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Tony Wagstaffe
02-27-2011, 02:03 PM
First of all I would like to say thank you Jun for banning me from this site for one month, It seems to me that having controversial opinions and thought is not very welcomed by many on this site.... Then again, it was a welcome break from so many IS/IP threads that were bogging down the forum!!..

Reading the AikiWeb forums, I often read with a sense of disbelief at some of the replies from so many who simply have no concept of what a real life hostile situation brings to their lives.... More often than not, there is no time for for a polite conversation, as most victims don't know "what happened?"
Plus the trauma that comes from it afterwards, so need counseling to get over their "shock"?
As a Taxi Driver/Owner (cabbie) of 23 years experience I get more than my alloted share...When you consider that in the last ten years alone there have been around 40 murders of cabbies in the UK, plus countless thousands of assaults, most that go unrecorded..... It boggles the mind!!
Violence happens across the country on a regular basis, in every town, city, week in, week out.... so those of you that say or think it will probably "never happen to me" are so wrong!! The chances are sooner or later it will happen...... You have been lucky so far!!

Geoff Thompson a UK well known and respected writer, bodyguard and ex doorman is so bang on the nose when it comes to the state of traditional MA of today!! His methods have mirrored mine. Although his experience is vast compared to mine, he is exactly right about real violence.....video attached.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5yS1HYV2fI&feature=related

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1359519/Thug-slammed-young-mothers-head-pole-threw-bus-kicked-row-pushchair.html

I / We (cabbies) work with the doormen and police here in Winchester UK, that is, those who are switched on, who are aware, who do something about their situation, and do have the bottle to do what is required!! Most of the doormen and police officers I know in Winchester know that I practice and teach aikido. I do get a lot of
respect from them, as I do them..... They really do know the reality!! Most openly say in conversation that people are just so totally unaware, so therefore do not take responsibility for themselves in our modern societies, and then wonder why when it does happen they blame everything else except their own inability to take more control of themselves or their own enviroment!!

When people come to me for aikido instruction, I give them a choice....
If you are only doing it for health, that's fine, but you will never achieve Shodan level. I make that a paramount requisite!! Most understand that....
Those that don't, either leave, or carry on knowing that, for them, Shodan level is out of reach unless they go through the pressure testing required for the level. Once Shodan level has been reached we have refresher sessions to make sure they keep 'alive' the 'reality sessions'
This we do until people reach 50 years of age, after that we allow for age differences, physical ailments or restrictions. All those who have managed to get to Shodan in the club I have put under pressure as part of their grading. It's probably why we have always had small numbers attending!! Dan grades within the club we have had are very few. Since starting Aikido Habatakukai since 1981 I have had only 10 who have made it to Shodan and beyond. We do this testing by wearing protective head gear for atemi practice if required, also we incorporate simple judo newaza, as well as the standard Tomiki/Shodokan aikido waza/syllabus, plus variations, combinations and kaeshi waza taught or practised in most T/S dojo's.
Half of my altercations with the idiot public have gone to the ground, so I teach newaza all the same, with all the dirty cheating methods incorporated!!. The ground is not a good place to be, but that is the reality for most fights or altercations..... Up until 2007 when I still had a dojo, I often rolled with my students to keep my own hand in and still took ukemi for my students. I still practice most days for an hour or more, atemi waza, weapon suburi (outside when it's not raining cats and dogs). In addition to that my regime of isometric/isotonic exercise (my own version of I/S or I/P training if you want to call it that!!)
All those who harp on about IP or IS?...
Just train with uncooperative partners or players as we have done in T/S aikido since its inception!! Or better still take up MMA, judo or whatever has resistance in it, you will be better off, plus you will soon find out how to move people! I will keep practising until my body will not allow me to do so anymore. Then it will be time to retire gracefully....
When we see the old video clips of Proff Ueshiba as an 80 year old man easily throwing all those big strapping ukes around, let it be known that those uchi deshi/ukes were doing that in deep respect of an old man who had done the busines all his life, had trained for strength and knew how to move people through having competitive matches, just as they have done in judo for so long now. Look at how successful judo has become!! Can we honestly say that about aikido?
Ask yourself, why did Tomiki Shihan introduce a competitive aikido similar to judo? Not just that it was a requirement of Waseda University, but he also knew in his heart that aikido would become weak, just as it has done!! Remember he was the first 8th Dan awarded to him by Ueshiba himself!! He was virtually branded a heretic because of his rational ideas.
The irrational has proved to be the undoing of aikido in my eyes and also many others who choose to stay quiet, and that is the truth!!
It's about time that those who practice aikido as dance, get wise and start doing an aikido we can all be proud of again..... Or carry on dreaming the dance in most cases!!
Better still remove their black belts, give up their excuse for what they consider aikido and join a good dance and social club, it would be far better health wise, for them and aikido!!
After all this time some are beginning to wake up to the reality, and have found out that it can be done, but it takes hard work, usually shunned by most!!

What is the point of learning a martial art if you don't want to learn to defend yourself? It's like saying I want to do rifle shooting without the bullets!! To say it's good for health is good sense, but that should not be the prime reason to learn any Martial Art..... If it is, you really should be learning dance or yoga or even gymnastics!! There are a vast array of other disciplines which involves physical education such as track and field or some other pursuit. They will help your martial art from a coordination, agility and stamina point of view, but it will not protect you or possibly your family!! Maybe the track as you will have built the stamina to run like a bat out of hell !!
I love to dance as that is fun to do, or yoga to some extent when I am doing stretching, which is fine!! But I repeat it should not really be the prime objective.... Hakama is a choice that is worn only after 2nd Dan in Aikido Habatakukai. Most prefer not to wear the hakama, but we do from time to time to keep some tradition.... T/S aikido clubs generally only use hakama for demonstration enbu or kata in competitions.
As I base our training on the Tomiki/Shodokan syllabus. We start on light randori, right from achieving yellow belt, onwards. We take care at the lower grades, until ukemi is confident enough. Training sessions are normally in two halves, that is Randori/Kata. I have personally found this to be the quickest way to get people up to speed, and to learn a modicum of self defence even at an earlier stage. Those that do it for health practice kata only. That is fine, but they are under no illusions whatsoever that they can defend themselves effectively!!.... Just remember that an ineffective aikido can also be detrimental to your health and well being!!

Aikido-Sensei
02-27-2011, 02:43 PM
Look,
my father will agree with you, he used to fight a lot, not in the dojo.
when someone was making something insulting to him he will roll the ball back... and the game starts - then he used aikido to show that he is not weak.

i think that this is wrong, because it's not 1800 today, it's 2011, we have space tech and stuff, if some "baboon" finds you on his way, sometimes you can make an sad puppy face and he will leave you alone... aikido is about avoiding fights... sometimes the technique is in your head.

itaborai83
02-27-2011, 03:05 PM
I think part of the problem we have today is using the same word, Aikido, to describe incredibly dissimilar ways of training. IMHO, it would be wise to reinstate the term Aikijujutsu (or something similar) in a sort of "official" way to indicate what is already known to many, that there are clear differences in intent and purpose in those who practice what we call Aikido today.

We try to cater the same "product" to different people and what we end up with is a mess caused by lack of quality control. There ought to be clearer and stricter expectations regarding what a shodan is capable of. We don't need to go "Animal Day" (nice video, by the way), but aliveness and resistance shouldn't be treated as a taboo subject.

regards,
Daniel

SeiserL
02-27-2011, 03:20 PM
Geoff is great.

IMHO, all training is artifical.

So no, my Aikido is not up to reality.

Hellis
02-27-2011, 03:24 PM
HI Tony
Welcome back, I have to agree with you on the IS/IP threads, but you don't want to get banned again.

My son would agree with you as I do, have you read his article on his blog " Aikido in MMA " .. He is not very good at breathing through his toes, odour eaters don't help much.....I asked him to try the power of ribbons ? ...You need to try the stern look Tony, that always puts the pony up the thugs. http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Dave de Vos
02-27-2011, 03:44 PM
Should a martial art be concerned with street effectiveness to be called a martial art?

How about kendo, kyudo, iaido, sumo?
Are these martial arts? I think yes.
Do these arts train to be effective on the street? I have no experience in any of these arts, but I think street effectiveness is not a major concern here.

Some martial arts are more concerned with street effectiveness. I guess kyokushin karate and systema would fall in this category.

My understanding is that aikido is somewhere in between.

itaborai83
02-27-2011, 04:04 PM
Should a martial art be concerned with street effectiveness to be called a martial art?

How about kendo, kyudo, iaido, sumo?
Are these martial arts? I think yes.
Do these arts train to be effective on the street? I have no experience in any of these arts, but I think street effectiveness is not a major concern here.

Some martial arts are more concerned with street effectiveness. I guess kyokushin karate and systema would fall in this category.

My understanding is that aikido is somewhere in between.

Dave,

You raise a good point, but the problem is the poor deluded bastards that think they are bad-asses and try to act as if they were, or even the passive aggressiveness that stems from thinking you are either martially or spiritually superior to others just because we wear white pajamas a couple of times a week. The inbetweeness of Aikido helps to fuel these delusions and misconceptions.

regards,
Daniel

Tony Wagstaffe
02-27-2011, 04:29 PM
Geoff is great.

IMHO, all training is artifical.

So no, my Aikido is not up to reality.

I respect your honesty Lynn.... Thank you for your comment...

Regards

Tony

Tony Wagstaffe
02-27-2011, 04:39 PM
Dave,

You raise a good point, but the problem is the poor deluded bastards that think they are bad-asses and try to act as if they were, or even the passive aggressiveness that stems from thinking you are either martially or spiritually superior to others just because we wear white pajamas a couple of times a week. The inbetweeness of Aikido helps to fuel these delusions and misconceptions.

regards,
Daniel

One does not have to be a bad ass to be effective in self defence, Some of the kindest people I know are able to actually kill people without a thought, but don't.... :straightf
As for the pyjamas, weeeell we couldn't do it naked could we now!! We could try the Sumotori method of dress, but I don't think the ladies would like it too much!! At least the dogi does give some protection from a sweaty armpit when your head is buried in it!! :D

Tony Wagstaffe
02-27-2011, 04:46 PM
HI Tony
Welcome back, I have to agree with you on the IS/IP threads, but you don't want to get banned again.

My son would agree with you as I do, have you read his article on his blog " Aikido in MMA " .. He is not very good at breathing through his toes, odour eaters don't help much.....I asked him to try the power of ribbons ? ...You need to try the stern look Tony, that always puts the pony up the thugs. http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Hello Henry, always good to hear your opinion as one of life's dinosaurs, I'm hoping I can join the club!! I keep practising my Phil Mitchell look but I can't help laughing at how ugly I look!!
Yes I enjoyed Riks bloggs as he is a credit to aikido, himself and his Father....

L. Camejo
02-27-2011, 04:46 PM
Good to see you back Tony.

When I read the training methodology you use it reminds me of my own approach. I may be PM-ing you to trade ideas. :)

In a recent seminar on "Aiki" in Toronto Shishida Shihan said that "Aikido is a MARTIAL art. That is the basics of basics." As a result I often find it hard to use the word Aikido to explain what we do in Shodokan when I compare it to the general understanding of the word. When I teach seminars I often start by saying that Tomiki learnt Daito Ryu at the time when he studied under Ueshiba M. This helps adds context to what comes next imho.

Regarding your question: Is your Aikido as a Martial Art up to Reality? - In some ways yes, in some ways no. Since reality is constantly in flux so should the skills I focus on training imho. Adaptability is key to survival :).

Hope you stick around for a while but it depends on the "Powers that be" to not be offended I guess. :)

Best
LC

Tony Wagstaffe
02-27-2011, 05:21 PM
Should a martial art be concerned with street effectiveness to be called a martial art?

How about kendo, kyudo, iaido, sumo?
Are these martial arts? I think yes.
Do these arts train to be effective on the street? I have no experience in any of these arts, but I think street effectiveness is not a major concern here.

Some martial arts are more concerned with street effectiveness. I guess kyokushin karate and systema would fall in this category.

My understanding is that aikido is somewhere in between.

Sumo is an art of grappling and the foreunner of all jujutsu.....
Iaido or iajutsu is drawing of the sword, dispatching your enemy as fast as possible, cleaning your blade and re sheathing it, which is a martial art form we cannot carry out in reality now. You would soon find yourself incarcerated if you did!! I practise it myself....
Kendo would be extremely painful without the armour and is a practical method of sword play without swords. However they do have a beneficial effect on ones jujutsu or in your case your aikido?
Kyudo is archery, but now more a form of meditation, so has no practical use other than to try to hit the target which is of secondary importance.....
That leaves us with judo and aikido, really one and the same arts derived from many hundreds of ryu of jujutsu, which were intended for self defence. We all know that all the arts were practised by the samurai, Some which lost there effectiveness during the Tokugawa isolation and the reawakening of effectiveness through Kano's judo and Mr Takeda's jujutsu, therefore put the two together and one has an hybrid art, which to some extent in my eyes is effective.
As for the new arts such as MMA, I personally think that is where the future lies for those who want self defence effectiveness, couple that with a good study of a joint locking art (aikido) and you can become quite formidable..... We need to reintroduce the atemi and newaza back into aikido and make use of it. It doesn't have to be taboo....:)
In my mind any grappling art should be effective for the modern world as we have no use for swords in a modern society, but we do need a good form of legitimate self defence, which is to take responsibility for ourselves, to stay healthy and be able to defend yourself, your family, and lastly society from harm. If we all did this I am sure there would be a lot more respect and mutual agreement in society as a whole....:)

Tony Wagstaffe
02-27-2011, 06:02 PM
Good to see you back Tony.

When I read the training methodology you use it reminds me of my own approach. I may be PM-ing you to trade ideas. :)

In a recent seminar on "Aiki" in Toronto Shishida Shihan said that "Aikido is a MARTIAL art. That is the basics of basics." As a result I often find it hard to use the word Aikido to explain what we do in Shodokan when I compare it to the general understanding of the word. When I teach seminars I often start by saying that Tomiki learnt Daito Ryu at the time when he studied under Ueshiba M. This helps adds context to what comes next imho.

Regarding your question: Is your Aikido as a Martial Art up to Reality? - In some ways yes, in some ways no. Since reality is constantly in flux so should the skills I focus on training imho. Adaptability is key to survival :).

Hope you stick around for a while but it depends on the "Powers that be" to not be offended I guess. :)

Best
LC

Hello Larry,
Always good to hear from a fellow Shodothug!! Ha ha:D
Simply all I do is teach atemi from boxing, karate and some wing chun I practised before I took up aikido, also the judo newaza I picked up over the years from practising judo when I felt like a roll....
I also teach how to get out of a newaza hold if you get stuck or run out of ideas or counters, it's cheating from a judo point of view but it works!! As you say adapt to your circumstance.
I had to or face getting owned!! Doesn't mean I always got away unscathed though.... In the dojo (competition) the adrenalin is there, but not so intense as when you are out in the deadly ha ha!!
I hate the dump afterwards as it always gives me a pain in the back (old injury). What I have leaned is how to channel that pump.... Breathe!! Focus.....
I still use a great duo exercise for Unsoku..... I have some old video tape of some kyu grades practising... You are welcome to it....

I personally think Tomiki Shihan taught a condensed form of aiki jujutsu in the koryu he put together with Ohba Sensei. I'm not sure of the exact history, but others like Eddy Wolput would be able to tell you more..... You only have to look at Nariyama Sensei performing, that is evident enough. I have never yet had the pleasure of meeting him yet, but his influence is quite widespread now, It was strange as when I saw some of the first video of him, I was struck by the methods he was using, they so mirrored my approach and practise methods.

I met Shishida Sensei some 15 - 20 years or more back now? Whilst I was still in the BAA, He's a very down to earth guy, unassuming and a scholar to boot, a very good technician and teacher....
I still meet up every year with Itsuo Haba Sensei, he still comes to visit me every year. I will be seeing him soon, as I will be returning the compliment....

Regards

Tony

Tony Wagstaffe
02-27-2011, 06:27 PM
Look,
my father will agree with you, he used to fight a lot, not in the dojo.
when someone was making something insulting to him he will roll the ball back... and the game starts - then he used aikido to show that he is not weak.

i think that this is wrong, because it's not 1800 today, it's 2011, we have space tech and stuff, if some "baboon" finds you on his way, sometimes you can make an sad puppy face and he will leave you alone... aikido is about avoiding fights... sometimes the technique is in your head.

Well your father was right and wrong. My father always said never start a fight but make sure you can finish it.....;)

Tony Wagstaffe
02-27-2011, 06:30 PM
Look,
my father will agree with you, he used to fight a lot, not in the dojo.
when someone was making something insulting to him he will roll the ball back... and the game starts - then he used aikido to show that he is not weak.

i think that this is wrong, because it's not 1800 today, it's 2011, we have space tech and stuff, if some "baboon" finds you on his way, sometimes you can make an sad puppy face and he will leave you alone... aikido is about avoiding fights... sometimes the technique is in your head.

Well maybe your father was right and wrong?
My father has always said never start a fight but make sure you can finish it.....;) He boxed as a young man.....:straightf

Garth Jones
02-27-2011, 06:52 PM
I have trained hard in my study of aikido over the past 20+ years, but like Lynn, my aikido is certainly not up to Tony's street reality.

That being said, aikido has all kinds of positive influences on my life that have nothing to do with defending myself on the street. I am much calmer (and I was one pissed off teenager!), much harder to move off my center when dealing with people, and I have saved myself from serious injury a number of times when I've tripped and fell. Also, I have managed to reach the age of 44 without needing to defend myself on the street. That doesn't mean I won't be jumped tomorrow, but I do live in a fairly safe place, so the odds are pretty good.

That being said, my custom furniture shop is in a questionable neighborhood that does have some crime. Over the years I have had rather a number of drug addicts and weirdos wander into my shop, usually wanting to sell me some little tool that they have stolen. A rather soft 'thanks but no thanks' approach has worked very well. These folks live in the neighborhood and I want to deflect them without irritating them so they are not tempted to return when I'm gone to try and break in or just vandalize the place.

Tony said that we "need a good form of legitimate self defense." In the US that form of self defense must take in to account the very real possibility of being faced with one or more attackers carrying hand guns. Muggers, street thugs, punks who rob stores, etc. often commit their crimes with guns and that changes the self defense equation substantially. Much has been written on the topic of armed self defense - and I'm no expert. I just wanted to mention the issue.

If I were really worried about my safety at work, I would keep a shotgun in my shop and perhaps carry a concealed handgun (legal and very easy to do in Pennsylvania). And I would practice with the weapons as seriously as I have trained in aikido.

I hope this perspective is helpful,
Garth

PS Atemi is not taboo in my dojo or with my teachers and I've never, in 22 years of aikido, run into any senior person telling me that atemi was bad.

Gorgeous George
02-27-2011, 07:30 PM
all training is artifical.

So no, my Aikido is not up to reality.

Excellence.

QED

Janet Rosen
02-27-2011, 07:52 PM
I honed my street smarts as a kid in NY walking the streets and parks and riding the subways in the late 60s into early 70s when there was a lot of street crime - as a short girl/woman needed to be able to decide quickly whether to either become invisible or convey being invincible depending on the situation. Managed to scare a couple of folks with instinctive body language. Moved west and In the blighted, druggied Haight Ashbury of the mid 70s, did unarmed community street patrols and security at free concerts, and learned to jump in to break up drunken fights or stand next to a scared person waiting at a bus stop at night.
(Learned to use firearms, too....)
So jump forward 20 yrs to when I finally started training in aikido as a middle aged woman...I don't go to bars, I don't go looking for trouble...I never had ninja or badass fantasies and don't train explicitly for self-defense but I do train with martial intent/awareness and expect my aikido to be one more tool in an existing toolbox if its ever needed.

raul rodrigo
02-27-2011, 07:58 PM
No, my aikido is not up to reality.

Jonathan
02-27-2011, 08:32 PM
As a Taxi Driver/Owner (cabbie) of 23 years experience I get more than my alloted share...When you consider that in the last ten years alone there have been around 40 murders of cabbies in the UK, plus countless thousands of assaults, most that go unrecorded..... It boggles the mind!!

Obviously, this is going to inform how you approach your martial training. What is true of you is not, however, true of everyone else. The potential for violence that may hang over cabbies in the UK doesn't necessarily hang over everbody else. Could your proximity to the threat of violence make you a little overly preoccupied with "making it real" in your training? Seems likely to me...

Violence happens across the country on a regular basis, in every town, city, week in, week out.... so those of you that say or think it will probably "never happen to me" are so wrong!! The chances are sooner or later it will happen...... You have been lucky so far!!

I think this is going a bit far. It has been my experience that violence happens most often to those who are themselves violent. I don't go looking for fights and it is no surprise to me, then, that I never find one. I'm not lucky; generally speaking I just reap what I sow. And I am not unique in my experience. There are many people I know who are in their seventies and eighties who have never in all their life been violently accosted. At least in my world, these people represent the majority; they are not just the lucky few.

When people come to me for aikido instruction, I give them a choice....
If you are only doing it for health, that's fine, but you will never achieve Shodan level. I make that a paramount requisite!! Most understand that....
Those that don't, either leave, or carry on knowing that, for them, Shodan level is out of reach unless they go through the pressure testing required for the level. Once Shodan level has been reached we have refresher sessions to make sure they keep 'alive' the 'reality sessions'

As Lynn has pointed out, no training is truly real. The best that any kind of training can do is approximate reality. The few guys I know who made brawling a way of life as younger men spent a lot of their time recovering from serious injury and are now permanently damaged. As "pressurized" as your training may be, it isn't truly real and can't be if you don't want to end up like the brawlers I know.

I don't disagree with high intensity training and training with a view to practical self-defense but there is more to martial training than whether or not you can put down all comers. You seem to have forgotten this...

Regards,

Jon.

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 03:04 AM
Obviously, this is going to inform how you approach your martial training. What is true of you is not, however, true of everyone else. The potential for violence that may hang over cabbies in the UK doesn't necessarily hang over everbody else. Could your proximity to the threat of violence make you a little overly preoccupied with "making it real" in your training? Seems likely to me...

I think this is going a bit far. It has been my experience that violence happens most often to those who are themselves violent. I don't go looking for fights and it is no surprise to me, then, that I never find one. I'm not lucky; generally speaking I just reap what I sow. And I am not unique in my experience. There are many people I know who are in their seventies and eighties who have never in all their life been violently accosted. At least in my world, these people represent the majority; they are not just the lucky few.

As Lynn has pointed out, no training is truly real. The best that any kind of training can do is approximate reality. The few guys I know who made brawling a way of life as younger men spent a lot of their time recovering from serious injury and are now permanently damaged. As "pressurized" as your training may be, it isn't truly real and can't be if you don't want to end up like the brawlers I know.

I don't disagree with high intensity training and training with a view to practical self-defense but there is more to martial training than whether or not you can put down all comers. You seem to have forgotten this...

Regards,

Jon.

So every doorman is violent ? Every copper on the beat is violent? Every cabbie out risking his bacon on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday night is violent? I don't think so..... Are we there to put down all comers? I don't think so..... But we are realistic about our situations and through are training stay aware which does prevent many things from escalating.....
I suggest you read the post again.... if you are happy with what you do then who am I to suggest to you to do otherwise....?
If you prefer your type of training don't expect it to defend you if the need really arises. You would be surprised how people can change from being "friendly" to a deranged nut case in just a few seconds....
Doormen are trained to do this as part of their employment now.
Gone are the days when a bouncer would drag some trouble maker out of a nightclub and use the pebble dash wall for head restructuring as precursor to kicking the sh1t out of them......
You may never have been accosted in your life like this, so until you do you will never know will you.....?
You obviously live a very comfortable life where the risk is very low, So yes, my occupation is subject to violence and abuse as all those who work in A&E on those nights, and have to deal with all the blood, crap and drunkenness.....
Society doesn't like to look at it's problems but prefers to just sweep it under the carpet as it's an embarrassment to a modern society as a whole, but I see it every weekend......
That is why my aikido is like it is. It doesn't make me a violent person, if anything it has the opposite effect.....

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 03:13 AM
I honed my street smarts as a kid in NY walking the streets and parks and riding the subways in the late 60s into early 70s when there was a lot of street crime - as a short girl/woman needed to be able to decide quickly whether to either become invisible or convey being invincible depending on the situation. Managed to scare a couple of folks with instinctive body language. Moved west and In the blighted, druggied Haight Ashbury of the mid 70s, did unarmed community street patrols and security at free concerts, and learned to jump in to break up drunken fights or stand next to a scared person waiting at a bus stop at night.
(Learned to use firearms, too....)
So jump forward 20 yrs to when I finally started training in aikido as a middle aged woman...I don't go to bars, I don't go looking for trouble...I never had ninja or badass fantasies and don't train explicitly for self-defense but I do train with martial intent/awareness and expect my aikido to be one more tool in an existing toolbox if its ever needed.

Well done Janet!! ..... We cabbies generally remain invisible, but sometimes avoiding people high on something isn't always avoidable, I tend to look at body language and eyes as they are the tell tell signs......

Hellis
02-28-2011, 03:32 AM
Hi Tony

I remember a few years back when I met a senior student of a ` softer` style. He told me he was on a tube train in London, he and his wife and two kids were seriously abused, bad mouthed and pushed back and forth by a gang of yobs...He admitted that he felt that he could not protect his family.....There was worse to come later when his wife gave him so much `pony` for all the Aikido practice nights and years he had neglected her and the home for this to happen....
I didn't like to ask if he had given them a stern look or had a polite chat with them.....

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 03:38 AM
Excellence.

QED

Especially Grahams......;)

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 03:52 AM
Hi Tony

I remember a few years back when I met a senior student of a ` softer` style. He told me he was on a tube train in London, he and his wife and two kids were seriously abused, bad mouthed and pushed back and forth by a gang of yobs...He admitted that he felt that he could not protect his family.....There was worse to come later when his wife gave him so much `pony` for all the Aikido practice nights and years he had neglected her and the home for this to happen....
I didn't like to ask if he had given them a stern look or had a polite chat with them.....

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Hello Henry, Hope your spirits are high.....

Would that be "Negative Aikido" with a big N? Maybe we should ask his wife to write a book on it ...... ;)

Demetrio Cereijo
02-28-2011, 04:26 AM
I´ve heard long distance running is good for developement of body and spirit.

But, as running 42 and something kilometers in about 2 hours to bring news is totally outdated and unnecesary in todays world, from now on a marathon race will be 4 km in lenght and should be done in about 4 hours.

This way, everybody can be a marathon runner and obtain the associated physical and spiritual benefits of long distance running.

:D

Chicko Xerri
02-28-2011, 05:23 AM
Should a martial art be concerned with street effectiveness to be called a martial art?

How about kendo, kyudo, iaido, sumo?
Are these martial arts? I think yes.
Do these arts train to be effective on the street? I have no experience in any of these arts, but I think street effectiveness is not a major concern here.

Some martial arts are more concerned with street effectiveness. I guess kyokushin karate and systema would fall in this category.

My understanding is that aikido is somewhere in between.

It can be said Aikido is not a Martial Art. Aikido comes from Martial Arts. Aikido is Beyond Martial Arts.

Flintstone
02-28-2011, 05:51 AM
It can be said Aikido is not a Martial Art. Aikido comes from Martial Arts. Aikido is Beyond Martial Arts.
Huh, really? :eek:

Demetrio Cereijo
02-28-2011, 06:15 AM
Really.

Like in Buzz Lightyear's motto "To infinity ... and beyond!"

:)

Hellis
02-28-2011, 06:15 AM
Huh, really? :eek:

Plus ONE MORE :yuck:

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Mark Freeman
02-28-2011, 07:42 AM
We have to end this trend of savage materialism and give a little bit of conscience, spirit and love back to the world. We must put down our sword and act with our heart, to let go of violence in order to track down intolerance, repress aggression, and teach compassion.
In other words, we need a supplement of soul. Extend your heart rather than your sword!
It is quite surprising that this cry from the heart was launched to the world by the founder of Aikido, the Japanese Master Morihei Ueshiba. Indeed it seems that nowadays, the practice of martial arts is quite far from canalising violence and that instead, it tends to encourage it while giving to its adepts the means to exert violence without providing them with the means to control it, unlike what was taught originally.


I clipped the above from Guillaume's excellent post titled 'The heart against the sword' worth a read for anyone interested in the wider application of Martial Arts and Aikido in particular.

I have reads through Tony's post's and see that a month of being asked not to post has done little to change anything. His views are the same and will always remain so. Aikido is in trouble because it is not practiced in a way that he 'knows' is the only valid way. IP/IS discussion is irrelevant because he already 'knows' all about what is needed. Anyone who practices 'soft' aikido needs to be pitied as thay are deluded fools. And insulting other people's approach to aikido and their world view, is fine because they don't deserve respect because they are so deluded. Even O Sensei doesn't escape the criticism:crazy:

Aikido is a much bigger art than than Tony make's it out to be. His view is his view and he is fully entitled to it, but I personally find it tedious to read about how 'hard' is good and 'soft' is bad. It is so simplistic as to be laughable

Henry's illustration of the 'soft' senior that couldn't defend his family means nothing, it doesn't put his aikido in question, it put's his own courage in the firing line. Are we to assume that everyone who steps onto the mat of a 'hard' style is suddenly imbued with the courage to confront a gang? I think not.

Where is the tolerance and understanding and applied questioning in all of this 'bashing' of others who do not conform to one's narrow world view.

Aikido as far as I am aware from my own studies is not about beating the opponent, rather it is a means to polish oneself to become a better human being.

If you want effective self defence aikido can be effective, if you want all of what aikido has to offer, you have to see it as a bigger philisophical / spiritual endeavour.

My teacher gave us a talk this weekend about this. He was re-iterating what he has told us so many times before, the essence of aikido is 'non- resistance'. He made it very clear that this was not understood very well when the Japanese teachers introduced the concept to the UK in the mid 50's. He talked about (And Henry Ellis will confirm this, I'm sure) there were challenges made by those who questioned the validity of this new art, and there were injuries as a result of these challenges. He said they were not done on purpose, but were an inevitable result of where everyone was at at that time. He went through much harder training than Tony can imagine, and yet he does not espouse the martial approach. He has gone way beyond the narrow 'street effective' approach, to embrace something much wider, deeper and essentially more productive. His focus now is almost exclusively on mind body co-ordination, the effective use of ki and using all of this to become better human beings.

Stick with what you've got if you are happy with it, move and find something else if you are not.

There is so much to be gained by looking at the benefits of the art, there should be questions asked about the quality of what is being taught, there should be a focus on the martial and the art. There should be a focus on the qualities you need to cultivate to improve as an aikidoka

There is little to be gained from saying everyone not doing it my way is wrong ( Margaret Thatcher was a master of this approach).

regards

Mark

Gorgeous George
02-28-2011, 08:30 AM
I clipped the above from Guillaume's excellent post titled 'The heart against the sword' worth a read for anyone interested in the wider application of Martial Arts and Aikido in particular.

I have reads through Tony's post's and see that a month of being asked not to post has done little to change anything. His views are the same and will always remain so. Aikido is in trouble because it is not practiced in a way that he 'knows' is the only valid way. IP/IS discussion is irrelevant because he already 'knows' all about what is needed. Anyone who practices 'soft' aikido needs to be pitied as thay are deluded fools. And insulting other people's approach to aikido and their world view, is fine because they don't deserve respect because they are so deluded. Even O Sensei doesn't escape the criticism:crazy:

Aikido is a much bigger art than than Tony make's it out to be. His view is his view and he is fully entitled to it, but I personally find it tedious to read about how 'hard' is good and 'soft' is bad. It is so simplistic as to be laughable

Henry's illustration of the 'soft' senior that couldn't defend his family means nothing, it doesn't put his aikido in question, it put's his own courage in the firing line. Are we to assume that everyone who steps onto the mat of a 'hard' style is suddenly imbued with the courage to confront a gang? I think not.

Where is the tolerance and understanding and applied questioning in all of this 'bashing' of others who do not conform to one's narrow world view.

Aikido as far as I am aware from my own studies is not about beating the opponent, rather it is a means to polish oneself to become a better human being.

If you want effective self defence aikido can be effective, if you want all of what aikido has to offer, you have to see it as a bigger philisophical / spiritual endeavour.

My teacher gave us a talk this weekend about this. He was re-iterating what he has told us so many times before, the essence of aikido is 'non- resistance'. He made it very clear that this was not understood very well when the Japanese teachers introduced the concept to the UK in the mid 50's. He talked about (And Henry Ellis will confirm this, I'm sure) there were challenges made by those who questioned the validity of this new art, and there were injuries as a result of these challenges. He said they were not done on purpose, but were an inevitable result of where everyone was at at that time. He went through much harder training than Tony can imagine, and yet he does not espouse the martial approach. He has gone way beyond the narrow 'street effective' approach, to embrace something much wider, deeper and essentially more productive. His focus now is almost exclusively on mind body co-ordination, the effective use of ki and using all of this to become better human beings.

Stick with what you've got if you are happy with it, move and find something else if you are not.

There is so much to be gained by looking at the benefits of the art, there should be questions asked about the quality of what is being taught, there should be a focus on the martial and the art. There should be a focus on the qualities you need to cultivate to improve as an aikidoka

There is little to be gained from saying everyone not doing it my way is wrong ( Margaret Thatcher was a master of this approach).

regards

Mark

Very good, incisive, critical writing.
Thank you.

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 08:33 AM
I clipped the above from Guillaume's excellent post titled 'The heart against the sword' worth a read for anyone interested in the wider application of Martial Arts and Aikido in particular.

I have reads through Tony's post's and see that a month of being asked not to post has done little to change anything. His views are the same and will always remain so. Aikido is in trouble because it is not practiced in a way that he 'knows' is the only valid way. IP/IS discussion is irrelevant because he already 'knows' all about what is needed. Anyone who practices 'soft' aikido needs to be pitied as thay are deluded fools. And insulting other people's approach to aikido and their world view, is fine because they don't deserve respect because they are so deluded. Even O Sensei doesn't escape the criticism:crazy:

Aikido is a much bigger art than than Tony make's it out to be. His view is his view and he is fully entitled to it, but I personally find it tedious to read about how 'hard' is good and 'soft' is bad. It is so simplistic as to be laughable

Henry's illustration of the 'soft' senior that couldn't defend his family means nothing, it doesn't put his aikido in question, it put's his own courage in the firing line. Are we to assume that everyone who steps onto the mat of a 'hard' style is suddenly imbued with the courage to confront a gang? I think not.

Where is the tolerance and understanding and applied questioning in all of this 'bashing' of others who do not conform to one's narrow world view.

Aikido as far as I am aware from my own studies is not about beating the opponent, rather it is a means to polish oneself to become a better human being.

If you want effective self defence aikido can be effective, if you want all of what aikido has to offer, you have to see it as a bigger philisophical / spiritual endeavour.

My teacher gave us a talk this weekend about this. He was re-iterating what he has told us so many times before, the essence of aikido is 'non- resistance'. He made it very clear that this was not understood very well when the Japanese teachers introduced the concept to the UK in the mid 50's. He talked about (And Henry Ellis will confirm this, I'm sure) there were challenges made by those who questioned the validity of this new art, and there were injuries as a result of these challenges. He said they were not done on purpose, but were an inevitable result of where everyone was at at that time. He went through much harder training than Tony can imagine, and yet he does not espouse the martial approach. He has gone way beyond the narrow 'street effective' approach, to embrace something much wider, deeper and essentially more productive. His focus now is almost exclusively on mind body co-ordination, the effective use of ki and using all of this to become better human beings.

Stick with what you've got if you are happy with it, move and find something else if you are not.

There is so much to be gained by looking at the benefits of the art, there should be questions asked about the quality of what is being taught, there should be a focus on the martial and the art. There should be a focus on the qualities you need to cultivate to improve as an aikidoka

There is little to be gained from saying everyone not doing it my way is wrong ( Margaret Thatcher was a master of this approach).

regards

Mark

Well Mark, all very nice philosophy and in some ways I would agree with some points from a philosophical point of view, the only trouble is by the time you have said all that to somebody who is only interested in owning you, you would look a sorry mess....
I'm sure that mind and body coordination is a fine thing to achieve, which incidentally can be achieved by any physical pursuit of any worth. "Ki" aikido doesn't have the rights to that as far as I'm aware so we can assume that aikido is not a martial art anymore? By your standards it is a spiritual quest. If that is the case why not become a spiritualist as oppose to a martial artist....?
Lets face it, there are many of them making a fast buck at the gullibility of others........

Regards

Tony

lbb
02-28-2011, 09:09 AM
I´ve heard long distance running is good for developement of body and spirit.

But, as running 42 and something kilometers in about 2 hours to bring news is totally outdated and unnecesary in todays world, from now on a marathon race will be 4 km in lenght and should be done in about 4 hours.

This way, everybody can be a marathon runner and obtain the associated physical and spiritual benefits of long distance running.

Are people imprisoned for running long distances where you live?

Nicholas Eschenbruch
02-28-2011, 09:17 AM
I have reads through Tony's post's and see that a month of being asked not to post has done little to change anything. His views are the same and will always remain so. Aikido is in trouble because it is not practiced in a way that he 'knows' is the only valid way. IP/IS discussion is irrelevant because he already 'knows' all about what is needed. Anyone who practices 'soft' aikido needs to be pitied as thay are deluded fools. And insulting other people's approach to aikido and their world view, is fine because they don't deserve respect because they are so deluded. Even O Sensei doesn't escape the criticism:crazy:

Aikido is a much bigger art than than Tony make's it out to be. His view is his view and he is fully entitled to it, but I personally find it tedious to read about how 'hard' is good and 'soft' is bad. It is so simplistic as to be laughable

Henry's illustration of the 'soft' senior that couldn't defend his family means nothing, it doesn't put his aikido in question, it put's his own courage in the firing line. Are we to assume that everyone who steps onto the mat of a 'hard' style is suddenly imbued with the courage to confront a gang? I think not.

Where is the tolerance and understanding and applied questioning in all of this 'bashing' of others who do not conform to one's narrow world view.

Aikido as far as I am aware from my own studies is not about beating the opponent, rather it is a means to polish oneself to become a better human being.

If you want effective self defence aikido can be effective, if you want all of what aikido has to offer, you have to see it as a bigger philisophical / spiritual endeavour.

My teacher gave us a talk this weekend about this. He was re-iterating what he has told us so many times before, the essence of aikido is 'non- resistance'. He made it very clear that this was not understood very well when the Japanese teachers introduced the concept to the UK in the mid 50's. He talked about (And Henry Ellis will confirm this, I'm sure) there were challenges made by those who questioned the validity of this new art, and there were injuries as a result of these challenges. He said they were not done on purpose, but were an inevitable result of where everyone was at at that time. He went through much harder training than Tony can imagine, and yet he does not espouse the martial approach. He has gone way beyond the narrow 'street effective' approach, to embrace something much wider, deeper and essentially more productive. His focus now is almost exclusively on mind body co-ordination, the effective use of ki and using all of this to become better human beings.

Stick with what you've got if you are happy with it, move and find something else if you are not.

There is so much to be gained by looking at the benefits of the art, there should be questions asked about the quality of what is being taught, there should be a focus on the martial and the art. There should be a focus on the qualities you need to cultivate to improve as an aikidoka

There is little to be gained from saying everyone not doing it my way is wrong ( Margaret Thatcher was a master of this approach).

regards

Mark

Great post.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-28-2011, 09:17 AM
The ones who don't run long and fast enough are the ones who get caught and imprisoned.

Mark Freeman
02-28-2011, 09:30 AM
Well Mark, all very nice philosophy and in some ways I would agree with some points from a philosophical point of view, the only trouble is by the time you have said all that to somebody who is only interested in owning you, you would look a sorry mess....
I'm sure that mind and body coordination is a fine thing to achieve, which incidentally can be achieved by any physical pursuit of any worth. "Ki" aikido doesn't have the rights to that as far as I'm aware so we can assume that aikido is not a martial art anymore? By your standards it is a spiritual quest. If that is the case why not become a spiritualist as oppose to a martial artist....?Lets face it, there are many of them making a fast buck at the gullibility of others........

Regards

Tony

Tony,

You know nothing about me or my martial abilities, why would I want to become a spiritualist, what an absurd suggestion. What's mutually exclusive about being a martial artist and being a spiritual being. O Sensei and many others would be turning in their collective graves.

I have only faced two serious situations where I could have come to harm, both with gangs of youths of around 5 or 6 in each case. Both situations I was promised I was either going to get my f**cking head kicked in or in the other case get f**cking killed. In both cased I managed to get out of the situation by negotiating eyeball to eyeball with the ringleader in each case. No face lost no blood spilt, Ideal aikido as far as I am concerned.

From your answer to my post I see that the case I put is correct.

I didn't say that Ki Aikido had the rights to anything, your prejudice not mine.

The sort of mind-body co-ordination I am refering to is not achievable by any physical pursuit, it is specific and quantifyable.

Aikido is greater than your perception of it Tony, be happy with the fact that you are limited by your own imagination.

I'll bow out of this one as there is nothing to be gained here.

regards,

Mark

phitruong
02-28-2011, 09:34 AM
my reality keeps changing and my martial arts have a hard time keeping up. after watching Inception, i am not sure if this is real or not. :)

Alex Megann
02-28-2011, 09:44 AM
I clipped the above from Guillaume's excellent post titled 'The heart against the sword' worth a read for anyone interested in the wider application of Martial Arts and Aikido in particular.

I have reads through Tony's post's and see that a month of being asked not to post has done little to change anything. His views are the same and will always remain so. Aikido is in trouble because it is not practiced in a way that he 'knows' is the only valid way. IP/IS discussion is irrelevant because he already 'knows' all about what is needed. Anyone who practices 'soft' aikido needs to be pitied as thay are deluded fools. And insulting other people's approach to aikido and their world view, is fine because they don't deserve respect because they are so deluded. Even O Sensei doesn't escape the criticism:crazy:

(rest of post clipped)

regards

Mark

Mark -- excellent post!

My own teacher was a student of Gozo Shioda in the late fifties and early sixties, so knows intimately what hard training is. He is still fond of recalling confrontations from his earlier life (many of them start along the lines of "I had a fight with policeman in Nepal..."). I suspect that he is still perfectly capable of looking after himself, even though he is in his seventies now.

Like your teacher, though, these days he concentrates on body movement and connection with the partner. His classes can be very intense and exhausting, but he is much more likely to tell us that our techniques aren't working because we are using too much strength, than to criticise us for not being "martial enough".

I would love to see someone tell him to his face that his aikido has lost its way.

Alex

lbb
02-28-2011, 10:07 AM
The ones who don't run long and fast enough are the ones who get caught and imprisoned.

Do I really need to explain the ways that your cut-down marathon analogy fails? Running long distances isn't illegal; you can run all day and no one cares. Fighting is illegal except in a few, very circumscribed circumstances.

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 10:39 AM
Tony,

You know nothing about me or my martial abilities, why would I want to become a spiritualist, what an absurd suggestion. What's mutually exclusive about being a martial artist and being a spiritual being. O Sensei and many others would be turning in their collective graves.

I have only faced two serious situations where I could have come to harm, both with gangs of youths of around 5 or 6 in each case. Both situations I was promised I was either going to get my f**cking head kicked in or in the other case get f**cking killed. In both cased I managed to get out of the situation by negotiating eyeball to eyeball with the ringleader in each case. No face lost no blood spilt, Ideal aikido as far as I am concerned.

From your answer to my post I see that the case I put is correct.

I didn't say that Ki Aikido had the rights to anything, your prejudice not mine.

The sort of mind-body co-ordination I am refering to is not achievable by any physical pursuit, it is specific and quantifyable.

Aikido is greater than your perception of it Tony, be happy with the fact that you are limited by your own imagination.

I'll bow out of this one as there is nothing to be gained here.

regards,

Mark

Yes Mark, been there done it, but unfortunately it doesn't always work in all cases, I suspect you had the bottle and got lucky like I did on more than a couple of occasions, but negotiation doesn't always work..... Believe me it's not imagination!!
So gymnastics is not quantifiable? I would suggest that is the ultimate in mind body control and coordination, in my eyes it is light years ahead of ki aikido.....

Regards

Tony

Demetrio Cereijo
02-28-2011, 10:53 AM
Do I really need to explain the ways that your cut-down marathon analogy fails? Running long distances isn't illegal; you can run all day and no one cares. Fighting is illegal except in a few, very circumscribed circumstances.

Fighting?

This is not about fighting, This is about forging body, mind and spirit so you can choose what to do when facing unjust violence.

I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully.
The strength to kill is not essential for self-defence; one ought to have the strength to die. When a man is fully ready to die, he will not even desire to offer violence. Indeed, I may put it down as a self-evident proposition that the desire to kill is in inverse proportion to the desire to die. And history is replete with instances of men who, by dying with courage and compassion on their lips, converted the hearts of their violent opponents.
Nonviolence cannot be taught to a person who fears to die and has no power of resistance. A helpless mouse is not nonviolent because he is always eaten by pussy. He would gladly eat the murderess if he could, but he ever tries to flee from her. We do not call him a coward, because he is made by nature to behave no better than he does.
But a man who, when faced by danger, behaves like a mouse, is rightly called a coward. He harbors violence and hatred in his heart and would kill his enemy if he could without hurting himself. He is a stranger to nonviolence. All sermonizing on it will be lost on him. Bravery is foreign to his nature. Before he can understand nonviolence, he has to be taught to stand his ground and even suffer death, in the attempt to defend himself against the aggressor who bids fair to overwhelm him. To do otherwise would be to confirm his cowardice and take him further away from nonviolence.
Whilst I may not actually help anyone to retaliate, I must not let a coward seek shelter behind nonviolence so-called. Not knowing the stuff of which nonviolence is made, many have honestly believed that running away from danger every time was a virtue compared to offering resistance, especially when it was fraught with danger to one's life. As a teacher of nonviolence I must, so far as it is possible for me, guard against such an unmanly belief.
Self-defence....is the only honourable course where there is unreadiness for self-immolation.
Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self-defence or for the defence of the defenceless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission. The latter befits neither man nor woman. Under violence, there are many stages and varieties of bravery. Every man must judge this for himself. No other person can or has the right.

Who am I quoting here?

A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence. He chooses peace. He must be able to make a choice. He must have the genuine ability to destroy his enemy and then choose not to. I have heard this excuse made. “I choose to be a pacifist before learning techniques so I do not need to learn the power of destruction.” This shows no comprehension of the mind of the true warrior. This is just a rationalization to cover the fear of injury or hard training. The true warrior who chooses to be a pacifist is willing to stand and die for his principles. People claiming to be pacifists who rationalize to avoid hard training or injury will flee instead of standing and dying for principle. They are just cowards. Only a warrior who has tempered his spirit in conflict and who has confronted himself and his greatest fears can in my opinion make the choice to be a true pacifist

And here?

If your training doesn't give you the virtue of courage and the skills to stand in the face of violence all your "philosophical enlightnement" deserves, IMO, is a big woe to you, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 11:03 AM
Mark -- excellent post!

My own teacher was a student of Gozo Shioda in the late fifties and early sixties, so knows intimately what hard training is. He is still fond of recalling confrontations from his earlier life (many of them start along the lines of "I had a fight with policeman in Nepal..."). I suspect that he is still perfectly capable of looking after himself, even though he is in his seventies now.

Like your teacher, though, these days he concentrates on body movement and connection with the partner. His classes can be very intense and exhausting, but he is much more likely to tell us that our techniques aren't working because we are using too much strength, than to criticise us for not being "martial enough".

I would love to see someone tell him to his face that his aikido has lost its way.

Alex

Alex,
Of course we will all do that when we get older, part of my thinking is, should young strapping people be doing hard or soft? My experience is you cannot achieve one without the other. The hard comes before the soft. The problem today is those who wish to get straight to or achieve the soft by avoiding the hard, and then find out they cannot do it without a colluding partner.......? It's common sense that one should temper their practice as one ages, but when young should do hard practice as seen in Yoshinkan, Iwama ryu or against resisting partners as practised in Shodokan. It's the only rational way one can truly test their progress.... Anything else is delusion.....

lbb
02-28-2011, 11:04 AM
Whatever. I'm done discussing anything with people who willfully refuse to get a simple point. Try switching to decaf.

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 11:21 AM
Fighting?

This is not about fighting, This is about forging body, mind and spirit so you can choose what to do when facing unjust violence.

I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully.
The strength to kill is not essential for self-defence; one ought to have the strength to die. When a man is fully ready to die, he will not even desire to offer violence. Indeed, I may put it down as a self-evident proposition that the desire to kill is in inverse proportion to the desire to die. And history is replete with instances of men who, by dying with courage and compassion on their lips, converted the hearts of their violent opponents.
Nonviolence cannot be taught to a person who fears to die and has no power of resistance. A helpless mouse is not nonviolent because he is always eaten by pussy. He would gladly eat the murderess if he could, but he ever tries to flee from her. We do not call him a coward, because he is made by nature to behave no better than he does.
But a man who, when faced by danger, behaves like a mouse, is rightly called a coward. He harbors violence and hatred in his heart and would kill his enemy if he could without hurting himself. He is a stranger to nonviolence. All sermonizing on it will be lost on him. Bravery is foreign to his nature. Before he can understand nonviolence, he has to be taught to stand his ground and even suffer death, in the attempt to defend himself against the aggressor who bids fair to overwhelm him. To do otherwise would be to confirm his cowardice and take him further away from nonviolence.
Whilst I may not actually help anyone to retaliate, I must not let a coward seek shelter behind nonviolence so-called. Not knowing the stuff of which nonviolence is made, many have honestly believed that running away from danger every time was a virtue compared to offering resistance, especially when it was fraught with danger to one's life. As a teacher of nonviolence I must, so far as it is possible for me, guard against such an unmanly belief.
Self-defence....is the only honourable course where there is unreadiness for self-immolation.
Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self-defence or for the defence of the defenceless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission. The latter befits neither man nor woman. Under violence, there are many stages and varieties of bravery. Every man must judge this for himself. No other person can or has the right.

Who am I quoting here?

A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence. He chooses peace. He must be able to make a choice. He must have the genuine ability to destroy his enemy and then choose not to. I have heard this excuse made. "I choose to be a pacifist before learning techniques so I do not need to learn the power of destruction." This shows no comprehension of the mind of the true warrior. This is just a rationalization to cover the fear of injury or hard training. The true warrior who chooses to be a pacifist is willing to stand and die for his principles. People claiming to be pacifists who rationalize to avoid hard training or injury will flee instead of standing and dying for principle. They are just cowards. Only a warrior who has tempered his spirit in conflict and who has confronted himself and his greatest fears can in my opinion make the choice to be a true pacifist

And here?

If your training doesn't give you the virtue of courage and the skills to stand in the face of violence all your "philosophical enlightnement" deserves, IMO, is a big woe to you, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

I'll repeat what Geoff Thompson said, "I'm no fighter, but without being boastful, I can defend myself if I have to"
I tend to think myself in the same vain, as I'm sure many do in aikido or any martial art worth it's salt....
Do I have fear? Yes of course if the odds are against me! Who wouldn't be? One learns to channel that fear and make use of it..... Win or lose.....

C. David Henderson
02-28-2011, 11:57 AM
Fighting?

Who am I quoting here?

Ghandi?

Jonathan
02-28-2011, 12:26 PM
So every doorman is violent ? Every copper on the beat is violent? Every cabbie out risking his bacon on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday night is violent?

Did I say that? Violence hangs over people in these professions but that doesn't necessarily make them violent..or does it? I'm pretty sure the nun in her quiet, untroubled monastery is far less violent than the cabbie "risking his bacon" on a regular basis. The office worker who spends his day in front of a computer finds far less cause to be violent than your average on-the-beat police officer. I suspect most librarians aren't having to regularly manhandle some obnoxious drunk like your typical doorman must do.

But we are realistic about our situations and through are training stay aware which does prevent many things from escalating.....

Your assertion that all of us are just lucky to have escaped violence and are working against the odds in remaining so suggests that, while you may be realistic about your situation, you aren't being entirely realistic about everyone else's.

I suggest you read the post again.... if you are happy with what you do then who am I to suggest to you to do otherwise....?

Who indeed? Why, then, bother posting your views if not to persuade others of the correctness of your perspective and the faultiness of theirs?

If you prefer your type of training don't expect it to defend you if the need really arises.

I'm pretty sure you have no actual idea about how I have or do train. So I'll just ignore this comment.

You would be surprised how people can change from being "friendly" to a deranged nut case in just a few seconds....

Try growing up with a bi-polar parent like I did.

You may never have been accosted in your life like this, so until you do you will never know will you.....?

Then again, I may have. You don't know, do you?

You obviously live a very comfortable life where the risk is very low,

Uh, sort of...

So yes, my occupation is subject to violence and abuse as all those who work in A&E on those nights, and have to deal with all the blood, crap and drunkenness.....

There are other jobs one can do...

Society doesn't like to look at it's problems but prefers to just sweep it under the carpet as it's an embarrassment to a modern society as a whole, but I see it every weekend......

Is someone forcing you to get up close and personal with the "blood, crap and drunkenness"?

That is why my aikido is like it is. It doesn't make me a violent person, if anything it has the opposite effect.....

Glad to hear it! And it sounds to me like you're agreeing with me: Your proximity to violence influences your approach to your Aikido. But your experience with violence isn't everyone else's. You shouldn't, then, expect us all to be as preoccupied as you seem to be with "making it real." There are other aspects of Aikido to be explored, and mastered, and valued perhaps as much or more than how closely one's training mimics a real fight. Just a thought.

Regards,

Jon.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-28-2011, 12:38 PM
Ghandi?
Yes.

guest1234567
02-28-2011, 12:47 PM
I clipped the above from Guillaume's excellent post titled 'The heart against the sword' worth a read for anyone interested in the wider application of Martial Arts and Aikido in particular.

I have reads through Tony's post's and see that a month of being asked not to post has done little to change anything. His views are the same and will always remain so. Aikido is in trouble because it is not practiced in a way that he 'knows' is the only valid way. IP/IS discussion is irrelevant because he already 'knows' all about what is needed. Anyone who practices 'soft' aikido needs to be pitied as thay are deluded fools. And insulting other people's approach to aikido and their world view, is fine because they don't deserve respect because they are so deluded. Even O Sensei doesn't escape the criticism:crazy:

Aikido is a much bigger art than than Tony make's it out to be. His view is his view and he is fully entitled to it, but I personally find it tedious to read about how 'hard' is good and 'soft' is bad. It is so simplistic as to be laughable

Henry's illustration of the 'soft' senior that couldn't defend his family means nothing, it doesn't put his aikido in question, it put's his own courage in the firing line. Are we to assume that everyone who steps onto the mat of a 'hard' style is suddenly imbued with the courage to confront a gang? I think not.

Where is the tolerance and understanding and applied questioning in all of this 'bashing' of others who do not conform to one's narrow world view.

Aikido as far as I am aware from my own studies is not about beating the opponent, rather it is a means to polish oneself to become a better human being.

If you want effective self defence aikido can be effective, if you want all of what aikido has to offer, you have to see it as a bigger philisophical / spiritual endeavour.

My teacher gave us a talk this weekend about this. He was re-iterating what he has told us so many times before, the essence of aikido is 'non- resistance'. He made it very clear that this was not understood very well when the Japanese teachers introduced the concept to the UK in the mid 50's. He talked about (And Henry Ellis will confirm this, I'm sure) there were challenges made by those who questioned the validity of this new art, and there were injuries as a result of these challenges. He said they were not done on purpose, but were an inevitable result of where everyone was at at that time. He went through much harder training than Tony can imagine, and yet he does not espouse the martial approach. He has gone way beyond the narrow 'street effective' approach, to embrace something much wider, deeper and essentially more productive. His focus now is almost exclusively on mind body co-ordination, the effective use of ki and using all of this to become better human beings.

Stick with what you've got if you are happy with it, move and find something else if you are not.

There is so much to be gained by looking at the benefits of the art, there should be questions asked about the quality of what is being taught, there should be a focus on the martial and the art. There should be a focus on the qualities you need to cultivate to improve as an aikidoka

There is little to be gained from saying everyone not doing it my way is wrong ( Margaret Thatcher was a master of this approach).

regards

Mark

Great and relevant post, Thanks Mark

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 01:05 PM
Did I say that? Violence hangs over people in these professions but that doesn't necessarily make them violent..or does it? I'm pretty sure the nun in her quiet, untroubled monastery is far less violent than the cabbie "risking his bacon" on a regular basis. The office worker who spends his day in front of a computer finds far less cause to be violent than your average on-the-beat police officer. I suspect most librarians aren't having to regularly manhandle some obnoxious drunk like your typical doorman must do.

Your assertion that all of us are just lucky to have escaped violence and are working against the odds in remaining so suggests that, while you may be realistic about your situation, you aren't being entirely realistic about everyone else's.

Who indeed? Why, then, bother posting your views if not to persuade others of the correctness of your perspective and the faultiness of theirs?

I'm pretty sure you have no actual idea about how I have or do train. So I'll just ignore this comment.

Try growing up with a bi-polar parent like I did.

Then again, I may have. You don't know, do you?

Uh, sort of...

There are other jobs one can do...

Is someone forcing you to get up close and personal with the "blood, crap and drunkenness"?

Glad to hear it! And it sounds to me like you're agreeing with me: Your proximity to violence influences your approach to your Aikido. But your experience with violence isn't everyone else's. You shouldn't, then, expect us all to be as preoccupied as you seem to be with "making it real." There are other aspects of Aikido to be explored, and mastered, and valued perhaps as much or more than how closely one's training mimics a real fight. Just a thought.

Regards,

Jon.

Jonathan you suggested that maybe I was/is possibly violent? Read your own post..... not by choice no.....

A& E is a vocation by those that work in these conditions.... Getting another job is not an option and you would be glad of their services if the worst was to happen to you..... which it won't will it?

And your ability? I kind of doubt it....... by your answer

Sorry about your bi polar parent..... Life's a bitch eh? Some don't even have parents!!

As for getting up close to blood and drunkenness you won't have to put up with that either because there are those who do to keep you comfortable and away from it..... your taxes or medical insurance take care of that.....Oh next time you catch a cab which you most likely don't use because it sounds like you live in a fairly effluent society, make sure you tip the cabbie, or he'll think you a right tight arse.....!!

Take Care

Tony

ewolput
02-28-2011, 01:29 PM
Basically I can understand Tony very well. He is asking if the training is good enough to survive in a "cruel"world. Most of us have to admit that our training is focused on other items of our society. I met some very good teachers of japanese martial arts who never had a fight on the street. They have a very high level, but their mind is not set to fight as a matter of life and death.
Some time ago, Tadayuki Sato a student of Tomiki sensei, told me: the purpose of our aikido training is a educational one.......
But maybe Tony is right when he critisism people who are claiming to teach real life selfdefense and who never experienced the "cruel" world.
In my younger days, I asked myself the question : can I fight that person(s) and beat them?
Now I am asking myself : can I really throw that resisting opponent? and can I do this without hurting my opponent?
So, my aikido (?) of my younger days, I can say I survived. My contemporary (correct word?) aikido, I don't know because I always (try to) avoid dangerious situations.

Eddy Wolput

Dave de Vos
02-28-2011, 02:06 PM
Sure I understand that Tony requires street effective training, being in his situation. Being a cab driver is about as dangerous as being a police officer, perhaps even more.

But I don't understand that Tony does not understand that most people don't really need it. An average person in a western democracy is far more likely to be hurt in an accident than by violence. Defensive driving is more effective for their safety than realistic martial art training. Those are the facts.

But for me, although adding more "realism" in my training is not a requirement, it would be interesting. In fact I'm giving it a try out of curiosity. Last friday I joined the full contact karate class where my son trains. I think I will train there for a couple of months. I don't want to become a fighter and I don't want to participate in competitions. I just want to experience what it's like to train to hit and be hit. I know even this is not real, because there are rules and as a beginner I won't be hit full force. I liked my fisrt lessons. I got bruised in different places than in aikido training ;)

But I don't want to train by getting into a real fight.

Hellis
02-28-2011, 02:27 PM
Jonathan take care of that.....Oh next time you catch a cab which you most likely don't use because it sounds like you live in a fairly effluent society, make sure you tip the cabbie, or he'll think you a right tight arse.....!!

Take Care

Tony

Spot the deliberate mistake :) not such a nice area ?

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Hillendflynn
02-28-2011, 02:44 PM
Atillio
Thanks for your post, i confess i am new to aikiweb and have had some enjoyment reading your post and the subsequent posts that followed.
Would you say that aikido helps you to perceive violent problems that might arise before they happen? If so how? I am interested, keen and open to hear your views.
I also went to look at some of the Tomiki style aikido clips and the randori clips seemed to me a little like a wrestle off - do you not think that if you [understandably if you are afraid of being attacked] desire physical domination over anyone who might attack you, a more rounded fighting style would suit you better or are you of the conviction that the style of aikido you learn is the best available fighting art?
Many thanks in advance
Sean

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 02:49 PM
Sure I understand that Tony requires street effective training, being in his situation. Being a cab driver is about as dangerous as being a police officer, perhaps even more.

But I don't understand that Tony does not understand that most people don't really need it. An average person in a western democracy is far more likely to be hurt in an accident than by violence. Defensive driving is more effective for their safety than realistic martial art training. Those are the facts.

But for me, although adding more "realism" in my training is not a requirement, it would be interesting. In fact I'm giving it a try out of curiosity. Last friday I joined the full contact karate class where my son trains. I think I will train there for a couple of months. I don't want to become a fighter and I don't want to participate in competitions. I just want to experience what it's like to train to hit and be hit. I know even this is not real, because there are rules and as a beginner I won't be hit full force. I liked my fisrt lessons. I got bruised in different places than in aikido training ;)

But I don't want to train by getting into a real fight.

Dave, who does? The point is as Eddy quoted, I train in the T/S tradition but add my own experience to it.... I have found that practice in resistance is a good learning curve and will to some extent help you in an hostile situation. You are right in saying that you don't need more realism in your training, that is your choice and that is fine.... I say that I give my students a choice up till the age of 50. They do not have to do the pressure testing unless they really want their shodan. After 50 it is a bit too much too expect so we make allowances....
It is a very vulnerable job being a cabbie and that is one of it's drawbacks, but there are the high points when people thank you for your kind and helpful services either verbally or with a nice tip!!
Day time trade is mostly elderly people, who need patience with their ailments and a kind ear for their problems which they tend to unload.... to some I'm a saint to others a robbing bastard.....;) :eek:

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 03:05 PM
Atillio
Thanks for your post, i confess i am new to aikiweb and have had some enjoyment reading your post and the subsequent posts that followed.
Would you say that aikido helps you to perceive violent problems that might arise before they happen? If so how? I am interested, keen and open to hear your views.
I also went to look at some of the Tomiki style aikido clips and the randori clips seemed to me a little like a wrestle off - do you not think that if you [understandably if you are afraid of being attacked] desire physical domination over anyone who might attack you, a more rounded fighting style would suit you better or are you of the conviction that the style of aikido you learn is the best available fighting art?
Many thanks in advance
Sean

You have to remember that T/S is sport aikido as well as traditional.
In my profession one has to be responsible as one can lose their licence to operate if one is found to be a violent person. It is a position of trust. I would say that my street awareness and experience is what helps me to perceive a possible situation kicking off, but I am not telepathic no :hypno: !!
It's body language, attitude, not so very difficult to see, how crowds become restless, people becoming impatient.... it's all there if you keep your mind and eyes open.....
A good knowledge of grappling is good as well as a good knowledge of atemi and being able to adapt is important, the truth is nothing is absolute.....Does that help?

Regards

Tony

sakumeikan
02-28-2011, 04:00 PM
Spot the deliberate mistake :) not such a nice area ?

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/
Henry,
You might conclude that this statement is a load of crap. Cheers, Joe.

Jonathan
02-28-2011, 05:22 PM
Jonathan you suggested that maybe I was/is possibly violent? Read your own post..... not by choice no.....

Well, if your life as a cabbie is as fraught with danger and violence as you suggest I don't imagine your a perfect pacifist.

A& E is a vocation by those that work in these conditions.... Getting another job is not an option and you would be glad of their services if the worst was to happen to you..... which it won't will it?

Like I said, I don't find violence because I don't go looking for it.

And your ability? I kind of doubt it....... by your answer

Well, you would, wouldn't you? It seems if I'm not in perfect agreement with you, then there is simply no way I can be training well. Doesn't this degree of myopia give you any pause at all?

Sorry about your bi polar parent..... Life's a bitch eh? Some don't even have parents!!

No, life's okay, actually. I love my bi-polar parent -- craziness and all.

As for getting up close to blood and drunkenness you won't have to put up with that either because there are those who do to keep you comfortable and away from it.....

And your point is?

Oh next time you catch a cab which you most likely don't use because it sounds like you live in a fairly effluent society, make sure you tip the cabbie, or he'll think you a right tight arse.....!!

I'm sure my society is no more "effluent" than yours.

I am a generous tipper -- to those who have earned it.

You take care, too.

Jon.

akiy
02-28-2011, 05:40 PM
First of all I would like to say thank you Jun for banning me from this site for one month, It seems to me that having controversial opinions and thought is not very welcomed by many on this site....
Just to clarify, I do not (usually) impose posting restrictions on people for the topics that they raise but for the tone and manner that they employ in discussion the topics. That is all I'm going to say on that subject at this time.

I leave you now to your discussion.

-- Jun

mathewjgano
02-28-2011, 05:59 PM
In the sense that I make no assumptions about "my" aikido, then yes, it is up to reality.
Also, to be fair, I don't think it was simply having controversial views which people found offensive, and some would say the "does your aikido work" threads are just as tired as the IP/IS threads.
I'm all for people telling each other to look harder at what they're doing, though. Good luck with that.
Take care,
Matt

Chicko Xerri
02-28-2011, 08:53 PM
Plus ONE MORE :yuck:

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Just as the Blogs imply, Aikido is way beyond Martial Arts of the past.

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 09:13 PM
Just to clarify, I do not (usually) impose posting restrictions on people for the topics that they raise but for the tone and manner that they employ in discussion the topics. That is all I'm going to say on that subject at this time.

I leave you now to your discussion.

-- Jun

Thanks Jun....

Hope you are enjoying it to....;)

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2011, 09:34 PM
Basically I can understand Tony very well. He is asking if the training is good enough to survive in a "cruel"world. Most of us have to admit that our training is focused on other items of our society. I met some very good teachers of japanese martial arts who never had a fight on the street. They have a very high level, but their mind is not set to fight as a matter of life and death.
Some time ago, Tadayuki Sato a student of Tomiki sensei, told me: the purpose of our aikido training is a educational one.......
But maybe Tony is right when he critisism people who are claiming to teach real life selfdefense and who never experienced the "cruel" world.
In my younger days, I asked myself the question : can I fight that person(s) and beat them?
Now I am asking myself : can I really throw that resisting opponent? and can I do this without hurting my opponent?
So, my aikido (?) of my younger days, I can say I survived. My contemporary (correct word?) aikido, I don't know because I always (try to) avoid dangerious situations.

Eddy Wolput

I would concur with trying to avoid dangerous situations Eddy....
When chatting to the local beat police and doormen as we all do from time to time, there is a certain amount of banter and serious discussion, but we all agree that we all have one thing in common "the public" We see it all when the worst comes out and believe me it gets quite surreal !! We laugh when we say the job is great, its the public that ruin it !! We have good relationships with the police and doormen as it helps to help eachother to disperse crowds of unruly youngsters and get them home safely. In the main most are reasonably well behaved, it's the 10% who ruin it for the rest.... and it's us who have to deal with it..... No one wants to hurt anybody so "aikido" does have it's uses, but it has to be adapted to the situation...
British law states that one can use reasonable force for self defence, that is, one should not go over the top..... not so easy when things get overheated and one is trying to control the situation with unreasonable people. Easier said than done, that is for sure.....

Regards

Tony

John O'Rorey
02-28-2011, 10:44 PM
I know I'm new to the forums, and new to Aikido, but not to fighting. I've been in countless fights growing up and in adult life and some in the boxing ring. But, before you accuse me of being aggressive or a ruffian, I come from a police family. They were in defense, and I was justified. The boxing was more for sport, but works, too.

I can really appreciate that in the dojo I attend we have a sensei that has only done aikido, one that is a black belt in karate and has done boxing and something else, and the dojo cho having tai chi chuan and jujutsu along with 20 years in aikido. They all bring something different to the table, and they all bring different energy.

Starting with rank, one man seems to gather all of his energy from the earth, one from his self, one from his spirit, and recently another sensei with his mind. All of these people show the atemi, but they all offer something entirely different to the toolbox of your mind and body. Atemi is never shunned away, and is always looked at as an option.

Do I think Aikido works from a boxing to street fighting standpoint? Absolutely. I wish I could count the number of options in techniques in which I was sure I could deliver the one-hitter-quitter. The footwork, misdirection, center, positioning, and balance of yourself and the other is priceless in any troubled situation. And I can honestly say that being accepting of an attack, or counter attack is invaluable. Absolutely invaluable.

Was the man that chose to be passive against multiple attackers while they were harassing him and his family in the wrong? I don't think so at all. We have to remember that we must do the most sensible and loving thing we can do at the time. It's all about the choice. What if this man tried to be less-than-Aiki and be the hero and was seriously injured, maimed, or killed? The fact that he is in one piece, uninjured, means he can love his family and provide for them another day. That is more honorable than trying to use Aikido as a tool for dispatching justice.

Perhaps we all need to take a step back sometimes and tear our focus away from the routine, the one-two-three, and bring the shoshin. Maybe some philosophy and supreme truth wouldn't hurt, either.

Also I know that a lot of our standardized police tactics in the area are moving to an aikido feel. I'm convinced it works, and it's definitely up to my reality; at least from the dojo I attend, and with the teachers I have, and from my personal experience.

But, in that sense if everyone thought one thing worked absolutely there wouldn't be multiple associations, schools, and federations.

Michael Hackett
02-28-2011, 11:33 PM
As I've mentioned before, I have over three decades of police work under my belt and have seen my share of violence and evil. One thing that I've learned for certain is that there is always someone just around the corner who is tougher, bigger, stronger, younger, faster, more skilled, better armed, whatever.

I've also learned that unless you are there, at that moment, you haven't much right to judge the action or conduct of another. In the example of the martial artist who supposedly cowered in front of his family, he was there and was able to assess the situation far better than the rest of us Monday Morning Quarterbacks. He saw his physical environment - how close he was to walls and fixed structures, seats, trash cans. He knew the footing, the lighting. He could see the "bad guys" and have an idea of their physical condition, state of sobriety, and other factors. He probably recognized other factors on a subconscious level that he couldn't articulate if we gave him a ream of paper and week to do so. He made a decision based on the totality of the circumstances before him and at least in terms of the safety of his family, he was corrrect. Maybe he was a craven coward and maybe he demonstrated a certain level of restraint. To judge his actions across the internet and across time without having full knowledge of the situation is simply an exercise in making oneself feel good.

When a law enforcement officer is killed or injured in the line of duty, we usually examine the events and use it as a training tool. One of the things I've heard time and time again is something to the effect of "Jones screwed up by doing X and I would never do that." It makes us all feel so much better to know that we would never do X ourselves - until of course we do our own personal X and get hurt.

Aikido works. Karate works, Boxing works. Tai Chi works. Firearms work. Most of the time anyway. I know of one case where the bad guy received several mortal wounds and went on to execute an FBI agent before he died himself.

observer
03-01-2011, 01:57 AM
It is interesting that Demetrio Cereijo quoted the words of Yukiyoshi Takamura in this discussion:

A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence. He chooses peace. He must be able to make a choice.

However, referring them to aikido is incomprehensible to many, I suppose. Maybe I should refer back to the history of aikido.

Morihei Ushiba considered the meeting with Onisubaru Deguchi in 1925 a turning point in his life.

He decided to sell off all his ancestral land and move to Ayabe to study Omoto-kyo. For the next eight years, Ueshiba studied with Deguchi Onisaburo, taught Budo, and headed up the local fire brigade.

A pacifist, Deguchi was an advocate of non-violent resistance and universal Disarmament. He Noted that you have said, "Armament and war are the Means by Which the landlords and capitalists make Their profit, while the poor suffer." It is intriguing That a man of this nature could become so close to a martial artist as a dry Ueshiba. However, it did not take long for Deguchi to realize That Ueshiba's purpose on earth was "to teach the Real Meaning of Budo: an end to all fighting and contention." (Http://www.aikidofaq.com/history/osensei.html)

As you might guess, Ushiba's idea for a new art found grounds for implementation in that place and at that time. His idea had been illustrated by two events:

1. In the course of a discussion about martial arts, a disagreement Arose Between O-Sensei and a naval officer who was a fencing instructor. The officer challenged O-Sensei is a match, and attacked with a wooden sword. O-Sensei faced the officer, unarmed, and won the match by Evading blows until his attacker dropped from exhaustion. (Http://www.aikidocentercity.com/2.html)

2. Takeshita's contacts with the Imperial family and led a demonstration at the Imperial Palace Sainenkan dojo in 1941. Ueshiba first resisted the invitation stating That he did not want to demonstrat "false" dry techniques before an audience Illustrious. By this he meant if he That Performed "real" techniques his partner would be killed! Finally, Admiral Takeshita, always the diplomat, Ueshiba Persuaded to show his "lies" anyway. (Http://omlc.ogi.edu/aikido/talk/osensei/bio/mori4.html)

In order to understand Ueshiba's quoted words, it is sufficient to look carefully at all the aikido techniques. A particular moment during execution of aikido techniques when an uke stiffens and falls to the ground head down, is a common point in all aikido techniques. During training, we protect uke's head from touching the ground and spraining his neck. Thus, we make a choice between using or not using violence and we become pacifists in accordance with Yukiyoshi Takamura words.

To summarize it all, we are studying MA, the art of killing - budo, which today includes the Katori Shinto Ryu, Kyudo, Naginata-do, etc. Those who practice budo aim only for absolute perfection. In case of aikido, perfection is found in the Morihei Ueshiba's unsurpassed craftsmanship of avoiding the attack and the speed and precision of techniques' performance. In Aikio there's no need to improvise attacks. All you have to do is simply master trained reflexes through repetition and increase their speed. Are these skills useful on the streets? Well, it depends on us.

Flintstone
03-01-2011, 03:35 AM
Just to clarify, I do not (usually) impose posting restrictions on people for the topics that they raise but for the tone and manner that they employ in discussion the topics. That is all I'm going to say on that subject at this time.
Well, for me it's becoming quite usual. Either that or you enjoy banning people.

raul rodrigo
03-01-2011, 04:00 AM
Well, for me it's becoming quite usual. Either that or you enjoy banning people.

Maybe people get banned for a good reason.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-01-2011, 04:20 AM
Hi Maciej,

I think you should also consider in 1932 Omoto founded the Dai Nippon Budo Senyokai, a martial arts enhancement association that claimed:

Genuine Bu (martial pursuits) comes from God…and is the way of refuting false doctrines and bringing out truth in order to realize God's plan here on the earth by conquering techniques of destruction… Genuine bu protects this nation of the gods and brings peace to the world and mankind

I'm not really sure Deguchi was the same kind of non-violent pacifist Gandhi was.

Also, Nidai Doshu publically stated (as reported by E. Amdur) his father was not a pacifist.

BTW,

War, in this sense, is not by any means intended for the destruction, overpowering, or subjugation of others; and it should be a thing for bringing about great harmony, or peace in other words.

Who am I quoting now?

Flintstone
03-01-2011, 04:20 AM
Maybe people get banned for a good reason.
And maybe not. You know, that kind of argument is reversible...

Hellis
03-01-2011, 04:41 AM
Jonathan Hay
"""Like I said, I don't find violence because I don't go looking for it. """

Jonathan
I would suggest that 99% of victims of violence didn't go looking for trouble, it found them, - wrong time, wrong place is often quoted.
Take a look at Tony's video of the innocent mother and child...
Regards
Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

dps
03-01-2011, 04:45 AM
"Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack." -- George S. Patton

dps

dps
03-01-2011, 05:45 AM
Aikido without martial ability is like light beer.

Taste great but is less filling.

Aikido-Lite

dps

Tony Wagstaffe
03-01-2011, 06:17 AM
As I've mentioned before, I have over three decades of police work under my belt and have seen my share of violence and evil. One thing that I've learned for certain is that there is always someone just around the corner who is tougher, bigger, stronger, younger, faster, more skilled, better armed, whatever.

I've also learned that unless you are there, at that moment, you haven't much right to judge the action or conduct of another. In the example of the martial artist who supposedly cowered in front of his family, he was there and was able to assess the situation far better than the rest of us Monday Morning Quarterbacks. He saw his physical environment - how close he was to walls and fixed structures, seats, trash cans. He knew the footing, the lighting. He could see the "bad guys" and have an idea of their physical condition, state of sobriety, and other factors. He probably recognized other factors on a subconscious level that he couldn't articulate if we gave him a ream of paper and week to do so. He made a decision based on the totality of the circumstances before him and at least in terms of the safety of his family, he was corrrect. Maybe he was a craven coward and maybe he demonstrated a certain level of restraint. To judge his actions across the internet and across time without having full knowledge of the situation is simply an exercise in making oneself feel good.

When a law enforcement officer is killed or injured in the line of duty, we usually examine the events and use it as a training tool. One of the things I've heard time and time again is something to the effect of "Jones screwed up by doing X and I would never do that." It makes us all feel so much better to know that we would never do X ourselves - until of course we do our own personal X and get hurt.

Aikido works. Karate works, Boxing works. Tai Chi works. Firearms work. Most of the time anyway. I know of one case where the bad guy received several mortal wounds and went on to execute an FBI agent before he died himself.

Your are right it all works..... I carry a shortened down jo at the back of my cab seat, just in case the odds are not favourable. I have never had to use it yet, but it's there as insurance..... There have been times when I have been out in the middle of nowhere.....
IE Six pissed up rugby players have kicked off about the fare!! I am being threatened with physical violence and I have used my powers of persuasion not to let it escalate!! When there is six of them and one of you, with no protection but yourself I can tell you now it isn't a nice feeling..... It's no good calling the old bill because it would take to long for them to get there. All the other cabbies are miles away from (The old bill will have that irritating way of telling you that a crime hasn't been committed yet!!)
After my persuasive chat, they said I had "effing bottle" and even tipped me!! They didn't know about the jo !!
I may have had "effing bottle" but tell that to my quivering rear orrifice!!

mrlizard123
03-01-2011, 08:12 AM
Just a short couple of points that I think are central to these discussions.

There is a logical fallacy that is employed which is essentially:
- I train in aikido.
- I have defended myself in a violent situation/martial context...
- Aikido is effective in a violent situation/martial context...

It is also a fallacy to reason:
- I train in aikido
- I was unable to defend myself in [insert scenario]
- Aikido is ineffective in [insert scenario]

I trained in meditation, a guy attacked me and I hit him with a 2x4 which dropped him flat; my mediation is martially effective.

We can train and become martially effective but that does not mean that our training paradigm necessarily is equipping us with martially effective aikido.

Now please feel free to descend into arguing over "what is/isn't aikido" or "what aikido means to me" if that is what you wish...

Using the experience of a specific person in a specific scenario to determine whether a training paradigm produces a) aikido and b) something martially effective is very easy to fall into traps of false logic.

I'm not going to comment at this stage on what does or does not make something martially effective/aikido/etc.

Please feel free to decide for yourselves but bear in mind that your perception does not necessarily equal that of someone else or an objective truth.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-01-2011, 09:43 AM
Just a short couple of points that I think are central to these discussions.

There is a logical fallacy that is employed which is essentially:
- I train in aikido.
- I have defended myself in a violent situation/martial context...
- Aikido is effective in a violent situation/martial context...

It is also a fallacy to reason:
- I train in aikido
- I was unable to defend myself in [insert scenario]
- Aikido is ineffective in [insert scenario]

I trained in meditation, a guy attacked me and I hit him with a 2x4 which dropped him flat; my mediation is martially effective.

We can train and become martially effective but that does not mean that our training paradigm necessarily is equipping us with martially effective aikido.

Now please feel free to descend into arguing over "what is/isn't aikido" or "what aikido means to me" if that is what you wish...

Using the experience of a specific person in a specific scenario to determine whether a training paradigm produces a) aikido and b) something martially effective is very easy to fall into traps of false logic.

I'm not going to comment at this stage on what does or does not make something martially effective/aikido/etc.

Please feel free to decide for yourselves but bear in mind that your perception does not necessarily equal that of someone else or an objective truth.

That was short?

mrlizard123
03-01-2011, 09:58 AM
That was short?

Yep. You should hear me when I get going!

PS: That was a reply? ;)

Tony Wagstaffe
03-01-2011, 10:09 AM
" Well, it depends on us".

It most certainly does......

Tony Wagstaffe
03-01-2011, 10:44 AM
Yep. You should hear me when I get going!

PS: That was a reply? ;)

Sorry I was distracted and pressed the submit button... I was about to say the meditation bit I liked..... I do a fair bit of that when it's quiet.....

observer
03-01-2011, 12:20 PM
I'm not really sure Deguchi was the same kind of non-violent pacifist Gandhi was.
I agree. I think he wanted to each member of the sect to become a master of the Ueshiba's art not to defense himself but to be a guardian of peace. Regardless of what he thought about the war.

dps
03-01-2011, 12:41 PM
I agree. I think he wanted to each member of the sect to become a master of the Ueshiba's art not to defense himself but to be a guardian of peace. Regardless of what he thought about the war.

Deguchi wanted a lot of bodyguards.

He was always getting into trouble because of his religious and political beliefs.

Did Gandhi have bodyguards?

dps

Jonathan
03-01-2011, 01:35 PM
Jonathan Hay
"""Like I said, I don't find violence because I don't go looking for it. """

Jonathan
I would suggest that 99% of victims of violence didn't go looking for trouble, it found them, - wrong time, wrong place is often quoted.
Take a look at Tony's video of the innocent mother and child...

I think my statement is generally true. I think the vast majority of people, at least where I am, live quite peaceful lives -- in large part because they aren't frequenting places where violence is a known risk; they aren't engaging in dangerous, illicit practices; and they don't keep company with people who are themselves violent. Certainly, sometimes those living peaceful lives find themselves face to face with unexpected violence, but is this usually the case? I don't think so. I believe, by and large, people who don't go looking for trouble don't find it.

Regards,

Jon.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-01-2011, 02:24 PM
I think my statement is generally true. I think the vast majority of people, at least where I am, live quite peaceful lives -- in large part because they aren't frequenting places where violence is a known risk; they aren't engaging in dangerous, illicit practices; and they don't keep company with people who are themselves violent. Certainly, sometimes those living peaceful lives find themselves face to face with unexpected violence, but is this usually the case? I don't think so. I believe, by and large, people who don't go looking for trouble don't find it.

Regards,

Jon.

I'm so very glad for you, but are you prepared if it does happen?.....
Winchester used to be a sleepy conservative town, but over the last 10 years or so I have seen it change for the worst in many places, especially the council housing estates where crime and anti social behaviour is on the increase, teenagers hanging about on street corners with "nothing to do"
Reason? It costs too much to join anything and it doesn't have alcohol in it...... got a fag mate?......

mathewjgano
03-01-2011, 02:49 PM
I think my statement is generally true. I think the vast majority of people, at least where I am, live quite peaceful lives -- in large part because they aren't frequenting places where violence is a known risk; they aren't engaging in dangerous, illicit practices; and they don't keep company with people who are themselves violent. Certainly, sometimes those living peaceful lives find themselves face to face with unexpected violence, but is this usually the case? I don't think so. I believe, by and large, people who don't go looking for trouble don't find it.

Regards,

Jon.

I think this is the key distinction many of the more "martially-oriented" folks often miss when folks like myself describe coming to a martial art primarily for something other than fighting ability. For someone like Tony, whose job is to often deal with the bar scene and the like, it makes sense he shouldn't take my priorities as his own. We have different needs and goals.
That said, I feel fairly confident my Aikido style is rather effective...at least, in terms of my ability to recognize basic effectiveness, which is based on growing up around wannabes and actual thugs. I have a good idea of the realities born of the streets, if not the gutters. For most people, I would argue the majority of self-defense is mental preparation and situational awareness. The ability to execute when that first awareness fails is crucial, but odds are the mental aspects will usually suffice. If you're worried about being attacked, carry a weapon (like a club) and study your surroundings in detail. Self-Defense courses are probably better for this than most martial arts schools.
I grew up with a saying: presumption is the mother of all muckups. Never assume what you understand is sufficient; test and retest your understanding wherever you can.
Take care,
Matt

L. Camejo
03-01-2011, 04:05 PM
I think this is the key distinction many of the more "martially-oriented" folks often miss when folks like myself describe coming to a martial art primarily for something other than fighting ability. For someone like Tony, whose job is to often deal with the bar scene and the like, it makes sense he shouldn't take my priorities as his own. We have different needs and goals.
Matthew is correct to a point. This is why I spoke about "reality" being a very fluid thing. An example follows:

I came to the Greater Toronto Area from Trinidad in the Caribbean some years ago (mainly because of escalating crime) and it was interesting to experience a society where the number of violent deaths we experienced in a month in Trinidad was experienced in a year here. And they thought that number was excessive. I felt very safe but also immediately realized that what I would call "effective" martial arts training would be considered extreme by the standards of those who have lived all their life in an extremely safe reality. It was good to feel safe but I found that the result was a lot of sheep walking around who were oblivious to serious, unadulterated violence. As gang activity slowly increases here, we are seeing the effect slowly starting where the average citizen is quite a soft target.

As a result it has been very difficult to explain why I do certain things in martial arts or self defence classes, simply because these folks do not understand this level of violence. There is no point of reference in their mind. For them the experience of severe, focused and calculated violence is something seen on TV or on UFC so the perception of what is "effective" is quite skewed due to lack of any real experience or knowledge.

So while it is true that Tony may have to deal with some of the rougher folks due to his job, it does not mean that only people in his position need to approach training this way. A lot of what is "realistic" depends on where you live and your daily experiences. You may not need to learn how to deal with severe violence because of where you live, but unless you can guarantee that life will always be that way it may be a valid point to consider at some level, especially if you are putting in all these hours in training. Ignorance of reality does not protect one from it ime.

Just some thoughts.

Best
LC

Alex Megann
03-01-2011, 04:14 PM
Winchester used to be a sleepy conservative town, but over the last 10 years or so I have seen it change for the worst in many places, especially the council housing estates where crime and anti social behaviour is on the increase, teenagers hanging about on street corners with "nothing to do"
Reason? It costs too much to join anything and it doesn't have alcohol in it...... got a fag mate?......

Winchester still IS a sleepy conservative town - you should try living in Southampton...

Alex

Hellis
03-01-2011, 04:20 PM
Matthew is correct to a point. This is why I spoke about "reality" being a very fluid thing. An example follows:
. A lot of what is "realistic" depends on where you live and your daily experiences. You may not need to learn how to deal with severe violence because of where you live, Just some thoughts.
Best
LC

Larry

Well said !

"""You may not need to learn how to deal with severe violence because of where you live""" One may well need it if they travel beyond their cocoon """

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

Tony Wagstaffe
03-01-2011, 07:36 PM
Winchester still IS a sleepy conservative town - you should try living in Southampton...

Alex
I am often there taking fares to Southampton to drop of at weekends. I find it no different its just bigger that's all..... yeah you got the Merchant Navy down there, no different to Pompey with Jack performing as usual.....!!
Up here we deal with the Army Training Regiment, Worthy Down logistics core (the Gurkha contingent are great!!) around 8000 student population and the many that come en mass from the army depots at Nether Wallop and Tidworth. Many come from Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford, Alresford, Foremarks,Alton,Basingstoke, Andover, Romsey, Newbury, and even as far as Aldershot, or Bordon (army again), and Guildford, to name but a few, so it can get quite busy of a weekend with plenty of kick offs when they are all in, usually at end of month when salary checks come through, then it's fun and games!!.... so I wouldn't call it sleepy.... in the daytime and early week yes, its the only time we get some peace and can relax a bit..... It's been a bit quiet lately, but that's down to the jobless and money being tighter I guess....
Hairy maybe, but definitely not sleepy.... ;) :rolleyes:

Tony

David Orange
03-01-2011, 11:09 PM
First of all I would like to say thank you Jun for banning me from this site for one month, It seems to me that having controversial opinions and thought is not very welcomed by many on this site.... Then again, it was a welcome break from so many IS/IP threads that were bogging down the forum!!..

Tony, as Jun said earlier, it's usually not the topic that gets you suspended: it's your own attitude and the tone and the wording of your responses to people. As one who's been suspended a few times, myself, I have to agree with him. And as an aikido man, you ought to know that when you have problems, the first place to look is at yourself.

Second, if you think IP/IS threads are bogging down the forum, you have the perfect right to ignore them. No one forces you to come into a serious discussion about which you know nothing and stink it up with "I already do that" while also claiming it's all hogwash. People who understand this topic get a lot of good out of detailed examination of principles and methods and it goes a lot better without someone's trolling out of ignorance. So if you don't like those threads, you don't have to read them. And you certainly don't have to expose yourself to the ridicule that's bound to result when you mouth off about something you don't understand. Simple, isn't it?

Third, as to your pressure testing, it's a fine idea, but don't forget that, once you go that way, there's no end of it. Geoff seems like a well-intentioned fellow. He says he doesn't fancy himself a fighter, but he can defend himself. The problem is, take any man like that and I can find you another man who can pound him into the dirt. Can Geoff defend himself against Mike Tyson, for instance? I seriously doubt it. How will his character stand up with Iron Mike pounding his head? Will he go toe-to-toe or run for his life? If he has any sense, he'll gtfo.

And how will he do if someone decides "That's not pressure-testing!" and will only believe you when you "pressure-test" against a live blade--or against two guys with live blades?

In Japan, as uchi deshi, I was often called out to meet people from around the world who came to train at one of the toughest aikido dojos in Japan. I met people from the US, Canada, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Africa, you name it. Sensei would say, "Show this guy what we're doing," and I would have to put on the gi and go face them. And I was almost forty years old then, with accumulating injuries. And more and more I would meet men who were much younger, must stronger, much faster and who already had a lot more experience in martial arts than myself.

This was before UFC, but the Gracies were already advertising $50,000.00 purses to anyone, from any style, who could beat their jujutsu. Everyone in our dojo was impressed by that and I had to face the fact that I was not a professional athlete, even though I had dedicated almost 20 years of my life to aikido up to that time. I had to realize that I could train as hard as I could force myself to go and I would never be able to match these guys who had been living in dojos since their early teens and who simply had better genes and physiques since the day they were born. So I know a little about "pressure testing", having spent years in a dojo where hour-long sutemi randoris were the norm. And I know that while each individual has his limits, "pressure testing" can always go up another notch---or ten.

Tomiki's system is all well and good, but once something becomes a sport, the nature of it changes irrevocably. In the yoseikan, we had a similar thing, only with no scoring. It's not sport if there's no "winner and loser" decided by points, but we always went all-out and when it was over, we knew who had dominated and who had "lost" the bout. But it hardly mattered because as soon as that was over, the next attacker was ready to go. We didn't draw blood on the mat (usually), but no one fell for anything but a fully effective technique. And if the attacker wasn't thrown effectively in the first move, he would follow up with karate, judo, aikido, jujutsu--whatever he was capable of--and it would usually go to the ground for serious grappling until someone was submitted. And that could mean five minutes or more of serious grappling for one attacker, to be followed by four or five more attackers as soon as you got on your feet again. And each one of those attackers would do the same: if you didn't throw them in the first instant of their attack, they would take you to the ground and fight you to submission.

Amazingly, there were very few injuries because of the general high level of conditioning, but I doubt you'll find the same results in Geoff's circles. Anytime there's blood on the mats, there are bound to be some serious injuries, eventually.

If that's what you like to do, go for it, but it's not a good standard for everyone. Are you suggesting that the "young mother" who was attacked on the bus should then go and enroll in Geoff's classes and let someone else pound her head in? Most normal aikido classes would be enough to keep her out of the situation described. But the pressure testing you describe would be only likely to injure her.

Sure, there's room for a lot more demanding aikido practice than we normally find, but simply being more brutal is not likely to fill the need.

Violence happens across the country on a regular basis, in every town, city, week in, week out.... so those of you that say or think it will probably "never happen to me" are so wrong!! The chances are sooner or later it will happen...... You have been lucky so far!! I / We (cabbies) work with the doormen and police here in Winchester UK, that is, those who are switched on, who are aware, who do something about their situation, and do have the bottle to do what is required!! Most of the doormen and police officers I know in Winchester know that I practice and teach aikido. I do get a lot of respect from them, as I do them..... They really do know the reality!! Most openly say in conversation that people are just so totally unaware, so therefore do not take responsibility for themselves in our modern societies, and then wonder why when it does happen they blame everything else except their own inability to take more control of themselves or their own enviroment!!

The problem with your ideas is that they are not really universal. Here in the states, the most common way for a cab driver to die is from a bullet in the back of the head. They don't see it coming. The passenger gives them no hint, no warning, no lip in advance. The driver pulls over to let out his fare and "BOOM!" before he can say "Here we are," he's dead. A jo in the seat might as well be a sword in a museum.

When people come to me for aikido instruction, I give them a choice....
If you are only doing it for health, that's fine, but you will never achieve Shodan level. I make that a paramount requisite!! Most understand that....
Those that don't, either leave, or carry on knowing that, for them, Shodan level is out of reach unless they go through the pressure testing required for the level. Once Shodan level has been reached we have refresher sessions to make sure they keep 'alive' the 'reality sessions'

Yeah. The problem is, for real life-and-death situations, what you describe is not very realistic at all. Tough as it is, it's a fantasy in a world where people shoot first and issue threats later.

Half of my altercations with the idiot public have gone to the ground, so I teach newaza all the same, with all the dirty cheating methods incorporated!!. The ground is not a good place to be, but that is the reality for most fights or altercations.....

Sounds like playing, really--where people aren't fighting to kill, but just to let off some steam after drinking too much. I live in one of the most dangerous cities in the US and I've never been in "a fight" despite walking the streets alone for half my life. I've faced armed attackers, multiple attackers, multiple armed attackers, crazy people, ex-cons, various kinds of crooks and I've had all kinds of people show up at my aikido classes. And I never had to touch but one of them and never got in a fight with any of them--and never went to the ground with any of them, despite my long experience in judo, jujutsu and newaza. So maybe you're looking at things from a mistaken perspective, somehow? Never hurts to ask yourself that, does it?

In addition to that my regime of isometric/isotonic exercise (my own version of I/S or I/P training if you want to call it that!!)
All those who harp on about IP or IS?...

Everyone I know who's into IP/IS uses not "their own version" of it, but relies on that that comes from China and Japan...and none of them agree with you on it, so....again....maybe you ought to learn more and harp less?

Just train with uncooperative partners or players as we have done in T/S aikido since its inception!! Or better still take up MMA, judo or whatever has resistance in it, you will be better off, plus you will soon find out how to move people! I will keep practising until my body will not allow me to do so anymore. Then it will be time to retire gracefully....

Training harder has its benefits, but it usually comes with injuries that never go away. Training smarter (IP/IS) seems to work better for those who really develop it.

It's about time that those who practice aikido as dance, get wise and start doing an aikido we can all be proud of again..... Or carry on dreaming the dance in most cases!!
Better still remove their black belts, give up their excuse for what they consider aikido and join a good dance and social club, it would be far better health wise, for them and aikido!!

That's true, but how many people really are past criticism? Who can present impeccable aikido without flaw? Neither you nor I, bud. And maybe we'd do better to find the flaw in our own approaches rather than spend the time criticizing others.

After all this time some are beginning to wake up to the reality, and have found out that it can be done, but it takes hard work, usually shunned by most!!

Tony, I know I passed the point where pure "hard work" could take me any further and I think you have passed that point, as well. What's needed is not more of the same but to get a deeper insight into the real truth of aikido's inner workings--to get to the truth of what O Sensei was doing and actually change our way of approaching aikido. And that way allows us to continue improving past the point that simply working "harder" on the same old stuff can take us.

What is the point of learning a martial art if you don't want to learn to defend yourself?

And what's the point of incurring life-long injuries that could one day be the difference in living or dying in a real encounter? What's the point of crippling yourself in the name of "defending yourself"?

Just remember that an ineffective aikido can also be detrimental to your health and well being!!

And sometimes it's the overly tough and less-than-insightful approach that makes aikido less effective. Ever consider that?

Best wishes.

David

sakumeikan
03-02-2011, 02:30 AM
Hi All,
Read this blog with interest. While I can see some merit in what Tiny is saying I feel that no matter how you train or develop your skill level there is always someone fitter, faster , bigger and nastier than you around the corner. The trick is to avoid meeting him/or when you do recognize the situation.
I think Aikido can assist you in judging situations. Body language for example cab influence the situation in a positive /negative manner.
As for unprovoked attacks , even the best prepared guy cannot do too much against this type of offense.
All we can do I think is keep our wits about us, use common sense and if push comes to shove , do the best we can and hope the outcome favours us.

sakumeikan
03-02-2011, 02:32 AM
Sorry I meant to say Tony not Tiny!! My apologies Tony .
Joe.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 04:51 AM
Tony, as Jun said earlier, it's usually not the topic that gets you suspended: it's your own attitude and the tone and the wording of your responses to people. As one who's been suspended a few times, myself, I have to agree with him. And as an aikido man, you ought to know that when you have problems, the first place to look is at yourself.

Second, if you think IP/IS threads are bogging down the forum, you have the perfect right to ignore them. No one forces you to come into a serious discussion about which you know nothing and stink it up with "I already do that" while also claiming it's all hogwash. People who understand this topic get a lot of good out of detailed examination of principles and methods and it goes a lot better without someone's trolling out of ignorance. So if you don't like those threads, you don't have to read them. And you certainly don't have to expose yourself to the ridicule that's bound to result when you mouth off about something you don't understand. Simple, isn't it?

Third, as to your pressure testing, it's a fine idea, but don't forget that, once you go that way, there's no end of it. Geoff seems like a well-intentioned fellow. He says he doesn't fancy himself a fighter, but he can defend himself. The problem is, take any man like that and I can find you another man who can pound him into the dirt. Can Geoff defend himself against Mike Tyson, for instance? I seriously doubt it. How will his character stand up with Iron Mike pounding his head? Will he go toe-to-toe or run for his life? If he has any sense, he'll gtfo.

And how will he do if someone decides "That's not pressure-testing!" and will only believe you when you "pressure-test" against a live blade--or against two guys with live blades?

In Japan, as uchi deshi, I was often called out to meet people from around the world who came to train at one of the toughest aikido dojos in Japan. I met people from the US, Canada, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Africa, you name it. Sensei would say, "Show this guy what we're doing," and I would have to put on the gi and go face them. And I was almost forty years old then, with accumulating injuries. And more and more I would meet men who were much younger, must stronger, much faster and who already had a lot more experience in martial arts than myself.

This was before UFC, but the Gracies were already advertising $50,000.00 purses to anyone, from any style, who could beat their jujutsu. Everyone in our dojo was impressed by that and I had to face the fact that I was not a professional athlete, even though I had dedicated almost 20 years of my life to aikido up to that time. I had to realize that I could train as hard as I could force myself to go and I would never be able to match these guys who had been living in dojos since their early teens and who simply had better genes and physiques since the day they were born. So I know a little about "pressure testing", having spent years in a dojo where hour-long sutemi randoris were the norm. And I know that while each individual has his limits, "pressure testing" can always go up another notch---or ten.

Tomiki's system is all well and good, but once something becomes a sport, the nature of it changes irrevocably. In the yoseikan, we had a similar thing, only with no scoring. It's not sport if there's no "winner and loser" decided by points, but we always went all-out and when it was over, we knew who had dominated and who had "lost" the bout. But it hardly mattered because as soon as that was over, the next attacker was ready to go. We didn't draw blood on the mat (usually), but no one fell for anything but a fully effective technique. And if the attacker wasn't thrown effectively in the first move, he would follow up with karate, judo, aikido, jujutsu--whatever he was capable of--and it would usually go to the ground for serious grappling until someone was submitted. And that could mean five minutes or more of serious grappling for one attacker, to be followed by four or five more attackers as soon as you got on your feet again. And each one of those attackers would do the same: if you didn't throw them in the first instant of their attack, they would take you to the ground and fight you to submission.

Amazingly, there were very few injuries because of the general high level of conditioning, but I doubt you'll find the same results in Geoff's circles. Anytime there's blood on the mats, there are bound to be some serious injuries, eventually.

If that's what you like to do, go for it, but it's not a good standard for everyone. Are you suggesting that the "young mother" who was attacked on the bus should then go and enroll in Geoff's classes and let someone else pound her head in? Most normal aikido classes would be enough to keep her out of the situation described. But the pressure testing you describe would be only likely to injure her.

Sure, there's room for a lot more demanding aikido practice than we normally find, but simply being more brutal is not likely to fill the need.

The problem with your ideas is that they are not really universal. Here in the states, the most common way for a cab driver to die is from a bullet in the back of the head. They don't see it coming. The passenger gives them no hint, no warning, no lip in advance. The driver pulls over to let out his fare and "BOOM!" before he can say "Here we are," he's dead. A jo in the seat might as well be a sword in a museum.

Yeah. The problem is, for real life-and-death situations, what you describe is not very realistic at all. Tough as it is, it's a fantasy in a world where people shoot first and issue threats later.

Sounds like playing, really--where people aren't fighting to kill, but just to let off some steam after drinking too much. I live in one of the most dangerous cities in the US and I've never been in "a fight" despite walking the streets alone for half my life. I've faced armed attackers, multiple attackers, multiple armed attackers, crazy people, ex-cons, various kinds of crooks and I've had all kinds of people show up at my aikido classes. And I never had to touch but one of them and never got in a fight with any of them--and never went to the ground with any of them, despite my long experience in judo, jujutsu and newaza. So maybe you're looking at things from a mistaken perspective, somehow? Never hurts to ask yourself that, does it?

Everyone I know who's into IP/IS uses not "their own version" of it, but relies on that that comes from China and Japan...and none of them agree with you on it, so....again....maybe you ought to learn more and harp less?

Training harder has its benefits, but it usually comes with injuries that never go away. Training smarter (IP/IS) seems to work better for those who really develop it.

That's true, but how many people really are past criticism? Who can present impeccable aikido without flaw? Neither you nor I, bud. And maybe we'd do better to find the flaw in our own approaches rather than spend the time criticizing others.

Tony, I know I passed the point where pure "hard work" could take me any further and I think you have passed that point, as well. What's needed is not more of the same but to get a deeper insight into the real truth of aikido's inner workings--to get to the truth of what O Sensei was doing and actually change our way of approaching aikido. And that way allows us to continue improving past the point that simply working "harder" on the same old stuff can take us.

And what's the point of incurring life-long injuries that could one day be the difference in living or dying in a real encounter? What's the point of crippling yourself in the name of "defending yourself"?

And sometimes it's the overly tough and less-than-insightful approach that makes aikido less effective. Ever consider that?

Best wishes.

David

Then you basically know what I know, as for me playing or getting more injuries, I have only had a few, but that goes with all budo or any form of physical training. When you have been to nice to someone and they put a heavy glass ashtray round the side of your head and then proceed to stomp all over you head, that is just playing around is it? No we don't carry guns in this country, but then again maybe we should when we see the likes of Derek Bird a taxi driver gone stark raving bananas because he couldn't cope with life, sad as that is, or the cab driver in Eastleigh beat to a pulp and then set on fire inside his own cab!! So the states are a little violent? Yeah I've heard that. so American violence is bigger, better than British violence eh? Violence is the same where ever you go, drink and drugs make sure of that....
As for my version of IP/ IS I think I will stick to it David, I can't afford the £115 quid a day to "learn" it and then be told to come back in a year to see if I have improved. I don't think anyone would want to take on Mike Tyson, Henry Cooper, Muhammed Ali, Lenny Mclean, or people like Jon Bluming or a few other's we could blabber on about. Yes I know my limits as I'm sure Mr Morihei Ueshiba did or anyone with common sense, come to that, either that or they think they are god like and when that happens, oh dear! look out gullible world!!
No you carry on blabbering about your experience as I'm sure its all very interesting and we should all bow in respect of your efforts and experience, well done Dave.
Me I would rather spend my money on something more worthwhile like a nice holiday in the sun or visiting all my friends in Tokyo when I go there in May, my first holiday in ten years!! They have been so kind to invite me as in reality I would not be able to afford it....
Go and enjoy your path to enlightenment and as I say at a £115 a day you are welcome to it..... shades off Dillman to my reckoning.
But that's me, I'm a stubborn son of a bitch as they say your side of the pond.....

Take care David

Regards

Tony

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 04:54 AM
Sorry I meant to say Tony not Tiny!! My apologies Tony .
Joe.

Joe I've been called a lot worse..... :D ;)

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 05:04 AM
Hi All,
Read this blog with interest. While I can see some merit in what Tiny is saying I feel that no matter how you train or develop your skill level there is always someone fitter, faster , bigger and nastier than you around the corner. The trick is to avoid meeting him/or when you do recognize the situation.
I think Aikido can assist you in judging situations. Body language for example cab influence the situation in a positive /negative manner.
As for unprovoked attacks , even the best prepared guy cannot do too much against this type of offense.
All we can do I think is keep our wits about us, use common sense and if push comes to shove , do the best we can and hope the outcome favours us.

You have it Joe!!;) That is good common sense....

john.burn
03-02-2011, 05:53 AM
Go and enjoy your path to enlightenment and as I say at a £115 a day you are welcome to it.....

Tony,

No wonder you get into so much grief - if I was given a final fare price double what I was told, I'd be less than impressed... The two IP guys who are over here for the weekend seminars are teaching for around 7 hours BOTH days for around £120 or so... Hardly £115 per day mate, it's about £60.

Ikeda sensei is over here in 2012, I'll cover your course fee to come feel someone who can do this stuff. You can't really refuse to turn up then can you?

Demetrio Cereijo
03-02-2011, 05:58 AM
The question is not if Aikido is a martial art up to reality, the question is why your (everyone) aikido is a martial art up to your (everyone) reality?

Mark Freeman
03-02-2011, 06:08 AM
Go and enjoy your path to enlightenment and as I say at a £115 a day you are welcome to it..... shades off Dillman to my reckoning.


Tony,

it's amazing quite how wrong you can be sometimes.

Who is charging £115/day?

Dan's workshop (which is what I am assuming you are alluding to)works out at between £50 - £60 per day from 10 till 6 which roughly works out at about £7/hour or about the same as a yoga teacher might charge or for that matter an Aikido teacher if they have to cover costs in somewhere like London.

Enlightenment isn't being offered as far as I know, but some good solid training is.

Dan Harden / shades of George Dillman? you obviously haven't been reading or rather understanding, a word of what Dan has been saying have you?

I personally was sceptical of what Mike Sigman and Dan Harden where saying when I first came to these forums over 5 years ago. But rather than stick with I know what I know, I stumped up the money and the weekend of my time and went to see Mike when he came over here. Mike's weekend was fun and very useful, his way of explaining and demonstrating what he could do, gave me a way of understanding my own abilities in a deeper more concise way. Which in turn allowed me a wider way of explaining to my students, what was actually going on in good 'aiki'/kokyo practice. Was it worth the time, cost and effort? Yest it was.

If I get the same or more from Dan, I will be just as pleased. I value the open mind that I have and I want to keep learning. There is always a cost to learning, whether it be time, money, effort, blood sweat or tears.

You seem happy to extol the virtues of your stubborn narrow mindedness, good for you! but why keep criticising those not who are not like you?

I'm thinking it may just be a complex:confused:

regards

Mark

Nicholas Eschenbruch
03-02-2011, 06:28 AM
Tony,
let's take stock (I will leave out titles):

- you've called a Karate student of Kenji Ushiro a bunny....
- you've called someone a bunny who could point out his lineage goes to both Gozo Shioda and TK Chiba, through long direct teaching of Kanetsuka Sensei...
- you've said you are not interested in the opinion of an uchideshi of Minoru Mochizuki...
- you keep making blanket derogatory statements about the Ki society as if Koichi Tohei had not been one of the most important students of O-Sensei...
- you keep misquoting prices of IP seminars and then accuse the teachers of wanting to make a fast buck...
- you seem to think Mike and Dan cannot fight (that's actually funny)
- you have not met any of these people, ever...

So quite clearly you are blissfully unaware what you are talking about, and there seems to be no aikido authority outside of your own self that you are willing to acknowledge. Fair enough, this is the internet, and some say the narcissistic era (though they mean teenagers) - but why are you here to talk to us at all? Just looking for approval?

Anyway, we can update the list above every now and then, maybe there comes a point where even you will find it embarassing...

Gorgeous George
03-02-2011, 07:13 AM
Tony,
let's take stock (I will leave out titles):

- you've called a Karate student of Kenji Ushiro a bunny....
- you've called someone a bunny who could point out his lineage goes to both Gozo Shioda and TK Chiba, through long direct teaching of Kanetsuka Sensei...
- you've said you are not interested in the opinion of an uchideshi of Minoru Mochizuki...
- you keep making blanket derogatory statements about the Ki society as if Koichi Tohei had not been one of the most important students of O-Sensei...
- you keep misquoting prices of IP seminars and then accuse the teachers of wanting to make a fast buck...
- you seem to think Mike and Dan cannot fight (that's actually funny)
- you have not met any of these people, ever...

So quite clearly you are blissfully unaware what you are talking about, and there seems to be no aikido authority outside of your own self that you are willing to acknowledge.

http://failblog.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/fail-owned-chocolate-chip-fail.jpg

Basia Halliop
03-02-2011, 09:31 AM
I came to the Greater Toronto Area from Trinidad in the Caribbean some years ago (mainly because of escalating crime) and it was interesting to experience a society where the number of violent deaths we experienced in a month in Trinidad was experienced in a year here. And they thought that number was excessive. I felt very safe but also immediately realized that what I would call "effective" martial arts training would be considered extreme by the standards of those who have lived all their life in an extremely safe reality. It was good to feel safe but I found that the result was a lot of sheep walking around who were oblivious to serious, unadulterated violence. As gang activity slowly increases here, we are seeing the effect slowly starting where the average citizen is quite a soft target.

As a result it has been very difficult to explain why I do certain things in martial arts or self defence classes, simply because these folks do not understand this level of violence. There is no point of reference in their mind. For them the experience of severe, focused and calculated violence is something seen on TV or on UFC so the perception of what is "effective" is quite skewed due to lack of any real experience or knowledge.

I've heard this before from people who came from more dangerous or higher crime countries - not specifically in a 'fighting' context but things like people's level of awareness when they're walking down a street or stopped in a traffic jam - and interestingly to me, I've heard it go the other way, too... For example a friend of mine from Toronto has been living for several years now in a small Japanese town. One time when he came back for a visit he made a comment that he felt like he had lost a lot of his protective 'city' instincts.... For example apparently where he's been living when people park their cars not only do they not lock them, they frequently leave the keys in the ignition for convenience :).

Basia Halliop
03-02-2011, 10:22 AM
The problem with your ideas is that they are not really universal. Here in the states, the most common way for a cab driver to die is from a bullet in the back of the head. They don't see it coming. The passenger gives them no hint, no warning, no lip in advance. The driver pulls over to let out his fare and "BOOM!" before he can say "Here we are," he's dead. A jo in the seat might as well be a sword in a museum.

Yeah. The problem is, for real life-and-death situations, what you describe is not very realistic at all. Tough as it is, it's a fantasy in a world where people shoot first and issue threats later.

I think the point about different types of violence in different places is worth taking... I'm not sure I'd even always call it more/less violent as there are many ways to injure or kill someone, but very different....

Every place has its patterns... if I look up crime reports in my city, and looking only at crime that occurs when people are there (ie not counting things like B&E that occurs when no one's home, not counting thefts of cars or bikes, and not counting reports like 'someone stole my baggy of meth') I end up with a lot of robberies of convenience stores, and muggings where people are usually surrounded or jumped by several people and/or sometimes held up with a weapon (either knife or gun), and have their cellphones, i-pods, and sometimes wallets or jackets taken from them. Almost always it's 'no injuries reported' but the attackers are usually successful in getting the property (and sometimes the person is hit or knocked down although not badly enough to require any medical attention). Robberies of stores seem somewhat more likely to end up with more serious injuries (knives or guns are more often involved and occasionally even end up being used).

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 10:52 AM
Tony,
let's take stock (I will leave out titles):

- you've called a Karate student of Kenji Ushiro a bunny....
- you've called someone a bunny who could point out his lineage goes to both Gozo Shioda and TK Chiba, through long direct teaching of Kanetsuka Sensei...
- you've said you are not interested in the opinion of an uchideshi of Minoru Mochizuki...
- you keep making blanket derogatory statements about the Ki society as if Koichi Tohei had not been one of the most important students of O-Sensei...
- you keep misquoting prices of IP seminars and then accuse the teachers of wanting to make a fast buck...
- you seem to think Mike and Dan cannot fight (that's actually funny)
- you have not met any of these people, ever...

So quite clearly you are blissfully unaware what you are talking about, and there seems to be no aikido authority outside of your own self that you are willing to acknowledge. Fair enough, this is the internet, and some say the narcissistic era (though they mean teenagers) - but why are you here to talk to us at all? Just looking for approval?

Anyway, we can update the list above every now and then, maybe there comes a point where even you will find it embarassing...

You think what you like old son.... I just question the secrecy of all the hype and collusion which is very evident.
I wear my heart on my sleeve..... If I am blissfully unaware, then so be it, but there is no way I'm paying 115 quid a day to be taught some thing I have already experienced from martial artists who don't need the hype to put out that they know something that nobody else knows? They are not interested in making money from gullible people......
I am in great debt to these people who have educated me in this way for next to nothing and it will be these people I will trust....As for Tohei he hasn't done so bad out of it, I know!! But then we all know that he had a powerful physique and was quite a good hand at judo even though he was a short ass like so many of us..... I think he saw his opportunity and took it, you lot are just repeddling it.....
When I see the evidence and proof of this new wonderful but "old" power being used and demonstrated out in the open and proved in the arena I might get interested, but until then, sorry I don't buy it.....

Regards

Tony

Gorgeous George
03-02-2011, 11:34 AM
'They picked a fight with a warlock.'

http://livethesheendream.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 01:01 PM
'They picked a fight with a warlock.'

http://livethesheendream.com/

Have to start waving my wand then, now where is that tea cosy....?

C. David Henderson
03-02-2011, 01:02 PM
Hi Tony,

It seems to me you have two different arguments you keep making:

1. That aikido is filled with bunnies -- people who'd collapse in a confrontation;
2. That what the IT folk are talking about is something you already know.

Not for me to tell you that you're wrong in either argument.

But even if 2 were true, it would not mean the IT folk are bunnies, just that you think they're selling snake oil.

That doesn't mean they can't fight, for example. It doesn't mean what they are teaching isn't useful to someone who will be fighting.

It just means you think you already understand this stuff, and that you don't really need it.

(IIRC, neither Dan nor Mike suggested otherwise, if for different reasons than yours.)

So, it's fine if you want to keep mixing up your two points, but it doesn't really help you persuade people to think about your overall -- and important -- point to make unnecessary associations between "bunnies" and "anyone who does it differently than I do," particularly when it leads you to say things many people -- those with direct experience -- find incongruous.

Best, my friend. I'll just hop along.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 01:46 PM
Hi Tony,

It seems to me you have two different arguments you keep making:

1. That aikido is filled with bunnies -- people who'd collapse in a confrontation;
2. That what the IT folk are talking about is something you already know.

Not for me to tell you that you're wrong in either argument.

But even if 2 were true, it would not mean the IT folk are bunnies, just that you think they're selling snake oil.

That doesn't mean they can't fight, for example. It doesn't mean what they are teaching isn't useful to someone who will be fighting.

It just means you think you already understand this stuff, and that you don't really need it.

(IIRC, neither Dan nor Mike suggested otherwise, if for different reasons than yours.)

So, it's fine if you want to keep mixing up your two points, but it doesn't really help you persuade people to think about your overall -- and important -- point to make unnecessary associations between "bunnies" and "anyone who does it differently than I do," particularly when it leads you to say things many people -- those with direct experience -- find incongruous.

Best, my friend. I'll just hop along.

No, what I am saying is you might be taking all the bunnies for a ride 'cause they can't make their aikido work? And Dan can? Well alleluia what a big surprise.
Do "soft" all your life and that is what one comes up with, it's no big surprise is it? When I see Ikeda doing all that stuff, I was doing that at kyu grade. Kenji whatsis name stuff we see in the junnana kihon waza of Tomiki aikido. There is nothing new under the son my friend

Now you just hop along and have a nice day to Charles ;)

C. David Henderson
03-02-2011, 01:54 PM
Its "David," Tony.

Carry on.

mathewjgano
03-02-2011, 02:41 PM
So while it is true that Tony may have to deal with some of the rougher folks due to his job, it does not mean that only people in his position need to approach training this way. A lot of what is "realistic" depends on where you live and your daily experiences. You may not need to learn how to deal with severe violence because of where you live, but unless you can guarantee that life will always be that way it may be a valid point to consider at some level, especially if you are putting in all these hours in training. Ignorance of reality does not protect one from it ime.

Just some thoughts.

Best
LC
Good thoughts, Larry! I think they're perfectly fitting with my post about the relatively different needs and goals we all have. To my mind it's an odds game. Even the safest place on the planet can play host to murder...and given a long enough timeline, I'd say it will. I may have been describing the relative dangers as a means of defending less-serious practices, but I would never say danger cannot find us in a "safer" area. I would also argue everyone could/"should" stand a little education in the baser forms of reality...particularly people in relatively wealthy, comfortable situations like mine...and I grew up in an elevated crime area (nothing hugely dangerous, but enough to generate an awareness for certain behaviors). My wife, as an example, is fairly oblivious to certain things I pick up on much more quickly. When we drive through the city i will spot the drug deals and the guy walking around with the knife "concealed" in his hand. This is also why I tend to make the point that "real" self-defense has very little to do with an ability to fight, though I also think everyone should have some idea about what to do in one because I recognize the fact that we all have a blind-side (i.e. the best awareness will eventually miss something).
The question is to what degree we want to address that (hopefully low) probability of attack. That's a personal call. I believe my style of Aikido just happens to be effective, but I came to it looking for moving meditation. If others were to hypothetically train in a style that only works on having a calm mind (a good skill to practice in its own right), that's their right to do so. If they think it's more than it is, all i can say is we all suffer from the same problem: not knowing what we don't know and I refer everyone to my personal quote.
Tony's basic point is a good one, but it includes some presumptive language that I think detracts from his otherwise great message.
Take care,
Matt

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 02:59 PM
Its "David," Tony.

Carry on.

David, my apologies....

Hellis
03-02-2011, 03:03 PM
Good thoughts, Larry! I think they're perfectly fitting with my post about the relatively different needs and goals we all have. To my mind it's an odds game. Even the safest place on the planet can play host to murder...and given a long enough timeline, I'd say it will. I may have been describing the relative dangers as a means of defending less-serious practices, but I would never say danger cannot find us in a "safer" area. I would also argue everyone could/"should" stand a little education in the baser forms of reality...particularly people in relatively wealthy, comfortable situations like mine...and I grew up in an elevated crime area (nothing hugely dangerous, but enough to generate an awareness for certain behaviors). My wife, as an example, is fairly oblivious to certain things I pick up on much more quickly. When we drive through the city i will spot the drug deals and the guy walking around with the knife "concealed" in his hand. This is also why I tend to make the point that "real" self-defense has very little to do with an ability to fight, though I also think everyone should have some idea about what to do in one because I recognize the fact that we all have a blind-side (i.e. the best awareness will eventually miss something).
The question is to what degree we want to address that (hopefully low) probability of attack. That's a personal call. I believe my style of Aikido just happens to be effective, but I came to it looking for moving meditation. If others were to hypothetically train in a style that only works on having a calm mind (a good skill to practice in its own right), that's their right to do so. If they think it's more than it is, all i can say is we all suffer from the same problem: not knowing what we don't know and I refer everyone to my personal quote.
Tony's basic point is a good one, but it includes some presumptive language that I think detracts from his otherwise great message.
Take care,
Matt

Hi Matt

Like you I agree with much of what Tony has to say, he is with `respect ` abrasive ` at least, then I must admit that I am often accused of that too....many people don't like that as I have found out myself over the years, I would assume their reaction has the same effect on Tony as it does myself.......none.......:straightf

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

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 03:03 PM
Good thoughts, Larry! I think they're perfectly fitting with my post about the relatively different needs and goals we all have. To my mind it's an odds game. Even the safest place on the planet can play host to murder...and given a long enough timeline, I'd say it will. I may have been describing the relative dangers as a means of defending less-serious practices, but I would never say danger cannot find us in a "safer" area. I would also argue everyone could/"should" stand a little education in the baser forms of reality...particularly people in relatively wealthy, comfortable situations like mine...and I grew up in an elevated crime area (nothing hugely dangerous, but enough to generate an awareness for certain behaviors). My wife, as an example, is fairly oblivious to certain things I pick up on much more quickly. When we drive through the city i will spot the drug deals and the guy walking around with the knife "concealed" in his hand. This is also why I tend to make the point that "real" self-defense has very little to do with an ability to fight, though I also think everyone should have some idea about what to do in one because I recognize the fact that we all have a blind-side (i.e. the best awareness will eventually miss something).
The question is to what degree we want to address that (hopefully low) probability of attack. That's a personal call. I believe my style of Aikido just happens to be effective, but I came to it looking for moving meditation. If others were to hypothetically train in a style that only works on having a calm mind (a good skill to practice in its own right), that's their right to do so. If they think it's more than it is, all i can say is we all suffer from the same problem: not knowing what we don't know and I refer everyone to my personal quote.
Tony's basic point is a good one, but it includes some presumptive language that I think detracts from his otherwise great message.
Take care,
Matt

Sorry Matt I'm know I'm blunt, but I like your honesty....;)

Marc Abrams
03-02-2011, 03:25 PM
Hi Matt

Like you I agree with much of what Tony has to say, he is with `respect ` abrasive ` at least, then I must admit that I am often accused of that too....many people don't like that as I have found out myself over the years, I would assume their reaction has the same effect on Tony as it does myself.......none.......:straightf

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

Henry:

Abrasive attitude is a minor issue in my book. I frankly appreciate a person who stands up for what he/she believe in. My issue with Tony is one of ignorance from an assumed position of knowledge. We all are entitled to believe what we would like to believe. It is an attitude of intellectual honesty and integrity that leads many people to test out their ideas.

I was fortunate to have had a class during my doctoral training with one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. At 82 years of age, that man did not attach his ego to his ideas and vigorously pursued knowledge even if that meant acknowledging that his previous ideas were wrong. He was always seeking to expand his knowledge up until his death. That is a role-model that I believe we should follow. If you posit an idea, test it out without relying exclusively on past results.

Tony can continue in his attempts to belittle others. His failed arguments and lack of intellectual honesty toward testing his ideas out are apparent to many. A lot of other strong-willed people gave up their excuses long ago and tested things out to later admit what they once thought was off-base.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

mathewjgano
03-02-2011, 03:47 PM
Hi Matt

Like you I agree with much of what Tony has to say, he is with `respect ` abrasive ` at least, then I must admit that I am often accused of that too....many people don't like that as I have found out myself over the years, I would assume their reaction has the same effect on Tony as it does myself.......none.......:straightf

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/
Sorry Matt I'm know I'm blunt, but I like your honesty

Hi Henry, Tony,
Hey, sometimes we need that abrasion to provoke a little extra blood-flow. My only real criticism is that, without a respite, it makes it harder for the "softer-skinned" folks to receive the information. If the point is to teach, you have to consider how to make the information received. Otherwise it tends to be a case of preaching to the choir...and they're often the last people who need to hear the...er..."good" news.
And thanks, Tony! I appreciate that...and I appreciate where you're coming from. I grew up with people who have a similar sense of humor as yours, so maybe I can see the genuine smile within the rib-poking a little better than some...though I have to agree with Marc about the IS/IP discussions. What you do might be similar, it might be as effective for your goals, etc., but I don't see how you can assume you already know it in the same way.
...for whatever it's worth.
Take care, guys!
Matt

Hellis
03-02-2011, 04:02 PM
Henry:

Abrasive attitude is a minor issue in my book. I frankly appreciate a person who stands up for what he/she believe in. My issue with Tony is one of ignorance from an assumed position of knowledge. We all are entitled to believe what we would like to believe. It is an attitude of intellectual honesty and integrity that leads many people to test out their ideas.

I was fortunate to have had a class during my doctoral training with one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. At 82 years of age, that man did not attach his ego to his ideas and vigorously pursued knowledge even if that meant acknowledging that his previous ideas were wrong. He was always seeking to expand his knowledge up until his death. That is a role-model that I believe we should follow. If you posit an idea, test it out without relying exclusively on past results.

Tony can continue in his attempts to belittle others. His failed arguments and lack of intellectual honesty toward testing his ideas out are apparent to many. A lot of other strong-willed people gave up their excuses long ago and tested things out to later admit what they once thought was off-base.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Marc

I do hear you loud and clear...I honestly believe that all Tony wants for students is to understand their own capabilities, when the time may possibly come when one needs to protect themselves and possibly their families...I believe that when a real scenario happens many will be in for a helluva shock....
Regards

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Marc Abrams
03-02-2011, 05:17 PM
Marc

I do hear you loud and clear...I honestly believe that all Tony wants for students is to understand their own capabilities, when the time may possibly come when one needs to protect themselves and possibly their families...I believe that when a real scenario happens many will be in for a helluva shock....
Regards

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Henry:

I fully agree with what you say. I have been around the block long enough to have seen some "thought they were tough ass" black belts in some "hard" arts get their asses handed to them by a good street fighter who knew what he was doing. My own training is always about being fully cognizant of what is going on around me and training my body to operate efficiently and effectively. The people I train with not only demonstrate those abilities but can teach them (some are better teachers than others). I am always amused when people assume that those teachers are doing nonsense and those people end-up on the wrong end of a whooping without really knowing what happened to them when they decide to "test" those teachers (heck, I have been on that end myself with all of my teachers). What may look like nonsense to some people are methods and means of operating the body that are not only well-tested, but allow you to be functionally effective even when you are well past your prime in strength (which is late twenties).

Ushiro Sensei puts it best when he talks about the biggest impediment to our learning in what we think we know. The beginner's mind is something that all teachers need to use in order to allow us to continue to grow and be examples of growth to our students.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

David Orange
03-02-2011, 06:55 PM
...I honestly believe that all Tony wants for students is to understand their own capabilities, when the time may possibly come when one needs to protect themselves and possibly their families...I believe that when a real scenario happens many will be in for a helluva shock....

Sir T-Rex,

All these points are well taken, but Tony goes much further than that and it's not merely "abrasiveness" that he shows. Really, just remove the "brasivene" from that word and you get the essence of it. Lately, I've been disinclined to bother with his stuff. If someone thinks he learned enough twenty years ago and closed his mind back then, it's not my place to insist that they open it. But I just read most of your website on the Jack Poole controversy and, frankly, Tony strikes me as far more of that sort than your sort. And when I saw your statement, "Silence is approval," I felt spurred to speak again.

The main problem I have with Tony is his dismissive attitude toward everyone else's experience and judgment in aikido and other martial arts. According to him, none of us know enough to recognize that the IP people we've trained with are really frauds--though Tony, himself, has never met or touched any of them and further refuses to go anywhere near them, claiming poverty. Well. What kind of excuse is that for a budo man? I know you sacrificed deeply for many years to learn and promote aikido, and I sacrificed in a similar way to go and live in a tough dojo in Japan, so I would think you would scoff at this transparent excuse for Tony's fear of being proven wrong and finding that he still has a lot to learn.

It's not only a question of self defense ability: it's the idea that, as many excellent aikido, judo, karate, jujutsu and swordsmen as we have met, we would repeatedly go and pay money to train under people who cannot do far more than the claims they make. I began my training from an defensive tactics manual my father brought home from the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Virginia, when I was eight years old. In my early 20s (late 1970s), I trained with a police instructor who had been training in jujutsu since 1917. He was a collector of antique swords and you couldn't pass off a piece of junk on him.

And you can't pass off a phony budo man on me. So when I say that Dan Harden and Minoru Akuzawa are the real deal, and their internal power is something to be respected, valued and seriously sought after, it's based on having met and trained with a lot of Japanese and Chinese experts and having felt a wide range of abilities. Dan and Akuzawa are among the very best I've ever encountered.

Well, Tony Wagstaffe can say they're not any good, but...he's never met them and he's never felt what they can do, so doesn't that strike you as a bit daft?

And for him to simply dismiss the judgment of people with decades of experience and teaching (and in my case, I taught in Japan) is a bit more than abrasive. It's just an attempt to shore up himself by insulting others. It might work in his own mind, but it makes him look like a fool (or maybe a Poole?) to everyone else.

Regards and best wishes on your efforts.

David

Gorgeous George
03-02-2011, 07:50 PM
*Like*

Hellis
03-02-2011, 07:56 PM
Sir T-Rex,

All these points are well taken, but Tony goes much further than that and it's not merely "abrasiveness" that he shows. Really, just remove the "brasivene" from that word and you get the essence of it. Lately, I've been disinclined to bother with his stuff. If someone thinks he learned enough twenty years ago and closed his mind back then, it's not my place to insist that they open it. But I just read most of your website on the Jack Poole controversy and, frankly, Tony strikes me as far more of that sort than your sort. And when I saw your statement, "Silence is approval," I felt spurred to speak again.

The main problem I have with Tony is his dismissive attitude toward everyone else's experience and judgment in aikido and other martial arts. According to him, none of us know enough to recognize that the IP people we've trained with are really frauds--though Tony, himself, has never met or touched any of them and further refuses to go anywhere near them, claiming poverty. Well. What kind of excuse is that for a budo man? I know you sacrificed deeply for many years to learn and promote aikido, and I sacrificed in a similar way to go and live in a tough dojo in Japan, so I would think you would scoff at this transparent excuse for Tony's fear of being proven wrong and finding that he still has a lot to learn.

It's not only a question of self defense ability: it's the idea that, as many excellent aikido, judo, karate, jujutsu and swordsmen as we have met, we would repeatedly go and pay money to train under people who cannot do far more than the claims they make. I began my training from an defensive tactics manual my father brought home from the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Virginia, when I was eight years old. In my early 20s (late 1970s), I trained with a police instructor who had been training in jujutsu since 1917. He was a collector of antique swords and you couldn't pass off a piece of junk on him.

And you can't pass off a phony budo man on me. So when I say that Dan Harden and Minoru Akuzawa are the real deal, and their internal power is something to be respected, valued and seriously sought after, it's based on having met and trained with a lot of Japanese and Chinese experts and having felt a wide range of abilities. Dan and Akuzawa are among the very best I've ever encountered.

Well, Tony Wagstaffe can say they're not any good, but...he's never met them and he's never felt what they can do, so doesn't that strike you as a bit daft?

And for him to simply dismiss the judgment of people with decades of experience and teaching (and in my case, I taught in Japan) is a bit more than abrasive. It's just an attempt to shore up himself by insulting others. It might work in his own mind, but it makes him look like a fool (or maybe a Poole?) to everyone else.

Regards and best wishes on your efforts.

David

David

I don't personally know Tony, so it would be difficult for me to say what kind of person he may or may not be ?.....I can assure you that whatever he may be ? there is only one Jack Poole...Thank you for taking the time to read of my efforts to protect our UK proud history and lineage..
I do suspect that Tony secretly enjoys a little wind up, this thread is around 4000 hits ? so perhaps there are some that are enjoying the ``contest`` ......
Perhaps after Mr Hardins UK visit in May we will get some feedback ??
Take care David

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
03-02-2011, 08:25 PM
Abrasive attitude is a minor issue in my book......

Is it ? I do wonder.....;)

David Orange
03-02-2011, 08:30 PM
Perhaps after Mr Hardins UK visit in May we will get some feedback ??
Take care David

Thank you, Sensei.

Actually, Jack Poole's picture even reminds me a bit of Tony's--though Jack looks rather more "saintly"??? :p

That's quite a story you've got there. I can understand your pride and protectiveness about the history of aikido in UK. It's a hell of a fierce and incredible thing. Frankly, I doubt I could have made it at the Hut. My hat remains off to you, sir.

As to Dan Harden's UK visit, he's worth way more than Tony decries as "too much". And the main impression that usually follows in Dan's wake is a lot of smiles and laughter and amazement. I doubt many people in the world could attend and not benefit greatly. And Akuzawa has been to UK, too. And he's well worth a look. At least, before calling these people "snake oil peddlers," one should meet them and see what they're doing. I can understand a lot of skepticism about someone like Nishino, but even in his case, I'd want to try him out before labelling his stuff "snake oil".

And to be fair, I did ridicule Mike Sigman and I argued with Dan and Akuzawa's major student, Rob John, for quite a while before I started to see the light in what they were telling me. And I can say it's really bad to reject that stuff without ever having experienced it first-hand.

When did you say you'll be in the US this year? April in Arizona? Your book is on my list...I just can't seem to whittle the list down, but I'm going to get yours. I told Ellis Amdur that and I bought his book, eventually. I'm looking forward to reading yours as well.

Best to you.

David

KaliGman
03-02-2011, 09:14 PM
...
The problem with your ideas is that they are not really universal. Here in the states, the most common way for a cab driver to die is from a bullet in the back of the head. They don't see it coming. The passenger gives them no hint, no warning, no lip in advance. The driver pulls over to let out his fare and "BOOM!" before he can say "Here we are," he's dead. A jo in the seat might as well be a sword in a museum.

Yeah. The problem is, for real life-and-death situations, what you describe is not very realistic at all. Tough as it is, it's a fantasy in a world where people shoot first and issue threats later.

Sounds like playing, really--where people aren't fighting to kill, but just to let off some steam after drinking too much. I live in one of the most dangerous cities in the US and I've never been in "a fight" despite walking the streets alone for half my life. I've faced armed attackers, multiple attackers, multiple armed attackers, crazy people, ex-cons, various kinds of crooks and I've had all kinds of people show up at my aikido classes. And I never had to touch but one of them and never got in a fight with any of them--and never went to the ground with any of them, despite my long experience in judo, jujutsu and newaza. So maybe you're looking at things from a mistaken perspective, somehow? Never hurts to ask yourself that, does it?

Best wishes.

David

David,

Where did you get your information regarding cab driver mortality in the United States? I have never seen a study which showed that the number one cause of death for a cab driver in the U.S. was a bullet to the back of the head. In fact, when it comes to overall victimization rather than the "shoot the cabbie" sport that your post seems to indicate as prevalent in the United States, I can't really recall a good study which showed cab driver victimization to be this extreme in the U.S. The last Bureau of Justice Statistics study I saw regarding workplace violence had cab drivers listed as highly likely to be victimized compared to other transportation workers, but police officers had a level of victimization that was far and away higher than that of any other class of workers. Since I keep track of violence against law enforcement trends, as I have taught officer survival classes at a police academy or two, provide training for my federal task force on a recurring basis, and have a distinct aversion to being shot, I do know that the most prevalent assault on law enforcement is not a bullet to the back of the head, and that a gunshot to the back of the head is not the most common cause of mortality amongst police officers. Since cops, who are victimized far more often than cabbies, do not die in the manner you suggest, I don't think your hypothesis can be supported in relation to cab driver mortality.

Your post seemed to indicate that the most common robbery tactic in the United States, if robbing a cab driver, would be to shoot the driver and then rob him. In general, Uniform Crime Report and National Victimization Survey data indicate that most robberies are "contractual" in nature. In other words, a threat display of a weapon is involved in order for the robber to get the victim to agree to turn over valuables. Shoot or assault first robberies do occur, but were not the norm. Of course, a problem with "contractual" robberies is that the robber is writing the contract. Maybe the robber thinks the money was delivered too slowly and shoots the victim, maybe the robber decides the victim is attractive and wants to assert dominance and decides to get a little extra physical gratification, maybe the robber screws up and exerts four pounds of pressure on a trigger by mistake when he reaches for the victim's wallet with his other hand. Violence can happen at any moment.

If you based your opinion on violence against cab drivers on personal anecdotes, your own experiences or the like, I will have to say that it does not match my experience. In the last couple of decades I have worked, at a municipal and/or federal law enforcement level, in multiple states within the United States. I currently run a task force specifically set up to address violent crime. I don't see the kind of victimization that you suggest.

Now as to your assertion regarding having faced multiple armed attackers, I really would like to know what you define as an attack. I don't see how you survive more than one armed attack without fighting, unless you have always been in a position to run away rather than fight (which is a very good option, but one that is, sadly often eliminated by the attackers so their prey does not escape—i.e. you get surrounded or manhandled/controlled), or you were discussing robberies and you gave up property or negotiated with them and were able to end up without getting hit or shot or having to hit or shoot someone (once again, often a desirable outcome considering the alternatives, but often eliminated by the bad guys). If you are merely stating that you had a group of armed guys talk roughly to you, well, while legally that might possibly be considered "assault" as you might be considered to be in fear of an unlawful touching, in reality, it does not constitute an attack or "battery"—i.e. actually getting hit or having them attempt to injure or strike you. So, did people attempt to rob, strike, or otherwise injure you or do you have some other definition of attack? Every time I have been attacked, it has been by people who tried to hit, shoot, stab, cut, bludgeon, run me over with a vehicle (I once ended up on the hood of a Plymouth and don't recommend the experience), or otherwise injure me. I could not negotiate or escape and, a time or two, if I had not "gone ugly early" and fought and injured my opponents, I would not have survived. I have talked and otherwise defused far more situations than have resulted in fighting and violence, but when I have been attacked rather than threatened, I have had to fight.

As for IP/IS or whatever, I don't discuss or comment on those posts, really. I do not have a dog in that fight. I am not that concerned with definitions of what Person X calls internal and Person Y says Person X stole from him or whatever. I have not trained with what constitutes "the big names" in this field on this tiny little subsection of the tiny martial arts section of the Internet. I am concerned with fighting performance in a weapon intense environment and against multiple opponents, as that is directly related to what I do for a living. I think Tony is concerned with this too. Maybe IP/IS or whatever is different than things some of us do, and maybe not so much, as some of us have been exposed to rather varied and interesting training. To be frank, I may play with it later on, but, what interests me now is dealing with multiple cuts and thrust per second from a bladed weapon and gang violence by guys armed with rifles and wearing body armor. I guess that a lot of people are annoyed by Tony, a few agree with him, and a lot tolerate him. Personally, Tony reminds me of a couple of relatives of mine. These are the relatives that you want to see during a holiday dinner because they are abrasive, speak their mind, and are guaranteed to amuse you by taking the starch out of a couple of your more stuffy relations. Of course, I have a, shall we say, "interesting" sense of humor and do not expect everyone to agree with my tastes. I also say that I do not think that Tony is always right in his posts and that I know that he pokes at some people who do not appreciate it and who may be offended. I think he does it with good intentions and sometimes for a bit of fun, but, if you are on the receiving end and you don't like it, I guess that does not always matter.

I do not pop in here that often, and when I do it is primarily to read rather than post. You see, I have not taught jujitsu or Aikido in years. Aside from firearms disciplines and law enforcement specific tactics, I have not taught anything but Albo Kali Silat in the last decade. The grappling I teach is more from a Filipino dumog or Filipino, Indonesian and Vietnamese silat perspective, though some aspects are very Japanese and were probably "stolen" during the time of the occupation of the Philippines or shortly thereafter. As this is an Aikido forum it is not my playground and I try not to stomp all over it. I only really came here in the first place because of the actions of a student and a former student who are members of this board and what was said about the kali system that I head. I apologize to any Aikidoka here who feels I am intruding, and if some of you tell me as Tony would say to "Sod off," well I'll leave. No harm, no foul. I know knife. I know real world violence. If I see something here regarding those topics or others that I know quite a bit about, then I throw out the occasional post. I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming and the tender missives of several people who are active in Aikido and have more experience than I in many facets of that art.

Take care and good luck with your training.

Jon

Hellis
03-03-2011, 03:43 AM
Thank you, Sensei.

Actually, Jack Poole's picture even reminds me a bit of Tony's--though Jack looks rather more "saintly"??? :p

That's quite a story you've got there. I can understand your pride and protectiveness about the history of aikido in UK. It's a hell of a fierce and incredible thing. Frankly, I doubt I could have made it at the Hut. My hat remains off to you, sir.

When did you say you'll be in the US this year? April in Arizona? Your book is on my list...I just can't seem to whittle the list down, but I'm going to get yours. I told Ellis Amdur that and I bought his book, eventually. I'm looking forward to reading yours as well.

Best to you.

David

David
Can you imagine how I / we felt as the pioneers of UK Aikido standing in line to meet the Mayor of Birmingham to receive an award for our many years of Aikido and its promotion from the 1950s, I heard a shuffle behind me, I looked around, It was JP an old ``student`` of mine, receiving the same award as the rest of us, this was being presented by the crass UK governing body for Aikido....

Due to present health problems, I am having to rethink the date of my visit to the USA, if things improve I hope to visit NM in late May..

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

Hellis
03-03-2011, 04:08 AM
Jon Holloway

That was a very interesting and informative post.

"""I do not pop in here that often"""

I hope you will `pop in` more often......

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
03-03-2011, 09:08 AM
Have to start waving my wand then, now where is that tea cosy....?

I will make an apology to Graham Jenkins as I misread it as Graham Christian.....

David Orange
03-03-2011, 11:59 AM
David,

Where did you get your information regarding cab driver mortality in the United States? I have never seen a study which showed that the number one cause of death for a cab driver in the U.S. was a bullet to the back of the head. In fact, when it comes to overall victimization rather than the "shoot the cabbie" sport that your post seems to indicate as prevalent in the United States, I can't really recall a good study which showed cab driver victimization to be this extreme in the U.S. The last Bureau of Justice Statistics study I saw regarding workplace violence had cab drivers listed as highly likely to be victimized compared to other transportation workers, but police officers had a level of victimization that was far and away higher than that of any other class of workers. Since I keep track of violence against law enforcement trends, as I have taught officer survival classes at a police academy or two, provide training for my federal task force on a recurring basis, and have a distinct aversion to being shot, I do know that the most prevalent assault on law enforcement is not a bullet to the back of the head, and that a gunshot to the back of the head is not the most common cause of mortality amongst police officers. Since cops, who are victimized far more often than cabbies, do not die in the manner you suggest, I don't think your hypothesis can be supported in relation to cab driver mortality.

Jon, I can't really tell, but it sounds as if you think I said that cab driver murders are the number one cause of death in the US or something.

That's not what I said and I didn't relate it at all to LEOs. I said that the number one way cab drivers are killed in the US is being shot in the back of the head--as compared to being jumped or choked or whatever.

Maybe I'm wrong. I certainly didn't base it on statistics but just from my readings of various reports of cab driver deaths. It seems like there's seldom any warning. The killer just gets the driver to take him where he wants to go, then shoots him when he stops. I'd be glad to see any statistics you have on it, but that's my impression. Anyway, it's a comparison to Tony's report of people manhandling drivers. I just said "They don't do it that way here. They just shoot you."

Your post seemed to indicate that the most common robbery tactic in the United States, if robbing a cab driver, would be to shoot the driver and then rob him. In general, Uniform Crime Report and National Victimization Survey data indicate that most robberies are "contractual" in nature. In other words, a threat display of a weapon is involved in order for the robber to get the victim to agree to turn over valuables. Shoot or assault first robberies do occur, but were not the norm.

I also wasn't referring to robberies, per se, but to murders of cab drivers.

If you based your opinion on violence against cab drivers on personal anecdotes, your own experiences or the like, I will have to say that it does not match my experience. In the last couple of decades I have worked, at a municipal and/or federal law enforcement level, in multiple states within the United States. I currently run a task force specifically set up to address violent crime. I don't see the kind of victimization that you suggest.

I hope the comments above make my meaning clearer. And, again, if you have statistics on cab driver murders, specifically, I'll be glad to see them.

Now as to your assertion regarding having faced multiple armed attackers, I really would like to know what you define as an attack. I don't see how you survive more than one armed attack without fighting, unless you have always been in a position to run away rather than fight (which is a very good option, but one that is, sadly often eliminated by the attackers so their prey does not escape—i.e. you get surrounded or manhandled/controlled), or you were discussing robberies and you gave up property or negotiated with them and were able to end up without getting hit or shot or having to hit or shoot someone (once again, often a desirable outcome considering the alternatives, but often eliminated by the bad guys).

Well, since ultimately "nothing" happened, there's no way I can describe the situations that you can't discount them, but in each case I guess you could say I spoiled the contractual transaction.

However, here is the first incident, involving a single attacker, who was apparently unarmed.

I was alone, about two AM, walking home about three blocks from a coffee shop. I was crossing a large parking lot behind some buildings on a main street. The only other person around was a guy crossing the same parking lot from the other direction. I thought nothing of it, but as we progressed, his path brought him closer and closer to my path. I still didn't think anything of it, but as we passed in opposite directions, he was only a few feet away from me. When we were just passing, he suddenly turned and made as if to lunge at me, grab me in a bear hug and drive me to the ground where I suppose he intended to mount me and pound my face until I just gave up my money.

Little did he know, I HAD no money!

But just as he turned and started to lunge for me, my body instantly turned to face him and my te gatana started to come up. This shocked his sh*t and he turned back to his original heading and continued away. I just laughed it off and went on home but if he had continued his move, I would have thrown him with sumi otoshi before I knew what I'd done.

So "nothing" happened but if I hadn't reacted as I did, I have no doubt I would have been assaulted. So I know you wouldn't call it an "attack" but it was.

Briefly, I've been confronted a number of times by angry people, crazy people, muggers and robbers and the outcome has always been the same. They realized that they were stepping into something they hadn't counted on and they changed their minds before something bad happened to them. As Sokaku Takeda said, "The art of aiki is to overcome the opponent mentally, at a glance, and win without fighting."

In one case, I almost stepped into a trap when I found two guys sitting on the hood of a car parked next to mine. One guy got off the hood of the car and brought out a knife as he walked to the end of my car. My immediate intuition was that he would get to the end of the cars as I reached my driver's door and that he would then turn and approach me with the knife before I could open the door, while the other guy would follow me between the cars to sandwich me in. I believe the second guy had a pistol.

I avoided this by not stepping between the cars and sure enough, the guy with the knife reached the end of the cars and turned around, expecting to see me trying to get into my car. But I wasn't there. I was still standing near his friend, who sat grinning at me. If either of them had moved, I was going to back fist the seated guy in the head, knock him off the car and disarm him. But neither of them moved. It looked like a football play they had worked out carefully, but I just hadn't stepped into it. Since they couldn't rob me discreetly, they both left the scene.

There have been a handful of such incidents since about 1976--six or eight--in one of the most dangerous cities in the US, according to the FBI: third most dangerous this year, I believe. I've walked alone, unarmed, all over this town for half my life.

Every time I have been attacked, it has been by people who tried to hit, shoot, stab, cut, bludgeon, run me over with a vehicle (I once ended up on the hood of a Plymouth and don't recommend the experience), or otherwise injure me. I could not negotiate or escape and, a time or two, if I had not "gone ugly early" and fought and injured my opponents, I would not have survived. I have talked and otherwise defused far more situations than have resulted in fighting and violence, but when I have been attacked rather than threatened, I have had to fight.

Not being an LEO, I haven't gotten into the kinds of things you have, but my father and grandfather were both LEOs and I was taking guns apart, cleaning them and reassembling them when I was ten years old. I grew up shooting and I fired pistols, rifles, shotguns and automatic weapons as a kid. My first MA teachers were LEO and one of them was a reserve Marine. I started in kyokshin karate and the Marine taught me some solid lessons. I also trained with a friend of his in jujutsu, who was a police instructor and I got a lot of my strategies from him. I've never been robbed and I've never had to "talk my way out" of anything. In each case, the would-be attacker just decided to break off the engagement. Mostly, it was because I spoiled their distance and their timing and presented them with a semi-conscious discomfort that convinced them that there were better things to do that night than mess with the skinny kid with the weird eyes.

As for IP/IS or whatever, I don't discuss or comment on those posts, really. I do not have a dog in that fight. I am not that concerned with definitions of what Person X calls internal and Person Y says Person X stole from him or whatever. I have not trained with what constitutes "the big names" in this field on this tiny little subsection of the tiny martial arts section of the Internet. I am concerned with fighting performance in a weapon intense environment and against multiple opponents, as that is directly related to what I do for a living.

If you don't have direct experience with the IP subject it's best just to listen, ask questions or leave it alone. Although you consider it a "tiny little subsection of the tiny martial arts section of the internet," it's a major consideration for masters in Japan and China and it has been for many centuries, going back to India. As far as what you do is physical, it really is a very important consideration. But it doesn't relate that much to firearms. If you're not interested, that's your business, but if you teach 'aikido' it should be an interest for you because it's the essence of what aikido comes from.

As for the arguments, that's just noise and it's really unfortunate because it drives a lot of people away from one of the most important issues in martial arts today.

If you remember about 20 years ago, everyone was still discussing whether grappling arts or striking arts were superior. It was almost unheard of for karate men to actually fight judo and jujutsuka, so people had all kinds of mistaken ideas about how grappling and striking related. Today, thanks to the Gracie family and the UFC and similiar events, we know that grappling is an indispensible part of the martial arts repertoire.

Twenty years from now, people will be looking back and laughing at how we argued about whether IP was relevant to current-day martial arts. By then, those without IP skills just won't be teaching anymore.

I think Tony is concerned with this too.

There is "concern" and then there is "concern". One comes from a belief that IP isn't relevant to weapons such as firearms and there is a lot of validity to that. But that's not Tony's point as firearms are almost an imaginary concept where he lives.

The other type of concern, which may hit closer to home for Tony, is that there is something very major and important in MA that he has never encountered and about which he is completely ignorant. Note how he simultaneously dismisses IP as "snake oil" and also claims that "I do that, too.".....

Maybe IP/IS or whatever is different than things some of us do, and maybe not so much, as some of us have been exposed to rather varied and interesting training. To be frank, I may play with it later on, but, what interests me now is dealing with multiple cuts and thrust per second from a bladed weapon and gang violence by guys armed with rifles and wearing body armor.

That's definitely outside my experience. I could maybe show you something about sword work, but that's only applicable to swords and similar weapons such as bokken or baseball bats: not irrelevant to self-defense, but certainly not what you're talking about.

I guess that a lot of people are annoyed by Tony, a few agree with him, and a lot tolerate him. Personally, Tony reminds me of a couple of relatives of mine. These are the relatives that you want to see during a holiday dinner because they are abrasive, speak their mind, and are guaranteed to amuse you by taking the starch out of a couple of your more stuffy relations.

That has its place, but when the "stuffy relation" is actually a reasonable person and the abrasive "mind speaker" is ignorant of the subject at hand....it's not such fun and the "mind speaker" comes off looking pretty bad. Of course, I was in his position just a few years ago, telling Mike Sigman and Rob John that they didn't know what they were talking about, so I do have compassion for Tony, but when someone insists on maintaining ignorance about a subject and also insists on continuing to argue where he is ignorant, it loses its interesting elements entirely.

Of course, I have a, shall we say, "interesting" sense of humor and do not expect everyone to agree with my tastes. I also say that I do not think that Tony is always right in his posts and that I know that he pokes at some people who do not appreciate it and who may be offended. I think he does it with good intentions and sometimes for a bit of fun, but, if you are on the receiving end and you don't like it, I guess that does not always matter.

What you'll see is that everyone really cares more about old Tony than he realizes. He's only two years older than I, and my martial arts run about as long as his and maybe a bit deeper. So he's more a peer to me and I hate to see him miss out on a great boat because he thinks he already knows the story. I think that's the general idea. Sort of like trying to get your cousin not to get totally plastered at the wedding reception again....

I do not pop in here that often, and when I do it is primarily to read rather than post. You see, I have not taught jujitsu or Aikido in years. Aside from firearms disciplines and law enforcement specific tactics, I have not taught anything but Albo Kali Silat in the last decade. The grappling I teach is more from a Filipino dumog or Filipino, Indonesian and Vietnamese silat perspective, though some aspects are very Japanese and were probably "stolen" during the time of the occupation of the Philippines or shortly thereafter. As this is an Aikido forum it is not my playground and I try not to stomp all over it. I only really came here in the first place because of the actions of a student and a former student who are members of this board and what was said about the kali system that I head. I apologize to any Aikidoka here who feels I am intruding, and if some of you tell me as Tony would say to "Sod off," well I'll leave.

No, I think it's all relevant and I think that silat has some interesting content and may even include some internal elements, but I don't know that much about it. Silat comes from India, doesn't it? At least in the roots?

No harm, no foul. I know knife. I know real world violence. If I see something here regarding those topics or others that I know quite a bit about, then I throw out the occasional post.

I will say that one of the most sobering things I ever experienced was when a fellow very casually brought out a knife at a very inopportune moment. I have no illusions at all that I remain alive on earth (and so far unwounded) simply because God allows it.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
03-03-2011, 12:53 PM
David
Can you imagine how I / we felt as the pioneers of UK Aikido standing in line to meet the Mayor of Birmingham to receive an award for our many years of Aikido and its promotion from the 1950s, I heard a shuffle behind me, I looked around, It was JP an old ``student`` of mine, receiving the same award as the rest of us, this was being presented by the crass UK governing body for Aikido....

Incredible. I can certainly appreciate it. A lot of people think that truth is relative and it can be, in some ways, but there is Truth that is exclusive and when you hold that in your hand it's very offensive to see someone abuse it. And when a organization supports and spreads the lie, it's infuriating.

In my own case, I was an original incorporator of an organization in the US in 1981. I broke away from them around 1990, when I went to live in Japan. Years later, that group published something under my name extolling a fellow as "uchi deshi to Minoru Mochizuki" though the guy was actually booted out of the dojo after a brief stay because he didn't come to classes! One of the shihans told me to tell the guy to get out of the dojo!

And this group glorified him under my name while neglecting to mention that I was uchi deshi before he got there and long after he left!

At the same time, this organization was using my name to glorify their members, they also spread four specific lies: that David Orange had been kicked out of the dojo; that David Orange had been "kicked out of Japan (!!!???)"; that David Orange's ranks had all been revoked; that David Orange would be sued if he used the name of yoseikan.

All lies, spread by a private organization with tax exemption.

It just shows that phonies can be found everywhere.

Due to present health problems, I am having to rethink the date of my visit to the USA, if things improve I hope to visit NM in late May..

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

To your health, Sensei.

Best wishes.

David

Tony Wagstaffe
03-03-2011, 01:39 PM
Jon, I can't really tell, but it sounds as if you think I said that cab driver murders are the number one cause of death in the US or something.

That's not what I said and I didn't relate it at all to LEOs. I said that the number one way cab drivers are killed in the US is being shot in the back of the head--as compared to being jumped or choked or whatever.

Maybe I'm wrong. I certainly didn't base it on statistics but just from my readings of various reports of cab driver deaths. It seems like there's seldom any warning. The killer just gets the driver to take him where he wants to go, then shoots him when he stops. I'd be glad to see any statistics you have on it, but that's my impression. Anyway, it's a comparison to Tony's report of people manhandling drivers. I just said "They don't do it that way here. They just shoot you."

I also wasn't referring to robberies, per se, but to murders of cab drivers.

I hope the comments above make my meaning clearer. And, again, if you have statistics on cab driver murders, specifically, I'll be glad to see them.

Well, since ultimately "nothing" happened, there's no way I can describe the situations that you can't discount them, but in each case I guess you could say I spoiled the contractual transaction.

However, here is the first incident, involving a single attacker, who was apparently unarmed.

I was alone, about two AM, walking home about three blocks from a coffee shop. I was crossing a large parking lot behind some buildings on a main street. The only other person around was a guy crossing the same parking lot from the other direction. I thought nothing of it, but as we progressed, his path brought him closer and closer to my path. I still didn't think anything of it, but as we passed in opposite directions, he was only a few feet away from me. When we were just passing, he suddenly turned and made as if to lunge at me, grab me in a bear hug and drive me to the ground where I suppose he intended to mount me and pound my face until I just gave up my money.

Little did he know, I HAD no money!

But just as he turned and started to lunge for me, my body instantly turned to face him and my te gatana started to come up. This shocked his sh*t and he turned back to his original heading and continued away. I just laughed it off and went on home but if he had continued his move, I would have thrown him with sumi otoshi before I knew what I'd done.

So "nothing" happened but if I hadn't reacted as I did, I have no doubt I would have been assaulted. So I know you wouldn't call it an "attack" but it was.

Briefly, I've been confronted a number of times by angry people, crazy people, muggers and robbers and the outcome has always been the same. They realized that they were stepping into something they hadn't counted on and they changed their minds before something bad happened to them. As Sokaku Takeda said, "The art of aiki is to overcome the opponent mentally, at a glance, and win without fighting."

In one case, I almost stepped into a trap when I found two guys sitting on the hood of a car parked next to mine. One guy got off the hood of the car and brought out a knife as he walked to the end of my car. My immediate intuition was that he would get to the end of the cars as I reached my driver's door and that he would then turn and approach me with the knife before I could open the door, while the other guy would follow me between the cars to sandwich me in. I believe the second guy had a pistol.

I avoided this by not stepping between the cars and sure enough, the guy with the knife reached the end of the cars and turned around, expecting to see me trying to get into my car. But I wasn't there. I was still standing near his friend, who sat grinning at me. If either of them had moved, I was going to back fist the seated guy in the head, knock him off the car and disarm him. But neither of them moved. It looked like a football play they had worked out carefully, but I just hadn't stepped into it. Since they couldn't rob me discreetly, they both left the scene.

There have been a handful of such incidents since about 1976--six or eight--in one of the most dangerous cities in the US, according to the FBI: third most dangerous this year, I believe. I've walked alone, unarmed, all over this town for half my life.

Not being an LEO, I haven't gotten into the kinds of things you have, but my father and grandfather were both LEOs and I was taking guns apart, cleaning them and reassembling them when I was ten years old. I grew up shooting and I fired pistols, rifles, shotguns and automatic weapons as a kid. My first MA teachers were LEO and one of them was a reserve Marine. I started in kyokshin karate and the Marine taught me some solid lessons. I also trained with a friend of his in jujutsu, who was a police instructor and I got a lot of my strategies from him. I've never been robbed and I've never had to "talk my way out" of anything. In each case, the would-be attacker just decided to break off the engagement. Mostly, it was because I spoiled their distance and their timing and presented them with a semi-conscious discomfort that convinced them that there were better things to do that night than mess with the skinny kid with the weird eyes.

If you don't have direct experience with the IP subject it's best just to listen, ask questions or leave it alone. Although you consider it a "tiny little subsection of the tiny martial arts section of the internet," it's a major consideration for masters in Japan and China and it has been for many centuries, going back to India. As far as what you do is physical, it really is a very important consideration. But it doesn't relate that much to firearms. If you're not interested, that's your business, but if you teach 'aikido' it should be an interest for you because it's the essence of what aikido comes from.

As for the arguments, that's just noise and it's really unfortunate because it drives a lot of people away from one of the most important issues in martial arts today.

If you remember about 20 years ago, everyone was still discussing whether grappling arts or striking arts were superior. It was almost unheard of for karate men to actually fight judo and jujutsuka, so people had all kinds of mistaken ideas about how grappling and striking related. Today, thanks to the Gracie family and the UFC and similiar events, we know that grappling is an indispensible part of the martial arts repertoire.

Twenty years from now, people will be looking back and laughing at how we argued about whether IP was relevant to current-day martial arts. By then, those without IP skills just won't be teaching anymore.

There is "concern" and then there is "concern". One comes from a belief that IP isn't relevant to weapons such as firearms and there is a lot of validity to that. But that's not Tony's point as firearms are almost an imaginary concept where he lives.

The other type of concern, which may hit closer to home for Tony, is that there is something very major and important in MA that he has never encountered and about which he is completely ignorant. Note how he simultaneously dismisses IP as "snake oil" and also claims that "I do that, too.".....

That's definitely outside my experience. I could maybe show you something about sword work, but that's only applicable to swords and similar weapons such as bokken or baseball bats: not irrelevant to self-defense, but certainly not what you're talking about.

That has its place, but when the "stuffy relation" is actually a reasonable person and the abrasive "mind speaker" is ignorant of the subject at hand....it's not such fun and the "mind speaker" comes off looking pretty bad. Of course, I was in his position just a few years ago, telling Mike Sigman and Rob John that they didn't know what they were talking about, so I do have compassion for Tony, but when someone insists on maintaining ignorance about a subject and also insists on continuing to argue where he is ignorant, it loses its interesting elements entirely.

What you'll see is that everyone really cares more about old Tony than he realizes. He's only two years older than I, and my martial arts run about as long as his and maybe a bit deeper. So he's more a peer to me and I hate to see him miss out on a great boat because he thinks he already knows the story. I think that's the general idea. Sort of like trying to get your cousin not to get totally plastered at the wedding reception again....

No, I think it's all relevant and I think that silat has some interesting content and may even include some internal elements, but I don't know that much about it. Silat comes from India, doesn't it? At least in the roots?

I will say that one of the most sobering things I ever experienced was when a fellow very casually brought out a knife at a very inopportune moment. I have no illusions at all that I remain alive on earth (and so far unwounded) simply because God allows it.

Best to you.

David

David, less of the old..... I'm only 57 years young. God didn't allow it, he did......

David Orange
03-03-2011, 04:16 PM
David, less of the old..... I'm only 57 years young. God didn't allow it, he did......

You can call me "Old Dave," if you like. I'm 55. And only 4 months older than Dan.

I certainly wouldn't say "Old Henry" about Ellis Sensei, though...

Best to you.

David

Hellis
03-03-2011, 04:23 PM
You can call me "Old Dave," if you like. I'm 55. And only 4 months older than Dan.

I certainly wouldn't say "Old Henry" about Ellis Sensei, though...

Best to you.

David

David

I am happy enough with " Sir T Rex " :)

Henry Ellis

Silence is Approval.
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

phitruong
03-03-2011, 04:41 PM
You can call me "Old Dave," if you like. I'm 55. And only 4 months older than Dan.

I certainly wouldn't say "Old Henry" about Ellis Sensei, though...

David

wow! you guys are ancient. might want to move over so us younging can move up the world. :)

L. Camejo
03-03-2011, 04:53 PM
For example a friend of mine from Toronto has been living for several years now in a small Japanese town. One time when he came back for a visit he made a comment that he felt like he had lost a lot of his protective 'city' instincts.... For example apparently where he's been living when people park their cars not only do they not lock them, they frequently leave the keys in the ignition for convenience :).I think this point raises another important area of discussion regarding reality.

Many of us have Japanese Sensei or Shihan at the head of our organizations or dojo who may or may not influence everything from training methods, to technique, to what specific skills are developed etc.

The thing is, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world when it comes to violent crime. An example of some stats are here - http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/3231.html

As a result, there is not a great need for most Shihan or Sensei who live mostly in Japan to focus on making their martial arts training effective in the face of violent crime. It is simply a non-issue. This does not mean that these Sensei and Shihan are not highly skilled at what they do, but a deep understanding of real violence, how the criminal mind works and other areas that deal directly with violent conflict, may not be their forte or area of experience, regardless of their rank. Hence it will not appear within their training or teaching paradigm imho. If students who require skills against violence inherit this tradition without modification, they will be just as ineffective as their Sensei.

I've personally found some distinct differences in how many people approach martial arts training in the Americas as compared to Japan. Imho necessity is the mother of invention. If one learns a tradition or training methodology that originates from a place where violence is not a real concern, then how can one attempt to use it in a violent environment. It will require modification and a separation from "tradition" at some level.

Funny thing is, the oldest martial art traditions come from actual combat. :) So which "tradition" is one following actually?

Just some thoughts.

LC

Marc Abrams
03-03-2011, 05:16 PM
I think this point raises another important area of discussion regarding reality.

Many of us have Japanese Sensei or Shihan at the head of our organizations or dojo who may or may not influence everything from training methods, to technique, to what specific skills are developed etc.

The thing is, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world when it comes to violent crime. An example of some stats are here - http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/3231.html

As a result, there is not a great need for most Shihan or Sensei who live mostly in Japan to focus on making their martial arts training effective in the face of violent crime. It is simply a non-issue. This does not mean that these Sensei and Shihan are not highly skilled at what they do, but a deep understanding of real violence, how the criminal mind works and other areas that deal directly with violent conflict, may not be their forte or area of experience, regardless of their rank. Hence it will not appear within their training or teaching paradigm imho. If students who require skills against violence inherit this tradition without modification, they will be just as ineffective as their Sensei.

I've personally found some distinct differences in how many people approach martial arts training in the Americas as compared to Japan. Imho necessity is the mother of invention. If one learns a tradition or training methodology that originates from a place where violence is not a real concern, then how can one attempt to use it in a violent environment. It will require modification and a separation from "tradition" at some level.

Funny thing is, the oldest martial art traditions come from actual combat. :) So which "tradition" is one following actually?

Just some thoughts.

LC

Larry,

You raise an interesting point. Imaizumi Sensei has lived in NYC since the mid 1970's. I once asked him if anyone ever tried to mug him. He just said that he just extended Ki when he walked. As a relatively new person (under 10 years studying with him at that time), I thought that was a silly comment. Several years later I was in NYC and I saw a busy street in which people were parting like the Red Sea. I then see Imaizumi Sensei walking with this energy that was not aggressive, but caused other people to move out of the way. I was dumbfound by what I saw and began to understand what he meant by extending Ki. One of the keys to self-protection is the mental attitude/energy you put forth when you are out and about. The reality of his martial arts training takes many shapes. All that I have seen work just fine!

Marc Abrams

Tony Wagstaffe
03-03-2011, 08:06 PM
wow! you guys are ancient. might want to move over so us younging can move up the world. :)

Don't wish for it too much, it will come quicker than you think...!!

Tony Wagstaffe
03-03-2011, 08:18 PM
Larry,

You raise an interesting point. Imaizumi Sensei has lived in NYC since the mid 1970's. I once asked him if anyone ever tried to mug him. He just said that he just extended Ki when he walked. As a relatively new person (under 10 years studying with him at that time), I thought that was a silly comment. Several years later I was in NYC and I saw a busy street in which people were parting like the Red Sea. I then see Imaizumi Sensei walking with this energy that was not aggressive, but caused other people to move out of the way. I was dumbfound by what I saw and began to understand what he meant by extending Ki. One of the keys to self-protection is the mental attitude/energy you put forth when you are out and about. The reality of his martial arts training takes many shapes. All that I have seen work just fine!

Marc Abrams

I would call extending key, walking with purpose as if you own your own space. People with military bearing have the same effect. It doesn't need to be aggressive at all. The saying of "confidence in your stride" comes to mind.....

David Orange
03-03-2011, 08:24 PM
David

I am happy enough with " Sir T Rex " :)

Henry Ellis

Silence is Approval.
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Really, saying "old whoever" is sort of an affectionate usage over here: "There's old Bob!" "I saw old George today!" And we don't always use it with "old" people. We start using it that way in our teens. There's "good old boy" and "good old buddy," which I've used with my son since he was a baby. He's six now and I call him "old man." I just forgot that it might not read the same way on your side.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
03-03-2011, 08:25 PM
wow! you guys are ancient. might want to move over so us younging can move up the world. :)

Oh, we'll totter off the path in a minute or two and your way will be clear!

And then you can totter off for the next guy!:)

David

Marc Abrams
03-03-2011, 08:38 PM
I would call extending key, walking with purpose as if you own your own space. People with military bearing have the same effect. It doesn't need to be aggressive at all. The saying of "confidence in your stride" comes to mind.....

Tony,

Absolutely agree with that. Many of us know to walk like that, but Imaizumi Sensei's way of describing it in the manner that he did put Ki in a perspective that even someone like yourself could understand and agree with ;) .

Marc Abrams

David Orange
03-03-2011, 08:43 PM
wow! you guys are ancient. might want to move over so us younging can move up the world. :)

It does bring up a vital point, though, Phi. The real enemy, in the long run, is old age itself. As someone pointed out earlier (maybe Marc?) physical strength peaks in the late 20s. The injuries start to come back to haunt us in our forties and they settle in in the fifties....

So the way we train when we're young may seem like the best way to be strong...but it may be the very thing that hurts us most when we're older.

I know a guy my own age who was always scary tough. When he did technique on me, it felt like a boulder hitting me. And now he's retired due to injuries. He was a lot stronger than I, but I outlasted him.

So this is where the IP/IS stuff starts coming in: a way to produce power that will last long after normal athletic strength has gone--and it's not injurious, but health-building.

Definitely something to think about.

Just you wait, buddy!

David

Tony Wagstaffe
03-03-2011, 09:13 PM
Really, saying "old whoever" is sort of an affectionate usage over here: "There's old Bob!" "I saw old George today!" And we don't always use it with "old" people. We start using it that way in our teens. There's "good old boy" and "good old buddy," which I've used with my son since he was a baby. He's six now and I call him "old man." I just forgot that it might not read the same way on your side.

Best to you.

David

My "old" mates call me "You old bastard! How are you doing Wag?" I quite like that....

But I'm still 57 years young!!

Tony Wagstaffe
03-03-2011, 09:17 PM
Tony,

Absolutely agree with that. Many of us know to walk like that, but Imaizumi Sensei's way of describing it in the manner that he did put Ki in a perspective that even someone like yourself could understand and agree with ;) .

Marc Abrams

Who me understand something like that? I don't understand anything, I just know..... it's called "gut" feeling....

oisin bourke
03-03-2011, 09:43 PM
I think this point raises another important area of discussion regarding reality.

Many of us have Japanese Sensei or Shihan at the head of our organizations or dojo who may or may not influence everything from training methods, to technique, to what specific skills are developed etc.

The thing is, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world when it comes to violent crime. An example of some stats are here - http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/3231.html

As a result, there is not a great need for most Shihan or Sensei who live mostly in Japan to focus on making their martial arts training effective in the face of violent crime. It is simply a non-issue. This does not mean that these Sensei and Shihan are not highly skilled at what they do, but a deep understanding of real violence, how the criminal mind works and other areas that deal directly with violent conflict, may not be their forte or area of experience, regardless of their rank. Hence it will not appear within their training or teaching paradigm imho. If students who require skills against violence inherit this tradition without modification, they will be just as ineffective as their Sensei.

I've personally found some distinct differences in how many people approach martial arts training in the Americas as compared to Japan. Imho necessity is the mother of invention. If one learns a tradition or training methodology that originates from a place where violence is not a real concern, then how can one attempt to use it in a violent environment. It will require modification and a separation from "tradition" at some level.

Funny thing is, the oldest martial art traditions come from actual combat. :) So which "tradition" is one following actually?

Just some thoughts.

LC

They are all great points. Perhaps the approach the Japanese have towards practicing "martial arts" may have something to do with the fact that their country is so safe?

Michael Hackett
03-03-2011, 10:39 PM
While attending the FBI National Academy in Quantico, my friend Jerre and I decided to visit Baltimore's famous Inner Harbor. We parked in a public parking lot and played tourist. Towards nightfall we decided to visit Little Italy next door for dinner before returning to Quantico. There weren't many people on the street and we spoke with a BPD officer and asked him if there was any problem walking there and back for dinner and he assured us there wouldn't be.

We wandered off for dinner and had a wonderful meal, without any alcohol by the way. As we were walking back towards our car two guys in hoodies and track suits started following us, getting closer slowly, but surely. As we entered the parking lot they picked up the pace and followed us in. Our car was sitting under lights and was the only car in the immediate area. They picked up the pace a little more. As we got towards the car, they were about 25 feet away and moving quickly towards us. Neither of us were armed, so we turned to face them as we removed our heavy coats. The two guys made immediate turns left and right and walked away from us. To this day both of us are convinced that we were targeted for a street robbery and our obvious willingness to confront them thwarted their plans - and then again, maybe they heard their mothers calling them in for dinner - who knows?

We probably looked like good prey as we walked the dark streets late at night; both of us were 50 at the time and sported grey hair. When they saw that we recognized what was in the wind, they decided we weren't worth the trouble. We weren't demonstrating anything nearly as powerful as Imazumi Sensei, but showing what we call "command presence" in our business and a willingness to defend ourselves apparently did the job.

We DID blow all the red lights on the back streets of Baltimore as we left town though.

KaliGman
03-03-2011, 11:05 PM
David,

Thank you for the reply. I do not have the time to comment at length, due to the fact that I finished work, went and taught an Albo Kali Silat class, spent some time discussing some matters with the instructor for the MMA guys who were working on the other side of the school,as usual when discussing martial arts lost track of time, and have to get up and drive 10 hours to Virginia tomorrow.

I will make time for a couple of highlights, though.

Your description of what appeared to be an attempted robbery by an armed two man "crew" was interesting. Your response was a classic example of tactical movement to break contact and appeared to have been very nicely done. I teach this stuff, have run similar scenarios in training and have seen some pretty well trained people not do as well as you did in real life.

Silat from India? Don't say that too loudly. Since there are hundreds of different silat styles, from various islands and nations, with various oral and written histories of their origins, it gets complicated. Put it this way, if you have five silat guys from five different styles based out of five different nations, you will have as much luck getting a consensus of where things originated from as if you were querying a Catholic, a Baptist, a Muslim, a Pagan and an atheist about creation and the afterlife. I will say some people have tried to trace origins of various styles to India, some China, and some have stuck by indigenous origins. I personally see some Chinese influences in some of the silat styles I practice. As for Albo Kali Silat, it is a family or clan system from the Philippines and it adapted much from various fighting styles of different cultures and nations that have "visited" the Philippines. I see quite a few Chinese influences, as well as Spanish, American (boxing punches in particular), and others. As for "internal" in silat, well, that depends. You see, there is a lot of what I think you guys are labeling "internal" in some silat styles, and, in fact, in Albo Kali Silat. No one I have studied with has called it "internal" or "external" though. It is just movement, sometimes "hard" sometimes "soft." I work on ways of power generation that probably would be familiar to you, but I am not that interested in the most powerful hit, push, etc. but the fastest. A sharp blade needs very little force and takes very little time to do horrific damage. In a blade environment, and a gun environment as well, speed kills. I work on disrupting the opponent's lines and balance but I do it very, very quickly, and concentrate on controlling/destroying/neutralizing attacking limbs on my way into the center line to neutralize the threat. This all sounds very similar to AIkido, does it not? The difference is simultaneous strikes, blocks, parries, and jams may occur, multiple attacks per second will be launched on completely different lines of attack and with compound motions (multiple hits from the same attacking limb without retraction and rechambering), and a multitude of elbow methodologies which mimic reverse grip edge out knife play are used in empty hand fighting. The motions trained are so fast because if they are not very speedy, it is possible for the opponent to cut tendons and muscles in an eye blink, and your arms will become instantly useless.

In any case, it is off to bed for me, and I have drifted far from the topic of this thread anyway. Perhaps when I get back to Ohio in a few days I'll put up a new thread to discuss the interesting relationship between speed, power, and precision in striking, talk a bit and maybe post a video showing how fast a knife really can be, and/or discuss ideas with you and others about balance disruption and power generation at extreme close quarters (corto range in my system). Maybe some would find that of interest in an "Off Topic" or non-Aikido section.

Take care,

Jon

KaliGman
03-03-2011, 11:09 PM
Jon Holloway

That was a very interesting and informative post.

"""I do not pop in here that often"""

I hope you will `pop in` more often......

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Thank you for the kind words, Sensei. I believe I might just pop in now and again.

Jon

David Orange
03-03-2011, 11:14 PM
As we got towards the car, they were about 25 feet away and moving quickly towards us. Neither of us were armed, so we turned to face them as we removed our heavy coats. The two guys made immediate turns left and right and walked away from us. To this day both of us are convinced that we were targeted for a street robbery and our obvious willingness to confront them thwarted their plans - and then again, maybe they heard their mothers calling them in for dinner - who knows?

You know. Well enough, anyway. I think it's people who try to tell themselves, "Nah, this is not what's happening" that end up getting mugged. I've had thousands of strange encounters with people, but six or eight stay with me to this day and I know in my heart, I was targeted for mugging that handful of times. But responses such as you describe just made them change their minds in every case, thank God.

Recently, speaking of blowing redlights...I was going home by an unusual route and I found myself approaching a redlight (in my car) as a fellow neared the same redlight on foot. I had to stop for the light and I felt that the guy was working his way up to my car. Something told me he was about to pull a gun and carjack me. I just ran the light and left him standing there.

Overblown reaction? Maybe. But here's what happened to a friend. Exiting the freeway, he reached the bottom of the ramp and stopped at a redlight. He waited as a guy walked across the street in front of him. But when the guy reached his car, he suddenly approached the driver's window, opened his coat and showed a pistol. He said, "Give it up, man," and my friend was robbed in broad daylight on the street.

Similar thing happened to a karate teacher I knew 35 years ago. He was leaving the city hall and a big guy approached him and said, "I'm your garbage man. I pick up your garbage." And he asked for a ride and the karate man let him into his car. He pulled into a store to let the guy out and parked in a spot with the front end of his car at the wall of the store. As the "garbage man" got out, he came around to the driver's door and showed a pistol. The karate guy got robbed.

Coming from an LE family, I developed the habit of hearing stories like this and learning from them.

Be safe out there.

David

David Orange
03-03-2011, 11:22 PM
David,

Thank you for the reply. I do not have the time to comment at length, due to the fact that I finished work, went and taught an Albo Kali Silat class, spent some time discussing some matters with the instructor for the MMA guys who were working on the other side of the school,as usual when discussing martial arts lost track of time, and have to get up and drive 10 hours to Virginia tomorrow.

Thanks for your comments, Jon. I guess the topic is specifically about aikido, but in the modern aikido world, the concept of martial reality can get rather abstract, so I think your comments are quite cogent. I appreciate them, anyway. I often think of a video I saw of a Phillipino who had been in a machete fight. He was lying on a hospital gurney with one hand cut completely off, the other mangled, and several deep gashes in his head. He was writhing in obviously horrible pain. It was a sickeningly graphic clip. Very sobering. I don't take knives lightly and I do respect them.

I think you'd find Dan Harden very interesting to talk with and meet. He forges katana and kukri and has a deep background in blade fighting as well as IP/IS.

Best wishes.

David

NTT
03-04-2011, 02:29 AM
London or New York reality is not the reality for all. Street life is not the life for all.
Aikido is up to my reality and I live well walking my streets and forests.
I did have to fight with a group in Corsica when I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. So on in our towns.
None got injured. Maybe it is due to different ways of going out of a fight, depending on countries or cultures.
My question is "Is your Aikido up to Colombian street reality or some other hotspots?" What about trying Lybian streets today?
The question for me is choosing one's reality and finding answers for it.

A friend of mine who is in fencing (the old kind) said that Maîtres d'Armes don't like to talk about their art because it ends up in killing.

Hellis
03-04-2011, 03:30 AM
Really, saying "old whoever" is sort of an affectionate usage over here: "There's old Bob!" "I saw old George today!" And we don't always use it with "old" people. We start using it that way in our teens. There's "good old boy" and "good old buddy," which I've used with my son since he was a baby. He's six now and I call him "old man." I just forgot that it might not read the same way on your side.

Best to you.

David

David
To be honest it is exactly the same here, said with friendship and affection in most cases.
The problem is when you get old you know you are `old`...:dead:

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei always said that the peak age for a man was aound 50yrs, he said young men cannot resist using strength, when a man reaches 50 yrs he needs to use his mind and body to good effect.....when older potential beginners ask if they are too old at 40 plus to join, we usually tell them what our teachers had said about age.

Henry Ellis
Silence is Approval
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Hellis
03-04-2011, 03:43 AM
We were at Kenshiro Abbe Sensei's dojo in Sandwich Street Kings Cross London..Abbe Sensei unusally left a few minutes before the group of us to head for the Tube Station...As he he walked away from the dojo 3 yobs came from the opposite side of the street and demanded " Give us yer wallet old man " - Abbe stood still before throwing his wallet on the ground just in front of his feet - the yobs demanded that he kick the wallet over to them - Abbe said " No! I am prepared to die for my wallet, are you ??" ....he said they looked at each other and ran off...................when asked how much was in this `valuable ` wallet, Abbe replied " No money, I like this wallet "................................

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

Tony Wagstaffe
03-04-2011, 04:50 AM
They are all great points. Perhaps the approach the Japanese have towards practicing "martial arts" may have something to do with the fact that their country is so safe?

I would suggest you read their newspapers online, it is on the increase with western influence, It's not as safe as it was during their rise to commercial and industrial success. Suicide has a big stake there to
They are not as innocent as they like to make out.....;)

Tony Wagstaffe
03-04-2011, 05:11 AM
While attending the FBI National Academy in Quantico, my friend Jerre and I decided to visit Baltimore's famous Inner Harbor. We parked in a public parking lot and played tourist. Towards nightfall we decided to visit Little Italy next door for dinner before returning to Quantico. There weren't many people on the street and we spoke with a BPD officer and asked him if there was any problem walking there and back for dinner and he assured us there wouldn't be.

We wandered off for dinner and had a wonderful meal, without any alcohol by the way. As we were walking back towards our car two guys in hoodies and track suits started following us, getting closer slowly, but surely. As we entered the parking lot they picked up the pace and followed us in. Our car was sitting under lights and was the only car in the immediate area. They picked up the pace a little more. As we got towards the car, they were about 25 feet away and moving quickly towards us. Neither of us were armed, so we turned to face them as we removed our heavy coats. The two guys made immediate turns left and right and walked away from us. To this day both of us are convinced that we were targeted for a street robbery and our obvious willingness to confront them thwarted their plans - and then again, maybe they heard their mothers calling them in for dinner - who knows?

We probably looked like good prey as we walked the dark streets late at night; both of us were 50 at the time and sported grey hair. When they saw that we recognized what was in the wind, they decided we weren't worth the trouble. We weren't demonstrating anything nearly as powerful as Imazumi Sensei, but showing what we call "command presence" in our business and a willingness to defend ourselves apparently did the job.

We DID blow all the red lights on the back streets of Baltimore as we left town though.

We have an expression, whilst serving with the Royal Navy, one was taught the "power of command", through projecting ones voice to drilling a squad of men in rifle drill. It was surprising how much could be achieved with the diaphragm in this practice, some would call it kiai.
Army Regimental Sergeant Majors are renowned for it, Petty Officer or Chief Petty Gunnery Instructors are the same equivalent in the Royal Navy. I was particularly good at rifle drill and things of this nature, and was made class leader in basic training for it.... All my fathers family have been military and it just seems to have passed on in the "genes" if you like.....

oisin bourke
03-04-2011, 06:21 AM
I would suggest you read their newspapers online, it is on the increase with western influence, It's not as safe as it was during their rise to commercial and industrial success. Suicide has a big stake there to
They are not as innocent as they like to make out.....;)

I would suggest you live here for a number of years.:)

I'm well aware of the social problems in Japan, but the fact is that it's still a comparatively peaceful and safe country. How many drinks and cigarette vending machines do you see standing freely on the streets of your town?

If you think you've got problems now, Imagine what would happen if you doubled the population of Britain and crammed over thirty million people into Greater London:freaky:

Hellis
03-04-2011, 06:37 AM
If you think you've got problems now, Imagine what would happen if you doubled the population of Britain and crammed over thirty million people into Greater London:freaky:

Actually with the amount of immigrants flooding into the UK each year, It won't be too long before we see that happening here...

Henry Ellis
Silence is Approval.
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
03-04-2011, 08:24 AM
David,

Thank you for the reply. I do not have the time to comment at length, due to the fact that I finished work, went and taught an Albo Kali Silat class, spent some time discussing some matters with the instructor for the MMA guys who were working on the other side of the school,as usual when discussing martial arts lost track of time, and have to get up and drive 10 hours to Virginia tomorrow.

I will make time for a couple of highlights, though.

Your description of what appeared to be an attempted robbery by an armed two man "crew" was interesting. Your response was a classic example of tactical movement to break contact and appeared to have been very nicely done. I teach this stuff, have run similar scenarios in training and have seen some pretty well trained people not do as well as you did in real life.

Silat from India? Don't say that too loudly. Since there are hundreds of different silat styles, from various islands and nations, with various oral and written histories of their origins, it gets complicated. Put it this way, if you have five silat guys from five different styles based out of five different nations, you will have as much luck getting a consensus of where things originated from as if you were querying a Catholic, a Baptist, a Muslim, a Pagan and an atheist about creation and the afterlife. I will say some people have tried to trace origins of various styles to India, some China, and some have stuck by indigenous origins. I personally see some Chinese influences in some of the silat styles I practice. As for Albo Kali Silat, it is a family or clan system from the Philippines and it adapted much from various fighting styles of different cultures and nations that have "visited" the Philippines. I see quite a few Chinese influences, as well as Spanish, American (boxing punches in particular), and others. As for "internal" in silat, well, that depends. You see, there is a lot of what I think you guys are labeling "internal" in some silat styles, and, in fact, in Albo Kali Silat. No one I have studied with has called it "internal" or "external" though. It is just movement, sometimes "hard" sometimes "soft." I work on ways of power generation that probably would be familiar to you, but I am not that interested in the most powerful hit, push, etc. but the fastest. A sharp blade needs very little force and takes very little time to do horrific damage. In a blade environment, and a gun environment as well, speed kills. I work on disrupting the opponent's lines and balance but I do it very, very quickly, and concentrate on controlling/destroying/neutralizing attacking limbs on my way into the center line to neutralize the threat. This all sounds very similar to AIkido, does it not? The difference is simultaneous strikes, blocks, parries, and jams may occur, multiple attacks per second will be launched on completely different lines of attack and with compound motions (multiple hits from the same attacking limb without retraction and rechambering), and a multitude of elbow methodologies which mimic reverse grip edge out knife play are used in empty hand fighting. The motions trained are so fast because if they are not very speedy, it is possible for the opponent to cut tendons and muscles in an eye blink, and your arms will become instantly useless.

In any case, it is off to bed for me, and I have drifted far from the topic of this thread anyway. Perhaps when I get back to Ohio in a few days I'll put up a new thread to discuss the interesting relationship between speed, power, and precision in striking, talk a bit and maybe post a video showing how fast a knife really can be, and/or discuss ideas with you and others about balance disruption and power generation at extreme close quarters (corto range in my system). Maybe some would find that of interest in an "Off Topic" or non-Aikido section.

Take care,

Jon

Jon I would find that extremely interesting, don't leave it too long.....

Yes always take care,

Regards

Tony

sakumeikan
03-04-2011, 08:24 AM
Actually with the amount of immigrants flooding into the UK each year, It won't be too long before we see that happening here...

Henry Ellis
Silence is Approval.
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Henry,
Will the Egyptians/Libyans /Tunisian use public transport /private hire or will we import the odd dromedary or ship of the desert to offset the excessive workload of our chum Tony [aka Tiny ] Wagstaffe?Answers on a crisp five pound note please.I also accept American Express, Joe.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-04-2011, 08:30 AM
I would suggest you live here for a number of years.:)

I'm well aware of the social problems in Japan, but the fact is that it's still a comparatively peaceful and safe country. How many drinks and cigarette vending machines do you see standing freely on the streets of your town?

If you think you've got problems now, Imagine what would happen if you doubled the population of Britain and crammed over thirty million people into Greater London:freaky:

So is the UK, but that seems to change at full moon.... We have noticed that kick offs in the city here, seem to be more plentiful at that phase of the moon, when the night life is humming..... could be coincidence though....

Tony Wagstaffe
03-04-2011, 08:33 AM
Henry,
Will the Egyptians/Libyans /Tunisian use public transport /private hire or will we import the odd dromedary or ship of the desert to offset the excessive workload of our chum Tony [aka Tiny ] Wagstaffe?Answers on a crisp five pound note please.I also accept American Express, Joe.

Ha ha ha haa!! :D We are over licensed here already thank you very much!! I am one of the few English drivers on the ranks these days, I'm actually a rarity!!

Tiny

Tony Wagstaffe
03-04-2011, 09:41 AM
Second thoughts, I suppose we could revert back to the old Hansom Hackney cab, carry a manure bucket and shovel at the back on a hook..... say thanks for the tip Guv, Milady while doffing yer cloff cap....
Wouldn't have to fork out for dried manure from Hilliers, That would please the missus's allotment.....
Wonder what camel dung is like for the spuds, cabbages, carrots, beans and onions..?

Hellis
03-04-2011, 11:33 AM
Second thoughts, I suppose we could revert back to the old Hansom Hackney cab, carry a manure bucket and shovel at the back on a hook..... say thanks for the tip Guv, Milady while doffing yer cloff cap....
Wouldn't have to fork out for dried manure from Hilliers, That would please the missus's allotment.....
Wonder what camel dung is like for the spuds, cabbages, carrots, beans and onions..?

Tony
One thing that I don't understand about your fellow Muslim cab drivers, they don't believe in Christmas or Easter but charge double
fare on these holiday occasions.???..:straightf

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
03-04-2011, 11:57 AM
Tony
One thing that I don't understand about your fellow Muslim cab drivers, they don't believe in Christmas or Easter but charge double
fare on these holiday occasions.???..:straightf

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

To tell you the truth Henry I know they work xmas day, boxing day and every other sodding day!! Tariff rate is double time, every bank holiday or official holiday is time and a half....
We rake it in on Eed and Ramadan!! They don't like that!!
I like Ramadan and Eed.....As that is the only time we can make a buck these days!!
Not their fault they're are here, Tony Bliar made sure of that!!!!
Most of them are kosher :D , but those who don't tow the line, get it from them and us. Standards are high and most have come up to it, but they still have the reputation for ripping jo public off. It's no wonder they suffer the most assaults....
Now we have been over licensed, It's ironic fact why we felt the resentment when they did come in their hoards. They thought we were being "racist", so now many of the Muslim drivers realise that, but at what cost? Now they say you told us so.....:rolleyes:

Hellis
03-04-2011, 04:17 PM
To tell you the truth Henry I know they work xmas day, boxing day and every other sodding day!! Tariff rate is double time, every bank holiday or official holiday is time and a half....
We rake it in on Eed and Ramadan!! They don't like that!!
I like Ramadan and Eed.....As that is the only time we can make a buck these days!!
Not their fault they're are here, Tony Bliar made sure of that!!!!
Most of them are kosher :D , but those who don't tow the line, get it from them and us. Standards are high and most have come up to it, but they still have the reputation for ripping jo public off. It's no wonder they suffer the most assaults....
Now we have been over licensed, It's ironic fact why we felt the resentment when they did come in their hoards. They thought we were being "racist", so now many of the Muslim drivers realise that, but at what cost? Now they say you told us so.....:rolleyes:

Tony

I had no idea it worked both ways, makes a pleasant change:)

Henry Ellis
Silence is Approval
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

RoisinPitman
03-04-2011, 05:35 PM
Hi, I have not posted on here before. I am a retired (medically) police officer (1982-1993) and have been studying aikido for 32 years, running my own school since 1988.

To recreate any situation bordering on 'reality' in the dojo is impossible as there is an absence of 'fear' inherent in most if not all real life violent encounters. Anyone who says that they are not afraid or in fear when confronted with a 'real' street situation is either drunk, drugged or lying. It is the fear factor that triggers our fight or flight response.

Unfortunately as a (retired) police officer the flight option is was not a possibility. We had to walk towards the fight not away from it.

I make it quite clear to my aikido students that they are learning a set of movements in the dojo to better prepare their bodies to react as and when a situation arises, but attacks in the dojo are still extremely ritualised. Unless you wish to cater for the 'realists' by introducing the Cato effect a la the Pink Panther movies (I am of course joking). However ultimately in the dojo there is always a sensei to stop the class if it gets out of hand. On the street you do not have that luxury.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-04-2011, 09:44 PM
Tony

I had no idea it worked both ways, makes a pleasant change:)

Henry Ellis
Silence is Approval
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Henry

When the Muslim drivers first came here many had no idea what they were letting themselves in for.... some found out the hard way and some took advice from the older hands here, just like most towns I would imagine.... The same applies everywhere, it doesn't matter whether it's at night or the day, it's a matter of keeping your wits about you and not taking anybody that comes along that looks or feels a bit iffy.
The trouble is people can be friendly at first encounter, but can soon change when they realise it's going to cost more than they think!!....
When working at night, the alcohol and drug factor can change usually ordinary people into demons. First it's the intimidation, followed by threats and the actual violence. Trying to talk them out of it doesn't always work, so using restraining methods are all you have as any assault, even a glancing touch can lead to actual common assault as a counter allegation. One has to be very careful these, days!! Even though you are the "victim" if you beat the crap out of someone defending yourself you can/will find that it will lead to arrest and possible conviction!! You can only hit if the person you are defending yourself from is a serious threat? Much like Rik experienced!! Most times I have used restraint, but it's not easy.....:straightf

Hellis
03-05-2011, 03:02 AM
Henry

When the Muslim drivers first came here many had no idea what they were letting themselves in for.... some found out the hard way and some took advice from the older hands here, just like most towns I would imagine.... The same applies everywhere, it doesn't matter whether it's at night or the day, it's a matter of keeping your wits about you and not taking anybody that comes along that looks or feels a bit iffy.
The trouble is people can be friendly at first encounter, but can soon change when they realise it's going to cost more than they think!!....
When working at night, the alcohol and drug factor can change usually ordinary people into demons. First it's the intimidation, followed by threats and the actual violence. Trying to talk them out of it doesn't always work, so using restraining methods are all you have as any assault, even a glancing touch can lead to actual common assault as a counter allegation. One has to be very careful these, days!! Even though you are the "victim" if you beat the crap out of someone defending yourself you can/will find that it will lead to arrest and possible conviction!! You can only hit if the person you are defending yourself from is a serious threat? Much like Rik experienced!! Most times I have used restraint, but it's not easy.....:straightf

Tony

The tree huggers have claimed a lot of victims amongst door men ` bouncers` - As you well know if any of the tough old boys have a conviction they cannot work on ``the door``......I get around a bit with my son and we have a giggle at some of the `new young door men ` who make an obvious target.........

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

Hellis
03-05-2011, 03:40 AM
David Orange
Incredible. I can certainly appreciate it. A lot of people think that truth is relative and it can be, in some ways, but there is Truth that is exclusive and when you hold that in your hand it's very offensive to see someone abuse it. And when a organization supports and spreads the lie, it's infuriating.
In my own case, I was an original incorporator of an organization in the US in 1981. I broke away from them around 1990, when I went to live in Japan. Years later, that group published something under my name extolling a fellow as "uchi deshi to Minoru Mochizuki" though the guy was actually booted out of the dojo after a brief stay because he didn't come to classes! One of the shihans told me to tell the guy to get out of the dojo!
And this group glorified him under my name while neglecting to mention that I was uchi deshi before he got there and long after he left!
At the same time, this organization was using my name to glorify their members, they also spread four specific lies: that David Orange had been kicked out of the dojo; that David Orange had been "kicked out of Japan (!!!???)"; that David Orange's ranks had all been revoked; that David Orange would be sued if he used the name of yoseikan.
All lies, spread by a private organization with tax exemption.
It just shows that phonies can be found everywhere...

David
I note the problems you have experienced your self...I am no longer surprised at some of the shameless conduct these people are capable of...some are people who were once considered friends..

An ex student of mine at the Hut in 1963 invited me to take part in his 40th celebration, I agreed. This man to his shame associated with Jack Poole. On the day before my teaching spot he insisted that he personally introduce me to the large group...I was invited to sit centre of the group for the ``photo of the day `` .Some time after the event he phoned me, I said " Les, you had a professional video of the day, when will I get my copy ?....He hummed and arrrghed before finally agreeing to send me a copy.......I received a copy .....

I was not on the video, I had been edited out...I looked at the group photo on the video cover, I had also been edited out of that....
It would appear that I had imagined I had been there that day.

It was this mans celebration, yet he allowed Jack Poole to edit his teacher from the video.

Henry Ellis
Silence is Approval
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

dps
03-05-2011, 04:42 AM
One cold spring morning a farmer found a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest onto the ground shivering. The farmer picked the baby bird up and placed it in the middle of a fresh steaming cow patty.

The steaming cow patty warmed the baby bird and he began to sing happily.

He sang so loud that a passing fox heard him, came over, snatched him out of the patty and ate him.

It is not always those that try to hurt you that get you into crap.

It is no always those that try to help you that get you out of crap.

dps

Tony Wagstaffe
03-05-2011, 09:01 AM
Tony

The tree huggers have claimed a lot of victims amongst door men ` bouncers` - As you well know if any of the tough old boys have a conviction they cannot work on ``the door``......I get around a bit with my son and we have a giggle at some of the `new young door men ` who make an obvious target.........

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

I know what you mean!! We had one here in Winchester, he was a nice feller but oh dear!, some pratt started on him one night outside a nightspot we park by.....He just froze!! I had to dive in as I was stood outside my cab talking to my oppo cabbie, I just took the geezer down from behind in a choke and held him there till the old bill arrived and the other doormen came to give assistance. Needless to say he wasn't in the job for long....:rolleyes:
I don't know if the security firms are scrapping the barrel to get people to do the job, but they do have some sort of training. Most are capable but you get the odd one who must be green or wet behind the ears....:straightf

Janet Rosen
03-05-2011, 10:38 AM
Hi, I have not posted on here before. I am a retired (medically) police officer (1982-1993) and have been studying aikido for 32 years, running my own school since 1988...To recreate any situation bordering on 'reality' in the dojo is impossible as there is an absence of 'fear' inherent in most if not all real life violent encounters. Anyone who says that they are not afraid or in fear when confronted with a 'real' street situation is either drunk, drugged or lying. It is the fear factor that triggers our fight or flight response.

Thank you for food for thought.
I totally agree that the dojo is a controlled environment. However, peoples buttons do indeed get pushed in the dojo. I have seen MANY beginners who were quite frightened of even slow controlled blows or strikes coming at them in the dojo - not just among the more sheltered or previously traumatised women or young men who would freeze, flinch or retreat, but also young men who would react more aggressively than needed (the "fight" side of things) because of the fear.
Flip side, is that I believe one of the things we are training for, in learning to be relaxed under the contained threat within the dojo, is cultivating a response OTHER than "fight or flight" - since it is a sympathetic nervous system response, we can indeed work on active control of it - while some people are actually wired to not have it and to go into a more parasympathetic response (deep slow breathing, slower pulse) - and optimally our training would slowly be ramping up the pressure so that we learn to stay relaxed in more and more intense situations.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-05-2011, 02:24 PM
Thank you for food for thought.
I totally agree that the dojo is a controlled environment. However, peoples buttons do indeed get pushed in the dojo. I have seen MANY beginners who were quite frightened of even slow controlled blows or strikes coming at them in the dojo - not just among the more sheltered or previously traumatised women or young men who would freeze, flinch or retreat, but also young men who would react more aggressively than needed (the "fight" side of things) because of the fear.
Flip side, is that I believe one of the things we are training for, in learning to be relaxed under the contained threat within the dojo, is cultivating a response OTHER than "fight or flight" - since it is a sympathetic nervous system response, we can indeed work on active control of it - while some people are actually wired to not have it and to go into a more parasympathetic response (deep slow breathing, slower pulse) - and optimally our training would slowly be ramping up the pressure so that we learn to stay relaxed in more and more intense situations.

Breathing is important.....;) At low kyu grade we emphasize gripping taking the partner into a technique, taking them down slowly and safely, this enables muscle memory into the correct ukemi. We start of with light but fast striking so people get used to the speed factor, not just from shomen / yokomen uchi, but from kicks punches, palm heel strikes, knee strikes, elbow strikes and so forth. It doesn't have to hurt or scare, but can develop the hard wiring to diffuse the "freeze" effect....

Flintstone
03-06-2011, 07:24 PM
Will the Egyptians/Libyans /Tunisian use public transport /private hire or will we import the odd dromedary or ship of the desert (...)
:yuck:

Hellis
03-07-2011, 01:52 AM
Tony
Breathing is important

Tony
Even as a child I was aware how important breathing was, every time someone died, the question " Oh dear, what of ? " was answered by my father with " short of breath "...a common cause of death back then...

Henry Ellis
Silence is Approval
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

sakumeikan
03-07-2011, 02:23 AM
:yuck:

Alejandro,

Dont take my comment seriously!!Joe

Tony Wagstaffe
03-07-2011, 04:33 AM
Tony

Tony
Even as a child I was aware how important breathing was, every time someone died, the question " Oh dear, what of ? " was answered by my father with " short of breath "...a common cause of death back then...

Henry Ellis
Silence is Approval
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Yeah!! You would go a bit blue without it that's for sure....:D

Flintstone
03-07-2011, 06:40 AM
Alejandro,

Dont take my comment seriously!!Joe
No problem here! Alex.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-07-2011, 08:57 AM
No problem here! Alex.

With hand on hip I would say ;) Hello sailor.....:D

Thomas Campbell
03-10-2011, 12:13 PM
http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D2bSDCK5lvZs%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded

This Youtube clip requires verification of age 18 + to view.

Takemusu this. The victim is in a jail holding cell after being arrested for driving with a suspended license. The assailant lands 62 punches over the course of 19 minutes before police/guards intervene.

There is limited room to maneuver, and the victim can't run away or otherwise escape; the assailant, a known gang member later found to be clinically insane, is substantially bigger, stronger, and more aggressive to the point of predation; another man in the holding cell may or may not have been an ally of the assailant, but in any event did not intervene.

"Reality" is a very big word. Aikido, like any martial art, may face a wide range of self-defense situations.

This incident happened in 2004. A newspaper article can be found here: http://www.rblandmark.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=1053&TM=83157.89

Tony Wagstaffe
03-10-2011, 12:34 PM
http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D2bSDCK5lvZs%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded

This Youtube clip requires verification of age 18 + to view.

Takemusu this. The victim is in a jail holding cell after being arrested for driving with a suspended license. The assailant lands 62 punches over the course of 19 minutes before police/guards intervene.

There is limited room to maneuver, and the victim can't run away or otherwise escape; the assailant, a known gang member later found to be clinically insane, is substantially bigger, stronger, and more aggressive to the point of predation; another man in the holding cell may or may not have been an ally of the assailant, but in any event did not intervene.

"Reality" is a very big word. Aikido, like any martial art, may face a wide range of self-defense situations.

This incident happened in 2004. A newspaper article can be found here: http://www.rblandmark.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=1053&TM=83157.89

No one is completely safe.....

Thomas Campbell
03-10-2011, 01:19 PM
This has been a very engaging thread for me, particularly the respective contributions of Messrs. Wagstaffe and Freeman. I recognize that points and disagreements may have been hashed out on previous threads (ad nauseum for some forum members), but I'm personally finding some good insights, freshly stated, that are not confined to aikido as a martial art. So thanks.

Thomas Campbell
03-10-2011, 01:21 PM
No one is completely safe.....

Very true. There are circumstances under which anyone would be vulnerable, no matter how skilled, confident and aggressive. Lynn Seiser's observation early on in this thread about all training being an artifice rings very true in this regard. Honest self-assessment is keenly important.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-10-2011, 04:28 PM
Very true. There are circumstances under which anyone would be vulnerable, no matter how skilled, confident and aggressive. Lynn Seiser's observation early on in this thread about all training being an artifice rings very true in this regard. Honest self-assessment is keenly important.

As there are no absolutes......

This is something I always point out to all my students...

It's always good to thrash things out, without it there is a tendency to lead ourselves back into the delusion that so many feel safe in...
Reality checks are what keeps us thinking and learning and going that bit further to achieve.
Reality has certainly been my spur to keep alive that which I profess to learn and also teach in. I am not the worlds best aikidoka, but I certainly am a very rational one....:straightf

Hellis
03-10-2011, 07:55 PM
As there are no absolutes......

This is something I always point out to all my students...

It's always good to thrash things out, without it there is a tendency to lead ourselves back into the delusion that so many feel safe in...
Reality checks are what keeps us thinking and learning and going that bit further to achieve.
Reality has certainly been my spur to keep alive that which I profess to learn and also teach in. I am not the worlds best aikidoka, but I certainly am a very rational one....:straightf

Tony

It matters little how many techniques one knows, favourites or otherwise, how many have the bottle to put them into action ?
That is the gravey test.

Henry Ellis
Aikido in MMA
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
03-10-2011, 08:40 PM
Tony

It matters little how many techniques one knows, favourites or otherwise, how many have the bottle to put them into action ?
That is the gravey test.

Henry Ellis
Aikido in MMA
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

Henry,
I have had to use my limited knowledge to do exactly that. At least I can say that my aikido has protected me on 99% of the assaults I have been unfortunate to encounter. Nobody is perfect and all the best techniques in the world will not protect anyone without having had that experience, so one cannot possibly know until one has. As you say that IS the gravy test....
It's easy to say this technique or that technique and what one would do, but the truth is it will not. The truth hurts..... bloody well hurts!!..... Amen..

jonreading
03-11-2011, 09:29 AM
First, I think the our social advances have reduced the need for "protection" and that attitude flavors many perspectives on martial arts. I think other resources available to consumers now are better for protection. In the US we have a wide variety of self-defense tools, tactical workshops, security devices and other resources available to improve our safety in addition to our law enforcement services. Aikido (the martial art) is one of those resources. Arguably, there are better resources and tools but that is a different discussion.

I think aikido is a valid resource for self-defense. My experience with good aikido confirms my confidence aikdio works. I think those who practice aikido without a perspective that acknowledges the validity of aikido to work are missing not only an important part of the physical curriculum, but also the intellectual curriculum. I believe that part of our education is the transformation of our strategic reasoning and cognitive process to a tactical perspective. I think it is important that aikido people have confidence in their technique to work when assessing their strategic position; I think it is important for aikido people to understand their technique so they may apply the best tactic.

I think there are many in aikido who practice aikido as a hobby and will never mature their cognitive behavior because they do not want to; they are happy showing up and falling down. There have been several threads on these happy dojos and hobbyist aikido people.

The problem is now there are many of these hobbyists and they are damaging the integrity of the art.The problem is many of these hobbyists fancy themselves as doing more than exercise. Yoga, pilates and other exercise programs do not appeal to these individuals because those programs do not promote the fantasy of being a fighter. So we are left with a group of individuals who practice in a manner scarcely considered "martial" clinging to a namesake that includes "martial" in its title. And for the record, I am a big fan of yoga ( I do not mean to imply exercise programs are inferior to martial arts).

I think the challenge in aikido is re-introducing the curriculum that steers aikido back into a functioning art. I think we are on that road and we are starting to see a difference in the haves and have nots. I go to a seminar now and its more clear who knows and who does not. I hope pressure from the art (excelling) will challenge these remedial individuals to either pick up their pace or pack up their things.

Maybe we need a washout bell...

sakumeikan
03-11-2011, 09:44 AM
First, I think the our social advances have reduced the need for "protection" and that attitude flavors many perspectives on martial arts. I think other resources available to consumers now are better for protection. In the US we have a wide variety of self-defense tools, tactical workshops, security devices and other resources available to improve our safety in addition to our law enforcement services. Aikido (the martial art) is one of those resources. Arguably, there are better resources and tools but that is a different discussion.

I think aikido is a valid resource for self-defense. My experience with good aikido confirms my confidence aikdio works. I think those who practice aikido without a perspective that acknowledges the validity of aikido to work are missing not only an important part of the physical curriculum, but also the intellectual curriculum. I believe that part of our education is the transformation of our strategic reasoning and cognitive process to a tactical perspective. I think it is important that aikido people have confidence in their technique to work when assessing their strategic position; I think it is important for aikido people to understand their technique so they may apply the best tactic.

I think there are many in aikido who practice aikido as a hobby and will never mature their cognitive behavior because they do not want to; they are happy showing up and falling down. There have been several threads on these happy dojos and hobbyist aikido people.

The problem is now there are many of these hobbyists and they are damaging the integrity of the art.The problem is many of these hobbyists fancy themselves as doing more than exercise. Yoga, pilates and other exercise programs do not appeal to these individuals because those programs do not promote the fantasy of being a fighter. So we are left with a group of individuals who practice in a manner scarcely considered "martial" clinging to a namesake that includes "martial" in its title. And for the record, I am a big fan of yoga ( I do not mean to imply exercise programs are inferior to martial arts).

I think the challenge in aikido is re-introducing the curriculum that steers aikido back into a functioning art. I think we are on that road and we are starting to see a difference in the haves and have nots. I go to a seminar now and its more clear who knows and who does not. I hope pressure from the art (excelling) will challenge these remedial individuals to either pick up their pace or pack up their things.

Maybe we need a washout bell...
Dear Jon,
While I agree with a few points in your blog I think that there is a place for the hobbyist in Aikido.If someone wants to use Aikido for fitness, health , emotional, meditative benefits why not?Aikido can also be used in a martial manner , but not everyone feels a need to be a top Aikidoka.Just the same as amateur boxers, not all of them want to be Mike Tyson for example.
Apart from that you need a core group of hobbyists to pay the bills.Thats why some dojos have children's classes or 'self defence/ conflict resolution class/or even therapeutic use of Aikido.
Personally I am happy if people find Aikido meaningful in their life however and whatever their motivation is for studying the Art
Joe.

sakumeikan
03-11-2011, 09:58 AM
http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D2bSDCK5lvZs%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded

This Youtube clip requires verification of age 18 + to view.

Takemusu this. The victim is in a jail holding cell after being arrested for driving with a suspended license. The assailant lands 62 punches over the course of 19 minutes before police/guards intervene.

There is limited room to maneuver, and the victim can't run away or otherwise escape; the assailant, a known gang member later found to be clinically insane, is substantially bigger, stronger, and more aggressive to the point of predation; another man in the holding cell may or may not have been an ally of the assailant, but in any event did not intervene.

"Reality" is a very big word. Aikido, like any martial art, may face a wide range of self-defense situations.

This incident happened in 2004. A newspaper article can be found here: http://www.rblandmark.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=1053&TM=83157.89
Hi,The guy who got clipped around the ear picked up not a bad little paycheque for 19 mins of pummelling.As far as the guards are concerned with a potential madman going at it , would you risk life and limb for the peanuts the warders get paid, and leap in like Batman to rescue the victim? Maybe the warders were waioting for the bruiser to punch himself out [like George Foreman/M.Ali fight]
before entering the lions den???
Maybe the bruiser was slightly miffed at something the victim said??One never knows. I bet the bloke does not drive around with a dodgy licence again in case lightning strikes twice.

Anjisan
03-11-2011, 10:18 AM
Dear Jon,
While I agree with a few points in your blog I think that there is a place for the hobbyist in Aikido.If someone wants to use Aikido for fitness, health , emotional, meditative benefits why not?Aikido can also be used in a martial manner , but not everyone feels a need to be a top Aikidoka.Just the same as amateur boxers, not all of them want to be Mike Tyson for example.
Apart from that you need a core group of hobbyists to pay the bills.Thats why some dojos have children's classes or 'self defence/ conflict resolution class/or even therapeutic use of Aikido.
Personally I am happy if people find Aikido meaningful in their life however and whatever their motivation is for studying the Art
Joe.

My question has always been how are any of the "other" benefits lost or in any way diminished if one simply strives to make their Aikido as street effective as their ability will allow. As far as the boxer, I am sure that simply by the nature of the art and the culture, I am sure that the boxer would be confident that it would work even if they have no aspirations of being a champion. In some Aikido dojos many Aikidoka don't even try to make "their" Aikido effective. What is the downside? One can still benefit from all the other applications, be a better person, ect, ect, ect. If it is a matter of fear, then just come out and say it and not couch in tangents?

L. Camejo
03-11-2011, 10:39 AM
:D

I think these need repeating:

It matters little how many techniques one knows, favourites or otherwise, how many have the bottle to put them into action ?
That is the gravey test.

Henry Ellis

I have found that what Henry says above to be the acid test that separates the talkers from the doers most times. :) I think good Aikido training should give one the internal mettle to apply direct action if and when necessary if other options fail.

The problem though, is if training is approached in the manner that Jon refers to below, what we have is a dangerous combination of delusion regarding actual ability and total lack of preparedness or will to execute when confronted with a situation that cannot be evaded.

The problem is many of these hobbyists fancy themselves as doing more than exercise. Yoga, pilates and other exercise programs do not appeal to these individuals because those programs do not promote the fantasy of being a fighter. So we are left with a group of individuals who practice in a manner scarcely considered "martial" clinging to a namesake that includes "martial" in its title.

Jon Reading

I have found that the group Jon speaks about in the above quote are often the most vocal to tell someone what is and is not "Aikido" because they are very quick to attack what does not fit into their comfortable little fantasy paradigm.

Just an observation I wanted to make. I have no issue with folks who train to get exercise, and some exposure to Japanese culture or whatever, but be real with yourself. For those who talk about "spirituality" and promoting peace, I submit that these elements are also important elements of sound martial training.

Just a thought.

LC

sakumeikan
03-11-2011, 10:59 AM
My question has always been how are any of the "other" benefits lost or in any way diminished if one simply strives to make their Aikido as street effective as their ability will allow. As far as the boxer, I am sure that simply by the nature of the art and the culture, I am sure that the boxer would be confident that it would work even if they have no aspirations of being a champion. In some Aikido dojos many Aikidoka don't even try to make "their" Aikido effective. What is the downside? One can still benefit from all the other applications, be a better person, ect, ect, ect. If it is a matter of fear, then just come out and say it and not couch in tangents?
Dear Jason,
If one is simply approaching Aikido from the perspective of 'Effectiveness' one may neglect the other aspects of what Aikido can offer.Its not a question of anything being lost /diminished more a question of what you might fail to gain from the other aspects of Aikido in the pursuit of effectiveness.Ideally one should aspire to be effective and at the same time be equally proficient in the other aspects of Aikido. In my mind there is small Aikido and big Aikido.Both are important but for me the Bigger Aikido is a more worthwhile goal.
Hope you are well, Cheers, Joe

Anjisan
03-11-2011, 11:01 AM
:D

I have found that the group Jon speaks about in the above quote are often the most vocal to tell someone what is and is not "Aikido" because they are very quick to attack what does not fit into their comfortable little fantasy paradigm.

Just an observation I wanted to make. I have no issue with folks who train to get exercise, and some exposure to Japanese culture or whatever, but be real with yourself. For those who talk about "spirituality" and promoting peace, I submit that these elements are also important elements of sound martial training.

Just a thought.

LC

Very good points and fit with my experience!

Thomas Campbell
03-11-2011, 11:58 AM
hi Joe--

I included the link at the end to the newspaper article so readers could get a better idea of the full context of the story. But the video clip itself is what is most relevant to the topic of this thread, about whether your Aikido as a martial art is up to reality . . . when reality can include assaults like what is shown in the clip.

Whether the victim later received compensatory payment for his injuries, whether guards were negligent in monitoring the holding cell or were somehow justified in not immediately responding--these are beside the point. The point is whether your aikido skills (or other martial training) would stand up to being physically trapped with a stronger, more aggressive, clinically insane predator as shown in the clip.

Hi,The guy who got clipped around the ear picked up not a bad little paycheque for 19 mins of pummelling.As far as the guards are concerned with a potential madman going at it , would you risk life and limb for the peanuts the warders get paid, and leap in like Batman to rescue the victim? Maybe the warders were waioting for the bruiser to punch himself out [like George Foreman/M.Ali fight]
before entering the lions den???
Maybe the bruiser was slightly miffed at something the victim said??One never knows. I bet the bloke does not drive around with a dodgy licence again in case lightning strikes twice.

Brian R. Scott
03-11-2011, 01:12 PM
hi Joe--

The point is whether your aikido skills (or other martial training) would stand up to being physically trapped with a stronger, more aggressive, clinically insane predator as shown in the clip.

Is this a joke?

All training aside, you would either prevail or not.

If you don't have that understanding, then whatever martial art you have been training no matter how th3 d34dly you think it is, is worthless.

Fantasy "pressure testing" and a few rounds of sparring and rolling with other amateures does not make anyone ready to "stand up to" that.

Living in a mental world of fear and aggression, and training based of that world view is just as much fantasy role playing as anything else.

Anjisan
03-11-2011, 01:21 PM
Dear Jason,
If one is simply approaching Aikido from the perspective of 'Effectiveness' one may neglect the other aspects of what Aikido can offer.Its not a question of anything being lost /diminished more a question of what you might fail to gain from the other aspects of Aikido in the pursuit of effectiveness.Ideally one should aspire to be effective and at the same time be equally proficient in the other aspects of Aikido. In my mind there is small Aikido and big Aikido.Both are important but for me the Bigger Aikido is a more worthwhile goal.
Hope you are well, Cheers, Joe

I am not asserting that one pursue "effectiveness" to the exclusion of other aspects. In my psychology graduate program, the use of Aikido principals in a therapeutic relationship was stressed-one of my late professors trained at my dojo how cool! It, in my opinion should be one piece of the pie, not a sliver, but a significant piece. So often when this topic comes out, this (false fork) in road appears where if one incorporates "reality" or "effective" based (semantics) training then, one either can't or is incapable of applying the principals of Aikido in other aspects of life-not at all true.

I just don't see how having that as a component of one's training means that one cannot get as much out of other aspects of Aikido. I mean the Shaolin monks, samurai,on and on had opportunities to improve themselves on any number of fronts and I have not ever read of just because they had were martially effective prevented them from fully applying what the martial arts had to offer. Really, Osensei, was by all accounts very effective and was a deeply spiritual (and I am sure flawed) individual-that did nit seem to hold him back. He, having masted that transitioned to a more spiritual focus, especially in his later years, but no less effective.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-11-2011, 02:02 PM
Is this a joke?

All training aside, you would either prevail or not.

If you don't have that understanding, then whatever martial art you have been training no matter how th3 d34dly you think it is, is worthless.

Fantasy "pressure testing" and a few rounds of sparring and rolling with other amateures does not make anyone ready to "stand up to" that.

Living in a mental world of fear and aggression, and training based of that world view is just as much fantasy role playing as anything else.

One doesn't have to make pressure testing "fantasy"....
Had that person had some training of sorts maybe he would have coped with it better..... My former/younger students have come back to me on occasion after being assaulted on a night out with friends and told me if it had not been for the "pressure testing" they would have failed miserably.....

Brian R. Scott
03-11-2011, 02:59 PM
[QUOTE=Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe;278997]One doesn't have to make pressure testing "fantasy"....
Had that person had some training of sorts maybe he would have coped with it better..... My former/younger students have come back to me on occasion after being assaulted on a night out with friends and told me if it had not been for the "pressure testing" they would have failed miserably.....[/QUOTE

I'm not saying it is structured as fantasy I'm saying it is fantasy.

Anecdotal evidence does not change my oppinion.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-11-2011, 03:29 PM
[QUOTE=Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe;278997]One doesn't have to make pressure testing "fantasy"....
Had that person had some training of sorts maybe he would have coped with it better..... My former/younger students have come back to me on occasion after being assaulted on a night out with friends and told me if it had not been for the "pressure testing" they would have failed miserably.....[/QUOTE

I'm not saying it is structured as fantasy I'm saying it is fantasy.

Anecdotal evidence does not change my oppinion.

It probably wouldn't......:rolleyes:

Hellis
03-11-2011, 04:31 PM
[QUOTE=Brian Scott;278999]

It probably wouldn't......:rolleyes:

Tony

Its all up hill.

I would add that the words of Joe Curran Sensei are worth taking heed of.
His lineage is 100% with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and TK Chiba Sensei...

Henry Ellis
Posiive Aikido
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

David Orange
03-11-2011, 04:39 PM
Is this a joke?

All training aside, you would either prevail or not.

If you don't have that understanding, then whatever martial art you have been training no matter how th3 d34dly you think it is, is worthless.

Whatever pressure testing you've undergone, it can always go higher. So if I can be "Bob," those that mean I can beat a UFC fighter? Or if I can beat one UFC fighter, can I beat the guy that beat him?

Solid technique is a far better basis than fantasy technique, but there's always a tougher guy around the next corner. Ultimately, I know that my fate is always in God's hands.

Best to all.

David

Thomas Campbell
03-11-2011, 04:53 PM
All training aside, you would either prevail or not.

Do tell.

The problem is, you can't put your training aside. How you train (or don't train) is going to affect not only how you specifically handle the assault (technique, etc.), but also your mindset, physical resilience, and a host of other factors quite relevant to whether you will survive such an attack.

It's also a question of honesty in training. You're quite correct in your implication that some arts and martial artists live in a fantasy world that they are "th3 d34dly." Others perhaps convince themselves that asymptotes and teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony (I date myself there) are sufficient substitutes for awareness, situational savvy, and being able to take a hit or a hard fall.

The title to this thread I regard as an excellent starting point of discussion, for aikidoka and for other martial artists: what are you training for? "Reality"-based self-defense has its own set of biases and limitations, to be sure, but it offers some good questions as well.

sakumeikan
03-11-2011, 05:11 PM
[QUOTE=Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe;279003]

Tony

Its all up hill.

I would add that the words of Joe Curran Sensei are worth taking heed of.
His lineage is 100% with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and TK Chiba Sensei...

Henry Ellis
Posiive Aikido
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/
Dear Henry,
You are making me blush. You are too kind.I was just a very fortunate person to meet these wonderful Martial Artists.I regret I never had the opportunity to meet Tadashi Abe Sensei and other respected teachers who frequented the Hut in the early days.In this respect I doff my cap to you as my senior since you are one of the early pioneers of U.K aikido.
Cheers, Joe.

Brian R. Scott
03-11-2011, 05:14 PM
Do tell.

The problem is, you can't put your training aside. How you train (or don't train) is going to affect not only how you specifically handle the assault (technique, etc.), but also your mindset, physical resilience, and a host of other factors quite relevant to whether you will survive such an attack.

It's also a question of honesty in training. You're quite correct in your implication that some arts and martial artists live in a fantasy world that they are "th3 d34dly." Others perhaps convince themselves that asymptotes and teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony (I date myself there) are sufficient substitutes for awareness, situational savvy, and being able to take a hit or a hard fall.

The title to this thread I regard as an excellent starting point of discussion, for aikidoka and for other martial artists: what are you training for? "Reality"-based self-defense has its own set of biases and limitations, to be sure, but it offers some good questions as well.

It has been a good discussion, I agree.

I think you touched on the piont I was trying to make better than I made it.

A teacher of mine likes to ask "for the sake of what?" [do we train]. I always liked that as a personel reference point to work with on the mat.

Hellis
03-11-2011, 05:24 PM
[QUOTE=Henry Ellis;279007]
Dear Henry,
You are making me blush. You are too kind.I was just a very fortunate person to meet these wonderful Martial Artists.I regret I never had the opportunity to meet Tadashi Abe Sensei and other respected teachers who frequented the Hut in the early days.In this respect I doff my cap to you as my senior since you are one of the early pioneers of U.K aikido.
Cheers, Joe.

Joe

Don't blush....One of my favourite photos on the Kenshiro Abbe Gallery is the one of you as a handsome young dan grade with Abbe Sensei .... ( Not as handsome as me I would add )

Henry Ellis
British Aikido History
www.british-aikido.com

sakumeikan
03-11-2011, 05:25 PM
hi Joe--

I included the link at the end to the newspaper article so readers could get a better idea of the full context of the story. But the video clip itself is what is most relevant to the topic of this thread, about whether your Aikido as a martial art is up to reality . . . when reality can include assaults like what is shown in the clip.

Whether the victim later received compensatory payment for his injuries, whether guards were negligent in monitoring the holding cell or were somehow justified in not immediately responding--these are beside the point. The point is whether your aikido skills (or other martial training) would stand up to being physically trapped with a stronger, more aggressive, clinically insane predator as shown in the clip.
Dear Thomas,
I think my fate would be in the lap of the gods in the situation you described in the prison article.May I also state that I think the prison officers were clearly wrong in their judgement when they put a guy, imprisoned for a minor offence, in the same cell with a man who had a record of violence.
Cheers, Joe.

Mark Freeman
03-11-2011, 05:26 PM
Do tell.

The problem is, you can't put your training aside. How you train (or don't train) is going to affect not only how you specifically handle the assault (technique, etc.), but also your mindset, physical resilience, and a host of other factors quite relevant to whether you will survive such an attack.

It's also a question of honesty in training. You're quite correct in your implication that some arts and martial artists live in a fantasy world that they are "th3 d34dly." Others perhaps convince themselves that asymptotes and teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony (I date myself there) are sufficient substitutes for awareness, situational savvy, and being able to take a hit or a hard fall.

The title to this thread I regard as an excellent starting point of discussion, for aikidoka and for other martial artists: what are you training for? "Reality"-based self-defense has its own set of biases and limitations, to be sure, but it offers some good questions as well.

Good post!

I have only faced two separate situations where I was at risk of getting a pasting, both with groups of young blokes one group of about 6 15 to 20 year olds and the other a bunch of about 5 15-17 year olds. Each time I was verbally told a) I was going to get my head kicked in ( a possibility ) and b) doing to get killed ( highly unlikely, youthfull bravado! ). On each occasion I managed to negotiate safe passage away from them by basically 'psyching out'/negotiating with the ring leader in each case. On each occasion no aikido 'technique' was required, but did my training save my ass, yes I think so. If I hadn't been confident in my ability to at least give it a good go, I wouldn't have carried the weight in my speech and my posture.

Maybe I was lucky to get away with it each time,and maybe my training worked perfectly, either way I walked away unharmed and glad that I was practicing what I am.

Would I have had that mindset in a locked cell with a 6 and a half foot psychotic nutter, hmm I don't know..maybe not, but I'd certainly see how far my training had got me. Personally my technique for self defence in this situation is to not get arrested and put in a cell in the first place. If you put yourself in harms way, the chances are, harm will come to you at some point.

regards

Mark

sakumeikan
03-11-2011, 05:30 PM
Good post!

I have only faced two separate situations where I was at risk of getting a pasting, both with groups of young blokes one group of about 6 15 to 20 year olds and the other a bunch of about 5 15-17 year olds. Each time I was verbally told a) I was going to get my head kicked in ( a possibility ) and b) doing to get killed ( highly unlikely, youthfull bravado! ). On each occasion I managed to negotiate safe passage away from them by basically 'psyching out'/negotiating with the ring leader in each case. On each occasion no aikido 'technique' was required, but did my training save my ass, yes I think so. If I hadn't been confident in my ability to at least give it a good go, I wouldn't have carried the weight in my speech and my posture.

Maybe I was lucky to get away with it each time,and maybe my training worked perfectly, either way I walked away unharmed and glad that I was practicing what I am.

Would I have had that mindset in a locked cell with a 6 and a half foot psychotic nutter, hmm I don't know..maybe not, but I'd certainly see how far my training had got me. Personally my technique for self defence in this situation is to not get arrested and put in a cell in the first place. If you put yourself in harms way, the chances are, harm will come to you at some point.

regards

Mark
Dear Mark,
Your last paragraph- never a truer word spoken. Joe.

Mark Freeman
03-11-2011, 06:02 PM
Dear Mark,
Your last paragraph- never a truer word spoken. Joe.

Thanks Joe, appreciated:)

I see from some of your post with Henry that you were at the Hut a long time ago, nice to see someone else who goes back that far. You must know my teacher, Sensei Williams? He's still going strong and is in his 80th year. He's still got a good memory though, and his early days with Abbe Sensei have always remained in his teaching, even though he embraced Tohei's ki development exercises as part of his own aikido journey, later on.

How did those early years at the Hut, 'colour' your subsequent practice?

regards

Mark

dps
03-11-2011, 06:49 PM
but did my training save my ass, yes I think so. If I hadn't been confident in my ability to at least give it a good go, I wouldn't have carried the weight in my speech and my posture.



Being prepared and confidence in your abilities.

My Dad boxed in the Navy during WWII and was two years Golden Gloves heavy weight champion in Canton, Ohio.

Twice I witnessed my father dealing with groups of teenagers who threatened to kick his ass. Both times he negotiated his way out of it. He would address the biggest one in the group and say something along the lines of " Win or lose you are the first one I take out".

dps

David Orange
03-11-2011, 10:17 PM
http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D2bSDCK5lvZs%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded

This Youtube clip requires verification of age 18 + to view.

Takemusu this. The victim is in a jail holding cell after being arrested for driving with a suspended license. The assailant lands 62 punches over the course of 19 minutes before police/guards intervene.

There is limited room to maneuver, and the victim can't run away or otherwise escape; the assailant, a known gang member later found to be clinically insane, is substantially bigger, stronger, and more aggressive to the point of predation; another man in the holding cell may or may not have been an ally of the assailant, but in any event did not intervene.

"Reality" is a very big word. Aikido, like any martial art, may face a wide range of self-defense situations.

This incident happened in 2004. A newspaper article can be found here: http://www.rblandmark.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=1053&TM=83157.89

Great clip, Tom. Scary and very sobering.

Since watching it, I've thought a lot about it and I think the victim's best bet would have been to stay put when the attacker came and sat down beside him. When he got up and moved away, he opened the distance to be pursued and for the attacker's long arms and legs to punch and kick him. If he'd stayed put (assuming he had some aikido skills) he could have let the guy grab him and led him right into yonkyo (or what we called yuki chigae) or maybe nikkyo (isn't that what judo calls waki gatame?--in yoseikan, it was hiji kudaki--elbow crushing) or another technique like those. To have to overcome those long punches and kicks to get a technique would put you at a disadvantage. I'd rather start out close and lead a grab into a joint lock. In fact, the attack was initiated when the attacker crossed the room and sat down beside the victim. So that was where to begin the defence. Since you don't have room to run, I think you're better off starting as close as possible, to take away some of his punching and kicking capacity.

And I think this is a benefit of serious technical training: you see or hear or think of a difficult attack and then you seriously think about what you could technically do to neutralize it--rather than abstractly thinking how you could harmonize your way out of it by smiling.

Best to all.

David

Tony Wagstaffe
03-12-2011, 06:20 AM
Whatever pressure testing you've undergone, it can always go higher. So if I can be "Bob," those that mean I can beat a UFC fighter? Or if I can beat one UFC fighter, can I beat the guy that beat him?

Solid technique is a far better basis than fantasy technique, but there's always a tougher guy around the next corner. Ultimately, I know that my fate is always in God's hands.

Best to all.

David

My fate is in my own hands...
There is always someone round the corner who will be stronger, fitter, younger, I just make sure I survive or die trying....
That's because I'm a stubborn son of a bitch....

Best to you David

Tony Wagstaffe
03-12-2011, 06:24 AM
Great clip, Tom. Scary and very sobering.

Since watching it, I've thought a lot about it and I think the victim's best bet would have been to stay put when the attacker came and sat down beside him. When he got up and moved away, he opened the distance to be pursued and for the attacker's long arms and legs to punch and kick him. If he'd stayed put (assuming he had some aikido skills) he could have let the guy grab him and led him right into yonkyo (or what we called yuki chigae) or maybe nikkyo (isn't that what judo calls waki gatame?--in yoseikan, it was hiji kudaki--elbow crushing) or another technique like those. To have to overcome those long punches and kicks to get a technique would put you at a disadvantage. I'd rather start out close and lead a grab into a joint lock. In fact, the attack was initiated when the attacker crossed the room and sat down beside the victim. So that was where to begin the defence. Since you don't have room to run, I think you're better off starting as close as possible, to take away some of his punching and kicking capacity.

And I think this is a benefit of serious technical training: you see or hear or think of a difficult attack and then you seriously think about what you could technically do to neutralize it--rather than abstractly thinking how you could harmonize your way out of it by smiling.

Best to all.

David

You don't know what you would do.... It's all very well to say what you would do with hindsiight, it never happens like that.... believe me....

Best again

Hellis
03-12-2011, 07:40 AM
You don't know what you would do.... It's all very well to say what you would do with hindsiight, it never happens like that.... believe me....

Best again

In such a difficult situation one could try an earlier suggestion of how to deal with an agressor.

" First a stern look. then in a firm voice state - I don't want to fight - but I will if I have to " ...

That should the trick..

Henry Ellis
Aikido Blogs
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

David Orange
03-12-2011, 08:10 AM
You don't know what you would do.... It's all very well to say what you would do with hindsiight, it never happens like that.... believe me....

Best again

Tony,

Part of what distinguishes martial arts from mere savagery is the application of rational consideration to situations you experience, see or hear about. You have to ask yourself, "What would I do in that situation?" "What could I do in that situation?" "What should I do in that situation?"

You analyze it and modify your thinking. If you never knew a thing like that could happen, you think one way. Once you realize that such a thing is possible, you have to change your thinking. And part of that is considering what went wrong for the person in question. For example, I mentioned earlier about a karate teacher I knew who was conned into giving a robber a ride. He parked in a spot he couldn't easily get out of and was literally stuck when the passenger showed him a gun and demanded his money. There the teacher was sitting down, unable to forward, without time to shift gears into reverse, unable to stand up and fight...

You think about that and maybe come to some conclusions about how you should behave.

Another incident I mentioned was the guy who was robbed at a traffic light at the bottom of a freeway ramp. You hear of such a thing and think about it and try to develop some responses the first guy could have used.

Mochizuki Sensei always said that through "go ri" or "rationality," you create technique and train.

So even though none of us really know what we would do in that situation, we're better off thinking about it in terms of serious technique.

My rational analysis leads back to what I consider the most important moment of the incident on the clip: the first approach of the attacker. In my experience, that first moment is where you can take control.

If you watch the clip, the attacker sat down beside the victim and said something to him. You can literally see the victim lose his center and he pops up from his seat and moves away. He's trying to escape, but he suddenly realizes there's nowhere to go and the attacker then has both the physical and psychological advantage.

In "similar" situations, I've found it absolutely vital to overcome that first impulse to "pop up" and flee and instead press it back down into my center, staying calm.

So what if the victim in the clip had not gotten up and tried to escape?

What might have happened then?

True, we don't know what we would do, but if we've already done something similar, we can have a better idea of what we would really do.

And if we've thought about mistakes we might have made the first time, or about mistakes we know that others made, and we've considered possible options, we're not just reacting from impulse and fear because we do have some advance knowledge.

And if we've trained hard in techniques designed to work against a bigger and stronger person, we have an even better edge.

I know that aikido works best when we apply it at the very first instant of an attack and, by my analysis, in light of both training and experience, I see that the actual attack started when the attacker came and sat down beside the victim. The victim lost his advantage by getting up and trying to escape. He would have been better off, from an aikido perspective, if he'd stayed in his place and dealt with the attacker's next move from there. Running only drew the attacker on and excited him.

So even when we don't know what we would do, it's an important element of martial arts to apply our intelligence to possible situations and consider strategies, methods and techniques for prevailing in them.

Best to you.

David

sakumeikan
03-12-2011, 08:45 AM
Dear David,
In the case of the prison incident the victim simply resorted to one of the two primal instincts when faced with danger. He chose Flight rather than Fight. Not an easy choice. Maybe the fact that he tried to get away simply incensed the monster?? Who knows?
Can we really say how each of us would respond in similar circumstances?Many years ago I had a friend who put his feet up on a railway carriage seat.A young guy came into the carriage and asked my friend [Tommy] to take his feet off the seats.Tommy [who sometimes was temperamental] said no.[used a few expletives being a Glaswegian] .A skirmish developed, Tommy got knifed and died.Was Tommy sensible??I think not.Its a question of the scenario, who is involved etc.You certainly have to use discretion and good judgement in certain cases.
Cheers, Joe.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-12-2011, 08:55 AM
In such a difficult situation one could try an earlier suggestion of how to deal with an agressor.

" First a stern look. then in a firm voice state - I don't want to fight - but I will if I have to " ...

That should the trick..

Henry Ellis
Aikido Blogs
http://aikido-blogs.blogspot.com/

It's usually too late by then......:straightf

Hellis
03-12-2011, 09:12 AM
It's usually too late by then......:straightf

Tony

So often you read or hear people say what they would or wouldn't do in a hostile situation, how can you know, how can you plan, your defence will be detirmined by your opponents actions. any pre-planning will leads to ones own downfall.

Henry Ellis
Aikido in MMA
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
03-12-2011, 09:15 AM
Tony

So often you read or hear people say what they would or wouldn't do in a hostile situation, how can you know, how can you plan, your defence will be detirmined by your opponents actions. any pre-planning will leads to ones own downfall.

Henry Ellis
Aikido in MMA
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

Precisely Henry, As I said hindsight is always easy, reality is not...:straightf

David Orange
03-12-2011, 10:04 AM
Dear David,
In the case of the prison incident the victim simply resorted to one of the two primal instincts when faced with danger. He chose Flight rather than Fight. Not an easy choice.

Well, I think that's one of the most important basics of aikido: center yourself instead of running. There may be a moment to run, but I'd rather not do it from blind impulse. It is very difficult to stand and be centered in some circumstances, but that's why it's vital to drill that incessantly in training. I've had to use that more than anything else I've learned in aikido: go to center and focus yourself from the first instant. Let them see you standing still and let them target you right where you stand. Then move instantly at the moment of attack--which is when they cross ma'ai.

Now, in the situation in the video, with the victim sitting and the attacker coming to sit beside him, ma'ai was crossed without an overt attack and moving would have been inappropriate. I think centering himself would have been the best thing the victim could have done. I'm sure the attacker, once he was sitting beside the victim, demanded sexual gratification and that really inspired the victim to flee. But, there was nowhere to go. So I think staying in place and saying nothing at all--just not responding at all--would have been the best opening. Then the attacker would have to make the next move while sitting beside the victim--most likely putting his arms around the victim and forcing him down. And that would have been better for a grappler than to open the distance again and have to deal with those long punches and kicks in that small space.

Maybe the fact that he tried to get away simply incensed the monster?? Who knows?

I'm sure it was like running from a pit bull dog.

Can we really say how each of us would respond in similar circumstances?

No, we can't. However, if you go into the situation blind, with no training, never having imagined the possibility of such a situation, I think it's easier to say what would probably happen--which is about what we saw in the clip. But if you first recognize the possibility of a given situation, then train seriously with that situation in mind, I think you have a much better chance of overcoming that kind of creep. Imagine the clip we'd have seen if the "victim" in that clip were Royce Gracie. If it had been Rickson Gracie, I don't think the attacker would have approached him at all. But if it had been Royce, the attacker would probably have thought he could dominate him. And he probably would have ended up choked unconscious. Of course, most aikido does not include choking, but I'm always grateful that Mochizuki Sensei believed firmly in choking and taught a number of very devious chokes. And we sometimes had to use them because our classes were high-pressure and if our aikido technique didn't work in the first instant, the attacker would follow up with a series of attacks, usually winding up in a grappling situation on the mat, where things were decided with submissions, now and then, chokes.

Many years ago I had a friend who put his feet up on a railway carriage seat.A young guy came into the carriage and asked my friend [Tommy] to take his feet off the seats.Tommy [who sometimes was temperamental] said no.[used a few expletives being a Glaswegian] .A skirmish developed, Tommy got knifed and died.Was Tommy sensible??I think not.Its a question of the scenario, who is involved etc.You certainly have to use discretion and good judgement in certain cases.

Well, that's why the Japanese have always been so strict about how you sit, where you put your feet, how you behave in public, on trains, in restaurants, bars and so on. Maybe discretion and good judgment would have kept the victim in the video out of jail. Or maybe he would have been put in jail by mistake--which happens more often than 'good' people want to admit.

In any case, it seems that the video showed an attempt to coerce someone into sexual service and the alternatives were to comply, get a beating (possibly to death) or to kick the attacker's ass.

For most people, only the first two options would be available. But by examining the situation and our own capacities and by training with awareness of the possibilities, we might prevail. Who would you have bet on if the "victim" had been Royce Gracie, after all?

Thanks for your perspectives.

David

David Orange
03-12-2011, 10:08 AM
Tony

So often you read or hear people say what they would or wouldn't do in a hostile situation, how can you know, how can you plan, your defence will be detirmined by your opponents actions. any pre-planning will leads to ones own downfall.

Certainly, if you say, "I'll definitely do X, Y or Z," you're setting yourself up, but if your training is based on effective response to whatever the attacker does (and you train with resistant ukes against a wide array of attacks), you're in a better position than the fellow in the video. History and much personal experience have proven this. That's what martial training is for. If it didn't make a very big difference, people would have given it up centuries ago.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
03-12-2011, 10:13 AM
As I said hindsight is always easy, reality is not...:straightf

Well, and there's also "foresight," which is the essence of martial training. And much of "foresight" is based on "hindsight"--learning from history and other people's mistakes and misfortunes.

You know there are big, bad SOBs out there and you train very seriously to deal with them. You can't know exactly which technique you will use or if you'll use any technique at all. But anytime you see or hear of an unusual attack or situation, you examine that with "foresight" and consider how you could improve your training to deal with it.

And then, with hindsight, foresight and training under your belt, you keep your eyes and mind open at all times.

Otherwise, you're just going about blind.

David

Mark Freeman
03-12-2011, 10:47 AM
Well, I think that's one of the most important basics of aikido: center yourself instead of running. There may be a moment to run, but I'd rather not do it from blind impulse. It is very difficult to stand and be centered in some circumstances, but that's why it's vital to drill that incessantly in training. I've had to use that more than anything else I've learned in aikido: go to center and focus yourself from the first instant. Let them see you standing still and let them target you right where you stand. Then move instantly at the moment of attack--which is when they cross ma'ai.
Hi David

If aikido teaches nothing else, this should be central to everything we do. I may even add that in that standing, your mind has to be totally in to the attacker's centre, so that the very thought of attack is what moves you into action. In the circumstances shown, that is a tall order, he is one mean looking s.o.b, but it seems to me to be the only real answer. He is used to people being intimidated, we don't know how he would respond to someone standing their ground.


I'm sure it was like running from a pit bull dog.

My son has one of those, he's a lovely creature, but you don't want to be running from one of those, they are all cock and muscular jaws!:eek:


No, we can't. However, if you go into the situation blind, with no training, never having imagined the possibility of such a situation, I think it's easier to say what would probably happen--which is about what we saw in the clip. But if you first recognize the possibility of a given situation, then train seriously with that situation in mind, I think you have a much better chance of overcoming that kind of creep. Imagine the clip we'd have seen if the "victim" in that clip were Royce Gracie. If it had been Rickson Gracie, I don't think the attacker would have approached him at all. But if it had been Royce, the attacker would probably have thought he could dominate him. And he probably would have ended up choked unconscious. Of course, most aikido does not include choking, but I'm always grateful that Mochizuki Sensei believed firmly in choking and taught a number of very devious chokes. And we sometimes had to use them because our classes were high-pressure and if our aikido technique didn't work in the first instant, the attacker would follow up with a series of attacks, usually winding up in a grappling situation on the mat, where things were decided with submissions, now and then, chokes.

Can you imagine the number of hits that video would have got, if the situation were as you describe? If the victim in this case just happened to be a really skilled BJJer and took the attacker to task and gave him his comeuppance. I bet the guards would have been in there PDQ as my guess is, they may have been watching the cctv all along!:(


In any case, it seems that the video showed an attempt to coerce someone into sexual service and the alternatives were to comply, get a beating (possibly to death) or to kick the attacker's ass.

We don't know what he said, but you are probably right.

For most people, only the first two options would be available. But by examining the situation and our own capacities and by training with awareness of the possibilities, we might prevail. Who would you have bet on if the "victim" had been Royce Gracie, after all?


My money would probably be on Royce, but that guy was BIG and mentally unstable, so I'm not sure it would be a completely safe bet.

regards

Mark

Gorgeous George
03-12-2011, 11:49 AM
Wouldn't 'zanshin' have meant the victim would have been 'on alert' as soon as he was put into that cell?

Tony Wagstaffe
03-12-2011, 12:35 PM
And then, with hindsight, foresight and training under your belt, you keep your eyes and mind open at all times.

Otherwise, you're just going about blind.

David[/QUOTE]

That 's called experience David...... otherwise you are blind.

markyboy64
03-12-2011, 01:22 PM
http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D2bSDCK5lvZs%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded

This Youtube clip requires verification of age 18 + to view.

Takemusu this. The victim is in a jail holding cell after being arrested for driving with a suspended license. The assailant lands 62 punches over the course of 19 minutes before police/guards intervene.

There is limited room to maneuver, and the victim can't run away or otherwise escape; the assailant, a known gang member later found to be clinically insane, is substantially bigger, stronger, and more aggressive to the point of predation; another man in the holding cell may or may not have been an ally of the assailant, but in any event did not intervene.

"Reality" is a very big word. Aikido, like any martial art, may face a wide range of self-defense situations.

This incident happened in 2004. A newspaper article can be found here: http://www.rblandmark.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=1053&TM=83157.89
Attack the attacker! is self defence in a nutshell.
If you give an assailant space he will keep taking it.
Had the little guy exploded from the fright reaction he would have taken the other guy out.
Once someone comes into your personal comfort zone unleash hell on your opponent!!

Tony Wagstaffe
03-12-2011, 03:27 PM
Attack the attacker! is self defence in a nutshell.
If you give an assailant space he will keep taking it.
Had the little guy exploded from the fright reaction he would have taken the other guy out.
Once someone comes into your personal comfort zone unleash hell on your opponent!!

That would be the best reaction :confused: Otherwise they would own you. One does what is necessary to put your assailant down and keep them there. The trick is not to go over the top. British law states you can only use reasonable force..... Tricky....:hypno: :freaky:
I have been attacked by women too!! Now that is surreal!! Does one smash their teeth out? Or gently take them to the ground? I'm not in the habit of hitting women, I find it very hard to do that....
It must be my upbringing.......
So one adapts quickly to your situation, or very soon find yourself arrested for assault for defending yourself....

Tony Wagstaffe
03-13-2011, 02:50 PM
Mark,

I see in the news report that the "victim" probably got everything he deserved, going by his record.
I've a suspicion that those officers thought it might do him some good..?

markyboy64
03-13-2011, 03:36 PM
Mark,

I see in the news report that the "victim" probably got everything he deserved, going by his record.
I've a suspicion that those officers thought it might do him some good..?

The last thing you should worry about is being arrested for defending yourself.
If it is your life or his,it must be his!!

Basia Halliop
03-13-2011, 03:43 PM
In the case of the prison incident the victim simply resorted to one of the two primal instincts when faced with danger. He chose Flight rather than Fight.

There are more than two instinctive fear reactions. There's also 'freeze'... e.g., as many animals do when they're afraid (the classic is the deer in headlights). Also 'shut down' which looks similar to freeze but feels different.

Not to suggest freezing as a 'strategy', just mentioning because I find it often gets forgotten since the phrase 'fight or flight' has such a nice rythme to it.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-13-2011, 07:25 PM
The last thing you should worry about is being arrested for defending yourself.
If it is your life or his,it must be his!!

It happens.....more often than you think!!:straightf

Hellis
03-14-2011, 05:16 AM
It happens.....more often than you think!!:straightf

Tony

"Much too often".
The yobs who give the police the most grief are the first to call them when they come unstuck.

Henry Ellis
History & Lineage
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
03-14-2011, 11:05 AM
Tony

"Much too often".
The yobs who give the police the most grief are the first to call them when they come unstuck.

Henry Ellis
History & Lineage
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

You are right there Henry, I have found that out much to my disgust!!
I believe it's called sour grapes!!
The time I've lost explaining myself when helping police with their enquiries is nobodies business, however when one of their lot gets attacked everything is hunky dori, you were helping the police in there efforts to arrest some yobo.... One can't win sometimes...:hypno: :crazy: :straightf

jonreading
03-14-2011, 01:00 PM
Dear Jon,
While I agree with a few points in your blog I think that there is a place for the hobbyist in Aikido.If someone wants to use Aikido for fitness, health , emotional, meditative benefits why not?Aikido can also be used in a martial manner , but not everyone feels a need to be a top Aikidoka.Just the same as amateur boxers, not all of them want to be Mike Tyson for example.
Apart from that you need a core group of hobbyists to pay the bills.Thats why some dojos have children's classes or 'self defence/ conflict resolution class/or even therapeutic use of Aikido.
Personally I am happy if people find Aikido meaningful in their life however and whatever their motivation is for studying the Art
Joe.
Joe-

I also believe the hobbyist aikido person has a place in the aikido. I just don't believe that place should be leading curriculum or representing the art or the integrity of the art. Aikido was designed to provide a great deal of flexibility to include a variety of practitioners. I am more specifically criticizing those practitioners who are misrepresenting the art. I think aikido is a great source from which to find emotional benefits, likewise with physical and mental health benefits. But to me the argument boils down to individuals making collective statements about aikido who are not qualified to make such statements. In my opinion, hobbyists are not qualified to make collective statements about aikido... unless they stayed at a Holiday Inn Express...

I dunno. I have seen a lot of good aikido. It always is martially valid and those instructors also posess a knowledge about aikido that further validates what they do. This seems to me to be a stark contrast to the hobbyists who many times don't know enough about what they are discussing to validate what they are doing. And by no means I am slighting these people... The time, effort and resources to undertake such an endeavor are great. I would make a similar observation comparing a major professional baseball player to a collegiate player, or comparing a PhD to a undergraduate student. Better education should result in better understanding.

In this sense I think there is an element of distortion in dojos that allows for an abridged learning paradigm in class. But we have this smorgasboard teaching that allows students to pick and choose what they like about aikido. Now we are paying for those years of leaving out important things because we didn't like them. The hobbyists are most at risk because they never experience the unabridged education of the serious practitioners.

Chris Evans
03-15-2011, 10:25 AM
The hobbyists are most at risk because they never experience the unabridged education of the serious practitioners.

That's an excellent observation that also applies to karate and other martial arts.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-15-2011, 11:45 AM
My father was an amateur boxer in his youth, he taught me a little in the back yard. I carried that on to a point within my voluntary service to my country... I had no intentions of becoming a pro, but the training and matches were great fun and a wake up or enforced sleep if you were unsuccessful!! I also did a bit of judo to, so found that of use in a grappling sense.
It taught a rudimentary form of effective self defence and no doubt saved me from many a drubbing whilst in service. It also spurned my interest in martial arts....
I didn't become a pro, but I can at least protect myself to a reasonable extent when needed.
Aikido to me is another form of martial art with subtle joint locks, which when mastered also adds another aspect to my experience.
All martial arts have movements in them that you will find in another, I have no doubt of that.
What does embarrass me about aikido is when you hear that a high grade in aikido gets a drubbing from a 16 year old yobbo and still carries on teaching that which he knows to be false not only of his art, but of his status to.... One should not call it a martial art if that is the case. That may come as somewhat controversial to many so called martial artists today, but that is the truth.....
Anything else is and has to be a fraud, nothing else....:straightf

Thomas Campbell
03-15-2011, 12:12 PM
The hobbyists are most at risk because they never experience the unabridged education of the serious practitioners.

A very cogent observation, and like Chris Evans points out above, it is applicable to other martial arts besides aikido.

Some MA teachers are in fact "hobbyists" in the sense of teaching a seriously abridged art, perhaps without being fully aware of how much of the original core of their art they've never experienced. This is certainly the case with taijiquan. It's one thing for a hobbyist student to explore the more serious and profound depths of training that their teachers and own limited practice have not exposed them to. It's another level entirely for a teacher to confront the limitations of their own teaching and training experience, and be willing to break out of their cocoon and become a better martial artist and teacher of a deeper art.

Marc Abrams
03-15-2011, 12:58 PM
My father was an amateur boxer in his youth, he taught me a little in the back yard. I carried that on to a point within my voluntary service to my country... I had no intentions of becoming a pro, but the training and matches were great fun and a wake up or enforced sleep if you were unsuccessful!! I also did a bit of judo to, so found that of use in a grappling sense.
It taught a rudimentary form of effective self defence and no doubt saved me from many a drubbing whilst in service. It also spurned my interest in martial arts....
I didn't become a pro, but I can at least protect myself to a reasonable extent when needed.
Aikido to me is another form of martial art with subtle joint locks, which when mastered also adds another aspect to my experience.
All martial arts have movements in them that you will find in another, I have no doubt of that.
What does embarrass me about aikido is when you hear that a high grade in aikido gets a drubbing from a 16 year old yobbo and still carries on teaching that which he knows to be false not only of his art, but of his status to.... One should not call it a martial art if that is the case. That may come as somewhat controversial to many so called martial artists today, but that is the truth.....
Anything else is and has to be a fraud, nothing else....:straightf

Tony:

Your continued, narrow-minded perspective is simply that. By your own yardstick, I can say the same thing about many martial artists. I have had the "pleasure" of watching some black belts from karate, judo, and other arts get their asses handed to them by some good street fighters with NO martial arts experience. Aikido seems to be doing fine before you came sauntering in and I am sure it will continue to do fine after you are long gone. The art forms exists well beyond how people choose to implement what they know.

marc abrams

Tony Wagstaffe
03-15-2011, 06:31 PM
Tony:

Your continued, narrow-minded perspective is simply that. By your own yardstick, I can say the same thing about many martial artists. I have had the "pleasure" of watching some black belts from karate, judo, and other arts get their asses handed to them by some good street fighters with NO martial arts experience. Aikido seems to be doing fine before you came sauntering in and I am sure it will continue to do fine after you are long gone. The art forms exists well beyond how people choose to implement what they know.

marc abrams

Precisely why what they do shouldn't be called a martial art anymore?
There was a craze came out a while ago called boxercise.....
I'm sure most will remember it....... Great for fitness but one didn't fight.....
Maybe what you do should be called aikidocise?

Marc Abrams
03-15-2011, 06:45 PM
Precisely why what they do shouldn't be called a martial art anymore?
There was a craze came out a while ago called boxercise.....
I'm sure most will remember it....... Great for fitness but one didn't fight.....
Maybe what you do should be called aikidocise?

Tony:

What I do? Nice try. My Aikido works just fine with me, even against those big, bad MMA guys. I seem to have no problems making my stuff work just fine. I consider it to be the result of good teachers and good training. What I do, and what I teach is Aikido. Narrow perspectives lead to fewer choices......

Marc Abrams

Hellis
03-16-2011, 02:19 AM
Precisely why what they do shouldn't be called a martial art anymore?
There was a craze came out a while ago called boxercise.....
I'm sure most will remember it....... Great for fitness but one didn't fight.....
Maybe what you do should be called aikidocise?

Tony

Aikidocise :D ...I like that ! you may well have found a more fitting name for what Joe describes as the ``hobbyists `` ,..... it could catch on..

Despite your critics Tony, tell me , has anyone ``ever `` called in your dojo to tell you what they think of you ??

Henry Ellis
Aikido Articles
http://aikido-articles.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
03-16-2011, 03:25 AM
Tony

Aikidocise :D ...I like that ! you may well have found a more fitting name for what Joe describes as the ``hobbyists `` ,..... it could catch on..

Despite your critics Tony, tell me , has anyone ``ever `` called in your dojo to tell you what they think of you ??

Henry Ellis
Aikido Articles
http://aikido-articles.blogspot.com/

Never..... But they have on the phone...:D
Strange thing is I have never seen them since

Tony Wagstaffe
03-16-2011, 03:37 AM
Tony:

What I do? Nice try. My Aikido works just fine with me, even against those big, bad MMA guys. I seem to have no problems making my stuff work just fine. I consider it to be the result of good teachers and good training. What I do, and what I teach is Aikido. Narrow perspectives lead to fewer choices......

Marc Abrams

Were those big bad MMA' ers really resisting you? Or were they just going along with it and being kind to you Marc, as you say seem?
As for the narrow bit, I have practised against resistance all my life, I find it adds depth to my waza....

Tony Wagstaffe
03-16-2011, 03:40 AM
" Now we are paying for those years of leaving out important things because we didn't like them. The hobbyists are most at risk because they never experience the unabridged education of the serious practitioners.[/QUOTE]

Me thinks you have it about right Jon....

Marc Abrams
03-16-2011, 07:29 AM
Were those big bad MMA' ers really resisting you? Or were they just going along with it and being kind to you Marc, as you say seem?
As for the narrow bit, I have practised against resistance all my life, I find it adds depth to my waza....

Tony:

I do not ask people to hold back. I tell them to give it to me. I am an old karateka, wrestler, etc.... I was doing that stuff way before they called it MMA. You cannot seem to wrap your head around the fact that you do have a very narrow perspective. The only resistance that you seem to be engaged in is akin to banging you head again and again against the concrete wall. No holes in the wall yet. You should lift your head, look around and see that there are other ways to get around the wall in front of you. What you think that you know impedes with you learning more. You have been given countless opportunities to recognize your self-imposed limitations and the only thing heard are excuses as to why you won't explore some more effective alternatives to what you are doing.

On that note, maybe you should focus more on your Aikidocise for those overweight people who need to lose weight ;) .

Marc Abrams

seank
03-16-2011, 08:13 AM
Been enjoying reading this thread over the last couple of weeks...

I love the idea that to be a serious martial artist one must be prepared to be jumped at every corner and defend yourself in a life and death struggle against vastly superior aggressors (or at least something to that affect).

When you have had someone seriously try to kill you, and I'm talking someone who has taken lives before, you gain a different perspective and respect for the whole process. There is nothing martial in it at all, there is no distance or timing, there is no resistance or any of the guff we like to think is important. The aggressor is trying to gouge your eyes out whilst simultaneously kneeing you in the groin, whilst punching you repeatedly in the kidneys, tearing out hair, scratching skin. Its a wonderfully debased practice.

Your attacker does not let up because you've fallen to the ground or you've stopped resisting. There is no pause in the attack from the first time your head slams against the wall they have you pinned to.

Is this reality? Well yes, I've had this happen to me once. Is it likely to happen to most people in their lifetime? Probably not. Can I train to defend against this kind of aggression? Probably not.

Is my training up to reality? Sure. I avoid fights that I don't have to be involved in, I turn away from people goading me to attack them, I don't travel in areas where I'm likely to encounter such situations.

Can I depend on Aikido to protect me in all circumstances? Not sure. Would I fall back on my Kyokushin background? Possibly.

If only everything were so black and white. You train to suit your personal needs and requirements, you can be a weekend warrior if you want to be, you can practice all day every day.

Do most people stand post at night guarding for the intruder that might come? Do we even need to do this? Coming from an army family of three generations I know many members of my family stalked their respective homes at night and would hunt if they heard the wrong kinds of sounds outside. Despite the fact they knew they didn't encounter what they had expected (and dealt with during war-time) they still did it. Is this type of behaviour realistic?

I don't train with an expectation of being able to apply a technique or to perform in a certain way. My training is entirely centred around keeping moving if the proverbial hits the fan.

If you want to seriously train to reality, throw off the gloves, the style of martial art, the niceties, the rules, pre-conceived notions, everything. Have someone bigger and stronger seriously try and kill you and you have your answer to the OP of whether your Aikido as a Martial Art is up to Reality.

Gorgeous George
03-16-2011, 09:30 AM
As for the narrow bit, I have practised against resistance all my life, I find it adds depth to my waza....

....this is you, right?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWCvqhMFp48&feature=player_embedded

RonRagusa
03-16-2011, 10:36 AM
....this is you, right?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWCvqhMFp48&feature=player_embedded

Nice vid. Uke seems pretty compliant though for all the talk of resistance training in this thread. And just wondering, if this was a video of, say, some Ki aikido practitioner would there be a chorus of derisive comments regarding the cooperative nature of the demonstration?

Ron

markyboy64
03-16-2011, 12:24 PM
Tony:

What I do? Nice try. My Aikido works just fine with me, even against those big, bad MMA guys. I seem to have no problems making my stuff work just fine. I consider it to be the result of good teachers and good training. What I do, and what I teach is Aikido. Narrow perspectives lead to fewer choices......

Marc Abrams

During a real fight (self defence) only gross motor movements are possible!

This is why techniques are pretty much useless,and why many martial arts/artist fail.

Of all the pins, chokes,throws,projections,few are relevent.
Wrist locks or attempts at them only bind you to your opponent.

The internal arts of taiji,bagua,yichuan,aikido ect are all based on single leg balance,and natural reactions.
The single leg balance training gives you a very solid,grounded, mobile root(balance)which is your power source.

Marc Abrams
03-16-2011, 01:05 PM
During a real fight (self defence) only gross motor movements are possible!

This is why techniques are pretty much useless,and why many martial arts/artist fail.

Of all the pins, chokes,throws,projections,few are relevent.
Wrist locks or attempts at them only bind you to your opponent.

The internal arts of taiji,bagua,yichuan,aikido ect are all based on single leg balance,and natural reactions.
The single leg balance training gives you a very solid,grounded, mobile root(balance)which is your power source.

Really? I would say that I am sorry to disagree with you on your points, but I am not sorry. Can't vouch for how you train or who you train with, but I would say that if you come to those conclusions, I certainly would not train in the arts that you mentioned. Just my 2 cents ;)

Marc Abrams

mathewjgano
03-16-2011, 02:56 PM
During a real fight (self defence) only gross motor movements are possible!

This is why techniques are pretty much useless,and why many martial arts/artist fail.

Of all the pins, chokes,throws,projections,few are relevent.
Wrist locks or attempts at them only bind you to your opponent.

The internal arts of taiji,bagua,yichuan,aikido ect are all based on single leg balance,and natural reactions.
The single leg balance training gives you a very solid,grounded, mobile root(balance)which is your power source.
Sure, we generally want to use the larger muscle groups (e.g. legs' muscles generate more power by themselves than fingers') but both seem pertinent to "real" self defense...particularly if you consider whole-body self-defense or defense involving firearms. While they're a small part of the overall force generation, the fingers and hands can add the needed edge in real self-defense and, I presume, can convey the whole-body force sought after in internals.
I agree that the simpler techniques are generally the most effective. The fewer operations needed to displace your attacker the better...and from what I've seen casually, at least in the one-on-one setting, I think MMA shows this tendancy toward a handful of basic self-defense maneuvers which typically win. This doesn't mean the other techniques are irrelevent though.
Also, I'm no expert so I'm probably missing something key, but my impression is the internal arts would describe themselves more as whole body balance, not single-leg balance.
...Now I'm curious if that's what is meant when describing one-sided weighting?
Basically just guesses, but there's my 2 bits.
Take care,
Matt

Tony Wagstaffe
03-16-2011, 03:41 PM
Sure, we generally want to use the larger muscle groups (e.g. legs' muscles generate more power by themselves than fingers') but both seem pertinent to "real" self defense...particularly if you consider whole-body self-defense or defense involving firearms. While they're a small part of the overall force generation, the fingers and hands can add the needed edge in real self-defense and, I presume, can convey the whole-body force sought after in internals.
I agree that the simpler techniques are generally the most effective. The fewer operations needed to displace your attacker the better...and from what I've seen casually, at least in the one-on-one setting, I think MMA shows this tendancy toward a handful of basic self-defense maneuvers which typically win. This doesn't mean the other techniques are irrelevent though.
Also, I'm no expert so I'm probably missing something key, but my impression is the internal arts would describe themselves more as whole body balance, not single-leg balance.
...Now I'm curious if that's what is meant when describing one-sided weighting?
Basically just guesses, but there's my 2 bits.
Take care,
Matt

Matt, what you say is true, simple works!! It is possible to attain joint manipulation or locks when you have your opponent down and immobilized, trying to do joint manipulation when your opponent is up and fighting you with full resistance is almost impossible unless you get lucky. techniques such as shomen ate, aigamae ate, gykugamae ate, gedan ate, ushiro ate do work as they are irimi or quick entry or precursor techniques. These can be quickly translated to atemi waza which they essentially are....
Joint manipulation or locks are secondary....
The techniques I mention I have actually used in real self defence and they worked....

Tony Wagstaffe
03-16-2011, 04:08 PM
Tony:

I do not ask people to hold back. I tell them to give it to me. I am an old karateka, wrestler, etc.... I was doing that stuff way before they called it MMA. You cannot seem to wrap your head around the fact that you do have a very narrow perspective. The only resistance that you seem to be engaged in is akin to banging you head again and again against the concrete wall. No holes in the wall yet. You should lift your head, look around and see that there are other ways to get around the wall in front of you. What you think that you know impedes with you learning more. You have been given countless opportunities to recognize your self-imposed limitations and the only thing heard are excuses as to why you won't explore some more effective alternatives to what you are doing.

On that note, maybe you should focus more on your Aikidocise for those overweight people who need to lose weight ;) .

Marc Abrams

No walls in my life Marc, I'm just saying it as it is with no bullshit or otherwise. It seems to you that I have a narrow aspect, but believe it or not I am trying to listen to what you have to say, but it seems that maybe you have a narrower aspect than I ?
Nothing wrong in aikido for health, but you already know my slant on that one.
Aikido is either a martial art or it is not. Martial means martial not playing, praying it might happen, but knowing it will happen .....
As for my limitations, I happen to live in the real world and know the truth which in it's way is far more liberating than you can imagine......
My dojo is outside in the real world. My inside dojo is where we experiment, find out what will work and will not work, discard that which does not. That is not to blindly repeat a lie until the truth hits you so hard you will realise that you have trained in vain and wasted an awful lot of time as many are beginning to find out.
Aikido will work, but it will be adapted to look like nothing you do in the dojo. It is as rough as a Badgers Bum as Joe Curran has said, bless his cotton socks!!
Kata practice is not enough. All those that think so, I'm sorry but you are just deluding yourselves and your students......period!! :straightf

Tony Wagstaffe
03-16-2011, 04:49 PM
....this is you, right?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWCvqhMFp48&feature=player_embedded

Yes it is, doing the soft 'trick' stuff that the students from the film & media department wanted to put up. I didn't produce or edit the video as it was nothing to do with me other than the request to do it at no notice. Everything you see in the video is off the cuff....
I found out later the randori was omitted because it looked to rough!!?
It turned out that 'elf & safety didn't want it in the video as it was a promotional for the university students union for martial arts.
Not one of my best performances, which is too bad, but that's life....
What you see is not the whole picture, just a very small part of it...