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Jeff Tibbetts
06-03-2003, 10:41 PM
After attending a seminar this past weekend and discussing it with some people in tonight's practice, I decided to ask the forum a question. This is not a thread on wether violence is right in training, or what the founder intended the art to be, so don't let it degenerate into that. I practice a decidedly less agressive and physical style of Aikido than much of what I saw at the seminar. I don't see this as a bad thing at all, it was wonderful to see the potential for power, control and effectiveness that these techniques hold. I can see why people practice the way that they do, and I think that I would like to do that once in a while. I don't think, however, that I would want to do that all the time. Here's why: I don't want to end every pin with a strike to a helpless uke, and I don't want to reinforce habits that have the potential to really damage uke. This is a personal choice that I've made, and I think that on the mat these practices are fine in an atmosphere of trust; but I don't want to replace my natural reactions with more effectively destructive reactions, which is wny I chose Aikido. I think that it's good to know that those options exist for me, and that just a tweak here and a twist further there will give me broken uke bones, but I don't want that to be the standard. That's where my line for violence is, it's not very far from everyday living. I know that sometimes it's fun to push a bit harder, to throw a little more vigorously, if you're so inclined and your partner is willing and able to take the ukemi. I also think that I made a choice to not destroy the people who I come into conflict with in life, and this is a point I will stick to. This choice is about more than what is on the mat. I carry many of the lessons that I learn on the mat into my daily conversation, and my relationships, and I don't want to make those lessons the kind that give me that kind of power. Obviously, this is all my own opinion, and I reserve no judgement for other ways, I only want see what other people think about the issue.

So the question is this: Where is your line for violence? How far do you take your practice? Are your techniques to cripple, incapacitate, or otherwise damage uke? I obviously don't mean your training partner, but really what would your ideal application of these techniques be in a more real situation. Do you practice with the thought of pretecting your family from another person's violence? I just want to hear some honest accounts of why you train at the level you do, and why you think that is. Granted, many of you may not have a choice what style you do, but any style can be cranked up or toned down. I think it's important to ask ourselves these sorts of questions once in a while, to see if we're doing what we want to be doing. Sometimes the atmosphere of obedience and the concept of not questioning our teachers bleeds over into the feeling that we're just along for the ride. We need to just reflect on the road that we're on, and see if the destination is a place we want to go...

Thanks in advance for keeping the thread openminded and informative. Nobody wants another style war.

sanosuke
06-03-2003, 11:21 PM
Are your techniques to cripple, incapacitate, or otherwise damage uke?

At first yes, but after some time I learned that without uke I can't practice, so that we must take care of our uke also. Same thing on the street, the people who mug us might not have the intention to do so, but because of no other way earning money he became a mugger, we just have to make him realize that what what he done is wrong. Now I'm trying to learn how to control without inflicting pain on my uke. I'm also more into projection rather than pins or locks now.
Where is your line for violence?

This is very relative among people, some people said when the uke is already crippled then it's called violent. Some other people think that when your uke is tapping it's already called violent. To me, my line of violence is when the uke tap, because when uke tap it means that the pain is already unbearable, and it's our duty to loose it. Don't let uke tap for two times.

I strongly against people that tighten their pins/locks although the uke already tapping, this is what I called violent.

In real life situation, I think violence is when you feel arrogant or better or deserving more than others. Small example is when you don't give your lane for others during traffic jam,most people doing this because they think they already queue that people don't deserve to take their lane, causing more severe traffic jam. I think this was called in aikido "when your ego strikes you back".

That's what I'm thinking. Thanks a lot for a wonderful topic.

Jeff Tibbetts
06-03-2003, 11:33 PM
Reza, thanks for the post. That's what I was looking for. I want to clear up something before it becomes an issue though. The issue isn't about what is violent and what isn't. It's a question of degrees. In a purely physical sense what we do is violent, but how much are you willing to accept in practice, and how much do you want to use if you need to? The topic of wether or not a pin is violent is a whole different thread, and where a pin becomes a form of real aggression, also another thread. So, again, I don't want to talk about what violence is, but really how do you use it in your practice? Thanks.

PhilJ
06-04-2003, 12:20 AM
I like to follow the guidelines of appropriate usage of ki. In the dojo, I consider taking a pin beyond a tap excessive... therefore, probably 'violent'.

Anything beyond what is needed in a technique, to me, skirts the 'violent' label.

I really can see your view here, as it is something I experience myself a copule years ago. I hooked up with an instructor who had the capability to show very effective technique, but didn't generally teach that in class. I like this approach a lot -- show the capability of a technique occasionally, without risking a classmate, but just teach what is needed.

Great post, Jeff, this is a good pointed inquiry.

*Phil

Bronson
06-04-2003, 12:47 AM
I'm pretty much in line with what Phil said. For me it's better to train with the idea of doing the least amount neccessary. I really have no moral or ethical problem with the idea of using violence, even extreme violence if that is what is needed to end the situation. I still think of my tai chi instructor saying that you can end most physical confrontations by staying one step lower in violence than the attacker.

If he is trying to hurt you, stop him.

If he is trying to maim you, you may have to hurt him.

If he is trying to kill you, you may have to maim him.

This fits well with my personal feelings and also with what I'm learning in aikido. We train relatively softly but we are still shown how to "ramp up" the techniques when needed. Our baseline technique usually falls into the area of controlling uke as opposed to throwing or breaking uke. We're going on the idea that it's easier to train with the idea of softness and spike it when needed than to train hard (bad word choice but all I can come up with :rolleyes: ) and try to soften it when needed.

Of course this is all theory. I've yet had any situation get past "just words". Who knows, maybe if I'm ever faced with the prospect of having to deliberately injury another person I'll freeze and find I just can't do it...on the other hand I might find I like it :freaky:

Bronson

Edward
06-04-2003, 01:37 AM
A few incoherent thoughts:

I actually find this issue one of the most confusing in aikido. Take throws for instance, even the softest throws if applied on an untrained person and on a hard surface would cause substantial damage, much more than the strongest atemi to the face.

The barrier between violent or not, damaging or not, painful or not is thus blurred.

I myself am not a natural striker, I have a dislike for atemi, and avoid using it in training despite the risk of offending my teachers.

I think training should as painless and as peaceful as possible, but without sacrificing the intensity. However, it is an illusion for anyone who thinks that he can control the amount of violence in a self-defense encounter.

erikmenzel
06-04-2003, 02:46 AM
However, it is an illusion for anyone who thinks that he can control the amount of violence in a self-defense encounter.
Hear Hear.

ChristianBoddum
06-04-2003, 03:09 AM
Hi !

Regarding the use of atemi in finishing a technique -

I've been taught that if any use of strike is

nessesary - then it's the first thing coming,

finishing off with a strike is more a thing from the world of karate,

by the time tou have your opponent down,

you should be in control - ideally !

I train by the idea that your must NEVER

hurt uke, and I have never hurt anybody in a serious manner yet,I've been close and it's always been a matter of lacking attention.

Good hard training gets us close to what violence is like and I think it should be that way , I'd rather have a hard time on the mat and a good time in the bar than the other way around..

Have a nice unviolent day !!

yours - Chr.B.

jss
06-04-2003, 03:19 AM
I throw people (the ones with good ukemi) in a manner that some people would call 'violent'. But it's just way to much fun to send your uke flying through the air, rolling and standing up with a big smile on their face. And doing the flying part yourself is even better.

In real life the effects would indeed be devastating, but on the other hand, a half throw might just not work.

And in the case of a joint lock: tapping means releasing uke.

I don't like people trainig violently with me, but those people who are too nice are as annoying as the violent ones, although they are less dangerous.

Coming to think of it, I don't train with the real world in mind. So my level of violence is to have fun while searching for effective technique.

As mentioned by other in other threads: for me self-defence is the last real world benefit I expect to get out of aikido. (By which I don't mean aikido is not effictive as self-defence.)

Greg Jennings
06-04-2003, 05:22 AM
finishing off with a strike is more a thing from the world of karate,
Actually, that's not correct. To the best of my knowledge, the finishing strike is from Daito Ryu and is symbolic of drawing one's auxiliary weapon and dispatching the enemy.

Regards,

Col.Clink
06-04-2003, 05:32 AM
So the question is this: Where is your line for violence? How far do you take your practice? Are your techniques to cripple, incapacitate, or otherwise damage uke? I obviously don't mean your training partner, but really what would your ideal application of these techniques be in a more real situation. Do you practice with the thought of pretecting your family from another person's violence?
Hi Jeff,

you posed some interesting thoughts and caused me to reflect on the "why am I doing this, what am I practising etc" questions.

I have to say my level of violence begins and ends with what is thrown at me. I can honestly say I am not afraid to take it to the extreme (afraid of the consequences yes), but only hope I don't have to. The ability to incapacitate is better than the extreme.

I am afraid I may loose control where I take it to the extreme without that intention, also because that (no control) is where I am just as vulnerable as the attacker and may cause unnecessary harm to them or myself. I belive that is the key word, what is neccessary. I do tell students to give the attacker some room to dis-engage their attack before you cause any serious harm. I would hate to seriously hurt someone who has inadvertantly mixed some prescribed drugs, or some other form of "temporary rage". There are many variables, and they are hard to pin point in the heat of conflict.

I would protect family just as much as anyone else (most likely more-so, but that would take more self control than I think I could imagine).

Some good thoughts I've read so far.

Cheers

Rob

SmilingNage
06-04-2003, 05:43 AM
In regards to violence on the mat, completely unacceptable. Causing deliberate harm to your uke is irresponsible. It is your responsiblity as Nage to protect you uke through out the technique. There is no grey area, plain black and white. There is a high level of trust in Aikido practice, of which responsibilty to your uke is paramount. Anyone who trains in such a manner is a liability to the dojo and shouldnt be taught in Budo of any manner.

Though I feel training to be effective is what you should aim for. I wouldnt label making someone tap out as being violent, it is the result of an effective,efficent technique. Uke's tap is a register/gauge of the effectiveness of technique. Tapping out quick or slow helps Nage develope a feel for the proper amount effectiveness that need be applied. In my own personal practice, I always use a slow deliberate stretch during application of pin/ joint lock. This way uke can foster some resiliency and broaden their abilty to control their pain threshold through stetching.

Training is about trust, betray that trust and you are nothing more than a shallow person

MikeE
06-04-2003, 07:36 AM
My thoughts:

In Aikido, we wish to draw an attacker into a partnership, or system. As the attacker adds his/her energy to the system it will inherently effect the system. The speed and verocity of the attack will effect how we have to deal with it. In many cases I like to think of it in a "minus one" way.

The attacker attacks and what he/she gets out of my defense is minus one of the level he/she came in with. This is very much up Bronson's line of ki appropriate for the situation. To think I should effect the system more than this bit is egotisitic and would impose my will on the system, therefore taking it out of balance and it's no longer aikido to me.

In Aiki,

SeiserL
06-04-2003, 08:04 AM
I try ot try within th spectrum of violence. Sometime I train slow and easy to work on the principles. Other times, with the right training partner, I train much more aggressiveley and effectively. IMHO, the limit of violence depends on the context and the consequences. Training is not sparring, sparring is not fighting, fighting is not combat. The rules of engagaement and intent is very different. Also, what are the consequences if I act and what are the consequences if I don't? Which can I live with the most? These are questions only an individual can answer for themself.

Nicely asked question. Compliments and appreciation.

justinm
06-04-2003, 09:04 AM
In regards to violence on the mat, completely unacceptable. Causing deliberate harm to your uke is irresponsible. It is your responsiblity as Nage to protect you uke through out the technique. There is no grey area, plain black and white. There is a high level of trust in Aikido practice, of which responsibilty to your uke is paramount. Anyone who trains in such a manner is a liability to the dojo and shouldnt be taught in Budo of any manner.
I believe O Sensei often caused pain, and sometimes broke bones.

From what I have heard, seen and experienced, it still occurs at the highest level of aikido.

Justin

Ron Tisdale
06-04-2003, 09:04 AM
This is a hard (and good) question. I probably practise in a manner similar to the folk Jeff trained with (at least from the description). Even in my home dojo though, there is a wide range of technique depending on the partner...male or female, newbie or old hand, a person who likes to be thrown hard, or someone who is nursing an injury or just doesn't prefer the harder throws (sometimes just for that moment, sometimes not at all).

The male female dichotomy isn't meant to be sexist...its just that unless I know a woman likes to train recieving really hard throws, I have a great hesitancy about appearing to bully them. I guess that really applies to anyone, not just women. And I definately know women that don't have a problem with hard throws, and who can and do indeed throw hard themselves. Some of them harder than I can throw.

For me, the line for "violence" in the dojo is whether or not I abrogate uke's trust. This leaves a large range of physicallity in my practise.

If uke's level of trust as a beginner means "please don't cause me any pain", then it is my job to help them participate as much as they can in aikido without pain...they are a beginner, and special care must be taken. Hopefully, they will understand that as time goes on (at least in the practise where I train) a certain amount of pain is often a part of training. With said beginner, if they tap, I do not increase or maintain the control or pin, rather, I release it a bit.

With someone else who is experienced, say a shodan, the level of trust is much greater. This particular shodan might train very hard, but perhaps they are of slight build, and much lighter than I am. I can really take their balance, and really throw or pin them, but I won't throw them in such a manner that pushes them too much in the level of their ukemi unless they want me to. I will concentrate my technique on proper movement, taking their balance, good form...but not power, and only moderate speed. Again, the critical issue is maintaining that person's trust **whatever that takes**.

Another person might have been training the same amount of time I have, going to Daito ryu seminars with me, training after hours in shotokan, and regularly engaging with me in "rough" practise. Baring any injuries, we might train in a manner which would cause some people to go pale just watching. But there should be a minimum of physical injury...and no injuries that would keep *them* out of practise. Here I might use quite a lot of speed and power as well as technique, and they would do the same to me. If they are applying a control, they might do it hard enough to disrupt my breathing...my tapping would not mean to stop or lessen the technique, it would simply be a way for them to gauge the strength of the control. They might very well increase the control, and my tapping harder would give them a way to gauge the increase. If it was too much, I might say matte...or stop. Again, trust is the barometer. No trust broken...then the application is appropriate. Trust once broken is extremely hard to regain...sometimes it never is. Like technique, you often get only one chance.

As far as an "real" attacker...who knows. I will strive for complete and absolute control...that way, I might safely determine whether or not I can show mercy. In my opinion, without such control there can be no true mercy in a real situation.

As far as striking on pins, Ueshiba did it. Look at both Budo Renshu and Budo. Daito ryu does it. Yoshinkan does it. It is standard practise and accepted in many variations of aikido. If some prefer not to do that, no problem. They should follow the traditions of their specific teachers.

Ron Tisdale

Jeff Tibbetts
06-04-2003, 09:32 AM
Wow. Thanks for all the replies. I got the whole range of responses that I was "expecting." Let me say right off the bat again, I don't have a problem with hard training, and I really enjoyed doing it for a while. I learned a lot from it, but I also don't want that to be the dafault for my own personal reasons. Also, let me reiterate that this isn't a question of what is violent, but really HOW violent would you like things? I never implied that anyone that I trained with would ever cause a training partner injury on the mat, they were all exceptional about keeping it at the level that they felt their partner was comfortable with. What I'm getting at here is that, some people train with an emphasis on controlling uke from doing this or that, every step of the way is control or a pin or throw, but at the expense of uke's comfort. There's simply more potential for injury to occurr, or I should say less time spent worrying about the other guy :) Again, I don't mean that they'll hurt their training partner, but certainly the real application of this technique shows prettymuch no concern for the person receiving the technique. That's what I don't personally want to adopt. I have my own reasons for it, but really I think it's important to protect the attacker from himself after you see to it that you are protected. I can get into it more later, but I have to get to work. So, let's shift the conversation just a bit to the esoteric side, and see where how far you want to take things, if say, a person were breaking into your house. :)

jxa127
06-04-2003, 10:38 AM
What I'm getting at here is that, some people train with an emphasis on controlling uke from doing this or that, every step of the way is control or a pin or throw, but at the expense of uke's comfort. There's simply more potential for injury to occurr, or I should say less time spent worrying about the other guy :) Again, I don't mean that they'll hurt their training partner, but certainly the real application of this technique shows prettymuch no concern for the person receiving the technique. That's what I don't personally want to adopt. I have my own reasons for it, but really I think it's important to protect the attacker from himself after you see to it that you are protected.
Jeff,

My question in response to your question is how vulnerable do you want to be as nage? If nage is not controlling uke every step of the way, then nage is vulnerable to uke's continued attack. This is true whether you end with a pin or a throw.

My approach is to learn the full range of aikido responses from killing or maiming blows to the softest fall possible. That way I can choose how vicious I want to make my response.

I wouldn't worry that training with damaging technique will keep you from being able to "ramp down" your response to an appropriate level. My one time using aikido, I threw somebody I care about. I actually cushioned his fall, and my pin caused no pain. I did not have any trouble quickly applying the appropriate level of violence.

As for somebody entering the house, I'd prefer to be in the position of having greater power available than the housebreaker. That means that I know the terrirory, have a good defenseive position, a gun, the cops on the phone, and the intention to shoot if he doesn't do exactly what I say.

Regards,

-Drew

Don_Modesto
06-04-2003, 11:25 AM
To the best of my knowledge, the finishing strike is from Daito Ryu and is symbolic of drawing one's auxiliary weapon and dispatching the enemy.
That's what Kondo writes in his book on the IKKAJO. Interestingly, some aikido people still do fininshing strikes on occassion. You especially see it on tests where the take away a TANTO and stab UKE with it (i.e., TWO felonies would have occured...)

On the Expo take from Aikido Journal, Utada finishes many of his techniques with strikes. Maybe Mustard did, too. They're both Yoshinkan players. That might be coincidence. How about it guys, do you train that in Yoshinkan?

Thanks.

Ron Tisdale
06-04-2003, 11:41 AM
There's simply more potential for injury to occurr, or I should say less time spent worrying about the other guy Again, I don't mean that they'll hurt their training partner, but certainly the real application of this technique shows prettymuch no concern for the person receiving the technique.
Well, while I think I understand where you are coming from, I believe that by being as controling as possible, I show true concern for my opponant. If I separate his shoulder, but do so because I won't then have to throw him on his head, isn't that still a high level of concern? Just as high as anybody else's? I place myself in a position of control (if possible) so that I don't have to maim or kill...and I'm still safe, and able to do so if needed. And in practise, we have ukemi, so uke *could* just take the fall, and not resist along the way, reducing any discomfort they might feel. Isn't that one reason we have a "cooperative" practise?

How about it guys, do you train that in Yoshinkan?
Yep, that's what we do. Not a coincidence. Its standard for shihonage pin, and some others.

Ron Tisdale

Charles Hill
06-04-2003, 12:28 PM
I like Drew's answer, training to give oneself choices. I believe that this is what Saotome Shihan has been teaching for years, that one cannot truly choose to be nonviolent unless one has the capability to be violent.

I would add to this the point which I was taught by Endo Seishiro Shihan. One must train to develop the ability to keep what Endo Shihan calls "everyday mind" at all times. If we panic under stress, the choices we might normally have, largely disappear.

Keith R Lee
06-04-2003, 02:06 PM
Yes, there are some waza in Yoshinkan Aikido where a strike is the final part of the movement. There are also many waza where atemi is taught as part of the technique. There are set patterns and rules governing when/where/how to use atemi in Yoshinkan Aikido, in terms of the basic shite waza, it is not an optional thing.

For instance in shihonage the movement is finished with a strike. The reason being, as Greg Jennings brought up earlier, is that the movement is based upon finishing uke. One would take uke to the ground then have a broad deliberate strike to the uke with the free hand, drawing a block from uke. Then next movement would then be to trap both hands together with shite's striking hand, letting go of the shihonage grip, drawing a tanto, and stabbing uke in the kidneys moving on to the next opponent, etc.

Jeff Tibbetts
06-04-2003, 06:06 PM
Drew, Ron, I think I see what you're trying to say. That makes a lot of sense to me, really. I guess that I'm really just concerned that under stress I wouldn't be able to control the level of violence I use, but would default to what I am trained to do. I guess I am thinking of this along the lines of having less confidence in my ability to control myself in that sort of situation. If I am trained properly, I would keep a "normal" state of mind, not panicing, and either increase or decrease my level of violence. I don't know that that would happen, however, especially so early in my training. I have talked to people who took a martial art and used it, and one of them said that a friend of his threw a punch at him as a joke and he broke the guys nose. I don't think that's something that I want to do. A knee-jerk reaction would be a bit easier to live with if it just put me in control, and didn't break someone's nose... That's the way I'm thinking about this, maybe I'm being too narrowminded. Hmm. Let's say that I'm able to get someone in an effective pin, could I not then choose to do something nasty to him once I calm down a bit? I don't know... this is turning into a very good conversation.

aikicougar
06-04-2003, 06:57 PM
I am sorry I have not read most of the other posts yet so if that is rude or I am repeating what anyone else said I apologize. I have always been curious about what I would really do in a physical conflict now that I have practiced and learned what I have. I really am not sure. I do know what my personal views on violence are right now though. I feel that if I know that I can control uke without hurting them, myself or others I will. But if I feel that I got a pin or anything else by luck and I let them go I or someone else will be hurt then I will do whatever is necessary to not let that happen. My sensei has said "Sometimes you have to break an arm to save a life." I agree with this statement, but only when it is necessary to do so. I practice a "soft" style of aikido but I enjoy the harder practice sometimes and want to learn it. I like learning it because then I know that if I need it I can always step it up to meet the situation.

rachmass
06-04-2003, 08:23 PM
Hi Jeff,

I didn't read anyone's responses to your post, so I apologize if I step out of context here, but; I was at that seminar, and don't see what came across as violent. It was quite laid-back and geared towards the basics from what I could tell. Was it Charlie McGinnis Sensei's classes? Yamada Sensei's? or was it the partners you trained with? Please elaborate for me, as I found this an incredibly enjoyable weekend of training (and yes, I engaged in some butt-kickage, but that was just with a friend or two, and all in good spirit).

best,

Rachel

Jeff Tibbetts
06-04-2003, 10:55 PM
Rachel, of course I agree that what I saw was not alarming, or even that much harder than what I'm used to. Also, if you go through my posts on the thread you'll see that I really did enjoy that seminar very much. It was a great deal of fun, and it was really interesting and eye-opening to see that range of technique from that perspective. I never once felt that I was in any more danger than I normally am, and I thought everyone was excellent to work with! Please don't misconceive my questioning violence as a bad thing, it's healthy to do that once in a while to know where you stand. That's what I wanted out of this thread, just to explore that side of Aikido, that this seminar made me think about it is a good thing. As far as what in the seminar made me think... What I'm referring to in particular are things like the finishing blows, some of the ways that you can control uke, and some of the types of movements. To be quite specific, I haven't worked with anything that involved any finshing technique from shihonage, and I'm quite used to finishing shihonage as a throw, as well, not straight to the mat with a pin. Also, when doing a shihonage's initial hand grabbing, we usually keep the grab on the wrist, when you grab around the thumb you get extra control but it also makes it very easy to twist that wrist a bit too far, especially if the uke resists. Other things were that kaiten (spelling?) hip movement, while generating a lot of extra power makes it more difficult to not throw the hell out of uke. It just seems like there is a great deal more power, and more control in the technique that I was learning, but at a small cost of comfort and possibly with an added amount of pain (again, not that I thought it felt any more painful, just more possibility.) You know, I didn't even think about some of these things that much untill I was showing a couple things in our class back at my home Dojo, and an uke who is also in EMT training (and everything he does is seen through that medical lens) pointed out some of the options for potential damage in those spots... I can't stress enough that I don't think this is a bad thing, it's another way to do things and it's great that there is so much range and diversity within these techniques. If I had to say which classes that was more obvious with, I'd say that it was McGinnss Sensei's classes, I don't know that I had those impressions with Yamada Sensei; but please forgive me if the whole weekend blurred a bit around the edges, I couldn't say which class was which technique or whatever. I was really very impressed with both sensei, and the whole experience alltogether. My questioning is a part of my nature, not meant to be a criticism. Forgive me if I am sounding too apologetic, but I don't want anyone to get the impression that the seminar was out of control or that I felt endangered, not so at all. These thoughts I'm having are a way for me to explore some things that I really should have been thinking about a long time ago.

rachmass
06-05-2003, 06:13 AM
Hi Jeff,

thank you for explaining this, and I am sorry again that I haven't read the other posts on this thread. McGinnis Sensei worked on what he called tentai (spelling?) movements where you got a low stance and pivoted from one side to the other moving as much distance as possible (on switching from one side to the other) and showed us how that affected both kotegaeshi and shihonage. His emphasis was on hip movement. The kotegaeshi was hard for me to do, but the shihonage was exactly as I was taught, so that one came naturally. Interestingly enough, I find that it is much more comfortable to be pinned in shihonage than to be projected out. It all depends on your upbringing. The shihonage with pin is a very strong technique if done properly, and you do have to learn how to move your body into it as uke, and not to turn away from nage. In any case, McGinnis Sensei has a yoshinkan background and has extremely strong aikido. I find him a terrific teacher also in that much of what he shows has direct bearing to a smaller nage, and shows how much power you can generate even if you are small in stature. One of these is the thumb grab you talk about in shihonage, that really forces uke to move, even if uke doesn't want to!

Thanks for writing back and reitterating what you had in the thread, as I was lazy (still haven't read the other posts), and had just caught part of your topic. Didn't perceive it as apologetic, just explanatory. Thanks again,

Rachel

Ron Tisdale
06-05-2003, 09:08 AM
Hi Jeff,

I think we're talking past each other to a certain extent. We are essentially saying the same thing I believe. We train to gain control...so do you. We may have slightly different ideas about what control is, and how it is gained. But it is that control that gives the ability to have mercy. So when we train at the edge of uke's level to take the control, we are practising NOT going to far each time we do a technique. Just because we move the line to a different place, doesn't mean that we aren't training to not cause unnecessary harm.

Ron

Ron Tisdale
06-05-2003, 09:12 AM
I had the feeling that one of the instructors had a yosh background. Just the descriptions clued me in. Funny that!

RT

Darren Raleigh
06-05-2003, 10:40 AM
Good question. This is what brought be back to aikido.

The following is from just me - not the Burning Bush, just my aikido:

On the mat, you cannot hurt uke. Ever, ever, ever. Once to take control of a person you are responsible for their safety and have to give them back in at least as good a shape.

In the world, my larger goal is to stop the cycle of violence. Sure, I can hurt people. I've done it. But if I return violence for violence given, it just goes on. Sure, Street-Uke may not hurt me, but if I mess him up he may return with his brothers, or if he can't he'll just pass it along to someone that he can pound on, who will pass it on...but if I take it, control it, and ground it out, it's gone, never to return.

Sure, it's not easy. I know better than many how satisfying it feels to walk away from the body of your would-be oppressor. But that's a short-term solution and ultimately it is self-defeating.

My aikido is not just hyper-efficient fighting. My aikido is the solution to violence. And as Professor Tolkein so eloquently taught, you cannot use the weapons of the enemy.

Non-violence is not weakness - in fact you've got to be much, much stronger to nullify violence than you would to just break the threat to your person or tribe.
I don't know if I'd be able to do that yet, but I will be. Until then, if someone brings me violence and I can't save myself and him, I will be responsible for that, too. So I train.

I'll get off the soapbox now. Thanks.

Jeff Tibbetts
06-05-2003, 09:40 PM
Hi Ron, yeah I think you're right on this one. We are really desiring the same thing, but I guess I'm just looking for a softer way to get there. I can really see the appeal in a more "direct" approach, you may not have time to get everything just the way you want it, so better to go for control at the very outset and never let it up. I think that many of my questions are answerable only by myself, and I need to see that there's no reason to worry so much about all that. It's no problem to wonder about these things, but I have to keep it to a manageable level. I don't have anywhere near the control or sonfidence to feel that I can affect the outcome of a real confrontation, so for now I need to give myself the tools to get to that level. We talked a bit more about choice in tonight's class, and I think what I'm trying to do with this thread is just get people to wonder about some of these choices that we have. There are many times during techniques where it would be more efficient, more damaging, and maybe more controlling to do certain things, but I'd rather protect uke from those things by choosing a safer way. I feel that my responsibility is to protect both of us, and I know that I can't do that, but that's the goal. I made that choice a long time ago, when someone broke into my house in a drunken stupor and fell asleep on my couch with his pants down when I wasn't home. My wife was home, though, sleeping upstairs. I was well within my rights to do all sorts of nasty things to him, and I think many other people may have done that. I think that the way it looked, it would appear that my wife had been unfaithful, and I know lots of guys who would have lost it at that point. I guess he's lucky that it was me, and I'm lucky he wasn't a serial rapist. The point is, I made a choice before I even started Aikido that I didn't ever want to be responsible for killing or injuring another person, even if everyone else, and the law, justified it. I don't know if that qualifies me as a hippie, I sure don't feel like one. Just as Darren says, it takes a lot more strength to not react with more violence, especially if everyone else tells you that it's right and justified. Idealist? Absolutely. I know that I don't have the skill to back up what I'm saying, maybe I never will, but it keeps me going back to the Dojo. What keeps you going there? I would like to hear from some others...

Ron Tisdale
06-06-2003, 07:38 AM
What keeps me going back? Well, my instructor has been talking about how adhearing to a tradition can be grounding in today's world. A world filled with societies in a great deal of flux, in all manner of decay, families disintegrating...

So I go to aikido keiko, and calm down, reconnect. Good enough for me.

Ron

Alan
06-13-2003, 03:55 PM
Violence...if we are all GOD then god would give himself love not violence! That is the limit of violence! Swords and knives should not be used even in practice...The limit is now, right now, stop violence now!

All these fighting martial arts should be banned, all violence should be banned, from TV books everything..Banned until it is understood by all.. If we are to evolve into emotionally intelligent beings emanating our true nature of spirit...

I would like to see people evolve so we can move on and LIVE for the first time in harmony together as one. Awaken your inner ki! Awaken GOD!

Charles Hill
06-13-2003, 04:44 PM
Alan,

Banned by who? And how?

Charles

Thalib
06-13-2003, 07:35 PM
This thread just came into my attention. So... I'm a little bit late and outdated.
So the question is this: Where is your line for violence? How far do you take your practice? Are your techniques to cripple, incapacitate, or otherwise damage uke? I obviously don't mean your training partner, but really what would your ideal application of these techniques be in a more real situation.
I practice the way that one suppose to practice in the dojo. I do not want to practice with any hate nor fear nor with any type of negative emotion in mind. Those type of negative "ki" will not create a good training environment. That's what "mokusou" in the beginning of class is for. When I practice Aikido I do Aikido. [list=1]During a seminar, Joe Thambu Sensei mentioned there are 3 types of environments:

Training. One trains like one suppose to train. Uke and nage should help each other in learning, not creating a competitive environment.

Nagare, like in Jiyuu-waza. Still a training environment, but there is no longer any discussion. One learns to set one's mind.

Outside. Anything goes. Do not "try" to apply what you've learn. Do not "try" to think what you should do. Just move, with commitment, with no doubt. Do everything you do with 100% commitment.

[/list=1]
Do you practice with the thought of pretecting your family from another person's violence? I just want to hear some honest accounts of why you train at the level you do, and why you think that is.
I train to protect myself in order to be able to protect the ones I love and care for. I don't want to train with any illusions that I'm a "superman". I train because I know that death always lurks behind any corner. I do not train to win nor do I train to defeat, I train to protect.
Granted, many of you may not have a choice what style you do, but any style can be cranked up or toned down. I think it's important to ask ourselves these sorts of questions once in a while, to see if we're doing what we want to be doing.
When one is out there faced with mortal danger, and that person fights back in the hope to survive in fear of death, one might as well run away. I am training to be able to accept death as a part of life. Not that I am aiming to have no fear of death, I'll just have to learn to accept it.

When that mortal danger is in front, when one is going to "fight" back, one must do it without any doubts. Not worrying, "Am I going to get out of this alive?". Not worrying a lot of "What if?" One must be commited. Doing it 100%. Not worrying what is in front or what is behind.
Sometimes the atmosphere of obedience and the concept of not questioning our teachers bleeds over into the feeling that we're just along for the ride. We need to just reflect on the road that we're on, and see if the destination is a place we want to go...
Actually most of the instructors that I train under do their best to answer the question "Why?". I don't like training with instructors that just says, "Just do as I say! Don't ask so many question.". My main instructor always ask, "Are there any questions?" at the end of every lesson, sometimes even in the middle.
Thanks in advance for keeping the thread openminded and informative. Nobody wants another style war.
I accept all styles that the founder trains under O-Sensei as Aikido. To me there is no difference. Probably, except in training methods, but that's all. Even in Aikikai, every shihan trains differently.

Phillip Armel
06-16-2003, 08:17 PM
At my dojo we use techniques untill the attacker taps, which works good. I think violence should be recipricated. I wouldn't be against snapping a wrist or elbow if the person was seriously out too hurt me. In training you should take care of your uke, considering that good uke's are in great demand :D

drDalek
06-17-2003, 04:12 PM
Violence...if we are all GOD then god would give himself love not violence! That is the limit of violence! Swords and knives should not be used even in practice...The limit is now, right now, stop violence now!

All these fighting martial arts should be banned, all violence should be banned, from TV books everything..Banned until it is understood by all.. If we are to evolve into emotionally intelligent beings emanating our true nature of spirit...

I would like to see people evolve so we can move on and LIVE for the first time in harmony together as one. Awaken your inner ki! Awaken GOD!

Banning something means forcefully restricting it and removing it from the menu of free choices people have. Like for example burning books.

To ban something is thus a form of violence. To enforce a ban means placing yourself in a position of dictatorship over other people.

Crazy hippies, when will you ever learn. :p

YEME
06-18-2003, 12:51 AM
awaken god???

is he sleeping?

should i follow that by poking a few sleeping bears and see if they understand the whole non violence scenario?

i don't consider a normal degree of force as violence until it crosses the line to actually hurting your training partner.

i don't like to train 'soft'. Sometimes i get stuck with "i'll tone it down cause she's a girl" which is sweet and very gentlemanly but if i get attacked on the street i won't be extended the same courtesy.

as for the amount of violence I'd use in a real life attack: as much as necessary to stop being hurt.

I don't train to learn how to hurt someone. I train to learn how not to get hurt. Its comforting to know that should someone want to thump me, I'll have a few options.

Thor's Hammer
06-18-2003, 06:22 PM
I'd slowly ramp it up. Start lightly taking real care not to injure. Then if they continue to come I will ramp it up. If they have a gun I will give them my money!

Kyri Honigh
06-18-2003, 08:28 PM
Hmmm,as a kid I still don't understand the one guy talking about not even using swords and knives during practise.IMHO the world exists because of violence. in order to live one most overcome opposing forces.The rich will live upon the poor and in the animal world its the same.If you are strong , you will live,if you are weak you die.I do believe that aikido could serve as an impetus for people to reflect upon themselves.They're will always be evil and good people out there, both are different paths leading to different experience.Maybe we will live once in a perfectly harmonious world, but we still got a lot to learn.

DaveForis
07-10-2003, 09:43 PM
Non-violence is not weakness - in fact you've got to be much, much stronger to nullify violence than you would to just break the threat to your person or tribe.

I don't know if I'd be able to do that yet, but I will be. Until then, if someone brings me violence and I can't save myself and him, I will be responsible for that, too. So I train.
Yeah. I think this is the right attitude. I agree with Darren and everyone else who trains both in order to have the option. I figure, if I'm confident that I can refrain from hurting my opponent in my technique, and I'm confident that I CAN hurt them, what's there to worry about? I've got all the angles covered, and thus I have something VERY important: Choice.

When you limit yourself, you limit your choices. When your choices are limited, you're backed to the wall. When a terrified animal is backed into a corner, what does it do? It frenzies, losing all control. I'd rather not be that animal if it ever comes down to the line. Animals can do vicious things that a human being may not be able to live with.

Also, I think Darren hits on a very important point when he mentions that you have to be much stronger than your opponent. It's the difference between being a warrior and a fighter. A warrior trains hard, as hard as he can, to build up his abilities so that he can protect others. A fighter just likes to have enough power to destroy. The warrior has to have the skills to counter the fighter, or else how can he protect anything?

Anyway, I'm not much of a warrior, and tend to be more monkish, but that same theme that's been repeated over and over in this thread is what appeals to me most: Control. The knowledge that I can control the situation helps me to control myself (theoretically. I've a bit more training to do. )

Hey. This is a pretty nice soap box! Who's next? :)