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Paul
09-20-2000, 12:32 PM
I would like to start a new thread on a very old subject, aikido as a means of contemporary self defence. Before I put forward my point let me start out by saying that I believe (from personal experience) that aikido is a very effective form of contemporary defence and one of the deadliest at that.
However I don't agree with aikido clubs advertising aikido as a form of self defence or indeed teaching "realistic attacks" in class.
We will almost all agree that aikido was born from aiki-jujutsu a method of combat designed for use on the battle fields of feudal Japan. The attacks in aikido reflect this. Who are we to change them to suit modern times so that we can say that aikido is "street effective". We never hear of iaido-ka or kendo-ka modifying their technoques or attacks so that they might be akin to a baseball bat or something of that nature.
As I said in the beginning of this post I do think aikido is a superb method of self defence but this is a by product of the training its self not an aim. With experience we realise that all attacks fall into either vertical or horizontal trajectories which all martrial arts deal with thus we can apply what we know to something new and expect ot to work. If however we feel the need to learn street fighting we should go and learn to street fight, most countries have a least one organisation which deals with contemporary self defence.I know O'sensei told us that aikido must evolve but perhaps that evolution should be through our study rather than simply to cater to the needs of the few. So why post this onto the forum, well I would like other peoples thoughts on this as well as their arguments.

Regards Paul


P.S. This post is not meant to insult or to belittle clubs/instructors it was meant only to invoke a response which might lead to a better understanding of aikido by me.l

Bob
09-21-2000, 09:27 AM
I believe that aikido is very sound basic training for self-defense or street aikido. However, I think that for several years (5?, 10? who knows) after starting aikido we are generally more danger to ourselves than the other person because we each have imbedded reactions from our childhood that lead us to one reaction instinctively and yet we have this overlay of training that results in our mind telling us to do something other than our instintive reaction. The result cannot be advantageous.

That said, I have a question that has bothered me for years that I would like to put forward. Would anyone agree that aikido is a training format for use in the dojo but that street aikido is really ju-jutsu?

Yours in aiki,
Bob

chillzATL
09-22-2000, 08:06 AM
I agree with both of you to a degree. I think aikido is a superb method of self defense and also has wonderful philosophical underpinnings that everyone can better their lives through. I do disagree about the aim of aikido. O'sensei totally meant for aikido to be a serious form of self defense. His aim wasn't for aikido to not hurt or injure anyone. Most of the martial arts of the time caused injury because that was how they were designed. He modified his technique so that it was just as effective but you didn't have to break someones arm or wrist to apply them. The philosophical side that many consider to be more aikido than the technique, is mostly a by-product of the way he lived his life, not something that he taught to his students.

also, concerning how some people modify things to be more "street like" I think the attacks we have in aikido represent a very wide range of street posibilities. Yokomen-uchi can easily be seen as a roundhouse punch, yokata-tori can easily be seen as someone walking up and shoving you in the chest. It's all in how you view things.

andrew
09-22-2000, 10:29 AM
Bob wrote:
Would anyone agree that aikido is a training format for use in the dojo but that street aikido is really ju-jutsu?

Yours in aiki,
Bob
I think I disagree-
There's a great deal of unconscious nuance in everybodys Aikido. You spend years repeating the same techniques, reinventing them every couple of months when another point made by Sensei sinks in. Aikido becomes part of how you move: your walk becomes more efficient, you stand up with more economy of effort etc.
It might look and feel different, obviously, to an idealised dynamic training, but your body will still be doing aikido unconsciously.

My knolwedge of JuJitsu is pretty minimal, but while I imagine the "same" wristlock applied from either discipline would look simular on the surface, the differences would still be evident to somebody who knew how to look. (Which isn't me, to be honest.)

Of course, you could argue that Aikido is really a form of ju jitsu anyhow, I suppose, on mat or off...
andrew

Erik
09-22-2000, 11:40 AM
Paul wrote:We will almost all agree that aikido was born from aiki-jujutsu a method of combat designed for use on the battle fields of feudal Japan. The attacks in aikido reflect this. Who are we to change them to suit modern times so that we can say that aikido is "street effective". We never hear of iaido-ka or kendo-ka modifying their technoques or attacks so that they might be akin to a baseball bat or something of that nature.

Ok, a couple of points. While there may be branches of the 2 arts you mentioned that advocate carrying a sword around on the street, the fact is that kendo or iaido are not classic hand-to-hand self defense forms. You are not comparing apple to apples by using them.

Now a disclaimer: I don't do street Aikido.

Having said that, were I to train in this art with combat foremost in mind, I think my practice would change--a lot. Maybe I lack the skill but freer form practice with combat in mind changes the dynamic enough that I find the surface layer (techniques) changes although the principles seem to hold together pretty well.

I remember reading about Tohei commenting that when he came to the US he was amazed by how big everyone was. He also commented that it forced him to change his technique because of this. I think a lot of these arts (including Aikido) which was created in the Japanese vacuum (or country of choice) lacked a certain dynamic because of their history. As these arts integrate into different things, cultures, ideas, the practice/form will inevitably change.

Good, it makes for a vital art.

Paul
09-22-2000, 12:10 PM
Of course you are right to point out that arts invovling weapons are not classic hand to hand arts however is aikido?( I am playing devils advocate here!) Many of the attacks in aikido are a defence themselves to prevent your partner from removing his sword from the saya so you can then beat him safely. But that doesn't stop the experienced aikidoka from seeing the thread which links two seemingly different things and coming up with a solution because of that perception. When doing randori or jyu waza often I find my self in a bad position etc yet one modifies and adapst because your fundamentals allow you to. I managed this form of adaptation one night when two fellows decided I could be mugged I reacted naturally and well That's another story... I don't think that you can teach this adaptation it has to be natural. I think this is what Tohei was getting at.

regards Paul.

Pete Nappier
09-22-2000, 12:47 PM
well all of you have relative good points! but....
aikido is a "self defense" guys! it was developed to defend yourself against any possible attack. i have had to use aikido on the street and it works great if done properly. i have also use it in the ultimate way by using my head first and my hands later.

remember that the ultimate aim in aikido is to defend yourself in a way that niether you or your attacker are harmed. if you only are taught the physical skills of a martial art then you are only being taught half an art!

pete nappier
foothills budokai

Uinsuton Oi
10-04-2000, 01:44 AM
For your infomation Chill. O sensei aim WAS to make the world a better place. He created the art as a way of guiding people on the path to love. One of his quotes, I don't remember but it said someting like, "Be at peace with all beings, and you will not have to draw your sword rashly." I understand this is very difficult to do today.

Nick
10-04-2000, 08:13 PM
Uinsuton-

I believe what Chillz meant is that while Aikido can (and should) be used to make things better, to dismiss it as a philosophy, saying you can't perform it without inflicting pain on anyone would be inaccurate.

Hope I got that right,

-Nick

Richard Harnack
10-13-2000, 10:26 PM
Presently in the martial arts magazines, the term "street lethal" has come to be applied as the defining characteristic as to the "validity" of a given art. There was even an article on "Street Lethal Aikido".

My point in mentioning this is that such criteria are mistaken from the beginning. It is not whether any art, in this discussion Aikido, is an effective form of self defense, all of the martial arts can be described as such.

The point is whether any given individual has trained well enough to be able to remember what they have learned in the instant of needing it.

Each of us has different reasons for training. Some maybe are looking for "street lethal aikido", I am certain there are those willing to oblige them.

Others may be looking for "spiritual enlightenment", and there are those willing to oblige them.

However, the majority of the people who start training and stay, find that their reasons change along with their self-understanding.

I have been in situations where I had to use my Aikido. Once when someone who was drunk swung a stick at me. I helped him sit down, took the stick, then helped him to his room where he could sleep it off.

In another instance, I engaged a man in conversation while the woman he was intimidating got in her car and drove away. I thanked him for the conversation and went on my way.

In other words, I do not make a habit of looking for situations to test my training. I get plenty of that on the mat.

Aikido should be an effective self-defense. But make certain that you include all of the understandings Aikido gives us. Do not simply think of techniques and throws.

chezmike
10-14-2000, 01:09 AM
I am studying (hopefully learning) from a 5th dan of Shoji Nishio Sensei. While style is not really an issue, I notice everything is designed to maximize nage's potential and minimize uke's threat. Following natural laws of physics and basic physical and psychological responses seems to be Nishio Sensei's ideal. In essence, I think it's designed to be used in the moment.

I already know how to hurt people - it's rather innate in a basic human nature kind of way. I study Aikido in order to find another way to negate uke's threat and thereby (or perhaps begin to) change my human nature to something more human and less nature....

My Sensei often shows how techniques are 100% lethal, and we practice for study. But having previously studied how to hurt the body, I see places & points all the time that are more than "simple atemi". Try doing a slap breakfall on concrete, and suddenly shihonage takes on new meaning.

Street Lethal is an interesting concept. One learns from "the street" how to avoid conflict with surroundings (speak up any NYC aikidoists!). "Lethal" is usually only practised by the attacker, not defender, so I see street lethal as an oxymoron to martial art in general, let alone Aikido.

People seem to compare life with feudal Japan and think something is different. The human condition is always the same and has been for thousands of years. Just because we have invented our toys and gadgets doesn't change the fact that we are still people. Basic humanity never changes. Neither does gravity..

carlaiki1
11-02-2000, 12:49 PM
Paul,

Having read your thread, I would just like to say that I agree with what you have said. You seem to be a very wise warrior, ready perhaps to join a higher level of martial training. The Nine-headed dragon Ninja-clan, of which you have expressed special interest over the last few years will now accept you.

If you would still like to do this, please get in Touch,

Yours sincerely

Carlaiki1.
P.S. Aikido is devilishly effective. However I know and have read about 4th Dan in other martial arts who have been mugged by people on the street who have had no or little training. At the end of the day no amount of training can prepare you for conflict, Geoff Thompson relays this fact very well. It is how the technique is done when and where it is applied that counts.
You are surely witness to this fact having encountered the guys in Edinburgh!

(Just my opinion)(Don't shoot me!))

Yours always my friend,
Carl.

shadow
11-02-2000, 07:42 PM
I think aikido is whatever you want it to be. Everyone has a different aim and a different reason for training and being passionate about this art, and everyone will take a completely different aspect and make it their own. I don't know if this makes sense, but all of us will have a completely different view of what aikido is, discussing it is excellent to refine our own individual views and ideas, but I don't think anyone is wrong in their views, and noone has the right to tell them so either.

I think it can be incredibly effective on the streets if you want it to, personally I avoid fights and situations where I may have to fight so that is not what I want from aikido, but I am aware of it's applications and hopefully if needed I will be able to use them.
Anyways just the ramblings of a niave young man hehe

:)

peace

damien

Elric123
11-03-2000, 02:53 AM
If I might add my two cents. Even a newbie can see that this topic has probably been beaten to death. However I believe that I might add something here.

Firstly, from my reading of the history of this martial art, it is clear that Ushiba did in fact intend for this to be very effective in real life confrontations.

From a feudal perspective it may have been altruistic to believe in not taking an attackers life. Perhaps O'Sensei had an eye to the future here for our benefit however.

Some styles may have you rip a guys head off and pull out his liver, but thats not practical nor is it leagal. There are laws that allow a certain degree of force in defence be allowed under very specific circumstances. How many times have we seen so called black belts carted off for using excessive force. The result is usually criminal charges. How wonderful to have the option of controlling your attacker, and the training to know the degree to which intervention is necessary.

Now on a more somber note, I cant agree with mikes post that humanity is unchanged. In fudal Japan death in a fight was taken under certain sociological constructs. There have always been thugs, but the rules have changed. As a former Paramedic I have seen all to often life taken for little or no reason. Your life can end in a fraction of a second, at the hands of some kid with a gun, after you have given him your walet. Face it, that just didnt used to happen that way.

I am all for street smarts, and avoiding conflict. But, if we are to train in a "Martial" art, we all need to realize that it simply makes no sense if we cant defend ourselves with it.

An old modern wariors addage is " we train for war, and we pray for peace.." I believe that this is what should be at the center of our martial training. As to how Aikido addresses these things, well I will have to see.

Love and Peace,
Trent Loreant

Zach Hudson
11-16-2000, 01:26 PM
Yes, this is a topic that won't die, and yes, this thread is getting very long, but there is an issue which no one has mentioned during this entire thread. Everyone has said 'Aikido is effective' and left it at that, but I think the issue needs serious investigation. Here are some things that are not in most Aikido dojos' curriculum:

1) Offence. Aikido is supposed to be defensive, but in a street confrontation, a good offence may be the only thing that saves your life.

2) Defence against realistic attacks. When was the last time that you practiced countering a jab to your nose or a kick to your knee? How about countering elbows, knees, or biting? These attacks happen.

3) Realistic use of and defence against weapons.

4) Groundfighting.

5) Practicalities. From my experience little or no attention is paid in Aikido to legal issues, the psychology of violence, verbal de-escalation, or situational role-playing.

6)Pressure testing. Randori is the closest that Aikido comes to a real situation, but from my experience randori is not practiced often enough, and is unrealistic when it is.

I don't want to slag off Aikido, but these are some realisations which I'm having trouble reconciling in my practice. I believe, though, that Aikido CAN be effective, but only if the training is correct. The elements I listed above could easily be added to practice by a knowledgeable sensei, and the spirit of Aikido could still be maintained.

Zach

lyam
11-16-2000, 04:46 PM
It's probably been said a million times, but I have some time to kill at work ;). I too have had the same questions about aikido's 'effectiveness'. My questions have been (and are currently being) answered through consistent practice.

1) Offence. Aikido is supposed to be defensive, but in a street confrontation, a good offence may be the only thing that saves your life.

1. At a certain point in Aikido, one can dispense with the idea of 'offense vs. defense'. You are absolutely right however, in that taking initiative in a situation is imperative. After all, you are leading uke.

2) Defence against realistic attacks. When was the last time that you practiced countering a jab to your nose or a kick to your knee? How about countering elbows, knees, or biting? These attacks happen.

2. Many modern attacks utilize the same dynammics as traditional attacks, eg:yokomenuchi/roundhouse; shomenuchi/baseball bat, tire iron, axe, etc.. ;). Also, it is very important to utilize proper timing and distance, or, ma-ai. Someone else said it best (poor credit, I know!): There are literally an infinite number of potential attacks and it is ridiculous to learn counters to all of them! Ueshiba was ultimately teaching principles to his students through the tool of technique. Learn the principle and you can defend against any technique.

3) Realistic use of and defence against weapons.

3. There is very little defense against someone with a gun besides giving him what he wants and avoidance in general, ie: don't walk down dark alleys at night. There is good defense against knife and stick attacks in aikido. 'Empty Hand' works the same as 'Weapon Hand'. The founder based many of the movements in aikido on Weapon arts.

4) Groundfighting.

4. In fact, there are many dojos that add such things to their lesson plans.

5) Practicalities. From my experience little or no attention is paid in Aikido to legal issues, the psychology of violence, verbal de-escalation, or situational role-playing.

5. True, many dojos do not discuss such things, probably because Aikido is an art that literally takes decades to learn. Many of those issues you stated above can be learned from other sources off the mat.

6)Pressure testing. Randori is the closest that Aikido comes to a real situation, but from my experience randori is not practiced often enough, and is unrealistic when it is.

6. Aikido is an art which takes many years/decades to learn. I've seen randori among beginners and randori at higher levels of study. There is definately a difference in intesity and 'realism'.

I don't want to slag off Aikido, but these are some realisations which I'm having trouble reconciling in my practice. I believe, though, that Aikido CAN be effective, but only if the training is correct. The elements I listed above could easily be added to practice by a knowledgeable sensei, and the spirit of Aikido could still be maintained

Zach .

You are fully justified in voicing your concerns and I don't think you're slagging aikido. The most important thing I've learned about aikido is that consistent practice makes a big difference in your perception of the art. Also, aikido is but a means to train the body and the mind, not an end unto itself. You must provide the energy, commitment and discipline in order to progress. A teacher can not do it for you. Also, I recommend studying a bit about Budo and aikido's role as something more than just 'self-defense', because it really is!
Rmember: practice, practice, practice!, then think about it! ;)

tarik
11-17-2000, 04:20 PM
Zach Hudson wrote:
Everyone has said 'Aikido is effective' and left it at that, but I think the issue needs serious investigation.

I don't necessarily disagree, but why do you think it needs serious investigation?

Here are some things that are not in most Aikido dojos' curriculum:

Have you actually trained in most Aikido dojo? I certainly haven't, but my experience doesn't map to your experience as described.


1) Offence...

2) Defence against realistic attacks.


These for example are things that I have experienced in a number of dojo and from a number of teachers. Yes there are plenty of teachers within the same dojo even who don't teach it.


3) Realistic use of and defence against weapons.


Many people don't even agree what realisitic use or defense against weapons actually means.

4) Groundfighting.

True, although there are plenty of other places to get this AND not all fights end on the ground. Plus, I've found that applying Aikido principles in my judo training has helped me do rather well against much more experienced judoka than myself. Of course, that's just training, not fighting.


5) Practicalities.

6)Pressure testing.


Again, not my experience.

I don't want to slag off Aikido, but these are some realisations which I'm having trouble reconciling in my practice. I believe, though, that Aikido CAN be effective, but only if the training is correct. The elements I listed above could easily be added to practice by a knowledgeable sensei, and the spirit of Aikido could still be maintained.

Well there's the key, no? Of course Aikido can be effective. To get there, our training naturally has to reflect our goals.

And finally, IMO... the "spirit of Aikido" is meaningless without including among MANY other things, effectiveness.

Tarik

Chuck Clark
11-17-2000, 05:47 PM
Well said, Tarik.

Cheers,

Octavio
11-19-2000, 03:38 AM
Zach brings up some important points about aikido and its effectivness. This is what I've understood from aikido and street fighting. Aikido most basicly teaches us how to move and coordinate are entire body thru ki to bring an opponent off balance and into our sphere. This is the basis of all martial arts including aikido. We must also realize that not all the waza we are taught will be effective in a street situation. These specific few waza are practiced for the purpose of developing our ki. In a street situation one's mind must be open to all forms of attacking and defending. Aikido is a great martial art, but one cannot limit themselves to just using aikido during a fight. If your irminage does not work but somehow you end up behind your opponent sweep his legs, choke him, punch him in the kidney or simple run. The most important thing we learn from aikido is to keep our center spiritually and physically. On this priniciple, which we gain from training our body and mind, is what we should fall back on during a street altercation. Once we fall into this state of mind the aggressors action will seem to move in slow motion and your techniques will flow from you without a thought. I do agree that in training, it is important to incorporate conscientously without polluting aikido's prinicples of harmony a street situation. Just for the purpose of realization no more. We cannot forget aikido is the way of peace, talking or running if necessary is also important to diffuse and protect yourself from a harmful situation.

Octavio

tarik
11-20-2000, 03:30 PM
Octavio wrote:
Aikido most basicly teaches us how to move and coordinate are entire body thru ki to bring an opponent off balance and into our sphere

I agree. My personal take on this though is that we should be seeking more than that.. we should be seeking to learn how to move and coordinate our entire body AND uke's entire body... making them a single unified unit.

That's how well we need to connect to uke and understand how the interaction of our bodies work.

It starts with moving ourselves, of course, but it doesn't even begin to end there. What does our own movement do to uke and how does it affect them when we are properly connected to their center?

We must also realize that not all the waza we are taught will be effective in a street situation.

It might even be a worthwhile speculation to say that there are NO techniques that are intended to be used in a street situation. They are used instead to learn specific principles. I would never enter a street situation with plans to execute some specific technique. Afterwards, one might be able to say that some technique happened, but that isn't really the point in my opinion, even if you're looking for effectiveness.

Aikido is a great martial art, but one cannot limit themselves to just using aikido during a fight.

Yeah, but is Aikido the techniques, the principles, some mix, or something else entirely?

I know that I find the aiki in all sorts of things that I do, from cross training in other martial arts, to scuba diving, to riding a motorcyle, and it has helped me at all of those things.

We cannot forget aikido is the way of peace, talking or running if necessary is also important to diffuse and protect yourself from a harmful situation.

Now here's the basis for a fascinating conversation. What is the way of peace? Speaking as someone who has both successfully and unsuccessfully (perhaps) turned my back on fights and also successfully and unsuccessfully pre-emptively struck first, I think that there are times when running is an inappropriate response.

Guest5678
11-22-2000, 09:44 AM
Quote from original post : < snip
The attacks in aikido reflect this. Who are we to change them to suit modern times so that we can say that aikido is "street effective". We never hear of iaido-ka or kendo-ka modifying their technoques or attacks so that they might be akin to a baseball bat or something of that nature. >

Hate to bust your theory here but I do study Iaijutsu and in my research I've found that many "soke, Grandmaster, "current owner"" whatever you want to label the head dude as, does indeed modify their ryu's waza. Sometimes quite radically. Perhaps the the best example of this is the history of the sword itself. For many years the sword of choice was very long and worn edge down "tachi", later on in history it was radically changed to a shorter version "katana" and worn edge up. Many new waza were created for the change in sword style.

I think we need to be careful here when perceiving the difference between "making modifications to" and what may be considered "a natural evolution of the art."

I modify my aikido technique to fit the energy uke provides and the situation I'm in. If my understanding of Aikido principle(s) is solid and in tact then the various physical manifestations "technique(s)" possible is limited only by the degree of understanding I have of the principle(s).

If you think abouit it, you will never actually do a technique exactly the same way twice, regardless of how many times you do it. This is because any particular encounter only happens once. Something, perhaps very minute, will be different with each successive attack. Do you not modify your technique when one uke is 6'8'' and another is 5'2''. I would hope so.....

As far as advertising "street effective Aikido", I only see this as a ad to get people interested. Why not call it "living room effective Aikido" or "patio effective Aikido", if your attacked in your kitchen then it's "kitchen effective Aikido". As long as the principles are in place who gives a @#$% what you call it......

Worry less, Train more!

Dan P. - Mongo

jgrowney
02-19-2001, 02:48 PM
Mongo wrote:
Quote from original post : < snip
The attacks in aikido reflect this. Who are we to change them to suit modern times so that we can say that aikido is "street effective". We never hear of iaido-ka or kendo-ka modifying their technoques or attacks so that they might be akin to a baseball bat or something of that nature. >

Hate to bust your theory here but I do study Iaijutsu and in my research I've found that many "soke, Grandmaster, "current owner"" whatever you want to label the head dude as, does indeed modify their ryu's waza. Sometimes quite radically. Perhaps the the best example of this is the history of the sword itself. For many years the sword of choice was very long and worn edge down "tachi", later on in history it was radically changed to a shorter version "katana" and worn edge up. Many new waza were created for the change in sword style.

I think we need to be careful here when perceiving the difference between "making modifications to" and what may be considered "a natural evolution of the art."

I modify my aikido technique to fit the energy uke provides and the situation I'm in. If my understanding of Aikido principle(s) is solid and in tact then the various physical manifestations "technique(s)" possible is limited only by the degree of understanding I have of the principle(s).

If you think abouit it, you will never actually do a technique exactly the same way twice, regardless of how many times you do it. This is because any particular encounter only happens once. Something, perhaps very minute, will be different with each successive attack. Do you not modify your technique when one uke is 6'8'' and another is 5'2''. I would hope so.....

As far as advertising "street effective Aikido", I only see this as a ad to get people interested. Why not call it "living room effective Aikido" or "patio effective Aikido", if your attacked in your kitchen then it's "kitchen effective Aikido". As long as the principles are in place who gives a @#$% what you call it......

Worry less, Train more!

Dan P. - Mongo


Now here's the basis for a fascinating conversation. What is the way of peace? Speaking as someone who has both successfully and unsuccessfully (perhaps) turned my back on fights and also successfully and unsuccessfully pre-emptively struck first, I think that there are times when running is an inappropriate response.

I agree. If Aikido is the art of peace, we have a duty as aikidoka to spread peace. In a sense I think this means we have an obligation to teach whomever uke may be, that there are peaceful ways of resolving conflict. Running away means he has won (in his mind). This in turn reinforces his ego and behavior. However if one were to stop uke's unwanted behavior without seriously hurting him, he can be spoken to.

You can show him that you could have killed him, and by not doing so have given him a second chance at life. Hopefully this can be a learning/life altering exerience for uke, and motivation for him to change his ways.

Jim

Nick P.
02-19-2001, 04:26 PM
Well said Jim,

A few times, doing iriminage, I have inadvertantly pinned uke to the ground, face first; they never even came up for the throw. I often thought "Gee, I guess this ends the fight, don't you think?". My uke and I both laughed.

Not to compare my experiences with O-Senseis', but insn't there a story of a "sword/kendo master" challenging him to a "fight"? As I recall, the attacker eventually just gave up/got tired, as he could never connect a blow with O-Sensei. Thats how I see true Aikido, of any style or interpratation.

If there is no target, how can there be any fight?

Jim23
02-19-2001, 05:17 PM
Yes, in 1925, the first of his three visions. And the day he understood the nature of creation. ;)

All this was actually before he created aikido. But you knew that.

Jim23

ian
02-20-2001, 07:15 AM
I would agree with you (Jim Growney), although there is somewhat of a fine-line. Ueshiba said that aikido is not for correcting others, but for correcting ourselves.

I would think if we are socially responsible there are many situations when running away is not good. However ideally we should not have the attitude of 'teaching someone a lesson'. Therefore we diffuse their physical attack in a non-violent and non-damaging way (ideally).

Sometimes this is very difficult, and also; I think many people's egos are so large that if you throw them gently and non-harmfully they will just get up and attack you again (I have heard of this occuring several times) - I'm unsure whether I would be able to cope with repeated attacks of this manner from the same person who, all the time, is learning how to get out of out technique.

Is there any answer? For me it is a standing pin with the option of applying pain, but all situations seem to be different and I don't really think there is any ideal.

Ian

ian
02-20-2001, 07:17 AM
P.S.

I also think we are defending against the attack as a whole, rather than just the physical attack, so pre-empting an attack is justifiable and indeed desirable. Ueshiba was known to have done this on many occasions.

Ian

Nick Simpson
05-03-2004, 07:48 AM
Aikido for self defense the way I would apply it is basically how to move and how to strike, forget throws and pins, evasion and very brutal atemi are my prefered choice in a life threateniing situation. If it was a friend or someone not intent on killing me then I would perhaps try a lock like sankyo or something to hold them down.

Bronson
05-03-2004, 01:42 PM
We never hear of iaido-ka or kendo-ka modifying their technoques or attacks so that they might be akin to a baseball bat or something of that nature.

Never say never.

Street Kendo (http://www.superiormartialarts.com/catalog/uniform/kendovideos.html)

Second video down.

I've watched it and it's terrible.

Bronson

Keith Morgan
05-09-2004, 06:48 AM
Just out of interest,whose "streets" are we talking about,streets in Singapore,New York in the Bronx,a sleepy village in England,or a backstreet in Bangkok? Get the point anybody?
The concept of self-defence is a western one,not even considered in Japanese Arts.You have offence and counter-offence.You may do better to study the concepts of Sen and Heiho,instead of babbling on about "street" effectiveness.

ajbarron
05-13-2004, 11:31 AM
My First Time !!!

This is a copy of an incident report I had to submit yesterday at my school. It was the first time I have ever had to use Aikido outside of the dojo, or even the first time I have had to deal with a physical threat. I did not use Japanese terminology for the report since it would have clouded the issue.

Basically I did a quick irimi as he started to punch, controlled his punching arm, a quick arm pin followed by a nikkio to control him as we marched the student into the school.

It wasn't dojo smooth, but I didn't get hurt ,and neither did the student.

What was funny was the other teacher who marched the student into the office with me couldn't understand why the student wasn't fighting on the way into the school until I demonstated the hold on him.

What shocked me was when I was asked by both students and other teachers why didn't I punch the student. My reply was, that punching was not acceptable behavior. (I did this rather that get into a philosophical discussion on the principles of Aikido.)

It did illustrate to me that "on the street" you just go with what works. What surprised me was that I was thinking all the time about what could I do not to hurt the student; and we both came out unscathed.

Please note we have a very strict policy on snowballs due to problems experienced in the neighborhood, and our school system. In this incident the other six students, when approached by me, simply marched down to our time out room and wrote up their behavior reports.


May, 12, 2004

Noon-time Incident Report

Time : Approximately 12:30 PM

By: Andrew Barron, Teacher

***** ****** was observed throwing snowballs outside the school so I approached him and asked him to head inside. He refused, so I told him he had a couple of minutes to make a good decision , (i.e. do as I requested). I then went inside to deal with other students who had been throwing snowballs .

I then went outside the school entrance and saw that ***** was still not in the school.
***** was asked by another teacher ( ******) to go into the school due to this disciplinary incident. He refused and started to walk away. I intercepted him and asked him to return to the school was told by the student to “Back off B***h”. At that point I grabbed his arm as he pushed past me and made motions to punch me , as well as threatening to beat me up. He then started to swing at me with his fists while making more threatening statements as to the effect that I’d better leave him alone or he would do physical violence to me. At this point I had to control him as he swore, kicked and threatened me. By this time his anger seemed to have been already in complete control of his actions, and statements, and he could not stop.

Holding him in a position that he could not hurt himself or myself, Mr. ****** and I escorted him into the office of the Assistant Principal. We asked him to sit down at which time he started taking things off the selves and throwing them about the office. I was forced to regain control of him once more. During this time he continued to make threats about physically attacking me. I asked him at least twice that if I let go that he would calm down at sit down. He refused and continued to cause a commotion in the room (kicked over a stool and other things).

Another teacher (Ms. ******* ) who the student had a good rapport with attempted, to get him to calm down by telling him that I would let go if he would comply. ****** continued to make threatening statements and attempting to kick things about, so there was no option other than to hold him to prevent any further property damage.

Mr. ********, Assistant Principal, then entered the office, assessed the situation and decided that the best option was to escort the student to the front doors and tell him to go home. As he left his last statement was to the effect “Watch your back you f*****g b***h”.

Following this I was asked to write up an incident report, which I did independently of the others involved in the incident.

Submitted by Andrew Barron

May 12, 2004
1:20 PM


PS Yes, for all you southerners it does snow in May in Canada!!!!!!!! As a matter of fact it snows whenever it feels like it no matter what time of the year.

Lyle Laizure
05-17-2004, 06:14 PM
What makes Aikido, Aikido is its philosophy. So whether you are on the street or in the dojo it is the practitioners intent that makes the art Aikido. If your intent is to hurt beyond what is reasonable for the given situation then you are not practicing Aikido. This is a grey area for each individual discern for themself.

Forrest Williams
05-20-2004, 04:43 PM
Aikido is a life-long progression toward aiki, however one does not have to practice aikido to become aiki. Many chose other paths such as dance, art, or business, which can all lead down the path of aiki if the principles are applied.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony can be a path to aiki, however if at the end of the process there is no tea in my cup, then it wouldn't be the same.

Effective self-defence is the tea. It is inseparable from aikido.

Bronson
05-21-2004, 02:05 AM
I knew I smelled another Seidokanian here somewhere :D

Hey Forrest glad to have another one of "us" on the forums.

Feel free to PM me if you're ever gonna be in the SW Michigan area.

Bronson

Forrest Williams
05-21-2004, 02:07 PM
Hi Bronson:

Thanks for the welcome. I will let you know when I'm in the area (I love training at other dojos). The same goes for you; please stop by anytime.

Are us Seidokan a minority around here?

I'll be attending the Seidokan summer camp in Austin, TX next month. Maybe I'll see you there...

John Matsushima
05-21-2004, 08:29 PM
If there is no target, how can there be any fight?

People often try to seperate the philisophical side of Aikido from the physical side, but they are a part of each other. Once a person starts to think in terms of self defense, then everything changes, and the techniques will reflect the mindset of the individual. It is akin to having a discussion with someone and becoming defensive with your words, it then becomes an argument.

I don't believe there is any true form of self-defense. If someone puts it in their mind to due you harm, you cannot stop them with any form of reality training or street defense tactics. There is no defense against someone armed with a will of violence. You have to sleep sometime. The demon of violence has so many techniques and weapons that it is impossible to prepare for all of them, be it an airplane that crashes into a building, a man full of hate with a bomb strapped to his belly, or just a thug waiting to stab you in the back and take your wallet.

So, in that case we say that we shall take pre-emptive strikes, take the offensive, strike first, strike fast, strike hard. If you kill the uke, the demon of hate will win in the end with the vengence of his friends and loved ones delivering the wrath of violence upon you no matter what it takes. If you only injure the uke, then it will be he who sees to your demise...eventually.

If you don't believe or agree with what I say, then take a look at the world around you. It isn't a safer or better place because of self defense. The Israelis and Palestinians are both "defending themselves" and killing and dying everyday. Our American troops with the greatest technology and self-defense aids and tactics are dying everyday in Iraq. For thousands and thousands of years, the human race has studied and perfected hand-hand combat, and created massive and incredibly dangerous weoponry all in the name of "self-defense". Our police, and our military work 24 hours a day to protect us, yet we still die, and we still kill.
I for one, am sick of violence. I am sickened at how we fight to save ourselves by killing our enemy, for whatever reason.

Aikido is indeed a great gift for the human race. It is the answer to this demon of violence. Violence can never be defeated, but only replaced by love.

Therefore, it is imparitive that this is our focus as we train, so that when we stop defending ourselves (take away the target) and start loving, then there is no fight.
:ai: :ki: :do:

Sincerely,

John Matsushima

Bronson
05-22-2004, 12:18 AM
The same goes for you; please stop by anytime.

I'm not a big traveler but I'll keep it in mind...thanks :)

Are us Seidokan a minority around here?

I have no idea how many are lurking out there but there are only a couple that I know of who post regularly.

I'll be attending the Seidokan summer camp in Austin, TX next month. Maybe I'll see you there...

Unfortunately I can't attend. Returning to school has forced me into frugal mode to pay for it. Tell Ross Robertson Sensei and Katie I said hi :D

Okay, sorry about the thread hijack... :(

Bronson

Landon Miller
05-26-2004, 09:20 PM
While not a student of Aikido. This is the question I would like to give in the form of a answer.

Wouldn't the Style of Aikido Apply to any given situation where it is needed? From a bat to a knife, to a gun? Aren't the same kind of muscles used? The same motion used? If perhaps getting in range the needed attack is need, couldn't you play possum? I dint know but from the little experience I have with this subject I would assume so. But maybe the Ones with the knowledge could answer this better than I.

Tharis
05-27-2004, 12:18 AM
While not a student of Aikido. This is the question I would like to give in the form of a answer.

Wouldn't the Style of Aikido Apply to any given situation where it is needed? From a bat to a knife, to a gun? Aren't the same kind of muscles used? The same motion used? If perhaps getting in range the needed attack is need, couldn't you play possum? I dint know but from the little experience I have with this subject I would assume so. But maybe the Ones with the knowledge could answer this better than I.

Any given situation? That's quite a broad question. Referring to specific weapons, we practice tanto dori , which basically means knife taking, and a baseball bat in some senses isn't terribly different from a bokken (practice sword we use in practice. As for a gun, the person would have to be within grabbing range (meaning the person must not be terribly bright). Whether martial aikido would be effective, or how it could be effective, varies a lot situation by situation.

Ideally, Aikido is effective in any situation, even if it just involves talking the person out of whatever action they were intending to take. Not all Aikido is martial arts as we usually think of them.

That said, getting to that level would take a lot of practice.

All in all, I think the whole "my martial art is the ultimate street defense (tm)" vs. "your martial art is useless in real fighting (tm)" debate is pretty lame, and here's a website that basically makes the case for me:
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/martialarts.html

Hope this helps.

Thomas

SeiserL
05-27-2004, 10:04 AM
IMHO, effectiveness in the streets is a matter of intensity and intent. We fight how we train. Many people do not train with the intensity and intent to actually fight. This has to do with mental discipline and training as well as the physical. Effectiveness is about the person, not the style.