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dapidmini
05-26-2012, 11:34 AM
afaik, there are no spars or competition allowed in aikido. and I've always been taught to avoid fighting if possible. also, my Senseis have always taught us to become a compliant uke to some extent. but lately, I've been having this feeling that I can control anyone or any attacks that come in my direction.. that makes me get pissed of easier and I start to see other people as weaker or lower than me. I don't think that that's a good thing, right?

and also, I realize that resistance and openings in dojo and real life situations are quite different, no?

I know that aikido should be effective, not just looks pretty. I'm afraid that if I train in another MA, my not-so-good aikido would get messed up.. but do you think I should take up another martial art that would allow me to test my real self-defense ability?

Janet Rosen
05-26-2012, 02:43 PM
Why are you getting pissed off or making judgments about people if you KNOW that both them and you are essentially playing by your instructor's rules?
Maybe you are just not satisfied w/ training there and looking for something else?

Carsten Möllering
05-26-2012, 03:24 PM
Practice aikidō with people who are considerably more advanced than you are.
Practice aikidō with people who come from a different style or line or teacher.
Don't fight or compete with them. Just practice kihon no kata in the (more or less) compliant way which is typical in most dojo, no matter what style.

In this settings you will get a much more clearer view of your abilities within a few moments:
Not being able to control a sandan (if you are about shoden for example) or not being able to really control someone who is used to attack in slightly different way or is used to different way of ukemi helps to estimate one's own skills.

This at least is my experience.

graham christian
05-26-2012, 04:25 PM
That's nothing new, it's part of learning isn't it? Know where you are and progress. Or not.

Peace . G.

DW Ederer
05-26-2012, 04:35 PM
One of my students that was just about ready to test for 2nd kyu had these questions. He also had a strong wrestling back ground. He had a major trauma in life and as a result wanted to up the intensity of his training. He switched to a Brazilian Ju Jitsu school that also did a lot of MMA.

He initially fought a lot differently from them and his new instructor would compliment him on how aikido movement and some techniques were applied. As he moved up in the ranks and started competing in MMA the aikido somewhat fell away but he still moved better and responded a bit differently than most of his opponents.

After several years of BJJ training and some MMA bouts his thoughts are aikido at his former level is effective in many situations but not always the best way to go in a fight that you are really trying to win. He thinks he will come back to aikido as he ages or his injuries get the better of him. He did admit he wasn't a testament to all his BJJ training helping him not get injured - he had a broken nose, one black eye and was on crutches because someone "took out" his knee in a match. He was also missing a couple of teeth from a former bout.

Having watched some of their matches and training I'm pretty sure it's not worth the risk to me to step into the cage and see how I'd do against someone that trains to win fights.

aspen
05-30-2012, 05:54 PM
I think it's important while learning the techniques to cooperate so both can train and improve their aiki principle and the application of technique, but perhaps at some point it's time for uke to become less compliant and give tori something more closely relating to the kind of energy they're going to get in an attack from a different style. Perhaps an arrested center from a karate based style, a locking hold from a grappling style, or kicks. I don't imagine this kind of training would be appropriate for beginning students, but perhaps for more intermediate and advanced students? It would seem like an important progression for our application of aiki principles.

lbb
05-31-2012, 08:31 AM
I know that aikido should be effective, not just looks pretty. I'm afraid that if I train in another MA, my not-so-good aikido would get messed up.. but do you think I should take up another martial art that would allow me to test my real self-defense ability?

In a word, no. Another martial art isn't going to allow you to test your "real self-defense ability", because it isn't going to present you with real self-defense situations, any more than aikido does. There are good and valid reasons for training in another style, but that isn't one of them.

The only approaches to self-defense that make sense to me are:

1) Make a reasoned judgment of the specific self-defense situations that you are most likely to encounter, and train for those scenarios. Be realistic. Don't train for scenes out of your favorite martial arts movie. If the most likely "self-defense" situation you're likely to run into is a belligerent drunk sports fan in a bar, or an angry co-worker, don't train for fantasy scenarios of multiple attackers with exotic weapons in a dark alley.

2) Alternately, train in the general skills that help keep people safe in many situations. That's things like situational awareness, de-escalating confrontations, conditioning, running, staying out of trouble, and knowing where to go for help. And, of course, martial arts techniques help, as well as good body movement and so on, but you can get that from many styles. There's really nothing magic about kotegaeshi vs. a Muay Thai shin kick, or vice versa.

Using the analogy of tools in the tool box, there's a saying, "If your only tool is a hammer, you'll see every problem as a nail." Well, if you know your problem IS a nail, you might as well get the most awesome hammer out there (that's #1 above). But, if you're getting worried that you might run into other problems, I'd advise against buying a dozen different tools, each of which is sort of flimsy and not good quality.

Benjamin Green
05-31-2012, 10:37 AM
afaik, there are no spars or competition allowed in aikido. and I've always been taught to avoid fighting if possible. also, my Senseis have always taught us to become a compliant uke to some extent. but lately, I've been having this feeling that I can control anyone or any attacks that come in my direction.. that makes me get pissed of easier and I start to see other people as weaker or lower than me. I don't think that that's a good thing, right?

and also, I realize that resistance and openings in dojo and real life situations are quite different, no?

I know that aikido should be effective, not just looks pretty. I'm afraid that if I train in another MA, my not-so-good aikido would get messed up.. but do you think I should take up another martial art that would allow me to test my real self-defense ability?

In my experience the best predators look like sheep.

A good human reaction time is around a quarter of a second. A good boxer punches between 20-30mph - giving you something slightly less than a tenth of a second to get out of the way at typical boxing ranges. It gets worse as they get closer.

The only way you can keep up with that sort of speed is to twig what's gonna happen before the attack is actually on its way. And most people just aren't that aware to begin with. If his first move is to get in close and his second move is to escalate the situation as quickly as possible, then chances are you're going to lose. You need a set of skills somewhat more extensive than a fondness for the old fisticuffs to deal with that sort of threat. You need to be able to read situations and people.

There are people that are fairly easy to handle in a straight up fight who will never give you the opportunity to fight them that way. Even if you see them coming, if you let them know you've seen them coming they just give it the brush off. Fights, at least with that sort of person, are what happens when you both think you've got the upper hand and you both happen to be wrong.

It's very easy to confuse fighting and self defence, and they're not the same thing at all. Fighting, especially with bare hands, is a very small part of the use of force spectrum. And the use of force spectrum is a very small part of a much wider topic of how you deal with some fairly messed up people. Which is itself a small part of general social interactions.

So if you want to test your ability to fight - by all means, get a couple of mates and knock the hell out of each other in a garage or something. But it's not quite the same thing as learning to be safe. If you want to do that, don't go walking around dangerous areas and making passes at other people's girls - that sort of thing :p

Dan Richards
06-03-2012, 10:42 AM
Digging a well - the source of all life - is not done by digging a bunch of different shallow holes. It's done by staying with the hole you started. And to keep digging and digging - until you hit the water.

The water source you're seeking is inside of you.

Kevin Leavitt
06-03-2012, 03:24 PM
Or u can find someone who knows a little bit more about how to find water than u do. It may be that u never had to dig that well. Its not digging the well that matters but the end state of getting water. There are a lot of people out there blindly digging wells in the same desert yet the hole never produces water, but they continue to sit anyway. I say don't get emotionally invested in the hole you are digging. Better to look around and see who has water and figure out how to get the water from them.

Rupert Atkinson
06-03-2012, 05:09 PM
afaik, there are no spars or competition allowed in aikido. and I've always been taught to avoid fighting if possible.

I know that aikido should be effective, not just looks pretty. I'm afraid that if I train in another MA, my not-so-good aikido would get messed up.. but do you think I should take up another martial art that would allow me to test my real self-defense ability?

I my Aikido, I have always wanted to test it with my partner, and as soon as you test it, it becomes competitive, and I don't care about that. It's one avenue of learning - and the more you fail, the more you learn. It's common sense, to me anyway.

Yes, you should go and learn something to compliment your Aikido. You know you should, because that is why you asked the question !

aspen
06-03-2012, 06:30 PM
Isn't trying to connect, blend, and lead the offered energy a kind of 'test' or competition? (i.e. will I manifest aiki when presented with this 'attack' or will I allow myself to be hypnotized by my fight/flight stress response?) It seems like there are always opportunities to 'test' our Aiki..

Rupert Atkinson
06-03-2012, 09:12 PM
The only way to deal with your fight/flight response is to deal with in in practical terms. Create a situation - stress - and learn to deal with it. Aikido is just too easy most times.

Dan Richards
06-04-2012, 11:43 AM
...but lately, I've been having this feeling that I can control anyone or any attacks that come in my direction.. that makes me get pissed of easier and I start to see other people as weaker or lower than me. I don't think that that's a good thing, right?

David, I'd say that your feeling of control against attacks is definitely moving in the right direction. Allow that feeling to grow. Because ultimately, you don't need to control anything. It's the attackers energy returning to them.

It's the "pissed off" thing you might want to take a look at. Are you pissed off that all this is actually easier than you might have thought at one point? It could be that the pissed off part is just your ego thinking that it somehow needs to be working harder. That is power at the ego level. aka "personal power."

You are, in fact, starting to see how effortless all this is. Go with that. Let that grow more. That's you becoming less resistant. Another term for non-resistance is "power." But it's not ego power. It's universal power - which is intrinsic to everyone and everything at all times.

At the first stage you're learning "self defense." But you've started to discover that there is no self, and there is nothing to defend. Another term for that is "freedom." Keep moving towards that...

I posted this article in another thread, but it seems suitable here, too.
http://www.pastornet.net.au/response/articles/133.htm

aspen
06-04-2012, 12:32 PM
The only way to deal with your fight/flight response is to deal with in in practical terms. Create a situation - stress - and learn to deal with it. Aikido is just too easy most times.

I find plenty of meaningful opportunities to work with my stress response within the context of my Aikido training. Sure, I might not be tempted (most days) to resort to my domination based strategies, but I can certainly feel the temptation of the habituated fear/stress response. In time, as my inner peace has a more solid foundation, I could see turning up the volume on the environmental stress, but I think I've still got plenty of work to do just noticing the more subtle stress responses that I've either normalized or ignored over the years.

If others are on a different place in their journey, then power to them.

BJohnston
06-14-2012, 07:38 PM
I've been training in Aikido 2 1/2 years. I'm incredibly fortunate to have a great dojo where I live. Especially since I live in a pretty unpopulated part of the world. One thing that I've notice since my begining is how training changes over time. In the begining we are just trying understand basic techniques. Ukemi is usually quite sloppy and usually not very martial. With sincere training, as you progress you start understanding how important the Ukemi is to how you react and apply techniques. My Sensei and Sempais don't stand for poor Ukemi. Remember the Uke your trying to stay alive. It does nobody any good if you perform dead Ukemi.

Let me also say we've recently been working on Aikido in spontaneous situations...Randori and other forms of training. You'll notice that your aikido in a "real world" type situation is quite different. There is no time to think. You just react...and react with the training you've been given with the tools that you've been given at this point in your Aikido career. I'm telling you right now if you wanna know how your aikido is shaping up do some light sparring. It'll open your eyes. What I've found is that I have quite a long way to go. I believe that if we approach our training with sincerity we can achieve beautiful technique within the moment. I remember a story about O'Sensei being upset with one of his students for winning a fight ...apprently it didn't look pretty enough to the eye:). Also remember that the art of Aikido is such a more difficult art to master. It's easy to measure success while punching someone in the face. It's much more difficult trying to defend and blend with an attack. You've got to practice with an intensity and intent.

Good luck with your training.

B

Chris Parkerson
06-14-2012, 09:46 PM
There is a form of learning called the Crazy Teachings in India. Rajneesh (Osho) was a recent example of it's embodiment.
He believed that if you are angry, express it rather than try to suppress it. Soon you will see it, too, is an illusion.

In the 1950's and 1960's - the good old days when guys like Gene Labell and Hal Von Luebbert were questioning themselves similarly as you are, they would likely "troll" at a bar. That is, wear a diamond or two, or perhaps flash a wad of cash while pretending to be drunk. Someone will become your huckleberry. The rest of the story is up to you.

Of course, the crazy teachings aren't for everyone. But.....

: )

Chris

davoravo
06-15-2012, 04:03 PM
If you are young and strong aikido may not be burning enough physical energy for you. You could try doing 100 squats, 50 sit ups and 50 press ups before class and every morning

Something that has really opened my eyes has been going to a Kung Fu class where we held punching mitts and kicking pads for each other. Previously I had no appreciation how hard a trained martial artist can really hit. It was a big lesson in humility and there is no way I would even contemplate getting into a real fight now (not that I have ever got into any fights in 10 years of training).

I suggest finding a friend with some kicking pads. get him to show you how hard he punches and kicks. Be prepared for a shock.