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Ramon
07-15-2014, 12:07 PM
Okay, I get it.
Hard is soft as soft is hard as neither is either as I am he as you are he as you are me as we are all together....
Now that we've gotten the metaphysics out the way, I would appreciate a straightforward answer to a straightforward question.
Which of these two styles is better for strictly self-defense pruposes?
1. Iwama Ryu
2. A style (not sure of the name) heavily influenced by the Vanadis Dojo of Stockholm Sweden under Jan Nevelius.

Thanks,
Ramon

Janet Rosen
07-15-2014, 12:41 PM
Depends entirely on the individual instructor. I'm sorry, but that really is the answer.

NagaBaba
07-15-2014, 12:53 PM
Okay, I get it.
Hard is soft as soft is hard as neither is either as I am he as you are he as you are me as we are all together....
Now that we've gotten the metaphysics out the way, I would appreciate a straightforward answer to a straightforward question.
Which of these two styles is better for strictly self-defense pruposes?
1. Iwama Ryu
2. A style (not sure of the name) heavily influenced by the Vanadis Dojo of Stockholm Sweden under Jan Nevelius.

Thanks,
Ramon
Aikido was not created for self-defense purposes. You should search another activity to achieve this goal.

philipsmith
07-15-2014, 01:00 PM
Aikido was not created for self-defense purposes. You should search another activity to achieve this goal.

Really?

Surely the fundamental mechanical purpose of any martial art is self-defence/combat.

Of course Aikido evolves from this basic concept but that's where it starts
(Apologies for the thread drift)

Style doesn't matter - instructor and students attitude does

NagaBaba
07-15-2014, 01:33 PM
Really?

Surely the fundamental mechanical purpose of any martial art is self-defence/combat.

Of course Aikido evolves from this basic concept but that's where it starts
(Apologies for the thread drift)

Style doesn't matter - instructor and students attitude does

Really.
O sensei changed basic mechanics of daito ryu techniques by creating multiple openings to allow developing his spiritual concepts. That’s one reason.

Another one, self defense/combat implies real skills in street fighting. No aikido style teach fighting any nature, not even sparring (which should be first step to get real skills in fighting against countering opponent, second would be go to the street and get real fight to test your skills…)

Cliff Judge
07-15-2014, 02:25 PM
Really.
O sensei changed basic mechanics of daito ryu techniques by creating multiple openings to allow developing his spiritual concepts. That's one reason.

Another one, self defense/combat implies real skills in street fighting. No aikido style teach fighting any nature, not even sparring (which should be first step to get real skills in fighting against countering opponent, second would be go to the street and get real fight to test your skills…)

Well, Daito ryu did not teach fighting either.

Carsten Möllering
07-15-2014, 03:18 PM
... style (not sure of the name) heavily influenced by the Vanadis Dojo of Stockholm Sweden under Jan Nevelius.Jan is shihan of the aikikai and a student of Endō Seishiro sensei. There is no "extra style": It's simply aikikai.

kewms
07-15-2014, 03:51 PM
What sort of self-defense situation(s) do you have in mind?

Real world scenarios range from drunk family members all the way up to mentally ill people with assault rifles. Each situation carries different risks and demands different strategies, so the question is pointless unless you tell us what you're defending against.

Katherine

Ramon
07-15-2014, 03:51 PM
I hope Nagababa is wrong. Otherwise, why not just take up Ballroom Dancing?

reza.n
07-15-2014, 04:15 PM
I think it depends on so many factors.
You asked a "logical" question and you want a "logical" answer, but the real answer must be based on "psychological" basis. All those situations that you have in your mind are "psychological" related things. mix the logical and psychological aspects and find the proper stance.

Ramon
07-15-2014, 04:43 PM
You know, this is exactly what I thought would happen. People who've never had a belligerent, red-faced jerk in their face threatening to take their head off. If you are one of these people, please don't bother responding. I've never had a problem dealing with drunk friends or family members, and spare me the condescending scenarios about psychos with assault rifles. I suspect no marial art can stop a bullet. I'll ask the question again? Iwama Ryu or Aikikai for self-defense--and only people who know what physical violence is like need reply.

kewms
07-15-2014, 04:54 PM
I think it's pretty insulting to assume that people you've never met don't know anything just because their responses don't conform to your stereotypes.

A friend of mine was murdered by a drunk family member. Assuming that such are easy to deal with demonstrates just how little *you* know about violence.

Even if we limit ourselves to belligerent jerks, the answer isn't so easy. Are there witnesses? Does he have friends? A weapon?

Katherine

Ramon
07-15-2014, 05:07 PM
Then why in God's name did you say that "real world scenarios range from drunken family members
to mentally ill people with assault rifles"? It is clear that you were implying a range with drunken family members being on the low-end of the violence spectrum.

Michael Hackett
07-15-2014, 05:13 PM
Anthony,

Now that you've set certain parameters to your question, here's a few thoughts:

Janet was absolutely right - your ability to learn self-defense DOES depend on the teacher and the dojo. It really doesn't matter what art you study, or what style of a particular art. The dojo is the actual key to your quest. If you choose a "dancing hall" type of dojo, you will learn dancing and very little self-defense.

Any "style" of aikido will provide you with a variety of skills for self-defense, but generally speaking, it will take you a long time to become proficient and capable. That is why Robert Koga Sensei took from the aikido curriculum years ago to create what he called "Practical Aikido" and developed what has become the foundation of modern police defensive tactics. The late Koga Sensei understood that aikido worked just fine for those who practiced regularly, but for those who needed to learn something now and apply it, it wasn't the best course of study. Essentially he took all the subtle movement out of the art and made it very simple, direct, and harsh.

So, if you want to be effective at protecting yourself from the proverbial red-faced jerk, plan on training regularly for a considerable period of time with an instructor who is inclined to teach in that direction.

In most dojo you will learn about situational awareness and that the best course of action is to be somewhere other than where the fight is going to take place.

You also need to learn the laws of self-defense for your area. They differ from state to state and what is acceptable in one location is criminal conduct in another. Maybe your instructor will be up to speed on the laws of NOLA, and maybe he won't. It would be in your interest to actually find out or you could find yourself in serious legal trouble.

You specifically asked whether Iwama or Aikikai style is best for self-defense and the answer is truly they are both excellent and they are both worthless for street fighting kinds of situations. I'm confident that you won't be satisfied with this answer, but I believe I've given you an accurate picture, and I did it with far more words than Janet did. Please don't discount the contributors here lightly - some of them know what they are talking about. Yeah, Janet is a Left Coast gal, but she has been doing the art for years, comes from a violent place in the east and has been working with violent and sometimes mentally ill people for a career. She was telling you straight, as I hope I have.

Good luck with your training, whatever you choose.

kewms
07-15-2014, 05:17 PM
Then why in God's name did you say that "real world scenarios range from drunken family members
to mentally ill people with assault rifles"? It is clear that you were implying a range with drunken family members being on the low-end of the violence spectrum.

See, that's my point, which you still seem to be missing. "Real self defense" is a lot more complicated than some random bozo in a bar, and so there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Katherine

Ramon
07-15-2014, 05:32 PM
Michael,

I had no problem with Janet's response, so if you're still out there, Janet, my remarks were not intended toward you or any others who responded courteously.

Ramon
07-15-2014, 05:37 PM
Yeah, Ok. Thanks for your input.

tenshinaikidoka
07-16-2014, 12:47 AM
I'd say it completely depends on the instructor and what the atmosphere of the dojo is. Bottom line is go to a dojo and watch how they do things. There is no good answer regarding a "style", every teacher has a different interpretation on how to apply things. Yoshinkan is a lot more martial and may be the option your looking for. I wish you the best.

Carsten Möllering
07-16-2014, 12:47 AM
Jan is very competent about using aikidō for self defence. And Vanadis dōjō provides people to really work on that. Also there are people who teach Daitō ryū and Jujutsu to practice with.

Jan does not teach aikidō as a means of self defence.

The question "wich style, i.e. iwama ryū or aikikai ..." doesn't make any sense to me.
It's about the experience of the teacher, about what and how he decides to teach.

But ...
... most of all it is about my/our perception of life. And about developping our personality.
At least that is my experience. And I think there is a whole lot to learn about these two aspects in the specific aikikai dōjō in your town, you ar talking about. ;)
But I think, you might not find there, what you are looking for.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-16-2014, 01:38 AM
Iwama Ryu or Aikikai for self-defense--and only people who know what physical violence is like need reply.

Hello

, I would appreciate a straightforward answer to a straightforward question.
Which of these two styles is better for strictly self-defense pruposes?
1. Iwama Ryu
2. A style (not sure of the name) heavily influenced by the Vanadis Dojo of Stockholm Sweden under Jan Nevelius.

Thanks,
Ramon

The straightforward answer: Iwama style.

Anyway, both styles are very poor as self defense methods. If you are looking for self defense skills, Aikido (doesn't matter which style) is the wrong place to go.

sakumeikan
07-16-2014, 03:26 AM
Hello

The straightforward answer: Iwama style.

Anyway, both styles are very poor as self defense methods. If you are looking for self defense skills, Aikido (doesn't matter which style) is the wrong place to go.

Dear Demetrio,
Why dont the people asking questions about styles realise the following truths?It is not about styles its about the ability/attitude/fighting spirit of the person.Any guy I ever met who could handle themselves had determination, focus,were mentally tough and prepared for battle[ no plastic warriors].Some trained in judo, karate/aikido, some were natural tough nuts.No system can turn a rabbit into a lion. Even after years of training some people will never be capable fighters.For these people the learning process should be focused on awareness training/defusing potential conflict etc.In fact this option is in many ways much better than resorting to fisticuffs.Better to have a clever quip to defuse tension than to receive a clip on the chin.A punch on the nose does nothing for ones classic profile, methinks.
Cheers, Joe.

PeterR
07-16-2014, 04:21 AM
Dear Demetrio,
Why dont the people asking questions about styles realise the following truths?It is not about styles its about the ability/attitude/fighting spirit of the person.Any guy I ever met who could handle themselves had determination, focus,were mentally tough and prepared for battle[ no plastic warriors].Some trained in judo, karate/aikido, some were natural tough nuts.No system can turn a rabbit into a lion. Even after years of training some people will never be capable fighters.For these people the learning process should be focused on awareness training/defusing potential conflict etc.In fact this option is in many ways much better than resorting to fisticuffs.Better to have a clever quip to defuse tension than to receive a clip on the chin.A punch on the nose does nothing for ones classic profile, methinks.
Cheers, Joe.

You may call me big bunny.

Training can instill a mental and physical toughness but it has to be geared towards that and as for fighting that only way to get good at it is to do it. And as Joe mentioned natural ability has to be there to draw out.

For the same reason Joe mentioned I have to laugh at those who claim that karate, judo, TKD will produce better fighters. Doing any of those will not make you a fighter - that has to come from within and has to be tested and practiced constantly under conditions as close to fighting as you can get. Want that get yourself to a boxing gym and get into the ring, compete don't just spar.

No style of aikido including the more self defense orientated Yoshinkan offer that. Some dojo do a better job at instilling the mental and physical toughness than others but that is as far as it goes.

Ramon
07-16-2014, 06:07 AM
Jeez, you people do have a firm grasp of the obvious. After all, who would have thought that natural ability, toughness, determination, etc. would be important attributes for a fighter?
The problem is no one was speaking of becoming a professional fighter or even vying for the title of Bad Bully on the Block. It was simply a question of the efficacy of Aikido as a means of self-defense, which doesn't seem to much to ask from an activity that calls itself a "martial" art. Then again, maybe you pay your monthly dues and attend classes to work on your clever quips.

PeterR
07-16-2014, 06:47 AM
Jeez, you people do have a firm grasp of the obvious. After all, who would have thought that natural ability, toughness, determination, etc. would be important attributes for a fighter?
The problem is no one was speaking of becoming a professional fighter or even vying for the title of Bad Bully on the Block. It was simply a question of the efficacy of Aikido as a means of self-defense, which doesn't seem to much to ask from an activity that calls itself a "martial" art. Then again, maybe you pay your monthly dues and attend classes to work on your clever quips.

No we foolishly respond to a loaded question. Somehow I am sure you already know the answer.

Find a dojo that trains for self defense. That could easily be an aikido dojo or something else. People gave you good advice for what to look for - and yes its pretty obvious. Why again are you asking?
I mean if its so obvious.

Ramon
07-16-2014, 07:00 AM
Apologies, PeterR
You're right.
I think I'll retire from this site before I make an even bigger fool of myself.
Best of luck

Adam Huss
07-16-2014, 10:03 AM
Look how much fun we're all having!

sakumeikan
07-16-2014, 01:10 PM
Jeez, you people do have a firm grasp of the obvious. After all, who would have thought that natural ability, toughness, determination, etc. would be important attributes for a fighter?
The problem is no one was speaking of becoming a professional fighter or even vying for the title of Bad Bully on the Block. It was simply a question of the efficacy of Aikido as a means of self-defense, which doesn't seem to much to ask from an activity that calls itself a "martial" art. Then again, maybe you pay your monthly dues and attend classes to work on your clever quips.

Hi Anthony,
I do not need to pay monthly subs to polish up my quips witty or otherwise.since I do not pay any dues monthly or weekly.All I have to do is read articles on this forum .i guess you missed the point I was hoping to make, namely its the person not the art which determines whether or not you win the day or not.Cheers, Joe

sorokod
07-16-2014, 01:55 PM
Really.
O sensei changed basic mechanics of daito ryu techniques by creating multiple openings to allow developing his spiritual concepts. That's one reason.

Another one, self defense/combat implies real skills in street fighting. No aikido style teach fighting any nature, not even sparring (which should be first step to get real skills in fighting against countering opponent, second would be go to the street and get real fight to test your skills…)

Hi Szczepan

I can you give some examples of those openings you mentioned?

NagaBaba
07-16-2014, 02:48 PM
Hi Szczepan

I can you give some examples of those openings you mentioned?

As O sensei was able to read intent of attacker, he still allowed attacker to fully deploy physically his attack to display his deep compassion to the attacker. Instead he could simply end interaction immediately, before materialization of the attack. We inherited it as a form (with some noble exceptions in Iwama), where nage somehow is waiting for the attack like a sheep to a wolf attack…

On more mundane level, ikkyo pin was changed in the way there is no more hyperextension of the elbow that leads to breaking it, no more kick into the ribs and no more cutting neck from above, no more legs are used to control structure of attacker…………attackers body, while lying on the floor is aligned differently(his structure is not locked anymore)….all these opening allows attacker(with no martial skills!!!) very easily rolling out of the pin in any moment of control process….because in reality there is no control based on the physical body locking…

All techniques which have throws, where attacker can safely roll out or do high flying break falls…this is a clear opening, again to express compassion and love…shihonage, where instead of breaking attacker elbow on your shoulder, you continue to turn, to fold his arm the way he can safely receive a throw…

These are only very few examples…

Cliff Judge
07-16-2014, 03:33 PM
As O sensei was able to read intent of attacker, he still allowed attacker to fully deploy physically his attack to display his deep compassion to the attacker. Instead he could simply end interaction immediately, before materialization of the attack. We inherited it as a form (with some noble exceptions in Iwama), where nage somehow is waiting for the attack like a sheep to a wolf attack…

On more mundane level, ikkyo pin was changed in the way there is no more hyperextension of the elbow that leads to breaking it, no more kick into the ribs and no more cutting neck from above, no more legs are used to control structure of attacker…………attackers body, while lying on the floor is aligned differently(his structure is not locked anymore)….all these opening allows attacker(with no martial skills!!!) very easily rolling out of the pin in any moment of control process….because in reality there is no control based on the physical body locking…

All techniques which have throws, where attacker can safely roll out or do high flying break falls…this is a clear opening, again to express compassion and love…shihonage, where instead of breaking attacker elbow on your shoulder, you continue to turn, to fold his arm the way he can safely receive a throw…

These are only very few examples…

Some groups study how to connect with uke before contact and take his balance before or at contact, but I agree with your general description of the change in the nature of techniques.

I am not sure if it is a side effect, but opening the techniques up as you describe allows for more dynamic execution and allows for safely training without adherence to formal kata - i.e. you can suddenly change techniques and not worry about suddenly killing your training partner.

This more free-form practice that encourages changing technique to changing circumstances is, I think, generally better for self-defense applications. You don't really need to lock someone's body unless you are trying to restrain them, whereas the ability to feel openings and adapt smootly should aid you if you are trying to escape an encounter quickly.

But I don't think Osensei really meant for Aikido to be a "martial art" of the same type as Daito ryu. I think by the time of the Asahi film he already envisioned a modern budo that was more about giving people a way to cultivate a particular type of virtue.

Ramon
07-16-2014, 04:40 PM
Hey Joe,
I'd like to extend my apologies to you as well. Me and my big mouth.
Anthony

Ellis Amdur
07-16-2014, 06:11 PM
The same old discussion gets lost in the same old weeds, and that's unfortunate.... because so often the OP is almost belittled for asking a question that is quite reasonable. For example, if I were to decide to study karate, I'd really want to know if, for example, Shotokan's deep stances would enhance or impair my ability to slip a punch, or if Wado-ryu's jujutsu was actually an effective assemblage of techniques. I've cited the story before, but I remember when a sincere guy asked Nidai Doshu when his father became a pacifist, and Doshu cracked up and said, "My father was never a pacifist," and of all things told a story of himself being beaten up by a much bigger foreign kid from one of the local embassy's and his father coming running out to defend him and slipping in the mud in a fine kimono and hakama . . .
1. First of all, I do not agree with the premise that O-sensei crafted aikido away from self-defense - or that it's so regarded. Doshu, in his historical books, proudly recounts such stalwarts as Shirata taking on all comers. It's well known that Saito-sensei fought a lot as a young man... the list could go on - a number of the 60's 70's generation of Aikikai shihan come to mind. Even in modern times - people came to the Aikikai Honbu with challenges to fight - and they were NOT sent away with a demurral - rather, they were invited up to the fourth floor dojo and they got what they requested. A fight. Which, as far as all the stories I know, the visitors lost. I dunno how things are now, thought.
2. Joe, with respect, I think there is more to this question than the fight is in the man, not the technique. The stories of superior armaments, superior tactics, as well as superior technique permeate the history of war (ask the Romans about the Parthian shot). If one trains incessantly on a methodology with holes in it, all the spirit in the world will not avail against someone with equal spirit. Is it merely the guy with less heart that loses in the boxing ring or MMA . . .or a street fight?
3. There's no doubt that aikido has lots of (self-imposed) limitations, both technical as Szczepan mentions, and methodological (training methods). Still, if one chooses to study a martial art - aikido - and is concerned about it's value for self-defense, isn't it a legitimate question to ask what fighting skills a particular methodology enhances and what fighting skills it may impede? I don't know enough about what Endo sensei is doing nor any of his students these days to offer an opinion. But lets take Iwama aikido, just to show how an evaluation might be made. (without the obvious, like there is no ground technique like BJJ or leg kicks like muay thai).
Positive traits: Power oriented - Iwama practitioners get physically strong and tough. Toughness building - the training methodology, gripping hard, accepting sometimes really painful techniques, withstanding techniques unless the throw or lock is effective make a tough individual, who knows s/he can take some punishment. Wide technical repertoire - a lot of different techniques can make someone well-rounded and adaptable. Negative traits - No really effective freestyle component (randori is often of the tumbling uke variety). Static training - Too many people, including teachers, imitate Saito sensei's teaching style where he broke things down into components, rather than his technical expression where he really did have flow and power in one.
I could continue with this, but I think one can see my point. Yes, we have the meta-questions: psychological disturbance, weapons, cultural traits, etc., which can blur or confuse the original question beyond recovery--but there is still the possibility of a consideration of the basic methodology and how it can enhance the following traits (not inclusive, but off the top of my head): intent, toughness, adaptability, training in combative spacing, hand-eye coordination training, endurance, effective techniques themselves, survival on one's feet and the ground, footwork on rough ground (sure-ashi may not be the best training for "the street"). etc. And as for me as a teacher, such questions should be welcome. Considering the art portion of this martial art, it's like going up to a musician at a club and asking, "Do you know the song "Mack the Knife?" And the answer should be, "I'm not sure, but hum a few bars and we'll see." If nothing else, one will find out the limitations of one's knowledge (or ala Joe, one's spirit).

Ellis Amdur
07-16-2014, 06:40 PM
too late to edit - "suri-ashi," not sure-ashi in my last post.

JP3
07-16-2014, 06:51 PM
Whichever style the person sticks with the longest, trains the longest with the bestest, and thinkingest the mostest aboutest.

You get out what you put in.

sakumeikan
07-17-2014, 12:27 AM
Hey Joe,
I'd like to extend my apologies to you as well. Me and my big mouth.
Anthony

Dear Anthony,
Since I was not offended by your comments no need to apologise.For my part I sometimes get a bit fed up when people keep asking whether aikido is martial /effective etc.Some aikidoka are capable of inflicting serious pain if the situation warrants it.Most aikidoka imo are generally people who try to act in a peaceful, friendly manner .Hope you are well, Cheers, Joe

philipsmith
07-17-2014, 05:51 AM
As usual Ellis puts my point across more eloquently -the arts limitations are through its practitioners and teachers not the art itself.

MRoh
07-17-2014, 09:39 AM
Okay, I get it.
Hard is soft as soft is hard as neither is either as I am he as you are he as you are me as we are all together....
Now that we've gotten the metaphysics out the way, I would appreciate a straightforward answer to a straightforward question.
Which of these two styles is better for strictly self-defense pruposes?
1. Iwama Ryu
2. A style (not sure of the name) heavily influenced by the Vanadis Dojo of Stockholm Sweden under Jan Nevelius.

Thanks,
Ramon

It ist said that one should not sacrifice an action for a style.

So why discuss styles? Styles are mostly confused with teaching methodology.
As I understand, in Iwama-ryu the main emphasis is on the technical basics, whereas Endo sensei has the focal point on contact and kuzushi.
To get the whole, there are other important things to learn. Neither by training in traditional Iwama-style nor by following Endo sensei's method you will achieve real fighting skills in the foreseeable future.
But under specific conditions (that means if you have a teacher who understands this things and can explain them to you) you can develop the bodily condition and the technical basics, which are the requirements. This depends on the teacher, not on the "style".
To learn how to fight is another story.

Ellis Amdur
07-17-2014, 01:41 PM
Philip - I may have been eloquent, but perhaps not clear. Of course, there are problems with the practitioner and with the teacher--but there are problems with the "art" as well. BJJ, which was, for a brief time, almighty in the ring environment, is now "not enough," because strikers and wrestlers have found holes in the art. Given that there is, without a doubt, an "Iwama style," or a "Yamaguchi-style" - or a Yoshinkan, it is legit to look at what they teach and what they don't. And in addition to all the other reasons to do aikido, it's fair to ask if a martial art has martial virtue--and that goes for specific styles. I can think of a number of styles where they teach "atemi," that are not "hitting body" - the body is not integrated to hit, and they do not even line up with the proper angle (and if you do things more correctly from a perspective of good atemi, you are "corrected").

Ellis Amdur

Michael Douglas
07-17-2014, 02:25 PM
...Then again, maybe you pay your monthly dues and attend classes to work on your clever quips.
Did someone steal your magic pants?

NagaBaba
07-17-2014, 03:53 PM
1. First of all, I do not agree with the premise that O-sensei crafted aikido away from self-defense - or that it's so regarded. Doshu, in his historical books, proudly recounts such stalwarts as Shirata taking on all comers. It's well known that Saito-sensei fought a lot as a young man... the list could go on - a number of the 60's 70's generation of Aikikai shihan come to mind. Even in modern times - people came to the Aikikai Honbu with challenges to fight - and they were NOT sent away with a demurral - rather, they were invited up to the fourth floor dojo and they got what they requested. A fight. Which, as far as all the stories I know, the visitors lost. I dunno how things are now, thought..

I don’t want to redirect this discussion to purely theoretical level, but what exactly is your definition of ‘self-defense’? From example you provided, looks like you talk here about competitive fight, where two opponents meet at given time and place, then probably with some witnesses proceed to fight, again very probably with some ‘rules’ (i.e. no hidden weapons).

Common sense is telling me that self-defense is processed on the street ( or other not secure environment, certainly not in the dojo) where surprise (time and place) plays major role, as well as lack of any limits regarding i.e. weapons or lethal force…If this is a true, your examples are invalid.

If somebody claims to teach self-defense I’d expect that his methodology is adapted to the reality of not safe environment, where merciless brutality and violence drive motivation for attacks and the techniques are adequately responding to such degree of danger (I mean more dangerous attack is met with higher destructive response). Of course, it must be framed in routine, repetitive practice, such a free sparring, with light or in the night, in different environment (with obstacles around or without, without much space to move etc..) I’ve never heard of any aikido dojo that is able to provide even small fraction of this requirement.

If your examples are true (we don’t really have any credible evidence except of your words) it rather means that aikido training can develop an efficient fighter and not self defense skills.. In this case it is rather unexpected that MMA athletes are looking for skills in BBJ, MT, boxing, wrestling or other competitive sports but never in aikido….

IMO it is not a simple ‘self-imposed limitations; - it is a complete lack of training methodology that leads to develop an efficient fighter And it was not done incidentally, O sensei new exactly what he was doing.

Ellis Amdur
07-17-2014, 04:10 PM
Szczpan - Of course you are right in that no aikido school is a "street fight perparation school." Neither is MMA. (There's a viral video of a well-known BJJ guy who gropes a girl in a convenience store and several of her friends intervene, one of whom decks him with a base-ball bat).

But the MMA examples I used were simply about how one can critique any fighting art form or style based on the information it provides to handle "x." And how does it respond when offered "y"

Nonetheless, one can still ask the question, "What skills within the aikido style one is using prepare one for aspects of self-defense?" In essence, your last paragraph is such a critique.

Yet, I know a group of correctional officers in a maximum security prison who have an aikido club, and they have recounted to me numerous examples where they have used aikido to defend themselves and control the attacks of inmates.

The problem will be if it is posited as an "all-or-nothing." - Aikido is good for self-defense or it is not. Rather, how useful is the training methodology and range of techniques offer in a dojo to that end?
Best
Ellis Amdur

sakumeikan
07-17-2014, 04:17 PM
I don’t want to redirect this discussion to purely theoretical level, but what exactly is your definition of ‘self-defense’? From example you provided, looks like you talk here about competitive fight, where two opponents meet at given time and place, then probably with some witnesses proceed to fight, again very probably with some ‘rules’ (i.e. no hidden weapons).

Common sense is telling me that self-defense is processed on the street ( or other not secure environment, certainly not in the dojo) where surprise (time and place) plays major role, as well as lack of any limits regarding i.e. weapons or lethal force…If this is a true, your examples are invalid.

If somebody claims to teach self-defense I’d expect that his methodology is adapted to the reality of not safe environment, where merciless brutality and violence drive motivation for attacks and the techniques are adequately responding to such degree of danger (I mean more dangerous attack is met with higher destructive response). Of course, it must be framed in routine, repetitive practice, such a free sparring, with light or in the night, in different environment (with obstacles around or without, without much space to move etc..) I’ve never heard of any aikido dojo that is able to provide even small fraction of this requirement.

If your examples are true (we don’t really have any credible evidence except of your words) it rather means that aikido training can develop an efficient fighter and not self defense skills.. In this case it is rather unexpected that MMA athletes are looking for skills in BBJ, MT, boxing, wrestling or other competitive sports but never in aikido….

IMO it is not a simple ‘self-imposed limitations; - it is a complete lack of training methodology that leads to develop an efficient fighter And it was not done incidentally, O sensei new exactly what he was doing.
Dear Szczepan,
I cannot comment on how many mma guys consider learning aikido skills.Mr Henry Ellis has a son Rik who is mma fighter[see youtube ] who has trained in aikido and credits his success in mma in part to his knowledge of aikido.Cheers, Joe.

kewms
07-17-2014, 08:58 PM
In this case it is rather unexpected that MMA athletes are looking for skills in BBJ, MT, boxing, wrestling or other competitive sports but never in aikido….

But MMA athletes don't train for true self defense situations either. Nor do any other combat sports. Only one attacker. No weapons. Rules limit both attacks and defenses. No element of surprise. Competition takes place in a clearly defined, obstacle free area, with a referee and often with time limits. And so on.

Certainly there are plenty of examples of non-aikido martial artists being rudely educated about the limitations of their art out in the real world, too.

Which is why I keep asking people what sort of situation they have in mind. Real self defense situations don't look much like aikido kata, but they don't look like MMA fights, either.

Katherine

kewms
07-17-2014, 09:33 PM
Another important difference that no one seems to consider is that "winning" in combat sports is defined as either forcing the other person out of the fight (knockout or submission) or convincing a panel of judges that you scored more points according to some arbitrary standard.

"Winning" in a self-defense situation is defined as getting to go home, instead of to the hospital or jail. Running away is a completely legitimate self-defense strategy. So is anything that slows the attacker down long enough to allow you to run away. Generally, going toe-to-toe with an attacker is *not* a great strategy: he might have a weapon, or friends, or both, and if he didn't think he was bigger and meaner than you, he wouldn't have attacked in the first place.

There's one story of an aikidoka who found himself in the middle of a bar fight. He used the first guy who came near him as a human shield until he could make his way to the door and escape. Maybe not as good a story as the karateka who fought off three attackers before the fourth dragged him down, but who had the better outcome at the end of the day?

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
07-18-2014, 01:32 AM
The problem will be if it is posited as an "all-or-nothing." - Aikido is good for self-defense or it is not. Rather, how useful is the training methodology and range of techniques offer in a dojo to that end?

Very little and in some aspects even counterproductive.

NagaBaba
07-18-2014, 01:47 PM
Szczpan - Of course you are right in that no aikido school is a "street fight perparation school." Neither is MMA. (There's a viral video of a well-known BJJ guy who gropes a girl in a convenience store and several of her friends intervene, one of whom decks him with a base-ball bat).

But the MMA examples I used were simply about how one can critique any fighting art form or style based on the information it provides to handle "x." And how does it respond when offered "y"

Nonetheless, one can still ask the question, "What skills within the aikido style one is using prepare one for aspects of self-defense?" In essence, your last paragraph is such a critique.

Yet, I know a group of correctional officers in a maximum security prison who have an aikido club, and they have recounted to me numerous examples where they have used aikido to defend themselves and control the attacks of inmates.

The problem will be if it is posited as an "all-or-nothing." - Aikido is good for self-defense or it is not. Rather, how useful is the training methodology and range of techniques offer in a dojo to that end?
Best
Ellis Amdur

Hi Ellis,
What kind of methodology you are talking about? Every shihan developed his own, and all of them are very different from O sensei teaching way.

Further, none of shihans I know or saw in my life, is using approach based on modern science, similar to judo or boxing. I wonder if you agree that science made some good progress last 100 years and martial sports that using it are able to train athletes at very high level, both physical and mental. Traditional teaching, as used in aikido, could never even dream to push students so far….
If you try to compare early judo competitors that never hear about power training with the methodology that is used now at Olympic level, the gap is so important that it simply impossible to do it.

A good example can be one, the most important aspect: full power application of the technique. This is required in both, sport competition and self-defense situation. The reason is simple, one face there serious full power attacks, resistance and counters. Theoretically, serious full power attacks, resistance and counters can exist in aikido; yet, nobody is working on full power application of the techniques.

The same situation is when you take in consideration every other martial aspect like openings, working with combat distance, surprise, chained attacks, be able to routinely execute technique under extreme psychical stress etc…

So my answer is no, you can’t have useful methodology or range of techniques, because there is not really correct modern methodology, and even correct technique without above mentioned aspects will not work in real environment.

NagaBaba
07-18-2014, 01:56 PM
Very little and in some aspects even counterproductive.
Yes I agree.

NagaBaba
07-18-2014, 02:02 PM
But MMA athletes don't train for true self defense situations either. Nor do any other combat sports. Only one attacker. No weapons. Rules limit both attacks and defenses. No element of surprise. Competition takes place in a clearly defined, obstacle free area, with a referee and often with time limits. And so on.

Certainly there are plenty of examples of non-aikido martial artists being rudely educated about the limitations of their art out in the real world, too.

Which is why I keep asking people what sort of situation they have in mind. Real self defense situations don't look much like aikido kata, but they don't look like MMA fights, either.

Katherine

Ellis provided sport competition cases as examples of self-defense capacity of aikido practice. That’s why in my response I exposed my arguments that aikido training was not developed by O sensei for sport competition, neither for self-defense.

NagaBaba
07-18-2014, 02:05 PM
Dear Szczepan,
I cannot comment on how many mma guys consider learning aikido skills.Mr Henry Ellis has a son Rik who is mma fighter[see youtube ] who has trained in aikido and credits his success in mma in part to his knowledge of aikido.Cheers, Joe.
Hi Joe,
I saw a video, and I believe that mentioned credit is a simple expression of politeness among martial artists and should not be taken literally.

kewms
07-18-2014, 02:15 PM
Olympic-level athletes in any sport train 6 hours a day, 6 days a week. That might be comparable to what O Sensei's uchi deshi did, but very very few modern aikidoka are training like that. It's really not reasonable to compare an Olympic-class judoka to a 3-hour/week recreational aikidoka.

Moreover, the teaching syllabus has to change if you are only seeing your students for 3 hours a week. There just isn't time for the very extensive conditioning that is part of an Olympic athlete's regime, not if you want to spend any time at all actually teaching, you know, aikido. (Or karate, or judo... recreational karateka don't train like Olympic athletes either.)

On the other hand, I really question the claim that you have to train like an Olympic athlete for your art to be useful in self-defense situations. After all, most real world attackers have little or no formal martial training and are looking for a "soft" target posing little risk to themselves. They aren't going to stick around for more than a minute or two unless things are clearly going their way, which means the defender doesn't need the kind of stamina that combat sports require. On the other hand, they often have weapons, which radically limits the defender's options.

Again. Self-defense is self-defense. Combat sports are combat sports. They are not the same, and training as if they were carries assumptions that can be just as dangerous as the worst excesses of "dance floor" aikido.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
07-18-2014, 03:06 PM
Olympic-level athletes in any sport train 6 hours a day, 6 days a week. That might be comparable to what O Sensei's uchi deshi did, but very very few modern aikidoka are training like that. It's really not reasonable to compare an Olympic-class judoka to a 3-hour/week recreational aikidoka.

Let's compare recreational judoka/bjj'er/boxer who trains 3h-week (there are thousands of them) with recreational aikidoka then.

And now you mention O Sensei's uchideshi.... does the name Yukawa Tsutomu sounds familiar to you?

Why aikido was dropped from Nakano school curriculum when they had to start to train operatives for real?

What about Mochizuki Minoru, who after touring France in the early 50's told O Sensei aikido didn't work as intended so he had to fall back into his judo and a bit of karate background to deal with french savateurs and wrestlers.

Why Shioda recruited mostly sumo wrestlers and judoka for pinko-commie beatings instead of aikidoka?

Have you seen the awesome display of skill of Tohei dealing with the fat untrained reporter?

Aikido, from a self defense - fighting perspectve, was born with serious flaws in strategy, tactics, doctirne, technique and training methodology. One can put some patches here and there, but it can never became a fully functional self defense - fighting system without changing so many things that would cease to be aikido anymore.

NagaBaba
07-18-2014, 03:33 PM
Aikido, from a self defense - fighting perspectve, was born with serious flaws in strategy, tactics, doctirne, technique and training methodology. One can put some patches here and there, but it can never became a fully functional self defense - fighting system without changing so many things that would cease to be aikido anymore.

Because O sensei intended aikido to be a tool for spiritual development, not self-defense system.

kewms
07-18-2014, 05:17 PM
Let's compare recreational judoka/bjj'er/boxer who trains 3h-week (there are thousands of them) with recreational aikidoka then.

Ok, let's.

First, what situation do you have in mind?

Look. O Sensei was not primarily interested in self defense. I don't think there's any serious dispute over that.

But "not designed for self defense" is not the same as "not useful for self defense." After all, some pretty serious martial artists passed through in the old days. If O Sensei had not been extremely capable, no one would have cared what he had to say and history would remember him as just another crazy Japanese mystic.

You can decide whether aikido is "designed" for self defense by appealing to history, but to decide whether it's useful for self defense you really need to explain what kind of situation you have in mind.

Which no one, so far, has yet done.

Again, combat sports are not self defense. Strike-breaking is not self defense. Self defense has some overlap with fighting, but self defense and fighting are not the same thing.

Katherine

ken king
07-18-2014, 08:19 PM
Because O sensei intended aikido to be a tool for spiritual development, not self-defense system.

Almost correct, a tool to develop aiki would be more accurate.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-19-2014, 10:59 AM
Ok, let's.

First, what situation do you have in mind?

Every one you can imagine. A person used to deal with uncooperative resisting opponents trying to defeat him is better prepared to face uncooperative resisting attackers trying to do the same, especially compared with someone whose training partners are cooperative non resisting opponents trained to be defeated doesn't matter what tori does to them.

Look. O Sensei was not primarily interested in self defense. I don't think there's any serious dispute over that.
Agree.

But "not designed for self defense" is not the same as "not useful for self defense."
Sure, as a chair is not designed as a weapon but can be used as one. Tell the army to get rid of rifles and give chairs to the grunts.

After all, some pretty serious martial artists passed through in the old days. If O Sensei had not been extremely capable, no one would have cared what he had to say and history would remember him as just another crazy Japanese mystic.
There are much marketing oriented narratives about how capable O Sensei really was.

You can decide whether aikido is "designed" for self defense by appealing to history,

Appealing to history is appealing to data. Of course, if you feel data contradicts your hypothesis you can discard the data instead of the hypothesis. You are not going to be the first in doing that.

but to decide whether it's useful for self defense you really need to explain what kind of situation you have in mind.
Which no one, so far, has yet done.
Well, I say aikido it is not useful for self defense so, what do you want? Possible scenarios where aikido fails?

Again, combat sports are not self defense. Strike-breaking is not self defense. Self defense has some overlap with fighting, but self defense and fighting are not the same thing.

At least there is some overlap between fighting and self defense. Aikido has no overlap at all with fighting nor with self defense, even if there are some aikido practising individuals, who cause of luck, natural preservation instincts, attacker incompetence et al. had managed to defend themselves.

lars beyer
07-19-2014, 07:00 PM
Hi Demitrio

I´ll start by apologising for the thread drift.
You said this:

"Appealing to history is appealing to data. Of course, if you feel data contradicts your hypothesis you can discard the data instead of the hypothesis. You are not going to be the first in doing that."

I find the discussion interresting, including your funny and striking observations, but in my view your statement above evades the subject since historical data is useless without a hypothesis and vice versa. Historians repeatedly collect data and it´s in the consistency of their discoveries within the collected data and the analysis of those discoveries that the hypothesis can emerge, in this respect there is no such thing as historical proof. History is flawed by inconsistencies in data collection and data interpretation as well as data representation.
History also inherently excludes wast amounts of data, that is data that is forbidden, abandoned, forgotten, unobserved, excluded, misinterpreted, rediscovered/reinvented in a new form and meaning or othervise lost in eternity.
I don´t think historians are generally concerned with absolute, specific proof of concept throughout their daily research even I might be wrong.
I think historians are or at least should, to some extent, be concerned with the general history of the human being and human behaviour.
So to sum up, in my view, history doesn´t prove anything apart from the obvious.

Regards
Lars

kewms
07-20-2014, 01:08 AM
Every one you can imagine. A person used to deal with uncooperative resisting opponents trying to defeat him is better prepared to face uncooperative resisting attackers trying to do the same, especially compared with someone whose training partners are cooperative non resisting opponents trained to be defeated doesn't matter what tori does to them.

Sure. But there are many aikido dojos that recognize the issue and actively seek to address it. There are many aikido dojos which welcome students with experience in other arts. There are many aikido instructors with experience in other arts.

Well, I say aikido it is not useful for self defense so, what do you want? Possible scenarios where aikido fails?

*Of course* there are scenarios where aikido fails. Just as there are scenarios where BJJ, judo, kali, krav maga, pepper spray, and firearms will fail. But there are also scenarios where all of those arts, including aikido, have succeeded.

Katherine

philipsmith
07-20-2014, 03:44 AM
I think we are all dancing on the head of a pin here.
Aikido (in whatever form) clearly works for some and not others and is a self-defence based system; no matter what twist and turns it has taken since.
Everyone's experience differs - lets just leave it at that.

sakumeikan
07-20-2014, 05:47 AM
I think we are all dancing on the head of a pin here.
Aikido (in whatever form) clearly works for some and not others and is a self-defence based system; no matter what twist and turns it has taken since.
Everyone's experience differs - lets just leave it at that.

Dear Phil,
Well said here. How are you /Mrs Smith keeping? Cheers, Joe.

philipsmith
07-20-2014, 03:28 PM
All good thanks

NagaBaba
07-20-2014, 06:01 PM
I think we are all dancing on the head of a pin here.
Aikido (in whatever form) clearly works for some and not others and is a self-defence based system; no matter what twist and turns it has taken since.
Everyone's experience differs - lets just leave it at that.
I'd very interested to see your experience aikido as a self defence - any video to back up your words?

ken king
07-20-2014, 10:41 PM
I'd very interested to see your experience aikido as a self defence - any video to back up your words?

Why waste his time when you've already made up your mind on the matter?

There also seems to be some woefully uninformed opinions of o sensei in this thread, the ignorance is astounding.

tenshinaikidoka
07-21-2014, 12:08 AM
I'm a police officer, I've used my aikido training in a serious self defense situation and it worked for me. I don't have video as "proof" so you can take my word or not Nagababa, but I know it works, and I know it can work. Can it fail, absolutely, but no system is infallible.

observer
07-21-2014, 02:25 AM
Let's not be hypocritical. A child can tell you what we do in a dojo. Regardless of the style - we practice self-defense in pairs. One person attacks and the other defends himself. Nothing else. No other physical activity shows self-defence better. Just like in a fairy tale by H.Ch. Andersen - 'The Emperor is naked'.

Our endless debates about the lack of effectiveness of aikido in self-defense have a simple explanation. No one so far, except Morihei Ueshiba, accomplished the first of the conditions of existence of his art - becoming untouchable.

Looking back in history, in 1919, two people met by chance. One of them was Morihei Ueshiba, a dreamer without work, with a family to support and facing the loss of his dying father, the provider in the family. The other person was Onisaburo Deguchi, son in law of the founder of a religious sect Omoto-kyo, whose life was influenced by an accident in which he was beaten by thugs and left to fend for himself in the field.

Their encounter resulted in Ueshiba being hired by the sect for a specific reason. The purpose of this was to realize his own idea to bring ​​pacifism to the level of an individual. This sounded particularly interesting to Onisaburo Deguchi. Here is why.

This young Omoto religion stood out and quickly found supporters because it offered followers a happy life now, not after death. Therefore through certain transformations, people would live without fear, in a spiritual world and in harmony with nature, where violence would be eliminated completely.

Omoto identified three sources of violence and recommended appropriate solutions. The first source is the multiplicity of religions and the wars caused by it. This can be avoided by treating all religions equally, where "many gods may exist but all are essentially the same and come from one source; therefore it doesn't matter under which name or ritual God is worshipped. All gods, religions, prophets and messengers throughout time came from the same source -- the Supreme God of the Universe". The second source of violence is the lack of mutual understanding, mainly through a multitude of languages​​. The solution is to communicate in only one language. The choice fell on Esperanto, modern, culturally neutral language, created by Dr. L.L.Zamenhof. Finally, the third source of violence exists in ourselves, allowing us to use violence in certain situations. In accordance with the idea of ​​pacifism, it is necessary to eliminate such thoughts and become guardians of peace in our own environment.

It is important to understand that the idea of ​​pacifism is a rather general message and skips an important personal aspect. However, a person can not be considered a pacifist, if they are not able to make a choice between using violence or not. If possible, a pacifist always chooses a peaceful solution to a conflict and despite his ability to completely destroy the opponent he makes a choice not to do it. Morihei Ueshiba had an idea how to implement it as an Omoto religion requirement which was the main purpose of his employment in the sect. It turned out to be a blessing in this difficult period of his life.

This job lasted six years and culminated with an event in 1925, and was recorded in history as an 'enlightment', or the birth of Aikido. This annoucement was made almost immediately after an unusual confrontation in the Ueshiba's dojo. That day he was visited by an anonymous naval officer, a recognized master of kendo. We can asume that there was a difference of opinions in terms of their skills. After being challenged, Ueshiba faced an oponnent carring a wooden sword, with his bare hands.

At the express request of Ueshiba the duel began, however not once was he touched by a wooden sword. The enemy, discouraged by his ineffective attacks, finally surrendered. As a result Ueshiba became convinced that remaining untouchable is possible, and fully justified the existance of the new martial art.

This historical reference explains my argument why aikido today is inefective in self-defense. Aikido, without mastering skills to become untouchable, loses its meaning as a martial art.

Aikido techniques however, are a completely different issue. Today their executions do not guarantee total destruction of the attacker.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-21-2014, 02:58 AM
Sure. But there are many aikido dojos that recognize the issue and actively seek to address it. There are many aikido dojos which welcome students with experience in other arts. There are many aikido instructors with experience in other arts.
The patching I mentioned before.

*Of course* there are scenarios where aikido fails. Just as there are scenarios where BJJ, judo, kali, krav maga, pepper spray, and firearms will fail.
Well, none of them are self defense methods. BJJ is a sport, judo is physical and moral education, kali is a warrior art, Krav is military combatives, OC and firearms are tools which require self defense training to be used properly in self defense situations.

But there are also scenarios where all of those arts, including aikido, have succeeded.
People have succeeded, not the arts, and be sure you are not falling in a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

So please do tell me, where in the aikido curriculum are verbal deescalation, body language recognition, awareness of environment, self defense law, weapons (both use and defense against) even improvised ones, scenario training, evasion and running, first aid, etc, etc, etc? You know, the things that make self defense systems different from sports like MMA or technologies of the self like Aikido.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-21-2014, 03:02 AM
Hi Demitrio

I´ll start by apologising for the thread drift.
You said this:

"Appealing to history is appealing to data. Of course, if you feel data contradicts your hypothesis you can discard the data instead of the hypothesis. You are not going to be the first in doing that."

I find the discussion interresting, including your funny and striking observations, but in my view your statement above evades the subject since historical data is useless without a hypothesis and vice versa.
...


Hi Lars

Of course you are mostly correct an I would totally agree with you if this were an academical debate. But this is a different environment so different rules apply.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-21-2014, 03:06 AM
I'm a police officer, I've used my aikido training in a serious self defense situation and it worked for me.

Glad to hear that but that doesn't make aikido a self defense sysem itself.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-21-2014, 03:09 AM
Let's not be hypocritical. A child can tell you what we do in a dojo. Regardless of the style - we practice self-defense in pairs. One person attacks and the other defends himself. Nothing else. No other physical activity shows self-defence better. Just like in a fairy tale by H.Ch. Andersen - 'The Emperor is naked'.
You serious?

Our endless debates about the lack of effectiveness of aikido in self-defense have a simple explanation. No one so far, except Morihei Ueshiba, accomplished the first of the conditions of existence of his art - becoming untouchable.

Looking back in history, in 1919, two people met by chance. One of them was Morihei Ueshiba, a dreamer without work, with a family to support and facing the loss of his dying father, the provider in the family. The other person was Onisaburo Deguchi, son in law of the founder of a religious sect Omoto-kyo, whose life was influenced by an accident in which he was beaten by thugs and left to fend for himself in the field.

Their encounter resulted in Ueshiba being hired by the sect for a specific reason. The purpose of this was to realize his own idea to bring ​​pacifism to the level of an individual. This sounded particularly interesting to Onisaburo Deguchi. Here is why.

This young Omoto religion stood out and quickly found supporters because it offered followers a happy life now, not after death. Therefore through certain transformations, people would live without fear, in a spiritual world and in harmony with nature, where violence would be eliminated completely.

Omoto identified three sources of violence and recommended appropriate solutions. The first source is the multiplicity of religions and the wars caused by it. This can be avoided by treating all religions equally, where "many gods may exist but all are essentially the same and come from one source; therefore it doesn't matter under which name or ritual God is worshipped. All gods, religions, prophets and messengers throughout time came from the same source -- the Supreme God of the Universe". The second source of violence is the lack of mutual understanding, mainly through a multitude of languages​​. The solution is to communicate in only one language. The choice fell on Esperanto, modern, culturally neutral language, created by Dr. L.L.Zamenhof. Finally, the third source of violence exists in ourselves, allowing us to use violence in certain situations. In accordance with the idea of ​​pacifism, it is necessary to eliminate such thoughts and become guardians of peace in our own environment.

It is important to understand that the idea of ​​pacifism is a rather general message and skips an important personal aspect. However, a person can not be considered a pacifist, if they are not able to make a choice between using violence or not. If possible, a pacifist always chooses a peaceful solution to a conflict and despite his ability to completely destroy the opponent he makes a choice not to do it. Morihei Ueshiba had an idea how to implement it as an Omoto religion requirement which was the main purpose of his employment in the sect. It turned out to be a blessing in this difficult period of his life.

This job lasted six years and culminated with an event in 1925, and was recorded in history as an 'enlightment', or the birth of Aikido. This annoucement was made almost immediately after an unusual confrontation in the Ueshiba's dojo. That day he was visited by an anonymous naval officer, a recognized master of kendo. We can asume that there was a difference of opinions in terms of their skills. After being challenged, Ueshiba faced an oponnent carring a wooden sword, with his bare hands.

At the express request of Ueshiba the duel began, however not once was he touched by a wooden sword. The enemy, discouraged by his ineffective attacks, finally surrendered. As a result Ueshiba became convinced that remaining untouchable is possible, and fully justified the existance of the new martial art.

This historical reference explains my argument why aikido today is inefective in self-defense. Aikido, without mastering skills to become untouchable, loses its meaning as a martial art.

Aikido techniques however, are a completely different issue. Today their executions do not guarantee total destruction of the attacker.
Again, you serious?

Chris Li
07-21-2014, 03:09 AM
This job lasted six years and culminated with an event in 1925, and was recorded in history as an 'enlightment', or the birth of Aikido. This annoucement was made almost immediately after an unusual confrontation in the Ueshiba's dojo. That day he was visited by an anonymous naval officer, a recognized master of kendo. We can asume that there was a difference of opinions in terms of their skills. After being challenged, Ueshiba faced an oponnent carring a wooden sword, with his bare hands.

At the express request of Ueshiba the duel began, however not once was he touched by a wooden sword. The enemy, discouraged by his ineffective attacks, finally surrendered. As a result Ueshiba became convinced that remaining untouchable is possible, and fully justified the existance of the new martial art.

This historical reference explains my argument why aikido today is inefective in self-defense. Aikido, without mastering skills to become untouchable, loses its meaning as a martial art.

Aikido techniques however, are a completely different issue. Today their executions do not guarantee total destruction of the attacker.

Kisshomaru actually states that the person was a "young Naval Kendo instructor", which is slightly different from a "recognized master of kendo". Also, Ueshiba was hardly untouchable when Hideo Ohba gave him a hard time fifteen years later in Manchuria (although Ueshiba appears to have come out of that one alright).

As for the new martial art in 1925, he was teaching Daito-ryu at the time and for a number of years afterwards - as late as fifteen years later Ueshiba was still handing out Daito-ryu certificates.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
07-21-2014, 03:17 AM
Of course his "job" in Ayabe was to prepare Omoto-kyo believers to defend themselves against the government (army).

Demetrio Cereijo
07-21-2014, 03:19 AM
Of course his "job" in Ayabe was to prepare Omoto-kyo believers to defend themselves against the government (army).

He did a good job :D

Carsten Möllering
07-21-2014, 03:38 AM
Let's not be hypocritical. A child can tell you what we do in a dojo. Regardless of the style - we practice self-defense in pairs. Um, when a new student sows up I tell him, that we don't practice self-defense in my classes. Self-defense is clearly not what my practice, and my teaching, is about.

Carsten Möllering
07-21-2014, 03:50 AM
Just a historical Question:
Their encounter resulted in Ueshiba being hired by the sect for a specific reason. The purpose of this was to realize his own idea to bring ​​pacifism to the level of an individual. I never thought of Ueshiba as a pacifist, at least not before WWII.
Can you give me some hints about that?

lars beyer
07-21-2014, 10:23 AM
Hi Lars

Of course you are mostly correct an I would totally agree with you if this were an academical debate. But this is a different environment so different rules apply.

Yes indeed you are right, and a fluid one too, I´ll just lean back and enjoy :-)

kewms
07-21-2014, 10:55 AM
Well, none of them are self defense methods. BJJ is a sport, judo is physical and moral education, kali is a warrior art, Krav is military combatives, OC and firearms are tools which require self defense training to be used properly in self defense situations.

Yet those are what people have in mind when they are looking for "better" self-defense than aikido.

So please do tell me, where in the aikido curriculum are verbal deescalation, body language recognition, awareness of environment, self defense law, weapons (both use and defense against) even improvised ones, scenario training, evasion and running, first aid, etc, etc, etc? You know, the things that make self defense systems different from sports like MMA or technologies of the self like Aikido.

Well, I spent the entire weekend at a jo seminar, so there's that... Body language and environmental awareness are part of any martial art, and are particularly emphasized in our multi-attacker practice.

I'm not claiming that aikido is a complete self-defense system, remember? Simply that its supposed lack of usefulness is overstated, most often by proponents of arts that have glaring flaws of their own.

Katherine

PeterR
07-21-2014, 11:18 AM
I'm not claiming that aikido is a complete self-defense system, remember? Simply that its supposed lack of usefulness is overstated, most often by proponents of arts that have glaring flaws of their own.

Sure and proponents usually without any great experience in what they are proponing. Or perhaps its their enthusiasm talking.

jonreading
07-21-2014, 11:56 AM
I think we are all dancing on the head of a pin here.
Aikido (in whatever form) clearly works for some and not others and is a self-defence based system; no matter what twist and turns it has taken since.
Everyone's experience differs - lets just leave it at that.

Let's play a whotif game.

What if O Sensei did not understand "self-defense" as we understand it? What if the idea of defending oneself from an attack was foreign to O Sensei? What if O Sensei believed that moving with aiki-body meant that one would never be vulnerable to attack?

I am not sure what O Sensei spke about and what we are talking about (Western "self-defense") are the same. I think talking to O Sensei about "self-defense" would have been an awkward conversation - I find it difficult to believe he could even relate to such a topic... I can just hear O Sensei now..."Wait, you mean that you would let someone attack you, and you want to know what I would do to the attacker? I would kill him when he thought about attacking me; how's that? Oh, not PC, huh? Well, I would move with a yin and yang and snuff out his intent in a flash! How's that? I though the hippies would like the yin and yang stuff..." .

No, I think those buzzwords came about later for the propaganda machine. Or poor translation. Or both. I think aikido is a body system that dis-empowers others to affect you. I think somewhere along the way, we confused our partner's inability to affect us with the ability to affect our partner. Is that really self-defense? In a manner of speaking. Is that the self-defense that we see popularized in the US? Nope.

In any case, letting someone "attack" you first does not make for self-defense.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-21-2014, 11:59 AM
Yet those are what people have in mind when they are looking for "better" self-defense than aikido.
People have very weird things on their minds. But I didn't put them there, so it is not my fault.

Well, I spent the entire weekend at a jo seminar, so there's that... Body language and environmental awareness are part of any martial art, and are particularly emphasized in our multi-attacker practice.

I think I've seen you on the mat on video. Is this you? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQyiBH90UqA)

I'm not claiming that aikido is a complete self-defense system, remember? Simply that its supposed lack of usefulness is overstated, most often by proponents of arts that have glaring flaws of their own.
Well, I think its usefulness is overstated, most often by people who, fortunately, don't know nor need to know what self defense is about.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-21-2014, 12:07 PM
Let's play a whotif game.

What if O Sensei did not understand "self-defense" as we understand it?

I think I'm going to agree with you.

NagaBaba
07-21-2014, 02:13 PM
Why waste his time when you've already made up your mind on the matter?

There also seems to be some woefully uninformed opinions of o sensei in this thread, the ignorance is astounding.
This is discussion forum, I presented already my arguments with a list of detailed reasons why aikido can't be considered as self defense system. So if somebody claims a contrary and NOT presenting any counter arguments, I was curious, may be his practice is making evidence of his thesis...otherwise his statement has no value and can't be taken seriously.

NagaBaba
07-21-2014, 02:21 PM
Let's not be hypocritical. A child can tell you what we do in a dojo. Regardless of the style - we practice self-defense in pairs. One person attacks and the other defends himself. Nothing else. No other physical activity shows self-defence better. Just like in a fairy tale by H.Ch. Andersen - 'The Emperor is naked'. .
Maciek, I must say your definition of self defense is on the level of 5 years old kid :)

Chris Raihl
07-21-2014, 05:59 PM
Take this with a Grain of Salt - as I am a current BJJ'er I want to point out that it is a sport. Putting someone in your guard for example might not be the soundest choice of self defense though something as obvious as a rear naked choke might be for example. I do agree that there are arts out there far better than Aikido for self defense ( Krav Maga, Judo, Thai boxing, Kickboxing and so on).

However ... I am a firm believer that the best "style" of martial arts for self defense is the one you enjoy doing and putting the most time in ... even if it is something like Yang Style Tai Chi.YMMV. Taking up Muay Thai for self defense does not work effectively if you never go to class because you do not like getting punched in the face. You wont learn anything there either.

tenshinaikidoka
07-22-2014, 01:11 AM
Glad to hear that but that doesn't make aikido a self defense sysem itself.

And it certainly doesn't mean that it isn't....can go back and forth but at the end if the day you have your view and I certainly have mine.

ken king
07-22-2014, 01:15 AM
This is discussion forum, I presented already my arguments with a list of detailed reasons why aikido can't be considered as self defense system. So if somebody claims a contrary and NOT presenting any counter arguments, I was curious, may be his practice is making evidence of his thesis...otherwise his statement has no value and can't be taken seriously.

Dude you're thinking way too hard on this one.

self-defense[ self-di-fens, self- ]
noun
1. the act of defending one's person when physically attacked, as by countering blows or overcoming an assailant: the art of self-defense.

sys·tem
ˈsistəm/Submit
noun
2. a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.

By definition it is a self defense system. So then, I assuming you are questioning the effectiveness of what Aikido has evolved into? If so I agree. However, what is commonly practiced now is a far cry from what O Sensei was doing.

MRoh
07-22-2014, 02:14 AM
we practice self-defense in pairs. One person attacks and the other defends himself. Nothing else.

In his Young years Ueshiba had great interest to learn how to fight, but it's this way of thinking in terms of attackers and defenders that he wanted to overcome.

But aikido never was an art in which one was the attacker and one was the defender, it was never a passive way of acting.
There were shite and uke, but shite was not a defender, he was the one who executed an aiki-action on uke, in a positve (yang) or in a negative (yin) way. It was not like today, where shite (nage) is waiting for an attack.
It was a complete figting system, not a modern self-defense system.

sakumeikan
07-22-2014, 05:21 AM
In his Young years Ueshiba had great interest to learn how to fight, but it's this way of thinking in terms of attackers and defenders that he wanted to overcome.

But aikido never was an art in which one was the attacker and one was the defender, it was never a passive way of acting.
There were shite and uke, but shite was not a defender, he was the one who executed an aiki-action on uke, in a positve (yang) or in a negative (yin) way. It was not like today, where shite (nage) is waiting for an attack.
It was a complete figting system, not a modern self-defense system.
Dear Markus,
While I accept your view that some aikidoka stand waiting for an attack[passive behaviour ??] the many shihan I have met over the years could hardly be called passive or waiting to be attacked.In fact in most cases the minute you even touched them you were usually neutralised and pinned/thrown.This was specially true in weapons work.Tamura Sensei for example controlled Ukes by his useof timing , dominance ,positioning etc.Aikido as expressed by Tada Sensei, Saito Sensei, ShibataSensei , SekiyaSensei ,Sugano Sensei , Chiba Sensei and many more could not be described as passive.No standing about waiting for an attack, anything but.Watch early vids of Tada/Arikawa etc.Do they look passive?I think not.Cheers, Joe
.

MRoh
07-22-2014, 05:53 AM
No standing about waiting for an attack, anything but.Watch early vids of Tada/Arikawa etc.Do they look passive?

No they don't, and that's what I wanted to say.
My teacher trained with Tada, Noro, Arikawa and the other uchideshis when he was young, and
to attack him requieres alertness every time.

But until people get this skills of using timing, dominance and positioning, most of them train in passive way. The use of atemi, as it's described in tadashi abe senseis book for example, is taught seldom.
Here you can see that almost every action was initiated by a strike to ukes face. I think in the majority of the dojos this is not common practice any more.

But to look passive, or to be it are different things, and that is the reason for misunderstandings.
It's also possible to "let" the other one strike, but this is a decision to let him do that, although it might look like waiting for the attack. It's another state of mind.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-22-2014, 06:51 AM
. The use of atemi, as it's described in tadashi abe senseis book for example, is taught seldom

There shall be much wailing and gnashing of teeth if headbutting from the clinch becames accepted again as legitimate aikido waza.

Mary Eastland
07-22-2014, 07:38 AM
Here is a thought. Since you have been in training in Aikido has your awareness and perception been effected?
Do you think you are better able to defend yourself than when you started?

I will start.

Yes, I am very aware of my surroundings at all times. I am better able to defend myself. I don't entertain every slight I am invited to and I am able to choose my responses.

I stay out of things that are not my business and I don't hang around people or places that are toxic.

I am much safer than before I started training.

MRoh
07-22-2014, 09:06 AM
There shall be much wailing and gnashing of teeth if headbutting from the clinch becames accepted again as legitimate aikido waza.

Might be that in the last sixty years the meaning of "la victoire par la paix" has changed.

But It is arguable that aikido at that early period raised a claim to be an effective self defense system.

PeterR
07-22-2014, 09:30 AM
It is pretty much a given that "self defense" as we argue about the term is a relatively recent invention. Situational awareness, avoidance, all are pretty modern as a discussion item.

People did not initially seek out Ueshiba for his philosophical outpourings but for his fighting techniques. They felt he had something to teach them in that regard. They wanted to learn techniques for any number of reasons but I am sure there was the fantasy of using those against an aggressor - in other words self defense. There are enough stories of the techniques proving useful and of Ueshiba being pleased that they were to negate the point that he was not interested in this aspect.

Stephen Sereday
07-22-2014, 10:02 AM
Okay, I get it.
Hard is soft as soft is hard as neither is either as I am he as you are he as you are me as we are all together....
Now that we've gotten the metaphysics out the way, I would appreciate a straightforward answer to a straightforward question.
Which of these two styles is better for strictly self-defense pruposes?
1. Iwama Ryu
2. A style (not sure of the name) heavily influenced by the Vanadis Dojo of Stockholm Sweden under Jan Nevelius.

Thanks,
Ramon

Depends entirely on the individual instructor. I'm sorry, but that really is the answer.

YUP:)

Greg Jennings
07-22-2014, 11:05 AM
I can't believe that this argument, with a lot of the same players, is still happening. It's like "Groundhog Day". But, hey, I posted, so I guess I'm part of the cast.

RonRagusa
07-22-2014, 12:54 PM
Here is a thought. Since you have been in training in Aikido has your awareness and perception been effected?
Do you think you are better able to defend yourself than when you started?

Yeah, totally and unequivocally. Aikido training has broadened my awareness, improved my fitness level and allowed me to maintain it as I age, enabled me to tap into a source of strength I didn't know existed until I started training and provided me with a set of tools that I can use to meet aggression.

Ron

sakumeikan
07-22-2014, 01:10 PM
Yeah, totally and unequivocally. Aikido training has broadened my awareness, improved my fitness level and allowed me to maintain it as I age, enabled me to tap into a source of strength I didn't know existed until I started training and provided me with a set of tools that I can use to meet aggression.

Ron

Hi Ron,
Is one of the tools you use to meet aggression a baseball bat by any chance??Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
07-22-2014, 01:20 PM
I'd very interested to see your experience aikido as a self defence - any video to back up your words?
Dear Szczepan,
I doubt if anybody on this forum would have a video camera secreted on their person in anticipation of having a rumble with some unruly hooligan.On the other hand maybe some guys do
a Charles Bronson death wish thingy and film themselves knocking crap out of poor old delinquents, then going home to savour the filmed mayhem on the tv , while enjoying a pina colada.I am afraid I do not have my hd vid camera around much other than to record the odd snippet of holiday material-last used in Tokyo/Nagasaki/ South Korea recently. Cheers, Joe

RonRagusa
07-22-2014, 01:38 PM
Hi Ron,
Is one of the tools you use to meet aggression a baseball bat by any chance??Cheers, Joe.

If the situation warrants Joe. Definitely that and anything else that may come to hand. All wielded with strict adherence to mind/body coordination of course. :)

Ron

Demetrio Cereijo
07-22-2014, 02:11 PM
There are enough stories of the techniques proving useful and of Ueshiba being pleased that they were to negate the point that he was not interested in this aspect.
Sure, as they are stories of Ueshiba scolding their students for getting into fights.

So why not analyze the art itself , its techniques, tactics, strategies, trainming methods.... instead of looking into what Ueshiba (or the kami possessing him at the moment) is said to have said.

PeterR
07-22-2014, 02:53 PM
Sure, as they are stories of Ueshiba scolding their students for getting into fights.

So why not analyze the art itself , its techniques, tactics, strategies, trainming methods.... instead of looking into what Ueshiba (or the kami possessing him at the moment) is said to have said.

All the time. What makes you think I don't. In fact - the gist of your posts is the underlying presumption that no one but yourself as any insight into the matter.

NagaBaba
07-23-2014, 10:32 AM
Dear Szczepan,
I doubt if anybody on this forum would have a video camera secreted on their person in anticipation of having a rumble with some unruly hooligan.On the other hand maybe some guys do
a Charles Bronson death wish thingy and film themselves knocking crap out of poor old delinquents, then going home to savour the filmed mayhem on the tv , while enjoying a pina colada.I am afraid I do not have my hd vid camera around much other than to record the odd snippet of holiday material-last used in Tokyo/Nagasaki/ South Korea recently. Cheers, Joe

Hi Joe,
I try to express myself better -- to claim that aikido is self-defense system it is not enough here on the forum to just say it. If you want to be credible, you need to back up your words with serious arguments (technical details of the application aikido technique), or video. I didn't ask for aikido self-defense video from the street -- I understand it is difficult. What I had in mind is a video from the dojo where we can see how actually someone practices in preparation for self-defense situation. I was interested by the methodology used in such practice, as I've never seen it in my short life.

I strongly suspect that people who claim teaching aikido as self-defense are using similar teaching approach as you can find here:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCYQtwIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dt1JOhuuaYpg&ei=wdPPU__HA9eqyASq6IDYBQ&usg=AFQjCNFhcEBPbw2UKNZSX6PhY-WTbhfB_w&bvm=bv.71667212,d.aWw

because in this video also, following ken king definition " one's person is physically attacked, counters blows or overcoming an assailant: "

cheers

Greg Jennings
07-23-2014, 11:25 AM
cheers Nagababa (added in by Greg)

Szczepan,

You are, metaphorically, urinating into the prevailing wind. Let people find their own reality. They will anyway and it'll save you heartburn.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-23-2014, 01:02 PM
All the time. What makes you think I don't. In fact - the gist of your posts is the underlying presumption that no one but yourself as any insight into the matter.

Fine then.

As Greg has just said, let people find their own reality...

... until reality finds them.

Chris Raihl
07-23-2014, 02:45 PM
It is very sad that people who do not train anymore come here only to imply that that others are possibly wasting their time and are potentially future victims. If in your mind Aikido does not help build enough martial fortitude for you to defend yourself or your loved ones why burn the calories polluting other peoples pool of tranquility?

Demetrio Cereijo
07-23-2014, 03:21 PM
It is very sad that people who do not train anymore come here only to imply that that others are possibly wasting their time and are potentially future victims.
Wondering if you are adressing me, for the cause of me leaving aikido is well known and has nothing to do with the art itself or its value as budo.

If in your mind Aikido does not help build enough martial fortitude for you to defend yourself or your loved ones why burn the calories polluting other peoples pool of tranquility?
What's wrong with burning calories? Anyway, bursting bubbles is not very demanding in this aspect.

NagaBaba
07-23-2014, 04:22 PM
Szczepan,

You are, metaphorically, urinating into the prevailing wind. Let people find their own reality. They will anyway and it'll save you heartburn.

Are you trying to attack me personally instead of discussing a topic?

ken king
07-23-2014, 04:45 PM
Are you trying to attack me personally instead of discussing a topic?

He's saying that coming here, throwing the "aikido isn't a self defense platform" into everyones face isn't going to get you anywhere here. It's been argued a thousand times on this forum, as a member since 2002 you should know this. Let it go buddy, no one wants to try to convince someone who has already made up their mind.

kewms
07-23-2014, 10:45 PM
I think I've seen you on the mat on video. Is this you? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQyiBH90UqA)

Yes.

Katherine

robin_jet_alt
07-23-2014, 11:10 PM
Yes.

Katherine

I'm impressed. It's always nice to see people in action. It really puts what they say in perspective. I wish I had hip throws that were half as good as yours, and I also really like the recovery on the bungled one.

kewms
07-23-2014, 11:56 PM
I'm impressed. It's always nice to see people in action. It really puts what they say in perspective. I wish I had hip throws that were half as good as yours, and I also really like the recovery on the bungled one.

Thank you. (We need a "bow" emoticon...)

Hip throws are one area of aikido where strength really does help. Not because you're trying to pick the person up -- ideally, you're not -- but because being confident and stable is absolutely critical.

The one that I bobbled was very frustrating: I made the exact same mistake many times in preparation, and thought I had finally fixed it. :( I'm glad the recovery didn't show that. :D

Katherine

Greg Jennings
07-24-2014, 09:56 AM
Are you trying to attack me personally instead of discussing a topic?
I'm not attacking you, Stephan.

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you, though my personal opinion is, at least somewhat, aligned with yours on this topic...I think.

I'm simply telling you that, in my experience, you're wasting your time. I think that there is a huge body of evidence to support that opinion.

dps
07-24-2014, 01:44 PM
The addition of atemi to any style of Aikido will give you an effective defense.
I suggest learning the basics of boxing and bagua to add with your style of Aikido.

dps

Chris Raihl
07-24-2014, 02:57 PM
There are no "basics" in Bagua anymore than there are really any basics in Aikido.

sorokod
07-24-2014, 04:26 PM
The addition of atemi to any style of Aikido will give you an effective defense.
I suggest learning the basics of boxing and bagua to add with your style of Aikido.

dps

Don't think there is such a thing as an "addition" operation for martial arts.

lars beyer
07-24-2014, 06:00 PM
Wondering if you are adressing me, for the cause of me leaving aikido is well known and has nothing to do with the art itself or its value as budo.

What's wrong with burning calories? Anyway, bursting bubbles is not very demanding in this aspect.

Maybe it´s just me Demitrio, and I´m merely basing my claim on what I have read in your posts from time to time so I might be wrong, but I doesn´t sound like you left aikido altogether ?

Regards
Lars

Greg Jennings
07-25-2014, 09:02 AM
The addition of atemi to any style of Aikido will give you an effective defense. <snip>
Not commenting on the relevancy of it, but atemi is definitely included in aikdo. It is just that some people and teachers drop it from their personal aikido.

Greg Jennings
07-25-2014, 09:10 AM
There are no "basics" in Bagua anymore than there are really any basics in Aikido.
Please explain.

I might be looking at "basics" from a different perspective.

Throwing some meat out there for discussion, here is a link:

http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2012/03/19/the-iwama-aikido-conundrum-by-stanley-pranin/

Whether you agree or disagree with his thesis, Stan Pranin is always worth paying attention to. We are blessed to have a historian in aikido.

PeterR
07-25-2014, 09:25 AM
Please explain.

I might be looking at "basics" from a different perspective.

Throwing some meat out there for discussion, here is a link:

http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2012/03/19/the-iwama-aikido-conundrum-by-stanley-pranin/

Whether you agree or disagree with his thesis, Stan Pranin is always worth paying attention to. We are blessed to have a historian in aikido.

I have issues with the no basics in Aikido also.

We have basic drills, exercises, waza. Lots and lots of basics.

Chris Raihl
07-25-2014, 11:20 AM
Certainly,

Allow me to explain further. I responded to this post;

"dps The addition of atemi to any style of Aikido will give you an effective defense.
I suggest learning the basics of boxing and bagua to add with your style of Aikido."

Which suggest that adding an art that is very elusive as Baguazhang to ones Aikido might enhance it which is no more true as saying "adding some basic of Aikido will help X style".

What someone might call basics I would call fundamentals. There is a difference (at least in my humble mind) between the ability to attend a weekend kick boxing class and learning to punch a bag after a couple of weeks ( basic but effective) verses anything in Bagua or Aikido. Like Aikido Bagua is considered a hard / soft style that has a lot of moving parts and subtle components.

Please understand that I claim no mastery to any style - my exposure to Bagua is but 2 years under Sifu Wing Lam, but merely sharing my perception.

Perhaps I have inadvertently highjacked this thread which I must apologize to the OP for.