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Dothemo
11-10-2017, 04:15 AM
Hi Aikiweb,

So apart from reading a lot about Yoshinkan, I also enjoy researching the Eastern European style of "real aikido", however there isn't a heap of information out there about it. My favourite combat style of Aikido to research is Lenny Sly Sensei of Tenshin Aikido, he has a YouTube channel called something like "the rogue warriors". He is extremely pragmatic and street orientated. He is not afraid to show street defence applications of aikido and I really enjoy and appreciate his work.

Some argue that Aikido is a spiritual art but it also truly is an effective martial art, as some people demonstrate. I think there is nothing wrong with focusing on the combat element of aikido (among other elements) because self defence and freedom from sudden unwelcome violence is a human right. Sometimes one can't avoid a fight, sometimes one can be attacked in the street - aikido is perfect for these situations. I believe more so than other martial arts.

What are your thoughts about the combat orientated styles of aikido out there? (or one could argue, just different interpretations of classic Aikido)

grondahl
11-10-2017, 04:29 AM
Most of what I´ve seen promoted of real aikido, Lenny Sly etc is just ordinary aikido with more atemi and a lot of grunting.

Avery Jenkins
11-10-2017, 05:37 AM
Lenny Sly etc is just ordinary aikido with more atemi and a lot of grunting.

Nailed it. lmao.

SeiserL
11-10-2017, 06:51 AM
IMHO, training is not sparring, sparing is not sport competition, sport competition is not fighting, and fighting is not combat.
They differ in intent and intensity.
I have yet to see any "combat" oriented Aikido (even if its marketed that way).
BTW, I do actually like a lot of what I see in Tenshin as an alternative/option.

robin_jet_alt
11-10-2017, 08:53 PM
Most of what I´ve seen promoted of real aikido, Lenny Sly etc is just ordinary aikido with more atemi and a lot of grunting.

And a lot of unnecessary spinning in circles.

robin_jet_alt
11-10-2017, 11:11 PM
And a lot of unnecessary spinning in circles.

That is to say the "REAL Aikido TM" that I've seen is like that. No idea about this Lenny fellow. I haven't heard of him.

MrIggy
11-11-2017, 09:51 AM
So apart from reading a lot about Yoshinkan, I also enjoy researching the Eastern European style of "real aikido", however there isn't a heap of information out there about it.

A comment I posted on a "Real Aikido™" video, on the so-called founder and why he looks like a junior level Aikido guy:

"Because the guy doing the techniques in the video was in fact only a junior level in Aikido. His name was Ljubomir Vračarević, he was the creator of "Real Aikido™" which is what he is essentially presenting in the video. He was from the former Socialist Yugoslavia/Serbia, a black belt in Judo back in the day when it took about 10-12 years to achieve it, and by most accounts a level between orange and green in Aikido. He never managed to get a higher rank because for some reason he never did understand much of the principles in Aikido. Back in 1989. there was a falling out between him and Kenji Shimizu when Shimizu discovered that Vračarević was giving himself higher ranks. It happened during a seminar where Vračarević put up his picture besides Shimizu's and underneath it wrote "5. Dan" implying that it was Shimizu who actually gave him this rank. When Shimizu confronted him and asked how did he get 5. Dan and from whom, and also 4.Dan, Vračarević replied that it was given to him as part of a general consensus in his dojo. That's where Shimizu lost it and cut all ties with him. Shimizu actually wrote this all down and sent an official letter to the Yugoslav edition of Black Belt magazine who published it. He also stated in the letter that Vračarević's techniques where all out of place, especially his stance for which he said was in confrontation with all of the theory of practice in Aikido. There is a pdf file with the letter on the net. It's in Serbian but I'l post it here nevertheless, the title is "Sayonara master Vračarević":"

Here's the pdf picture of the article: https://s18.postimg.org/uyhv7y9m1/kenjishimitzupismozd1.jpg

My favourite combat style of Aikido to research is Lenny Sly Sensei of Tenshin Aikido, he has a YouTube channel called something like "the rogue warriors". He is extremely pragmatic and street orientated. He is not afraid to show street defence applications of aikido and I really enjoy and appreciate his work.

Here's a group were you can discuss, among other things, Lenny's videos: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1426312564098161/

However a word of advice, the first thing that should come to your mind when somebody mention's "combat/combatives" is weapons not empty hand fighting.

sorokod
11-11-2017, 01:31 PM
Vračarević replied that it was given to him as part of a general consensus in his dojo.
;)

Blind leading the blind. (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2f/Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_%281568%29_The_Blind_Leading_the_Blind.jpg/800px-Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_%281568%29_The_Blind_Leading_the_Blind.jpg)

Demetrio Cereijo
11-11-2017, 02:36 PM
What are your thoughts about the combat orientated styles of aikido out there? (or one could argue, just different interpretations of classic Aikido)

They are the WWE of aikido.

Dothemo
11-12-2017, 06:27 AM
Thanks everyone for your opinion! I can see that most have little time for these aspects, fair enough, each to their own :-) I see much value in Lenny Sensei's work despite him sometimes saying controversial things. He works hard and is extremely transparent and generous with his teaching, free on YouTube. I really respect that. It has been interesting to recently learn that Tenshin Aikido (what Lenny Sensei teaches), isn't a separate Aikido style but a slightly different way of looking at classic Aikido. Apparently Tenshin Aikido is graded under AikiKai? It looks similar to classic Aikido to me despite the Uke attacks being made more combat orientated, the interesting hand deflections and some slightly changed throws, like for example the abridged Iriminage (goodness I'd hate be the Uke recieving a full strength abridged Iriminage). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

Thank you Igor for the information regarding Real Aikido™, I had no idea about those things, thankyou for making me aware, I will not search for information on that anymore - I am not a fan of self grading and those kinds of controversies. Furthermore I shall have a look at that Facebook group Thankyou.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-12-2017, 09:17 AM
I suspect what you call "abridged iriminage" is nothing more than classical iriminage, and this "modern" and "combative" aikido is a poor attempt at recovering the original aikido techniques stripping them from the dancing moves that were added later.

Classical aikido is not the one developed from the late 60's on but the one that was practised from the late 30's until the early 50's. If you are after the "combative" aspects of aikido look for early aikido not for modern pseudocombatives in full tacticool regalia.

sorokod
11-12-2017, 02:57 PM
Nowadays there is a tendency to call Iwama "traditional Aikido".

Here is Saito sensei doing a bit of (traditional) Irimi Nage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5wrkVx9okQ

robin_jet_alt
11-12-2017, 03:27 PM
Thanks everyone for your opinion! I can see that most have little time for these aspects, fair enough, each to their own :-) I see much value in Lenny Sensei's work despite him sometimes saying controversial things. He works hard and is extremely transparent and generous with his teaching, free on YouTube. I really respect that. It has been interesting to recently learn that Tenshin Aikido (what Lenny Sensei teaches), isn't a separate Aikido style but a slightly different way of looking at classic Aikido. Apparently Tenshin Aikido is graded under AikiKai? It looks similar to classic Aikido to me despite the Uke attacks being made more combat orientated, the interesting hand deflections and some slightly changed throws, like for example the abridged Iriminage (goodness I'd hate be the Uke recieving a full strength abridged Iriminage). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

Thank you Igor for the information regarding Real Aikido™, I had no idea about those things, thankyou for making me aware, I will not search for information on that anymore - I am not a fan of self grading and those kinds of controversies. Furthermore I shall have a look at that Facebook group Thankyou.

I had a bit of a look at some of Lenny Sly's videos after your initial post. Unlike Real Aikido™ it looks like he actually knows his stuff. Just bear in mind there is very little that is revolutionary about what he's teaching. It's just aikido.

MrIggy
11-12-2017, 03:42 PM
Nowadays there is a tendency to call Iwama "traditional Aikido".

Here is Saito sensei doing a bit of (traditional) Irimi Nage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5wrkVx9okQ

To be fair Saito did author books labeled "Traditional Aikido" back in the seventies.

MrIggy
11-12-2017, 03:43 PM
;)

Blind leading the blind. (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2f/Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_%281568%29_The_Blind_Leading_the_Blind.jpg/800px-Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_%281568%29_The_Blind_Leading_the_Blind.jpg)

Basically.

MrIggy
11-12-2017, 04:19 PM
Thanks everyone for your opinion! I can see that most have little time for these aspects, fair enough, each to their own :-) I see much value in Lenny Sensei's work despite him sometimes saying controversial things. He works hard and is extremely transparent and generous with his teaching, free on YouTube. I really respect that. It has been interesting to recently learn that Tenshin Aikido (what Lenny Sensei teaches), isn't a separate Aikido style but a slightly different way of looking at classic Aikido. Apparently Tenshin Aikido is graded under AikiKai? It looks similar to classic Aikido to me despite the Uke attacks being made more combat orientated, the interesting hand deflections and some slightly changed throws, like for example the abridged Iriminage (goodness I'd hate be the Uke recieving a full strength abridged Iriminage). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

Tenshin is the name of the dojo in Japan where Seagal used to train. Similar to Shioda's "Yoshinkan" dojo from which the name came. And yes they are under the Aikikai. As for everything else, not much of what he says, or similar to what he is saying or doing for that matter, hasn't been said or done by others. The whole "problem" is the manner in which he is doing it that makes people fell unpleasant about him. However, despite my disagreement with some the aspects of his methods and training, looking at how much bu***hit goes around as Aikido these days, about 90% of it, he falls into that category of 10% that's actually worth what he is saying. So you won't make an error of at least experimenting with his stuff.

Thank you Igor for the information regarding Real Aikido™, I had no idea about those things, thankyou for making me aware, I will not search for information on that anymore - I am not a fan of self grading and those kinds of controversies. Furthermore I shall have a look at that Facebook group Thankyou.

Real Aikido™ was created by a man who had political support more than he had actual knowledge on the matter (either his father, uncle or father in law was an officer in the army which opened a lot of doors for him). Even many of his "high-ranking" students left him at one point or another and now are regular attendees at Aikikai, Yoshinkan and also Iwama Aikido seminars. He past away a couple of years ago. His organization still lives on with his daughter but it's a shell of the strength it used to have. In general it's just better to stay clear away from them. To much political non-sense involved, literally.

JJF
11-14-2017, 04:38 AM
It seems to me that after having practiced for a while people tend to go in one of a few directions:
1) Aikido is not my kind of budo - I'll find something else
2) Aikido is amazing, and the more I learn, the more there is to be found
3) Aikido looks cool but most others do it wrong, and I am going to change the s*** out of it

In my experience - with the 2) approach you will eventually start seeing something interesting in many of the different approaches to aikido. I am personally not a big fan of the teaching methods of Saito senseis aikido, but the video linked above shows that this is a man who has paid his dues in mat time to develop timing, skill and the ability to gain power from relaxed body posture. His Aiki-body has been developed and eventually the actual waza becomes less important than the ability to respond to each situation. He is doing Aikido - not aikido techniques.

The typical 3) type however, seem to be often very hung up on specific ways of 'making the technique work'. I think that is a dangerous mindset that foster excessive use of force and build a competitive or destructive mindset. It may look very effective and cool... I just don't feel it's the fastest path towards mastering what makes aikido unique.

I've only seen a few of Sly's videos. I don't care for his language though I agree with him when he talks about the lack of martial intent seen in many aikido dojos. My main quarrel with his videos is the attitude. Pain and suffering.. punishing.. controlling with pain and intention to hurt is in the front seat. I believe working with Aikido for enough time will enable one to put it in the backseat and only use it when all other options fail. But to achive that require that you can forget about 'effectivenes' and be patient. A trait not common in 1) and 3) scenarios above.

For 'Real Aikido'.. it's pretty much the same. Combined with a huge amount of ego and selfpromotion.

In short - I believe that focusing on effectiveness alone may ruin a great chance to discover something more important.

MRoh
11-14-2017, 07:27 AM
It looks similar to classic Aikido to me despite the Uke attacks being made more combat orientated, the interesting hand deflections and some slightly changed throws, like for example the abridged Iriminage (goodness I'd hate be the Uke recieving a full strength abridged Iriminage). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.


Look at Isoyama Sensei and you will know where this Irimi nage comes from. He was Steven Seagals teacher, and tenshin Aikido is Seagals Dojo, not a style.
In wrestling you call it a clothes line.
But in my eyes it is all normal aikido, same movements and same katas.
Ways to throw more destructive exist many, and all of the early students of O Sensei knew or know them.
But still it is kata, not fighting.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-14-2017, 08:21 AM
the actual waza becomes less important than the ability to respond to each situation.

This.

lbb
11-14-2017, 08:28 AM
In short - I believe that focusing on effectiveness alone may ruin a great chance to discover something more important.

And in response to the inevitable question, "But isn't effectiveness the only thing that really matters, ultimately?" - my response would be, effectiveness for what purpose? The response to that is always phrased in undefined terms like "combat" or "the street", never in terms of real problems that this person is actually facing. "Effectiveness" in an imagined situation is just another kind of fantasy, and its proponents are in the most fragile of glass houses.

sorokod
11-15-2017, 01:51 PM
I think that the most basic "is it effective" question is: "is it effective in the dojo". If one is taught waza such that by design , the uke can poke one in the eye and walk away, one is taught rubbish.

Once, "is it effective in the dojo" question has been answered in the positive, a reasonable discussion can be had about the next level of effectiveness.

JJF
11-16-2017, 03:12 AM
Seems like Peter Boylan have picked up the gauntlet of this theme in his latest musings....
Always a pleasure to read: http://budobum.blogspot.dk/2017/11/efficiency-its-not-just-for-judo.html

phitruong
11-21-2017, 10:36 AM
whenever i heard "combat oriented", i am thinking thermal nuclear or kinetic energy weapons. i wondered if there is an aikido style out there that has rail gun in the curriculum. wonder if the rail gun would make me look fat.

shizentai
11-21-2017, 05:46 PM
Every negative description of Lenny Sly's Aikido in this thread is generated from surface impressions at best. Tenshin Aikido has significant improvements in usability compared to mainstream Aikido, #1 of them being integration of ken jitsu-style rapid arm movement, which allows the practitioner to operate at a distance and speed most Aikido people are very uncomfortable with.

The uke-nagashi deflection/blend alone is a great tool. Yubi dori (finger manipulation) is also taught in technical manner (there's some trickery to it), and can be used to transition into traditional techniques.

The way Tenshin Aikido approaches randori and irimi, are derived from more practical standpoint. There are technical guidelines on how to do these things which differ from other systems, and I don't want to trivialize them by trying to enumerate the subject I'm not fully familiar with.

The honest attacks by uke are of great importance in the system - a subject which is neglected in many Aikido schools. In addition to honest attacks, there are also more realistic attacks used, such as shoves, or kick and punch combos.

Calling Tenshin Aikido "Aikido with more grunting" is entirely inaccurate. You can goof off about Lenny's "Youtube personality", but the truth remains - he's a great representative of Tenshin technique and methodology, with legit credentials. Tenshin is the closest Aikido has come thus far to being a functional self-defense system.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-22-2017, 04:06 AM
Tenshin is the closest Aikido has come thus far to being a functional self-defense system.

Because you say so or because you have proof?

lbb
11-22-2017, 08:48 AM
I'm sorry, every time I see this topic I grit my teeth at the non-word "orientated". Ugh.

shuckser
11-22-2017, 10:30 AM
I'm sorry, every time I see this topic I grit my teeth at the non-word "orientated". Ugh.Well, if you're British it's a perfectly cromulent word. :D

shizentai
11-22-2017, 08:15 PM
Because you say so or because you have proof?

There are many reasons, some of which I already referenced, but the #1 reason why it's the closest Aikido has come to being an effective self-defense system, is because it's the only Aikido style which successfully, and gracefully, integrated drills for dealing with retractable punches with follow-ups, into its training method, all the while remaining distinctly Aikido. It's not Aikido plus boxing, it's Aikido philosophy and design, successfully extended into a closer, faster ma-ai.

Having hard randori with random street attacks doesn't hurt, either. Well - it does literally, but you know what I mean ;)

Demetrio Cereijo
11-23-2017, 06:35 AM
Sorry but these reasons are not proof. When I asked you for proof I meant things like Police reportings, CCTV recordings, court documents, news or any other kind of evidence of people trained in Tenshin Aikido having succesfully used it in self-defense.

Drills and randori, no matter how good they look, are not actual self-defense.

JJF
11-23-2017, 06:54 AM
.... snip.... is because it's the only Aikido style which successfully, and gracefully, integrated drills for dealing with retractable punches with follow-ups, into its training method, all the while remaining distinctly Aikido. It's not Aikido plus boxing, it's Aikido philosophy and design, successfully extended into a closer, faster ma-ai.......


Well.. I will remember to tell this to the 6th dan sensei I am practicing with this weekend. I distinctly remember him teaching it at last years seminar, but since he is not doing this style I must have misunderstood.....

Seriously: if somebody tells you something like "our style is the only one that understand / practice / do this or that" etc then you should be careful. Very few ideas are created in one place only. It is a big world after all.

As much as I enjoy practicing aikido inspired by Nishio sensei - and regardless of the fact that I believe he had a very unique take on irimi, atemi and a few other things making his Aikido extremely well balanced in a budo perspective - then I am still very sure that other senseis have worked with the same thoughts and principles in ways as good or better at one point. And other interpretations will only broaden my understanding.

Having hard randori with random street attacks doesn't hurt, either. Well - it does literally, but you know what I mean ;)

It depends... if your skill level is so high that you can rely on skill and not on physical power - then you are right... however, what I see in most videos of such training methods are not 100% 'anything goes' anyway. The attacks are controlled - but just different from the regular kata practice. It's just a matter of what you emphasize in your training.

Regardless of what type of constraints you put on your randori you also need to understand that this is a tool and not the goal.

shizentai
11-23-2017, 05:47 PM
Sorry but these reasons are not proof. When I asked you for proof I meant things like Police reportings, CCTV recordings, court documents, news or any other kind of evidence of people trained in Tenshin Aikido having succesfully used it in self-defense.

Drills and randori, no matter how good they look, are not actual self-defense.

This is true. Which is why I chose my words carefully:

Tenshin is the closest Aikido has come thus far to being a functional self-defense system.

I didn't say it has actually crossed the threshold of being a functional self-defense system. But if you look at their methodology in-depth, it will become self-evident that the students of Tenshin Aikido are more prepared to deal with realistic attacks than mainstream Aikido - just by the virtue of actually practicing them - and such innovations in training are certainly to be welcomed - at least, by those who care about Aikido's practical application.

shizentai
11-23-2017, 06:09 PM
Well.. I will remember to tell this to the 6th dan sensei I am practicing with this weekend. I distinctly remember him teaching it at last years seminar, but since he is not doing this style I must have misunderstood.....

If that 6th dan Sensei was teaching this drill:

https://youtu.be/RXL1O-283lQ?t=422

... then he took it from Tenshin Aikido.

Seriously: if somebody tells you something like "our style is the only one that understand / practice / do this or that" etc then you should be careful. Very few ideas are created in one place only. It is a big world after all.

From what I've seen in the Aikido world, Tenshin is the only style which comprehensively modernized Aikido, or at least gave it its best shot. Every other attempt I've seen, that is actually a style, looks like "Real Aikido" in some way or another - indeed, just more grunting and speed.

As much as I enjoy practicing aikido inspired by Nishio sensei - and regardless of the fact that I believe he had a very unique take on irimi, atemi and a few other things making his Aikido extremely well balanced in a budo perspective - then I am still very sure that other senseis have worked with the same thoughts and principles in ways as good or better at one point. And other interpretations will only broaden my understanding.

Not sure what this is about, but the vast majority of Aikido community have not developed a RAM (rapid arm movement) system and integrated it into Aikido like Tenshin style has. This is not some cross-pollinated "idea" or "trick" that "multiple Senseis had".

Moreso, Tenshin is a comprehensive and interconnected collection of modifications made with one goal in mind. It's not just mainstream Aikido with a patch here and there. You may get something Tenshin-like from one Sensei or another, but those are fragmented bits and pieces that you try to integrate into your mainstream style. That is the truth for majority of Aikido practitioners.

It depends... if your skill level is so high that you can rely on skill and not on physical power - then you are right... however, what I see in most videos of such training methods are not 100% 'anything goes' anyway. The attacks are controlled - but just different from the regular kata practice. It's just a matter of what you emphasize in your training.

Regardless of what type of constraints you put on your randori you also need to understand that this is a tool and not the goal.

There's a big difference between "controlled attacks" where people are regularly getting hit in the face, taken down and piled up on, and what goes on during randori in your average Aikido dojo. Tenshin randori is different on concept, goals and intensity from mainstream Aikido. Even an "energetic randori" in mainstream Aikido is usually about two-handed grabs, and you're lucky if you found a dojo where the ukes will consistently gang up on the nage if he gives them the opening.

We're not going to debate the merits of developing tight timing and ability to deal with wider attack range, surely.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-24-2017, 10:36 AM
But if you look at their methodology in-depth, it will become self-evident that the students of Tenshin Aikido are more prepared to deal with realistic attacks than mainstream Aikido - just by the virtue of actually practicing them - and such innovations in training are certainly to be welcomed - at least, by those who care about Aikido's practical application.

Must be I'm not looking deep enough because I only see the same old compliant kata based training against poorly performed half assed attacks.

Could you point me to a clip where they can be seen training realistically against realistic attacks?

PeterR
11-24-2017, 10:57 AM
Must be I'm not looking deep enough because I only see the same old compliant kata based training against poorly performed half assed attacks.

Could you point me to a clip where they can be seen training realistically against realistic attacks?

amen

MrIggy
11-24-2017, 01:06 PM
Could you point me to a clip where they can be seen training realistically against realistic attacks?

What would be a realistic attack and more importantly what would a realistic defense in your opinion?

shizentai
11-24-2017, 02:22 PM
Must be I'm not looking deep enough because I only see the same old compliant kata based training against poorly performed half assed attacks.

Could you point me to a clip where they can be seen training realistically against realistic attacks?

Yeah, they do use compliant kata-based training. Look, you're preaching to the choir here, as I largely abandoned Aikido for BJJ and some half-assed backyard boxing. But I still recognize the differences in styles, as I watched many of Lenny Sly's videos (and also those of Calderon Sensei from "Last Tenshin Warrior" dojo) and also interacted IRL with a kyu-level practitioner of Tenshin Aikido.

Actually I did link to Lenny's "clip" in a reply to the other person in this thread, but the post was moved to some purgatory for approval, where it's been for at least a day now, so now I'm wary of posting Youtube links.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-24-2017, 05:21 PM
What would be a realistic attack and more importantly what would a realistic defense in your opinion?
First, one has to understand "aliveness (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VATXbaupcVo)" before adressing what realistic training is.

Riai Maori
11-24-2017, 06:14 PM
First, one has to understand "aliveness (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VATXbaupcVo)" before adressing what realistic training is.

I train with aliveness and are then criticized as the "uke from hell":D

MrIggy
11-24-2017, 08:15 PM
First, one has to understand "aliveness (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VATXbaupcVo)" before adressing what realistic training is.

In the video he is essentially presenting sparring and advanced drilling as "aliveness".

His stick defense is something that bothers me though. Here's a question, how would you react in the situation if somebody would swing at you like the example he gives at 2:20? You would have a stick also of course.

Currawong
11-24-2017, 10:40 PM
His point, as I see it, isn't about stick fighting, it's about how you train your martial art. I had the "uke from hell" for my last grading. He attacks with full force and full movement and most people can't handle it. I've sought him out to train with at least once a week to practice at that level, and the training is often more failure than success as it challenges you both mentally and physically. However I spent the last couple of years fixing my body structure during movement so I could get benefit from that level of training.

Personally I'm now more interested in this kind of training, but I think it is something that has to be built up to, but is extremely satisfying to do if you have no problem with a lot of failure rather than the always-finishing-a-technique style of Aikido training most of us are used to.

MrIggy
11-25-2017, 06:32 PM
His point, as I see it, isn't about stick fighting.

I know what his point is, the problem is that he presents sparring as "aliveness" while he actually makes some mistakes in the presentation of steps in training as "dead patterns". Even in the very beginning of the video where he presents, what actually does look like a dead pattern because the guy on the receiving end doesn't fight back, the first "dead pattern" movement you can see that the guy who continuously attacks used a groin attack while in the "alive" part they don't do it although they clearly could have. How is that good presentation of "alive" training?

The reason I mentioned the stick part is because he is to passive on the defensive end. If somebody continuously attacked him he could have been simply overwhelmed by the attack, pushed back against the wall for instance and just pummeled at. I don't know if it was Dan Inosanto or somebody else who said to never lose your body composure like that. Of course maybe the whole point was to just show how some untrained person would attack with a stick so he just took the swing as is.

MrIggy
11-25-2017, 06:49 PM
His point, as I see it, isn't about stick fighting, it's about how you train your martial art. I had the "uke from hell" for my last grading. He attacks with full force and full movement and most people can't handle it. I've sought him out to train with at least once a week to practice at that level, and the training is often more failure than success as it challenges you both mentally and physically. However I spent the last couple of years fixing my body structure during movement so I could get benefit from that level of training.

Essentially, every uke should be "hell uke" at certain levels of grading. I honestly find the fact that people get their grades in Aikido despite not being able to handle somebody, who is actually giving them what they are supposed to be training against, generally disrespectful. Not just to the art but also to ourselves. I mean I know two people who both have 4.Dan. One of them is scary as hell the other one I could probably beat up.

Better to fail in the dojo then on the street.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-27-2017, 10:32 AM
His point, as I see it, isn't about stick fighting, it's about how you train your martial art.

Exactly.

Igor, you are focusing on the techniques displayed in the clip, in the external: the stick wildly swung, the knee to the groin on a passive training partner that does not happen when said training partner actively defends...

Aliveness is about the teaching-training methodology, not about the specific techniques.

Here's a question, how would you react in the situation if somebody would swing at you like the example he gives at 2:20? You would have a stick also of course.
Well, this is a direct question I can't answer for I don't know how I would react. I know how I have reacted in the past when attacked by an armed (knife) assailtant but I don't think past engagements are totally predictive of future ones. Maybe next time I'll be the one who ends injured, who knows?

senshincenter
11-27-2017, 05:53 PM
I say, “To each his own.” (see video link below)

I like Lenny’s Aikido, but I too would not adopt his way of communicating it – because that’s not me. But, it’s him, so I accept it and him. It does not take away from his Aikido or what I like about it. I’m sure, if you ask him, it actually plays a big roll in the development of his art. His art is certainly not just a manner of grunting; just as whatever that general “Aikido” art might be is also not solely a matter of not grunting. To dismiss or accept something based upon grunting or not grunting, or even to reduce something to grunting or not grunting, seems somewhat ignorant for my taste.

If you want to learn Tenshin Aikido, go train with Lenny. Do not attempt to learn from his videos. Let the videos motivate you to go train with him. Then, you will come to understand and hopefully learn his art. If you cannot go train with him, and if you want to learn his art, then, make it so you can go train with him and then go train with him. Yes, that is what I mean: Go train with him; If you can’t, make it so you can. If you really can’t and you cannot really make it happen, then use his videos as a catalyst for your own explorations in your own practice. In that way, they can function as a kind of art criticism, something that always brings about change. Just do not think you are going to learn his art from a video – my opinion.

I also think calling his Aikido, “Tenshin Aikido” has more social and historical accuracy than trying to lump everything and everyone under one abstract and universal “Aikido.” So, I’m fine with that too. I do think that more folks should be upset about the cultural fiction at work in the universal nomenclature of “Aikido” – but that is just me. To me, it seems that most of the debates and arguments on AikiWeb stem from folks ignorantly buying into this notion that “Aikido,” as a singularity, as something definable, not only exists but that should exist. I could not disagree more on both accounts – again, just me.

I do not believe that Lenny’s style or take on the art is found in an aim unique to him. I do believe that there are many aikidoka out there training with as much martial intent and intensity, which are also interested in martial applications, etc. However, while more than one, on the whole, these people are few in number, and as such, in all likelihood, statistically, you(we) and your(our) dojo is not one of them. So, I’m not a fan of the poster that comments on “effectiveness” or “reality” as a commentator on someone else’s art, especially when that is done only with words. I am thus a huge fan of folks that want to write something to write their own pieces on such aspects of their art. For the commentators, however, I say, show us a video of yourself, so we can better understand the problems you claim to be seeing, and the solutions you have found. Otherwise, I am a fan of silence for such commentators. Here’s mine: https://youtu.be/0Xg0VWt2ccA.

I disagree with the dichotomy between the martial and the spiritual that many have used or implied in this thread. For me, the two are not separable in Budo/Aikido, and the two are not antagonistic to each other. I also disagree with the view that Aikido does and should train operatively in an “if/then” paradigm and not in the Confucian paradigm of “as/if” that is its historically and by design. This is something that has also been implied in this thread. I do not think you can determine the “effectiveness” of an Aikido solely by observing a technique or a series of techniques. Aikido, is not and should not be a “plug and play” kind of art. The point of Budo is not necessarily to make a technique effective but rather to make a budoka effective. Thus, many “techniques” practiced in a dojo are aimed at this latter effectiveness and are thus so even at the cost of the former effectiveness. So, when it comes to “effectiveness,” one has to look at the whole training system – hence, my advice to go train under Lenny if you want to know what he is talking about and if you want to understand what he means by “effective.”

I do not have proof for any of these things, but such proof would not serve you in any way anyways. For me, my Budo has made me disciplined, strong, anti-fragile, skilled at self-detachment, fluid of mind, aware, non-reactive, hard to kill, healthy and well, not prone to depression, or self-sabotage, or depression, or anxiety, or self-medication, successful at work and in my social and familial relationships, lethal, brave, and it has done so repeatedly at the speed of life, at the worst of times, in and outside of the show that is marriage, fatherhood, law enforcement, passing the half-centurion mark, etc. I have my opinion on how and why this has worked for me, but it is just my opinion.

shizentai
11-27-2017, 10:55 PM
Thank you for your insight, David. I've been a fan of your channel for a while now.

Your post, however, shifts from one topic to another, and it's challenging to keep track of.

No, there isn't an objective way to measure comparative self-defense effectiveness of sub-styles of a system which designates a "winner" of the altercation before it even starts.

With Aikido, all one can do is speculate. So I speculate, based on my observation of Tenshin teaching methodology, and based on my experiences with real-world assault, that is is better prepared for such assault than other styles of Aikido.

Yes, there are instructors like you, David, who make their own research in that area. It's not an attack on you. I am just tired of hearing mainstream Aikidoists make fun of Lenny without having a clue of what he's actually doing.

He, and others pursuing similar goals, are trying to save the art from fading out into Tai Chi "health gymnastics" category, and to reconnect it with martial reality of emptyhand self-defense context.

And yes, his punch deflection drills are the most effective (IMNSHO) tools Aikido has developed to deal with fast, non-dedicated attacks encountered in the emptyhand distance. They're not just some external things taken from an alien system - they're well-integrated and follow the same "cutting", "blending" and "glancing swords" principles present in mainstream Aikido.

The system would benefit if they were adopted worldwide. But since its power structure clings to some "noble spiritual goals", plus the notion of keeping Aikido frozen in time like a fossil under museum glass, this will never happen.

senshincenter
11-28-2017, 06:34 PM
Apologies about the shifting of topics. I was jumping from idea to idea as - they popped in my head as I was reading along.

Thanks for your comments. I can understand where you’re coming from and I too hold several of your views as my own.

I agree with your insights from a general point of view, which I believe you are speaking from. Definitely, in a text-based forum such as this, one can only speculate. I agree. Under closer analysis, and including environments outside of the dojo, I think one can supplement speculation with more scientific data however. For example, there are kinesiological and physical principles that can be used to determine work capacities, whereby the higher work capacity could and likely should be determined as more optimal. An example of this would be opting for a ground path over a bracing angle in the architecture of one’s stance. Then, there’s also a one-to-one tactical comparison that can and should be used from the perspective of a desired-for end. An example of this would be: It is better to have anchored elbows over locked and lengthened arms from the perspective of torso coverage; and/or, it is better to have torso coverage over not having torso coverage.

This type of analysis can happen outside of and prior to getting into any kind of ethereal discussions on what “reality” is in human-v-human violence. I also think one can make some general statements overall on combat effectiveness or orientation without entering into those go-nowhere discussions on “reality.” For example: Practices that include training at all tactical ranges and the involvement of modern weapons can be considered more martially effective and oriented than practices that are restricted to one range or that ignite one or more ranges or that do not include modern weapons (defense and utilization). Another example and a very important one: Practices that have developed systematic ways of moving a deshi from form to application are more martially effective than practices that have not.

I believe with these two points of view alone, one has already separated most Aikido dojo out of the category “everyone is doing what Lenny does” and even out if being martially effective or oriented.

So, I lean with you, and maybe do so a lot. I’m not really sided with the view that everything is Aikido, or that everyone’s Aikido is the same, and that everyone is doing what (pertaining to this thread) Lenny is doing. Of course then, I do not think I am doing what everyone else is doing either.

I also hold that all understandings, which includes misunderstandings and no understanding, lead one to develop his or her own technical architectures. As an example, a practitioner that understands the art as utilizing an “as/if” paradigm will see Katate Dori Te-Sabaki in an entirely different way from one that understands the art as utilizing an if/then” paradigm or from one that sees the art as a kind of moving modern-yoga or “health gymnastics” or psychoanalysis. As a result, these people will all have different ways of doing these given Te-Sabaki. In turn then, you will see and can judge differences in terms of “effectiveness” and “orientation” using the above-mentioned methods. I think this is why I get and side with your position that our attempts at martial effectiveness and orientation can and should come from within the art - not from some Frankenstein art that seeks to combine boxing with Kihon Waza, for example. In other words, IT is there, but IT is more not there than there. ;-)

For me, relatedly to your last comment, and where I somewhat veer from what you suggested, the art is impractical or less efficient or less martially oriented not when it fails to adopt “new” aspects discovered by some flavor of the day but rather when we as practitioners are not traditional enough. Drawing a distinction between “traditional” and “traditionalistic,” I say the art falters in this thread’s regard not when it’s stuck in its past but rather when it is stuck in a particular past - a past the saw the art first greatly reduced and then redefined. This, for me, is a past that started with Kisshomaru and continues on to today. For me, the solution is not to look to the new but rather to look past this highly problematic (from this point of view) past, to an older era (and of course without becoming traditionalistic). For example, Aikido kihon does not really find its sensibility until weapons become a real concern, a threat, and a tool to be used. This is a thing from an older era in Aikido’s technical genetic history. We do not need to discover this. We only have to uncover this.

Thanks so much. Be well.

Dave

MrIggy
11-28-2017, 11:25 PM
Igor, you are focusing on the techniques displayed in the clip, in the external: the stick wildly swung, the knee to the groin on a passive training partner that does not happen when said training partner actively defends...

At certain points a clear knee to the groin was evident, the reality is that both of them restrained from using them.

Aliveness is about the teaching-training methodology, not about the specific techniques.

I understand what aliveness is supposed to be. The problem with the video is that he sells sparring as aliveness.

Well, this is a direct question I can't answer for I don't know how I would react. I know how I have reacted in the past when attacked by an armed (knife) assailtant but I don't think past engagements are totally predictive of future ones. Maybe next time I'll be the one who ends injured, who knows?

Well, how did you react?

Demetrio Cereijo
11-29-2017, 05:07 AM
At certain points a clear knee to the groin was evident, the reality is that both of them restrained from using them.
The reality is delivering a clear knee to the groin to a resisting opponent who is actively defending, moving and counterattacking seems an easy task when seen from the outside.

I understand what aliveness is supposed to be. The problem with the video is that he sells sparring as aliveness.
Well, sparring is a very important tool in alive training methods.

Well, how did you react?
Ducking, weaving, footwork and striking until the attacker was knocked out.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-29-2017, 05:09 AM
For me, relatedly to your last comment, and where I somewhat veer from what you suggested, the art is impractical or less efficient or less martially oriented not when it fails to adopt “new” aspects discovered by some flavor of the day but rather when we as practitioners are not traditional enough. Drawing a distinction between “traditional” and “traditionalistic,” I say the art falters in this thread’s regard not when it’s stuck in its past but rather when it is stuck in a particular past - a past the saw the art first greatly reduced and then redefined. This, for me, is a past that started with Kisshomaru and continues on to today. For me, the solution is not to look to the new but rather to look past this highly problematic (from this point of view) past, to an older era (and of course without becoming traditionalistic). For example, Aikido kihon does not really find its sensibility until weapons become a real concern, a threat, and a tool to be used. This is a thing from an older era in Aikido’s technical genetic history. We do not need to discover this. We only have to uncover this.


Totally agree.

observer
11-29-2017, 09:30 AM
Totally agree.
For many years now I have pointed out that Morihei Ueshiba's art was not created as one of the next martial arts, but it is an unique art of reacting to any direct attack (with or without weapons) from one of 9 directions (3x3 square) - an attack that can not achieve the goal.This is an art without a second chance, where confrontation should be completed immediately. All its techniques, all without exception, they are so thoughtful that they may end up dying of the attacker by his neck break or safe and controlled instant fall on his back. This is due to simple observations.

This was the beginning of my 3 cents for discussion. Whatever we have in mind by traditional or innovative styles of aikido, none of them has focused so far on the two basic attributes of Morihei Ueshiba's art. I mean, descending from the line of an attack and speed of techniques. Thus, the whole discussion becomes pointless.

MrIggy
11-29-2017, 04:44 PM
The reality is delivering a clear knee to the groin to a resisting opponent who is actively defending, moving and counterattacking seems an easy task when seen from the outside.

Not when both of you are in the clinch and have each other at point blank position but whatever.

Well, sparring is a very important tool in alive training methods.

Yes I can see, so much that everything in the video was either sparring or drills. The actual "alive" part was even missing at certain points.

Ducking, weaving, footwork and striking until the attacker was knocked out.

And all of which you have done in sparring or competition, if I do remember you competed in Taekwondo.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-30-2017, 07:18 AM
Yes I can see, so much that everything in the video was either sparring or drills. The actual "alive" part was even missing at certain points.

I think I don't understand you. What is the meaning of "aliveness" for you?

And all of which you have done in sparring or competition, if I do remember you competed in Taekwondo.
Yes, and the combined work of conditioning, kata, drilling, sparring and competition is, IMO, what allowed me to survive.

So slighty back on topic: When I see people promoting Aikido styles as combat effective (like the ones mentioned in the OP) but I do not see in their training methodology a combination of the above mentioned conditioning, kata, drilling, sparring and competition or at least realistic scenario training, I am unable to believe them.

senshincenter
11-30-2017, 06:20 PM
For many years now I have pointed out that Morihei Ueshiba's art was not created as one of the next martial arts, but it is an unique art of reacting to any direct attack (with or without weapons) from one of 9 directions (3x3 square) - an attack that can not achieve the goal.This is an art without a second chance, where confrontation should be completed immediately. All its techniques, all without exception, they are so thoughtful that they may end up dying of the attacker by his neck break or safe and controlled instant fall on his back. This is due to simple observations.

This was the beginning of my 3 cents for discussion. Whatever we have in mind by traditional or innovative styles of aikido, none of them has focused so far on the two basic attributes of Morihei Ueshiba's art. I mean, descending from the line of an attack and speed of techniques. Thus, the whole discussion becomes pointless.

Here, just speaking technically, and doing so because I believe application and the capacity for application is found somewhat outside of technique, I’m not a fan of the idea that Aikido has a uniqueness. This is a common position, that Aikido is unique, among aikidoka. I think it’s part of the problem wherein Aikido has come to isolate itself and have very little to say globally on either martial arts or spiritual cultivation. I realize that at some level it is reasonable to say that not everything is Aikido. However, I would suggest that one would be hard pressed to find any aspect of Aikido that could not be found elsewhere. My experience, and this is not me trying to represent you, lends itself to hold that most folks that latch onto Aikido’s uniqueness either do not know very many other martial arts or are not well versered on East Asian history. Then, again, I may be, for example, not understanding what you mean by “immediately.” A video would be very helpful - if you have one or even a frame by frame analysis comparing Osensei’s kihon to Lenny’s by which we could see that the latter is not as “immediate” as the former.

MrIggy
11-30-2017, 09:19 PM
I think I don't understand you. What is the meaning of "aliveness" for you?

The real question is what does mean to you? To me it means being adaptable to any type of condition in a given situation. This would also mean resolving that situation in a manner that is favorable to me within the constraints of said situation. That would be an actual "alive" training. Recognize the situation, adapt if needed, resolve the situation in your favor.

All the dude in video did was present sparring and certain beginner drills as either "alive" or "dead patterns".

Yes, and the combined work of conditioning, kata, drilling, sparring and competition is, IMO, what allowed me to survive.

Was there conditioning and drilling in Iwama when you trained in it? For conditioning I mean any type of physical conditioning like sit ups, push ups, running etc. For drills, doing a specific part of a technique which presents the crucial element of it's effectiveness like when someone grabs you with a strong grab in Katatori and you are supposed to move to the side break his balance.

So slighty back on topic: When I see people promoting Aikido styles as combat effective (like the ones mentioned in the OP) but I do not see in their training methodology a combination of the above mentioned conditioning, kata, drilling, sparring and competition or at least realistic scenario training, I am unable to believe them.

This is understandable. What is your opinion on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDYr0tjKi8k .

senshincenter
11-30-2017, 11:44 PM
This is understandable. What is your opinion on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDYr0tjKi8k .

I think, in agreement with Igor, that there's a difference between kihon waza training and application and that some sort of systematic process is required to bridge or reconcile that difference, which allows for a kind of "aliveness," I tend to look at Kihon Waza from a point of view that is different from a 1:1 attack/defense ration (if/then). So, I don't mind these techniques from that point of view, but Lenny here is positing them as application-worthy while they are nevertheless still happening within a kihon waza. For example, the point of the clinch's anchored elbow is that it is very much muscularly reinforced by its anchoring and that functions as a highly efficient way of controlling another person's height by controlling their head. In other words, structurally, and from the point of view of application, I can only see the lifting of that elbow as functioning on a much weaker person. Even then, artistically, aiming to lift an elbow that is by design wishing to remain un-lifted does not seem very much a harmonizing of yin and yang energies - something central to the art and something central to application on stronger larger attackers.

Also, from the point of view of application, any "pin" that does not directly control the cross lateral arm and/or the hips of the attacker is no pin at all. So-called pain compliance techniques, techniques whereby the person could move but opts not due to the presence of pain, are very low percentage in my application experience. When we face this kind of situation during arrests, you learn real fast that if you do not directly control that cross-lateral arm, the person is going to use it to move, even if it is ever so slightly, and you are thus going to immediately lose whatever pinning architecture you thought you had on the arm/wrist/finger/hand you were holding. This is a simple experiment that anyone can do at home. Have your friend or fellow Aikidoka try any pin they want but have them leave your cross-lateral arm free (i.e. not directly controlled). Then, use that arm to push your body along the surface of the ground in any direction you want or can. You will immediately feel the directly controlled arm regain its available usage. Yes, I understand that pain can be debilitating, but it is a very subjective thing, and it can be easily NOT debilitating via intoxication, medication, adrenaline, and determinedness. Hence, why I say it is low percentage and not as effective in application as direct control.

Riai Maori
12-01-2017, 02:42 AM
I say, "To each his own." (see video link below)

Sorry Mr Valadez. But personally, Mr Sly's 24,000 plus youtube views and 823 likes show more validity as opposed to your 178 views with no likes. Actions speak louder than words.:)

observer
12-01-2017, 06:26 AM
Then, again, I may be, for example, not understanding what you mean by "immediately."
My observations and conclusions, which I shared over the years, made the work of Morihei Ueshiba go beyond the imagination of other martial artists. It is not about the practical demonstration of certain techniques, but about understanding their place in the very idea of a new art. Of course, no one known to me, including the "pupils" of Morihei Ueshiba, did not achieve the level of craftsmanship he presented in the legendary confrontation with the naval officer in 1925. And this was in my opinion a turning point in the history of martial arts. The absurd message of enlightenment and techniques received from God in no way justifies the further message that led to the state of Morihei Ueshiba's art, developed to this day. I can not say why it happened and I do not even try to do it. It is clear to me that without this ability to avoid direct attack, this art does not make sense. This is what makes it unique.

Without going into words game, I answer your question. It is true that the speed of all techniques is decisive in the art of Morihei Ueshiba. The execution of each of them must occur when the striker is confused after losing the goal; time measured in fractions of a second.

Erick Mead
12-01-2017, 10:34 AM
Sorry Mr Valadez. But personally, Mr Sly's 24,000 plus youtube views and 823 likes show more validity as opposed to your 178 views with no likes. Actions speak louder than words.:) Well, then, the ad populum fallacy of logic has truly run amok ...
:(

But, let me not leave the minor snark lingering and just pass on.

Let's unpack the argument in play here, please:
What is a "valid" martial art ?

I suppose that IS the question isn't it ?

Martial arts touch on violence, combat involves violence, and "validity" of an art clearly depends on the nature of relation between these categories in what an art trains to provide a practitioner.

You can't answer that question about "validity" until you answer what a given martial art is FOR. Not all martial arts are FOR the same purposes, even though they occupy some related spaces of knowledge and application. Muay Thai need only be valid as Muay Thai. Aikido need only be valid as Aikido. Taekwondo need only be valid as Taekwondo. MMA, while a composite of elements of many other traditions in confluence, need only be valid as MMA.

And NONE of these are actual combat. They have boundaries and rules that are far short of the existential limits that exist in combat of prevailing, preferably, though not necessarily, while alive at the end.

Actual combat is not an art. It is an event of violence, and in which many arts (or no art) may be applicable or inapplicable, depending. I haven't yet seen the proverbial "Swiss Army knife" of martial arts which has tools for every possible event, and not even Swiss Army knives have tools for every occasion.

The primary goals in combat are to 1) survive an event of violence, and 2) achieve an objective in the context of that violence (which may or may not be consistent with goal #1, depending on circumstance). Winning and surviving are not always mutually inclusive categories in combat. They are in martial arts contests. To save one's child from death by killing the man attacking her, though at the needful cost of one's own life, is martially valid and achieves one goal of combat, though certainly not optimal in failing the second. Sometimes, even not winning and not surviving in combat are still martially valid, because the larger alternatives may yet be worse. (They tend immortalize these people, e.g - Leonidas at Thermopylae.)

An art which trains one in skills, and mental and physical development to meet these goals in some circumstances of violence is a valid art that can call itself martial. A martial art is no less martial for the fact that there are circumstances, often many, of violent events with which it does not, or even cannot, deal with in the terms of its art. One does not bring a knife to the gunfight, for example. Close can count in hand grenades, artillery and nuclear weapons - but not in edged weapons.

One does not criticize the skill with a knife when faced with a gun. One may certainly criticize one whose strategic judgment finds him in that situation, but that is a far larger lesson than any particular martial art, though any decent martial art should teach it to some degree. "To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting." "What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy."

So, I simply suggest that constructive discussion focuses on affirming -- and improving -- all martial arts that may be the subject of any discussion on the point, and in their proper context.

:)

senshincenter
12-01-2017, 12:06 PM
Sorry Mr Valadez. But personally, Mr Sly's 24,000 plus youtube views and 823 likes show more validity as opposed to your 178 views with no likes. Actions speak louder than words.:)

Ouch. Yikes 😬

Is my stated view of appreciating what Lenny does also invalid then too? Perhaps you misunderstood the meaning of the phrase, “To each his own”? Since I said it then, and hold it still, and now not at all speaking on Lenny’s art, which I already said I like, it is your perogative to attribute some sort of legitimacy or authenticity and even attribute some sort of expertise to social media statistics. For me, in many ways, I hold the opposite view: the masses are generally ignorant.

My own ventures into social media are always a double edge sword to me. I use the platform first and mainly as a way for my own deshi to continue to study in their tutelage when not on the mat. Sometimes, I imagine they serve a secondary role of drawing like-minded practitioners to my dojo and also of keeping differently-minded practitioners on their own path. I am never out to address any sort of larger audience on any sort of larger topic. For that reason, from a publicity perspective, they are extremely boring and I am surprised we get any views at all outside of my own students using them to study. One thing I know I do not do is seek to authenticate my own practice by mass appeal. It is cool with me if you are into that (which really shouldn’t even matter to you at all). I’m just saying I am not. I’ve stated earlier in the thread the arenas (eg. Law enforcement, in my relationships, etc.) where I seek validity for my practice. If my practice is working there, it’s all the validity I seek and require.

senshincenter
12-01-2017, 12:08 PM
Well, then, the ad populum fallacy of logic has truly run amok ...
:(

But, let me not leave the minor snark lingering and just pass on.

Let's unpack the argument in play here, please:
What is a "valid" martial art ?

I suppose that IS the question isn't it ?

Martial arts touch on violence, combat involves violence, and "validity" of an art clearly depends on the nature of relation between these categories in what an art trains to provide a practitioner.

You can't answer that question about "validity" until you answer what a given martial art is FOR. Not all martial arts are FOR the same purposes, even though they occupy some related spaces of knowledge and application. Muay Thai need only be valid as Muay Thai. Aikido need only be valid as Aikido. Taekwondo need only be valid as Taekwondo. MMA, while a composite of elements of many other traditions in confluence, need only be valid as MMA.

And NONE of these are actual combat. They have boundaries and rules that are far short of the existential limits that exist in combat of prevailing, preferably, though not necessarily, while alive at the end.

Actual combat is not an art. It is an event of violence, and in which many arts (or no art) may be applicable or inapplicable, depending. I haven't yet seen the proverbial "Swiss Army knife" of martial arts which has tools for every possible event, and not even Swiss Army knives have tools for every occasion.

The primary goals in combat are to 1) survive an event of violence, and 2) achieve an objective in the context of that violence (which may or may not be consistent with goal #1, depending on circumstance). Winning and surviving are not always mutually inclusive categories in combat. They are in martial arts contests. To save one's child from death by killing the man attacking her, though at the needful cost of one's own life, is martially valid and achieves one goal of combat, though certainly not optimal in failing the second. Sometimes, even not winning and not surviving in combat are still martially valid, because the larger alternatives may yet be worse. (They tend immortalize these people, e.g - Leonidas at Thermopylae.)

An art which trains one in skills, and mental and physical development to meet these goals in some circumstances of violence is a valid art that can call itself martial. A martial art is no less martial for the fact that there are circumstances, often many, of violent events with which it does not, or even cannot, deal with in the terms of its art. One does not bring a knife to the gunfight, for example. Close can count in hand grenades, artillery and nuclear weapons - but not in edged weapons.

One does not criticize the skill with a knife when faced with a gun. One may certainly criticize one whose strategic judgment finds him in that situation, but that is a far larger lesson than any particular martial art, though any decent martial art should teach it to some degree. "To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting." "What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy."

So, I simply suggest that constructive discussion focuses on affirming -- and improving -- all martial arts that may be the subject of any discussion on the point, and in their proper context.

:)

Excellent.

senshincenter
12-01-2017, 12:34 PM
I was once a contributor to this site. Back then it was no easy thing to post video. Nowadays, any smart phone can take video and it’s supper easy to post said video on multiple social media sites that could then be linked to any Aikiweb thread. I understand the nostalgic preference for the written word, but with the ease at which video production is now possible, is not that nostalgic preference more suspicious than ever for the charge of contributing to the dissimantion of ignorance and not information? And is this not especially true in a practice such as Aikido, a practice that is to such a high degree not a thing of the intellect but rather a thing of the body - a moving thing? Is priority really to be given to text over truth so much so that video’s exclusion is actually an acceptable way of participating in the discussion? My opinion is that the denouncers, the fallacy users, the experts that have that one thing no one else has, and by which they textually discredit all others or any one person to a total degree, etc., should by the community be held to produce a video, something observable that backs up or supports their claim that they are not ignorant and are have in fact surpassed mediocrity and thus know of which they speak?

There is a truth to the fact that anyone can type about Aikido. There is a truth that anyone can repeat the common discourse on any topic without truly understanding it. There is also a truth that mastery is for the few and that most people suck at any given art, sport, job, career field, etc. Thus, I remain perplexed that this community still, even if it is passively, supports “expert” textual statements without observable supports when the latter is so simple a thing to have and give now. I’m all for discussing things related to Aikido, but many times this site tries to ask and answer the really big or universal questions about the art - things you cannot and really should not pursue outside of your own sensei /deshi relationship, things you should certainly not pursue with a group of often unknown individuals having an always unknown level of skill or lack thereof. But, if you cannot resist, and you have to have those conversations here, then make video a requirement - at least for the “experts” doing any sort of denouncing.

I held this standard on two different occasions, and the video did not at all support the expertise being claimed. Weird.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-02-2017, 10:14 AM
The real question is what does mean to you? To me it means being adaptable to any type of condition in a given situation. This would also mean resolving that situation in a manner that is favorable to me within the constraints of said situation. That would be an actual "alive" training. Recognize the situation, adapt if needed, resolve the situation in your favor.

It seems for you "aliveness" is the end state, for me is the training method aimed to achieve that end state.

Was there conditioning and drilling in Iwama when you trained in it? For conditioning I mean any type of physical conditioning like sit ups, push ups, running etc.
No conditioning worth the name.

For drills, doing a specific part of a technique which presents the crucial element of it's effectiveness like when someone grabs you with a strong grab in Katatori and you are supposed to move to the side break his balance.
LOL, in the club I trained if nage's hand didn't turn purple when wrist grabbed uke was scolded.

Anyway, to clarify, the knife attack I mentioned happened before I started training Aikido. For me at that time Aikido was a form of retirement from combat sports because I was, wrongly, thinking I was too old for them.

This is understandable. What is your opinion on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDYr0tjKi8k .

I don't like Mr. Sly hands positioning in the clinch, I prefer cupping hand in the back of the head, not in the neck. Do not believe uke's structure can be realistically broken pushing his elbow upwards like in the clip. The head positioning in the clip is not very good to avoid being headbutted but good to cultivate cauliflower ears which will make him look more badass.

IMO there are a lot of technical flaws in the clinch, but good 80's action movie aikido.

Personally I consider the 2on1-russian tie a more aikido friendly way to deal with the clinch.

MrIggy
12-02-2017, 11:20 AM
It seems for you "aliveness" is the end state, for me is the training method aimed to achieve that end state.

And if you fight the way you train, you should train the way you would fight in the specific situation. In other words it's the method and end state. That's the actual goal of "alive" otherwise it's just regular sparring. As Michael Jordan said, paraphrasing, "There were no surprises for me in the game because I would already do everything in the training gym."

No conditioning worth the name.

Interesting.

LOL, in the club I trained if nage's hand didn't turn purple when wrist grabbed uke was scolded.

Good old tanren. Did you do it like that from day one?

I don't like Mr. Sly hands positioning in the clinch, I prefer cupping hand in the back of the head, not in the neck. Do not believe uke's structure can be realistically broken pushing his elbow upwards like in the clip. The head positioning in the clip is not very good to avoid being headbutted but good to cultivate cauliflower ears which will make him look more badass.

I agree with the bold part.

Personally I consider the 2on1-russian tie a more aikido friendly way to deal with the clinch.

Have you heard of nanakyo?

Demetrio Cereijo
12-03-2017, 03:06 PM
Good old tanren. Did you do it like that from day one?
Yes.

I agree with the bold part.
What about the non bolded part? What's your take on the clip?

Have you heard of nanakyo?
Yes, it has some similarities.

Mary Eastland
12-03-2017, 05:01 PM
If you throw really hard and have little regard for your uke are you safer? Does a brutal practice make you better able to defend yourself? That is a bunch of hokum. If you are so afraid...go train in Krav Maga or MMA. Train in anything...get off the keyboard and on the mat...you will be better for it.

I am so sick of this kind of discussion...it really makes no sense.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-04-2017, 03:35 AM
Triggered much?

Peter Goldsbury
12-04-2017, 07:01 AM
Unlike other discussion forums, Jun leaves AikiWeb relatively unmoderated. I think it is important to remember this sometimes. Like David Valadez, I used to contribute more to the discussions, but I now prefer to focus on my own research, which sometimes appears as columns. However, I check AikiWeb often and have been following this thread with some interest.

When I was younger, we used to discuss these issues in the dojo – and these discussions also influenced our training. So much so that our instructor, who trained under K Chiba, would invite experts from other martial arts like karate, judo and kendo, in order to keep us out of our comfort zone. We also had the benefit of training under K Chiba’s father-in-law, who practiced a softer and gentler version of aikido that was deceptively effective.

It was K Chiba and his father-in-law who promoted my interest in Japan and I have never regretted the decision to come here. However, I came to Hiroshima and my aikido teacher here was a very young A-bomb victim. He was bombed out in WWII, since his house was only about 200 meters from the hypocenter. He had a dislike of foreigners, especially those from the ‘victor’ countries, so I had to ‘steal’ very much from him. However, he practiced quite rough aikido and training consisted of much free sparring, where any forms of attack were OK. Since my lineage goes back to K Chiba, this was not unexpected.

I eventually became independent, with my Hiroshima teacher’s grudging acquiescence. My dojo has a foreign-born yudansha, now 4th dan, who does not believe that much of the postwar aikido he sees really works. But he still keeps coming and brings his son as well.

I agree with the points that Mr Valadez makes, with one exception. I do not have much time or inclination to make videos. We do not advertise very much and if people find the dojo, fine; if they do not, fine. I am quite happy with the students I have, who include whole families. It is very good to see little kids running wild around the dojo and to watch them grow and gradually become more than a match for their parents. They also keep me on my toes.

Erick Mead
12-04-2017, 11:25 AM
If you throw really hard and have little regard for your uke are you safer? Does a brutal practice make you better able to defend yourself? That is a bunch of hokum. If you are so afraid...go train in Krav Maga or MMA. Train in anything...get off the keyboard and on the mat...you will be better for it.

I am so sick of this kind of discussion...it really makes no sense. It flows from a false sense that training that tries to emulate combat is therefore more combat effective. The problems with this are many:

1) Example - you are in a dojo with, say, with tameshigiri shinken hanging on the wall and performing empty handed techniques - combat perspective says you immediately find the most effective weapon to hand, and use it; ergo no empty hand training unless you sanitize even all the sticks from the walls, plus no folding chairs;
2) Metsubushi -- eye attacks are easy (sand, uchiko powder, fingers, etc.) - blinded people can't attack well and are easier to incapacitate;
3) Leave no enemy behind you -- combat does not conscience leaving a living opponent in ANY short-term recoverable condition -- e.g. -- bye-bye joints and mere submissions.

I try to make my essential point this way to students: Done properly-- in Aikido the mistakes are more dangerous than the "techniques." We strive to become capable of acting safely in circumstances of greater and greater possible "mistakes."

The closer to the lines of these things you try to go and SAFELY -- the better you become. This applies to both uke and nage roles. This is the case in any arbitrary engagement on the part of uke. It is the case of being better disposed to CHOOSE the paths of safety on the part of nage, and ultimately of uke in the same mode once we incorporate henka, in the manner of "combat" progression. Knowing the paths of safety very well and to an increasingly high level, the better trained both are to recognize the paths of safety -- and with that comes the increased recognition and familiarity of the terrains of rough dangers surrounding those paths.

In this environment then, when it comes to a combat situation -- it is the "errors" in performing Aikido -- in either role - that become dangerous to the opponent. Nage does not feel in combat bound to follow the paths of safety, and the attacker is in immediate jeopardy with little tolerance -- if we train to always seek to be close to that line of tolerance, even though in a cooperative manner on the mat. And that line of tolerance varies immensely depending on the ability and fitness of the partner. Hence, we simultaneously train in this using this mode to have adaptive kinesthetic sensitivity in action to adapt ourselve to the opponent and modulate our OWN criticality accordingly. That sensitivity can also err - upward or downward. One does not respond - even to real attacks - to a petulant 12 year-old flailing his fists as one does a 6'4" trucker with a tire thumper.

The present criticism of training being made is that Aikido mat training too much errs downward. But really, we want neither manner of error on the mat -- and the critique commits the inverse error.

What we want is perfect criticality. And we approach it from the base of skill to the peak. We have the time and space to work and to refine the closeness of tolerance for every student, and we certainly should do that. Playing "king of the mountain" and calling that "training" is a lazy, coarse and brutal 'survivor' mode of training that isineffective in my view for what Aikido seeks to train -- if for no other reason than there are nearly always sticks and swords on the wall or folding chairs -- for crying out loud. That does not mean that pressing and encouraging good shugyo has no place, but stairs have steps too, and for a reason, if you please.

Tolerance just as easily can err upward when pressed in an unanticipated attack. This is what occurs in combat -- and OUGHT to occur in combat. Similarly, Uke's role after the initial attack is no different, and "erring" into variation brings henka or outright reversalsand in combat these do not follow the paths of safety and the attacker is exposed to immediate danger - as he should be. We should push to train to test the tolerance of critical boundaries upward for every student, (and ourselves as instructors) in every training encounter, but not simply "go to eleven." No one gets anything out of "going to eleven." Even in the movie it was and is a meaningless and mindless mockery of real advancement.

That headlong rush to "upward" modes is NOT good training. Analogizing, nosing the plane directy into the end of the runway is not the same as learning the CONTROL and the finer physical senses necessary to pilot a glide slope to a safe touchdown there. That control can lead to close formation flight. Ultimately, it leads to ability to fly precision bombing profiles, and strafing runs That keen criticality -- that cusp of action -- that sensitivity and that control are what we properly train to achieve. Then we have them both acting for us -- even when we have good cause let their "nice" tolerances off the leash.

:D

Erick Mead
12-04-2017, 03:42 PM
I am so sick of this kind of discussion...it really makes no sense. ... but it has a certain social dynamic structure (http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2017/12/simple-theory-moores-law-social-media.html). The same applies here, rightly or wrongly, depending.

First rule of fixing things; become aware that something broke.

Better to light a candle than curse the darkness...

Mary Eastland
12-05-2017, 09:16 AM
Interesting, I really have a lot to learn....thank you.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-05-2017, 10:46 AM
Igor, are you still around?

There's a question I'm waiting for you to answer.

earnest aikidoka
12-06-2017, 08:01 AM
Hi Aikiweb,

So apart from reading a lot about Yoshinkan, I also enjoy researching the Eastern European style of "real aikido", however there isn't a heap of information out there about it. My favourite combat style of Aikido to research is Lenny Sly Sensei of Tenshin Aikido, he has a YouTube channel called something like "the rogue warriors". He is extremely pragmatic and street orientated. He is not afraid to show street defence applications of aikido and I really enjoy and appreciate his work.

Some argue that Aikido is a spiritual art but it also truly is an effective martial art, as some people demonstrate. I think there is nothing wrong with focusing on the combat element of aikido (among other elements) because self defence and freedom from sudden unwelcome violence is a human right. Sometimes one can't avoid a fight, sometimes one can be attacked in the street - aikido is perfect for these situations. I believe more so than other martial arts.

What are your thoughts about the combat orientated styles of aikido out there? (or one could argue, just different interpretations of classic Aikido)

Aikido is made for combat, O'sensei fought, his disciple's fought and in the present day, there are Aikidoka who have managed to apply their techniques in violent situations; either technically, or mentally. Aikido is meant for fighting, and yes, as Aikidoka, we should look towards developing our aikido to the point where one could, confidently, say; 'If a knife was presented to my throat, I can deal with it.'

However, if someone needs to paste 'real', 'combative', or any such word before 'Aikido.' It is likely that that person does not fully understand Aikido. After all, Aikido itself is already real, practical, and effectively a complete bujutsu.

Stanley Pranin sensei, John Hay sensei, Senshione Aikido youtube channel. These are better sources to developing the practical aspects of aikido than Lenny Sly sensei or Real Aikido.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-06-2017, 02:02 PM
as Aikidoka, we should look towards developing our aikido to the point where one could, confidently, say; 'If a knife was presented to my throat, I can deal with it.'

That reminded me of this post (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=269396&postcount=4).

MrIggy
12-06-2017, 07:01 PM
What about the non bolded part?

I don't like cupping the back of the head in general because I don't feel like I have enough control over the opponent. Even Thai fighters when entering the clinch first grab the neck, then cup the back of the head with both hands. Many of them tend to keep the control of the neck rather than cupping and some of them like JWP even gable grip the neck.

As for headbutts there is no foolproof way of protecting oneself against them. In general keeping his head close as possible to yours is the best solution. There are variations as to how to do it like keeping it eat to ear or jamming his head into your trap but again if he's capable he can pull it out enough to headbutt you at least slightly.

What's your take on the clip?

Essentially he's giving the people what they wanted to see, Aikido against a "modern attack". But like all Aikido instructors he's keeping certain things to himself. He did mention in a video or in a comment or in both that he trained in other art as well.

MrIggy
12-06-2017, 07:13 PM
If you throw really hard and have little regard for your uke are you safer?

How about a little girl knocking the teeth of an attacker down his throat? Would you consider her being safer?

mathewjgano
12-07-2017, 12:24 AM
Hi Aikiweb,

So apart from reading a lot about Yoshinkan, I also enjoy researching the Eastern European style of "real aikido", however there isn't a heap of information out there about it. My favourite combat style of Aikido to research is Lenny Sly Sensei of Tenshin Aikido, he has a YouTube channel called something like "the rogue warriors". He is extremely pragmatic and street orientated. He is not afraid to show street defence applications of aikido and I really enjoy and appreciate his work.

Some argue that Aikido is a spiritual art but it also truly is an effective martial art, as some people demonstrate. I think there is nothing wrong with focusing on the combat element of aikido (among other elements) because self defence and freedom from sudden unwelcome violence is a human right. Sometimes one can't avoid a fight, sometimes one can be attacked in the street - aikido is perfect for these situations. I believe more so than other martial arts.

What are your thoughts about the combat orientated styles of aikido out there? (or one could argue, just different interpretations of classic Aikido)

Effective is as effective does; spiritual is as spiritual does. If we're training with sincerity and humility, we're hopefully doing our best and making no assumptions. Beyond that it's about judging for ourselves how deep and wide we want to go in whatever it is we're studying. I have no problem with what others want to study or how they want to study, generally speaking.
If we're studying for fun, for self-defense, or whatever, hopefully we'll find people of like minds; but hopefully too, we won't make assumptions along the way which prevent us from making use of something useful. Take what you find, make it as useful as you can.
My two bits. :)

Great to "see" so many of you folks!

shuckser
12-07-2017, 05:27 AM
How about a little girl knocking the teeth of an attacker down his throat? Would you consider her being safer?Would you consider the engagement finished at that point? What if her attacker is a masochist?

MrIggy
12-07-2017, 06:39 AM
Would you consider the engagement finished at that point? What if her attacker is a masochist?

She considered it finished. Then the police came, he was arrested and charged, by the court of law that was considered finished. If he attacked her first then he wasn't a masochist.

mathewjgano
12-07-2017, 07:31 PM
She considered it finished. Then the police came, he was arrested and charged, by the court of law that was considered finished. If he attacked her first then he wasn't a masochist.

He might still be a masochist: win win.
P.S. for whatever it's worth, the engagement is never finished. Constant vigilance.

senshincenter
12-10-2017, 01:36 PM
I do not have much time or inclination to make videos. We do not advertise very much and if people find the dojo, fine; if they do not, fine. I am quite happy with the students I have, who include whole families. It is very good to see little kids running wild around the dojo and to watch them grow and gradually become more than a match for their parents. They also keep me on my toes.

An excellent comment Sir.

Thank you,
D