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Suru
11-30-2000, 09:38 PM
I've found in my aikido training that it is not an effective martial art to counter real life threats. Let's face it, there's no way to predict how an opponent will attack. All this "sensing ki in your opponent" is a load of b.s. The enemy is not going to attack shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, mune tsuki, kata dori, katate dori, ryote dori, or kosa dori. Your enemy is going to attack in a quick, unpredictable manner which probably doesn't set the aikidoka up for any functional counters. Even if the aikidoka manages to lock the opponent in nikyo, sankyo, or kote gaeshi, the enemy will simply take the pain of countering the technique, not merely submiss. Fists will be flailing, elbows flying, and shoes kicking.

Having this outlook on the lack of combat effectiveness of aikido, I practice the art for its positive spiritual nature, the friends, the peaceful yet strong philosophy, and the sheer fun of countering idealized attacks with locks, pins, and throws. Besides, the fact of the matter is, I will never be involved in a dangerous physical confrontation (as long as I keep my wife happy).

---Drew

Axiom
12-01-2000, 12:05 AM
I don't think that aikido is exactly meant for say, combat- ie, fighting between two trained individual intent on really hurting each other. But I study aikido not to enter into battles- I want to be able to defend myself against some kid at school w/o beating the crap out of him, or some weirdo who wants to hit me for the hell of it, or an out of control friend. Think about it- in what situations do you actually have to fight all out against a sober opponent who is trying to do serious harm to you? If you respond with an example of being, say, mugged, then take into account the fact that almost all muggers use a weapon- either a gun or a knife. Nobody goes up to you weaponless and expect you to, out of some strange generosity, give them your wallet and valuables. Most martial artists I've spoken with, when given such a scenario say, "Give them your wallet, and hope they don't attack you." The panopticon of our justice system usually makes it so that they won't kill you out of fear of jail, etc.

What I'm worried about is not being mugged- if I were, I would carry a knife or a gun and study how to use them. I'm worried about hurting people that doesn't deserve to be injured. And I think that aikido does teach your that, especially if you continue to take it for long enough. And techniques can be altered to be dangerous if the situation calls for it- many kokyu nages can be turned into breaks, most of the wrist techniques as well(in JJ, ikkyo is finished as a break), koshi nages can hurt like a bitch on concrete if the thrower wants to injure you, etc. I think that if you want to learn more combative applications, take judo(taught as SD, not a sport), Kali, etc. And remember that even O' Sensei, the Gracies, Bruce Lee all couldn't dodge bullets.

And I agree with you- I do aikido b/c its fun, not because I want to fight people.

Alex Magidow

akiy
12-01-2000, 01:21 AM
Suru wrote:
I've found in my aikido training that it is not an effective martial art to counter real life threats.

As someone I know has said, "Aikido works. Your aikido may not work. Please don't confuse the two."

-- Jun

crystalwizard
12-01-2000, 01:59 AM
didn't we just have this discussion in the other forum?

SeiWhat?!?
12-01-2000, 03:21 AM
quote:
"All this "sensing ki in your opponent" is a load of b.s."

Actually, it may not be that big of a load. If you can, try this:

Form a circle and place a blindfolded person in the center (nage). Give everyone else (uke) a bokken or jo (hand works too, but I find it easier to send my ki out with a weapon.) Have one uke point his bokken, sending out lots of ki of course, at the nage and all the others focus somewhere else. The point is to see if nage can sense where the "attack" is coming from.

We've tried it, and the results spooked us a bit. Please let me know on your results should any of you try this. TIA.

George S. Ledyard
12-01-2000, 08:31 AM
Suru wrote:
I've found in my aikido training that it is not an effective martial art to counter real life threats. Let's face it, there's no way to predict how an opponent will attack. All this "sensing ki in your opponent" is a load of b.s. The enemy is not going to attack shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, mune tsuki, kata dori, katate dori, ryote dori, or kosa dori. Your enemy is going to attack in a quick, unpredictable manner which probably doesn't set the aikidoka up for any functional counters. Even if the aikidoka manages to lock the opponent in nikyo, sankyo, or kote gaeshi, the enemy will simply take the pain of countering the technique, not merely submiss. Fists will be flailing, elbows flying, and shoes kicking.

Having this outlook on the lack of combat effectiveness of aikido, I practice the art for its positive spiritual nature, the friends, the peaceful yet strong philosophy, and the sheer fun of countering idealized attacks with locks, pins, and throws. Besides, the fact of the matter is, I will never be involved in a dangerous physical confrontation (as long as I keep my wife happy).

---Drew

This posting shows a complete misunderstanding of what Aikido is as a martial art. Based on the understanding level of you would be correct that your Aikido wouldn't be combat effective and that it wouldn't work.

Aikido like this is simply a form of dance and frankly I can't see why anyone would bother. Contact Improvisation is a better form of Aiki dance than Aikido is.

Of course your enemy won't attack with a formalized attack as we practice in our basics. But no matter what style of fighting he will come at you with impact techniques that are either linear, come from off the line, involve falling energy, or utilize grabbing. The basics of Aikido practice prepare you to understand how that works but it does not specifically prepare you to apply these principles. Application requires a different type of practice.

When you say that you do not know how an attacker is going to attack you are correct. That's why in classical style Aikido the defender didn't wait for the attack but initiated. The whole basis of Aikido is about moving to the center; in fighting it involves striking the center. Technique is created by the interaction between the two opponents at the instant they come together. I can effect how my opponent moves using my own movement, that starts to create the technique that will occur. It is the use of atemi that creates the opportunity to apply a technique such as a lock or throw. You don't decide before hand what technique you are going to do.

Yes it is true that in combat you are not going to see locking techniques used the same way that we do them in the dojo. In the dojo we are trying quite hard not to hurt our partner. When these techniques are applied in a more combat oriented manner they are designed to create dysfunction not get someone to submit. This is not the UFC in which a lock is designed to create enough pain to get an opponent to tap out. In combat these locks are designed as an attack on a joint but more importantly, as a way to unbalance the attacker presenting an opportunity for additional atemi. Nicky would only be applied after an atemi had created the opportunity. When the nikkyo breaks the balance of the attacker it is to bring him down right into a rising knee strike to the head.

Aikido is an art that people have used for fighting. Many of the interviews with the Sensei's from the prewar era that Stan Pranin conducted for Aikido Journal talk about their experiences fighting. The fact that Aikido has degenerated and is often practiced and even taught by people who have had no experience with practicing applied technique isn't the fault of the art.

A while back I had some friends bring a guest to the dojo. He was a karate student whose teacher had told him not to bother about Aikido because "that stuff doesn't work". When he left the dojo he was asking about where he might train in his own town. I don't think he had much trouble seeing what would work.

Here I have been speaking on the mechanical side of things. When you say that the Ki stuff is just BS you exhibit a lack of understanding that comes from inexperience. It isn't just Aikido that talks about these issues. Every Asian martial art has these elements at the highest level of practice. It is true that you can't get to that kind of level in five, ten or fifteen years of practice. But there are innumerable accounts of people who have experienced precisely that type of interaction throughout the history of martial encounter.


[Edited by George S. Ledyard on December 1, 2000 at 07:37am]

joeysola
12-01-2000, 08:43 AM
Suru, I agree with you. I have never trained in Aikido, but I was interested in finding out what it was all about and that is why I am here. I have a background in wrestling and boxing, and have recently taken up Jeet Kune Do and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. The school I am at does both. I have spared against people with Aikido backgrounds and their way of counter simple punches does not work at all and they get tagged big time over and over, not to mention that they can never seem to keep their hands up. Another problem I have seen is that there is no real matwork involved. There are thousands of guys out there who wrestled in high school and Aikido practitiors probably can get out of the most simple wrestling or Judo pins. I would like to pose a question now. Why can't someone train in a more practical martial art and still adhere to the principles of Aikido. Good boxing skills and grappling skills will allow you to avoid punches and take someone down without hurting them?

akiy
12-01-2000, 10:07 AM
Hi Joeysola,

Can you please be sure to sign your real name with your posts? Thank you.

-- Jun

crystalwizard
12-01-2000, 10:10 AM
Joey you continue to say you're intersted yet all you continue to do is try to prove what you are working on works and aikido doesnt'. If you are really interested show it. go to an aikido dojo. join it. learn the techniques and practice them for a few years..diligently and not with the idea of proving your other styles are better or worse but with the idea of actualy learning them. If you're not interested enough after all this discussion, then I dont see how you are actualy interested in doing more than just talking. Aikido does work, providing you actualy want it to and aren't just practicing it for form or a modified version of ballet and provided you dont think you're going to have ingrained reflexes in a couple months time. After a while, if you are serious about learning it and you have worked long enough to start developing those reflexes you'll start to develop a deep enough understanding to block those things you are so sure can't be blocked...or get out of the way of them...or counter them in some manner that is aikido...but you wont get there through just talking.

Question is do you actualy want to be there or not?

Kevin73
12-01-2000, 10:14 AM
There are some arts out there like that. The martial art I study, for example, has alot of things that someone will recognize as "Aikido". It's like someone else has said, you will find the same techniques in other martial arts as well.

Our style is primarily a striking style and uses joint locks when they present themself to accentuate and put down the opponent. We do not lock to just hold our opponent there. We also teach levels of response. That is, knowing how to use the same technique on a drunken friend that gets ticked off, up to someone who seriously wants to injure you.

It also teaches mental fighting strategies, for example. In the form of Wansu, physically it teaches how to dump someone. But, how can we apply that to everyday conversation, it addresses that as well knowing that most confrontations are verbal ones everyday with loved ones and coworkers. Not physical ones against an unknown assailant.

So Aikido is not the only martial art that teaches harmony either with an opponent. Others just have a different approach to it. Ueshiba used what worked for him at the time and others have found that it works for them as well. Find one that has that approach that works for you, don't blame the approach though.

Nick
12-01-2000, 11:45 AM
Aikido is a serious martial art. Its techniques can only be executed if you truly intend to perform the technique. Therefore, "sparring" is of course a horrible way to prove that Aikido "works". First off, you and your opponent probably have some sort of gloves on, making wrist locks almost impossible. Second, if you don't want to actually hurt your opponent or don't have a nice mat for ukemi, most kokyunages are out. Basically what I'm saying is that if your resolve is not that of defeating your opponent, and simply "messing around", than Aikido will not work, period.

You mentioned the attacks are unrealistic. Ok, I'll give you that. However, how often is someone going to give you a nice centered zenkutsu dachi mune tsuki attack? Probably never, but karateka train against it and learn how to do it anyways. Why? So that by learning basic attacks, they will be able to defend against more advanced attacks, whether they realize it or not.

Does Aikido work? Watch someone like Ikeda-sensei, Saotome-sensei, Suenaka-sensei, O'sensei- and then tell me that it doesn't "work."

Nick

[Edited by Nick on December 1, 2000 at 10:47am]

Guest5678
12-01-2000, 12:03 PM
joeysola wrote:
Suru, I agree with you. I have never trained in Aikido, but I was interested in finding out what it was all about and that is why I am here. I have a background in wrestling and boxing, and have recently taken up Jeet Kune Do and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. The school I am at does both. I have spared against people with Aikido backgrounds and their way of counter simple punches does not work at all and they get tagged big time over and over, not to mention that they can never seem to keep their hands up. Another problem I have seen is that there is no real matwork involved. There are thousands of guys out there who wrestled in high school and Aikido practitiors probably can get out of the most simple wrestling or Judo pins. I would like to pose a question now. Why can't someone train in a more practical martial art and still adhere to the principles of Aikido. Good boxing skills and grappling skills will allow you to avoid punches and take someone down without hurting them?

Joeysola,

I am also an ex-boxer and wrestler. I still love to work the bags. I just love these kinds of remarks. You started your post with a sentence "I have never trained in Aikido" that statement alone sort of voids the rest of your post don't you think?

So you've "spared" against people with Aikido backgrounds, and now you assume that ALL Aikidoka have the same level of proficiency? Give me a break! That's the same as saying well, I "spared" with a boxer and knocked him out so boxing doesn't work. Does that really make sense to you? I hope you don't drive around town with those blinders on.

I'll tell you what, If you're ever in Orlando Fl. look up Shindai Aikikai. Ask for Daniel Pokorny (thats me) Come pay us a visit. Find out for yourself what Aikido is then you'll truly have your answer.

Dan P. - Mongo

Mike Collins
12-01-2000, 12:25 PM
2 Points:

1. I feel that Aikido is an effective martial art.

2. I wish that everyone could train with the mindset of the person who started this thread. I truly believe that if we all trained with the concept that this stuff doesn't really work, but it sure is fun, and maybe we can learn some other stuff, we'd all let go of the stiffness that comes about as a result of concern for "what will work". If you train long enough, you just start to believe that it can work, and change the focus a bit to MAKE it more effective. It takes years to get to the point of being a serious enough student to know what is important.

MikeE
12-01-2000, 12:25 PM
Joeysola and Suru tend to be indicative of a lot of martial arts students I run across. I teach aikido (and am an assistant instructor in cross-training and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu) in a cross-training dojo. The main reason a person a person like these two would think that aikido doesn't work is that they prefer "the quick fix". You can learn to punch hard and effectively and develop combinations in little time. In even a shorter period you can learn quite a few submissions and proper position in BJJ.

You don't get a quick fix in aikido. It's a long, long journey.

Some people have the capacity to walk this road, others don't.

Just remember guys, you may think your bad, but at some point you may run into an aikidoka who may show you the path of universal peace and harmony.

Suru
12-01-2000, 12:51 PM
RE: Mongo and Nick (prev. 2 threads)

About a year ago, I satisfied both your suggestions and attended a Saotome Shihan seminar at Shindai Aikikai in Orlando. I certainly felt a presense throughout the dojo. The chief instructor at Shindai, Hooker Sensei, was accepting his Rokudan certificate from Mitsugi Saotome. Even his knee-walk (shikko) was powerful. Saotome Sensei's presentation was intense, extraordinary, and fun. An important point Shihan made was that there exists NO "magic ki". I truly agreed with his point, because I know some aikidoka who really believe understanding ki will give them some magic powers. The seminar cocentrated on atemi, which showed me a more combat-effective aikido than I'd seen before. However, I still do not fully trust the aikiwaza I've learned for use during a physical conflict. Maybe in time, maybe in due time.

---Drew

les paul
12-01-2000, 01:02 PM
joeysola wrote:
Suru, I agree with you. I have never trained in Aikido, I have a background in wrestling and boxing, and have recently taken up Jeet Kune Do and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. I have spared against people with Aikido backgrounds and their way of counter simple punches does not work at all and they get tagged big time over and over, not to mention that they can never seem to keep their hands up. Another problem I have seen is that there is no real matwork involved. There are thousands of guys out there who wrestled in high school and Aikido practitiors probably can get out of the most simple wrestling or Judo pins. I would like to pose a question now. Why can't someone train in a more practical martial art and still adhere to the principles of Aikido.

Hey Joeysola

I've been reading your posts and I must say your partially correct. There are a lot of Aikido schools out there that are flat out crap! Like most internal arts (e.g. Taichiquan) Aikido is in danger of being taken over by Hippie wanna-be's who do nothin but talk about their latest Ki experiences. Most don't really know Ukemi. Most go through a training session without getting a bruse. Many get confused as to "Why" Aikido was created in the first place, thinking it some sort of new age religion. Unknown to most is that O'Sensi created Aikido to still the mind of a Budoka resulting in an inner peace.

The key term is Budoka "One who practices Budo!" (i.e. A martial art used to cultivate the spirit!) When I hear someone say I don't practice Aikido for fighting, I think that's a bunch of B.S. (then go join a Zen monastery!) If you don't practice Aikido for fighting/self defense then why are you doing it? Yea! yea! yea! some people claim to practice Aikido for the fun of it. "I guess they find it fun defending themselves against an attacker? (this is probably true, but are we not right back to the idea of Budo) Then we have the ones who say "I practice Aikido for the spirtual side", "crap it's all "bloody crap!" That is like me saying I fire my handgun at the range for spiritual gratification.... I suppose O'sensi got spiritual gratification when he defended Aikido against Judoka, Karateka etc....


There are Aikido Dojo out there that train hard and practical. At our school we watch the new age Hippies come into our dojo and high tail it out as fast as you can say "can I help you?" In this month alone I've seen a 6 foot 2 inch bouncer, 1st Dan in Taekwondo and and a Karateka leave after only several session. Most of the Aikidoka at our dojo could perform well in judo and jujitsu tournaments, some do(myself included). We practice ground fighting and most of us use close to full speed strikes as Uke. One of the Aikidoka at our dojo grappled with Royce Gracie during a Jujitsu clinic and Sensi Gracie commented on how elusive he was. (That speaks volumes in itself) We use small circles and don't train in flowery stuff that looks good, but doesn't work.

Joeysola you also have to remember that some of these people on this news group are the type of people I'm talking about when describing "new age hippies". They subscribe to all the latest Ki cultivating magizines, never knowing Ki is simply the combimation of technique, willpower, and skill. They go there whole Aikido career never believing Ki can be achieved through long hard practice. By pointing out their lack of Budo you are highliting insecurities within themselves(they know they're not really training, they just get mad when they realize you know too).

You should know this by now and should stop antagonizng them. If you walk on the martial side then know that there are "some" Aikidoka that also walk the walk and talk the talk.
Aikido for now is still Budo, but for how long I can not say....let's hope it doesn't go the way of Taichiquan.

Guest5678
12-01-2000, 02:46 PM
Suru wrote:
RE: Mongo and Nick (prev. 2 threads)

About a year ago, I satisfied both your suggestions and attended a Saotome Shihan seminar at Shindai Aikikai in Orlando. I certainly felt a presense throughout the dojo. The chief instructor at Shindai, Hooker Sensei, was accepting his Rokudan certificate from Mitsugi Saotome. Even his knee-walk (shikko) was powerful. Saotome Sensei's presentation was intense, extraordinary, and fun. An important point Shihan made was that there exists NO "magic ki". I truly agreed with his point, because I know some aikidoka who really believe understanding ki will give them some magic powers. The seminar cocentrated on atemi, which showed me a more combat-effective aikido than I'd seen before. However, I still do not fully trust the aikiwaza I've learned for use during a physical conflict. Maybe in time, maybe in due time.

---Drew

Drew,

Please let me know next time you're around. I'd really like to work with you. (we may have already and didn't know it) HA! Yes, Saotome Sensei's seminars are fantastic! His wife, Patty Saotome sensei will be at Shindai the weekend of Dec. 8th (next weekend) for a seminar as well. Let me know if you can make it and we'll bang heads or something. Bring your weapons as well. I consider myself really blessed to be associated with such fine instructors as Hooker sensei and Saotome(s) sensei's and Dr. Jones sensei. There is no BS with these people otherwise, believe me, I wouldn't be here. What they teach works very well but it's like anything else you do, it takes practice, practice and then some more practice. Did I mention the practice?

It sounds to me (and don't take this as a negative) that you are really questioning your own ability to execute the techniques under "real" conditions, rather than the efficiency of the techniques themselves.
Perhaps Ledyard sensei can elaborate on this point, but I think what you're feeling is not all that uncommon with a lot of students. I'll bet a lot of people feel that way until the principles are really understood. For me, I have a history of fighting so I'm a little more willing to try things under "real" situations. I think people without a lot of fighting experience will always doubt their abilities until it's showtime. Actually being attacked, and getting hit is unfamiliar to them and we as humans tend to fall back on what we've done in the past rather than take a chance on what we've learned. It's really human nature at work here. Thats why it's so important to put the practice time in. In time (I am told) technique becomes reflex. I have not totally reached that state yet, and I know I have a long way to go. I must say though, I'm really enjoying this journey!

In regard to Hooker sensei's power, I've had the honor and privilege of being his uke for a couple years now and well.... ahhhh...... WOW! All I can tell you is you need to experience it for yourself. Stop by and grab him once! You may want to warm up first though, ah, try grabbing the bumper of the next fully loaded dump truck you see going by at 90 miles an hour. That might give you an idea.........

Well, enough of this, I'm off to become one with the mat!

Train hard, Play hard, Live easy

Dan P. - Mongo

NYFE Man
12-01-2000, 04:15 PM
Utter newbie voicing an opinion here. :)

It seems from the little experience I've had, and the reading that I've done, that the ultimate goal of Aikido is to be so in harmony with all things that there is no reason that you WOULD be attacked.

"First master the techniques of Aiki
The way of the Gods
Then no enemy will ever attack"


Unfortunately, there is such macho posturing about EVERYTHING, especially here in the US, that the concept of using your mind to avoid a fight is seen as cowardice and therefore the erstwhile Aikidoka is goaded into "proving" that his technique works, and actually moves away from the true spirit of the form. No wonder they fail.

It seems to me that truly mastering of Aikido would mean that you would never have gotten to the place that you need to use it.

Al Foote III
The Utter Newbie

crystalwizard
12-01-2000, 04:21 PM
Suru wrote:
However, I still do not fully trust the aikiwaza I've learned for use during a physical conflict. Maybe in time, maybe in due time.

---Drew

But that's good. You wont get overconfident and cocky when faced with a combat situation and maybe wont make as many mistakes. Gotta ask..are you working toward getting out of such situations before they get to the physical point if at all possible? Or better not allowing yourself to get into them at all?

[Edited by crystalwizard on December 1, 2000 at 09:40pm]

AikiBiker
12-01-2000, 07:20 PM
Yours truly looks at assembled Aikidoka (and Joey) pulls down eyelid and sticks out tongue, then gives all the assembled a rasberry in the best anime fashion.

;-P ~biiiiiiiiiiii

Come guys don't worry about what other people think. If somebody doesn't think Aikido works that is their problem. If they attack you they just may find out how well an Aikidoka does in a combat situation. But most likely they won't.

As for me I am gonna kepp training as hard and as often as I possibly can.

Later ya'll.

ps. Hey Mongo some of the guys and myself from Embry Riddle's Aiki O'kami society are gonna be at Saotome Sensei's semminar. Could you or anyone else that is attending drop me a line?

Outlawone1@aol.com

Niadh
12-01-2000, 10:25 PM
Ok, so Maybe some of the details are a little blurry in my mind, you know that whole time slows down and everyone around you moves in slo-mo thing, but if aikido just doesn't really work, why did I not get my belly sliced open 6 years ago when that teen attacked me with a 12" long piece of jagged glass? How was I able to take it from him with nothing more for damage to him, than a sore wrist, and the cuts to his palm that he inflicted in weilding it? nd don't tell me it wasn't a committed attack and he wasn't really trying. I was there, I saw it in his eyes.
This was after only 5 years, when I knew more than I do now about Aikido. Ok, so maybe my kotegasihe wasn't pretty, and wasn't against a stylized attack. But I am here, and depsite his screaming for me to go ahead and break his wrist, he still had two working wrists last I knew.
Sorry folks, you may be more or less andvanced in rank than I, but I am convinced that my aikido can work. Sure, there are plenty of people out there that are still bigger and badder than I, but thats why I practice the rest of Aikidos principles.
Neil

crystalwizard
12-01-2000, 10:38 PM
les paul wrote:
never knowing Ki is simply the combimation of technique, willpower, and skill.


You have a little bit to learn if you believe that is all it is.

Suru
12-01-2000, 11:00 PM
One of the most important reasons for my doubts of aikido's effectiveness lies in the difference between a practice situation and a real situation.

The uke is a calm human being, moving smoothly without any intent of causing injury.

The man with enough anger and ferociousness to want to beat another down, and perhaps to death, has transcended the realm of humanity and become an instinctive animal. A viscious, unfamiliar, frightening, erratic, epinephrine-filled, testasterone-filled, and endorphin-filled animal. This animal will scare the ki out of most anyone.

In the dojo, we certainly learn to overcome some select fears, but we do not learn how to overcome the freezing fear of a ruthless attacking animal. We practice comfortably with fellow loving aikidoka, but I feel there is nothing comfortable about a life-threatening situation. I think I'd end up in the fetal position before trying to smoothly guide the enemy's aggressive energy, then attempting to lovingly change his heart and intentions. I like the ideal for a peaceful resolution, but I lack the faith in its utility.

---Drew

Niadh
12-01-2000, 11:15 PM
Drew,
to use the above stated example.
Who said anything about smooth? I will readily admit to being afraid. the glass/shiv was reall, the attack was real, the feear was real. But lets be honest. I had no desire to be lying on the ground holding in my guts. Therefore I needed to do something. In this case it worked. In another case, I was at a movie when these rather rude young men became loud. I aske the management to ask them to be quiet. No sense in creating a scene and all that. After the management had left, they promptly walked over and began threatening me. After attempting to calmly explain that I was trying to watch a movie with my wife, and would they please go away and be quiet. They escalated. Not wanting to be caught unaware I stood and faced them, and centered. With no more than that I showed them that I was not afraid and had confidence. they left. Would I have faired as well as in the other case, I don't know. But they, for some reason, decided that this was no longer fun. Remember part of being victimized is being a victim. Be determined not to be and people generally go elswhere looking for easier prey. My wife used this example in a sermon a few weeks later, stating that I showed no fear. Good, I am glad that the fear did not show, but the truth is it took another 10 minutes for my knees to stop shaking, and when we left the theatre at the end of the movie, I was looking around VERY carefully for those people, so as to not be caught unaware. Is this not using Aikido comabt effectively as much as the former example? No I di not make them back down, they made thir own choice, as do we all. I simply showed that my choice was to NOT be a victim. They than had to decide on their choice. True, I could have sat there and hoped that someone else would deal with the situation, but tha was being a victim. Se above.
Sorry so long, I got ramblin' on
Neil

Sid
12-02-2000, 04:35 AM
If I may say something.

This point was brought up earleir, but I feel I must reiterate it -

Aikido takes time!!! No newbie aikidoka's technique is goign to wrok against the blood-thirsty "animal" described above, but against an aikidoka with 15 years of experience?

A slightly different situation!!

Also, the point about not doing aikido for the fighting, when a poster said to "go join a zen monastery". I feel this is the wrong attitude - aikido is about avoiding fights, and if you want to do it for the spiritual aspects, go right ahead.

The ki, "new age hippie", thing is also slightly wrong. If this is the case, what is Osensei? He talked about ki! And Koichi Tohei?

Remember, newbie, IMHO, is up to about 6 years of experience. When you understand aikido, then it will work. It is tooo easy to see a 1st year aikidoka fight or train, and say, 'oh it doesn't work". Look at the masters or the sensei. If youre brave enough, train with them. If it doesn't work then, then you have a right to say ti doesn't work.

Ok?

Sid

Kolschey
12-02-2000, 09:02 AM
I keep on hearing these descriptions of
crazed, armed, drug addicted mutant cyborg (ok, i'm being silly here) attackers that Aikido is inadequate to deal with, I feel that we are starting to fall into a good deal of the hyperbole that I see in various martial arts advertisement. If your objective is to become proficient in critically damaging another person in a very short time, then Aikido may not be ideal. It is not military CQB training, though it may serve as part of a hand to hand training curriculum. One must reccognise that while it may be useful to develop "hard hitting" skills ( I practiced Shotokan for several years and found it to be a good and substantial art) One also must recognise that we live in an EXTREMELY litigous society. I wounder how many of the people who enjoy talking about the maximum destructive effectiveness needed to take out one of these supercriminals has ever had the pleasure of being subjected to a deposition for a lawsuit, or faced a prosecuting attorney in a criminal case.
Suddenly, nondestructive options that require a bit longer to develop don't seem like such a silly and useless idea.

George S. Ledyard
12-02-2000, 09:54 AM
Suru wrote:
One of the most important reasons for my doubts of Aikido's effectiveness lies in the difference between a practice situation and a real situation.
---Drew

Now this is correct. But it is equally true for every martial art out there. Peyton Quinn has authored a book called:
Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario Based Training (if you want to check it out go to http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0873648935/aikidoeastsideA/

Peyton did some amazing experiments. One involved having a group of trained shooters do a scenario with the armored assailant in which he attacked with a bladed weapon of some sort. He put them up against a group of people who had never shot before but had done a weekend of scenario training with the "bulletman" as they call the armored guy. Of the five shooters, not one put a shot on center mass, one dropped his gun when he tried to access it, and the other didn't even clear leather. Of the non-experienced shooters,4 out of 5 hit center mass and the fifth hit the weapons delivery arm and was assumed to have survived the attack as well.

The effects of the adrenaline dump that takes place in a real confrontation are debilitating. They include loss of fine motor control, tunnel vision, unconscious action, etc. This can make an attempt at anything like an Aikido joint lock impossible if one hasn't learned to handle the "dump". What Peyton Quinn has said is that the training offered by those who do the scenario based training allows the student to increasingly quickly recover from the effects of the adrenaline dump and not lose as much of heir functioning when it does happen.

The reason for the standard military unarmed combat training being so simplistic is due to this factor. They won't train enough to develop the ability to not get the "dump" as in the classical martial arts of Japan which stressed fudoshin or immoveable mind so the techniques need to be big muscle group techniques that don't need fine motor skills. Same is true for Model Mugging and the derivative systems for women's self defense.

Now the fact that this aspect of training is not really covered by the typical training offered in the kind of educated middle class Aikido dojo that would represent the typical model these days is not the fault of the art. It is not Aikido that doesn't work; it is the practitioners that are not training to be able to do the art in that kind of context. No one would argue that firearms don't work. Yet there is a huge gap between those who do effective combat firearms training and those who go to the range regularly (despite the fine marksmenship (of the latter).

There seem to be a lot of people who post to this forum who are interested in the martial side of the art. They would do well to educate themselves about this aspect of training. Peyton Quinn's book is a very good place to start and I can't recommend it enough.


[Edited by George S. Ledyard on December 2, 2000 at 09:10am]

AikiTom
12-02-2000, 03:51 PM
Drew, you're back! I see your bi-polar phase is now manic. You're not one of those ballot counters eating chads are you :)?
I agree with Jun - perhaps your Aikido doesn't work. Be patient, as I remember you've only done aikido a year or less. As the body learns, the mind will understand. gOOD LUCK!

Suru
12-02-2000, 05:16 PM
AikiTom,

Remember that mania is often accompanied by delusions of grandeur. You seem to have a magical ability to diagnose upon reading a few comments. That's some ability of yours!! I've learned in my psychology classes in college that projection is a common mental mistake. I think it has something to do with fighting loneliness. We can be friends, but please don't project your pshychosis onto me!

---Drew

les paul
12-02-2000, 06:33 PM
crystalwizard wrote:
les paul wrote:
never knowing Ki is simply the combimation of technique, willpower, and skill.


You have a little bit to learn if you believe that is all it is.

I guess the 15 years of XingYi and Bagua tought me nothing about Chi/ki.

Yea right.....not!

You have a little to learn about "REALITY".

With a name like crystalwizard I hope your not one of the mystic wacko's I was talking about. I find them all like children playing in a small sand box oblivious to the rest of the playground.

Let me give you a real not so mystic message

Lao Tzu in the Hua Hu Ching once said "The Road Your Traveling Doesn't Exsist"

Some real advise

AikiTom
12-02-2000, 07:39 PM
dbgard: Ibbidah

Planets move,
Oceans race,
Winds calm with soothing breeze.

crystalwizard
12-02-2000, 09:12 PM
les paul wrote:


I guess the 15 years of XingYi and Bagua tought me nothing about Chi/ki.


As evidenced by your previous post it didn't.

les paul wrote:

With a name like crystalwizard I hope your not one of the mystic wacko's I was talking about. I find them all like children playing in a small sand box oblivious to the rest of the playground.



It didn't do much for your attitude either. I might suggest you dont be so hasty in judgement. My handle has nothing to do with what you surmise.
I have to wonder if you have actualy gotten to know any of the 'mystic wackos' you have judged before judging them or not. Matters not really. I find your attitude to be a lot like a small child. A child that doesn't understand the new kid from a different culture that just walked into his school and so he starts taunting, bullying and making fun of the new kid instead of trying to get to know and understand the differnces between them.

les paul wrote:

Let me give you a real not so mystic message

Lao Tzu in the Hua Hu Ching once said "The Road Your Traveling Doesn't Exsist"

Some real advise

Let me give you a very real non-mystic message:
"I know you believe you understand what you think I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

Frankly, I'm relieved you didn't learn anything more than you did in those 15 years.

les paul
12-03-2000, 12:36 AM
crystalwizard wrote:
les paul wrote:


I guess the 15 years of XingYi and Bagua tought me nothing about Chi/ki.


As evidenced by your previous post it didn't.

les paul wrote:

With a name like crystalwizard I hope your not one of the mystic wacko's I was talking about. I find them all like children playing in a small sand box oblivious to the rest of the playground.



It didn't do much for your attitude either. I might suggest you dont be so hasty in judgement. My handle has nothing to do with what you surmise.
I have to wonder if you have actualy gotten to know any of the 'mystic wackos' you have judged before judging them or not. Matters not really. I find your attitude to be a lot like a small child. A child that doesn't understand the new kid from a different culture that just walked into his school and so he starts taunting, bullying and making fun of the new kid instead of trying to get to know and understand the differnces between them.

les paul wrote:

Let me give you a real not so mystic message

Lao Tzu in the Hua Hu Ching once said "The Road Your Traveling Doesn't Exsist"

Some real advise

Let me give you a very real non-mystic message:
"I know you believe you understand what you think I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

Frankly, I'm relieved you didn't learn anything more than you did in those 15 years.



This is one wacked out post. You highlighted my post first. Remeber? Or did you forget? Second, It was you that wrote condescendingly "you have a little bit to learn if you believe that is all it (ki/chi) is". So if I have an attitude you gave it to me.

How am I bullying you? I'd love for you to explain it to me. While your at it please tell me what I have to learn about chi/ki? Let me guess you know someone who can fire mystic power balls out of their butt! In my 15+ years I've never seen one ki/chi feat I couldn't explain. What I've mostly seen is a bunch of people short on technique/skill and experience talking a lot about ki/chi and what it can do, but for some reason are at a loss to give/show examples. Take your mystical mojo bones and leave me be. You don't like what I got to say, don't comment on it!

crystalwizard
12-03-2000, 01:19 AM
les paul wrote:
You don't like what I got to say, don't comment on it!

interesting response. Very....unaikido in nature...and tell me how is it that you are allowed to comment on what I say that you dont like but i'm not allowed to comment on what you say?

I think...when you've had some sleep, maybe some food and perhaps a chance to get your balance back you might want to go re-read your post and think about your displayed attitude.

aikilouis
12-03-2000, 07:20 AM
Who said Aikido was meant to avoid head-on confrontation ? Sorry to interrupt your constructive debate. Please go on.

LR Joseph

Nacho
12-03-2000, 12:24 PM
Les paul, I know that you must be a lethal warrior, maybe about to write "The art of war 2", but if you have practiced aikido, you are showing that you haven't learned much from it. I'm not talking technically, i'm talking about your attitude. How can you learn if you already know everything?
The way you are replying to cristalwizard isn't very polite. That's not the way to share ideas, to discuss about something.
Besides, if you didn't learned anything about ki, it doesn't mean that it is b/s.
You agreed with the one who said "I think Aikido isn't effective, I never practiced Aikido...". I don't need to explain what I think about that, i think everybody already knows.
Being hostile with others won't make you a wise guru of real martial fighting.

Ignacio Weinberg

Nick
12-03-2000, 01:27 PM
Ian-

you may disagree with someone else's views, but at least try to respect them. Aikido, and all budo, are about respect, for yourself and even (god forbid) your enemies.

For all you know, someone may think of you as a "mystic wacko".

Nick

Guest5678
12-04-2000, 12:17 PM
NYFE Man wrote:
Utter newbie voicing an opinion here. :)

It seems from the little experience I've had, and the reading that I've done, that the ultimate goal of Aikido is to be so in harmony with all things that there is no reason that you WOULD be attacked.

"First master the techniques of Aiki
The way of the Gods
Then no enemy will ever attack"


Unfortunately, there is such macho posturing about EVERYTHING, especially here in the US, that the concept of using your mind to avoid a fight is seen as cowardice and therefore the erstwhile Aikidoka is goaded into "proving" that his technique works, and actually moves away from the true spirit of the form. No wonder they fail.

It seems to me that truly mastering of Aikido would mean that you would never have gotten to the place that you need to use it.

Al Foote III
The Utter Newbie

Dear Al,

One should also consider that there is a clear difference between deciding upon avoidance and just plain running away. In regard to the founders quotes, I can't figure out half of what he was trying to say, it's all too Japanese for my little mind to untangle. I just know that when I avoid a "situation" it's because I'm making a choice and not because I have no alternative. If you consider that macho then so be it but personally, I believe you must first learn to deal with a fight before you can make the decision not to. Otherwise, you're just another delusional victim.

Train hard, Play hard, Live easy.

Dan P. - Mongo

jimvance
12-04-2000, 11:01 PM
I have read a lot of this posting and am happy to say this is the first time to post something in this site. I am amazed that my sensei has not posted anything here, because this is usually the kind of juicy subject he likes. I believe Aikido is combat effective. In fact, I believe Aiki IS combat effectiveness. Whether or not your training has aiki is another matter. I believe that the most important element in the whole equation of whether or not Aikido can be seen as combat effective lies within the role uke plays in kata practice and how that translates into randori. Most of the Aikido world looks at uke as the weaker position, because in kata uke is designed to lose. This could not be farther from the truth when it becomes applied to a real situation, and I will explain why.
Traditionally in most Japanese ryu the uke (uchi-tachi) is the senior student; they control the energy of the kata. Uchi tachi initiates the conflict with a committed attack and stays engaged and dangerous throughout the kata, probing for weaknesses in the junior's technique. This gives feedback to the junior, strengthening their ability and promoting confidence in not only the movement, but also in the entire conflict situation. They are constaintly pushed by the seniors, even though the senior is in the position of the "loser".
In the Aikido world,the role of uke and the action of ukemi have become less a method of feedback and more a system of promoting conditioned response, e.g. "Uke does X, I respond with Y, uke falls down or submits". If the uke was allowed to counter the tori (nage) when an opening in the kata was detected without breaking the awase of the kata, then we might see a change in the opinion of whether or not Aikido is combat effective. There is no one perfect technique to apply when someone comes after you in a "real world" situation; like someone earlier said, the techniques make themselves. Aside from the fact that learning ukemi properly teaches us to take care of ourselves, it also acts as a feedback device to show the tori (nage) the weak spots in their kata and where they could be countered.
Maybe less ego striving and most real delving into this both in our minds and on the mat will show us more.

Thanks for the first post.

Jim Vance
osento@aol.com

Anne
12-05-2000, 06:03 AM
I´ve found that combat effectiveness depends very much on the style you´re studying. The style we do at our dojo IS COMBAT EFFECTIVE. We do a lot of randori were ALL attacks are allowed. The techniques may not always be as beautiful as during the lesson but it really helps you on how to develop a feeling for what is right in a "violent" situation with multiple attackers. E.g. no matter what attack or how many "bad guys", keep moving.
This approach has already helped my outside the dojo

On the other hand, I´ve trained with people from dojos with a rather meditative approach on aikido. One said that he had been training aikido for seven years and had real problems with ikkyo.
One friend from our group moved to another town and visited several dojos there. In one she was told that aikidoka are peaceful because they know that their techniques wouldn´t work!?!

I think both a combat effective and a meditative approach are part of aikido training and it depends on the dojo you´re training at where on the line between these "poles" your style will be. If you keep this in mind, it´s your choice.

So long,
Anne

NYFE Man
12-05-2000, 08:28 AM
Mongo wrote:

Dear Al,

One should also consider that there is a clear difference between deciding upon avoidance and just plain running away. In regard to the founders quotes, I can't figure out half of what he was trying to say, it's all too Japanese for my little mind to untangle. I just know that when I avoid a "situation" it's because I'm making a choice and not because I have no alternative. If you consider that macho then so be it but personally, I believe you must first learn to deal with a fight before you can make the decision not to. Otherwise, you're just another delusional victim.

Train hard, Play hard, Live easy.

Dan P. - Mongo

Dan --

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying avoid "situations" at ALL costs. Heck, if I wanted to do that I'd follow Buddism, that way there would be no real attacks, since none of this is real, anyway! ;)

I'm merely saying that the "my MA is better than your MA" threads that I've seen here and in the newsgroups and discussions I've had outside the computer is often much less a true discussion about the validity of one form's techniques vs. another and more often DOES seem to be about machismo.

There seems to be a general attitude that the gentlemen who started these most recent "Aikido doesn't work" threads are either trolling or are looking for "quick fix" arts that will make them Ultimate Warriors without the hassle of years of training. This doesn't appear to be the mind of someone who wants to know the truth, but more someone who wants their beliefs validated.

Finally, in regards to using O'Sensei's quote -- I don't understand MOST of them! It just seemed poignant.

Yours,

Al Foote III
The Utter Newbie


[Edited by NYFE Man on December 5, 2000 at 08:11am]

Chuck Clark
12-05-2000, 09:35 AM
Whether aikido or any art or weapon is "combat effective" depends upon the person.

I have seen people who are well trained, armed with state of the art weapons, and seem to be the epitome of a warrior to all who know them fall apart and freeze when push comes to shove in combat.

Another point, combat and a dangerous street encounter are not the same thing in my opinion. Having survived both in my life, I see a real difference.

By the way, no one knows if they will be "combat effective" until truly tested. All the training and mind games put together can run down your leg in an instant.

What we do in the dojo is NOT what we will do in combat or a dangerous / life threatening situation. But, if we train properly, the kata we practice can enable us to make the critical decisions necessary to survive those situations. That, I think, is the best we can do.

(there's not much else to say Jim...)



Regards,

SmilingNage
12-05-2000, 12:53 PM
this is one of those posts were i dont know if i want to flame it or post something constructive. i guess i will share a little with you as to why i started Aikido.
it all started with a fist fight that i got into or should i say forced into. i was jumped leaving a pick up game of basket ball. you see somebody was mouthing off and stopping game play. so i told him to shut up and play. hetook a cut at me but i side stepped it. and told him i was here to play basket ball not fight. the game ended we won and i left. as i got to my truck i heard a car speeding up behind me. so i dallied abit unlocking the door so i could see what was developing. i certainly didnt want to be tryn to get out of my truck should trouble arrive. sure enough the car sped up and drove pass me and blocked the only way out. i saw this out of the corner of my eye and still made like i was unlocking the dooor; until i heard both car doors swing open. i threw my keys into the bed of my truck and went for the closest guy. who happened to be the driver and not the guy who had thrown a punch at me. well i was on him before he knew it. the idiot had left his selt belt on and couldnt get out. so i immediately went to work on him. and gave him a good beating before i had to turn my attention to the the passenger. to make a long story short, he thought he could box and found out in a hard way he couldnt. i knocked him clean out with the last punch opening a large cut under his eye. then i chased the driver away. he ran for his life because i was madder than all hell. i let him go and got back into my truck and drove home. driving home i had such a wonderful feeling of satisfaction. but it was the first time that i ever felt good about thrashing some one. usually i would have walked away or apologized to keep from fighting, or apologized for thrashing him. but this was the first time i felt great about hurting another and i felt no remorse for doing so. it was the sheer joy of being violent that fueled my excitement. this was the turning point for me. i knew that i had reached an edge; which i should never cross. it was then i noticed what i had done i had set a circle in motion. now that guy was gonna want to get me back, his friends and family too. not to mention the driver and his family and friends. not to mention the embarrassment that guy had to carry with him as undoubtedly had to go to hospital to get stitches. then all his friends and family, co workers would see what had happened to him. it was then that i realized i needed to find a way for self control and discipline.
about a year later my life was in the dumps, various situations had made my life a mess. it was then i found aikido. and given me the gifts that i needed to put my life back together. but u would say what does that have to do with Aikido's combat effectiveness. perhaps nothing, but since then i havent been ina "fight." there have been altercations but i never had to resort to pummelling another person to achieve resolution to the conflict. you need 2 people for a fight. i just dont allow myself to get caught up in the emotion of the conflict anymore.i try to understand and be empathetic. we all have had our moments where we are less than shining. so would i say is Aikido combat effective . i would say yes. its gives you the control and the options needed for "combat." but its more of a" i learned how to fight so i dont have to fight anymore." its worked for me.
i know this doesnt follow the spirit of the thread, but perhaps you can see that a little understanding can help u avoid confrontations. where now both parties can benefit from the meeting

Elie
12-05-2000, 03:53 PM
This is the first posting I have ever done and probably the only reason I officially joined this site is to post a reply.

I'd just liked to say that a lot of people say a specific form of martial arts (say aikido) is useless in combat. I totally disagree with that. I used to take karate before and I was shocked when one day I got into a fight (which wasn't is any way my fault) and I managed to take down a guy much stronger than me. Though I never totally mastered karate, I blocked a good number of punches (which I didn't know were coming, I just reacted approprietly), avoided a jump-kick... Training never prepared me for that but you have to learn how to adapt your training to any situation.
Now don't tell me karate isn't aikido cause you're right: aikido is much more powerful. It also requires a lot more patience. But in a fight, the priciples remain the same: position, eye contact, avoid the attack and react.
Finally try telling on of the black belts/ instructor at my dojo that aikido is useless in a fight cause when he is an uke he acts like one, and if you screw up he'll take you down, hard.


Yours,
Elie


[Edited by Elie on December 5, 2000 at 02:55pm]

chrisinbrasil
12-05-2000, 03:59 PM
I would give anything for these guys to commit to at least two or three years of training before posting anything.

There was also a post about BJJ being fairly easy to learn quickly, I beg to differ. Like Judo, a student takes an average of 6-7 years to receive their BB (not that it means they´re bad or anything). You may learn the positions quickly, but applying them on an unwilling subject is as difficult as applying technique of any other art on the same.

In general, Aikido can only be used superficially in a fight without many years of training. After you´ve had those many years, you might be able to use only Aikido, but you probably won´t need to cause you´ll avoid the confrontation more effectively. I found the example of Aikidoka being pummeled in real fights to be ironically accurate. The reason, however, is that they tried to use only Aikido against someone who wasn´t gonna let them do some cool joint maneuvers with no resistance before they were prepared to. When I was into kickboxing intensely, I knocked out umpteen boxers and kickboxers then laughed about it, but I got submitted by BJJ when trying to use only kickboxing, and got knocked out when I tried to use only BJJ against an experienced kickboxer. What does all this tell you? That I suck after 10+ years. Humm, maybe... but more accurate might be to say that unless you´re at the top of the martial food chain (which I´m not), you might benefit from defending yourself in ways other than mystical ki projection and the (in)famous fist catching techniques described by so many Aikidoka. Aikido can be used in a fight when timed correctly and usually not as a first resource, rather during a fight when an opportunity presents itself. After years of practice you might reach the plateau of controlling the opponents actions by eluding him into a certain position or action and in essence creating his technique so you know what´s coming and where from. I however cannot yet do this and choose to incorporate Aikido as one of several, not the one true way. Therefore the affirmation that Aikido doesn´t work may only be true because you suck (like me) or because you´ve chosen to use it the wrong way (like by itself before you´re good enough).

I am a firm believer in Aikido as effective simply because I´ve seen it work as the ultimate situation manipulator and fight dissolver. VERY interesting sight. :)

Soulnet
12-05-2000, 04:36 PM
Well i don't know much about aikido yet but i have a little story for all of you. I used to have a latin teacher for a year (female), that was also an aikido teacher. I heard a nice story about her... One time she was assaulted in the elevator of her appartment by two guys willing to rape her... they both finished in hospital in terrible condition... This story is actually true and shows that aikido could be maybe effective... The thing is i think that lot of people practicing martial arts don't really understand it...

EAK
12-05-2000, 04:38 PM
I found Aikido not in the same way as my fellow Aikidoka, e.g. other martial arts or recruited to the dojo, rather it was through the fascination engendered over three years ago in Diane Dreher's book "The Tao of Personal Leadership". As a result, a great deal of the discussion surrounding the discipline's effectiveness in combat has little relevance to my personal outlook toward training.

However, there was a time in which I felt it necessary to use the art. This saw me involved in one situation which we as professionals are told NEVER to interfere in the field of secondary education - on the playground in a fight. There were two pre-pubescent boys knocking seven bells out of one another. This, I felt - no, knew - instinctively, was going to stop. OK, not on the battlefields of Mongolia, but these were two spirits intent on meeting violence with violence.

Within seconds of arriving, something deep within me reached out with left and right hands and locked the wrists of these two, one of whom was substantially bigger than myself. No struggle ensued, no bruises further, and yes - no lawsuit. The melee dissolved into order. I still feel that this calm was a result of my short time in Aikido, especially as I had been entirely averse to any conflict prior to training.

I feel Aikido is effective in a "combat" situation, but more importantly life generally.

Calm thoughts.
EAK

LCaron
12-07-2000, 11:06 PM
Aikido in itself is, in my humble oppinion, not street-fighter training. The purpose of studying Aikido in a dojo is not to learn how to fight well, but to train the mind and body to react quickly and readily to any form of attack. Even though I have been taking Aikido for 13 years, I would not feel at all comfortable about my chances in a prolonged fight. What Aikido has given me is the ability to get the hell off of the line of attack so that I have a chance to withdraw from the situation. I have always been told that reatreat is the ultimate Aikido technique, and I firmly believe this.

Once the initial attack has been avoided, Aikidoists learn how to use their ki, or their entire body force together at one time, to take the opponent's ballance. I had the privilage of taking ukemi from a western region Shihan, and the instant I attacked I was completlely off-ballance. His utilization of his center of gravity was soo effective, I ultimately had 2 choices, to move around him to the best of my ability, or to get smacked in the face (though I'm sure he would not have hit me very hard the first time!). People like my own senseis have the seemingly magical ability to rob one of one's ballace from the first contact made in the technique.

Having said this, Aikido is practiced under the assumption that all attackes are filled with intention. Fainting and "faking out" an opponent is a very silly thing to do if you meet an experienced Aikidoist in a dark alley. As soon as the attack has been made, any highly experienced Aikidoka will seemingly dissapear and put you on the ground. Just be glad that the Aikidoka probably decided not to break something of yours!

An experienced Aikidoka is someone who understands their own body (i.e., someone above shodan), someone who can apply a great amount of force in a small period of time, and they are few and far between. Even though I have studied only Aikido for 13 years, I am only just beginning to understand what this wonderful art is all about.

Louis Caron

[Edited by LCaron on December 7, 2000 at 10:20pm]