PDA

View Full Version : What do you think is the most gentle martial art?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


Michael Neal
05-06-2003, 08:33 AM
What do you think is the most gentle martial art?

Personally I would have to say something like Brazilian Jui Jitsu or Judo newaza, not Aikido.

I think that BJJ's application against an attacker on "the street" probably does less damage than most Aikido techniques.

This is not about what style is better just about what is more gentle.

sanosuke
05-06-2003, 09:22 AM
What do you think is the most gentle martial art?

it's what Mr.Miyagi shows in "Karate Kid"

Kevin Wilbanks
05-06-2003, 12:46 PM
I agree about BJJ in theory. It's all about putting the other person in a helpless, uncomfortable position, in which causing damage is completely under the discretion of the one with the upper hand.

In Aikido, on the other hand, it seems like there is lots of room for uke to get hurt by accident, lack of knowledge about how to fall/react safely, etc... In general, in Aikido it seems more like the attacker gets out what they put in, and if they put in reckless, vicious energy, they are going to end up receiving it back some way or other.

Of course, that's all theory. In practice, the BJJ world seems largely populated by highly competitive, musclehead types who don't necessarily look like they would be looking to apply their skills kindly and gently if you pissed them off. The Aikido world seems largely populated by people more prone to merciful intentions, but poor conditioning and lack of real fighting-style training makes the chances that many of them would get the upper hand in the first place more doubtful.

Kevin Wilbanks
05-06-2003, 12:51 PM
Actually, tai chi as I've seen it practiced most places would have to be the gentlest. When attacked, the tai chi person could go into some smooth, gentle wave-like thing or attempt an uproot, whereupon they would quickly get their butt kicked, leaving the assailant completely unharmed. It doesn't get much gentler than that.

SmilingNage
05-06-2003, 12:58 PM
Pillow-do

I've heard attacking with pillows is largely ineffective. Though a good time is had by all

Dave Miller
05-06-2003, 01:32 PM
If you mean gentle in the sense that uke never gets hurt, then I don't think there is any such art.

If you mean gentle in that any hurt that comes to uke is by his/her own energy being turned against them then it would be something like aikido, maybe BJJ, although what I have seen of BJJ relies a lot on the strength of tori.

Michael Neal
05-06-2003, 01:37 PM
What I mean by gentle is causing the least amount of damage to the attacker while performing effective technique.

Michael Neal
05-06-2003, 01:42 PM
This does not count :)

http://www.ilram.com/M_taichimasters_temp.html

Dave Miller
05-06-2003, 01:53 PM
What I mean by gentle is causing the least amount of damage to the attacker while performing effective technique.
Again, you can "cause" lots of damage by performing kote gaeshi or even shomen ate but still be very slow, smooth and gentle.

The question becomes who really "caused" the damage? In many aikido techniques (such as kote gaeshi), uke has several opportunities to quit. The damage occurs because they persist in their attack and that's where the technique goes, not because tori desired to damage them.

The opposite of this would be striking arts where tori is actively seeking to damage uke to get them to quit. In aikido, damage is never the desired result (which is why we work so hard on ukemi) but is merely tolerated as a secondary consequence.

My $.02 worth.

:)

Bronson
05-06-2003, 02:23 PM
Actually, tai chi as I've seen it practiced most places would have to be the gentlest.

Most places probably, but not from the guy I learned if from :D The form is choc-full-'o-nasty moves. Moves that target the eyes, temples, throat, groin, knees, armpit, perineum, floating ribs, solar plexus, diaphram....well you get the idea.

I think I'd have to agree with Kevin about BJJ having the most potential for gentleness. Of course I also do a style of aikido that can be very gentle to uke. Many of our falls simply sit uke down. Of course we can also step it up if need be but our baseline technique is pretty gentle. We're going off the theory that for most people it's easier to step-up the intensity/force than to step it down.

Bronson

erikmenzel
05-06-2003, 04:28 PM
I have never regarded T'ai Chi Chuan as to soft or gentil. I found it to be very mean and powerfull

Dave Miller
05-06-2003, 04:50 PM
I have never regarded T'ai Chi Chuan as to soft or gentil. I found it to be very mean and powerfullI have heard the same thing. I think that most people see Tai Chi in the park and think that's all there is to it. It seems that it would be a little like seeing the Tegatana hon no Kata and thinking that's all there is to aikido.

Kevin Wilbanks
05-06-2003, 05:34 PM
I have heard the same thing. I think that most people see Tai Chi in the park and think that's all there is to it. It seems that it would be a little like seeing the Tegatana hon no Kata and thinking that's all there is to aikido.
Not really. I've done some investigating into tai chi, and I think there are serious questions as to whether 99% of what's available in the U.S. has more than a superficial connection to essential elements of the original combat-ready art. Tai Chi used to be a comprehensive fighting art like any other form of Gung Fu - including striking, weapons, sparring, throwing, etc... - but that was a long, long time ago. Chinese arts do not have the same rigid honor system and trust-based, student-to-teacher lineage that Japanese arts do, and giving the real stuff to non-Chinese hardly ever happens. There may be a proud history and hints of powerful teachings still visible in the art, but if the contemporary practice consists of little more than graceful dancing, then I wouldn't expect it to prepare you for much more than graceful dancing.

I also tried out a form that purported to be more energetic and martially oriented for a couple of months, and watched someone with a decade of experience in it pretty carefully. Although what they were doing was more impressive than most of what one sees, there still wasn't anything to it other than two solo forms and a feet-planted pushing hands practice. If you think those practices are going to make you a competent street fighter then good luck to you.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
05-06-2003, 06:27 PM
It seems to me that throwing someone who doesn't know how to fall is probably going to hurt them; though it depends. On the other hand, catching someone's energy and putting them into a control pin seems a lot less likely to hurt them. (I'm thinking like a nikkajo pin, for instance. Make it hard/impossible for them to get up, and let them calm down.)

Michael Neal
05-06-2003, 09:08 PM
Yes, I think some of the Aikido pins can be gentle when compared to striking or throwing. I guess it depends on your level of proficiency, for me doing ikkyo or nikkyo is like trying to rip the person's arm out of their socket.

As for BJJ (or in my case Judo) the groundfighting does seem alot like Aikido on the ground like someone mentioned before on these forums.

Arianah
05-06-2003, 09:29 PM
Actually, tai chi as I've seen it practiced most places would have to be the gentlest.
No way! Those tai chi guys are scary bastards! I know I wouldn't want to end up in a dark alley with one of them...

http://www.arjbarker.com/arjimation/ep5.html

Sarah, giggling

opherdonchin
05-06-2003, 11:18 PM
Kevin,

I had experience with a style of Tai Chi called Chen Pan-Ling. It's very popular in Israel, popularized by a guy named Nir Malhi who spent time with a master in Taiwan. The style combines Tai Chi with Shing Hi and Bagua and is quite martial and (from my limitied ability to judge) quite effective. They include paired practice of martial applications in every class. It's not easy to find, though.

acot
05-07-2003, 03:36 AM
Tai Chi gentle.. HAAAAAAAA.. not when your trying to sleep and their music is blaring. Okay its a good excuse to go and join them.

ryan

rpnp
05-07-2003, 03:41 AM
Actually, tai chi as I've seen it practiced most places would have to be the gentlest.

I have never practiced tai chi, but my sensei teaches it in his dojo. From what i have seen tai chi is very deadly and not even gentle.I donít know how any one can say its a gentle art.When i first started aikido i thought tai chi was just for health, but when i seen it in application it was scary.

I would have to agree with most of yall and say BJJ is the gentlest art i have seen. But donít underestimate a BJJ practitioner.

p.s. i would read a book called "Steal My Art: the life and times of a tai chi master" by: Stuart Alve Olson if you still think tai chi is a gentle art. Liang Tung Tsai did some amazing things!

Michael Neal
05-07-2003, 07:45 AM
I am pretty sure most BJJ practitioners would be rather upset if they knew we were referring to their art as the most gentle :)

As for Tai CHi being deadly, I have some serious doubts about this. But then again this clip might prove that is is very deadly indeed:

Tai Chi Masters (http://www.ilram.com/M_taichimasters_temp.html)

:)

Kevin Wilbanks
05-07-2003, 08:37 AM
I have never practiced tai chi, but my sensei teaches it in his dojo. From what i have seen tai chi is very deadly and not even gentle.I donít know how any one can say its a gentle art.When i first started aikido i thought tai chi was just for health, but when i seen it in application it was scary.
Really? How many people have you seen killed with tai chi techniques?

Dave Miller
05-07-2003, 09:47 AM
It seems to me that throwing someone who doesn't know how to fall is probably going to hurt themI agree completely. However, I would still call Aikido "gentle" when compared to percussive arts because the "hurt" is never the intended result but a secondary result.

I will grant you that the Aikidoka can always "ramp up" their technique in order to maximise the damage to the attacker (Segal seems to teach this in his dojo) but when done in the spirit of the founder, Aikido is very gentle and soft, with any harm to the attacker coming by their own hand.

Kensai
05-07-2003, 10:15 AM
Every MA is powerful and soft in its own way. I dont actually believe there are soft MA out there, or hard for that matter.

Without people to actually conduct the movements of a MA it no longer excists. There are only hard and soft people.

ian
05-07-2003, 10:40 AM
I've heard of plenty of knock-outs and delayed damage through tai-chi. I would say in its real form (i.e. not as an exercise for old people!) it is a deadly martial art. For example, one tai-chi technique is an elbow disloation, there are a few neck breaks and many of the vital points struck are deadly. The links between shaolin kung-fu and tai-chi are also quite strong.

Ian

P.S. I'd agree with Chris, though training methods of different martial arts can emphasis blending or minimisation of damage.

Kevin Wilbanks
05-07-2003, 01:53 PM
All this talk about the deadliness of tai chi is exactly the kind of hypothesis and heresay that I was arguing against. Hypothetically, I could kill an assailant with a toothpick, if I poked in the right place... maybe I even heard a story about someone doing it somewhere once. This doesn't make weilding a toothpick a deadly martial art.

I think there are intriguing possibilities in the tai chi movement style. The relaxation could make for great speed, and the way they learn to transmit the force of the whole body through the limbs seems good. So what? Unless anyone has actually witnessed tai chi used to kill, I will continue to take talk of its deadliness as mythical nonsense.

Given the training methods, it seems pretty damned unlikely. It is well known in the world of sport and other types of physical performance that the carryover from training methods to performance are quite specific. If you want to be good at tennis, for instance, you spend a lot of time playing tennis, conditioning methods and elemental drills take a secondary and/or tertiary role. I do not think you will find one competitive tennis player anywhere in the world who spends 90% of their training time doing a 100-count slow dance that pantomimes tennis moves, the remaining 10% doing some kind of table-tennis drill in which moving the feet isn't allowed, and spends none of their time scrimaging or playing actual tennis, and has never been in a real game. Why should fighting be any different?

Dave Miller
05-07-2003, 01:57 PM
All this talk about the deadliness of tai chi is exactly the kind of hypothesis and heresay that I was arguing against. Hypothetically, I could kill an assailant with a toothpick, if I poked in the right place... maybe I even heard a story about someone doing it somewhere once. This doesn't make weilding a toothpick a deadly martial art.Good point, Kevin. Shomen ate to the chin has the potential to cause a seperation between C1 and C2 (the classic "hangman's fracture") which could result in death. However, this doesn't mean that Aikido is a violent or deadly martial art.

Jeff R.
05-07-2003, 08:19 PM
If Aikido is performed correctly (here we go again with the "ifs"), then Nage or Tori can place Uke as gently as laying down an infant, if one desires. Where BJJ uses strength for subtle pacification, I would have to say that Nage for Nage--Aikido for Jujitsu--that Aikido is the most gentle. But Uke for Uke, BJJ may appear more gentle, because there doesn't need to be a severely committed attack as we need in Aikido. Philosophically, and in consideration of technique APPLICATION, I have to go with Aikido.

But pillow-do sounds awesome.

Really, the most gentle martial art is listening with an open mind.

Michael Neal
05-07-2003, 09:17 PM
If Aikido is performed correctly (here we go again with the "ifs"), then Nage or Tori can place Uke as gently as laying down an infant, if one desires. Where BJJ uses strength for subtle pacification, I would have to say that Nage for Nage--Aikido for Jujitsu--that Aikido is the most gentle. But Uke for Uke, BJJ may appear more gentle, because there doesn't need to be a severely committed attack as we need in Aikido. Philosophically, and in consideration of technique APPLICATION, I have to go with Aikido.

But pillow-do sounds awesome.

Really, the most gentle martial art is listening with an open mind.
Actually BJJ uses more technique than it does strength, this is why they can beat people who are much bigger and stronger.

Jeff R.
05-07-2003, 10:05 PM
Actually BJJ uses more technique than it does strength, this is why they can beat people who are much bigger and stronger.
Okay. But more technique than is used in Aikido?

PeterR
05-07-2003, 11:00 PM
Okay. But more technique than is used in Aikido?
Hmmm - used in what context?

From my perspective good Aikido is quite minimilist and conversely those who are collecting vast quantaties of variations are missing not only the point but reducing their effectiveness.

When you are really doing Aikido it tends to be very direct - the fancy stuff only gets you into trouble.

Michael Neal
05-08-2003, 07:27 AM
Okay. But more technique than is used in Aikido?


BJJ is very technical, I don't know if it has more technique than Aikido or not, just different technique. I am sensing that you are getting a little defensive about Aikido, remember I said that in my original post that I was not putting one art above the other just comparing them.

gasman
05-08-2003, 09:00 AM
kevin: if one only trains soft one misses the combat aspects. if one only trains hard one misses the finer details.

i have TKD, tai chi and aikido experience.

of those, tai chi is the most deadly art i have trained. especially the fistwork is amazing. for instance, i draw great benefit when applying atemi in aikido.

i will agree that tai chi as taught by "weekend course instructors" is useful for meditative purpouses at the most. if the sifu/sensei does not understand combat how can he/she pass it on...

the gentlest martial arts i know is aikido. using aikido i can resolve conflicts before they start. and i do this every weekend in the door.

opherdonchin
05-08-2003, 09:00 AM
I thought of this thread yesterday when I was visiting the Capital Region Aikikai dojo in Latham, NY. They share space with a BJJ school, and the BJJ instructor came in right after the Aikido class. He was tall, intensely built, and tatooed with a military haircut and a muscle shirt on. I thought, if he is also gentle that's pretty awesome.

Jeff R.
05-08-2003, 09:32 AM
Nah, not defensive, just trying to stay on track.

The initial subject was the question of the most gentle martial art. We seem to be stuck in the contrast of BJJ and Aikido. What I'm saying is that it is simple perspective. The techniques in one may or may not be more simple, subtle, vast, or strong than the other, but regardless, in BJJ, and relative to Aikido, one needs to use much more strength to make the locks and pins work, as much of the grappling is done on the ground and from static holds. Aikido functions primarily on motion, absorbtion, and using the attacker's movement for redirection.

It takes years of technique to get to the point where there is no technique needed anymore, as well, speaking of minimalist. The variety and number of techniques in any martial art, I believe, are irrelevant to this issue (which was my point in response to the post about subduing bigger and stronger opponents with technique).

Not to mention that gentleness begins with intent, and the intent of Aikido seems to be the most gentle I've encountered so far.

I can see how a BJJ hold can appear very gentle when compared to a flat out horizontal Iriminage, but again, if you're Uke, BJJ may seem more gentle; and if you're Nage, Aikido would be.

Michael Neal
05-08-2003, 09:34 AM
He may not be gently, all I am saying is that the techniques have less potential for injury.

paw
05-08-2003, 09:43 AM
i have TKD, tai chi and aikido experience. of those, tai chi is the most deadly art i have trained.

There's a half-dozen arts/styles that I mentally keep on a list. If I ask about the style/art, I'll hear example after example about how devastating and deadly the art is. But if I go to a training space, I find a room full of people who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag.

Are there exceptions? Sometimes. But in these cases, the exceptions prove the rule. By that I mean that if I do find one person who is martially effective in that particular style/art, I can find a dozen people who train in the same place who would lose to that paper bag.

For the record, tai chi, wasn't on the list, as 99% of the people who talked about it never made any claims other than general health. But, thanks to the folks on this thread, it's now on the list.

And spare me the whole, "they don't teach/train correctly" nonsense along with the "they're not an official representative of the art/style" nonsense too.

Re-read Kevin's last post and respond to the points he's making. Namely,
Given the training methods, it seems pretty damned unlikely. It is well known in the world of sport and other types of physical performance that the carryover from training methods to performance are quite specific. If you want to be good at tennis, for instance, you spend a lot of time playing tennis, conditioning methods and elemental drills take a secondary and/or tertiary role. I do not think you will find one competitive tennis player anywhere in the world who spends 90% of their training time doing a 100-count slow dance that pantomimes tennis moves, the remaining 10% doing some kind of table-tennis drill in which moving the feet isn't allowed, and spends none of their time scrimaging or playing actual tennis, and has never been in a real game. Why should fighting be any different?
Regards,

Paul

paw
05-08-2003, 09:53 AM
Jeff,
The techniques in one may or may not be more simple, subtle, vast, or strong than the other, but regardless, in BJJ, and relative to Aikido, one needs to use much more strength to make the locks and pins work, as much of the grappling is done on the ground and from static holds. Aikido functions primarily on motion, absorbtion, and using the attacker's movement for redirection.

Forgive me for being blunt, but I cannot find a nice, "warm and fuzzy" way of saying this.

The idea that bjj needs more strength than aikido is simply, wrong (you seem to be forgetting gravity, weight and leverage --- hey, those are the same forces aikido uses). The idea that bjj doesn't use motion, absorbtion, or the attacker's movement for redirection is wrong.

Where did you train bjj and for how long? You should consider getting your money back.

Regards,

Paul

gasman
05-08-2003, 10:28 AM
And spare me the whole, "they don't teach/train correctly" nonsense along with the "they're not an official representative of the art/style" nonsense too.
Well, that sorta takes the sting out of any response I could have made.

I did read Kev's posts and I did respond, if you read carefully.

I am sorry that you only have seen meditative tai chi.

Taught proper, tai chi incorporates harder and faster execution of the forms, and also touch contact sparring at higher levels.

There is no way that you can convince me that tai chi is ineffective in combat. I work as a bouncer.

Michael Neal
05-08-2003, 10:43 AM
Nah, not defensive, just trying to stay on track.

The initial subject was the question of the most gentle martial art. We seem to be stuck in the contrast of BJJ and Aikido. What I'm saying is that it is simple perspective. The techniques in one may or may not be more simple, subtle, vast, or strong than the other, but regardless, in BJJ, and relative to Aikido, one needs to use much more strength to make the locks and pins work, as much of the grappling is done on the ground and from static holds. Aikido functions primarily on motion, absorbtion, and using the attacker's movement for redirection.

It takes years of technique to get to the point where there is no technique needed anymore, as well, speaking of minimalist. The variety and number of techniques in any martial art, I believe, are irrelevant to this issue (which was my point in response to the post about subduing bigger and stronger opponents with technique).

Not to mention that gentleness begins with intent, and the intent of Aikido seems to be the most gentle I've encountered so far.

I can see how a BJJ hold can appear very gentle when compared to a flat out horizontal Iriminage, but again, if you're Uke, BJJ may seem more gentle; and if you're Nage, Aikido would be.
Sure, if you are Nage then Aikido is much easier because you do not need the same kind of cardio endurance as you would in BJJ but still the pins and such are technical and do not require much strength to apply. Strength helps, but I think strngth helps in all arts including Aikido.

paw
05-08-2003, 11:10 AM
Sigurd,

I did read your response to Kevin. You basically said, "the groups you've seen don't train properly", or do you feel that's an unfair summation? That's also your response to me, or again, is that an unfair summation?

Regards,

Paul

Jeff R.
05-08-2003, 11:49 AM
Oh, I don't know; I guess after twenty years of training, with the latter ten of those years in full-contact fighting and grappling, maybe making the distinction between any Jujitsu and Aikido isn't my territory.

But I'm gonna anyway.

When you get out of the training methods of doing techniques, and apply them to real adrenaline pumped, no-holds-barred situations, nobody is going to convince me that it doesn't take some strength to slap a wrist lock on someone with a fantastic, relative center and grapple with them.

And that's the difference between Aikido and any Jujitsu. Jujitsu makes use of the same principles as Aikido, but uses smaller circles and severe cranks to take down the opponent. That takes some strength. If you're doing your Aikido correctly, then after a couple of decades you will not need strength at all to make the techniques work.

There is definitely an advantage to training in several martial arts--I wouldn't have it any other way. But there are major differences in the way the techniques are applied, and that's what makes each one valuable for changing situations.

Gravity, weight, and leverage are totally valid elements in each (in fact, I never said otherwise), but if your Aikido is taking as much strength as your Jujitsu, then you're pretty much just doing Jujitsu.

If Aikido was nothing but a change in martial philosophy, then we could just as well call it "happy Jujitsu." But the techniques are vastly different as they evolve, and it just does not take as much strength as Jujitsu.

Let's put it this way: Jujitsu moves the opponent. In Aikido, the opponent moves himself. There's a big difference between throwing someone like Mike Tyson, and letting him throw himself.

Of course, maybe Aikido and Jujitsu are exactly the same, take the same amount of strength, and use the exact same principles for absorbtion, redirection, pinning, and locking. Maybe there is no distinction.

Maybe it is just Jujitsu and Happy Jujitsu.

Jeff R.
05-08-2003, 12:00 PM
"Your Jujitsu stinks!":grr:

"No, yours does!"evileyes

"My Martial Art is the most gentle!!":grr:

"No, mine is!!"evileyes

"Oh, yeah?! I'll show you gentle!":grr:

"Bring it on, pal!! I'll lay you out like a feather on a cloud!!"evileyes

:confused:

W^2
05-08-2003, 12:18 PM
I've only had an introductory experience with BJJ - I haven't studied it at length. Nevertheless, I see the same principles at work in both, they simply operate and adapt to different environments. I think BJJ is just an extension of Aikido or Aikijutsu adapted to conflict on the ground. A brief review of the history of BJJ will bear this logic out.

Watching a dog chasing it's own tail is always amusing though...

Ciao,

Ward

Kevin Wilbanks
05-08-2003, 12:38 PM
There is no way that you can convince me that tai chi is ineffective in combat. I work as a bouncer.
Is that really about tai chi, though? Or, you as an experienced mixed martial artist and bouncer? I would argue that most of what allows you to apply what you learned in tai chi in fights came from elsewhere.

I don't doubt that tai chi principles and movements could be incorporated into effective fighting. Doing solo forms, fast or slow, however, would only be the most rudimentary basic step in getting there, though, not the bulk of the training regimen.

paw
05-08-2003, 01:04 PM
Jeff,

So you never trained in bjj?
And that's the difference between Aikido and any Jujitsu. Jujitsu makes use of the same principles as Aikido, but uses smaller circles and severe cranks to take down the opponent. That takes some strength. If you're doing your Aikido correctly, then after a couple of decades you will not need strength at all to make the techniques work.

Full stop.

1. BJJ is not any jujitsu.

2. If you're going to argue that "after a couple of decades you will not need strength at all to make the techniques work", then I agree. I've grappled with Royce Gracie, John Machado, Erik Paulson and Helio Gracie (87 at the time). All of whom have decades of experience. All of whom used no strength to do whatever they wanted to me (especially Helio). All of whom used my motions, my actions, my intentions to seemlessly blend with.

For the record, bjj is not unique in this, nor did I ever claim it to be. You asserted that bjj requires more strength than aikido. You further implied that bjj does not "blend" with one's attacker. I disagree based on my personal experience training with, sparring with and competiting against a variety of grapplers of different sizes, skill levels and martial backgrounds.

All of this is a long way of saying,

Ward is correct in his observation. Namely,
I think BJJ is just an extension of Aikido or Aikijutsu adapted to conflict on the ground. A brief review of the history of BJJ will bear this logic out.

Regards,

Paul

Jeff R.
05-08-2003, 01:36 PM
Jeff,

So you never trained in bjj?

Full stop.


BJJ, Wally Jay's Small Circle Jujitsu, Aikijujitsu (based on Daito Ryu)--that's my experience in the Jujitsu realm.


1. BJJ is not any jujitsu.

2. If you're going to argue that "after a couple of decades you will not need strength at all to make the techniques work", then I agree. I've grappled with Royce Gracie, John Machado, Erik Paulson and Helio Gracie (87 at the time). All of whom have decades of experience. All of whom used no strength to do whatever they wanted to me (especially Helio). All of whom used my motions, my actions, my intentions to seemlessly blend with.

For the record, bjj is not unique in this, nor did I ever claim it to be. You asserted that bjj requires more strength than aikido. You further implied that bjj does not "blend" with one's attacker. I disagree based on my personal experience training with, sparring with and competiting against a variety of grapplers of different sizes, skill levels and martial backgrounds.

All of this is a long way of saying,

Ward is correct in his observation. Namely,



Regards,

Paul
Never at all did I mean to imply that there is no blending in Jujitsu. I don't believe I said that at all.

In fact, the only thing that I see from your post that I implied was that Jujitsu takes more strength than Aikido.

That's one major reason why they are different.

I definitey believe that Ward is correct in his observation (you rock, Ward), but there are several other points that I made previously which have been neglected.

Consider that Jujitsu spends the majority of time on the ground, grappling. Aikido spends more time upright, avoiding grappling on the ground. Both styles, however, aim to get the attacker to the ground. Once again, one style throws while the other lets the attacker throw himself. Which, logically, takes more strength? If it uses more strength, how can it be more gentle?

So now I have to ask, as well. What's your Martial Arts history, Paul? Are you a veteran?

paw
05-08-2003, 02:42 PM
Jeff,
Never at all did I mean to imply that there is no blending in Jujitsu. I don't believe I said that at all.
That's the impression I got when you wrote:
The techniques in one may or may not be more simple, subtle, vast, or strong than the other, but regardless, in BJJ, and relative to Aikido, one needs to use much more strength to make the locks and pins work, as much of the grappling is done on the ground and from static holds. Aikido functions primarily on motion, absorbtion, and using the attacker's movement for redirection.
emphasis mine.
Consider that Jujitsu spends the majority of time on the ground, grappling. Aikido spends more time upright, avoiding grappling on the ground. Both styles, however, aim to get the attacker to the ground. Once again, one style throws while the other lets the attacker throw himself.

Straw man. Person's on the ground, aikido person standing you say, attacker threw themself. Person's on the ground, bjj'er standing you say, the bjj'er threw the attacker. Presumably, you would say, wrestler's throw, judoka throw, sambists throw, therefore they all use more strength.

Seems to me you're making an arbitrary distinction to prove your point. I've been thrown (your definition) by aikidoka and thrown myself (your definition) sparring with bjj'ers, judoka and wrestlers.
What's your Martial Arts history, Paul? Are you a veteran?

LOL!

No, I'm not a verteran, I've never served in the military nor fought in any wars. I've trained: judo, bjj, aikido and muay thai. I hold rank in aikido and bjj. I trained aikido for 5 1/2 years and am coming up on 5 years in bjj. I hold rank in aikido and bjj.

I've sparred with professional MMA fighters, national level judo players, college wrestlers, Pan American bjj champs, and various members of the military and law enforcement.

Will that suffice?

Regards,

Paul

rpnp
05-08-2003, 04:11 PM
kevin stated:

"Really? How many people have you seen killed with tai chi techniques?"

None, but what does that prove
kevin stated:

"All this talk about the deadliness of tai chi is exactly the kind of hypothesis and hearsay that I was arguing against"

I have had tai chi applied to me several times in demonstrations. I dont know how you can say its not deadly. Maybe all this Hollywood talk about how good tai chi is for your health, destroyed the application side of it.

Luckily there are some teachers out there, that still teaches the application side of tai chi. Too bad you havent found one.

Jeff R.
05-08-2003, 07:55 PM
Straw man. Person's on the ground...
It's truly ironic that you bring up the Straw Man Fallacy.
No, I'm not a verteran, I've never served in the military nor fought in any wars.
Good job.
I've trained: judo, bjj, aikido and muay thai. I hold rank in aikido and bjj. I trained aikido for 5 1/2 years and am coming up on 5 years in bjj. I hold rank in aikido and bjj.

I've sparred with professional MMA fighters, national level judo players, college wrestlers, Pan American bjj champs, and various members of the military and law enforcement.

Will that suffice?

Regards,

Paul
Well, I'll tell ya', bud; you obviously have much more background on the subject--the reverberating 'kerplunks' of names in your history of training tell me that I am absolutely outweighed.

And since this is not necessarily a viable debate forum, I concede to experience.

Jujitsu is the most gentle of the Martial Arts.

Michael Neal
05-09-2003, 12:19 AM
have had tai chi applied to me several times in demonstrations. I dont know how you can say its not deadly
But you are still alive after this "deadly" demonstration. :)

PeterR
05-09-2003, 12:35 AM
Now Michael be nice.

I have sympathy for the Tai Chi people - they are required to be even more reactionary than the Aikido people to try to convince themselves and others of the martiallity of their art. At least we don't have to contend with grannies in the park.

Seen some interesting Tai Chi - but nothing to blow your socks off.
But you are still alive after this "deadly" demonstration. :)

Kelly Allen
05-09-2003, 03:16 AM
:D LOL Peter I was just thinking exactly that before I turned the page. Uncanny. Micheal your being bad.

Vincentharris
05-09-2003, 06:45 AM
What do you think is the most gentle martial art?

Personally I would have to say something like Brazilian Jui Jitsu or Judo newaza, not Aikido.

I think that BJJ's application against an attacker on "the street" probably does less damage than most Aikido techniques.

This is not about what style is better just about what is more gentle.
I think it's virtually impossible to enter into a combat situation and be absolutely gentle at the same time. Your attacker is trying to hurt you or worse and they're filled with all this 'negative' energy if you will. If you interrupt that energy from completing it's course which is poudning you into the ground or whatever, of course the end result is not going to be gentle. I would think that the only way to be "gentle" would be to duck and dodge until you could get away.

As far as Tai Chi is concerned, isn't Tai Chi just a subset of the Shaolin system ?

I could be wrong but those monks started learning these forms originally as a form of exercise to keep them from getting stiff and lazy from the constant hours of praying and meditation. Boddhidrahma was the guy's name I believe, right ?

I think the combat aspect of it didn't get discovered until a few years later. But then again that was almost 2,000 years ago so who knows ?

Kevin Wilbanks
05-09-2003, 09:47 AM
I don't think there's anything out of line with deriding claims of tai chi being "deadly". In fact, I challenge anyone who makes such claims to come up with one verified instance of a tai chi artist killing another person with tai chi, anywhere in the world... ever. I'm sure it happened hundreds of years ago in China, but let's here a reliable account of one death anywhere in the last century.

The point is, when one makes hyperbolic claims like this, one invites abrasive responses. Handguns are deadly. Sarin gas is deadly. AIDS, rattlesnakes, auto-accidents... there are plenty of things out there that deserve to be called deadly, but tai chi? I don't think so.

opherdonchin
05-09-2003, 11:21 AM
I personally have been killed by someone using Tai Chi, Kevin. It was pretty impressive and he made me swear afterwards that I would always bear witness to the deadly potenital of Tai Chi.

:)

rpnp
05-09-2003, 11:22 AM
i think thats all he wants to hear

Cyrijl
05-09-2003, 11:37 AM
i think the original question has flaws...i'd rather fight someone who does aikido than someone who does BJJ. In aikido there is a principle about not intentionally inflicting pain on someone...i don't think BJJ cares so much for spritual things.

Jeff R.
05-09-2003, 03:11 PM
In aikido there is a principle about not intentionally inflicting pain on someone...i don't think BJJ cares so much for spritual things.
Uh oh.:straightf

Michael Neal
05-10-2003, 05:14 PM
I think most BJJ guys would take it as a compliment that they don't care much fro spiritual things/

paw
05-10-2003, 07:03 PM
I think most BJJ guys would take it as a compliment that they don't care much fro spiritual things/

It depends on the individual. Some people are very spiritual, others not so. Speaking generally, I think it's fair to say:

1. there's no universal "spiritual" standard among bjj'ers

2. bjj training focuses on the physical training much more than the spiritual

3. there's certainly a code of ethical behavior that governs practice, training and competition --- bjj'ers are not mindless, amoral thugs

4. like all arts, bjj has it's saints (profoundly spiritual people) and it's sinners (amoral jerks). I've personally met more sinners in aikido than in bjj, but your milage may vary

Regards,

Paul

Michael Neal
05-10-2003, 07:16 PM
Yes, at least BJJ guys don't smoke their Gis

Michael Neal
05-10-2003, 09:49 PM
Watch this ESPN special on BJJ and watch Helio Gracie, 90 years old, wrestle on the mat. He uses no strength just technique.

http://www.titanmartialarts.com/images/espn.wmv

You have to filter out some of the BJJ propaganda on this though.

gasman
05-12-2003, 03:43 AM
At least we don't have to contend with grannies in the park.
That very granny could seriously maim you with what would look like a slap to your throat, while you were trying to take her purse...

PeterR
05-12-2003, 04:32 AM
That very granny could seriously maim you with what would look like a slap to your throat, while you were trying to take her purse...
Don't worry I always keep my distance. :D

Be careful who you call a thief.

gasman
05-12-2003, 02:54 PM
Hmm did not mean to insinuate anything, rather I was trying to describe a typical situation where tai chi would be applied. I will agree that it is not for the ring.

In answer to the gentlemen who doubt the training philosophy: Tai chi chuan is all about developing kokyo power as well as keeping an unmoving mind.

Grappler
05-12-2003, 11:18 PM
Hmm.. Probably Judo... Jiu Jitsu means "the gentle art", and Judo is a soft version of JJ.

ian
05-13-2003, 07:23 AM
Is that really about tai chi, though? Or, you as an experienced mixed martial artist and bouncer? I would argue that most of what allows you to apply what you learned in tai chi in fights came from elsewhere.

I don't doubt that tai chi principles and movements could be incorporated into effective fighting. Doing solo forms, fast or slow, however, would only be the most rudimentary basic step in getting there, though, not the bulk of the training regimen.
Wow - Sigurd is absolutely right. Kevin you have a gross misunderstanding about tai-chi (this is not a criticism - most taichi that is done in UK and US is Yang style, which has become a softened exercise). If you were to ask me the main characteristics of tai-chi I would say:

- body conditioning

- development of internal energy

- sparring

- yin/yang

tai-chi covers all the defence movements you'd find in aikido, though they tend to be directed more towards causing damage. There is no ethic in tai-chi about not destroying or killing your opponent (though the yin/yang philosophy suggests that unjustified aggression may have bad repercussions), however there is in aikido.

Like any martial art, the gentleness can depend on how it is used. The tai-chi practioners I have met are much more of the opinion 'if they attack, you are justified in any defence' than any aikido practitioners I know.

P.S. have you heard of the competition Chiba had with a taichi practioner (ended in a 'draw')

ian
05-13-2003, 07:28 AM
Maybe we've got to the crux of the matter - although different martial arts can have a different 'character' most martial arts have similar techniques and the gentleness can very much depend on the practioner or style.

Aikido is the only martial art that I know that does seem to have a philosophy whereby minimum damage should ideally be caused to the aggressor (in some dojos anyway).

shadow
05-13-2003, 08:23 AM
All this talk about the deadliness of tai chi is exactly the kind of hypothesis and heresay that I was arguing against. Hypothetically, I could kill an assailant with a toothpick, if I poked in the right place... maybe I even heard a story about someone doing it somewhere once. This doesn't make weilding a toothpick a deadly martial art.

I think there are intriguing possibilities in the tai chi movement style. The relaxation could make for great speed, and the way they learn to transmit the force of the whole body through the limbs seems good. So what? Unless anyone has actually witnessed tai chi used to kill, I will continue to take talk of its deadliness as mythical nonsense.

Given the training methods, it seems pretty damned unlikely. It is well known in the world of sport and other types of physical performance that the carryover from training methods to performance are quite specific. If you want to be good at tennis, for instance, you spend a lot of time playing tennis, conditioning methods and elemental drills take a secondary and/or tertiary role. I do not think you will find one competitive tennis player anywhere in the world who spends 90% of their training time doing a 100-count slow dance that pantomimes tennis moves, the remaining 10% doing some kind of table-tennis drill in which moving the feet isn't allowed, and spends none of their time scrimaging or playing actual tennis, and has never been in a real game. Why should fighting be any different?
you are a fool.

rpnp
05-13-2003, 08:52 AM
i agree

Kevin Wilbanks
05-13-2003, 09:26 AM
To put it bluntly, if pithy name-calling is all the communication you can muster, I'd say that says more about you. Good luck in life.

happysod
05-13-2003, 09:27 AM
Damian, not a very useful post (and very unlike your normal missives). At least give some reasons why you disagree so the debate can continue rather than degenerating into name-calling.

For my sins, I disagree with Kevin, but only in-part. If all I was ever taught was the slow, intricate movements of the form, even at "competition" speed, I'd have to agree with him.

Luckily, I've also been the recipient of the application side, which isn't always identical to the form, and have to say it can be effective. There are techniques very similar to nikkyo and yonkyo and one of the more frustrating applications for me to get was essentially an ikkyo but with a projection through a two-handed punch rather than through the elbow. Good fun, but I just can't get my head round some of the stances used...

Back on-topic: Most gentle martial art? I'd have to say any performed by someone totally confident (and able) in their skill with the intention not to cause harm - excepting pillow do, those feather are lethal...

opherdonchin
05-13-2003, 09:39 AM
Kevin can be very opinionated but he is simply not a fool. I also disagree with him on this one and I'd say, from my experience, that his post reflects ignorance of the varieties of Tai Chi practice that can be found. Neverheless, I found his post interesting and thought provoking.

On the subject of gentle martial arts: a friend of mine who is a sandan in Tae Kwon Do took up Aikido in part because he got tired of feeling confined to violence when faced with threatening situations. I think there is a question of where we start saying the martial art is being used. Aikido, for me, has always had a focus on how my bearing and attitude can gently discourage conflict. This is different from seeming deadly or intiimidating, which I would say are non-gentle means of dissuasion. I would imagine that the more gentle the lead up to physical violence is, the easier it is to be gentle once things do get physical.

Ron Tisdale
05-13-2003, 10:43 AM
P.S. have you heard of the competition Chiba had with a taichi practioner (ended in a 'draw')
Sniff. Well, there is more than one account of the encounter, and not everyone viewed it as a draw. Which is not to say that Chiba Sensei isn't one kick butt dude...he'd clean *my* clock but good!

From rec.martial-arts (in the good old days):

http://www.google.com/groups?q=ellis+amdur+chiba+group:rec.martial-arts.*&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&scoring=d&selm=v0cb7qbsdqfp93%40corp.supernews.com&rnum=2&filter=0

Ah...that's fixed it...

Kevin Wilbanks
05-13-2003, 11:32 AM
I also disagree with him on this one and I'd say, from my experience, that his post reflects ignorance of the varieties of Tai Chi practice that can be found.
I have no problem with this assessment. I have not toured the US and Europe thoroughly evaluating all the tai chi lessons that are available. What Paul said resonates with me though, in that there is a great disparity between the proportion of people who talk tai chi up like its some kind of super martial art and the actual tai chi practices I've seen and experienced - some of which were not Yang style, but purportedly more martial. I think many people are easily impressed by tricks or fancily described demonstrations, especially if some air of the ancient or the eastern is craftily incorporated... often not thinking much about whether these have anything to do with proven usefulness or efficacy, or about what is involved in actual fighting or in learning to cultivate any complex athletic performance capability. This same propensity for ready belief is why so much quakery flourishes as so-called "alternative medicine".

Ron Tisdale
05-13-2003, 12:18 PM
I understand your skepticism Kevin, but if it were me, I might be a little more circumspect, in any case. Read the link I posted above. If you were to run into someone of Wang's stature...what then?

Happless aikidoka: Tai cheese? what good is that?

TaiJi adept: THUMP

Happless aikidoka: OW!

:) RT

Kevin Wilbanks
05-13-2003, 01:28 PM
I read the story. I like Terry Dobson. His no-BS tales have a true ring to them. A couple of things, though: My criticism was aimed at the kind of thing being floated here in the US now. Someone trained in asia, presumably starting maybe 80 years ago is a different animal. Also, we're talking about a huge, muscular guy, so the feats described don't sound that outlandish. You should see 'Big Man', the guy who lives next door to my dad and runs a barbecue cart. I can punch hard enough to injure my own wrist, even with wraps, and I'd be willing to be he could absorb my punches similarly, never having trained a day of martial arts.

Ron Tisdale
05-13-2003, 01:50 PM
I have it on fairly good authority that some of those "TaiJi Thumpers" are still around. And even make it to the US, occasionally.

:)

As to your dad's neighbor, yeah, the toughest guys rairly if ever bother with a dojo. They don't really have to, do they?

RT

Kevin Wilbanks
05-13-2003, 02:25 PM
I think when you're that big, learning to fight is just fine-tuning that you can just work on in actual fights... unless your assailant has serious weaponry, I suppose. I doubt you even have to get into fights if you're big enough. Just saw this WWF guy on Conan O'Brien last night: 7 feet tall, over 400 pounds, and not even remotely pear-shaped. Holy crap!

Ron Tisdale
05-13-2003, 02:42 PM
:)

Frankly, I think its the hormones in the food we eat!

:)

Ron (wouldn't try to touch that guy with a ten foot nuggie stick with a blade on the end) Tisdale

PS Have you ever SEEN Big Tony Alvarez? Trains in empty hand and sword...be afraid, be very afraid...

Grappler
05-14-2003, 01:44 AM
I think most BJJ guys would take it as a compliment that they don't care much fro spiritual things/
LOL true

opherdonchin
05-14-2003, 09:29 AM
We've certainly gotten off gentleness, haven't we?

SeiserL
05-14-2003, 09:50 AM
IMHO, the most gentle martial art and the first line of self-defense is good manners.

gasman
05-14-2003, 11:15 AM
well put.

shadow
05-15-2003, 09:51 PM
Damian, not a very useful post (and very unlike your normal missives). At least give some reasons why you disagree so the debate can continue rather than degenerating into name-calling.
sorry about the name calling.

i just see too many people who disagree with what they dont know. i personally dont know a lot about tai chi yet and as such i dont talk it up or talk it down, im in no position to do either. but having done aikido for a while now i can see how deadly aikido can be if used in a certain way, which leads me to think that would be the same for tai chi. i mean why would an ancient martial art continue to be practiced and taught by many people were it not effective? (people also seem to forget that there are many secrets not passed onto the regular practitioners, i have come of the opinion that morehei ueshiba also did not pass on all his secrets as they were not neccessary in the study of an art of peace).

so the trash talking of anything unknown or not understood shows to me how foolish and immature someone really is and how little they have probably learnt by studying martial arts (and life).

perhaps these people do not realise that it is their own closed mind preventing them from ever experiencing something greater than the very limited world they see.

PeterR
05-15-2003, 10:19 PM
There are one or two people at Shodokan Honbu that also study the more combative form of Tai Chi. Basically its Chinese Aikido. The joke was that Aikido is joint controlling - tai chi is joint destroying. Not quite right since both arts cross the line but I digress. As I posted earlier, I've seen nothing to blow my socks off, but grannies in the park its not. Of course when I made that comment it was more to do with fighting public perceptions.

What I did see I've also seen in Karate, Aikido, TKD, etc. are people who although training hard at a level - convince themselves they are dangerous without taking the art outside the closed environment of the dojo. Damien - don't know if that's what you really think but you are giving off that vibe. By the way I am perfectly happy keeping my Aikido in the dojo.

Also Tai Chi's massive popularity is not due to its effectiveness but as a fitness routine that can be done by just about anybody. That's been the case for a long time and I've heard it argued that the more combative versions have much introduced from other Chinese arts. What was, was lost and found again.

shadow
05-16-2003, 01:24 AM
i do not consider myself to be deadly, nor do i care much wether i can be or not.

fighting is nothing i am interested in.

even the self defense aspect of the art, in terms of its effectiveness is not important to my training.

all i was trying to demonstrate is that by actively criticising and trying to talk down something you may not know a whole lot about is just the extreme opposite of actively talking up something and saying it is super incredibly effective.

the issue in its own is of not much concern to me either, wether tai chi is effective as a martial art or not is not important.

what is important, in my mind, is fostering a balanced spirit. neither overly criticising of anything or overly accepting of anything (i think a healthy amount of scepticism can be good). people who often try to find reasons for something not working or not possible are seen to me as the people who have closed their eyes to the wonders the universe has to offer. how can you ever be really sure of anything? look at a tree, look at a lot of trees, they are so different even the same species are. we can explain how a tree grows, what processes occur so we accept that a tree grows. but.... A TREE GROWS! dont shut your eyes, open them and look, really look at your world around you and see if you can understand or explain anything!

then perhaps it can be reconsidered what is in the realms of possibility and what isn't.

but then again perhaps i am the fool for caring.

im going to be quiet again now.

rpnp
05-16-2003, 07:49 AM
well said....

rpnp
05-16-2003, 07:56 AM
I think when you're that big, learning to fight is just fine-tuning that you can just work on in actual fights... unless your assailant has serious weaponry, I suppose. I doubt you even have to get into fights if you're big enough. Just saw this WWF guy on Conan O'Brien last night: 7 feet tall, over 400 pounds, and not even remotely pear-shaped. Holy crap!

You know most martial art styles are favored towards the smaller person.

Its sad that alot of peoples general opinion is that a big guy can necessarily fight, which most of the time is the quite opposite.

Kevin Wilbanks
05-16-2003, 08:01 AM
"so the trash talking of anything unknown or not understood shows to me how foolish and immature someone really is..."

"people who often try to find reasons for something not working or not possible are seen to me as the people who have closed their eyes to the wonders the universe has to offer. how can you ever be really sure of anything? look at a tree, look at a lot of trees, they are so different even the same species are. we can explain how a tree grows, what processes occur so we accept that a tree grows. but.... A TREE GROWS! dont shut your eyes, open them and look, really look at your world around you and see if you can understand or explain anything!"

So, let me get this straight. In the name of wonder, humility, and cosmic open-mindedness, you feel comfortable making denigrating generalizations about my character, perceptiveness, philosophy, and worldview. Seems a little ironic to me. I hate to burst your bubble, but there is actually a little more to me than even someone of your awesome stature can glean from a few of my posts about tai chi. Believe it or not, I've read Krishnamurti and taken acid too, and am familiar with concepts like skepticism, relativism, although I think they may no longer have as much novelty value for me as you. If you actually go around trying to ply this kind of new-agey, smug righteousness in person, I advise you to reconsider prioritizing martial effectiveness in your training.

Michael Neal
05-16-2003, 11:04 AM
hehehe!

Michael Neal
05-16-2003, 11:11 AM
Damien, Aikido is really nothing without the martial application.

happysod
05-16-2003, 11:39 AM
I'm changing my vote after following this thread for a while - an aikiweb forum's obviously the most gentle martial :D . Seriously, why is it the threads discussing gentleness and peaceful resolutions that seem to bring out the animal in various posters?

Lynn, if you said diplomacy as opposed to good manners I'd agree with you (mainly nit-picking as I can relate diplomacy and war, but manners and war?)

shanman
05-17-2003, 12:38 AM
Many of our falls simply sit uke down.

Try being sat down on concrete. Aikido is gentle...but not to uke.

shadow
05-17-2003, 01:51 AM
*blushes*

apologies.

i tend to forget that you cant force someone to think the way you want and that my way of thinking is probably not great anyway and i am far far from awesome or righteous.

and just because the martial application of aikido is not as important to me, it does not mean i do not practice it...... that would just be silly and my teacher would not stand for it either.

so i apologise that i tried to make my point in such an awful manner, im just a dreamer who is slowly losing faith in the idea that an ideal world (ideal from my point of view i guess, perhaps this is already ideal to all of you :()s possible.

now i will really be quiet.

Kevin Wilbanks
05-17-2003, 09:08 AM
im just a dreamer who is slowly losing faith in the idea that an ideal world (ideal from my point of view i guess, perhaps this is already ideal to all of you :()s possible.
You seem to want exceeding humility and the world to conform to your desires at the same time, which is a bit of a dilemma: shy megalomaniacs don't fare very well. Perhaps I can help you out: a world according to your ideals is not even remotely possible - except in art or fiction - and even if you could remake the world in your own image, the rest of us probably wouldn't like it anyway. A major theme of eastern philosophies and Aikido too, I think, is that being preoccupied with your own ideals and preconceptions instead of paying attention to what is actually going on will cause you suffering. (In Aikido this may come in the form of a broken nose.)

Qatana
05-17-2003, 09:53 AM
Kevin is it really necessary to continue arguing with Damien after you have been offered an apology?

I have this funny impression that 22-year-olds are *supposed* to be idealistic.

Kevin Wilbanks
05-17-2003, 10:44 AM
I guess we have largely different views of what's going on. I don't see it as an argument, and the apologetic aspect is of marginal significance, as are "insults" or my emotional state. To me, exchanges on net boards are about ideas.

Jeff R.
05-17-2003, 01:25 PM
Aikido is about de-escalation, resolution, losing arrogant and self-absorbed perceptions.

Prove it wrong at your own "risk."

Michael Neal
05-17-2003, 03:47 PM
Aikido is about de-escalation, resolution, losing arrogant and self-absorbed perceptions.

Prove it wrong at your own "risk."
Maybe Aikido includes those things but you can learn those skills elsewhere.

Kevin Wilbanks
05-17-2003, 04:39 PM
Aikido is about de-escalation, resolution, losing arrogant and self-absorbed perceptions.
Does thinking you know what Aikido is all about and summarizing it in a sentence count?

To me, this seems like a pretty narrow idea of harmony - it seems to smack of an easily upset temperament that prefers keeping things calm and quiet. My idea of Aiki harmony allows for a much messier universe, where turbulence sort of plays itself out... with a large, 'what goes around comes around' element to it. Not so much about dampening things as just being there and letting things happen, letting one's role emerge as it may. I don't see why this has to be about making everyone feel like they just had a warm enema while listening to Enya.

Oh, and in my lexicon of english useage, I don't see how perceptions can be arrogant or self-absorbed. Perceptions are just perceptions. Arrogance or self-absorption could definitely interfere with one's perceptions or ability to perceive, which is precisely what I was trying to discuss with our idealistic greenhorn. Then, somebody jumped in and tried to deescalate by imposing a host of judgements about arguments and apologies and everyone's emotional well-being...

Jeff R.
05-17-2003, 06:08 PM
Does thinking you know what Aikido is all about and summarizing it in a sentence count?

To me, this seems like a pretty narrow idea of harmony - it seems to smack of an easily upset temperament that prefers keeping things calm and quiet. My idea of Aiki harmony allows for a much messier universe, where turbulence sort of plays itself out... with a large, 'what goes around comes around' element to it. Not so much about dampening things as just being there and letting things happen, letting one's role emerge as it may. I don't see why this has to be about making everyone feel like they just had a warm enema while listening to Enya.

Oh, and in my lexicon of english useage, I don't see how perceptions can be arrogant or self-absorbed. Perceptions are just perceptions. Arrogance or self-absorption could definitely interfere with one's perceptions or ability to perceive, which is precisely what I was trying to discuss with our idealistic greenhorn. Then, somebody jumped in and tried to deescalate by imposing a host of judgements about arguments and apologies and everyone's emotional well-being...
Kevin, I love you dearly.

rpnp
05-17-2003, 06:11 PM
Spread Love, Not Hate :) :)

Michael Neal
05-17-2003, 08:11 PM
I want to throw up now

opherdonchin
05-17-2003, 10:35 PM
I can't tell if I'm annoyed or amused by Kevin and his partners in discussion, so I'll leave that be; the Israelis say: "why put your healthy head in a sick bed?" Still, one thing got my goat.Damien, Aikido is really nothing without the martial application.What I want to know is, what do you mean by this Michael? I have a hard time making anything intelligible out of it. I have a couple of guesses, but rather than go into them, maybe you can clarify what you mean for me.

PeterR
05-18-2003, 06:03 AM
Not Michael but Aikido as Budo can not exist without martial application. More to the point if you wish to call Aikido budo (martial path) then by definition it must include martial application.

I suppose without it it certainly could be called something but it would be essentially meaningless in the historical and present definitions of the art.

Kevin Wilbanks
05-18-2003, 08:30 AM
Is kyudo a budo? Iaido? If so, then what is meant by 'martial application' can be much narrower and more impractical than one would guess from the way you and others talk about it. I doubt anyone has used a 7 ft. long bow for combat or self-defense in ages, and iaido has become so stylized and meditative that the 'martial application' seems to be reduced to the point of relevent historical trivia.

Michael Neal
05-18-2003, 08:38 AM
What Peter said above is what I meant, if you are not practicing Aikido to be effective in martial situations then you are just doing a very inefficient form of exercise. There are plenty of places to learn religion, philosophy, and how to exercise. Aikido may include one or more of these elements for some people but it must also be martial in order to be Aikido.

At least this my understanding of Saotome Sensei's writings.

opherdonchin
05-18-2003, 01:42 PM
Well, I don't mean to start up another martial/spiritual I just wanted you to be clear about what you're saying. To me, it sounds very different to say, "I have a hard time understanding the value people find in the non-martial aspects of Aikido" rather than saying, "without the martial aspects, Aikido is nothing."

Michael Neal
05-18-2003, 06:04 PM
Opher, I did not say that I don't find any value in the non-martial aspects of Aikido.

PeterR
05-18-2003, 08:21 PM
Kevin - martial application can include but does not equate with self defense in modern urban setting. It does mean being able to efficiently execute a technique with combat, choose your setting, in mind.

Kyudo does that, iaido even more so. Talk to a few people who've trained in Japan for a few years in either of the above and they will tell you the same thing. Neither is particularily zen in character (apparently a very common misconception) but seeks to obtain the unmoveable mind. The French have a word for it that I find much more descriptive of what is happening sang-froid (cold blood).

I will say that many Budo, and that includes some Aikido styles, vary the intensity of martial component and/or concentrate on only a few aspects of it. However, the point was that if you remove the martial aspect, what do you have?

In the case of Aikido it would no longer be Aikido which identifies itself as Budo.
Is kyudo a budo? Iaido? If so, then what is meant by 'martial application' can be much narrower and more impractical than one would guess from the way you and others talk about it. I doubt anyone has used a 7 ft. long bow for combat or self-defense in ages, and iaido has become so stylized and meditative that the 'martial application' seems to be reduced to the point of relevent historical trivia.

opherdonchin
05-18-2003, 08:39 PM
I did not say that I don't find any value in the non-martial aspects of Aikido.I will say that many Budo, and that includes some Aikido styles, vary the intensity of martial component and/or concentrate on only a few aspects of it. However, the point was that if you remove the martial aspect, what do you have?I'm feeling like I still don't understand. Maybe the two of you should clarify what you mean by 'removing the martial aspect.' I guess I'd agree that if someone said they were practicing Aikido but there were no strikes and no grabs then I'd say the name was not really appropriate. On the other hand, if it looked like Aikido but the 'strikes are not strikes' and the techniques are not 'effective,' I'd be in less of a rush to quibble about the name.

I'm trying to figure out what my question is. Maybe it's this: what does it mean to take out the martial aspect, and what is it that gets lost of if you take it out?

PeterR
05-18-2003, 10:16 PM
Maybe this wont answer you either because I'm at the point where I'm not sure what you are asking.

However,

I think what defines martial is at least an examination of the various techniques for martial efficiency. Overly complex moves that require excessive cooperation from uke need to at least be understood as just that. They may even serve a training purpose but that has to be clear. If that doesn't occur than we move into the realm of dance and away from Budo.

Once again, Aikido identifies itself as Budo. The philosophical underpinnings are attached to that concept and will not stand alone in the Aikido context. The fact that many of the concepts don't need Budo to make sense doesn't change things.

opherdonchin
05-19-2003, 12:20 AM
Peter, I'm not sure why you think that 'Budo' is an easier concept to understand than 'martial.'

****************

I was chewing on this topic while I did my dishes and this is what I came up with. I'd be obliged if Peter and Michael (or anyone else) were to tell me if it captured what they were getting at:

I would say that the lessons of Aikido are 'framed' in a martial context. That is, at the heart of the communication and teaching of Aikido is a situation in which one person attacks another. In this sense, the martial context is inherent in Aikido. You can't teach Aikido without it.

In addition, there is much inherent in the techniques of Aikido that can only be understood when this martial context is understood. For instance, lessons regarding awareness of options are harder to learn when you don't have a good intuitive understanding of when you could be hit and when you could hit your partner. In this way, learning 'martial awareness' can give valuable insight into whatever it is that Aikido is teaching. Similar insight might come from recognizing the 'martial wisdom' inherent in the techniques.

Of course, a focus on the martial aspects of Aikido might also be useful if you find yourself in a martial situation.

So, if this is what Peter and Michael mean, then I'm on board. On the other hand, if I've missed something, I'm very interested to know what it is.

PeterR
05-19-2003, 12:28 AM
I think you are on board.

I don't think Budo is easier to understand than martial - I do think that they are one and the same or at least intimately interwoven.

opherdonchin
05-19-2003, 08:53 AM
I don't think Budo is easier to understand than martial - I do think that they are one and the same or at least intimately interwoven.That seems reasonable. The part I was objecting to was that to say, "Aikido needs to have a martial side because it is Budo" didn't really help me understand what you meant. In fact, I'm still not sure I undersand what you mean by that because, as I think Kevin was trying to say, Budo seems like such a big and confusing concept. I recognize that Aikido has a history in Budo and that many practitioners see their path in Budo as being connected to Aikido. I can't say that I know much more than that.