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Avery Jenkins
09-01-2017, 09:53 PM
Forget the octagon. That's nothing but entertainment, and with its rules, referees, weight-matched opponents, good lighting, good footing and everybody dressed for the job (which is to score points), it has nothing in common with the "real world."

There is a time-honored tradition for figuring out how good your martial art -- and you, as a martial artist -- is.

Go to a bar. Down a couple of scotches. Insult a few girlfriends until somebody's boyfriend takes offense and tries to deck you.

If you eliminate the threat, then your aikido is good. If you get the snot pounded out of your, your aikido is bad.

Of course, this test misses most of the point of aikido, but at least you'll know if your martial art works in the "real world."

Dothemo
09-02-2017, 05:21 AM
I am definitely considered a rank newbie, (6 months sporadic aikido training) but I know that my Aikido would work in the 'real world', because my personal aikido also encompasses my previous significant kickboxing training. I am very comfortable with pugilism and I would not limit myself to what I have been taught for obvious reasons. Being proficient at Aikido would be fantastic however, I hope to get there one day! I personally believe pure aikido works in the real world, I believe in it enough to not test in a bar (I know what you're saying though!).

Perhaps my belief contravenes the spirit of aikido?

I guess what I am trying to say is, if someone is threatening your safety, sovereignty, you are in imminent danger, can't run and your aikido isn't working out; sometimes you just gotta punch them as hard as you can in their fat face until they leave you alone.

Michael Hackett
09-02-2017, 09:45 AM
Avery, that cracked me up. If your aikido is as strong as your sense of humor, you could defeat the Incredible Hulk with tai no henko alone.

Avery Jenkins
09-04-2017, 10:23 AM
Avery, that cracked me up. If your aikido is as strong as your sense of humor, you could defeat the Incredible Hulk with tai no henko alone.

:D

earnest aikidoka
09-20-2017, 02:39 PM
Or let an Uke grab you with full strength and try to execute a technique. If you can't, then you'll know your aikido won't work in the real world if you can't throw someone giving you the throw.

StefanHultberg
09-24-2017, 05:00 AM
I know aikido works for real fights. It has helped me avoid physical conflicts for almost 20 years....

All the best

Stefan

Mary Eastland
09-24-2017, 07:21 AM
Hansel wrote: Or let an Uke grab you with full strength and try to execute a technique. If you can't, then you'll know your aikido won't work in the real world if you can't throw someone giving you the throw.

Am I missing something here?

sorokod
09-26-2017, 03:01 PM
Am I missing something here?

That depends, can you execute a technique when grabbed with full strength?

Robert Cowham
09-26-2017, 05:25 PM
I think the full strength grab thing is overdone, even if I quite enjoy such work these days - but it tends to be in a practice situation.

One time a bouncer tried to grab me, and my instinctive evasion of the grab and then lightly holding his arms (with open hands) - but I saw his eyes change - something unexpected had just happened. From that point it was all verbals - no physical attempts, and I asked for a chat with the manager to resolve things. To me the automatic reaction is "real life" - and timing is all.

Mary Eastland
09-27-2017, 06:13 AM
That depends, can you execute a technique when grabbed with full strength?

What does that have to do with timing, correct distance and the attacker not knowing what I will be doing next?

sorokod
09-27-2017, 02:59 PM
What does that have to do with timing, correct distance and the attacker not knowing what I will be doing next?

You need to know how to crawl before you can run. Saito sensei used to say " if you are held strongly and can't move, you are not doing a martial art"

So, can you move if you are held with full strength? Without huffing and puffing, without lashing at your opponent, without get-out-of-jail atemi, can you move?

Mary Eastland
09-27-2017, 07:01 PM
Of course I can.

sorokod
09-28-2017, 03:17 AM
I am not the poster of the message:

Or let an Uke grab you with full strength and try to execute a technique. If you can't, then you'll know your aikido won't work in the real world if you can't throw someone giving you the throw.


but the way I read it is that is necessary (but not sufficient) for you to be able to move when held with full intent for you to be effective outside of the dojo

GMaroda
09-29-2017, 12:21 PM
You need to know how to crawl before you can run. Saito sensei used to say " if you are held strongly and can't move, you are not doing a martial art"

So, can you move if you are held with full strength? Without huffing and puffing, without lashing at your opponent, without get-out-of-jail atemi, can you move?

I find the "without lashing at your opponent, without get-out-of-jail atemi" interesting. Do you consider atemi superfluous to Aikido or am I misunderstanding your statement?

sorokod
09-29-2017, 02:06 PM
I find the "without lashing at your opponent, without get-out-of-jail atemi" interesting. Do you consider atemi superfluous to Aikido or am I misunderstanding your statement?

Misreading, some people consider atemi a tool of last resort, that is a misunderstanding.

GMaroda
09-30-2017, 08:26 AM
Misreading, some people consider atemi a tool of last resort, that is a misunderstanding.

Fair enough.

Peter Goldsbury
09-30-2017, 04:33 PM
I agree with David Soroko here. My teacher K Chiba spent some months in Iwama after he had a back injury and he also believed that atemi was a major aspect of aikido. (I believe the perecentage varies from teacher to teacher, but for him it was around 90%.) However, other teachers I have had did not stress atemi so much, in the sense that they did not do it as often as K Chiba. But they clearly realized its importance. (I am thinking here of Tada, Yamaguchi and Arikawa.)

Ellis Amdur
09-30-2017, 09:27 PM
This started off whimsical - but there really is a legitimate question here. As Ueshiba Kisshomaru said, "After all, aikido is a martial art." So i'm slowly working on a blog (slowly because I am gathering the data where I can). To whit: law enforcement and correctional officers who train in - and use - aikido on the job. I've heard from some correctional officers at a major penitentiary in California, and police in various parts of the country, most recently in the MidWest - an ASU student. Honestly I don't expect to have enough data for a year or so - as I'm doing this through informal conversations when I present training seminars to police or correctional officers - but the data so far is interesting. I've heard iriminage, nikkyo, ikkyo, unbendable arm (the guy tries to stand up and the officer places an extended arm out and the guy bumps into it and drops back in his seat).

Ellis Amdur

MrIggy
10-01-2017, 04:16 AM
However, other teachers I have had did not stress atemi so much, in the sense that they did not do it as often as K Chiba. But they clearly realized its importance. (I am thinking here of Tada, Yamaguchi and Arikawa.)

I am guessing you are talking about Hiroshi Tada? I find this interesting because the instruction I got from my instructor, concerning Sensei Tada's techniques, always had an atemi (punch, elbow, knee, kick) in them. Certain movements were used specifically against a grappling type attack (from ryo mune tori for instance) with a combination of punches and kick or knee in them. I was also taught that the ryotetori attack comes accompanied with a knee or headbutt.

Ellis Amdur
10-01-2017, 04:32 AM
Looking through notes: Here's one - From a probation/parole officer:

Today I was assaulted (attempted), by an inmate. After a verbal confrontation due to his failure to follow a direct order, he chose to cross the approach line without permission, still running off at the mouth. It was immediately clear by his body language and facial expression that he intended to take this to a physical level. I deliberately retreated a few steps, warning him of the consequences of his actions. No response, still coming. At this point, I reversed my retreat and quickly crossed the gap between us. His attack was simple, a quick attempted overhand right punch, but easy enough to parry and permit me to gain a strong wrist grab and move directly into the technique we practiced on Tues. [NOTE: SHIHONAGE!] without any conscious thought. I know I didn't execute perfectly but was able to maintain sufficient points of contact [He is referring to the way I teach, derived from Ueshiba Morihei's prewar instruction, where there must be three points of contact - two hands and the forehead - on the arm] to avoid being struck or pushed off, and he went down, hard. I thought his wrist had broken, but was only badly strained. I really struggled to lower my center with my shin against his side, but once accomplished, he was completely immobilized at that point. The beauty of it was the fact that having gained control, I could have maintained that restraint indefinitely, although by this time two other staff had responded and we were able to perform a full multi-person restraint until the police and State Parole arrived to take him into custody. My instinct, of course, was to finish the technique with an atemi to the jaw with either an elbow strike or punch to the ear, but I restrained myself here, I cannot justify striking an inmate once control is established. Although it all happened so quickly, what I recall was what was discussed on Tues; that it's not what we're doing to an opponent, but what we're doing for ourselves, i.e. protect and execute properly, it ran through my head like a mantra. It was like it all happened in slow motion, just like we practiced it, but in real attack time.
Frankly, I was astounded that the technique had assimilated so quickly into nerve/muscle memory that enough was there to allow me to effectively utilize it.
It wasn't until I had time to "review the tape" (so to speak) afterward, that I could assess both the shortcomings of my movements (failing to turn my chest quickly enough to his side as I went around and under); and the strong points ( keeping my head protected and following through with the takedown and the immobilization).

sorokod
10-01-2017, 06:24 AM
I agree with David Soroko here. My teacher K Chiba spent some months in Iwama after he had a back injury and he also believed that atemi was a major aspect of aikido. (I believe the perecentage varies from teacher to teacher, but for him it was around 90%.) However, other teachers I have had did not stress atemi so much, in the sense that they did not do it as often as K Chiba. But they clearly realized its importance. (I am thinking here of Tada, Yamaguchi and Arikawa.)

Some Iwama atemi standards https://youtu.be/zQCVpC20MNg?t=135 .These are standards in the sense that atemi is in the kihon technique and taught this way from the beginning. The one I haven't seen until practicing for quite a while is the kick during entering into shihonage (to prevent potential leg sweep counter ).

Mary Eastland
10-01-2017, 07:21 AM
Thanks Ellis, that was really interesting.

Mario Tobias
10-01-2017, 08:58 AM
My belief is that aikido works. The thing is aikido, as well as other martial arts, is first and foremost a system for understanding the basics of how the body works/reacts. Using it as self defense or applying it to the real world should only be of secondary concern until mastery of the latter is achieved.

This will take 10, 20 years, several decades before you understand even a hint of how the body works applying aikido movement. Just because one can do pretty techniques (or thinks he does) does not mean you "really" understand the technique deep down to its basics. Mastery is not about who collects the most number of techniques and correct movement does not equate to understanding of the basics. Even some very high level aikidoka, you can see flaws and openings when they do techniques.

Only martial artists who understand the principles of martial movement and readily see flaws and openings truly understand the art. Only then can you apply the art to some effect. Effectiveness of an art does not come before this. If a person doesn't understand the basic principles of how body works in aikido (and in legit martial arts in general) , then effectiveness in its application is immediately placed in question.

nikyu62
10-01-2017, 04:58 PM
Using it as self defense or applying it to the real world should only be of secondary concern until mastery of the latter is achieved.



The aikido student in Seattle who used kotegaeshi to disarm a robber with a gun after studying for only 2 months would be surprised to learn that he really would not be able to use his art for self defense for 20 years...Tohei Sensei said he learned all he needed to know in 6 months and didn't think it should take years to be effective. I agree, though students all vary in how quickly they are able to absorb skills.

MrIggy
10-02-2017, 09:21 AM
This will take 10, 20 years, several decades before you understand even a hint of how the body works applying aikido movement.


Ok, riddle me this?! How did you come to this conclusion? How do so many people come to this conclusion concerning Aikido?

Mario Tobias
10-02-2017, 11:04 AM
Ok, riddle me this?! How did you come to this conclusion? How do so many people come to this conclusion concerning Aikido?

movement for the sake of movement does not mean understanding behind the move. One needs to understand why we move certain ways, not only how.

O’Sensei once said that a student could learn all the basics of aikido if he practiced just three techniques: 1)tai-no-henko, 2)morotedori-kokyuho, and 3)suwariwaza-kokyuho. I have my own theory of this based on basic mechanical laws but others may not have a clue. The explanation to this only becomes obvious over a very long period of time. Ever wonder why you can do morotedori on weak people but impossible to move even an inch on people with muscular build. Not bragging but I think I can move everybody no matter what build because I know mechanics theory which I applied to very muscular people in the dojo. The move is trvial but not obvious if one does not understand mechanics..

The dojo is a laboratory and every aikido practice should be treated as experiments. One should postulate theories about techniques which should undergo tests through trial and error. If a theory holds true for all techniques, then it becomes a principle and you do this over time to collect principles. A true master collects principles, he does not collect techniques imo and this takes a lot of time..

sorokod
10-02-2017, 04:37 PM
The aikido student in Seattle who used kotegaeshi to disarm a robber with a gun after studying for only 2 months...

Genuinely curious, can you provide more details? A link to an article?

Mario Tobias
10-03-2017, 01:57 AM
I think this is the one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r90w-AXESIk

sorokod
10-03-2017, 05:18 AM
Thank you. A (tiny ) bit more here http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2012/07/09/strange-coincidence-aikidoka-takes-down-robber-with-kotegaeshi/

MrIggy
10-03-2017, 05:49 AM
movement for the sake of movement does not mean understanding behind the move. One needs to understand why we move certain ways, not only how.

And it doesn't take 10-20 years to teach somebody this. The point is does your instructor teach you this or not.

Ever wonder why you can do morotedori on weak people but impossible to move even an inch on people with muscular build. Not bragging but I think I can move everybody no matter what build because I know mechanics theory which I applied to very muscular people in the dojo. The move is trvial but not obvious if one does not understand mechanics..

If the "weak" person actually knows how to apply morotetori with correct body mechanics you ain't moving them for an inch either without applying proper mechanics of your own. The same is with muscular people. I trained with a friend who is very muscular, he has the forearms of a lumberjack, it took me some time to get the mechanics right, about a couple of months, so I could actually us it on him properly. After that it was drilling to the point it became automatic.

The dojo is a laboratory and every aikido practice should be treated as experiments. One should postulate theories about techniques which should undergo tests through trial and error. If a theory holds true for all techniques, then it becomes a principle and you do this over time to collect principles. A true master collects principles, he does not collect techniques imo and this takes a lot of time..

Yes, but if you train in a formed martial system with already developed principles the whole point is to adapt those principles to your own body not to "rediscover" principles that are already there. Then it's mostly a waste of time.

Mario Tobias
10-03-2017, 06:26 AM
Yes, but if you train in a formed martial system with already developed principles the whole point is to adapt those principles to your own body not to "rediscover" principles that are already there. Then it's mostly a waste of time.

Our definition of "principle" seems to be different. You don't rediscover something if you havnt discovered or know that something in the first place.

MrIggy
10-03-2017, 08:23 AM
Our definition of "principle" seems to be different. You don't rediscover something if you havnt discovered or know that something in the first place.

Yes you do if the instructor doesn't explain it to you. Like I said, when you train in an established system it's preposterous for somebody to train you in a way were you have to "rediscover" a principle. If he doesn't explain to you the mechanics behind the movement rather lets you dabble in the dark for several year my suggestion is to simply abandon that instructor.

nikyu62
10-03-2017, 03:38 PM
The links above are the incident i was referring to; I got a couple of details wrong. Thanks for posting the links...I share this story with my students to illustrate the effective use of aikido in the real world.

earnest aikidoka
10-06-2018, 12:05 AM
Grabs are the most fundamental part of Aikido training because that is the strictest test of one's Aiki.

Timing, distance and evasion are common throughout all martial arts. But not all martial arts are aikido. what makes aikido unique is the ability to move freely, without heed of any obstruction or restraint. That comes from mastering Aiki. Which is letting movement project outwards freely, while staying connected to the ground and remaining strong through one's centre.

The grab is the strictest test because your uke is giving you his force freely. He is committed entirely to the grab, which means he is at his most vulnerable as well. He can't pull back or resist any movement you do which would affect his balance. If your aikido can't even move an uke in such a state, what good is it?

If you can't do Aiki, what is 'AIKI' do?

dps
10-08-2018, 01:50 AM
This started off whimsical - but there really is a legitimate question here. As Ueshiba Kisshomaru said, "After all, aikido is a martial art." So i'm slowly working on a blog (slowly because I am gathering the data where I can). To whit: law enforcement and correctional officers who train in - and use - aikido on the job. I've heard from some correctional officers at a major penitentiary in California, and police in various parts of the country, most recently in the MidWest - an ASU student. Honestly I don't expect to have enough data for a year or so - as I'm doing this through informal conversations when I present training seminars to police or correctional officers - but the data so far is interesting. I've heard iriminage, nikkyo, ikkyo, unbendable arm (the guy tries to stand up and the officer places an extended arm out and the guy bumps into it and drops back in his seat).

Ellis Amdur

In the 80"s Merritt Stevens taught Aikido to law enforcement officers and correctional officers. He developed "The Merritt Stevens System".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=RYN7jGv27xg
http://www.mokurendojo.com/2014/02/merritt-stevens-aikido.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKfKvQtbVgs&feature=youtu.be

His son Moe Stevens still practices in Orient, Ohio;

"Just this Aikido"

Moe Stevens, 7th Dan
The Mojo
1470 Hiner Rd
Orient, OH
(614) 871-3268
mastevens@columbus.rr.com

Hope this can be of help.

dps

dps
10-08-2018, 01:57 AM
Forget the octagon. That's nothing but entertainment, and with its rules, referees, weight-matched opponents, good lighting, good footing and everybody dressed for the job (which is to score points), it has nothing in common with the "real world."

There is a time-honored tradition for figuring out how good your martial art -- and you, as a martial artist -- is.

Go to a bar. Down a couple of scotches. Insult a few girlfriends until somebody's boyfriend takes offense and tries to deck you.

If you eliminate the threat, then your aikido is good. If you get the snot pounded out of your, your aikido is bad.

Of course, this test misses most of the point of aikido, but at least you'll know if your martial art works in the "real world."

This is similar to how my Sensei Chuck Cycyk would test his Aikido. He started practising Aikido in the 60's. When he went to New York to attend Sensei Yamada's seminars he would go to Spanish Harlem to test his Aikido by purposely getting into fights. It worked for him.

It worked for me when I needed to defend myself.

dps

mathewjgano
10-08-2018, 08:54 PM
The interesting thing for me is that the real world is so full of variety.

I work with small children who are consistently violent and while most of the aggression is easy to absorb, a sharp pencil in a group of students I must protect means I have to be exceedingly careful, both for the initial attacker and those around me who might then react violently as a response...especially when we use pencils daily. If I severely strain the wrist of a student while protecting (for example) my eyes, that will be seriously and strictly evaluated.

My application of Aikido in these situations is nothing like what most of you are talking about, but it does still apply and works.

A key feature which I believe Aikido shares with any martial art, is the essential element of proactivity. The working is directly related this, as far as my meager point of view can tell.

That all said, I can tell "my" aikido (somewhat) works because I train with people who will do kaeshi on me if they can...often enough. They will point out a weakness or ask me if they can try something at a point where they sense an opening. In short, they test me at regular intervals. I will never go into the seedy parts of town to see if it works. I've known too many people who were sufficiently dangerous to know that is tempting fate, and I have a strict policy against that. :)

lbb
10-09-2018, 08:40 AM
The interesting thing for me is that the real world is so full of variety.

THIS.

A friend and fellow gardener once said to me, "A weed is a plant that's growing where I don't want it to." Similarly, aikido "works in the real world" if it does what you want to, in the world in which you find yourself.

shizentai
10-27-2018, 01:12 AM
If you don't at least practice jiyu-waza with sloppy hobo punches, kicks and tackles at the end of every class, your Aikido won't work IRL. At least not to a degree that is considered somewhat reliable. You need to develop basic reflexes to weird random attack vectors, which teaches recovery from "bad" techniques, as well as forcing "bad" techniques to finish, and finishing with half-baked self-invented techniques, which are all crucial to real-world application.

Testing Aikido by "being held strong" doesn't actually test anything. I can do shiho nage when someone's holding with their whole might, frozen like a statue. Then I can go to a Judo dojo, and have people grab with aliveness, which makes shiho nage downright impossible. Jiyu-waza is as close as a cooperative system like Aikido can come to generating a degree of aliveness. Get ukes to be slightly mischievous, pulling themselves out thru obvious big holes in techniques. It still won't work against Judoka, but it will work against untrained attackers, who are the majority of population. Which, considering inherent limitations of Aikido, is a solid goal to strive for.

StefanHultberg
11-15-2018, 03:23 AM
Aikido always works, it's not necessary to get into fights to find that out. Aikido works because it's fun every time I go to training. Aikido works because it helps my heart condition and my rheumatoid arthritis. Aikido works because it makes me happy. Etc.

Maybe aikido, in a real fight, should be judged based on if aggression and fights can be avoided, defused, hate turned into love.

Peace

Erik Calderon
12-30-2018, 03:00 AM
I've actually had the opportunity to use Aikido in real world situations (physical confrontations) 11 times. 4 of those where against multiple attackers. Every time Aikido worked for me. But please keep in mind that I've been doing martial arts since I was 5 years old. Each time I've used Aikido has been a very enlightening experience that one day I will talk about on one of my vlogs. Here's my channel if you'd like to see what I've put up so far: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuoZuBAkY3cve-YHuedOtXw (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuoZuBAkY3cve-YHuedOtXw)

JLRonin
03-08-2019, 11:13 AM
11 times? Raising eyebrows.

Mark Harrington
07-25-2019, 07:19 AM
. At this point, I reversed my retreat and quickly crossed the gap between us. His attack was simple, a quick attempted overhand right punch, but easy enough to parry and permit me to gain a strong wrist grab and move directly into the technique we practiced on Tues. [NOTE: SHIHONAGE!] without any conscious thought.

Your use of a technique that was practiced in the last class when the confrontation occurred seems common among Aikidoka. Anecdotally, this is often what you hear, "And it was what I just learned!", or, "It was what we had practiced last night!". I suspect it is because that technique was on the top of the mental pile, so to speak, so when the energy flowed in the right direction that was what came out.

Michael Hackett
07-26-2019, 02:41 PM
This started out as something humorous and has become a debate of sorts. Ellis has mentioned how the police and corrections folks have successfully used aikido professionally. Most of them don't even know that they are practicing a form of aikido - but simply doing "defensive tactics".

The late Bob Koga was a sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department in the fifties and wasn't at all happy with the training officers were getting. He developed a form of aikido, which he named "Practical Aiki-do" and introduced it to LAPD training. Koga Sensei knew that traditional aikido took a lot of focus and training, probably more than the average police officer would follow, so he took all the "pretty" away. LAPD adopted his training and within a few years agencies from all over the US began teaching Koga Sensei's program. After he retired, and up until his death, Koga Sensei continued to teach Practical Aiki-do all across the country.

The bottom line to all this is that most police officers practice a form of aikido that works very well for them. Most don't even know the relationship between what they train in and our traditional art. For the police it is rarely humorous, but it does work. I began training in traditional aikido after learning the Koga development in my academy class. I am grateful to Bob Koga, a friend, a neighbor, and a teacher.

MRoh
07-27-2019, 12:41 PM
Each time I've used Aikido has been a very enlightening experience that one day I will talk about on one of my vlogs.

So much talking!