PDA

View Full Version : Aikido does not work at all in a fight.


Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8

Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Alberto_Italiano
10-20-2011, 10:00 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.

True.
The problem is: that moment of martial "adulthood", in a few dojos, seem to arrive... never. And this not because the pupils (or the "infants") are not ready yet, but because we have the strong impression, at times, that it is that very same goal that is not only never pursued, but even discouraged and poscribed.

This is why we are exposed to this type of accusations
I am trying to understand why we are accused of this so insistently, without extracting too many convenient excuses or justifications from my quiver (to be clear: not implying by this that you would have been doing that! I am just trying to convey what I am trying to elaborate here: seeing the part of truth in the accusation)

Chris Evans
10-20-2011, 10:11 AM
True.
The problem is: that moment of martial "adulthood", in a few dojos, seem to arrive... never. And this not because the pupils (or the "infants") are not ready yet, but because we have the strong impression, at times, that it is that very same goal that is not only never pursued, but even discouraged and poscribed.

This is why we are exposed to this type of accusations
I am trying to understand why we are accused of this so insistently, without extracting too many convenient excuses or justifications from my quiver (to be clear: not implying by this that you would have been doing that! I am just trying to convey what I am trying to elaborate here: seeing the part of truth in the accusation)

"poscribed"
those that will not taste "bitterness" will never learn 'gong fu' (skillfulness) in personal-combat/martial arts.
the impressions are that aikido attracts and replicate many that cling and hone comfortable delusions on practice. it's human nature, the same reason why 96% of golfers cheat: humans have a hard time accepting truths as they are. "let it be" is far easier to be talked than walked.

Gerardo Torres
10-20-2011, 01:20 PM
The "accusation" in the title of this by now immensely popular thread is, in fact, true and accurate -
Alberto, no offense but you keep coming back passing "final judgement" on the subject, and yet your posts suggest that you have no idea what aiki is, and have yet to encounter it. So you're in no position to say that "aikido (the way of aiki) doesn't work in... whatever". That would be like me going to a physics forum and start proclaiming that Superstring Theory doesn't work. The first thing that somebody might ask is, have I gone through the equations -- the basic math -- to be able to reach such a conclusion? Nope, I can't do the math, therefore I can't say whether the theory works or not. Superstring Theory might be popular nowadays, but the fact is that very few people in the world can work the equations and therefore have any sort of valuable insight on whether it's valid or not.

Aikido is Ueshiba's art and he used aiki -- a martial ability -- to prove himself and that aiki and therefore aikido worked in a martial context. After him others have done the same. The status quo doesn't matter. The fact there was one, or a few or more who knew aiki and could show its martial viability is enough to consider the matter (different from reaching a final conclusion) of aiki as a valid martial avenue.

I'm not saying that some of your suggested curricular changes are to be entirely dismissed, only that there are certain things you need to know and train first, before you go down the path you suggest, otherwise you're going to steer aikidoka farther down the wrong path (they'll never learn aiki, the basic skill that fuels aikido).

otherwise why this topic should gain such popularity only in Aikido forums?
Because there are people who have no idea what aiki is and yet insist on passing judgement on what aikido (the way of aiki) can or cannot do? Maintaining this impassable position will guarantee a thread's longevity.

Alberto_Italiano
10-20-2011, 01:40 PM
Alberto, no offense but you keep coming back passing "final judgement" on the subject, and yet your posts suggest that you have no idea what aiki is, and have yet to encounter it. So you're in no position to say that "aikido (the way of aiki) doesn't work in... whatever". That would be like me going to a physics forum and start proclaiming that Superstring Theory (...snip...)

Aikido is Ueshiba's art and he used aiki -- a martial ability -- to prove himself and that aiki and therefore aikido worked in a martial context. After him others have done the same. The status quo doesn't matter. The fact there was one, or a few or more who knew aiki and could show its martial viability is enough to consider the matter (different from reaching a final conclusion) of aiki as a valid martial avenue.

I'm not saying that some of your suggested curricular changes are to be entirely dismissed, only that there are certain things you need to know and train first, before you go down the path you suggest, otherwise you're going to steer aikidoka farther down the wrong path (they'll never learn aiki, the basic skill that fuels aikido).

Because there are people who have no idea what aiki is and yet insist on passing judgement on what aikido (the way of aiki) can or cannot do? Maintaining this impassable position will guarantee a thread's longevity.

Whoever may be genuinely interested in aiki, would never dare say he knows what aiki is. It's an implied gentlement's agreement for me.

Yet as a matter of fact, the fact we have no canonical definition of it so that immediate consensus about it can be won, opens the concept of aiki to broad speculation.

But if you place aiki among the most refined achievements of aikido, as I assume it ought to be placed, then you should not consider it as something that can be acquired cheaply or as something that may be granted to anybody.

Given that assumption, whoever plans to discover aiki would never say: i now know with finality what aiki is.
In your reasoning, Torres, you are replacing my alleged intention to be final about this thread, with your alleged intention of being final about what aiki is.
But swapping tits for tats won't help Aikido to solve the resons that make this accusation (of being martially ineffective) flung at it so often, so frequently, so insistently.

Speaking of this immaterial, unnamed aiki as if it were the true tao which cannot be named or explained, as the reason because a certain type of aikido is totally ineffective against brutality, is only another way to keep the accusation come: because it won't cease of being flung simply because we place a phantom along its path, with the hope that it may fend it off with its spectral weapons.

The accusation is thrown at aikido from a ground and a world that is made like this: show me your aiki by defeating this ruthlessly violent challenge.
As long as you won't meet the challenge, the quest won't be won, the accusation will keep coming, and aiki will keep being considered an excuse for covering up martial incompetency (not saying you are not competent Torres, don't read me wrong here! I am just reproducing the reasoning behind this accusation - a reasoning that has its part of valid rationality and truth).

Richard Stevens
10-20-2011, 01:56 PM
If "true" aiki is an essential element in the determination of whether Aikido works in a fight does that mean that it takes twenty years of standard Aikido training, a realization that said training was fruitless, then a handful of years focusing on internal power before it works?

MM
10-20-2011, 02:26 PM
Whoever may be genuinely interested in aiki, would never dare say he knows what aiki is. It's an implied gentlement's agreement for me.


That's just the opposite of what the founder stated. When asked what was aiki, Morihei Ueshiba replied, "I am aiki!". When asked why people couldn't do what he did, he answered, "Because you do not understand in yo."

Sagawa stated aiki was a body changing method. Horikawa's wife stated that one must steal it by watching the body.

Just because you might not want to say you know what it is, doesn't mean others are the same. Some of us have done our research, have gone out and met people, have trained with both aikido and Daito ryu people, and have found aiki. Morihei Ueshiba's aiki. Not Modern Aikido's aiki, which is completely different.


Yet as a matter of fact, the fact we have no canonical definition of it so that immediate consensus about it can be won, opens the concept of aiki to broad speculation.


Maybe you don't, I don't know. But it definitely is not a "matter of fact". I know a whole lot of people who have a fairly good grasp of what aiki is and they are working on changing their bodies with specific exercises, so that, sometime down the road, they will be able to say the same thing Ueshiba said, "I am aiki!"


But if you place aiki among the most refined achievements of aikido, as I assume it ought to be placed, then you should not consider it as something that can be acquired cheaply or as something that may be granted to anybody.


Aiki was a closely guarded secret. Aiki was the power and skill that made Takeda, Sagawa, Horikawa, and Ueshiba stand out. However, if one does the exercises, one will acquire aiki. Anyone.


Given that assumption, whoever plans to discover aiki would never say: i now know with finality what aiki is.
In your reasoning, Torres, you are replacing my alleged intention to be final about this thread, with your alleged intention of being final about what aiki is.


I would disagree. Takeda, Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba all said they knew what aiki was. They also said that it was very deep. They never thought that they had found the totality of aiki but they most certainly knew what aiki was. So, too, did other people. There is a concrete, understandable, and demonstrable concept of aiki which shows a finality to defining it.

Think about it. Many competent and very good martial artists crossed paths with the aiki greats that I listed above. Nearly ever single martial artist who did came away wondering what it was that they had experienced. It was beyond their known experiences. Think about that. 10, 20, 40, 60 years in the martial arts and these people meet someone (an aiki great) whom is outside their years of training such that they can not comprehend how these aiki men are overwhelming them. Yet, all of these aiki men knew what aiki was and how to train it.

Alberto_Italiano
10-20-2011, 05:10 PM
I am trying to make sense of this accusation, rather than to dismiss or snub it with acts of denegation.

Although I am not so naive to assume this accusation (that Aikido is ineffective) comes out of good faith, nonetheless I want credit it (and consequently treat it) as if it were an instance of what is called "constructive criticism"; you know, that type of criticism that, though abrasive, can still make you grow - this also because, in case it was instead or indeed an instance of "destructive criticism", we can always turn evil into good by elaborating it as if it were the former rather than the latter.

I believe that this approach can be conducive to a positive solution.
But nothing of this can be achieved if we are totally impervious to admit the possibility of any shortcoming in our turf, and if we are totally inaccessible to self-criticism. We must be able to concede something and, arguably, also a bit more than just some desultory something.

This if we are interested in addressing this accusation in a manner that may solve it - because, evidently, many of the manners attempted earlier did not prove successful at dispelling it.
Does my intention make sense?
Of course, we may not be interested in solving it, and choose to be so obdurant to refuse giving this accusation any legitimacy whatsoever and keep treating it as an awoved enemy. But I am writing for those who want to follow the other path.

This accusation comes out from that point of view accordingly to which the true validation test of any martial art is: confronting violence.
Not violence in the sense you will exert it as an initiative of your own, but in the sense of neutralizing violence with physical actions (which as such may not be reciprocating punches, but meeting brutality and weapons with locks, leverages, and throws).

What is the growing ground whence this accusation comes from?
We can call it: "the street". Perhaps I might provide also, as an additional example, an Army: it would fit, but I don't want to defile the sacrality of those who gave their lives for their country, using the Army as an example for an... Aikido issue.

In the "street" there are two criteria, and two only, that make you earn your respect:
1) Sacrifice: in a deep sense, in the tragic sense. Either you sacrifice your life, or something significant (from a limb to the life of a significan other) in the name of a superior cause.
2) Kick ass

Whatever falls short of those two criteria, which are the only ones enabled to make you earn your respect, won't qualify at all. If you refuse yourself to both, you are automatically ranked either among those who are meant to be easy game, or among those who are only worth of indifference: just another shnook whatsoever in the neighborhood...

You are cornered by two guys. They are taller than you, they may have knives, they are athletically prepared and they are decently competent at fighting: in fact, they have already a few dozens of souls in their roll...
They don't want your money, or your wallet. Oh no.
They want your life.
Why such a thing? Well, you know: because.

They are predators, they enjoy smashing skulls for sport, and to them taking a life is a funny diversion like joyriding on an elevetor can be for a bored downtown boy.

You won't get out of that corner explaining to them that you have aiki powers; you won't get out of there explaining that you are a power ranger; you won't get out of there flashing a police card: talks and credentials are a currency that doesn't run here...

They now will get your life, investing you with a fury or pure brutality and violence that will dispose of you in a couple of seconds, and slit your throat at the very first chance they get. You will be left on the concrete with your guts disemboweled, and as you are ending your agony you will have to listen to them taunting you. Because that's the type of violence these guys happen to enjoy.

Now, what these guys that inhabit this world are saying is: use your aikido techinques (and only those, and nothing else, if you want to re-evaluate... aikido) to come out of this corner.

You need to be able to kotegaeshi and make them hit the concrete and break their hips. You need to be able to ikkyo them and make them see their teeth on the sidewalk if there is no other way out (and there is not).

You won't earn respect in any other way.
As long as we don't understand that it is out of that type of world that the accusation comes, we will be never dealing with the proper interlocutor.

We may refuse to fight and go away saying that aikido is not for this: in this case, the accuse will stay, because there is one way only to get out of it.

KICK ASS using AIKI-DO, and you're outta this thread.
Don't do it, for as many perfectly valid and legitimate reasons as you wish, and the accusation shall persist.

This is why I said: randori on steroids. 15 more dojos like that per state, and we would finally stand good chances of solving this reputation problem.

KICK ASS AIKI-DO, is the only answer to this thread.
And it is so whether you like it or not.

Gerardo Torres
10-20-2011, 05:29 PM
Whoever may be genuinely interested in aiki, would never dare say he knows what aiki is. It's an implied gentlement's agreement for me.
Well, pardon my ungentlemanly behavior, but it was exactly because I was genuinely interested in aiki (and not peripherals like "technique" or "fighting") that I was able to find people who had aiki abilities, and could demonstrate it and explain it… in excruciating detail. Thus my current understanding (as limited as it may be).

Yet as a matter of fact, the fact we have no canonical definition of it so that immediate consensus about it can be won, opens the concept of aiki to broad speculation.
You're right in that there is no consensus, mostly due to the fact that so many teachers have thrown aiki into the realm of the rhetorical, spiritual or personal interpretation. However there are more concrete definitions, supported by Ueshiba's writings and a long history of Asian martial arts (what makes aiki work is not unique to aikido).

But if you place aiki among the most refined achievements of aikido, as I assume it ought to be placed, then you should not consider it as something that can be acquired cheaply or as something that may be granted to anybody.
Aikido is the way of aiki. Aiki should not be a "final destination" but a path. You should be training and trying to physically manifest aiki from day one. Unfortunately aiki has been either guarded or largely unknown, so this is not the norm. Practitioners, especially beginners, should not concentrate on techniques or applications and leave aiki to manifest through some 20-year game of chance.

Given that assumption, whoever plans to discover aiki would never say: i now know with finality what aiki is.
In your reasoning, Torres, you are replacing my alleged intention to be final about this thread, with your alleged intention of being final about what aiki is.
I don't pretend to have finality or totality, only the best I know at this point. My understanding of aiki comes from people who were able to demonstrate it, explain it and teach it, and it's supported by the study of Ueshiba's writings and his own training background. It is the best manifestation of aiki that I've encountered that would allow me to pursue the goal of using harmony to deal with conflict as proposed by the philosophy of Ueshiba's art. If anybody can offer a better aiki and deliver in person, I'll be the first one to go out and beg them to teach me.

Speaking of this immaterial, unnamed aiki as if it were the true tao which cannot be named or explained, as the reason because a certain type of aikido is totally ineffective against brutality, is only another way to keep the accusation come: because it won't cease of being flung simply because we place a phantom along its path, with the hope that it may fend it off with its spectral weapons.
Aiki is not immaterial, unnamed, a phantom, or a spectrum. It's real and happening on the mat. The accusations that it doesn't work are the phantom, because they mostly come from an uninformed and inexperienced position. The switching from "fight", to "violence" to now "brutality" is yet another argumental clutch.

The accusation is thrown at aikido from a ground and a world that is made like this: show me your aiki by defeating this ruthlessly violent challenge.
Would most Tai chi people be able to deal with "ruthlessly violent attacks"? Does that invalidate it as a martial art that can be used in a fight? Does that mean that there are no Tai-chi people who are capable and able to mitigate a fight using Tai-chi principles and skills? The same questions can asked about iaido and violent swordfights.

As long as you won't meet the challenge, the quest won't be won, the accusation will keep coming, and aiki will keep being considered an excuse for covering up martial incompetency
Aiki is a martial ability that can give you an advantage. You either know it or not, to various degrees of proficiency, and you can either use it or not in any venue you're familiar with. It is only an "excuse" to those who don't understand it or have never encountered it. The accusation can keep coming forever, it's not going to make them more informed or true. Who is making the accusation and to whom, specifically? "Aikido" includes millions of practitioners over a span of 6 decades, including Ueshiba, Tohei, etc. Are you ready to lump all that together and throw it away? To anybody who wants to add something and not just "join in the accusation" I suggest they do their homework and get enough information before casting the same aspersions.

Furthermore there are teachers here with a wide and varied background including aikido and fighting arts. The whole harping on violence, brutality and the real world in the face of some of these teachers is rather… disingenuous. Do you honestly think they haven't been around the block, that they haven't met "the challenge" as you put it? Perhaps you're giving your own experiences waaay too much credit.
(not saying you are not competent Torres, don't read me wrong here! I am just reproducing the reasoning behind this accusation - a reasoning that has its part of valid rationality and truth).
I suck, Alberto. Seriously, I do. I have no delusions. And I know it because I have met and trained with people who are on an entirely different level and can do things that the majority of practitioners (including many of those with a much harped "realistic" bad-ass approach to aikido) could not do. I've done my homework.

Alberto_Italiano
10-20-2011, 05:37 PM
Guys, my previous post is, about this issue, final. Stating that, my cup is empty about this. I consider that the final reason - it does not invalidate other viewpoints - I do appreciate Torres for instance.
Yet, I have nothing to add to my previous post. That is.
Call me arrogant (there are worst things in life), but I consider it the answer.

I feel no need to "convince" those (not implying Torres here, uh) who prefer seeing in this accusation so frequently flung at Aikido just a mere instance of (basically) nonsense. If they are satisfied with such an explanation, to me it is fine.

Mine is not a crusade.
Only, the answer compartively closer to solving this amazingly obdurate issue is not another one.

genin
10-20-2011, 05:45 PM
Aikido may work in a street fight, but it is not based around street fighting. MMA works well in a street fight because it is very much based around the tactics used in common street fights (striking and grappling). Krav Maga works great in a street fight, because it is designed specifically for that purpose.

That being said, a skilled aikidoist would already know the limitation of his martial art, so he would likely know the appropriate course of action to take in a street fight in order to give himself an advantage. Perhaps engaging his adversary in a conventional way, then looking for opportunities to apply locks, levers, and throws when the moment is right.

And just to make sure I have used the apparent minimum quota of the word "aiki" in my post....aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki.

Gerardo Torres
10-20-2011, 06:01 PM
I feel no need to "convince" those (not implying Torres here, uh) who prefer seeing in this accusation so frequently flung at Aikido just a mere instance of (basically) nonsense. If they are satisfied with such an explanation, to me it is fine.

I was just asking the "accusers" for two things: (1) To not cast such broad aspersions as there is a wild variety of skills in aikido (as well as other arts), to make their claims more specific; and (2) To qualify their claims by showing their understanding aiki, aikido and fighting. Am I being so unreasonable?

The last person that called me by my last name was my high school principal. *shudder* :eek: :D

-Gerardo

Don Nordin
10-20-2011, 08:53 PM
This is actually a silly question that comes up in many arts. A "real fight" never goes according to plan. A real fight is an ugly display of violence the is the result of many things sometime bad communications, maybe crime, or jealousy. Most of this thread is not about The principles of Aikido at all or their effectiveness. They are about how can i hurt someone who is attacking me. You have already lost at that point. Its easy to hurt someone it's very hard to control a conflict without hurting someone. It's even harder to avoid the conflict in the first place. My advise to those of you who want to kick ass is to go out this weekend and get in a bar fight. When the blood flows and people cry and scream you may find out that ass kicking ain't all you think it is.

kewms
10-20-2011, 09:30 PM
No one goes into a fight thinking they're uke.

But someone is going to lose. Maybe it's you. And maybe that has nothing to do with what martial art you study or how long you've studied it, and everything to do with who is bigger and meaner and (maybe) has a knife that you don't see until it's too late.

Maybe it's better to avoid fighting.

Katherine

genin
10-21-2011, 08:24 AM
The title of this thread could stand to be changed to something a little less antagonistic. It's slightly inflammatory and I think people feel compelled to come on this thread just to defend Aikido, based solely off the vibe the title of this thread gives off. I agree that violence is ugly and unpredictable and fighting is stupid. But if a fight or violence of any sort finds you, then you may have to act. Will/does Aikido prepare you to adequately defend yourself in the case of a random attack? It may better help you to avoid conflicts, rather than give you a decisive tactical edge once combat begins. Aikido moves can be effective but difficult to rely upon in the heat of battle. However, you may never need to use them as most people don't fight or go into battle. So in that sense it's a moot issue, although it's still worthy of discussion imo, especially for those with a genuine interest/concern in the martial aspects of this art.

Chris Evans
10-21-2011, 09:58 AM
No one goes into a fight thinking they're uke.

...Maybe it's better to avoid fighting.

Katherine

true, until it isn't: will you avoid fighting when confronted with murders or kidnappers that have cornered you and your dependent love ones? Then, if you can not survive, you must resist the "evil" to leave a physical trail of evidence for the law enforcements to clue in to. Will you have avoided fighting on that Flight 93, Sept. 2011?

martial arts = self-defense = self protection = fighting, but knowing when might take wisdom before words or thoughts (Prajna Paramita): That's one of the reasons why i sit in zazen meditations. I have actively avoided fighting, but when the time calls for action to save life I hope to not hesitate, for courage is when you've had the courage to do the things before. More "practical" open-minded training is more fun and develops deeper trust and friendships :)

My advise to those of you who want to 'kick ass' is to "fight" in amateur MMA competitions where seeming realistic pressures are balanced with having ref', judges, medic, and no law suit or criminal charges. Merely sparring with prospective MMA players has given me priceless insight & humility.

kewms
10-21-2011, 10:38 AM
true, until it isn't: will you avoid fighting when confronted with murders or kidnappers that have cornered you and your dependent love ones? Then, if you can not survive, you must resist the "evil" to leave a physical trail of evidence for the law enforcements to clue in to. Will you have avoided fighting on that Flight 93, Sept. 2011?

But how many of us will ever be in that sort of situation?

Yes, of course one would like to be prepared should the need arise. But if you look at the statistics, your life (or someone else's) is much more likely to be saved by your ukemi skills or your defensive driving skills.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
10-21-2011, 10:43 AM
But how many of us will ever be in that sort of situation?

Very few, fortunately. But what matters is the physical and psychological forging this kind of training provides.

mathewjgano
10-21-2011, 12:07 PM
I tend to think like Katherine here. My thinking is that even if all Aikido practicioners are unprepared for even an "average" fight, it's not that important on the whole because most people aren't going to encounter one anyway...let alone that worst-case scenario. What matters is that they make no presumptions about their training. If they make no presumptions about their ability to fight, even a person who has mild athletic ability is going to generally be in a better position to handle themselves than someone who has little to none. Activities which develop coordination and a sense of timing/spacing are generaly going to help rather than hinder, when compared to a complete lack of experience.
My expriences with Aikido don't fit with the presumption of the title, despite coming to Aikido being rather unconcerned with being able to defeat a good fighter (it simply wasn't a prominent part of my search criteria). I thought it could help, but I've always relied on my wits: brains over brawn, because they're more widely applicable/useful for self-defense. Between Kannagara Aikido and Shodokan Aikido, all I've seen is stuff that is relatively useful, but I also see it as depending almost entirely on how the individual applies their mind/intent to their training for how effective it can be. I haven't seen Aikido give false confidence to people any more than I've seen other systems do so; less in fact. Granted I have about 3 years of training experience and minimal exposure, but per my sample that's how it appears.
Then again, I grew up seeing a few things which set a relatively gritty understanding on the nature of self-defense. Many of my friends growing up liked fighting. They sought it out as a leisure time activity (thank you Eazy E and pals)...which again, to my mind, points to a major fallacy surrounding the "system x doesn't work in a fight." Different people comprise the art and some of them go into it with a fairly realistic understanding that doesn't just go away because some guy says he's a martial arts teacher.
I say, go ahead, bag on my martial art; dismiss it outright. As a small guy I've often enjoyed the presumptions of my opponants (in other activities; like Chuck Norris, I've never been in a "real" fight).

kewms
10-21-2011, 12:48 PM
Very few, fortunately. But what matters is the physical and psychological forging this kind of training provides.

Why does that matter? Yes, we can all agree that physical fitness and mental toughness are good things, but exactly what is the crossover of "ability to succeed at fighting" to other aspects of life? Why is fighting better preparation than competitive activities generally, or "standard" aikido training? I wouldn't say that professional fighters are particularly noted for their life skills...

Katherine

Chris Evans
10-21-2011, 12:51 PM
But how many of us will ever be in that sort of situation?

Yes, of course one would like to be prepared should the need arise. But if you look at the statistics, your life (or someone else's) is much more likely to be saved by your ukemi skills or your defensive driving skills.

Katherine

Statistics is irrelevant to an individual: the ideal is to be happy while being prepared and demonstrating to others how to do that, always. The purpose of a martial art is to train the mind with sincere realistic training, rather then the comfortable compliant training thus limiting a dojo into a moving-yoga-tumbling-social-club. Training joyfully with tough training forms the mind to handle all challenges, in all aspects of life.

kewms
10-21-2011, 01:09 PM
Statistics is irrelevant to an individual: the ideal is to be happy while being prepared and demonstrating to others how to do that, always. The purpose of a martial art is to train the mind with sincere realistic training, rather then the comfortable compliant training thus limiting a dojo into a moving-yoga-tumbling-social-club. Training joyfully with tough training forms the mind to handle all challenges, in all aspects of life.

Right. No argument there. I'm just questioning the value of the kind of training that prepares you to succeed in fights, specifically, relative to other kinds of "tough training." There's a wide spectrum between "full contact sparring" and "yoga with tumbling." As any competitive athlete knows, you can develop quite a lot of mental toughness without ever getting punched in the face.

Katherine

Gerardo Torres
10-21-2011, 02:17 PM
I think experiencing what being hit is like can be an invaluable tool to forge the body and mind and avoid collapsing either mentally or physically in a real situation. Same with weapons, pain can be a good teacher.

That said I'm of the opinion that not all training should be "on steroids" or "high adrenaline" and there should be a balance between more structured training and free or high intensity training, whether the goal is to survive in a fight or not. I've seen in a program and read on the news where an experienced grappler (primed for aggressive/competitive action) was too eager to take down an assailant and he didn't noticed a knife being pulled out and got stabbed multiple times (one was a combatives drill I saw, the other I read about and unfortunately happened for real). So as long as we're talking street and not sports it's not about "kicking ass" but about surviving. Most koryu have highly structured training and yet they offer some of the best "I'm going home tonight" type of mental conditioning. This could have as much if not more value as "randori on steroids" when it comes to training for survival. I've been in situations where have I opted to "kick ass" in the traditional combat sport sense it would have resulted in a change in dynamics and me dead. Sometimes an eagerness to "kick ass" can stop one from properly seeing things before they escalate and assessing a situation and taking proper protective action to ensure survival.

mathewjgano
10-21-2011, 02:44 PM
I think experiencing what being hit is like can be an invaluable tool to forge the body and mind and avoid collapsing either mentally or physically in a real situation. Same with weapons, pain can be a good teacher.

That said I'm of the opinion that not all training should be "on steroids" or "high adrenaline" and there should be a balance between more structured training and free or high intensity training, whether the goal is to survive in a fight or not. I've seen in a program and read on the news where an experienced grappler (primed for aggressive/competitive action) was too eager to take down an assailant and he didn't noticed a knife being pulled...

Seconded. Or the two friends approaching from behind as one friend of the family recently encountered. No matter how trained you are, fights have a nasty habit of degenerating to very base instincts. Avoidance is almost always smarter in my opinion: Better a bruised ego than a bruised brain.
Plus there are studies which suggest the more aggression you act with, the more aggression you tend to respond with; given the above I think it more useful to start with a degree of calm and work on infusing that calm with increasing degrees of intensity.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-21-2011, 02:55 PM
Why does that matter?
Because is what makes the difference between training in a form of budo and training in, for instance, basketball.

kewms
10-21-2011, 04:30 PM
Because is what makes the difference between training in a form of budo and training in, for instance, basketball.

But why is budo training better? And why is this specific type of budo training -- training which seeks to prepare you for real fights -- better than less "realistic" budo training?

Closely related is the question of what "real" means, anyway. Which is more real? Full contact sparring with gloves and protective gear, or paired koryu sword kata with live blades?

Katherine

genin
10-21-2011, 05:11 PM
I just read an account of a murder victim who was approached by an armed robber--the robber grabbed his wrist so he could get at his wallet. The guy pulled away and in the scuffle a shot was fired through his heart and killed him. That was an instance where the enemy actually grabbed the person's wrist, which is a best case scenario for an aikidoist. But if they victim had used aikido to disable and disarm the robber, would that really be considered him winning a fight? It's more him protecting himself by neutralizing a threat. It's not really "fighting" per se.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-21-2011, 06:42 PM
But why is budo training better?

Better? I don't know if it is better (better than what, btw?) it is different. In budo training you cultivate different things than in other activities.

And why is this specific type of budo training -- training which seeks to prepare you for real fights -- better than less "realistic" budo training?
Both produce different kind of people.

Closely related is the question of what "real" means, anyway. Which is more real? Full contact sparring with gloves and protective gear, or paired koryu sword kata with live blades?
Both are training/teaching/transmission of knowledge tools. In full contact sparring you learn different things than when doing kata with live blades, but none of them is the real thing.

kewms
10-21-2011, 07:39 PM
Sorry if I seem to be picking on you, Demetrio. What I'm getting at is that most of these "does aikido work" threads include a lot of unspoken assumptions. Not only the obvious -- what does it mean for aikido to "work?" -- but also assumptions about "realism" and about the goals of budo training. It's not at all clear to me that pursuit of "martial effectiveness" necessarily has much to do with any of the other goals of budo.

As I previously noted, neither professional fighters nor successful street fighters are generally known for their excellence as human beings. In fact, you could argue that "success" in "real fights" requires a level of viciousness that's not really compatible with life in civilized society. (See also the high level of post-traumatic stress and similar disorders in soldiers and other people who've actually had to do significant amounts of "real fighting.")

Which is not to say that "tough training" isn't valuable, just that I think it's important to be clear about exactly what one is trying to achieve, and what the tradeoffs are. Remember that the most "martially effective" samurai were brutal killers first, and gentlemen and philosophers only after they had eradicated their enemies.

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. -- Nietzsche

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
10-21-2011, 08:23 PM
Sorry if I seem to be picking on you, Demetrio. What I'm getting at is that most of these "does aikido work" threads include a lot of unspoken assumptions. Not only the obvious -- what does it mean for aikido to "work?" -- but also assumptions about "realism" and about the goals of budo training. It's not at all clear to me that pursuit of "martial effectiveness" necessarily has much to do with any of the other goals of budo.
Well, I think achieving martial efectiveness is one of the effects of technologies of the self that run under the classification of "budo". If there is not a substantial increase in the martial efectiveness, something is not going right. Like if you do tea ceremony but the tea tastes awfully; even if tea ceremony is not only about making tea, if the result is vomitive, you tell me...

As I previously noted, neither professional fighters nor successful street fighters are generally known for their excellence as human beings.
I don't know how excellence in this field can be objectively measured.

In fact, you could argue that "success" in "real fights" requires a level of viciousness that's not really compatible with life in civilized society. (See also the high level of post-traumatic stress and similar disorders in soldiers and other people who've actually had to do significant amounts of "real fighting.")
Of course there are risks (and PTSD is a completely different issue) but be sure the ones who end in a plastic bag because their lack of success in real fights (i.e. legit self defense situations) are not the most productive members of society. Dead people don't work, don't raise children, don't do science and usually (Haiti doesn't count) are not pillars of their community.

Which is not to say that "tough training" isn't valuable, just that I think it's important to be clear about exactly what one is trying to achieve, and what the tradeoffs are.
Of course, as long one is not claiming having something he lacks. If someone is not interested in martial skills so be it, the same if someone is not interested in becoming the floating bridge or channeling kami skills.

Remember that the most "martially effective" samurai were brutal killers first, and gentlemen and philosophers only after they had eradicated their enemies
I'd rather have prefered you had not brough the romanticised "martially effective" samurai.

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. -- Nietzsche
Then let's not take risks. Let the monsters have free reign.

kewms
10-21-2011, 08:31 PM
I'd rather have prefered you had not brough the romanticised "martially effective" samurai.

I don't think there's anything particularly romantic about killing people. Which is exactly why I brought it up: the original budo was, first and foremost, about killing other people before they killed you. That's what "martially effective" means, when you get right down to it.

Which is why I think pursuing "aikido that works" can be, in its own way, just as delusional as practicing yoga with tumbling and calling it a martial art. What are you really studying, and why?

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
10-21-2011, 08:46 PM
I don't think there's anything particularly romantic about killing people. Which is exactly why I brought it up: the original budo was, first and foremost, about killing other people before they killed you. That's what "martially effective" means, when you get right down to it.
They killed people with a purpose. Money, land, fame, social stability, survival... They did what had to be done and got paid for it. That's all.

Which is why I think pursuing "aikido that works" can be, in its own way, just as delusional as practicing yoga with tumbling and calling it a martial art.
Well, pursuing "aikido that works" can be delusional, calling "yoga with tumbling" a martial art is simply lying.

What are you really studying, and why?

Me? Judo, because (long history short) it's fun.

Chris Evans
10-22-2011, 02:17 AM
Right. No argument there. I'm just questioning the value of the kind of training that prepares you to succeed in fights, specifically, relative to other kinds of "tough training." There's a wide spectrum between "full contact sparring" and "yoga with tumbling." As any competitive athlete knows, you can develop quite a lot of mental toughness without ever getting punched in the face.

Katherine

True enough.

If I was in sales, I'd avoid face punches like the plague (or play BJJ)

In karate & hapkido I've observed that there is a trade off: people avoiding face punches really never learn to keep their hands up, duck & weave, and slip off the line as well as the people open to all kinds of waza and pains.

I'm looking forward to finding an aikido dojo, (not like the last one, years ago, that had too many judgementtal closed minded idealists.)

Thanks again, Katherine.

Alberto_Italiano
10-22-2011, 01:39 PM
As I previously noted, neither professional fighters nor successful street fighters are generally known for their excellence as human beings. In fact, you could argue that "success" in "real fights" requires a level of viciousness that's not really compatible with life in civilized society.(...)

Which is not to say that "tough training" isn't valuable, just that I think it's important to be clear about exactly what one is trying to achieve, and what the tradeoffs are. Remember that the most "martially effective" samurai were brutal killers first, and gentlemen and philosophers only after they had eradicated their enemies.

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. -- Nietzsche

Katherine

Interesting Kat.

As stated, the world whence this thread originates is a world whose challenge won't be satisfied as long as you (generic "you"), for one valid reason or another, won't kick their asses. That is the only language that world understands. There is not another language that satisfies it.

If you (generic "you") want to discharge karate from an accusation like this, you have to kick ass using karate.
If you (generic "you") want to discharge judo from an accusation like this, you have to kick ass using judo.
And so if you (generic "you") want to discharge aikido from an accusation like this, you have to kick ass using aikido.

So, the answer is one: kick-ass aikido.

Once repeated that just for summarizing's sake -a very simple summary, and yet it's not compex answers what answers simple questions- your argument that meeting viciousness with a "vicious" aikido (whenece "vicious" aikido would be just a way to rephrase kick-ass aikido with your chosen language, but not because I see anything vicious in it) has a startling simply answer as well.

You have to defeat physically evil and viciousness, without becoming a vicious person yourself. This is, indeed, a peak of ethical excellence.

To some degree, it may even be what aiki is all about: budo excellence, capable of meeting evil without being corrupted by evil.

Be like Robin Hood, an Aikido Hood: rob, to implement the good. Fight to implement righteousness, to implement justice. But do fight, do accept the challenge on its ground of election.

Show evil that you can fight evil, accepting its challenge on the physical ground too (because that is precisely the ground upon which evil thinks you can not meet it...), without being contaminated by evil.

Your notorious Nietzsche sentence does not mean that if you stare into the abyss of evil, you will become evil yourself. Rather, you may become terrible. I am not.

In the eternal fight between evil and good, you must become able to stare evil right into the eyes, squarely, and yet unmoved. The asnwer to this accusation is: be like a honourable samurai: terrible with evil, and yet intent on good.

The answer to your observations, Kat, are already given, and stay all in one world: a samurai's world.
In the noblest sense of the word.
I am sure you understand that word, which has been since centuries the answer to your rightful type of doubts.

ps and let's not forget that the Buddha Gautama did not come from a family of brahamins (that is, monks), but from a family of... ksatria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ksatria) (that is: fighters): these folks, quintessential producers of good and liberation, they were... soldiers.

kewms
10-22-2011, 02:07 PM
My name is right there at the bottom of my post, Bert. There's no need to guess what I'd like to be called.

*shrug* I just don't see physical ass-kicking as an important skill in our society. The "eternal fight between good and evil" is mostly fought with non-physical weapons these days.

I'm also well aware of the reasons why combat sports have weight classes. At 125 pounds, my chances against any reasonably strong adult male would plummet the instant I started trying to "kick ass" instead of simply escape.

Katherine

Alberto_Italiano
10-22-2011, 02:07 PM
Actually, in ancient mythologies we have not one single instance of heroes who weren't skilled warriors too.

It is only beginning with christianity that we developed heroes who weren't martially effective.
Though, one may speculate how much or at least till what degrre this applied to Christ Himself indeed and isn't, instead, a forgery or a misunderstanding of the later christian traditions which emphasized too much the meek side of christianity (indeed, Kat, precisely the type of accusation moved by that very same Nietzsche that you mentioned, who made a distinction between Christ and priests - and curiously enough the same distinction Christ made between himself and the pharisees for instanc ein Luke 11 second part of the chapter)

As a matter of fact: «I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/But_to_bring_a_sword)».

So, do we want a pharisee's Aikido in order to be aiki, or a samurai's Aikido in order to be aiki?
Because both apply.

And it is indeed what makes aikido stands apart: its emphasis on the "gentle" Art, delivers Aikido thoroughly into the hands of the myth of the good hero, of the good fighter, that wants absolute martial effectiveness matched with absolute moral integrity.

Alberto_Italiano
10-22-2011, 02:14 PM
My name is right there at the bottom of my post, Bert. There's no need to guess what I'd like to be called.

*shrug* I just don't see physical ass-kicking as an important skill in our society. The "eternal fight between good and evil" is mostly fought with non-physical weapons these days.

I'm also well aware of the reasons why combat sports have weight classes. At 125 pounds, my chances against any reasonably strong adult male would plummet the instant I started trying to "kick ass" instead of simply escape.

Katherine
You can fight evil in many ways.

If you want to satisfy that accusation thrown at aikido, however you have to fight it with aikido.

Size doesn't matter. There was a time when I was younger whence I knew how true it is the old saying that the bigger they are the harder they hit the floor.

If you can run away, run away by all accounts - the world of this accusation implies a setting where you cannot run away.

If Aikido is to be effective and keep its promises, it should enable you to fight any size of opponent - it is, actually, one of its most characteristically implied promises: making size and strength inessential.

If you regularly train in a manner that is martially effective, size won't deter you anymore.

This not to mean you are not right: but only to mean that there exists a level of proficiency (I know this as fact, though I have it no longer - I have seen leather wheights kick heavy weights) where physical size means, indeed, only his butt will hit the mat harder.

You may never come to that point, but let me assure you of one thing: the only chance whoever may have to reach that level (a matter of 2 years, I'd say) is training regularly in a martial context, in our case a randori on steroids.

ps: go figure, in ancient myths, tauromachy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tauromachy) with bare hands was the ultimate martial test.
The fact you can be defeated, won't even enter your equation: you will fight anyway.

kewms
10-22-2011, 07:00 PM
Using Christian arguments in support of your view of a Shinto mystic's art is pretty funny...

If you think size doesn't matter, your training isn't as martially realistic as you think. Certainly skill can help offset a size disadvantage, but only to a degree.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
10-22-2011, 07:36 PM
Using Christian arguments in support of your view of a Shinto mystic's art is pretty funny...
Kirisuto ga ‘hajme ni kotoba ariki’ to itta sono kotodama ga SU de arimasu. Sore ga kotodama no hajimari de aru.

kewms
10-22-2011, 11:23 PM
Kirisuto ga ‘hajme ni kotoba ariki' to itta sono kotodama ga SU de arimasu. Sore ga kotodama no hajimari de aru.

It's one thing to equate SU with the Divine Word, both having existed at The Beginning. Quite another to build your argument about the goals of aikido around a particular (somewhat controversial) verse in the Christian Bible.

Katherine

Alberto_Italiano
10-23-2011, 02:31 PM
Using Christian arguments in support of your view of a Shinto mystic's art is pretty funny...

If you think size doesn't matter, your training isn't as martially realistic as you think. Certainly skill can help offset a size disadvantage, but only to a degree.

Katherine

I can assure you that size does not matter in the least.

This, should sound reassuring to you actually. You seem to address me as if I am somebody intent on attacking you, whereas I am saying the contrary namely that I appreciated your previous posts (I loved your Nietzsche's quote) and that your doubts have a solution. Sorry if this sounded to you like contradicting you.
Funny how difficult it is, on forums, to flag an agreement as such. It may be met as the opposite (or so) all too easily.

Actually, you can say you have attained martiality exactly when you know with finality this: size means nothing.

Size, in fact, is something that one may think plays a role (and indeed, till that moment it does play a role) only as long as one is not accustomed to deal with violent settings (plus safety measures as I stated earlier, because of course training cannot be realistic to the point of inflicting actual wounds or injuries) as routine work out. Once accustomed with that, believe me, size means nothing. Utterly, truly, totally nothing.

You have, in fact, two types of martial realisms: the one of the person who never trained with uncomplacent and "brutal" settings, and this person will believe that size matters; then the other of a training where violence (with safety measures) is standard randori: in this latter case, it is only a matter of time before you realize that you can throw 200 pound guys.
Oh if you can throw them!

Once you get confident with that by seeing you can do that, size won't deter you anymore.

It is a matter of training. If your training constantly permits to you to confront size, size won't be an issue anymore. But if your training is not geared to let you build confidence in that direction, you will never find that confidence.
It all depends on how one trains - this is why I put emphasis on randori on steroids as the solution to this thread's accusations.

ps I was not using christian arguments - you quoted Nietzsche, I was simply crediting you were acquainted with his philosophical themes, which all revolve around a revision of christianity that Nietzsche (not me) assumed as something that injected too much weakness into mankind - particularly when compared with the infinitely more "martial" heritage of the ancient Greek concept of arete (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arete) (the typical reference is, in these cases and customarily, Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_of_Tragedy)).

Demetrio Cereijo
10-23-2011, 02:48 PM
Alberto,

If she (or anyone) doesn't want martial effectivenes, why do you care?

Alberto_Italiano
10-23-2011, 03:15 PM
Alberto,

If she (or anyone) doesn't want martial effectivenes, why do you care?

I don't care in fact.

As said, mine is not a crusade. On forums, one may take the opportunity of answering a post, that by venture is posted by a specific person, but we must keep all in the perspective of us dealing with a global forum: we, and me, are not actually replying to that or that specific person (even regardless of the fact at times it seems so - we're actually addressing the argument, not the person), we're addressing the topic.

Here I wasn't really addressing this or that person, but the thread's argument - which then may develop in several directions all pertinent with the general topic (in our case, that aikido does not work).

So, I am not saying to Kat that she should do this or that: she does what she wants.

Rather, I am taking the opportunity of her objection to treat it as a general objection - being this, in this case, that size would matter.

Therefore I reply that size does not matter: the example of boxing categories was brought forth (again by katherine, but as said I use posts only as thoughts to elaborate and not to be regarded as strctly linked to their authors).
In this regard, take a feather weight with a few years of experience on his shoulders (or under his belt) and make him fight with a heavy weight with no boxing experience: you will witness one of the soundest, hopeless and one-way beating you will ever see, and it won't be the heavy guy who will be delivering it...

What other example could be brought, clearer than this, to signify that size does not matter, but that only training does?

Alberto_Italiano
10-23-2011, 03:43 PM
ps for instance, without awaiting for a person to object it, so to show we're actually addressing a topic and not characters: what about boxing categories arranged by weights, that is: once boxers are competent, they are arranged by weight categories - does that mean that size matters?

The answer is: no.

Aside from the fact that many boxing categories have been placed there only in order to multiply belts (more categories, more belts; more belts more championships; more championships more bets; more bets, more money; more money, more big business...) - think of the class spuriously added between the middle wieghts and the heavy weights, which appeared totally unnecessary.

However, there is no real reason because a super-light weight could not confront (and also beat) a middle weight - and there are as many as 4 categories in between. By all account, a welter may beat up a middle weight.

The arrangement has been devised to make sure the contest can begin being confident beyond any reasonable doubt that only training comes in the way as discriminant factor. That amounts to saying that size may play a role (take two guys trained both at level 10, then size may play a minor role) - and categories want to be sure only ohter factors are thrown in.

But between boxing categories (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weight_class_%28boxing%29) there are at times only 4kgs: do we seriously believe that 4 kgs (8 lbs) will make any real difference?

So categories should not be misunderstood in the sense size plays THE role. A good fighter, with great experience , with great heart ( that is, capable of taking punishment without getting scared), with stamina, will beat easily guys 100lbs heavier even if they are well trained, provided a variety of factors like, for instance, that they have a glass jaw... or that they may run short of breath faster... or that they are much slower on feet... there are many strategies you can arrange, right on the spot, while on the ring in order to leverage on your strong assets and exploit the weak spots detected in your foe regardless of his size.

In our case, the case of Aikido, the promise of making size totally irrelevant is, besides, one of our typical tenets: if our aikido is deterred by size, it's not living up to its promises. Which isn't aikido's fault, but only of the chosen type of training.

This does not address this or that person; does not predicate that one should train in this or that manner, or with randori on steroids.

This only means that you may achieve whatever goal you may set for yourself, provided you are allowed to train accordingly and consistently with the chosen goal.

Gerardo Torres
10-23-2011, 05:43 PM
Alberto,

If she (or anyone) doesn't want martial effectivenes, why do you care?
[Ed: image deleted as requested by original poster as it does not show up on browsers as expected.]

Alberto_Italiano
10-23-2011, 06:06 PM
#1542
no better answer since the image doesn't show up LOL

was that image perhaps abput something from this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNAWff9Daqg
to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKkayWURlKc&feature=related

:-D
joking, just having fun this moment

sakumeikan
10-23-2011, 06:50 PM
I can assure you that size does not matter in the least.

This, should sound reassuring to you actually. You seem to address me as if I am somebody intent on attacking you, whereas I am saying the contrary namely that I appreciated your previous posts (I loved your Nietzsche's quote) and that your doubts have a solution. Sorry if this sounded to you like contradicting you.
Funny how difficult it is, on forums, to flag an agreement as such. It may be met as the opposite (or so) all too easily.

Actually, you can say you have attained martiality exactly when you know with finality this: size means nothing.

Size, in fact, is something that one may think plays a role (and indeed, till that moment it does play a role) only as long as one is not accustomed to deal with violent settings (plus safety measures as I stated earlier, because of course training cannot be realistic to the point of inflicting actual wounds or injuries) as routine work out. Once accustomed with that, believe me, size means nothing. Utterly, truly, totally nothing.

You have, in fact, two types of martial realisms: the one of the person who never trained with uncomplacent and "brutal" settings, and this person will believe that size matters; then the other of a training where violence (with safety measures) is standard randori: in this latter case, it is only a matter of time before you realize that you can throw 200 pound guys.
Oh if you can throw them!

Once you get confident with that by seeing you can do that, size won't deter you anymore.

It is a matter of training. If your training constantly permits to you to confront size, size won't be an issue anymore. But if your training is not geared to let you build confidence in that direction, you will never find that confidence.
It all depends on how one trains - this is why I put emphasis on randori on steroids as the solution to this thread's accusations.

ps I was not using christian arguments - you quoted Nietzsche, I was simply crediting you were acquainted with his philosophical themes, which all revolve around a revision of christianity that Nietzsche (not me) assumed as something that injected too much weakness into mankind - particularly when compared with the infinitely more "martial" heritage of the ancient Greek concept of arete (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arete) (the typical reference is, in these cases and customarily, Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_of_Tragedy)).

Dear Alberto,
Hate to say this Alberto but you theory is nonsense.All things being equal a bigger guy will win.Has any little guy ever won the 100 metres nowadays in sprinting?Could a flyweight boxer beat Mike Tyson in his prime?No way Jose.Get real. Cheers, Joe.

kewms
10-23-2011, 07:13 PM
I certainly agree that it is possible to apply aikido effectively against larger people. I do it all the time.

But I think you're deluded if you don't think size matters in the context of "on the street" encounters with people who are seriously trying to hurt you.

Under dojo randori conditions, my experience is that when two people have equal skill/rank, a weight difference of 30-40 pounds or so is sufficient to secure a strong advantage for the heavier person. Each additional 30-40 pounds is sufficient to overcome a 2-3 step differential in rank, at least in the mid-kyu to mid-dan range. (Keep in mind that most adult males will outweigh me by at least 40 pounds, and even a 100# difference does not put us into the realm of genetic freaks. I have a lot of experience in this sort of situation.)

However, the lighter person can substantially improve the situation *if* they avoid situations conducive to grappling: I can throw or otherwise disengage from a much larger person than I can pin. So the lessons I take from this are:
* Disengage and get out of there. Trying to kick someone's ass is really dumb.
* Stay aware. It's easier to disengage if they never get a secure grab in the first place.
* Don't get cute. Simple techniques and big muscle movements. Fine motor coordination is very difficult in the middle of an adrenaline dump.

Katherine

kewms
10-23-2011, 07:19 PM
In the boxing example, what happens when the heavyweight responds to the beating he's getting by trying to clinch with the little guy?

Oh, right. The referee breaks it up.

There aren't any referees on the street. So the big guy drops his shoulder and just plain shoves the little guy into the nearest wall or car. Oops.

Katherine

Alberto_Italiano
10-23-2011, 07:31 PM
Dear Alberto,
Hate to say this Alberto but you theory is nonsense.All things being equal a bigger guy will win.Has any little guy ever won the 100 metres nowadays in sprinting?Could a flyweight boxer beat Mike Tyson in his prime?No way Jose.Get real. Cheers, Joe.

Joe, it's not a theory. I know what I am saying here.
I normally try not to mention again the fact I have a boxing background - by which I mean an agonistic background (that is, not just hitting a punching bag).

So, I bring that about here only once again simply in order to emphasize and prove that it's not a theory came out of delusional thinking, but from a past of active boxing.

If the mere fact a guy is bigger than you would mean the bigger guy is bound to win, then judging from the boxing categories a welter weight should never fight with a superwelter because there are about 8 pounds of difference between classes, and since size matters those 8 pounds would dictate the outcome. After all, aren't boxing classes separating weights?
So if you weight 4 kilos more than me, you'd beat me automatically...

I can assure you that an experienced boxer who weights 135 pounds may beat up badly, severely, in a no-contest and unilateral serious beating whatever guy who is 250 pounds and has no boxing experience. As a fact, not as a theory.

And equating experience, I can tell you I have seen with my own eyes (you have to trust me here) a feather weight breaking the nose of middle weights during a sparring work out. This not to mention how many welters I have seen sparring successfully with heavy weights.

If you want to beat bigger guys, you have to train in a manner consistent with that goal. If you never do, you never will. But if you do, you do.

It is not size what makes a difference - only training methods make a difference (or a gun...).

ps little guy who won 100 and 200 meters: Pietro Mennea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietro_Mennea)

Alberto_Italiano
10-23-2011, 07:35 PM
In the boxing example, what happens when the heavyweight responds to the beating he's getting by trying to clinch with the little guy?

Oh, right. The referee breaks it up.

There aren't any referees on the street. So the big guy drops his shoulder and just plain shoves the little guy into the nearest wall or car. Oops.

Katherine

As I mentioned, there are strategies. A smaller guy will never let a heavier guy to clinch (but being us in aikido, I am particularly glad if he clinches: he steps into my territory by doing so).

You can do whatever you want, and beat any opponent, if you devise a strategy and train, long enough, accordingly.
You have no limits but those your chosen training imposes to you.

kewms
10-23-2011, 07:50 PM
.
You have no limits but those your chosen training imposes to you.

Which, since training time is finite, means that there are always limits, and wisdom is found in understanding what they are.

Everything is a trade off. We did kaeshiwaza for four hours today. It was great training. I think understanding reversals is absolutely critical if you're to have any hope of making aikido work against non-compliant partners. But that was four hours we didn't spend on randori, or weapons, or any of a half-dozen clusters of techniques. It was also four hours spent *not* fixing the technical errors that make reversals possible, not working at high speed, not studying the subtleties of connection. Very few of us will ever achieve total mastery.

Katherine

Gerardo Torres
10-23-2011, 08:00 PM
#1542
no better answer since the image doesn't show up LOL

was that image perhaps abput something from this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNAWff9Daqg
to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKkayWURlKc&feature=related

:-D
joking, just having fun this moment
The image shows fine in my browser (Google Chrome). Anyway, it was a photo of a strawman, to call out the strawman argument in post #1541.

Alberto_Italiano
10-23-2011, 08:05 PM
Which, since training time is finite, means that there are always limits, and wisdom is found in understanding what they are.

Everything is a trade off. We did kaeshiwaza for four hours today. It was great training. I think understanding reversals is absolutely critical if you're to have any hope of making aikido work against non-compliant partners. But that was four hours we didn't spend on randori, or weapons, or any of a half-dozen clusters of techniques. It was also four hours spent *not* fixing the technical errors that make reversals possible, not working at high speed, not studying the subtleties of connection. Very few of us will ever achieve total mastery.

Katherine

I know Katherine - to be sure, I am all with you in this.
But you see, I just take the point of views I read here as occasions to elaborate on a problem, and not with the intention of prescribing anything to anybody (which I am in no position to do, and even if I were I would be relcutant to address anybody personally).

Achieving mastery is difficult and probably none of us will ever have enough time and/or find the right dojos to do that.
And certainly I was never passing any judgement about your mastery or lecturing you about any necessity to achieve that.

But I find it important to emphasize that, facing the accusation that aikido does not work "in a real fight" (an accusation that, though unsaid and yet clearly implied, originates from the street world), the only aikido that does not work is the aikido that has not been developed training in a manner geared to work against competent street attackers.

It is not a matter of aikido: it is a matter of how we train with aikido.
If you want an aikido that works in a real situation, you need to train consistently and repeatedly with that type of setting.
If you want not to be intimidated by bigger guys, you need to train with bigger guys.

There is no sure formula to win any fights: there are only formulas to fight any fight, and the name of that formula is: train accordingly.

We have too much aikido in the world that does not even try to train accordingly - and this is why this type of accusation visits aikido so frequently.

seank
10-23-2011, 08:30 PM
This thread still gives me giggles (happy 11th birthday btw!)

Nowadays I think I tend to doze of right around the time people use the word technique. It still amazes me that the word technique exists in the Aikido lexicon.

Ketsan
10-23-2011, 08:49 PM
I certainly agree that it is possible to apply aikido effectively against larger people. I do it all the time.

But I think you're deluded if you don't think size matters in the context of "on the street" encounters with people who are seriously trying to hurt you.

Under dojo randori conditions, my experience is that when two people have equal skill/rank, a weight difference of 30-40 pounds or so is sufficient to secure a strong advantage for the heavier person. Each additional 30-40 pounds is sufficient to overcome a 2-3 step differential in rank, at least in the mid-kyu to mid-dan range. (Keep in mind that most adult males will outweigh me by at least 40 pounds, and even a 100# difference does not put us into the realm of genetic freaks. I have a lot of experience in this sort of situation.)

However, the lighter person can substantially improve the situation *if* they avoid situations conducive to grappling: I can throw or otherwise disengage from a much larger person than I can pin. So the lessons I take from this are:
* Disengage and get out of there. Trying to kick someone's ass is really dumb.
* Stay aware. It's easier to disengage if they never get a secure grab in the first place.
* Don't get cute. Simple techniques and big muscle movements. Fine motor coordination is very difficult in the middle of an adrenaline dump.

Katherine

Size matters far more in randori than it does in fighting. Randori is the use of rules to create a stalemate situation which forces a struggle for training purposes. That's fine in training but in a fight it's an awesome way to get killed. Fighting requires far more aggression far more violence and far more brutality than is allowed or can happen in randori and more often than not in the dynamics of real fighting the more aggressive and violent person wins.

kewms
10-23-2011, 08:56 PM
Size matters far more in randori than it does in fighting. Randori is the use of rules to create a stalemate situation which forces a struggle for training purposes. That's fine in training but in a fight it's an awesome way to get killed. Fighting requires far more aggression far more violence and far more brutality than is allowed or can happen in randori and more often than not in the dynamics of real fighting the more aggressive and violent person wins.

I agree. That was the point on which I entered this thread. The more aggressive and violent person will, most of the time, be the attacker. (When you look at it, this is a tautology: if he weren't aggressive and violent, he wouldn't be out there attacking people.)

Katherine

Ketsan
10-23-2011, 09:37 PM
I agree. That was the point on which I entered this thread. The more aggressive and violent person will, most of the time, be the attacker. (When you look at it, this is a tautology: if he weren't aggressive and violent, he wouldn't be out there attacking people.)

Katherine

No the people that go around attacking people are the most angry people, not always the most violent or the most aggressive. Half of martial arts after all is becoming habituated to violence such that it doesn't provoke the fight or flight response and the other half is learning to become so aggressive that an opponent is quickly overwhelmed and potentially even killed.

The paradox of this is that learning to do it involves learning to defeat it in yourself so you get past fear based reactions.

sakumeikan
10-24-2011, 03:54 AM
Joe, it's not a theory. I know what I am saying here.
I normally try not to mention again the fact I have a boxing background - by which I mean an agonistic background (that is, not just hitting a punching bag).

So, I bring that about here only once again simply in order to emphasize and prove that it's not a theory came out of delusional thinking, but from a past of active boxing.

If the mere fact a guy is bigger than you would mean the bigger guy is bound to win, then judging from the boxing categories a welter weight should never fight with a superwelter because there are about 8 pounds of difference between classes, and since size matters those 8 pounds would dictate the outcome. After all, aren't boxing classes separating weights?
So if you weight 4 kilos more than me, you'd beat me automatically...

I can assure you that an experienced boxer who weights 135 pounds may beat up badly, severely, in a no-contest and unilateral serious beating whatever guy who is 250 pounds and has no boxing experience. As a fact, not as a theory.

And equating experience, I can tell you I have seen with my own eyes (you have to trust me here) a feather weight breaking the nose of middle weights during a sparring work out. This not to mention how many welters I have seen sparring successfully with heavy weights.

If you want to beat bigger guys, you have to train in a manner consistent with that goal. If you never do, you never will. But if you do, you do.

It is not size what makes a difference - only training methods make a difference (or a gun...).

ps little guy who won 100 and 200 meters: Pietro Mennea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietro_Mennea)
Dear Alberto,
There are always the odd exception to any rule.Generally speaking as I said ALL thiings being equal the BIGGER guy wins.As far as Pietro Mennea is concerned since he raced in the 70s?would he win against todays musclemen?Its the same with Rocky Marciano, great as he was could he have handled the big lads of today in the Heavy weight division?I knew Anton Geesink, he won the 1964 Gold Medal at Judo.When he walked into a room the room darkened.Not many[if any ]beat him.His size certainly played a part in his wins.Not that he was an unskilled guy, he was very good.
You say training makes the difference.Do you think a little chap trains while the bigger guy just sits about and eats doughnuts?Any competitor be he/she big/small should train hard. You might have had some luck in your own encounters but I remain unconvinced by your theory. Cheers Joe.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-24-2011, 05:01 AM
The image shows fine in my browser (Google Chrome). Anyway, it was a photo of a strawman, to call out the strawman argument in post #1541.

Strawman? No, not really.

Walter Martindale
10-24-2011, 06:08 AM
I think that a lot of this is a circular thread being repeated by new folks who (like me) haven't read all 63 pages of the discussion. Much of what is being said in recent days has probably been said at least a few times in the One Thousand Five Hundred Fifty-Nine preceding posts... I suspect the horse is dead, should the flogging continue?

Demetrio Cereijo
10-24-2011, 07:02 AM
I suspect the horse is dead, should the flogging continue?
That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die.

grondahl
10-24-2011, 07:48 AM
This is an epic thread. It´s intresting to see the development of the posters and aikiweb at large. It´s gone from "aikidoka dont need to get into fights due to their suppressed ego" or "I´ll pull of a kaitennage when you try to shoot in" to discussions about training methods at large.

OwlMatt
10-24-2011, 08:24 AM
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.
I am of the opinion that someone who is only seeking a "self defense method" should be looking someplace other than aikido.

St Matt
10-24-2011, 08:46 AM
I am of the opinion that someone who is only seeking a "self defense method" should be looking someplace other than aikido.

I started Aikido purely for self defense and I am confident that it can work. I train with people that fully resist (one of whom is built like a brick you know what) and I can make most of the techniques work. It doesn't look as pretty as it should but it does work AND he has the advantage of knowing what you are likely to do, an attacker does not and therefore is at a disadvantage. We also practise a few strikes, kicks etc so we can distract the attacker. Therefore I am confident my Aikido will help me if/when its needed.

OwlMatt
10-24-2011, 09:36 AM
I started Aikido purely for self defense and I am confident that it can work. I train with people that fully resist (one of whom is built like a brick you know what) and I can make most of the techniques work. It doesn't look as pretty as it should but it does work AND he has the advantage of knowing what you are likely to do, an attacker does not and therefore is at a disadvantage. We also practise a few strikes, kicks etc so we can distract the attacker. Therefore I am confident my Aikido will help me if/when its needed.

I don't doubt that aikido training can have real self-defense benefits. But an aikido student is going to spend a lot of time learning stylized techniques and practicing them against stylized attacks, training with and against obsolete weapons, and trying to preserve O Sensei's tradition. Someone who is only interested in efficient, effective self-defense is going to find a lot of things in the average aikido class that are irrelevant to his interests.

That doesn't mean that this theoretical person is wrong for wanting what he wants, or that aikido is wrong for not providing it. I just think the two could find more compatible matches than each other.

Ketsan
10-24-2011, 09:46 AM
I don't doubt that aikido training can have real self-defense benefits. But an aikido student is going to spend a lot of time learning stylized techniques and practicing them against stylized attacks, training with and against obsolete weapons, and trying to preserve O Sensei's tradition. Someone who is only interested in efficient, effective self-defense is going to find a lot of things in the average aikido class that are irrelevant to his interests.

That doesn't mean that this theoretical person is wrong for wanting what he wants, or that aikido is wrong for not providing it. I just think the two could find more compatible matches than each other.

Only if he conceptualises Aikido as a grouping of techniques. In actually fact Aikido is by far the most flexible of all the martial arts because it has no techniques, no set forms.

grondahl
10-24-2011, 09:50 AM
Only if he conceptualises Aikido as a grouping of techniques. In actually fact Aikido is by far the most flexible of all the martial arts because it has no techniques, no set forms.

This is just silly. Aikido have lots av techniques and set forms. Even teachers that don´t focuse on waza seem to require a solid understanding of basic techniques from their students.

Chris Evans
10-24-2011, 09:50 AM
if this thread helps to clear away one person's martial arts delusions then these chronic repetitions maybe of use to one that can "empty their tea cup..."

Mark Freeman
10-24-2011, 10:57 AM
I love this thread, please let it never die

Michael,

if you are still reading, you wrote this in 2006. It seems your wish is coming true!:cool:

Ketsan
10-24-2011, 11:19 AM
This is just silly. Aikido have lots av techniques and set forms. Even teachers that don´t focuse on waza seem to require a solid understanding of basic techniques from their students.

The techniques are not Aikido; they're just provisional forms which are to be discarded as soon as the lessons they teach are learned. It's actually a rather backwards way and hit and miss way of teaching Aikido IMHO but that's another discussion.

hallsbayfisherman
10-24-2011, 11:21 AM
Just new to posting and "wow" a one thread topic going continuously for 11 yrs,that must be some kind of record.Seeing lots of argumental back and forth going on and lots of advice being handed out,some more abrupt than others.Just a quick question for all ,being the topic is "Aikido does not work in a real fight" As anyone posting opinions on what does and doesn't work actually been in any amount of physical confrontations to know what they are actually giving advice on? Just wondering!!!

Regards
WJ

Demetrio Cereijo
10-24-2011, 11:42 AM
As anyone posting opinions on what does and doesn't work actually been in any amount of physical confrontations to know what they are actually giving advice on? Just wondering!!!
Hi, welcome to Aikiweb.
:D

Richard Stevens
10-24-2011, 11:53 AM
Just new to posting and "wow" a one thread topic going continuously for 11 yrs,that must be some kind of record.Seeing lots of argumental back and forth going on and lots of advice being handed out,some more abrupt than others.Just a quick question for all ,being the topic is "Aikido does not work in a real fight" As anyone posting opinions on what does and doesn't work actually been in any amount of physical confrontations to know what they are actually giving advice on? Just wondering!!!

Regards
WJ

I've been in a number of violent situations (spent a few years working in a secure detention facility) and I've been successful utilizing fairly basic judo techniques, which are similar to a number of techniques found in Judo. Mostly elbow and shoulder locks. However, my ability to apply those technique may have been related to the high-pressure randori common to Judo training.

Welcome to Aikiweb WJ, if you see Jake Doyle tell him I said hi! :D

Kevin Leavitt
10-24-2011, 01:47 PM
Only if he conceptualises Aikido as a grouping of techniques. In actually fact Aikido is by far the most flexible of all the martial arts because it has no techniques, no set forms.

Yes, but it also typically is trained within the context of a particular set of rules of etiquette and constraints that can affect the ability of the student to recognize the patterns (or lack thereof), pressures and unconstrained chaos that fighting can be...whatever you consider fighting to be!

Kevin Leavitt
10-24-2011, 01:49 PM
Just new to posting and "wow" a one thread topic going continuously for 11 yrs,that must be some kind of record.Seeing lots of argumental back and forth going on and lots of advice being handed out,some more abrupt than others.Just a quick question for all ,being the topic is "Aikido does not work in a real fight" As anyone posting opinions on what does and doesn't work actually been in any amount of physical confrontations to know what they are actually giving advice on? Just wondering!!!

Regards
WJ

Yes. There are many folks on here with a fair amount of experience in there various experiences from bouncers, to brawlers, to police and military.

Kevin Leavitt
10-24-2011, 01:58 PM
I don't doubt that aikido training can have real self-defense benefits. But an aikido student is going to spend a lot of time learning stylized techniques and practicing them against stylized attacks, training with and against obsolete weapons, and trying to preserve O Sensei's tradition. Someone who is only interested in efficient, effective self-defense is going to find a lot of things in the average aikido class that are irrelevant to his interests.

That doesn't mean that this theoretical person is wrong for wanting what he wants, or that aikido is wrong for not providing it. I just think the two could find more compatible matches than each other.

I think it depends on how you train. For me and the guys I have trained with Techniques and what we do in class provide a common framework to act as a set of conditional controls to allow us to communicate and bring out in students and ourselves those things that we wish them to learn.

As with anything you do that is worthwhile and in which you wish to improve...you need a framework and structure in order to grow and learn.

For me it is about developing the framework and structure...the foundational base that works if you do the right things ALWAYS. That does not mean you will win every fight, as there are many variables, but if you do get into a situation, hopefully your body, mind and spirit will have been habituated to return to a orientation or framework that allows you to regain what you lost or to respond appropriately.

If you approach or view Aikido (Or any system) as a collection of moves or techniques....then you will almost ALWAYS be behind your opponent as you are either thinking about what you are doing...which means your OODA loop will be very slow. Or you are responding with the wrong thing about 80 percent of the time ....which will mean "Aikido does not work!".

OwlMatt
10-24-2011, 01:58 PM
Hi, welcome to the internet.
:D
fixed
Only if he conceptualises Aikido as a grouping of techniques. In actually fact Aikido is by far the most flexible of all the martial arts because it has no techniques, no set forms.
But you still learn it by training techniques and set forms, right?

Ketsan
10-24-2011, 02:16 PM
fixed

But you still learn it by training techniques and set forms, right?

Yes but that is not the same as learning techniques. I practice Judo also, and when I'm in Judo I learn Judo techniques and I apply them in randori such that it is recogniseable which technique is being used.

When I use Aikido there is no set form to it, there is no recogniseable technique as such, it is just whatever fits with the situation.

Gerardo Torres
10-24-2011, 02:26 PM
Strawman? No, not really.

Well I don't recall Katherine Derbyshire or anyone here explicitly stating that "they don't want martial effectiveness…", so for you to jump to that conclusion would be a logical fallacy.

I think the biggest problem with this thread (and forum), is that despite the fact that most of the people here have not met in person, sometimes huge assumptions (and wrong conclusions) are taken about people's backgrounds, abilities and the value of their training. Another problem is the radical tendency to create two camps -- as far from each other as possible and with no room in between: the "real street effective fighters" vs. the "power rangers, delusional ki masters, aiki spiritual followers, etc." This creates a communication and conceptual breakdown. "Martial" is very broad, "fight" is as real as it is complex and many things -- even aiki -- can work in it (to various degrees and depending on the situation), so given this broadness and complexity I personally don't identify with any camps or anyone in particular, and find myself agreeing and disagreeing with everybody at some point or another.

Chris Evans brings up an excellent point:



if this thread helps to clear away one person's martial arts delusions then these chronic repetitions maybe of use to one that can "empty their tea cup..."
These are worthy pursuits: Help each individual (individuals, not broad targets like "Aikido") realize what they might be lacking for whatever their martial goals are. And to "empty their cup" in the process of reaching that realization.

One more good point:



As anyone posting opinions on what does and doesn't work actually been in any amount of physical confrontations to know what they are actually giving advice on?
I trust that as sensible adults most people here train in what serves them best for where they live and how they live. If for example someone's reality circles around fist-fighting at bars, then I trust their intelligence to do something that prepares them for that, and I'd welcome their experience-based input. But that's just one personal experience of a "real situation" in one particular area and it might not work somewhere else or for somebody else. In fact that person might not last a week in some other parts of the world without a thorough attitude, tactical and technical adjustment, so it's best to take in multiple opinions rather than discriminate and lecture a bunch of Budo people on what the "real world" is like -- that is extremely presumptuous and short-sighted.

sakumeikan
10-24-2011, 03:35 PM
Only if he conceptualises Aikido as a grouping of techniques. In actually fact Aikido is by far the most flexible of all the martial arts because it has no techniques, no set forms.
Hi Alex,
If there are no set forms what then is Kihon Waza? Surely in Kihon Waza one learns?the BASIC waza?Of course having hopefully embodied these movements one can than be flexible and do many variations.The Kihon waza is the basic grammar of aikido.Just like the abc at school.Without truly understanding basic grammar could one write a book[not a comic book ?.Or even a comment [such as it is } of mine? Cheers, Joe.

kewms
10-24-2011, 03:58 PM
Well I don't recall Katherine Derbyshire or anyone here explicitly stating that "they don't want martial effectiveness…", so for you to jump to that conclusion would be a logical fallacy.

Precisely.

Rather than "martial effectiveness," I prefer the term "martially reasonable." That is, I prefer training in which uke attacks and responds in a centered, intelligent way, and nage responds as the energy of the attack requires. Reversals and atemi are important tools in keeping both sides of the interaction honest. I think those elements are necessary, though not sufficient, for both "good" aikido as I understand it and as a foundation for "real world" applications. My understanding is that both my current and former dojos are well respected, including among martial artists outside the aikido community.

I just don't see ability to win fights as a useful measure of good training, or as an interesting personal objective.

Katherine

OwlMatt
10-24-2011, 04:02 PM
Yes but that is not the same as learning techniques. I practice Judo also, and when I'm in Judo I learn Judo techniques and I apply them in randori such that it is recogniseable which technique is being used.

When I use Aikido there is no set form to it, there is no recogniseable technique as such, it is just whatever fits with the situation.

Can I ask what you mean by "use aikido" here? When/where/how are you using it? I need some context to make sense of this post.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-24-2011, 04:55 PM
Well I don't recall Katherine Derbyshire or anyone here explicitly stating that "they don't want martial effectiveness…", so for you to jump to that conclusion would be a logical fallacy.
Or a misunderstanding.

Well, she has just explained what she wants.

Ketsan
10-24-2011, 05:38 PM
Hi Alex,
If there are no set forms what then is Kihon Waza? Surely in Kihon Waza one learns?the BASIC waza?Of course having hopefully embodied these movements one can than be flexible and do many variations.The Kihon waza is the basic grammar of aikido.Just like the abc at school.Without truly understanding basic grammar could one write a book[not a comic book ?.Or even a comment [such as it is } of mine? Cheers, Joe.

The short and dirty answer is that they're Jujutsu not Aikido. It's perfectly possible to master every technique taught in an Aikido dojo and never learn Aikido and end up with only some fairly low to medium level Jujutsu skills.

Aikido is higher level body mechanics that can be expressed through technique and very occasionally taught by technique, but in my experience, it needs someone who can do Aikido and can teach Aikido to lead someone to do Aikido through the Jujutsu techniques rather than just ending up doing Jujutsu.

Ketsan
10-24-2011, 07:01 PM
Can I ask what you mean by "use aikido" here? When/where/how are you using it? I need some context to make sense of this post.

Sparing, self-defence.

jennifer paige smith
10-24-2011, 11:57 PM
This should say, "Fighting doesn't work at all in Aikido." Problem solve from there.

Ketsan
10-25-2011, 10:22 AM
This should say, "Fighting doesn't work at all in Aikido." Problem solve from there.

Not at all; the statement doesn't address Aikido in fighting.

OwlMatt
10-25-2011, 10:37 AM
The short and dirty answer is that they're Jujutsu not Aikido. It's perfectly possible to master every technique taught in an Aikido dojo and never learn Aikido and end up with only some fairly low to medium level Jujutsu skills.

Aikido is higher level body mechanics that can be expressed through technique and very occasionally taught by technique, but in my experience, it needs someone who can do Aikido and can teach Aikido to lead someone to do Aikido through the Jujutsu techniques rather than just ending up doing Jujutsu.

To make this point, you're going to have to explain more clearly what "body mechanics" are present in aikido that are not present in jujutsu.

kewms
10-25-2011, 10:46 AM
To make this point, you're going to have to explain more clearly what "body mechanics" are present in aikido that are not present in jujutsu.

It would also be helpful to explain *which* aikido and *which* jujutsu you have in mind.

Katherine

Richard Stevens
10-25-2011, 10:52 AM
It would also be helpful to explain *which* aikido and *which* jujutsu you have in mind.

Katherine

I took it as a reference to Daito-Ryu's Jujutsu vs. Aiki no Jujtsu.

torbjornsaw
10-26-2011, 01:12 AM
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.

Everybody knows there are no guarantees who will come out a winner in a fight. In a real life threatening situation there are no rules. As a aikidoka am I only allowed to use aikido techniques or can I use whatever at hand? Competitive fights are ruled and limited in whats legal. Even though the cage fighters are probably the most ferocious animals out there who tear my head off the second I step into the ring, but on the street anything goes.

In the dojo we do not train combat survival but train to understand a dynamic relationship that will enable us to deal with multiple situations, whether they be life threatening or not. Aiki are principles that need to be discovered, learned and honed through ceaseless practice.

Ki or kokyu are tools we use in many different ways for strengthening and aligning our bodies and minds for purposeful effect.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-26-2011, 05:53 AM
Even though the cage fighters are probably the most ferocious animals out there who tear my head off the second I step into the ring, but on the street anything goes.
And they eat babies too.

grondahl
10-26-2011, 06:34 AM
And they eat babies too.

No, no. You think of the most ferocios animal on the streets: The chimpanzee

Ketsan
10-26-2011, 08:42 AM
I took it as a reference to Daito-Ryu's Jujutsu vs. Aiki no Jujtsu.

Yeah pretty much.

grondahl
10-26-2011, 08:55 AM
Yeah pretty much.

Have you done alot of Daito Ryu, or are this your own interpretations based on interviews, textbooks etc?

Anthony Loeppert
10-26-2011, 09:27 AM
Ki or kokyu are tools we use in many different ways for strengthening and aligning our bodies and minds for purposeful effect.

Rings very true to me... especially the selection of the word "tools".

Regards,
Anthony

Anthony Loeppert
10-26-2011, 09:36 AM
No, no. You think of the most ferocios animal on the streets: The chimpanzee

Um... hello, that is why we keep them in cages and stare! :)

Let the zoo keepers deal with them! (http://youtu.be/Rgurbo_4bqg)

Demetrio Cereijo
10-26-2011, 09:59 AM
Maybe the keeper was into err... how to say it? (http://www.borowitzreport.com/2011/10/19/pat-robertson-god-let-zoo-animals-escape-to-bite-gay-people/)

Ketsan
10-26-2011, 10:52 AM
Have you done alot of Daito Ryu, or are this your own interpretations based on interviews, textbooks etc?

No it's just a useful analogy which fits in with the way I've learned Aikido. You know how we say "Aikido is about using uke's weight and momentum against them" well we all kind know that by the definition of Aiki that the definition used to describe Aikido can't possibly be true or at best only half of the story. Note also that it's practically word for word the same as how Judo or Jujutsu is explained. Have you ever seen a Judoka using any of the body skills Aikidoka use? Nope.

If we're working from static we're really not using uke's weight and momentum; what we're doing is using our energy to disturb his centre; this is Aikido. When you're working with an energetic uke and working on keeping their energy moving and redirecting their momentum to produce a throw that's Jujutsu; that's no different from what a Judoka does.

kewms
10-26-2011, 11:02 AM
If we're working from static we're really not using uke's weight and momentum; what we're doing is using our energy to disturb his centre; this is Aikido. When you're working with an energetic uke and working on keeping their energy moving and redirecting their momentum to produce a throw that's Jujutsu; that's no different from what a Judoka does.

Olympic judo is really pretty boring to watch, because the two competitors grab each others lapels and ground out, refusing to give any energy that could be used to throw them. (And then after awhile the referee breaks it up, awards a delay penalty to one side or the other, and they start over again...) When throws do occur, they seem to have much more to do with "disturbing his center" than with "redirecting momentum," simply because there isn't any momentum to redirect.

Katherine

Janet Rosen
10-26-2011, 01:11 PM
If we're working from static we're really not using uke's weight and momentum; what we're doing is using our energy to disturb his centre; this is Aikido..

That's not typical of the aikido I've been practicing in a variety of dojos over the past 16 years.
Uke is making a dynamic attack; my disturbing of his center is in that context.
If uke is static, there isn't much need for us to do much but stand there and smile at each other.

George S. Ledyard
10-26-2011, 02:10 PM
That's not typical of the aikido I've been practicing in a variety of dojos over the past 16 years.
Uke is making a dynamic attack; my disturbing of his center is in that context.
If uke is static, there isn't much need for us to do much but stand there and smile at each other.

Aikido is the only martial art I know of which encourages people to think that there is any such thing as a "static" attack. The whole "you can't move me" mindset needs to be expunged from how we perceive what we are doing and how we go about training it.

"Static practice" is just that... PRACTICE. It is a specialized component of training devoted to teaching proper use of the body and the intent to create connection and to teach proper use of "aiki" to give direction to the energy of that connection.

An uke who thinks that an attack has anything to do with stopping the other guy from moving has no idea about proper attacking or martial application of attacking technique. This kind of uke is only good at slowing down the learning process of his partners. In an applied self defense situation with someone who knew anything at all, he'd get knocked cold.

Aikido is all about understanding relaxation and connection and it gets it power from proper use of the body structure. Neither partner should do anything which restricts his or her complete freedom to move in any direction at any instant. Uke and nage should be doing precisely the same thing in practice. The fact that many folks do not train this way is one of the central issues with Aikido training. Oft times you find uke and nage being equally tense, each using muscle power to accomplish their roles. This way of training simply imprints mental and physical tension in every repetition of a technique. Training should be doing just the opposite.

People need to be taught proper attacks. Grabs are meant to disturb the nage's structure, setting up a throw or a strike. Grabs are every bit as dynamic as strikes. try grabbing your partner's wrist and taking their balance while trying to be "strong" i.e. using muscle power. Unless you are twice the size of the person you are working with, and they have no idea about how to use their own structure, there's no way you can take someone's center with a grabbing attack by muscling them around.

If we are going to get to a better and more effective Aikido, which actually has some "aiki"" operating and contains some spiritual depth (meaning that the techniques relate to the philosophical / spiritual underpinnings of the art as described by the Founder, we need to fix this ASAP.

Ketsan
10-26-2011, 06:00 PM
Olympic judo is really pretty boring to watch, because the two competitors grab each others lapels and ground out, refusing to give any energy that could be used to throw them. (And then after awhile the referee breaks it up, awards a delay penalty to one side or the other, and they start over again...) When throws do occur, they seem to have much more to do with "disturbing his center" than with "redirecting momentum," simply because there isn't any momentum to redirect.

Katherine

Looking at the 2008 Olympics I'm not sure I'd share your assessment.

Ketsan
10-26-2011, 07:36 PM
That's not typical of the aikido I've been practicing in a variety of dojos over the past 16 years.
Uke is making a dynamic attack; my disturbing of his center is in that context.
If uke is static, there isn't much need for us to do much but stand there and smile at each other.

It isn't typical of Aikido that I've been practicing either. Ultimately there is no uke, uke isn't grabbing tori for the fun of it so tori shouldn't be able to stand there and smile at each other, either tori should immediately be struck or thrown.

kewms
10-27-2011, 12:07 AM
Looking at the 2008 Olympics I'm not sure I'd share your assessment.

The 2008 Olympics is what I based my assessment on. Clearly you were watching different matches than I was.

Katherine

Chris Evans
10-27-2011, 09:52 AM
it isn't that Aikido's ineffective, it's that the teachers and advanced students perpetuate overly compliant, unrealistic sell-defense/combat/fight/insert-your-own-euphemism Aikido training (aside from going slow with novices to build a solid foundation: go slow, for a while, to go fast, unscripted, and fluid)

Similar physical delusions are perpetuated in karate, hapkido, and taekwondo, but that Aikido tends to attract more of the gentle wishful thinking imbalanced types than others'. A lot (96%, from on study) of golfers are quite "delusional," FWIW, as it's human nature to cheat or take the easier way.

If an Aikido-ka practice with the mindset (humility, sincerity, and open-mindedness...not the necessarily their physical techniques) of MMA players than the real Aikido may happen, I am guessing, but in a far fewer numbers.

Please, clear me of any delusions, on Aikido or otherwise...

Demetrio Cereijo
10-27-2011, 10:02 AM
A lot (96%, from on study) of golfers are quite "delusional,"
Do you have the citation at hand?

If an Aikido-ka practice with the mindset (humility, sincerity, and open-mindedness...not the necessarily their physical techniques) of MMA players than the real Aikido may happen, I am guessing, but in a far fewer numbers.
Shhhh...

Chris Evans
10-27-2011, 10:42 AM
OT: on Golf cheaters, was a 2010 Golf Digest magazine issue, with Duke University doing an anonymous/"blind" study/poll. If I find the exact citation I'll post...

terry johnson
10-27-2011, 10:45 PM
Aikido has worked for me in a street situation many times. The last time was especially good when a maniac on a motorbike had road rage. He got from his bike and hurtled at me. I remained on my bike and never panicked just dropped my head as his fist came in. He hit my crash helmet and I think damaged his wrist.

This I know is not an Aikido technique, but being calm and not panicking is part of my training. Another time I was approached in Laos by 4 youths after my wallet. As i was grabbed I kept turning and 2 attackers were thrown clear. The third who hung on was disabled quite easily with sankyo. If I did not know Aikido then my money would have been gone. But the main point is, that at no time did I panic or feel that I would not overcome these yobs. The 4th one did nothing, as I smartly ran off, in case others were around with knives.
DOES any one know Sensei Max Moss

genin
10-28-2011, 09:00 AM
Aikido has worked for me in a street situation many times. The last time was especially good when a maniac on a motorbike had road rage. He got from his bike and hurtled at me. I remained on my bike and never panicked just dropped my head as his fist came in. He hit my crash helmet and I think damaged his wrist.

This I know is not an Aikido technique, but being calm and not panicking is part of my training. Another time I was approached in Laos by 4 youths after my wallet. As i was grabbed I kept turning and 2 attackers were thrown clear. The third who hung on was disabled quite easily with sankyo. If I did not know Aikido then my money would have been gone. But the main point is, that at no time did I panic or feel that I would not overcome these yobs. The 4th one did nothing, as I smartly ran off, in case others were around with knives.
DOES any one know Sensei Max Moss

This is an interesting situation, in that you utilized your training to stay calm and overcame the violence by virtue of that, rather than by physical force. However, that just means you used Aikido to avoid a fight, not to win it. The other incident you did use actual moves, which were apparently effective. That is telling in itself. But it's also worth noting that those Laotian youths were probably only trying to get your money, and not necessarily trying to do you great harm. So again, was this a "fight" in which you were the victor, or just an event where you were able to neutralize the situation? I'm not trying to take anything away from what you did, because you seemed to have handled it very well in both circumstances.

Chris Evans
10-28-2011, 09:49 AM
staying calm has a lot to do with having faith in courageous, open-minded, and sincere training.

an example of not being "open-minded" is when a karate dojo (or a WTF "Olympic"-only TKD dojang) practices their own cult-like attachments to their narrow range of waza/techniques without being mindful that some impractical waza/techniques can really open a person to vulnerabilities.

Both zazen (shikantaza/samadhi) and martial arts strive to perceive reality (inner and outer) as they are and develop a useful, practical, mindset, without adding a "veil" of wishful thinking "artsy/showy" or "idealistic" ways to practice.

We all know and love the preventive, peaceful resolutions, to potential conflicts in martial arts, esp. in Akido, but may we focus on observations in prevailing or surviving in a fight/self-defense/self-protection upon unavoidable contact, please?

Janet Rosen
10-28-2011, 01:12 PM
That's what we train for. Well done.

Aikido has worked for me in a street situation many times. The last time was especially good when a maniac on a motorbike had road rage. He got from his bike and hurtled at me. I remained on my bike and never panicked just dropped my head as his fist came in. He hit my crash helmet and I think damaged his wrist.

This I know is not an Aikido technique, but being calm and not panicking is part of my training. Another time I was approached in Laos by 4 youths after my wallet. As i was grabbed I kept turning and 2 attackers were thrown clear. The third who hung on was disabled quite easily with sankyo. If I did not know Aikido then my money would have been gone. But the main point is, that at no time did I panic or feel that I would not overcome these yobs. The 4th one did nothing, as I smartly ran off, in case others were around with knives.
DOES any one know Sensei Max Moss

RED
10-28-2011, 01:16 PM
Looking at the 2008 Olympics I'm not sure I'd share your assessment.

wasn't that the year the Judoka beat up the referee when he lost?

DonMagee
10-28-2011, 01:20 PM
wasn't that the year the Judoka beat up the referee when he lost?

I'm pretty sure that was TKD not judo

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/judo/news/story?id=3549903

RED
10-28-2011, 01:21 PM
I'm pretty sure that was TKD not judo

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/judo/news/story?id=3549903

still, an awesome picture.... bad sportsmanship regardless.

genin
10-28-2011, 02:17 PM
still, an awesome picture.... bad sportsmanship regardless.

If the ref knew Aikido he could've blocked that.

kewms
10-28-2011, 05:51 PM
This is an interesting situation, in that you utilized your training to stay calm and overcame the violence by virtue of that, rather than by physical force. However, that just means you used Aikido to avoid a fight, not to win it. The other incident you did use actual moves, which were apparently effective. That is telling in itself. But it's also worth noting that those Laotian youths were probably only trying to get your money, and not necessarily trying to do you great harm. So again, was this a "fight" in which you were the victor, or just an event where you were able to neutralize the situation? I'm not trying to take anything away from what you did, because you seemed to have handled it very well in both circumstances.

Maybe the "victory" is in being able to neutralize the situation without a "fight?"

Katherine

genin
10-28-2011, 06:20 PM
Maybe the "victory" is in being able to neutralize the situation without a "fight?"

Katherine

I thought about that. And you're right. A true victory over an opponent is when you are able to avoid a conflict altogether, provided you didn't have to make great sacrifices to do so. If you neutralize the situation that is a better victory than winning a fight through a superior show of force.

However, since this is a thread about Aikido not working in an actual fight, it would be useful to look at situations where physical techniques were actually used during combat. Otherwise the topic would be about Aikido as it relates to conflict resolution, which is a slightly different issue.

kewms
10-28-2011, 07:29 PM
However, since this is a thread about Aikido not working in an actual fight, it would be useful to look at situations where physical techniques were actually used during combat. Otherwise the topic would be about Aikido as it relates to conflict resolution, which is a slightly different issue.

I'm going to stand my ground on this one. Terry got to keep his wallet, didn't get hurt, and didn't injure anyone seriously enough to get entangled with the local police. That's about as positive an outcome as it's possible to achieve in a four-on-one situation, and probably more positive than would have resulted if he had decided to "teach those kids a lesson" or something similarly stupid.

Restricting the discussion to "techniques actually used in combat" makes your level of proof far too high. The more senior the aikidoka, the more likely aikido is to "work" for them (one hopes). But the more senior the aikidoka, the better they are going to be (one hopes) at the kind of conflict avoidance Terry demonstrated. So the aikidoka most likely to actually get in fights will be the ones who aren't yet skilled enough to succeed in them. I don't think it's fair to judge any art by its junior practitioners.

There's a story about Saotome Sensei, in which he was accosted by a group of young thugs. The first of the thugs found his head moving toward the corner of a building at high speed. Saotome Sensei stopped him short of that impact, which very well might have killed him, and the thugs ran. Would you have more respect for Saotome Sensei's aikido if he had actually killed the person? Or less?

Katherine

Ketsan
10-28-2011, 09:17 PM
I'm going to stand my ground on this one. Terry got to keep his wallet, didn't get hurt, and didn't injure anyone seriously enough to get entangled with the local police. That's about as positive an outcome as it's possible to achieve in a four-on-one situation, and probably more positive than would have resulted if he had decided to "teach those kids a lesson" or something similarly stupid.

Restricting the discussion to "techniques actually used in combat" makes your level of proof far too high. The more senior the aikidoka, the more likely aikido is to "work" for them (one hopes). But the more senior the aikidoka, the better they are going to be (one hopes) at the kind of conflict avoidance Terry demonstrated. So the aikidoka most likely to actually get in fights will be the ones who aren't yet skilled enough to succeed in them. I don't think it's fair to judge any art by its junior practitioners.

There's a story about Saotome Sensei, in which he was accosted by a group of young thugs. The first of the thugs found his head moving toward the corner of a building at high speed. Saotome Sensei stopped him short of that impact, which very well might have killed him, and the thugs ran. Would you have more respect for Saotome Sensei's aikido if he had actually killed the person? Or less?

Katherine

I think it's fair to judge an art by it's average practitioners, say, it's dan grades. It's not like we look at BJJ and say "Well yeah the Gracies are good but maybe the art doesn't really work". Conflict avoidence doesn't require a martial art and martial arts are not for times when conflict can be avoided; they are exactly for dealing with conflict.

Would you have more respect for Saotome Sensei's aikido if he had actually killed the person? Or less?

It's a martial art; it's to be expected that the ability to kill is part of it.

kewms
10-28-2011, 11:26 PM
It's a martial art; it's to be expected that the ability to kill is part of it.

That wasn't the question, though.

Rather, must someone demonstrate that ability in order to prove that their art "works?"

Because, in the kinds of situations we're talking about, there are three choices: aikidoka gets hurt, attacker(s) get hurt, or aikidoka manages to disengage (or persuade attackers to do so). So is hurting the attacker -- at greater risk to oneself -- better proof of effectiveness than disengaging? And why?

Katherine

Janet Rosen
10-29-2011, 12:45 AM
I am getting mighty confused about what a "fight" is. I don't do boxing or MMA so I don't "fight" as a sport. Somebody said they meant "combat", well like many folks who train in m.a. I'm not in the armed forces so don't need to train for combat. I don't go out to bars where people drink, hang out with tweakers, belong to a gang, or in any other way live a lifestyle that puts me into the brawls folks seem to mean by "fights"...
HOWEVER...since I started traveling about the sidewalks and subways of NYC alone at age 13 I had to learn to deal with vibes, attitude, and the possibility of assault with intent to mug or rape. To those posters who suggest multiple attackers going for a wallet did not have intent to committ harm, I have to say how dare you presume to make such an assumption and on what mindreading? Where I grew up every mugger had a knife, if not a gun (which were rare on NY streets in the good old days). I say the fellow who successfully came away from a four person mugging attempt as he described it had an optimal outcome, and yes, won that fight.
And as I told a friend many many years ago surprised to hear I'd pulled a gun to investigate somebody coming thru my bathroom window in the wee hours (turned out to be the neighbor's cat): If I want to live I HAVE to assume anybody breaking in, even if their original intent is burglary, may decide to escalate to rape or murder if they think they can get away with it. Self defense has to make this assumption and not decide, "hey, it's not a fight or combat"....

Janet Rosen
10-29-2011, 12:49 AM
That wasn't the question, though.

Rather, must someone demonstrate that ability in order to prove that their art "works?"

Because, in the kinds of situations we're talking about, there are three choices: aikidoka gets hurt, attacker(s) get hurt, or aikidoka manages to disengage (or persuade attackers to do so). So is hurting the attacker -- at greater risk to oneself -- better proof of effectiveness than disengaging? And why?

Katherine

Very very well said, Katherine. Doing the least possible harm while being effective is always the best outcome.

sakumeikan
10-30-2011, 12:40 PM
That's not typical of the aikido I've been practicing in a variety of dojos over the past 16 years.
Uke is making a dynamic attack; my disturbing of his center is in that context.
If uke is static, there isn't much need for us to do much but stand there and smile at each other.

DearJanet,
Possibly the static form can be seen as the early stage [Go -hard] of Aikido as described in Saito Sensei s books?This is solid .Satos sensei says that this is the primary metheod of taining in aikido.The 1st stage, Then comes flexible -Ju, then flowing Ki. cheers, Joe.

George S. Ledyard
10-30-2011, 03:33 PM
DearJanet,
Possibly the static form can be seen as the early stage [Go -hard] of Aikido as described in Saito Sensei s books?This is solid .Satos sensei says that this is the primary metheod of taining in aikido.The 1st stage, Then comes flexible -Ju, then flowing Ki. cheers, Joe.

While this is clearly only my opinion, I would say that I see little evidence over the decades that training with muscle strength and physical tension for some lengthy period magically morphs into relaxed technique and a light touch later on. I am not saying that some work doing static technique with ukes who are not moving with you isn't important. But too much of this leads the ukes to think that "being strong" in this fashion actually has some function and that's how one actually attacks. Tension leads to lack of speed and functional power and a l freedom to move. That is bad martial arts no matter how you cut it.

Too much of the training in Aikido is derived from a notion of training that is fundamentally elitist, deriving from a Japanese notion of how hierarchy works. People train in a certain way. At some point, with very little assistance or explanation, they are supposed to figure out that they need to change certain things to get at what their teacher is REALLY doing. The end result is a very small number of people who have the goods, while the vast majority seem to exist merely to support the folks at the very top of the pyramid who are doing the real thing. Add to that the fact that the art is largely a "closed system" in which most folks only train within the borders of their own styles much less ever get out and train with folks who really know something about other martial arts, So, even many of the most senior practitioners are not necessarily seen as being terribly good martial artists. They are simply excellent at executing certain arcane skills within the rarefied environment of the Aikido dojo.

So, I am a firm believer in deciding what the end point of training should look like and designing a training regimen that will result in that end for the optimal number of practitioners who follow the program. I think there are systems like this. I have seen the methodology used by Chuck Clark Sensei's Jiyushinkai and it is rational, systematic ad progressive. How they train is clearly geared to develop a set of skills without some "magical" shift from what is really wrong to something that is really right. It's not that there won't always be a "pyramid" with someone at the top because there will always be the folks who have more talent and or drive to excel. Clark Sensei's son Aaron is a perfect example, being one of the most solidly trained martial artists I know. But everyone training with any degree of seriousness should have technique that is on track to become high level with only time and effort between them and the top folks, not some ill defined shift that needs to take place at "some" point in the process, which isn't explained or taught but you are supposed to "intuit". Clark Sensei's students are all on the same path as Aaron Clark, they are simply lower on the mountain than he is. Far to much of Aikido training simply will not, now or ever, yield high level skills, nor is it expected to do so. The "real" Aikido is for professionals (Shihan) while the rest of the folks do what I have called "Aikido-lite".

So, it's really "caveat emptor" operating in the Aikido world. Just because a certain teacher reached a given level doesn't mean that he can teach what he knows and produce other people at the same level. Just because a teacher has a big number after his name, doesn't mean that his Aikido is very good. There are clearly as many different standards operating at the top levels as there seem to be at the lower levels. Just one trip ten years ago to the Aiki Expos disabused anyone attending of the notion that rank meant anything at all. There were folks there whose Aikido was truly awful and there were folks there who were amazing. Nothing in common in terms of style or time in grade.

When picking a teacher to train with, it's really a good idea to look, not at the amazing teacher himself, but at his or her students. If the senior students are showing the kinds of skills one would strive for, then it is clear that the teacher has the ability to pass on those skills. But if the teacher is amazing but the students look as if none of them have a clue what the "big guy" is doing, then what is the benefit to you of being associated with an amazing teacher who can't pass on what he is doing?

Anyway, my point here is that just because a certain teacher was excellent and developed a certain training system doesn't mean that he was correct. After forty or fifty years one can now see the results of the training. Did these systems produce people of great skill who are credible martial artists or not? Now that there are a bunch of 6th and 7th Dans all over the place, one can easily evaluate the results of following certain methodologies. Did training that way result in the kinds of skills one is looking for at the end of the process or not?

My own take on it is that the majority of folks who trained stiff and strong when they started are still stiff and strong thirty years later. There are some very notable exceptions, but to me, they stand out as exceptions rather than demonstrating the functionality of a given training methodology. Some folks get really great despite the manner in which they trained...

Ken McGrew
10-30-2011, 04:11 PM
In Aikido and the Harmony of Nature Saotome Shihan describes being corrected by O'Sensei for not noticing and stopping two students from struggling with each other on the mat. O'Sensei told him that such training destroys the "system" of learning Aikido that he had developed. In other words, the cooperative training with movement and momentum teaches skills and principles that eventually allow Aikido to be used in a self defense situation. As Saotome Shohan wrote, ukemi is far more than simply falling or receiving a throw. It teaches Nage in the yin and yang "unity of opposites." What Ledyard Sensei wrote here is not just his opinion. It is O'sensei's instruction. It is Saotome Shihan's instruction.

I have often observed that the static mindset contaminates more than static practice (which might be better thought of as exercise rather than waza). Movement training whether slow or fast is inherently static when Uke, especially when motivated by ego, attempts to prevent or stop Nage. Of course Nage can change to work around such resistance, but not while simultaneously training what Sensei showed. Uke and Nage train a hypothetical situation, one of many possible ways that things could play out in a "real" situation. By providing idealized ukemi Uke helps Nage to learn to draw out of an attacker what is advantageous in that given circumstance.

Given that real attacks that are capable of causing injury must carry energy and momentum in the attackers body, it makes sense to simulate such attack energy while training. As O'Sensei and Saotome Shihan have indicated, however, that there are additional reasons for the cooperative training system.

While this is clearly only my opinion, I would say that I see little evidence over the decades that training with muscle strength and physical tension for some lengthy period magically morphs into relaxed technique and a light touch later on. I am not saying that some work doing static technique with ukes who are not moving with you isn't important. But too much of this leads the ukes to think that "being strong" in this fashion actually has some function and that's how one actually attacks. Tension leads to lack of speed and functional power and a l freedom to move. That is bad martial arts no matter how you cut it.

Too much of the training in Aikido is derived from a notion of training that is fundamentally elitist, deriving from a Japanese notion of how hierarchy works. People train in a certain way. At some point, with very little assistance or explanation, they are supposed to figure out that they need to change certain things to get at what their teacher is REALLY doing. The end result is a very small number of people who have the goods, while the vast majority seem to exist merely to support the folks at the very top of the pyramid who are doing the real thing. Add to that the fact that the art is largely a "closed system" in which most folks only train within the borders of their own styles much less ever get out and train with folks who really know something about other martial arts, So, even many of the most senior practitioners are not necessarily seen as being terribly good martial artists. They are simply excellent at executing certain arcane skills within the rarefied environment of the Aikido dojo.

So, I am a firm believer in deciding what the end point of training should look like and designing a training regimen that will result in that end for the optimal number of practitioners who follow the program. I think there are systems like this. I have seen the methodology used by Chuck Clark Sensei's Jiyushinkai and it is rational, systematic ad progressive. How they train is clearly geared to develop a set of skills without some "magical" shift from what is really wrong to something that is really right. It's not that there won't always be a "pyramid" with someone at the top because there will always be the folks who have more talent and or drive to excel. Clark Sensei's son Aaron is a perfect example, being one of the most solidly trained martial artists I know. But everyone training with any degree of seriousness should have technique that is on track to become high level with only time and effort between them and the top folks, not some ill defined shift that needs to take place at "some" point in the process, which isn't explained or taught but you are supposed to "intuit". Clark Sensei's students are all on the same path as Aaron Clark, they are simply lower on the mountain than he is. Far to much of Aikido training simply will not, now or ever, yield high level skills, nor is it expected to do so. The "real" Aikido is for professionals (Shihan) while the rest of the folks do what I have called "Aikido-lite".

So, it's really "caveat emptor" operating in the Aikido world. Just because a certain teacher reached a given level doesn't mean that he can teach what he knows and produce other people at the same level. Just because a teacher has a big number after his name, doesn't mean that his Aikido is very good. There are clearly as many different standards operating at the top levels as there seem to be at the lower levels. Just one trip ten years ago to the Aiki Expos disabused anyone attending of the notion that rank meant anything at all. There were folks there whose Aikido was truly awful and there were folks there who were amazing. Nothing in common in terms of style or time in grade.

When picking a teacher to train with, it's really a good idea to look, not at the amazing teacher himself, but at his or her students. If the senior students are showing the kinds of skills one would strive for, then it is clear that the teacher has the ability to pass on those skills. But if the teacher is amazing but the students look as if none of them have a clue what the "big guy" is doing, then what is the benefit to you of being associated with an amazing teacher who can't pass on what he is doing?

Anyway, my point here is that just because a certain teacher was excellent and developed a certain training system doesn't mean that he was correct. After forty or fifty years one can now see the results of the training. Did these systems produce people of great skill who are credible martial artists or not? Now that there are a bunch of 6th and 7th Dans all over the place, one can easily evaluate the results of following certain methodologies. Did training that way result in the kinds of skills one is looking for at the end of the process or not?

My own take on it is that the majority of folks who trained stiff and strong when they started are still stiff and strong thirty years later. There are some very notable exceptions, but to me, they stand out as exceptions rather than demonstrating the functionality of a given training methodology. Some folks get really great despite the manner in which they trained...

Janet Rosen
10-30-2011, 04:26 PM
While this is clearly only my opinion, I would say that I see little evidence over the decades that training with muscle strength and physical tension for some lengthy period magically morphs into relaxed technique and a light touch later on. I am not saying that some work doing static technique with ukes who are not moving with you isn't important. But too much of this leads the ukes to think that "being strong" in this fashion actually has some function and that's how one actually attacks. Tension leads to lack of speed and functional power and a l freedom to move. That is bad martial arts no matter how you cut it....
....My own take on it is that the majority of folks who trained stiff and strong when they started are still stiff and strong thirty years later.

Thank you for saying it better than I could have.
I have rarely felt I learned anything meaningful from the person with the "clamp of death" on me other than successfully dealing with my innate desire to, depending on my mood, pinch his cheek or punch his lights out.

Ketsan
10-30-2011, 04:50 PM
I am getting mighty confused about what a "fight" is. I don't do boxing or MMA so I don't "fight" as a sport. Somebody said they meant "combat", well like many folks who train in m.a. I'm not in the armed forces so don't need to train for combat. I don't go out to bars where people drink, hang out with tweakers, belong to a gang, or in any other way live a lifestyle that puts me into the brawls folks seem to mean by "fights"...
HOWEVER...since I started traveling about the sidewalks and subways of NYC alone at age 13 I had to learn to deal with vibes, attitude, and the possibility of assault with intent to mug or rape. To those posters who suggest multiple attackers going for a wallet did not have intent to committ harm, I have to say how dare you presume to make such an assumption and on what mindreading? Where I grew up every mugger had a knife, if not a gun (which were rare on NY streets in the good old days). I say the fellow who successfully came away from a four person mugging attempt as he described it had an optimal outcome, and yes, won that fight.
And as I told a friend many many years ago surprised to hear I'd pulled a gun to investigate somebody coming thru my bathroom window in the wee hours (turned out to be the neighbor's cat): If I want to live I HAVE to assume anybody breaking in, even if their original intent is burglary, may decide to escalate to rape or murder if they think they can get away with it. Self defense has to make this assumption and not decide, "hey, it's not a fight or combat"....

A fight is when one or more people have an intention to do harm and are either attempting to strike or grapple with you with or without a weapon.

George S. Ledyard
10-30-2011, 04:50 PM
Thank you for saying it better than I could have.
I have rarely felt I learned anything meaningful from the person with the "clamp of death" on me other than successfully dealing with my innate desire to, depending on my mood, pinch his cheek or punch his lights out.
Hi Janet! What folks really need to understand is that the uke doesn't learn anything from this either...

Ketsan
10-30-2011, 04:51 PM
DearJanet,
Possibly the static form can be seen as the early stage [Go -hard] of Aikido as described in Saito Sensei s books?This is solid .Satos sensei says that this is the primary metheod of taining in aikido.The 1st stage, Then comes flexible -Ju, then flowing Ki. cheers, Joe.

Umm where I am the static is the advanced stage that has more in common with Tai Chi than anything else.

Dan Rubin
10-30-2011, 05:02 PM
A fight is when one or more people have an intention to do harm and are either attempting to strike or grapple with you with or without a weapon.

I would call that an attack, not a fight. For it to become a fight, I would have to counter-attack.

sakumeikan
10-30-2011, 05:44 PM
Umm where I am the static is the advanced stage that has more in common with Tai Chi than anything else.

Dear Alex,
Difficult to assess whether we are discussing same principles.The advanced stage of Aikido is Ki Musubi ie when tori pre empts the movement of Uke .What I understand of basic 'Static'is when Uke takes the initiative and holds Tori firmly .Tori then has to neutralise ukes power and despatch uke accordingly.This process is useful in training the aikido body/conditioning.I suggest [if I may ]get a copy of Saito Senseis volumes of Aikido and you will get a much better idea of what I am stating.
Cheers, Joe.

Ketsan
10-30-2011, 05:47 PM
That wasn't the question, though.

Rather, must someone demonstrate that ability in order to prove that their art "works?"

Because, in the kinds of situations we're talking about, there are three choices: aikidoka gets hurt, attacker(s) get hurt, or aikidoka manages to disengage (or persuade attackers to do so). So is hurting the attacker -- at greater risk to oneself -- better proof of effectiveness than disengaging? And why?

Katherine

Perhaps not the ability to kill but they must, by definition, demonstrate the ability to defend themselves if they want to claim effectiveness. If you walked into an Aikido dojo and the instructor and his students were continually getting punched in the face when they practiced from jodan tsuki would you take them at all seriously? If they couldn't cope with shomen uchi would you train with them? And if they said "We know we keep getting hit but really we're practicing to disengage because we think that's better proof of effectiveness" would you in any way decide that this was a good martial approach to things?

It'd be interesting if we started practiced disengagement in the dojo. Uke bows, goes to make shomen uchi and tori just walks off or runs away or says "You know what, sod this, there's no point to it, neither of us is going to win and one of us might get hurt, let's go to the pub and I'll buy you a pint, what you drinking?"

I think that might slightly change the direction of Aikido. :D

Janet Rosen
10-30-2011, 07:17 PM
Perhaps not the ability to kill but they must, by definition, demonstrate the ability to defend themselves if they want to claim effectiveness. If you walked into an Aikido dojo and the instructor and his students were continually getting punched in the face when they practiced from jodan tsuki would you take them at all seriously? If they couldn't cope with shomen uchi would you train with them? And if they said "We know we keep getting hit but really we're practicing to disengage because we think that's better proof of effectiveness" would you in any way decide that this was a good martial approach to things?

It'd be interesting if we started practiced disengagement in the dojo. Uke bows, goes to make shomen uchi and tori just walks off or runs away or says "You know what, sod this, there's no point to it, neither of us is going to win and one of us might get hurt, let's go to the pub and I'll buy you a pint, what you drinking?"

I think that might slightly change the direction of Aikido. :D

In the example we were discussing the man was attacked by four, made some form of physical contact with three, and all four decided it was enough and ran away. THEY chose to disengage. Nobody was dead, nobody was maimed or lying on the street. Yet it has been said here by various posters that this is not aikido, not a fight, or not a good outcome. This defies common sense or at least the logic of the world in which I live.
Your reply spins way out of the context in which Katherine was addressing the specific issue.

Janet Rosen
10-30-2011, 07:19 PM
The man defended himself. Where in his post is this not clear?

kewms
10-30-2011, 08:32 PM
Perhaps not the ability to kill but they must, by definition, demonstrate the ability to defend themselves if they want to claim effectiveness.

Which the person confronted by four potential muggers did. Which Saotome Sensei did, in the incident I described. And yet people are claiming that those situations weren't "fights" and aren't relevant to the original topic.

So my question is, if fending off four attackers without getting hurt doesn't count as "effective" use of aikido in a "fight," what on earth would?

Katherine

Ketsan
10-30-2011, 08:34 PM
The man defended himself. Where in his post is this not clear?

A friend of mine got surrounded by a group of lads, they took his bag off him, kicked him, punched him and he being a tough bastard just stood there and took it because he figured fighting back wasn't really an option and he's not much of a runner. Eventually they got kinda weirded out by a guy that can take a beating with total indifference and left and even gave him his bag back.

Pretty much the same situation and the same result: nobody was dead, nobody was injured all that badly. If the original example is meant as an example of self-defence then really it's only marginally better than being a punch bag, this is what I'm saying, you wouldn't sell Aikido as a practical art off the back of it because really it's a case where a group of guys picked on someone they thought was an easy target because they themselves weren't willing to fight and anyone can fight people trying to avoid a fight. The same result probably would have happened if he was a totally untrained guy who decided to have a go, claiming the decisive factor or even the lion's share of credit for Aikido here is a bit much.

So if we're going to say Aikido is effective then we can only cite examples where at the start there are people who are willing and able to fight and at the end said people are on the floor unable to fight.

Ketsan
10-30-2011, 08:44 PM
I would call that an attack, not a fight. For it to become a fight, I would have to counter-attack.

Yeah, true.

Ketsan
10-30-2011, 08:56 PM
Which the person confronted by four potential muggers did. Which Saotome Sensei did, in the incident I described. And yet people are claiming that those situations weren't "fights" and aren't relevant to the original topic.

So my question is, if fending off four attackers without getting hurt doesn't count as "effective" use of aikido in a "fight," what on earth would?

Katherine

If they don't make a serious attempt to hospitalise you or worse it's not really a fight: it's a scuffle at most. A fight is a full blown situation where people that aren't going to back down and are willing to use violence and are in the process of doing so and don't stop until they are forced to.

If someone throws a punch and the other guy blocks it and pushes him over and that ends it, it's a scuffle; there was never any serious intent to do harm it was just one guy trying to assert his dominance over another and failing. If the guy gets up and there's an exchange of blows or wrestling with the clear intention that one guy isn't going to be walking away from this then it's a fight.

If a mugger comes up to you and you give him a smack or a shove and he decides he doesn't want to bother then it's a scuffle. If he decides that actually he's going to go for it then it's a fight.

If you walk away from it unhurt, it probably wasn't a fight. You should have at least cuts and bruises, a black eye, all the usual injuries that go with fighting.

robin_jet_alt
10-30-2011, 09:16 PM
If they don't make a serious attempt to hospitalise you or worse it's not really a fight: it's a scuffle at most. A fight is a full blown situation where people that aren't going to back down and are willing to use violence and are in the process of doing so and don't stop until they are forced to.

If someone throws a punch and the other guy blocks it and pushes him over and that ends it, it's a scuffle; there was never any serious intent to do harm it was just one guy trying to assert his dominance over another and failing. If the guy gets up and there's an exchange of blows or wrestling with the clear intention that one guy isn't going to be walking away from this then it's a fight.

If a mugger comes up to you and you give him a smack or a shove and he decides he doesn't want to bother then it's a scuffle. If he decides that actually he's going to go for it then it's a fight.

If you walk away from it unhurt, it probably wasn't a fight. You should have at least cuts and bruises, a black eye, all the usual injuries that go with fighting.

So, let me get this straight. I'll raise 2 completely hypothetical scenarios here.

1. Aikidoka 1 is attacked by 4 people with intent to kill. His aikido is so sublime that he walks away completely unscathed having effectively dealt with all attackers.

2. Aikidoka 2 is attacked by 4 people with intent to kill. After getting seriously injured and bloodied, he manages to beat all 4 attackers into a pulp.

Are you saying that in the first scenario aikido hasn't worked in a fight, whereas in the second it has? Leaving all questions of realism aside, that just seams weird to me.

kewms
10-30-2011, 09:26 PM
It'd be interesting if we started practiced disengagement in the dojo. Uke bows, goes to make shomen uchi and tori just walks off or runs away or says "You know what, sod this, there's no point to it, neither of us is going to win and one of us might get hurt, let's go to the pub and I'll buy you a pint, what you drinking?"

Very funny, but given the number of multi-attacker randoris that end with nage overwhelmed and buried under a pile of attackers, maybe disengagement is not quite so easy as that. If it's possible to "just walk off," maybe there wasn't much to the attack in the first place.

Which is part of my point. Disengagement is a completely valid, and non-trivial, response to a "real" situation, and ability to disengage is thus a valid demonstration of the effectiveness of one's art.

Katherine

kewms
10-30-2011, 09:41 PM
If they don't make a serious attempt to hospitalise you or worse it's not really a fight: it's a scuffle at most. A fight is a full blown situation where people that aren't going to back down and are willing to use violence and are in the process of doing so and don't stop until they are forced to.

That's just ridiculous. So it's only a fight if your attackers are on drugs or completely insane? Because any sane attacker is going to (at least potentially) recognize that (a) no, this person isn't as helpless as I thought, or (b) uh oh, I'm about to get my butt kicked, or (c) this is taking too long, they might get help, or (d) screw it, let's go find a little old lady instead.... and disengage.

Bad guys are just as capable of risk vs. reward calculations as anyone else. A "scuffle" could easily become a full-blown "fight" if the bad guy decides he can get away with it. A "fight" could easily moderate to a "scuffle" if the bad guy decides today isn't a good day to die. And yes, the behavior of the potential victim absolutely determines which happens.

Katherine

Janet Rosen
10-31-2011, 12:11 AM
OK Alex I'm out if this discussion because as you have defined "fight" we simply don't agree on terminology.

Ken McGrew
10-31-2011, 09:18 AM
In most if not all states in the U.S. a fight involves two willing combatants, legally speaking that is.

This machismo stuff gets old. Just let them win the argument. Aikido is about the most useless of all martial arts when it comes to a contest with rules or a "fight" where you are concerned about prison or law suits. Though Aikido holds the potential to minimize harm to an attacker, serious injury is possible and even likely. Moreover, the extent of injury is often beyond your control depending on just how stupid a fall the attacker takes, the object he falls on, Etc. As a self defense approach Aikido is as effective as any martial art, of course. It is particularly well suited for real world conditions and multiple attacker situations. But you can never convince these machismo types. They are thinking in terms of fighting rather than self defense. They ignore the numerous examples of people using Aikido to defend themselves, like the transit detective I trained with who used Aikido to take two guns from two suspects who drew with the intent of firing. The only way to convince these people is to risk seriously injuring them with all that goes along with it. There is no point in trying to win over students like this as these are not the students we want in Aikido anyway.

Ketsan
10-31-2011, 11:01 AM
So, let me get this straight. I'll raise 2 completely hypothetical scenarios here.

1. Aikidoka 1 is attacked by 4 people with intent to kill. His aikido is so sublime that he walks away completely unscathed having effectively dealt with all attackers.

2. Aikidoka 2 is attacked by 4 people with intent to kill. After getting seriously injured and bloodied, he manages to beat all 4 attackers into a pulp.

Are you saying that in the first scenario aikido hasn't worked in a fight, whereas in the second it has? Leaving all questions of realism aside, that just seams weird to me.

Leaving aside the questions of realism the question is unanswerable. :D

Ketsan
10-31-2011, 12:44 PM
Very funny, but given the number of multi-attacker randoris that end with nage overwhelmed and buried under a pile of attackers, maybe disengagement is not quite so easy as that. If it's possible to "just walk off," maybe there wasn't much to the attack in the first place.

Which is part of my point. Disengagement is a completely valid, and non-trivial, response to a "real" situation, and ability to disengage is thus a valid demonstration of the effectiveness of one's art.

Katherine

Randori starts at a rather late stage in the confrontation. You'd have to have pretty poor zanshin to end up in a situation where you were surrounded by four attackers and didn't realise it until you were surrounded.
It's rare that confrontations just happen. Usually there's verbal diarrhea first and there's usually something before that too where they test out your resolve, when you're aware that you've attracted attention and the verbal diarrhea is an esculation of that.
If someone gets all the way through the inital attention and the verbal diarrhea either they're really unaware of what's going on or they're quite happy to let things get violent.

George S. Ledyard
10-31-2011, 01:21 PM
If they don't make a serious attempt to hospitalise you or worse it's not really a fight: it's a scuffle at most. A fight is a full blown situation where people that aren't going to back down and are willing to use violence and are in the process of doing so and don't stop until they are forced to.

If someone throws a punch and the other guy blocks it and pushes him over and that ends it, it's a scuffle; there was never any serious intent to do harm it was just one guy trying to assert his dominance over another and failing. If the guy gets up and there's an exchange of blows or wrestling with the clear intention that one guy isn't going to be walking away from this then it's a fight.

If a mugger comes up to you and you give him a smack or a shove and he decides he doesn't want to bother then it's a scuffle. If he decides that actually he's going to go for it then it's a fight.

If you walk away from it unhurt, it probably wasn't a fight. You should have at least cuts and bruises, a black eye, all the usual injuries that go with fighting.

If someone attempts to strike me it's an assault. That's a matter of the law. The subject can go to jail. The amount of force I get to use to defend myself is directly related to the threat. The definition of a deadly force situation is one that involves a threat of serious, lasting, bodily harm. Technically, that could mean almost any physical threat since any number of people have been either killed or seriously injured by a single blow. Realistically, there is no objective way of articulating the perception of threat. It is entirely situational. The standard in the US is the "reasonable man" standard. In other words, what would the hypothetical "reasonable man" believe the threat to be. It would vary based on size differential, sex, number of attackers, training, etc. Whatever you do has to be articulated to a jury and it has to be believable to them. That's how the law works here.

Judging intent before the blow comes is not only difficult, it's highly risky. There have been a number of instances in which a single blow killed the person who received the strike. Yo are not required by law to put yourself at risk in order to be "reasonable". In other words, if a guy throws a punch at me, I can and should do whatever is "reasonable" to end that threat. Unless I am convinced utterly that the assailant is incompetent and that responding with less force than I am capable of delivering will keep me safe, I am legally allowed to do what I need to to end the threat. As a civilian I am required to remove myself if that's possible. That's called pre-clusion and it's required of anyone except for law enforcement and security folks who are required to go towards the threat rather than away from it.

But if you can articulate that no "reasonable" escape could be made, then you can do what is "reasonable" to end the threat. Under-response to a given threat places one at great risk. The idea that a guy throwing a punch at you is a scuffle rather than a fight is absurd. First, it's legally an assault. Second, if you are waiting for a second or third blow before you decide what the intention was behind the assault you are simply asking to wake up in a hospital. Predatory types practice ending the fight with one blow. You don't recover from the first one. Unless you are "my psychic friend" I don't think you are going to be able to decide before it's on what level of intention the other guy or guys really has.

An attack is an attack. It's a fight if I don't end it instantly. What I choose to do with that situation depends entirely on how I "feel" about it. That's the law, here anyway.

Ketsan
10-31-2011, 02:39 PM
That's just ridiculous. So it's only a fight if your attackers are on drugs or completely insane? Because any sane attacker is going to (at least potentially) recognize that (a) no, this person isn't as helpless as I thought, or (b) uh oh, I'm about to get my butt kicked, or (c) this is taking too long, they might get help, or (d) screw it, let's go find a little old lady instead.... and disengage.

Bad guys are just as capable of risk vs. reward calculations as anyone else. A "scuffle" could easily become a full-blown "fight" if the bad guy decides he can get away with it. A "fight" could easily moderate to a "scuffle" if the bad guy decides today isn't a good day to die. And yes, the behavior of the potential victim absolutely determines which happens.

Katherine

No it's only a fight if your attackers actually intend serious harm. It's actually really quite rare for this to be the case, millions of people get mugged or assaulted very year and very few are seriously injured and many of these situations are resolved just as well by people with no training.

Demonstrating that you can get rid of four guys that don't want to fight by showing that you do want to fight isn't really a demonstration of martial skill, it's more a demonstration of the lengths even muggers will go to in avoiding harm to themselves. Confusing the two isn't helpful.

George S. Ledyard
10-31-2011, 03:17 PM
No it's only a fight if your attackers actually intend serious harm. It's actually really quite rare for this to be the case, millions of people get mugged or assaulted very year and very few are seriously injured and many of these situations are resolved just as well by people with no training.

Demonstrating that you can get rid of four guys that don't want to fight by showing that you do want to fight isn't really a demonstration of martial skill, it's more a demonstration of the lengths even muggers will go to in avoiding harm to themselves. Confusing the two isn't helpful.

I have no idea what the case is in the UK but this simply is not the case in the US. You are not expected to somehow intuit the other guy's intention. It is your own perception of the threat that is the standard for how one responds. yes, it must seem like a "reasonable" assessment to a jury but the law gives the benefit of the doubt to the defender in terms of his or her own perception of a threat.

In other words if I were threatened by four subjects, it would be my perception that I was at serious risk. The subjects would fulfill all of the requirements for using force. Ability, opportunity, and jeopardy. Clearly four subjects have the ability to hurt me, if they are in my presence they have the opportunity, if they are acting in a threatening fashion, then I am reasonable in my assessment that I am in jeopardy. So the only operative factor would be "preclusion" which would be whether I could safely remove myself from the threat. If I could articulate in a reasonable fashion that I could not remove myself from the threat, then all of the required elements for use of force are present.

The idea that you are supposed to be able to tell what the subjects intend before they do it is ludicrous and is not the law much less a smart way of going about ones self defense. Truly predatory individuals make a study of how not to indicate their intentions before they start and assault. Even with folks who are not necessarily true predators, the "interview" as the interaction just prior to the attack is often called can be very short, even happening before you are aware it has taken place.

Take a look at the works by Peyton Quinn or Marc "Animal" McYoung as to the dynamics of violent confrontation. This stuff is a bit "earthy" for most Aikido folks but it is totally based on real world experience and not wishful thinking.

kewms
10-31-2011, 03:27 PM
Check your statistics. Total number of robberies and aggravated assaults combined in the US last year was around a million. Only about half of robberies were on the street or in vehicles (as opposed to residences or businesses), and only about a quarter of aggravated assaults were weapon less. So your notion of "millions" of mugging victims just isn't accurate.

In any case, I've argued all along that real situations -- especially "fights" -- are too rare to justify the time people spend worrying about them.

Katherine

Ketsan
10-31-2011, 03:30 PM
If someone attempts to strike me it's an assault. That's a matter of the law. The subject can go to jail. The amount of force I get to use to defend myself is directly related to the threat. The definition of a deadly force situation is one that involves a threat of serious, lasting, bodily harm. Technically, that could mean almost any physical threat since any number of people have been either killed or seriously injured by a single blow. Realistically, there is no objective way of articulating the perception of threat. It is entirely situational. The standard in the US is the "reasonable man" standard. In other words, what would the hypothetical "reasonable man" believe the threat to be. It would vary based on size differential, sex, number of attackers, training, etc. Whatever you do has to be articulated to a jury and it has to be believable to them. That's how the law works here.

Judging intent before the blow comes is not only difficult, it's highly risky. There have been a number of instances in which a single blow killed the person who received the strike. Yo are not required by law to put yourself at risk in order to be "reasonable". In other words, if a guy throws a punch at me, I can and should do whatever is "reasonable" to end that threat. Unless I am convinced utterly that the assailant is incompetent and that responding with less force than I am capable of delivering will keep me safe, I am legally allowed to do what I need to to end the threat. As a civilian I am required to remove myself if that's possible. That's called pre-clusion and it's required of anyone except for law enforcement and security folks who are required to go towards the threat rather than away from it.

But if you can articulate that no "reasonable" escape could be made, then you can do what is "reasonable" to end the threat. Under-response to a given threat places one at great risk. The idea that a guy throwing a punch at you is a scuffle rather than a fight is absurd. First, it's legally an assault. Second, if you are waiting for a second or third blow before you decide what the intention was behind the assault you are simply asking to wake up in a hospital. Predatory types practice ending the fight with one blow. You don't recover from the first one. Unless you are "my psychic friend" I don't think you are going to be able to decide before it's on what level of intention the other guy or guys really has.

An attack is an attack. It's a fight if I don't end it instantly. What I choose to do with that situation depends entirely on how I "feel" about it. That's the law, here anyway.

Yep. That's why we classify events afterwards and why discussions of this kind of thing are invariably in the past tense; it's only then that we can discern our attackers intention.

Ketsan
10-31-2011, 03:35 PM
Check your statistics. Total number of robberies and aggravated assaults combined in the US last year was around a million. Only about half of robberies were on the street or in vehicles (as opposed to residences or businesses), and only about a quarter of aggravated assaults were weapon less. So your notion of "millions" of mugging victims just isn't accurate.

In any case, I've argued all along that real situations -- especially "fights" -- are too rare to justify the time people spend worrying about them.

Katherine

I was talking globally, the world is bigger than America. Oh yeah, fights are extreamly rare but if we're talking about the effectiveness of a martial art then we have to stick to examples of actual fights not just any violent encounter. It's simple really, if they had no intention of putting up a fight you can't really call it a fight; most instances of violence are rather aimed at achieving or demonstrating dominance and inducing compliance, much like a parent hitting a child, than an outright attempt to cause serious harm and these type of situations IMHO aren't all that useful for assessing the effectiveness of an art.

kewms
10-31-2011, 04:15 PM
I was talking globally, the world is bigger than America. Oh yeah, fights are extreamly rare but if we're talking about the effectiveness of a martial art then we have to stick to examples of actual fights not just any violent encounter. It's simple really, if they had no intention of putting up a fight you can't really call it a fight; most instances of violence are rather aimed at achieving or demonstrating dominance and inducing compliance, much like a parent hitting a child, than an outright attempt to cause serious harm and these type of situations IMHO aren't all that useful for assessing the effectiveness of an art.

Again, ridiculous.

By your definition, domestic violence is irrelevant to discussions of martial effectiveness, even though domestic violence is by far the most likely violent situation most women will encounter.

By your definition, situations where the martial artist's skill prevented escalation are irrelevant, even though dissuading potential attackers is an important strategic goal for every martial thinker since Sun Tsu.

And by your definition, situations where the martial artist managed to disengage and retreat are irrelevant, even though retreating under fire is far more difficult than staying and taking a beating.

I'm especially impressed by your ability to read an attacker's motives: it isn't a fight if the attacker runs, because clearly they couldn't have been that serious in the first place. Cindy Hayashi tells a story of how she fended off a pair of assailants who were serious enough to have already put three women in the hospital that night.... but that example is irrelevant by your definition.

I give up.

Katherine

Kevin Leavitt
10-31-2011, 04:26 PM
I was talking globally, the world is bigger than America. Oh yeah, fights are extreamly rare but if we're talking about the effectiveness of a martial art then we have to stick to examples of actual fights not just any violent encounter. It's simple really, if they had no intention of putting up a fight you can't really call it a fight; most instances of violence are rather aimed at achieving or demonstrating dominance and inducing compliance, much like a parent hitting a child, than an outright attempt to cause serious harm and these type of situations IMHO aren't all that useful for assessing the effectiveness of an art.

I don't necessarily agree. There have been many instances, more than any actual fight I have been in....where I felt my experiences in martial training have helped me avoid some bad situations. Timing, Space, Distance, the ability to read the situation and act in such a way that caused the potential person/persons to NOT do something I feel has been a great benefit. Not discounting all of what you say, but I believe that there are many examples of situations that did not involve any actual physical violence that can be used to assess the effectiveness of one's training.

I say "effectiveness of one's training" vice "effectiveness of an art". I think there is an important distinction as to me you can't assess the effectiveness of an art...only the effectiveness of people in various situations. What one person does with his/her training in a particular "art" or "style" may result in a completely different result. By focusing on the art you end up in these endless arguments that are quite nebulous and don't actually produce any constructive feedback!

Ketsan
10-31-2011, 05:17 PM
I don't necessarily agree. There have been many instances, more than any actual fight I have been in....where I felt my experiences in martial training have helped me avoid some bad situations. Timing, Space, Distance, the ability to read the situation and act in such a way that caused the potential person/persons to NOT do something I feel has been a great benefit. Not discounting all of what you say, but I believe that there are many examples of situations that did not involve any actual physical violence that can be used to assess the effectiveness of one's training.

I say "effectiveness of one's training" vice "effectiveness of an art". I think there is an important distinction as to me you can't assess the effectiveness of an art...only the effectiveness of people in various situations. What one person does with his/her training in a particular "art" or "style" may result in a completely different result. By focusing on the art you end up in these endless arguments that are quite nebulous and don't actually produce any constructive feedback!

Yeah I see where you're coming from but you're a little a head of me; I'm just arguing over the definition of a fight really. I'm not arguing for the ineffectiveness of Aikido or the other useful things picked up in training, I'm just saying that if we're talking about fighting we shouldn't dramatise every possible physical interaction post hoc and put them on a par with a serious incident where there was actual intention to cause real lasting harm.

I think we have to be very rigourous in what we ascribe to the art, if indeed we ascribe anything to it, and I think ascribing effectiveness to Aikido based on situations which untrained people usually walk away from totally unscathed doesn't strike me as rigourous.

Ketsan
10-31-2011, 07:05 PM
Again, ridiculous.

By your definition, domestic violence is irrelevant to discussions of martial effectiveness, even though domestic violence is by far the most likely violent situation most women will encounter.

By your definition, situations where the martial artist's skill prevented escalation are irrelevant, even though dissuading potential attackers is an important strategic goal for every martial thinker since Sun Tsu.

And by your definition, situations where the martial artist managed to disengage and retreat are irrelevant, even though retreating under fire is far more difficult than staying and taking a beating.

I'm especially impressed by your ability to read an attacker's motives: it isn't a fight if the attacker runs, because clearly they couldn't have been that serious in the first place. Cindy Hayashi tells a story of how she fended off a pair of assailants who were serious enough to have already put three women in the hospital that night.... but that example is irrelevant by your definition.

I give up.

Katherine

Put it this way. Martial arts are seldom strategic though, they are tactical. If you were asked which army was better, the army of Wu, Han or Wei and Wei was commanded by Sun Tzu and never fought you could never say how good Wei was at actual fighting, because it was never pressure tested. If Wu and Han fought each other and Han achieved a kill ratio of 4:1 then you could say that Han was superior.

Domestic violence counts if an Aikidoka was seriously attacked with the intention to do harm and the Aikidoka won, not avoided the violence, not got their partner to stop but actually dealt with the violence leading to the Aikidoka being in a dominant position.

Cindy's story, as you've briefly outlined it, doesn't say anything of the attackers willingess to fight; let me explain: I play paintball, I'm part of a rather small squad that plays as a semi-independent part of a larger team, we're never more than 3% of the force so nearly everywhere we go on the field we can expect to be outnumbered. Most campaign days that we play we achieve 30-50% of the team's score.

We cannot win most firefights: most other squads are very much bigger than us and better equipped than us; so we're always ready to go into a disengagement drill and run like hell. No squad on the field is as avoident of firefights than ours; the most used command in our squad is "peel".
That said we have missions to complete: places that need to be taken and held, objects and people to be escorted and recovered, and stuff that needs to be blown up, all of which is invariably the other side of one hundred to three hundred fairly competant opposing players most of which have markers that put down thirty balls a second. How do we do it?

Simple we pick our targets carefully, we choose our routes in and out carefully, when we reach the objective we recce it well, we plan our attacks well, we're nearly certain that we're going to win because we know that the opposition will have a tough job of fighting back. Most of the time this means we win, they don't often get a chance to fight back but sometimes we come royally unstuck. Sometimes they start fighting back and we don't stick around to find out who's going to win the firefight, we start doing what we do best: run away. We foxtrot oscar alpha siera alpha papa, we're like the three little piggies all the way home, with guns.

So yeah sure those guys put three women in hospital and then they came unstuck at that time and place just like my squad they do not engage people that are willing to fight; they had no intention of tangling with people that were going to stand up to them; it's seldom worth it.

MarcD
11-10-2011, 09:01 AM
To comment on the UFC and nhb stuff, I don't know if this has already been said and I don't watch UFC much but am i not right in saying that wrist grabs and locks are not allowed? Hardly makes it no holds barred, and rules out quite a few techniques from an aikido point on view.... So sort of unfair to say aikido isn't effective in there.

grondahl
11-10-2011, 09:11 AM
I don't watch UFC much but am i not right in saying that wrist grabs and locks are not allowes? Hardly makes it no holds barred

Wrist grabs are actually very common when competitors clinch against the cage. Joint locks attacking the wrist is perfectly legal (and shoulders, elbows, ankles, knees, neck etc).

Demetrio Cereijo
11-10-2011, 09:22 AM
Marc,

Wrist grabs and wrist locks are totally legal.

MarcD
11-10-2011, 11:00 AM
ah, my bad I thought I heard somewhere wrist locks were not allowed, only elbow shoulder etc.
Like I said I dont watch it very much.
Sorry :P

scarey
11-10-2011, 01:06 PM
I'm gonna go and simplify this argument as much as possible. Saying any art form is ineffective is similar to saying Van Gogh should have used crayons instead of paint in my opinion.

If you prefer a different analogy, take it from Eric Clapton. "It's in the way that you use it."

Demetrio Cereijo
11-10-2011, 01:28 PM
ah, my bad I thought I heard somewhere wrist locks were not allowed, only elbow shoulder etc.

Well, it is the typical propaganda from some people who, for validating his practise, prefer to spread bs about other styles/arts instead of telling the facts as they are.

ryback
11-10-2011, 05:26 PM
The aiki principles and the techniques used in Aikido date back to the times of Feudal Japan, times when those techniques were invented to be used in the battlefield as practical methods of survival among warriors.They were not invented by O'sensei, or even Sokaku Takeda but they were a legacy of their "ancestors in martial arts" the samurai and even more back in time the classic bushi.Armed, unarmed and any other possible combination was practiced daily due to the need of survival, not the need to impose one's ego in a ring or a cage as a "violent sport".Therefore, they shouldn't be compared to fighting sports, or having the label of a new age "mumbo jumbo". One man's mumbo jumbo, is another man's science. When those techniques and fighting methods were invented people didn't know about...new age. Any question about whether they work or not, is actually out of the...question. They were made to work, or they wouldn't be studied for use in the battlefield by the samurai, whose whole life was centered around fighting. To invent the "ultimate fighting method" of the...week in the form of MMA, kick-boxing,boxing e.t.c has happened before, it's just a trend.But to compare real martial arts to fighting sports...beats the hell out of me! They have different values,different approach and different purpose, i see no ground for comparisons.

Kevin Leavitt
11-10-2011, 05:52 PM
The problem for me is that you can't use the past context of feudal japan to validate your personal study or to validate a methodology or style. It is about the teacher and his or her background or experience and about what they can teach you that makes it effective.

There are plenty of schools out there that draw "lineage" that are complete crap.

the bottom line is that there is much we can learn from MMA if we look at it the correct way in the proper context. IMO if you don't understand this or realize this, then you don't know as much as you think you do and need to step back and evaluate your paradigm and expand it a bit more.

Also what was developed in many cases to work on the battlefields of yesterday are not maybe the best use of our time today if our concerns are "effectiveness".

That said, Ido think it is important to preseve koryu systems so we have a historical context in which to reflect on our own modern context.

Aikido is not koryu by any stretch of the imagination and IMo to use the logic that because Aikido was derived from koryu means it is tactically sound and relevant is a dangerous ground to be on.

Fighting and effectiveness is complex and requires training in much different was than most of us really have the time, money, or concern to study.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-10-2011, 06:13 PM
The aiki principles and the techniques used in Aikido date back to the times of Feudal Japan, times when those techniques were invented to be used in the battlefield as practical methods of survival among warriors.

Feudal Japan battlefiels consisted in thousands of guys firing arrows and muskets and wielding spears, pikes and halberds. Some grappling with daggers when things went totally wrong and not much more.

Aikido techniques and tactics do not make sense in the battlefield.

Kevin Leavitt
11-11-2011, 04:13 AM
Demetrio, good to see you posting!

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the things we learn in aikido do not make sense on the battlefield today. I think alot of what we do in aikido does make sense provided that we understand our environment and what it is that we need to do in it. I personally feel my training in aikido has provided some relevance.

That said, the low level discussions that take place concerning the "effectiveness of aikido" that categorically try and validate aikido do not do us any good, and much of the logic that is used such as "it was derived from battlefield arts of yore" to validate it are a stretch indeed.

We have to validate, each of us, our own training, instructors, and methods of training...for ourselves. We have to take ownership of it and develop our own criteria for doing so.

The problem is that most of us in a civilized world do not have the background or the framework in place in order to do this properly so we look to historical context or external "authorities" in order to make our decisions. IMO, much of this is wrong.

Many of the things that we done in feudal japan are still being done today. All good systems of study in Modern Battlefield combatives do things like O Soto Gari, for example. It has not changed in...what like 1000 years. The Principles of Kusushi is still the same, irimi, ma ai..all the principles we study are the same for sure.

However, the problem is...that that immediately gets translated in "see I told you Aikido is effective!"

Well while the principles of arts like Aikido are relevant and apply to the modern battlefield, studying principles make you no better prepared to go to battle or fight than graduating with an undergraduate degree in business and expecting to go out in the world and be successful in business the very next day!

We don't expect that from college where we study theory and principle so why do we make this mistake when looking at martial arts training?

So, for me and my experiences, aikido certainly can make a good foundation to study principles and theory of martial movement, however, you must stop there and realize that that is all that is really going on there, and you really need a good teacher and a collection of students that can take it to the next level in order to understand modern combatives and the street.

grondahl
11-11-2011, 04:26 AM
The aiki principles and the techniques used in Aikido date back to the times of Feudal Japan, times when those techniques were invented to be used in the battlefield as practical methods of survival among warriors.

Takenouchi Ryu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2QzjjTvqog Looks more like combat sports (pummeling and takedowns) than aikido.

European version of the same thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hlIUrd7d1Q
(pummeling and takedowns).

Dave de Vos
11-11-2011, 06:03 AM
These special forces guys seem to think aikido is useful in modern combat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAc6L5sfKXs&#t=32s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAc6L5sfKXs#t=32s)

(But I'm glad we don't train that hard, I feel pity for that uke)

ryback
11-11-2011, 06:28 AM
I'd like to thank everybody who read my post and replied. My point is that there is no effectiveness of yesterday and effectiveness of today, the human body is the same, the ways to attack a person are the same(including every possible variation) therefore a good kote-gaeshi will land an attacker on his ass if performed correctly regardless of the kind of weapon he used. He could be using a katana, a spear or in modern application a folder knife but a wrist is still a wrist. If he cuts you you bleed the same regardless of the type of the blade and if you do a technique correctly he falls regardless of whether you are in feudal Japan or a New York street corner. Aikido is not a koryu as a system but a technique is a...technique. The whole matter of martial arts goes way deeper than just "winning or losing". A warrior is not an invincible person and the purpose of martial arts is not winning or gainning championships, that's why there is no comparison with the fighting sports. A warrior is not a sportsman...In any case i wanted to state that in my opinion and through my experience, believing that Aikido is ineffective, is dogmatic and nothing could be further from the truth even though fighting effectiveness it's not its only purpose but a main one...

ryback
11-11-2011, 06:37 AM
These special forces guys seem to think aikido is useful in modern combat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAc6L5sfKXs&#t=32s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAc6L5sfKXs#t=32s)

(But I'm glad we don't train that hard, I feel pity for that uke)

Thank you very much for the link,very interesting. You see that's the way we train at our dojo in the advanced classes...It works.:)

Demetrio Cereijo
11-11-2011, 07:01 AM
Demetrio, good to see you posting!
Thanks, Kevin.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the things we learn in aikido do not make sense on the battlefield today. I think alot of what we do in aikido does make sense provided that we understand our environment and what it is that we need to do in it. I personally feel my training in aikido has provided some relevance.
Well, I was exaggerating a bit.

I agree with you regarding aikido has sound principles (like many other arts) useful and relevant but, this "samurai did this 300 years ago, therefore I'm validated/I can deliver" is totally nonsense because:

a) samurai did not practise aikido.
b) what some guy did in a feudal era battlefield to survive/get the job done has zero relevance to what one is able to do if shtf.
c) and the most important, imo: external validation means nothing because doesn't reflect who you are but how you are perceived.

@Dave

Very common techniques to many styles of wrestling and h2h combatives, performed on a non resisting opponent means nothing to me as "aikido is useful in modern combat". And if what you see in that clip is way harder than what you do and think uke is being somewhat "abused", I don't know what to say.

Dave de Vos
11-11-2011, 07:49 AM
Thanks, Kevin.
@Dave

Very common techniques to many styles of wrestling and h2h combatives, performed on a non resisting opponent means nothing to me as "aikido is useful in modern combat". And if what you see in that clip is way harder than what you do and think uke is being somewhat "abused", I don't know what to say.

I don't think that what I can do would be very effective in modern combat. It just seems to me that some more informed practicioners have some confidence in the usefulness of these techniques in modern combat.

Yes, uke is not very resistive in this video. I can only guess what would have happened if he were more "resisitive". Would he have stopped the teacher or would he become more "abused"?
My guess is the latter.
Either way, the outcome in this particular case would only prove something for these two practicioners. Would it be possible to derive some general conclusion about the effectiveness of these techniques in general?

I'm not sure what you mean in the first part of yur response. You say that these techniques are common. Do you mean that this disqualifies them as aikido techniques?

grondahl
11-11-2011, 08:13 AM
Yes, uke is not very resistive in this video. I can only guess what would have happened if he were more "resisitive". Would he have stopped the teacher or would he become more "abused"?
My guess is the latter.


Being "resistive" is not that productive either, what if the uke actually tried to down the other? Techniques in themselves are not that interesting, training methods and mindsets are.

Dave de Vos
11-11-2011, 08:46 AM
Being "resistive" is not that productive either, what if the uke actually tried to down the other? Techniques in themselves are not that interesting, training methods and mindsets are.

I think you are right that the training method is very important factor when your aim is effectiveness in particular situations, but my recent posts were meant as a response to this statement about aikido techniques:

Aikido techniques and tactics do not make sense in the battlefield.

Ketsan
11-11-2011, 09:11 AM
Takenouchi Ryu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2QzjjTvqog Looks more like combat sports (pummeling and takedowns) than aikido.

European version of the same thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hlIUrd7d1Q
(pummeling and takedowns).

Actually it looks just like Aikido; if you ever see an Aikidoka in a fight it looks just like that except with a bit more atemi perhaps.

grondahl
11-11-2011, 09:21 AM
I think you are right that the training method is very important factor when your aim is effectiveness in particular situations, but my recent posts were meant as a response to this statement about aikido techniques:

There are a few simple and effective techniques in aikido but most are really, really hard to do on anybody who doesn´t take ukemi. Shihonage for instance does not strike me as a battlefield technique.

Dave de Vos
11-11-2011, 09:24 AM
I think you are right that the training method is very important factor when your aim is effectiveness in particular situations

There are a few simple and effective techniques in aikido but most are really, really hard to do on anybody who doesn´t take ukemi. Shihonage for instance does not strike me as a battlefield technique.

The battle field for special forces would be different from the battle field for a normal soldier, I guess. Perhaps shihonage can be useful in unarmed situations (in the special forces video it is shown around 1:40).

For the record: my aim is not effectiveness on the battle field.

Being a beginner, my aim is effectiveness on the mat, which already is quite a challenge, particularly with newbies who don't try help you (because they have no clue) ;)

Ketsan
11-11-2011, 09:54 AM
There are a few simple and effective techniques in aikido but most are really, really hard to do on anybody who doesn´t take ukemi. Shihonage for instance does not strike me as a battlefield technique.

The usefulness of Aikido isn't in it's techniques; there are no techniques ultimately. The usefulness and the effectiveness comes from the body conditioning and other training like ma-ai, timing, awareness of openings, confidence etc that the techniques provide.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-11-2011, 10:04 AM
It just seems to me that some more informed practicioners have some confidence in the usefulness of these techniques in modern combat.
We could check how informed about the realities of combat (modern or otherwise) are said practitioners. How may times have they been engaged in real h2h? What they used to prevail? How have they been trained physically and psychologically?

Yes, uke is not very resistive in this video. I can only guess what would have happened if he were more "resisitive". Would he have stopped the teacher or would he become more "abused"?
My guess is the latter.
My guess is if uke were really trying to impose his will on the demonstrator the techniques shown would not work unless they were heavily modified.

Either way, the outcome in this particular case would only prove something for these two practicioners. Would it be possible to derive some general conclusion about the effectiveness of these techniques in general?
Possible? Yes. But maybe the general conclusions about efectiveness of these techniques one can achieve are flawed. The plural of anecdote is not data.

I'm not sure what you mean in the first part of yur response. You say that these techniques are common. Do you mean that this disqualifies them as aikido techniques?
No, what I mean is the clip could have been named "Flos Duellatorum Instructions", "Dirty Judo Instructions", "Kali Instructions" or whatever.

And about my statement "Aikido techniques and tactics do not make sense in the battlefield." as I said to Kevin, I was exaggerating a bit but (and being Kevin a professional in that field) I'd rather prefer to be him the one who explains you the differences between the clip you posted and this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivm2BzsVt4M

chillzATL
11-11-2011, 10:53 AM
So what is it now, aikido doesn't work in a fight or it doesn't work on the battlefield? Does anyone even know anymore?

Demetrio Cereijo
11-11-2011, 01:06 PM
There are a few simple and effective techniques in aikido but most are really, really hard to do on anybody who doesn´t take ukemi. Shihonage for instance does not strike me as a battlefield technique.

Shihonage is a dutch discovery :)

http://www.truefork.org/DragonPreservationSociety/Petter11.php

And yonkyo too.

Kevin Leavitt
11-11-2011, 02:36 PM
Takenouchi Ryu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2QzjjTvqog Looks more like combat sports (pummeling and takedowns) than aikido.

European version of the same thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hlIUrd7d1Q
(pummeling and takedowns).

Nice links Peter. I especially liked the European Armour video. For me at least, the principles are the same, while the tactics are different. Agreed that it tends to look alot like combat sports of grappling as far as pummelling and takedowns. However, why are those things also not within the context of good aiki principles? Can you not have Aiki in those.

I think a big part of the problem is that alot of people look at the basic kihon of what is typically practiced in aikido and look at it as a collection of techniques and tactics.

If you are working Aiki and understand Aiki, then you really don't have this discussion anymore as you realize that the techniques are just there to give context and in most cases, I think they are a waste of time as it is way too hard to learn Aiki while trying to do technique.

Personally I think there is alot of confusion out there about Aiki, Aikido, and techniques/tactics and Jiu Jitsu in general.

Kevin Leavitt
11-11-2011, 02:45 PM
There are a few simple and effective techniques in aikido but most are really, really hard to do on anybody who doesn´t take ukemi. Shihonage for instance does not strike me as a battlefield technique.

I think it is a perfectly reasonable "battlefield" technique. That is, given the right conditions and circumstances. High percentage move...no. On a battlefield with horses/cavalry, armor, and a mixture of people on both sides....swords, halbreds and everyone fighting enmass to force the tide of battle...I think you can make a good argument for Shionage.

Moving to modern day tactics. No so much when it consist a different dynamic all together. Might is be useful....possible. Do I practice it or do I ever work on it within my "Combatives" instruction or practice....no. I have other much more important things to spend my time on.

Eric Joyce
11-11-2011, 03:13 PM
Demetrio, good to see you posting!

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the things we learn in aikido do not make sense on the battlefield today. I think alot of what we do in aikido does make sense provided that we understand our environment and what it is that we need to do in it. I personally feel my training in aikido has provided some relevance.

That said, the low level discussions that take place concerning the "effectiveness of aikido" that categorically try and validate aikido do not do us any good, and much of the logic that is used such as "it was derived from battlefield arts of yore" to validate it are a stretch indeed.

We have to validate, each of us, our own training, instructors, and methods of training...for ourselves. We have to take ownership of it and develop our own criteria for doing so.

The problem is that most of us in a civilized world do not have the background or the framework in place in order to do this properly so we look to historical context or external "authorities" in order to make our decisions. IMO, much of this is wrong.

Many of the things that we done in feudal japan are still being done today. All good systems of study in Modern Battlefield combatives do things like O Soto Gari, for example. It has not changed in...what like 1000 years. The Principles of Kusushi is still the same, irimi, ma ai..all the principles we study are the same for sure.

However, the problem is...that that immediately gets translated in "see I told you Aikido is effective!"

Well while the principles of arts like Aikido are relevant and apply to the modern battlefield, studying principles make you no better prepared to go to battle or fight than graduating with an undergraduate degree in business and expecting to go out in the world and be successful in business the very next day!

We don't expect that from college where we study theory and principle so why do we make this mistake when looking at martial arts training?

So, for me and my experiences, aikido certainly can make a good foundation to study principles and theory of martial movement, however, you must stop there and realize that that is all that is really going on there, and you really need a good teacher and a collection of students that can take it to the next level in order to understand modern combatives and the street.

I agree. Nice post Kevin

St Matt
11-14-2011, 06:18 AM
By fight are we talking about some meat head trying to prove he is more man than you because he wants to look 'ard' in front of his mates or you accidently spilt his beer and he wont let it go? If so then Aikido is great. On the second shove (you know this one is coming as the first may have taken you by surprise) there are several techniques to drop him. If he grabs you, you can drop him. If he throws a punch etc etc. He probably does not know you study Aikido and therefore he will most likely leave himself open for your defense and you can then make him see the error of his ways.

If we are talking about a mugger the same applies so long as you see him coming.

If we are talking about the modern battlefield, once you get past the bullets, bombs, grenades etc and get into hand to hand you are probably going to be faced with a trained fighter but still Aikido can be effective.

Real life Aikido doesn't look as smooth and flowing as it does in traing but the techniques work!

mboogie
12-04-2011, 04:00 PM
Shihonage is a dutch discovery :)

http://www.truefork.org/DragonPreservationSociety/Petter11.php

And yonkyo too.

Haha! nice. :)

My teacher said someday (if i am understand hem correctly) that there is a difference between Aikido and self-defence. Sure you can use Aikido techniques in a real fight but then you also can apply additional techniques if you want to. Then it would be self-defence. For instance uchi kaiten nage omote. To apply an additional knee in the face would be very easy but not very harmonious. but then again maybe i do not want to be harmonious in that fight. Then it is no Aikido.

CNYMike
12-10-2011, 10:49 AM
Shihonage is a dutch discovery :)

http://www.truefork.org/DragonPreservationSociety/Petter11.php

And yonkyo too.

More likely they were independently discovered because physiuology doesn't change, and neither do pressure points. The same moves might be used for the same reason.

lbb
12-10-2011, 07:53 PM
I think the person who started this thread has probably died of old age. Maybe y'all should let the thread follow him/her.

mathewjgano
12-10-2011, 08:06 PM
I think the person who started this thread has probably died of old age. Maybe y'all should let the thread follow him/her.

It's possible, but if he has I'm guessing there was some reincarnation involved.

hughrbeyer
12-10-2011, 08:55 PM
Why? Aikiweb needs a "Aikido does not work at all in a fight" thread, but does it need more than one?

sakumeikan
12-11-2011, 04:10 AM
Dear All,
Maybe I am a sadist /masochist/moron but I keep on clicking in this blog the LAST Post page.I keep hoping it is indeed the last post but someone always writes .Any chance of making my wish come true and consign this subject matter to the dust bin?Cheers, Joe.

Mary Eastland
12-11-2011, 09:43 AM
lol...you will just take your need to suffer some where else.

George S. Ledyard
12-11-2011, 10:11 AM
I think of this thread as the "Zombie" thread... it's one of the "walking dead". It can't be killed... Every so often another person does a paragraph or so which revives it and occasions ten pages of "why won't this thread die?" posts. Even Jun, who has the ultimate control over most thing AikiWeb can't kill this topic... if he deleted the whole thing, it would only be reborn...

So far, the only defense against the "Zombie Thread" seems to be a complete and utter indifference to the subject.

graham christian
12-11-2011, 10:41 AM
Must be a non-resistive thread....

Ketsan
12-11-2011, 11:28 AM
I've decided I'm having the last word in this discussion and it shall be.............pie.

CNYMike
12-11-2011, 04:42 PM
Yes, you had the last word. :) [shameless plug] If you want to keep a thread alive, let it be this one. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9208) :)

Michael Neal
12-11-2011, 10:26 PM
I think of this thread as the "Zombie" thread... it's one of the "walking dead". It can't be killed... Every so often another person does a paragraph or so which revives it and occasions ten pages of "why won't this thread die?" posts. Even Jun, who has the ultimate control over most thing AikiWeb can't kill this topic... if he deleted the whole thing, it would only be reborn...

So far, the only defense against the "Zombie Thread" seems to be a complete and utter indifference to the subject.

I am wondering if Aikido will work at all in a fight, what do you think :)

CNYMike
12-11-2011, 10:35 PM
I am wondering if Aikido will work at all in a fight, what do you think :)

As if enough hasn't been done to keep this zombie alive :hypno: , AFAIK, every martial art, including Aikido, is backed by people who say they used whatever they knew in a real live situation and it worked. So it's almost impossible to predict what will or won't "work." Doesn't guaruntee it will work for you, but the same is true of everything else IMHO.

Janet Rosen
12-11-2011, 11:02 PM
Hi I'm Gary and I'm wondering if there are kicks in aikido....

observer
12-12-2011, 01:32 AM
I am wondering if Aikido will work at all in a fight, what do you think :)
Do you want to know the answer? First, ask your fellow aikidokas, their teachers, or even the most respected akido shihans today, the fallowed question. The question is: "Are they able, for sure, to avoid every first attack of any boxer, or just anyone?" O-Sensei was able to do it, and that is the essence of His art. Think about it and don't look for the answer on this forum even if you were joking.

Kevin Leavitt
12-12-2011, 01:45 AM
Hi I'm Gary and I'm wondering if there are kicks in aikido....

Ms Rosen, there are no kicks in aikido.

lbb
12-12-2011, 07:07 AM
Do you want to know the answer? First, ask your fellow aikidokas, their teachers, or even the most respected akido shihans today, the fallowed question. The question is: "Are they able, for sure, to avoid every first attack of any boxer, or just anyone?" O-Sensei was able to do it, and that is the essence of His art. Think about it and don't look for the answer on this forum even if you were joking.

And this...is why...this thread is still alive. :yuck:

Michael Neal
12-12-2011, 08:42 AM
lol at people trying to answer my question :) I was being facetious guys

Patrick Hutchinson
12-12-2011, 08:48 AM
Are there any kicks to be had on Route 66? Or is that a myth too?

Eric Winters
12-12-2011, 09:08 AM
Hello,

I do not see what the big deal is with reopening the thread again. Let the people who want to discuss this, do it. If you have made comments on this thread and already have your answer then go on to something else.

People on this forum are always harping on keeping an open mind but then tell a new guy who has a question that we all aiki web masters already have the answer so do not bother.

Eric

CNYMike
12-12-2011, 09:55 AM
lol at people trying to answer my question :) I was being facetious guys

Still a good question, and no reason not to voice an opinion.

graham christian
12-12-2011, 10:05 AM
If you don't get a kick out of Aikido then you shouldn't be doing it, ha,ha.

Once you get a 'grasp' on it and a good 'hold' on it then it becomes a great 'hit!'

Now I'll leave you to 'wrestle' with the thread.

Regards.G.

Mark Freeman
12-12-2011, 10:19 AM
If you don't get a kick out of Aikido then you shouldn't be doing it, ha,ha.

Once you get a 'grasp' on it and a good 'hold' on it then it becomes a great 'hit!'

Now I'll leave you to 'wrestle' with the thread.

Regards.G.

Graham you should be 'pun'ished for that!:p

George S. Ledyard
12-12-2011, 10:57 AM
As if enough hasn't been done to keep this zombie alive :hypno: , AFAIK, every martial art, including Aikido, is backed by people who say they used whatever they knew in a real live situation and it worked. So it's almost impossible to predict what will or won't "work." Doesn't guaruntee it will work for you, but the same is true of everything else IMHO.

What "works" and what doesn't "work" is almost entirely determined by who the opponent of the moment is and the situation. Most police officers have only the most rudimentary low level force training... it's really a joke. Yet they routinely bring resistant subjects under control every day. So, you could say that Police Defensive Tactics "work". But the level at which most cops can execute these techniques wouldn't pass 4th kyu at many dojos. So it's really a result of the fact that most of the folks they arrest are really completely untrained subjects.

We know mixed martial arts "work"... we can view folks on prime time cable every night fighting. But in a bar against multiple attackers would great ground fighting skills be the ticket? Would having the opponent's friends kick your head in while you applied an arm bar mean that the art didn't "work"?

All arts evolved within a certain historical / social climate. They took things like the available technology into account, they directly reflected things like social position etc. When times in a society changed, so did the martial arts. Aikido is a perfect example of a martial art which resulted from a whole series of very drastic and very rapid social change. Takeda Sokaku spent most of his adult life teaching his skills in a society which had dismantled the very warrior class for which those skills had evolved. The Aikido Founder began teaching at a time when Japan was in an expansionist phase and gearing up for war. Most of the folks he was training early on in the 20's and 30's had some real expectation of needing this skills in combat. That colored what was taught and how they trained,

By the time the post war period arrives, Japan is a society on the midst of another huge transformation. As far as I can see, Aikido changed with those times as well. It evolved into an art in which the focus was primarily to be trans-formative for the individual and his society. What is interesting is how many folks seem to be more interested in "de-volving" the art back into something that was more geared for fighting. They recognize the impractical nature of much of Aikido and consider the direction it took to have been mistaken, a deviation from what the Founder really intended. I see no sign that this is true.

Aikido is an art that derived from another art that already had drifted from its roots. The Daito Ryu of Sokaku Takeda was his creation that came out of some aikijutsu koryu taught an elite within Aizu. Ellis Amdur talks at length about the impossibility of really knowing what the art that had been taught to Takeda looked like... Daito Ryu was his creation. It was already "out of context", an art that was based on sword at a time when warriors had stopped wearing swords or armor. It then gets morphed into Aiki Budo, which in the form it was taught in the 30's is geared more for empty hand defense. By the time we get to the post war period, the movements are even larger and more expansive. Many practitioners have little or no weapons back ground and the roots of the techniques as adjunct to sword and spear skills get almost entirely lost. Folks start to bemoan the fact that Aikido technique doesn't seem to be terribly well suited for application in circumstances that it never was designed for.

On some level Aikido is like the Microsoft Windows OS. It's still got elements of the original in it but has morphed so many times those elements are rather hidden yet they are still the foundation for the whole "logic" of the art. This logic is so ill-understood by contemporary practitioners that they engage in all sorts of discussion about the practicality or impracticality of the art in an environment in which it was never designed for. It's the wrong debate based on mistaken assumptions.

I spent quite a number of years teaching Aikido-based Defensive Tactics to Police and Security personnel. What I found was that the moment you introduced weapons back into the equation, the logic of Aikido technique became much more apparent. Folks are busy worrying about Aikido and its lack of practical application against Muy Thai which is an entirely alien style from what Aikido or its antecedents were evolved to handle. But for a police officer, who is basically a walking weapons system, all of a sudden, even very basic Aikido technique has all sorts of practical application. All those grabbing attacks, which practitioners of other martial arts rightly point out no one does, actually do occur all the time when we talk about weapons. Officers who have drawn a weapon, whether its a gun, baton, pepper spray, or a taser get grabbed all the time. Even someone with a basic knowledge of Aikido can use his technique quite nicely for weapons retention. With a bit more skill, folks have quite successfully used their basic Aikido skills to disarm unskilled subjects (those without formal weapons training).

The hardest single thing to do is to bring someone under control without inflicting injury. Yet Aikido based arrest and control techniques are used every day by law enforcement and corrections personnel to do so. Now, it's no debate that their level of training in these techniques is quite low. But that fact is that Aikido is a quite practical art if practiced enough for use in this context. Far better than any other art I can think of.

So, what does this debate about Aikido not "working" really mean. Aikido "works" best the closer the situation of its application is to the original purpose of the art. It works less and less well the farther from that one gets. My partners and I took basic jo nage techniques and applied them, with very little adaptation to SWAT and Entry Teams carrying MP5's. Even rudimentary skills in Aikido are superior in a weapons retention situation than most of the so-called weapons retention systems taught to professionals, some of which are ludicrous.

Finally, it's not the art in the end, its the practitioner. There's bad instruction in every martial art out there. A mediocrity in almost any art will lose to a skilled practitioner of some other art. And there's no way someone doing a given art that was designed for one purpose will defeat someone doing another art in a fight in which that opponent's art is better designed for that context. There's not an Aikido guy out there who is going to do knife takeaways on a skilled Kali Silat practitioner. On the other hand, give that Aikido practitioner some good grounding in Kali or Silat and he'll find quite a bit of application for his Aikido technique. That's how Canete developed Doce Pares Escrima... he combined Aikido close quarters skills with conventional stick and knife work.

But, in the end, as Aikido ended up at the end of the Founder's evolution of the art, it takes a bit of work to get it back to "application" at all. It simply isn't designed for that. Trying to make it so is silly I think and ignores the really important questions of why it took the form that it did? What was intended, what happens when you practice the art, etc. I am not saying that we shouldn't look at the totality of the art's development at each stage and see if we can ensure that anything of great value and depth from an earlier period doesn't get lost in the transition to its contemporary form. We should do that. But we also shouldn't decide that the art "went all wrong" somewhere and devolve it, because I do not think that is what happened. The art "evolved"... adapted to a new environment. The intentions off the Founder for his art are really unique. No one I know of talked about his art the way the Founder talked about Aikido. Too much focus on the practical application of technique leads folks to miss some of the essential questions.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-12-2011, 11:18 AM
Sure it evolved to survive in the new environment (post war Japan - 60's reverse orientalism - 70's new age movement...) but we are going into another era, a different environment.

chillzATL
12-12-2011, 11:40 AM
Sure it evolved to survive in the new environment (post war Japan - 60's reverse orientalism - 70's new age movement...) but we are going into another era, a different environment.

which means what?

Michael Neal
12-12-2011, 12:20 PM
Still a good question, and no reason not to voice an opinion.

all possible opinions have already been expressed here a hundred times over which is why I was mocking the topic. I am actually embarrassed about much of what I wrote some 10 years ago here and wish it would go away. I have changed opinions several times about Aikido over the years this topic has been going on. I currently see much value in Aikido especially now with the return to IS type training and such.

Since this topic was started I have had 5 different jobs, lived in 3 different locations, a baby son who is now 5, stopped and restarted training multiple times, and now added multitudes of gray hairs.

I am wondering if this thread will still be going on when I am in my 80's.

Michael Neal
12-12-2011, 12:27 PM
I want to start a new topic "Aikido does not work at all in a fight, Part 2 the Electric Boogaloo" but I am sure it would be deleted.

graham christian
12-12-2011, 12:39 PM
George Ledyard.
I just checked the first post from the year two thousand. Right on that first page there you are.

You're like an uchideshi of this thread. Respect Sir!

Regards.G.

George S. Ledyard
12-12-2011, 01:05 PM
George Ledyard.
I just checked the first post from the year two thousand. Right on that first page there you are.

You're like an uchideshi of this thread. Respect Sir!

Regards.G.

I am probably somewhere on every iteration of this thread ever done... I have to admit to not having mastered my own advice to cultivate "complete indifference" to the subject... The only thing I can say is that I have never been the one to wake the sleeping Mummy from its tomb.

graham christian
12-12-2011, 01:59 PM
I am probably somewhere on every iteration of this thread ever done... I have to admit to not having mastered my own advice to cultivate "complete indifference" to the subject... The only thing I can say is that I have never been the one to wake the sleeping Mummy from its tomb.

Ha.ha. Very good. Got me thinking though, that could be a good point. We could all be the effect of our own morbid fascination with the living dead,,,,,,

Scary!!!

Regards.G.

Eric Winters
12-12-2011, 02:04 PM
Hello,

Thank you Mr. Ledyard for your answer. I appreciate your answer and I am sure the person who restarted it does as well.

Aikido was designed for something else but would it not be ok to try to apply those same principles and possibly some of the waza in a different way to address a more wide variety of modern day situations. Aikido will probably not be as good at defending against a boxer as being a better boxer but I think it would still be valuable.

Thanks,

Eric

Demetrio Cereijo
12-12-2011, 02:27 PM
which means what?

Means that staring at goats is a bit "demodé".

chillzATL
12-12-2011, 02:36 PM
Means that staring at goats is a bit "demodé".

but they can do tricks...

Ketsan
12-12-2011, 03:34 PM
which means what?

Either Aikido harmonises with the times or it dies out. Many of the Koryu schools died because they were seen as having little relevance and was replaced by the gendai arts. Now MMA has come along and the gendai arts are seen as having little relevance so they, from what I've seen, are dying out also.

In the future Aikido, Judo, Karate etc will be practiced by people, probably older than most martial artists and for the same kind of reasons people learn Koryu arts now. That's if the gendai arts survive at all.

I'm not hopeful. At the moment I get the sense within Aikido that the average age of a beginner is about 45, the few that start teaching will be 55-60 and their teaching career is only going to be about 15-20 years mostly spent teaching older people.
I think most Aikido dojo will be closed within the next 20-30 years. Judo seems to be kept bearly alive by teaching children and even Karate classes seem to be older people and young children these days.

This is just my experience. The other thing I've experienced is that you can drive past the local MMA or Thai boxing gym by where I live any time of day, any day of the week, from 9am to maybe 10pm and there are groups of young guys training while Aikido dojo are struggling to get enough students to pay the bills.

If we are not worried about if an Aikidoka can stop a Thai Boxer etc then we are not worried about the water rising around the neck of Aikido. Just because we see the question as irrelevent doesn't mean the potential student, who is the lifeblood of any art, thinks of it as irrelevent.

If a guy comes into a dojo worrying about being punched in the face and is shown three ways of dealing with a wrist grab we shouldn't be suprised when he goes to the Thai Boxing instructor who'll show him exactly what he's looking for and when he walks out of the Aikido dojo he takes the future of Aikido with him.

That's what it means.

graham christian
12-12-2011, 03:45 PM
They must like fighting and thinking that's the way to handle fighting. Majority do alas...

Regards.G.

RoisinPitman
12-12-2011, 04:12 PM
I'm not hopeful. At the moment I get the sense within Aikido that the average age of a beginner is about 45, the few that start teaching will be 55-60 and their teaching career is only going to be about 15-20 years mostly spent teaching older people.
I think most Aikido dojo will be closed within the next 20-30 years. Judo seems to be kept bearly alive by teaching children and even Karate classes seem to be older people and young children these days.


The average age of my beginners is about 20 at the moment, I started at 18 in 1980. I have been teaching nearly 25 years and I am now approaching my 50th birthday. I don't teach children. I make enough money to easily pay the rent on my dojo. I do not take a fee, it is all voluntary.

Recently I have had three 17 year old join and they are enthusiastic students with no interest in MMA.

As for whether aikido works......in my case it has, regularly, as a police officer (now medically retired) of 12 years. I was shown the police system but it was not a system that I felt was at all comprehensive enough. But then, officers were expected to learn techniques once a week for the training period with sporadic lessons back at their own force. Regarding the argument on what works, it is more down to whether the individual can control their adrenaline flow (fear factor) when reacting to a violent offender or not coupled with the ability to make ones movement a natural reaction to the situational demands at that moment. If you wish - a state of mushin.

Ketsan
12-12-2011, 04:28 PM
They must like fighting and thinking that's the way to handle fighting. Majority do alas...

Regards.G.

It's a curious kind of martial artist that doesn't like fighting, fighting being at the core of anything martial. If a person doesn't like it and sees that there is a better way then learning how to do it strikes me, pun intended, as being bizarre. There are lots of other ways to follow the :do:

If Aikido is a better way of handling fighting, then as a group, we're not exactly going out of our way to demonstrate it so we can't blame people for not wanting to learn it.

Ketsan
12-12-2011, 04:36 PM
The average age of my beginners is about 20 at the moment, I started at 18 in 1980. I have been teaching nearly 25 years and I am now approaching my 50th birthday. I don't teach children. I make enough money to easily pay the rent on my dojo. I do not take a fee, it is all voluntary.

Recently I have had three 17 year old join and they are enthusiastic students with no interest in MMA.

There are always dojo that buck the trend; my dojo did for a long time because we were located in a six form college so most of the new guys were under 18. That doesn't impact the trend significantly.

CNYMike
12-12-2011, 04:40 PM
..... All arts evolved within a certain historical / social climate. They took things like the available technology into account, they directly reflected things like social position etc. When times in a society changed, so did the martial arts. Aikido is a perfect example of a martial art which resulted from a whole series of very drastic and very rapid social change ..... The art "evolved"... adapted to a new environment. The intentions off the Founder for his art are really unique. No one I know of talked about his art the way the Founder talked about Aikido. Too much focus on the practical application of technique leads folks to miss some of the essential questions.

Loved your post, George, and agreed with all of it. I only snipped it for length.

The only thing is I'm not interested in "devloving" Aikido as drawing on it. But I completely agree with the idea that a lot of things work as weapons retention based on my own experimentation with double dagger: Morote dori makes no sense empty hand but does if nage has a weapon, but then the intent of the technique changes (when there's another knife in the free hand, obviously). Although obviously, your cops figured that. Call it a book worm quibbling with someone in the lab.

Again, great post.

Dave de Vos
12-12-2011, 06:42 PM
It's a curious kind of martial artist that doesn't like fighting, fighting being at the core of anything martial. If a person doesn't like it and sees that there is a better way then learning how to do it strikes me, pun intended, as being bizarre. There are lots of other ways to follow the :do:

If Aikido is a better way of handling fighting, then as a group, we're not exactly going out of our way to demonstrate it so we can't blame people for not wanting to learn it.

I guess that indeed many martial artists like play fighting to some level of intenstity (randori, sparring or even matches), but if one likes to fight for real, I'd say doing aikido or MMA or whatever martial art won't do at all. For example, joining a gang of hard core soccer hooligans would be much better to fulfill ones needs :uch:

Demetrio Cereijo
12-12-2011, 06:54 PM
It is not about fighting, it is about what budo men like Yukiyoshi Takamura (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=91) say:

"Some aikido teachers teach aikido as a martial art while others don’t. This is okay as long as the teacher is honest with his students about the aim of his teaching. Some teachers claim there are teaching a martial art when they are not. I believe this is a big mistake. Other aikido teachers teach the art as a purely spiritual discipline and are honest about this with their students. This is okay by me. Aikido as a spiritual pursuit is an honorable thing and I believe this was the ultimate aim of Ueshiba Sensei. But the spiritual aspects of the art are more likely to apply when it is taught as a martial art. Martial arts are a big responsibility! Martial ability is a tool that allows spiritual discipline to flourish and work magic on the soul. The heart and mind must wrestle with demons and be victorious to find enlightenment. Without a struggle, the character never really is challenged and never matures. That is why shugyo (ascetic discipline) is so important.

Some aikido teachers talk a lot about non-violence, but fail to understand this truth. A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence. He chooses peace. He must be able to make a choice. He must have the genuine ability to destroy his enemy and then choose not to. I have heard this excuse made. “I choose to be a pacifist before learning techniques so I do not need to learn the power of destruction.” This shows no comprehension of the mind of the true warrior. This is just a rationalization to cover the fear of injury or hard training. The true warrior who chooses to be a pacifist is willing to stand and die for his principles. People claiming to be pacifists who rationalize to avoid hard training or injury will flee instead of standing and dying for principle. They are just cowards. Only a warrior who has tempered his spirit in conflict and who has confronted himself and his greatest fears can in my opinion make the choice to be a true pacifist."

It's about forging the spirit.

Belt_Up
12-12-2011, 07:42 PM
There are always dojo that buck the trend; my dojo did for a long time because we were located in a six form college so most of the new guys were under 18. That doesn't impact the trend significantly.

What trend is this and what proof do you have that it is actually occurring? Your own observations are subjective and prove nothing.

Ketsan
12-12-2011, 08:45 PM
What trend is this and what proof do you have that it is actually occurring? Your own observations are subjective and prove nothing.

It's just my observations although now that I'm looking through videos on youtube of courses and seminars I see lots of grey hair, bald patches and receding hairlines and not much else. I suppose it could be that Aikido courses and seminars are only attended by the follically challenged.

Ketsan
12-12-2011, 09:03 PM
It is not about fighting, it is about what budo men like Yukiyoshi Takamura (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=91) say:

"Some aikido teachers teach aikido as a martial art while others don't. This is okay as long as the teacher is honest with his students about the aim of his teaching. Some teachers claim there are teaching a martial art when they are not. I believe this is a big mistake. Other aikido teachers teach the art as a purely spiritual discipline and are honest about this with their students. This is okay by me. Aikido as a spiritual pursuit is an honorable thing and I believe this was the ultimate aim of Ueshiba Sensei. But the spiritual aspects of the art are more likely to apply when it is taught as a martial art. Martial arts are a big responsibility! Martial ability is a tool that allows spiritual discipline to flourish and work magic on the soul. The heart and mind must wrestle with demons and be victorious to find enlightenment. Without a struggle, the character never really is challenged and never matures. That is why shugyo (ascetic discipline) is so important.

Some aikido teachers talk a lot about non-violence, but fail to understand this truth. A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence. He chooses peace. He must be able to make a choice. He must have the genuine ability to destroy his enemy and then choose not to. I have heard this excuse made. "I choose to be a pacifist before learning techniques so I do not need to learn the power of destruction." This shows no comprehension of the mind of the true warrior. This is just a rationalization to cover the fear of injury or hard training. The true warrior who chooses to be a pacifist is willing to stand and die for his principles. People claiming to be pacifists who rationalize to avoid hard training or injury will flee instead of standing and dying for principle. They are just cowards. Only a warrior who has tempered his spirit in conflict and who has confronted himself and his greatest fears can in my opinion make the choice to be a true pacifist."

It's about forging the spirit.

He seems to be coming down on the side of being able to fight as prerequisite for forging the spirit. Most of this quote is about how Aikido is best done, in his opinion, as a martial art that can "kill or maim in the blink of an eye" how you can then say "It's not about fighting" and use this as an explaination I don't understand. To me he seems to be saying "Well, yeah, you can get away without learning to fight and it's still valid but the best way is to learn how to fight because that's the main tool for spiritual development."

If a person wants spirtiual development without fighting there's zazen or chado or ikebana or shodo and many other paths. To imitate fighting without intending to fight as a path to truth, to me, seems rather an odd approach because it is intrinsically devoid of truth.

hallsbayfisherman
12-12-2011, 09:21 PM
Been a cop for 27 years,have been in every kind of mix mangled mess you can think of ,usually came out in one piece most of the time, but i still can't say for sure what works or doesn't work in a real fight,sometimes everything works,sometimes nothing works.There is one thing you can be certain about,a real physical confrontation is 100% unpredictable.Most times in the really violent confrontations things happened so fast i'm not sure what i did just kind of reacted instinctively, and would advise anyone to stay as far away from physical confrontations as humanly possible.Today's post by George Ledyard is as good as i have ever heard any explanation given on this topic and any other similar to it.Whether this thread goes on forever the only accurate answer needed is this "refer to post #1709".

Regards
WJ

Ketsan
12-12-2011, 09:28 PM
I guess that indeed many martial artists like play fighting to some level of intenstity (randori, sparring or even matches), but if one likes to fight for real, I'd say doing aikido or MMA or whatever martial art won't do at all. For example, joining a gang of hard core soccer hooligans would be much better to fulfill ones needs :uch:

It's a bizarre mismatch to learn something you don't want to do. Hooligans aren't particularly good fighters though, they don't love fighting enough to train for it; they don't build their lives around it, it doesn't drive them to seek perfection, it's just a rush at the weekend.Their fighting is pointless because done just for the excitement. Nothing comes of it, nothing is affirmed by it because they don't love it, they just love the thrill.

I love fighting and paradoxically this means I don't do it all that often in the same way that foodies don't spend their whole time stuffing their faces and real ale lovers aren't in an alcholic daze their whole lives. I love fighting so much I've found a system that refines it into an art and way of life that pervades everything I do and is at the centre of my being. That means that when I do actually fight it's in circumstances which give it meaning and dignity not just for my own self-gratification.

Which is why I don't like combat sports. Spending years training so that you can gratify yourself by beating someone up for a trinket that'll be passed on to someone else when they beat you up doesn't strike me as having much meaning which means the person doing it doesn't have much meaning either.

observer
12-13-2011, 12:12 AM
He seems to be coming down on the side of being able to fight as prerequisite for forging the spirit. Most of this quote is about how Aikido is best done, in his opinion, as a martial art that can "kill or maim in the blink of an eye" how you can then say "It's not about fighting" and use this as an explaination I don't understand.
It is difficult to explain to someone that practicing aikido has nothing to do with fighting. Such an assertion does not make sense for many and words of Yukiyoshi Takamura will never reach them. However, you can assume that in spite of their wisdom, they are just empty words. The author expressed his wishful thinking of the modern budo, and probably did not believe that it has, or would have something in common with reality. The reason is simple. This ideal has already become legend. Today it is a business based on selling illusions.

It is a pity. And the idea of ​​aikido is so simple. It delighted Jigoro Kano, admiral Takeshita, and earned the respect of contemporary military authorities. Evade and kill. No one imagined that it was possible. Maybe sometimes, by surprise, or random luck they managed to eliminate the enemy from the fight in a similar manner, but no one dared to say that his art always lead to victory. Victory, after which there will be peace guarded by the elite of aikido.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-13-2011, 04:39 AM
how you can then say "It's not about fighting" and use this as an explaination I don't understand.
IHTBF

graham christian
12-13-2011, 08:09 AM
It's a curious kind of martial artist that doesn't like fighting, fighting being at the core of anything martial. If a person doesn't like it and sees that there is a better way then learning how to do it strikes me, pun intended, as being bizarre. There are lots of other ways to follow the :do:

If Aikido is a better way of handling fighting, then as a group, we're not exactly going out of our way to demonstrate it so we can't blame people for not wanting to learn it.

Curious being the operative word, yes. For me it's a curious type of person who likes fighting. Don't think I've ever met any.

I've met plenty who like a sport, met plenty who like competition, met plenty who do martial arts and like both the a fore mentioned. None of them liked fighting. My best friend was in his younger days a very good amateur boxer, unbeaten, but stopped when he found Aikido. He found it more challenging.

Too many examples I could give here so for me it's a no brainer.

Aikido has a higher purpose than mere fighting and competing and thus is a superior activity.

As a group it's not going out of it's way to demonstrate such maybe. Why?

Maybe too many have yet to grasp just how much greater Aikido is than fighting or competing and thus are still yet to get through their 'fighting mind' barrier and yet to grasp the meaning of true budo.

As I said, it's more challenging and maybe too many are not up to the challenge.

Regards.G.

CNYMike
12-13-2011, 09:56 AM
It's just my observations although now that I'm looking through videos on youtube of courses and seminars I see lots of grey hair, bald patches and receding hairlines and not much else. I suppose it could be that Aikido courses and seminars are only attended by the follically challenged.

I've seen plenty of younger people in classes and seminars I go to; college Aikido clubs probably have very few bald patches. The gray heads are probably all in the front rows.

George S. Ledyard
12-13-2011, 10:43 AM
I've seen plenty of younger people in classes and seminars I go to; college Aikido clubs probably have very few bald patches. The gray heads are probably all in the front rows.
I travel all over the country teaching and it is my observation the the average age of the Aikido population is rising steadily, as is the proportion of women vs men. I can only attribute this to the shift in interest on the part of young men and the popularity of the mixed martial arts.

I think that the traditional arts will have to hang in there for a few more years until these young men are so beat up that they will be looking for something more sensible to do. I have talked to several body work / massage professionals who have noted that the young men doing MMA are managing to do as much damage to their bodies in 6 or 7 years as it took me 35 years to do. This is not sustainable over time. I think many of them will be looking to keep training but in something more sensible... and perhaps something with a bit more intellectual content.

This really does have implications for the art. In the old days young folks came in and trained crazy hard (and pretty stupid) and really pushed the limits physically. Then after they had matured a bit, they'd slow down and start looking a bit deeper into the art. Most of the folks walking in my doors these days are already past the point at which they can train that hard, those days are behind them before they even start.

At my dojo I try to address this by putting a lot of emphasis on sword work. Weapons is an area in which folks can "push the envelope" without getting beaten to a pulp. Even folks in their seventies can train out at their limits with weapons in a way that they simply can no longer do in empty hand.

Ketsan
12-13-2011, 10:59 AM
It is difficult to explain to someone that practicing aikido has nothing to do with fighting. Such an assertion does not make sense for many and words of Yukiyoshi Takamura will never reach them. However, you can assume that in spite of their wisdom, they are just empty words. The author expressed his wishful thinking of the modern budo, and probably did not believe that it has, or would have something in common with reality. The reason is simple. This ideal has already become legend. Today it is a business based on selling illusions.

It is a pity. And the idea of ​​aikido is so simple. It delighted Jigoro Kano, admiral Takeshita, and earned the respect of contemporary military authorities. Evade and kill. No one imagined that it was possible. Maybe sometimes, by surprise, or random luck they managed to eliminate the enemy from the fight in a similar manner, but no one dared to say that his art always lead to victory. Victory, after which there will be peace guarded by the elite of aikido.

Then Aikido is not Budo. It is not about fighting as a spiritual path, it is not Budo. The movements are not techniques they are just meditative forms so we can do away with technical gradings because how you do them is irrelevent, all that matters is your state of mind when you do them.

Ketsan
12-13-2011, 11:25 AM
I travel all over the country teaching and it is my observation the the average age of the Aikido population is rising steadily, as is the proportion of women vs men. I can only attribute this to the shift in interest on the part of young men and the popularity of the mixed martial arts.

I think that the traditional arts will have to hang in there for a few more years until these young men are so beat up that they will be looking for something more sensible to do. I have talked to several body work / massage professionals who have noted that the young men doing MMA are managing to do as much damage to their bodies in 6 or 7 years as it took me 35 years to do. This is not sustainable over time. I think many of them will be looking to keep training but in something more sensible... and perhaps something with a bit more intellectual content.

This really does have implications for the art. In the old days young folks came in and trained crazy hard (and pretty stupid) and really pushed the limits physically. Then after they had matured a bit, they'd slow down and start looking a bit deeper into the art. Most of the folks walking in my doors these days are already past the point at which they can train that hard, those days are behind them before they even start.

At my dojo I try to address this by putting a lot of emphasis on sword work. Weapons is an area in which folks can "push the envelope" without getting beaten to a pulp. Even folks in their seventies can train out at their limits with weapons in a way that they simply can no longer do in empty hand.

The thing that worries me, and my perfectionism may be showing here, is what am I, as a person about to start teaching going to do with a bunch of mashed up 30-40 year olds? That has implications for the art because it places limitations on what can be taught.

It's fine for most people to train within their limits but for the art to survive and progress there must be people within in that can train to the limits of the art, which isn't aways in a destructive way. Even now I regularly train with people who can't take ukemi too well through age or injury, which limits how I do technique and they've never even done martial arts before.

If Aikido's future is bashed up middle aged ex-MMAers who are held together by steel pins and plates then Aikido will come to resemble something bashed up and held together by steel pins and plates also and it will be regarded as the thing that has beens do when they're bashed up from doing the real thing.

We're being very passive and defencive about this.

Ketsan
12-13-2011, 12:27 PM
Curious being the operative word, yes. For me it's a curious type of person who likes fighting. Don't think I've ever met any.

I've met plenty who like a sport, met plenty who like competition, met plenty who do martial arts and like both the a fore mentioned. None of them liked fighting. My best friend was in his younger days a very good amateur boxer, unbeaten, but stopped when he found Aikido. He found it more challenging.

Too many examples I could give here so for me it's a no brainer.

Aikido has a higher purpose than mere fighting and competing and thus is a superior activity.

As a group it's not going out of it's way to demonstrate such maybe. Why?

Maybe too many have yet to grasp just how much greater Aikido is than fighting or competing and thus are still yet to get through their 'fighting mind' barrier and yet to grasp the meaning of true budo.

As I said, it's more challenging and maybe too many are not up to the challenge.

Regards.G.

People find it hard to grasp what they are not told. Most people just think Aikido is a naff martial art that doesn't work and they have no reason to think otherwise.

Michael Neal
12-13-2011, 12:54 PM
The thing that worries me, and my perfectionism may be showing here, is what am I, as a person about to start teaching going to do with a bunch of mashed up 30-40 year olds? That has implications for the art because it places limitations on what can be taught.

It's fine for most people to train within their limits but for the art to survive and progress there must be people within in that can train to the limits of the art, which isn't aways in a destructive way. Even now I regularly train with people who can't take ukemi too well through age or injury, which limits how I do technique and they've never even done martial arts before.

If Aikido's future is bashed up middle aged ex-MMAers who are held together by steel pins and plates then Aikido will come to resemble something bashed up and held together by steel pins and plates also and it will be regarded as the thing that has beens do when they're bashed up from doing the real thing.

We're being very passive and defencive about this.

I have heard some Judo guys say that "Aikido is where old Judoka go to die" or something like that. Not that I share that sentiment but it is a commonly held concept in the Judo community.

Ketsan
12-13-2011, 01:32 PM
I have heard some Judo guys say that "Aikido is where old Judoka go to die" or something like that. Not that I share that sentiment but it is a commonly held concept in the Judo community.

I remember when I first started Aikdio and after class while were lining up my instructor used to labour the point that Aikido is "not an old man's martial art". This was in a sixth form college so none of us were more than nineteen or twenty and we didn't really know what he was talking about.

As soon as we started going out to courses and visiting other dojo we understood though. Even at twenty nine I'm usually the youngest person on instructors courses by at least a decade. I hear stories like "I used to do *insert art* and then I got injured and I wanted to take something else up and then I found Aikido" quite often.

graham christian
12-13-2011, 02:48 PM
People find it hard to grasp what they are not told. Most people just think Aikido is a naff martial art that doesn't work and they have no reason to think otherwise.

You must mix with strange people. Never had that problem ever. Heard about it on this forum, strange.

Maybe it's the ones who say it that are the ones who believe it. They sound either very incapable or unaware.

Regards.G.

Dave de Vos
12-13-2011, 02:51 PM
I remember when I first started Aikdio and after class while were lining up my instructor used to labour the point that Aikido is "not an old man's martial art". This was in a sixth form college so none of us were more than nineteen or twenty and we didn't really know what he was talking about.

As soon as we started going out to courses and visiting other dojo we understood though. Even at twenty nine I'm usually the youngest person on instructors courses by at least a decade. I hear stories like "I used to do *insert art* and then I got injured and I wanted to take something else up and then I found Aikido" quite often.

Though the average age in aikido class is a lot higher than it was in karate class (my guess is 40 versus 25), I'd say most of the student under 50 are quite fit (thanks to aikido training I'd say). Past 55 ageing seems to start affecting joints of some, sometimes from old injuries.

I don't see that an average age of 40 makes it an old man's art, in the sense that everyone is so fragile from old age that training has to be extra slow and careful (in fact I think the 16 year olds seem more fragile than the 40 year olds. Actually, also in karate class, I think the 35 to 50 year olds were the toughest)

For me there is one major disadvantage of starting late: because I started at 41, I may not be able to continue training for as many years as I hope to.

Mary Eastland
12-13-2011, 03:15 PM
I wonder if Joey is still alive? ;)

kewms
12-13-2011, 03:27 PM
Beyond physical capability, another issue is that older students have lives: meaningful jobs, families, etc. Training like crazy becomes less of an option the more other things you have going on. Someone who starts in their twenties can structure their whole life around their aikido if they choose, but someone who starts in their forties may be much more reluctant to do that.

Which is not to say that older students can't train hard and get a lot out of the art, but the kind of dedication that makes future senior instructors is a lot harder to achieve.

Katherine

hughrbeyer
12-13-2011, 05:09 PM
People find it hard to grasp what they are not told. Most people just think Aikido is a naff martial art that doesn't work and they have no reason to think otherwise.

Do you guys just make up words to drive Yanks crazy?

Ketsan
12-13-2011, 07:45 PM
Do you guys just make up words to drive Yanks crazy?

Yes. When we go down the pub there is a box on the wall for suggestions of new words just to drive American's crazy and only the best are approved and passed into general useage. :D

Ketsan
12-13-2011, 08:40 PM
You must mix with strange people. Never had that problem ever. Heard about it on this forum, strange.

Maybe it's the ones who say it that are the ones who believe it. They sound either very incapable or unaware.

Regards.G.

Talk to people from other arts.

Ketsan
12-13-2011, 09:51 PM
Though the average age in aikido class is a lot higher than it was in karate class (my guess is 40 versus 25), I'd say most of the student under 50 are quite fit (thanks to aikido training I'd say). Past 55 ageing seems to start affecting joints of some, sometimes from old injuries.

I don't see that an average age of 40 makes it an old man's art, in the sense that everyone is so fragile from old age that training has to be extra slow and careful (in fact I think the 16 year olds seem more fragile than the 40 year olds. Actually, also in karate class, I think the 35 to 50 year olds were the toughest)

For me there is one major disadvantage of starting late: because I started at 41, I may not be able to continue training for as many years as I hope to.

It's an old man's art simply because the average age is higher.