the average Joe, and I love it. But, at the end of the day, if you are in fight shape; it just might be the thing that keeps you alive or from getting hurt. And you know what they say, “there’s no shape like fight shape”, I’m not saying that you have to be in shape like you’re a professional mma fighter, but you need to be in better shape than most Aikidokas by far.
In the last year a Judo club opened up in town and my kids and I started training a little. It all started because I had a little Judo as a kid, it always worked well for me and I thought that it would be good for the kids to learn some simple throws and that the quality full resistance training would make there Aikido or Jujitsu more effective for the real world. I started training too only because, if it is good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me.
Kids are doing great, I at first thought that I was going to die. :crazy: And I hurt myself all the time. I did alright with the techniques, in fact I usually do better with the more advanced ones and it makes the advanced students mad when the new guy does it better then them. I think this is do to my Aikido training. But my conditioning was no good. I simply was not in the right condition to fight people with full resistance let alone change partners and fight again. Now I feel fit, stronger and more confident.

dalen7
12-07-2009, 04:38 PM
lets just say sport fighting where two people choose to rough each other up...
[as the other situations you could potentially avoid, and that may be the "best training" for physical confrontation - not creating the background scenarios in which these 'confrontations' happen.]

So, the one thing you need is to be able to take a beating/toughen your body. [talking of sport fighting]
You ever seen those monks who can do amazing feats with their bodies because they toughened it up over the years?

Take your hand and hit them as hard as you can and you might be the one walking away with something broken. - Amazing how their bodies have been conditioned.

Ill tell you with the little Thai Boxing experience I have, it hurts being kicked even with pads. :D

Get hit in the stomach time and time again stings quite a bit... etc.

So you want to sport fight, then toughen your body up... get flexible, get coordinated, etc.

You want to stay out of a fight... learn who you are, "know theyself".

Trust me, from experience, I could have avoided certain situations had my attitude/thoughts been in the right place.
Consider this, you wont always be in prime condition - give you a few years and then you age and its over for the 'brutal sports' and you will have to learn other ways to fend for yourself... and the thought patterns, if you will, is key to be sure.

[sorry, I know its not the hip answer] :D

Peace

dAlen