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Sojourner
07-02-2015, 10:15 PM
Greetings all, I would like to put this question/s to the group as an off shoot of a discussion in the blogs forum

Do you feel confident to use Aikido in a situation of enclosed space? - Perhaps you might wonder what sized space, so for the sake of arguement lets say in a bus or on a train carriage, with seats, ticket vending machines and standing bars as potential obstacles.

Do you consider that you need clear open space to effectivley use Aikido to defend yourself?

rugwithlegs
07-02-2015, 11:19 PM
No problem doing any Aikido technique in an enclosed space - the Ikkyo Undo exercise works very well in tight quarters, and Shodokan apparently the small circles are influenced by the years Tomiki spent incarcerated. No problem, just expect almost all techniques will result in someone hitting the wall. I've played in hallways and small shower rooms with some students - it's very difficult to have people pinned face down and spread out on the floor. I've also done very slow and careful play on a staircase - going up and going down. Bagua post gardens, or throwing striking pads on the mat or labeling areas with sticky notes as either 1). A target to hit or 2). Something to avoid and protect. Sensei would slowly walk through a crowded mat, and we were to all avoid him. It's a basic offshoot of randori skills. Dojo are usually big and open and padded, and this is very much for safety.

If I am thinking of the same discussion, the blog was about using Aikido in a health care setting, when patients and their health and very expensive equipment used to save the lives of hundreds of other patients is also my responsibility. It's not about me defending myself; the issue is that the patient will very likely get harmed, the usual control techniques are much more difficult and throws are more dangerous as you cannot throw the patient away from you to make space. In an ED setting, causing a patient to stumble might mean I am responsible for hurting other patients or their families. Break a defibrillator, I might be responsible for multiple deaths.

It's possible, it just is pure kuzushi and lots of impact, atemi and pushing, lots of hanmihadachi inspired work. No tenkan, tenshin or irimitenkan in very tight quarters. Really tight, no evasive footwork and maybe not physically possible to ever disengage or break contact.

You use the example of a bus. A crowded bus with some frail old ladies, maybe a pregnant woman or a young mother with a newborn right beside where you are in the altercation? Throw a punch and cause an attacker to fall on a three month old. Maybe an open bus that'll make it possible for someone to be thrown into traffic? "Self" defense is relatively easy.

kewms
07-03-2015, 12:07 AM
As John said, what are the obstacles? The issue in a closed space is not so much applying technique to the attacker, as avoiding unnecessary damage to bystanders, breakable objects, or the attacker himself.

Katherine

PeterR
07-03-2015, 02:53 AM
The aikido exercises Tomiki developed during his incarceration don't really address the question - most of those were just movement drills.

I think to answer the question you need only to look at suwariza - which can just as easily be considered small space aikido as seated techniques. The first time I went dojo visiting was also the first time I was exposed to suwariwaza and that was in a small country-side dojo in Tsuchira, Ibaraki run by a senior Iwama teacher. The practice area was smaller than my current bed.

Later on, when looking at the variation of ikkyo done from seating two things are very obvious. The direction is almost straight down. It needs very little space and if done from tachi would probably break the neck. Aikido is not limited by space.

PeterR
07-03-2015, 07:10 AM
To follow on - I am probably more comfortable doing aikido where I can control ma ai but take that away there is plenty of confidence in applying aikido techniques in an small space while still maintaining control.

Janet Rosen
07-03-2015, 10:06 PM
I like neat takedowns in front of me anyhow, not big projections.

JP3
07-04-2015, 05:02 PM
I'm with Janet, I put the people at my feet rather than across the room (I almost wrote "bar," LOL!).

I came up with something we sort of tongue-in-cheek call "The ATM Drill." Go stand in the corner of your dojo, facing the wall, and have another student stand to the side that is open to the room/mat. That student is the 3rd "wall" so to speak, of a step-inside ATM (cash machine). The training simulation begins with tori(nage) facing the wall engaged in what he'she is doing (lost advantage/initiative/mai ai control) as uke initiates an attack, whatever that may be.

CARFUL! Safety Note: Only put your students in positions you feel that they can mentally deal with, and have your uke be careful the first few times they do this, too. People can freak at either end of the spectrum (i.e. freeze-up at one end or explode into a random technique and injure uke at the other) so you need to go slow to figure who can deal with what. I have trained a green belt young woman who is tough as nails who is unfazed by starting the simulation with her face pressed forcibly into the wall by a man twice her size and held there as he goes through her "pockets" to start the "sequence." She doesn't frek, and just handles it. By contrast, I've a nidan guy who just locks up if he is approached form the rear, he can't take it. So, go slow.

I said that to say this. Nearly all of the techniques of Aikido that I've ever been taught can be modified from big-flowing movements with stepping in/around through or away from uke.... to a version where the movements are above a stable platform, if you will, of feet. Just use the motion you can generate and use in the ankles, knees and hips - don't forget about age/sage (up/down, right?), when you're doing it. Nearly everything is reproducible, though it will take effect visually differently, and some of the techniques end up with a spinal torsion of uke down tot he ground as their posture deforms back/forwards and down. Some variations are surprisingly effective and S.L.O.W. it's neat.

rugwithlegs
07-04-2015, 11:43 PM
I love small footwork practice, and I agree suwari waza is a good place to start. I do actually try to train people out of a preference. If I see a student who keeps having people pile up during randori, or who trips over one of their Uke at their feet, then I push larger footwork. both are important I think.

philipsmith
07-05-2015, 04:54 AM
Great example of Aikido in a confined space

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs_kdGe8Ljc

Amir Krause
07-05-2015, 07:06 AM
Much of the Aikido practice I do needs no more then a single step, often less, and the power generation is hip movement, not foot moment.

The main difficulty in small spaces is the short range, requiring much shorter response time, thus making timing much more difficult. In very small spaces walls might change the unbalancing possibilities, this however plays both ways, and if one can achieve your skill while keeping an open mind, and do understand the principles behind each technique, I think the advantage of practice may be kept.

Amir

Amir Krause
07-05-2015, 07:16 AM
Much of the Aikido practice I do needs no more then a single step, often less, and the power generation is hip movement, not foot movement. And throws default direction is just adjacent to Tori feet. So, very little room is required.

Still, I would consider small space to be difficult, in a general manner:

The main difficulty in small spaces is the short range, requiring much shorter response time, thus making timing much more difficult. In very small spaces walls might change the unbalancing possibilities, this however plays both ways, and if one can achieve your skill while keeping an open mind, and do understand the principles behind each technique, I think the advantage of practice may be kept.

Amir

SeiserL
07-05-2015, 04:25 PM
See if you can track down some tape of Sensei David Dye out of Costa Mesa, California.
As a police officer, he'd conduct seminar where you had to make everything work in the space of one mat (hallway size) ...

Janet Rosen
07-05-2015, 07:51 PM
Recalling a series of black and white photos toward back of a Shioda Sensei book showing a woman in business clothing doing locks and small-space throws....

Janet Rosen
07-05-2015, 07:52 PM
I'm with Janet, I put the people at my feet rather than across the room (I almost wrote "bar," LOL!).

I came up with something we sort of tongue-in-cheek call "The ATM Drill." Go stand in the corner of your dojo, facing the wall, and have another student stand to the side that is open to the room/mat. That student is the 3rd "wall" so to speak, of a step-inside ATM (cash machine). The training simulation begins with tori(nage) facing the wall engaged in what he'she is doing (lost advantage/initiative/mai ai control) as uke initiates an attack, whatever that may be.

CARFUL! Safety Note: Only put your students in positions you feel that they can mentally deal with, and have your uke be careful the first few times they do this, too. People can freak at either end of the spectrum (i.e. freeze-up at one end or explode into a random technique and injure uke at the other) so you need to go slow to figure who can deal with what. I have trained a green belt young woman who is tough as nails who is unfazed by starting the simulation with her face pressed forcibly into the wall by a man twice her size and held there as he goes through her "pockets" to start the "sequence." She doesn't frek, and just handles it. By contrast, I've a nidan guy who just locks up if he is approached form the rear, he can't take it. So, go slow.

I said that to say this. Nearly all of the techniques of Aikido that I've ever been taught can be modified from big-flowing movements with stepping in/around through or away from uke.... to a version where the movements are above a stable platform, if you will, of feet. Just use the motion you can generate and use in the ankles, knees and hips - don't forget about age/sage (up/down, right?), when you're doing it. Nearly everything is reproducible, though it will take effect visually differently, and some of the techniques end up with a spinal torsion of uke down tot he ground as their posture deforms back/forwards and down. Some variations are surprisingly effective and S.L.O.W. it's neat.

Great exercise, your ATM :) My late teacher, Gayle Fillman Sensei would sometimes in advanced class have students create a narrow "hallway" by propping up/holding large gym mats, then have uke follow nage down the "hall" and attack. It is disconcerting and DOES change one's practice a lot.

MRoh
07-06-2015, 05:06 AM
seminar where you had to make everything work in the space of one mat (hallway size) ...

That happens all by itself, if you visit seminars with Tada Sensei as an example...

but we did that too, Asai Sensei sometimes told us to move in the space of one square-meter.

rugwithlegs
07-06-2015, 07:48 PM
Recalling a series of black and white photos toward back of a Shioda Sensei book showing a woman in business clothing doing locks and small-space throws....

Gozo Shioda's Dynamic Aikido. Great book with an interesting final chapter of applications in bars, bathrooms, and outdoors. Ikkajo finishing with Uke face first in the wall, Nikajo finishing with a knee to the face as there isn't enough room to finish and control. Sankajo throwing someone down a flight of stairs. Unique in Aikido books. Not sure I would consider them small technique so much as the same technique in smaller quarters.

No pins except for the outdoor techniques.

In terms of Aikido for self defense, eye opening.

In terms of Aikido for use in the ED with demented geriatric patients, not so much.

Janet Rosen
07-07-2015, 12:57 PM
Gozo Shioda's Dynamic Aikido. Great book with an interesting final chapter of applications in bars, bathrooms, and outdoors. Ikkajo finishing with Uke face first in the wall, Nikajo finishing with a knee to the face as there isn't enough room to finish and control. Sankajo throwing someone down a flight of stairs. Unique in Aikido books. Not sure I would consider them small technique so much as the same technique in smaller quarters.

No pins except for the outdoor techniques.

In terms of Aikido for self defense, eye opening.

In terms of Aikido for use in the ED with demented geriatric patients, not so much.

Different thread. Totally applicable for real world self defense :)

Dan Richards
07-17-2015, 09:13 AM
If you think of it in terms of total surface space, a bus interior has much more space than a dojo tatami.

Objects in space don't become "obstacles;" they become allies.

Erick Mead
07-17-2015, 02:35 PM
If you think of it in terms of total surface space, a bus interior has much more space than a dojo tatami.

Objects in space don't become "obstacles;" they become allies.To paraphrase an old teacher of mine -- a 6-trillion ton planet is a marginally better inertial damper for my attacker's momentum -- but a bus will do in a pinch .... :D

JP3
07-17-2015, 05:29 PM
If you think of it in terms of total surface space, a bus interior has much more space than a dojo tatami.

Objects in space don't become "obstacles;" they become allies.

Unless the situation "begins" with the tori/nage inside the bus, perhaps sitting down already. The average tatami is... 1 x 2 meters-ish? That's about 4 times the sq.ft. of a step down a bus aisle AND the tatami doesn't have those neat-O seats, i.e. immovable objects to bounce off others or to be bounced off of yourself, just sayin'.