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drDalek
12-17-2002, 01:45 AM
I recently had the opportunity to duel with a friend of mine who practices a kick / punch martial art. Overall it was quite interesting and I also got my ass kicked.

Why he beat me:

1) Speed advantage, even though his kicks are nowhere near as fast as they would have been in a "real" situation and even though he was pulling them all the way, my tai-sabaki(?) is not quick enough to evade them yet. I keep resorting to blocking with my arms which means that there is a certain amount of "reset" before I can deliver atemi-waza.

2) Maintaining Ma-ai: He kept his distance (about the reach of his side-kick) so that any Irimi that I might try would be easily intercepted by him, I also could not manage to make him "chase" me, as soon as I did this, he would shrug his shoulders and walk away which is not conductive to learning and experimenting - and also very frustrating.

3) No dangling punches or kicks, expecting a fighter to punch and leave his arm out there for you to snag is pretty silly and this guy definatly did not do it, because he was pulling his punches, maintaining ma-ai and refusing to chase me, he never truly committed an attack.

What I learned:

1) Dont tell your dueling partner what martial art you do, its much harder to make him play "your" game then and you might end up playing his.

2) Evading kicks and punches are hard, loads harder than blocking them but I still believe it is the best way to evade them, it places you in a favourable position to atemi-waza or apply a technique with no "reset" cost.

3) I either need to do a lot of speed training or I need to adopt a lighter stance to get the movement initiative over him.

4) If you keep circling a kicker, they will have a harder time kicking you.

5) A kick/punch guy with 6 months of practice destroyed an aikidoka (me) with 6 months of practice.

6) I am nowhere near as good as I hoped I would be by now, hopefully experiences like this will eventually kill my ego and I wont feel the need to prove myself anymore.

PeterR
12-17-2002, 02:17 AM
Why he beat me:

2) Maintaining Ma-ai: He kept his distance (about the reach of his side-kick) so that any Irimi that I might try would be easily intercepted by him, I also could not manage to make him "chase" me, as soon as I did this, he would shrug his shoulders and walk away which is not conductive to learning and experimenting - and also very frustrating.
I would say number 2 is the main reason. Correct ma ai is roughly weapon tip to weapon tip which if you are dealing with a kicker it is different than when dealing with a boxer. He maintained ma ai - you didn't.

Shrugging his shoulders and walking away - there is a whole community out there who believe this was an aiki response. I don't define aiki that way but in a potentially combative situation that is probably the ideal response. Now if you kept your ma ai and forced him to come to you - there might be something to work with. Even seizing the initiative means that there is an opening to exploit. A person who knows how to kick and more importantly knows how to wait - can be very dangerous.

Both in competitive Aikido and Japanese boxing - the best players are the patient ones.

Ta Kung
12-17-2002, 02:21 AM
Hi!

I also sparr with a friend of mine who practise a punch/kick art (btw,so have I for a few years). Here is what I learn everytime I use Aikido against him:

Aikido is not for sparring. You're not likely to be attacked on the street in the same maner as you are in a sparring match. Usually, the one attacking is going to deliver one punch as hard as he can (i.e. one commited attack), also chances are the attacker is drunk, and therefor not so fast or well balanced. Further more he probably is angry as hell (otherwise, why punch you?) and anger can make him sloppy. You don't dance around in a real fight, as you do in a sparring match either...

Before you sparr, I take it you both warm up? There's no time for that in real life. Also, you both know eachother, and (hopefully) don't try to hurt the other one.

Point of my rambling: (My) Aikido often don't work that good in a sparring match, but it does work good in real life. Real life situations is nothing like a sparring game. Keep this in mind.

Regards,

Patrik

PS. It takes longer to be good at Aikido, than it takes to be good at most other Martial Arts. Have patience and keep at it!

JW
12-17-2002, 02:28 AM
Most people would frown upon such contests... but man who can resist.
Actually I tend to think of them as "training with more realistic attacks" than "contests." That's really the point anyway, right? To practice techniques in a more real way, and see what happens?

Hey about the irimis that don't work because he is faster than you, did you try making the movements REALLY small, like "welcoming" the attack in, as opposed to evading it? I think that helps to foster a connection at the time of attack.
I know it sounds dumb and dangerous, but in principle isn't it true that you want the attack to connect to you, just not in the way that uke expects?
--JW

shihonage
12-17-2002, 03:10 AM
I had a very similar experience with someone who has 20 years of mostly Chinese martial arts.

He attacked with a lot of light, pulled back punches (so that he wouldnt hurt me), I blocked about 30% of them, he threw two kicks... I blocked first with my arms (ouch), the second kick was powerful and dedicated, and I evaded it without thinking.

I think the mistake we all make in these encounters is that we need to take initiative immediately.

Attack, seize the clarity of the moment, limit his options.

However, taking initiative involves serious risks to both parties, and during such a "dinner party sparring" it wasn't worth risking friendship and serious injuries.

So, in the end, this kind of half-hearted, nothing-at-risk sparring is really ... useless to draw any conclusions from.

batemanb
12-17-2002, 05:07 AM
I would say number 2 is the main reason. Correct ma ai is roughly weapon tip to weapon tip which if you are dealing with a kicker it is different than when dealing with a boxer. He maintained ma ai - you didn't.
When I read the first post, this was similar to my thoughts, Peter beat me to the post.

If you maintain your ma ai, and your friend is intent on landing a blow, he must come at you, this will give you an opening. In maintaining your ma ai, if he shrugs his shoulder and turns away, then you have done Aikido. Just don't forget to maintain your awareness until you have both agreed to call it quits.

Bruce Baker
12-17-2002, 07:45 AM
I am pleased I am not the only one who brings about the theory of Aikido verses the practical applications, but ....

Did you read the thread about catching punches? That along with learning the blocks,which are really strikes, for the kickers or puncher's own art, you will find that your Aikido has room for all of these defensive and offensive movements, if you do not close your mind to the possibility of adding to Aikido as the situation warrants.

You might say, in the American venacular, you are playing possum with being able to intercept punches, divert or dodge kicks, and then use the movements of Aikido when the opportunity in introduced by you or the attackers own overconfidence.

Not everybody can stare down someone or have the means to back it up, so diversionary tactics are not uncommon for protection in the martial sense.

Still, another method of learning to deal with kicks and punches is to have someone practice attacking you with a jo while you are reduce to handblades that defend/ divert the attacks. That is a pretty Aiki way to simulate punches and kicks without breaking stride with Aikido training.

When you train, stop thinking about what you going to do, and start letting the brain react to what you see. Too simple? That is one of the key methods of learning to speed up your reflexes so that the punches and kicks seem to be coming in slow motion, which in fact, is where Aikido shines in actual application.

Ma'ai? Yeah ... you can't do certain things if the timing and distance is wrong. If it is wrong, you are just asking for trouble.

Hence, as much as direction to correct your timing and distance is as much wrong as it is right. Makes no difference when you are too slow to use techniques at a proper speed in the proper application over a given distance and time allotment to complete the technique.

That is the real kicker about using aikido against other types of martial arts, just how good is your application of timing and distance?

What do you need to do to make Aikido applicable?

And ... do you need to add other defensive measures that will protect you until you reach that level of practice?

I say, add what you need until you can get there from here ... it is but part of the journey.

Williamross77
12-17-2002, 10:41 AM
That's funny. I have trained in two systems that focused on this. One KSDI I actually learned to kick and box=kickbox as well as a mirade of other kenpo and jujitsu techniques. the same is true of any art that wishes to deal with strikes,,, don't be there and READ the STANCE. The human body is capable of only so many things, if you can learn what movement will natuarally come from what placement o the feet and weight , your half there. Secondly learn what to do before the kick or punch comes, when i was first learning these movements they never worked untill i started practicing ALL THE TIME! So that the instant a front snap came i was either inside their center for iriminage or way back keeping my mai.

TWO, learned Shoudeo O Seiseu From Bill Sosa and his students, intrinsically the same thing but focused more on control of the power of the strike, which made my previous training come alive, now instead of just getting inside or outside, i am learning to actually blend at the point of impact incase i cant move(wall or such).

It is all in the amount of practice, and now when i catch a kick sometimes the people look very surprised!

But you are always going to get hit in a street fight or sparing, get use to it.

Talon
12-17-2002, 10:50 AM
Lets put this in perspective. You both have been training for 6 months you and your kick/punch MA friend? Lets be honest in 6 months there is no way you could be anywhere near being effective in Aikido. Aikido is a MA that takes years to get good at. I've been doing Aikido for over 8 months now and in a real fight I'd still fall back to my previous matrial arts training. there is no way I could use Akido effectivelly at this stage of the game. Of course if the attacker was drunk or grabbed me at the start of the fight I might use kotohenery, kotemawashi, shionage or kotegashi on him but in a normal standup distance fight I'd fall back to my previous matrial arts experience.

Give yourself a few years of Aikido and try it again with your friend. I'm sure it wont be as easy for him to beat you.

Paul

JMCavazos
12-17-2002, 01:36 PM
Also remember that it takes no training at all to hit somebody. It takes some training to learn to hit someone real hard with either a kick or a punch. With no training at all anyone can throw a punch or throw a kick.

Aikido requires a lot of training to use correctly... so, hang in there and keep practicing. There are a lot of good replies in this thread that will help you in future encounters with a kicker.

opherdonchin
12-18-2002, 12:37 PM
Also remember that it takes no training at all to hit somebody. It takes some training to learn to hit someone real hard with either a kick or a punch. With no training at all anyone can throw a punch or throw a kick.Thanks, Joe, you finally helped me put my finger on what I wanted to say. And that was:

Contests in which people 'pull' punches and kicks are very difficult to learn from unless you both have a fairly good understanding of both arts. Unless the person actually hits you, its hard to know how much that would have gotten in your way (possible, but hard). That makes it hard to know 'who won.'

Darrell Aquino
12-18-2002, 02:08 PM
Sparring is a good thing but what would you really have done in a life or death situation?

I believe it's all a matter of awareness.

Aloha,

Darrell

MattRice
12-19-2002, 11:56 AM
in my karate dojo, pulled punches DID hit you, and left a bruise. They just didn't crack your sternum in half. There are degrees of contact. In most point karate comp. (that I've been involved with) there is light contact to the body, no face contact or groin. In my dojo we had heavy contact to the body, light contact to the face and head and (get this) indirect contact to the groin! IE you could do a round kick to someone's groin, from the side, but not a front kick. Never seen someone drop their hands so fast!

It was VERY easy to tell who beat whom to the punch. However, we would go to competitions, and get disqualified right away for excessive contact.

MikeE
12-19-2002, 01:21 PM
I agree completely with Bill and his philosophy of using shodo o seisu.

One other thing to think about is that a kicker/puncher (I was in Ryukyu Kempo for 8 years) develops a rhythm. If you can tune into that rhythm and not be drawn into it...it is easier to nullify the attacker. I think this falls into the idea of kokyu ryoku.

I think what helps me is that I practiced a kick/strike art. This makes it easier to read your opponents' movement.

opherdonchin
12-19-2002, 04:02 PM
in my karate dojo, pulled punches DID hit you, and left a bruise.So, I think this is associated with what I said about having a fairly deep understanding of the art. As you get better, you can develop a clearer sense of how hard you are hitting and how hard you could have hit. However, for a karateka with 6 months experience, it may be quite hard to tell whether the punch that landed would really have been effective and whether it really would have been possible to put force behind it.

I'm not arguing against sparring (right now), I'm just saying that two inexperienced people sparring with each other may not really understand who won and who didn't.

paw
12-19-2002, 05:33 PM
Pardon this intrusion....
I'm not arguing against sparring (right now), I'm just saying that two inexperienced people sparring with each other may not really understand who won and who didn't.

Sparring with the idea of "winning" or "losing" is a dead end, IMO. Sparring (or any dynamic training method) should be about learning.

If "winning" is the issue, I'd point to competition (shiai), but frankly, even in shiai I would argue that being concerned with "winning" or "losing" is counter productive.

Regards,

Paul

DrGazebo
12-20-2002, 04:59 PM
So many good responses.

First, it takes longer to come into your own in aikido, so give it time. It will come.

Second, you have to enter. Everytime he kicks, he leaves an opening. As the kick begins,rush him, but stay covered. This will hurt at first, because your timing will be bad.

Third, u can enter right after his kick, he is vulnerable then. Come right up under the kick and lift him off the ground.

Everytime he kicks, throw a groin kick at him. To be more civil, throw a knee strike or thigh kick at his supporting leg and make some contact. He has to learn that there is a pain penalty for coming in too much. Even if he is a friend, kick him in the thigh, what's a few bruises between friends?

Fourth, this is the big problem with pure aikido and sparring. You need to learn how to hit as well.

Fifth, never block a kick with your arms. You always evade a kick and then counter attack.

Sixth, learn to jam his kicks, as he begins to lift the leg, drive in hard into him, and jam your knee into his thigh, it will fatigue him and block the kick. But again, without timing, this will go poorly for a while until you learn.

Don't get discouraged. But you cannot stay outside at the end of his range for long without paying for it. Get inside, even if you have to take one to get in, and tie him up, use Shiho Nage or whatever it takes to make contact, and stay there. REMOVE his primary weapon, the extended leg.

Lastly, clinching will nullify most of his strikes and can set you up for an aiki takedown.

Now go back in there and get em', tiger!

SeiserL
12-21-2002, 09:55 AM
IMHO, never mistake training for sparring, sparring for fighting, or fighting for combat. Each has their own rules of engagement and outcome.

Some arts are easier to learn than others. Its is easier to be beat by some style you are not personally familiar with. It is easier to be beat when you are fighting on their turf, than when they have to fight on yours.

It sounds like though you were beat, you learned a lot. Deepest compliments.

Until again,

Lynn

Jimro
12-21-2002, 08:55 PM
There are two types of strikers.

Those who stay outside and beat the hell out of you.

Those who get inside and beat the hell out of you.

Tae Kwon Do breeds those who stay outside, Kempo breeds those who stay inside.

From my experience with Aikido, you need to get a hold on whatever appendage and do something with it. From my experience with Tae Kwon Do and Kempo, that's easier said than done.

Seems like half his attacks were feints to force you to react. The more you spar with this individual the more transparent his feints will become.

I'm going to repeat the advice mentioned before; Be patient. Wait for a dedicated attack with which you can do something. Don't react to feints in a way that helps him. Sometimes you can follow a punch back in, and that really messes with a strikers mindset.

Good luck, and have fun.

MattRice
12-23-2002, 10:44 AM
I'm just saying that two inexperienced people sparring with each other may not really understand who won and who didn't.
Agreed, and that happens all the time I bet. So such contests, as you say can be futile. However it's still interesting to see what happens. It's sort of like when we practice atemi in Aikido. You have to respect (IMO) that the hand in your face could have been a strike that took out all your front teeth, and would have definatley off-balanced you, and left you open for whatever-nage. Knowing this you act appropriatley and take ukemi. I think you're right, in either case it takes some, maturity? experience? something that goes beyond:

"That was a point"

"No it wasn't, I had my gaurd up."

"My strike would have crushed your gaurd..."

etc etc

Have a Happy Happy!

Matt

Bronson
12-25-2002, 10:22 AM
You have to respect (IMO) that the hand in your face could have been a strike that took out all your front teeth, and would have definatley off-balanced you, and left you open for whatever-nage.

Had something similar the other day. I was doing a technique (attempting one anyway) on sensei. I finally got it to work in a half way decent manner. As I took him down he gently laid his hand on my back. In our dojo that's sensei's way of telling us that he could have hit me in the head...and probably would if I made the same mistake next time :D

Bronson

Tim Harley
01-02-2003, 07:10 AM
Hi. I'm new here. I just read through this thread and I hope you don't mind if I offer my opinion here as well. I have studied some kick/punck style MAs as well and I have sparred with many who fight this way. Even now, in studying Aikido, it is difficult to not use blocking/trapping procedures when dealing with this type of opponent. However, after about 3 years of study, it is starting to become an instinct to use evasive and other Aikido manuevers. They are effective. But it is like that in all MAs. You have to learn the art - to make it instinctual. And that takes practice. Keep at it. The timing and distances will come.

Peace.

Lyle Bogin
01-05-2003, 09:44 AM
I advocate defeating techniques by learning them. When you can land kicks, you can defend against them.