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rob_liberti
05-05-2008, 07:57 AM
Well as far as _that_ book, I will decline for the time being on starting a new thread to discuss it because my eventual goal is for that topic to be my first published book. I just want to manifest these principles physically first before I dare do so (and many of you are all going to help me with my goal in seminars!).

As far as the transmission of a certain skill set being broken. It is my current thought that the transmission of that skill set in the most direct way - was most likely forbidden due to rules of giri - and that aikido was dedicated to transmission of that skill set in every other means possible. He used many uchideshi to transmit by means of kinesthetic perception. He used principles expressed in the "language" (for lack of a better term) of kotodama to explain them. I'm blessed with a teacher who is both mental genious enough to actually understand kotodama and physical genious enough to process what he learned by means of kinesthetic perception (for 10 years in a Yamaguchi sensei's private dojo for I believe yondan and above only) and still the best he can do is guide me with what he is doing, disallow me from burning in what I'm doing wrong (by not letting us practice any technique too long, but remaining focused on the principles), and give me as much instruction on the theory as my littler/more feeble brain can handle at a time. Now I have Dan to help me fill in many gaps, and I am very optimistic. So many things Gleason sensei has been telling me and showing me all these years makes more sense and I am starting to approach my own ability to manifest the principles myself (outside of his classes where he controls the environment for learning).

As far as convincing a bunch of people. Consider that if Dan shows up to a judo competition and blows everyone away, thousands will be "believers" but how many will actually show up and train, and continue to train in that new way? Maybe 3 or 4. Well, the thing is, that those 3 or 4 people will just go seek out people like Dan themselves, so why should people like Dan bother with dealing with the millions of questions from the thousands who aren't going to be really serious about changing. Well, that's how I see it...

Rob

DonMagee
05-05-2008, 09:14 AM
As far as convincing a bunch of people. Consider that if Dan shows up to a judo competition and blows everyone away, thousands will be "believers" but how many will actually show up and train, and continue to train in that new way? Maybe 3 or 4. Well, the thing is, that those 3 or 4 people will just go seek out people like Dan themselves, so why should people like Dan bother with dealing with the millions of questions from the thousands who aren't going to be really serious about changing. Well, that's how I see it...

Rob

I don't know. I've seen a lot of guys who were 100% sure there was no value in X until they had their asses handed to them by it. For example, my judo coach came to a bjj practice once. One of the more cocky kids was sure his wrestling was far superior to judo and there would be no way that judo guy could ever teach him. He spared with my instructor and was throw very hard. He quicky tapped and no longer wanted to play. He then showed up to judo practice that saturday. Sadly, he left our club for a more MMA focused club, but I think that lesson left an impression on him about the value of judo for gi grappling.

I for one do not believe in ki projection knock outs. I think it is all fake. I personally would not waste my time finding guys like Dillman to test out my belief. However, If I saw him win a match against well respected fighter without touching him, then I would travel down there and have him knock me out. At that point I would devote my life to his art. I've always wanted to be a jedi. :D

Many martial arts have grown simply by traveling the world kicking peoples rear ends. That is one of the reasons why judo, bjj, and even aikido grew quickly in their early years. Had all those judoka not traveled the world fighting matches, judo would not be as popular as it is today (which is very popular everywhere but america). Had it not been for the UFC and the internet, would bjj even be a martial art in america worth mentioning?

mathewjgano
05-05-2008, 12:44 PM
Well if you ask me the transmission was broken right at Morihei Ueshiba.
I'm not trying to imply that I know better because chances are pretty good I don't, but I wonder how you could possibly know this.

He learned what he needed to know from his teachers, but he never created a pedagogical method to pass it on. The default pedagogy of mainline aikido was basically adapted from Daito-ryu without much thought about whether and how it should be changed to transmit the essence of this new art.
I'm not sure creating a new pedagogy would have necessarily made much difference. As I understand it, the method is basically that of apprenticeship, which demands one on one interaction to glean mastery. The information then trickles down the hierarchy: the more the senior students develop, the more the newer students develop. Furthermore, in my own experience, with the exception of training directly with sensei, I got to train with everyone at the dojo in the course of the first day or two; I got to take ukemi from sensei within several months. To my mind, this is a pretty good pedagogy for any single dojo. Beyond that level, pedagogy becomes less of an issue I think. That taken with Sensei Ledyards remarks about everyone's aikido being their own seems to make a pretty good fit for why things are done the way they're done. I'm more inclined to think the problem comes when other goals (like political ones, for example) get involved and diffuse the focus of the teachers and students.
The only criticism I can see about pedagogy as being valid has to do with obscure language or a lack of explicit instruction and feedback, particularly the feedback. Uptake on how to move/feel your way through a movement is a pretty non-rational, right-brained type of process though, which makes me think the bulk of the issue lies in intensity and continuity of training. Obviously when we use language to communicate goals like, "relax your shoulders and straighten your posture more," we're including logical processing, but absorbtion itself is still a pretty physical/spacial set of stimuli.
If people want to be better "fighters" or whatever one chooses to call it, they need to train with people who are better than them first and foremost.

Take care,
Matt

Roy Dean
05-05-2008, 01:42 PM
As far as convincing a bunch of people. Consider that if Dan shows up to a judo competition and blows everyone away, thousands will be "believers" but how many will actually show up and train, and continue to train in that new way? Maybe 3 or 4. Well, the thing is, that those 3 or 4 people will just go seek out people like Dan themselves, so why should people like Dan bother with dealing with the millions of questions from the thousands who aren't going to be really serious about changing. Well, that's how I see it...

Rob

I would beg to differ on this point. How many people trained in Gracie Jiu Jitsu after watching Royce decimate the competition in the first UFC's? Tens of thousands (myself included). Many people also lived/worked/flew to Brazil (from all over the world) to learn this particular form of jiu jitsu. All you have to do is show people repeatable skill and you will attract them. Show...not tell.

DH
05-05-2008, 02:09 PM
Hey Don whats up with the slam??
Ki projection knockouts that "you don't believe in" have not one single thing to do with what I am doing or talking about. But the best place to learn that is on the business end of a pair of 5 oz gloves.
All due respect-and I mean that, get over yourself.
I was advocating MMA and live training looong before most of you guys ever brought it up, and was hammered, slammed, defamed, and doubted for continually doing so.
Now, add to that-that I am the very same person, telling you that internal power was the engine that continually increased my power through the early nineties to today. Currently no one will let me hit them more than once, and the last guy who doubted my short power ability was a BJJ purple belt who got it from me flat on my back with no room to chamber or use my elbows. It was a straight shot from zero to his side. He sat out for three rounds. You can add that to my list of broken bones and knockouts over the years. I'll see If I can get his name. You can ask him him if my "ki projection created rainbows in the air" or if I just knocked the living SH#@ out of him from a no inch punch.
I don't mind the sarcasm and disdain, but its a little late in the game for you to be making these off-hand, dismissive comments with a readership who have all felt it up close.
I've been around a long time. Other than the internet, I've not met anyone in person who has rolled with me, who took me for a lightweight, a fruitcake, or anything other than a very practical hands-on grappler/ headhunter in person.
I'd prefer it if you paid attention or just passed me by.
I give out more respect to you and Kevin than I have ever received in kind. Mostly because I read and pay attention.;)

DonMagee
05-05-2008, 02:11 PM
I would beg to differ on this point. How many people trained in Gracie Jiu Jitsu after watching Royce decimate the competition in the first UFC's? Tens of thousands (myself included). Many people also lived/worked/flew to Brazil (from all over the world) to learn this particular form of jiu jitsu. All you have to do is show people repeatable skill and you will attract them. Show...not tell.

Someday, If I ever get a vacation, your school is on the list of places I want to go get beat up at. :D

Ron Tisdale
05-05-2008, 02:18 PM
I don't think he meant that as a slam to what you do, Dan. I think he was just gaffing on the whole Dilman, Sakernoski, Japanese Ki Master gets toasted on you tube thingy.

I'm sure that if Don wanted to slam you, he'd mention you directly :D

Best,
Ron (at least I think so...)

Bill Danosky
05-05-2008, 03:28 PM
Peace, Dan. I thought the same as Ron. Don seemed to be talking about no-touch knockouts, which I don't believe in, either. I have seen a couple of people get X's over their eyes from 3-inchers, though. And Bruce Lee demo'd a lot of 1 inch punches in his day.

On the topic of the thread- I never heard that anyone avoided being thrown by Koichi Tohei and he had plenty of comers. He was definitely of the Ki projection species but his waza was "hands on".

DonMagee
05-05-2008, 03:34 PM
I don't think he meant that as a slam to what you do, Dan. I think he was just gaffing on the whole Dilman, Sakernoski, Japanese Ki Master gets toasted on you tube thingy.

I'm sure that if Don wanted to slam you, he'd mention you directly :D

Best,
Ron (at least I think so...)

True, I did not mean to slam Dan at all.

Sorry Dan if you felt I was slaming you. The ki projection stuff was just an example in relation to a post that said even if someone like you won the olympics in judo doing something unique that people would not train it. I was showing how something as obtuse as shooting energy into me from 15 feet away with mind bullets if done in a public setting such as that would sway me to train in it.

Truthfully, I have no idea what you can and can't do. People here have met with you and say you can do what you say you can do. I'm fine with that. The fact that you can do something is not the point of my post. My post directly relates to why people don't take things like this seriously.

If I told my judo instructor that I knew a guy who could stand there and be unthrowable to the top judoka around, he would laugh. He would tell me I'm crazy or stupid. In fact he has ever right to do so. He has been around the block so to speak. He's not going to travel even an hour to see something like that. In his mind, the answer already exists. It would be no different then if I told my bjj class that I knew a guy who was immune to chokes. They would laugh at me. Nobody is going to waste their time to go check.

Now, if they were watching the Olympics and saw a guy who obviously was doing something different, be unthrowable and drop every opponent effortlessly, they would take notice. They would start to care and would bother to drive that distance to see it for themselves. The same with the UFC. If a guy showed up who could drop every single opponent he fought with 1 punch, even from the bottom of the mount, well you better believe fighters would be coming from all around to train with that guy (Or the UFC might kill him for killing their ratings).

We live in a information age, where things can spread very fast as long as they are creditable. Our expectations of credibility have grown well beyond word of mouth stories or personal videos. This has no bearing on your skills at all. But the fact still reasons that if you say you have it and even have other people who will back up that you have it, 99% of the world will still think you are full of bull.

I think Kano knew this. He knew if he could win the hearts of the martial artists out there, he could eventually win their minds. As judo spread around the world, it's chief goal of mutual benefit and welfare played second fiddle to the combat application of the art. Then, once it had established itself in mainstream culture it began to work on it's principles. Had kano lived longer, I think we would of seen more of those principles. To me the real goal of judo was to teach the scientific method, preserve a dying culture, and foster peace. It masquerades all that behind a sport and fighting system.

Ueshiba also did this in his own crazy way. He used word of mouth as kano did, abit on a smaller scale. His method however would not work so well today as not many people are up to traveling and challenging. It seems most challengers came to him, unlike kano who sent his students all over the world to make challenges. Aikido did this to some extent, but not nearly on the scale of judo. However, even the limited exposure though public exhibitions and challenges helped aikido grow to where it is today.

So my point is to say you have X skill does nothing to foster the tradition of that skill. To sit back and say "Well I can do it, if you want to find out come see me.", will not foster the growth of the art, only insure that it dwindles along with the risk of becoming lost like so many other things. It also gives an illusion of bullshido even if it is not. I mean seriously, if I started saying I could defeat bjj black belts from inside the side mount with a single strike, but I didn't care to promote it because I didn't want the exposure, people would not believe me. I would have a skill that no one else on the planet has ever demonstrated. At this point logic dictates I am not telling the truth. I could even show it to a handful of people, and they could show it to a few people and we could all talk about how great it is, but until it's shown in a large venue, the majority is still going to say it is a scam of some sort. I understand I am exaggerating, but it is for effect.

So in conclusion, Dan, I'm sorry if I offended you. I make no claims against your training, skills or abilities. I do not know if you have them or not. I have read what others have said and it is clear you have skills they find very useful. I have not the time nor the money to come find out for myself, so I will not make comment on that. My posts here were not directed at you in any way, My comment were directed to those who can't understand why the world is not coming around. The answer is simply that if you want people to change their minds, you have to give them reason to change their minds. Words, antidotes, and claims will never accomplish this, no matter how much truth is behind them. Gandi didn't talk about how we should all be. He went out there in the public light and made an example of it. On a much lessor scale, the Gracies just didn't say that ground fighting was neglected in modern martial arts and that they had a system that would change the world, they went out and changed it. I'm not saying you need to step up and go out there and fight in the UFC or win a judo competition. I'm saying that if people want this to be taken seriously, if they really want to change people, then at some point somebody is going to have to.

And yes, I try my best to be direct (but sometimes I end up wordy). If I thought you were full of it, I'd say it without pause.

Kevin Leavitt
05-05-2008, 05:44 PM
I tend to agree with Dan's logic.

That said, I have been able to work "a little" of the training that I recieved from Mike Sigman into my practice. It has, I think, made me a little better at what I do.

Could I take what I learned and go to the olympics with it at 43 years old and dominate the competition. No, there is much more involved in martial arts than internal skills lend to I think.

Some may be holding out the internal skills as a "end all, be all" to everything. I think not, and those that I have worked with have not professed that it is, simply that it is additive to what I am doing.

It is hard to apply a constant logic to the equation as so many other factors come into play martially.

I tend to think I would not be as good as I am without the exposure, (which isn't saying much).

Is it special? I don't know, I think many athletes currently do many of the things that I have seen Mike do. That said, Mike is a specialist, and does more of it, better and more concentrated than anyone else I have worked with.

Sort of like Golf I guess. Tiger Woods is good, but he may not be the best person to learn how to putt from. there might be a better coach or someone that simply putts better on average than him.

That doesn't mean that that guy could beat Tiger Woods at Golf!

I think the logic works more this way than trying to empirically show that it is totally superior in competition to all other factors involved.

I do tend to follow your logic though and seems like that you would see someone that stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Maybe they are already there, and they are not letting us in on their secret. Would you tell everyone if you were training, getting an edge and beating everyone?

I wouldn't until the money dried up and then I'd open my own school start training guys AND still keep my methods of training a secret!

rob_liberti
05-05-2008, 09:50 PM
In terms of this thread, all I can say is that Internal skills seems to be the only reasonable explanation for what Osensei was doing and his skills have been proven in the past well enough for me. That just doesn't seem like some major logical leap where I need further proof. (so to respond to "show .. not tell", I'd have to say: reason and deduce.. then show up and see for yourself)

However, to the above point, I guess a part of me does hope that Dan never proves the power of internal skills as applied to MMA to anyone else and that everyone dismisses the idea entirely so that I can have the skills mostly to myself as Kevin suggests.

That said, no one said it was the be all end all. Just a huge advantage. -Rob

Kevin Leavitt
05-05-2008, 10:12 PM
Oops...typo...meant Don...not Dan.

Also, I am not sure it is a huge advantage Rob. When you say Huge, I tend to side with Don and say that it would be more distinctly noticeable in some way as Don argues.

Looking forward to working with Rob John soon!

Mike Sigman
05-05-2008, 10:43 PM
I tend to think I would not be as good as I am without the exposure, (which isn't saying much).

Is it special? I don't know, I think many athletes currently do many of the things that I have seen Mike do. That said, Mike is a specialist, and does more of it, better and more concentrated than anyone else I have worked with. Hi Kevin:

But in most ways I'm not so much a specialist, which I've tried to make clear as someone who happened upon some odd movement skills that I followed up on for many years. What I would probably hope is that most of the people who can see the things I've condensed is the "aha... there is something there. The ki/kokyu things weren't just rhetorical comments that we took as ritualistic, quasi-religious comments, after all". Hopefully the logic made sense, but to the point that people think they'll explore it, not to the extent that they'll think that I somehow represent a respectable level of expertise in the skills in general.

I assume that someone really good in the skills and who trains in pure martial arts with them (instead of the hobby/exploratory level that is probably as high as I can ever reach) would use the advantages to excel in their chosen martial art. As you could see, there were some distinct advantages. Think what would happen to someone who truly capitalized on the advantages. But also, I'd suggest that there were more advantages than I could show in one weekend. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

G DiPierro
05-05-2008, 10:47 PM
As I understand it, the method is basically that of apprenticeship, which demands one on one interaction to glean mastery.That's exactly my point. How well does this method work? Of the people who studied the closest with the founder -- living in the dojo, training several hours a day, getting more hands-on time with him than anyone else -- how many of them could do what he did? The general consensus is that some of them picked up some ability to do some of what he could do. If so many of them couldn't get it with that kind of access (and we are talking about people who were in many cases already highly accomplished budoka in other arts), then what chance does the guy training 3 days a week with a student of a student of a student of the founder have? Virtually none. Sure, he is doing the movements that look somewhat like the outer form of what Morihei Ueshiba was doing, but there is no substance there. It is almost as if they are doing two different arts.

Contrast that with an art like BJJ, just to take an easy example. The guy training a few times a week with a typical black-belt will, in a few years, have some usable skills. He will be doing in essence the same art that Royce Gracie is doing; he just won't be doing it quite as well. But he will know that there is an end goal and it will be clear that he is making progress towards it, despite the fact that he might never have trained with someone even close to Royce's level. He doesn't need to, because the pedagogy of the art is good enough that it can be passed on without direct one-on-one training with a master-level practitioner. Of course, to get to the highest level you need to train with the right people, but I'm talking about the average guy training in the average dojo for just a few years.

What can a guy training three years in the average aikido dojo do? He can perform a number of choreographed techniques on command with a cooperative partner, and can probably take the falls for those techniques as well. That's about it. Unless he already knew how to fight coming in, odds are that he still can't fight very well, and more importantly, he has no understanding of how to apply aiki in any kind of spontaneous situation. He is just doing empty forms, but he thinks he is "making progress" because the only way progress is defined in his art is through ranking, and the only requirement for ranking (other than loyalty to the group, which is actually the primary requirement anyway) is to look good performing forms on command with a cooperative partner. Not only is he not making much, if any, real progress in the direction of what the founder of his art was doing, but he probably doesn't even have any idea of what that is.

If you look around for the people in aikido who are the exceptions to this, how many of them do you see getting other training to fill in the very large gaps in aikido's pedagogy? And who are they going to? People outside of aikido who have developed a pedagogy for teaching the things that aikido should have taught them but didn't. Even Koichi Tohei, by all accounts one of Ueshiba's most talented students (and by some accounts the most talented one) had to go elsewhere to learn what Ueshiba didn't teach him. After doing so, he started teaching what he learned there as part of aikido, much to the chagrin of some. What does that tell you about his opinion of aikido's default pedagogy?

If you keep training in a system that has been proven mainly to create people who look really good performing complex techniques on a cooperative partner, that is the result you should expect from your training. If you want a different result, you need to train differently. It's that simple.

Kevin Leavitt
05-06-2008, 04:14 AM
Agreed Mike, specialist was probably the wrong choice of word. I like "condensed".

Robert Cowham
05-06-2008, 04:19 AM
Some comments from one of Peter Ralston's newsletters:

If will and determination were all it took to beat someone skillful, then what we should study is anger or some such. It is not the same as skill, which generally involves mental clarity, calm mind, responsive performance, sensitivity to the moment to moment interaction, a well-honed feeling-sense of what's appropriate in ever-changing circumstance, and the like. These things need to be understood and trained.

Fighting skills cannot be trained without fighting or playing games that lead to skill, just like you can't learn to ride a bicycle without riding a bicycle. Not everyone should fight, and it isn't necessary in order to get a lot out of an art like Aikido, but you won't get fighting skills, or true interactive skills, [if] you never freely interact and always practice uke-nage.

and

When competing the opponent or partner is purposefully trying to accomplish the same objectives you're trying to accomplish – and they are trying to keep you from being successful. This takes place in many more ways than merely resisting what you are doing [...] The many changes in strategy and tactics, mind and body, timing and maneuvering that a fighter must make commonplace [...] need to occur as a steady stream, making changes in terms of milliseconds, and responding to every single thing the other does, while he attempts to respond to what you are doing.

I am in George's camp - Aikido has a deep appeal to me and has kept me going and interested for 20 years (with hopefully plenty more to come). My training and interests are reasonably eclectic, but certainly not governed by fighting. I have had one session with Dan (so far - more hopefully in future) which gave me a lot to take away and digest. I find Peter Ralston's ideas compelling, and I don't see them as antithetical to aikido. I have had huge amounts from Kashima Shinryu (via Inaba sensei).

I view my current practice/teaching as a research project and consider myself lucky to have such a vehicle.

Kevin Leavitt
05-06-2008, 04:23 AM
Interesting points on pedagogy GDP...

i kinda like your analogy on BJJ and Aikido.

Reminds me of painting.

AIkido would maybe be the equivilant of learning all the technical aspects of painting. Selecting the right paint brush, practicing your strokes, practicing blending colors....over and over again, but you are never allowed to actuallly paint a picture until you've mastered the "basics".

So you practice this stuff over and over again.

BJJ would maybe be the equivilant of "finger painting". You give the kids the paint, you spread paper out around and you tell them to paint whatever they want.

I see this same thing repeated constantly in our school systems from art, to learning how to write.

It is more important to teachers and education that our kids make perfect block letters than they learn how to write stories or novels first.

Many would argue that it is important to have a foundation first, before diving in the water.

Others take the opposite approach.

Who is right? I tend to like the sink or swim philosophy of diving in. I think you learn quicker.

But, others have done very well with the other method too, maybe not as well enmass...but it works.

Conrad Gus
05-06-2008, 12:59 PM
I haven't even read this thread. I just wanted to contribute to keep the ridiculously high number of posts going up.

DonMagee
05-06-2008, 02:36 PM
Interesting points on pedagogy GDP...

i kinda like your analogy on BJJ and Aikido.

Reminds me of painting.

AIkido would maybe be the equivilant of learning all the technical aspects of painting. Selecting the right paint brush, practicing your strokes, practicing blending colors....over and over again, but you are never allowed to actuallly paint a picture until you've mastered the "basics".

So you practice this stuff over and over again.

BJJ would maybe be the equivilant of "finger painting". You give the kids the paint, you spread paper out around and you tell them to paint whatever they want.

I see this same thing repeated constantly in our school systems from art, to learning how to write.

It is more important to teachers and education that our kids make perfect block letters than they learn how to write stories or novels first.

Many would argue that it is important to have a foundation first, before diving in the water.

Others take the opposite approach.

Who is right? I tend to like the sink or swim philosophy of diving in. I think you learn quicker.

But, others have done very well with the other method too, maybe not as well enmass...but it works.

I'm with you on the sink or swim. I actually learned to swim that way. In fact, everything I've learned has been that way. I get an interest, I'm thrown into the deep end, I develop some skill, then I either get bored and move on, or secure formal lessons.

My dad took me out to the pool one day and said "No water wings, get in there and learn to swim". I was scared, but after about an hour I was having fun in the deep end under his watchful eye. Fast forward that summer and I was out in lake michigan swimming with no problems (I wouldn't want to touch that water now...ewww).

I learned to play guitar that way. I bought a guitar went online, got guitar tab, started 'playing', started a band, ran into a guy who liked my guitar and came over. He would play I would watch, then he would leave, I would try to replicate what I saw him do. Eventually I learned the names of the chords I had been playing and I would play chords and he would solo. He showed me a few more chords and eventually I learned some scales. Finally, I took formal classical lessons.

It's the most backwards way possible, but it works really well for me. Everything I've ever started with formal lessons first has lead to failure. I even learned the skills for my job this way. When I need something done, i just grab what I think i need and dive in. Linux, programing, networking, whatever. Sure, I look back at the code I wrote 10 years ago and laugh at it for being stupid, insecure, poor, and silly. But it got the job done at the time.

This does not need to be this extreme, but putting people in a place where they are forced to sink or swim, forced to be creative and faced with the adversity of failure (personal or competitive) usually does wonders for most people. I have new judo students sparing by their 2nd or 3rd class. They in know way have any idea what to do out there, but that is not the purpose. It's purpose is to get them to think, push on, be creative, and learn to deal with failure.

Kevin Leavitt
05-06-2008, 04:26 PM
No it doesn't need to be that extreme. I agree. I don't want to give the impression that this methodology/pedagogy throws people to the wolves in a free for all (sink or swim).

It simply increases the amount of pressure and non-compliance in a controlled environment. You spend time on learning gross motor movements first, not worrying about the finer aspects of tuning, once you have mastered the basics, then you start tuning your game.

In this method you would learn to clinch, for example, before moving on to iriminage, which I think is much more difficult than clinching!

DH
05-06-2008, 04:51 PM
Hi Don
Rereading the initial post and the subsequent ones left me with the same impression. Mentioning me in the same post with Ki projections and Dillman made my radar go up.
In the later posts you and Kevin both go on to discuss the "possibility" or the idea that maayybe... internal power can used in MMA, BJJ etc. Understandable you can only speak from your limited experiences in that regard.
I repeat, that there were men who were combining wrestling, Judo, MT. FMA with sticks and knives when I was growing up. The "new" idea of MMA is a very old one to me. I'm glad you guys are finally convinced.
Welcome to the club.

FWIW I had to learn and build internal skills and use them in a Judo dojo and have played with many 2nd, 3rd and one fifth dan. And have been playing with BJJers since there were no BJJ schools. I went to an award winning BBJ school recently and went through 4 blue belts and two purple belts while only stopping once. No one got a single technique off. It was no gi, Most of them were actually from Brazil-there is a big immigrant pool here I know quite a few from the construction sub trades. It was fun seeing the look on their face with a 50 yr old rolling with them. While it is fun I find it highly limited, and more of a sport-to-sport and VERY open to strikes. I was bored in that I couldn't use any strikes, elbows etc. MMA training is better in my view.
I'm not out to convince you or Kevin about internal power. If you don't mind I will offer you an observation. While many times yaking about what others don't get and you do, be mindful of that fact that your new realizations may just be making you another of the last kids on the bus, not the first. Its great but thousands were doing these things for years.
As for the internals and the significants of what it can being to H2H combatives? As Kevins signature line from Patton states "Watching what others are sceptical about frequently reveals what they lack."
Some day you two may be just two more kids on -that- bus as well. I'd strongly suggest going down that road. But...well, you know. You've heard all that before from me for about fourteen years now.
It's a big world, and life can deliver surprises.
Good luck in your training

Kevin Leavitt
05-06-2008, 08:50 PM
Dan, I don't believe that I have ever yaked about "what others don't get and I do". If so, I'd like to have it pointed out to me as I find that highly presumptuous, patronizing, and something that I don't aspire to.

I have enough keeping up with myself, to spend my time judging others.

I look forward to maybe one day working with you as I don't tend to "roll" through Blue and Purple belts and grow bored, so apparently you have much more skill than I, so sounds like I could probably learn a great deal from you.

mathewjgano
05-06-2008, 11:57 PM
That's exactly my point. How well does this method work?
Well, if I'm correct that my dojo serves as an accurate example, I'd say it works pretty well...passing grade at least, in my assemessment.
Of the people who studied the closest with the founder -- living in the dojo, training several hours a day, getting more hands-on time with him than anyone else -- how many of them could do what he did?
I don't know, my key point was simply that it seemed transmission occured (as opposed to being broken at the founder like you said). I can't make any claims about which art produces better fighters and I'm inclined to say Aikido's goals are differently aimed for the most part, so it would make sense that other practices might be better for that.

The general consensus is that some of them picked up some ability to do some of what he could do.
I'm not sure any student can pick up all of what their teachers can do...assuming their teachers are always honing their own skills. My thinking is that as students we pick up whatever our teachers can teach us in any given moment and then it's up to us to make it our own and to creatively apply our own sense of things. I look at Aikido like Chiba Sensei, for example, and my lay-perspective sees something pretty effective. Is that all Osensei could do? I don't know, but it seems like it's a close enough of an approximation to begin with.

What can a guy training three years in the average aikido dojo do? He can perform a number of choreographed techniques on command with a cooperative partner, and can probably take the falls for those techniques as well. That's about it.
I can't speak for the average dojo. I have experience in only two dojos. However, in both I got the sense that a guy training for three years with dan grade instructor would come away with some very usefull skills.

because the only way progress is defined in his art is through ranking, and the only requirement for ranking (other than loyalty to the group, which is actually the primary requirement anyway) is to look good performing forms on command with a cooperative partner.
I think what you're describing here is problematic, but not definitive of Aikido. Progress has always been described to me as being able to perform more and more successfully "against" inceasing degrees of sincere attacks. Grading should reflect this.

Even Koichi Tohei...had to go elsewhere to learn what Ueshiba didn't teach him...What does that tell you about his opinion of aikido's default pedagogy?

I'm not saying pedagogy in Aikido should look exactly like that of Osensei. I'm just trying to say I think it can be sufficient in the right setting. I'm a big fan of pedagogy being a highly flexible thing, one which should ideally reflect the particular needs and goals of the particular teacher/student situation. That taken with the idea that teachers of Aikido should make it their own implies to me that variety of approaches, to some degree at least, is embraced.

If you want a different result, you need to train differently. It's that simple.
I couldn't agree more. In cases where something proves to be lacking, people should clearly make adjustments. For teaching how he moved, I think Osensei made sucessfull transmission. No teacher ever teaches everything they know. The issue revolves around how adept our training partners/teachers are, and how much we can glean from them in the time we have with them.
There might be a big problem in Aikido with regard to authentic understanding of "aiki" I don't know, but I do think it exists and I think there are a variety of ways it's been propagated, including the apprentice-like models of teaching/learning.

aikilouis
05-07-2008, 06:32 AM
If you want a different result, you need to train differently. It's that simple.
Okay, but altering the learning method also carries the risk of throwing out the baby with the bath water.

If one is too goal orientated (the so-called efficiency), one might lose sight of what makes aikido what it is, and just end up with an undifferentiated fighting method.

G DiPierro
05-07-2008, 12:36 PM
I'm not sure any student can pick up all of what their teachers can do...assuming their teachers are always honing their own skills. My thinking is that as students we pick up whatever our teachers can teach us in any given moment and then it's up to us to make it our own and to creatively apply our own sense of things. I look at Aikido like Chiba Sensei, for example, and my lay-perspective sees something pretty effective. Is that all Osensei could do? I don't know, but it seems like it's a close enough of an approximation to begin with.The problem with saying that all of Ueshiba's students got a full enough transmission is that they all look very different. In fact, I think that none of them would agree with you that they all got a full transmission. Most of them say that they couldn't even understand what he was talking about most of the time themselves, yet they all seem to think whatever they did manage to learn from him is correct and that the conflicting ideas held by their peers are incorrect. They all now teach according to a somewhat more rigid pedagogical model than he did, and try to get their students to look more like them and follow their ideas of what is most important in training more closely than he apparantly did.

It's not enough to say that they are all good martial artists, especially since many of them were already experienced in other arts and they were training intensively in a an environment with other serious martial artists. The question is what they did learn from Ueshiba that uniquely defines his art as aikido rather than just generic jujutsu? Or, if you prefer to think of aikido as merely jujutsu, then why are there so many variations and so little focus on effectiveness? If you want to claim that this transmission of aikido they received is something outside of the physical differences between them, then what is it specifically and how is it transmitted apart from the physical practice? And why do they now focus so much on the physical elements in their teaching?

Okay, but altering the learning method also carries the risk of throwing out the baby with the bath water.

If one is too goal orientated (the so-called efficiency), one might lose sight of what makes aikido what it is, and just end up with an undifferentiated fighting method.Actually, aikido at this point already looks to me like an undifferentiated fighting method. It's not real clear what aikido is if you assume that everybody who claims to be doing aikido is doing it the way it should be done and that all of Ueshiba's students got a full transmission of what he was doing. The only way I see aikido as being unique as a martial art is if you assume that what most people in aikido are doing isn't what Ueshiba was doing and therefore was not transmitted properly. It looks to me like there is no baby left in the bath to throw out anymore, and if you blindly cling to the dingy bathwater that is left of aikido hoping that there might just a baby in there somewhere you are probably just going to end up with a tub full of scummy water. I think you are better off looking for the baby elsewhere.

aikilouis
05-07-2008, 03:34 PM
So what is your idea ? Should we just give up doing aikido because you assume that there is nothing to learn anymore ?

Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't value your opinion too much.

To me you are commiting a few important mistakes.
1- You believe that there is not much to find beyond what you saw.

2- The differences that you perceive in the learning methods do not always mean that the essential content is different.

3- You are right to insist that feedback is necessary in the learning process, and sparring is a possible method that can provide it (as Tomiki sensei structured it for example). However, other methods are also valid and efficient. For example, Hikitsuchi sensei always emphasised that practice should be made in a spirit of shinken shobu, which means that the practitionners must put themselves in the proper state of mind to push themselves to improve and eliminate mistakes mercilessly.

DH
05-07-2008, 03:36 PM
Dan, I don't believe that I have ever yaked about "what others don't get and I do". If so, I'd like to have it pointed out to me as I find that highly presumptuous, patronizing, and something that I don't aspire to.

I have enough keeping up with myself, to spend my time judging others.

I look forward to maybe one day working with you as I don't tend to "roll" through Blue and Purple belts and grow bored, so apparently you have much more skill than I, so sounds like I could probably learn a great deal from you.
Kevin
I'm going way back with various comments about the applicable MMA uses for the skills that I have been talking about for years. With you continually doubting and making statements about things as if I couldn't or was unable to understand resistive training. Mark Murray cut and pasted a series of exchanges between us that were quite comical and spoke to the cognitive dissonance well.
With me stating, over and over that this type of training is all about grappling and you repeating a sort of mantra that you can't see its value or the use of static training in anything viable in what you do. It makes a funny read, and spoke to your understanding and also of mine.
As I said recently seeing my name in a post from Don, that went on to include Ki projections and Dillmans name didn't sit well with me.:D

As for the BJJers and being bored. That's not what I said or meant. I don't want to contribute to more inaccuracies and nonsense even by an accident of misscommunication. I had to be "on my game" when I was rolling with them as they were a handful. What I was "bored" about was what I stated. It was just more wrestling to me. I was bored that I couldn't use strikes, elbows, cross facing, or a myriad of other set-ups I would normally use. It was limited force-on-force sport. I also didn't like their method of positional changes to continually go for things that were obviously not going to work or at least highly improbable. Going a hundred miles an hour to no where still leads you no where. Later I was told they get points for attempts. It's just wasn't my cup of tea. I have rolled with collegiate wrestlers who were better at setting up and following through..
As for full resistance and MMA. All of my posts through the years have always stated support for judo, BJJ and MMA. All of them. I'll say it again. All of them. I have also clearly and definitively stated you can learn these skills, but if you haven't fought, you'll never know how *too* fight. As one fellow asked on E-budo years ago 'Should he stay in aikido, or do Daito ryu to learn aiki."
I told him to "Go find a good Judo dojo, walk in and ask THEM."
He did. And stayed. Just as I thought he would.
To wrap it up, my two recent posts were to get the point across definitively, strongly and hopefully FINALLY that I advocate nothing, if not power that has a very practical and applicable use in any fully resistive combative framework. The net isn't a nice place to talk about breaking bones, knock-outs, dislocations and damage, so I don't bring it up. But, as Mr. Baggins aptly wrote... I have been there and back again.

mathewjgano
05-07-2008, 03:53 PM
The problem with saying that all of Ueshiba's students got a full enough transmission is that they all look very different.
I didn't say all his students have enough transmission; whatever the standards. I don't think different equates to inadequate transmission, for one thing, but I also have to wonder how it is you think Aikido looks so different. I've experienced a little bit of Tomiki Ryu, but enough to see how it's like the heavily Tohei influenced dojo I primarily attend (when i get the time). Externally they look very different, but internally they feel extremely similar. I'm no expert, but that's how it seems to me.

In fact, I think that none of them would agree with you that they all got a full transmission.
I should hope not...particularly when earlier I said I don't think that's likely possible.

Most of them say that they couldn't even understand what he was talking about most of the time themselves,
Well he spoke in terms of mystical language, but when you were thrown you felt it. Perhaps even most of what he was able to do was lost, ok, but something useful was transmitted. To me it's as simple as that. And if that is indeed the case then all the better for the cross-exchange of information we're blessed with in the information age.

G DiPierro
05-07-2008, 04:04 PM
So what is your idea ? Should we just give up doing aikido because you assume that there is nothing to learn anymore ?

Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't value your opinion too much.

To me you are commiting a few important mistakes.
1- You believe that there is not much to find beyond what you saw.

2- The differences that you perceive in the learning methods do not always mean that the essential content is different.

3- You are right to insist that feedback is necessary in the learning process, and sparring is a possible method that can provide it (as Tomiki sensei structured it for example). However, other methods are also valid and efficient. For example, Hikitsuchi sensei always emphasised that practice should be made in a spirit of shinken shobu, which means that the practitionners must put themselves in the proper state of mind to push themselves to improve and eliminate mistakes mercilessly.Don't worry, I'm not disappointed that you don't value my opinion. That would require that I value your opinion of me. Since I don't know you personally and don't recall having read any thought-provoking posts here from you, I don't. Sorry.

Anyway, you have not accurately characterized my position at all. I have never said that there is nothing more for me to learn in aikido. I have said many times that there are people in aikido with whom I would like to train further in a different format. It's just not worth it for me to go to an aikido seminar where it's not even guaranteed that I will get to to work with teacher hands-on, and even if I do I will just be expected to take fully compliant ukemi for them. At this point, I don't feel that there is much more for me to learn from that method of training.

In the other arts with which I have been involved in since I stopped regularly teaching and training in aikido, I have been able work with master-level instructors in non-fixed-role resistance training scenarios. The fact that that this training does not exist in aikido makes it a virtually useless art for me at this point given the alternatives I have. It's not that there is nothing more to learn, but just that I don't believe that it is possible right now for me to learn much more of value without engaging in certain types of training that are mostly absent from aikido.

Kevin Leavitt
05-07-2008, 07:55 PM
Dan Wrote:

'm going way back with various comments about the applicable MMA uses for the skills that I have been talking about for years. With you continually doubting and making statements about things as if I couldn't or was unable to understand resistive training. Mark Murray cut and pasted a series of exchanges between us that were quite comical and spoke to the cognitive dissonance well.
With me stating, over and over that this type of training is all about grappling and you repeating a sort of mantra that you can't see its value or the use of static training in anything viable in what you do. It makes a funny read, and spoke to your understanding and also of mine.
As I said recently seeing my name in a post from Don, that went on to include Ki projections and Dillmans name didn't sit well with me

Yes I did doubt the application of these skills, and to a certain degree, based on priority of training, I would still question the amount of time spent on them as it applies to MMA or "Reality". There are far too many things that go into the mix to say that I would abandon everything for the sake of internal training.

That said, the weekend I spent with Mike Sigman was worthwile, relevant, and educational. I walked away seeing the value of this type of training, and have (and will) incorporate it into my training. In a few weeks I will attend a Aunkai seminar with Rob John.

On Cognitive Dissonance, I am subject to it as much as the next guy. Why would I not be?

Is there anything wrong with doubt or questioning?

I'd have to see the exact clip or post you are referencing in order to reply your comment concerning me stating or claiming that you do not or could not understand resistance training.

Contextually, I assume that it was based on a specific point or conversation that we were debating or discussing. Yes, sometimes we say things that we later look back on and see differently.

I am intrigued that you guys would actually spend the time going back through post and PMing each other on snippets of exchanges between us. Glad I was able to provide you two some entertainment.

I'd be happy to get with you or Mark at anytime to train in a way that might lend to better understanding or communication of these concepts or ideas as they apply to MMA or Non-compliance training.

I am always available in the DC area and will also be at the Aunkai seminar at the end of the month which would be a good forum to work on such things. I plan on spending some time with Rob John (I hope) on this very subject.

Kevin Leavitt
05-07-2008, 08:10 PM
Dan,

On BJJ. Okay, I am tracking with what you are saying with BJJ now that you have explained it a little clearer.

I would agree with you on those points.

In my "BJJ" training, many times I will do things that are not tactically sound for good BJJ, but good for "getting back to your feet". BJJ has provided me a good forum to develop a range of things from playing a decent "blue belt" level Guard game, learning various "sport submission", and overall playing the game.

On top of that, I have also developed some skills that allow me to not play that game and to disengage or avoid the game. I focus on this alot these days.

Starting under the mount, side control, turtle in the guard and working on improving postion back to standing, or being able to access weapons.

I suppose I am fortunate being able to spend my time with BJJers that are soldiers. We use BJJ as our base, but don't specifically "roll to the play the game".

Judo is great too. I have my 8 Year old enrolled to begin his base training, so obviously I see great value in it.

However, the same criticisms could be offered toward Judo. I cringe watching guys flying in odd extended positions through the area all to avoid the ippon. Also watching guys turtle up and crawl to the edge of the mat to avoid the pin.

I think the point is to understand the constraints and context of the training and to find the value in it for what it is worth, and train in that art to get out of it what is the strength.

Isn't this what MMA is all about?

CNYMike
05-08-2008, 08:58 AM
..... Folks start training with all sorts of ideas about what the art is... after substantial time in, they should have a different idea (better informed) of what it really is. The ones who always thought it was about fighting almost inevitably start doing more and more cross training because they can't make Aikido work as a fighting system. Eventually, if they are really serious about fighting, they leave to do something that really is a fighting system ....

I suppose this aproximates my own experience. I'd been training in shito-ryu karate for about a year and a half when I started doing Seidokan Aikido under Sensei Jim Wallace in 1986 (and karate has been the one contant in my training all these years; I still go to the same dojo I did then). I quit Aikido in 1988 because, among other things, I ddn't think it was as "intense" as karate. Maybe that's the wrong, but it seemed that in two years no one had progressed as far as people doing karate for the same amount of time. Of course, anyone who has trained with me and seen how well I do -- or don't --- move would be advised to "consider the source," but the point is it is in line with what you said above.

However, Aikido had got in my blood, and I still had warm and fuzzy feelings for the art. I kept doing the ikkyo, sankyo, and kote gaeshi wrist stretches when I worked out on my own; that's why I have flexible wrists (even if nothing else is). ;) And a couple of times in the late '90s, after I started kali, I would haul out my boken and do the Inosanto 15 count with it. (A lot of drills in kali are designed to be done with several types of weapons, and a two-handed sword grip isn't too far from Dos Manos.)

So when events lead me back to Aikido in 2004, not only had I wanted to come back for some time, but 6 or 7 years of Inosanto Kali had drilled into me a very open-minded approach: "No one art has all the asnwers, but everything has something to offer." Even a Japanese TMA like Aikido can be looked at that way. I do think Aikido has something to do with fighting, but I'd rather let Aikido show me what it is through practice than me impose something. What is it -- joint locks and throws? Timing? Internal energy? I don't know. But I want to find out.

Of course, if someone out there from a straight Aikikai dojo with no cross-training used Aikido to defend himself or herself successfully, who are we to ague? Makes the whole discussion moot.

Stefan Stenudd
05-08-2008, 03:21 PM
As for self-defense, I am convinced that there is no sure thing. No martial art is a guarantee for managing any self-defense situation.

There is only an increase or a decrease in one's chances.
Any martial arts training will increase one's chances in self-defense. So does persistent training - one's chances increase by each year of training whatever martial art.

Of course, it goes for aikido, too.

Kevin Leavitt
05-08-2008, 03:42 PM
No guarantee, but some methodologies are better than others.

Ron Tisdale
05-08-2008, 04:04 PM
But just because they are better (would increase percentage faster than another) doesn't mean they are better for me. They might be better for someone else... but maybe I'm ok with whatever better aikido gives me.

Best,
Ron (kind of playing devil's advocate...)

Kevin Leavitt
05-08-2008, 08:11 PM
"better" like "quality" is really hard to define sometimes. It is a concept, but really the judgement of such things is usually in the eye of the beholder, based on the criteria he/she establishes for him/herself.

Agreed Ron. It depends on your goals and endstate.

Stefan Stenudd
05-08-2008, 09:57 PM
really the judgement of such things is usually in the eye of the beholder, based on the criteria he/she establishes for him/herself.
I would say that this is true for just about any judgement :)

Connor
05-09-2008, 06:29 AM
Sorry if somebody has this opinion before, but I am new at aikiweb forum and I didn't read all of this post. Some days before I have found a video on youtube, see the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOauIiUGtdw

I would have only one question regarding to the video and the title of this topic:
Why use the police officers and why teach other self defense technic instructors aikido techniques, if "Aikido does not work at all in a fight"?

for example: hijikimeosae, shihonage, uchikaiten sankyo, etc.

I don't mean that aikido has to be like the presented examples because the aikido is not only the techniqe, but here are some examples that aikido techniques can be used in a fight or on the street as well.

jeffmaley
05-09-2008, 01:21 PM
I'm only a sixth kyu, so take my opinion for what its worth. That said, from reading and watching others, it seems that technique is less important than reading your opponent. If you know what your opponent is doing and going to do, the response, regardless of the technique, will work, as long as your opponent does not counter-read you or is not significantly more skilled. I would think this applies to any martial art, but Aikido certainly spends a great deal of time on blending with the opponent. While I've not studied bjj or any mma styles, if they spend time on the same thing, they would also be effective. Which one is better? Who cares. The goal is always to neutralize aggression, whether it be redirecting the energy harmlessly (for both attacker and attackee) or beating the crap out of the other guy. It really seems to be a question of personal belief. I appreciate all of the different viewpoints; its what makes this forum so informative!

rob_liberti
05-09-2008, 07:31 PM
Not likely to learn Japanese at this late date. Why don't you start another thread and give us your take on the book.
- George

I just learned that I have been wearing egg on my face for a while now! I was complaining about the wrong book. My issue is with a book called "The Secrets of Aikido" I have not even read "The Secret Teachings of Aikido" by the same author (10 years later).

I think he could have come up with a slighly more original name, but otherwise I completely apologize and retract my statements about the book I never read!

Rob

KIT
05-09-2008, 08:29 PM
Sorry if somebody has this opinion before, but I am new at aikiweb forum and I didn't read all of this post. Some days before I have found a video on youtube, see the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOauIiUGtdw

I would have only one question regarding to the video and the title of this topic:
Why use the police officers and why teach other self defense technic instructors aikido techniques, if "Aikido does not work at all in a fight"?

for example: hijikimeosae, shihonage, uchikaiten sankyo, etc.

I don't mean that aikido has to be like the presented examples because the aikido is not only the techniqe, but here are some examples that aikido techniques can be used in a fight or on the street as well.

I hesitate to post this - and please do not take it as a blanket dismissal of aikido or traditional JJ as a source for police tactics - but that video shows exactly the kind of thing that makes veteran officers dimiss their "defensive tactics" training as worthless on the street.

Just because someone is a cop - and a martial artist - doesn't mean they are effective on the street, or even considered as credible authorities or instructors by their fellow officers. I have personally witnessed the latter many times, and it does a great deal of damage to officer's confidence in their defensive tactics programs as a whole.

Kevin Leavitt
05-09-2008, 09:53 PM
Yes, we gave up training like this in the military about 2001. It dismisses a whole range of dynamics. Not saying that these things don't work...just saying that it is a very narrow and limited view of the spectrum of physical confrontation.

KIT
05-10-2008, 01:23 AM
Now, "sensei ninja," on the other hand.:freaky:

Kevin, stop reading my mind and posting my thoughts, its very disconcerting...

dalen7
05-10-2008, 02:57 AM
Welcome to the boards Szilard Pal-
Im in Hungary as well.

All I can say, from what I have seen, is that (at least where I train) we have a more practical approach when it comes to Aikido.

If you know who sensei Imre Marton is, then Im sure you know that no one on the street would mess with him. :)

Point is, although Aikido shares some common points across the globe amongst practitioners, I think that perhaps in Hungary there is more focus on making it work.

- there is a lot of aikido out there that simply goes through motions, but are missing subtle techniques that just work.

- I will also say if your in a boxing ring that it may not be applicable. But truth is most fights or rumbles the people are not trying to make each other bloody...you get in more trouble that way if you know what I mean

Peace

dAlen

dalen7
05-10-2008, 03:03 AM
Just because someone is a cop - and a martial artist - doesn't mean they are effective on the street,

Im not Hungarian, but I have lived in Hungary for 3 years.
The cultural experience is to long to go into here...but I will say this.

You mess with a police, and that will be the last thing you do...these guys are good at what they do. Aikido/Judo, etc. They WILL nail you.

In fact, same goes with the average security guard.
Hungarians, those whom I have met are quite physical and easily will go into attack mode if they feel threatened...quite different than stateside. (again stories and examples will have to wait...dont want to turn this into a book) :)

Peace

dAlen

Dieter Haffner
05-10-2008, 05:51 AM
Sorry if somebody has this opinion before, but I am new at aikiweb forum and I didn't read all of this post. Some days before I have found a video on youtube, see the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOauIiUGtdw

I would have only one question regarding to the video and the title of this topic:
Why use the police officers and why teach other self defense technic instructors aikido techniques, if "Aikido does not work at all in a fight"?

for example: hijikimeosae, shihonage, uchikaiten sankyo, etc.

I don't mean that aikido has to be like the presented examples because the aikido is not only the techniqe, but here are some examples that aikido techniques can be used in a fight or on the street as well.Szilard, welcome to Aikiweb.

The biggest problem people have with aikido effectiveness are not the techniques. The techniques popup in all kind of martial arts (ex: European shionage from the very old days http://aikikaiflanders.be/mushashugyo/renaissance_bestanden/image012.jpg).

The main reason people are bashing aikido for, is the training method. The way we train is not preparing us for a fight. And what I saw in the movie is not different from how we train. So I think the movie is a bad example.

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2008, 05:52 AM
Polizei in Germany are the same way. I think alot has to do with the greater degree of latitude they have with escalation of force than we typically do stateside. That has been my observations.

numazu
05-10-2008, 10:04 AM
I used to have my doubts about Shorinji Kempo too. I went from Karate to Shorinji and felt as though many people in the class just wouldnt really have what it takes in a situation (not that is the main reason for taking on a martial art - many of them did it for pure enjoyment - very nice bunch of people) so I was picking holes through it and becoming negative, "this doesn't work...that's not practical..." Then I met the teacher and he had a real presence. You could feel it in a block or a grab. He had something there that would very easily take care of me thank you very much. Then I realized alot of it has nothing to do with "style" at all. It comes down to that certain aura or power about a person. It's that something that only develop over time and experience.
I do feel the MMA guys have a point when they say after a couple of years they can take the average karate or Aikido guy out. They probably could but then their skills level off while Aikido and the like are just starting to take off. Aikido takes years of hard work - thats the only downer but in the end it is in your favor. I guess only a person with a bit of maturity can appreciate that. A lot if younger people just dont thave the patience to understand it.
One other thing too, I have never met a person I really disliked in an Aikido dojo. The style attracts gentle people who are looking for an alternative way to protect themselves than being a bute.
The world needs Aikido to keep the balance. Never feel as though you have to defend aikido. It's the other person who has to find the gentle side of themselves first.
p.s. luckily I didnt give up on that class. We used to practice Ukemi on hard wood floors. One day while riding a bike down a hill a car pulled out and I went straight over the handle bars. My body didnt have time to think and I automatically did this perfect Ukemi roll down hill on concrete and didnt hurt a thing!!! - dont ask me to do it again but it's funny how one little part of an art can be all you need - the defining point at a defining moment.

George S. Ledyard
05-10-2008, 10:10 AM
I think he could have come up with a slightly more original name, but otherwise I completely apologize and retract my statements about the book I never read!

Rob
Hi Rob,
I know some authors and it's actually the publishers who pick these idiotic names. The authors are often mortified by the sensational titles but the marketing guys are professionals and know what sells; most of them are far past any embarrassment they might otherwise feel.
- George

telku
03-19-2009, 02:54 AM
Ha ha ha, what a great thread. If we are truly talking about Aikido a whole and complete art. well then id like to say to all of those MMA type graplers out there.

TAKE ONE STEP AND YOU WONT HAVE ANY HANDS TO GRAPPLE WITH.

im sorry i know its a bit out of line for a person who practices Aikido but when it comes down to my Katana vs your hands i bet my life i would win.;)

John Longford
03-19-2009, 01:18 PM
Giancario could you please explain why it is not worth you going to a seminar unless you can train with the Sensei on your tems?
There are many excellent teachers out there so if you watch and try to repeat what they show you must improve.

Ketsan
03-19-2009, 04:43 PM
Oh no, the thread's alive again.

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2009, 05:10 PM
ahhhh....yes...my precious!

mathewjgano
03-19-2009, 05:23 PM
ahhhh....yes...my precious!
evileyes
You know...all day I kept hearing this little voice: "feeeeed meee." I just thought my co-workers weren't getting enough to eat, but now I understand completely.
...And now my obligation has been paid so the voice will leave me alone.
Yes, I'm easily amused.
Good day to you all!
:D

CNYMike
03-19-2009, 07:30 PM
.... In the other arts with which I have been involved in since I stopped regularly teaching and training in aikido, I have been able work with master-level instructors in non-fixed-role resistance training scenarios. The fact that that this training does not exist in aikido makes it a virtually useless art for me at this point given the alternatives I have. It's not that there is nothing more to learn, but just that I don't believe that it is possible right now for me to learn much more of value without engaging in certain types of training that are mostly absent from aikido.

Then don't be involved with Aikido anymore .... period. If you're ahppy training somewhere else and don't like the way Aikidoists train or do seminars, don't go at all! There are plenty of people who do enjoy those seminars. Feel free to let them have the mat space. :disgust:

DonMagee
03-20-2009, 07:27 AM
Ha ha ha, what a great thread. If we are truly talking about Aikido a whole and complete art. well then id like to say to all of those MMA type graplers out there.

TAKE ONE STEP AND YOU WONT HAVE ANY HANDS TO GRAPPLE WITH.

im sorry i know its a bit out of line for a person who practices Aikido but when it comes down to my Katana vs your hands i bet my life i would win.;)

Do you know if it is legal for me in Indiana to carry my katana in public in a easy to draw fashion? Otherwise it doesn't do me much good against attackers.

philippe willaume
03-20-2009, 08:10 AM
there should be a rule against thread necromancy

Nathan Wallace
03-20-2009, 08:44 AM
there should be a rule against thread necromancy

I agree. Especially threads as pointless as this.

Cyrijl
03-20-2009, 09:44 AM
I am pretty sure you don't train with katana.

Guilty Spark
03-20-2009, 10:50 AM
I am pretty sure you don't train with katana.
Seconded

DonMagee
03-20-2009, 12:07 PM
I am pretty sure you don't train with katana.

if I could wear one at all times like I do my 45, I would train with the katana. Why, because a katana is much cooler then a 45.

DonMagee
03-20-2009, 12:08 PM
there should be a rule against thread necromancy

It would be much better to just open a new topic on the same subject and say all the same crap again....am I right or what?

Guilty Spark
03-20-2009, 01:46 PM
because a katana is much cooler then a 45.

You're using it wrong

Michael Douglas
03-20-2009, 01:54 PM
But a Katana AND a '45 ... that's COOL.

DonMagee
03-20-2009, 02:41 PM
But a Katana AND a '45 ... that's COOL.

What about a katana with a 45 as a hilt?

Guilty Spark
03-20-2009, 03:38 PM
What about a katana with a 45 as a hilt?

You're doing it right :D

Ketsan
03-20-2009, 09:22 PM
Flame thrower; kills muggers, MMA pros and anyone else stupid enough to mess with you and keeps you warm on cold days/makes good toast, BBQs etc.

Guilty Spark
03-20-2009, 11:42 PM
http://www.demotivateus.com/posters/teamkillers-flame-thrower-demotivational-poster.jpg

Phil Van Treese
04-04-2009, 06:16 PM
Since you seem to think Aikido doesn't work in a real fight, you should've been with me in Viet Nam, Desert Storm and Mogadishu, Somalia (Blackhawk Down fame).

Ketsan
04-05-2009, 07:10 PM
http://www.demotivateus.com/posters/teamkillers-flame-thrower-demotivational-poster.jpg

ROFLOL.

Phil Van Treese
04-14-2009, 03:50 PM
To Joeysola
Being with Tomiki Aikido for my entire 56 years, I can tell you we fight on the mat also. We do use shime waza (chokes), kansetsu waza (arm bars), kaeshi waza (counters), ne waza (mat pins and holds). We do chokes with just our legs---Sankaku jime for one. We also do combinations of chokes and armbars etc. I don't know who told you we don't fight on the mat but whoever that "smart" person is, you should tell him he'd better research is material.

Cyrijl
04-15-2009, 12:03 PM
I wonder if anyone reads the thread or just reads the first post and immediately replies. That is not an attack on you Phil, just a thought after X years and 53 pages of posts.

Guilty Spark
04-15-2009, 01:14 PM
I wonder if anyone reads the thread or just reads the first post and immediately replies. That is not an attack on you Phil, just a thought after X years and 53 pages of posts.

:D

majin29
04-15-2009, 04:53 PM
My main problem with those who continually challenge any martial arts practitioner is that many of these arts have death or debilitating blows that you simply cannot apply in a sparring situation. When I studied kung fu, we practiced full force strikes on a head/torso dummy because these moves were meant to kill or horribly maim. You cannot apply these is a "friendly match" like you might with BJJ because you can grapple and take someone down with 3/4 of the technique before doing serious harm.

I do not know Aikido but from all of the demos I have seen, it's pretty clear that applying these moves in real life would render the attacker maimed (dislocation or broken arm) that would pretty much stop a fight cold unless the guy was on PCP or something.

I totally respect these demos perhaps because I have trained in other martial arts where you could certainly imagine what would happen if you applied the techniques full force.

Cyrijl
04-16-2009, 10:50 AM
Wow, just wow, can we please close this thread now?

DonMagee
04-16-2009, 02:41 PM
My main problem with those who continually challenge any martial arts practitioner is that many of these arts have death or debilitating blows that you simply cannot apply in a sparring situation. When I studied kung fu, we practiced full force strikes on a head/torso dummy because these moves were meant to kill or horribly maim. You cannot apply these is a "friendly match" like you might with BJJ because you can grapple and take someone down with 3/4 of the technique before doing serious harm.

I do not know Aikido but from all of the demos I have seen, it's pretty clear that applying these moves in real life would render the attacker maimed (dislocation or broken arm) that would pretty much stop a fight cold unless the guy was on PCP or something.

I totally respect these demos perhaps because I have trained in other martial arts where you could certainly imagine what would happen if you applied the techniques full force.

I apply moves I have been told will maim and kill every day. 99% of deadly moves to be frank, simply are not deadly and in most cases ineffective or impossible to actually apply.

David Kerr
04-16-2009, 04:04 PM
The reason I started this thread was because I came here to look into trying another martial art. I checked out some classes and had a friend give me some lessons. I have found that Aikido has no practical application.

If you want to learn how to punch box. If you want to learn how to kick kickbox. If you want to learn how to grapple do Judo or wrestling. If you want to learn submissions do BJJ or submission fighting. I am saying that the strikes and grappling in Aikido have no application in a real fight. They only work if you are getting pushed around.

The reason Aikido striking and Grappling do not work is that there is no practical sparring to get rid of the worthless techniques. Why do you think that the most successful NHB competitors are athletes who compete in a martial sport.

I have seen two high ranking Aikido practitioners in the early UFC videos. The Aikido practitioners were slaughtered even though in both instances the Aikido practitioners had the weight advantage. What really amazed me is that they did not even react. How can an Aikido practitioner expect to defend against a quick strong jab, that even people with no martial arts experience can do, by taking large steps and with elaborate hand movements. The answer is a broken nose every time.

Just because Aikido has striking and grappling techniques does not mean that they work. It all depends on if they are practical and have been tested in actual NHB fights.

AND IN REPONSE TO THE GUY ABOVE. SAYING THAT YOU WOULD USE EYE GOUGES IS A KEY SIGN OF SOMEONE WHO CAN NOT FIGHT FIGHT OR GRAPPLE. IT IS SAD THAT WITH ALL OF THAT TRAINING THAT IS WHAT YOU RELY ON. TRUST ME IF YOU GOT IN A FIGHT WITH A GOOD GRAPPLER OF ANY SIZE YOU WILL END UP IN A POSITION ON THE GROUND WHERE YOU CAN NOT USE THE EYE GOUGE.

Define fight?
Is that queensbury rules fighting or five junkies all trying to stab you to death for a £10 bag of smack on your way home from work. How would you grapple your way out of that one?
Stop living in an ideal world, nugget: :D

majin29
04-16-2009, 04:16 PM
I apply moves I have been told will maim and kill every day. 99% of deadly moves to be frank, simply are not deadly and in most cases ineffective or impossible to actually apply.

what exactly is your line of work? And yes, because I have (luckily) never had to resort to using some of these moves, I don't know for sure that they would kill. However, knowing a bit about human physiology, I know that a dragon strike to the throat if applied properly would result in one's larynx being ripped out. Or a panther strike to the same section of human anatomy would crush the larynx. Or crane strike to the nerve cluster by the temple would disorient (if not worse) an attacker.

some of this has to do with one's innate ability to fight and some of it has to do with muscle memory through rigorous training. Not everything I learned in kung fu would I classify as "deadly"- perhaps 10%. But if I ever was in a fight for my life, you can bet it's those 10% moves that I will be using from the reflexive desire for self preservation. Hence, I would like to re-train my reflexes towards a less offensive response.

BTW- I hope the tenor of my post did not come off as offensive or defensive. I do understand where you are coming from. My experience has shown me that real life is very disparate from the martial arts/action films that draw many a young man into training in these arts.

Kevin Leavitt
04-16-2009, 04:43 PM
Ripping larnyx's out, striking to the throats, all the "deadly" techniques are all predicated on the following:

Being at the RIGHT PLACE, and the RIGHT TIME, with the RIGHT TECHNIQUE.

This is very difficult to do in reality. In my experiences the folks that relay on deadly techniques practice them in a very fluid, very dynamic environment without a very good understanding of aliveness or positional dominance to be more specific.

When presented with a uke or opponent that is bent on not having that done to them they rarely if ever seem to be able to do it.

Not because they haven't committed it to muscle memory

Not because they haven't practiced it a million times.

Not because they are not quick enough, strong enough, or preceptive enough.

They simply have not studied in a manner that accounts for the positional dominance or lack thereof.

Not saying that anyone here or you David fall into that category....simply saying this has been my experience over the years 100% of the time when I have such conversations concerning "deadly techniques".

it ain't the technique that is deadly, it is the martial artist and the position that he dominates that make it deadly.

Guys that understand this don't put the weight or the focus on the technique, nor do they talk about techniques.....they will talk to you all day long about things like fight momentum, OODA loops, Acheiving the dominant position, controlling the tempo of the fight etc....

Why, cause they realize that these are the things that are paramount in a situation to control...technique is a secondary concern and frankly of very little consquence.

How I look at throat ripping techniques are this:

If I have the ability to rip a throat out then there are a few other things that I have at my disposal that are of a higher percentage of success and efficiency of application.

OR, I have the ability to NOT do this and control the fight (minimal force).

Either way, I have never been inclined or found a need for microscopic/precise techniques such as these.

That is kinda the catch 22 in the situation I think.

Anyway...food for thought!

majin29
04-16-2009, 10:23 PM
Kevin, I totally respect your post. It just shows me that I have a long journey of learning ahead of me.

Dave

Kevin Leavitt
04-16-2009, 10:58 PM
we all have a long journey! It took me a long time and some very painful lessons to figure this out!

philippe willaume
04-17-2009, 08:07 AM
Ripping larnyx's out, striking to the throats, all the "deadly" techniques are all predicated on the following:

Being at the RIGHT PLACE, and the RIGHT TIME, with the RIGHT TECHNIQUE.

This is very difficult to do in reality. In my experiences the folks that relay on deadly techniques practice them in a very fluid, very dynamic environment without a very good understanding of aliveness or positional dominance to be more specific.

When presented with a uke or opponent that is bent on not having that done to them they rarely if ever seem to be able to do it.

Not because they haven't committed it to muscle memory

Not because they haven't practiced it a million times.

Not because they are not quick enough, strong enough, or preceptive enough.

They simply have not studied in a manner that accounts for the positional dominance or lack thereof.

Not saying that anyone here or you David fall into that category....simply saying this has been my experience over the years 100% of the time when I have such conversations concerning "deadly techniques".

it ain't the technique that is deadly, it is the martial artist and the position that he dominates that make it deadly.

Guys that understand this don't put the weight or the focus on the technique, nor do they talk about techniques.....they will talk to you all day long about things like fight momentum, OODA loops, Acheiving the dominant position, controlling the tempo of the fight etc....

Why, cause they realize that these are the things that are paramount in a situation to control...technique is a secondary concern and frankly of very little consquence.

How I look at throat ripping techniques are this:

If I have the ability to rip a throat out then there are a few other things that I have at my disposal that are of a higher percentage of success and efficiency of application.

OR, I have the ability to NOT do this and control the fight (minimal force).

Either way, I have never been inclined or found a need for microscopic/precise techniques such as these.

That is kinda the catch 22 in the situation I think.

Anyway...food for thought!

Amen to that.

DonMagee
04-17-2009, 08:26 AM
Nice post Kevin,

I was going to simplify that and just say this. If you can't reliably punch a guy in the face when he's trying to stop you, then you can't rip his throat out. Similar sayings apply for other positions and ranges in a fight. I know many good bjj players who are not great bjj players simply because they suck at closing the distance and taking people down. If you can't get in the grappling range, your never going to armbar someone.

majin29
04-17-2009, 08:34 AM
I will just add that the strikes I learned seemed to be effective IF I would initiate them, basically by surprise. If I was squaring off against an opponent who was ready for a fight, the success rate of these techniques would be severely diminished (as Kevin noted). Which reinforces my desire to seek out a system that does not foster this type of aggressive tendencies, hence my interest in Aikido.

I'm not going to lie and say my motivation to study this is purely for the aesthetic of it. Gaining some knowledge and insight into how people carry themselves that can help get me out of a potential confrontation is another plus.

philippe willaume
04-17-2009, 12:04 PM
Are attacks or defences that fundamentally different.

If there was a picture with you fist on my shoulder and me striking in the general direction of your neck/face with a first or a te-katana
Can you tell if I am attacking you and you counter jabbing me?
Or if was I defending against you grabbing my shoulder or punching with the lead hand.

It does not really matter who attacked who, what really mater is
Who has the direct line of attack?
Who can afford to take the hit?
If we each know what option top make it better for use in the close future.

And I think what Kev was saying that the trick is not to evaluate that as it happens but to act so that it is likely evaluates appropriately for us.

If we use the example of special grip attack to the throat for eithr of us in the above exemple,
it is a waste because if it fails it does not gives us anything.

A te kantana/first gives us a chance to damage things even if the attack misses the throat.
Getting the face, the lower jaw, the upper sternum or the collarbone still good enough as well we it is much more like to move the head.

Basically it has a better change to improve our situation than a more specialised attack.

phil

rob higgins
04-17-2009, 02:20 PM
i,m a very experienced in real life street fights,and all i can say is aikido is the real deal,i thought i could fight until i started aikido

then i realised i could not fight at all,i will also add i have experienced real time combat against highly agressive people and have fought with multiple,s on more than one occasion,before i even went into a dojo, Aikido is a very deceptive art to the untrained eye

majin29
04-17-2009, 02:58 PM
i,m a very experienced in real life street fights,and all i can say is aikido is the real deal,i thought i could fight until i started aikido

then i realised i could not fight at all,i will also add i have experienced real time combat against highly agressive people and have fought with multiple,s on more than one occasion,before i even went into a dojo, Aikido is a very deceptive art to the untrained eye

I actually got that impression based on some of the demos I have seen. Where someone might think it looks dance-like, I think these moves could be debilitating if the person did not roll with the maneuver (which I'm sure most people DO NOT do when in a fight- their natural instinct is to move against an attacker).

That said, I'm fine with someone underestimating myself or a system I study. I have to believe that the surprise element is always an advantage should a physical confrontation inevitably ensure.

Kevin Leavitt
04-17-2009, 06:30 PM
I will just add that the strikes I learned seemed to be effective IF I would initiate them, basically by surprise. If I was squaring off against an opponent who was ready for a fight, the success rate of these techniques would be severely diminished (as Kevin noted). Which reinforces my desire to seek out a system that does not foster this type of aggressive tendencies, hence my interest in Aikido.

I'm not going to lie and say my motivation to study this is purely for the aesthetic of it. Gaining some knowledge and insight into how people carry themselves that can help get me out of a potential confrontation is another plus.

Surprise is very, very key to success. It is also the thing I think in most self defense situtations that is capitaized on by the attacker.

I could possess all the years of training in martial arts, in a toe to toe fight and in a classroom I may be much more competent than they other guys, however, I think you can throw that all out the window the minute he jumps you by surprise, dictates the rules/tempo of the fight, and has maybe a weapon that he is employing like club, knife etc.

It also goes out the window if he brings a buddy and I don't.

So, I don't think there is much we can really do ultimately given this element (surprise etc.)

However, I still think there are things we can do and train properly to improve our odds or survival if you can survvive.

It all comes down to structure...learning how to adopt a defensive structure that allows you to protect yourself, and then regain balance, distance, disrupt his fight plan and gain control of the fight again.

When you approach training this way for self defense you focus on structure, movement, and such...not techniques. Techniques will arise our of the structure, but they are definitely secondary.

Again, in my experiences and training in the past, this escapes alot of folks.

BJJ does a good job in this area, but even many BJJ dojos miss the mark a little, however, overall I'd say the BJJ methods at least focus very heavily on "point of faiure" since 90% of the training is approached on the ground with you in a postion of failure and you must regain control.

Too many dojos focus on "parity" that is both opponents start 90% of the time from a position of equality and then one opponent achieves control and then the fight ends.

There are some good lessons to be learned in the parity model, but unfortunately many students (and instructors) begin to see this as the "fight plan" and base all training success on this model.

It goes out the window when we talk self defense mostly because self defense situations I believe DO start with the element of suprise acheived by one opponent (think Ambush), and the other guy is WAY behind in the situation (think OODA) and must work from this bad, bad position and acheive control again.

To me, it has nothing at all to do with technique, alot to do with learning "whole body principles/structure", and everything to do with the situational environment (aliveness) that you inject into the training environment.

DonMagee
04-17-2009, 08:30 PM
Surprise is very, very key to success. It is also the thing I think in most self defense situtations that is capitaized on by the attacker.

I could possess all the years of training in martial arts, in a toe to toe fight and in a classroom I may be much more competent than they other guys, however, I think you can throw that all out the window the minute he jumps you by surprise, dictates the rules/tempo of the fight, and has maybe a weapon that he is employing like club, knife etc.

It also goes out the window if he brings a buddy and I don't.

So, I don't think there is much we can really do ultimately given this element (surprise etc.)

However, I still think there are things we can do and train properly to improve our odds or survival if you can survvive.

It all comes down to structure...learning how to adopt a defensive structure that allows you to protect yourself, and then regain balance, distance, disrupt his fight plan and gain control of the fight again.

When you approach training this way for self defense you focus on structure, movement, and such...not techniques. Techniques will arise our of the structure, but they are definitely secondary.

Again, in my experiences and training in the past, this escapes alot of folks.

BJJ does a good job in this area, but even many BJJ dojos miss the mark a little, however, overall I'd say the BJJ methods at least focus very heavily on "point of faiure" since 90% of the training is approached on the ground with you in a postion of failure and you must regain control.

Too many dojos focus on "parity" that is both opponents start 90% of the time from a position of equality and then one opponent achieves control and then the fight ends.

There are some good lessons to be learned in the parity model, but unfortunately many students (and instructors) begin to see this as the "fight plan" and base all training success on this model.

It goes out the window when we talk self defense mostly because self defense situations I believe DO start with the element of suprise acheived by one opponent (think Ambush), and the other guy is WAY behind in the situation (think OODA) and must work from this bad, bad position and acheive control again.

To me, it has nothing at all to do with technique, alot to do with learning "whole body principles/structure", and everything to do with the situational environment (aliveness) that you inject into the training environment.

I agree, I really love the fact that my gym does a lot of the escape the mount, get the guy off your back, clinch and escape the guy punching you type drills. What I would really like to practice sometime is working on keeping my pistol while in such a disadvantaged position, standing up, and then using it.

Paul Jagdman
05-07-2009, 05:37 PM
The one, rather obvious, fact that the person who started this thread failed to mention is that in MMA sporting events such as the UFC and WEC is that a certain feature of the scoring rules automatically introduces a component into the matches that reduces significantly the effectiveness of Aikido, which is why no world class Aikidoka has participated, if only to strike a blow to the calumny that Aikido is worthless for self-defense: the contestants need to show aggression and try to dominate the space in order to get points. Since Aikido revolves around waiting for the opponent to launch an attack, he necessarily sacrifices the initiative to the attacker. On the street, using a lot of evasive tactics can be vital for survival, but in MMA competition, you'll constantly be behind on points. An Aikidoka in an MMA competition would need to constantly shift away from Aikido as he attempted to goad his attacker into doing something that would leave the attacker vulnerable. The problem here is that this shifting back and forth between Aikido and an aggressive approach would be a schizophrenic type of gameplan, negating the Aikido. There would, therefore, be a new style, no longer Aikido. Thus, MMA competitions as a testing ground for Aikido may not be possible, if the scoring rules stay fundamentally the same.

As far as the effectiveness of Aikido on the street is concerned, there is much to be said for it. First of all, the sparring involving multiple ukes is more likely going to prepare someone for multiple assailants than most other martial arts. Bruce Lee once said that the task of the martial artist, when confronted by multiple assailants, is to keep moving and, above all, not to get pinned. I have only seen one martial art that has training that focuses on just that. That art is Aikido. Whether Hapkido, a distant cousin of Aikido, has such a focus is unknown to me.

Finally, I would like to mention how Aikido embodies a principle of Krav Maga, the martial art of the Israeli Defense Force. According to Krav Maga, it is ideal, when counterattacking or attacking an enemy, to get to the opponent's "dead zone", in other words, getting behind him or at least to his side. The tenkan movement, whereby the Aikidoka winds up at the attacker's dead zone is undoubtedly highly effective. Imagine a knife fight where one of the fighters is an Aikidoka with a knife. In addition, most street fighters would be taken by surprise by such a maneuver. The typical street thug thinks in terms of linear movements, charging in like a bull. It should be mentioned that this concept of the dead zone is also embodied in the purely striking arts. That is, you want to find an angle of attack where your opponent's hips are not facing in your direction. Just think of how the bob and weave is used in boxing. Even in military science the same principle holds true. You don't want to meet force head on. It is always best to outflank the enemy.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-07-2009, 05:46 PM
Since Aikido revolves around waiting for the opponent to launch an attack, he necessarily sacrifices the initiative to the attacker.
Nope.

Kevin Leavitt
05-08-2009, 01:31 AM
Paul,

I do not agree with alot of what you wrote in your first paragraph about the concept of evasion. When you are dealing with a fight in which the distance has been taken away from you, evasion is not the best course of action.

You do go on to talk about your Krav Maga example in the last paragraph, and it also pretty much agrees with my believe concerning the "dead zone". This is also known as the clinch.

In order to put yourself in this zone you pretty much must close in the enemy, irimi, kuzushi, disrupt his attack and get in to a position of advantage, (kuzushi).

As far as randori in aikido....

well, It has done two things for me. It has taught me the PRINCIPLES of movement when you are concerned with multiple attackers.

It has shown me that it is damn near impossible to evade multiple attackers successfully.

It has also proven to me that it is essential to understand moving towards your enemy on angles and disrupting his attack. Which goes back to having a keen understanding of the clinch with one opponent.

IMO, you deal with one opponent at a time. Of course you do not engage and clinch him as that would not be prudent to get tied up with one, however, you do need to close distance, disrupt and off balance, tenkan and then move on and engage the next one on your terms...not his.

Of course, randori is difficult and without striking and kicks it is difficult to practice it for real and you will lose eventually.

The important thing I think about randori is to understand the principles it is trying to impart, and to realize that unless you are wearing Blauer type wear and practicing scenario based training under competent supervision, Aikido randori is NOT preparing you for multiple opponent attacks adequately.

Ron Tisdale
05-08-2009, 08:17 AM
Kevin has voiced most of my objections.

Best,
Ron

Mark Mueller
05-08-2009, 08:33 AM
Kevin said:

"we all have a long journey! It took me a long time and some very painful lessons to figure this out!"

But he still has his throat! :)

Suru
05-08-2009, 02:17 PM
I have competed in both boxing and wrestling and I am now training in brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I have watched many No Holds Barred competitions, like the UFC, and it is clear to me that Aikido and it's techniques and it's way of training do not prepare anyone to actually fight. I know that Aikido practitioners talk a lot about concepts like spirituality, harmony...etc. but I also hear people talk about how it is a pratical means of self defense. Aikido does not have practical striking techniques or any REAL matwork at all. I would like to know how Aikido can be used as self defense if you cannot grapple or strike.

There are two reasons why masters of Aikido stay away from fighting rings like the UFC. First, intentional fighting is completely against Aikido philosophy. Second, if a master Aikidoka did enter the octagon, he or she would be forced to snap wrists, tear ligaments, and otherwise severely incapacitate the other fighter. The UFC and the Aikidoka will not allow this, especially in a sport situation.

Drew

Cyrijl
05-08-2009, 04:00 PM
Oh, brother.

Guilty Spark
05-08-2009, 11:08 PM
*face palm*

Kevin Leavitt
05-09-2009, 04:21 AM
Kevin said:

"we all have a long journey! It took me a long time and some very painful lessons to figure this out!"

But he still has his throat! :)

lol, yeah but I am down an ear right now. Got "cupped" in the ear the other night training BJJ out here in San Diego with Saulo Ribeiro and crew. Resulted in a perforated ear drum and temporary hearing loss and a slight constant ringing! EENT says I will heal fine and be good to go in a month! It was a total accident and no indication of the training here as it is very good and very safe...just one of those freak things that happens when you train hard every now and then!

Kevin Leavitt
05-09-2009, 04:43 AM
There are two reasons why masters of Aikido stay away from fighting rings like the UFC. First, intentional fighting is completely against Aikido philosophy. Second, if a master Aikidoka did enter the octagon, he or she would be forced to snap wrists, tear ligaments, and otherwise severely incapacitate the other fighter. The UFC and the Aikidoka will not allow this, especially in a sport situation.

Drew

well, IMO, this argument was put to rest way back in the early 1990s in the first few UFCs. in addtiion the things you mention above are totally legal in the current UFC, and incidentally in most competitive grappling contest. You are not restricted to leg bars, ankle locks, arm bars, wrist locks...the things that can snap wrist and tear ligaments.

Why don't you see them? it is because in that venue, guys have really figured out how to pretty much mitigate them.

About once a year I will have at least one guy in the Army bring up that argument and we will don the Blauer Gear and go at it under the premise of trapping, groin shots, tendon ripping. (I haven't done this in about 24 months now though!). It becomes a quick education on why it is paramount to acheive dominance in the fight if you expect to be able to use these tools.

I will agree on a street scenario that involves the pontential for weapons...weapons change alot of the "sport" or assumed "Unarmed" fight. It does not mean that you ignore dominance, simply that the timing and some of the choices you will make in engagement will be different.

There is alot of work to this if you expect or have the requirement to deal with reality outside of the practice of budo.

It does not mean what is commonly taught in aikido is wrong or bad, it just means you need to train in a way the puts the pressure or aliveness in the situations you need to train for.

I can't comment on how well aIkido masters do in this type of training as I have never worked with one under a model of aliveness or "fight pressure".

I think what most of them teach as it relates to principles and budo are good and sound though.

As far as philosophy goes....

well I have totally bought into the philosophy and values of aikido. I see nothing that conflicts or restricts my abilities to fight in MMA or other type venues as long as it is approached from the standpoint of understanding the rules, playing by them, and being a good sportsman.

You'd also have to lay out a little more for me what you mean by "Intentional fighting".

Certainly there is a spectrum of ethics. Ethics that I think most other styles, to include MMA adhere to. that is, not bullying, picking fights on the street, trolling for fights etc.

However, I think most of us in aikido look at the intent to fight as a complex issue. There is a spectrum of choice and action. Most of us try and hone our skills to a level where we are constantly increasing our ability to have more choices and control to NOT have to result to physical violence.

Based on that, you could actually say, that if you are NOT training hard and MMA style with Aliveness...that is, a failure to reconcile a big part of what fighting is...then you are missing an important lesson in aikido.

At best you are delusional possibly about your skills and your abiliity to have choices in a given situation.

So, from that perspective, I'd say that many that practice aikido have to be careful not to establish a moral high ground and hide behind the philosophy of aikido and that simply by association/affinity with aikido that we somehow have a moral high ground over other arts/people.

I'd say that many of the MMA crowd quite possibly have a better understanding of the essence of aikido, if for no other reason that the understand a little better their limitations and abilities as it relates to the use of physical force.

It is a slippery trap that we have a tendency to fall into in Aikido because our base philosophy/foundations are so well defined as it relates to peace/harmony.

IMO, you have to be very careful about over simplifying the issue. this is a tough and complex subject!

Mark Mueller
05-09-2009, 09:57 AM
"It is a slippery trap that we have a tendency to fall into in Aikido because our base philosophy/foundations are so well defined as it relates to peace/harmony.

IMO, you have to be very careful about over simplifying the issue. this is a tough and complex subject!"

Well said Kevin.

Suru
05-09-2009, 11:10 AM
It actually could be possible for an Aikidoka in the octagon to pin and increase pain until the other can't take it anymore and taps out. There are many other angles to it, I'm sure. But for those who believe in O'Sensei's words, such a fight would be the antithesis of Aikido philosophy.

Drew

Kevin Leavitt
05-09-2009, 11:24 AM
Drew,

I think that is a personal choice someone has to make.

I personally believe that NOT being a vegetarian is the antithesis of aikido philosophy. Hence, I am a vegetarian.

however, I don't think that most people would necessarily agree with my personal choice on how to practice my spirituality or philosophy.

I think it is important not to fall into the trap of becoming dogmatic when looking at the underlying philosopphy.

Minh Nguyen
05-09-2009, 06:12 PM
Drew,

I think that is a personal choice someone has to make.

I personally believe that NOT being a vegetarian is the antithesis of aikido philosophy. Hence, I am a vegetarian.

however, I don't think that most people would necessarily agree with my personal choice on how to practice my spirituality or philosophy.

I think it is important not to fall into the trap of becoming dogmatic when looking at the underlying philosopphy.

Do you think it's possible to practice any kind of martial art using Aikido philosophy?

In the old days, O Sensei's students were from other art, weren't they? To practice Aikido, did they have to abandon their original martial arts?

Kevin Leavitt
05-09-2009, 06:26 PM
Sure Minh,

I think what he did was develop a methodology or practice that he felt reinforce/communicated his philosophy.

Aikido does do this very well I think.

What we have to be careful is applying the logic that it is exclusive and limiting.

There are many ways to learn the lessons concepts and emulate them.

Just as there are many different churches that ways of worship.

People find meaning and inspiration in many different ways to reach the same point.

What I am cautious of, and I think this seems to be a an issue for many folks is to take a dogmatic stance and to say things like "aikido is about evasion" "Aikido is about blending" "Aikido is about reacting" "Aikido is not about pre-emption" "you can't attac first using Aikido Philosophy".

In reality, IMO, Aikido is about all those things. To me what it is about is learning how to use those things effectively and appropriately and to gain an appreciation and understanding of the whole universe that encompasses violence/compassion.

As we gain skill and experience we can make better or more appropriate choices than maybe we made in the past.

The philosophy does not have to be confined to one art, but certainly I think the way we practice certainly is focused on this very much.

Just can't get dogmatic and absolute!

Suru
05-09-2009, 10:42 PM
Sure Minh,

Just can't get dogmatic and absolute!

Can't get absolute? So then you wouldn't say it's completely, absolutely against Aikido philosophy to walk up to an innocent, random old lady and break her jaw with a yokomen-uchi?

"Just CAN'T get dogmatic and absolute" sounds like an absolute statement to me.

Drew

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2009, 02:19 AM
Well, yes, there is a bit of a paradox about the dogma of non-dogma. Sure.

However, what is wrong about what I said?

Who said anything about attacking an innocent old lady?

There is a set of universal ethics I believe that most folks follow in the world. Things such as "be kind". do unto others....

a better example might be a terrorist on an airplane that is threatening to kill folks. I would say that it certainly is within the boundaries of aiki philosophy to "strike first".

Buck
05-10-2009, 03:20 AM
a better example might be a terrorist on an airplane that is threatening to kill folks. I would say that it certainly is within the boundaries of aiki philosophy to "strike first".

This caught my attention in this huge thread. Is Aikido open to that much room when it comes to personal interpretation, and opinion? The starter line of this thread is opinion. We can say, yes it is true that Aikido doesn't work in a fight, because of Aikido's philosophy against fighting. Protecting one's self is a different story. I think that is where things get mixed up. It all goes back to the redundant but true perspective that it is the effectiveness of the art is dependant on the person who practices it. It goes also, along the lines of that saying Randy Jackson, spouts on American Idol that if your a good enough singer you can sing anything even the alphabet. Then the other variable is the person your fighting. This is true for any fighting system.

Minh Nguyen
05-10-2009, 04:08 AM
Sure Minh,

I think what he did was develop a methodology or practice that he felt reinforce/communicated his philosophy.

Aikido does do this very well I think.

What we have to be careful is applying the logic that it is exclusive and limiting.

There are many ways to learn the lessons concepts and emulate them.

Just as there are many different churches that ways of worship.

People find meaning and inspiration in many different ways to reach the same point.

What I am cautious of, and I think this seems to be a an issue for many folks is to take a dogmatic stance and to say things like "aikido is about evasion" "Aikido is about blending" "Aikido is about reacting" "Aikido is not about pre-emption" "you can't attac first using Aikido Philosophy".

In reality, IMO, Aikido is about all those things. To me what it is about is learning how to use those things effectively and appropriately and to gain an appreciation and understanding of the whole universe that encompasses violence/compassion.

As we gain skill and experience we can make better or more appropriate choices than maybe we made in the past.

The philosophy does not have to be confined to one art, but certainly I think the way we practice certainly is focused on this very much.

Just can't get dogmatic and absolute!

That is a nice answer, Kevin. However, my question is not directly answered.
By the way, I don't know how you can apply Aikido ethics into your other martial arts without adjusting it a little bit. I assume that you are a completely relaxed and non-competitive person.

To me, it's never the case. I used to practice Karate for two years before I knew about Aikido. When I learned Aikido for a few months, I have decided to withdraw from Karate. I don't like competition idea, but practicing Karate gave me that temptation.

Sparring in Karate, from my perspective, is not a friendly randori. It triggers me the desire to win over my partner. Besides, using protective tools intensifies that desire. It means I don't have to worry about hurting him or her. I could feel the aggression when I sparred with my partners even though I knew that Karate is not about it.

In short, it's not Karate that stirs up my will to win. It's the practice of sparring does. Perhaps, if I'm lucky to learn Karate that is just completely non-competitive self defense like Aikido, I may stick with this martial art. It's not bad. It's just me who can't harmonize both arts.

Besides Aikido, Jujitsu (not Brazilian one) is the only art which I think is more compatible to Aikido. It's surely combative, but it's just about how to protect one's self from aggressors, not competing with them. Compared to Karate or Judo, Jujitsu doesn't seem to have a clear philosophy, but at least the practice itself is highly unlikely to cause aggression or desire to win over someone.

It seems like I fall into the dogma you mention, don't I?

DH
05-10-2009, 12:10 PM
Aiki is effective immediately and makes it very difficult to fit in for a throw and the power in the hits and kicks work from a distance or close in. I've not personally met the man who doubted it after crossing hands. This to include senior teachers in the art. No...I am NOT taking about aikido waza, or any specific waza, just the way of aiki being used against "Aikido" technique...or anyone's technique in freestyle and having the aikido teachers on their backs looking up everytime.
The ethics of winning belong to the one who can prevail. It is meaningless to debate the decision of ending a conflict if you do not have the means to do so. Ueshiba never advocated being a peacenik. He very well understood peace through victory. His decision to throw out people instead of the more classical model of drawing them in was a shift in focus toward that goal. But never-the-less it was about "power" controlling "power", not avoidance.

Aiki...do IS judo, IS MMA, IS sword. The reason most do not understand what they are missing is that they continue to think in terms of waza and making themselves "look like" their teachers and the Ukemi model.
For most, that mindset alone disqualifies them from ever being able to deliver real power in any venue. Aikido "waza" will will be stressed to the max in judo, and MT venues, and will most certainly fail in an MMA environment with anyone really competant. AIki power will not ans will function in any environment, from MMA to taichi, bagua etc..
It is really a decision to learn aiki power. Or to take the easy route and adhere to aikido waza, aikido movement and the Ukemi ttraining model. Everyone can do what they will. Its just sad to see Ueshiba's art and power reduced to a collection of waza.
Cheers
Dan

Suru
05-10-2009, 12:18 PM
Aiki is effective immediately and makes it very difficult to fit in for a throw and the the power in the hits and kicks work from a distance or close in. I've not personally met the man who doubted it after crossing hands. No...I am NOT taking about aikido waza, or any specific waza, just the way of aiki.
The ethics of winning belong to the one who can prevail. It is meaningless to debate the decision of ending a conflict if you do not have the means to do so. UEshiba never advocated being a peacenik. He very well understood peace through victory.
Cheers
Dan

"Never defeated means never fighting."
--Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei

Drew

DH
05-10-2009, 12:44 PM
Ueshiba fought all the time and took free challenges by men who wanted to see him undone. Why would he do that? Because he was first and foremost a martial artist. It is clear he was unconcerned with the background of those coming to challenge him.

"Never defeated means never fighting" ....direct force with direct force.
There is a reason he stated "aiki does not resist" and it has not... one...single...thing to do with big evasive body turns or the uke throwing themselves at you like a crash test doll. It was about power. Power to absorb within you and to send or emit. It is a type of power that most do not know. As a principle it works standing toe to toe with a boxer or with a judoka or with a top level Tai chi teacher and absorbing and redirecting and hitting with tremendous power. Which is why he also said "Aiki in strikes can kill." and it was how he broke the hip of a judoka at the Kodokan in shiai with his hand.
He....knew exactly what he was talking about. Sadly, what we saw at the later stages in his life with the big loopy movements and no touch throws had more to do with the cooperation and ukemi of his followers then it did with him.

The peacenik / pacifist Ueshiba was not a man who ever existed. "That man" was an invention by followers of a later time. The martial artists who could stop aggression and stop some of the best MAers in Japan at the time was the model most should be shooting for. Unfortunately that path is not to be found in the waza of his son.
For this reason I chose to practice the way of Aiki instead of the aiki way. In the fullness of time, it...has fulfilled it's promise.

Cheers
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2009, 01:02 PM
Minh wrote:

It seems like I fall into the dogma you mention, don't I?


Yes, I think you probably do a little. No big deal though. I will try and see if I can write a coherent response.

Myopia comes to mind.

I think we as humans have a tendency to develop this when looking at problems. We tend to focus greatly on the small details of what we seemingly have knowledge of and what tools we have immediately in front of us (or that we don't). and we limit our ability to do things or respond because of those perceived constraints.

An example would be having some screws, a hammer, and a board as resources.

The situation will dictate an appropriate response.

If we have a leak in a dyke that we immediately need to fix then one way would be to hammer those screws directly into the wall to stop the water flow and the job would be accomplished. It may not hold for 100 years, but it holds good enough to save the town until we can get a permanent fix.

OR, we could discuss how it is really not appropriate to hammer screws because the guy that invented the screws intended for them to be screwed in by a screwdriver and therefore, we would be in violation of his intent when he invented the screw.

Is that really why he invented the screws? that is, so they could be screwed the right way?

Or did he invent screws to fasten thing together to complete a job?

I believe we need to approach how we look at training and the use of methodology a little more this way.

In aikido, it seems more than any art I study, we tend to focus on making sure that we always have a that screwdriver at the expense of the situation. (that is we develop situational myopia...no, we ENCOURAGE situational myopia!).

(I hope that makes sense)

in essence what we should be doing is exploring. Picking up the hammer and looking at all the possibilities and situations in which we could use it (framing it against our personal ethical framework).

Picking up the screwdriver. seeing that you can pry paint lids with it, stab open oil cans, screw with it...etc.

Not constantly studying the "Art of screwing a screw" until we perfect the exact amount of energy, pressure, and turns necessary to get a #10 screw through a 1" Oak board.

I am not advocating turning away from the art of mastery, as I believe there is great value in "going deep" and mastering something.

However, if that mastery only allows you to ever see one dimension of a function at the expense of breadth, then what have we really mastered???

I am getting off the subject, sorry.

Anyway, I think that we this kinda relates to the issue at hand. I agree that it might seem difficult and incongruent to practice karate as you state above and figure out a way to reconcile aikido in that context. It certainly was for me.

What clicked eventually was that as I gained different perspectives, first from Karate, then from Aikido, and now from BJJ and Judo, that the situation dictates the tools and response. and I am okay with all of it now!

I don't practice karate anymore as a methodology as it does not suit my training objectives at this point in time. That said, in a good karate dojo, I see no conflcts philosophically. You might equate karate to the art of learning to use the hammer, whereas you might equate aikido to the art of learning to use the screwdriver.

Read what Dan Harden wrote above. He is correct and is saying the same thing I think.

All this came abundantly clear to me in the last 5 or 6 years as I had to take my past martial arts background and pit it against honest, young aggression and demonstrate to Soldiers how this stuff worked...and after 12 years of very rigorous traditional martial arts study, I could not and had my ass handed to me day after day.

Theoretically I understood alot about martial arts and could even demonstrate key concepts very well in a static environment. In reality though I had nothing of real value.

Having the ability and choice to do stuff is of paramount importance. possessing real power and real skills. They can come from karate, aikido, MT, boxing, what not....it is not important how you gain them.

Synthesizing it back into something you can use, teach, and influence the world with is most important.

It is about building you tool kit.

How you choose to use those tools, that is framing against your personal values, ethics, morales...is up to you.

However if you limit yourself to a myopic view constrained by a perception of what is acceptable and not acceptable within the constraints of a particular dogma...well you are going to set yourself up for failure when someone you meet does not particularly understand or agree with your dogma! Then you have real problems!

I hope this helps explain my perspective some!

DH
05-10-2009, 01:24 PM
In my post #1360
The last line of the second paragraph should have said

AIki power will function in any environment, from MMA to taichi, bagua etc..
Just wanted to be clear.

Examples like punching through a boxer's punch or karateke's punch; with all their power coming to nuaght to stop it, or with a Judoka's throw attempt ending in them throwing themselves against your body. Aiki, in the end is about power, absorbing redirecting, dispersing and blowing right through.
yet it is exeedingly soft.
Cheers
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2009, 01:46 PM
Dan, I am really hoping I can make it up in August to train with you.

Buck
05-10-2009, 11:13 PM
I have read Dan's posts with interest. I have a question. Dan you speak of Alki power, I will assume that is a typo (I make allot :) ) and you mean Aiki power. My question very simply is do you see Aiki power something that can be measured on a spectrum, having different degrees, frequencies, intensities, varieties, and that kind of thing, or the opposite? Oh, and can it be defined, of course. If so what would be the defination? Because you state it is something universal, something like a universal joint, or tool? An instrument that can be applied to all things. Thus, the origin of my question. To get a better, say compelet understanding of our explaination.

Minh Nguyen
05-11-2009, 02:59 AM
In my post #1360
Aiki, in the end is about power, absorbing redirecting, dispersing and blowing right through.
yet it is exeedingly soft.
Cheers
Dan

Well, is your Aiki concept the aiki in Aikijujitsu or Aikido? I don't have a deep knowledge in martial arts, but I do know there is a difference between Aikido and Aikijujitsu. O Sensei created Aikido under the inspiration of Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu, but LOVE is his intention. Aikido is about harmonizing a person with one's self, the universe, and other people. It's also about controlling aggressors' attacking movements until they give up their aggression.

I watched some Aikijujitsu clips on youtube. Its techniques are very powerful and can kill people. I think the point is if a martial practitioner is enlightened about the Aiki concept as you describe without having a solid moral in his heart, he can kill his enemies.

MM
05-11-2009, 07:27 AM
(snip for length)

It is about building you tool kit.

How you choose to use those tools, that is framing against your personal values, ethics, morales...is up to you.

However if you limit yourself to a myopic view constrained by a perception of what is acceptable and not acceptable within the constraints of a particular dogma...well you are going to set yourself up for failure when someone you meet does not particularly understand or agree with your dogma! Then you have real problems!

I hope this helps explain my perspective some!

and

I have read Dan's posts with interest. I have a question. Dan you speak of Alki power, I will assume that is a typo (I make allot :) ) and you mean Aiki power. My question very simply is do you see Aiki power something that can be measured on a spectrum, having different degrees, frequencies, intensities, varieties, and that kind of thing, or the opposite? Oh, and can it be defined, of course. If so what would be the defination? Because you state it is something universal, something like a universal joint, or tool? An instrument that can be applied to all things. Thus, the origin of my question. To get a better, say compelet understanding of our explaination.

and

Well, is your Aiki concept the aiki in Aikijujitsu or Aikido? I don't have a deep knowledge in martial arts, but I do know there is a difference between Aikido and Aikijujitsu. O Sensei created Aikido under the inspiration of Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu, but LOVE is his intention. Aikido is about harmonizing a person with one's self, the universe, and other people. It's also about controlling aggressors' attacking movements until they give up their aggression.

I watched some Aikijujitsu clips on youtube. Its techniques are very powerful and can kill people. I think the point is if a martial practitioner is enlightened about the Aiki concept as you describe without having a solid moral in his heart, he can kill his enemies.

Aiki is *not* a tool. It isn't waza. It isn't something you *do*. It's something you *are*. For the sake of thinking "outside the box" or of something you may have no experience with, please don't associate aiki with techniques or tools. It isn't either of them.

Aiki is what transforms your body, transforms *you*, your being.

There is no building a tool kit, no using tools appropriately or in different fashions, no universal instrument in aiki. Aiki rebuilds *you* so that whatever tool you decide to use, you use that tool more powerfully (in a budo sense).

If you want to see aiki in action, search youtube for the vid where Ueshiba is sitting and people are trying to push him over. If you want to read about aiki in action, read the thread about Push Test and Ueshiba. Because Ueshiba is showing the world aiki in its glory.

Think about that. All the force of people pushing and there sits or stands Ueshiba. He uses no tools, no waza, no techniques, no universal instrument, but yet, he takes away uke's strength. More than that, he takes away uke's "will" to attack. And he does it without any kind of technique. As he's quoted in the Tenryu incident. He could not push me over because I knew the secret of aiki.

Just where is all that energy going from those pushing? What's happening? Why is it that Ueshiba viewed what he was doing as aiki, when he wasn't doing technique at all? That many complained he never repeated techniques? Does that sound like building tools to use? Universal instruments?

As Tanahashi said (paraphrased) in the YouTube video, we commonly pushed on Ueshiba -- I don't know why.

Perhaps the answer is exactly what Ueshiba stated -- It's the secret of aiki. Perhaps the gem, the gold, the treasure, the very core of Ueshiba's skill is that secret. And perhaps he lived it because it wasn't waza to him, it wasn't a tool to him -- He, well, as he stated -- Aiki, I am aiki!

So, perhaps that common thing, that simple demonstration -- all those push tests that he had people do ... maybe, if you step outside the box you've labelled "aikido" ... maybe that "secret of aiki" can be found in what Ueshiba's body skills are doing. All without tools, waza, instruments, etc.

Kevin Leavitt
05-11-2009, 07:33 AM
Minh,

Most aikijujitsu out there is crap and most that is on you tube demonstrates techniques that are complete and utterly void of real power and aiki. again crap.

That said, do you not think it is a requirement to possess power and choose not to use it. Or to ignore it, and pretend that you have it and pretend that you have the ability of choice.

I think there is a quote out there concerning the definition of a pacifist as being someone that has the ability, but chooses not to use it. Everybody else are simply wannabes and posers.

There is nothing wrong (and really everything right) about the love, peace, and harmony stuff.

However, I think aikido has suffered greatly from revisionist thinking by folks (many higher ups too) in trying to only teach love, peace, and harmony in their aikido at the expense of developing real ability and power (lethality).

Either they do it intentionallly or the learned it that way. Regardless, there is also alot of crap that makes for a nice bed time story where everybody in aiki land lives happily ever after!

There is an yin and a yang to everything and we need to study both sides in order to have balance.

I agree with your least paragraph though that you need to have a solid morality and practice with love and compassion.

It should not come at the expense of good, solid training.

Kevin Leavitt
05-11-2009, 07:40 AM
No issues Mark. I get what you are saying and you are correct of course.

I think though in the case of what I wrote it can be seen as a tool. Semantics.

Frequently we have had these discussions about how technique is different from aiki and that is where we have had the majority of the big debates here.

I think to keep things descriptive and simple that it is a good analogy to describe things in terms of a toolbox.

AIki, of course, is a connected and holilistic concept/principle and is not one particular thing to be pulled out as say a technique. Got it.

However, training aiki, as you know requires a very focused and deliberate study. In that sense you can look at it as developing the tool of aiki.

just like striking and kicking skills.

Just like jiujitsu skills.

I think in my case at least, it is a semantical difference.

I do appreciate your concerns as it is important to understand that aiki is indeed a holistic concept.

Peter Goldsbury
05-11-2009, 09:41 AM
Hello Mark,

Very interesting post. Like many other members, I am glad that you still post, despite the recent issues about aikido / non-aikido etc. Your own training with Dan Harden yields skills that others need to know about, even if they do not / will not practice these skills.

I have been researching kotodama for my next column. I know that William Gleason also has trained / is training with Dan and I think you might be aware that he has also written a new book about kotodama. His training with Dan was probably too late to include insights gathered from Dan that might affect what he has written about kotodama, for I believe (deep down) that the book is not a particularly good advert for the skills that Dan teaches. It is way over the top and assumes far too much knowledge about a certain idea of Japanese culture that has largely been lost.

A few more comments (as devil's advicate :D ), given below and marked PAG.


Aiki is *not* a tool. It isn't waza. It isn't something you *do*. It's something you *are*. For the sake of thinking "outside the box" or of something you may have no experience with, please don't associate aiki with techniques or tools. It isn't either of them.

Aiki is what transforms your body, transforms *you*, your being.
PAG. Why have you put your answers ["something you *do*; It's something you *are*; *you*"] within stars? Is it because you are using *do*, *are* and *you* outside their usual meaning? I think you need to explain this. I believe that Aikiweb users take too many liberties with the normal conventions of language--and expect other AikiWeb readers to accept the liberties they themselves take. (After all, it's all about Aiki, isn't it, which has to be a 'good' thing? I disagree.)

With respect, you sound very much like Kukai (aka Kobo Daishi), when he explained the Shingon doctrine of Enlightenment in this Body (sokushin jobutsu). Kukai had the experience to walk the talk, as had Nakamura Tempu, from his experiences in India.

You obviously believe that Aiki is transforming your own being So, I can ask you the same questions as someone might have asked Kukai. (Note also that Kukai gave some answers).
How can you prove that you have the truth about Aiki? Do you think you are really enlightened about Aiki? You talk about Aiki as something you ARE and not something you DO, but how can you show me that you are not as deluded as the rest? To put it bluntly, why should I buy the AIKI brand used car (the new form of training) that you are trying to sell me? And the answer: 'Come and train with Dan, and you will find out', is obviously not acceptable, at least initially.

There is no building a tool kit, no using tools appropriately or in different fashions, no universal instrument in aiki. Aiki rebuilds *you* so that whatever tool you decide to use, you use that tool more powerfully (in a budo sense).
PAG. However, if I tell you that O Sensei actually crafted waza as a tool kit, in order to show a new way of achieving 'Enlightenment in this Body', what would be your response? You might respond, 'Prove it to me', and I would show you the same tapes. In all the tapes O Sensei demonstrates what he demonstrates by means of waza. You might respond, 'Ah, but the waza O Sensei shows do not really matter: they are like icing on the cake. But you need to show more clearly than you have done so far that O Sensei regarded waza as having no value. I tend to believe that O Sensei regarded waza as a kind of mudra: the gestures in Shingon Buddhism. I am not sure whether he worried about their martial effectiveness (I think he NEVER worried about these questions after becoming member of Omoto). But he did worry about the effectiveness of his 'divine waza' in setting the world to rights.

If you want to see aiki in action, search youtube for the vid where Ueshiba is sitting and people are trying to push him over. If you want to read about aiki in action, read the thread about Push Test and Ueshiba. Because Ueshiba is showing the world aiki in its glory.
PAG. No. I do not think so. You are assuming far too much about Ueshiba's intentions.

Think about that. All the force of people pushing and there sits or stands Ueshiba. He uses no tools, no waza, no techniques, no universal instrument, but yet, he takes away uke's strength. More than that, he takes away uke's "will" to attack. And he does it without any kind of technique. As he's quoted in the Tenryu incident. He could not push me over because I knew the secret of aiki.
PAG. So do we reduce aikido training to the push test? What else do we do?

Just where is all that energy going from those pushing? What's happening? Why is it that Ueshiba viewed what he was doing as aiki, when he wasn't doing technique at all? That many complained he never repeated techniques? Does that sound like building tools to use? Universal instruments?
PAG. Wait a minute. Ueshiba always did techniques. You are using the example of the jo exercise to build a whole world view of aiki, without techniques, that goes contrary to what Ueshiba himself (and Takeda before him) actually showed. And he did view what he was doing as aiki. It is in the Takemusu Aiki discourses.

As Tanahashi said (paraphrased) in the YouTube video, we commonly pushed on Ueshiba -- I don't know why.
PAG. Don't you think that Tanahashi should have thought more carefully about WHY they could not push him over? After all, the deshi were not stupid, were they?.

Perhaps the answer is exactly what Ueshiba stated -- It's the secret of aiki. Perhaps the gem, the gold, the treasure, the very core of Ueshiba's skill is that secret. And perhaps he lived it because it wasn't waza to him, it wasn't a tool to him -- He, well, as he stated -- Aiki, I am aiki!
PAG. And Tanahashi and the other deshi (including Saito, who trained with Ueshiba in Iwama every day), did not realize this? Your description sounds too much like the aikido version of Indiana Jones and the Aiki Holy Grail.

So, perhaps that common thing, that simple demonstration -- all those push tests that he had people do ... maybe, if you step outside the box you've labelled "aikido" ... maybe that "secret of aiki" can be found in what Ueshiba's body skills are doing. All without tools, waza, instruments, etc.
PAG. Yes, the push test seems very compelling and it might be a good idea to tslk to the surviving deshi who were ukes when he did the jo demonstration. As I stated, it's all about the quality of the used car you are selling.

Finally, I should state that (1) yours was a very refreshing post, in terms of the thread and (2) that Mike Sigman was definitely on to something when he stated, in many, many posts, that what was actually happening had to be explained in such a way that it could be repeated and progress monitored. This is entirely in line with Kukai's notion that enlightenment is something that one can see actually happening: it can be monitored and judged by someone outside the individual's 'charmed' circle.

Very best wishes (and I plan to visit the States as soon as I can to do some hands-on training :) ).

PAG

MM
05-11-2009, 11:30 AM
Hello Mark,

Very interesting post. Like many other members, I am glad that you still post, despite the recent issues about aikido / non-aikido etc. Your own training with Dan Harden yields skills that others need to know about, even if they do not / will not practice these skills.

I have been researching kotodama for my next column. I know that William Gleason also has trained / is training with Dan and I think you might be aware that he has also written a new book about kotodama. His training with Dan was probably too late to include insights gathered from Dan that might affect what he has written about kotodama, for I believe (deep down) that the book is not a particularly good advert for the skills that Dan teaches. It is way over the top and assumes far too much knowledge about a certain idea of Japanese culture that has largely been lost.

A few more comments (as devil's advicate :D ), given below and marked PAG.


Hello Peter,
Thank you very much. In regards to your next column, ugh, I'm still digesting the last one. :) Seriously, I am looking forward to it.


PAG. Why have you put your answers ["something you *do*; It's something you *are*; *you*"] within stars? Is it because you are using *do*, *are* and *you* outside their usual meaning? I think you need to explain this. I believe that Aikiweb users take too many liberties with the normal conventions of language--and expect other AikiWeb readers to accept the liberties they themselves take. (After all, it's all about Aiki, isn't it, which has to be a 'good' thing? I disagree.)


I use the asterisks to make note of the differences between "do" and "you". I think that people see techniques and waza as being aiki. Or small hand movements. Or moving off line and blending. These are all things that one does. Instead, I view aiki as a core being. I wanted to make sure that people noticed my views of that difference, so I used asterisks.


With respect, you sound very much like Kukai (aka Kobo Daishi), when he explained the Shingon doctrine of Enlightenment in this Body (sokushin jobutsu). Kukai had the experience to walk the talk, as had Nakamura Tempu, from his experiences in India.

You obviously believe that Aiki is transforming your own being So, I can ask you the same questions as someone might have asked Kukai. (Note also that Kukai gave some answers).
How can you prove that you have the truth about Aiki? Do you think you are really enlightened about Aiki? You talk about Aiki as something you ARE and not something you DO, but how can you show me that you are not as deluded as the rest? To put it bluntly, why should I buy the AIKI brand used car (the new form of training) that you are trying to sell me? And the answer: 'Come and train with Dan, and you will find out', is obviously not acceptable, at least initially.


Wow, I can say for sure that I've never been compared to Kukai. Thank you. (I think). :D

I can only prove my views on aiki at this point in time with my abilities so far. As I've noted on YouTube, I progress little by little. Parts of that progression are testing my abilities on people not training with me. For example, joint locks. I had a large, muscular man who worked as a prison guard try joint locks and he failed. I had a nidan from an aikido school try them. Didn't work either. I'm on one foot in a nikkyo lock (the one where my hand is controlled at the shoulder, my arm bent, and the other person has their hand on my crooked elbow) and my center is intact, my mobility is fine, and I have no pain. I have had someone push full force on my outstretched hand and I didn't step.

In part, my answer is that these things are something I am doing internally and as my body rebuilds itself, I do them better. I'm at a point in my training where I am starting to be able to work dynamically.

I ask myself the question about delusions daily. And to keep me humble, I test myself using people outside my training. Yes, I fail. Yes, I succeed. But, the truth is in my hands and my training. My delusions shatter rather forcefully when I fail. :) And I am bolstered by my success.

Truth and enlightenment? I go by what I have experienced, what I have deduced, what I have researched, and finally, by the progress I have made in what I have become. I put my research, deductions and progress in my writings, but do not expect to prove them to anyone. I'll leave that to each person's own hands.


PAG. However, if I tell you that O Sensei actually crafted waza as a tool kit, in order to show a new way of achieving 'Enlightenment in this Body', what would be your response? You might respond, 'Prove it to me', and I would show you the same tapes. In all the tapes O Sensei demonstrates what he demonstrates by means of waza. You might respond, 'Ah, but the waza O Sensei shows do not really matter: they are like icing on the cake. But you need to show more clearly than you have done so far that O Sensei regarded waza as having no value. I tend to believe that O Sensei regarded waza as a kind of mudra: the gestures in Shingon Buddhism. I am not sure whether he worried about their martial effectiveness (I think he NEVER worried about these questions after becoming member of Omoto). But he did worry about the effectiveness of his 'divine waza' in setting the world to rights.


My response would be that I agree. I firmly believe that waza is a tool kit. That waza could have been used by Ueshiba in his achieving 'Enlightenment in this Body'. So, then, the difference I have is that, personally, I don't think there is good probability in achieving aiki through waza. Not that it is impossible, but I don't believe the chances are good. I do think waza is valuable. Just not for building aiki. As a means to explore one's aiki, as a means to explore tactics and strategy, as a means to being a bridge between heaven and earth, as a means to martial effectiveness, yes. As a means to learn aiki, no.



If you want to see aiki in action, search youtube for the vid where Ueshiba is sitting and people are trying to push him over. If you want to read about aiki in action, read the thread about Push Test and Ueshiba. Because Ueshiba is showing the world aiki in its glory.

PAG. No. I do not think so. You are assuming far too much about Ueshiba's intentions.


Ah, it took me a minute to understand. Please excuse my vagueness. I did not mean that Ueshiba was involved in the showing, nor that was his intentions. I meant that when one views the videos, one is a spectator to viewing Ueshiba showing aiki in its glory. I don't know what Ueshiba's intentions were, I agree.


PAG. So do we reduce aikido training to the push test? What else do we do?


Ah, no. Definitely not. :) Currently, the best example that I can use, the one that I can find the most research on, the one I am working on is the push test. It is by no means inclusive. And I think that quite a few of us are still in a dilemma as to the current view of aikido training and training aiki. I still have difficulties in that regard, but others have found some answers to incorporating both.



Just where is all that energy going from those pushing? What's happening? Why is it that Ueshiba viewed what he was doing as aiki, when he wasn't doing technique at all? That many complained he never repeated techniques? Does that sound like building tools to use? Universal instruments?

PAG. Wait a minute. Ueshiba always did techniques. You are using the example of the jo exercise to build a whole world view of aiki, without techniques, that goes contrary to what Ueshiba himself (and Takeda before him) actually showed. And he did view what he was doing as aiki. It is in the Takemusu Aiki discourses.


Hmmm ... vagueness again. Compare Ueshiba doing techniques and Ueshiba being pushed. While the world would view Ueshiba doing techniques as aikido, how many view Ueshiba being pushed as aikido? Research into most aikido schools shows techniques but very few have push tests such as Ueshiba did. So, my point is that Ueshiba still viewed what he was doing in the push tests as aiki, even though he wasn't doing techniques. Ueshiba doing techniques was still aiki, yes. I wasn't contesting that, but, instead contesting the other view of him doing the push tests as being aiki.


PAG. Don't you think that Tanahashi should have thought more carefully about WHY they could not push him over? After all, the deshi were not stupid, were they?.


I really don't know, Peter. Especially when Tanahashi goes on to expound upon what he thought was the reason. I find myself disagreeing with his explanation. I can only come up with two things about this area.

1. That these students did in fact know what was going on but did not want to teach anything.
2. That these students had a hard time understanding what was going on. That they didn't quite grasp what Ueshiba was doing (it is internal) and it wasn't clearly taught to them.

I find from my own experience that if I trained with someone who had aiki and I wasn't shown much of what I am now working on, then I would not get it. Ever. Just being uke would leave me clueless without some guidance into what to do internally. My complete and utter respect to those students who did get it without Ueshiba clearly helping them. I know I'd never had gotten it.


PAG. And Tanahashi and the other deshi (including Saito, who trained with Ueshiba in Iwama every day), did not realize this? Your description sounds too much like the aikido version of Indiana Jones and the Aiki Holy Grail.


I really don't know. As I wrote above, I can see two different reasons. I'd rather not believe the first. From listening to Tanahashi's reasons, I find that I disagree with him. So, option 2 seems more likely to me.


Finally, I should state that (1) yours was a very refreshing post, in terms of the thread and (2) that Mike Sigman was definitely on to something when he stated, in many, many posts, that what was actually happening had to be explained in such a way that it could be repeated and progress monitored. This is entirely in line with Kukai's notion that enlightenment is something that one can see actually happening: it can be monitored and judged by someone outside the individual's 'charmed' circle.

Very best wishes (and I plan to visit the States as soon as I can to do some hands-on training :) ).

PAG

Thank you again. I find that my progress can be repeated and can be seen to be progressing. And that I must use outside sources to keep myself honest and on track. I see the progress I have made in the very short time I have been training and look forward to the year ahead. :)

Please let me know if you visit the states. I would make the attempt to travel to say hello. And I have a distinct possibility that I will visit Japan next year or the year after. Perhaps sometime in the near future we can have a conversation in person.

Mark

DH
05-14-2009, 02:05 PM
Excellent couple of posts. Might I address a couple of points?


Hello Mark,
Very interesting post. Like many other members, I am glad that you still post, despite the recent issues about aikido / non-aikido etc. Your own training with Dan Harden yields skills that others need to know about, even if they do not / will not practice these skills…

You obviously believe that Aiki is transforming your own being So, I can ask you the same questions as someone might have asked Kukai. (Note also that Kukai gave some answers).
How can you prove that you have the truth about Aiki? Do you think you are really enlightened about Aiki? You talk about Aiki as something you ARE and not something you DO, but how can you show me that you are not as deluded as the rest? To put it bluntly, why should I buy the AIKI brand used car (the new form of training) that you are trying to sell me? And the answer: 'Come and train with Dan, and you will find out', is obviously not acceptable, at least initially.

PAG. However, if I tell you that O Sensei actually crafted waza as a tool kit, in order to show a new way of achieving 'Enlightenment in this Body', what would be your response? You might respond, 'Prove it to me', and I would show you the same tapes. In all the tapes O Sensei demonstrates what he demonstrates by means of waza. You might respond, 'Ah, but the waza O Sensei shows do not really matter: they are like icing on the cake. But you need to show more clearly than you have done so far that O Sensei regarded waza as having no value. I tend to believe that O Sensei regarded waza as a kind of mudra: the gestures in Shingon Buddhism. I am not sure whether he worried about their martial effectiveness (I think he NEVER worried about these questions after becoming member of Omoto). But he did worry about the effectiveness of his 'divine waza' in setting the world to rights.

PAG. And Tanahashi and the other deshi (including Saito, who trained with Ueshiba in Iwama every day), did not realize this? Your description sounds too much like the aikido version of Indiana Jones and the Aiki Holy Grail.
Can you state anything contrary to Marks Ideas? Its seems obvious to me that his deshi for the most part missed it. I would add to that several of you peers (in age and rank) who openly have stated "they" missed it.

I don't like to cross post but I will assume that many don't visit the non aikido section that Peter referred to in his post.
Anent pushing and why? And is there more to it:
Mark is not discuss pushing for pushing sake. I might add that receiving or sending is quite useless without a whole body connection and winding. What connects to what and why- can be quite valuable. Also, absolutes and rules are very good building steps but it is the body use behind them that is paramount. You can quite handily get caught in playing hands, say in Aikido, Judo, Wrestling, Kali, etc. and while grabbing -receive and send *in-balance* with the receiving hand palm down while opening and the sending hand down while closing. The results being they feel they are falling into a hole while they are getting tossed-out, thrown-down or hit from the other side.
Unfortunately since these things work marginally as well as more completely (and even then there is a difference between the way some arts use those connections)and ...since they are the basis for many techniques... people have become complacent and allow themselves to get caught up in the waza and movement-missing the power behind everything.
Then again when it comes to building the body, some can get lost in certain skills and methods that are built on correct movement but use the movement as "evasions" and "changes" and still miss the point at which they can be strengthening and building the mind/ body intent -hence the state we find arts such as taiji and aikido in.
Gleason makes a very good point: that today, many, if not most, in aikido have become caught up in evasive movement and waza that covers their weaknesses, without ever concentrating on fixing the foundational weaknesses and turning them into a strength.
Aiki skills we are supposed to be working on always were and always will be -percentage wise- elite. While they are the essence of the power of most of the legendary masters, they will forever be outside of the "knowledge" of the run of the mill teachers in the Martial arts and even further removed from the those with the "knowledge" and then the tenacity to work it and arrive at serious skill in using that knowledge.

Pushing serves as a great example of a vast body of misinformation. Few have expressed or seem to understand why it has value in and of itself and as a learning tool for developing power.
One might ask:
How one earth does it help develop the center
How does it help eliminate one side weighting
How does it help make incredible aiki-age rising energy
Aiki-sage sinking and sending over energy
How does it join the both of those in use
How does it help develop winding energy joining the two up and down and in and out.
How can it be the birth place of aiki-power that is useble and instant making kuzushi on contact and capturing center in Shiai

So we have posts denigrating the training and poking fun at it...as being static and dead, rooted and useless in fighting, or saying "please tell me there is more to it than this (which should be obvious) until they meet someone very good at learning it's valuable lessons.

So do we reduce aikido training to the push test? What else do we do?
Ueshiba always did techniques. You are using the example of the jo exercise to build a whole world view of aiki, without techniques, that goes contrary to what Ueshiba himself (and Takeda before him) actually showed. And he did view what he was doing as aiki. It is in the Takemusu Aiki discourses.

This is of course true, But I would challenge you in return to examine why the techniques are so different and clearly stand out from the koryu jujutsu and judo or the era?
Why...did the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai chose to create a class separeting it out from Koryu jujutsu?
What drives his 'waza" that cuased them to be seen as markedly different?
Also as Mark correctly noted. Ueshiba was indeed noted for pushing. Openly known for it. Please explain just why that would have been so were it not so fundemental to all that was expressed in the waza of his art. It is even notable that during demonstrations...of waza...he demonstrated pushing. What was HE trying to express by doing so?

Don't you think that Tanahashi should have thought more carefully about WHY they could not push him over? After all, the deshi were not stupid, were they?.
I don't like to infer that people were stupid. Can we agree on a less insulting causal factor for them missing it? Youth? Being caught up in technique?
Ignorance? Or lay it at Ueshiba's feet in the Japanese model of students having to steal technique?
Am I stating an opinion that most missed it? Yes I am. Is that position defensible. Yes it is. Fortunately or unfortunately many put out enough video footage to make it obvious. Now we have hundreds of thousands copying.

Finally, I should state that (1) yours was a very refreshing post, in terms of the thread and (2) that Mike Sigman was definitely on to something when he stated, in many, many posts, that what was actually happening had to be explained in such a way that it could be repeated and progress monitored. This is entirely in line with Kukai's notion that enlightenment is something that one can see actually happening: it can be monitored and judged by someone outside the individual's 'charmed' circle.

I would also like to add, that although Mike deserves credit for being a voice calling for the need to both show and have teaching skills proving its replicable? In that he was not alone nor the first on aikiweb. You have both Rob Jon and myself.
I might we add another criteria here, though;
STUDENTS... that can demonstrate it is applicability and its being reproducible.
They most certainly exist and worthy of merit. As has been witnessed to here some of mine and Arks are quite capable of showing applicably in other peoples dojo's and in freestyle grappling and "they" also teach others. I think that answers Kikai's observations well.
As for "charmed circles" lets examine that and how it plays out in the aikiweb discussions and Mark's model as well. Since the use of Kukai's notion was challenging as a model may I be so bold in rebuttal?
None of the hundreds of participants who have out to meet Mike, Ark Me etc were charmed when they arrived were they? Mark was certainly not "charmed" when he came from aikiweb to test me. I can assure you neither was Liberti who also tried throwing punches at me in the middle of a demonstration. One might ask Gleason just how charmed he was as well. Nor were the various BJJ, Judo, Karate, Shoot fighters and MMA people Ark and my people have encountered on their turf. So Kuai's notion for purposes of furthering the discussion here on aikiweb with and among teachers of the art has most certainly been addressed, repeatedly.

In closing, you had questioned the probable response from Mark to be "come and feel" -IHTBF. I agree that- to a point- it is certainly inadequate. Is it fair to say that thus far for the vast majority (if not everyone)- that has proven to be true, though? Consistently true? Words would not do it-that in the end, it had to be felt.
I am not selling the holy grail you refer to but in the end is it not fair to say the those who came found the results of internal body training to be so profound it has either altered their practice forever or at the very last they acknowledge it is real and substantial?
Again since we are being so open.
At what point does the consistency of witness by very experienced and recognized teachers of Aikido serve to negate "the value of doubt." And how could that have been done by discussion? All that did was garner interest that led to…the unavoidable, IHTBF. So fair enough. But what have all if us been saying to one another most of our entire martial careers? "You have to go feel so and so!"
What's new about that?
For this discussion here-since IHTBF has gone so well, and been so definitive, at what point does the doubt itself then become the "Emperor with no clothes" instead of the other way around? I am going on training something like a dozen teachers now. Let's add to that the ones who have trained with Mike and Ark. In the fullness of time, I wonder when it will become appropriate to ask "Just who, is tilting at what, windmill?"

Very best wishes (and I plan to visit the States as soon as I can to do some hands-on training :) ).

I always appreciate your thoughtful and challenging approach to the subject, Peter. You have previously stated a desire to train with me. I think we would have a very rewarding exchange comparing thought to action, word to form.
In the end I see it as resolving all doubt that Aikido can work in...any fight.
Cheers
Dan

hotdogwater
05-29-2009, 07:05 AM
I noticed a discussion on here entitled "Aikido Does Not Work at All in a Fight" started by one Joeysola on 10-17-2000. The last response to this was about two weeks ago on 5-14-2009. Since this has gone on for about 9 years and along with all the ultra rude comments posted by the youtube people in regards to all the aikido videos posted, I've decided I have something to say about this. This is my first and hopefully only post ever on a discussion board. I always said I would never do it because I didn't want to get sucked into a debate which is clearly nonsense. But oh well, here comes my story, or rant, which ever you want to call it.

I started doing BJJ sometime in January of 2003. What amazed me the most about it was how effective it was in developing muscle memory, reflexes and timing for realistic combat? One day someone came into the gym who showed me some aikido techniques. I was equally impressed with these techniques and became instantly interested in wanting to learn more. I became eager to learn especially since the guy teaching me said aikido was kind of like jiu-jitsu standing up. I began researching aikido dojos in the area and quickly noticed the difference between the competitive martial arts and the traditional martial arts. Though I could tell there were some excellent techniques to be learned in aikido, I decided the traditional aspects of it just weren't suited for me. I was much more into the competitive sports like kickboxing, boxing, and BJJ.

During my research I noticed something that still bothers me to this day which is also the reason for this post. It is the argument between mixed martial artists and aikidokas on the effectiveness of aikido. I am posting on this forum in regards to this subject because I feel my audience here conducts itself with excellent class and civility. Probably thanks in large part to our moderators perhaps, but I'll give everyone the benefit of the doubt that you're all probably pretty cool. You're certainly a far sight better than the comment section of every aikido video posted on YOUTUBE who I dare say if I were writing a dissertation on the decline of western civilization in the 21st century, would be the bulk of my research. Therefore, you will have to bear with me if my words seem like they are intended for them. I understand there is no universal attitude within aikidokas. You are all individuals and I treat you as such. But the attitude of the practitioners on youtube seems to be this. Not only is aikido effective, they seem to think they can defeat any boxer, kick boxer, mixed martial artist, so on and so forth.

What does not upset me is the effectiveness of aikido in question. I believe when applied correctly, it can be an incredibly useful tool. But, personally I felt the traditional aspects of it weren't for me so I moved on. What do upset me are the statements of superiority coming from aikidokas, and again not necessarily from the ones on this site, but from you know where. These statements would not infuriate so much if the people making them wouldn't cop out every time behind the excuse that their philosophy does not condone violence and that their art is to only to be used for defense. I believe this to be a beautiful philosophy, and I'm not just saying that. I started training in competitive martial arts a couple of years before the UFC's popularity exploded. It was such a nicer time. People were doing it just as a hobby or a sport or a really good workout. Then that intellectually devoid show The Ultimate Fighter premiered and all the wannabe tough guys had to start doing it just because it was the thing to do. As much as I like mixed martial arts, it spawned a really crappy sub culture.

This is why I admire aikido's philosophy. But if aikido does not condone violence, one thing it certainly is liberated on is the running of one's mouth. I find it in poor taste and even poorer class those who make statements as to who they could defeat in hand to hand combat without having the decency or the courage to prove those statements with action. For all of MMA's faults, at least its practitioners have the spine to except challenges and engage them the best way they know how. If aikidokas are not going to act on this, then it is my humble opinion they should cease to speak of it as well. After all, if those early UFC competitors in question were not high level aikido students because a high level aikido student would never do that, then why do you continue to humor this argument with a response? Wouldn't silence on this subject be more fitting for aikido's philosophy? I do not claim to be an expert on that philosophy or even well versed on it for that matter. It is simply my observation that these would be the values which O'Sensei was trying to instill within his students and their descendants.

Nick
05-29-2009, 07:30 AM
As someone who spent 4 years boxing...

I agree completely.

Aikido can be and is very effective when taught and practiced properly. But, truth told, if you want to learn how to fight, you fight. The training regimen of Boxing, MMA, Muay Thai, etc are based more on competition (which almost always comes closer to a "real fight" than aikido training) than any kind of personal or spiritual development. This is evidenced by the pituitary cases for which I'm sure we both have stories.

Honestly, my guess is that the people who staunchly defend aikido as TEH BEZT EVAR do so for the same reason that any zealot does: They're afraid that they might be wrong. Aikido has a lot of strengths, ranging from the physical waza to the philosophical applications that make it something that is, in my opinion, very much worth studying. But to deny any weakness in Aikido is to deny the usefulness of any other art, which is, to my mind, ignorance, and anyone who would walk around hiding behind the "peaceful philosophy" of their art while disrespecting the training of others (even if they are disrespected first) is missing the point of "verbal aiki" in the first place.

Moral of my increasingly longwinded rant: "Never defeated means never fighting" applies to discussion as well, and a lot of aikidoka would do well to take that to heart, not just on discussion boards but in life.

Welcome to the fora, I hope you decide to come back from time to time.

Nick

lbb
05-29-2009, 08:41 AM
So one nine-year-long unresolvable bag of electronic hot air wasn't enough, we need two of them.

Feh.

dps
05-29-2009, 09:09 AM
You can either live in reality or hide behind philosophy.

David

MM
05-29-2009, 09:11 AM
So one nine-year-long unresolvable bag of electronic hot air wasn't enough, we need two of them.

Feh.

ROTFL!!! This was worth reading the thread. Nicely put, Mary.

Peter Goldsbury
05-29-2009, 09:18 AM
You can either live in reality or hide behind philosophy.

David

But you could do it the other way round: live in philosophy and hide behind reality: Plato, Kant, Wittgenstein?

Best wishes,

PAG

MM
05-29-2009, 09:28 AM
But you could do it the other way round: live in philosophy and hide behind reality: Plato, Kant, Wittgenstein?

Best wishes,

PAG

So if you rekant that statement, does that mean you'll live in reality? :D

dps
05-29-2009, 09:41 AM
But you could do it the other way round: live in philosophy and hide behind reality: Plato, Kant, Wittgenstein?

Best wishes,

PAG

It is better to live in reality and tune your philosophy to your experiences then to live in philosophy ignored by reality.

David

C. David Henderson
05-29-2009, 09:56 AM
Eugene,

Nice post. Very respectful. I agree with a lot of what you said too.

Thanks.

Marc Abrams
05-29-2009, 10:08 AM
Eugene:

Nice Post!

It is not the Martial Art, Fighting Style,......, but people who seem to be caught up in Ago Waza (Flapping too much from the jaw!) based upon some personal sense of insecurities. I would not assign blame to what people are studying. I always go back to what one of my old sempai use to say when the jaws would flap -> JUST PRACTICE!

Marc Abrams

Peter Goldsbury
05-29-2009, 10:09 AM
So if you rekant that statement, does that mean you'll live in reality? :D

If you reduce the discussion to this level, then I am finished with this discussion.

PAG

Joe McParland
05-29-2009, 11:09 AM
For all of MMA's faults, at least its practitioners have the spine to except challenges and engage them the best way they know how. If aikidokas are not going to act on this, then it is my humble opinion they should cease to speak of it as well. [...] Wouldn't silence on this subject be more fitting for aikido's philosophy?

Now that you've issued the challenge, why do you not accept it?

Masakatsu Agatsu.

MM
05-29-2009, 03:31 PM
If you reduce the discussion to this level, then I am finished with this discussion.

PAG

Apologies, Peter. I was being a bit light hearted. Please, feel free to continue the discussion. Your input is always worth reading. I'll definitely refrain from joking.

Thank you,
Mark

hotdogwater
05-30-2009, 07:48 AM
Thank you so much to those of you who offered such a warm welcome and understood what I was trying to say, I really appreciate it. To those with not such a warm welcome, here is my retort. To Mary’s rude comment on me starting another as she calls it, “electronic bag of hot air,” I would just like to say congratulations. Now that you’ve contributed to that bag of hot air, you’re just as bad as the rest of us. So you can now stop acting like you’re better than me. To Joe, I’m not issuing a challenge rather than simply making a suggestion. I’m a Marine and a military historian. After all battles and wars there is a treaty. Think of this as The Treaty of Nonsense. I would also like to say this is not the same subject as the form started by Joeysola nine years ago and furthermore I am quite upset the moderators merged my thread with this one. They obviously did not read it or did not understand what I was trying to say. I am not here to debate the effectiveness of Aikido, because I just don’t care. What I absolutely can’t stand are people who say they can do something and then make lame excuses as to why they never did. I could have gotten into Harvard if I didn’t party so much my senior year. I wouldn’t have gotten into the NFL if I had a better sports agent. I could beat Oscar de la Hoya in a street fight if I wasn’t such a pacifist. They’re all the same. There’s an old saying, “When you’re good at making excuses, you usually aren’t good at much else.” I believe it is time to put up or shut up.

I’m an American and the last thing in the world I want to do is take away anyone’s first amendment rights. However, if you absolutely need to state what you can do, then perhaps it is equally important to go ahead and prove that statement with action. If it is not important enough for you to do, then perhaps too, it is not worth wasting your words on. Not to sound cliché, but actions speak louder than words. Be men of action, not words. All the resources are there for you to test your hypothesis. Think of it as a scientific experiment. If you test and document the effectiveness of your skills, I guarantee it would be extremely profitable. An aikidoka defeating Anderson Silva would be the biggest pay-per-view draw in history. Instructors would reap the benefits as well since Aikido’s popularity would explode. You can’t say benefiting monetarily would be exploiting your art either. After all, Steven Seagal made a career out of making some of the most awful films in cinema history which all featured aikido, and he is still accepted by the east.

brUNO
05-30-2009, 08:58 AM
"If ya came ta peck a fight, yar talkin' to the chap that'll oblige ya."
---BrownTom from: Legend

Maybe, you should watch MORE TV? Maybe, you should come to Texas? Its a fun place, ...beautiful women and great food. You can stay at my house. We will train together. I'll get you ready for your fight!!! You won't win. No, because I study Aikido and I know how to grapple. I study Aikido and I know how to strike. I study Aikido and I know how to put you to sleep and have more wonderful dreams of Brazilian Jew Jetset. Nice dreams! Mmmmmm, Come see your friend that studies Aikido. He will enlighten you, uh...spiritually.:D

Send me an email and we'll arrange it, just for you.
Namaste, go with God, Shalome, ,,,and all the other spiritual stuff
Bye.
:ai: :ki: :do:

Bruno

brUNO
05-30-2009, 10:20 AM
WOW,:hypno: :eek:
I'm amazed! I became a member of this forum because I thought I would find some enlightened discussion on Aikido. Hmm

All I have to do to get everyone involved with my plan is to just post a thread about "Aikido is crap in the Real World!" Then I can reead 56 pages of "Gotcha, I won". You guys are easy! Suckers!

In "Real Life" I avoid the things that aren't a threat and deal with the real issues. Life's too short to dance with morons.

:ai: :ki: :do:
brUNO

dps
05-30-2009, 10:24 AM
Well that depends, how do you tell if someone is a moron?

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16254

David

brUNO
05-30-2009, 10:44 AM
I use the "Moron Test":D

Don't worry, You passed.

Kevin Leavitt
05-30-2009, 10:46 AM
Eugene,

There are many of us out here that have an understanding of various martial training methodologies and have an appreciation for aikido training methods and what they can and cannot do with respect to martial training.

Aikido has a place in my training regime as a soldier and as a "MMAer".

I train with many guys that would get their asses handed to them by lesser men than Anderson Sylva. That fact, however, IMO does not necessarily invalidate what they have to offer.

WIthin it's context, and I do believe that this is really the crux of what you are saying, AIkido has it's place.

That said, I wholeheartedly agree with you that the whiners and wannabees out the that base their whole relevance and sense of self worth on if "aikido would work in the ring". Or "the ring isn't reality, so we can't be effective" should "put up or shut up" (for lack of a better phrase right now.) Harsh, but that is the reality.

It all eventually comes back to, "shut up and train".

Me personally, I have gotten on the mat with some "b" level MMAers that have lost to the big names in the UFC. I certainly could not even hold a candle to those guys skill wise, so I hold no pretense to my ability to do well, and have been constantly reminded that there are many, many levels of "good" and "proficient". And I am at the very bottom of that. bell curve.

It is easy to become fooled and delusioned about what we think we really know and what we can really do in a dojo where we train with the same folks over and over again.

Breaking out of our paradigm and moving to others sometimes shows us a new perspective on reality!

Anyway, I overall agree with your observations and wanted you to know that many of us out here in aiki-land understand the place and context aikido has in the world of martial training (budo).

Nick
05-30-2009, 12:16 PM
So one useless thread begets another?

It seems to me that if you're going to ignore an issue, the best thing to do is... ignore it?

Nick

Mark Uttech
05-30-2009, 02:08 PM
Onegaishimasu. A useless thread for sure.

In gassho,

Mark

Dan Rubin
05-30-2009, 02:24 PM
My "ignore" list just increased by one.

Dan Richards
05-30-2009, 02:49 PM
Do we somehow feel a need to see "morons" outside of ourselves?

What is a moron, anyway?

gdandscompserv
05-30-2009, 04:11 PM
Somebody pooped in Brent's cornflakes.

erikmenzel
05-30-2009, 05:42 PM
Somebody pooped in Brent's cornflakes.
Sorry, wont do it again.evileyes

mathewjgano
05-30-2009, 06:29 PM
During my research I noticed something that still bothers me to this day which is also the reason for this post. It is the argument between mixed martial artists and aikidokas on the effectiveness of aikido. I am posting on this forum in regards to this subject because I feel my audience here conducts itself with excellent class and civility.
Well I appreciate your decision to share your thinking, despite your distaste for chat forums. The internet has the "wonderful" trait of allowing people a relatively anonymous way of expressing things they would never dare express in person. Indeed I view the internet as a great window to the "real" nature of people for this reason...it's also one of the greatest contributors of my ongoing battle with misanthrope (don't worry, I'm winning!) for that same reason.:yuck: :)

Not only is aikido effective, they seem to think they can defeat any boxer, kick boxer, mixed martial artist, so on and so forth.
How old do you suppose those folks are? My impression is that they're generally kids, but I realize much of that is presumption. Also, I wonder how many of those folks saying they can beat anyone are saying they will always beat them. I think I can beat anyone at anything, given enough tries.
Part of the problem, in my opinion, is the salesmanship that tends to come with running a buisiness: sell the positives; the negatives will sort themselves out (a huge pet-peeve for me). I also think most people study a martial art for a relatively short amount of time which lends to a short-sighted set of opinions and that when they're learning a Martial Art they tend to assume it's both comprehensive and effective. I don't view this as an Aikido (or other group) problem as much as it's a human problem. People generally accept what they're presented so if no counter-point is experienced, they're happily ignorant.

What do upset me are the statements of superiority coming from aikidokas, and again not necessarily from the ones on this site, but from you know where.
I'm not criticizing you here, but the first question that comes to my mind is, "why does it bother you?" As a long-time (relatively speaking) idealist and a pacifist I've receieved more than a small amount of criticism from people telling me I'm ignorant and delusional. I have no problem with people claiming to be superior to me. I say let 'em feel superior and engage them in thoughtful debate. They'll either join the process of articulating the virtues of the issue(s) or they'll resort to meaningless quips in which case to my mind they've lost the interaction and I pretty much cease to care about what they think. Now, of course that's just my way and not necessarily for others, but it does save me a lot of consternation and so I'm offering it as food for thought, for whatever it's worth to you (for all I know you already agree and your use of "upset" is more rhetorical). I am passionate about interpersonal development so I do actually care a lot about what people think (being that it drives their actions), but past a certain point I simply have to stop worrying about it or my head will explode.

These statements would not infuriate so much if the people making them wouldn't cop out every time behind the excuse that their philosophy does not condone violence and that their art is to only to be used for defense.
It is decidedly convenient, I agree, but to my mind the issue isn't so much about the valid excuse that their art generally says not to compete with others, but is rather that they're making generalizations about large groups of people. The real issue here, as I see it, is how one approaches correcting delusion and that is not an easy fix, regardless of the setting.

I started training in competitive martial arts a couple of years before the UFC's popularity exploded. It was such a nicer time. People were doing it just as a hobby or a sport or a really good workout. Then that intellectually devoid show The Ultimate Fighter premiered and all the wannabe tough guys had to start doing it just because it was the thing to do. As much as I like mixed martial arts, it spawned a really crappy sub culture.
We certainly all have our baggage; there's a trade-off to everything...what can we do but our best to be transparent and honest with each other and hope that in time meaningful understanding takes place?

But if aikido does not condone violence, one thing it certainly is liberated on is the running of one's mouth. I find it in poor taste and even poorer class those who make statements as to who they could defeat in hand to hand combat without having the decency or the courage to prove those statements with action. For all of MMA's faults, at least its practitioners have the spine to except challenges and engage them the best way they know how.
In my experience, I hear more people saying how ineffective Aikido is than Aikidoists saying how much more effective their art is. Also, my personal view is that I'd rather deal with loud-mouths than tough-guys. I don't like aggressive people...they piss me off. Is my view less valid than yours (I'm assuming your "at least its practicioners have the spine..." comment puts forth the opposite view)?

Wouldn't silence on this subject be more fitting for aikido's philosophy? I do not claim to be an expert on that philosophy or even well versed on it for that matter. It is simply my observation that these would be the values which O'Sensei was trying to instill within his students and their descendants.
Apparently no...and I say that because I've been corrected here on Aikiweb that engagement is a central tenet to Aikido methodology where I've suggested simply ducking out of potential conflict might be more Aikido-like. It shouldn't be a competition when offering a disagreement, but the disagreement should be offered in an attempt at finding concordance.
At any rate, thanks for the food for thought; I hope I've replied with something equally tasty.
Take care,
Matthew

mathewjgano
05-30-2009, 06:40 PM
LOL! useless my ass! I've been entertained!

mathewjgano
05-30-2009, 06:54 PM
WOW,:hypno: :eek:
I'm amazed! I became a member of this forum because I thought I would find some enlightened discussion on Aikido. Hmm

Presumption is the mother of all...something...
And really, you don't seem to have read very far. There is some awesome discourse on Aikido here. May I suggest you consider the idea that what you perceive reflects as much about you as on what you're observing?

All I have to do to get everyone involved with my plan is to just post a thread about "Aikido is crap in the Real World!" Then I can reead 56 pages of "Gotcha, I won". You guys are easy! Suckers!
Speaking for myself, whenever I engage in discourse, it's to improve discourse skills and what better way to do that than in difficult discussions? Sometimes the sucker is aware he/she is being played and is simply enjoying the game themselves...for what it's worth.

Suru
05-30-2009, 08:02 PM
Doshu or a shihan versus Mike Tyson? We'll never find out.

Doshu or a shihan versus Macaulay (sp?) Culkin? Obvious.

Doshu or a shihan not fighting? Automatic victory.

Drew

brUNO
05-30-2009, 09:17 PM
Presumption is the mother of all...something...
It's "Assumption" is the mother of all screw ups (Replaced the "F"word) I assumed I wouldn't get a single reply to this thread, guess I screwed up?!:cool:
Sometimes the sucker is aware he/she is being played and is simply enjoying the game themselves...for what it's worth.
I'm enjoying it, I thought it was funny! Espesially the thread title. Its really hard to ignore, isn't it? I sure couldn't. Its like a train wreck, Choo-choo! Well, welcome to the dance, Ladies & Gentlemen.

I'll see you in more serious dicussions later on, I'm sure. Don't judge me by first post, I came to randori.
Onegaisumasu.

mathewjgano
05-30-2009, 10:11 PM
It's "Assumption" is the mother of all screw ups (Replaced the "F"word) I assumed I wouldn't get a single reply to this thread, guess I screwed up?!:cool:
Dangit! I did it again. I'm known as the Great Paraphraser (of quotes) to one friend. :D

I'll see you in more serious dicussions later on, I'm sure. Don't judge me by first post, I came to randori.
Onegaisumasu.
No Worries! Read enough of my posts and even if I did judge you you probably wouldn't feel too bothered by it...I'm a little bit "in mind out of mouth" sometimes...what can I say, but life's a process!:D
Take care!

hotdogwater
05-30-2009, 10:47 PM
Dear Brent,
Explain to me in perfect English how I tried to pick a fight with anyone on here. If I were trying to pick a fight with someone I would have been a lot more aggressive instead of practically tiptoeing through this subject so mental midgets like you wouldn't get their feelings hurt. Most of you wouldn't know irony if it fell from the sky and landed on your face. Here I am, the competitive martial artist, the military man, and I'm the one offering thought provoking statements. There you are, the traditional martial artist who is supposed to be cultured, refined and philosophical, and you're the one who is meeting me with snarky, sarcastic comments which have about as much substance as a 50 cent song. Then, to challenge me to combat, how ridiculous can you get? Do you honestly think I would actually come to your house? If you are a true aikidoka then you have already lost by challenging me to a fight. I honestly don't know how good you are because I've never heard of you. But if you were to assault me like you assault the English language then I'm sure you would probably knock me out 30 seconds into the first round.

lbb
05-31-2009, 07:25 PM
Brent Smith
Username: brUNO
Dojo: Jita Kyoei Dojo/Dallas, Texas
Location: Dallas/Texas
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9

Just sayin'...

Joe McParland
05-31-2009, 09:49 PM
It is quite possible that, if in fact there is a bona fide "aikido philosophy," that none of us are living up to it.

That's no big deal. It's a path, after all

Assuming that an aikido has one true philosophy to which all practitioners aspire, assuming that you understand it, assuming the practitioners are bound by it, and assuming anyone would care if he broke hypothetical rules of engagement, though - that's certainly problematic for anyone, especially a martial artist. ;)

I do appreciate good sparing here, though... I need the practice as much as anyone :D

brUNO
06-01-2009, 12:28 PM
Brent Smith
Username: brUNO
Dojo: Jita Kyoei Dojo/Dallas, Texas
Location: Dallas/Texas
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9

Just sayin'...

Sayin' ...what? I have 9 posts? That I'm from Texas? All you did was copy and post what is common knowledge. At least I filled out my profile for everyone here to read... Just sayin'...

To Joe McParland:
Me too Joe, I love to randori and test my metal! That's all I was sayin', I guess. The fact that words can easily rile a group of potential oponents is just as much a tool as Aiki waza. I like to laugh, I like to randori, I like to test myself and ...I can laugh at myself, which I do quite often. So let's have a good laugh or let's randori. either one's OK by me.

lbb
06-01-2009, 12:30 PM
Sayin' ...what?

Sayin' that it's a common pattern for people who just want to agitate feces to create a new account on a forum and then just starting right in with what they're here for.

brUNO
06-01-2009, 12:48 PM
Well, I didn't generate the feces, but I guess I did take a dump on top of it that made the pile bigger. My apologies. It just amazed me to see that these types of threads were getting the most attention.

From now on, I will try to direct my energy towards more enlightening topics, thank you for your enlightenment.

lbb
06-01-2009, 01:46 PM
Well, I didn't generate the feces, but I guess I did take a dump on top of it that made the pile bigger. My apologies. It just amazed me to see that these types of threads were getting the most attention.

Eh. I think it depends on what you mean by "the most attention". In terms of number of posts, sure, for the following reasons:

1)They're unresolvable questions. You will never get consensus, much less universal agreement, and they can go on forever.

2)As they go on forever, they never die down, because as the old participants (eventually) realize "this is going nowhere" and go elsewhere, new people are always coming in, reading the first half-page of the thread, and injecting their two cents.

3)The main reason people want to inject their two cents is that the questions are button-pushers.

4)The main reason people can inject their two cents is that it doesn't take any real thought and effort to do so. Because the questions are unresolvable, many people "reason", any opinion is as good as any other opinion, and if you repeat it with lots of emoticons and italics and vague references to poorly digested concepts you've heard referred to third-hand, so much the better.

In other words, the barrier to "participate" in such a thread is low. If you want to say, therefore, that these threads get "the most attention", well, that's your interpretation. You could, on the other hand, look at some of the threads where you need to put a good bit more thought and effort in order to play. So, which thread gets "the most attention": one where ten louts engage in a "is not" "is so" "I'm more street lethaler than thou" shouting match, or one where people bring some research, experience, and quality writing to what they're posting, instead of just adolescent chest-pounding?

From now on, I will try to direct my energy towards more enlightening topics, thank you for your enlightenment.

No charge, grasshopper. Try to stay out of trouble.

Ron Tisdale
06-01-2009, 02:09 PM
Ah Mary, you didn't mention the dreaded Circus Ponies Of Death (Copyright, Mary Malmos) ... :D

I always loved that, even back in the days on Rec.martial-arts. ;)

Best,
Ron

Joe McParland
06-01-2009, 02:51 PM
So let's have a good laugh or let's randori. either one's OK by me.

Pleased to meet you, Brent :)

lbb
06-01-2009, 08:16 PM
Ah Mary, you didn't mention the dreaded Circus Ponies Of Death (Copyright, Mary Malmos) ... :D

I always loved that, even back in the days on Rec.martial-arts.

Nuh uh, Ron! That was Lauren Radner who raised and trained the CPoD. I just borrowed them on occasion when the arguments about "But what if you were attacked by a Crack-Crazed Street Scum who happens to be Navy Seal on the day that you just broke both legs" get out of hand.

Ron Tisdale
06-02-2009, 07:34 AM
Nuh uh, Ron! That was Lauren Radner who raised and trained the CPoD. I just borrowed them on occasion when the arguments about "But what if you were attacked by a Crack-Crazed Street Scum who happens to be Navy Seal on the day that you just broke both legs" get out of hand.

Ah man! Another Internet Myth bites the dust! :D Still cracks me up though. And so often appropriate...

Best,
Ron

Suru
06-02-2009, 12:08 PM
Brent, many of your posts are for the profane world. In Aikido, the vast majority of us are searching for the divine in ourselves. I hope you'll think about this some. Don't get me wrong, I have had my moments, but overall I try to plant a tree as opposed to cutting one down. Now, sometimes a tree of what I consider falsehood, I slice with a katana, striving to do so as respectively as possible. Again, though I have had my moments too.

Drew

mcrow
06-02-2009, 12:36 PM
Here's a newbies take on Aikido:

#1- It's the most pure defense martial art that I know of.

#2- It is reactive, so not the best style for fighting competitions.

#3- Should be highly effective against 99% of population.

I was a national level wrestler in HS as well as a 2nd degree BB in Shotokan Karate. I have some training BJJ and Boxing as well.

Just take a look at some Christian Tissier videos, that guy generates force with his tech. While you can tell some of the guys are "going with it" (for their own safety) if you watch closely some of these guys are getting utterly destroyed and are not "going with it".

So, is Aikido a sport combat MA? No. Is it a practical self defense system that will work against most people? Yes.

I have a feeling that if Mr. Tissier was faced off against some of todays top MMA fighters he'd to just fine.

kyle.a.russell
04-20-2010, 01:42 AM
I know this thread is old but I'd just like to say that I've used Aikido to defend myself twice since I've started training. Once against a choke from behind and once against a tsuki(sp?) from a switchblade. Worked fine for me =o)

lbb
04-20-2010, 08:15 AM
I know this thread is old but

...there's nothing quite as tasty as ten year old leftover what-was-it scoured from the back reaches of the fridge, so let's have another serving of it :yuck:

CNYMike
04-20-2010, 12:39 PM
...there's nothing quite as tasty as ten year old leftover what-was-it scoured from the back reaches of the fridge, so let's have another serving of it :yuck:

Yeah, is the guy who started this even still training, much less following this thread?

That said, my Kali instructor is fond of saying that any technique that saves your bacon is the best technique in the universe. So if a bunch of Monday Morning Internet Quaterbacks pontificate about how X shouldn't work, and someone comes along and says X worked, who am I to argue with that experience?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I have to mainline some Pepto. :yuck: :)

C. David Henderson
04-20-2010, 01:41 PM
I'm sure it will be going strong five years from now... :)

4.01.05

Ron, I knew you were a genius, but prescient too?

RED
04-20-2010, 07:40 PM
There are like 5million threads around the basements of this site asking this same tired question. It is sort of a boring this to discuss at this point and a really tired topic for me.

Alberto_Italiano
04-22-2010, 07:13 PM
I am surprised at seeing still alive a thread that was originated... ten years ago.

Have we a reason for it?
Probably.

As an utter beginner, I hold a disadvantage and an advantage: the former being that I have no authority to speak, the latter being that I may still have a mindset fit to understand beginners placing myself so easily to their level, being it the level where I belong.

So, is Aikido effective in a real fight?
Define real fight first.

Here is my definition: whenever an opponent is determined to inflict injuries to you regardless of whether they may be fatal or not, that is a fight.
We refine it: this opponent is not totally naive as far as fighting is concerned.

So, you're in for a regular beating.
Now: is Aikido effective in this context?

The answer is: aikidokas are not.
I have seen several black belts so utterly unable to do even the most basic techniques, that one wonders whether they ever realized or not that spending 5 or 6 years on that tatami was totally pointless for them: facing a determined opponent, they would be facing diresome and sudden damage without even seeing it coming.
I have also seen a few excellent ones: rarities, true gems.

However, to be honest: this is what happens also to the vast majority of persons that practice whatever self defense method or work out: they are all mediocre to say the best.

Why this happens?
Lack of fight.

In the mythical old times, you started fighting at dawn and you finished at dusk.
Now, why people did that? Because they badly needed to fight?
If so, why? The chances an average person has to be in a real fight are minimal, maybe once in 5 or even 10 years.
So why some persons closed themselves up in a martial art monastery and started such an endless trail of pains?

They did not seek the fight: they were after something else, that could reveal itself only cracking the nut.

I call it holistic proprioception. You feel the presence: you feel yourself, every edge, within whatever dynamic environment, and you feel your opponent as if you have become one with him/her.

Eventually, the ideogram behind this all is to fight blidfolded. If one could ever attain that ideal threshold, no doubt you have truly found something - but it becomes then patent and obvious that this something was not something pursued for the sake of beating guys up - if that were the objective, a gun is infinitely more practical and to the point for that purpose.
You have attained something that is unvaluable, and it is such well beyond the scope of fighting - it is one step away from satori, from enlightenment.

In this regard, Aikido is still true to that old goal: being able to feel the presence and the flux so much that you might fight blindfolded.

Doging a boxer that edges in and out of your range quickly is something that is within the capabilities of aikido - as well as reaching his side via irime or tenkan and apply an ikkyo going with the flow.

Why then so few may do that?
Because in our gyms there is no real combat. Pupils are placed within totally fictional settings, which if at first are aptly disguised as theorically needed to safeguard the newcomers (invariably assumed as being made of glass, so much that the more experienced guys could make to them untold of damage if they are not carefully tended as callow puppies) from "potential harm", actually become a regular habit pretty soon: an habit that one is any longer able to shrug off. The real combat you are allegedly being prepared for never comes. The fiction goes on. And everybody eventually becomes complacent with the fiction. It becomes the expected standard, defying which places you immediately on the level of the incomprehensible outsider that is spoling the play.

Uke is complacent.
Ukes that are not complacent are being told "hey I am learning, follow me" (follow me? In Aikido? Oh, they truly got it uh! lol).
Ukes that are not complacent are bound to be complacent with beginners though. So they start diseducating them, without having this intention. They educate them to get killed.
Eventually, Ukes that are not complacent give up and tired of being considered troublemakers, resign and are compensated by becoming just another grey belt. A very happy one, though.

The reason Aikido is not effective is the same one so many other fighting schools teach guys how to cultivate an extremely dangerous feeling of security that is not there.
And the reason is: they never fight. They imitate fights, and in the name of avoiding potential harm in the gym, we make sure we can have it in real life.

I am glad to see here randori mentioned.
In fact, even if ukes were complacent, a randori setting is still one that forces a pupil to live aikido with at least something that is not fictional: the necessity to react quickly and in a creative (and not previously prescribed or expected) way.

If you stand a chance to win a fight with aikido, you can find it with randori only. You must find your way of moving within the mess, your own way of going with the tide, your own approach to dodging and reacting. Eventually, far more important that technical perfection in a technique is that a pupil gets a chance to find his/her way of moving inside a messy situation. Teach tmem all the techniques of the world but no randori, and they will experience sudden inujuries or death in a real fight; teach them no techniques but get them used to move amidts attackers, and you have lent them a better favour.
Do both, and you may stand a chance of seeing a few more aikidokas manage themselves pretty well once facing a real attack.

All the rest may well be only the preparation for your coffin.
No randori, no aikido.

Ketsan
04-22-2010, 07:44 PM
Zombie thread.

If you can't use Aikido in a fight I really do question your intelligence. I mean first off you develop an immovable posture, if you can't find a use for that in a fight I question your intelligence. Second your trained to get into a clinch ASAP, combined with an immovable posture....................
Third you're trained in various ways of unbalancing an opponent combined with an immovble posture and numerous ways of getting into various types of clinch.................
Fourth you're trained to develop massive power from a relaxed body combined with an immovable posture, numerous ways of getting into various types of clinch and various ways of unbalancing an opponent.............

This isn't difficult.

Kevin Leavitt
04-22-2010, 08:00 PM
I thought about responding to this thread...if I do...I think it would be b best to go back and quote myself from previous post in this thread, it would save time and I probably couldn't think of anything new to say anyway! lol!

ChrisHein
04-22-2010, 11:03 PM
I would like to post on one of these threads for real. This thread is clearly a joke now. But I would like to discuss the usefulness of Aikido techniques in a real thread.

bulevardi
04-23-2010, 11:37 AM
It all depends on the context.

I'll tell you an old story I heard from a friend of a sensei of my father.
A karateka, judoka, aikidoka and a gangster walking the same street. All wearing a gun.
At some particular moment, they start fighting.
Whatever martial arts knowledge they have, they all pull their gun and start shooting :)

Morale of the story: in a real fight, you just use whatever you have or know, to defend yourself as best as possible depending on the attack. An aikidoka that practiced karate before can aswel use karate techniques in a streetfight when it seems useful in his defence.

George S. Ledyard
04-23-2010, 11:53 AM
I would like to post on one of these threads for real. This thread is clearly a joke now. But I would like to discuss the usefulness of Aikido techniques in a real thread.

Oh, don't worry Chris. This isn't the only "does Aikido work" thread. There are tons of them. I wouldn't bother to start a new one. Why would it be any different than the old ones? Everyone who actually knew anything and had something to say did so a long time ago and now ignores these threads like the plague. These threads are like the zombies that never die.

Look at the number of views... A thread that might have had some depth, like the one about offensive moves in Aikido will pretty much fade away after a couple of thousand views. Only a few people have much to say about it. Something about the spiritual side of the art will be over in under a thousand, if it's an interesting one. But talk about Aikido and fighting, combat, self defense, vs MMA, vs barbie dolls and we get over 170.000 views! And this is only one of these threads! It's so depressing, I can't tell you.

Feel free to post whatever you want here... if you don't someone else will. You could make it your personal mission to attempt to raise the tone a bit... good luck. But there's no need for another thread of this type. Please spare us.

Dan Rubin
04-23-2010, 12:49 PM
I would like to post on one of these threads for real. This thread is clearly a joke now. But I would like to discuss the usefulness of Aikido techniques in a real thread.

Do you qualify for the "Voices of Experience" forum?

Rob Watson
04-23-2010, 09:39 PM
vs barbie dolls.

DOH! I thought I was the only one that got into aikido to defend myself from Barbies .... zombie Barbies - totally terrorizing. 2012 is just around the corner and there will be great herds of zombie Barbies running around then so I hope y'all are ready!

azmibadres
04-26-2010, 02:15 AM
Though there are many paths
At the foot of the mountain
All those who reach the top
See the same moon.

This is an extremely controversial question and has generated much heated debate in forums such as the rec.martial-arts newsgroup. The answer to this question is very subjective - students of any particular martial art tend to favor that one over any other (otherwise they would probably be studying the other martial art). There are many different but equally valid reasons for studying any martial art, such as for self defence, for spiritual growth or enlightenment, for general physical health, for self-confidence and more. Different martial arts, and even different styles within a particular martial art, emphasize different aspects. Hence 'better' really depends on what it is you want out of a martial art. Even given this distinction, it is still a very subjective question so perhaps a better one would be 'Is Aikido better than any other martial art *for me*?' This can only be answered by the individual asking the question. The rest of this FAQ may help you in some way towards finding that answer. An alternative way to answer this question is to simply say, 'No, Aikido is not 'better' or 'worse' than any other martial art. It is simply different.'

RED
04-26-2010, 03:18 PM
I'm actually really sick of these "is Aikido 4 realz!" threads.
There are like 5 million of these threads. And they conversation always disintegrates to absurdity.
Everything that can be said about it has been said... I mean seriously, this thread is 58 pages long by itself. And there are dozen more threads just like this one floating around on this site. pfff

lbb
04-26-2010, 04:02 PM
I'm actually really sick of these "is Aikido 4 realz!" threads.
There are like 5 million of these threads. And they conversation always disintegrates to absurdity.
Everything that can be said about it has been said... I mean seriously, this thread is 58 pages long by itself. And there are dozen more threads just like this one floating around on this site. pfff

...and we keep them alive...by continuing to post to them.

Ignoring is the best medicine.

dps
04-26-2010, 04:06 PM
I'm actually really sick of these "is Aikido 4 realz!" threads.
There are like 5 million of these threads. And they conversation always disintegrates to absurdity.
Everything that can be said about it has been said... I mean seriously, this thread is 58 pages long by itself. And there are dozen more threads just like this one floating around on this site. pfff

5 million, this one and counting. :)

David

RED
04-26-2010, 07:25 PM
...and we keep them alive...by continuing to post to them.

Ignoring is the best medicine.

hehe, you just posted this one to the top telling us not to post it to the top :D :cool:

Melchizedek
04-28-2010, 06:30 AM
A man’s word is his reflection

Sasha Mrkailo
05-08-2010, 09:21 AM
A friend was attacked in a bar by three other guys. He said it looked just like a Jiyu-Waza.

mickeygelum
05-08-2010, 06:58 PM
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...:D

Commander13CnC3
10-12-2011, 09:59 AM
I feel like the responses to ~joeysola~ are rather...deliberate and violent, almost.

I can see where he is coming from, in the ideas of doubting a martial art.
I have been training in Aikido for only about 5.5 months.
To me, being the only art I have trained in, it's the best! I would never doubt it. Then I look at some of the techniques, and decide that

It's the one with the most coordination and movement.
No martial art is going to garuntee you get better at either one,
but Aikido focuses on improving both.

So try Aikido for a while, so you can experience the techniques on your own.

I felt Aikido was empty of usefulness at first, but then I started thinking:

If I threw a punch, the defender/attacker would more than likely - A. Grab my wrist or B. Dodge it

If he grabs my wrist, I can immediately go to nikyo, ikkyo, etc.
If he dodges, I can follow with another punch

In simpler words, Aikido, to me, is an amazing art that should be applied in fights, not used solely on the certain specific techniques you learn.

Richard Stevens
10-12-2011, 10:14 AM
Only ninjitsu works in real combat!

Ketsan
10-12-2011, 11:58 AM
IT'S ALIVE!!!!

Again.

mathewjgano
10-12-2011, 12:19 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnwIIKnWJtg

Only ninjitsu works in real combat!
I'm sure that's a typo! Everyone knows sevenjutsu beats ninjutsu!

On a more serious note:
In simpler words, Aikido, to me, is an amazing art that should be applied in fights, not used solely on the certain specific techniques you learn.
I agree completely. I think this is the key to functional martial arts in self-defense.

Janet Rosen
10-12-2011, 12:34 PM
If I threw a punch, the defender/attacker would more than likely - A. Grab my wrist or B. Dodge it.

or punch where you left an opening. or kick. or head butt. or fire off a thermonuclear device.
(sigh)
here we go.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-12-2011, 12:37 PM
I have been training in Aikido for only about 5.5 months.
To me, being the only art I have trained in, it's the best!

Yeah!!!

BTW. This thread necromancy is because Halloween is approaching, isn't it?

Janet Rosen
10-12-2011, 12:55 PM
Yeah!!!

BTW. This thread necromancy is because Halloween is approaching, isn't it?

What's the best aikido technique to use against the Great Pumpkin? :D

Garth Jones
10-12-2011, 02:59 PM
What's the best aikido technique to use against the Great Pumpkin? :D

O'Sensei knew the answer, but I'm afraid the technique is long lost. You see, there is a story that when O'Sensei was homesteading in Hokkaido, he met a monk who was a master of many arts, including pumkin carving knife jitsu. Before returning to meditate in the mountains he passed the secret teachings to O'Sensei. However, O'Sensei never taught any of his students the way of pumpkin carving because the monk's main art was Daito Ryu and he didn't want to be seen as JUST a DR teacher. And thus we are defenseless against the Great Pumpkin.....

:)

genin
10-12-2011, 03:30 PM
Yeah!!!

BTW. This thread necromancy is because Halloween is approaching, isn't it?

Believe it or not, it was reopened as a veiled insult against me. Ironically, I've heard that Aikido and Ninjitsu were the two LEAST effective forms of martial combat. Aikido is almost solely a defense based art, whereas Ninjitsu is primarily offensive (assassination techniques). But I think both art forms would be open to the other, provided there was necessity in using the other's moves.

lbb
10-12-2011, 03:52 PM
or punch where you left an opening. or kick. or head butt. or fire off a thermonuclear device.
(sigh)
here we go.

How many times do I have to instruct you heathen?

CIRCUS PONIES.

The result is left as an exercise for the student.

Janet Rosen
10-12-2011, 04:17 PM
How many times do I have to instruct you heathen?

CIRCUS PONIES.

The result is left as an exercise for the student.

But, Mary, are they SPIRITUAL circus ponies?

kewms
10-12-2011, 10:08 PM
But, Mary, are they SPIRITUAL circus ponies?

Of course! How else would you conjure them out of thin air?!

Katherine

Janet Rosen
10-13-2011, 12:44 AM
Of course! How else would you conjure them {circus ponies} out of thin air?!

Katherine

By keeping a stable center?

Patrick Hutchinson
10-13-2011, 07:27 AM
Janet, I think it behooves you not to saddle us with bad puns. Folks will bridle a bit at the implications, wither you like it or not.

Mark Freeman
10-13-2011, 07:55 AM
Janet, I think it behooves you not to saddle us with bad puns. Folks will bridle a bit at the implications, wither you like it or not.

Neigh Patrick, neigh. Equine-pun-do is the new IS, and once Janet has the bit between her teeth, she is under starter's orders and she's off.....:cool:

Walter Martindale
10-13-2011, 08:05 AM
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...
Yes it does...No it doesn't...:D

Look, this isn't an argument
Yes it is.
No it isn't.
Yes it is.
No it isn't.
Yes it is.
No it isn't.
Well, if I'm going to argue with you I have to take a contrary position,
Yes, but that doesn't mean the automatic naysaying of...

Ah the heck with it...
(apologies for inaccurate quoting of MPFC..):D

Janet Rosen
10-13-2011, 08:35 AM
Neigh Patrick, neigh. Equine-pun-do is the new IS, and once Janet has the bit between her teeth, she is under starter's orders and she's off.....:cool:

And nothing will halter.

sakumeikan
10-13-2011, 06:13 PM
Here's a newbies take on Aikido:

#1- It's the most pure defense martial art that I know of.

#2- It is reactive, so not the best style for fighting competitions.

#3- Should be highly effective against 99% of population.

I was a national level wrestler in HS as well as a 2nd degree BB in Shotokan Karate. I have some training BJJ and Boxing as well.

Just take a look at some Christian Tissier videos, that guy generates force with his tech. While you can tell some of the guys are "going with it" (for their own safety) if you watch closely some of these guys are getting utterly destroyed and are not "going with it".

So, is Aikido a sport combat MA? No. Is it a practical self defense system that will work against most people? Yes.

I have a feeling that if Mr. Tissier was faced off against some of todays top MMA fighters he'd to just fine.
Hi,
Any body know how Mr Tissier handled himself when he ventured into the Kick boxing arena?I believe he had a go in this M.A.Joe.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-14-2011, 10:56 AM
Hi,
Any body know how Mr Tissier handled himself when he ventured into the Kick boxing arena?I believe he had a go in this M.A.Joe.

From what he says in this interview (http://tsubakijournal.over-blog.com/article-6723847.html), I think he trained for a time, but my French is poor.

king mob
10-15-2011, 09:22 AM
No Holds Barred competitions, like the UFC,

HILLARIOUS..
Dana White will be the first to tell you UFC is NOT No Holds Barred.. Old UFC was close, but new UFC is an organized sport.. Old UFC does not allow biting or eye gouging or ear tears, so it's not No Holds Barred; that's just testo charged promotional rhetoric..

Anyway, boxing and BJJ don't teach how to deal with multiple attackers.. So not every tool is designed for all problems..

If you want No Holds Barred self defense, learn Krav Maga or Russian Systema.. In fact, go live in the bad side of Mexico for a bit of 24/7 constant alert training.. Different strokes for different blokes..

grondahl
10-15-2011, 10:17 AM
Hi,
Any body know how Mr Tissier handled himself when he ventured into the Kick boxing arena?I believe he had a go in this M.A.Joe.

From another thread.

"Nothing works in Aikido, nothing"

C. Tissier. Aikido Today Magazine #43.
:)

OwlMatt
10-15-2011, 08:54 PM
Aikido, as I see it, is like other pajamas-and-colored belts martial arts, insofar as it does not work outside the dojo the same way it does inside the dojo. If you listen to Nishio Sensei, he says that for a "grappling" art like judo or aikido to work in a fight, it needs to be applied primarily as atemi. He tells the story of two expert judoka who got jumped by six thugs; the first and last of the six got thrown, and the middle four had to be subdued with strikes.

I'm not a guy who treats UFC MMA like it's the holy grail of martial arts, but there is a lot to learn from it. Watch them compete: most of these guys are either BJJ black belts or D1 college wrestling champions; these are some of the best grapplers in the world. But what do they do 95% percent of the time when they get punched? Either (a) dodge it or (b) punch back. Is it because they're not good enough at putting locks on? No, they're better at that than almost anyone in the world. It's just not realistic to try to catch every strike, or even most strikes, and put them into locks.

I honestly believe that there is real self-defense value to (good) aikido training. I wouldn't train if I didn't. But anyone who thinks they are going to go out into the street and catch every punch up in a lock or throw has another thing coming.

Dave Gallagher
10-16-2011, 08:27 AM
As this thread is too long, I did not read every post and opinion contained it. So to cut to the chase I can tell you from experience that it does work. in 2003 and 2004 I was working security on the midnight shift at a housing complex in a very bad area of St.Louis. Over those two years I had three regretable occasions in which I was forced to defend myself. I came through ok because I reacted out of instinct from training as well as a bit of fear. This does not mean that I could defeat a boxer or any fighter of great skill, it just means that by using my training I was able to fend them off until they gave up or in one case help arrived in the form of the police.
If I had no training experience God only knows what would have happened. The moves and techniques that we take for granted on the mat come as a real surprise to an uneducated attacker.
This is just my experience and I am grateful to be out of that business.

Alberto_Italiano
10-17-2011, 11:55 AM
Oh, don't worry Chris. This isn't the only "does Aikido work" thread. There are tons of them. I wouldn't bother to start a new one. Why would it be any different than the old ones? Everyone who actually knew anything and had something to say did so a long time ago and now ignores these threads like the plague. These threads are like the zombies that never die.

Look at the number of views... A thread that might have had some depth, like the one about offensive moves in Aikido will pretty much fade away after a couple of thousand views. Only a few people have much to say about it. (...)

As this thread is too long (...) This does not mean that I could defeat a boxer or any fighter of great skill, it just means that by using my training I was able to fend them off until they gave up or in one case help arrived in the form of the police.
If I had no training experience God only knows what would have happened. The moves and techniques that we take for granted on the mat come as a real surprise to an uneducated attacker.

I quote George because I always felt him like the best asset to this forum - depth of analysis and acute intelligence.
I quote Dave also because he makes a lot of sense: "uneducated attacker" is oftentimes the keyword here.

Giving for granted that I am not among the "Only a few people have much to say about it" which George mentioned, what surprised me in coming here after a long absence is seeing this type of issue still on the forefront and so much alive (pages, contributions, and pageviews...).

The fact in itself could be dismissed like the interest or initiatives of mere troublemakers - or it can also be seen as something that by now is so deep rooted in Aikido, that the reason it keeps popping and eliciting so much interest may rely on the fact Aikido does has this issue, and probably it has never been addressed (whether this is out of denegation or out of the fact it is hopeless to fix indeed, I don't know).

My answer to this, which can be agreed upon or dismissed (I won't take any offence) but that anyway is my answer, is that it is entirely and uniquely a matter of how you train.

Aikido lends iteslf to many uses - one is also of being a mild work out with a dash of self defense in it. It is fine, and no one pursuing it with that purpose in mind should be belittled for it - however I agree that pursuing it with that purpose in mind and yet entertain the self-delusional idea that you are doing martial self-defense is intolerable: makes me nervous lol.

So, if you want an aikido that may "work" in a real situation: it depends uniquely and entirely on how you train. If you want to emphasize the martial side of it, then you have to train martially. Your attackers must attack you indeed, and have no complacency: if you can throw them, you throw them, but if you can't, they won't help you of one tad.
Your attackers must keep attacking, and when you grab one of their arms must not stay there waiting unless you're fast enough: they must keep reacting and attempting to get at you.

If your attackers throw punches at you, it can be done safely with open hands and at chest level - but, then, aside from this safety measure, all the rest must be determined like hell.
This setting should belong to your standard and default routine.

It is more important, to this purpose, to learn how to live within a thunderstorm than to apply the technique with a precision that thunderstorms don't leave room for.

Do that long enough, fail with that long enough, and you will develop an aikido that works. I consider this the solution.
In all the other cases, we can keep populating this thread :-)

Dan Rubin
10-17-2011, 12:41 PM
This thread is 11 years old today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Janet Rosen
10-17-2011, 01:08 PM
This thread is 11 years old today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

LOL !

Don Nordin
10-17-2011, 01:32 PM
Do other arts get this silly question? Or are we the only lucky ones?

graham christian
10-17-2011, 03:26 PM
Wrong forum. This forum should have one entitled 'Fight does not work at all in Aikido.'

Regards.G.

Ketsan
10-17-2011, 03:28 PM
Aikido, as I see it, is like other pajamas-and-colored belts martial arts, insofar as it does not work outside the dojo the same way it does inside the dojo. If you listen to Nishio Sensei, he says that for a "grappling" art like judo or aikido to work in a fight, it needs to be applied primarily as atemi. He tells the story of two expert judoka who got jumped by six thugs; the first and last of the six got thrown, and the middle four had to be subdued with strikes.

I'm not a guy who treats UFC MMA like it's the holy grail of martial arts, but there is a lot to learn from it. Watch them compete: most of these guys are either BJJ black belts or D1 college wrestling champions; these are some of the best grapplers in the world. But what do they do 95% percent of the time when they get punched? Either (a) dodge it or (b) punch back. Is it because they're not good enough at putting locks on? No, they're better at that than almost anyone in the world. It's just not realistic to try to catch every strike, or even most strikes, and put them into locks.

I honestly believe that there is real self-defense value to (good) aikido training. I wouldn't train if I didn't. But anyone who thinks they are going to go out into the street and catch every punch up in a lock or throw has another thing coming.

Do wrestling or BJJ even teach people how to deal with punches? Maybe that's why they dodge, their training doesn't actually teach anything else. Minor point.

Alberto_Italiano
10-18-2011, 06:34 AM
Do other arts get this silly question? Or are we the only lucky ones?

Only Aikido.
But we should ask ourselves why it is so, rather than dismiss the phenomenon as something that visits us for unfathomable reasons.

Don Nordin
10-18-2011, 07:10 AM
After I posted that I checked on the googles, I know I should done that first. In any case, the question is on the first page of returns for Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Krav Maga, and Boxing, I stopped checking after that. Just search Does xxxxx work in a fight.
So my humble opinion is that the question is a result of normal human self doubt and fear. Even after training in a martial art for many years a real physical confrontation is scary to most people. So they need some assurances that what they are training for will serve them if they need it to. The beauty of Aikido is that it teaches avoidance and harmony, those two principles will likely save your life better than a having George Forman upper cut.

Alberto_Italiano
10-18-2011, 07:29 AM
Even after training in a martial art for many years a real physical confrontation is scary to most people.

precisely the point.
Precisely the reason because Aikido is felt as not effective.
Persons intereseted in attaining a martial goal, must train martially.

90% of a martial oriented training should not be geared to learn a proper techinique, but how to live within the thunderstorm.

If you cannot live in the thunderstorm, it won't matter how many techiniques you know, how many years you trained, how perfect the theorem is. You will fail because you will have no focus, and the first hit on your teeth will make all assumptions vanish in thin air and make you prey of all the winds, vultures and wolverines that inhabit the thunderstorm.

Since aikido is not competitive, we lack the thunderstorm. No thunderstorm attendance, no real fight abilities.

lbb
10-18-2011, 07:39 AM
I love this thread. It's just like that old sweater you find while you're rummaging through the attic, and you say to yourself, "Hmm, why did I ever put this away?" so you take it out and wear it, and after about fifteen minutes you know why you didn't want it any more (because it's itchy or lumpy or poorly fitting or ugly or whatever). Whatever was wrong with it in the first place, it never gets any better, and letting it sit in the attic for a year or so doesn't improve it.

Alberto_Italiano
10-18-2011, 07:45 AM
well the whole point with the thread boils down to this: aikidokas are not able to come to terms with the fact it is not the thread to be ineffective, but aikido that is ineffective in a real situation.

Hard point to acknowledge for most of us. It is the fact we cannot admit to ourselves that point, that makes the thread unsurpassable and we keep watching at it as something that visits only us for some malicious reason we have no responsibility for.

Marc Abrams
10-18-2011, 09:22 AM
well the whole point with the thread boils down to this: aikidokas are not able to come to terms with the fact it is not the thread to be ineffective, but aikido that is ineffective in a real situation.

Hard point to acknowledge for most of us. It is the fact we cannot admit to ourselves that point, that makes the thread unsurpassable and we keep watching at it as something that visits only us for some malicious reason we have no responsibility for.

Alberto:

I respectfully disagree with your position (one that you, yourself do not wholly agree with). How YOU train in Aikido will directly translate to how effective YOUR Aikido is in a "real situation." My Aikido has yet to fail me and I simply seem to be getting better. I have in my dojo (now and in the past) boxers, karateka, bjj, etc. and I do not seem to have a problem using MY Aikido to stop their attacks.

If a person practices their martial art as simply a stylized vision of that art, then the style frequently fails when "reality" diverges from those stylized movements. If a person practices so that the stylized movements are adaptable templates, then the outcome is very, very different.

Bottom line, regardless of the art, it is how the person practices and applies the art that matters more than the art itself.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Alberto_Italiano
10-18-2011, 09:51 AM
Alberto:

I respectfully disagree with your position (one that you, yourself do not wholly agree with). How YOU train in Aikido will directly translate to how effective YOUR Aikido is in a "real situation." My Aikido has yet to fail me and I simply seem to be getting better. I have in my dojo (now and in the past) boxers, karateka, bjj, etc. and I do not seem to have a problem using MY Aikido to stop their attacks.

If a person practices their martial art as simply a stylized vision of that art, then the style frequently fails when "reality" diverges from those stylized movements. If a person practices so that the stylized movements are adaptable templates, then the outcome is very, very different.

Bottom line, regardless of the art, it is how the person practices and applies the art that matters more than the art itself.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

that's what I said in my previous post (same page): if you want to focus on martial goals, you have to train martially.
If you do, aikido may work.

I mentioned the thunderstorm exactly because in a thunderstorm stylized approaches fail utterly.
You may train all you want, but if you training never reproduces a determined attack, once facing one your aikido will fail.

Then, the sweater that Mary rightly produced as an allegory, is no longer this thread: that sweater, is Aikido.

If you want it to work, you have to fight with it a long time, because the nature of aikido is that of being ineffective. The amount of efforts that you need to put in it in order to make it be usable, is more than doubled.
You wear it, you remove it, you hate it, you try to fix it and you eventually realize it is hopeless. You take it back, you quit it again - hopeless.
Aikido is flawed, is inherently broken. It is all in the way you train that you may make something out of it.

And to be sure, the worst aikidoka of all was (aside me), of course, Ueshiba. He knew aikido, and yet he did nothing to teach it martially. When we see his pupils training, we often see them training exactly in that utterly fictional manner that yields an utterly unusable aikido that then generates this type of thread, that exists only in aikido forums for no other martial art raises so insistently this type of issue.

Bottom rock: we agree, actually. Not that the other way round would have worried us, of course.

lbb
10-18-2011, 10:03 AM
well the whole point with the thread boils down to this:

How come YOU get to be the boss of what an 11-year-old, bazillion-page, gazillion-post thread boils down to? What makes YOU the one who gets to say what the whole point is?

Alberto_Italiano
10-18-2011, 10:10 AM
How come YOU get to be the boss of what an 11-year-old, bazillion-page, gazillion-post thread boils down to? What makes YOU the one who gets to say what the whole point is?

Because I am not led by self delusion and anger Mary. The point is there in clear sight: everybody who can see, sees it. Not just me.
Relax, and you will see it also. Because there must be a reason this type of thread gets produced only on Aikido forums. The explanation cannot be that, for unknown reasons, there is just a bigger amount of morons in aikido...

Marc Abrams
10-18-2011, 10:31 AM
And to be sure, the worst aikidoka of all was (aside me), of course, Ueshiba. He knew aikido, and yet he did nothing to teach it martially. When we see his pupils training, we often see them training exactly in that utterly fictional manner that yields an utterly unusable aikido that then generates this type of thread, that exists only in aikido forums for no other martial art raises so insistently this type of issue.

Bottom rock: we agree, actually. Not that the other way round would have worried us, of course.

Alberto:

I respectfully disagree with your statement regarding how the training was done directly under O'Sensei. My sources come directly from direct students of O'Sensei- one who I study directly with. The training that went on at the Hombu dojo was not fluffy or unrealistic. In many respects, it was a dog-eat-dog environment with all of the students trying to out-tough each other. What you see on the video clips does not give an accurate representation of how they trained at the hombu dojo. Aikido, as it was taught by O'Sensei was martially viable and was/is demonstrable in the shihans who trained directly under him. I have seen enough examples of people who have tried out what they though would work with my teacher to know full well that what was taught to my teacher was and is martially viable.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

mathewjgano
10-18-2011, 11:02 AM
Only Aikido.
But we should ask ourselves why it is so, rather than dismiss the phenomenon as something that visits us for unfathomable reasons.

If you want it to work, you have to fight with it a long time, because the nature of aikido is that of being ineffective.

Because there must be a reason this type of thread gets produced only on Aikido forums.

I think part of the dfficulty is phrasing like this. It doesn't only come up on Aikido forums. The nature of Aikido isn't ineffectiveness. Your analogy of the thunderstorm is something all people, let alone stylized practicioners, have to deal with.

90% of a martial oriented training should not be geared to learn a proper techinique, but how to live within the thunderstorm.
I think 100% of martial training should be geared toward learning proper technique, which to me includes how to hit something hard (a hard surface) and how to execute movements under stress.

Don Nordin
10-18-2011, 11:39 AM
Because I am not led by self delusion and anger Mary. The point is there in clear sight: everybody who can see, sees it. Not just me.
Relax, and you will see it also. Because there must be a reason this type of thread gets produced only on Aikido forums. The explanation cannot be that, for unknown reasons, there is just a bigger amount of morons in aikido...

Most other forms ask the same question. that was my point.

lbb
10-18-2011, 02:10 PM
Because I am not led by self delusion and anger Mary.

Maybe you and Graham ought to get together for a drink. Or, you know, whatever enlightened beings like yourselves do instead of drink.

mathewjgano
10-18-2011, 02:34 PM
I think it's a bit unnecessary to lay a dig into Graham while being critical of someone else.
That being out of the way, I think it's asking for trouble any time someone claims to be free of self-delusion...except me of course. I'm the exception that proves the rule. :D Any errors on my part are purely for your own benefit, folks.
Have a nice day. The sun is shining brightly in the Pac NW...as if to say, "so long Seattle, see ya when I see ya." Time to soak up some sunshine.
Take care,
Matt

Michael Douglas
10-18-2011, 02:57 PM
I'd just like to thank Jesse from the bottom of my heart for necro'ing this thread.
He earns the golden-hakama award too for including a variation of 'grab my wrist';
...If he grabs my wrist, I can immediately go to ...

Alberto is making a great load of sense but his huge arrogance sounds abrasive!
We should take the 'tone' with a pinch of salt though since he's typing in English ever so well and I'm guessing his Italian could convey nuances much better.
I for one think that training in the 'thunderstorn' is best saved for maybe once-a-month sessions, it being a bit too randomly dangerous.

Alberto_Italiano
10-18-2011, 05:18 PM
Maybe you and Graham ought to get together for a drink. Or, you know, whatever enlightened beings like yourselves do instead of drink.

Mary, now you want to be insulting.
If you have a personal issue with me, I have nothing against it, though I have none against you. If you want to insult me, please use the pvt messages.

However, mind your hints because being so intentionally ambiguous in your allegations implying that, since you disagree with my statements, therefore I may be under the influence of some substance (alternative to drinks), and/or that me and Graham may be (or should be?) entertaining some sort of not better qualified activity ("whatever ") together, does not qualify me, whilst it totally disqualifies your contribution.

I don't want to return the favour of hinting that you may have written this nasty reply while having some kind of drink with friends - although that would, indeed, be the only circumstance that might excuse such a string of gross innuendos.

I am hoping you were so naive to be totally unware of them - and yet there they are.

However, to keep the ball on track (to the others): my point is that we have not addressed the reason of why Aikido is so often exposed to this type of accusation (how startling this thread is for its length and its pageviews, is something that has been stressed long enough already by others, so I won't need to re-empahsize this fact).
Implying that this type of accusation flung so frequently at aikido (that it is ineffective), is flung at us for unknown reasons or because for some other unknown reason we would have in aikido a larger amount of silly persons, is in my perception the element that has never been addressed. We don't want to face the actual reasons, maybe: this could be why we produce fictional reasons such as malicious aikido-bashers intent on casting disrepute on our otherwise immensely martially effective Art.

And my answer is that the reason this happens so often wtih Aikido, is that Aikido is ineffective in a "real" fight - because having no competitions it never developed a truly martial ground as its default playground, and because most dojos, given the nature of Aikido, train in an unrealistic manner. You may like it or not, it still holds true.

In order to make Aikido effective against real crude violence you have to make a doubled amount of efforts than those required in other martial arts - which is why normally aikido is not effective (not many would thake that length of pains in order to make it usable in a real fight against a competent attacker), and why this type of threads occur.

This type of threads populate more tipically aikido forums, because there is some truth in them!

Alberto_Italiano
10-18-2011, 05:27 PM
I'd just like to thank Jesse from the bottom of my heart for necro'ing this thread.
He earns the golden-hakama award too for including a variation of 'grab my wrist';

Alberto is making a great load of sense but his huge arrogance sounds abrasive!
We should take the 'tone' with a pinch of salt though since he's typing in English ever so well and I'm guessing his Italian could convey nuances much better.
I for one think that training in the 'thunderstorn' is best saved for maybe once-a-month sessions, it being a bit too randomly dangerous.

English is not my native language. If there are nuances in my English, there are significant chances I may be totally unware of them. However we should not focus on the fact a sentence like being free of "self-delusions" may seem exaggerated: I was saying that I was writing in a mood free of self-delusions at that moment (want to use instead: serene, perhaps?), not that I am free of self-delusions every instant of my life gee lol

As for the thunderstorm, if you practice it once a month it is an option - but the fact is that it should be practiced daily; once a month, you do the stylish stuff :-)

I know that many persons who are not used to train with the thunderstorm daily consider it dangerous. The fact is, it isn't. It's mostly something in the imagination, or related, probably, to the fact that since many dojos maximize memberships, this policy automatically goes against any wide implementation of martiality. You cannot propose the thunderstorm as a regular workout to 60 yo guys with no previous training, or to ladies that, clearly, have (and rightly so) no intention to go martial.

The only cautions you need to take are, if punches are thrown, to throw them with open hand and at chest level, and tpo avoid concluding aikido throws (once - and if- you are properly set and you conquered your grab and position, the technique is inescapable, so it may suffice to give a mere taste of the throw rather than fulfilling it).

Actually, concluding a kotegaeshi (something that I guess most dojos normally do) is already very dangerous and yet we have been doing it all the while: a full projection determined by a kotegaeshi may throw a person so badly, that s/he may land on his/her neck.

If that happens, the mat won't make any difference...

Gerardo Torres
10-18-2011, 05:38 PM
Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I don't know (when I get enough, actual aiki I'll let you know).

Fight* does not work at all in aikido.

Agree.

Work does not fight at all with aikido.

Disagree!

:D

*force vs. force

Alberto_Italiano
10-18-2011, 06:11 PM
Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I don't know (when I get enough, actual aiki I'll let you know).


well said - as a matter of fact, though you proposed it somewhat humorously, it is so well said that it should be taken utterly seriously.

I have no idea how aiki could be. But I have some background with philosophy (which to me has always been something dramatically practical, and not speculative): the day we get "aiki", and if we get it, it will be unmistakable.

I am unsure whether it has to do with meditation or pranayama - I'd cast my two cents on the latter, for a bet.

We call it aiki, in fact: but it is not something that belongs to aikido or that aikido invented, but only something that aikido renamed. Actually, it is immemorial, existed already for Patanjali (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pata%C3%B1jali), and has been called the Tao, the Atman, the Illumination and in many other ways - perhaps we should remind that sentence by Eugen Herrigel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugen_Herrigel) (I quote by heart) «Since immemorial times, at the door of the dojos where the sword was practiced, was shown this sign: "Place of the Enlightenment"».

You can arrive at "aiki" with the sword, or with aikido, or as a monks with prayers & meditation or with ascetic exercises. It is afforded to very few.

If you find it, you won't need any training anymore. Techniques would flow out of your hands tapping directly from that mental storehouse where they have been residing since ever, as the obvious and most proper reactions to any type of incoming action.

If you get aiki, you will be tumbling tigers with a buff. All your nadis will be responsive, Ida and Pingala both fully cleared, and throughout your body will flow such an enormous and terrifying amount of energy, thet you will only need to move a finger in order to get the strongest physical effects. Which, by the way, is what I argue and suppose was truly meant when it was said: you need to use only a minimal amount of Force.

Of Force. Not of force. Of the latter, you always need much.

If I think of that, it makes me crazy. As Plato would say, we already know the true effective aikido - only, we have forgotten it.

And, of course, when you have aiki, you will not speak of it anymore - which is why I do so much lol.

Gerardo Torres
10-18-2011, 07:10 PM
Hi Alberto,

I was only half-joking of course, as I think that once one gets or is exposed to aiki, most of these discussions about whether aikido works or not become moot. I'm not familiar with some of the terms you mention (I'll have to Google/Bing them). For me aiki is a skill, not unique to aikido as you say, that is very real (not mythical or spiritual) and can be demonstrated and trained and it's utterly convincing when encountered. It's also very rare in aikido, despite the art's name. It has to do with the Asian model of ying-yang (in-yo) and the "marriage of opposites". Among its benefits are superior balance, kuzushi upon contact, and sophisticated handling of forces. It has nothing to do with techniques, although you still need techniques to perform in whatever venue you choose (aikido, mma, etc.).

Like I said I have very little aiki and cannot even manifest it yet in regular aikido training, let alone in more live training, and even less in "fighting" if I were to do that. (My shortcomings are my own and not due to the potential of aiki or any training method. There are people who can totally kick ass with it.) So in my opinion if one were to submit some absolutist view on the subject of "aikido works" and/or "fighting", one should at least be well versed in aiki, aikido, and fighting. I personally cannot make any absolute claims on the topic as I lack the breath of experience and knowledge on some of these subjects (that's why I said in my previous post "I dunno... I'll let you know when I get enough aiki [and learn how to fight I might add]). Being in some street situations -- everybody's been there and has stories -- or even doing some combat sports does not make one an authority on fighting. Having trained in aikido dojo or having rank or whatever does not guarantee one knows aiki or how it works. So in other words some of the people submitting their judgment about aikido from all corners of the Internet don't have enough information or experience to make such claims. The main reason there are so many threads like this all over is because aikido is widely misunderstood both inside and especially outside the art.

The only strong advise I'll offer is this: have fun. If you are really interested in aiki/do, go find it, train it and have fun doing it or fighting with it if you wish. If that didn't do it for you, research and find another place or move to a different art. Some people seem to be stuck on the fence for years, or obsessed with putting down or trying to "save" some art they don't fully understand. $0.02

lbb
10-18-2011, 09:03 PM
Mary, now you want to be insulting.

No, just observing that you claim to be better than others.

Michael Douglas
10-19-2011, 02:06 AM
...As for the thunderstorm, if you practice it once a month it is an option - but the fact is that it should be practiced daily; ...
The only cautions you need to take are, if punches are thrown, to throw them with open hand and at chest level, and tpo avoid concluding aikido throws (once - and if- you are properly set and you conquered your grab and position, the technique is inescapable, so it may suffice to give a mere taste of the throw rather than fulfilling it)....
Oh. I take it all back. Your thunderstorm is obviously very very different to my thunderstorm,
this forum always throws up such huge chasms between individual practices and assumptions of others' practices. Amazing.

valjean
10-19-2011, 09:31 AM
well said - as a matter of fact, though you proposed it somewhat humorously, it is so well said that it should be taken utterly seriously.

I have no idea how aiki could be. But I have some background with philosophy (which to me has always been something dramatically practical, and not speculative): the day we get "aiki", and if we get it, it will be unmistakable.

I am unsure whether it has to do with meditation or pranayama - I'd cast my two cents on the latter, for a bet.

We call it aiki, in fact: but it is not something that belongs to aikido or that aikido invented, but only something that aikido renamed. Actually, it is immemorial, existed already for Patanjali (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pata%C3%B1jali), and has been called the Tao, the Atman, the Illumination and in many other ways - perhaps we should remind that sentence by Eugen Herrigel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugen_Herrigel) (I quote by heart) «Since immemorial times, at the door of the dojos where the sword was practiced, was shown this sign: "Place of the Enlightenment"».

You can arrive at "aiki" with the sword, or with aikido, or as a monks with prayers & meditation or with ascetic exercises. It is afforded to very few.

If you find it, you won't need any training anymore. Techniques would flow out of your hands tapping directly from that mental storehouse where they have been residing since ever, as the obvious and most proper reactions to any type of incoming action.

If you get aiki, you will be tumbling tigers with a buff. All your nadis will be responsive, Ida and Pingala both fully cleared, and throughout your body will flow such an enormous and terrifying amount of energy, thet you will only need to move a finger in order to get the strongest physical effects. Which, by the way, is what I argue and suppose was truly meant when it was said: you need to use only a minimal amount of Force.

Of Force. Not of force. Of the latter, you always need much.

If I think of that, it makes me crazy. As Plato would say, we already know the true effective aikido - only, we have forgotten it.

And, of course, when you have aiki, you will not speak of it anymore - which is why I do so much lol.

I'm not sure that any of those earlier references (Plato, Herrigel, etc.) really capture what "aiki" is supposed to be. Different folks have different opinions, I guess. Ledyard Sensei has written some posts on this that seem pretty good to me. For what it's worth, my sense is that "aiki" has a different meaning than "enlightenment," or than the generic, zen-based mastery of mind/body fusion that masters of many martial arts achieve. I studied briefly over the years with karate and kung fu teachers who clearly were very skilled in their arts, seemed like enlightened people, and also seemed to me to have well developed "ki" (whatever that means). But I still don't think that's the same thing as "aiki."

My loose sense is that aiki isn't just about spirituality, or zen-mastery, or high-level practice of a martial art. Rather, aiki somehow combines the whole zen-mastery thing with physical blending, and with being able to respond to an aggressive attack without force-on-force deflection, but in a way that amplifies and reshapes attacker's motion and momentum into a profound loss of balance. I certainly don't have this kind of "aiki," and probably never will (although I still feel physically that I move more gracefully through my activities of daily life when I train).

But does "aiki" exist? I've seen a few people who embody it (to some degree), and who can respond to real world attacks in ways that I can't. It's not magic or "the Force." It probably does involve a level of skill equivalent to what a concert pianist does with his or her musical instrument. Does "aiki" work in actual combat? Like virtually anything else, the answer almost certainly is, sometimes. It depends. Moreso for some than for others.

Alberto_Italiano
10-19-2011, 11:51 AM
I'm not sure that any of those earlier references (Plato, Herrigel, etc.) really capture what "aiki" is supposed to be. Different folks have different opinions, I guess. Ledyard Sensei has written some posts on this that seem pretty good to me. For what it's worth, my sense is that "aiki" has a different meaning than "enlightenment," or than the generic, zen-based mastery of mind/body fusion that masters of many martial arts achieve. I studied briefly over the years with karate and kung fu teachers who clearly were very skilled in their arts, seemed like enlightened people, and also seemed to me to have well developed "ki" (whatever that means). But I still don't think that's the same thing as "aiki."

My loose sense is that aiki isn't just about spirituality, or zen-mastery, or high-level practice of a martial art. Rather, aiki somehow combines the whole zen-mastery thing with physical blending, and with being able to respond to an aggressive attack without force-on-force deflection, but in a way that amplifies and reshapes attacker's motion and momentum into a profound loss of balance. I certainly don't have this kind of "aiki," and probably never will (although I still feel physically that I move more gracefully through my activities of daily life when I train).

But does "aiki" exist? I've seen a few people who embody it (to some degree), and who can respond to real world attacks in ways that I can't. It's not magic or "the Force." It probably does involve a level of skill equivalent to what a concert pianist does with his or her musical instrument. Does "aiki" work in actual combat? Like virtually anything else, the answer almost certainly is, sometimes. It depends. Moreso for some than for others.

Yes true, it is possibile that in the tradition bequeathed to Aikido, by "aiki" it is meant something that is not "Enlightenment" - though seems akin to it, to some degree.

However, it is curious that in this context you too mention Zen: that is, you too feel (as an intuition) a proximity. I sensed it too.

There is a strange fact with Zen, that is better emphasized if we consider the Chinese version of Buddhism.

I was reading a few weeks ago a text by an Italian author (a good text but no special reason to recommend it, anyway. Good texts about Zen abound) and the author was, apparently, very surprised in noticing what follows:

some texts reported that, as it was customary in Zen monasteries, the Master was used to hit his disciples with a stick. Why?

In at least two cases it was reported that two pupils (one of them named Lin-chi) attained enlightenment. They said to their Master they did. The immediate reply was that the Master tried to hit them with his stick (replace a stick with a sword, and we're fully engaged in Martial fields!).
Now, the pupils happened to react immediately, dodge the hit and hit the Master squarely (it was also added: producing a terrifying shriek...). Whereupon the Master concluded "he is truly enlightened".

What surprised the author was this connection: the fact that a spiritual attainment like Enlightenment could be corroborated via a... martial test.

I elaborated with a lengthy footnote this thing, though it is in Italian so it could be of any interest (if any at all) only for those who understand Italian: here (http://www.fullposter.com/snippets.php?snippet=451#note3).

What I say there is that I am much less surprised than the author: in fact I think the reason Enlightenment was tested via martial proofs (which is what made me link aiki with Enlightenment) is perfectly consistent: a mind that is finally at rest, and which has quit following visions, delusions and fears, is quintessentially apt and perfectly equipped, even lacking any previous specific martial background, to exhibit a symmetrical and simultaneous prompt reactivity to any incoming challenge, and particularly to lightening and ultrafast sudden and unexpected challenges, for it is no longer trammelled by bias, obstacles and prejudices.

When we fail we don't fail because the incoming action was too much for us: we fail because it is our mind that makes us fail. A freed mind, fights very well.

Alberto_Italiano
10-19-2011, 01:57 PM
Oh. I take it all back. Your thunderstorm is obviously very very different to my thunderstorm,
this forum always throws up such huge chasms between individual practices and assumptions of others' practices. Amazing.
Ok, I explain this better.
Those who advocate the thunderstorm, forget safety measures.
Those who stress safety measures, avoid the thunderstorm.
A solution is in demand.

My approach: randori on steroids.

Safety measures:
1) uke throws punches with open hands
2) uke throws at chest level
3) Nage does not conclude the throws, but only gives a taste of them.
4) neck grabs are forbidden: a mere 15 kilos pressure on a neck may cause damage.

Risks implied:
1) unvoluntary smacks on the face
2) occasional minor bleeding (nose, inner lip)
3) bruises
4) sore wrists
5) unvoluntary occasional throw
6) finger in the eye...

Steroids:
1) uke attacks as if he has a very personal matter with you
2) no shokomenuchi and yokomenuchi, those are too stylized and won't represent a real situation
3) uke throws what he wants - nage will not know what technique will be required
4) uke will not accommodate the technique (because of... point 3) - in case he realizes what is going to be done, he will do all he can to escape and counterattack
5) uke throws and rechambers as fast as he would in a real situation
6) uke throws, rechambers and is swift to face you again if you try to go lateral: he will not make that easy for you
7) uke pursues and stalks you
8) uke can pull you, push you, and do all in his power to "win".

mathewjgano
10-19-2011, 07:54 PM
Hi Alberto,
I'm not sure I understand:
Those who advocate the thunderstorm, forget safety measures.
Those who stress safety measures, avoid the thunderstorm.
A solution is in demand.

You would probably like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyyFlHhtWoI) example of Seagal's shodan test. What you describe is basically the most aggressive version of randori, minus perhaps "1) uke attacks as if he has a very personal matter with you," though that could be a matter of interpretation.
Stress-testing is in "Aikido" in a variety of ways. From what little I can tell, the Shodokan system in particular has a very well-defined randori program, ranging from very easy-going to quite intense. When I factor in the large number of dojos which emphasize effectiveness and then those which cross-train in "more aggressive" systems, I don't worry about it too much.

I think Aikido has the reputation it does for similar reasons Tai Chi has the reputation it does (with regard to being often considered to be more healthy exercise than martial practice). In both cases there are examples of some very effective and reasonable approaches to handling aggression and there are examples where other goals take precedence. In both cases it depends on the nature of the individual practice more than the nature of the art itself.

Alberto_Italiano
10-19-2011, 09:15 PM
Hi Alberto,
I'm not sure I understand:

You would probably like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyyFlHhtWoI) example of Seagal's shodan test. What you describe is basically the most aggressive version of randori, minus perhaps "1) uke attacks as if he has a very personal matter with you," though that could be a matter of interpretation.
Stress-testing is in "Aikido" in a variety of ways. From what little I can tell, the Shodokan system in particular has a very well-defined randori program, ranging from very easy-going to quite intense. When I factor in the large number of dojos which emphasize effectiveness and then those which cross-train in "more aggressive" systems, I don't worry about it too much.

I think Aikido has the reputation it does for similar reasons Tai Chi has the reputation it does (with regard to being often considered to be more healthy exercise than martial practice). In both cases there are examples of some very effective and reasonable approaches to handling aggression and there are examples where other goals take precedence. In both cases it depends on the nature of the individual practice more than the nature of the art itself.

I had exactly that video in mind as the closest example that could come to my memory. I even thought of providing the very same link for illustration purposes (at least to say I wasn't really inventing anything) but I did not want to post thrice in a round.
Anyway, I am glad that I managed to express myself "clearly" enough to make somebody understand what type of approach I meant. It's not always easy to get a message through.

In my perception, this type of threads originates because Aikido is not implemented with that video's type of setting.

1) The fact Aikido has no competitions disincentivates martiality, by all accounts
2) The fact it is so difficult and objectively unpractical to be used in a fight (much easier, at least in theory, to throw punches)
3) the fact that it is (at least apparently, because in its reality it can be terrible) a mild "gentle" martial Art

these facts are what has let the mild, totally unrealistic, approach to Aikido prevail, and consequently these facts are what ought to be considered responsibile for originating this thread's type of accusations too.

The "accusation" in the title of this by now immensely popular thread is, in fact, true and accurate - otherwise why this topic should gain such popularity only in Aikido forums?

And the reason it is true is that Aikido was facing two paths - the mild one and the tougher one, and most dojos chose the former. For a variety of reasons (maximizing participants is one), and I don't mean they are disreputable: only, they are not martial reasons.
We have to admit that, and come to terms with it.

We are not victims of defamation: we are, to some consistent degree, responsibile of the state of things.

The accusation then may at times become unfair, or grotesque: but as long as a grotesque accusation may raise to its support abundant examples of (for instance) grotesque shihonages (with Senseis never intervening to say: "hey dude, this is not classical ballet duh... put some nuts & bolts in it - uke particularly!"), we are bound to succumb and to wield intellectual disonesty as our only way to the notorious and infamous road to «corporated denegation»: "there is no bug in our software"!

Alberto_Italiano
10-19-2011, 10:55 PM
ah - the video had a characteristic

OwlMatt
10-20-2011, 08:40 AM
Because I am not led by self delusion and anger Mary. The point is there in clear sight: everybody who can see, sees it. Not just me.
Relax, and you will see it also. Because there must be a reason this type of thread gets produced only on Aikido forums. The explanation cannot be that, for unknown reasons, there is just a bigger amount of morons in aikido...

There are a lot of morons in aikido, but there are just as many in karate. Go to your average local karate tournament and you'll see guys in bright, multicolored costumes doing dance routines to music and calling it martial art, and winning awards for it. There are a lot of morons in martial arts, period.

And this question does not get produced only on aikido forums. I have seen it on taekwondo forums, BJJ forums, karate forums, etc., etc.

As I said a couple of pages ago, these issues and questions pervade all pajamas-and-colored-belts martial arts, not just aikido.

OwlMatt
10-20-2011, 08:47 AM
90% of a martial oriented training should not be geared to learn a proper techinique, but how to live within the thunderstorm.

What you're talking about is self-defense training, not a martial art. If the worst thing you can say about aikido is that an aikido class is not a self-defense class, then you have a weak argument indeed: we already knew that. It is no shock to anyone here that learning martial arts techniques and learning self-defense skills are not the same thing.

Richard Stevens
10-20-2011, 09:03 AM
It is reasonable to believe that Aikido works in a fight if:

1) You train at a heavy pace with realistic pressure and resistance
2) Attacks in training are not predetermined

If you're training does not include a high-pressure form of randori that simulates the conditions of a realistic attack how is it reasonable to expect someone to be able to perform in a real situation?

Disregarding the argument of whether specific Aikido techniques are valid, being accustomed to responding to violence/pressure is more important that technical proficiency.

My own training does not include a high-pressure, full resistance form of randori. Although I wish it did, I realize that in a pressure situation I would be relying on my Judo. Does that invalidate my Jujutsu training? I don't feel it does, but I do believe improvements could certainly be made.

mrlizard123
10-20-2011, 09:05 AM
Watching my friend's baby crawl around the other day it occurred to me that they would never win an olympic gold medal sprint using those methods; I immediately insisted that my friend put running shoes on his child and send them out to the nearest running track at dawn every day.

I never realised how much of an imbecile my friend was until they replied that their child was going to learn to walk before trying to apply their ambulatory skills in a more serious and advanced setting.

Alberto_Italiano
10-20-2011, 09:56 AM
What you're talking about is self-defense training, not a martial art. If the worst thing you can say about aikido is that an aikido class is not a self-defense class, then you have a weak argument indeed: we already knew that. It is no shock to anyone here that learning martial arts techniques and learning self-defense skills are not the same thing.

Yes to me Aikido must be effective in a martial contest - that is, by that I mean (for, apparently, also meanings of martial seem to vary) against sheer violence and brutality.

I understand your point and I don't contend it: you're entitled to it, and it is respectable.

In my case, however, I am on the page where the only purpose of aikido is that of performing as a self defense method, capable of meeting any challenge that pure violence may pose. Whatever spiritual side practicing aikido may accrue or produce, in my world proves its consistency only when put at the test against physical brutality.

I don't claim that my perspective is better: I am only saying that, in our specific case, we're on two different pages so it is unavoidable there cannot be an effective communications or, better, agreement between us.

In this context, however, I would like to add also that those who, like in this thread, say that aikido "does not work at all in a fight" are those who placed themseleves on my page: this is why I can "relate" with them and it comes, apparently, easier for me to understand the part of truth that is contained in the box of their accusations.

That type of accusation, in fact, does not arrive from a "world" like yours, but from a "world" like mine.
In this world of mine, I do not place myself among those who cast this accusation (perhaps you have misunderstood me like one?), but among those who understand the milieu whence it originated (and I am not alone there, not implying this).

I hope this clarifies my (personal) perspective.

Alberto_Italiano
10-20-2011, 09:58 AM
It is reasonable to believe that Aikido works in a fight if:

1) You train at a heavy pace with realistic pressure and resistance
2) Attacks in training are not predetermined

If you're training does not include a high-pressure form of randori that simulates the conditions of a realistic attack how is it reasonable to expect someone to be able to perform in a real situation?

I'm in total agreement here, Richard.