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tedehara
06-19-2002, 09:21 PM
Greetings:

I've been looking over many posts that talk about the REAL WORLD. They talk about using this or that technique and defending from a (fill-in-the-blank) attack by doing (fill-in-the-blank). Of course, this is all garbage!

Assuming the attack is done rationally, this eliminates psychotics, drunks, druggies and arrogant martial artists, your goose is already cooked. Your opponent wouldn't have chosen you as a target unless there was something that told him you were vulnerable and he had an advantage.

This is not the dojo, it is the street. On the street, you probably won't know you're being attacked until it's too late. On the street he has either a knife or gun. Even if it looks like he doesn't have a weapon, check around and see who else is there. They're probably his friends, ready to back him up.

One time I was sitting in a subway car, counting the accomplices to a hustler who was running a three-card monty game. I counted ten people, both men and women!

If all they're asking is your money, give it to them. If they want something else, you've got a hard choice to make. If they want you to go somewhere with them, you cannot go. More than likely, they're taking you to a secluded spot where you will be truly helpless.

For those of you who worry about losing the money and credit cards you carry in your wallet or purse, go down to your local hospital and see what the average costs are for a visit to an emergency room and a one-day stay in a hospital bed. If you're unconvinced, look at the expenses for an OR, surgical team, one-week stay in an intensive care unit with several MRIs, CTs and X-rays for good measure.

The important thing is to treat people with respect. Don't assume that they're stupid or retarded because they're using violence for a solution.

Let's be careful out there. :)

jk
06-19-2002, 10:32 PM
Hi Ted,

That's quite a strong initial statement, although I agree with a pithy homily that I will paraphrase as "you can always earn back the money you lost, but not your life."

To the best of my understanding, what you're saying is to treat people with respect (good advice in general) so that you significantly reduce the population of people who want to kill/maim you. Thus, when/if you get threatened/attacked, the chances are that they only want your money. Again, giving up a bit of money is better than a trip to the hospital/morgue. Is this a fair interpretation of your statement?

However, I do not see where this situation renders the analysis of technique, and discussion of defending against a (fill-in-the-blank) attack by doing (fill-in-the-blank), as garbage. To bring up an admittedly extreme example, in the summer of 1997, there was considerable rioting and assorted turmoil across Indonesia. In a lot of cases, people were attacked, raped or murdered by people they probably didn't know. I would surmise that in these cases, the number of assailants greatly outnumbered the victims. What do you do then? Sit there and give the attackers what they want?

Regards,

PeterR
06-19-2002, 10:38 PM
Of course in the real world you can go through life and not be robbed at knife and gun point, killed, raped and otherwise messed up.

The amount of time I put into training on the off-chance that I will actually need to use it - is unrealistic.

Bronson
06-20-2002, 02:15 AM
The amount of time I put into training on the off-chance that I will actually need to use it - is unrealistic.

I've heard my sensei say that if you go to the dojo for ten years and train and you never use what you've learned you've wasted your time and money :confused:

His point being that you should be pulling the principles from the techniques/lessons and applying them everyday ;)

Bronson

PeterR
06-20-2002, 03:13 AM
Originally posted by Bronson
His point being that you should be pulling the principles from the techniques/lessons and applying them everyday ;)

Touche' - very Tohei-esque of you. :rolleyes:

Just out of curiosity - what principles do you think those are that can not be gotten through a less painful, time consuming, obsessive activity that we all know and love. Careful with the answer - I am feeling playful. :D

It's a bit of a trick question - like my Israeli commando friend and training partner used to say - Aikido's great but if you want self defence by a gun. In other words even for self defense that are a lot less time consuming options out there.

jk
06-20-2002, 04:30 AM
Originally posted by PeterR
It's a bit of a trick question - like my Israeli commando friend and training partner used to say - Aikido's great but if you want self defence by a gun. In other words even for self defense that are a lot less time consuming options out there.

Very true, but with the minor quibble that you still need a fair bit of training to know how to use a weapon of any sort...and let's not even think about bearing anything resembling a weapon in places like Singapore, for example. I don't think it hurts to pay some attention to the martial/self defense aspects of aikido.

But you folks are right in that we don't practice aikido purely for self-defense. We learn other useful things, like...er... Well OK Peter, maybe I should take up ballroom dancing instead...

Regards,

PeterR
06-20-2002, 04:47 AM
Hi John;

Actually his point at the time was that if you are really worried - go armed, laws be dammed.

Personally I go to Aikido because of its self defence application. Not that I feel any great need but that I get a good physcial work-out and go home with something other than sore muscles.

Don't knock ball room dancing - one month of lessons twice a week and I ended up going out a series of seriously beautiful women. Best bang for buck I ever spent (I did not say that).

Originally posted by jk

Very true, but with the minor quibble that you still need a fair bit of training to know how to use a weapon of any sort...and let's not even think about bearing anything resembling a weapon in places like Singapore, for example. I don't think it hurts to pay some attention to the martial/self defense aspects of aikido.

But you folks are right in that we don't practice aikido purely for self-defense. We learn other useful things, like...er... Well OK Peter, maybe I should take up ballroom dancing instead...

paw
06-20-2002, 06:09 AM
Peter,

Don't knock ball room dancing - one month of lessons twice a week and I ended up going out a series of seriously beautiful women. Best bang for buck I ever spent (I did not say that).

So you've seen the movie "Shall We Dance"? (If not, give it a try....)

Pardon the interuption,

Paul

L. Camejo
06-20-2002, 07:32 AM
Hi all,

Nice thread. Since we're on the topic of real world principles, I think a very important aikido principle that can be applied to "REAL LIFE" is training to keep our centre under stress.

This was tested in me a while aback while being robbed by 2 guys at gunpoint while at a computer client of mine. It's amazing the kinds of things that can run thru your mind at a time like that, almost funny actually:). In the end, when the cops finally came, I was the only one coherent enough to give a description of the perps.

The nicest thing about it though, is that nowhere during the entire thing did one feel afraid or overly threatened by what was happening. I just kinda entered the mode I do when yudansha come at me with a bokken at full force:eek:.

Maybe it was my mind creating an illusional comfort zone, or maybe I happened to keep my centre/wits about me to avoid flying off the handle and going aiki-ballistic, who knows?

BTW, if you guys think ballroom dancing gets you good bang for the buck, try Latin dancing :D

Just 2 cents to add to the account.
L.C.:ai::ki:

DaveO
06-20-2002, 07:53 AM
I think I see the point that Tedehara was making; by the time you get into a situation where Aikido as self-defence is needed; having to think about 'technique A' to counter 'Attack B' means you've already lost - the guy's all over you.
You use what you have at hand.If you can get away, do it. If you can get out of the way without thinking, do it. If you can stop him without thinking, do it. If you can fight him without thinking, do it. The key is 'without thinking'. Having to think about what to do next takes too much time; that's the difference between the dojo and the real world. Rendori - however enthusiastic - is NOT a semblance of the street; it's simply a way to practice Aikido in free-form.
And as to the 'gun' theory; sorry, I know I'm going to set off howls of protest, but the blasted things are WAY overrated in my opinion - and this is the opinion of someone with a great deal of experience with them. As a former soldier and instructor, I personally would be(and have been) more worried about a guy armed with a knife than with a sidearm; particularly if the guy holding it is of the common street-thug class - plenty of aggression, murderous intent, and zip for training. Of course, that's just me; I WOULD be concerned if the guy with the gun was trained...well, like me, to be honest,or like any other experienced career soldier out there, but I've yet to find that situation either on the street, or in Bosnia, or in any of the other places I've been.
Sorry to bust in, but it's a favourite topic of mine. Thanx, friends!

Brian Vickery
06-20-2002, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by tedehara
Greetings:

I've been looking over many posts that talk about the REAL WORLD. They talk about using this or that technique and defending from a (fill-in-the-blank) attack by doing (fill-in-the-blank). Of course, this is all garbage!


Shhhhhh Ted!!! ...You're giving away the BEST kept secret in the martial arts today!!!

...Oh well, go ahead! The 'Dojo-Darlings' won't believe you anyway, and most likely they'll never have to face the real world!
...so just let them dream their little dream!

Regards,

akiy
06-20-2002, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by PeterR
The amount of time I put into training on the off-chance that I will actually need to use it - is unrealistic.
I remember attending a meeting of the now defunct AANC. Frank Doran sensei asked people to all stand up. First, he asked everyone who had been studying aikido for less than a year to sit down. Then, those people who had been studying less than five years to sit down. Then, ten years. Then, fifteen. Then, twenty. All the way up to something like forty years. A rough estimate probably had at least a thousand years of aikido practice in that single room.

He then asked how many people had been physically assaulted during the time they'd been studying aikido. There were maybe something like 10 instances.

I think his point was the same as what Peter wrote above. If all we're doing is spending our time, money, and energy just for the sake of being able to respond to a physical assault, it seems like we sure are doing this inefficiently. In any other activity in which we'd actually "use" the skills that we learned only, say, once every one hundred years, it'd clearly be a waste of time.

Of course, our training has to include the martial aspect and must be undertaken in such a way as to cultivate such (as aikido is, after all, a budo) in whatever capacity we each can take and hold. However, just as writing a journal isn't usually for the sake of someone else reading it, I don't think the study of aikido is necessarily (for a lot of us, at least) for the sole sake of using it in a physically assault.

Hmm... I hope that made some sense...

-- Jun

justinm
06-20-2002, 09:57 AM
Self defence?? I have had far more injuries, pain and bruises in the dojo than in the rest of my life put together. If I want to stay injury free my best self defence is to quit aikido! Luckily there are other good reasons to keep going...:))

SeiserL
06-20-2002, 10:41 AM
I always appreciate people who can tell me what is real for me and what isn't. After growing up in the streets of Detroit, being in Nam, and after 30 years of martial arts training, I tend to not be able to tell the difference for myself anymore. I sure wish I knew enough to be able to tell people what their reality should or shouldn't be. I am impressed.

I do, none the less, agree that intelligence and good manner is always the best first line of defense.

Until again (or when I forget what's real),

Lynn

tedehara
06-20-2002, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by jk
...To the best of my understanding, what you're saying is to treat people with respect (good advice in general) so that you significantly reduce the population of people who want to kill/maim you. ...Is this a fair interpretation of your statement?

...I would surmise that in these cases, the number of assailants greatly outnumbered the victims. What do you do then? Sit there and give the attackers what they want?
Regards,
Of course you should always treat people with respect. But what I was trying to get at is even your months or years of martial arts training will not give you immunity from harm. Respect your opponent, don't think you can get away with anything just because they might be "untrained".

Hopefully, you won't be drawn into a possible conflict. Get you and yours to safety if there is a riot coming towards you. These things generally happen in certain areas during certain critical times. Try to avoid those times and places if possible.

If you find yourself in the middle of something, you have to do the best you can at that moment. Nobody knows what the exact situation will be before it happens. There are no money-back guarantees.

Peter
You're beginning to sound like Kenji Ota Sensei (http://www.west.net/~aikido/). He said that if you wanted to really learn aikido, you needed to take up ballroom dancing. He is a prize-winning ballroom dancer as well as an Aikido instructor.

To All:
I started this thread because I was worried some people might take certain messages seriously and end up getting hurt or worse. People might delude themselves into thinking they were immune from harm's way because they practice a martial art. The fact is we are all human and we are all vulnerable. That is the simple reality of it.

AskanisoN
06-20-2002, 01:25 PM
Hi All,

This is one of the more memorable sites I came across while researching this topic. The entire site is worth a good read, but I selected this section to post b/c is was directly relevent to this discussion. ENJOY!

Scott


http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/fightingfacts.html

Bruce Baker
06-20-2002, 03:23 PM
I see the moral dillema that tears to the heart of this question, fear of not being able to control all of the dangerous situations, and survive.

Somewhere, sometime, you will have to let go of fear to ride out the wild sea into a time of safety ... and there won't be time to worry about it, it will just happen. So stop dwelling on things you can't control, but learn from them if you survive.

On the other hand, are you making yourself a victim, or creating circumstances that give opportunity to become a victim?

If not, they why have you been targeted for being robbed, or harassed?

Simple defense begins with awareness.

Awareness in training, and awareness in life.

I know I have brought it up before, but the wolf hunting its prey, or the wolfpack mentality is my understanding to those who seek to dominate, or take advantage of those they percieve to be weak or easy prey.

You must be aware of where you are, how you look, and if your actions are drawing the preditor towards you. Of course, if you make it too difficult, the preditor will look elsewhere, or if you become somewhat invisible, you will vanish into the crowd.

Vanishing, my favorite place to be, and very frightening for a would be hunter if he meets the eyes of someone who knows who and what he is ... eyes that overcome without fighting but recognize the danger.

Kind of hokey in its premise, but when you spot the hunter and his/her gang trying to corner a prey/target it does make a difference.

I could go on about being invisible, becoming less of a target while picking out the scoundrels who sooner or later visit the barbed wire and iron bar hotel, but these are things you must learn not only from training, but how you apply this training to your everyday life.

Maybe because I am older, much heavier than the average man, I have become less of an easy target. I would like to think it is because I give less opportunity for those who think stealing is the average lifestyle for their neighborhood.

Your Aikido training has many levels of creating awareness, hand and eye co-ordination, and putting yourself in the right place at the right time, but translating these lessons for many students is like trying to read a foreign language without a teacher.

All the same, isn't that why you want to gain control of your life through aikido training?

Awareness.

Acceptence for where you are.

Dealing with whatever comes along.

All part of life.

So stop worrying, learn your lessons, move on.

If you don't like your life, change it.

If you don't like the way your neighborhood is, change it.

If you learn nothing else from practicing Aikido, it is that you have the ability to change your life, and influence those around you.

giriasis
06-20-2002, 10:47 PM
I don't believe my aikido will make me immune from harm, but it does increase the odds. Even if your increasing it by 1%, it's better than none. Does this mean I'm going to iriminage someone with a gun or knife? NO, but it aikido does teach me awareness, confidence, overcoming fear, and centeredness -- all which is needed in facing a robber. Hopefully, with my life intact.

Yet, the first line of self-defense is using our own brain, not which technique to use with which attack. My self-defense tactics are about prevention, and aikido does help me there. But I agree, it is not an absolute guarantee. Deluding ourselves in believing otherwise is dangerous.

MaylandL
06-21-2002, 12:27 AM
Originally posted by AskanisoN
Hi All,

This is one of the more memorable sites I came across while researching this topic. The entire site is worth a good read...



This is an excellent site and full of good common sense stuff. Having been jumped in the middle of the night and been lucky to escape with a couple of minor bruises, what he (Mr Marc Mac Young) has to say is absolutely spot on. This site is definitely worth a read.

Bronson
06-21-2002, 12:38 AM
Touche' - very Tohei-esque of you

Not sure if that was meant as a compliment but I'll take it that way...thanks :D

what principles do you think those are that can not be gotten through a less painful, time consuming, obsessive activity that we all know and love. Careful with the answer - I am feeling playful.

I think I'll be ok, mostly because I can't answer it, because I don't understand the question :confused:

It's a bit of a trick question

Ooooh, that's why I don't get it. Sorry, I don't do trick questions (I'm too easily confused with straight ones ;) ) If there's something ya wanna ask go ahead and throw it out. You ain't gonna offend me and I'll try to give the best answer I can with the (limited) understanding I have now.:D

Bronson

darin
06-21-2002, 01:15 AM
Originally posted by PeterR

Don't knock ball room dancing - one month of lessons twice a week and I ended up going out a series of seriously beautiful women. Best bang for buck I ever spent (I did not say that).



Yeah? I think I will check out that salsa bar in Roppongi...

PeterR
06-21-2002, 02:02 AM
Bronson;

When you come right down to it - all the stated benefits of Aikido - especially by the Ki in Daily Life crowd but also self defence, can be achieved far more easily by other means. If you enjoy achieving your goals through the study of Aikido - well welcome to the club.

However, getting back to the Real World which is what this thread I tend to approach my martial arts training with a strong does of pragmatism which probably reflects my peers. Overtime I have come to appreciate the Do however, I have yet to meet one Japanese who came to the dojo looking to improve themselves, manage their anger, find harmony and fulfil the wide sort of spiritual options that western beginners often expect. There is one young lady that collects Do (chado, shodo, etc. and came to Aikido in search of a more physical variation), many that came for physical fitness, others for a group activity and, especially the young males, to learn how to fight.

In the latter case most, like myself, are not the I want to be the meanest thing on the street, but they do want to hold their own. I will say it very clearly that the fit young men that are a product of this particular dojo don't get challenged very often. They exude a level of confidence that removes them from consideration as an easy mark. It seems to me at least - that reduction of risk is worth the practice especially having seen some of these young men before they started. Does that confidence spill over into their daily lives? Yes it does and that is the nature of the Do.

Bruce Baker
06-21-2002, 07:16 AM
I am aware that many Japanese view martial arts as a means to protect themselves or hold their own, but it would seem they are enamoured with the European or westerners ability to use the spiritual side of martial art usually reserved for older men who retire partially from the working world.

I can not tell you how many times I have seen the young Aikido practitioners try to interpret something spiritual or mystical, and the Japanese instructor will get a funny look on his face and shake his head?

Are westerners more like Native Americans, mistakenly called Indians?

Love and hate are said to be the same emotion only an eye lash apart, is it the same way with practicallity and spirituality for those trying to percieve the secrets of martial arts?

Sorry to diverge from the subject.

I know that those who try to preach practicallity are subconcious believers in spirituality and vice-versa. How?

The same as I know that the emotions at either end of the scale are the imbalance of the opposite emotion causing extreme love to be the catalyst to hate, and hate to be the catalyst to love.

What the hell has this to do with awareness of Aikido in dangerous situations?

Balance of body, mind, and emotions (sometimes called spirit) are the key to keeping a clear head when reacting to any situation.

Remember that when you become enamoured with training, or a particular forum so you can find your balance to clearly assess the situation and react appropriatly.

SeiserL
06-21-2002, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by AskanisoN

This is one of the more memorable sites I came across while researching this topic. The entire site is worth a good read. ENJOY!
Scott
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/fightingfacts.html

Couldn't agree more. The "Animal" has some good words of wisdom, he has a great mailing list of truly humble reality folks, and is a "nice guy" (just don't tell him I said so).

Until again,

Lynn

Brian Vickery
06-21-2002, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by SeiserL


Couldn't agree more. The "Animal" has some good words of wisdom, he has a great mailing list of truly humble reality folks, and is a "nice guy" (just don't tell him I said so).

Until again,

Lynn

...I also frequent this site ...absolutely priceless info on self defense!

...I'm also a member of the 'Animal-List', which I encourage everyone/anyone interested in self defense to join. It's by invitation only, you must apply to be added to the list. The application is available at the website. The list is moderated with an iron fist ...but with the caliber of the folks posting there the moderator's rarely have to flex their muscles! I'd advise lurking on that list for a few months before adding your 2 cents!

Regards,

Harms
07-05-2002, 09:46 AM
One of my sensei Stina Durell used to recite three guidelines at the start of every practise session with tanto for what to do if ever faced by some one with a knife:
1. Run away. Knives are sharp.
2. Do not try to do a technique. Just use your reflexes to try and do the right thing. Reflexes har faster than a thought.
3. You last choice is to try and anticipate what he will do and use an appropriate technique.

I belive that this is what you should do in any situation. I belive we practise to learn reflexes and a way of moving not to learn a technique.

I know many who have used their aikido in real life but not allways the fighting aspects. To know how to fall and regain balance is the most common usage so I don't think it's something I don't use in the "Real world" (tm) :)

As for dancing, I belive that my moves on the dancefloor has improved because of aikido :)
/Tobias Harms

Abasan
07-05-2002, 10:55 AM
Closer to home, have you ever gotten an uke who's response to your technique is entirely unexpected? Maybe its just me. I've been so conditioned to expect what uke would do after executing a certain move, that when he does something unexpected like lunge at me with a shoulder tackle, I do not respond adequately. Maybe its how I've been training. I don't know about other aikidoka's...

At least in the dojo, there's always a second chance. Unlike in the real world... one encounter, one chance.

As for other activities are concern, aikido didn't help my dancing. I'm as crap as ever. But it sure did help my golf! :p

SlowLerner
10-16-2016, 04:23 AM
I think the problem here is a lot of people think reality is sport fighting, they don't understand real violence.

In reality you are going to have the odds stacked hard against you. You can train all you want at what ever flavour of the month martial art and you will just get beaten by someone who cheats with weapons or numbers.

Fighting is like trying to put a fire out with petrol. It just doesn't work in reality. You will either get your ass kicked or go to jail. There is no 'line' that gets crossed where you decide you can finally use your lethal martial art.
It's a continuum of escalation that you are either contributing to, or you aren't.
As if you are going to get the other guy to 'tap out' and he will shake your hand and say well done. He will just get you back later and 'cheat'.

What is required are techniques and strategy to allow you to escape. What is the point of jiyu waza? Is it to look cool and beat up a bunch of people at once? Fighting one person doesn't 'work' let alone a whole group of people.
I used to feel like I had failed when I didn't throw someone with a technique. But it's only failure if you consider that the goal. The goal should not be to fight and beat the other person, but to not get hit or grabbed yourself.

I used to question why Aikido doesn't have 1 on 1 randori, but now i believe it's because it doesn't make sense when you consider it this way. It doesn't make sense to test Aikido against other styles, because their rules dictate that you have to fight and beat them.

SlowLerner
10-17-2016, 06:20 AM
I also believe that if a martial art is to be considered self defense, the techniques need to be such that uke is unable to reach you with their other hand just in case they are carrying a weapon. This is one point that differentiates from sport oriented techniques. I hear people say, 'i'd just run away', but if the guy knows how to use it, you aren't going to see it.

Perhaps i'm being dramatic. :)

My greatest real world benefit in training Aikido is I find it demands all my focus. I don't have any brain power left to stress about work etc..

SlowLerner
10-17-2016, 07:20 AM
I think the problem here is a lot of people think reality is sport fighting, they don't understand real violence.
Just want to clarify, when I say 'here' I'm not referring to the people on this thread, but the topic itself. :)

lbb
10-17-2016, 09:05 AM
Just want to clarify, when I say 'here' I'm not referring to the people on this thread, but the topic itself. :)

Good, because the people on this thread wrote what they wrote 14 years ago.

SlowLerner
10-17-2016, 04:20 PM
LOL. Hence my username. :)

ninjedi
11-04-2016, 02:47 PM
Also good to keep the law in mind, even (especially?) when defending yourself.

You can win the fight, but still lose everything, including your freedom.