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Nacho
09-17-2000, 12:24 PM
Do you think an agressor on the street would follow the technique?(??) I think 99% would not. So, how an aikidoca could deal with it without harming or injuring the agressor?
Nacho
PD: Excuse my english, I need a bit of practice there too.

Shawn
09-17-2000, 12:46 PM
[QUOTE]
After training in Aikido, if you were to get in a fight would you be able to win without placing permenant injury on your opponent?

Mike Collins
09-17-2000, 03:31 PM
Yup,

I've done it. No real problem.
It didn't hurt that I was sober and he wasn't or that I outweighed him by about 100 lbs., but I had an easy time.

Better to avoid physical stuff in this day and age. If blood is let, nobody wins (hiv. hep, etc...)

Nick
09-17-2000, 03:44 PM
... not to mention the legal mess that could ensue.

As for protecting an attacker, I can't say... never had to use physical aikido- I find verbal Aikido much more 'practical' and 'effective'.

-Nick

Brian
09-17-2000, 07:48 PM
I'm compelled to agree with Nick. Of course, being the suave, smooth talker that I am, my verbal aikido didn't need much work before it got to be top notch *breaths onto his finger nails and proceeds to polish them on his gi with an overly smug look on his face*

But to be perfectly honest, I haven't really had any experience with this. About the only time I've used my aikido outside the YMCA mezanene was to block the arm of an annoying senior who was going to slap be on the back of my head because of a sarcastic comment I made. But, I would guestimate, from the techniques that I have seen and performed, they might get a few bruises, scratches, and maybe a pulled muscle. Whiplash might be an extreme, or a minor concussion if they don't tuck their head in when they go down, but I couldn't see anyone not being able to walk/use a hand/function properly after getting "aikidoed." If they take advantage of an ice pack and a few hours of uneventul television viewing, they should be fine. Then again, I haven't seen much of the entire aikido spectrum, and this guess of mine only comes from the beginning techniques that I have performed. I'll now end on that awkward note of "here's my opinion, but it's probably not very legitamite."

-Brian

Nacho
09-17-2000, 10:09 PM
Yes, Nick. I agree with all that 'verbal' part. But as we train and practice fisical Aikido, we may want to have some answers on this. And, if you can deal with someone who can listen to you, it's ok. But i heard Seagal Sensei say "Hope fot he best, and be prepared for the worst".

jxa127
09-18-2000, 06:57 AM
My instructor has used Aikido on a number of occasions to control violent patients when he worked in a psychiatric ward at a local hospital. He said that the only injuries his assailants suffered was rug burns.

However, I can speak from experience, having taken some bad falls, that nasty things can happen to the person receiving the technique if he doesn't know how to fall properly. As recently as two weeks ago, I had a blank moment during a throw and simply fell wrong, right on my shoulder. Thank God we have soft mats or I might have dislocated or torn my shoulder.

My sensei has pointed out on a number of occasions that even a "simple" technique like ikkyo can be destructive, and I'm sure we all agree that nikkyo can be destructive too. *wince*

My point is that there is nothing inherent in Aikido techniques that keep them from destroying an attacker. Rather, it is the sensitivity and skill of the person doing the technique that determines in what shape the attacker comes out in.

-Drew

chillzATL
09-18-2000, 07:21 AM
If someone attacks me on the street, I don't care if they plan to follow my technique, a technique will be applied to them. Whether it's a nice smooth technique or a sharp atemi followed by a hard throw. On the street you have to react. You don't know how this attacker is going to come at you and many times you only have a split second to see the attack coming and react. Some techniques are going to result in injury, regardless of how hard you do them, some will allow you to control the damage. If someone attacks you they should expect some pain in return and you shouldn't be hesitant to give it to them, if you are, more than likely they are going to give you some pain first.

Mike Collins
09-18-2000, 08:47 AM
Pain doesn't work. Pain is a poor substitute for good off balancing and proper leading. I've done it, probably broke a wrist, and it had no effect. A much less harmful off balancing technique had far more effect on the same person.

Pain is seriously limited. This is terribly important to you "real world" guys, pain will keep you back. It is fools gold.

chillzATL
09-18-2000, 09:20 AM
Mikey wrote:
Pain doesn't work. Pain is a poor substitute for good off balancing and proper leading. I've done it, probably broke a wrist, and it had no effect. A much less harmful off balancing technique had far more effect on the same person.

Pain is seriously limited. This is terribly important to you "real world" guys, pain will keep you back. It is fools gold.

pain, as in the pain that comes from being tossed headfirst (after being off balance and properly lead) into the concrete is not limiting at all. You see the word "pain" in my post and jump to conclusions about what i'm saying without really reading post itself. There was an original topic I was responding too. I wasn't just tossing out an opinion that aikido is just about delivering pain and that pain is the only thing that will stop an attacker. You should try sticking to the topic at hand instead of looking for opportunities to take jabs at those "real world" guys who you feel have differing ideas about aikido than your own. Thanks.

Mike Collins
09-18-2000, 09:42 AM
Well, I wasn't taking any jabs.

I thought someone had asked about whether it was possible to pin an attacker without injuring them, and in the process of having a dialogue about that topic, someone (apparently you, based on your sharp tone) said something to the effect that if they were attacked their attacker could expect some pain in return. My response was to that post by way of a reality check, not to take jabs at anyone. If you choose to believe that pain is to be expected in conflict, well this is America- believe what you like. My main point was, don't train to cause pain if you want to be really effective, train to unbalance and lead, cause that is what works. This is not from the ethers, I have had experience proving this to my satisfaction, and I thought I was passing along useful information.
To assume that you're going to be able to throw an attacker and break them on the ground is to have a preconceived notion of what you'll do in a reality situation, that is dangerous. Take what you get and work with it.

Be nicer to people, you take a sharp tone with someone you don't know, and that is, in my humble opinion, very rude. Not to mention poor martial strategy.

Cas Long
09-18-2000, 10:13 AM
I have to say (trying to stick to the original point & trying not to offend anyone), that I believe that it would take a minimum of 20 years of Aikido training to do what Nacho originally suggests.

I say this, not to insult peoples ability (I myself have trained for under 20 years), but I refer to the sort of training required to mentally & physically prepare oneself to act instinctively on the street.

In my opinion, if you are not able to execute techniques effectively on everyone in your Dojo, then do not attempt anything on the street- a little knowledge can lead to danger for yourself.

However we train in the Dojo, & the myriad of assaults we face on the street are more wide-ranging & intuition & instinctive response come into play, this comes from training, training & more training.

After many years, I believe that a "by-product" like this will emerge & with this sense of timing, training heightens one's senses: 'O'-Sensei said "Seeing me before him, the enemy attacks, but by that time I am already standing behind him" - I would say that one could interpret this as being the notion of Irimi.

However, "without hurting or injuring the aggressor" is a very interesting factor, Nacho; tempering reaction is the key, this may lead to injury, but has the aggressor hurt himself if Aikido is about re-directing energy, perhaps?

& both of you be nice to each other on the Thread, okay? It is easy to "take jabs" at each other on-line!

jxa127
09-18-2000, 10:46 AM
Cas,

I understand your point about it taking at least 20 years to be able to respond to a violent attack and deal with it without being injured and without injuring the attacker, but I don't agree, at least not completely.

I'll explain: my sensei has said that he considers one year to be the minimum amount of study for a person to be able to defend himself successfully. That figure is based on his own experience, so it's open to debate. However, HE was able to defend himself against violent assailants and not injure them in the process (except for the rug burns mentioned above) after about a year of study. And, in fact, after about a year of study, I'm beginning to feel as though I could probably at least avoid an attack pretty well and maybe even pull off a technique.

Having said that, I by no means feel complete confidence in my skills or have the attitude that I can stop training now. I can only hope that in 20 years I'll feel a lot more confident. Part of the issue is the degrees of danger that an attack may present. I'd feel pretty confident dealing with an uncoordinated belligerent drunk buddy (although my confidence may be a mistake). I'm not so sure about dealing with a dead calm attacker intent on killing me.

Even my sensei says that he doesn't feel confident enough in his technique to be able to end a potentially deadly encounter without hurting his assailants.

When your ideal is to be able to respond to a violent encounter without being injured and without injuring one's attacker, then 20 years seems like a rather short time.

I don't know how long it will take me to be that proficient, and it almost doesn't matter. I plan on simply training diligently and the rest will take care of itself.

-Drew

Cas Long
09-18-2000, 11:25 AM
Hi Drew,

It seems strange to me that this thread keeps surfacing in one form or another: the use of Aikido in "street" conflict.

I do not think that street-effectiveness is the aim of Aikido, but a by-product of it.

No offence to you at all, but I would be very surprised if after only 1 year of training, that one could consider oneself as competent in all the many aspects of self-defence using Aikido- but again this is my view & everybody is entitled to their own. If you do feel confident, all the better.

Self-defence, I agree, could be possible after 1 year, but not using Aikido techniques & principles, which require considerable time to learn, absorb, & more importantly execute with confidence & precision.

As an aside, why is it then not generally possible to achieve Dan ranking (as a symbol of developing proficiency)in an equal amount of time (one year)?

"In your training, do not be in a hurry, for it takes a minimum of ten years to master the basics and advance to the first rung."
'O'-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba



[Edited by Cas Long on September 18, 2000 at 11:37am]

akiy
09-18-2000, 11:51 AM
Cas Long wrote:
As an aside, why is it then not generally possible to achieve Dan ranking (as a symbol of developing proficiency)in an equal amount of time (one year)?
It's very much possible, especially in Japan...

-- Jun

Cas Long
09-18-2000, 11:56 AM
Jun,

So what exactly are you saying?

chillzATL
09-18-2000, 02:38 PM
[QUOTE]Cas Long wrote:
[B]I have to say (trying to stick to the original point & trying not to offend anyone), that I believe that it would take a minimum of 20 years of Aikido training to do what Nacho originally suggests.

I have to disagree as well. Though the beginners learning curve might be a little steeper than most punch/kick based arts, it's not hard to pick up the basics of a few techniques and have them be usable in a short time. years ago when I first came to aikido, a guy a few years older than me had been training maybe 2-3 months and some guy in a local game room took a swing at him and he dropped the guy with a kote-gaeshi. Even he was suprised by it, as it wasn't a situation where he had planned on trying a kotegaeshi, he said the guy just came at him and it happened, bang-bang. I'm sure it wasn't the prettiest kote-gaeshi that we've ever seen, but it was functional and saved him from getting his clock cleaned.

chillzATL
09-18-2000, 02:51 PM
[QUOTE]Cas Long wrote:
[B]Hi Drew,

It seems strange to me that this thread keeps surfacing in one form or another: the use of Aikido in "street" conflict.

I do not think that street-effectiveness is the aim of Aikido, but a by-product of it.

No offence to you at all, but I would be very surprised if after only 1 year of training, that one could consider oneself as competent in all the many aspects of self-defence using Aikido- but again this is my view & everybody is entitled to their own. If you do feel confident, all the better.

Self-defence, I agree, could be possible after 1 year, but not using Aikido techniques & principles, which require considerable time to learn, absorb, & more importantly execute with confidence & precision.


To be competant in all the aspects of any art, in less than a lifetime, is foolish to think of. Aikido is not the only art that focuses and uses somewhat obscure principles. but if we were talking about a karateka, nobody would doubt that they could readily defend themselves after a year of good study. You don't need to understand all the obscure, "mystical" aspects of aikido to be able to defend yourself with it. All those aspects were not taught by O'sensei. They are by-products of the way he lived his life. He did not teach ki, or instruct about ki. He talked about it because it was a living part of his life, but he did not instruct his students in Ki. aikido is martial art, first and foremost. O'sensei wanted it to be a recognized form of defense just like karate, judo or jujitsu. The key word is defense, not attack, not brawling. The belief system that he put into "HIS" aikido is what seperated it from all the rest. One doesn't need to embrace all those somewhat mystical aspects to be greatly effective with it or enrich ones life through it.

akiy
09-18-2000, 02:53 PM
Cas Long wrote:
So what exactly are you saying?
Probably not much, as usual. Just pointing out that it is, indeed, quite possible to achieve dan ranking in one year, especially in Japan.

I'm not commenting on people's technical skills at the point; it's just that the idea of dan ranking being some indication of someone's technical ability is not necessarily an accurate nor practical indication...

-- Jun

PS: chillzATL, can you be sure to not clip off the "[ /B ]" and "[ /QUOTE ]" code at the end of the message you're quoting? It makes your postings a bit hard to read (as in, who is saying what)...

[Edited by akiy on September 18, 2000 at 02:57pm]

Brian
09-18-2000, 02:57 PM
chillzATL wrote:


years ago when I first came to aikido, a guy a few years older than me had been training maybe 2-3 months and some guy in a local game room took a swing at him and he dropped the guy with a kote-gaeshi. Even he was suprised by it, as it wasn't a situation where he had planned on trying a kotegaeshi, he said the guy just came at him and it happened, bang-bang. [/B]

Something similar to this has happened to me as well. Not with the part about actually getting attacked, but reacting without realizing it. I was walking down a hallway in school, two other students were play fighting as I walked by, one pushed the other, and he came stumbling in my direction. I blinked momentarily, and I when I opened my eyes I noticed my left arm was extended in a hand blade and the guy had sort of rolled/bumped off it. My right arm didn't do anything, but my legs were "dropped" how I suppose they would be in kamae. I drew myself back up and walked on, and to be honest, the fact that my body had reacted the way it had as quickly as it did without me thinking about it frightened me. Of course, this is probably a good thing, but since I "did something without doing it" completely freaked me out. Just thought I'd comment on that.

-Brian

Cas Long
09-18-2000, 03:15 PM
Jun,

My "aside" was just that, an aside re: Dan grades within one year. You & I both know that this is extremely rare in the West.

My point is that I find it very difficult to accept that one can truly be "ready" to fully defend oneself after one year's training in Aikido.

Please let me know if I am wrong, but what is the average time that it takes an Aikidoka to achieve Shodan in the US?
& let me add, that this is not a guarantee that one could fully "look after oneself" anyway, let alone control an aggressor without pain or injury; which was the original point of my post.

akiy
09-18-2000, 03:28 PM
Cas Long wrote:
My "aside" was just that, an aside re: Dan grades within one year. You & I both know that this is extremely rare in the West.
Yup -- indeed! And I guess you can take my response to your aside as an aside in and of itself (if that makes sense).

(Although one of the folks here at my dojo got his in two years -- quite appropriately, too, in my mind. It helps to have previous martial arts experience...)
My point is that I find it very difficult to accept that one can truly be "ready" to fully defend oneself after one year's training in Aikido.
I'm not too sure how "fully" the person who commented that people should be able to defend themselves in aikido after a year.

I do think it's possible to pick up some skills to help yourself in a physical situation after a year of practice, but to expect that out of everyone, I think, is a bit uncommon. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I would wonder how much time is being spent on principles rather than on techniques...
Please let me know if I am wrong, but what is the average time that it takes an Aikidoka to achieve Shodan in the US?
From what I've seen, it's between four to six years.

-- Jun

Cas Long
09-18-2000, 03:31 PM
Hi,

Who mentioned anything about "Mystical" or "Ki"-? I didn't.

I quoted 'O'-Sensei in how long he thought it possible to "master" the basic techniques of Aikido that is all, in order to illustrate the main point of my Post (and I quoted 'O'-Sensei as he created the Art, & therefore I feel that he has some sort of bearing in how long it takes to "understand" the basics- not spiritually as you would make me out as saying, but the physical apsects.) Any Teacher offering "short-cuts" is selling the Art short.

In my opinion it is a "Do", a way, not something that can be understood in one year or less).

Cas Long
09-18-2000, 03:35 PM
Jun,

I rest my case!

Thanks......

chillzATL
09-18-2000, 09:22 PM
Cas Long wrote:
Hi,

Who mentioned anything about "Mystical" or "Ki"-? I didn't.

I quoted 'O'-Sensei in how long he thought it possible to "master" the basic techniques of Aikido that is all, in order to illustrate the main point of my Post (and I quoted 'O'-Sensei as he created the Art, & therefore I feel that he has some sort of bearing in how long it takes to "understand" the basics- not spiritually as you would make me out as saying, but the physical apsects.) Any Teacher offering "short-cuts" is selling the Art short.

In my opinion it is a "Do", a way, not something that can be understood in one year or less).

And here lies the nonsense in trying to "discuss" aikido with people. everyone wants to take something and stretch it to the literal extremes and it's such BS. You can't discuss aikido online because everyone wants to one-up the next person with some witty comment, instead of just coming out and saying they totally disagree with what someone says, that way they still feel aikid-PC. O'sensei would turn over in his grave at the thought that it took someone 20 years to be profecient in aikido, plain and simple. Of course this is my opinion, it's not written in stone. As I said, but you failed to connect the two parts of my post, even it karate, I would safely say it takes 20 years to master the basics. You might disagree, find someone who has trained in a traditional form of karate and ask them, they might agree but more than likely they will say much longer. But to be able to competantly defend yourself in most situations doesn't mean you ahve to "master" anything, or be an expert. You sell yourself short by trying to be so aiki-PC in your belief that noone can reasonably grasp aikido techniques and priniciples in a reasonably short time period, not master, but grasp. we obviously have very differing ideals on what aikido is and what it is to us. good day to you.

Nacho
09-18-2000, 09:51 PM
oh, do this happen often? Guys, don't start complaining about if you need 20 years, or 21, or 1. I wasn't talking about street Aikido self-defense, or effectiveness, I was curious and i still want to know if it's possible to defend yourself Without hurting the agressor. I liked the threads that replied to the subject. I know that if today I have to be in a real situation maybe I will injure the agressor just because my technique isn't good or because my emotions make me do it(for example, I could be afraid of a possible future attack, so I could injure him so that he can't do it). But I am still curious if you with many years of practice can deal with some rebel without injuring him.

"Peace in the Forums"
Nacho

Cas Long
09-19-2000, 06:47 AM
ChillzATL,

Wow, why so angry?! I quoted 'O'-Sensei as saying it takes 10 years to master "the basics", not to master the Art.

I don't think that there is any need for your tone however, I merely disagree with what you are saying, & have not once insulted your viewpoint, or deemed anything said by you as "BS".

I am not politcally correct, if you read my previous posts, you would know this, I would now like to say that maybe you should go into street-fighting
& leave Aikido alone, I would hate to see you trying to railroad your fellow Aikidoka on the mat, maybe you break their arms when they do not comply.

Sorry to have to say this, but I was trying to have a sensible discussion (in particular, I apologise to Jun, who knows I like to participate in discussions, whether I agree with the topic or not).

I quote 'O'-Sensei as he was the founder of the Art (full stop). If you want to disagree with him, this is fine-he was a man, & not a God afterall, I would have quoted Kano re: Judo- this does not make me politically correct, or "mystic".

And yes, you can "grasp" a few Aikido-based moves that could aid you on the street; my still laboured point is that to fully be proficient to deal with any attack through fully understanding Aikido principles is another matter altogether; especially when, as Nacho originally stated, without injuring the aggressor, I would say this takes more skill.

As for 'O'-Sensei turning in his grave, I think that he practiced for himself, & reached self-mastery, through a lifetime's study of Budo, I don't think that he would care, to be honest (hey, that's not politically correct, is it).

I wish you a nice day too.
Maybe one day we can train together....

Mike Collins
09-19-2000, 08:52 AM
Chill Chillz.

Everyone has a right to their opinion. It isn't PC to be polite, it is civilized. In some cases it can save a lot of pain.

Chris
09-19-2000, 11:19 AM
Hi everyone,

Let’s not get too hot under the collar when other users put forward views other than our own.

From what I have seen across the Forum and different threads, this healthy disagreement (which must take place if the Forum is to have any value at all) is usually done with reserve and politeness.

ChillzATL,
if as you say:
“ And here lies the nonsense in trying to "discuss" aikido with people.”

If it is a nonsense to discuss, then why on earth are you here? Is it not a futile exercise for you to discuss issues if you then get upset by people politely disagreeing with you?

“everyone wants to take something and stretch it to the literal extremes
and it's such BS. You can't discuss aikido online because everyone
wants to one-up the next person with some witty comment, instead of just coming out and saying they totally disagree with what someone says, that way they still feel aikido-PC.”

I am astounded by your tone and agree with Mikey, you need to be more of a gentleman. I have objectively read what you (and everyone else) have written on this thread, and I have to say that I totally disagree with everything you have said thus far. Now that is not being particularly aikido-PC or civilised, and I’d wager that deep-down you don’t like it much.

If I have to be brutally honest in putting my opinion forward (an it is only that, an opinion), I had to fight to stay awake a certain points during the entire thread because I personally find the whole thing quite meaningless. But propriety dictates that I put forward my views with tact and diplomacy and keep my mouth shut if I have nothing of value to contribute instead of shooting people down that I don’t agree with.
This time however, I have purposely departed from the Aikido-PC and civilised attitude you seem to be criticising and have given my honest view in a manner that you say you would prefer to hear. I hope you (and others) are not offended by my honesty, and if you are, well that’s too bad.

Nacho,

to address your original question: I think that the level of skill required to deal with an aggressor without injuring them is high. That does not mean that it is impossible, even at different levels of experience. Let's not forget such factors as luck, degree of aggression shown, mental and physical state of attacker and attacked etc.
Each situation is different, and the degree of intensity in the applied response to aggression I don't think can be easily quantified.

If some guy rushes at me with a broken bottle, and I move out of the way with movements I have learned in my years of training, so that he splits his head open on the wall, does that mean to say that I have failed in being able to deal with him without injury? Or I am exonerated from blame for his injuries, since he has, by attacking me in the first place , injured himself?

To be honest, I don't think there is any one answer to your question.



As a further general observation that has nothing to do with Aikido or self-defence applications. Japanese restaurants and sushi bars a very popular here these days.
The other day I was chatting to a Sushi Chef who told me that it takes at least 15 years to graduate under the tutelage of a Master Chef. Now I can buy a sushi-making set at my local supermarket, and can cut fish and make rice and end up with something that may look like proper sushi. But would I serve it to discerning Japanese guests?
I wouldn’t dare!


[Edited by chris on September 20, 2000 at 09:03am]

Nacho
09-19-2000, 12:40 PM
I liked your thread Chris, it was very clear and i agreed. But it was funny your "angry face( :mad: )" next to the subject haha, take it easy.

[Edited by Nacho on September 19, 2000 at 12:43pm]

Chris
09-19-2000, 12:49 PM
Nacho,

The angry face was only for the first part of my post and not for my response to your question.

I think a smiley face would be more appropriate!

Cheers!

chrisinbrasil
09-19-2000, 04:04 PM
Hi everyone,
I liked your post Chris, just thought I´d say so.

Here´s a thought... All this talk about hurting the opponent while defending one´s self got me thinking. Some people say they don´t care because the guy shouldn´t be attacking me in the first place so if he gets hurt it´s his tough luck. I disagree but that´s just me. I would like to point out that many people have resorted to using the terminology, "react". I argue that if you react... you´re in trouble. I think everyone should take a long, hard look at what it means to be in a confrontation and think about who wins fights. It´s usually NOT the guy who reacts but who ACTS. I really enjoyed the post quoting O´Sensei. "He sees me before he sees himself, by then I´m behind him." Does that sound like an action or a reaction... I argue that it is most definately an action. O´Sensei made the first move not only by recognizing the attacker´s intent but also by ACTING to neutralize the attack before it started. Another great example might be the fact that your movement in Aikido should begin at the same time or before your opponent´s, not as a reaction to what he does. Reactions don´t work as well and should be avoided at all costs. The mastery of Aikido produces an individual able to fend off multiple attackers by walking through them and meeting them, not by cowering, reacting, or being boxed into a corner. This applies to the original post, in that, to not injure your opponent you must be able to recognize him as an opponent and act to manipulate him in such a way as to not injure him. I don´t know about you people but I think that takes a wee bit more than a year! :) You may be able to use some technique but to truly apply this "philosophy" is quite difficult. I hope this post was clear and I would really love to hear some thoughts, whether agreeing or otherwise...
At your service,
Christopher

Mike Collins
09-19-2000, 04:33 PM
I too think it takes more than a year to be competent to wade through a group and not cause injury. I'm not too sure it's a 20 year deal though.

My point earlier about pain, though poorly worded, was that if you train to cause pain, rather than the more difficult practice of finding, and leading your partner's center, you are more likely to believe that you'll cause your opponent pain and make an attack stop. This isn't always, and I think in the context of a serious fight, virtually never effective. If the training is to weaken the partners structure by leading them away from their own center, there is better chance of sucess, both at surviving, as well as at pinning the opponent without causing them injury.

Whether or not this is going to be always possible is, I think, a different thing than whether or not it is possible in a general sense.

Please God, don't let this one piss anyone off!!

chillzATL
09-20-2000, 12:24 PM
cas, mikey, everyon, my deepest apologies to you all.

Kolschey
09-21-2000, 06:57 AM
Greetings,

It would seem to me that there are several variables that would determine the ability to effectively use Aikido in such fashion as to protect oneself while not unduly harming one's attacker.
The primary one that comes to mind is the prescence of weapons- this will increase the magnitude of hazard to both parties. While I have seen individuals with an excess of fifteen years training who seem capable of handling armed attackers without inflicting structural damage, I would personally fear for the safety of either or both parties in an altercation where one was armed, and the other had less than ten years experience. I would also look at the type of training which the defender had been exposed to. I have trained with some individuals who are police officers and prison guards, in a dojo where the training is very pragmatic i.e: there is repetition of only one or two techniques, or variations of a technique, within a 90 minute class. An emphasis is placed on correct body placement to minimise exposure to subsequent attacks, understanding of anatomical structure and awareness of the role of atemi. Conversely, I have also trained with individuals who emphasise energy practice and a more flowing approach in which strikes and structure locks are less prevalent. Both have their adavantages and disadvantages. For an individual who is likely to need to employ Aikido technique to counteract a serious attack within a shorter time of beginning their training, I would suspect that the first training style might prove more efficacious, though this may also be a situation in which the attcker may suffer some injury or discomfort in order to prevent serious harm to the defender. That is only my opinion, however, and I welcome hearing from others on this question.

Kestrel
09-29-2000, 11:11 PM
It seems to me that it would be very likely that an attacker would be injured in even some of the milder techniques if they were applied by someone with less experience. Even with only a few lessons, an aikidoka could probably manage to utilize at least one of the simpler techniques..or even just iremi or tenkan out of the way. But applying any of the take-downs without injuring the attacker would rely on a huge number of factors. Even a perfectly executed kotagaeshi could injure the attacker if it were performed in too small a space (head meets wall with predictable results) or on ground that was uneven..(I'm picturing an alley outside a bar with broken glass etc.) But even larger spaces, when unfamiliar can lead us to injure ourselves..I whacked my foot but good coming out of a backroll because the wall was not where I expected it to be while visiting another dojo yesterday. When practicing, uke may resist some of the techniques in so much as he or she will not allow you to take them down with an insufficiently applied form..but at least when they fall they are relaxed and falling onto a mat..not to mention that they have practice falling!
From the amount of pain that I went through learning to fall...even without significantly injuring myself, I would be inclined to believe that an attacker being injured in at least some *small* way is very likely unless the skills of the aikidoka, the physical and mental state of the attacker, and the environment all cooperate to prevent such injury. Which seems unlikely seeing as Murphy's law is almost always in operation.

Tim

"Are you *sure* this is safe?"