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Mark Gibbons
02-04-2011, 07:50 PM
Thinking back over the times I've been involved in serious wrist grabbing I was wondering if aikido folks are really ready to have someone grab their wrists with serious intent.

The few times I've seen wrists grabbed in ernest the main idea was to block a punch, stop the attacker from hitting someone and then use the wrist grab to hurt the attacker, swinging the attacker into railings, walls, stairs, other attackers or moving into some sort of lock.

Notice that the attacker is the one being grabbed and the person grabbing is the one throwing or locking. That's just a bit different from what I've seen practiced at the dozen or so dojos I've hung around at. It is common however in places I've trained at that nage is the aggressor. It's just that defenders in real life, my personal experience, are a lot more proactive about doing something than aikido ukes,

I think the joke about what we can do to someone that grabs a wrist is really just a joke. Try something and most people will just let go.
Someone that come out of the blue grabs your arm and swings you into a wall. I haven't seen anything like that trained for.

Just something I've been ruminating about.
Mark

sisley
02-04-2011, 08:15 PM
It's great that you are thinking about such things. Perhaps, with time, you'll understand more deeply, so don't give up now. In the meantime, here are a couple words of advice.

First, a lot of the training that we do from a wrist grab is to help us feel the connection better. It's not always about the technique.

Second, and perhaps more meaningfully, your teacher can probably show you what would happen to Uke if he releases his grab. Usually, there is a reason Uke wants to hold on (because something worse might happen if Uke releases). Your teacher should be able to show you this if you ask. If he can't, it doesn't mean that it's not there.

Keep training. Aikido isn't always as clear as we'd like it to be. It reveals itself slowly.

Insane Duane
02-04-2011, 10:29 PM
Excellent questions/comments. Basic waza can seem useless at times but there is a method to the madness. Eventually I started to see various ways to apply techniques from non-standard grabs. Sankyo is sankyo regardless of the initial attack. Nikyo is nikyo even if the uke is not grabbing my wrist or chest. They are tools for my tool belt. I did find it amazing that if I put my wrist into someones hand they would grab it on instinct.

I guess my point is that it took a long time (many years) for me to move past the A,B,C method and start to flow. Now I can "set people up" like a chess game. Also, there is so much more to Aikido than wrist locks. Not getting (significantly) hit is a skill I learned.

But back to your topic, some aikido dojo's do practice "magic" aikido. You know, the kind stuff that is not realistic and will make the aikidoka useless in a fight due to unrealistic expectations. I remember visiting another dojo several years ago and the sensei pointedly told me to "watch out, she's a brown belt" (I was a 4th kyu at the time) so I thought she would be a good partner to train with. It was tenshin nage time so I grabbed both her wrists. Instead of having my balance taken I got a pair of deer eyes looking at a bright light. She couldn't budge me. So I told her I was going to drag her to some bushes and started to pull her towards the edge of the mat. I then asked her what she was going to do about it and she finally tried to kick me. That was when I let her go and just started going through the motions. The point was proven; this dojo did NOT teach self defense aikido. They just went through the motions and congratulated each other on how well they where doing. Essentially it was one big ego stroke job with no practical value in regards to self defense. Other dojo's where the opposite and trained with their game faces on. Serious about defending them selves.

So to sum up my long rambling post: Each dojo is different. Aikido is aikido but the methodology can vary greatly. Also, learning the principle of a technique and using the technique will also vary greatly.

philipsmith
02-05-2011, 12:55 PM
I agree it's not trained enough look at about 57 seconds in for gripping with intent:

http://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedKingdomAikikai#p/u/3/5mfMV80Pd20

Mark Gibbons
02-05-2011, 05:03 PM
Thanks for the video. I got the impression that was a reversal though that was probably not what the rest of the room was going to be practicing.

Jeremy Hulley
02-05-2011, 05:13 PM
Hey Mark,
In some yoseikan the nage grabs the uke after being grabbed..

Jeremy

ChrisHein
02-05-2011, 05:49 PM
If someone doesn't really grab my wrist, I'll stab or club them. If they do grab my wrist with serious intent, Aikido teaches lot's of mechanically sound ways to make them let go. If they still don't let go, I'll put my weapon in the other hand. If all of this doesn't work, I have a last ditch chance with a throwing technique. If this doesn't work, I got into a fight with the wrong person, I should have had better Aiki.

jonreading
02-08-2011, 11:06 AM
Somehow, katatedori has become the attack in aikido. I think the purpose of katatedori is to connect to your partner and use that connection to faciliate your attack (a punch, kick, throw, lock, stab, cut etc.).

Initially, we learned this connective attack and said, "don't worry about the rest," implying a focus on the connection and not the followthrough attack. Now we have reached a point where many of us didn't worry about it for so long we forgot what was it's purpose.

If my partner does not establish and maintain a connective state [using katatedori], it is fair for me to establish that connection for her (this may mean atemi). Sometimes we become overly focused on the vehicle of connection and not the connection itself.

I think when we become overly focused on the venue of connection, we become vulnerable to the fragility of the connection. If my focus remains on the katatedori attack, then I am at risk to lose that connection when uke breaks the grip. If I remain focused on the connection to my partners center, then I only risk the venue through which I am connected to my partner.

As for the grabbing attack... there is a limit to the martial application of grabbing without a secondary attack. There needs to be a then what after someone grabs you which I also believe is lacking in aikido. That makes for a longer conversation on what a "strong grab" means... For example, I would rather have a strong grab from an aikido person any day over a strong grab from a judo person...

phitruong
02-08-2011, 11:32 AM
for me, when folks grab my wrist, my reaction is "great! i am not trapped. you just trapped yourself. i now know exactly where you are even with my eyes close." sometimes, grabbing is a flinch respond, like poke something at a guy crotch.

George S. Ledyard
02-08-2011, 12:17 PM
Thinking back over the times I've been involved in serious wrist grabbing I was wondering if aikido folks are really ready to have someone grab their wrists with serious intent.



The question is, what is meant by serious intent. Are we talking about grabbing with the intent to restrain? Or are we talking about grabbing with the intention to off balance, neutralize any defense and deliver a secondary attack?

The first choice is basically what you'd find in a non-martial confrontation. Women get grabbed and restrained by someone assaulting them. Police grab and restrain resistant subjects.

The second option is the one which one would find in a martial context in which the confrontation was between trained individuals. Grabbing is a way to take a weapon, it is a way to place an opponent on his edge while striking him when he can't effectively defend, it can be a way to break his balance completely and take him to the ground, normally followed by a strike, kick, or potentially moving to grappling range.

The big issue with Aikido is that the vast majority of folks practice grabbing as the first option, which has little or nothing to do with how grabs function in a martial encounter. The first thing anyone from outside Aikido comments on when they see Aikido is that no one attacks like that.

Katatetori and all other grabs in Aikido should be trained from day one as balance breaks, not restraints of movement. If you can't take the guys center with the grab, or use the grab to defend against his strike with the off-hand, your are not grabbing effectively. If you are turning your partner's hand purple, you are putting your energy in the wrong place. I would especially like to see expunged the idea that a committed attack is one in which you push the nage;s arm into his body. I don't know who thought that was good attack but it invariably puts your face right where my atemi can hit it easily. It's just bad martial arts. Only Aikido people will try to deal with that with some cool movement. Everyone else will simply hit you with the other hand.

When people understand how to use the grab as a way to effect nage's center, then we can agree that uke doesn't actually do the balance break so that nage can practice his techniques. Later, nage needs to be able to do his technique even if uke is trying to break his balance at the instant of contact.

lbb
02-08-2011, 01:04 PM
The question is, what is meant by serious intent. Are we talking about grabbing with the intent to restrain? Or are we talking about grabbing with the intention to off balance, neutralize any defense and deliver a secondary attack?

It means that whatever your intention is, you'd better not smile or laugh.

(Seriously, this is a good point. Knowing that someone has a "serious intent" doesn't tell you much, unless you know what they seriously intend to do.)

Mark Gibbons
02-08-2011, 01:34 PM
The few times I've seen wrists grabbed in ernest the main idea was to block a punch, stop the attacker from hitting someone and then use the wrist grab to hurt the attacker, swinging the attacker into railings, walls, stairs, other attackers or moving into some sort of lock.



I meant serious to resemble my original comments given above. I summarized a couple of past actual violent incidents. One 3 vs 1 mugging and a 2 vs 2 pre mugging. The victims were the ones grabbing and I'm sorry that wasn't clearer. I was trying to point out that the casual idea of the person doing the grabbing being the attacker really didn't make sense.

Ledyard Sensei did a better job of explaining the martial part. From a self defense standpoint unbalancing someone and flinging them into a heap can generate time to get away or to take other appropriate action.

Mark

phitruong
02-08-2011, 01:49 PM
It means that whatever your intention is, you'd better not smile or laugh.


what about grabbing while crying, sobbing? would that be serious intention? or grabbing while dropping on one knee while the other hand holding out a ring of some sort, would that be serious intention as well? :)

Pauliina Lievonen
02-08-2011, 03:33 PM
or grabbing while dropping on one knee while the other hand holding out a ring of some sort, would that be serious intention as well? :)It better be serious intention unless your running-away-from-angry-dad-fu is powerful. Or even worse, the angry-bride-not-to-be...:D

kvaak!
Pauliina

ChrisHein
02-08-2011, 06:02 PM
The obvious importance of the wrist grab continues to stare us in the face, yet we don't get it. We'd rather think about boxing, or wrestling or some other, much less useful skill-set than what we are learning in Aikido.

It doesn't matter what they want to do after they grab your wrist, the wrist grab is the problem. You don't have to worry about what the guy grabbing your wrist is doing, you have to worry about what his friends will do to you while you are indisposed.

The wrist grab is done to keep you from using your weapon, full stop. Everything in the Aikido syllabus is secondary to dealing with this kind of threat. It is the impetus for our leading and blending skills, and what creates the motion necessary for Aiki. It is much more dangerous to have someone hold your weapon hand than it is for them to try and headlock you, or punch you in the belly. Wrist grabs are a real threat. It's time for us to get this already.

DH
02-08-2011, 08:43 PM
Completely neutralizing a wrist grab requires no physical shifting of body mass at all and they do all the work.
It is simply nothing that should be even a consideration, there are more important things to worry about.
Chests
Dan

Chris Li
02-08-2011, 09:44 PM
Completely neutralizing a wrist grab requires no physical shifting of body mass at all and they do all the work.
It is simply nothing that should be even a consideration, there are more important things to worry about.
Chests
Dan

That's for sure (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w22_64mOsNY)! :)

Best,

Chris

terry johnson
02-08-2011, 10:38 PM
Always remember...first throw the mind!!

phitruong
02-09-2011, 06:02 AM
Always remember...first throw the mind!!

after you threw the mind, wouldn't that leave you mindless? :D

Mary Eastland
02-09-2011, 12:18 PM
One time Dora and I were teaching a beginners class. This middle aged gentleman questioned every thing we said and really didn't believe anything we told him until...
he grabbed my wrist really hard, I was extending ki and he bounced off and fell very hard... surprising us all.
So it worked that time. :)
Mary

Dan Rubin
02-10-2011, 11:17 AM
It is much more dangerous to have someone hold your weapon hand than it is for them to try and headlock you, or punch you in the belly.

So should we train primarily for grabs of our right wrists? In randori, should uke concentrate on grabbing nage's right wrist (unless uke knows nage to be left-handed, not an issue for samurai)?

I'm not trying to be a jerk (I can do that without trying). I'm trying to find some consistency in the many opinions I've read about wrist grabs, and aikido in general.

ChrisHein
02-11-2011, 12:05 AM
So should we train primarily for grabs of our right wrists? In randori, should uke concentrate on grabbing nage's right wrist (unless uke knows nage to be left-handed, not an issue for samurai)?

I'm not trying to be a jerk (I can do that without trying). I'm trying to find some consistency in the many opinions I've read about wrist grabs, and aikido in general.

You should grab the hand with the weapon in it or that is drawing the weapon, weather that be right or left. But Aikido is taught mostly from the perspective of being the guy with the weapon. So keeping your weapon hand free is a matter of importance.

DH
02-11-2011, 12:06 AM
So should we train primarily for grabs of our right wrists? In randori, should uke concentrate on grabbing nage's right wrist (unless uke knows nage to be left-handed, not an issue for samurai)?

I'm not trying to be a jerk (I can do that without trying). I'm trying to find some consistency in the many opinions I've read about wrist grabs, and aikido in general.
Aikido is not a weapons based art. I suppose if you want to train with some weapon or other, or do versions of sword that are modern recreations...well..okay Its still a modern art that has nothing to do with Samuria arts. no matter what some people want to do to reinvent it as such.
Weapon hand or no, who cares either way. Getting out of a grabbed wrist (without moving the body) should be a non-discussion.
just say'n
Dan

Michael Varin
02-11-2011, 01:04 AM
Aikido is not a weapons based art.
Hmm? Care to elaborate?

While not purely a "weapons art," without any understanding of the sword, jo, and tanto one cannot fully grasp aikido.

And I would say that it is nearly irrefutable that the art is based on the sword.

Morihiro Saito briefly discusses these relationships at the beginning of Traditional Aikido, Vol. 1.

"Aikido is known by its taijutsu techniques. However, the taijutsu movements are based on movements of the ken." (p. 18)

"… in aikido a contest means a fight with a real sword." (p. 19)

lbb
02-11-2011, 06:29 AM
The antecedents of aikido and their relationship to weapons styles is an interesting subject, but I think it's a bit of a digression from this discussion of the wrist grab. If the purpose of the wrist grab, as stated above, is to control the "weapon hand"...well, then it kind of matters if there's an actual weapon in it, doesn't it? Nowadays that's much less likely to be the case. So, we're back to the question of what "with intent" means. What's your intention? To stab me with an imaginary knife? Those knives, I'm not so worried about.

MM
02-11-2011, 07:12 AM
Hmm? Care to elaborate?

While not purely a "weapons art," without any understanding of the sword, jo, and tanto one cannot fully grasp aikido.

And I would say that it is nearly irrefutable that the art is based on the sword.

Morihiro Saito briefly discusses these relationships at the beginning of Traditional Aikido, Vol. 1.

"Aikido is known by its taijutsu techniques. However, the taijutsu movements are based on movements of the ken." (p. 18)

"… in aikido a contest means a fight with a real sword." (p. 19)

It's not irrefutable. I have tons of quotes but people say I post them too much. :) So, let me break things down just a bit.

First: tanto. It would be extremely hard to prove Ueshiba's aikido was based upon tanto usage. In fact, it's very hard to find where Ueshiba practiced with a tanto.

Second: Jo. It's also hard to prove Ueshiba's aikido was based upon "jo" usage. There is very little correlation that Ueshiba was using a "jo". For quite a few demonstrations, he used a short staff that was sharpened on one end, like a short spear and not a jo. It's also mentioned often that Ueshiba trained with a spear, not a jo. Finally, in regards to the actual usage of the jo, Ueshiba wields it with spiritual ideology driven by his aiki body, not by any martial jutsu. There is no correlation between Ueshiba's using a "jo" and any other jojutsu or jodo.

Third: Bokken/sword. There are far too many references of students having to go outside to learn how to use the sword. There are references of Ueshiba stating he didn't want weapons taught at hombu. Saito was an exception. There are references in pre-war where students had to learn on their own how to use the sword.

There are koryu that are weapons based arts. The Filipino martial arts are a weapons based art. Aikido is not. What was it Ueshiba was famous for saying when talking about sword work? He would say something like, you would do it (the sword kata/form/whatever) this way with aiki.

DH
02-11-2011, 07:22 AM
Hmm? Care to elaborate?

While not purely a "weapons art," without any understanding of the sword, jo, and tanto one cannot fully grasp aikido.

And I would say that it is nearly irrefutable that the art is based on the sword.

Morihiro Saito briefly discusses these relationships at the beginning of Traditional Aikido, Vol. 1.

"Aikido is known by its taijutsu techniques. However, the taijutsu movements are based on movements of the ken." (p. 18)

"… in aikido a contest means a fight with a real sword." (p. 19)
I know of no one in Japanese Koryu who ever considered Aikido a weapons based art. Instead of arguing with me you might want to consider a meeting of shihan that took place (Peter Goldsbury documented it somewhere here on Aikiweb). The meeting was regarding the subject of whether or not they should be demonstrating Weapons. One of the shihans stood up and said something along the lines of "We have to stop demonstrating sword. The audience is too educated and they are laughing at us."

It has pretty much been agreed that
1. Aikido demonstrates aikido movement using a weapon to demonstrate aikido movement
2. They do not use classical weapons theory (Samurai arts) to create Aikido movement
Those are two statements are very different things, and the movement expressed therein to wildly different undertakings.
Trouble arises when aikido people are not told this upfront and believe their art is based on weapons.
it is best to rise above individual statements and look to pedigree in the art itself and in it's place in the Samurai arts of Japan that modern adepts seem to want to compare it to. If that is your wish then do so with due diligence and rigor.
I can assure you in light of the full spectrum of what Japanese Samurai arts actually are, and Aikido's rather remarkable absence from being counted among them, that our opinions here do not matter at all..
Cheers
Dan

Mark Gibbons
02-11-2011, 10:01 AM
The antecedents of aikido and their relationship to weapons styles is an interesting subject, but I think it's a bit of a digression from this discussion of the wrist grab. If the purpose of the wrist grab, as stated above, is to control the "weapon hand"...well, then it kind of matters if there's an actual weapon in it, doesn't it? Nowadays that's much less likely to be the case. So, we're back to the question of what "with intent" means. What's your intention? To stab me with an imaginary knife? Those knives, I'm not so worried about.

OP here. The purpose of the grabs that I was talking about was to stop someone from punching me. Was I sure if they didn't have a knife, no. After getting the arm the serious intent was to stop them from doing anything further by using them as a weapon and hurling them into objects.

Most muggers I've entertained can't punch worth a damn. Grabbing their arm and throwing them was an untrained, but effective response.

I was interested in that the usual roles of nage and uke are pretty well jumbled. The attacker really looks like they have the nage role here as far as using aikido goes.

Mark

ChrisHein
02-11-2011, 10:15 AM
well, then it kind of matters if there's an actual weapon in it, doesn't it?

Yes it matters.

Nowadays that's much less likely to be the case.

Hold the presses, have people stopped using weapons?

So, we're back to the question of what "with intent" means. What's your intention? To stab me with an imaginary knife? Those knives, I'm not so worried about.

The person doing Aikido is the one with the weapon.

ChrisHein
02-11-2011, 10:18 AM
It's not irrefutable. I have tons of quotes but people say I post them too much. :) So, let me break things down just a bit.

First: tanto. It would be extremely hard to prove Ueshiba's aikido was based upon tanto usage. In fact, it's very hard to find where Ueshiba practiced with a tanto.

Second: Jo. It's also hard to prove Ueshiba's aikido was based upon "jo" usage. There is very little correlation that Ueshiba was using a "jo". For quite a few demonstrations, he used a short staff that was sharpened on one end, like a short spear and not a jo. It's also mentioned often that Ueshiba trained with a spear, not a jo. Finally, in regards to the actual usage of the jo, Ueshiba wields it with spiritual ideology driven by his aiki body, not by any martial jutsu. There is no correlation between Ueshiba's using a "jo" and any other jojutsu or jodo.

Third: Bokken/sword. There are far too many references of students having to go outside to learn how to use the sword. There are references of Ueshiba stating he didn't want weapons taught at hombu. Saito was an exception. There are references in pre-war where students had to learn on their own how to use the sword.

There are koryu that are weapons based arts. The Filipino martial arts are a weapons based art. Aikido is not. What was it Ueshiba was famous for saying when talking about sword work? He would say something like, you would do it (the sword kata/form/whatever) this way with aiki.

Mark,
Jujutsu is based around the use of small weapons. Jujutsu is not an unarmed system. Don't confuse a weapon system (sword knife, stick etc) with a weapon based system. The answers found in Aikido techniques are based around you having a weapon.

ChrisHein
02-11-2011, 10:40 AM
. One of the shihans stood up and said something along the lines of "We have to stop demonstrating sword. The audience is too educated and they are laughing at us."


This is sad, but has to do more with the politics of Aikido, and people caring about how they look to others. Irrelevant to our discussion.


It has pretty much been agreed that
1. Aikido demonstrates aikido movement using a weapon to demonstrate aikido movement
I see this as a reasonable conclusion, however that doesn't change the fact that all of the techniques found in Aikido's syllabus were designed to deal with weapons confrontation.


2. They do not use classical weapons theory (Samurai arts) to create Aikido movement


Who is they, the Shihan? Wy is "Samurai arts" in parentheses? What do you mean by "create Aikido movment"?



Trouble arises when aikido people are not told this upfront and believe their art is based on weapons.

This is not the trouble. the trouble is that people hear this and then think they are going to get into a boxing match and win with Aikido. Or people don't understand when they are "told upfornt" that Aikido is based around weapons work and yet still believe it has some application in an MMA match. Or when people ignore the foundation of Aikido techniques, and believe that they can defeat the local wrestling club using a system (Aikido) that was not designed for wrestling.


it is best to rise above individual statements and look to pedigree

This is an elitist statement. I resent it on a personal level, but as an argument I only understand it's significance from the stand point of one who does not question. You yourself have said many times how you didn't listen to people who've told you things abou the internal martial arts, or Daito ryu etc. I don't know why you of all people would make this statement.


I can assure you in light of the full spectrum of what Japanese Samurai arts actually are, and Aikido's rather remarkable absence from being counted among them,

Aikido is a modern martial art, the Samurai are dead, no one is saying that we should be Samurai, or that Aikido teaches us to be Samurai; or at least I'm not saying that. I'm much more interestd in modern martial arts.

However this still does not change the fact that the techniques found in Aikido came from a weapons based, particularly blade based culture. These techniques (which date back before Ueshiba) were designed around weapons use. The weapon you are using today, doesn't have to be a sword, to could be a knife, asp baton, broken bottle, firearm, taser etc. Remaining free to use your weapon hand is the goal in Aikido technique, that's why we train against a wrist grab; it's really very simple.

DH
02-11-2011, 10:46 AM
Mark,
Jujutsu is based around the use of small weapons. Jujutsu is not an unarmed system.
Not all jujutsu is based on the use of small weapons anymore than all Koryu are battlefield systems.

Don't confuse a weapon system (sword knife, stick etc) with a weapon based system. The answers found in Aikido techniques are based around you having a weapon.
The statement that aikido is all based on weapons. is about as illogical as saying that Yaygu Shinkage ryu is all based on empty hand work.
Just cause ya think its so...doesn't make it so.
Dan

DH
02-11-2011, 11:33 AM
Chris
My comments were not elitist. it is sometimes difficult-if not impossible to have a discussion of an art when we base it all on our own interpretations and practices as validation for anything you like..

You can dismiss those Japanese Shihans professional assessments and their recognition of their Koryu colleague's educated assessments of Aikido's use of weapons and resultant movements as elitism and politics as you like. While convenient, I think it is a distinct error to do so.

The use of aikido movement now with a sword in your hand has no relevance whatsoever to do with actual weapons based systems- to include in how it affects body movement,

You obviously think that all of the aikido techniques are designed to deal with weapons ...
I think that is incredibly misguided
So there ya go. Which is why I was pointing to other sources.

Then again I have met an amazing array of Aikido-ka who are convinced you can take a sword out of swordmans hands as well.
Thank goodness they practice with bokuto.

Again.
Just cause ya think its so...doesn't make it so.
Dan

DH
02-11-2011, 12:04 PM
Edit time ran out

Dan said:
it is best to rise above individual statements and look to pedigree

Chris said:
This is an elitist statement. I resent it on a personal level, but as an argument I only understand it's significance from the stand point of one who does not question. You yourself have said many times how you didn't listen to people who've told you things abou the internal martial arts, or Daito ryu etc. I don't know why you of all people would make this statement.
Because we are talking history and not opinion. If you object to the word pedigree, consider this:
Why are you here with opinions about aikido and weapons?
Because you have what you consider to be experiences that vet those views. Thus you are either presenting an argument on the experience (proven pedigree) of your teachers or yourself.
No need to be insulted, its just that you didn't arrive at these opinions while working your day job did you? Neither did I.;)
Questioning things -as they were done- is one thing
Questioning whether they WERE done that way another
Denying historical facts as to what they are and how they were done and the assessments of professionals before us is not something you do casually.

I am choosing to present an argument based on historical precedent (pedigree) rather than personal.
Historical evidence and placing things in proper context is better than anecdotal evidence everytime. It also helps to keep things from being personal.
Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
02-11-2011, 12:45 PM
Hi Dan,
I think I would disagree with your central premise that Aikido isn't a weapons art. In my opinion, Aikido shouldn't be considered an empty hand art. All the logic of what we do comes from weapons rather than a purely empty hand paradigm.

Let me say, first of all, that I am not equating weapons or sword in particular with some connection with the samurai or some such. Nor, as we have discussed before, do I think that our` use of weapons (to the extent that there is an "our use" since there is a huge variance within Aikido as to how weapons are used). The samurai are long gone and I take exception to the folks who do their Aikido as if they are pretend samurai. It's silly.

But so much of the way we practice in Aikido makes little or no sense without the weapons paradigm. The very first comment a martial artist from outside makes when he sees Aikido for the first time is, "nobody attacks like that..." The movements, the postures, etc don't related well to the way anyone in any other martial art fights.

I met Toby Threadgill at the first Aiki Expo and we have become fast friends. A number of years ago now, I had him come to the dojo and do a seminar for us. He did a weekend on the relationship between sword and empty hand. Everything made so much more sense when practiced that way.

I found when I used to do a lot of police and security training in the old days that once you introduced weapons in to the equation, and a police officer is a walking weapons system, so much of our Aikido directly applied to what they needed. Much of our work applies directly to weapons retention, weapons disarms, etc.

Even the movement and fluidity of good Aikido relates better to weapons than what one sees in purely empty hand martial arts. Rather like how would the UFC look if those guys had knives... certainly not the same as now.

Anyway, Saotome Sensei trained with O-Sensei for fifteen years. Sensei siad that O-Sensei was quite approachable and he frequently asked him questions. Sensei said that, more often than not, the old man grabbed a bokken to illustrate his answer.

I think that it is very revealing that, when O-Sensei was looking for a successor i the thirties, he chose a kendo guy rather than a judo guy to adopt and make his heir apparent. I think that says a lot of how he thought about things.

We were taught the same way. For Saotome Sensei, and Nishio, Chiba, and others, there was no distinction between empty hand and weapons. Certainly Saotome Sensei made none. We moved seamlessly back and forth between them, even in the same class. I do the same.

So, while I have absolutely no disagreement with your disavowal of any connection between koryu sword or staff and any historical connection between Aikido and "samurai arts" whatever those might be... and agree that attempts to create a history that goes back before Ueshiba himself are silly, I do think of this art we are doing as having an internal logic that makes far more sense when weapons are introduced into the framework than if they are ignored. I have not seen any of the greats who weren't conversant with the sword at least, some actually had some koryu background. Without that weapons related logic, I think we'd move and trai differently and the art would look very different from what we actually do.

DH
02-11-2011, 01:05 PM
From my phone.
George
We have zero disagreement. I was making two points.

1. When weapons are mentioned aikio-ka frequently default to samurai weapons. You have too good of an education to defend that or correct me...thus we agree. No surprise there.
2. Please review my other point. I said aikido weapons are meant for aikido movement..and THAT is not be equated with being created BY weapons. To which it seems...we also agree.
in essence when I hear aikido/ weapons/ samurai...I think..that ain't weapons.
What they do with a weapon in their hand is aikido movement...with a weapon in their hand. Which is not the overarching historical term for weapons in japanese history..least of all bushi.
IOW, were Saotome senseis goals in creating his two sword forms meant to aid in aikido movement..or to state this is what the samurai did? They were and are different things.
Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
02-11-2011, 01:34 PM
IOW, were Saotome senseis goals in creating his two sword forms meant to aid in aikido movement..or to state this is what the samurai did? They were and are different things.
Cheers
Dan

Hi Dan,
I didn't think we really disagreed, I just wanted it down for the record. Certainly Saotome Sensei never stated or implied that anything he did had some sort of provenance beyond Aikido. Now the deshi of his time did have some classes provided by unnamed koryu teachers who, at O-Sensei's request, came in and taught interested deshi. None of them will say who these teachers were. At best, with some copious amounts of alcohol involved, they will at least elude to the training.

But Sensei only occasionally would even relate something he showed us to its source. Once in a while he'd say, this came from Yagyu or Itto Ryu or Kashima. His two sword may have been inspired by some embu he observed or even a movie like Chushingura, one never knew with Sensei.

Two sword he did because it more directly related to empty hand and the way he uses his arms than single sword does, since the hands can function separately.

His use of sword was both to teach movement principles but also because so many of he martial principles he sought to teach us were best developed with sword. So much of the martial terminology of the Japanese martial arts is directly from the sword. Whole vocabularies exist to delineate important principles of the martial interaction. I think sword in particular is crucial to understanding these principles and that this understanding is inseparable from good Aikido.

I think this is why sword work has persisted since the fall of the samurai. Despite the fact that no one carries swords any more for practical defense, people recognized that there were valuable things to be learned by working with them. Personally, I try not to go so far off into the "it's just movement practice for Aikido thing", which many folks do, that our sword work starts to be really embarrassing from the standpoint of he folks who really are swordsmen. I try to keep it respectable at least, while fully recognizing that it isn't kenjutsu.

jonreading
02-11-2011, 02:06 PM
OP here. The purpose of the grabs that I was talking about was to stop someone from punching me. Was I sure if they didn't have a knife, no. After getting the arm the serious intent was to stop them from doing anything further by using them as a weapon and hurling them into objects.

Most muggers I've entertained can't punch worth a damn. Grabbing their arm and throwing them was an untrained, but effective response.

I was interested in that the usual roles of nage and uke are pretty well jumbled. The attacker really looks like they have the nage role here as far as using aikido goes.

Mark

I think there is a point when your training begins to revolve around transitioning roles between uke and nage. This would be kaishiwaza (reversals) or takemusu aiki - the continued interaction of partners. It's a bit of a shock because we become programmed early on: uke attacks like an idiot, nage throws uke. Then all of a sudden, we hit this "who says uke can't trash nage" thing and it is a shock. But it creates a more dynamic exchange between partners and expands the interaction to focus more on the connection and less on role play. It certainly changes things when uke is allowed to do something back to nage. :)

nuxie
02-17-2011, 11:04 PM
Wow I can totally see how to use any of the first four techniques in daily life or worse in case of an attacker. They don't have to grab my wrist for me to complete a technique. If they don't grab me I am going to grab them. I think we train with the wrist as a starting point to learn from. I have seen many instances where people don't even touch you or give you the chance to touch them before you land face first on the mat. I have been watching clips of o sensei lately and the first thing he seems to like to do is put his hand in your face. genius. he walks right through someone as he puts his hand in their face. Wrist control for a female is extremely important. whats the first thing a man grabs when a mad woman is walking away.. HER ARM OR WRIST. Drunk guys will always walk up and put their arm around your shoulder. ( SANKYO or SHIONAGE) and if someone comes charging at you with a fist umm Tenkan movement and trip them and let them fall on their face. Heck the body movement alone could be a life saver... stepping off the line etc. so I don't think that we would be defenseless if someone didn't grab my wrist. I would just find theirs and apply .
Only been at this for 7 months but I do think about it daily. Sometimes when I am talking with someone I am thinking if they did .... this how would I react... :) Morbid I know. :)

David Orange
02-18-2011, 02:24 PM
If someone doesn't really grab my wrist, I'll stab or club them.

Really?

Do you go about with a knife or club in your hand at all times?

I think you completely misunderstand aikido.

Grabs are grabs. As someone said above, especially a larger man attacking a woman, a wrist grab is very common:

http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=109&SubSectionID=332&ArticleID=85400

And the same goes for a larger man against a smaller man, though to a lesser extent.

And we only have to remember that Sokaku Takeda's father used to punish him by putting burning incense on his fingernails. And how did Dad take control of Sokaku? Most likely a wrist grab.

Sokaku certainly spent years developing his aiki-age from wrist grabs.

I just think the idea of carrying a knife around and stabbing someone who doesn't grab you is, frankly, bizarre. I live in the city that, according to today's news, is 3rd most dangerous in the US. When I lived in Japan, I saw on CNN that Birmingham was rated #1 most dangerous city in the US. I've spent half my life walking the darkened streets of this town and I've never carried a knife or gun. And every time anyone has approached me with violent intent, for some reason, they've always changed their mind.

If all of this doesn't work, I have a last ditch chance with a throwing technique. If this doesn't work, I got into a fight with the wrong person, I should have had better Aiki.

Or maybe it's just that you don't understand aiki at all.

Good luck with that.

David

barbaraknapp
02-19-2011, 09:05 AM
The question is, what is meant by serious intent. Are we talking about grabbing with the intent to restrain? Or are we talking about grabbing with the intention to off balance, neutralize any defense and deliver a secondary attack?

The first choice is basically what you'd find in a non-martial confrontation. Women get grabbed and restrained by someone assaulting them. Police grab and restrain resistant subjects.

Not to belabor the obvious but, women being assaulted sounds like a martial situation to me...in fact the most realistic one discussed here so far, as far as I can tell from a hasty review of the thread.

Why is someone trying to control your sword (like I am carrying one of those on a regular basis) more "realistic" or "martial" than trying to get away from a rapist? Grabs are intensely real to someone who has been attacked like this.

Mossy Stone
02-19-2011, 12:08 PM
What's your intention? To stab me with an imaginary knife? Those knives, I'm not so worried about.

Might they not stab at your mind? ;)

As for wrist grabs, I've been teaching my daughter a variety of martial arts moves, and one of the first things I've taught her is the danger of letting someone get control of your wrist. Until I came to this site and saw this conversation, I had forgotten my (unfortunately brief) Aikido instruction had taught me what to do if someone grabs my wrist. I'll have to revisit that lesson some...

But from the perspective of someone who has trained primarily in other arts, I would say letting someone else control your wrist in a fight is a disaster. However, grabbing someone's wrist and controlling it are NOT the same thing. It is clearly possible for the one who has had their wrist grabbed to use that grip to control their attacker's wrist.

graham christian
02-19-2011, 01:45 PM
OP here. The purpose of the grabs that I was talking about was to stop someone from punching me. Was I sure if they didn't have a knife, no. After getting the arm the serious intent was to stop them from doing anything further by using them as a weapon and hurling them into objects.

Most muggers I've entertained can't punch worth a damn. Grabbing their arm and throwing them was an untrained, but effective response.

I was interested in that the usual roles of nage and uke are pretty well jumbled. The attacker really looks like they have the nage role here as far as using aikido goes.

Mark

Hi Mark.
Regarding your view on the roles being jumbled I understand what you're saying and it's an astute observation.

The attacker is called the uke so that really means 'the person you are to harmonize with and perform a technique on.' You being attacked therefore are the 'thrower' or the nage.

Now we look at the truth of the matter. The attacker is in truth a nage. He is attacking in order to do something to you and you are the one he/she wants to hit, throw etc. So technically it starts off that way around and so takemuso actually starts at the beginning.

Hope that clears it up but as I said it's an astute observation and I'm sure many doing Aikido hav'nt realized that.

Regards.G.

graham christian
02-19-2011, 02:14 PM
Hi Chris.
I agree that the movements and techniques of Aikido do indeed trace back to the samurai arts. When you give analogies to a wrist being trapped as a weapons hand from that view you are quite correct.

As I've stated before Aiki is nothing new and samurai used those principles, in fact by using those principles of motion were the only way of getting near an opponent brandishing a sword or weapon without getting killed.

In fact I would go further and say that the principles fit both the use of the weapons and the 'defence' from the same weapons.

I can quote various sources which agree with this view and no doubt others can dig up quotes of people saying the opposite.

It seems so obvious to me I wouldn't see quite how a person could not see it.

I'll end with this: To me it's not a matter of if it's more a matter of seeing how it does.

Regards.G.

nuxie
02-19-2011, 09:14 PM
You don't have to be a girl for an attacker to grab you to get your attention. Today I learned how to defend against someone shoving me while standing face to face. I can see that happening in real life. I think that people think Aikido is all about the wrist... I don't think it is. Time to ask your teacher... Hey how can this apply in real life. If you have anyone that can do advanced techniques they will show you how as soon as you come in they react before you get a chance to grab their wrist , shoulder etc. I have seen this done and it is ohhh so cool. I remember a discussion I had with my teacher about how to make somone grab you where you want them to.. If you stick your hand out there most likely they will grab it.... etc. I hope you continue on your journey and start to think deeper about what you are doing and how you can use it. Look past what you are doing. Good luck.

ChrisHein
02-20-2011, 06:34 PM
A wrist grab, when used as a means to control someone is a transitory position. If I want to pull you into my car, then I may grab your wrist, if it's the most expedient part of you for me to grab, but I do not have any specific need to hold the wrist. Hair, your arm, your purse, your leg, your neck are all good things for me to grab, if I simply want to control you. But I grab them so I can pull you into a better holding position, like a bear hug. The wrist grab is simply a quick start position from which I will soon transition into a better hold.

This lack of commitment, is not what we see in Aikido techniques. In Aikido techniques we see Uke having a need to hold the wrist quite specifically. If I have a weapon in my hand, you cannot let go of my hand unless you want to be struck by my weapon. This gives the attacker (uke) a real need to hold your wrist specifically. In Aikido wrist grabs are not a transitory position, they are the attack, because if you can hold my weapon hand, you can stop me from inflicting life ending damage to you.

Further, the common Aikido syllabus doesn't have escape techniques for the most common unarmed holds (e.g. bear hugs, waist locks, headlocks, other common core control techniques), but has a multitude of escape techniques from wrist controls. Why would this be? In an unarmed system, one that is going to have application in a grappling range, one would expect at least a few common unarmed hold escapes. So why don't we find these in Aikido, yet we find lots of wrist grab escapes?

If we understand Aikido as a weapon based system the answer is clear. If you don't control my weapon hand, I will simply cut you down. If you try a side headlock on an armed person, there is no need for them to have a means of escape, they can simply cut themselves out. If we can keep our weapon free, common holds offer us little problem. This is why there is a premium put on freeing the wrist, and not on escaping common holds.

As far as the "I don't carry weapons" argument goes, it's a moot point. First and foremost the samurai did carry weapons, lots of them, always. So from the stand point of a system inspired by the Samurai perspective, they were people who always carried weapons. A Samurai wasn't going to "ground and pound", he was going to cut you down, the only way you might possibly stop him (if you were not armed yourself) would be to gain wrist control. These techniques (Aikido techniques) come from a weapon culture, that's what they work for.

Second, if you are serious about self defense you do carry weapons. Anyone who seriously considers the need to protect themselves will carry weapons. Aikido is a perfect system of study for these people.

Third, if you are an aware person, you are almost never unarmed. Bottles, sticks, rocks, fire extinguishers, kitchen knives, car keys, brooms, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc all make expedient weapons. If you are aware of the need for a weapon, you can almost always find one rather quickly. Once you are armed, the only real chance someone stands in a fight with you is to eliminate your use of the weapon, wrist grabs are a good way to do this.

Sorry for the long post.

graham christian
02-20-2011, 07:00 PM
As one added note here I point out to students the reason kicks were not such an inherent and important part of Aikido is because it traces back to the samurai times. A samurai would love someone to kick, oops there goes one leg.

That doesn't mean we don't practice dealing with kicks now. Plus we do many escapes from various holds which I think most Aikido does actually. I may be wrong there, I don't know.

Regards.G.

Mark Gibbons
02-20-2011, 07:01 PM
Thanks for your posts Chris. I started this thread with an example where I grabbed the arm of someone trying to punch me. I had goals of controlling their ability to punch me and at the same time the need to throw them to gain time to get away. Fitting the examples you give to the situation I would have been uke and defending myself from attackers.

My point was that I don't think aikido folks train for grabs that are intended to really so something. Ledyard sensei's post (#10) does a better of explaining this than I do.

Regards,
Mark

ChrisHein
02-20-2011, 07:38 PM
Thanks for your posts Chris. I started this thread with an example where I grabbed the arm of someone trying to punch me. I had goals of controlling their ability to punch me and at the same time the need to throw them to gain time to get away. Fitting the examples you give to the situation I would have been uke and defending myself from attackers.

My point was that I don't think aikido folks train for grabs that are intended to really so something. Ledyard sensei's post (#10) does a better of explaining this than I do.

Regards,
Mark

Hey Mark,
I think this thread is going away from where you originally intended. Maybe someone will start another thread to address what is being discussed now. Sorry for the hijack.

If you are boxing with someone (unarmed), the common boxing cover is a far better practice than wrist grabbing. The boxing cover allows you to move into range, limits the damage the other fellow can inflict on you, and allows you to land a powerful blow with either hand.

If you want to bring them into a control position (top mount etc) than simply shooting in on them, gaining a double leg or if you miss getting a waist lock or bear hug, than applying a take down into control position is a favorable strategy.

Wrist grabbing, as a non-transitory technique, in an unarmed situation is not the best idea, so there is no real need to train for it. That's why we don't see much training for this in MMA gyms. A wrist grab is only a needed to control the hand specifically, which is seldom needed unless someone is armed.

graham christian
02-20-2011, 08:08 PM
Thinking back over the times I've been involved in serious wrist grabbing I was wondering if aikido folks are really ready to have someone grab their wrists with serious intent.

The few times I've seen wrists grabbed in ernest the main idea was to block a punch, stop the attacker from hitting someone and then use the wrist grab to hurt the attacker, swinging the attacker into railings, walls, stairs, other attackers or moving into some sort of lock.

Notice that the attacker is the one being grabbed and the person grabbing is the one throwing or locking. That's just a bit different from what I've seen practiced at the dozen or so dojos I've hung around at. It is common however in places I've trained at that nage is the aggressor. It's just that defenders in real life, my personal experience, are a lot more proactive about doing something than aikido ukes,

I think the joke about what we can do to someone that grabs a wrist is really just a joke. Try something and most people will just let go.
Someone that come out of the blue grabs your arm and swings you into a wall. I haven't seen anything like that trained for.

Just something I've been ruminating about.
Mark

Mark, seems I owe you an apology for joining in on what was basically off topic too. So I have come back to the origin.

When you think about it there are many situations in life when you could be grabbed by the wrist(s). It's the favorite method of doormen and security, it's favoured by groups of muggers, it's favoured by people who think they are much stronger and bigger than you, (especially bullies) it's favoured by someone trying to pull you somewhere. Etc.

Now here's the main point. In Aikido if you ask someone, or if you try it for yourself, what they don't like about being grabbed and held what do they say? What does it represent in their mind?

It represents being trapped. They fight to get out of the hold, out of being trapped. Yet Aikido is teaching Harmony, how to harmonize with being trapped.

When I grab a students wrist and he tries to get out of it I ask him or her why?

You see the person being grabbed is then fighting the grab. They are automatically resisting it and fighting it and are thus trapping theirself in it. When I tell them this rule: 'That which is trapped leave it alone' they generally at first have a hard time doing it but when they do they experience a kind of freedom.

In other words if someone grabs your wrist let them have your wrist, whatever part they grab let them have it. Guess what, when you do this you suddenly become aware of the multitude of things you can do other than fight with the hold.

So it leads to a principle you can apply to all sorts of holds where you dont fight or resist the hold and thus see many escape routes.

Regards.G.

Mark Gibbons
02-20-2011, 08:12 PM
Hey Mark,
I think this thread is going away from where you originally intended. Maybe someone will start another thread to address what is being discussed now. Sorry for the hijack.

If you are boxing with someone (unarmed), the common boxing cover is a far better practice than wrist grabbing. The boxing cover allows you to move into range, limits the damage the other fellow can inflict on you, and allows you to land a powerful blow with either hand.

If you want to bring them into a control position (top mount etc) than simply shooting in on them, gaining a double leg or if you miss getting a waist lock or bear hug, than applying a take down into control position is a favorable strategy.

Wrist grabbing, as a non-transitory technique, in an unarmed situation is not the best idea, so there is no real need to train for it. That's why we don't see much training for this in MMA gyms. A wrist grab is only a needed to control the hand specifically, which is seldom needed unless someone is armed.

Boxing. Sure and I have boxing and judo experience. 3 on 1 though. I didn't give anything away until actually attacked.

Control position. Not with 3 on 1.

Wrist grabs. Sure its not a great attack. But if done for real I think it will be a lot more effective than "grab and push to center" or "grab and immobilize". One seminar instructor said something to the effect, that morotedori should be applied as yonkyo.

Thanks,
Mark

David Orange
02-20-2011, 08:53 PM
A wrist grab, when used as a means to control someone is a transitory position. If I want to pull you into my car, then I may grab your wrist, if it's the most expedient part of you for me to grab, but I do not have any specific need to hold the wrist. Hair, your arm, your purse, your leg, your neck are all good things for me to grab, if I simply want to control you. But I grab them so I can pull you into a better holding position, like a bear hug. The wrist grab is simply a quick start position from which I will soon transition into a better hold.

Now you're thinking sensibly. A weapon is not part of the equation here.

This lack of commitment, is not what we see in Aikido techniques.

It's not what you see in bad or confused aikido tecniques but it's the only thing you see in good aikido. In Mochizuki Sensei's yoseikan, any wrist grab was simply to set the defender up for a punch or a throw. The attack could be karate, judo, jujutsu, sumo or simple manhandling but no one ever simply grabbed and held on. And if nage didn't apply an effective aikido technique in the first instant, uke would continue to follow through with any kind of attack he was good at. It wasn't a theoretical concept.

In Aikido techniques we see Uke having a need to hold the wrist quite specifically.

Again, "we" see that only in the most superficial kind of aikido practice with an inexperienced teacher. It's an attack with no meaning, which has no place in aikido training.

If I have a weapon in my hand, you cannot let go of my hand unless you want to be struck by my weapon. This gives the attacker (uke) a real need to hold your wrist specifically. In Aikido wrist grabs are not a transitory position, they are the attack, because if you can hold my weapon hand, you can stop me from inflicting life ending damage to you.

That only applies to aikido if "you" are the uke and you're attacking with a knife. And then the point is not to hold the wrist but to use that grip to apply a technique. And that's the same as I've seen in karate and jujutsu self-defense applications: control the weapon hand for the 1/4 second required to implement kuzushi and a disarming technique.

Further, the common Aikido syllabus doesn't have escape techniques for the most common unarmed holds (e.g. bear hugs, waist locks, headlocks, other common core control techniques), but has a multitude of escape techniques from wrist controls. Why would this be?

Because it's not?

Bear hugs, waist locks, headlocks and other kinds of general controling attacks were part of the aikido syllabus I learned from day one and I've seen them taught elsewhere, as well. I can't imagine serious aikido training without that range of basics.

But the real reason for teaching wrist grabs is that they're the easiest way to teach the kihon technique and the movements apply with little modification to straight punches, hooks, yokomen uchi, shomen uchi, etc., as well as weapon attacks. And wrist grabs are the most likely attacks to be encountered by women and children.

If we understand Aikido as a weapon based system the answer is clear. If you don't control my weapon hand, I will simply cut you down. If you try a side headlock on an armed person, there is no need for them to have a means of escape, they can simply cut themselves out. If we can keep our weapon free, common holds offer us little problem. This is why there is a premium put on freeing the wrist, and not on escaping common holds.

You mentioned somewhere that you've been a black belt in aikido for ten years or so. I've been a black belt for 29 years and in that time, I've seen the thing you describe (nage holding a weapon) maybe five times. Minoru Mochizuki referred to it once (and only tangentially) out of thousands of times I practiced wrist grabs in his dojo. He pointed out that if someone grabs you in jun katate dori (single-hand same-side grab), the escape is as simple as raising your arm as if you were raising a sword: the attacker's grip in easily broken in that way. He never addressed the idea of the aikidoka's being armed with a knife. There may have been some mention, once or twice, of some ancient roots in preventing a swordsman from drawing a sword, but that was mostly theoretical and in day-to-day training, the scenario was always of an unarmed civilian, walking along when he (or she) is suddenly grabbed and pulled into some bad situation. Of course, the grab could be a wrist grab, a choke, a headlock, escort hold, shoulder hold, two hands from the rear, bear hug, etc., etc., etc. The only person armed was the uke--never nage.

Besides this, even if someone grabs my wrist when I'm holding a knife, I can cut their arm with no problem. And if I have a drawn sword in my hand, a wrist grab will not deter me in the least from cutting the attacker in half. That whole idea is completely mistaken.

As far as the "I don't carry weapons" argument goes, it's a moot point. First and foremost the samurai did carry weapons, lots of them, always. So from the stand point of a system inspired by the Samurai perspective, they were people who always carried weapons. A Samurai wasn't going to "ground and pound", he was going to cut you down, the only way you might possibly stop him (if you were not armed yourself) would be to gain wrist control. These techniques (Aikido techniques) come from a weapon culture, that's what they work for.

Although Sokaku Takeda was known to carry a dagger and sometimes a sword cane, the prime weapon of Daito Ryu was the iron fan: good for smacking and smashing, but not sharp and not a cutting instrument. Ueshiba was never known to carry a knife or sword in daily life, though he did often carry a fan. Also, many other Daito Ryu men carried fans--some of them iron. None is noted for having carried knives or other blades as a matter of course. So this line of speculation seems to have no grounding in fact and only leads to some bad thinking, bad imagination and bad spiritual influence in general.

Second, if you are serious about self defense you do carry weapons. Anyone who seriously considers the need to protect themselves will carry weapons. Aikido is a perfect system of study for these people.

Again, after all these years walking alone in one of the most dangerous cities in the US, with over 36 years of aikido training (and karate before that), I wonder why I have never felt the need to carry a weapon? I've faced multiple attackers more than once, some of them armed, and I've never had to actually fight any of them. I only actually touched another person once and it didn't go any further than that.

I do remember a student, once, who was fascinated by guns and double-edged knives. He wanted me to teach him the techniques from Mike Echanis' book on knife fighting since it looked exactly like what I do except with a knife in each hand. He wanted to go to the military and go kill people in South America. I declined to teach him any further. Years later, after a stint in the Army, he was approached at an ATM by a guy with a gun. He drew his 9mm and shot the fellow in the leg. The robber dropped to the ground and shot upward, shooting my old student through the heart. The guy who had built his life around weapons ran several yards before falling dead.

Third, if you are an aware person, you are almost never unarmed. Bottles, sticks, rocks, fire extinguishers, kitchen knives, car keys, brooms, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc all make expedient weapons. If you are aware of the need for a weapon, you can almost always find one rather quickly. Once you are armed, the only real chance someone stands in a fight with you is to eliminate your use of the weapon, wrist grabs are a good way to do this.

I do teach my students that a car key or door key is effectively the equivalent of a knife. And even if they grab the hand I'm holding the key in, I can easily continue to use the key per my methods even while applying aikido technique.

Real aikido has ancient roots in sword methods but they are generally indirect and rather conceptual at that. Mochizuki Sensei created a wonderful kata (ken tai iichi) to show the relationship, based on his training in katori shinto ryu. But he also developed several other katas explaining tai sabaki, the principles of technique, principles of omote and ura and others. None featured nage holding a weapon.

That line of thinking is mistaken and misguided and it's best abandoned before it leads you into worse mistakes.

Good luck on that.

David

David Orange
02-20-2011, 09:01 PM
When you think about it there are many situations in life when you could be grabbed by the wrist(s). It's the favorite method of doormen and security, it's favoured by groups of muggers, it's favoured by people who think they are much stronger and bigger than you, (especially bullies) it's favoured by someone trying to pull you somewhere. Etc.

Oddly enough, the one time anyone actually laid hands on me...he grabbed my wrist.

He was a lot bigger than I and a lot stronger. This was the summer of 1975, before I began serious aikido training so I didn't know how to respond.

Fortunately, he was harmless. But he was the last stranger that laid hands on me.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
02-20-2011, 09:06 PM
Wrist grabs. Sure its not a great attack. But if done for real I think it will be a lot more effective than "grab and push to center" or "grab and immobilize". One seminar instructor said something to the effect, that morotedori should be applied as yonkyo.

Even in ikkyo, one hand is "grabbing" uke's wrist or hand while the other works his elbow. In pretty much every aikido "hand" technique, we "hold" uke's arm in some way.

But in aikido strategy, it's always after uke grabs for us (or punches, or whatever).

What you describe in the OP could just as well be the beginning of ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo or a number of other standard techniques instead of just "slinging" the attacker by his arm. But generally, it begins when uke extends his arm toward us.

Best to you.

David

ChrisHein
02-20-2011, 09:42 PM
Mark,
In a multiple attacker situation I agree, don't go into a clinch.I think Ueshiba thought the same way.

ChrisHein
02-20-2011, 10:34 PM
Bear hugs, waist locks, headlocks and other kinds of general controling attacks were part of the aikido syllabus I learned from day one and I've seen them taught elsewhere, as well. I can't imagine serious aikido training without that range of basics.

depending on what style of Aikido you study you may learn a few common escape holds. But as this is not true across the board. When looking at what all styles of Aikido have in common we have, Katate, Gyakute, Morote, Ryote, Ushiro Kubishimi, and Ushiro ryote, Escapes. Some styles have a few common hold escapes, but these are not at the heart of our practice. My main Aikido teacher was an Uchi-deshi of Morihiro Saito, I don't believe we covered Headlock escapes two times during my training with him. Looking through Ueshiba's books I don't see any common hold escapes. I'm sure he did them at one point or another, but they are certainly not in anyway an important part of Aikido training as a whole.


But the real reason for teaching wrist grabs is that they're the easiest way to teach the kihon technique and the movements apply with little modification to straight punches, hooks, yokomen uchi, shomen uchi, etc., as well as weapon attacks. And wrist grabs are the most likely attacks to be encountered by women and children.

Wrist grab attacks are common to Koryu Jujutsu. They were not thinking of training women or children. Koryu Jujutsu, even though it's very hard to speak about such a diverse group of systems, does lots of work around wrist grabbing. The reason for this is because they train the samurai culture, a weapon culture, where someone holding your wrist (weapon hand) is a real threat. The idea that we train from wrist grabs because it's simpler comes from people not understanding the kinds of techniques we are training.


You mentioned somewhere that you've been a black belt in aikido for ten years or so. I've been a black belt for 29 years and in that time, I've seen the thing you describe (nage holding a weapon) maybe five times. Minoru Mochizuki referred to it once (and only tangentially) out of thousands of times I practiced wrist grabs in his dojo. He pointed out that if someone grabs you in jun katate dori (single-hand same-side grab), the escape is as simple as raising your arm as if you were raising a sword: the attacker's grip in easily broken in that way. He never addressed the idea of the aikidoka's being armed with a knife. There may have been some mention, once or twice, of some ancient roots in preventing a swordsman from drawing a sword, but that was mostly theoretical and in day-to-day training, the scenario was always of an unarmed civilian, walking along when he (or she) is suddenly grabbed and pulled into some bad situation. Of course, the grab could be a wrist grab, a choke, a headlock, escort hold, shoulder hold, two hands from the rear, bear hug, etc., etc., etc. The only person armed was the uke--never nage.

The modern idea of Aikido training is no doubt from the perspective of unarmed martial arts. However the techniques were never adapted to this idea. The Aikido syllabus is very similar to those found in Koryu small arms techniques. The techniques that best suit unarmed conflict that come from koryu Jujutsu can be found in Judo. The Judo syllabus and the Aikido syllabus are very different, yet both represent much of what can be found in Koryu Jujutsu. The techniques that are found in Aikido are those based around weapons conflict, even though we may want to use them in unarmed situations that is not what they are best designed to do. Wrist holding is VERY important in weapons conflict, but only trivial in unarmed conflict.

If someone is holding your wrist for dear life (which is the case if you are armed and fighting them) it IS NOT easy to make them let go. It's VERY difficult.

Besides this, even if someone grabs my wrist when I'm holding a knife, I can cut their arm with no problem. And if I have a drawn sword in my hand, a wrist grab will not deter me in the least from cutting the attacker in half. That whole idea is completely mistaken.

If you grab the wrist correctly, a knife cannot cut you. If you don't know how to grab a wrist, than it can be easy. Here's a video from my website showing the right way to grab a wrist:

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=253

If you grab the swords man's wrist before he can draw his sword, and you continue to hold it (non transitory wrist grab), you can keep him from drawing his sword, thus keeping him from cutting you in half. If he manages to draw his sword anyways, and you keep hold of the wrist, you can move your body with the cuts (having the wrist slows him, and quickly tells you where he is going with the cut) and try to keep him from cutting you in half. Dealing with someone with a weapon is ridiculously difficult, but having control of his weapon hand is your best chance. As the guy with the weapon (Aikido syllabus) the wrist grab cost you, time, effort, and control. The ability to quickly defeat the wrist grab is of the utmost importance.

Although Sokaku Takeda was known to carry a dagger and sometimes a sword cane, the prime weapon of Daito Ryu was the iron fan: good for smacking and smashing, but not sharp and not a cutting instrument. Ueshiba was never known to carry a knife or sword in daily life, though he did often carry a fan. Also, many other Daito Ryu men carried fans--some of them iron. None is noted for having carried knives or other blades as a matter of course. So this line of speculation seems to have no grounding in fact and only leads to some bad thinking, bad imagination and bad spiritual influence in general.

No imagination necessary. Iron fan is a common Koryu Jujutsu weapon. Koryu Jujutsu deals mainly with the use of small weapons (like iron fans, tanto, or other kakushi buki. Systmes like this use lots of techniques from wrist grabs. Aikido isn't a Koryu, but it is heavily influenced by them. And the similarity of techniques is obvious. Takeda and Ueshiba were no strangers to these ideas, they were in fact masters of them, and this can quickly be seen in their bodies of work.

Again, after all these years walking alone in one of the most dangerous cities in the US, with over 36 years of aikido training (and karate before that), I wonder why I have never felt the need to carry a weapon? I've faced multiple attackers more than once, some of them armed, and I've never had to actually fight any of them. I only actually touched another person once and it didn't go any further than that.

If the need to carry weapons was this trivial you would not find their use so common amongst the military. Contemplating self defense with out the use of weapons handicaps you at best, and is a venture into fantasy at worst. Why defend your life from a weak point?

I do remember a student, once, who was fascinated by guns and double-edged knives. He wanted me to teach him the techniques from Mike Echanis' book on knife fighting since it looked exactly like what I do except with a knife in each hand. He wanted to go to the military and go kill people in South America. I declined to teach him any further. Years later, after a stint in the Army, he was approached at an ATM by a guy with a gun. He drew his 9mm and shot the fellow in the leg. The robber dropped to the ground and shot upward, shooting my old student through the heart. The guy who had built his life around weapons ran several yards before falling dead.

This is a tragic story, but I don't understand it's point. If the point is "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword", I understand where you are coming from, but I don't see how it applies to Aikido training. Ueshiba was VERY interested in swords and guns. He fought in wars, and likely killed people. While he learned the horrors of this lifestyle, he still understood the truth of weapons. This if very likely why he wanted to end violence and fighting in the world, an point I agree with. But none of this changes the fact that grabbing someone's wrist is important if they are using a weapon on you. And if you ever find yourself in the horrible situation of having to defend your life, and someone attempts to control your weapon hand, you must quickly clear it; or better yet use the weapon hand to lead them to a position where they can't grab it.


That line of thinking is mistaken and misguided and it's best abandoned before it leads you into worse mistakes.



I'm not sure where you are going with this either.

David Orange
02-20-2011, 10:57 PM
If someone is holding your wrist for dear life (which is the case if you are armed and fighting them) it IS NOT easy to make them let go. It's VERY difficult.

If you grab the wrist correctly, a knife cannot cut you. If you don't know how to grab a wrist, than it can be easy. Here's a video from my website showing the right way to grab a wrist:

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=253

If you grab the swords man's wrist before he can draw his sword, and you continue to hold it (non transitory wrist grab), you can keep him from drawing his sword, thus keeping him from cutting you in half. If he manages to draw his sword anyways, and you keep hold of the wrist, you can move your body with the cuts (having the wrist slows him, and quickly tells you where he is going with the cut) and try to keep him from cutting you in half. Dealing with someone with a weapon is ridiculously difficult, but having control of his weapon hand is your best chance. As the guy with the weapon (Aikido syllabus) the wrist grab cost you, time, effort, and control. The ability to quickly defeat the wrist grab is of the utmost importance.



I'm afraid your aikido is as unfinished and cluttered as your dojo is, Chris. You're operating in a real fantasy land if you think you can hold a man that way and avoid being cut by either a knife or a sword but it's clear you won't learn. Good luck to you and God have mercy on your students.

David

graham christian
02-20-2011, 11:22 PM
I'm afraid your aikido is as unfinished and cluttered as your dojo is, Chris. You're operating in a real fantasy land if you think you can hold a man that way and avoid being cut by either a knife or a sword but it's clear you won't learn. Good luck to you and God have mercy on your students.

David

That's a bit harsh. However I checked out the video and didn't like what I saw. When someone holds as described it may be hard to turn a knife blade but it makes it easy to escape the hold. Plus if it was a sword---Oh dear!

Regards.G.

ChrisHein
02-20-2011, 11:47 PM
I checked out the video and didn't like what I saw. When someone holds as described it may be hard to turn a knife blade but it makes it easy to escape the hold.

Regards.G.

We train regularly against each other non compliantly. This is the most secure way that I am aware of to grab someone.

David,
Please refrain from making personal attacks. This thread will end up degenerating very quickly.

graham christian
02-21-2011, 12:04 AM
We train regularly against each other non compliantly. This is the most secure way that I am aware of to grab someone.

David,
Please refrain from making personal attacks. This thread will end up degenerating very quickly.

Chris. I don't doubt your sincerity. I ask you to do one thing though. Next time the person grabs your wrist/back of base of palm as you describe change your purpose. Have as your purpose to remove your hand. I am 100% certain you'll find it easier than if he was holding the wrist beyond the wrist joint.

Your mention of non compliently is a word all too frequently used on these forums in my view for of course he's being complient by holding the way you instruct him to. Even a boxer sparring is being complient by sticking to the agreed rules of boxing.

Anyway my intention is not to make you wrong or to argue so I'll bow out.

Regards.G.

ChrisHein
02-21-2011, 01:16 AM
Chris. I don't doubt your sincerity. I ask you to do one thing though. Next time the person grabs your wrist/back of base of palm as you describe change your purpose. Have as your purpose to remove your hand. I am 100% certain you'll find it easier than if he was holding the wrist beyond the wrist joint.

Your mention of non compliently is a word all too frequently used on these forums in my view for of course he's being complient by holding the way you instruct him to. Even a boxer sparring is being complient by sticking to the agreed rules of boxing.

Anyway my intention is not to make you wrong or to argue so I'll bow out.

Regards.G.

Graham,
The video you are watching is a demonstration. He is grabbing compliantly to demonstrate this technique. If you'd like to see some of our non compliant stuff, check out our youtube page.

David Orange
02-21-2011, 08:25 AM
That's a bit harsh. However I checked out the video and didn't like what I saw. When someone holds as described it may be hard to turn a knife blade but it makes it easy to escape the hold. Plus if it was a sword---Oh dear!

I hate to see a "kamiza" built of concrete blocks occupying the mat area. The unfinished walls also lend a sense of "hollowness" that Chris reinforces with a lot of the kind of thing you describe. Grabbing higher up the arm may appear to provide some measure of distance from the knife but it also provides quite a distance between the grasper's thumb and fingers, making escape that much easier. It looks good when your personal uke is making those ineffectual "struggling" actions, but in reality, the knife-wielder's arm will be free in an instant, making not only the defender's arm but his torso, abodomen and throat all easy to attack. And for that reason, I seriously worry for the students (that and the concrete blocks and wooden planks in the mat area).

Best wishes.

David

ChrisHein
02-21-2011, 09:40 AM
Personal decor aside,

Grabbing higher up the arm may appear to provide some measure of distance from the knife but it also provides quite a distance between the grasper's thumb and fingers, making escape that much easier.

Are you talking about my video here? I'm recommending grabbing lower on the arm. Maybe I'm miss understanding you.

David Orange
02-21-2011, 04:31 PM
Are you talking about my video here? I'm recommending grabbing lower on the arm. Maybe I'm miss understanding you.

Yes. You showed both ways of grabbing. Either is easily broken and neither protects you from being seriously wounded (unless the attacker is the someone who trained with you, I suppose...).

Mochizuki Sensei never performed techniques by letting uke hold onto his wrist. Whenever grabbed, his response was always to break uke's grip and re-grasp uke with a twisting grip to turn the arm one way or the other for a technique.

And grabbing the hand that's drawing the sword really could only buy you an instant (less than a second) before the slicing and dicing would commence.

David

ChrisHein
02-21-2011, 05:23 PM
David,
I only showed one way to grab the wrist. It was a low grab, done at the wrist joint. I recommended not holding high on the arm.

Flintstone
02-21-2011, 06:02 PM
Mochizuki Sensei never performed techniques by letting uke hold onto his wrist. Whenever grabbed, his response was always to break uke's grip and re-grasp uke with a twisting grip to turn the arm one way or the other for a technique.
Nigirigaeshi. He never trusted a technique without having a hold on uke. And that's a good drift in this thread, me thinks.

David Orange
02-21-2011, 06:57 PM
David,
I only showed one way to grab the wrist. It was a low grab, done at the wrist joint. I recommended not holding high on the arm.

You would be welcome to hold my wrist in any way you liked and you could not prevent my cutting you with that kind of knife as you demonstrate. And I doubt really that you could prevent anyone from cutting you as you demonstrate--except, again, perhaps someone you had trained to be ineffectual.

But the primary point you're pushing is backward.

The guy with a knife, coming to attack (and therefore needing to be stopped) is, by aikido definition, uke. The aikidoka is centered within himself (or herself) and does not go out and attack--except to "attack the attack" as Mochizuki Sensei put it.

The unarmed person being attacked or grabbed is the aikidoka.

Look at this video of an actual abduction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJoID7VwRtM

That is a real example of a real wrist-grabbing attack of the kind that happens every day in the real world. Do you think the attacker grabbed the girl to stop her from using a knife she was holding? Of course not. And this video shows exactly the scenario on which aikido is based, regardless of what you imagine the samurai did.

I trained both my daughters to respond to that kind of attack when they were much younger than that child, and my son was responding to such attacks in aikido demonstrations when he was four years old. If I could have spent half an hour with the little girl in the video before that guy grabbed her, the outcome would have been entirely different. She could easily have turned his grab into yonkyo, shiho nage or gyakute seioi nage, maybe throwing him or maybe just giving her the chance to run.

But what would be the relevance of confusing the matter with relating the attacker's grab with somehow stopping her from using a knife or "drawing a sword"? That kind of abstract imagination isn't even useful for adults.

David

graham christian
02-21-2011, 07:43 PM
You would be welcome to hold my wrist in any way you liked and you could not prevent my cutting you with that kind of knife as you demonstrate. And I doubt really that you could prevent anyone from cutting you as you demonstrate--except, again, perhaps someone you had trained to be ineffectual.

But the primary point you're pushing is backward.

The guy with a knife, coming to attack (and therefore needing to be stopped) is, by aikido definition, uke. The aikidoka is centered within himself (or herself) and does not go out and attack--except to "attack the attack" as Mochizuki Sensei put it.

The unarmed person being attacked or grabbed is the aikidoka.

Look at this video of an actual abduction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJoID7VwRtM

That is a real example of a real wrist-grabbing attack of the kind that happens every day in the real world. Do you think the attacker grabbed the girl to stop her from using a knife she was holding? Of course not. And this video shows exactly the scenario on which aikido is based, regardless of what you imagine the samurai did.

I trained both my daughters to respond to that kind of attack when they were much younger than that child, and my son was responding to such attacks in aikido demonstrations when he was four years old. If I could have spent half an hour with the little girl in the video before that guy grabbed her, the outcome would have been entirely different. She could easily have turned his grab into yonkyo, shiho nage or gyakute seioi nage, maybe throwing him or maybe just giving her the chance to run.

But what would be the relevance of confusing the matter with relating the attacker's grab with somehow stopping her from using a knife or "drawing a sword"? That kind of abstract imagination isn't even useful for adults.

David

David,
I don't disagree with the fact that in most cases it's quite easy to escape a static wrist grab with just a little technical knowledge and no panic. Then even to use it as in Aikido to do a technique. That's all well and good.

However I don't agree with your view about if anyone grabbed your wrist when you're holding a knife that you would simply do whatever. I understand, I think, you get this from the view of Aikido not tracing back to days of the samurai and so you don't see the reason for practicing from that view maybe. ie: grabbing the wrist of someone holding a knife etc. (correct me if I'm wrong)

I do lot's of practice of doing this kind of thing don't you?

Regards.G.

ChrisHein
02-21-2011, 10:10 PM
David,
With all due respect, that girl just walked along with him. That was not a wrist attack, he held her wrist and walked her away. The girl in the video made no attempt to resist. I don't see how this helps your argument.

David Orange
02-22-2011, 07:15 AM
However I don't agree with your view about if anyone grabbed your wrist when you're holding a knife that you would simply do whatever. I understand, I think, you get this from the view of Aikido not tracing back to days of the samurai and so you don't see the reason for practicing from that view maybe. ie: grabbing the wrist of someone holding a knife etc. (correct me if I'm wrong)

I do lot's of practice of doing this kind of thing don't you?

Ghraham,

If I can escape from a wrist grab when I'm unarmed, why would it be different if I'm holding a knife? I can let him hold on and still cut his arm in various ways, but I'd also be moving in toward him with a view to the major targets of the body, the throat, the eyes, etc.

Of course aikido harks back to samurai days, but there is no precedent for nage having a knife against an unarmed attacker.

Now if uke has a knife, of course it's very dangerous, but nage's only hope (the same as with a sword attack) is to avoid with the body, parry the knife hand and seize with an inward or outward twisting motion leading to techniques such as yonkyo or shiho nage.

I'm just saying that in the demo Chris showed, exactly as he showed it, his grip would not prevent uke's slicing his arm up.

Best wishes.

David

jonreading
02-22-2011, 07:18 AM
I think we are starting to over-inflate the concept of the wrist grab.
1. Neither cosa dori nor katate dori (how we do it) are great against a knife. You need to use the pinkie and ring fingers to compress and lock the wrist joint to prevent nage from rotating the wrist; not many people grab that way. Then you need to apply a (rotational) pressure that runs to uke's center and locks out the elbow and shoulder to prevent either joint from rotating. Most of us just grab the hand and let it dangle in front of our...er... center?
2. Wrist grabs are more about controlling balance and center than they are about controlling the arm. Lock up the arm (like a chain rotated to compress the links) and that becomes a handle to control center and balance. Let a good judo player, wrestler, karate person grab you and "breaking" their grip ain't so easy. Don't even get me started on a good aikido person or DRA person. Some of the good aikido people can grab you and prevent you from doing anything. Just when you thought your tenkan was good...

I would not advocate escaping a good grab is easy. Katate dori and cosa dori are good dojo attacks and when done properly require nage to correctly move to escape. I think we have become far too comfortable with an uke that grabs your wrist and expects to be thrown. The purpose of ukewaza (in aikido) is to create a structure that requires nage to correctly move; if uke sets up a proeper structure and nage correctly moves against that structure, uke can resolve the the movement/technique. If you start ukewaza with a poor attack uke sets up a poor structure for nage.

David Orange
02-22-2011, 07:34 AM
David,
With all due respect, that girl just walked along with him. That was not a wrist attack, he held her wrist and walked her away. The girl in the video made no attempt to resist. I don't see how this helps your argument.

His first step was to approach her. Then he grabbed her wrist. I understand he showed her a knife and it scared her so badly that she didn't resist even after he put the knife away.

But the fact is that his primary attack was a wrist grab. And the attacker had the knife. Not the defender.

But let's go further. Can you show me one example of O Sensei's having a knife or sword against an unarmed attacker?

I don't think so.

I know that I have seen countless examples of O Sensei unarmed facing 1) sword; 2) knife; 3) multiple attackers.

I've also seen O Sensei with a sword when and only when 1) he was alone; 2) when the attacker also had a sword or spear.

I've seen O Sensei demonstrate 1) sword against sword; 2) jo against sword; 3) fan against sword (and maybe fan against spear or juken).

But I've never seen O Sensei demonstrate armed against un unarmed attacker (except possibly fan against unarmed). Mostly, it's O Sensei unarmed against sword or unarmed opponents.

So to lend any validity to your claim, you need to show at least one example of O Sensei's using a knife or sword against an unarmed attacker.

As to a theoretical koryu link to aikido's reason for practicing against a wrist grab, I'd have to ask you to be specific and explain where the link is.

I'd say that Mochizuki Sensei probably had more technical koryu and general weapons experience than any student of Morihei Ueshiba except his old pal Yoshio Sugino. They both trained extensively in katori shinto ryu and both continued this throughout their lives. I trained thousands of hours in Mochizuki Sensei's form of TSKSR and saw his relation of sword and other weapons to aikido. Of course, this was not O Sensei's method of sword, which was not koryu but his own development; but, as much as Mochizuki Sensei related aikido to sword, he never put any emphasis on grabbing a swordsman's arm to prevent his drawing the sword. It seems that that little explanation is a very tenuous attempt to link modern aikido to the samurai.

It has about as much relevance as trying to explain our love of pizza as a vestige of having once had gills, when our ancestors supposedly lived in the ocean.

I think your aikido will improve quite a bit when you let go of that theoritical imagination and start dealing with human life in the real world.

David

Mark Gibbons
02-22-2011, 08:26 AM
....

Of course aikido harks back to samurai days, but there is no precedent for nage having a knife against an unarmed attacker.

David

I've seen plenty of techniques demonstrated with an armed nage. All sorts of ushiro variations that make no sense at all unless nage has some sort of weapon. I don't think you have a good point here.

Regards,
Mark

David Orange
02-22-2011, 08:37 AM
I've seen plenty of techniques demonstrated with an armed nage. All sorts of ushiro variations that make no sense at all unless nage has some sort of weapon. I don't think you have a good point here.


I won't discount the value of aikido in weapons retention but Chris asserts that the reason the wrist grab even exists in aikido is to prevent an armed nage from attacking uke, which is really backward.

But who have you seen demonstrating these methods and can you post some link? Also, please describe anything in aikido unarmed technique that only makes sense if understood as involving weapons?

Extra points if it's O Sensei or one of his major deshi.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
02-22-2011, 08:45 AM
Let a good judo player, wrestler, karate person grab you and "breaking" their grip ain't so easy. Don't even get me started on a good aikido person or DRA person. Some of the good aikido people can grab you and prevent you from doing anything. Just when you thought your tenkan was good...

As Alejandro noted above, our Sensei emphasized always breaking the grip as the first thing. Then re-grab the grabber and apply as you describe. Mochizuki Sensei developed a full set of escapes for every kind of wrist grab, arm grab, shoulder grab, choke, bear hug, waist hug, etc.

A truly mighty and crushing grip is important for developing aikido and anytime someone gives me an excellent grip, I'm glad for it. But not many people can actually do what Chris demonstrates on his video. Very few would last half a second without serious wounding.

And, again, the main reason the wrist grab exists in aikido is that it's a very common attack against an unarmed person--not because the samurai may have once used it that way. Otherwise, we'd have to explain how a bear hug was used to prevent nage's drawing his sword, or how a rear two-shoulder grab was developed for the same reason. Second, working from a wrist grab is the easiest way to develop the reversals and general mechanics that will apply to all other uses of a technique, including strikes and the more general body controls such as bear hugs, waist hugs or chokes.

Of course, any attack could be related in theory to controling an armed samurai, but I note that thousands of people have learned to do the techniques without that in mind and at the dojo where I trained in Japan, such an explanation was never used--especially for teaching.

Best to you.

David

willow_in_the_mist
07-09-2011, 12:25 PM
I came across this thread while browsing for a t-shirt I'd seen that I thought was funny: "Grab My Wrist—I Dare You!"

Out of idle curiosity, I began reading through the comments on the thread. In fact, I just started an account here so I could respond to some of the things I've read and put in my own two cents.

I am female and have been studying Tomiki Aikido for nearly 2 years now. I love it—both the martial side and the spiritual side, which I have only begun to explore.

There are comments in this thread regarding the practicality of the wrist-grab training. Well, I have to say that it is very practical. Wrists do get grabbed.

But what if something else gets grabbed? That brings me to my next point: The wrist-grab is a demonstration. It teaches us that Aikido is not strength-against-strength. It teaches us to work from our center, to go around the force that is attacking us. Do these still apply if my attacker were grabbing my hair or my shirt? Absolutely. My Sensei has worked with me with such scenarios. He will grab a handful of my hair, he'll grab my clothing, he'll grab me from behind, and so forth. Do I think, "Oh no! He didn't grab my wrist, therefore I can do nothing!" Not at all. The wrist-grabs taught me to work from my core. With a fistful of my hair, he is connected to my body... and my hand can further trap him there while I twist. Trapping his hand, turning my body, going around his strength—all of these come into play no matter what sort of grab he has. And these things I learned while doing the wrist-grab demonstrations. I learned that it doesn't matter how much larger an opponent is (and with me, that is everyone in my class other than the one other woman there). If I use the principles of Aikido, I can at least do something. Will it work every single time? I doubt it. No martial art is the end-all-be-all of martial arts. Anyone who thinks that their martial art is the best or such-and-such martial art is "stupid" has already closed his/her mind and done themselves a disservice.

Doing the wrist-grab exercises and doing all parts of Aikido (that I've learned thus far, that is!) have helped me understand that I don't have to be a victim. It has given me the peace of mind from knowing that because I might very well be smaller and weaker than my attacker, it does not have to put me at a disadvantage. Whether my hair or clothing or purse or wrist is grabbed, I know to keep moving, keep blending, and keep working from my center.

graham christian
07-09-2011, 12:50 PM
Very good. This post is a great example of Aikido. Well done.

Regards.G.

jester
07-09-2011, 01:13 PM
I came across this thread while browsing for a t-shirt I'd seen that I thought was funny: "Grab My Wrist—I Dare You!"

I've seen the "Pull my Finger—I Dare You" shirts but not Grab My Wrist. :crazy:

willow_in_the_mist
07-09-2011, 02:24 PM
I've seen the "Pull my Finger—I Dare You" shirts but not Grab My Wrist. :crazy:

LOL, if I find it again, I'll post a link to it. It might have been on Cafe Press.

[to Graham] Thank you ^_^ I feel I have a wonderful class. I've learned a lot in my brief time so far with Aikido.

Philip Hornback
07-09-2011, 06:58 PM
That is a good post. I study a Tomiki based style and we use the wrist grabs as an exercise to teach the basic principles. Off balance, blending with uke, and feeling the connection and so on. Hope you stick with it.

genin
07-26-2011, 11:03 AM
I've found that when someone grabs you with one hand, or even two hands spaced apart, you can turn your hand out of it. But if they grab you by the wrist with both hands together and their thumbs are overlapping, you can't just turn your hand out. You need to use your free hand to reach in and grab your other hand and rip it free.

robin_jet_alt
07-26-2011, 07:28 PM
I've found that when someone grabs you with one hand, or even two hands spaced apart, you can turn your hand out of it. But if they grab you by the wrist with both hands together and their thumbs are overlapping, you can't just turn your hand out. You need to use your free hand to reach in and grab your other hand and rip it free.

Why would you want to remove their hands?

David Yap
07-27-2011, 03:44 AM
Why would you want to remove their hands?

A Shorinji Kempo kenshi :D