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Hagen Seibert
04-10-2003, 04:32 PM
Hi,

I´d like to raise again a question I posted some time ago.
Last time discussion got out of control and turned to Aikido-is-or-is-not-effective.
Hope I can avoid that by asking differently.

In mainstream Aikido styles there is a set of attacks to train with.
Usually something like

a) grip of the hand (ai-hanmi-katate-tori, gyaku-.., ryote-..)
b) long strikes (yokomen-uchi, shomen-uchi, shomen-tsuki)
c) starting from the front going behind (ushiro-ryote-tori, ushiro-kubi-shime)
d) and some other

What you usually do not find are

a) straight punches
b) short chops
c) kicks of any sort

I´m talking about what I call “mainstream” Aikido, I do know that some teachers include a few of the latter attack forms, or even more than a few. But most teachers don´t and that´s what I call the mainstream.

Well, the usual attacks forms are a bit away from reality, which would mean attack to destroy.
E.g. shomen-uchi can be spotted miles before impact, leaving quite time to react. Same with yokomen-uchi. Striking to the belly from the distance as in shomen-tsuki is dangerous, because the other one´s fist can get to your head earlier. Similar with grips to the hand from a distance, most sensibly the other one will let you have the hand and strike. So if you really want to beat up someone, don´t attack with Aikido attacks.

I have read that Sensei Mochizuki once adressed this matter to O-Sensei, because he felt there was a deficiency, but was turned down. In consequence he developed a style which included the realistic attacks by himself. (That is one teacher besides the mainstream.)

So, would you think that…

a) …this just developed because teachers were too busy to getting the basic techniques on to their students and neglecting the more faster and potentially destructive attack forms, because e.g. students were not really interested in fighting or e.g. to keep training safer or something else. Was it a gradual decline by time ?

b) …there is a certain purpose in that, because Aikido is a peaceful art, thus it might have been wanted that aikidoka do not develop effective attacking skills. It might be a purpose to keep aikidoka incompetent to attack ?

jxa127
04-10-2003, 10:06 PM
Hagen,

You're begging the question. You offer two rather negative possible answers to your own question. No wonder you got arguments the last time!

Anyway, shomenuchi and yokomenuchi should not be done in such a way that they can be seen a mile away. Done right, you hardly see them at all before they fall.

More to the point, they represent the kind of energy you might get in an attack. Shomenunchi is a lot like an overhead icepick knife attack (like in the movie Psycho if you're not sure what I'm talking about). Yokomenuchi can be like a baseball bat swung at your head. Menutsuki can be like an upper cut. The energy is what's important.

There are many reasons why people might grab you. If you're a policeman, the grab might be to keep you from drawing your weapon. The grab may be because you've attempted to strike them.

No, aikido attacks are not necessarily realistic, but they express principles that make it easier to learn proper responses. Given time and experience, one can work on more complicated and realistic attacks.

Regards,

-Drew

Aikilove
04-11-2003, 05:30 AM
The long answere is in the line of what Drew wrote...

The short answer:

We train this way because it was the way O-sensei wanted us to train and it seemed to work for him. With patience comes skill...

MikeE
04-11-2003, 06:09 AM
In my training under the auspices of USAF, Tendo Ryu, and IAA, throughout my aikido career, I found we did many non-traditional attacks in our training in all of these organizations.

In other words, I haven't found this deficiency.

paw
04-11-2003, 07:03 AM
More to the point, they represent the kind of energy you might get in an attack.

After hearing this a nidan turned to me and said, "A high kick might have the angle and the same energy as yokomen, but it's never felt the same to me." As this fellow had been training for 12 years at the time, it made me feel validated as I've always felt the same as he.
No, aikido attacks are not necessarily realistic, but they express principles that make it easier to learn proper responses. Given time and experience, one can work on more complicated and realistic attacks.

I'm not so sure that attacks should become more complicated, or that more complicated attacks = more realistic attacks. (You may not be asserting this, I'm not sure .... rough night, mea culpa)

I cannot help to think of boxing in this. A better boxer attacks using the same punches as a beginner (jab, cross, hook, uppercut). At a higher level the attacks are more skillfully executed and more skillfully set up. Thinking on this more, I would say the same thing about wrestling, muay thai, bjj, judo, and sambo as well as aikido.

If I may play devil's advocate....

If aikido attacks are used to show principles and not for "realism", why not choose a "realistic" attack to show the principles?

Regards,

Paul

Alec Corper
04-11-2003, 07:14 AM
With respect Hagen, this question is most often asked by beginners, probably because if you cant answer it for yourself after a year or two of training you will have quit by then.

No you cant beat someone up using aikido attacks. the whole mindset of "beating someone up" does not fit in Aikido, which is a martial art of response to another persons energy, rather than initiating aggression in order to win a non-confrontation.However as Drew Ames said, any basic attck can become realistic if the nage understands focus, body movement, timing and targetting. These things come with practise on the mat, not theorizing.

All techniques work some of the time with some of the people, the right response at the right moment is also a sensitivity that cannot be forced but can be accelerated. I would recommend you ask your teacher how best to accomplish your goals within the framework of "traditional mainstream Aikido", or look for an attack oriented art.

respectfully, Alec Corper

jxa127
04-11-2003, 07:35 AM
After hearing this a nidan turned to me and said, "A high kick might have the angle and the same energy as yokomen, but it's never felt the same to me." As this fellow had been training for 12 years at the time, it made me feel validated as I've always felt the same as he.
Hi Paul.

How one percieves energy and the feel of an attack is a very subjective thing. I'm not sure a high kick has the same energy and direction (down and to the side at an angle) as yokomenuchi, but I guess it's close. When we've worked with kicks in our dojo, we've found them to necessitate body movements similar to what we'd do with tuski and yokomen.


I'm not so sure that attacks should become more complicated, or that more complicated attacks = more realistic attacks. (You may not be asserting this, I'm not sure .... rough night, mea culpa)
No, I wasn't really asserting that. :) More complicated might include combinations. More realistic might include jabs and uppercuts (for example).
If I may play devil's advocate....

If aikido attacks are used to show principles and not for "realism", why not choose a "realistic" attack to show the principles?
I'd say that the reason the attacks aren't realistic is the same as why the techniques aren't realistic either. We practice rather long techniques like kaitenage which draw out the movement beyond it's natural time frame in order to better study the movement. The same can be said of a certain way we do iriminage with nage doing two turns.

One of the things I like about my dojo is that we'll do a long version of a technique, and then work on a shorter, more realistic version right after.

So, I've been taught that we draw out the attacks and the techniques so that we can study them better. Once we've worked with the "large print" versions, we can work to regular sized attacks and techniques. That does not mean that the attacks are wimpy. They need to have strong projection and a constant movement toward nage.

Regards,

-Drew

opherdonchin
04-11-2003, 10:05 AM
It seems to me like the range of possible responses to the original post boil down into three general categories:

1) People who find that the 'fundamental' set of attacks in AiKiDo provide sufficient variety and power to fulfil their training needs. Responses from these people focus on showing why this is true for them.

2) People who feel a need to explore other attacks in order to feel like their training is sufficiently comprehensive. Their responses focus on showing that this is possible within the context of their Aikido training.

3) People who feel the same need, but do not feel that they have the freedom for this exploration within the context of their Aikido training. Here there is a tendency to echo and justify the original questions.

I'm not sure where that categorization takes us. I guess I'm wondering where else we could possibly go with this beyond just noting that people tend to fall into these three categories.

Maybe I'm just confused.

Erik
04-11-2003, 10:32 AM
Paul, I agree completely.

A yokomen uchi strike, as most of us practice it, is one thing, a yokomen uchi strike, as most of us practice it.
If aikido attacks are used to show principles and not for "realism", why not choose a "realistic" attack to show the principles?
Because it's not done that way.

And, that is, that!

Doug Mathieu
04-11-2003, 01:22 PM
Hi

Thought I would add a comment or two. I attended a knife fighting seminar a few days ago done by our local police combat instructor.

A few things he said seem to have relevence to your questions even though it was not an Aikido seminar.

First he told us in a Western Canadian Police study done to analyze the most common form of attack an officer might expect to face by someone it was found to be a sucker punch delivered in a roundhouse manner. The fist would start at the persons side or even a bit behind their back hidden from the officer.

This style of punch resembles a Yokomenuchi attack in some ways especially if practiced in a large way rather than a sword cut manner.

Another comment he had which has crossover had to do with speed of training. He made a point of telling us not to be fast with the attack. As a training guide they found with police recruits, etc it did not matter the speed at which they trained. Once they learned a movement well enough their defense speed adapted to the attack. Consequently it was better to go slow to ensure proper movement and detail was obsorbed.

Interestingly he made a comment about the usual attack was intended to destroy as mentioned by Hagen. That was one of the reasons a roundhouse sucker punch was favored. It gives the attacker the best chance of knocking you down on the 1st shot and this tends to be a longer distance attack. The instructor told us the average mugger, etc is not interested in "fighting". He wants to hurt you to accomplish his goal. Striking at you is the tool.

I think in the context of this an average encounter probably won't see many kicks or boxer type jabs. I realize there will be exceptions and I don't have personal experience to validify it. I do trust the comments of the constable.

The last comment has to do with a question raised at the seminar and that was what about the attackers other hand? In a knife context it could be a punch at the defender as they applied a defense against the limb which the knife was being manipulated from. His answer was most people attacking you will not be a trained fighter. They will be focused on the 1st attack to take you down and will not be applying much in the way of tactics and multiple strikes.

From my comments above here is what I think.

1. I disagree Aikido attacks are completey unrealistic

2. I agree with someone who has said each of the attacks we do train with often have a training version and a more applied version.

3. a) I don't think teachers just train the way they do because its easier or they are to busy. I think its because its a good training method in general. We may not always see the connections but thats probably our lack not the training

4. b)obvioulsy because I disagree with your premise it follows I would not agree with this idea.

I think your real question is are the attacks real?

I'm sure there are times when what we use for attacks won't be complete or cover all possibilities but in general I think they are applicable and cover a range broad enough to learn defensive Aikido.

MattRice
04-11-2003, 04:35 PM
...Maybe I'm just confused.
Nope. You aren't. The problem with questions like this is there isn't an answer. People have opinions, but they're just that: opinions. There is no The Truth about this.

Perhaps my truth or your truth goes into one of your three categories.

I know one thing: not all yokomens are created equal. Training against one person's 'unrealistic attack' can be a whole hell of a lot different than the next person's 'unrealistic ATTACK!"

Erik
04-11-2003, 06:49 PM
Douglas, despite the tonality of my post, I agree with much of what you wrote.

However, the simple act of turning over the hand changes the power and the angle of the attack, at least for me. To my mind, a hook is not the same thing as a yokomen uchi strike because of this although it is probably safer to work with.

sanosuke
04-12-2003, 02:04 AM
straight punches, uppercuts, front kicks and side kicks can be considered as 'tsuki'. hooks, roundhouse kicks can be considered as 'yokomen' attacks. It depends on how you perceive an attack, like in my case if my partner tries to attack with a shomen-uchi I tried to visualize that he/she not trying to attack me with shomen uchi but with a steel bar or a bottle, for example. For tantodori practice I prefer to use blunt kitchen knife rather than wooden one. I think it's useful to overcome our fear to attack and to do techniques in a more correct way.

Hagen Seibert
04-12-2003, 02:37 PM
Hi folks,

thanks for your replies, some comments:

to Drew:

No, aikido attacks are not necessarily realistic, but they express principles that make it easier to learn proper responses. Given time and experience, one can work on more complicated and realistic attacks

You have to start with slow attacks to learn the technique basically.

The principles do work for other “advanced” attacks.

But, my observation is, that people in “mainstream” Aikido do not take this next step.

I saw Yudansha who don´t know what to do when suddenly confronted with an attack out of the set.

To Paul:

With patience comes skill...

Yes, though there are places, where you can dig for ages and won´t find gold.

To Mike:

In other words, I haven't found this deficiency.

Good. Then you´ve got a dojo off my definition of “mainstream”.

To Opher:

Maybe I'm just confused.

No, you´re very sensible. (Like most people who are questioning their thoughts.)

To Matt:

The problem with questions like this is there isn't an answer. People have opinions, but they're just that: opinions.

I did not ask for eternal thruths. Your opinion would be fine. And if one thinks he cannot share my observation and wonders where this bullshit might come from, fine! I can imagine that many people think like that, either because they are not in the “mainstream”, or because they are happy with what they do.

To Paul:

If aikido attacks are used to show principles and not for "realism", why not choose a "realistic" attack to show the principles?

Basically, that´s what I´m asking.

And that´s where I came to the mentioned 2 possible answers:

a)It´s too difficult and teachers neglect.

b)There´s a method behind it. Incompetence of attack is perhaps wanted. (I know this idea seems queer and radical, even paranoid.)

To Eric:

Because it's not done that way.

Yes. But why ????

Hagen Seibert
04-12-2003, 02:42 PM
Ahh, this looks completly different now.

All format´s gone.

For better understanding: I always start with a quotation from the mentioned person.

Sorry!

Aikilove
04-13-2003, 01:32 PM
You qouted me but used pauls name...

You asked why we do it this way... I say: because O-sensei seemed to want it that way and all his ushideshis trained under him that way and so they normally teach (taught) that way etc. etc.

Further more one needs to take responsibility for ones own training. One shouldn't just repeat the choriography of the techniques (except in the beginning :D ). Every single time every movement should be filled with 100% awareness about everything around this techniques!

opherdonchin
04-13-2003, 09:40 PM
You asked why we do it this way... I say: because O-sensei seemed to want it that way and all his ushideshis trained under him that way and so they normally teach (taught) that way etc. etc.Of course, sometimes reasons like this keep us with things like the QWERTY keyboard and the English system of measurement. Personally it seems to me that most of my teachers stay with the standard attacks because they really do provide a sufficiently large variety to keep them interested.

I've been told that in Aikido the techniques aren't important at all, and that Aikido is all in the way you hold your body, the way you move, and the way you connect to your partner. I've seen senseis who led me to believe that this was really true. If it is the teachers goal to focus the students attention on his or her movement and away from the details of the techniques, it would make sense to use a very limited set of attacks and techniques.

Joe Jutsu
04-14-2003, 12:11 AM
Opher-

I'm new to the discussion board and I don't yet know how to include your quote in a neat grey box, but your comment about Aikido not being about specific techniques but about learning how to move was great. I could not agree more, nor have said it better myself.

Thank you,

Joe :ki:

bogglefreak20
04-14-2003, 01:56 AM
Hagen says: "So if you really want to beat up someone, don´t attack with Aikido attacks."

From my point of view, if you want to beat someone up, you shouldn't be doing Aikido.

With Friendly Regards,

Miha

Gopher Boy
04-15-2003, 12:59 AM
Hi all,

I had given a little thought to this subject a few weeks ago but left it by the wayside thinking that I would be happy enough to get a decent grip on 'stylised' aikido attacks!

But I suppose there is one answer just there. This is really the opinion that practice of Aikido is teaching you the mechanics of the body and basic principles that you apply as needed when you are proficient enough. Obviously we can't be taught every conceivable attack. Sure there might be ones more relevant to us today, but Aikido was not created 'today', instead having it's roots in ancient times, when these 'stylised' attacks would look rather commonplace with a sword or jo added!

The reason this was kept in the 'syllabus' so to speak when O Sensei created Aikido I attribute to them being still of great use in understanding body mechanics. Certainly when O Sensei developed Aikido proper it was not usual for people to go around cutting each other up with swords.

Another answer would be the question: "do all attacks of a certain type have to be given in exactly the same way every time for the technique to work?" Not really, no. The more experience you have, the easier it is to adapt to more radical differences in attack. This of course ties into the first answer.

One thing my teacher always stresses is "get off the line" and "Aikido is about making yourself slim", maintaining that if nothing else, you avoid the knife thrust or punch. It is amazing how much different an attack looks when you are correctly "off the line". Where exactly you move to in realtion to the attacker can change how effective your technique is. If you get too far back or too the side, then you may well have to try a different technique. Same goes for not far enough.

The point is that in this kind of situation, the kind of attack is not terribly important - the application of your techniques will change depending on where you are.

But - quite apart from that...

When ever I see a fight, the most common attacks are (thanks Douglas,) the hook sucker-punch (we call it a 'king-hit' here in oz) and a grab of a wrist, shoulder, lapel or shirt front. Of course, this usually is to keep the victim close in while a few nice meaty punches are lovingly dolled out.

Still doesn't resolve the 'no jab technique' issue, but in these situations it is irrelevant. All we need in Aikido is contact or attempted contact. Once the attacker grabs a wirst, shirt etc....., there is the opening we need to perform the technique. Of course, you must be sufficiently fast to avoid a pummelling, but you would need to be every bit as fast to stop the punch too!

I think a lot of people would agree that these are the most common kinds of attacks. And as such, Aikido provides some rather effective ways of dealing with them - especially the grabs!

Although it sounds as though I have violent tendencies (I don't,) I am always amused when I see a fight. Mostly it is just the old grab the shirt and punch the other guy in the head, to which the 'defense' is almost invariably: grab the attackers shirt and try to punch him in the head harder and quiker. No one really ever thinks of attacking the hand that is holding them, which, through my aikido practice I believe is the most effective, and even painful.

cheers and sorry for the long speil.

gb

sanosuke
04-15-2003, 06:53 AM
From my point of view, if you want to beat someone up, you shouldn't be doing Aikido.

Very good point Miha.

Jesse Lee
04-17-2003, 04:46 PM
I am on board with the original guy posting this question. His point is not that he wants to be a better attacker; he asks whether we are really training for street-effective defense. Street-effective defense goes beyond body-awareness; we could go join yoga or Feldenkrais for that.

I get that boken and jo training, for instance, are not realistic waza for the street, but they do offer more perspective on focus and extension of ki. I'm down with alla that. But I am frustrated by the same thing, training in aiki against unrealistic attacks. (Although I really like the comments above by Douglas Mathieu!)

If we all start from the premise that we are training for street-effective self-defense, in addition to the more profound and spiritual benefits of aiki, then it's weak to say things like: "Yokomen? That is like a baseball bat swing. Tsuki? That is like an uppercut or a front kick."

If we expect to see baseball bats and uppercuts and kicks on the street, then it seems to me we should train with all those things in the (non-ki-society) dojo, in the core curriculum. If it is as Phill Green says, "I am always amused when I see a fight ... it is just the old grab the shirt and punch the other guy in the head," then we should train often for someone grabbing our gi and punching us in the head. We can slow the attacks down, we can stylize them and then get more realistic later, but I wish they were part of the core curriculum. O Sensei did not do it that way and he was lightyears ahead of us, I get that, but I still wish that attacks were realistic.

A better example than all the preceding: consider the wrestler, intent on kicking your ass, who shoots for your legs. You do *not* want that homey to suck you up in a single-leg or double-leg takedown, b/c then for all your training, you are flat on your back underneath an angry wrestler. What is aikido's answer? Well, who knows, nobody trains for shoots in the "mainstream." A yudansha tells me that kaiten-nage is aikido's answer, but I dunno. Wrestlers answer the shoot with a sprawl, b/c a sprawl is what actually *works*.

I think we aikidoka, me included, buy into the notion that if we train long and hard enough, the attack is irrelevant. Attacks will break like water upon our strong and centered firmament, and we will scatter all attacks like so many toothpicks. Either that, or we convey such centered assurance that conflict will avoid us entirely.

opherdonchin
04-17-2003, 08:41 PM
Jesse,

Many people might tell you that you can think of these situations as puzzles left for the 'interested student.' Nothing stops you from getting together with someone after class with a baseball bat and figuring it out on the basis of what you've been taught. If you can't figure it out, then maybe it's time to ask a teacher (again after class). People in our dojo do things like that all the time.

Mind you, I don't see anything wrong with doing those things in the 'regular curriculum' either. I don't see anything terribly right about it, either. Like I said earlier: some people feel a real need for that kind of stuff, other people really don't. The trick is to figure out what kind you are and then to find ways to get your needs met.

Jesse Lee
04-18-2003, 10:54 AM
Yeah, that is a good way to look at it. We have padded bats and stuff at the dojo, guess I should take charge of my own training more and go feed my need. :)

jimvance
04-20-2003, 12:39 AM
Another answer would be the question: "do all attacks of a certain type have to be given in exactly the same way every time for the technique to work?" Not really, no. The more experience you have, the easier it is to adapt to more radical differences in attack.I agree with you Phill, but let me play devil's advocate for a second. One way I interpreted your comment was that effectiveness could be considered more important than form. Most people would say "yes" to this, but shy away from the philosophy of "the end justifies the means". So we are running along a razor's edge here, philosophically speaking. In the West, effectiveness plays a critical role; in Japan, it is adherence to kata (form). After arriving at a moderate level of competency, I feel it is easy to be effective against the inexperienced, but my competency has been gauged by experimentation within various forms and patterns. What I find very hard is twofold: Matching effectiveness (end results) with precision (the process). This becomes really apparent when training in a both kata and randori with more experienced people (like my teachers and instructors).

To get back to the heart of the question, no one ever steps onto the mat knowing how to do aikido. It is a learned activity (some have more ability and potential than others, but it is still learnable). Attacks must be standardized to allow people to learn (and to depart from the standards too). If Phill's statement was directed to those who have gone above the beginning levels (maybe about Sandan and above), then I wholeheartedly agree. But I think that most of the reading populace here are still working to achieve those levels (hence my devil's advocate-ing).

The other half of my (hopefully good-natured) prodding concerns the idea of "the technique". Is the technique only something that tori (nage) does to a willing participant, then switches off so that the other person gets a chance to practice "the technique"? There have been many instances that I spent most of my time on the mat as uke and learned more about "the technique" than I did as tori. I also find that giving an effective, consistent, honest attack coupled with taking (sometimes bonejarring) ukemi was just as hard as the requirements made on me mentally as tori. The attack seems to me to be just as important to the overall form (kata) as "the technique", or the effective end-result.

What a riddle! And I chose not to respond to the original question simply because I don't practice "mainstream Aikido". Please don't hate me. ;)

Jim Vance

shadow
04-20-2003, 01:59 AM
A better example than all the preceding: consider the wrestler, intent on kicking your ass, who shoots for your legs. You do *not* want that homey to suck you up in a single-leg or double-leg takedown, b/c then for all your training, you are flat on your back underneath an angry wrestler. What is aikido's answer? Well, who knows, nobody trains for shoots in the "mainstream."
at my dojo we have trained against shooting before. its a matter of if the attacker wants to go towards the ground to get you, you help him into the ground with your hand pushing him further down on his head....

anyways the point is, basic attacks are trained so we can practice basic techniques the way morehei ueshiba taught. after a firm grasp of the basics (which really just teach your body how to move) you should be able to deal with a wide variety of attacks.

also branching out is usually encouraged by any kind of reasonable teacher, if you want to learn how to deal with shootfighting, go learn it and so on.

a third thing is we seem to forget that the large majority of people sincerely trained in martial arts are not the kind of people you will meet in the street unless you provoke the incident, or unless you are interested in competition. and if you did meet them you had certainly better be confident with your aikido because i think for the majority of us we will get a big shock in trying to dispatch someone sincerely trained in kung fu or any other art. whereas for the common thug it would be quite adequate, and the common thug aint gonna shoot for your legs, he is gonna try and punch your face.

there is so much more to aikido than simple self defense and it would serve your life better to practice those than worrying about who you can beat up.

shihonage
04-20-2003, 04:47 AM
This thread could benefit from less of "If you want your art to be martial, then don't study Aikido" people.

opherdonchin
04-20-2003, 08:34 AM
Attacks must be standardized to allow people to learn (and to depart from the standards too). If Phill's statement was directed to those who have gone above the beginning levels (maybe about Sandan and above), then I wholeheartedly agreeSandan, huh. Pretty strict. Teachers have told me that each time you are attacked is different. The newest beginners deal with variations and varieties. In most dojos we train with students at all levels so we really see a lot of variants. That's not bad. That's part of the training.

I think that the average 4th kyu has the Aikido maturity to consider all sorts of variations on the standard attacks. Of course, I speak from traditions that teach the discovery and development of each individual's Aikido, and not from traditions focusing on perfect emulation of the sensei's movements.

I'm not saying that a 4th kyu needs to explore outside the standard attacks. I'm just saying there's nothing wrong with it.

jimvance
04-20-2003, 08:19 PM
Teachers have told me that each time you are attacked is different. I won't argue with you on that point; everything is different. As a matter of fact, nothing is ever the same. Change is the only constant and even that is open to debate. But I was speaking more "within the functional system" level, not the "binding principles of being" level.
The newest beginners deal with variations and varieties. In most dojos we train with students at all levels so we really see a lot of variants. That's not bad. That's part of the training.Variants or deviants? :D At what point are they developing a "baseline" ability? If it happens at 4th kyu, then you are either training in a system that is light years ahead of mine or your standards are too low. Most 4th kyu at my dojo are happy if they can remember the order of the kata, or the gross mechanics of the movements involved. They are still acquiring basic knowledge of posture, timing, distance, and how to hit the target with effect. To change things at that level (or the levels up to about Sandan---yeah, I know I am stubborn!) just messes with the baseline ability and they don't learn to balance effectiveness and form. I would say that intensity of training should increase before major changes are made in the approach (go faster and stronger, or slower with more intent as examples).

I understand that my approach is not the mainstream, but perhaps this explains a little bit of my reasoning behind my choice of Sandan as cutoff for variations allowed in the attacking patterns (kata).

Jim Vance

opherdonchin
04-21-2003, 11:12 AM
I don't really disagree with you, Jim. It's more that I think its only one of many options to approach training. There are schools and even whole styles where the goal is first to achieve some approximation of what Aikido 'should' be and only later (much later, as you say) to begin to explore how that relates to the individual.

I was brought up in a tradition that emphasizes the opposite ideal. That is, while I agree that at 4th kyu people are acquiring basic knowledge of posture, timing, distance and so on (just like I feel I'm still doing at shodan), in my schools we would emphasize that it is THEIR posture, THEIR timing, and THEIR distance that they need to learn. Their's and not the sensei's. We were encouraged, as early as possible, to own our own Aikido and to think about and learn to recognize our own individual style rather than to focus on emulating exactly what the sensei had done.

It's an interesting balance, I think. Most interesting, to me, is the way that schools and styles are so often extreme in their emphasis on this issue.

Jesse Lee
04-21-2003, 11:45 AM
This thread could benefit from less of "If you want your art to be martial, then don't study Aikido" people.

So could the rest of Aikido IMHO
there is so much more to aikido than simple self defense and it would serve your life better to practice those than worrying about who you can beat up.

Great advice, thanks! But obviously the post was re. aikido's training effectiveness against realistic street attacks, not about
who (I) can beat up.

Jesse Lee
04-21-2003, 11:52 AM
Sorry Hagen, LOL, looks like your thread got hijacked again and turned into Aikido-is-or-is-not-effective

:D

jxa127
04-21-2003, 09:11 PM
If it is as Phill Green says, "I am always amused when I see a fight ... it is just the old grab the shirt and punch the other guy in the head," then we should train often for someone grabbing our gi and punching us in the head.
Well, in the AAA, techniques from that attack are a 2nd kyu test requirement. Techniques from a front kick are a 1st kyu text requirement.

I think part of the problem with this kind of topic is that while we can all talk about things at a very general level, the discussion tends to break down when we get specific.

Regards,

-Drew

Hagen Seibert
04-22-2003, 04:53 AM
Sorry Hagen, LOL, looks like your thread got hijacked again and turned into

:D
Ha-ha, never mind, I was expecting something like that.

Seems my question is at the second step, which we cannot discuss if we did not agree about the first step (the Aikido-is-or-is-not-effective-matter).

Now to get full into that:

Yes, Aikido can be effective as the principles work for all attacks.

No, most (mainstream) Aikido is not effective as 98% of training is on non-realistic attack forms. Of course we do need these forms to get to learning principles like breakin balance, center, etc. But having learnt the principles does not mean to be able to instantly apply them on every attack form. Many people think this way, though it´s delusion. You need to train for THAT, too.

Now some peolpe on this thread gave the advice to do that training privately, after official lessons. Of course I´ve been going that way already, also looking into other arts, JuJitsu was very valuable on that. BUT, that means finally changing Aikido, and does not resolve concerns about Aikido in general.

Aikido is the thing the founder had developed, and I think there is no doubt about the set of attack forms were his choice. He should have had his reasons for developing it into the present form of Aikido we observe. Why did he choose and favour those non-realistic forms?

opherdonchin
04-22-2003, 08:26 AM
Now some peolpe on this thread gave the advice to do that training privately, after official lessons. Of course I´ve been going that way already, also looking into other arts, JuJitsu was very valuable on that. BUT, that means finally changing Aikido, and does not resolve concerns about Aikido in general.My advice was slightly more specific: IF you aren't getting that curing class AND it is something you feel you need THEN you can consider seeking it outside of class.

The problem with this discussion is not that it was way-laid by discussions about effectiveness. The problem is that there is no 'Aikido in general.' Each style is different, each dojo is different, each teacher in each dojo is different. Some students in some dojos have this issue with their own training, and supporting them and helping them find what they need is useful. Trying to resolve 'concerns about Aikido in general' seems irrelevant here.

As to why O'Sensei focused on these attacks: I think the reasons for this are clear and have been spelled out in a number of posts. That doesn't mean that you have to agree with the choice or limit yourself in the same way. There is a lot of value, I think, in trying to understand O'Sensei's choice more deeply, but that doesn't seem to be your question.

mike lee
04-27-2003, 04:39 AM
Top martial artists are always using "aiki." Just take a look at Jet Li and what do you see?

Kelly Allen
04-27-2003, 04:49 AM
Top martial artists are always using "aiki." Just take a look at Jet Li and what do you see?
Can't see any thing he moves way too fast!:eek:

Jeff R.
04-28-2003, 05:57 PM
I've read a lot of posts where there seems to be much concern about the efficacy of Aikido against boxing or street fighting. I have noticed much concern, as well, about the attacks used in Aikido training. But there may be another way to think about things, not so much as to whether "this" or "that" will work, but instead about the way the situation is approached.

In Aikido training, the attacks are based upon traditional training. This is necessary for anyone, of any rank, to gain a grasp upon the dynamics of the techniques, the nuances that will someday bring out the "magic" of what we are doing. However, it is unlikely that we will see shomenuchi or yokomen with such grave committment from an attacker on the street, just as it is unlikely that an attacker will throw a punch out and hold it there while a Kung-Fu practitioner throws sixty-three strikes at the assailant--I speak from experience. A fighter on the street, especially a boxer, or a good martial artist strikes with a relative center. In the dojo, we give up our centers for the attack, giving Nage something to work with. A good puncher keeps his body moving as a unit and extends punches without committing his center, but still using its power.

Over the past twenty years, I have tried to integrate street attacks--american fighting--into Aikido training. Aikido is a martial art, and its purpose is to resolve conflict. I see nothing wrong with keeping it practical by evolving with the culture to which it will be applied. Besides, the principle of Aikido is a state of mind; giving the attacker an option, not taking control by being stronger. If we can't apply this concept to "American" style attacks, what's the point in learning Aikido as a martial art? How can we possibly apply Ainuke? If one wants to experience harmony, but not necessarily to be able to resolve an attack from a trained fighter, then one might as well study ballroom dancing. (And I did at one time.)

Anyway, there are several options when facing a boxer. One is to run. Considering Marubashi, this is not such a good idea, especially for your spirit. Unless you're facing a life threatening situation which you have no chance to control, then running is suicide.

Attacking the boxer head-on with boxing is, again, suicide, unless you are a bigger, stronger, or quicker fighter.

Trying to apply Aikido to a boxer's attack is not a good idea, either. When a strike is thrown without the full commitment of the center, and if you can grab hold of it at all, latching on to it for an attempt at Kotegaeshi is not an intelligent application. You will most likely end up yanked off your feet, or bapped in the nose.

But this is defensive Aikido, the kind we train for in the dojo when an attack is committed. Against a boxer, I have used offensive Aikido with success. It is still Aikido, still Ainuke, still non-violent, but it moves differently. It is moving with the strike, not quite evading, but fading--musubi--and then entering with the boxer's retraction, and then executing a full-body control, control of the fighter's center with his help, but not trying to take it from him when he's not giving it.

The techniques work well, adaptations of the originals for American fighting. Aikido should be practical for any culture.

But the blending is essential. Punching and kicking is a very base ability. Blending with someone's spirit and controlling the situation non-violently is something much more difficult to obtain, but well worth the training and time. We tend to desire instant gratification and quick answers. Aikido works very well against a boxer, but only if you can blend with his intent, not with his strike. Intent can be a blink, a change in breathing, something subtle--a tell--that says it's going to happen, the strike is coming, the trigger is going to be pulled, and the essence of Aikido is being sensitive to that intent--in fact, to redirect the intent without the need for physical interference. Don't grab the attacker's strikes, don't use muscle, blend and take in his center, the intent is the spiritual signal to move.

If you are worried about wether or not Aikido will work against a fighter, then your questioning may elicit enough fear to make you leave Aikido for something more tangible, with more directly visible results. But have faith in yourself, your spirit, all those who have trusted Aikido for decades, and it will not let you down. It will take time. Ask fellow students to practice with "American" strikes, and work on blending, forget the punches, blend with the motion of the quick jab, become fluid, and then you will be like a glob of honey on the bear's paw when he snatches it from the bee-hive.

Aikido works. Do us all a favor--make it work! I want to learn what you figure out.

Thor's Hammer
04-28-2003, 07:34 PM
In my humple opinion, it's a lot easier to dodge and blend with the hook coming from way out of left field that most people throw, as opposed to the straight on punches we learn in the dojo.

mike lee
04-29-2003, 02:55 AM
Boxer, iriminage, game over.

happysod
04-29-2003, 03:24 AM
why do these threads always remind me of Monty Python's "while attacked with a piece of fruit"...

I actually agree with most of the posters, even the ones arguing against each other - not just because I'm slightly unhinged, but because for specific situations, different responses can be equally applicable. Rather than focus on attack x = defense y (with a side order of blending) I prefer to focus on me and my health. Once you start putting boxes around how you're going to defend against a certain style of attack, you lose one of the most important parts of combat, flexibility. Trust your own responses and instincts, make sure that (in as loving and pleasant a way as possible of course :straightf ) you remove the threat and accept you're going to get hurt.

Train against as many different types of attacks as possible, this does help, but the main thing is to maintain your focus and intent in your training.

ian
04-29-2003, 04:00 AM
Yeh - I'd agree with the above post completely. People imagine a faceless attacker doing set moves. Damien was talking about kung-fu. One thing that I've noticed is the similarity of aikido with many kung-fu techniques. Although we focus less on internal energy and strength development, and more on foot movement, chin na (grappling) techniques are very similar. Comparing fighting techniques to me seems stupid. Aikido addresses most grappling techniques from Japanese, Korean and Chinese derived martial arts. Effectiveness, in my mind, comes from a certain level of physical and psychological ability and intense training whilst still being adaptable.

Jeff R.
04-29-2003, 06:34 AM
Wow. I have to apologize for stepping in. This issue has obviously already been thoroughly settled. I would just really like to hear about some actual practical experiences where someone has used Aikido for boxing/street-fighting techniques. There's no alterior motive here, no comparisons--only seeking to learn from those of you with experience.

mike lee
04-29-2003, 08:05 AM
This issue has obviously already been thoroughly settled.

What was the issue? What was the settlement?

Jeff R.
04-29-2003, 08:15 AM
What was the issue? What was the settlement?
Aikido versus boxing/street fighting?

It seems pretty cut and dry--"Boxer, iriminage, game over."

But I'm not looking to debate philosophy, theory, and morality. Those issues are pretty consistent for me no matter what the form of Aikido is. I have put in a lot of time applying the "reverse" principles of Aikido techniques to boxing/street fighting attacks, and I had noticed that several people (perhaps on a different thread--I don't know, I'm new and I get lost) had been concerned with Aikido's applicability to those attacks. All I'm saying is that it definitely works well, and from experience, one needs to move quite differently from what is traditionally practiced for the attacks in the dojo. Therefore, if anyone has any insight or information based upon real experience, I'd really like to hear about it. I have no desire to debate in a forum, only to learn from what must be a wealth of resources.

Jeff R.
04-29-2003, 09:34 AM
With all due respect, regardless of whether you prefer haymakers over jabs, health and well being, flexibility, and accepting you're going to get hurt, doesn't change the fact that the street fighter who maintains a relative center doesn't care, and when you try and slap sankyo on his jab, he's going to bap you severely. Who's putting boxes around inflexibility? We all train with Iriminage off of Shomenuchi, now train with Iriminage off of a retracted jab. Stay flexible and realistic, train for what we're going to encounter as well as training in the traditional way. There should always be options. If you think you can throw a wrist lock on a boxer, or even effectively tenkan around a boxer's attack, (and when I say boxer, I mean any good fighter with a relative, non-committal center) then try it and let me know how it works for you, because unless you can blend with his attack and retraction, I can almost guarantee it's going to turn into a grappling match where the quicker and stronger is the victor. Then we're no longer doing Aikido.

happysod
04-29-2003, 10:09 AM
"with all due respect" normally means "may all your extremities fall off painfully" doesn't it? Thanks Jeff :D

I don't think we're actually in any disagreement over how differing movements are needed for differing attacks and training for them is a good idea. In fact I agree with nearly everything that you say except (there had to be a but) for your reference to grappling not being aikido - why not?

I view aikido more as a concept in how to deal with combat rather than being rooted in any particular technique. Considering the multitude of differing styles out there, I'd be hard pushed to say what was and wasn't aikido from the point of view of technique(look at all the atemi threads). That's why my emphasis for dealing with any attack would be the same no matter what the attack (or style of attack) is - intent and focus, oh yes, and plain not giving up. I'd much prefer someone to do anything than go blank because they've forgotten the appropriate "aikdo technique".

Anyway you blackguard - that doth be my rebuttul so have at thee?

Jeff R.
04-29-2003, 10:36 AM
I should have used that [blackguard] for a username!

I'm sorry; I should have been clearer. It's not necessarily that grappling in and of itself is not Aikido, but that the principle of Aikido is to utilize Uke's attack and bring it to resolution through his own volition and your guidance. All too often have I seen--and experienced--grappling that turns into a strength contest. In that case there is only escalation and reciprocation rather than resolution. One of the most beautiful things to attain in this art is that fact that relative strength is not a factor in making the techniques work. If it were, then we'd all be in trouble at eighty-five years old! So, when the grappling turns into a struggle, especially in close quarters, then we can lose the essence of Aikido, regardless of our intentions, as the physical property turns into a wrestling match.

The cool thing about that, however, is that Chin Na can complement Aikido in a very non-violent way in those close-quarter circumstances. The circles are smaller, but the outcome can be the same as in Aikido--non-violent control, still leaving the attacker an option. This is provided that the initial Aikido technique, whether offensive or defensive, didn't come to fruition. I do, by the way, hate the term "offensive" for the method I've been describing, but it makes dynamic sense for anyone who hasn't tried it and needs a frame of reference for understanding the concept. It's more a matter of returning to Uke rather than leading him to you if he's not willing to make the commitment.

Grappler
05-12-2003, 11:25 PM
When I see an aikidoka surviving in a ring with a decent kickboxer, I'll believe in it. I am not saying winning, just survive for 5 minutes without getting knocked out. If I see him in a ring with a decent wrestler, I would be equally impressed. So far I havent seen anything in Aikido that would help you against a very basic boxing jab, a basic kickboxing kneekick or a basic wrestling double-leg takedown...

PeterR
05-13-2003, 12:43 AM
So far I havent seen anything in Aikido that would help you against a very basic boxing jab, a basic kickboxing kneekick or a basic wrestling double-leg takedown...
Look harder :p

Jeff R.
05-13-2003, 07:30 AM
When I see an aikidoka surviving in a ring with a decent kickboxer, I'll believe in it. I am not saying winning, just survive for 5 minutes without getting knocked out. If I see him in a ring with a decent wrestler, I would be equally impressed. So far I havent seen anything in Aikido that would help you against a very basic boxing jab, a basic kickboxing kneekick or a basic wrestling double-leg takedown...
SEEN it? I DO it.

It's funny because my brother and I were JUST talking about how easy it has been to drop kickboxers with Aikido.

But in a way, you're correct. Just as in any martial art, a "non-decent" practitioner may offer a poor display of what the martial art can really be like.

Anyway, PeterR is totally correct. But if you're looking to kick ass as a fighter and not train as a martial artist, you might just as well buy a baseball bat.

I feel badly that you don't believe in Aikido, for your sake. It's a very cool discipline--extremely effective. But it's hard to believe in things if you already have presuppositions.

Sorry, bud. This is one of those times that I wish we could get together.

And if you honestly believe that Aikido is not for you right now--don't do it.

Tough guys--"fighters"--don't really make good Aikidoka. They make good Ukes. ;)

akiy
05-13-2003, 10:02 AM
So far I havent seen anything in Aikido that would help you against a very basic boxing jab, a basic kickboxing kneekick or a basic wrestling double-leg takedown...
How long have you been training in aikido, Andrew? Maybe you could drop us an introduction in the Introductions (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=54) forum?

And, yes, I've seen aikido shihan teaching and dealing with all of the above kinds of attacks...

-- Jun

Grappler
05-14-2003, 12:17 AM
I've trained in Aikido for about a year. That was 5 years ago. I've cross-trained in kickboxing and wrestling (BJJ and olympic) since then. I sparred with Aikidokas, not beginners, brown and black belts, and find they have good balance on their feet, knowledge of wrist and armlocks, but very confused ideas about striking and ground wrestling. Easy to take down and easy to control once they are down. This one nabs them every time - http://www.lesgutches.com/real/swing_small.rm (the guy in the demo does it 3 times slower than real life for instructional purposes). And once they are down on their back very poor defense against elbows and knees and no idea how to reverse position. Correct me if I am wrong but typical attacks Aikido trains you against are single, strongly committed swings that you can see coming from a mile away. No one fights like this. A good striker sets up his attack with fake strikes and when a real strike comes it's FAST and is followed up by fast strikes combo. And keep themselves well balanced while doing that. Watch this and tell me which Aikido techniques you would use against a guy who strikes this fast : http://207.44.200.49/highlights/03-VitorBelfortLQ.zip. And he is a heavyweight, lightweights strike twice faster.

Also Aikido techniques seem to make a clear distinction who is giving and who is recieving... the uke and nage... thats another thing that stuffs up the aikidokas, they are used to one-way action. Fighting reality is, half the time your technique screws up and you end with your back or side on the floor, with your opp sitting on you and pounding your face with elbows. And you have to practice how to get out. Do you? I know you dont cause the aikidokas I've sparred with fall apart when they are down on their back...

I might sound aggressive, but I am openminded, show me a video clip of an aikidoka in a ring with a good striker or wrestler and that could solve a lot of questions...

happysod
05-14-2003, 03:21 AM
Andrew, I agree with some of your comments in that both dealing with jabs and ground work are often one of the weak areas in aikido, but that's mainly due to the normal route of how and when things are taught. Yes, we start off with uke-nage and committed attacks, but that’s only the start. Our green belt tests include starting from a head down + knee strikes to face position, go do a tenchinage, other areas cover 50-50 situations (the mucked-up grappling you’re mentioning) and also the “you’re in a really bad position now – do something”. Our main aim is to teach a mind-set (poor word-choice, apologies) within a situation, the actual technique you use is dependant on the situation. In the situation you mentioned (pummelled on floor) you’d gently try and remove their eye while closing them down, with love in your heart you’d see what extraneous bits came loose in your hand while remembering to keep centred. What I think you’re railing against is that aikido is not always solely about combat? Good, I’m glad you found that as that would bore the pants off me personally. Hope you’ve found something you prefer for now and when the body stops healing quite so quickly, hope to see you in the dojo sometime...

Grappler
05-14-2003, 04:58 AM
In the situation you mentioned (pummelled on floor) you’d gently try and remove their eye while closing them down, with love in your heart you’d see what extraneous bits came loose in your hand while remembering to keep centred.
Gently try and remove their eye? Not sure I understood you, are you saying the recommended Aikido technique for escaping front mount is to stick a finger in the guy's eye socket?? I hope you never try it against a grappler, it would earn you a broken elbow in best case scenario... here is a good relevant video clip http://www.bullshido.tv/dl_goto.asp?id=64
Hope you’ve found something you prefer for now and when the body stops healing quite so quickly, hope to see you in the dojo sometime...
:) ok, thats a good point, I do get injured a lot, broken fingers, toes, strained elbows, ankles, shoulders. Bruises... no serious injuries though. How would you comment on this: http://indomaresa.tripod.com/Injuries.gif -- a list of students who DIED during aikido practice

PeterR
05-14-2003, 05:44 AM
Why do I always get dragged out?

Person with little or no exposure to Aikido enters board to tell us we are all wusses and that he - has all the answers. They ususally have very restrictive views about what is or isn't Aikido.

Only once did someone try to do this physically to me - usually they hide behind keyboards. In this case it was a grab and sucker punch and the response was not pretty - but it was Aikido. Strangely it didn't convince the man - he claimed I wasn't fair because I didn't use, wait for it, Aikido.

Current world champion in Shodokan Aikido is an accomplished shoot fighter - just got back from Brazil training with the big boys. I don't see him packing in Aikido.

I cross train Judo, got my Shodan basically because of ground work, but I tell you push comes to shove my strategy will be very heavy towards Aikido. Why? Because it's ma ai is far less restrictive as long as you don't try to play the other man's game.

No I don't train to fight - did that (full contact Japanese boxing) when I was younger. However, what worked then is still part of Aikido. I just diodn't know it at the time.

happysod
05-14-2003, 05:51 AM
Hi Andrew, nope, not saying I'd try and remove an eye with a grappler, but if someone was hitting me while I was down, I'd probably be going from the neck/face area (sorry, can't watch the clip for some reason) - this was more of a tongue-in-cheek example of what I see as the major attraction of aikido (many on this forum may disagree with me) dealing with combat in a calm and focussed manner rather than reacting to the agression with more aggression - which actually seems to be the idea behind many of the combat arts at the higher levels, react cold rather than hot?

As regards the deaths - very interesting reading, thanks for this, and reinforces my own belief that you can't emphasise good breakfall practice enough. All the deaths (except #5) seemed to result from bad breakfalls by relatively inexperienced practitioners, mainly at seminars. I'd suggest it said more for greater supervision and control at seminars rather than a blot against aikido techniques.

I'd also be interested in a greater break-down of this report in terms of % deaths per number of practitioners, the general health of the victims involved, any equivalent studies showing the effects of long-term practices of the various combat systems ("sport" boxings problems are quite well known) etc. Sorry, but I deal with stats a lot and the method of collection, the parameters used in defining your study etc. can easily affect the conclusions you draw.

All I can offer is a personal opinion, in that yes, aikido can be dangerous, yes, it can be effective in combat and yes it can be both misused and mistaught. However, I've also found it attracts one of the more varied ranges of practitioners both in body type and personality and has proved to be real source of fun and useful combat training. You've identified areas you don't like and have said you already cross-train - great, most aikido senseis I've known often encourage this, especially if your interest is purely in combat techniques and methods of dealing with different systems. Having said that, I would still recommend aikido to you as another string to your bow, how else (if not scottish) are you going to be able to wear a skirt in public with aplomb?

(Damn, Peter replied first, I'm posting anyway..)

George S. Ledyard
05-14-2003, 05:59 AM
As regards the deaths - very interesting reading, thanks for this, and reinforces my own belief that you can't emphasise good breakfall practice enough. All the deaths (except #5) seemed to result from bad breakfalls by relatively inexperienced practitioners, mainly at seminars. I'd suggest it said more for greater supervision and control at seminars rather than a blot against aikido techniques.
The deaths mentioned were almost all in University Club situations in which there was no Shihan level instructor present, not at seminars. Upper classmen were essentially hazing the junior students by imposing very severe training on them. Most of these deaths took place when students had been forced to do 1000 breakfalls in a row from a technique like shihonage. It wasn't that their breakfalls were not good enough, it was that they had systematically been taken to the point where they were too tired to execute the ukemi properly. This has nothing to do with the normal level of risk of injury present in Aikido traiing when it is responsibly conducted.

PeterR
05-14-2003, 06:11 AM
Exactly - Shishida Shihan (Waseda University Professor of Budo History) when I talked to him about his study was very clear about it. I wont mention the person who was nominally in charge of one of the dojos where this happened and I understand from talking to him that he was of the same mind.

The hazing is seen as a way of toughening you up and also getting you past that thinking stage where your body takes over. Problem is when third year students are in charge - they don't have the experience to see when enough is enough. Still I want to interject that the number of deaths is very very small, probably more American kids die from heat exhaustion on the football field.

happysod
05-14-2003, 06:15 AM
George, I took the "camp" mentioned to mean seminar, thanks for clearing up my mistake. However, only 2 of the 11 cases actually mention continuous break-fall practice, the third possible (#11) mentions a rest taken between bouts of ukemi, so the "hazing" element(correct term?) wasn't obvious. I was pre-supposing lack of experience based on the ages mentioned, and you're correct to pick me up on that. Totally agree with you that they don't seem representative of "normal" aikido practice.

PeterR
05-14-2003, 06:20 AM
Totally agree with you that they don't seem representative of "normal" aikido practice.
It's still representative of normal university practice where a good number of people get their first exposure to Aikido in Japan.

There is a place for highly repeditive, do it till you drop, drilling.

happysod
05-14-2003, 06:32 AM
Peter, no argument with you on repetitive drilling, I've said as much on previous threads. However, is the hazing really representative in Japan? I ask this as I've never seen anything similar in an aikido dojo in the UK and that has included several university clubs. If it is such a problem, how do the uni-clubs organisations deal with it, or are they generally independant of other associations?

PeterR
05-14-2003, 06:47 AM
Hazing - rights of passage. Same same.

It usually involves lots of beer and harmless fun. I was hazed in University in Canada, that was pretty disgusting if I remember correctly. I don't think hazing will go away anywhere - just what's allowed and tolerated.
However, is the hazing really representative in Japan?

Dave Miller
05-14-2003, 07:36 AM
Andrew said: I've trained in Aikido for about a year. That was 5 years ago. I've cross-trained in kickboxing and wrestling (BJJ and olympic) since then. I sparred with Aikidokas, not beginners, brown and black belts...Not beginners? Brown Belt (3rd-1st kyu) = an aikidoka who thinks they know it all already. ;)

Shodan = knowing the basics of aikido, now ready to realy learn aikido.Would anyone agree with this assessment?

The point, Andrew, is that you can always say, "I took so and so aside and whooped them so therefore Aikido sucks". If you wanna really see how good your fighting technique is, try some of that on at least a yondan and then come talk to me.

:rolleyes:

paw
05-14-2003, 08:02 AM
Dave,
The point, Andrew, is that you can always say, "I took so and so aside and whooped them so therefore Aikido sucks". If you wanna really see how good your fighting technique is, try some of that on at least a yondan and then come talk to me.

In fairness to Andrew, I think length of training time is a reasonable gauge. Not all arts/styles assign rank.

Regards,

Paul

Jeff R.
05-14-2003, 08:41 AM
WHAT IS THIS GARBAGE?

If Aikido doesn't "work" for you -- YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!

I'm sure we all could go back and forth endlessly tauting the efficacy and ineffecacy of one style versus another.

There are reasons why Aikido does not train in ground grappling as BJJ does, for example, but you're not going to get to that point with a year of training. And if it's a problem--take something else.

The principles of standing Aikido, Aikido versus boxers and Muay Thai attacks, and ground tactics are exactly the same. MAKE THEM WORK.

Do some more research and get some life experience before challenging the integrity of people like Ueshiba, Saotome, Saito, and Chiba, to name a few that would adamantly disagree with Aikido's "inefficacy."

Enough tirade.

Reasonably speaking, I started out in the hard styles of martial arts, and I ran the gamut for twenty years. I applied a lot of former techniques and principles to the Aikido, such as ground fighting and relatively centered attacks, i.e., retracted jabs and kicks in order to satiate that "does this stuff really work" phase that we all go through. The applications to full contact fighting were very successful. Then I ended up finding that the principles were in the Aikido all along.

I'm still a baby in the martial arts, so I hold on to the security blanket of the other styles as I progress in the Aikido, but I see it pulling away slowly. Besides, Aikido is very much about strengthening the spirit--a major factor in making the "magic" work; much stronger than muscles and techniques.

But I have to say, I agree with Peter's post #56. Don't talk about it; go do it. If it doesn't work for you; do something else, but don't tell a physicist that math is useless just because you can't figure out the problems.

SeiserL
05-14-2003, 08:49 AM
So far I havent seen anything in Aikido that would help you against a very basic boxing jab, a basic kickboxing kneekick or a basic wrestling double-leg takedown...
Jab? I like a direct Irimi-nage or Shayo-undo. Slip, enter, and break balance.

Kneekick? Irimi again, the weight is usually backwards. Or, slip off the line, put your arm under the leg, and Irimi-nage.

Wrestling double-leg takedown? Initially, get off the line and tenkan before the grab. If inside, take the one arm and Kaiten-nage. Another is to break their forward momentum and balance by pushing down on the head.

Until again,

Lynn

Jesse Lee
05-14-2003, 11:36 AM
Lotta hardcore aikidoka getting pretty defensive, here... :P

It might help you folks getting emotional and feeling attacked to remember -- prior to founding aikido, M. Ueshiba was a master of Japanese "battlefield ju-jitsu" (whatever that is, some extra-lethal grappling discipline I guess). I get juice from my BJJ cross-training now, in large part b/c O Sensei's grappling training formed a pillar of his own *personal* aikido.

Also remember that aikido trains for multiple attackers, whereas grapplers can handle one attacker and no more.

Also remember that aikdo trains for weapons, like knives and guns and bats and sticks and even swords. Grapplers do not train for weapons at all, as far as I know.

I read a quote from the awesome Royce Gracie, when asked during an interview, "What response does your art have against multiple attackers?" His answer was, "I hope you can run fast!" :)

I posted a while ago on this thread, bemoaning the unrealistic attacks we train for most of the time. I think the very articulate arguments put forth by Andrew underscore my point way back, that our core training can benefit from opening up our core curriculum to defending against the shoot, or starting from your back on the ground, etc.

George S. Ledyard
05-14-2003, 12:10 PM
Lotta hardcore aikidoka getting pretty defensive, here... :P

It might help you folks getting emotional and feeling attacked to remember -- prior to founding aikido, M. Ueshiba was a master of Japanese "battlefield ju-jitsu" (whatever that is, some extra-lethal grappling discipline I guess). I get juice from my BJJ cross-training now, in large part b/c O Sensei's grappling training formed a pillar of his own *personal* aikido.

Also remember that aikido trains for multiple attackers, whereas grapplers can handle one attacker and no more.

Also remember that Aikido trains for weapons, like knives and guns and bats and sticks and even swords. Grapplers do not train for weapons at all, as far as I know.

I read a quote from the awesome Royce Gracie, when asked during an interview, "What response does your art have against multiple attackers?" His answer was, "I hope you can run fast!" :)

I posted a while ago on this thread, bemoaning the unrealistic attacks we train for most of the time. I think the very articulate arguments put forth by Andrew underscore my point way back, that our core training can benefit from opening up our core curriculum to defending against the shoot, or starting from your back on the ground, etc.
I don't really see these folks as being "defensive". Andrew says he hasn't seen anything in Aikido that would be useful against BJJ style attacks and these folks are saying that he isn't correct. In fact it looks to me as if a number of people posting on the Aikido side of things have some background in this. I do myself. I've studied a couple styles of tactical ground fighting, am familiar with the BJJ curriculum, have trained with Eric Paulson on a number of occasions etc.

I do not have a problem with the idea that, as martial artists, my students and I benefit from doing some grappling including ground fighting. I do have a problem with those guys who don't understand what is out there who decide their own style is superior to all the others. BJJ people fall in to this trap just like everybody else. I am personal friends with your teacher and I very much respect what he has done with his training. Adding Western style boxing to his Aikido and then following up with years of BJJ training puts him high on the list of people I'd have next to me in a fight. But he isn't alone in having been eclectic in his training and not everybody who has been considers that he needed to do something outside of Aikido to be effective. The Aikido I was taught by Saotome Sensei was very eclectic and was only limited by your own experience.

George S. Ledyard
05-14-2003, 12:13 PM
I don't really see these folks as being "defensive". Andrew says he hasn't seen anything in Aikido that would be useful against BJJ style attacks and these folks are saying that he isn't correct. In fact it looks to me as if a number of people posting on the Aikido side of things have some background in this. I do myself. I've studied a couple styles of tactical ground fighting, am familiar with the BJJ curriculum, have trained with Eric Paulson on a number of occasions etc.

I do not have a problem with the idea that, as martial artists, my students and I benefit from doing some grappling including ground fighting. I do have a problem with those guys who don't understand what is out there who decide their own style is superior to all the others. BJJ people fall in to this trap just like everybody else. I am personal friends with your teacher and I very much respect what he has done with his training. Adding Western style boxing to his Aikido and then following up with years of BJJ training puts him high on the list of people I'd have next to me in a fight. But he isn't alone in having been eclectic in his training and not everybody who has been considers that he needed to do something outside of Aikido to be effective. The Aikido I was taught by Saotome Sensei was very eclectic and was only limited by your own experience. The last guy who shot one me ended up in a guillotine, is that not Aikido? I was where I was taught.

Jesse Lee
05-14-2003, 01:02 PM
George,

I think we are both saying that martial arts training should be eclectic. The family of attacks should be eclectic. If Saotome taught you the guillotine in response to a shoot, then there you go, that is all I am saying -- sure that is aikido, and aikido training should incorporate shoot attacks, in fact a whole panoply of realistic attacks, r/t the core six or ten we all know pretty well and train for most of the time.

The main "thread" of this thread is, are the mainstream six to ten aikido attacks eclectic enough; i.e. realistic. IMHO a martially-effective aikido core training regimen should incorporate typical and realistic attacks, like I assume you got in ASU with Saotome and like you apparently offer (judging from your website).

BTW Saotome himself hooked me into aikido forever, at a public demonstration @ U. of MD many years ago. :)

Jeff R.
05-14-2003, 01:19 PM
You know, I have to agree that training against a variety of attacks is fun and it makes me feel more confident when I am able to work out the "bugs" of different situations. Although we typically train with the standard six or ten, we are not tethered to them. But regardless of the attacks, it is also important that we keep in mind how the Aikido works. Rather than concentrating on so many different attacks, we tend to concentrate on how to effectively move the attacker's center. Learning how to find the holes and the leverage, as well as playing with distance and timing, will give the Aikidoka the ability to be flexible and adapt to any kind of attack at all--jabs, shoots, shomen, kicks . . . .

Trying to train against different types of attacks without having a decent, applicable grasp of Aikido concepts, as well as a strong center, can be frustrating. This seems to be why many short-timers find the Aikido "ineffective" for seeking the end without understanding the means.

And as far as purity goes, Aikido is about the resolution of conflict with minimum exertion, minimum harm to all involved, and no escalation. BJJ, Chin Na, Jiujitsu . . . all can be adapted and blended (as others have stated before) with the Aikido. There's definitely nothing wrong with being ecclectic, especially if one can maintain the primary ethic of Ainuke (mutual preservation).

Largo
05-19-2003, 12:50 AM
Just have a question/ comment. One thing I have heard about strikes from my sensei is that because in the beginning, O-sensei's students were all black belts in various martial arts/ military personell that it was assumed that they knew how to punch, kick, etc, so it wasn't overly emphasized. Has anyone else heard anything along those lines.

Secondly, we spend lots of time (for the last year more than 1/2 of the class) on atemi and combinations. I feel personally that my punching is better now than when I cross-trained muay thai and karate.

PeterR
05-19-2003, 01:35 AM
A good number were but also a good number weren't. One of his jobs was to train up a cadre of Omoto-kyo believers at Ayabe. I have heard similar statements before but I am not too sure about them.

One thing to remember is that Funakoshi (the man who introduced Karate and its Kata to Japan) only arrived in the early 1920s and did not have an initial earth shaking effect on Japanese budo. When a lot of people think atemi they think ala karate when in fact the atemi of native jujutsu systems tends to be integrated into the techniques themselves. You learnt them as you learnt the techniques. Traditionally you were not attacked by an unarmed man (battlefield or otherwise). Unarmed combat happened when you were attacked by an armed opponent or in the process of a fight you lost your weapon. There really was not much of a tradition in Japan of attacking people with your hands and feet.
Just have a question/ comment. One thing I have heard about strikes from my sensei is that because in the beginning, O-sensei's students were all black belts in various martial arts/ military personell that it was assumed that they knew how to punch, kick, etc, so it wasn't overly emphasized. Has anyone else heard anything along those lines.

Michael Neal
05-19-2003, 07:17 AM
I think maybe shomenuchi and yokomenuchi attacks should not be used so much in demonstrations, these attacks may be fine to training but they do not help further the goal of spreading the practice of Aikido. They just look so fake. Demonstrations should show more of Aikido's capabilities while still doing it in in a safe manner. A skilled striker can give a dedicated attack without too much risk of injury to nage.

Andrew does have a point about Aikido's limitations, you do have to crosstrain some in order to deal with some of the situations he mentions. I think many Aikido dojos would never allow anything in the dojo that was not strictly in the Aikido syllabus and I think that is unfortunate. I am lucky that there is innovation in my dojo and a variety of trained people from various martial arts backgrounds. But if you do not have this then your Aikido experience will be very limited.

Martial arts training should not be limiting.


Maybe there should be more seminars that focus on things you do not typically learn in the dojo, like ground defense, learning how to strike better, etc. I bet such seminars would have wide attendance with much excitement surrounding them.

opherdonchin
05-19-2003, 08:04 AM
I think many Aikido dojos would never allow anything in the dojo that was not strictly in the Aikido syllabusWhile I've never run into a dojo like this, I have run into dojos where the sensei's weren't particularly interested in exploring variations because they found the classical technique sufficiently deep and rich.

Grappler
05-19-2003, 08:07 AM
Jab? I like a direct Irimi-nage or Shayo-undo. Slip, enter, and break balance.

Kneekick? Irimi again, the weight is usually backwards. Or, slip off the line, put your arm under the leg, and Irimi-nage.

Wrestling double-leg takedown? Initially, get off the line and tenkan before the grab. If inside, take the one arm and Kaiten-nage. Another is to break their forward momentum and balance by pushing down on the head.

Until again,

Lynn
Thanks for answering. Did you ever try this in a fight? I've never tried or seen the counters you described in a fight, and I've seen many. Here are the problems I see:

Jab: very fast and light and does not compromise position. It's most often just a setup move to follow up with harder strikes. If you attempt to "slip and enter", you'll walk right into an incoming cross. Remember, he just moved his arm and twisted shoulders and hips, to enter you need to move your entire body. Who is faster?

Out of everything I tried against good strikers, it pretty much boils down to the following options, the rest didnt work:

1) avoid the strikes alltogether (jump back)

2) slug it out (answer strikes with strikes, prepare for punishment here...)

3) CLINCH (you know when boxers miss strikes and end up hugging each other before the ref breaks it up? Thats a clinch). Yes you are likely to get hit on your way to the clinch, the key is not getting hit so hard to get KO'd. Prepare it with fake strikes. Once in the clinch, you are in wrestling territory, there are so many options to take him down - snapdowns, duckunders, ankle picks, knee picks, judo throws (work best if he has a jacket), pulling guard, he'll go down one way or another.

4) TAKEDOWN (aka shooting for the legs). Can (and should) be done after the clinch. But if you feel you'll get owned in the clinch, can be done right away. Set it up with fake strikes first.

moving on....

Double leg takedown: step off the line and push their head down? Sorry that will get you lifted in the air and slammed down. You dont have time to move away, if you did have time to move away, he wouldnt shoot in the first place, unless he is untrained and/or stupid. Watching Olympic wrestling, have you ever seen Kaiten-nage's there in response to takedowns? Why not if they work? It's a perfectly legal move under wrestling rules... ever seen them in UFC, shootfighting or any no-holds-barred tournment? again, its legal... but it doesnt work. Very little works against a well-setup takedown shoot. If you are significantly lighter than your opp, you will go down no matter what you do, so best just to go with the flow, go down, pull guard and start working from the ground. If you have the weight advantage, throw your legs behind you as he shoots in, arch your back and put your torso on his shoulders. Try to get your hips as low as possible. Stack him with the all the weight you can. It's called a sprawl and if you are quick and heavy, it will work. Forget the rest, sprawl is the only counter that always works.

happysod
05-19-2003, 08:23 AM
Andrew, still enjoying your posts, but do have a couple of of points on your last one..

1. Response to jab, agree with clinch (I prefer the classier phrase of "closing down"), but have also seen the set-up to this done through "sticky hands" and/or entering rather than jabs - this is much less painful on the guard forearms

2. Your favorite shoot - the only thing I have a problem with is you do actually mention a "well set up shoot". I'd hope I'd be trying to deal with the "set-up" rather than the actual initiation of the technique otherwise I've been too late anyway. Most of the "extended " attacks (a gripe which featured prominently in the early start of this thread with regards aikido attacks) must be dealt with before they're fully complete or you are likely to come a cropper. It's knowing the safe distance that is a pig...

Oh yes, did see a very nice sacrifice throw being used once against a shoot, but yes it was touch and go...

mike lee
05-19-2003, 08:25 AM
In street fighting, people rarely shoot because nobody really wants to end up on the cement or on a grungy bar floor, although that's where things often end up.

The best defense against a shoot is not to let them get your legs in the first place. Wrestlers are taught to extend the legs as far back as possible so the opponent can't get a strong enough hold to complete the throw.

But notice that street-fighters have many more options than do wrestllers in a competition. Strikes to eyes or ears will probably make a shooter want to release theirs hold. Extending the legs back just buys a few seconds of reponse time.

Grappler
05-19-2003, 08:33 AM
Maybe there should be more seminars that focus on things you do not typically learn in the dojo, like ground defense, learning how to strike better, etc. I bet such seminars would have wide attendance with much excitement surrounding them.
A suggestion: SPAR. Just spend 10 minutes at the end of session with some light-contact fighting. Try to take each other down. Throw some light punches/kicks. 10 minutes in a fight with a real, aggressive, thinking, trained opponent are worth more than a week of practicing moves in co-operative mode. You'll see which techniques work and which dont and why. It will be painfully obvious. A fighter who doesnt fight is not a fighter, he thinks he is a fighter until the reality punches him in the face (literally) :)

Michael Neal
05-19-2003, 09:22 AM
While I've never run into a dojo like this, I have run into dojos where the sensei's weren't particularly interested in exploring variations because they found the classical technique sufficiently deep and rich.
I can't say that I have been to alot of dojos to know either way, I just get some my impressions from sentiments displayed on these forums. I remember reading someone describe how suwari waza techniques were sufficent to use against wrestlers/grapplers. While suwari waza may help build lower body strength and may help marginally if you already know how to fight on the ground, it surely will not be enough to beat a grappler.

In fact it would be very humurous to watch such a match :)

Grappler
05-19-2003, 10:28 AM
Andrew, still enjoying your posts, but do have a couple of of points on your last one..

1. Response to jab, agree with clinch (I prefer the classier phrase of "closing down"), but have also seen the set-up to this done through "sticky hands" and/or entering rather than jabs - this is much less painful on the guard forearms
Yes, true. There are several ways to "soften" the entrance to the clinch. Something I should train on more, my clinching technique is not that great actually...
2. Your favorite shoot - the only thing I have a problem with is you do actually mention a "well set up shoot". I'd hope I'd be trying to deal with the "set-up" rather than the actual initiation of the technique otherwise I've been too late anyway.
Example takedown setup:

1) Clinch. One hand on opponent's neck, one hand controls his elbow. Go for a snapdown - basically step back and pull his neck and arm hard. If you caught him by surprise, he might actually go down - fall on his knees. Not likely, but if he did, great, put your weight on him, and work from there... much more often he'll catch his balance by stepping forward with one leg and pulling his neck up. The moment he does that, shoot in, grab that leg, lift him up, slam. Its important to get the footwork right, when you snapdown, your feet should be ready for the shoot.

2) No Clinch. Get within striking distance and throw a jab or jab-cross combo. Light quick ones, we just want to distract him. He might block it or cop it, or step for a counterstrike, whatever, important thing is he is distracted, shoot in for the legs. Important: dont shoot in unless you are within touching distance - if you extend your arm, will your fingers touch his chest? If not, you are too far.

Takedowns work best from the clinch - there are SOOO many ways to set them up. The no clinch variants are a bit more risky, but still work - some of my training buddies have the sloppiest takedowns I've seen and they still work anyway...
Oh yes, did see a very nice sacrifice throw being used once against a shoot, but yes it was touch and go...
Sprawl is not the only counter to takedowns, but its the only option that always works reliably. Many newbies think takedown is a rugby tackle - they charge forward instead of lifting up. Against the "rugby" types throws work well - let them have the leg and grab their waist, as they charge forward lift the knee pull their waist and they'll fly right over your head - http://www.judoinfo.com/images/nauta/tawarag.gif but against a proper takedown thats not possible, since you get lifted before you get slammed.

Mel Barker
05-19-2003, 03:06 PM
Here we go again learning martial art in a forum. Oops, I forget, you can't really do that.

It seems to me that the lack of understanding of Aikido makes it exceedingly difficult to discuss how it works, Yet people keep trying.

Has anyone ever been able to talk someone into technical mastery of Aikido before? If not, why does everyone seem to keep trying? I'd really like to know!

Mel

Jesse Lee
05-19-2003, 09:51 PM
Perhaps just a little more credit is due than that -- nobody here implied that a web forum can replace a training mat.

It's weak to respond to courteous questions from knowledgeable students of other disciplines with, "well if you don't just believe, then there is no hope for you."

That's just fundamentalism.

mike lee
05-20-2003, 01:51 AM
Has anyone ever been able to talk someone into technical mastery of Aikido before? If not, why does everyone seem to keep trying? I'd really like to know!
Talk — then practice. ;)

Dave Miller
05-20-2003, 09:02 AM
It seems that Andrew is making lots of strawman arguments. Someone suggests that such and such technique will work against a takedown and he counters with, "not agains a properly executed takedown". There are two things wrong with that response:First, in a "fight" situation, which is what Andrew seems to be arguing from, techniques are rarely executed properly. Fights are messy, never like in the movies where nice, clean techniques are landed in a neat and tidy fashion.

Second, there is no such thing as a technique that cannot be countered, despite what Mr. Miogi told Daniel-son ;). Even in Aikido, if you stick with it long enough, you learn how to counter the techniques you learned as a beginner, then you learn how to counter the counters, etc.With that in mind, Aikido is a martial arts system, not unlike other systems, that is as good and effective as the practitioner chooses to make it. If one starts out with the notion that Aikido is somehow deficient in certain areas, then they will likely never get past those "deficiencies" because, in their mind, they are inherant and insurmountable.

The other thing to consider, is the difference between a "martial artist" and a "fighter". A fighter trains to fight whereas a martial artist trains so they don't have to fight. If one is interested in fighting, then Aikido is not where they need to be to begin with since Aikido is not about fighting but, rather, is about not fighting.

As the founder said (and I paraphrase), if we master the techniques of Aiki, then no opponent will ever dare challenge us. That is the goal of the martial artist, to train hard with the hope that they will never need to employ their craft in "real life".

Mel Barker
05-20-2003, 09:28 AM
I think Dave finally got it. Andrew just is doing on this board exactly what he would do with most of the people trying to answer his "courteous questions" on the mat. Keeping them off balance and never letting them complete a technique because he never attacks. Just baits.

Seems to work well!

Mel

opherdonchin
05-20-2003, 11:20 AM
As the founder said (and I paraphrase), if we master the techniques of Aiki, then no opponent will ever dare challenge us.That may well be what O'Sensei said. Still, it touches on something I've found myself telling people. In other martial arts, you train with the goal of carrying yourself so that other people would not dare attack you. In Aikido, we hope to carry ourselves so that other people wouldn't bother to attack us. That's not really true of all the Aikidoka that I've met, but it captures something of the spirit for me.

twilliams423
05-20-2003, 11:40 AM
Lao Tzu said:

"When you go on the Way, it makes other people unable to wound you no matter how boldly they stab, unable to hit you no matter how skillfully they strike.

Indeed, to be immune to stabbing and striking is still an embarrassment; it is not as good as causing people not to dare to stab you no matter how bold they are, not to dare to strike you no matter how clever they are.

Not daring does not mean there is no such intention, so it is even better to cause people not to have the intent.

Those who have no such intention do not have a mind that loves to help or harm. That is not as good as causinig all the men and women in the world to joyfully wish to love and help you. If you can do that, then you are a sovereign even if you have no land, you are a chief even if you have no office; everyone will wish for your security and welfare.

Therefore courage in daring kills, courage in not daring enlivens."

Tom

Jesse Lee
05-20-2003, 12:49 PM
Awesome and timely quote, Tom!

Reminds me of a similar one from O Sensei:

"The only invincible warrior is the one with no enemies."

paw
05-21-2003, 07:12 AM
It seems that Andrew is making lots of strawman arguments.

I don't see it that way. I think Andrew's point simply isn't being understood. If I may try and re-frame it (and my apologies to Andrew if I've misunderstood his point):

First:

I'm sure we've all seen people throwing backfists from deep horse stances.

Fact:

There's a lot of money in boxing. I'm using the term "boxing" generically to refer to western boxing, thai boxing (muay thai), savate (le boxe france) and kickboxing.

Now, this money is usually available to only the cream of the crop, those few men and women that hold the most prestigious titles, but there nevertheless.

Fact:

We don't see backfists and horse stances in boxing.

There's nothing in the rules to prohibit their use. And in an environment where only the very best reap huge financial rewards, it's logical to assume that fighters, trainers and coaches would look for every possible advantage. And yet... no horse stances, no backfists.

To me, it's reasonable to conclude that given different environments if there are no horse stances and no backfists, they are not high-percentage techniques (not techniques that will consistantly work against skilled, athletic resistance). Given limited training time, it would be reasonable to focus effort elsewhere.

As I understand Andrew, he is asserting that folkstyle wrestlers (particularly in the current Title IX environment) and freestyle wrestlers have every incentive to use techniques that are easy to learn, easy to use, have diverse applications and are effective. Given a particular technique, if we do not see the technique commonly used (especially at higher skill levels) we may assume it is because it: isn't easy to learn or isn't easy to use, or doesn't have diverse applications or isn't effective or some combination of those reasons.

As I said previously, I don't think this is a strawman argument. You may not agree with it, but I think it's a reasonable assertion to make.

Carry on the debate lads!

Regards,

Paul

Dave Miller
05-21-2003, 08:40 AM
We don't see backfists and horse stances in boxing.

There's nothing in the rules to prohibit their use.Actually, the rules of boxing specifically prohibit backfists, also called "rabbit punches".

The point that I was making is simply that Andrew suggests something, like a double-leg takedown, as a technique that Aikido is ill-equipped to handle. Another person suggests an Aikido technique that will handle it. Andrew counters with the, "it won't work against a properly executed takedown" argument. Thus enters the "strawman" portion, since "properly executed" techniques rarely exist in the "fight" scenerio from which he makes his arguments.

I am forced to agree with that line of argument that suggests that he has already decided that Aikido is ineffective. This quickly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and his Aikido becomes ineffective.

Most telling of all, however, is the way he chooses to identify himself as a "fighter" rather than a "martial artist". This suggests to me that Aikido is just simply not the sort of martial art that he would be able to excell at for the reasons I mentioned in my earlier post.

paw
05-21-2003, 09:06 AM
Actually, the rules of boxing specifically prohibit backfists, also called "rabbit punches".

I was using boxing generally... including savate, kickboxing, muay thai as well as western boxing. If all of those arts prohibit backfists, I'd be pretty shocked. Still, I think you get the gist of the reasoning.
The point that I was making is simply that Andrew suggests something, like a double-leg takedown, as a technique that Aikido is ill-equipped to handle. Another person suggests an Aikido technique that will handle it. Andrew counters with the, "it won't work against a properly executed takedown" argument.

Which I don't think is a strawman argument. I think you're misreading "properly executed" to mean "picture perfect form like I would find in an instructional book or video". I suspect Andrew is using "properly executed" to mean, "performed by someone of reasonable skill".

By way of example, I attended an aikido seminar and learned all manner of kick defenses. Next day, back in the dojo, I couldn't get any of them to work against a nationally ranked TKD'er. Why? Well part of it was the techniques were new to me. But the major reason is none of the aikidoka at this seminar could kick worth beans.

In summary, I'm not saying who's right or who's wrong. (Frankly, no one has made any statments that are going to get me to alter my training). I think I understand Andrew's point and I think that point has been misunderstood.

Regards,

Paul

Dave Miller
05-21-2003, 09:16 AM
By way of example, I attended an aikido seminar and learned all manner of kick defenses. Next day, back in the dojo, I couldn't get any of them to work against a nationally ranked TKD'er. Why? Well part of it was the techniques were new to me. But the major reason is none of the aikidoka at this seminar could kick worth beans.I see what you're saying Paul and it certainly makes sense. The only point I would make is that it's extremely doubtful that you would ever have occassion to use your Aikido in a "real world" situation against a nationally recognized TKD'er since guys like that don't go around picking fights. Hence, the strawman.

As for the boxing, yes, I did interperate your statement too narrowly, thinking only of the Marquis of Queensbury Rules. Sorry.

:)

acot
05-21-2003, 09:19 AM
If someone has time to circle around and jab at me it really means a failure some where on my part to have not gotten in to such a conflict. Most assults I have seen or been in have be with intention and with a 100% commitment to the attack. Boxing is a sport.

Ryan

Jeff R.
05-21-2003, 09:25 AM
Thanks for answering. Did you ever try this in a fight?
Yes. Many times, and it works very well. In fact, there are several entrances and effective takedowns that revolve around jabs, uppercuts, and crosses and are based solely on the principles of Aikido.

Jab: very fast and light and does not compromise position.
Not true. The cool thing about a jab, if done correctly, is that it compromises the center just enough to give you an edge. If done incorrectly, even better.
It's most often just a setup move to follow up with harder strikes. If you attempt to "slip and enter", you'll walk right into an incoming cross. Remember, he just moved his arm and twisted shoulders and hips, to enter you need to move your entire body. Who is faster?
Doesn't matter. The blending is what's important.
Out of everything I tried against good strikers, it pretty much boils down to the following options, the rest didnt work:
Really? I can't imagine why. Oh, maybe your signature line has something to do with it?

Luke Derham
05-21-2003, 09:58 AM
ok.

just reading certain peoples entries on this forum, and well, there seems to be a lot of nieve aikidoists...whether attacks in aikido are appropriate, does aikido even work etc etc.

1. aikido does work. If one is doing aikido, he is one with the universe, and the universe cannot be defeated. Think this is too airy fairy for you? go do taikwando. or karate. think theres something more going on here than just strenth and punching and kicking? read on...

If i can just bring to your attention

- O sensei is called "O sensei" because their is no greater words we have in our vocuabulary that could give this man greater credit and respect. He isnt Morihei Sensei or Ueshiba sensei, he is O sensei.

This is a man who dedicated his life to martial arts. He achieved something like 5 or 6 high ranking black belts in varying martial arts, which is an inconceivable achievement for any normal person. And, even at the end of this achievement, he still found himself asking questions.

Then this great man developed aikido. So for people stuck on the "are these attacks really effective" or "does aikido really work" plane, think for a moment about the man who forged aikido. i think you'll find the answers to your questions there.

Secondly, after dedicating a lifetime to martial arts, O sensei found a major part of the answer was to love. Love is a critical part of aikido, as it creates harmony. Ki also helps, just nobody knows how. But its part of the title of this thing we train in, so its probably important too!!

The answers are all infront of you.

I feel alot of questions develop out of fear. Will this work in a fighting situation, etc. Can i get beaten up by a good boxer? Thing is, most of us will never encounter such a situation in our lifetimes. And if you do, you can always talk your way out, which is still using aikido. So if your doing this to fight, youve got on the wrong boat. we don't even want you on our team.

O sensei is a legend, without a doubt. Love freely and Put your trust in him. And then all you have to do is Let go.

As soon as you think about it as fighting, youve already lost.

Jeff R.
05-21-2003, 10:12 AM
ok.

just reading certain peoples entries on this forum, and well, there seems to be a lot of nieve aikidoists...whether attacks in aikido are appropriate, does aikido even work etc etc.
Thank you SO much for writing your post!

I am totally with you;

but,

There are several reasons, it seems, that there are so many concerns as to the effectiveness of Aikido.

1. It came from a system of attacks that are very different in nature from the attacks that we would see in a "street" setting, so we wonder about the efficacy, as many seem not to train much with "street" attack scenarios.

2. We are a society of instant gratification and disposability. If we don't see or get what we think we should be getting, we begin to attack the integrity of that thing. Further, if we are not sufficiently satisfied, we have the "luxury" of throwing it out and finding something different.

3. As well, it DOES take being able to grasp the concepts of embodying the Universe at the same instant that we are one point within the Universe, expressing unconditional love, removing the burdening concept of "self," and just plain being able to blend with the attacker's motions, regardless of the attack being used. When we find that it takes years and years to master this art, it seems much easier to slip into the more base skills that depend on strength and fighting back until there is a "victor."

Aikido is definitely totally effective, and it is common for the younger folks to question and test it severely. But those who don't find the true application tend to be the ones who haven't given total committment to living this Way.

We'll all get there if we can help one another and have faith in experience.

akiy
05-21-2003, 10:36 AM
Yes. Many times, and it works very well. In fact, there are several entrances and effective takedowns that revolve around jabs, uppercuts, and crosses and are based solely on the principles of Aikido.
Yoshio Kuroiwa sensei (who trained with the founder) uses a lot of boxing "techniques" in his aikido.

Lots of posts in the following thread entitled, "Defending against a Boxer":

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1452

-- Jun

Grappler
05-22-2003, 12:08 PM
When you are not in the ring there are so many variables one must be aware of. Personally I could see the Irimi-nage (and have trained it at full speed) not from the jab but from the right cross. Jab comes in knocked down ala boxing style move in to the side when that right cross comes in... I have worked this with headgear and NHB gloves with succsess (sometimes more succesfull than others as I have taken a few..)
A cross is more committed and unbalancing, so... maybe. Would work best on drunken bar brawlers whose only move is a right cross and they like taking a big swing... but I'll never try it in a ring :)
2. I used to play ice hockey and yes this method works... always grab the collar lift your elbow to lessen the effectiveness of your opponents strike. Work to pull his shirt over his head then hit em with uppercuts.....
Yes very effective when he has a big and loose fitting shirt, like a sweater. Not so effective with t-shirts.
Also as he shoots in you could kick/knee him (ok a little un-aiki to some but it works) even an untrained kicker will make a grappler think twice if he think a kick maybe coming.
Thats what I thought originally, I found out its harder than it looks. Its hard to land a KO knee on a fast moving target. It happens, but not that often. In NHB matches, for every spectacular knee KO, you'll find 20-30 successful takedowns. And the more careful grapplers shoot in with forearm protecting the head (I dont but I should).
And a sprawl is not the end all be all for anything. When somebody sprawls on me I usually try to hook the leg and go around or go low move in and grab the knee and turn him.
Yes, if you managed to pull in the leg, control his side with your head and use legpower to turn him completing takedown.

If his sprawl was really early, you can quickly rise and clinch, sinking in both underhooks and then work from there...

There are other options, even when you really stuffed up and have his weight on you and cant have the leg, you can still wiggle out... I wasnt saying sprawl is the end of the game, but it is the most reliable counter to takedowns IMHO.
Now here is were reality leaves the ring.... If I ended up in a situation like in the reality of life I may go for the fingers, or the huevos.
Oooh, I hear that argument all the time... if you take me to the ground, I'll just grab your balls... if you armbar me, I'll just bite your leg... if you sink in the armlock I'll stick a finger in your eye...

while they are unpleasant threats, they arent nuclear weapons... fingers? I've dislocated so many fingers I look like a judoka now :) it doesnt stop the fight and doesnt even slow it down. Broken wrists, elbows are a different story, but I've seen people with dislocated elbows and shoulders who just popped them back in and kept fighting... a public example is the recent UFC 42 (Crunkilton-Franca). Balls? Its not that easy to get them, and if you are successful, its painful but tolerable and will make your opponent VERY angry, which could well result in serious injury or death for you. Remember UFC 1? The groin hits were allowed in that tournament, and it didnt make much difference.

The biggest mistake lovers of dirty tricks make is they use them in desperate situations. Like when they are mounted and being pounded, they think the solution is going for the balls and for the eyes... they'll try and fail, and REMAIN in their inferior position. Problem is the guy in the superior position can do all the dirty tricks as well, but much more effectively, since he is in the dominant position. When you are in an inferior position, you have only one priority in your life and thats position reversal. But since you train with Royler, I am sure you already know all this :)
While the ground techniques of BJJ are wonderful it may or may not apply outside the dojo. One on one probably, more than one? Get a gun. One on one, what if he has a knife, Gun or friends? changes the whole outlook does it not? Try this at your next grappling class, put a knife in his hand, put a knife in both your hands, the dynamic is completley changed is it not?
That wouldnt be a grappling class, thats a fencing class :) and I'll leave the knife and gun battles with multiple opponents for the "martial artist" types. I am a fighter, but not a suicidal one :)

Grappler
05-22-2003, 01:23 PM
Fact:

We don't see backfists and horse stances in boxing.

There's nothing in the rules to prohibit their use. And in an environment where only the very best reap huge financial rewards, it's logical to assume that fighters, trainers and coaches would look for every possible advantage. And yet... no horse stances, no backfists.
Yes, this is exactly what happens in a non-competitive fighting system, or a fighting sport with too-restrictive rules, practitioners get out of touch with reality. Horse Stance Backfists, Flying axe kicks, Ki Shin Fu Death Touch, Drunken Monkey Kung Fu and all the rest of it.

Dave Miller
05-22-2003, 01:35 PM
Yes, this is exactly what happens in a non-competitive fighting system, or a fighting sport with too-restrictive rules, practitioners get out of touch with reality. Horse Stance Backfists, Flying axe kicks, Ki Shin Fu Death Touch, Drunken Monkey Kung Fu and all the rest of it.And Ki Shin Fu Death Touch is "in touch with reality" for a confrontation on the street?!?

:rolleyes: