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ewodaj
07-10-2003, 04:41 PM
purposes? I know there is a lot more to aikido than just learn how to defend yourself, but I just want to know what you peoople think of people who just want to learn aikido for defending themselves...im very impressed by aikido ever since I seen steven seagal doing it in his movies...

shihonage
07-10-2003, 04:59 PM
A rain of fruity replies in 3... 2... 1...

Goye
07-10-2003, 05:02 PM
I donít think it is wrong,... I always say that what is really important is to find the reason of being on the dojo,... If your motivation is self defense,... that is valid,,.. if it is spirituality,.. that is also very good,.. Aikido has many faces and every body has to be aware of which is that one that fits into his/her motivation.:cool:

Alfonso
07-10-2003, 05:19 PM
well, look around and you'll find a top ten list of wrong reasons to do aikido

:p

Charles Hill
07-10-2003, 05:41 PM
I seriously doubt that there are many (any?) people who have clearly looked at what real self defense entails and then started an Aikido practice (or probably any other martial art) that continues for any length of time with the main motivation in continuing being self defense.

Charles Hill

kironin
07-10-2003, 05:56 PM
There is nothing wrong in wanting to learn aikido to defend yourself. It just may be hard

to sustain your commitment to the frequency of training over a length of time required to gain some modest proficiency if your only interest in aikido is defending yourself. It's a fairly common theme among many long time martial arts practitioners that they began because of an interest in being better able to defend themselves. It's also true that they found other things about the art(s) they practice that appealed to them and compelled them to stay at it over a long time.

I am in my second decade of aikido now and it's a complex relationship. :) My thinking on just what self-defense is has morphed quite a bit over time and as I continue to train from week to week, sometimes the self-defense facet is large, important and sometimes I could care less because there are so many other things about my practice that I find interesting and want to explore.

Craig

PeterR
07-10-2003, 06:47 PM
The key word is continue - budo sort of grows on you doesn't it (still chuckling about the fungal take downs).

Louis - you do Aikido for your reasons and self defence as primary reason is as valid as any other. Over time your motives may change (or not) but that doesn't mean your present motives are wrong.
I seriously doubt that there are many (any?) people who have clearly looked at what real self defense entails and then started an Aikido practice (or probably any other martial art) that continues for any length of time with the main motivation in continuing being self defense.

Charles Hill

DaveForis
07-10-2003, 08:53 PM
Self-defense is always an acceptible motivation. Bout you have to be absolutely certain that Aikido is the right method to reach that goal. Steven Segal is 1) a high-ranking black belt and 2) an actor. Personally, I wouldn't take Aikido for self-defense (good thing that wasn't my original motivation too!) You'll become proficient in using Aikido for self-defense purposes in... about 10 years. Aikido is a high-level art, both technically and morally, and it completely overlooks the nasty, brutal, and often necessary basics of hitting back at whoever is attacking you. (The Aikido "I don't want to hurt my partner" mindset that you often find does not work so hot for building self-defense skills. At ALL.) I suggest taking something else too, a soft style like Kung Fu or what have you (hard styles and Aikido don't mix well), so that you can be able to handle yourself within a relatively short (compared to Aikido) period of time. When you have those basics of attack and defense down, and you have confidence (couKIghs) and focus because you know you can handle yourself, then Aikido may just work out great for you and help to further any ability you develop as a martial artist.

PeterR
07-10-2003, 09:02 PM
Dave - there are Aikido dojos that can prepare you for most self defence situations in a very short time. I think that if you choose a dojo that takes 10 years to get you to a reasonable level of competency in Aikido for self defence or any purpose you have chosen badly.

ewodaj
07-10-2003, 09:59 PM
Dave - there are Aikido dojos that can prepare you for most self defence situations in a very short time. I think that if you choose a dojo that takes 10 years to get you to a reasonable level of competency in Aikido for self defence or any purpose you have chosen badly.
I agree 100%

Veers
07-10-2003, 10:01 PM
You'll become proficient in using Aikido for self-defense purposes in... about 10 years.*tenkans* Oops, your punch missed. Excuse me while I dodge some more. :)

(No, I'm not so green as to believe that dodges will get you through everything...just making a point.)

Anyway...

Louis, I believe what's been said should suffice...but let me add that while that was probably the biggest motivation of mine, it wasn't the only one. Others included learning (anything...learning=good), satisfying a curosity I had had for several years, athletic activity, and learning.

PhilJ
07-10-2003, 10:12 PM
I liked a story Gaku Homma sensei tells about kids. A young student wasn't doing well in his academic studies and the parents talked to Homma sensei. He, in turn, talked to the student, and found that there was an extreme lack of interest on the student's part.

He told the student to just pretend to pay attention, even if he really wasn't -- just fake it.

You see where this goes, the student's grades went up dramatically because though he started faking, he eventually did pay attention.

I think this is how fungal budo can be. :) (I love that word, incorporating into my lexicon now...)

*Phil

Veers
07-10-2003, 10:19 PM
Reminds me of what C. S. Lewis said, Philip...if there's someone you can't stand, just pretend you like them when you're around them, and you'll find yourself liking them more, or at least not-liking them less.

Kyri Honigh
07-10-2003, 11:39 PM
Hmmm I think that you have a fair reason. I too believe that it should be about being able to defend yourself first and then other goals.I know I know..aikido is about self-improvement. But how can you improve yourself without having the confidence of not being a push over. I want to be a "warrior". Someone who leads a life of dignity and who dares to fight for his ideals. But most importantly: enroll now in aikido training ( choose a good dojo)!! Succes

PhilJ
07-11-2003, 12:42 AM
I'll second Kyri's opinion. I take aikido because I like to apply it to helping others, making my work life easier to manage.

When I was a counselor as a kid in highschool, we had a major rule, among others: Don't let someone else's problems become your own. Later, my sensei said something similar: Don't play uke's game.

Those lines said, if I don't have "Phil", I can't do all the neat stuff in class. So, if you can't protect yourself first, how can you protect others, help others, and so on.

I know we're treading a bit off-topic, but I think it's worth noting that you can (and need) to be able to protect yourself, and at the same time, learn/enhance the values you're looking to change (if any). It's worth noting because we can easily miss the most basic benefit of aikido, the physical, self-defense level.

*Phil

C. Emerson
07-11-2003, 10:38 AM
Aikido offers alot, Self defense is one of those. If thats all you are interested in, you can take a much shorter route getting to where you want to go.

If fighting is all thats important, than that is a sign of a person who has not evolved much.

People who train in Aikido get the big picture. It's a lifestyle, not a boxing ring.

bob_stra
07-11-2003, 11:21 AM
A rain of fruity replies in 3... 2... 1...
*throws fruit at Aleksey*

;-)

ewodaj
07-11-2003, 11:48 AM
Aikido offers alot, Self defense is one of those. If thats all you are interested in, you can take a much shorter route getting to where you want to go.

If fighting is all thats important, than that is a sign of a person who has not evolved much.

People who train in Aikido get the big picture. It's a lifestyle, not a boxing ring.
If fighting is all thats important, than that is a sign of a person who has not evolved much.

thats not a fair statement chad...a fair amount of people take up martial arts for self-defense reasons and theres no denying that...you can go on about aikido being a spiritual martial art and so on, but the fact remains that it can be used as a self-defense method and a very good one at that...

C. Emerson
07-11-2003, 12:33 PM
I agree Louis, All I'm saying is that if you would speak to an instructor or master. They would tell you that they are involved in any martial art for more than the reason of self defense. Confidence, esteem, interest, spirituality, what ever. I think that the self defense issue is a common one in the begining.

paw
07-11-2003, 12:39 PM
All I'm saying is that if you would speak to an instructor or master. They would tell you that they are involved in any martial art for more than the reason of self defense.

It depends on the instructor and the martial art. Some remain focused on self-defense through out their entire lives. IMO, that's a good thing, as these instructors are generally at the forefront in instructing law enforcement, military, rape prevention classes and other similar applications that to my way of thinking are beneficial.

Regards,

Paul

Eric Joyce
07-11-2003, 12:49 PM
Louis,

Think about the question you asked. With all do respect, the question is a little silly. Yes it can be used for defense and yes it can be used for spiritual growth. It seems a lot of people ask questions they may already know the answers to. Sorry if I seem a little irrate, but the BB are starting to get a lot of questions like this.

ewodaj
07-11-2003, 02:16 PM
I agree Louis, All I'm saying is that if you would speak to an instructor or master. They would tell you that they are involved in any martial art for more than the reason of self defense. Confidence, esteem, interest, spirituality, what ever. I think that the self defense issue is a common one in the begining.
I think with some people chad they first take up a martial art for self-defense reasons, but as they get into it they realize that it can be a spiritual thing for them as well...I dont discriminate against anyone that is taking martial arts for whatever reason(s) they choose...I agree with you when you said self-defense is a common thing in the beginning, but as I said above, the more you get into it, the more you value the other aspects of martial arts like you said spirituality, self-esteem, motivation, etc...you speak the truth tho chad...

ewodaj
07-11-2003, 02:19 PM
Louis,

Think about the question you asked. With all do respect, the question is a little silly. Yes it can be used for defense and yes it can be used for spiritual growth. It seems a lot of people ask questions they may already know the answers to. Sorry if I seem a little irrate, but the BB are starting to get a lot of questions like this.
well, I already do know the answer to this question eric, but im curious to see what you all think...you may think im egotistical or something of that nature for asking a question like this...seems taking up a martial art mainly for self-defense reasons is a kick in the face to some martial artists for some reason or another...probably because they treat martial arts and all of its aspects with the same respect they take the fighting/training...

jvadakin
07-11-2003, 04:46 PM
Louis, what various options (i.e. martial arts) are you considering? I hope you will post to tell us all what you finally decide to do.

Dave Miller
07-11-2003, 05:19 PM
Reminds me of what C. S. Lewis said, Philip...if there's someone you can't stand, just pretend you like them when you're around them, and you'll find yourself liking them more, or at least not-liking them less.So would that be "Aiki-peas"? :D :p LOL

Eric Joyce
07-11-2003, 05:22 PM
Louis Quote:

well, I already do know the answer to this question eric, but im curious to see what you all think...

If you know the answer, it doesn't matter what people think my friend. Just do it and enjoy.

Dave Miller
07-11-2003, 05:23 PM
If fighting is all thats important, than that is a sign of a person who has not evolved much.So are you suggesting that as the human race evolves that we should grow out of violence? That is an oft-repeated notion that has little basis in fact, IMHO. The notion that physical confrontation is somehow base or "animalistic" is more than just a bit judgemental, especially coming from a martial artist.

ewodaj
07-11-2003, 08:06 PM
Louis Quote:

well, I already do know the answer to this question eric, but im curious to see what you all think...

If you know the answer, it doesn't matter what people think my friend. Just do it and enjoy.
very true eric, but I like to hear other peoples opinions...I will do it!!! thanks for you input eric...

C. Emerson
07-12-2003, 08:20 AM
All I'm saying is that fighting/self defense is only one facet of the martial arts. Branch out learn to appreciate all of the different sides. I work on trying to be a better person. The internal side, takes a life time to learn. Do you think that o'Sensei would say that focusing exclusively on fighting is the direction that he wishes that you go?

Dave Miller
07-12-2003, 01:17 PM
All I'm saying is that fighting/self defense is only one facet of the martial arts. Branch out learn to appreciate all of the different sides. I work on trying to be a better person. The internal side, takes a life time to learn. Do you think that o'Sensei would say that focusing exclusively on fighting is the direction that he wishes that you go?Are you suggesting that he would want to dictate to us why we practiced Aikido and try and get us to do it differently?

We all come to Aikido for different reasons. In most cases, one person's reasons are neither better nor worse than another's, they're just different.

Charles Hill
07-12-2003, 10:27 PM
I think that learning Aikido mainly for self defense (or any other martial art) is like taking up hard core body building so you can open stuck jars of olives. Sure it'll help out, but you'd really be wasting your time.

Charles

C. Emerson
07-13-2003, 10:49 AM
Dear Dave,

Huh? This is a message board, we share opinions and knowledge. I'm not suggesting anything to you personally.

This board can be bizarre at times. It's for sharing information. But when someone doesn't exactly agree. This turns into a -I'm right, your wrong.

Loosen up and enjoy some diversity.

Dave Miller
07-13-2003, 01:12 PM
Dear Dave,

Huh? This is a message board, we share opinions and knowledge. I'm not suggesting anything to you personally.

This board can be bizarre at times. It's for sharing information. But when someone doesn't exactly agree. This turns into a -I'm right, your wrong.

Loosen up and enjoy some diversity.That's exactly what I was trying to say to you, Chad. It's one thing to say, "My opinion is thus and such." It's another thing to say that someone's motivations for studying Aikido are lesser than yours, which is what I have been reading from you posts. If I have been misreading them then I am open to being corrected.

ewodaj
07-13-2003, 02:29 PM
everyone should respect each others opinion here...

Charles Hill
07-13-2003, 03:19 PM
So are you suggesting that as the human race evolves that we should grow out of violence? That is an oft-repeated notion that has little basis in fact, IMHO. The notion that physical confrontation is somehow base or "animalistic" is more than just a bit judgemental, especially coming from a martial artist.
Dave,

That "oft-repeated notion" is the whole basis to what O'Sensei taught. It is clear from his own words that he believed this completely. I personally disagree with your contention that it has little basis in fact, but the important thing is that if one doesn't agree with the idea, one is clearly not doing the Founder's Aikido. Of course, this doesn't mean automatically that what that person is doing is bad, but it is different. And that should be made clear.

Chad wrote, "Do you think that o'Sensei would say that focusing exclusively on fighting is the direction that he wishes that you go?"

According to Terry Dobson, an uchi deshi to the Founder, O'Sensei expressly forbade fighting. Apparently some of the deshi broke that rule, but the Founder's intention as to what he wanted his students to focus on is clear.

I find it interesting that a non-Aikidoist is pointing this out to an Aikidoist.

Charles

PeterR
07-13-2003, 08:11 PM
Apparently some of the deshi broke that rule, but the Founder's intention as to what he wanted his students to focus on is clear.
Yeah Charles - but then he did ask (apparently with a glint in his eye) whether they won or not.

Pretty well all Budo (and that includes Koryu) are as much into self developement as self defence or fighting. But why do the young men come? Even today it is rare to see anyone come into a martial arts dojo whose primary interest is learn the schools philosophy. The question than becomes why do they stay and practice for many years. I feel that at that point the richness and depth of Budo training has made itself felt.

Kevin Wilbanks
07-13-2003, 09:00 PM
That "oft-repeated notion" is the whole basis to what O'Sensei taught. It is clear from his own words that he believed this completely. I personally disagree with your contention that it has little basis in fact, but the important thing is that if one doesn't agree with the idea, one is clearly not doing the Founder's Aikido. Of course, this doesn't mean automatically that what that person is doing is bad, but it is different. And that should be made clear.
I must not do Aikido then, because I think the idea that humans are actually outgrowing or outevolving violence is absurd. Statistically speaking, worldwide, there are more wars every year than the year before. You can see some of the messy stats at Jimmy Carter's website: http://www.cartercenter.org/

I think it would be nice if it were true that people are becoming more enlightened and less violent, but it just ain't happening. In terms of the future, growth rates promise a massive predominance of hardcore christian and islamic populations in the third world, and probably the onset of an era of religious states. Combine this with massively larger populations and resource pressures in general... you know the rest.

As far as the term 'evolution' goes in this context, that's even more problematic. These days, virtually everyone survives long enough to breed. What survival mechanisms are supposed to associate non-violent propensities with the propagation of genes and violent ones with untimely death or infertility? Off the top of my head, I'd say the selection pressures are more likely the opposite: the kind of people who have the luxury of enlightened thinking and pacifist philosophizing are mostly middle class or higher in industrialized countries. This demographic is precisely the least prolific in terms of birth rates...

Erik
07-13-2003, 10:20 PM
I must not do Aikido then, because I think the idea that humans are actually outgrowing or outevolving violence is absurd. Statistically speaking, worldwide, there are more wars every year than the year before. You can see some of the messy stats at Jimmy Carter's website: http://www.cartercenter.org/
I call BS. I postulate that more people on this planet are not at war, hence living in peace, than ever before.

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 12:14 AM
anyone that says they dont take martial arts for self-defense reasons is a big fat liar...I signed up for aikido for self-defense reasons mainly and no one has a right to knock me for doing it...I could careless about the spiritual aspect of aikido...I learned how to do acupuncture and all that stuff years ago...you think they teach police officers, etc aikido or any other martial art to be spiritual? no, they teach it to them, so that they know self-defense...if you look at all martial arts, the main purpose of them is to make you a better fighter/person just in case a dangerous situation arises and you need to defend yourself...:) ;) :p :D

Kevin Wilbanks
07-14-2003, 12:40 AM
I call BS. I postulate that more people on this planet are not at war, hence living in peace, than ever before.
Gimme a break. If you want to apply some sophistical logic... let's see. Take a country, say Iraq. There's a bit less than 150,000 US forces there, and the Iraqi army prior to conquest totalled around 400,000. Total population of Iraq: 25,000,000. So, out of the total population, only 2% of them are actually "at war", so it's not really a war zone after all. It's just a marginal problem that a small proportion of the population is facing... like, say, scabies. Whew, what a relief!

justinm
07-14-2003, 08:16 AM
I train in Yoshinkan aikido. I don't think I have ever heard a Yoshinkan instructor talk about becoming a 'better' person, or about any form of spiritual or moral development. Ever. I have read that occassionally (Shioda, for instance) but never heard it in a dojo.

I have heard instructors say things like 'bury them!' often.

One of the students in the dojo was telling me last week that his sole reason for doing aikido was self defence. He has been training for about 7 years, I think.

Perhaps Yoshinkan aikido is generally more focused on fighting or self defence than other styles. It is still high on my priorities afer more than 10 years. Other yoshinkan students care to comment?

justinm
07-14-2003, 08:24 AM
A follow-up comment. In my experience, aikidoka do not display a greater sense of morality or spirituality on average than any other group of people. This implies to me that we are kidding ourselves if we think aikido is the path to achieve this.

I doubt that there is any less conflict on these forums than any other open forums. If aikido helps us develop or evolve, where is the evidence?

Justin

opherdonchin
07-14-2003, 08:49 AM
Sigh. And here are some of my opinions:
Even today it is rare to see anyone come into a martial arts dojo whose primary interest is learn the schools philosophy.This is not my experience.anyone that says they dont take martial arts for self-defense reasons is a big fat liar...I don't take martial arts for self defense.if you look at all martial arts, the main purpose of them is to make you a better fighter/person just in case a dangerous situation arises and you need to defend yourself...It is the daily effect on my life that makes more difference to me (and most of the people I know who train) than any hypothetical situation that may never arise.I have heard instructors say things like 'bury them!' often.Ouch. I'm glad I've never heard instructors say things like that.Perhaps Yoshinkan aikido is generally more focused on fighting or self defence than other styles.It certainly seems that way to me.In my experience, aikidoka do not display a greater sense of morality or spirituality on average than any other group of people.I could suggest that this reflects the focus of your dojo, as you mentioned earlier. On the other hand, I can't say that I've found Aikidoka to be particularly "spiritual" or "moral." Perhaps slightly more "present," but I suspect I'd find that in Karateka as well. Maybe slightly more "gentle," although that was certainly true in my experience for oarsmen as well. This seems like an interesting enough question to me that I'm copying this snippet over to start a new thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=50850#post50850).This implies to me that we are kidding ourselves if we think aikido is the path to achieve this.It's certainly been part of my path to achieving a more comfortable and balanced approach to the world. I'm pretty sure I'm not kidding myself about this, but how would I convince you?

justinm
07-14-2003, 09:39 AM
I'm more than happy to take your word for it, Opher!

My (poorly made) point is that the same could be said by students of gardening, music, interior design and many other activities, however I think that aikidoka often state this as the primary reason for their study, unlike these other activities. And in my experience I have not seen any evidence that aikido achieves this any better than those, and this includes my time as a ki aikido and aikikai student as well as my more recent yoshinkan training.

I have no doubt that aikido helps individuals tackle their own demons. I'm not convinced it is better at this than other self-discovery activities.

The main difference that I see in people that train in aikido vs those that don't, is that they are better at aikido.

I'll now transfer over to your new thread!

Dave Miller
07-14-2003, 10:14 AM
anyone that says they dont take martial arts for self-defense reasons is a big fat liar...
I don't take martial arts for self defense.I knew you were a big fat liar, Opher. ;)

The thing that Louis needs to learn is that reading books and such doesn't equate the years of collective experience that many of us have who post. That's ok. After he spends a few months on the mat, he'll begin to learn how much he doesn't know.

:cool:

Erik
07-14-2003, 10:56 AM
Gimme a break. If you want to apply some sophistical logic... let's see. Take a country, say Iraq. There's a bit less than 150,000 US forces there, and the Iraqi army prior to conquest totalled around 400,000. Total population of Iraq: 25,000,000. So, out of the total population, only 2% of them are actually "at war", so it's not really a war zone after all. It's just a marginal problem that a small proportion of the population is facing... like, say, scabies. Whew, what a relief!
Guess I struck a nerve.

Kevin, I have an extreme aversion to certain types of claims and claiming that we are fighting more wars than ever before doesn't mean much by itself. This type of claim is almost meaningless and easily tweaked. If you don't like the results just redefine what a war is, pick a different starting point or skip over the fact that we have more people than ever before. Given all of that I figured that there are more people than ever before in the world and since most of them are not at war then we probably have more people living in peace than ever before.

It's the Golden Age of Peace.

kironin
07-14-2003, 02:55 PM
I train in Yoshinkan aikido. I don't think I have ever heard a Yoshinkan instructor talk about becoming a 'better' person, or about any form of spiritual or moral development. Ever. I have read that occassionally (Shioda, for instance) but never heard it in a dojo.

I have heard instructors say things like 'bury them!' often.
Which is why thank goodness, there are different aikido organizations with different goals.

:)

Craig

kironin
07-14-2003, 03:03 PM
anyone that says they dont take martial arts for self-defense reasons is a big fat liar...I signed up for aikido for self-defense reasons mainly and no one has a right to knock me for doing it...I could careless about the spiritual aspect of aikido..
and...

Anyone who takes martial arts primarily for self-defense and at the same time is NOT training with a firearm at the shooting range, becoming proficient with a knife and other short range range weapons like an extensible baton is an idiot.

;P

Craig

Kevin Wilbanks
07-14-2003, 03:12 PM
Guess I struck a nerve.
Yeah. For some reason people talking abject nonsense just rubs me the wrong way.

Dave Miller
07-14-2003, 03:13 PM
Guess I struck a nerve.

Kevin, I have an extreme aversion to certain types of claims and claiming that we are fighting more wars than ever before doesn't mean much by itself. This type of claim is almost meaningless and easily tweaked. If you don't like the results just redefine what a war is, pick a different starting point or skip over the fact that we have more people than ever before. Given all of that I figured that there are more people than ever before in the world and since most of them are not at war then we probably have more people living in peace than ever before.

It's the Golden Age of Peace.Gosh, Erik, your statement contained a whole lot of "sophisitic nonesense." You accuse Kevin of defining terms in such as way as to show there are more wars and then re-define terms to show there are fewer wars. Perhaps you could dispense with your "aversion to certain claims" and just provide some hard data...

Erik
07-14-2003, 03:19 PM
Yeah. For some reason people talking abject nonsense just rubs me the wrong way.
How appropro considering your commentary.

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 03:20 PM
and...

Anyone who takes martial arts primarily for self-defense and at the same time is NOT training with a firearm at the shooting range, becoming proficient with a knife and other short range range weapons like an extensible baton is an idiot.

;P

Craig
that is an ignorant statement on your behalf craig...to call someone an idiot for taking martial arts primarily for self-defense reasons is not thinking clearly on your part...we live in a dangerous world and a lot of people see how easily short life can be...now, theres nothing you can do if someone shoots you or something of that nature, but if someone comes up to you and tries to rob you, you can protect yourself and not get yourself robbed or hurt for that matter...aikido will only help you in one way man and that is for self-defense reasons...you think the spiritual aspect of aikido will protect you from getting robbed or mugged on the streets? you should apologize for that comment because there are a lot of people out there that want to see a better tomorrow and learning aikido to defend themselves may be one of the reasons why they will see a better tomorrow because they know they can protect and defend themselves if someone tries to hurt them on the streets, in their own backyard, or some other place...:disgust:

Cyrijl
07-14-2003, 03:24 PM
when i was thinking about taking aikido a ways back, the instructor told me that if i wanted to learn self-defense there were quicker ways than aikido. And that is a simple fact. Self-defense involves danger recognition and usually little more than some punches and kicks, a little groundfighting and knowing when to run. Most of the other stuff is superfluous. And please do not use seagal as an example. Give me a break. I:f you think of him as an exemplar, then you are not really interested in self-defense.

I don't care about becoming a better person which is why i quit aikido. If you can find a school that can teach you how to fight and stresses realistic training then go for it. But if all the training is highly cooperative (which many schools are) then you need to find another art.

Craig is right...train in using a gun or knife...even if you do not carry, part of real self0defense is knowing how to operate offensively and defensively against weapons....and i don't mean a staff

Dave Miller
07-14-2003, 03:47 PM
that is an ignorant statement on your behalf craig...to call someone an idiot for taking martial arts primarily for self-defense reasons is not thinking clearly on your part...Did you even read the entire statement?

Kevin Wilbanks
07-14-2003, 03:58 PM
How appropro considering your commentary.
What's appropro? A new text-editing software package? Surely you didn't mean apropos. Grossly misspelling a pretentious bon mot in this context would be a seriously ironic faux pas...

opherdonchin
07-14-2003, 04:06 PM
Boy,tempers are sure flaring up in this thread. Can we leave the ad hominems at the door? No matter what someone says to or about you in one of these forums, please try to express yourelf with restaint and respect.

Thanks for letting me but in.

akiy
07-14-2003, 04:20 PM
Boy,tempers are sure flaring up in this thread. Can we leave the ad hominems at the door? No matter what someone says to or about you in one of these forums, please try to express yourelf with restaint and respect.
Agreed. If you feel the need to attack people on a personal level, then please do so in private.

-- Jun

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 04:27 PM
Did you even read the entire statement?
I did dave and I dont think its wise to call people idiots for taking martial arts primarily for self-defense reasons...I dont knock any other peoples opinions, but that just isnt right to say...evileyes

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 04:28 PM
Boy,tempers are sure flaring up in this thread. Can we leave the ad hominems at the door? No matter what someone says to or about you in one of these forums, please try to express yourelf with restaint and respect.

Thanks for letting me but in.
anytime opher...;) :p :D

Dave Miller
07-14-2003, 04:37 PM
I did dave and I dont think its wise to call people idiots for taking martial arts primarily for self-defense reasons...I dont knock any other peoples opinions, but that just isnt right to say...evileyesIf you read the whole statement then why are you only responding to half of it?

opherdonchin
07-14-2003, 04:54 PM
I think what Dave is trying to say, Louis, is that he isn't knocking people for wanting to know how to defend themselves. He's just saying that hand-to-hand combat arts alone will not provide a full answer. As a result, he is saying that someone who is interested in self defense but only studies hand-to-hand combat is not really meeting their own needs. In that sense, Dave is not judging their original motivations, just their methods.

I'm not saying I agree with him, or disagree. I'm just trying to make things clear.

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 05:16 PM
If you read the whole statement then why are you only responding to half of it?
im just responding to that particular comment dave...if I respond to all of it, youll see 5 paragraphs full of my comments...no need for that...:D

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 05:24 PM
I think what Dave is trying to say, Louis, is that he isn't knocking people for wanting to know how to defend themselves. He's just saying that hand-to-hand combat arts alone will not provide a full answer. As a result, he is saying that someone who is interested in self defense but only studies hand-to-hand combat is not really meeting their own needs. In that sense, Dave is not judging their original motivations, just their methods.

I'm not saying I agree with him, or disagree. I'm just trying to make things clear.
thank you opher...dave, explain to me if someone is interested in self-defense, but only studies hand-to-hand combat they are not meeting their own needs? hand-to-hand combat to me is self-defense...im not talking about competition, im talking about situations in the streets...I get part of what you say tho dave and I respect you for having your own opinions...what im trying to get across is that since we live in a society that sometimes isnt to good, learning martial arts for defending yourself on the sometimes unsafe street is a good thing...I believe if you can defend yourself no matter what reason(s) you got into martial arts in the first place, you are meeting your own needs...needs in which you must protect yourself for whenever a dangerous/potentially fatal situation arises/happens...

Erik
07-14-2003, 05:24 PM
What's appropro? A new text-editing software package? Surely you didn't mean apropos. Grossly misspelling a pretentious bon mot in this context would be a seriously ironic faux pas...
You know I didn't even intend to put that out here. In fact, I didn't even realize I submitted it.

Dave Miller
07-14-2003, 05:28 PM
thank you opher...dave, explain to me if someone is interested in self-defense, but only studies hand-to-hand combat they are not meeting their own needs? hand-to-hand combat to me is self-defense...You'd have to ask Craig, since it's his statement, not mine.

I would guess that what he is suggesting is that hand-to-hand self defense is only part of the picture. If you want to be able to defend yourself well, you need more than just that.

Erik
07-14-2003, 05:39 PM
Gosh, Erik, your statement contained a whole lot of "sophisitic nonesense." You accuse Kevin of defining terms in such as way as to show there are more wars and then re-define terms to show there are fewer wars. Perhaps you could dispense with your "aversion to certain claims" and just provide some hard data...
Dave, I'm just having some fun here. If you know anything about Kevin at all you know that he's 'ALWAYS RIGHT' :), gets seriously bent over certain things and is the toughest guy out here. Mostly I'm just trolling a bit, particularly after he went on his Christianity / Islam rant.

However, on the original comment regarding more wars. I think it would probably be accurate to say that there are more wars each year based on our arbitrary criteria of what a war is. For instance, I would assume that they looked at the scale of a conflict. Given that there are more people today and the technology for killing them more efficient then, yes, there may well be more wars. I'm not sure that says much though because people have been killing each other since there have been people. Our 'peaceful' native American's were often extremely bloodthirsty and violent.

My personal feeling is that the world and the people in it are probably pretty much the same as they always were.

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 05:39 PM
You'd have to ask Craig, since it's his statement, not mine.

I would guess that what he is suggesting is that hand-to-hand self defense is only part of the picture. If you want to be able to defend yourself well, you need more than just that.
I agree with craigs comments to a point...

akiy
07-14-2003, 06:34 PM
A few quick questions for our new-comer, Louis.

How many times have you been physically assaulted "on the street" over the past ten years? How about the past twenty years?

Where are you situated? Which aikido dojo have you taken a look into?

You said you do not have any experience physically training in martial arts -- is this correct?

-- Jun

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 06:41 PM
A few quick questions for our new-comer, Louis.

How many times have you been physically assaulted "on the street" over the past ten years? How about the past twenty years?

Where are you situated? Which aikido dojo have you taken a look into?

You said you do not have any experience physically training in martial arts -- is this correct?

-- Jun
ive never been assaulted on the streets ever...ive never had a conflict with anyone on the streets...I looked into an aikido dojo in the city that I live in...I tried out a few martial arts, but I wasnt satisfied with them, so I would still say I really had no long term training in martial arts...what are you getting at tho? I guess I was lucky enough to never get into some sorta conflict with somebody on the streets...

akiy
07-14-2003, 07:05 PM
ive never been assaulted on the streets ever...ive never had a conflict with anyone on the streets...
what are you getting at tho?
I'm just curious as to why you seem to be so focused on preventing yourself from getting attacked "on the street" which you seem to take as a given when it's statistically very unlikely such would happen.
I tried out a few martial arts, but I wasnt satisfied with them, so I would still say I really had no long term training in martial arts...
Also, I was curious as to how you had come to form so many opinions regarding martial arts when you explicitly said in this post (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=50632#post50632) that you had "no martial arts training."
I looked into an aikido dojo in the city that I live in...
Which dojo? Which city? How many classes did you attend? Are you still training?
I guess I was lucky enough to never get into some sorta conflict with somebody on the streets...
I would have to think that luck hardly has much to do with getting into (or, usually, not getting into) a street conflict, but that's just my own experience.

-- Jun

PeterR
07-14-2003, 07:18 PM
This is not my experience.
Now I am really curious and I hope this get's through the static.

Although not clear in my post I was referring to Japan and talking with the people that join Honbu, my group, and just martial arts in general. Most of that was done a couple of years ago when I was quite interested.

[scientific disclaimer]The study population was randomly selected from people I ran into that liked beer.

I don't question your experience but as per my quote.
Even today it is rare to see anyone come into a martial arts dojo whose primary interest is learn the schools philosophy.
I stand by it.

In actual fact a pressing need for self defence isn't exactly high on the list either. As my Isralie Army Ranger sempai used to say - Aikido's great but if you want self defense get a gun.

Right up there is an interest to do a group activity where you can exercise and not be run ragged and meet interesting people. This is the I hate soccer crowd.

Next on the list is my friend wanted to do/or is doing and he dragged me along. This is the damm I wish I had done this earlier crowd.

I am in the third group - I was interested in combatives. Did the boxing, got the headaches, liked the joint locks. There are a whole range of people in this group from the generally passive to the [let's rock the house] adrenalin junkies.

I have met a few people who like the Do. They do the whole works Shado, Chado, Budo, etc.

I have yet to meet anyone in Japan who was inspired by Ueshiba M.'s philosophy and because of that decided to take Aikido.

I know one or two that were looking at various budo to begin with and choose Aikido for the above reason but that is not the same thing.

And I will say again that the reasons for long term training in Budo gets very complex and for some may involve Ueshiba M.'s particular brand of philosophy. My reasons for staying involve the reasons I joined in the first place and a growing attachment to the non-Aikido specific - Do.

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 08:06 PM
I'm just curious as to why you seem to be so focused on preventing yourself from getting attacked "on the street" which you seem to take as a given when it's statistically very unlikely such would happen.

Also, I was curious as to how you had come to form so many opinions regarding martial arts when you explicitly said in this post (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=50632#post50632) that you had "no martial arts training."

Which dojo? Which city? How many classes did you attend? Are you still training?

I would have to think that luck hardly has much to do with getting into (or, usually, not getting into) a street conflict, but that's just my own experience.

-- Jun
jun, im lucky I guess...I cant say that it will happen to me or not, but its very possible given the time of day and where you are...you dont have to be an expert in martial arts to form an opinion about them jun...I read a lot and im not some bookworm that tries to prove to everyone he knows about martial arts...I just signed up for classes recently...there is no telling if ill even stick with aikido...ill see if I like it and if I do, ill stick with it, if not than ill move onto another martial art that im interested in...

Kevin Wilbanks
07-14-2003, 09:33 PM
Given that there are more people today and the technology for killing them more efficient then, yes, there may well be more wars. I'm not sure that says much though because people have been killing each other since there have been people....

My personal feeling is that the world and the people in it are probably pretty much the same as they always were.
I have to admit that you're right! Not difficult, since this was precisely my original point. I never said that people were getting worse. More people = more wars. However, if people were evolving or progressing to less violent modes of being, that wouldn't be the case: there would be less wars or the same amount of wars. Our hellish jihad and crusade-ridden future isn't going to be a product of humans de-evolving, it's just bad luck, historical happenstance. This brief window of democratic states, middle classes, free speech, gay rights and the like that we enjoy now is just extraordinary good luck.

Erik
07-14-2003, 10:10 PM
Peter, more or less I would agree with your statement. People come to this art for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. No question about it and it's one of my small pet peeves in the art. Most people are not here to be great warriors or great spiritual beings. Sometimes folks forget about that.

However, I can tell you that many, at least here in California and I suspect elsewhere, show up precisely because of the philosophy. I would go so far as to say it's the prime mover in some places I've been. Personally, I showed up without a clue about the philosophy but I've met far too many people over the years who are here because of it.

Erik
07-14-2003, 10:15 PM
Kevin, I think I have a bit more hope than you but we'll have to see what happens.

akiy
07-14-2003, 10:25 PM
jun, im lucky I guess...I cant say that it will happen to me or not, but its very possible given the time of day and where you are...
As I said, I don't think it's a matter of "luck" whether you get into a "street" confrontation. Most fights I've heard about from folks were choices people made to get into a physical altercation.
you dont have to be an expert in martial arts to form an opinion about them jun...
I'd say that you can learn about a martial art through books, videos, and such. But it's a far, far cry from actually learning the art itself. As long as you understand that difference and also recognize that almost everyone else who is active here (some with over forty years of experience) understands that difference, you're welcome to share your opinions. Just don't be disappointed nor offended when people correct you through their experience and not just through your book-learning.

-- Jun

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 11:24 PM
As I said, I don't think it's a matter of "luck" whether you get into a "street" confrontation. Most fights I've heard about from folks were choices people made to get into a physical altercation.



I'd say that you can learn about a martial art through books, videos, and such. But it's a far, far cry from actually learning the art itself. As long as you understand that difference and also recognize that almost everyone else who is active here (some with over forty years of experience) understands that difference, you're welcome to share your opinions. Just don't be disappointed nor offended when people correct you through their experience and not just through your book-learning.

-- Jun
well, I dont like to fight unless I have to defend myself...I never pick fights or start fights just to see how tough I am because thats idiotic...I understand jun completely jun...I should be able to share my opinions no matter what...regardless who trains in aikido here and who doesnt, we all have a right to speak our minds about aikido...im not disappointed, in fact im satisfied when people correct me when im wrong because it just makes me want to learn about aikido a little more...;) :p :D

opherdonchin
07-14-2003, 11:38 PM
Now I am really curious and I hope this get's through the static.It's always so satisfying to actually get a positive reaction in these forums. It's the same feeling as I get when a technique actually works: I know that's not supposed to be the point, but it sure does feel good! :)

I think, though, that our worlds aren't too different. Most of the reasons that you mentioned would have ranked pretty high on my list, too. Also, maybe the philosophy-seekers I'm thinking about fall into your category of "look at various budo and chose Aikido because of philosophy" category. Still, there would be more than one or two of them.

I think Eric is right that this depends a lot on where you train. California is probably a great place for finding this. Israel isn't too bad, either, being full of 'seekers.' Here in Baltimore its a little less common, but still not rare. Seidokan gets more of this than ASU seems to.

In any case, the people I'm thinking about generally say something like, "I read a book by / about Ueshiba or I was talking to a friend about Aikido and I felt like the philosophy really spoke to me." Others (your budo category?) say they were looking at different martial arts and the philosophy of Aikido appealed to them. Some of these have previous martial arts experience, so they might better be placed in your 'budo gets more complicated' category.

All right, have I made that sufficiently muddy? Eric said it better than I did and he was saying almost the same thing.

Kevin Wilbanks
07-15-2003, 01:51 AM
I started Aikido because of a dream... not a metaphorical dream but a literal one. I was interested in doing some kind of martial art, had done lots of library research on various arts, and visited a few classes here and there. Somehow the non-resistance philosophy I had read about really grabbed some part of my mind... not the peace and harmony stuff, but the actual physics of it. One night I had a dream wherein several thugs stole a large, full toolbox of mine. I followed them up to a second story apartment, and got into it with them. They came at me and I turned and whirled and effortlessly tossed them all out the window, one by one. This was actually a significant psychological turning point in my life because when I was younger I had recurring fight dreams similar to common running away dreams in which the dreamer cannot run fast enough to get away and can only slog along slowly with extreme effort - I would get into a fight and be completely unable to hit the other person hard enough to cause damage no matter how hard I tried. Anyway, after the Aikido dream I never really had those wimpy fight dreams any more. Somehow learning about the mechanical philosophy of Aikido caused a major psychological paradigm shift that was about a lot more.

FWIW, I have never really studied Aikido primarily for 'self defense' in the sense that's being floated here. My interest in that kind of thing is more peripheral/academic. I don't expect to ever get into a fight over words, so if something happens it will likely be damn serious. In that scenario other things come into play, like firearms, knives, available objects, and the fact that I expect to go further faster than the other guy, and with more ferocity, spontaneity, and imagination. Then there's the whole issue of flow and time dilation, which is beyond the scope of this post.

The primary reason I currently practice Aikido is that I find ukemi enjoyable.

Bronson
07-15-2003, 02:38 AM
Louis,

As you are new to the martial arts I sincerely hope that you find one that fits you and you can stick with, hopefully aikido will be it :)

A small piece of advice which you may take or leave as you will; when you actually start training regularly forget all the stuff you've read about aikido and open yourself to learning and experiencing aikido.

I've seen many people come into the martial arts in the last 10 years with an impressive amount of theoretical knowledge only to leave when what was taught wasn't what was in the books or videos. These people never gave the training a chance. They missed out.

Don't get hung up on the philosophy too much. In the beginning you'll need to spend much more of your time and energy learning which foot goes where and when it's supposed to be there. Focus on the training. Do whatever is being done in class to the best of your ability with full commitment of mind, body and spirit and the rest of it will fall into place.

Just some late night ramblings from somebody who remembers being where you're at.

Bronson

happysod
07-15-2003, 04:29 AM
Jun:"As I said, I don't think it's a matter of "luck" whether you get into a "street" confrontation. Most fights I've heard about from folks were choices people made to get into a physical altercation"

Here, I'll have to disagree with you. Perhaps me and the people I've met just been unlucky in the extreme, but choice has not played a part in many of the experiences I've heard of. I've experienced a few "totally randomn" ones - the you're walking down the street then bam type - others have come to the dojo because of muggings etc.

If you're referring to pub fights, yes, there's normally a choice and I'm the first to admit I try and blag my way out of them as fast as possible. However, if a pub kicks off (for example, two groups of football supporters find their team philosophies incompatible), you often have no choice but to fight just to leave the place.

justinm
07-15-2003, 04:55 AM
Ian, maybe this is a UK vs US thing? I see you are in the UK, and yes, there is a group of people that enjoy mixing it up at the pub with others looking for the same fun. When I've mentioned this particular hobby (not mine, by the way!) to friends in the US, it seems to be a UK or European phenomenon.

General random muggings for money, race hatred and so on do seem to be common worldwide.

Interestly, we had two lads join us last week for the first time, as they had recently been mugged.

As an aside, I have felt far more nervous in the centre, busy shopping streets of San Fran or other US cities than in some undesirable parts of London, but this may be a case of the known vs unknown rather than the reality of the danger.

ewodaj
07-15-2003, 12:54 PM
Jun:"As I said, I don't think it's a matter of "luck" whether you get into a "street" confrontation. Most fights I've heard about from folks were choices people made to get into a physical altercation"

Here, I'll have to disagree with you. Perhaps me and the people I've met just been unlucky in the extreme, but choice has not played a part in many of the experiences I've heard of. I've experienced a few "totally randomn" ones - the you're walking down the street then bam type - others have come to the dojo because of muggings etc.

If you're referring to pub fights, yes, there's normally a choice and I'm the first to admit I try and blag my way out of them as fast as possible. However, if a pub kicks off (for example, two groups of football supporters find their team philosophies incompatible), you often have no choice but to fight just to leave the place.
ian, sometimes it is a matter of luck...I would never go looking for trouble on the streets, usually it comes looking for most people...when someone tries to rob you, chances are it might turn into a physical altercation...if you chose to fight back against the attacker than thats your choice...I believe its a good choice at that if the odds arent stacked up against you...

Chuck.Gordon
07-18-2003, 02:03 PM
Coming in to this thread late, so I'll just answer the original question (yeah right, like I can answer anything that complex) ...

Is it wrong to learn aikido strictly for self defense?

Nope. But you're short-changing yourself. You're probably gonna miss a lot of Good stuff if that's all you're looking for.

Chuck