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Gorgeous George
08-11-2010, 10:14 PM
...to Practice Aikido?

I recently went to a 'ki aikido' class, and after being told by the guy trying to apply ikkyo to me 'Feel free to go down...' because I was still standing, and he couldn't lead me down, I said 'I'll go down when you make me.'.
There was a dan grade practicing with us, and she just completely dismissed me with a patronising and cutting tone, saying 'We don't like to hurt each other here.'.
I thought that the point of aikido was that you should be able to apply these techniques, and that you should do so with little/no pain - certainly in the case of ikkyo, anyway?

My own view is that if you can be thrown quite hard/quickly, and effectively receive, so that you aren't harmed, then you are good at aikido - i.e., you are receiving/harmonizing with a lot of energy.
So too with stuff like nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo - doing them (viz., having them applied) quite 'strong' will open up and stretch your joints etc., and allow blood, antibodies, ki, what have you, to circulate.
Hence, if you eschew practicing this way, then you will never be as pliable, filled with ki/energy, receptive to ki/energy, etc., as you can be.

In terms of the practice of aikido as a martial art, and using it to hurt people, my own understanding is that o'sensei's conception of budo was that it is a means of preventing greater harm: it is not a means of killing others, but of protecting others; that is, you might have to restrain, or even kill somebody, for instance - but you do it for the good of society - to protect the innocent, etc.
It's all well and good not wanting to hurt people, as these 'ki aikido' people seemed to really believe in, but perhaps sometimes it is necessary, and justified.

What's your opinion on this?

Adam Huss
08-11-2010, 10:22 PM
Its very tricky to broach this subject without people getting offended. If you're looking for some affirmation of your training principles, please realize that martial practitioners are fully allowed to spend their money and time training where they choose. I have my own personal training philosophies, but that doesn't stop me from having a good time at any style or dojo I train....but that is for visiting. I have visited many dojo on my travels where I would not choose to train again, or rather regularly...regardless of how good a group of people that are there.

mickeygelum
08-11-2010, 10:44 PM
OH MY GOD...here we go again !

Aikido is not effective, just ask anyone....this is an A-B-D, do not inquire if you do not want to hear my response....:eek:

Go roll around, impress yourselves...:D

Mickey

Buck
08-11-2010, 11:20 PM
You could spend years reading through the threads that ask the same question! Like me explain like this: :eek: :freaky: :crazy: :hypno: and then :yuck: :blush: :sorry:

Nafis Zahir
08-11-2010, 11:24 PM
...to Practice Aikido?

I recently went to a 'ki aikido' class, and after being told by the guy trying to apply ikkyo to me 'Feel free to go down...' because I was still standing, and he couldn't lead me down, I said 'I'll go down when you make me.'.
There was a dan grade practicing with us, and she just completely dismissed me with a patronising and cutting tone, saying 'We don't like to hurt each other here.'.
I thought that the point of aikido was that you should be able to apply these techniques, and that you should do so with little/no pain - certainly in the case of ikkyo, anyway?

My own view is that if you can be thrown quite hard/quickly, and effectively receive, so that you aren't harmed, then you are good at aikido - i.e., you are receiving/harmonizing with a lot of energy.
So too with stuff like nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo - doing them (viz., having them applied) quite 'strong' will open up and stretch your joints etc., and allow blood, antibodies, ki, what have you, to circulate.
Hence, if you eschew practicing this way, then you will never be as pliable, filled with ki/energy, receptive to ki/energy, etc., as you can be.

In terms of the practice of aikido as a martial art, and using it to hurt people, my own understanding is that o'sensei's conception of budo was that it is a means of preventing greater harm: it is not a means of killing others, but of protecting others; that is, you might have to restrain, or even kill somebody, for instance - but you do it for the good of society - to protect the innocent, etc.
It's all well and good not wanting to hurt people, as these 'ki aikido' people seemed to really believe in, but perhaps sometimes it is necessary, and justified.

What's your opinion on this?

You are not going to find too many people doing effective aikido. By that I mean the ability to take someone down or make them want to go down. If you were resisting with muscle, you may have been wrong. But if the person was not affecting your body or applying the technique to make you comply in order to avoid injury, then that is a case of not training seriously, imho.

Michael Varin
08-12-2010, 02:28 AM
You are not going to find too many people doing effective aikido. By that I mean the ability to take someone down or make them want to go down.
This sounds like it may be a problem. Why is this so?

Eva Antonia
08-12-2010, 03:06 AM
Hello,

in my dojo we are normally advised to resist (as uke) according to tori's level. If tori is a complete newbie then just resist a wee little bit where you feel he might adjust some movements; if tori is at the same level as oneself or better, then just resist as much as you like but without becoming obstructive or hurt. If you don't resist at all it becomes insulting to tori, and he wouldn't learn anything because the resistance helps to identify and correct errors.

However, I have seen many dojos where ukes go to ground immediately and are surprised if I don't. They generally explain this attitude by "avoiding to hurt/ get hurt". I don't agree and feel awkward at over-complying, with exception of shiho nage on my left hand, where I jump out at the slightest pressure to avoid that my wrist, elbow and shoulder articulation get twisted by 360° - that hurts, and the technique cannot be done anyway.

Best regards,

Eva

Amir Krause
08-12-2010, 03:42 AM
Its very tricky to broach this subject without people getting offended. If you're looking for some affirmation of your training principles, please realize that martial practitioners are fully allowed to spend their money and time training where they choose. I have my own personal training philosophies, but that doesn't stop me from having a good time at any style or dojo I train....but that is for visiting. I have visited many dojo on my travels where I would not choose to train again, or rather regularly...regardless of how good a group of people that are there.

Each person and his own approach. So long as one is honest, I have no problem with this.

There was a dan grade practicing with us, and she just completely dismissed me with a patronising and cutting tone, saying 'We don't like to hurt each other here.'.
?
I disliked this portion of your experience. In my own onion, it often indicates to lack of honesty to self. the way you describe it implies they do not just dislike to hurt there, they do not know\practice how to do it either, but they are not aware of the latter part.

Amir

dps
08-12-2010, 04:52 AM
I can play all of these musical instruments;

1 Wind instruments
o 1.1 Single reed instruments
o 1.2 Double reed instruments
o 1.3 Bagpipes
o 1.4 Brass instruments
o 1.5 Free reed instruments
o 1.6 Voice
o 1.7 Free aerophones
* 2 String instruments
* 3 Percussion instruments
o 3.1 Drums
o 3.2 Other percussion instruments
* 4 Electronic instruments
* 5 Keyboard instruments
* 6 Other
* 7 External links

[700+ lines of names of musical instruments removed by editor]

but is what you hear music?

David

Hellis
08-12-2010, 05:57 AM
Graham
Looking at the above it apperas you have struck a sensitive chord.

Henry Ellis
http://kenshiroabbe.blogspot.com/

Ketsan
08-12-2010, 06:57 AM
...to Practice Aikido?

I recently went to a 'ki aikido' class, and after being told by the guy trying to apply ikkyo to me 'Feel free to go down...' because I was still standing, and he couldn't lead me down, I said 'I'll go down when you make me.'.
There was a dan grade practicing with us, and she just completely dismissed me with a patronising and cutting tone, saying 'We don't like to hurt each other here.'.
I thought that the point of aikido was that you should be able to apply these techniques, and that you should do so with little/no pain - certainly in the case of ikkyo, anyway?

My own view is that if you can be thrown quite hard/quickly, and effectively receive, so that you aren't harmed, then you are good at aikido - i.e., you are receiving/harmonizing with a lot of energy.
So too with stuff like nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo - doing them (viz., having them applied) quite 'strong' will open up and stretch your joints etc., and allow blood, antibodies, ki, what have you, to circulate.
Hence, if you eschew practicing this way, then you will never be as pliable, filled with ki/energy, receptive to ki/energy, etc., as you can be.

In terms of the practice of aikido as a martial art, and using it to hurt people, my own understanding is that o'sensei's conception of budo was that it is a means of preventing greater harm: it is not a means of killing others, but of protecting others; that is, you might have to restrain, or even kill somebody, for instance - but you do it for the good of society - to protect the innocent, etc.
It's all well and good not wanting to hurt people, as these 'ki aikido' people seemed to really believe in, but perhaps sometimes it is necessary, and justified.

What's your opinion on this?

My own view is that Aikidoka can be split into two groups: Those that can demonstrate their ability to connect and harmonise with another person and those that can't.

Sun Tzu said that if you know yourself and know your enemy you'll never be defeated even if you fight one hundred battles. Well what he's saying here, IMO, is that if you can form a connection with your enemy, empathise with them, understand their motives and how they do things defeating them is easy.

Well save for the word "defeating" that's Aikido. Even then we're messing around with semantics. :rolleyes:
Anywho if you can't flatten someone I fail to see how you can claim that you're learned to harmonise, connect or any of the rest of it.

chillzATL
08-12-2010, 07:45 AM
as always, it depends on how you choose to define "Martial effectiveness". For me, yes, but everyone trains for their own reasons.

thisisnotreal
08-12-2010, 08:01 AM
Do some people train for the wrong reasons?

chillzATL
08-12-2010, 08:12 AM
Do some people train for the wrong reasons?

Is there such a thing?

thisisnotreal
08-12-2010, 08:23 AM
I don't know. But I suspect so.

mickeygelum
08-12-2010, 09:45 AM
Hmmpht....If you use your internal powers and skills, you can defeat Shihans,Hanshis, Grand Masters and MMA guys...all of who will remain nameless and disappear from the face of the earth! :eek:

But. then of course, there is always the Vulcan Death Grip as a back-up!

chillzATL
08-12-2010, 09:56 AM
Hmmpht....If you use your internal powers and skills, you can defeat Shihans,Hanshis, Grand Masters and MMA guys...all of who will remain nameless and disappear from the face of the earth! :eek:

But. then of course, there is always the Vulcan Death Grip as a back-up!

you actually came back to edit that last line in, bravo!

Budd
08-12-2010, 10:01 AM
Well, if I'm a guest at someone's dojo, I follow their method of practice - it's considered good manners. If I don't like it, I don't practice there, again.

When someone would come to my dojo and I was being careful and just walking through things with them and they "resisted", I typically would just move onto something else - using their "resistance" to put them down. If they had some ability to mix it up, sometimes it got interesting (I have fun with that, too).

But basically, if you're behaving like an 'arse', then you're less entitled to my 'loving protection' in Ueshiba-speak.

Gorgeous George
08-12-2010, 10:05 AM
as always, it depends on how you choose to define "Martial effectiveness". For me, yes, but everyone trains for their own reasons.

I think that I was a little too vague - and understandings are easy in this area.
What I meant was, given that 'ki aikido' (to my understanding) is about getting ki flowing through your body, attaining these spiritual insights into harmony and the ki of others, etc., is their training, as I experienced it, realistically an effective means to do this?
Koichi Tohei had to go through years and years of rigorous, tough training to reach his level, and having trained both in a laid back, and a more vigorous manner, I can attest to the more effective nature of the latter method - indeed, I only started making progress when I changed my attitude.

What is the point of practicing the martial techniques of aikido in 'ki aikido' if they aren't practiced for the purpose that they were conceived?
And what's the point of practicing this martial art if you are of the view that you would never hurt someone, under any circumstance? Surely you need a different means of bringing about your goal of alignment between mind and body?

I remember hearing about concscientious objectors in England during WWII: they refused to fight because they were Christians, and asserted that Christ himself would not fight; they were asked if they would fight if the Nazis invaded, and they said no; and they were finally asked if they would fight if a Nazi was attacking their mother - and still they said no.
That is a very extreme devotion to this principle, and it is hard for me to imagine that this woman was so devoted.

Gorgeous George
08-12-2010, 10:16 AM
Well, if I'm a guest at someone's dojo, I follow their method of practice - it's considered good manners. If I don't like it, I don't practice there, again.

When someone would come to my dojo and I was being careful and just walking through things with them and they "resisted", I typically would just move onto something else - using their "resistance" to put them down. If they had some ability to mix it up, sometimes it got interesting (I have fun with that, too).

But basically, if you're behaving like an 'arse', then you're less entitled to my 'loving protection' in Ueshiba-speak.

Is this...a jibe at me?
If so, it's based on a misconecption, as I didn't go there and start saying 'You lot are a shit - aikido: my arse!', 'You could never take me down with that.' etc.
I abided by their rules and what have you, and although I liked some of the warm-ups, and practicing 'unbendable arm', it's not really worth the trip to train there again.

It was interesting when I was doing nikkyo with one of their coloured belt guys and he resisted...he was very tense; I just stopped pushing and allowed him to push forward, exposing an opening, and the opportunity for me to apply juji-nage.

I try my best to go where i'm lead, and to recognise the purpose of what we're doing, and to act accordingly: I remained standing because it would have been insincere and harmful to have gone down - I was hoping the dan grade would have shown the guy how to effect the technique, but she didn't.

chillzATL
08-12-2010, 10:23 AM
I think that I was a little too vague - and understandings are easy in this area.
What I meant was, given that 'ki aikido' (to my understanding) is about getting ki flowing through your body, attaining these spiritual insights into harmony and the ki of others, etc., is their training, as I experienced it, realistically an effective means to do this?
Koichi Tohei had to go through years and years of rigorous, tough training to reach his level, and having trained both in a laid back, and a more vigorous manner, I can attest to the more effective nature of the latter method - indeed, I only started making progress when I changed my attitude.

There was a point in time, as you noted, where the physicallity of the training in ki aikido was significantly different than it appears to be today. They focused on all the ki stuff, but also did hard, resistive waza. if one trains that way then I say yes, it's martially effective to a point. That's where my previous comment of your definition of "martially effective" comes into play. I really can't comment more directly on the ki aikido of today or why things changed and why they do things the way they do now.

What is the point of practicing the martial techniques of aikido in 'ki aikido' if they aren't practiced for the purpose that they were conceived?

Are we sure that was the purpose of those techniques to begin with? Is that what Ueshiba intended? Were they techniques for building fighting skills or were they for something else? Maybe just rough approximations of things so that one can practice and build this "something else" and then take it where one wants from there?

Gorgeous George
08-12-2010, 10:46 AM
Are we sure that was the purpose of those techniques to begin with? Is that what Ueshiba intended? Were they techniques for building fighting skills or were they for something else? Maybe just rough approximations of things so that one can practice and build this "something else" and then take it where one wants from there?

My understanding is that he was devoted to budo - he loved martial arts, and saw them as necessary for the good of society - and religion/spirituality; and he saw aikido as something both martial and religious - a means of practicing both of these.
In fact, as stuff like torifune is both a shinto and aikido practice, it isn't a surprise to me that he attributed his martial prowess to supernatural powers; I was very interested to read this:

http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm

Edit: I think he wanted to attain the 'something else', but I recall reading a quote from him where he said that you have to have physical power (or words to that effect) allied to wisdom or compassion etc., in order to make the world a better place; I think that the ideal is an enlightened 'warrior', rather than an enlightened person who is removed from the sphere of action/mankind.
A budoka is one who has a key role in society.

RED
08-12-2010, 11:05 AM
I don't have the full story here. What rank was the person that was applying ikkyo to you? I mean if they were fairly inexperienced it would be inappropriate to be too stubborn with them. At lower ranks, most schools like to see corporation in training so the newbies can learn proper form and work the technique out for themselves. Constantly defeating some one's technique doesn't help a 6th kyu out, and frankly isn't impressive to anyone.

chillzATL
08-12-2010, 11:18 AM
My understanding is that he was devoted to budo - he loved martial arts, and saw them as necessary for the good of society - and religion/spirituality; and he saw aikido as something both martial and religious - a means of practicing both of these.
In fact, as stuff like torifune is both a shinto and aikido practice, it isn't a surprise to me that he attributed his martial prowess to supernatural powers; I was very interested to read this:

http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm

Edit: I think he wanted to attain the 'something else', but I recall reading a quote from him where he said that you have to have physical power (or words to that effect) allied to wisdom or compassion etc., in order to make the world a better place; I think that the ideal is an enlightened 'warrior', rather than an enlightened person who is removed from the sphere of action/mankind.
A budoka is one who has a key role in society.

Since I doubt I can do the subject justice, I would suggest you hit the non-aikido martial arts section below and go back to its initial posts by people like Mike Sigman, Dan Harden and others to better understand the direction our conversation is taking. You can also do some searches here on chinkon kishin. It and any real world benefits it may offer have been discussed before as well. It's quite the rabbit hole..

Gorgeous George
08-12-2010, 11:18 AM
I don't have the full story here. What rank was the person that was applying ikkyo to you? I mean if they were fairly inexperienced it would be inappropriate to be too stubborn with them. At lower ranks, most schools like to see corporation in training so the newbies can learn proper form and work the technique out for themselves. Constantly defeating some one's technique doesn't help a 6th kyu out, and frankly isn't impressive to anyone.

I know what you're saying, I understand it, and that's how I see it, too; i'm not an idiot.
Speaking with him afterwards, he said he'd been training for quite a while, and he was either a blue, or red, belt, if memory serves...not that I know what any of the colours signify.
I could tell from training with him that he wasn't such a beginner.

Gorgeous George
08-12-2010, 11:20 AM
Since I doubt I can do the subject justice, I would suggest you hit the non-aikido martial arts section below and go back to its initial posts by people like Mike Sigman, Dan Harden and others to better understand the direction our conversation is taking. You can also do some searches here on chinkon kishin. It and any real world benefits it may offer have been discussed before as well. It's quite the rabbit hole..

Thank you: i'll take a look. :)

ninjaqutie
08-12-2010, 12:02 PM
I guess it depends on what you want out of training and where you are training. There is another dojo nearby which is a lot more social and laid back (from what I hear... so this can't be said for certain) then ours is. Some people have said our dojo is harsh and mean. I personally have never thought that our dojo was harsh or that it is a hard style, but if you are used to training a certain way, I guess ours might be considered harsh. To each their own. That is why so many styles and dojo's of the same style exist.

Ketsan
08-12-2010, 12:10 PM
Is there such a thing?

Yup. Choosing an activity for benefits it doesn't have would be an example of training for the wrong reasons. This links in with the discussion on the spirtual side of Aikido and the question of how many Aikidoka who train for the spiritual side would go to their instructor for spiritual advice. The answer by the looks of it is none.

So training in Aikido for its spiritual teachings would be pointless it would seem. You would most definately be training for the wrong reasons IMO because there are easier and more efficent ways of developing spiritually.

Again training in ki Aikido for self defence would appear to be pointless, you're again trying to learn something that isn't being taught. You would be training for the wrong reason.

Janet Rosen
08-12-2010, 12:42 PM
I think that I was a little too vague - and understandings are easy in this area.
What I meant was, given that 'ki aikido' (to my understanding) is about getting ki flowing through your body, attaining these spiritual insights into harmony and the ki of others, etc., is their training, as I experienced it, realistically an effective means to do this.

Please don't judge all dojos from Tohei's lineage on the basis of one evening at one dojo. :) I've been similarly disappointed as a visitor at dojos under a variety of styles/lineages.

Janet Rosen
08-12-2010, 12:45 PM
So training in Aikido for its spiritual teachings would be pointless it would seem. You would most definately be training for the wrong reasons IMO because there are easier and more efficent ways of developing spiritually.

Actually, it IS within the martial process of trying to connect with another person, totally in the moment and under pressure, and fulfill my role as either nage or uke that I find my spiritual practice. It's not why I started aikido but it sure helps keep me training and frankly I don't find it pointless.

C. David Henderson
08-12-2010, 02:23 PM
+1

Carsten Möllering
08-12-2010, 02:33 PM
I recently went to a 'ki aikido' class, ... Please don't judge all dojos from Tohei's lineage on the basis of one evening at one dojo.
Does this Ki Aikido Dojo follow Yoshigasaki Doshu (sic!) or do they follow Tohei?

In my experience the "Ki Aikido" of Yoshigasaki is "different" from all other forms of aikido I know?

In Europe Ki Aikido means mostly the style of Yoshigasaki. But in the US Ki Aikido mostly means the line of Tohei?

kironin
08-12-2010, 03:06 PM
There was a point in time, as you noted, where the physicallity of the training in ki aikido was significantly different than it appears to be today. They focused on all the ki stuff, but also did hard, resistive waza. if one trains that way then I say yes, it's martially effective to a point. That's where my previous comment of your definition of "martially effective" comes into play. I really can't comment more directly on the ki aikido of today or why things changed and why they do things the way they do now.


there is also the fact that in Britain there are groups that call what they do "ki aikido" but are not associated with the KNK so it's hard to say exactly what that group is or what they do is relevant to what is being done at other schools. Not sure what I would have made of the situation if I had been in the room so can't really comment. I can imagine a different interpretation of the story than the one posted here that makes me wonder.

However, personally I like it when people resist because it's fun to see if I can flatten them without hurting them.

kironin
08-12-2010, 03:12 PM
My own view is that if you can be thrown quite hard/quickly, and effectively receive, so that you aren't harmed, then you are good at aikido - i.e., you are receiving/harmonizing with a lot of energy.
So too with stuff like nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo - doing them (viz., having them applied) quite 'strong' will open up and stretch your joints etc., and allow blood, antibodies, ki, what have you, to circulate.
Hence, if you eschew practicing this way, then you will never be as pliable, filled with ki/energy, receptive to ki/energy, etc., as you can be.


stretching joints allows blood, antibodies, etc to circulate ?

do you have references for that ? just curious.

chillzATL
08-12-2010, 03:22 PM
stretching joints allows blood, antibodies, etc to circulate ?

do you have references for that ? just curious.

Ueshiba sensei said that "The forms of aikido techniques are preparation to unlock and soften all joints of our body".

While I doubt that's what Graham was referencing, the concept is not completely unheard of. :)

kironin
08-12-2010, 03:38 PM
Ueshiba sensei said that "The forms of aikido techniques are preparation to unlock and soften all joints of our body".

While I doubt that's what Graham was referencing, the concept is not completely unheard of. :)

:crazy:

uh, not exactly the kind of reference I had in mind. ;)

kironin
08-12-2010, 03:50 PM
Again training in ki Aikido for self defence would appear to be pointless, you're again trying to learn something that isn't being taught. You would be training for the wrong reason.

uh ?

The prison guards and police officers that have taken classes from me see it differently.

and when they have come back with stories of real world applications of what they learned in class, all I can say is, I don't envy them their job!

:ki:

kironin
08-12-2010, 03:57 PM
Actually, it IS within the martial process of trying to connect with another person, totally in the moment and under pressure, and fulfill my role as either nage or uke that I find my spiritual practice. It's not why I started aikido but it sure helps keep me training and frankly I don't find it pointless.

Nice reply Janet! as I was saying to someone last week, if you cut the martial root, if you lose the martial side of the art, you lose a real depth of meaning.

by the way the message out of Japan from Ki Society Hombu this year is very clear, the emphasis is back on Aikido. Glad to see they have come back around. :D

dps
08-12-2010, 04:09 PM
Actually, it IS within the martial process of trying to connect with another person, totally in the moment and under pressure, and fulfill my role as either nage or uke that I find my spiritual practice. It's not why I started aikido but it sure helps keep me training and frankly I don't find it pointless.

Janet that is the best explanation of how and when you incorporate your own individual spiritual/religious/philosophical beliefs into Aikido that I have ever heard, read or thought of.

David

RED
08-12-2010, 04:25 PM
I know what you're saying, I understand it, and that's how I see it, too; i'm not an idiot.
Speaking with him afterwards, he said he'd been training for quite a while, and he was either a blue, or red, belt, if memory serves...not that I know what any of the colours signify.
I could tell from training with him that he wasn't such a beginner.

My federation only uses white and black belts. :/ But what I know of most colored belt using dojo is that blue is some where around 4th or 3rd kyu ..typically.
That's a student of maybe 2 years at the most then. I'd take it easy on them..we all develop at different rates.
If he was like a high kyu rank or a black belt rank then I'd have to agree...but low to mid kyu rank, I'd still use discretion, especially when visiting outside of my own dojo.

Ketsan
08-12-2010, 08:24 PM
uh ?

The prison guards and police officers that have taken classes from me see it differently.

and when they have come back with stories of real world applications of what they learned in class, all I can say is, I don't envy them their job!

:ki:

Well good for them. The ki Aikido guys I've trained with literally know nothing about Aikido. They can do ki tests to perfection but they couldn't take on a little old lady with a walking stick. Maybe it's different where you are.

thisisnotreal
08-12-2010, 08:25 PM
..of course, there is always the Vulcan Death Grip as a back-up!

Did...someone just mention Star Trek ?...'cause i been waiting to post this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZWaWrvJ7nA).. ;)

thisisnotreal
08-12-2010, 08:26 PM
They can do ki tests to perfection but they couldn't take on a little old lady with a walking stick. .

hi Ketsan - Isn't that mutually exclusive? ... i mean if they could really do them to perfection....? wouldn't they at least have some real preceptible strength that would've made them a handful?
josh

Ketsan
08-12-2010, 08:29 PM
Actually, it IS within the martial process of trying to connect with another person, totally in the moment and under pressure, and fulfill my role as either nage or uke that I find my spiritual practice. It's not why I started aikido but it sure helps keep me training and frankly I don't find it pointless.

I find that in judo, jujitsu etc and truth be told I find that more in those arts than I do in Aikido. Harmonising and connecting with a co-operative uke is childs play. Harmonising and connecting with someone bigger than you when they're trying to flatten you is something else. That's more spiritual IMO because it equates more to the real world. Aikido is like living in a hippy commune; everyone gets on because everyone wants to get on; it's false and plastic.

Ketsan
08-12-2010, 08:31 PM
hi Ketsan - Isn't that mutually exclusive? ... i mean if they could really do them to perfection....? wouldn't they at least have some real preceptible strength that would've made them a handful?
josh

No. Being immovable doesn't mean you can move people.

thisisnotreal
08-12-2010, 08:37 PM
No. Being immovable doesn't mean you can move people.

i'm not sure that's what the test are all about...

danj
08-12-2010, 08:49 PM
by the way the message out of Japan from Ki Society Hombu this year is very clear, the emphasis is back on Aikido. Glad to see they have come back around. :D

Hi Craig,
Can you say a little more about this? Great news if so

best,
dan

Buck
08-12-2010, 10:22 PM
uh ?

The prison guards and police officers that have taken classes from me see it differently.

and when they have come back with stories of real world applications of what they learned in class, all I can say is, I don't envy them their job!

:ki:

Why is it those who don't understand the effectiveness of Aikido, dismiss the testimonials like above?

This is a good reason why I feel Aikido's technical history should be stressed more. Aikido wazas are slightly changed from the feudal combat jujitsu that parented Aikido.

Just because Aikido isn't a toe-to-toe art that fits the needs of the sport fighting entertainment business, but instead fits the needs of LEOs and alike it is somehow not effective. If you have visited a prison or know anything of the career of a prison guard (corrections officer), the needs are specialized. A confrontation prison guards face isn't a street fight. It is a well thought out and planned engagement that requires the prison guard to employ specialize mental, psychological and physical tactics and stuff beyond that of sport's fight. Prisoners are highly dangerous and aggressive, assailants, which can be highly skilled in dangerous and aggressive behavior. You don't shake their hand after a fight, there is no such thing as any kind of sportsmanship what so ever.

If LEOs and alike supportive of Aikido's effectiveness, as they are in life and death situations, as no one is playing in those situation, then it has to be recognized properly.

I know of one LEO that is supportive of MMA, and he will tell you Aikido isn't effective; just the person. He feels the more proper tools an officer has at their disposable the better the can stay safe and handle a situation. He feels that most people train MMA to fight in the venues. He feels that in all his years of patrol he has never in a conflict went to the ground. And with in those years he has used Aikido many times to keep himself and others safe. And to quickly gain control over a situation. He feels those who don't recognize this are myopic and ignorant of street, and life and death situations to disregard Aikido's effectiveness. Here again, he is speaking to the individual's approach to Aikido.

See most people who take Aikido don't do it to fight. It is a hobby, a way of life, a recreational pursuit, as the don't wish to pursue it in the manner dictated by a career as fighters, LEOs, etc. Who don't want to suffer the physical punishment and disabilities suffered for the glory of being an MMA fighter. Aikido is open to everyone. Because of that there are a variety of occupations in the Aikido corps.They are mostly jobs that don't require a person to train mentally and physical to be prepared and effective in policing situations. As a result you will not find the vast majority of the millions of people all around the world who practice Aikido training to be effective in a sports fight or in conflicts faced by LEOs daily.

I say if a person discredits the effectiveness of Aikido as a result of testimonials by LEOs, than they really don't understand Aikido and are limited in discussing the effectiveness of Aikido.

DH
08-12-2010, 11:10 PM
Hmmpht....If you use your internal powers and skills, you can defeat Shihans,Hanshis, Grand Masters and MMA guys...all of who will remain nameless and disappear from the face of the earth! :eek:
Or they are very much alive, with both feet on the earth instead of their heads in the clouds, know each other's name's and have not only not dissapeared, but are in fact actively training (sometimes in the same rooms) in a method they consider superior to what they had been doing for decades in both Aikido, Datio ryu, Koryu and MMA...and are on the phone with me weekly or talking to me in person.... laughing at comments such as these.
Which of these two stories is true; Yours or mine?
Who is blowing smoke? And who is citing fact?
I appreciate your insinuating that I am dishonest. I have read it, and heard it,...face to face before. It doesn't end well for those who try it.
After all the crap thrown here...only one has turned out to be the credible person after all.
Good luck in your training.

mickeygelum
08-12-2010, 11:24 PM
However, personally I like it when people resist because it's fun to see if I can flatten them without hurting them

SWEEEEEEEEEEEEET !:D

If LEOs and alike supportive of Aikido's effectiveness, as they are in life and death situations, as no one is playing in those situation, then it has to be recognized properly

Really...that is why you have overweight neophytes, old decrepit , physically challenged individuals making statements that they are martially effective, when in fact, they are going to be victims of their own delusions. This being said, the fact that the so-called sensei or shihan told them they are progressing well and to keep plugging, but, most of all keep writing that F!@king check!

I know personally, several individuals, on this site that their rank and experience are falsehoods. There are several people on this site that have trained with me as a student, peer and teacher...but, have not the integrity to state the truth. Therefore, when an individual that has the training, experience and expertise is willing to " put up or shut up" , why are they deemed insignificant?

If Aikido is to be a formidable art and a living, progressive art, why are not the opinions and experiences of those that actually live with Aikido daily affirmed?

Train well,
Train hard,
Train honestly,

Mickey

DH
08-12-2010, 11:37 PM
Therefore, when an individual that has the training, experience and expertise is willing to " put up or shut up" , why are they deemed insignificant?
Mickey
"Oh you didn't"...looking away and back again...."you didn't".... "oh....you did!"
Maybe you need to sit back and think on the words you have used toward others.
Some people do put their asses on the line, many times over... in rooms that were not always friendly. Some times the review of the results... are not always welcome to hear. I have heard of some people taking it VERY hard. ;)

I agree with your admonition of "train hard and train honestly." Sadly some people cannot match their words to their own actions. Have you noticied that too? Honesty and straight forward stand-up behavior that carries through behind closed doors can be hard to find. Huh?
Dan

mickeygelum
08-12-2010, 11:48 PM
I appreciate your insinuating that I am dishonest. I have read it, and heard it,...face to face before. It doesn't end well for those who try it.


Gees Dan,

I never insinuated that you were dishonest or that you could not do what you say you can do. I offered you the opportunity to INCREASE your student base. I offered to PAY for your lodgings, accommodations and incidentals, for your instruction...you dismissed me.

I must defer to that old refrain from Dan Harden, "' SHOW ', ",
I guess that only is applicable to the rest of the martial world.

I know some of the people that are attempting to give you creditability, they suck..so their opinions suck too.

I hold no ill, but, you are not proving anything with your degrading posts or unnamed followers.

My offer still stands, come and train, my treat.

Mickey

Buck
08-13-2010, 12:48 AM
I am not concerned with how all others train, I don't judge nor have prejudice, if they have the goods or not. If that art or this one, or that person or this person is effective. How they train is their right, and privilege, and to what level and perspective they want to exercise the goods is up to them. Am I into any Orwellian stuff when it comes to people's life or training choices. All so, a blanketed statement that stereotypes all Aikido or LEOs is really myopic and unrealistic. It usually is an indicator to many a lack of understanding and experience in the topic, btw. :)

I am not and can't be concerned who is better than who, or what is better than the other. All I know is we live in a society far less violent than many other countries and our ancestries. Many states are adopting concealed weapon laws that favor the average citizen for self-defense. Criminals have access to and their preferences is not MMA, Aikido, or any other martial art - self styled or not. They prefer weapons, namely a gun. Then a knife. Then their fists- quick hard, unsuspecting blows to the head. Well, many prefer that because it works so well, and doesn't need anyone to teach you it. But a weapon is the most used and preferred object of attack.

So really, it mutes most of these types of discussions. And I heard an instructor at a seminar say and I paraphrase, there is no need for martial arts in today's world as criminals have guns. Now with that said, being effective is defined by a well placed bullet. It really doesn't matter how good someone else is or isn't. What matters is when and how fast you pull a trigger. Or how well you surprise your target as you stab them or hit them, when they least expect it or see it. And how much experience a person has to handle the adrenaline dump, rapid heat rate, and your mental faculties and nerves when in a high pressure and stress situation. Yet there is all this recycled arcane and archaic martial arts talk , and no one about what I pointed out. No talk about how to handle a gun under a high stress situation and stuff instead it is "you suck and because I am better than you and know more than you, I'll show you why you suck." Or "you suck and go to this person only, as they are a god, and you suck. And since you suck they will show you why you suck, suckers. See I did it, and I am the world's greatest."

That is the reality. Guns are it, and no matter what your training is, your stuff isn't going to stop a bullet, much less a 100 rounds a second. Or buck shot. When your butt is kidnapped in your sleep or car jacked by 5 teenagers and twenty somethings at gun point. Who will more than likely shot you at some point. Rarely, now-a-days any serious criminal act involves 2 or more people with a high possibility you will not be breathing at their discretion. And being is bar fight in some soft half-assed bar with some drunk half witted Spike fan isn't much of a fight. Since it isn't for your life.

All this talk and exercising of the wills and egos is superfluous posturing and ego gymnastics, and has no value other then the entertainment value for those like me, who understand the reality of the world we live in, and not wrapped in a fantasy, or self delusion. I for one know exactly where I stand on how effective my skills are, and will live with the consequences if any. And I understand to what point of effectiveness all martial arts have.

Nafis Zahir
08-13-2010, 01:28 AM
This sounds like it may be a problem. Why is this so?

Because people are use to the look and feel of a technique being effective as oppose to actually working hard to really learn the technique and how to practically apply it in a real self defense situation. They want to gain rank without understanding and be able to demonstrate many variations of a technique without even being able to do the basic technique itself. This is why you will see a SanDan looking good and seemingly doing nice technique until someone they don't know gives them a really good attack with just slight resistance. If you are a sandan, I expect your entry to be serious and I expect you to at least be able to somewhat take my balance.

mickeygelum
08-13-2010, 02:49 AM
Because people are use to the look and feel of a technique being effective as oppose to actually working hard to really learn the technique and how to practically apply it in a real self defense situation. They want to gain rank without understanding and be able to demonstrate many variations of a technique without even being able to do the basic technique itself. This is why you will see a SanDan looking good and seemingly doing nice technique until someone they don't know gives them a really good attack with just slight resistance. If you are a sandan, I expect your entry to be serious and I expect you to at least be able to somewhat take my balance.


Absolutely true...and is the antithesis...:D

Train well,
Train hard,
Train honestly,

Mickey

KaliGman
08-13-2010, 06:05 PM
Why is it those who don't understand the effectiveness of Aikido, dismiss the testimonials like above?

This is a good reason why I feel Aikido's technical history should be stressed more. Aikido wazas are slightly changed from the feudal combat jujitsu that parented Aikido.

Just because Aikido isn't a toe-to-toe art that fits the needs of the sport fighting entertainment business, but instead fits the needs of LEOs and alike it is somehow not effective. If you have visited a prison or know anything of the career of a prison guard (corrections officer), the needs are specialized. A confrontation prison guards face isn't a street fight. It is a well thought out and planned engagement that requires the prison guard to employ specialize mental, psychological and physical tactics and stuff beyond that of sport's fight. Prisoners are highly dangerous and aggressive, assailants, which can be highly skilled in dangerous and aggressive behavior. You don't shake their hand after a fight, there is no such thing as any kind of sportsmanship what so ever.

If LEOs and alike supportive of Aikido's effectiveness, as they are in life and death situations, as no one is playing in those situation, then it has to be recognized properly.

I know of one LEO that is supportive of MMA, and he will tell you Aikido isn't effective; just the person. He feels the more proper tools an officer has at their disposable the better the can stay safe and handle a situation. He feels that most people train MMA to fight in the venues. He feels that in all his years of patrol he has never in a conflict went to the ground. And with in those years he has used Aikido many times to keep himself and others safe. And to quickly gain control over a situation. He feels those who don't recognize this are myopic and ignorant of street, and life and death situations to disregard Aikido's effectiveness. Here again, he is speaking to the individual's approach to Aikido.

See most people who take Aikido don't do it to fight. It is a hobby, a way of life, a recreational pursuit, as the don't wish to pursue it in the manner dictated by a career as fighters, LEOs, etc. Who don't want to suffer the physical punishment and disabilities suffered for the glory of being an MMA fighter. Aikido is open to everyone. Because of that there are a variety of occupations in the Aikido corps.They are mostly jobs that don't require a person to train mentally and physical to be prepared and effective in policing situations. As a result you will not find the vast majority of the millions of people all around the world who practice Aikido training to be effective in a sports fight or in conflicts faced by LEOs daily.

I say if a person discredits the effectiveness of Aikido as a result of testimonials by LEOs, than they really don't understand Aikido and are limited in discussing the effectiveness of Aikido.

Dismiss, no..take with several grains of salt, oh yeah. Speaking from a law enforcement perspective (18 years in municipal and federal law enforcement, various instructor certifications, SWAT operator, etc.), I will tell you that Aikido has its good points for LEO use and its bad points. Aikido, sometimes with some very basic BJJ ground techniques added, is the basis for many of the defensive tactics programs taught at some law enforcement academies, including a few I attended and/or at which I instructed. This is the case, for a couple of reasons. One of the main reasons is police administrators wanting something that looks, on its face, less likely to open their departments to civil rights complaints and law suits. Trying to push or grab someone looks so much better on the 6 pm news than does hitting them with a left hook. Very many police officers see what they are taught more as "something that the administration can say they taught me so they can get out of a law suit" rather than "the best possible system to actually help me save my life if attacked by a hardened criminal." Another reason, however, that Aikido is utilized is that Aikido is very good in many law enforcement situations. Against a person who passively resists arrest (goes limp) or who is trying to break your grasp and flee rather that fight, Aikido often works wonderfully. It is when things get ugly and the bad guy tries to beat you down and take your handgun, or when his own handgun or knife come into play that Aikido often falls short. I say often, because there are no absolutes in real combat and because there are some extraordinary individuals who could clear a biker bar with a toothpick using their preferred combat methodology, simply because they are extraordinarily gifted individuals when it comes to combat. Also, if you have trained in Aikido methodology for years, you often will have a very large advantage when it comes to footwork when compared to the "average street thug." Footwork can let you move and not get hit, and, having been hit before, I find this to be a very good thing.

Now, after being in the job awhile, officers often get a class in "Officer Survival," filled with methodologies and tactics that are specifically designed to keep them alive when the really bad things happen. These are the classes I most enjoyed teaching, and this is where, if they have a good instructor, the officer starts to feel like he or she is starting to get a glimmer of how to really survive and that they are learning something that is not just "to protect the administration."

Now, having said all that, the original Ki Aikido instructor was not posting about defensive tactics, but about his Aikido instruction. What I have to say about his training is maybe it is great, maybe it is not. I have never crossed hands with the man. As for effectiveness on the street or in the jail, I would have to look at the individual situations. You see, sometimes people just decide to give up. In law enforcement there are usually two kinds of situations: "How I wish I had a lot more officers here to help me out" (bad situations where you are getting shot at, are seriously outnumbered and the fight is on, etc.) and "How I wish most of these officers were not here" (when making an arrest and multiple officers are assisting, everyone wants to cuff the suspect or use a control hold, the suspect gets pulled every which way, and if it goes to the ground, the big law enforcement dogpile of flailing limbs commences). Sometimes, in either situation, the bad guy just gives up, though more often in the second situation. After all, as comedian Ron White mentioned when describing squaring off against a bunch of bouncers in a parking lot..."I didn't know how many it would take to kick my a$$, but I knew how many they were going to use.":p When confronted with lots of backup, sometimes people give up, even if they were "winning" the one-on-one confrontation. Also, please note that weird stuff happens, and sometimes you get lucky. Lastly, just because you won does not always mean that you were particularly good...you could have just found someone who is worse at fighting than you are, and this means that, yes, you still stink.

So does any of this apply to the way you guys and gals practice and teach Aikido? Maybe, maybe not. I will not condemn or endorse anyone here and their fighting ability without looking at what they do. If they are not practicing for "martial effectiveness" but for some other reason, then, quite frankly, that is their business. If we are talking about fighting, though, I think I just gave you the reasons why many in law enforcement and many others who have actually been attacked physically by people who want to kill them doubt the "ultimate effectiveness" and "no can defend" stuff about Aikido. Personally, I like quite a lot of the Aikido methodology and really dislike some of it. Aikido has some serious holes in its methodology for real world combat, as does pretty much everything else. Anyone who says they have the perfect methodology is either inexperienced or trying to sell you something. The rest of us are merely doing the best we can in attempting to plug our system's holes, refine our methodologies, and live long enough to enjoy retirement while maybe passing on some hard gained knowledge and experience from time-to-time. Of course, having switched over to the federal side after several years in municipal law enforcement, I still have several years to go before I can retire. I also don't claim to have but so much knowledge after 30 years of training, but, ahhhh...I do have experience (and not the kind most of you would like to have), and the nasty, ugly scars to prove that I was in there when the bad guys were swingin':rolleyes:

KaliGman
08-13-2010, 06:37 PM
"Oh you didn't"...looking away and back again...."you didn't".... "oh....you did!"
Maybe you need to sit back and think on the words you have used toward others.
Some people do put their asses on the line, many times over... in rooms that were not always friendly. Some times the review of the results... are not always welcome to hear. I have heard of some people taking it VERY hard. ;)
...
Dan

Dan, while I applaud you doing sparring and somewhat "pressure testing" your art, I find it strange that this is considered "putting your ass on the line." You see, in the LEO world that Mickey and I have lived in, "putting your ass on the line" means something totally different. Teaching, training, or sparring with a bunch of guys in white or black pajamas, MMA gear and rash guards, or whatever, who were, heavens forbid, "not always friendly" just fails to rise to the stress level of having people try to kill you. Sure, you are going to get a few "good fighters" who are going to try to take you down a peg or two in the situation you describe. All that pales in comparison, of course, to: having to fight your way through the crowd of gang members who are trying to beat you to death; wondering if and when someone is going to try to collect the price that is on your head that was set there so you would not testify against those pesky criminal types; writing up that operations plan and then running your team through the location to get the guys responsible for multiple murders and worrying more about the guys with you than yourself because how are you going to face the wife and kids of the guy who died while following your plan; walking into that biker bar to stop the fight and make an arrest or two and knowing that your backup is miles and minutes away and that it takes less than a second to pull a trigger; getting shot at; getting attacked with knives; using your martial arts training in so many confrontations while working in housing projects and other places on the job that you do not even come close to remembering them all; getting injured on the job and wondering whether one day you are going to catch one that is not going to let you come back to work at all... Between the two of us, Mickey and I have been in these and in far more situations. I really don't think he is too worried about whether his stuff works. After all, he is still alive. Now, could he (and I for that matter) be better trained and more highly skilled? Of course he and I can. So can everyone else. I'm always up for some cross training in something or other that I think can help in my training or help in my job.

KaliGman
08-13-2010, 06:55 PM
I am not concerned with how all others train, I don't judge nor have prejudice, if they have the goods or not. If that art or this one, or that person or this person is effective. How they train is their right, and privilege, and to what level and perspective they want to exercise the goods is up to them. Am I into any Orwellian stuff when it comes to people's life or training choices. All so, a blanketed statement that stereotypes all Aikido or LEOs is really myopic and unrealistic. It usually is an indicator to many a lack of understanding and experience in the topic, btw. :)

I am not and can't be concerned who is better than who, or what is better than the other. All I know is we live in a society far less violent than many other countries and our ancestries. Many states are adopting concealed weapon laws that favor the average citizen for self-defense. Criminals have access to and their preferences is not MMA, Aikido, or any other martial art - self styled or not. They prefer weapons, namely a gun. Then a knife. Then their fists- quick hard, unsuspecting blows to the head. Well, many prefer that because it works so well, and doesn't need anyone to teach you it. But a weapon is the most used and preferred object of attack.

So really, it mutes most of these types of discussions. And I heard an instructor at a seminar say and I paraphrase, there is no need for martial arts in today's world as criminals have guns. Now with that said, being effective is defined by a well placed bullet. It really doesn't matter how good someone else is or isn't. What matters is when and how fast you pull a trigger. Or how well you surprise your target as you stab them or hit them, when they least expect it or see it. And how much experience a person has to handle the adrenaline dump, rapid heat rate, and your mental faculties and nerves when in a high pressure and stress situation. Yet there is all this recycled arcane and archaic martial arts talk , and no one about what I pointed out. No talk about how to handle a gun under a high stress situation and stuff instead it is "you suck and because I am better than you and know more than you, I'll show you why you suck." Or "you suck and go to this person only, as they are a god, and you suck. And since you suck they will show you why you suck, suckers. See I did it, and I am the world's greatest."

That is the reality. Guns are it, and no matter what your training is, your stuff isn't going to stop a bullet, much less a 100 rounds a second. Or buck shot. When your butt is kidnapped in your sleep or car jacked by 5 teenagers and twenty somethings at gun point. Who will more than likely shot you at some point. Rarely, now-a-days any serious criminal act involves 2 or more people with a high possibility you will not be breathing at their discretion. And being is bar fight in some soft half-assed bar with some drunk half witted Spike fan isn't much of a fight. Since it isn't for your life.

All this talk and exercising of the wills and egos is superfluous posturing and ego gymnastics, and has no value other then the entertainment value for those like me, who understand the reality of the world we live in, and not wrapped in a fantasy, or self delusion. I for one know exactly where I stand on how effective my skills are, and will live with the consequences if any. And I understand to what point of effectiveness all martial arts have.

Mr. Burgess, I applaud your motivation in writing this post, but I do want to say a few things. First of all, I have been in situations, in law enforcement, when people tried to kill me, so I know that, like you say, some things go straight out the window and you have to deal with what is, not what you would have liked it to be. However, please note that empty hand martial arts have a very real place in defending oneself and for both the private citizen and law enforcement officer. Quite frequently, if attacked, you will be 'behind the curve" and will have a devil of a time pulling any weapon that you may have on your person prior to the evil person who is attacking you being able to hit you at will with whatever weapon he has attacked. A lot of confrontations, even against armed felons, start with the good guy using empty hand methodologies and doing what is necessary to stay alive long enough to access whatever weapon he may be carrying and counterattack. Sometimes, the whole thing is handled at the empty hand level by the defender, as when you "win the lottery" and actually get that lock on the knife-wielder's wrist or some, normally, equally improbable outcome, you are just very, very good, or your opponent is just really, really unskilled and/or timid. Situations vary. Also, please note that there are a ton of instances where empty hand may be legally justified and a weapon may not. Just some thoughts.

Adam Huss
08-13-2010, 08:09 PM
Really, I find budo training helps sharpen the mind and spirit for physical confrontation. I love techniques, but it seems the mental sharpening, the kenshu and tanren, have helped me the most through difficult situations involving combat and life or death situations. And can be equally applied to everyday difficulties.
Osu!

Great to see another Ohioan!

Buck
08-13-2010, 11:58 PM
Mr. Burgess, I applaud your motivation in writing this post, but I do want to say a few things. First of all, I have been in situations, in law enforcement, when people tried to kill me, so I know that, like you say, some things go straight out the window and you have to deal with what is, not what you would have liked it to be. However, please note that empty hand martial arts have a very real place in defending oneself and for both the private citizen and law enforcement officer. Quite frequently, if attacked, you will be 'behind the curve" and will have a devil of a time pulling any weapon that you may have on your person prior to the evil person who is attacking you being able to hit you at will with whatever weapon he has attacked. A lot of confrontations, even against armed felons, start with the good guy using empty hand methodologies and doing what is necessary to stay alive long enough to access whatever weapon he may be carrying and counterattack. Sometimes, the whole thing is handled at the empty hand level by the defender, as when you "win the lottery" and actually get that lock on the knife-wielder's wrist or some, normally, equally improbable outcome, you are just very, very good, or your opponent is just really, really unskilled and/or timid. Situations vary. Also, please note that there are a ton of instances where empty hand may be legally justified and a weapon may not. Just some thoughts.

I do agree, and my response is to show why am in agreement. I do believe empty hand has its place. I have mentioned be before and I failed to do in my last post. Aikido has many tools that will fit the needs of LEOs. And when a LEO gives credit to Aikido's effectiveness it is discredited. In the post you responded to, it was to let such people know, you can't discredit Aikido's effectiveness. The street scenario that many construct is a fallacy, a fantasy, not in touch with reality. They don't calculate the variables in an engagement, only the perimeters of within their constructs that sever their interest, and support their views. For example, those individuals, usually from a MMA background, who don't feel Aikido is effective, don't consider how to handle a situation where a weapon is involved. For example, if you use MMA and take the fight to the ground you can be shot or stabbed by a person concealing the weapon and taking the advantage of being in engaged. An individual criminal who has no martial arts background or training -well very poor at best. But, they have allot of assault experience. Then there is the high likelihood more assailants involve themselves in the situation. This increases the dynamic and danger of the attack, many people who create the street scenario favoring MMA/BJJ ignore as well. Here as well, these assailants have no martial arts training, just experience assaulting people. On the street, there are many variables, you can't entangle yourself on the ground dealing with just one person in an MMA fashion.These things again are ignored my those who feel MMA/BJJ is superior to Aikido. Or those who think Aikido as an art is ineffective.

And the other thing they are don't factor in their scenarios that states favoring gun laws so citizen can have a concealed weapon. Basically saying the are out of touch. Aikido has many applications and is designed for these variables. And as a result those who say Aikido isn't effective fail to realize what a real street situation consists of. It isn't some drunken Hollywood frat party fight. It isn't Fight Club. It isn't kicking someone's ass because they kicked sand in your face. And the average citizen to protect themselves is going to buy a gun over taking a martial arts class. And violent gang members and other criminals don't rely on open hand techniques to commit their violent crimes. And LEOs carry guns for that reason.

But, in the case you laid out and your experience speaking, I can't argue against it. In that sense Aikido is very effective. Is it the only tool. No, I don't think so. Is a tool that is broad enough to apply to many situations LEOs face, and others face, yes. And I do believe that a gun alone in a self-defense situation should be completely relied upon. Though that has been the issue with many LEOs I have worked with. They believe all they need is their gun.

That is what I was getting at. So I agree completely with what you said. And have said it myself in many a post back.

Michael Hackett
08-14-2010, 12:48 AM
I've been in the same situations as Jon and Mickey over thirty years and I largely echo their comments. There is no martial art, nor any defensive weapon that will satisfy all the needs of a cop on the street. Having a quality martial arts game and being an expert with his weapons are big advantages certainly. His greatest and most effective weapons are between his ears and his attitude. Most of the time his bearing, confidence (whether real or reaching the skills of an Olivier) and obvious willingness will prevent the attack in the first place. When all that fails and things start to get "real western", the officer's willingness to fight will give him an edge - maybe he will remember kotogaeshi or a closed guard, and maybe he will be reduced to a head butt or biting like a snapping turtle. Whatever "it" may be, it won't be pretty like the dojo, it won't be an artificial construct of some sort, it will be for real and it will be for keeps. Those who lose will be memorialized and those who win will be back again tomorrow or the next day and do it all over again. Thankfully it doesn't happen all that often, but when it does, it isn't anything like the MMA or Pride. Those very real events always reminded me of trying to give a hungry bobcat a bath - it wasn't much fun for either of us.

Michael Varin
08-14-2010, 03:13 AM
There have been some good posts on this thread -- Philip, Jon, Mickey, Nafis, Michael.
Criminals have access to and their preferences is not MMA, Aikido, or any other martial art - self styled or not. They prefer weapons, namely a gun. Then a knife. Then their fists- quick hard, unsuspecting blows to the head. Well, many prefer that because it works so well, and doesn't need anyone to teach you it. But a weapon is the most used and preferred object of attack.

So really, it mutes most of these types of discussions. And I heard an instructor at a seminar say and I paraphrase, there is no need for martial arts in today's world as criminals have guns. Now with that said, being effective is defined by a well placed bullet. It really doesn't matter how good someone else is or isn't. What matters is when and how fast you pull a trigger. Or how well you surprise your target as you stab them or hit them, when they least expect it or see it. And how much experience a person has to handle the adrenaline dump, rapid heat rate, and your mental faculties and nerves when in a high pressure and stress situation. Yet there is all this recycled arcane and archaic martial arts talk , and no one about what I pointed out. No talk about how to handle a gun under a high stress situation and stuff instead it is "you suck and because I am better than you and know more than you, I'll show you why you suck." Or "you suck and go to this person only, as they are a god, and you suck. And since you suck they will show you why you suck, suckers. See I did it, and I am the world's greatest."

That is the reality. Guns are it, and no matter what your training is, your stuff isn't going to stop a bullet, much less a 100 rounds a second. Or buck shot. When your butt is kidnapped in your sleep or car jacked by 5 teenagers and twenty somethings at gun point. Who will more than likely shot you at some point. Rarely, now-a-days any serious criminal act involves 2 or more people with a high possibility you will not be breathing at their discretion.

So what's new?

The key to martial effectiveness has always been in the use of weapons, numbers, and surprise.

Any martial art that is useful will address these things. Aikido does.

Aikido is not an "empty-handed" martial art. The techniques were developed to support the use of weapons, which is the only realistic way to deal with multiple attackers. It must be remembered that the use of the weapon is primary, and the taijutsu gets you there or keeps you there, and can give you alternatives when using your weapon is possible, but not necessary.

Proper aikido training also addresses awareness and intent, which are crucial to these this type of encounter.

People who believe modern mma is the end all be all of martial arts are living in a fantasy world.

Of course, this doesn't address training methodology, which in mma is often far superior to aikido.

Buck
08-14-2010, 10:33 AM
There have been some good posts on this thread -- Philip, Jon, Mickey, Nafis, Michael.

Of course, this doesn't address training methodology, which in mma is often far superior to aikido.

Well MMA is about sport fighting. They take on a modern approach to conditioning, and other means of training the body for a contact sport. Such a sports philosophy is universal and isn't often found in martial arts,but rather in martial sports. I think that is often due to tradition and philosophy of those adherent to an exotic or established environment and experience offered by Aikido.

I guess training methodologies, in terms, of Aikido effectiveness should be compared fairly, in terms of superiority, to other like activities. For instance, martial arts training methodologies can't be compared to sports and visa versa as for each has different purposes, designs and goals. Yes,training philosophy and other training abstracts such as, how intensely or seriously a person trains no matter what the goal or purpose of the art, improves performance. That is up to the individual how hard they are going to train and what are their goals.

It is individual choice and individual goals that dictates to what extent martial effectiveness is necessary. It isn't the art or sport,it is the person. Like Randy Jackson said so obnoxiously, but a truth never the less, "Dog you're so good, you could sing the alphabet (or phone book)." Implying the singer was so good it didn't matter what was sung, it would sound excellent. :)

Michael Hackett
08-14-2010, 11:01 AM
I think we would all be better at our Aikido, or any other physical activity if we followed the training regimen demonstrated by many of the MMA professionals. Most of them are incredibly fit people, with explosive strength and amazing endurance, perhaps more so than wrestlers, gymnasts and others. There was a recent bio-documentary on Rich Franklin, and if it were to be believed, the man trains eight hours a day, just like a regular 9 to 5 job. Genetics aside, I suspect that some of those guys would live forever if they weren't getting so badly beaten and banged up periodically. I also suspect that they could play almost any sport at a reasonable level due to their conditioning, flexibility, and coordination. Now which of us is willing to do that level of work?

Rich Franklin was probably in a more dangerous profession before the UFC when he was a high school teacher in the Rust Belt.

Kevin Leavitt
08-14-2010, 11:28 AM
...to Practice Aikido?

I recently went to a 'ki aikido' class, and after being told by the guy trying to apply ikkyo to me 'Feel free to go down...' because I was still standing, and he couldn't lead me down, I said 'I'll go down when you make me.'.
There was a dan grade practicing with us, and she just completely dismissed me with a patronising and cutting tone, saying 'We don't like to hurt each other here.'.
I thought that the point of aikido was that you should be able to apply these techniques, and that you should do so with little/no pain - certainly in the case of ikkyo, anyway?

My own view is that if you can be thrown quite hard/quickly, and effectively receive, so that you aren't harmed, then you are good at aikido - i.e., you are receiving/harmonizing with a lot of energy.
So too with stuff like nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo - doing them (viz., having them applied) quite 'strong' will open up and stretch your joints etc., and allow blood, antibodies, ki, what have you, to circulate.
Hence, if you eschew practicing this way, then you will never be as pliable, filled with ki/energy, receptive to ki/energy, etc., as you can be.

In terms of the practice of aikido as a martial art, and using it to hurt people, my own understanding is that o'sensei's conception of budo was that it is a means of preventing greater harm: it is not a means of killing others, but of protecting others; that is, you might have to restrain, or even kill somebody, for instance - but you do it for the good of society - to protect the innocent, etc.
It's all well and good not wanting to hurt people, as these 'ki aikido' people seemed to really believe in, but perhaps sometimes it is necessary, and justified.

What's your opinion on this?

Thought it best to re-quote the OP since the topic seems to have gone in a slightly different direction.

I understand EXACTLY where you are coming from. This was my big frustration when I started Aikido and struggled to find the middle ground on all this.

I agree to an extent that technique should be performed softly in such a manner that uke goes down, and I also agree with the statement "I'll go down when you make me!".

There is so much going on in the uke/nage relationship and in the context of aikido alot can get lost in translation for sure!

An unexperienced Uke, as I was once, might ignore alot of the input that simply is not communicated in the context of training and by doing so, sets up a false "wiring" with Nage. So, Nage can't be "soft" and also make Uke go down.

By ignoring what would be appropriate in a confrontation, uke and nage simply cannot work together.

This is a martial context, however, and both uke and nage need to realize this. Nage needs to be "On" and tactical and prepared to "Make uke comply", at the same time, Uke needs to understand that these things can happen to him.

When all this comes together, we have a proper environment to practice and train.

This brings up another important point. DISSONANCE. This occurs when we practice in the dojo and then say we go out on the street and our "UKE" does not cooperate with us, or fails to recognize that "NAGE" can and might hurt him. Maybe Nage has conditioned him or herself in the dojo so much that he/she forgets that the threat we pose must be real, credible, recognized, and believable to our Opponent and our opponent must react in such a way as to avoid that situation, which leads us to our next step in which we can respond and control the situation with the options we want to use.

Of course all this requires a great deal of practice and a functional understanding of the "branches and sequels" that can occur in such situations.

Lets face it...we are all constructed pretty much the same. two arms, two legs, about the same hieght, weight etc.

There are only so many ways to kick, punch, hit etc.

However, many, many permutations of how these things can be played out!

Our kata or training helps us work through these permutations and experience them and learn to get a grasp on the branches and sequels of fighting.

When I first started Aikido, I was told it was important to learn to be a good uke first. 15 years later, I am trying even more today than when I started to learn to be a good uke. I find I learn so much from being an Uke about how to respond or better yet how my opponent may or should respond that it seems to make the Nage/Offensive side much easier!

Anyway, while in practice it seems that we are dancing or learning alot of ineffective stuff..i'd say most of the time you are not, however, you do need to maybe look at the context of your training and try and understand how it would apply in reality etc and then allow the proper communication to take place between Uke and Nage.

It is not easy for sure, especially when you deal with beginners that simply do not have the context to understand all the bad things that may happen to them if they fail to move properly.

I know we don't like to think about hurting or using hard techniques in aikido, however, I think this is an important thing we do need to understand, that these things can and will happen to you on the street if you do not move and defend yourself properly.

It isn't about being an aikibunny or diving. It is about protecting yourself, placing yourself tactically in a better position, and trying to get back ahead of the OODA curve in the relationship. If Nage is doing things correctly, you simply are not able to do so.

Standing there and saying "Make me go down", is simply as bad as being an aikibunny or diving...maybe worse, since at least if you are diving or being a bunny you are doing SOMETHING!

Gorgeous George
08-14-2010, 02:51 PM
Thought it best to re-quote the OP since the topic seems to have gone in a slightly different direction.

I understand EXACTLY where you are coming from. This was my big frustration when I started Aikido and struggled to find the middle ground on all this.

I agree to an extent that technique should be performed softly in such a manner that uke goes down, and I also agree with the statement "I'll go down when you make me!".

There is so much going on in the uke/nage relationship and in the context of aikido alot can get lost in translation for sure!

An unexperienced Uke, as I was once, might ignore alot of the input that simply is not communicated in the context of training and by doing so, sets up a false "wiring" with Nage. So, Nage can't be "soft" and also make Uke go down.

By ignoring what would be appropriate in a confrontation, uke and nage simply cannot work together.

This is a martial context, however, and both uke and nage need to realize this. Nage needs to be "On" and tactical and prepared to "Make uke comply", at the same time, Uke needs to understand that these things can happen to him.

When all this comes together, we have a proper environment to practice and train.

This brings up another important point. DISSONANCE. This occurs when we practice in the dojo and then say we go out on the street and our "UKE" does not cooperate with us, or fails to recognize that "NAGE" can and might hurt him. Maybe Nage has conditioned him or herself in the dojo so much that he/she forgets that the threat we pose must be real, credible, recognized, and believable to our Opponent and our opponent must react in such a way as to avoid that situation, which leads us to our next step in which we can respond and control the situation with the options we want to use.

Of course all this requires a great deal of practice and a functional understanding of the "branches and sequels" that can occur in such situations.

Lets face it...we are all constructed pretty much the same. two arms, two legs, about the same hieght, weight etc.

There are only so many ways to kick, punch, hit etc.

However, many, many permutations of how these things can be played out!

Our kata or training helps us work through these permutations and experience them and learn to get a grasp on the branches and sequels of fighting.

When I first started Aikido, I was told it was important to learn to be a good uke first. 15 years later, I am trying even more today than when I started to learn to be a good uke. I find I learn so much from being an Uke about how to respond or better yet how my opponent may or should respond that it seems to make the Nage/Offensive side much easier!

Anyway, while in practice it seems that we are dancing or learning alot of ineffective stuff..i'd say most of the time you are not, however, you do need to maybe look at the context of your training and try and understand how it would apply in reality etc and then allow the proper communication to take place between Uke and Nage.

It is not easy for sure, especially when you deal with beginners that simply do not have the context to understand all the bad things that may happen to them if they fail to move properly.

I know we don't like to think about hurting or using hard techniques in aikido, however, I think this is an important thing we do need to understand, that these things can and will happen to you on the street if you do not move and defend yourself properly.

It isn't about being an aikibunny or diving. It is about protecting yourself, placing yourself tactically in a better position, and trying to get back ahead of the OODA curve in the relationship. If Nage is doing things correctly, you simply are not able to do so.

Standing there and saying "Make me go down", is simply as bad as being an aikibunny or diving...maybe worse, since at least if you are diving or being a bunny you are doing SOMETHING!

I've recently started training under a teacher who teaches a style very much in the vein of Seigo Yamaguchi, and Seishiro Endo: he focuses on maintaining complete relaxation in the arms and shoulders, as this allows you to feel the other's energy/centre, and to receive it - and tension allows uke to get hold of something.

I also strongly believe in maintaining a connection in aikido - if, as uke, the connection/grip is broken, you are allowing nage the opportunity to strike you - I think kokyu-ho, where you keep hold of nage's hands, and nage's hands are coming towards your face when you are on the ground, illustrates this point well.
As such, in the situation I described, where I said to someone who asked me to go down: 'I'll go down when you make me.', was one in which I sought to maintain the connection - which, after all, is the essence of aikido (the roles of uke and nage being, essentially, one); when he moved me, I was receptive to his energy, and moved accordingly - he had no trouble moving me around in a circle, but he just didn't know how to lead me down.
I wasn't being a dick, and I wasn't being inactive/passive: I was trying my hardest to maintain a connection, and be 'live' - i.e., to practice the principle of non-resistance, and be in harmony with nage.

Until recently, I was used to using muscle power to force a technique: now I try and remember to stay relaxed, and use my centre to effect techniques - and I actually managed (I think) to do aikido at times last night!

Janet Rosen
08-14-2010, 07:38 PM
I find that in judo, jujitsu etc and truth be told I find that more in those arts than I do in Aikido. Harmonising and connecting with a co-operative uke is childs play. Harmonising and connecting with someone bigger than you when they're trying to flatten you is something else. That's more spiritual IMO because it equates more to the real world. Aikido is like living in a hippy commune; everyone gets on because everyone wants to get on; it's false and plastic.

I didn't happen to walk into a judo or jujitsu dojo, but an aikido dojo.
I think we train in two different worlds & I'm sorry your experiences were negative but your words above do not describe the aikido I do or try to do. It is in working with and learning from a variety of training partners, testing my limits, finding my weaknesses, facing my frustrations that a spiritual practce is forged.
BTW modem died so have just been catching up today - at wifi cafe w: iPod so sorry for any weird typos!

RED
08-14-2010, 09:26 PM
I find that in judo, jujitsu etc and truth be told I find that more in those arts than I do in Aikido. Harmonising and connecting with a co-operative uke is childs play. Harmonising and connecting with someone bigger than you when they're trying to flatten you is something else. That's more spiritual IMO because it equates more to the real world. Aikido is like living in a hippy commune; everyone gets on because everyone wants to get on; it's false and plastic.

I'll give my opinion, then shove off the matter.

I don't think anyone who honestly studies and loves Aikido has the opinion you've expressed of the Aikido they practice in.
However,
If you get something out of Aikido, then train in Aikido. If you have an affirmed love and passion in Aikido, train every day that you can.
If you think something else serves you better, then go do something else. You have to be honest with yourself, and train honestly. Don't waste your time or any one else's time. Get off the mat and stop wasting mat space, there are students who would appreciate it's use. There's training to be done, for everyone who has an honest desire to understand this art, and no time to waste on people who don't love this art.

Gorgeous George
08-14-2010, 09:42 PM
Harmonising and connecting with a co-operative uke is childs play. Harmonising and connecting with someone bigger than you when they're trying to flatten you is something else. That's more spiritual IMO because it equates more to the real world. Aikido is like living in a hippy commune; everyone gets on because everyone wants to get on; it's false and plastic.

Wow: it sounds like you've mastered aikido...how old are you?

In my experience, it doesn't matter how co-operative somebody is: it doesn't mean that you can connect/harmonise with them. And when I am uke to a 5th dan, I don't get the chance to co-operate: as soon as I make contact, he achieves kuzushi, and i'm trying my hardest to keep up with my arm - trying to harmonise/connect is the best way to do this, and is a massive struggle. For me anyway: sounds like you'd be the perfect uke for my sensei; he's based in Wolves - perhaps you'd like to attend one of his classes, show me what you can do/give me a few pointers?

In terms of training methodology, when teaching someone to drive, you don't toss them the keys and say 'Let's do a ton down the M6.', do you? - For one thing, it'd be very dangerous to do so. So you start off slow.
So with beginners/low grades in aikido, you co-operate - in order to get the movements into the muscle memory. I think that there's a point at which you should start to challenge someone's technique, yes, but not right away:

'He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk, and run, and climb, and dance; one cannot fly into flying.'

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Regards harmonising with another: well, that's so that you can avoid being hurt when a technique is applied - if you're stiff/resistant, then you won't feel nage's energy, and won't be able to keep up, leading to taking ukemi safely.
There's also the fact that you're training yourself in aikido - all the time: whether you're uke or nage, you are training the same principles; it would be entirely counter-productive and absurd as nage, to relax, move from the centre, harmonise, and be non-resistant...then as soon as you're uke, to be tense, use muscle strength, and resist. You'd only do aikido half the time...

Incidentally: I was playing football the other day, and I found that, when playing outfield (I usually play as goalkeeper), I didn't have it within me to take players on - to 'beat them'; I thought about it for a while, as it troubled me quite a lot
I finally realised that as a result of training in aikido, all such will/drive to defeat others had vanished - and I was glad.
How's that for 'equating to the real world'?

Aikido is like living in a hippy commune; everyone gets on because everyone wants to get on; it's false and plastic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8u84d7nY8pQ&feature=related

Gorgeous George
08-14-2010, 09:49 PM
Does this Ki Aikido Dojo follow Yoshigasaki Doshu (sic!) or do they follow Tohei?

In my experience the "Ki Aikido" of Yoshigasaki is "different" from all other forms of aikido I know?

In Europe Ki Aikido means mostly the style of Yoshigasaki. But in the US Ki Aikido mostly means the line of Tohei?

Apparently they're an 'independent' dojo, and they only mention Koichi Tohei on their website.

I don't suppose you can link me to some good clips of ki aikido? I've searched on YouTue, but everything i've turned up was very...soft/compliant.

mickeygelum
08-14-2010, 10:09 PM
I don't think anyone who honestly studies and loves Aikido has the opinion you've expressed of the Aikido they practice in

First, I would rethink this statement, as Shodokan illustrates Mr. Lawrences position completely, in regards to full non-compliance.

If you have an affirmed love and passion in Aikido, train every day that you can.

Secondly, in my opinion, if one is not training to realize the art in it's entirity, then one should not profess a "love and passion" for an art that ones lack of devotion is diminishing.

Get off the mat and stop wasting mat space, there are students who would appreciate it's use.

Tozando dogi and hakama....$450
Annual Dues/membership ...$1500 x5,
Seminars and Camps..........$500 x5,
Dan Grade, gets their ass handed to them
by a unco-operative untrained assailant.........FRACKIN' PRICELESS ! :D


Train well,
Train hard,
Train honestly,

Mickey

mickeygelum
08-14-2010, 10:28 PM
Incidentally: I was playing football the other day, and I found that, when playing outfield (I usually play as goalkeeper), I didn't have it within me to take players on - to 'beat them'; I thought about it for a while, as it troubled me quite a lot
I finally realised that as a result of training in aikido, all such will/drive to defeat others had vanished - and I was glad.
How's that for 'equating to the real world'?


Could be why you are not a goalie anymore..:D

Honestly, Graham, that makes no sense...as a member of a team, you are letting your teammates down and could be viewed as intentionally aiding the opposition. You better be proficient with what ever you train in, because if that were my team you were on.....:uch:

Mickey

Gorgeous George
08-14-2010, 11:15 PM
Could be why you are not a goalie anymore..:D

Honestly, Graham, that makes no sense...as a member of a team, you are letting your teammates down and could be viewed as intentionally aiding the opposition. You better be proficient with what ever you train in, because if that were my team you were on.....:uch:

Mickey

Hahaha.
I normally play in goal, as that's where i've played since I was a kid, and am best (besides having terrible cardio when I started playing again recently...). After a while of playing a again, when we had a large enough lead, I would come and play out for a bit - in defence, again: when playing out, that's where I have a history - i've never had the temperament for being a striker...

So anyway, i've still been good even when playing in midfield and up front - I just bring the ball, and distribute the play - drawing challenges and passing around players, as opposed to taking them on.
It actually works out better that way, as there's always someone on my team who's pretty greedy, and who doesn't pass much.

RED
08-15-2010, 01:32 PM
Tozando dogi and hakama....$450
Annual Dues/membership ...$1500 x5,
Seminars and Camps..........$500 x5,
Dan Grade, gets their ass handed to them
by a unco-operative untrained assailant.........FRACKIN' PRICELESS ! :D

Train well,
Train hard,
Train honestly,

Mickey

hmm... Some one has a chip on their shoulder about something I don't care to hear about. LMAO!

lbb
08-15-2010, 01:59 PM
I think we would all be better at our Aikido, or any other physical activity if we followed the training regimen demonstrated by many of the MMA professionals. Most of them are incredibly fit people, with explosive strength and amazing endurance, perhaps more so than wrestlers, gymnasts and others.

Emphasis mine. The MMA "professionals", like other elite athletes, have the resources to devote to a full-time training regimen. Would we be better at our aikido if we followed that regimen? Quite possibly, and good luck getting someone to carry your freight while you do so. The rest of us have other responsibilities in our lives that we can't simply abdicate in order to train full-time.

DonMagee
08-15-2010, 02:27 PM
Emphasis mine. The MMA "professionals", like other elite athletes, have the resources to devote to a full-time training regimen. Would we be better at our aikido if we followed that regimen? Quite possibly, and good luck getting someone to carry your freight while you do so. The rest of us have other responsibilities in our lives that we can't simply abdicate in order to train full-time.

Bah, it doesn't even need to be fulltime. I've watched hour long 'martial arts' classes where the students never even break a sweat.

If I ever invent my own martial art, you will get your first belt after you can jog up a flight of steps without passing out.

lbb
08-15-2010, 05:19 PM
Bah, it doesn't even need to be fulltime.

To get the training benefits that a full-time athlete gets from their program? Yes, it does.

I've watched hour long 'martial arts' classes where the students never even break a sweat.

That is a different matter altogether.

If I ever invent my own martial art, you will get your first belt after you can jog up a flight of steps without passing out.

Why don't you go ahead and invent it, then? Call it "running up flights of stairs". It won't be a martial art, but hey, knock yourself out. Give people belts in twenty-seven colors with stripes and a bicycle reflector on them if you want, it's no sillier than a lot of what's out there now.

Adam Huss
08-15-2010, 06:39 PM
shugyo

Michael Hackett
08-15-2010, 07:12 PM
You're absolutely right, and the same holds true for high-level amateur athletes as well. Most of us have real lives to lead and simply can't dedicate that kind of time and effort. I think too, that many of the old-timers of Aikido spent virtually all of their time in the dojo. Some had jobs that called them away for periods of the day as Saito Sensei did, and others had jobs that incorporated Aikido training as Shioda Sensei experienced. I know that my own Aikido would be better if I could spend more time training, was in better condition and I found a way to shed about forty years.

DonMagee
08-15-2010, 08:21 PM
To get the training benefits that a full-time athlete gets from their program? Yes, it does.

That is a different matter altogether.

Why don't you go ahead and invent it, then? Call it "running up flights of stairs". It won't be a martial art, but hey, knock yourself out. Give people belts in twenty-seven colors with stripes and a bicycle reflector on them if you want, it's no sillier than a lot of what's out there now.

That's a bunch of bull. Regardless of what anyone wants to think, being in better shape = being better able to defend yourself. You have a defeatist attitude. This is like saying that just because you can't work out 6 times a day you shouldn't try to work out at all because it is futile.

Sure, you can't dedicate the time a pro does, but that doesn't mean their training methods only work if you dedicate the same amount of time. Their training methods work because they are professionals and spend a lot of time finding the most efficient training methods. When every second of training counts you are not going to waste your time doing things that do not effect your performance in a positive way.

Sure, doing it 6 times a day is better then twice a week, but that doesn't mean that twice a week with be just as bad as doing nothing at all. I spent a long time in the martial arts wasting my time. I learned more in 3 months using those brutish training methods then I did in a decade. I learned that cardio combined with stress response training accounted for more then any number of crazy joint locks, weapon disarms, or 40 hit combo attacks every could. I learned that every 1-step TKD movement I practiced was essentially a waste of my time.

Finally, I learned that I didn't have to train like a pro to get good results. I simply had to train in the same manner and except the results come slower.

THAT was the point I was trying to make. I've watched classes spend time perfecting the art of the throat rip when not a single one could even hope to hit even a halfway competent fighter in the face with a simple punch. Then they go home feeling they have learned something valuable and useful without even the need to wash their gi.

Self defense starts with physical fitness. Then it requires motion, timing, and resistance. If you are unwilling or unable to do that, then I will tell you straight up that you are not doing a martial art but simply playing a game of live action role playing. The difference is that you don't see forums of larpers claiming they can stop attackers with magic missle.

Kevin Leavitt
08-15-2010, 08:38 PM
All this really depends on focusing on exactly what you want to be good at or effective at.

In Aikido I have run into...in the same class...many people that have many different goals and objectives as the end state.

However, in a good class, taught by a competent instructor, that knows what he is teaching as fair as "AIKI" goes...there is alot of room for many different end states to be practiced and none of them have to be in conflict with each other.

However, if your focus is on all the stuff that is NON AIKI, then that might be an entirely different subject, and I would suggest an quite possibly an entirely different approach to training.

Aikido does not work full time as an end all and be all for my "Martial Training or Effectiveness", however it has it's place and I focus on the things I need to focus on when training in Aikido.

Just like World Class Athletes...they focus on the things they need to focus on and are fairly clear about their objectives. Each one of them may have a different approach or strategy to their overall success, and some might do some really bizzare things that work for them.

However, no world class athelete that I ever met completely turned over all responsibility or trained mindlessly under one coach or "system". It was a progressive path.

They didn't walk up to the discus the first day and expect to be "effective" with it over night, or when first coached by a competent coach, and then they couldn't throw it as far..say that the coaches methods were a waste of time!

However we do this in Budo all the time! Go to a class and one of the senior students can't make us go down and we discredit the teacher...or we can't make the other guy go down.

I think training takes a much more long term and complex view before we make decisions like this!

That said, I also agree with Don Magee. We don't need to train 6 times a day in order to get better or be "Good".

We simply need to make up our mind that in the time we do spend, that we are going to not make excuses and train like a world class athlete and expect the best out of ourselves that we can.

We don't need to make excuses or turn ourselves over to a teacher and NOT take responsibility for our own successes and failures.

I see this happening alot in Martial Arts for some reason.

Benjamin Green
08-16-2010, 12:56 AM
To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary... ...to Practice Aikido?

If it is necessary, at what point and against what opponents do you count as practising aikido? Even the weirdest most dishonest of the Ki' stuff will work against a five year old kid. And if you are that five year old kid whatever you learn short of getting a weapon and lurking in ambush isn't going to help you against the twenty year old guy who's grown up doing the ugly and just returned from Iraq. Is it impossible for kids to do Aikido?

Effectiveness is defined by how well a given response fits a situation in order to bring about a desired goal. It's not a constant.

The assumption that you can do badly, that improvement is possible, incorporates the idea that you can do it as long as you retain a core essence beyond simply effectiveness.

Personally I tend to take the outlook that if something doesn't incorporate an understanding of distancing, timing, angles, and structure; or doesn't apply those to deflect attacks, position to retaliate immediately, and disrupt the opponent; then it's still aikido - or whatever other name you tend to mention. It's just ineffective aikido.

But that's because those are my goals. If someone's there because that's the only peer group they can socialise with, or they're looking for spiritual enlightenment or the like then they're free to knock themselves out. I don't think just because they're going after something else that they're necessarily not practising the same general physical patterns, which I take to be the essence of the art.

DH
08-16-2010, 09:05 AM
Dan, while I applaud you doing sparring and somewhat "pressure testing" your art, I find it strange that this is considered "putting your ass on the line." You see, in the LEO world that Mickey and I have lived in, "putting your ass on the line" means something totally different. Teaching, training, or sparring with a bunch of guys in white or black pajamas, MMA gear and rash guards, or whatever, who were, heavens forbid, "not always friendly" just fails to rise to the stress level of having people try to kill you. Sure, you are going to get a few "good fighters" who are going to try to take you down a peg or two in the situation you describe. All that pales in comparison, of course, to: having to fight your way through the crowd of gang members who are trying to beat you to death; wondering if and when someone is going to try to collect the price that is on your head that was set there so you would not testify against those pesky criminal types; writing up that operations plan and then running your team through the location to get the guys responsible for multiple murders and worrying more about the guys with you than yourself because how are you going to face the wife and kids of the guy who died while following your plan; walking into that biker bar to stop the fight and make an arrest or two and knowing that your backup is miles and minutes away and that it takes less than a second to pull a trigger; getting shot at; getting attacked with knives; using your martial arts training in so many confrontations while working in housing projects and other places on the job that you do not even come close to remembering them all; getting injured on the job and wondering whether one day you are going to catch one that is not going to let you come back to work at all... Between the two of us, Mickey and I have been in these and in far more situations. I really don't think he is too worried about whether his stuff works. After all, he is still alive. Now, could he (and I for that matter) be better trained and more highly skilled? Of course he and I can. So can everyone else. I'm always up for some cross training in something or other that I think can help in my training or help in my job.
I always "thank" Military and LEO personnel for serving, Jon, So thank you.
Presumptions about eh?
I have heard these "cop tales" a dozen times over. We were just talking about you two and this thread with other "white pajama people" who teach and have trained with cops and military people.
One overriding thought was to consider this as you try to validate your skills based your "blood and guts encounters" in domestics with husbands and housewives with knives, and bar brawls, and drunken ner do wells, gang bangers, and crazy people and how much of a hard time you all keep talking about in dealing with them.

Just imagine very pissed off and experienced MMA guys who are well prepared, and who actually can fight you, coming at you unexpectedly and you having to do your job with no back up and no weapons ......
Boy I bet those would be some real stories!
Having trained with and also trained... spec ops, prison guards, and LEO many times (my brother is a cop as well), and then talking with other teachers who had similar experiences, pardon me if I am unmoved.
Whiel I respect, and also sympathize with their efforts, I never have been much impressed by what a cop could do compared to experienced MMA guys, even wrestler friends. You should also consider you are talking to men here who have had their own lives in their hands, some of us several times over as well, they just don't use it much to validate other training skills.

That said most LEO and military personnel I have met were rarely "truly capable" and several were walking attitude problems to train with. In fact some had egos so fragile that when faced with serious pressure and evaluations of their skills by others, they demonstrated unprofessional behavior and anything but... a prepared mind. I have shared and heard stories of cops who "went off" on people while simply training. Spec ops guys in general were more stable to train with.
Hey, I'm not saying this includes everyone, that's just ridiculous, I have friends and family who are in both branches, who are great people and truly prepared, but they didn't get their fighting skills from being cops, rangers or seals. They went elsewhere, to hone their skills...mostly to the white pajama or organized TMA crowd; you know, the FMA, JMA, or CMA.
Or are you saying they're all no good?
I thought since you are trying so hard to validate you and Micky by your "experiences" as cops, (what ever they might actually be) with us "white pajama people",,,I would give you the opportunity to see yourselves through our own experiences, training with many of you guys.
Personally I think it best to foster a prepared mind and expect the unexpected. I wouldn't categorize someone like you did here. With dealing with a cop, I would expect the unexpected,,,that without weapons and back up they might actually be capable and also not be a walking attitude problem to train with.... and then take it from there. That's just good tactics.;)
Apparently, and thankfully and increasing number of LEO personnel do not agree with you and are interested in training with the white pajama growd, in MMA, BJJ and even good FMA teachers when you can find one, to add to their becoming more capable and less dependant on weapon use.

A couple of guys I know who have worked with LEO on de-escalation of force pointed to lack of verbal skills and attitude problems on the job. They thought that was still overlooked too many times. Once again there is that recogntion of an "attitude problem" actually causing...instead of prevent, problems. I think increaed exposure to people who can actually fight with skill, instead of just brawling, helps control that fear, and knee jerk (over)reaction to being challenged. Good training can come from surpising sources.
Good luck in your training, and stay safe out there.
Dan

Michael Hackett
08-16-2010, 10:10 AM
Dan,
I think that you and Jon are talking cross-channel here. You are absolutely correct in your assessment of law enforcement officers and their general level of skill in defensive tactics (or whatever name is the flavor of the month). The vast majority of us receive very little formal training and then little to almost no follow-up training during our careers. Some have chosen to seek out additional training by practicing various martial arts, and regardless of which art, tried to become more effective. I submit that your worst-case scenario of the the angry MMA professional is accurate and the vast majority of us would get our fannies kicked in an unarmed and one-on-one context. Thankfully that is truly a worst-case scenario and we will probably never experience it.

My interpretation of what Jon was saying is that LEOs are tested in a different way than what you are currently practicing and that testing has it's own value. I don't think he was implying that LEOs are great combatants because of the circumstances they face, but rather they are experienced in a very dangerous arena and context.

In our world the only rules that apply are those that we must follow. Our opponent has none and there are no time limits. If we lose, the other guy goes on to threaten the rest of the community and we leave in an ambulance or bag. That is pressure testing and stressful. On the other hand, in the dojo environment there usually are some conventions in effect and if you lose, you go home bruised and go back to the drawing board in order to improve. I see that as pressure testing and stressful too, but of a different sort.

If I read you correctly, I would agree that most cops are poorly trained and skilled in comparison with strong martial artists who have cross-trained in striking, grappling and throwing arts. The exceptions are, well, exceptional. And as I said in my earlier post, the greatest skill we bring to the fray is our attitude. As you mentioned our very attitude can also be our greatest weakness.

DH
08-16-2010, 10:59 AM
Hello Michael
I agree
As I said though "presumptions abound!"
I don't want to name names but there are some guys in TMA here who came from some very rough backgrounds who have had, as Jon put it..."their asses on the line," and their lives in their own hands, have been in the SH#@t in some ugly places and didn't know if they were making it home, who also have the scars to prove it. They know the difference very well. They entered TMA for certain reasons of their own. There are excellent points on both sides of the discussions.

Where I disagree with your comment about Jon and my discussion is that, I ....was the only one who introduced a semblance of balance to the discussion.;)

As I said , the teachers I talked with shared a view, that often it is the cops
that have a tendency to go off or be difficult in training unlike what they see with Military personnel. I have seen it with my own brother and friends of mine. I understand the mindset, but I'll be damned if I am ever going to think the better of it or make it a laudable quality. I had two friends; one was kind of a jerk going in to the force, the other was a great guy...both ended up as "Cops with an attitude." The good guy quit,.the jerk was right at home till he got canned. We all saw it coming. I think it's a weakness that seems to get developed on the job..
Mind you, I also know several guys who retired on the job and were super people.
Anyway, I read once again that all too familiar
"I am tough because I'm a cop...."
And
"You wouldn't understand."
This time coupled with his sarcasm of the "white pajama crowd".
I have no patience for non-sense. Particularly considering I knew and trained with so many mentally healthy and good cops who came to that same "white pajama crowd" Jon was dismissing and got their asses kicked, hand-to-hand and with weapons.
I like more seasoned, viable and balanced discussions, with full respect for what those guys have to deal with and things they know and have to do and with full respect for what some of us can deliver.
We should elevate the discussion or not have it at all.
Cheers and thanks for looking out for us out there
Dan

Michael Hackett
08-16-2010, 11:50 AM
Dan,

Sorry about the following thread drift......I take your point about "good cop/bad cop". I've known them both. There are those who get through the screening somehow and should never have been hired. Most are pretty good people, but most of us tend to gravitate to a "tough guy" facade in innocuous ways. We are taught to take charge of any situation and to convey to those around us that we are confident and competent to resolve it. In short order, that seems to translate into a tough guy demeanor. Eventually we learn the difference and drop the tough guy crap and life gets measurably better for everyone.

What I have also seen with LEOs trying out their white pajamas is that they aren't willing to put in the work required to develop any real competence in the art they've chosen. I've seen it in the Aikido dojo and my son sees it frequently in his BJJ school - he's a cop on the border as well. Those who stick with the MAs tend to do a better job in my opinion and usually end up using less force than those with only traditional police training. I have no statistical data to support that, but rather that is my observation.

My original interest in Aikido came from my DT instructor in the academy. He was yudansha in Aikido, Judo and Karate and introduced us to some rudimentary Aikido. I decided then and there I would train in Aikido because I wanted something more than the Marines or the academy taught me.

DH
08-16-2010, 12:07 PM
Hi Michael
Again, I agree. I will leave it up to you guys to be the more seasoned and informed in those areas. I am only talking from experience dealing with you guys on the training end. From what I read, and others in the know, they seem to agree with my earlier comments that the more confident you make someone in physical skills, and with trained verbal de escalation skills, the less likely and or less need they may find in resorting to force.
I find it interesting that the military found uses for force on force in hand to hand, that while not directly related, brought about many positive results in other areas. Perhaps it is a constant for anyone who has to deal with pressure and the difficult decision making process of reading the situation, considering options of when, and when not to, engage.
Cheers
Dan

KaliGman
08-16-2010, 12:13 PM
I always "thank" Military and LEO personnel for serving, Jon, So thank you.
Presumptions about eh?
I have heard these "cop tales" a dozen times over. We were just talking about you two and this thread with other "white pajama people" who teach and have trained with cops and military people.
One overriding thought was to consider this as you try to validate your skills based your "blood and guts encounters" in domestics with husbands and housewives with knives, and bar brawls, and drunken ner do wells, gang bangers, and crazy people and how much of a hard time you all keep talking about in dealing with them.

Just imagine very pissed off and experienced MMA guys who are well prepared, and who actually can fight you, coming at you unexpectedly and you having to do your job with no back up and no weapons ......
Boy I bet those would be some real stories!
Having trained with and also trained... spec ops, prison guards, and LEO many times (my brother is a cop as well), and then talking with other teachers who had similar experiences, pardon me if I am unmoved.
Whiel I respect, and also sympathize with their efforts, I never have been much impressed by what a cop could do compared to experienced MMA guys, even wrestler friends. You should also consider you are talking to men here who have had their own lives in their hands, some of us several times over as well, they just don't use it much to validate other training skills.

That said most LEO and military personnel I have met were rarely "truly capable" and several were walking attitude problems to train with. In fact some had egos so fragile that when faced with serious pressure and evaluations of their skills by others, they demonstrated unprofessional behavior and anything but... a prepared mind. I have shared and heard stories of cops who "went off" on people while simply training. Spec ops guys in general were more stable to train with.
Hey, I'm not saying this includes everyone, that's just ridiculous, I have friends and family who are in both branches, who are great people and truly prepared, but they didn't get their fighting skills from being cops, rangers or seals. They went elsewhere, to hone their skills...mostly to the white pajama or organized TMA crowd; you know, the FMA, JMA, or CMA.
Or are you saying they're all no good?
I thought since you are trying so hard to validate you and Micky by your "experiences" as cops, (what ever they might actually be) with us "white pajama people",,,I would give you the opportunity to see yourselves through our own experiences, training with many of you guys.
Personally I think it best to foster a prepared mind and expect the unexpected. I wouldn't categorize someone like you did here. With dealing with a cop, I would expect the unexpected,,,that without weapons and back up they might actually be capable and also not be a walking attitude problem to train with.... and then take it from there. That's just good tactics.;)
Apparently, and thankfully and increasing number of LEO personnel do not agree with you and are interested in training with the white pajama growd, in MMA, BJJ and even good FMA teachers when you can find one, to add to their becoming more capable and less dependant on weapon use.

A couple of guys I know who have worked with LEO on de-escalation of force pointed to lack of verbal skills and attitude problems on the job. They thought that was still overlooked too many times. Once again there is that recogntion of an "attitude problem" actually causing...instead of prevent, problems. I think increaed exposure to people who can actually fight with skill, instead of just brawling, helps control that fear, and knee jerk (over)reaction to being challenged. Good training can come from surpising sources.
Good luck in your training, and stay safe out there.
Dan

I owe Mickey ten bucks. We were grilling steaks yesterday and he predicted your response to the letter.;)

Dan, first of all, I am not seeking validation for anything, and am not here to get accolades. I have quite enough awards and recognition already. I will probably not even post here much, other than discussing what happens in a real fight and the use of weapons, if and when such threads occur. I will also respond to questions, if asked and if I have the time.

I do find it amusing that you make assumptions, especially when you get so upset when you say other people make assumptions about you. You see, I have fought and arrested martial arts trained people before, and done it without utilizing a weapon. My "blood and guts encounters" have often been against professional "enforcer" types, rather than "domestic disputes" (though those can be very dangerous as well). I do cross train in other arts. I have 30 years of training in martial arts, have an instructor rank or two, and am the head of a Filipino Kali system today.

I never said that people should not train in traditional arts, or MMA. I did say that such training is not "putting your ass on the line" as you had stated it was, and I stand by that statement. If there is no real possibility that someone is going to try to seriously injure or kill you, your ass is not on the line.

I find your propensity to pick little pieces of a post out and try to bludgeon people with them, and then to dance around any direct questions asked you, very amusing. To each his own, however, and if that makes you happy, please continue. I will say that the absolute best instructors that I have ever trained with (and I've trained with quite a few people) had real world experience in dealing with violent attacks and had years of training time in martial arts. I have seen many people who looked great in the training hall fall apart when the fight was for real. However, I have also seen people respond as they were trained and do very well when they were attacked. The bottom line is, until you have been in a real fight, you can postulate, bluster, and theorize, but you will never know how you will do. Training is the best substitute you can get for having been in the real deal and the best skill set builder, but, no matter how well trained someone is, no soldiers and cops who I have worked with (and I've worked and trained with quite a few) consider a person "solid" until they have seem them in action and know that they will not crumble when blood starts to flow.

MMA, as practiced today, is, of course, not the "end all, be all" system of fighting, as nothing will ever be "the best" methodology for every situation or every person. MMA as a concept is great. Mixing ideas and cross training with other people is a great way to learn. Using an MMA professional as a benchmark to shoot for in physical conditioning is good as well, since many of the pros are phenomenal athletes and in extraordinary physical condition. I train for stamina and strength in addition to martial arts training and firearms training for skill building and maintenance, and encourage my students to do the same. I like to cross train and I will try to arrange some time to work out with a couple members on this board, if possible. Mickey runs an "open school," and we are more than happy for people to give us a call and drop in to exchange ideas. We have a seminar in November in which we will sponsor a high ranking European instructor of Lightning Scientic Arnis. Most of my students and I will be there training and are looking forward to seeing and feeling the powerful striking methodologies of Lightning. After seeing some of the information posted here by Mike Sigman, I am thinking that some of his training might plug into some of the Silat and Kun Tao methodologies I utilize. I could care less if my students wish to cross train, and I encourage them to do so. I do take issue, however, with people who do not study the kali system which I head and who claim to do so, people who trained inconsistently and half-heartedly and for very short periods of time who then discuss our methodologies as if they know what they are talking about, and any others whose actions may damage the reputation of Albo Kali Silat. You see, Albo is the family name of the clan that created this system, and was the last name of the man who was the first man to train non-Filipinos in this system, the man who designated me as the senior instructor in the art after himself, and the man who died and left me in charge of the system. I told him I would look after his name and his system if anything should happen to him, and I fully intend to do so.

Quite frankly, Dan, Mickey asked you to come by and train, but, after reading more on this board, I am no longer interested. Many say you are a great guy in person, but your online persona sure needs some work. Maybe you have suffered the "slings and arrows" of other people here enough that you now automatically come out swinging. However, I trained for years with a very highly talented martial artist who was very difficult to get along with, and I trained with him because of the vast knowledge that he had. I would not do it again. To be honest, at this point in my life, I have a low BS quotient, little interest in Internet forum squabbles, and no time to waste on personality issues and "my Dragon Style is better than your Tiger Style."

I am glad I saw your post when I accessed the ‘Net at lunch, so I could jot this quick response. I will be on the road tomorrow, and out of state for awhile. I will not be posting another response to you, Dan, as it seems to be a waste of your time and mine. I will continue to post on this forum when I can and when I see a discussion to which I might contribute something that seems useful.

Train hard, train well, and good luck with your students. I sincerely hope that they get what they are seeking from their training and they all have a good time while doing it.

Aikibu
08-16-2010, 12:22 PM
Finally, I learned that I didn't have to train like a pro to get good results. I simply had to train in the same manner and accept the results come slower.

THAT was the point I was trying to make. I've watched classes spend time perfecting the art of the throat rip when not a single one could even hope to hit even a halfway competent fighter in the face with a simple punch. Then they go home feeling they have learned something valuable and useful without even the need to wash their gi.

Self defense starts with physical fitness. Then it requires motion, timing, and resistance. If you are unwilling or unable to do that, then I will tell you straight up that you are not doing a martial art but simply playing a game of live action role playing. The difference is that you don't see forums of larpers claiming they can stop attackers with magic missile.

Spot On...Because Aikido is "not fighting" In my experience extra attention must be paid to practicing hard Otherwise one can find oneself sucked down the hole of incompetence with the rest of the Aikibunnies. And the time to find out you've fallen down that Rabbit Hole is not when you actually have to use your practice in a serious confrontation.

This by the way is true of any Martial Practice.

Like it or not... Aikido is Budo... which means practice is all about the "issue" of Life and Death.

DH
08-16-2010, 12:51 PM
Well Jon my responses were pretty clear, and to the point, yours are all over the place. I'm not sure you can make a point and follow the flow of the discussion without resorting to all this chatter about "your arts" and still more chest beating stories about you being a cop, and now other unrelated side issues.
I never questioned whether or not you could handle yourself Jon. That is a side issue that has nothing to do with the topic. You are the one who walked in and did that to me and to others here. I replied, and in so doing tried to expand the discussion out of personal areas into a more worthwhile and broader scope that others could speak to. As others just did. That forwards the discussion, Jon.
Your replies have been disjointed, highly personal and largely off topic. Jun doesn't like personal issues clouding discussions although he obviously can't catch them all. If you can't control yourself, perhaps you shouldn't reply after all.
Dan

Buck
08-16-2010, 03:41 PM
I see now I should have included in my original smilie string the :mad: :grr: evileyes: :disgust: smilies

Buck
08-16-2010, 03:43 PM
I have this odd feeling about what might happen to this thread.

mathewjgano
08-16-2010, 05:04 PM
I think the extent to which "effectiveness" is necessary depends entirely upon the goals of the student. I chose to study Aikido, in part for some lessons on practical self-defense, but the bulk of my choice was centered around a very basic attempt at shugyo. To illustrate this point: I didn't think much of what I first saw looked very practical, but I liked the heavy emphasis on meditative qualities so I eventually joined up and began training. Later, I discovered that the cooperative stuff has a purpose. To my mind, any time someone is "just being practical" they're usually compromising something long-term to make short-term gains. On the mat, to me this means sometimes acting in ways that seem less practical for the sake of trying to learn something more subtle. I'm not saying this directly applies to your situation, just that this is what comes to mind based on my own experiences...which are admittedly slight.

Gorgeous George
08-16-2010, 05:20 PM
I think the extent to which "effectiveness" is necessary depends entirely upon the goals of the student. I chose to study Aikido in part for some lessons on practical self-defense, but the bulk of my choice was centered around a very basic attempt at shugyo. To illustrate this point: I didn't think much of what I first saw looked very practical, but I liked the heavy emphasis on meditative qualities so I eventually joined up and began training. Later, I discovered that the cooperative stuff has a purpose. To my mind, any time someone is "just being practical" they're usually compromising something long-term to make short-term gains. On the mat, to me this means sometimes acting in ways that seem less practical for the sake of trying to learn something more subtle. I'm not saying this directly applies to your situation, just that this is what comes to mind based on my own experiences...which are admittedly slight.

I guess what I meant by 'martial effectiveness' was the ability to actually harmonise with someone - to 'make their strength your own': if an uke merely pretends that this has happened, then you are not doing aikido - there is no harmony with another's energy, and you are not connected to someone; so you're left wasting your time pretending.

I really resent ukes who I know are really letting me get away with not doing aikido, by responding as though I am (i.e.,they act as though i've taken their balance when I haven't); i've found it to be counter-productive, as what might start out as a necessary training method has ultimately become a bad, harmful habit, and I find it very frustrating.
I don't want to be allowed to get away with stuff - I want to be told that something isn't working, and why - only then can I improve it!
My time (not to mention money) is valuable to me, so i'd rather not spend all the time travelling (I spend as much time travelling to training as I do training), just to have somebody piss down my back and tell me it's raining - if you'll excuse the metaphor - meaning that in a year's time, i'll be pretty much where I am right now.

I hope that makes sense.

mathewjgano
08-16-2010, 06:03 PM
I guess what I meant by 'martial effectiveness' was the ability to actually harmonise with someone - to 'make their strength your own': if an uke merely pretends that this has happened, then you are not doing aikido - there is no harmony with another's energy, and you are not connected to someone; so you're left wasting your time pretending.

I really resent ukes who I know are really letting me get away with not doing aikido, by responding as though I am (i.e.,they act as though i've taken their balance when I haven't); i've found it to be counter-productive, as what might start out as a necessary training method has ultimately become a bad, harmful habit, and I find it very frustrating.
I don't want to be allowed to get away with stuff - I want to be told that something isn't working, and why - only then can I improve it!
My time (not to mention money) is valuable to me, so i'd rather not spend all the time travelling (I spend as much time travelling to training as I do training), just to have somebody piss down my back and tell me it's raining - if you'll excuse the metaphor - meaning that in a year's time, i'll be pretty much where I am right now.

I hope that makes sense.

I'm of a similar mind...I always like it when uke provides a challenge and shows me where my openings are forming. I think some of the more ki-based stuff transcends the idea of who is dominating though. What might be considered more important in those schools could be the idea of exploring the connection itself, not so much what you're doing with it (sensitivity training). In other words, as uke I might not do everything I can to resist a technique (i.e. i practically give away my balance), in an effort to focus more on whole-body interaction. I remember training with some very very soft and overly-yielding folks and I always felt like I had to try very hard to just to have the sense of connection to their center...though when I was able to, it seemed to be a good exercise in its own right...and which reminds me of something: The Rule of 10 (?): "if they give 7, you give 3; if they only give 1 you have to give 9."
In those cases you experienced, did you ask uke to make it tougher? This usually worked pretty well for me. When I was the uke I pretty much did whatever nage wanted, but I always looked to encroach upon that threshold where the role of uke and nage meet. In that case I believe nage could still get something out of it, even if it wasn't much. If I knew my partner well, I would be far more likely to disrupt the movement where I thought I sensed an opening though...

I can see how if you're training at a variety of places that aren't familiar with you, they might be focusing more on form than function. I remember training after some time off and "taking it easy" on a guy who turned out to be a very good judoka. After he told me he was in line to go to the olympics for judo (at some point in time) I tried as hard as I knew how.

Rob Watson
08-16-2010, 06:13 PM
I really resent ukes who I know are really letting me get away with not doing aikido, by responding as though I am (i.e.,they act as though i've taken their balance when I haven't)

I think most agree but ... are you sure that the uke is doing that? I used to think so until I had a detailed conversation with a few and found they all had their reasons that were good reasons and had nothing to do with 'tanking' explicitly. Most were protecting injuries or preventing reinjury.

I try to make it clear what I expect from juniors and if they have a good reason (I directly ask and try to make it clear that it is OK) to do otherwise then I'm good with that.

My presumptions should not be dumped on others.

mathewjgano
08-16-2010, 06:24 PM
I think most agree but ... are you sure that the uke is doing that? I used to think so until I had a detailed conversation with a few and found they all had their reasons that were good reasons and had nothing to do with 'tanking' explicitly. Most were protecting injuries or preventing reinjury.


Good point!

Shadowfax
08-16-2010, 06:37 PM
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
I really resent ukes who I know are really letting me get away with not doing aikido, by responding as though I am (i.e.,they act as though i've taken their balance when I haven't)

Although I rarely give away a technique it happens sometimes that I'm lighter than the person I am training with wants, or on a rare occasion I get so eager to fly I forget to let the poor person actually do what they are supposed to do. If I've really blown it and jumped for no reason I usually apologize for my slip because to me that is an error in my ukemi which I am always striving to improve just as much as my technique. If they seem not to be happy I ask them if they would like a different attack stronger lighter more agressive or whatnot. If I don't know the person I'll start out pretty light because I have no idea what level of intensity they are used to or like and, from what I hear, when I ramp up and get intense it can be kinda intimidating so I tend to only play like that with those that I know.

So perhaps what is needed is for you to communicate to your training partners what kind of attack you want to work against.

Gorgeous George
08-16-2010, 07:13 PM
In other words, as uke I might not do everything I can to resist a technique (i.e. i practically give away my balance), in an effort to focus more on whole-body interaction.
[...]
In those cases you experienced, did you ask uke to make it tougher? This usually worked pretty well for me

I know what you're saying; but what i'm talking about is when there is no 'whole-body interaction', and in lieu of it, uke is pretending it's there, and pseudo-receiving your technique.
If that happens every time, then i'm never going to change and actually learn the correct technique/way to harmonise with someone; hence such a method of practice is not aikido (although as I previously stated: I think for beginners it's a necessity).
That's what my original post was getting at, anyway.

Matthew, Rob, Cherie:

This is the thing: asking a training partner to change something...I find it's an awkward situation to be in - especially when the other person is a dan grade, and i'm only 5th kyu: I don't want to come across as being a dick - especially when i'm pointing out that they're doing something wrong (Note: this is not referring to the present issue under discussion - it's other things).
The particular training partner I refer to: I know that he's letting me off easy, and I know why - he isn't injured; it's more like he thinks this is the way to treat me in order for me to improve - which did not, has not, and will not, happen.

Rob Watson
08-16-2010, 07:19 PM
especially when i'm pointing out that they're doing something wrong

5th kyu always knows better than dan grades. Better a dick than a putz - say something (just try not to think in terms or right/wrong but more along the lines of what you are trying to accomplish).

mathewjgano
08-16-2010, 08:40 PM
I know what you're saying; but what i'm talking about is when there is no 'whole-body interaction', and in lieu of it, uke is pretending it's there, and pseudo-receiving your technique.
If that happens every time, then i'm never going to change and actually learn the correct technique/way to harmonise with someone; hence such a method of practice is not aikido (although as I previously stated: I think for beginners it's a necessity).

By "pseudo-receiving" do you mean that as uke he basically moves into the position he wants you be able to put him in? I remember doing something similar, but that was more as an aid toward learning the basic form. If you haven't done so already, I'd definately ask him what his take is on it.

This is the thing: asking a training partner to change something...I find it's an awkward situation to be in - especially when the other person is a dan grade, and i'm only 5th kyu: I don't want to come across as being a dick - especially when i'm pointing out that they're doing something wrong (Note: this is not referring to the present issue under discussion - it's other things).
The particular training partner I refer to: I know that he's letting me off easy, and I know why - he isn't injured; it's more like he thinks this is the way to treat me in order for me to improve - which did not, has not, and will not, happen.
Well certainly if it's his teaching method (which I presume comes from his teacher(s)) it's not likely to change any time soon. That said, if he's "letting [you] off easy" it seems to beg the question as to how he came to be in the position to be able to do so.
THAT being said, I still think talking to him about it is the quickest way to getting it sorted out. Or discretely ask another sempai or the sensei from a pedogogical standpoint, why do it that way? ...Or, more to the point, why not do it the way you think it ought be done?

RED
08-16-2010, 11:36 PM
I'm not entirely sure how anyone in Aikido expects anyone in the Martial Arts world to take Aikido seriously, especially when there are Aikidoka who don't take Aikido seriously. If Aikidoka are not convinced in the practicality of Aikido, they can't expect anyone else to either.
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=32213

mathewjgano
08-17-2010, 01:00 AM
I'm not entirely sure how anyone in Aikido expects anyone in the Martial Arts world to take Aikido seriously, especially when there are Aikidoka who don't take Aikido seriously. If Aikidoka are not convinced in the practicality of Aikido, they can't expect anyone else to either.
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=32213
Not all Aikido is the same, and some versions are definately more "practical" than others for attaining any given goal. Bullshido loves to "playah-hate."

Shadowfax
08-17-2010, 06:41 AM
Matthew, Rob, Cherie:

This is the thing: asking a training partner to change something...I find it's an awkward situation to be in - especially when the other person is a dan grade, and i'm only 5th kyu: I don't want to come across as being a dick - especially when i'm pointing out that they're doing something wrong (Note: this is not referring to the present issue under discussion - it's other things).
The particular training partner I refer to: I know that he's letting me off easy, and I know why - he isn't injured; it's more like he thinks this is the way to treat me in order for me to improve - which did not, has not, and will not, happen.

Well don't put it as you are pointing out that he is doing something wrong. He's really not. I have never had a problem asking any training partner, including a dan grade, to adjust their attack for me. You just have to put in terms of," hey I'm trying to work on this aspect of training could you please give me a little more energy?"

That or I start attacking them with the amount of energy I want back. They tend to feed off of me and if I want a stronger attack I give them one, they rarely fail to just follow along. Of course this can backfire a bit because once they know you like to train hard you get it all the time and then you have to go the other way and slow them down when you need to work at a slower speed.

RED I'm not entirely sure how anyone in Aikido expects anyone in the Martial Arts world to take Aikido seriously, especially when there are Aikidoka who don't take Aikido seriously. If Aikidoka are not convinced in the practicality of Aikido, they can't expect anyone else to either.

I really don't care if other people in MA take aikido seriously or not. I take it seriously and that's good enough for me. Honestly it is such a waste of energy worrying about what other people think. What matters is what you get out of it. If you are not getting anything or not getting what you want then something needs to be adjusted in you, not in aikido.

jonreading
08-17-2010, 11:30 AM
1. I have never seen good aikido NOT work in a functional scenario.
2. I have never seen good aikido people NOT alter their interaction with uke to solicit a desired technique.

I believe classical aikido contains functional combat strategy and tactics. If you are training correctly, your aikido will demonstrate good strategy and tactics and those principles (and techniques) can be modified to accommodate more (or less) real situations. I think many of us choose to limit our exposure to that aikido because it makes us squimish (for personal reasons), we do not devote the necessary time or effort, or we are training in a dojo that cannot disseminate that education.

I believe good fighters are knowledgeable in the strategies and tactics of multiple combat disciplines, if not skilled in those arts specifically. Those fighters who understand combat strategy and the pressures of real combat have a significant advantage over those of us who do not... This is an elevation of martial arts training most of us will never experience.

I think "realistic" needs to carries an expectation that accompanies our "real" training ethics. One time at a seminar I was talking to a senior student and he made an off-hand comment about refusing to train with another student because he wore the same gi two classes in a row. I was a little un-nerved by the comment since I respected the student and said, "why, does he stink?" "Nope. That's the problem. I don't want to train with some one who isn't working up a sweat...tells me he [ain't] trying. I got patience if you try, but not if you don't."

For all of the little things we do to train...you can't hide who you are on the mat. Those who have trained long enough always seem to know who you really are. So if you are trying your best and your partner is not cooperating. Keep trying because eventually you will show who you are and he will show who he is. You just have to train until eventually comes.

Gorgeous George
08-17-2010, 07:15 PM
By "pseudo-receiving" do you mean that as uke he basically moves into the position he wants you be able to put him in? I remember doing something similar, but that was more as an aid toward learning the basic form. If you haven't done so already, I'd definately ask him what his take is on it.

Well certainly if it's his teaching method (which I presume comes from his teacher(s)) it's not likely to change any time soon. That said, if he's "letting [you] off easy" it seems to beg the question as to how he came to be in the position to be able to do so.
THAT being said, I still think talking to him about it is the quickest way to getting it sorted out. Or discretely ask another sempai or the sensei from a pedogogical standpoint, why do it that way? ...Or, more to the point, why not do it the way you think it ought be done?

Yeah: whereas with some other sempai I train with, who will stop me if my technique is too sloppy, and point out my flaw, he will not - he will respond as though therre is no flaw.
As I say: he's a nice guy, and i'm really thankful to him for so many things, but i'm serious about wanting to become good at aikido, and this training methodology is not conducive to my end.

I think you're right: i'll just have to ask if i'm doing it right...

RED
08-17-2010, 08:06 PM
Yeah: whereas with some other sempai I train with, who will stop me if my technique is too sloppy, and point out my flaw, he will not - he will respond as though therre is no flaw.
As I say: he's a nice guy, and i'm really thankful to him for so many things, but i'm serious about wanting to become good at aikido, and this training methodology is not conducive to my end.

I think you're right: i'll just have to ask if i'm doing it right...

Frankly, when you are working with some one of lower rank there is a lot of grace given. Typically most Sempai don't stop you and correct every little mistake. Most instructors and sempai in my experience are looking for a specific form, or movement or level of understanding from you, where you are. They forgive a lot of little mistakes for the sake of helping a student focus on an aspect of Aikido they consider important for that student. What an instructor or sempai considers important for you to know is completely subjective to where you are in your Aikido.

Example: I was working with a day one beginner yesterday on the mat. I forgave a lot of his muscling during an ikkyo, for the sake that I wanted him to focus on posture and positioning in regards to uke. Because I believed it to be more important at that level... fixing the muscling will be saved for another day.(many other days most likely)
While in contrast, I worked with another partner with the same technique who had a few months of practice under his belt where I did not ignore his muscling the ikkyo. ..however I ignored his bad posture, because I was more concerned with him learning to cut the ikkyo instead of grab it.
You pick your battles... eventually everything will be brushed upon in time, when the time is right, subjective to the student's ability to understand the principles, which is subjective to where they are at in Aikido.

Gorgeous George
08-17-2010, 09:29 PM
They forgive a lot of little mistakes for the sake of helping a student focus on an aspect of Aikido they consider important for that student. What an instructor or sempai considers important for you to know is completely subjective to where you are in your Aikido.

Yeah, I know what you're saying. But my frustration is that I was lacking a fundamental element of aikido, while the rest of my aikido had long since plateaued. Hence, there was nothing else being worked on, and I wasn't progressing - and I didn't know why.

I understand that there are those who do aikido who you know will never 'get it', but I am certainly not one of them - i'm very receptive to teaching - I just need to be told what to do, and i'll work my arse off on learning to do it - and am very dedicated to learning aikido. The reason why i've read so much on the subject is because if I can understand what i'm doing, it's method, purpose, etc., then I can learn to do it: the maxim 'Mind leads body' - which describes aikido's modus operandi - fits perfectly with how I function; i've always loved using both, and think I have a good connection between the two.

I don't know: perhaps it's just a difference of opinion as to the effectiveness of training methodologies - but I trained the same way for ages, making the same mistakes, and no matter how long I did that for, there was never going to be a time where I said 'Eureka! I've been training for long enough, I have made a breakthrough, and now I see how to do aikido.'.

phitruong
08-17-2010, 10:14 PM
I understand that there are those who do aikido who you know will never 'get it', but I am certainly not one of them - i'm very receptive to teaching - I just need to be told what to do, and i'll work my arse off on learning to do it - and am very dedicated to learning aikido. The reason why i've read so much on the subject is because if I can understand what i'm doing, it's method, purpose, etc., then I can learn to do it: the maxim 'Mind leads body' - which describes aikido's modus operandi - fits perfectly with how I function; i've always loved using both, and think I have a good connection between the two.


you got good connection between mind and body? you must be shihan level. hell, i would be lucky if i got my body to do 50% of what my mind want it to do. if you need to be told what to do all the times, wouldn't the Eureka moments come from those who told you what to do, since they have already figured it out? or in another word or many other words, eureka only happens through self-discovery, i.e. opposite of being told what to do? you know the meaning of shoshin?

personally, i put myself in the "not getting it" group. it's more fun there, than in the "getting it" group. we would partying, drinking, carousing, and be a nuisance on aikiweb and get kick off by Jun. :D

oh ya. to the original question: would very much prefer effectiveness to the extent that i would walking around with full faculty and the other buggers, not. ;) oh wait, aikido is about love and stuffs like that, right? damn! might need to take up under water basket weaving; at least i could use the basket to drown the bugger. wonder if i can wear my hakama underwater, because i feel naked without. :)

Gorgeous George
08-18-2010, 11:10 AM
you got good connection between mind and body? you must be shihan level. hell, i would be lucky if i got my body to do 50% of what my mind want it to do. if you need to be told what to do all the times, wouldn't the Eureka moments come from those who told you what to do, since they have already figured it out? or in another word or many other words, eureka only happens through self-discovery, i.e. opposite of being told what to do? you know the meaning of shoshin?

personally, i put myself in the "not getting it" group. it's more fun there, than in the "getting it" group. we would partying, drinking, carousing, and be a nuisance on aikiweb and get kick off by Jun. :D

oh ya. to the original question: would very much prefer effectiveness to the extent that i would walking around with full faculty and the other buggers, not. ;) oh wait, aikido is about love and stuffs like that, right? damn! might need to take up under water basket weaving; at least i could use the basket to drown the bugger. wonder if i can wear my hakama underwater, because i feel naked without. :)

Haha. If by '[I] think I have a good connection between the two [mind and body]' I intended the meaning that I am excellent at aikido, then yes: perhaps I would be asserting that I am 'shihan level'; however, as I have repeatedly said, and is the purpose of this thread: I don't see that as being the case. I see that I have the potential, and have put in the effort, but without what I think are due rewards.
Besides: aikido is also about co-ordination between your mind and body and somebody else's.
I hope that clears it up for you.

The point of teaching someone aikido is that you already possess the knowledge - hence, you've already had the 'eureka' moments. If I could discover aikido on my own - if we all could, and that was thus the way to discover it - then why attend classes? Why did anyone ever train with o'sensei? Or Gozo Shioda, Morihiro Saito, or any other teacher?
The purpose of a teacher in any discipline is to give the student the benefit of their insights, and help in attaining them for themselves.
I've been shown things by teachers which are examples of aikido, and experienced a massive realisation about what i'm striving for - as opposed to things which i've come up with myself, which are not.
As your argument implies: the teachers have had the 'eureka' moments, and they are trying to put their students on the path towards them.

'personally, i put myself in the "not getting it" group...'

Again: you've taken me to mean something that I do not; you should clarify things before attributing a position to someone.

RED
08-18-2010, 11:14 AM
Yeah, I know what you're saying. But my frustration is that I was lacking a fundamental element of aikido, while the rest of my aikido had long since plateaued. Hence, there was nothing else being worked on, and I wasn't progressing - and I didn't know why.

I understand that there are those who do aikido who you know will never 'get it', but I am certainly not one of them - i'm very receptive to teaching - I just need to be told what to do, and i'll work my arse off on learning to do it - and am very dedicated to learning aikido. The reason why i've read so much on the subject is because if I can understand what i'm doing, it's method, purpose, etc., then I can learn to do it: the maxim 'Mind leads body' - which describes aikido's modus operandi - fits perfectly with how I function; i've always loved using both, and think I have a good connection between the two.

I don't know: perhaps it's just a difference of opinion as to the effectiveness of training methodologies - but I trained the same way for ages, making the same mistakes, and no matter how long I did that for, there was never going to be a time where I said 'Eureka! I've been training for long enough, I have made a breakthrough, and now I see how to do aikido.'.

For me personally, and for a lot of people I know and have met, there are weird peeks in your Aikido where you are developing very quickly... which is always followed by an inevitable plateau period, where you aren't getting better in your own mind.
With that said, if there is something absolutely wrong with what you are doing, there should be some one more experienced than you to help point you in the right direction.
Yamada Sensei in an interview once refereed to students as blind men. You are trying to help lead them down a road. You don't bother telling the blind man about all the pitfalls on the road, it'll only freak him out,, you just help them get to point A to point B in a technique. Eventually the blind man will start to see and see the pitfalls for himself, and he'll be able to fall back on the direction his teacher gave him previously so he can navigate those pitfalls.

RED
08-18-2010, 11:22 AM
The point of teaching someone aikido is that you already possess the knowledge - hence, you've already had the 'eureka' moments. If

I view things a little differently. lol
I think the teacher's job is to posses the knowledge, so there I agree with you. However, I don't think he necessarily has any obligation to express to share that knowledge to his students.

The teacher is not the servant of the student. Therefore the teacher has no obligation to go out of his way to serve he student and give up information to anyone. I think a good teacher is responsive to a student that seeks the help of the teacher. When a student approaches a teacher with a sense of need and gratitude then that's when I think a teacher is most responsive to sharing their knowledge and experience.

The teacher's job is to know what they are doing, and the student's job is to sucker that information out of him.

Gorgeous George
08-18-2010, 12:09 PM
The teacher's job is to know what they are doing, and the student's job is to sucker that information out of him.

I've heard of this approach, yes: trying to 'steal the technique' of the teacher, etc.
But I think this perspective is ultimately trumped by the one that you need others to practice aikido with/on - and the better somebody is, the more effectively/powerfully you can practice; having a load of pupils who aren't very good doesn't aid you.
So I think you can possibly regard the most effective way for a teacher to be selfish as in this way, as it benefits them the most.

Gorgeous George
08-18-2010, 12:10 PM
With that said, if there is something absolutely wrong with what you are doing, there should be some one more experienced than you to help point you in the right direction.


....and that's exactly the situation i've been describing. :)

chillzATL
08-18-2010, 12:52 PM
The teacher's job is to know what they are doing, and the student's job is to sucker that information out of him.

nonsense.

phitruong
08-18-2010, 12:58 PM
I've been shown things by teachers which are examples of aikido, and experienced a massive realisation about what i'm striving for - as opposed to things which i've come up with myself, which are not.
As your argument implies: the teachers have had the 'eureka' moments, and they are trying to put their students on the path towards them.
.

my statement simply said that the teachers already had their moments. it's the student that needs those eureka things. in another word, the student needs to discover those things, often times, without teachers. in another another words, stop waiting to be fed and go find your own foods. an old asian saying that goes something along the line: the teacher responsible to show you 1, the student responsible to figure out 10.

i was chauffeuring Hiroshi Ikeda sensei at a recent seminar. the man analyzes and teaches himself constantly, not to mention learning from any sources that he can get his hands on. btw, his knowledge in coffee is quite extensive as well. btw btw, whoever been showing him systema stuffs, please stop it. his strike hurts like the mother of pain. :)

Walter Martindale
08-18-2010, 02:45 PM
The teacher's job is to know what they are doing, and the student's job is to sucker that information out of him.

OTOH, I recall a session with an elderly gent who was teaching Aikido who's idea (paraphrased) was - "I'm getting old, I'm not going to take this information with me, it's time to give it all away to my students."

Walter

Russ Q
08-18-2010, 04:19 PM
he teacher is not the servant of the student. Therefore the teacher has no obligation to go out of his way to serve he student and give up information to anyone. I think a good teacher is responsive to a student that seeks the help of the teacher. When a student approaches a teacher with a sense of need and gratitude then that's when I think a teacher is most responsive to sharing their knowledge and experience.

The teacher's job is to know what they are doing, and the student's job is to sucker that information out of him.

Wow! This is a very narrow cultural view of what it means to be a teacher, even within the equally narrow context of teaching martial arts and aikido in particular. Clearly this is how it's done in your dojo but I would posit that the teacher is as much a servant to their students as they are a leader and (for lack of a better term) authority figure. I know of one particular teacher who seeks out and collaberates with others to find new ways of imparting information to his students (and other interested folks) so they can "get it" without having to put in 30 - 35 yrs to be where that teacher is....this is dedication, selfless and epitomizes the idea/spirit of teaching martial arts. Making ones students "sucker" information out of you is, IMO, an outmoded teaching paradigm. Sorry for the thread drift but had to comment.

senshincenter
08-19-2010, 08:13 AM
Toward the original question:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=262696#post262696

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=263242#post263242

AndyE
08-19-2010, 12:20 PM
The article linked to above is excellent. I recently read an article by an aiki jujitsu sensei who said that at first jujitsu is taught and, when through hard physical effort dicipline has been learnt, aiki may be introduced. We are often in danger within aikido of looking to shortcut straight to aiki. This can't be valid unless we are better people than them or they are wrong. I don't believe they are, or that we are better. Martial effectiveness requires a different dicipline than sport and I belive it is necessary to achieve the same understanding of aiki that O'Sensei had.

Ryan Seznee
08-19-2010, 03:07 PM
Wow! This is a very narrow cultural view of what it means to be a teacher, even within the equally narrow context of teaching martial arts and aikido in particular. Clearly this is how it's done in your dojo but I would posit that the teacher is as much a servant to their students as they are a leader and (for lack of a better term) authority figure. I know of one particular teacher who seeks out and collaberates with others to find new ways of imparting information to his students (and other interested folks) so they can "get it" without having to put in 30 - 35 yrs to be where that teacher is....this is dedication, selfless and epitomizes the idea/spirit of teaching martial arts. Making ones students "sucker" information out of you is, IMO, an outmoded teaching paradigm. Sorry for the thread drift but had to comment.

I would think it is the responsibility of the student to take control of their education if we are talking about adults. Regardless of how good or poor the teacher is at teaching, it is the student's job to receive it. In larger classes you might not get any one on one time with a black belt, let alone an instructor, so one must actively seek out any desired knowledge, even if that must me done between classes, early or late to one. Your technique grows as fast as you let it in my experience.

Russ Q
08-19-2010, 03:11 PM
Hi Ryan,

Yes, I agree with everything you have said.

Cheers,

Russ

Janet Rosen
08-19-2010, 03:17 PM
I agree it is the responsibility of the adult student to oversee his own education - but this is not an excuse, ever, for just plain poor teaching (and I'm not implying anybody said it was) OR for staying in a teaching situation unsuited to one's own learning modes: Recognizing there are many models for teaching and pathways for learning, part of the responsibility includes selecting the instructor whose default mode best matches one's learning style.

RED
08-19-2010, 03:25 PM
My point is not that poor instruction is forgivable, I believe in the opposite. My point is that I've been seeing an odd trend of entitlement among students. People are so far caught into the Mcdojo mind set, that they believe they have the right to pay their money, receive a class, be rude to teachers, disrespectful to instructors, not listen to sempai, openly think poorly of their upper classmen and instructors, show little self motivation, etc etc...and then still expect that the teacher should just expel their knowledge upon the adult brats. In my opinion your money that you pay to the school is paid out of appreciation for the instruction you've received. I do not view it as a bartering: money traded for good and services. I believe you pay that money for the betterment of the school, and as a student you are obligated to maintain the upkeep of that school.

I wonder sometimes if this entitlement stems back from when we were in school. The law requires you to get an education, thus you can be as big of a bastard to your public school teacher as you please, as disrespectful, non-responsive and lazy as you please, and the teacher is legally obligated to still expel knowledge to you.

I don't think Aikido works this way. When you train under a high level instructor it is a privilege!

Russ Q
08-19-2010, 04:20 PM
Hi Maggie,

I also agree with everything you said in your last post. I believe there is a huge sense of entitlement among many in my generation and the following one.....These kinds of students tend to weed themselves out over time.

Janet...absolutely. Choosing the right teacher is the biggest responsibility of a new student. It is one thing that most folks coming to any learning situation aren't even aware of.....I wasn't when I started but I got lucky. When I tell prospective students to visit around and find the right teacher they tend to give me a "That's a weird thing to say...I just wanna learn aikido" kind of look.....

Cheers,

Russ

senshincenter
08-19-2010, 05:36 PM
My point is not that poor instruction is forgivable, I believe in the opposite. My point is that I've been seeing an odd trend of entitlement among students. People are so far caught into the Mcdojo mind set, that they believe they have the right to pay their money, receive a class, be rude to teachers, disrespectful to instructors, not listen to sempai, openly think poorly of their upper classmen and instructors, show little self motivation, etc etc...and then still expect that the teacher should just expel their knowledge upon the adult brats. In my opinion your money that you pay to the school is paid out of appreciation for the instruction you've received. I do not view it as a bartering: money traded for good and services. I believe you pay that money for the betterment of the school, and as a student you are obligated to maintain the upkeep of that school.

I wonder sometimes if this entitlement stems back from when we were in school. The law requires you to get an education, thus you can be as big of a bastard to your public school teacher as you please, as disrespectful, non-responsive and lazy as you please, and the teacher is legally obligated to still expel knowledge to you.

I don't think Aikido works this way. When you train under a high level instructor it is a privilege!

Well said. Thanks!

Janet Rosen
08-19-2010, 05:41 PM
Janet...absolutely. Choosing the right teacher is the biggest responsibility of a new student. It is one thing that most folks coming to any learning situation aren't even aware of.....I wasn't when I started but I got lucky.

Some folks get lucky first time out.... others don't (and perhaps blame the art or themselves, when it just might have been a bad match they were too new to see as such - I always wonder if this is an unrecognized and maybe unrecognizable reason for student turnover) .I think this is why the advice to visit as many dojo as possible before decided on one is so good - there is just no way for a third party to guess as to what thing about an instructor's style or presentation will resound a chord with a newbie, on a level far different from talking about lineage or affiliation.

Maarten De Queecker
08-30-2010, 05:23 PM
I find that in judo, jujitsu etc and truth be told I find that more in those arts than I do in Aikido. Harmonising and connecting with a co-operative uke is childs play. Harmonising and connecting with someone bigger than you when they're trying to flatten you is something else. That's more spiritual IMO because it equates more to the real world. Aikido is like living in a hippy commune; everyone gets on because everyone wants to get on; it's false and plastic.

Well, connecting with someone who's bigger and stronger and who's trying to flatten you can be done in aikido too, but it requires a level few people ever reach, because most people aren't even half as physically fit as a judoka or a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner.

On the other hand: I hardly know any judoka or JJ practioners who haven't at least once in their lives had a bone broken or joint dislocated, while most aikidoka seem to do just fine in that department.

Gorgeous George
08-30-2010, 07:17 PM
Thanks for the viewpoints/insights, everybody who provided one.
It's really helped me to develop my own view, and become capable of articulating it.

I guess what I was originally concerned with was how you can claim that what you're doing is aikido if you aren't actually harmonising with someone - but instead, uke pretends as though you are.

James Wyatt
09-01-2010, 03:15 PM
To each their own.

Some prefer the emphasis on martial and some prefer the emphasis on art.

I believe martial comes first and the art will follow.

James

Kevin Leavitt
09-02-2010, 02:49 AM
Harmonizing be implemented in many ways. I have a wide definition of what it can be. However, in all cases it requires understanding the situation at the authentic level as much as possible and responding with an appropriate response, attack or whatever.

IMO, it does not have to be fundamentally applied the same way all the time and IMO it does not mean "blending" as is typically seen alot in Aikido.

Also, in all situations, there is applications and the art. You can't have one without the other.

Their is the "Art of War" which in my opinion and what I am currently involved in at the moment is much more important than any tactical application. In fact the tactics should follow the "ART" or strategy.

the Art is very important if you ask me.

WilliB
09-02-2010, 03:16 AM
I know what you're saying, I understand it, and that's how I see it, too; i'm not an idiot.
Speaking with him afterwards, he said he'd been training for quite a while, and he was either a blue, or red, belt, if memory serves...not that I know what any of the colours signify.
I could tell from training with him that he wasn't such a beginner.

Out of curiousity: What is a blue or red belt?

Gorgeous George
09-02-2010, 04:21 AM
Out of curiousity: What is a blue or red belt?

It is a belt that it is either blue, or red, in colour.

If you're wondering what the colour signifies - in terms of rank: I haven't the foggiest; as far as I know, no significant aikido organisations have them for grown-ups.

WilliB
09-02-2010, 07:14 AM
It is a belt that it is either blue, or red, in colour..

You don't say!

If you're wondering what the colour signifies - in terms of rank: I haven't the foggiest; as far as I know, no significant aikido organisations have them for grown-ups.

That is why I asked. I wondered what kyu they represent.

Gorgeous George
09-02-2010, 07:35 AM
You don't say!

That is why I asked. I wondered what kyu they represent.

Hahaha. I was tempted to describe what a belt is too - but I didn't want to take the piss too much. :-)

Aparently there's some difference of meaning depending on which organisation you look at:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1912

Some people in there say that coloured belts in aikido originated in the UK, derived from either judo, or karate - which is interesting.

Carsten Möllering
09-02-2010, 07:45 AM
edit: sorry, was too slow

Out of curiousity: What is a blue or red belt?
The kyu in aikido are sometimes also refered to by using the judo grading system:

5th kyu = yellow
4th kyu = orange
3th kyu = green
2th kyu = blue
1st kyu = brown
1st dan = black

And there actually are few organisations in which coloured obi are worn.

Some organisations also have a 6th kyu tested.This is the red belt. One example. (http://www.happyaikido.com/syllabus.php?aka=0)
In other systems the red belt is worn by 9th or 10th dan.

Carsten

gheelengooi
09-08-2010, 12:40 AM
No martial art is effective to start with if you think that way. You can learn 1 million ways of self-defense and still got killed or your ass kicked in a real fight.

If you want a self-defense art to be effective, be it aikido or karate or whatsoever, there's only one thing you need: awareness.

This is the hardest to attain. The more you train, the calmer your spirit become, the more relaxed your body becomes, the more your mind is in the state of no-mind, thus the more attuned your awareness is to the moment of now in a fight. Only in that, then any movement of your opponent would result in you able to avoid relaxingly and strike him or off-balance him or whatsoever at the right moment without thinking and tensing up your muscles.

And this takes years and years and years of practice. Align your mind and body during practice. When you can do that, start going no-mind. When you attain that during practice, try to attain that state during daily life too. In the end, you will always be in a state of no-mind and absolute awareness, thus any sudden attack by anyone on the street would be easily avoided by you. I believe, this is the real part of training of every single martial art on this earth.

There's nothing superior or inferior or effective and ineffective. It's all about you going beyond your mind and become totally aware and calm and relax, after all.

Aikibu
09-09-2010, 03:06 PM
No martial art is effective to start with if you think that way. You can learn 1 million ways of self-defense and still got killed or your ass kicked in a real fight.

If you want a self-defense art to be effective, be it aikido or karate or whatsoever, there's only one thing you need: awareness.

This is the hardest to attain. The more you train, the calmer your spirit become, the more relaxed your body becomes, the more your mind is in the state of no-mind, thus the more attuned your awareness is to the moment of now in a fight. Only in that, then any movement of your opponent would result in you able to avoid relaxingly and strike him or off-balance him or whatsoever at the right moment without thinking and tensing up your muscles.

And this takes years and years and years of practice. Align your mind and body during practice. When you can do that, start going no-mind. When you attain that during practice, try to attain that state during daily life too. In the end, you will always be in a state of no-mind and absolute awareness, thus any sudden attack by anyone on the street would be easily avoided by you. I believe, this is the real part of training of every single martial art on this earth.

There's nothing superior or inferior or effective and ineffective. It's all about you going beyond your mind and become totally aware and calm and relax, after all.

Thank God there are allot of old school folks still around who think this way. Good Post. :)

Hellis
09-09-2010, 05:01 PM
edit: sorry, was too slow

The kyu in aikido are sometimes also refered to by using the judo grading system:

5th kyu = yellow
4th kyu = orange
3th kyu = green
2th kyu = blue
1st kyu = brown
1st dan = black

And there actually are few organisations in which coloured obi are worn.

Some organisations also have a 6th kyu tested.This is the red belt. One example. (http://www.happyaikido.com/syllabus.php?aka=0)
In other systems the red belt is worn by 9th or 10th dan.

Carsten

We the ESTA still use this traditional system of grading, both in the UK and USA. When Kenshiro Abbe Sensei introduced Aikido to the UK in 1955 the same coloured belt system of grading applied to both Judo and Aikido. In those early days " every " dojo for Aikido used this system. It was a good system, still is, I see no reason for change. Children were graded in the ``mon `` system of coloured stripes, a 5th Kyu ( yellow ) would gain 4 orange stripes before receiving a full 4th Kyu ( orange ) , this system allowed children to progress slowly and enjoy being children, there were no 6 year old dan grades.
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei being 8th dan would wear a red and white belt.
Henry Ellis
http://kenshiroabbe.blogspot.com/

EzD
09-13-2010, 04:46 PM
To each their own.

Some prefer the emphasis on martial and some prefer the emphasis on art.

I believe martial comes first and the art will follow.

James

I couldn't have stated this any better and, IMHO, simply to the point as James did. It is a beautiful thing to see someone with a total command of the techniques, moving about a flurry of attacks, with little to no hiccups in the process...

shakou
09-14-2010, 07:59 AM
I couldn't have stated this any better and, IMHO, simply to the point as James did. It is a beautiful thing to see someone with a total command of the techniques, moving about a flurry of attacks, with little to no hiccups in the process...

I generally just lurk but this is my thought exactly. Aiki can be nice and flaoty if that's what you want however, I prefer to learn the martial side and bring the art in gradually. It is good for gradings and such but I believe in the practical application a great deal. So much so that I am starting to think that our school is more of an aiki-jujutsu class before it is an ai-ki-do class

:edit to add, I meant to reply to the quoted quote...!

shakou
09-14-2010, 08:40 AM
It is a belt that it is either blue, or red, in colour.

If you're wondering what the colour signifies - in terms of rank: I haven't the foggiest; as far as I know, no significant aikido organisations have them for grown-ups.

As lots of people say, belts are only good to hold your trousers up..... However, just about any course I've been on in the past was with people who all went through a coloured belt grading system. We all get our grades stamped in the book so the colours are pretty superflouous but I think on a personal level some people, myself included, just need a visual reminder of our progress. ( I have a lovely blue belt)

AmyRochester
10-13-2010, 11:09 PM
As lots of people say, belts are only good to hold your trousers up..... However, just about any course I've been on in the past was with people who all went through a coloured belt grading system. We all get our grades stamped in the book so the colours are pretty superflouous but I think on a personal level some people, myself included, just need a visual reminder of our progress. ( I have a lovely blue belt)

Visual remind is great for me. Most of the martial arts Ive taken have some sort of grading or level of progress. (belts)

Randall Lim
10-22-2010, 03:54 AM
...to Practice Aikido?

I recently went to a 'ki aikido' class, and after being told by the guy trying to apply ikkyo to me 'Feel free to go down...' because I was still standing, and he couldn't lead me down, I said 'I'll go down when you make me.'.
There was a dan grade practicing with us, and she just completely dismissed me with a patronising and cutting tone, saying 'We don't like to hurt each other here.'.
I thought that the point of aikido was that you should be able to apply these techniques, and that you should do so with little/no pain - certainly in the case of ikkyo, anyway?

My own view is that if you can be thrown quite hard/quickly, and effectively receive, so that you aren't harmed, then you are good at aikido - i.e., you are receiving/harmonizing with a lot of energy.
So too with stuff like nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo - doing them (viz., having them applied) quite 'strong' will open up and stretch your joints etc., and allow blood, antibodies, ki, what have you, to circulate.
Hence, if you eschew practicing this way, then you will never be as pliable, filled with ki/energy, receptive to ki/energy, etc., as you can be.

In terms of the practice of aikido as a martial art, and using it to hurt people, my own understanding is that o'sensei's conception of budo was that it is a means of preventing greater harm: it is not a means of killing others, but of protecting others; that is, you might have to restrain, or even kill somebody, for instance - but you do it for the good of society - to protect the innocent, etc.
It's all well and good not wanting to hurt people, as these 'ki aikido' people seemed to really believe in, but perhaps sometimes it is necessary, and justified.

What's your opinion on this?

As far as genuine Aikido is concern, Spirituality & philosophy always come first. Mental & Character Development come second. Martial effectiveness should never be the emphasis.

Aikido is philosophy in motion. It is spirituality in motion. Physical techniques are just an outward expression or manifestation of the philosophy of harmony & love. Aikido is much more a Martial Way then a Martial Art.

If you wish to learn a practically effective Fighting Art, go learn
Jujitsu, Aiki-jujitsu, or other Japanese Arts with "Jitsu" behind its name.

The Aikido beginner always begins his journey with physical techniques. It will take him at least 10 years of regular training to find it effective in actual combat. It will take him at least 20 years to discover, understand & appreciate to philosophical & spiritual aspect of Aikido.

But if you were to ask me to lay out the importance of the following components in terms of estimated percentages, I would say:

(1) Spiritual & Philosophical Development (50%)

(2) Mental & Character Development (30%)

(3) Combative Development (20%)