PDA

View Full Version : Aikido, Tai Chi & Street Fighting


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Yianie
02-12-2012, 09:54 PM
Hello everyone, I am new to Aikido and I really need some advice. I am a very athletic 52 yr male who is looking to learn self defense. I have come across a type of fighting from a web site called attack proof.com. No, I am not a member of this website, but after looking into what there about, they seem to believe that formal fighting martial arts do not work in a real street fights, where there is swinging arms, grappling, kicking.......Now I need to say that I am not looking to fight, but I do work in downtown Chicago, and I do walk at night in streets that have nearby allys. Anyway, after purchasing and watching these DVD's, they compare the similarities to martial (fighting) Tai Chi (pushing hands). Well, my commute to work is very far and so no one near me teaches combat Tie Chi, but after several monthes i found a location that teaches Aikido. Now, I do not mean any disrespect to those who study Aikido, but I was told that Aikido is very close to combat Tie Chi. But is this true? Does Aikido have rapidly deflecting arms, strikes, and the quick movements that can be seen on the attackproof.com website? Your help and understanding is greatly appreciated.

dps
02-12-2012, 10:52 PM
I would take a look at Tony Blauer's website for personal defense,

http://www.tonyblauer.com/4105/04_03_03_be_your_own_bodyguard.asp

He is connected with Crossfit that uses his training courses.

http://crossfit.com/

You can locate locations in Chicago here,

http://map.crossfit.com/

dps

robin_jet_alt
02-12-2012, 11:11 PM
What you describe sounds nothing like the majority of Aikido dojos, but a lot like wing chung. Do you have any wing chung in your area?

kewms
02-12-2012, 11:12 PM
Neither Aikido nor Tai Chi is particularly known as a street fighting art.

At the same time, even a very athletic 52 year old male is unlikely to be a match for two or three athletic 20 year olds, not with any level of training that you're likely to achieve in the short term. It might be a good idea to put some thought into exactly what kind of risk you are facing, and consider whether, say, a change in your commuting patterns might be a more effective form of risk reduction than martial arts training.

The Chicago police have what looks like a very helpful site, detailing crime statistics by neighborhood and type of crime: http://gis.chicagopolice.org/CLEARMap_crime_sums/startPage.htm

Which is not to say that you shouldn't study aikido. There are several excellent dojos in Chicago. But if your primary goal is to reduce your risk of crime, there are probably faster and more cost-effective alternatives.

Katherine

Tyson Walters
02-13-2012, 12:22 AM
I'd go train here... http://www.chicagoaikikai.org/

But thats just after a quick google search.

Seems the combination of Systema and Aikido in the same training location would be interesting.

sakumeikan
02-13-2012, 05:53 AM
Hello everyone, I am new to Aikido and I really need some advice. I am a very athletic 52 yr male who is looking to learn self defense. I have come across a type of fighting from a web site called attack proof.com. No, I am not a member of this website, but after looking into what there about, they seem to believe that formal fighting martial arts do not work in a real street fights, where there is swinging arms, grappling, kicking.......Now I need to say that I am not looking to fight, but I do work in downtown Chicago, and I do walk at night in streets that have nearby allys. Anyway, after purchasing and watching these DVD's, they compare the similarities to martial (fighting) Tai Chi (pushing hands). Well, my commute to work is very far and so no one near me teaches combat Tie Chi, but after several monthes i found a location that teaches Aikido. Now, I do not mean any disrespect to those who study Aikido, but I was told that Aikido is very close to combat Tie Chi. But is this true? Does Aikido have rapidly deflecting arms, strikes, and the quick movements that can be seen on the attackproof.com website? Your help and understanding is greatly appreciated.

Dear John,
By all; means try a martial art. I cannot comment on the content of the arts you indicate in your letter.Perhaps I may offer you some basic advice?1. Take care and be aware of any areas which have potential for sudden attack.Check out the lie of the land especially if you are unfamiliar with the territory.2. Body image and your overall posture should be positive.Usually anybody looking for a
victim is going to look for someone who seems to be vulnerable.So do not project an image of being a potential victim.3,If however your are subject to an attack or threat use your common sense.If a guy asks you for a wallet, and the cash inside is only a few bucks, use good judgement.You can always get more money , injury or being killed is a greater problem. 4. Avoid the conflict if possible, but if all else fails KEEP THINGS SIMPLE. A well placed kick can be of value.You may well decide to take a walking stick .This has the potential to be used as a weapon.5.Alter your routine , do not follow the same pattern if possible.6.Take a taxi [you might get a discount for this service for block bookings?]
Hope this helps, Cheers, Joe

Alic
02-13-2012, 06:35 AM
Don't use those DVD's and whatnot. These people are essentially taking small tidbits of knowledge from greater systems and cramming them into bite sized lessons in order to make money. I, being raised as a very traditional asian, cannot even think of trying to learn from such untested and unreliable sources. The traditional schools of both Tai Chi and Aikido offers so much more, and has such rich histories, that it would tantamount to insulting the arts to choose some website over it.

The thing you should know about both Tai Chi and Aikido is that they are some of the most complicated and powerful martial arts systems in the world. They are highly cerebral and technical, and requires years of dedicated training for it to start working as a self-defense form.

You must remember that in both Tai Chi and Aikido, you are essentially rebuilding yourself, in body and mind. You begin to make unnatural movements more natural to you, and in doing so, make the art your own. You also will learn how to control your fall, so that even when being struck down, you will still be able to get back up. Tai Chi and Aikido also shares the concept of spiral/helical motions, circular movements, and relaxing instead of resisting. In this way, it is highly counter-intuitive to natural instincts of fight and flight, and will require a long time to rewire your mind to accept them.

If you are looking for a method to defend yourself immediately, then Aikido is going to frustrate you, since you'll feel like it's not working. But stick with it and you'll see great results down the line. The same goes for Tai Chi, although it will probably require even more patience, seeing as they don't have a structured syllabus like Aikido do (I'm in Yoshinkan, and we have a very clear syllabus for what is essentially leveling up).

I guess what I'm trying to say is: if you aren't in any rush, stick to Aikido OR Tai Chi and they'll work great, as long as you put in enough time and effort. Things like learning from websites and DVD's instead of a real master will only make you feel overconfident about yourself, when in fact you wouldn't have put in enough training and conditioning to be capable of protecting yourself.

On a side note, if you got time and enough money to burn, and think you still got it at 52 (damn man, I'd love to be as in-shape as you when I'm there), check out the senshusei course from Yoshinkan when you have the chance. But you should be very sure of yourself before trying it; people puke and pass out during training :)

Marc Abrams
02-13-2012, 08:01 AM
Self Protection is always your best bet. Much of that involves proper preparation and very good situational awareness. If you have gotten to the point where you have to defend yourself, your chances of success diminish substantially.

The quickest and easiest way to effectively defend yourself is to get really good training in the personal use of a concealed handgun. Formal, martial arts training is a stylized means of fighting. It takes a long time for the body to adapt to a new movement system and even longer for it to respond to novel situations with a new movement system.

Self-defense courses seem to lack the all-important caveat that is contained within the subject matter of "the psychology of learning." After you have learned something, there is a brief period of time where that knowledge can be effectively utilized. There is then a steady drop-off to a point that is not that far above the baseline. Unless you are willing to consistently practice self-defense in a realistic, scenario-based training paradigm (like Tony Blauer's courses), then you will need to find something to bridge the gap between learning and effective utilization of martial arts skills.

In reality, proper self-protection is your best bet to mitigate the odds of you being a victim of a violent assault. If you are in a high-risk category, then you should be asking yourself why? and what can I do to make things safer. Traditional martial arts training has more to do about positive, personal transformation while making your world safer. It is a wonderful, but slow process.

Just my 2 cents.

Marc Abrams

Dan Hover
02-13-2012, 08:11 AM
Blauer is real good with the SPEAR System, but it is predicated on the concept that it is the bridge to your next move. So if you have no "next move" not much help in the big picture. Reread what Marc said and think about it. Martial arts are more about not fighting than they are about most other things.

NathanMishler
02-13-2012, 08:14 AM
I can only echo what everyone else has said here about self defense and Aikido's roll in it.

But, if you do decide to do aikido, I can heartily recommend Chicago Aikikai. Chote sensei is doing wonderful things up there and his students are top notch.

tlk52
02-14-2012, 09:21 AM
for an example of tai chi with a focus on fighting take a look at William C. C, Chen's site

"on self-defense training"

http://www.williamccchen.com/DOC6.htm

and

http://www.williamccchen.com/DOC_15.htm

kvnmcwebn
02-14-2012, 03:28 PM
The first most important thing is the skill of the teacher the second most important thing is how hard you train, after that comes the style you train in. As you are middle aged i think you are correct in looking at internal styles. Anyway if you want to study aikido but happen to be living next door to a real master of tai chi than study tai chi and vice versa.
As far as effectiveness in street fights I can't speak for aikido but I have studied tai chi chuan for about 15 years. Some styles of tai chi develop incredible speed and power, some don't. But it takes a long time. As you are middle agded it will take years not months to develop real power in tai chi. That is because the type of power you develop in tai chi has to be learned by progressing from relaxing the body, posture correction, a form, push hands, weapons practice etc - all of this before you learn applications. It is a linear progression, you can't really take many short cuts. Of course you would be more solid from the first couple classes but to use it effectively against say a western boxer you are talking years not months. Some branches of tai chi have techniques that most of us would never be able to learn unless we had a certain degree of talent and trained with a master daily for many years. So make sure that you find a practical style. Usually the quickest path the development of power is the chen style. you can look around on the web, but try different schools and teachers till you find one you like. The Dong lineage of the yang style is also very practical. Still if your looking to fight quick it's hard to beat western boxing, muay thai or jiu jitsu to get you up to speed fast.

edited to say that i agree with everything alic said. you are reprogramming your body. Years not months. And don't try and learn tai chi from a video, it's not possible at least till you have studied with a master for a couple years. Also if you were to practice tai chi really hard on your own you can damage your knees.

Kevin Leavitt
02-14-2012, 04:26 PM
Awesome Post Marc. Spot on.

Yianie
02-14-2012, 07:54 PM
Thank you everyone.

phitruong
02-14-2012, 08:10 PM
The Dong lineage of the yang style is also very practical.

yang also means hard. i am really biting my tongue on this one. :D

*sorry for taking this sideway. sorry so sorry *

kvnmcwebn
02-14-2012, 08:50 PM
yang also means hard. i am really biting my tongue on this one. :D

*sorry for taking this sideway. sorry so sorry *

bahaha. ;)

Yianie
02-15-2012, 08:00 AM
My I then ask why so many enjoy Aikido?

gates
02-15-2012, 08:29 AM
My I then ask why so many enjoy Aikido?

For me: because in part because there is no final destination, there is no end point.
You can never get bored. I enjoy the constant process of self improvement.

Being able to control aggression without harming the opponent is a lofty, idealistic and perhaps in reality somewhat unrealistic goal for most people.

Aikido has SO many facets SO many interpretations, often people within Aikido clash which is a shame as it is not a case of one is right and the other is wrong, well only in contrast to one another and not in reality.

What joy ! Striving to attain the unattainable !

gates
02-15-2012, 08:37 AM
Also.
My understanding is that Aikido like all martial arts teaches situational awareness, inner calm, reduces fear which reduces your chances of becomimg an obvious victim/target.
Even if somebody gets right up in your face, being calm with no fear (or less fear showing) knowing that the worst case scenario is not them hurting you it's you hurting (or killing) them somehow often means people just back down or calm down without having to actually fight. In this way it is very effective. Getting hung up on this or that technique for use in a particular unforeseen situation is a waste of time.

Don't get me wrong aikido can be lethal.

phitruong
02-15-2012, 08:46 AM
My I then ask why so many enjoy Aikido?

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12221

short answer - there isn't one.

Malicat
02-15-2012, 03:07 PM
My I then ask why so many enjoy Aikido?

I love the precision of Aikido. Techniques are ineffective, but then you figure out to move just a few centimeters, and all of the sudden the technique works beautifully. That second when you suddenly understand how to do the technique is amazing. Plus I really love being able to throw guys who are much larger than I am with little to no effort. :)

Additionally, not only is it a very effective martial art, but it is a great way to work on internal and spiritual growth. As I improve in Aikido, I also improve as a human being. My stress levels have gone down considerably since I started Aikido, and I actually haven't gotten sick since I started.

To me, Aikido is a perfect vehicle for self improvement. My fellow students and my teachers are my family.

--Ashley

Tyson Walters
02-15-2012, 08:48 PM
My I then ask why so many enjoy Aikido?

Its a whole bunch of different kinds of goodness all squished together.

Why don't you go watch or try out a class at Chicago Aikikai and report back here?

All the best,

TW

Janet Rosen
02-15-2012, 08:55 PM
yang also means hard. i am really biting my tongue on this one. :D

*sorry for taking this sideway. sorry so sorry *

Marital arts again, eh, Phi?:)

notdrock
02-16-2012, 08:41 PM
Hi,

I think the BIGGEST problem Westerners have in learning martial arts is that we take things literally. Let me explain in terms of the guitar:

When Westerners often learn, they pick up a guitar and learn chords so they can pump out their best songs. While this is a quick and satisfying way to learn, their skills, however, are very limited. This is the same for martial arts in the west where we want to learn "combat effective moves".

Yet look at the actual greatest guitar players in the world, and I mean actually great... they got to magnificent heights by learning the strings, then the notes, then the scales, then the scale variations, then the chords, then the arpegios etc... and when given a piece of music, their sound soars high like a bird! This is the same as Asian martial arts... they are about learning you body this way so when you are finally give a song to play (or a fight) you can be so skilled as to defeat your opponents without even hurting them, the highest aim of Martial Arts.

My advice: don't listen to "it's not combat effective". It's like Gershwin saying Mozart was rubbish.

The problem: A LOT of Asian schools of arts have lost their most foundational works and in doing such have become useless. Research the schools, get into the history books, check out lineages, and then practice all day every day in your grace towards others, the posture you maintain for yourself, the thoroughness of the martial training and regularity of it. If you need to drive 5 hours or fly overseas, do it! I have teachers in New York, Australia, Malaysia, France and China. So apart from getting amazing training, I get good Holidays too!

All the best :)