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Jucas
06-04-2002, 03:05 PM
First off, I'd just like to say Hi! I just registered here, obviously :p, but I have been lurking for sometime now.

Ummm... I guess a introduction is in order. I'm 18 years old. My name is Jonathan, everyone calls me Jon or J. I live in Portland Oregon and have been training at Multnomah Aikikai, under Aiki Fleshler sensei. I have been training sense... around october 2000, give or take. I haven't trained for the last 2 or 3 months due to illness and complete chaos.

That about sums it up. Like I said, I have been lurking for sometime now, but I just couldn't help but get involved in this great community.

So anyhoo, the real reason I am starting a new thread is not to talk about myself, as fun as it is :rolleyes:. But rather, to talk about the appllication of aikido in "real life". Now don't get me wrong. I have no desire to focus on the aspect of aikido's sparring or "street worthyness". My question is much more simple than that.

Why is the most common training method the wrist grab? In my experience, as limited as it might be, we seem to train in the common wrist grab more than anything else. I don't know about you, but I feel that starting a technique this way does not prepare me for real application. It just seems that the less common "Suki"(sp?), or under hand punch has much more practical application. Can someone enlighten me?

Cheers mates,
j

chadsieger
06-04-2002, 03:28 PM
Welcome.
The first attack that students face is usually a hand grab, and for good reason. Contact between uke and nage bulids sensitivity for both of them. While uke, try to connect with the center of the nage as best you can. Allow the move to commence (if its done right!), and follow the tension to the end of the technique. As nage, you must always feel the tension, however, go around it, and use the grab to get the idea of another person's energy.
Then, when ready, defense against a tsuki will feel much more comfortable.
If this doesnt sound correct to you, my suggestion would be to ask your sensei why you use hand grabs, he should be more than willing to explain it to you. If you do not feel 100% comfortable with this, perhaps your relationship is not what it should be. My first sensei was complete garbage, I just moved on.

Thanks,
Hope this helps!

guest1234
06-04-2002, 05:54 PM
Hi Jon,

I'd say the answer is for several reasons: first, a grab is easier to work on connection and timing that a strike for beginners (or so I've been told:rolleyes: ). Second, a wrist grab is actually a fairly common attack if you think about (1) women a wrist or neck grab is how many are attacked (2) if your opponent (uke) thinks you are armed (sword or gun) he may go for your dominant (or sword--right) hand to prevent your drawing it. This is quickly followed by a punch from uke's other hand, or from another attacker. Or he may be using the srist grab to distract you so he can hit you, if you let yourself focus on the grab rather than the attacker....

anyway, my thoughts on the subject:confused:

shihonage
06-04-2002, 06:14 PM
Drunk people tend to grab a lot, I've experienced this phenomena personally.

Solution: get your attacker drunk before he attacks you.

Erik
06-04-2002, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by Jucas
Why is the most common training method the wrist grab? In my experience, as limited as it might be, we seem to train in the common wrist grab more than anything else. I don't know about you, but I feel that starting a technique this way does not prepare me for real application. It just seems that the less common "Suki"(sp?), or under hand punch has much more practical application. Can someone enlighten me?

Two reasons: Because that's how it's always been done so we keep doing it that way; and the art comes out of a world where at one time having the sword drawn was a bad thing if you didn't have a sword. Hence people tried to prevent it and so people figured out ways to deal with the attempt to prevent. Those are kind of the same thing but they are kind of different too.

I do agree that it's easier and safer to work with grabs at first but your ratio of grab to strike work probably won't change much as you get more experienced. And while there are certainly Aikidoist's whom you don't want to get hit by, or grabbed by for that matter, I think an awful lot are lucky if they get a couple of classes per year where the subject is dealt with in any detail from uke's side.

If I may steal from Ecclesiates and Ted Ehara:

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

batemanb
06-04-2002, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by Erik


Two reasons: Because that's how it's always been done so we keep doing it that way; and the art comes out of a world where at one time having the sword drawn was a bad thing if you didn't have a sword. Hence people tried to prevent it and so people figured out ways to deal with the attempt to prevent. Those are kind of the same thing but they are kind of different too.
[/i]

I concur with Erik, going on how it is taught here. Aikido was developed from the sword, the grab comes from either trying to stop the sword being drawn, or from avoiding the strike and grabbing the wrist to prevent a further strike.

Like wise, ushiro waza, comes from avoiding the strike grabbing the sword wrist with one hand, then stepping around the back to grab the neck/ wrist/ shoulder etc.

PeterR
06-04-2002, 08:32 PM
Chad - good response (the forum culture is not so hard to pick up on eh?)

One thing the wrist graps do provide is a relatively controlled attack along with a pretty well defined ma-ai.

Originally posted by chadsieger
Welcome.
The first attack that students face is usually a hand grab, and for good reason. Contact between uke and nage bulids sensitivity for both of them. While uke, try to connect with the center of the nage as best you can. Allow the move to commence (if its done right!), and follow the tension to the end of the technique. As nage, you must always feel the tension, however, go around it, and use the grab to get the idea of another person's energy.
Then, when ready, defense against a tsuki will feel much more comfortable.
If this doesnt sound correct to you, my suggestion would be to ask your sensei why you use hand grabs, he should be more than willing to explain it to you. If you do not feel 100% comfortable with this, perhaps your relationship is not what it should be. My first sensei was complete garbage, I just moved on.

Thanks,
Hope this helps!

Jucas
06-04-2002, 11:26 PM
Thanks for the replies. I did however figure the application of the wrist grab was rooted in sword drawing, but this comfirmation is very nice. I suppose my question was more of a philosophical one, that is I was wondering why aikido was still practiced this way. I am not saying it doesn't have its practical uses, I myself have encountered a situation or two in which it applied perfectly. Also, as someone mentioned it is easier for a new student to grasp (no pun intended :D) the principles of ma-ai and the techniques themselves. In my own experience, as I have grown in aikido, I have found that the techniques have become quite dynamic, but the grabs and also the strikes; overhand, 45* degree attack, etc, etc... prove to be very structured.

Don't get me wrong, I love aikido. Without it I would be incomplete. I guess that kinda leads to another question, does aikido need a update?

I just want to make it clear though... I think the philiosophy and many of techniques are very applicable for self defense and general enlightenment of mind and body.

I guess I am kinda rambling now....

cheers mates, thanks again for the responses!

-j

PeterR
06-04-2002, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by Jucas
I have found that the techniques have become quite dynamic, but the grabs and also the strikes; overhand, 45* degree attack, etc, etc... prove to be very structured.
That's true and of course the main problem is that you are either training with relative beginners or going back to basics - both laudable. The truely great thing about Aikido is you are not limited to the "standard" attacks - experiment a bit. Try grasps to the front and sleaves of dogi, try grab/punch combinations, try chokes, etc. I'm sure you've already noticed that defences against standard attacks are adaptable to other less conventional attacks. I think that the training is not so much rooted in history as influenced. The standard attacks are not a waste of time.

Why I remember once, when faced by a thermonoclear device, how easily a defense I learned from yokomenuchi attack was modified....... :D

Bronson
06-05-2002, 02:23 AM
Hi Jon, welcome to the forums

One of my first sensei (who happened to be a police officer) had an interesting take on the wrist grab thing. He contended that people bent on attacking are a lot like dogs. When you see dogs attacking they attack the first available target. If you put your arm in their face they grab it. His point was that if you place your hand between the attacker and yourself they will usually deal with it in some way as they come in to attack. They may grab it and yank it to the side, grab and pull, or simply swat it away. You're basically offering the target you want them to have. I've never had the occasion to use it "on the street" but he had and said it worked quite well for him.

Again, welcome

Bronson

erikmenzel
06-05-2002, 02:53 AM
Originally posted by Jucas
Why is the most common training method the wrist grab? In my experience, as limited as it might be, we seem to train in the common wrist grab more than anything else. I don't know about you, but I feel that starting a technique this way does not prepare me for real application. It just seems that the less common "Suki"(sp?), or under hand punch has much more practical application. Can someone enlighten me?


Welcome to the forum Jonathan ;)

As to answer your question, many already gave some pretty good reasons. No need for me to mention those reasons again.
As an extra note I like to offer the concept of the dangerous grabbing attacker. IMHO to many akidoka focus to much on the idea of an attacker that just grabs or just grabs and punches.

How about an attacker that grabs your arm, twists it a bit (so you cant use your other arm anymore to reach him) drops its centre and moves your arm in front of your legs (so you cant kick either) and eventually continues to doing something to you you would not like (sankyo, shiho nage or worse).

I know a lot of aikidoka think this does not happen, but then again often aikido is not about thinking anyway!

Just my funny thoughts

deepsoup
06-05-2002, 04:28 AM
Originally posted by erikknoops

How about an attacker that grabs your arm, twists it a bit (so you cant use your other arm anymore to reach him) drops its centre and moves your arm in front of your legs (so you cant kick either) and eventually continues to doing something to you you would not like (sankyo, shiho nage or worse).

I know a lot of aikidoka think this does not happen, but then again often aikido is not about thinking anyway!

Just my funny thoughts

Hi Erik,

Your funny thoughts sound almost like an 'attacker' trying to apply aikido techniques to you! :eek:

A system of 'competitive' randori, and a style which introduces kaeshi-waza relatively early, might be a good way to train for that. <ahem-Shodokan-cough,cough> :confused:

Come over to the dark side, Luke... evileyes

:D

Sean
x

SeiserL
06-05-2002, 09:09 AM
I tend to agree with many of the responses about intially training off a grab. Coming to Aikido from a bashing background, this did not make sense to me. I now beleive that it is easier to training and develop sensitivity using a grab. Also, that people do grab alot in fights. Once you get the feel and the principles of the movement and alignment of the waza it is easier to transfer it to other attacks.

As far as "what if they do something different", then of course you would do something different too that uses their different energy and momentum.

Until again,

Lynn

akiy
06-05-2002, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by deepsoup
Your funny thoughts sound almost like an 'attacker' trying to apply aikido techniques to you! :eek:
In my mind, at least, there's not much distinguishing what one does as uke from what one does as nage. Uke uses the same principles that makes a good nage -- center, connection, kuzushi, and so forth. A good attack as uke, to me, should feel like a good technique by nage...

A grab isn't a silly little attack. I've been face planted just from a katatedori by my teacher before. I've also been utterly immobilized (unable to hit with my other hand). When it's done properly, it's a very good attack.

I also agree with above people that grabs are more common than you think. As someone above said, if you put your hand in someone's face, they'll most likely grab it to move it away, and so forth.

-- Jun

Greg Jennings
06-05-2002, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by akiy

I also agree with above people that grabs are more common than you think

Hi Jun,

Back in college, I did some bouncing. I didn't take notes, but my general opinion was that a majority of the altercations went "critical" by one person grabbing the other to immobilize them for a punch. It was usually a shoulder or lapel.

The one altercation I've been in as an adult was a shoulder grab followed by a punch to my cheek. Fortunately, I'm quite literally hard-headed!

Best Regards,

Erik
06-05-2002, 11:42 AM
Assuming someone is grabbing you to follow up with a strike, how often in class are you grabbing and then following up with the strike? For that matter how often is the grab done with a pull or a push to imbalance nage? I wouldn't say that grabs don't happen but I would say that it's pretty easy to get complacent with their practice. And, I still contend that we overdo it.

Originally posted by Akiy
A grab isn't a silly little attack. I've been face planted just from a katatedori by my teacher before. I've also been utterly immobilized (unable to hit with my other hand). When it's done properly, it's a very good attack

Someone teaches your homies (couldn't resist) to grab. There's one round these parts who I see at seminars occasionally and basically he grabs, I say, "Oh Shit!" and pretty much nothing happens until kindness, pity, or boredom overtakes him.

erikmenzel
06-06-2002, 03:36 AM
Originally posted by deepsoup
Your funny thoughts sound almost like an 'attacker' trying to apply aikido techniques to you!

Maybe, maybe not. I always have the idea a lot of aikido-players underestimate the smartness of attackers (although some learn about this, the hard way unfortunately :freaky: )

A system of 'competitive' randori, and a style which introduces kaeshi-waza relatively early, might be a good way to train for that. <ahem-Shodokan-cough,cough> :confused:

Come over to the dark side, Luke... evileyes

Let go of your hatred. There is still good in you, I can sense it. I can feel the struggle in you, father. :)

shihonage
06-06-2002, 07:31 AM
You have disappointed me for the last time, General.

Greg Jennings
06-06-2002, 07:52 AM
Originally posted by Erik
Assuming someone is grabbing you to follow up with a strike, how often in class are you grabbing and then following up with the strike? For that matter how often is the grab done with a pull or a push to imbalance nage? I wouldn't say that grabs don't happen but I would say that it's pretty easy to get complacent with their practice. And, I still contend that we overdo it.

We do the grab-to-punch just about every class. There is generally a logical progression from a static grab to a moving grab to a moving grab with punch.

Every static grab is a grab with push, pull and/or twist. Except with the beginners. It's too much for them to handle, IMHO.

Best Regards,

Erik
06-06-2002, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by Greg Jennings
We do the grab-to-punch just about every class. There is generally a logical progression from a static grab to a moving grab to a moving grab with punch.


Figured you would say that.

If you ever make it back out to Han's realm let me know. I have a sense that we might find it interesting to bash each other around a bit and it would be a good excuse for me to drop in and say hello to them. It's been awhile.

akiy
06-06-2002, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by Greg Jennings
We do the grab-to-punch just about every class.
Strangely enough, we did something similar in the first class of the evening on Monday night (katadori menuchi). We also emphasize "the other hand" during katatedori -- both for uke and nage; our senior student who teaches some of the classes will often punch uke in the stomach/chest if uke is grabbing "straight on" rather than from the side...

-- Jun

guest1234
06-06-2002, 05:51 PM
Well, we still practice those 'old' attacks not just for the tradition that everyone mentions, or for the fact that it is not just self defense that we are practicing (which I guess I'll be the first to mention), but also, there ARE modern applications:

1. as I said in my first post to this, the hand can be drawing a gun (or knife, or mace, or divorce papers ;) ) as well as drawing a sword...so grab it before they reach their weapon

2. rather than a sword in yokomenuchi or shomenuchi, picture a knife, liquor bottle, baseball bat, lead pipe, etc, etc since the focus is not really the weapn in uke's hand, but uke, it's all really the same.