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jvadakin
01-22-2004, 01:54 PM
The term "martial art" is very interesting to me especialy in context of Aikido. Martial Arts or the arts of war are broadly speaking a group of ancient fighting systems that have been handed down over the generations. All of the traditional arts have lost a great deal of the "martial" focus of their techniques and concentrated instead more on the art aspect. This is necessary since ancient fighting systems have rather limited effectivenss on the modern battlefield. However, it seems that some of these martial arts have kept more or less of the "martial" purpose of their arts intact. Brazillain Ju-Jitsu, for intstance, claims to teach the most effective self defense for 1x1 situations where an active defense is possible (clearly no martial art is going to protect you from bullets etc.). Aikido seems to represent the extreme end or departure on the spectrum of "Martialness." Instead Aikido focuses on the spirtual, aesthetic and exercise benifits of Art, while often igroring the practical self-defense possibities. I wonder if this is a good thing? Aikido has many holds and locks that do have practical appliciblity, but they are usually not taught in a way that would prepare someone to use them actively in self-defense. Most Aikido proponents I know (including some lower level blackbelts in very respected schools) have told me that they believe it would be difficult for them to use their Aikido in a hostile situation (moreso than it would be for a Ju-Jitso or Karate player). I wonder, what is it that attracts people to Aikido? Why do some people prefer Aikido to other arts or even to pure Zen meditation? Is it a sort of martial dance? For asethetics, I prefer to watch TKD players acrobaticly attack each other in thin air, but I realize there is no disputing taste. I just cannot understand Aikido.

morex
01-22-2004, 02:12 PM
I think the concept of martial art has evolved and adapted to the current times a lot. We do not live in feudal Japan or middle age Europe.

We have laws now and thus we can no longer carry a huge katana or sword. The warrior has evolved into the corparate world and our battle field are the cities and our enemies the countless work loads that fill our in boxes.

I agree. Aikido is not a martial art per se since we do not go to war like ancient times. But keep in mind that aikido is a modern art created to keep and seek peace. And I think that is the main war goin on: we have to keep peace within ourselves.

I don't want to goo into a deeper philosophical discussion here. I hope I made my point.

Ted Marr
01-22-2004, 03:12 PM
Well, people will probably not like the fact that I am responding to a "troll", but I figure it's a very valid question being asked. Here's my figuring on it.

First, as for the martial aspect, I would argue that it's really pretty overrated. We just don't have that kind of hand-to-hand violence in our society these days, so really, that isn't going to be a major question in most people's minds when chosing an art.

Second, as for the argument that we should all be studying BJJ because it wins in the MMA tournaments, if we're training to deal with street violence, we certainly don't want to be going to ground, as there may be multiple attackers, and our assailant(s) probably aren't terribly well trained, so the comparison fails there.

Third, I think that Aikido is an incredibly good complimentary art to be studying. Some of its exercises may be esoteric and "impractical", but they end up teaching a lot of the basic concepts relating to (im)balance, centeredness, and timing better than I have seen them addressed in other schools' styles.

Fourth, Aikido is a lifetime art. I'm the most scared of Karateka when they're around 35 or 40. They've been training for long enough to have good technique, but they haven't become frail yet. The Aikido people I would most likely want to avoid attacking at all costs are about 80. I kind of like the thought of infinite growth potential that has very little to do with your physical body.

Fifth, and I hesitate to toss this out there for fear of sounding like a knee-jerk 'patriot' type, but "love it or leave it". If Aikido isn't for you, then you don't have to practice it, or practice with people who do.

Last, (I promise), as for the aestetic value of TKD people kicking each other in midair, I won't deny that it is pretty. In much the same way that gymnastics is pretty. But the difference is between a display of what strength can achieve and what can be done by graceful movement alone.

shihonage
01-22-2004, 03:57 PM
I wonder, what is it that attracts people to Aikido? Why do some people prefer Aikido to other arts or even to pure Zen meditation? Is it a sort of martial dance? For asethetics, I prefer to watch TKD players acrobaticly attack each other in thin air, but I realize there is no disputing taste. I just cannot understand Aikido.
Aikido is an effective set of martial principles, which is based on solid physical laws.

It has short, effective techniques, and also long, dancelike techniques, the purpose of which is more like an exercise in fluid transition from one technique to another without losing control.

Of course, if you've derived your conclusions by watching the embarassing Aiki Expo footage, then that's understandable.

Here are some clips I like a little better, but they're still not the best.

Gozo Shioda's Aikido demonstration on "Pre-war greats" DVD is pretty damn good though.

http://www.speakeasy.org/~shihonage/pkote.avi

http://www.speakeasy.org/~shihonage/dvd_sea_04.avi

http://www.speakeasy.org/~shihonage/Seagal18.avi

indomaresa
01-22-2004, 06:50 PM
If you dig down to the roots, there are some good and effective self-defense techniques i.e: atemi-kata, pressure points, etc. Some schools do that.

Plus, not all aikido dojo trains the same way. Some are more focused on 'martial', some on 'art'. If people are truly looking for 'martial' aikido, they should look around more before dropping their verdict.

PeterR
01-22-2004, 07:14 PM
I don't think he's a troll - he's doing Aikido and questions and opinions are arising. Sounds familiar.

James - I basically answered your question in the What Aikido's missing thread.

I does come down to how you train. A dojo the focuses on martial application will not only train differently but also select out a number of people that would be quite happy training in a less martial variant. A dojo that is more of the tofu variety will select out the people that want martial training.

Technically the same thing can be said about BJJ as with Aikido. There are, as I said in the other thread, situational and technical holes in both. Your question should not be is Aikido or BJJ better but what suits my goals at the moment, and what is available.

For me that's Aikido but not just any Aikido.

Don
01-22-2004, 08:04 PM
James: I think part of the problem you are concerned with lies (a) in the type of training you undergo, (b) the length of time you may have been training, (c) what you are trying yourself to find.

Let me start with my last point first. If you do not practice or are not taught martial application, it may seem like the practical application may not be there. I have been working for the past year in trying to train myself to execute atemi on most techniques so that I will teach myself to do it unconciously. On some techniques it is unnecessary, and simply adds to the total package. On others it is absolutely necessary. Think of tsuki techniques where you enter or move to the inside of the punching arm. To me, if you are not delivering atemi or are not acutely aware of the other fist, then you are asking for a failed technique and a secondary punch or kick. Now, even though the statement that aikido is 90% atemi is attributed to O'Sensei, that aspect of training generally is not taught in your general and beginner classes because it usually is not appropriate.

So, you have to be willing to dig these aspects out yourself. Actually your sensei will take notice and probably be happy you are working out this stuff yourself.

That brings me to the length of time you have been training. The longer you train, the more likely you are to have been exposed to martial application, or to have figured them out yourself.

So, I think the martial part is there. In many cases though, you may have to explore yourself. If the average progress of most dojo is say on the order of 4th-3rd kyu, your sensei may be forced to concentrate more on basics.

BTW I have trained many times at your dojo in Newark. I have great respect for Okimura Shihan, and always enjoy my visits there. Please give him my regards, and I hope he continues to feel better.

Chris Birke
01-22-2004, 08:21 PM
If someone invented a way to win a fight with magic words, MMA fights would consist of speed talkers. This is why they have merit.

BJJ would develop a new set of mouth exercises to speed pronunciation. JKD would bring in linguists.

And Aikido... Aikido would declare it not Aiki and continue about their buisness.

//

I think one big difference is that in BJJ the competitive aspect is almost always stressed, either in street flavor or sport flavor.

Moreover, good sport fighters transition to good streetfighters very easily. They have composure, expirence, and technique, with biting and gouging as icing on the cake. They only lack practiced situation awareness, but that is one aspect of many to develop.

There is no better defense to avoiding the ground than training to take people to the ground. Wrestlers have the best take down defense of all "martial arts" because it's all they do. Then "MMA", Judo, BJJ.

Aikido ignores a slew of potential attacks, even at high levels I've seen very little real randori. Too dangerous. Maybe.

//

I've been training Aikido much longer than BJJ.

I try Aikdo on a willing but resisting opponent. I've found usually it doesn't work the way it does in practice.

In trying BJJ on a willing but resisting opponent, I've found it works, and works much better than it does in practice.

Why?

//

A weird aside about competition.

I feel a bond with the BJJ people. The guy who just tried to choke me out with all his stregnth, then finally gets me. I thank him, pat him on the back, and do the same to him two minutes later. Competition isn't always about hating your opponent. Winning isn't always the opposite of losing.

Besides, adrenaline makes you high, and then you love everyone ;D.

//

Sorry for all the rambling, I just got back and my hands are still twitching. Hate to think of what's going on in my head.

Jamie Stokes
01-22-2004, 10:18 PM
warmest greetings all,

rather than saying Martial Arts Lose something over the years, I rather think of it as a "learning/ evolving" system.

At first, It was clubs and stones, then weapons evolved, and awareness of how bodies worked evolved over time.

(Check out chapters of "Secrets of the samurai". Author I temporarily forget, but I lift this notion from that book)

While the human body can only move in a certain limited amount of ways, our ability to learn from it has continued to grow.

Grappling with someone in armour is vastly different that an unarmed man taking on a rider on horseback.

(Side note: I have been told that the high spinning kicks of TKD were to combat riders on Horseback)

Aikido is still a martial art. If you do even a comparitvely gentle throw (?), or a apply a pin to someone who is in motion and not expecting it, you can cause major damage. tear soft tissue, or even break joints. :eek:

really, Aikido is an art that evolved for its time and place, and fortuantely, we Aikidoka can apply it still in this "modern" world.

And during seminars and camps, I have come across instructors who say "when you do this move, be careful not to...(insert warning of choice) because you can ....Break/ cripple/ injure."

So its not too much of a guess, that with a tweak of application, certain moves could easily become harmful, perhaps even lethal.

Personal example. Training in throws one night, my Nage over applied some force, and instead of rolling out neatly, I landed on the point of my collar bone. everyone heard the snap but me.

Discussing it with my instructor later, If i hadn't been able to do breakfalls, there was a increased chance of a broken back or neck.

Aikido, as an Martial art, has a depth to it that takes many years to learn. And like all martial arts, you take from it what you like. look around, and no two dojos have the same focus.

(Humourous thought: if everything could be done in the simplest possible way, we would have McMartial Arts. the same the world over.:D )

remember to breathe.

Regards,

Jamie

Nafis Zahir
01-22-2004, 11:11 PM
James,

I understand your concern. Aikido, as it is taught in most dojos, may seem like an art that cannot be applied properly on the street with an all out real attack. That's because we are not taught how to practically apply these techniques on the street. We all know that someone on the street is not going to take ukemi, and therefore, the technique is not going to go exactly like it did in class, nor will it be as smooth. The cons of this is that it may discourage some people and lead them to believe that aikido is not effective for self defense. However, if you hold true to the technique, here's the pro. You probably won't get a chance to finish the technique because the attacker who is not taking ukemi and who is probably powering up, will most like break or tear something in the process. It has been said to me that Chiba Sensei was known for being the one student who took on all challenges from other martial artist and never lost. Do you think he did anything different? I think we all have to learn the practical application of aikido techniques in order to apply them to a street attack, but you can't do that until you understand how the technique really works. I studied Kung Fu for 7 years prior to aikido, and every Saturday we had practical application classes because you can't always do kung fu in its classic form on the street. You could, but it would be to your disadvantage. But Aikido is already more practical. Taking it to that next level is the challenge. If someone who studies Aikido is afraid of an all out attack, Then like Saotome & Chiba Sensei's, they should practice with real hard attacks and not the soft "here it comes" attacks you see in most dojos. Taking another art can be benificial, but having done it before, I can honestly say that Aikido is all I need!

Thalib
01-23-2004, 12:46 AM
(Check out chapters of "Secrets of the samurai". Author I temporarily forget, but I lift this notion from that book)
Are you talking about Oscar Ratti's book?

JJF
01-23-2004, 01:24 AM
Rather than saying that Aikido is a Martial Art I would say that it's a Budo. There IS in my view a major difference.

I think it might be quite true that many MA's are superior to Aikido when it comes to becomming an efficient fighter as fast as possible, but it dosen't matter to me, since becomming proficient in selfdefence is of less importance to me in my aikido-practice than my personal development.

Mind you though that I still think good aikido needs a martial aspect in the practice - otherwise it's not a budo.

In the end it's not about the style or type of art you do - it's more about the teacher and the student.

Hope this makes sense. I kind of does to me :D

Jamie Stokes
01-23-2004, 03:50 AM
Yes, "Secrets of the Samurai', by O. Ratti.

Thank you, Thalib-san.

Although this book is more of a reference work than a novel, it is still informative.

And as others have pointed out, applying our art to anyone unprepared for it can be harmful.

but as i have learned,

"All I did was side step and turn. He fell on his face."

Keep Breathing.

Jamie

Thalib
01-23-2004, 08:59 AM
I have to agree with Friis-san. The meaning of Budo is actually lost when translated to martial art or even martial way.

We could only over-simplify of what Budo is by paralellization (could I say that?) of what word exists in the English language.

After reading a few literature regarding Budo/Bushido such as Oscar Ratti's "Secrets of The Samurai", Budo is more complex than just a training system. Quite complex that I can't even describe it.

I guess that's why many writers wrote books when trying to explain what Budo/Bushido is, because it is quite hard to sum it up in a word or two or even in a paragraph and still get a clear understanding. Even after reading a hundred page book explaining this way of life, I still get confused.

The only way to understand is to live it. I'm not talking about we have to wear armor and swords such and go back to feudal Japan, but its principles, its idealism, only then one could understand Budo.

Well, enough of this... too many minds...

dave Clarke
01-23-2004, 01:37 PM
Hi there I donít usually reply to these forums however Im only a third kyu so am comparatively new to aikido but I feel strongly about this issue of martialness and would like to see what other people think as well.

Firstly I feel that Aikido as an art is a complete form of self-defence anyone who feels other wise should not be training. The problem is the teaching.

Aikido is like a Rolex watch. Everyone wants it but few people will pay the price. some people will want to be seen to be wearing a Rolex so will buy a counterfeit one

I donít know the quote exactly but I believe it was Shioda who said that combat is 70% atemi 30% technique.

Too many dojoís have high ranking 3rd 4th 5th dans who cannot throw a decent punch or yokomen. They donít grab each other hard and therefore as high ranking dan grades have little understanding of what constitutes good ukemi. How can these people be practicing the art of peace if they do not understand the art of war.

These people shroud themselves and intimidate kyu grades like myself into grabbing them softly dancing throwing poor punches saying things like if ďyou grab me that hard Iíll have to punch you and we wont learn anythingĒ

I had the opportunity to take ukemi once from Chiba sensei doing nikkyo I grabbed him with all my strength and he floored me easily. That level of skill comes from pragmatic training. Adopting what is usefully discarding what isnít.

I personally have no time for non-martial aikido if you want to dance learn tap. If you want to be able to subdue a violent opponent and make them reflect on their actions then you must learn the art of war otherwise aikido will be a game. A bit of gymnastics and not ďa budoĒ, ďa samurai artĒ, ďa self defenceĒ a chance to understand what it is to be the centre of the universe.

Jesse Lee
01-23-2004, 04:37 PM
Firstly I feel that Aikido as an art is a complete form of self-defence anyone who feels other wise should not be training.
Too many dojoís have high ranking 3rd 4th 5th dans who cannot throw a decent punch or yokomen. They donít grab each other hard and therefore as high ranking dan grades have little understanding of what constitutes good ukemi.

Dave, nice post, just curious what you think of cross training and Aikido.

If someone wants to learn throw a decent punch and takes up boxing, or if s/he wants ground skills and takes up grappling, then is that person on the Aiki path or did s/he give up on Aikido too easily?

Does Aikido have all the answers to all the martial situations out there?

PeterR
01-24-2004, 12:02 AM
Yes, "Secrets of the Samurai', by O. Ratti.Although this book is more of a reference work than a novel, it is still informative.
Quite a bit of discussion on this book can be found here (http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=23313).

I must say the concept of Budo is very very simple. It's a mistake to complicate the issue.

indomaresa
01-24-2004, 12:27 AM
Totally agree with dave,

Theoretically, aikido has the answer to all the martial art situations out there.

We just need to train, read aikido books and watch aikido videos, and keep asking questions.

How 'martial' a martial art will be, depends on its practitioners, and after watching his videos, I'm pretty sure O'sensei is no fake.

or gozo shioda either..

Some of us are though.

G DiPierro
01-24-2004, 03:25 AM
Does Aikido have all the answers to all the martial situations out there?
Not a chance, and the fact that people would even consider this a serious question is indicative of a kind of flawed thinking prevalant in aikido. Daito-ryu, the precursor to aikido, was developed from an art for castle bodyguards. Hence the suwari-waza, non-lethal defence against bladed weapons, and stylized techniques.

If you wanted battlefied grappling techniques to use in full yoroi, then aikido and Daito-ryu are not the right arts for you, though other jujutsu styles would be. Similarly, if you wanted something to use on the modern battlefied, any form of Japanese jujutsu would be quite ill-adapted. The weaponry, tactics, and goals are completely different from what classical Japanese arts assume.

Martial arts do not exist in a vacuum, but arise in response to specific martial situations in which people find themselves. Without considering these contexts, you cannot truly understand the nature or purpose of an art.

indomaresa
01-24-2004, 05:18 AM
hmm, giancarlo is right

I should've said that:

Theoretically, THE PRINCIPLES of aikido has the answer to all the martial art situations out there.

dave Clarke
01-24-2004, 07:17 AM
In response to Maresa's question I feel that aikido does have answers if practiced properly. O sensei used to challenge peole to hit him and floored them easily. People forget that aikido, daityo ryu, and aikido principles where practiced in japan in secret. Why would they keep it secret if it didn't work? History has a catalogue of things that were deemed too good for the masses.

I feel that the answers to combat can also be found in other arts. Watch Sugar Ray Leanord box. He was Aiki in boxing gloves.

The problem is that in a boxing ring there is no where to hide. In a dojo there are many places where someone can hide as they consider uke to be there to cooperate. Uke is there to attack properly and be thown and I feel that this should not be forgotten. I have no problem with cross training and feel it could be an eye opener. The same as training with a novice or a rigidly stiff person wh is frightened of locks and ukemi. Your aikido should work on all and you should be able to feel your ukes mov ement and blend

dave Clarke
01-24-2004, 02:00 PM
sorry apologies the question was posed by Jesse

dave Clarke
01-24-2004, 02:05 PM
I've also forgotten how to spell and type

James Giles
01-24-2004, 07:31 PM
I don't usually post, but I have been reading alot of the forums lately, and I feel that Aikido is a sufficient enough martial art to handle any attack, if the practicioner correctly applies the principles.

I think that Aikido is under attack from the same kind of forces that attack other traditions in our society that are well grounded and supported by laws and principles. This is because we live in a society of postmodernists, mostly young people who feel they need to "fix" and recreate things that have been established by their elders. They have no respect for their elders or any tradition that is based on thousands of years of discovery and experiments. Their egos are so inflated they live to prove others wrong. This gives them a great deal of satisfaction. They also have an insatiable desire to "win at all costs". This is why they cannot ascend to the level to truly understand what Aikido is about. A practicioner of Aikido has no desire to prove anything to anyone other than himself. This perhaps,is the difference between practicioners of Aikido and those of other martial arts like BJJ and Karate. It is all about ego.

Chris Birke
01-24-2004, 11:07 PM
Yes, the solution to all discussion is to declare those you disagree with unworthy of having an opinion. Such a marvelous and wise tradition! I applaud your lack of ego.

PeterR
01-25-2004, 01:05 AM
Generally I agree with Giancarlo's post in that most arts are a sign of their times. Even those that survive as historical throwbacks do so because the time allows it. Some arts evolve from their source faster than others.

But I'm on my coffee break so .....
Not a chance, and the fact that people would even consider this a serious question is indicative of a kind of flawed thinking prevalant in aikido. Daito-ryu, the precursor to aikido, was developed from an art for castle bodyguards. Hence the suwari-waza, non-lethal defence against bladed weapons, and stylized techniques.
I've heard this before and don't think it is correct. Assasins and bodyguards did not do their business shikko-ing all over the place and performing stylized techniques. Nor was non-lethal defence an option - the business was done as quickly as possible. In my opinion both kata and suwariwaza techniques had more to do with training than practicallity. A case could be made for hanza handachi techniques being useful but not suwariwaza.

The Lord of a Castle did not live in the Keep but in a manor in a secure area. A good example of this can be seen at Nijo Castle in Kyoto. Near the dias of the reception room are flimsy doors wrapped in big red ribbons. Basically guards with swords drawn waited on little stools for any signal that once given would result in anyone in the Lord's section of the room being cut down - the Lord excepted. Even within this reception room, sometimes you were on your knees and sometimes not.

That aside modern Budo including Aikido developed during a time when self defence was really no different than today. Knives were common, revolvers existed, armour wasn't worn and neither were swords. Now of course Giancarlo was making a distinction about modern battlefield versus ancient but I want to stress that the considerations that went into the developement of Aikido with respect to martial technique have really not changed.

dave Clarke
01-25-2004, 06:52 AM
In response to James Giles page 1 I would like to say this. I remember reading an article a little while ago about a top practitioner who trained extensively with OíSensei and was influential in setting up aikido in Hawaii and the US I think it was Tohei but I canít be sure. Any how, when he started teaching in Hawaii he found that some of his techniques didnít work as well on his hawaian ukes(excuse my spelling) he found that they were stronger then their Japanese counterparts with more powerful joints. Rather then doubting aikido or doubting his ukeís he believed in his aiki principles and apparently adapted them and found a way of executing his technique.

That is what I feel ego is about. Its about I grab, you try and do a technique. If you cant do it or you cant move me or break my posture and balance. (Please also note I am not referring to being difficult and countering or tomiki Randori). Its just a process. I grab you again and we find out why regardless of grade or age or respect. Respect in aikido I feel comes from respecting that aikido is a killing art in the same way that you respect a gun or a sword. Thatís how I feel anyway. I may be wrong

L. Camejo
01-25-2004, 07:00 AM
Just checking my sources here - didn't S. Takeda's Daito Ryu (Aiki) Jujutsu evolve from both Oshiki Uchi (the palace martial art of the Aizu retainers) and another more widely taught form of jujutsu called kogusoku? (aka Daito ryu or Daido ryu according to draeger), both of which were taught to S. Takeda when chosen to carry on the legacy of the style?

Just wondering is all, I don't think that S. Takeda's Daito Ryu came ONLY from a palace bodyguard system.

As far as the initial question goes I think the issue people have with the "martiality" question has to do with the fact that most of us in the present day are practicing all of these ex military fighting systems regardless of style or country of origin, without replicating an important element of what made up the original training systems, i.e. combat.

So I don't think that Aikido or any of the other styles are not effective, they just tend to lack the training mechanism that mimics the results gained from old style combat. This is where the competition idea comes in for some, as it's often the closest we can safely get to the lessons learned from open resistance and combat. It's not a perfect copy, but like modern day war games for modern soldiers, it is the best they can get short of shooting each other with live ammo. I guess this is why the U.S. military spends so much on high tech training stuff for their troops. It's in an effort to replicate actual combat as closely as possible without ending up with a bunch of dead soldiers on your hands.

I've found as well, the more dangerous the techniques taught in the style, the less likely it is that these techs will be used all out in competition or kumite, again for the reasons of safety and preservation of the practitioners at some level.

If we look at Capoeira (which had been used by Brazilian slaves to aid in an insurrection), it is now taught much like a dance, maybe because to really apply it will result in a lot of maimed bodies. Similar things go for Aikido and Wushu. Even Tomiki had to modify things a bit to delay joints snapping under intense resistance and such. I guess the problem comes when we try to maintain safety so much that we end up on the other side of the coin where the thing becomes martially useless.

Just some thoughts.

Arigato Gozaimashita

L.C.:ai::ki:

James Giles
01-25-2004, 08:02 AM
Yes, the solution to all discussion is to declare those you disagree with unworthy of having an opinion. Such a marvelous and wise tradition! I applaud your lack of ego.
Thank you Chris! I thought I hit the nail on the head!

James Giles
01-25-2004, 11:23 AM
In response to David Clark,I think I know what you are talking about. (Tohei ?) added skips or hops to his style of Aikido techniques to add momentum and to make up for the size and strength advantages of uke.

I haven't been practicing Aikido for that long, but I have noticed that the size and strength of uke don't really matter if the technique is applied properly. I've also learned that nage should not wait until uke actually gets a firm grip(grab) on him/her. If nage hesitates long enough to get "caught", it is too late for the technique alone to work. Timing is the key, and that is why it takes practice. Properly timed, the techniques of Aikido can be used effectively against any attack with devastating results.

When I mentioned ego earlier, the point I was trying to make was that most practicioners of Aikido are confident in themselves and their abilities, and do not feel the need to go out and prove to the world (i.e. other martial arts forums, etc.) that they can handle a street fight, or that Aikido is any better than such and such other martial art (BJJ for example). They are at peace within themselves and this is true victory.

Chris Birke
01-25-2004, 12:08 PM
James, that made my morning! =D

No one here is trying to proove that BJJ is better than Aikido. Some of us just do more than one martial art, and it's impossible not to end up with comparisons.

Thus, when things don't stack up, we want to fix it. Nothing is perfect, not even Aikido. If you think it is, you're being religious, not logical.

If the idea that everything has room for improvement offends you, you shouldn't be doing Aikido at all as it's nothing but a postmodernists Jiu Jitsu.

If I blow bubbles and call it Aikido I won't be as well served as if I actually hit the mat. What is the best way to train, that's what we want to know.

jvadakin
01-25-2004, 12:09 PM
Thank-you all for responding. I'm glad most of you realized I was asking a legitimate question and not just "trolling." I have some varied background in the martial arts and tried Aikido last summer. I did not enjoy it at all and no longer practice. My experience was that it seemed like a mix of new age mystisim, dance, and samurai etiquite that was founded on a system that was once quite deadly within its time and context. All martial arts are like this to a large degree, as they are usually quite useless for pure self-defense in any situation that would require such defense (e.g. muggers would very likely have weapons). I'm sure Aikido has some level of self-defense usefullness, but it seems certain that this usefullness may be less in extent and is certainly slower to develop than in other systems (and indeed perhaps even less than the deterence value bestowed by heavy weightlifting). Is that a weakness-- only if development of self-defense in a timely matter is a goal. For most of you, self-defense is clearly not a priority. Spirtual and physical development are your priorities and you believe that there will be some residual self-defense benefits. In a sense, Aikido is closer to a religon that other martial arts (you use the words budo and Aiki in a religous way). I'm glad so many of you have found an activity that is so rewarding to you. I'm sure that you get more from your Aikido than the paranoid guys obsessed with learning the most practical and effective martial arts at all costs ["I grew so much as a person today by practicing those eye gouges" :)]. I work out and swim quite regularly and I think if I ever got back into the martial arts it would be more for the fact that MA is an enjoyable way to work out and can be astheticly pleasing, with residual self-defense benfits (a well practiced punch in the nose is better than a non-practiced punch in the nose I guess). So, I think I would try TKD, not because its much more (or any) effective than Aikido, but because the exercises are typicaly more exhausting, and I think spinning kicks are pretty :). I don't personaly feel that I would ever grow spirtualy from MA. I get that elsewhere. Thanks for responding, I think I understand why Aikido is so popular now, even if I cannot personaly appreciate it. To each his own. Good luck on your own journies. (how postmodern a sentiment :)).

James Giles
01-25-2004, 01:39 PM
Yes Chris, I can understand your point of view. But I am a little leary when someone wants to improve on something.

For example, when people tried to make improvements to America's social structure, the results were an explosive crime rate and a public school system that turns out illiterates at the speed of light. When people tried to improve on the English language, Ebonics was born. But many people who weren't around when conditions were indeed better, see these "progressive" changes as improvements.

I would hate to see this same trend extended into the realm of Aikido. I think that Aikido techniques are within themselves pure and efficient for handling martial situations. I realize that they were derived from JuJitsu, but they were not bastardized to the point that they became unrecognizable.

As for mixed-martial arts, I think it is great to learn several martial arts. I have taken TKD, Kung-Fu, and a few months of BJJ. I guess if it came down to a real street-fight situation I would draw off of a combination of one or more of these arts with my Aikido training. But, from what I have learned so far in my training, Aikido techniques are sufficient within themselves to handle most every situation if applied with the right timing.

Oh, and as for blowing bubbles, I don't know about your Aikido dojo, but in mine we don't blow bubbles! Of course we don't wrestle around on the floor and sweat all over each other for extended periods of time, but we are practicing Aikido, not BJJ!

I guess really what I am trying to say is that although something is not "perfect", sometimes it is better to leave well enough alone than to bastardize it into some other form, and then again... maybe it is better to try. I guess time will tell.

Thanks for responding, James

PeterR
01-25-2004, 07:09 PM
Thank-you all for responding. I'm glad most of you realized I was asking a legitimate question and not just "trolling." I have some varied background in the martial arts and tried Aikido last summer. I did not enjoy it at all and no longer practice. My experience was that it seemed like a mix of new age mystisim, dance, and samurai etiquite that was founded on a system that was once quite deadly within its time and context.
I take it back - you are a troll. You practiced in one Dojo for a couple of months and then quit, hid the fact by putting an Aikido affiliation in your signature, and make pronouncements on Aikido as a whole.

That little rant out of the way. Some of the most fit individuals I deal with on a regular basis are Aikidoists. In fact the last time I trained in a TKD dojo a man 20 years my Junior and looking a lot more fit (I'm what one calls delightfully slim) begged me to slow down while he caught his breath. One of my main Aikido teachers/sempai was Olympic caliber TKD (he was on the National team) but gave that up for some very intense Aikido practice. No new age mystisim here either.

I do think that your average TKD dojo is going to get you fitter, faster than your average Aikido dojo. The above is based on my experience.

Rant number 2 out of the way.

You have to find what suits you. It took me years of this or that to find the Aikido I do. I actully spent most of those avoiding Aikido for what I felt were the right reasons. At this point I am glad I did even thoug I wish I had found what I eventually found earlier.

G DiPierro
01-26-2004, 12:51 AM
Theoretically, THE PRINCIPLES of aikido has the answer to all the martial art situations out there.Oh, I see. You meant that the principles of aikido, as opposed to the techniques, I presume, have the answer to all martial situations out there. That's much different. So how about I propose a couple of martial situations and then you explain how the principles of aikido have the answer to them?

First situation:

You are a foot soldier in late 16th century Japan. You are about to engage the enemy, and are armed with a spear, along with perhaps a dagger or dirk for back-up, and are wearing light, crudely made armor. There are between 50 and 100 other soldiers on each side, most armed like you. As you advance to begin your attack, arrows begin raining all around you from archers in rear positions.

Second situation:

You are a special forces operative in the United States army in late 2003. You are in the battle zone in Iraq, and you are preparing to take a building where it is believed that an American POW is being held. You are armed with the latest technology in small automatic weapons, bulletproof vests, and night-vision goggles.

How do aikido principles hold the solution to these two martial situations?

I picked these two very different situations from different eras and cultures not because they are unusual but because they are actually quite common scenarios for professional soldiers in either of those milieus. This is what they train for. In neither case will aikido be of much use. Rather, the very specialized training that they received specifically for those exact situations may be what makes the difference between life and death for them and their comrades and between success and failure for their mission.

Believing that aikido somehow magically holds all the answers to martial situations is exactly the kind of flawed thinking to which I was referring in my initial post. I use the word "magically" specifically because this is the kind of belief involved. Many people in aikido take its effectiveness as a matter of faith rather than of empirical investigation. They approach aikido as if it were a religion rather than a martial art. Many want to believe that their teacher is perfect (or at least spiritually superior to them) and would never teach something that is ineffective or incorrect, and so they don't even bother considering that possibility.

Yet paradoxically, refusing to question the effectiveness of one's technique is exactly what leads to it becoming ineffective. Because students and teachers never bother to find out if what they are doing actually works, they become lazy and slip into a careless form of practice, repeating useless or ineffectual movements over and over and perpetuating the delusional notion that what they are doing actually works when it obviously does not.

In fact, aikido can be martially effective within the limited parameters I outlined in my previous post. It comes from an art that was primarily for Edo period retainers, who were more concerned with keeping the peace than with waging war, and depending on how similar any other situation is to that specific situation, aikido will have more or less applicability to such a situation.

As it turns out, modern self-defense for private citizens, police, and others is more similar to that situation than it is different, and hence aikido can have a significant degree of effectiveness in such modern applications. However, in order for it to achieve this potential, one must look realistically at the capabilities and limitations of the art and its practice. People who choose to blindly believe that aikido holds the magic solution to all martial situations without seriously investigating its effectiveness in any of them will never understand nor manifest the attitudes and principles which make aikido an effective martial art.

PeterR
01-26-2004, 01:31 AM
A little unfair - Aikido is a form of jujutsu for lightly armed combat. Your ancient Japanese warrior practiced for those situations as does your modern day equivilent.

Now of course once you toss in uneven ground, heavy equipement, cumbersome armour alot of what you would/could do goes out the window. As the Edo period procressed you saw more and more specialization and since most of what could possibly go wrong involved the back streets of [insert favourite town here] that wasn't a terrible thing.

Good Budo training isn't just about the waza - its training a frame of mind and core technical principles that should keep and/or get you out of trouble. Understanding that allows you to actually move between different Budo relatively easily. <--- that means learning the waza is far easier than for one who doesn't understand.

bogglefreak20
01-26-2004, 04:59 AM
...Aikido focuses on the spirtual, aesthetic and exercise benifits of Art, while often igroring the practical self-defense possibities. I wonder if this is a good thing? Aikido has many holds and locks that do have practical appliciblity, but they are usually not taught in a way that would prepare someone to use them actively in self-defense...I wonder, what is it that attracts people to Aikido? Why do some people prefer Aikido to other arts or even to pure Zen meditation? Is it a sort of martial dance?...I just cannot understand Aikido.
I have been training in Ki Aikido since last october, so im in my second year. A complete rookie, not worthy of the name of aikidoka. Still my opinion about Aikido, Ki Aikido that is, is as follows:

I chose to train Ki Aikido at our dojo precisely because it doesn't have competitions (for me those are an ego-trip - my opinion only) and because it emphasizes the connection of body and mind. I don't see it just as excercise (though some at our dojo do) or as pure meditation - I see it as a way to achieve peace of mind together with physical bonuses (fitness, reflex, balance...). Our teacher often says to beginners: "If you're looking to learn self-defense, go train somewhere else." So much for the official aspect of the dojo. And I like it that way. Besides, I don't believe Aikido can be learned as an effective self-defense technique in less than 10 years. All those 3-month self-defense courses don't persuade me.

When I first went to visit the training at the dojo to decide whether or not I want to join I saw the training of aikidoka with about 5-7 years of experience. The first thought that went through my mind was "This is just like dancing!" And I fell in love with Aikido on first sight. In my opinion both dancing and Aikido are natural movement or at least should be done that way as much as possible.

About understanding Aikido - I don't suppose anyone understands Aikido. I suppose Morihei Ueshiba was the only one who did. All of us just have an idea about what Aikido is. If we understood it then there wouldn't be a need for forums like this one. My opinion only.

All the best to all of you!

Miha

indomaresa
01-26-2004, 07:31 AM
Certainly, I will be delighted to explain ANYTHING you wish to know

( flexing logic )
First situation:

You are a foot soldier in late 16th century Japan. You are about to engage the enemy, and are armed with a spear, along with perhaps a dagger or dirk for back-up, and IS (not are)wearing light, crudely made armor. There are between 50 and 100 other soldiers on each side, most armed like you.

As you advance to begin your attack, arrows begin raining all around you from archers in rear positions.

How do aikido principles hold the solution to these two martial situations?
Run like a rabbit.

or...

Awase; blending. Application of this principle will be to disguise myself to match the surroundings, or wear enemy colours, BEFORE approaching enemy position, AT NIGHT.

To humour your question however, when the first arrows fall I will first attempt to find a shelter / crevice / crack / depression on the ground, make myself small as possible and then turn around to protect the upper body, the lower body be damned. Assuming I'm still alive and their foot soldiers advances to finish me, I'd either escape when the arrow hail ceased, or lie in wait until

they approach, to disarm all 200 footmen with my trusty spear, saving the backup dagger in case their cavalry appears. :)

(hypothetical question = hypothetical answer)

Zanshin; to be aware of your surroundings. being surrounded like your example is like the big 'no-no' in zanshin.

However, again, to humour you if I was surrounded I would at least have ample information of the battlefield via scouting around the day before to find an escape route. Or find out where the enemy is weakest and escape there.
Second situation:

You are a special forces operative in the United States army in late 2003. You are in the battle zone in Iraq, and you are preparing to take a building where it is believed that an American POW is being held. You are armed with the latest technology in small automatic weapons, bulletproof vests, and night-vision goggles.

How do aikido principles hold the solution to these two martial situations?
I would rather die than work for any army to do anything in a country that isn't their business. However, disregarding my opinion / preference, and to humour your question;

This is a tactical problem, not martial. Martial situation is when agression is coming your way.

Zanshin: find out how many iraqi military personnels is in and around the building, how many non-military personnels is in and around the building, what weaponry and communication equipments they have and their security routine. An assessment of their mental and physical state is also important, as is their discipline level.

Awase: Again, camouflage myself and proceed at night, or at the most desirable timetable ( i.e : islamic praying hours, or 20 minutes prior to security change ), blend in with their culture and habits.

With enough intelligence and sufficient observation, the resulting plan to secure the POW's can be carried out without any casualty or a single bullet fired.

Diversions, Subversions, Misinformation, deception, dispersion and attrition are all considerable methods to additionally ensure success.

The rest is just maintaining a flowing mind to anticipate changes.

Note: It'd be easier to do it by remembering to exercise the basic principles; shuchu-ryoku ( concentration ), kokyu-ryoku ( breathing ), chushin-ryoku ( center)

The benefits of those basic principles; clarity, calmness, conserving stamina and better muscle co-ordination.

----------------------------------------
I picked these two very different situations from different eras and cultures not because they are unusual but because they are actually quite common scenarios for professional soldiers in either of those milieus. This is what they train for. In neither case will aikido be of much use. Rather, the very specialized training that they received specifically for those exact situations may be what makes the difference between life and death for them and their comrades and between success and failure for

their mission.
Why not train them to handle any situation using their logic?

Because the question is "how do aikido principles hold the solution to this martial problem?", I answered by interpreting the basic principles of aikido in its relevant actual usage, in life.

Some of the military geniouses in the past is very 'aiki' because they can blend in with the tactical situation, be aware of theirs and enemy's assets and to always maintain

musubi with the flow of battle. Resulting in victory with minimum casualties.
Believing that aikido somehow magically holds all the answers to martial situations is exactly the kind of flawed thinking....

Many people in aikido take its effectiveness as a matter of faith rather than of empirical....

....Many want to believe that their teacher is perfect (or at least spiritually superior to them) and would never teach something that is ineffective or incorrect, and so they don't even bother considering that possibility.

....Because students and teachers never bother to find out if what they are doing actually works, they become lazy and slip into a careless form of practice, repeating useless or ineffectual movements over and over and perpetuating the delusional notion that what they are doing actually works when it obviously does not.

...People who choose to blindly believe that aikido holds the magic solution to all martial situations without seriously investigating its effectiveness in any of them will never understand nor manifest the attitudes and principles which make aikido an
effective martial art.

I agree. It's happens sometimes. Just don't lump everyone together, or assume anything about aikido. I think every aikido practitioner should read this to maintain their perspective, but your describing "ancient martial art consisting an array of bare-handed techniques to uphold peace" is self-limiting your training.

Aikido training is vast, the styles are numerous and its application infinite. No single person can claim to know what aikido cannot do.

My suggestion; go around more, visit more dojos, styles, or learn aikido to its limits BEFORE delivering your verdict.

I don't know enough of aikido to handle every martial art situation and I'm pretty sure you didn't either.

----------------------------------------

By the way, from your hypothetical questions I assume that you MUST'VE KNOWN another martial art that can ALSO find the solution for your "what-if" situation.

May I know what it is? I am truly interested and sincerely wish to enroll.

And one more thing, what would you do in those situations? I'm curious. You don't have to answer it though.

thank you for the exercise in logic.

jvadakin
01-26-2004, 08:41 AM
Peter,

With all due respect, you cannot expect people to dedicate years of their lives to something they try with an open mind but then find tedious. I paid for a 3-month package and attended almost every day that I could, so I feel I gave it a good go. Life is too short to spend our free time forcing ourselves to do things which give us little value. The reason I started this post after all these months was that I had always wondered how people could have such a different response to the art than I did, not to start a flame war. In a sense, I want to understand the mind of the Aikidoist. I can easily understand why a TKD tournament fighter enjoys his sport, or why my friend the police officer is so crazy about Karate and BJJ, but it was less clear to me why Aikido is so popular. Also, the bloody Dojo tag is from when I actually was attending and I have no idea how to remove it now (and it doesn't matter since I'll never post here again). Cheers.

Ron Tisdale
01-26-2004, 10:21 AM
In a sense, I want to understand the mind of the Aikidoist.
Good luck. We don't all have the same mind.

Ron (yoshinkan mind here) Tisdale

PS Not even all people in the same style share the same mind.

Jesse Lee
01-26-2004, 10:49 AM
you cannot expect people to dedicate years of their lives to something they try with an open mind but then find tedious. I paid for a 3-month package and attended almost every day that I could, so I feel I gave it a good go. Life is too short to spend our free time forcing ourselves to do things which give us little value.

I totally agree with that, James. You are no troll, and your post was fine. Good luck with your training.

Bronson
01-26-2004, 12:09 PM
You are a foot soldier in late 16th century Japan. You are about to engage the enemy, and are armed with a spear, along with perhaps a dagger or dirk for back-up, and are wearing light, crudely made armor. There are between 50 and 100 other soldiers on each side, most armed like you. As you advance to begin your attack, arrows begin raining all around you from archers in rear positions.
Don't get "arrowed".
You are a special forces operative in the United States army in late 2003. You are in the battle zone in Iraq, and you are preparing to take a building where it is believed that an American POW is being held. You are armed with the latest technology in small automatic weapons, bulletproof vests, and night-vision goggles.
Don't get shot.

Bronson :D

G DiPierro
01-27-2004, 03:38 AM
To humour your question however, when the first arrows fall I will first attempt to find a shelter / crevice / crack / depression on the ground, make myself small as possible and then turn around to protect the upper body, the lower body be damned. Assuming I'm still alive and their foot soldiers advances to finish me, I'd either escape when the arrow hail ceased, or lie in wait until

they approach, to disarm all 200 footmen with my trusty spear, saving the backup dagger in case their cavalry appears. :)If you did this as a retainer and were not killed by the enemy, you would be forced to commit seppuku. So this strategy would only get you killed. If you call that a "solution" to this martial situation, then it is a pretty bad one.
By the way, from your hypothetical questions I assume that you MUST'VE KNOWN another martial art that can ALSO find the solution for your "what-if" situation.

May I know what it is? I am truly interested and sincerely wish to enroll.For the first situation, several koryu teach sojustu, the art of spear fighting. They are descendents of the arts that were actually taught to ashigaru and other soldiers of that time period. If you were even able to find a licensed teacher of such a system, which is very difficult to do outside of Japan, you might not even be accepted as a student. If you were sincerely interested in such an art, though, then I would start at the Koryu Books (http://www.koryubooks.com) Web site. You should also purchase and read their three-volume series of books on koryu.

For the second situation, you would have to study urban warfare techniques such as are taught to police SWAT teams, army special forces, and others. I'm not sure how you could get this kind of training as a private citizen, but I suspect that if you were willing pay enough for it you would find someone to teach it to you.And one more thing, what would you do in those situations? I'm curious. You don't have to answer it though.I would apply the skills I had learned through the specialized training I would have received and attempt to successfully accomplish the mission. It's really not that difficult of a question. My point was simply to illustrate that it is ridiculous to believe that the principles of aikido can be universally applied to all martial situations.

Ron Tisdale
01-27-2004, 10:01 AM
I found this article, and thought it might have some interest here, in light of certain posts.

RT
My name is Tadashi Abe. Sensei, could I ask you a direct question?". I told him to ask me anything. He asked if I was really studying aiki jujutsu seriously. At that time the art was not yet called aikido. When I replied I was, he said:

"Ace you really? I have heard about you, Sensei, for a long time. I heard that you have had experience in actual fighting situations. I think it is strange that a person like you feels satisfied with an art like aiki jujutsu." When I asked why he thought so he said that Ueshiba Sensei or Mr. Morhiro Saito would not be able to stand against him in a match even for three minutes because he would defeat them with one blow.

"You're quite boastful, aren't you?", I replied. "You feel confident that you can defeat Ueshiba Sensei?", I added. He said that he thought it would be easy for him to defeat Sensei and added:

"Although I have been observing Ueshiba Sensei for a long time, I don't feel like practicing an art like aiki jujutsu. I feel confident that I can defeat him with one boxing punch. I hear that you emphasize actual fighting. Is that true?"

I replied as follows:

"I have been in many street-fights but I wouldn't include them in the category of actual fighting. I have also drawn a sword and stormed the enemy camp."

Then he asked me whether or not aikido was really useful for fighting. When I replied that aikido was very useful not only for fights but also in times of war, he said my answer didn't convince him. So I suggested that he attack me and stood there telling him to come anyway he wanted. He asked me to adopt a ready stance. I told him:

"Don't say unnecessary things. There is no way for someone to defeat his enemy if he tells him what to do. Attack me as you like!"

Abe still mumbled: "Sensei, can I really strike you? Strange... You have openings everywhere..." Then he took a stance and suddenly came straight in. I dodged the blow and kicked him with my leg. He groaned and fell. I applied a resuscitation technique and massaged him.

"How can a person like you who faints when he catches a little kick last in a fight?"

"Sensei, does aikido also have kicking techniques?"

"You fool! What do you mean by such a question? We use kicking techniques or anything else. I even used artillery. Martial arts, guns and artillery are all aikido. What do you think aikido is? Do you think it involves only the twisting of hands? It is a means of war... an act of war! aikido is a fight with real swords. We use the word 'aiki' because through it we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately. Look at Sumo. After the command is given ("Miatte! Miatte!), they stand up and go at each other in a flash. That's the same as aiki. When a person suddenly faces his enemy in an mental state free from all ideas and thoughts and is instantly able to deal with him, we call that aiki. In the old days it was called 'aiki no jutsu'. Therefore, artillery or anything else becomes aiki." "Is that so... I think I understand." "If you still don't understand, come to me again." After that he was afraid of me and bowed to me from far off. When I went to Europe he asked me to take him as well.
From :

http://www.aikidojournal.com/new/article.asp?ArticleID=369

AsimHanif
01-27-2004, 12:00 PM
Aikido is truly what you make it. I believe that is the general concensus here. It can be any and all things depending on the person or it can be full of sh*$.

I am grateful that I had great karate teachers before coming to aikido. I've seen so many different things in aikido that if I hadn't had that background I probably would have been discouraged. I chose to get certain things out of my training regardless of the particular emphasis of a teacher or style. Like all things, you learn what you need to in order to progress in the system but make sure you retain what you need also. A certain agressiveness is so ingrained in me from karate and I have made the decision to retain it. I am experienced enough that I can control it. I disagree with the statement that we live in a society where the "martial" of old is not applicable. You can defend against a good hook punch with the same principles we use in yokomenuchi ikkyo.

But more than anything it is the cultivation and refinement of my Self that keeps me training in aikido. I didn't come to aikido to learn to fight. It is my interest in the process of development that keeps me hungry. I find that aikido techniques are just the outward expression of what is going on inside of me. Just a gauge.

paw
01-27-2004, 12:57 PM
Aikido is truly what you make it. I believe that is the general concensus here.

I disagree, and I suspect you do as well.

Walk into a dojo and one would expect to see ikkyo, nikkyo and the like...students in gi and hakama...bowing and sitting in seiza as class structure indicates. If one saw men and women in t-shirts, wearing shorts, shoes and gloves, hitting heavy bags and "sparring" in a ring, one would assume they walked into a boxing gym.

The point is, not everything is "aikido", a distinction you made yourself by saying you trained karate (something not aikido) before starting aikido.

Regards,

Paul

Ron Tisdale
01-27-2004, 01:00 PM
Of course you are correct Paul, but it is interesting to note, for instance, that a well known aikido instructor in the 1978 Aiki Friendship demonstration, used quite a few lessons and movements from, guess what, boxing, in his demonstration. And it seemed to work quite well...

Ron

paw
01-27-2004, 01:39 PM
used quite a few lessons and movements from, guess what, boxing, in his demonstration. And it seemed to work quite well...

I have no doubt.
a well known aikido instructor in the 1978 Aiki Friendship demonstration,

I wonder if this is why the demonstration was accepted, when Mr. DeLucia is being taken to task for integrating MMA with aikido on another thread.....but I digress.

Regards,

Paul

Ron Tisdale
01-27-2004, 02:16 PM
I wonder if this is why the demonstration was accepted, when Mr. DeLucia is being taken to task for integrating MMA with aikido on another thread.....but I digress.
Well, with Mr. Delucia, I think people had some legitimate questions, which he seems to have answered. Personally, I think he can pretty much do what he wants...but that doesn't mean that people won't ask questions, or that they won't disagree...

I should add that I think there is some difference between someone who trained with the founder of the art, and someone who has been hesitant (apparently) to disclose the specifics of his training history. Of course, maybe I just missed the post where Mr. Delucia disclosed that information.

RT

AsimHanif
01-27-2004, 03:08 PM
Aikido is truly what you make it. I believe that is the general concensus here. It can be any and all things depending on the person or it can be full of sh*$.

This was my full quote. Meaning there are many ways to look at aikido. To each his/her own.

I can easily see the similarities in boxing and aikido. The principles of movement are very much the same.

When I say "aikido is what you make it", I am not saying it is "everything". You can look at aikido from so many different perspectives and train in a manner that best suites your needs.

paw
01-27-2004, 07:40 PM
Ron,
I should add that I think there is some difference between someone who trained with the founder of the art, and someone who has been hesitant (apparently) to disclose the specifics of his training history.

You are, of course, correct.

Asim,
I can easily see the similarities in boxing and aikido. The principles of movement are very much the same.

Of course they are the same. They couldn't possibly be different as a long as people still have two arms, two legs and are governed by physics. The principles of movement are universal.
When I say "aikido is what you make it", I am not saying it is "everything". You can look at aikido from so many different perspectives and train in a manner that best suites your needs.
I think you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who would say one valid perspective of aikido is death and destruction. There are IMO, perspectives that are counter to aikido, and it really isn't that hard to find examples.

Regards,

Paul

PeterR
01-27-2004, 08:01 PM
Peter,

With all due respect, you cannot expect people to dedicate years of their lives to something they try with an open mind but then find tedious. I paid for a 3-month package and attended almost every day that I could, so I feel I gave it a good go.
James;

I'm the last person to suggest you keep going to a place you are unhappy in. Clearly that dojo was not for you - I bet you good money I would have been out of that dojo in far less than three months. However, based on your very limited experience you were making judgements about Aikido in general that were pretty far removed from my own experiences. Not questions about whether this was normal Aikido practice but statements of fact.
When I say "aikido is what you make it", I am not saying it is "everything". You can look at aikido from so many different perspectives and train in a manner that best suites your needs.
I think this is true - I also think that in the end Aikido as Budo trancends technique or rather the training in technique is a mechanism for developing the mental aspect. The counter examples that Paul states are basically counter to Budo in general so they too trancend technique.

paw
01-28-2004, 04:40 AM
Peter,
I think this is true - I also think that in the end Aikido as Budo trancends technique or rather the training in technique is a mechanism for developing the mental aspect. The counter examples that Paul states are basically counter to Budo in general so they too trancend technique.

You know, playing peacemaker takes away all the fun..... ;)

Warm Regards,

Paul

Michael Karmon
01-28-2004, 04:43 AM
Hi,

I find Aikido to be a highly adaqueat (if not the best) self-defince system around.

As many stated, violance in the streets is almost non-existant. Unless you live in the wrong side of Bagdad, Bogota or Sudan you are not likely to find dead bodies on your street on a regular basis. Even the work of soldiers is done from afar and rarely using hand-to-hand combat.

In this day and age of litigation breaking someone's nose or causing someone serious damage using these fancy bjj neck holds will cost you your grandchildren's college money. :(

I have trained with some proffesional bodyguards that claim that their main issue is with Non-hostile crouds and intruders. You might imagine that no selebrity or politician will be happy if his personal protection sent fans and supporters to the hospital.

These modern-day Samurai came to Aikido to learn softer ways to handle people.

How do I know my effectiveness? I train with the newbees. A guy fresh in the door has no Ukemi, does not know what to do and is mainly conserned in not getting too much damage rather then helping me do my technique. The newbee is also preparedm, he knows that I am about to do something. I can honesly say that Aikido works fine on newcommers. further more, Ikkyo and Nikkyo are devestating on people who can't get the ukemi right.

AsimHanif
01-29-2004, 01:55 PM
OK Paul, since you want to have fun..

Are you then saying the principles of movement are the same in aikido and karate?

PeterR
01-29-2004, 06:19 PM
OK Paul, since you want to have fun..

Are you then saying the principles of movement are the same in aikido and karate?
If it's really good Karate and really good Aikido - than the answer is yes.

paw
01-29-2004, 06:38 PM
Are you then saying the principles of movement are the same in aikido and karate?

More than that. I'm saying the principles of movement are universal for all activities when considering people.

prin∑ci∑ple noun

A rule or law concerning the functioning of natural phenomena or mechanical processes

move∑ment noun

The act of moving

By definition, the way a person can possibly move is governed by the natural laws of physics --- for any activity for all people. This is why, all things considered, baseball players throw a baseball more or less in the same manner, football players kick a ball in more or less the same manner and so on. Given the way people move, certain methods are more efficient (better if you will) at yielding specific results. <==== Period.

I suspect you're going to disagree, and I'll bet that your disagreement is not based on what I've described, but rather on tactical or strategic principles that karate may favor and aikido may not (or vice versa). That would be another something other than what I'm talking about.

Regards,

Paul

happysod
01-30-2004, 02:42 AM
Paul, you could at least leave some wriggle room in your post - I'm going to disagree with you just on general principles.

paw
01-30-2004, 04:37 AM
Paul, you could at least leave some wriggle room in your post - I'm going to disagree with you just on general principles.

Ok.

Basically, all I'm saying is there's only so many ways a healthy person (any healthy person) can move, regardless of the activity.

This leads to conclusions on how "best" to perform given tasks. For example, Mom always said, "bend down and lift with your legs, not with your back" when picking up heavish objects. And Mom was right, lifting with the legs is more efficient and allows safer lifting of heavier objects than lifting with the back.

Does a more common language approach give me more wriggle room or less?

Regards,

Paul

paw
01-30-2004, 04:37 AM
*somehow got a double post*

*editted to correct*


Mea Culpa,

Paul

happysod
01-30-2004, 05:38 AM
Thank you, yes it does as it opens the hole you plugged earlier with regard to generic as opposed to strategic principles. Your example is a good one as here one of mom's prime reasons in developing her principle of lifting is offspring safety. If instead, mom's strategy was munchausen by proxy she'd have developed the lift by the back only principle.

In a similar way, if your intention is to block and strike rather than deflect and throw, different, yet similar, movements can be perceived when dealing with the same attack but as the strategy for negating the attack is different... [insert rest of long winded dissertation here on "best" and general ode to harmony]

[note to self, must add smileys]

Ron Tisdale
01-30-2004, 07:08 AM
if your intention is to block and strike rather than deflect and throw,
Aren't you making certain assumptions about the 'intention' behind karate? I've been told at the higher levels that the intent may also be to close, pound, throw, pound some more. :) I'm being a little facicious here, but only to a small extent.

Check out the writings on Ushiro Sensei at www.aikidojournal.com. Gives an interesting perspective on 'karate'.

Ron

AsimHanif
01-30-2004, 07:53 AM
Paul - the one assumption you made that was correct is ...Yes I'm going to disagree with you:-)

You can say X=good karate or Y=good aikido but that would be based on an individual's frame of reference. What is good is one thing. What is effective is another.

I disagree with your statement about the principles of movement being the same for karate and aikido. Who says the priciples of movement are universal. Other than getting from point A to point B, there are many ways to do that. But yes, You must MOVE (not yelling, just stressing the point). If you say HBO's Real Sports recently you may have seen the young man who was born without any limbs. He is top notch HS wrestler and gets around just as well as anyone with two legs. The point is he made it work for him. It meaning what he had to work with.

Back to karate and aikido movement. While there is some circular movement in Okinawan based karate (mainly Naha Te systems), karate is basically linear. You use the hips and feet in very different ways than aikido. This is a very basic fact. This is not a mystery.

Paul, you know I anxiously await your reply!!!

paw
01-30-2004, 08:15 AM
Who says the priciples of movement are universal.

Well, I did, for starters. Didn't you read my posts?
Other than getting from point A to point B, there are many ways to do that.

I agree. And all of them are based on how joints articulate, muscle contraction, etc... at least for healthy people on planet earth.
If you say HBO's Real Sports recently you may have seen the young man who was born without any limbs. He is top notch HS wrestler and gets around just as well as anyone with two legs. The point is he made it work for him. It meaning what he had to work with.

Yes. He moves in accordance to the joint articulation, muscle contraction, and physics, just like anyone else would if you removed their limbs.

While there is some circular movement in Okinawan based karate (mainly Naha Te systems), karate is basically linear. You use the hips and feet in very different ways than aikido. This is a very basic fact. This is not a mystery.

And doesn't disprove my point. People are constrained in their movements by physics. They can move in different ways, all of which are governed by physics. Given a specific task, there are "better" ways of performing them given physical limitations and physics. Or is it coincidence that in "freesytle" swimming events, where any stroke may be used, all competitors swim using the crawl?

Regards,

Paul

AsimHanif
01-30-2004, 08:40 AM
That's all fine Paul, but the point was...

aikido and boxing have similar body mechanics as opposed to karate.

Yes we all have to use muscles to move -that's a universal truth - but that was not the point.

happysod
01-30-2004, 08:46 AM
Ron, thanks, you caught me in a over-simplification of the true brutality, sorry beauty of karate. Damn your eyes for being a pernicious reader. :D

Asim, sorry, but that was Paul's point in his post, that's why I objected.. Pick on his "common language" post, that has the bits you want where I think what you're referring to is styles of movement rather than body mechanics.

AsimHanif
01-30-2004, 09:04 AM
Qoute from James Giles:

Yes Chris, I can understand your point of view. But I am a little leary when someone wants to improve on something.

For example, when people tried to make improvements to America's social structure, the results were an explosive crime rate and a public school system that turns out illiterates at the speed of light. When people tried to improve on the English language, Ebonics was born. But many people who weren't around when conditions were indeed better, see these "progressive" changes as improvements.

Uh James, I wanted to address this although this probably should go in the thread on "How not to push out potential students with Limbaughesque' remarks"

First, there's nothing wrong with improvements. Much has to do with who's making the improvements. We still have a lot of separate and unequal around the world.

Secondly, I hesitate to even address your comment on how Ebonics was "born" but it had nothing to do with improving English.

Thirdly, my mother grew up in good 'ole Tuskegee Alabama during the 40's, 50's, and 60's. When exactly were those days when conditions were better?

AsimHanif
01-30-2004, 09:24 AM
Paul's post was in response to my comment that boxing and aikido share similar principles of movement. To which he replied how physics govern universal principles of movement (which I of course acknowledge).

My point was more to how different arts use gravity not that it is or isn't used. That would be ridiculous (although at times I can be ridiculous:-).

In trying to keep it simple though - linear as opposed to circular fashion.

Although Ian I'm not sure what the difference is in "styles of movement rather that body mechanics". Don't they go hand in hand? I'm trying to sort that one out.

happysod
01-30-2004, 09:56 AM
Asim, I wouldn't be confused, it's no doubt my own misapplication of words (very common - I are an engineer by training).

For me, body mechanics would imply the way the body can and can't move based upon joints, skeleton, muscle groups etc i.e. relating the actual nuts and bolts of a body to the range of activities it can accomplish. Style would be which of the various movements within that range which you use/train for in response to various stimuli.

AsimHanif
01-30-2004, 10:12 AM
Gotcha - but wouldn't your body mechanics facilitate or govern your "style".

I believe body mechanics can be developed to some extent, although in cases there may be physical limitations.

Ex. I train my body to do irimi by moving my hips horizontally towards uke as opposed to training my body to do irimi by moving my hips down and then up towards uke.

Or are you saying that you are born with your body mechanics and you stylisticall work with that? Because don't we stretch, bend, contract, etc to effect our body range (mechanics)? Some Ki Society people even use music (but that's another thread:-)

paw
01-30-2004, 11:15 AM
Gotcha - but wouldn't your body mechanics facilitate or govern your "style".

Wouldn't your "style" determine your body mechanics?

Forced to answer, I would say, it's a bit of both. To the best of my understanding, a "style" is composed of a doctrine ---- a set of core beliefs that one holds to be true. Based on this doctrine, a strategy is formed. Based on the strategy, techniques are selected.

To be extremely simplistic, let me make an example using bjj. (Again, this is extremely simplistic and for illustration only)

Doctrine: Fights end up on the ground

Strategy: Master groundwork, specifically, attacking from dominate positions on the ground.

Technique: The rear naked choke once someone's back is captured.

See what fun this is?

Regards,

Paul

AsimHanif
01-30-2004, 01:12 PM
OK I'll play..

This could be a chicken/egg thing.

Yes it could be said that my beliefs dictate my style but it could also be said that because of my limited abilities I choose style X because it fits my body. Or what usually happens...

"After years of fumbling around I started doing A because I saw Bruce Lee and I'm really talented and gifted. I kick high, have an excellent jump spinning back kick, and fast hands. But after years of getting beat up and losing brain cells I think I better start doing Z because my body tells me so".

Chad Sloman
01-31-2004, 07:42 AM
I believe that aikido has martial effectiveness. As Asim has said "aikido is what you make it". You will only be as good as you train. So maybe someone who has shortcomings when it comes to martial effectiveness needs to look at themselves and give more of an earnest effort.

But really.... Are we training in aikido solely to learn to defend ourselves? If you want to learn to defend yourself effectively, go to the pawn shop and buy a 9mm and go to the practice range. Training in budo for me is about the whole package: spiritual sharpening, stress relief, intellectual satiation, mental acuity, physical fitness, AND self-defence. I think in the overly-litigious society that we live in, it can be very effective to overcome an adversary without injury, leaving marks, etc....

I also think that when new people see aikido and think that it is just passive, that they are really off base. The longer I've been training, the more I come to find more and more subtle secrets. We attack and attack and attack even though it may not look like it. When we think that we are blocking or deflecting, we are actually attacking. We attack the mune tsuki, we attack the shomen uchi, we attack the hara of our partner.

As I simultaneously train in karate and aikido, aikido kihon waza keep appearing in my karate sparring technique. IMHO, aikido prepares someone way more for self-defence than karate does. BJJ is great, but the reason that it works so well in MMA competitions is because the fighters are not trying to kill each other. Aikido is a life and death art that requires real martial/fatal intent from the attacker. I think this is why aikido will never work in one on one fighting competitions.

Morpheus
01-31-2004, 09:01 AM
.... Are we training in aikido solely to learn to defend ourselves? If you want to learn to defend yourself effectively, go to the pawn shop and buy a 9mm and go to the practice range....
I wish people would stop saying this. Just getting a gun and becoming proficient at hitting a paper target does not constitute being able to defend yourself. It just means that you can hit a paper target at distance.

What happens when the attacker is within arms reach and they are able to take the gun away? :freaky:

I agreed with the rest of what you had to say on this matter, but this comment is made FAR too much by people on this and other forums.

AsimHanif
01-31-2004, 10:42 AM
I may be off (again) but I took Chads point to mean that if people want a solely physical, agressive self defense solution, there are surely quicker methods to pursue that are not necessarily a Tao (although they need not be).

Aikido is meant to be a Budo - a martial art path to develop the whole Self.

But - I could be wrong.

Morpheus
01-31-2004, 11:33 AM
I may be off (again) but I took Chads point to mean that if people want a solely physical, agressive self defense solution, there are surely quicker methods to pursue that are not necessarily a Tao (although they need not be).
The option of using a gun goes out the window when you are not able to use it. They were meant to be used as distance weapons, not up close. Therefore, the need for people in the Army needing to qualify at the range every six months (I'm a veteran).

If you can't aim it, it's useless and at close range, the odds of it being taken from you and being used against you increases exponentially.

Since these instances have been in the news, there's probably a link somewhere with stats on how many people were injured or killed with their own gun.

As I said earlier, I do agree with the rest of what Chad had to say on this thread. ;)

Chad Sloman
01-31-2004, 12:08 PM
My point is that there are lots of means of self-defence that are easier and faster than aikido. For instance, you could avoid all human contact, say live in a secret bunker with closed-circuit cameras and motion-sensing automatic weapons. When you start putting "if..then" arguments into the mix, there are always instances where one method of self-defence will never protect you from all harm, i.e...how would you use aikido vs. a nuclear bomb etc... But to say that aikido does not have intrinsic self-defence/martial value is dead wrong. And I even dare say that it has great self defence/martial value. At any rate, when you are attacked, all you can do is enter the fray and rely on your instincts and training. It is useless to think about winning and losing. If it is your karma to lose, then you will; if it is not, then you won't. One may use the argument that there is not much proof to suppose that aikido is a better self-defence MA than others; but how can you gauge that when we strive not to fight or hurt our brothers/sisters. Didn't O-Sensei say something like "You are the ultimate victor when you make your enemy your friend"?

James Besenyei
01-31-2004, 09:59 PM
A gun, like any weapon, should be studied, the practioner should practice, practice, practice, and he should understand which gun to use. Guns in the modern world can be the ultimate self defense technique - the introduction of the "wonder nine" market is indicative of this, b/c it is small and deadly at close range. I say "can" b/c if one has not trained extensively with his weapon it will no doubt lead to his undoing..either through mistakes of arrogance, or misuse of the weapon. Martial arts (all of them) ultimatley give a person more awareness, more body control, more endurance, and provide the training to remain calm during stressful situations (we have all taken a belt exam under the watchful eye of a teacher!). Similiarly if one has ever trained extensively with a handgun he has come to understand his weapon, like his body in MA's, is an extension of his mind, and is only useful if his mind is clear, calm, and aware.

aubrey bannah
02-01-2004, 04:12 AM
Aikido & handgun defense go hand in hand. Enter, push gun against body & pull trigger.

Pivot, turn push gun against body & pull trigger. The New York police service analized all their shooting's, most happen at less than 3 feet. If you are carrying a pistol for self defence you must evade and counter defend or escape is perferable. FBI studies have shown that it is impossible to draw your firearm safely if a armed attacker is within 20 ft of you.

indomaresa
02-01-2004, 09:27 PM
sounds like 'equilibrium'

why didn't people incorporate them into gun training?

James Besenyei
02-01-2004, 11:53 PM
For every study indicating one hypothesis, there is another that will indicate another....black is white, on is off, cold is hot, there is no duality... a gun is like a sword, if used properly, with proper training, it is deadly and effective. There are no definites in this world, and "street" studies have shown that it is better to have a gun and not need one, then to need one and not have one. I say this slightly in jest, and mean no ill will, but there is truth hidden in my statement....if one confronts another person in an environment not hospitable to escape- and that other person has a gun- it is fair to assume that if a gun gives one person an advantage in combat, that a gun of equal caliber and range evens the playing field...so while it may be impossible for one to draw a firearm safely in twenty feet (and that is assuming the other party has equal training and muscle memory reflex) without being hurt, it can be safely infered that not drawing a firearm in those twenty feet is even more dangerous... the other party would have no fear of recourse, and if need be could approach a wounded victim without fear of being equally harmed...mutually assured destruction...the point is ........there is no point, gun, no gun, we all make our own choices, and there is ultimatley no wrong answer...Aikido "is" a martial art, and it is better to have a gun than not, in my humble opinion.

Morpheus
02-02-2004, 11:45 AM
sounds like 'equilibrium'....
Stop reading my mind ;)